health care

Santorum Hires Founder of Corporate Astroturf Group that Ran Ads Attacking the “Victory Mosque”

In another sign that Rick Santorum is gearing up for a presidential bid, the former Pennsylvania Senator hired two top Republican strategists from Iowa. CNN reports that Nick Ryan and Jill Latham “will serve as advisers to his political action committee, America's Foundation.” Ryan and Latham both originally worked at the Concordia Group, a lobbyist firm that primarily worked to help the ethanol industry. Ryan is also a founder of the American Future Fund (AFF), a shadowy political group that was accused of violating campaign finance law.

The New York Times found the AFF targeted Democrats that were involved in setting federal agriculture policy, a key concern of Ryan’s Concordia Groups clients. The AFF’s political director also worked in the Concordia Group, and the AFF paid Ryan’s firm $300,000 for consulting fees.

But the AFF’s ads were not focused on agriculture, and instead chastised Democrats for their votes for health care reform, clean energy legislation, or for Nancy Pelosi to be Speaker of the House.

In one of the most shameless ads of the election, the AFF attacked Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA) for saying that New York’s zoning officials should decide the fate of the planned Park51 Islamic community center as part of its smear against the First Amendment rights of Muslims.

Watch:

Santorum Hires Founder of Corporate Astroturf Group that Ran Ads Attacking the “Victory Mosque”

In another sign that Rick Santorum is gearing up for a presidential bid, the former Pennsylvania Senator hired two top Republican strategists from Iowa. CNN reports that Nick Ryan and Jill Latham “will serve as advisers to his political action committee, America's Foundation.” Ryan and Latham both originally worked at the Concordia Group, a lobbyist firm that primarily worked to help the ethanol industry. Ryan is also a founder of the American Future Fund (AFF), a shadowy political group that was accused of violating campaign finance law.

The New York Times found the AFF targeted Democrats that were involved in setting federal agriculture policy, a key concern of Ryan’s Concordia Groups clients. The AFF’s political director also worked in the Concordia Group, and the AFF paid Ryan’s firm $300,000 for consulting fees.

But the AFF’s ads were not focused on agriculture, and instead chastised Democrats for their votes for health care reform, clean energy legislation, or for Nancy Pelosi to be Speaker of the House.

In one of the most shameless ads of the election, the AFF attacked Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA) for saying that New York’s zoning officials should decide the fate of the planned Park51 Islamic community center as part of its smear against the First Amendment rights of Muslims.

Watch:

In Garlow's Dream, Obama Pleads For God's Forgiveness For Destroying America

Jim Garlow was not impressed by President Obama's State of the Union address and has taken it upon himself to draft his own dream SOTU address that he wishes Obama had delivered in which he begs God's forgiveness for systematically destroying America ... and Garlow decided to publish it on the American Family Association's blog, of all places: 

Under my watch, more babies are being killed in the womb that under any other president, as I am the most pro-abortion president in the history of the US. I am ashamed of this. I am sorry. I ask for forgiveness.

I have tragically hastened to destroy the No. 1 preserver of all that is good in society – the family, consisting of a mother and a father. In my need to be politically correct, and my desire to garner more votes from the nuclear family attackers, I was drawn in to their errors and sins of redefining the family. I am ashamed of this. I am sorry. I ask for forgiveness.

I have helped to demoralize the military that defends us. I ran roughshod over 59% of the US Marines when I forced my social experimentation upon them, coercing them to accept lifestyles as normative, with no thought of troop readiness and cohesion. I was drawn in to the errors, lies and sins of political correctness, at the expense of truth. I am ashamed of this. I am sorry. I ask for forgiveness.

I have intruded into the privacy of relationships between a doctor and a patient – coercing governmental bureaucratic incompetency into what was once the finest health care in the world. I am ashamed of this. I am sorry. I ask for forgiveness.

I have apologized for America’s very existence to the world, playing into the “blame America syndrome.” I am ashamed of this. I am sorry. I ask for forgiveness.

I have shown that I have no sense of historical understanding regarding the profound and meaningful phrase “American exceptionalism.” I just did not “get it.” I am ashamed of this. I am sorry. I ask for forgiveness.

I have even quoted the Declaration of Independence – three times within a 33 day span – purposely skipping over three words “by their Creator” in my effort to appear to be an erudite, sophisticated secularist. I am ashamed of this. I am sorry. I ask for forgiveness.

We need God. We need him badly. I cannot save this nation. Neither can you. The Democratic Party cannot help us. The Republican Party cannot help us. Nor can any other party. Only God can. God, we beseech you to help us.

Please give me a chance to correct the errors of my ways.”

In Garlow's Dream, Obama Pleads For God's Forgiveness For Destroying America

Jim Garlow was not impressed by President Obama's State of the Union address and has taken it upon himself to draft his own dream SOTU address that he wishes Obama had delivered in which he begs God's forgiveness for systematically destroying America ... and Garlow decided to publish it on the American Family Association's blog, of all places: 

Under my watch, more babies are being killed in the womb that under any other president, as I am the most pro-abortion president in the history of the US. I am ashamed of this. I am sorry. I ask for forgiveness.

I have tragically hastened to destroy the No. 1 preserver of all that is good in society – the family, consisting of a mother and a father. In my need to be politically correct, and my desire to garner more votes from the nuclear family attackers, I was drawn in to their errors and sins of redefining the family. I am ashamed of this. I am sorry. I ask for forgiveness.

I have helped to demoralize the military that defends us. I ran roughshod over 59% of the US Marines when I forced my social experimentation upon them, coercing them to accept lifestyles as normative, with no thought of troop readiness and cohesion. I was drawn in to the errors, lies and sins of political correctness, at the expense of truth. I am ashamed of this. I am sorry. I ask for forgiveness.

I have intruded into the privacy of relationships between a doctor and a patient – coercing governmental bureaucratic incompetency into what was once the finest health care in the world. I am ashamed of this. I am sorry. I ask for forgiveness.

I have apologized for America’s very existence to the world, playing into the “blame America syndrome.” I am ashamed of this. I am sorry. I ask for forgiveness.

I have shown that I have no sense of historical understanding regarding the profound and meaningful phrase “American exceptionalism.” I just did not “get it.” I am ashamed of this. I am sorry. I ask for forgiveness.

I have even quoted the Declaration of Independence – three times within a 33 day span – purposely skipping over three words “by their Creator” in my effort to appear to be an erudite, sophisticated secularist. I am ashamed of this. I am sorry. I ask for forgiveness.

We need God. We need him badly. I cannot save this nation. Neither can you. The Democratic Party cannot help us. The Republican Party cannot help us. Nor can any other party. Only God can. God, we beseech you to help us.

Please give me a chance to correct the errors of my ways.”

Ellmers: Taxpayer-Funded Health Care OK for Me Because My Congressional Salary Isn’t Enough to Live in DC

North Carolina’s freshman Congresswoman Renee Ellmers, last featured in RWW’s The Ten Scariest Republicans Heading to Congress, refers to herself as a “product of the Tea Party” and even opposes mandating that insurance companies cover matenity care because it is “very costly.” Despite her staunch hostility to the Democrats’ “imperial ruling class attitude” and the “socialistic form of government,” Ellmers has decided to take taxpayer-subsidized health care plan because of the high cost of living in Washington DC. Apparently, the Congresswoman’s $174,000 annual salary isn’t enough to live part-time in the nation’s capital without taxpayer-funded health insurance:

Appearing on a WPTF radio call-in show Monday, Ellmers was asked by a caller whether she intended to participate in "that luxury plan" offered to members of Congress.

Ellmers responded that she signed up for a Blue Cross, Blue Shield federal employees plan, one of the options offered to members of Congress.

"Unfortunately, being here in Washington is very expensive," Ellmers said. "Yes, we do have a salary, and we do have benefits. It costs a lot of money to be here. I've signed on to the private plan, just like so many in America are on. "The benefit is available to me. People need to understand out there, it costs a lot of money to be here in Congress."

Ellmers, a nurse who is married to a physician, makes a congressional salary of $174,000 per year.

While Ellmers believes that residents of Washington DC who don’t have health insurance (and most likely earn less than $174,000) shouldn’t receive any government assistance to receive coverage whatsoever, she is fine with taxpayer-funded health insurance for herself.

Ellmers recently rejected an invitation by President Obama, who she likened to “Louis XIV, the Sun King,” to attend a reception at the White House for all new members of Congress “because she chose not to go.”

Ellmers: Taxpayer-Funded Health Care OK for Me Because My Congressional Salary Isn’t Enough to Live in DC

North Carolina’s freshman Congresswoman Renee Ellmers, last featured in RWW’s The Ten Scariest Republicans Heading to Congress, refers to herself as a “product of the Tea Party” and even opposes mandating that insurance companies cover matenity care because it is “very costly.” Despite her staunch hostility to the Democrats’ “imperial ruling class attitude” and the “socialistic form of government,” Ellmers has decided to take taxpayer-subsidized health care plan because of the high cost of living in Washington DC. Apparently, the Congresswoman’s $174,000 annual salary isn’t enough to live part-time in the nation’s capital without taxpayer-funded health insurance:

Appearing on a WPTF radio call-in show Monday, Ellmers was asked by a caller whether she intended to participate in "that luxury plan" offered to members of Congress.

Ellmers responded that she signed up for a Blue Cross, Blue Shield federal employees plan, one of the options offered to members of Congress.

"Unfortunately, being here in Washington is very expensive," Ellmers said. "Yes, we do have a salary, and we do have benefits. It costs a lot of money to be here. I've signed on to the private plan, just like so many in America are on. "The benefit is available to me. People need to understand out there, it costs a lot of money to be here in Congress."

Ellmers, a nurse who is married to a physician, makes a congressional salary of $174,000 per year.

While Ellmers believes that residents of Washington DC who don’t have health insurance (and most likely earn less than $174,000) shouldn’t receive any government assistance to receive coverage whatsoever, she is fine with taxpayer-funded health insurance for herself.

Ellmers recently rejected an invitation by President Obama, who she likened to “Louis XIV, the Sun King,” to attend a reception at the White House for all new members of Congress “because she chose not to go.”

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 1/25/11

Michele Bachmann

SOTU: Plans to give her own State of the Union Response to a Tea Party Express rally, even though Wisconsin Rep. Jim Ryan is the official Republican speaker (Star Tribune, 1/24).

History: Maintains that skin color didn’t matter in early America at an Iowans for Tax Reform event (TPM, 1/24).

Religious Right: Addressed the “March for Life” Rose Dinner (Politico, 1/24).

Iowa: “Encouraged” by reception at Iowa events (Des Moines Register, 1/22).

Religious Right: Set to attend a meeting of Iowa’s The Family Leader, led by Bob Vander Plaats (RWW, 1/20).

Newt Gingrich

2012: Considering a presidential bid with a campaign based in Georgia (AJC, 1/21).

Religious Right: Set to attend a meeting of Iowa’s The Family Leader, led by Bob Vander Plaats (RWW, 1/20).

Rudy Giuliani

2012: Floats potential presidential bid despite 2008 defeat (TPM, 1/25).

Palin: Claims that a Palin candidacy would increase his chance of running (WSJ, 1/21).

Mike Huckabee

Debates: Won’t attend early debates in order to preserve his summer deadline (Politico, 1/24).

2012: Must decide whether to give up media “mini-empire” for a presidential run (LA Times, 1/21).

Sarah Palin

Texas: Spoke about how Alaska and Texas are both “good beacons of freedom” at a fundraiser for the Lubbock Christian School (Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, 1/25).

Media: Dana Milbank proposes a month-long media boycott of covering Palin (WaPo, 1/21).

Tim Pawlenty

Book: Releases video advertisement promoting new book, Courage to Stand (TPM, 1/24).

Religious Right: Set to attend a meeting of Iowa’s The Family Leader, led by Bob Vander Plaats (RWW, 1/18).

Mike Pence

Religious Right: Addressed the “March for Life” in Washington, DC (Politico, 1/24).

GOP: May be able to unite economic and social conservatives better than Mike Huckabee (Religion Dispatches, 1/21).

South Carolina: Group of South Carolina state legislators launches a “Draft Pence” effort (RWW, 1/20).

Mitt Romney

Poll: Leads all other rivals in national poll of Republican voters with 24% (Rasmussen Reports, 1/24).

New Hampshire: Wins New Hampshire GOP straw poll (Christian Science Monitor, 1/22).

Health Care: Rove says Romney must respond to criticisms about his health care reform law in Massachusetts (Political Wire, 1/20).

Rick Santorum

Reproductive Rights: Defends criticism of Obama’s views on choice in an Op-Ed for the National Review (NRO, 1/24).

Iowa: Set to attend a meeting of Iowa’s The Family Leader, led by Bob Vander Plaats (RWW, 1/20).

Religious Right: Uses Obama’s race to attack his stance on abortion-rights, slams gay adoption (RWW, 1/19).

John Thune

Tea Party: May have trouble with Tea Party voters over his support for ethanol industry subsidies (The Argus Leader, 1/23).

New Hampshire: Thune fundraisers “making calls in New Hampshire on Thune’s behalf” (The Argus Leader, 1/21).

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 1/25/11

Michele Bachmann

SOTU: Plans to give her own State of the Union Response to a Tea Party Express rally, even though Wisconsin Rep. Jim Ryan is the official Republican speaker (Star Tribune, 1/24).

History: Maintains that skin color didn’t matter in early America at an Iowans for Tax Reform event (TPM, 1/24).

Religious Right: Addressed the “March for Life” Rose Dinner (Politico, 1/24).

Iowa: “Encouraged” by reception at Iowa events (Des Moines Register, 1/22).

Religious Right: Set to attend a meeting of Iowa’s The Family Leader, led by Bob Vander Plaats (RWW, 1/20).

Newt Gingrich

2012: Considering a presidential bid with a campaign based in Georgia (AJC, 1/21).

Religious Right: Set to attend a meeting of Iowa’s The Family Leader, led by Bob Vander Plaats (RWW, 1/20).

Rudy Giuliani

2012: Floats potential presidential bid despite 2008 defeat (TPM, 1/25).

Palin: Claims that a Palin candidacy would increase his chance of running (WSJ, 1/21).

Mike Huckabee

Debates: Won’t attend early debates in order to preserve his summer deadline (Politico, 1/24).

2012: Must decide whether to give up media “mini-empire” for a presidential run (LA Times, 1/21).

Sarah Palin

Texas: Spoke about how Alaska and Texas are both “good beacons of freedom” at a fundraiser for the Lubbock Christian School (Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, 1/25).

Media: Dana Milbank proposes a month-long media boycott of covering Palin (WaPo, 1/21).

Tim Pawlenty

Book: Releases video advertisement promoting new book, Courage to Stand (TPM, 1/24).

Religious Right: Set to attend a meeting of Iowa’s The Family Leader, led by Bob Vander Plaats (RWW, 1/18).

Mike Pence

Religious Right: Addressed the “March for Life” in Washington, DC (Politico, 1/24).

GOP: May be able to unite economic and social conservatives better than Mike Huckabee (Religion Dispatches, 1/21).

South Carolina: Group of South Carolina state legislators launches a “Draft Pence” effort (RWW, 1/20).

Mitt Romney

Poll: Leads all other rivals in national poll of Republican voters with 24% (Rasmussen Reports, 1/24).

New Hampshire: Wins New Hampshire GOP straw poll (Christian Science Monitor, 1/22).

Health Care: Rove says Romney must respond to criticisms about his health care reform law in Massachusetts (Political Wire, 1/20).

Rick Santorum

Reproductive Rights: Defends criticism of Obama’s views on choice in an Op-Ed for the National Review (NRO, 1/24).

Iowa: Set to attend a meeting of Iowa’s The Family Leader, led by Bob Vander Plaats (RWW, 1/20).

Religious Right: Uses Obama’s race to attack his stance on abortion-rights, slams gay adoption (RWW, 1/19).

John Thune

Tea Party: May have trouble with Tea Party voters over his support for ethanol industry subsidies (The Argus Leader, 1/23).

New Hampshire: Thune fundraisers “making calls in New Hampshire on Thune’s behalf” (The Argus Leader, 1/21).

Rick Joyner Has A Dream ... Of America's Destruction

We have mentioned Rick Joyner here a few times before, mainly to point out that he is a member of the Religious Right supergroup known as The Freedom Federation and that several Religious Right leaders -including Janet Porter, Lou Sheldon, Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, Cindy Jacobs, Lt.Gen. W.G. "Jerry" Boykin - sit on the board his Oak Initiative.  

In fact, it was for the Oak Initiative that Boykin recorded his video explaining how President Obama intended to use health care reform legislation to create his own private army of Brownshirts.

Joyner has been deepening his ties to the Religious Right in recent months, apparently because he recently received a message from God while visiting Moravian Falls, NC - which is reportedly an open portal to Heaven - in the form of a dream revealing that the foundation of America is literally on fire and that only the Word of God could save it from utter destruction:

Joyner went on to explain that the only thing that can save America is for Christians to become more involved in politics and for our political and governmental leaders to start listening to the "prophetic voices" of people like Joyner:

Rick Joyner Has A Dream ... Of America's Destruction

We have mentioned Rick Joyner here a few times before, mainly to point out that he is a member of the Religious Right supergroup known as The Freedom Federation and that several Religious Right leaders -including Janet Porter, Lou Sheldon, Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, Cindy Jacobs, Lt.Gen. W.G. "Jerry" Boykin - sit on the board his Oak Initiative.  

In fact, it was for the Oak Initiative that Boykin recorded his video explaining how President Obama intended to use health care reform legislation to create his own private army of Brownshirts.

Joyner has been deepening his ties to the Religious Right in recent months, apparently because he recently received a message from God while visiting Moravian Falls, NC - which is reportedly an open portal to Heaven - in the form of a dream revealing that the foundation of America is literally on fire and that only the Word of God could save it from utter destruction:

Joyner went on to explain that the only thing that can save America is for Christians to become more involved in politics and for our political and governmental leaders to start listening to the "prophetic voices" of people like Joyner:

Right Wing Round-Up

  • PFAW: Health Care Reform Repeal: Bought and Paid for by Citizens United.
     
  • Scott Keyes @ Think Progress: Rep. Louie Gohmert: ‘I’m Going To Be Pushing…To Have Some Hearings’ On The Creeping Threat Of Sharia Law.
     
  • Joe.My.God: Gov. Rick Scott Appoints "Christians Only" Activist To Head State Agency On Adoptions.
     
  • Alan Colmes: Christine O’Donnell Finding A New Way To Pay Rent?
     
  • Jason Hancock @ Iowa Independent: Marriage amendment introduced in Iowa House.
     
  • Media Matters: Limbaugh Mocks Chinese President's Untranslated Speech.
     
  • Rachel Slajda @ TPM: CPAC To Host Panel Called 'Ground Zero Mosque: Second Wave Of The 9/11 Attacks'.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • PFAW: Health Care Reform Repeal: Bought and Paid for by Citizens United.
     
  • Scott Keyes @ Think Progress: Rep. Louie Gohmert: ‘I’m Going To Be Pushing…To Have Some Hearings’ On The Creeping Threat Of Sharia Law.
     
  • Joe.My.God: Gov. Rick Scott Appoints "Christians Only" Activist To Head State Agency On Adoptions.
     
  • Alan Colmes: Christine O’Donnell Finding A New Way To Pay Rent?
     
  • Jason Hancock @ Iowa Independent: Marriage amendment introduced in Iowa House.
     
  • Media Matters: Limbaugh Mocks Chinese President's Untranslated Speech.
     
  • Rachel Slajda @ TPM: CPAC To Host Panel Called 'Ground Zero Mosque: Second Wave Of The 9/11 Attacks'.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • The Supreme Court has rejected the right-wing challenge to Washington, DC's marriage equality law.
  • The ever-brave Sarah Palin sits down for a softball interview with Sean Hannity to defend her "blood libel" video.
  • Rep. Michele Bachmann will be the keynote speaker at the March for Life Rose Dinner.
  • Don't like health care reform?  Why not sign up for a Christian health care co-op?
  • It seems that the developer's attendance estimates for the creationist theme park in Kentucky are wildly optimistic.
  • Randall Terry intends to launch a primary challenge against President Obama so that he can run graphic anti-abortion ads on television and will host a press conference announcing his campaign outside the Holocaust Museum.
  • Finally, the Sarah Palin Battle Hymn is a real thing.

Vanderbilt Maintains Policy, But Religious Right Declares Victory

The other day, we noted that the Alliance Defense Fund had filed a complaint against Vanderbilt University, falsely claiming that the university was "requiring nursing residents to participate in abortion procedures" when, in fact, it was merely requiring residents to agree to "provide compassionate care" to women who had or would be undergoing such procedures, not to participate in the actual procedure.

University spokespeople made that distinction quite clear, but the ADF didn't care and kept asserting that university was forcing students to perform abortions ... so Vanderbilt issued a clarification [PDF] in an attempt to clear up the ADF's intentional misrepresentation:

There has been some publicity in the media and on the Internet that reflects a misconception of Vanderbilt University’s policy and practice regarding health care providers (e.g., physicians, nurses and trainees) participating in the termination of a patient’s pregnancy. While Vanderbilt expects all health care providers, including nurses who participate in the Nurse Residency Program’s Women’s Health Track, to provide compassionate care to all patients, no health care provider is required to participate in a procedure terminating a pregnancy if such participation would be contrary to an individual’s religious beliefs or moral convictions.

So the policy is the same as it has always been, but you wouldn't know that from reading right-wing coverage of the clarification ... mainly because ADF continues to lie about it:

Vanderbilt University abandons illegal policy that forced nursing residents to sign abortion pledge

Vanderbilt University Wednesday modified its nurse residency application so that it no longer requires applicants to pledge that they will participate in abortion procedures. The university made the announcement in an e-mail to applicants one day after the Alliance Defense Fund filed a complaint with the Department of Health and Human Services.

“Christians and other pro-life members of the medical community shouldn’t be forced to participate in abortions to pursue their profession. That’s what federal law says, and that’s why Vanderbilt is doing the right thing in changing its policy and application,” said ADF Legal Counsel Matt Bowman. “We will be monitoring the situation to make sure the university continues to comply with the law. It’s ironic that Vanderbilt changed its policy one day after denying that it required the pledge.”

And, of course, the rest of the Right is blindly repeating ADF's spin, claiming Vanderbilt has dumpeddropped, backtracked, and backed down from the policy and "will no longer force its nursing students to assist with abortions."

Vanderbilt never did and nothing has changed, but the Religious Right is treating this entire charade as some sort of massive victory.

Vanderbilt Maintains Policy, But Religious Right Declares Victory

The other day, we noted that the Alliance Defense Fund had filed a complaint against Vanderbilt University, falsely claiming that the university was "requiring nursing residents to participate in abortion procedures" when, in fact, it was merely requiring residents to agree to "provide compassionate care" to women who had or would be undergoing such procedures, not to participate in the actual procedure.

University spokespeople made that distinction quite clear, but the ADF didn't care and kept asserting that university was forcing students to perform abortions ... so Vanderbilt issued a clarification [PDF] in an attempt to clear up the ADF's intentional misrepresentation:

There has been some publicity in the media and on the Internet that reflects a misconception of Vanderbilt University’s policy and practice regarding health care providers (e.g., physicians, nurses and trainees) participating in the termination of a patient’s pregnancy. While Vanderbilt expects all health care providers, including nurses who participate in the Nurse Residency Program’s Women’s Health Track, to provide compassionate care to all patients, no health care provider is required to participate in a procedure terminating a pregnancy if such participation would be contrary to an individual’s religious beliefs or moral convictions.

So the policy is the same as it has always been, but you wouldn't know that from reading right-wing coverage of the clarification ... mainly because ADF continues to lie about it:

Vanderbilt University abandons illegal policy that forced nursing residents to sign abortion pledge

Vanderbilt University Wednesday modified its nurse residency application so that it no longer requires applicants to pledge that they will participate in abortion procedures. The university made the announcement in an e-mail to applicants one day after the Alliance Defense Fund filed a complaint with the Department of Health and Human Services.

“Christians and other pro-life members of the medical community shouldn’t be forced to participate in abortions to pursue their profession. That’s what federal law says, and that’s why Vanderbilt is doing the right thing in changing its policy and application,” said ADF Legal Counsel Matt Bowman. “We will be monitoring the situation to make sure the university continues to comply with the law. It’s ironic that Vanderbilt changed its policy one day after denying that it required the pledge.”

And, of course, the rest of the Right is blindly repeating ADF's spin, claiming Vanderbilt has dumpeddropped, backtracked, and backed down from the policy and "will no longer force its nursing students to assist with abortions."

Vanderbilt never did and nothing has changed, but the Religious Right is treating this entire charade as some sort of massive victory.

ADF Doesn't Think Christians Should Be Required to "Provide Compassionate Care"

I don't have very high expectations for the Religious Right, but their willingness to engage in utter misrepresentation still never fails to amaze me.

Take, for instance, the Alliance Defense Fund which has filed a complaint with the Department of Health and Human Services against Vanderbilt University claiming that the university is "requiring nursing residents to participate in abortion procedures":

ADF attorneys filed the complaint on behalf of a fourth-year nursing student at another university who wishes to apply to Vanderbilt’s nurse residency program but is unable to do so because the admission forms require her to promise to participate in abortions.

“Christians and other pro-life members of the medical community shouldn’t be forced to participate in abortions to pursue their profession,” said ADF Legal Counsel Matt Bowman. “People enter the medical profession to protect and heal the helpless. Federal law protects them from being required to kill the helpless. The law clearly states that grant recipients cannot accept taxpayer dollars and require health care workers to participate in abortions, which is precisely what Vanderbilt is doing.”

Here is what the application actually says [PDF]:

Often women are faced with many difficult decisions about their lives and health care. Nurses in the Center for Women’s Health support women through these decisions and provide professional evidence based care specific to each situation. One difficult decision women face is termination of pregnancy. If you are chosen for the Nurse Residency Program in the Women's Health track, you will be expected to care for women undergoing termination of pregnancy. Procedures performed in the Labor and Delivery unit include vaginal deliveries, cesarean deliveries, bilateral tubal ligations, dilatation and curettage, cerclages, inductions of labor, amniocentesis, chorionic villi sampling, terminations of pregnancy and fetal surgery procedures.

It is important that you are aware of this aspect of care and give careful consideration to your ability to provide compassionate care to women in these situations. If you feel you cannot provide care to women during this type of event, we encourage you to apply to a different track of the Nurse Residency Program to explore opportunities that may best fit your skills and career goals.

The application says that nurses in the program are expected to provide care to women who may have had or may be having an abortion, not that they will be required to participate in the process:

Vanderbilt University Medical Center spokesman John Howser said the acknowledgment was created to inform applicants that they will be asked to provide care to women who have had, or are seeking, abortions.

It does not mean to suggest that residents with religious or moral objections will be required to participate in the actual procedures.

"The letter was added in order to create an awareness that terminations are performed here at Vanderbilt," Howser said. "If you choose to participate (in the nurse residency program), you will around patients who have had or are seeking terminations, and you may be asked to care for them. It does not say that you are required to participate in performing or in the performance of terminations."

Vanderbilt has a long-standing policy that exempts employees, including nurse residents, from participating in activities due to religious beliefs, ethical beliefs or other associated reasons, Howser said.

But apparently ADF thinks Vanderbilt ought to be required to accept Christian candidates who refuse to "provide compassionate care" to such women.

UPDATE: I see that Vanderbilt has actually put out a statement explaining the policy:

There has been some publicity via traditional news media and conversation on the Internet that reflects a misconception of Vanderbilt University’s policy and practice regarding health care providers (e.g., physicians, nurses and trainees) participating in the termination of a patient’s pregnancy.

We recognize and respect that some health care providers may have religious beliefs or ethical convictions that conflict with this medical procedure. No Vanderbilt health care provider is required to participate in this procedure if such participation would be contrary to their religious beliefs or moral convictions.

However, they may be asked to care for the patient before or after the procedure in the same professional and compassionate manner that is expected of all Vanderbilt health care providers.

A Vanderbilt University Medical Center policy has been in place for years which clearly defines boundaries, respecting employees’ religious, moral and ethical beliefs. This policy allows all employees the ability to request not to participate in certain workplace responsibilities that may conflict with their personal beliefs. This policy also applies to applicants for Vanderbilt’s Nursing Residency program.

Vanderbilt University does not discriminate against individuals on the basis of their race, sex, religion, color, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, or military service, or genetic information in its administration of educational policies, programs, or activities; admissions policies; scholarship and loan programs; athletic or other University-administered programs; or employment. In addition, the University does not discriminate against individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression consistent with the University’s nondiscrimination policy.

South Carolina GOP Fears Doctors May Be Required To Perform Abortions Under “Obamacare”

Republicans and their allies have consistently smeared the recent health care reform law by suggesting that it will lead to taxpayer subsidized abortions. Poltifact says that, despite Rep. John Carter’s assertions to the contrary, the health care reform law certainly “does not provide full federal funding of abortions — and that’s clear,” but that hasn’t stopped GOP leaders like Speaker John Boehner and Michele Bachmann from asserting that taxpayer funds are already being used to finance abortions. CitizenLink (formerly Focus on the Family Action) and Susan B. Anthony List even ran campaign ads that called the reform measure “the biggest expansion of abortion in decades” and charged supporters with backing President Obama instead of choosing “to protect life.” While the claim that the health care reform law provides funding for abortion has been readily discredited, an even more extreme and conspiratorial claim is emerging: that health care reform could require doctors to perform abortions.

According to the Columbia Free Times, Republicans in the South Carolina State House are planning to pass anti-choice legislation including one measure entitled “Obamacare Abortion Opt-Out.” The South Carolina House Republican Caucus announced that State Rep. Greg Delleney will be introducing the “Obamacare Abortion Opt-Out” to ensure that “S.C. Doctors will not be required to perform abortions if required to by Obamacare.” The legislation is one of many right-wing bills that the South Carolina GOP hopes to pass in the new session, including a “Repeal Amendment” and a “Taxpayer Bill Of Rights.”

Rep. Delleney is a staunchly anti-choice member of the State House and he also plans to introduce a bill that would allow health care workers to refuse patrons contraceptives. He previously introduced legislation that would require women to see ultrasound images before terminating their pregnancy and to endure a twenty-four hour waiting period before having an abortion. Rep. Delleney also gained attention when he excluded gay and lesbian students from dating violence curriculum in schools.

His “Obamacare Abortion Opt-Out” though represents one of the GOP’s most ludicrous and extreme attempts to malign the health care reform law yet.

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 1/11/10

Michele Bachmann

PAC: Vast majority of MICHELE PAC money went to Iowa politicians or PACs (National Journal, 1/10).

Religious Right: Potential 2012 bid wins plaudits from Religious Right activists (RWW, 1/10).

Iowa: Speaks to Iowans for Tax Relief PAC in Des Moines on 1/21 (Iowans for Tax Relief PAC, 1/7).

Mitch Daniels

Indiana: Makes 7th State of the State address with emphasis on education (South Bend Tribune, 1/11).

CPAC: To address the Conservative Political Action Conference along with other 2012 prospects (Politico, 1/6).

Newt Gingrich

Religious Right: Invited to speak at the Freedom Federation’s Awakening 2011 along with other potential 2012 candidates (RWW, 1/10).

Iowa: Listed to address Iowa Renewable Fuels Association in Des Moines on Janurary 25th (Des Moines Register, 1/10).

Mike Huckabee

Iowa: New poll shows Huckabee on top with 24% support from Republicans (TPM, 1/10).

Poll: Gallup finds in nationwide poll that Huckabee has the highest favorable rating among potential GOP candidates (WSJ, 1/10).

Reproductive Rights: Scheduled to address anti-choice fundraise in Tennessee on February, 14th (Knoxville News Sentinel, 1/9).

Sarah Palin

Extremism: Faces torrent of criticism over "bullseye" map with target on Giffords's congressional district, defends herself to Glenn Beck (The Week & NYDN, 1/10).

Reality TV: Doesn't sign on for a second season of Sarah Palin's Alaska (Forbes, 1/10).

Tim Pawlenty

2012: Tells newspaper he is "seriously considering running for president" (St. Petersburg Times, 1/10).

Book: Memoir focuses on his faith, attacks on Obama (MN Public Radio, 1/8).

Palin: Calls Sarah Palin "a force of nature" (Mediaite, 1/7).

Mike Pence

Reproductive Rights: Introduces legislation to de-fund Planned Parenthood (Human Events, 1/10).

2012: Tells an Indiana Rotary Club that he will decide on future political plans by the end of January (The Republic, 1/10).

South Carolina: Keynote speaker for South Carolina’s America Conference (Politico, 1/4).

Mitt Romney

Foreign affairs: Met with Afghan leader Hamid Karzai as plan of tour of Afghanistan and Middle East (Boston Globe, 1/10).

Poll: Pew poll has Romney as most competitive candidate against Obama in Nevada (UPI, 1/10).

Rick Santorum

Religious Right: Speaks with group founded by right-wing activist Ovide Lamontagne (Granite Oath PAC, 1/10).

New Hampshire: Hires GOP Congressman Frank Guinta’s strategist as state director of his America’s Foundation PAC (Union Leader, 1/5).

GOP: Says Romney’s Massachusetts health care law will make it “very hard for us to nominate” him (National Journal, 1/4).

Wendy Wright: There’s No Discrimination in America, Except for that Committed by “Homosexual Activists”

Wendy Wright, the president of Concerned Women For America, in the conservative publication The American Thinker ridicules the Obama Administration’s claims that bigotry and inequality still exist in the U.S., but goes on to claim that the Religious Right represents the actual victim of discrimination at the hands of “homosexual activists.” Such fatuous allegations are nothing new from Wright, who participated in the “Green Dragon” series that believes the environmental movement is surreptitiously trying to destroy Christianity and dismissed a study which showed that the children of same-sex parents are as “well adjusted” as their peers because it didn’t conform to her anti-gay prejudice.

In her article, “What Obama Thinks of America,” Wright is incensed that the Obama Administration still believes that discrimination survives in the U.S. and facetiously asks “Which American laws or institutions enshrine discrimination?” However, she then blasts the Obama Administration for not confronting the “homosexual activists” who are leading “a campaign of harassment, threats, vandalism, and attacks on employment against people who support traditional marriage, with particular venom toward religious people.” Essentially, Wright and the CWA strongly endorse discriminatory laws and bigoted views that target gay and lesbian Americans, but in her opinion proponents of anti-gay bigotry like herself are the real victims of intolerance:

Sometimes the best way to find out what a person thinks about you is to find out what he tells others.

That's why the report on America's human rights record filed by the Obama administration with the U.N. is particularly interesting.



What comes through is that President Obama's crew thinks America is congenitally discriminatory, and his administration is bravely soldiering into this morass against the unwashed masses to create an equal society.

As the report states, "[w]ork remains to meet our goal of ensuring equality before the law for all." Which American laws or institutions enshrine discrimination? Not mentioned. No matter -- when you're convinced that Americans are bigots, there is no need to provide proof.

The administration crows in the report about passing the incredibly divisive and unconstitutional health care act. It devotes a section to the bill, with glowing aspirations of how it will end the discrimination of a racist medical system. (Remember, these people see everything through the filter of race or identity politics -- even health care.)

Yet religious freedom (in which the U.S. excels in contrast to other countries) gets a few measly paragraphs with boilerplate generalities. Whereas the health care bill earned details like how many Asian-American men suffer from stomach cancer, the examples of a defense of religious freedom were a Native American primary school student's right to wear his hair in a braid and a Muslim girl's right to wear a hijab.

Maybe this administration is not keen on religious freedom. The issue is so old-school...yesterday's news...Christian. And it inconveniently conflicts with one of President Obama's priorities highlighted in the report, a priority that threatens religious freedom -- privileges for those who engage in homosexual, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender behavior.

Homosexual activists conducted a campaign of harassment, threats, vandalism, and attacks on employment against people who support traditional marriage -- with particular venom toward religious people. The vile assaults on Carrie Prejean for merely expressing her views pulled away the curtain that had been hiding how homosexual activists routinely treat decent people who dissent. It raised the question: Who is the aggressor, and who is victim?

Did you get that? "In each era of our history" -- that is, America is historically and inherently bigoted. Makes you wonder why they'd want to live here.

LGBT advocates (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) claim that sexual orientation is an inborn identity, like skin color or ethnicity, and they excoriate people who use the term "gay lifestyle" because it implies choices and actions. Yet the report's first boast of tackling discrimination against this group was the striking down of a law criminalizing sodomy. Apparently, particular actions do define homosexuality.

Wright goes on to argue that the Justice Department intentionally lost the Massachusetts cases challenging the constitutionality of the Defense Of Marriage Act, a charge which Focus on the Family thinks deserves a congressional investigation by Darrell Issa, and that any move towards equality for gays and lesbians actually represents prejudice:

Remember, since he ran for president, Obama has claimed that he does not upport same-sex "marriage." Yet he opposes the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the clearest federal statute that protects marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

Obama's Justice Department sabotaged its defense of DOMA in a legal challenge, making such weak arguments that it guaranteed a loss. And he opposed California's Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment to define marriage as between a man and a woman. So Obama opposes federal and state measures that define and enforce traditional marriage.

That's where the report to the U.N. really gets interesting. It states, "Debate continues over equal rights to marriage for LGBT Americans at the federal and state levels, and several states have reformed their laws to provide for same-sex marriages, civil unions, or domestic partnerships."



President Obama is, as he said in his inaugural address, remaking America. Too bad his image of America -- and what he wants to turn us into -- is so prejudiced.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Rep. Michele Bachmann to run for president?  Could be we that lucky?
  • Rick Santorum also making moves for possible presidential run.
  • Susan B. Anthony List mobilizing to repeal Health Care Reform.
  • Ummm ... "a former girlfriend of Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas has a deal for a 'sexually driven' memoir."
  • Focus on the Family says this will probably be its last year at CPAC.
  • And finally, I think this paragraph perfectly captures the tension at the heart of the conservative movement: "What annoys social conservatives and 'values voters' is the implication that such a truce would apply only to them and that fiscal conservatives and tea party activists don't face similar pressures to compromise."
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health care Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Monday 04/25/2011, 2:44pm
With guest Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA), pseudo-historian David Barton cast doubt on President Obama’s religious beliefs and maintained that he wants to take God out of government. Barton lauded a resolution championed by Forbes which reaffirms and encourages the existing motto “In God We Trust” and claimed that Obama is imposing a “secularist” agenda, adding that “when you forget that God is part of the equation, you will lose your prosperity, you will lose your rights, you will lose your stability.” Barton, who believes that Obama has “a... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 04/21/2011, 12:35pm
On his radio program yesterday, Glenn Beck called Mike Huckabee "progressive" for daring to support First Lady Michelle Obama's anti-obesity campaign.  Now, anyone who knows anything about Beck knows that for him, calling someone "progressive" is not a compliment. And so today, Huckabee fired back and openly mocked Beck as an inept, delusional conspiracy theorist who has no idea what he is talking about: This week Glenn Beck has taken to his radio show to attack me as a Progressive, which he has said is the same as a “cancer” and a “Nazi.”... MORE
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 04/19/2011, 9:33am
Michele Bachmann Book: Considering a proposal to write her memoirs (AP, 4/18). South Carolina: Rally in South Carolina a bust (CBS News, 4/18).  Birther: Continues to float birther conspiracy on Fox News (The Atlantic, 4/18).  Budget: Falsely claims that the top 1% pay 40% of taxes (PolitiFact, 4/13).  Haley Barbour South Carolina: Wins Charleston County GOP straw poll (The State Column, 4/18).  New Hampshire: Takes two-day swing in New Hampshire (Boston Globe, 4/15).  Mike Huckabee South Carolina: Meets with supporters from the 2008 campaign (RCP, 4/18). ... MORE
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 04/12/2011, 9:36am
Michele Bachmann Iowa: Slams marriage equality in speech to The Family Leader (Politico, 4/11). Religious Right: Wins straw poll at Liberty University's The Awakening 2011 (Freedom Federation, 4/11).  Budget: Refuses to endorse budget compromise (NPR, 4/11).  Haley Barbour Background: Experience as a lobbyist may make problems for campaign (AP, 4/12). New Hampshire: Traveling to Republican events in New Hampshire this week (Boston Globe, 4/11). Herman Cain South Carolina: Talks about the "ultimate destruction of the IRS" at Furman University (CSBT, 4/9). ... MORE
Brian Tashman, Friday 04/08/2011, 3:37pm
Former Pennsylvania Senator and likely presidential candidate Rick Santroum continues court Republican activists around the country, and yesterday addressed a GOP fundraiser in Colorado. Santorum, who previously claimed that the recently passed health care reform law intends to “addict Americans on government healthcare,” not only likened guaranteed health insurance to drug dealing but also said that it would have grave spiritual implications. He went on to say that there is “statistical proof” of American exceptionalism and that Republicans must be “ready to... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 04/06/2011, 5:27pm
I honestly cannot believe that NOM is actually quoting Virginia State Delegate Bob Marshall. Speaker John Boehner and the GOP will probably cave on defunding Planned Parenthood ... but apparently he is still an anti-choice hero. Newt Gingrich's Renewing American Leadership is starting its own prayer alert network. FRC thinks its work was so vital to one anti-health care reform lawsuit that it is getting involved in another. Finally, Bryan Fischer says there are too many questions about repealing DADT that are being left unanswered: "... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 03/23/2011, 5:45pm
PFAW Edit Memo: The Lesson From One Year of Health Care Reform—Pay Attention to the Courts. George Zornick @ Think Progress: Gingrich Criticized Obama For Not Intervening In Libya, But Now Criticizes Him For Intervening In Libya. Kevin Drum: The New Media Rules. Sarah Posner @ Religion Dispatches: Graham’s Muslim Brotherhood Conspiracy Theory Not New. Ryan J. Reilly @ TPM: O'Keefe Says He Racked Up 'Major Credit Card Debt,' Needs To Raise $50K. Steve Benen: Ron Johnson's wrong -- and offensive -- health care attack. Chris Rodda @ Talk... MORE