Every sperm is sacred

Now that death panels are a thing of the distant past, the real threat to liberty in this country is apparently the pill, something that we’ve had for over half a century and that a majority of us thought was a fairly settled debate. Of course, since the right is adamantly opposed to providing life-saving universal access to healthcare we instead get yet another front in the culture wars.

Now the administration has changed course in the right direction on the contraception mandate:

Today, the White House did the right thing for women, public health and human rights.  Despite deep concerns, including my own, based on what transpired in the past under health reform, the White House has decided on a plan to address the birth control mandate that will enable women to get contraceptive coverage directly through their insurance plans without having to buy a rider or a second plan, and without having to negotiate with or through religious entities or administrations that are hostile to primary reproductive health care, including but not limited to contraception.

Under this plan, every insurance company will be obligated to provide contraceptive coverage. Administration officials stated that a woman’s insurance company “will be required to reach out directly and offer her contraceptive care free of charge.  The religious institutions will not have to pay for it.”

This is the right move. A smart, effective way to get past the objections on the right. And it pushes us one tiny step closer to shedding employer coverage altogether.

Even before the changed policy, public opinion was squarely behind the administration:

A solid 56 percent majority of voters support the decision to require health plans to cover prescription birth control with no additional out-of-pocket fees, while only 37 percent are opposed. It’s particularly noteworthy that pivotal independent voters support this benefit by a 55/36 margin; in fact, a majority of voters in every racial, age, and religious category that we track express support. In particular, a 53 percent majority of Catholic voters, who were oversampled as part of this poll, favor the benefit, including fully 62 percent of Catholics who identify themselves as independents.

It will be interesting to see how Republicans respond to this latest move by the president. The reason it’s an issue at all is simple: just as the economy starts to heat up Republicans panic and pick a fight over something bound to whip up the fervor of the angriest of culture warriors: no death panels this time, no, this time it’s contraception. But actually that’s not quite right either. That’s just a code word for abortion.

Of course, we’re not talking about a mandate to cover abortions, we’re talking about a mandate to cover birth control. Some people on the fringe of this debate equate the two, but a huge majority of Americans disagree. A majority of Catholics disagree, for that matter.

I think of the Affordable Care Act as the wrong law at the right time. Or the right law at the wrong time. I can’t quite decide. Either way, it’s a vast improvement over the status quo, and yet doubles down on one thing that I can’t stand about our healthcare system: employer-provided coverage. The problem with American healthcare isn’t too much government, it’s too many middle-men, and third-party coverage is the most glaring middle man of all.

The exchanges built into the new law are another story, mirroring systems in place in Germany and Switzerland. Germany is the economic powerhouse of Europe, and Switzerland is about as close to a libertarian paradise as anywhere on earth. Our healthcare law should, over time, push us toward something quite similar. Cries of socialism are particularly vapid given the countries in question.

The difference between here and everywhere else in the world is that in America everything revolves around the culture wars.

I don’t think the Republican party actually cares one bit about birth control. They’re just using the issue to obstruct the ACA at every turn. It’s silly, childish, and manipulative. That social conservatives don’t feel entirely burned and jaded by the GOP’s cynical politicization of their issues is telling. Social conservatives made a deal with the devil when they decided to use majority-rules democracy to further their goals, and now the piper must be paid. Diminishing returns on diminishing demographics.

I fully support the right for women (and everyone, for that matter) to have full, unfettered access to healthcare and birth control and preventative medicine. These things will save us money and make the country safer and more prosperous. A woman’s right to have control over her own body is sacrosanct as far as my conception of liberty is concerned. And women who don’t want to use contraception don’t have to. Nobody is forcing them to do anything.

The fact that employer’s provide insurance to their employees is profoundly stupid, an accident of history, a huge part of why we’re in the straits we’re in when it comes to our badly mangled healthcare system. This latest move by the president actually puts a dent in this system – it’s a victory both for women’s rights and crafting a smarter, more efficient, and more fair system of healthcare.

(cross-posted)






289 replies
  1. 1
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    The exchanges built into the new law are another story, mirroring systems in place in Germany and Switzerland. Germany is the economic powerhouse of Europe, and Switzerland is about as close to a libertarian paradise as anywhere on earth. Our healthcare law should, over time, push us toward something quite similar. Cries of socialism are particularly vapid given the countries in question.

    Oh, please. In Germany, representatives of the workers’ union sit on the boards of directors of outfits like Daimler-Benz, Siemens, Krupp, Hoechst, and every other big German corporation.

    That’s pure socia1ism at it’s best, right there. Totally unacceptable to the he-men Galtian masters of the universe in this country.

  2. 2
    Bulworth says:

    I’m OK with this but does the ACA allow the president to issue a mandate for insurance companies? Or is this authority present in some other legislation?

  3. 3
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Bulworth: I’m not sure, actually, but I bet it does if he’s doing it and I bet any sort of decision one way or another finds its way into the courts regardless.

  4. 4
    geg6 says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    This is correct.

    But this is also correct and I give credit where it is due:

    The fact that employer’s provide insurance to their employees is profoundly stupid, an accident of history, a huge part of why we’re in the straits we’re in when it comes to our badly mangled healthcare system. This latest move by the president actually puts a dent in this system – it’s a victory both for women’s rights and crafting a smarter, more efficient, and more fair system of healthcare.

  5. 5
    Anonymous At Work says:

    Let me start the next ball rolling with:

    “How dare the secret Keynan, Muslim, Athetist, Socialist, Communist, Liberal, Elite, East Coast, Elite, Liberal Democrat Obama order insurance companies around?!?!?”

  6. 6
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Ack. Didn’t modify the terrible boner-string word in the blockquote I added. Into moderation.

    FYWP.

  7. 7
    dmsilev says:

    Switzerland is about as close to a libertarian paradise as anywhere on earth

    ??????

    Unless, of course, you mean that the nearest libertarian paradise is off at Proxima Centauri.

  8. 8
    geg6 says:

    Okay, unless Villago Delenda Est disappeared his/her own comment or it’s FYWP time, where did the comment I just agreed to go?

  9. 9
    Martin says:

    Hmm. I think I predicted several times that Obama could easily find a path such as this without caving to the issue. And look! Now even the nuns have birth control coverage because churches don’t get an exemption for prescription meds in general.

    What will be most revealing is when the right overreaches – which they inevitably will do – and say that even though they aren’t paying for it, they should still be able to control their employees access to contraception. That should be good for some lulls.

    And this was never about ACA or birth control. It was just a way to use ACA to wedge the electorate on religious freedom and portray Obama as the usurper again.

  10. 10
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @geg6:

    You’re absolutely right there, and E.D. does deserve credit for including that.

    Our health care financing system is totally fucked up, and while ACA is a start, it may not open up the doors fast enough to save us from a meltdown.

    Fuck, GCC is going to fuck us all over well before anyway.

  11. 11
    Mike in NC says:

    “Say No To Big Gummint Death Birth Panels!”

  12. 12
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Bulworth:

    I’m OK with this but does the ACA allow the president to issue a mandate for insurance companies?

    Yes. Technically, the HHS secretary issues the mandate, IIRC, but the president can instruct her what to do.

  13. 13
    E.D. Kain says:

    @geg6: Not sure. I’ll check.

  14. 14
    Martin says:

    @Bulworth:

    I’m OK with this but does the ACA allow the president to issue a mandate for insurance companies?

    Yes, HHS can do this without going to Congress. ACA gave HHS as lot of power like this that they previously did not have.

  15. 15
    Brian S says:

    It will be interesting to see how Republicans respond to this latest move by the president.

    It won’t, because you can pretty much predict how they’ll react. Thy’ll huff and puff and whine and pout and lie to their base, because that’s what they always do.

  16. 16
    Keith G says:

    I hope this finally takes the air out of this round of the values debate. We need to get back to holding the GOP’s feet to the fire on the economy.

  17. 17
    stickler says:

    “The right is going to overreach?”

    I’d argue that this here is the overreach already. Contraception? Really? I’m gobsmacked that the rightwing Wurlitzer got fired up over this in the first place. The polling is just awful for them, and it serves to remind women who is on their side and who’s not.

    Though with enough SuperPAC money in play, maybe they think they can paper over the stupidity. I don’t think women are that stupid, but I’m not a hedge fund moneybags crank, so what do I know.

  18. 18
    Martin says:

    The fact that employer’s provide insurance to their employees is profoundly stupid, an accident of history, a huge part of why we’re in the straits we’re in when it comes to our badly mangled healthcare system.

    Actually, that’s to be expected when you contract a limited government. Group efficiencies often happen best at the government level (federal, state, local can all be debated on which is the best place) but barring that, the employer is really the only other place to achieve it in a systematic way. Don’t want it at the employer level, then you need to make government more powerful, simple as that.

  19. 19

    Interesting “accommodation.” I was wondering how the Administration was going to do this.

    Maybe this will turn out to actually be better for us all this way. And maybe ED is correct in his analysis.

  20. 20
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @geg6:

    FYWP strikes again, see another comment. I went back and blockquoted some of E.D.’s post, and it had a naughty boner-pill string in it. Doh!

  21. 21
    Lolis says:

    Thanks, President Obama. I am excited for my free birth control.

  22. 22
    Martin says:

    @stickler:

    I’d argue that this here is the overreach already.

    It’s on the line. Yes, if you really broke it down I think you’d have to conclude that it’s overreach, but at the surface level it pushes the right emotional buttons with enough of the electorate to not be a losing position at this level. I don’t see how they respond to this and keep that emotional connection going, though.

  23. 23
    Nancy says:

    @dmsilev: A dear friend spent several years in Switzerland. It is one of the most regimented countries in the world. He said you practically had to get a permit to drive a nail in your wall to hang a picture.

    He sang the praises of their health care. A procedure he had came in at about one third the cost of what it would be here.

    He did a lot of nattering about the cost of booze due to high taxes on it.

  24. 24
    Punchy says:

    I for one await Bill Donohue’s response. I expect something completely over the top x 1 gajillion. Something about how this forces 2nd graders to start on the pill and requires nuns to have sexytime with choir boys.

  25. 25
    Martin says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    Maybe this will turn out to actually be better for us all this way.

    Oh, this is definitely better. The insurers will get up in arms a bit, but HHS will allow them to raise their base premiums to absorb the rider, so they won’t mind too much.

  26. 26
    Holden Pattern says:

    But what happens if the religious institution contracts with a newly formed religious insurance company? Or the bishops invest some of the Church’s money in insurance companies. Or the president of the insurance company is a Holy Roman Roller Opus Dei whackadoodle? Or just a couple shareholders are?

    Don’t they get to make a moral objection to the use of their precious bodily fluids money to enable the whoring sluts to work their wiles on helpless menfolk without suffering the wages of sin?

  27. 27
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    I don’t think the Republican party actually cares one bit about birth control. They’re just using the issue to obstruct the ACA at every turn. It’s silly, childish, and manipulative. That social conservatives don’t feel entirely burned and jaded by the GOP’s cynical politicization of their issues is telling. Social conservatives made a deal with the devil when they decided to use majority-rules democracy to further their goals, and now the piper must be paid. Diminishing returns on diminishing demographics.

    Boo-fucking-ya. Well said, EDK.

  28. 28
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Martin: actually this isn’t quite right. Lots of European countries use private parties to do healthcare; none use employers.

  29. 29
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Punchy:

    omething about how this forces 2nd graders to start on the pill and requires nuns to have sexytime with choir boys.

    The problem there, of course, is the nuns are not entitled to have sexytime with the choirboys. That’s the priests’ turf.

  30. 30
    Holden Pattern says:

    @Martin:

    Oh, this is definitely better. The insurers will get up in arms a bit, but HHS will allow them to raise their base premiums to absorb the rider, so they won’t mind too much.

    This was kinda my thought — it just shifts the premiums for the insurance pool one level of abstraction further away from that specific group plan. The Holy Roman Roller whackadoodles will still howl bloody murder.

  31. 31
    Violet says:

    Cries of soshulism are particularly vapid given the countries in question.

    (I changed the spelling of soshulism to get through FYWP)

    I love the word ‘vapid.’ Excellent usage here too. Characterizing these idiots as vapid is accurate. They’ve got nothing, so they spew word salads and hope some “outrage” sticks.

  32. 32
    Martin says:

    @Punchy: Santorum was already complaining that Obama was going to force the Catholic Church to hire women priests. So, yeah, I think you need to take that x100 to get to Donohue.

  33. 33
    the dude says:

    Employer-funded health care (and U.S. health care in general) really is weird, IMHO.

    I’m from Australia where’s there is public health care available for all, with private health care funds for additional stuff. You can change jobs without fear of losing coverage; you can go to any health care provider you like; you pay bugger all compared to the U.S. (and even the private health care system is subsidised by the Government); you can change your coverage whenever you like (my current employer in the U.S. only allows changes once per year); and no one goes broke because they got sick or injured.

    Hopefully this move is the start of moving the U.S. towards that kind of model.

  34. 34
    geg6 says:

    OT, but holy shit. I know it’s Ras, but fuck…

    http://livewire.talkingpointsm.....er?ref=fpb

  35. 35
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Violet:

    (I changed the spelling of soshulism to get through FYWP)

    You be smarter than me, fer sure.

  36. 36
    Baud says:

    @geg6: The fact that it’s Ras is even more impressive because it’s numbers always skew conservative.

  37. 37
    4tehlulz says:

    @geg6: Which means the real lead is close to 15.

  38. 38
    NobodySpecial says:

    Good move by Obama. Now they can still bitch, but it sounds even worse. Me likey.

  39. 39
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Martin:

    Actually, that’s to be expected when you contract a limited government. Group efficiencies often happen best at the government level (federal, state, local can all be debated on which is the best place) but barring that, the employer is really the only other place to achieve it in a systematic way. Don’t want it at the employer level, then you need to make government more powerful, simple as that.

    Bingo. The systems are different in Europe because those countries have a more statist tradition than we do in the US. The glaring exception to that rule is the NHS in Great Britain, which is something of a historical accident: the British were forced so sample something resembling socia1ism under the guise of mobilizing their economy for total war during WW1 and WW2 and decided that they rather liked it, at least so far as the lower and middle classes were concerned.

  40. 40
    E.D. Kain says:

    @the dude: Australia’s medicare-for-all style approach would be such a vast improvement over our system, and save us TONS of money.

  41. 41

    @stickler: the gop just picked a fight with 51% of the u.s. population. i agree, this is the overreach right here.

  42. 42
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    What does Clint Eastwood think?

  43. 43
    Tom65 says:

    Naturally, the Firebaggers are in full meltdown.

  44. 44
    Bizono says:

    Wingnuts are now going to insist that this change proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Obama Administration is engaging in a sekrit population control effort designed to reduce the birth rates of white, hardworking, real ‘merkins in order to swing the balance of electoral power to minorities.

  45. 45
    Wag says:

    @Brian S:

    Let’s put your final point in a Seussian rhyme so we can all sing along

    They’ll huff and they’ll puff
    And they’ll whine and they’ll pout
    They’ll lie to their base
    ‘Cause that’s what they’re about.

  46. 46
    Sentient Puddle says:

    So…I’m still pretty unclear about how this accommodation is different from the policy as of yesterday. Can anyone enlighten me? I know we’re all supposed to be whining about Obama capitulating and all, and I need the script.

  47. 47
    Martin says:

    @E.D. Kain:

    Lots of European countries use private parties to do healthcare; none use employers.

    Lots of European countries use private parities to do healthcare because the government mandates that system. The government still has the authority to do what ours has not, even if they aren’t the primary administrators. In the US, lacking that power, employers voluntarily stepped up and filled a clear need. What we got was the only reasonable free market answer to the European government mandated model. If the US solution was stupid, then it only serves to prove that there are certain problems that the free market is ill equipped to solve.

    Not trying to tweak you personally on this – and welcome back, BTW – but it really is that simple. Free market healthcare is a train wreck of adverse selection and moral hazard. Employer provided coverage cut through that a little bit through the use of group policies, but left huge chunks of the electorate out and still left some of the old problems in place. In Europe government forced a proper solution, that comes with it’s own challenges, don’t get me wrong – but they’re challenges that you can at least tackle directly.

  48. 48
    Holden Pattern says:

    @the dude: Employer health insurance is an artifact of the wage controls during WW II — they couldn’t increase wages to get people to work for them during the labor shortage caused by full mobilization, but they could offer non-wage compensation like health insurance.

    Our failure to correct it since then is a result of a significant portion of our voters being completely insane wingnut dipshits, who are extremely well funded and influenced by the people who actually benefit from the current situation, who in turn rule us because our system has too many veto points and no way to stop the legalized system of bribery in our politics.

  49. 49
    NobodySpecial says:

    @Sentient Puddle: Instead of the employer paying for it, the insurance company will be paying for it. Therefore the bishops can unstarch their panties and get back to their next party planning session.

  50. 50
    Jennifer says:

    Maybe I just don’t understand, but – if this compromise forces insurers to provide contraceptive coverage via a free rider, someone is still paying for it. Is the Church itself a “free rider” on the system, with the rest of us picking up the cost for these no-cost riders? Or is the cost, because there IS a cost, spread out across the premiums for all plans, in which case, the church is still paying for it even though it’s very transparently cloaked?

    Because SOMEONE will be paying for contraception for women employed by these church businesses, and it won’t be the insurers themselves.

  51. 51

    I’m pretty sure this “compromise” actually means that more women will have contraception coverage, since the former compromise meant that women who worked for objecting churches were SOL. Under this plan, the insurance companies will have to offer them coverage.

    Birth-control opponents got rolled here.

    Ultimately, I agree with everyone who says we have to get off of this idiotic employer-based system.

    @Jennifer: It may well be an overall cost saving for the insurers, since universal birth control coverage should reduce the number of (costly) pregnancies.

  52. 52
    Judas Escargot, Your Postmodern Neighbor says:

    @Martin:

    What will be most revealing is when the right overreaches – which they inevitably will do – and say that even though they aren’t paying for it, they should still be able to control their employees access to contraception. That should be good for some lulls.

    This probably depends upon how the MSM scolds choose to frame the issue. I agree that the general public would come to this conclusion… but only if it’s explained to them properly.

    Care to wager on the chances of that happening?

    That said: This could be yet another case of Obama rope-a-doping the GOP into what he really wanted. Good.

  53. 53
    Holden Pattern says:

    @Sentient Puddle:

    So…I’m still pretty unclear about how this accommodation is different from the policy as of yesterday. Can anyone enlighten me? I know we’re all supposed to be whining about Obama capitulating and all, and I need the script.

    It puts the burden on the insurance companies, not the employer. That’s all. As Martin pointed out upthread, this won’t actually change the fact that the insurance pool pays for the service, but it no longer imposes the mandate on the employer. So it’s pretty much the same thing as before as a financial matter, but now the politics are that the Holy Roman Roller whackadoodles and their fellow travelers on the religious right have to complain about insurance companies being burdened, and the use of their premium dollars at one level of remove.

    We’ll see if it satisfies the red-hat whackadoodles. My guess is it won’t.

  54. 54
    grandpa john says:

    The gap has been slowly widening in all the polls for the last 2-3 weeks. and several of the swing states are beginning to show Obama with leads that are gradually getting larger.

  55. 55
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Bizono:

    Demographics are destiny. The problem the wingtards have is that they fear (quite correctly, I might add) that when the former minorities switch places with the white folk, the white folk will find themselves being treated as they treated the minorities.

    Instead of accepting this, and starting to treat the minorities as they wish to be treated (some long haired hippie type they claim to revere mentioned this two fucking millennia ago) they’re doubling down.

    Karma is a bitch, ain’t it?

  56. 56
    efroh says:

    Really disappointed. The facts on the ground aren’t changing much, but this is a loss for the Administration both in terms of public/media perception and is yet another back of the hand to their female supporters (of which I am one). They blinked, and oh, hey, they aren’t going to win any votes back from these so-called moderate Catholics. And women’s health, my health, continues to lack an advocate with the courage to stand up to religious bullying.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/a.....crats.html

    Pathetic.

  57. 57
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Martin: free market healthcare probably wouldn’t work, I agree, but you can still use market mechanisms (a la half of Europe at least) to create an efficient system. Competitive private insurers do a fine job in the Netherlands. Switzerland uses non-profit exchanges. In Australia you can get private coverage to compliment your Medicare. There are many ways to achieve this, but none of them anywhere include employer-based coverage. Except here.

  58. 58
    Ken says:

    @Martin: pushes the right emotional buttons with enough of the electorate

    I don’t know about that. I saw a poll yesterday that showed the only group that opposed the contraceptive mandate was white evangelicals – even among Catholics it had around 55%.

    Also I kind of suspect that had the question been asked two weeks ago, the white evangelicals would have favored it also…

  59. 59
    Sentient Puddle says:

    @NobodySpecial: In reply, I’ll just second what Jennifer asked in the post immediately following, because she pretty much elaborated on where I’m getting hung up better than I could.

  60. 60
    Martin says:

    @Sentient Puddle: The complaint by the church was that the church had to PAY for the birth control. Normally birth control is a rider on policies – it’s like that for historical reasons. The church was objecting to having to pay for that rider.

    Obama is now saying that insurers can’t offer the rider, they have to include birth control with all other prescription meds. Now the church doesn’t have to pay for the rider. Problem solved.

    Obama took the narrowest reading of their complaint and fixed it simply by burying the cost of the birth control in with all other prescription meds by telling the insurance companies they can’t charge for birth control, and then he’ll have HHS allow the insurance companies to raise their premiums by half or so of the amount that the rider would have cost to recoup that expense. Problem solved, and we now have ‘universal birth control’.

  61. 61
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    @NobodySpecial:

    Instead of the employer paying for it, the insurance company will be paying for it. Therefore the bishops can unstarch their panties and get back to their next party planning session.

    Here’s the thing. Insurance pools which reach 500 participants usually are self-insured. That means a trust accepts premiums which, in turn, fund liabilities like claims. The employer creates rules for payment, then hires an insurance co to administer. That means there is kind of a firewall between the employer and claims paid.

  62. 62
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Jennifer:

    The Church was NEVER paying for it. Health insurance is part of the compensation they provide to their employees. It was always part of that, so what the Church wanted to do was dictate how their employees spent part of their compensation.

  63. 63
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @NobodySpecial:

    Therefore the bishops can unstarch their panties

    Not gonna happen. This was never about the Bishops having to pay for sexytime. This was about two things: (1) the Bishops exercising as much control as they can grab over what people consume in the way of health care regardless of who pays for it, and (2) the Bishops declaring political war on the Administration and throwing themselves 100% behind the GOP taking back the WH next year.

    Neither objective is satisfied to any degree by this compromise. The Bishops will not back down, they will come up with new lies to peddle. Operation New Serfdom remains fully in effect and will continue as planned.

  64. 64

    @stickler:
    I agree. They’re well into overreach. More people are furiously pro-contraception than furiously anti-contraception. Way, way more people think campaigning against contraception means you’re a creepy fruit loop, and are barely hovering on ‘maybe churches shouldn’t have to offer it because they’re creepy fruit loops’.

    This issue IS decided. It’s over, it’s 50 years ago, maybe more. If Santorum truly takes the lead and people find out he’d like contraception to be illegal, they will edge quietly towards the exits. This is a long lost issue, and that Republicans have dredged it up and are doubling down on it means that they’re desperate or out of touch old people, either way to a ridiculous extreme.

  65. 65
    Martin says:

    @Holden Pattern:

    My guess is it won’t.

    It won’t. The question is “how do they express that without coming out against birth control in general?” It’ll be fun to watch. And I love how this is being framed by the media as “Obama compromising” when he totally fucking rolled the GOP.

  66. 66
    West of the Cascades says:

    Wow. I am not sure I quite understand all this, but if I understand ED’s analysis, it sure feels like 11th-dimensional chess where this was the outcome the Administration wanted all along — a political cudgel to hammer the GOP with because they alienated women, directly mandates insurance companies to provide universal coverage for a widely-used medical service at no cost, and looks “reasonable.”

    I can’t figure out any way the GOP and raving Catholic wingers can coherently oppose this based on their arguments over the last couple of days, and their inevitable incoherent opposition is likely to be more crazy-sounding than usual to the average voter. I agree with Martin @64 – while the media plays stupid “Obama backed down – again” games, it looks like what really happened here is absolutely pure win for the Administration.

  67. 67
    efroh says:

    @Holden Pattern: I agree with you – this is not going to satisfy the religious critics and they are going to push for more. The Administration just rolled over and showed its belly.

  68. 68
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Jennifer: of course not, it will be everybody. The point is to get as many people paying for all of this stuff together as possible. In the short term this means we all see our premiums and other related costs go up. In the long term hopefully they will go back down.

  69. 69
    Shirt says:

    The Bishops are pushing their weight around. Somebody is pushing back. From the raw story: “The bankruptcy hearings for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee have revealed more than 8,000 previously unreported instances of alleged sexual abuse of children, according to one attorney representing the victims.”

    Coincidence or hardball?

  70. 70
    Lawnguylander says:

    I’ve never heard Switzerland described as a libertarian paradise before. If that’s accurate it explains a lot. I was in Zurich with my boss at the time and he asked me if I noticed that nobody ever smiled there. I had noticed that they were even more dour than the Scots but I had not picked up on that detail. So I began paying attention and he was right. Jocularity is theft, apparently.

  71. 71
    wobblybits says:

    @efroh: How so? I’m not following your logic.

  72. 72
    PTirebiter says:

    I don’t get how this was framed as The Church paying for anything. Isn’t insurance just a part of your compensation for the work provided?

  73. 73
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    Wait, so is EDK a “liberal” again this week? Did I miss the memo?

    And Switzerland a libertarian paradise? LOLWUT?

  74. 74

    @efroh:
    …wait, what? The change in policy is to make birth control inherent in all insurance rather than a separate rider. He removed their specific complaint by MAKING BIRTH CONTROL EVEN MORE AVAILABLE. How is this the back of his hand to female voters?

  75. 75
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    Back when John F. Kennedy was running for president, he reassured the nation about his religion in a speech, included at the end of this article. Here’s a key excerpt:

    “I am not the Catholic candidate for president. I am the Democratic Party’s candidate for president, who happens also to be a Catholic. I do not speak for my church on public matters, and the church does not speak for me.
    Whatever issue may come before me as president — on birth control, divorce, censorship, gambling or any other subject — I will make my decision in accordance with these views, in accordance with what my conscience tells me to be the national interest, and without regard to outside religious pressures or dictates. And no power or threat of punishment could cause me to decide otherwise.”

    http://www.opednews.com/articl.....0-690.html

  76. 76
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @efroh: That only makes sense if you’re rating the pure theatrical aspect — policy, ruckus, changed policy; strophe, antistrophe — rather than evaluating the actual policy before and after… which, by cutting out employers and their consciences, seems like a dramatic and painless improvement.

  77. 77
    DougL says:

    About the outrage of requiring Catholic employers to cover contraceptives in the health care plans for employees? Big surprise: Depaul University, the nation’s largest Catholic university offers birth control coverage.

  78. 78
    Tony J says:

    @Nancy:

    Jeremy Clarkson (who I otherwise despise) once told a funny story about being pulled over on a motorway by a Swiss policeman who impounded his car because its engine broke Swiss noise-pollution levels. They had an entire conversation about what the law was and how Clarkson could get his car back, and at no point did the Swiss cop even mention the fully loaded automatic rifle sitting on the passenger seat.

    So, yeah, weird country.

  79. 79
    chopper says:

    so where’s the spelunker brigade on this one? you know, always talking up and down about ‘caves’…

  80. 80
    Irony Abounds says:

    @Jennifer: Your perceptive question is exactly how the wingnuts will be framing the compromise: the Church is still paying for it because it becomes available if they offer their employees insurance and the insurance premiums will have contraceptive coverage baked in the cake, so to speak. My guess is that the compromise will please no one and the fight will go on.

  81. 81
    Samara Morgan says:

    @E.D. Kain: go away.
    no one is gunna believe your latest shapeshift.
    you idiot juicers, Kain is fresh off his Paul and GaJo fallating because he is trying to re-invent himself so he can make a living blogging.
    He quit his dayjob.
    so naow he wants to switch horses because the the Klown Kavalcade cant beat Obama.

    Do you have a new position on the “freed” market EDK?
    How about teachers unions?

    I’ve cooled on the idea of unions lately, at least in their current form, and have had a number of really good conversations in the past couple of days after writing this post, about unions and particularly teachers unions.
    __
    Certainly teachers unions represent a major obstacle to reform of our education system.

    be honest with the poor slow-witted juicers.
    you quit your dayjob to make a living blogging but the pageclicks just aint rolling in to your new failblog, are they?

  82. 82
    Holden Pattern says:

    @PTirebiter:

    I don’t get how this was framed as The Church paying for anything. Isn’t insurance just a part of your compensation for the work provided?

    1) It wasn’t even the “Church”. It was Church-affiliated businesses.

    2) The narrow reading is that because the employer negotiates the terms of the health care coverage, they would be required to ask for something that they are morally opposed to*.

    3) The broad reading, which is the true one, is that the jahb-creaters’ money is always their money, and they should be able to control what the peons do based on the personal whims of the jahb-creater.

    * This objection only valid for reactionaries objecting to wimmin-stuff and faggy-rights.

  83. 83
    redshirt says:

    While we can all admire Obama’s skills here, the Media will ensure this gets logged in the collective memory as “another Obama failure”, like they’ve done with every single accomplishment so far.

  84. 84
    Samara Morgan says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: yup.
    shapeshifter.

    he goes where the pageclicks flows.

  85. 85
    Nutella says:

    I was worried about rumors of compromise so I called the White House opinion line this morning to express my support for yesterday’s plan. I’m glad I was polite about it because today’s plan is even better. Obama kicked the bishops right in the teeth. Excellent policy and excellent politics!

    I disagree with EDK on this, though:

    I don’t think the Republican party actually cares one bit about birth control. They’re just using the issue to obstruct the ACA at every turn.

    It’s both/and. The Republicans hate ACA and they hate women unless they can keep them barefoot and pregnant.

    Evidence: Republicans in the Senate today voted against extending the term of the existing domestic violence law. They hate women unless they can keep them barefoot, knocked up, and punched out.

  86. 86
    Samara Morgan says:

    @redshirt: they will ALL be Obama successes in the afterglow of his re-election.

  87. 87
    Dork says:

    @Benjamin Franklin: They need to cut an Eastwood commercial with a tagline like “Do you feel lucky, spunk?”

  88. 88
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Nutella: EDK is a creepy little glibertarian shapeshifter that is trying to fund his rebranding at his new site with BJ pageclicks.

  89. 89

    @redshirt:
    Eh. They’ll do that no matter what he did. Might as well ignore them.

  90. 90
    wobblybits says:

    @FlipYrWhig: That is how I read it as well.

  91. 91
    LAC says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    Wait until efroh gets back from his firebagger talking points meeting (hint: imagine a group of chickens being poked at with sticks while Metallica plays over a megaphone) I am sure he/she will come up with an answer. SQWAUK!!! CAVE!!!! SHREIIIIK!!!!

  92. 92

    @Martin:

    Actually, that’s to be expected when you contract a limited government.

    This. I’ve never seen it expressed so clearly before. Weakening government doesn’t just strengthen corporations by cutting back on regulations, it also leaves them as the only resort for doing anything that requires coordinated, large scale action.

    Not that this necessarily means the power has to go to for profit corporations. The government could charter non profits to provide healthcare, and include whatever rules and regulations it chooses as part of the charter. I think it would be better for the government to do it directly rather than indirectly, but there is more than one way forward.

  93. 93
    Samara Morgan says:

    @redshirt: bzzzt wrong.
    Obama turned it into another populist victory.
    that 13-D chess.
    so uberl33t.

  94. 94
    Nutella says:

    And please remind everyone that the bishops and the RWAs have been lying through their teeth about this requirement being new. The only new thing in yesterday’s plan was the copay provision. Birth control has been required to be included in employer health insurance by federal law since 2000 and by the laws of 28 states since I don’t know when. DePaul University, a very large Catholic institution, was sued and lost on that issue and right now includes birth control in its health insurance.

    The bishops and the RWAs are blowing this up to make the Democratic candidate look bad and for no other reason.

  95. 95
    gex says:

    Too bad libertarians have done and will continue to do whatever they can to get these kind of troglodytes power in exchange for tax cuts and deregulation. Or we might not have been encouraging these dark age warriors for the last 30 years.

    ETA: sort of the same way the Christian warriors have abandoned social justice to side with libertarians so they can get power. It’s an unholy “fuck everyone else” coalition for power.

  96. 96
    Lawnguylander says:

    @johnsmith1882

    By 51% I assume you mean women. But denying women contraceptive coverage is also an issue for any man who’s in a sexual relationship with a pre-menopausal woman. Like me. I’m going to keep on harping on this until someone explains to me how it’s possible that my girlfriend losing her contraceptive coverage would not affect me. This should not be framed as an issue that only affects women. I’d be up in arms if the Church got its way on this even if it didn’t affect me. But it would.

  97. 97
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Jennifer: Paying for contraception is cheaper than not paying for it, because when you don’t pay for it you get more unwanted pregnancies, which you *do* have to pay for. So on a large-scale actuarial basis, it’s cheaper.

  98. 98
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Martin:

    The government still has the authority to do what ours has not, even if they aren’t the primary administrators. In the US, lacking that power, employers voluntarily stepped up and filled a clear need. What we got was the only reasonable free market answer to the European government mandated model.

    No, this is hilariously wrong. That’s not what happened at all. Employers in the US started offering health insurance during WWII as a way to get around wage controls imposed by the federal government; since they couldn’t raise wages, they tried to attract talent by offering additional benefits. It was in no way a case of employers “stepping up and filling a need”.

    And, in fact, in yet another mistake, your claims to the contrary in the US, just as in Europe, the government already has, and has long had, the legal authority to offer health care for all — see, e.g., Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, etc. The government could at any time offer universal health care — the fact that it has done so is due to political opposition by the right wing, not lack of any legal authority.

  99. 99
    Samara Morgan says:

    @gex: did you know Kain is a glibertarian libertarian?

  100. 100
    mangrilla says:

    This is the right move. A smart, effective way to get past the objections on the right. And it pushes us one tiny step closer to shedding employer coverage altogether.

    I’m not sure if I see it that way. How is this new plan any different than the old one in the eyes of those complaining about it? Either they have to pay for plans that cover birth control, or they have to pay for plans where the insurance provides the birth control for “free”. Of course, they pay for it with the money that people pay for insurance anyway, so… This, in my eyes, is the exact same plan.

    And this is a fundamental misstep by the administration if that argument has to take hold. To compromise once already puts blood in the water for the partisan hacks of the Republican party. When the compromise is actually the exact same plan, I don’t see how he can NOT have to compromise once again because the same issues are still there.

    But really, can we all just realize that it’s absolutely absurd to let the Catholic church, an organization that religiously institutionalizes misogyny, be such a large voice in women’s rights?

  101. 101

    @redshirt:

    While we can all admire Obama’s skills here, the Media will ensure this gets logged in the collective memory as “another Obama failure”, like they’ve done with every single accomplishment so far.

    The media, and a big chunk of our so-called allies.

  102. 102
    chopper says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    @E.D. Kain: go away.

    how about you stomp your foot and tell cole ‘it’s either him or me!’

  103. 103
    Catsy says:

    It would be nice if the usual emoprogs and firebagger suspects–who were wailing and gnashing teeth in the last few threads at the news that Obama was going to “compromise”–would admit that maybe next time they should wait and fucking see what happens before complaining about what happened.

  104. 104
    gex says:

    I mean seriously. Who empowered these assholes? FISCAL CONSERVATIVES. It’s fun to hear them whine about the Christian Dominionism they’ve encouraged.

  105. 105
    Peter says:

    @efroh:

    yet another back of the hand to their female supporters

    Go ahead, just say “slap in the face”. You know you want to.

  106. 106
    efroh says:

    Guys, politics is perception and this decision does two things in that regard:

    1.) validates the critics’ arguments, without even trying to use the fact that 28 states already require religiously-affiliated institutions to cover contraception as proof that this will not be an imposition on “religious” belief.

    2.) makes the Administration look unwilling to stand up to religious critics for women’s rights, while simultaneously confirming that they will back down whenever the opposition pulls out the banner of “RELIGIOUS FREEDOM”

    You know how the Democratic Party is considered weak on defense (totally incorrect of course, but it’s constantly repeated in the media and most low information voters (most of the electorate) believe it). Well, the Party has now validated the GOP/media perception that they seek to undermine religious belief. They obviously wouldn’t have backed down if their original policy wasn’t an imposition on religious freedom, right?

    That’s exactly how the Administration’s about-face will be spun. In fact, I suspect that the Administration’s override of the FDA’s recommendation re Plan B OTC availability in Dec. 2011 was an attempt to placate the critics regarding the mandate for conception coverage.

    The Administration may have “won” the battle, in that insurers will still have to provide contraception, but they’ve lost the war – they’ve just reaffirmed that the Democratic Party runs roughshod over “religious liberty” and that the “religious liberty” attack is a very effective one that the Administration fears.

  107. 107
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Lawnguylander: Of course you could get a vasectomy, which insurance pays for.

  108. 108
    Mike Lamb says:

    @Samara Morgan: Does that make anything he has written in this particular article incorrect? If not, then who gives a fuck?

  109. 109
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @chopper:

    Oh please please please please please…

    FSM doesn’t love me enough for that to happen, although the Santorum surge seems to be FSM’s way of saying “well, asking for Noot tried even my patience, but will this alternative please you?”

  110. 110
    Emma says:

    @efroh: Really? He just ordered birth control built into American health insurance coverage across the board and that’s giving you the back of his hand?

  111. 111
    Peter says:

    @Mike Lamb: A long time ago, ED Kain rejected one of motoko’s insane screeds as a submission to his blog. Ever since, she’s been violently tsundere for him been nursing a massive hate-boner for him.

  112. 112
    Samara Morgan says:

    @chopper: if cole gives him the hook i will go away.
    called your bluff, chopper.
    i see you and raise you posting privs.

    Kain is just an embryo Douthat.
    I WAS FUCKING THERE.
    i saw Douthat and Salam rise at Culture 11 and TAS.
    Now there is no incubator for conservative “intellectuals”.
    Is BJ the new incubator for embryo Douthats?

  113. 113
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    I see the “Obama is worse than Bush! He sold us out!” brigade is right on top of this one.

  114. 114
    gwangung says:

    @efroh: This makes absolutely NO sense.

  115. 115
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Emma:

    Apparently, not calling in the 82nd Airborne in on the USCCB has let some people down.

    The red beanie crowd is fuming right now. My Schadenfreude meter is registering in the red zone, again.

  116. 116

    @efroh:

    Guys, politics is perception

    And politics isn’t everything. Results matter too.

  117. 117
    Jennifer says:

    Thanks for the responses, though some of them seemed to border on “are you a troll?”

    That was my point, though – that this compromise really isn’t fooling anyone. The church is still paying for contraception (which is itself pretty much status quo, since they’ve already been doing it in 28 states).

    My guess is this will do exactly zero to calm down the men in dresses.

    In which case, good. The longer they rant about this the deeper they dig the hole.

  118. 118
    gwangung says:

    @mangrilla: I think I’m seeing Catholic women’s groups, nuns and health care providers coming out in favor of the administration’s “compromise.”

    I’m not sure it’s a bad thing if this paints the opposition as being the Catholic (male) ruling hierarchy.

  119. 119
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Peter: untrue.
    i withdrew it. right before he banned me.
    @Mike Lamb: go ahead.
    click over and fund the next Ross Douthat.
    its a free country.

  120. 120
    Irony Abounds says:

    @Samara Morgan: Fine, we get it. You don’t like E.D. Kain. I was able to pick that fact up the first twenty times you whined about him. I may not be his biggest fan either, but you’re just being a churlish jerk about it.

  121. 121
    Lawnguylander says:

    @Gin & Tonic

    Yeah, I could and if I did it my having such coverage would be a benefit for my girlfriend if she wanted to, just like her contraceptive coverage benefits me. But what does your reply to me have to do with the comment I made.

    Also, efroh’s comments here are proof that peak firebagger was a lie.

  122. 122
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @gwangung:

    Those groups have never had a problem with this, and have, in fact, been slapped around by the red beanies for actually showing some fucking compassion in the face of the dogma of the red beanie brigade.

  123. 123
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Apparently, not calling in the 82nd Airborne in on the USCCB has let some people down.

    Well, it’s let a lot of people down who are satisfied with the “compromise” as well. But we’ll take diplomacy this time.

  124. 124
    Catsy says:

    @mangrilla:

    How is this new plan any different than the old one in the eyes of those complaining about it? Either they have to pay for plans that cover birth control, or they have to pay for plans where the insurance provides the birth control for “free”.

    I really couldn’t give a fuck what it looks like in the eyes of those complaining about it. They are wrong here and their approval is not required. It is a courtesy (and IMO, one they don’t deserve) that they are being accommodated in any way on this, since their original complaint was made in either bad faith or complete ignorance of the last 10 years of policy to begin with.

    To the vast majority of Americans, this is going to look like exactly what it is: a fair middle ground that allows religious institutions to opt out of providing a health care plan that covers contraception, while mandating insurance companies to cover it as a completely separate deal outside of those plans–a separate arrangement with the employee that does not involve the god-botherers or their particular flavor of medievalism.

  125. 125
    gwangung says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Those groups have never had a problem with this, and have, in fact, been slapped around by the red beanies for actually showing some fucking compassion in the face of the dogma of the red beanie brigade.

    Hm. Maybe we should highlight that, eh?

  126. 126
    Emma says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Yeah. I’m enjoying it myself. Especially as one of the Catholic nursing associations just came out in favor, as has Planned Parenthood.

  127. 127
    chopper says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    if cole gives him the hook i will go away.

    you didn’t go away last time kain left, why should i believe you now?

  128. 128
    gex says:

    I’ll just add that health care benefits are technically only compensation for the partner of a gay person, because that is the only time they are taxable income. Everyone else can stop pretending like it is part of their compensation until they start paying taxes on it like me.

  129. 129
    giltay says:

    The problem with American healthcare isn’t too much government, it’s too many middle-men, and third-party coverage is the most glaring middle man of all.

    I read somewhere long ago (probably on the Internet, making this extra-true) that health insurance through HMOs in the US had 30–40% administration overhead, while Medicare in Canada had admin overhead of less than 1%.

  130. 130

    @Lawnguylander: that’s a good point. yes, by 51% i did mean women. how any woman who isn’t amish or something can hear this news and not be immediately repulsed is beyond me. but you’re right, contraception is something that affects all of us, ie. i don’t want my girlfriend getting pregnant so her use of contraception affects me too. so, the gop just picked a fight with everyone who lives in post-1950’s america; 100% minus the dead-end 27% is 73%. even better.

  131. 131
    JGabriel says:

    NY Daily News:

    Under this plan, every insurance company will be obligated to provide contraceptive coverage. Administration officials stated that a woman’s insurance company “will be required to reach out directly and offer her contraceptive care free of charge. The religious institutions will not have to pay for it.”

    I don’t know (or much care) how the Conference of Catholic Bishops feels about this, but the Jesuits must be proud. That is one of the finest examples of changing rhetoric — instead of anything else — to achieve a goal, and justify a policy, that I have ever seen.

    .

  132. 132
    Samara Morgan says:

    @TooManyJens: what they taught me in Artificial Intelligence 101 is that REPRESENTATION is All.
    @efroh: are you sure you didnt mean eProh?

  133. 133
    Holden Pattern says:

    @Catsy:

    It would be nice if the usual emoprogs and firebagger suspects—who were wailing and gnashing teeth in the last few threads at the news that Obama was going to “compromise”—would admit that maybe next time they should wait and fucking see what happens before complaining about what happened.

    Yeah, so this is a BS criticism that people deploy on both ends of a decision:

    “Don’t like what happened? Should have said something before.”

    “See, what happened wasn’t so bad. So aren’t you a tool for having complained before the decision?”

    See how that works? Here’s a question: if people hadn’t been vocal about how they’d feel about a BAD compromise, would the outcome have been this creative and (potentially) good? Nobody can actually know. The answer depends on the degree of faith you place in your leaders.

  134. 134
    blondie says:

    Even if this ends up being a distinction without a difference as far as women’s BC being covered by insurance, Obama once again gives the impression that he will always compromise with the other side, no matter how outrageous and hateful they are being and no matter how absolutely correct his position, particularly when all that is at stake is “women’s issues.”

    The people who were mad about the rule weren’t going to vote for him until hell froze over; so why he thought this “compromise” was an improvement is beyond me.

    I understand that various groups are supporting the compromise. Good for them. They are apparently glad the cave was in name only, not in deed. But I don’t see why even a cave in name only was necessary. Why not just say, even once, “Women’s health matters. Refusing to cover BC harms women’s health. The religious beliefs of my opponents do not entitle them to special exemptions from generally applicable laws, and I’m sticking by my position.”

  135. 135
    Samara Morgan says:

    @chopper: i nevah said i’d go away if Cole axed a frontpager…..now, did i?
    WTF do you care, im just a stalkerfreak.

  136. 136
    redshirt says:

    As a quick example, sadly, all the commentators over at Wonkette are all “Obama’s spineless! He sold us out!”

    I expect that to be the general response from Obama supporters.

    Because we live in insane times when facts no longer matter.

  137. 137
    Felanius Kootea says:

    @blondie: Umm, the “compromise” makes birth control a universal feature in US health insurance plans, something it wouldn’t have been if the Bishops had just shut up. If you think a softly spoken “fuck you” with a wide smile is a compromise, then I hope Obama compromises every day.

  138. 138
    gwangung says:

    @redshirt: I think there are a lot of folks who not only want to get what they want, but to crush and humiliate their opponents.

  139. 139
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Irony Abounds: why is EDK a frontpager here on a “liberal” blog then?
    im not a churlishjerk …… ima ratfucker.
    and proud of it.

  140. 140
    Hill Dweller says:

    @blondie: It wasn’t a cave, in name or deed. They’ve codified the right of all women to birth control.

    Furthermore, they lined up several groups(Planned Parenthood, SEIU, NARAL, EMILY’s List, Catholic Health Assc.) and individuals(Harry Reid, Tim Kaine, etc.) to release statements supporting the issue and framing as protecting women from their employers.

    This was actually handled very well.

  141. 141
    dslak says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    im just a stalkerfreak.

    We know.

  142. 142
    Felanius Kootea says:

    @gwangung: Bingo! That is the real issue here. It doesn’t matter whether Obama gets good results, or whether the “compromise” actually broadens birth control coverage for women rather than restricting it; if he isn’t ripping off John Boehner’s (or a Catholic Bishop’s) head and drinking his blood live on TV, it’s a cave, a compromise, a sign of spinelessness, fecklessness, cowardice, etc. Results don’t matter, only theatrics do.

  143. 143
    Hill Dweller says:

    @redshirt: The internet has proven beyond doubt there are a lot of really stupid people in this country.

  144. 144
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    @the dude:

    Unfortunately, that model makes entirely too much sense, which means it won’t get implemented here in the US anytime soon.

  145. 145
    Samara Morgan says:

    hammer my bones on the anvil of daylight…..
    you dumb cudlips dont get sapentia poetica at all.

  146. 146
    Samara Morgan says:

    @dslak: so …..ban meh.

  147. 147
    Mary says:

    Ultimately this is going to come down to a whole heck of a lot of people saving money on their birth control. Any suggestion that this is not a winning move in terms of both politics and policy is laughable in my mind. There will always be a handful of idiots who squawk about religious liberty whenever anyone does anything related to sex and reproduction, but 98% of sexually active adults use birth control at some point. People like birth control and they really like saving money, no matter what their clerics say.

  148. 148
    rb says:

    @efroh:

    The Administration may have “won” the battle, in that insurers will still have to provide contraception, but they’ve lost the war – they’ve just reaffirmed that the Democratic Party runs roughshod over “religious liberty” and that the “religious liberty” attack is a very effective one that the Administration fears.

    Incorrect. With respect, politics is the battle, and POLICY is the war. You have this upside down. Who gives a rat’s ass if the bishops claim victory (which they won’t – they’ll keep carping mindlessly).

  149. 149
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Bubblegum Tate:

    Things that make sense drive the wingtards batshit insane.

  150. 150
    Mike Lamb says:

    @blondie: So even though he didn’t compromise at all, it’s still bad? Are you an alter-ego of Mark Halperin?

  151. 151
  152. 152
    Jennifer says:

    I tried to ask this on one of the earlier threads but for some reason I don’t think it posted. And then everyone ran up here anyway.

    My other question:

    Did anyone ever bother to ask Tweety if he and his wife ever used birth control?

    I don’t really need to ask, do I?

  153. 153
    Mike Lamb says:

    @Samara Morgan: I’m not sure I’ve seen a bigger ego on a raving, street corner-preacher type of looney…

  154. 154
    Tone In DC says:

    @redshirt:

    The apparently fact based polling at Rasmussen would beg to differ.

    If this move today by BHO is a “loss” because perception matters more than reality… Orwell is spinning in his grave more than usual.

  155. 155
  156. 156
    gwangung says:

    @Felanius Kootea: Ultimately, I’m more about getting things done, rather about ideological talking points. Half a loaf is better than none. I still get another bite at the apple down the road. And looking conciliatory makes my chances to get second bite even better.

    That put me on the outs from the Marxists, movement folks and other revolutionaries from my youth, but that’s just my temperment.

    Guess that makes me an Obot.

  157. 157
    Rome Again says:

    @E.D. Kain: Well, apparently since it’s mandated in the EEOC guidelines, they have to make it available somehow.

  158. 158
    rb says:

    @blondie: Why not just say, even once, “Women’s health matters. Refusing to cover BC harms women’s health. The religious beliefs of my opponents do not entitle them to special exemptions from generally applicable laws, and I’m sticking by my position.”

    More women are covered this way, it’s better policy, and it’s MORE supportive of reproductive rights than yesterday’s plan. They are indeed saying “women’s health matters” by saying: women will be covered! If the church doesn’t like it then they can butt the fuck out, their employees WILL be covered, we are mandating it. So STFU bishops!

    I mean, Christ, I wish nobody fought us on reproductive health, either, but I don’t know how you support it any more than by (a) getting as close to universal health care as you can, and then (b) MANDATING that every policy provider cover BC free of charge.

    We should get thrown into MORE of these briar patches.

  159. 159
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Mike Lamb: wallah…you do not get meh at all.
    Doubt is ma favorite thing.

  160. 160
    DFH no.6 says:

    So, where’s burnswhatever with his comprehension-fail (though he did have a lot of company there) that this was somehow an “assault on religious liberty” (it wasn’t, at all) because the asshole rightwing bishops of his horrible religion hypocritically screamed it was?

    I say “hypocritically screamed” because these medieval monsters had not only said fuck-all about the similar health coverage rules existing in many states, they apparently had not done anything to stop birth control Rx coverage in some of the largest Catholic-affiliated institutions, like DePaul University.

    Sure, I suppose they were exercising their “religious liberty” in choosing to stay silent and acquiescing in those regards, but that’s precisely where the hypocrisy comes crashing in.

    Does this new approach by the Administration placate little burnsy’s persecution complex?

    Inquiring minds…

  161. 161
    JR in WVa says:

    @efroh: I don’t think you understand the new position of HHR; more women will receive contraception, no religious institution will fund that coverage directly.

    I think the red-hat catholic “leaders” and other fundies will continue to squeal, but it will be a tempest in a teapot, signifying little. I think it is a win-[win for Mr. Obama as well as women in general.

    Mr. Obama is so much smarter than Karl Rove, I enjoy watching him stymie the right-wing music machine so very much!

  162. 162
    Rome Again says:

    @Samara Morgan: Stay on topic or take your emo BS somewhere else. If you don’t like this FPer, don’t visit his thread. Simple. But, you’re only causing trouble because that’s what you’re all about. (Where’s the pie filter?)

  163. 163
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Lawnguylander: Coming back late, but I was just pointing out that birth control can be practiced on both sides of a relationship, which point it seemed that you were missing.

  164. 164
    Mike Lamb says:

    @Samara Morgan: That’s because one of us is sane.

  165. 165
    Samara Morgan says:

    @THE: there is a biological basis for all behavior.

  166. 166
    gwangung says:

    Hmmm…this is done by a HHS directive, meaning that this can be undone by a Republican administration….BUT…..it becomes more and more difficult the further in the future that administration becomes.

    Hm. Another argument to re-elect Obama and Democrats in general.

  167. 167
    Scotty says:

    Shouldn’t this be in the financial interests of insurance companies? Shouldn’t it cost the company a lot less to provide birth control pills than it would to cover a woman for the cost of a pregnancy? Why haven’t they been all about this sooner?

  168. 168
    gwangung says:

    @Samara Morgan: Psychologists and cognitive scientists do not believe that.

    Not that an anti-science Luddite like you would pay attention to scientists in their field.

  169. 169
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Rome Again: dude, im simply pointing out a truth.
    Kain was a Paul fellator, but since Obama is gunna WIN he needs to rebrand himself to make bucks.
    he quit his day job.

    dontcha think its sort of offensive that he thinks the juicitariat is culpable enough to buy it?
    so patronizing.
    :)

  170. 170
    dr. luba says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: A drone strike would be better. Less collateral damage.

  171. 171
    Sally Bowman says:

    The Reason we are losing the international commerce competition is ALL OF OUR competition provides UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE to all of their citizens – some provide it to you if you are simply visiting their country.

  172. 172
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    People, people. I know I violate this myself some times, but just ignore the energy creature.

  173. 173
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @johnsmith1882:

    i don’t want my girlfriend getting pregnant so her use of contraception affects me too.

    Contraception isn’t just for women. You could take care of it too.

  174. 174
    rb says:

    @blondie: Can’t edit my last comment apparently, but I wanted to ad: I want to reiterate that i agree with you that the way our ‘national conversation’ separates out BC and reproductive freedom is sexist, misogynist and awful. But I see this particular admin “accommodation” as more a slap in the face to the bishops, since more women obtain greater freedom and control over their reproductive health under this plan than under the one the bishops were opposing.

    This is calling the bishops on their ‘moral obligation’ bullshit and forcing them to articulate the truth (they hate women) if they want to keep complaining.

    That said, if the admin truly does a climb down after this, I will (un)happily concede the argument.

  175. 175
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    @Mike Lamb:

    Then, maybe responding to her is a kind of ‘abuse’

  176. 176
    Samara Morgan says:

    @gwangung: hahaha
    Unfortunately biologists and scientists do believe that.
    see……red/blue genetics. neuropolitics, and conservative backfire effect.

  177. 177
    murakami says:

    This was one of Obama’s more impressive 11th dimensional checkmates. I’m not sure why some people on the left are complaining.

    Sure, to those of us in the trenches, who live and breathe politics, we want to see our enemies crushed with no hint of retreat or surrender. But to the average low information voter, they want to see the people in charge working together in harmony.

    So Obama gets points from them for extending a hand of respect towards folks with silly religious convictions, and these voters will also appreciate the wider availability of contraception. If the other side keeps fighting, they’ll just look like the whiny entitled toddlers that they are.

    Really a masterful stroke. The alternative was to waste valuable media time in an election year explaining the history and nuances of the situation. And as we all know, low-information independent voters and the mainstream media do not do history or nuance very well. It would have been a never-ending morass which is exactly what the other side intended to accomplish.

    Now the right wing blowhards will either have to find something new to complain about, or they’ll continue fighting on this losing front which will make them look like they’re opposed to contraception in the year 2012, which will further cement the perception of Republicans as the out of touch party.

  178. 178
    dslak says:

    My overly simplistic worldview is correct. See my simplistic interpretations of data and insights from various fields of inquiry for proof.

  179. 179
    gwangung says:

    @Samara Morgan: You’re speaking to a cognitive scientist, child.

    You’re semi adorable when you pretend to knowledge you don’t have.

  180. 180
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Mike Lamb: i cant proselytize.
    its against my Sufi school.
    ;)

  181. 181
    Samara Morgan says:

    @gwangung: relly?
    you are a “cognitive” scientist and you know nothing about red/blue genetics an’ neuropolitics?
    im amazed.

  182. 182
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @gwangung:

    This is why she’s a youngling and not a padawan.

  183. 183
    dslak says:

    @gwangung: If you’re so smart, how come you don’t think that mc is right about everything?

  184. 184
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Mike Lamb: that would be meh, of course.
    ;)

  185. 185
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Felanius Kootea:

    Results don’t matter, only theatrics do.

    Yep. I’m getting a feeling that people like blondie and efroh would have been perfectly happy if fewer women had access to birth control as long as Obama looked, like, totally awesome as he went down with a loss.

    I realize that Republicans have managed to convince even people on the left that policy isn’t important, only theater, but policy is fucking important. It affects real people’s lives. And I’m really fucking sick of people running it down and claiming that it’s not important for, say, the government to regulate businesses to make sure they don’t exploit their employees.

  186. 186
    rb says:

    @Samara Morgan: red/blue genetics an’ neuropolitics?

    Eh, a lot of noise here. I’ve seen nothing yet demonstrating that politics is in any way genetic, as opposed to merely heritable.

  187. 187
    Samara Morgan says:

    @dslak: gwangung is smart but old.
    not au courrant on the technology and cutting edge research.

  188. 188

    @Gin & Tonic: yes, i know. but unless insurance covers condoms, you are getting off-topic. the issue at hand is women’s contraception, not whether i should keep the receipt when i go to walgreens.

  189. 189
  190. 190
    Mnemosyne says:

    @johnsmith1882:

    Okay, that’s a totally random question I’m too lazy to look up: if you have a FlexPay account for medical expenses, can you use it to buy condoms? I’m assuming that you can since (IIRC) you can buy OTC women’s contraception, but I’m not sure and I’m not willing to start Googling about condoms at work.

  191. 191
    rb says:

    @Mnemosyne: Yep. I’m getting a feeling that people like blondie and efroh would have been perfectly happy if fewer women had access to birth control as long as Obama looked, like, totally awesome as he went down with a loss.

    I realize that Republicans have managed to convince even people on the left that policy isn’t important, only theater, but policy is fucking important.

    In fairness, it’s not either/or. One can ask: this may be a win, but at what cost?

    Where you and I agree is that this is a *big* win, and more pro-women’s health than the previous plan. While the ritual noise-making about ‘compromise’ is indeed sexist and grating, it pales in the face of a real win on policy.

  192. 192
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Mnemosyne: if you can buy viagra you can buy condoms.
    Does that work for you?

  193. 193
    Catsy says:

    @Holden Pattern:

    Yeah, so this is a BS criticism that people deploy on both ends of a decision

    No. You have entirely misunderstood the point.

    It is absolutely appropriate to make a lot of noise to the administration in order to influence their policy choices.

    It is pants-on-head retarded to hear “Obama admin to announce compromise this morning” and start ranting all over the blogs, “ZOMG OBAMA SOLD US OUT I JUST KNOW THIS IS GOING TO FUCK US OVER AND GIVE AWAY EVERYTHING”. Which is a pretty fair summary of the tone of much of the commentary this morning until the actual details of the compromise were announced, and then suddenly… crickets.

  194. 194
    Samara Morgan says:

    haha, oops.
    @Mnemosyne: if you can buy v1agra you can buy condoms.
    Does that work for you?

  195. 195
  196. 196
    rb says:

    @Samara Morgan: Uh, from your own link (!)

    few studies have attempted to localize the parts of the genome which accounted for the heritability estimates found for political preferences… there is no “liberal” or “conservative” gene–but there might be a combination of genes acting together that somehow predispose us to have particular politics … To find a significant linkage region that may implicate certain genetic markers is not to say that a particular gene determines a particular behavior.

    Etc etc fucking etc.

    They are studying heritability, and showing that political affiliation may be broadly heritable, but are light years from showing causal associations between any one or group of genetic markers and political disposition.

    As I said above.

    As they say: Reading. It’s fundamental.

    Especially reading your own goddamn links.

  197. 197
    Mnemosyne says:

    @rb:

    In fairness, it’s not either/or. One can ask: this may be a win, but at what cost?

    One can certainly ask, but I do think there is a group of people on the left who discount any policy win if they don’t feel like the theatrics were big enough for their taste. And, of course, the theatrics from Obama are never big enough for their taste, because that’s not what he does.

    You have to weigh the policy vs. the cost, not just look at the cost, or else you end up like the penny-wise, pound-foolish Republicans who refuse to pay for preventative care even though it will save billions of dollars in emergency care down the road.

    But, as you said, I think this is a win on both fronts and only appears to be a “cave” to people who were already looking for one.

  198. 198
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Probably not, only the more female-centric contraceptive choices. Although providing rubbers impacts other aspects of male sexual health, as the military has known for fucking years, and why handing out rubbers from the supply room is a long standing policy. Wrap the rascal and keep yourself healthy for combat. The military does not care about your sexytime so long as it does not render you hors de combat. Providing rubbers helps for that. Heck, when I was in Korea, they’d send medics into the brothels to check the workers for disease and offer treatment.

  199. 199
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    Will someone please explain to the child that there’s a difference between over the counter drugs and prescription drugs? I just don’t have the patience today.

  200. 200
  201. 201
    Lawnguylander says:

    @Gin & Tonic

    No, I didn’t miss that point at all. My girlfriend and I are considering getting married and having a kid. She’s a lot more enthusiastic about the latter possibility than I am but I’m open to the idea so I’m not considering having a vasectomy. I’m also aware that I could wear condoms but she’s not anymore a fan of them than I am which is why she’s been on the pill since long before I met her. Why would you presume to know enough about the both of us that you’d think I haven’t given any thought to our other birth control options?

  202. 202

    @Mnemosyne: i don’t know the answer to that question either, and googling it didn’t get me any answers, so you can save yourself an uncomfortable convo with your boss. all i know is that my half-measure employer-provided insurance does not. i would say that it _should_, considering that stopping the spread of std’s is, you know, a health issue.

  203. 203
    rb says:

    @Mnemosyne: I do think there is a group of people on the left who discount any policy win if they don’t feel like the theatrics were big enough for their taste.

    Agree.

    But: you must admit, people whose #1 issue is women’s health have more ammunition than most.

    Yes, guns were jumped. But the reflex is honed by decades of ‘compromise.’

  204. 204
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Mnemosyne: i know the difference.
    the difference is EDK’s “freed” market.

  205. 205
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    I know I keep ranting about this book, but it really is fascinating: Behind the Mask of Innocence, by Kevin Brownlow. He has a whole chapter about STD and sex-education films from the silent era, which came about because a whole lot of soldiers brought syphilis home from WWI and infected their unsuspecting wives, so it became a major public health issue.

  206. 206
    giltay says:

    @Mnemosyne: I must say that I was bemused when people said this is a lose for women’s rights. I thought I had misread something, because from where’s I’m sitting, it’s a win for rights and an obvious victory for Obama. To repeat what dozens of people have said here already, it makes contraception more widely available and gives religious objectors no reason to complain.

  207. 207
    Samara Morgan says:

    @rb: so?

    im still trending.
    an’ you cudlips are still stuck in the past.

  208. 208
    Mnemosyne says:

    @rb:

    I was one of the people screaming about how we needed to call/e-mail/fax the White House to make sure they knew we supported them, so I don’t mind actual activism.

    It’s when people decide that they’ve been betrayed because, sure, they got what they wanted, but Obama didn’t say it the way they wanted him to say it that I get frustrated.

  209. 209
    blondie says:

    A hearty thanks to all those who so graciously explained to me how blissful I should be that something women thought was safely out of question — birth control — is actually up for grabs. And we slide just a little farther down that slippery slope.

  210. 210
    geg6 says:

    @efroh:

    This is really so stupid a statement that I can only guess that you are looking for a reason to be butthurt.

    FTR, I liked it as soon as I read about it (and guess what, I’m a woman, too!), Planned Parenthood and NARAL are fine with it, and it quite simply takes all the wind out of the sails of the fucking asshole Catholics. This is win/win any way you look at it, but feel free to keep fucking that OBAMA FAIL chicken.

  211. 211
    rb says:

    @giltay: I must say that I was bemused when people said this is a lose for women’s rights.

    Again (and I agree with you and Mnem in the aggregate), it can be an objective “win” while feeding into the narrative that it’s OK to isolate and ghettoize women’s health to score political points. We can consider both at once.

    My argument has been that in exchange for using a pretty direct and precise word (‘accommodation’), which is still a lemon, the admin has manufactured a ton of lemonade.

    We can celebrate this while acknowledging that any talk of ‘accommodating’ bigots on basic women’s health is a pretty big fucking lemon, too.

  212. 212
    Samara Morgan says:

    c’mon BJ.
    swim.
    i kno you can do eeet.

  213. 213
    rb says:

    @Samara Morgan: Sure, keep hustling those goalposts up and down the field. It makes for weak intellectual battle, but whatever.

  214. 214
    Samara Morgan says:

    @rb: WTF are you talkin about?
    i just want you to swim, dude.

  215. 215
    Samara Morgan says:

    @rb: here, try some floggin molly.
    let the revolution begin.

  216. 216
    Thymezone says:

    This week is killing me. Again I am forced to take every rotten thing I ever said about somebody. Ed, you got this almost 100% right. Good job. The only statement you made here that I don’t agree with is the one about the ACA not being the right solution. I disagree for reasons that have less to do with the law and more to do with the process and politics that surround it. But I detest employer provided health insurance as much as anyone, that’s for certain. It’s a shameful failure of government … and one that I lay directly at the feet of the intellectual pinheads and dionosaurs who have resisted every aspect of American social safety net progress for the last 80 years. Social Security, Medicare …. all still vulnerable to their insane view of America as the On Your Own country, the Fuck You I Have Mine country. But that’s grist for another mill.

    Last week I said that the Obama administration would make a deal with the major stakeholders in this healthcare flap and soon the issue would slide under the radar in favor of other nonsense yet to come in this political year. So here we are, and there it goes, sliding away as we speak. Good. But there are some important takeaways here, one of which is that the Council of Bishops is a bunch of pricks who have no compunctions about leaving the people affected by these things in a cloud of doubt and confusion … and this includes, of course, their own laity, who are sharply divided over the issues at hand. The bishops don’t mind demagoguing things like this and upsetting their own members to grind a petty and totally useless political axe.

    Remember that it is the Catholic Church, not the US Government, that set up the nonprofit corporations which operate hospitals, schools, and other service bureaus under Catholic “guidance” and “sponsorship” specifically, and correctly, so that the orgs and the church would have a wall of separation between the nonprofts’ business activities, and all the the legal spaghetti that goes along with them. It’s actually an elegant solution to many problems. Now it’s the Church that comes along and claims that these corporations should be treated like churches under a special pleading that basically obviates the whole arrangement that they carefully constructed … just to make a political point and mindfuck their membership. It’s disgusting and shameful, what they did. And don’t think that they won’t do it again when the mood strikes them. they don’t give a crap about their members, or about the healthcare concerns of women, or even the exigencies of being an employer in a goofy and fucked up employer-based healthcare access system. The only place they can be let off the hook is, it’s not their fault that we have this asinine system. They didn’t design it and probably wouldn’t want to have anything to do with it if they had a choice. But they do have to deal with it, like every other large employer, and they should grow the hell up and act like men and citizens, and not like wounded clerics from the dark ages.

    Anyway, good post, Ed. Cheers.

  217. 217
    rb says:

    @blondie: how blissful I should be that something women thought was safely out of question—birth control—is actually up for grabs.

    Well I for one certainly don’t think you should feel ‘blissful,’ but that the mouth breathers would overturn Griswold in a heartbeat, if they could, is just a fact. NOTHING is out of the question for them, and we’re better off knowing that. And those assholes vote, where sometimes we don’t.

    So: am I pleased with the ‘religious freedom’ language? Of course not.

    Am I happy about a major reproductive health win in this political climate? Hells yeah, even if a political win involves, sadly, the admin having to be a bit political. And even if language about ‘religious liberty’ in health is 100% anathema to me, personally and professionally.

  218. 218
    giltay says:

    @rb: That’s the thing. I read about it here, where the word “accommodation” wasn’t used. (I don’t have many sources other than here for US politics.) So I don’t see this as accommodation at all. The goals of the anticonception folks were stymied—in fact they lost ground.

    Contraception (and treatments that have contraceptive side effects) is now considered part of basic US health care nationally. Give it a few years and, like ACA and SS and Medicare, etc. it will be a normal thing that people will be used to and the antis will have an even harder time controlling women’s bodies. So let them call it accommodation. Chuck me in that briar patch again.

  219. 219
    chopper says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    clearly, whether or not kain is here has no bearing on your incessant need to try to ruin every thread on this site. so no, even if kain leaves, i doubt you will too.

  220. 220
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Thymezone: boocraft.

    Ed, you got this almost 100% right. Good job.

    Kain is just pimping his new failblog.
    you got pwn’d, pilgrim.

    its after midnight in the run-up to the 2012 election, and there are no viable conservative candidates.
    Kain is just tryin to switch horses mid-stream.

  221. 221
    Samara Morgan says:

    @chopper: haha, ill doooooeeeet.
    but Cole has to publically fuck Kain up as a glibertarian poseur.
    har har har.

  222. 222
    Paul in KY says:

    @Mike Lamb: Did you ever meet the Rev. Jed Smock?

  223. 223
    makewi says:

    the real threat to liberty in this country is apparently the pill

    The perfect line for this audience. You all know it’s a lie, and yet you’ll clap and hoot to it like it has a real beat.

    You’ll have a hell of a journalistic future I’m sure.

  224. 224
    Rome Again says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    I’m not a dude (I’ve had to say this twice today, WTH?) and I don’t think you have the right choose what voices we have here. E.D. Kain has made some controversial statements, yes… but he’s also made some good points and you are judging him based on ONE thing. I’d rather have the voice and disagree with it than read your rantings about how the voice shouldn’t have the right to post.

  225. 225
    geg6 says:

    @blondie:

    Oh, wait. I was wrong in #209. THIS is the stupidest thing I’ve read in this thread (excluding Matoko’s ramblings about how our genes cause liberalism and conservatism, but I just scroll over those because…well, they’re stupid).

    You must be about 10 years old because I’m old enough to remember how far down the slope this fight began. Or a Firebagger/PUMA, in which case you are only worthy of being ignored.

  226. 226
    chopper says:

    @rb:

    also too, a political science journal is not a science journal. but we all know that if you want the very best in cutting-edge cognitive research you go to a poly sci journ, amirite?

    you give toko any article that pushes anything, no matter how looney, that fits into her sci-fi-based wacko metaphysical outlook and she absorbs it and starts spewing it left and right as the god’s honest truth.

  227. 227
    Rome Again says:

    Oh, and Samara? The last time I checked, John Cole owns this blog, so if you don’t like the choice of front pagers, go get your own blog and choose your own front pagers.

  228. 228
    Mnemosyne says:

    @blondie:

    A hearty thanks to all those who so graciously explained to me how blissful I should be that something women thought was safely out of question—birth control—is actually up for grabs.

    I’m glad we were finally able to wake you up to reality since apparently the pharmacists refusing to fill birth control prescriptions based on their “conscience” slipped right past you.

    The right wing is trying to get rid of legal birth control. Republican candidates for president are publicly denouncing Griswold v. Connecticut. If this finally woke you up to the facts, then it’s all to the good.

  229. 229
    Thymezone says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    I don’t care why Kain posted. He could be a mass murderer on the hunt for all I know. But the post nails the issue that is on the table. I give props to good posts no matter who makes them, because unlike you, I am not a self centered prick.

  230. 230
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Rome Again: chu know….i was there for Culture 11 and TAS. that is my blood on the paving stones.
    Kain is switching horses so he can make a for-profit blog.
    i doan care if chu wanna give him pageclicks.
    jus’ go to his new failblog.

  231. 231
    chopper says:

    @geg6:

    with these people obama could literally rip rove’s head off on live TV and drink his blood and they’d complain that it wasn’t red enough.

  232. 232
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Thymezone: i doan have a prick.
    im grrlstyle.
    ;)
    i knew Kain for 2 years before he evah posted here.
    He is an embryo Douthat.
    go right ahead and support him.

  233. 233
    Mnemosyne says:

    @makewi:

    The perfect line for this audience. You all know it’s a lie, and yet you’ll clap and hoot to it like it has a real beat.

    I’m assuming that you haven’t seen the comments from Republican front-runner Rick Santorum saying that Griswold v Connecticut was wrongly decided. You should probably try to get your guy not to say that stuff in public if you want to keep your long-term plan under the radar.

    But, no, we’re just imagining the right’s war on birth control. Pharmacists for Life is a liberal front group, amirite?

  234. 234
    Samara Morgan says:

    @chopper: c’mon choppah.
    ima call your bluff.
    I want Cole to fuck EDK UP and then i’ll leave permanently.
    bring it on.

  235. 235
    Thymezone says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    @Thymezone: i doan have a prick.im grrlstyle.;)

    Prove it.

  236. 236
    chopper says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    my bluff? what am i bluffing? it aint my blog. i’m sure you’ve been pestering cole’s inbox for years over this shit.

  237. 237
    Rome Again says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    I am not here to read your dribble, I’m here to read the topic, so stay the fuck on it.

  238. 238
    makewi says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    So even though this blog post was about the Catholic contraception brouhaha you want to assert that there was a secret subject to the line in question?

    Of course you do my dear. Adds to the beat after all. 1-2-3 1-2-3 1-2-3

  239. 239
    Rome Again says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    I want Cole to fuck EDK UP and then i’ll leave permanently.

    You’re not in control here and Cole doesn’t do your bidding.

  240. 240
    Thymezone says:

    Just for those of you who haven’t started their 8th year here like I have … we have at least one male front pager on this blog who has posted as a woman (and may still be doing so, for all I know), in the past … so don’t get on my shit about dissing Samara, okay?

    TIA for your support.

  241. 241
    Thymezone says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I’m glad we were finally able to wake you up to reality since apparently the pharmacists refusing to fill birth control prescriptions based on their “conscience” slipped right past you.

    Do you remember the knock-down drag-outs we used to have here, on that subject? Good times, good times.

  242. 242
    Thymezone says:

    I just want to say one other thing on this thread ….

    It is so refreshing to be able to come to BJ and just rip the flesh off an adversary …. or be flayed like a fish, as the luck of the day may dictate … without having to worry about whether somebody is going to “defriend” somebody else and launch themselves off your wall in a huff of self importance and useless pique. This little venue with its no-holds-barred comment section is a treasure. I never really realized how much until I spent a bunch of time in the Genteel Hell that is Facebook.

    If Balloon-Juice only exists going forward for one reason, then that reason should be that it is the Anti-Facebook, and long may it wave.

    Thank you John for putting up with this shit so that we have this toy to play with.

  243. 243
  244. 244
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Rome Again: its a bargain, a contract.
    take it or leave it.
    wanna dance meh?

  245. 245
    DFH no.6 says:

    @Thymezone:

    Great response.

    burspdesq has apparently decided not to play anymore, but he really should read and re-read your third paragraph until it penetrates the Catholic armorplate around his brain and he realizes that this situation is not, and has not been, an attack by the Obama Administration on his or anyone else’s religious freedom.

    From my many decades of experience with the religiously-blinded, probably asking too much.

  246. 246
    Samara Morgan says:

    @chopper: nope. you wanna stick up for Kain?
    battle meh.

  247. 247
    fasteddie9318 says:

    ED, I wonder if you’ve considered a blog restraining order?

  248. 248
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Thymezone: give your email.
    i doan do nudes tho.

  249. 249
    Samara Morgan says:

    @fasteddie9318: he can go back to his own failblog at any time.

  250. 250
    chopper says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    what the fuck are you talking about? are you high?

  251. 251
    Thymezone says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    ty.emzone at facebook.com

  252. 252
    batgirl says:

    @blondie:

    A hearty thanks to all those who so graciously explained to me how blissful I should be that something women thought was safely out of question—birth control—is actually up for grabs. And we slide just a little farther down that slippery slope.

    Jesus, are you dense? Obama just codified birth control coverage as an absolute necessity for basic health insurance coverage. You can’t offer health insurance without offering prescription drug coverage for birth control for women(with no copays!). As others have pointed out, this even goes further than before. Now female employees of Catholic churches & archdioceses will have access to free birth control.

    It makes it clear that the ability to control women’s reproductive choices is essential to basic women’s health.

  253. 253
    Thymezone says:

    @DFH no.6:

    I have to say, I have been amazed at the level of willful ignorance on this subject. And among the most disheartening aspects of this, is that the bishops seem to have no problem exploiting that ignorance and doing cheap rabble rousing, upsetting millions and causing untold damage in the process, just to score a political point in a game they lost decades ago. The church has long ago lost the contraception debate in this country, in the most resounding fashion possible. What they think they are accomplishing with this crap, I have no idea, unless the HMO lobby is slipping them money under the table … which would not surprise me, actually.

  254. 254
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Thymezone: i doan do facebook. its evuul.
    mailme
    matoko.kusanagi at gmail.com.

  255. 255
    Rome Again says:

    @Thymezone:

    Just for those of you who haven’t started their 8th year here like I have

    Ummm, honey? It’s 7 years, not 8. The Terri Schiavo case was in February 2005, this is February 2012. That looks like seven years to me.

    It is amazing that we’ve been here that long though. Wow!

  256. 256
    Rome Again says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    “mailme”

    Dream on, cupcake. And he doesn’t want your nudes, he’s got me. :P

  257. 257
    Thymezone says:

    @Rome Again:

    The start of my eighth year.

  258. 258
    Rome Again says:

    @Thymezone: I stand corrected.

  259. 259
    Thymezone says:

    @Rome Again:

    Absolutely. But if he-she is a fake, he-she could email a picture of anybody and say it was her-him. I might need corroboration from a reliable third party. Like the local sherrif.

  260. 260
    Thymezone says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    It’s just an email address. You don’t have to “do” Facebook to send email to it. Just send it.

  261. 261
    Rome Again says:

    @Thymezone: I’m sure the sheriff has a story, or at least records to provide.

  262. 262
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Thymezone: from my old blog then.
    click to embiggen.

  263. 263
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    he can go back to his own failblog at any time.

    …or you could…well, never mind. Off now, back to the pie filter with you.

  264. 264
    Billy Beane says:

    And you idiot bloggers so eager to point at the latest GOPer shenanigans seem completely clueless that you are in fact part of their puppet show and not just some detached 3rd party observer who’s better than that.

    The stupid it burns.

  265. 265
    Thymezone says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    Okay, took a look. Everything I saw is pretty old, some of it at least seven years. There is a photo of a pretty lady at the beach, a thumnail about the size of a widescreen postage stamp.

    All I can say is, if that is really you in those blogs .. then, BJ might not be the place for you. This is a little rough around the edges if you get my drift. No offense, just an observation.

  266. 266
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Thymezone: yup.
    i totally doan think Bj is the place for me if EDK is a frontpager.
    he stinks.
    the FUCKING POINT is that im XX.
    copacetic?

  267. 267
    Thymezone says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    Got it.

    But, EDK is here, so aren’t you just giving yourself an annoyance by reading his material? At any moment he could start writing that navelgazing treacle that we used to get from him, and destroy half our brain cells.

  268. 268
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Thymezone: but im immunized to EDK.
    just like Islam is immunized to missionary democracy.

  269. 269
    Mnemosyne says:

    @makewi:

    So even though this blog post was about the Catholic contraception brouhaha you want to assert that there was a secret subject to the line in question?

    Psst. Rick Santorum is a Catholic. I know you can put the pieces together if you try really, really hard.

  270. 270
    Thymezone says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    Allahu akbar!

  271. 271
    chopper says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    but im immunized to EDK.

    clearly, the shot didn’t take.

  272. 272
    Samara Morgan says:

    @chopper: hes just here to farm pageclicks for his new failblog.
    he has more positions than mitt romney and the kama sutra combined.

  273. 273
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Thymezone: nah, a Maynard-Smith uninvadable strategy.
    Read the book.

  274. 274
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Thymezone: and he is still writing navel-gazing treacle.

  275. 275
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Rome Again: i doan do nudes either.

  276. 276
    Samara Morgan says:

    truly amazing that the juicers are gunna fall for another episode of the Erik Kain Wandering in the Freemarket Fantasy Forest Reality Show.

    you are not that different from Gingrich and the conservative base after all.

  277. 277
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Thymezone: i remembah.
    Kain and the abortion is slavery eumeme.
    Kain and bashing teachers unions.
    Kain fellating Ron Paul.

    why not just front page Douthat?
    hes a better writer.

  278. 278
    Samara Morgan says:

    Kain goes full frontal Jen Rubin.

    Explosions, shootings in Norway
    by E.D. KAIN on JULY 22, 2011
    Live coverage of the explosions and shootings going on in Norway. These appear to be jihadist attacks. It looks really, really bad.

  279. 279
    Thymezone says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    I’m a little underfunded at the moment, my SuperPAC hasn’t kicked in. But I will put it on my Amazon wish list and delve into it soon. I have done a first chapter sample download to the Kindle to get started.

  280. 280
    Thymezone says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    Pretty much everybody is a better writer, but sometimes ED says something lucid, like this thread. I think it is sort of a Kain Migraine. He goes into the aura phase and out pops a post that makes sense. Later, when the thing passes, he probably doesn’t remember doing it.

    Dang it, and I just went and took back by taking back of rotten things about ED.

  281. 281
    Thymezone says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    No doubt. I have never read him anywhere except here. But you know, as BJ villains go, over the years, ED pales by comparison to some. Darrell. BOB. What’s her name from Dallas or Fort Worth or wherever it was. Rick. It’s a rogue’s gallery in here. Ask any of the old timers. This place is haunted. Rome can probably list some good ones. This place has seen more blood than the Hormel plant.

  282. 282
    Thymezone says:

    @Rome Again:

    Unless it’s Joe Arpaio … he doesn’t keep any records. He just buries his mistakes …..

    I know I will burn in hell for coming in here and praising ED. What was I thinking??

  283. 283
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Thymezone: you are not understanding what is going on.
    Kain is an embryonic, far less skilled Douthat, and alsotoo lacking that all important ivy league cred.
    He has two blogs, and he just started a third to rebrand himself as a neoliberal or some other fuckwit buzzword…he claimed to be a “liberaltarian” before. He wants to switch horses now that he sees O is gunna win.
    He quit his dayjob.
    So he is here preying off of Coles good nature and the gormless among the juicitariat for clicks.

    Ross Douthat has a rational thought every once inna while too.
    Would you support him frontpaging here?
    Kain parley’d his fake support of unions into a labor roundtable that got the president’s attention the last time he was here.
    Just ask Kay.
    He did some real damage.
    Im not willing to give him a second chance.

  284. 284
    Samara Morgan says:

    and in case y’all wonder why our resident bene gesserit witches ABL, Sarah, AL or Kay dont cowboy up and tell truth about facedancer Kain, its one of Cole’s RULES that frontpagers cant crit other frontpagers.

  285. 285
    Samara Morgan says:

    btw true/slant has gone away or i would link you Kain’s “every fetus is a slave” post, that he has consistantly refused to recant.
    Kain has a real marketability problem.
    He is neither crazy enough to be a Mark Levin or bright enough to be a Ross Douthat.
    so he is returning to BJ AGAIN to scam the juicitariat as a “reasonable” voice on the right.
    He is faking it.
    Just ask him about the “freed” Market or Hayek.

  286. 286
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Thymezone:

    I know I will burn in hell for coming in here and praising ED.

    there is no sillie christian cartoon hell.
    either you achieve faana or you dont.
    and either way you become part of the platonic substrate that underlies the metaverse.
    :)

  287. 287
    THE says:

    and either way you become part of the platonic substrate that underlies the metaverse.

    BS. This is the correct explanation.

  288. 288
    Samara Morgan says:

    @THE: that is cute but energy is neither created or destroyed.
    only transmuted.
    isnt the concept of faana lifted directly from buddhism?

  289. 289
    THE says:

    Yes it reminds me a little of Buddhism. But there is no need for God in Buddhism. Buddhism seeks to achieve enlightenment Nirvana to escape the wheel of rebirth. It aims to awaken from the illusion of Samsara – the world of suffering and temporality.

    Remember though if QM is right, then there is nothing that we could recognize as a real substrate to the world. Platonic or otherwise. Reality emerges when it is observed, measured or interacted with. Quantum reality is deeply positivistic. All knowledge is empirical. The knowable is the classical and macroscopic that emerges when quantum systems decohere. Until then what you have is…abstract, dynamic, potential.
    Edit: And potential is measured in units of probability.

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