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When we say it, it's factual, not political

Another New York Times editorial on Holsinger.

In addition to its Tuesday editorial against surgeon general nominee James Holsinger and five op-eds today on the Holsinger confirmation hearing, The New York Times also feels the need to weigh in with another editorial on the subject. You have to love the brazen irony of this section:

The main subject to be probed, aside from Dr. Holsinger's professional qualifications, is whether he still holds the views he has expressed in the past that seem hostile to gay men and lesbians. Now, in the wake of Dr. Carmona's revelations, it will also be important to ask Dr. Holsinger what steps he would take to keep the office from being politicized.

Did Linda Greenhouse write this?

Liveblogging the hearing after the jump.

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Liveblogging the hearing: Time elapsed between Kennedy railing against "political litmus tests" for the position of surgeon general and him railing against Holsinger's writings on homosexuality: about two minutes. You can watch the hearing live here.

Holsinger: "I'm deeply troubled" by comments about my faith. they "don't represent who I am, what I believe, or how I have practiced medicine."

Oddest question so far: What's more important? Fighting al-Qaeda or gay people? (I don't have the exact quote. Sorry.)

On his paper: "The paper I was asked to write was asked to deal with certain specific issues ... it was a literature review of the health issues surrounding homosexuality. Not a paper on sexuality. ... The situation is very different today. We're now 20 years later. I don't even think the same questions would be asked as 20 years ago."

1 hour, 35 minutes in, Holsinger makes a proposal that might change the hot topic of the day: He wants to ban advertisements for prescription drugs (or at least ads directed at the public), saying they put too much pressure on physicians.

More on his paper: It wasn't intended for distribution beyond a few people asking a few specific questions, and was never published. "Read scientific papers I've published as examples of my scientific work."

As things are wrapping up, Holsinger is finally asked about embyronic stem-cell research. In 2002, he reportedly called for the government to reduce its regulation on embryonic research and cloning – which is probably why conservative religio-political groups have not actually supported Holsinger's nomination. Holsinger's response: Since 2002, I have not had reason to stay engaged in the stem cell discussions ... [so] I don't feel comfortable giving you my opinion."

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