Thursday Reads: Male Politicians and Pundits should Worry about their “Erectile Dysfunction” and STFU about Women’s Health (and Other News)

Morning News by Ellen Day Hale (1855-1940)

Good Morning!

I thought this painting was appropriate, since we are being dragged back into the 19th Century by both Democrats and Republicans these days. We all know about the war on women being waged by Willard “Mitt” Romney, Rick “the Dick” Santorum, Nasty Newt Gingrich and Ron “White Power” Paul. But Democrats have now been empowered the Catholic Church’s attack on Obama’s attempt to protect women’s health care.

But now “liberal” pundits like Chris Matthews, Mark Shields, and E.J. Dionne have joined the battle to remove any semblance of privacy and autonomy from women.

Today former DNC Chairman and Governor of VA–and likely Senate candidate Tim Kaine came out against the requirement that contraception be included in health insurance policies.

Pat J is right. We need a women’s freedom party. Aren’t any of these dinosaurs aware that birth control (and abortion) have been with us during most of recorded history? Check out this series of photos in Newsweek drawn from the history of birth control.

Did you know that Aristotle recommended birth control methods for women in the 4th Century BC?

The philosopher recommended that women “anoint that part of the womb on which the seed falls” with olive oil in order to prevent pregnancy. His other top picks for spermicides included cedar oil, lead ointment, or frankincense oil. If the lips of the cervix were smooth, he noted, then conception would be difficult.

Sponges used for contraception

Ancient Egyptian women used sponges.

Long before Seinfeld’s Elaine Benes weighed the merits of a man to determine his spongeworthiness, women were using sponges as a method of preventing pregnancy. The sponge has its roots in early Egyptian civilization, and this photo depicts the variety of models available in the early 20th century. Those sponges were made of a variety of materials, and were sometimes drenched in lemon juice or vinegar to act as a spermicide. Today’s sponges (called, in fact, Today’s Sponge) are synthetic, and use a chemical spermicide.

Another early method was the chastity belt. Perhaps religious nuts like Rick Santorum and Mark Shields would find that one acceptable?

At Wonkblog, Sarah Kliff thinks the Obama administration “sees political opportunity in the contraception battle,” because of the data shown in this chart:

(Public Religion Research Institute)

Kliff writes:

while Catholic leadership has blasted the new regulation, polls show that a majority of Catholics are actually more supportive of the provision than the rest of the country. A poll out Tuesday from the Public Religion Research Institute finds 52 percent of Catholic voters agreed with the statement, “employers should be required to provide their employees with health care plans that cover contraception and birth control at no cost.” That’s pretty much in line with overall support for the provision, which hovers at 55 percent – likely because Catholics use contraceptives at rates similar to the rest of Americans.

A majority of Catholics – 52 percent – also agree with the Obama administration’s decision to not exempt religious hospitals and universities from the provision. “Outside the political punditry, most Catholics agree with the administration on the issue,” says one Obama campaign official, explaining the view that this could be a political win.

And a lot of this likely isn’t about Catholic voters at all.

Rather, it may well be about the demographics that are most supportive of this particular health reform provision: young voters and women. In the PRRI poll, both groups register support above 60 percent for the provision.

Those two demographics are important here for a key reason: they were crucial to Obama’s victory in 2008. Third Way crunched the numbers earlier this month and found that the “Obama Independents” — the swing group that proved crucial to his 2008 victory — are, as Ryan Lizza put it, “disproportionately young, female and secular.”

Let’s hope Obama keeps all that in mind instead of bending to the will of the old gray white male Catholic Bishops and the elderly male fake-liberal pundits who won’t STFU and let women make their own choices.

Even some of the saner folks in the GOP are warning their wingnut colleagues that a fight against contraception would be a “disaster” for their party.

The new and unexpected war over contraception may not end up as only a battle between the White House and the Republican party. It could end up as a fight between the GOP and itself. As we saw during the 2011’s push to defund Planned Parenthood — when some Republican Senators rebuked their colleagues in the House for attacking the organization — Republicans on Capitol Hill do not speak with one voice on matters of women’s health. Now, as Speaker John Boehner seemingly prepares to turn the House GOP’s attention to contraception, pro-choice Republicans are warning that the GOP may become the next Komen For The Cure.

“I think this week’s outrage over the Komen decision should be a warning to the Republican party about how quickly there was a mass outrage over further and further attacks on general women’s health,” Kellie Ferguson, executive director of Republican Majority for choice, told me Wednesday. “You could see the same backlash on attacks on contraception.” ….

“For the last number of years, we in the pro-choice community in general — and we specifically as Republicans — have been saying as this pandering to a sort of social conservative faction of voters continues, you’re going to see the line pushed further and further and further,” she said. “And we’re now crossing the line from discussion of when we should regulate abortion to when we should now regulate legal doctor-prescribed medications like birth control, which is woven in the fabric of society as an acceptable medication.”

I’m sure glad that some Republicans get it. Nevertheless, John Boehner is determined to reverse the contraception rule.

“In imposing this requirement, the federal government has drifted dangerously beyond its constitutional boundaries, encroaching on religious freedom in a manner that affects millions of Americans and harms some of our nation’s most vital institutions,” House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) said in a rare speech on the chamber floor. “If the president does not reverse the attack on religious freedom, then the Congress, acting on behalf of the American people and the Constitution we are sworn to uphold and defend, must.”

Oh really? The last I heard the Supreme Court decided that Americans had a right to make their own decisions about contraception. Good grief! I guess everyone is probably sick to death of hearing about birth control, but I just can’t get past this. I thought all this was settled more than 40 years ago. It’s time for all these old men to worry about where they’re going to get their next Viagra fix and STFU about women’s health.

I do have a few other headlines for you this morning.

Washington state has legalized same-sex marriage.

A bill to legalize gay marriage in Washington state won final legislative approval on Wednesday in a largely party-line vote that moved the state to the cusp of becoming the seventh in the nation to recognize same-sex nuptials.

Washington’s Democratic Governor Christine Gregoire said she looked forward to signing the measure and “putting into law an end to an era of discrimination” even as opponents, led by religious conservatives, vowed to seek its repeal at the polls in November….

The Washington legislation cleared the state House of Representatives by a vote of 55-43, a week after the state Senate passed it by a 28-21 vote. Democrats, accounting for the lion’s share of support for the bill, control both legislative bodies in Olympia.

Several prominent Washington-based companies employing tens of thousands of workers in the state also endorsed the bill, including Microsoft, Amazon and Starbucks.

I wanted to call attention to this horrifying story from the Las Vegas Review-Journal: Video shows officers beating motorist in diabetic shock. This happened a year ago, but the video has just now been released by the victim’s attorney.

Adam Greene is on his stomach as a pack of police officers pile on him, driving their knees into his back and wrenching his arms and legs. One officer knees him in the ribs; another kicks him in the face.

“Stop resisting,” officers on the video yell, but Greene, his face pushed into the pavement, hasn’t resisted. He doesn’t even move — maybe can’t move — because he’s gone into diabetic shock caused by low blood sugar.

Greene has been awarded $292,500 to be paid by local and state authorities. He was badly injured in the beating, and had to be treated for broken ribs and severe bruising to his “hands, neck, face, and scalp.”

Alan Yatvin, a legal advocate for the American Diabetes Association and a Philadelphia attorney, said police across the country frequently mistake low blood sugar — called hypoglycemia when blood sugar is exceptionally low — for intoxication in people with diabetes.

A Web search on the issue returns dozens of video clips and stories similar to Greene’s.

Symptoms of hypoglycemia include shakiness, dizziness, hunger, pale skin, moodiness, aggressive behavior, loss of consciousness and even seizures.

“You need police to be trained in what to look for,” Yatvin said. “The problem is, there’s no authority over all police departments. Every department has its own procedures, and states have different rules and training regimens.”

My question is, even if Greene had been drunk, what would justify a hoard of cops beating him half to death?

There’s a long article at Alternet that I haven’t had a chance to finish yet, but that certainly seems worth reading: How Deep Is the Republican Christian Right’s Connection to the Anti-Gay Bills Sweeping Sub-Saharan Africa?

In the weeks following Hillary Clinton’s historic December United Nations speech claiming that “gay rights are human rights,” the conservative Christian community in the United States has castigated the Obama administration. Clinton’s speech was popularly interpreted as a rebuke of countries like Uganda, where the Anti-Homosexuality bill calling for the execution of some LGBT people, keeps popping up. The Christian Right is particularly outraged by State Department plans to withhold aid to countries that violate basic LGBT human rights.

At Right-Wing Watch, Brian Tashman posted immediate condemnations from 700 Club Host Pat Robertson and Christian radio host Janet Meffird. Robertson said, “This country cannot continue to violate God’s principles and to make a mockery of his laws and think we’re going to get away with it. And when the blow comes, it’s going to be horrible.”

Meffird jumped into the fray to support anti-gay measures on the table in Nigeria that include long-term
include long-term imprisonment. She dismissed claims that these anti-gay campaigns are stoking violence against LGBT people, asking, “All right, but they’re not killing them, are they?”

Matt Barber of the right-wing Liberty Council Action said, “[T]his Obama administration, instead of focusing on real human rights abuses, is trying to force nations to adopt America’s immoral positions on issues of sexuality.” Peter Sprigg, a fellow at the Family Research Council, called it an attempt “to impose an alien ideology on other countries.”

There are lots more examples of wingers supporter these inhuman laws. I hope to finish reading the article today.

At Salon, Steve Kornacki has a piece on how Romney will get back at Rick Santorum for getting in the way of his (Mitt’s) march to the GOP nomination: Rick Santorum will pay for this.

In his victory speech, Santorum crowed that “tonight, we had an opportunity to see what a campaign looks like when one candidate isn’t outspent five or 10 to one.” Which is true enough, but it also points to the main reason to doubt that Santorum’s trifecta will vault him into serious contention for the nomination: He’s got Romney’s attention now — which means that he’s in for the same well-funded abuse that Gingrich endured as soon as he won South Carolina. Actually, the abuse began on Monday, when Romney’s campaign realized that Santorum was going to do well the next day. But now it will intensify, with Santorum in position to use his impressive show of strength to further marginalize Gingrich and to emerge as the right’s consensus alternative to Romney.

Apparently, Santorum will now make a play in Michigan, which will hold its primary on Feb. 28. The state is an appealing target for him; it’s filled with the kind of blue-collar and middle-class voters Romney has struggled with elsewhere, and it contains a surprisingly sizable chunk of conservative evangelicals. It is Romney’s native state, but polls have shown the former Massachusetts governor is at least theoretically vulnerable. After that, Ohio and the Southern states that will vote in early March could also be good targets for Santorum. On paper, he could do some serious damage to Romney in the weeks ahead.

But the GOP campaign will look a lot different in these states than it did in the ones that voted Tuesday night. Expect Romney to engage Santorum directly, as he did with Gingrich (the next debate is in two weeks), and expect his campaign and his super PAC allies to spend heavily, flooding the airwaves with the sorts of negative attacks that helped do Gingrich in. Romney’s surrogates will get in on the act too. When Michigan’s primary arrives in three weeks, it’s just about impossible to imagine Santorum enjoying a 70 percent favorable rating in the state. Romney and his campaign are used to this by now: Every challenger who has suddenly surged into contention has fallen back to earth quickly.

Yup, Mitt is a mean motherf’er. This is going to be fun to watch. Meanwhile lots of pundits see trouble ahead for Romney because of his declining national popularity and the lack of enthusiasm of the GOP base–shown by the low turnout figures in the primaries and caucuses so far.

Santorum says he “knows what’s coming.”

“I know what’s coming next,” Mr. Santorum wrote to potential donors in a fund-raising e-mail message on Wednesday. “I saw what Mitt Romney and his team did to Newt Gingrich after he won South Carolina,” tarring him with millions of dollars of negative advertising.

“They’re going to come after us now,” Mr. Santorum warned.

Sure enough, Mr. Romney began attacking Mr. Santorum directly on Wednesday, saying at a stop in Georgia, “During Senator Santorum’s time in Washington, the government grew by 80 percent and he voted to raise the debt ceiling five times.”

Raising the debt ceiling? That’s pretty weak. Romney is going to have to do better than that.

That’s all I have for now. What are you reading and blogging about today?

50 Comments on “Thursday Reads: Male Politicians and Pundits should Worry about their “Erectile Dysfunction” and STFU about Women’s Health (and Other News)”

  1. Minkoff Minx says:

    I love this post!

    I think Pat is right too, we need a woman’s freedom party…

    Cardinal-Designate Timothy Dolan: President Barack Obama Needs To Stop ‘Intruding Into Internal Life Of Church’ « CBS New York

    “The federal government should do what it’s traditionally done since July 4, 1776, namely back out of intruding into the internal life of a church,” Dolan told CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer.

    Intruding into the Internal Life of a Church?

    I am sick of this crap…hypocrites.

    • bostonboomer says:

      I turned on MSNBC this morning, and birth control is all they are talking about. Same with C-Span and the so-called “liberal” radio station on XM. And they’re all going with the Catholic Church spin that it’s about the First Amendment. I can’t take much more of this.

      • Still home sick & watching Morning Joe. Barbara Boxer is on now.

      • dakinikat says:

        This is DRIVING me crazy. As I wrote yesterday, just because you a religious institution doesn’t mean you can just ignore laws. Again, Warren Jeffries is in jail for “marrying” 13 and 14 year old girls and he makes the same damned argument that the Catholic Bishops are arguing. It’s not a first amendment issue.

        The first SCOTUS interpretation of the “free exercise clause” was in 1878 and as you might well know, impacted the Romney family because it was on bigamy. The Warren Court frequently restricted the Jehovah’s Witnesses and EVEN Scalia himself wrote an opinion twenty years that basically upheld this basic tenet decided in 1878:

        “Laws are made for the government of actions, and while they cannot interfere with mere religious beliefs and opinions, they may with practices.”

      • Still have MSNBC on. Luke Russet stated the following:
        birth control & contraception have long been a contentious issue
        even high profile Democrats are abandoning the prez on this issue (of course, every Dem he named has a penis)

        Then the host of the show asked Jackie Kucinich “when will women get together & say enough is enough?” Her answer was that women don’t “get together” because they have different views on many issues. Jeez, what a lame answer. Yeah, and men disagree on issues too, but from what we’ve seen online & in the polls, the majority of women support coverage for contraception.

        These media types seem to live in a bubble. Does anyone do research any more? It seems they just make it up on the fly. Or, since I think this then so does most everyone else.

        • dakinikat says:

          President Obama’s strategy of “reaching out to” or “appealing to” religious voters has proven to be ineffective electorally and counterproductive for policymaking. As much as Obama seems to understand the complexities of American religion, he listens too much to the voices of religious leaders who want the government to accommodate their edicts regardless of the impact on everyone else. The spoils go to the ones with access, to those who sit in the valued “seat at the table” in Washington.

          • dakinikat says:

            The Obama administration — not unlike its predecessors of both parties — looks out with blinders at the religion landscape. The blinders extend no further than the religious groups with lobbyists (like the bishops) in Washington, who claim to represent their entire religion, even when, for example, 98 percent of Catholic women don’t seem to care that the bishops insist contraception is a sin. As a recent study by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life showed, the money to lobby can buy you access to ensure your religious views — even if they contradict medicine, science or public health — shape policy. As Catholics for Choice has pointed out, though, Archbishop Timothy Dolan doesn’t represent all American Catholics, but rather the 271 American bishops.

            I recently was talking with a friend, whose 84-year-old mother, a lifelong and devoted Catholic, recently stopped going to Mass. She was fed up, he said, with the “anti-Obama” lectures she heard at church. I would love to see Obama invite my friend’s mother — from a Midwestern swing state, by the way — to the White House for a meeting.

            The religious outreach gurus will no doubt ask, How many people does she represent? Oh, I don’t know. Tens of millions?

    • ralphb says:

      David Bois chimed in on this and said there was no First Amndt issue at all. He also said that this would never get to the SC because there fundamentally was no case.

      It’s really just labor law like any other, say workers comp for example.

      • dakinikat says:

        Here’s a repeat of the SCALIA written decision:

        There is nothing in the Constitution saying that a person does not have to comply with the law simply because they object to it — if this were actually true, anyone could immunize themselves from paying taxes simply by claiming a moral objection to doing so. Nor does the Constitution allow people to violate the law simply because they have a religious objection to it.

        The seminal Supreme Court opinion establishing this point was written by conservative Justice Antonin Scalia — who, coincidentally, is Catholic. Scalia explains that “the right of free exercise does not relieve an individual of the obligation to comply with a ‘valid and neutral law of general applicability on the ground that the law proscribes (or prescribes) conduct that his religion prescribes (or proscribes).’” In other words, so long as a law does not single out Catholics (or any other faith) for inferior treatment, the law applies universally to everyone.

        Here’s the opinion itself from 1989. It is also based on a labor case. This is not a first amendment issue at all.

      • peggysue22 says:

        Comments by Bois put a definite kink in the Republican argument on the issue. They’ve all been waving the Constitution around, which anymore is the behavior of scoundrels. They’ll now have to retreat to what Taylor Marsh suggested this morning: executive overreach. The Republicans are desperate for a “cause.” If the WH stands firm, they’ll deny the Republicans their current reason for moral outrage.

  2. bostonboomer says:

    States Negotiate $26 Billion Deal for Homeowners

    After months of painstaking talks, government authorities and five of the nation’s biggest banks have agreed to a $26 billion settlement that could provide relief to nearly two million current and former American homeowners harmed by the bursting of the housing bubble, state and federal officials said. It is part of a broad national settlement aimed at halting the housing market’s downward slide and holding the banks accountable for foreclosure abuses.


    Despite the billions earmarked in the accord, the aid will help a relatively small portion of the millions of borrowers who are delinquent and facing foreclosure. The success could depend in part on how effectively the program is carried out because earlier efforts by Washington aimed at troubled borrowers helped far fewer than had been expected.

    Still, the agreement is the broadest effort yet to help borrowers owing more than their houses are worth, with roughly one million expected to have their mortgage debt reduced by lenders or able to refinance their homes at lower rates. Another 750,000 people who lost their homes to foreclosure from September 2008 to the end of 2011 will receive checks for about $2,000. The aid is to be distributed over three years.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Oklahoma will not participate in the deal, because their Attorney General believes banks should not receive even the mildest penalty.

      • quixote says:

        Well, good ole B0 wins another one for the banks. I kept hoping against hope that our Kamala Harris (CA AG) would hang tough. But the whole situation had that trademark Obama dirty pool setup, and she probably figured crumbs was better than nothing at all.

        And he knows he can get away with it because the Repugs are so crazy and/or revolting people will let him get away with it.

        And the exact same goes for the birth control garbage. “Internal life of the Church” 😯 But messing about with people’s birth control, birth control!, doesn’t involve anything “internal”? ?? Kind of lets you know where people-living-while-female fit on the incubator to human scale.

        Personally, I couldn’t vote for that ball of slime if Beelzebub was the competition. At least the devil is who he is.

  3. Pat Johnson says:

    Oh ye of little faith!

    It is so obvious that at long last, after 12 months of gasbag banter, the GOP has finally found an issue they believe will work for them: the (fake) war on religion! What better issue to “herald the troops” than a make believe war guaranteed to strike terror into the hearts of the faithful?

    Just forget everything you have heard so far about jobs, the economy, and Obamacare, their collective teeth are sunk into a topic that though it makes little or no sense, may just do the trick.

    It gives Rick more visibility. Mitt can deflect the question of magic underwear. And Newt can instruct us on the history of the Catholic Church. Perfect!

    The GOP C-Pac is being held this weekend and my money is on a continual loop of speakers during their best imitation of Elmer Gantry for the viewing audience.

    Quitterella is expected to screech and this one is right up her alley. Soundbites will be available to all tv outlets with each speaker decrying the administration as “anti religious” thugs among other things.

    Yup, this one was designed to fit perfectly into their worldview since whatever bilge they had to offer has fallen flat on its face.

    Jobs? What jobs? Who needs jobs when we are in the midst of protecting the church!

    • Woman Voter says:

      I see Newt Gingrich as an Snake Oil salesman, he got baptized in the Catholic Church and straight off started making money off a dead pope with his former his former mistress, his current wife who is now selling books to CHILDREN!

      Ah, and they think they have the moral ground to tell women, to prohibit women from accessing contraceptives!?!

      The crazy part is that they don’t even understand that reproductive care also means, ‘delivery’! I can remember how hospitals require cash for women not having this coverage when they went into labor. People, wake up, that is what that little sign is about ‘if stable we will transfer you’…yup kick you out because your policy didn’t have ‘Reproductive Care’!

      Bangs head on desk again….

    • dakinikat says:

      Our Stupid governor–whose seen to it that the unemployment rate has doubled in his first term–could care less about jobs. He only cares about his rich donors as he privatizes everything he can.

      jmollerLBP Jan Moller
      #Jindal 2012-13 budget would kill 6,371 state jobs: 583 in corrections, 1,530 in healthcare and 2,837 in higher ed.

  4. Woman Voter says:

    Every Sperm Is Sacred! Dem. Lawmaker Sneaks ‘Life Begins at Ejaculation’ Amendment into Vile ‘Personhood’ Bill

    Despite being rebuffed by voters in Mississippi and Colorado, proponents of the “personhood” movement are still pushing to enact legislation in states like Ohio and Oklahoma that would give zygotes the same rights as American citizens. These bills would not only criminalize abortion in all circumstances, they would also outlawcommon forms of contraception, as well as in vitro fertilization.

    To poke fun at the absurdity of the measure, Oklahoma state Sen. Constance Johnson (D), has tacked on a provision affirming — in the words of a famous Monty Python song — that every sperm is sacred:!_dem._lawmaker_sneaks_'life_begins_at_ejaculation'_amendment_into_vile_'personhood'_bill/
    Santorum would like every home filled to the brim with children people can’t feed, them he will give his speech on demonizing the poor. The logic is so crazy and people like Chris Mathews, seem to conceal the link between poverty and lack of family planning/access to contraceptives.

    Every Sperm is Sacred {Monty Python’s Meaning of Life}

    Bangs head on desk….

    • Woman Voter says:

      quotes didn’t make it. 😦

    • Minkoff Minx says:

      Here it comes…time for Obama to cave!

    • Woman Voter says:

      I am not surprised, it was President Obama that signed the Obama Presidential Stupak Executive Order that took out reproductive care from our health insurance policies in the first place. He in essence has been arguing with himself will the media offer him cover, so he can claim he is a hero to women in the US.

      The CAVE IN was expected…the media spin will be interesting.

      Still laughing about Fareed Zakaria proclaiming that Obama had passed Universal Health Coverage, why were we pesky Liberals complaining! Honestly, his pundits will claim he parted the sea when he spills water from a glass…

      Can someone tell me about his work as a Community Organizer?

  5. Pat Johnson says:

    Chris Matthews is a “relic” of my generation: the type of kid back then who genuflected to the priests and kissed the nun’s butt. Chances are that Chris was himself a “virgin” on his wedding night.

    He can be counted on to never criticize the Church under any circumstances and though he admitted to practicing some form of birth control throughout his marriage, again chances are he feels “sinful” doing so.

    Chris also was super impressed when W parachuted onto the deck of that ship with his “codpiece” waving in our faces while declaring “mission accomplished”. A “real man” in Chris’s opinion. HIs man crushes are legendary.

    His “sexism” is never more apparent than when he entertains a female guest on his show. He talks over, interrupts, and his body language reveals his discomfort in having to lower himself to include her opinion. He showed this distaste last week when finding himself being challenged by Rachel Maddow during one discussion.

    There are times when Chris’s analysis shows signs of brilliance but overall he is a pompous, ass kissing toady, impressed with himself and his male guests.

    Chris Matthews is a product of his times and generation, raised to believe in whatever edict is passed down by the church he was raised in without question.

    If the Church decreed today that the only way to heaven was to microwave a puppy, Chris would find a way to defend it.

  6. Allie says:

    Isn’t funding a form of “intrusion” into the internal affairs of the church? Or would that just be an intrusion if it’s withdrawn? It’s hypocritical for the church to get federal funding to subsidize proselytizing but fight funding for Planned Parenthood because it subsidizes abortion.

    It’s unbelievable that contraception is controversal again. I don’t believe any man really wants to know when he has sex with a woman of child-bearing age it could result in a pregnancy once every nine-months – if he’s monogamous! Raise your hand if your boyfriend/partner ever asked you if you had taken your pill.

    And Yay for all of us who voiced our outrage over Komen – looks like it sent a message!

  7. Allie says:

    Just read Dakinikat’s Blowback post from last night (I know I’m late but you guys post so fast!!!!). Loved it as usual, especially this:

    “Religious status does not give any person or institution the ability to ignore law… Our country is not supposed to favor any one religion or enshrine its pet biases into law.”

    Extremely well said!

    Can someone help me understand, though, if churches are exempt, are the Catholics arguing that their university and hospitals should also be exempt? Is that the problem?

    I just read a couple of articles that indicated BHO may stick to his guns!! I know – quelle surprise. We’ll see, though.