Browsing the blog archives for February, 2012.

Davy Jones, 1945-2012

entertainment and popular culture

Damn, I feel old right now.

This one’s for erinyes —

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SEX! Booga Booga Booga!

Obama Administration

I want to go back briefly to the “Sex-Crazed Co-Eds Going Broke Buying Birth Control, Student Tells Pelosi Hearing Touting Freebie Mandate” article linked in the last post.

One of the odd things I’ve noticed over the past few days is that righties link birth control to promiscuity. For example, Althouse reacted to the phrase “birth control moms” —

The “mom” part of the term is about… well, what is it about? It’s what patronizing politicos call the women who they imagine don’t think, but emote and intuit their way through elections. Or perhaps, in part, it’s that women who are mothers are concerned about the children. In that light, a “birth control mom” isn’t a woman who wants her birth control devices. As a soccer mom likes to see the kids playing soccer, a birth control mom likes to see the kids using birth control, when they fuck, which they will do… you can’t stop ’em… or if you think you can, you might already be a Santorumite.

At the time I read this, I thought, WTF? Does Althouse really not know that the enormous majority of married women in America plan their families, which means they are on birth control most of the time? And one reason for this (not the only only, of course) is the well being of the children they do choose to have?

Craig Bannister, the sick, twisted bleeper who wrote the “sex crazed co-ed” article, doesn’t even seem to understand how birth control works.

A Georgetown co-ed told Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s hearing that the women in her law school program are having so much sex that they’re going broke, so you and I should pay for their birth control.

Does he think the pill or IUDs are only used, um, per episode? For a woman the cost is the same whether she has sex once a day or once a year. Since we’re talking about law school students (Sandra Fluke’s testimony, anyway), who are not teenagers any more, it’s likely some of those “co-eds” are married. Possibly most are in monogamous relationships — I can’t imagine Georgetown law school gives one a lot of time to cruise bars looking to pick up sailors on shore leave. And, of course, some women take the pill for medical reasons that have nothing to do with contraception; treating ovarian cysts, for example, as Sandra Fluke testified.

Speaking of Sandra Fluke, the entire Right assumes she’s some sort of wanton trollop. Comment to The Anchoress:

Sorry for the double post, but where are this girl’s parents? My parents would be beyond humiliated if I gave sworn testimony in Congress that it’s not fair that my mean college refuses to pay for me to have sex consequence free.

If my parents found out about the testimony before hand, they would either a) give me a good talking to, about virtue, self control. And if that didn’t work, they would beg me not to embarrass the family on national tv for all posterity going into the Congressional Record.

What a nice daughter in law she’ll be.

See also “Free love costs too much at Georgetown” — “These poor silly girls who sell themselves so cheaply in the cause of feminism and empowerment make me sad.”

Comment to the “sex crazed” article — “If they fornicate we must facilitate? Debase yourself if you must, but not on my dime.”

I could go on and on and on; there are thousands of examples of people jumping to the knee-jerk conclusion that someone using birth control must be promiscuous. It’s like they just dropped out of a time machine from 1937. Please, nobody tell them about the Comstock Act — they’ll want to bring it back.

I wrote a couple of weeks ago,

Similarly, as Republicans lose ownership of what had been their strongest issues — national security and business — all the ugly muck at the depths of their ids is rising to the surface. Finally, there is nothing left but the primordial concern gnawing at their bones all these years — sex.

I started to say “sex and God,” but if you think about it, mostly God exists for them as a bulwark against sexual chaos. So it really is just about sex.

Booga booga!

And in case any rightie drops by here, please read the economic argument for contraception coverage before you write some stupid thing about why you shouldn’t have to pay for someone else’s lifestyle.

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Sick, Twisted Bleeper

Obama Administration

I am about to go out, but I just saw this and had to share it. “Sex-Crazed Co-Eds Going Broke Buying Birth Control, Student Tells Pelosi Hearing Touting Freebie Mandate.” The sick, twisted bleeper who wrote this is named Craig Bannister. Note that; if you ever meet him, run away. He is a sick, twisted bleeper. I don’t think I have to explain why; you will see it.

This was written for CNS, which I think means Christian News Service. Thank you, Buddha, for showing me the way.

Sick. Twisted. Bleeeeeeper.

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Michigan Primary Nail-Biter

Mittens, n00t, Obama Administration

Nate Silver says the Michigan primary is too close to call, and conventional wisdom says Mittens must win Michigan or lose his argument that he is the most electable candidate.

There is a lot of talk about Democrats doing “mischief” and voting for Santorum in the Republican primary. Somewhere this morning I read that this was not being endorsed by either the Obama Administration or the Michigan Democratic Party. However, Steve M says the Santorum campaign has a robocall going to Democrats asking them to vote for Santorum.

Meanwhile, CBS reports that President Obama’s approval rating with women has taken a big leap recently. Do tell.

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War on Women Updates

abortion, Women's Issues

Please see two new posts by the Angry Black Lady: War on Women: Alabama State-Sanctioned Rape Bill and War on Women: Pennsylvania State-Sanctioned Rape Law is Most Cruel Yet.


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Blog: The Blog

entertainment and popular culture

This is hysterical.

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Tough Talk

Budget, economy, Frothy, Mittens, Wingnuts Being Wingnuts

Frothy complains that Mittens is a wimp about taxes.

Our economy and American families are struggling, and the country needs bold reforms and major restructuring, not tinkering at the margins. …my opponent in the Republican primaries, Mitt Romney, had a last-minute conversion. Attempting to distract from his record of tax and fee increases as governor of Massachusetts, poor job creation, and aggressive pursuit of earmarks, he now says he wants to follow my lead and lower individual as well as corporate marginal tax rates.

It’s a good start. But it doesn’t go nearly far enough. He says his proposed tax cuts would be revenue neutral and, borrowing the language of Occupy Wall Street, promises the top 1% will pay for the cuts. No pro-growth tax policy there, just more Obama-style class warfare.

Mittens is tinkering at the margins? Ezra Klein says,

Mitt Romney is promising that taxes will go down, defense spending will go up, and old-people programs won’t change for this generation of retirees. So three of his four options for deficit reduction — taxes, old-people programs, and defense — are now either contributing to the deficit or are off-limits for the next decade.

Romney is also promising that he will pay for his tax cuts, pay for his defense spending, and reduce total federal spending by more than $6 trillion over the next 10 years. But the only big pot of money left to him is poor-people programs. So, by simple process of elimination, poor-people programs will have to be cut dramatically. There’s no other way to make those numbers work.

In fact, Mittens recently proposed a 20% across-the-board cut in income tax rates. This is much more drastic than what he has been proposing, but he has to keep moving Right to stay in the race.

Not to be outdone, Frothy is proposing a ten-point Economic Freedom Agenda, which he says will balance the budget in four years. Yes, and I’m Jean Dujardin. And the dog.

Here are his ten points, briefly:

  1. Drill, baby, drill; frack, baby, frack; and pipeline, baby, pipeline.
  2. Deregulate.
  3. Cut taxes.
  4. Cut taxes.
  5. Lay off public employees.
  6. Repeal “Obamacare” and replace it with the better plan Republicans keep promising but can’t seem to find anywhere.
  7. Pass a balanced budget amendment.
  8. Make lots of free trade agreements.
  9. Cut the hell out of “entitlement” programs.
  10. “Revive housing” by finally killing off Fannie and Freddie.

Seriously. I left out some details, but the whole plan is such a fantasy the details are kind of irrelevant. Obviously if the country goes this way in no time we’ll be in such a hole that Greece will look good.

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The Sickening Santorum

Obama Administration

Santorum says he ‘almost threw up’ after reading JFK speech on separation of church and state.

Nate Silver has Mittens the likely winner in Arizona and Michigan, but he says it is possible Santorum could pick up more Michigan delegates than Mittens if he comes in second. But Frothy is projected to win some of the super Tuesday states and some later March primaries. (Actual headline: “Santorum comes from behind in Alabama three-way.” Kinky.) Newt is favored in Georgia.

Speaking of Frothy, here he is lying his ass off about the First Amendment and pretending the establishment cause isn’t there (via).

This is a speech Santorum made to mark the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s speech in which he promised to keep his Catholicism separate from his presidency. According to Santorum, this was the first time in American history anyone had suggested that religion keep its mitts off government.


Ultimately Kennedy’s attempt to reassure Protestants that the Catholic Church would not control the government and suborn its independence advanced a philosophy of strict separation that would create a purely secular public square cleansed of all religious wisdom and the voice of religious people of all faiths. He laid the foundation for attacks on religious freedom and freedom of speech by the secular left and its political arms like the A.C.L.U and the People for the American Way. This has and will continue to create dissension and division in this country as people of faith increasingly feel like second-class citizens.


It is the debasement of our First Amendment right of religious freedom. Of all the great and necessary freedoms listed in the First Amendment, freedom to exercise religion (not just to believe, but to live out that belief) is the most important; before freedom of speech, before freedom of the press, before freedom of assembly, before freedom to petition the government for redress of grievances, before all others. This freedom of religion, freedom of conscience, is the trunk from which all other branches of freedom on our great tree of liberty get their life.

If you listen — I sat through about half of it — what comes through is that Santorum utterly ignores the establishment clause and believes the First Amendment protects free exercise of religion, period. At one point he says that the First Amendment’s “wall of separation” protects religion from interference by government, but does nothing to protect government from religion.

Of course, Kennedy’s speech was delivered 12 years after the McCollum v. Board of Education decision, in which Justice Black wrote, “Neither a state nor the Federal Government can, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups, and vice versa. In the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect ‘a wall of separation between church and State.'”

It was also delivered about 173 years after James Madison wrote Federalist Paper #10, in which he wrote about the mischief done to government by majority factions, including religious factions.

And, of course, Frothy fails to understand Madison’s point, which is that government only interferes with religion when religion interferes with government; that is, when a faction with a religious agenda is able to take the reins of government and use government authority to impose their beliefs on others.

So this morning on a Sunday bobblehead show Frothy said that Kennedy’s speech on religious separation made him want to throw up. Well, Rick, you make me want to throw up. You’re either too stupid or ignorant to know what you are talking about, or you do know and you are just lying your ass off. Either way is sickening.


Scott Lemieux:

So, if I understand in 1960, the GOP was upset because they (erroneously) believed that a Roman Catholic president would not govern for all Americans but would take orders directly from a religious hierarchy. In 2012, Republicans are furious because a president would try to govern for all Americans rather than taking orders directly from a religious hierarchy.

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The Limits of “Conscience”

Health Care, Religion, science

The wingnuts are screeching that we must allow Catholic bishops to dictate the nation’s health insurance policies, because otherwise we are violating their religious conscience. As one non-Catholic explained,

As Americans–Catholics and Baptists alike–we are in absolute agreement on the inviolable freedom of conscience, a right recognized and guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution to every American citizen.

“Religious exemptions” are being granted to pharmacists who don’t want to fill birth control prescriptions. As Mistermix wrote,

Tebow and his only begotten son Bieber help us if this keeps up, because we’re going to have a medical profession full of delicate conscientious objectors whose heartfelt beliefs keep them from doing their goddam job. Where does this idiocy end? If you’re a Jehovah’s Witness, whose religion forbids blood transfusions, and you want to become a trauma surgeon, will some federal judge support your right to let your patients bleed to death?

We may be closer to that than you realize. Charles Pierce points to the measles epidemic in Indiana and notes a connection to religion:

The state health authorities in Indiana have released a list of possible places where the victims of the outbreak may have contracted the disease. Several of them, including the College Park Church in Indianapolis and a basketball tournament for homeschooled children, are intriguing because of the cross-pollination between fundamentalist Christianity and the anti-vaccination movement. In 2005, a young Indiana woman came home from a mission trip to Romania and kicked off another measles outbreak within the congregation of her church. …

…In 1985, across the border in Illinois, there was a measles outbreak at Principia College, a Christian Science institution. There were 112 confirmed cases and three deaths associated with that outbreak. Between that episode and 1994, there were four large-scale measles outbreaks at Christian Science institutions around St. Louis. By the way, Principia College still maintains a religious exemption from the requirements of Illinois law mandating proof of vaccination.Instead, Principia students can present an “accommodation form” stating their religious objections to vaccination.

And, never fear, a number of states are considering bills that would exempt school children from vaccinations if their parents object for “philosophical” reasons.

I don’t know if anyone has died in the current Indiana outbreak, but all but two of the cases reported have occurred in anti-vaccination families.

A lot of us geezers caught measles when we were kids, and recovered in a few days. But it tends to be harder for adults, and the disease can be fatal. And then there’s German measles, which causes horrific birth defects when a pregnant woman is infected. Are the whackjobs going to start that up again?

I believe a lot of states have allowed Christian Scientists to slide on the vaccination thing, but since there are so few of them it didn’t cause that much of a problem. I’m reading that now about 10 percent of families with small children are refusing or delaying at least some vaccinations, if not all of them, believing the shots are dangerous. Like the diseases they prevent aren’t?

I believe most states hold parents responsible if a child dies from a curable disease and the parents refused to seek medical help on religious grounds. So there’s a limit to “conscience.” You can refuse medical care for yourself, but not for your minor child. But the vaccination issue points to how interdependent we really are, and how a decision made for oneself could impact a lot of other people. And, IMO, where lives are on the line, your “conscience” has to take a back seat to reality.

This is getting ridiculous. So I’m pushing back on the notion that “religious conscience” trumps all other considerations. My modest proposal is that at the very least, anyone who has not received all recommended vaccinations must be required to wear some kind of ID badge or bracelet, so the rest of us know to keep our distance from them. I suspect a lot of folks will quickly decide that maybe vaccines aren’t so bad after all.

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What If Santorum Is the Nominee?

Obama Administration, Wingnuts Being Wingnuts

Christ Matthews had a nice gotcha moment on Hardball last night.

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Truly, sometimes Santorum sounds more like a far-right evangelical than a Catholic. See also James Wood, “Senator Santorum’s Planet.” Both Wood and Timothy Egan at the New York Times make the point that Santorum is a theocrat who wants to base public policy on his religious views. Also, too: Becky Garrison, “Rick Santorum’s attacks on Barack Obama are about theology not policy.”

According to an article in Politico, Santorum actually “tests” better against President Obama than the other candidates. This many months from the election I doubt such matchup polls mean much, though.

Sorta kinda related — Charles Pierce notes that something extraordinary happened during the recent debate in Arizona. Santorum actually mentioned President Bush.

He is the man who isn’t there. Until NCLB came up last night, the years 2000-2008 had been successfully written out of the narrative of the 2012 election. For these jamokes, time effectively began in January of 2009. It was Year Zero on the Kenyan Muslim Socialist Calendar. I do not believe that Bush’s political non-personhood is an accident. It is now an article of faith among the Republican base that Bush’s failures stem not from the fact that he was a manifest incompetent, but that he was too liberal a president. Putting through Medicare Part B without paying for it is a greater sin to these people than running two wars off the books was. No Child Left Behind had the endorsement of Teddy Kennedy! (Aieeeeeeee!) If only Bush had tried conservatism, the fairytale goes, then conservatism would have succeeded, as it always does. It never fails. It is only failed. C-Plus Augustus failed conservatism. …

… Since the crimes and bungling of the Bush Administration resulted in a thrashing in the 2006 midterms and, ultimately, in the election of the current president in 2008, this feeling within the Republican base has hardened into an immutable faith. The Republican party has become more extreme, not less. It has become so resistant to compromise that it has become completely resistant even to political logic. (Make no mistake. The party faithful really want this fight over contraception.) I fully expect that, by August at the latest, Willard Romney will be calling the last president of his party a socialist.

I also think the wingnuts can’t help themselves and really will make the election about contraception and other bugaboos rattling around in the wingnut id.

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