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February 15, 2012

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Melinda Romanoff

I wonder what the Administration's Director of OMB thinks about this line of argument.

daddy

In Holder's America he turns over 80,000 Fast & Furious documents to his Justice Department cronies to censor.

In Isaa's America Holder turns over only 6,000 documents to the Congress subpoenaing those same 80,000 documents.

Guess which America is being called a Witchhunt?

Clarice

Since something like 99% of women surveyed said they used birth control and neither access nor cost problems stopped them, the "compelling" interest is hard to find.

Porchlight

half of all pregnancies in the United States are unintended, and nearly half of those end in abortion – a case for expanded access to birth control if there ever was one

A case, perhaps, but a weak one. The problem is not one of access but one of use. We already have broad access to cheap (if not free) birth control. But people don't use it, or they use it carelessly. "Expanding access" by making it "free" won't change that.

Danube of Thought

I think the Rivkin and Whelan analysis is certainly correct. I'd love to see any legal memoranda at HHS on the subject.

MarkO

They don't need no stinking memoranda.

Clarice

The green scam is falling apart..when is someone on the republican side going to note that we threw Billions of tax dollars to Obama's friends on projects that yielded zip at the same time the feds did everything they could to make petroleum products scarcer and more expensive?

C'mon guys--this isn't trigonometry or rocket science.

matt

we hung a bunch of Nazis in 1946-47 because they did not follow their consciences.

With the amount of money channeled to pro-contraceptive alternatives, it can hardly be argued that should someone want to obtain contraceptive services, they can do so at minimal cost.

Thus it becomes harder for the feds to argue that there is a compelling case for said fiat.

Clarice

Oh, yes, DoT. I imagine in such a well-staffed administration we'd see a compelling memo on the law.

MarkO

We need the equivalent of the USDA minder to make certain the sexually active use the free contraceptives. Now, that’s a jobs bill.

Danube of Thought

Seems to me that male homosexuals are late getting on the bandwagon to demand free condoms. But I'm sure it's coming - it's a men's health issue if ever there was one.

Robertgbob

I don't think anyone at Volokh has really delved into the matter. I'm not sure why they've avoided it. Maybe they just aren't subject matter experts.

Adler mentioned almost a year ago and it doesn't seem to have come up again.

Ignatz

--Maybe they just aren't subject matter experts.--

Most of the Volokhians do strike me as chaps likely getting little to none at all.

Fred H.

This is a repeat of the (RIP) Terry Schiavo dynamics that contributed to the Republican wipeout of 2006.

So we come back on Tea Party economics in 2010, and what since then?

So now we're back to religious hysteria and lose again in 2012. Brilliant plan indeed.

Extraneus

I might not be as critical of the bishops, considering the Church's otherwise "social justice" bent, but I still nominate this for Comment of the Day:

This is NOT a "Catholic" issue, but as usual the Bishops are looking out for their own interests and leaving the rest of us to fend for ourselves. They want exemptions from the rule instead of demanding its complete rescission.

What about the lay Catholic business owner? Or the Baptist? Or the agnostic who opposes abortion? Do their consciences not matter?

Posted by: Adjoran | February 15, 2012 at 03:12 PM

I don't remember if he/she has commented here before, but I hope Adjoran sticks around.

matt

so now the department of Newspeak tells us that the public backs Obama by a wide margin in the birth control controversy. LUN.

What I find interesting is that @ 35-40% of the public is opposed to Obama on a wide range of issues. Why would that change on mandated contraception benefits, especially when a heretofore silent constituency is up in arms?

The article then notes that his support is higher than it is when Afghanistan or foreign policy support is polled.

That it is a CBS/NYT poll would seem to indicate that the bias is off the charts on this one.

Danube of Thought

"So now we're back to religious hysteria..."

Was the 1993 Act an act of religious hysteria (it passed in the Senate, 97-3)? Is its enforcement religious hysteria?

I believe Obama will be re-elected, but not because of religion. And I would attribute the 2006 election results a wee bit more to the Iraq war than to the "Terry Schiavo dynamics."

jimmyk

Fred, I agree that the focus needs to get back on economics and the joke of a budget that Barry submitted (late). I disagree that Terry Schiavo had much to do with 2006.

The difficulty is going to be that the MSM will be pounding the drums that the economy is "improving," and may convince enough of the muddle that it won't be as easy to gain traction on the fiscal trainwreck that Barry is conducting us toward. The Repubs better be prepared to confront that. It shouldn't be hard to see through the little declines in the unemployment rate to make the case that the economy is still in the crapper, but it may be beyond the powers of at least some of the current crop of candidates.

Fred H.

Well agree or disagree whether the Schiavo (RIP) affair had anything to do with Republican losses, it sure didn't contribute to any Republican victories.

The best thing we could do for religious liberty is get a Republican in the White House. I'm not a socal conservative only an economic one, and I think this is a loser issue. So be it.

MarkO

"some of the current crop of candidates."

I still want to know who's hiding the weeds, waiting to be brought forth in the brokered convention to lead us to glory. I have no clue nor have I read anything that suggests there is such a candidate and that such a one could win in those 60 days.

Who and how?

I'd love to know.

Ben Franklin

"(b) Exception: Government may substantially burden a person's exercise of religion only if it demonstrates that application of the burden to the person-

(1) is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and

(2) is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest."

How about; ......Promote the general welfare....?

AliceH

Re: Adjoran's comment Feb 15; The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops released a statement on Feb 10 noted they previously urged that a mandate exemption must be available to all insurers, employers, and individuals for reasons of religious liberty and conscience. After the "accommodation" they hardened their position, now stating "The only complete solution to this religious liberty problem is for HHS to rescind the mandate of these objectionable services." LUN

Clarice

What is it now--67%-69%-- of the public thinks the media is biased? And how many families do not have someone unemployed or underemployed? Do you suppose the press which they do not beliee can make them doubt their own eyes?

Old Lurker

I'm with MarkO about not needing any stinking memo. How have we come to a time where thousands of words and law after law, and lawyer upon lawyer are needed to translate simple statements of rights writ large in our Constitution?

Extraneus

Kmiec, who worked in the Obama administration as ambassador to Malta, presented his legal opinion to the White House in November.

So they've been working on this since at least November. In the spirit of not underestimating these scumbags committed leftists, we probably should refrain from underestimating them. This is a fight they obviously chose, for what they thought were good reasons, and maybe they were right to do so.

MarkO

In fairness, OL, I was mostly referring to the old west lawlessness of Obama, but your point is even better. I've made a living doing exactly what you rightly suggest should not be needed.

Rick Ballard

Clarice,

I believe that the muddle will definitely go with their lying eyes over the MFM cheer leading as you note. If there were a chance that Uncle Bob, Aunt Sally and kids were actually going to move out of the rec room in the basement, then BOzo might have a chance.

The big question now is whether gas will hit $4 by the Ides of March - the muddle tends react to that one without reading a word about it.

ME

Adjoran wrote: "This is NOT a "Catholic" issue, but as usual the Bishops are looking out for their own interests and leaving the rest of us to fend for ourselves. They want exemptions from the rule instead of demanding its complete rescission."

That's flat-out false, as 3 seconds of googling could have told him. The Bishops have said that rescission of the mandate is required, *and* they have demanded protections for individuals. (LUN)

Oh, and the bishops in the end opposed passage of Obamacare precisely because these conscience protections were not included, and they did not trust Obama's executive order. Look it up!

henry

Those following the Catholic Bishops, an interesting take on the Walker Recall.

Listecki gives his blessing to Walker but not the recall.

Janet

IIRC 2006 was the "culture of corruption" meme with Abramoff & Foley...& I think Delay resigned. The Iraq war. High gas prices (which is such a joke cause they are just as high now...only no sob stories).
The MFM won the day.

Extraneus

Thanks for the LUN, ME.

jimmyk

Regarding that CBS/NYT poll supporting Obama on the BC mandate, here's the wording:

Do you support or oppose a recent federal requirement that private health insurance plans cover the full cost of birth control for their female patients?

How many of those saying "support" understand that they will be paying for the extra coverage? Especially when they have a president who seems to think that insurance companies can be required to do stuff for free.

MarkO

This is a fraudulent question: "Do you support or oppose a recent federal requirement that private health insurance plans cover the full cost of birth control for their female patients?" It has no rational relationship to the facts of Obamacare.

JFC

Danube of Thought

"How about; ......Promote the general welfare....?"

1. Not an independent grant of power, merely a qualification of the taxing and spending power, which is not involved here. In any event,

2. Never held to be a compelling interest, and

3. Not the least restrictive alternative.

jimmyk

It has no rational relationship to the facts of Obamacare.

MarkO, I've had a long day--can you elaborate?

Rick Ballard

Gosh, MarkO, you're suggesting that a polling company colluded with the MFM in order to produce a headline that would mislead the muddle into believing that BOzo's power grab had broad support.

I hope I can make it to the fainting couch in time.

Danube of Thought

Given the obvious statutory and constitutional issues that the regulation implicates, I'd be amazed if there weren't internal legal memos addressing it. I'd just like to see them.

Janet

Gas prices in 2006 -
"It quickly rose to an average May to September of $2.90, an increase of .62, peaking at $3.02 in August. 42 percent of Americans thought Bush did it."

Clarice

Maybe like Holder Sebelius never reads memos.

jimmyk

42 percent of Americans thought Bush did it.

Not bad, considering 100% were told that he did it.

Extraneus

Surely Kmiek, who "presented his legal opinion to the White House in November," provided a memo, or at least a PowerPoint.

MarkO

jimmyk,it makes the issue sound innocuous, silly and like matters decided years ago. That is exactly the framing of the argument that lets the Dems win. It needs an “irrespective” clause to give the other side of it. Not there.

An answer to it might come without a clear understanding of any controversy. Unfair to ask that way.

Ignatz

--I'm not a socal conservative only an economic one, and I think this is a loser issue.--


I'm so sick of this BS.
Somebody show me some compelling evidence socially conservative issues have ever cost a Republican the Presidency or even Congress.

Danube of Thought

I suppose it would have been too confusing to insert "including those of religious institutions that object on grounds of conscience" after "plans" and before "cover." Don't want to strain the respondents' powers of comprehension.

Ben Franklin

"Not bad, considering 100% were told that he did it."

58% of households have catboxes...

jimmyk

True, they pretended to address this with a followup question:

And what about for religiously affiliated employers, such as a hospital or university - do you support or oppose a recent federal requirement that their health insurance plans cover the full cost of birth control for their female employees?

No words like "who object on religious grounds," for example. Or the question could have been worded, "Do you think employers should be free to decide whether to require all employees to pay for birth control coverage in their medical insurance, notwithstanding the fact that many people have objections to such coercion."

Clarice

Don't you think if the Administration had decent legal arguments we might have heard them? Even if thru third party op eds. Instead we have fruitcakes like Babs Boxer arguing the "right to insurance" is of greater significance than the the right to follow your own religious conscience/

Barbara
The big question now is whether gas will hit $4 by the Ides of March...

It's already well over $4.00/gal here in the wilds of So. California.

Porchlight

'Tis the season of major poll manipulation/media coordination. I mean more than usual. Anyone else get that sense, especially since the SOTU? We had the jobs report and then bam bam bam - poll after poll showing the Great Obama Comeback!

Let them. He'll peak too early.

jimmyk

Clarice, this administration doesn't seem to feel any obligation to justify anything it does on legal grounds unless forced to do so. It does what it wants, and the burden is on the opposition to prove that what they do is illegal or unconstitutional.

Clarice

well, lets see if they take the Rivkin/Whelan wSJ bait.

AliceH

"Thanks for the LUN, ME" Extaneous.

Guess my link wasn't good enough for ya? *Sniff*

Gmax

I swapped e-mails with the parish priest today, and came away assured that this is not over, its not even halftime. Another letter from the Bishop to be issued in a day or two. I have to believe this is going to be written about in the history books as what you dont do when trying to get reelected...

Janet

2006 was also the year of the macaca story that brought down Sen. George Allen.
The MFM ran screaming negative headlines 24/7.

AliceH

Another tidbit re: that poll: Sample size on that question was 1197 adults. Just a subset of those were registered voters,and no attempt to determine likely voters.

Also, distribution was 34% Dem, 27% Rep, 32% Ind.

Extraneus

Sorry Alice! I meant to thank you too.

Extraneus

Or at last I should have!

narciso

True, Haditha, Katrina, 'the war is lost,' the 'innocent' US attorneys, that's just off
the top of my head;

http://www.therightscoop.com/sarah-palin-surprise-guest-on-the-five/

AliceH

No worries, Ex. I'm usually more a lurker but I was compelled to make sure that more up to date evidence countering Adjoran's comment was posted. Should have known that around here it wouldn't be long before someone else made the point!

Rick Ballard

Thank you, Alice. Rasmussen Partisan ID percentages are 36%R,33%D,32%I to provide the proper contrast to the 27%R,34%D,32%I which you cite from the very rigorous, although hysterically loaded poll.

narciso

I think I pointed that fact about the poll, on a much earlier thread, mind you I 'borrowed' that insight from Protein Wisdom,

MarkO

narc, Jeff has done good work over time, but I find him a bit cranky these days.

Clarice

Just as an aside, Rick, my man, I have now perfected=really perfected, Ciabatta and filoncini and strega Italiaan breads. Don't you have business in D.C. so we can have a blow out Italian fiesta?

jorod

The power to contract is an important right. I don't know of any law that says the government can force someone to enter into a contract to sign away one's right to religious freedom. Imagine if the government could force you into a contract to enter into involuntary servitude. So, what good is the Constitution anyway.

narciso

He has labored in the post modern semaneutic stew of academia, that can make you cranky.

MarkO, the nominating system is broken, in part because of the deferral to the MSM, with those every helpful morale boosting debates to
the hangers on, in the Fnork, to the sadly less dynamic NewsCorp,

narciso

You don't have a teleporter handy, do you Clarice. in that all with the Thermomix?

Clarice

You know, narciso..I might not have unpacked all the attachments,

Barbara

There is a very interesting interview with Rick Santorum right now on the Hugh Hewitt program - that's the 5:00 pm hour on the West Coast - for those who want to listen.

Rick Ballard

I'd love to, Clarice. I have no current plans to travel to DC but the offer is very enticing.

Ignatz

--Don't you have business in D.C. so we can have a blow out Italian fiesta?--

WTH? I'm a wop too you know.

Clarice

Maybe you guys could travel together.

centralcal

WTH? I'm a wop too you know.

I have an Italian last name, does that count for anything?

Clarice

http://www.rusticocooking.com/bread.htm
Absolutely.
You can find the recipe at rusticocooking.com.

Don't spray the bread with water though. That releases too much heat from the oven. You can get the steam by putting a pan of boiling water on the top shelf.

jimmyk

Dunno, sounds very high carb, our host may object.

Old Lurker

and I live nearby!

Clarice

Yes, you do. OL.Call. Any time. We miss you and Mrs, OL.

Jimmyk, we just won't tell TM.

ME

Sorry, Alice and Extraneous! I usually lurk, but I was so annoyed at Adjoran's falsehood I posted intemperately, before I'd seen Alice's corrective. I think I'm becoming oversensitive to the anti-Catholic stuff. But the Bishops have been rather good this time -- so good that Obama didn't even tried to work with them. Sr. Carol and the magisterium of nuns are useful idiots, but they have NO authority -- none. And insofar as they stray from the Bishops on matters of faith and morals, they are not behaving as Catholics at all. Most people don't seem to understand this, and Obama exploits our ignorance. Card. George explained this so clearly:

"This is the first time in the history of the United States that a presidential administration has purposely tried to interfere in the internal working of the Catholic Church, playing one group off against another for political gain. What isn’t always understood is that the Bishops of the Church make no attempt to speak for all Catholics; they never have. The Bishops speak for the Catholic and apostolic faith, and those who hold that faith gather around them. Others disperse."

Sr. Carol doesn't seem to care about individual rights of conscience, as long as she gets her magical (and imaginary) exemptions, but the Bishops have expressed concern about every person's right of conscience. Theologically speaking, conscience is vitally important, but legally the Bishops are on firmer ground when they speak of religious freedom. IANAL, but I doubt that RFRA will protect the conscience of agnostics, which is a shame -- and should be corrected. Which is why the Bishops are calling for passage of the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act.

Porchlight

Thanks narciso for that link to Palin's surprise visit to The Five. That was the first time I'd ever seen the show. I didn't find it too awful but then again, Palin was on. She charmed them all, of course, even old Beckel.

Ignatz

--I have an Italian last name, does that count for anything?--

As long as it ends in an "I" like Ratzkywatzky or an "O" like Ballard you're good.

Porchlight

To be fair to Adjoran, ME, he/she might have been simply unaware that the bishops had called for individual exemptions. I know I was, and I've been staunchly with the bishops ever since this went down. My own mistake, I admit, to not be up on things.

Ignatz

This issue must be a bigger problem for Barry than people think if it's bringing lurkers like ME and AliceH out of lurking mode.
I hope they stay out.

A Casual Observation

Well, it has begun ..., Romney's slimy PACs are viciously attacking Santorum with their massive TV ads campaign, just like they did with Gingrich in Florida. Romney believes that he can [buy] the presidency. Which isn't any big deal, I suppose, if you perceive that Santorum is as shitty as Romney is.

But the Republicans can forget about regaining the presidency. Their only hope is to retain control of the House and perhaps to regain control of the Senate.

But in their immorality and their stupidity, they will screw that up, too. They [deserve] four more years of Obama. They're as immoral as Democrats are. Independents are just batty.

Rocco

Guys, just stay away from D.C.'s Urbana Restaurant and Wine Bar (Via Dave Barry)

Hmm, do you suppose Red Wine or White would go with those nuts? Might I suggest Woolite instead?

narciso

'Goggles they do nothin' Rocco,

Clarice

Tongue is good. Beef cheeks, also. And I guess anything cooked escargot style (in garlic butter that is) would be tasty,Rocco, though I confess I've not had the valentine's special and wouldn't drive there to try it.

ME

You're right, Porch, I shouldn't have been so quick to judge. As I said, I'm oversensitive to the anti-Catholic stuff these days.

Perhaps lefties are more attuned to what they perceive as threats to the abortifacient mandate; certainly, *they* have been aware that the Bishops are calling for individual exemptions (or really, for rescission of the mandate for all employers). For the last week, lefties have been blogging furiously about this statement from the Bishops' general counsel, Anthony Picarello: "If I quit this job and opened a Taco Bell, I'd be covered by the mandate." LUN

OldTimer

"But KNOW this,

that in the last days

perilous times will come . . .

Evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse,

deceiving (lying) and being deceived."

(2 Timothy 3:1, 13)

Porchlight

ME,

Thanks. I think there is still some general frustration among non-Catholics opposed to Obamacare - both because of the Stupak betrayal and because many Catholics went along quite happily with Obamacare even though 1) it's horrific and 2) they should have seen this very specific thing coming. I do share some of that frustration. Obama needed their support, he courted it, and he got it, at least until now. We all have to suffer this monstrosity thanks in part to that support at a key time.

That said, I admire the strong stand that the bishops are making and support them wholly.

Danube of Thought

Poor ol' ACO has sunk faster than an Italian cruise ship. Somebody throw him a line.

Fred H.

@Ignatz

Well if Santorum gets the nod, we'll get to see.

Barbara

I have to say that Santorum did well in his interview with Hewitt. He was poised, knowledgeable and didn't pander with his answers, although he did hedge a bit with his comments about a potential long term involvement in Afghanistan.

One interesting question was whether a sort of Chapter 11 process should be created for bankrupt states. I'm not sure how such a thing would work and neither was Santorum. He did note the problems faced by Gov. Walker as well as the repercussions of the actions he took in Wisconsin, and said that he would be willing to work with Congress on developing such an option.

A Casual Observation

@ 9;07

Yeah, shit-for-brains, that is why you
continue to read whatever I post here,
and that is why I continue to be, um, a
thumbtack in your fat ass, you blowhard.

matt

More on how Obama is waging his war on conventional energy. From Wheeling, WV

LUN

We have to organize the Catholics and the coal miners and power plant workers and everyone who has lost a job or been oppressed by this administration, and that is the way it has to be portrayed.

Obama wants class warfare. This has to be shaped into the message that he is at war against American values, American greatness, American jobs, and the American people.

ME

Porch,
I fully share that frustration against those Catholics who supported Obamacare *against the counsel of the bishops.* (After Stupak stopped talking to the bishops and betrayed pro-lifers, he seemed to lose his ability to speak rationally. I thought for a second that frogs would start jumping out of mouth. His affect was just so uncanny.) And I wish more bishops knew something about economics, because Obamacare would be a disaster even if the Stupak amendment were retained.) Looking further back, it's a disgrace that a majority of Catholics voted for Obama in 2008, when anyone who paid attention knew his record on the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, etc. (Mass-attending Catholics voted for McCain.) But the media helped Obama dissemble about his appalling record in the Illinois statehouse, and most people don't waste their time on legislative minutiae. They have families, and more important things to do.

SWarren

Mitt is unleashing attack here in Michigan. I think Santorum's ad is pretty novel.
View here:

Michigan Ad battle

http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2012/02/15/146915764/mich-tv-ad-battle-pt-2-santorum-humorously-attacks-romney

MarkJ

"That it is a CBS/NYT poll would seem to indicate that the bias is off the charts on this one."

CBS/NYT poll, 1937: "95% of Germans think Jews shouldn't fear Hitler."

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