Our Common Good

Documentary shows Catholic positions on abortion, contraception are relatively new  (via The Raw Story)

A federal judge Monday rejected Hobby Lobby Stores Inc.’s request to block part of the federal health care overhaul that requires the arts and craft supply company to provide insurance coverage for the morning-after and week-after birth control pills.

In a 28-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton denied a request by Hobby Lobby to prevent the government from enforcing portions of the health care law mandating insurance coverage for contraceptives the company’s Christian owners consider objectionable.

The Oklahoma City-based company and a sister company, Mardel Inc., sued the government in September, claiming the mandate violates the owners’ religious beliefs. The owners contend the morning-after and week-after birth control pills are tantamount to abortion because they can prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in a woman’s womb. They also object to providing coverage for certain kinds of intrauterine devices.

The United Nations says access to contraception is a universal human right that could dramatically improve the lives of women and children in poor countries.

It is the first time the U.N. Population Fund's annual report explicitly describes family planning as a human right.

It effectively declares that legal, cultural and financial barriers to accessing contraception and other family planning measures are an infringement of women’s rights.

The report released Wednesday isn’t binding and has no legal effect on national laws.

The global body also says increasing funding for family planning by a further $4.1 billion could save $11.3 billion annually in health bills for mothers and newborns in poor countries.

"Yes We Plan" - Mary J. Blige, Julianne Moore, & Q-Tip Speak Out With Planned Parenthood Action Fund (by PPVotes)

A significant majority of Catholics say that their church should spend more time focusing on poverty and less on issues like abortion, contraception and same sex marriage.

The Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) on Tuesday released its 2012 American Values Survey, which indicated that 60 percent of Catholics were more interested in social justice and only 31 percent thought that traditional social conservative values were more important, according to Reuters.

A slim 51 percent majority of Catholics who attended church one or more times a week also agreed that the church’s attention should be on poverty.

The findings seemed to contradict the significance that U.S. Catholic bishops have placed on fighting LGBT and reproductive rights.

Iowa congressman Steve King, who has compared immigrants to dogs and defended dog fighting in the past, hit a series of wingnut hot buttons Sunday during an interview with Des Moines’ local WHO-TV.

Steve King’s amazing wingnut roll(via Salon.com)

justinspoliticalcorner:

1) “I want to make sure we keep our Pell grant program growing. We’re also going to have our loan program, so that people are able to afford school.” As part of his budget, Paul Ryan proposed cutting Pell Grants for nearly 1 million college students. In fact, Romney’s white paper on education, “A Chance for Every Child,” suggests that he “would reverse the growth in Pell Grant funding.” It says: “A Romney Administration will refocus Pell Grant dollars on the students that need them most and place the program on a responsible long-term path that avoids future funding cliffs and last-minute funding patches.”

2) “I put out a five-point plan that gets America 12 million new jobs in four years and rising take-home pay.” The Washington Post’s in-house fact checker tore Mitt Romney’s claim that he will create 12 MILLION jobs to shreds. The Post wrote that the “‘new math’” in Romney’s plan “doesn’t add up.” In awarding the claim four Pinocchios — the most untrue possible rating, the Post expressed incredulity at the fact Romney would personally stand behind such a flawed, baseless claim.

4) “Because the president cut in half the number of licenses and permits for drilling on federal lands, and in federal waters.” There are slightly fewer permits in 2009 and 2010, from between 8,000-9,000 permits to over 5,000, and they have not been cut by half. The oil and gas industry is sitting on 7,000 approved permits to drill, where it hasn’t begun exploring or developing. Two-thirds of “acreage leased by [oil] industry lies idle” on public lands, according to the Department of the Interior.

6) “And coal, coal production is not up; coal jobs are not up.” 1,500 coal jobs have been created under Obama.

9) “The proof of whether a [energy] strategy is working or not is what the price is that you’re paying at the pump. If you’re paying less than you paid a year or two ago, why, then, the strategy is working. But you’re paying more.” Gas prices are certainly high, but oil is a global commodity, and the president has virtually no control over them. And according to the Congressional Budget Office, Romney’s proposal to increase domestic oil production would not have much impact on volatility.

10) “And I will not — I will not under any circumstances, reduce the share that’s being paid by the highest income taxpayers. And I will not, under any circumstances increase taxes on the middle-class.” As the Tax Policy Center concluded, Romney’s plan can’t both exempt middle class families from tax cuts and remain revenue neutral. “He’s promised all these things and he can’t do them all. In order for him to cover the cost of his tax cut without adding to the deficit, he’d have to find a way to raise taxes on middle income people or people making less than $200,000 a year,” the Center found.

11) “But your rate comes down and the burden also comes down on you for one more reason, and that is every middle-income taxpayer no longer will pay any tax on interest, dividends or capital gains. No tax on your savings. That makes life a lot easier.” This would actually help very few Americans. Nearly three-fourths of households that make $200,000 or less annually would get literally nothing from Romney’s tax cut, due to the simple fact that most of those households have no capital gains income. To be exact, 73.9 percent of the households upon which Romney “focused” his tax cut will see zero benefit from it.

12) “A recent study has shown the people in the middle-class will see $4,000.00 per year in higher taxes as a result of the spending and borrowing of this administration.” Romney is pointing to this study from the American Enterprise Institute. It actually found that rather than raise taxes to pay down the debt, the Obama administration’s policies — those contained directly in his budget — would reduce the share of taxes that go toward servicing the debt by $1,289.89 per taxpayer in the $100,000 to $200,000 range.

13) “Fifty-four percent of America’s workers work in businesses that are taxed as individuals. So when you bring those rates down, those small businesses are able to keep more money and hire more people.” Far less than half of the people affected by the expiration of the upper income tax cuts get any of their income at all from a small businesses. And those people could very well be receiving speaking fees or book royalties, which qualify as “small business income” but don’t have a direct impact on job creation. It’s actually hard to find a small business who think that they will be hurt if the marginal tax rate on income earned above $250,000 per year is increased.

14) “I went to a number of women’s groups and said, ‘Can you help us find folks,’ and they brought us whole binders full of women. I was proud of the fact that after I staffed my Cabinet and my senior staff, that the University of New York in Albany did a survey of all 50 states, and concluded that mine had more women in senior leadership positions than any other state in America.” Romney did not ask women groups for candidates. Instead, prior to his election, a “bipartisan group of women in Massachusetts formed MassGAP to address the problem of few women in senior leadership positions in state government.” They “put together the binder full of women qualified for all the different cabinet positions, agency heads, and authorities and commissions” and presented it to Romney after he was elected. A UMass-Boston study found that “the percentage of senior-level appointed positions held by women actually declined throughout the Romney administration, from 30.0% prior to his taking office, to 29.7% in July 2004, to 27.6% near the end of his term in November 2006.”

15) “I’m going to help women in America get good work by getting a stronger economy and by supporting women in the workforce.” Romney has been uncomfortably silent on the issue of pay equity. He has refused to say whether he’d support the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill that would allow women to sue for equal pay, and named four of the justices who voted to roll back equal pay in that Supreme Court decision as his models for any of his appointments to the federal bench.

16) “I’d just note that I don’t believe that bureaucrats in Washington should tell someone whether they can use contraceptives or not. And I don’t believe employers should tell someone whether they could have contraceptive care of not. Every woman in America should have access to contraceptives.” But back in March, Romney expressed strong support for the so-called Blunt amendment, which that would allow employers to deny contraception coverage to women. Romney also wants to defund Planned Parenthood, where 76 percent of the patients seek low-cost birth control options. Defunding the organization would make it much harder for those women to get contraceptives.

17) “So when you say that I wanted to take the auto industry bankrupt, you actually did. And — and I think it’s important to know that that was a process that was necessary to get those companies back on their feet, so they could start hiring more people. That was precisely what I recommend and ultimately what happened.” This is false. As Buisnessweek explain: “Romney is misstating his position. He opposed any use of taxpayer dollars to bail out the automakers, advice that President George W. Bush and Obama ignored. GM and Chrysler went through managed bankruptcies after Bush, at the end of his presidency, and later Obama provided federal funds.” “Without federal funds, GM and Chyrsler would not have survived. As former Bush aide Tony Fratto explained, “It wasn’t just that there wasn’t credit available; a lot of private equity had cash, they just weren’t giving it away.”

18) “He said that by now middle-income families would have a reduction in their health insurance premiums by $2,500 a year. It’s gone up by $2,500 a year.” Premiums have increased, though at a lower rate than before. And while the Affordable Care Act’s most important cost contentment strategies have yet to be implemented, the law is already lowering costs. 16 million seniors have received preventive benefits without deductibles or co-pays and are saving at least $3.9 billion on prescription drugs. Millions of young adults now have insurance coverage and are staying on their parent’s health care plan, insurers have refunded consumers, and states have successfully rejected dramatic premium increases.

19) “He keeps saying, ‘Look, I’ve created 5 million jobs.’ That’s after losing 5 million jobs. The entire record is such that the unemployment has not been reduced in this country.” Job creation is net positive since Obama took office in the middle of the worst recession since the great depression. Economists estimate that up to 3 million jobs were created by the stimulus alone.

23) “It was a terrorist attack and it took a long time for that to be told to the American people.”Obama called the Libya incident an act of “terror” the very next day. “No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for,” he said. “Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America. We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act. And make no mistake, justice will be done.”

24) “Consider the distance between ourselves and — and Israel, the president said that — that he was going to put daylight between us and Israel.” The Israeli Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, told CNN, “President Obama is doing … more than anything that I can remember in the past [in regard to our security].”

25) “The president’s policies throughout the Middle East began with an apology tour and — and — and pursue a strategy of leading from behind, and this strategy is unraveling before our very eyes.” Obama never embarked on an “apology tour.”

26) “We, of course, don’t want to have automatic weapons, and that’s already illegal in this country to have automatic weapons.” Automatic weapons are legal in this country.

28) “What I will do as president is make sure it’s more attractive to come to America again.”Romney’s plan to move the country to a territorial tax system would let corporations do business and make profits overseas without ever being taxed on it in the U.S. This would no doubt encourage American companies to invest abroad, potentially costing the country up to 800,000 jobs.

30) “And there’s no question but that Obamacare has been an extraordinary deterrent to enterprises of all kinds hiring people.” Under the law, only companies with more than 50 employees must provide health insurance or pay a fine — that’s just 2.6 percent of businesses. If anything, expanding health care coverage to more Americans will actually create hundreds of thousands of new jobs.

31) “He said he would have by now put forward a plan to reform Medicare and Social Security, because he pointed out they’re on the road to bankruptcy.” [T]he possibility of Medicare going bankrupt is — and historically has been — greatly exaggerated. In fact, if no changes are made, Medicare would still be able to meet 88 percent of its obligations in 2085. Social Security is fully funded for another two decades and could pay 75 percent of its benefits thereafter. There is also an easy way to ensure the program’s long-term solvency without large changes or cuts to benefits.

Mitt Romney was lying off his rocker last night. He CANNOT be trusted to lead a kids’ hockey team, let alone this nation (and the world).

h/t: Igor Volsky at Think Progress

Obama on contraceptive care: “Not just a health issue, it’s an economic issue for women.” Obama standing up for Planned Parenthood not just as a healthcare access issue, but a “pocketbook issue” for women and their families. “These are not just women’s issues — these are family issues. These are economic issues.”

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) unveiled a new ad this weekend that makes reference to the comments that turned her challenger, GOP Rep. Todd Akin, into an underdog. The ad tackles Akin’s August comments that in cases of “legitimate rape,” a woman’s body can prevent pregnancy. But McCaskill goes further by attempting to link Akin’s erroneous statements to his position against emergency contraception. (via Missouri: Claire McCaskill Hits Todd Akin on Emergency Contraception | At the Races)

kathiek:

In an interview she granted to a local NBC affiliate in the Midwest, Ann Romney refused to answer questions about contraception and gay marriage, saying she’s “talked to thousands of women” and knows they don’t care about those issues.

Offshore money in blind trusts, destroyed gubernatorial hard drives, sealed Salt Lake City Olympics records, one year of tax returns, a secret economic plan that won’t be released until after the election, and a general refusal by Mr. and Mrs. Thurston Howell III to answer questions on unpleasant topics — why would you vote for someone like this?

stfuconservatives:

destroythegop:

tpmmedia:

You see them everywhere on the streets surrounding the Democratic National Convention: legions of women sporting bright pink “Yes, We Plan” T-shirts, featuring an image of a pack of birth control pills.

Want.

WHERE DO I GET ONE

stfuconservatives:

destroythegop:

tpmmedia:

You see them everywhere on the streets surrounding the Democratic National Convention: legions of women sporting bright pink “Yes, We Plan” T-shirts, featuring an image of a pack of birth control pills.

Want.

WHERE DO I GET ONE

baffledking:

readreadrose:

nazerine:

rogue-of-rage:

meravuly:

stfuhypocrisy:

Who knew such republicans existed.

GIVE THIS MAN ALL THE ADSPACE
ALL OF IT

in which there is an ACTUAL ORGANIZATION for republicans who aren’t massive assholes

it does help to remember that the Republican Party was founded on pretty reasonable ideas before the religious nutjobs got to it

Holy shit, this is a republican?

This is what republicans are meant to be, yep.
Sigh.

baffledking:

readreadrose:

nazerine:

rogue-of-rage:

meravuly:

stfuhypocrisy:

Who knew such republicans existed.

GIVE THIS MAN ALL THE ADSPACE

ALL OF IT

in which there is an ACTUAL ORGANIZATION for republicans who aren’t massive assholes

it does help to remember that the Republican Party was founded on pretty reasonable ideas before the religious nutjobs got to it

Holy shit, this is a republican?

This is what republicans are meant to be, yep.

Sigh.

barackobama:

meteorshowersaftermidnight submitted:

I am a first generation American and first generation college student. Because of financial aid I am able to stay in school and therefor be on my university’s health plan. While exploring my options for birth control I was asked by my doctor to take a pregnancy test for safe measure before I started on any anti contraceptives.

This pregnancy test revealed that I had a high amount of protein in my urine which is a red flag for kidney problems. Many tests later it is revealed that my kidneys are in fact not healthy and the tissue is not in the shape it should be, luckily we have caught it early before it became kidney disease.

I am twenty years old. Twenty. If it weren’t for birth control I would not know about this condition and I would be well on my way to an early death.

If I hadn’t gone to my the health center I would have gone to a planned parenthood clinic and we would have caught it there. Either way exploring my options for women’s health saved my life.