Friday ReadsPosted: February 17, 2012
I’m so disgusted about the politicization of women’s health care at the moment, I really have to take a break on the issue this weekend during Carnival. Nothing frosts my cupcakes more than a bunch of old viagra using religious nitwits sticking their noses in my daughters’ reproductive organs. The fight for abortion rights was something my generation took on certainly. But to re-fight birth control access? AND to hear some old gray haired rich jerk make a joke about holding aspirin between my legs? Outraged! I am Outraged!
Viewers didn’t get the “context of that joke,” Friess told MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell. Back in his day, Friess said, the birth control pill wasn’t available, so the thought of aspirin used as birth control would be pretty “silly” and “funny,” he said.
Friess also used the interview as an opportunity to attack the Obama administration’s birth control rule, saying that forcing insurance plans to cover birth control is like asking Muslim soup kitchens to serve pork.
Even Frothy said it was a bad joke and Friess writes big checks to the Frothmeister. More, continuing explanations aren’t helping him either.
Evidently they’ve confused the issue enough that the polls show mixed support for the insurance birth control mandate. Here’s some interesting analysis of polls on the topic from CNN. We need to loudly commit to universal coverage for birth control and all women’s health issues right now.
According to the survey, 50% of the public disapproves of the Obama administration policy, with 44% saying they approve of the plan. The margin is right at the edge of the poll’s sampling error.
Surveys on this topic tell a mixed story because many Americans know little about the issue. Recent CBS and Fox polls indicate support for the new policy, using questions that describe the new policy in some detail. But in the CNN poll, when asked their opinion of the Obama policy with no details spelled out, support was much less and a large partisan divide emerged. A recent Pew poll also suggests Americans are closely divided, and that poll may hold the key to the differences. Nearly four in ten Americans say they have heard nothing at all about this controversy.
“The CNN poll illustrates the road ahead for the White House,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “If the administration can’t inform more Americans about the details of the policy – details that some other polls show to be popular – the public is likely to split along party lines. Many will dislike the plan simply due to the fact that this is an Obama initiative.”
“It’s a lot like President Obama’s overall health care measure, which most Americans say they oppose even though they approve of many of the specific programs in the new law – opponents can use it against the president as long as they can keep the focus on who made the policy rather than what the policy actually does,” adds Holland.
Sibelius needs to get out front about this too along with some constitutional lawyers. I feel like we’ve been caught up in some kind of time warp.
Now that I”m finally curling up with ‘Confidence Men’, it seems a companion book is on the way. It’s called ‘The Escape Artist’ and it’s got more insider news on the Obama Economic team. It’s written by Noam Schieber of TNR and is due out next week.
As Scheiber writes, members of the president’s economic team felt that if they were to properly fill the hole caused by the recession, they would need a bill that priced at $1.8 trillion — $600 billion more than was previously believed to be the high-water mark for the White House.
The $1.8 trillion figure was included in a December 2008 memo authored by Christina Romer (the incoming head of the Council of Economic Advisers) and obtained by Scheiber in the course of researching his book.
“When Romer showed [Larry] Summers her $1.8 trillion figure late in the week before the memo was due, he dismissed it as impractical. So Romer spent the next few days coming up with a reasonable compromise: roughly $1.2 trillion,” Scheiber writes.
As has now become the stuff of Obama administration lore, when the final document was ultimately laid out for the president, even the $1.2 trillion figure wasn’t included. Summers thought it was still politically impractical. Moreover, if Obama had proposed $1.2 trillion but only obtained $800 billion, it would have been categorized as a failure.
“He had a view that you don’t ever want to be seen as losing,” a Summers colleague told Scheiber.
In case you’ve forgotten, I really don’t think much of Larry Summers.
One women’s issue that really turns me into a crusader rabbit is child brides. The Guardian has an excellent article on the the problem in Kashmir. It’s heart breaking from so many angles.
Knees pressed against her chest, Sakina huddles near the window of a sparsely furnished house. Her face is lit by a solitary ray of sunlight creeping into the cold room. It creates shadows around the petite woman who is wrapped in a ragged shawl.
Sakina, 22, was a teenager when she was sold by her family for 1,200 rupees (£15) to a stranger over the age of 60. Her sister, who organised the deal, had duped Sakina by presenting a “young good-looking” chap before the marriage ceremony. She was shocked at seeing the elderly man on the wedding night. Rendered helpless by youth and poverty, there was no escape for the bride. “Nobody helped me,” she said.
Uprooted from her home in Kolkata, Sakina was sent to live far away in Pakharpora, a small village in the Budgam district of the Kashmir valley. The journey 1,200 miles from east to north meant getting used to an entirely different culture and climate.
Time has passed but Sakina cannot reconcile herself to a husband who fails to emotionally or sexually satisfy her. “For the last two years he has become totally impotent,” she said.
The young woman still dreams of marrying someone she loves. But the fear of being torn apart from her two children prevents her from leaving.
What is it with all these old men that cannot leave young girls and boys alone? I just do not get it.
Ever been seated near a screaming, crying child on a plane and felt like jumping out the window? I remember sitting in a plane at Heathrow with a screaming child and a mother begging the Brit Air flight attendants to please warm up the baby’s bottle. Lots of us offered to do it since none of them would. Well, some one in Vietnam actually did something close to that.
A mom with a screaming child wanted a quick getaway from a plane on the tarmac in Vietnam and asked for help. The man next to her obliged by opening the emergency exit and triggering the escape slide.
An airport official says the man will be fined up to $950, and it will cost $10,000 to refit the slide.
Nothing in the news article about actually using the slide, however.
I’m getting ready for the Mardi Gras and the usual onslaught of kids and out of town visitors. If you’re interested in checking out some of the parades, try this link! They are all broadcast live from in front of Gallier Hall. There are also some great pictures here at Bloomberg with the report that income from Mardi Gras makes up 1.5% of our NOLA annual GDP!! Patricia Clarkson rode the Big SHOE for the Muses Krewe last night. Muses is an all women’s krewe that I almost joined right after Katrina. Their favorite throw is handpainted and decorated shoes! Muses is 100o women strong! The parades start at 6:30 pm and Hermes, D’Etat, an Morpheus roll tonight. Check them out if you get a chance!!
So, that should get us started! What’s on your reading and blogging list today?