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Monday, February 6, 2012

It’s all on how you phrase it


After the dust settled from Friday's rehash of religious persecution, abortion, and the first amendment of the United States constitution violation, I heard these discussions presented in a more civil fashion than we did at the VA. That shouldn't be surprising.

I'm going to dust off my old strategy book (not really a book) I used on my opponents at work. In fact it was the same tactics I used for parenting. First, we got to lay down some ground rules like staying on subject and not drifting off or trying to rehash old arguments.

I'll start off with the recent ruling requiring all nonprofits to comply with the new healthcare law. The catholic churches are nonprofit, but it is exempted from implementing anything they goes against their religious beliefs. Anyone working directly for the Catholic Church falls into that category. Catholic charities and hospitals do not, so they are under the same rules as anyone else under the healthcare law. I was watching and listening to Joe Scarborough and Micah Brzezinski agreeing with each other that this action by the government would alienate catholic voters. Their next guest, Governor Malloy, shot that theory in the water. He said it's already been approved by 28 states including Mitt Romney's Massachusetts's healthcare plan. Of course Joe Scarborough couldn't take no for an answer, so he started talking about the lunch bucket Reagan democrats up in the Philadelphia suburbs who will not vote for Obama. He doesn't have the slightest idea on what people do, when they close the curtain to vote. He's always saying "according to the democrats I spoke to" but name some names Joe, so it sounds more believable. The governor said that catholic charities receive the most of their money from Medicare and Medicaid. That lit a fire under Joe Scarborough, he then said the obvious" if you don't take Federal money then you won't be she subject to religious persecution." There are just some people that are locked in their beliefs.

Howard Kurtz of CNN’s "Reliable Sources" tried to have a civil discussion about the recent Susan G. Komen fiasco but you can't really separate ideology from the discussion. Mr. Kurtz said " if it was political to give to Planned Parenthood, then it's political to withdrawal that funding." He mentions that two of three times and I agreed at that time but in I thought about it. The funding should not have been political because even though Parenthood is the largest provider of abortions, according to their website they provided" doctors and nurses teach patients about breast care, connect patients to resources to help them get vital biopsies, ultrasounds, and mammograms, and follow up to make sure patients are cared for with the attention they need and deserve." Now we all found out that "Karen Handel, Komen's staunchly anti-abortion vice president for public policy, was the main force behind the decision to defund Planned Parenthood and the attempt to make that decision look nonpolitical." What a clever scheme they used, they had Congressman Cliff Stearns start an investigation of Planned Parenthood and then conveniently say that the new Komen policy was not to give money to those organizations that are under investigation. I was reminded that Dick Cheney fed information to NYT's Judith Miller about Iraq's WMD program and then go on "Meet the Press" and say the New York Times just printed an article about Iraq's WMD. The Susan G Komen foundation should be able to fund any organization they want to but if they are going to use ideology as a guideline, they should let their contributors know.

Another topic I'm itching to get into is "fracking" but I can see where the usual suspects have already demonized the environmentalist and one called them carpetbaggers or as they used to say in the south “outside agitators." This too is about ideology because some will fight tooth and nail for the retention of fossil fuels; as though it is an infinite energy source with no impact on the environment.


Edith Ann said...

What do you want to discuss about fracking? Legion should jump in here, I thinkhe made some pretty good comments on the VA.

Folks act like fracking was invented last year. It's been around a long time.

I understand folks' concerns, but I have concerns about what Alcoa is dumping in our bay, what outflow is going into the Guadalupe River.

Where is Diane Wilson? Does she only do bay protests?

Mike said...

I've been following Mark Krueger's VA posts for a longtime... He seems very knowledgeable, is not an ideologue, and he does posts a lot of links. I hope people like RS don't run him off by posting irreverent information to contradict everything he posts... That tactic sounds familiar.

I don't think the question has ever been about the longevity of fracking because it had its problems in other states but they were protected by the Cheney secret energy policy. It's now coming to our neck of the woods and to its credit, Texas EPA equivalent, is demanding to know what chemicals the natural gas companies are using to extract the gas and its impact on the environment. The earthquake situation is relatively new in we have to give the scientist time to come out with a definitive conclusion. Right now, they can find the correlation but more studies are on the way.

When the president said that the government will transition its vehicles to natural gas and will support refueling stations, it was a signal to the natural gas (fracking)that all systems are now a go... When offshore drilling got that signal, we got the largest environmental disaster in my lifetime because shortcuts were taken, and profits took priority over safety. We had to have a congressional hearing to find out that our major all companies did not have a plan to deal with a BP like spill... They took it so lightly, that they all shared the same outdated and ill suited plan.

All I'm saying is “let’s not allow money be our only guide" invite the environmental experts (not the activists) in on the decision-making because health concerns and clean air and clean water should be at the forefront.

Mike said...

I think what cooler heads prevail, the Obama Administration will back down and settled for compromise something along the Hawaii plan.

"Under Hawaii law, a religious organization that objects to providing contraception coverage to its employees can invoke a refusal clause that would allow the institution to exclude such services from employee health plans. Religious groups that invoke the refusal clause must — as required by the HHS ruling — provide written notice to employees informing them that contraception is not included in their health plans, and they must tell employees where such services can be obtained. A refusal clause only pertains to contraception services intended to avoid pregnancy. An employer must provide coverage for contraception prescribed to treat, for example, the symptoms of menopause. According to the law, an employee is entitled to buy contraception coverage form her insurer at a cost that is no higher than the enrollee’s pro-rata share of the price the employer would have paid had it not exercised the religious exemption. So religious institutions do not have to subsidize insurance coverage including contraceptive services, and employees who want such coverage can purchase a separate rider with their own money."

Mike said...

Karen Handel, vice president for public affairs at Susan G. Komen for the Cure, resigned on Tuesday following public outcry over the announcement Komen would pull funding from Planned Parenthood.

Mike said...

Lol...I should have gone to bed early last night because I'm reading the same boilerplate on the HHS issue at the VA.

When you are dealing with ideologues,you get examples that don't make sense and exaggerations galore.

Mike said...

It's getting hilarious,waywardwind wanted to vent his frustration with BO,he pulled up a right wing blog from Hictoria and went to town..:-)

Dang,that BO fella is one really bad

Mike said...

I didn't think anything about it when the administration unveiled a plan that would require nonprofits to provide free contraception to the employer's under the new healthcare law. At that time I heard that churches would be exempted. I heard cheers for the plan from several women's groups and not a peep was heard from the politicians.

I've come to change my mind a little bit because I can see how the Catholic Church feels if they would be required to pay for something that they think is morally wrong; even if it extends to their charities, schools, and hospitals. It would be a form of acceptance. I don't think the answer is to fine those 600 hospitals and schools but I think there is a workable solution since 28 states are already implementing their own policy without exceptions. "The Hawaii law allows religious employers to decline to cover contraceptive costs. However, those employers are directed to ensure that their employees are able to obtain coverage for contraceptives (and other morally objectionable medical services) at modest costs." The Catholic Bishops on the mainland thinks this compromise goes too far and is not acceptable. It's a starting place.

The idea that the president is waging war on religion freedoms it just another one of those" be afraid" tactics. The United States constitution has not been trampled on. If the administration and the religious groups can't find a reasonable solution in one year; then they aren't really trying.

I believe this issue has been blown out of proportion and every group wants to gain the upper hand. We have pro lifers who like to constantly chip away at Roe v Wade and the other side is holding on for dear life by objecting strongly to anything that even remotely comes close, such as the “person hood" bill in Mississippi or the new sonogram law. This is just one of the culture wars we will be engaging in this year.

There's no doubt that the administration handled this poorly because they didn't expect the outcry since 28 states didn't seem to have a problem with it. They forgot about the microscope the Federal government is under by conservatives. It's the perfect issue to light the fire under the unenthusiastic base of the Republican Party. The administration is currently working on a work around but then it might alienate some women’s group who will think that the president is caving to religious pressure.

Mike said...

Sean Hannity is up to his old tricks (ratings must be down) saying if it was left to President Obama,Osama bin Laden would still be alive today...And he has is the same guy who said water boarding wasn't so bad,agreed to go through but never did...I remember him teaming up with his guest, Republican Congressman Peter Hoekstra, to discuss Hoekstra's debunked claim about a report that WMD’s had been found in Iraq...And Pete sat on the intelligence committee but so does Michelle Bachmann.

Mike said...

Strange call,someone from VA called me on my cell phone and asked me if I was a subscriber and  if I was ,was I receiving my paper...I said yes to both ,he then said "thank you"and hung up....One,how did he get my cell phone number?Why did he call this late and again,why my cell phone?