Sunday, February 02, 2014

Kraut. Hammer.

The Kraken
Conservative pundit Charles Krauthammer's name came up during today's Morning Review (the portion of the day during which the Goat and I sip coffee while he reads the paper, I peck at my iPad and we "release the Kraken" [let the bunny out of her cage so she hop around the living room and eat the carpeting]).

"Krauthammer's paralyzed, you know," I said.

"I did not know that," replied the Goat.

So I googled ol' Krauthammer and verified that he was in a tragic swimming accident at age 22, but (of course) was quickly drawn into another of Google's temptations: Krauthammer's Jan. 30th opinion piece for the Washington Post: How to debunk the war on women.

The column started out promisingly enough:

What is it about women that causes leading Republicans to grow clumsy, if not stupid? When even savvy, fluent, attractively populist Mike Huckabee stumbles, you know you’ve got trouble. Having already thrown away eminently winnable Senate seats in Missouri and Indiana because of moronic talk about rape, the GOP might have learned. You’d think.

Really? A bit of sensitivity glimmering from the Right regarding women's issues? Well kiss my ample Irish Hungarian posterior.

It didn't last long. Krauthammer's voice of reason faded in the very next paragraph:

Huckabee wasn’t quite as egregious, just puzzling and a bit weird. Trying to make a point about Obamacare mandating free contraceptives ... 

Free contraceptives.

Oh dear. Here we go again. With those two words, Kraukhammer brandishes his bayonet right alongside the Huck, Todd Akin and the rest of the wingnuts waging war on women.

CODE PINK CHAUVINIST ALERT: Gents, heed these words: Any woman who pays $100, $250, $500 or $750 per month for health care coverage--whether she's footing the entire bill or it's a copay for ACA coverage or her employer's offering--does not consider benefits of said coverage as "free." The assertion is particularly offensive to working women, who regard their health insurance as an earned benefit.

To be sure, birth control might be the only tangible benefit a woman reaps from that coverage, which she pays for. Every. Single. Month. This holds particularly true if she is healthy, young, single and childless. In his Post column, Krauthammer even notes the Right's dismally failed courtship of single women with some alarm:

... the Republicans’ inability to make their case in respectful tones has cost them dearly. In 2012, they lost unmarried women by 36 (!) points. 

Exclamation point, indeed. Keep calling that $200 per month packet of birth control pills "free." Keep doing everything you can to take away the one thing those unmarried women actually get from their health care coverage and the GOP can watch that number climb higher and higher. 

You boys will just never get it will you?

*  *  *


Michael Lawless said...

The Republican women in Congress never cease to amaze me as they shame their own sex.

Erin O'Brien said...

So, let me get this straight: the GOP tells us that costs will skyrocket under Obamacare, but that the birth control coverage associated with it is free. So it's going to cost a lot, but the stuff you get because of it is free. Hm ....

Any conservatives out there want to explain that to me?

Bill? Bueller? Anyone? Anyone?

Bill said...

Erin: I know you know that it's really about why taxpayers should pay for birth control and abortion. It's simple but I don't expect to win the argument. On the subject though, I was surprised to learn that even after seeing the ultrasound of their future person, 98% of women seeking abortion still go through with it. Sad.

Michael: Are you serious? Shaming their own sex? Exactly what does that mean? Someone might interpret your comment as sexist. Not good for a lefty.

Erin O'Brien said...

If it's so simple, Bill, than do explain how an administrative assistant making $42,000 a year and contributes $200 a month to her insurance plan (while her employer pays the other $500) is getting tax-payer funded birth control.

Go on. Explain that to me.

Anonymous said...

Bunch of fucking fat old pederasts obsessed with the uteri of childbearing aged women. The perversity never ends.

When a drone pilot visualizes human silhouettes with infared imaging he launches the missile. As the life flows out of their mutilated bodies they slowly fade from view as they match the temperature of the earth on which they die. Sad. Your tax dollars at work.

Nice bunny.


twinklysparkles said...

Who gives a shit whether a woman sees a fetus on an ultrasound? It's in HER body. You take it and gestate it, Bill, get as many ultrasounds as you like. Coo over the images.

Control. It all comes down to control. Toss in a cup of shame. Yippee! You think women don't understand the power of their bodies. BULLSHIT.

I want the Goddess of Willendorf. Damn do I want her.

Bill said...

Erin: I admit that I'm not an expert on Obama Care but I believe that millions of people will get free coverage. About half of them women.

I'm not sure why RJ is bringing Barney Frank into the discussion.

Lot's of people, Twinks, coo over those sonograms. I get your point though. Popping one out can definitely complicate things for a busy young woman. I'm not that familiar with the Goddess of Willendorf but, wasn't she pregnant?

Erin O'Brien said...

I believe that millions of people will get free coverage. About half of them women.

Now we're getting somewhere.

Okay, we don't know who these "free Obamacare" people are, but you say they are out there by the millions.

So then, are you just worried about the birth control pills the "free Obamacare" women will get, or does lung cancer treatment for lifelong "free Obamacare" male smokers bother you as well?

Type 2 diabetes treatments? Pap smears?

Were you unhappy about Medicaid benefits when Bush was in office?

Oh, hell, nevermind.

The problem, Bill, is that you and Krauthammer and the rest of the rightie contingent don't talk about the whole complex situation. You turn it into a monochromatic boogeyman (state-supplied "freebie" birth control)--and blame it on those silly freeloadin' sex-crazed broads.

This, my friend, is why we call it a war on women.

J9 said...

Ok, but when can I get free Obamacare tampons? You want to talk about a monthly expense? From age 11 or 12 to 60something?

Anonymous said...

"Popping one out."

Your witness, Mr Berger.


Bill said...

I'm losing interest in the whole Obama Care question. In the not too distant future, when Obama Care policy holders have to wait 4months to see a doctor, I guess the left will find a way to blame conservatives. Ask your own doctor what he/she thinks about Ocare. By the way, just because you like your doctor doesn't mean you can keep your doctor.

twinklysparkles said...

"Popping one out can definitely complicate things for a busy young woman"

Your offensiveness knows no bounds, does it Bill? Is this why you comment here? Is it for the attention? Not getting enough at home?

You have a petty mind and misogynistic tendencies and you lack grace.

Help me, O'Brien, help me. How do you do this with such calm and intelligence? I can't, just can't abide by it. Bill's comment is so condescending. You are a saint Erin.

Bill said...

I'm surprised that you're offended but, whatever. It never ceases to amaze me at how offended a lefty can get, just because someone voices an opposing opinion. I can assure you, that you don't speak for all women. You have disdain for anyone who would coo over the ultrasound image of a fetus. I have disdain for someone who snips the spinal cord of a 7 pound baby as it takes it's first breath. Who's petty? Who has grace?

Erin O'Brien said...

It never ceases to amaze me at how offended a rightie can get. Just try and tell them they aren't allowed to carry their loaded AR-15 through a busy shopping mall.

Bill, you do not get it. You will never get it. That said, by all means, continue using language such as "popping one out." After all, it's your duty as a soldier in the War on Women.

Question for you: if a woman you loved, a daughter or granddaughter, found herself pregnant and discovered the baby had a horrible abnormality at 22 weeks, would you mandate she pop it out just the same?

What if it put her health at risk? Is 10 percent risk too low? Twenty percent? Thirty? When is the risk high enough, Bill?

Gee. Maybe she should have asked Obama for some of his free birth control in the first place.

Twinks: the last thing you need right now is stress, particularly when it comes from paper tigers. I can handle Bill. I can handle a thousand Bills.

Bill said...

"Popping one out" is offensive? In answer to your question, Erin; The women in my life make their own decisions. I hope they continue to respect a diversity of opinion. Are there really a thousand Bills?

Erin O'Brien said...

"The women in my life make their own decisions."

Well, well, well ... That sounds pretty pro-choice to me.

Joe said...

A condom or a birth control pill is significantly cheaper than birthing a baby. If I am subsidizing both, I prefer a box of rubbers over a box of diapers.

That said, I object to the government dictating what coverage I have to buy. if I do not want to have contraceptives in my policy, I should not have to pay for it. If I decline hair transplant insurance, then I will be bald. If my employer pays all or part the group insurance he provides, he gets to choose the coverage. I can opt out and buy my own policy if I want different coverage -- whoops not any more.

You are all for choice, right up to the point you force me to buy something I don't want. Uteri, wallets, benefits -- I want the government out of all of them.

Erin O'Brien said...

Men aren't going to get breast cancer. Women aren't going to get testicular cancer. Women don't take Viagra. Men don't take BCPs.

Yet all of these things get mandatory coverage courtesy of the ACA. It's called actuary science, people. Look it up.

Welcome to health care reform. We waited so long, it was going to be a bitch no matter what. Now the GOP is doing all they can to make it as painful as possible.

And for the record, you no likey our program? In Israel, on-demand abortions are provided free by the GOV.

Joe said...

I'm sorry, how is the GOP making it a pain -- the donks wrote the law (refusing ANY input from republicans). Democrats passed the law. Now they blame the opposition for opposing a law they originally opposed? But that is no tthe point anyway.

My objection is being forced to buy something I neither want nor need. For the record, when I purchased my policy, an actuary weighed the risks and benefits based on the policy choices I made.

A single 20-something woman should not have to purchased vasectomy coverage. A single forty-something man does not need maternity coverage. neither should be forced to buy it.

This is not a war on women, it is a war on individuality, on Americans. On freedom to choose. It is a war on capitalism.

Bill said...

Let's compromise. You choose. You pay.

Erin O'Brien said...

Actuary science, gents. You still don't get it, do you?

Choice? Here's the choices in your world: Say Human X decides to get Sam's Bargain Insurance for $100 a year. Say Human X gets a dreadful disease, gets his $7 worth of coverage from Sam and is left with $150,000 in bills.

Human X goes bankrupt. Then we all pay. Welcome to How It's Been.

Yeah, I realize that no one likes the fact that we all use health care and we all have to pay for it, but there it is and now that reform is here, it's here to stay.

Don't worry too much, though. I'm still hoping we're headed for Medicare-for-all in 10 years or so.

Now then, I'm still waiting for someone to tell me where the free birth control is.

Joe said...

If human x chooses to be under insured he should get bankrupt. Yes, I am a cold-hearted capitalist.

Pay now or pay later.

I am not stupid, I understand you have to have the young and healthy sign up to make ACA work. The issue is the ACA should never have been passed.

You are right, we are looking at universal coverage and the attendant underservice, long waits and poor care in our future. What incentive will there be for the best and brightest to go to medical school?

Christ, who looks at the VA hospital system and says "I wish I had that?" Who has ever dealt with the SSA and wanted that kind of bureaucracy managing their healthcare? That is the future you and your ilk have doomed upon us all.

Except the ruling class, who will exempt themselves.

Anonymous said...

What data can be offered to support the claim that universal coverage results in underservice, long waits and poor care in the future?

Disclaimer: I am a contract employee of thhe VA.


Erin O'Brien said...

Joe, there will always always always be opportunities to buy designer healthcare insurance.

How many seniors do you know? How many of them have supplemental insurance for their Medicare?

There is always room for capitalism. Rest assured, the more money you have, the less time you will spend waiting in line--Obamacare notwithstanding.

That said, I understand your point of view and appreciate that you take the time to comment here.

Anonymous said...

Won't argue that bling provides access. Prostitution isn't the worlds oldest profession for nothing. But I, based on data, do challenge the idea that universal coverage NECESSARILY delays access.

In addition, based on 30 years experience working in healthcare(anecdotal nevertheless, I understand) med students are not motivated exclusively by financial incentive. I know Capitalists find it hard to believe but some people actually behave out of altruism. In addition there are much more value-oriented ways to accumulate capital than spending 8 years(on average)in med school and post-graduate studies. The "best and brightest" gravy-sucking pigs know this.


Joe said...

"I...challenge the idea that universal coverage NECESSARILY delays access." Of course my crystal ball has few flaws and is cloudy in spots. We really have no idea how the concept will work in the USA; history shows we are exceptional to the rule in many ways. We do know that there are issues with the health system in Britain, and in some places in Canada. Long waits and bureaucracy often go hand-in-hand. Lets not fool ourselves that you get the same care at the local public hospital and the Mayo Clinic.

Many doctors sign up because they truly want to help people. How many will go through extra training and years of study to be a heart doctor if they are paid the same $30,000 as a general practitioner?

Granted, we have no idea that will happen either, but you cannot dismiss the notion a doctors office is a business.

More to the point, my objection lies in the Government forcing me to buy something I do not want under pain of imprisonment.

Erin O'Brien said...

How many times do I have to say it? I have to pay for drones, bombs, guns, ammunition and god knows what else that kills innocent civilians (including children) all the time.

I don't like that blood on my hands, but there you go.

Joe said...

we all pay taxes, and the various governments all spend the money in ways we do not like. That is far, far different than forcing me to buy something on the private market. The ACA is more akin to forcing you to buy a Colt .45 handgun, or dictating your grocery list. It dictates the terms of a private contract between two non-governmental entities.

There is a clear difference.

Erin O'Brien said...

In some ways, Hoose, you're preaching to the choir. I was never a big fan of the ACA, which is the Republican's answer to HCR. Like RJ, I think every American should be issued a Medicaire card and Social Security card at birth.

Yup, basic GOV healthcare for everyone from cradle to grave.

As for being forced to purchase something from the private market, why is it none of you righties care about your mandated auto insurance?

Anonymous said...

"It dictates the terms of a private contract between two non-governmental entities."-Joe

Me and General Dynamics, Raytheon, Bechtel, et al are
non'governmental entities. No one asks me if I approve of their activities ergo I am "forced" to buy their services.
'Splain me something Mr. Free Market. How come you guys never criticize the private insurers for striking the ACA deal? Would that be unAmerican? It's always "The Gov" or "Obama". Are ya'll so naive to think 35-40 million new customers were just dumped in the private insurance market willy nilly without the insurers participation? The U.S. Chamber of Commerce awaits your reply.


Anonymous said...

Fuck! Lets get back to the original topic. Sticking a transvaginal probe up my daughers vagina is not government overreach? Assholes. Fuck all of you.


Erin O'Brien said...

Forcing a family to keep a corpse on life support in order to incubate a fetus was pretty special too.

Anonymous said...

driving is voluntary.

The terms of ObamaCare are just like the Feds telling what to drink with your dinner; but they tell you no lemonade, no wine, you have to have soda and it must be diet Coke.

twinklysparkles said...

Erin, I must speak!!!

Bill, how do you know what I think or feel about ultrasounds or cooing or cooing over ultrasounds? How is it that you gleaned the meaning you did from my comment? I must say you are a Knee Jerk.

PRESUMPTUOUS as hell must be added to The Bill's not-so-great traits. You know nothing about me and your inability to be eloquent is simply pathetic. You think you know what you are writing, but you don't. You cannot see your own words. Your inelegance is astounding.

Would it surprise you to know how many births I've attended? How many pregnant women I've helped at any point in the year-long journey (and then some!) that is the birth cycle? Where I had my babies, whether I chose ultrasounds, whether I would abort a fetus that showed chromosomal abnormalities? YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT ME and you know less about the fact of my womanhood. Why not shut the eff up about it? I suppose because you get off on this attention...I can also be thick and slow to wake up to the fact of a troll. I will learn maybe or maybe I find it fun to play with a mouse.

It's laughable that you act put upon in regards to your phrase "popping one out" without the rest of it: "can definitely complicate things for a young woman." Your ignorant incredulity speaks for itself that you aren't aware of your own words.

You claim to care for the rights of the unborn and yet you speak of a pregnant woman in this manner of gross disrespect? With no reverence for the miraculous power a pregnant woman OF ANY AGE has in her body? You are woefully ignorant of female power and female anatomy.

Bill, get your dictionary and place a small thumbnail of yourself at the margin next to the word "condescend." I hope for the day when your heart turns and you wake up. Enlighten yourself. It is your birthright. Shed the voices that cloud you. Be free from the bonds of your pettiness. You might be surprised that you have a heart of compassion somewhere in there. Hold the power that women have over life and death in its proper place--it is terrifying, but I've gone there. Women's power is terrifying so throughout history, people try to quell it and control it in many ways. It cannot be controlled. It is a fact of the uterus and of the birth cycle.

The Goddess of Willendorf. Hell yes, she seems to be pregnant. Do you think a male doctor told her what to do with the fetus or the baby or her children? HELL NO! Do you think that they didn't know her power in the times she lived? Look at her, look at female power. Be reverent, bow down. Kiss the ground we walk on and anoint our feet and bellies. Well, maybe you would not be welcome to do so Bill. You can sit on the sidelines in your stupor, wondering how to write the right thing. Or just keep getting off on your ego. It becomes you.

Bill said...


Anonymous said...



"(R)efusing ANY input from Republicans", included in a comment above, is a god-damned lie. A lie that won't stay dead. A 'zombie lie.'

In February 2009 the President announced his intention to work with the Congress to reform the health care system, or more accurately to reform the manner in which health care is paid for. By July related bills were being voted out of congressional committees, and in their wake their were HOURS of meetings, bi-partisan meetings, most notably among Senators including Olympia Snowe of Maine. The individual mandate, originally a conservative idea proposed by the Heritage Foundation in 1989, and resurrected during the Clinton administration's effort to provide universal coverage, became a part of the legislation to address conservative concerns about personal responsibility and the concern that 'free-riders', ie, free loaders, could fatally complicate the actuarial problems related to covering everyone. The concept was endorsed by former Senate majority leaders including Republicans Howard Baker and Robert Dole.

Once it became clear that the mandate would be part and parcel of any final bill, Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell decided that the best response for his party* would be zero cooperation in any way, and party discipline was kept with Kremlin-like rigidity. So in essence, despite efforts to get GOP votes by adopting provisions calculated specifically to get a bi-partisan bill, over the course of many months, at the end of the day no one from the GOP voted for the final legislation. In any event, had GOP input have NOT been solicited, it wouldn't have taken nearly 14 months between Mr Obama's inauguration and signing the bill into law.

I have often wondered why the right and the GOP seems to trumpet the no-GOP-votes fact of this legislation as if it were a virtue that they refused to negotiate in good faith.

A few quick sources for more detail about the process leading up to the passage of the bill: Jonathon Chait's piece in the New Republic, 12/19/09, Hulse and Nagourney, NYT, 3/16/10, and Avik Roy in that hotbed of pinko thinking, Forbes Magazine, 2/7/12. There are of course literally hundreds of sources one might look into as well. Search 'Legislative history of the ACA.'

Certain purveyors of this 'zombie lie' may get a bit salty over being told that it's a 'god-damned lie' they're trafficking in.

Tough shit.

Educate yourselves about what sort of tripe you're propagating when you casually disseminate falsehoods. Then perhaps no one will feel that facts and history deserve more respect than you care to dredge up.


*-In the last 5 years Mr McConnell has looked out for his party first.

Erin O'Brien said...

To be sure, Twinks, the faux outrage over having to buy health insurance is laughable to me when the same white male legislators happily invade our physical bodies. I am so so sick of this bullshit.

Forcing life support to incubate a fetus. I never would have believed it. Disgusting.

As for GOP opposition, when you cease to choose your battles they become meaningless. Case in point, last month the RNC passed a resolution renouncing the NSA surveillance program. This about-face ACLU-style stance is only because Obama is in the Oval Office and we all know it.

What a joke.

Anonymous said...

@MR +1 and...

"It is a war on capitalism."-Joe

I say again How many CEO's of Insurers with Boards of Directors and shares of stock have complained about the influx of new customers secondary to ACA?


Anonymous said...

Tutorial. In an effort to move this discussion forward I thought I'd offer an example of what "A war on Capitalism" looks like. To wit:

"One Million Moms boycotts Disney show after including gay couple."

Dear readers. Please pay attention.


Anonymous said...

There are those who assert that requiring most persons to purchase health insurance is nothing new, that for decades people have been required, for example, to buy auto insurance in order to operate a motor vehicle.

Persons opposed to the health insurance mandate reply to the above assertion by minimizing the importance of operating a motor vehicle, saying that if a person is denied the use of a motor vehicle by dint of his refusal to obtain auto insurance, well, no harm done.

Well, then, I will go the further step of minimizing the importance of health care for anyone who is able, but refuses, to buy health insurance. Such a person, in emergency situations, will show up at an emergency room expecting that his emergent healthcare needs will be met as a matter of course.

I think that a little cold water ought to be thrown on his expectations: If he shows up at an emergency room and cannot prove that he is insured and does not have sufficient spondulix with him to cover the expected cost of his care, send him packing. No harm done.

The Dim Bulbs of Rightist Talk Radio have long pooh-poohed the notion of universal health care by asserting that in its absence the uncovered still could hie themselves to the emergency room — even for routine health problems. With such views, these Dim Bulbs cannot even aspire to be a carbuncle on a true conservative's backside.

From «Senex Ægypti Parvi»

Erin O'Brien said...