Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston

~~~

~~~

Healthcare vs

Healthcare vs
Torture

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Ann Romney: Angry White Woman?

Imagine if Michelle Obama had said anything remotely similar to this:

"[It's] getting harder and harder to be cheerful…. I am so mad at the press [that] I could just strangle them! And, you know, I think I’ve decided there are going to be some people invited on the bus and some people just aren’t going to be invited on the bus."

"I am so mad...I could just strangle them!"


So, where are the rightwingers on this?  Why haven't they spilled gallons of ink and taken up miles of bandwidth in analyzing this ANGRY WHITE WOMAN's outburst--this angry white woman who could possibly occupy the White House?

I challenge anyone reading this to find a quote by Michelle Obama saying, in a fit of rage, that she "could just strangle them!"

You won't, and you won't hear any rightwing blogger bothering about Mrs. Romney's threatening and angry remarks because that type of outburst, to them, is applicable only to their "scarey black person narrative.

When a white woman/man engages in that sort of rhetoric, it's merely righteous anger and not threatening anyone.

We all know what is behind this sort of racial bias, and we all understand why the bigots in the GOP--especially bigoted bloggers engage in it.

Blogger, Angry Black Woman, explains:

As Mother Jones’s Adam Serwer rightly pointed out on Twitter today: Imagine what would happen if Michelle Obama had said anything even remotely similar, adding:
You know, for such an angry black woman, I’m pretty sure I’ve never heard Michelle Obama talk about strangling anyone.
But she does like to encourage kids to exercise, and we all know that’s straight-up Kenyan Communism, mirite?!!1!?

Exactly.

Kathleen Parker writing for the WaPo:

"...Fox News' Sean Hannity asked his show's panel if they knew any "prominent" person who used those words ["angry black woman"]. The panelists, who clearly didn't want to say anything critical of the first lady, couldn't produce a name. Indeed, it may be that this trope has evolved from the swamp of the blogosphere, where anonymous trolls say despicable things from the cowardly comfort of their subterranean wormholes. Comment threads on right-wing blogs frequently feature hateful, racist remarks about the first lady. They don't deserve a pica of my column space, but suffice to say, they need no translation.

Meanwhile, what isn't said explicitly by prominent people is often implied. Attempting to prod his guests into saying something negative about Mrs. Obama, Hannity pulled out the old clip of Michelle saying that she was proud of her country for the first time when her husband was running for the Democratic Party's nomination. This has been played and replayed thousands of times and presented as evidence that Mrs.Obama doesn't really love her country, that she wasn't proud of it until her husband was running for president.

So what.

These perhaps were not the best words for a future first lady, but I have no trouble understanding how she felt in that moment. It may be easy for fortunate whites to say they've always been proud of America, though they're probably lying. It is less easy for someone whose ancestors were slaves, and whose own parents remember when blacks couldn't vote and were lynched for trying in some parts of the country. Given that history, one can forgive a few ill-chosen words uttered in an emotional moment.

But no. Michelle Obama has been paying for her remarks ever since. If she isn't smiling at the camera or looking riveted by every instant of her public life, she's an angry woman.

Despite the pain these critiques cause Obama and other African-American women who identify with her, I do believe that these feelings are not particularly widespread. Most see the first lady as she is: a beautiful, gracious, intelligent, elegant, devoted wife and mother of whom we can be proud.

Those who insult her insult us all and, yes, we should be angry."

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Romney vs. Santorum. Tonight in Michigan!




Will Michiganders go for the Republican Savonarola who scathingly called Mr. Obama a "snob" for wanting higher education and opportunities for all Americans? 

"Talking Points Memo, a liberal news site, on Saturday reported that Santorum -- in his unsuccessful re-election campaign to the Senate in 2006 -- seemed to endorse higher education policies remarkably similar to those of President Obama today. The site found a copy of Santorum's campaign website from that year, which said: "In addition to Rick's support of ensuring that primary and secondary schools in Pennsylvania are equipped for success, he is equally committed to ensuring [that] every Pennsylvanian has access to higher education. Rick Santorum has supported legislative solutions that provide loans, grants, and tax incentives to make higher education more accessible and affordable."

Not only did the website include Santorum endorsing higher education for all (Pennsylvanians), but it even quoted him as supporting federal spending for that purpose: "Rick Santorum supports increased funding for Pell Grants, and since 2001 funding for the Pell Grant program has increased by 47 percent. Pennsylvania students have benefited tremendously from Pell Grants; providing a college education for our state's youth who otherwise might not be able to afford one."  SOURCE


The guy who sees Satan in every corner and under every bed? 


"Rick Santorum tells us that Satan is attacking the United States. He described a destruction of the church and values in the US and blamed rock concerts for a corruption of our culture. The comments came during an address at Florida’s Ave Maria University. The former Pennsylvania Senator said that Satan is destroying ‘all of us’ because ‘if you were Satan, who would you attack?’ According to Drudge:
This is a spiritual war. And the Father of Lies has his sights on what you would think the Father of Lies would have his sights on: a good, decent, powerful, influential country - the United States of America. If you were Satan, who would you attack in this day and age? He attacks all of us and he attacks all of our institutions."  SOURCE

The guy who believes contraception is "wrong?" 

One of the things I will talk about, that no president has talked about before, is I think the dangers of contraception in this country. Many of the Christian faith have said, well, that’s OK; contraception is OK. It’s not OK. It’s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be. SOURCE

And who said President Kennedy's speech on church and state separation made him "throw up?"



h/t to Infidel753 for photo


Or will they go for Rmoney, the guy whose wife drives two Cadillacs and who strapped the family dog onto the roof of the family car and drove to Canada? 



h/t Infidel753 for photo

The guy whose health care reform in Massachusetts had the same mandate for contraception for religious businesses and institutions as the ACA, but attacked Mr. Obama on it anyway? 

I don't think we've seen in the history of this country the kind of attack on religious conscience, religious freedom, religious tolerance that we've seen under Barack Obama.”  --M.Romney

"Under Romneycare, the state’s Commonwealth Care — which offers subsidized, low or no-cost insurance program for low-income residents without access to employer-sponsored health insurance — provides primary and preventive care that includes “family planning services” and prescription contraceptives. Massachusetts employers that are not “a church or qualified church-controlled organization” must also cover hormone replacement therapy and all FDA-approved contraceptive methods.

In 2005, Romney also “signed a bill that could expand the number of people who get family-planning services, including the morning-after pill.” Romney even pressured the state Department of Health and Human Services to issue regulations that required Catholic hospitals to issue the morning after pill to rape victims, despite initially vetoing the bill and claiming that the pill constituted an “abortifacient.” “My personal view in my heart of hearts is that people who are subject to rape should have the option of having emergency contraceptives or emergency contraceptive information,” he told the Boston Herald at the time."


The guy who was going to out-Kennedy Ted Kennedy on gay rights when he was running for Massachusetts senator, but who now would block equal rights for all Americans?


Which will it be, Michigan?  Savonarola or The Flip-Flopper?

[thanks to Infidel753]

Sunday, February 26, 2012

RICK SANTORUM WANTS TO THROW UP ON FOUNDING FATHERS

UPDATE BELOW

Rick Santorum shot off his mouth again and again he was using blanks.  In speaking about the separation of church and state on "This Week" with moderator, George Stephanopoulos, Santorum managed to make a fool of himself with this idiotic statement:

"I don't believe in an America where the separation of church and state are absolute," he told 'This Week' host George Stephanopoulos. "The idea that the church can have no influence or no involvement in the operation of the state is absolutely antithetical to the objectives and vision of our country...to say that people of faith have no role in the public square? You bet that makes me want to throw up."

A couple of things:  First, our Constitution, which people like Santorum and the crazies in the Tea Party so revere, prohibits religious organizations from having any influence or involvement in the promulgation of laws and the operation of the state. 

Second, Little Ricky is either a fool or has no memory function, since The Reverend Pat Robertson and The Reverend Jesse Jackson both ran for president, and clergy have served in the US House of Representative.  As far back as I can remember, clergy of all denominations have streamed in and out of the White House as honored guests and advisors to many presidents--The Reverend Billy Graham was a dear friend of President Nixon and all presidents going back to, I believe, President Eisenhower.

Third, every session of Congress begins with a benediction from some faith, and clergy are always present at presidential inaugurations.  Our money has the motto "In God We Trust" on it, and the Pledge of Allegiance has had "...one nation under God..." added to it, a change from the original.  We are one of the most religiously saturated western democracies on the planet, and yet Little Ricky isn't happy.  The US is so thoroughly soaked in religious dogma that a whopping 43% of our population does not accept Evolution as settled science.  Only one other country, Turkey, does worse on this.  Yup.  The most technologically advanced country in the world still holds beliefs that belong in the pre-Darwinian 18th century. And this whole separation of church and state makes Little Ricky nauseous.

What seems to be the bug up Santorum's sanctuary is the fact that religion, especially the Catholic religion, is not allowed to make policy and pass laws [hello contraception!]  that affect all Americans, even people who have no religion.

Santorum deserves nothing but mockery and ridicule from all thinking Americans who understand that keeping all religions out of government ensures freedom for all religions.

Our Founding Fathers, whom Santorum would vomit on, understood this better than he does, and, apparently, Santorum is too religiously crazed to understand any of the statements made by Washington, Adams, Jefferson, and Madison.

George Washington:

The name of Jesus Christ is not mentioned even once in the vast collection of Washington's published letters. He refers to Providence in numerous letters, but he used the term as a synonym for Destiny or Fate. Bishop White, who knew him well for many years, wrote after Washington's death that he had never heard him express an opinion on any religious subject. He added that although Washington was "serious and attentive" in church, he never saw him kneel in prayer.

Washington had the inestimable faculty of being able to say nothing. He said nothing about religion -- nothing very definite -- and as a deist was willing to let people think whatever they pleased. As he never discussed religion at all, and went to church only occasionally, he was considered by most people to be a quietly religious man. It was somewhat of a shock, therefore, to the people of Philadelphia, when the reverend Dr. Abercrombie, Washington's pastor, criticised him from the pulpit. He told him that as President, he should not belong to a church unless he could set a good example to others. He reminded Washington that he never took communion, and in short, that his example was bad.
 
Washington listened to these reproaches in silence, and never went to that church again. His only comment was that he did not wish to annoy Dr. Abercrombie by his presence.

John Adams:

"The priesthood have, in all ancient nations, nearly monopolized learning. And ever since the Reformation, when or where has existed a Protestant or dissenting sect who would tolerate A FREE INQUIRY? The blackest billingsgate, the most ungentlemanly insolence, the most yahooish brutality, is patiently endured, countenanced, propagated, and applauded. But touch a solemn truth in collision with a dogma of a sect, though capable of the clearest proof, and you will find you have disturbed a nest, and the hornets will swarm about your eyes and hand, and fly into your face and eyes." --- John Adams, letter to John Taylor

Thomas Jefferson:

"The clergy...believe that any portion of power confided to me [as President] will be exerted in opposition to their schemes. And they believe rightly: for I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man. But this is all they have to fear from me: and enough, too, in their opinion." --Thomas Jefferson to Benjamin Rush, 1800.


"In every country and every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot ... they have perverted the purest religion ever preached to man into mystery and jargon, unintelligible to all mankind, and therefore the safer engine for their purpose." --- Thomas Jefferson, to Horatio Spafford, March 17, 1814
 
"Is uniformity attainable? Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced an inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth." --- Thomas Jefferson, from "Notes on Virginia"
 
"Shake off all the fears of servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call on her tribunal for every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear." --- Thomas Jefferson, letter to Peter Carr, Aug. 10, 1787
 
"It is too late in the day for men of sincerity to pretend they believe in the Platonic mysticisms that three are one, and one is three; and yet that the one is not three, and the three are not one. But this constitutes the craft, the power and the profit of the priests." --- Thomas Jefferson to John Adams, 1803

James Madison:

"What influence, in fact, have ecclesiastical establishments had on society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the civil authority; on many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny; in no instance have they been the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wish to subvert the public liberty may have found an established clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate it, needs them not." --- James Madison, "A Memorial and Remonstrance", 1785

"Experience witnesseth that ecclesiastical establishments, instead of maintaining the purity and efficacy of religion, have had a contrary operation. During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less, in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution." --- James Madison, "A Memorial and Remonstrance", 1785

Ronald Reagan, to whom Santorum has compared himself, proudly proclaimed that “we establish no religion in this country, we command no worship, we mandate no belief, nor will we ever. Church and state are, and must remain, separate.”

UPDATE

"...at a campaign event on the eve of the Michigan primary, the former Pennsylvania senator described his vision for the role of religion in public life.

"I'm for separation of church and state," he said on Monday. "The state has no business telling the church what to do."

Which is it, Little Ricky?  Do you mean what you say and say what you mean?  Or are you trying to outpander Mittens?

Friday, February 24, 2012

THE TRIFECTA OF LOSERDOM!




1994 was almost 20 years ago.  Is it possible that Willard, who was a grown, adult man at the time he said he would be better on gay rights than Ted Kennedy--is it possible for him to have a 180 degree change in that period of time? 

If someone had a change in thinking on gay rights, it would be logical that a mature person would change in the direction of being pro-civil rights for gays.  Normal, thinking people understand that equal protection under our Constitution is guaranteed.  How could Willard go from believing in a fundamental right guaranteed under the Constitution for everyone to NOT believing in it?


Here's what Willard said after a California judge determined that Prop 8, voted on in 2008, was unConstitutional:

"Today, unelected judges cast aside the will of the people of California who voted to protect traditional marriage," Romney said following the decision. "This decision does not end this fight, and I expect it to go to the Supreme Court. That prospect underscores the vital importance of this election and the movement to preserve our values. I believe marriage is between a man and a woman, and, as president, I will protect traditional marriage and appoint judges who interpret the Constitution as it is written and not according to their own policies and prejudices."
February 7, 2012 4:46 PM

Could Willard's change of heart have anything to do with pandering to the koo-koo barley crazies on the right?  The people who want the government to force girls and women to carry pregnancies under all circumstances? 

The people who approve of state sponsored penetration of girls and women's vaginas? 

The people who think prayer [Christian prayer, of course] in school should be reinstated? 

The people who believe President Obama wants to make it easier for students to get a college education so that they will attend university and lose their religon? 

The people who believe torture is a lawful and all-American way to get captives to give up information? 

The people who want to shut down poor and underinsured girls' and women's access to medical screenings for life-threatening diseases? 

The people who won't buy Girl Scout cookies because they promote abortions, homosexuality, and Communism? 

Those people? 

And anyone who reads this litany of conservative beliefs only has to do a little research on the internet to find out--to their jaw-dropping horror--that large numbers of conservatives are hoping to vote President Obama out of office in order to place in the White House a guy who will help them reach conservative boiled-brain nirvana by depriving whole populations of Americans their right to live as equals with their fellow citizens and by inserting the government into the most private and personal decisions Americans make in their lifetimes. 

In the year of 2012 C.E., a large number of people who vote believe all of the above, support people like Willard, Ricky, Newt, [and, at one time, Bachmann, Perry, Cain, and Palin], and those same people believe any of them would make or would have made a terrific preznit.

That is the modern GOP--the party that has embraced not just mold-warped policies and beef-witted ideas, but a  culture of paranoia, victimhood, and anti-intellectualism. 

The trifecta of Loserdom!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Franklin Graham

the son of an anti-semite, Billy Graham, questions President Obama's religion, and doesn't really believe he's a real Christian?:

“I think you have to ask President Obama,” Graham said when asked on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” whether the president is a Christian. “He has said he’s a Christian, so I just have to assume that he is.” --Franklin Graham

Franklin Graham isn't worthy to clean Mr. Obama's shoes. 

"Graham said there was “no question” that Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum is a man of faith, he doesn’t know whether the president is a Christian.

The reverend also declined to say whether he thought Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith qualified him as a Christian. “He’s a Mormon,” he said. “Most Christians would not recognize Mormonism as part of the Christian faith.”

Franklin Graham is a political hack with a meaningless "Reverend" stuck onto his name.  He is a mockery of all things that Christians supposedly hold dear.

Franklin Graham on thrice married and serial adulterer Newt Gingrich:

Regarding GOP candidate Newt Gingrich, he commented, "I think Newt is a Christian."

Because nothing says "Christian Values" like a man who shagged a series of women while married.  This is true Christianity in Grahma's eyes, but he's not sure of President Obama, who has a flawless marital record and has been true to his faith?

Furthermore, Franklin Graham is an ignorant jackass where the Constitution is concerned:

"The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."

But what should we expect from the spawn of an anti-semite?

Franklin Graham, an embarrassment to people who believe, but what we nonbelievers already understand about religious political hacks and hypocrites.

From Talking Points Memo:

"I cannot categorically say that there is much evidence of Jesus' teachings in Franklin Graham's life. However, I CAN say categorically that Graham has done pretty well for himself out of purporting to be a Christian.

According to the IRS Form 990 for his Samaritan's Purse, Rev. Graham took in $409,851 in W2 income and $151,166 in other compensation.

http://www.samaritanspurse.org/pdf/2010_Form990.pd...

But that's for a 40-hour week. (In comparison, even though he may or may not be a Moslem, the president earns a $400,000 annual salary, along with a $50,000 annual expense account, a $100,000 nontaxable travel account and $19,000 for entertainment, and we ALL know that Franklin Graham and the banksters contribute a lot more to the world's welfare than does the President of the United States.)

Franklin Graham got another $11K from the Billy Graham Evangelical Association, also for a 40-hour week.

http://www.billygraham.org/assets/media/pdfs/devel...

(His dad got only $101,849 in W2 income and $125,071 in other compensation from his association, although WF Graham IV got $100K.)"

And this:

"This man is the furthest thing from Christianity in Christian clothes I have seen. What a slime. Of course, Kenyans feel an affinity for the President, just like the Irish in Ireland felt an affinity for JFK. He favors Islamists in the Middle East. The reality is that the Arab world is predominantly of the Islam faith. There wouldn't be any Christians there had it not been for missionaries like those in Graham's church who were bound and determined to convert those they feel are heathens. It is disgtusting and he is a good example of why religion should stay in the home and in church and stay the hell out of the public square."

MORE:

"The only actual claim that Franklin Graham makes is wrong. Barack Obama Sr was raised as a Muslim but had become an atheist by the time he met Ann Dunham. In any event he had abandoned his child by the time his son was two so he had no effect on his religious upbringing. The rest of Graham's assertions are innuendos couched that with language admitting he doesn't have any evidence. So why say it, Franklin, except to rile up the gullible?"

From the NYTimes comments, 2/22/12:

"If Franklin Graham and his sister were transplanted back during the days of the Spanish Inquisition does anyone doubt they would have not only participated, but fueled the fire? What hateful and divisive people.

Rick Santorum and the Graham fanatics make me embarrassed to be an American; It makes me wonder how we could set any example in the world when we have such militant religious crusaders doing the very same thing that motivates other fanatics to commit heinous acts of terror around the world in the "name of God".

If we can't stomp out such fanaticism in our own electoral process, how are we going to have the ability, and the credibility, to do it anywhere else in the world?"


 Also:

The idiot, Franklin Graham, believed Donald Trump would make a great GOP presidential candidate:

"WASHINGTON — The Rev. Franklin Graham, whose father advised several U.S. presidents, says in an interview to be broadcast Sunday that he may back Donald Trump for president if the real estate tycoon decides to make a bid for the White House in 2012.
Graham also told ABC television that he doubted Franklin Graham, Donald Trump, 2012 Presidential Electionformer Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin would join the field of candidates aiming to unseat President Barack Obama.
Asked whether Trump might be his preferred candidate, Graham told ABC's "This Week" program: "Sure, yes."

"When I first saw that he was getting in, I thought, 'Well, this has got to be a joke,'" ABC quoted Graham as saying. "But the more you listen to him, the more you say to yourself, you know, maybe this guy's right."
Read more on Newsmax.com: Franklin Graham: Trump May Be My Candidate "

Do we need any more proof of Franklin Graham's gross stupidity?



Sunday, February 19, 2012

"Sex. Lies and Santorum," by Capt. Fogg of "The Swash Zone"

"He is imposing his values on the Christian church. He can categorize those values anyway he wants. I’m not going to,”
lied Republican candidate Rick Santorum to an assemblage of Tea Bag idiots immediately after having categorized President Obama's "values" and his "agenda"as being
“not about you. It’s not about your quality of life. It’s not about your jobs. It’s about some phony ideal. Some phony theology. Oh, not a theology based on the Bible. A different theology,”

Yes, some phony ideal is on the agenda. A phony ideal involving liberty, Democracy and a constitution that never mentions God or gods or scriptures of any religion and declares that there shall be no religion in government. Science is a phony ideal to sanctimonious Santorum too because we all know that Senators Jesus, Mary and Joseph agree with the oil companies and that the president's job, as 'Rick' told the 'baggers, is to keep gas prices down (and the subsidies up, no doubt.)

No sir, all that Washington, Jefferson and Madison secular prattle is phony and if we're looking for full employment, a decent quality of life and personal liberty you must turn to The Christian Scriptures which forbid us to charge interest on a loan or obtain a divorce or marry whom we will or even to enjoy sex when it isn't only for making babies. Some churches I won't mention have interpreted it to demand a king chosen of God rather than an elected government, but don't bother Rick with that. It's already on his agenda.

So why is this sex-fearing, woman hating, half-witted fake theologian; this lame-brained Longinus and meretricious medievalist mewling about theology while pronouncing Ernulphian maledictions on what he pretends are President Obama's values, cursing them one by one? Because theological statements don't have to be true, you see; don't have to be supported by evidence and are easily and frequently used to do horrible things to people. Cognitively impaired, confused and historically ignorant "conservatives" seem pre-lubricated to receive ecclesiastical wisdom without discomfort and Faith invents facts as well as it rejects them to the despair of brother Ockham.

So Obama, who thinks a Harvard Law degree makes him as good as a white. Christian man, agrees with Justice Scalia that religious freedom does not legalize acts done in the name of religion and yet, conservatives still want to shove the notion that he's a radical, Liberal, Christian-hating Sodomite Commie up the national hoo-ha and true to form, the 'baggers assume the position and take it.

How can any curse suffice?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

"What I want to know is: Where are the women?"


UPDATE BELOW ON VIRGINIA'S NEW LAW


The above is not a photo of a 16th century inquisition.  This is 2012, and these men are going to engage in a discussion on WOMEN'S health, contraception, and family planning.

I'm not going to ask "What's wrong with this picture?" 

We know what's wrong.

I'm asking how can this be happening in 2012?


“What I want to know is: Where are the women?” Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) asked the committee chairman, Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) before walking out. “I look at this panel and I don’t see one single individual representing the tens of millions of women across the country who want and need insurance coverage for basic preventative health care services, including family planning. Where are the women?”

More here.

From Politico:

"The image of men dominating the discussion about women’s health, say those on the left, may galvanize women voters in the way that the Senate Judiciary Committee's handling of sexual harassment allegations against Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas did in 1991.That incident is widely credited with the election of a large number of Democratic women the next year.
'I think it is an Anita Hill comparison,' said Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), who staged a walkout of Democratic women in protest of the chairman’s decision not to seat a minority female witness at the start of the hearing. 'I hope it will be just as galvanizing.' ”


More anti-woman legislation: 

This time from the Commonwealth of Virginia, which just passed a bill that REQUIRES a doctor to give a transvaginal ultrasound (that is legislating vaginal penetration by the state) before a woman receives a legal medical procedure, even when the doctor deems it is not necessary.  Democrats in the legislature tried to pass an amendment to the bill:

"An amendment by Del. David Englin, D-Alexandria, would have allowed medical professionals to determine whether images can be obtained without being penetrated by equipment used in the ultrasound."

The amendment failed.

Republican Governor McDonnell says he will sign the bill.


Got that? 

Virginia is poised to legislate forced penetration of a pregnant woman's vagina in order to obtain an image of the embryo or fetus and then the woman will be forced to view the image before she is able to receive a LEGAL MEDICAL PROCEDURE.

No exceptions under any circumstances whatsoever.

This monstrosity of a law forced on  the women of Virginia by the party that wants government out of its lives.


The GOP has lost its mind; and certainly women's votes.

Here are some of the comments on the website announcing the legislation:



"Wake up Virginia! Wake up America! Virginia is about to pass legislation that requires women to undergo an invasive search of her body in an effort to gain permission from Republican legislators for her to obtain a perfectly legal medical procedure from her doctor.

Now, if anyone wants to liken this law to that of the Nazi regime, go right ahead."
*****
"Forcing women to be -penetrated vaginally? Isn't the equivalent of rape??"
*****

"If rape is nonconsensual penetration, then what the government is mandating is rape of a pregnant women. Have we gone so far down that path that our most vulnerable citizens can be treated in such a criminal manner. I hope the courts are getting to overturn this montrous legislation."

***** 

"An affront to all women everywhere!"


UPDATE:

From ThinkProgress:

"As Dahlia Lithwick explains, the effect of this bill would be to force most women to undergo a stunningly invasive procedure for no medical reason whatsoever. “Because the great majority of abortions occur during the first 12 weeks, that means most women will be forced to have a transvaginal procedure, in which a probe is inserted into the vagina, and then moved around until an ultrasound image is produced.”

In case Lithwick’s description doesn’t completely drive home what this means, here is a depiction of the procedure that women would be forced to endure under the Virginia bill:"





"Simply put, it is difficult to distinguish a law requiring women to be vaginally penetrated by a long metal object from state-sponsored rape. Worse, discussions among lawmakers leave little doubt that its supporters understood just what they were trying to write into law — they just didn’t care. As an unnamed lawmaker told a fellow Virginia delegate, a woman already consented to being “vaginally penetrated when they got pregnant."(confirmed with Englin that this quote was accurate.)


"VIRGINIA IS FOR MORONS"

Charlie Pierce writing in Esquire:  "Yes, and anyone who has had their earlobes pierced already has made the decision that, one day, the law would require them to have a tenpenny nail driven into their eye."



Wednesday, February 15, 2012

CATHOLICS, AND ESPECIALLY CATHOLIC WOMEN, SUPPORT MR. OBAMA ON CONTRACEPTION ISSUE

Last week, I watched the PBS News Hour and heard Mark Shields gravely state that Mr. Obama had made a catastrophic mistake over the contraception and insurance coverage/Catholic Church issue.

I've watched other political pundits and prelates [all male, BTW]  solemnly nod their snowy white heads in unison and predict that this would be Mr. Obama's "Waterloo."

Maybe it's because they're blinded by their chromosomes, or perhaps they've spent too much time listening to other snowy-headed conservative men speak on women's issues, and that made them blind to reality.  And the reality is that women, particularly Catholic women, are on President Obama's side--by large margins--on this issue.

I think President Obama knew exactly what the thinking is out there in Reality Land, and I believe he handled this issue very, very well:

Catholic Voters Break With Church Over Contraception Coverage | 

Catholic voters are breaking with the Church’s opposition to insurance coverage of contraception, the latest New York Times/CBS News poll finds. Sixty-five percent of voters — including a majority of Catholics — “said they supported the Obama administration’s requirement that health insurance plans cover the cost of birth control, and 59 percent, said the health insurance plans of religiously affiliated employers should cover the cost of birth control.” A Public Policy Polling survey conducted on Friday similarly found that 57 percent of Catholic voters — and 59 percent of Catholic women — support the requirement. Under the administration’s policy, “women who work for institutions like Catholic hospitals and universities can obtain birth control from their insurance company without a co-pay, but their employers don’t have to include contraception in their healthcare plans.”

From Andrew Sullivan's blog Daily Dish:

Obama’s greatest skill is in getting his opponents to overreach and self-destruct. And this issue could not be more tailor-made to benefit the candidate with real potential pull with far-right-wing Catholics and evangelicals: Santorum. If the GOP really makes this issue central in the next month or so, Santorum (whose campaign claims to have raised $2.2 million in the two days following his victories last week) is by far the likeliest candidate to benefit. It could finally unite the Christian fundamentalist right behind him—especially since Romneycare contained exactly the same provisions on contraception that Obamacare did before last week’s compromise was announced. That’s right: Romneycare can now accurately be portrayed as falling to the left of Obamacare on the contraception issue. This could very well be the issue that finally galvanizes the religious right, especially in the South. Imagine how Santorum could use that on Super Tuesday. In fact, it could be the issue that wins him the nomination. And do you really think that would hurt Obama in the fall?
Here's the critical passage from Santorum:
"One of the things I will talk about that no President has talked about before is I think the dangers of contraception in this country, the whole sexual libertine idea. Many in the Christian faith have said, “Well, that’s okay. Contraception’s okay.”
It’s not okay because it’s a license to do things in the sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be." --Rick Santorum

Monday, February 13, 2012

Sincere Ignorance and Conscientious Stupidity


"Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --Martin Luther King, Jr.

We've known for a long time that a brain-eating virus has taken over the GOP and is consuming it at an alarming rate.  Manifestation of this horrid malady presented itself when the GOP debates offered dimwits like Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, and Herman Cain as viable candidates for the POTUS, and  when their supporters cheered wildly when they talked of the state executions of prisoners, guilty or innocent, letting people drop dead who had no access to medical insurance, and booing a gay Iraq war veteran.  We watched in disbelief as debate after debate these candidates embarrassed themselves by trying to outdo one another in their allegiance to ignoranance and stupidity by eagerly jumping on the anti-science, anti-women, anti-gay, anti-immigrant, anti-tax, anti-government [except, of course, for the government job of POTUS that they so wantonly covet] and the anti-Michelle and Marixist, Kenyan, Socialist, Commie, Baby Killing, America-hating Barry Soetoro wagon and driving themselves off the Cliffs of Sanity into Crazy Gulch.

All of this may win them admiration from the fundamentalist base of the GOP, but the rest of the country is not as welcoming of their kookoo-barley ideas and crackpot positions.  Tom Friedman wrote on this subject on Sunday:

Tom  Friedman, NYTimes, Feb. 12, 2012:

"...when all the Republican candidates last year said they would not accept a deal with Democrats that involved even $1 in tax increases in return for $10 in spending cuts, the G.O.P. cut itself off from reality. It became a radical party, not a conservative one. And for the candidates to wrap themselves in a cartoon version of Ronald Reagan — a real conservative who raised taxes, including the gasoline tax, when he discovered his own cuts had gone too far — is fraudulent. "      

"Until the G.O.P. stops being radical and returns to being conservative, it won’t provide what the country needs most now — competition — competition with Democrats on the issues that will determine whether we thrive in the 21st century. We need to hear conservative fiscal policies, energy policies, immigration policies and public-private partnership concepts — not radical ones. Would somebody please restore our second party? The country is starved for a grown-up debate. "

Grown-up debate?  Here's where extremism has taken the GOP (a random sampling of conservative comments on a conservative blog and what passes as "grown-up debate" on them):

On the subject of FLOTUS, Michelle Obama and her "Let's Move" program:









BloggerLone Ranger said...




I'm trying to imagine Jackie Kennedy doing something like that. Nope, can't do it. I think whomever wins the presidency in November, Callista Gingrich should be the First Lady. She's classy enough to bring a semblance of respectability back to the position after Michelle and Hillary.



February 11, 2012 9:10 AM




BloggerJoe said...





To All: MO is all class...all of it low. She is also all dignity, the lack thereof. She garners and diserves no respect for herself or the office of First Lady.



I herd[sic] that Michelle is going to star in a new movie.



The remake of Gorilla in the Mist.
February 11, 2012 6:45 PM


Another commented:

By the way, is she proud to be an American yet??
Poor Fat Cakes needs to get over her angry black woman image.
Someone should tell her how ugly she looks before she leaves her dressing room. And that her huge butt is to big for the size dresses she wears. What pisses me off is that we are hammered constantly by the media and people like Shaw Kenawe telling us Michelle is wonderful, smart, beautiful, and strong. Sorry, buy I see no evidence of that whatsoever.
She wouldn't know anything about poise or grace if they jumped up and bit her in her fat behind..
February 11, 2012 6:34 PM

And this bit of ignorance from the same blog:

BloggerJoe said...





Craig: "...random mutation and natural selection is probably the most extensively supported scientific theory there is..."

There is not one single piece of scientific evidence to support that idea.

It is nothing more than an idea.

From the time they were discovered, not a single microbe, or any other life-form, has mutated into another species.

Bacteria, for instance, have mutated, but they have never become something other than bacteria, after trillions to the trillionth power of mutations.

Evolution is a belief system, nothing more. It is more akin to faith than to science, and is on a par with flat-earthism.
February 12, 2012 3:46 PM

"Evolution is a belief system, nothing more. It is more akin to faith than to science, and is on a par with flat-earthism."

Why do I bother with this?  Only to gauge how far into a dark slime-hole of ignorance some of the more radical conservatives have sunk as a result of the ceaseless conservative noise machines that feed them lies, distortions, and misinformation.   These comments reflect the underlying racism and ignorance that have overtaken a once proud American political party.

Dave Dubya's Freedom Rants has a post up that explores this same subject.  Go read it HERE.

Infidel753 has a post up on the FAUX NOOZ website and the racist comments posted there on Whitney Houston's death.  The GOP has allowed itself to become a receptacle of rancid racism.  I hear many conservative howl about Liberals pointing fingers and crying RACISM! at every turn.  But just look at the comments I have documented on this blog and then look at the ones on the FAUX NOOZ site and tell me why this isn't true.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

MASSACHUSETTS: A GREAT STATE TO LIVE IN

This article by Tom Keane of the Boston Globe sets out facts and stats to illustrate why this very liberal state has nothing to be ashamed of when ignorant folks point the finger at us and call us "Taxachusetts." (We rank 37th in the nation in tax burden, relative to income.)  Also when you read about the other qualities of life, it's pretty evident that this liberal state has done a great job in making it one of the most desirable in the nation to live in.

Well done, Massachusetts! 

PROUD TO BE A SUCCESSFUL LIBERAL STATE!


Mass. moderate?

Exceptional is more like it: The Bay State compares well in just about everything


THE POLITICAL expletive in this season’s Republican presidential race is “Massachusetts moderate.’’ The power of the accusation, presumably, is that the Bay State’s brand of politics has left it so much worse off than true-red states that hew the conservative line. Or put conversely, conservative politics yield better outcomes.

Except that they don’t. By almost every important factual measure — economic, educational, and socioeconomic — Massachusetts is vastly better off than the nation’s most right-wing states.

The five most conservative states in the country are Wyoming, Mississippi, Utah, Alabama, and South Dakota, according to a 2010 Gallup Survey. These are the exemplars that candidates such as Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, and Rick Santorum would have the nation emulate. One has to wonder why.




Related

XLS document: How Massachusetts compares
For one, they’re a lot poorer. The median family income in Massachusetts is just over $61,300 - fourth highest in the nation. The average for the conservative states is $46,400. (Even adjusted for our higher cost of living, the Bay State is still better off than any conservative state.)

Of course, money isn’t everything. Our kids are smarter, too. The National Assessment of Educational Progress, sometimes called the “Nation’s Report Card,’’ compares fourth- and eighth-graders’ performance in math and reading across the country. The difference between Massachusetts and the conservative states is staggering. In 2011, 50 percent of our fourth graders were proficient in reading; the number was just 30 percent for the red states. Indeed, in every single category, Massachusetts ranked first in the nation, with roughly half or more of our kids proficient. In the conservative states, the comparable figures usually average less than one-third. That’s why 38 percent of Massachusetts children complete college - also the best of any state. The average for the conservative states is just 24 percent.

We’re healthier as well. At 80.1 years, Massachusetts ranks sixth in the United States for life expectancy. The red states average 77.5 (Utah - due to its preponderance of clean-living Mormons - is the only conservative state to equal us). Why? Fewer of us are fat (22 percent versus the red states’ 29 percent), we exercise regularly (37 percent versus 27 percent), and, with the exception of Utah (again, the Mormon thing), we smoke less.

And despite our higher level of urbanization, we’re safer. Massachusetts residents suffer 2.7 murders for every 100,000 residents; the average for residents in conservative states is 4.2. Our property crime rate is 2,329 per 100,000; the conservative states average 2,992.

Moreover, it’s not as if conservative values somehow breed better family values. Far from it. Massachusetts’ divorce rate is only 2.2 per 1,000, the lowest in the nation. The conservative states average 4.1. Our teen pregnancy rate is just 49 for every 1,000 versus red states’ 64. Massachusetts families seem to care more for their kids - 68 percent of Bay State parents read to their children every day; in the conservative states it’s 46 percent.

And more disturbingly: The child death rate in Massachusetts is 12 for every 100,000. It’s double that in the conservative states. The teen death rate here is 44; it averages 84 in red states. The suicide rate in Massachusetts is 7.6 per 100,000, less than any other conservative state and essentially half their average of 15.1.

Massachusetts doesn’t necessarily beat the conservative states in every measure, but we’re always in the mix. Despite the taunt of “Taxachusetts,’’ we rank 37th in the nation in tax burden relative to incomes. Some conservative states are better, but others - such as Utah, at 19th - are much worse. On certain measures, one or two conservative states might beat the Bay State - South Dakota’s December unemployment rate of 3.3 percent was half our 6.8 percent. Even so, the conservative state average for that month was 6.7 percent, not meaningfully different from ours.

Taking all of the above together is the reason why a number of “meta-indexes’’ - efforts to rank states on a wide variety of criteria - consistently favor Massachusetts. For instance, the Human Development Index ranks Massachusetts second. The conservative states average 36.

Ideology notwithstanding, at some point results matter. The Bay State’s families are stronger, healthier, safer, richer, and smarter than those of conservative states. Given that, why would anyone want to be other than moderate Massachusetts?

Tom Keane writes regularly for the Globe.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Who Supports Contraception Converage Under the ACA?

UPDATE BELOW

CATHOLICS DO, THAT'S WHO.

The Catholic Church is angry and instructed its pastors to politicize its pulpits by declaiming against the Obama administration's contraception coverage.  But the facts are that a majority of Catholics SUPPORT access to contraception under the ACA, and they do so by a very comfortable margin.  The only segment of the population against the coverage are Evangelicals.

Here are the latest figures and facts:



 
From the National Opinion Survey, Catholics For Choice [linked to above the chart].

1. Reducing health care costs is a top priority for Catholic voters.

Health care is among the top priorities for Catholic voters, second only to improving the economy (56% saying highest priority)and closely followed by resolving the war in Afghanistan (33%). Reducing costs is Catholics’ top health care priority for Obama (37% highest priority), followed by ensuring that everyone in the country is covered by health insurance (28%).  Social justice is an important concept for Catholic voters in the health care reform debate. Nearly three-quarters (73%) believe that reforming health care—“providing health care for people who need it”—is important because it is a matter of “social justice.”




Catholics use contraception


Ninety-eight percent of sexually experienced Catholic women have used a contraceptive method other than natural family planning, as compared to 99 percent of the general population.

Only two percent of Catholic women, including those who attend church once a month or more, rely on natural family planning.


Sixty-nine percent of US Catholic women rely on highly effective contraceptive methods like sterilization (32 percent, including 24 percent using female sterilization), the pill or another hormonal method (31 percent) or an IUD (five percent).




Catholics support contraceptive coverage
\
More than six in 10 (63 percent) Catholic voters surveyed in 2009 supported health insurance coverage—whether it is private or government insurance—for contraception.
A 2010 poll showed that Catholic women voters are more likely to support health plan coverage for birth control—77 percent versus 71 percent for the population at large.


Eighty-five percent of Catholics believe in extending birth control coverage to those who want it but cannot afford it—this is more than the 82 percent of the general population.




"President Obama listened to all of the women and men who called, e-mailed and wrote to the White House to express their support for family planning decisions staying in the hands of women. In so doing, he remained true to the original vision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and refused to bend the knee to intense lobbying from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Catholic healthcare industry and other special interests who wanted him to expand a refusal clause that would have denied millions of women access to affordable family planning.

The president of Catholics for Choice, Jon O’Brien, said, “The bishops pulled out all the stops in their campaign against women’s access to contraception. The Obama administration stood with those who support religious liberty and believe in giving women the freedom of conscience to make their own reproductive health decisions.

“While the refusal clause that is contained in the legislation is still too expansive, denying many women, as it does, affordable access to contraception, we are relieved by this announcement. Catholics for Choice and our colleagues in the reproductive rights movement expended a huge amount of energy and resources mobilizing the public to take action on this pivotal issue. In the final analysis, this was a victory for common sense and scientific advice in the interests of the common good."


WHICH CATHOLIC INSTITUTIONS PROVIDE CONTRACEPTION COVERAGE IN THEIR INSURANCE PLANS?


MANY DO.  HERE ARE SOME:

UPDATE:


"The largest Catholic university in the nation has admitted to providing contraception coverage as part of its health care benefit package, further undermining the GOP’s claims that Obama’s regulation requiring insurers and employers to offer reproductive health benefits represents and “unprecedented” war against religion. The rule — which exempts houses of worship and nonprofits that primarily employ and serve people of faith from providing contraception coverage — mirrors existing requirements in six states."


Many Catholic Universities, Hospitals Already Cover Contraception In Their Health Insurance Plans

"...many Catholic colleges have purchased insurance plans that provide contraception benefits:
University of Scranton, for example, appears to specifically cover contraception. The University of San Francisco offers employees two health plans, both of which cover abortion, contraception and sterilization…Also problematic is the Jesuit University of Scranton. One of its health insurance plans, the First Priority HMO, lists a benefit of “contraceptives when used for the purpose of birth control.”

DePaul University in Chicago covers birth control in both its fully insured HMO plan and its self-insured PPO plan and excludes “elective abortion,” said spokesman John Holden, adding that the 1,800 employee-university responded to a complaint from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission several years ago and added artificial contraception as a benefit to its Blue Cross PPO.

Christian Brothers University in Memphis, Tenn., offers employee health insurance via the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association, a consortium of Christian Bible and other private college and universities. Its plan excludes abortion, but probably covers artificial contraception as a prescription drug, said C. Gregg Conroy, the executive director of the TICUA Benefit Consortium.
Boston College, the six former Caritas Christi Catholic hospitals in Massachusetts, and other Catholic organizations that are located in one of the 28 states that already require employers to provide contraception benefits could have self-insured or stopped offering prescription drug coverage to avoid the mandate — but didn’t do so. Instead, they — like many Catholic hospitals and health care insurers around the country — chose to meet the needs of the overwhelming majority of Catholic women and offer these much needed services."