Lunch Links

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

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82 Responses to “Lunch Links”

  1. #1 |  buzz | 

    When slutgate started it was just beyond the pale (sorry) to even think it might be ok to talk about a woman like that. It was War Against Women. When it was pointed out that it just wasn’t Limbaugh, that others have said equally bad, or even worse about conservative women suddenly some folks started contorting themselves to make Limbaugh=Bad, and Everyone else=not all that bad if you only think about it. “Rush v Fluke is like a dozen cops beating a college student.” Only if that college student has the POTUS, and the democratic party firmly in their corner. Last checked, the POTUS outranked any radio talk show host, no matter how popular. Face it, if you can’t articulate a position any better than spewing pornographic insults, you should probably withdraw from the debate, no matter your party.

  2. #2 |  shecky | 

    The “both sides do it” defense really falls flat with the Fluke story. As pointed out, there is really no true liberal counterpart who enjoys Limbaugh’s ex cathedra status.

    Couple that with a Republican party whose panty sniffing seems to know no bounds, it becomes plain that the issue of fucked up sexual politics is lopsided way to right side of the spectrum.

    Arizona House Bill 2625, authored by Majority Whip Debbie Lesko, R-Glendale, would permit employers to ask their employees for proof of medical prescription if they seek contraceptives for non-reproductive purposes, such as hormone control or acne treatment.
    “I believe we live in America. We don’t live in the Soviet Union,” Lesko said. “So, government should not be telling the organizations or mom and pop employers to do something against their moral beliefs.”

    Perhaps Republicans are working hard to tip the lack of irony sense in their favor, too.

  3. #3 |  bacchys | 

    “[E]xtreme misconduct” and the only consequence is he resigns?

    Ooooh. How tough.

    Funny how the tough-on-crime types never seem concerned with abuses of power and violations of rights that are against the law.

  4. #4 |  Pugnacious | 

    Regarding Pelosi and Maher bashing the South, Andy Kaufman did it without the hate in his staged rant with Memphis wrestler Jerry Lawler in I’m from Hollywood.

    Kaufmann didn’t laught at us Southerners, he laughed with us. Andy Kaufman was the Jewish Brother Dave Gardner.

    I miss Andy and Tony Clifton. After Andy “allegedly” died, I was waiting for Bob Muzak to do his Tony Clifton schtick, keeping alive the “doubt” of Andy’s death.

  5. #5 |  Cynical in New York | 

    #49

    Because badge licking, government thug supporters view the rights of the accused as “coddling” criminals.

  6. #6 |  Pugnacious | 

    That’s Bob Muzata from TAXI who played the “other”Tony Clifton

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mAE-BT6bGk

  7. #7 |  Homeboy | 

    “…this is a pretty strong piece on the denigration of conservative women.”

    What do you suppose Radley means by “strong?” Surely he does not mean in terms of intelligence or strength of analysis.

  8. #8 |  JThompson | 

    @M. Steve @ #30: Well, up until now it has been a one way valve. What the bible thumpers neglect to mention in all their whinging is all the privileges granted churches in the US that aren’t granted any other group. So what was a one way valve is becoming a two way valve and the fanatics aren’t happy about it.

    If your church is taking that large an amount of my tax dollars, while not contributing any of its own(Of course), I should get some say in how it’s run. If you don’t like it, stop taking federal money.* There’s also the whole problem of any other organization that had child molestation on such a massive scale would have been shut down pretty quickly. They certainly wouldn’t be being held up as a pillar of righteousness.

    *I find it hilarious that right wingers insist public assistance should grant them the right to micromanage the lives of everyone on it, but the second a similar standard is applied to churches they lose their minds.

  9. #9 |  KristenS | 

    Not a single comment on the couple forced into foreclosure because of Cook County’s Cleveland-esque style of “business”. No no, an irrelevant twat like Sandra Fluke gets all the attention, just like the Dems and Repubs intend. MMM…shiny object!

  10. #10 |  MassHole | 

    Concern twat is concerned.

  11. #11 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    @31 – Exactly. There can be NO discussion of why some policies are religious. Shut up and do them, the state says so.

  12. #12 |  Miroker | 

    @ #54

    Amen, brother. Get rid of the tax breaks and they can do whatever the hell they want.

  13. #13 |  M. Steve | 

    The “they get tax money, government sets the rules” is such a ridiculous idea, and disingenuous to boot. What is Georgetown supposed to do? You really expect them to *turn down* money that *EVERY OTHER INSTITUTION* is getting? So, by government fiat, you get to put them between the rock of “take our money and live by our rules” or the hard place of “refuse our money and be unable to compete”?

    This is the great logic of our liberal “friends”? No fucking thank you. Tax dollars should NEVER necessitate playing by a different set of rules. Much better: no tax breaks for anyone, just keep taxes low and steady. Tax “incentives” are the most pernicious form of government meddling there is.

  14. #14 |  Goober | 

    I don’t give a rat’s ass if the organization is religious, secular, or moon-based, the United States Federal Government has absolutely no business dictating what insurance coverage a privately-owned company should provide for their employees.

    And stop with the BS arguments that these women are being “denied” access to birth control. They can get it if they want, they just have to – GASP! – PAY FOR IT THEMSELVES.

    I will never understand why people in this country started thinking that they were entitled to force other people to pay for their things for them.

    If the argument is that birth control is a “right” and because of that, it should be provided to everyone free of charge, then I will counter your argument and claim that you have to buy me a shotgun – it isn’t fair that I have to pay money in order to be able to use my second amendment right! Go ahead. Explain to me why your right (you know, the one that isn’t written in the Constitution) is somehow different from my right (you know, the one that IS.)

  15. #15 |  MassHole | 

    M. Steve,

    I agree 100% with “no tax breaks for anyone”. I don’t believe religious organizations should be able to receive government subsidies while not paying any taxes. However, I don’t agree with your premise of “what is Georgetown supposed to do?”

    If the government, or any other patron attaches strings to funding, what’s the problem? Are you saying they shouldn’t be able to watch their money if they wish? Georgetown could go the way of Bob Jones and renounce the government funding and do as they please if the religious issue is that important to them. Or, they could continue to accept government funding and live by the same rules their competitors do that accept same. It seems you are suggesting that they should be able to take the government money while operating under a different set of rules as their secular competition because they are associated with a religious order. “EVERY OTHER INSTITUTION” has to comply with the strings attached to government money. Why should a religious institution get an exemption from that? He who pays the piper calls the tune. Don’t want the man to have a say your business, don’t ask for his money.

  16. #16 |  witless chum | 

    “And stop with the BS arguments that these women are being “denied” access to birth control. They can get it if they want, they just have to – GASP! – PAY FOR IT THEMSELVES.”

    Which is what “these women” doing in every case I can think of. I pay part of my health insurance’s costs and my employer pays part. Why should the employer’s wish not to pay for their employee’s contraception trump the employee’s wish too pay for said contraception?

    So long as there are federal insurance regs (which I understand many here are not in favor of across the board) why the hell should they priveledge the employer over the employee?

    And what is the distinction that the Catholic hospitals and such are trying to make here? It’s apparently okay if a person working for them violates Catholic doctrine with the cash money they pay them, but a horrendous violation of religious freedom if they violate the same Catholic doctrine with the insurance plan that they are also paid with? I don’t see any sort of logic or principle to be respected there.

    You can make all sorts of slippery slope arguments here too. Maybe I find it immoral if my employees subscribe to Reason?

    All that leaves aside the issue of whether or not an insurance plan that doesn’t include coverage for birth control discriminates against women by it’s very nature because women just have more skin in that game by dint of biology.

  17. #17 |  witless chum | 

    And 65#, Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Michigan is the hipster of taking no money from the Department of Education.

  18. #18 |  M. Steve | 

    No, MassHole, what I am suggesting is that NO INSTITUTION should have to follow the government’s rules. There shouldn’t be any government money creating undue influence on private parties. It’s a terrible idea.

    Also, your “patrons” comparison is a complete nonstarter. The government != private patrons. Private patrons can’t lock you up and kill you if you disobey them. Private patrons can’t offer infinite amounts of money because they print it and the books don’t have to balance. It’s a dishonest analogy.

    “Don’t want the man to have a say your business, don’t ask for his money.”

    Again, pointless. They aren’t *asking* for money, the government is *giving* money… vast sums of money… to institutions, putting private, especially religious, institutions in that Rock and a Hard Place position of taking the money or becoming irrelevant. Care to point to any important research coming out of Bob Jones University? You didn’t refute my point, you just restated the point I already argued against.

    If the government wants institutions to have to choose between research money and religious dogma, the government is doing it wrong.

  19. #19 |  M. Steve | 

    JThompson, I’m sure we agree much more than we disagree. I just don’t see why the answer to the current “one-way valve” is to open it up the other way, and not shut it off. I’m sick and tired of the tax-exempt status of churches, and especially sickened that churches like the Mormon church get to keep that status while explicitly playing politics (e.g. Prop 8 in CA).

    The wall between church and state isn’t just to protect each from the other, it’s also to protect us from them ganging up on us together.

  20. #20 |  Radley Balko | 

    You can make all sorts of slippery slope arguments here too. Maybe I find it immoral if my employees subscribe to Reason?

    That isn’t a slippery slope argument. You’ve moved to a completely different slope. A better analogy would be if your employer promised to pay for, say, six magazine subscriptions as part of your compensation, but you had to choose from a broader list of 20. But Reason isn’t on that list, and you think you should get Reason for free. So you ask the government to force your employer to pay for Reason, too.

    So long as there are federal insurance regs (which I understand many here are not in favor of across the board) why the hell should they priveledge the employer over the employee?

    Because the employer is paying for your insurance. Because if it weren’t for the employer and the group rate it gets for providing insurance, you’d be paying a hell of a lot more. Why do you think you have the right to force someone else to buy you things?

  21. #21 |  albatross | 

    Perhaps a good parallel for Sandra Fluke is Joe the (not really quite a) Plumber? In both cases, they were political operatives in the sense that they were stepping out in public to take a political stand in hopes of pushing issues in a desired direction. And in both cases, they were treated pretty badly (though Limbaugh’s nastiness kind of takes the cake), after the manner of peasants who dare speak up in an argument among the nobility.

    The pundit class is mostly pretty careful to limit how nasty they are to powerful people, because those people have megaphones to shout back with, as well as connections that can be used to cost especially annoying pundits their jobs. Indeed, “respectable” pundits often are pretty reluctant to even call powerful people on obvious lies. Dissing a peasant is pretty safe, unless you say something so offensive it gives your enemies an opening to move against you. Dissing another nobleman can get you cut up in a duel.

    As a society, we do one hell of a job deciding which people we will outfit with megaphones.

  22. #22 |  SJE | 

    Albatross: That is a good analogy. Joe the plumber was criticised by the left for some of his opinions, but the attacks on him were not as personal or as nasty as what Fluke is enduring.

    Radley: your magazine analogy doesnt hold water. Most people can go an buy a magazine subscription for a very low price that is openly advertized, not subject to tax loopholes, and operates on the free market. Medical care is subject to all sorts of information assymetries and tax breaks that make is almost impossible to do what you can do with a magazine: buy it on the open market. As a result, we almost HAVE to pay for medical care through our employment. In the absence of root-and-branch reform of the tax code etc (which I’d prefer), what should the government do? At what stage can a private employer decide not to cover certain things? Is there a greater threat to personal liberty by forcing employers to cover certain things, or permitting employers to act on their changing moral convictions, not price.
    In many ways, this is not much different to the coercion of the government in regards other areas of non-discrimination, such as race. There are important liberty interests involved in deciding to do, or not to do.

  23. #23 |  JOR | 

    “I will never understand why people in this country started thinking that they were entitled to force other people to pay for their things for them.”

    They instituted a government(s) right off the bat. Which was a way of forcing other people to pay for things they wanted (like fighting off European powers, efforts to steal Indian land, efforts to put down rebellions i.e. keep the tax system going, slavery enforcement, default on their debts to the people who fought and died to put them in power in the first place, etc.) If it’s fair to force people to help pay for your armed security needs (to the extent of using other peoples’ money to help you steal other other peoples’ stuff), it’s fair to force them to pay for anything else.

  24. #24 |  SJE | 

    JOR: I agree that it is troubling that people think they have a right, provided directly from the government, or that the government can force others to provide that right. Turning away from theory, in practice we already have the government taxing me to provide all sorts of benefits to people. If the politicians want to talk about forced financial transfers they need to address the biggest drains on my taxes: Social Security, Medicare, and the military. If they want to talk about forced behavior, they could layer upon layer of stupid regulation. Contraception is just a side show.

  25. #25 |  JOR | 

    Well yeah, my point was that the “forced financial transfers” are nothing new. The country’s been doing it as long as it’s been a country. More than that, it’s the whole reason the country was founded.

  26. #26 |  JOR | 

    Also, regulations on contraception* only seem like a “side show” to a guy, who can have sex whenever and wherever the opportunity presents itself without fear of getting pregnant. I suppose you could call it a first world problem, but then so is SWAT team abuse, business regulation, and those unbearable marginal tax rates that still leave you with an unimaginably comfortable life (by historical standards).

    *Whether allowing state-aided and privileged institutions to refuse to cover contraception costs for their employees as part a mandated insurance plan constitutes an unjust restriction is a different matter.

  27. #27 |  supercat | 

    //Also, regulations on contraception* only seem like a “side show” to a guy, who can have sex whenever and wherever the opportunity presents itself without fear of getting pregnant.//

    The only guys who could do such a thing would be those who don’t plan on ever having any meaningful financial assets. Otherwise, a woman who accidentally gets pregnant has the option of giving up her child for adoption and then getting on with her life, whereas a man who unexpectedly gets a woman pregnant may find himself financially destroyed for eighteen or even twenty years with no say in the matter.

  28. #28 |  supercat | 

    //Medical care is subject to all sorts of information assymetries and tax breaks that make is almost impossible to do what you can do with a magazine: buy it on the open market.//

    Such asymmetries exist in significant measure as a consequence of government meddling. Taxpayer-funded or government-mandated subsidies for contraception will, within a short time, increase the price beyond what it ever would have been absent such subsidies. Leftist politicians always act surprised when the increased demand that results from subsidies ends up increasing prices, but such effects are almost entirely predictable. Anyone who claims to be surprised is either ignorant or lying.

  29. #29 |  Homeboy | 

    Albatross –

    I think your analogy fails miserably. Joe the Plumber was a paid political operative, a man who was paid to attend political events as a shill and to act as a public spokesperson for partisan political positions. He emerged into the public spotlight as a paid activist working for a presidential campaign, who appeared at a political convention, convened press conferences, and concurrently listed himself with speaker’s bureaus. He is currently running for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Sandra Fluke, on the other hand, is merely a private citizen who gave testimony at a legislative hearing. One is a dedicated public (and highly political) figure, while the other clearly is not. It is difficult to see how one might find these two figures analogous.

  30. #30 |  witless chum | 

    Radley: (first, thanks for all the good work you do)
    Broadly, compensation doesn’t equal getting things for free in my mind. Whether it’s magazine subscriptions or health insurance, it’s what I’m getting paid in exchange for my labor. Most places let you take cash in lieu of benefits you choose not to use.

    “Because the employer is paying for your insurance. Because if it weren’t for the employer and the group rate it gets for providing insurance, you’d be paying a hell of a lot more. Why do you think you have the right to force someone else to buy you things?”

    It’s more along the lines of the feds forcing Radley’s Motor Mall not to sell defective cars that are much harder and more expensive for women to operate than men than along the lines of “forcing someone else to buy you things.”

    “That isn’t a slippery slope argument. You’ve moved to a completely different slope. A better analogy would be if your employer promised to pay for, say, six magazine subscriptions as part of your compensation, but you had to choose from a broader list of 20. But Reason isn’t on that list, and you think you should get Reason for free. So you ask the government to force your employer to pay for Reason, too.”

    I kinda threw that in there, but if an employer provided that benefit I think it would be unfair of them to pick and choose what magazines they offered, but I don’t think it’d violate the law. However, if the feds regulated magazine compensation, I’d absolutely support a federal regulation saying that no company who offers such a benefit can discriminate according to their values. Nation subscriptions at Cato and vice versa.

    Again, for me it goes back to employers not having the right to impose their morals on employees. When they give you the compensation, they shouldn’t have the right to tell you what to do with it, any more than they should be able to look in your shopping cart.

  31. #31 |  Radley Balko | 

    However, if the feds regulated magazine compensation, I’d absolutely support a federal regulation saying that no company who offers such a benefit can discriminate according to their values. Nation subscriptions at Cato and vice versa.

    And this is why we’re never going to find common ground on this issue.

  32. #32 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    @78 – Because healthcare in America is ch…oh wait, your system has made it extortionately expensive. And you want it to be MORE so.

    What’s surprising is that you can’t understand that the results of your own advocated policies tie people to the whim – the often abusive whim – of corporations. You’re a corporatist, no more and no less.