Back on August 21, Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt went ahead with a rule change that requires that any health organization receiving federal money certify in writing that their employees have the right to refuse to assist in any way with medical services they deem objectionable.
While the issues this raises for abortion rights activists are pretty obvious, the ramifications go deeper than that. The rule gives health providers clearance to refuse any medical treatment or procedure that they may find morally or religiously objectionable. It opens the door for pharmacists to refuse to fill contraceptive prescriptions, and for doctors to refuse rape victims the morning-after pill as a matter of “conscience.”
(Perhaps the only thing more horrifying than this rule is that the revised version that was put in place is less horrifying than the original, which explicitly redefined pregnancy as beginning after conception and before implantation. Thank Senators Hillary Clinton and Patty Murray for that text change.)
Hopefully this makes you as angry as this makes me, and hopefully this anger leads you to write an official statement objecting to the rule–something that is allowed for 30 days after the rule’s inception. (Toward the bottom of the entry linked above, there are two links you can follow to make such a statement.)
30 days happens on September 25, this Thursday.
One of Maureen Dowd’s recent columns finds Senator Obama visiting that there fictitious West Wing president for advice on how to respond to the McCain/Palin camp’s shenanigans without seeming like an “angry liberal.”
BARTLET: GET ANGRIER! Call them liars, because that’s what they are. Sarah Palin didn’t say “thanks but no thanks” to the Bridge to Nowhere. She just said “Thanks.” You were raised by a single mother on food stamps — where does a guy with eight houses who was legacied into Annapolis get off calling you an elitist? And by the way, if you do nothing else, take that word back. Elite is a good word, it means well above average. I’d ask them what their problem is with excellence. While you’re at it, I want the word “patriot” back. McCain can say that the transcendent issue of our time is the spread of Islamic fanaticism or he can choose a running mate who doesn’t know the Bush doctrine from the Monroe Doctrine, but he can’t do both at the same time and call it patriotic. They have to lie — the truth isn’t their friend right now. Get angry. Mock them mercilessly; they’ve earned it. McCain decried agents of intolerance, then chose a running mate who had to ask if she was allowed to ban books from a public library. It’s not bad enough she thinks the planet Earth was created in six days 6,000 years ago complete with a man, a woman and a talking snake, she wants schools to teach the rest of our kids to deny geology, anthropology, archaeology and common sense too? It’s not bad enough she’s forcing her own daughter into a loveless marriage to a teenage hood, she wants the rest of us to guide our daughters in that direction too? It’s not enough that a woman shouldn’t have the right to choose, it should be the law of the land that she has to carry and deliver her rapist’s baby too? I don’t know whether or not Governor Palin has the tenacity of a pit bull, but I know for sure she’s got the qualifications of one. And you’re worried about seeming angry? You could eat their lunch, make them cry and tell their mamas about it and God himself would call it restrained. There are times when you are simply required to be impolite. There are times when condescension is called for!
I know it’s fictitious dialog for a fictitious character, but I do think there’s something to it. Not that Obama should pull an Osborne Cox or anything, but I think people understand and relate to people who let themselves get a little pissed off when they’re being, ya know, slandered. (And that “Obama wants to teach babies about condoms” ad is exactly that.)
So get angry.
So the cross-country 5k was kinda gross–humid, chilly, and the course was all sorts of muddy and soppy.
And hilly. Did I mention hilly?
But… there was also some cuteness:
ps–congrats to Pat on his first race!
In light of Rudy G’s recent assertions that Obama is the least experienced presidential nominee in the past century, I wanted to share a Huffington Post article from last month that compared Obama’s political experience leading up to his presidential nomination with that of our other presidents from the past 100 years…
Obama ends up smack in the middle of past century’s 17 presidents on the political-experience-o-meter, taking into account work as an elected official on the state level or higher. (He tied with Harding.) Some of the folks that fall behind him on the scale:
…and, of course, Georgie W.B.!
(a sidenote: none of the above had quite as sparse a resume as Sarah Palin. Just sayin’.)
So, by now, y’all have heard that VP nominee Sarah Palin’s 17-year-old daughter is pregnant.
While I respect the classiness and tact of Senator Obama’s strident assertions that this bit of news has no place in the campaign, I also have to say that I disagree for this reason: Palin’s press statement frames her daughter’s decision to keep her child and marry the father as just that–her decision.
Meanwhile, Palin herself is anti-choice in all situations (including rape and incest, the two areas that generally give all but the most rabid anti-abortionists some pause) while actively promoting abstinence-only education.
You aren’t allowed to extol the virtues of a “choice” that would no longer exist were you to run the show.