Open Mic February 17

The polit­i­cal land­scape has been rel­a­tively quiet this week. But, typ­i­cal of Pres­i­den­tial elec­tion years, Pres­i­dent Obama did pub­lish a wish list with the title of “bud­get”. Maine declared for­mer Mass­a­chu­setts Gov­er­nor Mitt Rom­ney the vic­tor in that state’s cau­cuses, lead­ing sup­port­ers of Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Ron Paul (R-​​Lake Jack­son, TX) to cry foul. And, prov­ing love is really in the air on Valentine’s Day, both par­ties actu­ally agreed on some­thing in the House…to extend unem­ploy­ment ben­e­fits, a pay­roll tax cut, and yet another “tem­po­rary” patch to the for­mula used by Medicare to pay doctors.

Next week, after the Pres­i­dents’ Day hol­i­day, the Supreme Court will be back in ses­sion again; and the Fan­tas­tic Four Repub­li­cans will debate in Mesa, Arizona.

Today, though, it’s Fri­day. And that means you’re in charge of the sub­jets du jour.

Don’t see an arti­cle on a par­tic­u­lar topic, but want to talk about it some­where? This is Open Mic. Talk about what­ever you want, but stay respectful.

We cre­ate a new Open Mic every week to give a clean slate, but feel free to add to this topic at any time.

  1. God­speed ~ John Glenn : 50 years since first U.S. orbit

    The name still res­onates and gen­er­ates goose bumps like few oth­ers in the world of spaceflight.

    John Glenn.

    Even astro­nauts — not just the rest of us mere mor­tals — get mushy talk­ing about Project Mercury’s “clean Marine” who led the country’s charge into orbit.

    As the world’s most endur­ing and endear­ing space­man gets set to cel­e­brate what no other liv­ing astro­naut has done — mark the 50th anniver­sary of his own space­flight — he finds him­self in over­drive reflect­ing on what has been an unde­ni­ably charmed, golden life.

    First Amer­i­can to orbit the Earth, aboard Friend­ship 7 on Feb. 20, 1962. Old­est per­son to fly in space, at age 77 aboard shut­tle Dis­cov­ery in 1998. U.S. sen­a­tor for four terms and one-​​time pres­i­den­tial can­di­date. Name­sake of a NASA cen­ter as well as a university’s school of pub­lic affairs.

    Ten times, Glenn’s launch was delayed. Finally, on the morn­ing of Feb. 20, 1962, Car­pen­ter called out from the block­house, “God­speed, John Glenn” moments before the Mercury-​​Atlas rocket ignited.

    Glenn did not hear Carpenter’s poetic send-​​off until after the flight.

    That meant a lot, and it’s meant a lot since then,” Glenn said. “It just showed we were all work­ing together at that time.”

    The words came to Car­pen­ter at that moment. It’s become one of the most mem­o­rable quotes from spaceflight.

    It was an appro­pri­ate bon voy­age, a prayer, good­bye and good luck all wrapped up with a con­cise state­ment, I think,” Car­pen­ter said from his win­ter home in South Florida.

    He will join John and Annie Glenn, and their chil­dren, semi­re­tired Dr. David Glenn, and artist Lyn Glenn, in anniver­sary cel­e­bra­tions at Kennedy Space Cen­ter today and Saturday.

    Mar­ried for 68 years, the Glenns are vir­tu­ally insep­a­ra­ble. They met in the playpen as tod­dlers in New Con­cord, Ohio.

    More than 100 retirees who worked on Project Mer­cury also will gather for a reunion this week­end at Cape Canaveral.

    On Mon­day, the actual anniver­sary, the Glenns will attend a gala at Ohio State.”

    >

    Prob­a­bly my first vivid mem­ory of the space pro­gram as it was kind of a big deal in Ohio, IIRC. ;)

    Do you wanna go to the moon, Alice?!

  2. Shiloh,
    What a won­der­ful mem­ory and way to remem­ber the pride and achieve­ment of USA tech­nol­ogy. 
    I remem­ber my Mother get­ting me up, in the mid­dle of the night, to see Sput­nik.  Our Nation was stunned that the USA was not first in tecfh­nol­ogy.  It was a wake up, a blow to the gut to all American’s.  Rus­sia put most of it’s money into their mil­i­tary and space pro­gram.  The USA would accel­er­ate it’s space pro­gram.  This was done using new tech­nol­ogy in con­cert with pri­vate indusstry to “shoot for the moon”.  The invest­ments in edu­ca­tion, sci­ence and new tech­nol­ogy, and uti­liza­tion of pri­vate busi­nesses made the first moon land­ing pos­si­ble.  What a won­der­ful time and the pride of a Nation.  The men will­ing to go “Where no man has gone before”.  It took such unimag­in­able courage.  John Glenn is and exam­ple of the true exam­ple of “Amer­i­can Excep­tion­al­ism”.  
    Thank you for remind­ing me of who “We the Peo­ple” are and what “We” can accom­plish.  The cur­rent gen­er­a­tion hasn’t had the ben­e­fit of hav­ing such Patri­o­tism and pride in our Nation.  I think  more empha­sis should be put on the fact that with edu­ca­tion and new tech­nol­ogy amaz­ing things are possible. 

  3. This was done using new tech­nol­ogy in con­cert with pri­vate indus­try to “shoot for the moon”.

    Jane, Glenn used to ref­er­ence an Alan Shep­ard quote:

    I wasn’t scared, but I was up there look­ing around, and sud­denly I real­ized I was sit­ting on top of a rocket built by the low­est bid­der.

    There are also ref­er­ences to Shep­ard say­ing “it’s a very sober­ing feel­ing to be up in space and real­ize that one’s safety fac­tor was deter­mined by the low­est bid­der on a gov­ern­ment contract.”

    And dur­ing Glenn’s flight he’s told his heat shield may not func­tion prop­erly. ~ Holy shit, Bat­man! :o

  4. Well, this is inter­est­ing. Philip Klein has an arti­cle this morn­ing in the Wash­ing­ton Exam­iner dis­cussing how Rick Santorum’s hos­til­ity to lib­er­tar­i­an­ism could be very dam­ag­ing to him in a gen­eral elec­tion.
     
    Klein quotes from San­to­rum: “I am not a lib­er­tar­ian, and I fight very strongly against lib­er­tar­ian influ­ence within the Repub­li­can Party and the con­ser­v­a­tive move­ment”… and then goes on to say.…
     

    This is a stark depar­ture from Ronald Rea­gan, who had this to say to the lib­er­tar­ian Rea­son mag­a­zine in a 1975 inter­view:
    “If you ana­lyze it I believe the very heart and soul of con­ser­vatism is lib­er­tar­i­an­ism. I think con­ser­vatism is really a mis­nomer just as lib­er­al­ism is a mis­nomer for the liberals–if we were back in the days of the Rev­o­lu­tion, so-​​called con­ser­v­a­tives today would be the Lib­er­als and the lib­er­als would be the Tories. The basis of con­ser­vatism is a desire for less gov­ern­ment inter­fer­ence or less cen­tral­ized author­ity or more indi­vid­ual free­dom and this is a pretty gen­eral descrip­tion also of what lib­er­tar­i­an­ism is.
    “Now, I can’t say that I will agree with all the things that the present group who call them­selves Lib­er­tar­i­ans in the sense of a party say, because I think that like in any polit­i­cal move­ment there are shades, and there are lib­er­tar­i­ans who are almost over at the point of want­ing no gov­ern­ment at all or anar­chy. I believe there are legit­i­mate gov­ern­ment func­tions. There is a legit­i­mate need in an orderly soci­ety for some gov­ern­ment to main­tain free­dom or we will have tyranny by indi­vid­u­als. The strongest man on the block will run the neigh­bor­hood. We have gov­ern­ment to insure that we don’t each one of us have to carry a club to defend our­selves. But again, I stand on my state­ment that I think that lib­er­tar­i­an­ism and con­ser­vatism are trav­el­ling the same path.“

     
    I’ve been mus­ing over this lit­tle dust-​​up all morn­ing. What do you think, fel­low trav­el­ers? Do you agree with Rea­gan that “the heart and soul of  con­ser­vatism is lib­er­tar­i­an­ism?” It seems to me that social con­ser­vatism is at core restric­tive, and is largely defined by the things peo­ple should not be allowed to do… the very antithe­sis of lib­er­tar­i­an­ism. (Santorum’s oppo­si­tion to lib­er­tar­i­an­ism would be proof of this, since he is a strong social conservative.)

  5. I dis­agree with Rea­gan.
     
    When one con­sid­ers that orig­i­nally con­ser­vatism was the Eng­lish belief in the monar­chy and rule by divine right, there is a great divide between that and lib­er­tar­i­an­ism. The first real schism came about the time of Smith in the late 1700’s when you saw the break between tra­di­tional con­ser­v­a­tives and the laissez-​​faire econ­o­mists who saw a com­pletely dif­fer­ent aspect.
    The Scot-​​Irish tra­di­tion, from the time of the migra­tions to Ulster and then to the US, into north­ern New Eng­land, and the “T” of Penn­syl­va­nia and then down the Appalachi­ans her­ald the roots of Amer­i­can lib­er­tar­i­an­ism. The inde­pen­dence of the indi­vid­ual, self suf­fi­ciency against the wilder­ness and the indi­ans and then to the fight against the British, these folk were, unlike the Catholics and Angli­cans, were believ­ers in the bottom-​​up phi­los­o­phy ver­sus the heirar­chy and top-​​down. Their prin­ci­ple alle­giance was to clan and their Great Cap­tains, not to the State.
     
    Con­ser­vatism wants to main­tain the sta­tus quo, at best, and a long­ing to return to the myth­i­cal “good old days”. Which usu­ally, in truth, not all that good!
     
    Lib­er­tar­i­ans want to main­tain the the inde­pen­dence of the indi­vid­ual even in a mod­ern soci­ety that does not have the raw fron­tier where that lifestyle is the bet­ter fit.
     
    There can be some crossover, as in many philoso­phies. But the basic roots and tenets are com­pletely separate.

  6. Con­ser­vatism and it’s believe in hang­ing on to the sta­tus quo and accepted tra­di­tion.  This  has made pos­i­tive words used as a neg­a­tive slur.  Lib­er­tar­i­ans want what was pre-​​United States and indi­vid­ual sov­er­eigncy.  Is that right?   The cur­rent trend seems to be the extremes.  Lib­er­als and pro­gres­sives have had the same right­ward extremes.  Isn’t that why we need every­one to get to cen­ter and accom­mo­date what is best for the largest per­cent­age of the whole.  
     
    Nei­ther con­ser­vatism or lib­er­tar­i­an­ism, when extreme, pro­vide much wig­gle room for adapt­ing to the con­stantly chang­ing global envi­ron­ment.  Lib­er­als and pro­gres­sives can be fis­cally irre­spon­si­ble if too extreme.  Is that right?  Pro­gres­sives want progress in all areas and when too extreme it can be at the detri­ment of cap­i­tal­ism. 
    IMO all are nec­es­sary but no one view is the best for the Nation.   It seems to me the cur­rent move to the right is so detri­men­tal to the “greater good”.  It also holds back any progress to fix imme­di­ate prob­lems as quickly.   The sta­tus quo inhibits innovation.

  7. I don’t take any issue with what Regan said in that quote, other than that it was pure bs for him to be the one say­ing it. 

    I don’t think Rea­gan intended to give the impres­sion that he was talk­ing about the Englsh monar­chy or rule by divine right, nor do I think that there are many con­ser­v­a­tives  in  Amer­ica who believe they owe any respect of that flavour to the old coun­try.  I assume most of those who take any pride in their Scot-​​Irish tra­di­tions are mainly proud of what hap­pened after their tra­di­tions arrived on this side of the ocean.

    I think a philop­shy nearer to what RR was talk­ing would help the party in the long run.  The rea­son it was bs for him to say it is that while he was say­ing that out of one side of his mouth, he was pan­der­ing to some evan­gel­i­cals’ beliefs in rule by divine right out of the other.    A truer lib­er­tar­ian phi­los­o­phy would leave much less room for the evan­gel­i­cals to take over. 

  8. As a young per­son I sat in awe in front of my tv and watched us con­quer the near space, the trips to the moon and the won­der­ful things our satelites could do. In 1993 or 4 I did a national cham­pi­onship bass tour­ney in Ohio and right beside our hotel was the Glenn cen­ter. Unlike many that were there I didn’t go bar hop­ping (ok maybe a lit­tle) I spent hours in the Glenn cen­ter. To actu­ally see and touch the things that had taken this man to the spa­cial edge will for­ever be with me. ohn Glenn was actu­ally pretty con­ser­v­a­tive. I could vote for that kind of con­ser­vatism.
    At the local cof­fee shop this AM I ran into a good friend that is a fairly major fig­ure in the Repub­li­can world up here. He is so fis­caly con­ser­v­a­tive you would not believe but he is also a pro­gres­sive in many ways. He is one of those that under­stands that the sta­tus quo or stand­ing pat is some thing this coun­try can not afford. He is also an evan­gel­i­cal but he is deeply con­cerned with where Rick San­to­rum seems to want to take his party. In his words as best I can sumarise them. If Repub­li­cans try to make this elec­tion about abor­tion, con­tra­cep­tion and gays they are going to get their heads handed to them. I respect this man, always have, that does not mean I have always agreed with him but I have voted for him every time I could because he is hon­est and up front and he is pro­gres­sive. In short he is like my dad, keep mov­ing ahead just don’t waste money doing it. I should men­tion I once actu­ally worked for him and we did some major cut­ting edge edu­ca­tional stuff but did we ever have to have our ducks in a row before we laid out our case to him. He appar­ently was head­ing to a sit down con­cern­ing our present Repub­li­can cau­cus dust up. Fili, as an aden­ndum to yes­ter­days input I think our state Repub­li­can chair­man is on posi­tional life sup­port. His stonewalling is com­ing apart and a com­plete cau­cus by cau­cus recount is under­way as I type and the results will be put out there now.….…the Wash­ing­ton county mess is going to be resolved.

  9. Mainer, it seems to me the GOP is only lib­er­tar­ian on the eco­nomic front, in that they want every­body to be allowed to make as much money as they can by any means pos­si­ble, with­out any reg­u­la­tion or inter­fer­ence from gov­ern­ment. In every other area of life they are not only non-​​libertarian, they are very author­i­tar­ian.
     
    Of course this is no kind of rev­e­la­tion or new insight, it’s been true for many years. The sig­nif­i­cant thing is that the pub­lic is becom­ing aware of this fact. It’s amaz­ing, really… Repub­li­cans can talk for years and years about how strongly they are “pro-​​freedom,” but a few months of a Rick San­to­rum cam­paign can undo all those mil­lions of words.
     
    When the pub­lic really sees (as they are now begin­ning to) how truly anti-​​freedom the Repub­li­can party is at core, we are going to wit­ness a sud­den and mas­sive elec­toral shift… and it will lead to a long Demo­c­ra­tic dom­i­nance of Con­gress that will only ebb away if Repub­li­cans go back to fis­cal dis­ci­pline and finally leave the social issues behind.
     
    At which point, American’s long national night­mare will finally be over ;-)

  10. fili,

    When the pub­lic really sees (as they are now begin­ning to) how truly anti-​​​​freedom the Repub­li­can party is at core

    Seri­ous ques­tion.  What are all the Repub­li­can poli­cies that are “anti-​​freedom”?

  11. Well, Grog… for exam­ple, numer­ous states now have Republican-​​sponsored laws requir­ing women to have a wholly unnec­es­sary and com­pletely puni­tive med­ical pro­ce­dure (involv­ing probes being inserted into their vagi­nas) before they are allowed to have a legal med­ical pro­ce­dure that has been  ordered by their doc­tors.
     
    If you don’t think that’s “anti-​​freedom,” I won­der how you would feel about a polit­i­cal maneu­ver insti­tuted by Democ­rats that involved  men being forcibly sub­jected to an unnec­es­sary anal probe before being allowed to have a legal med­ical procedure?

  12. fil­istro,

    men being forcibly sub­jected to an unnec­es­sary anal probe before being allowed to have a legal med­ical procedure?

    For those of us with par­tic­u­larly high deductibles on med­ical insur­ance, it pretty much seems like that.

  13. @Michael… For those of us with par­tic­u­larly high deductibles on med­ical insur­ance, it pretty much seems like that.
     
    Yes, per­haps it “feels” like that … but for many women in Amer­ica, thanks to the GOP’s anti-​​freedom, anti-​​woman poli­cies, it IS like that.

  14. I’ve been mus­ing over this lit­tle dust-​​​​up all morn­ing. What do you think, fel­low trav­el­ers? Do you agree with Rea­gan that “the heart and soul of  con­ser­vatism is lib­er­tar­i­an­ism?”
     
    In my ideal world, I believe it should be.…but, unfor­tu­nately, it isn’t.  And it’s one of the main rea­sons I’ve never voted Repub­li­can (full dis­clo­sure: I’ve hardly voted at all in my life­time). 
     
    The irony is that it’s not like I’m some sec­u­lar­ist fis­cal conservative.…I’m a man of faith and was raised on and still hold many social con­ser­v­a­tive prin­ci­ples as true in my per­sonal life, but I’ve found a way to apply more, dary I say, lib­eral appli­ca­tions to real-​​life issues.  
     
    I favor more drug legalization/​decriminalization. I favor a smaller/​smarter mil­i­tary, get­ting out of other coun­tries’ busi­ness and only wag­ing war when it’s absolutely nec­es­sary.  I hate abor­tion but think it needs to be safe/​legal in very rare instances.  I favor the avail­abil­ity of con­tra­cep­tion to those who want to use it.  You get the idea.   

  15. Wouldn’t an unnec­es­sary catheter­i­za­tion do a far bet­ter job of deliv­er­ing that anti-​​freedom message?

  16. Now that I sched­ule my annual phys­i­cals in the early after­noon, and my doc­tor buys me lunch along with a cou­ple glasses of wine, it makes my prostate exam pure pleasure!

  17. Grog, thank you for your post that laid out your feel­ings on abor­tion and con­tra­cep­tion. I do not have to sub­scribe to or accept your posi­tion to respect what  your post lays out. I can not say the same of oth­ers on the right that only seem to use this issue as a fake polit­i­cal divide. The prob­lem is that Roe v Wade does not stop you and yours from fol­low­ing such a heart­felt posi­tion but doing away with Roe v Wade stops mil­lions of other Amer­i­cans from doing what they see as an equal fund­men­tal right. The big prob­lem for those such as your­self is that polit­i­cal oppor­tunists such as Rick San­to­rum, and oth­ers, have seized upon your seri­ous beliefs for polit­i­cal gain.
    Grog, for most of my adult polit­i­cal  life the Repub­li­cans have in one way or another used the abor­tion issue to curry votes and money. Has it ever made you won­der how these many years later they are still doing the same? Grog.…..any party that goes down that road too far is a cooked goose, We out­lawed slav­ery and the gov­er­ment sur­vived, we played with out law­ing liquor and the gov­ern­ment sur­vived (some would argue barely) we have fought wars and the gov­ern­ment sur­vived. Grog the gov­ern­ment that tries to ban con­tra­cep­tion and abor­tion will not sur­vive regard­less of how moral your posi­tion is for peo­ple will at the end of the day be peo­ple and those peo­ple will screw like rab­bits regard­less of an impend­ing rap­ture, Christ stand­ing there or wor­ries of going blind and sure as hell any gov­er­men­tal edict to the oppo­site.
    Grog god bless you and those like you that have such strong con­vic­tions but they are your con­vic­tions. I am good with mine and the stump out back I fre­quently prey too (hey I’m prob­a­bly an ani­mist if pushed to define myself) this is prob­a­bly the worst national polit­i­cal strat pos­si­ble and come Novem­ber you may under­stand why. Take care.

  18. @WA7… Wouldn’t an unnec­es­sary catheter­i­za­tion do a far bet­ter job of deliv­er­ing that anti-​​​​freedom mes­sage?
     
    I read that ini­tially as “cau­ter­i­za­tion” which caused me to wince painfully… OUCH… but you’re right, catheter­i­za­tion is a pretty good anal­ogy.
     
    In fact, I think Demo­c­ra­tic state leg­is­la­tures should start work­ing on get­ting it passed. Forced catheter­i­za­tion for all men before they get  their infected toe­nails or their athelete’s foot attended to. 
     
    Let free­dom ring!

  19. Mainer,
    Thanks for your post above.  I fully respect your posi­tion as well.  That’s why it’s such a dif­fi­cult issue for me. 

  20. Remem­ber how tur­d­blos­som swift­boated Kerry in 2004. The great thing about mit­tens and Santo is they are swift­boat­ing them­selves lol, no out­side assis­tance needed. So Obama can use his cam­paign $$$ for pos­i­tive polit­i­cal ads.

    As they con­tinue to sling mud at each other, notwithstanding.

    Love it when a plan comes together!

  21. Grog,
    I empathize respect your beliefs.  Believe me, I have strong faith.  Because of dif­fer­ent inter­pre­ta­tions, even within Chris­tian­ity and rad­i­cal dam­age done.  The Found­ing Fathers were so explicit to keep it out of Gov­ern­ment.  Your vote is a pow­er­ful thing.  By tak­ing reli­gion out of pol­i­tics and look­ing what is best for all peo­ple.   My faith is mine and I don’t expect any­one else to have the same rela­tion­ship as I do.  I don’t believe faith can be admin­is­tered by gov­ern­ment.    I use my vote to do my best to make sure one side or the other doesn’t go off the dcep end.  That is why I am inde­pen­dent not Independent

  22. CJ,
    Believe me, I strug­gle with it all the time.  How can I sup­port abor­tion when I believe life begins at con­cep­tion, and no one should have the right to ter­mi­nate some­one else’s life?  But why should I think oth­ers should believe life begins at conception? 

  23. Mainer,
     
    Pro­hi­bi­tion didn’t really ban alco­hol, it just sub­si­dized orga­nized crime. ;)

  24. Abor­tions hap­pened before Rowe vs Wade, they are just safer.  The faith and deci­sion is between them and their God.  Less babies are tossed in the garbage and less women die as a result of the slaugh­ter houses they used to have to go to.  It is their deci­sion and very few take it lightly.

  25. MSNBC parted ways with Pat Buchanan after ten years.   He says polit­i­cal pres­sure from black­lis­ters did the trick.

    I know these black­lis­ters. They oper­ate behind closed doors, with phone calls, mailed threats, and off-​​the-​​record meet­ings. They work in the dark because, as Al Smith said, noth­ing un-​​American can live in the sun­light.” (Nor can vam­pires, Pat. –ed.)

    I don’t know Pig Latin, but I think what he said was “Newt wants my job.”  I’m still stand­ing by my asser­tion that South Car­olina vot­ers have bought Newtie a long-​​term broad­cast­ing Con­tract on America.

  26. I should develop a Pat Buchan­nan relief web site. My guess is the cost of buy­ing the site would out weight the con­tri­bu­tions for his sup­port. Pat is and was a walk­ing adver­tise­ment for Dar­win­ism but while we might miss the paass­ing of the Snail Darter no one will miss the demise of the Buchan­nan.
    Grog I under­stand and respect your angst. No snark I really do in per­sonal ways I could never con­vey. One can not be foursquare for the anti abor­tion posi­tion and also anti con­tra­cep­tion posi­tion. Grog as one on the other side how do you shape this? Again no snark my friend as it is some thing I just do not under­stand.
    Fili, I think we may be in the mid­dle of a Rebubli­can party coup up here. I’m dig­ging and will keep all posted but somet­ing is up and tomor­row might well have some answers.

  27. Mainer,

    One can not be foursquare for the anti abor­tion posi­tion and also anti con­tra­cep­tion posi­tion. Grog as one on the other side how do you shape this? Again no snark my friend as it is some thing I just do not understand.

    I am not anti-​​contraception.  In fact, I don’t know any­one who is, even amongst my most con­ser­v­a­tive friends and family. 

  28. Also in today’s news, AG Eric Holder today sent Speaker Boehner a let­ter say­ing the Obama admin­is­tra­tion will no longer defend leg­is­la­tion in court ban­ning same-​​sex cou­ples from receiv­ing mil­i­tary and vet­er­ans benefits.

    In the past, if I’m not mis­taken, I believe some com­menters here have accused our fair Prez of mak­ing naked grabs to expand the pow­ers of the Exec­u­tive branch, but failed to pro­vide com­pelling exam­ples.  Merry Xmas.  

    Is it true that Obama is the first Pres­i­dent to refuse to go to court because he didn’t like the law his AG was sworn to defend?   Isn’t this the 2nd time he’s done it?  Are we now sup­posed to expect the next Repub­li­can Pres­i­dent to not take that as a well-​​established prece­dent to invoke at will?  Why would he do that instead of just send­ing the worst lawyer pos­si­ble to defend a law he doesn’t like?  Were we ever really safe in San Anto­nio? And what about Mary Lou?

  29. Is it true that Obama is the first Pres­i­dent to refuse to go to court because he didn’t like the law his AG was sworn to defend?

    I’m not sure. But there are pre­vi­ous pres­i­dents (Nixon, Rea­gan, and Bush 2 come to mind) who sim­ply ignored the law.

  30. By the way, accord­ing to mil­i­tary law, there is no way to deny ben­e­fits to spouses and depen­dents of mil­i­tary per­son­nel. So the ques­tion Holder had to address was whether to vio­late mil­i­tary law, or defend a civil­ian law that vio­lated fun­da­men­tal human rights.

  31.  I find the con­tra­cep­tives and the Catholic church dust-​​up a hoot!  Believe me, the Catholic Church lost THAT argu­ment with their own flock a long time ago.
     
    I grew up in a very Catholic fam­ily — with 11 sib­lings.  All of us attended co-​​ed Catholic grade schools from kinder­garten through 8th grade and then went on to attend either an all-​​boys or all-​​girls high school for grades 9–12.  I attended an all-​​girls Catholic high school from 1963–1967 and that Catholic high school was run by elderly Domini­can nuns who back in those days wore floor length  “pen­guin”  black-​​white habits and full head cover and veils.   There were no priests at all at our school.  Just women.
      
    The recent con­tro­versy about con­tra­cep­tives and Catholics brought back a flood of high-​​school mem­o­ries, one of which involved con­tra­cep­tives.
      
    When I was a junior in high school (1965–1966), our entire Junior class attended an inpromptu (at least to us) “health” class, held not in our usual class­rooms, but instead held in the school’s “lit­tle the­atre”  (think small movie the­atre seat­ing maybe 150 max, tiered seat­ing, aisle light­ing, com­fort­able seats).  Once we stu­dents had all arrived, two nuns were directed to the exit doors, which were then closed and a nun sta­tioned at each door for the entire class to bar any­one else from wan­der­ing in.  That was our first clue that this might be an unusual “health” class.
     
    The the­atre lights were low­ered and our atten­tion directed towards the stage, where two nuns stood behind an over­head pro­jec­tor.  Thus began our class on con­tra­cep­tives– a sub­ject that in the 1960s was never openly dis­cussed in pub­lic and cer­tainly never with high school stu­dents.   The nuns pro­ceeded to edu­cate and impress upon us the impor­tance of con­tra­cep­tives, includ­ing the ben­e­fits and dis­ad­van­tages of each form of con­tra­cep­tive avail­able in the mid-​​1960s.  And amaz­ingly to all of us, as each indi­vid­ual con­tra­cep­tive came up for dis­cus­sion, that indi­vid­ual con­tra­cep­tive (the pill, IUD, cop­per coil, con­dom, etc.) was placed on the over­head pro­jec­tor, for all to see.
     
    At the time, it did not occur to any of us that this con­tra­cep­tives class was edu­cat­ing us on some­thing that the Catholic Church in Rome itself strongly advo­cated against.   But look­ing back years later, those brave elderly nuns were, in their own way, try­ing to edu­cate us to become respon­si­ble for our­selves and that by being able to have con­trol over our own female bod­ies, we could con­trol our own lives. And I have absolutely no doubt that this nuns’ “health” class cov­er­ing con­tra­cep­tives was never men­tioned to the local arch­dio­cese and male Catholic powers-​​that-​​be. I also doubt we were the only school to have such “health” classes.
     
     

  32. Jean, I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love that story!
     
    It also gives me con­fi­dence that this old world will keep on turn­ing, and women will keep right on man­ag­ing con­cep­tion, con­tra­cep­tion (and abor­tion when nec­es­sary) just as they always have… pri­vately amongst them­selves, with love, wis­dom and under­stand­ing for the unique issues that women share and men can never, never under­stand.
     
    In fact, I think this is why men keep try­ing to med­dle in this with their fool­ish, heavy-​​handed laws and rules. They know it’s the one area… the one mag­i­cal, mar­velous thing that belongs just to women… the thing that men can never, never con­trol, no mat­ter how hard they try. And that just dri­ves them NUTS.  :lol:
     
     

  33. Jean,
    That is funny.   The Catholic Church (men) sure didn’t know that those sneaky pen­quins were edu­cat­ing their young charges.  May­bee some of them worked in the homes for preg­nant girls, hid­den away, in dis­grace, forced to have their child and never see it.  It was very tragic for these young women, some of them never recov­ered emo­tion­ally, from the dis­grace and shame.
     
     

  34. fili and curi­ous jane,

    This occurred in the years when abor­tion was ille­gal — before Roe v Wade.  Abor­tions were not only dif­fi­cult and only fea­si­ble for the wealthy, but also very dan­ger­ous — mak­ing the nuns attempts to edu­cate us on con­tra­cep­tives all that more impor­tant.
     
    One of my close friends, and who is still a close friend all these many years later,  got preg­nant when a fresh­man in col­lege (1968), was dis­owned by her own fam­ily, sent away to an “unwed mother’s home”, gave birth to a healthy son and was forced by her fam­ily to give her child up for adop­tion if she ever wanted to be part of her fam­ily again.   

    Years and years ago my friend pro­vided the adop­tion agency with her name and con­tact infor­ma­tion, hop­ing that once her child became an adult he might search for her — his birth mother — and want to con­tact her, and she wanted to make that search easy for him. She so loves him and wants to hear from him, but so far, she has not.  It’s likely that her child was never told he was adopted. 
      
    My friend went on to marry, had 5 addi­tional sons, but still holds a part of her heart for the son she had to give away. That era was a very cruel and bru­tal one for women.
     

  35. It’s sad. The last poll  I saw on the topic showed that about the same per­cent­age of men and women are opposed to legal­ized abor­tion. About the same per­cent­age of men and women sup­port it. Almost the same per­cent­age of men and women are in favor of, or are opposed to, legal contraception.

    And yet, the pub­lic spokesper­sons opposed to these things are almost all male.

    My feel­ing is that this is about basic human rights. It should be a “rights” issue, not an issue that is used to divide men and women.

    I favor minor­ity rights, even though I am a middle-​​aged middle-​​class white male. Rights are rights. We should all have vot­ing rights, rights to join a union, reli­gious rights, rights of free speech, immi­gra­tion rights, mar­riage rights, pri­vacy rights. If we start abridg­ing rights, then no rights are safe. Lib­erty is liberty.

    Con­tra­cep­tion should be everyone’s right. This is not about men vs women. It is about human dignity.

    The idea that one group sup­ports rights, and another doesn’t, offends me. Take away anyone’s rights of con­science, and we all are threatened.

    Con­ser­v­a­tives like to say that pow­er­ful orga­ni­za­tions — churches, cor­po­ra­tions, states, monied spe­cial inter­ests — have more rights than indi­vid­u­als. That’s bull. Rights belong to We the Peo­ple. Cor­po­ra­tions are not peo­ple. Churches are not peo­ple. Only peo­ple are people.

    If via­gra is cov­ered by health care (and it is) then abor­tions and con­tra­cep­tion should be as well. If men and women can marry, then so should men and men, or women and women, white or black or speck­led, Catholic or Hindu or Mus­lim or Jew or athe­ist or Pagan.

    Either we accept the Con­sti­tu­tion or we don’t. I do. The lib­er­als I know also do. This is not a theoc­racy. Rights is not an option. Amer­ica is about human rights.

    It’s really that simple.

     

     

  36. and men can never, never understand.

    And as Bill Mayer com­mented last nite on Real Time, espe­cially 70 year old vir­gin men who wear dresses ie Catholic priests/​bishops! ;)

    Jean, the Catholic church changed dra­mat­i­cally in the ‘60s as my first grade teacher, Sis­ter Nadine, ’60/’61, wore the full habit … but by 6th grade, Sis­ter Alma, who used to like pulling ears, mine included, was wear­ing a far less restricted habit. And as regards to sex­ual edu­ca­tion, they prob­a­bly just “assumed” by the late ‘60s every­one knew about contraception/​birth con­trol. :)

    Many would argue a far more earth shat­ter­ing change :D was switch­ing from Latin to Eng­lish after the 2nd Vat­i­can Coun­cil in 1963.

    That said, there’s no edu­ca­tion quite like a parochial school edu­ca­tion as it was surely a lot more “inter­est­ing” than pub­lic schools. Espe­cially in the “rad­i­cal” ‘60s.

    btw, as “we” used to say in the late ‘60s ~ Jesus is comin’ again, and boy is he pissed!

    >

    It’s likely that her child was never told he was adopted.

    Although I’m sure that may have still hap­pened in the late ‘60s, early ‘70s. Those type of sit­u­a­tions were far more preva­lent in the ‘30s/‘40s/‘50s when folks were a tad more close minded and pro­tec­tive of the child. Being adopted was never a “big deal” to any­one in my extended fam­ily, but hey, most of them were Irish on my mom’s side, speak­ing of con­tra­cep­tion lol. My mom’s mom was the youngest of (11) and my mom was one of (10). Once upon a time my mom had over 90 cousins.

    Erin Go Bragh!

  37. I can’t imag­ine the emo­tional trauma to a girl or young woman forced or conned into car­ry­ing a child to term and giv­ing it up.  I know there is a short­age of white babies for adop­tion and some­times I won­der if this isn’t the rea­son there is this empha­sis pushed by peo­ple who fear that whites are becom­ming less and less the dom­i­nant race.  It is only a feel­ing I have and feel that their is a real hid­den fear out there.  “The other” is some kind of threat.  There is no short­age of chil­dren to adopt, the mar­ket is just   a lit­tle more diverse.
    If a young girl is forced or conned into keep­ing a child, she makes a life­time com­mit­ment and lim­i­ta­tion on her futue prospects.  This is done before the mind is mature and able to grasp the respon­si­bil­ity foisted on her.
    The resis­tance to teach­ing the real bio­log­i­cal aspects of repro­duc­tion and being taught absti­nence does not work.  Kids, with their rag­ing hor­mones get mis­con­cep­tions, ie: fila­tio is not hav­ing sex,  ways to avoid impreg­na­tion etc.  It is ram­pant in our chil­dren.
    This same group is againt stem cell research, envi­ron­men­tal and drug reg­u­la­tion, etc.
    Yet this same group makes it easy for some­one like the guy who shot Gabby Gif­ford, to go out get a gun, ammo and ille­gal sized clip meant to have max­i­mum kil­li­ing power.  The USA’s rep­u­ta­tion for sense­les killings, by guns and being the source of guns to the Mex­i­can Car­tels, etc.  baf­fles me.
    I was a reg­u­lar Annie Oak­ley, I loved tar­get shoot­ing and became pro­fi­cient with rifles and hand­guns, in my younger years.  I come from a long line of law enforce­ment and mil­i­tary and respect the 2nd amend­ment.  “Guns don’t kill, peo­ple do”.  Too many evil peo­ple have access to them, in our coun­try and we sup­ply other coun­tries ille­gally.
    The way things are going it will be eas­ier to buy guns than to vote.  I know I am ram­bling but, my mind can’t grasp the Chris­t­ian logic of this.  I am curi­ous and con­fused about how this makes sense to the pro-​​life group.
     
     
     

  38. Curi­ous Jane,

    I agree with what you are say­ing. I share your sense of confusion.

    I once had a very very socially con­ser­v­a­tive co-​​worker. (When she left to take a job in the DC area she insisted on liv­ing in Vir­ginia even though she worked at NIH in Bethesda because she found Mary­lan­ders too lib­eral. This cost her thou­sands of hours of her life in extra com­mute time.)

    She was fine with let­ting her 12 year old son see all man­ner of killings, beat­ings, and dis­mem­ber­ments on a movie screen, but if there was any kind of sex­ual activ­ity on that same screen (i.e. what we used to call heavy pet­ting), she would cover his eyes.

    That always struck me as pass­ing strange.

  39. Another Repub­li­can hyp­ocrite bites the dust - Pinal County Sher­iff Paul Babeu, who was serv­ing as the Ari­zona co-​​chair of the Mitt Rom­ney for Pres­i­dent cam­paign. Won­der what that will do to Babeu’s plans to run for Con­gress in Arizona’s Fourth Con­gres­sional Dis­trict and his “It’s time for a new Sher­iff in Wash­ing­ton” campaign.

    ​Pinal County Sher­iff Paul Babeu just announced at a press con­fer­ence that he is a gay man and that he is no longer a part of pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Mitt Romney’s campaign.

    Babeu called the press con­fer­ence a day after New Times broke the story about alle­ga­tions from the sheriff’s for­mer boyfriend that Babeu’s attor­ney threat­ened him with depor­ta­tion after he refused to sign an agree­ment promis­ing not to dis­close details of their rela­tion­ship.“
     
    http://​blogs​.phoenixnew​times​.com/​v​a​l​l​e​y​f​e​v​e​r​/​2​0​1​2​/​0​2​/​p​a​u​l​_​b​a​b​e​u​_​p​i​n​a​l​_​c​o​u​n​t​y​_​s​h​e​r​i​f​.​php
     
    http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/2012–02-16/news/paul-babeu-s-mexican-ex-lover-says-sheriff-s-attorney-threatened-him-with-deportation/

  40.  
    Phoenix New­Times best com­ment re Sher­iff Paul Babeu: 

    I didn’t know that if you are BOTH gay AND ille­gal, and will­ing to have sex with Ari­zona law enforce­ment, then Arizona’s Repub­li­cans will wel­come you with open, uh, … arms.”

  41. Feb­ru­ary 18, 2012

    Ras­mussen Track­ing ~ Obama 49 ~ Rom­ney 41 ~ Obama +8

    Ras­mussen Track­ing ~ Obama 48 ~ San­to­rum 40 ~ Obama +8

    >

    Ohio GOP Pri­mary: San­to­rum 42%, Rom­ney 24%

    >

    52% Say It’s Bet­ter for GOP To Work With Obama Than Stand on Principle

    >

    Bud Shootout at 8 pm ~ as Rev. Mar­vin Winans said dur­ing Whitney’s eulogy ~ pri­or­i­ties!

  42. Com­ing attrac­tions from the GOP:

    Appar­ently, the word has gone out. With the econ­omy hav­ing taken a turn for the bet­ter, Repub­li­cans need some­thing else to blame on Barack Obama, and they’ve set­tled on the price of gasoline.

    Fox News has taken up the story; Speaker John Boehner and oth­ers have echoed it as well. The the­ory seems to be that the ris­ing price of oil inter­na­tion­ally is Pres­i­dent Obama’s fault, allegedly because he has blocked expanded oil pro­duc­tion here at home.

    http://​blogs​.ajc​.com/​j​a​y​-​b​o​o​k​m​a​n​-​b​l​o​g​/​2​0​1​2​/​0​2​/​1​7​/​o​f​-​p​r​e​s​i​d​e​n​t​s​-​p​e​t​r​o​l​e​u​m​-​p​r​i​c​e​s​-​a​n​d​-​g​a​s​-​p​u​m​ps/
     

  43. Of course, sanc­tions on Iran­ian oil that the GOP has been scream­ing aren’t harsh enough have absolutely noth­ing to do with ris­ing oil prices.

    Unlike Al Jazeera’s edi­to­r­ial board I don’t object to the sanc­tions per se but this is yet another disin­gen­u­ous attempt by Repub­li­cans to pin the blame for the con­se­quences of poli­cies they sup­ported and crafted on the Pres­i­dent. And that’s shameful.

  44. @Jean… Another Repub­li­can hyp­ocrite bites the dust - Pinal County Sher­iff Paul Babeu, who was serv­ing as the Ari­zona co-​​​​chair of the Mitt Rom­ney for Pres­i­dent cam­paign.
     
    This story puts a whole new spin on Peanuts’ “sweet bab­boo” phrase, doesn’t it? :-)
     
    What really tick­les me is how furi­ous the Freep­ers are over media cov­er­age of this inter­est­ing  story. They con­sider it a gross exam­ple of lamestream media bias. “When­ever a Demo­c­rat is caught doing some­thing like this, you don’t hear it any­where,” they com­plain. “But if it’s a Repub­li­can, the cov­er­age is wall-​​to-​​wall!“
     
    The poor schmucks seem gen­uinely unable to under­stand why an aspir­ing Repub­li­can politi­cian, bor­der hawk and state co-​​chair of the Rom­ney cam­paign being forced out of the closet (after attempt­ing to use his office to deport his gay lover who is an ille­gal immi­grant) would be con­sid­ered at all newsworthy.

  45. Now that the econ­omy has started improv­ing, I see Red­state has also now picked up on the Chicken Lit­tle “the sky is falling” theme —  blam­ing Pres­i­dent Obama for high gas prices.  No sur­prise com­ing from that crowd. Sigh.
     
    http://​www​.red​state​.com/​m​o​e​_​l​a​n​e​/​2​0​1​2​/​0​2​/​1​8​/​4​-​5​0​g​a​l​l​o​n​-​g​a​s​-​b​y​-​m​e​m​o​r​i​a​l​-​d​ay/
     

  46. Arm­chair,

    Of course, sanc­tions on Iran­ian oil that the GOP has been scream­ing aren’t harsh enough have absolutely noth­ing to do with ris­ing oil prices.

    Of course. If we would just allow more drilling in the US, we’d make up for all that Iran­ian oil, right? Right?

    attempt by Repub­li­cans to pin the blame for the con­se­quences of poli­cies they sup­ported and crafted on the President.

    That is pretty awful. It’s good polit­i­cal maneu­ver­ing, but hor­rid policy.

  47. AW,
     
    The key clearly needs to be iden­ti­fy­ing vari­ables that we can influ­ence. With­out some changes in how we do busi­ness, not much will change. 
     
     What really dri­ves those ‘world prices’?
      

    “Here we go again. Numer­ous eco­nomic indi­ca­tors once more sug­gest that our econ­omy has improved — lower job­less claims at the end of the year, a slight uptick in home sales, seven months of improved car sales and a large jump in con­sumer con­fi­dence in Decem­ber. More impor­tant to the con­ver­sa­tion, all of this hap­pened dur­ing a period in which it appeared that the Euro­pean debt cri­sis might spi­ral out of con­trol, and China’s eco­nomic index actu­ally fell into con­trac­tion in Novem­ber. (It rose slightly in December.)

    Some ana­lysts are already pre­dict­ing that gaso­line will hit $4 a gal­lon by the spring of this year, which obvi­ously would not bode well for its price this com­ing sum­mer. And the usual excuses are all being trot­ted out as jus­ti­fy­ing the com­ing price swing. Last year it was the Libyan Civil War, this year it’s the pro­posed world­wide embargo on Iran­ian oil — not to men­tion addi­tional sanc­tions that would be placed on any inter­na­tional com­pany deal­ing with Iran’s Cen­tral Bank as a result of trades.

    Amer­i­cans won’t just have to endure the daily real­ity of gas prices hiked by the spec­u­la­tion in the oil mar­kets; we’ll also get to lis­ten to vested traders try­ing to con­vince us that they’re not to blame — those high crude prices result solely from sup­ply short­ages. Oh well, that hasn’t actu­ally been the case in the last eight years; maybe this year it will be.

    How­ever, unlike three and a half years ago, more peo­ple under­stand that the oil mar­ket has always been not a “just in time” inven­tory sys­tem, but a “five min­utes after you needed the oil” inven­tory system.

    Cer­tainly Gary Gensler, head of the Com­mod­ity Futures Trad­ing Com­mis­sion, admit­ted months ago that 80 – 90 per­cent of all oil con­tracts are now held by spec­u­la­tors, not by legit­i­mate hedgers try­ing to pur­chase oil for refin­ing. Like­wise John Bogle, con­sid­ered one of the finest investors ever to grace the halls of Wall Street, seems infu­ri­ated that our finan­cial indus­try is no longer geared toward long-​​term invest­ment in Amer­ica, but instead is solely focused on the quick buck that can be made in the gam­bling hell we call com­modi­ties spec­u­la­tion.”

     
    http://​www​.star​-telegram​.com/​2​0​1​2​/​0​1​/​0​6​/​3​6​3​9​6​9​0​/​2​0​1​2​-​e​n​e​r​g​y​-​p​r​i​c​e​s​.​h​tml
     
    Today, even one of the most respected investors in Amer­i­can his­tory, John Bogle, is blast­ing the new Wall Street cul­ture and warn­ing of the long-​​term eco­nomic dam­age to every­one because we no longer invest in Amer­ica, we sim­ply gam­ble on commodities.

    But as the author sum­ma­rized, “It would be nice to see the gov­ern­ment finally put a lid on exces­sive spec­u­la­tion and give the aver­age Amer­i­can fam­ily a break. That’s not hap­pen­ing, but at least they told the car com­pa­nies they had to improve the fuel effi­ciency of their cor­po­rate fleets. Which, if noth­ing else, gives us more great choices.”

    IMO, that may not be what is cur­rently hap­pen­ing, but is what SHOULD be hap­pen­ing — end exces­sive speculation.

     

  48. Mike,
     
    Or we could build 300 new nuclear power plants and be rid of for­eign oil and green­house gas emis­sions for­ever.  A guy can hope, right?
     
    Jean,
     
    I note that when the reces­sion hit in 2008 the price of oil fell to some­thing like $30 per bar­rel, pre­sum­ably as spec­u­la­tors fled the mar­ket en masse.  The real ques­tion by this point, how­ever, is how the ten-​​ton ele­phant of the global finance indus­try (which makes up a scary large por­tion of global GDP for an enter­prise which basi­cally involves shuf­fling IOUs around a table) can be brought to heel.  These morons came close to start­ing a new Great Depres­sion in 2008 and they have learned noth­ing since — and spent bil­lions on lob­by­ists to avoid hav­ing to.

  49. WA7:
     

    Is it true that Obama is the first Pres­i­dent to refuse to go to court because he didn’t like the law his AG was sworn to defend?   Isn’t this the 2nd time he’s done it?

    You can see here that a num­ber of pres­i­dents,  at least three of them Repub­li­can,  have refused to defend laws they thought uncon­sti­tu­tional.
       
    It is the sec­ond time Obama has done it,  but both involve essen­tially the same issue.

    And any­way,  per Holder’s let­ter:
     

    Notwith­stand­ing this deter­mi­na­tion, the Pres­i­dent has informed me that Sec­tion 3 will con­tinue to be enforced by the Exec­u­tive Branch. To that end, the Pres­i­dent has instructed Exec­u­tive agen­cies to con­tinue to com­ply with Sec­tion 3 of DOMA, con­sis­tent with the Executive’s oblig­a­tion to take care that the laws be faith­fully executed,

     
    Which is the oath the Pres­i­dent takes.

  50. Mainer,
     
    One of the rea­sons gas prices are so volatile is because of spec­u­la­tion unleashed when Bill Clin­ton and Bush 2 dereg­u­lated the com­modi­ties mar­kets. Pre­vi­ously, com­mod­ity trad­ing was restricted to pro­duc­ers and whole­sale users because the whole point of a com­mod­ity mar­ket is to facil­i­tate trad­ing between busi­nesses that actu­ally use the prod­ucts. It’s not sup­posed to be a get-​​rich-​​quick scheme for arbi­trageurs. But now the rest of us pay. As usual, the Repub­li­cans are blam­ing the Democ­rats for the mess they had a large part in hav­ing created.

    We need to repeal the Com­mod­ity Futures Mod­ern­iza­tion Act of 2000 and The Finan­cial Ser­vices Mod­ern­iza­tion Act of 1999 and get spec­u­la­tors out of the oil mar­ket!
    1

  51. Yes Jean and we need to seri­ously look at who has stead­fastly blocked  the CFTB from doing their job. It isn’t the Democ­rats. Our domes­tic oil indus­try are noth­ing more than Repub­li­can monop­o­lis­tic whores and until some of them are RICO jailed or found hang­ing from ropes this will not improve.And I would include some of the elected rep­re­sen­ta­tives that are doing their bidding.

  52. Jean,
    That clear expla­na­tion of one of the main rea­sons for the cost of gas was very infor­ma­tive.
    In other words, even though the USA is pro­duc­ing more oil, it isn’t for USA con­sump­tion because it is a World mar­ket with a bunch of greedy spec­u­la­tors.  These spec­u­la­tors only want to fill their pock­ets at the expense of their fel­low cit­i­zens.  I know cap­tal­ism is heart­less unless it is tem­pered with social moral­ity, of some sort.  This does more dam­age, finan­cially to the Nation than any of the ille­gals or free­load­ers that peo­ple are so angry about.  Why isn’t this infor­ma­tion made clear to the gen­eral pub­lic, so that they can make wiser decisions?

  53. And here comes the reli­gious groups push­ing back on oppo­si­tion to Obamacare:

    On Fri­day, how­ever, a broad coali­tion of reli­gious orga­ni­za­tions filed an ami­cus brief sup­port­ing the Afford­able Care Act’s Med­ic­aid expan­sion that should give the lie to any claim that the faith com­mu­nity opposes the ACA. The brief includes a num­ber of major reli­gious denom­i­na­tions, includ­ing the pol­icy arm of the United Methodist Church, the Gen­eral Synod of the United Church of Christ and the Pres­by­ter­ian Church. Addi­tion­ally, the brief’s sig­na­to­ries include a wide range of Catholic groups:

    Bene­dic­tine Sis­ters, Boerne, Texas; Con­gre­ga­tion of the Sis­ters of Char­ity of the Incar­nate Word, Texas; Domini­can Con­gre­ga­tion of Our Lady of the Rosary, New York; Domini­can Sis­ters of Hope; Jus­tice and Peace Com­mit­tee of the Sis­ters of St. Joseph of Spring­field, Mass­a­chu­setts; Mar­i­an­ist Province of the United States; Sis­ters of Char­ity of St. Eliz­a­beth Lead­er­ship Team, New Jer­sey; Sis­ters of Char­ity of St. Vin­cent De Paul of New York; Sis­ters of the Holy Cross Con­gre­ga­tion Jus­tice Com­mit­tee; Sis­ters of the Incar­nate Word and Blessed Sacra­ment, Cor­pus Christi, Texas; Sis­ters of Mercy West Mid­west Jus­tice Team, Nebraska; Sis­ters of the Most Pre­cious Blood, Mis­souri; Sis­ters of the Pre­sen­ta­tion of the Blessed Vir­gin Mary, New York; Sis­ters of St. Dominic Con­gre­ga­tion of the Most Holy Name; Soci­ety of the Holy Child Jesus, Amer­i­can Province Lead­er­ship Team; Ursu­line Sis­ters of Tildonk, US Province; JOLT, Catholic Coali­tion for Respon­si­ble Invest­ing; Region VI Coali­tion for Respon­si­ble Invest­ment, Ohio, Ken­tucky, Ten­nessee; School Sis­ters of Notre Dame Coöper­a­tive Invest­ment Fund

    None of this reli­gious sup­port for the ACA should be sur­pris­ing. After all, all that these reli­gious groups are doing is fol­low­ing Psalm 82′s com­mand to “Defend the cause of the weak and father­less; main­tain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Res­cue the weak and needy; [and] deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”

    Pope Bene­dict XVI has called health care an “inalien­able right,” and added that it is the “moral respon­si­bil­ity of nations to guar­an­tee access to health care for all of their cit­i­zens.”
     
    http://​thinkprogress​.org/​j​u​s​t​i​c​e​/​2​0​1​2​/​0​2​/​2​1​/​4​2​9​1​8​4​/​r​e​l​i​g​i​o​u​s​-​g​r​o​u​p​s​-​l​i​n​e​-​u​p​-​t​o​-​s​u​p​p​o​r​t​-​a​f​f​o​r​d​a​b​l​e​-​c​a​r​e​-​a​ct/
     
     
     
     
     

  54. Finally, some­one is look­ing at scrip­ture using the intent of “The New Tes­ta­ment”.  IMO peo­ple who read the Bible with a self-​​righteous, holier than thou, and judge­men­tal bias, make the Bible is one of the scari­est books I have read. (ital­ics?).  The judge­men­tal move­ments have caused some of the most shock­ing and dia­bol­i­cal cru­elty in his­tory.
    A polit­i­cal cam­paign using verse and counter verse from the Bible would make it clear why reli­gion has no place in gov­ern­ment.  It is sort of an amus­ing vision that would shine a light on hypocracy.