Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Some Ideas are Good. Others... Not So Much

Earlier this week, an independent medical panel recommended that insurers be required to cover all FDA-approved contraceptive methods.            Finally, there’s something to put a smile on my face, after months of partisan hyperbole over the debt ceiling.  But of course no good idea ever goes unpunished.

If the issue is birth control, you can count on the Catholics to harsh our mellow.  The US Conference of Catholic Bishops immediately released a statement denouncing the proposal.  I’m not sure on whose behalf they’re lobbying, given that 99% of all American women have used contraceptives in their lifetime, including Catholics.  It’s an issue that cuts across all religious boundaries.

I think the Bishops are just trying to prevent a disruption to the current supply of altar boys for them to prey on. 

Everyone wants to reduce the number of abortions that happen in this country.  You would think that birth control would be something that liberals and conservatives could agree on.  But no.

At least the Catholics come right out and say it… that it’s against the tenets of their religion.  The rest of the religious and social conservatives are sneakier.  They just try to cut off funding for anything sex-related.  Funds for Planned Parenthood?  Under attack and cut off in several states.  Funds for sex education?  Slashed everywhere.  Viagra?  Slash… wait a minute.  Nope, you can get your insurance to cover Viagra.  Or Cialis, Levitra and Bonerol.  (OK, I made up the last one, but wouldn’t that be a great name?)

So it’s just the sexual issues for women that are under the gun…  The New Hampshire Executive Council just voted to cut off funding for Planned Parenthood.  One of the council members, Raymond Wieczorek said, “If they want to have a good time, why not let them pay for it?

Right.  And the reason that you can get insurance to cover E.D. drugs is…?  The double standard is staggering.  And not to mention the other oft-lost fact that Planned Parenthood offers reproductive heath care of all types, to women with no where else to turn.  Single mothers, college students, low-income married women… all turn to Planned Parenthood for help. 

How much more expensive is the alternative?  How much do you think it would cost New Hampshire if all the women that seek birth control had babies instead?  How much in food stamps, WIC, Welfare or Medicare?  It’s the very definition of “penny wise and pound foolish,” with a twist of Puritanism thrown in.  Birth control is chicken feed.  Raising a child for 18 years is some serious cash.

So if all of this wasn’t enough to get my blood pressure rising, there’s this.  Rep. Steve King of Iowa said on Twitter today that President Obama could be impeached if the US defaults on its debts.  Rep Tim Scott of South Carolina suggests that Obama could be impeached if he raises the debt ceiling without Congressional approval.  (Like Sen. Mitch McConnell wants him to do.)

I swear, these guys will do absolutely anything to reclaim the White House, including, apparently, holding their breath and throwing a tantrum if they don’t get their way.  Are we really going to use impeachment to settle purely political debates?  Oh wait, we already did.  See “Clinton Years: 1998-99.”  Until now, I thought we learned our lesson.

If I’d have known we could impeach for policy arguments, I’d have been railing for impeachment when Bush neutered the Justice Department, tied the Department of Energy to the coat-tails of the Oil and Coal Industries and gutted financial regulations that opened the door for our entire fucking banking industry to collapse.

Now, the Republicans seriously want to impeach if they are successful in blocking the President’s every move?  Surely the American People will see through that right?





Oilfield Trash said...

You might also want to re-think the coat tails one seeing as how when Obama took office he appointed a lady who was an ex BP employee (imagine that) to head MMS. It was not just Bush in bed with them, Democrats are as well, they are just more discrete about it.

The rest of your points are dead on though.

bluzdude said...

That's one post. I'm not crazy about it being an Oil Co. exec, but they have to find someone that knows the industry the department is to run and regulate, or else they end up with a situation like FEMA in 2005.

Still, that's a far cry from having representatives from all the big energy industries come to the White House for closed door meetings in which they formulate the Administration's energy policy for the next 4 years. I don't know about the BP lady, but I guarantee that group of execs were not looking out for American's best interests; they were looking out for their industry's bottom lines.

Oilfield Trash said...

If you think it is limited to big oil you are mistaken. It happens with both parties and the military industries, the pharma industry, unions, and on and on. None of those groups have America's best interests in mind. The players come and go, the teams change, but the same game is played.

injaynesworld said...

Thanks for using your blog to bring up these important issues, Tony. I wonder when people will finally learn that when they vote for Republicans, this is the kind of neanderthal governing they're going to get. Barefoot and pregnant is exactly how these cretins would like to see women again.

Anonymous said...

I was thinking about this today. I'm sick of Obama giving away the farm to appeal to independent voters. Some hope and change. He's the Great Deal Maker. And still the GOP won't accept a victory when it's handed to them.

The GOP signed pledges with a minority of Americans and now they have to do whatever they say so that group can get everything they want. Even Ronald Reagan is spinning in his grave. Ronnie would never have handcuffed himself with stupid pledges.

Surely they will pay for this. They will thrive in primaries and in congressional districts, and I know the elections are a long 15 months from now, but voters will remember, right?

And as far as contraception goes, don't forget American pastors who denied Africa aid if condoms were involved, even though men were giving their wives HIV/AIDS. People really suck sometimes.

Mrs. Bachelor Girl said...

The USCCB is EXTREMELY conservative. Your average parish priest, on the other hand (around here, at least), will usually say that birth control is a personal matter of conscience. That aside, however, "birth control" pills are not always used for purposes of controlling birth - in actuality, they're hormone pills, and those have TONS of uses! I don't know why that's so hard for some people to understand.

sherry stanfa-stanley said...

On a related note, Toledo's Bishop Blair has banned local Catholic schools from fund-raising for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation, because he's concerned that the organization might someday fund research using embryonic stem cells.

Not that they ever have, mind you. But they just might. Someday.

Boggles the mind.

Jessica R. said...

I second what MBG said. I have personally had priests say that is completely between me and my husband, because they are realistic and actually work with women. Unfortunately, the higher up in the Church you get, the more you have male-centric driven mentality. I hardly think that a bunch of celibate men have the understanding and authority to tell a woman not to use birth control. And most Catholic women I know (myself included) do use it.

Also, that Susan G. Komen thing also tends to be regional. I know we had a Catholic team at the Race for the Cure two years ago.

It's kind of like when they interview a dumb redneck when a tornado hits, then all Southerners get a bad name.

Mary Ann said...

Your first reply that regulators need to know the oil industry is fair and right. As Michael Bromwich, director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforecement (BOEMRE,once the Mine Management Service), says, inspectors need the expertise and training found in a region where offshore drilling is part of the culture. Industry-government ties are inevitable but should be "identified, addressed and managed", according to Bromwich.
No yacht parties and sleep-overs.

Does anyone really listen to the dirty old men in lace dresses anymore? Unfortunately for women, the dirty middle aged men in suits and their fembots with long hair and lipstick still do.

Mary Ann said...

An Associated Press investigation found 1 of every 5 employees involved in offshore inspections in the Gulf of mexicao has been recused of some duties because they could come in contact with a family member or friend working for the company they regulate.
Companies with ties to government workers include Chevron, Shell, and, of course, BP.
O Yeah. We gonna "identify, address and manage" dese guys. O YEAH!

Cassie said...

Brilliant! This was great.

While I understand this is a man's world and I'm merely welcomed to enjoy it, (Or rather, lay there and 'enjoy' it,) this is bullshit.

Just last week I had a patient who had to be admitted because he couldn't afford the 50 dollars a day fee to have a nurse come in and run his antibiotic via a central line. So, instead, the geniuses that run the world decided to ADMIT him to the hospital, costing hundreds of dollars a day. And when he's done at the hospital, he'll go to a nursing home where it's at least 700 dollars a day.

Just to save 50 bucks.

What is wrong with everyone?!

Cher Duncombe said...

Impeach Obama? Let's impeach Limbaugh. Get him off his own air-bag! I am so sick of this I could spit nickles, which is about all we have left when these Tea Party people are done.

bluzdude said...

I never said it was limited to Big Oil. That’s just the example I used, which was especially applicable because of the Bush family’s roots in the oil business. I know that lobbyists from all industry work with government but the access given to the energy players was unprecedented.

It certainly looks like Obama has not been the Great Liberal Leader or Anti-Christ that both the right and left thought he would be, but rather a pragmatic realist. (That we probably need to get things done.)

The pledges are ridiculous. Just who is this clown that collects them and why should anyone show him any more deference than they show the rest of the country? Screw him.

I have zero faith in a voting public that forgets the events of the prior month, let alone the prior year. I have even less faith in the voting system, which it appears from news reports this week, completely gamed in Ohio to throw the 2004 election to Bush. (Note: it’s probably not a good idea to have the Secretary of State (who is responsible for elections) to be the Republican Party Chief in the state.

The misinformation about condoms that the Catholics and other religious types have spread in Africa is criminal. Their hands are tarred with the stain of genocide, for preventing the use of the simplest method of disease and unwanted pregnancy prevention, the simple condom.

The Republicans don’t call it “barefoot and pregnant,” they call it “Family Values.” In other words, pushing their values on your family. It’s the height of hypocrisy to make such noise about limiting government, yet using that very government to insert their prejudices into your life and your bedroom.

Mrs. Bachelor Girl,
One of the points I was trying to make, (and I don’t think I did it very clearly), was about the increasing irrelevance of what the Catholic hierarchy has to say. When 98% of their own parishioners actively violate one of their major principles, what kind of influence can they really have in this country? Like your area priests, the people that have to deal with the consequences of church doctrine tend to do what’s best for themselves.

I’ve said this before, but as a Recovering Catholic myself, I long ago figured out that if I so vehemently disagree with so many points of Catholic dogma, why would I ever remain one?

I’m glad you take comfort in your religion, and as you know, I have nothing bad to say about that. People should do what makes them happy and fulfilled.

I’ve never made it a secret that I have no use for any organized religion because I don’t think they are necessary. Any person can have a one on one relationship with their God without any organization in between. But admit that I have a special dislike for Catholicism after having been through it. I look and see the damage that this organization has done in 3rd World countries with their campaign of misinformation on birth control all over the world, the subordination of women everywhere, and by allowing child predators to remain hidden and strike again and again, so I refuse to be associated with them. So allowing them to attempt to influence public policy so that it coincides with their narrow dogma is offensive to me.

That just shows how tone-deaf and out of touch these Bishops are. And how coincidental is it that it’s a breast cancer organization he won’t support? I bet if it was a group for prostate cancer, he’d be all in.

But hey! I’ll see you on Monday!

I hear ya, Jess. That’s pretty much what I said to MBG above… the ‘boots on the ground’ tend to know the real deal better than those that are in the ‘business’ of running The Church. The former are trying to help people, while the latter are more concerned with the purity of their ‘brand.’

Yeah, I think Bishop Dingleberry in Toledo just went painfully rogue. At least I’d hope so. It would be sad to think that his take on that came from above. (Although it wouldn’t surprise me.)

bluzdude said...

Mary Ann,
Not much I can add to that.

I think cases like this show how the state of medical expenses has gotten this way. Lots of rules, no common sense.

For the life of me, I can’t see why anyone listens to that assbag. Lotta gullible people out there with a serious lack of critical thinking skills.

Gina said...

Trying to respect the differences in political views is getting harder and harder for me lately. The party posturing and double standards are making me crazy frustrated and tongue-tied. My 7 & 14 year old are more respectful of each other and work out their differences better than the idiots in charge.

bluzdude said...

This is what the American people get for electing people with only a rudimentary idea of how government or economics work. If I’m the mom, I send them to Time Out, immediately.

Christy said...

Ha! The Catholic church just likes to think they're being heard. How many Catholics do you think practice birth control? According to what I've been able to figure out, there are a lot of them. And the rate of abortion really has not increased in many years. Not since Roe v. Wade was put in place. It's actually quite a low number.

And the Republicans, or as I like to call them, the "Ostriches", just don't get it. They just stick their heads in the ground and think if they stick to the same routine all will be well. As my teenage niece would say.....Whatever!

bluzdude said...

The only realistic way to lower the number of abortions is to get serious about birth control, and the Catholic Church is the #1 barrier to that happening. While they may not be able to influence their own followers very well any more, the politicians are still listening.