Posts Tagged ‘catholic



10
Feb
12

catching up

Greg Sargent: ….. anyone who comes out against the proposal Obama outlined today will be asked a simple question: Are you saying that employers should dictate to female employees whether they should or shouldn’t have access to birth control coverage?

….  What kind of impact do you think GOP opposition to free contraception for female employees of these institutions will have on that gender gap?

….. a new poll came out just today illustrating how perilous this position may be ….. It found that a big majority, 61%, approve of “requiring employer health plans to cover birth control for women.” Only 34% disapproved. Independents approve 58-34; women, 67-29 …. The polling organization that published these findings? Fox News.

Full post here

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Amanda Marcotte (Slate): …. The fun part of this is that Obama just pulled a fast one on Republicans. He drew this out for two weeks, letting Republicans work themselves into a frenzy of anti-contraception rhetoric, all thinly disguised as concern for religious liberty, and then created a compromise that addressed their purported concerns but without actually reducing women’s access to contraception, which is what this has always been about.

…. what most people will remember is that Republicans picked a fight with Obama over contraception coverage and lost. This also gave Obama a chance to highlight this benefit and take full credit for it.

…. hijacking two weeks of the news cycle to send the message that he’s going to get you your birth control for free is a big win for him in that department … It’s all so perfect that I’m inclined to think this was Obama’s plan all along.

Full post here

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ThinkProgress

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Ed Kilgore: …. make no mistake: it just got an awful lot harder for conservatives to frame the mandate (as now formulated) as an assault on religious liberty that will drive Catholics back into the catacombs – or even affect the operations of Catholic hospitals and charities. Indeed, it will look a lot like one of those interminable disputes between “modern” and “traditionalist” Catholics – with the latter backing a church hierarchy with a rather notably reduced credibility these days – in which Catholic lay opinion is decisively, if often quietly, with people like Sister Keehan who actually do the charitable work of the church.

Full post here

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The Economist: …..For the past three years America has been walking softly, and it’s working very, very well. Ten years back, America often found itself isolated, struggling to pull together “coalitions of the willing” packed with small client states. Lately, we have been finding ourselves in the majority, along with the democratic world, while Russia and China front a dwindling coalition of the unwilling …. this reflects a smart, subtle foreign-policy presence in which we have done a vastly better job of looking at what other countries actually want, and seeing where our interests align, rather than trying to bully other countries into supporting our goals…

And to some extent, there’s a personal factor. Look through the Pew Global Attitudes project data on confidence in the US president. In almost every country, you’ll see a dramatic or startling increase in confidence between 2008 and 2011.

…. When Hillary Clinton and Susan Rice try to win backing for American positions at the UN, the exceptional popularity of the president they represent in other countries is obviously a factor ….

Full article here

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Don’t miss Liberal Librarian’s first post at The People’s View

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The Week

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Nice to see so much diversity at CPAC today:

Daylife

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Protesters from the Occupy movement and labor unions gather with an inflatable ‘fat cat’ outside the American Conservative Union’s annual Conservative Political Action Conference prior to an address by Mitt Romney

TPM: The awkward elements of Mitt Romney’s speech at CPAC Friday began even before the flailing GOP frontrunner opened his mouth.

….. he stood behind a pair of teleprompters and in front of a pair of fake Grecian columns … Just the other night, when he was giving his address amid the defeats in Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado, Romney took a shot at the man he’s trying to oust from the White House for – well – using teleprompters and standing in front of fake columns.

More here

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You know, if the dog came with the sweater I’d buy it right now

10
Feb
12

afternoon all

Steve Benen: …. It’s a safe bet the Bishops won’t be satisfied, but it’s a pretty straightforward fix: religiously-affiliated employers that don’t want to pay for contraception coverage as part of their benefits packages won’t have to, but these employees will still get the coverage because the White House will instruct insurers to pick up the costs.

…. several major stakeholders in this fight have already offered praise for the White House move. Planned Parenthood, for example, endorsed the compromise …. Similarly, EMILY’s List said it was “reassured” by the new policy, and NARAL Pro-Choice America’s statement struck a similar note.

What’s more, Sister Carol Keehan and the Catholic Health Association have also endorsed the administration’s position, which not only offers the White House some political cover, but also further isolates the Bishops…..

For the White House, having support from both the Catholic Health Association and Planned Parenthood was critical…..

Full post here

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Greg Sargent: …. the Obama team is betting that any further objections to this policy will unmask opponents primarily as hidebound foes of birth control at any costs, a politically difficult position to sustain, rather than as defenders of religious liberty. Indeed, this looks like an effort to reframe the debate to Obama’s advantage: If Team Obama has its way, the argument will now be about whether all women should have access to contraception, and not about whether these institutions are having their religious freedom impinged upon.

More here

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For those who freaked out about a major compromise with the Catholic church (eh, me):

When will I ever learn?

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Don’t miss Liberal Librarian’s first post at The People’s View – it’s predictably brilliant

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President Obama signs the Ultralight Aircraft Smuggling Prevention Act of 2012 as former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly look on. The bill was the last piece of legislation on which Giffords voted before she resigned in January, a year after she sustained a gunshot wound to the head.

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TPM

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First lady Michelle Obama high-fives the Dallas Cowboys mascot Rowdy as she arrived at the Kleberg-Rylie Recreation center in Dallas

Michelle Obama judges food, along with assistant White House chef and food initiative coordinator Sam Kass and “Top Chef” judge Tom Colicchio, during a taping of the TV cooking show “Top Chef” in Dallas

10
Feb
12

heads up

White House live

CNN live streaming

09
Feb
12

evening all

Make sure you watch the video, the Science Fair clips are a hoot!

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First Lady Michelle Obama greets a chef while visiting the dining facility at Little Rock Air Force Base in Little Rock, Ark., as part of a tour celebrating the second anniversary of the “Let’s Move!” initiative, Feb. 9, 2012. Little Rock Air Force Base is part of a pilot program that has enhanced food service quality, variety, and availability through new acquisition processes and redesign efforts. (Official White House Photo by Sonya N. Hebert)

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TPM: In his 2006 Massachusetts health care law, Mitt Romney embraced a virtually identical contraception coverage mandate as President Obama recently has, experts say, and as a result expanded access to birth control for hundreds of thousands of women. And Democrats really want you to know that.

“They are practically mirror images or each other,” John McDonough, a professor of public health at Harvard, said on a conference call organized by the Democratic National Committee. “They completely reflect each other.”

More here

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F***ers:

NY Mag: …. The Telegraph finally admitted that their article about Michelle Obama shutting down a block of Madison Avenue so that she could go on a $50,000 “shopping spree” at Agent Provocateur with the Queen of Qatar, Sheikha Mozah, was indeed completely false. They also formally apologized for printing such total (but hilarious!) bullshit, but mostly to Sheikha Moza, not Obama – indeed, the title of the correction is “Her Highness Sheikha Moza – An Apology.”

Further to our article “First Lady’s luxury buys boost Agent Provocateur” (Jan 30), we would like to make clear that the “shopping spree” involving Her Highness Sheikha Moza and Michelle Obama that we referred to in fact never occurred, and that Her Highness has never been shopping with Mrs Obama, at Agent Provocateur or otherwise, and has never sought to have any part of New York closed off to enable her to shop undisturbed. We apologise for the distress and embarrassment this article caused.

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The Week

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First lady Michelle Obama at an Olive Garden Restaurant in Fort Worth, Texas

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A gazillion congratulations to our beloved Liberal Librarian who has been invited by Deaniac to post at The People’s View (even though he’s a Chelsea fan) – it’s just completely brilliant news. Thrilled for you LL, looking forward to reading you, you legend ;-)

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I’ve added a Video Vault section to the sidebar on the right – it’s a collection of videos of PBO from the archives, up to the 2008 election. I’ll add more soon(ish).

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Speaking of the archives, this is from Harvard in 1990 – hadn’t seen it before. I like. Very, very much.

09
Feb
12

afternoon all

Charles Pierce: …. Emboldened by enablers, the bishops have expanded their demands for exemptions from simply Catholic institutions to every business in America. There’s a reason for this …. they’ve been sitting back on their ermined duffs, believing that they were done so very wrong in the investigation of their crimes, and nursing the mother of all grudges, for over a decade. Now they’ve decided to strike back for the power they’ve lost. Women’s health is the issue they’ve chosen, because, in their little unindicted world, women don’t count, and never have….

There were a couple of ways all of this could have been avoided. One … would have been to toss a whole lot of bishops in jail for conspiracy to obstruct justice, enough of them so their power to influence the secular law was destroyed forever. They needed to be humbled, unmercifully, until the hubris was wrung out of every damn one of them. Now, a woman working a low-income service industry job under the supervision of a Catholic boss will have her access to essential health-care truncated by a discredited encyclical to which no Catholic has paid any heed since the administration of Lyndon Johnson. These bastards needed to be broken, publicly, and into a thousand pieces that were scattered to the winds. Instead, they are “voices of conscience” again. It is to weep.

Full post here

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Greg Sargent (Washington Post): Is media getting politics of contraception all wrong?

Since the controversy over the White House’s new contraception policy broke, it’s been widely assumed that the battle is terrible politics for Obama, because it will cost him among Catholic swing voters.

But some polling from August suggests a majority of Americans supports the White House position – and that the opposition to the provision from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops makes no difference to them. Even a majority of Catholic respondents said the same.

….. The White House very well may buckle in this fight. But these numbers do suggest at least the possibility that leading commentators have been far too quick to declare this a certain political loser.

Full post here

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You can sign the petition here

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Greg Sargent: Since details of the big foreclosure settlement began leaking out, liberals have been watching to see how New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman would react, as a sign of whether the deal is a giveaway to big banks – or whether it contains the promise of real accountability.

In an interview with me just now, Schneiderman – who has gained a national liberal profile for his insistence on true accountability for financial institutions – conceded the settlement announced today was “small” in financial terms, given the struggles of underwater homeowners and people who lost their homes.

But he insisted that time will show that today’s settlement was a win – that it secured a framework that will ultimately result in a true accounting of the role big banks played in sparking the economic meltdown…..

More here

Attorney General Eric holder listens as President Obama speaks about a mortgage settlement in the Eisenhower Executive Office building

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President Obama arrives to deliver remarks on the No Child Left Behind law in the East Room of the White House

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Jonathan Bernstein (Washington Post): Today’s economic news is that new claims for unemployment benefits have fallen again, with the four-week average now at the lowest point since spring 2008. That’s not all; the stock market is also at its highest point since spring 2008, and Gallup’s economic confidence numbers are also approaching post-recession highs.

It’s no coincidence that the run of good economic news – and employment is only a part of that – has been accompanied by a climb by Barack Obama in the polls. Indeed, the Pollster average now has Obama with an average 5.5 point lead over Romney.

….. It’s certainly possible that the new economic momentum will, again, dissipate. But the signs are mounting that people are being a bit too pessimistic. And if so, there’s a chance that Democrats and the president could be about to receive a whole lot of unexpected good news indeed.

Full post here

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Steve Benen: How many counties did Romney win in Missouri’s doesn’t-really-count primary this week? Zero:

TPM

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President Obama and Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Monti meet in the Oval Office, February 9

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First lady Michelle Obama greets U.S. Air Force personnel in the dining facility at Little Rock Air Force Base in Jacksonville

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08
Feb
12

evening all

ABC: President Obama “reinforced” his stance on the controversial contraception mandate while speaking at the Democrats’ annual retreat at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. today, Senate Democrats said.

Following President Obama’s speech at the retreat, a small group of Senate Democrats, mostly women, left the retreat early in order to hold a news conference on Capitol Hill to counter the Republicans’ news conference today at which they called for the mandate to be overturned.

Democrats said they will “fight strongly” to keep the mandate in place …. “It’s time to tell Republicans ‘mind your own business,’” said Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J. ”Ideology should never be used to block women from getting the care they need to lead healthier lives.

More here

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Michelle Goldberg (Daily Beast): Mitt Romney has been railing again the Obama administration’s refusal to exempt Catholic-affiliated institutions like hospitals and universities from its mandate that health insurance cover contraception …. Perhaps no one told him that such rules were in place in Massachusetts the entire time he was governor, because as far as I’ve been able to tell, he never raised a word of objection then.

…. many Catholic institutions are already operating in states that require contraceptive coverage, such as New York and California. Such laws are on the books in 28 states, and only eight of them exempt Catholic hospitals and universities. Nowhere has the Catholic Church shut down in response.

…. Nationwide, major Catholic universities including Fordham, Georgetown, and DePaul all offer birth-control coverage. So does Dignity Health, until recently known as Catholic Healthcare West, the fifth-largest health system in the country. In Massachusetts, the six former Caritas Christi Catholic hospitals, which were recently acquired by Steward Health Care System, all complied with the state law.

…. The Obama administration, then, was acting in line with several longstanding state and federal precedents when it issued these new regulations, something that’s been totally obscured amid all the caterwauling we’ve heard in response….

Full post here

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Michael Tomasky (Daily Beast): Seriously? He lost to Santorum? …. At this point, it’s fair to start questioning how Romney can really unite this party behind him eventually and make people enthusiastic about him. It sure doesn’t look, on the evidence of last night, like he’ll seriously be able to compete with Obama in Colorado or Minnesota. Even Missouri, which Obama lost by 0.1 percent last time, looks problematic for him right now.

But the Romney contests to watch in some ways aren’t against Obama or Santorum or Newt Gingrich, but against himself and against history – his numbers, and the overall turnout numbers, from last time. If he doesn’t show impressively in Arizona and Michigan on Feb. 28, GOP power brokers are really going to start wondering what they’ve bought into.

More here

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USA Today: President Obama will sign the last piece of legislation sponsored by former representative Gabrielle Giffords on Friday, the White House announced today.

The Arizona Democrat and her husband, Mark Kelly, as well as Vice President Biden will be on hand in the Oval Office for the signing. The legislation gives law enforcement greater authority to combat drug trafficking between the U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada borders.

The bill was the last piece of legislation that Giffords voted on before she resigned on Jan. 25 …

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President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden meet with members of the national security team on Afghanistan and Pakistan, in the Situation Room of the White House, Feb. 8, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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Sun Times: First Lady Michelle Obama to embark on three day national tour celebrating second anniversary of Let’s Move!

Thursday: Des Moines, Iowa / Little Rock, Arkansas / Fort Worth, Texas

Friday: Dallas, Texas / Homestead, Florida / Orlando, Florida

Saturday: Longwood, Florida / Orlando, Florida

More here

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08
Feb
12

catching up

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Steve Benen: …. The Romney camp will very likely spin the results as a momentary setback, little more than a speed bump on the road to Tampa. That may even prove to be true. But given Santorum’s clean sweep yesterday, Romney will now be forced to confront something he’d desperately hoped to avoid: doubt.

Romney’s been able to convince party officials and activists to overlook his weaknesses as a candidate – his flip-flops, his layoff-driven riches, his out-of-touch gaffes – because he was their inevitable nominee. But after Santorum’s hat trick, Republicans are likely to pause and consider just how strong a candidate Romney really is. Those aren’t the kind of questions the former governor wanted to hear at this stage in the process, and he may not like the answers.

The road to the GOP nomination just got a little longer.

Full post here

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Greg Sargent: They don’t like him. They really don’t like him.

…. The loss of Colorado, which should have been a lock for Romney, is particularly interesting: The state will be key in the general election…

…. I continue to wonder whether Romney’s weaknesses as a general election candidate have been papered over by the far more glaring weaknesses of his rivals. Republicans may look at yesterday’s results and see that paper peeling back a bit.

More here

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TPM

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Kevin Drum: President Obama has publicly condemned the Citizens United decision and has publicly opposed the role of Super PACs in campaign finance. Recently, though, he signed off on a plan to actively support Priorities USA Action….

Is this hypocritical of Obama? For the thousandth time, no, no, no. The playing field is the playing field, and once a public policy has been legally put in place you’d be a sap not to play by the same rules as everyone else….

More here

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The Week

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Charles Pierce: Yesterday on the blog, we discussed the appearance on my man Chuck Todd’s Daily Rundown program of a certain George Weigel, alleged Catholic public intellectual and full-time fluffer of the Clan of The Red Beanie.

…. In arguing for the existence of some mythical “Catholic backlash” to the Obama administration’s decision to require that contraception be included in any health plans sanctioned under the Affordable Care Act, Weigel said the following:

“This has struck a tribal nerve in Catholicism. The Catholic Church has been beaten up over the last 10 or 11 years and I think Catholics are tired of the government and others beating up on the church.”

Holy mother of god, to coin a phrase …. The Church has been “beaten up” over the last 10 or 12 years because, at its highest possible echelons, it functioned as an international conspiracy to obstruct justice regarding the crime of sexual assault … Most Catholics I know don’t believe the Church has taken a beating over the last decade; in fact, they believe a lot of ermined layabouts haven’t gotten half of what they deserve.

More here

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