Obama steps in it [Reader Post]


This is big. Huge. Gigantic. A firestorm.

And Republicans would be idiots for not seizing upon it.

Barack Obama has made the biggest blunder of his political life.

The president’s health-care regulation expanding access to birth control, including abortion pills, impinges on churches that oppose abortion, especially Catholic ones, by narrowly defining their religious activity to teaching only. Government must be wary of determining where the works of faith end.

Reaction came quickly:

Obama administration faces backlash over rule ordering birth control coverage

President Obama’s decision to force employers, including religious institutions, to provide health insurance coverage for contraception is becoming a big problem for his reelection campaign.

GOP presidential front-runner Mitt Romney launched a petition on Monday against the mandate, arguing it was an attack by Obama on “religious liberty.”

Conservatives, including Catholics such as Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), are attacking the administration for the decision. And now, nine months before the presidential election, the backlash is growing even among Obama supporters, who say the move was politically tone-deaf.

White House defends contraception rules as criticisms mount

U.S. Catholic bishops have slammed the Obama administration for a regulation finalized on January 20 that would require health insurance to include birth control and other preventative health services for women. The leaders contend that the policy infringes on religious liberty because the Church does not condone birth control of any kind.

Over the weekend, Catholic clergy across the country called for congregations to protest the rule and pressure Obama to back down.

“To force American citizens to choose between violating their consciences and forgoing their healthcare is literally unconscionable,” said Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, in a statement last month.

Jim Towey, president of Ave Maria University in Florida, who also served in the administration of President George W. Bush, said Tuesday he would fight the provision using “all lawful means at our disposal.”

“Our non-Catholic employees and students understand fully that the University must adhere to Catholic teaching and they do not expect us to provide such services,” he said in a statement.

The White House sensed the rising storm:

Obama administration struggles to contain uproar over birth-control rule

The White House struggled Wednesday to contain the growing uproar over its birth-control mandate, with Democrats peeling off one by one in what has become an increasingly divisive election-year controversy.

Pressure to roll back the new contraception policy mounted quickly as the day wore on, driven by divisions among Democrats, mixed messages from President Obama’s advisers and a constant drumbeat from the GOP.

“It’s becoming a thorny problem for the White House and it appears to only be getting worse,” said one Democratic strategist. “The politically astute move would be to modify this thing, and quick.”

Asked if the administration should shift course, a former senior administration official said, “I don’t see how they couldn’t. It’s pretty bad.”

Leon Panetta was incredulous

“What are we doing here?” asked Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, stepping outside his wheelhouse to ask about a rising storm involving the Obama administration and the Catholic Church. “What’s the point?”

It was the Fall of 2011 and Panetta had read about a proposed Obama administration rule that would require employers – excluding houses of worship but including religious organizations such as charities, hospitals, and schools – to offer health insurance that fully covered contraception.

Panetta – a Catholic, former U.S. Representative, and White House chief of staff – didn’t quite understand why the Obama administration would be stepping into this conflict.

Panetta’s fears have to a degree been realized as White House officials now find themselves taking heat on a policy debate about conscience and religious liberty; the Obama administration is working to find a way to allow religious organizations to not pay for services they find morally objectionable, while also ensuring that, say, the women nurses and doctors who work at Catholic hospitals have full access to birth control. Some officials are discussing a way to introduce something like the law in Hawaii, where religious organizations don’t have to pay for employee insurance that covers contraception, but they do have to inform employees how they can get it on their own.

Obama then dug his heels in

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.

The retreat was closed to media.

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.

That may prove to be a precious gift for Republicans.

Obama is losing democrats

A handful of Senate Democrats have split with President Obama’s controversial birth-control mandate and slammed the administration’s requirement that church-affiliated employers cover contraceptives.

The five Democrats in the Senate expressing concern about some parts of the administration’s policy include, most recently, Sens. Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Bill Nelson of Florida, who have spoken publicly about their unhappiness with the mandate.

“This was a bone-headed decision by HHS,” Sen. Ben Nelson said of the new Health and Human Services mandates, according to the Nebraska Radio Network.

Nelson agreed with state Attorney General Job Bruning’s decision to file a legal challenge to the mandate.

Florida’s Nelson has also raised concerns. “My position is that church-affiliated organizations should be exempt, not just churches,” Nelson told the Tampa Bay Times Buzz Blog, adding that he has called the White House to express his concerns.

“It’s a matter of religious freedom,” Nelson spokesman Dan McLaughlin told ABC News.

Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan says he was betrayed:

Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan says President Barack Obama hasn’t kept his promise, when it comes to the new White House policy on contraception.

Sources told CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer that Archbishop Dolan feels betrayed after his meeting with the president on the issue late last year.

A Catholic group in Alabama filed the first lawsuit against the Obama administration’s new birth control regulations as the controversy got even more heated Thursday.

The president ducked questions about the contraception controversy that is bedeviling his administration. The reason may be the latest attack from Dolan, who, sources told CBS 2, feels he was stabbed in the back by the president after the two met to discuss the issue.

“He was worried about being at odds with the Church, especially when it came to health care and education and charitable outreach,” Dolan told Kramer.

That’s called “willing suspension of disbelief.”

John Boehner cried:

“The federal government has drifted dangerously beyond its constitutional boundaries. This attack by the federal government on religious freedom in our country must not stand and will not stand.”

As usual, too tepid and lacking heart.

But Marco Rubio got it right


The heat was getting so great that David Axelrod jumped in

David Axelrod, a senior campaign adviser for the Obama reelection campaign, signaled Tuesday that the Obama administration may be open to a compromise on a new rule that requires many religious employers to provide contraception to their employees.

“I’m less concerned about the messaging of this than to find a resolution that makes sense,” said Axelrod on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

But the best news for Republicans? Joe Biden says he can fix it.

Vice President Joe Biden said Thursday that he is “determined” to find a solution to the controversial birth control issue and that the administration is making “a significant attempt to work this out.”

Biden, who is Catholic, broke his silence on the Obama administration’s new contraception rule and said he is “determined to see that this gets worked out and I believe we can work it out.”

Let us not err as to what transpired here. This is a classic redistributionist action- make someone else pay for something Obama wants.

But it is also makes very clear Obama’s contempt for the Catholic Church. While Obama bows endlessly to Islamic leaders he has no qualms about trashing Catholicism. A so-called compromise has been announced. Drudge called it “caving” but it’s not caving at all. Obama has simply re-framed the debate to make people think it is something other than what it is. Someone else will pay for what Obama wants to give away and it will not be acceptable to the Catholic Church.

The episode is very important from a symbolic perspective. It makes clear what a lame duck Barack Obama would do to the country. Obama is already running roughshod over the Constitution. A second term would be a horror show.

UPDATE: Obama has offered a what some call a “compromise” but in reality is anything but a compromise. What Obama is basically proposing is that religious organizations simply lie.

Under the new policy, religious employers that don’t want to offer contraception could exclude it from their policies. Insurance companies instead would be required to provide access to contraception for plan participants who wanted it, without explicitly charging either the religious employer or worker.

Obama’s plan allows those providing insurance to say that aren’t actually providing contraception but the insurers themselves are. See how easy that was?

This has not gone over well:

Catholic bishops said Friday night that they would not support the Obama administration’s proposed compromise on a controversial rule that requires most employers to fully cover contraception in their workers’ health plans.

Over at Think Progress they believe that contraception is a critical to the fight against global warming:

Any morally acceptable pathway to prevent catastrophic global warming includes broad access to affordable birth control for the world’s women.

Who knew?

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Just with regard to “morning after” pills preventing implantation, this is a theoretical effect, which could happen at much higher than clinically prescribed doses. Most authorities don’t believe that this happens, at clinical doses. So, if you believe that a fertilized egg is a human or a ball of cells with no differentiation at all into tissues is a human, you still don’t have to worry that “morning after” pills are causing abortions — they aren’t.


I’ve seen several references in this thread to the effect that people once believed the Earth was flat. Since it seemed to have little to do with topic of the thread, I simply ignored them. However, the number has grown to the point were I can’t hold my peace. In 240 BC, the Greek philosopher Eratosthenes measured the diameter of the Earth, with very good accuracy. Aristotle and Ptolemy both wrote about the Earth being round, and knew how big it was. Every educated person in classical Greece, Rome, the Middle East, North Africa, and the European portions of the Roman Empire likewise knew the Earth was round and knew how big it was. Nor was this knowledge lost. Writings dating from the Middle Ages through the Renaissance show that the authors know the size and shape of the Earth.

When Columbus proposed his voyage to the west, the primary objection was not that “he’d fall off the edge,” but that he grossly underestimated the length of the journey to Japan. He fudged the data in several ways, making it lo0k as though the journey would be shorter than his opponents knew it would be. (People proposing expensive projects today have been known to do the same thing.)

Whence came the myth that people once believed the Earth was flat? Jeffrey Russel’s book INVENTING THE FLAT EARTH not only describes what was known about the size and shape of the Earth since the time of Eratosthenes, but shows that the flat-earth myth was perpetrated by anti-Christian bigots of the 19th Century, who wanted to make their opponents look bad.

Anyway, let’s hear no more about flat earths. It’s a myth that people once believed it.


As pointed out above, that isn’t entirely true, considering there are state mandates that offer NO exceptions for any religion.

No, that is entirely true. The State mandates are for employers that provide insurance to provide contraception insurance. If they don’t provide insurance, they don’t fall within the law.

They obviously have a problem since the majority (again, according to drj’s poll) do not agree with the tenets. It is the faithful – of any religion, but since most of you are using Catholics specifically, so was I – that will have to reconcile their deviation from their relative church’s belief. Not me.

I read the poll, but the Church is not a democracy. There is also increasing support within the Catholic Church to allow priests to be married. Are you and the federal government going to move in to make sure the Church abides by the majority in this matter as well?

Aqua, You are misunderstanding the mandates and who they are for.

All of the requirements are found under the state codes for insurance companies that operate with the state boundaries. If these companies do not provide coverage that meets the state’s minimum guidelines for plans, they are not permitted to sell plans in that state.

Nothing whatsoever to do with employers. Of course if employers don’t offer insurance benefits, they have no problem mandate to meet. This is a guideline for doing business in the state.. not a mandate that employers provide health insurance.

Are you and the federal government going to move in to make sure the Church abides by the majority in this matter as well?

You’re getting an usual attitude going here, Aqua. What’s with the personal assaults? Do you, like drj, need to reread my bullet two point stand on this over and over again to figure out that I am not your enemy? But that you are behaving as your own worst enemy. Let me make it easy for you… I’ll repeat it:

1: I am opposed to ANY AND ALL coverage of contraceptives and piddly azz shit because it unnecessarily drives up the cost of premiums. I want HSAs for these types of items, with tax incentives for doing so, to enable all this being out of pocket. End of problem.

2: If you.. who evidently doesn’t mind contraceptive coverage driving up premiums,… just wants religious exceptions, I don’t disagree as long as that exception is applied to the individual only, and that individual is not forcing his religious beliefs and limitations on those around him. Your rights end when they infringe on the rights of others.

But then, all that requires the belief that healthcare is a “right”… which I find asinine to begin with.

*I* am not part of the federal government, and therefore *I* am not going to be “making sure” any church “abides” by anything. If your church or religious institution has a problem, then you should be preparing your legal briefs for a very belated challenge, as I mentioned above. Where ya been on this?

*I* am not in favor of any of this crap being covered because of it’s effect on insurance premiums, and I say eliminate all these mandates.

And *I* am not in favor of one person’s beliefs and/or rights imposing on another person’s beliefs and/or rights. And I form this opinion not because I hate religion and churches, but because I’ve read the AG opinions and scanned the lawsuit precedents that I linked above.

I feel like I’m battling lib/progs on this… you know, those that like to call everyone racist because they disagree with a policy or legal point of an issue? The Dems are blowing this out of proportion… as we knew they predictably would… by saying the Republicans are trying to allow religion to oppress everyone else. Where do they get that perception? From you guys, direct from the mouth… ala “I’m religious, so I’m not going to provide what I don’t believe in for my employees”. Dang, Aqua, I’m sorry but the courts have already addressed this in the past and your argument there is found wanting.

What you should be doing is pressing for whatever exceptions you want either as a “religious institution”, or an individual, via the courts. But then you’re going to have to fight more than half the states that have guidelines-for-insurers-doing-business-in-the-state already. And you’ll have to recognize the limitations that have already been established by the courts.

Personally, I think every little bit of O’healthcare is unconstititional and an intrusion… religious or not. Lose O’healthcare, and it’s a moot point.

you re comment is very interesting, I find hard to believe this Eratosthene, being able to determine the
different shape of the EARTH, unless he was an angel descended from heaven, I am very sceptical and not ready to believe those humans living in that ERA, having been able to measure it, unless they decided the earth was as the stars look round as we see it from far down or better than that, the moon when she
is full, or the sun, those last 2 had a big influence on speculations of those time,
I enjoyed your comment, thank you.

@MataHarley: Mata, It doesn’t matter what you or I think. The bottom line is what the Catholics and others believe. That is what religion is all about, beliefs. The issue is that the health care bill violates their religious beliefs. That makes this a first ammendment issue and makes the mandate unconstitutional.

@JoeFromSidney: Yep, only the maps were flat!

I don’t think I’m misunderstanding anything. Prior to Obamacare, the Conscious Clause prevented the federal, federal government from requiring religious institutions doing anything that violated their core beliefs. This included Catholics and contraception and Christian Scientists and insurance as a whole. I know there are State laws that require contraception coverage for employers that provide insurance. It is something I am still looking into in my State. But the federal government has never mandated anything like this. With Obamacare, they do. Not only that, but Christian Scientists now must offer insurance for their employees, even if all their employees are Christian Scientists, or face a fine. It doesn’t matter that Christian Scientists won’t take insurance, their employers must provide it anyway.
No matter what religion you are, or if you are not religious, it is an overreach of power.

Aqua, your latest comment is exactly my point… all of O’healthcare is an unconstitutional abomination. If you think you can take it down arguing points that have already been established by courts, this is the wrong part of O’healthcare to tackle. The mandate is the head of the snake… cut off the mandate, and the entire bill will go down in unsustainable flames.

@ilovebeeswarzone: You can caculate the circumference of the Earth by using geometry. The Greeks routinely used geometry. One only needs to know how far away an object is and how tall that object is to caculate the circumferencce.

I see, thank you for the tip,
I love humor well put, you are a master in that science too.

congratulation on your 100, that was a good steal from Randy too,
it was like you where swimming in the middle of smart killer whales, and beat them to the punch,

Hi Mata, Aqua, et al. Can someone explain to me why something such as a mandate to purchase insurance can be constitutional at the State level and unconstitutional at the Federal level? States can’t abridge rights of free speech, assembly, religion, gun ownership, equal protection, etc. Why is the mandate to purchase health insurance constitutional at the level of MA government and not at the level of Federal government?

Well, it’s something that will be settled by SCOTUS this year.

Additional question for Aqua:

Prior to Obamacare, the Conscious Clause prevented the federal, federal government from requiring religious institutions doing anything [emphasis Larry’s] that violated their core beliefs.

Can you direct me to something that actually says this, in so many words? And what is a “religious institution?”

– Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach CA

10th Amendment, Larry. Powers not authorized are reserved to the states. States can impose minimum standards for businesses engaging in the state market place.

However states cannot impose mandates that are in conflict with other Constitutional rights. And in this aspect, the states, not allowing for an exception for religious institutions, should have been hauled to court a decade ago.

For the federal government to mandate minimum coverage by insurers for the nation at large is outside their Constitutional authority. And this is probably the largest difference in my arguments with others here.

I say that any federal mandates… coverage, purchase, etal… for healthcare is outside their Constitutional authority. Therefore this contraceptive business is but small peanuts.

The others are saying that the feds cannot impose the contraceptive mandate on those with religious beliefs opposing it. This sort of defeats the purpose because to say “you can’t do that to those of us with religion” is sort of an admission that they do have the authority to do it to everyone else I disagree.

Then there’s the matter that I think any minimum coverage requirements for these small items – whether state or (unconstitutionally) federal – is the perfect example of why premium prices are high. When you mandate insurers cover everything under the sun, the cost will be predictably high, and going higher.

Mandates to purchase insurance are another argument completely. Mandating that citizens purchase a product, merely because they breathe air, is an overreach of the Commerce Clause (or general welfare, as you like to suggest)… and that’s both at the federal and state level. There’s only been one MA challenge that I’m aware of, and it was bumped out of court on the usual “no standing” cop out, and not on the merits of the legitimacy of the mandate. Most of the time this happens because of poorly constructed legal arguments by the lawyers. No other challenges have been mounted. Does that make it constitutional? Absolutely not. If you broke into your neighbor’s home and absconded with his valuables, are you a criminal? Of course. If he didn’t press charges, are you still a criminal? Sure. You’re just a criminal getting away with it.

For the federal mandate to purchase, the foundation of O’healthcare’s legalese for their authority lies in whether the legislation labeled this a tax (as part of their powers of taxation) or Commerce Clause. The Dem Congress specifically avoided legally labeling this as a tax in their bill (political reasons in the run up to the midterms). Now, of course, they are left to defend this as part of their authority under the Commerce Clause. But since they are finding it difficult, that’s why they are trying to shift their authority, after the fact, to taxation. However, as the FL judge ruled, the documented evidence of them specifically changing language and keeping this not under the taxation umbrella is not helping that argument.

I’m wondering a bit about the GREEK LOOKING at the moon and measure the distance and hight
with the eyes alone, when we know that no one has a same eyesight even in nano degrees make the conclusion not accurate am I right to question it’s precision?
are we still using those calculations

I’m reluctant to say any more about the flat earth thing, since that’s not the subject of this thread. I’ll add a few comments, then leave it.
How did people know the earth was round? At least two observations. First, the shadow of the earth on the moon during an eclipse is circular. Observing many different eclipses, over many years, only a round earth could always produce circular shadow. Second, when you observe a ship departing from a coast, if the earth were flat the image of the ship would shrink, but you’d continue to see the whole ship above the waterline. In reality, however, when you watch a ship departing from a coast, the hull disappears below the horizon while the mast is still visible. Only on a round earth could that happen.

As for measuring the diameter of the earth, Eratosthenes observed that at noon on the summer solstice, the sun was directly above a spot in southern Egypt. On that day he measured the angle of the sun above the horizon at noon at a spot in northern Egypt due north of the other spot. Knowing the sun angle and the distance between the two locations, it was simple geometry to calculate the diameter of the earth.

His figure was off by a few percent, but came surprisingly close for what we’d consider to be a crude measurement.

In any case, for nearly 2500 years, people have known the earth was round, and knew how big it was.

Okay, let’s get back to Obama stepping in it.

Joe From Sidney
wow, I love it, don’t go too far, stick around, I like that info, I am the most ignorant here,
but I keep learning all the time, here from all of you smart brains,
you answered my questions, If I got it right,
Erathosthenes, learned of the EARTH BEING ROUND by observing her shadow
during an eclipse of the MOON, INCREDIBLE, I can project myself in that era and be beside him watching
the solution on his question, he must have been so happy for his find,
we keep forgetting the awsome feeling the ANCIENTS FELT every time they found their treasured answers, for humanity to know and go to the moon with their knowledge.
thank you and come back with more, you got a lot more there to say.
are you really from SIDNEY AUSTRALIA?

No, the one in Austrialia is SYdney. Sidney is in Ohio.

yes, I’m still impress with your knowledge and the way you express it. bye

@ilovebeeswarzone: They could measure distance. Yhat is why the Marathon is 26 miles. It is the distance from the Marathon battle field to Athens,

hi, good info for me,
I think the MARATHON IS THE BATTLEFIELD TO ATHENS now is burning, what did so smart ancestor did for that today ,a real battle is underway destroying the GREEKS, the UNIONS are inciting the people to fight any measures to get them back on recovery, how did the people get so low in brain activity having such ANCESTORS, such great athletes reunions in one space to compete for the best of the world,
a proof of the danger of degeneration possibility exist in any COUNTRY OF THE WORLD if they are not on guard for their COUNTRY first priority to its own citizens with roots in the ground solid and healthy.
having the only say in matters of their COUNTRY LIKE AMERICA. the lesson must be taken seriously,
when the PEOPLE decide to elect their RIGHTEOUS PRESIDENT
BYE thank you

I think I actually said just that about 100 or so posts ago, or maybe it was in another thread with this subject…..it’s confusing.
The mandate goes before SCOTUS this Summer. It will take a while for the religious infringement to make its way through the judicial maze. However, SCOTUS has never been afraid to travel outside the scope, especially is another issue arises in relation to the same law under review. SCOTUS may decide to toss out the mandate and let the law stand, even though the law was not written that way. If I recall correctly, at least two federal courts have done just that, with on throwing out the law in toto. The religious encroachment showcases an overreach of power by the executive branch, and as I said the previous post, this could push Kennedy in the right direction. It may be enough to move Sotomayor, and Breyer has been known to come down pretty hard on what he deems infringement on the first amendment. Even if he sees the compromise as good, the mere fact that the executive branch has the right to do what it deems necessary, including religious infringement, may be enough for him to toss Obamacare out on its ear. I am not advocating repeal of Obamacare based solely on the administration throwing their weight around on contraception, I’m looking for this issue to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.


Can you direct me to something that actually says this, in so many words? And what is a “religious institution?”

Church Amendment

In 1973, Senator Frank
Church introduced legislation to specifically protect the conscience rights of health care
workers and entities that refuse to participate or provide sterilizations or abortions based
upon moral or religious convictions. The first of the Church Amendments [42 U.S.C.
300a-7]42 enacted by Congress at various times during the 1970’s has three provisions.
As listed in the Federal Register, the first provides that any individual or entity receiving
grants, contracts, loans, or loan guarantees by the Department of Health and Human
Services (HHS) does not authorize any court, public official or other public authority to require “1) an individual to perform or assist in a sterilization procedure or an abortion,
[emphasis added by the author] if it would be contrary to his/her religious beliefs or
moral convictions” [42 U.S.C. 300a-7]. The second requirement further extends to any
entities stating that they do not have to make their facilities available for such procedures.
The last provision states that entities may not be forced to provide personnel for the
performance or assistance in such procedures on the basis of religious beliefs or moral
convictions of such personnel.43
The second, third, fourth and fifth revisions of the Church Amendments broaden
the conscience clause provisions to provide further protection for health care workers and
entities. The second prohibits any entity from discriminating against any physician or
health care personnel because of his religious beliefs or moral convictions respecting
sterilization procedures or abortions [42 U.S.C. 300a-7(c)(1)]. The third also addresses
discrimination but includes any entities receiving grants or contracts for biomedical or
behavioral research under any program administered by HHS [42 U.S.C. 300a-7(c)(2)].
The fourth provision extends the protections to health care workers for any activity which
would be contrary to his religious beliefs or moral convictions [42 U.S.C. 300a-7(d)].
The final provision of the Church Amendments addresses discrimination against
applicants (including internships and residencies). The amendment provides protection
for individuals applying for medical positions who, “for training or study [emphasis
added by author] because of the applicant’s reluctance, or unwillingness, to counsel,
suggest, recommend, assist or in any way participate in the performance of abortions or sterilizations contrary to or consistent with the applicant’s religious beliefs or moral
convictions.” [42 U.S.C. 300a-7(e)]

Emphasis mine, to show it includes entities. Feel free to look through some of the case law yourself. There is also the 9th amendment, which hardly anyone brings up:
“The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

great, you took the time to do it all, hope they learn that the PATRIOTS LIKE YOU ARE INFORMED TOTALY, and no one will ever be able to pull a fast one on AMERICA,

Hi Aqua, Thank you indeed for taking the time to find that for me. I wanted to be certain to what you were referring.

You may, perhaps, disagree, but my reading is that what is prohibited is requiring doctors or “entities” to actually perform sterilizations or abortions, or, perhaps, requiring them to actually prescribe medications to do those things. I really don’t think that this applies at all to the current situation.

Something which hasn’t come up here is that all employers (including actual churches and not simply church-affiliated institutions) are required to match an employee’s 1.45% Medicare tax, with the “entity’s” own money. Medicare actually does cover such things as sterilizations and contraception (in young people who receive Medicare benefits as a result of disabilities, including many of my cancer patients). I think that you’d have to be splitting hairs to claim a more egregious violation of conscience in a case where the government is mandating an insurance company to provide and pay for contraceptive benefits under AHA. Also, a great many Catholics own insurance agencies which provide contraceptive benefits. I doubt that there has ever been in history a case where a bishop or priest admonished the faithful not to participate in providing these sinful benefits, even as politicians have been denied communion for voting on certain issues (meaning that the Church certainly does get involved in the occupations of the laity).

You keep asserting that the contraception mandate is “unconstitutional.” But it has been found to be constitutional in state courts (including a 6-1 vote by the CA Supreme Court). I don’t think that the 10th Amendment applies here (with respect to giving states authority which is prohibited at the Federal level). The argument is that the contraception mandate is a violation of the 1st Amendment. The 10th Amendment doesn’t give states the authority to abrogate the rest of the Bill of Rights.

– Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach CA

Clarification, re: #134. I was reading about in what circumstances Medicare would pay for contraception and sterilization services. I was only partly correct. In regular old Medicare, contraception/sterilization are not covered benefits, unless directly related to treatment of a given disease. In many/most Medicare Advantage plans, contraception/sterilization are covered benefits. Typically, a beneficiary pays extra for Medicare Advantage plans, but a portion of the extra cost of the Medicare Advantage plans (with Medicare Advantage being a largely GOP program, by the way) are also directly subsidized by Medicare tax funds collected from churches and related institutions; so this doesn’t really contradict the validity of the argument I made in #134.

– Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach CA

I just pickup a part of a comment from the older POST [ Farrakhan promises ISLAM…]
it came from TALLGRASS’ and I think to put it here; WE EVERYONE OF US SEEK A LEADER
that produce achievable goals and objectives; YET we have a reverse LEADER who
does everything in his power, and his power is immense,to destroy this desire
for IMPROVEMENT within the system that is the heart of our COUNTRY.
THAT COME FROM A POST DATED MARCH APRIL 2011, I only took one part of his comment for fitting it today so well fitting.

I don’t think we’re going to change each other’s minds Larry. As for the 10th Amendment, if the 1st Amendment was written to state, “Freedom of religion shall be absolute,” instead of “Congress shall make no law,” it would be different. It ties into the 10th Amendment,

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Since the 1st Amendment states that Congress shall make no law, the 10th Amendment says this power belongs to the States. Of course it stands up in State courts, it’s a State issue because “Congress Shall Make No Law…”
As for splitting hairs? You and the Obama Administration are forcing an issue onto a major religious organization at a federal level for a prescription that costs somewhere between $10 and $20 a month without insurance. If you are too poor to pay that amount, you have Planned Parenthood and the Health Department that will provide them for free. Why is it necessary to force your views onto someone else at the federal level? You live in California, and California has the law written the way you like it. If the people of Texas don’t want this law, why should they have to live by your standards? Georgia has it, and we will either repeal it or we won’t, but it should be our choice, not a bunch of people from California. That is the way it is supposed to work.

Aqua: Since the 1st Amendment states that Congress shall make no law, the 10th Amendment says this power belongs to the States. Of course it stands up in State courts, it’s a State issue because “Congress Shall Make No Law…”

I sure hope you are confining your discussion here to contraceptives and with religious exceptions, and not a health care mandate to purchase, Aqua.

Yes, the states can decide minimum coverage requirements insurers must meet in order to do business in that state – but *with caveats!* (i.e. cannot infringe on constitutional rights) So:

1: Yes, the states can mandate contraceptive coverage included, but cannot do so without exceptions to defined religious entities or individuals. And those individuals can only speak for themselves, not others

2: Mandates to purchase health care are unconstitutional at all levels of government, unless written cleverly constructed and justified under a state’s powers of taxation

3: All federal attempts to mandate nationwide minimum standards and mandates to purchase are outside of their constitutional authority. Period. This is a power allowed only to the states, but with all the Constitutional limitations in place.

There is a huge error in arguing that Obama cannot impose this mandate on the religious, because then you are saying he *can* impose this mandate on those with no conscientious objection … and conceding that the feds can, indeed, dictate insurance coverage minimums for the nation.

NO… they cannot. And that is the debate you need to keep in mind. No federal mandates for anyone.

Instead, Obama has played the GOP leadership like a fiddle by bringing this to the forefront early and timely for many reasons:

a: He tosses Santorum a bone because he knows he can beat him easily, and it will cost him less to do so against the real money machine, Romney.

b: It causes Romney, the anointed one, to spend even more money and negative assaults to hang on to his presumed position, further demeaning his likeability and funds for the general.

c: He gets everyone to admit that the feds can mandate coverage at the national level, but with limitations… a huge win in itself

d: And most importantly, the GOP shifts the focus from economy, jobs and debt/spending, and races to embrace the losing central theme based around social issues 24/7.

So what’s happening now? Everyone is talking about who the feds are allowed to give free contraceptives to at the federal level (which should be no one…), instead of the rose-colored glasses slapped on the economy. The POTUS we all want gone is running around, pumping up audiences on how things are going swimmingly with on the economic and jobs forefront… and looking like the guy who not only has conceded on the contraceptives issue, but is turning the US around.

Meanwhile, the GOP is out there switching the battle cry to being all about social and lofty Constitutional issues, and not laying the groundwork for a win via fiscal sanity. You have got to be kidding me.

I have found where you mentioned reading of here-say that some believed THE EARTH WAS FLAT,
let me explain that the sentence alone is figurative employed to tell someone in polite manners
he is an ignorant, I do now remembered this quote being told before,
as a matter of fact, it is the only and closest quote which come in mind as to an answer to someone who is pulling your leg with trying to convince you with a lie,
nobody here believe the EARTH is flat, you meet here the most educated people which CONSERVATIVES leaning have promoted them to high learning, in their chosen field of preference,
that’s why I was surprise of your first sentence on your first comment, but I overlooked it, having enjoyed the rest of your info,
but re reading again, lead me to correct that line which had turn me negative on it and ruffle some feather from other like RANDY who saw it too and figured it long before me,
better late reply than never. just in case you thought


along with AQUA and johngalt interventions on that subject with anticsrocks weighting in,

THE GOP AND RELIGIOUS MOVEMENT have a good argument in fighting THE OBAMA new attacks on their rights to not provide those pills if they see it is against their fundamental religious demand them to preserve life over OBAMA TO PREVENT THOSE LIVES,
HOW to this day have not been born because of that so easy access to the pills,
the numbers are chilling to find and OBAMA is not interested in finding it either, because it would be adding up to more AMERICAN BORN CITIZENS, AND OBAMA prefer those coming across the borders from all the countries some many hateful of AMERICA entering illegaly to become the favorites of this leader, WHO reject the AMERICAN WAY IN ALL SHAPE OR FORMS PROBABLY BECAUSE OF HIS UPBRINGING
THAT is why it’s so important to choose a PRESIDENT who has the passionate ingrowned love for AMERICA, and proved it
with sweating for it even bleeding for it.
we need that
proof this time, because of these last destructing years
unbearable for many AMERICANS,

Oy, this debate has gotten out of hand. I haven’t let this debate cloud my vision of the budget/deficit woes Mata. I saw the President’s budget, listened to excerpts of Tubro-Timmah’s hearing, and the other idiot that was up there. I believe 100% that the economy and the administration’s direction toward the Cliff of Doom are the number one priority in this election. But if people can’t see that given the vast amount of information that is out there, I really have no idea what I can add to it. I watched the talking heads today and the left just does not care. They are completely convinced that raising taxes on the rich will fix everything, even though the empirical evidence is stacked against them like the New York Giants Defensive Line.
We have also seen an increasing amount of erosion of our liberties, and the left doesn’t care about that. Shred the 5th Amendment to bail out GM, Dodge, and Chrysler….no problem. Try to make the 2nd Amendment go away through Fast and Furious……..no problem. 9th and 10th Amendments……….screw ’em. 1st Amendment, only the press they like and only the religions they like.
It has to be cumulative Mata. We have to throw everything at them, because I promise you there are people out there that believe the economy can be fixed by raising taxes and that is what they want to happen. If you don’t believe me, ask Greg how to fix the economy…..I dare ya! 🙂

Aqua, I would think you would especially be able to help by getting your state legislator to lead a very long over due lawsuit against the no exception contraceptive mandate. Since that battle has to be fought at the state level, the two battles are different. The state fighting the state’s overreach, and everyone telling the feds absolutely NO mandates are acceptable under our constitution… no matter who they are.

Thanks but no thanks on your dare asking Greg “…how to fix the economy”. Might as well ask my granddaughter on how to balance my checkbook… LOL