Archive for mandate

Genderqueer — Neither Male Nor Female But An Androgynous Hybrid Or Rejection Of Both

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genderqueer

Genderqueer. I'd never heard that term before, but there's lots I've yet to learn.

The newish word is for members who describe themselves in terms such as agender, bigender, third gender or gender-fluid are requesting — and sometimes finding — linguistic recognition. At least that's what they're talking about at Mills College in California.

Yahoo News reports:

The weekly meetings of Mouthing Off!, a group for students at Mills College in Oakland, Calif., who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, always start the same way. Members take turns going around the room saying their names and the personal pronouns they want others to use when referring to them — she, he or something else.

It's an exercise that might seem superfluous given that Mills, a small and leafy liberal arts school historically referred to as the Vassar of the West, only admits women as undergraduates. Yet increasingly, the "shes" and "hers" that dominate the introductions are keeping third-person company with "they," ''ze" and other neutral alternatives meant to convey a more generous notion of gender.

I actually think this is kind of cool, but at the same time a bit confusing. But then again, try to explain long division or the mating rituals of the American Prairie chicken and you'd loose a lot of people along the way too.

So suffice to say that today, the progressive thinking when it comes to pronouns is to let the individual choose what is most certainly not a selected choice for them -- their sexuality. Everybody is what they are, and that's how they should be referred to.

Take Bradley/Chelsea Manning as an example. We knew him as he. He knew himself as she. Now technically and correctly, she is a she. Unless of course, Manning should prefer to be called by the newer term, "ze."

That's right. Ze. Along with that one, students at Mills are allowed to assign themselves their preferred gender pronouns, known as PGPs. Becoming more and more familiar are such ones as ''sie," ''e," ''ou" and "ve." These have become an accepted practice for professors, dorm advisers, club sponsors, workshop leaders and health care providers at several schools.

So, please do everyone a favor. If you have a preference, feel free to make it known up front. Don't let us call you, her or him if you prefer another term. But also, don't take offense if it takes us a bit of getting used to. I think there are a lot of people like myself who, by the way is a he or him, and I'll stick with that for the time being, who will need a bit of time for the adjustment.

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#Obamacare stories you won't hear from GOP

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blame obamacare

Regular readers of TPC know that I'm a fan of Michael Hiltzik and quote him all the time. For example: The myths of #Obamacare's "failure": "Don't buy the hype, they're playing you for suckers."

He's written yet another column for the Los Angeles Times that once again justifies my fangirlitude. In this column, he gives us what the woefully inadequate and GOP sabotage-complicit "news" media won't: Obamacare success stories. Yes, the Affordable Care Acts works... but we don't often hear about that, now do we?

He explains that pre-ACA, "even an undiagnosed condition might render you uninsurable. Where your insurance could be canceled after you got sick or had an accident. Where your financial health was at risk as much as your physical well-being." And then he brings us face to face with people whose lives will benefit from the Affordable Care Act.

Here's how his column ends:

The difficulties of the federal government's healthcare.gov and some state enrollment websites are real, and have kept hundreds of thousands of Americans, even millions, from enrolling. But many of those who understand the benefits of the Affordable Care Act know that obsessing about the technical glitches is like mistaking the scoreboard for the game.

Political opportunists (like House Speaker John Boehner), exploit near-term difficulties to obscure the tangible benefits the Affordable Care Act will bring to tens of millions of their constituents. When they say "this law has to go," as Boehner's spokesman did this weekend, they're talking about returning people to the era of exclusions for pre-existing conditions. To people learning they're uninsurable because of injuries from accidents, or chronic diseases, or the sheer bloody-mindedness of insurance company bureaucrats.

Let's hear Boehner and his people explain to Holzman and Vezina, the Shevlinos, the Nobles, the Sheppards, and Silverstein--and to 20-30 million other Americans like them who might be locked out of the individual insurance market without the law they ridicule as "Obamacare"--how they'd be better off that way.

Bam!

And if you need another reality fix, please check out Patt Morrison's interview, "Peter V. Lee, Obamacare's California savior?" It's chock full o' good ACA stuff.

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The myths of #Obamacare's "failure": "Don't buy the hype, they're playing you for suckers."

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sucker

Regular readers of TPC know that I'm a fan of Michael Hiltzik. He had a column in yesterday's Los Angeles Times that justifies my fandom. In that column, he debunks the bunk about all that gay French socialist Marxist Kenyan Obamacare failure we keep hearing about. (Thank you, complicit "news" media)

At least the L.A. Times had the good sense to publish some truths: Whaddya know: #Obamacare enrollment surging in many states, and as I recall, Chris Hayes devoted a segment to that news. Yes, actual news. What a concept.

Hiltzik has the good sense and presence of mind to do actual research and-- What's that word again? Oh yeah-- reporting. Please read his entire article, because he did something that's rather unique these days: He did his homework, he documented, he presented-- wait for it-- facts, and he clarified a few things.

One of those things is how Republicans love to gloat about how abysmal the Affordable Care Act is... as they sabotage it. They do everything in their power to break it and then scream, "Lookee, America, ha ha! Obamacare is broken!"

You'd think the entire reform is on "life support," as the usually judicious National Journal put it today, speculating that Democrats may soon start calling for its repeal.

Don't buy the hype. The numbers tell an entirely different story. What they also demonstrate is that the myth of Obamacare's "failure" is a product of the same Republican noise machine that has been working to undermine this crucial reform since Day One. It's assisted by news reporting about canceled health policies that typically ranges from woefully misinformed to spectacularly ignorant, and even at its best is incomplete. [...]

Charles Ornstein of ProPublica found a couple in California who are losing a good Kaiser plan and face a doubled premium for no gain in benefits. But their story is also incomplete. [...]

The bottom line is that we're down to about one-quarter of one-percent of the country being paraded around to set the agenda for everyone else -- fewer than 2 million people. Compare that with the number of people who are being denied health insurance in 21 states that have refused to expand Medicaid, as the Affordable Care Act allows them to do largely at federal expense. (Four other states are still thinking it over.) [...]

The fact is that Obamacare is here to stay. Its customer protections are worth real money to tens of millions of consumers, and it's vastly expanding the insurance market. The politicians claiming that they're only out to "fix" a broken program are playing you for suckers, and not for the first time.

The GOP may be playing us for suckers, but they're the ones who suck. Sophomoric? Yes. True? Yes squared.

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"It is no longer beneficial to watch the news."

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facts schmacts smaller

The other day I posted about my Twitter pal Michael Hiltzik's column about why men should pay for #Obamacare pregnancy coverage.

He nailed it, as he is wont to do. The letters below reflect that, but the one that stood out to me was the last one, which pretty much replicates my mantra, only long form.

With that, here are today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Re "Why men should pay for coverage of maternity care," Column, Nov. 6

Michael Hiltzik gets it right in explaining why men pay for maternity coverage and women pay for men to have prostate cancer screening and treatment. The point is to make the coverage universal.

Hiltzik also debunks so much media misinformation about those Obamacare horror stories and the lack of responsible research. I applaud him for digging into the real facts behind the Affordable Care Act and specifically Covered California.

My wife and I have researched coverage options for our 23-year-old son and have found that we are very well served here on the West Coast. Thanks to Hiltzik for clearing up some misconceptions.

Robert McMahon

San Diego

***

In a media environment dominated by misinformation or willful ignorance, Hiltzik's column laying out the true costs behind the Obamacare debate was remarkably clear.

Hiltzik belongs either on the front page of The Times or on a podium in Washington. He follows the long-forgotten maxim of Joe Friday in "Dragnet," who said, "Just the facts, ma'am."

Eric Alter

Woodland Hills

***

Hiltzik shows how mainstream television news programs have failed the public. His column proves it is no longer beneficial to watch the news.

It takes a real effort these days to find news sources that do anything more than regurgitate talking points and copy other news channels. In the case of Westchester real estate agent Deborah Cavallaro's story on CNBC, it was a lost opportunity to educate viewers who may or may not have also seen the same wrongheaded narrative on Fox News.

Thanks to Hiltzik for all his columns.

Robin Zur Schmiede

Laguna Beach

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Why men should pay for #Obamacare pregnancy coverage

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pregnant pause

Here's another good Los Angeles Times Michael Hiltzik column to share with you. That would be the same Michael Hiltzik who knocked it out of the park recently on The Last Word, sharing his wisdom along with a big bucket o' debunkitude of those tired old Obamacare right wing talking points.

Today he's right back into debunking mode, with a healthy dose of scrumptious snark thrown in. This time he takes apart North Carolina GOP Rep. Renee Ellmers and her smug "slam-dunk, let-me-hear-a-rimshot punchline" that "the deep thinkers over at Breitbart" claimed was  Ellmers 'A' game. Her Big Gotcha Moment came when she asked why men should have to pay for maternity coverage in their health insurance plans: "To the best of your knowledge, has a man ever delivered a baby?"

Oh suh-nap! Touché! Oh, the cleverness of Renee!

Except, as Hiltzik points out, it was more like her ignorance about how the plan works. Then he explains why maternity care was written into every Affordable Care Act policy. Here are the essentials, but please hop over to the Times to get the details:

Universal coverage is the only way to make maternity coverage affordable.

Women subsidize men -- for some reason, imposing the cost of prostate cancer screening and treatment on women never seems to be part of the conversation. Childless people subsidize the cost of children's health coverage. Men subsidize women in other particulars, too: breast cancer treatment, for example.

Cross-subsidies like this are an inextricable part of life in a society, and by no means limited to health insurance. The cost of public education is embedded in the state tax rate paid by families with three kids in school as well as those whose kids graduated 20 years ago, or who educated their kids privately, or who never had kids. That's because education is a social good, like health. Everybody pays for highways, even those who don't drive, because one way or another they get the benefit.

That's the most important reason. But there are two more that Hiltzik brings up:

  • Society has a vested interest in healthy babies and mothers. "Pro-lifers" should appreciate that, as well as economists.
  • It takes two to tango. Ellmers' line about no man ever giving birth works two ways. "No baby has ever been born without a man being involved somewhere along the line."

zing

Please follow the link for more.

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Appeals court decision, written by Bush appointee, rules against #Obamacare contraception coverage mandate

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church state Religion and Politics

Just the other day I posted about a column written for the Los Angeles Times by Michael Hiltzik: What next? Ruling that corporations can pray? Brace yourselves:

SCOTUS will get to decide if corporations can impose their own religious beliefs on their employees, AKA a giant conscience clause. What's left of separation of church and state could become a distant memory.

Michael Hiltzik's column in the Los Angeles Times rightly states, "The implications of granting corporations the right to free expression of religion are horrific."

Today Roll Call has just added to my jitters. Next stop, Supreme Court:

A federal appeals court has ruled the contraception coverage mandate in the Affordable Care Act violates the free exercise of religion.

The ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit adds to the debate about a provision that factored heavily in the 2012 presidential election and comes amid an effort by President Barack Obama to fill three open slots on the powerful D.C. Circuit with his own nominees. Senate Republicans are blocking those picks, which has Democrats considering whether to use the “nuclear option” to install Obama’s judges.

If there was ever a question about why judicial picks are important, and why elections matter, this should put that to rest.

By the way, the decision was 2-1 and was written by Janice Rogers Brown, an appointee of GW Bush.

I rest my case.

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ENTIRE VIDEO of press conference-- Pres. Obama: "I've got a mandate..."

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Above is just the "mandate" clip. I wish he'd said more about poverty than "families that are working hard to try to get into the middle class," but overall he came out swinging, sounding stronger than he did during his first term pressers.

Here's the entire press conference:

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