If I wasn’t watching it happen, I wouldn’t believe it

Ladies and Gents, here’s the all-male panel that are debating access to birth control in Congress today:

But it’s much, much bigger than birth control now. This is Adam Serwer on the new Republican proposal to allow any employer a veto on virtually any aspect of health insurance coverage.

Any employer:

In their latest move in the battle over contraception coverage, top Republicans in Congress are going for broke: They’re now pushing a bill that would allow employers and insurance companies to pick and choose which health benefits to provide based simply on executives’ personal moral beliefs. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), the top GOPer in the Senate, has already endorsed the proposal, and it could come to a vote this week. The measure would make the religious exemptions to President Barack Obama’s health care bill so large they’d swallow it whole.

“This is about gutting the Affordable Care Act and the protections it was meant to establish,” says Leila Abolfazli, a lawyer focusing at the National Women’s Law Center who focuses on health and reproductive rights.

Obama’s Affordable Care Act requires all health care plans to offer certain services and benefits, including birth control. Last week, Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) offered a “conscience amendment,” to the law, pitching it as a way to allay religious employers’ qualms about providing birth control to their employees.

But Blunt’s proposal doesn’t just apply to religious employers and birth control. Instead, it would allow any insurer or employer, religiously affiliated or otherwise, to opt out of providing any health care services required by federal law—everything from maternity care to screening for diabetes. Employers wouldn’t have to cite religious reasons for their decision; they could just say the treatment goes against their moral convictions. That exception could include almost anything—an employer could theoretically claim a “moral objection” to the cost of providing a given benefit. The bill would also allow employers to sue if state or federal regulators try to make them comply with the law.

Care for a pregnancy outside marriage was the first thing that came to mind when I read the bill, because of course any employer could cite a religious reason for refusing to cover that, and state law wouldn’t protect people, because this is federal law.

“One of the fundamental purposes of the Affordable Care Act was making sure all health insurance plans cover basic services. The Blunt amendment would do away with that,” says Sarah Lipton-Lubet, a policy counsel with the American Civil Liberties Union. “A business could deny coverage for cervical cancer screening for unmarried employees, out of opposition to premarital sex.”

Got that? This is a deregulatory push cloaked in a religious objection. President Obama and Democrats are trying to standardize and secure the same access to health care for everyone, and Republicans are deliberately acting to reduce health insurance security, reliability and portability.

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258 replies
  1. 1
    Democratic Nihilist, Keeper Of Party Purity says:

    Bunch of little boy ass rapists debating whether contraception should be legal? I’m through the fucking rabbit hole here, Alice.

  2. 2
    Someguy says:

    You can keep your plan, your doctor, your coverage if you want.

    Now the Catholics and Republicans want to strip contraceptive coverage.

  3. 3
    MattF says:

    This was off-topic in the is-Romney-stupid thread, but it’s on-topic here– Gary Wills on contraception:

    http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/n.....n-con-men/

  4. 4
    Tone In DC says:

    I see that pic, and I can barely believe it.

    The overall level of holier-than-thou in that hearing room must be truly stultifying.

  5. 5
    Gin & Tonic says:

    The GOS is reporting that three Democratic members of the committee, including two (*the* two?) women, have walked out of the hearing in protest.

  6. 6
    Rafer Janders says:

    In their latest move in the battle over contraception coverage, top Republicans in Congress are going for broke: They’re now pushing a bill that would allow employers and insurance companies to pick and choose which health benefits to provide based simply on executives’ personal moral beliefs.

    So, Shariah Law, basically.

  7. 7
    kay says:

    It is always, always, always about gutting regulation for conservatives. Always.

    I don’t know how many times this has to happen before people quit falling for it.

  8. 8
    Martin says:

    This is a man’s world, this is a man’s world

    You see, man made the cars to take us over the road
    Man made the trains to carry heavy loads
    Man made electric light to take us out of the dark
    Man made the boat for the water, like Noah made the ark

  9. 9
    BGinCHI says:

    God has left the building.

    More smiting plz.

  10. 10
    Guster says:

    What’s that Jew doing there? Asshole. He could be my twin brother, I bet we’re fucking genetically identical.

    A shanda fur die goyim, you fuckhead.

  11. 11
    KG says:

    @Gin & Tonic: walking out is bullshit. what they should have done was ask these “experts” a series of questions about their experience with birth control and sexual intercourse and family planning. all walking out does is give these asshats the floor to spout their bullshit without consequence.

  12. 12
    gogol's wife says:

    @MattF:

    The first couple of comments on that made my head explode.

  13. 13
    Butch says:

    @Gin & Tonic: They were joined by one man, a guy from Illinois.

  14. 14
    Stacy says:

    God I hate them. Too strong?

  15. 15
    KG says:

    @Rafer Janders: no, not Sharia, more like Deuteronomy.

  16. 16
    Martin says:

    @Rafer Janders: That’s not a bad way to frame it: “The GOP’s proposed amendment would allow any employer to impose Sharia Law as related to health insurance on any employee, regardless of the employee’s religion.”

  17. 17
    Waldo says:

    This ought to be a political goldmine for the Dems. Really, there’s no way they can lose. But just to be safe:

    “Dear Lord, please give them strength to succeed despite themselves.”

  18. 18
    General Stuck says:

    Ladies and Gents, here’s the all-male panel that are debating access to birth control in Congress today:

    I know it must really extra piss off female personnel that this whole stupid debate on birth control is even occurring for something rightfully taken as a long since battle won. Like the folks over at Shakesville and other liberal feminista type blogs, wanting Obama and dems in congress to just ignore the wingers playing this ancient card.

    But as a cynical male, these things happen as a vital part of maintaining those long since battles won, imo. The culture wars take eternal vigilance, and sometimes out in the open re fighting the same fight, to remind people of what we are dealing with in this country, a puritan ethic of male control over women folk that goes back a long ways, and is kept alive by a significant number of citizens and their surrogates. We got the best of the best presnit to pound back the slippery nails to that coffin of ghosts past of unequal treatment, and the fact that our bodies and their natural functions, are sacrosanct and not part of the body politic. They belong to us, and us only.

  19. 19
    Samara Morgan says:

    how many chins do you count?
    i think i can see 16.

  20. 20
    Dave says:

    And the GOP continues it lock-step march into irrelevance. This is the downfall of the insular “create your own reality” concept. Sooner or later, you fall way too out-of-touch with the mainstream.

  21. 21
    jl says:

    @Martin:

    But, these are our modern day GOP politician men we are talking about here, I have not aware they have done actual stuff like that recently. Actually doing stuff is Hoover and Ike schtick and they are now commies.

    Traditional ‘man’ privileges have been traditionally stripped for that kind of shirking, or incapacity. But I guess the rules have changed.

  22. 22
    Comrade Scrutinizer says:

    @Guster: You talking about the guy with what looks like a Nehru jacket on? Me, I’m looking at the tubby guy with the red face, glasses, and mustache. I’m glad I have a beard; I’d look just like the fuckin’ putz.

  23. 23
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @KG: Just reporting, not taking a tactical position.

  24. 24
    Comrade Mary says:

    Greg Sargent on GOP strategery:

    Christian and conservative groups are gearing up to get fully engaged, and have persuaded themselves that it will be a good issue against Obama this fall: …
    __
    So conservative groups see this as a good way to rev up the base. But the question is, at what cost among swing voters?
    __
    Conservatives see this as a good way to relitigate “Obamacare,” and to advance a key subtext about Obama, which is that he wants to expand the reach of government into matters of faith and harbors a deep-seated hostility to religious values. But it’s my bet that this won’t square with voter perceptions of Obama and that the public will reject this framing of the issue. And it may even allow Dems to try to resell health reform on more friendly political turf. Independents, moderates, and women all overwhelmingly agree with Obama on this issue.
    __
    But if this becomes a preoccupation of the conservative base, Republicans may go all in on making this a central election year fight.

    And for Martin, some Residents.

  25. 25
    Scott says:

    Time to revoke the Catholic Church’s tax exemptions.

  26. 26
    Ump902a says:

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Should this law pass, every large business owner will become a Christian Scientist.

  27. 27
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Martin:

    Yep. Spread that meme. Maybe we can make some heads explode.

  28. 28
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Let them waste as much time and resources on this issue as possible. This is not a winner for them and if they can’t figure that out, they’re dumber than I think they are.

  29. 29
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Martin:

    We can Cavuto mark it: “GOP plan imposes Sharia law on America?”

  30. 30
    Persia says:

    Don’t forget Jehovah’s Witnesses, who don’t believe in blood transfusions. Guess those’ll be out of pocket from now on too. I’m used to the assault on my body, but this is pretty much literally reductio ad absurdum.

  31. 31
    Judas Escargot, Your Postmodern Neighbor says:

    How soon before they start checking womenfolk for third nipples and/or other Satanic birthmarks? Or admitting spectral evidence in the proceedings?

    Seriously, did the Congressional cafeteria get infested with ergot recently? Or is this the first sign of the long-awaited Mad Cow Disease epidemic?

    Just… nuts. Insane.

  32. 32
    Culture of Truth says:

    I know others have said this before, but why not just opt-out of any law you don’t like?
    .

    .
    Wait, don’t answer that.

  33. 33
    Martin says:

    @Comrade Mary:

    Independents, moderates, and women all overwhelmingly agree with Obama on this issue.

    In other words, approximately 83% of the electorate (demographically speaking).

    I like this GOP plan. Can I suggest they come out against Girl Scout Cookies as Obama’s jackbooted brownie thugs keep pushing these immoral treats on those of us that worship at the Church of the Low Calorie Diet, and this affront on religion cannot stand!

  34. 34
    Walker says:

    So they support Sharia law now? I cannot keep this straight.

  35. 35
    Mark S. says:

    @MattF:

    I liked this part:

    Then the “natural law” was fallen back on, saying that the natural purpose of sex is procreation, and any use of it for other purposes is “unnatural.” But a primary natural purpose does not of necessity exclude ancillary advantages. The purpose of eating is to sustain life, but that does not make all eating that is not necessary to subsistence “unnatural.” One can eat, beyond the bare minimum to exist, to express fellowship, as one can have sex, beyond the begetting of a child with each act, to express love.

  36. 36
    Rafer Janders says:

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: if altar boys could get pregnant, the bishops would have woken up to the virtues of contraception a long time ago.

  37. 37
    Guster says:

    @Comrade Scrutinizer: The guy in the screenshot above, wearing the kippah. It’s like looking in a mirror at a more ass-faced version of myself.

  38. 38
    biff diggerence says:

    They’re all sporting huge erections right now.

    With congregations shrinking daily, they’re able to reach millions via CSpan.

  39. 39
    jl says:

    @Comrade Mary:

    ” advance a key subtext about Obama, which is that he wants to expand the reach of government into matters of faith and harbors a deep-seated hostility to religious values. ”

    I think Sargent is correct, and his view is a no brainer. I think most people will see it as a stupid nosy move to mess with their private sex lives, their right to control their economic and personal fate, to be able to plan ahead for important decisions and responsibilities (like, um, giving their kids a good upbringing), and the chance to get adequate medical insurance. And women will rightly see it as an attack on their privacy and civil rights.

    So, go ahead and try GOP. I hope they make a big public fuss about for a long time. I cannot believe they would be this stupid, or crazy, or desperate. I knew they were this vicious and hypocritical, though.

  40. 40
    Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937 says:

    “Democratic women on the committee have largely stayed out of the hearing room to protest the lack of women and countering points of view on the panel.”

    I’m sure the dicks in the room consider this a feature.

  41. 41
    scandi says:

    My first thought was that my coverage for my HIV meds could go by the wayside if my boss thinks my sinful “lifestyle” contributed to it.

  42. 42

    Um . . Issa is up for reelection this year, right?

  43. 43
    kay says:

    @General Stuck:

    That isn’t what pisses me off. What pisses me off is it was so clear where this was heading.
    Conservatives deregulate. Always. When they say they want an exemption or a waiver, what they want is to blow a huge hole in any regulatory scheme.
    It happens again and again and again, and people fall for it again and again and again.
    Assuming good faith on the part of (some) religious leaders, now that they know where this is going, and where it was intended to go, how could they let themselves be used like this?
    They’re signing onto this? An employer veto of ANY health insurance coverage based on a “moral” objection?
    You know, I could object to an employee who has 7 pregnancies while in my employ. . I could say I have a “moral” objection to someone NOT using birth control.
    How could they be this stupid?

  44. 44
    amk says:

    @General Stuck:

    exactly

    The culture wars take eternal vigilance, and sometimes out in the open re fighting the same fight, to remind people of what we are dealing with in this country

    As Pearce asks, where are the doctors ? where is the AMA ? where are all the feminist movements ? Shouldn’t they all be pushing back vigorously and vociferously on this ?

  45. 45
    biff diggerence says:

    “Get a job, man.”

    (Mookie)

  46. 46
    Martin says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    We can Cavuto mark it: “GOP plan imposes Sharia law on America?”

    Brilliant! That’s exactly what it needed.

  47. 47
    slag says:

    @kay:

    It is always, always, always about gutting regulation for conservatives. Always.

    Not always. Conservatives are more than happy to impose more regulation on your private affairs–your penis or your uterus. It’s just public affairs that want to gut regulations for.

    I’m starting to think GOP stands for “Go Pee in this cup (with all due respect, of course).” Because if it doesn’t involve peeing in a cup, conservatives don’t seem to have all that much interest.

  48. 48
    Raven says:

    These pigs remind me of the ones in Oliver Twist sitting around the dining table bitching about how ungrateful the poor are.

  49. 49
    Martin says:

    @amk:

    As Pearce asks, where are the doctors ? where is the AMA ? where are all the feminist movements ? Shouldn’t they all be pushing back vigorously and vociferously on this ?

    I think they’re all knocked back on their heel wondering “How the fuck did we get back into this shit?”

    But no worries – I’m confident they’ll make their voice known on Nov 6.

  50. 50
    slag says:

    And, of course, I’m in moderation. Which is totally fair given that I’m definitely feeling immoderate today.

  51. 51
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Linda Featheringill: All the House is up this year. So, yeah, expect more of this bullshit right up until the last couple of months when the government will basically stop functioning except for the pork they all work to bring home.

  52. 52
    jl says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    ” I know others have said this before, but why not just opt-out of any law you don’t like? ”

    I think Madison wrote that simple moral conviction should be enough to get a person out of forced military service. Need to dig up the quotes and check it out. Let’s try this out on these folks, who also tend to be neocon warmongers, or End Timers with scary violence and revenge ideations:

    ” they could just say the draft goes against their moral convictions.”

    They are notorious for their intellectual and moral consistency, right? Right.

  53. 53
    rlrr says:

    @Scott:

    Time to revoke all religious tax exemptions and treat them like businesses except for their actual charitable work…

  54. 54
    cathyx says:

    It’s too bad the Catholic Bishops don’t stand up to congress for any of the other religious tenets they espouse.

  55. 55
    chopper says:

    @Guster:

    shanda fur die goyim

    first thing i thought when i saw the dude.

  56. 56
    Labrys says:

    Good grief. If they had it their way, a Christian Scientist boss could simply say it was ALL morally repugnant to him and that everyone should rely on prayer for healing.

    I am boosting this signal in sheer shock. These idiots won’t be stopping till guillotines are in town squares…

  57. 57
    Zandar says:

    They really are going 100% for the “President Notlikeyou McOtherMuslim hates Americhristians!” card, aren’t they, combined with outright Jim Crow laws at the voting booth.

  58. 58
    Emma says:

    Assuming good faith on the part of (some) religious leaders, now that they know where this is going, and where it was intended to go, how could they let themselves be used like this?

    Because it will give them back a little of the power they have lost over their congregation. That’s why. God is nowhere in sight.

    Though on the other hand:

    Black screen. “this is who the Republicans think should tell you what to do about your family” this picture “this is who the Republicans think should tell you what to do about your body” this picture “notice something missing?” a picture of a woman with her children “if you want to keep your family and your body personal and private, vote Democratic”

  59. 59
    Linnaeus says:

    @kay:

    It is always, always, always about gutting regulation for conservatives. Always.

    I don’t know how many times this has to happen before people quit falling for it.

    Because the right has developed over the course of about 40 years arguments in favor of neofeudalism that cloak the true nature of it. Almost Orwellian, if you think about it.

  60. 60
    mcmullje says:

    Bastards

  61. 61
    Cluttered Mind says:

    @scandi: That was my first thought as well. If they somehow manage to get this done, HIV meds are going to be dropped from coverage all over the place. This isn’t just about birth control, or even just about women, it’s about denying vital medical care to anyone who these monsters think are living unethically.

  62. 62
    Roger Moore says:

    Care for a pregnancy outside marriage was the first thing that came to mind when I read the bill, because of course any employer could cite a religious reason for refusing to cover that, and state law wouldn’t protect people, because this is federal law.

    Gee, and I’m thinking that there are some religions that disagree with the concept of insurance of any kind because they see it either as a form of gambling or a way of opposing God’s will. An insurance mandate is pretty meaningless if people can refuse to provide it because they have claim to have a moral objection to the concept.

  63. 63
    jl says:

    You don’t even have to bring personal moral conviction into rationale as loose as being proposed. We will here junk like

    ” As a corporation, we have a fiduciary duty to maximize shareholder profit. We have moral qualms about violating our fiduciary duties. Therefore, no health care. ”

    Cynical and absurd. Well, tax avoider Romney misses no chance to brag about not paying a dime more than required, after a sketchy and inadequate release of his taxes. I find that cynical and absurd, yet it is a feature not a bug with the GOP base.

  64. 64
    harlana says:

    nothing if not consistent – bash them over the head with this, Dems, i hope i see some of you on the teevee tonite doing just that

  65. 65
    rikryah says:

    see kay,

    you and me are different. I didn’t even have to watch to believe it, because it is Darryl fucking Issa holding the hearing.

    nothing shocks me, and they don’t see the patent absurdity of it all, but I believe the picture is worth 1000 votes – for the President.

  66. 66
    bemused says:

    I can’t wait to see what segment of voters the GOP manages to horrify and alienate next. At this rate, they may just achieve 27% republican voter turnout.

  67. 67
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    @Cluttered Mind:

    It’s the Predestination concept gone berserk that the GOP have embraced. If you’re so hard working, why aren’t you rich? If you’re so right, why does everyone thing you’re wrong? If you’re so fucking nice a person, why does everyone hate you and want to beat you up? If you’re so good, why did you get Cancer? Because you’re a bad fucking person and God hates you, you godless fucking heathen, and that’s the only reason you should ever need.

    Disease is proof of guilt. Poverty is proof of guilt. Being bullied is proof of guilt. If you’re not instantly successful, popular, and fuckamazing like the GOP are from the getgo, then God fucking hates you and you need to just fucking die.

  68. 68
    amk says:

    @Martin:

    I’m confident they’ll make their voice known on Nov 6.

    Too late. Anyway that date is for voters. These orgs should be out and center right now doing some serious pushback against this insanity.

  69. 69
    harlana says:

    @scandi: they’d love that, wouldn’t they? imo, this is just outright murderous, almost bloodthirsty. sick, sick mofos.

  70. 70
    Democratic Nihilist, Keeper Of Party Purity says:

    Issa is up for reelection this year, right?

    @Linda Featheringill: Yeah. His district is full of meatheads who will throw the lever for him without thinking about it. His dirty laundry has been aired in full, his constituents don’t really seem to give a shit.

    He is beatable, I suspect – but no challengers of note and ZERO Dem GOTV machinery.

  71. 71
    sukabi says:

    in the long run all they are doing is ENSURING that this country will go to a government run SINGLE PAYER system, and sooner rather than later… they don’t realize this now, but that’s what they’re doing.

  72. 72
    slag says:

    @jl:

    ” As a corporation, we have a fiduciary duty to maximize shareholder profit. We have moral qualms about violating our fiduciary duties. Therefore, no health care. ”

    I’d be totally on board with this as long as the compromise to such a moral position is that the taxpayer then pays for that health care. Obviously, I want health care to be decoupled from employment–the sooner the better.

  73. 73
    ChesapeakeBlue says:

    The insurance industry should be flatly opposed to this. Part of what the ACA was supposed to do was to make benefits uniform. Theoretically, companies would not compete on trying to jigger the benefits, but would compete by trying to efficiently administer large volumes of claims on basically similar products. This move wholly undercuts that efficiency – requiring every company to administer a potentially unique set of benefits for every insurance policy.

  74. 74
    Comrade Mary says:

    @amk: I think he deliberately chose that date for those exact reasons.

  75. 75
    jl says:

    @chopper: @Guster:

    ” A shanda fur die goyim”

    Is there an acceptable multicultural version of that phrase for middle aged white guys who vaguely look like loser dweebs. I could use it now. How about

    ” A shanda por los blanc guys ” ?

    Edit: could turn ‘honky’ into ‘blonky’ ? Blonky has a ring to it.

  76. 76
    jl says:

    @ChesapeakeBlue: Sadly, I think some insurance companies have calculated they can make more profit from their slow premium and cherry picking death spiral. Don’t worry about the ultimate fate of the industry or their company as long that can be postponed beyond the executives’ planning horizons.

  77. 77
    JasonF says:

    Brilliant — I’m sure most Americans want their boss to accompany them to the doctor’s examining room. “Bad news, Mr. Jones — we’ve found a tumor. Fortunately, the prognosis is quite good. You’ll need surgery, but we can schedule that for next week and you’ll be as good as new. I just have to check with your boss to make sure it’s OK with him.”

  78. 78
    PWL says:

    It’s stuff like this that makes me think more and more that Christianity-at least the variety practiced and preached by certain Americans–should be considered a “gutter religion.”

  79. 79
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @kay:

    Assuming good faith on the part of (some) religious leaders, now that they know where this is going, and where it was intended to go, how could they let themselves be used like this? They’re signing onto this? An employer veto of ANY health insurance coverage based on a “moral” objection?

    This is 21st century feudalism: cuius regio, eius religio, with the modern CEO substituted for the 16th century prince. What’s not to like, from a godbotherer standpoint?

    You know, I could object to an employee who has 7 pregnancies while in my employ. . I could say I have a “moral” objection to someone NOT using birth control.

    Their bedrock assumption is that only the really large and powerful religious denominations will be able to exercise this level of theocratic tyranny over the lives of employees. The minor religious sects (insofar as their moral dictates differ from those of the big sects), will be persuaded to refrain from doing so, using fear and intimidation to keep them in line.

  80. 80
    Soonergrunt says:

    How do the Bishops feel about a company that would refuse to cover child sexual assault counseling? Would they, in good conscience, then recommend to their parishioners to seek employment elsewhere, just in case?

  81. 81
    chopper says:

    @jl:

    ‘a shanda fur die white devil’?

  82. 82
    jl says:

    @PWL: That is uncivil. Stop it.

    However, by standards of traditional real world olde timey state sponsored Christianity, Xtianists are a collection of heretical cults. Many of the Xtianists would be turned over to the state for termination with prejudice in the old days. There was something wrong with that policy, and most European civilizations changed policy several hundred years ago.

  83. 83
    JPL says:

    @Soonergrunt: How do the bishops feel if a company refuses to cover tests for sickle cell anemia. The federal court was correct in their ruling that it’s a civil rights issue.

  84. 84
    Shalimar says:

    I have a moral objection to paying for viagra. I don’t want my employees worrying about their boners when they should be concentrating on work. I also have a moral objection to paying for Boehners, but that is a separate issue and I pay my taxes anyway.

  85. 85
    Rafer Janders says:

    @jl:

    Actually, re “shande fur die goyim” — the meaning of the phrase is that a Jew has committed an act that causes embarrasment to the Jewish community in front of non-Jews, i.e. goyim (in Wasp terms, you’d say “Dear God, whatever will the neighbors think!”).

    Yiddish is a dialect largely derived from German, so the “fur” comes from the German “vor”, i.e. “in front of, before, in view of”. It’s “a shame/scandal in view of the non-Jews”, so you can’t really modify it in the way you’re thinking of.

  86. 86
    Cassidy says:

    @Stacy: No. Not at all. Embrace it. Once you get past the ingrained part of liberalism that says everyone has a right to be heard, you’re so much more free when you get to tell one of these mouth-breathing Republicans to shut the fuck up, mid sentence. It’s fun and it feels amazing. And when they start yammering away about unfair, etc. You tell them to shut the fuck up, again, since they are conservative they have no valid views and are not worth your precious time.

  87. 87
    FormerSwingVoter says:

    Hmmm.

    I’ve decided that it’s immoral for people to be alive. My fictional business will offer health insurance that covers only assisted suicide.

  88. 88
    Shalimar says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    Their bedrock assumption is that only the really large and powerful religious denominations will be able to exercise this level of theocratic tyranny over the lives of employees. The minor religious sects (insofar as their moral dictates differ from those of the big sects), will be persuaded to refrain from doing so, using fear and intimidation to keep them in line.

    They have obviously never read about the power of cults. Small organizations with a single charismatic leader are far more able to control every aspect of their believers’ lives.

  89. 89
    Raven says:

    @PWL: This! Fuck all of em.

  90. 90
    amk says:

    twitterdom (for the emoprogs/pl crowd)

    If you don’t think there is any difference between the parties, how do you explain this GOP assault on women?

  91. 91
    Cassidy says:

    @PWL: I call it a sadistic death cult. Meet in the middle?

  92. 92
    jl says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    Well we (or at least I) will need a phrase for ‘dweebish loser middle aged white mean creating a shame/scandal in front of non middle aged white men” if this nonsense keeps up.

    Anyone have any ideas?

    Hamiltion used the phrase ‘a spectacle both hilarious and disgusting’ several times. I wish stuff in US politics would not keep happening that calls that phrase to my mind.

  93. 93
    jl says:

    @FormerSwingVoter: Tbogg went there, suggesting it is immoral to provide health care to child bearing age women: if they survive long enough they might have abortions in the future.

    I wonder if something like that is the rationale behind these sick nuts.

    Edit: Tbogg was doing enraged snark, for those not familiar with the Tbogger.

  94. 94
    curiousleo says:

    If the Democratic Party doesn’t make an add tout de suite highlighting that a pic they’re dumber than I think. The all male (since the Dem women are boycotting) Congressional panel and the all male group “testifying” with a voice over saying some version of “The GOP wants men to tell women what kind of care they should get…” or “The GOP doesn’t want women to have input on medical care for women”

    I’m also very much hoping our friend w/ the google problem is the GOP nominee.

  95. 95
    Rafer Janders says:

    Well we (or at least I) will need a phrase for ‘dweebish loser middle aged white mean creating a shame/scandal in front of non middle aged white men” if this nonsense keeps up. Anyone have any ideas?

    Um, call it a Gingrich. “Dude, don’t Gingrich in front of those kids.”

  96. 96
    Culture of Truth says:

    My impression is thast both the liberatarian types and religious conservatives both oppose a mandate and employer provided insurance and government insurace.

    Everyone should just out and negotiate one-on-one with insurers to buy the amount of coverage they “want,” or even better, just pay health care providers directly with cash or chickens.

  97. 97
    jl says:

    @Rafer Janders: thanks! Good idea.

    Except, potential double entendre there, wrt immoral sexytime. But I will put on the list of possibilities.

  98. 98
    Brachiator says:

    @kay:

    Got that? This is a deregulatory push cloaked in a religious objection. President Obama and Democrats are trying to standardize and secure the same access to health care for everyone, and Republicans are deliberately acting to reduce health insurance security, reliability and portability.

    Thank goodness that Democrats are standing solidly behind Obama on these critical issues….

    Ooops. Wait a minute.

    Obama losing financial backing of big S.F. donor
    __
    San Francisco philanthropist Susie Tompkins Buell, one of the Democratic Party’s most generous benefactors, is keeping her checkbook closed when President Obama holds high-priced California fundraisers this week.
    __
    “I want to look him in the eye and say, ‘Thank you so much’ ” for his work, said Buell, who expresses deep disappointment in the president’s leadership on environmental issues, especially climate change.

    So good to see that well heeled Democrats have their priorities in order.

  99. 99
    FormerSwingVoter says:

    @jl: But this doesn’t even have to be in relation to birth control or abortions (though it would obviously still be terrible if it was)! The wording is vague enough that any employer can drop any type of health care that they want. And many employers will coincidentally find it immoral to pay for the most expensive forms of health care. If a company can save a shit-ton of money by just saying aloud “I’ve decided that cancer treatments are immoral”, it’ll become standard within months.

  100. 100
    kerFuFFler says:

    OT but I just enjoyed this from Chait:

    The unpredictable Republican presidential race has taken another surprising turn as recent numbers show Mongol warlord Genghis Khan seizing the lead in national polls of likely GOP primary voters. Benefiting from widespread doubts about Mitt Romney’s authenticity and ideological commitment, Genghis has changed the shape of the race by sounding sharp populist themes that resonate with supporters of the tea party. “Mitt Romney wants to manage Washington, D.C.,” he told an enthusiastic crowd in Scottsdale, Arizona. “I want to burn it to the ground, slay its inhabitants, and stack their skulls in pyramids reaching to the sky.”

  101. 101
    cintibud says:

    Posted this link in the False flag post, but is on topic here – University of Dayton, a Catholic institution, will keep contraceptive coverage for its employees:

    http://www.daytondailynews.com.....29319.html

    I am sure many similar stories exist in local news.

  102. 102
    GregB says:

    I object to these panelists getting health insurance coverage. My tax dollars should not be paying for dildos.

  103. 103
    Citizen Alan says:

    @jl:

    That is uncivil. Stop it.

    Fuck that noise. FUCK! IT! I am sick of this constant whine for civility in the face of evil! That’s what religion is, as far as I’m concerned. Stone Fucking Evil. I was raised Southern Baptist (a denomination founded in defense of slavery) and accepted that cesspit was pure evil almost twenty years ago. It’s taken me since then to realize that all the others are just as bad. And now we see the spectacle of the RCC (Republican Catholic Church), fresh from yet another pedophile scandal, seeking to force women to bear unwanted children. Filthy evil fuckers.

    The purpose of religion is to enslave peoples minds so that they will submit to authority and willingly and happily perpetuate evil. That’s what religion is for. That’s what it’s always been for every since the very first caveman who realized he could get a bigger share of the spoils from the hunt by telling credulous fools that “the invisible man in the clouds commands it.”

    Tax the churches. Tax them into oblivion.

  104. 104
    harlana says:

    Dems, take this, turn it into a baseball bat, and beat them to a bloody pulp with it. Mkay?

  105. 105
    Culture of Truth says:

    @cintibud: Stories like this make me think that most employers would not decide cancer treatments are immoral, in spite of the GOP’s efforts to undermine even level of group coverage.

  106. 106
    jl says:

    @Citizen Alan: That was a joke, son. I will remember to append the smiley face next time.

  107. 107
    wrb says:

    Something remarkable has happened in this primary: the Republican party has become the party of the wack-a-doodle religious– any whack-a-doodle. Used to be that the doodles would fight each other, because the substance of their beliefs mattered. But now we have the christ cannibalizers, corpse baptizers, snake handlers, and the cult of the invisible hand all on one side. Add a Lieberman and a Scientologist and they’d have all whackery of significance.

    It is a union of those who believe crazy shit against those who doubt.

  108. 108
    Cassidy says:

    Days like today really make me wish the Rapture would come. But then I think i’d be stuck with nothing but these Republican rat-fuckers.

  109. 109
    WJS says:

    That’s what it’s always been for every since the very first caveman who realized he could get a bigger share of the spoils from the hunt by telling credulous fools that “the invisible man in the clouds commands it.”

    To be fair, the Native Americans worshipped a great spirit who basically let them hunt, fish, screw, and live their lives. Only occasionally were they punished for doing something wicked or stupid. And they believed in communal property, so it was mostly all good, except for the genocide against other tribes, of course.

  110. 110
    Persia says:

    @kerFuFFler: I’d totally vote for Genghis Khan over any of the losers in the Republican field.

  111. 111
    greenergood says:

    @PWL: No, it’s a ‘gutted’ religion. There’s some not bad stuff in the original New Test. like loving your neighbour, turning the other cheek, etc. but all that lovin’ has been gutted, and these cognitively dissonant moral asswipes have signed up for the gutted version. And no I’m not a Christian, I’m an ex-Catholic, but I know some Xtians, non-violent, working for recognition of gays, minorities, the downtrodden in general, for whom I have great respect. if I’d met them in my teens, I might have stayed a Catholic. But it was too late. I can admire them from afar, and wonder at how the Bible can produce such different kinds of adherents. But the MSM only focuses on the Santorum types, while the US Gov’t chucks the Xtians with conscience in jail.

  112. 112
    BGK says:

    Not all-male at the moment. The health director of Calvin College, a woman, is testifying (in multiple senses of the word) at the moment.

    A scorecard for your Rogues’ Gallery…

  113. 113
    burnspbesq says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    Um .. Yes, but fuhgedaboudit. The was his district is drawn, the seat is his for as long as he chooses to sit in it.

  114. 114
    ChrisNYC says:

    @Brachiator:

    I think this is the fourth or fifth time that Susie Tomkins has announced that she is not giving money to Obama. The last time was in October. You know what she wanted then? For him to stop the Keystone Pipeline.

    Don’t say he never did anything for you, Susie.

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/.....038;ao=all

  115. 115
    trollhattan says:

    After the Christian Scientists take over Medicare, Medicade and the ACA, I want the Adventists controlling the next Farm Bill. We’ll see what happens to all the meat and poultry subsidies then! [dusts hands]

    This governin’s a whole lot easier than I thought.

  116. 116
    Box says:

    Simple solution: single payer. These guys have made it clear that we need to take insurance choices away from employers. One big plan, covers everybody exactly the same, no moral exemptions needed.

  117. 117
    Brachiator says:

    @Soonergrunt:

    How do the Bishops feel about a company that would refuse to cover child sexual assault counseling?

    I think that some Bishops would be fine with this. They might even prefer that the employee see a priest instead.

    Oh, the irony.

  118. 118
    cpinva says:

    i expect all republicans to be running with this as part of their appeal:

    “hey, i voted to eliminate, as much as i could, any employer health insurance coverage for you!”

    that should be a real winner.

  119. 119
    wrb says:

    @trollhattan:

    The Jehovah’s Witnesses request the stocks of plague germs.

  120. 120
    burnspbesq says:

    @kay:

    “Assuming good faith on the part of (some) religious leaders, now that they know where this is going, and where it was intended to go, how could they let themselves be used like this?”

    Is that a rhetorical question?

    Understand that in the view of the USCCB and the dwindling number of Catholics who care what the USCCB thinks, issues relating to sexuality are the critical moral issues of our time. Since they have failed to persuade the faithful, they are attempting to co-opt state power to coerce the faithful. The rest of y’all are just collateral damage.

    It goes without saying that they must be stopped.

  121. 121
    Brachiator says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    That’s what it’s always been for every since the very first caveman who realized he could get a bigger share of the spoils from the hunt by telling credulous fools that “the invisible man in the clouds commands it.”

    i blame the Black Monolith. You know, from 2001: A Space Odyssey?

  122. 122
    Churchlady320 says:

    @Rafer Janders: Religious laws stomp on other religious groups for which the issue is a moral GOOD. We are trying to get that word out – but MSM act as if you believe in birth control you’re the equivalent of pedophiles.

  123. 123
    General Stuck says:

    @kay:

    How could they be this stupid?

    Who knows? But as a believer in the constitution, they have a perfect right to be stupid humans/feature not bug. It’s all one big classroom, and we have plenty of dunce caps for those that earn them :-)

  124. 124
    TD says:

    I just Foster Friess, the billionaire responsible for funding man-on-dog, that back in his day “birth control was cheap, women would just hold a bayer asprin between their knees.” Andrea Mitchell was too shocked to respond, and changed the subject. Hope someone, somewhere got a video of it. The man seemed demented, in any case.

  125. 125
    TD says:

    I saw just Foster Friess, the billionaire responsible for funding man-on-dog, that back in his day “birth control was cheap, women would just hold a bayer asprin between their knees.” Andrea Mitchell was too shocked to respond, and changed the subject. Hope someone, somewhere got a video of it. The man seemed demented, in any case.

  126. 126
    Paul in KY says:

    If they want to stop pre-marital sex, just mandate that whenever the emotions are getting too riled up in a young couple, they must look at the picture of the 4 trolls above.

    That will put the kibosh on all but the most horny.

  127. 127
    Holden Pattern says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    This is 21st century feudalism: cuius regio, eius religio, with the modern CEO substituted for the 16th century prince. What’s not to like, from a godbotherer standpoint?

    This. Why people haven’t twigged that this is the agenda of the right across the board is beyond me. The agenda of the right is to keep ordinary people fearful, divided and subservient to the whims of the powerful.

  128. 128
    Churchlady320 says:

    @BGinCHI: Not if WE have anything to say about it! The Protestant, Jewish, Quaker, even Seventh Day Adventists all believe in contraception. How DARE they dismiss our moral and family values that come from strong convictions on our care for creation and responsible parenthood. We have values, too! Our followers who work for TAX SUPPORTED institutions or employers all of whom are bound by equal access hiring laws must have their moral values honored as PART of that equal access. This is despicable!

  129. 129
    trollhattan says:

    @wrb:

    Heh, handle that “Awake!” issue with tongs. Favorite ice cream flavor–anthrax ripple.

  130. 130
    harlana says:

    @greenergood: well, here, the problem is not so much gutting of the bible as it is primarily using the OT, which is filled with violence, retribution, intolerance, and mistreatment of women, etc., to justify your actions, completely ignoring Christ’s teachings in the NT, and using Christ only as a vehicle for salvation, sin after sin, so that you can screw your neighbor six ways to Sunday and still go to heaven every time you “repent” on Sunday, and keep screwing your neighbor in between Sundays, and so on. and so yes, i suppose you could certainly say they have gutted most of the NT except for that one part that serves their purposes.

    i was thinking about this other day. Jesus said nothing about abortion. He said “suffer the little children to come unto me” which makes sense, they’re already living, they are already here – he said nothing about fetuses

  131. 131
    Maus says:

    “Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa rejected a request to include just one female witness, saying “the hearing is not about reproductive rights and contraception”

    Right, it’s about “religious freedom” like racial hatred is about “states’ rights”.

  132. 132
    Citizen Alan says:

    @jl:

    Oops. Sorry, my sarcasm detector must be as clogged as my sinuses today.:)

  133. 133
    Bullsmith says:

    How do American women not get simply enraged at this kind of paternalistic and sadistic treatment? Sure you can have your abortion, but you gotta get violated by a machine first, on your own dime. As for your medical issues, get daddy to pay for them.

    I mean fuck right off.

  134. 134
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Brachiator:

    Scuttlebutt has it that she didn’t do much for him 2008 either, because she’s a die-hard Hillary backer. I looked in Open Secrets and saw some donations, but most of her presidential race money went to HillPac.

    But I guess, “I didn’t support you last time and I’m not going to support you this time, either,” doesn’t have the same ring to it.

  135. 135
    harlana says:

    @Churchlady320: i think the right will do anything to get them some more “brood mares,” i really do. if that means collaborating with extreme Catholics, so be it.

  136. 136
    burnspbesq says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    Clogged sinuses are not an adequate explanation for the crap you’re spouting. Clogged synapses, maybe?

  137. 137
    Linnaeus says:

    @Holden Pattern:

    The institutions and people who stand to benefit most from neofeudalism have been stacking the deck for 40+ years.

  138. 138
    Paul in KY says:

    @biff diggerence: So they can show themselves to be a bunch of tight-assed prudes.

    Great recruitment tactic!

  139. 139
    trollhattan says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Not helpful, not at all. I believe we can all agree–the current hearings being only the most convenient example–taking back the House would be a benefit to the nation and mankind, in general. I guess that’s a reach too far, for some Big Thinkers.

    House Republicans are into other unhelpful things, at present.

    http://www.visaliatimesdelta.c.....dyssey=tab|topnews|text|Frontpage

  140. 140
    kay says:

    @Maus:

    “the hearing is not about reproductive rights and contraception”

    He’s right. The hearing is about deceiving people about the conservative goal of total deregulation, by cloaking it in something other than deregulation.

    The only mystery is why all the religious leaders are helping him with that.

  141. 141
    burnspbesq says:

    @Bullsmith:

    “How do American women not get simply enraged at this kind of paternalistic and sadistic treatment?”

    Perhaps you could explain why you think they don’t. Profanity and violence are not the only ways to express rage.

  142. 142
    jimmiraybob says:

    I shudder to think about how much sin that payment of employee’s wages entail.

    If the Catholic Bishops, the religious right and the GOP were serious about the issue then shouldn’t they also be looking to provide/protect a mechanism for abolishing wages to employees that violate Catholic/Protestant doctrine(s) and teaching. Each facility could set up a board of review – inquisition if you will – to examine employee behavior(s) in and out of the work place and withhold wages accordingly. Seriously, the magnitude and volume of sin that these institutions and their wages and benefits support must be astounding.

  143. 143
    wrb says:

    @trollhattan:

    The Great Disappointment need last no longer.

  144. 144

    I wrote about this yesterday.

    It’s beyond extreme. It’s insulting. It wasn’t all that long ago that women weren’t allowed to get jobs, birth control, or open bank accounts without their husband’s permission. I mean, we’re talking the early 60s here.

    Basically the Republican Party’s agenda is to undo all of the social progress of the 1960s and 1970s. Which is … impossible. It’s not possible. Very sad.

    The good news is that any non-mouth breather watching this has got to be horrified. And let’s start rolling tape and taking names now because you KNOW it’s gonna be like Schiavo: in 4 years they’re all gonna pretend they had nothing to do with it, they weren’t there, it wasn’t their idea, etc. This is an important moment, people. Start documenting the atrocities now.

    I have to think there’s a really big reason this is all happening right on the heels of the whole Komen fiasco. Women have got to wake the fuck up here.

    Yesterday I was stuck at my ob/gyn’s office for 2 1/2 hours and I tried to talk to my doctor about this. Doctors need to speak up. The AMA needs to speak up. It can’t just be us “feminazis” and Susan Sarandon and Gloria Steinem.

    What. the. fuck.

  145. 145
    Roger Moore says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Understand that in the view of the USCCB and the dwindling number of Catholics who care what the USCCB thinks, issues relating to sexuality are the critical moral issues of our time.

    Correction: abortion, contraception, and homosexuality are the critical moral issue of our time. Priests’ sexuality is strictly off limits for discussion, and anyone who wants to talk about it is obviously an evil, anti-Catholic bigot who’s just using the issue to attack the Church.

  146. 146
    Satanicpanic says:

    If he doesn’t back down (I don’t think he will) this whole “controversy” is going to be a big win for Obama. The people in the above photo have a VERY small constituency.

  147. 147
  148. 148
    harlana says:

    @Bullsmith: abortion is as invasive as it gets. to me, the worst thing about this is not the physical procedure, which yeh it hurts but it is nominal compared to an abortion procedure, but the psychological aspect. if you’ve steeled yourself for an abortion procedure, a vaginal ultrasound is a walk in the park, physically. this is all about deterrent, making the girl/woman rethink her decision in the cruelest possible manner by making her look at her fetus in the womb.

    it’s about the fact that that girl, lying on that table, has had to screw up the courage and swallow her fear and guilt, to walk into that clinic in the first place. she is already terrified and racked with guilt and fear and they are going to make her look at a little blob in her womb and so that she might be overcome with guilt and rethink her decision – it is incredibly cruel, sadistic, really, to subject someone to that kind of emotional pain and fear when they are already distraught, frightened and confused to begin with. it is a cynical ploy and transparent manipulation by horrible, despicable, inhumane people.

    but, hey, they gotta get their jollies somehow, i guess.

  149. 149
    Roger Moore says:

    @Southern Beale:

    Basically the Republican Party’s agenda is to undo all of the social progress of the 1960s and 1970s.

    Hey, they succeeded in rolling back the social progress made in the 1860’s and 1870’s for a hundred years, why not give it another shot a century later?

  150. 150
    Yutsano says:

    @burnspbesq: Lysistrata is gonna come back. You know it’s coming.

  151. 151

    @Bullsmith:

    How do American women not get simply enraged at this kind of paternalistic and sadistic treatment?

    Is that a joke? Of course we’re enraged. What makes you think we’re not?

  152. 152
    scav says:

    Money is fungible! Money is fungible! Wages might be used to buy birth control! Much better to house everyone at work and feed them in-house to prevent such atrocities and affronts to their tender LLC moral consciences.

    Too easy. Hells bells, or, looking at the photo of the righteous above, Helles Belles.

  153. 153
    Brachiator says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Scuttlebutt has it that she didn’t do much for him 2008 either, because she’s a die-hard Hillary backer. I looked in Open Secrets and saw some donations, but most of her presidential race money went to HillPac.

    Explains a lot. Still, you have to be a seriously insulated and deluded person to be a supposedly strong Democratic party supporter and not support the goddam party and the president.

    @harlana:

    well, here, the problem is not so much gutting of the bible as it is primarily using the OT, which is filled with violence, retribution, intolerance

    But these are the best parts. On the other hand, the NT is kindy wimpy, and their is no strong consensus as to what are the “actual” words of Jesus, let alone any sense of coherent “teachings.”

    A pretty good book about this is Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why Any way you cut it, it makes these claims about strong religious objections to birth control, or anything else, look weak.

  154. 154

    @Yutsano:

    Lysistrata is gonna come back. You know it’s coming.

    I called for some Lysistrata action almost exactly a year ago. But now that they’re coming for the birth control, that will be a necessity, not a political statement. Sorry. guys.

  155. 155
    Seth says:

    No one ever seems to mention that when Jesus was talking about treating others as you would yourself be treated and so forth, he was really just extending this to the Jewish peoples, and really the Jewish males. He was not some great egalitarian. He was very much still trapped in tribal thinking. Extending his teachings to non-Jews was really a product of his disciples.

  156. 156
    Jibeaux says:

    Someone mentioned Genghis Khan upthread … Funny bit o trivia, he was very good at uniting factions that had always quarreled with each other, and he was a big believer in religious (and non-religion) tolerance. So, yes, an improvement in several ways over the current GOP field.

  157. 157
    shortstop says:

    @kay:

    What pisses me off is it was so clear where this was heading.
    Conservatives deregulate. Always. When they say they want an exemption or a waiver, what they want is to blow a huge hole in any regulatory scheme.

    EXACTLY. This was obvious from the beginning. And even in this thread, almost everybody is getting hung up on the male-female, covered contraceptive-no covered contraceptive aspect, which is huge, of course, but that’s not what this is all about. This is about attacking the PPACA with chisels and wedges because they can’t overturn it. The birth control thing is just a piece of that, and the way they get the base on board for destroying their own overall healthcare.

  158. 158
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    It’s looking more and more like the way out of this mess is to delve into another totally unpredictable mess, ala the Storming of the Bastille.

    People won’t care though, because those four motherfuckers at the top of the page need to have their heads removed from their shoulders.

  159. 159
    Paul in KY says:

    @Persia: Genghis Khan (and his successors until they all became Muslim) was very open & accomodating to various religions. So long as his political hegemony was recognized & the appropriate taxes paid, all subjects were free to embrace the religion of their choice (probably excepting the type of Baal worship that included child sacrifice).

  160. 160
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @kay:

    The only mystery is why all the religious leaders are helping him with that.

    Because these particular religious leaders are 100% behind full and complete deregulation. They understand that if they can’t use the US govt to tyrannize the sex lives of ordinary people, the unregulated and unrestrained corporation is the next best thing they can get as an instrument of power. They actively want to institute neo-serfdom via health insurance, as the most convenient means to hand in their pursuit of absolute power.

    And again, because this can’t be repeated enough, they assume that only they and their theological allies will be allowed to exert pressure via this channel in the new regime. Dissident and minor religions need not apply, because some moral scruples are more equal than others.

  161. 161
    Martin says:

    You guys are so stupid:

    Friess: I get such a chuckle when these things come out. Here we have millions of our fellow Americans unemployed, we have jihadist camps being set up in Latin America, which Rick has been warning about, and people seem to be so preoccupied with sex. I think it says something about our culture. We maybe need a massive therapy session so we can concentrate on what the real issues are. And this contraceptive thing, my gosh, it’s such inexpensive. Back in my day, they used Bayer aspirin for contraceptives. The gals put it between their knees and it wasn’t that costly.

    Aspirin is what, a few cents per pill. Bonus! It’ll reduce the risk of heart attack during the throes of ecstasy.

    Why are you all trying to bankrupt America with these newfangled pills! You’re just shills for big Pharma!

  162. 162
    General Stuck says:

    OT

    Oh noes! Phony soldier alert alert alert.

    WASHINGTON – The nation’s U.S. intelligence officials said Thursday that if Iran is attacked over its alleged nuclear weapons program, it could retaliate by closing the Strait of Hormuz to ships and launch missiles at regional U.S. forces and allies.

    Testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Defense Intelligence Agency chief Lt. Gen. Ronald Burgess said Iran is unlikely to initiate or intentionally provoke a conflict.

    One two three four. What are we fightin’ for.

    Don’t ask me, I don’t give a damn.

    Next stop is eyeran/neocon version of Country Joe.

  163. 163
    scav says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ: Actually, I rather think the religious leaders are agitating just because they want to be recognized as political players with clout (as they wielded in the past), they they’re fighting against being marginalized. Isn’t there some Muslim legislator (female) in the UK off to see to the Pop and arguing for a larger explicit religious role in UK society? Strange alliances are being made all over in the pursuit of holding onto power.

  164. 164
    Maus says:

    @Southern Beale:

    Which is … impossible.

    It’s language like this that allows them to get this close.

    Progress is not a static thing. We backslide every bit that we move forward. Never pretend that society has any “progressive” belief that’s not also protected by law, because they can shove all this shit through, even WITH laws protecting us.

    It’s why I hate Paultards so very much. They don’t see anything wrong with saying that they support Paul’s “freedom” to legislate for the We the People Act which would allow Texas, etc. to recriminalize homosexuality and his belief that Segregation should be legal, allowing Sundown Towns, and that nobody would ever abuse this possibility, and if they do, so what?

  165. 165
    JC says:

    Okay, is any news organisation highlighting this absurdity, that Kay points out?

    And also, what is the best response to:

    ‘Hey, I’m providing health coverage for my employees – why should I have to cover procedures I disagree with?

    There are tons of things that “I” choose about coverage. As an employer, I choose:

    a. How much coverage my employees get.
    b. How much of a deductible employees get.
    c. Certain procedures, that are way way to expensive, I choose not to cover.
    d. Periods of eligibility.
    e. The insurance plans FOR my employee.

    So, don’t tell me that I’m interfering in employees’ freedom of coverage. I’m ALREADY picking and choosing plans, picking and choosing coverage. Why should the state come in and begin to tell me how I choose that coverage, when the state has already given me the responsibility to fund employee health plans, of my choice?

    If the employee doesn’t like the health plans I choose – go work elsewhere.”

    So, what are the best arguments, to COUNTER the above argument?

  166. 166
    beltane says:

    I wish the panel had included all the escorts and call-girls these Congressmen have screwed around with. Their testimony would be highly enlightening. Also, I cannot help but wonder how many children each of the panelists have rape and the ages of these children.

  167. 167
    General Stuck says:

    Okay, how do I fix my FF 10 to get back the non cached version of balloon juice? Hep me!

  168. 168
    Paul in KY says:

    @Brachiator: You were snarking, I deem, but there is a ‘strong consensus’ that the 4 gospels are the books that contain the truest approximations of the ‘words of Jesus’.

    Lots of touchy-feely stuff in the gospels. Problem for evengelicals is that they can’t explicitly disavow the words of Jesus. Thus, a way to drive them batty is to quote all the Jesus stuff incessently. It is basically ‘Democratic’ (certainly anti-modern Republican) and they know whose quotes they are & because it is Jesus, they just have to sit there & take it!

  169. 169
    Tom Levenson says:

    @Brachiator: That’s PUMA — in fact Tompkins Buell is a leader of the PUMA pack. No real surprise that she’s incoherent in her reasons for dissing Obama; she’s loathed him for the last four years as a usurper.

    What’s odd is the SF Comical’s decision to put this up as a Dems in Disarray story. Or perhaps not so odd, considering the source.

  170. 170
    Paul in KY says:

    @Martin: He’s saying they kept their legs shut & didn’t engage in icky pre-marital sex.

    I assume you know that, though.

  171. 171
    JC says:

    Perhaps though, I shouldn’t argue on the Rethugs behalf, since they are arguing cynically anyway. Perhaps the thing to do is to keep pounding the drum about the effects – no contraception, the way people are doing.

    And then highlight other things – I wonder if we could get a liberal Jesuit, to go to a press conference, and say something like, “My religious belifes tell me I should not believe in blood transfusions, and as such, I don’t think I should support any health plans for employees that cover blood transfusions”.

    Are there other examples of this, that we can create a dog and pony show around, to highlight the absurdity? Would it be worth it?

  172. 172
    Bruce S says:

    Bring this shit on!

  173. 173
    Martin says:

    @Paul in KY: But it’s so inexpensive! Why don’t these doctors just prescribe that!

  174. 174
    WaterGirl says:

    @General Stuck: Have you tried clicking on the rotating tag line at the top of the page?

  175. 175
    Ed Drone says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    People won’t care though, because those four motherfuckers at the top of the page need to have their heads removed from their shoulders.

    What would that change, intellectually?

    Ed

  176. 176
    Paul in KY says:

    @Martin: Oh, I see. Good point. Much cheaper than the birth control pills. When used as Mr. Freiss intended, just as reliable.

  177. 177
    Democratic Nihilist, Keeper Of Party Purity says:

    @JC: “C” is not valid, at least here in California. The insurance carrier may elect not to cover certain procedures. I, as the employer, don’t get to make that decision.

    As per HIPPA, I am not allowed to know what procedures my employees may be getting.

  178. 178
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @JC:

    So, what are the best arguments, to COUNTER the above argument?

    Company-provided health insurance is an indirect form of wages. It is part of the employee’s compensation package paid for labor, just the same as cash money. We accept that the employer has the right to bargain with the employee regarding how much in cash wages will be paid for a given job, but not what the employee can spend that money on in their free time. Once the wage has been paid, it is no longer the employer’s money. The employer has neither the right to decide what the employee spends that money on, nor the moral, ethical or legal responsibility for any bad consequences of those freely made choices.

    Health insurance is the same. The employer should be able to decide how much to offer, but not what the employee does with it once that compensation has changed hands.

    The godbotherers who are claiming that they are morally troubled by what their employees do with company provided health insurance should have to explain why they are not equally bothered by what those same employees spend their cash wages on.

  179. 179
    makewi says:

    …debating access to birth control..

    I think you must have a different dictionary then me. The debate isn’t over access, but it does sound better to make that claim. More ominous.

  180. 180
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    Got that? This is a deregulatory push cloaked in a religious objection.

    Yep. Death by a thousand cuts, and I think the spelling is right on that last word.

  181. 181
    Paul in KY says:

    @Ed Drone: There would be a dearth of prigs wanting to testify on Issa’s dog & pony show.

  182. 182
    Brachiator says:

    @Tom Levenson:

    That’s PUMA —in fact Tompkins Buell is a leader of the PUMA pack. No real surprise that she’s incoherent in her reasons for dissing Obama; she’s loathed him for the last four years as a usurper.

    Ah. This explains a lot.

    What’s odd is the SF Comical’s decision to put this up as a Dems in Disarray story. Or perhaps not so odd, considering the source

    Yeah. Obama’s California fundraising trip has been very successful, so there does appear to be a bit of political disinformation at play here.

    Still, it’s unfortunate if the PUMA remnants are going to continue to be motivated by their pointless, and petty disappointments. What are they wating for, a “Hillary has left the building” announcement?

  183. 183
    General Stuck says:

    @WaterGirl:

    Yup, tried about every different access button. Usually that works, but not this time, unless I’m forgetting something. I will try again with that. thanks.

  184. 184
    WaterGirl says:

    Great 3-minute videos of Nancy Smash and the law student Issa refused to allow to testify at the hearing today at Steve Benen’s new place.

    I got goose bumps listening to the female law student, especially her final sentence.

  185. 185
    Culture of Truth says:

    This is an important moment, people. Start documenting the atrocities now.

    Also, get the Presidential candidates on the record on this issue. Any possibles for 2016 and beyond, as well as 2012.

  186. 186
    Comrade Mary says:

    @General Stuck: It’s not you, it’s the server. Hosting Matters is looking at a fix.

    The BJ address starting with “www” gives the current version, but if you leave it off, you get the cached version (until this gets fixed). The tagline in the header uses “www”, and you may want to reset any bookmarks to use “www”.

    If you start typing in “bal” in the FF address bar and it keeps auto-completing to the wrong version of the address, hover over the wrong version and Shift-Delete to remove it from your History and that recently visited list. Now re-enter the full URL and hit Enter. When auto-complete kicks in for the next time you type “bal”, it will use the full, correct, non-buggy URL.

  187. 187
    wrb says:

    @Paul in KY:

    Not only is it cheap, happiness is maximized.

    The little darlin’ knows she’s safe so long as she concentrates on that aspirin, so she don’t kick up a fuss when a feller bends her over.

  188. 188
    General Stuck says:

    @Comrade Mary:

    Well, I just cleared all my cookies, something I hate to do for the passwords saved, and it worked. Got the full platform back. odd

  189. 189
    JC says:

    @Democratic Nihilist, Keeper Of Party Purity:

    As per HIPPA, I am not allowed to know what procedures my employees may be getting

    Ah! So, we do have an argument from privacy, correct? It’s between the individual and the person.

    but, the employer, when shopping around, can choose what is, and isn’t covered, so even if they don’t know about the individual’s health information – they can still choose in broad strokes, what is covered, right?

  190. 190
    kay says:

    @JC:

    So, don’t tell me that I’m interfering in employees’ freedom of coverage. I’m ALREADY picking and choosing plans, picking and choosing coverage. Why should the state come in and begin to tell me how I choose that coverage, when the state has already given me the responsibility to fund employee health plans, of my choice?
    If the employee doesn’t like the health plans I choose – go work elsewhere.”
    So, what are the best arguments, to COUNTER the above argument?

    The best argument to counter that is the PPACA, “Obamacare”.

    The large employer provision was put in there for a reason.

    If a large employer chooses not to provide “essential coverage” for their employees, those employees can then apply for a federal subsidy and purchase their own insurance on the state exchanges.
    But those same large employers are going to have to PAY FOR THAT, instead of shifting the cost of adequate coverage to the rest of the country.
    So, they’ll have to reimburse the federal government 2,000 for each employee they fail to insure adequately.
    This really isn’t a humanitarian gesture on the part of Obama. It’s about NOT allowing large employers to shift the cost of their employee health care to the rest of us.
    They don’t have to provide adequate insurance. They just have to reimburse the federal government IF THEY DON’T.
    This exception is about allowing them to evade the whole large employer section of the health care law. That can’t happen. We’ll be back at square one.
    The health care law regulates large employers. If those employers won’t provide adequate coverage, the health care law allows their employees to GO GET adequate coverage, with a federal subsidy. Republicans are trying to gut that entire regulatory mechanism.

  191. 191
    Comrade Mary says:

    @General Stuck: If it still isn’t working, look at the address when you get the outdated version. If the www is missing, change to the www version.

    If it’s displaying www and is still showing the outdated version, you have a local caching problem. What happens when you hit Shift-Refresh, or Shift-F5?

  192. 192
    Paul in KY says:

    @wrb: Man you were thinking outside the box there, or you were thinking about alternate ways to the box ;-)

  193. 193
    Bokonon says:

    Essentially … this is an effort to make the south’s 1960’s policy of “massive resistance” made all okeydokee and legal.

    But the genius of the GOP’s plan is that it is done at an individual level rather than a state level.

    And it is easier to deal with official actions and noncompliance by a state government than a thousand (or a million) individual persons who are refusing to comply. As a matter of personal religious belief and self-expression.

    And the result will be total anarchy – by design. Individuals could selectively disregard and disobey federal health care laws that they personally disagree with. And since the health care system still depends on using employer-provided healthcare benefits and private insurance companies … decisions by private entities and business owners could be turned into choke points, and ways of nullifying federal coverage mandates.

    Very cute.

    That sort of selective conscience-based nullification to federal law will work for the right wing until people start refusing to pay taxes based on their personal moral opposition to the military, foreign wars, and so on. If I remember, the GOP wasn’t so keen on that when people on the left tried that during the Vietnam era. But I guess some conscience-based views are more equal than others.

  194. 194
    Comrade Mary says:

    @General Stuck: ARGHH! FF 10 lets you clear individual cookies (Tools | Options | Privacy, look for the blue link in the middle of the window). Did you clear your cache, too?

  195. 195
    JC says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ: I’m fine with that argument – how can we make it – as Martin was saying awhile ago – to be about a principle, and fit on a bumber sticker? Just as a matter of slogan?

    “Employers can’t tell me how I can spend my money. That takes away my individual liberty?”

  196. 196
    Satanicpanic says:

    @Martin: I don’t get what this means:

    Back in my day, they used Bayer aspirin for contraceptives. The gals put it between their knees and it wasn’t that costly.

    Can someone explain what he is talking about?

  197. 197
    General Stuck says:

    @Comrade Mary:

    I cleared the cache first, and tried it, didn’t work

    then cleared cookies and it worked. so twas a cookie problem, apparently.

  198. 198
    Lee says:

    So if all these good catholics are also opposed to the death penalty, shouldn’t they be withholding their tax money?

  199. 199
    Comrade Mary says:

    @Satanicpanic: “Don’t even THINK of spreading your legs and fucking, you dirty little whore.”

  200. 200
    kay says:

    @JC:

    It’s easy to lose track of the context here, and media and conservatives help a lot with that, with this constant bullshit and misdirection on side issues, but this is about the health care law, and the health care law is complex legislation that fits together.

    If they gut the large employer provisions, and that’s what they’re doing with this ridiculously broad waiver, the whole thing falls apart.

  201. 201
    JC says:

    @kay:

    Great explanation – so employees CAN GO GET coverage, if their employees don’t want to cover them?

    Can I, for example, do this now? Or is this what goes into effect in 2014?

  202. 202
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Martin:
    “aspirin” is now a generic word in the US and some other countries for painkillers based on acetylsalicylic acid. But Foster Friess is referring to “Bayer Aspirin” — the name for the original product, still trademarked in most of the world by Bayer AG of Germany. Why is he endorsing a foreign company’s product?

  203. 203
    Lee says:

    @Satanicpanic: It is an old joke (I think it was joke). That the best birth control is an aspirin (if placed between the knees). With the aspirin help in placed, the woman would not be able to open her knees/legs.

    If it wasn’t a joke, it was for people with a boring and unimaginative sex life :)

  204. 204
    JC says:

    @kay:

    I see – so in a sense, the new regulations that cover everyone GIVE the freedom to the individual, and also the freedom to the employer to not be involved, if they don’t want.

    And yet the Rethugs are claiming it’s about freedom, and lying, when it is really about gutting coverage, and in the end, controlling the individual.

  205. 205
    Paul in KY says:

    @Satanicpanic: I thought I explained it quite well in #170. Do you have me pied ;-)

  206. 206
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Satanicpanic:

    Can someone explain what he is talking about?

    I don’t speak Wingnut, so this is only a wild guess, but it may be a reference to the old line: “Not tonight dear, I have a headache”.

  207. 207
    kay says:

    @JC:

    No, you can’t do it now, because you’d be purchasing it on a state exchange and you’d be using a federal subsidy that isn’t available yet to purchase it, but yeah, that’s the point.

    Too, and this is important, it’s LARGE employers, 50 or more employees, the small business provisions are much different.

  208. 208
    Paul in KY says:

    @Amir Khalid: Because his last name is ‘Friess’. Lost the ‘Von’ & the monocle when they showed up here in 1946 or thereabouts.

  209. 209
    Satanicpanic says:

    @Comrade Mary: Well, I got that much out of it, I’m just trying to understand the mechanics of his joke (or whatever you want to call it). Maybe it’s a reference I don’t get, like explaining rotary phones to a 10 year old. Is he saying that they could use any pill because they weren’t having sex in the first place? Sometimes I have trouble deciphering these people.

  210. 210
    bcinaz says:

    Dept of Unintended Consequences:

    GOP is officially making the case FOR Single Payer Medicare For All and against employers delivering health insurance to their employees.

    What better way to expose the fact the whoever you are you are at the mercy of someone who does not have your best interests at heart, only their own.

    In GOPland actual human beings are disposable pieces of the Macro-economy. If there is something wrong with you, then too bad, you should have picked better parents to get your DNA from.

  211. 211
    Nemesis says:

    So now the gop end game is in view.

    Repeal all aspects of ObamaCare.

    Appears this gop plan goes well beyond just repealing the ACA.

    This is the insurance companies wet dream. An open market for all service and guess who sets the terms and the prices.

    I say, lets do it. Let this happen. Let the gop crow about winning. Let Americans lose HC coverage. See how fast the citizens recall the whole lot of them. Baggers scream about overturning ObamaCare. Go for it. See how you like it, idiots.

  212. 212
    Democratic Nihilist, Keeper Of Party Purity says:

    but, the employer, when shopping around, can choose what is, and isn’t covered, so even if they don’t know about the individual’s health information – they can still choose in broad strokes, what is covered, right?

    @JC: In theory. Every carrier I’ve ever worked with has limitations on coverage only for experimental drugs, and usually a lifetime cap on payouts (somewhere in the millions of dollars).

    Now, the way around this would be to start an insurance company that explicitly doesn’t cover contraception and so forth. However, good luck getting anyone to invest in it, because pregnancy is always a load more expensive than contraception. Cuts the profit margin, you see. Also, frankly, as an employer pregnant employees are a pain in the ass, with the mandated leave and all that stuff, and honestly I’d far rather pay for contraception at 100 times the price it now is than deal with carrying someone on my insurance and benefits for months who can’t be in the office doing their job.

    This is just stupid from every perspective save for those who want to take the nation back to the days of serfs and lords.

  213. 213
    tjmn says:

    @Satanicpanic:

    Pre-medication before illegal abortion.

  214. 214
    Comrade Mary says:

    @Satanicpanic: I think it’s a combo of the (illusory) mechanical problem that knees together would cause and the down home, not-quite-folk-remedy Bayer aspirin. ASA is a noble and wholesome medicine that anyone, even wee children, can take without sin.

  215. 215
    twiffer says:

    so, basically, “religious freedom” now means that i must subscribe the the religion of my employer? is that what they are trying to say with this panel?

  216. 216
    Brachiator says:

    @Paul in KY:

    You were snarking, I deem, but there is a ‘strong consensus’ that the 4 gospels are the books that contain the truest approximations of the ‘words of Jesus’.

    Not quite. The 4 gospels contain the bulk of the words attributed to Jesus. Whether they are the truest approximations of anything is another matter altogether. I don’t think much has changed from a scholarly standpoint since my old religious studies days. And I remember this little analysis from way back in 1991:

    Seminar Rules Out 80% of Words Attributed to Jesus: Provocative meeting of biblical scholars ends six years of voting on authenticity in the Gospels.
    __
    The provocative Jesus Seminar on Sunday concluded six years of voting on what the Jesus of history most likely said, ruling out about 80% of words attributed to him in the Gospels and emerging with the picture of a prophet-sage who told parables and made pithy comments.
    __
    Virtually all of Jesus’ words in the Gospel of John were voted down by scholars meeting in Sonoma, including a pulpit favorite, 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son. . . .”
    __
    Formed in part to counteract literalist views of the Bible, the Jesus Seminar, a 200-member group of mainline biblical scholars from all over the country, has stirred controversy since its first meetings in 1985. “Televangelists on talk shows say it’s the work of the devil,” said founder Robert Funk, a New Testament scholar who has published widely in Gospel studies.

    Subsequent scholarship may be less pugnacious about the issue, but the idea that the gospels present a unified narrative is a quaint myth.

    Lots of touchy-feely stuff in the gospels.

    A lot of Balloon Juicers, especially those who are atheists, love to paint a picture of Jesus as the First Hippy, but this is more JC Superstar with a hint of Siddhartha than anything historically or theologically valid.

  217. 217
    Satanicpanic says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ: I thought that too, but then I thought, wait, if you take the Bayer, then you won’t have that excuse anymore.

    I know that trying to understand these people is a fool’s errand, but sometimes I can’t help myself.

  218. 218
    wrb says:

    @Satanicpanic:

    No, the idea is that with an aspirin clamped between a woman’s knees she can’t spread her legs and therefore can’t have sex and therefore can’t get pregnant.

  219. 219
    Satanicpanic says:

    @Lee: AH! I knew it I had heard something like this somewhere. Thanks!

  220. 220
    Maus says:

    @kay:

    He’s right. The hearing is about deceiving people about the conservative goal of total deregulation, by cloaking it in something other than deregulation.

    Yeah, this too.

    The only mystery is why all the religious leaders are helping him with that.

    Because they’re hateful, authoritarian opportunists and get what they want?

  221. 221
    Culture of Truth says:

    It is indeed hard to imagine a rational insurer or employer interested in profits that provdied comprehensive care, including for maternity and all dependents but did not cover birth control or abortion.

  222. 222
    Satanicpanic says:

    @Paul in KY:

    Do you have me pied ;-)

    Haha, no, I was just trying to remember the reference. Lee and wrb explained it.

  223. 223
    Paul in KY says:

    @Brachiator: It is certainly ‘touchy-feely’ compared to the OT.

    Also, I was echoing what I was taught years ago back in Methodistland. Whether or not Jesus really did say it, they think he said it & if the quote is demonstratably ‘anti modern Republican agenda’, I say use it with glee.

    That was some interesting info about the conferance. Thank you for sharing it.

  224. 224
    Paul in KY says:

    @Satanicpanic: Well, I’m glad you still have unfettered access to my musings :-)

  225. 225
    Maus says:

    @Culture of Truth: What have they ever cared about preventative care?

  226. 226
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @twiffer:

    so, basically, “religious freedom” now means that i must subscribe the the religion of my employer? is that what they are trying to say with this panel?

    That’s my take, with the proviso that minor and dissident religions need not apply, only the big boys get to play this game.

    And of course the wingnuts will just say, “hey, if you don’t agree with the bosses religion, why did you hire on with that company in the first place”. Which ignores that (A) you shouldn’t have to poke around in your bosses private business as part of the interview process, and (B) what if something changes? The old boss retires and/or is fired and is replaced by a religious nut. The boss remains the same but goes thru a personal crisis and converts to a new religion. The company is merged with another and the management changes. Etc. Etc. These things are totally unpredictable and in a decent world should not result in a sudden diktat from on high that starting next Tuesday everybody needs to get off their meds, stat.

  227. 227
    scav says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ: Well, they do still have to make the case that the personal religious beliefs of pharmacists et al. about birth control (etc) trump the companies sacred belief that they’re in the business of selling as many drugs as possible. I’ve no doubt they can manage it, logical consistency isn’t their specialist subject.

  228. 228
    Bruce S says:

    Looks like the Dems are doing pretty good push-back against this insane crap…

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....81730.html

  229. 229
    scav says:

    FYWP for a Repub/Dominionist bias. I can commit all the sins against logic and decorum in the calendar but get hung up in moderation for daring to bring in specia1ists (or socia1ism). No matter.

  230. 230
    Maus says:

    @scav: That is bizarre. Probably one of BoB or some another noisy troll’s catchphrases.

  231. 231
    Heliopause says:

    Ladies and Gents, here’s the all-male panel that are debating access to birth control in Congress today:

    The right of course casts this not as a discussion about birth control but religious freedom. We could stipulate this and still be left with the remarkable image of only men being qualified to discuss religious freedom.

  232. 232
    gwangung says:

    And of course the wingnuts will just say, “hey, if you don’t agree with the bosses religion, why did you hire on with that company in the first place”.

    Well, of course, the wingnuts are forcing the employer to declare their religion.

    If you’re southern baptist or an approved Christianity, no problem. But if not….

  233. 233
    bjacques says:

    I like this! As a Pope in the Church of the SubGenius, I will happily include in my employees’ group plan free operations to open their Third Nostrils.

  234. 234
    kay says:

    @JC:

    The “portability” aspect of the PPACA is valuable, I think. The idea is you can change jobs, from one large employer to another, or work for yourself, or work for a small business, and you’re guaranteed the same “adequate” coverage as everyone else.
    An employer can offer you MORE, of course, but he can’t offer you LESS.
    I think a lot of people would do….different things if they weren’t worried about health insurance.

  235. 235

    So if, as an employer, I feel that bringing children with Down’s syndrome into the world is immoral then I can deny coverage for delivery services and future care for such children?

  236. 236
    Sebastian Dangerfield says:

    @Rafer Janders: And the end of health insurance as we know it.

  237. 237
    Brachiator says:

    @kay:

    I think a lot of people would do….different things if they weren’t worried about health insurance.

    Absolutely. Your comments on the portability of health benefits is spot on, and why this actually could be considered economic stimulus.

    And even considering the “unfairness” of a mandate. Say that Mae wants to leave her job working for someone else and start her own company. Not having to worry about health insurance might actually make the jump easier. Otherwise, she might say, “can’t do it, afraid to lose my health insurance.”

  238. 238
    Pappy G says:

    Wait, Torquemada wasn’t available?

  239. 239
    kay says:

    @John – A Motley Moose:

    So if, as an employer, I feel that bringing children with Down’s syndrome into the world is immoral then I can deny coverage for delivery services and future care for such children?

    It’s an AMAZINGLY bad idea, even for conservatives. Because if you had a Down’s child, you could not take that job. And health care for disabled kids really is expensive, so if there were a “good” employer who agreed to cover your kid, and you took that job instead, you’d in effect be punishing the “good” employers, because they’d end up with all the exposure to high health insurance costs.

    AMAZINGLY bad idea. It rewards those employers who deny coverage, and sanctions those who don’t.

    This is one for the history books in bad ideas, it really is. I think we should all remember that this idea came about because of churches + Republicans, setting public policy.

    Not a good mix, apparently.

  240. 240
    MCA1 says:

    The Republican Party over the last four years has reminded me of a game a friend of mine taught me when we were about 10. He called it, simply, “the shit game.” You start off with one player quietly whispering the word, and each player in turn must say it louder than the previous one. The player with the balls to say it last and louder than anyone else, wins. Rick Santorum’s had a recent turn, and today it was Darrel Issa’s turn. They’re playing for a crowd of other 10-year-olds too scared to actually say that word, but laughing hysterically with each louder iteration, as the adults start to take notice and shoot unapproving glances. Mitt Romney, having some vestigial loyalty to parental authority, a great concern about how he looks to others, and afraid of getting in big trouble and grounded when he gets home, cannot hang with these guys. He stayed in there for awhile, but never sounded all that into it, and as soon as the room started paying attention he was out. Hence, most of the 10-year-old audience thinks he’s a pussy. Most of the rest of the country is just waiting for the game to be over and those unsupervised little shits to leave the pool or someone to kick them out, but they don’t want to be the ones to go tell them to shut up and stop behaving like idiots.

    Either that or they’re “Lord of The Flies.” I can’t decide.

  241. 241
    kay says:

    @Brachiator:

    My husband and I joke that when we talk to people who are self-employed (contractors, painters, landscapers) we can play a game called “find the family health insurance”.

    Behind every mavericky free spirit just duking it out alone in the free market is a teacher, or a nurse, or a government employee providing health insurance for the family :)

    Always. The one job makes the other job possible.

  242. 242
    Yutsano says:

    @Comrade Mary:

    ASA is a noble and wholesome medicine that anyone, even wee children, can take without sin.

    Not quite.

  243. 243
    kay says:

    @John – A Motley Moose:

    It would be a kind of race to the bottom on health insurance, because one employer would deny certain benefits, and then we’d have a lower bottom, and the more generous employer would then cut, and on and on and on. Republicans and churches don’t have a national health insurance scheme to replace Obamacare, so there we’d be.

    It’s actually worse than repealing Obamacare. They’re repealing the current system, which sucks and doesn’t work, and replacing it with, I don’t know, religion? Prayer?

    I think it’s fair to ask if Republicans and churches are trying to kill us all :)

  244. 244
    Elizabelle says:

    @kay:

    Kay: I noticed that in Southern California, with a few tech-related entrepreneurs.

    Always, the (wife) with a job in government or something stable with benefits.

    Always.

    Can you imagine the creativity unleashed once more Americans are unshackled from their cubicles or nursing stations? (If they want to stay, fine. But health insurance for all …)

  245. 245
    Brachiator says:

    @kay:

    Behind every mavericky free spirit just duking it out alone in the free market is a teacher, or a nurse, or a government employee providing health insurance for the family :)

    Also applies to many artists, musicians and writers.

  246. 246
    kay says:

    @Brachiator:

    It applies to me. I have health insurance through my husband (one of his employers).

    We’ve done it the other way, too. He had health insurance through me (my employer) for a long time.

    Apparently, the difference between me and a Tea Partier is, I know that.

  247. 247
    kay says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Always, the (wife) with a job in government or something stable with benefits.

    The saddest situation I run into is the stay at home mom who finds herself getting divorced and realizes her health insurance ends when the marriage ends.

    You know, if you’re out of the workforce for 25 years, so unlikely to get a job let alone a job that offers health insurance, and try to buy health insurance as a middle aged woman you are in serious trouble. No one can help that person. We offer them nothing in this country. Nothing. “Wait 12 years for Medicare!”

    So much for family values conservatives, huh? She should have planned, and had a trust fund.

    So it’s not all mavericks that may need a guarantee and portability.

  248. 248
    TenguPhule says:

    Essentially … this is an effort to make the south’s 1960’s policy of “massive resistance” made all okeydokee and legal.

    And of course the obvious solution is to have some very repugnant examples flayed alive and their heads mounted on pikes on the public square to enforce a reign of fear on the chickenhearted conservative clowns.

  249. 249
    TenguPhule says:

    I think it’s fair to ask if Republicans and churches are trying to kill us all :)

    You assume this is still in question.

    One will stand, one will fall.
    Let’s make it them.

  250. 250
    Danny says:

    Man, I was reading the comments on this RedState post and the wingnuts are so fucking out of touch on the contraception issue.. Jerks.

  251. 251
    Maus says:

    @kay:

    It’s an AMAZINGLY bad idea, even for conservatives.

    Every bad idea’s worth it if they can make it tougher for women to get abortions. Every single fucking idea they can throw out there.

  252. 252

    […] But, let’s be totally honest here. The Republicans are doing this because they HATE the idea of health care. They hate the fact that the ACA is a fact. And they will hook onto any option to attempt to defeat it after losing fair and square at the ballot box. This is a deregulatory push cloaked in a religious objection. President Obama and Democrats are tryi… […]

  253. 253
    Gregory says:

    @Martin:

    In other words, approximately 83% of the electorate (demographically speaking).

    I’d say more like 73%.

  254. 254
    RedKitten says:

    in the long run all they are doing is ENSURING that this country will go to a government run SINGLE PAYER system, and sooner rather than later… they don’t realize this now, but that’s what they’re doing.

    I agree. I think that the end result of this is that people are going to start looking at universal healthcare with slightly more open minds.

  255. 255
    Holden Pattern says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    The godbotherers who are claiming that they are morally troubled by what their employees do with company provided health insurance should have to explain why they are not equally bothered by what those same employees spend their cash wages on.

    They are equally bothered. And I guarantee that the godbotherers who back the Republican Party are fine with right-to-work and other rules that basically drive all us toward day labor. Sure, the bishops talk a good game about economic justice BUT THEY NEVER FUCKING GO TO THE MAT FOR IT OR THREATEN TO WITHHOLD COMMUNION FROM FASCISTS LIKE SANTORUM (or Mussolini, or Franco).

    @Bokonon:

    That sort of selective conscience-based nullification to federal law will work for the right wing until people start refusing to pay taxes based on their personal moral opposition to the military, foreign wars, and so on. If I remember, the GOP wasn’t so keen on that when people on the left tried that during the Vietnam era. But I guess some conscience-based views are more equal than others.

    Anyone who thinks that people will be able to exercise this objection for traditionally leftists concerns, raise your hand. It is a sad fact, not snark, that in the US some conscience exceptions are much more equal than others.

  256. 256
    WereBear says:

    They never looked more like the Confederate Party than they do now.

    Your employer gets to decide what kind of health care you should have. Your employer makes the judgement call on what is moral. Your employer doesn’t have any obligations regarding safety or respect.

    It’s like they think they own you.

  257. 257
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Guster: Yes, it’s completely disheartening to see a co-religionist on that @#%$! panel. I did some googling, he’s an orthodox rabbi, big surprise.

    http://blogs.forward.com/sisterhood-blog/
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meir_Soloveichik

  258. 258

    @Tom Levenson: It was on the front page of the paper, no less. They wanted to make damn sure people saw it.

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  1. […] But, let’s be totally honest here. The Republicans are doing this because they HATE the idea of health care. They hate the fact that the ACA is a fact. And they will hook onto any option to attempt to defeat it after losing fair and square at the ballot box. This is a deregulatory push cloaked in a religious objection. President Obama and Democrats are tryi… […]

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