Tag Archives: republicans

It’s Now A War on Contraception


In the aftermath of the stunning reaction of extremist Catholic Bishops (you know…the guys who’ve taken an oath of celibacy) to President Obama’s recent rules regarding contraception, nothing rings more true than the fact that the Class Warfare initiated by the Republican Party and it’s increasingly effective off-shoot, the Tea Party, have a strong and hate-filled contingent of those waging not only a War on the Poor and Middle Class, but a War on Women.

First there was the fiasco that nearly (and may still) bring the once-honorable Susan G. Komen Foundation to it’s knees in submission thanks to a political agenda set forth by Republican and staunch opponent of Planned Parenthood, Karen Handel, who weaseled her way into the hierarchy of that group. What came out of the bloody fray was a once proud Foundation whose name will from now on connote the seedy side of political posturing and influence.

Next was the recent contraception policy set forth by the Administration that precipitated a manufactured outrage from the religious right, Constitutionalists, and the Catholic Church in particular.

Failing to realize the issue had less to do with a constitutional freedom of religion issue and more to do with the right of the individual, regardless of employer or religion, to seek contraception in pursuit of their own health, financial status, and well-being, the religious right used the issue to return to their heyday of the 1980’s, that of the so-called Moral Majority – of which they are neither.

The issue should have been a non-sequitur following the President’s compromise making the issue one between the patient and the patient’s insurer, which it always should have been. With support from the Catholic Health Organization, who’s Director, Sister Carol Keehan stated the resolution “protects the religious liberty and conscience rights of Catholic institutions”,  while the Catholic United issued a statement of support stating that President Obama “has shown [them] that he is willing to rise above the partisan fray to deliver an actual policy solution that both meets the health care needs of all employees and respects the religious liberty of Catholic Institutions”.

Other groups and institutions praising the President’s compromise include:

Catholic Charities: “Catholic Charities USA welcomes the Administration’s attempt to meet the concerns of the religious community and we look forward to reviewing the final language. We are hopeful that this is a step in the right direction and are committed to continuing our work to ensure that our religious institutions will continue to be granted the freedom to remain faithful to our beliefs, while also being committed to providing access to quality healthcare for our 70,000 employees and their families across the country.”

Rev. John Jenkins, President of the University of Notre Dame” “We applaud the willingness of the administration to work with religious organizations to find a solution acceptable to all parties.”

Broad Coalition of Faith Community Leaders: “Today the Obama administration announced an important regulation that will protect the conscience rights of religious organizations and ensure that all women have access to contraception without a co-payment. We applaud the White House for listening carefully to the concerns raised by religious leaders on an issue that has provoked heated and often misinformed debate. This ruling is a major victory for religious liberty and women’s health. President Obama has demonstrated that these core values do not have to be in conflict.”

That should have brought an end to the consternation. But no! The Catholic Bishops (you know – those guys who’ve taken an oath of celibacy) still aren’t happy!

President Obama’s effort to accommodate the Catholic Church by altering his administration’s rule on birth control coverage has not appeased the church, congressional Republicans or GOP candidates trying to take his job next year.

Their continued anger over a requirement that nearly all employers offer free insurance coverage for contraception — even with changes Obama announced Friday (Feb. 10) for faith-based institutions that object on religious grounds — guarantees that the issue will percolate throughout the presidential election season.

Nor are the politicians who, on any other day, oppose telling others what to do:

Republican leaders in Congress stuck by their plans to overturn the requirement with legislation. The issue “will not go away until the administration backs down,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said on CBS’ ”Face the Nation.”

Three of Obama’s potential opponents in November — Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich — thundered against funding birth control under Medicaid or through employer subsidies, calling it a radical overreach by government.

Where will this go? Who will win The War on Contraception? We now have politicians introducing “Personhood” legislation at both the State and National level. We have one State Senator introducing a bill granting “Personhood” not only to embryos, but to sperm!

“However, any action in which a man ejaculates or otherwise deposits semen anywhere but in a woman’s vagina shall be interpreted and construed as an action against an unborn child.”

Will the misogynistic actions of the religious right devolve even further into banning not only contraceptives, but condoms?

Will we be arresting men who masturbate into socks and charge them with murder? 

Let’s hope not. But – considering the insanity we’re seeing today – could it happen?

Another question: What if this craziness actually does result in the banning of contraceptives and condoms? Who will be charged with raising the millions of unwanted children born to mothers who don’t want them?

Catholic Charities?

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Asshole of the Day – Sen. Jim DeMint


Crazed and confused Sen. JimBob DeMint is at it again

We saw within a few days that this President was going to be heavy-handed, he was going to implement his agenda and pay back his political allies, and it just went on from there to ObamaCare and then to Dodd-Frank. It has been the most anti-business and I consider anti-American administration in my lifetime. Things that are just so anathema to the principles of freedom, and everything he has come up with centralizes more power in Washington, creates more socialist-style, collectivist policies. This president is doing something that’s so far out of the realm of anything Republicans ever did wrong, it’s hard to even imagine.

Really,  Sen. DeMinted? Somehow I think if then Sen. Barack Obama had said back when that Dubya was the most “Anti-American” president in his lifetime, you’d be screaming in a very high voice in front of Congress “TREASON!”, FOX news would go fucking ballistic in criticizing his lack of respect for the President, and your fellow Congressmen would be banging on the doors of the Sergeant-At-Arms demanding Censure and expulsion.

Of course, in your sick little bigoted mind, the only real Americans are the rich, white guys, huh?

Truer Words…


I don’t even know who wrote the following. With the exception of the last line, these words express how I feel today:

The Republican Revolution has gone the way of all flesh. It took over Congress, their horns blew, church bells rang, sailors kissed nurses on street corners, celebrated “the biggest repudiation of the White House since 1932.” The Republicans, after all, led us into a reckless foreign war and steered the economy toward receivership and wielded power, influence, and money as if there were no rules. Two short year later, Democrats are accused of bankrupting the country with their stop-gap measures and of not being able to reverse the course of the worst financial catastrophe since the ‘20’s whose seeds were planted well before their time.

Republicans have won based on shallow appeals to fear and lip service to the middle class pocket book—all the while doing nothing substantially different than what gave rise to the narrow oligarchy that really benefits from their policies. Income and wealth are becoming increasingly concentrated in the hands of a small, privileged elite.

As Faulkner said, we are “sinking back into the darkness where the spirit cried for the first time and was not heard and will cry for the last time and will not be heard then either…” ABSALOM!! ABSALOM!!!

…and thus begins one man’s journey into another two years of liberal angst.

The End of Independent Thinking?


I’ve come to a realization in the past few days.

I guess maybe my age is showing but it’s becoming increasingly evident people are unable to think for themselves. I remember as a child, I built model cars built by AMT, JoHan, or Revell; piecing and gluing each individual part, following instructions meticulously, painting each door, body and engine to perfection, assembling the final product and marvelling in it’s creation. 

I was taught Mathematics, Geometry and Algebra (along with other advanced courses) in High School; as well as the English language and the construction of our language. In order to solve mathematical problems we used the Slide Rule, a device complicated enough to require it’s own learning process. Remember diagramming? To take it even further, some of us were fortunate to learn other languages which enabled a deeper understanding of the construction of, and more importantly, the deconstruction of words and sentences.

I remember when I joined the Air Force and was being considered as a Language Specialist. One of the tests to determine the ability to learn new languages involved the development and structure of a “non-language” (The exam was the Defense Language Aptitude Battery).

Each of these facets of learning had one thing in common. The ability to reason, or quite simply, “figure it out”. One actually had to think in order to formulate a response and/or answer to a particular situation. Whether it was a mathematical formula, a sentence, or even putting together a model car, the success and gratification was in the accomplishment of the final product and the thought that went into it.

It’s not like that today. Today our children (or more importantly – their teachers and school administrators) focus more on passing state standard exams such as the woefully useless FCAT in Florida. Today we don’t buy model cars to put together, they already are. Today our High Schoolers depend on expensive electronic calculators to merely show them the correct graft or equation on a little green screen. Today the art of learning a language, nay…the art of learning the discipline of language, is lost in Google Translator. Today, people are spoon-fed information without the need to think about it.

As is our ability to research. Again, and once more – think for ourselves! Case in point: A few hours ago someone I know (without a computer) called me and asked me to Google a personal Hurricane Evacuation Plan for him.

Aside from the obvious fact that A. You get in the fucking car and head west!, or B. It’s all in the fucking phone book! is the most distressing: C. You couldn’t figure out A and B for yourself?

Which brings me to one final epithany.

Our country has always been one of political partisanship. The Constitution was written with the goal of perpetual discussion of the merits and demerits of a democracy. The process of our government has been under the microscope of evaluation for centuries.

What’s missing today, especially on the right, is Reason. We have pundits, politicians, prognosticators, and populists even networks throwing out wild theories and accusations. Why? Because they know the folks who listen to them are totally incapable of the thought processes needed to think things out. They are incapable of processing the words they hear, they can’t think it out…

When we have leaders of the Republican Party telling people ridiculous stuff like “The President’s not born in America!”, or “Brown people are illegal and don’t deserve rights”, or when people like Bill Wilder say “I want to see Florida a fag-free state!”, or the Attorney General of the State of Florida state that he doesn’t want a child raised by two loving people, or the outlandish Islamophobia coming from politicians and lilMike‘s keypads, we’re in a conundrum. Those of us with the intelligence, and reason, to realize this is bullshit, aren’t the targets.

It’s those who just don’t get it. Those who lack the intelligence or ability to “think it out“.

Think about it…

Nobody Said They Were Smart!


We all know people who worship Glenn Beck probably aren’t the smartest around. When I read this story I just had to giggle…

From the WFTV-Ch 9:

Dozens of people who parked at the University of Central Florida for an event say they were set up after their cars were towed. They said event parking signs directed them to a lot, but more than 50 cars in that lot were towed. People said those signs and their cars were gone when they got back. A viewer contacted WFTV after his car was towed Saturday, along with 52 others. All of them were in line to recover their cars at an impound lot and all of them attended the Glenn Beck show at UCF. The people parked in a Kappa Sigma lot. Mike Vedder thinks they were set up. He doesn’t know if it was a dislike of the conservative commentator or money. “Maybe the have a deal with the tow truck company or maybe they got kickbacks under the table,” Vedder said. They all said an event parking sign clearly directed them into the lot. Students at the fraternity wouldn’t comment, but WFTV caught up with the owner of Orange County Towing and Recovery, Ronald Hulbert. “I have a lot at stake, a lot invested. I’m not going to lose it over a $125 tow, times 53, times 53, it was a good day,” Ronald Hulbert said. Hulbert admits he’s never towed that many cars in one day before; he said it took him at least eight hours to tow all the cars. Each driver had to pay cash, netting him more than $6,600. Dozens of people who parked at the University of Central Florida for an event say they were set up after their cars were towed. They said event parking signs directed them to a lot, but more than 50 cars in that lot were towed. People said those signs and their cars were gone when they got back. A viewer contacted WFTV after his car was towed Saturday, along with 52 others. All of them were in line to recover their cars at an impound lot and all of them attended the Glenn Beck show at UCF. The people parked in a Kappa Sigma lot. Mike Vedder thinks they were set up. He doesn’t know if it was a dislike of the conservative commentator or money. “Maybe the have a deal with the tow truck company or maybe they got kickbacks under the table,” Vedder said. They all said an event parking sign clearly directed them into the lot. Students at the fraternity wouldn’t comment, but WFTV caught up with the owner of Orange County Towing and Recovery, Ronald Hulbert. “I have a lot at stake, a lot invested. I’m not going to lose it over a $125 tow, times 53, times 53, it was a good day,” Ronald Hulbert said. Hulbert admits he’s never towed that many cars in one day before; he said it took him at least eight hours to tow all the cars. Each driver had to pay cash, netting him more than $6,600.

I wonder if the tow company accepted GOLD as payment?

The Rape of Florida Medicaid


The other day, in my post Without a Doctor, I claimed that the Medicare system here in Florida had been raped by the gubernatorial administrations of Jeb Bush and Charlie Crist; thus decimating their effectiveness as originally envisioned.

In the comments section of The VSJ, in ekg’s post They Really Will Stop at Nothing…our sparring partner lilMike, in a reply to me, asked:

Medicaid in Florida is trashed because Republicans have ruined it?

The short answer: YES! ABSOLUTELY!

In 1965, President Johnson signed the law establishing Medicare and Medicaid. The original purpose of the Medicaid program was:

The Medicaid program, authorized under Title XIX of the Social Security Act, was enacted to provide health care services to low-income children deprived of parental support, their caretaker relatives, the elderly, the blind, and individuals with disabilities.

Going way back to the days of Gov. Claude Kirk (whom I had the pleasure to know personally, regardless of his political leanings), Medicaid has been a prime target of Republican Death Squads.

Gov. Bob Martinez (whom I worked under while with the Florida Board of Nursing) cut, sliced, and pared Medicaid at an alarming rate, especially with regards to our elderly.

But it wasn’t until the reign of Jeb Bush (for whom I billed Medicaid and Medicare at a home health agency) that Medicaid in this state went under the greatest change.

One of Jeb’s first actions upon taking office was to kill his predecessor’s, Lawton Chiles (the only Florida governor in recent history to actually care about health care for children, the disabled and the poor) health care initiative for individuals and small businesses, the Florida Health Care Purchasing Alliance.

But that wasn’t Jeb’s first foray into the rape of Medicaid. In 2003:

Governor Bush is proposing to drop health care and long-term care coverage for about 26,000 seniors and people with disabilities, although they would retain prescription drug coverage.  The governor also is proposing steep increases in co-payments for prescription drugs, which likely would make it harder for some poor patients to afford their medications.  The state already implemented modest cuts in the Medicaid eligibility of elderly and disabled people last year.

In 2005, Jeb had the bright idea (not!) to be among the first to follow his brother George’s edict to make state Medicaid coverage over modeling it like (get this!) a health insurance company, complete with limits on coverage:

Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida and Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina, both Republicans, have proposed radical changes intended to inject market forces and competition into Medicaid. Under their proposals, the state would give Medicaid recipients a fixed amount of money to buy health care or private insurance.

Under Governor Bush’s proposal, Florida would contribute a fixed amount toward coverage for each Medicaid beneficiary. Patients could use the money to “opt out of Medicaid altogether and purchase health care insurance in the private market,” Mr. Bush said.

(Ironically, today Jeb is on the board of Tenet Healthcare, the same company required to repay the government over 900 million dollars in Medicare and Medicaid overpayments and is plagued by scandal after scandal.)

Even today, Jeb Bush’s failed Medicaid managed care decisions are affecting the State negatively:

”We’ve done the experiment. It has failed,” said Durell Peaden, the Senate’s health care budget chief. “The reports are unsettling. People couldn’t get to specialists, couldn’t get adequate care. And they couldn’t do it cheaply.”

I’m sure Lawton Chiles, the only Florida governor in 40 years to care about it’s citizens, is rolling in his grave right now
 
The son of Gov. Lawton Chiles said today Gov. Charlie Crist has “betrayed” needy children and old people by raiding a tobacco-funded trust fund for $700 million needed to balance Florida’s budget.
 

Is Health Care Reform Constitutional?


Is it a right? Are the American people guaranteed good health?

That’s a question I’ve seen a lot over the past year or so. Many of those opposed to health care reform often cite the Constitution; usually with the rally cry,

WE THE PEOPLE

Perhaps they should read a little further…

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Here’s the definition of “Welfare” from Merriam Webster: “of, relating to, or concerned with welfare and especially with improvement of the welfare of disadvantaged social groups…”

From The Free Dictionary: “Health, happiness, and good fortune; well-being.”

We The People, Indeed!