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Barney Frank

US Rep. Barney Frank (D) of Massachusetts was Wednesday's guest. Here are excerpts from his remarks:

On the "culture of life," which became an issue in the Terri Schiavo case:

"It is not the culture of life. It is the culture of breathing.... You make sure people keep breathing. But anything else that alleviates their distress, there is no room for it."

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On the lasting effects of the Schiavo case on GOP leaders in Congress:

"[Senate Majority Leader] Bill Frist suffered more damage out of the Schiavo case than anybody else. His professional credentials have been just turned against him now by that television diagnosis."

On how alleged ethics violations will affect House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's hold on his job:

"The first crack [in party discipline] was in the ethics vote this year, when they rebelled at changing the rules to allow an indicted leader to stay in power. And the mechanism there is the mechanism that will undo him."

On President Bush's Social Security reform plan:

"The most significant thing that has happened to the debate ... was the 5 percent drop in the stock market. The public, I think, is not as enamored of the ... ever-upward trend of the stock market as this plan needed them to be."

On pushing a Democratic agenda in Congress:

"The official agenda is entirely in [Republican] hands. It is very hard to get things that are being done unofficially into the public debate."


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