Wednesday, August 22, 2012

GOP misinformation: slow down, I can't keep up!

Republicans, I just can't even keep up with your flagrant disregard of facts and how generously you feed misinformation to your loyal supporters. If you don't like a particular policy of President Obama's, that is perfectly OK. But what's with the hatred of truthiness? Romney's recent attack ads burn me up in so many ways, and on the surface they look like your usual biased nonsense. But the "welfare gutting" ads in particular have been refuted specifically over and over again. I'm mildly frustrated the Romney keeps hammering this idea onto the airwaves, but what's most disturbing is the collective Republican mindset of believing anything, especially if it sounds like a poor person of another race is going to get a free meal on their dime. (Tangent alert: Obama will never come out and say it, so supporters such as myself will have to say it: conservatives, you are flat-out racist on so many issues, and the only people from whom you are sometimes able to conceal it are yourselves.)

Read the full article on NPR, but here's the really disturbing snippet:

"We think that the fact that the work requirement has been taken out of welfare is the wrong thing to do," said Peggy Testa, attending a Tuesday rally near Pittsburgh for Romney running mate Rep. Paul Ryan.

When told that's not actually what had happened, Testa replied: "At this point, [I] don't know exactly what is true and what isn't, OK? But what I do know is I trust the Romney-Ryan ticket, and I do not trust Obama."

Even when Obama gets re-elected, we're still kind of doomed...because the Peggy Testas of the world will still be here.

(Sorry, Peggy Testa, I'm sure you're a very nice lady. Go Steelers.)

Monday, August 20, 2012

"Stupid" single women

Oh Republicans, you've done it again. I had a whole long list of important and not-so-important topics that I was going to tackle this week, but now a congressman and U.S. Senate candidate in Missouri has shot his mouth off and once again it is necessary to talk about the ever-current subject of respect for women.

"Missouri Congressman Todd Akin, the Republican who's challenging Democrat Claire McCaskill for the U.S. Senate seat, said in a television interview Sunday that it's 'rare' for women to become pregnant when they are raped. 'If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down,' he said in an interview with KTVI, a St. Louis television station."

Seriously. One could try to explain this as a rogue Republican's singular remark, and that the GOP is not a party full of misogynists, but let's look at just a handful of recent evidence to the contrary:

  • The much publicized three-day attack Rush Limbaugh launched against Sandra Fluke earlier this year, calling her a "slut" for testifying to Congress about the benefits of access to birth control.
  • Ann Coulter saying that Obama had recruited Sandra Fluke to campaign on his behalf to get the "stupid single women" vote.
  • Romney "distancing" himself from Rep. Akin's remarks: "Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul said Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan disagree with Akins's statement. Saul told NPR, 'A Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in instances of rape.'" That's fantastic, how about commenting on the fact that Rep. Akin falsely claimed that a woman's body will prevent pregnancy in the event of a rape?
So, Ann Coulter and company, if I were not a "stupid single woman," I would naturally vote for the party who publicly says that it's somehow a failure of my body if I get pregnant as a rape victim? Smart women, by your standards, believe this?

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Affordable Care Act: Still a BFD

So the Supreme Court says the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as "Obamacare," is constitutional. As soon as the news broke, you probably noticed quite a bit of activity in your Facebook or Twitter newsfeed. I was as guilty as anyone, but I felt like my quick Facebook status update was somewhat appropriate seeing as how I only posted what NPR described as the "money quote" from the court's decision: "Our precedent demonstrates that Congress had the power to impose the exaction in Section 5000A under the taxing power, and that Section 5000A need not be read to do more than impose a tax. This is sufficient to sustain it." Aside from a sassy "mmm-hmmm" I didn't post any of my own thoughts or fact I started this blog so I could vent without flooding my friends' and frenemies' social media feeds, and at the same time force myself to stretch my thoughts beyond a 140-character rant.

My status update prompted a few questions and issues, from the right and the left, that I hadn't thought about in quite some time. Let's discuss!

The first topic that came up was the idea that the government "owns" you with the implementation of the ACA. I would be more on board with this logic if we were implementing universal health care. What we're really doing with the individual mandate, which I believe is the source of many people's Obamacare concerns, is balancing out the economics that allow insurance to function. See my previous post on health care from December 28. Currently, pretty much everyone receives some level of health care, but only some of us pay into the system. The individual mandate says that everyone will receive health care and everyone will pay into the system. So, while we as a population are probably going to be providing more health care services, we're also going to be taking in more money. 

People don't like this because they think their money is going to pay for treatment for some lowlife who doesn't deserve health care. There are two things I hate about this reasoning: one, all human beings deserve basic care especially in a resource-rich country like the Unite States, and two, that "lowlife" could be any one of us if our luck changes. When more people pay into the health care system, there are fewer unpaid medical bills (in general) and therefore costs go down for everyone. People have a hard time with this, and rightfully so, because providing and paying for health care is very complicated and you won't see a benefit to the individual mandate immediately or clearly. The benefit could be that health care costs only rise two percent per year, as opposed to seven percent. That's not very sexy politics, but it is a likely valuable outcome of the individual mandate and the complete ACA.

Please keep in mind: the government is not taking over the delivery of health care services. They are becoming more involved in the payment of such services. In this regard, the federal government is not doing anything more than your for-profit health insurance provider already does for you.

Another thing that came up was being tied to your employer under current conditions so you can have health care insurance. I made this point because I am no more "scared" of the government making health care payment choices than I am of the insurance companies. The insurance companies need to be reigned in; I love the idea of capitalism but I do not love companies who put profits ahead of people's health and lives. (Why are people afraid of the government but not an insurance company whose primary responsibility is to shareholders?) First, I think it's good for capitalism and entrepreneurship if you are free of the health insurance issue to switch to a new job or start your own company. Second, I have a little personal story about health insurance and switching jobs...

To my knowledge, I have only been without health insurance for a few months of my entire life, most memorably in July 2010. In June of that year, I left a wonderful job in Chicago to move to Denver and take an even better job with a different company. I am so fortunate to have survived the recession and the earliest stages of my career without any involuntary unemployment. My last day on the job in Chicago was a Thursday, and my new job in Denver started the following Monday, June 21. I would be unemployed for only one business day. However, my health insurance at the new company would not start until August 1. A typical delay when starting with a new employer. So, I applied for COBRA insurance to cover the gap. COBRA is slightly expensive, but it's better than paying for health insurance completely on your own. I didn't think twice about this arrangement until two weeks into my Denver residency, when I received a letter from the health insurance company. They regretted to inform me that they would be unable to insure me. It turns out that I had failed to complete a minor procedure a doctor had recommended prior to my insurance application. (I canceled the appointment for that procedure because the movers showed up a day early, the day of the appointment.)

Instead of charging me a higher amount for my "pre-existing condition," they just flat-out denied me coverage. My pre-existing condition was something that a majority of women experience in their lifetimes and usually requires a simple fix. I did not have cancer, a congenital heart defect, AIDS...I had a common condition, but I was un-insurable. I was out of luck, through no fault of my own, except perhaps making the mistake of telling the truth on my insurance application. And, OK, I suppose you can fault me for canceling the original doctor's appointment, but the movers were showing up to take my stuff to a new city where I was pro-actively moving to get a bigger and better job. Call me a lowlife, it was my fault I was un-insurable! I survived this short period of being without health insurance, but what would have happened if I had been in a hit-and-run accident, or I had been brutally mugged, or caught in a fire? I would either be dead or bankrupt.

As usual, I urge you to please leave comments if you find holes in my arguments or think that I am just plain making things up. Given my Ivy League degree, the legal studies classes I've taken and the countless nights spent arguing with some of the smartest people on the planet during my college years, I should be good at making my case...but I still have a long way to go before I reach Maddow-level logic and well-researched arguments.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Pro-Capitalism = Anti-Corporate Welfare

"Companies should thrive through innovation and having great products ... not by setting up a few P.O. boxes overseas. No profitable company should get out of paying for the nation’s infrastructure, education system, security, and large market that help make them successful." - CoPIRG

Thursday, March 1, 2012

I hope Rush is sleeping on the couch tonight

Rush Limbaugh, you have reached a new low. The twitterverse/blogosphere is all over this, and I don't have enough time tonight to add anything intelligent to the conversation, so I'll leave you with this: 

Never forget who's really in charge when it comes to sex. Mr. Limbaugh and like-minded misogynists often forget that, in order to have heterosexual intercourse, they need women. Ladies - be empowered. Gentlemen - be humbled and grateful for the women in your life.

Mr. Limbaugh has the audacity to call a young woman advocating for access to birth control a "slut"? See my previous post - this type of thinking is both repulsive and illogical. His behavior and comments are unacceptable. The saddest part is that Mr. Limbaugh has a decent resume of charity work, yet drowns it out with ridiculous hate speech.

You spoke of "Feminazis," Mr. Limbaugh? Well, your recent comments just increased their membership tenfold.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Doing real life stuff and easing into feminism

Hi friends! Just a quick post tonight, as I don't really have a specific point to make tonight (or ever).

I've been slacking on the posts because I've been doing far too much real life activism.
  • The Colorado Democratic Party put on a fantastic Jefferson-Jackson dinner earlier this much, which I helped with a bit. (We were even protested by Occupy Denver! I think they are a little silly sometimes, but I support their right to be silly.) See the video of Cory Booker's keynote speech here:

  • I'm now on the volunteer committee of the Democratic Party of Denver, and we're busy getting ready for Caucus on March 6th and County Assembly on March 31. Holla at a girl if you are interested in volunteering, especially House Districts 4 and 6, as I am your designated committee person, like it or not.
  • I'm currently in the running for both Assistant Treasurer of the DPoD and Treasurer of the Denver Young Democrats. For DPoD I need to be appointed, and for DYD I need to be elected, but both of these, um, "races" are uncontested. If you're registered as a Democrat in the County of Denver and you are between the ages of 18-35, please join the Denver Young Democrats and come out and vote for me and my compadres tomorrow night at Tavern Uptown! Membership is only $10 per year. And tomorrow night, membership comes with a FREE DRINK! DAMN I love being a Democrat!
  • And, most importantly, today I got a friend to register as a Democrat. Winning!
The main theme for my political thoughts over the past few weeks has been "there is no way the GOP is for real." They've turned me into a feminist! I'm the kind of girl who gets bi-weekly manicures, wears dresses every day that ends in "Y,"  and uses different hair conditioners and facial moisturizers depending on the humidity of a given day. And right now I'm wearing a FLANNEL SHIRT. The same flannel shirt I WORE YESTERDAY. Why? Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Ca.) held a hearing regarding the mandate to offer birth control to women, and this is what it looked like:

Thanks for inviting us, asshat. I'm so embarrassed that the head of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod even showed up to this thing. A few thoughts on the birth control access mandate:
  • NO ONE is forcing anyone to take birth control. The mandate does require that you provide access to a birth control pill, which is a proven and safe drug for the prevention of pregnancy. If you are against birth control, you are free to continue practicing your beliefs by, wait for it, wait for it...not taking birth control.
  • The birth control pill prevents abortions. If you are against abortions, then why the hell are you also trying to prevent expanded access to birth control? Oh, okay, I see, that leads me to...
  • Some of these people define the beginning of a human life pretty damn early. We can all agree that a living baby existing outside of its mother is a real human life. I would even go so far as to say a fetus in its third trimester is pretty damn close to a real human life, as it has a good chance of surviving if suddenly taken from the womb. But what about fetuses in earlier stages of development? What about the egg and sperm immediately after fertilization? What about the egg right before that son-of-a-bitch sperm gets to it? We can see the baby being born: that's clearly "life." We cannot see the egg and sperm and little zygotes and know exactly when they start taking off on the path to being a real human. So, go ahead and encourage people to carry pregnancies to term, but let's legally allow people to make choices in that gray area we can't agree on.
  • STOP referring to me and other like-minded individuals as "pro-abortion," or the supercute shortened collective term, "pro-aborts." It would be lovely if all pregnancies, intended or unintended, could be carried lovingly to term and live happy lives in emotionally and financially stable families. But that's not what we're talking about. I don't know of a single person who is pro-abortion. We are pro-choice.
  • To the States that require a woman to view a sonogram or undergo an ultrasound before an abortion: why the hell doesn't the man have to participate? Do you think that woman got pregnant on her own?
  • Stay the hell away from my reproductive organs, God-damn it! Why do so many people think the liberals are too involved in our daily lives?
I can't wait to walk into the pharmacy when the mandate takes effect, pick up my birth control pills without paying a co-pay, and turn to the other customers in line and yell "Thanks, Obama!"