Freedom of Religion

The New York Times Reports That the Contraceptive Mandate Is a Phony Issue


Since I faulted New York Times reporter Robert Pear the other day for reporting President Obama's spin on his contraceptive mandate as fact, I should acknowledge that he does better in his story on the subject in today's paper:

In February, after protests from the Roman Catholic Church and others, Mr. Obama announced what he described as "an accommodation" for church-affiliated schools, universities, hospitals and charities. They would not have to provide or pay for contraceptive coverage, but their female employees could obtain such coverage directly from the employers' insurance companies at no cost.

Republicans called this an accounting gimmick and said that religious employers would eventually bear the cost, in higher premiums.

Unfortunately, this explanation does not arrive until the 22nd paragraph. Much higher up, in the fourth and fifth paragraphs, there is this misleading gloss:

The politically charged fight heated up last month after the Obama administration unveiled its policy requiring health insurance plans to offer free contraceptives for women — a rule that provoked furious criticism from Roman Catholic institutions and some other religious groups. The administration quickly offered a revision that would force the health insurers — not the institutions — to bear the cost.

Still, Senate Republicans tried to seize on the uproar surrounding the administration rule and offered a Senate proposal that would allow a broad exemption for employers, framing it as a matter of conscience as much as contraception.

The clear import of this passage is that Obama lifted his requirement that religious organizations pay for birth control coverage, but Republicans kept complaining anyway for purely partisan reasons. Robert Pear (and/or his editors) may well consider this a phony issue, but he should not be saying that in what is supposed to be a straight news story.

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  1. It is a phony issue. The government shouldn’t be involved in health care at all. The left has successfully (for now at least) narrowed the discussion to some culture war bullshit and TEAM RED took the bait.

    1. A lot of Catholics in Boston. A lot of Catholics in New York.

      I’m not sure Catholics are Team Red.

      1. I wasn’t aware that Catholics were the only ones getting upset over this. In fact I’m pretty sure I didn’t mention Catholics at all.

        1. But lots of team blue Catholics are upset about this. So it is more then just team red who took the bait as you call it.

          1. Except they accept government control of healthcare in the first place (in fact didn’t the Church itself support Obamacare?) so they are just upset about this one issue. Team Red at least claims they are against it and are now getting way off track (see Republican primary race).

            1. All true. But I don’t see your point.

              1. Probably not clear in the OP but I wasn’t even addressing the “blue” Catholics who are upset about it (because they are hypocrites) and was more narrowly targeted at conservatives who are making this a huge issue specifically rather than entire idea of government mandating to insurance companies anything at all.

                1. And on that count you are absolutely correct.

                  That’s what has been so irritating about this “contraception” fight: By getting so frantic about this one particular aspect of the thing, the right is allowing the bigger principle behind Obamacare to just sit there quietly gelling into place. The very existence of the skirmish implicitly condones the rest of it.

                  It’s like arguing over the color of a doorknob when in fact the whole house needs to be torn down.

                  1. Agreed, TomD.

      2. Some Catholics are Team Red, some Team Blue, some not so partisan.

    2. Is that… a monocle?

    3. Well whadayaknow, RP says what I wanted to say far better than I:…..ust-silly/

  2. Doesn’t the NYT always run their editorials on the front page?

  3. I nominate Jacob Sullum to be the new Andrew Breitbart.

      1. Andrew would want someone to start ranting right away.

  4. So much for this being such a brilliant political move for Obama. Reading the Times is like reading Pravda. It is what they don’t say that matters. Notice they don’t say forcing the Church to cover contraception is a good thing. They only lie and say that is not what Obama is doing.

    1. Reading the Times is like reading Pravda.

      Awesome. As in awesomely stupid.

      1. Reading the Times is like reading Pravda.
        Awesome. As in awesomely stupid.

        You weren’t taught to play the pauses? You never learned to look for when someone is working to not say something?

        1. Rather isn’t real big on thinking.

    2. My father’s name is John. When Rush is on, he has every radio in the house tuned to the show, so he won’t miss a single word. I think you would like him. Rush and FOX News is all he needs in life.

      1. Oedipus Rex, your Daddy Issues are on line 2.

        1. Paging Ms. Oedipus,

      2. Oh Rather, you are so cute when you are angry.

        1. Mega-Dittos, John!
          But I’m not “rather.”
          Not that you not entitled to your fantasy world.

          Say, did you hear what Hannity said last night?
          He sure put those libruls in their place!

          1. Honestly Rather, I have never had a stalker before. It is kind of interesting.

            Can you do another ranting blog post about me? That was kind of flattering.

      3. John thinks Rush and Fox News are Fair and Balanced while the NY Times is ‘Pravda’.

        That is why Rush calls these stupid cocksuckers “dildo-heads” – ramming their mushy brains against a dark backstop is their penultimate role in life.

        1. You are the only one on here that listens to Rush Shrike. You seem obsessed with the man. There isn’t a single issue you don’t know exactly what his stance is on. He seems to be a bit of a personal and political guru for you.

          And you are also the only one who ever refers to Fox News.

          You might want to consider getting your news from a more diverse set of sources.

        2. shrike,
          most of us have long since accepted Rush for the right-wing shill that he is, but unlike the NYT, his is upfront about his leanings. Please. Study after study after study shows the MSM to be consistently liberal, and no one would take issue with that if its people were at least honest about it.

  5. How is that spin?
    Spin would be pointing out that premiums are lower when you offer free contraceptives.

    1. The premiums would be even lower if the coverage including killing anyone who reached age 60. But that still would mean you would be paying for the gas chamber.

      1. Point being that I don’t see how the Times is carrying water for Obama here, or whatever. The spin paragraph:

        ‘Still, Senate Republicans tried to seize on the uproar surrounding the administration rule and offered a Senate proposal that would allow a broad exemption for employers, framing it as a matter of conscience…’

        Republicans called this an accounting gimmick and said that religious employers would eventually bear the cost, in higher premiums..

        It’s true its a gimmick, doesn’t solve the problem of conscious. It’s false its a gimmick it will raise premiums.

        1. Ok. That makes sense. Of course as RC says below, there is no evidence that contraception coverage will actually save money.

          1. paying for contraception does not save money on an insurance policy (I’m a former underwriter), because, at the margin, you’re paying for a lot of women who already would pay for contraceptives out of pocket, plus a tiny handful of women who will only buy contraception if the price is “free” from the insurance company, which costs exceeds the few marginal pregnancies that would occur from those few outlier women who actually think buying contraception pills is something they should skimp on even though they want to avoid pregnancy.

            1. That is what I suspected protefeed.

    2. Really? I have seen the assertion made that contraceptive coverage saves the insurance company money, but I have not seen it confirmed by an insurance company, and I have not heard of any polic is that cost less with contraceptives covered than without.

      1. and amazingly, most folks have long since figured out the mystery of getting contraceptives without the govt’s “help”. This was Obama ginning up a controversy he knew the right would rush headlong into. The man won Catholics in ’08 and needs to get them excited again so this part of Obamacare comes out (two years late and during an election season) and he can waltz in pretending to be the great compromiser giving exemptions.

        Where would Obamacare be without all the exemptions for favored constituencies. One for Catholics is consistent with administration strategy.

      2. I keep asking, what do the insurance co’s lawyers think about charging more for a post-conception pregnancy rider (which they do now) if the woman had contraception as part of her standard insurance plan? I’m betting they can’t do that. So the insurance company has to charge the price they charge a pool that has a 20% chance of getting pregnant the same price as a pool who is 100% likely to be pregnant. I’m no actuary, but I see a problem here.

        1. Does anyone know if PPACA makes it a requirement for all qualifying insurance plans to cover pregnancy? Before it was a state regulatory issue and I believe there were/are still states that did not require this for all policies. Talk about unfair…

  6. So health care is a right. Then birth control. Trying to predict what’s next…vitamins? Plastic surgery?

    1. Self-esteem? If government’s paying for your birth control, it should pay you not to laugh when i drop my pants.

      1. Shrinkage is a violation of my civil rights.

    2. If health insurance is a right, than conceivably anything that health insurance can cover becomes a right, too.

    3. I seem to recall a case of an inmate suing on grounds of Cruel and Unusual Punishment because the prison system wasn’t going to cover the cost of his sex change.


    4. Toothpaste.
      Women have a right to teeth.
      A tube of toothpaste costs about as much as a box of condoms.
      I mean, you want women to have access to dental care, right?

      1. Nah, teeth get in the way.

    5. I think it would be food and shelter.

      But remember, when they say we all have a right to free healthcare, free food and a free place to live, it isn’t socialism.

      And if you say it is, that means you’re a bible-thumping troglodyte.

      1. Actually, now that I think about it? It was illegal in communist societies not to have a job. So, technically, at least communists thought you should have to work for your healthcare, didn’t they?

        1. at least communists thought you should have to work for your healthcare

          “They pretend to pay us and we pretend to work.”

          1. Which makes these progressives even worse than communists in their own way.

            1. I’m trying to see the distinction here.

    6. i am sure not flushing out one’s seminiferious tubules will cause problems, so thrice weekly sex worker “plumbers” should be covered.

    7. Well, if reproductive freedom is a right, then obviously copulatory freedom has to be next. I mean, what’s the point of having reproductive freedom if you can’t engage in reproductive acts?

      1. I demand access to busty redheads!

        1. You and me, its like we crawled out of the same gutter.

          1. I’m going on a date with a redhead tonight.

            1. Bring your A game. Lucky bastard.

              1. I’m an engineer, I’m an always A kind of guy.

                1. An engineer, really? Are you sure one of us isn’t an evil twin?

                  1. I am pretty sure I had this conversation with you a month or two ago (though I was the one claiming we are twins). You’re young too, aren’t you?

                    1. 32. I don’t know if that qualifies me for young anymore. Old enough to feel creepy at the college bars, young enough to feel creeped out at cougar bars.

                    2. 23. You are my mirror universe self.

              2. Some light kissing, a date scheduled for next week. Maybe just a B+ game?

        2. Been there, done that. Wanna go back.

          1. You sir, are the devil.

            1. My bad. Misread your comment.

      2. And we all need to be equal. Now I’m starting to think this isn’t such a bad idea after all…

  7. Stop beating me!

    1. You tell them rather.

  8. does anybody know how much birth control pills actually cost?

    And shouldn’t gay couples get a discount in their health insurance as they don’t use birth control – I mean, is that fair?

    1. That is a great point Dan. Isn’t this policy discriminatory against gays? Why should they have to pay for coverage they will never need?

      1. They’ll need it when their Korean foster-children become teenagers.

        1. Not all gays want children.

          1. Yes, they do.

    2. should people who are either past child-bearing years or do not want children get a discount in plans that cover maternity care?

      1. Yes. You should be able to pick and choose the coverage you want. Of course that would cause people who needed that coverage to actually pay for the service rather than depend upon other people to subsidize it.

        1. You should be able to pick and choose the coverage you want.

          One size should fit all. Why won’t you accept our help?

    3. You almost make it sound like people should just buy what they use. That’s crazy-talk.

    4. What do you mean by “actually cost”? Cost without insurance? Cost with insurance discount rate but without a low copay? Cost with “good” insurance? Cost if you qualify for subsidies from someplace like Planned Parenthood?

      Cost if you didn’t have to see a doctor and get a prescription, and it was just OTC?

      Point being, it’s just like the rest of the healthcare system–the costs are incredibly distorted for many state-related reasons.

  9. “Once the government becomes the supplier of people’s needs, there is no limit to the needs that will be claimed as a basic right.”
    ?Lawrence Auster

  10. First we pass a few laws that cause more problems than they solve. Then we pass more laws to fix the problems caused by the first laws. Repeat ad nauseum, profit at every step. Everything is proceeding as I had forseen.

  11. They would not have to provide or pay for contraceptive coverage, but their female employees could obtain such coverage directly from the employers’ insurance companies at no cost.

    I believe this is what is known as “a distinction without a difference”.

    “We’re not making the employer provide this coverage, but the policies paid for by the employer will include this coverage.”

    1. I can’t wait to see what other forms of “free” coverage people can expect from their employers. Princess Nancy was right – you really do have to pass the bill to find out what’s in it.

      1. Fish will be free unless it is consumed as part of a religious diet.

        Sex is good for health so sexy clothes and a variety of high-quality lubricants will also be covered.

  12. I just want one Republican lawmaker to stand up in Congress and tell Obama and the femnazis to fuck off and that a person should not have to pay for a woman’s birth control any more than a man’s viagra. No need for kulture war crap, just a flatout denial of positiive rights to other people’s money and labor.

  13. Taylor Swift looks like a dork.

    A deliciously fuckable dork.…..Under.html

    1. you can see her back bone.
      plus she looks like she’s never been in the sun before.

      1. NTTAWWT


      2. NTTAWWT


      3. I don’t find that to be a problem.

      4. Those pictures just continue to reinforce my feeling that she might actually be a human being and not some soulless Nashville flack. And cute.

      5. I like my girls pale.

        1. I like them bloodless.

    2. Rumor is she is going to be the women who corrupts Tebow.

      1. She can “corrupt” me anytime.

        1. Me too. Good for Tebow. I guess all that praying is finally paying off.

          1. Aren’t her friends more your type?

      2. If she needs someone to, uh, pray with her to stay strong, I’m here for her.

      3. If I was Tebow I would have dealt with the virginity thing with about 20% of the female enrollment at U of Florida.

        He may want to find someone a bit more, ummm, robust than Taylor Swift, just in case he has a bit of a too much saved up.

        1. Pretty much. Coach would have had to post eunuchs with shotguns outside my dorm room during the season to keep me from exhaustion if I had that kind of line waiting for me.

    3. And that is a terrible bikini.

      1. Its not like she’s worried about tan lines.

    4. Needs moar boobs.

      1. chubby chaser.

    5. You think she looks like a whale penis?

      And that a whale penis is on your list of items that are “fuckable”?

  14. Dude, I so called this one.

    Dems and GOP play Kibuki election-year pantomime! Red herrings tossed to the groundlings. Look! Over there! IRAN!! War!! Or lets pretend to be ‘getting tough’ with China. Payroll tax-cut! (while increasing overall taxes) Abortion! Rights! Jobs!

    Everything but a) failing economy, b) failed wars c) or fiscal reality

    1. But the GOP didn’t do this. Obama did. And yeah, that is pretty much obama’s hope.

      1. But the GOP didn’t do this.

        I could have sworn I’ve heard somebody in the GOP saying something about Iran and “currency manipulator” China in at least one of those danged debates…

        1. What does that have to do with contraception?

          1. Gilmore specifically mentioned Iran, war, and China in his post, and you responded by saying the GOP wasn’t doing any of it.

            1. Obama is free not to go to war with Iran.

    2. Payroll tax-cut!
      let’s at least be honest and call it what it is – the Social Security Defunding Act. Regardless of what one thinks of SS, neither party has the balls to do anything about it. Meanwhile, we are on the cusp of the Boomer retirement spree.

      Anyone else see a problem when the number of folks taking money goes up just as contributions go down? I’m not in govt, so maybe it’s some new math.

      1. They’ll just pay for it from the lockbox.

        1. LOCKBOX!

      2. Read this book.…..967&sr=8-1

        1. I love Boomsday. That and Thank You For Smoking are two good reasons to like Buckley.

          1. His idiotic love of Obama was, of course, one reason not to.

          2. Don’t forget being the inspiration for Iowahawk’s satirical character.

  15. Actually, I think I’d be okay with tax-funded contraceptives if the only option was permanent sterilization. Especially for law students. I think the ROI on that would be massively positive for tax payers.

    1. It would be unconstitutional to ask the law students if they were planning to work for the government or an NGO before sterilization, wouldn’t it?

      1. I think, given the ability of those attracted to government and politics to think long-term, it would be self-selecting.

    2. Why not a blowjob or anal mandate?

      That would keep unwanted pregnancies away.

      1. There’s a natural selection component to the permanent sterilization option that you wouldn’t get otherwise.

  16. Meh. What they should do is give these orgs an exemption if they also give up the employer-related health insurance tax benefits.

    1. You can be free. As long as you are willing to be penalized for it.

      What you are saying is that you can be penalized and forced to pay extra taxes based on your religious beliefs. Got it.

      So when President Santorum says, sure Muslims can build Mosques near ground zero, provided they give up their tax exemption, you will be a ok with that?

      1. What are you talking about, that you have a right to employer health benefit deductions?


        The Church wants all the goodies of the law, none of the obligations.

        1. The law says I do. If you say I don’t because I choose to exercise my religious freedom, then I am being discriminated against based upon my religion.

          Everyone else in the country gets to have their insurance benefits tax free. Why should people who have religious objections to birth control be treated differently? Why should they have to pay a tax to practice their religion when no one else does?

        2. Or better yet, sure you can have insurance coverage for a single sex partner, but if you do, you give up your tax exemption.

          How would that not be discriminating against gays? According to you, there is no right to the tax exemption. It is the same thing here.

          1. The exclusion of employer sponsored
            health insurance from income and payroll taxes is a government benefit given because its supposed to promote the public good. The contraceptive requirement is similar. All they would be saying is: if you want hte government benefit you have take the obligations that come with it. It’s not a violation of any right as the conservative justices you admire so much established in Smith. It’s a neutral, general law, and they are not forced to do anything, they just have the benefit conditioned on this.

            It’s no different than conditioning reciept of welfare benefits on a drug test. If you had a religious belief conflicting with that, as the plaintiffs did in Smith, you can’t argue you get some special exemption or you’re being discriminated against.

            1. Promote man and women couples is a societal good. If you want the benefit of public tax exemption, you have to take the obligations that come with it, meaning you only promote heterosexual marriage.

              The logic is exactly the same. And in both case it is nasty and discriminatory.

              1. The question there would be, is such a law neutral, or is it aimed at gays a al Romer.

                The contraception law is a neutral, general law just like in Smith. It’s s dumb law, sure, but so was the one in Smith imo. But saying we can’t condition receipt of government goodies in any way that a religious person might object to, that’s nuts, for the reasons Scalia explained in Smith.

                1. No it is not a neutral law. This law is specifically aimed at those who object to contraception.

                  And regardless, even if Scalia thinks it is Constitutional, so what? That doesn’t make it moral. And that doesn’t make it any less nasty than what it is.

                  1. “This law is specifically aimed at those who object to contraception.”

                    That is laughable John. Just like the drug test requirement in Smith was “specifically aimed at those who believe in using peyote.”

                    You’re a delight, you know?

                    1. The drug test in Smith had a neutral, general goal: to deter drug use. Some people believe in drug use for religious reasons, but as the Court said, what can you do, there are all kinds of religious beliefs, as long as the requirement is not aimed at the belief it has to pass.

                      Likewise the contraception requirement is aimed at increasing access to contraception. Non-Catholics and Catholics are required to under it, it’s general and neutral.

                    2. But there are other less oppressive ways to achieve that government goal. If the government wants employees of catholic institutions access to contraceptives, it could pay for them itself. It doesn’t need to mandate the institution pay for it. You are applying the wrong test.

                    3. Sure, and that would be my preference. That’s what the law was before the GOPer justice changed it in Smith.

                      “You are applying the wrong test.”

                      Dude, you should stay away from legal arguments, you’re quite bad at them.

                    4. I mean, what are you, eighty years old? You’re talking about the old Sherbert test. Smith overruled that decades ago.

                      Did you skip con law at GW? Amatuers really shouldn’t have to take you to school like this on a regular basis.

                    5. I am talking about what the test should be. We are talking about right and wrong here. And you are most assuredly an amateur. Don’t throw around credentials when you don’t have them.

                    6. John, you are a trip. This is an anonymous internet chatboard. For all you know I’m the Dean of Harvard law.

                      After all, I regularly school you on the law, from exigent circumstances to con law…

                      You’d think you’d at least bring me an apple or something…

                    7. “Sherbert v. Verner, 374 U.S. 398 (1963),[1] was a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment required that government demonstrate a compelling government interest before denying unemployment compensation to someone who was fired because her job conflicted with her religion.

                      The case established the Sherbert Test, requiring demonstration of such a compelling interest in Free Exercise cases. This test was eventually all-but-eliminated in Employment Division v. Smith 494 U.S. 872 (1990).”


                    8. You can use google. Good for you. But so what? That doesn’t answer the argument of whether this is right or even if Smith was right.

                    9. So when you said I was “applying the wrong test” you meant “moral test.”

                      Riiiiight John.

                    10. But this is what you do: ignorant of a subject, knowing only what your closeted right wing sources tell you about it, you launch in, flinging this then that, then this. If you are called on something you just switch.

                      So you made a big deal about how this wasn’t neutral. When I pointed out it was, you seemed to concede and changed the goalposts “But there are other less oppressive ways to achieve that government goal.”

                      It’s what you do.

                    11. And the bottom line is you still advocate that is perfectly okay to charge a premium for practicing one’s religion. Just who exactly objects to birth control on grounds other than religion? There is nothing neutral about this since there are no other objections to birth control other than religious ones.

                    12. And the bottom line is you still advocate that is perfectly okay to charge a premium for practicing one’s religion. Just who exactly objects to birth control on grounds other than religion? There is nothing neutral about this since there are no other objections to birth control other than religious ones.

  17. In Smith the plaintiffs had receipt of government benefits conditioned on not failing a drug test. They said “our religion tells us to use peyote, we can’t lose our benefits for exercising our religion.” The Court said that was silly. Read the case dude.

    It’s the exact same thing, conditioning reciept of a benefit on something that is neutral and general.

  18. Do you think Hillsdale College is being discriminated against because they don’t recieve federal aid with strings attached that they don’t want to follow?

    1. Red herring. The mandate is not tied to receiving federal money.

  19. Or, do you think Bob Jones University was discriminated against when they were told their tax exemption was conditioned on not discriminating against black students?

    1. Yes.

    2. Yes they were. And we as a society have decided that it is okay to discriminate against racists.

      And that is the heart of this argument. What this rule means to do is make it effectively illegal to be a practicing Catholic in this country. Oh sure, you can do it for now. But you have to pay extra taxes and understand you will be treated differently and worse than everyone else.

      You make a great point MNG. But it is too good a point for your own good. This rule aims to treat practicing Catholics just like we treat practicing white supremacists.

      1. “What this rule means to do is make it effectively illegal to be a practicing Catholic in this country.”

        That’s crazy. They just could not get a government benefit, you don’t have a right to a government benefit John.

        Like I said, do you think Smith was ruled wrong? That we can never condition a government benefit in a way that might conflict with a religious beleif?

        1. Then why can’t you condition getting the government benefit on being heterosexual? Why can’t you condition a government benefit on being a Democrat?

          1. John, did you have an illness in law school when analogies were discussed?

            The contrtaception requirement is not conditioned on being a Catholic, just as the law in Smith was not aimed at those in the Native American church. It’s conditioned on a neutral, general requirement.

            1. The ban on same sex partners is not conditioned on being a homosexual. Two straight people couldn’t lived together couldn’t get it either.

              1. “Two straight people couldn’t lived together couldn’t get it either.”

                What did the grammar in this sentence do to make you this mad at it?

                1. Whatever you do MNG, don’t answer the point. Change the subject. Let’s talk about grammar. You are losing the argument, so lets talk about something else.

                  1. You cleaned that one up better John, well done.

                    1. Don’t answer the point. Just keep changing the subject.

                    2. I answered you way up thread.

                      I can’t make you realize that, but it is fun to see you get so upset, so please, continue.

                    3. No MNG, you can’t make me follow your stupid arguments and obfuscating. That is true.

        2. The way I see it, paying less in taxes isn’t a government benefit.

          The government not doing something to you should not be considered some kind of benefit.

  20. I’d like to comment on one thing: if one side of the debate is using a “phony” issue to distract from substantive ones, then the media should point that out.

    Edward R Murrow took McCarthy to task for his witch hunt, and that was real journalism. We would be lucky to have that today, with all of the lies that both sides trot out.

  21. Face it John, you brought a rubber knife to this gun fight :). You don’t know the case law here or the analogies, of course this is typical (what are of law DO you practice dude?).

    But I’m more in agreement with you than you might think. I don’t think it would be right, and it may be unconstitutional, to just tell a religious org they had to provide contraception or abortion. That strikes me as similar to the case where the government told the Amish they had to send their kids to high school even though their religion was against it.

    But conditioning the receipt of a government benefit on a neutral, general requirement? No problem there.

    1. I am really sorry I am better educated than you and make more money than you. That really seems to bother you a lot. And no one here is talking about case law. We are talking about right and wrong.

  22. “And no one here is talking about case law”

    With your ignorance of it, that’s a great thing for you!

    “I am better educated than you and make more money than you”

    This is a great day indeed!

    1. I do MNG. It is true. I laugh my ass off at you. Doesn’t make me a better person. Doesn’t mean I am right. But it is true.

      1. I’ll say this, given there is virtually no time that you are not posting on Reason, you must either be rich or homeless…

        1. I don’t post a lot. I am just productive. And I am not rich. But if you are going to be an asshole and start calling out credentials, I can play that game. And I doubt you want to play it with me.

          You are the one who makes everything personal. If you would like me to rub your nose in my personal success, I can do that, although I would prefer not to.

          1. Your personal success is of course self-evident John. You’re the most prolific poster on H&R!

            1. And you are second. You still manage to do other things. And I have a lot more than that.

              Seriously, why do you have to play this game? Why are you such an insecure asshole? No one else cares on here what anyone does for a living. But you do. And what is funny is, you care so desperately about me, the person that, if you knew me, would be the last person you would want to make such an issue with.

              1. No one is close to you John.

                I bet if I looked at Morning Links you would be all over it.

                And here you are five hours later, posting, posting, posting…

                1. So what? The fact that I can do that and have a high paying job and make more money than you and have better credentials than you, is a good thing. Sorry it bothers you so much.

  23. Where da women at?

  24. If they really want women to have condoms and pills that they only pay for indirectly, then the Congress can just pass a tax and give it to them. The fact that they aren’t considering such a tax suggests this plan’s not as popular as they say.

    But that’s difficult, since a tax is politically unpopular. So instead they institute a policy with the same economic impact, but doesn’t get the same budgetary oversight or political defenses as a tax.

    This highlights a real problem: the government can avoid the scrutiny a tax brings by offloading collection and distribution onto third parties. It only becomes controversial when the policy offends large numbers of people. But we all should be offended that the government is able to institute stealth taxes without raising the ire of the electorate or triggering the budgetary, political or legislative consequences that follow a tax.

  25. The fact of the matter is, all hospitals – including Catholic hospitals – receive public funding. This occurs not only through the obvious Medicare and Medicaid payments, but even through the use of public bonding authorities to fund things like construction and improvement programs. This means that we taxpayers are financing religious restrictions on our own health care services. All of us – Catholic and non-Catholic – are paying to have Vatican doctrines deny things like voluntary sterilization, HIV prevention counseling and even simple referrals for birth control.

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