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Jan 30, 2011


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Ever notice how many men still act as if the rights of women spring from male beneficence?

Andrew Brod

One of the many interesting parts of this is the proposal to prevent people from using their health savings accounts to pay for abortions. HSAs are the Right's great tool to empower consumers and give them control over their own health care.

Except for this.


People who feel empowered by religious opinion to criminalize or frustrate abortion are just as likely to criminalize anything that has the potential of thwarting creation of another human life, like birth control, vasectomies, etc., etc.

The unvarnished lesson is this: If you want someone telling you what you must do with your sperm or your eggs, vote Republican.


"HSAs are the Right's great tool to empower consumers and give them control over their own health care.

Except for this."

"The unvarnished lesson is this: If you want someone telling you what you must do with your sperm or your eggs, vote Republican."

Ah yes. Vintage "progressive" sound bytes from Andy and corbs, right out of the Talking Points memo. Only the issues and the specific words used to mischaracterize those they needed to marginalize ever change.

I'd label it hysterical, but Buie would whine that I'm plagiarizing his plagariasm of my recent use of the word.

It never stops, does it?

Ed Cone

Bob, any thoughts about the proposed legislation itself?

Roger Greene

So they're gonna say that what the government has been doing to us the last several years was consensual?


Sideshow Bubs is not capable of thought, original or otherwise. In the morning, that sad, pathetic man turns on the computer, hits the conservative blogs he has bookmarked, and without batting an eyelid, copies other people's ideas like the chimp-chump-champ he is. Then he goes trolling-and-pasting. Usually he comes here first and posts tripe deserving only of scorn and (sometimes) pity. This is the extent of his capabilities. He is an individual lacking in every respect except ignorance.

The legislation is proof-positive of the limitations so often displayed by Republican tactics concerning policy making efforts, namely the miscalculation that the majority of Americans share the same narrow-minded, sexist, (and bigoted, in other cases) moral lens through which the socially conservative branch of the party sees things. This is a bone thrown to the evangelicals by the rest of the motley crew in order to placate. Nothing more. The political damage it has the potential to cause in respect to the party's electoral chances is significant, however.

eric norris

The issue here isn't abortion, but federal funding of abortions. This legislation merely limits the circumstances where government funds can be used. The government could decide not to fund any abortions and that wouldn't constitute a redefinition of rape.

North Carolina and South Carolina both define age of consent rape differently without any involvement from the new Republican majority. What definition is correct?

Andrew Brod

Well, it kinda is and kinda isn't about federal funding. After all, the whole point of HSAs is that they're the individual's money, not the government's. But because HSAs benefit from preferential tax treatment, they'd fall under the proposed ban.

It's really a clever maneuver by conservatives. They get people to save and depend less on government (which of course isn't a bad thing by itself), but they reserve the right to say how those savings can and cannot be spent. Control without the appearance of control.


From the linked article, "Rape is only really rape if it involves force. So says the new House Republican majority as it now moves to change abortion law."

Police, rape counselors, and educated others, including those who have been raped, all teach & have learned that awful as it is, surviving is more important. When a struggle is doomed, they urge you not to resist. It's an evil decision to have to make and evil results you have to endure.

Anyone who insists rape be proved as "forced" is simply a bastard. Perhaps those who agreed to "try waterboarding" should try rape. Then we can have a discussion. Until then? No, you do NOT understand what a raped woman experiences. Tying rape to tea-bagger-partier abortion demands is unconscionable in a democratic society where everyone is purportedly created equal and has equal rights.

What is the right-wing hang-up with women, women's health, women's rights to their bodies, women's health decisions et al? (See the common word in the above?)


Golly gee, mojo. I'm sorry I forgot about you.

Next time, I'll be sure to include you in the group feel so you won't feel so left out and invalidated.


"Bob, any thoughts about the proposed legislation itself?"

Let's discuss it over at Spag's blog.

Ed Cone

Mojo, not really helpful to launch a personal attack in response to a request to divert from personal attacks. Thnx.

Bob, I'll take that as a "no."


"Bob, I'll take that as a 'no.'

The answer was "yes".

Plus, the thought of people complaining about a restrictive provision on HSAs, when their signature legislation degutted the emasculated the benefit for the very people the legislation was supposed to help, is revealing.

We won't even start to discuss the phony mantra they've developed about Medicare Advantage in the wondrous health care "reform" law.

eric norris

Sue, what Republican actually said that?


Do my ears deceive or did someone dare utter the Sp__ word without being vaporized?


I don't want government involved in telling me what to do but government should tell you what to do if it involves what I don't want you to do. In my infinite wisdom I know better how you should behave and what choices you should make.


Pfknc, that's the conservative creed, no doubt.

The issue here is that the proposed legislation is a not-very-subtle attempt to limit a woman's right to choose an abortion by redefining rape. It is a political move in keeping with the right's cyncism and it's moral arrogance. The fact that the House GOP leadership is male -- a gender with limited legitimate standing to make decisions about abortion -- is obvious.

Attempts to focus the discussion on a rehash of health care are just the usual diversionary gambits.


It also appears to involve a change in the tax deductible provisions for health insurance plans that include an abortion benefit. I suppose it is OK to raise taxes and hurt the competitiveness of small business if it meets my moral objective. I just don't know how that squares with a professed no new taxes and limited government philosophy.


Pfknc, you're right. That's one reason I think the right is essentially uninterested in democracy. They have their answers, and they want to use the state to force the rest of us to behave accordingly.

Andrew Brod

Uninterested in democracy? I think the Right is quite enamored of democracy, especially right now when the voters seem to like what they're hearing from the GOP and the Tea Party. Whether that's sustainable for 2012 and whether it applies to such issues as ACA repeal remains to be seen. But regardless, both parties are interested in democracy.

Both the Left and Right like to control certain kinds of behavior. For the Right it seems mostly to involve the crotch, as in this case, while the Left is more inclined to regulate economic behavior (though the Right is hardly immune to that impulse). Each side thinks its preferred brand of control is appropriate. No one in the mainstream of that debate (except perhaps the Pauls) is an anarchist or libertarian.


Great "let's tone down the vitriol" reporting there Ed. Your commander-in-chief would be proud.

Ed Cone

I don't have a commander in chief.


Are you ready to discuss this now, Ed?

There's a thread waiting for your participation.

Ed Cone

Here's the bill. What exactly is at issue?

Hyde makes an exception for "rape." Stupak-Pitts: "rape."

This bill: "forcible rape." That seems to be a significant change. Not sure how ABC posting and then unposting a link to an article about it is supposed to alter that reality.

Andrew Brod

Ed: "I don't have a commander in chief."

I thought you were married. Or perhaps you have a different kind of marriage than mine. I know who isn't the boss in my family.


What exactly is at issue?

There is none, once you deal with the facts involved and eliminate the blatant agenda strokings of certain people who have an anti-Republican meme that needs to be spread.

Ed Cone

I didn't say I don't have a boss...just not a commander in chief, the latter being frequently misunderstood as a title held by the President of the United States in regards to all Americans, as opposed to military personnel. I assumed that latter misapplication was the implication of O-Face's comment.

Ed Cone

Bob, I can understand why ABC would delink a Mother Jones article that may have appeared to readers as an ABC article, and which is written in routinely tendentious Mother Jones style...

...but what does that have to do with the substance of HR3, which does indeed change the language of previous bills from "rape" to "forcible rape?"


Andrew, I take your point and can't really challenge it. My comment was shorthand for arguing that conservatives generally want to stop people from behaving in certain ways, while liberals/progressives are more often inclined to say "Who cares? We don't have any right to say 'Stop That'."

But political democracy is often meaningless without economic democracy. That's certainly true in this country, where running for political office is typically (not always) a rich person's game. I see that as a very big problem. Conservatives don't seem to, arguing that we only owe our fellows the opportunity to acquire enough wealth to fully exercise their democratic rights. I don't agree with that.


Ed wrote, "'...but what does that have to do with the substance of HR3, which does indeed change the language of previous bills from "rape" to "forcible rape?'"

Good question. And what's the definition of forcible rape? Does the rapist need to have a weapon? Do I need to be cut, shot or restrained with rope? If I'm "merely" threatened with a knife but he's gone by the time the police arrive, how do I prove the knife existed?

This is lunacy. There is a strategy to criminalize women who have abortions and in effect criminalize physicians (performing legal medical procedures) and women (who want and need them but have to have things pushed inside them first, aka "the second rape"). It's an attack against women using medicine as a means. And no, the end does not justify it.

Like I said, when men are the usual rape victims, then let's have a real conversation. Until then, there is a war on people's health being played out in the Affordable Care Act and as usual, on women. I cannot respect any legislator or legislation that insidiously attacks, traps, criminalizes or targets women via their healthcare. While they blowhard against contraception or a morning after pill (not an abortion, btw), they want Viagra paid for by medical insurance and especially Medicare. See any contradiction here?


What Sue said, except follow mine with:


"...but what does that have to do with the substance of HR3, which does indeed change the language of previous bills from 'rape' to 'forcible rape?'

I guess you don't want to admit you already read this comment do you?

"Tell him the issue is the false allegation that Republican's are redefining rape. Tell Mr. Brains to read Section 309 which states that the prohibition does NOT apply: '(1) if the pregnancy occurred because the pregnant female was the subject of an act of forcible rape or, if a minor, an act of incest;'

States may consider statutory rape 'forcible rape' because the minor lacks the ability to consent and if that isn't clear, it can be amended if the intent was to include statutory rape.

On the other hand, there may be reasons why an exclusion does exist if that was the intent. That exclusion could be based on the child's lack of ability to consent to the abortion or the inherent difficulty in scenarios that are implicated by 50 different state laws defining statutory rape.

A fourteen year old has sex with nineteen year old boyfriend. Legally that is one definition of statutory rape in North Carolina, but should abortion coverage be provided in that scenario? The same girl has sex with her 17 year old boyfriend and gets pregnant and wants an abortion. That isn't statutory rape but she is just as pregnant. Why should the government fund abortion in the former scenario but not the latter? Is the lesson that the older your boyfriend is, the less abortion costs you?

Further, aren't there arguments that the minor is no more capable of making the decision to have an abortion than she was assumed to be capable of making the decision to have sex?

How do you reconcile the differing state laws on what constitutes statutory rape? One state's rapist is another states high school sweetheart. Interestingly in North Carolina the statutory rape laws for girls 13, 14, and 15 DON'T apply if the parties are married to each other. Does marriage somehow remove the criminal/moral taint of the age differences? Why can't the married girl also get the government to pay for an abortion? Would funding rules implicate equal protection arguments?

It just isn't as clear cut as the liberals are trying to make it. Further there is no requirement that the government fund ANY abortions.

There is no 'redefinition"'going on and that whole theme is dishonest. If Mr. Resident Professional Smart Guy Cone wasn't such a coward I would go on his blog and debate him on this issue. But he knows he will lose, hence he keeps me off his blog."


And Sideshow Bubs proves in fact that he is actually a 12 year-old pimple-faced little runt sitting behind the keyboard of his Viewsonic feeding off the power of the dial-up and Mello Yello:

"You know you went over to Spagnola's blog and read it. You know you did. You did, and you know it. Admit it."

Are you for real, dude?


My take is that every word in a bill has a purpose and lawyers have field days playing on words. The phrase "forcible rape" is more exclusionary than just "rape". It would now require that either the criminal and justice system agree that it was "forcible rape" and not just if there is a difference. It shrinks the tent for consideration which is a continuing pro-life tactic. The use of the phrase "forcible rape" is no accident. Excluding the word "forcible" would allow for more discretion, which I know is antithetical to the black & white view of social conservatives.

Ed Cone

Two prior bills say "rape." The new one says "forcible rape."

That change in language has large possible implications.

As Bob himself admits via quotation, there could be a need to change the new language to make its meaning clear.

If that clarification still excludes categories included in the current law, I will still have a big problem with that part of the new bill. Bob, on the other hand, may be fine with it as it exists, or with certain changes

So we may disagree on the merits of the proposed changes, and on potential changes to those changes, but I'm not sure what we're arguing about here: the new language obviously opens the door for a major revision of existing law.


"Are you for real, dude?"


I'm your worst nightmare.

Keep posting, dingledork.


"As Bob himself admits via quotation, there could be a need to change the new language to make its meaning clear."

In other words, you have nothing of substance or value to back up the lowlife bottom feeding meme you and the wheezebager MoJo writer think is so slick.

Ed Cone

Bob, it's not clear to me what you are disagreeing with here.

Are you saying the change in language has no real meaning or possible impact?

Also: dingledork?


12 years old. Point proven.



Yes. It describes his fetish.

Fortunately, we can't see it on this blog. We can only read the the evidence that it exists.

I wonder how many times he's been busted for it in public?


I'm trying so hard not to laugh right now, but I just can't help it. This is good stuff.

But back to the topic at hand -- the insertion of the word "forcible", when such wording has not been used before, is clearly motivated by an intent to create new exclusions under which funding would be denied. Good thing there is no chance of this becoming law.

Ed Cone

This thread recalls the Algonquin Round Table, that time Robert Benchley threw up in Dorothy Parker's soup.

Andrew Brod

Robert Benchley was a dingledork.


@ericnorris - Read the WaPo article. One key quotation from that article:

Under the proposed language, however, rape becomes "forcible rape." Critics say the modifier could distinguish it from other kinds of sexual assault that are typically recognized as rape, including statutory rape and attacks that occur because of drugs or verbal threats.


Sue, that is clearly the plan.

And it will be the downfall of the proposed legislation.

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