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Thread: The US Presidential Election 2: Revenge of the US Presidential Election

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    Here's a quote which demonstrates why Santorum as a viable candidate makes me lose faith in our nation's future.

    From Santorum's Twitter: "If English was good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for America. #truth"

    Someone earlier said he wasn't a moron, but a lunatic. Let's all please consider that they're not mutually exclusive.

    Clearly, Jesus totes loved English. And King James I going out of his way to translate the bible into English so that English-speaking folk could actually read the text directly, rather than rely on the church -- yeah, not necessary at all.

    I realize folks have been talking about the issues in this thread, but there's also been an introduction about the candidates themsleves. For me, the sheer arrogance of Santorum coupled with this monumental degree to which he fails intellectually... talk about shock and awe. This is a presidential candidate for America?

    Y'all, if Santorum becomes the Republican nominee and he somehow becomes president, I think we can safely conclude we're living in the darkest timeline.
    Last edited by Emmie; 18-03-12 at 06:15 AM.

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  3. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emmie View Post
    Here's a quote which demonstrates why Santorum as a viable candidate makes me lose faith in our nation's future.

    From Santorum's Twitter: "If English was good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for America. #truth"

    Someone earlier said he wasn't a moron, but a lunatic. Let's all please consider that they're not mutually exclusive.

    Clearly, Jesus totes loved English. And King James I going out of his way to translate the bible into English so that English-speaking folk could actually read the text directly, rather than rely on the church -- yeah, not necessary at all.

    I realize folks have been talking about the issues in this thread, but there's also been an introduction about the candidates themsleves. For me, the sheer arrogance of Santorum coupled with this monumental degree to which he fails intellectually... talk about shock and awe. This is a presidential candidate for America?

    Y'all, if Santorum becomes the Republican nominee and he somehow becomes president, I think we can safely conclude we're living in the darkest timeline.
    Obama once referred to having visited all 57 states. And Biden one time spoke about when the stock market crashed and FDR came on tv to talk to people, only FDR was not president in 1929 and the only tv's available then were experimental. Of course my favorite Biden gaffe is probably when he was giving a speech and told a Senator to stand up so people could see him, only the Senator in question was wheelchair bound. People can and do say stupid things. Politicians are not immune

    I do agree with what he's getting at though. There's no reason why people wanting to live in this country can't both to learn the language.
    Last edited by PointMan; 18-03-12 at 06:35 AM.
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    Here's the Obama slip of the tongue. He meant to say 47 states, one left to go, and he couldn't make it to Alaska and Hawaii.

    It's not exactly comparable to Santorum's stance. Obama had a slip of the tongue; he doesn't actually think there's 57 states. Where as with Santorum, he seems to genuinely buy into the justification because otherwise his entire argument falls apart.

    Santorum is constantly using 'Jesus did it' as a justification for his political positions. And what's hilarious is that in this instance, Jesus did not do it.

    That's not even one of the more horrendous things Santorum says (like his comments on homosexuality) or something that demonstrates how his understanding of America and its history is ridiculous, like his reaction to Kennedy's speech on the Separation of Church and State. He's an idiot. His reading and listening comprehension is so low, I'm shocked he has a master's degree.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emmie View Post
    Here's the Obama slip of the tongue. He meant to say 47 states, one left to go, and he couldn't make it to Alaska and Hawaii.

    It's not exactly comparable to Santorum's stance. Obama had a slip of the tongue; he doesn't actually think there's 57 states. Where as with Santorum, he seems to genuinely buy into the justification because otherwise his entire argument falls apart.

    Santorum is constantly using 'Jesus did it' as a justification for his political positions. And what's hilarious is that in this instance, Jesus did not do it.

    That's not even one of the more horrendous things Santorum says. Like his reaction to Kennedy's speech on the Separation of Church and State. He's an idiot. His reading comprehension is so low, I'm shocked he has a master's degree.
    I understand. When a Democrat says something stupid it's an honest mistake. When a Republican says something stupid it's just a sign they are stupid. This is something I wish I could say was a rare occurrence, but sadly it seems to be a common tactic.

    He's actually right concerning the separation of church and state. That idea doesn't appear once in our nations founding documents. As King pointed out earlier, it was in a letter that was meant to reassure a church that it's rights would not be infringed on by the government. It can't be considered absolute when it's not even law. I'm not with him on wanting to vomit though.

    It wouldn't be the first time that an idea has been misread. Freedom of the press has been taken to mean that reporters have the right to go where they want, including places that civilians can't get into. In reality all freedom of the press means is they have the right to print whatever they want without fear of government reprisal. It is not an all access backstage pass, the way a lot of people seem to think. I hope people don't consider me an idiot for saying so.
    Last edited by PointMan; 18-03-12 at 06:54 AM.
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    There may have been a misunderstanding. You may have gotten snowed on that one, Emmie. I can't find any original source for that tweet. As far as I can tell, having pulled a transcript of Maher's bit, that it was one of a bunch of satirical fakes. Either that, or Santorum also actually tweeted the following (also from Maher's sketch) --

    “Wife spends forever in the bathroom. Since when do Lady Gillettes buzz?” Oh, Rick. These tweets are out of control.

    “If people thought about gay sex as much as I do, they’d understand how disgusting it is.”

    And “Who knows a good prayer to stop dreaming of Thor poster?”
    I'm surprised Maher was able to find time around his inveterately misogynist use of c-bombs and 'twat' to describe women he disagrees with to come up with them. The man makes Rush's outburst look like an op-ed from Gloria Steinem. But it's... okay, because he's liberal and he's allowed, kinda like Tarantino is cool with the N word or something.

    EDIT: Yes, the "wall of separation" in Jefferson's writing was part of an answer to a question about free exercise. It's the very spirit of irony that it's been brought up in defense of, for instance, the HHS mandate we've been talking about, because, in the original context in which Jefferson used the phrase, this mandate would be a wrecking ball through that wall.
    Last edited by KingofCretins; 18-03-12 at 07:06 AM.

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    Dedicated Spike Fan Maggie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cinderela View Post
    160 million “missing” women? I wonder if that isn’t a somewhat of an exaggeration. Regardless, because I do not want my reasons/motivation judged, I don’t feel I am in a position to judge anyone else.
    No, it's not an exageration. It's the number of missing women in China, India, Korea and countries in Eastern Europe all of which have been aborting female embryos. They all have populations skewed towards male. The result has been an increase in prostitution and sex trafficking in order to service the men who can't find wives. Read the book: http://www.amazon.com/Unnatural-Sele.../dp/1586488503

    The author is pro-choice, but she documents how the practice came about as a result of Western-led efforts to control population, with a fair amount of complicity on the part of international planned parenthood. And she hits the dilemma, which you seem to be caught up in as well: it's so important to preserve "choice" that you are willing to tolerate the horrifically misogynistic consequences.

    I am not aware of anyone being *forced* to act in ways that violate their religious conscience. To my knowledge, no one is being required to use birth control against their will.
    Forced to pay for it. Forced to effectively condone it by having it included in benefit packages. Forced therefore to compromise the Church's witness on the subject. So can I ask again -- is your commitment to choice strong enough to include my freedom to practice my religion, or is it just something women get when it comes to having other people pay for their contraception?

    In fact, I do believe the seat belt law is ridiculous. Yes, you should be able to ride down the highway without your seat belt, as stupid as it may be. My point is that personal issues don’t have legislative answers. Individual choice should be preserved in every instance possible. I believe reasonable people can make reasonable choices.
    But it's not an absolute right. I agree with you that it should be preserved where possible. But I for one might be willing to outlaw sex selection abortions.

    I don’t personally see how individual religious freedom is being threatened. Ehlwyen already referenced the HHR exemption language.
    She was referring to Obama's second version. The first version clearly violated religious freedom. The second is essentially a fiction. Insurance companies will provide it for "free" (cough, cough, by passing on the costs to the employers). Obama declares that contraception actually IS free because it reduces health costs overall. But if that's the case it's not clear why a mandate is required in the first place since most insurers would include it for free automatically.

    I respectfully disagree. Santorum and Romney continue to keep these issues center stage.
    They're going to continue to oppose the HHS mandate. But HHS is only on the table because Obama put it there.

    To be clear – I meant exactly what I said. I believe that this election is a call to *all* women, to all voters, really. It is a reminder that our government is made up of individuals WE elect. All voters need to make sure their votes are cast for the individuals that represent their own interests. There is far too much voter apathy. Our society tends to take far too many things for granted.
    Oh -- it sounded like a call to vote one way. But if it's a generic get out the vote thing, then I definitely misread you. As I said, this has woken me up to the fact that it was a mistake to think that Obama or the democrats could be trusted to respect our country's pluralism. Alas.

    This campaign season is going to be very, very interesting.
    It will be interested to see how this particular issue plays out when we swing around to the fall. Obamacare isn't holding up well on a variety of fronts, and while this is certainly rallying his base now, I think it will hurt with independents come fall. All depends on context. But in the context of Obama care causing people to lose insurance they have (forced into government packages), and the individual mandate, I think the freedom issues will be clearer than they are now. We'll see, though. I'm not sure the Republicans have anyone who will serve as an effective campaigner, so maybe Obama gets away with what is IMO a huge overreach.
    Last edited by Maggie; 18-03-12 at 08:53 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maggie View Post
    As I said, this has woken me up to the fact that it was a mistake to think that Obama or the democrats could be trusted to respect our country's pluralism. Alas.
    I'm only surprised you didn't realize that beforehand, Maggie. Modern liberalism is universalist, it is antithetical to both federalism and pluralism, because anybody not toeing the line ideologically is a purveyor of 'hate', and anyone that has more than anyone else is 'not doing her fair share'.

    It will be interested to see how this particular issue plays out when we swing around to the fall. Obamacare isn't holding up well on a variety of fronts, and while this is certainly rallying his base now, I think it will hurt with independents come fall. All depends on context. But in the context of Obama care causing people to lose insurance they have (forced into government packages), and the individual mandate, I think the freedom issues will be clearer than they are now. We'll see, though. I'm not sure the Republicans have anyone who will serve as an effective campaigner, so maybe Obama gets away with what is IMO a huge overreach.
    I think Romney is a highly effective campaigner which is how his nomination became a fait accompli. That, of course, and that most of the really popular candidate ideas stayed out this year -- almost disappointly unwilling to take 2008 as a green light that first time governors and senators are actually qualified for the job (which, in their defense, I think history will now show they are not).

    Romney's biggest hurdle is going to be his own state-run healthcare system, to which we've only gotten a skeletal answer -- namely, that there is a stark 10th Amendment difference between the powers of a state and the powers of the federal government (i.e. states have more and broader powers). I think he is just saving that as an issue to run against Obama, he doesn't want to fire his guns dry dispensing with Santorum and Gingrich and Paul. Granted, I saw polling over the weekend that has Santorum beating Obama in some key battleground states and Romney behind, so I don't know. It's academic, because Romney will be the nominee, the only thing in this for Santorum or Gingrich would be some hand in choosing the VP nominee.

    Speaking of, I heard some talk that a possible VP candidate for Romney would be sitting Puerto Rico governor Luis Fortuño, who is just wrapping up his first term, is the current President of the Council of State Governments, and is a member of the RNC. Born Puerto Ricans are considered constitutionally eligible from everything I can tell.

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    Dedicated Spike Fan Maggie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingofCretins View Post
    I'm only surprised you didn't realize that beforehand, Maggie. Modern liberalism is universalist, it is antithetical to both federalism and pluralism, because anybody not toeing the line ideologically is a purveyor of 'hate', and anyone that has more than anyone else is 'not doing her fair share'.
    No, I knew about that tendency. It's why Obama had to posture in order to get my vote. And to my credit, I wasn't banking on him being what he seemed. I was hoping, but prepared to be disappointed. So not shocked that disappointment has arrived.

    My problem with the Republicans is that they aren't showing anything like the wisdom, or appreciation for wisdom, that comes along with commitments to federalism and pluralism. It's just not the case that taxes always and everywhere should be cut. Above all it's just not the case that compromise is always and everywhere to be despised on pain of not being deemed sufficiently pure. The spectacle about the debt ceiling, for example. The whole point about pluralism is that you don't always get the whole loaf. Reagan understood that. Modern Republicans not so much.

    I'm a conservative of the David Frum, David Brooks variety. Frum still votes Republican. I'm not so comfortable with it.

    I think Romney is a highly effective campaigner which is how his nomination became a fait accompli.
    It's a fait accompli because the other candidates are really not viable, and because the party has a tradition of giving last year's also ran an automatic spot as front runner. Romney is compromised on the issue I'd like to see him put forward (anti-Obamacare). He's running a campaign of empty platitudes. Maybe it'll work. People I respect are on Team Romney. But as an unaffiliated voter I have to say I'm extremely put off by his all-too-apparent willingness to say what it takes to be elected rather than to, you know, actually campaign on a platform. If the election were today, I'd -- I don't know. 50-50 toss up between voting for Romney and staying at home feeling nauseous. Obama put out something new on HHS this weekend, though the reports on it are profoundly conflicting, and I don't have the patience to parse 32 pages of Washington-ese. So maybe that'll be enough to get me back. OTOH, I think he's shown his true colors. The initial hope I had was fragile and probably isn't regained.

    General reactions from a genuinely unaffiliated voter:

    At the end of the day, everything depends on circumstances. If we double-dip, Obama's done. If we don't, he probably wins in a walk. Romney brings nothing compelling to the table except that he's not Obama, so by nominating him, the Republicans are left with a pure referendum on Obama. Historically that's pretty much 100% determined by the state of the economy. It puts Romney and the Republicans in the unfortunate position of rooting for bad economic news. I don't think the 10th amendment is enough to give Romney purchase on the only issue aside from the economy that could tank Obama. People basically like Obama, and apart from the economy he'd be a pretty popular president. I grant you that's a big "apart from".

    If we could sift out the right 60% of Santorum, we'd have a pretty good candidate. He's got a solid pitch on conservative economic ideals with an ear for the hardships the current economic landscape pose for the working class. He can hit a sort of poetry at times. Unfortunately the 40% you'd want to sift out is 100% fatal. I know what he's trying to say, but he says it in a way that plays right into the inevitable caricatures, which we've seen all over this board. What Obama has is an ear for how public discourse goes. Santorum doesn't. And if you are counter cultural you have to know the distortions that will inevitably attach to your message and be prepared to take them on. He plays to a certain sort of conservative Catholic/Christian, but communication isn't just the message, it's an understanding of how to make the message understood outside the cocoon. Santorum is tone deaf to that. Profoundly tone deaf.

    Gingrich doesn't merit commentary, and Paul isn't really running for office.

    Up through HHS, I was tuning in mostly to enjoy the spectacle of the debacle. Now the debacle is just depressing. Your only hope is the economy, and as I said, it's a weird place to be -- rooting for a depression.

    VP: Rubio. From what I've seen, he's really good. And he counters the other huge mistake the Republican are making which is choosing SR political advantage by being anti-immigration at the expense of seeing the LR opportunities they'd have by being more pro-hispanic. That's a whopper of a mistake. Republicans are barely viable now. They're history 10 years from now. Demographics. That the Republicans are currently full-throatedly in favor of a posture that is 100% suicidal is no small part of why I wouldn't call myself a Republican, probably ever.

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    I read some of this thread this weekend and walked away. The reason for doing so is mostly because these are issues that are near and dear to people bring out a great deal of passion. Frankly, it's much easier to discuss storylines and characters, because for all we may care, in the end it's just ... fiction. And real is real.

    However, even having walked away, I found that several things that I would like to say just kept working on me. So, while I probably won't return to the thread to read the responses, I did want to say a few things.

    First, I respect people feeling deeply about subjects. And I respect people's rights to believe whatever they want.

    I believe in the freedom of religion, in your right to worship as you would like.

    I draw a line, however, with someone else attempting to say that I need to/have to believe in or abide by their religious beliefs. Freedom of worship and freedom to tell other people to live by what someone else worships are two different things.

    While I will vocally defend anyone's right to do the former (even if they believe in the flying spaghetti monster) I will also vocally protest against the latter... because that's what I believe.

    Second, I react quite viscerally to someone blithely saying that employers can force their religious views on their employees. I think it flies far beyond problematic into all sorts of truly horrible consequences.

    In my own LJ weeks ago I wondered whether American Evangelical Christians were suffering from some form protagonist privilege where they think that whatever is done is necessarily going to align with whatever individual denomination they are rather than perhaps align with another denomination. I mean, aren't these the same folks who have screaming-fits over the concept of "Sharia Law"? So I'm thinking in their "any religious objection" they aren't thinking "Sharia" (heck, some of the folks supporting this push specifically call for Islam to be excluded. So... some religions are more equal than others?)

    I wondered whether Evangelical activists were ignoring or forgetting or not paying attention the vast array of idiosyncratic quirks of various religious groups because they were thinking of their own. The kinds of potential complications could beanything from Scientologist's disallowing and disbelieving in the existence of either psychiatric illness, learning disabilities, autism, or addiction (because aliens make sooooo much more sense), to Jehovah's witnesses refusing blood transfusions, to Christian Scientists disavowing vaccinations, to the fun folks who believe 'healthcare' can sometimes encompass screaming at the demons to come out.

    While, of course, it's their right to believe in any of these things, it's something else entirely to have them force that belief on someone else.

    And as far as blithely saying 'get another job..."

    If you can blithely say that, you are not treating the situation realistically.

    Anecdotally, I graduated college during the Bush Sr.'s recession. Coming by a job in my field was difficult. I'm part of the 'lost generation' of people in my field because so many of the people in my field could not find jobs in their field post graduation. It simply was not easy. I was lucky. I found a job in my field. It was a nice firm. I worked there happily and productively for about ten years.

    It was a nice place. That is, until the Sr. Partners had a falling out. One partner abruptly left. Several of the VP's split that partner's shares of the company, and though things were never quite as stable again, they still functioned (both financially and as a work environment) until someone outside the company was brought in and was allowed to begin buying up shares of the company. He began systematically forcing other partners out, and gained half-ownership of the firm.

    One day this 'gentleman' (I say through gritted teeth) stood in the middle of the office in full view and earshot of the entire office -- telling myself and a female intern that he lived by the Bible... and the Bible said that "women were placed on this earth to SERVE men, and that's the way things had to work."

    I didn't 'go to work' for this man. I had worked at the firm for a DECADE.

    The very idea that this... this troglodyte would (suddenly) be given the right to know much less effect what I, a fully adult woman, am 'allowed' to do with my own uterus and ovaries --that he had any right whatsoever to decree how or whether my periods are regulated or my endometriosis is treated is viscerally grotesque.

    What makes anyone think that misogynist should have that right? What on earth could give an architect the right to know or control what goes inside me? What right would he have to exact what amounts to a punitive monetary measures for irregular periods by forcing me to pay 3-6 times as much for the appropriate medication? Heck what would give him that right regardless of why I have the prescription?

    Where the hell are my rights in this?

    I had been paying co-pays for a decade, and you're saying that by right of hostile takeover of a company, that cretin would get a say in the work benefits I earned that that I'd had for a decade? Seriously? Were webought and sold along with those shares? Why should he get a say in what goes on in my vagina? Because I had the massive misfortune of finding myself working for him?

    That's disgusting. I'm sorry. But that's what it is. Disgusting.

    Now, luckily enough, this was before the Great Recession. Given what had been happening with the firm, I had been sending out my resumes for months prior to the galling and appalling "The Bible says that I rule you. I'm a man and you're a woman. The Bible says women are placed on this earth to serve men" incident (and, no, I'm not exaggering. I have witnesses. And the letter or protest I lodged with the firm that day). Within a couple of days I serendipitously happened to have two separate job offers, so I got the satisfaction of handing my resignation to the misogynist, allowing me the security of enjoying the schadenfreude from a distance as he drove that firm into the ground (and bankruptcy...even before the Great Recession).

    But I'd also have to be an idiot to not be aware that I was both lucky and privileged.

    Saying "oh, just take another job" is either naive or breathakingly callous. At any rate, I'm guessing you haven't lived through the fearful realization that have found yourself working for a repressive sexist on an ego trip, while also being aware that you have to pay your car payment, your utilities, your mortgage, and your credit cards.

    Sure, I landed on my feet. That poor intern he also said it to, also quit on principle and in pique (only without a job offer in hand). She was unemployed for nearly a year.

    Worse -- far. far worse, -- was helplessly hugging a middle-aged secretary, a single mother of four who was just barely eeking by, living in a trailer park and driving a fourteen year old car-- as she wept and SOBBED "What am I supposed to do?!" in despair because she was stuck. She didn't have the luxury of telling that {insert insult of your choice here} where he could shove it. She needed her job.

    If you can blithely say "get another job" you also probably didn't have a female colleague discover that the only job she could find in order to get away from this jerk was in another city-- and since she was in her forties and had a husband with a job in this city (and they needed both salaries to pay for the kids college) -- she then had to commute 100 miles to her new job (one way!) or rent an apartment and see her husband only on weekends.

    You also probably didn't have to recognize that the female office manager was 60 and really couldn't up and leave simply because we had been informed we were now under the dictatorship of a misogynist.

    So sure, it's nice to say "just get another job" but it's also an asinine thing to say... because it's not that easy (even when there isn't a global recession)/ And even if it were that easy for a lucky few of us, it's not and never will be true for a majority... because if you suddenly had a flood of fleeing-from-retrogressive-misogynist-policy women on the employment market, there would be a flood or women seeking work. How well does that work?

    These days, I have a great boss. He's a great guy, but I don't know his religious affiliation. Why should I know his religious affiliation? Why should he know mine? Why should he know much less dictate what I -- or any of the other female employees do with their own uteruses?

    It's my insurance. If I left the firm, I could take it with me as long as I paid the COBRA... which is more expensive for an individual but still that benefit is mine paid for through my labor or through my cash (that I earned through labor).

    And heck, if the insurance covers pregnancy... contraception is 'cheaper' to begin with. That's why the HHS compromise of the insurance company 'paying' for contraception was 'compromised'... it didn't cost the insurance company -- or the employer -- anything extra in the first place. So we're only discussing whether or not my employer gets a say in my reproductive system.

    So no. I don't agree on this. I'll never agree on this. I passionately, do not agree on this.

    Now, regarding the Republican's cry that the pushback is an old Jedi Mindtrick that the "Democrats started it.":

    No Democrat 'tricked' Republicans in more than 3 states into writing laws mandating the shoving a 1" in diameter by 6-8" long instrument into women vagina in a medically uneccessary and unadvised procedure -- one that a group of physicians is protesting against because it is medically unnecessary and not without discomfort and risk (and not even guarenteed to work that early in a pregnancy).

    No Democrat forced a couple of Republican dominated legislatures to pass laws that have the side effect of potentially criminalizing miscarriages.

    No Democrat made the Republicans hypocritically scream "the sky is falling" over requiring that institutions with secular staffs that just happen to have some religious affiliation will have insurance that will -- at the employee's request -- cover contraception... despite the fact that it's already law in over two dozen states! A requirement that was already signed into law by Mitt Romney when he was a governor of Massachusetts and by Mike Huckabee when he was governor of Arkansas. But now they're making a stink about it?!

    Wiley Democrats did not 'trick' a couple of Republican dominated legislatures into mandating medically inaccurate scripts that physicians[/i]must recite[/i] -- word for word -- stating that an abortion increases likelihood of breast cancer when no such link has ever been medically established and when this is counter to the American Cancer Association and -- oh yeah -- all known research.

    No one did a Jedi Mindtrick on Darrell Issa such that while he was protesting the HHS contraception coverage, he would call a congressional hearing that not only consisted solely of men, but that he would DISINVITE the women that Democrats had invited (Are we really arguing it's 11 dimensional chess that by inviting female witnesses they were setting up Issa to disinvite them, thus making him look anti-woman? Wow, that's deep strategy. )

    No one made Rush Limbaugh say that for acting as a witness she' OWED him a sex tape for her testifying that lack of birth control for her roomates ovarian cysts caused her roommate to lose her ovary. (And yes, Bill Maher is a sexist a$$ too. This isn't news. He also lost his network show back in the 1990s when he made a big stinky mess so, it's not like there has never been consequences there).

    Oh, and hey, what about that bill that passed recently okaying a doctor lying to a patient about a fetuses medical status if a pro-life Doctor 'thinks' that the mother being informed of some horrible genetic problem on dire malformation 'might' mean that the woman might get an abortion so if the Doctor is against abortion, it's just okay for them to not inform the woman of the medical status of her pregnancy.

    All of these things have passed Republican dominated legislatures in the last few months.

    No one 'tricked' Republicans into passing these bills.

    While I know that anti-abortion activists may hale this rash of legislation, you've got to recognize that there are people who do not. And if people are pushing back and yelling about it, that is free speech. The ability to say you believe this or that you do not believe in this. We all have that right. It cut both ways. So if it's happening to Republican's, well... it happens to both sides.

    If the men and women who pass these bills can pass these bills, then they need to own it. It's not some 11-dimensional democratic 'plot' that 'tricked' them into writing and passing these bills. They may believe in it, but others don't. And we all have the right to say what we believe.

    (And no need to respond to me, because I won't be checking this thread).
    Last edited by shipperx; 20-03-12 at 02:49 PM.
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    Good list shipperx, i wanted to post some of this last weekend, but like you say, it is so much easier to discuss fictional stories, while real issues are just too real. Easier to move on and live my life the way i best see fit rather than try to push my ideas on someone else. Anyway, since you went to the trouble, I thought the least I could do was say how these things have disappointed me as well. My favorites of your list include the doctors withholding my personal medical information from me and the one where false statistics about cancer incidence must be recited.

    Though you forgot the one in Georgia last week where women would be denied abortions for fetuses that have already miscarried and that the dead matter would have to stay inside a woman until it comes out on its own. In support, the legislator tells personal stories of how this is how it works for farm animals. Link.

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    I'm surprised how many outside the US seem to think Santorum is... the frontrunner? The flagbearer for conservatives/libertarians/republicans in this race?
    I don’t think people see him as the frontrunner, so much as the scariest option should he ever end up in power. He’s the bogie man to scare liberals with: “Eat your greens, children, or Santorum will come for your ovaries!”

    I do agree that the race isn’t very clearly covered in the UK. Reporting tends to assume too much knowledge about the system – and also, focus so much on the stupid/dangerous things Santorum etc says, ignoring the fact that this is actually the government of a major country being fought. Well, prepared-for-the-fight but still.

    We can laugh at him, sure. But I’m not sure anyone would be laughing if he actually made it into the White House. Not saying he would, but, that the attitude over here in the media = to focus on the sideshow element of it, rather than weighing up what each stage of the campaign means for who might win and the policies they’d put in place if they did.

    I suppose that is a journalist’s job…to shock and appall rather than inform… and I have to admit to guiltily enjoying the drama like it’s The Thick of It. Must. Remember. This. Is. Real. (I felt the same when the Coalition was forming – it was all very exciting, but then when the smoke cleared, we were stuck with…well, I won’t diverge into England’s woes. This thread’s for America’s )

    EDIT: Re Santorum and women/contraception:

    And it's also a principle, voting for a person who believes that others should have less freedom is a big 'no' in my book. Even if it's just a minor topic, it's a breakpoint to me.
    Agree with Nina on this point – it’s not just the practical consequences that might obtain from Santorum gaining power (eg hypothetical contraceptive ban). A candidate who doesn’t believe that women should have control over their own bodies – just as men should - is one that would never get my vote.

    Kingofcretins said:

    it is perfectly possible to govern against your own better angels, and that the man thinks contraception has a corrosive influence on the culture needn't inform any actual policy he'd put into place.
    But, why would I vote for someone who believes that my rights are not, in fact, my rights? IE someone who believes that a woman shouldn’t control her own fertility. In practical terms, it’s quite a gamble – and a little perverse – to vote for someone in the hope that they’ll never act on their beliefs! Yes, it’s possible that his small-state beliefs would stop him doing something injurious to women’s rights… but it’s not worth the risk (even if the principle wasn’t at stake).


    Tangent said:
    Randian indidualist who would turn the country over to the corporations.
    Well put! This is the most important point for me. Small government does not mean greater freedom. It means control by people who we can’t vote out of office.
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    An employer's religious free exercise is not your subjegation. Nobody is impinging on your rights by refusing to do things for you with their money.

    And, in turn, nobody has a "right", legal or moral, to the fruits of other people's labor, their work, their livelihood. To that end, if someone can't afford an abortion or birth control ($9 a month at Target, so.... two fewer packs of cigarettes a month, one fewer premium alcohol cocktail a month, one fewer fast food meals a month, etc. Life is choices and priorities), that sucks for them, it is not my, nor yours, nor your neighbor's responsibility to pay for it. As for how much these things cost in the marketplace, well, there's all kinds of factors there -- like covering the built in tax liability of the companies that make them (average of 22% of the cost of every retail good or service is tax liability being passed along), or in terms of drugs and healthcare, covering the cost of their own insurance. But the main reason is a lot simpler than that. "Why are divorces so expensive? Because they're worth it!" Price is where an interested buyer and an interested seller intersect, period, it has no other master.

    If a free individual is unhappy with a change of circumstances at work in a field that was tricky to break into? Again, life is choices and priorities -- either having a 'bird in hand' in your chosen field matters more to her, or having broader insurance coverage matters more. The job one performs does not belong to him, it belongs to his employer; it's the employer's job, they are delegating it to the employee in exchange for money and benefits. If the employer no longer want to compensate the employee the way she wishes to be compensated, then end the relationship. At no point does it become her moral or legal right to tell the employer what moral values -- be they noble or as backwards as you care to imagine -- guide their business.

    Darrell Issa didn't have a hearing on contraception, he had a hearing on religious free exercise. Maybe he should have found some female clergy, but they would have been no more or less expert on the subject that he had a hearing on than those he did call.

    Yeah, not going to dig too much into the rest unless there was actually going to be back and forth. It's deeply disturbing though that culture has tipped to a point where the argument over the protection of a right like the Supreme Court recognized right to contraception or an abortion is supposed to turn on whether or not someone else will pay for these things for you. I mean, in the original and broadly understood notion that we have a right to our individual property, I never would have thought anybody understood that as meaning our right is infringed when other people don't just give us stuff. I'd never go into a store and try to walk out with a lamp and say "but... I have a right to property. You pay for this lamp, or bill my employer for it". Nor would I go into my place of business and take money out of the register and explain "I need to refill a prescription, and I have a right to healthcare" if they didn't already offer me coverage for that. It used to be widely understood that your freedom ended at the other guy's nose, and his at yours, so where did we gain the "disgusting" (that seems the favored adjective to describe things we disagree with) notion that our rights didn't end at the other guy's wallet?

    To be clear, I will read and respond to replies, because that's how we do.

    EDIT: Wolfie, in a million years of continuous typing I could never cover the ways in which you can much, much, much, much, much more easily influence the direction of a private entity, even Megalopicorp, than you can the direction of the leviathan itself. So even if I were to adopt the idea (I don't, but I'll go with it) that smaller government "turns the country over to the corporation", I'd still feel more free, because I know how much easier it is to push corporations around than the government. See, a corporation can only deal with me through trade or through charity, they ultimately can't pull out a gun and get to have their way -- only the government can do that.
    Last edited by KingofCretins; 20-03-12 at 02:42 PM.

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    I suppose that is a journalist’s job…to shock and appall rather than inform… and I have to admit to guiltily enjoying the drama like it’s The Thick of It. Must. Remember. This. Is. Real. (I felt the same when the Coalition was forming – it was all very exciting, but then when the smoke cleared, we were stuck with…well, I won’t diverge into England’s woes. This thread’s for America’s
    Yes I agree. It's the political equiverlant of 'It's all fun and games until somebody looses an eye" or in the case of the UK the NHS.

    And, in turn, nobody has a "right", legal or moral, to the fruits of other people's labor, their work, their livelihood. To that end, if someone can't afford an abortion or birth control ($9 a month at Target, so.... two fewer packs of cigarettes a month, one fewer premium alcohol cocktail a month, one fewer fast food meals a month, etc. Life is choices and priorities), that sucks for them, it is not my, nor yours, nor your neighbor's responsibility to pay for it.
    Sorry but ugh.

    EDIT: Wolfie, in a million years of continuous typing I could never cover the ways in which you can much, much, much, much, much more easily influence the direction of a private entity, even Megalopicorp, than you can the direction of the leviathan itself. So even if I were to adopt the idea (I don't, but I'll go with it) that smaller government "turns the country over to the corporation", I'd still feel more free, because I know how much easier it is to push corporations around than the government. See, a corporation can only deal with me through trade or through charity, they ultimately can't pull out a gun and get to have their way -- only the government can do that
    To quote Charlie Brooker

    The theory is that introducing an element of competition will improve the level of quality and range of choice for patients. And it doubtless would, if businesses behaved like selfless nuns, which they don't. Any business that wants to succeed has to cut corners somewhere to turn a profit. It also has to juggle a strange set of priorities, which means if you entrust your health to a corporation, the cost of your kidneys could end up being weighed against the spiralling cost of the CGI budgerigar voiced by Joan Collins they want for their new TV commercial.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisf...-up?CMP=twt_gu
    Last edited by sueworld; 20-03-12 at 02:43 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sueworld View Post
    Yes I agree. It's the political equiverlant of 'It's all fun and games until somebody looses an eye" or in the case of the UK the NHS.
    Oh god. Don't get me started on the NHS. *grinds teeth*

    Something else I just read re Santorum upthread (going through in bits and bobs!)

    Nina said:

    …even politicians who aren't elected have a big influence anyway.
    That’s a very interesting point that I hadn’t really been able to put into words but had been buzzing around in the back of my mind! Thanks!

    People like Santorum may never be nominated, never mind get to the White House… but they shape public debate and opinion. Santorum’s influence is cultural too.


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    I want no part of businesses that run like "selfless nuns" polluting the commercial space. If a profit-seeking endeavour isn't guided by its search for profit, it's not to be trusted. Just like with the state, people shouldn't be looking to their relationship with big anonymous institutions to be recipients of benevolence, because benevolence once offered can be later withdrawn.

    People should be wary and cautious about overreliance on charity even amongst people they know, and should be vigilant about charity from strangers. Don't get me wrong I'm all about charity and benevolence between private actors, but dependency and obligation can wear the mask of charity.

    Put another way, ...people get attached to a mysterious savior, and can you blame them? But as long as you’re just a man who’s doing a job, and getting paid, they can feel like they’ve paid their debt to you and they can move on – independent like.

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    I want no part of businesses that run like "selfless nuns" polluting the commercial space. If a profit-seeking endeavour isn't guided by its search for profit, it's not to be trusted. Just like with the state, people shouldn't be looking to their relationship with big anonymous institutions to be recipients of benevolence, because benevolence once offered can be later withdrawn.
    Thing is imo not everyone in life can survive on their own without some kind of help either financially, or hell even physically due a number of factors. Life isn't fair, but should civilized society just let a section of it's population just drop into the gutter and wither away?

    In the UK at least we used to think not, but I have to admit Cameron seems to have other ideas, sadly.
    Last edited by sueworld; 20-03-12 at 03:44 PM.

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    I have LOADs more to say on this issue but not enough time at work. However, I wanted to say two things. First, a quote from upthread:

    It’s not a distraction for me or the women I know, either. It’s a wall. I can’t vote for a candidate that wants to strip me of my right to choose what is best for me and my family.
    I would defend to the death the right of the candidates to have their own opinions, no matter how vehemently my own opposition.

    But I could never elect a President that has a public policy devoted to stripping me of rights and freedoms won by more than 100 years of struggling. Whether or not said policy could be realistically implemented is not the point, the goal of stripping me of my freedom is the point.
    Basically, that

    But also, I wanted to applaud the members of Buffyforums. The civility of this debate puts ALL the comments sections in all the newspapers in England to shame - and in the UK the gulf of principles is nowhere near as wide. Kudos guys.


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    Quote Originally Posted by sueworld View Post
    Thing is imo not everyone in life can survive on their own without some kind of help either financially, or hell even physically due a number of factors. Life isn't fair, but should civilized society just let a section of it's population just drop into the gutter and wither away?

    In the UK at least we used to think not, but I have to admit Cameron seems to have other ideas, sadly.
    Two things here that I consider false premises --

    1) that the use of government, which is to say the use of force is the only or best means by which human interdependence operates.
    2) that government is even competent at the task.

    Where, precisely, in this world the vulnerable in society made... invulnerable? In which gilded western social democracy or which totalitarian centrally planned economy? It doesn't exist. The poor and the weak and the defenseless still suffer, no?

    No amount of government spending or good intention can change two facts of life, namely that bad things will happen and that (as Someone famously said) that the poor will always be with us. Whether an individualist society's well-intentioned members run out of their own money to give, or a statist society runs out of other people's money to give, the bottom line doesn't change. Government can never make everybody 'not poor'. All it can do is make everybody 'not rich' such that nobody can tell the difference. To borrow an image, it can jackhammer the promise of individual prosperity to the foundation and proclaim paradise in the ruins.

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    1) that the use of government, which is to say the use of force is the only or best means by which human interdependence operates.
    2) that government is even competent at the task.
    Well supposedly the government are elected by the will of the people, and so should be doing what they do because we elected them to do it.

    Government can never make everybody 'not poor'.
    Maybe not, but It can make then not homeless, not sick and not dead due to illness imo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sueworld View Post
    Well supposedly the government are elected by the will of the people, and so should be doing what they do because we elected them to do it.
    The nature and purpose of government in the most flawlessly condensed 202 words the human mind has put to paper on the subject for my money --
    Spoiler:
    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.


    In short, government exists at all as a means to protect the negative rights of individuals from interference.

    Maybe not, but It can make then not homeless, not sick and not dead due to illness imo.
    No, it really can't do that either. Or at least, it never has, nor has ever even come remotely close anywhere in the world in the history of mankind nor in the foreseeable future. But that's close enough to "can't" for me. Certainly close enough that in the entirely theoretical and highly dubious event that it could give me those things, it wouldn't be worth what it would take away. Namely, once you have established a de facto dependency class, you've also stomped their upward mobility into the ground. There's no way back off the teet. Moreover, there's no reason to want one; all it gets you is the chance to have more and more of what you work for pilfered to support what you left behind. That's certainly a flaw in the system if the only means by which the state can create a cradle to grave safety net ends up making it a far better deal to stay on that net rather than getting up on the highwire again.

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