Sweet Lord why did I read MacEachern’s column on Hobby Lobby?

08 Jul 2014 09:02 pm
Posted by: Donna

I was warned not to read Doug MacEachern’s piece on Hobby Lobby. I should have listened.

A lot about the majority decision in the Hobby Lobby case has made liberals go all crazy in the head (see: here, here, here and, emphatically, here) .

But there is one part of the decision that makes them craziest in the head. And that would be that notion of for-profit corporations being people too.

Which is just nuts. Or, better yet, crazy in the head. The Left is utterly committed to the duty of corporations to act morally in uncounted ways. And not just in some loosely defined notion of “corporate responsibility,” either. They want corporate CEOs to be held personally responsible for their moral transgressions, to the point of seeing them thrown in jail.

Yeah, those crazy leftists! Doug might want to take a gander at how some of his conservative counterparts have reacted to the decision. The gist of the article, an idiotic thesis MacEachern either pulled out of his ass or heard on Fox News, is that liberals are hypocrites because we want corporations to behave ethically, ergo, we want them to be people too! Neener neener. He also seems to be under the illusion that CEOs can’t currently be prosecuted as individuals for criminal conduct in the course of their jobs. Whatever, the main argument is too stupid to dignify with a rebuttal.

MacEachern, either willingly or unwittingingly, pushes myths anti-choicers have carefully planted about the ruling.

The Hobby Lobby decision affirmed that closely held corporations (that is, companies owned and run by five or fewer people holding at least 51 percent of the corporation stock) enjoy some rights to express their personal values in the operation of their company. The company’s owners objected to four of the 20 forms of birth control that the Obama administration instructed them to offer in their health-insurance plans. The family members who own Hobby Lobby believe them to be abortifacients, and being forced by an order of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to pay for those abortifacients offends their opposition to abortion.

That view is controversial, but not without substance. But even if the arguments were thin, the law as written by the late Ted Kennedy and signed by President Bill Clinton doesn’t require a substantial test of the correctness of that religious belief, only that it is honestly held

First, he leaves the impression that it affects only a small number of people when the reality is that the majority of companies in the US are closely held and they employ over half of workers. Then he repeats the falsehood that only four types of contraception can be excluded under a religious objection when it has been widely reported since last Tuesday that the court clarified that the ruling applied to all types. Furthermore, there is no scientific “substance” to the belief that IUDs or the morning after pill cause abortion. The purpose of the “sincere religious belief” SCOTUS invented for Hobby Lobby was to mislead the public, and usefully credulous pundits like Doug MacEachern, into thinking this was a case about abortion and not birth control.

Then, as always, Doug goes completely off the rails. I can’t tell for sure but it looks like he’s equating women who use Plan B to crooked bankers.

The fact that no Wall Street CEOs went to prison for their role in causing the Great Recession is an enduring source of resentment on the Left (and, in fact, in plenty of other circles as well, but pointedly among people of the liberal Left).

Some of the arguments are based in a sense of the law not being applied, but hardly all of them. A lot of it is anchored in nothing more legal-minded than resentment of all the money the Wall Street pirates raked in after the great financial crash.

People hate Wall Street financial wizards because they consider them moral reprobates, like Martin Scorcese’s Wolf of Wall Street. Marty didn’t include all that astonishingly excessive sex and drugs into his movie in order to make his characters more sympathetic. He added it to make them look despicable. Like people who deserved to be in jail…

…We expect corporate titans to act morally. Just as, say, those Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream guys express their corporate values, something people on the Left applaud. Liberals even debate the moral details of the Philosophy of Ben & Jerry’s as though they were discussing the Protestant Reformation.

And just as the Hobby Lobby owners have opted to do. We expect it of them. So what’s the beef?

Very telling, that bit about Wolf of Wall Street. Culture war conservatives see sex and substance use as worse than stealing massive amounts of money and wrecking the economy. MacEachern assumes that everyone agrees with him that it was sex and drugs that made the movie’s main characters unsympathetic rather than their unprincipled ruthlessness. So you can see how he would conclude that taking birth control coverage away from women would serve a higher public interest than punishing Wall Street crooks.


Possibly the most terrible idea to be espoused in the Hobby Lobby furor

07 Jul 2014 05:29 pm
Posted by: Donna

There are, of course, a plethora of terrible arguments, bad faith assertions, and vile statements by anti-choicers in the past week to choose from but I have to give the top honor to one Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry for this:

In the wake of the Hobby Lobby decision, there was a lot of chatter about how the court had ruled about what healthcare employers should or shouldn’t provide, which leads me to make a small but important terminological point: contraception is not “healthcare”.

I made this point in passing on Twitter and had, I think, the most violent and unhinged response that I can recall, and I’ve gotten into a lot of arguments on Twitter and elsewhere on the internet.

Not the first time I’ve encountered this belief, but not with quite this much self-righteous certainly. Also, too, could you shrieking harridans please stop yelling at poor Mr. Gobry, as he patiently explains your default broodmare status to you?

“Healthcare” means, roughly, a direct, medical intervention to improve your health. The main purpose of contraception is not to improve anybody’s health, it is to prevent fertility. That’s a different thing. It’s not healthcare. It doesn’t mean that’s a bad thing, it doesn’t mean it’s a good thing. But it’s not healthcare….

…Other people have said that contraception prevents pregnancy, which is “a medical condition”, and therefore contraception is healthcare. Except that it isn’t. The term “medical condition” obscures more than it highlights. For some women, pregnancy will be medically problematic, and they will need to receive healthcare as a result, yes. And pregnancy is a thing that happens to your body which changes it, yes. (And if you’ve watched e.g. the documentary The Business of Being Born, you’ll know that it’s probably best for everyone involved that doctors be as little involved as possible. But that’s another discussion.) In other words, contraception is a thing that aims to prevent another thing which carries health risks. That doesn’t make it healthcare.

Does that clear things up? Preventing a medical condition that can cause nausea, excruciating pain, hemorrhoids, varicose veins, swelling, weight gain, diabetes, uterine prolapse, and fistulas, among other things, is not health care because shut up that’s why. And thanks for the helpful maternity advice, Pascal-Emmanuel! By Gobry’s reasoning the smallpox vaccine is not health care either, but he anticipates that argument with a scolding:

Unless… Unless you think that pregnancy, or fertility, are diseases, or at least unnatural states, and that to be “healthy” is to be infertile, or at least infertile-by-default.


Yeah, young Master Gobry can go ahead and sit the entire fuck down.

Shockingly, anti-choicers are revealed to be liars. Yet again.

03 Jul 2014 03:15 pm
Posted by: Donna

I’m not such a purist about honesty that I refuse to tell even a little white lie to spare someone’s feeling or to extract myself out of an awkward social or professional situation. But I think I’m like most people in that when someone brazenly and compulsively lies to me about matters big and small I find it offensive, as well as insulting to my intelligence. It disinclines me to want to continue any kind of relationship with that person, even if they are a close friend or family member. Brazen compulsive liars are toxic and a drain. Life is too short for that shit.

But, for some reason, where the debate over women’s reproductive rights is concerned (and why the fuck is there one still?), those of us on the side of the radical notion that women are people who should have bodily autonomy are expected to engage politely with people who believe the opposite. Even when said people lie repeatedly. When they claim that abortion causes breast cancer and depression (lie). When they claim the morning after pill causes abortion (lie). When they claim they are passing onerous laws that (just so happen to) close all the clinics in a region out of a concern for women’s safety (lie). When they swear up and down they are not after birth control (big fat lie). Etc.

On that last one, we now have undeniable proof of how much anti-choicers are willing to lie and just how far up that goes.

Among the many questions raised by the Supreme Court’s ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby is how sweeping its legacy will be. Supporters of the decision have insisted that the ruling is “narrow,” as it explicitly addresses “closely held” corporations objecting to four specific types of birth control—including IUDs and Plan B—because the business’ owners consider them (inaccurately) to cause abortion. Besides, the Court argued, the government can just fill any coverage gaps itself, and it’s only women whom corporations are now permitted to discriminate against. “Our decision in these cases is concerned solely with the contraceptive mandate,” claimed Justice Samuel Alito, writing for the majority. “Our decision should not be understood to hold that an insurance-coverage mandate must necessarily fall if it conflicts with an employers’ religious beliefs.”

Bullshit, is essentially what Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had to say about the majority’s claim to have issued a limited ruling. In her dissent, Ginsburg deemed it “a decision of startling breadth.” She noted that “‘closely held’ is not synonymous with ‘small’,” citing corporations like Cargill, which employs 140,000 workers. Even more alarming is the majority’s endorsement of the idea that corporations can hold religious beliefs that warrant protection under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

In fact, it only took a day for the Court’s “narrow” decision to start to crack open. On Tuesday, the Court indicated that its ruling applies to for-profit employers who object to all twenty forms of birth control included in the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate, not just the four methods at issue in the two cases decided on Monday.

In light of its ruling on Hobby Lobby and a related suit, the Supreme Court ordered three appeals courts to reconsider cases in which they had rejected challenges from corporations that object to providing insurance that covers any contraceptive services at all. The plaintiffs in all three cases are Catholics who own businesses in the Midwest, including Michigan-based organic food company Eden Foods. Meanwhile, the High Court declined to review petitions from the government seeking to overturn lower court rulings that upheld religiously based challenges to all preventative services under the mandate.

That’s right, five men sitting atop the mightiest legal edifice in the land lied right to all of our faces. Ruth Bader Ginsburg knew it. I knew it. You knew it. Oh, but so many anti-choicers yammered “it’s only the abortifacients!” oh-so-mansplainingly at us right after the ruling. And even when presented with the new development about the decision, said anti-choicers continue to spout “only four kinds!”, unabated. That’s because they’re compulsive liars, and will stick to their lies even in the face of directly contradicting information. Which is why there’s no point in trying to persuade them, or work with them, or compromise. They need to be cut out of our lives.

Now, as for all the centrist, appeasing, mealy mouthed ass-kissers, they can line right up to apologize to us for scoffing when we said they were after birth control, though I’ll settle for them just knocking off the pious lecturing.

Must see: Couples talk about what marriage means to them

02 Jul 2014 04:09 pm
Posted by: Donna

Connolly v Roche is one of the lawsuits before the US District Court in Phoenix seeking to overturn Arizona’s ban on gay marriage. The plaintiffs are asking for a summary judgement and sent these videos of the plaintiff’s to the judge to convey how the ban makes life difficult and scary for committed couples who don’t have the rights to visitation, health care arrangements, child custody and care, etc., that straight couples simply take for granted. Attorneys for the plaintiffs have made the videos (which my honey Mark participated in the creation of) available to the public. Please share widely.

Here are Robin and Renee:

See the others here.

The “abortifacient” thing is really an attempt to fool themselves more than anyone else

01 Jul 2014 05:16 pm
Posted by: Donna

Libby Anne of Patheos has an excellent run-down of Monday’s Hobby Lobby decision by the Supreme Court. Read the whole thing but I wanted to focus on this part here, which was very well put:

Next question, the majority says that the birth control mandate does place a “substantial burden” on Hobby Lobby’s religious beliefs. And this sentence is crucial: “The owners of the businesses have religious objections to abortion, and according to their religious beliefs the four contraceptive methods at issue are abortifacients.”

Note how carefully Alito worded that sentence, “according to their religious beliefs” these items are abortifacients. He had to word it this carefully because the four contraceptives at issue (Mirena, Paragard, Plan B, and Ella) are NOT, in fact, abortifacients according to the FDA. This is really crucial. The majority allowed Hobby Lobby to define for itself what in fact causes an abortion. There is a difference, you see, between saying “my religious belief is that abortion is immoral” [the religious belief Hobby Lobby has really pushed hard in all its filings] and saying “my religious belief is that Mirena causes abortion.” The first cannot and should not be challenged by a court, if that’s your belief, that’s your belief. The second is a question of fact, which can be proved or disproved via science. Individuals should not be able to declare that anything they dislike causes abortion and therefore avoid any laws relating to that item. Because there is no steady, safe line to draw between those who think IUDs cause abortions and those who think Tylenol causes abortion. Both are scientifically incorrect statements. For a court to accept the first and throw out the second because it’s “ludicrous” is picking and choosing favorites among religious beliefs, an extremely dangerous path. (more…)

Nope, not misogynistic at all

01 Jul 2014 12:32 pm
Posted by: Donna

So this random guy showed up in my comments and carefully explained to me how his support for Hobby Lobby was based on his deep commitment to the cause of religious freedom and his pro-life principles. Ha ha, no, he said this.

On the bright side, abstinence is still free. Judging by the pounds you’ve been packing lately, that’s probably your best option.

Remember ladies, if you want to have the insurance that you already work and pay for cover a perfectly legitimate form of health care (contraception) you need to “pay for it yourself” or shut your filthy whore legs. However, the worst thing you can wish on a woman is abstinence, since that means she’s too ugly for sex.

Oh no, they’re not a bunch of bitter, puckered-up misogynists at all.

Cathi Herrod proves me right on Hobby Lobby decision

30 Jun 2014 02:51 pm
Posted by: Donna

You’ll recall that after SB1062, the bill that would give business owners and individuals the “religious freedom” to discriminate, went down in flames due to intense public and business lobbyist pressure against it, I observed that it was very much an anti-choice bill in addition to an anti-LGBT one.

We really did dodge a bullet and at risk of sounding cynical, I’m glad the focus was on LGBT discrimination from a purely tactical standpoint in addition to the moral and human rights ones. Having it framed as targeting LGBT citizens was what brought the fiercely negative reaction in the media and the organized business community around to kill it. But make no mistake, this was also very much an anti-choice bill. CAP spokesman Aaron Baer cited Hobby Lobby in a TV interview as an example for why SB1062 was needed. Had contraception access been the main public focus – and I bet CAP wishes like hell it had – there’s a good chance the bill would have been quietly signed into law with nary a peep from the Chamber of Commerce crowd because sluts.

And now Hobby Lobby and other employers with a creepy fixation on their female employees’ private lives uh “moral objections” have won the right to deny women contraception in the health plans (that those women earn through their labor and pay premiums on*), Center for Arizona Policy President Cathi Herrod is positively giddy and making no bones whatsoever of her intention to bring SB1062 back.

“One of the provisions of the Supreme Court ruling was to clarify that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act would apply to corporations,” said Center for Arizona Policy President Cathi Herrod, whose advocacy group wrote SB 1062. “SB 1062 said the exact same thing.”

Herrod said attorneys are still going through the lengthy ruling to determine how it could be applied to future state legislation, including a revised version of SB 1062 next session.

“Clearly the court has signaled that that there is a broad application for an individual or corporation to claim their religious beliefs,” she said. “But we’ve got between now and January to see what the appropriate next steps will be and we absolutely will continue our efforts to protect religious freedom in Arizona.”

You better believe that this time they’ll make sure the focus is sluts, sluts, sluts to quell objections from the business community.

*In advance of any “why don’t you just pay for it yourself!” trolling. Save it. We do pay for it already.