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Sunday, December 02, 2012

OTP December 2012 - Pushing G.O.P. to Negotiate, Obama Ends Giving In

Mr. Obama, scarred by failed negotiations in his first term and emboldened by a clear if close election to a second, has emerged as a different kind of negotiator in the past week or two, sticking to the liberal line and frustrating Republicans on the other side of the bargaining table.

Bitter Mouse Posted: December 02, 2012 at 11:15 PM | 6172 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: politics

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   5901. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 01, 2013 at 01:08 PM (#4335879)
the reasons for my previous statement:

--the holiday is over
--the general public will return to paying attention to the news
--the various interest groups are revving up their folks/messages
--this context will not be in place again
--the focus now becomes completely about spending
--there is a hard core group willing to let the nation default to get their way

house members will be under 1000000 times more pressure than what was in place over the holiday
   5902. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 01, 2013 at 01:11 PM (#4335881)
greg

because this deal has no commitment on spending which is how the senator of kentucky is selling this.

basically, all taxes are now off the table in the eyes of the gop leadership

forever

   5903. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: January 01, 2013 at 01:13 PM (#4335883)
A Jewish-owned business that does not serve ham in its company cafeteria does not impact on a Christian's religious freedom, even though the Christian is allowed to eat ham.


Offering health insurance is nothing like serving ham, and I think you know it. Health insurance plans, by law, have to meet certain minimum standards.

But if there were a general expectation that employers had to provide their employees lunch, and there were federal regulations on what foods had to be offered, I don't think a Jain employer ought to be able to claim a religious objection to a regulation that required that employees be served meat as part of their lunch (as long as the regulation doesn't require the meat to be consumed).
   5904. Mefisto Posted: January 01, 2013 at 01:30 PM (#4335891)
No, it isn't. Or, to explain this in small steps: when you say, "It's" the employee's money, the issue is what the "it" is. And the "it" is only what the employer has already given to the employee. The employer isn't giving her insurance that covers contraception, so such a policy was never the employee's to begin with.


Repeating your factual and conceptual errors won't make them any more true. "Employee benefits" are, in purely economic terms, money. They're structured differently because of government intervention via the tax code and social policy, but at the end of the day they're money. The employer isn't "offering a policy with specified coverage", it's paying a minimum wage-equivalent, which the employee and the insurer then use to define the coverage available for that amount.

It mystifies me that libertarians choose to ignore the basic economic structure of the transaction and want the government to intervene in the insurer-employee market transaction on behalf of an employer who has no interest in the economics and who is trying to use the government to enforce a religious belief on the insurer and the employee.

Well, it would mystify me if I weren't familiar with the way libertarians responded to Jim Crow.
   5905. tshipman Posted: January 01, 2013 at 01:31 PM (#4335892)
I think McConnell adroitly helped himself and his colleagues look reasonable. I have no idea whether anybody can do anything with the House unless Boehner and Cantor let a bill go to the floor with significant but perhaps not majority support among Republicans.


I don't think that McConnell would allow a vote on a bill if it wasn't (in his judgment) going to eventually be in compliance with the Hastert rule. Now, the absolute majority rule that Boehner has been working with is not going to work, quite obviously. But more than 130 R House members will vote for the bill.
   5906. GregD Posted: January 01, 2013 at 01:34 PM (#4335895)
I don't think that McConnell would allow a vote on a bill if it wasn't (in his judgment) going to eventually be in compliance with the Hastert rule. Now, the absolute majority rule that Boehner has been working with is not going to work, quite obviously. But more than 130 R House members will vote for the bill.
Why not? He ran a risk of getting primaried, for sure, but on the whole he helped Senate Republicans look reasonable and organized, which is a win for him whether the bill gets through the House or not. I assume he both strengthened his leadership hold and his party's chances of taking the Senate in 2014. What more reason need does he need?
   5907. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: January 01, 2013 at 01:43 PM (#4335899)
basically, all taxes are now off the table in the eyes of the gop leadership

forever


Well, except that the next "cliff" will basically be just the DoD sequester, and if Ds are willing to let that happen, then Rs are going to have to trade something to stop it. So maybe they trade the debt ceiling instead of trading more revenue, but that won't exactly make the Teapers happy either.
   5908. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 01, 2013 at 01:43 PM (#4335900)
greg

again, senator mcconnell led the fight to get mccain/feingold overturned.

the gop money has long memory. any primary challenge would be buried in cash.
   5909. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 01, 2013 at 01:46 PM (#4335903)
ca

the president is not going to get the gop to lower the floor on income tax a second time.

his 250k and above is never going to happen while he is president.

nor will the cap gains change again

i thought those were two key points for the president

he swapped them for what?

that's a serious question for the group here.
   5910. tshipman Posted: January 01, 2013 at 01:47 PM (#4335904)
Why not? He ran a risk of getting primaried, for sure, but on the whole he helped Senate Republicans look reasonable and organized, which is a win for him whether the bill gets through the House or not. I assume he both strengthened his leadership hold and his party's chances of taking the Senate in 2014. What more reason need does he need?


If the deal gets scuttled in the House, it reinforces the perception of the party as a ####-show that isn't capable of governing. The whole thing where Boehner said that it had to be negotiated in the Senate was a fiction. It's a fig leaf that allowed a deal to be worked out. Now Boehner can bring it up in the House allowing an up and down vote.

   5911. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 01, 2013 at 01:50 PM (#4335907)
This is a very good deal for the Democrats.
   5912. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 01, 2013 at 01:51 PM (#4335908)
A) It is not immoral because is it not forcing the Catholic Church to do anythign against their morals. They are providing access only. And if that is such a problem they can stop doing this activity, which is not central to their religion. Things central to their religion already have a waiver in the law, but just because they are Catholic does not mean they get universal waiver from the law it doesn't work that way. No one gets to opt out of all laws just because "Freedom of Religion".
First, the current lawsuits are not by the Church; they're by individual Catholics. Second, whether it forces them to do something against their morals is their call, not yours. (You can say -- and you have -- "I don't give a crap about your religious beliefs." But you can't try to dictate to them what their beliefs actually are.)

Third, the RFRA actually does give people the right to opt out of laws because of freedom of religion. Not all laws in all circumstances, to be sure -- but it requires that (a) the government have a compelling state interest in the act that infringes on someone's religious beliefs, and (b) that it uses the least restrictive/least burdensome means to do so. Since the government could simply provide contraception directly, there's no way this employer mandate satisfies the RFRA.
   5913. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: January 01, 2013 at 01:52 PM (#4335909)
nor will the cap gains change again


Did Obama ever say he wanted more than the 5% bump on capital gains and dividends? I mean, I'd want them to be treated like regular income, but Ronald Reagan isn't walking through that door.

he swapped them for what?


Looking Presidential?
   5914. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 01, 2013 at 01:54 PM (#4335910)
y:

are you presuming that in 60 days there won't be a go to the mattresses throw down over spending?
   5915. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: January 01, 2013 at 01:54 PM (#4335911)
Well, except that the next "cliff" will basically be just the DoD sequester, and if Ds are willing to let that happen, then Rs are going to have to trade something to stop it.


If the question is ONLY the DoD sequester, the DoD sequester will fold like paper. The DoD lobby owns as many Dems as they do Goopers.
   5916. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 01, 2013 at 01:55 PM (#4335912)
ca:

he doesn't need to worry about that presidential cr8p. he won a second term and had public opinion heavily on his side.

   5917. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: January 01, 2013 at 01:55 PM (#4335914)
Since the government could simply provide contraception directly, there's no way this employer mandate satisfies the RFRA.


And if the government were to do so, the same people would sue on the same grounds. Since, after all, the government would necessarily be using taxes collected from those individuals to provide contraception directly.
   5918. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: January 01, 2013 at 01:57 PM (#4335916)
he doesn't need to worry about that presidential cr8p. he won a second term and had public opinion heavily on his side.


Well, yeah. I was asking that question mark to carry a lot of water there. Not surprised that the incredulity I intended didn't come across.
   5919. Mefisto Posted: January 01, 2013 at 02:02 PM (#4335919)
he swapped them for what?

that's a serious question for the group here.


Compared to what the law would have been had nothing been done, Obama gave up the following:

1. The increased taxes on those earning between 250-450.

2. The increased estate taxes above 3.5 million and 45 (?)%.

3. The increased taxes on cap gains and dividends above 20%.

In return he got the following:

1. A one year extension of the UI.

2. A five year extension of the EITC.

3. A two month delay on the sequester.

That's all I can remember OTTOMH.
   5920. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 01, 2013 at 02:11 PM (#4335923)
The President just got the GOP to agree to raise taxes on those making above $450K, raise the cap gains rate, raise the estate tax, and extend UI. I never thought he'd get significantly higher increases on income, estate, or cap gains taxes, so IMO he gave up very little. Of course, people on the right want to spin this as a victory, and many on the left want to spin this as Obama being a wimp, but from where I sit it's a good deal.
   5921. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 01, 2013 at 02:13 PM (#4335926)
Did Obama ever say he wanted more than the 5% bump on capital gains and dividends? I mean, I'd want them to be treated like regular income, but Ronald Reagan isn't walking through that door.

Right...arguing that he lost because he didn't get a 10 or 20% bump on cap gains is just moving the goalposts.
   5922. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 01, 2013 at 02:17 PM (#4335931)
Re: Waco
No, they had a third choice: wait. Was the federal government running low on funds? It couldn't afford to pay overtime any longer?

Wait for what?
Wait for things to change: either the situation to end peacefully or for there to be an immediate need to go in.

If this had been a hostage situation involving ordinary criminals, do you think that the police would have just said, \"#### it; we're bored. Let's storm the place to see what happens"?
   5923. Morty Causa Posted: January 01, 2013 at 02:20 PM (#4335935)
First, the current lawsuits are not by the Church; they're by individual Catholics. Second, whether it forces them to do something against their morals is their call, not yours. (You can say -- and you have -- "I don't give a crap about your religious beliefs." But you can't try to dictate to them what their beliefs actually are.)


Societal and political consensus can dictate what values are acceptable as a matter of public policy. And that can change over time. Nothing is immutable. For instance, there's a push now to outlaw circumcision in a way there never was by the greater overarching society before. That some may see circumcision as their moral right and duty is one thing; it's legal expression is another. See snake handlers, too. Or child brides. Or polygamy. Or having to be medically vetted before you get a marriage license. Or tons of stuff. We can tell businesses, including insurance companies, that if they want to do business, then they have to do X. If they don't like it, they can choose to do something else with their time and efforts.
   5924. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: January 01, 2013 at 02:22 PM (#4335937)
If this had been a hostage situation involving ordinary criminals, do you think that the police would have just said, \"#### it; we're bored. Let's storm the place to see what happens"?


If this had been regular police attempting to execute a search warrant, and four of them got killed in the process, I'm pretty sure they wouldn't have waited another 50 days to storm the place.
   5925. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: January 01, 2013 at 02:31 PM (#4335945)
We can tell businesses, including insurance companies, that if they want to do business, then they have to do X. If they don't like it, they can choose to do something else with their time and efforts.

Employers dictate to insurance companies what kind of coverage is offered employees. Most employers are "self-insured", and use insurance companies to administer their policies.

I worked for BC/BS. One of my co-workers was fond of telling subscribers that "no one is saying you can't have (procedure x). We're just saying that the contract doesn't allow for payment for it." He would say it with a smile. He liked his job. I hated it.
   5926. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 01, 2013 at 02:33 PM (#4335948)
Sorry, Dan, but there's no other word for this than "lie". As in, what you said is a flat out lie. Hobby Lobby is the perfect example: its policies have covered contraception for years. Management obviously didn't "agree to specific provisions" (unless you now think they're lying). No, it did what all managers have always done, namely be willing to provide a certain amount of money in lieu of wages to provide compensation to its employees. The insurance company determines the coverage offered for that price, and management is interfering with the right of the insurance company to market its policies by controlling their terms.
Setting aside any normative arguments, this isn't even right as a descriptive matter. You're inventing a fantasy about the way the world works. An employer may certainly decide it can afford to spend a total of $50,000 per employee for all forms of compensation -- cash, health care, other benefits. But it does not then proceed to tell employees, "We'll pay you $50,000 this year -- $45,000 of that will be cash, and $5,000 will be health insurance." If the employer switches insurers at the start of the new year in order to secure insurance for $4,000/employee, it does not then give all employees a $1,000 raise in order to keep their compensation packages at $50,000.

The part about management "interfering with the right of the insurance company" is beyond delusional. It doesn't even make sense. An insurance company has no right to force any particular plan on an employer. Its right is to decline to do business with the employer if it doesn't like the terms.
   5927. Morty Causa Posted: January 01, 2013 at 02:35 PM (#4335953)
5925:

Yes, but even BC/BS must do certain things and can't do other things as a matter of public policy that is expressed in law--whether they like it or not. It is never just between two parties, much less one party imposing what amounts to contractual terms of adhesion. The very nature of the idea of contracts contemplates that there is a context in which ultimately a third party will decide disputes between the parties, both as to specific contracts and as to the very nature of the contractual relations.
   5928. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: January 01, 2013 at 02:37 PM (#4335954)
An insurance company has no right to force any particular plan on an employer. Its right is to decline to do business with the employer if it doesn't like the terms.


As a practical matter, isn't it more often the other way around? That is, the insurance company decides what particular plans it will offer and the employer chooses one of the offered plans or declines to do business with that insurer.
   5929. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 01, 2013 at 02:42 PM (#4335956)
y:

i am not speaking in terms of won/loss.

i am asking about things that i thought were considered important and what was gained in return.

and in the next discussion the discussion will be only about spending cuts

i don't know if that is the discussion the president wants to have when all tax increases will be off the table.
   5930. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 01, 2013 at 02:43 PM (#4335959)
and with taxes being assessed on marginal income this tax increase isn't much of one.

   5931. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 01, 2013 at 02:50 PM (#4335965)
if someone could set aside either griping or crowing and help me understand where the white house has leverage in the next discussion i would appreciate it

because i am not seeing it.

   5932. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: January 01, 2013 at 02:51 PM (#4335968)
5928 - it depends on the insurer's philosophy and the employer's purchasing power. In general, bcbs plans have a rep of being responsive to requests/demands - also, joe's talking about the administrative services only/self insured arena - where it's largely a question of whether or not the insurer is capable of administering a plan that the employer comes up with. All subject to Morty's comment, of course.
   5933. Morty Causa Posted: January 01, 2013 at 02:54 PM (#4335974)
As for everyone who thinks that anyone who feels the government has a decisive role to play in our lives is fascist, that's usually couched in a chain of logic that is the paragon of slippery slope reasoning—logic so slippery slope that it approaches the Six Degrees from Kevin Bacon level. Anyone can be found to be related to fascism that way. Seeing Waco in light of concentration/death camps and Kristallnacht acts of terrorism is the height of paranoia that reaches a degree of pure inanity. There were many things that checked against that, legally and socially, when it comes to Waco. There were not when it came to what Nazis and fascists did.
   5934. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: January 01, 2013 at 02:58 PM (#4335978)
Wait for things to change: either the situation to end peacefully or for there to be an immediate need to go in.


Because when a crazy person who thinks he's a god on earth is ####### multiple 13- and 14-year olds what you want the state to do is just wait it out. After all, if it bleeds, it breeds, amirite David?!
   5935. tshipman Posted: January 01, 2013 at 03:03 PM (#4335985)
and in the next discussion the discussion will be only about spending cuts


I mean, I know that the GOP has been saying this, but Obama thinks that he can get more revenue through reform. He has stated that any future deals will have to have an equal amount of revenue and cuts. O thinks he can get more revenue by doing a two-step. You might disagree, but that's what he thinks.

if someone could set aside either griping or crowing and help me understand where the white house has leverage in the next discussion i would appreciate it


I don't see how the GOP has leverage either. If they want to force a budget shutdown, O can probably let them do so.
   5936. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 01, 2013 at 03:03 PM (#4335987)
tship

ok.
   5937. GregD Posted: January 01, 2013 at 03:14 PM (#4336001)
Like you, Harveys, I don't see much Dem leverage in the debt limit unless Obama is really ready to let the House shut things down. If his starting point is the debt limit has to be raised no matter what--which is a reasonable starting point--then he has nothing to hold over the House.

He could pick a different starting point, in which case he would incur bigger risks but potentially have more leverage.

I can't imagine him letting himself get stuck on an island, the current situation would predict he will send Biden to negotiate something plausible with McConnell and then dare the House not to pass it. That would put the pressure on the House to do something, but I don't see why McConnell would go out of his way to help the president until it was last-minute time.

What Obama has in his favor in the debt limit, is that the House may not be able to pass anything at all, so they may not be able to put any bill together that would put pressure on the Senate to pass or the President to sign.
   5938. SteveF Posted: January 01, 2013 at 03:22 PM (#4336008)
Like you, Harveys, I don't see much Dem leverage in the debt limit unless Obama is really ready to let the House shut things down.


Well, the other issue is that sequestration was only delayed 2 months. If you believe that as many democrats as republicans are in the DoD's pocket, then the democrats really are in a poor position as regards those automatic spending cuts.

Given the middle class tax hikes are now off the table, how many people who vote are really going to be all that outraged when the interests of the poorest and most vulnerable Americans aren't protected? (Or, at least, I imagine that's how someone on the left will put it.)
   5939. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: January 01, 2013 at 03:25 PM (#4336011)
5027...Fair enough, and I don't know what the law says in that regard, but, as a matter of fact, one of the accounts our unit at BC/BS administered was for the Archdiocese of Boston, and they has a specific rider in their contract that prohibited abortion. If they were allowed to do that, why couldn't (can't) they prohibit coverage for contraceptives?

   5940. GregD Posted: January 01, 2013 at 03:32 PM (#4336016)
Given the middle class tax hikes are now off the table, how many people who vote are really going to be all that outraged when the interests of the poorest and most vulnerable Americans aren't protected? (Or, at least, I imagine that's how someone on the left will put it.)
This is my fear, too. One possibility is that Obama is a terrible negotiator. The other is that he's getting what he wants, a return to Clintonian normalcy on taxes and a wise man-embraced set of cutbacks that let him position himself as the great rational moderate. (Of course some of the cuts proposed don't save much money but seem purely mean-spirited attacks on the poor, but that didn't stop Clinton, either.) At this point I am hopeful that Obama has just been a bad negotiator, since he can change that to some degree. If he's really all in on the Friedman view, then we're sunk. A lot of our guesswork depends on how you read healthcare reform, as his dream of expanding the social welfare state, or as his technocratic solution to a problem that lots of experts pointed to.
   5941. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 01, 2013 at 03:35 PM (#4336022)
courtesy of slate:

•For couples earning more than $450,000 (or individuals earning more than $400,000), Bush-era tax cuts will expire, and the top income tax rate will rise from 35 percent to 39.6 percent
•For couples earning less than $250,000 (or individuals earning less than $200,000), Bush-era tax cuts will be made permanent
•For households earning between those two figures, some exemptions and deductions will expire
•Investment taxes and estate taxes will rise, though with big exemptions
•Stimulus tax credits for college tuition and the working poor will be extended for five years
•Benefits for the long-term unemployed will be extended for one year
•The alternative minimum tax will not go into effect for some 30 million taxpayers, but the payroll tax cut will expire, hitting most taxpayers
•Some stimulus tax credits for businesses, including in the renewable energy sector, will be extended for one year
   5942. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 01, 2013 at 03:38 PM (#4336028)
(The Catholic position is, apparently, that providing contraceptive coverage is sinful. The fact that an employee could use other employee compensation to buy birth control is irrelevant. That's a matter of Catholic doctrine, not something you can argue away simply because you personally wouldn't view it that way.)

This is actually not true. An analogous example might be if Jewish foodbanks were required to serve pork to gentiles. It's not that it's sinful, it's repellant.
No, actually, that's not right. [The word "sinful" is really a Christian word, and isn't really the right term to use when discussing Judaism, but I'll let that be.] While a gentile is not forbidden from eating pork under halacha, that does not mean a Jew can serve it to them.

From Vatican II: "It is the married couple themselves who must in the last analysis arrive at these judgments before God."
That quote -- which is not even specifically about contraception -- is ripped badly out of context; it is not saying that therefore it is perfectly legitimate for people to hand out birth control to people.
The Catholic Bishops council have repeatedly stated that it goes against the health care and school organization leaders' conscience to pay for contraceptives, not that it was sinful.
I'm not sure what meaningful distinction you think you're drawing here. (It's certainly not a legally relevant one.)
Finally, even if it were the Church's position that paying for contraceptive coverage were sinful, it wouldn't be relevant. The Church is not paying for contraceptive coverage. The insurers are.
First, "paying" isn't even relevant; if some misguided humanitarian donated boxes of birth control to the Church, that would not make it acceptable for the Church to hand it out to people. Second, I recognize that liberals believe that insurers have printing presses in their basements. (They keep them in the room with the golden egg laying goose and magical chocolate river.) But in fact "insurers" don't pay for anything; insurers' customers do. If you tell an insurance company, "You must hand out $50 bills to all of your customers," that money does not come from the insurer; the insurer raises premiums by $50 to pay it.
   5943. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 01, 2013 at 03:45 PM (#4336036)
Come off of it. The invisible hand doesn't give a #### whether anyone lives or dies. Embarrassing tripe.
That's right, it doesn't. So? Why is it that liberals are all Intelligent Designers when it comes to humanity? The same people who go around mocking those who insist that various life forms couldn't have arisen without central planning suddenly revert to that view as soon as we talk about people.
   5944. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 01, 2013 at 03:49 PM (#4336039)
As a matter of Catholic teaching, it is not immoral or an ethical issue for the university or hospital to provide coverage that includes birth control options.
When you get elected Pope, you can make that call.
   5945. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: January 01, 2013 at 03:53 PM (#4336046)
When you get elected Pope, you can make that call.


The fact that I know more about Catholic teaching than you doesn't make me Pope, Davey. It just means you don't know what you're talking about. Again.
   5946. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 01, 2013 at 03:54 PM (#4336047)
Every DMN post can be boiled down to: "tough titty".
Not remotely. My daughter, like all the liberals here, routinely confuses, "I want X" and "I need X," saying the latter when she means the former. She's not quite four, so she has that excuse. When she says "need" but means "want," then she doesn't get it. When she says "want," then I consider it. (Or, rather, when she asks politely for X because she wants it.) If someone who can't afford birth control wants to ask me politely for it, I'll be happy to consider that request. If someone who can afford birth control wants to ask me for it, I'm less likely to. And if someone who can demands it (wait for it... at gunpoint), I will absolutely reject it.

And Happy New Year to you.
   5947. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: January 01, 2013 at 03:54 PM (#4336048)
That's right, it doesn't. So? Why is it that liberals are all Intelligent Designers when it comes to humanity? The same people who go around mocking those who insist that various life forms couldn't have arisen without central planning suddenly revert to that view as soon as we talk about people.


Wow. This may be the stupidest thing you've written in years. Congrats!
   5948. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: January 01, 2013 at 03:54 PM (#4336049)
tax credits for college tuition ... will be extended for five years


Taking the "all politics is local" dictum to it's most extreme, this makes me happy and that's all that matters.
   5949. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: January 01, 2013 at 03:57 PM (#4336054)
The same people who go around mocking those who insist that various life forms couldn't have arisen without central planning suddenly revert to that view as soon as we talk about people.


Belief in evolution does not imply belief that everything which evolves is good.
   5950. SteveF Posted: January 01, 2013 at 03:58 PM (#4336056)
If they were allowed to do that, why couldn't (can't) they prohibit coverage for contraceptives?


ACA mandates coverage of contraceptives but not abortion. I don't mean that flippantly. I'm just stating that in case you didn't know.
   5951. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: January 01, 2013 at 04:00 PM (#4336059)
I didn't. Thanks.
   5952. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 01, 2013 at 04:01 PM (#4336060)
A Jewish-owned business that does not serve ham in its company cafeteria does not impact on a Christian's religious freedom, even though the Christian is allowed to eat ham.

Offering health insurance is nothing like serving ham, and I think you know it.
I don't know it, and apparently neither do you. In fact, based on your next statements, you think they're absolutely identical: one doesn't have to do it if there's no law which requires it, but if there is a law which requires it, then one does.
Health insurance plans, by law, have to meet certain minimum standards.

But if there were a general expectation that employers had to provide their employees lunch, and there were federal regulations on what foods had to be offered, I don't think a Jain employer ought to be able to claim a religious objection to a regulation that required that employees be served meat as part of their lunch (as long as the regulation doesn't require the meat to be consumed).
So what you're saying is that you don't think that a Catholic-owned business ought to be forced to hand out birth control unless a law is passed to force them to hand out birth control. That's sort of an empty statement though, don't you think? If you think that religious freedom means nothing, that as long as there's a law which mandates that one violate one's religious beliefs then the law is valid, well, there's not really anything to discuss. To say that you have the right to free exercise of religion as long as there's no law which says otherwise is to say that you don't have the right.
   5953. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 01, 2013 at 04:04 PM (#4336065)
If someone who can't afford birth control wants to ask me politely for it, I'll be happy to consider that request. If someone who can afford birth control wants to ask me for it, I'm less likely to. And if someone who can demands it (wait for it... at gunpoint), I will absolutely reject it.

And if someone who can't afford birth control gets knocked up and has her child become a ward of the state, you're going to be paying a lot more than you would have if you'd just said "yes" to her request in the first place.
   5954. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: January 01, 2013 at 04:06 PM (#4336067)
Belief in evolution does not imply belief that everything which evolves is good.


It's worse than that. David's argument is that people who attempt to create some sort of order (via governments) in a disordered world are like people who believe the world was designed by an external force (ID.) It is literally stupid. There is no sense whatsoever in that comparison. It's just David being David.
   5955. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 01, 2013 at 04:13 PM (#4336069)
Many folks here really don't understand how insurance works.

No, they're not. That's even more confused. Benefits are not "their own compensation" until after those benefits are given to the employees. They're absolutely not telling employees how they can use their own compensation; they're telling employees what compensation they'll get in the first place.


Employers dictate to insurance companies what kind of coverage is offered employees. Most employers are "self-insured", and use insurance companies to administer their policies.


Both of these are wrong. There are laws (state and federal) which mandate what must be covered by insurance. Both the insurance company and the employer can decide whatever they want, but they are overruled by the law of the land. The various lawsuits are trying to force insurers or employers (or employees for that matter) they are going against the law regarding insurance and what must be covered.

Oh and by the way in no way are most employers self insured. Most for profit companies with more than a thousand employees are self insured (cities and large school districts tend to prefer being fully insured and not self insured). There are many more companies with full insurance than self insurance. Of course the math changes if we are talking employees - I am not sure if there are more employees that exist under a self or fully insured plan, but for them it generally does not matter. In any event self insured companies still have to follow the laws regarding insurance and what is covered.
   5956. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 01, 2013 at 04:16 PM (#4336073)

Repeating your factual and conceptual errors won't make them any more true. "Employee benefits" are, in purely economic terms, money.
And repeating this won't make it any more relevant. It's like saying that if I swipe your puppy and replace it with a kitten when you're not around, it's okay because in purely biological terms they're both animals. If an employer wants to give out Kindles to its employees, they don't have the right to receive an iPad instead because both are tablets, nor do they have the right to receive the price of a Kindle instead on the grounds that "in purely economic terms" both are money.

They're structured differently because of government intervention via the tax code and social policy, but at the end of the day they're money. The employer isn't "offering a policy with specified coverage", it's paying a minimum wage-equivalent, which the employee and the insurer then use to define the coverage available for that amount.
The employer is offering a policy with specified coverage. Your statement is just factually incorrect. Now, many employers might be entirely indifferent as to what's covered, and are only interested in the total cost, but not all are, and the existence of the first group cannot will the second out of existence.

It mystifies me that libertarians choose to ignore the basic economic structure of the transaction and want the government to intervene in the insurer-employee market transaction on behalf of an employer who has no interest in the economics and who is trying to use the government to enforce a religious belief on the insurer and the employee.
Are you on drugs? Libertarians are asking the government to stay out and not intervene at all, leaving private parties to negotiate whatever they want amongst themselves.

There is no "insurer-employee market transaction." None. The employer is buying the coverage. You can tell, because the employer is the one writing the check to the insurance company. The employee doesn't even have a say in the matter, except whether to accept what the employer is offering. If the employee wants to go out on the individual market and buy a policy, the employer isn't stopping him.
   5957. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 01, 2013 at 04:17 PM (#4336074)
HW:

I am not sure what to think about the deal. Mostly I am waiting until it is actually a law and to see what exactly is in it. Knee jerk reactions to stuff before all the smoke clears tend not to be very correct or complete. Plus Obama - for all the crap he gets from his side - has shown himself to be pretty good at getting what he wants in these deals. I would rather he was more progressive and less centrist, but in terms of getting results he does a good job and I trust him to at least be true to his ideals.
   5958. GregD Posted: January 01, 2013 at 04:18 PM (#4336076)
Talking Points Memo now saying that there are no indications the House will bring the Senate plan to a vote. Excitement ahead!
   5959. Mefisto Posted: January 01, 2013 at 04:18 PM (#4336079)
Why is it that liberals are all Intelligent Designers when it comes to humanity?


I have to agree that this is silly. Social organization is, by definition, designed by human beings. Not only that, but the evolution of society is Lamarckian, not Darwinian.

   5960. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: January 01, 2013 at 04:19 PM (#4336080)
Back when I worked at BC/BS, the policies we administered and explained to subscribers were often different from each other. There were more inclusive policies (and they cost more), and less inclusive policies. I don't recall any lawsuits being filed against either BC/bs or their client accounts while I worked there.
   5961. Jay Z Posted: January 01, 2013 at 04:19 PM (#4336081)
The irony of the "no tax increases forever" pledge is that what private business would ever make this promise? Private businesses raise their prices all of the time. Maybe, as a customer, you can stop using that business and find another way; maybe you can't and just have to pay more. But prices change; they should.

So I guess they are doing a good job of demonstrating that more of government should be privatized, so we can get the price increases we deserve. :)
   5962. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 01, 2013 at 04:23 PM (#4336085)
Are you on drugs? Libertarians are asking the government to stay out and not intervene at all, leaving private parties to negotiate whatever they want amongst themselves.


Well that horse left the barn many years ago and for every industrialized nation on earth, but if we are going to discuss the coverage mandates contained in ACA that some Catholics are upset about then your statement is not relevant. The various suits are not suggesting the government shouldn't or can't intrude in general, but rather there is a compelling religious "need" (or whatever term) such that the law should not apply.

Second, whether it forces them to do something against their morals is their call, not yours. You can say -- and you have -- "I don't give a crap about your religious beliefs." But you can't try to dictate to them what their beliefs actually are.


It is not my call, it is the courts/governments. And I never have tried to dictate my beliefs. And while I don't "give a crap about their beliefs" that is irrelevant, since I have not tried to dictate my beliefs. I have suggested that they don't have a compelling religious reason to be able to dodge the law of the land, because that is what I believe. The courts get to decide though.
   5963. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 01, 2013 at 04:26 PM (#4336088)
Back when I worked at BC/BS, the policies we administered and explained to subscribers were often different from each other. There were more inclusive policies (and they cost more), and less inclusive policies. I don't recall any lawsuits being filed against either BC/bs or their client accounts while I worked there.


Sure, within the various laws (mostly by state) there are many various plans that get offered to employers, and often employers will present multiples of them (and even multiples from multiple insurers). But all of them have to follow the coverage mandates.

and law suits are a semi-permanent part of the landscape for insurance companies, fortunately I never have had to deal with that side of things.
   5964. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: January 01, 2013 at 04:27 PM (#4336089)
And repeating this won't make it any more relevant. It's like saying that if I swipe your puppy and replace it with a kitten when you're not around, it's okay because in purely biological terms they're both animals.


Says the man who argues that taxes are theft (at gunpoint!) of his freedom. Dear god.
   5965. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 01, 2013 at 04:28 PM (#4336091)
The irony of the "no tax increases forever" pledge is that what private business would ever make this promise?


It is an expression of religious belief, not an actual policy position. I suspect there would be lawsuits asking for religious exceptions to taxation if they thought they could get away with it.
   5966. Mefisto Posted: January 01, 2013 at 04:30 PM (#4336094)
There is no "insurer-employee market transaction." None. The employer is buying the coverage. You can tell, because the employer is the one writing the check to the insurance company. The employee doesn't even have a say in the matter, except whether to accept what the employer is offering. If the employee wants to go out on the individual market and buy a policy, the employer isn't stopping him.


For the last time: your position here is incoherent and simply ignores basic economics. The employer is NOT "buying coverage". The employer is obligated by law to provide compensation at a minimum level to its employees. Some of that compensation must come in the form of wages. Some must come in the form of an insurance policy. But at the economic base, it's all just money.

That money does not belong to the employer. We all know this is true because libertarians are the first to insist that employee benefits must be counted for the employees.

What's happening is that the employers here don't want to pay the minimum wage. They want to pay less than other employers (assuming that contraception coverage increases the cost of insurance*). It's no different than violating the minimum wage law on the ground that they don't like the way employees spend their wages.

Because employee benefits = money, and because the only interest the employer has in the transaction is the cost, the employer has no interest in the terms of the policy. The coverage conditions are up to the insurer and the beneficiary (namely the employee). You're claiming that someone who is neither the insurer nor the beneficiary can insist on controlling the policy terms. That's absurd.

*If contraception coverage actually reduces the cost of the policy, then the employer is, by definition, not "buying" anything.
   5967. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: January 01, 2013 at 04:36 PM (#4336098)
It is an expression of religious belief, not an actual policy position. I suspect there would be lawsuits asking for religious exceptions to taxation if they thought they could get away with it.


This. The Dixiecrat/Teaper base operates on articles of faith, both religiously and ideologically.
   5968. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 01, 2013 at 04:44 PM (#4336106)
Since the government could simply provide contraception directly, there's no way this employer mandate satisfies the RFRA.

And if the government were to do so, the same people would sue on the same grounds. Since, after all, the government would necessarily be using taxes collected from those individuals to provide contraception directly.
They can't sue on those grounds (or, anyway, they can't prevail). It's well-established law. (Indeed, it was a 9-0 loss at the Supreme Court.)

Moreover, I'm not a Catholic theologian, but my understanding is that doctrine draws a distinction between these -- just as it draws a distinction between directly providing contraceptive coverage and providing cash to the employee which the employee may choose to spend on contraception.
   5969. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: January 01, 2013 at 05:20 PM (#4336159)
I suspect there would be lawsuits asking for religious exceptions to taxation if they thought they could get away with it.


There are religious exceptions to taxation.

They can't sue on those grounds (or, anyway, they can't prevail).


Oh, I know they can't prevail. But they certainly would try.

I'm not a Catholic theologian, but my understanding is that doctrine draws a distinction between these...


Between which?
   5970. tshipman Posted: January 01, 2013 at 05:29 PM (#4336171)
No, actually, that's not right. [The word "sinful" is really a Christian word, and isn't really the right term to use when discussing Judaism, but I'll let that be.] While a gentile is not forbidden from eating pork under halacha, that does not mean a Jew can serve it to them.


Yeah, I figured I screwed up the analogy. In any case, it's not a sin to provide contraception. Not to sell it to others, and not to provide it in a health care plan. There is no Catholic teaching to that effect.
   5971. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 01, 2013 at 05:34 PM (#4336182)
3 different views:

"This isn't a done deal by any stretch," said Rep. Steve LaTourette (R., Ohio), a retiring member considered a centrist. "If this is the only choice I will vote for it just to get something done." But he questioned the wisdom of accepting, without change, "a package put together by a bunch of sleep-deprived octogenerians on New Year's Eve."

Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R., S.C.) said, "I don't think I could support it as it is. The spending part is killing me. All we see is tax increases."

Rep. Tom Cole (R., Okla.) said the House should pass the bill and put off the fight over spending until the coming months, when Congress will be debating an increase in the debt limit and other spending measures. "It's much better to make this deal now," he said
   5972. SteveF Posted: January 01, 2013 at 05:39 PM (#4336191)
a package put together by a bunch of sleep-deprived octogenarians on New Year's Eve.


That sets the bar pretty high for best political quote of the year, especially for something said on January 1st.
   5973. zenbitz Posted: January 01, 2013 at 05:40 PM (#4336192)
. Not only that, but the evolution of society is Lamarckian,not Darwinian.

Aloha from Hawaii.. its probably a bit of both
   5974. Tripon Posted: January 01, 2013 at 05:43 PM (#4336199)

"This isn't a done deal by any stretch," said Rep. Steve LaTourette (R., Ohio), a retiring member considered a centrist. "If this is the only choice I will vote for it just to get something done." But he questioned the wisdom of accepting, without change, "a package put together by a bunch of sleep-deprived octogenerians on New Year's Eve."

Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R., S.C.) said, "I don't think I could support it as it is. The spending part is killing me. All we see is tax increases."

Rep. Tom Cole (R., Okla.) said the House should pass the bill and put off the fight over spending until the coming months, when Congress will be debating an increase in the debt limit and other spending measures. "It's much better to make this deal now," he said


This is driving me crazy. Congress literally had two years to figure this out, and now they're claiming that they really only had a midnight deadline.
   5975. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 01, 2013 at 05:49 PM (#4336209)
Because when a crazy person who thinks he's a god on earth is ####### multiple 13- and 14-year olds what you want the state to do is just wait it out. After all, if it bleeds, it breeds, amirite David?!
You're confusing me with the defender of child molesting here, Morty.

But here's a hint: the ATF was not there investigating child abuse charges. The state, which actually investigates child abuse, was not involved in this attack or the siege. And the state had, IIRC, already investigated the BDs and not found any action to take.

In any case, the ATF certainly protected all the 13- and 14-year olds in there, amirite, Sam? They'll never be having sex again. Thanks!
   5976. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 01, 2013 at 05:59 PM (#4336214)
tripon

maybe the president succeeded in provoking the house to reject the deal

i have heard that version and don't think it's completely crazy
   5977. GregD Posted: January 01, 2013 at 06:11 PM (#4336223)
Harveys, you imply that it would take some external force to get the House Republicans to split. Occam's Razor would suggest otherwise. They've killed things when they've had external pressure and when they've been in a vacuum. The independent variable seems to be the House Reps themselves.

Here's a quote from TPM:
Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-OH): "The plan is to develop a plan that will get 218 votes out of this conference, and that's a very tricky thing as we've seen over the last two years."

   5978. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 01, 2013 at 06:12 PM (#4336224)
I have to agree that this is silly. Social organization is, by definition, designed by human beings.
Here you go.
   5979. tshipman Posted: January 01, 2013 at 06:13 PM (#4336226)
Harveys, you imply that it would take some external force to get the House Republicans to split. Occam's Razor would suggest otherwise. They've killed things when they've had external pressure and when they've been in a vacuum. The independent variable seems to be the House Reps themselves.

Here's a quote from TPM:
Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-OH): "The plan is to develop a plan that will get 218 votes out of this conference, and that's a very tricky thing as we've seen over the last two years."


Yeah, I think it's pretty clear that it wins a majority in the House. It won't win 218 Republicans though. Which is why I'm relatively shocked that Boehner isn't bringing it to the floor. I thought he knew that ... I really don't get what's going on. Is Boehner just waiting until he's confirmed as speaker? This is weird.

If the House refuses to allow a vote on it, R's will get killed.
   5980. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 01, 2013 at 06:15 PM (#4336227)
greg

i have been consistent that the key factors in this equation are:

--the speaker and whether he wants to remain speaker
--the set of house members who are adamantly opposed to any tax increase
--the set of house members who are adamantly opposed to any compromise with the president
--the house members high concern over voting for anything that resembles a tax increase

i wish folks would not put words in my mouth
   5981. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 01, 2013 at 06:17 PM (#4336231)
tship

i said yesterday that there was a strong chance that there would be a delay until after the speaker was re-elected

   5982. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 01, 2013 at 06:18 PM (#4336233)
tship

gop house members are being told repeatedly that the only thing that matters is honoring promises to constituents. those constituents are not going to kill them for rejecting what is regarded as a bad deal

so why would a gop house member care what you think?
   5983. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 01, 2013 at 06:20 PM (#4336235)
what is wrong with you guys? in gerrymandered districts and interest groups that can pour cash in to support a primary challenge why do you continue to discuss how the republicans will get killed in the court of public opinion

grover norquist tells these reps every day what is the difference between 15 and 18 percent approval ratings

again. and hopefully just maybe fr the last time:

these

reps

do

not

care

i am sorry if this disappoints you
   5984. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: January 01, 2013 at 06:23 PM (#4336243)
Here you go.


Davey's wishing for pre-industrial revolution society again. How cute.
   5985. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 01, 2013 at 06:27 PM (#4336247)
and in case folks are going to leap to conclusions i am not advocating for their approach

just working to provide the 'why'

   5986. Dan The Mediocre Posted: January 01, 2013 at 06:28 PM (#4336249)
Wait for things to change: either the situation to end peacefully or for there to be an immediate need to go in.


So just sit there for years and years? It wasn't going to end peacefully. They had already made a few different deals with Koresh to get him to surrender that he just ignored.


If this had been a hostage situation involving ordinary criminals, do you think that the police would have just said, \"#### it; we're bored. Let's storm the place to see what happens"?


Ordinary criminals don't keep hostages for 50 days.
   5987. Mefisto Posted: January 01, 2013 at 06:33 PM (#4336257)
Aloha from Hawaii.. its probably a bit of both


Fair enough.

Here you go.


I'm not impressed by an article which relies on Hayek and Rothbard (!). In any case, even if some aspects of social relations appear "spontaneously" (which is dubious), many clearly do not. So yeah, much of social organization operates by design and can be changed by design.
   5988. tshipman Posted: January 01, 2013 at 06:39 PM (#4336264)

gop house members are being told repeatedly that the only thing that matters is honoring promises to constituents. those constituents are not going to kill them for rejecting what is regarded as a bad deal

so why would a gop house member care what you think?


So ... they prefer to have taxes go up on everyone? And be blamed for it?

I mean, McConnell gave Obama huge cover. He can just use the bully pulpit to beat up Republicans (and the media will go along with it for good reason). I don't get Boehner's thinking. They already got the deal. It will pass the House if he brings it to the floor. Obama gets zero percent of the blame.

Like, I get that individual reps feel like it's in their best interest to vote against it in certain cases. However, it's not in the Speaker's best interests to not allow an up/down vote after he is confirmed as Speaker. And it's certainly not in the Party's collective interest. Where are Republican elites on this?

I feel like Boehner has to be talking the talk on this, but will bring it up for a vote after the 3rd. It makes no sense otherwise. Why ask for McConnell to negotiate if you didn't want cover?

These are the actions of anarchists.
   5989. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 01, 2013 at 06:42 PM (#4336265)
tship

i understand that perspective
   5990. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: January 01, 2013 at 06:46 PM (#4336268)
So ... they prefer to have taxes go up on everyone? And be blamed for it?


Harvey's point, and it's not wrong, is that the only people they care about - the hardcore right wing Teaper voters of their deep, deep red, gerrymandered districts - will not blame them for it. They will blame Obama, because they blame Obama for *everything* already.
   5991. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: January 01, 2013 at 06:46 PM (#4336271)
Isn't

--the set of house members who are adamantly opposed to any tax increase


a subset of

--the set of house members who are adamantly opposed to any compromise with the president


or vice versa?

again. and hopefully just maybe fr the last time:

these

reps

do

not

care

i am sorry if this disappoints you


This does not disappoint me, as I already have less than no respect for those reps and their constituents. Nor does it surprise me, since I am fully aware of how the world works, at least in the congressional districts we're talking about. What does disappoint me is that the speaker will not just allow an up or down vote. His seat is not in jeopardy, and if his speakership is in jeopardy over this, then he's not in a position to be an effective leader of his conference anyway. So vote on the Senate bill and let those reps vote no. If it passes without their support, they can still tell their constituents that they did the right thing. No one is obligated to care any more about what they and their constituents think then they care about what another member's constituents think.
   5992. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 01, 2013 at 06:59 PM (#4336285)
what is wrong with you guys? in gerrymandered districts and interest groups that can pour cash in to support a primary challenge why do you continue to discuss how the republicans will get killed in the court of public opinion

grover norquist tells these reps every day what is the difference between 15 and 18 percent approval ratings

again. and hopefully just maybe fr the last time:

these

reps

do

not

care

i am sorry if this disappoints you


Nothing surprising about it, Harv, and you're just speaking the truth. Gerrymandered districts and unlimited cash to spend on attack ads can certainly do their work. Those Super-PACs may not be able to control a presidential race, but they're not so dumb that they don't know how to concentrate their energies and attention into enough districts and state houses to let them effectively paralyze the country.

The only possible way out of this is that the practical effect of going over the fiscal cliff might get the attention of the dimwitted souls who elect congressmen like that. And perhaps, just perhaps, they might then tell these Norquist lackeys to pull back a bit.

Failing that, the Democrats had sure as hell better start framing what's happening in the starkest political terms possible, and let the chips fall where they may.
   5993. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: January 01, 2013 at 07:04 PM (#4336290)
The only possible way out of this is that the practical effect of going over the fiscal cliff might get the attention of the dimwitted souls who elect congressmen like that.


Fox told them Obama was going to destroy the economy. When the economy tanks due to the Teaper refusal to pass rational economic policies in lieu of ideological articles of faith that taxes are evil*, the people who vote for the Teapers will be told by Fox that Obama has destroyed the economy, just like Fox predicted.

*much like Kneepants and the libertarian chorus, these people do not think about taxes as points of dry economic policy. These are *moral stands.* It's about *principles.* They're religious ideologues about taxes.
   5994. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 01, 2013 at 07:17 PM (#4336304)
Fox told them Obama was going to destroy the economy. When the economy tanks due to the Teaper refusal to pass rational economic policies in lieu of ideological articles of faith that taxes are evil*, the people who vote for the Teapers will be told by Fox that Obama has destroyed the economy, just like Fox predicted.

*much like Kneepants and the libertarian chorus, these people do not think about taxes as points of dry economic policy. These are *moral stands.* It's about *principles.* They're religious ideologues about taxes.


Well, obviously that holds true for most of the Kool-Aid Krowd, and there's nothing you can do about them. But when the pain starts to be felt on the individual level it's also possible that there might be enough backsliders** in enough districts to make a difference. No guarantees, but what's the short term alternative?

**or enough Harveys, meaning enough Republicans who weren't insane to begin with, but who still helped to elect the loonies in the general election by not even considering the Democratic alternative.
   5995. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 01, 2013 at 07:19 PM (#4336308)
The various suits are not suggesting the government shouldn't or can't intrude in general, but rather there is a compelling religious "need" (or whatever term) such that the law should not apply.
In short, they're not asking for the government to do anything here; they're asking for the government to stay out of it.

Of course the suits are not suggesting the government shouldn't or can't intrude in general; there's no legal basis for such a lawsuit, in contrast to this one.

It is not my call, it is the courts/governments. And I never have tried to dictate my beliefs. And while I don't "give a crap about their beliefs" that is irrelevant, since I have not tried to dictate my beliefs. I have suggested that they don't have a compelling religious reason to be able to dodge the law of the land, because that is what I believe. The courts get to decide though.
It's not the court's/government's call whether it violates their morals. It's their own call. (For some reason -- perhaps in order to assuage their own consciences -- lots of liberals want to argue that the mandate to provide contraceptive coverage doesn't "really" violate the business owners' religious beliefs.) You're right it's the court's call as to whether they'll have to comply with that mandate -- but you've described the legal issue backwards. It's up to the government to show that it has a compelling interest in forcing them, not that they have a "compelling religious reason" to practice their religion.
   5996. Steve Treder Posted: January 01, 2013 at 07:21 PM (#4336311)
Where are Republican elites on this?

Pissing their britches and moaning about it, as usual.
   5997. Srul Itza At Home Posted: January 01, 2013 at 07:22 PM (#4336313)
Aloha from Hawaii


Right back at you.
   5998. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 01, 2013 at 07:28 PM (#4336323)
lots of liberals want to argue that the mandate to provide contraceptive coverage doesn't "really" violate the business owners' religious beliefs


If by the commonly stated and as practiced in America religious beliefs, then it clearly doesn't violate them. If you mean the individuals personal beliefs, well obviously only they know what their beliefs are, but who cares? Not in the wow I hate them sense, but in the sense that you can't run a nation allowing exceptions for every individuals beliefs.

Once society has decided the government can set laws regarding something, and the government puts those laws in place, and the laws are declared constitutional (all of which has happened for ACA) then it is up to the individual to show why those laws don't apply to them. The government does not have to justify every law to every individual. "Sorry officer, my religion insists I speed on Sundays, you must show compelling interest in limiting my freedom to speed."

No one is asking them not to practice their religion, just not to break the law.
   5999. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: January 01, 2013 at 07:29 PM (#4336324)
It's up to the government to show that it has a compelling interest in forcing them, not that they have a "compelling religious reason" to practice their religion.


Isn't it about determining which interest is more compelling?
   6000. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 01, 2013 at 07:34 PM (#4336332)
Where are Republican elites on this?


They have the tiger by the tail and have no idea long term what to do.
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