Saturday, February 11, 2012

Headlines - Saturday February 11

Wisconsin will use a chunk of its $140 million share of a national settlement over foreclosure and mortgage-servicing abuses to help the state budget rather than assist troubled homeowners, Gov. Scott Walker and state Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said Thursday.
Walker and Van Hollen said the majority of the settlement amount earmarked to Wisconsin under a $25 billion proposed nationwide agreement announced Thursday still would go to aid consumers in Milwaukee and other communities struggling with the specter of home foreclosure.

This guy is a clear asshole. There's just no other word to adequately describe him.

I'm so glad Russ Feingold, who could beat him in the recall, has decided to sit out the race and focus on more important issues- like whining about Obama using SuperPacs.


The transportation bill is a three-fer, combining in one bill measures that back-stab unions, destroy the environment and sabotage urban centers.

Pat Garofalo at Think Progress:

House Republicans have released a transportation bill that would eliminate the government's dedicated funding stream for mass transit, instead counting on a plan that the Congressional Budget Office found would cover just 5 percent of transit costs. The New York Times called the bill "uniquely terrible," while Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, a Republican, called it "the worst transportation bill I've ever seen during 35 years of public service."

Cuts to mass transit fall hard on low-income people who count on public transportation to get to work, go to school, and go about their lives. And they fall hardest on low-income minorities, who, as the research organization PolicyLink noted, as disproportionately likely to not own an automobile:

As housing and jobs have moved farther apart, the distance has created employment barriers for anyone without unlimited ability to drive. Nineteen percent of African Americans and 13.7 percent of Latinos lack access to automobiles, compared with 4.6 percent of whites. Poverty complicates the problem: 33 percent of poor African Americans and 25 percent of poor Latinos lack automobile access, compared with 12.1 percent of poor whites. Cars owned by low-income people tend to be older, less reliable, and less fuel-efficient. This makes commuting to work unpredictable and more expensive, at best.

"Communities of color, low-income Americans and people with disabilities will be disproportionately impacted since they are the most transit dependent communities and negotiate their daily lives on mass transportation to reach employment, health care, and educational centers," said the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. "These funding provisions will impact the millions of Americans who rely on public transit systems to get to work, to school, or to the doctor," agreed the American Transit Association.

In addition to shortchanging transit and those who depend on it, the bill would also open up nearly all of America's coastal waters to oil drilling. "It is really just one more attempt to promote the Republicans' drill-now-drill-everywhere agenda and the interests of their industry patrons," the Times editorialized.

In the end, neither the House GOP's nor the Senate's transportation bills do enough to help the country's crumbling infrastructure. But for the House in particular, the bill is simply an excuse to drill-baby-drill and make it that much harder for people without cars to go about their lives.


Obama screws over America's women to appease religious fanatic men

Shake hands with the Devil.

One thing about patriarchal religions of the ancient Middle East — like, say, "Sharia Law" or "American Catholicism" — is that the menfolk don't like the womenfolk having any control of their own bodies or lives. That's why there was a predictable outrage over the Obama Administration's long-planned addition of basic family planning medicine to health insurance coverage. It might seem like reproductive health would naturally be part of what we consider "health insurance coverage," but that would be a dangerous assumption in a nation where one major political party, the Republicans, is completely based on the ring kissing and worship of an old Nazi child molester in Rome. READ MORE »


Republicans and some conservative Catholic groups are not satisfied with how Obama altered his birth control plan and hope to use their false claim of "religious persecution" to deny women access to preventive health services. Despite Obama's decision to shield nonprofit religious institutions from offering birth control benefits, next week Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) is expected to offer an amendment that would permit any employer or insurance plan to exclude any health service, no matter how essential, from coverage if they morally object to it:


"(A) FOR HEALTH PLANS. — A health plan shall not be considered to have failed to provide the essential health benefits package described in subsection (a) (or preventive health services described in section 2713 of the Public Health Services Act), to fail to be a qualified health plan, or to fail to fulfill any other requirement under this title on the basis that it declines to provide coverage of specific items or services because —

"(i) providing coverage (or, in the case of a sponsor of a group health plan, paying for coverage) of such specific items or services is contrary to the religious beliefs or moral convictions of the sponsor, issuer, or other entity offering the plan; or

"(ii) such coverage (in the case of individual coverage) is contrary to the religious beliefs or moral convictions of the purchaser or beneficiary of the coverage.

Under the measure, an insurer or an employer would be able to claim a moral or religious objection to covering HIV/AIDS screenings, Type 2 Diabetes treatments, cancer tests or anything else they deem inappropriate or the result of an "unhealthy" or "immoral" lifestyle. Similarly, a health plan could refuse to cover mental health care on the grounds that the plan believes that psychiatric problems should be treated with prayer.

Individuals too can opt out of coverage if it is contrary to their religious or moral beliefs, radically undermining "the basic principle of insurance, which involves pooling the risks for all possible medical needs of all enrollees." As the National Women's Law Center explains, Blunt's language is vague enough that "insurers may be able to sell plans that do not cover services required by the new health care law to an entire market because one individual objects, so all consumers in a market lose their right to coverage of the full range of critical health services." As a result, a man "purchasing an insurance plan offered to women and men could object to maternity coverage, so the plan would not have to cover it, even though such coverage is required as part of the essential health benefits."

Read the full amendment here.

I'm sure Mr. Blunt will add this amendment to the free health care we the taxpayers provide him with.


Who better to talk about contraception for women than a shitload of men? Your cable news networks:


Most people, when they imagine combat troops fighting in a war, picture gunfire and helicopters and blood and death. Rick Santorum, on the other hand, pictures sort of a dusty night club lit by the odd intermittent explosion where you know what happens when you leave the boys and girls alone in there too long together. Not HETEROSEXUAL INTERCOURSE, oh ha ha no, the Pope forbid, he means unbridled tenderness, the "natural" result whenever humans of differing genitalia commingle. Therefore he officially frowns upon the Pentagon's new plan to open up thousands of combat-related positions to women, because this will force male soldiers who work around them to become highly "protective" and feel "emotions" like a club of nursing panda bears. READ MORE »


CPAC once again full of self-hating gay men hunting for gay sex

Marco Rubio?

Like every year at CPAC time, the "no strings attached" sex Internet is busy busy busy with self-hating closeted homosexual Republican men who like to take a break from cheering on homophobic bible clods by going back to the hotel with a discreet dude who wants to give/receive some oral, "maybe more with the right guy," etc. Republican homosexuals are so predictable! READ MORE »




While the Sioux tribe in North Dakota is fighting the use of "Fighting Sioux," the Suing Sioux of South Dakota are in federal court with a rather novel lawsuit of their own. The Oglala Sioux Tribe of South Dakota is suing the largest beer makers for contributing to the corruption and abuse of members of South Dakota's Pine Ridge Indian Reservation by supplying alcohol through local stores. The tribe is demanding $500 million in damages for the cost of health care, social services and child rehabilitation.

Continue reading 'The Suing Sioux: Tribe Sues Top Beer Makers For Contributing To Alcoholism Of Tribe Members'


SFPD: It Gets Better


Asshat of the day: Chuck Woolery

"Majority rules. We were born with natural rights. We don't need civil rights. [African-Americans] don't need civil rights. They don't need them. They have inalienable rights granted by God in the Constitution. I mean, I'm discriminated against all the time. I don't care. It doesn't bother me. [I'm discriminated against] because I'm old. I'm too old to get a job as a game show host. They say, well, the guy's 71 and in five years he'll be 76. And I'm a one per center, and I'm absolutely discriminated against as a one per center." - Chuck Woolery, speaking today at CPAC. (Via Michelangelo Signorile)


Archdiocese Of Milwaukee Accused Of 8000 Incidents Of Child Molestation (but they're worried about women having birth control covered)

Court documents filed in the bankruptcy case for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee appear to have revealed over 8000 incidents of child molestation not previously reported. New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan, who is about to be elevated to Cardinal, is the former Archbishop Of Milwaukee. Some suspect Dolan of having hidden over $130M in church funds in order to avoid massive court-ordered child molestation settlements.
Archdiocese spokeswoman Julie Wolf said she did not have enough information to respond to the assertion, made by attorney Jeffrey Anderson during a pivotal hearing before U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Susan V. Kelley. Anderson represents about 350 of the 570 victim-survivors who have filed claims in the case. But Peter Isely of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests speculated that some are likely members of religious orders, such as Capuchins or Franciscans. Order officials do not typically make public the names of their accused members, and the archdiocese claims it is not responsible for them, though they have historically helped to staff its parishes and schools. "This is a public safety crisis, a child safety crisis that needs to be investigated," Isely said at a news conference on the federal courthouse steps, surrounded by fellow survivors and reporters. "We need to know who they are and where they are. How can there be 8,000 crimes committed by over 100 offenders and there be no accountability?" he said.
The Archdiocese of Milwaukee has vigorously sought the dismissal of molestation charges against several priests, arguing that the statute of limitations on their crimes has expired. (Tipped by JMG reader Tom)


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