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Week In The News: Santorum Wins Big, Syria Aflame, Mortgage Settlement Reached

Rick Santorum’s triple play. Syrians under fire. Gay marriage moves. Obama, insurance, and Catholics. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Republican presidential candidate former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum speaks to supporters at a rally Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012, in Plano, Texas. (AP)

Republican presidential candidate former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum speaks to supporters at a rally Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012, in Plano, Texas. (AP)

Housing, Homs, the Catholic Church, Greeks, and Rick Santorum in the news this week. A mega-deal on banks, housing and foreclosure – but not mega enough for many. President Obama in a major wrangle with Catholic bishops over contraception coverage – and looking for a compromise.

Rick Santorum put three sharp victories in the face of the GOP’s supposed front-runner Mitt Romney. Romney won none. In Syria, more grinding attacks. In Greece, real pain and maybe a deal to avoid default. Gisele speaks.
This hour, On Point: our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.


-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Rana Foroohar, assistant managing editor at Time magazine.

Bryan Monroe, editor of CNNPolitics.com.

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

Huffington Post “Borrowers will not release any claims in exchange for a payment. And $3.5 billion will go to state and federal governments to be used to repay public funds lost as a result of mortgage servicer misconduct and to fund housing counselors, legal aid and other similar public programs determined by the state attorneys general.”

CBS News “The U.N. Secretary General accused Syria of “appalling brutality” as government troops kill hundreds of civilians. CBS News foreign correspondent Clarissa Ward reports from the front lines in Syria.”

L.A. Times “But even before the Legislature had voted, opponents were making plans to overturn the measure at the ballot box. They have until June 6 to submit at least 120,577 signatures to put a referendum on the November ballot. If they succeed, the law would not take effect pending results of the vote. A simple majority would decide whether to retain the law, the Seattle Times reported.”

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  • Ed

    The California judges ruled Proposition 8 unconstitutional. They argued in part that a civil right shouldn’t be put to a vote.

    If same sex marriage is a civil right, then it shouldn’t be put to a vote of the people.

    If same sex marriage is a re-definition of marriage, then it can only be put to a vote of the people. 

    • Terry Tree Tree

      If Catholics are against same-sex marriage, why do they CONDONE priests that had sex with boys?  Aren’t they creating homosexuals?  (If ONE boy didn’t desire sex with a priest, that became homosexual, they CREATED that homosexual!)

      • Anonymous

        Homosexuals are not created by being raped by priests.  Why do you constantly bring up this nonsense?  If a lesbian were raped by a preist, would he have created a heterosexual?

        • Gregg

          Thank you J_o_h_n.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Not a ONE, that wasn’t interested in males, sexually, BEFORE he was raped?
             MANY girls that have been raped by men, become lesbians, I’m sure.
             I have listened and talked to many of both, over decades, and part of them say they NEVER had any interest in the opposite sex, while MANY trace their sexual preference back to one, or MORE rapes!
             If you can ACT impartial enough, to get some homosexuals to really talk to you, I’m sure some will tell you the same.
            

          • Anonymous

            Your answer makes absolutely no sense.  I don’t follow the argument and see no logic so I can’t really respond more than that. 

    • Gregg

      Obama and Santorum have the same view on same-sex marriage.

      • Anonymous

        Obama supports repealing DOMA and his justice dept is no longer defending it.  Obama’s spineless position on being against gay marriage is not the same as santorum’s.

        • Gregg

          The bottom line is the same, they both oppose it. Rush and Elton John also agree.

          • Anonymous

            That is a very simplistic view of it.  There are huge policy differences between Obama and Santorum on this issue. 

          • Gregg

            I get you but I reserve the right to remind people when push comes to shove Obama opposes gay marriage.

          • Grady Lee Howard

            A match made in the Vatican back room.

    • margbi

      Sorry, Ed. You can’t vote Civil Rights in or out. They are provided free of charge by a “creator” (you wouldn’t argue with that, would you?) and are not subject to an up or down vote.

    • JustSayin

      Ed, the the USA is a SECULAR nation, not a Christian theocracy.

      Christian prejudicial beliefs forced people of color into slavery, women into servitude, and gays into the closets.

      So far, Americans have chosen freedom for the USA, not Christian theocracy.

      I want ALL of my fellow citizens to live a life of freedom from all of those who want to control and enslave this nation’s people under any religious beliefs.

      You enjoy the freedom to push for Religious enslavement at the cost of
      the many noble lives lost and lives ruined by the fight to give you that
      freedom. Many civil rights abridged and held by Christian beliefs had
      to be clawed back by protest, voting and war. You dishonor all those who
      gave so much for our freedom, to campaign against it.

      You have that civil right, but please ponder the meaning of your rights before calling for the restriction of the rights of others. What was unconstitutional… was the restriction of any law biding citizen’sequal rights under the law. Not Christian law, Sharia law, Jewish law, etc. 

      • Gregg

        Ed did not mention religion. Why are you obsessed with it?

        • JustSayin

           That’s right… I mentioned it. I’m not “obsessed with it”.

          If you could read rationally, you would discover that freedom for all was my point.

          In an equally irrational and hyperbolic tone: Why are you against freedom?

          • Gregg

            I love freedom, do I have to say it?

            You gave Ed a lecture on theocracies, it was a non-sequitur. How do I “read rationally” the notion that if the law does not codify same-sex marriage (which atheist oppose) then we have a theocracy? Is that rational?

          • JustSayin

             You love “your” freedom, not the freedom of others.

            From above you wrote: “Defeating liberalism at every turn is the best thing for the American people.”

            Nuff said.

          • Observer

            You need to differentiate modern liberalism from Classical Liberalism. Classical liberalism protects your freedom to believe and follow, or not, religious stuff. Modern liberalism is trying to be the Benevolent Dictator of deciding what should be believed and enforcing it. 

            “We are smarter and more enlightened, and you’ll like it!”

            One view is live and let live, and let people evolve by free choice over time if indeed their are “better” ways that the vast majority come around to.

            The other is coercion, because the “know-betters” are so sure they are right, and can’t wait.

          • Observer
          • Robert Long View

            Plutocracy?

          • Gregg

            I am free to believe that and I do. I am free to defeat it and it’s on the ropes. You are free to resist.

    • Anonymous

      Before divorcing wife number two to marry his mistress (number three), Newt tried to redefine marriage.  Where is the Catholic Church’s outcry over Newt’s third marriage and past adultery?

      • Gregg

        Did the Catholic church endorse Newt? I must have missed it.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          He joined the Catholic church a while back, as it was Callista’s church, was the news.

          • Gregg

            Yes I know. I did not comment on Newt endorsing the Catholic views, my comment was the other way around. Concentrate.

      • Grady Lee Howard

        Nope, he purchased a Dispensation.

    • Anonymous

      The judges said that a civil right cannot be TAKEN AWAY by a (majority) vote. If this were not true, NO minority would be safe in their continued access to human civil rights; i.e., ant minority could be discriminated against by the majority whenever it wished.

  • Ed

    The Obama Administration has declared unprecedented war on religious liberty and religion in America. President Obama is bought and sold by Planned Parenthood, so this conflict had to come sooner or later.

    It’s not about availability of contracepion: in the last two weeks Planned P. tried to justify its existence by saying how it made contraception available. Its about controlling religious groups, which violates the First Amendment.

    EWTN is suing the administration, and they are only the first.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      CATHOLICS DEMAND MORE VICTIMS FOR PERVERTED PRIESTS?  
         Catholics have been breaking the laws since 1978, to give priests more VICTIMS?
          Catholics will use ANYTHING as a diversion of their church’s decades-long criminality?
         Catholics DEMAND to be held above the laws of the United States, and the ‘morals’ of most religions, including their OWN publicly stated ‘morals’?

    • Gregg

      You are absolutely correct and anyone could have seen this coming by examining Obama’s religious and social views. No one did, the meaningless mantra of “Hope and Change” along with a dose of white guilt were all they needed.

      It’s another shameful act by a shameless President. It won’t fly.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Attempting to enforce laws passed in 1978, and 2000, is shameful?  The President’s job is to enforce the laws of the U.S., or not?

        • Gregg

          Huh?

          • Anonymous

            Yes, if religious institutions are going to employ people and engage in commerce, they have to abide by laws that apply to businesses, including the ones for that benefit the employees, in this case, 98% of all Catholic women, and everyone else who believes that contraception is preferable to abortion or bringing unwanted children to term into unprepared, incapable homes or actually understands that teenagers  have sex and get pregnant, no matter how many times one clicks their ruby slippers together.

    • Anonymous

      The Obama administration is merely carrying out the law.  Churches are still exempt.  Hospitals and universities (most of which receive federal funding) should be required to follow the same laws everyone else does and provide contraceptive coverage to their employees.

      If the Catholic Church is so against contraception despite 98% of Catholic women using it at some point, they should dust off the Inquisition and investigate any Catholic woman who doesn’t have at least nine children.

  • Yar

    Call it a tax!

    Just where do the 25 billion dollars to ‘settle’ these claims come from?  Banks have the ability to create money, are essentially charging a tax on users of the US banking system to cover their criminal acts.  I expect banks who violated mortgage contracts, will require recipients of this ‘payout’ to sign away rights to recover punitive or maybe even actual losses from violations of contract law.  Don’t sign away your rights, better yet, withdraw your money from banks that participated in illegal acts.

    Not every tax is called a tax.

  • Terry Tree Tree

    BANK FORECLOSURE JUSTICE;  If there was ANY justice to settling the FRAUDULENT forclosures, the following would be the MINIMUM penalties!
       The TOP bank officer of ANY bank, mortgage lender, or whatever trash they hide under, and the bank member that actually decided to feloniously foreclose on ANY homeowner, that was NOT behind on the mortgage , would do the following:
      1.  Get ALL assets seized by state, or federal government, IMMEDIATELY!
             Said assets SHALL be held from the mortgage officers, at least as long as the LONGEST illegally evicted home-owner has been inconvienced, plus the time elapsed before the mortgage-holder made reasonable attempts to make those illegally evicted whole, to the level PRIOR to the eviction.
      2.  These officers and their families would be EVICTED at least as fast as the fastest invalid eviction!
            These officers shall be allowed to have NO better life-style
          than the most-harmed illegal eviction family.
          If the illegally evicted lived under a bridge, or overpass,the   mortgage-lender officers SHALL live in said conditions.

        MORE JUSTICE SUGGESTIONS LATER

    • Grady Lee Howard

      Nice sentiments, but it ain’t gonna happen as long as private property laws apply to giant loot piles.

    • Anonymous

      I agree with Grady Lee Howard, and that applies to what I am going to “propose” but it would be nice if:

      The banks could “recover” the payments only by cutting their executives’ pay and not by raising ANY fees or interest rates.

      The earnings at the Fed window could not be used.

      So the only other way to recover the payment would be to loan out money for new mortgages or avoiding foreclosures by writing down the principal with some recovery on future sale.

      Any executive who left the bank before the “recovery” was complete would forego all golden parachute benefits and any new employer would be subject to paying the bank for any “raise” in income to that executive.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    iOnePoint:

    Blessed the people of Homs,Syria the heart of the uprising against a brutal regime. It is a crime against humanity killing unarmed innnocent men, women and children. The Syrian army is intentionally firing at buildings and houses all over Homs.

    • Grady Lee Howard

      Psyops and Counterinsurgency are examining this closely in preparation for Mega-Occupy.

  • Terry Tree Tree

    WHERE can I get paid as much as the ‘experts’, that have NOT solved problems, such as excessive health-care costs, IF, and only if, I provide a better solution to the problem, than is in effect?
       AT LEAST 1/4 of Medical Mal-practice costs CAN be solved!
       AT LEAST1/3 of Medical Care costs CAN be solved!
      
    My terms are 1/2 of the pay of all the ‘experts’ that are paid to produce the solutions to a problem, plus 5% of savings by my plan.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      AMAZING!   ‘Conservatives’ should have thousands of offers, of $MILLIONS to me.  Saving LOTS of money isn’t ‘conservative’?
          ‘Conservatives’ “saved”  $12 Million, by LOSING $354 MILLION, on the FAA bill?
         I wasn’t proposing to WASTE enough, to be ‘conservative’?

  • Gregg
    • Grady Lee Howard

      Headline: Soot pipe goes right up China’s keister.

      • Gregg

        Okay, that was funny. I don’t care who you are.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Wasn’t it though!

    • Anonymous

      So what? This “deal” took 18 years! Do we require Canada’s agreement when we negotiate a “deal” with another country?

    • Anonymous

      The article confirms that whatever gets piped through our country is destined for sale to China. 

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Surely, the ‘conservative’, ‘flag-waver’, “This will be good for U.S. Energy Security”, crowd would NEVER allow the U.S. environment to be risked to SELL the oil to China?

  • Newton Whale

    If, as Rick Santorum has charged, the contraception coverage requirement has put us “on the road” to “the guillotine”, then none other than conservative Catholic Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is driving the bus:
    “One thing I think is crystal clear — there is no First Amendment violation by this law,” Adam Winkler, a constitutional law professor at UCLA, told TPM. “The Supreme Court was very clear in a case called Employment Division v. Smith, written by none other than Antonin Scalia, that religious believers and institutions are not entitled to an exemption from generally applicable laws.”
    The Reagan-appointed conservative justice authored the majority opinion in the 1990 decision Employment Division v. Smith, a critical precedent to the birth control case, decreeing that religious liberty is insufficient grounds for being exempt from laws. The Supreme Court said Oregon may deny unemployment benefits to people who were fired for smoking peyote as part of a religious tradition, seeing as the drug was illegal in the state.
    “To permit this would be to make the professed doctrines of religious belief superior to the law of the land, and in effect to permit every citizen to become a law unto himself,” wrote Scalia, an avowed Catholic and social conservative, in an opinion that was cosigned by four other justices.
    david boies birth control
    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/02/how-scalia-helped-obama-defend-the-birth-control-rule.php?ref=fpa 

    Constitutional Law expert David Boies explains why “there really isn’t a constitutional issue involved in this issue”:
    http://www.bing.com/videos/watch/video/constitutionality-of-birth-control-mandate/622vya3?cpkey=afe1b3bc-f290-4484-bc6e-8a79b739d111%7C%7C%7C%7C 

    • Gregg

      I see a big bold red line between being fired for smoking peyote and being forced to pay for contraception. It’s not a matter of being exempt from a law it’s an issue of the law being unconstitutional. Should we make a law requiring taxpayers to pay for peyote?

      • Newton Whale

        The Supreme Court disagrees with you.
        In 2004 Justice Scalia and the other justices upheld this California decision, which applied Scalia’s decision in the Smith case I cited above to a law requiring Catholic employers to cover contraception:”Catholic Charities offers health insurance, including prescription drug coverage, to its 183 full-time employees through group health care plans underwritten by Blue Shield of California and Kaiser Permanente. Catholic Charities does not, however, offer insurance for prescription contraceptives because it considers itself obliged to follow the Roman Catholic Church’s religious teachings, because the Church considers contraception a sin, and because Catholic Charities believes it cannot offer insurance for prescription contraceptives without improperly facilitating that sin.This case does not implicate internal church governance; it implicates the relationship between a nonprofit public benefit corporation and its employees, most of whom do not belong to the Catholic Church. Only those who join a church impliedly consent to its religious governance on matters of faith and discipline. ”the right of free exercise does not relieve an individual of the obligation to comply with a `valid and neutral law of general applicability on the ground that the law proscribes (or prescribes) conduct that his religion prescribes (or proscribes).’” To permit religious beliefs to excuse acts contrary to law, the Smith court reasoned, “`would be to make the professed doctrines of religious belief superior to the law of the land, and in effect to permit every citizen to become a law unto himself.’”http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=8170173657582045618&hl=en&as_sdt=2&as_vis=1&oi=scholarr 

        • Gregg

          Please show me the part where Scalia says the Constitution requires Catholics to pay for contraception through taxpayer funding enforced by government at the point of a gun.

          • denis

            Unless you can talk facts why don’t you at least admit
            your comments are opinion only… don’t embarrass yourself like that. The real religious
            discrimination is being pushed by the Catholic Church when it refuses to cover
            contraception to non-Catholics employed by catholic business interests.

          • Gregg

            The fact is we’re talking about confiscating money for funding.

          • denis

            what are you responding to?  Your statement does not seem to fit this thread.

          • Grady Lee Howard

            Well, above here his “honest debate”  compelled him to “agree with Hitler.”

          • Gregg

            Did you agree with Mussolini’s position on punctual trains?

          • Gregg

            Taxing is “confiscating money”. It can get a little tricky to spend it Constitutionally.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            At the point of a gun?  Shades of the Gabby Giffords shooting?  Survyor Transit Sights?  Not according to surveyor that I asked.
               Is there really threats of gun-usage by the government, to enforce this yet?

          • Gregg

            You are so weird. Sorry, I just have to say it.

            If this becomes law (it won’t), any refusal to comply will be enforced ultimately at the point of a gun.

          • Brett

            You get the hyperbole award for the day!

          • Gregg

            Thank you, I bask in it’s truthful glory.

      • Modavations

        You can go down to any corner store and get contraceptives.This fight is about the 1st amendmentThis is the Communist Putsch.It starts slowly,then you realize,my god they’re grabbing our light bulbs.Next it’s our thermostat,then our guns.

        • Brett

          Go down to the store and get birth control pills? Don’t you mean the Black Market store? …I do like the image of you clinging, with your cold, dead hands, to your hoard of light bulbs, squatting in your basement with your pellet gun or whatever…that was really funny, MO-D. Thanks. 

          • Observer

            Since when can you only find birth control at a church? Black Market?

          • Gregg

            Maybe just maybe he meant condoms. Maybe just maybe people have the power, all by themselves, to trot down to the corner and pay the 75 cents.

          • Brett

            A) It was a joke
            B) The issue with insurers including contraception prescriptions in their coverage has everything to do with the pill, and probably very little to do with condoms.

        • Observer

          Shut up and get in line. It’s for your own good you know.

          • Anonymous

            You guys (?) are hilarious!

      • Brett

        …Not anything close to being unconstitutional, Gregg; you’re wrong on this. It is a Fair Labor Standards law, and that is ALL that comes into play in this issue (ask a constitutional law scholar; preferably one who doesn’t think as you– that categorically all forms of liberalism must be defeated–this might tend to skew reasoning). 

        Churches themselves are exempt; however, businesses run by religious organizations are not exempt; they have to offer the same insurance packages as businesses run by non-religious organizations, and they can NOT deny their secular employees who work at one of their businesses comprehensive coverage, nor can religious folks who work for these businesses pick and choose which items they wish to have covered in an insurance plan (those things are the real issues). Religious employees do NOT have to use coverage for contraception, but they have to pay for it if it is included; it’s kind of how insurance works, and it is how labor laws work. Businesses run by religious organizations can NOT decide whether or not to follow labor laws. 

        You’ve already said you think abortions are being paid for with Federal money (which they aren’t unless a case of rape, incest or the mother’s life is in danger) and that you don’t care if new, more stringent accounting practices ensure that this doesn’t happen (in another forum, which is a form of cognitive dissonance or someone putting his fingers in his ears, screaming, “I’m not listening”). You are wrong on this issue, and you were wrong on the issue of Federal funding for abortions. I know it doesn’t fit into your anti-liberalism narrative; which, if you just said you think abortion should be made inaccessible, or that contraception should be made less accessible (which is the result of what would happen based on your thinking), then I wouldn’t have a problem with your position. But, it is a false notion to think your argument of unconstitutionality is sound. It is also ostensibly fanciful to say you are pro-choice.  

        How do you feel about Federal funding for abortions in cases of rape, incest, or when the mother’s life is in danger? 

        Don’t know what you’re driving at with the peyote thing?!?! But, say, a person works for a company that offers him/her an insurance plan, and that plan covers narcotic pain medication. The person does NOT have a constitutional right to say I don’t want that in my plan because I feel pain medication is evil. You do have a right to decide not to utilize that aspect of your plan, though. Likewise, the company you work for does NOT have a constitutional right to say to the insurance carrier, yes to the group insurance, but no to the one thing (coverage for pain medication in this scenario) our company feels is immoral that is covered as part of the policies. 

        • Gregg

          Man! Do I have to read all that? All right, I’ll go through it. Nice dig at the top but you’re extrapolating a bit with the “all forms of” thing. I think my context was clear but at least you’re not trying to paint me as Hitler. 

          I’m not sure whether your second paragraph refers to existing laws or Obamacare’s new necessities. Either way, I side with the Catholics… and I don’t like their tenets at all. 

          Obamacare will fund abortion. I thought we went through all of this with the Stupek debate years ago. 

          This guy was prescient but he’s wasn’t the only one. It’s happening now.
          http://www.pop.org/content/does-obamacare-fund-abortion-let-us-count-ways

          Didn’t Obama veto the House bill that would prohibit federal funding of abortion last fall? 

          I think I made the case why I believe funding Planned parenthood funds abortions with the welfare analogy. Claiming there is a separation is like claiming a crackhead does not spend his welfare check on crack because he has the receipts to prove it. All the crack is beside the point. 

          So there’s several angles to approach it with. If you think this is all as cut and dried as you seem to then I think it’s your world view getting in the way… with all due respect.

          Moving on: I don’t have a big moral objection with the funding for victims of rape and incest but others may. I don’t know how to get around that. The “health of the mother” needs to be spelled out. That is far too an emotional term to legislate as was clear when it was used against the ban on partial birth abortion. 

          Almost there: The peyote thing was a response to the case Newton Whale cited. It was about peyote which I didn’t think was analogous my respect for Boies aside. In your example, the employee is free to work for anyone who fits his values better. He is free to compromise his values at whatever level he chooses. Is there a way under Obama’s proposal that allows Catholics to opt out? Obama will back down because he has to. 

    • Terry Tree Tree

      WOW!  A Catholic that Catholics oppose?  What is Scalia’s position on priests and clergy Molesting and Abusing Children?

  • Terry Tree Tree

    Insider Trading has been ILLEGAL for HOW MANY decades?  ALL ‘public servants’, that have engaged in Insider Trading, should IMMEDIATELY reveal that fact, and offer to resign, AFTER paying back ALL monies made by this illegal act!
       ANY of them that OPENLY campaigned on a platform of ‘I want to be elected to be able to Insider Trade’, should be exempted?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Inside Traders should be prosecuted!

  • Newton Whale

    WASHINGTON — President Obama and his party should give up any hope of working with conservatives in Congress, Republican Sen. Jim DeMint warned Thursday, at the opening of a conservative conference in Washington.”Compromise works well in this world when you have shared goals,” DeMint told the activists gathered for the four-day Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). “When you have a shared goals, you can sit down together. We don’t have shared goals with the Democrats.”Likening the 2012 elections to the Super Bowl, the senator said, “I can guarantee you Coach Coughlin did not tell his Giants to go out on the field and work with those other guys. They weren’t ooperating with Tom Brady… The two teams had different goals. The Patriots were there to beat the other guys.”http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-57373855-503544/demint-we-dont-have-shared-goals-with-the-democrats/ 

    Silly me. I thought they shared the goal of helping the American people. Now I know the Republicans only want to score points.

    • Gregg

      Defeating liberalism at every turn is the best thing for the American people.

      • Newton Whale

        Of all the varieties of virtues, liberalism is the most beloved.
        -Aristotle”Liberalism is a disease of the mind that weakens and corrupts human beings”
        - Adolf Hitler

        • Gregg

          In this case, I agree with Hitler. Is that what you wanted? Make of it what you will.

          • Newton Whale

            Why am I not surprised?

          • Gregg

            Because your mind is already made up.

          • Fredlinskip

             Help is a phone call away.

        • Modavations

          NAZI-National Workers Socialist Party

        • Observer

          You must be talking Classical Liberalism (Libertarianism). That’s what Hitler was talking about. 

          “The great aim of the struggle for liberty has been equality before the law.”—F.A. Hayek http://www.independent.org/students/essay/essay.asp?id=1612

          http://lamar.colostate.edu/~grjan/hayeknaziism.html

          • Anonymous

            And if you don’t have equal economic opportunity (which provides and requires educational opportunity) you will not have real equality before the law.

      • Fredlinskip

          Progressives brought about Women’s rights, civil rights, worker’s rights. Progressives not only had to battle England but the Conservative Tories our side of Atlantic in Revolutionary War. Progressives by definition are responsible for progress that has occurred in America. Conservatives by definition are always all about protecting entrenched interests.

            If Conservatives had their way, slavery would be alive and well, women couldn’t vote, minimum wage would be $2 an hour, and we’d still be subjects of England, amongst other things.

        Perhaps you think America would be better off without these changes- I humbly disagree.

        That’s American history, Gregg- look it up some time.

    • Modavations

      Your not helpping America.In my opinion govt.is destroying America.I stand against every one of your proposals and will block you at everytime.Youy’ve consciously destroyed the black family.You induldge in soft genocide.Your schools are so bad,our pupils arn’t wanted in McDonalds…….Who wrote the Bill of Rights?I’ll bet most of this audience doesn’t know

      • Newton Whale

        You’ve got to keep your chicken off the keyboard.
        Either that or dial back on his meds.

      • Anonymous

        If what you propose, the return to the 1870s, would make things right now, why didn’t it then? Why was giving women the vote, establishing a social safety net and guaranteeing civil rights necessary? Just because we now need to provide better health care because better health care is now attainable, we should let it “trickle down” like so much else that is not happening?

      • Fredlinskip

         W?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    If Mitt Romney is out of touch from reality Santorum is doubly out of touch.

  • Terry Tree Tree

    MORTGAGE JUSTICE
      
       PERSONAL assets of the criminal mortgage lenders SHALL be used FIRST, to make illegally-evicted home-owners whole, to the level BEFORE they were illegally evicted!
       As this is a criminal act, ALL offshore accounts are subject to seizure, and used for re-compensation!

  • T. E.

    My family fled the Kulturkampf in Germany, when the imperial government
    attempted to regulate the internal affairs of Catholic institutions, particularly Catholic schools. In
    the hands of secular leaders, this attack on the Catholic Church became
    an attack all religion, indiscriminately. In the end, it succeeded only
    in mobilizing the Catholic vote in Germany.

    All that one has to do is to read the comments on so many blogs and news
    organizations that this attempt to regulate the beliefs and practices
    of Catholic institutions is once again, as in Germany, stoking animosity
    towards religion generally–in fact, that it seems to be degenerating into a sort of secularist demagoguery.

    Is this the future? Will attacks on the constitutional liberties of religious minorities now become acceptable ways to “energize the base”?

    Perhaps the most insulting aspect of this controversy was the White House’s response, reassuring Catholics that no one would be forced to use birth control. Did the White House really think that such a stupid interpretation of the HHS mandate was the source of the controversy? Is the administration unwilling or unable to understand the controversy?

    In the end, this HHS mandate for Catholic organizations to violate their institutional mission and consciences is not about birth control, which is a red herring: it is about stripping Catholic institutions which put Catholic social teaching and social justice into practice by interacting with society of their 1st amendment rights. It is a denial that Catholics can interact with society at large “as Catholics.”

    Many of our ancestors
    came to United States because we were promised freedom of conscience to
    practice our religion openly. That is why they came. Is that promise now to be
    rescinded?

    • Anonymous

      Catholic voters are a valauble part of the electorate and Obama is not going to get more votes from his base who is going to vote for him anyway (assuming your paranoid speculation that they are anti-Catholic is valid) to offset them.  The administration is following the law and applying it equally.  Churches are exempt. 

      • T. E.

        The Church’s ministries ARE part of the Church – just as much as St. Whoever’s Parish. Catholics cannot be Catholics without assisting the common good.

        • Anonymous

          Then why do they claim they are service providers when they accept federal money? 

          • T. E.

            They are service providers. This law affects everyone–those whom serve the public with public money and those who do not.

            Although the government certainly subsidizes many of the businesses that have waivers through the tax code!

        • denis

          then why are they trying to harm the common good?  For some patients birth controll is a major health issue!

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Child-RAPE, and Child-Abuse are the common good?

      • T. E.

        Applying the law equally? Dozens of companies have waivers from the health care law.

        It is also worth asking: if McDonald’s can get a health care waiver for pragmatic reasons, why can’t the Church get a waiver for reasons of conscience?

        http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/health/2010-10-07-healthlaw07_ST_N.htm

    • denis

      So why have you not expressed your ill-founded logic
      against the 28 states that have very similar rules? Why have you not expressed
      your misguided opinion against “catholic institutions” like
      Georgetown that already offers contraception in their health plan? And finally,
      what a joke to say “Many of our ancestors came to United States because we
      were promised freedom of conscience to practice our religion openly. That is
      why they came. Is that promise now to be rescinded?” My ancestors did not
      come here with the idea their religious beliefs and life in general were to be
      controlled by the Catholic Church.

         

      • T. E.

        “My ancestors did not come here with the idea their religious beliefs and life in general were to be
        controlled by the Catholic Church.”

        Who said anything about that? We’re only talking about the government telling Catholic institutions what to do. Your hyperbole is damaging to our conversation..

        • denis

          No, when the catholic church operates business
          institutions that are not religious in nature and then tries to force it’s employees
          [known by the church to be nonmembers] to comply with catholic theology [ that
          98% of their own female members do not follow] the catholic church is in fact
          trying to restrict the religious freedom of non-Catholics.

          • T. E.

            No one is asking businesses owned by Catholics to be exempt from the mandate. We’re asking for our nonprofit ministries, our hospitals and schools, to be recognized for what they are–integral parts of our church.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Then PAY BACK ALL funds received from the federal, state, and other governments, WITH interest?
               Catholic hospitals, schools, and many other ‘Catholic’ entities, do NOT charge for services rendered?   Isn’t that a definition of business?

          • jb366

            First, they don’t force their employees to do anything or refrain from doing anything.  Rather, they simply refuse to pay for their employees birth control.

            Second, the Catholic Church is not profiting from these activities.  It’s not as if the employees, the government or the community is doing the church a favor.  Catholic charities, Catholic hospitals and Catholic schools (thinking mostly of primary and secondary which are often the only acceptable schools in low-income areas) are subsidized by Catholics to provide services to all people. In recompense for these vital activities, the Church is slapped in the face by the Obama administration. 

            Perhaps the Church should just divest all of its charitable, community-based activities as Obama seems to desire.   

          • Anonymous

            How would providing coverage for such things as stem-cell based treatment or other matters opposed by the church fit into your analysis?

          • jb366

            To denis, I only debate the regulation to the extent it applies to people with jobs at Catholic institutions that provide healthcare.  Even if mom doesn’t want to pay the affordable sum, out of pocket, for her birth control, her children likely will not be starving in the streets. 

            Jimino- I don’t know if stem cell treatments are mandated care under the PPACA.  In any event, in an ideal world, the employer should have no obligation to provide any more health coverage than he chooses.  In Obama’s world, the Catholic Church should at least be allowed to refuse to pay for services that conflict with the Church’s conscience.  I would not support and the Church does not intend to directly regulate the behavior of its employees, other than the clergy. 

            A question to you Jimino, would you support conscientious objection as a way to avoid conscription? 

          • Anonymous

            “A question to you Jimino, would you support conscientious objection as a way to avoid conscription?”

              I’m fine with a CO being allowed to perform some alternative service of national value.  A military organization is not well served by putting a true CO in a combat situation. 

            I ask you, do you think those who use the type of contraception at the heart of this debate should be excommunicated from the Church or sanctioned in some other way?

          • jb366

            No, I would not support ex-communication for Catholic women who use contraception, but that is not an inconsistent position. 

            The fact that large institutions tolerate dissent does not mean that the institution’s message must fall to its lowest common denominator. 

            It would be as if America’s tolerance of domestic communists would preclude it from resisting communism internationally.

          • denis

            my brother teaches in a catholic school… not one of the teachers in his school is a catholic.  The “church” hired these people knowing they are non catholic and then tries to impose the churches theoligy on the teachers.  And, as asked before how do you justify the 28 states that require birth control to be included in the health plan?  How do you justify the fact that 98% of catholic women use bith control at some point in their life?  How do you justfy the pain and economic disaster of many unwanted child births… the children that then end up poor, abused, hungry, etc?   

    • Terry Tree Tree

      IF priests that rape boys, and the clergy that protect them, are ‘men of God’, isn’t that saying that God is a homosexual?  
         ‘Men of God’ wouldn’t repeatedly do things against ‘God’s Will’, would they?
         IF they are NOT ‘men of God’, then WHY are they held as such, and PROTECTED from prosecution, while the Catholic church KEEPS PERSECUTING VICTIMS?

      • T. E.

        Don’t ask me to defend rape or grievous offenses against human rights.

        I’m asking for everyone’s human rights to be respected!

        • Terry Tree Tree

          IF you are a Catholic, by the Ten Commandments, and the Laws of your church, and country, aren’t you OBLIGATED  to do your part, to correct this ‘abomination of abomination’?

  • Gregg
  • Anonymous

    Not-so-smart ALECs

    Tom, how about a whole show on ALEC: A knucklehead Floridian legislator submitted a bill written by ALEC and forgot to delete ALEC’s mission statement from it!

    So does anyone making less than seven figures really think Republican legislators are representing their interests?

    The strings of the puppet masters are revealed.

    http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2012/02/02/417488/florida-gop-alec-forget/

    - Mark

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Thank the Florida Legislator for EXPOSING the TRUTH, that ALEC members have denied for so long.
         ALL legislation, that have ANY ALEC influence attached, MUST be reviewed, and STRUCK DOWN, as illegal?

      • jb366

        …speaking capitalization to power. 

  • Jeff from Belmont, Mass

    “A mega-deal on banks, housing and foreclosure – but not mega enough for many”

    I wish the media would make the point that this agreement does NOT get the banks off the hook for future fines. Since this is a large settlement it is assumed that the banks involved will get immunity from future fines but this is not the case.
    This is just the beginning.

    • Observer

      WTF does $1-2000 do for someone who was foreclosed on illegally? Is this a joke? Or just campaign snacks?

      People don’t want $1000 slaps in the face, they want to see all goddamn financial crooks and their Fed and Washington supporters in Jail for the rest of their lives!

      • Jeff from Belmont, Mass

        What part of “This is just the beginning” don’t you get? Last week the people weren’t getting anything, now they’re getting 1K – 2K with the possibility of more to come. This deal does NOT give the banks immunity so people can still sue and the government at the State or Federal levels can come back again.

        • Observer

          I’ll believe it when I see it.  So now Obama is going to take his present and former economic advisors and throw them in jail? (Summers, Geithner, Paulson, Rubin, Wall St CEOs, Fannie/Freddie past execs etc etc).

          Your faith in the status quo is astounding.

          • Jeff from Belmont, Mass

            The fact that they specifically didn’t give the banks immunity when in almost every other deal of this kind they did is the source of my hope. Also, many of the AGs in the States that signed onto this are NOT in the pockets of the bankers and will go it alone if Obama shows that he is going to turn on them. And if Obama wants to get re-elected he better do something more about this. Do you think Mitt will do a better job? Or will you vote for Ron Paul on a 3rd party ticket?

          • Observer

            I’d take Ron Paul on these Banking issues/corruption any day of the week over the Fed/Wall St. parties.

            This should have been JOB #1 when Obama came into office with both houses of Congress. Period. The country was up in arms. The Tea Party started under BUSH, they were so disgusted with status quo.

            Obama ran his Rorschach campaign and we thought he was going to be the one to call out cheaters and reform Washington, in a basic American Rule of Law/Level playing field way, that most Americans could get behind.

            He’s not that guy. He’s more of a Democratic Socialist who prefers to coddle with the elite to shape his vision of what America should be, rather that punishing the elite and re-empowering the people.

          • Jeff from Belmont, Mass

            The problem is we have to choose between Obama and Mitt (unless Santorum somehow comes out on top). Even if Ron Paul somehow got the nod and went head to head with Obama I’d still vote for Obama because if Ron Paul got elected he wouldn’t get a single thing done. He’d have almost no support in Congress and there would be even more deadlock for his entire term.

          • Observer

            There you go. Your cynicism and lack of participatory spirit are what has sealed our fate.

            At some point the Tweedle-Dee Tweedle-Dum music stops playing and it’s game over.

          • Jeff from Belmont, Mass

            ME? All by myself I sealed all our fates? I didn’t realize I had that kind of power. Wait, I, like you, have no power at all.

          • Observer

            I know,do’t mean to make it personal,but isn’tthat our problem?  We eachhavelittle bits of power, and haveto get onthe same pageto wield it.

          • nj

            When all you two-party addicts think this way, then, yes, you can rationalize voting for a corporate tool like Obama.

            There are real choices, but it takes some courage to support them.

            http://www.voterocky.org

            http://www.jillstein.org/

      • jb366

        $1000 to compensate someone for living in his former home rent/mortgage-free for 9-12 months seems more than fair. 

        When you describe the foreclosures as “illegal,” it can be misleading.  The people in these homes had no moral claim to stay in the home.  After all, they were not paying.  Rather, they simply had technicality defenses to the foreclosure action that they failed to raise.  Raising that defense would have saved the mortgagor a couple months while the bank refiled, but it gave him no legitimate claim to stay in the home. 

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Mortgage holders foreclosed on people that were current on their payments, or millitary personnel that had special clauses for deployment! 
             Robo-signing was one of the facillitators of these crimes, and were ILLEGAL!

        • Observer

          I understand and appreciate all this about responsibility at the individual borrower lever. But that is not how this crisis was generated.

          I want accountability to the generators and the the sycophants who profited along the edges knowing all along it was a fixed game. 

          I.e. Fed and Monetary Policy fueled speculative bubble that enriches interest collector and trader class, with Washington’s blessing.

          Rule of Law or Rule of Central Bankers
          http://www.cato.org/pubs/journal/cj30n3/cj30n3-3.pdf

          Bailout reader
          http://mises.org/daily/3128

          • jb366

            For better or worse, the “fixed game” was not illegal.

            The robo-signing was illegal, but it was only a symptom of the mortgage crisis, not a cause. 

            Conflating the two is unfair.  As you probably know, only the robo-signed mortgagors are entitled to compensation.  Others homeowners are not, even though both suffered equally from the systemic factors you talk about.

          • Observer

            In this I think we agree, as the robo-signing “justice” is as much a red-herring to the bigger issues as the prosecutions of Madoff et al, guilty, but not the core shenanigans.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      There is MUCH immunity for the banksters, and other criminals involved, according to what I heard!

      • Jeff from Belmont, Mass

        Nope, the New York State’s AG was interviewed last night and said that he signed on to this deal specifically because they didn’t get immunity.

  • Observer

    Jeffe68

    RP talks some gold in here with Wolf B, not as starkly as you characterize, but if you’re interested…

    http://www.dailypaul.com/212580/alert-ron-paul-on-cnn-wolf-blitzer-in-4pm-et-hour

    • Observer

      around minute 4, also talks about how all the international finance folks themselves are all talking about the coming financial/currency collapse and replacing it with yet another fiat currency, but this time a global one, which in terms of sovereignty and the potential “end game” for elite domination that we could never take back, should sober all Americans who have even a shred of understanding and value of the liberty concept.

      • Observer

        and adresses the current stock market/growth BS.

        This stuff is so self-evident, I just don’t know where status quo people think we are going and how this is all ok, with a straight face.

  • Observer

    Let’s govern by mandate and waiver.

    Pathetic.

  • Terry Tree Tree

    Can NO government. that has satellites capable of reading license plates from space, NOT spend a few thousand frames, or hours of satellite monitoring of Homz, when an attack is announced by citizens, to VERIFY?

    • Grady Lee Howard

      Only Bradley Manning would do something so treasonous to the Oligarchy.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        RIGHT ON, GRADY, RIGHT ON!

  • http://twitter.com/kino_govno_tk kino-govno.tk
  • Observer

    There is no “right” to have your fellow citizens (taxpayers) materially support your pursuit of behaviors or scientific or technological choices that they may disagree with ethically, morally or religiously. That’s coercion pure and simple. 

    They can’t stop you from pursuing yours, but you can’t force them to help you pursue yours.

    What’s so radical about that?

    Yes you can say that about wars etc, etc. So get on board the Liberty train and take some power back instead of us trading benevolent dictators or Philosopher Kings every 4 years.

    • phk

      So, you are suggesting that each taxpayer should be able to withhold from his taxes for any government activities he disagrees with ethically, morally or religiously???

      Willy Nelson and a bunch of others tried that, but it didn’t work out for them.

      And it can’t work in a practical sense.

      Admittedly the current debate isn’t over taxes, but the issues are still similar.

      There are other religions that are morally opposed to blood transfusions. Does that mean the insurance they offer their employees should not cover transfusion?

      • Observer

        If they don’t want to, yes.  Choose a different insurance carrier.

        This is the whole problem with restricting competition/diversity, because it leads to these conflicts of basic choices/liberty.

        If insurance companies over-restrict, they will fail due to lack of subscriber base.

        Again, all that is left is “efficiency” arguments. So are we ready to trade efficiency for liberty?

        That’s the Chinese Authoritarian Capitalism or State Capitalism model.

        • TFRX

          Choose a different insurance carrier.

          If insurance companies over-restrict, they will fail due to lack of subscriber base.

          Submitted without comment.

      • Observer
    • Anonymous

      I think our founders, after consulting Hobbes, Locke and numerous others, resolved that issue 250 years ago.  They opted against “nasty, brutish and short” in favor of “we the people” and the “common good”.

  • Steve

    In Wisconsin:

    $31.6 million of $140 million mortgage fund settlement was tagged by the Walker administration to pay budget shortfall.

    I have become very disillusioned with both parties.

    Very limited government is needed to rein in the attack on liberty and freedom, but this must be combined with voluntary “opting out” of the oligarchic capitalistic system that is cannabilizing our local communities.  We do have a very real obligation to our neighbors, I, however no longer believe that the Federal Government has any role, capability, or interest in true justice.  Our obligation to freedom and justice, if not bourn for the reasons of philos/agape love,  is required by enlightened self-interest.
     
    One of the beauties of the “American Experiment” was (and could be again?) the liberty that provided fertile ground for a flowering of many divergent forms of love and justice (read de Toqueville).

    The current right:
         -legalize theft to funnel resources ever upward.
         -manipulate conservatives with single issues to divide an
          electorate that has very little common cause with them
          otherwise.
    The current left:
         -legalize theft to  funnel resources ever upward and downward.
         -manipulate liberals with single issues to divide an
          electorate that has very little common cause with them
          otherwise.
         

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Who would have thought Scott Walker’s administration would steal Mortgage Settlement money, to make it look like they did something to ‘balance the budget’?
         This, after claiming that collective bargaining was a form of theft from the people?

  • manganbr

    The Catholic churches conscience argument seems a little strained:

    Thou shall not purchase health insurance that covers certain “sinful” actions like taking birth control (which the new testament has no clear policy against)

    The government isn’t exactly forcing the church to put birth control in people’s bodies, only to allow their parishioners the freedom to make that choice themselves. So the only conscience being violated is the church’s presumed right to control the conscience and choices of others–because they don’t trust their own parishioners to simply not take advantage of the coverage (and why should they? what percentage of Catholic women take birth control?)

    Now, if the church was complaining about having to PAY for coverage that their parishioners won’t use, if it was being rejected as a financial burden, I could sympathize. But that’s not quite what I’m hearing.  

  • Me

    There is definitely class warfare going on now. From the top down!!

  • Observer

    Everybody in the highest positions of Bubble inflation scheming and enactment, as well as Bailout scheming and enactment, should be put in prison.

    Good old fashioned Accountability, The buck stops here, The captain goes down with the ship etc.

    The largest Banks that played the game with all that collusion with the Fed and Congress should be Dissolved, the “Investors” who were so corrupt or ignorant to support them take losses, and the wealth is Directly refunded to Americans.

    The amount owed in mortgage debt on American homes, that is UNDERWATER, is about $750 Billion.  How ironic that was the amount of the original Bank Bailouts.

    Who will argue that given the swindle, the People shouldn’t be owed that amount, rather than having it taken and given to the banks.

    They were made hole, we were gouged.

    Such a severe and sweeping justice move, would of course be tough to swallow, letter of the law wise. But if the Banking/Washington class can deliver us a “once in a lifetime” economic swindle, we can deliver them a once in a lifetime helping of outlaw justice. If they wanted to be lawless, we will be lawless in our response.

    THEN, we get back to real Rule of Law so it doesn’t happen again.

  • Dee from NYS

    The Catholic Bishops going to war over birth control is the 21st Century version of The Crusades led by men still rooted in the 11th Century. Catholic Church employers that do secular work don’t get to claim to religious exemptions from the laws that other employers must follow.

  • Colleen

    If a religious group chooses to get
    into a business other than promoting their faith they must be held to
    the same standards as everybody else. To do otherwise is unfairly
    promoting religious businesses over secular businesses. The
    government is not requiring churches to change what they preach, or
    forcing their adherents to go against their beliefs; but why is a
    Catholic university different from any other university? What
    happened to equal treatment under the law?

    If they are not requiring all of their
    employees to be of their religion, then it would be unfairly imposing
    their religious beliefs on their non-believer employees to exempt
    them from covering any care with which they disagree.

    Opponents of contraception have now
    argued that ANY business owner who has a moral problem with
    contraception should not be required to provide coverage for it in
    the health insurance they offer their employees. This is absurd. If
    you are morally opposed to contraception…don’t use it. But your
    disapproval does not mean you have the right to impose your religious
    beliefs on all of your employes.

    • TFRX

      Anthony Picarello, general counsel for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops:

      “We’re not going to do anything until this is fixed.”

      That means removing the provision from the health care law altogether, he said, not simply changing it for Catholic employers and their insurers. He cited the problem that would create for “good Catholic business people who can’t in good conscience cooperate with this.”—

      First, 98% of Catholic women are going to hell by your figuring already. Second, this is a sleazy way to embiggen this from churches to people who, when they signed on to work at anyplace, didn’t know they’d have to put up with “Catholic businesspeople”, but just thought they were getting a regular job.

      Can’t these Bishops and all just have this fight with their own kind wihtout dragging me and my government into it?

      And why are my airwaves filled with old Catholic men (in robes or not–see Tweety, etc) or Protestants who only care for one-way religious liberty?

  • Anonymous

    I think it is in the banks’ interest to renegotiate mortgages to prevent foreclosures, but absent fraud, how is it anyone but the homeowner’s fault for being underwater?  They either bought an overvalued house or took out too much money against their home.  If they are planning to live in their house, they aren’t any worse off.  If they plan to sell it, they should take the hit like any other bad investment.  The robo-signing victims should have received the majority of the settlement.

  • Worried for the country(MA)

    Who pays the $25B?  Five banks?  Of course this gets passed on to the consumers.  Sounds like a $5B handout to trial lawyers. 

    • TFRX

      Trial lawyers? Do you have a reliable link to your assertion about this, dogwhistler?

      • Worried for the country(MA)

        I learned it on today’s show.

        • TFRX

          Tort reform is unilateral disarmament.

          The corporations will keep their phalanx of lawyers on retainer, simply so they aren’t able to work for a potential plaintiff. And that’s just a small example, one of many.

          Unless you’re playing it both ways, in which case I invite you to go to right-wing message boards with that “Tort reform and let’s reduce corporate lawyer overload”, and see where that gets you.

      • Worried for the country(MA)

        Maybe you tuned in late.

    • Anonymous

      States’ Attorney Generals are trial lawyers?  I sure hope so.

  • Observer

    “We won’t get fooled again”.

    Obama blew it.  He’s and elite banker coddler and we all know it. He wants to play along to get along, essentially begging the wolves not to attack again, instead of hunting them down from day one.

    If you can’t beat em’, join em’!

    • Observer

      or more like:

      If you want to join em’, don’t beat em’!

  • Terry Tree Tree

    “Having bailed out Wall Street”?  The bail-out happened on ‘W’s time! 
        ‘Conservatives’ are ‘conservative’ of the truth?

    • Observer

      and that started the Tea Party. Lets keep all the facts straight.

      But DNC partisanship and latte vs. nascar snobbery was more important to most than joining against the banking/Washington elite and demanding accountability in the biggest scandal of the century.

      • TFRX

        Still hunting for Teabaggers who aren’t misgynistic, racist, xenophobic bigots? Who didn’t explode with the crazy after the black Democrat won the White House, who didn’t spend the last Inauguration Day screaming “He didn’t get the oath right? Where is the Bible?”

        Got a lot of time on your hands.

        • Observer

          Boy, you are full of hate.

          It’s great fuel for your irrelevant Red-Herringism.

          • TFRX

            You seem to have found the Chrome add-on which give you unique insight to my non-verbal communication and vocal tone. Where can I get it?

            Calling someone who recognizes the spewing flecks of hate “full of hate” is the kind of thing I wouldn’t dare make up about anyone. Fortunately, with you here, I don’t have to.

            And once you get over your Teabagger fantasy, AmericanGrace’s website has your number.

    • TFRX

      Naah, I’m pretty sure it was all after Jan 20th 2009. The same way the media keeps telling me Jimmy Carter was at the helm for the oil shocks of ’72 and ’73.

  • Anonymous

    Observer…I’d also throw in jail those people who chose to over extend themselves on their mortgages.  A bank can only tell you what you can borrow, not what you can afford. I think people who have bad credit, and get MORE credit are a huge problem. If you lost your home because you can’t stop yourself from living beyond your means, consider jail a healthy intervention.

    • Observer

      Please.  Of course people in over there heads in real affordability/reality terms should suffer foreclosure.

      We are talking way bigger systemic corruption/collusion and elite unaccountability here with the Bubble Inflation and the Bailouts.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    It is better to be against birth control pills and ignore the child molestation cases in the Catholic church.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      For REAL, or are you being sarcastic, I hope?

  • Abel

    I take exception to Rana’s statement that the housing crisis is a once in 75 year “event.” Call it what it was, the most massive wave of organized crime in the history of the world. This settlement is just further evidence that not only is this crime going to go unpunished, but that in the end it was actually rewarded. It is getting harder and harder to distinguish the U.S. from a banana republic.

    • Observer

      Exactamundo.

      Tweedle-Dee, Tweedle-Dum and the Banking Puppet Masters.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      I’m sure the banksters will have another, in LESS than 75 years?

      • Observer

        If we don’t address our Federal Reserve and Monetary system of elite banker rule, yes.

        But don’t worry, John and RoyMac are going to sort that out.

  • Observer

    Who assembled Obama’s team?

    I think it was Obama. He can’t hide behind the Team.

    WHERE IS THE WHITE CALLER JAIL TIME?!

    “Revolving door but……”

    You are letting Obama off the hook.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      All the white callers will go to jail?  Isn’t that discriminatory?

      • BHA in Vermont

        Geez, I’m glad I only post!

      • Observer

        I guess I was unconsciously throwing the knee-jerk libs a bone……

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Thanks, we needed a laugh?   You don’t think it a funny slip?  Sorry, if I hurt your feelings on that.

  • Takrause

    In 2008, the Democratic nominee wasn’t decided until June, I believe. In Iowa, Hillary Clinton had more caucus supporters than every before – but Pres. Obama had even more. Voter turnout was large and the great majority of Democrats could support either candidate. This year is much different for the Republicans. Voter turnout is low and it seems the most popular Republican candidate is “Not Romney.” With the improving economy, I think the Republicans may have a hard time in November. 

  • Barbara Rich

    On the contraception issue.  Do those insurance policies cover mail contraception such as  a vasectomy?

    • TFRX

      We can get those through the mail now?

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Just laugh, and go on?  I saw it too.

        • TFRX

          Nah, I’m with you on the larger idea, and seriously it is a question which points out how the Catholic hierarchy likes treating women one way and men another for the purposes of control.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Yes, I have asked about priests getting Viagra,

    • Terry Tree Tree

      I had to go to a Dr.’s office, to get my vasectomy!

  • BHA in Vermont

    Maybe, JUST MAYBE, the Catholic organizations that are all concerned that medical insurance they provide has to cover birth control need to look at the stats:
    96% of sexually active Catholic women in the USA have used birth control. The ‘shepards’ do not control the flock as they want to believe.

    And if they are all “God will decide how many children a woman will have”, they damn well better have it written it stone that their insurance DOES NOT cover E.D. problems in men.

    • Anonymous

      When the bishops direct every priest to announce from the Sunday pulpit that every women in the congregation who uses these forms of contraception should be excommunicated, denied communion and not welcomed in the Church, I will take their complaints as principled.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        BEFORE they truly address PRIEST PEDOPHILIA?  And the clergy that protect them?

    • Jasoturner

      You got it.  The church is trying to cover up for the utter failure of their “teachings” by making contraception more difficult to acquire for their “flock”.

  • Observer

    Tom, Ron Paul, “he’s there”?

    TALK ABOUT WHAT HE IS SAYING

    WHAT IS HIS ANALYSIS OF THESE PROBLEMS

    THAT IS WHAT YOU NEVER DISCUSS AND INFURIATES PEOPLE

    He is fundamentally different that the rest of GOP and Dems.

    But you never discuss that substance.

    • Roy Mac

      Ron Paul is a joke; there will always be a fringe factor that supports him or Ross Perot or Lyndon LaRouche.  It is a waste of air time for anbody to talk about Paul–just curl up an Ayn Rand novel and that will provide more than enough.

      • Observer

        More of the same eh Roy Mac?

        What great substance. Are you working for Mitt or the DNC? Or are you a banker, broker, trader? What makes you so love and defend the funny money gravy train and its sycophants?

        • Anonymous

          Objecting to amputation for a broken limb isn’t the same as saying there is no need to treat the injury.  Ron Paul’s libertarian nonsense isn’t the solution to every problem. 

          • Observer

            Wow.

            And you guys have been SOOOOO productive in laying out the alternatives, that address our monetary problems and how it systemically is destroying us by enabling all the debt for utopian welfare and warfare political panderers. 

            Challenging the banking elite and reforming our Unsound money system is the ULTIMATE campaign finance reform.

            You guys just criticize, but otherwise have your head in the sand. 

          • Terry Tree Tree

            WE ARE NOT RUNNING FOR PUBLIC OFFICE?
               Those running for public office should give reasons, and reasonable proposals, as solutions to problems?

          • Observer

            No, but I’m bashed for supporting/raising points about a candidate, when nobody else puts up candidate/ideas, just partisan vitriol, one-liner criticisms and ad hominem attacks.  

            With no other thoughtful platforms offered, what is left but “status quo”?

          • Anonymous

            Most of us who will be voting for Obama readily criticize him.  Name three things you don’t like about the amazing Ron Paul’s positions. 

          • nj

            I  ain’t voting for the O-man, and i readily criticize him. And i’m not a Republican.

            I’m in a category of my own.

            http://www.voterocky.org

            http://www.jillstein.org/

          • Observer

            Arguing for candidates/parties/ideas who want to break more limbs isn’t too progressive either.

      • nj

        Careful Roy. Leather Dave of a Thousand and One Handles can shill for his fatally flawed Libertarian fairy dust guy for months and months, but if you question it, you’re either a “scumbag troll” or you’re in the pocket of the DNC or you support the status quo, or are guilty of some other of Dave’s boneheaded, accusatory assumptions.

        And then he has the opacity to criticize anyone who questions Paul for lacking “substance.”

        There no reasonable discussion possible with cultists.

         

    • nj

      Be sure to also mention RP is also a raging racist, doesn’t think climate change is a problem, and isn’t so sure about evolution.

  • Gisscottheron

    The housing settlement is a big win for the banks they only have to promise to settle a small fraction of the foreclosures. Most likely they will refi those with the big second mortgages. the second mortgage overhang is slowing down the process the most.
    When a home goes into foreclosure the second mortgages are wiped completely from the slate the overhang is close to 300 billion in second mortgages. If all of that money goes away the nation would be left making the banks whole again. We can ill afford to realize the 300 billion in deflation and that money would have to be borrowed by the fed in the form of QEIII  the FED buying up even more of the bond s they issue  placing the entire country in debt further for the morass of the banks and the folks who too the bait and cannot manage debt.

    So the up shot is this was a dog and pony show to gin up Obama’s poll numbers and it is too little too late the real focus should be upon the lack of Bankers being hauled of to prison. Eric Holder has been a major failure. Obama should have fired him and placed some one who has a pair and prosecuted the bankers who have destroyed the lives of millions of Americans.

  • JusttheFacts

    This is a pet peeve issue for me.  NO ONE is willing to admit that housing prices were BLOATED. This was mainly because of the inordinate amount of speculators that were in the market, everybody and their mothers were trying to “flip a house”.
     
    People were selling virtual shacks for $200,000.  That’s almost a quarter of a million dollars for a tool shed.  Prices SHOULD GO DOWN just to get the pricing right. 

    And keep in mind, I haven’t even mentioned the mess they created when they started packaging the loans to sell on Wall Street.

    • Observer

      Yes, you are right. But while we accept the prices going down, its important to acknowledge WHERE DID THE FUEL FOR THE SPECULATORS COME FROM?

      The most harmful part of the bubble we know was the leverage. Where did all that leverage come from?

      The Fed makes this all possible. It’s banking pals profit on the way up, on the way down and everything in between.

      • Observer

        Speculators can be as selfish and aggressive and reckless as they want, but without the power of Interest Rate and Money Printing monetary policy, they a far less dangerous.

        We do recall that the Fed is ostensibly there to PREVENT these crises?

        Are you kidding me? This is the biggest crisis/swindle in our history! 

        There is absolutely no defense for the Fed. It could NOT have happened without them.

        And know we have are supposed to be so gullible as to believe, “it would have been worse without them to save us”??

  • Margaret- Omaha, NE

    Housing- wish it were 250 million.
    Catholic Bishops and their spokespersons have indicated it won’t stop with Contraceptives they plan to push opposition against AHCA. They fail to realize that yes Catholics are largest group of swing voters but 1st Catholic Women use birth control pill 2nd Catholics like the AHCA. Obama will look week if he capitulates.
    Stock Act- you need also to be talking about Eric Cantor weakening the bill by removing section 7 to protect of K street buying and selling congregational information.

    • mary elizabeth

      why are the bishops so riled up now?  28 states already declare that contraception must be provided free by all employers including Catholics.
         The Repub conservative Bishops  see an opportunity to stick it to this President.  They do not like him, just as they did not like Kerry.  They supported G.W..  Invading Iraq was okay with them.  They  criticize Biden, Pelosi, yet will adore  a lying, immature, ethically challanged Santorum who would serve only those in his image.
      This is more about creating a issue for the Repubs to declare themselves victim of –the “POTUS”  is against the faithful and Catholics.  Yes, the power hungry  bishops are anti-contraception, et al.  but they  are mostly against any notion of losing control over their
      “flock”.

  • Gisscottheron

    The Answer to the religious exemption is to just exempt the church from receiving any  state or federal money for health care.  Zip zero nadda 

    • Terry Tree Tree

      And PAY BACK ALL they have received, plus the interest at the time they received it!

    • jb366

      Hurrah! And let the Church take back all the services they have provided to the underprivileged!

      It’s high time that the Church stop getting fat on Medicaid reimbursement, adoption services and social services!

  • Maryella1

    check out Greg Palast’s  article in the Huffington post:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/greg-palast/queen-of-angels-condoms_b_1263389.html?ref=politics


    If a religious organization abjures condoms or The Pill or blood
    transfusions, that’s their right. It should not be their management’s
    right, even if the managers wear vestments, to impose those religions
    strictures on the bodies of their workers.

    It’s about freedom of the worker from the religious dictates of her employer.”

  • Jeff

    There is so much attention given to Santorum’s wins this week, however very little attention is being paid on all media to the VERY SMALL amount/percentage of eligible voters who have given him this ‘momentum.’

  • Mdoran1013

    In regards to the battle over covering contraception…I live in Connecticut and birth control is covering under all medical insurance. Our government passed the “Pill Bill” which mandated that all insurance cover birth control. This came about since insurance was paying for Viagra. If the insurance will pay for a man to get an erection, it should pay for woman to be protect from unplanned pregnancy. Covering contraception is also cheaper than the cost of an unplanned pregnancy.care for all children

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Have Catholics raged about providing Viagra, and other such drugs?  
         If NOT, do they pay for Viagra, etc…, for ANY priests?

  • Erin in Iowa

    It’s a HOSPITAL not a CHURCH!

    • http://abellia.myopenid.com/ Andrew

      Second that.  Is it OK if Exxon refuses to provide the same service if the CEO doesn’t like the idea of contraception? Vaccinations?

  • nathan

    Regarding the church’s fight against having to fund contraception…

    The issue, as it stands, is perfectly clear.  One person’s religious freedom ends where it starts impinging on the civil rights and freedom of another.

    As long as contraception is considered a right, the church is, and should be, forced to fund it, no matter what their scruples. If they want to change this, they must convince the courts, first, that contraception is not a right, instead of this disingenuous fight against side issues.

  • Anonymous

    Religious institutions are 100% free to rely 100% upon volunteers to provide their services. Good luck running their businesses by finding any doctors, nurses and other healthcare providers to work for free.

  • manganbr

    Conscience is a bottom up principle. The government is protecting the freedom of individuals of whatever faith to exercise their conscience, in allowing them the choice to take advantage of certain insurance coverages or not, according to their consciences. From the church’s perspective, the only conscience that matters is that of the administrator, or, now, supposedly, any employer. The employee is not allowed to have a conscience, or one that matters, because the choice would already be made for them by their employer. 

    • Terry Tree Tree

      TOO MANY of those ‘administrators’ are Child-Molesters, and Child-Abusers?

  • Melody

    Re: Catholic Church, RTL’s Republican’s.  Are they trying to bury the Komen-Planned Parenthood debate and the overwhelming support for services ie: contreception and abortion support that came forward?

  • John Falcone, MDiv

    The biggest proponents of a war on Catholics are the Catholic Bishops, who want to rob rank and file Catholics of comprehensive health care benefits (and the right to marry the person of their choice, and the right to be protected from predatory ministers, and … and … and …).

  • Worried for the country(MA)

    It is clear the government shouldn’t trample religious freedom. This is a very bad precedent. Where will it stop?

    • Observer

      Why should it stop? With the right people in charge, we can finally build our Utopia!  We just need to clamp down on diversity of thought.

    • Nicollisd

      The government is not trampling on religious freedom.  Nothing tramples on religious freedom except when they break the law like Mormon polygamy as practiced in Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico.  Where oh is where is the uproar?

  • ML

    Re: Contraception.  Judging by the reactions of the Church and Republicans, you would think the new rules would require the Church to provide contraception to everyone. This is not what the rules do.  They simply allow people who are employed by the church to have the same access as everyone else.  It is not a religious issue – it is a human rights issue. Why should employees of certain institutions not be allowed to enjoy the same basic rights as people employed elsewhere? 

  • Observer

    In this Blitzer interview, Paul hits it all from Banks, Currency crisis to the religious liberty brew ha ha, that illustrates how true diversity and liberty would let people choose the insurance they want, that reflects their values/beliefs.

    http://www.dailypaul.com/212580/alert-ron-paul-on-cnn-wolf-blitzer-in-4pm-et-hour

  • patrick skinner

    Doesn’t this Catholic Church uproar, regarding covering womens contraception, just make the fact that a single payer program is the only way to go?  Just eliminate employers from the insurance picture altogether.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      EXCELLENT IDEA!

    • Observer

      Diverse, competitive insurance market.  Why aren’t you clamoring for universal car insurance and single payer pet insurance?

  • Observer

    With respect, clearly Jack is full-blown Philosopher King, Benevolent Dictator, and not an American Liberty, Rule of Law kind of guy. He’s free to be.

  • TFRX

    Jack is doing some needed reporting about Santorum and contraception, and how Frothy Mix doesn’t want us to have it.

    This is a headline. It is absolute first-paragraph, above-the-fold stuff we should see in every local and network news story, but is often a mountain made into a molehill.

    • Observer

      That you have different views than another American is front-page news?

      That we are a diverse nation, and some people are arguing for letting it remain diverse, within the protection of the Constitution and Rule of Law?

      You just want to see the country made in your enlightened image by coercion.

      • Ray in VT

        I think more to the point is the idea that one of the contenders for this nation’s highest office holds views on an issue that affects the lives of so many citizens.

        We are a diverse nation, and we have many points of view here.  But consider the idea that Mr. Santorum believes that states should be allowed to outlaw contraception.  According to CDC estimates from 2006-2008 well over 95% of American women aged 15-44 have used some form of contraception at some point.

        You’re a laissez-faire guy, right?  Well Santorum thinks that if enough of your neighbors hate birth control, then they should be legally owned to prohibit you from using it.  Does that bother you?  It scares the hell out of me.  Not because I think that it would ever happen in my lifetime in my state, but, rather, what it says about the candidates worldview and how he would govern.

        • Observer

          When thinking about liberty vs. Fear I think your comment:
          “Not because I think that it would ever happen in my lifetime”

          …is very important to consider.

          I have faith in the competition of ideas and the ability of people to self govern.  There is no way, short of military coercion, huge swaths of Americans would be for banning contraception.

          I’m not going to give up liberty for a moot point.

          • Ray in VT

            Well, I did say in my state.  I’m not so sure about some places in the nation.  It was not so long ago in this country where the marketplace of ideas came to the conclusion that people of different races should not be allowed to marry.

            From my position social conservatives, while in some ways supporting your view of liberty in terms of small government, want to intrude into our lives in other ways.  Living in the state where civil unions first came into being, we heard plenty of religious opinions telling us why the state should not extend certain benefits, that had nothing to do with church sacraments, based upon the religious positions of some.  As a religious minority, I do fear the power of hyper-religious politicians and their backers’ attempts to push their faith into my life.

          • Observer

            I don’t support social conservatives who want to govern their social conservatism. Those are authoritarians.

            Ron Paul could believe in Martians for all I care, he would never dare use the Federal Govt. to make me go along.

            Remember, Libertarians are not Conservatives.

            This debate/discussion about some of those issues was interesting if you didn’t already read it. I like the Brink Lindsey analysis.

            http://reason.com/archives/2010/07/12/where-do-libertarians-belong

            Also Hayek on “Why I am not a Conservative”

            http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig6/hayek1.html

          • Ray in VT

            I know that philosophically conservatives and libertarians are not the same, but many of them are trying to share the same political roof these days, and I don’t know how they can continue to get along.

            As I think that I’ve said before, there are some things that I agree with Ron Paul on.  I’m fairly socially libertarian, as a great deal of Vermont is, but nothing in my experience leads me to believe that the libertarian view of what government should do, mainly nothing, would improve the lot of society as a whole.  On the other hand, I think that there is such a thing as too much government control, and that when one starts to get out to that extreme, then society also has difficulty functioning.  That happy zone in the middle where we can balance the best of both is what I’m looking for.

          • Observer

            Ray, overseeing the execution of the Rule of Law is hardly “nothing”. You must be better informed about the liberty position better than that. We are not talking about Anarchy.

            I wrote earlier about the “balance” fallacy for lack of a better term.  I don’t want to defend extremism, but I mean  for example, if Unsound Monetary Policy is fueling alot of our Debt, Bubble-Crash, War problems, is a medium level of Unsound monetary policy the answer?

            Also, I don’t know how authoritarian, fundamentalist conservatives, Neocons and libertarians can keep getting along either.

            Like I said, I liked that Brink Lindsey perspective in that discussion.

      • TFRX

        Blindfolded, I could pick this pobble as being from you.

        Right-wing lunatics get their crazy sanded off by the media every election cycle. The media crit in me know crap “journalism” when I see it.

        • TFRX

          And I’d wear “benevolent dictator” is a badge of honor from the likes of you. Except it’s a tinpot trophy, seeing how you bestow it on everyone who doesn’t agree with you.

          • Observer

            Agree with me or agree with liberty?

            Keep it personal though, then the ad hominems make it look like your winning the debate.

          • Anonymous

            “Agree with me or agree with liberty?” — Are they synonymous?  You dismiss everyone who disagrees with you as being stooges of the international banking conspiracy or someone who wants a benevolent dictator.  Any of Ron Paul’s extremist positions that you can’t defend you dismiss as red herrings.  You called someone a troll for claiming Ron Paul is a racist but never address Ron Paul’s opposition to the Civil Rights Act. 

          • Observer

            And yet when Moda slaps you guys with “the Dems were the Racist Party”, of course you finagle your way out of that. You guys are all about avoidance of the core issues and defending some sort of status quo, which is not even clear. You know what you don’t like, but you aren’t defending a system that gives us a sustainable chance to get there.

          • Observer

            You know what you don’t like, but you aren’t defending an alternative system of set of reforms (beyond blind faith in Dodd-Frank, which is frankly nibbling at the edges) that gives us a sustainable chance to get to something better. You have to pay for your alternative, and you cannot coercive huge numbers of people to make it happen, regardless of whether you are superior and they too dumb to realize your wisdom.

          • Anonymous

            He claims that they still are the racist party which isn’t true as most of the racists switched parties.  We respond accurately to that silly claim.  The system needs to be reformed by regulating campaign finance, scaling back corporate citizenship, and ending 60 votes thresholds on every vote in the Senate.  Not agreeing with Ron Paul’s agenda is not the same as defending every aspect of the status quo which you constantly accuse anyone who disagrees with you of doing. 

          • Observer

            “He claims that they still are the racist party which isn’t true as most of the racists switched parties.”

            And TFRX called Paul a Raging Racist.

          • Anonymous

            He doesn’t support the Civil Rights Act so he probably ir.  Don’t forget his newsletters.

          • TFRX

            I didn’t call RP a “raging racist”. That was someone else.

            I merely wondered at some other times whehter Paul is a raging racist, or merely someone who has recognized that he needs the support of the racists who make up the base of the GOP, and needs to speak in dogwhistles or blatant rightspeak.

          • TFRX

            It takes a heap of selective ignornace to say that about Moda with a straight face.

            Congratulations on that leap.

          • TFRX

            “Personal”? Try “universal”.

            I have that same bewilderment of everyone who is that ignorant of the mainstream press’ filter.

          • JustSayin

             Yes the choices are believe in libertarian ideology, or we are too ignorant to understand the principles.

            As proof, we are given that only the followers of Paul can believe and understand.

            Its never acceptable that many people do understand, and still reject it.

            It’s a total cult mentality.

          • Observer

            What logic is this?

            So all those who voted for the 2-party folks over the last 25 years that brought on this financial fiasco are cultists?

            Oh, only the figures you disagree with are cultists, the rest are just… misinformed?

            But thanks for explaining why Paul’s case for sound money, more transparent banking and less war is so….cultish.

            I guess to cynics, belief in principles that actually make sense, instead of discretionary power given to the unaccountable elite, looks pretty cultish.

            Better than that definition of doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

            Insane.

            So from here on out, we can have a productive debate. You guys call me cultish Utopian and I’ll call you insane, and we can agree to ignore the issues.

  • BHA in Vermont

    Perhaps all the Republican candidates who want to repeal ‘Obamacare’ will tell us how they expect people to afford health care. My daughter is almost 19, not in college because of health issues. How much would it cost me to get her ‘open market’ insurance, if she could even GET insurance since she has pre-existing conditions? I can tell you I won’t be making room for a younger person who needs a job any time soon. I can’t afford to retire, the health insurance costs would put me in poverty.

    I guess we should continue sending people who can not afford insurance to the ER (which is BY FAR the most expensive health care delivery method we have) with problems they would not have if they could afford to go to a doctor BEFORE it got serious? Yep, great ‘plan’. It doesn’t work NOW so let’s keep doing it.

    • Jasoturner

      Fortunately for the republicans, they don’t really care if people like you or me can afford healthcare, nor do they care if we go bankrupt paying out of pocket.  Thus, they have no particular need to tell us how they will square the circle.  They don’t intend to try.

  • Observer

    Always charges of “going back”.  Because of course today’s people are too dumb to choose, vote for, create a worthy society. We need the “know-betters” to enforce the best kind of life to live.

    Why does live and let live not resonate with anyone today?

    • Anonymous

      It is YOU that is the Utopian.  Neither our country, at any time, or any other place that has ever existed on earth since humans inhabited it, has ever implemented the the collection of ideals you are constantly advancing.  Or else just tell us where and when they were in place to we can look to that for an example.  I’m not say I disagree with a lot of what you say.  But to call you unrealistic and impractical, given our current circumstances, is a vast understatement.

      • JustSayin

         Well there is a place that has many libertarian values in place– Somalia.

        Free markets, no government intrusion, no law regarding personal or corporate behavior, no environmental laws, no benevolent dictator based laws; just Ayn style “Liberty”, and lots of it.

        • Observer

          such crap.

        • Observer

          How’s that North Korea/Central Planner/Efficiency over Liberty experiment working out?

          Oh, hyperbole.

      • Observer

        How is arguing for the least Central Planning and most personal choice possible, Utopian?

        Believing in Central Plans is Utopia 101.

        Were the founders and the ideals of Constitutional Self Government Utopian?

        The problem we seem to be having is the old “compromise” or moderate issue. As if taking todays Republicans and Democrats and implementing the average of their policies and systemic assumptions is the answer.

        Do you believe that?

        Lets have half the cronyism? Lets have half the unsound monetary policy?

        Even that is generous as they are essentially the same on all the systemic issues that gave us our current status quo perpetual crisis.

        People fear rapacious capitalists. I get it. We should also fear well-meaning Central planning governments that always get corrupted and leverage bad policies.

        The best way to balance or avoid those issues, was contemplated deeply with historical reflection by our founders.

        Liberty was a huge part of the equation of our American experiment in Self Government, and to avoid Tyranny.

        Today, Liberty is a bad word, and/or, people don’t even understand it as a political-economic concept.

        It is understandable to wish a Big, Benevolent Government would make it impossible for those with ill-intent to try and defraud the public, or that it could be a source of unlimited resources to dole out to us to keep up with our demands.

        But it just doesn’t work.  Big Centralized Government is just as corruptible as Big Organized Capital.  The best we can do is enforce a level playing field that promotes diverse competition for capital, and distributed power through the states and people for our governing.

        It’s not that radical, but its NOT perfect, its NOT a utopia, and it does require an understanding of the mechanistic role of liberty and Rule of Law.

        You want to trust Obama and his Finance Cronies. If anything could be more Utopian and unrealistic or impractical given our current circumstances, I’ve yet to see it.

        You need to talk about our monetary policy and its linkages to the debt, finance sector and war machine.

  • (Mr.) Sandy Untermyer

    Here is my question: Why does the federal government send our tax dollars to Catholic hospitals if those Catholic hospitals won’t play by the same regulations as all the other hospitals?

    I honestly can’t understand why the same Catholics up on their hind legs about contraception now are so quiet about capital punishment, since the EXACT same Papal teaching that tells Catholics to avoid contraception mandates opposition to capital punishment.

    When was the last time you heard about a Catholic bishop who now noisily advocates opposing the insurance regulations now refusing to pay his state taxes because his state has capital punishment? NOTE: The date on this posting is 2001, when Bush was President:Public Funds to Religious Hospitals Raise QuestionsBy Cynthia L. CooperWEnews correspondentMonday, March 5, 2001Billions of taxpayer dollars go to hospitals run by organized religions. Yet, some deny abortion, abortion counseling, sterilization, emergency contraception and end-of-life services, raising serious questions about the separation of church and state.(WOMENSENEWS)–Nationwide, hospitals with religious orientations receive at least $45.5 billion in government funding, but these institutions do not provide more services to the poor–and in some cases they provide less–than nonsectarian nonprofit or private hospitals, according to new research.These findings by The MergerWatch Project, a division of Family Planning Advocates of New York State, were previewed last week at a conference in New York, cosponsored by MergerWatch and the ProChoice Resource Center.Speakers expressed mounting concerns about religious health care institutions that refuse to provide reproductive health care and end-of-life services based on religious doctrine. Catholic religious and ethical directives, for example, prohibit abortion as well as referral for abortion, sterilization and contraception and emergency contraception to patients, regardless of the patients’ preference or religious beliefs. End of life services include permitting patients to choose to end artificial nutrition and hydration.In 1998 religious hospitals received close to $9 billion in federal funding for Medicaid and other programs, according to the report, which still is in draft form. Citing the most recent data available, the report said religious hospitals received $35.7 billion for Medicare for the elderly and $800 million in other government funds–all together amounting to $45.5 billion.The $800 million comes from state and local sources, including state and local appropriation funds from tobacco taxes, property tax revenues and payments for services to indigent and low-income people.Some government support to religious hospitals was not included in the study, such as breaks on the costs of construction financing from using government bond programs.

  • BHA in Vermont

    Ask Santorum how well ‘no birth control and abstinence’ worked for Bristol Palin.

  • Scott B, Jamestown NY

    Funny, but couldn’t this all have been solved by the public option? Don’t like, or don’t have, insurance options at work?- Then be able to buy into medicaid. Tada! No fuss, no muss. 

    There’s a hypocrisy in a church that seeks to control the bodies of women, while denying them to be leaders (priest and higher) in the church; that hires, and even seeks out, non-Catholic employees and will deny them birth control but doesn’t force them into attending mass; and has well over 90% of Catholic women have used contraception banned by the church.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      It could also be solved by getting the federal government out of the health care business.  Repeal Obamacare.

      Protect religious freedom and liberty.

      • Scott B, Jamestown NY

         You’re one of those people that say “Keep the government’s hands off my Medicare!”    So where do those that need Medicaid & Medicare go for medical care they won’t be able to afford, nor able to get, or afford, insurance, should your get government out of health care, which Medicare and Medicaid are. 

        What part of “Obamacre” don’t you like? That people can keep their kids on their insurance until they’re 26?  That insurance companies have to spend $.80 of every dollar on actual health care and not stock dividends and pay, bonuses, and golden parachute retirements for execs? Or that insurance can’t deny anyone a policy for pre-existing conditions (like acne, or pregnancy and  basically being a woman) , cherry picking only the healthy and cutting off those that need insurance?  Or that everyone will to have insurance, because at some point the vast majority of us will all need it?  Because we end up paying for the uninsured flooding E.R.s when they get sick or wounded with no insurance, anyway.

        Or do you just not want to pay for something that you feel you don’t need, or that others don’t deserve? You pay taxes for Soc Sec, et al, and most of us will need those, probably including you. I don’t particularly like knowing I’m paying for ignorant and biased people that bitch about others having insurance.

        Oh, and let’s not forget that a good deal of these ideas actually came
        from the Right, such as the individual mandate to have insurance. 

        So,  is it just Obama you object to? Is it the fact that he’s a Democrat? Or is it just him?

        • TFRX

          My guess: Worried doesn’t say that about Medicare. He lets the crazies on the right say that, then uses them.

          Seems to me he doesn’t agree with them, he just wants to use their ignorance, co-opt their enthusiam, and bathe in the media’s fetish for RealAmerica(TM). Without having to admit about the media’s tilt, or confront the Tea Party sorts about how he thinks Medicare is untenable despite everthing (sic) the GOP has proposed to reform (sic) it.

        • nj

          Any “health care” plan is doomed to failure as long as profit-greedy insurance companies are part of the mix.

          Universal coverage, single payer. It’s the only real solution.

          Obamacare guarantees a windfall for insurance companies, just about guaranteeing that real solutions get put off even further into the future.

        • Worried for the country(MA)

          Wow!  I love the personal attacks.  Very telling.

          I don’t have enough time to describe everything that is wrong with the 2300 hundred page monstrosity called Obamacare.  The first problem is it is a budget busting scam.  They used the CBO 10 year accounting window to make it look like it was in surplus but the revenues are front end loaded and the costs are back end loaded so that is just a gimmick.

          I have no problem in principle with the medicare/medicaid safety net.  It should be administered by states and not by the federal government.  Other than the fraud, waste and abuse of these programs, the major problem is the unfunded liabilities in these programs to the tune of about $100T.  They are not structural sound and need major reform.  Everyone appears to agree about this, yet nothing is done.

          I know you are a single payer guy and I can see the potential benefits but I am not sold.  I am concerned that complete government control will stagnate innovation.  Whenever someone brings up single payer and I am tempted I just remember the post office and then say “what was I thinking”.

          • Scott B, Jamestown NY

             I’m actually an “option” guy. For those that want government health care, or to buy into it, great. If you like shopping around, or what your employer offers better, or can afford it, great also. 

            I don’t understand how people on the right think that the insurance co’s don’t/won’t come between you and your doctor, but government health care will.  I’ve personally seen some of my former insurers do nothing but come between me and my doctors, from the time when I was kid and I dislocated my knee.  I now had a “pre-existing condition” others have used to deny me treatment for unrelated health issues, like when I had a suspicious mole my Dr. wanted to remove.

             I have a good friend whose son has acute asthma but her work insurance (and she’s a city worker) won’t cover the nebulizer this kid desperately needs. 

            But when I became unemployed I was able to get on medicare and thank the powers that be or the cancer I had would have go unchecked, and I’d never have gotten to see my daughter grow up.  And my daughter wouldn’t have had the treatment she’s needed from an infant. 

            So we’d be more than happy to pay into Medicaid and get the “bad”, and “intrusive” government health care.

    • Observer

      You might change your tune if the “wrong” people got in charge of the Government. What if RepubliTheoCons took over most branches, and Government Health care suddenly banned contraception.  Where do you turn? You spurned the Constitution, you spurned a competitive, diverse health insurance market based on the peoples choices and decisions.

      Now what?  All you have left is Revolution.

      Liberty is a Peace Movement in the final analysis.

      http://www.thefreemanonline.org/headline/diversity-ends-rules/

      • JustSayin

         I agree. And I would be just as worried for my freedom if the Ideological cult of Ayn Rand were the dictators.

        Dave, you have no crystal ball as to what forced Libertarianism would do to a nation….  And forced it would have to be, because time and time again the American people have rejected it.

        • Observer

          Forced Libertarianism? I know you wrote that on purpose.

          I don’t think more than 10% of the people actually have a coherent picture of the Liberty, Constitution, Classical Rule of Law thing.

          And having understood that, as our founders did, they then rejected it as you claim.

          Perhaps it’s too mechanistic, and the simple Democrats-good caring people, Republicans-selfish wealth hoarding people who we need for military adventures occasionally, is all we can aspire to today.

  • Observer

    Tom,

    Are your guests ready to accept a new One-World Currency if and when the current currencies of the world fail? 

    Sovereignty issues?

  • Patrik

    Wow, so ensuring our fellow man is healthy and well is an entitlement?  You cannot put a exclusive price tag on things like health, unbelieveable.

    • Patrik

      *fellow man and woman

    • BHA in Vermont

      Yes, only the well off are entitled to be healthy. The rest should die from curable ailments to stop them leaching off the rich.

    • Anonymous

      If our government takes from one person to give to another, it is an entitlement by defenition!

  • anon lady

    I don’t believe in war. 

    • anon lady

       I don’t want to pay for war. But I did (am) with my tax dollars. You don’t always get to choose what you do and don’t pay for…

      • Observer

        You should be supporting Ron Paul’s position on Congress (the people’s reps) having to DECLARE wars again, and we’d be closer to what you want.

    • Anonymous

      How do you think the thousands of Americans in military uniforms died in Iraq and Afghanistan?  Do you think they were sight seeing?

  • Nicollisd

    I am disgusted with the politicians who present red-herrings and Strawman distractions to the real debate.  There has been no actual debate only their attack on the President.  Is anyone ever going to challenge these attacks and ask the candidates and others what they would do to assist the citizens?  Maybe this sounds radical but, what if the companies only hired people who were of their faith and no one else?  It’s about the same ridiculous argument against birth control and religious belief when one has NOTHING to do with the other.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      This is a CHANGE in policy.  Mr. Obama personally promised to the Catholic Bishops that the government would NOT trample religious freedom.  In turn, the Bishops gave support to Obamacare and it passed. Mr. Obama is reneging on HIS personal promise.

      • denis

        where are the facts to ack up your statement

        • Worried for the country(MA)

          Where have you been?  It’s all over the news.

          I heard an interview with congressman Bart Stupak who only gave his support to Obamacare if the government wouldn’t intrude on religious freedom.  He clearly stated this change of policy violates that agreement.

          Also, Bishop Dolan met with Obama in the WH during the crafting of Obamacare.  Dolan has been giving many interviews this week expressing his disappointment in the change of policy.

      • Anonymous

        It’s obvious the bishops don’t speak for a large number of Catholics.  And the ones they do speak for didn’t vote for Obama in ’08.  If they want to oppose people having health care coverage, which is what was at issue in the ACA, then let them make their position clear, and not hide behind some bogus issue.

  • Elizabeth in RI

    This is NOT a religious issue – it is a women’s healthcare issue,or at least it should be. I would be very interested in seeing if the bishops allow their insurance to cover Viagra for priests. I strongly suspect that it does (since most insurance programs did the moment it was available) which would be the height of hypocrisy.

    Keep your Catholic hands off MY RIGHTS to choose!!!!

    • Terry Tree Tree

      PRIESTS NEED VIAGRA!

  • DaveB

    Which religion is under siege? Only Catholicism? Where was the conservative voice when Muslims were attacked for wanting to build in Manhattan? It’s illegal to be a polygamist Mormon… One cannot pick and choose their religious battle to appeal to  Church run organizations and institutions should offer the option of contraception, and trust employees, not all of whom are Catholic, to use their moral judgement about their non-spiritual bodies.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Catholics were probably against the Muslims building, and the Mormons’ polygamy?

  • Elizabeth Criss

    Something that really bothers me about this birth control (bc) debate, is that I know a woman who worked for a Catholic employer, who did not allow bc as part of the medical plan. She had another condition in which bc was required to treat the excruciating pain she was experiencing, yet she had to pay out of  pocket to get it. I think that woman should have the right to decide if they want to use bc, and that they should also have the right not to explain WHY they need it.

    • Anonymous

      They have the right and they might have to pay for it depending on their insurance plan.

  • guest

    Contraception & abortion are family value issues.  Leave them for the family to descide and pay for.  I’m a catholic mother.  I am pro-life and pro-choice. 

    • Jasoturner

      The church’s problem is that it’s own members won’t follow their teachings regarding birth control.  They are therefore trying to deprive their members of access to birth control as a rear-guard action.  Frankly, if the church teachings were listened to on this issue there would be no problem.  To me, their stand is a sign of weakness.

  • Arpayson

    Tom,

    Here’s my perspective. While it is clear that there is opposition to this rule voiced on
    behalf of some religious institutions, including Catholic hospital associations
    and institutions of higher learning, it is equally clear that many, if not all
    of those institutions protesting this requirement employ women and men of many
    faith orientations. In fact, most, if not all, are required not to discriminate
    in their employment based on an individual’s religious orientation. Given this
    reality, it seems odd that such institutions seek to force their own moral
    perspective onto a religiously diverse employee population, especially since
    statistics suggest the coverage in question is a normative medical option
    pursued by 98 percent of women of all religious backgrounds at some point in
    their lives. In fact, according to a poll referenced by Catholics for Choice,
    some “two-thirds (65 percent) of U.S. Catholic voters believe that hospitals
    and clinics taking taxpayer dollars should not be allowed to refuse to provide
    certain medications or procedures.”

     

    The mandate by the Department of Health and Human Services assures that
    women have access to those means they deem necessary to plan their reproductive
    course. It is similar to the debate held not long ago in Massachusetts
    regarding parity in insurance coverage at a time when medications such as
    Viagra were covered by health insurance offered to state employees but oral
    contraceptives were not.

     

    Perhaps most troubling is the argument that the mandate challenges
    religious freedom and the separation of church and state, when the opposite is
    true. The mandate does not order women to use the coverage, which would clearly
    be a violation of individual and religious freedom, only that such coverage be available.
    Making contraceptive coverage available, even through health care plans
    provided by religious institutions who otherwise object to it as a means of family
    planning, underscores an employer’s obligation not to discriminate on religious
    grounds.

    Respectfully,
    Rev. Aaron R. Payson
    Minister, The Unitarian Universalist Church of Worcester, MA
    Member, Board of Directors, Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, Washington, D.C.

    • Steve

         It is not the 98% of Catholic women who sponsor these organizations, it is the religious, in many cases different religious orders.  They are not mandating that people not use contraceptives.  All that they are doing is asking that they not be forced to pay for insurance that provide contraceptives.  And I think what they really fear is that abortion be considered nothing more than another means of contraception.  Pro choice people must look at it this way as it seems to me that the only other explanation is that a fetus is in fact a human life.  Obviously, the latter is the view of many several faiths.  Abortion is legal in the US and insurance companies will write coverage for it.  From the present ruling, it is not a giant step to believe that at some point in time it is possible for the government to rule that abortions must be covered by insurance (by the logic that it is just another contraceptive practice.)  If you sincerely believed that the fetus was a human life, what would your response be?
         In good job markets and in poor, the people working for these religious sponsored institutions have voluntarily accepted employment and remained employment there, in some cases for many years when there were alternatives, in many cases, better paying alternatives.  Do you truly believe that they felt that religious beliefs were being forced on them?

  • TFRX

    Ellen v. One Million Moms? Are the latter just another “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terry_Rakolta”>Terry Rakolta, some connected person throwing a public morality fit, who gets a media pass as “jes folks”?

    Terry Rakolta, in her guise as “just a housewife” got a lot of mileage protesting the trashy Fox sitcom Married with Children. She was the wife of Mitt Romney’s 2008 campaign National Chairman, and as the sister of a ex-daughter-in-law of Michigan gov George Romney. The Romney family stuff is coincidence, the idea that she was just a nobody is hilarious.

  • TryCommonSense

    There is NO freedom of religion issue involved. No religion is entitled to ignore employment or other laws simply because they don’t like them. Mormons had to give up polygamy. If the Catholic Church is that opposed to the idea, there is no law that requires them to be an employer.

    • Observer

      What if a RepubliTheoCon administration came in and said Insurance companies can no longer supply birth control at all due to religious belief.

      You’d all be diversity, competition and freedom of religious belief loving libertarians then. Especially if Government Health Insurance was the only game in town!

      You can’t make the Constitution a one-way street.

      Live by Discretion, Die by Discretion. Or live and let live with Constitutional Liberty and Rule of Law.

    • Steveob

        There is a freedom of religions issue.  The sponsoring organizations (largely but not just Catholic) are being mandated to to promote an activity that they think is immoral (whether it is or not is material, they believe it is).  You are right, there is no law that says they must be an employer, but the Church does have a strong belief in Social Justice.  That is why there are so many efforts like inner city Catholic schools that require fund raising from individuals (not tax dollars and not tuition from students) to provide kids of any religion with a good education, something that our governmental units seem to be doing a fairly poor job at given high school graduation rates less than 60% in the poor areas of most major cities.  If these close due to this ruling – the teachers that lose their job, the kids that lose their last best chance for an education?  Will the supporters of this policy stand up and take responsibility for the lost jobs or kids being moved into broken schools?  Or will the response be that the closures be blamed on the Religious because they refused to follow policies that were pushed on them for perhaps political reasons.  The employees of these organizations took these jobs and remained in them of their own free will. I highly doubt they were the ones pushing for these “reforms”.

      • TomK in Boston

        Nonsense. Nobody is being “mandated to promote” anything. They are mandated to give their employees the choices available to citizens of the USA according the laws of the USA. The employees need not choose contraception. The church is free to tell them they will burn in hell if they do.

        • Steve in MA

          Your right – promote was a bad choice of wording on my part.  By paying for insurance for contraceptives, they would be made to look to be condoning something that they feel is immoral.  Note, it is what they believe is immoral, not the majority of Catholics which is the issue as they are the sponsor of the affected organization.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Catholics think Child-Molesting and Child-Abuse is MORAL?
           They’ve supported and protected perverted priests for decades, if not hundreds of years!
           That’s your Catholic ‘morality’?

        • Steve

          You seem to forget that it was Catholic children who were abused.  No one was more upset or more determined to cut out this cancer.  The reluctance of Church bishops was absolutely inexcusable.  That being said, will the employees be better off if they lose their jobs?  If inner city schools  (most of which are sponsored by women religious orders) how do you propose to provide these kids with a decent education. 

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Children were abused, Catholic, or other, doesn’t matter to me!
               WHO was upset, and deterimined to  cut out this cancer?
               Catholic clergy have had decades, or hundreds of years to ‘cut out this cancer’!
               ALL I see the Catholic church determined to do, is to keep up with diversionary issues, hoping the Child-Abuse will just go away?

  • Anonymous

    What about the imposition of the limits of Catholic beliefs on their secular employees?

    This is not about the USG holding a gun to the head of employees to use contraception.

  • Tina

    Please have Rana on as a guest as often as possible:  she is wonderfully clear!!  She speaks comprehensively (taking the question and answering it in a larger context), and she always has clear antecedents for her pronouns.  That last issue is NOT a matter of grammatical fussiness:  sometimes a knowledgable  guest gets really excited about the topic and they forget to be (again) clear, so that all of a sudden, we are HOPING to hear an explanation of something, but, instead, we are hearing, “he, it, he, they, she, it, and we cannot tell who is who, and who did what to whom — in other words, we are shut out of access to the guest’s knowledge!  Rana is well informed and wonderfully articulate!

  • Chris

    The birth control debate revolves around religious issues, but we should be asking whether it makes any sense from an economic perspective.  Insurance for something that isn’t a risk makes no sense.  A smart op-ed from Cochrane: http://faculty.chicagobooth.edu/john.cochrane/research/papers/wsj_health.pdf

    • Terry Tree Tree

      NOT a risk?  Unwanted, unplanned pregnancy?  Oh, right, Catholics are famous for having homosexual pedophilia?

      • Chris

        It’s clear none of the above commenters read the article I linked to.  Subsidizing birth control, or even giving it away may make enormous sense, but it doesn’t follow that an insurance mandate is the best way to do it.  You know whether you’re going to consume birth control before you buy insurance, but you don’t know whether you’ll get cancer.  Insurance markets are best as dealing with an uncertain world.  We should use other mechanisms to prevent unwanted pregnancies and mitigate the subsequent social costs.

        • Anonymous

          I read it.  By your logic, regular checkups and anticipated preventative care should not be covered by insurance because you know you’re going to get it.  Cochrane’s analysis totally ignores the public health issues affected by health insurance, a shortcoming that, as I said, is par for the course when it comes to his usual take on things.  Who pays this guy?

          • Robert Long View

            Rupert Murdock

    • Anonymous

      Ridiculous.  Apparently this fool isn’t familiar with the cost of just one high risk, premature birth, let alone the life-long health care implications for taking such care away from women.  But I am familiar with some of his other “work” and this one is par for the course.  What does this guy make and who pays it? 

    • Chris B

      It does make economic sense.  It’s a lot more cost effective to spend a few bucks on contraceptiojn than it is to subsidize the medical expenses of an unwanted child.

    • Anonymous

      Who cares about the 
      birth control debate!  I care about religious freedom!

      • Terry Tree Tree

        The ‘religious freedom’, to rape little boys, and girls, while telling them that ‘if you tell, I’ll have God send you to HELL’?
           Catholics should put the Child-Abuse issue IN FRONT of EVERY thing else!
           Supporting people that ruin children’s lives, is your religious ‘morals’?

  • WillNotBeConned

    Frankly, the Catholic Bishop’s timing of the health insurance/contraception issue is tantamount to cynical political deflection.  Right now a four-day convocation in Vatican City is underway to deal with the matter of priest pedophilia, a worldwide matter that first erupted in Boston ten years ago.  Have you seen any coverage by the media here in the US? Didn’t think so.

  • Sawyerfarm110

    President Obama might as well just role over for the Right and let them have the Office. Seriously get a backbone!!!! At least the republicans say something and stick to it not just nuance everything. The Democratic party is just parsing everything and stand up for nothing. I give up!!!!

    • Anonymous

      I don’t know if you have been asleep for the last three years but the 
      Democratic party has accomplished a lot, mostly through regulation.  

  • David

    I don’t know why the administration chose this time to introduce this issue into the national debate, nor if it is an important issue but I do know that the Whitehouse should have had some idea about the reaction. They should have been prepared to explain what has been done, defend their decision and sell it to the American people. If they’re so short sighted to have been blindsided by the reaction then they are not providing the leadership that this nation deserves. I am a supporter of President Obama and his promises, but it’s time for him to make a stand on something…..anything.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      U.S. law, since 1978, and 2000!

  • Anonymous

        Isn’t it remarkable that Rick Santorum complains about Government interference in religious matters, while advocating government abolition of contraceptive rights, a major pet peeve of his Catholic religion. Rick says he’s a conservative. Could this be conservative hypocrisy? The government should butt out of everything except our bedrooms?

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      I’m not usually a defender of Santorum but I don’t believe you have stated his position accurately. 

      In this case, it is the government mandating religious institutions to purchase something they don’t believe in.

      Imagine the government forcing Muslim schools to purchase pork products.

      • Anonymous

        The government has an interest is making sure that employees have access to health care.  What is the government’s interest in forcing Muslim schools to purchase pork products?  This is a false example.

        • Worried for the country(MA)

          Who doesn’t have access to contraception?  Last I checked CVS doesn’t check IDs at the door.

          • Anonymous

            Just like my local Bentley dealer.  Anyone can go in and buy one.  Our town is full of ‘em.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            With matching Rolls Royce?

          • Observer

            Gold Condoms are only going up in value.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Good ONE!  Good Laugh!

        • Anonymous

          Sure the government has an “interest” but do they have the power?  Where in the constitution does it say the Federal government can make us purchase a product?

          • TFRX

            Yes, they do.

            You goddat problem wit dat? Get in a time machine, go back to 2000, and pester George W. Bush about it.

            It’s been policy for years. The EEOC decided this in 2000. If an employer of over 15 people offers insurance, it needs to do this. And everything with the Cross on it doesn’t qualify as a church.

            The George W. Bush administration didn’t pursue changing this. Let me repeat: The most politicized, with us or agin us, have ministers politick from the pulpit, admin passed on making a stink about it.

            But, now, some churchy types have a burr up their butts about it now, and said Obama said something, and that’s okay with you.

            Spare us the Brooksian trolling.

      • Anonymous

          Please see above.

      • TFRX

        Imagine Worried making an analogy that doesn’t immediately contradict what he’s trying to point out.

        Imagine Worried admitting that Catholic hospitals who get tax breaks and compete in the marketplace with secular hospitals should play by the same rules.

        • Worried for the country(MA)

          Imagine the Catholic hospitals treating the poor for free disappearing.

          • Anonymous

            How much revenue for the saintly hospitals comes from public funds (Medicare, Medicaid) and private health insurance, compared to from the Church’s coffers?  These are businesses, plain and simple.  Our local Catholic teaching hospital is run by Tenet.  And I don’t see any nuns providing nursing or other care.

          • TFRX

            Imagine Catholic hospitals not being businesses, and not competing with other hospitals who provide all the legal care doctors prescribe.

            Imagine being a raped, unconscious woman who doesn’t have to take the proverbial “midnight cab ride” (h/t Joe Lieberman) at some Bishop’s whim.

        • Observer

          I think you guys are still free to start a commune and pursue Utopia. Unless you need other people’s money to do it, or the Catholic Institutions to provide your health care, it shouldn’t be a problem. Report back!

          • Ray in VT

            Amusingly I have a rather similar view when it comes to those who support the sort of laissez-faire, small government approach.  It’s funny how perspective works, no?

          • Observer

            touche!

            Only rebuttal could be that in a free country you can try the  commune, but in a more “well-organized” one, that might be considered a waste of resources or sedition or otherwise not allowed.

          • TFRX

            Ooh, he said “commune” to a lefty. Bazinga! He got me!

          • Terry Tree Tree

            I have NEVER used Catholic health care, to my knowledge!

  • Anonymous

     Rick has stated, unequivocally, that states should be able to statutorily ban contraception.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      I think he was making a theoretical constitutional argument.  He went on to say this will never be done and  he wasn’t pushing for it.  At least this was his position in the debates when this came up.  Maybe he WAS pushing for it somewhere else but I missed it.

      • Anonymous

         Nice try.

        • Observer

          Who would want to live in that state except those who share that view?  I think states that really started experimenting with draconian choices, while they might get an initial boom of fundies, would ultimately fail based on the long term inanity of the ideas. They should be free to learn the lesson.

          Why so little faith in the marketplace of ideas, rationality, and empirical lesson learning?

          Righteous authoritarianism is still authoritarianism.

          As long as “they” aren’t keeping you from a chance to personally pursue what you think is best, what’s the problem, aside from lack of control issues?

          • Anonymous

                These are all noble notions. But, if you re-read my original post below, you’ll see that it really has nothing to do with contraception, states rights, or lessons learned. I’m simply addressing Santorum’s blatant hypocrisy, a trait that seems to plague all politicians. He rails against the godless, secular government’s war on religion, especially his beloved Catholic faith, while advocating for that government’s  statutory ban on the Catholic churches favorite sin, contraception. Republicans often claim that liberal Democrats misinterpret the First Amendment, as it relates to religion. Maybe Rick should re-read it himself. “No law respecting an establishment of religion” means exactly that. I guess Rick believes the Catholic church gets an exemption from the First Amendment.                              Another example of Santorum’s hypocrisy is his support for government regulation of human behavior. I thought “Government” and “Regulation” were the Republican parties favorite dirty words? Does he really believe big government is bad where money is concerned, but I need big government to tell me I can’t buy condoms?

          • Observer

            I’m not going to defend Santorum and his establishment GOP hypocrisy.

            Appreciate the comments.

          • Anonymous

             likewise.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            People with homes, jobs, mortgages, family, children in school, and other important considerations, can just pick up, and move to another state, based on their understanding that state has their ideaology?   When they get there, and it has other aspects that they disagree with, that weren’t revealed?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    iOnePoint:

    Israel announced successful test of the Arrow Anti-missile system. a great success for Israel and they can now stop in coming medium range missiles from Iran.

  • Steve

     There are no laws that require them to be an employer or to carry out their mission of Social Justice.  Unlike some, the Catholic Church and the various religious orders do not view their mission as just helping people of like religion.  They spend considerable resources to help the underserved regardless of religious belief, and it is this very inclusive concept that has put them in the crosshairs on this issue. 
        What is not being considered in this debate is that the employees of religiously sponsored organizations, in both good and poor job markets, took these jobs of their own free will, and in many cases have stayed in them for many years (again in good and poor job markets) knowing the Church’s teachings on these issues.  The employer never made adherence to these beliefs either a condition of hiring or employment, but in turn asked for the same tolerance in excluding these coverages from health insurance.  Employees stayed.
       Should the sponsoring religious order find these policies too onerous, and if they cannot drop health insurance coverage, they may decide to close the operation.  While many bring up hospitals and universities in this conversation, maybe they should think about the smaller organizations that try to benefit the very needy.  If an Order feels it must close an inner city school so that they can follow their conscious, who wins?  The employee who loses not only their health coverage but also their job?  The kids who attend the school (usually on a heavily discounted basis or no tuition) which is their best and last chance for an education?  Not likely.  Only those who view the Church due to their opposition to some of the secularists beliefs.  No wonder some Church leaders view this as a direct and politically motivated attack on the Catholic Church.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      The perversion motivated clergy attacks on children?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      The Catholic church views their mission to be perverting EVERY child?  
         The subject is just another DIVERSION, from the HYPOCRICY?

  • Gregr3398

    As Catholics, we believe God has a clear plan for Sexuality.  It is a
    good thing, and artificial contraception takes God out of this plan.  

    RE:
    the church getting out of heath care/education and sticking strictly to
    worship…  Hundreds of years ago, only the very rich or royalty could
    go to school and receive medical treatment.  The Catholic church made it
    possible for all people to receive these things we now take for
    granted.

    • Anonymous

      I think Medicaid, which pays the bills sent out by the Catholic hospitals after it treats the poor, had a lot more to do with it. 

    • Terry Tree Tree

      God’s plan for sexuality is priests MOLESTING Children?
         Until they REMEDY this, how are we to see otherwise?

  • Rivercat

    The “war on Christianity is just a proxy for the “Obama is a Muslim” myth.

    • Natekl

      I thought the myth was Obama was a Christian.

      • Gregg

        He bows at the altar of Rev. Wright.

        • Anonymous

          You know what, you come on here asking for people to treat you with respect and you consistently post nonsense like this.
          You are either a fake or you really do believe what you are posting. Which makes you a pretty extreme right winger.

          • Gregg

            I’ve never asked for respect from anyone although I do enjoy pointing out how disrespectful folks around here are. “Bows at the altar” may have been a bit provocative, how about “served in his church and donated thousands of dollars over 20 years”. Did I make that up?

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Ok.

  • Anonymous

    Does anyone really think that Rick Santorum has an once of hope of getting the GOP nomination for the general elections?
    He’s doing this for the same reasons Gingrich is, they are both jockeying for positions of power brokers in DC.
    Santorum was a mediocre senator who lost his seat by 18 points.
    His record in politics is like a pole bean drying on the vine in late summer. Useless and all dried up. Do people forget his speech about homosexuality in which he called them animals.
    This man has no busniess running for dog catcher let alone president.

    • Gregg

      Santorum has been around for a long time and is the most consistent Conservative in the race. His career has been stellar. His legislative achievements are impressive and lasting. The reason he lost was his endorsement of fellow PA. Senator, Arlen Spector. It certainly wasn’t because of his Conservative views, quite the opposite. His explanation of that endorsement makes sense to me. His bona fides are legit.

      • Anonymous

        He lost because the voters who knew him best were tired of being represented by a bigoted zealot who made himself a national laughingstock by talking about man and dog sex. 

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Kinky little devil, is he?

        • Gregg

          You will never understand because you don’t want to. He lost his conservative base by endorsing Benedict Arlen. The base supports his position on dog sex.

      • Worried for the country(MA)

        Did you see the Santorum speech gave in November 2010 strongly denouncing the TEA party as a danger to the GOP?  Newt’s campaign released it yesterday and it is really damaging.

        Santorum’s record is NOT stellar.  He voted for the bridge to nowhere.  He stayed in Washington and worked on K street.  He voted against right tor work.

        All that aside, he is a bible thumper and I doubt that will translate to general election success.  The only question will be if the GOP electorate understands this reality.  I suspect they do.

        • Brett

          Makes sense to me

        • Gregg

          Context man context! I’ll have to hear the Tea Party thing, you know how I like Newt. Every politician that has been around as long as he has, has baggage. I feel better about his position and legislation on Iran than any of them. He gets the Middle East thing. His admonition to not “give away” the issue of Obamacare is right on. Bible thumpers like Clinton and Bush did alright election wise.

          Now, shall I reduce Romney’s record to a few sentences regarding bone headed liberal decisions disregarding all else? I could make a doozy of a paragraph but I won’t. Don’t wanna burn bridges. My primary is May 8. If it was today, my order hasn’t changed: Newt, Santorum, Romney, Paul, can of Alpo, Obama. That’s the most important context of all.

          • Frelinskip

             Bring back Bachman, or Glenn Beck, or Sharron Angle or Yosemite Sam

          • Gregg

            Beck liked Bachmann but has always supported Santorum and endorsed him after Bachmann dropped out. He’s apoplectic about Newt and not so crazy about Romney.

      • Brett

        “His [Santorum's] legislative achievements are impressive and lasting.”

        Name three you consider to be ‘impressive and lasting’ 

        • Gregg

          Dern it, you are so much work! His work with Iranian policy is lasting and impressive. Ditto Syria. He teamed up with Kerry on something that’s still around and I liked but I forget. He was instrumental with Newt on Welfare reform, I think he chaired the committee.

          Sorry, I’m not going to google the details for you but I’d say his website or Wiki page  is worth a look. Do it, you’re a fair minded person who seems capable of disagreeing while still giving him his due. He’s been influential.

          • Anonymous

            His work on policy with Iran?
            If he had his way we would be invading them.

          • Gregg

            Wrong decade.

          • Anonymous

            Are you aware how silly you sound. He still has these beliefs and I for one do not think it’s a good idea, wait… why am I trying to even converse with someone who likes Santorum. As I stated it defines who you are.

          • nj

            Greggg likes Rick Man-on-dog Santorum because he’s been involved in some stuff, he thinks. And he’s influential. And he worked with some other guys in the Senate. That’s all i look for in a presidential candidate.

            Laughable stuff!

          • Gregg

            I think he gets it. Sue me.

          • Gregg

            C’mon man, you don’t know anything about him other than what you have been fed. Get off your high horse.

          • Brett

            I know what you mean…I’m trying to get ready for a gig right now and am a bit distracted, and I hate to spend time looking crap up; on  this we can agree. Anyway, while I wait for the mandolin player to show up and go over some of the songs for tonight…Well, I’m inclined to see his record a little differently than you, but out of respect, I’ll spend some time looking back over his time in the Senate…oops there’s Merl, gotta go! 

          • Gregg

            I’ve got some horses to feed and am off to the gig (Blowing Rock, NC) as well. I might be back in the wee hours but actually you’re on to something. I need to refresh my memories of Santorum, it’s timely.

            But now it’s Steely Dan and The Allman Brothers. I will sing Marvin’s “Mercy Mercy Me” and “What’s Goin’ On” with the conviction of the most devout liberal on the planet and love it. Oh yea.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Both sound like good gigs. 
              ‘Reelin In the Years?’

          • Fredlinskip

             Can  I request a song?

            “Pony Boy”- Allman Bros.   OR

            “Haitian Divorce”-
            Steely Dan

            (Was going to request Allman’s- “Don’t want you no more”- but was thinking you might take that personally)

          • Gregg

            Sorry, how about “Trouble No More” and “Kid Charlemagne”?

          • Fredlinskip

            “The Fez” was always one of my SD faves.

      • Anonymous

        I have to laugh at your comment on Santorum.
        His career is a lot of things, but stellar is not one of them. The man is jockeying for position after the election and that’s it. He’s an mediocrity at best and worst he’s a bigot.   

        • Gregg

          I don’t think you’ve followed him very long. 

          • Anonymous

            Why would I follow this man?
            I’ve read enough about him, and have heard enough of his speeches to come to the conclusion that he would make a good inquisitor if nothing else. He will not be the GOP nominee. Why? Because he’s a nut job.

          • Gregg

            If you are going to claim he is unqualified and you haven’t followed his political career then it seems to me your claim has no basis. I understand you hate the bigot but to dismiss his achievements (agree with them or not) doesn’t hold up. He has a list even if you reduce it to the musings of a “nut job”. The dudes got chops. He’s walked the walk.

          • Anonymous

            I repeat, he’s a mediocre politician.
            You like him, good for you. You seem to change your likes with the GOP clown show with who wins that week. Are you aware of that.

          • Gregg

            Recast that third sentence and put a question mark on the forth… smarty pants.

          • Gregg

            “Why would I follow this man?”
            For the same reasons I’ve followed Barney Frank.

          • Anonymous

            As I said, I’ve read enough to know what he stands for. I don’t need to know what he eats for dinner.

            You like him, that says a lot about you. The man is full of hate for gay people for no other reason than his religious beliefs. That’s all well and good, but we do not live in theocracy and his kind of bigotry is abhorrent.

          • Gregg

            Newt’s my man but Santorum is a close second. Who are you voting for? At least NJ has the guts to say he’s going for the green guy… or is it gal?

          • Anonymous

            I rest my case. I’m voting for Obama and would never vote for any republican. I’m kind of done here, you’re a waste of time.

          • Gregg

            If you can’t see the brilliance of that analogy or understand he is keeping company with the majority then I can’t help you. But then again you really didn’t factually refute squat.

          • Anonymous

            Brilliance? You have to be kidding.
            Refute what? That I think the man is bigot, which he is.  Majority of whom?
            GOP extremist?
             

      • Fredlinskip

         Santorum’s a goofball.
        Perhaps a well-intentioned one.

        Romney’s the most dangerous goofball of the bunch, because he believes America is a business.
        Cut jobs, cut benefits Americans have been paying into their whole working lives, make sure taxes are low on those who have most benefited form American system, all for the ultimate goal that “execs” and shareholders at the top will continue amass majority of America’s resources- to the detriment of the rest of our country.

        Unfortunately, with Rupert’s lock on such mass media outlets as Fox “news” and WSJ, a large percentage of Americans are hypnotized into voting against their own best interests.

        I’m sure you whole-heartedly agree with this assessment.

        • Gregg

          I agree with your premise just not the party. “…a large percentage of Americans are hypnotized into voting against their own best interests” when the elected Obama. He’s a disaster.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Santorum called Catholic priests and clergy animals?  He was right, there, if he did.

  • JanetEvans

    Another day without a Federal Government budget, we’re over 1,000.  When is Obama going to show some leadership and get the Senate to work.  Why doesn’t this issue have his attention? He’d rather put people in moral bear-traps than confront the tough issues of our times.  He has lost my confidence completely.  

  • Michaellong100

    “Once in a lifetime event”  The mortgage backed securities were the underlying asset in Credit Default Swap contracts. That is the only reason that this housing boom and bust happened. Thanks to the PR man from Goldman Sachs (Barack Obama), we continue to have Credit Default Swaps on junk assets. This time the bad bets are European bonds. We will be ready for another “once in a lifetime event” when those go bad. MF Global failed on only a 4% drop in euro bonds. Greece is talking about a 70% write down. What happens when Italty, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and maybe France need help. Get ready for another “no one could see it coming” argument from the Republican-Democrat financial junta. I voted for Roosevelt and I got Hoover. I completely lost faith in politics after Obama. We should just ask our real rulers – Jamie Dimon, Loyd Blankfeind what we should do. 

    P.S. They are buying junk CDO synthetic assets in this deal. Bad debt is the new innovation. Maybe one of these reporters should do some research. 

  • Brett

    Gregg, I couldn’t find your last response to my reply (sorry for the length; I could have gotten to the heart with just my last paragraph, for sure.) Anyway, you’re wrong about the Stupak deal, too. Obama’s executive order is just a reiteration of the Hyde Amendment. Nothing changed, nothing was taken away from pro-lifers. In fact, whether you like the separate accounting part or not, the language in the health care law is more stringent than the Hyde Amendment. Stupak got backed into a corner and this (the executive order) was a face saver for him. Stupak could then claim some kind of victory to his constituents, but he didn’t really get what he wanted. This is what happened; anything else is just spin. The link you provided was to a website from the right-wing pro-life group, Population Research Institute, and it is filled with no facts or substantiation. It is an opinion piece from their blog, most definitely unimpressive. 

    • Gregg

      The link I provided predicted exactly the avenues Obama is now going down. That’s why I used it and it makes sense… where ever it comes from. I don’t know if you noticed but there are plenty of smart people making the same claims. The Stupek EO is meaningless and when Obama had the chance to codify it in Legislation he threatened veto.

      • Brett

        The Hyde Amendment was already law. The EO was a reiteration. Even if there were no EO, whether meaningful or not, it doesn’t matter, the Hyde Amendment would still be the law and it would have to be overturned. Even if the EO were removed by another president, the Hyde Amendment would still stand; in this sense it’s meaningless…Like I said, it was only a face saver for Stupek.

        • Gregg

          “It is not a permanent law, rather it is a “rider” that, in various forms, has been routinely attached to annual appropriations bills since 1976. The Hyde Amendment applies only to funds allocated by the annual appropriations bill for the Department of Health and Human Services. It primarily affects Medicaid.”
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyde_Amendment

          There was a time when gentlemen could agree on certain issues of conscience. Everything is different now. This is all a result of Obamacare which is forcing the issue. There are many loose ends to tie up both Constitutionally and unconstitutionally before it can be implemented… if it even can. 

          • TFRX

            Obamacare? It goes back a bit further.

            In December 2000, the Equal Employment Opportunity
            Commission ruled that companies that provided prescription drugs to their
            employees but didn’t provide birth control were in violation of Title VII of
            the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prevents discrimination on the basis of sex.
            That opinion, which the George W. Bush administration did nothing to alter or
            withdraw when it took office the next month, is still in effect today—and
            because it relies on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, it applies to all
            employers with 15 or more employees. Employers that don’t offer prescription
            coverage or don’t offer insurance at all are exempt, because they treat men and
            women equally—but under the EEOC’s interpretation of the law, you can’t offer
            other preventative care coverage without offering birth control coverage, too.

             

            I guess the more Barack Obama makes noises about
            taking his own side in a fight, the more “Notreallyaconservative” the
            Bush II administration used to be.

          • Gregg

            What, no apology for being so wrong about the Hyde Amendment’s status. Why did Obama cry veto when he had the chance to codify it into law. Where do you get your  news?

    • TFRX

      Tangent that has nothing to do with Gregg: Why is it the right-wing leadership and their propaganda press pretends the Hyde Amendment has elapsed, or run out or something? Did it expire like yogurt? Shouldn’t our liberal media be all over reiterating that it’s still in effect?

      • Gregg

         Because it has. Read up.

        • TFRX

          I’d love to hear your story about this, but I’ve got a nephew with blueberries all over his face who is about to tell me that he doesn’t know anything about my missing slice of pie.

  • Anonymous

    The US federal government doesn’t have a right to tell a church what to do or not do.  I don’t know if Obama knows it but there is a separation of church and state, or at least there was when he came into office.

    • Anonymous

      Churches are still free to not provide contraceptive coverage.

      • Brett

        According to MO-D, they give away condoms for free! I wonder if that is before or after communion? Are they on a table in the vestibule, say, underneath an Ascension painting?

        • TFRX

          I heard they’re under the table with votive candles. Strictly honor system; if one is going to light a candle in a church without anteing up, one’s soul is beyond redemption.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Mixed with communion wafers?

      • TFRX

        Don’t bother Brandstad when he’s busy conflating the actual building and immediate place of worship “church” with the umbrella of competing-in-the-market running-schools-and-hospital “church”.

    • TomK in Boston

      Please. Separation of church and state means that the gvt doesn’t favor one religion over another (as in “we are a christian nation”). It doesn’t mean that religious organizations are above the law.

      • Brett

        The question becomes: is “Brandstad” knowingly spinning or is he just a right-wing lemming who believes everything his ilk tell him to believe? 

        • TomK in Boston

          Tough call. It’s hard to believe anyone can be that disconnected from reality (ie spinning), but OTOH a surprising number of people seem to enter the righty alt universe and never return (ie believes).

          Brandstat, which is it?

      • Anonymous

        Tom, you have made it obvious you either don’t know our founding documents or you don’t understand them.  Do you even know why the founders mentioned the separation of church and state and where they mentioned it?  If you do you would know that the only thing the separation of church and state is, is the US Federal government can not declare a national religion.  

        • Patrick

          Consequently, your statement that the US government can’t tell a church what to do is utter nonsense.  You’re arguing against yourself here, buddy.

  • Brett

    All churches need to be stripped of their tax-exempt status. 

    • Terry Tree Tree

      That has some value.

  • Brett

    T’would be a shame for the Catholic Church to get out of the private school business or the hospital business. Despite the religious undercurrents, shall we say, most Catholic schools provide great educational services. Most Catholic hospitals provide care that would rival the best. These two businesses provide the Catholic Church with substantial revenue, so they aren’t going anywhere. The Catholic Church does not have any constitutional right to disregard labor standards, nor do they have any grounds to dictate to the marketplace how insurance practices in insuring large groups of people are to be handled (especially not by crying an infringement on religious freedoms in the process). 

  • Patrick

    Bring on Santorum!  The notion that this guy is a national contender is utterly laughable.  Bachmann, Perry, Cain, Gingrich, Santorum; it’s amazing how self-defeating the conservative wing of the Republican Party has become.  They’ll latch on to any loser and wannabe who throws them just the right piece of red meat at just the right time, and then realize their mistake, and then make the same mistake all over again.

    I’m in the Santorum camp, just for the absurdity of it all.  Face it; once the American people take a good close look, they’re not going to want Santorum in their face for the next four years.  If he should somehow slide into the nomination (probably through the back door), then we can expect to see Obama gleefully smearing Santorum all over the map.

    One thing you can say about this Santorum surge; it’s been awfully messy for the Romney campaign.  The once-solid front runner now looks withered and soft.

    • TomK in Boston

      I like anything that tweaks our disgusting former gov. What a combination, arrogant oligarch, chronic liar, spineless chameleon, icy android. Geez, in sci-fi someone’s always trying to program empathy into the robot, but Willard missed that episode.

      It cracks me up that Willard is being blasted for not accomplishing much as gov. Thing is, he was a no-show for much of the time as he focused on getting ready to run for POTUS, but he DOES have one thing to brag about – ORomneycare – and he sure can’t do that on TeaOP planet. What a nice dilemma, couldn’t have happened to a nicer robot.

    • Anonymous

      I saw a poll (maybe of CPAC attendees) where Romney and Santorum were TIED at 30% each with Gingrich at 16% and Paul at 15%! Hallelujah!

  • TomK in Boston

    Hey, while we’re letting the catholic church run the USA, let’s not cherrypick, let’s have a resounding “Yes Sir, Your Holiness” for universal health care!
    “VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI and other church leaders said it was the moral responsibility of nations to guarantee access to health care for all of their citizens, regardless of social and economic status or their ability to pay.

    Access to adequate medical attention, the pope said in a written message Nov. 18, was one of the “inalienable rights” of man.”

  • Observer

    My main thing here is, if Nader and Paul can find foundational points of overlap, not just Republican and Democrat “averaging” for compromise sake, why can’t we agree to take those issues and move forward?

    “Libertarians like Ron Paul are on our side on civil liberties. They’re on our side against the military-industrial complex. They’re on our side against Wall Street. They’re on our side for investor rights. That’s a foundational convergence,” he exhorts. “It’s not just itty-bitty stuff.” 

    -Ralph NaderWhy would you be against these issues?NJ and I are even posting the same link?http://www.capitalismwithoutfailure.com/My posts are annoying and tone obviously rubs wrong, but I hope the points and itent still come through.

  • Ed

    A school girl who is an atheist is not required to say a prayer, and that seems fair. But a Catholic who is against abortion is forced to contribute to it. Is that fair?

    • Anonymous

      Federal money is not used to fund abortions. 

    • TFRX

      Nice try.

      Please try your concern trolling elsewhere.

    • Patrick

      Ed, I’m reminded about your enlightened thoughts on rape, specifically that the pregnancy that results from a rape should be endured by the woman because it’s just an expected consequence of the attack.  You know, kind of like the recovery time that a stabbing victim would require.  Remember posting that nugget of excrement?

      I don’t think you have any standing to comment on fairness.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      “Homosexuality is an abomination”, is pope’s mantra, yet homosexual, Child-Molesting, and Child-Molesting priests and clergy get papal protection?

      • Steve

        And how does this relate to the above comment?

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Catholic HYPOCRICY?

    • Gregg

       You’re all over it Ed.

  • Anonymous

    The Epic Farce Continues – US Attorneys General “Robosigned” A Foreclosure Settlement Which Does Not Exist

    It is only appropriate, and so ironic, that a politically motivated settlement whose purpose is to squash any claims of pervasive defective document fraud (and contract law but just ask GM bondholders about that – it’s hardly news) is itself found to be…defective. American Banker reports that the reason why the terms of the so-called historic (just ask the Teleprompter in Chief) foreclosure settlement deal are not public yet, is “because a fully authorized, legally binding deal has not been inked yet.” Wait, so America’s cohort of AGs just all, pardon the pun, robosigned a piece of paper that does not exist? What next: there is a different Linda Green signature on every page of this yet to be produced document making a complete mockery of the rule of law?
    ZERO HEDGE

    • Roy Mac

      Is there a point?  Or is this yet another of your cut-and-paste rants?

    • TFRX

      The TelePrompter people called. They want you to rememeber how much Ronald (Alzheimer’s) Reagan and George W. (Dry Drunk) Bush used their fine product.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        ‘W’ couldn’t read a teleprompter, for the first four years, and had to be radio controlled in his speeches.  That’s why the constant broken phrases!

  • God Bless Iran

    Israel is the threat to peace in the Middle East, not Iran which has not attacked another country in more than 200 years.

    • Anonymous

      Israel is the only functioning democracy in the middle east!  It isn’t their fault they are not liked by their neighbors who happen to be ruled by dictators and other oppressive regimes that still stone people to death and cut off hands…

      • Anonymous

        There are many Israelis that would disagree as to whether Israel has done enough to build friendships with its neighbors. The MSN here does not begin to capture the range of discussion that occurs in Israel.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        When did Turkey move to S. America?

    • TomK in Boston

      That may be so, but something has to be done for the contractors and weapons makers after iraqistan winds down. Also, everyone knows massive gvt spending stimulates the economy, and we have to keep spending or the Bush depression will get even worse.

  • Anonymous

    Obama Revises CBO Deficit Forecast, Predicts 110% Debt-To-GDP By End Of 2013, Worse Deficit In 2012 Than 2011

    WSJ reports that ”President Barack Obama’s budget request to Congress on Monday will forecast a deficit of $1.33 trillion in fiscal year 2012 and will include hundreds of billions of dollars of proposed infrastructure spending, according to draft documents viewed by Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. The projected deficit is higher than the $1.296 trillion deficit in 2011 

    • TomK in Boston

      Thank for sharing the good news, but “hundreds of billions” seems on the low side of what is needed.

  • TomK in Boston

    Hey, Willard told the CPAC that he was “severely conservative” during his tenure as MA gov.

    What a freaking liar!!! I SAW HIM say “Abortion should be safe and legal” and assure everyone about his pro-choiceness while he was running, and he sure can’t hide from ORomneycare. I suppose he could argue that ORomneycare is conservative, which it is in reality, but there’s no chance of that happening.

    Look at the Romneybot quotes below from his days as gov. This is some SEVERE conservatism, no? Is it really possible to lie so intensely and not go up in a puff of smoke?

    “I will preserve and protect a woman’s right to choose and am devoted and dedicated to honoring my word in that regard.”

    “With these 11 million people [here illegally], let’s have them registered, know who they are….those that are here paying taxes and not taking government benefits should begin a process towards application for citizenship.”

    “We do have tough gun laws in Massachusetts; I support them. I won’t chip away at them; I believe they protect us and provide for our safety.”

    “I’m not intending to, at this stage, sign a document (no new taxes pledge) which would prevent me from being able to look specifically at the revenue needs of the commonwealth”

    “Governor Mitt Romney and a legislative leader yesterday delivered unwelcome news to the Catholic bishops of Massachusetts, who plan to seek permission from the state to exclude gay and lesbian parents from adopting children through its social service agencies. The governor said he was not authorized to give such an exemption…”

    “Governor Mitt Romney refused yesterday to endorse tax cuts at the heart of President Bush’s economic program…In addition to refusing to endorse the president’s tax cut, the governor surprised several people at the meeting by saying he is open to a federal increase in gas taxes.”

    • Roy Mac

      Aww…Not only is he a job creator and failing-business-turner-arounder, he’s also a mind-changing principles-amender when confronted with shifting poll and focus group data.  What’s not to like?

      • Hidan

        “Moderate”

        The new dirty word for the republican party.

        • TFRX

          Thank God (and in this case I mean the Only God which Matters to them) they’ve got so many Birthrighteuos attitudes that they’re never going to find out how “moderate” their heroes are.

          See Reagans’ 11 tax increases, or his speechifying which did not actively trash (every class of) poor people during the recession of ’82. That’s crazily moderate by the modern GOP’s standard.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      Sounds like you agree with Obama and Axelrod that Romney will be a formidable opponent.  Obama appears to be quaking in his boots because what other explanation is there for his obsession with the Mittster.

      • TomK in Boston

        I think it’s normal to target the most likely nominee, no need to invoke “quaking” or an obsession.

        I’m looking forward to the spectacle of Willard attacking “Obamacare” etc. and running away from his record in general. We need a new word, “flipflopper” does not begin to express the magnitude of this shapeshifting. 

        “A liberal, a moderate, and a conservative walk into a bar. The bartender says “Hi, Mitt”"

        This could be a very funny election. It will also be fun to watch Willard’s attempts to look human. I’m sure he’ll have a whole crew of empathy coaches.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Cute joke!   Funny, too!

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      Tom, there’s a primary coming up soon.  Feel free to vote for Santorum, Gingrich or Paul.  Who’s your favorite?

  • Anonymous

    Obama wants to outlaw guns in 2nd term

    A top official with the National Rifle Association said Friday that President Obama will move to “destroy” gun rights and “erase” the Second Amendment if he is re-elected in November.

    • Roy Mac

      Facts?

      • Observer

        When we discover the Health Care law outlaws the Big Mac, will Roy go with it too?

    • Anonymous

      That comment meets the definition of “troll” for its author.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      This crap was spread during 2008 election.  By gun stores?   That’s who it worked for, BIG TIME!

      • Hidan

        It was amazing how many people in the military actually believed that crap.

    • Anonymous

      BS, period. You speak with a forked tongue. 

    • Zero

       When has Obama talk about curtailing gun rights?

  • nj

    GOP Clown-Posse Follies; Rick Man-on-dog Santorum episode #237…

    http://thinkprogress.org/green/2012/02/10/422979/santorum-froths-at-cpac-facade-of-man-made-global-warming/?mobile=nc

    Santorum Froths At CPAC About ‘Facade Of Man-Made Global Warming’Rick Santorum, who scored several wins this week in the Republican presidential race, told a cheering crowd at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington DC this morning that climate change is a leftist scientific conspiracy to destroy America. He railed that the “facade of man-made global warming” might convince people with the “sentimentality” to be “stewards of this earth” to think there should be limits on the burning of fossil fuels:—snipped

  • Matt H.

    Why doesn’t the Catholic church take a hardline against the millions of cases of child molestation that the chruch swept under the rug?

  • http://joelsimpsonart.com/ Joel Simpson

    The real issue about Obama’s supposed “war on religion” is why the conservatives spokespeople get so much prominent media play,  when the majority of the country most probably sides with Obama. Even if they didn’t, where are the experts on the other side. You had commentators voicing opinions to this effect, namely that this is settled law, and you had callers reminding us that religious freedom is the freedom FROM imposition of beliefs by your employer. Where in the mainstream (corporate) media would you find profound social commentators like Chris Hedges or Thomas Frank, or even Greg Palast consulted? These people see very clearly what’s going on, that the Republicans gin up their rhetoric to attack Obama any way they can, grasping at this straw and making absurdly exaggerated claims to rally their faithful. Luckily, the majority of us see through this ridiculous bombast.

  • Guest

    So it’s OK for the Catholic Church to provide second-class
    health coverage to a non-Catholic employee because of its “moral” posturing
    about contraception which even Catholics do not honor.  If a pacifist Quaker refused to pay the
    Pentagon portion of tax, he or she would end up in prison.  Explain the difference to me.

    • Observer

      It’s a free country, and we should stand up for the Quakers.  Only one candidate is demanding that Wars be DECLARED once again, as stipulated in the constitution, which is at least a step in the right direction.

      But we like Discretion (dump constitution for “good” social planning; clamor for constitution for “bad” wars), more than consistent Rule of Law.

      All this discretion just plays into the hands of pandering, corruptible politicians, and further divides the electorate.

      Divide and Conquer.  Bankers and War Mongers win. 

      That’s the cost of playing fast and loose with the Constitution, because you think it would be nice to force the dumb church to provide things against its dumb teachings.

      When Discretion is used to trample on your rights in the future, of course you’ll scream No Fair!

      Rule of Law or Bust.

  • nj

    Fight the condoms on the beach!

    What you missed if you didn’t go to CPAC…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=df7fsD6XJn4&feature=player_embedded

    • Hidan

       What crackpots. 

    • Gregg

      NJ, it would really be cool if you would answer this question honestly and directly: “Did you watch a single speech or is this video (day 1 in 100 seconds) the longest CPAC segment you have seen?”

      You know in your heart.

    • JustSayin

       Its like selective scenes from a madhouse. Jack and friends were more rational in the Cuckoo’s Nest, because here they are crazier than the average guy on the street.

  • Hidan

    Anyone catch this? Avocation for the MEK by some well known politicians and ABC uncovering Israel funding such terrorist group. 

    Israel, MEK and state sponsor of Terror groups

    One of the most under-reported political stories of the last year is the devoted advocacy of numerous prominent American political figures on behalf of an Iranian group long formally designated as a Terrorist organization under U.S. law.

    All of these mysteries received substantial clarity from an NBC News report by Richard Engel and Robert Windrem yesterday. Citing two anonymous “senior U.S. officials,” that report makes two amazing claims: (1) that it was MEK which perpetrated the string of assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists and (2) the Terrorist group “is financed, trained and armed by Israel’s secret service.” These senior officials also admitted that “the Obama administration is aware of the assassination campaign” but claims it “has no direct involvement.” Iran has long insisted the Israel and the U.S. are using MEK to carry out Terrorist attacks on its soil, including the murder of its scientists, and NBC notes that these acknowledgments “confirm charges leveled by Iran’s leaders” (MEK issued a statement denying the report).

    If these senior U.S. officials are telling the truth, there are a number of vital questions and conclusions raised by this. First, it would mean that the assurances by MEK’s paid American shills such as Howard Dean that “they are unarmed” are totally false: whoever murdered these scientists is obviously well-armed. Second, this should completely gut the effort to remove MEK from the list of designated Terrorist groups; after all, murdering Iran’s scientists through the use of bombs and guns is a defining act of a Terror group, at least as U.S. law attempts to define the term. Third, this should forever resolve the debate in which I was involved last month about whether the attack on these Iranian scientists constitutes Terrorism; as Daniel Larson put it yesterday: “If true, the murders of Iranian nuclear scientists with bombs have been committed by a recognized terrorist group. Can everyone acknowledge at this point that these attacks were acts of terrorism?”

    • JonS

      I wish the MEK continued success. The Iranian government is a stain on civilized society.

      • Hidan

         Feel free to donate to them.

  • Hidan
  • Hidan

    Radio Boston had on a spokesman for the church. What was interesting is the # of Catholics women who used some type of contraception. The percentage was said to be around 93% if this is true than wouldn’t this weaken the churches claims?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      NO, Catholic church has NO valid arguement about anything, until they correct HUNDREDS OF YEARS of Child-Abuse?

  • Hidan
    • Gregg

       God bless him.

      • Hidan

        What an frothy mix of a comment. 

  • American collapse

    Atlanta Jewish newspaper calls for assassination of President Obama.
    http://www.jpost.com/International/Article.aspx?id=254592

    Funny how that was widely ignored by the “mainstream media”.

    • Hidan

       The claimed reason for ignoring it was because he apologized.  What’s amazing is that thousands of his readers read this and thought nothing of it until gawkers picked it up.

      of course if he was muslim it be all over the plae and people calling for locking up him and not only him but everyone around him. The media would be all over it.

      Fox News did report it and MSNBC did as well but NPR didn’t have nothing on it till days later with a link to a link of his apology

      Yes, you read “three” correctly. Order a hit on a president in order to preserve Israel’s existence. Think about it. If I have thought of this Tom Clancy-type scenario, don’t you think that this almost unfathomable idea has been discussed in Israel’s most inner circles?

      Another way of putting “three” in perspective goes something like this: How far would you go to save a nation comprised of seven million lives … Jews, Christians and Arabs alike?

      You have got to believe, like I do, that all options are on the table.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      An individual revealing his/her desire for the President being killed, by any means, is illegal!  ANY media publishing such desires or plans, has committed a far worse crime! 

  • Gregg

    Catholics shmatholics, why should any taxpayer be forced to fund contraception?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Just fund 10 times more orphanages, emergency rooms, delivery rooms, etc…?
         Remember that Republicans ‘saved’ $12 Million, by LOSING  $354 MILLION, on the FAA Airport Bill?

    • TomK in Boston

      Why why should any taxpayer be forced to fund lipator? Why should my $ go to bail out someone who ate MacFood all their lives? Why stop there? Why should we fund heart surgery? Since you know what is right and wrong, maybe we should just let you write the laws.

      • Gregg

        Yes, definitely repeal Obamacare.

        • TomK in Boston

          Did you mean to say “Romneycare”?

          • Gregg

             No.

          • TomK in Boston

            “Obamacare” = “Romneycare”. They both have the dreaded “individual mandate” that Newt Gingrich and the “Heritage Foundation” proposed so no freeloaders would get free care. They both have the private insurance corporations and the private hospitals running the system, with minor gvt regulation. Somehow that has become “a total gvt takeover” in the righty alt universe.

            I was very disappointed that the old-style centrist republican Obama went for corporate Romneycare instead of the vastly more efficient national health care found in every other developed nation. We have the only corporate system and we are the outlier in costs – and that’s no coincidence. 

            Regardless, I’m really looking forward to watching Willard squirm as the father of “Obamacare” recites the scripts about the evils of  ”Obamacare”. That would be a good trick for a master pol, and a robot’s not going to pull it off. Willard has one major accomplishment as MA gov, and when he’s asked what he did, he can’t mention it. You can’t make this up, there will be many good yucks.

          • Gregg

            Romney’s not my guy and you nailed his greatest weakness. However, he does have a leg to stand on regarding states rights. There is a distinction but it only goes so far.

            Obama’s a centrist, good one!

    • Zero

       I think the government should provide contraception drugs for lower income.  That sounds like good economics to me, but I could be wrong.  

      • Gregg

        Implicit in your plan is the notion that without government intervention lower income couples will propagate profusely. How expensive is it to not make babies? Why should government play a role? I just don’t get it.

        • Zero

           Lower income people do propagate profusely. 

          • Gregg

            … due to a lack of government intervention? Or is income directly related to stupidity, how hard is it to know better? Don’t have babies before you can afford them. Duh!

            It seems to me to be a knee jerk reaction to think the solution is free contraception. And we know it’s not free, some people really shouldn’t be forced to pay for it. It’s not right, I don’t care what you worship.

          • Zero

             Telling people to not have babies before they can afford them is as about effective as a teachers blaming parents for their kids stupidity.

            Although, it is the parents fault, just telling them it is their fault, does not change anything.  Like it or not, it is economically sound that the poor have fewer children, and just telling them to not have more children is just stupid.  If it cost more for contraception than added welfare and food stamps, fine, you would be correct.  But I think free contraception would lower the cost of welfare and food stamps, and it would allow women to move out of poverty more easily. 

          • Gregg

            We see it differently. If women (and men) want to move out of poverty then quit having babies. I just can’t think in terms like if we don’t buy them the pill then we’ll have pay for all those kids

    • TFRX

      Nice moving the goalposts.

      Can we expect you to scream your head off against any taxpayer-funded E.D. medicine in right-wing boards?

      Or when do I get to get the gov’t to keep from funding things I oppose?

  • JonS

    Can you imagine what the New York Times , Washington Post and the mainstream media would have been saying if President Bush announced that he would order private companies to absorb the cost of some benefit that he favored? [their silence is deafening]. Do any of the usual leftwingers who post here understand the encroachment on civil liberties  or do you believe only Republican presidents are capable of such abuses?

    If Obama can order private insurance companies to pay for contraceptive benefits , where does it end? The sheer arrogance of this president is amazing.

    • TFRX

      We don’t have to imagine. The Bushies had no problem with this policy, which has been in place for years.

      In December 2000, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled that companies that provided prescription drugs to their employees but didn’t provide birth control were in violation of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prevents discrimination on the basis of sex. That opinion, which the George W. Bush administration did nothing to alter or withdraw when it took office the next month, is still in effect today—and because it relies on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, it applies to all employers with 15 or more employees. Employers that don’t offer prescription coverage or don’t offer insurance at all are exempt, because they treat men and women equally—but under the EEOC’s interpretation of the law, you can’t offer other preventative care coverage without offering birth control coverage, too.

      George W. Bush’s admin–the one which didn’t let people into “town halls” (sic) if they were wearing the wrong tee-shirt or drove a car with the wrong bumper sticker–declined to make a stink about this ruling.

    • Hidan

      Oh no

      Someone please save us from this Communist/Socialist/Muslim/Keyan/black theologian/Moderate/extreme left/liberal who has the Audacity to allow women the ability to get contraceptive benefits.

      Maybe Mitt can since he’s an serious conservative who obama modeled the heath care system after his Romney Care. 

      “encroachment on civil liberties ” But the Patriot Act, targeted killing without due process, the ability to lock up Americans without trial seems not to be encroaching on our civil liberties but allowing for women to get birth control. OMG

      What A joke.  And he claims to be a Lawyer

      • Hidan

         Lets not forget an support of the terrorist group MEK

        “I wish the MEK continued success.”

        Yep killing civilians is a success.

        • JonS

          I’m glad you’ve come around. Your not as delusional as your posts often suggest.

          • Hidan

            Right…….selective use of the law.

            Good terrorism if the U.S. and allies do so and bad terrorism if U.S. rivials and enemies do the same.

    • TomK in Boston

      FYI, the corporate media, y’know, the ones that served as a megaphone for all the WMD lies leading up to the disastrous iraq adventure, routinely call bedrock retirement security programs “entitlements”, and have totally bought into the idea that because of some bogeyman called THE DEFICIT our children can’t have SS and medicare, are not liberal. Corporate media serve the corporate elite.

      You are the one who is arrogant. You want to impose your religious beliefs on others, denying a necessary and legal service. Why should you stop at contraception? Will you next want to stop coverage of anything that comes from stem cell research? Where does it end?

      There is no encroachment on civil liberties here. It’s perfectly normal that insurance cos should be regulated – despite the righty mantra on the wonders of deregulation that has screwed us so thoroughly – and it’s perfectly normal that one such regulation would be to cover all essential services.

      If you don’t want to use contraception or have an abortion, don’t, and stay out of my life.

      • JonS

        It’s hard to respond to so many ill-conceived , illogical opinions but I’ll try. You’re so trapped in left wing cliches that you sound stupid.
        First , with baby boomers retiring , people living longer, etc there will not be enough people contributing into the system to pay for those receiving benefits. What do you do then? What do you do now? Just ignore everything and pray for ” hope and change? ”

        Medicare costs face the same problem , probably less so than SS since the contribution cap doesn’t exist as it does with SS but costs are escalating.

        I am not Catholic , happen to be pro-choice and support stem cell research, and my post didn’t even mention the religion issue. My post argued that there is simply no precedent for the government ordering private companies to offer a product for free, even if they recoup the costs indirectly. I believe it is an unconstitutional taking w/o compensation but the usual civil liberties crowd is strangely silent.

  • Observer

    In order to stimulate the economy, the new Republican administration will be stipulating everybody must buy a GM SUV getting no more than 18 mpg. Its the right thing to do. Those below “poverty” level (no flat screen TV in the bathroom), will get a taxpayer subsidy for the vehicle.

    Compelled? So what, its the “right” thing according to those in power, it will create jobs in the oil and gas sector, keeping some out of poverty and is thus essential.

    Goose, Gander.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Good Observation!

  • Steve

    As a first time reader of this web page, I find the blatant and widespread anti-Catholicsm to be breath taking.  It is at least equal to and seeming exceeds the anti-Moslem rhetoric that one sees by the looney right.  It dramatically changes my impressions of the NPR listening audience.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Steve, the hypocricy of the Catholic church, and the damage they have done, and continue to do, bothers some of us. 
         I hammer the Catholics about this hypocricy, because this is something they need to correct, BEFORE they can be taken seriously about anything, in my opinion.
         The issues that I refer to, are well-documented in news, and other media.   Catholics have admitted, finally, but have done NOTHING of worth.
          If my reminders upset you, I’m curious WHY?

    • Zero

      You are a first time reader of the page, and you are gagging anti-Catholicism sentiment while the Catholic Church is in the news…there’s nothing flawed about that….

      • Zero

         gauging

      • Steve

        It was a comment on the tenor of the conversation.  I was expecting a little more thoughtfulness, balance and civility.  The vitriol, prejudice and lack of reason from the looney left matches that of the looney right.  I just did not expect to see that on this forum.  Very disappointing.

        • Zero

           I wouldn’t say it matches the left.  After all, the left is not saying the Catholic Church shouldn’t build new churches near daycare centers…in you know what I mean….

          I have  mixed opinions of the Catholic Church–for one, they support Occupy Wall Street and they are pretty good readers of the Bible (as far as religious readings goes).

          But they also have a long history of ‘misdeeds.’  Moreover, you would be hard press to find a liberal criticizing the Episcopalian Church because of there rather good humanitarian track record. 

          I think the radicalism out of the left is no where near the level of radicalism out of the right (generally speaking).

          • Zero

             their

          • Steve

            The Catholic Church is made of of humans.  Unfortunately, the governing leadership (think bishops and above)is unbelievably insular, only talking to themselves and accountable to no other people (Protestant churches are much less insular).  As with the case with the sexual abuse victims, the leaders cause huge problems when they confuse their priorities, putting their interest or put the interest of the church as an institution ahead of the Message and the people they are supposed to help.  So you are correct, there is a history of misdeeds.
               There is also a history of exceptionally good deeds.  Look to the religious orders, especially the religious orders of women.  Think of the number of inner city schools that provide an excellent alternative to a failed public school system where their leadership has been unwilling or unable to do what is necessary to help kids from low income families. Let’s not forget Catholic Charities, homes for unwed mothers, HIV clinics in the 1990′s when the disease was a frightening thing etc.
               Again, my comments were meant to reveal a lack of balance and thought by many of those who commented.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tim-Brown/1227104716 Tim Brown

    To be honest, it seems like all that is missing the point. To my mindthe argument is: should your employer have any right to make choicesin your doctors office?I would say no.Abortion, and to a lesser extent contraception, are contentious issuesand I understand the desire of groups opposed to either to do whateverthey can to stop them from being used (even though I disagree withthem), but the precedent of allowing an employeer to decide medicalissues and step between doctors and patients by effecting what isauthorized by their insurers is a really bad one.Take for example, abortions in the case where conditions make thechance of the child living very slight and where the pregancy is asignificant health risk to the mother. To some sects, abortion due tomedical necessity is acceptable, to others abortion is neveracceptable. Should teachers, social workers, nurses, etc. have theiremployer stepping in to tell them what treatment they can and can’thave? Same is true for contraception. Should people have their familyplanning options restricted by their employer?Also, if you’re going to allow religiously affilated groups thispower, what is the logical argument for not allowing all privateemployers this option. I mean, by the same logic a stringentEvangelical, Orthadox Jewish, or strict Muslim employer might decide”no way no how do I want my money paying for birth control which Ifind morally abhorent.” Should they have the right to step in to thedoctors office and effect the treatment individuals recieve?I’d say the question to all these answers is no. Next you’ll haveScientologist employers blocking all access to physchiatric drugs onmoral grounds (ok, maybe not, but the logic is the same there).The decision here is merely saying “no employers can’t decide issuesof medical care, that is for doctors and patients.” Now you might say”but don’t insurance companies step in between people and theirdoctors all the time.” Well yes, that’s true but supposedly they do soas an organization that is informed of medical issues and is makingdecisions based on medical facts and not moral questions (even thoughwe all know they make those decisions based on upping profits andenhancing shareholder value a great deal of the time).Cliff notes: this isn’t an issue of the the government forcingchurches to pay for abortions and birth control, it’s an issue ofpeople’s rights to medical treatment and access to physician servicesregardless of where they work.lol @ all the back and forth, I would point out the science around this though. A quick search of pub med would show that about 40-60% of all conceptions in humans fail to implant naturally. Of those implantation about 30% spontaneously miscarry before birth. If life begins at conception, you’d have to say that the vast majority of souls in heaven are human beings which never existed outside a small number of cells, or, and I’m not big on doctrine so this might not apply, seeing as all these souls were never baptized and posses original sin, they’ve all gone defacto to hell?I  don’t know enough about theology to say anything on that, however as to policy, the fights over abortion and it’s framing as an issue of “saving human life,” makes no sense in the actual context of human biology. Wouldn’t the church be better served paying for surrogates to carry the millions of frozen embryo’s we have from invrito fertilization attempts to term than fighting abortion? If life starts at conception then that means billions of human lives are being lost to problems with implantation. Shouldn’t we be spending vast sums to find treatments to prevent this? Why is no one trying to save these countless lives? All the abortions in the history of the species would make up but a tiny percentage of the lives lost before birth if you’re actually taking the facts of human biology into account. The focus of pro-lifers should thus be on giving all women fertility drugs and preventing the massive loss of life that occurs from conceptions that don’t result in viable embryos. Of course in this case maybe birth control is a moral obligation because preventing ovulation is the only way to stop conceived embryos from being routinely destroyed by natural processes? All I know is that religious doctrine seems to totally ignore all the science around how human life is actually created. I think a lot of this is that most people don’t know the science and the argument of people “killing babies,” is a good way to drum up votes. I also think there are a lot of people who just want to own womens’ sexuality and this is just a means to an end. Either way, if life starts at conception then the argument over abortion becomes absurd because the vast majority of human lives are condemned to death and we do nothing to prevent this; it is how nature works. Obviously an abortion 9 months out is pretty much infanticide whilst drugs preventing implantation don’t do anything that doesn’t happen naturally billions of times a year anyhow. There is a blurry line there and people trying to have absolutes (ie. life only starts right when natural birth occurs 9 months out or only at conception) are just ignoring the facts around the issue and have no leg to stand on.Then if the argument becomes about the viability of the fetus: “well anything that can become a viable human life with intervention is a human life” and with this argument you still end up with no leg to stand on. Cloning mammals is not impossible, we’ve done it time and time again. Every nucleated cell is a potential human life that. Each time you take a shower you commit the mass genocide of potential independent human lives that could be cultivated with proper intervention as you sloth of skin cells. Reductio ad absurdum.

    • Roy Mac

      Paragraphs.  Think about it.

    • Steve

      I do believe that government has a role to play in our society, but in this case I believe they have overstepped.  In both good and bad job markets, people have accepted positions with religiously sponsored organizations that have not provided coverage for contraception, and in many cases held these positions for several years with full knowledge of the lack of this coverage.  They have done so of their own free will and with alternative employment opportunities which in many cases provided higher compensation.  While I have no way of proving it, I doubt these people have been in the vanguard of pushing this “reform”.  To me, it seems there is a fair degree of hubris involved to say that the government and those pushing this know whats good for these people better than they do themselves.  

  • Hidan

    Seems this was missed by onpoint and Hillary Clinton, John Mccain and the likes

    US citizens arrested in Bahrain supporting peaceful protest near one-year anniversary of uprising

    http://mondoweiss.net/2012/02/us-citizens-arrested-in-bahrain-supporting-peaceful-protest-near-one-year-anniversary-of-uprising.html

    Huwaida and Radhika were in Bahrain as part of an international solidarity effort aimed at providing an international civilian presence to report and monitor the situation on the ground. Leading up to February 14, Bahraini authorities had prevented journalists, human rights observers and other internationals from entering the country, leading many to fear a brutal crackdown. The two women are part of the Witness Bahrain initiative ( http://www.witnessbahrain.org ), which arrived in Bahrain in response to a call by Bahraini democracy activists for international observers.

  • Hidan

    Israeli military court extends administrative detention for civil rights lawyer Dr. Yousef Abdul Haq

    http://mondoweiss.net/2012/02/israeli-military-court-extends-administrative-detention-for-civil-rights-lawyer-dr-yousef-abdul-haq.html

    This type of detention is internationally banned and is impacting lawmakers in the Palestinian Legislative Council, members of local councils, university students, political activists, academics, trade unionists and even women and children.The imposition of administrative detention by Article 111 of the military state of emergency imposed by the British colonial authorities of Palestine September, 1945 is illegal on the grounds that Article 43 of the Hague international agreement of 1907 prohibits an occupying power to change the legislative reality of the country occupied.

    The International Solidarity Foundation for Human Rights received from the Israel Court of Ofer that the number of additional administrative detentions issued by the Israel military governor reached a total of 5971 since the beginning of the year 2004 until the end of 2010.

  • Hidan

    Saudi Arabia doing abusing Human Rights while making the same justification as Syria

     
    http://www.amnestyusa.org/our-work/countries/middle-east-and-north-africa/saudi-arabia

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/saudiarabia/5882406/Amnesty-criticises-Saudi-Arabias-shocking-human-rights-violations.html

    Violations in the Name of Counter-Terrorism

    Since September 11, 2001, thousands have been arrested and subjected to a secretive and abusive system. Many people have been detained for months or years without any way to legally challenge their detention, with reports of torture and ill-treatment. Peaceful critics of the government have been detained.

    Violations of Humanitarian Law in Yemen

    In 2009, Saudi Arabia has deployed military against the armed Huhti group in northern Yemen, after conflict in Yemen spilled over the border. Heavy bombing in Sa’dah is reported to have killed hundreds of people and damaged homes, buildings, and infrastructure. Testimonies of people interviewed by Amnesty International allege indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks on civilians in the fighting. For more information, Yemen: Cracking Down Under Pressure (2010)

    Where’s are SOS Hillary Clinton on this one? or Susan Rice

    http://www.hrw.org/middle-eastn-africa/saudi-arabia

    Notice Saudi Arabia is never called a regime

  • Modavations

    Terry this is why I say number the diatribes:
    1.Bush Did It
    2.The Greedy Rich did it
    3,The Perverts priests did it.

    I’m sure I missed a few, but you have entered over 30 posts screeching about Pervert Priests,  pedophiles and homosexual child abuse.I understand you were raped and molested.We all get that.But,you are extremely greedy and disrespectful of the audience.There are over 30 posts about pervert priests.There is no argument,just the angusihed cry.Isn’t  it easier to say, Bleat #3.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      The news was about Catholics opposing paying for employees’ health care, and contraceptives?  I was pointing out the HYPOCRICY  of that, since they have a MUCH BIGGER  problem, that they IGNORE?
         BTW, you FAIL miserably at psychology!

  • Modavations

    Terry I understand the priests have messed you up,screwed with your sexual identity and probably caused this reality break..I hope and pray you have not visited sexual depredations on your family..You have now,however become imbalanced,in my opinion.Since Friday there are 30 over posts about the Pervert Priests.In my opinion these are anguished cries for help and I keep thinking of the public meltdown by Ultrax.Please seek help,if you’re not in treatment already.If I can help I will,if not please seek help.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Your deepest expression of sympathy for those VICTIMS?  ‘I don’t want to hear about it!’ attitude?
         With your background, YOU propose to ‘help’, when you deny the effects of that?

  • david

    Obama stood before the combined Congress in 2010 State of the Union address and pounded the Supreme Court conservatives for thumbs up on Citizens United.
    In other public speeches he called the decision UnAmerican!
    He became the champion of the people against SuperPacs.
    Segments and guest on Onpoint echoed the same disdain for those republican favored SuperPacs, Bad Boys they were!!!!
    ………………..Then comes an election year…………………….
    Now! it seems SuperPacs are “kinda” OK now!
    What a difference a year makes!

    ALSO! just to let you know where your tax money is going???
    12.5 MILLION people are getting FREE CELL PHONES!!!
    AND, we the taxpayers are footing the bill!!!!1
    AND, they have found $$MILLIONS$ in fraudulent appplications!!
    Only in America!

     

    • Zero

       Oh please…Obama clearly still hates Citizens United, but he’s not going to handcuff himself against the republicans.  That would be political suicide.  He would overturn it tomorrow and go back to the old rules of funding.  So get bent.

      Your other crap is inane.  …Only in America can a former Executive at Haliburton become Vice President, get us into a pointless war, and pay his former company billions of tax payer dollars to help fight the war effort.

      Again, get bent. 

  • Fredlinskip

    Who’s going to get the Anybody But Romney vote this week?  Every time
    GOP focus on any particular candidate- that candidate gets a temporary
    lift & then a week or two later they apparently get around to actually examining
    their records and that candidate fizzles.

    Romney was to be nominee from day 1

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Pat Robertson?

  • david

    Oh please…..Obama barks and growls like a mean dog in a fensed in yard guarding his people, protecting the poor against the bad guys and as soon as the meat is thrown over the fense he gobbles it up like the rest and licks the hand that fed him.
    The definition of a hypocrite is saying one thing and doing another inorder to benefit.
    The definition of dignity is standing by what you say even if it cost you the benefit.
    As for my other crap being inane, well! bringing up Cheney is like fussing about the iceberg the ship hit at 1pm as the most important thing on the agenda at 7pm!!
     

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, nice vitriol based on hyperbolic soundbites.  

    • Zero

       I mentioned the Cheney inane stuff to one-up your other inane stuff, which is indeed quite pointless.

      Also, can you deny that Obama wouldn’t over turn Citizens United tomorrow and gladly end his super pac if given that option? 

      He is not being hypocritical–he is playing within the rules system he does not like.  E.g., in Basketball, I think offensive fouls are ridiculous…would I be a hypocrite if I still played the game? 

      You want to know what hypocrisy is?  …Did you or any republican criticize Dick Cheney when he said “Deficits don’t matter”…?  You guys certainly care about debt and deficits now that there is a democratic president.

      Yet the leading driver of the debt and deficits are the Bush Tax Cuts…. 

      How about being the party of ‘following the words of Christ’ without following the words of Christ; in fact, being the party that goes against Jesus teachings, but loving more Jesus more than anyone else. 

      • david

        If you had followed most of my comments over the years you would have seen I fussed and posted the growing debt all the time. the growing debt is a sign of a dying nation, no matter who is in office. You see Obama as a victim as to our economy’s problem, blaming everyone but Obama and the Democrats who are just, if not more, to blame for this problem.

        • Zero

           I’m not point fingers at everybody but Obama.  I know what is driving our deficits and debt…and Obama is the one trying to remedy the leading drivers, while the republicans are trying to keep them in place.

          Welfare is not driving our debt–the Bush tax cuts and the wars are.

  • Anonymous

    When Bruce Bartlett comes out and says the Republican party has it wrong on economics one has to wonder.

    Very interesting interview with the conservative economist Bruce Bartlett.  Maybe On Point should do a show with him and David Stockman. The one that strikes me about this interview is how reason prevails.

    http://billmoyers.com/segment/bruce-bartlett-on-where-the-right-went-wrong

    When I read some of the right wing commentators on here, David’s come to mind, what I see is exactly what Mr. Bartlett is talking about, blind echo-chamber rhetoric that is mostly taken from Fox or other right wing media outlets.

    • Gregg

      You guys crack me up. The party of Obama, Pelosi, Reid and Wasserman-Shultz gives us trillion dollar deficits as the new normal. A God awful 8% unemployment seems like a dream. Our credit rating has been lowered for the first time ever. A “Stimulus” to nowhere. And you want to belly-ache about Republicans? You say you will vote for Obama and you call Santorum a bigot! Unbelievable.

      The Fox thing is a hoot!

      • Zero

         Bush left office with a $1.2T, 8.6% unemployment (the day Obama policy started), above 9% unemployment (after the lag period it takes for Obama policy to take effect), two wars, and a GDP contracting at 8%.

        Must I say what all that looked like during Bush’s first year?

        Must I say what all that looks like now?

        Must I say that republicans have fired half-a-million government employees since 2010 (which hurts demand in a demand-crippled economy)?

        ———————————————

        Whatever…just make the rich a little richer and then the jobs with great wages and benefits will rain down on the middle class.

        Let corporations police themselves, and consumer protections are overrated.

        All of that certainly worked under Bush–just look how good the entrepreneur class did under him, as average middle income decreased by $2,000 before the recession.  After all, this recession wasn’t caused by the consumer class no longer spending money because they have to pay off student debt while saving up for their kids’ rising tuition costs and the debt they have accrued from a lack of consumer protections on the housing bill–no, no–the recession happened because the rich people did not get rich enough, the deregulation did not deregulate enough. 

        Supply side economics caused the recession only because they were strong enough supply side policies. Doubling down on republicanism is clearly the answer because there really is no such thing as demand, and the so-called laws of supply and demand are overrated. 

        • Gregg

          If you are going to say Bush left a $1.2T deficit you are technically correct. However that includes $700B for TARP which Obama voted for and implemented $350B of. He then failed to return the paid back portion to the treasury. Now he gripes about the debt he had a hand in while giving TARP credit for saving the economy meanwhile he conflates TARP with the horrible and failed “Stimulus”. My head hurts.

          Obama owns this mess and even if e blames Bush for the first trillion dollar deficit he can’t for the second and third. 

          • nj

            There’s plenty of legitimate stuff to criticize Obama about, but Rush-bowing, Republicans like Greggg continue to resort to fabricated pablum.

            http://blogs.wsj.com/deals/2010/10/01/tracking-which-banks-have-paid-back-tarp/

            Two years after its creation, the program cost far less than expected and largely achieved its goal of propping up the financial sector.While more than 600 banks are still sitting on about $65 billion in government bailout funds, most of the nation’s largest banks have repaid the Treasury.Here, courtesy of our friends at SNL Financial, is a breakdown of banks that have repaid the funds they received through Troubled Asset Relief Program funds, as well as the amount of the warrants they redeemed and dividends they paid.http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daniel-gross/;_ylt=A0LkuW9zEThPFWAAyQGh24dG;_ylu=X3oDMTE5aW5kNjh0BG1pdANCYW5uZXIEcG9zAzEEc2VjA01lZGlhQXJ0aWNsZUJyYW5kaW5n;_ylg=X3oDMTNmdDBuNWoyBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDYzBhNmQ3OWEtMDQ2OS0zYTZkLWExZGMtNDE0ZjFhNmNjY2FhBHBzdGNhdANleGNsdXNpdmVzfGRhbmllbGdyb3NzBHB0A3N0b3J5cGFnZQR0ZXN0Aw–;_ylv=3Today, Treasury released its latest monthly statement, which details revenues and spending for January, and for the first four months of the current fiscal year. It can be seen here. In January 2012, revenues were $234 billion, up 3.5 percent from $226 billion in January 2011. Meanwhile, federal spending was $261.7 billion in January 2012, down 5.3 percent from $276 billion in January 2011. The deficit for the month was $27.4 billion, down from nearly $50 billion in January 2011 — a decrease of 45 percent.

          • Gregg

            I guess it’s just me but I don’t see your beef. I said they paid it back. Obama spent it on the “stimulus”. Most say TARP did work, I don’t know but I tend to agree. Obama wants it both ways, either it saved the economy or the “Bush debt” killed it. That’s what Zero’s point was anyway… I think.

          • Zero

             I wish Obama didn’t vote for TARP; in fact, I wish Bush would have never passed it–because all TARP did was throw money at the banks without stipulations.

            It was a beautiful opportunity to force banks to restructure millions of mortgages, and pay back the government with interests (like the auto bailout did). If Bush wouldn’t have just thrown money at the banks (i.e., if TARP was more ‘liberal-minded’), the economy would have been better off today.

            A stimulus had to happen–but it could have been done the correct way, which republicans are not very good at.

          • Gregg

            You had me till the last paragraph.

          • Zero

            Good enough, and point taken!

        • Fredlinskip

           I don’t suppose that W admin was the beneficiary of the greatest bubble economy in this nation’s history had anything to do with any illusory prosperity during W years?
          Bubble, that is economy built on faulty foundations. It was a mirage. When the dance ended, the result was the worst financial collapse since Depression.

          The big gainers were a small % of Americans at the top and corporations.
          Less jobs were created under W, Reagan and Bush Sr. combined. (20 years) than 8 years of Clinton.
             Deregulation was in large part cause of this bubble that transferred so much of America’s wealth to the top.

          (Why I bother to enter into an intelligent debate with the clueless is beyond me)

          • Gregg

            Yes I agree, the tech bubble during peacetime had an enormous beneficial impact on the economy. But it wasn’t real. And when it burst on March 10, 2000 it was devastating. Good point.

          • Fredlinskip

             While dotcom bubble was substantial, there is no comparison to the systemic foundational collapse that was wrought by financial/credit/mortgage bubble.
            A lot of investors and California in particular were severely hurt when dotcom bubble collapsed.
               If what a high % of economists is to be believed, our country came perilously close to another Depression during financial collapse.
            If God was elected he couldn’t have brought us quickly out of the hole W & Co dug for us.
               There is no comparison between those two bubble economies.

            IM humble O.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            ‘W’ wasn’t smart enough to see it coming?
               ‘W’ wasn’t smart enough to make a sucess of business, until he could use government money to build a stadium?

          • Zero

            Oh god, you republicans with the Clinton tech bubble.  You guys are insane. 

            What was the lowest GDP got before 2007 (when the actual recession hit)? 

            Do you even know what a recession is? 

            After coming down from an economic high there is this thing called a soft landing…do you know what that means?  Not all bubbles bust, and nothing Clinton did busted.

            He started the deregulation trend, and I send some criticism that way–but Bush started the de-supervisation which lead to the financial collapse in 2007.

            To you republicans, it is Obama’s economy and Clinton’s fault for the recession…wake up! 

          • Fredlinskip

             Actually Zero I fully agree with you- very good points and glad you posted them.

            A bit of “comedy of errors” occurred there.
            Breezing through your original comment too quickly, I misread your intent-

            much apologies.

        • Modavations

          CBO had projected a many trillion(I think 5) surplus in the coming years.Unfortuneatlty the the Dot Com Bubble and 9/11 happened.Bush knew if the surplus was left in the treasury the monies would be spent.To quote Herr Carville,it’s the spending stupid

          • Terry Tree Tree

            ‘W’s campaign promise, in 2000, was that he’d “make America safer!”
               Forgot the one ‘W’ said he would make the Budget Surplus BIGGER?

          • Zero

            The Bush tax cuts are what happened!  Only idiots cut taxes while they need to pay for war efforts.

      • Anonymous

        Gee Gregg, I guess dealing with the topic of Bartlett’s thesis by changing the subject is an interesting tactic but I guess you forgot the part where Mr. Bartlett was critical of this kind of Fox/Limbaugh type of response that lacks any substance. The fact that my case is about reason and the facts that Bartlett and David Stockman are on about escapes you is of no surprise to me.
        I can vote for whomever I want to. That’s still my right, something by your tone that you seem to want to remove. Santorum’s comments are clearly bigoted towards people who are different than him.
        That you now try to turn this fact and my statement into some kind of tirade against me shows me how weak and insipid your talking points are. The GOP has gone off the rails, they have no vision. They only offer a draconian social agenda based on christian conservative values, and tax cuts. That’s it. Nothing else. The funny part is how you hark on about our credit rating, and this is from a bunch of companies that have the nerve to even air their views in public after being knee deep in the causes of the economic downturn. That’s your argument? Standard and Poors?

        I get it, you hate Obama, you support Gingrich.
        Enough said.

        • Gregg

          “I get it, you hate Obama, you support Gingrich and think it’s fine to call people with different sexual identities animals. ”

          I don’t hate Obama, I just think he is destroying America with encouragement from the likes of you. How sick do you have to be to believe what you just wrote about Gingrich? He loves Candice.
          I NEVER consider my audience beneath me, nor anyone else for that matter… maybe you. 

          • Anonymous

            You think Obama is destroying the US and with encouragement form me and people of my ilk. Can you read? I was referring to Santorum’ remarks about gays. I don’t care what he thinks about Candice that’s between them. By the way she supports Obama, so I guess you should write a diatribe about her.
            As to your audience, well you said you supported Santorum. That’s a fact buddy. You know try to white wash it with some crap about me and calling me sick. However I’m not going to steep to your level of slime.
            If you support Santroum, you support his ideology on social issues.
            If you don’t you should probably point that out.

          • Gregg

            Santorum doesn’t hate gays nor does he think they are animals. Neither does Newt. I can’t believe I have to say it.

          • Anonymous

            Oh please, you have to be kidding. So all that talk about gay men and their sexuality was for show.

            I doubt that Gingrich hates gays, he’s pandering to GOP base. But Santroum, his record speaks for itself.
            Gingrich is an opportunist, which most politicians are.
            He’s really out there and unpredictable. Not good traits for a president. Santroum is to steeped in religious dogma to even be considered a contender for president. The GOP is fielding some pretty bad opponents to Obama in my view.

          • Zero

             I don’t hate Obama, I just think he is a foreign terrorist who whips his but with the American flag and eats dogs.

            I believe Mitt Romney when he said, “I am out to save the soul of America.”  God bless you Messiah Romney.  

          • Zero

             wipes his butt with the American Flag. 

        • Modavations

          Communism is a pox on all who attempt it.Russia still reels.The average male lives to 65

          • Zero

             Name one democrat who doesn’t believe in private property?

          • Modavations

            70 members of the house are members of the American Socialist party.The rest are too afraid to admit.

          • Fredlinskip

             74 members of the house are members of the American Fascist Regime.

            (the other GOP members are too, but they’re too stupid to realize it).

          • Fredklinskip

             After some thoruough research I’ve been able to discover the true name of the dominant group which GOP congressional members belong:
             
            AWFUL;

            the Association of White Fascists & Unmitigated Lunatics

          • Anonymous

            Actually only one, Bernie Sanders.
            I bet you call all left handed people communist.

          • Gregg
          • Zero

            You used the word “communism.”  Communist don’t believe in private property.  If you are going to change the word to “socialism,” then you should have used that word in the first place.  “Socialism” means many different things, but communism is much more narrow.  Don’t call people communists if you don’t know what communism is.  Get it?

          • Anonymous

            What does that have to do with Reagen’s old economic adviser. 
            What does communism have to with anything being said here?
            I guess you don’t have any real ideas of your own, so you just fall back on the ol’ commy routine. Pathetic really.

    • Modavations

      I hope you understand that you are preaching to the choir.This is not Heritage,this is not Cato.You are pleading your points to the Communist-socialist left.You are pleading on NPR.The fact that you must make your case on NPR shows me how untenable your position is.As regards Fox,only small men fear difference of opinion

      • Anonymous

        So what, are you about 4 foot or so.

        • Modavations

          Hey Pissant.When you look at Courtauld Galleries most prominent Ouerve.What do you see out the window to the right.No Googling will help you out this time.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Moda whines about name-calling?

      • Fredlinskip

         You’re right NPR is not a think tank created for the sole purpose of influencing public opinion towards a right wing agenda as Cato and Heritage.
        Thank God, there are a couple of media outlets brave enough to generate fact-based conversation instead of simply bowing to the forces of “corporatocracy”.

        • Gregg

           NPR is a corporation. Just saying…

        • Modavations

          Koch Brothers are one of NPR’s heavy duty contributors.Tom A.makes $350,000.00 per annum

    • Zero

      I just wanted to say thanks for posting this.  And I think Moda comment proves Bartlett’s point about data vs. ideology.  The video presents indisputable data, but it doesn’t matter because any attempt to fix the problems is “paving the road to communism.”  The right almost never has an economic argument, but a paranoid, ideological response–driven mostly by propaganda. 

      My favorite part of the interview was the discussion about faith–how religious people are more willing to accept faith-based economic policy instead of data-driven policy….  What’s the best way to get non-wealthy people to vote republican…get them out of college and into church.

  • Pingback: Catholic Church Nominated for Doublethink Award » TheWrdsmith.com

  • nj

    Most Democrats are as vacuous and useless as most of the Republicans. Why does blind allegiance to two outdated, corporate-controlled, regressive parties cause people to support vile, evil policies?

    http://www.salon.com/2012/02/08/repulsive_progressive_hypocrisy/singleton/

    The survey shows that 70 percent of respondents approve of Obama’s decision to keep open the prison at Guantanamo Bay. . . . The poll shows that 53 percent of self-identified liberal Democrats — and 67 percent of moderate or conservative Democrats — support keeping Guantanamo Bay open, even though it emerged as a symbol of the post-Sept. 11 national security policies of George W. Bush, which many liberals bitterly opposed.

    Beyond that, Obama has used drones to kill Muslim children and innocent adults by the hundreds. He has refused to disclose his legal arguments for why he can do this or to justify the attacks in any way. He has even had rescuers and funeral mourners deliberately targeted. As Hayden said: ”Right now, there isn’t a government on the planet that agrees with our legal rationale for these operations, except for Afghanistan and maybe Israel.” But that is all perfectly fine with most American liberals now that their Party’s Leader is doing it:Fully 77 percent of liberal Democrats endorse the use of drones, meaning that Obama is unlikely to suffer any political consequences as a result of his policy in this election year. Support for drone strikes against suspected terrorists stays high, dropping only somewhat when respondents are asked specifically about targeting American citizens living overseas, as was the case with Anwar al-Awlaki, the Yemeni American killed in September in a drone strike in northern Yemen.[excerpts]

    • Gregg

      There was no way Gitmo was ever going to be closed. Obama surely knew that, he can’t be that dumb. It was all to get votes from those stupid enough to believe it.  

      • Fredlinskip

         If Congressmen and their constituents had the courage God gave chipmunks, then Gitmo inhabitants would be in mainland prisons and Gitmo would be closed.

    • Gregg

      It’s just one instance but I can’t help citing it since you teed it up for me. As I wrote (below), it was easy enough to predict Obama couldn’t close Gitmo and most of us were sure in 2008. As is so often the case, Rush agreed with me and did so before Obama put his hand on the Bible.

      “Don’t deal in things that aren’t real.  Don’t get yourself worked up
      about something that isn’t gonna happen.  We got real things to get
      worked up about here.  But closing Gitmo isn’t gonna happen.  It is not
      gonna happen.  It is not going to happen.  They’re not gonna close
      Gitmo.”

      -Rush Limbaugh Jan. 16, 2009

      • nj

        Greggg weighs in for the Broken-Clock Contingent.

        • Gregg

          I’m not the one surprised because I was informed. You, not so much.

    • Fredlinskip

       As far as the use of drones is concerned, it may depend on the context of the question. 
          UNLESS we were ABSOLUTELY sure of the “evil” intent (which can be
      somewhat objective) of our target AND there was next to zero chance of
      “collateral damage” of innocents, I think that drone usage is a
      cowardly approach to our “War on terror” and sets terrible precedent
      should other countries obtain drone technology.
        How would we feel if Pakistan conducted a drone attack on our soil, claiming they had learned of Americans with bad intent towards Pakistanis.

       

  • Gregg

    We all remember the websites set up to recruit imposter tea partiers to wave racist banners. And then there is the endless claims the tea party is manufactured by big money. That one’s rich.

    Pot meet kettle:
    http://dailycaller.com/2012/02/10/occupy-cpac-protesters-paid-60-for-the-day/

  • Gregg

    I feel sorry for those who missed Victor Wooten on Huckabee just because they can’t stand Fox. Your loss.

    • Brett

      I’ve seen Wooten many times with Mr. Fleck and in other musical configurations. Did you know that his brother (Victor’s, not Bela’s) is “Future Man”?

      I actually did watch Huckabee, and I saw Wooten (I even left the liberal meeting where we were all planning the next attack in the war on religious freedoms to do so), but I do prefer my musical entertainment without the right-wing propagandist drumbeats, though… 

      • Gregg

        I’ve been a Flecktone fan for a while and have seen them (with Future man) several times. I keep politics out of my music. I wish musicians would shut up. I did go see the Dixie Chicks in their first show back in America after their stupid comments. They were great.

        • Gregg

          I did not mean to imply the Flecktones were political. It kinda looked like I did, they are not.

          Did you ever see them back when Howard Levey was with them? Awesome… but they always are.

          • Brett

            I just saw this one. Yeah, I’m a fan of Howard Levy and have seen him a few times. I sometimes work with a guy who approaches the harmonica the same way as Levy.

          • Gregg

            I saw him at a Merlefest workshop play a chromatic scale on a diatonic harp. Some notes he bent up, or overblew, or sucked real hard but he did it. Unbelievable. Your friend is reaching high. Good for him.

            Alright, I don’t want to alert the “off-topic” police. Sorry.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            I doubt much objection to this conversation.

        • Anonymous

          I wish musicians would shut up
          OK lead by example.

          But on the other hand, why? Are musicians some kind of second class citizens who are only there for our entertainment? Should they not be have political opinions and thoughts and if they want to air them do so?
          And why is it only the ones on the left that seem to bother you.
          You seem to want musicians to be nothing short of minstrels.

          In my opinion one of the strongest political pieces of music was Coltrane’ Alabama.
          No words, just a dirge tinged with the blues.

          • Gregg

            Musicians have every right and it bothers me on both sides I don’t know how you inferred otherwise. Times were a bit different in Parker’s day or Dylan’s for that matter.

            I do not write politically charged songs. I like happy songs…. and the blues.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            From one extreme, to the other-happy songs to blues?
               Meant as a light-hearted observation.

          • Gregg

            The blues make me happy.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Some do me too.
               I enjoy most music.

        • Brett

          We would have all benefitted if Bocephus or Toby Keith had held their tongues. In fact, commercial Country stars seem to particularly suffer from diarrhea of the mouth when it comes to political opinion. 

          When I used to go see Bonnie Raitt (before and just after she broke into the mainstream). She would prattle on and on sometimes at concerts about injustices, etc. I didn’t like it (and I was in agreement with her politics, too!). I bet someone who was conservative was also in the audience and was really offended. It seemed too much like pandering for cheap applause in Bonnie’s case because she knew her crowd was with her. 

          I agreed with what the Dixie Chicks singer said but thought it lacked poise, grace, and all around sounded stupid. But, I do see jeffe’s point in that musicians have a right to give their opinions just like anyone. Some, who are artists, can even incorporate socio-political ideas/opinions into their art.

          • Gregg

            I agree they have every right but it’s not good business and it sours a beautiful thing. 

          • Brett

            “…it’s not good business…” 

            This is my personal approach. I don’t want to irritate and alienate someone who has taken the time and has paid money to come see me perform my music. I sometimes make political jokes, but they are pretty tame and neutral. I remember years ago, when I first started to play solo gigs, I was introducing the ELP song, ‘Lucky Man.’ I was going to say something about it being a war protest song but had the presence of mind to remember where I was: a club where a lot of marines hung out. I looked down into a sea of high-n-tights and decided to just say, “here’s an old ELP song.” Conversely, I don’t like the idea of pandering to get cheap applause, either. I’ve seen too much of that armchair activism. 

          • Gregg

            We largely agree. I don’t mean to imply there isn’t a place for politically charged performances or even that they aren’t key to societal evolution at times. But at some point the line between musician and activist gets blurred. That’s fine but for me, as outspoken as I am in places like this, it’s not even close.

        • Fredlinskip

          I, on other hand, sort of wish that there were more popular musicians as in the 60′/70′s that wore their hearts on sleeves and performed music that dared speak truth to power, instead of the American Idol ridiculousness which seems so prevalent today.
          Alas, the “times they have a’ changed”.

          I imagine those that look at many of the “occupiers” with disdain are the same that regarded the 60′s/70′s R&R crowd likewise.  
          I personally believe that that generation engendered quite a bit of positive change, although much of this has been pretty well nullified in recent decades by “greed is good” crowd.

          My sentiments lean towards that of the
          Elvis Costello song: “What’s so funny about Peace, Love, and
          Understanding”

          (please pardon my intrusion into conversation between 2 musicians.)

          • Gregg

            There is a difference between wearing your heart on your sleeve and speaking truth to power, not to say you said otherwise. But it’s an important distinction. Truth to power is fine but for a musician to be considered an artist baring your heart in front of strangers is essential… that and some chops.

  • Gregg

    To all the Fox/Rush mindmeld accusers with links to Media Matters: We’re not the ones, it’s you. You have been played.

    http://dailycaller.com/2012/02/12/inside-media-matters-sources-memos-reveal-erratic-behavior-close-coordination-with-white-house-and-news-organizations/?print=1

    • Gregg

      I guess I understand no replies on this one but it is shocking. The Fox/Rush obsession on this blog matches perfectly and is a direct result of Media Matters propaganda. How many here form their opinions of Fox more from Media Matters that actual first a hand knowledge. And then there’s Dick Morris’ theory about the contraception debate. Again, it’s amazing how for some reason all the belly-aching on this blog mirrors exactly what the left wing propaganda machine wants the message to be. You guys say we’re brainwashed by Murdoch and you say it with no evidence. The best evidence is, you are what you accuse us of, you are really good at being duped.

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