Weekend Attack On Religious Liberty Open Comments

A brou-ha-ha erupted recently over the Obama administration’s move to require all health plans to offer coverage for contraceptives, including the “morning after pill”. The policy requires this of all health plans, including those offered by Catholic universities, hospitals, dioceses, and other Church-sponsored entities.

This puts those institutions in an untenable position: they either accede to the demands of the administration, even though it goes against Church doctrine, or face severe penalties that may ultimately make continuing their missions impossible. It is common knowledge that Church explicitly deems artificial contraception, abortion, in-vitro fertilization, and other similar procedures as intrinsically immoral.

This proscription results from the teaching that human life, from its earliest moment, e.g., the moment of conception, is inherently precious beyond telling. Anything done to end that life prior to its natural conclusion is per se evil.

So, given this teaching, the Obama administration is now seeking to force Church-related institutions to violate these teachings.

Some seek to discount this by quoting statistics of how many Catholics use artificial contraception and otherwise violate the teachings of the Church.

This is a red herring argument. They seek to advance their misguided opinions by confusing Holy Mother Church, guided by the Supreme Wisdom of the Holy Spirit, with the imperfection of her members. The laity of the Church is composed of fallen sinners who do not live up to the expectations and guidance of God. Business Insider came up with a pretty apt analogy:

To give an analogy, it would be like the government mandating that all delis, even Kosher delis, serve pork products and then justifying it by saying that protein is healthy, and many Jews who don’t follow Kosher laws and many non-Jews go to those delis. The law wouldn’t technically ban Jews from owning delis, but it would effectively ban their ability to run them according to their conscience.

That we are all imperfect does not mean that we should simply give up and give in to whatever the prevailing public opinion of right and wrong might presently be. What it means is that we should redouble our efforts to do what is right, just, and on the path toward Righteousness, perhaps in spite of what prevailing public opinion or our base desires might otherwise say.

Last Sunday, virtually all (if not actually all) Catholic churches in the US were read a statement from their local bishops regarding this infringement on religious liberty. Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and Chair, Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops published this statement:

As shepherd of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston and chair of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, I am distressed to learn that the Department of Health and Human Services’ mandate that sterilization, abortifacients and contraception be included in virtually all health plans is being upheld. This mandate gravely compromises religious liberty.

The contraceptive/sterilization mandate imposed on health plans by HHS violates religious freedom, which is guaranteed by the First Amendment and several federal laws. Forcing all employers to buy coverage for sterilization and contraceptives, including drugs that induce abortion, is a radical incursion into religious liberty and freedom of conscience.

HHS’s mandate includes an incredibly narrow exemption for “religious employers” that protects almost no one. Those who sponsor, purchase and issue health plans should not be forced to violate their deeply held moral and religious convictions in order to take part in the health care system or provide for the needs of their families, their employees or those most in need.

Today’s announcement that the mandate and its very narrow exemption will not change is deeply disappointing to me. As Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said, “To force American citizens to choose between violating their consciences and forgoing their health care is literally unconscionable. It is as much an attack on access to health care as on religious freedom.”

I join my brother bishops, fellow Catholics and all people of goodwill who prize religious liberty as a cornerstone of our common life in expressing strong opposition to the HHS mandate.

h/t: katfish

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123 thoughts on “Weekend Attack On Religious Liberty Open Comments

  1. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops were one of the biggest advocates for universal health care. They wanted government intrusion into our lives, they got it.

  2. G’Morning All

    The contraceptive/sterilization mandate imposed on health plans by HHS violates religious freedom, which is guaranteed by the First Amendment and several federal laws

    So when has that stopped OBH?

  3. The Catholics know that their future is with the Latinos since they represent the major population growth segment in the country. Therefore, they were willing to trade immigration reform (open borders) for health care. It’s all about politics. Now the issue is whether the Pope can really dictate terms to the Messiah – and the Messiah seems to think he knows best.

  4. 13 states already require healthplans to provide contraception access. I’m reasonably certain that these states still have functioning churches of all types. Texas requires that the employer notify the employee if their plan does not cover contraception.
    Think hard – if you have employer provided insurance and have not received this notice – you can draw your own conclusions.
    What HHS’ new rule rule does is make these plans offer it without cost.

  5. Chronicle has a good article on new rules for Home Owner Associations this morning. Also a HOA must go through a judge to foreclose on your home, it would be nice if we could apply that same procedure to mortgage companies.

    HOAs also won’t be able to keep you from hanging religious displays on your front doors, but they can require you keep it at 25 square inches or less.

  6. I found TT’s house on Google Maps. It does look like an octopus, a pale blue octopus with one big glass eye, visible from space… Her dirt pile may be visible from space, too, if that’s it on the west side of the back yard.

  7. Interesting development over in Faux News world.
    I don’t follow Ultimate Fight Club (UFC) stuff. Apparently Fox Sports Media Corp runs it and is no longer interested in UFC being associated with guns and knives.

    “While the UFC has yet to make an official announcement, NSSF has confirmed that “absolutely no firearms, ammo, hunting or knife companies will be permitted as sponsors in any Zuffa-promoted events.”

    Apparently FSMG does not want their UFC brand tainted by the perception of violent zealots. There’s big trouble brewing if this spills over into Faux News Corp. 😉

  8. Food for thought.

    Very Interesting Bit Of Detective Work

    1. Back in 1961 people of color were called ‘Negroes.’ So how can the
    Obama ‘birth certificate’ state he is ‘African-American’ when the term
    wasn’t even used at that time?

    2. The birth certificate that the White House released lists Obama’s
    birth as August 4, 1961. It also lists Barack Hussein Obama as his
    father. No big deal, right? At the time of Obama’s birth, it also shows
    that his father is aged 25 years old, and that Obama’s father was born
    in ” Kenya, East Africa “. This wouldn’t seem like anything of concern,
    except the fact that Kenya did not even exist until 1963, two whole
    years after Obama’s birth, and 27 years after his father’s birth. How
    could Obama’s father have been born in a country that did not yet
    exist? Up and until Kenya was formed in 1963, it was known as the
    “British East Africa Protectorate”.

    3. On the birth certificate released by the White House, the listed
    place of birth is “Kapi’olani Maternity & Gynecological Hospital”. This
    cannot be, because the hospital(s) in question in 1961 were called
    “KauiKeolani Children’s Hospital” and “Kapi’olani Maternity Home”,
    respectively. The name did not change to Kapi’olani Maternity &
    Gynecological Hospital until 1978, when these two hospitals merged. How
    can this particular name of the hospital be on a birth certificate
    dated 1961 if this name had not yet been applied to it until 1978?

    So there are no questions as to where O was born or his citizenship, eh? Anybody who brings up these GLARING INCONSISTENCIES is deemed a troll, kook, conspiracy theorist, etc; why then has there been no credible answer to these and about 15 other credible questions?

  9. I was just wondering if the MSNBC spitter ever flew to Arizona to beat up Governor Jan Brewer for pointing her finger in his loverboy’s face. You mess with that tingle up his tinkle and you’re in a heap of trouble.

    And it wasn’t just the spitter–the entire PrOpObummagandist media was in an uproar over the incident. They were crying, and whining and beating themselves with chains in protest over the incident.

    You just can’t do that to their superhero, phony birth certificate, no college transcripts released, Fast and Furious cover up, Solyndra scamming, Obummacare waivers for Pelozi’s pals in Frisco, Czar infested, Jeremiah Wright preaching, need a breath-a-lator for asthma when traveling in all 57 states, most nontransparent president/dictator ever.

    Shame on the Governor. She should have to spend 30 days in the box in the hot Arizona desert with only a thimble of water and a slice of bread.

  10. #12 Wimpy
    Interesting, that’s the second time that painting has been here (not counting last year) I’m guessing that one of the candidates is promoting it. I don’t see it on Faux Noise, so it doesn’t appear someone from their stable. I would guess the Romney crowd, if it’s sold at their website – that would clinch it.
    Although very well executed and an instant crowd pleaser, it will fall into the same class of political art as this.

  11. OK Boneboy, I’ll feed you one more time, then it’s off to work. Don’t wait up for me.

    The country now known as the East African republic of Kenya became a British protectorate referred to as Kenya in 1895, obtained colonial status in 1920, and gained full independence from Britain in 1963. The Kapi’olani Gynecological Hospital was known by that name between 1931 and 1971 (after which its name was shortened to Kapi’olani Hospital). And although “Negro” was the typical demographic term used for American blacks in the early 1960s, “African” was commonly used for blacks who (like Barack Obama’s father) were actually native-born Africans.

    You did get one thing correct though

    Anybody who brings up these GLARING INCONSISTENCIES is deemed a troll, kook, conspiracy theorist, etc; …..

  12. Sham: I have not yet seen a follow up to the Georgia case and would really like to. You call me a troll because I bring up really uncomfortable questions that neither you nor any of you ilk have been able to answer:
    1) Why does no one remember JE from his years at Columbia
    2) Why has he refused (and spent great sums to hide) to release his college transcripts
    3) Why has he refused to release his student aid documentation, which could easily document that he registered as a foreign student
    4) Why did the LSM give him a pass when he spent 20 years in the church of a nut-bag like Jeremiah Wright
    5) He was supposedly adopted by Lolo Soetero (sp?) an Indonesian citizen, how does that not make him a dual citizen at best and definitely not a natural born citizen
    6) What wissin difference does it make where I got my information?? Is the info true or false? Particularly the details about the hospital name, the name of the African country, the race of the father, and other glaring inconsistencies in the birth certificate released BY THE WISSIN WHITE HOUSE! I found 2 or three glaring errors in the BC and I am no document expert.
    7) Why can’t the prez simply release the genuine documents and put all this to rest, why has he spent millions to keep it secret, what does he have to hide other than the fact that he is ineligible to be pres??

    I have yet to read a credible answer to any of the above questions; ya wanna give it a try or are you going to simply throw up your normal smokescreen of BS and insult? How about it, can you simply and credibly answer any of the questions above?

    /not holding my breath

  13. RE Today’s OC

    Because the sanctity of human life, the dignity of marriage as a union of husband and wife, and the freedom of conscience and religion are foundational principles of justice and the common good, we are compelled by our Christian faith to speak and act in their defense. In this declaration we affirm: 1) the profound, inherent, and equal dignity of every human being as a creature fashioned in the very image of God, possessing inherent rights of equal dignity and life; 2) marriage as a conjugal union of man and woman, ordained by God from the creation, and historically understood by believers and non-believers alike, to be the most basic institution in society and; 3) religious liberty, which is grounded in the character of God, the example of Christ, and the inherent freedom and dignity of human beings created in the divine image.

    If you have not signed the Manhattan Declaration, you can sign it HERE.

    You can also find a study guide to help explain these points HERE.

  14. Every time I process The Forgotten Man on McNaughton’s website, with the zoom connected to scrolling commentary, I notice something new. Spotted for the first time today: American flag at half-mast on the White House.

  15. No, I did not go out to the Wayback last night.

    Thursday night, while coming home from Bible Study, the truck made what I thought might be an expensive noise. Investigation proved two things:

    1. It was indeed a noise.

    2. It was expensive.

    Spent the yesterday and last night at SO’s house without the puter until they could get me a courtesy car today.

    130 Super Dave says:

    February 3, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    Tedtam check this out; Animated Steam Engine.
    Be sure to back track to the Gnome engine used on the Sopwith Camel. The whole engine turns and the crank stays put! The power to weight ratio was unbelievable for it’s time. No real intake valve, just a poppit valve on the top of the piston and one exaust valve per cylinder. FWIW; the only downside was the gyroscopic effect of the whole motor spinning.

    I have had the intense pleasure of working as ground crew on the only flying example of the Thomas Morse S4C Scout owned by my freind Roger Freeman, as well as several other aircraft he has built or restored using the Gnome-LeRhone engine. Pre-flight is rather tedious as each cylinder has to be primed with both fuel and castor oil, and the priming must be done with the cylinder at top dead center, thus requiring hand rotation of the engine completely through one cycle.

    Starting the engine involves vigorously pulling on the propellor to get the engine to rotate enough to bring it to life, much in the same way as pulling a cord on a lawn mower does. The engine realistically as only two speeds: Stop and go. My duties on ground crew were to hold on to the airplane (along with at least three other guys) after engine start while the pilot made some rudimentary throttle adjustments and did a pre-takeoff final check. There is no way to throttle down enough to keep the plane from moving forward.

    To reduce airspeed while landing, the pilot has what is called a “blip switch” which momentarily shuts down the engine. As he enters final, he shuts the engine on and off until speed is reduced to a safe level, then touches down and shuts the engine off.

    We were invited to Randolph AFB as part of an airshow commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the creation of the Air Force. The S4 was the American made fighter plane used by the United States, and they placed us next to the F117, which at the time was the most modern fighter. Roger flew the plane over to Randolph Field and had to land in the grassy area between runways. They closed the field down when he did it because of the unusual conditions. Several airmen on the flight line that day were under the impression that roger had made an emergency landing due to the fact that the field was closed and the engine was shutting off an on as he came in.

  16. WB

    I understand how onerous it is to require the church financed insurers for Catholic plans to provide indirect financial support for artificial contraception, abortion, and in-vitro fertilization, but don’t you believe that most employees of Catholic Institutions are Catholics in good standing and would not dream of using such services.

    There are a lot of Catholics covered by private insurers that do not use these services.


  17. #23 Simple: I have to agree with Homer on this one, the actions of the current admin are a gross violation of the 1st amendment. They are directly impeding the free exercise of religion by requiring the funding of that which is prohibited by their religion.

  18. Simple, isn’t that a little like saying we don’t need to worry too much whether murder is against the law or not, since most people prolly won’t kill you anyway?

  19. Dude has a Nissan Leaf. Dude is disappointed in the relatively short range and long recharge times. Dude has brilliant idea.

    Dude puts a small gas turbine engine on a trailer and runs cables to the recharge port on the Leaf.

    Dude is a moron. The rig cost him about $30,000, plus gives him the hassles of parking, turning it off and on, dealing with relatively hazardous propane in an exposed tank, etc. Plus gas turbines, especially small ones, are pretty inefficient. The reason they are used on airplanes is that their power/weight ratio is high due to their much lower weight and complexity relative to other engine types of equivalent power.

    Dude should have just bout a car with a small diesel engine. Overall, it would be way more cost-effective and longer-lasting,

  20. Simple,

    That’s why I included the analogy about the deli above. Forcing Church-sponsored entities to pay for these coverages means that she would be required to directly fund those activities which she finds abhorrent. It robs the Church of an essential element of her foundation – that all human life is sacred beyond measure.

    I also think it violates the establishment clause of the 1st Amendment.

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

  21. Actions taken by the nation’s first anti-Catholic president are despicable. Nobody should be forced to pay for contraceptions or abortions.

  22. One night, Obama is tossing restlessly in his White House bed. He awakens to see George Washington standing by him. Barak asks him, “George, what’s the best thing I can do to help the country?”
    > “Set an honest and honorable example, just as I did,” Washington advises, then fades away.
    > The next night, Obama is astir again, and sees the ghost of Thomas Jefferson moving through the darkened bedroom. Obama calls out, “Tom, please! What is the best thing I could do to help the country?”
    > “Respect the Constitution, like I did,” Jefferson advises, and dims from sight.
    > Barak still isn’t sleeping well the third night, when he sees yet another figure moving in the shadows. It is Abraham Lincoln’s ghost. “Abe, what is the best thing I can do right now, to help the country?” Obama pleads.
    > Abe replies, “Go see a play.”

  23. Howzat reset button working out for you Hitlery?

    HEADLINE:Russia and China veto resolution on Syria at UN
    An Arab and Western-backed resolution condemning the violent crackdown in Syria has been vetoed at the UN Security Council by Russia and China.

    The two permanent council members rejected the draft resolution, which came hours after activists accused Syrian security forces of killing at least 55 people at Homs.

    The US ambassador said the vetoes were “shameful”, Britain was “appalled”.

    China and Russia defended their move, saying the draft was “unbalanced”.

    Russia says the draft resolution had singled out the government of President Bashar al-Assad, and did not containing measures against armed opposition groups.

    We really need to make sure that the Chinese and the Russians like us, seeing as they have been so cooperative with us in the past.
    /cusses, spits , kicks the wall

  24. Person sworn to uphold the US constitution wouldn’t necessarily recommend it for anyone else. Justice Ginsburg to Egypt: Don’t Look to the US Constitution as a Model.

    You should certainly be aided by all the constitution-writing that has gone one since the end of World War II. I would not look to the US constitution, if I were drafting a constitution in the year 2012. I might look at the constitution of South Africa. That was a deliberate attempt to have a fundamental instrument of government that embraced basic human rights, had an independent judiciary… It really is, I think, a great piece of work that was done. Much more recent than the US constitution – Canada has a Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It dates from 1982. You would almost certainly look at the European Convention on Human Rights. Yes, why not take advantage of what there is elsewhere in the world?

  25. #33 GJT: I remember her “confirmation” hearings (more of a squishy rubber stamp); she refused to answer most questions which would have exposed her as the Constitution hating marxist she is.

  26. As if anyone had to guess, being that it was at a frat party, there was alcohol involved. Funny comment:


  27. #37-38 It should be obvious to anyone that the absence of a warning label is what allowed this tragic event to happen. It’s about time someone sued the bottle rocket company for failing to properly place appropriate warning labels on their products. There just can be no other explanation for this to happen except for the absence of proper labeling and warnings. I mean even professional football players have warning labels on their helmets, and while I have not read the fine print even with the advent of HDTV, I’m sure they have some language on there about where not to put them.

  28. #21 Sarge, That is way too COOL! I didn’t go into much detail about the Gnome engine, but as you know it was a “lost oil” engine, none in the crankcase, it was like a two stroke in that the castor oil was mixed with the fuel and feed into the crankcase and introduced to the cylinder via the poppet valve on top of the piston. As a “Side Bar” the reason the aviator always had a scarf was to wipe the dayaam oil off his goggles so he could see where he was going.

  29. Airplane always requires a wipe down after flight—castor oil everywhere. Its also why the windscreens were so small. Any bigger and it would be too difficult to wipe the castor oil off.

  30. EG: I have read the warning labels on bottle rockets; it says DO NOT HOLD IN HAND, LIGHT AND GET BACK. I guess it should have said DO NOT SHOVE UP YOUR @-$ AND LIGHT!

  31. Roger has an airshow out in Kingsbury every year. The musuem’s focus is on ‘tween the wars. He built a really nice Fokker Tri-plane for the Air Force musuem, and a Bleriot that went to the Hing Kong airport (IIRC). He also owns a Jenny and at one time had a Staggerwing that was all in pieces that he sold for $500K to get the bux to build that aerodrome in Kingsbury. I did submittal drawings for thim that allowed him to get a hangar building from WW1 that was on Fort Sam being used as a warehouse. I haven’t been by in a long while, wo I don’t know if he ever got it put back up. The airshow attracts a lot of eclectic aircraft that you don’t normally see at airshows. Most of them are tail draggers with no tail wheels that require grass strips and don’t really have any good way to get to the airports where most airshows occur.

  32. Well it’s been a rainy day here in Clear Lake, pretty good light show early this morning and rain off and on all day, slacked off now and it LQQks like it might fair off. Last time I checked the ole rain gauge we had 1-2 inches, we’ll take it.
    I went to the Pasadena Gun Show this morning and managed to get out without spending any money, it was tough, but I managed. 😉

  33. Sarge, I’m not surprised that a Staggerwing Beechcraft would go for a 1/2 million in today’s dollars but it was in pieces?! How much are they in flying condition? Just shows to go ya’, I’ve been away from aviation way too long. Back in the 80’s the company I worked for bought one of the first Sikorsky S-76’s, all decked out for corporate/executive use. They paid a little over a million for it if memory serves, no telling what they’re going for today. I be thinking that the Hughes 500 D was about ½ a million back then.

  34. It had an intact fuselage, engine, and wings, but a pretty ratty interior and some of the covering was missing from the fuselage. I can’t recall if the langing gear was there, but I do beleive it was a whole airplane. They were hanging from the rafters in the hangar he used to have out west of Santone—can’t remember the name of the little town it was in.

    Roger’s a pretty interesting guy. His daddy worked for Tallmantz aviation. That Jenny he owns was used in The Great Waldo Pepper and most of the filiming was done at that airfield I can’t recall the name of. The Jenny (actually a Canuck) was one Roger restored when he was a teenager and he worked for Tallmantz during the filming. When Frank Tallman died, his wife gave Roger the entire archives that they had at the company. Its a treasure trove of maintenance and repair info on vintage aircraft of all types.

    When he got older, he went to work for a private air-cargo company as a flight engineer. He was given a Flight Medal by the Air Force during Desert Shield for flying a poopload of missions into Saudi. Spent 20 years glhying around the world picking up bits and peices of airplanes of all types from all over. He had a wing spar and a couple of other pieces of a Sopwith Camel that some guy bought from him and then commisioned a restoration using those parts. At one time, he had the largest collection of Le Rhone engines and parts in the country.

  35. 2.5″ inches of good soaking rain since last night in my part of town. Getting colder now, must enjoy a little bit of cool weather before it’s back to Houston heat.

  36. Good afternoon Hamsters. Mugly 67 at 6 and thunder rolled in the distance on the way to the barn, everything wet from yesterday and last night’s rainfall. Got the horses fed, the newspaper fetched, and back in the house only a couple of minutes before today’s deluge began. Timing is everything, whether planned or accidental. Total from yesterday and today is 1.6″, and the puddles are almost gone on the concrete, though the yard and pastures are really mushy and have puddles in low spots. It all soaks in amazingly fast as if the good Earth is still parched around here. The deep cracks have been gone since the end of December. Thank you, Lord.

    Saw where EJ Dionne, an erstwhile standard bearer of the “Catholic Left,” bemoans the Obama Administration’s and Obama’s serious intrusions on the constitutional freedom of religion for Catholic beliefs in matters medical and moral Wagonburner discussed above. EJ thinks it has gone disastrously too far, and it will cost votes come the election, given the large Catholic support for Obama in 2008. EJ. ole boy, too late, it is spoken and published and can’t be erased. The hue and cry is out; members of other faiths lend their strenuously disapproving voices to the outraged. Obama and his henchmen done stepped in it bigtime. All on their own. Sit back and watch what happens. I want the popcorn concession. 🙂 Time wounds all heels.

  37. What a wonderfully spent Saturday……………….I know Yall know about ‘Grace’ when it manifests itself unexpectedly in all our lives………………..well 3 BACA Heroes needed all the support that could be mustered today so I headed west about 0500 San Antonio bound – and I can honestly say I have N E V E R spent 90 minutes riding my ‘Gracie’ only 52 or so miles from Katy to Columbus (it was pretty dang stormy and raining HARD)……….raining hard enough I’m at about 45 MPH (and sometimes less) in the slow lane on I-10 with my flashers on hoping not get run over as I struggle to see only the white stripes passing by…………….some kind soul (or was it an Angel?) …………eased in behind me and put his or her flashers on – effectively “keeping the dogs off me” all the way to Columbus…………….

    400 miles later and 3 more HEROES now have BACA POWER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ……………life is pretty wissin GOOD!


  38. There are questions as to whether HHS has authority to issue exemptions to Obamacare, although quite a few have been issued for reasons other than conscience. There appear to be no questions in the president’s mind, or in Secretary Sebelius’, that they have the authority to intrude on freedom of religion. With this ruling they insist that church-affiliated institutions either act against their own belief or so narrow the scope of their community service as to be removed from the public square; either way, the government is deliberately affecting the free exercise of religion. Considering some Catholic schools, hospitals and charities were serving their communities before the secular governments even thought to follow suit, that is a damnable, and damning, legacy for a president who once taught constitutional law.

  39. Dit, Dit, Dit, Dit, Dit, Dit, Dit ………………..
    Breaking News …………..

    Nevada had a primary, tonight. It looks like Mitt Romney will win
    When the Democrats caucused in ’08 they had 116,000 voters, the Republican turnout was 44,000. Today they may make 35,000.

  40. Reply to No. 17: With all this discussion about that birth certificate, how come somebody doesn’t get a copy of other birth certificates produced around that time? Did they have the same hospital name? Were there other “negros” born around that time and what did there birth certificate say? I’m looking for a book which will vet Obummer before November election.

  41. Happy to have you safe back home, Katfish. This morning’s weather wasn’t fit for man nor beast. Looks like a big nasty blob is heading our way from Victoria tonight.

    Puddles on the driveway and sidewalk are probably briefly gone, horses tucked in for the night, and I guess we’re ready for rain-interrupted sleep tonight. G’night all.

  42. As pointed out 13 states already have implemented mandatory contraceptives in health plans. So the issue seems to be, not government intervention, but federal government intervention.

  43. Somebody’s doing well,

    Total corporate federal taxes paid fell to 12.1% of profits earned from activities within the U.S. in fiscal 2011, which ended Sept. 30, according to the Congressional Budget Office. That’s the lowest level since at least 1972. And well below the 25.6% companies paid on average from 1987 to 2008.

    FWIW, the coporate tax rate is nominally 35%.

  44. All right, you guys were right, voter fraud does exist.

    Indiana’s top elections official could lose his job and his freedom after jurors convicted him of multiple voter fraud-related charges on Saturday, leaving in flux the fate of one of the state’s most powerful positions.

    And he had a drivers license and everything

  45. “Nevada had a primary, tonight. It looks like Mitt Romney will win
    When the Democrats caucused in ’08 they had 116,000 voters, the Republican turnout was 44,000. Today they may make 35,000.”

    Having one of the highest unemployment rates among states, no one can afford to drive to the Caucus.

  46. 71 gtotracker says:

    February 5, 2012 at 6:04 am

    44K to 35K, maybe. I’d chalk it up to a lack of enthusiasm.

    That Romney. He sure does excite the base doesn’t he?

  47. #70 Shannon

    I’m impressed.

    Don’t be, at first I thought it was rooted in some deep philosophical objection, I understand now government interference is acceptable at the state level, just not at the federal level with a Democrat administration.
    I suspect others will see through it also.

  48. I don’t know which states have mandated that contraception must be covered in employer-provided medical insurance, even over the objections of religion-based employers, but I’d be surprised if any of said states are located in the heartland aka flyover-country. Maine, maybe? California, Oregon, Washington?

  49. Just which are the states that currently require Catholic institutions to provide free contraceptives and abortifacients in their employee health plans?

  50. Who says Canadian technology is falling behind?

    Why smell like denim when you can smell like raspberries?
    If the idea intrigues you, why not try on a pair of Scratch-n-Sniff Raspberry Scented jeans, which were released worldwide by Montreal-based Naked & Famous Denim on Tuesday.

  51. #75 mharper42

    That would be Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, Montana, New Hampshire, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin. 4 more states Arizona, California, New York and Arizona permit exemptions for religions, but not their institutions, i.e, hospitals. I’m not sure about the District of Columbia.

    #76 Shannon

    I never said that states require free access, I do not know whether they do or do not. As I said in #6, recent HHS rulings require no cost access to preventative medicine.

  52. Contraceptives are preventative medicine, it’s the language of the insurance world.
    But yes, for purposes of this conversation it’s insurance provided contraceptives. Specifically, insurance plans that require prescription coverage include FDA-approved contraceptive drugs and devices.
    Keep in mind this is only targeted at employer provided health plans, if the employer elects not to provide prescription service, then this application probably does not apply.

  53. To make this clearer, St. Mary’s teaching Hospital in Flagstaff Arizona currently provides access to abortifacients to their employees, while St. Mary’s Convent isn’t required to.

    (I made up St. Mary’s as an illustrative device)

  54. #37 Wagonburner:

    He may have been in WV, but in his heart he was from Florida!

    Which one, Rocket Man or Scaredy Cat? Maybe he’s a transfer student.

  55. Specifically, insurance plans that require prescription coverage include FDA-approved contraceptive drugs and devices.
    Keep in mind this is only targeted at employer provided health plans, if the employer elects not to provide prescription service, then this application probably does not apply.


    If the citizens can pick a plan that does not provide a prescription service, how then does the state government force them to?

  56. Good afternoon Hamsters. Only a sprinkle last night and back to a breezy wintry 47 at 6 this morning. The big wet blob stayed south and is mostly in the Gulf now, but some is forming to the NW toward College Station and Brenham. Thus far it does not look ominous…. The snowmen decorations still out are comfortable again. It is still winter after all.

    Picture in the Sunday Chron (page A-4) shows the Colosseum blanketed in snow, highly unusual for Rome. Europe is having nasty winter weather.

  57. I’ve had DirecTV so long (since 2000), rate creep has made it necessary to make a change. I hate to do it, I love my DirecTV. For my little poorboy theater the picture and sound quality is gonna be hard to beat and over the years they have been very fair in upgrading my system as new technology came out to keep me as a customer. But they can’t (won’t) do anything about my rate other than small discounts and giving me freebie channels which we’ve already done a couple of times. It doesn’t do anything to help the bottom line though.

    U-verse is now out here in the woods and we can bundle TV, innernet and phone for almost what my DirecTV bill is now, plus having whole house DVR. Anyone have experience with it? Pros, cons?

  58. #87 (bear in mind I despise Comcrap – but still use em)

    1. DSL will NEVER be as fast as cable no matter what label they use
    2. attractive ‘into’ offers look good – check how much it will run AFTER they expire…………

  59. I just have DSL and Netflix. Over the Air HDTV is awesome if I should ever happen to want to see something, and I don’t miss Fox News since anything interesting shows up on the net anyway. Of course, my entertainment needs are not much, but I have a couple of neighbor kids who like to come over and watch cartoon and kid movies on Netflix. Many others are out there too, like HULU, etc. but I don’t access much. Of all the things I miss, TV isn’t one of the them.

  60. #88 & 89

    Appears in the videophile forums there are some issues, but the purists will notice stuff I never would. The savings will far outweigh later rate increases or tech issues for now so I guess I’m gonna do it. Besides, if I don’t like it, I can always go back to DirecTV as a new customer, at the bottom rate rung again. 😀

  61. If Y’all are wondering where EVERYONE in Clear Lake is, they’re at the HEB on El Camino!! Dang Dammit, all 10 checkouts were open, (I’ve never seen that before) and they were all at least three deep and 90 % of the carts were full to the brim, the guy behind me had two carts, put 8 gallons of milk on the counter and 6 gallons of apple juice! Judging from the menagerie of kids with him, (different sizes and colors) he may have been a Foster parent,….bless him, I guess.

  62. Drug classiication is FDA driven.
    I recall the fight over classification of morning-after and month-after abortion drugs.
    It was oh so important for them to be generally classified as contraceptives.
    So they can be rolled into the all-important, specious and oh-so-embraceable category of preventative medicine for women.

  63. I’m watching “Streets of San Francisco”. Tyne Daly is one of the characters. Dang, she was young once, and very thin. How time flies.

  64. Besides, if I don’t like it, I can always go back to DirecTV as a new customer, at the bottom rate rung again. 😀

    A friend of mine back in the early 90’s dropped his dial-up ISP to switch to another so he could get a free modem. As soon as he got the modem, he switched back at about 75% of what he was paying before.

  65. Dang, I just flipped over to the Game and there is a real ugly, nasty, SKANK on @ half time!?!
    Who decided that this would be a good idea?!?!?

  66. GJT #87;

    We had the triple package from U-Verse until we cut off TV for financial reasons. Overall we liked the service and product. The biggest drawback is getting custormer service to do what you want. In the end they always did waht what was needed but only after persistency on our part. So while their product is acceptable their service is not all that.

  67. Spouse started watching the game midway through the first quarter and has ducked out during halftime to go on his ham radio until the game starts again. I checked in at halftime to find that Madonna was the “entertainment” and came back to Hambone. Will likely go back for some of the second half to watch the outrageousely costly commercials. Want to see the Budweiser horses. The game is not important here since we don’t have a team in it.

  68. #106 EG, Well the Puppy Bowl is on Animal Planet again, and it has always been entertaining. 🙂 Have watched it in years past.

  69. Note to self:
    Always have your defensive backs wear gloves that are the same color as your opponents’ jerseys.

  70. Super Dave #109
    Yes, the 9/11 salute never fails to make me cry. Love the Dream Baby also. Whoever writes their commercials is a genius, and of course the horses are the stars.

  71. I don’t do sports, so I was otherwise occupied during the show and game. For one thing, I read a ho-hum news story about foreign nationals including Americans being detained in Egypt.

    Much better than the news report was this comment which tells it like it is.

    So, here we are all you Radical Liberal Activists. (those NOT in an Egyptian prison of course)

    You helped the Islamists overthrow the Western puppet dictator that kept the peace in a country that is populated by poor, uneducated, Muslims. The Islamists that are now in control actually HATE liberal western culture, you knew that when you got in bed with these butchers, right? Wait… were they using YOU, the way you thought you were using THEM?!!!! No way… dude! Bummer.

    So, now all these countries in the Middle East that you thought were going to be your pretty little flower gardens, full of fresh young Communist and Democratic Socialist governments are in the hands of Salafyists; the most conservative people ON THE PLANET! Seriously, nice job!

    You and your ilk are now unable to even travel to and from these countries without being detained and/or tried as seditionists, because YOUR KIND are the people the Muslim Brotherhood hates the most out of everyone ON THE PLANET!

    So forget about that new ACORN Global office in Cairo, or that SEIU meeting to unionize the Egyptian camel workers. The fruit of your misguided labors is that the world is a worse place because of you.

    You were naive enough to think that you would elbow the Muslim Brotherhood out of the way to make Egypt into Cuba?!!! You don’t know your history (except the revisionist tripe your idiot college professor taught), you don’t understand radical Islam and you have no charismatic figure to coalesce your glorious Communist Revolution around?!!! What the heck were you thinking? (must have been too much weed, eh?)

    Welcome to reality, it’s what happens when you go out into the world and actually DO something, and your epic fail is on display for all of history to see.

  72. #112

    Heh, that’s pretty good. Liberals don’t see the epic fail of their ways in Cuba, Detroit, New Orleans or Kalifornia, nor did they see it in Soviet Russia. No hope in their ever seeing it in the Middle East.

  73. #85 sarge

    By my non-lawyerly reading, if the employer does not provide a prescription plan then no cost contraceptives would not be mandatory. But that kind of ruins the whole “Obama is making us do something against our religious beliefs” meme.

  74. How did Boehner put it? Oh yeah …..

    House Speaker John A. Boehner said Sunday he thought the Obama administration handled “a very difficult situation” in Egypt about as well as possible, undercutting potential Republican presidential candidates who have charged that President Obama botched the U.S. response to a popular revolt against a key ally.

  75. No biggie. Why should anyone care about employees of Catholic institutions? They don’t need no stinkin’ drug coverage.

  76. I’m not that big on Star Wars, but there’s a lot of folks with time on their hands

    In 2009, Casey Pugh asked thousands of Internet users to remake “Star Wars: A New Hope” into a fan film, 15 seconds at a time. Contributors were allowed to recreate scenes from Star Wars however they wanted. Within just a few months SWU grew into a wild success. The creativity that poured into the project was unimaginable.
    SWU has been featured in documentaries, news features and conferences around the world for its unique appeal. In 2010 we won a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Creative Achievement In Interactive Media.
    Finally, the crowd-sourced project has been stitched together and put online for your streaming pleasure. The “Director’s Cut” is a feature-length film that contains hand-picked scenes from the entire StarWarsUncut.com collection.


  77. Besides, it’s time that priggish old church learns to keep their dogma within the walls of their places of worship.

  78. This story Gives Israel all the diplomatic ammo it needs to launch a broad spread and massive attack against Iran.

    The Iranian government, through a website proxy, has laid out the legal and religious justification for the destruction of Israel and the slaughter of its people.
    The doctrine includes wiping out Israeli assets and Jewish people worldwide.

    Calling Israel a danger to Islam, the conservative website Alef, with ties to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said the opportunity must not be lost to remove “this corrupting material. It is a ‘jurisprudential justification” to kill all the Jews and annihilate Israel, and in that, the Islamic government of Iran must take the helm.
    Under this pre-emptive defensive doctrine, several Ground Zero points of Israel must be destroyed and its people annihilated. Forghani cites the last census by the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics that shows Israel has a population of 7.5 million citizens of which a majority of 5.7 million are Jewish. Then it breaks down the districts with the highest concentration of Jewish people, indicating that three cities, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa, contain over 60 percent of the Jewish population that Iran could target with its Shahab 3 ballistic missiles, killing all its inhabitants.

    Here we have a country openly calling for genocide, the complete destruction of a sovereign nation and the murder of its people world wide. And O thinks we can achieve anything positive by negotiations?!?

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