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Week In The News: The West And Russia, Obama Meets The Pope, Hobby Lobby, Mudslide

Russia and the West. Contraception and the Supreme Court. President Obama and the Pope.  Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Pope Francis and President Barack Obama smile as they exchange gifts, at the Vatican Thursday, March 27, 2014. President Barack Obama called himself a "great admirer" of Pope Francis as he sat down at the Vatican Thursday with the pontiff he considers a kindred spirit on issues of economic inequality. Their historic first meeting comes as Obama's administration and the church remain deeply split on issues of abortion and contraception. (AP)

Pope Francis and President Barack Obama smile as they exchange gifts, at the Vatican Thursday, March 27, 2014. President Barack Obama called himself a “great admirer” of Pope Francis as he sat down at the Vatican Thursday with the pontiff he considers a kindred spirit on issues of economic inequality. Their historic first meeting comes as Obama’s administration and the church remain deeply split on issues of abortion and contraception. (AP)

Russia and the West front and center this week, as President Obama rallies with Europe and Russian troops shadow Ukraine’s border.  No game-change, and the President moves on to see the pope and the Saudi king.  The Obamacare sign-up deadline gets squishy, but six million signed up, they say.  The Supreme Court looks at whether corporations have religion.  A wall of mud takes out the tiny town of Oso.  We’ve got a ruling that college athletes can unionize.  A death sentence for 500 in Egypt.  Chris Christie, “conscious uncoupling”, and still no plane.  This hour On Point:  Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Robert Costa, national political reporter for the Washington Post. (@costareports)

Margaret Brennan, CBS News foreign policy correspondent. (@margbrennan)

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

Washington Post: Rand Paul builds 50-state network, courts mainstream support for presidential bid — “Rand Paul’s nationwide organization, which counts more than 200 people, includes new backers who have previously funded more traditional Republicans, along with longtime libertarian activists. Paul, of Kentucky, has also been courting Wall Street titans and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs who donated to the presidential campaigns of George W. Bush and Mitt Romney, attending elite conclaves in Utah and elsewhere along with other GOP hopefuls.”

CBS News: U.S. sanctions on Russia causing real pain, Treasury official says — “While Russian President Vladimir Putin used troops to seize Crimea and positioned his military along the Ukrainian border, the Obama administration’s strongest weapon against him has been financial sanctions. The White House fired twice this week: banning travel and freezing accounts of individuals, some of whom did not have assets in the U.S. A tougher round of sanctions on Thursday sanctioned 20 of Putin’s closest aides and blacklisted a bank that holds many of their personal accounts.”

The Wall Street Journal: The Individual Mandate Goes Poof – “The individual mandate had the least effect on those it was supposed to encourage to gain coverage—the uninsured. McKinsey & Co. surveys found that a little over one-quarter of people signing up for coverage last month were previously uninsured.Goldman Sachs  analysts estimate that about one million uninsured Americans will sign up for the ObamaCare exchanges before open enrollment ends. For perspective, that’s about 2% of the 48 million uninsured.”

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  • stephenpyx

    As far as Hobby Lobby is concerned the question should be are they a religious Institution? I don’t believe they are so they would have to conform with the law. We as a society are forgetting about separation of religion and state and intertwining the two.

    • Ray in VT

      I did read something yesterday that indicated that one of the top people at Hobby Lobby has been giving a great deal of financial support to one of the organizations that was behind that piece of recent Arizona legislation that caused such a stir.

      • Fiscally_Responsible

        Last time I checked, that was his constitutional right. Both sides provide financial support to candidates/legislation that they espouse. That works on both sides of the political aisle. A great deal of out of state money appears when it comes to supporting liberal causes, which I’m sure you would argue is legitimate.

        • Ray in VT

          Do you think that I was arguing that he was doing something illegal? I was merely pointing out the connections. I mean who woulda thunk that a guy who opposes providing birth control to employees would also be supporting discrimination against gays and lesbians. Well, this guy for one.

          I tend not to care for out of state groups getting involved in issues, but I do think that it is necessary at times, and I wholeheartedly support efforts to provide legal protections for minorities against the sort of bigoted discrimination that the Arizona bill advanced.

          • Fiscally_Responsible

            I sensed a negative tone toward the source of the funds. If that was incorrect, I apologize. I do think that many people on the left (you being excluded) tend to cast a negative dispersion on sources of funds that support conservative causes, while many times turning a blind eye toward out of state money that supports liberal causes such as abortion, gay rights, etc. I believe that there is hypocrisy exhibited here by a number of people on the left.

          • Ray in VT

            I cast a negative eye on all funds that promote discrimination, the intrusion of the government into women’s reproductive systems or seek to covertly fund the rolling back of environmental protections and the like.

            Whereas I generally dislike these sorts of outside spending altogether, I would at least prefer that it be public and disclosed, rather than the sorts of covert funding that now occurs.

        • John Cedar

          I know its not fashionable to read proposed legislation and it is more fashionable for headline writers to write misleading headlines by inserting the word homophobic. But any fair thinking person would have approved of the AZ legislation except for someone completely filled with hadtred for religion.
          http://www.azleg.gov/legtext/51leg/2r/bills/sb1062p.pdf

        • Don_B1

          Whatever money comes from out-of-state sources in support of issues/candidates, the conservative money dominates the “liberal” money usually better than 2 to 1.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Reeally and your proof is??

  • SteveTheTeacher

    Will Tom Ashbrook, Jack Beatty, Margaret Brennan, and Richard Costa join the rest of the US mainstream media and ignore the UN Human Right’s committee’s condemnation of the United States yesterday?

    Among other concerns, the UN Committee criticized the US practice of killing by unmanned drones, torture of detainees by proxy (transfer to countries known to practice torture), detention without trial at Guantanamo, and the mass surveillance practices of the NSA.

    The Human Rights Committee also criticized the United States for failing to prosecute Bush administration officials responsible
    for planning and executing waterboarding and other “enhanced interrogation” tortures.

  • Ray in VT

    I know that this is a couple of weeks old now, but it now appears that attempts to undermine the Census will not be going forward, as the move was pretty widely panned from academic researchers to business groups:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/10/american-community-survey_n_4937802.html

    • Don_B1

      All Americans should hope that is true, but that won’t stop at least some Tea/Republicans from attempting to undermine the Census as that might help their gerrymandering after the next census.

      • Ray in VT

        I just wonder at how something like the Census can be made into a controversy.

        • Don_B1

          A whole lot of people won’t have a clue why reducing the costs is not a good thing.

          • Ray in VT

            I think that many people are unaware of the products created by the Census and how useful they are to a great many people.

  • Fiscally_Responsible

    The head of the panel that investigated Christie’s involvement in the Bridge Scandal, who happens to be a Democrat and has worked for DiBlasio in the past, said on Fox News last night that he has concluded that there is not a shred of evidence that Christie was involved in any way in any kind of conspiracy to intentionally create traffic jams on the GW Bridge. I wonder if the mainstream media, which has attempted to destroy his reputation, is going to fall over themselves apologizing for their sensationalistic but incorrect portrayal of the events that occurred and attempt to denigrate Christie’s character? I doubt it.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      FTA:
      The Port Authority official who directed the shutdown of lanes to the George Washington Bridge said that he informed Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey about it at a Sept. 11 memorial ceremony while the lanes were closed, according to an internal review that lawyers for the governor released on Thursday.

      The official, David Wildstein, who was a longtime political ally of the governor, told Mr. Christie’s press secretary, Michael Drewniak, of the conversation at a dinner in December, on the eve of his resignation from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, according to the inquiry.

      But the report said that Mr. Christie did not recall Mr. Wildstein’s raising the topic during their interaction and, in a sweeping claim of vindication, found no evidence that he — or any current members of his staff — was involved in or aware of the scheme before it snarled traffic for thousands of commuters in Fort Lee, N.J., from Sept. 9 to the morning of Sept. 12.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/28/nyregion/chris-christie-lawyer-bridge-scandal-report.html?_r=0

      • Don_B1

        Even Joe Scarborough admits that the $1 million Christie administration review by his close friends at a law firm was “over the top.”

        http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/28/opinion/a-whitewash-for-gov-christie.html?hp&rref=opinion

        And “Over the Top” is a wildly inadequate description of that whitewash.

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          Well if MSNBC host said it it must be true!
          Why did you link to the exact same article that I did and then assume I was arguing in favor of Gov. Christie? I have been arguing that Gov. Christie must have known what was about the bridge closure from the beginning.

    • Fredlinskip

      !) This is not last word as there may actually be some bias in this judgment, being this is basically Christie admin investigating itself
      2) I believe it was only one media outlet in particular that hammered this issue ad nauseam, MSNBC, and that outlet is hardly “mainstream”. Other outlets did give it some coverage- it is an important story and it is a function of 24 hour news cycle world we live in it that it received so much attention.
      (Consider all the coverage given to Malaysian airliner when we essentially had zero info to go on).
      3) Even if Christie had nothing to do with it, it still speaks to his ability to pick competent people and he may still have contributed to a “culture”.of operation, that would allow such things to happen.
      4) as far as apologies, did all these media outlets ever apologize for the vast amount of misinformation that American people endured in buildup to Iraq War, when had they acted with integrity, a conflict that adversely effected millions of lives could have been prevented?

      Don’t hold your breath.

  • Ray in VT

    Small government, liberty loving Kansas conservatives want to require women who suffer a miscarriage at any stage to report it to the state.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      links please.

      • Ray in VT

        I intentionally left them out to see who would call me out. Do you think that I am repeating something that is not true?

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          I have no opinion on that. And I have little time to research it now. By the way, I was going to post the NYT story independently, but I thought that it works better as a response.

    • jimino

      If “life begins at conception” then it logically follows that such reporting would be necessary, as would an investigation of those women who miscarry by law enforcement to determine their possible role in causing a death.

      • Ray in VT

        Considering that heavy menstruation can be a sign of a very early miscarriage, I wonder if women who have one of those should report under this measure (not that I think that it is likely to pass) just to be safe.

        • Bluejay2fly

          Doesn’t some form of birth control prevent a fertilized egg (Life) from attaching to the uterine wall. This would be an intentional miscarriage of sorts.

          • Ray in VT

            A few can.

      • Ray in VT

        I wonder if, under such a scenario, the state government would be providing funds in order to investigate all of these deaths in order to ensure that there was no foul play.

        • Don_B1

          I am sure that would result in an increase in taxes; Oh, wait: they can cut aid to education or food stamps.

    • Ed75

      How about we just settle for not killing the unborn.

      • Ray in VT

        I don’t condone killing or murder. Abortion just isn’t killing or murder.

        • Ed75

          And that is the question. (Science seems to point to yes.)

          • Ray in VT

            Murder is more of a legal and/or moral question. Science can give one biological facts and conditions, but it doesn’t really make those sorts of judgments.

          • Ed75

            You’re right, the word I should use is just killing. The 5th Commandment distinguishes between murder and killing.

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    With the NSA spending too much of its resources spying on the us they had little left to spy on the true world hot spots.

    FTA:
    The Journal reports, “U.S. spy agencies and the military are rushing to expand satellite coverage and communications efforts across Russia, Ukraine and the Baltic states,” hoping to close the “information gap.” Another official is quoted as saying the Obama administration is “very nervous” because “this is uncharted territory.” –

    http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Columns/2014/03/26/Spies-Us-NSA-Intrusive-and-Incompetent#sthash.0kbGrdl3.dpuf

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      I am quoting from the Fiscal Times here. But I will quote from the Wall Street Journal and Rush Limbaugh and anything else I please.

      “I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it is for or against. I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.”
      ― Malcolm X

      • Don_B1

        That is a great statement. It is a shame that you, at least as represented by the posts you make here, do not even try to live by it.

        Wherever you came upon your misbegotten ideology, twisted out of recognition from any rational way that it could ever be beneficial to all of humanity, you don’t seem to want to reexamine the origins and consequences of implementing that ideology.

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          I appreciate that you may be uncomfortable arguing with me, and that you are much more comfortable attacking me personally.

          But really Don_B1 do you ever reexamine your ideology?
          What are the origins of you ideology? What have been the consequences when those policies have been implemented?

          Have you looked closely at the men and women that you serve? How do you take a person like Sen Reid and support him even though he has grown personally wealthy from his years of public “service.”

          I have the duty to see thing as they are not how I would like them to be. It is demanding and sometimes difficult. But that is why I am a member of the Tea Party Movement.

  • Ray in VT

    A Republican state Senator who opposed a bill which would require insurance providers to cover chemotherapy pills just as they cover IV treatments had a change of heart once she got diagnosed with cancer.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      Again links woulds be helpful. I am not familiar with that story. But I do consider that David Weigel is on to something when he notices the sudden abundance of GOP lawmaker stories.

      FTA:

      As the national electoral plight of Democrats increases, so does the incidence of stories about obscure state Republican lawmakers.

      Sure, state lawmakers are important. One of the grand ironies of politics is that people are more likely to know the politicians they’re distant from (the president) than the ones with portfolios that cover them at the micro level (school board members). Every Congress contains a substantial number of former state legislators, and in this age of declining local media, not many of them have been scrutinized. :

      http://www.slate.com/blogs/weigel/2014/03/18/the_gop_lawmaker_principle_why_you_see_so_many_articles_about_random_right.html

      • Ray in VT

        Again I am looking to see what will happen without links. I think that there is has been plenty of reports of some of the strange goings on at the state level in this age, where getting these stories onto the web provides for much easier dissemination. Take, for instance, the comments of a North Dakota state lawmaker recently stated that the free market would get rid of businesses that racially discriminated against customers.

        Wisconsin:

        http://www.addictinginfo.org/2014/03/25/wisconsin-republican-flip-flops-mandatory-coverage-chemotherapy-pills-getting-cancer/

        and

        http://www.wausaudailyherald.com/article/20140322/WDH01/303210296/Facing-own-chemo-treatments-Rep-Czaja-changes-mind-support-cancer-bill?nclick_check=1

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          Please remember that many people see the old media as a wholly owned subsidiary party of the Democratic Party. The sudden appearance of such stories is taken only as proof of that argument.

          And I am inclined to agree with the idea that free markets will end racism as it is not only stupid but expensive.

          • Ray in VT

            Yes, and some people believe that global warming is a conspiracy, that the President was born in Kenya or that the Great Wall of China was a really good and effective frontier defense. People believing stuff doesn’t mean squat as far as I am concerned, and facts have a well known liberal bias.

            The free market really ended the hell out racial discrimination by businesses in the 1960s, right? They did that on their own and not because of the Civil Rights Act, right?

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            There are many that deign proven facts of science and history. They often shout the loudest and lie to amass political power.

            And the Civil Rights Act of 1964 did a lot to remove power from corrupt racist demagogues and restore the free market but it did not end racism. No law has the power to end racism. But it will happen, because, as I have written before, racism is stupid and expensive.

            And you still have much to learn about Chinese history.
            http://www.greatwall-of-china.com/52-90/the-great-wall-of-china.html

          • Ray in VT

            Funny that the free market didn’t fix it then, considering that it was supposed to be against the economic interests of the region for 100 years. One might be tempted to conclude that such free market beliefs don’t play out in the real world.

            I’ve taken various East Asian history courses in college. I just don’t believe in the popular mythology of the wall, to which you seem to ascribe. I tend to find that many such popular myths exist among those who have not undertaken a proper study of history. Dr. Arthur Waldron, who teachers Chinese History at the University of Pennsylvania has written a good account that addressed such unfounded beliefs.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            First I must say that I am certain that if we were to get together for lunch somewhere we would stay there talking until they closed for the night.

          • Ray in VT

            Very likely. I can be quite stubborn, but I do love to talk. My wife ascribes it to my having been born an old Vermonter. B.S.ing is a very integral part of farming, at least in my experience.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Stubbornness is a classic Yankee virtue.

          • Ray in VT

            Indeed it is. In the end, though, I’ll still side with a respected Ivy League historian who specializes in Chinese history over some people saying something on a .com as regards this topic.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            And I would have you not change you stubbornness even if I would change your opinion on this topic.

          • Ray in VT

            One has to be quite stubborn to continue to try to make a go of it farming the rocky soils of the Green Mountains, as my family has done for decades.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            More power to you.

            May the blessing of the rain be on you—

            the soft sweet rain.

            May it fall upon your spirit

            so that all the little flowers may spring up,

            and shed their sweetness on the air.

            May the blessing of the great rains be on you,

            may they beat upon your spirit

            and wash it fair and clean,

            and leave there many a shining pool

            where the blue of heaven shines,

            and sometimes a star.

          • Ray in VT

            One needs many blessings, including the blessings, or virtues, of fortitude and patience, in order to farm it in my experience. It has never been anything that I have wanted to do. I wanted off of the farm from about age 6. I just haven’t managed it (totally) yet.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Second in the south demagogues used fear and violence to prevent people from acting in their own self interest. So the free market didn’t fail as much as our nation as a whole. Since the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960′s (it still seems odd that that was last century) the south has enjoyed economic gains because of the removal of unjust laws.

          • Ray in VT

            The removal of which would not have happened then without government action. If removal of the laws were in people’s self interest, and people act in their self interest, then why would those laws persist? Probably because there was a deep-seated cultural and historical tradition that enforced the laws and kept them in existence. As long as that was the case, things weren’t going to change.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            But we are then left with the chicken and the egg problem of was the government only able to be reformed because of government reform? As I see it the small number of people used the government to keep other people from the free market which if not so encumbered would have done much to eliminate racism.

          • Ray in VT

            Indeed, the federal government was able to act against the lesser power of the conservative states-rights folks in the South in order to ensure that citizens were able to exercise their rights. One would think that if those state governments were only enforcing the ideas of a small number of people in those states then such discriminatory laws would have been overturned by the voters there. That they were not says something about the views of the electorate.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Agreed, with the understanding that if the Federal Government had done a better job of putting down the KKK in the 1870′s then jim crow never would have happened. True that is like say if Adams had freed the slaves during the Revolution there wouldn’t have been the Civil War. That gets farther a field and it does assume that the old guard wouldn’t have been able to control a vibrant multiracial middle class. Which is a question that can not be truly answered.

          • Ray in VT

            Efforts were undertaken to combat the Klan, but other groups, supporting the old order, were able to gain power at the state level. Ultimately they succeeded in instituting Jim Crow because such policies had popular support in the dominant group. If state power was needed, though, then how was the free market solving the problem? Perhaps, for some, the promises of prosperity in a free market was not as important as being able to maintain one’s position atop the social ladder.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Are you familiar with Milton?

            Here at least

            we shall be free; the Almighty hath not built

            Here for his envy, will not drive us hence:

            Here we may reign secure, and in my choice

            to reign is worth ambition though in Hell:

            Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heaven.

          • Ray in VT

            So people will indeed work against what is perceived to be their economic interests if they have other interests in mind, such as preserving social power. That seems to fly in the face of arguments that economics and free market principles win out because people will act in their best economic interests. Of course I do not believe that, as I do not think that facts justify such a belief.

          • Don_B1

            It also says that the enactment of Poll Taxes, etc., where highly effective in keeping those who would have voted to change the oppressive laws from voting to do so, and influencing those who were not supposedly oppressed to vote for the power structure to keep the oppressed from oppressing them.

            The old “divide and conquer” approach, which through the use of emotions gets people to take actions which hurt themselves.

          • Ray in VT

            And apparently things like the poll tax made it through because the supporters didn’t come right out and flatly say that they were trying to keep African Americans from voting, so therefore it was not discriminatory.

          • Don_B1

            And who funded those demagogues other than businessmen who saw it in their interest to preserve the “indentured servitude” of Black people?

            When people have a rentier approach to preserving their income as long as it exceeds that of others, there is a drop in incentive to grow that income, so no need to improve sales of more goods and services.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            By magnifying race into a central issue the old guard was able to regain power after Reconstruction even though they mismanaged every other aspect of government in the south. When that structure was eliminated the states of the old south started to prosper. This points out two of my core beliefs.
            1) Race is a political construct.
            2) Government is inferior to Society.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Third I must spend some time reading his book. But I think our disagreement may stem from you looking a the wall during the Ming Dynasty and my opinion coming from including earlier times in my judging of the wall.

          • Ray in VT

            I think that our disagreement is over your misreading of history.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            And I have a similar but different opinion.

          • Ray in VT

            I’ll take the work of published scholars over some nameless guys at a .com pretty much any day.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            I am inclined to give you some escape on this matter. But as it marks a long lived dispute between I must pursue it to a satisfying conclusion. You have sited a professor, so if I were to site two professors would you admit you are wrong? Or even if I were to have 100 professors opposed to each of the professors that support your opinion would that change your mind? Would you discount the professors that support my opinion because they are Chinese nationals, or because they are from less prestigious institutions? But what if they were from MIT or Harvard? To shorten this line of question what do you accept as proof of the “Truth” ?

          • Ray in VT

            Facts. I accept facts. I care little for “Truth”, which can be subjective.
            It would depend upon a variety of things. The ability of their arguments to sway scholars in the field.
            I think that the facts to support the conclusion that the wall was effective at defending the border, as it has been presented in the popular mind, or that it’s existence allowed for the “flourishing of the Chinese civilization”, or however you previously described it, are lacking. In conjunction with other forces could it provide some defense, but it was not the sort of magic bullet as it is seen by many. That is the conclusion reached in the variety of sources that I read as a part of my undergraduate studies.

          • Don_B1

            That is because conservatives began a propaganda campaign following Barry Goldwater’s defeat in the Presidential election of 1964.

            And unfortunately for all of us, their focus-group-tested approaches have worked all too well, from the Federalist Society’s twisting the judge-appointment process to reinforcing the average citizens dislike of personal debt to conflate it with the their campaign to use debt as a reason for cutting the safety net for the middle- and lower-income workers.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            There is the common belief that All Conservatives are Evil and All Liberals are Stupid. It helps both groups define themselves and turns partisanship to tribalism.

            Here i seem to be a “conservative” (but hopefully a less evil one). In other places I am seen as a “liberal” (perhaps a very cunning one). Those concepts have been over used and are really meaning less.

            The Republican Party is no better or worse than the Democratic Party today, except in that the Democratic Party is better at marketing candidates and winning elections.

    • georgepotts

      It appears that the birth certificates that will be issued are for late term still births.

      Without data, how can we know if still births are the result of businesses illegally dumping chemical waste without good data?

      I think that this bill will help people with the mystery that comes from late term still births.

      • lobstahbisque

        Grow a womb

      • Ray in VT

        The original one yes. The amended one not so much:

        “The next day the committee attached an amendment brought by Sen. Mary
        Pilcher-Cook, R-Shawnee, that extended the bill’s reach to pregnancies
        at any stage and added mandatory reporting requirements for miscarriages
        that occur at medical facilities or for the physician who sees a woman
        immediately following a miscarriage.”

        http://cjonline.com/news/2014-03-21/rep-disappointed-changes-stillbirth-bill#.Uyx0klftiQw.twitter

  • StilllHere

    How many of the 6 million didn’t have insurance before?
    How many are under age 30?
    With 50 million uninsured, is 6 million a success?

    • Bluejay2fly

      You can be like all those paranoid militia types at work and believe Obama designed it to fail on purpose. Why?, to pave the way for a single payer system, “more socialism”

    • John Cedar

      Is that 6 million policies, “families” or people covered?

      I ran into an employee yesterday who I knew had her insurance canceled by Obamcare and then could not sign up for new, because of the website catastrophe of ineptitude. I asked her if she finally was able to sign up and she said yes. She said she signed up for the same policy of $800/month but she only has to pay $250/month and the rest is paid for because of her income. But her husband is very unhappy because now her deductible is $2500. I pointed out that it was till cheaper and she said her husband didn’t understand and he preferred no deductible.

      I just thought it was interesting that even when Obama succeeded in picking our pockets and redistributing some of it to this women, she still wasn’t’ happy.

  • HonestDebate1

    On Point, you were quick to do a show on Bridgegate when you smelled blood in the water. I think it would be appropriate to at least mention Chris Christie was cleared.

    • lobstahbisque

      Cleared by himself. OK let’s elect him and see what happens, WHAT could go wrong.

      • HonestDebate1

        I’m not sure I could support him but fair is fair. It seems to me Harry Reid’s nepotism driven shenanigans, Leeland Yee’s (could have been Secretary of State) arms trafficking and Charlotte’s Mayor’s shameful resignation would get a mention too. I’m trying to think what they have in common….

        • lobstahbisque

          No really. I kind of like him. He’s sort of Jekyll to Nixon’s Hyde. i’m sure he’s effective, but is he lawful ?

    • jefe68

      He’s not cleared. It’s not over.

    • brettearle

      Please don’t go into any diatribe about political bias.

      “On Point” often has points of view from both sides–and you know it.

      • HonestDebate1

        The political bias is a given, that’s not my point. There is nothing I can do about it.

        I am talking about demonstrating a shred of journalistic integrity. We’ll see if it gets a mention on the show.

    • JS

      Wasn’t he “cleared” by the layer he hired? If you believe that, then every criminal defendant who’s layer says they are innocent has also been cleared.

      • HonestDebate1

        On Point didn’t need no stinkin’ evidence to do a show when Christie was the only one polling ahead of Hillary. Mission accomplished.

        • JS

          nice dodge

          • HonestDebate1

            No, it’s just irrelevant. It was an independent panel. The lead dude is a Democrat. If there was evidence Christie was guilty it would be all over the place. There is none. There are only desperate attempts to smear.

          • JS

            Didn’t Christie hire this guy to do the investigation? How is that independent?My “criminal defense lawyer” analogy stands.

          • HonestDebate1

            The State of NJ hired him. The NJ Assembly is run by Democrat majorities. If you have evidence Christie was involved then bring it.

          • JS

            It looks like Christie’s personal lawyer was chosen on behalf of the Governor’s Office, said Governor being Christie himself. I don’t think the NJ Assembly was involved in producing this report.

          • HonestDebate1

            Alrighty then.

          • JS

            Consider it brought

          • HonestDebate1

            You brought nothing to show that Christie was involved in Bridgegate. Zip, zero nada. All you can do is say the evidence that he was not involved was bogus. Fine, but not convincing.

          • JS

            Nice dodge. Since when was I supposed to give evidence that Christie was involved in Bridgegate? All I said was the report wasn’t independent, since it was conducted on behalf of Christie’s Office, using Christie’s personal lawyer.

            http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/nybridge0327.PDF

            … INVESTIGATION ON BEHALF OF THE OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR OF NEW JERSEY …

            Once again, if you merely took the time to read what a person ACTUALLY posts, as opposed to thinking you already know what they are saying, you would be in a better position to respond. Me thinks you might just be a troll purposely misrepresenting what people say (i.e. commenting that I brought nothing to show Christie was involved, when I never maintained that he was.)

          • HonestDebate1

            Dodge? you are the one not reading what I wrote, it’s not the other way around. You still don’t get the point of my comment.

            And now you’re claiming it was Christie’s personal lawyer! Gee wiz.

            Did I say you said Christie was involved in Bridgegate? No. I made the point there is evidence via a million dollar investigation by the State of NJ that cleared him. BTW, the governor didn’t write the check, these things must pass muster through the assembly which is controlled by Democrats, I digress. If you are going to say the report is bogus and make up stuff about Christie’s connection with the lawyer that’s fine but it’s evidence like it or not. You are dismissing evidence. Where is the evidence he was involved? Where? On Point did a show when there was no evidence tied to Christie. That’s my beef. If you think the report wasn’t valid, so what? That has nothing to do with my comment.

            It’s not my problem or job to follow your selective tangents.

            My challenge to you was to give me anything better than the evidence that cleared him. If you can’t do that then you have no argument. You seem to be operating under the assumption he is guilty until proven innocent and dismissing evidence he is innocent to boot. The burden is to prove guilt. It’s mighty lame to insist he has not been cleared by your standards while claiming you are not saying he is guilty. If you don’t think he was involved then what is your point?

            My point is On Point, given their history, should mention the report. My issue is honest debate. If you aren’t going to accept the report then bring something better that conspiracy theories, show mw where the report is wrong. Show me he was involved. And read it again slowly, I am not saying you said he was involved.

          • JS

            You mentioned Christie was cleared, I questioned the investigation. All the other stuff you have brought up is chaff.

            If you insist on an answer to your other point, so be it: Yes, OnPoint should have mentioned the investigation and it’s findings.

            You seem to be confused with the terms “cleared” and “innocent until proven guilty.” They are not equal and interchangeable.

            Again, you said the investigation cleared him, I questioned the investigation validity on these facts:

            1. Christie chose the law firm for the investigation, a law firm where his personal lawyer works
            http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/17/nyregion/christie-bridge-inquiry.html?hp&_r=1
            http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/nybridge0327.PDF

            2. The investigation was undertaken on behalf of the Governors Office, not the legislature, as stated in the Title of the Report.
            http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/nybridge0327.PDF

            3. Many individuals were not questioned in the report.
            http://articles.philly.com/2014-03-28/news/48666387_1_bridge-scandal-bridget-anne-kelly-lane-closures

            Again, I AM NOT SAYING HE IS GUILTY. All I am saying is the report is questionable at best. I will wait till the other on-going reports are concluded before making a final opinion.

          • HonestDebate1

            If you accept that he is innocent until proven guilty then being cleared is irrelevant.

            1. That is different than what you claimed.

            2. Apples and oranges. That doesn’t mean Christie called all the shots. From the first sentence of your first link: “As the New Jersey Assembly voted unanimously on Thursday to authorize an investigation into abuses of power by Gov. Chris Christie’s administration…”

            3. That’s legitimate but they didn’t question me either. I am not connected enough to know who they should have questioned but the report was extensive and many were questioned.

            Until something comes out that links him to the scandal I will presume he is innocent. You don’t have to. If your opinion is the report is questionable then that is your right. I’ll take you at your word if you say you are not claiming he is guilty but you certainly are not presuming his innocence despite evidence he is.

          • JS

            Wrong on almost every point you make, yet again.

            1. I claimed Christie hired the guy to do the investigation. “Hiring the guy” = “Choosing the law firm”, same thing

            2. A. Never said Christie called all the shots, (straw-man argument on your part)

            2.B. What the New Jersey Assembly voted for is a DIFFERENT investigation than the one the Governors Office initiated. There is also a NJ Attorneys Generals Office investigation underway.

            3. Another straw-man argument. Key people weren’t questioned.

            Another star-man argument: Questioning the investigations validity is not akin to claiming it to be a massive coverup.

          • HonestDebate1

            1 & 2 “Didn’t Christie hire this guy to do the investigation?”

            “It looks like Christie’s personal lawyer was chosen on behalf of the Governor’s Office, said Governor being Christie himself.”

            3. I said it was a legitimate point but I don’t rely on your opinion to tell me who is key.

            Sure, maybe not massive but you certainly implied a cover up.

          • JS

            “the zeal to disagree come before logic”. This sums you up pretty well.

            You go looking for an argument about Christies guilt or innocence without me ever saying or implying any of it. Same thing you did with GW: rush to argue your point despite me not having said what you thought I said (or wanted me to say so you could argue your favorite points).

          • HonestDebate1

            You’re dancing, if you have no point then why comment? If your argument is now that you never implied Christie’s guilt then have a nice day.

          • JS

            Questioning the investigation = implying Christie is guilty? No, it is simply implying the the investigation is questionable.

          • Don_B1

            The only time a person is required to obey the maxim of presumption of innocence is when in the jury box of a trial. That does not mean that the general public should let itself “jump to conclusions” before as much evidence as is likely to be found is made known, and it should be willing to change its mind when new evidence is discovered.

          • HonestDebate1

            Required? No, it’s a matter of common sense, of decency, of honest debate.

          • JS

            It’s clearly a dodge. You mentioned two points: 1. OnPoint covered Bridgegate, and not this report, and 2. That Christie was cleared. I chose to respond to your second point, that Christie was cleared. You completely ignored my response, posting something about Hillary instead. LIke I said, nice dodge.

            You are neither honest, nor do you know how to debate. Obfuscating and arguing I’ll give you, but honest debate, not so much.

          • HonestDebate1

            Read it again. Christie was cleared by a Democrat this week. That is news worthy of a mention in a weekly roundup. Christie was alleged to have been involved with no evidence and not only was it in the weekly round up at the time, it subsequently had it’s own show. You are the one that dodged that issue as you admit.

            “I chose to respond to your second point”.

            So you can say that but it also means that you chose to dodge the first point.

            Whatever dude.

          • Don_B1

            [Dis]HonestDebate1 clearly picked the name to set up his debates as representing the side with the high ground.

            But when he debates, it is the “all’s fair in love and war” approach that he takes, where college debate rules are only honored in their violation.

          • JS

            “the zeal to disagree come before logic”

        • Ray in VT

          At least here there’s a real scandal, unlike the faux ones promoted by the TOP and the conservative media entertainment complex. Now please, entertain me with some moronic rant about how I’m apologizing for Obama by covering for him and such, when I am really just criticizing the right wing conspiracy theories that have been driving places like Fox on the “stand down” order or how there was no intelligence suggesting a video and that was all just made up. I am also expecting a “don’t tell me what I think” or “classic liberal tactic. Tell someone what they think and then criticize them for thinking it.”

  • georgepotts

    The reports are that 6 million have “enrolled” in ACA. How many have paid? No one knows.

    • HonestDebate1

      As support for Obamacare slips to 26%.

      • Ray in VT

        In one poll. Truly a comprehensive look at the issue. This same poll, conducted 4 times, has been only one conducted over the past 6 months to put support under 30%.

        • georgepotts

          The questions:

          1. Do you want the IRS to run your health insurance? Under 30% support

          2. Would you like someone else, like Bill Gates, to pay his fair share so that you don’t have to for your health insurance?
          Over 65% support

          • Ray in VT

            The IRS is running my health insurance? Who knew.

            I didn’t see those questions listed. Again, who knew?

          • Bluejay2fly

            Who cares what the “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” crowd thinks. Since when were we an earnest democracy anyway?

      • Bluejay2fly

        Those same morons approve of the Affordable Care Act so what does that tell you.

        • HonestDebate1

          There is nothing affordable about it.

          • Ray in VT

            Sure, because the GOP said that the cost tripled. The CBO didn’t, but people “believe” that it did, so that is just as good.

          • HonestDebate1

            The latest CBO tally is even worse.

          • Bluejay2fly

            Here is a thought. I live in NYS. Every year NYS spends 3 Billion on 50K inmates but 20-30 Billion on a category called Medical Expenses. Health Care is already killing this nation and states. Congress should have dealt with this EONS ago. Now they crucify Obama for making a half ass attempt to fix it. That is even more reprehensible. Allowing a house to burn then laugh at the poor job the bucket brigade does to put the fire out.

          • HonestDebate1

            Obama made it much worse.

          • Bluejay2fly

            Do you read and comprehend???? My state is spending up to a 1/4 of its entire budget on Medical. IT CANNOT GET ANY WORSE. However, some who had preexisting conditions or were uninsured it was a god send.

          • HonestDebate1

            It can always get worse and it has.

          • Ray in VT

            Why? Has the GOP managed to find a way to take things over? They do find a way to make things worse.

          • Ray in VT

            How so?

          • jefe68

            The ACA was never designed to control the cost of health care. It is in my opinion only slightly better than what we had before.

            One has to wonder how it is that health insurance is priced the way it is what exactly are we getting for it?
            If one compares it to other insurances such as home, car and so on you can see it’s very expensive.

            We spend about $2.5 trillion dollars a year on health care—that’s over eight thousand dollars a year for every man, woman, and child.

            Dr David Belk has an interesting video on this. I’m not sure I agree with all his figures, they are much lower than Massachusetts, but I think he’s right about the lack of transparency in how much things cost.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9q1Id41wGo

          • Bluejay2fly

            So lets be infants and stoop to name calling. Also, while on the topic the GOP strategy of rebranding is the slight of hand. It’s just as repellant as PC language. The purpose is to obscure the truth and mislead. However it works people hate Obamacare but like the ACA.

          • HonestDebate1

            Name calling?

          • Bluejay2fly

            Obamacare. Not that you were directing anything at me.

          • HonestDebate1

            Obama embraced the name, take it up with him.

          • Bluejay2fly

            He had no choice like N***ger Jim in Huck Finn.

          • HonestDebate1

            Add that to the long list of things Obama is helpless to influence. It’s such a lame defense of incompetence.

          • Bluejay2fly

            I hated him long before you even knew who he was ,but saying he is a muslim or born in Kenya that is unbelievable. He was helpless in many case because it is like reasoning with a Klansmen.

          • HonestDebate1

            I’ve never hated him, I hate what he is doing to my country. I’m not a birther but he is a keynesian.

          • Bluejay2fly

            If you see the US has having problems only wrought by one party or the other than you are really clueless. It’s both. The right signs off on high taxes, nanny state laws, and social programs while the left allowed globalization, military interventionism, corporate cleptocracy……. It Is A Cook Book!!! HD

          • HonestDebate1

            Did i say that?

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      That “enrolled” number has the same truthfulness as “…if you like you healthcare plan you can keep your health care plan.”

    • Ed75

      And are people’s health information at all secure on the web site? I doubt it.

  • georgepotts

    Boston Children’s Hospital still refuses to answer the question, “How many children are you holding against their parents will?”

    I think they know and they should answer the question.

    There is nothing in the judges decision about why he supports government kidnapping of Justina Pelletier that talks about anything that justified the DCF taking Justina from her parents 14 months ago.

    #FreeJustina

    • brettearle

      i don’t enjoy agreeing with you.

      But in this case, you may be onto something.

      I know that i sound like i have privileged information, but I know more about the case, generally, than some….

      And the Judge is much angrier with the DEFIANCE of the parents than he may be about getting his head around Medical and Psychiatric testimony & evidence.

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    Why do so many progressive not care about hypocrisy?

    FTA:
    Not to take away from O’Keefe’s work, which generates must-watch videos and scandal-inspired resignations with metronomic regularity, but there may be a flaw in this strategy. Ultimately, not that many liberals care whether their brethren are following their own book of rules. They’ve demonstrated a remarkable acceptance for one another’s hypocrisy.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/374207/unruly-progressives-jim-geraghty

    • lobstahbisque

      Why are so many conservatives so self righteous? All that whining. No one likes that.

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        So you are OK with hypocrisy as long as it serves you political cause?

        Hypocrisy is the homage vice pays to virtue.
        – Francois de La Rochefoucauld

    • HonestDebate1

      Hypocrisy doesn’t bother me much. I must disagree with the article. It seems to me liberals spend a lot of effort to prove hypocrisy when it really is a non-issue. That’s my take anyway.

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        Hypocrisy should bother everyone. But too many tolerate it. Such acceptance of vice is a corrupting flaw in our society.

        • HonestDebate1

          I didn’t say it didn’t bother me just not much.

          I knew a doctor who was also a highly respected drug counselor. He helped many many people. He spent his weekends shooting up coke and hiding under his bed.

          People tried to say the Speaker of the House should not speak out about Clinton because he too had an affair. Newt was a hypocrite doing his job and the label was just a distraction from the issue.

          I am much more concerned about actions than mindsets.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            You may have heard this before…

          • HonestDebate1

            Those are great words of self-reflection to live by and I do. However, when it comes to judging others I am not going to complain about good deeds done by a hypocrite.

  • Ed75

    Yesterday they said that Russia has troops on the border of the Ukraine. It seems to me they have to invade: the Crimea gets its electricity and water from the Ukraine, how can Russia supply them? But the West will be hysterical, yet (as Jack Beatty said) we need to work with Russia to avoid war with Iran and with the problems in Syria.

    • georgepotts

      Jack Beatty shouldn’t be called “news analyst.” He should be called, “Liberal with blinders on.”

      In Jack Beatty’s eyes, Obama is infallible. Jack Beatty has never criticized Obama. I realize that one should never say never, but in this case it is completely true.

      • lobstahbisque

        So what.

        • georgepotts

          If one cannot find a single mistake that Barack Obama has made, it hurts someone’s credibility.

          Chemical Weapons are a red line that Assad cannot cross. Not a mistake. Misquoted by the press.

          • lobstahbisque

            No. You just have your head up your ass.

          • georgepotts

            Do you kiss your mother with that mouth?

          • brettearle

            If you can’t handle the heat, get out of the Kitchen.

          • georgepotts

            Profanity is not justified. It is the last resort of the desperate.

          • brettearle

            Your comment about `mother’ and `mouth’ perpetuated it further, my friend.

            Besides, I just called the guy on it, above.

          • georgepotts

            My comment is a very common retort to someone resorting to profanity and idiotic name calling.

          • brettearle

            Defend it all you want.

            You did nothing but to escalate the Drivel.

          • georgepotts

            So, you like to blame the victim.

            You shouldn’t have worn that outfit to the bar. That is why it happened.

          • lobstahbisque

            Ah, true colors.

          • georgepotts

            You don’t even understand when you have been insulted.

          • lobstahbisque

            Go on……

          • georgepotts

            Does NPR have special rules for gays who use graphic, sexual language in this discussion thread? Because of your victimhood?

          • lobstahbisque

            Ah true colors again. I love you for your quick wit, and fascinating conversation. A little ol’ fashion’ gay rage never hurt anyone. It’s all shrouded in irony and self-deprecation, but as you are accustomed to crushing flowers and tearing wings off of insects.. oh never mind. And you’re ugly too,

          • georgepotts

            I don’t know where you get rage? People should be treated like equals, not special.

          • lobstahbisque

            Agreed. but would you hit a gay with glasses? See what I mean?

          • georgepotts

            I think that is more a question for you than for me.

          • brettearle

            Why don’t you start your own thread, somewhere else, away from the `BUR site and duke it out, verbally, with him?

            Let’s get onto to Obamacare and Crimea.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Sometimes it is instructive to see what not to do.

          • brettearle

            Agreed (in a way). I see your point.

          • brettearle

            Why don’t you start your own thread, somewhere else, away from the `BUR site and duke it out, verbally, with him?

            Let’s get on to Obamacare and Crimea.

          • lobstahbisque

            Georgepitts. Now THAT is idiotic name calling. Do you prefer it?

          • georgepotts

            What about Georgie Porgie Pudding-Pie?
            Kissed the girls and made them cry.

            You will take that literally and have fun with it as well.

            Are you over 15? You behave like a child.

          • lobstahbisque

            I’m rubber and your (sic) glue, etc. Go on.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Common yes, but unhelpful.

          • brettearle

            Thank you…

          • lobstahbisque

            What’s profane? I didn’t tell you to tack a Jew to a couple of boards or anything.

          • lobstahbisque

            My mother is dead, but I love to suck cock.

          • brettearle

            We can do without such a comment.

          • lobstahbisque

            I know. but he is such a troll.

          • jefe68

            This kind of behavior only lowers you to the trolls level. When you dine with swine…

          • lobstahbisque

            I know. I just had to let off a little steam, so now the pork is done, to perfection!

      • brettearle

        You don’t know what you are talking about.

        Especially, in recent months, Beatty has been critical of the President.

        Beatty may be quite liberal–but he does not put all politiicans, who share his views, above Reproach.

        If I had the time and the inclination, I could roll out, for you, any number of times–when Beatty has been outspoken about, and critical of, the President.

        Your reaction is typical of a knee-jerk reaction of a stereotype.

        And it shows how the non-Left are utterly biased–because they cannot, and will not, be disciplined enough for Discernment.

        Your comment seriously calls into question your credibility.

        • jefe68

          A lot of liberals and progressives are critical of president Obama.
          As to the trolls comment, I think ignoring him is best.

        • nkandersen

          Hey Folks!

          We’ve deleted the exchange that follows this comment because it ventured into some rather unsavory territory. You’re welcome to disagree, but please do it in a less crass fashion.

          Thanks.

          nick andersen
          web producer | on point radio

          • HonestDebate1

            Thank you. I wasn’t going to feed the trolls so I just flagged it and moved on. It’s good to know you’re on it. Thanks again.

          • J__o__h__n

            I’d rather decide for myself what is unsavory.

          • brettearle

            Nick,

            You chose to position your comment as a reply to mine.

            That might be inferred by some, that I might have been part of the salacious comments.

            I was NOT.

          • nkandersen

            You’re right, Brett, and I apologize if any misconstrued the comment. Note that I said ‘the exchange that follows’ and not your comment specifically.

          • brettearle

            Thanks much…

          • hennorama

            brettearle — you rebel treat you! Getting into non-trouble, again?

            (Did I miss anything good?) ;-)

          • brettearle

            The answer to your second question is, Yes.

          • hennorama

            brettearle — oh well. I guess being freshly fortified with sublime scents and southern sunshine will have to suffice.

          • brettearle

            And, yes, I came out of it, smelling like roses….with some thorns stuck in there, somewhere.

            [He says, as he ignores the alliteration.]

          • hennorama

            brettearle — perhaps “strode satisfied, rose-reeking, from the thorny thicket?”

            Just sayin’ ;-)

          • brettearle

            Oh…..how….you….do…..go….on.. now……with….your….charmin’…..doggerel, Ms. Dubois….

            Have you always been so dependent, Ms. Dubois, on the kindness of strangers?

          • hennorama

            brettearle — I first had “emerged elucidated..” but rejected it for its eruditer-than-thou quality. ;-)

          • HonestDebate1

            It was akin to your noodly appendage crack.

      • Ed75

        Someone complained to Raymond Arroyo that he never said anything good about President O., and Arroyo replied ‘He is raising two lovely daughters’. That’s about all one can say.

  • HonestDebate1

    Don’t be surprised if Condoleeza Rice throws her hat in the ring for 2016. She sent up a trial ballon in 2012 for veep and I remember conservatives complaining because of her social stance. I could support her and think she is eminently qualified.

    • lobstahbisque

      i always felt that her quivering voice indicated that she was either lying, or faking it. Now we know it was both. So I too support her candidacy, but she has to lose her abortion stance…. With her integrity, that shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

      • HonestDebate1

        I believe she is pro-choice. You are just criticizing her because you hate women.

        • lobstahbisque

          hahahaha! Good cliche!

          • HonestDebate1

            Or are you a racist?

          • lobstahbisque

            No, I’m manic depressive.

    • HonestDebate1
    • jefe68

      She has little to no chance of getting the GOP nomination let alone surviving any kind of primary.

      It would be interesting to see her debate some of the extremist that are going to run though.

      • TFRX

        It would be interesting to see the bigotry denial on the right should they nominate one of (their words) “the good ones”.

        • HonestDebate1

          You may not be a racist but you hang with them.

          • Ray in VT

            Why, is TFRX citing some statistics from a racist groups report about black on white crime? That would be pretty terrible.

          • HonestDebate1

            The FBI is racist? Who knew? But then again Holder certainly is. Point taken.

          • Ray in VT

            Didn’t come from any FBI report that I have seen. Please provide me with the report from the FBI. Don’t hide behind obfuscation. Come out and say it. Black people are scary. They’re running amok, and only white supremacists have the courage to say it.

      • HonestDebate1

        What do you have against black women?

  • georgepotts

    Ben Carson for POTUS.

    • Bluejay2fly

      What makes him qualified..Nothing. Just like Sarah Palin or any other neocon know-nothing. The GOP needs to start running people with some intelligence rather than a bunch of corporate shills who promote “extreme right wing social issues”. WFB Jr called it right when he said the party has committed intellectual suicide!

      • HonestDebate1

        We went with a first time Senator who served only two years before quitting. Bugs Bunny is more qualified than Obama so Mr. Carson would be just fine.

        • pete18

          Relative to Obama he’s fine, but I don’t think we want to adopt such a low bar in the future.

        • Bluejay2fly

          Carson is a doctor and a talking head on Pravda that does not make him qualified any more than Romney.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Huh? How was Romney not qualified?

          • Bluejay2fly

            Being a corporate shill with no governing experience aside from lobbying….No wait your right he was perfect.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Huh? Turning around a corrupt and bankrupt Olympics. A successful Governor turning around a state that was in deep financial trouble. Building a successful business from scratch? Try again.

          • JS

            Turning around an Olympics by begging Uncle Sam for a bailout …
            Turned us around by leaving us in more debt …
            How is daddy handing you a pile of cash, and a list of names for clients, building a business from “scratch”? …

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            The ‘bailout’ was for extra security required in the aftermath of the 9-11 attacks. The turn around of fiscal problems and corruption was independent of the additional security.

            Romney risked his own capital and sweat equity to build his business. If you think it is so easy … you should go for it yourself.

            Oh, did daddy hand him valedictorian of his BYU class or his degrees from Harvard Law and Havard MBA?

      • georgepotts

        Sarah Palin talked about Putin’s desire for Ukraine in 2008.

        Obama didn’t figure it out until 2 weeks after Putin invaded Ukraine.

        You would argue, “even a blind squirrel finds a nut, eventually.”

        • anamaria23

          Many could have predicted such a move by Mr. Putin. However, Dmitry Medvedev was President of Russia during this POTUS first term and relations seemed to be warming with improving mutual cooperation in some areas. Additionally, it would seem imprudent to completely alienate Russia with the Middle East blowing up.
          Simplistic statements simply to pump up one’s ego are revealing.
          What would Mr. Romney or Mrs. Palin have done differently?
          Prudence and caution, diplomacy first, seem best when dealing with an inscrutable element.
          The current adulation of an exKGB multibillionaire dictator who would lock you up in a heartbeat for breathing the wrong way confounds me no end.

    • pete18

      I like Carson but I don’ think he’s qualified. He should consider running for Congress.

    • Shag_Wevera

      No thanks.

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    We have a right to record and IL Supreme Court has recognized it.

    FTA:
    But now the Illinois Supreme Court has gone further, extending the overturning of the law such that it’s no longer just law enforcement that is free to be recorded.

    Today’s decision(PDF) extends that analysis to other public officials as well as private citizens when they do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy. The justices note that the eavesdropping ban “criminalizes a wide range of innocent conduct,” including “the recording of conversations that cannot be deemed private: a loud argument on the street, a political debate on a college quad, yelling fans at an athletic event, or any conversation loud enough that the speakers should expect to be heard by others. None of these examples implicate privacy interests, yet the statute makes it a felony to audio record each one. Judged in terms of the legislative purpose of protecting conversational privacy, the statute’s scope is simply too broad.”

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140320/11095226634/il-overturns-states-insane-recording-laws.shtml

  • John Cedar

    On Sunday night I was shocked to see uber librul Seth MAcFarlane make fun of:
    Vermont
    changing the definition of marriage
    Woody Allen
    marrying your own kid.

    Is this winter so bad that hell froze over???

    • georgepotts

      I believe that Woody Allen should get the Roman Polanski Academy Award for Lifetime Achievement in Pedophilia.

      • lobstahbisque

        Well good for you. When is the awards ceremony?

      • brettearle

        Even though Allen might be guilty, there’s not a SHRED of forensic evidence, that suggests it.

        Please continue to try the guy in the Court of Public opinion.

        Why not start a petition for a public lynching?

        • georgepotts
          • brettearle

            I go by evidence. Not inference.

            Even Columbo wouldn’t have indicted the guy for that.

            I had heard of these comments, previously…

            But apparently, you have ignored the fact that I say he might be guilty.

            Your problem is that you cannot hold back your virulent zealotry and your rabid bias.

    • Bluejay2fly

      At least Seth is sometimes funny. Since when has a conservative ever been funny. They cannot, because sometimes part of comedy is the truth. Bill Maher, The Dailey Show, Steven Colbert, etc

      • Coastghost

        Jonathan Swift was an able humorist and had the Tory credentials to prove it.
        Dostoevsky was no humorist, but he didn’t write “Krokodil” until after his political shift commenced.
        Ambrose Bierce perhaps sensed that intellectual honesty precluded confession of partisan loyalty, but his fiction is plenty funny and his skepticism of modernity earns him no less a “conservative” rating than a “progressive” one.
        Flannery O’Connor was plenty conservative and plenty funny.
        Your conceit that “only progressives are or can be funny” is itself ludicrous in the extreme. Lots of conservatives have quite active senses of humor, deriving mirth as they can so readily from the foibles of liberals and finding the risibilities inherent to progressivism. (Conservative humorists arguably suffer in the popular mind by being literate.)
        H. H. Munro was a High Church Tory if ever there was one (while his prose had a sustained High Risibility Quotient), Evelyn Waugh was staunchly funny and decidedly conservative.
        P. J. O’Rourke, whom I’ve not followed since his days with National Lampoon, at least now wields humorous intent.
        (Perhaps you should narrow your parameters to the league of stand-up comedy, but someone else would need to adduce the available evidence there.)

        • Bluejay2fly

          I should have said Neocon set in 2010′s. I am sorry that I was so ambiguous. I also do not care for everyone you mentioned. Sylvia Plath was more funny than they were.

    • lobstahbisque

      You’d think, with all his quirky bad taste, that he might be gay. But he isn’t Maybe you don’t have a sense of humor.

    • georgepotts

      Hell froze over, then Al Gore’s private jet put the earth over the limit on CO2 and it warmed up.

      • Bluejay2fly

        Case in point, neocons are not funny! But thank you for trying and I mean that in a nice way not sarcastically.

        • georgepotts

          Al Gore buys carbon credits (from himself) to offset his 5,000 square foot houses, private jets, and SUVs.

          If everyone had Al Gore’s carbon footprint, Chicago would be waterfront property on the Atlantic Ocean.

          • Bluejay2fly

            I am not disagreeing with that but making light of a global disaster reminds me of Rush. He was protesting some PETA stance by frying a live lobster on his TV program.

        • John Cedar

          Funny is relative.
          And I don’t discount your ability to judge it irrrrrrregardless of the fact that YOU are never ever funny…ever*.

          *At least not on purpose.

          • Bluejay2fly

            Regardless. I would also state that this is not exactly a comedy forum.

    • Shag_Wevera

      librul?

      • John Cedar

        I think someone at dkos coined it.
        If you prefer I could go back to using “illiberal”.
        Its just important to recognize that “liberals” are not truly liberal by most measures.

        • HonestDebate1

          I don’t know, liberal seems insulting enough as written.

          • Ray in VT

            The Founding Fathers were, by and large, the liberals of their time. I think that it is a fine compliment.

          • John Cedar

            I wouldn’t want to let them be able to cite the definition and have to concede I assessed them as liberal when in fact they are the opposite of liberal.

          • HonestDebate1

            I can see that, good point.

  • georgepotts

    Obamacare gets delayed once again.

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    And speaking of hypocrisy….

    FTA:
    The indictment alleges Yee and Jackson defrauded “citizens of honest services” and were involved in a scheme to traffic firearms in exchange for thousands in campaign donations to the senator.

    http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-yee-charged-trafficking-firearms-fbi-20140326,0,4807012.story#ixzz2xGPAtxZY

    • georgepotts

      Isn’t it obvious? The FBI is in the pockets of Yee’s political opponents. Yee is a Democrat, therefore a target of government officials. He was trying to help victims of the Republican establishment in California.

      (This is meant to be sarcastic)

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        The CA Democrat party has been good for an indictment a month. I am beginning to think that the RICO statute must come into play.

  • georgepotts

    James O’Keefe posing as a pimp at ACORN offices was very funny to watch.

  • georgepotts

    How many children is Children’s Hospital holding against their parent’s will? I know of one.

    DCF doesn’t know how many of its children are missing. Enough to mislead a Mass Congressional investigation.

    #LetJustinaSpeak

    http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/local_coverage/2014/02/dcf_teen_missing_when_olga_roche_claims_kids_safe

    http://www.bostonglobe.com/2014/02/27/hundreds-kids-may-missing-state-welfare-system/t5qc84Uzd8LWiphMl5ecFP/story.html

    • brettearle

      I have information that confirms your claim, generally, about prior practices–even though I do not enjoy agreeing with you.

  • Coastghost

    As of 1 April 2014, per the WSJ quote above, only 47,000,000 Americans will remain uninsured for health coverage.
    I smell a high risibility quotient in that measure of Obamanomic success.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Well that was certainly worth the disruption and the $2.6T, wasn’t it?

      • John Cedar

        It was worth it for Sandra Fluke.

    • John Cedar

      Wait until they get that experience rating for the 6 million that signed up!

  • OnPointComments

    It’s been a tough week for senate curmudgeon Harry Reid. It turns out that $31,268 in campaign fund payments listed as paid to “Ryan Elisabeth” were actually paid to Ryan Elisabeth Reid, Harry Reid’s granddaughter. No explanation has been given for the omission of his granddaughter’s last name from campaign fund records. Reid agreed to repay the funds, but only after the Federal Election Commission had questioned the payments.

    I wonder if the FEC investigation of the $31,268 in payments will result in an indictment, as it did for the FEC investigation of $20,000 in payments by Dinesh D’Souza. I bet it won’t.

  • Bluejay2fly

    After serious contemplation I have decided to vote for Condoleezza Rice but only if she gets a gold cap to cover that gat tooth.

    • John Cedar

      That’s racist.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Well, it is certainly obnoxious and disrespectful.

        • Bluejay2fly

          How has the last few years been any different?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            That’s your justification?

          • Bluejay2fly

            If someone gets a laugh out of it it will be the only productive take away. Arguing with many here today is like slinging feces in the monkey cage.

      • Bluejay2fly

        Only when its a GOP candidate, When its a democrat we can call him a kenya born muslim terrorist. See the hypocrisy

    • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

      Her team lost to Dayton {she was at the game}. Good.

      • HonestDebate1

        She was hanging with Richard Sherman.

    • HonestDebate1

      Clearly a racist dog whistle.

  • Coastghost

    The NLRB ruling that college athletes can unionize is as fine an example of bureaucratic risibility as the legal effort of Rachel Canning to sue her parents.

    • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

      Freedom of association. Everyone has that right even overcelebrated sports stars.

    • John Cedar

      Karma cubed.
      It will be funny watching this play out. These players deserve a “living wage” with “health care” and overtime and OSHA protection. There are far too many injuries in collge sports!
      And the women’s track team deserves equal pay for equal work.
      In addition, its high time for Asians to be represented proportionally, to their make up of the student body in college sports. These racist university capitalist pig presidents have been allowed to continue this oppression for too long.

  • Ed75

    The issue is not so much the religious rights of corporations, but does an individual lose his or her religious rights when he or she starts a business.

    • J__o__h__n

      The owner is protected from laws that target religion but not from laws with a general purpose that might contradict his or her religion. Why should the owner’s religious rights be more important than employees’ rights?

      • Ed75

        That’s true, but the company isn’t denying contraception to the employee – he or she can get it elsewhere. They just don’t want to pay for it, can’t pay for it in good conscience. (They are covering 44 of the 48 contraceptives, just not the abortifacient ones.) And the other contraceptives are available elsewhere, often for free.

      • Ed75

        I would agree if the company were the only place the employee could get contraception, but contraception is all over.

    • TFRX

      They’re not a flucking church.

      • HonestDebate1

        The Constitution makes no distinction.

    • DeJay79

      An individual rights/liabilities end at a solid wall when said person decides to incorporate a business. The purpose of this new “company” is very specifically stated with in its operational agreement.

      I assure you that the “purpose” of Hobby Lobby is not to further the Christian message , because if it is then they are doing an awful job. I have shopped there many times and not once upon leaving the store did i feel i had received the message and love of God.

      Hobby Lobby is a For profit Corporation and as such has no, none, zip , zero, zilch religious view, opinion, or faith. Despite what any or all the owner, members, or shareholders may believe!

      • John Cedar

        Do you apply your same logic to employees? Do employees have to check their religion at the door? Or can they ask their employee to make reasonable accommodations? Both Hobby Lobby and the employee are making a living.

        • DeJay79

          an employee is not an incorporated entity and do not gain the financial and legal protections as such. There are three legal “Persons” in this situation. the Owners/Members of the corporation, Hobby Lobby Inc. and an employee.

          The owner is entitled to his/her religious view and have the right to practice their faith (without infringing on the rights of others).

          The employee is entitled to his/her religious view and have the right to practice their faith (without infringing on the rights of others).

          The Corporation is an A-religious legal entity that exist for the sole purpose of making a profit for its owners/members and as such has no faith in which it could practice.

          So to answer your question. If an employee was to form a single member LLC and then that LLC was contracted to perform tasks for Hobby Lobby then well in the act of fulfilling that contract this new LLC also would not have faith to which its rights to practice could be infringed upon. There yes that LLC would have “check its religion” at the door.

          I think that your logical dilemma is that you see Hobby Lobby and its owners as one in the same and that the Inc. is just a tool the business owners use to make money . Much like the way a carpenter uses a hammer to make money. But that is not true Hobby Lobby and its Owners are completely separate legal entities

          • John Cedar

            Using your logic, one could argue that freedom of the press does not apply to corporations or groups, but only to single owner press operators.

            In many cases, legal entities are formed simply to provide a layer of protection from infinite culpability, which most people naturally have by the nature of their limited assets or status as employee. The nature of being legally classified as an employee, means you won’t see any Ford Motor employees writing checks to Pinto survivors, but ultimately it was employees who designed and built those cars which are Unsafe at Any Speed. Just imagine how fast tort reform would take place if we started holding employees accountable for their recklessness.

            There is a long history of giving people the right to earn a living by employment,without taking away thier rights as individuals. There is no reason why the same concepts could not apply to those making thier living from capitalism.

      • Ed75

        That’s what makes the case interesting – indeed their purpose has nothing to do with evangelizing the faith. (Though all this court attention is doing that.) But should a person who starts a business lose their religious liberty just because they are in business?

        • DeJay79

          The answer is yes and no. No they do not lose their religious liberties, they are still free to believe what they want and attend the church of their choosing free of persecution.
          But yes, because of the type of company they chose to form (a for profit corporation) that new legal entity does not have a religion nor ability to practice it.

          For this discussion we really must understand the separation between the person(s) that start a corporation and the corporation itself. If the guy from hobby lobby ran his business as a sole proprietorship then I would agree that he could force/dictate any religious view he may have (without breaking the law) on any employee that worked for him. But he did not, he chose to establish a privately held corporation to gain legal and financial protections for himself. To further the point if he ever received a salary from hobby lobby then he was as much an employee as any other person that works there and as an employee he had as much rights to his own faith as any other employee had to theirs.

          • Ed75

            Interesting, a well-thought out reply. I can’t agree with the defintion of religion as one’s personal beliefs and one’s actions inside a church, it needs to include one’s actions in one’s conscience in other aspects of life also. (The administration is arguing for this definition, which comes from the anti-religious ACLU.)
            But your point about corporations is well taken, and has to be considered. That’s why there’s a court case, perhaps to more clearly define the nature of such a corporation. (With the decision allowing corporations even more freedom in campaign contributions – well, we’ll see.)
            I suspect this argument would be less strong for non-profit corporations and church-related entities that are all suing the government (the Priests for Life case is being heard May 8th by the DC Circuit Court I think, and will probably end up at the Supreme Court as the sample case).

    • DeJay79

      I thought about this some more and my response may have seem anti-religious rights. That view could not be further from the truth. The fact is that i am very much against the power of corporations.

      The more we empower these undying, unyielding entities the more they will take over and control our lives. This is just another brick in that wall and I want to do everything I can to stop them.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    House Privacy Rights Annulment committee chairman Mike Rogers to retire this year. Will land on his feet on the radio airwaves.

    I suppose that means we want be able to impeach him then toss him in the clink. Pity.

  • Potter

    Are we going to have international law or not? And if we are how is that going to be enforced?

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Obama v. Putin — like taking a bread knife to a gun fight.
    –George Will {yesterday, Washington Post}

    • anamaria23

      Tell us, please do, the way forward. Detail please.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    The Messiah: Barack Hussein Obama

    Worst president in my lifetime. And Truman was present at my birth. Signed.. Old School Liberal/Vietnam-era Veteran

    • Potter

      The worst in mine used to be Nixon, then, Reagan, now it’s G. Bush.

  • Coastghost

    Ad hoc diplomacy and a glaring lack of strategic vision account in no small measure for Obama’s legitimately declining poll numbers.
    (His self-confessed eagerness and willingness to be a back-seat driver doesn’t help him or us much, either.)

  • hennorama

    Another week with no new large-scale US military involvement in shooting wars.

    Thanks, Obama.

    • Coastghost

      A fatuous conceit, hen, if “aversion” simply translates into “postponement”.
      Europeans ably resisted hostilities January through July 1914.

      • HonestDebate1

        I suppose we could have avoided war by letting Hitler have his way. Or maybe Pearl Harbor should not have been responded to in the name of peace. That seems to be the logic.

        • Ray in VT

          Hitler declared war on us.

          • HonestDebate1

            So did Al Qaeda.

          • Ray in VT

            Yup, and Obama has been blowing up a fair number of them. If only we had dealt with them and not ran off to invade Iraq. But, of course, Iraq was providing arms and training to Al Qaeda, at least so we were told.

      • hennorama

        Coastghost — TYFYR.

        I’ll take the facts over your speculation and suppostition, TYVM.

    • nj_v2

      Nope, just excuses for previous ones. Thanks, Obummer.

      http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2014/03/26-7

      Anger, Disbelief as Obama Defends US Invasion of Iraq
      ‘In order to not appear hypocritical, Obama rewrites history around Iraq War while denouncing Russia’

      President Obama is on the receiving end of scorn for remarks made during a high-profile speech in Brussels on Wednesday in which he defended the U.S. invasion of Iraq in an attempt to chastise Russia for recent developments in Crimea and Ukraine.

      Speaking to the international community about the ongoing crisis in Ukraine and fending off repeated accusations that the U.S. has lost its moral authority given the invasion of Iraq and other breaches of international law in recent years, Obama said:

      Russia has pointed to America’s decision to go into Iraq as an example of Western hypocrisy. Now, it is true that the Iraq war was a subject of vigorous debate, not just around the world but in the United States, as well. I participated in that debate, and I opposed our military intervention there.

      But even in Iraq, America sought to work within the international system. We did not claim or annex Iraq’s territory. We did not grab its resources for our own gain. Instead, we ended our war and left Iraq to its people in a fully sovereign Iraqi state that can make decisions about its own future.…

      (snipped)

    • HonestDebate1

      As the world becomes more and more perilous.

      • Ray in VT

        The world has always been perilous. Today’s crises are not worse than the constant threat of nuclear war or the threat racist fascism that our recent fore-bearers faced.

        • HonestDebate1

          The world is more dangerous now because of Obama’s weakness.

          • Ray in VT

            Sure. I mean he couldn’t even convince an ardent Putin supporter to bring his country closer to the EU and enter NATO. What a weakling.

          • HonestDebate1

            Nope, the weakness is in not even bothering to try or having anything better to suggest.

          • Ray in VT

            I’m sure that if he just told him to tear down the wall then it would have happened. Because that is how it works. Maybe we could have prevented the Holocaust if we had just asked Hitler not to do it.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Should the Supreme Court give corporations a religious exemption?
    –Tom Ashbrook

    Sure. They’ve given them everything else! Why not a Get Out of Jail Free card? Or mints on their pillows.

    • Don_B1

      That is certainly the objective of Tea/Republicans in the House of Representatives and President George W. Bush’s, George H.W. Bush’s and Ronald Reagan’s appointees to the Supreme Court.

  • J__o__h__n

    Why do corporations claim that they have no responsibility to anyone but delivering the most profits possible to their shareholders and then claim the corporation has religious rights? Surely money and time spent on these lawsuits doesn’t add to the bottom line.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Hobby Lobby is a privately held company. Seems like their profits are their business and only their business.

      • J__o__h__n

        I wasn’t referring to a specific company. Any employer other than a religious institution shouldn’t be able to claim it has a religious exemption to laws that are not targeting a religion but applying a government interest.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Maybe the government shouldn’t overreach and become too intrusive.

          • J__o__h__n

            Governments should make sure people have health care.

      • TFRX

        Limited liability?

        Then, not a church.

        Please, let’s hear about your Jewish boss not letting you have ham.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Hobby Lobby wasn’t preventing its employees from purchasing IUDs before Obamacare and they aren’t trying to now.

          • Don_B1

            But many of its employees don’t have the money for sometimes really expensive versions of the recommended contraception. So the legally available medication is financially beyond their reach.

            But the (distorted) “conscience” of Hobby Lobby’s owners is satisfied.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            “But many of its employees don’t have the money for sometimes really expensive versions of the recommended contraception.”
            I’m not sure if that statement is accurate. Condoms are available and inexpensive.

            There are many medical items that might be unaffordable. How about contact lenses? Lasik surgery?

          • TFRX

            THey’re inserting themselves into their employees & doctors exam rooms. QED.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            No they are not.

      • DeJay79

        Privately held does not mean it is the property of its ownership. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. is its own legal “person” created for the sole purpose of generating profit by any legal means.

        It is not in business to further any religious message. Regardless of what the personal beliefs of its ownership maybe.

        http://www.hobbylobby.com/our_company/

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          “It is not in business to further any religious message.”

          Why not? I don’t think that is what they are doing but they could build a build a business around promoting a religious message if they want to.

        • Don_B1

          I disagree with your assertion that a privately held business cannot have a religious purpose, but I don’t know that Hobby Lobby has declared one other than its attempt to get out of following the current PPACA.

          More to the point, probably, is that “Inc.” after its name, which is how individuals can get limited immunity from their actions that cause financial damage to customers and employees.

          And with that immunity, comes a responsibility to act at least nominally in the interest and to the benefit of the whole community, which in this case is providing women with contraceptive care.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    The Pope. A man of peace and love who didn’t receive the Nobel Peace prize on spec.

    Unlike the other guy.

    • anamaria23

      You are getting close. The amazing ability to turn something rather benign and warm into an opportunity for another cheap shot.

  • Mina

    Hobby Lobby takes this stand against women yet buys from China.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Hobby Lobby would say they are not taking a stand against women but a stand FOR the children based on their religious beliefs. And they are NOT lobbying for outlawing these drugs or procedures and thus denying access by women.

      • Don_B1

        When many women will have trouble and many will just not have the money, affording contraceptives, the “legal availability” is worthless.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Ah, the Sandra Fluke argument. I don’t buy it. In the Hobby lobby case they are covering 16 versions of contraception. There are only 4 types that offend their religious belief.

          • Don_B1

            But they want to avoid providing any drugs for contraception?

            Or are they making the decisions, without any real medical evidence, but on ideological myths, that some contraceptives are abortifacients?

          • BHA_in_Vermont

            And they falsely belief those 4 cause abortion.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Who are we to say what offends their religion?

      • Mina

        Maybe they should stop paying wages because they can’t control what their employees buy with their paychecks.
        And who is to say some of the money the pay China doesn’t go back to human rights abuses?
        Simple answer here – become a non profit and you wouldn’t have an issue.
        Boycott Hobby Lobby.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Ah, but they aren’t trying to control how employees are spending their money. You are projecting.

          Go ahead — boycott HL. It worked so well for chick-fil-a.

  • Ed75

    The pope has many divisions – divisions of angels – and they did in Communism.

    • Don_B1

      Communism mostly did itself in, though the Catholic Church in Poland did help by supporting opposing forces there.

      • Ed75

        See George Weigel’s biography of John Paul II – John Paul II and President Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, but communism was internally collapsing economically. But it fell without a shot – after decades of prayers.

    • TFRX

      You’re better off talking about medicine.

  • Michiganjf

    Hasn’t religion screwed this world and this country enough??!!

    When will it end?

    STOP letting anachronistic religious freaks impose their stupidity, intolerance, and backwardness on the innocent!

    The Religious FREAKS should LOSE the Supreme Court decision!

    • Coastghost

      Hard to say, when compared to the applied technology that’s gifted us with nuclear weaponry, ubiquitous spyware, and environmental degradation on a global scale.

  • MrNutso

    I wonder if the Hobby Lobby owners support the death penalty?

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    I want the ability to cull humans, too. Please, SCOTUS. Help me out here.
    –CEO, Puppy Wuppy

  • Ed75

    Hobby Lobby provides something like 45 kinds of contraception, the 3 or 4 they don’t want to -? And it can’t be gotten elsewhere?

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Republicans agains the Equality Agenda.

    Please expound Jack.

    Against Equal Opportunity? No.

    Against Equal Protection by the law? No.

    Against Equal Outcomes by coercion? Why, yes!

    I must say I am speaking for more liberty-type, Rule of Law respecting Republicans, not your regular ol’GOP establishment.

  • TFRX

    Tom, can we get someone on NPR to say “Hobby Lobby is not a church” at the top of every hour?

    PS Anthony Kennedy is a hoot on this stuff:

    He did not weigh in on the question of whether non-abortions can count as abortion — indeed, he seemed to understand the difference between birth control and abortion.

    Nevertheless, he looked at the government’s requirement to provide birth control coverage and envisioned a future law compelling Hobby Lobby to pay for actual abortions — just as he once gazed upon a requirement to buy health insurance and imagined the government forcing everyone to buy broccoli.

    In Justice Kennedy’s Courtroom, the government doesn’t have to defend the law it actually passed, it has to defend the worst law Kennedy can imagine them passing — even if that law would never make it through Congress.

  • Potter

    Allowing your employees to have ( though insurance) IUD’s is not taking a life! Nor is contraception! Why is it that people who do not believe in using these methods of birth control have to prevent others from using them?

    • OnPointComments

      No one is preventing others from using any method of birth control. The owners are saying that the company shouldn’t have to pay for it.

      • TFRX

        Employees earn it as part of their compensation.

        • OnPointComments

          It is the government that said that contraceptives had to be provided, not the employer that said it.

        • Potter

          Correct and if all other health care is provided but those that conflict with religious notions, it’s preventing people’s right under law- it’s imposing one belief system on your employees and/or causing hardship.

          • TFRX

            HL can’t discriminate on hiring. They can discriminate on compensation?

            Don’t try again.

          • Steve__T

            TFRX re-read his post.

  • Ed75

    Or, for example, the New York Times has freedom of speech.

  • Ed75

    They’re really not addressing the sweeping statement of whether or not corporations have this right in every situation, they’re judging it in this specific situation.

    • J__o__h__n

      That depends on how broadly or narrowly they write the opinion.

      • Ed75

        That’s true, but I think they’re looking at this decision in particular right now.

    • BHA_in_Vermont

      If they narrowly and very specifically allow this one, EVERYONE with a religious objection to anything in the ACA will file a case with SCOTUS for their specific exemption. And it could lead to cases totally unrelated to the ACA when any company’s owners have a religious objection to any other US law.

      The far end of that is they decide any business can reject any part of the ACA based on religion.

      • OnPointComments

        The slippery slope goes both ways. Could the government mandate that a corporation privately-held by Catholics must provide insurance that covers abortion services?

        • TFRX

          Keep JAQing it, OPC.

      • Ed75

        That sounds like a problem, but the company has to show that they are really part of this religion, that the religion does prohibit the requested item, etc., so it would be on a case by case basis. For example, the Amish are exempt from Obamacare because their faith doesn’t allow them to participate in insurance. Also the government has to show that for the person to get the requested item elsewhere would be very burdensome, which isn’t true of contraception, which is available from the government, etc.

  • twenty_niner

    They couldn’t find at least a handful of mindless Obama sycophants in Europe to obsequiously clap at the end of another forgettable dose of hollow rhetoric?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVFrdWIs2LI

  • MrNutso

    Dell and Heinz are privately owned.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    I think its time to demand Kosher corporations give the people non-Kosher goods, because its really none of their business what I want, and we should demand equality!

    • MrNutso

      Hardly the same thing. The government is not directing the company what they must sell.

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        The government is not dictating what Health Insurance Companies Sell?!?

    • TFRX

      “This board has the worst fcking ‘Athiests’. ”

      (h/t adaption from “Arrested Development”)

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    The combined ages of SCOTUS is something like 872. Do you think they should be required to retire before..
    1. 65, like commercial airline pilots
    2. The onset of dementia
    3. They do any more damage to our nation

  • PithHelmut

    Re Hobby Lobby and contraception and abortion. Re anyone and contraception and abortion. If you’re a man you can have an opinion but you cannot make laws that affect women’s bodies. If you do then women must be able to make laws about mens’ bodies. Life may start at conception but personhood starts at first breathe.

    • OnPointComments

      Can a man make a law that says employers must provide contraception to women?

    • BHA_in_Vermont

      “Life may start at conception but personhood starts at first breathe.”

      Or when your your business starts, as the Citizen’s United case decided.

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    Is there any better reason to go to Single Payer than this idea that each business can dictate what medical procedures/devices will be covered for their employees because of their religious beliefs?? Get religion out of health insurance.

    Corporations are NOT people.

    • William

      The government run medical insurance does not cover everything so what is the difference? Should we get politics out of health insurance too?

      • BHA_in_Vermont

        Single Payer is not intended to cover everything for everyone. But finding for Hobby Lobby would be opening a Pandora’s box of “who can decide which specific things will be covered for their employees based on THEIR personal religious beliefs”

        Common health insurance for all, those with the means can purchase additional insurance if they wish.

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      Get Government out of Health Insurance and buy the plan YOU want!

      Is there any better reason to encourage a competitive free market instead of coercing people, creating conflict and unintended consequences which leads to endless discretionary fixes and adjustments?

      • J__o__h__n

        Even with their purchasing power HR expertise, businesses have to pay huge costs. How would an individual show wisely and have any bargaining power? Especially when there is no transparency or market standards on pricing. The last thing health care needs is a free market fantasy.

      • jefe68

        Yeah, tell that to the Vets and people over 65.

      • BHA_in_Vermont

        The “competitive free market” screws those who are not part of a “big pool” (which is why we need Single Payer – ONE pool). Look at your next medical claim statement if you are covered by a “big pool” employer:
        Price charged – agreed price allowed = price insurance company and insured pay.

        If you are a small fry in the “competitive free market” insurance game, your “agreed price allowed” equals the “price charged”. You pay MORE than the actual cost because the providers aren’t going to lose money overall and have to recover the “agreed price allowed” granted the “big pool” insured from someone.

        Price charged to small fry > actual cost > price charged to big pool insured.

    • jefe68

      Actually corporations do have the same legal rights as people. Which is fine until money, in the case of Citizens United, large sums of it, are used to control outcomes in elections and speech.

      The problem is how money is somehow equal to free speech. How is it free speech when someone with more money can control the outcome of an election?

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Were you also concerned about the years and years of union money influencing elections?

        • jefe68

          Personally I think all money should be banned from the electoral process.

          • Ray in VT

            I think that we could do better with far less of it in the system.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            I’ll agree it is a mess but limiting speech rubs me wrong. Limiting money strengthens incumbent’s electoral chance and they still have strong advantages.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            I think you have that bass ackward.

          • Steve__T

            I agree, but then we wouldn’t have elections.

          • hennorama

            Steve_T — we’d still have elections, but we’d also get far more commercials for pharmaceuticals, alcohol, e-cigarettes, etc. around election (almost made a funny typo there) time.

          • Steve__T

            Yes I can see it now.
            The 2016 Campaign brought to you by (insert brand name here) We are with you, its the American way. So vote for (insert name here) For(insert position here) YAAAAAY!!!!!
            We know you will because we told you to, it’s for your best interest, Be a true American go vote!!! and tell all your friends who we want for (insert position) GO GO GO VOTE!!!!!

          • hennorama

            Steve_T – TYFYR.

            I was alluding to those commercials replacing campaign commercials (media conglomerates gotta eat, yanno!), but Iike your (hopefully) hypothetical concept, too.

          • HonestDebate1

            How much money needs to be spent to but your vote?

        • Ray in VT

          Considering that they are attempting to counter business spending, I don’t support labor unilaterally disarming.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            That makes sense.

          • Ray in VT

            “The broadest classification of political donors separates them into
            business, labor, or ideological interests.
            Whatever slice you look at, business interests dominate,
            with an overall advantage over organized labor of about 15-to-1.”

            http://www.opensecrets.org/overview/blio.php

            One not need take that particular figure as gospel, but I think that labor, generally, is on the short end of the spending stick.

          • BHA_in_Vermont

            And especially so now since the number of people who belong to a union is WAY down from the peak. 35% in the mid 1950′s, ~12% in 2010.

            http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/22/business/22union.html?_r=0

          • John Cedar

            Political advertising is small potatoesee. More voters are influenced by Oprah, SNL Jon Stewart by the biased message they send over 90% of the public airwaves 90% of the time. Then there was the Dan Rathergate letter that turned up in the 11:59th hour and was known to be concocted when he aired it. The poor Koch Brothers don’t stand a chance.

          • pete18

            But were you concerned about their money
            controlling the outcomes of elections? Or the fact that the member’s dues were mostly used to support democratic candidates and causes regardless of the member’s political opinions?

          • Ray in VT

            I am concerned about monied interests controlling elections, and I don’t a reason for labor to cut its own throat by supporting candidates with anti-labor positions.

          • HonestDebate1

            Sink outspent Jolly 4 to 1. Money is not everything.

          • Ray in VT

            No, but it does help when you want to put a bunch of misleading anti-ACA ads up with people misrepresenting how they have been “harmed” by the law. It may not be everything, but the outspending of labor by business very likely tilts the scales.

          • HonestDebate1

            Like ads that say you can keep your plan, it will lower premiums and your doctor will comply?

          • Ray in VT

            I kept my plan, as did very many others. Many people are paying lower premiums.

          • HonestDebate1

            “period”, “no matter what”.

          • Ray in VT

            That in no way affects what I said, but if it makes you feel better, then “mission accomplished”.

          • pete18

            You’re presenting a false choice. If monied interests controlling elections is bad, it’s bad no matter who does it. If it’s ok for labor to stay in the game to prevent their throats from getting nicked then it should be ok for the Koch brothers not to unilaterally disarm either.

          • Ray in VT

            Except for where they are merely upping the ante and burying their funding so that people can’t find it, so I advocate fighting fire with fire.

          • pete18

            That doesn’t answer the question. You are presenting unions as if they only recently started influencing elections purely as a defensive measure, when in fact unions have been part of the political machinery since the late 1800s.

            Are these fire torches only an acceptable defense when unions are using them?
            Are corporations not allowed to protect themselves when they feel government is
            threatening them?

          • Ray in VT

            Let’s see, and what were corporations doing then? Providing unsafe working conditions. Providing low wages. Firing people who got hurt on the job. At times getting their allies in government to call in troops to break up labor unrest, or just employing their own private thugs. “Protecting themselves” may be what you want to call it, but plenty of others would call it trying to preserve their power to abuse workers. Defend it if you care to.

          • pete18

            You are still avoiding the question.
            Are you saying that your principled position about monied interests influencing elections is that it is fine as long as you think the people spending the money have good cause to defend themselves but not not OK if the people spending the money are doing things that you define as “abusive”?
            Who determines these terms? What if a Union has done something that I, or millions of others feel has been “abusive,” or “counterproductive”? What if the government has enacted a law that is abusive to corporations or the people who could be employed by them? Is it not moral or just for them to spend money to counteract that force?

            If you are only supporting political spending by those whom you believe the angles fly with but not anyone else,
            then you are setting up a statest disaster, which will come back to sink its teeth in you the minute some group
            that you find abhorrent is the one picking who the angels are, or the angels you sleep with begin to show their forked tails.

            A side note: I do believe Unions have done good things and have at times been a productive counter-force to corporate overreach and I also think there have been many instances where some corporations have done indefensible things. But that is true of government and unions too.

          • Ray in VT

            You seem to be confused by my position. Perhaps a rereading is in order.

          • pete18

            Perhaps a clarified position is in order.

            As best I can tell, you think it’s OK for labor to spend money on elections to protect themslves but you don’t think that’s true for management. What have I missed?

          • Ray in VT

            Pretty much my entire point about how labor is fighting a massive uphill battle against much greater business spending as well as what the groups are fighting for, unless you want to frame business spending that fights against the regulation practices that harms workers and the public as a struggle for “freedom”. Perhaps companies need the “liberty” to pollute the air, water and consumer products with harmful practices or chemicals and that their massive spending is merely a defense of their “freedom” to do so.

          • pete18

            So then I was right in my assessment.

            Companies only do wrong, they have no legitimate concerns in protecting themselves in the public arena. Labor is always the victim. The legal and moral
            framework for spending in politics is not equal access under the law but access if
            you are determined to be in need by the left.

            As previously pointed out, you are not concerned with money in politics but with money in politics by groups you don’t like or disagree with.

          • Ray in VT

            If that is the skewed take that you want to have, then go right ahead. Someone has to advance the “freedom” of business to pollute the environment and mistreat workers I guess.

          • pete18

            That’s a riot. Nice false boogie man premise to avoid the issue. You keep confirming my assertion in the most comical ways.

          • Ray in VT

            Hey man, if that’s what you want to believe. I just don’t believe in labor disarming, especially when it is faced with such massive industry spending. I don’t like fights, but if someone swings at me, then I am going to swing back. Maybe that makes me an apologist for violence for not sitting back and letting someone kick my behind or something.

          • pete18

            I don’t see how “disarming” is an issue on the table. No one is suggesting that only businesses have the right to spend money. I’m just trying to dissect the proposition that you and other people on the left have offered about money in politics and what the core principle behind it is. What I’m getting from you is that money is only a bad thing in politics if it is done by people (entities) that you believe are doing destructive things, but is defensible if it is done by groups that you define as defending themselves against the other group, or doing “good” things.

            This pre-proposes that everything that a business, big or small, does is bad and everything that unions do is good and that the good/bad measure is something that can be fairly arbitrated in some way.

            Does a business that has never polluted or treated its workers unfairly get to spend money in politics? Do unions who negotiated contracts that with retirement benefits that bankrupt a city end up losing their money card for the next election? What if a business that used to pollute but no longer does wants to have an influence on a government policy on fair trade? Or are broad brushed categorizations what you are suggesting we use to determine the use of political money?

            Imagine applying this construction to some other matter like free speech, ownership of private property, employment, etc?

          • Ray in VT

            You build some “interesting” and nonsensical conclusions based upon arguments that you suppose that I am making.

          • pete18

            My last post was mostly questions, rather than conclusions, but I get it, you are unwilling to talk about what your core principles are in this matter.

          • Ray in VT

            Hardly. I just don’t see the point in repeating what I have said. I think that what I have stated is clear.

          • John Cedar

            The money donated by corporations is spent on political campaigns and advertising in a vain attempt to try to convince voters to vote for their candidates because of the ideas they represent.

            But that money is microscopic compared to the tax money seized from republicans and spent by democrats to buy votes in the form of free$tuff for those who vote for them.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      Money is NOT speech. Voting is speech, and writing is speech, and speech is speech. Speech is something everybody has equally.

      Giving money to someone is an action.

      • Steve__T

        An action that speaks louder than words.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    My religious beliefs include not PAYING FOR nuclear bombs. Please, SCOTUS. Help me out here.

    • J__o__h__n

      Mine include not subsidizing religious institutions by not taxing them.

    • MrNutso

      I have no religious beliefs, yet I have to support and accommodate everyone that does.

      • Joe Mahma

        “Religious beliefs” are more often than not, merely a smokescreen for a puritanical fetish. I think it’s time we call it for what it is and stop protecting it.

        • Government_Banking_Serf

          Round em up and shoot em’!

          • Ray in VT

            Indeed. That is exactly what he said.

        • brettearle

          Define what you mean by, `puritanical fetish.’

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        Do you? What are they dragging you to church?

  • MrNutso

    So catholic caller, don’t use birth control. No one is making you use it nor even pay for it.

    • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

      There is no constitutional protection against having your feelings hurt.

  • Ed75

    They’re not making contraception unavailable to employees since they can get it elsewhere, they are refusing to pay for it. And the penalties for not paying are tremendous.

    • TFRX

      These employees are paying for it. It’s part of their compensation.

      • AliceOtter33

        That’s what I can’t quite understand. If these services are part of employees’ earned compensation, wouldn’t the religious beliefs of the employee trump those of the employer (if we were to follow the trajectory of Hobby Lobby’s logic)?

        Hobby Lobby would then be guilty of religious discrimination if they only want to hire employees who share their religious beliefs.

        • TFRX

          I’d like to suggest you’re putting good effort into a Bizzaro situation. To get to where they are now, that the court is listening to this, ignored 200 years of case law.

          Can’t discriminate in hiring? Can’t discriminate in compensation.

          I’m white, New England suburbanite, and not young. Who knows if I’ll be working for someone from the Indian subcontinent, or a Muslim?

          I don’t look forward to my employer telling me I can’t buy beef or pork with the money they’ve paid me for doing my job.

      • pete18

        The solution would be to pay those employees their health benefit in cash and then allow them to buy their own coverage. Both sides win.

        • Ray in VT

          I don’t think that there is anything stopping them from doing that.

          • HonestDebate1

            True, many many businesses have dropped coverage altogether because of Obamacare.

        • hennorama

          pete18 — Hobby Lobby’s attorney argued that this idea would also be a significant burden, as Hobby Lobby would have difficulty recruiting employees if they didn’t offer healthcare benefits.

          (See SCOTUSblog)

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            Don’t worry, if we keep chasing the tail, eventually we’ll catch it!

          • BHA_in_Vermont

            Then perhaps they would figure out that if they want their business to survive, they have to drop this objection to four specific forms of birth control which DO NOT cause abortion – the presumed basis of their suit.

        • TFRX

          You’re wrong. HL is snitting all about anybody in their employ doing it. Their precious church-like feefees are hurt by having it put on paper that they’re going around it.

          See Henno, below.

          • pete18

            That may be their position but it doesn’t change my point. Would you be against my solution if HL wanted to use it?

      • Ed75

        It is part of their compensation, but let’s say you work for me, and I pay you in a variety of ways, I’m not going to pay for something for you that’s against my religious beliefs. I wouldn’t include it in the contract unless forced, and the government can only force me if the person can’t get it elsewhere, and contraception is widely available – why should the employer be forced to buy it?

    • AliceOtter33

      Hobby Lobby argues that it is also a mandate of its religious values that they provide health insurance to their employees.

      If they insist on providing insurance, but refuse to pay for one component of said insurance and the supreme court rules that they do not have to pay the penalty, then Hobby Lobby will have legally blocked its employees from contraception coverage. This would be legal religious discrimination.

      Check out this argument that if Hobby Lobby would raise the salary of its employees and simply not insist on covering health insurance, their employees could pursue their own coverage freely.

      http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/penny-starr/sotomayor-kagan-hobby-lobby-should-drop-insurance-pay-penalty-and-let

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    New AP poll has Obamacare support at a new low: 26%.

    Unsubstantiated reports have dozens of leftists at the AP fainting on the news.

  • hellokitty0580

    If you’re taking birth control and weren’t pregnant prior to taking birth control, then birth control is not aborting anything. And THIS is why we need better reproductive health education in our countries. Clearly, conservatives aren’t getting the facts.

    • HonestDebate1

      It depends on the type of birth control.

      • Ray in VT

        Birth control, in the sense of contraception, which is the issue in the Hobby Lobby case, does not cause abortion.

        • HonestDebate1

          4 out of 20 do.

          • Ray in VT

            Not according to the medical community. Believing that they do does not make it so.

        • John Cedar

          And its not “health care” either.

          • HonestDebate1

            Excellent!

          • Ray in VT

            Says you. Many women take contraceptives in order to treat other health care problems.

          • John Cedar

            The vast majority take them so they can have sex and not get pregnant.

          • Ray in VT

            So pregnancy isn’t a part of health care? Good to know.

            “Out of the more than 7,354 women surveyed, 58 percent of pill users
            cited at least one noncontraceptive reason for taking it. That includes
            managing menstrual pain, period regulation and acne. That’s where
            Boxer’s “more than half” claim comes from. Many of the women in this
            category also take the pill to prevent pregnancy.”

            But just 14 percent of pill users said they only took the pill for noncontraceptive reasons.”

            http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2014/mar/26/barbara-boxer/barbara-boxer-says-more-half-women-use-birth-contr/

    • BHA_in_Vermont

      Stop throwing facts into the discussion. ;)

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Catholic Caller does not realize that Freedom to Choose is so….1700s

    Individuality is an illusion. Smoke more pot, feel the unity.

    (I’m an atheist BTW)

    • J__o__h__n

      How much individual liberty would there be if religious organizations had more power? Not all tyranny comes from the government.

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        What nonsense is that? That very issue is directly addressed in the Constitution!

        If you guys continue to insist on denigrating and ignoring the Constitution, THEN we might have a chance of a Theocracy.

    • TFRX

      Can’t we get another self-professed athiest here? I don’t trust the cut of this one’s jib.

      • Ray in VT

        I’m here.

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        You can’t believe in Nature-given rights and a Constitution to keep the Government or Majority from infringing them as best as possible?

        Atheist-Socialism or bust?

        That’s a narrow view, but I guess its an easy formula to follow.

        • TFRX

          The agnostic’s “prayer”: God (who may or may not exist) deliver us from Athiest Libertarians who wilt at the slightest right-wing Christian talking point.

  • MrNutso

    That’s right Boehner, how dare the President try to help people get health insurance.!

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Where is my government subsidized merlot?
    –John Boehner {the apex of mankind}

    • BHA_in_Vermont

      John Boehner is an A …..

      • hennorama

        …pparent lover of a deep “tan”?

  • PithHelmut

    Health insurance provided by employers is totally wacko for everyone involved. The Hobby Lobby debacle is how it metastasizes.. We have to come up to the 21st century. This health care system is a complete wreck. We need a public option to compete with private insurers and get the burden off employers and allow employees mobility again.

    • anamaria23

      Well said.

    • hellokitty0580

      It’s true. You hit the nail on the head. The real root of the problem here is employers determining health care in the first place. Or even insurance companies. The people who should be determining what health care is necessary and what isn’t is the patient (because its their body first and foremost) and the doctor because they had 8 plus years of medical training and experience. But yes, let’s continue to commercialize our health care. It’s the cash cow you can keep milking because illness discriminates against no one and will always exist.

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        We can’t “commercialize” needs?

        Do we need to socialize grocery stores now?

        Health Insurance Cartel is a Government supported Racket.

        A private doctor will not deny you care you are willing to pay for.

        A market of People and Doctors, paying cash for Primary Care, and supported by Catastrophic Policies, with subsidy for the truly needy, would bring prices way down.

        Prices are the problem, that the Health Ins/Govt tries to solve with rationing.

        The more meddling in a market, the higher the prices.

    • jefe68

      Our nation is slipping into a backward spiral and this is one manifestation of it.

      The level of absurdity of the Hobby Lobby case, or should I say the level of disdain that the religious right hold towards women, is evident. Who would have thought that this kind of case would have even made it to the SCOTUS in 2014.

      • HonestDebate1

        Everything was peachy until Obamacare.

        • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

          Sure it was …

          • HonestDebate1

            Comparatively, yes.

        • jefe68

          Ah, no everything was not peachy.

          • HonestDebate1

            I was actually referring to Hobby Lobby and the 80% of citizens who were happy with their plans.

          • Ray in VT

            I was happy with mine, and mine hasn’t changed at all.

          • HonestDebate1

            It’s coming. Delays happen. It should keep you appeased for an election or two.

          • Ray in VT

            Sure. They’re agonna steal mah rats.

          • HonestDebate1

            They already have, no “agonna” about it.

          • Ray in VT

            I know. They stole mah rat to have leaded gas, or to have my groundwater polluted by my neighbor dumping old oil on the ground. Now they’ve stolen mah rat to get dropped by an insurance company if I get sick and to get gouged if I had some illness years ago. When will the injustices end? We’re doomed! DOOOOMMMED!!!!

        • TFRX

          There’s always emergency rooms!

          • HonestDebate1

            Flawed but better. BTW the ER’s are still being just as abused.

          • BHA_in_Vermont

            Long waits, very expensive. Patch you up (maybe) and send you to a doctor. NOT the best source of heath care.

        • hellokitty0580

          Yes, if by peachy you mean people were being denied coverage for pre-existing conditions like having a uterus and going into severe debt for things like cancer treatment and everyone who didn’t have insurance ran into the emergency room and then the state (and by state I mean tax payers) has to pay for it, then yes, everything was just peachy.

  • John Cedar

    This is a case of the illiberals wanting to rub a conservative’s nose in it, at any cost. Surly the government could give free ANYTHING to employees of Hobby Lobby, if they wanted to do so, without forcing Hobby Lobby to be involved in the mix.

    • J__o__h__n

      More corporate welfare? It is bad enough we are subsidizing Walmart’s poverty wages with food stamps.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    George Washington bridge – the span to Nowhere Man.

    Or.. to nowhere, man.

  • MrNutso

    And how much of the messaging was stifled by Republicans who threatened professional sports leagues, made facilitators become insurance agents and refused to set up state exchanges or enhance medicare.

  • pauly2468

    Jack Beatty offers so much doom and gloom.Everything is “just awful”,”just awful” regarding Obama and Dems.His wailing voice adds to the operatic tone of grief.
    Many commentors have struck a more optimistic tone and have offered constructive advice with some positive scenarios-but not Jack.

    • brettearle

      He is likely trying to come to grips with his rather strong disappointment of the Administration.

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        Many of us have been dealing with that emotion for a while now.

        • brettearle

          Yeah, but most of us aren’t as Liberal as Jack.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Therefore it must be harder for him. I can understand and sympathize. Being as cynical as I am, I must admit that I secretly hope to be proven wrong.

          • brettearle

            In what way?

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Frankly I had hopes that that a President Obama would be less partisan and less divisive. The mistakes that President Bush made thru the Patriot Act haven’t been reversed.

          • HonestDebate1

            They have been put on steroids as evidenced by a 1000% increase in section 215 requests.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            And all those “haystacks” haven’t made us any safer.

          • HonestDebate1

            I agree but I would also posit much of the Patriot Act was necessary (updating decades old and useless landline taps for instance), was prudent and has made us safer. Regarding section 215, it was not merely abused it was illegally applied to individuals instead of ongoing investigations.

            I think the Patriot Act, unlike Obamacare, is workable and can be fixed. I would not support it’s repeal, not that you suggested that.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            I agree that it might have been made workable in 2009. But today I advocate for its replacement. We have to constrain many of the agencies of the federal government and the NSA would be a fine place to start.

  • MrNutso

    So lawyers hired by Christie at tax payers expense found Christie didn’t know anything about it. The Newark Star Ledger called it: Mr. Christie should pay back the tax payers of NJ.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      Yeah who does he think he is…

      Lois Lerner?

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Chris Christie movie: Final Chapter, Waddling Wide.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      “”I don’t care who ya are, that’s funny right there”

  • OnPointComments

    THE OPEN ENROLLMENT DEADLINE WILL NOT BE EXTENDED:
    March 11, 2014 – Julie Bataille, Medicare and Medicaid Services
    March 11, 2014 – HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius
    March 12, 2014 – HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius
    March 16, 2014 – -Dan Pfeiffer, Senior Advisor to the President for Strategy and Communications

    THE OPEN ENROLLMENT DEADLINE WILL BE EXTENDED:
    March 25, 2014: “Federal officials confirmed Tuesday evening that all consumers who have begun to apply for coverage on
    HealthCare.gov, but who do not finish by Monday, will have until about mid-April to ask for an extension.”

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      Details, details….

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Don’t worry folks, the Ends Justify the Means as long as the intentions are good!

    Lord help us when the intentions are bad.

    Its astounding how today’s Dem/Liberals effectively, by their shortsighted reflexive support for the power elite (because they naively think they are it), help create the conditions that bring us things like the Iraq War, The Financial Bubble and Burst, and the NSA.

    Parse all you want. Disrespecting the Constitution, Separation of Powers, and Rule of Law is at the heart of all those huge and destructive issues.

    Party before country is going to be our downfall.

    I’m starting to have sympathy for that caricature of American-haters, even though I think it comes from naiveté and historical ignorance.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      If they can trust us with freedom then we can trust them with power.

  • ianway

    Religious zealotry will surely be the death of us, as it’s been the death of billions throughout the sorry history of humans.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      More have died from politics than religion.

  • William

    Bridge Gate? What about the Senator Yee (D) arrested for trying to sell automatic weapons and and missiles purchased from a Muslim terrorist group?

    • J__o__h__n

      He hasn’t released a press release that his own internal investigation has cleared him yet.

      • MrNutso

        Governor Christie: I have cleared myself of any wrong doing.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          President Obama on the IRS: “I’ve cleared myself of any wrongdoing — not a smidgen of corruption”.

          • MrNutso

            As long as you don’t say Benghazi.

    • BHA_in_Vermont

      Let’s make clear that he is a California Senator, not a U.S. Senator.

  • Joe Mahma

    .
    Gee, I wonder how many of these Catholics who can’t take a life or condone taking a life supported (fully) the invasion and occupation of Iraq. I’m guessing most if not all of them were all for it.
    .

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      Joe you should be a pro-choice (early term) libertarian. Less cognitive dissonance all around.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      You have no experience of Catholics in the Peace Movement? Interesting…

      • Joe Mahma

        Catholics tend to be political conservatives – end of story.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Joe Biden, John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi, Ted Kennedy….

        • Ray in VT

          I think that that is a somewhat hard case to make. To be sure there are some very prominent American Catholics who are conservatives, but there are a good many politically liberal American Catholics as well.

          • anamaria23

            There seem to be two persuasions of Catholics i.e. the ultraconservative hierarchy of bishops and the Nuns on the Bus led by Sr. Simone Campbell. The former are more obsessed with sexual behavior and the latter, social justice, more observant of the Christian message and more fun to be around, frankly.

          • Ray in VT

            Like the National Coalition of American Nuns who are supporting the contraception mandate:

            http://www.cosmopolitan.com/celebrity/news/nuns-announce-support-for-obamacare

          • TFRX

            Funny how the mediascape never cares about them. Plenty of Catholics use birth control, but they never get in the Rolodex.

          • HonestDebate1

            And plenty of atheist say a little prayer when there is heavy turbulence in flight. Catholic Kerry supports abortion. Southern Baptist Bill Clinton shreds the seventh commandment. What’s your point?

          • J__o__h__n

            No we don’t.

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          Really? Tell me more, do you have an opinion about Catholics on the Supreme Court?

          • Ray in VT

            The most conservative four seem to all be Catholic.

          • HonestDebate1

            Sotomayor and Ginsberg are Catholic.

          • Ray in VT

            That in no way affects my statement.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Ginsberg is jewish. An interesting factoid, there are no protestants on SCOTUS.

            6 catholics, 3 jews.

          • BHA_in_Vermont

            Sounds like we need to remove or balance religion on the SCOTUS. Replace 1 Catholic with and atheist and another with an agnostic.

          • HonestDebate1

            Thanks.

          • J__o__h__n

            oy vey

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Are you joining Joe’s Neo Know-Nothing Party?

          • Ray in VT

            No. I choose not to support the TEA Party.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            I am certain that you know this but the Know-Nothing Party was an off shut of the Democratic Party that was anti-catholic.

            http://teaching.msa.maryland.gov/000001/000000/000065/html/t65.html

            I understand that you are not part of the Tea Party Movement, but the question I ask is are you Anti-Catholic?

          • Ray in VT

            And the Democrats were then, of course, the conservative state-rights party. The Know Nothings were anti-immigrant, and that view seems more prevalent today among American conservatives. Anti-Catholic? Nah. One can’t bash Catholics much any more, although I think that there is some of that in some Evangelical groups. Gays are pretty much the only people whom one can advance discrimination against these days and get kudos.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Sadly that is not true. There is an terrible amount of Anti-Catholic vitriol in the #p2 world. And the Catholics are not alone in that. The people that claim to value diversity seem very opposed to it.

          • Ray in VT

            What? People are being horrible to others on Twitter? Now there’s a shock. Tell me, where are people proposing legislation that would allow businesses to have the “freedom” to refuse to serve Catholics? Ah yes. Liberals are the real discriminators. I’ve heard that meme a plenty.

        • J__o__h__n

          I think they are all over the spectrum although the bishops have their own reactionary social agenda. How many pro-choice politicians did they withhold Communion from compared to the number of pro-war, pro-corporate profits, pro-death penalty politicians?

    • brettearle

      That’s not fair.

      That’s a sweeping generalization.

      My guess is that there are pro-Lifers who were against the invasion.

      • Joe Mahma

        What’s wrong with generalizations?

        • brettearle

          Unless qualify it, with greater nuance and increased discernment, it comes across as biased–if not a form of religious bigotry.

          And you may very well not have intended it that way….

          • Joe Mahma

            I used to be Catholic, my parents were. I know plenty of Catholics. It’s not like I don’t know these people. They tend to support war while also railing against “taking a life” in the form of abortion or even birth control. They create more problems than they stave off with this fetus fetish they have.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            “these people”

            ’nuff said.

          • Joe Mahma

            “’nuff said.”

            ’nuff said.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            To each his own, or we are going to have a civil war.

            Slavery was worth it.

            Making Christian-owned business supply abortifacients is not.

            -Atheist

          • TFRX

            Wow,! Another athiest Libertarian who can’t say boo about my freedom from someone else’s religion being encroached
            on!

            Who coulda known that sort of needle-threading sort of “liberty lover” was out there?

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            Tell us how you are being encroached? You getting dragged out of bed on Sunday mornings by trespassers too?

          • TFRX

            Hahaha.

            You’re a useful tool to the right. Hope you never lose your delusion.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            So you aren’t being encroached.

            Tool of the right, Useful idiot, we could go on with empty name calling and avoiding real points all day….

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            We have a Winner.

        • nj_v2

          All generalizations are false.

          • Ray in VT

            Including that one?

          • nj_v2

            Someone got it.

          • Ray in VT

            I can’t remember where I first read “all generalizations are false, including this one.”

          • Joe Mahma

            HAHAHA

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        Do you have any pro-life frie… acquaintances?

    • hellokitty0580

      I know, that’s the real kicker here with conservatives. They don’t have a problem invading other countries and risking the lives of foreign citizens and our troops, but don’t you dare touch that unsustainable zygote!

      • Joe Mahma

        They have a fetus fetish. That’s all it is.

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        Good thing Hillary was against that war.

        • hellokitty0580

          I don’t support Hilary Clinton.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            Glad to hear it.

        • Joe Mahma

          Hillary Clinton and her ilk take their marching orders from Wall Street. Their personal beliefs are supplanted by the profit motive of their corporate overlords.

    • J__o__h__n

      I wonder why no one has estimated the number of Iraqi fetuses that were killed during that fiasco.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Gee, the Pope was against the Iraq war. Is he Catholic?

      • Joe Mahma

        The Pope isn’t the Catholic population of America.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Pandas having to eat bamboo! The perils of communism. Shame.

  • AliceOtter33

    The Hobby Lobby issue is a great “devil in the details” case study that hopefully will lead to single-payer healthcare in my lifetime.

    This is what keeping healthcare in the private sector looks like and it’s going to get stickier and stickier.

  • Sanity

    The idea the corporations are people is ridiculous. Incorporation was meant to protect persons from financial ruin in case of a business failure. Instead, it led to a total lack of accountability (since it’s the ‘corporation’ that misbehaved, so no person goes to jail, no matter how criminal the offense). As for the religious exemption, it’s not about religion at all. Should we let people choose what part of health insurance (or any other law, tax, speed limit etc) they want to obey based on their beliefs? You really have a problem? don’t pay for health insurance at all and let the government fine you at a higher amount, and shut up.

    • OnPointComments

      Tax payments are fungible. You can’t say that the specific tax payments you make are specifically used for any particular expenditure; once your tax payment is commingled with other tax payments, it loses its identity. This is different from what Hobby Lobby is being directed to do: it is being told that it must use its money to purchase a specific product that includes coverage for 4 types of contraception that conflict with the owners’ sincerely-held religious beliefs.

      You really have a problem? Don’t insist that your employer pay for these 4 types of contraceptives, pay for it yourself, and, in your word, shut up.

      • J__o__h__n

        Money paid into a health plan is fungible.

        • OnPointComments

          It is money paid to purchase a health plan that includes specific types of contraceptives.

      • Sanity

        My point exactly: We don’t allow (and shouldn’t) anyone to pick and choose what government services they wish to fund (invading Iraq anyone?). We shouldn’t let them. Any yes we do have accounting hoops for those who want money not mingling (as we do for govt funds not going into new stem cells line, or political donations limited to specific cycles etc.), so it’s hobby lobby who has to put its wallet where its mouth is.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    International Brotherhood of College Football Players. So go STRIKE.

    The college exit exam would have on it: Spell the name of your union.

    • Coastghost

      Or: abolish the NCAA.

  • Coastghost

    “US policy”, Ms. Brennan? What US policy?

  • CeCe Bee

    Republicans have perspective when it comes to “Obama’s” diplomacy, and instead think about their foreign policy prowess when it comes to Iraq? Really? Thanks to the last caller’s comments, and how childish most Republicans are if they aren’t the one holding the big stick. Rumsfeld Romney both are armchair critics and the media gives them a platform. Likely Romney would have done little different than Obama (on this the Russian issue or, if he had the fortitude, a national healthcare plan). Romney is a moderate, but doesn’t have the integrity to come out of the closet on this stance.

    • TFRX

      I’d cavil ever so slightly. Romney is a moderate on this right up to the point he had to stand up in front of one of those GOP debates pep rallies.

      Do you really trust him to be the Henry Fonda sort who talks all his crazy friends out of going off crazy? Cos I don’t.

      • brettearle

        I like the “12 Angry Men” analogy.

      • hennorama

        TFRX — aren’t “moderate Republican politicians” extinct?

        • TFRX

          I’m going back to my “Mystery Men” analogy: Moderate Republicans exist!

          Well, right up until their vote is needed for cloture or passing something out of committee.

          They’re like “Invisible Boy” in the movie, who is only invisible as long as nobody is looking at him.

          • hennorama

            TFRX — I agree that Moderate Republicans exist.

            They’re in the electorate, and often known as “Independents.”

      • CeCe Bee

        … he doesn’t have the integrity…” I don’t trust him for a minute.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    529 sets of fingerprints on one gun?

  • bikengr

    Trying to wrap my mind around the religious rights claimed by this corporation. They seem to have the perspective that a corporation (though not a person) should be exempted from laws that conflict with their (so-called) religious beliefs. If this is upheld, does that mean a religiously pacifist corporation would be excused from paying taxes that go to support a war? Or, that if they had some dogma that considers homosexuality an abomination, they would be free to stone, or at least deny service to, suspected gay customers?
    What is the line denoting the kind of laws that religious expression rights should exempt corps from following?

  • TFRX

    Chris Christie is interviewed by Diane Sawyer?

    Hope Christie prepared!

    But seriously, he’s achieved Cheney-like status in the mainstream press, as evidenced by both of them being such wimps they won’t sit down with anyone who won’t fluff them.

    • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

      Sawyer: Nixon’s scribe.

    • jefe68

      Complete with soft focus lens and Sawyers teary eyed look of fake concern.

    • BHA_in_Vermont

      “won’t sit down with anyone who won’t fluff them”

      That is really funny, specifically in my house :)

      My daughter’s cat kneads and humps whatever he is laying on while sucking on (originally) a cat toy made of flannel strips that she called a fluff. His fluff is gone but he does it with other pieces of fabric or even a piece of string. It is clearly a sexual behavior which we call “fluffing”.

      • TFRX

        That’s called “wool sucking” (although it doesn’t have to be on wool).

        Depending on who one talks to, it may be the sign of either early forced weaning from the mother (i.e. died or separated), or a behavior from the runt of the litter.

        Since all our cats are rescues, and I am partial to the runts (as I think they’re more affectionate), it might be no surprise that I’m on my second cat who evidences wool sucking.

        • BHA_in_Vermont

          Clearly the case here. Someone dumped him in our neighborhood at ~6 weeks. He wasn’t even totally steady walking. I initially thought I had run over his leg while backing out of the driveway. Nope, just VERY young.

          He is now a nearly 3 year old nut ball, almost a cartoon. If you throw something for him to chase, he jumps straight up in the air then hits the ground running. You can imagine the blur of a cartoon cat’s legs spinning in the air before he takes off :)

  • Michael Abrams

    The Affordable Care Act was sabotaged by our neer do well Congress in that the only job they had to was to take the Act, tweak it and make it better rather than politic it near death and then use it as tool to get votes. This Congress Scamocrats and Dupublicans have brought the office to a new low.
    Russia- Again our Congress has spouted about what needs to be done rather than again making these assessments to the proper government entities, they took to the airways-Loose lips sink ships..

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      THE ACA is unconstitutional and shall be repealed in its entirety.

      The Roberts’ decision was wrong, and must be reversed.

      And because we can need to restrict the congress’ power to tax we should ratify the Right to Refuse Amendment.

      http://www.righttorefuseamendment.com

      • Ray in VT

        It’s a good thing that you’ve come to that decision, so that you can set the Supreme Court straight.

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          It gives me something to do with all that money that the Koch brothers give me.
          /sarcasm

          • Ray in VT

            And you attained your legal credentials and did your study of Constitutional law where again?

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Now that I have had a chance to review my law books, it seems there is no requirement to be credentialed or a Constitutional Law scholar to offer amendments to the constitution. All that is required is that I gather enough votes. So what are you doing today?

          • Ray in VT

            So you’re an amateur expert? Seems to be a lot of those around the Internet. Anyone can pass anything with enough votes. I was working in the barn on Saturday.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            So we agree on quite a few things
            1) I’m an amateur.
            2) There are a lot of people like me.
            3) I can pass the Right to Refuse if, and only if I get enough votes.
            4) You have a barn
            5) You work.

          • Ray in VT

            Not quite. I don’t have a barn. My brother does.

      • MrNutso

        It would be easier to dissolve the union and create 50 new countries.

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          The Democrats tried that before, it didn’t end well.

          • Ray in VT

            Yup. The states rights conservatives didn’t get their way. The federals didn’t believe in the ability of the free market to end slavery.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            Good thing other aspects of the Constitution like individual rights won the day. The words and meaning of the Constitution were correct, as usual, the implementation by humans of a different era who sadly didn’t even have a common definition a “human” was not.

            But again, baby, bathwater. The principles of the Constitution are the best roadmap humanity has know for self governance and maximal individual liberty.

            If you don’t want self-governance and maximal individual liberty, thats another issue.

          • Ray in VT

            It seems that the words and meaning of the Constitution up to that point wasn’t the issue. Slaves were property. That was built in, and not by accident.

            I very much like the ideals of the Constitution, however it is an18th century document, and we have always been attempting to define and determine what it meant and how it was to be interpreted and enforced since the early days. I can do without the sort of 18th century minimalist government advocated by some that does not work for a 21st century nation of over 300 million.

          • HonestDebate1

            What was built in was the notion that all men are created equal and endowed with certain unalienable rights. In the end that is what trumped all.

          • Ray in VT

            That isn’t in the Constitution. Are you still going to stand behind that utterly unfounded argument that there was a difference between inalienable and unalienable?

          • HonestDebate1

            The notion is built into the Constitution as I said. The DOI is the basis.

            http://www.gemworld.com/usa-unalienable.htm

          • Ray in VT

            Oh, the scholars over at gemworld said it? Then it must be true of course. The only people with less sense than whoever wrote that is the fools who would believe and repeat it.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            So is it just peace prosperity and freedom you hate or is humans as a species?

          • Ray in VT

            Peace and prosperity enforced by the slave catcher and the lash wasn’t so great for many. But the free market should have shown the slavers the error of their ways, so it is curious that it did not. Maybe if we had tolerated slavery for another generation or two or as long as the slave states could have allowed or forced it to continue, then people would have seen that it didn’t make sense to have an entire population that was subjugated and almost powerless to fight against the excesses of the owners. I mean serfdom died out after a few centuries. Maybe people should have just accepted slavery until it went away, because it is gone today, right?

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Is the real point of your political beliefs to soothe your own ego? If that is all that matters to you then why do you communicate with me at all? What do you expect me to say in answer to this comment?

          • Ray in VT

            My comment has nothing to do with politics. It has to do with history and how the economics-centered view the world that seems to me to be advanced by many libertarians just isn’t how things function off of the page.

        • hennorama

          MrNutso — well, one poliical party seems quite actively for dissolving unions, so why wouldn’t they attempt to dissolve The Union?

          • HonestDebate1

            It is not accurate to avoid the chasm of distinction between public and private sector unions. Typical but not honest.

          • Steve__T

            Woosh

          • HonestDebate1

            I don’t think you got it. Read some FDR.

            Henny’s joke was not that funny. I’m more concerned with the lie she told about dissolving unions which is a red herring.

          • Steve__T

            Really? I didn’t get it? LIE? OK Show me any Republican support for unions. and while you’re at or not, their was no mention or distinction of what type of union other than Unions and the union of the states. So go FDR yourself.

          • HonestDebate1

            Yes, there was no distinction. That’s the point, there should be.

            Spelling error and poor grammar aside, she wrote:

            “…one poliical party seems quite actively for dissolving unions…”

            That’s a lie.

            “Now, labor unions play an important role in our society. There’s some like the carpenters union that compete on a fair basis and train their members to have greater skills, and so they’re an important part of America’s economy.” – Mitt Romney

            http://www.politifact.com/wisconsin/statements/2013/aug/13/scott-walker/Did-FDR-oppose-collective-bargaining-for-governmen/

          • Steve__T

            Yep saying you support something and all the while stomping it. Perfect Republican to use as an example, a proven lying back stabber.
            And what does 1939 have to do with today?

          • HonestDebate1

            I support people’s right to unionize in the private sector. I think unionizing in the public sector is an abomination because it pits the government against her citizens. FDR was right and is still right.

            You asked me to show you Republican support for unions, I did.

            There is a world of distinction between public and private sector unions yet the shallow make no distinction. It’s not honest debate.

          • Steve__T

            All righty then

          • HonestDebate1

            Thank you.

          • Steve__T

            No Thank you, you made my point for me. You’er an Idiot. Excellent point.

          • HonestDebate1

            Perfect!

          • hennorama

            Steve_T — TY for your support for my non-joking rhetorical question.

            [and for your freshly coined and quite amusing expression "go FDR yourself."]

      • HonestDebate1

        I’d take it a step further and say, if reports of his motives were true, Roberts should be impeached.

        • J__o__h__n

          You should be praising Roberts. He is laying the groundwork to overturn a broad interpretation of the Commerce Clause. He is an evil genius not a buffoon like Scalia has become. More than anyone, Roberts has the ability and the power to advance the conservative agenda for likely decades.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            I’ve never heard that theory.

            We’ve been stuck with excessive government power ever since Wickard v. Filburn (ruled under the influence of WWII extraordinary events).

          • HonestDebate1

            The commerce clause was not an issue because Obamacare clearly did not fall under it.

          • Ray in VT

            Says you.

          • HonestDebate1

            Says the SCOTUS but what do they know?

          • Ray in VT

            Not much, as the Chief should be impeached, according to you.

          • HonestDebate1

            Make your case that Obamacare falls under the commerce clause.

          • Ray in VT

            I live in Vermont. My insurance provider is headquartered in Connecticut. I may find that I require medical attention in some state other than Vermont, as do many Vermonters who live along the Connecticut River, where Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center provides services for many people in two states. Goods and services are moving between the states.

          • J__o__h__n

            The administration claimed that it did. Roberts decided that it was constitutional via the power to tax.

          • HonestDebate1

            At first they did. Obama got snippy with Stephy when he called it a tax but that was then.

            http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2012/06/28/flashback_obama_mandate_is_not_a_tax.html

            But when the rubber met the road in the Supreme Court, Obama’s solicitor general argued that to WAS a tax.

            http://nation.foxnews.com/obamacare/2012/03/26/obama-lawyer-laughed-supreme-court

        • Government_Banking_Serf

          can you share/link those motive reports?

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Roberts rewrote the law to make it constitutional. There is evidence that he flipped late in the process because the dissent was written as if it was majority opinion.

          http://www.businessinsider.com/antonin-scalia-supreme-court-obamacare-dissent-2012-6

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            Why do you think he did it? What was he investing in?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            One theory I’ve heard is he was somehow protecting the institution of the court by making it less political under his leadership. But I’m not sure.

          • HonestDebate1

            I thought it was futile and out of bounds when Obama tried to intimidate him. Evidently not. It really is a disgrace.

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          That is an unnecessary complication to what needs to be done. A case should be brought to the court contesting the ACA as an improperly properly legislatlated tax.

          • HonestDebate1

            The problem is Roberts was the legislator from the bench. I don’t think he will overrule himself. It’s a travesty of justice.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    The Middle East. The answer to the question: Name one good thing about rising sea levels.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    BLM. The Bureau of Land and Mud.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    If the mud is hauled off, is that your property? Can you claim it at the.. landfill?

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    OK, guys. Let’s go out there and spell the name of our union. A-E-I-O-U.

    • hennorama

      HLB — is that a variation on the old joke about the Nebraska football player, who when asked what the “N” on his helmet stood for, replied “Knowledge”?

  • Coastghost

    A low-level bureaucratic NLRB ruling, until further notice.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Schlesinger was no Tony Benn. Regrettably.

  • Joe Mahma

    .
    Isn’t Hobby Lobby essentially attempting to ensure that they only have Catholics in their employ? That sounds like some kind of discrimination.
    .

    • OnPointComments

      No one is preventing anyone from using any of the birth control methods.

      • HonestDebate1

        That fact cannot be denied but it can’t be acknowledged either or their entire complaint evaporates.

      • Ray in VT

        Just making it more expensive by trying not to cover it. I bet that Hobby Lobby’s well paid work force can easily afford to shell out some extra dough for it, though.

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      Jesus H. Christ, go to Michael’s.

      • TFRX

        Is Michael’s a church?

        • Steve__T

          No, HL’s competitors.

          • TFRX

            Steve–apologies; I’m deadpanning there–the internet scrubbed off my vocal inflection.

            I know who Michael’s is. They’re the craft chain who are a limited liability corporation, or publicly held, but don’t want to pretend they can force their religion on employees.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            Can they force you to work there? Can they prevent you from buying insurance or medical products on your own dime?

            There are many, many outs for the tragedy being complained about here.

            When the Government starts to make birth control illegal, I’ll join you up in arms.

            The disturbing irony is that with all the denigration of the Constitution, and the embracing of Executive power, it is becoming MORE likely that will happen when some Social Con gets into power.

            Are you a tool of the So Cons?

          • TFRX

            Screw off. I should not have to eradicate freedom from religion to take a job for a corporation.

            They’re not a goddamn church.

          • jared

            Michaels is also a privately held corporation.

            “With 1,259 stores (consisting of 1,137 Michaels stores and 122 Aaron Brothers stores) as of November 2, 2013 and $4.4 billion in sales in fiscal 2012, Michaels is the largest arts and crafts specialty retailer in North America.”

            http://demandware.edgesuite.net/aaeo_prd/on/demandware.static/Sites-Michaels-Site/Sites-Michaels-Library/default/v1395977276399/documents/SEC-Filings/S-1%20as%20Filed%2012-20-13.pdf

    • TFRX

      I wouldn’t say “only Catholics”.

      But making people behave like Catholics is part of their aim, it seems. Maybe their god gives them brownie points for forced semi-conversions.

      The next question I’d have is “Does HL have a list of only Christianist ‘pharmacists’ in their plans?”

      (PS Our hypotheticals do ignore the vast majority of American Catholics who do use all forms of birth control.)

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      They have 13K employees — all hired before Obamacare.

      Try again.

      • BHA_in_Vermont

        It would be interesting to see what was covered by HL’s health insurance plan (if they provided one) prior to the passage of the ACA.

        • Ray in VT

          Did you see that Hobby Lobby is opening a store in Rutland?

          • BHA_in_Vermont

            Nope, and I rarely go that far south. But given this case, I would not be shopping there even if I lived in Rutland.

            I have a non-religious objection to people pushing their religious beliefs on others. In this case, the employees of HL.

          • Ray in VT

            I don’t get down there either. My wife likes Michael’s and A.C. Moore or Joanne Fabrics for crafting supplies for the kids or yarn. I prefer not spending money on that sort of thing at all (mostly).

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            I share that aversion. But diversity and tolerance should trump government coercion whenever possible IMO.

          • J__o__h__n

            You can’t understand this issue in terms of a worker’s right to gave governmental protection from the religious whims of her employer? All these libertarian fantasies tend to find rights for corporations (a government creation) and little for most individuals.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            The rights to access of things are NOT being taken away from anyone. Their right to get if from people who don’t morally feel comfortable giving it is.

            This uses coercion of some to satisfy the demands of others, when there are other avenues for those demands to be satisfied without the coercion.

            Inconvenient? Annoying? Perhaps.

            Be glad HL is one company in a competitive landscape and not a one size US Dept of Hobbies, with nowhere else to turn.

          • TFRX

            I don’t know if they’re actual fantasies any more. There’s some incredible blinders on every single Libertarian I’ve heard or read who thinks it’s still 1870 and every individual with a beef about liberty today has all the weapons and all the power they need akin to a middle-class straight white Protestant male 140 years ago.

            Now it’s just willful blindness.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            Good to know you are omniscient and not susceptible to blinders!

            I felt that way too 10-15 years ago.

            You’d make a great better, smarter leader!

            If only the majority of Americans would give up their silly notions of independence and allow us formalize our elite rule, you’d be first in line!

          • TFRX

            You’ve got a screwed up idea of diversity and tolerance.

            Hope you never have to go to legal war with the Right’s lawyers, chump.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            Too much diversity? Too much tolerance?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Across from the Chick-Fil-A?

          • Ray in VT

            Not as far as I know. None of them in VT as far as I know. My boss suggested that the Hobby Lobby parking lot would be a good place for the Springfield gangs who traffic in Rutland to do their deals.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Gee, that isn’t a very nice thought.

          • Ray in VT

            My boss can be quite hard on people. He’s much less kind, at times, than I care to be.

          • jared

            Chik-fil-A
            1 Pheasant Lane Mall
            310 Daniel Webster Hwy Ste 144 Nashua, NH 03060
            (603) 891-1000

          • Ray in VT

            Thanks for the info. Now I know where to go to get some anti-gay marriage chicken. Yes, even the chickens used at Chik-fil-A opposed gay marriage when alive.

        • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

          Several of the organizations that squawked after the ACA was passed – were *already* covering stuff that they now objected to so strenuously.

          • HonestDebate1

            They were offering coverage to those who wanted it, not imposing it and it’s costs against the will of their customers. That’s a huge difference.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard
    • hennorama

      Joe Mahma — for the record, the owners of both Hobby Lobby and Conestoga are Protestants, not Catholics.

      • Joe Mahma

        Christians, then.

  • twenty_niner

    Some basic econ: pay is an incentive. College athletes are already fully motivated to play and compete under the current incentive structure, which includes a scholarship, a legitimate shot at the pros, and easy access to coeds. Further, high school athletes compete furiously to just get a look by Division 1 recruiters – there’s no shortage of supply, so why do we need a further incentive?

    • jared

      You say they have “a legitimate shot at the pros.”

      I think this is where many people disagree that this is a fair operation, since so few athletes become pros and even fewer can make a career out of it.

      A union bargaining for reasonable wages acts as a counterweight to the unrealistic dreams of young athletes and limits their exploitation.

  • OnPointComments

    Hobby Lobby isn’t forcing anyone to do anything. It is simply saying that it shouldn’t have to pay for four forms of contraception.

  • OnPointComments

    Let’s put the Hobby Lobby case into a financial perspective. If an employee of Hobby Lobby wants to use Plan B multiple times a year, it would cost the employee less than they spend on toothpaste in a year.

  • DeJay79

    I love that you do these every week. and from both sides of the aisle.

    • nj_v2

      Thanks. Not necessarily every week, but as my unpredictable work schedule allows. I’m sure there’s more out there, but a guy can only do so much. Addenda are always welcome.

      I think “the aisle” is, increasingly a fuzzy, or perhaps now a totally useless concept. The Democracans/Republocrats are, increasingly (as Ralph Nader has noted), two different heads of the same, corporate-controlled beast. Neither party, on the whole, works for the best interests of the majority of the electorate.

      The demonstrated fealty—as can be seen daily in this forum and in the population in general—to one flavor or another not only makes no sense, but is intellectually vacuous, dangerous to democracy, and prevents real political change in the country.

    • nj_v2

      Sorry, not sure what’s going on with the links. Initially, i got a “Hold on, your comment is awaiting moderation by On Point” or something to that effect.

      Thought that might have been a glitch, so i reposted, but got the same message.

      A bit later, both posts appeared in the forum, so i deleted one of them.

      Now, trying to edit the remaining post, i see the “awaiting moderation” note again. (??)

      Maybe something got mucked up somehow.

      What are OnPoint’s criteria by which a comment is judged to need “moderation”?

  • Ray in VT
    • WorriedfortheCountry

      That’s just Nutticelli being Nutticelli. We’d expect no less from him.

      • Ray in VT

        Yup, just personal attacks. Not criticizing his work, just like this hit piece:

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-p-abraham-phd/roger-pielke-climate-science_b_5038272.html

        When will the personal attacks end?

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          U of St. Thomas. Imagine the poor schlub who thinks he will be wintering in the Caribbean but ends up in the Minnesotan tundra at -20F.

          • Ray in VT

            And the relevancy of that is?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            I had never heard of U of St. Thomas so I looked it up and I thought their location was humorous.

            Abraham and Nutticelli are alarmists who blog at the guardian called:
            “Climate Consensus- The 97%”
            The title they go under is debunked propaganda. There choice for the name of their blog speaks volumes.

          • Ray in VT

            What was that about ad hominem attacks? Please stick to criticisms, specifically, of their work. Where does Anthony Watts teach and where are his degrees from again?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            What does Watts have to do with any of this?

            btw – if Nutt*** wants to critique Pielcke’s, go for it. Yet, he starts out by quoting the famous “climate expert’ Paul Krugman to impugn RP II’s character. Sorry, but that is where I tune out.

          • Ray in VT

            I would be willing to bet that he had something to say about the issue, and given his status as some sort of “expert” in the “skeptic” community, I thought that I would give you the chance to defend and promote his credentials.

            Got it. Name calling and ad hominem attacks. Way to go after their research. Just gotta back the denialist propaganda, right?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Huh? What is the ‘denialist propaganda’?

            RP II’s work? He was using IPCC data AND insurance industry data. And RP II is not a denialist. He believes in the AGW theory. I’m surprised the alarmist propagandists spend so much time with him.

          • Ray in VT

            Watts and many of those who post there.

            Have you read the criticism of his work? Your position last week was that you had not are were not interested in what they had to say. Critics have taken issue with his having cherry picked information that affected the outcomes. Issue is being taken with his work.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Again, I have no issue with critical analysis of the work. But I have a problem when you have to go through 2/3′s of the article to get to the specific criticism.

            Regarding the specific criticism, it is hard to evaluate the validity of the criticism. Apparently, this is RP II’s area of research, not Nutticelli’s or Abramham’s and since they didn’t lead with the specific criticism ….

          • Ray in VT

            So it is there, and you’re just saying that you can’t evaluate it, but you are rejecting the criticism, as well as other criticism by scientists of similarly sloppy or inaccurate work?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            No, I didn’t reject it. Let me just say I find their claims dubious given their history and the way they presented their argument.

            Note, they cite Judith Curry to impeach RP II yet they fail to note that Judith Curry endorsed RP II’s 538 work. I suspect the criticism of RP II is nitpicking and over the top.

          • Ray in VT

            So, you’re not rejecting the criticisms of Pielke’s work but how they presented it and who presented it. Did you not reject that very argument when others criticized Pielke’s work last week. Also, given the criticism of the accuracy of some recent comments of Dr. Curry, as well as my questions about her qualifications to comment upon the economic impacts of climate change, then why should I take her endorsement as meaningful?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            You don’t have to take her endorsement as meaningful just like you don’t have to take her criticisms of RP II in 2007 as meaningful either.

            If they had some sort of smoking gun against RP II’s work don’t you think they would have led with it and skipped all the irrelevant nonsense? That was my point. It is hard for a non-expert in the field to judge how much weight to put on their critique. (and they are not experts either).

          • Ray in VT

            It seems to me that they put forth plenty of criticisms, but if you want to take issue with other content in there as a way to distract from those criticisms, then fine.

            They are certainly more established scientists in the field of climate science, where they have taken issue with his usage of the data, than is he. What aspect of climate science is his masters or Ph.D. in again?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Another thought — it appears that RP II is getting undo attention from leftist groups not so much for his work but that he is associated with Nate Silver — the darling of the left. Since ole Nate recently called the Senate for the GOP he may have to check his flank from more than the science blog side.

            I suspect that this isn’t about science but more about fearing loss of control of the messaging — thus the intensity of the over-reaction.

          • Ray in VT

            Sure. It’s just a part of a partisan conspiracy. It doesn’t have anything to do with criticisms of the author’s work. I don’t think that a great deal of what comes out of the “skeptical” community has much to do with science. If it did, then perhaps they could convince more of the scientists who study this sort of thing. It’s far easier to take to the blogosphere in order to convert those who aren’t researchers and educated in the field.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            I’m not sure what you mean by the “skeptical community” but all of science should be skeptical — especially when the science is based on models that have been proven inaccurate time and time again. Oops, I wasn’t allowed to say that since the 97% consensus said the science is settled.

          • Ray in VT

            You seem to imply that the scientists who have concluded that the research indicates that humans are driving climate change haven’t been skeptical. I think that you are in error. I find your silly last line, which seems to imply that every aspect of climate change research is stood behind as “settled”. I think that “settled” refers to human activity driving the change, while many details underneath that umbrella are prone to change. How are those predictions of cooling from people like Patrick Michaels working out? If you want to side with ideological think tanks, and the people who associate with them, over bodies like NASA and the like, then have at it.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            ” I think that “settled” refers to human activity driving the change”

            Which change was that? The .45C warming since 1950 or the .45C warming in the last century that occurred before 1950?

            What does the settled science say about the percentage of that .45C warming since 1950 caused by man made CO2 emissions? 100%? 90%? 50%? 20%?

            I’m not familiar with Dr. Michael’s projections but I do know about the failings of the projections published by the IPCC in 2007.

          • Ray in VT

            Other theories about what is causing current warming, like the sun, haven’t held up, and the science behind the Greenhouse Effect is pretty strong. It appears that Alexander Graham Bell was talking about emissions driving temperatures in 1917 or so. Some of that pre-1950 warming was likely due to emissions. You would have to read research. Surely you have done that and not just taken what the “skeptics” have to say about it.
            The IPCC has been far more accurate than Michaels’ global cooling comments from the 1990s. It is pretty interesting to me how some of these people keep a type of respectability in some circles despite being consistently wrong, and I’m not talking about models falling somewhat out of a particular confidence interval, but just flat out not even in the same ball park.

  • OnPointComments

    Harry Reid told us this week that the reason Obamacare enrollments have been slow is because Americans aren’t “educated on how to use the Internet.” Uh huh. They probably haven’t even run the Internet tubes to all parts of the country either. Senator Reid also told us that it “is simply untrue” that he ever called any of the stories about Obamacare problems “lies.”

    2/26/2014: “There’s plenty of horror stories being told, all of them are untrue. But they’re being told all over America…We heard about the evils of Obamacare, about the lives it’s ruining in Republicans’ stump speeches and in ads paid for by oil magnates, the Koch brothers. But in those tales, turned out to be just that: tales, stories made up from whole cloth, lies distorted by the Republicans to grab headlines or make political advertisements.” –Senator Harry Reid from the floor of the Senate

  • brettearle

    There re no reports, that I have heard, that the Pelletiers practice any sort of Faith Healing.

    They apparently have, in their family, a genetic disease that can strike more than one child.

    I don’t know where you are getting your information about this case.

    Otherwise, you are generalizing in a way that may be irrelevant, for this situation.

    And you may e jumping to false conclusions.

    Some medical centers make mistakes. Maybe in this case, it has happened again.

    But, then again, maybe not.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Lets be honest, its time to outlaw beliefs. Too messy. Too offensive. Too inefficient.

    We love elite rule, so lets just dump this Constitutional mumbo-jumbo and 3 branches nonsense, and finally elect a well-meaning, well-educated, technocratic Committee, and let them figure out how we need to live.

    Think of the efficiencies! Think of the tranquility! No more nutty neighbors waking you on Sunday morning, no more Tea-Baggers, no more sorting through the wonderful candidates, no more voting!

    There are smarter, better people out there- lets agree to get them in control!

    We can do it, Yes..

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Just make sure they have a pen and a phone.

    • OnPointComments

      Everything that is not prohibited is mandatory.

    • J__o__h__n

      Yes, that is what everyone who disagrees with your warped fetishized view of the Constitution is advocating. Bring on the Liberty catch phrases!

      • HonestDebate1

        Are you referring to Rush Revere’s horse?

        • Ray in VT

          I thought that he needed two stout equines simultaneously for the task.

          • HonestDebate1

            Are you proud of that?

          • Ray in VT

            Sorry. Three. The last one was needed to carry all of his pills.

    • Ray in VT

      Who is proposing that, besides yourself of course?

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        Who is proposing it? Its just the natural trajectory of where I see peoples thinking these days. Hopefully I just spend too much time on this site.

        The Constitutional/libertarianish stuff I go on about all the time is simply a political-economic view based on empirical observations of economics and world history, that want to prevent exactly those kinds of things from happening.

        There is so much knee-jerk, baby-bathwater, oversimplified America-Liberty-Constition-Tea Party bashing and DNC butt licking around these days that it really seems possible.

        Charlatans, colluders, power mongers, sociopaths and liars and cheaters will always be waiting in the wings waiting to pounce when an apathetic public that is supposed to be self-governing and protecting our liberties and our free society, warts and all, isn’t paying attention.

        The utopian view that we don’t need that old Constitution and SelfGoverning and Liberty stuff anymore, and that for some reason today, we can trust a power elite, is I think dangerous.

        And to me, since I don’t see socialism or communism as a workable alternative to the power elite, I find the more libertarian approaches to checking it, more satisfying and realistic.

        • Ray in VT

          Yup, it’s just the (il)logical at which you have arrived.

    • nj_v2

      Name-calling is out-of-bounds for LeatherDaveSerf (Aren’t we due for a new handle?), but endless, glib, accusatory sarcasm; well, no problem.

      Throw in some rote jargon implying magical, clean, absolute solutions (Rule of law, “free” markets, etc.), and, presto! It’s Libertarian Fantasy World!

      Tiresome a long time ago.

      • J__o__h__n

        You freedom hating elitist benevolent dictator enabling sheep!

        • Government_Banking_Serf

          Not bad……

          I agree with a lot of the problems nj sees, not so much on solutions (not clear what they are).

        • nj_v2

          Damn, i’ve been outed!

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        Please, its been a while since we heard your solutions.

        Calling out bad actors is easy.

        Figuring out a way to manage them while maintaining our liberties and opportunities is not.

        I trust the people more than elites.

        • J__o__h__n

          “I trust the people more than elites.” – You don’t side with the “people” when they are workers or citizens and the “elites” are bosses and owners rather than just government officials.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            Why do you say that? Example?

            Again, I can’t make you understand Rule of Law.. I believe in basic laws that protect our individual rights, and make cheating lying killing stealing illegal and punished.

            Maybe instead of blaming “libertarians” we should try that against Washington/Wall St for once and see if things improve, before accepting a massive state capitalism entitlement/technocratic delivery system of goods and services as the only solution.

            I don’t believe the China Model should be our future.

          • J__o__h__n

            Your response is that they can shop or work elsewhere if they don’t like that a business doesn’t provide health care or wants to discriminate. And your condescension of no one else understanding the Rule of Law is annoying. I have degrees in political science, history, and law. What are your credentials on the subject?

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        Not out of bounds just beneath the level of discourses most here wish to have.

    • HonestDebate1

      We already have hate crime legislation. Certain thoughts are already illegal.

      • J__o__h__n

        You are free to hate whomever you want. You just aren’t allowed to physically harm them as a result.

        • HonestDebate1

          True but it doesn’t stop there. Punishment is more severe if you physically harm someone while thinking certain illegal thoughts.

          • J__o__h__n

            So the law discriminates against criminals with telekinesis compared to criminals who need to use their fists?

          • HonestDebate1

            Exactly. Silly huh?

          • Ray in VT

            So, just how many telekenetic criminals get charged every year?

          • HonestDebate1

            Just the white ones.

          • Ray in VT

            And how many are there of those?

            Why only the white ones? Let me guess. The Obama administration is turning a blind eye towards non-whites who commit crimes?

          • HonestDebate1

            I don’t know how many and citing FBI stats is not with the hassle. It just give you something to distort and distract.

          • Ray in VT

            I merely choose to play along with your idiocy when it suits me. Still waiting for that FBI report about black on white crime. Just admit that you like to get those numbers from reports put out by racist dirtbags. You know it in your heart to be true.

          • HonestDebate1

            Believe it or not, I haven’t a racist bone in my body and the book “White Girl Bleed A Lot” was based on FBI stats. I posted them already. It’s sad you have to carry on in such a manner when you know in your heart you are not being honest. Cheap shallow shots must be very important to you.

          • Steve__T

            Since you brought it up, are you going to watch the movie comedy “Dear White People”, If you would like to know more about the movie, writer, director, and facts.

            http://www.democracynow.org/2014/3/24/dear_white_people_film_tackles_racial

          • HonestDebate1

            Not interested.

          • Steve__T

            Of course not. Racial equality and the problems we face as a nation would never be a reason for Honest Debate 1 to have an honest debate.

          • HonestDebate1

            I don’t care about race, I’m past it.

          • Steve__T

            Sure you are. That’s why you posted this above just three hrs ago.

            Just the white ones.

          • HonestDebate1

            I’m not above snark. Sue me.

          • jefe68

            Except that you’re not. As this statement clearly shows.

          • jefe68

            I hope you’re aware that how you view yourself might not be how others do.
            You post plenty of comments that are full of racial subtexts (which are about looking at people as other) and you’re not even aware of it.

          • HonestDebate1

            I am completely aware of my views and the inability of others to refrain from looking at the world through the lens of race. I certainly don’t care how I appear to those who do.

          • Ray in VT

            “The book seems to be a collection of literally every single crime Flaherty could find, over the last few years, involving black perpetrators and white victims” was one assessment. It’s funny how statistics don’t show any sort of spike in inter-racial crime. Must be a big conspiracy to keep the facts hidden.

            Allegedly based upon facts. I’m not exactly going to take the word of some guy who peddles his nonsense on racist radio shows and World Nut Daily, especially when it doesn’t line up with the work of legitimate researchers. But such people can manage to sucker the rubes who either don’t know any better or who just want to believe the worst possible things about minorities.

          • hennorama

            Ray in VT – actually, it was a misquote of pseudo-statistics from a white separatist publication, and the misquote made the pseudo-statistical claim unequivocal:

            On June 22, 2013, the person to whom you replied wrote:

            If you want to talk about race then be honest and confront the fact that black on white racism is a far worse problem today that the inverse. Blacks are 39 times more likely to commit a violent crime against whites than vice versa,

            See:
            http://onpoint.wbur.org/2013/06/21/week-taliban-nsa-immigration#comment-938759429

            Now, here’s the pseudo-statistical claim from the white separatist publication (Jared Taylor’s New Century Foundation 2005 publication ‘The Color Of Crime’, page 2), with emphasis added to show the similarity:

            “• Blacks are an estimated 39 times more likely to commit a violent crime against a white than vice versa, and 136 times more likely to commit robbery.”

            Notice the deletion of “an estimated,” making the claim unequivocal.

            The person to whom you responded claimed the following about his sources:

            June 23, 2013:

            Some don’t believe my claims. That’s not unusual. What is unusual is the lack of curiosity.

            http://www.examiner.com/article/federal-statistics-of-black-on-white-violence-with-links-and-mathematical-extrapolation-formulas

            The link in the quote above references the white separatist organization, the New Century Foundation, and includes a link to their website, where one can obtain their 2005 publication ‘The Color Of Crime.’

            Source for the quote above:

            http://onpoint.wbur.org/2013/06/21/week-taliban-nsa-immigration#comment-939804758

            ==========

            Aug. 5, 2013:

            I first heard them years ago from Mr. Sowell who subsequently embraced the book “White Girl Bleed A Lot”. He is often a guest of Walter Williams when Mr. Williams subs for Rush.

            Source for the quote above:

            http://onpoint.wbur.org/2013/08/05/obamacare#comment-989724259

            ==========
            There are other comments of course, but as you can see, the tune changes periodically.

          • Ray in VT

            Ah, nothing like some golden oldies. But I keep getting told that they come from the FBI. I am sure that racists are likely to honestly present numbers about race and crime. Perhaps we should also see what the Klan has to say on the matter. That would be honest debate.

          • hennorama

            Ray in VT — TYFYR.

            No doubt the person telling you that actually believes what they said, so that absolves them from accusations of lying, and perhaps also gives them a religious right to exercise their beliefs regardless of the law, as the Hobby Lobby folks seem to be claiming.

            After all, the examiner.com piece is titled “Federal Statistics of black on white violence, with links and mathematical extrapolation formulas,” and the writer says (inaccurately) that,

            The “New Century Foundation” studies Federal crime reports, and found significant differences in crime ratio between races, verified by the FBI’s NCVS, National Crime Victimization Survey, and The Department of Justice’s UCR, Uniform Crime Reports, FBI Communication’s Division, 304-625-4995.

            Of course, I’m on record about not believing everything one reads, and this demonstrates the very good reason for this habit.

            Thanks again, and enjoy your merry discourse. It is very entertaining.

          • Ray in VT

            Of course. I one believes the lie that one tells, then by any dictionary definition one isn’t lying, right?
            Plus white guys never rape black ladies.

          • Steve__T

            You can’t read my mind so, “Don’t tell me what I think”

          • HonestDebate1

            I don’t.

          • Steve__T

            Woosh that’s the sound of the joke going over your head.

          • HonestDebate1

            I don’t get it.

          • Steve__T

            That’s obvious.

          • HonestDebate1

            Huh?

          • HonestDebate1

            It’s already well established that I’m an idiot. But I’m too dumb to be sensitive about it.

        • nj_v2

          I have to say, the “hate-crime” concept never made full sense to me.

          If one beats someone over the head with a bludgeon, what’s the difference if it’s because of the ethnicity/race/background of the victim, to rob them, or it’s just a random event?

          It seems like the act itself should be the primary factor by which punishment is assigned.

          • J__o__h__n

            It is a motivating factor in the crime. Intent is usually considered. It is probably more useful to designate crimes that way for tracking and prevention than individual prosecutions. Many criminal laws make distinctions that don’t substantially relate to the victim’s ultimate well being. Is it more of a crime against humanity to be killed by a gas attack than napalm?

          • HonestDebate1

            The line may be fine but there is a difference between premeditation and nasty thoughts.

          • twenty_niner

            “I have to say, the “hate-crime” concept never made full sense to me.”

            There’s hope after all! Some clear thinking from the left.

            I’ll disclose the secret meeting behind “hate-crime” and gun legislation: We don’t like red necks, especially Southern red necks who hate certain types of people but love guns and trucks. Anything to throw a monkey-wrench into the red-neck lifestyle will be taken up and advanced. Next in line: all cars must be on four wheels. No wheel(s) may substituted by cinder block.

          • hennorama

            nj_v2 — hate crime legislation on the state level is primarily for sentencing enhancement, meaning greater penalties for what legislators have deemed to be a more serious type of crime.

            For example, if an offender selects a victim based on their race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, or other specified class, not only the specific victim is impacted by the offender, the larger group is also affected, making the crime a more serious one.

            If this can be proven, then the penalty is larger.

            On the Federal level, it can be a separate crime.

            For a better and more complete explanation by a law professor and former Federal prosecutor, see:

            http://www.npr.org/2012/04/10/150351860/are-hate-crime-laws-necessary

      • Ray in VT

        Do tell. What things are illegal for me to think?

        • HonestDebate1

          I can’t write it, I might get arrested.

          • Ray in VT

            Yes, it’s a big gub’ment measure to destroy your freedom.

          • HonestDebate1

            Fair enough.

          • Ray in VT

            That’s sick.

          • HonestDebate1

            I know, right?

          • Ray in VT

            Lame.

  • HonestDebate1

    Don’t worry, single payer was alway the end game. Obamacare was designed to fail. Just as soon as Obama puts the insurance companies out of business we’ll have it.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    I am all for you guys laying out your logical world views that take into account humans desire to be as free and self-directed as possible as well as the historical realities, and events leading up to, monarchs, despots and tyrants.

    Do you want a Walden Two world?

    Animal Farm?

    What then?

    When most can’t admit how the elite with their favorite party letter contributed to Iraq, Financial Bubble/Crash, and NSA, and that they are not proposing anything different, what are we to think?

    Keep in mind that it is the abuse of power given to elites to control other things we think are bad, that is the big conundrum!

    Why is our system of Constitutional Rights, Checks and balances and Rule of Law (sorry, but if you don’t know what I mean my that, and how it is so NOT at play these days, look it up) IF IMPLEMENTED not the best system we know of?

    • nj_v2

      Will try to offer a serious response later. Have to go do stuff now.

  • hennorama

    Another week, another strange campaign ad.

    Thanks for not taking Gov. Jindal’s advice, Joni Ernst.

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Dh9TGDRBVk4

    • Ray in VT

      I’ve seen that a few places. The real question is whether she is or is not a witch.

      • brettearle

        Unprecedented:

        The word `castration’ being used in a Political Ad.

        She makes Bachmann seems like The Fairy God Mother

        I do not think that I would like to meet up with her in a dark alley….anytime soon.

        She makes the Sharks or the Jets seem like toy Soldiers.

        …….bubble, bubble…toil and trouble…..

        • Ray in VT

          At least she blinks. I’ve castrated hogs (unfortunately), so I wouldn’t be too worried about a dark alley scenario.

          • hennorama

            Ray in VT — technically, as the animal matures, the terminology goes piglet –> shoat –> hog.

            The industry generally delineates “hogs” as those animals weighing 120 lbs. and up.

            If you think castrating piglets is unfortunate, castrating a hog would be far more so.

            But of course, i know what you meant.

          • Ray in VT

            Thank you. Indeed, they were piglets. I can’t imagine trying to wrangle an actual hog in the manner in which we did.

          • hennorama

            Ray in VT — by that time they would be boars, and not terribly amenable to the procedure.

            [and having fair-sized tusks as well.]

          • Ray in VT

            I can’t think of a male that would be.

          • Steve__T

            Yeah trying to catch em can be very dangerous.
            We had a sow “Jessie” 4.6 ft at the shoulder she weighed out at 755 lbs. MEANEST critter I have ever seen. She took out one of the barn doors 26×20 ft then about three fences two dogs and a ranch hand. Naturally we had to take her down. Boy what a BBQ that was.

          • hennorama

            Steve_T — yikes! That’s a tough story.

            We hand-raised both boars and sows, and culled the ornery ones. By “hand-raised,” I mean paid special attention to them, gave them treats (pigweed and eggshells were notable faves), and physically interacted with them as much as possible, with an eye to them having a long, peaceful and productive life.

            Roscoe, the best Hampshire boar we ever had, was as big as your Jessie, but he’d not only let us ride him, he would respond to voice commands. He dominated his own species, however, and it rarely took more than a single bark, combined with a bared tusk, to discourage potential rivals to his throne.

            Jessie and Roscoe amply demonstrate the diverse personalities these very intelligent animals have.

          • brettearle

            Did you think her spouse brings home the Bacon?

            Maybe he’s put a restraining order out on her–just to be on the `safe’ side.

            Pun intended.

        • Steve__T

          I like the, “let’s make em squeal” part. She wants to castrate congress, lol it’s to late.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            “too late”
            More like not possible.

            Can’t castrate ‘em if they got no balls.

          • brettearle

            The comparison–of Pigs to Pols–by her, is unvarnished.

            I say, she’s a Boor. As in BIG time.

            Make sure you’re zipped up, if you get close to her borders: I see the carving knife, twinkling behind the troughs.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Then you probably won’t like this guy who takes his 2nd amendment rights to Obamacare

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0I2z9cCC9zs

          • brettearle

            He’s a `paper’ tiger compared to her.

            But thank you for the presentation. It was actually somewhat well done

          • hennorama

            brettearle — Boor, Bore or anti-Boar, Ernst seems Earnest.

          • brettearle

            The Importance of….

          • hennorama

            … Boring Ernst?

          • brettearle

            Bist du ernst?

          • hennorama

            RU 486?

          • brettearle

            Ich muss gehen…fur ein bischen zeit…

            Klasse, lesen sie aufgabe, fur heute:

            Ich Castrasche
            du Castraschest

            he/she/it Castrashet

            Wir Castrachen
            Ihr Castracht
            Sie Castration?

            Klass Briss-missed! [get it?]

          • hennorama

            brettearle — I bow in your general direction. Very well done.

          • brettearle

            Is that a sling-blade in your pocket, or are ya glad to see me?

          • HonestDebate1

            She doesn’t have a sling blade.

          • Steve__T

            How would you know.

          • HonestDebate1

            She gets testy when you call her dude.

          • Steve__T

            Yeah I know of a few women who would do to you, what we were talking about doing to hogs, with their sling blades, especially if you call them anything but purtty. As in Dang girl you show is purtty. And keep your hands to your self.

          • HonestDebate1

            I am a perfect gentleman.

          • Steve__T

            HaHaHA yeah right

            ” I wasn’t talking to you. No one cares, get over yourself.”

          • hennorama

            Steve__T — I enjoyed that particular irony as well.

          • hennorama

            Steve_T — I’ve actually used a variety of cutting implements, including a ditch hook/Kaiser blade, which I found inferior to the far more wieldy and versatile machete.

            But what’s actually at work here is a fisherman disappointed that his hoped-for target isn’t rising to his bait.

          • HonestDebate1

            I wasn’t talking to you. No one cares, get over yourself.

          • brettearle

            That comment was unnecessary–and you know it.

          • HonestDebate1

            Brettearle, you know I have a soft spot for you but sometimes I have no idea where you are coming from. Look at this entire lengthy thread, in particular your’s and Hen’s comments, and show me a necessary word.

            My reply was completely innocent, I have no idea what your beef is. You made a crude joke about an erection to a girl and you scold me?! I don’t get it.

          • brettearle

            I do not know Hennorama’s gender.

            That’s number 1.

            Number 2, you needed to manipulate what I said, to make what I said, to literally mean what you needed me to mean–rather than what I actually meant.

            I meant NOTHING of the sort.

            It was an off-handed joke that was directed at NOBODY.

            And that’s a fact, Jack.

            It was YOU who personalized it. It was YOU who tried to say that it was a blunt and suggestive remark.

            By saying, “she doesn’t have a sling blade” rerouted and manipulated the comments to be personal, rather than generic.

            That’s why I claimed–and still virulently claim–that what you said was unnecessary.

            What’s more, I couldn’t care less whether you find my dialogue with Hennorama irrelevant.

            If you don’t like what we say, don’t READ what I say.

            Additionally your comments also show up your hypocrisy, regarding political correctness–because your FALSE ACCUSATION, of my intentions, was based on a petty premise of political correctness…a premise that you tried to blow up as salacious.

            Take it back and issue me an apology.

            Otherwise, I intend to take this up with the program director, Sam Fleming.

            I expect an apology immediately….

          • HonestDebate1

            Okay Brettearle you know in your heart that is total BS, don’t insult my intelligence. When you reply to someone saying “your” and “ya” you are personalizing it. Saying you were not directing your comment a Henn is stupid, Stop it. And don’t tell me what “happy to see me” means. I know full well. Don’t treat me like an idiot. Own you words, don’t be a coward.

            I did not criticize you, I defended myself from your ridiculous comment. If you are so thin skinned that you go all to pieces then I can’t help that.

            I have no problem with your incoherent, off-topic, ridiculous diatribes with Hennorama. You made that up out of whole cloth. You won’t find me complaining and scolding people to stay on topic. That’s Henny’s game. That’s your game. You two are the worst offenders but I don’t care. You gotta be you. I will not be lectured by the likes of you or Henn but I will point out y’alls utter hypocrisy when you whine about others.

            I apologize for nothing. I made no false accusations. If you can’t stand the heat get the hell out of the kitchen or shut up. You have no beef with me, look in the mirror.

            I fully expect Hennorama to chime with a cowardly, self congratulatory and indirect response to me. She has nothing. She is the most disingenuous person on the blog. You are the opposite which I find charming but your ideology blinds you as you convince yourself you are not ideological.

          • hennorama

            brettearle — your passion is appreciated.

            My position as to any remarks from the-poster-whose-moniker-is-so-inapt-it-shall-never-be-typed is well-known, and little if any time and energy shall be expended concerning said remarks.

            You might eventually see the utility of this habit.

            That said, please allow an attempt as some comic relief:

            “Now boys, don’t fight over l’il ol’ me.”

          • brettearle

            I am humbled…

          • brettearle

            No, UR…

          • hennorama

            U2, Brette?

            Très Bono, monsieur.

          • brettearle

            As Lee Marvin said to the SS Officer at the soiree,

            “Vielen Dank.”

          • hennorama

            Are you Tim Rickard?

          • hennorama

            … Beaming Ernst?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Come on the, the pork in DC analogy was great.

            And she has the vote of all the women that secretly supported Elaina Bobbit sewn up (pun intended).

          • brettearle

            Yeah, but the Irony drips too much Bacon Fat.

          • Steve__T

            You didn’t mean Boar, and tusks as knives and beady eyes instead of troughs?

        • northeaster17

          Palin and Bachman may not have been abberations. But truely pioneers for the new breed of politician. Yikes

          • Ray in VT

            Proving that de-evolution is a thing.

          • hennorama

            northeaster17 — “breed of” or “mutant species of”?

            And, regarding Ms. Ernst’s commercial, the piglets shown all appear to be hybrids of the Hampshire, Yorkshire, and Duroc swine breeds.

          • brettearle

            I had to have gotten the Flu, somewhere…

      • HonestDebate1

        I must admit Chris Coons is right on Ukraine.

        “I frankly think this is partly a result of our perceived weakness, because of our actions in Syria.”

        • Ray in VT

          I disagree, as, it seems, to most non-crazy commentators.
          Regarding Syria, if only the GOP could have found the spine to act when there were some actual WMDs to be found.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      It was awesome. It’ll go over big in the only place that matters — Iowa.

      • hennorama

        WftC — TYFYR.

        You might be right. Ms. Ernst’s message of “I’m a rootin’ tootin’ budget cuttin’, piglet nuttin’, conservativesoldiermom, so vote for me!” might work among IA voters.

        If the whole Senate thing doesn’t work out, maybe she’ll take her show on the road to Montana next July/August:

        http://testyfesty.com/

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          LOL!! Montana festival?
          “You’ll have a ball. If you miss it you’re nuts”

          Yup, I think the conservativesoldiermom deal just might work. The Sarah Palin endorsement doesn’t hurt either.

          • hennorama

            WftC — the Testy Festy is not to be missed if you’re ever in the area at the right time. I happened upon it on a long and lanquid cross-country trip some time back, and had a … well, you know.

      • jefe68

        Gee, will she be cutting this pork?

        Iowa farmers received $1.3 billion in subsidies last year from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, according to data released Thursday by the non-profit Environmental Working Group.

        Iowa ranks second in the nation in terms of farm subsidies, with 8.7 percent of the total in 2011.

        Texas leads all states at $1.4 billion in subsidies, or 9.5 percent of the overall amount.

        Iowa farmers received $23.6 billion in farm subsidies between 1995 and 2011, according to the data, which is drawn from USDA records.

        Read more: http://thegazette.com/2012/06/28/iowa-farmers-1-3-billion-in-subsidies/#ixzz2xM9lhMBc

  • spokalou

    Re: Hobby Lobby. Questions of religious freedom aside, these companies are basing their arguments on bad science. IUDs (both progesterone and copper) and emergency contraception pills (both Plan B and Ella) PREVENT FERTILIZATION as their primary mechanism of action. In addition, many fertilized eggs naturally fail to implant.

    • jared

      The Government cleverly stipulated that IUD’s cause the fertilized egg to not implant.

      Your tax dollars at work!

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    I expect everyone’s poly sci magnum opus by Monday.

    • hennorama

      G_B_S — one hopes you’re not highly invested in your expectation, as you’re far more likely to get poly-sigh and Magnum P.I.

      • HonestDebate1

        Besides, you’re the schoolmarm. GBS is infringing on your territory.

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        I prefer the sigh to the pffffft.

        • hennorama

          G_B_S — to be sure, but the raspberry goes really well with chocolate.

          Best regards.

  • J__o__h__n

    What if a business wants to deny coverage of treatment for poisonous snake bites?

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      We would soon decide that mixing health insurance with employers, as opposed to a market where such nonsense would get out-competed would be a better alternative?

      Or even yes, that businesses who want to offer “controversial” benefits, are going to have a hard time attracting the best and brightest in their fields and end up getting out competed as well.

      As long as the market is free and competitive so that these companies have to feel the consequences.

      Now, if we are talking about TBTF banks, then you have a point.

      Not to mention, I even supported a Public Option to compete in the marketplace, which I’m sure would not have any reptilian riders.

      • northeaster17

        Health care has been mixed with employers since the 1940′s. As far as I understand it was the employers who pursued this as a way to compensate and avoid taxes. The two are highly intertwined. The fact that so many employers want to shed this responsibility and at the same time work against single payer does not make sense to me.

        • Steve__T

          Not only for compensation and taxes, but to use as an incentive. Company XYZ doesn’t offer health care, but we do. who would you rather work for?

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            Then we get into the “freedom” issue of course of how some might want to offer A,B,C,D benefits while others only A,B,C, to be more competitive. Is that ok? But then is it ok to offer less?

            If the government mandates what has to be offered, the “business” isn’t really doing the offering, and it becomes silly.

            I think this is all intended, to frustrate HL types, make them choose to just drop the insurance out of principle, to decouple insurance from employers.

            Many from different sides see benefits to leaving this historical market artifact.

            Whether it goes toward Medicare for All Program or a more Free Market in Health Care/and or Insurance with Medicaid safety net remains to be seen.

            People do not seem thrilled at giving Uncle Sam MORE control of this sector right now.

            IF we could do single payer via taxes, with competitive private providers, I would be tempted to support that, if I could be convinced that the Single Payer would not just be mandating what the private providers provide. That is not competitive at all and would have all the classic symptoms of price controls and shortages and cronies etc etc.

          • jared

            If Company XYZ offered higher wages, enough to compensate for the value of the medical insurance and the tax break it involves, I would rather work for them.

            The big next step is to remove the tax break that employees get by having employer-sourced insurance.

            Some argue that everyone should be able to deduct medical insurance and still take the standard deduction. I would rather increase revenues and maybe pay down some of the debt.

        • Don_B1

          Steve_T has the major cause, businesses first offered health care benefits in the 1940s to get around price and wage controls that were put in place to avoid the inflation that might otherwise have occurred due to the war spending and lack of consumer goods because of the concentration of production on war goods.

        • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

          It started during WWII to attract employees.

        • jefe68

          It’s simple. They want a obedient workforce that’s scared to demand anything form decent wages to benefits.
          It’s that simple.

    • hennorama

      J_o_h_n — if the business only employed committed snake-handling preachers, their employees wouldn’t complain.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      What if a business wants to deny coverage to someone who juggles knives on weekends?

      • Ray in VT

        Or someone who is gay, or who got cancer 10 years ago?

        • HonestDebate1

          Many cancer patient have lost their plans and doctors because of Obamacare.

          • Ray in VT

            Like the lady in the ads out in Michigan, except that she didn’t and she’s now paying less? But don’t worry. She doesn’t believe it. Many of the horror stories have not held water.

          • HonestDebate1

            There are many. It’s awful.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            And Harry Reid said they are all liars. Now he doesn’t remember saying it. Dementia?

          • Ray in VT

            Yes, it is awful how they were just run with by the media, which failed to look into them. It’s a good thing that a lot of them have turned out to be bogus.

          • hennorama

            Ray in VT — Michael Hiltzik of the Los Angeles Times has been on the case from the beginning. Here’s a recent article, titled “Maybe there are no genuine Obamacare horror stories”:

            http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-mh-obamacare-horror-stories-20140220,0,3801120.story

          • HonestDebate1
          • Ray in VT

            That does nothing to disprove my point. I said “a lot of them”, and not all of them. Take the lady in Michigan for instance, or the case of the New York couple who went on the air and said that they had to buy extra coverage for their child, and your favorite school marm posted a link to another one.

          • jefe68

            HD is right, Rush told him so.

          • HonestDebate1

            Ooooo the Rush monster.

          • Don_B1

            [Dis]HonestDebate1 just takes his cue from his desire to denigrate anything that President Obama does, so every change in healthcare gets blamed on the PPACA and if a few people have to get better policies which cost slightly more than what they were paying while millions get healthcare insurance for the first time, well, “that’s awful.”

            He doesn’t care what he has to make up or repeat from sources that have no integrity to do it either.

          • HonestDebate1

            That makes no sense. Why would I denigrate anything just because. It’s absurd. Please don’t tell me what I think.

          • jefe68

            If you insist on posting right wing screeds and memes then be prepared to take some flak. In short, stop whining and grow a pair.

          • HonestDebate1

            You can’t be serious.

          • jefe68

            Yeah, you whine a lot. You complain when people call you out on your mendacious comments. It’s the way you lot roll.
            You right wingers seem to have a sense of entitlement, that somehow this is “your country”.

          • HonestDebate1
          • jefe68

            Because, that’s how you roll.

          • Ray in VT

            Must be true then.

          • tbphkm33

            HonestDebate – I know you did not make it far in schooling, but if you had, you would have learned to cite your sources?!?!?!

          • HonestDebate1

            I flunked kindergarten and just gave up after that.

            Where do you get your news?

          • jefe68

            You flunked more than kindergarten, you flunked joining the human race and having any sense of decency.

          • jefe68

            BS.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          I was more interested in the case where stupidity was considered a ‘pre-existing’ condition.

          • Ray in VT

            Well, someone has to cover TOP voters.

        • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

          Or not cover dental – which is just as much a part of your health as anything else.

    • HonestDebate1

      The doctor days you’re gonna die.

    • Steve__T

      What if??? What if the world blows up tomorrow.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    “Climate Forecast: Muting the Alarm
    Even while it exaggerates the amount of warming, the IPCC is becoming more cautious about its effects.”

    Wheh! Good news that we should all applaud.

    “It puts the overall cost at less than 2% of GDP for a 2.5 degrees Centigrade (or 4.5 degrees Fahrenheit) temperature increase during this century. This is vastly less than the much heralded prediction of Lord Stern, who said climate change would cost 5%-20% of world GDP in his influential 2006 report for the British government.”

    “Indeed, a small amount of warming spread over a long period will, most experts think, bring net improvements to human welfare. Studies such as by the IPCC author and economist Professor Richard Tol of Sussex University in Britain show that global warming has probably done so already. People can adapt to such change—which essentially means capture the benefits but minimize the harm. Satellites have recorded a roughly 14% increase in greenery on the planet over the past 30 years, in all types of ecosystems, partly as a result of man-made CO2 emissions, which enable plants to grow faster and use less water.”

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303725404579460973643962840?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702303725404579460973643962840.html

    • twenty_niner

      “Satellites have recorded a roughly 14% increase in greenery on the planet over the past 30 years”

      This is the feedback loop that doesn’t seem to be fully accounted for. Researchers have found that the growth of older trees has been accelerating (contrary to dogma) allowing them to sequester ever more carbon.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140115132740.htm

      http://dailycaller.com/2010/11/28/researchers-admit-inconvenient-finding-co2-is-helping-giant-redwoods-grow/

      Other good news is that tropical forests can repair themselves quickly after you get the cocaine farmers out of there.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130915134353.htm

    • HonestDebate1

      That’s a welcome relief. Who could disagree?

      • northeaster17

        Not having time to puruse these reports lately. Any word on the ocean acidification issue?

        • John Cedar

          I just sent my girlfriend to the Bahamas and when she came back her skin was reddish. I assume from swimming in the acidic ocean.

          • jared

            Who did she meet there?
            Maybe she is allergic to his body spray.

          • hennorama

            jared — that’s cold. Funny, but cold.

          • Steve__T

            Sunburn?

          • HonestDebate1

            Woosh.

          • Steve__T

            I bet the reddish is in the shape of a bikini.
            You aught to know that if you go swimming in the Bahamas the sun is gonna get ya, even if your not fair skinned.
            Didn’t you just come back form the Islands? How many burnt whit people did you see?

          • HonestDebate1

            I think Mr. Cedar knows what sunburn is.

            And no I was in a little fishing village in Mexico. I didn’t get sunburned.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Don’t worry, it is still a buffer (at a pH of 8.1).

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            What are you calling a “buffer”?

          • WorriedfortheCountry
          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Dodge.

            pH of 8.1 is 30% more acidic than 8.2. If it drops to 8.0 then plankton and shellfish etc. may well die.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            I’m not sure about that alarmism.

            Here is a recent study that says the risks are overblown:

            “”The authors write that “the atmospheric CO2 concentration is rising, and models predict that by the end of the century it will have increased to twice the amount seen at any given time during the last 15 million years,” stating that “this will cause a decrease in average surface water pH of 0.4,” while noting that planktonic protists will be among the organisms to be affected first by this change.”…”tested whether reduced pH would affect plankton communities over an incubation period of 14 days.”…researchers determined that nutrient uptake and photosynthetic parameters “were all unaffected by pH treatments 8.3-7.7,” treatments that they say “match the predicted 21st century changes in CO2 and pH.” In addition, they found that “cellular carbon and total particulate organic carbon were both completely unaffected by pH treatment within this range,” and that “the same was true for the succession of all 25 enumerated protist species.” [Lasse Tor Nielsen, Gustaaf M. Hallegraeff, Simon W. Wright, Per Juel Hansen 2012: Aquatic Microbial Ecology]”

            http://www.co2science.org/articles/V15/N34/B2.php

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            We can only hope that this is the case – but do we want to take the risk?

            It’s only the earth.

    • nj_v2

      Wall Street Journal Op Ed page?!

      Hahahahahahahaha!!

      Matt Ridely, who has been demonstrably full of **** so many times in the past, referring to “apparent” stuff “leaked” in a report not even out yet?!

      Hahahahahahahahahaha!!

      This is how desperate the denial gang has become.

      http://www.skepticalscience.com/Matt_Ridley_blog.htm

      Climate Misinformer: Matt Ridley

      http://www.desmogblog.com/matt-ridley

      “New Scientist sent a sample of Ridley’s book (pages 339-341), a section on coral reefs that suggests “Local threats are far more immediate than climate change,” to a group of senior climate researchers. These researchers responded with a number of criticisms of the science behind Ridley’s assertions. The following are some examples:…”

      …When scientists reviewed a section of Ridley’s book on the same issue, they found that it contained “misconceptions,” “cherry-picked evidence,” and “unsupported” claims. That was from an excerpt of just 3 pages of The Rational Optimist: How prosperity evolves regarding coral reefs and ocean acidification.…”

      (excerpts)

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        skepticalscience. hahahahahahahahaha

        see how that works.

        • nj_v2

          Except for the substantive refutations, you guys are pretty good at that.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Hmmm. It seems your primary gripe is this is based (in part) on a ‘leaked’ IPCC report. Well, the leaked report is no secret. Other than that you’ve offered no critique of the WSJ piece. Maybe there is something to critique but it didn’t seem that outlandish.

            But then you go on with links to the typical smear sights which had pretty weak criticism of Dr. Ridley — who isn’t even a climate change denier. They find some scientists from a rival study from the one that Ridley wrote about in 4 pages of his book to offer some criticism? Wow, that is damning, given the uncertainties in ocean acidification science. These smears are used to squelch any dissent to the alarmist orthodoxy. This is not healthy for the scientific process. Scientists should be upfront about the uncertainties.

          • pete18

            That’s a pot/ kettle situation (insert diabolical laugh here).

      • pete18

        Desmogblog. Hahahahahahahaha!

        Hey, this is fun and so easy.

      • twenty_niner

        Does anyone know of an app that can convert every WSJ link to a Mother Jones link?

  • Coastghost

    Watch out, Ray! The Obama White House is targeting dairy production!

    • Ray in VT

      Oogie boogie.

      • Steve__T

        Ray correction: Oouga Booga.

        • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

          Trained ape …

      • Coastghost

        When it rains, it pours (not necessarily milk or Morton salt): now the American College of Cardiology has come out saying that one-third of American youngsters have abnormally high levels of cholesterol.
        Your industry is under sustained attack today, but be of good cheer: I just bought a quart of 2% milk for my coffee.

        • Government_Banking_Serf
        • Ray in VT

          The Mayo Clinic, in addition to limiting cholesterol to 200-300mg/day, limiting caloric intake and exercise, and the American College of Cardiology listed obesity and a lack of exercise as contributing factors. I think that one can safely drink a glass of whole milk after, say, giving the yard a good raking.

          You might want to check into the research regarding kids who drink whole milk having fewer weight issues than kids who drink reduced fat milk.

      • Bluejay2fly

        Hey Ray, just wanted to tell you how entertaining it was reading all your comments all these many months. I am officially retiring from this board because it is becoming way too reminiscent of work. Bon Chance!

        • Steve__T

          Sorry to see you go, hope you come back to visit an sit in for a while.

          • Bluejay2fly

            Thanks, there are some really cool people here.

        • hennorama

          Bluejay2fly — ditto as to Steve_T’s comment below.

        • Ray in VT

          Thank you, and good luck in your online commenting retirement. I don’t always agree with your positions, but I think that we find much common ground. Try not to get shanked at work. Au revoir.

    • Don_B1

      It was the Tea/Republicans that played politics with the Farm Bill, trying to extract unreasonable and unjustifiable cuts in spending that had risen only because of the extension of the Lesser Depression in the wake of the Great Recession caused by the Tea/Republicans focus on austerity.

      • Coastghost

        Regardless: tea is not a significant source of methane. (Or cholesterol: see below.)

      • pete18

        “Great Recession caused by the Tea/Republicans focus on austerity.”

        Oh please, do explain that one.

        • John Cedar

          Just Google Paul Krugman
          Then “assume you have a can opener”
          Then assume it is “opposite day”, where $4 trillion=austerity.
          Then assume you have a perpetual motion machine hooked to the mint.

          • pete18

            Thanks for clearing that up. Opposite Day has been happening a lot over the last 6 years.

          • OnPointComments

            If you woke up tomorrow morning, got your newspaper, and read that Paul Krugman had been committed to an insane asylum, would you be surprised? The only surprise for me would be that he avoided it for as long as he did.

          • Don_B1

            Those types of assumptions are never used by Professor Krugman, but the fact that you seem familiar with them would indicate that you think they are useful. Maybe you can tell us all how they are used and why they work.

            But everything that you assert, following on the assertions of Tea/Republicans, has been almost uniformly incorrect, unlike Professor Krugman’s predictions, which have been uniformly correct!.

            So I understand why you and the other radical right trolls here are reduced to making ad hominem attacks because there is nothing of substance which you can argue against his analysis.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            “But everything that you assert, following on the assertions of Tea/Republicans, has been almost uniformly incorrect”

            Isn’t that an ad hominen attack?

            And it is great to hear the Krugman is always right. I was really worried for him.

          • Don_B1

            No! It is a statement based on claims made on economic issues about what will improve the economy and there is absolutely no empirical data to support the claims made by you, Mr. Cedar, and the other right-wing trolls (I suppose you consider the use of the term, “trolls,” as ad hominem, but it is based on a definition which is met by your past posting).

        • Don_B1

          I see I needed a pair of commas, one right after “Lesser Depression[,]” and the second after “Great Recession[,]” to remove your ability to misconstrue what I wrote.

          The Lesser Depression has been extended by the Tea/Republican’s focus on austerity and abetted by President Obama’s willingness to accept some of it.

          But that focus would not have been possible if the American public had a better understanding of of macroeconomics, in particular the realization that government finances should not be managed in a depression the same as a household’s. See:

          http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/does-debt-matter

          for why the “pivot” in the fall of 2010 was a real disaster for those that needed the revival of economic growth in this country.

  • hennorama

    Alice Chenault — indeed, if a company instead provides employees with higher pay equal to the cost of providing healthcare benefits, the company would be required to pay the employer portion of Social Security and Medicare taxes, and perhaps higher unemployment insurance taxes and worker compensation insurance premiums.

    Employer-paid health insurance premiums are not taxable compensation to employees, which saves the employees income and payroll taxes as well. OTOH, it also reduces their earnings for future Social Security benefits.

    • Coastghost

      Nevertheless, if President Obama continues to foster the miscalculations and misperceptions that his ad hoc foreign policy responses are generating, his assistance in spawning World War III by the end of his second term could well nigh vitiate the dispensation of all future Social Security benefits.
      –or as you might otherwise observe, hen: even James Buchanan maintained the peace, technically, a distinct pity he wasn’t re-elected, hunh?

      • JS

        try to stay on-point, will ya

        • Coastghost

          hen well knows that I’m doing just that.

        • tbphkm33

          “Coastghost” is like the town drunk – can’t drive a straight line.

          • Coastghost

            At least I was able to elicit from you something other than your typical tedious canned response.
            I still don’t understand how cameras surrounding airport runways would have provided much insight into what transpired in the cockpit of MH370: perhaps you can elaborate.

      • hennorama

        Coastghost — TYFYR.

        Taking Pres. Buchanan first, he was not only a reluctant President, in his Inaugural Address, he promised never to run again. And given that the Dred Scott decision came two days later, one might view his maintaining the domestic peace for so long as somewhat impressive. Also, during Pres. Buchanan’s single term, the US Navy and Marines protected American citizens and interests around the world a number of times, without getting mired in warfare.

        As to Pres. Obama, whether “his ad hoc foreign policy” is or is not actually generating “miscalculations and misinterpretations,” as you contend, is far from clear. And the prospect that WW III might be anywhere near the horizon is also far from clear.

        However, I do appreciate that you’re contemplating these possibilities, whether or not they come to pass.

        Thanks again for your response.

        • Coastghost

          –in which case I did a fine job citing Buchanan, if but to illustrate Obama’s own reluctant Presidency or to argue that Obama is no more resolute than Buchanan. Thank you for your assistance.

    • HonestDebate1

      In the end every penny comes out of the employee’s pocket. An employer has to budget the cost to hire. How much of it ends up in the employee’s hands makes no difference to the employer.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Mann v. Steyn update.

    Steyn fired abandoned self-representation and hired a first rate legal team to defend against harassment by Mann.

    “After Steyn parted ways with the National Review’s legal team, he was representing himself. In an article entitled What Kind of Fool Am I?, Steyn describes his new legal team. Excerpts:”

    “Daniel J Kornstein and his co-counsel Mark Platt were the driving force behind the most consequential free-speech legislation this century.”

    “So I’m no longer an out-of-control full-bore crazy. Instead, I’m an out-of-control full-bore crazy who’s lawyered up to the hilt. This will leave me free to concentrate on my core activities of insulting judges and mocking Mann’s self-conferred Nobel Prize, while Dan, Mark and Mike do the boring stuff like looking up precedents and knowing what a tort is. ”

    http://judithcurry.com/2014/03/25/trial-of-the-century/#more-15063

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Alice, Hobby Lobby offered health insurance to its employees prior to Obamacare. Obamacare now imposes mandates that HL claims violates their religious freedoms.

    The question is why is the government micromanaging coverage by mandating coverage for medically unnecessary services? A cynic would say it was 100% politically motivated to purchase votes.

  • pete18

    Good. An important request and point made by Priebus to Ebony Magazine and an appropriate response made by Amy D. Barnett, Ebony’s editor and chief. Maye this will happen more often in the future, so that diversity of thought will be respected and valued as much as diversity of color, gender etc.

    -”Raffi deserves an apology from Ms. Lemieux and from EBONY—not just for making assumptions about his race but more importantly for dismissing black Republicans and the validity of their opinions in public discourse.”

    -”EBONY strongly believes in the marketplace of ideas. As the magazine of record for the African American community, Lemieux’s tweets in question do not represent our journalistic standard, tradition or practice of celebrating diverse Black thought.”

    http://www.truthrevolt.org/news/rnc-chair-demands-and-receives-apology-ebony-editor-attack-african-american-staffer

  • twenty_niner

    “Did you know that trees release CO2 at night, and that they also release methane which is 40x more potent as a GH gas than CO2?”

    In that case, we’d better start handing out chainsaws. Maybe we need a tree-cutting stimulus package?

    Net-net plants consume CO2 and produce O2, which is why the atmosphere is 29.5% O2. Photosynthetic organisms convert around 100–115 thousand million metric tonnes of carbon into biomass per year.

    Until recently, it was thought that tree growth slowed down with age. Just the opposite seems to be happening. More growth = more carbon fixation. Attached is a diagram for you to study.

    “Tropical rain forests are NOT recovered because they appear green on a satellite image”

    Not what anyone was claiming, but reading can be confusing with all of those words spread everywhere.

  • ExcellentNews

    Taadaaa? This is how corporate oligarchy works. The billionaires get their cake and eat it, while you slave at the lowest possible wage at their whim. If your owner is a fundamentalist nut, you better butter up and stay home anyway to make babies. If your owner is a Wahhabi muslim, you better stock up on burkas. And that’s how the Lord wants it – corporations are better than people (Holy Nordquist, 10:14) On which planet have you been for the last 20 years???

    • JONBOSTON

      Your resort to cliches, cartoon mischaracterizations and just outright stupidity makes me laugh. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and bleeding envy and resentment of the producers in our country. It won’t get you a job or off welfare and you’ll continue to be what you sound like , a total loser.

  • Stacy21629

    No one is preventing Hobby Lobby’s employees from getting an IUD. You want it, you pay for it. That’s not hard to understand.

    • HonestDebate1

      It’s easy to understand but that’s not the way the entitlement society works. America has been fundamentally transformed.

      • Alchemical Reaction

        Why would anyone want a DUI or IED?

        • HonestDebate1

          Brilliant.

    • JONBOSTON

      The Left has tried to frame the issue as Hobby Lobby imposing its religious views on its employees. Rather it’s really about whether the government can force a company to provide insurance coverage for something that violates its religious views. What many overlook is that Hobby Lobby could have just paid the penalty and not provide its employees with any insurance.

      • hennorama

        JONBOSTON — I don’t think many people are overlooking Hobby Lobby’s option to drop their employee healthcare plan and benefits.

        But what I haven’t seen discussed is that Hobby Lobby could have kept their previous plan, which would have been grandfathered in. Instead, they changed their plan, and that means it must comply with the added benefits.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          “But what I haven’t seen discussed is that Hobby Lobby could have kept
          their previous plan, which would have been grandfathered in.”
          For me, your question isn’t that interesting because it distracts from the larger issue of government coercion vs. personal freedoms. But let’s look at it:

          With the myriad of rules changes and confusion over the complexity of the law is your statement factually correct? For instance, does HL’s carrier still offer the ‘grandfathered’ plan? You imply that they voluntarily moved to a new plan. Do we know that? If so, was it a temporary reprieve? What constraints are imposed for a business like HL that has employees in multiple states?

          • OnPointComments

            According to Hobby Lobby’s lawyers, “Having altered their plan terms before the mandate was promulgated, Hobby Lobby’s health plan is not ‘grandfathered’…”, i.e., the plan was changed and lost grandfathered status before HHS added the requirement to include the 4 contested methods of contraception.

          • hennorama

            WftC — TYFYR.

            It has been reported by multiple sources that Hobby Lobby changed their plan. I trust in your ability to reseach that yourself, and to answer your own questions. It’s not exactly a surprise that they changed their plan, as employers do this routinely, both before and after enactment of the PPACA.

            Hobby Lobby also has the option of self-insurance, which would obviate their objection.

            Thanks again for your response.

          • OnPointComments

            Hobby Lobby is self-insured.

          • hennorama

            OPC — thank you for correcting my misimpression.

            That Hobby Lobby is self-insured makes it an even more salient point, that they changed their own plan, so that they are not grandfathered in under PPACA rules.

            This change, which was purely their own choice, meant their plan would be subject to the PPACA rules for self-insured plans, which are much less restrictive than for other plans. Why should their voluntary choice to change, with all the implications of making such change, allow them to later say they don’t want to comply with all of the provisions of the PPACA?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            OPC already answered your question in the comment below:

            “the plan was changed and lost grandfathered status before HHS added the requirement to include the 4 contested methods of contraception.”

          • hennorama

            WftC [and OPC]– TYFYR.

            Knowing that the rules were not finalized, would any truly principled religious objector have risked making a change to their very own plan, which would therefore subject them to the rules of the evil PPACA?

            Hobby Lobby changed their own plan, for their own reasons, and now they don’t want to live with the consequences of their decision.

          • HonestDebate1

            Do Hobby Lobby’s problems have anything to do with Obamacare in your opinion? You implied the other day there may be no horror stories at all. Do you believe Obamacare is a benefit to everyone? Do you believe there are absolutely no threats to religious freedoms from Obamacare? Do you think the economy and employment are totally unaffected by Obamacare? Do you believe there won’t be just as many left without insurance and the ER’s will be less crowded?

            Or are you just defending at all cost against all logic?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Blame the victim much?

            Government coercion should be avoided whenever possible. Independent
            of religious freedoms I don’t see any justification for government
            mandates for contraception coverage for
            individual or corporate insurance policies.

          • hennorama

            WftC — TY for your response.

            If Hobby Lobby is in any way a “victim,” they are “victims” of their own decision to change their own plan.

            No doubt they felt they had a compelling reason to change. Had they not changed, their objection to the rules they made themselves subject to would be moot.

          • HonestDebate1

            That’s bizarre. Obamacare is a ball and chain on business. Obamacare is the problem. A big huge unworkable problem.

          • pete18

            Actually, they were victims of a grandfather clause purposely written in such a way that the most minute of changes in a plan would make it ineligible under Obamacare. This was clear to everyone, including the administration who predicted in their report to the federal register in 2010 that 50-75% of individually purchased healthcare plans, 49% to 80% of small business employer plans and 34% to 64% of large employer plans would be cancelled by the end of 2013.

          • hennorama

            pete18 — thank you for favoring me with a response.

            As I recall, we have previously discussed these estimates. To the best of my recollection (and please correct me if I portray this inaccurately), these estimates were based on assumptions that the health insurance marketplace post-PPACA enactment would behave in exactly the same way that it had prior to enactment. The estimates were also based on independent studies of this market, and the data the studies were based on were quite difficult to come by.

            The estimates demonstrated the dynamism of the health insurance marketplace as it existed pre-PPACA, and how frequently employers were changing in response to what routinely were double-digit annual premium and cost increases (and other factors).

            While it is indeed true that the parameters wherein plans can remain eligible for “grandfathered” status are fairly tight, I disagree with your characterization that “…the most minute of changes in a plan would make it ineligible…” One also must note that the parameters have been relaxed a bit, to allow for such things as a change of ownership, and an insurer exiting a particular market, to name just two examples.

            Regardless, it is possible for employers to retain “grandfathered” status, and a number of employers have done so and will continue to do so.

            In addition, Hobby Lobby changed their plan early on, far prior to the end of 2013, making the estimates you cite not terribly germane to their circumstances.

            Thanks again for the favor of your response.

          • pete18

            “if I portray this inaccurately), these estimates were based on
            assumptions that the health insurance marketplace post-PPACA enactment
            would behave in exactly the same way that it had prior to enactment.”

            Exactly. Therefore to write a grandfather clause that would predictably cause such a high percentage of health care plans to become ineligible would mean that President Obama’s claims that you could keep your doctor and your plan ( claims he continued to make after the grandfather clause was written) were knowingly false. For Democrats to vote for such a clause either means they are completely clueless (always a viable option) or they never meant for most people to keep their plans or their doctors and were just saying that to sell the law (more likely).

            “Regardless, it is possible for employers to retain “grandfathered”
            status, and a number of employers have done so and will continue to do
            so.”

            Kind of like saying smoking isn’t dangerous because some people can smoke and never get cancer. The grandfather law did not accommodate the normal and necessary changes most insurers have to take to keep plans viable. This is why the Republicans voted against the grandfather clause in 2010.

            ““The District of Columbia is an island surrounded by reality. Only in
            the District of Columbia could you get away with telling the people if
            you like what you have you can keep it, and then pass regulations six
            months later that do just the opposite and figure that people are going
            to ignore it. But common sense is eventually going to prevail in this
            town and common sense is going to have to prevail on this piece of
            legislation as well,” Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley September 2010 before the vote on the grandfather clause.

            “In addition, Hobby Lobby changed their plan early on, far prior to the
            end of 2013, making the estimates you cite not terribly germane to their
            circumstances.”

            The estimates show that the democrats and the White House were well aware of
            the potential loss of coverage for a large number of individuals and businesses because of their restrictions that placed an unrealistic and very difficult burden on those trying to comply with the law.

            To put the onus on the companies or individuals for being able to keep what all these sad sack pols endlessly promised them with great confidence and assurance is absurd.

            While the Hobby Lobby case is about religious freedom and the mandated coverage of contraception and not the
            normal policy changes an insurer would be dealing with each year, it is certainly related to the estimates as example of the burden the government imposed on them as part of the law.

          • hennorama

            pete18 – thank you again for your response.

            You and I have discussed the “you can keep your plan” topic at length, so I won’t repeat those arguments, and instead will focus on Hobby Lobby.

            As OPC helpfully pointed out (thanks again, OPC!), Hobby Lobby self-insures.

            Apparently the owners did not like their own plan enough to keep it (no word as to whether their employees had any say in the matter). Hobby Lobby is a large organization, and no doubt they have experts assisting them in their decision-making. If l’il ol’ me and my l’il ol’ insurance broker understood the potential pitfalls of changing plans before the rules and regs were finalized, certainly such a large entity could/should have. And certainly truly religious and principled owners, concerned that the government might force them to violate their religious beliefs if they made themselves subject to the rules of the PPACA by giving up their grandfathered status, could/should have considered waiting until the rules and regs were finalized.

            Instead, Hobby Lobby’s owners changed their own plan, and don’t want to live with the consequences of their own decision.

            Thanks again for your response.

          • jefe68

            THey are not a victim. It’s the right wing trying to force their religious beliefs on other people. This is what this is about.

            Hobby Lobby is not only arguing to be exempt from the law based on their religion, but also to change the definition of pregnancy under federal law.

          • jefe68

            And what of corporate coercion?
            Not a good argument at all as government does set up laws and regulations that enable our society to function.
            ONe cold take your argument to mean we should have little or no government at all.
            Which is really pretty absurd for a nation over 300 million people.

          • OnPointComments

            Surely if Hobby Lobby should have known about the upcoming rules of the evil PPACA, HHS should have also known and warned them and others that it was going to add abortifacients to the requirements.

          • hennorama

            OPC — TY for your response.

            Allow me to share my own experience with health insurance, and also with the PPACA.

            When I was a employer, all company insurance coverages, plans, and experiences were reviewed annually. When changes were contemplated, the potential downsides associated with making a change were thoroughly evaluated, in conjunction with both employees and consulting insurance professionals. Once in a while, we would experience a “We didn’t think of that,” or “That didn’t work out the way we expected” moment, after having made a change.

            But in each case, we understood that it was our own decision-making process that led to the unexpected outcomes, accepted it, then moved on, hoping we had learned something in the process.

            I am no longer an employer, but I still review all of my insurance on an annual basis. During one such review, my insurance broker gave me a “heads up” about the potential issues involved in changing plans and therefore not being “grandfathered in.” This was well in advance of the applicable dates. The broker also explained that the rules involved had not yet been finalized, and that perhaps it would be prudent to not change plans until final rules and regs were in place.

            Hobby Lobby no doubt changed their plan for what they considered at the time to be good reasons. No doubt, as owners of a company employing 13,000 people, and in multiple states, they had professional advice before making the change. If they failed to take all the potential downsides of making a change into account, the failure is theirs alone.

            As to your claim, and the owners of Hobby Lobby’s belief, that the contraceptive methods at issue are abortifacients, the medical community disagrees.

            Which does not mean that the owners’ beliefs are irrelevant, of course, but just that they are only their beliefs.

            Thanks again for your response.

          • OnPointComments

            HHS added the 4 contested methods of contraception in August 2011, after the Hobby Lobby health plan was changed.

    • TFRX

      The employees have already worked for health care.

      And HL isn’t a goddamned church.

      • HonestDebate1

        So does the Constitution say Congress can make no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion unless it applies only to businesses? Who knew?

        And where does the Constitution mention churches?

        • jefe68

          It’s called the separation of church and state.

          Objections to laws based on religious beliefs can arise in many settings, and supporters of the coverage requirement say a ruling for the company could frustrate the enforcement of laws addressing health, safety and civil rights.

          • HonestDebate1

            The Constitution says nothing about the separation of church and State.

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    I find it work (and worthwhile) to respond to such transparently self serving comments. There is a long list of “Family values” Republicans that I have rallied against here. Please refer me to your criticisms of liberals.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    A feud has erupted between two darlings of the left. What’s a lefty to do? For the rest of us, pop the popcorn and sit back and watch the fireworks.

    Paul Krugman, the left’s favorite nutty professor has started attacking Nate Silver, the left’s favorite stats whiz kid who famously called Obama’s re-election down to every state early and often.

    Silver recently left the NYtimes where Krugman works as an opinion pundit to start a venture at ESPN. Silver also expanded his data analysis empire from politics into other areas like sports and science. Recently, Silver inconveniently projected a 60% chance for a GOP 2014 senate takeover. He also hired a climate realist who reported on IPCC and insurance data that belies the alarmist propaganda. These sins can not be tolerated and the Krugbots are out in force.

    Since Silver is dispassionately about the data, he has documented Krugman’s dramatic change of heart vis a vis Silver here:

    http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/for-columnist-a-change-of-tone/

    • HonestDebate1

      I am amazed Krackpot Krugman is considered relevant by anyone. He has zero credibility.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Right on. He hasn’t been on the ABC This Week in while. His modus operandi is to act like a troll — interrupt and then make up something outrageous and then go back shifting those beady eyes back and forth — usually hiding behind his coffee mug.

        Of course we have the gem about his hoping for an outer space alien invasion to boost the economy.
        “As aliens have yet to comply with Krugman’s wishes, he advocated on HBO’s Real Time Friday that scientists should get together and lie about an imminent attack to boost federal spending”
        http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2012/05/26/krugman-scientists-should-falsely-predict-alien-invasion-so-governmen#ixzz1w5zk6aAO

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Nate Silver’s 538 has responded to the attacks it has received on the climate article by RP II.

      On one hand you could say they are just bending to pressure by climate alarmists. However, I have to applaud them for an open and transparent process. If they follow this process they’ll end up with a better product.

      They will commission a response from another climate scientist. Further, they have rejected responses by John Abraham and Dana Nuccitteli as not meeting their standards.

      You can read the details here:

      http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/fivethirtyeight-to-commission-response-to-disputed-climate-article/

    • jefe68

      And the split in the GOP means nothing?

    • TFRX

      Someone who runs on data is called A Darling of the Left?

      Thanks, I needed a laff today.

  • OnPointComments

    THE INSIDERS: IS OBAMACARE WORKING?
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2014/03/28/the-insiders-is-obamacare-working/

    Excerpt (emphasis added):
    “…the original definition of “success” — the CBO number they adopted as their own — was 7 million enrollees. And next, an estimated 20 percent of the alleged 6 million enrollees have not paid their premiums, which means they do not actually have insurance. That leaves us with 4.8 million enrollees at best, without discounting duplicate enrollments, unfinished applications and any other factors that would diminish the number who have actually signed up for Obamacare.

    Obamacare has failed miserably in its original purpose — insuring the uninsured…the bottom line is that Obamacare’s success should be based on the number of people who have insurance today who were uninsured before Obamacare was passed…After all the insurance cancellations, the administration’s insistence that 6 million people now have insurance because of Obamacare is a lot like firing 20 people, hiring 18 of them back and claiming that you have created 18 new jobs. In other words, nobody knows what the net number of people insured is once you have factored in how many people lost their insurance because of Obamacare.

    “Is Obamacare working? The short answer is no.”

    • jefe68

      Links to right wing memes by a right wing meme mill posted by a right wing meme meshugguna.

      • pete18

        Memes. Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!

        I’m really starting to enjoy this strategy.

        • hennorama

          pete18 — a case of the screaming meemies?

      • HonestDebate1

        Do you dispute 7 million was the goal? Do you dispute that many have not paid and therefore are not covered? Do yo dispute the fact that many of the enrollees already had insurance but lost their plans? Do you think it’s honest to imply the formerly uninsured are now insured in large numbers as advertised?

        No, you can’t dispute any of it. All we get is another of your infamous nothings. What is your purpose?

        • jefe68

          You know what, you need to get a sense of history. Your lens is clouded by dogma.
          SS, Medicare and Bush’s Medicare part D all had snags. Bush extended the deadlines, the rollout was snagged by the same problems as the ACA.

          Do you parse these facts? No. You post endless screeds as do all the right wingers how seem to think government policy and outcomes should be like some kind of day out in Disneyland.

          Your vision of what America should be is based on a philosophy that is regressive to a fault. You come on this forum and act like as if it’s somehow some kind of joke. As if Americans citizens how are not like you or have your world view do not deserve to be treated in the same regard.

          You say it’s not about you, and yet it is. It’s all about you and your ilk who seem to want to take this nation backwards. It’s really pathetic. It’s about the ideology you support and I find to be against the very ideals of what a decent civil society should be.

          • HonestDebate1

            SS, Medicare and Part D were all passed without gimmicks, after being read and by both parties. They were implemented as advertised, the people got what they were promised. There has never been a bill as transformative and sweeping as Obamacare passed on a 100% partisan basis. There has never been a bill that was sold as totally misrepresented as Obamacare was.

            And no, there were not even close to the numbers of snags, delayed deadlines and outright lies with SS and Medicare. There were no infringements on religious freedoms that resulted in businesses and nuns being heard in the Supreme Court. The laws themselves didn’t have to be weighed in the SCOTUS. PArt D came in under budget, Obamacare’s price has tripled… so far.

            Yours is the lamest of analogies. There is no comparison. Not even close. Obama has you right where he wants you, deluded.

            Having said that, your analogy could not be more irrelevant. Obamacare is now. You chimed in with a troll-like antagonistic nothing and still cannot debate or refute the issues raised. What is your purpose?

          • jefe68

            Amazing. So the past has no relevance on how the present reveals itself. History means nothing. You bet I’m antagonistic.
            I’m antagonistic to the right. If you don’t like that, well that’s not my problem.

            You ask what’s my purpose. Which points to the real you, the definition of the right wing extremist who thinks they are superior, that they know better. That the voice of opposition should be met with degrading remarks. You have revealed the real you here. The right winger with thuggish overtones.

          • HonestDebate1

            The past showed us the necessity of bipartisan cooperation, a thorough vetting and honest debate. Some lessons are lost on those who ignore history and think it means nothing.

          • Steve__T

            On that we can agree. So I’m gonna give you this. The person that makes your argument about “Given Rights” is English philosopher John Locke. You will have to do a little digging but this should help.
            http://www.crf-usa.org/foundations-of-our-constitution/natural-rights.html

            Right now I’m just sick of our elected officials.

            Some Historical thinking for all. Its long but hits home with me.

            A community surrenders some degree of its natural rights in favor of government, which is better able to protect those rights than any man could alone. Because government exists solely for the well-being of the community, any government that breaks the compact can and should be replaced. The community has a moral obligation to revolt against or otherwise replace any government that forgets that it exists only for the people’s benefit. “ The reason why men enter into society, is the preservation of their property; and the end why they choose and authorize a legislative, is, that there may be laws made, and rules set, as guards and fences to the properties of all the members of the society, to limit the power, and moderate the dominion, of every part and member of the society: for since it can never be supposed to be the will of the society, that the legislative should have a power to destroy that which everyone designs to secure, by entering into society, and for which the people submitted themselves to legislators of their own making; whenever the legislators endeavor to take away, and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any farther obedience, and are left to the common refuge, which God hath provided for all men, against force and violence. When so ever therefore the legislative shall transgress this fundamental rule of society; and either by ambition, fear, folly or corruption, endeavor to grasp themselves, or put into the hands of any other, an absolute power over the lives, liberties, and estates of the people; by this breach of trust they forfeit the power the people had put into their hands for quite contrary ends, and it devolves to the people, who. have a right to resume their original liberty, and, by the establishment of a new legislative, (such as they shall think fit) provide for their own safety and security, which is the end for which they are in society. What I have said here, concerning the legislative in general, holds true also concerning the supreme executor, who having a double trust put in him, both to have a part in the legislative, and the supreme execution of the law, acts against both, when he goes about to set up his own arbitrary will as the law of the society. He acts also contrary to his trust, when he either employs the force, treasure, and offices of the society, to corrupt the representatives, and gain them to his purposes; or openly pre-engages the electors, and prescribes to their choice, such, whom he has, by solicitations, threats, promises, or otherwise, won to his designs; and employs them to bring in such, who have promised before-hand what to vote, and what to enact. Thus to regulate candidates and electors, and new-model the ways of election, what is it but to cut up the government by the roots, and poison the very fountain of public security? for the people having reserved to themselves the choice of their representatives, as the fence to their properties, could do it for no other end, but that they might always be freely chosen, and so chosen, freely act, and advise, as the necessity of the common-wealth, and the public good should, upon examination, and mature debate, be judged to require. Those who give their votes before they hear the debate, and have weighed the reasons on all sides, are not capable of doing. To prepare such an assembly as this, and endeavor to set up the declared abettors of his own will, for the true representatives of the people, and the law-makers of the society, is certainly as great a breach of trust, and as perfect a declaration of a design to subvert the government, as is possible to be met with. To which, if one shall add rewards and punishments visibly employed to the same end, and all the arts of perverted law made use of, to take off and destroy all that stand in the way of such a design, and will not comply and consent to betray the liberties of their country, it will be past doubt what is doing. What power they ought to have in the society, who thus employ it contrary to the trust went along with it in its first institution, is easy to determine; and one cannot but see, that he, who has once attempted any such thing as this, cannot any longer be trusted.”
            ~ John Locke

          • jefe68

            Have you ever watched the lectures on Justice with Michael Sandel?
            There’s one that covers Locke, and it’s excellent.

            http://www.justiceharvard.org/

          • Steve__T

            Jeff,Thanks for the link.

          • jefe68

            As is evident in most of of what you post.

          • HonestDebate1

            Who is Shakesphere? I think he made my fishing rod.

      • JONBOSTON

        Is “Right wing meme” left wing code for ” I don’t have any way of refuting what’s been said”?

  • OnPointComments

    At the hearing of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform last Wednesday about IRS targeting, Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-New Mexico) used her time to complain that 501(c)(4)s weren’t complying with the exclusivity requirement for the promotion of social welfare. She doesn’t like the regulation written 55 years ago that changed “exclusively” to “primarily” because, as she said, “an act of Congress should be followed exactly as the law said,” and shouldn’t be altered by “decisions after the fact.”

    I wonder why Michelle was silent when the 38+ changes to the Affordable Care Act law were made.

  • HonestDebate1

    30,000 Alaskans have petitioned the White House to let Russia anex Alaska.

    http://townhall.com/tipsheet/sarahjeanseman/2014/03/27/alaskans-plead-to-secede-to-russia-n1815651

  • OnPointComments

    An account of how the contraceptive mandate ended up in the ACA:

    “When Congress enacted Obamacare, it didn’t say a word about contraception. It merely said that non-grandfathered insurance plans should cover “preventive care and screenings not described in paragraph (1) as provided for in comprehensive guidelines supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration….” HRSA, a sub-agency of HHS, delegated this task to an outside body, the Institute of Medicine. The IOM issued a report recommending that the preventive services regulation include, among other things, all FDA-approved contraceptives, including those that can kill an embryo. This occurred outside the rigors of notice-and-comment rulemaking and was guided by a select group of “experts” that included many voices from the pro-abortion lobby. IOM released its report in July 2011, well after many employers, including Hobby Lobby and Conestoga, had already given up their grandfathered health plans.”
    http://www.nationalreview.com/bench-memos

    Who is surprised that Congress didn’t include the contraceptive mandate in the law, and left that part to “’experts’ that included many voices from the pro-abortion lobby” and “outside the rigors of notice-and-comment rulemaking”? The Democrats in Congress knew what they wanted, but were too cowardly to put their own fingerprints on it.

    • OnPointComments

      If I were king, I could easily end the Hobby Lobby problem and save the country tens of millions of dollars in legal fees.

      ACA Regulation: It is recommended that all health care plans include 100% coverage for the 20 types of contraceptives approved by the FDA, but at a minimum must include coverage for at least 16 types of contraceptives approved by the FDA.

      Problem solved.

      • John Cedar

        What about breast implants and OTC pain meds? Why aren’t they covered? They are healthcare too. Part of the war on womyn and attacks on those with headaches? And they deserve no copay too.

      • jefe68

        If you were king you might end wanting to give up your kingdom for a horse.

    • John Cedar

      That is taking a lot of words to say that kathleen sebelius gave the edict that it would be covered after Obama gave the edict to her.

  • Alchemical Reaction

    It’s really sad to read these comments and realize how intellectually challenged my fellow Americans are, both right and left. Even the plants whose job it is to stir up trouble on these forums, are pretty stupid.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Pb ==> Au ???

    • John Cedar

      In my assessment, the vast majority who comment here, would test at least 2 or 3 sigma above average on any of the standardized intelligence tests, and a few higher than that. And not infrequently, they have put much of that intelligence to task in arriving at their opinions. Why…even jefe68 has an IQ above 100, and is learned to a limited extent.
      But if you have everything figured out and just want to spread the truth to the misinformed, your time would be better spent editing and reediting Wikipedia.
      Sorry to see you go.

      • jefe68

        Actually my IQ is about 120 125.

        But how wold know what a persons IQ is?

        You seem to be basing it on your own biases and political leanings.
        As to using Wikipedia, well a lot people use it to some extent, it’s a resource.

        It’s funny, you post a lot of stuff that’s not only wrong but is never backed up by anything more that your narrow political dogma.

        The reason people leave this forum seems to me to be due to the constant right wing barrage of BS. Or, they are banned for being complete a$$es.

        • pete18

          I thought they left because of the repeated left-wing ad hominem catch phrases, which are used in-place of substantive rebuttals.

          • jefe68

            So you think you’re posting well thought out comments? That’s hilarious.

            The right seems to view commenting through their skewed lens, then when they are called out whine “left wing ad hominem attack”…

            If you’re going to post a lot nonsense expect people to call it what it is, nonsense.

          • pete18

            “So you think you’re posting well thought out comments?”

            Did you see me make that claim anywhere?

            “f you’re going to post a lot nonsense expect people to call it what it is, nonsense.”

            If you actually did that and gave reasons why you thought so, then you might help retain our dwindling audience.

          • jefe68

            There is no need to go on with this.
            You have a complete different idea of what society should be than I do.
            I doubt neither one of us will come to a consensus on this. People who support the GOP and other right wing ideologies seem to want to go backwards. Be it with religious based conservatism, which is harking back to the Bronze age, to others who are interested in removing all of the New Deal and Great Society programs.
            That to me, is the definition of regressive and a recipe for a society that I dare say I’m not sure I want to live in.

            As I stated, there is no need for us to back and forth anymore on any issues at all.

          • HonestDebate1

            Consensus conschmensus. You can’t support your absurd claims.

          • HonestDebate1

            You’re too modest.

        • HonestDebate1

          Mine is 12. I think it’s telling that otherwise intelligent people care so much about what others think about them and are so ideologically skewed that they are reduced to babbling incoherence. It’s not that you aren’t smart, it’s that you are too easily flummoxed. Arguments are lost every day because the zeal to disagree comes before logic. In this way the simplest truths are missed.

          And BTW, I can understand why you made your activity private because looking at your comments outs you as being the worst offender of your own complaint.

          But that’s cool. God bless you.

    • pete18

      Before you leave could you tell us who the “plants” are?
      I’ve been dying to know.

      • HonestDebate1

        The only ones I know of are a group of leftist called the “significant figgers”. Grady Lee Howard was one of them but sadly he has passed away. Others still lurk. His widow Gladiola chimes in from time to time. She uses phrases like “brain scraper-uppers”.

        And then there was the person a couple of years ago who would post comments using other people’s monikers to make it appear they were contradicting themselves. He (or she) was a hard core leftist troll.

        • pete18

          I’m still unclear about what the difference is between a “troll” and a “plant.” Is one a paid position? Sadly, the most interesting and intelligent poster in these parts is leaving, so we’ll never be able to
          fully answer these questions.

          • hennorama

            pete18 — I’d make an oxygen joke, but …

            Adding to the conumdrum: neither word has any anagrams.

            (Cue the Twilight Zone theme)

          • pete18

            One’s under a bridge, one’s in the soil.

          • hennorama

            One’s like a biting midge, the other’s anti-Hoyle?

          • Steve__T

            Two’s in the Zoo, the other one is a boil.

          • HonestDebate1

            I know at least one commenter who doesn’t comment unless he’s at work and on the clock. That’s a de facto paid position. But more often the terms are applied to anyone who can’t be refuted on the facts.

  • hennorama

    Fools Rush In, A Fool Inaccurately Reports On Fools Rushing In, Fooled Fool Repeats Foolish Report:

    Some fool created a petition on whitehouse.gov, titled “Alaska back to Russia.” The gibberish language of the petition allows for the possibility of a garbled Russian –> English translation, and possible pranky propaganda. Tens of thousands of other fools sign the petition.

    Some other fool wrote a piece titled “Alaskans Plead to Leave U.S. and Reunite with Russia,” which includes the foolish sentence

    More than 30,000 Alaskans have signed the petition “Alaska back to Russia,” pleading that the White House allow them to secede and join their native land.

    One tiny problem: there’s no way for the foolish writer to determine that “More than 30,000 Alaskans have signed the petition,” since those who “sign” aren’t required to display where they’re from.

    Finally, a foolish equine excrement expert, who has repeatedly claimed “I verify everything before posting,” posts a link to the foolish piece, which itself contains a link to the foolish petition’s gibberish language, and the impossible-to-verify “signatures” (some of which have Cyrillic initials).

    Even a determined fool couldn’t make up the astounding combination above if they tried.

    The moral of the tale: don’t believe everything you read, because some of it is by fools, about fools, believed by fools, and repeated by fools.

    As a powerful man once said:

    “There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.”
    – President George W. Bush, Nashville, Tenn., Sept. 17, 2002

    • brettearle

      All the other titles, thou was’t given….

      • hennorama

        brettearle — hey, we all make mistakes, even Kings. What is important is what we do next. TYFYR.

        • brettearle

          How many people learn from their mistakes?

          • hennorama

            brettearle — TYFYR.

            Data on that point are difficult to come by, but I know at least one person who does, at least occasionally.

            Perhaps the more salient question might be “How many people admit their misteaks?”

            (The pre[ceding] word being a riff on a huge eraser I had in grade school, which read “I never make misteaks.”)

          • brettearle

            Few admit their misteakes.

            Even fewer learn from them.

            Unconscious and programmed behavior are remarkably resilient.

            That’s aside from peccadilloes, obsessions and addictions that are often irreversibly entrenched.

            [That's one man's opinion--even though I'm obsessed, of course, with my own opinion].

            As an added bonus?:

            Misteak=Hamburger Helper

          • hennorama

            brettearle — indeed, as implied.

            And naturally, a supporter of Mr. Romney might emulate the title of his “if I’m writing, I’m running” tome No Apology, as demonstrated in this particular case. Ironically, said supporter might also emulate the title of the book about the Obama administration, Double Down.

            And of course, Hamburger Helper = Hurlbag Here, Perm

            Stopping now.

          • brettearle

            When Romney’s foreign policy advisor was on with Ashbrook, during the campaign, I called in to question whether the American Exceptionalism, of Mormonism, might interfere with a Romney Presidency–when dealing with global crises.

            The Guy lost it on the air. Accused me of religious bigotry.

            Ashbrook backed me up; felt it was a legitimate question. I still think it is. If I’m not mistaken, Reagan and Bush II both had a Christian Messianic component to their thinking.

          • hennorama

            brettearle — you’re gonna make my brain work on a Sunday while watching the KY/MI game? ;-)

            I love it when people lose their Shiite on the air, so here’s to ya, ya catalytic rebel treat!

            Indeed, both RR and GWB declared themselves “born-again.”

            RR was involved in the pro-U.S. “Crusade for Freedom” propaganda campaign in the 1950s, and his 1982 “Ash heap of History” speech (often erroneously called the Evil Empire speech) ended with a call for ” a crusade for freedom that will engage the faith and fortitude of the next generation.”

            And who can forget GWB’s post-9/11 “crusade” remarks:

            Sept. 16, 2011:

            This crusade, this war on terrorism is going to take a while. And the American people must be patient. I’m going to be patient.

            And on Feb. 16, 2002:

            I want to tell you something, we’ve got no better friends than Canada. (Applause.) They stand with us in this incredibly important crusade to defend freedom, this campaign to do what is right for our children and our grandchildren

            Sources:
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crusade_for_Freedom#Hollywood
            http://www.let.rug.nl/usa/presidents/ronald-wilson-reagan/the-evil-empire-speech.php

            http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2001/09/20010916-2.html
            http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2002/02/20020216-1.html

            Thanks for your response, and for instigating the trip into the recesses of memory.

          • brettearle

            Good stuff.

            Use of the word, ‘Crusade’ may well turn out to be the most malignant use of words since Stalin’s,

            “Death is the solution to all problems. No man, no problem.”

            Mental twister:

            What did the Imam say to a young Iranian drug dealer who hadn’t yet joined the Mosque?

          • hennorama

            brettearle — TYFYR.

            Before answering your question, it seems the moniker-so-inapt-it-will-never-be-typed bit on the worm, as anticipated. In his reply to you, he’s referring to an occasion about a year ago, when I broke a prior silence in order to comment on his nonsense. If interested, you can see the exchange here, beginning about 65 posts down, in a thread started by [wroot]:

            http://onpoint.wbur.org/2013/03/18/iraq-war

            And now, The Answer:

            “I said ‘Death To America,’ not ‘Meth To A Derricka,’ you fool!”

          • brettearle

            Better than a nice try. I like it.

            Real answer [yes, it's mine, but inspired by what you said] is,

            “Shiite or get off the pot!”

          • hennorama

            brettearle — that’s a good one, really.

            Hey — believe it or not, I referenced Mr. Romney’s book in the same thread I referred to above. (Cue the Twilight Zone theme, again.)

            See:
            http://onpoint.wbur.org/2013/03/18/iraq-war#comment-833747475

          • brettearle

            With regard to my non-reply to your links….and the reasons for them…..

            My actions [or non-actions] are `sort of’ a corollary explanation for the following:

            Evidence of Absence does not mean Absence of Evidence

          • hennorama

            Natürlich, mein Freund.

          • Steve__T

            ” Evidence of Absence does not mean Absence of evidence ”
            Charley Chan?

          • brettearle

            Moment please…

            Number 1 son have Head, always absent. Cannot tell clue from wild egg drop.

            Easy to conclude Number 1 son couldn’t find evidence at crime scene, where suspect hand over murder weapon.

            Number 1 son too busy trying to catch wrong bus to join Father at Precinct, after case closed.

            Absence of son is Evidence of Absent son.

            Moment please….

          • hennorama

            brettearle — see my response to Steve__T, above.

          • hennorama
          • Steve__T

            Thanks for the links :) My Fav: “The ignorant always loud in argument.”

          • hennorama

            Steve__T — you’re welcome, of course.

            An addendum to the Chanism above:

            “The ignorant always loud [and proud] in argument.”

          • brettearle

            Moment please….

            See humor below Steve ___T

          • HonestDebate1

            There s a little minus sign top right. If you click it my comments will disappear. If you would at least not always through replies to others let me know you have read my comments then that would be the next best strategy. Otherwise you just look silly bravely ignoring me and imagining it’s righteous. But thanks for giving Brettearle the link.

            I think the notion of preconceived notions instead of actual facts is a legitimate issue. I find it absolutely mind-boggleing to talk about messianic complexes without regard to Obama (or even Clinton). It seems to me the claim should be defended or at least spread around. You know it is. Brettearle knows it is. I am happy to have the last word because it’s an excellent point unanswered. I come out on top.

            Unfortunately that’s not my purpose. Honest debate is my purpose and I would truly like to understand the messianic charge. O well.

          • HonestDebate1

            “American exectionalism, of Mormanism”

            What is that? And where did you get the messianic thing? Carter and Clinton were devout Christians, most Presidents are. Is Romney more religious than Obama?

            I do remember one commenter saying on the word of a terrorist that Bush said he was told by God to invade Iraq. The commenter did not point out that Bush denied it, everyone else in the room denied it too. The commenter never corrected their unverified account or even said it was the word of a terrorist. Could your notion be a pre-conceived one? Do you have a basis for such a charge? Do you thin America is not exceptional, or that’s it’s a bad thing?

          • Ray in VT

            Not enough.

    • HonestDebate1

      If it gets a 100K the White house will have to respond.

      What do you think of fools who say six million signed up for Obamacare when there is no way to know how may have paid? It seems to me that is a bit more foolish and dire than a silly petition, no? Your outrage is misplaced.

  • Anne Fuller

    Heard part of the story for anniversary of Exxon Valdez oil disaster while driving. Was most curious about who was explaining how much oil was spilled. On your site, I have not found list of the articles and people speaking for this week’s show. For a show that emphasizes analyzing who says what, this seems to be a gap. Where can I find a rundown? When might I be able to find the story or listen again. As it is, I can’t pass it on or encourage others to listen to it. (I’m in Juneau, Alaska, where we hear On Point on KTOO FM

  • paulocessor

    If we take religious belief of a company and rule it on the employees, we will create a real mess. Religious belief have evolved and everyone has a version of the evolution. What if a CEO evoked the right to enslave people, which totally accepted by the bible and practiced by Christians and others for centuries! Would it be OK to enslave people?

    • OnPointComments

      The company is not ruling its religious beliefs on the employees. The employees are absolutely free to use any type of contraceptive that they want.

      • paulocessor

        Sure they are not in this case, but where would you stop if every company wants to exclude some portion of any law when it contradicts the CEO’s belief? Much of our laws are at odd with the original laws of Christianity/Judaism/Islam/Buddhism etc. It is a social landmine to go this path.

  • HonestDebate1

    I saw that Kobe Bryant weighed in on the Trayvon Martin issue and I though he made a ton of sense. I didn’t see a thing controversial about it. Now he is being crucified for common sense. What is so bad about not judging people by the color of their skin? I don’t get it.

    Now Stephen A. Smith has weighed in on Arsenio’s show. I am a big fan of both of them and concur. I particularly like the line: “When I give a damn, I’ll let you know”. Not giving a damn about race is the place we need to be.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_uPijRqYOYg

    • OnPointComments

      An interesting insight into the liberal mindset from the Bill Maher’s “Real Time” show.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0Ap6qqmC6A

      The liberals on the show agreed that Paul Ryan’s statements to Bill Bennett on his radio show were racist. But Michelle Obama’s statement from a commencement address at historically black Bowie State University

      “Too many of our young people just can’t be bothered. They’re sitting on couches for hours playing video games, watching TV, instead of dreaming of being a teacher or a lawyer or a business leader, they’re fantasizing about being a baller or a rapper.”

      wasn’t racist because, as black comedian Kamau Bell said, “She’s talking to black people. We talk to each other differently than we talk to you.”

      To some, apparently, it matters who does the talking.

      • hennorama

        OPC — You’re wrong.

        None of Mr. Maher’s guests “…agreed that Paul Ryan’s statements to Bill Bennett on his radio show were racist,” as you wrote, and none of the guests said that the truncated quote of the First Lady’s remarks “wasn’t racist.”

        In fact, until Mr. Lazio (inaccurately) said to Mr. Bell, “You just called Paul Ryan a racist,” the word “racist” hadn’t been used by anyone.

        Perhaps next time you’ll watch and listen more closely.

        • John Cedar

          And now we know the difference between a distinction and a difference.

          • hennorama

            John Cedar — TYFYR.

            Paraphrasing forum member [JONBOSTON], from a couple of days ago:

            Is “[And now we know the difference between a distinction and a difference]” left wing [your] code for ” I don’t have any way of refuting what’s been [written]“?

          • John Cedar

            Yes and no…
            I cannot refute your statement, that none of the guests said Paul Ryan’s statements to Bill Bennett were racist. But you point out a distinction without a difference, because they all used different but equivalent phrases to essentially say Ryan’s statement was racists..

          • hennorama

            John Cedar — thank you for your response.

            First of all, in my view, Rep. Ryan’s remarks were insensitive and tone-deaf, but not racist. However, given that he also invoked Charles Murray, co-author of The Bell Curve, in the same sentence, Rep. Ryan cannot claim surprise that some people would be upset about his remarks.

            It’s also difficult to imagine that Rep. Ryan was not “talking about blacks and Latinos,” as Mr. Bell said, since Rep. Ryan limited his remarks to “inner cities” and “blighted neighborhoods” that one might pass while “driving from the suburb to the sports arena downtown…”

            If Rep. Ryan “…was not implicating the culture of one community – but of society as a whole,” as his next-day statement claimed, he certainly could have said that to Mr. Bennett.

            But he didn’t.

            And BTW, Neera Tanden did not use the word “race” a single time in the video clip above. Not once. She talked about unemployment, jobs, communities, etc., but not race.

            Since this is the case, please tell me how you reached your conclusion that “.. they all used different but equivalent phrases to essentially say Ryan’s statement was racists [sic]” in her case.

            Quote sources:
            http://www.politifact.com/wisconsin/article/2014/mar/14/context-paul-ryans-poverty-comments-racial-attack/
            http://www.msnbc.com/politicsnation/ryan-clarifies-inner-city-poverty-remarks-1

          • John Cedar

            They were asked by Maher if Ryan was just being honest or if it was
            about race and he was speaking in code. Bell opined he was talking about
            race, he was talking about blacks and Latinos. Tanden then said Bell was
            right.

            The clear implication is that they answered Maher’s question and assessed Ryan’s
            statement as being about race and speaking in code…AKA racist. If they did not, then they completely ignored the
            question put to them.

          • hennorama

            John Cedar — TYFYR.

            I understand and respect your view, but disagree. “Speaking in code” is not in and of itself “racist.” I agree that Rep. Ryan was indeed “speaking in code,” but also contend that he was not being “racist.”

            Rep. Ryan was playing to his audience, as was the First Lady in her remarks.

            Neither was “racist,” but both were talking about racial issues. The First Lady was just more specific, as she made reference to data about some African-Americans in the body of her remarks.

            For more of my views, see my extensive exchanges with OPC above. There are also quotations of, and links to, both Rep. Ryan’s and the First Lady’s remarks in my posts, so you can see for yourself.

            Thanks again for your response.

        • HonestDebate1

          “She’s talking to black people. We talk to each other differently than we talk to you.”

          That’s racist as hell. It’s sick.

          • Ray in VT

            Oh, so it’s sick and racist when people talk to each other differently than they talk to others? How about W. turning up the drawl in certain company? Is that racist? I suppose that you talk to all black people about how they are super-prone to attacking white people and raping white ladies, and then you let them know the racists behind your opinions. Those are “facts” that you’ve shared with us here. Here is a list of historically black colleges in North Carolina where you can take your brand of “honest debate” right to the groups with which you have found so much fault:

            http://ncpedia.org/education/hbcu

            Those stats aren’t from the FBI, no matter how much you want them to do, BTW.

          • HonestDebate1

            What on earth are you talking about? Lately you have nothing to offer but outrageously off base accusations. I have never ever said, implied or hinted that blacks are prone to violence. Ever. Why do you feel it necessary to bastardize my comments beyond recognition? surely you are not that stupid.

            Your ability to evoke the Bush monster is amazing. I have no idea what you are even referring to.

            What I do is have the same expectations for everyone. What I advocate is judging people by the content of their character and not the color of skin. And here’s another clue, it’s also about the content of the words not the inflections thereof. the guest was saying the same content was justified in on audience and not another, That’s sick. Did you really miss that point?

            And sometimes both the content and the inflections are used for racist pandering.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YaDQ1vIuvZI

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1PVOIqQAns

          • Ray in VT

            I have only repeated what you have said. No one has done more to denigrate you in the eyes of others than yourself. Your racist fear mongering shows as much, but maybe you just believe the nonsense that you post, so it is justified in your eyes. That is truly sick if it is so. Your obtuseness truly knows no bounds. People have different ways of talking to different people. That’s the way that it is, based upon many factors, including group dynamics and the like. Call it sick if you want, but my opinion of your opinion on this one is as low as it generally is, so flail away by all means.

          • HonestDebate1

            You have not repeated what I said, you rewrote it. That’s the point.

            Michelle Obama and Paul Ryan had the same message. Either the message is good or bad but it is so no matter the audience. It’s not rocket science.

            You are not capable of an honest discussion on race. You don’t even try.

          • Ray in VT

            I’ve paraphrased the racist comments that you have repeated from your racist sources, but that in no way changes their meaning as far as I am concerned.

            The First Lady wasn’t talking about a “culture” problem of “inner city” people that was making generations of people lazy. It’s interesting how in these examples, like with Newt’s comments about “urban” kids, how it is always the “urban” people, while the problems in rural and white society don’t seem to get much mention. That, however, isn’t my point. Your history of referencing racists to advance your arguments about African Americans is.

          • HonestDebate1

            Retreating to the word paraphrasing is a step in the right direction. At least you now admit I didn’t say it as you originally claimed.

            That’s like saying if you support Planned Parenthood and abortion then you support the eugenics Margaret Sanger envisioned now that there are more black babies aborted than born in NY.

            Again, you are not capable of this discussion or at least will not be until you lose the lens of race. Your argument is reduced to claiming I’m a racist which is shallow, hideous and completely unfounded.

            Have a nice day.

          • Ray in VT

            I don’t have the time to scan through your thousands of posts to find the choicest bits of racism that you’ve posted here, but here is some: supposedly blacks are 39 times more likely to commit a violent crime against a whites than vice versa. Source: the New Century Foundation, a white supremacist group. Not the FBI. Claim: tens of thousands of black men rape white women every year, but white men never rape black women. The best part about this claim was that you didn’t even read the report correctly, although I don’t expect you to be able to do that anyways.

            Interesting about Sanger and Planned Parenthood. MLK, Jr. praised her and them, and her position as some sort of racist is about as well historically supported as Susan B. Anthony opposing abortion, which is to say that it is basically the creation of the modern conservative mind.

            Don’t like being called a racist? Well don’t cite the lying racists that you have. Perhaps you feel that you can quote and endorse the views of the Klan on race and not be thought to be racially biased. Hideous and shallow reflects well upon your commentary regarding race via the sources and instances that I have mentioned above, and it is indeed sick. For shame.

          • Steve__T

            Wasting your time. I think I’m going to take another poster’s approach, Ignore.

          • HonestDebate1

            Please do if you can. The other one obsessively reads my every word and replies obliquely through others. That is because my comments are relevant and well-thought while simultaneously slaying dragons. If that was to so I would be easy to ignore. I’m not easy to ignore but good luck and good riddance.

          • Ray in VT

            Or some feel the need to counter your mindless anti-Obama nonsense, your blatant historical inaccuracies, the sources of some of your claims about minorities, your inaccurate quotes, your unsupported pronouncements on topics scientific or the economic drivel that you spout. Likely all of the above in a given day if one is feeling up to the task.

          • Ray in VT

            Indeed I am, given history.

          • jefe68

            He’s not aware of what he’s doing nor of how the language he uses is full of subtext and implied ideas that speak about how some white folks view people of color.

          • HonestDebate1

            You are truly an idiot. It’s not easy to get me to make such proclamations, congrats. I hate it with a passion but I am dedicated to honest debate. It’s my nature to call’m like I see’m. You are truly as stupid as they come, unbelievably vacuous. How do you even remember to breath?

          • Steve__T

            He said he won’t debate me on race because I called him a raciest, Jeff as you and Ray have not,(biting cheeks trying not to lol) I guess he’ll debate you. No he thinks your an Idiot. He may get mad for me saying what he thinks, I don’t know how many times he’s said that, not realizing we are just repeating what he said.

          • Steve__T

            I tried but you refused, just down the page.
            You don’t want to debate it, remember, your past it? Or is that just your way of getting out of an honest debate? Oh that’s right you don’t debate honestly.

          • HonestDebate1

            You have repeatedly flat out called me a racist. Why should I give you the time of day much less chase down your false premises?

            Another commenter has also used the same absurd definition of honest debate. It’s not dishonest to refrain from engagement. I don’t owe you squat.

          • Steve__T

          • hennorama

            Ray in VT — please allow me to interject that the remarks to which you replied are inaccurate. This is what Mr. Bell actually said (emphasis added):

            “She’s talking to black people. We talk to each other differently than we talk when we’re in front of you.”

            Please carry on.

          • HonestDebate1

            I can’t make it out. If you have a transcript from someone who did then God bless you. If you are A-retentave enough to think it makes a difference then I have nothing but pity for your obsession with me.

            There is a little minus sign top right. Click it when you see honest debate and save yourself the embarrassment.

          • Ray in VT

            If Hennorama is looking to avoid actual honest debate, then the minus next to your comments will not be used by her.

          • hennorama

            Ray in VT — thanks for the mention, and the impeccable logic, as usual.

        • OnPointComments

          “Is this a case where he’s just being honest and it’s not about race, or are we seeing race here where it shouldn’t be because that was the criticism that he was talking in code.”

          “I will go ahead and say that there’s race there, that he was talking about black people when he said that. He was talking about blacks and Latinos when he said that. Absolutely.”

          • hennorama

            OPC – thank you for your response, and for proving my point.

            [I have] has read both Rep. Ryan’s remarks in context, and the First Lady’s remarks in their entirety. [It's] quite clear to me that each was speaking with their audience in mind, and neither was making “racist” remarks.

            Rep. Ryan was discussing poverty and not race, with noted “culture warrior” Bill Bennett, and the First Lady was addressing a group of graduates of an historically black university.

            Here are the First Lady’s remarks, in context, with the edited/truncated quote used by Mr. Maher emphasized:

            And think about little Ruby Bridges, who was just six years old when she became one of the first black children in New Orleans to attend an all-white school. Parents actually pulled their children out of that school in protest. People retaliated against her family. Her father lost his job. And only one teacher at that entire school would agree to teach her. But the Bridges family refused to back down. So for an entire year, little Ruby sat all alone, a class of one, dutifully learning her lessons.

            See, that is the sacrifice that those folks and so many others have made. That is the hunger they felt. For them and so many others, getting an education was literally a matter of life or death.

            But today, more than 150 years after the Emancipation Proclamation, more than 50 years after the end of “separate but equal,” when it comes to getting an education, too many of our young people just can’t be bothered. Today, instead of walking miles every day to school, they’re sitting on couches for hours playing video games, watching TV. Instead of dreaming of being a teacher or a lawyer or a business leader, they’re fantasizing about being a baller or a rapper. (Applause.) Right now, one in three African American students are dropping out of high school. Only one in five African Americans between the ages of 25 and 29 has gotten a college degree — one in five.

            But let’s be very clear. Today, getting an education is as important if not more important than it was back when this university was founded. Just look at the statistics. (Applause.) People who earn a bachelor’s degree or higher make nearly three times more money than high school dropouts, and they’re far less likely to be unemployed. A recent study even found that African American women with a college degree live an average of six and a half years longer than those without. And for men, it’s nearly 10 years longer. So yes, people who are more educated actually live longer.

            So I think we can agree, and we need to start feeling that hunger again, you know what I mean? (Applause.) We need to once again fight to educate ourselves and our children like our lives depend on it, because they do.

            OPC, please note that you dropped “When it comes to getting an education…” from Mr. Maher’s already edited/truncated quote of the First Lady’s words.

            Again, perhaps next time you’ll describe the events more accurately.

            Thanks again for proving my point, twice over.

            Rep. Ryan’s remarks, in context, can be found here:
            http://www.politifact.com/wisconsin/article/2014/mar/14/context-paul-ryans-poverty-comments-racial-attack/

            The First Lady’s remarks can be found here:
            http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/05/17/remarks-first-lady-bowie-state-university-commencement-ceremony

          • OnPointComments

            Are you seriously saying that you don’t believe the purpose of Bill Maher’s segment was to contrast the two statements: Ryan’s statement, described by many as racist (22,300 hits on Google, from sources such as Mother Jones, Slate, Bill Moyers, Rep. Barbara Lee, among others); and Michelle Obama’s statement, described by no one as racist?

          • hennorama

            OPC — TYFYR.

            My interpretation of Mr. Maher’s device, whereby he deliberately misattributed, edited and truncated the First Lady’s remarks, was to see if he could catch someone in hypocrisy, and to spark a more interesting discussion.

            The purpose of my multiple posts has been to refute your claim, which was,

            “The liberals on the show agreed that Paul Ryan’s statements to Bill Bennett on his radio show were racist. But Michelle Obama’s statement from a commencement address at historically black Bowie State University wasn’t racist…”

            Your original claim is inaccurate; you also further truncated the already edited/truncated quote used by Mr. Maher.

            Do you dispute the preceding sentence?

            I’m all for a discussion as to whether or not either Rep. Ryan or the First Lady’s remarks were racist. I’m already on record with my opinion that they are not.

            But I’m against mischaracterizations and out-of-context quotes, including your description of the video clip you posted.

            That’s my point.

            The only person who used the word “racist” was Mr. Lazio, when he inaccurately said that Mr. Bell ” just called Paul Ryan a racist.”

            Thanks again for your response.

          • OnPointComments

            Do you believe when Kamau Bell said of Paul Ryan’s quote “I will go ahead and say that there’s race there, that he was talking about black people when he said that. He was talking about blacks and Latinos when he said that. Absolutely,” that his intent was to praise Ryan for his statement, or to criticize him for it?

            Do you believe when Kamau Bell said of Michelle Obama’s statement “She’s talking to black people. We talk to each other differently than we talk to you,” that he was saying there are some things a black person can say to a black audience that will be interpreted differently if said by a white person? Would you say it is racist to interpret the similar statements differently based on the race of the speaker?

          • hennorama

            OPC – TY again for your response.

            I’ll first note a lack of response to my question, then move on to answering yours.

            As to your first question:

            I think Mr. Bell was simply answering Mr. Maher’s question, which was.

            Is this a case where he [Rep. Ryan] was just being honest, and it’s not about race, or are we seeing race here where it shouldn’t be, because that was the criticism, that he was “talking in code.”

            Mr. Bell was expressing his opinion about the meaning of Rep. Ryan’s words, and implying that he agreed with part of the premise of Mr. Maher’s question, that Rep. Ryan was criticized for “talking in code.” In other words, Mr. Bell was “decoding” Rep. Ryan’s phrasing.

            As a reminder, these are the pertinent remarks from Rep. Ryan, including the context, which was omitted from the quote on Mr. Maher’s show (the quote Maher used is emphasized)

            Bill Bennett: Suck it up, deal with it, tough – Betty Ryan. But I mean, a boy has to see a man working, doesn’t he?

            Rep. Ryan: Absolutely. And so, that’s this tailspin or spiral that we’re looking at in our communities. You know your buddy (conservative scholar) Charles Murray or (public policy professor) Bob Putnam over at Harvard, those guys have written books on this, which is we have got this tailspin of culture in our inner cities, in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work; and so there’s a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with. Everybody’s got to get involved. So, this is what we talk about when we talk about civil society. If you’re driving from the suburb to the sports arena downtown by these blighted neighborhoods, you can’t just say: I’m paying my taxes, government’s going to fix that. You need to get involved. You need to get involved yourself – whether through a good mentor program or some religious charity, whatever it is, to make a difference, and that’s how we help resuscitate our culture.

            Moving on to your second question:

            First of all, a correction.

            Mr. Bell said (emphasis mine) “She’s talking to black people. We talk to each other differently than we talk when we’re in front of you.”

            If what Mr. Bell said is true, it would hardly be a surprise, as many individuals and groups will express themselves differently depending on who else is present and able to hear their remarks. This further supports my contention that both Rep. Ryan and the First Lady were speaking with their audiences in mind. And of course the same remarks can be interpreted differently by different audience, especially if the remarks are truncated, edited and/or out of context.

            For example, if a person was at a firehouse, and said this:

            If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.

            The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together. There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don’t do on our own. I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service. That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires.

            If instead the location was the CPAC convention, one might expect a different reception and interpretation.

            So, in sum, the premise of your second question is not germane to the discussion, as Mr. Bell was talking about the same entity speaking differently in front of different audiences, not different entities speaking to the same audience.

            As to your third question, again, the premise is not accepted, as the two quotes are not similar, in my view.

            However, if you’re talking about the entirety of the remarks and their context, then there are similarities. The similarities however, are about getting involved with changing communities, a topic that is absent in the quoted portions:

            REP. RYAN:

            Everybody’s got to get involved. So, this is what we talk about when we talk about civil society. If you’re driving from the suburb to the sports arena downtown by these blighted neighborhoods, you can’t just say: I’m paying my taxes, government’s going to fix that. You need to get involved. You need to get involved yourself – whether through a good mentor program or some religious charity, whatever it is, to make a difference, and that’s how we help resuscitate our culture.

            FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA:

            It’s even in the words of your school song: “Oh Bowie State, dear Bowie State, may you forever be the flame of faith, the torch of truth to guide the steps of youth.” And that’s not just a lyric — it is a call to action. Many of you will answer that call by carrying on the proud Bowie State tradition of serving as teachers, devoting your careers to guiding the steps of the next generation.

            But for those of you who aren’t going into education, you’re not off the hook. Oh, no. Oh, no. No matter what career you pursue, every single one of you has a role to play as educators for our young people. So if you have friends or cousins or siblings who are not taking their education seriously, shake them up. Go talk some sense into them. Get them back on track. (Applause.)

            If the school in your neighborhood isn’t any good, don’t just accept it. Get in there, fix it. Talk to the parents. Talk to the teachers. Get business and community leaders involved as well, because we all have a stake in building schools worthy of our children’s promise.

            And when it comes to your own kids, if you don’t like what they’re watching on TV, turn it off. (Applause.) If you don’t like the video games they’re playing, take them away. (Applause.) Take a stand against the media that elevates today’s celebrity gossip instead of the serious issues of our time. Take a stand against the culture that glorifies instant gratification instead of hard work and lasting success.

            And as my husband has said often, please stand up and reject the slander that says a black child with a book is trying to act white. Reject that. (Applause.)

            In short, be an example of excellence for the next generation and do everything you can to help them understand the power and purpose of a good education. See, that’s what my own parents did for me and my brother.

            In my view, those who criticized Rep. Ryan were looking to score political points, and to degrade his potential as a future candidate for national office. In addition, it’s easy to criticize someone who seems only able to find problems with groups to which they do not belong. No similar dynamics exist regarding the First Lady and her specific remarks, so little if any criticism was made.

            Sources:
            http://www.politifact.com/wisconsin/article/2014/mar/14/context-paul-ryans-poverty-comments-racial-attack/

            http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/07/13/remarks-president-campaign-event-roanoke-virginia

          • OnPointComments

            The clip in my comment was titled by the person who posted it on YouTube as “Bill Maher Trips Up Guests with ‘Racist’ Paul Ryan Quote. Except Michelle Obama Said it.”

            In my opinion, the reason that Paul Ryan’s statement was mentioned by Bill Maher is because of the furor expressed by many that Ryan’s statements were racist. If Ryan’s statement hadn’t been described as racist by many people, I doubt that Maher would have had this segment in his show.

            In my opinion, the reason that Michelle Obama’s statement was mentioned by Maher was that there were similarities to Paul Ryan’s statement, yet there was no cries of racism over her quote.

            When Ryan’s statement was read by Maher, there was much discussion, much of it saying that Ryan was blaming the victims for their circumstances. When Michelle Obama’s statement was read, as Bill Maher said, “Hushed silence.” I think Bill Maher was trying to prove the point that two statements with similarities are interpreted differently depending on who made the statements. He proved his point.

          • hennorama

            OPC – first of all, please allow me to express my sincere appreciation of your continued engagement. I enjoy our exchanges, many of which seem to play out only after the topic has long been abandoned by most. (And I’m not just writing this due to the month and date.)

            OK, down to business: Do you acknowledge that my version of Mr. Bell’s words is correct?

            I keep forgetting to ask where you originally saw the video. It has the MEDIAite logo at its end. Did you first see it there? Did you also get your inaccurate quote of Mr. Bell from the same source, whatever it was? If so, you might want to use different sources in the future. Just sayin’.

            Regardless of who labeled the video or where you first came upon it, it was you who wrote “The liberals on the show agreed that Paul Ryan’s statements to Bill Bennett on his radio show were racist,” was it not?

            I agree that Mr. Maher chose the topic due to the furor and controversy. But he was trying to find the edges of the arguments and positions of those he described as “we,” by deliberately misattributing, editing and truncating the First Lady’s remarks.

            However, Mr. Maher never used the word “racist,” and instead asked (please pardon the repetition):

            Is this a case where he [Rep. Ryan] was just being honest, and it’s not about race, or are we seeing race here where it shouldn’t be, because that was the criticism, that he was “talking in code.”

            So Mr. Maher was, quite properly in my view, already giving Rep. Ryan the benefit of the doubt by not asking “Is Paul Ryan a racist?”

            In the same way, Mr. Bell properly answered the “are we seeing race here where it shouldn’t be” question, by saying that Rep. Ryan “was talking about black and Latinos when he said that. Absolutely.”

            I find it difficult to argue that Rep. Ryan was not “talking about blacks and Latinos,” and find his next-day statement that he was “inarticulate” to be less than fully credible. And certainly Rep. Ryan cannot credibly claim that he was just innocently and offhandedly discussing “this tailspin of culture in our inner cities” as if he was unaware of the implications of these phrases, since he had invoked Charles Murray’s name in the same sentence, just before the subject quote.

            Still, even if Rep. Ryan had instead discussed “this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of [black and Latino] men not working and just generations of [black and Latino] men not even thinking about working…,” such remarks would not in and of themselves be “racist.”

            Which is why, contrary to what you wrote, no one “agreed that Paul Ryan’s statements to Bill Bennett on his radio show were racist.” Because the statements not only weren’t “racist,” Mr. Maher never asked if they were.

            ==========

            As to the “hushed silence” aspect – if Mr. Maher was, as you wrote, “trying to prove the point that two statements with similarities are interpreted differently depending on who made the statements,” he might have been better served had he actually waited for a response rather than immediately (less than 2 seconds later, after Mr. Lazio had tried to make a joke) revealing that he was actually quoting the First Lady.

            Instead, he got laughter, which is hardly proof of anything, except perhaps, surprise.

            One might also posit that the guests were surprised that they hadn’t previously read or heard that Rep. Ryan had said the words that Mr. Maher had misattributed, and were formulating a response during those scant two seconds, while Mr. Lazio tried to make a joke.

            Mr. Maher followed up, saying “I’m just asking – Is something less true if a white person says it about black people?”

            Again, no question about racism was present.

            Then Maher said “It does sound like Michelle Obama’s agreeing with Paul Ryan. This sounds even more like ‘hey black people, don’t be lazy.’ “

            Then Mr. Bell gave his “We talk to each other differently than we talk when we’re in front of you” response.

            Again, no mention of racism.

            Thanks again for your continued thoughtful and respectful engagement.

    • artymowski

      He should concentrate on getting healed, not so much talking. His LA Fakers are really hitting bottom. Maybe he could give a lecture on how to get off a sexual assault charges?

      • HonestDebate1

        Yea whatever, he made sense here. I used to be a big Basketball fan and was pumped when my Charlotte Hornets drafted him. It turned out ugly. He’s still right.

  • HonestDebate1

    “A Caesar at home and a Chamberlain abroad, Obama manages to simultaneously provoke fury and ridicule. He bullies critics here while shrinking from adversaries there.

    He divides the country and unites the world against us, ­diminishing the nation in both ways. His reign of error can’t end soon enough, nor can it end well.”

    http://nypost.com/2014/03/30/chickens-come-home-to-roost-for-obama/

  • OnPointComments

    The last day of enrollment for Obamacare began as the first day did: a website not working as it should. Apparently +/- a billion dollars doesn’t get you much these days.

    Jay Carney, in his White House briefing going on right now, will not say how many people who have enrolled for Obamacare were previously uninsured, or how many have paid their premiums. Personally, I find it difficult to believe that the administration has all these “good news” statistics about Obamacare that it can flaunt, but none of the statistics that might go the other way.

    • Cutler Hamilton

      Sorry you didn’t take advantage of the ACA. I got much better health insurance at a better price.

      • HonestDebate1

        How much of it am I paying for? You’re welcome.

        • Cutler Hamilton

          Nothing and something. I pay a premium for health insurance that covers prescriptions, primary doctors, and deductibles that have to be met before insurance kicks in for specialist treatments (which I hardly ever have). The part about this that you seem to have a problem with is helping others. Your statement indicates that you may be selfish when it comes to the welfare of other human beings. You will get no pity from me. It’s either help your fellow man this way or keep paying increasing premiums like before for millions of people using the ER and other services without contributing anything at all. Your lack of empathy and understanding in this nation will get you nowhere. It’s called karma. Pay it forward. I have a job, house, will be starting a family soon because now my fiancee and I have affordable health insurance. Get over your selfishness and maybe you’ll get some more friends. Your attitude is just depressing.

          • HonestDebate1

            First things first, I have not seen you here and certainly projected my experience with others on to you unfairly. Correctly as it turns out but unfairly. I immediately recognized this and went to rephrase but saw that someone was already replying that I suspected was you. So I waited. My apologies.

            As to your substance, you haven’t a clue. There isn’t a selfish bone in my body and I am obscenely generous. My community is quite satisfied with our many efforts to help others in many ways over decades.

            My point was twofold. You are getting a better deal because of redistribution of wealth not because of the merits of Obamacare. The other point is, it is not your right to have others pay for your health care. That is selfish. At least be grateful.

          • jefe68

            So you don’t support the idea of spreading out the cost of health care. Which is interesting because you already do that when you pay a premium for insurance.

            What I see in this comment is someone who has a lot of mixed up ideas. On the one hand you seem to have empathy and on the other you don’t.

            Do feel this way about public roads and bridges?

          • HonestDebate1

            I don’t support redistribution of wealth. I don’t support government control of 18% of our economy enforced by the IRS. I don’t support putting the cost on the young and healthy. I don’t support obliterating religious freedom. I don’t support killing our economy. I don’t support death panels and a decreased quality of healthcare. I don’t support mandating people buy what they don’t want. I don’t condone shallow, unfounded, emotional, illogical whining about empathy.

            And yes, I’ll take the private sector’s pre-Obamacare version of spreading cost, as flawed as it was, any day of the week.

            And the bridge thing is just stupid as hell.

          • jefe68

            Well at least your inanity is out in the open for all to see. Libertarian hogwash pure and simple.
            Death panels, oy vey.

          • Cutler Hamilton

            And I am grateful for it. I have waited for a solution to getting affordable health insurance and care all my life. Unlike yourself, I was born with a mild form of epilepsy that has always ruled my status as ineligible for affordable health care prior to this legislation. In my opinion, the law did not go far enough. Corporate hospital owners, big pharmaceuticals, and medical device companies have preserved the high cost to the taxpayer for their services. If you researched the the implementation and execution of health services in other countries with socialized medicine, you will notice one single thing. Their population is much happier with their medical expenses, treatment, and follow-up care. Their opinions of a socialized system is not nearly as polarized as what we have witnessed in the past six years. In fact, satisfaction with health care and costs in countries with socialized medicine is at an all time high. Do you know why?

            It’s because they take care of their own. It’s because they realize that if they take care of each other, then everybody as a whole is better for it. They don’t dwell on the fact that they may have to pay for somebody else’s bills. They know not one single person is wholly responsible for freak accidents, unforeseen illness, cancer, and other terminal illnesses which you seem to condemn. It’s humanity that we have lost touch with. Humanity and the ability to empathize with each other’s plights, flaws, and circumstances. We do not all have the choice of having good things happen to us. Some people out there, whether you like it or not, have the deck stacked against them. If you want to make it harder for people to get ahead and make something of themselves, do it without the condemnation of your peers. Do it like you philosophy says. Do it on YOUR own. If you don’t want to be a part of society and helping others, then get out of the way.

          • HonestDebate1

            You know about my health conditions, don’t assume you do.

            Obamacare is a disaster that will not survive. It is not a solution. IMHO you are making a huge error in equating opposition to Obamacare with some silly notion of discompassionate, uncaring, inhumane meanies. We see it all the time. Any attempt to address entitlements that will go broke is met with cries of throwing grandma over a cliff. It’s stupid. There is nothing compassionate or empathetic about Obamacare and it has zero zip nada to do with what you think you know about what I think.

            Having said that, I don’t blame you. Get what you can. Play the system to the fullest extent possible. Demand from your fellow citizens all you want. But don’t think
            for a minute Obamacare is an answer.

          • Steve__T

            Nailed it.

          • HonestDebate1

            How many handicapped kids have you brought joy to? How many battered women have you brought into your home? How many college funds have you set up for single mother’s children? How often do you work with churches to offer free camps to troubled youth? How often do you stop by retirement homes to play piano for the elderly? How many wheelchair ramps have you built for free? How often do you see soldiers in a restaurant and pay for their meal then slip out anonymously?

            Just wondering.

          • Steve__T

            I don’t brag on what I do for others, it steals your blessing. I just do whatever is needed wherever, whenever. And I keep my mouth shut about it . That’s anonymity.

          • HonestDebate1

            You are eager to call people racist and accept the words of people who don’t know squat about me. You are far too nasty to be generous. Just like I am far too gut wrenchingly honest and relevant to be ignored. Try harder to ignore me. I know it’s hard but you said…

          • pete18

            “That is their argument, and this argument of the Judge is the same old
            serpent that says you work and I eat, you toil and I will enjoy the
            fruits of it. ”

            -Abraham Lincoln

            Speech at Chicago, Illinois

            July 10, 1858

            http://books.google.com/books?id=2o561jt4Ct4C&pg=PA457&lpg=PA457&dq=the+same+old+serpent+that+says+you+work+and+I+eat,+you+toil+and+I+will+enjoy+the+fruits+of+it.&source=bl&ots=2EQXrjj9o9&sig=pq1WOIq-WYQJJE7iV1MBeLt2Fm4&hl=en&sa=X&ei=xiA6U_EJwdrYBZSpgcgB&ved=0CEgQ6AEwCA#v=onepage&q&f=false

      • artymowski

        The acid test is next year. We’ll see how happy you are then.

        • Cutler Hamilton

          Maybe. But don’t forget the midterms in November. Many are betting that the GOP will take the Senate. Fine. Let them think that. They also thought that Mitt was gonna win the Presidency by a landslide. How did that go? It’s better to pay attention to facts and figures than rhetoric and scare tactics. Sorry you didn’t take advantage of the ACA.

  • hennorama

    WftC — perhaps next time you might try “Cialis®.”

    BTW, my original reply to you is now “awaiting moderation.”

    So we can now add that medication to the list that includes the nickname of former VP Richard Cheney; said list excludes the word “cock,” BTW. (I discovered both the former and the latter when researching brands of liquor, strangely enough.)

  • pete18

    Another knuckle dragging “denier,” who’s been corrupted by all that Koch money:

    “You’ve developed a reputation as a maverick scientist with contrarian views. Where do you think that comes from?

    I think the notion that I always like to oppose the consensus in
    science is totally wrong. The fact is there’s only one subject that I’ve been controversial, which is climate. I spend maybe 1 percent of my time on climate, and that’s the only field in which I’m opposed to the majority. Generally speaking, I’m much more of a conformist, but it happens I have strong views about climate because I think the majority is badly wrong, and you have to make sure if the majority is saying something that they’re not talking nonsense.

    With a majority of scientists on the other side of this issue, what would it take to convince you to switch sides?

    What I’m convinced of is that we don’t understand climate, and so that’s sort of a neutral position. I’m not saying the majority is necessarily wrong. I’m saying that they don’t understand what they’re seeing. It will take a lot of very hard work before that question is settled, so I shall remain neutral until something very different happens.”

    -Freeman Dyson — the world-renowned mathematical physicist

    http://www.wired.com/2014/03/quanta-freeman-dyson-qa/

    • jefe68

      Being neutral, by the very definition means not siding with one theory or another.

      • pete18

        Yes, and?

        • jefe68

          He’s neither for or against the idea of climate change. Which is his opinion.

          • pete18

            He is open to it being possible but he thinks the vaunted majority are wrong in their current brash assertions. Particularly around the idea that the “science is settled,” or that their is any evidence that is conclusive that backs the doomsday scenarios that we are being sold on by both the scientific consensus and the politicians.

  • HonestDebate1

    Julie Boonstra from Dexter, Michigan. is one of many victims of Obamacare. She is also a victim of the nastiest person the universe, Harry Reid. Democrats don’t like the truth and will lie and attack any light that is shined on their diabolical agenda. Commenters here swallow it whole and spew the same crap. Some disgustingly gloat, they pile on with condescending sarcasm. You nasty nasty people should be ashamed of yourselves, you know who you are.

    http://blogs.detroitnews.com/politics/2014/03/13/details-fact-checkers-missed-julie-boonstras-obamacare-disaster/

  • hennorama

    John Cedar — TYFYR.

    You might be right as to Rep. Ryan’s intent, and you might not be.

    But since he was discussing poverty, which is not limited to any geographic area, race, ethnicity, or sex, why do you suppose he singled out the “culture in our inner cities, in particular, of men not working…”

    Rep. Ryan was simply playing to his audience, responding to Bill Bennett’s question that “a boy has to see a man working, doesn’t he?” In my view, the “inner city/urban” terminology is so ingrained that he didn’t even think about it.

    So if you afford the benefit of the doubt to Rep. Ryan, why wouldn’t you also afford the same benefit to Mr. Maher’s guests?

    Thanks again for your response, and the respectful and thoughtful exchange.

    • John Cedar

      I think Ryan would be justified in focusing on poverty in the inner city because there is a disproportionately high rate of it there and there are a lot of people there too, regardless of the proportions.

      One thing about Ryan is that when he was criticized he retreated like a democrat. But when Bill gave his guests an opportunity to back off because Moochelle said essentially the same thing, they dug their heels in. You may be right that the guests did not intend to call Ryan a racist but it seems like they were being asked if he was racist and they refused to answer.

      Let me just concede that this point that you are correct that they did not call him a racist and they did not imply he was a racist.

      • hennorama

        John Cedar –TY again FYR.

        Here I gave you credit for being respectful, and you have to spoil the illusion by throwing out the terms “democrat” and “Moochelle.” My quixoticism kicks me in the butt yet again … oh well.

        The concession is appreciated. These extended exchanges again prove their value, as we can come to some agreement.

        As I stated when Rep. Ryan’s abbreviated quote first became an issue, he was insensitive and tone-deaf, but not racist, and deserves credit for his public attention to the often-ignored topic of poverty. To me, he seems quite earnest and genuinely concerned, and I hope he continues to push for solutions, and avoids such language in the future.

        Thank you again for your thoughtful responses.

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