Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Contraceptive Bill of Rights

What’s new Today

Our #1 story is an interesting analogy to what Obama did with birth control and the Catholic Church.  #2 Jonah Goldberg looks at the Catholic church vs Obama issue.  And in #3 Rasmussen shows how Obama’s support among Catholics has dived.  #4 travels to the Daily Kos for a good example of Liberal Racism.  #5 is an interesting look at what is happening to the social fabric of America.  #6 looks at what would happen if the Republican Majority in the House was allowed to do what they have passed bills to do without the Democratic Senate stopping them or Obama vetoing their legislation (dreams of 2013).  Finally #7 is an interesting look at the Navy’s program to develop a railgun (a gun that fires with gunpowder at over twice the speed of convention armaments).

1.  Healthcare Overreach

…Let's see whether I can make the consternation over the HHS mandate a little clearer to our liberal friends. Let's say that, by a strange quirk of fate, I'm now the president of the United States. I'm president of the United States, and I have a great idea. I've decided that, because of their well-documented benefits to women's health, all health care plans in the United States shall henceforth be required to cover, without co-pay charges, instruction in the Creighton Method of Natural Family Planning. In fact, I got together a group of scientists and doctors, and they produced a report raving about the benefits of the Creighton Method of Natural Family Planning. (No, not the Billings Method -- all the doctors on my "high-level panel" specialized in Creighton, so you Billings people are getting nothing.) It helps women avoid unwanted pregnancies better than any other method and allows them to space their births with more certainty. It doesn't depend on the infusion of high amounts of unnatural drugs or steroids into a woman's body that will upset her natural cycles, making future pregnancies more difficult.

Indeed, teaching women the Creighton Method of Natural Family Planning will, in fact, save us a lot of money. Taking contraceptives is a continual expense, as women must continue to "pop pills" for as long as they wish to prevent pregnancy. Teaching women the Creighton Method of Natural Family Planning, on the other hand, involves a one-time charge (or perhaps two or three, if women wish to brush up their knowledge and skills), after which there would be no need for expensive drugs. Plus, the Creighton Method of Natural Family Planning would help women to understand their own bodies better and allow them to notice subtle changes in their bodies and cycles, making it more likely that they will detect early signs of various dangerous cancers or other pathologies. The medical and social benefits are clear and without question.

And now, because of my great idea, every hospital and school and business in the country -- including, of course, Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and NOW -- are all going to be required by the federal government, on pain of imprisonment or severe fines, to pay out their scarce health-care resources to support education in the Creighton Method of Natural Family Planning. They might be just a tad upset at that sort of requirement, and with some justification. "Why are we being required to cover services for a procedure we don't believe in and that we in fact find overly burdensome to women and not really beneficial to women's health in the circumstances that we think are most important: namely, when they're sexually active but want to avoid unwanted pregnancies?" …

Actually studies have shown the Creighton Method to be effective 98% of the time.  But that isn’t the real point.  The real point is that this would be an intrusion that Planned Parenthood and many leftist organizations would absolutely go crazy about.  What’s sauce for the goose so to speak….

2.  Keep your rosaries off my Ovaries


Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius claims that the move will save money — an ounce of prevention saves a pound of "cure" — so religious institutions will incur no additional costs. If that's true, why haven't those greedy insurance companies been doing it all along?

If anything, President Obama has made the situation worse. The White House fact sheet seems to offer no exemption at all for religious institutions: "
Under the new policy … women will have free preventive care that includes contraceptive services no matter where she [sic] works." That sounds like a complete win for the "Get Your Rosaries Off My Ovaries" crowd to me.

Of course,
if religious institutions don't want to violate their consciences, they can simply stop offering health insurance altogether (providing yet another example of how Obama misled voters when he promised that the Affordable Care Act wouldn't cause anyone to lose their current coverage). That would at least allow religious organizations to uphold their principles. The result, however, would be to force taxpayers to subsidize practices many find morally abhorrent.

I think Santorum's argument is entirely right
: This is about freedom, full stop. When we empower bureaucrats and politicians to make such huge personal decisions for us, it becomes impossible to avoid trampling on liberty. The Roman Catholic Church was simply the first in the leviathan's path….

The loss of Catholic Hospitals from providing health insurance would actually violate two Obama promises.  The first “if you like your health insurance you can keep it” and the second the cost of the program to the taxpayer will go up significantly. 



3.  Catholics Disapprove of Obama


Catholics strongly disapprove of the job President Obama is doing as the debate continues over his administration’s new policy forcing Catholic institutions to pay for contraception they morally oppose. While the president’s overall job approval ratings have improved over the past couple of months, they have remained steady among Catholics.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 59% of likely Catholic voters nationwide at least somewhat disapprove of the president’s job performance, while 40% at least somewhat approve. But the passion’s on the side of those who don’t like the job he’s doing: 44% Strongly Disapprove versus 19% who Strongly Approve.

Fifty-four percent (54%) of Catholics voted for Obama in November 2008. However, Republican hopeful Mitt Romney currently leads the president among Catholic voters by a 52% to 35% margin.




4.  Liberal Racism


Today, Daily Kos published an article on redistricting in Utah, and how they hope (comically enough, given Utah’s heavy Republican majority) that the Democrats and “Team Blue” can pick up a Congressional seat.

That’s not the offensive part.

In describing Utah’s new 4th district, the author says the following:

This gives one district for a liberal Democrat and preserves a second one for Matheson. Both the GOP districts went over 70% for McCain. I actually managed to pack the 3rd over 80% McCain, just to see how high I could get it, but it was a little uglier, so I opted for this. It’s not like we were winning the 1st anyway. Plus, this will keep Saratoga Springs mayor Mia Love out of Congress. She is one of only two African-Americans living in Utah not currently playing for the Jazz. (Even they are scarce now, with Boozer and D-Will skipping town. Have you seen Gordon Heyward recently?) The GOP is clearly desperate for a new token black Republican, after Herman Cain and Michael Steele didn’t pan out, and I find it hilarious how much trouble they have doing so, so I’d love to prolong it even further.

Token black. Basketball players. Blacks can’t be conservatives.

It SHOULD go without saying, but sadly it bears repeating:

The Left is the source of the vast majority of racism in America, and the Democratic Party is the party of the Ku Klux Klan and resistance to ending slavery.


Mia Love is running for the newly created 4th Congressional District in Utah. Mia was the talk of the CPAC conference, inspiring comparisons to Marco Rubio and Allen West.  Mia currently serves as the Mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah, and if elected, would be the first ever black Republican woman in Congress.  But look at the hate in the article from The Daily Kos.  A conservative woman or a conservative black is a heretic and will be pilloried like one, but a conservative black woman is akin to  the Devil himself if you are a liberal.



5.  The Materialist Fallacy

The half-century between 1912 and 1962 was a period of great wars and economic tumult but also of impressive social cohesion. Marriage rates were high. Community groups connected people across class.

In the half-century between 1962 and the present, America has become more prosperous, peaceful and fair, but the social fabric has deteriorated. Social trust has plummeted. Society has segmented. The share of Americans born out of wedlock is now at 40 percent and rising.

As early as the 1970s, three large theories had emerged to explain the weakening of the social fabric. Liberals congregated around an economically determinist theory. The loss of good working-class jobs undermined communities and led to the social deterioration.

Libertarians congregated around a government-centric theory. Great Society programs enabled people to avoid work and gave young women an incentive to have children without marrying.

Neo-conservatives had a more culturally deterministic theory. Many of them had been poor during the Depression. Economic stress had not undermined the family then. Moreover, social breakdown began in the 1960s, a time of unprecedented prosperity. They argued that the abandonment of traditional bourgeois norms led to social disruption, especially for those in fragile circumstances.

Over the past 25 years, though, a new body of research has emerged, which should lead to new theories. This research tends to support a few common themes. First, no matter how social disorganization got started, once it starts, it takes on a momentum of its own. People who grow up in disrupted communities are more likely to lead disrupted lives as adults, magnifying disorder from one generation to the next. …

These kinds of article are normally a worthwhile read and this one definitely is.  I think we will hear more about this in the 2012 campaign. 

6.  What if?

Let’s conduct a little thought experiment. Imagine that the Republican majority in the House of Representatives ran things in Washington. Unilaterally. No need to negotiate with the Senate or assemble two-thirds majorities to overturn those pesky presidential vetoes.

Imagine that legislation commanding majority support in the current House would become law immediately upon passage. What might our nation and our world look like?

This is not an altogether quixotic exercise. A thorough review of roll-call votes cast since the 2010 electoral upheaval allows us to approximate the world view that guides the 243-member House Republican caucus.

Such a review reveals a conception of America — and America’s role in the world — as ambitious, and conservative, as that of any previous congressional majority.

Indeed, from a political perspective many of these votes qualify as truly heroic (or, for those hewing to a leftist viewpoint, truly demonic). Viewed in its entirety, the agenda overwhelms. It would: repeal Obamacare; place a firm limit on how much in taxes Washington can take from our paychecks; require federal bureaucracies to think before they regulate; restore considerable authority and decision-making power to state governments; and alter the structural DNA of two of the Big Three entitlement programs — Medicare and Medicaid. (Fundamental overhaul of Social Security, it seems, will have to wait.).

In a nutshell, the GOP House agenda would place the federal government on a fiscally sustainable path without eviscerating national security. America would reclaim its status as one of the freest and most opportunity-laden economies in the world. There would be real and enforceable limits on the power of the federal government. And our ability to defend America’s interests around the world would be robust and enduring.

If you think this sounds like the equivalent of a second American Revolution, you’re right.

So, what exactly happened in our thought experiment?

First, the 112th Congress repealed every jot and tittle of Obamacare on its first day of business

This is what the Democrats are afraid of and what they are trying to use as a boogey man to scare voters.  The screed, “Do you want to go back to the failed policies of the past” really is meant to avoid this.  The problem the Democrats have now is that the fail policies of the recent past are theirs. 

7.  The Navy’s Railgun

After years of testing a lab model at the Navy surface warfare center in Dahlgren, Virginia, the railgun — a gun without moving parts that fires a round through a big burst of electricity — is finally moving into a prototype phase. Next week, BAE System’s version of the railgun shoud arrive at Dahlgren for tests, followed in April by General Atomics’ version.

Meanwhile, Raytheon is developing the central nervous system of the railgun — the battery package that stores and then blasts the energy to send a bullet through the barrel. A shipboard demonstration should be ready, tentatively, by 2019.

That came very close not to happening at all. In June, the Senate Armed Services Committee put the railgun on the chopping block. That was barely six months after the railgun broke a world record at Dahlgren, firing a 23 pount bullet at Mach 8 speeds thans to 33 magajoules of energy.   But “the committee felt the technical challenges to developing and fielding the weapon would be daunting,” staff director Richard DeBobes told Danger Room back then, “particularly [related to] the power required and the barrel of the gun having limited life.”…

As an old Navy man I found this very interesting.  Mach 8 for those who are interested is 5280 mph.  Perhaps Superman is no longer “faster than a speeding bullet.”

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