Sunday, March 04, 2012

The Latest Baffling Round of Misogyny

There is an argument going around that the Obama team manipulated rightwingers into making statements opposing contraception, one of those eleven-dimensional-chess moves. And that's cool, it's politics, they back him into a corner when they can, it's only fair if the Democrats force the Republicans to say some things they will regret later. I didn't see how they did it, but the last couple of weeks have just been bizarre, with the all-male Congressional contraception panel and then this thing that Russ Limbaugh has started.

When it's just an idiot shooting his mouth off I usually ignore it here on the blog, unless it reflects directly on our county or is so insanely irrational that you just have to comment on it. But this week conservatives have gone off the deep end, it wasn't just Rush, they're all getting behind him.

A young lady, Sandra Fluke, was going to testify before a Republican Congressional committee but they only wanted men and so she gave a statement at a Democratic-sponsored hearing. She said that it is important for health insurance to cover birth control pills.

You cannot overestimate how popular this opinion is. The birth control pill has changed life fundamentally, it has freed women from the risk of pregnancy, given them personal control over their own reproductive choices. Where the shift to an information economy has moved women closer to equality in the workplace, the pill empowered women sexually. It allows couples to decide when they will have children. It is not expensive and does not seem to have negative side-effects. There is no downside to this, the birth control pill is one of those rare things that is all good.

You never heard of this young woman, she's a law student at Georgetown, thirty years old. Here's what Rush had to say about her:
What does it say about the college co-ed (Sandra) Fluke who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex. What does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? Makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex...

If we are going to pay for your contraceptives, thus pay for you to have sex, we want something for it, and I'll tell you what it is: we want you to post the videos online so we can all watch ...

This might be a new low in US political discourse, but it is more than that. To call a woman a slut is something special, it is purely a term of bigotry, slut is not a term that has any meaning outside the frame of paternalistic control of women's sexuality.

"Prostitute" has a meaning, "slut" does not, it is nothing more than a word intended to shame women who have a positive attitude about sex.

There was a day of silence after Limbaugh said this about the law student, as everyone wondered, what are the conservatives supposed to do now? He is their leader, they can't go against him. But how can they seriously support this kind of thing? The woman has appeared on a number of television shows, we have seen her, she is a pleasant, level-headed, serious young woman, it is extremely difficult to fit her into the category "slut."

It would have been very easy to make the point without name-calling, without making the misogyny explicit. Rush, or any other commenter, could have said that insurance companies should not cover contraception, since it is not necessary blah blah blah. It is not a solid argument, especially since we know that Rush likes his Viagra, which is covered by most policies, but he could have made it without calling this woman a slut.

So the rest of them avoided questions about it for a day, then one by one they fell in line behind him. What can they be thinking?

First, all women know the power of the word "slut," they know how painful it is and how careful you have to be to avoid it being applied to you. So bang, one, the GOP just lost fifty percent of the voters. Then the other half, well it turns out there are some men who actually appreciate women's sexuality and hope to encourage it.

But this isn't even about that. Sandra Fluke didn't do anything sexual, as far as anybody knows she is a virgin. She is a slut, according to Rush Limbaugh and the Republicans who kiss his butt, because she advocates a policy. She made a statement that insurance companies should cover contraception for women.

The case has been made that birth-control pills are used for more than contraception, but that doesn't matter. Even if all they did was prevent pregnancy, the position is solid. Birth control pills are controlled by the medical establishment, prescribed by doctors, produced by pharmaceutical companies, distributed alongside other medications. Birth control is a health topic, by convention, and health insurance policies should cover it.

If you look closely at the concept of health you will see fuzzy boundaries on all sides. How did depression, for instance, become a health issue? How did kids not paying attention in school become a health issue? What "health" problem is treated by Viagra? There are products now that regulate a woman's menstrual cycle, allowing her to have control over her susceptibility to become pregnant. In any sense of the word that I can think of, this is a "health" issue and should be covered by health insurance.

At least, making that argument does not make someone a slut.

In a recent post I talked about my discomfort with "war on" terminology for every little thing, in particular I do not like to call this a "Republican war on women." Until recently, the ideology has been shapeless and vague. Republicans can oppose abortion, for instance, and no one is surprised, they can cite some religious authorities and say something about "the sanctity of life" and so on, they can pass laws stripping the right to choose from women. Laws about rape can have a sexist core to them, laws about sexual harassment, mostly people understand the game and tolerate the nonsense on the right. There is some sense in America that if you gave women total control over their lives things might get out of hand, and so the population accepts some conservative imposition on their personal autonomy. But this focuses the ideology, calling a woman a slut because she supports a policy you don't like is nothing but sexism, nothing but hatred of women, nothing but misogyny. There is nothing to hide behind here, no vagueness, no fog of obfuscatory rhetoric to soften the cut.

Some of us are old enough to remember when "The Pill" was a big deal, but that was a long time ago, the controversy is long settled. When women can own their sexuality without the consequences of pregnancy, the playing-field is leveled in a way that is frightening to some. Sex for women is not all about babies any more, and this is a huge change in the foundation of a complex social system that includes all aspects of our daily interactions with others. The impact of the change has not yet been fully appreciated, but the shockwave is slowly being absorbed into our social habits.

And some people are not so happy about this new challenge. If sex isn't about making babies, then what is it about? Maybe women will begin to expect sexual satisfaction, oh horror! So in a crazy game of whack-a-mole, conservative men have had to label women who expect sexual equality as "sluts" and keep them in their place.

Maybe the Republicans who support Rush's idiocy believe that all men agree with them, that there is a 50/50 ideological split, where all women want birth control and all men oppose it. But I don't think they are that stupid. No one who watches Sandra Fluke in an interview believes she is a slut -- the whole argument is absurd and hateful, and everybody knows it.

Do they think this will win them votes in November? Do they really think this position will become popular, once people have a chance to think about it?

There are some times that the Nutty Ones say something and I have to shake my head, times that I really can't understand how a non-psychotic person can believe some of the things they say they believe. But most of the time I have some way of understanding that people will cling to their social norms, for instance. But this -- this isn't even a norm! Nobody actually believes this law student is a slut, there is no evidence one way or the other about her sex life and nobody is really even asking about it. In fact, nobody really believes that insurance should not cover birth control. You don't see a lot of Republicans with fifteen or twenty kids, they are doing something to prevent pregnancy, and their insurance is paying for it.

But this country has two parties, a liberal one and a conservative one, you will choose between two candidates for various offices in November. There is a lot of money behind the Republican Party, they aren't just shooting their mouths off, they have a plan, a strategy of some sort. And that is what puzzles me -- how do they believe they can turn this to their advantage? The only way I can see it is if one of the Republican candidates came out and said, "Rush is a big fat idiot." But you're not going to see that. They support him in their gutless way. But why? I am baffled.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why does the GOP support Rush in this skirmish? Because there is a war against women being waged by the GOP in this country.

"GOP politics today is, in fact, all about Eve.

The GOP war on women will continue precisely because of the conservative Christian theology that drives wedge politics in a campaign season has a fundamental contempt for women and their equal dignity and worth. As the Southern Baptist Convention voted in 1984, “[M]an was first in creation and the woman was first in the Edenic fall.” In conservative Christian eyes, women are the evil temptresses, the sinner “Eves” who lead the gullible Adams astray, especially sexually. Therefore they are “first” in sin, i.e. it’s women’s fault that men get kicked out of the Garden of Eden.

There are “softer” forms of this view of women as sexual temptresses, as in John Paul II’s Apostolic Letter on women, where Mary is the “new Eve.” Women’s “femininity” earns them love, but the implication is clearly only if they stay “Mary,” the good mother, and don’t wander over into the independence of “Eve.” Eve, of course, is the sexual face of women in these theological perspectives. The message is “good women” don’t do that.

The real underbelly of these views of women as the sexual temptress “Eve” was on display in a recent Rush Limbaugh statement. Limbaugh called Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown University student whom House Republicans would not let testify at the Issa hearings, a “slut” and a “prostitute” for wanting to testify of the need for birth control to be covered by insurance. It is clarifying for the intensity of this denigration of women to remember that Fluke’s testimony for birth control was about a friend who is a lesbian and needs the pill for medical reasons.

The “Blunt amendment” was also called the “conscience” amendment as it was billed by its supporters as about “religious freedom.” The use of the term “conscience” about this bill that is an attack on women’s health care is very revealing. The religious conservatives who now dominate GOP politics do not think that women have consciences, or are entitled to religious freedom, as the statements of Rep. Issa on why he was justified in calling an all-male panel to discuss women’s health care. It’s about “religious freedom and conscience” not birth control, said Issa. So, no women allowed?

In the “Eve the temptress” theology of conservative Christianity, women don’t have consciences apparently.

The GOP’s war on women, fueled as it is by the “Eve the temptress” theology is losing them votes, as Rick Santorum has recently discovered in the gender gap in voting.

....Women are not, as a matter of fact, second in the order of creation, and first in the order of sin. Women were created by God, in Genesis, equal in dignity to the Creator. (Gen. 1:27) And women are not, by virtue of being sexual beings, evil temptresses. Human sexuality is another gift of the Creator, who called what had been created good.

But mark my words, the GOP’s war on women will not end because the Republican party has shackled themselves to a theology that sees women as ‘all about Eve.’"

March 04, 2012 2:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not just women who are outraged by the big fat stupid idiot's comments.

"Rush Limbaugh’s latest misogynistic tirade against Georgetown University Law Student Sandra Fluke may be the last straw for many of the shock jock’s corporate sponsors. Thousands of angry customers have been inundating dozens of Limbaugh’s corporate sponsors, demanding that they cut ties with the program.

So far, Sleep Number, The Sleep Train, Quicken Loans, Legal Zoom, Citrix, Carbonite and ProFlowers have pulled ads from the program, and several others are considering following their lead."

March 04, 2012 2:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Send e-mail to Clear Channel at and tell them how you feel about Rush Limbaugh's attacks on Sandra Fluke.

March 04, 2012 2:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

GU President John J. DeGioia, gets it:

"There is a legitimate question of public policy before our nation today. In the effort to address the problem of the nearly fifty million Americans who lack health insurance, our lawmakers enacted legislation that seeks to increase access to health care. In recent weeks, a question regarding the breadth of services that will be covered has focused significant public attention on the issue of contraceptive coverage. Many, including the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, have offered important perspectives on this issue.

In recent days, a law student of Georgetown, Sandra Fluke, offered her testimony regarding the proposed regulations by the Department of Health and Human Services before a group of members of Congress. She was respectful, sincere, and spoke with conviction. She provided a model of civil discourse. This expression of conscience was in the tradition of the deepest values we share as a people. One need not agree with her substantive position to support her right to respectful free expression. And yet, some of those who disagreed with her position – including Rush Limbaugh and commentators throughout the blogosphere and in various other media channels – responded with behavior that can only be described as misogynistic, vitriolic, and a misrepresentation of the position of our student.

In our vibrant and diverse society, there always are important differences that need to be debated, with strong and legitimate beliefs held on all sides of challenging issues. The greatest contribution of the American project is the recognition that together, we can rely on civil discourse to engage the tensions that characterize these difficult issues,and work towards resolutions that balance deeply held and different perspectives. We have learned through painful experience that we must respect one another and we acknowledge that the best way to confront our differences is through constructive public debate. At times, the exercise of one person’s freedom may conflict with another’s. As Americans, we accept that the only answer to our differences is further engagement.

In an earlier time, St. Augustine captured the sense of what is required in civil discourse: “Let us, on both sides, lay aside all arrogance. Let us not, on either side, claim that we have already discovered the truth. Let us seek it together as something which is known to neither of us. For then only may we seek it, lovingly and tranquilly, if there be no bold presumption that it is already discovered and possessed.”

If we, instead, allow coarseness, anger – even hatred – to stand for civil discourse in America, we violate the sacred trust that has been handed down through the generations beginning with our Founders. The values that hold us together as a people require nothing less than eternal vigilance. This is our moment to stand for the values of civility in our engagement with one another."

March 05, 2012 10:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

More skirmishes in the GOP war against women:

"Here's what a woman in Texas now faces if she seeks an abortion.

Under a new law that took effect three weeks ago with the strong backing of Gov. Rick Perry, she first must typically endure an ultrasound probe inserted into her vagina. Then she listens to the audio thumping of the fetal heartbeat and watches the fetus on an ultrasound screen.

She must listen to a doctor explain the body parts and internal organs of the fetus as they’re shown on the monitor. She signs a document saying that she understands all this, and it is placed in her medical files. Finally, she goes home and must wait 24 hours before returning to get the abortion.

“It’s state-sanctioned abuse,” said Dr. Curtis Boyd, a Texas physician who provides abortions. “It borders on a definition of rape. Many states describe rape as putting any object into an orifice against a person’s will. Well, that’s what this is. A woman is coerced to do this, just as I’m coerced.”

“The state of Texas is waging war on women and their families,” Dr. Boyd added. “The new law is demeaning and disrespectful to the women of Texas, and insulting to the doctors and nurses who care for them.”

That law is part of a war over women’s health being fought around the country — and in much of the country, women are losing. State by state, legislatures are creating new obstacles to abortions and are treating women in ways that are patronizing and humiliating.

Twenty states now require abortion providers to conduct ultrasounds first in some situations, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research organization. The new Texas law is the most extreme to take effect so far, but similar laws have been passed in North Carolina and Oklahoma and are on hold pending legal battles.

Alabama, Kentucky, Rhode Island and Mississippi are also considering Texas-style legislation bordering on state-sanctioned rape. And what else do you call it when states mandate invasive probes in women’s bodies?

“If you look up the term rape, that’s what it is: the penetration of the vagina without the woman’s consent,” said Linda Coleman, an Alabama state senator who is fighting the proposal in her state. “As a woman, I am livid and outraged.”"

She is not the only woman who is livid and outraged at these GOP attacks on women's hard earned rights. People are letting their elected officials know they support women's access to healthcare and their right to control their own reproduction. As a result, on Friday Senate Rejects Step Targeting Coverage of Contraception

March 05, 2012 11:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PETITION THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO Get Rush Limbaugh Off Armed Forces Radio NOW! No tax money for abusive, divisive, insulting language.

March 06, 2012 9:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So I am going to assume that you will also ask Obama to tell his PAC to return the money donated by Bill Maher.

Bill Maher called Sarah Palin a c*nt and Michelle Bachmann and Sarah Palin "stupid twats".

Maher never apologized. So it okay to call conversative women names (NO PROBLEM) but when a liberal women is called a name it is the end of the world.

Typically double standard.

this one is so obvious even YOU have to admit it Jim.

March 06, 2012 10:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sarah Palin was the Governor of Alaska and a self-proclaimed "Momma Bear," who quit being Governor when the going got tough. She was called worse names on a daily basis by voters in Alaska than she was ever called by Bill Maher on his show.

What has "returning money" got to do with Rush's pigheaded insults? The four times married, viagra popping big fat stupid idiot didn't just call the law student a couple of slut-shaming names, he spent 3 days attacking Fluke on his show.

He called her a "slut" and a "prostitute," he called on her to to post her sex "videos on the internet" for him to enjoy, he asked how she could walk after having "so much sex," and he suggested her parents should be "embarrassed" and "disconnect the home phone." He did all this after she told the story of a lesbian Georgetown student who lost an ovary because GU would not pay for oral contraceptives that would have mitigated her endometriosis and PCOS. A lesbian obviously does not need to practice birth control. Hormonal birth control pills are used to save lives and to treat a host of female reproductive illnesses and college aged women who need to be treated with them should not be denied treatment because of someone else's religion.

We are free to practice our religion in this country. If you want to use only prayer to treat your maladies, more power to you. But you cannot force others to CHOOSE to rely on prayer alone like you CHOOSE to do. If you don't want your insurance policy to include contraception, CHOOSE a policy that doesn't cover it.

The free market is responding as it should to Rush's attack on women's health care and this one woman in particular. Advertiser advertise to drum up business, not to send it away, so firms are free to abandon their support for any broadcaster whose show no longer attracts the demographics they are trying to reach. Already thirty companies have pulled their ads and a couple of radio stations have dropped Rush's tired old hate spewing show.

You made your bed, Rush, now sleep in it.

March 07, 2012 9:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Video: 53 of Rush Limbaugh's most vile smears against law student Sandra Fluke

"Inspired by John K. Wilson's "Rush's 53 Smears Against Sandra Fluke" diary, I went to the video tape and compiled seven minutes worth of Rush Limbaugh's disgusting attacks on Sandra Fluke on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of last week.

Rush's three-days of fifty-three statements attacking GU Law student Sandra Fluke

As you can see, this wasn't a case of a few poorly chosen words. Rush Limbaugh carried out a sustained attack on Sandra Fluke, never once pausing to consider the potential consequences of his lies on her life. At one point, he even celebrated the impact his jihad would have on his ratings. Now that he's losing advertisers, I'll bet he truly wishes he could take it all back—but it's too late. He can't.

Send an e-mail to the Armed Forces Network, telling them there is no place on military airwaves for talk like Limbaugh's."

Compare Rush's insincere apology to Sandra Fluke to Ed Shultz's sincere apology to Laura Ingraham for calling her a "right-wing slut."

Ed Shultz's apology was sincere and heartfelt, and that's why Laura Ingraham accepted his apology.

March 07, 2012 10:25 AM  
Anonymous Stephanie Stevens said...

Dragging in the "T" too now ...

Sandra Fluke: Insurance Must Cover Transgender Mutilation

Right involves transgender community in new Sandra Fluke attack

March 07, 2012 10:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"He did all this after she told the story of a lesbian Georgetown student who lost an ovary because GU would not pay for oral contraceptives that would have mitigated her endometriosis and PCOS. A lesbian obviously does not need to practice birth control. Hormonal birth control pills are used to save lives and to treat a host of female reproductive illnesses and college aged women who need to be treated with them should not be denied treatment because of someone else's religion. "

are you aware how much oral contraceptives cost ? 10.00 a month and free at Planned Parenthood..... a Georgetown law degree, 48K a year for tuition. so you are telling me that a lesbian law student let her condition get so bad that she lost an ovary. Relly ? Meanwhile she could afford 48K a year in tuition.


Do you know what kind of grades and LSAT scorss you need to get into Georgetown law ? You have to be pretty darn smart. and they were too stupid to figure out where to get contraceptives inexpensively after their health plan didn't cover them... Really ?

March 07, 2012 10:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

and I notice you didn't address that Maher has NOT aplogized at all and that Obama's Pac has not returned the million dollar donation.

March 07, 2012 11:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill Maher's comments were rude but not personal. He did not speculate about anyone's sex life or accused anyone of anything beyond beyond a stupid twat. He used language that is not considered polite, but nobody is saying that everybody who calls somebody a bad name has to apologize for it.

To the anon who thinks birth control is cheap: I don't know what medical needs this person had, or if Sandra Fluke is right or wrong. But it is not appropriate or acceptable, when a woman expresses an opinion, to respond by accusing her of being sexually promiscuous, charging for sex, and being a slut. This is no longer an argument about whether birth control is expensive and needs to be covered by insurance, it is about the ground rules for civil discourse.

March 07, 2012 11:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow. Liberals complaining about the grounds for civil discourse.... when you have a President that says things like "REpublicans can come along for the ride, but they have to get in the back of the bus"...

When you had Bachman referred to as an MILF and Barbie with fangs, when you have Maxine waters saying the tea party can go straight to hell, they are so many examples of liberals using NON CIVIL discourse that it actually quite hilarious that you are upset with Rush. Really ???? the double standard if so frigging obvious it is sad... and guess who is asking the democrats to get over it and move on .... Bill Maher. Guess he at least realizes the hypocrisy.

March 07, 2012 12:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fact- checking: "Cornyn lied about President Obama's stump speech, claiming that Obama wants to make Republicans "sit in the back of the bus." That's a Glenn Beck-inspired race-baiting twist on Obama's months-old metaphor about Republicans wanting the keys to the car after they drove it into a ditch, and Cornyn should know better."

Do you think referring to Bachmann as a MILF is equivalent or even comparable to what Rush has said about this college student? Maxine Waters can say what she wants, she is not obligated to say nice things about the Tea Party. Go back and listen to Rush on the YouTube links that were posted and see if you can tell any difference.

March 07, 2012 12:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have heard the audio of obama saying that....several times, and it was on the hannity show not beck

so unless someone was faking his voice, I don't think that is a lie.
I will find the audio and post it.

What democrats and liberals have done to conservative women, and even Hillary, is disgraceful.

for you to get annoyed at Rush.
unbelievable hypocrisy.

March 07, 2012 1:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have heard the audio of obama saying that....several times, and it was on the hannity show not beck

Are you sure you heard Obama say it.....or was it Hannity you heard?

MediaMatters has the entire story Unreal: Fox News claims Obama invoked racial segregation with his car analogy, from Obama's original quote "Finally we got this car up on level ground. And, yes, it's a little beat up. It needs to go to the body shop. It's got some dents; it needs a tune-up. But it's pointing in the right direction. And now we've got the Republicans tapping us on the shoulder, saying, we want the keys back.

You can't have the keys back. You don't know how to drive. You can ride with us if you want, but you got to sit in the backseat. We're going to put middle-class America in the front seat. We're looking out for them."

to Beck asking "So is this a back of the bus kind of analogy?"

to Hannity piling on by characterizing "Obama's statement as "talk about sit in the back of the bus."

to Hannity again piling on "while interviewing Michael Steele, Hannity said, "President Barack Obama actually said Republicans can go to the back of the bus. I'm not sure if you heard the comment.""

Oh we heard what Obama said all right and we heard how Beck and Hannity spun it. Nobody on the left saw any need to lie and change Obama's words to say something they did not say like the talking heads do over at the right wing's favorite distorting echo chamber.

When you had Bachman referred to as an MILF and Barbie with fangs when you have Maxine waters saying the tea party can go straight to hell, they are so many examples of liberals using NON CIVIL discourse that it actually quite hilarious that you are upset with Rush.

Did the person who called Bachmann names go on to defame her and insult her parents on air for 3 days in a row? Did anyone ask her who provided her condoms in the 6th grade like Rush asked about Ms. Fluke? Did Maxine Waters spend 9 hours of air time berating the Tea Party and did she pick one tea bagger to denigrate for their testimony before Congress? Did Rep. Waters ask how tea party members can manage to walk after doing all that tea bagging?

The answer is no in each case and you look like a fool trying to come up with anything comparable to what Sandra Fluke has had to endure as dished out by Rush Limbaugh. Only Rush said such things about a college student, and then he demanded she post videos of her sexual encounters on line. No wonder Rush Limbaugh is losing sponsors almost as fast as he can throw insults at college students who advocate for women's healthcare.

March 07, 2012 4:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

are you aware how much oral contraceptives cost ? 10.00 a month and free at Planned Parenthood..... a Georgetown law degree, 48K a year for tuition. so you are telling me that a lesbian law student let her condition get so bad that she lost an ovary. Relly ? Meanwhile she could afford 48K a year in tuition

What brand of oral contraceptives cost $10/month and do they help cure endometriosis and PCOS? When my 16 year old daughter had menstrual cramps so severe they doubled her over in pain every month, her pediatrician prescribed oral contraceptives that cost $80 per month at Target, or $960 per year, not including the cost of transportation to the pharmacy to pick them up.

Have you been inside a drug store near the Georgetown University campus and compared prices there to the suburbs? After the GOP defunds Planned Parenthood, then what?

Sandra Fluke's Congressional testimony told the story of a lesbian GU student. Fluke is not the woman who lost an ovary and did not say if the student who did attends GU law school or not.

I bet Theresa's daughter's tuition was less than $48K and she had to move back home. Any student with nearly $50K in tuition costs, plus housing and the rest, is going to have difficulty keeping up with those bills. That's why student debt ($870 BILLION) now exceeds credit card debt ($693 BILLION) in the United States.

March 07, 2012 4:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

and why is that the student debt is so high ?

because the govt is giving away free money to students....

just like when you gave away free mortgage loans, housing prices rose... when you give away free student loans, education prices rise.... see the issue ?
there's the link to what our uniter in chief had to say... I can find lots more including gibbs reieterating it.

March 07, 2012 5:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great video, thanks. Did you bother watching more than 20 seconds of it? Obviously not.

Obama never mentions "the back of the bus" -- only the Fox News talking heads say that.

At 24 seconds into the YouTube video you posted the link to, there is one Mr. Peter Johnson, Jr., Fox News Analyst, on Fox & Friends saying "The American bus, the American car is a bus and a car for all Americans."

And the screen flashes SAY WHAT??

Again the Fox News Analyst says "The American bus, the American car is a bus and a car for all Americans."

And the screen flashes Umm OK followed by Let's hear the President's comment again.

Obama: "And they're saying 'Uh excuse me, we want the keys back.' We don't mind the Republicans joining us, they can go, come for the ride, but they got to sit in back."

Narrator: "At Fox News, this"

Screen shot of Obama saying "We don't mind the Republicans joining us, they can go, come for the ride, but they got to sit in back."

"becomes this"

Screen shot of bad combover Peter Johnson Jr. Fox News Analyst saying "really seeing is a reference to the notion of being in the back of the bus" and then a screen shot of Hannity saying "President Barack Obama actually said Republicans can go to the back of the bus. I'm not sure if you heard the comment."

Narrator: You know it's funny they asked this guy (Michael Steele). Let's see what he has to say.

Screen shot of Michael Steele, RNC Chairman, August 6 saying "We're going to win in November. And Nancy Pelosi will be in the back of the bus. And Nancy Pelosi will be in the back of the bus. in the back of the bus."

Thanks for posting a video that so clearly shows that Fox's news is really FAUX news.

March 07, 2012 6:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

why is that the student debt is so high ?

because the govt is giving away free money to students....

Math is not your forte is it? If it's "free money to students" it is adding nothing to "student debt."

Student debt is high because college tuition is so high. Tuition in Maryland went up 40% in 2005, when a Republican was in the White House and another Republican was in the Maryland Governor's mansion.

"Under GOP Governor Ehrlich, in-state undergraduate tuition at University System of Maryland colleges and universities increased 40 percent.

Ehrlich backers are fond of saying that the Board of Regents, not the governor, is responsible for setting tuition. But the regents, who are appointed by the governor, are always acting in response to what the governor does. When O'Malley gave them the funding to keep tuition down, they did. When Ehrlich cut state funding, they increased tuition."

March 07, 2012 6:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


"LOS ANGELES, March 7 (UPI) -- U.S. comedian Bill Maher used Twitter Wednesday to defend Rush Limbaugh who apologized for calling a contraception advocate a "slut."

"Hate to defend #RushLimbaugh but he apologized, liberals looking bad not accepting," Maher tweeted. "Also hate intimidation by sponsor pullout."

March 07, 2012 7:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

no silly, college tuition is so high because students free loans are enabling it !

and UMD in-state tuition is great. but as a result it is very hard to get in UMD for in-state students.

It is about 4500 or so a semester, 9K a year (which is FABULOUS). and it's a great school. out of state public (off the top of my head, I am smack in the middle of this)... is 20K tuition and about 15 K room/board/books/trave. out of state private ... can be 45K tuition only (duke, vanderbilt)

the issue with free money (and not FREE Money, but unlimited loans)... ie, applying to law school my daughter was immediately offered 210K in federal loans, at a really reasonable rate .. like 6.5 % or something. this was secured only by her, she currently has no assets and no real job, though is a 3.7 student at UMD business school (she currently has no loans, we have been paying it). My point is when the federal govt gives out this many loans, you skew the system, just like when fannie and freddie underwrote ninja loans for the housing industry. come on, tell me you don't see the parallel ? more money available allows schools to charge more and yes, the tuition just keeps going up.... (though not necessarily the quality of the education).

March 07, 2012 10:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So tell us about the FREE MONEY or unlimited loans the Bush Administration enacted that caused Gov. Ehrlich to raise tuition 40% in the last Maryland state budget he produced before losing his reelection to Gov. O'Malley. Gov. O'Malley has managed to hold Maryland college tuition steady without increase for four years, though a 3% hike was just approved.

I see Rush is saying sponsors are like french fries (what? not American fries??) and since he likes talking trash about women, it seems he's found his next profession: rapping. Rush said "rappers can practically say anything they want about women, and it's called art."

March 08, 2012 8:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another skirmish in the GOP war on women and women's health:

Leticia Parra, a mother of five scraping by on income from her husband’s sporadic construction jobs, relied on the Planned Parenthood clinic in San Carlos, an impoverished town in South Texas, for breast cancer screenings, free birth control pills and pap smears for cervical cancer.

But the clinic closed in October, along with more than a dozen others in the state, after financing for women’s health was slashed by two-thirds by the Republican-controlled Legislature.

The cuts, which left many low-income women with inconvenient or costly options, grew out of the effort to eliminate state support for Planned Parenthood. Although the cuts also forced clinics that were not affiliated with the agency to close — and none of them, even the ones run by Planned Parenthood, performed abortions — supporters of the cutbacks said they were motivated by the fight against abortion.

Now, the same sentiment is likely to lead to a shutdown next week of another significant source of reproductive health care: the Medicaid Women’s Health Program, which serves 130,000 women with grants to many clinics, including those run by Planned Parenthood. Gov. Rick Perry and Republican lawmakers have said they would forgo the $35 million in federal money that finances the women’s health program in order to keep Planned Parenthood from getting any of it.

March 08, 2012 9:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

again, it is not about birth control or even the crazy silliness of a law school student at a university that is 47K a year complaining about the cost of birth control, even if it was a 1K a year (which it is definitely NOT). this is a fr...eedom of religon issue, pure and simple. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." that's the constitution. If you compel an institution like Georgetown to cover something with an insurance policy that violates their beliefs, like the morning after pill, you have violated the free exercise clause. PERIOD. what about this is hard to understand ?

Finally back to UMD. UMD tuitions are INCREDIBLY low. Unbelievably low. so if they have to raise them they have to raise them....check around at other states, I believe are instate is quite a BIT below other states...(like 20-30%) at least from the casual conversations I have had with other parents. So I guess I can't fault Elrich for a 40% increase if even when that 40% increase they are so much less than other states.

March 08, 2012 9:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

" the cost of birth control, even if it was a 1K a year (which it is definitely NOT)."

Unless you been prescribed birth control pills to counteract endometriosis and PCOS, you have no idea how much they might cost. Some name brands of them are very costly - $960/year for my daughter as prescribed by her doctor for a different medical problem.

" If you compel an institution like Georgetown to cover something with an insurance policy that violates their beliefs,"

What about the religious beliefs of the students who attend Georgetown University? Is there a "Catholic test" to be admitted there? If they want only Catholics to attend their university, that's one thing, but I think they accept people of all faiths, even none.

Obama's compromise takes Catholic institutions out of the equation by relieving them from either paying for coverage for contraceptives or providing any referral to their employees for the coverage. Instead, insurance companies would be required to pay for the contraceptives, and to arrange it.

Students' health insurance coverage in no way interferes with GU's ability to practice its religion.

The Blunt Amendment wasn't just about religion. It would have allowed not only religious groups but any employer with moral objections to opt out of the coverage requirement. And it would have allowed such employers to do so in the case of not only contraception but any health service required by the 2010 health-care law.

Interestingly, the House GOP leadership is now dragging it's feet on a Blunt-type Amendment of their own. Since when have House Republicans balked from a juicy, red meat bill that would feed their social conservative voters? Especially when it involves women’s reproductive rights? It’s not the passage of the bill they usually want as much as it is the chance to debate, to vote, and to use that vote in their campaigns during the election cycle.

It’s that pattern, and the fact that the GOP is deviating from it, that makes it clear that finally, at last, even House Republicans are recognizing that attacking contraception is one policy that will lose them more votes than they will gain.

Video How many times can Limbaugh slander women in one minute?

"Finally back to UMD. UMD tuitions are INCREDIBLY low. "

They were REALLY INCREDIBLY low before Ehrlich raised them 40% during the Bush Administration's tenure. That's what you get with the GOP in charge, higher prices.

March 09, 2012 9:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

back to the point.

Do you believe this is a violation of the free exercise clause of the constititution or not ?

Ie, is the mandate unconsitutional in your view ?

If not, why do you believe that it is not ?

and on UMD, the reality of the tuition being that low is they started accepting more out of state as opposed to in-state to try and make up the shortfall.

March 09, 2012 11:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you believe this is a violation of the free exercise clause of the constititution or not ?

Not. I do not believe any religion has any proscriptions against health insurance coverage.

UMD had to raise tuition rates because of how deeply Ehrlich cut funding for education during his tenure.

March 09, 2012 11:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not only is it a GOP war on women, it's a coordinated GOP war on women.

The bill Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell signed Wednesday requiring women in his state to undergo ultrasound screening before they can proceed with an abortion represents the latest victory for anti-abortion activists pushing to get similar legislation enacted nationwide.

Seven states already have laws on the books requiring pre-abortion ultrasound screening, according to Elizabeth Nash, state issues manager for the Guttmacher Institute, an abortion rights group that focuses on reproductive health policy. At least 18 more states are considering similar bills...

Among the states that have already passed ultrasound legislation, some are attempting to expand the provisions. The Oklahoma state legislature, for example, is considering a bill that will mandate the woman considering an abortion listen to the sound of the fetus' heartbeat as well as look at images of it.

Kristi Hamrick, a spokesman for the anti-abortion Americans United for Life, confirmed that the group authored a model bill, titled “The Woman’s Ultrasound Right to Know Act” that appears to have been the inspiration for a number of the bills currently under consideration. A Sunlight Foundation analysis that uses technology called SuperFastMatch shows the AUL bill has instances of text matching with all 13 bills to which we compared it. Of course, some bills show much more overlap than others. Matching instances run from a low of one to a high of 29.

Given that ultrasound bills enacted by two states -- Oklahoma and Louisiana -- are on hold while they are challenged in court, an even more popular model may turn out to be a Texas ultrasound law that was upheld in January by the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Sunlight's analysis using SuperFastMatch shows that the Texas bill shares multiple instances of identical text with 12 of the 13 bills to which it was compared, including Virginia. Our analysis also showed text overlaps between the Texas bill and the model bill written by Americans United for Life.

SuperFastMatch, an automated textual analysis, identified overlaps in text in multiple ultrasound bills, but also found cases where entire passages were replicated. In some cases an entire passage was replicated across bills with exception of one word, such as the use of “that” instead of “which,” causing the technology to overlook those instances and not count them as matches. When that occurs, it takes the work of a human to point out that that passage is in indeed the same. An example of this is below, with the single distinguishing word in each passage boldfaced:

Alabama SB12:

MEDICAL EMERGENCY. A condition which, in reasonable medical judgment, so complicates the medical condition of the pregnant woman as to necessitate the immediate abortion of her pregnancy to avert her death or for which a delay will create serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function, not including psychological or emotional conditions. No condition shall be deemed a medical emergency if based on a claim or diagnosis that the woman will engage in conduct which she intends to result in her death or in substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function.

Oklahoma SB1274

"Medical emergency" means a condition that, in reasonable medical judgment, so complicates the medical condition of the pregnant woman that it necessitates the immediate abortion of her pregnancy to avert her death or for which the delay will create serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function, not including psychological or emotional conditions. No condition shall be deemed a medical emergency if based on a claim or diagnosis that the woman will engage in conduct which she intends to result in her death or in substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function.

March 09, 2012 4:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sometimes the similarities between bills are immediately obvious, like the case of AUL’s model bill and the bills being considered in Alabama and Pennsylvania. All three have a similar title: The model bill is titled “The Woman’s Ultrasound Right to Know Act”, while the Alabama and Pennsylvania bills are titled, “The Right to Know and See Act” and the “Women’s Right to Know Act, respectively.

The 13 bills that Sunlight ran through SuperFastMatch are:

Alabama SB12
Alaska SB191
Illinois HB4085
Iowa HF2033
Kentucky SB103
Michigan SB150
Mississippi HB1107
New Jersey S231
Ohio HB125
Oklahoma SB1274
Pennsylvania HB1077
South Carolina H3026
Virginia HB462

Model legislation appeared on the country’s radar last year after the work of two left-wing organizations revealed the entire catalog of model bills curated by the conservative group American Legislative Exchange Counsel (ALEC). According to the AUL website, members of the anti-abortion organization attended the 2010 ALEC conference to network with state legislators and promote their model bills.

March 09, 2012 4:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

GOP soldier in the war on women

"The Arizona Senate passed a bill Tuesday that will prohibit medical malpractice lawsuits against doctors who withhold information from a woman that could cause her to have an abortion.

The "wrongful birth, wrongful life" lawsuit legislation passed the Republican-controlled Senate 20-9 Tuesday, setting up a coming battle in the GOP-dominated state House of Representatives. The legislation -- which is currently law in nine states -- is sponsored by a Republican senator with close ties to the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council. The approval comes as Kansas lawmakers consider similar legislation.

Sen. Nancy Barto (R-Phoenix) told the Claims Journal that she sponsored the law because she did not want claimants to blame a doctor for a baby born with disabilities. Under the provisions of her bill, a doctor could not face a medical malpractice suit if the doctor withholds information from a mother about health issues facing a child that could cause her to have an abortion. In addition, a lawsuit could not be filed on the child's behalf regarding a disability.

The suits and laws have been deemed "wrongful birth" and "wrongful life."

Barto's legislation will allow for medical malpractice suits in the event for "intentional or grossly negligent" acts and for any acts that violate criminal law. Barto proposed the legislation after it was proposed by the conservative Center for Arizona Policy.

Barto did not return a message left at her Phoenix office for comment.

In 2011, Barto was named legislator of the year by ALEC. A press release she issued on the award noted she was on the executive committee of the group's Health and Human Services Task Force and touted her opposition to the federal health care reform law.

Barto's legislation is quickly drawing opposition from House Democrats, including Rep. Matt Heinz (D-Tucson). Heinz, a physician, said that he does not believe the proposal fits with the role of a doctor and noted that in many cases a woman needs to know of the potential disabilities to prevent health problems that could potentially kill her during child birth.

"I cannot think of a time that it is right to withhold information from a patient that would cause them pain or death," Heinz told HuffPost. "That is not consistent with the Hippocratic Oath."..."

March 09, 2012 5:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WASHINGTON — Birth control that you must take every single day? A more goof-proof option that costs a lot upfront but then works for several years? Or something in between?

A woman's choice may come down to her wallet: The price of birth control varies dramatically.

Just the pill has a huge range, from $9 a month for generics to $90 a month for some of the newest brands, plus a yearly doctor's visit for the prescription.

Want a once-a-month option? The patch or ring could run you $55 monthly.

Even more reliable are so-called long-acting types, those IUDs or implants that can last years but can cost $600 to nearly $1,000 for the doctor to insert.

That's if you don't have insurance that covers at least some of the tab – although many women do. And if those prices are too much, crowded public clinics offer free or reduced-price options. But it might take a while to get an appointment.

Questions about cost and access to birth control have been swirling for weeks now, intensifying after a Georgetown University law school student testified before congressional Democrats in support of a new federal policy to pay for contraception that she said can add up to $1,000 a year, not covered by the Jesuit college's health plan. Talk show host Rush Limbaugh's verbal assault on her comments became the latest skirmish in the birth control wars.

Soon, the new policy will make contraceptives available free of charge as preventive care, just like mammograms, for women with most employer-provided health insurance. Churches are exempt. But for other religious-affiliated organizations, such as colleges or hospitals, their insurance companies would have to pay for the coverage, something that has triggered bitter political debate.

A major study of nearly 10,000 women that's under way in St. Louis provides a tantalizing clue about what might happen when that policy takes effect.

Consider: Nearly half of the nation's 6 million-plus pregnancies each year are unintended. Rates of unplanned pregnancies are far higher among low-income women than their wealthier counterparts. Among the reasons is that condoms can fail. So can birth control pills, if the woman forgets to take them every day or can't afford a refill.

Only about 5 percent of U.S. women use the most effective contraceptives – a matchstick-sized implant named Implanon or intrauterine devices known as IUDs. Once inserted, they prevent pregnancy for three, five or 10 years. But Dr. Jeffrey Peipert of Washington University in St. Louis says many women turn them down because of a higher upfront cost that insurance hasn't always covered – even though years of pills can cost as much.

"How can we cover Viagra and not IUDs?"

March 10, 2012 12:51 PM  

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