Monday Mashup Part One (10/11/10)

(At least one of these items is from last week, but this is the first chance I’ve had to post on it.)

  • 1) Former Senator (and would-be Repug party presidential nominee, apparently – dear God, please let him win the nomination…I’ll post forever!) Man-On-Dog opined as follows in (where else?) The Philadelphia Inquirer recently here…

    Liberal elites are once again using health-care policy to advance one of their agenda items, this time on the abortion front.

    The American Civil Liberties Union has launched an effort to force religious hospitals to provide abortions. The organization is asking the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services – which controls nearly $800 billion in President Obama’s latest budget – to force hospitals to provide abortions or lose federal funding.

    The views of the centers’ administrator, Dr. Donald Berwick, are so controversial that Obama had to appoint him while Congress was in recess. Now he is overseeing the writing of countless new health-care regulations, and the ACLU can’t let an opportunity like that slip by.

    Using a handful of mostly anonymous anecdotes about pregnant women who were denied abortions at religiously affiliated hospitals, the group is demanding that Berwick’s agency rewrite the rules of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act to force care providers to perform abortions.

    I’m not going to post about Dr. Berwick because I don’t want to rehash any right-wing arguments and thus inadvertently give them more oxygen than they deserve. Instead, I want to focus on an “anonymous anecdote,” as Little Ricky glibly puts it, that seems to be a lynchpin for his specious argument (of course, he con-vee-niently chooses to downplay the anonymity right patients have anyway due to HIPAA regulations).

    This tells us of St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, AZ, a Catholic-owned hospital that provided a life-saving abortion to a young mother of four who was dying from pulmonary hypertension.

    As the story tells us…

    The hospital’s Ethics Committee determined that her physicians would be permitted to perform the abortion under the Ethical and Religious Directives under which Catholic hospitals operate. Though the hospital provided the necessary care in this instance, the Catholic hierarchy — via the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (PDF) and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix (PDF) — subsequently issued statements denouncing the emergency abortion, and making clear that abortion can essentially never be performed at a Catholic hospital. This means that the next woman who enters a Catholic hospital in need of an emergency abortion could die.

    And as this story tells us, the hospital administrator, Sr. Margaret McBride, was “automatically excommunicated” by Phoenix Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted.

    The story from the ACLU web site tells us that the group “asked the federal government to ensure that religiously affiliated hospitals provide emergency reproductive health care as required by the Emergency Medical Conditions and Women in Labor Act and the Conditions of Participation for hospitals receiving Medicare and Medicaid funds (PDF).”

    Of course, given what passes for Santorum’s thought processes, forcing Catholic hospitals to comply with the law automatically gets spun into forcing health providers who oppose abortion to act against their “conscience.”

    So just remember, you would-be moms who run into catastrophic circumstances with your pregnancy, as far as Santorum is concerned, you can either save your own life and commit a mortal sin in the process, or die a slow, excruciating death with a clear conscience, just so long as you “propagate” the faith.

  • 2) Also, I haven’t had much to say about columnist Deroy Murdock, but this item was impossible to ignore, particularly the following…

    Washington dictates showerhead water pressure, limits the capacity of flush toilets, and essentially will ban Edison-style light bulbs as of 2014.

    Yep, looks like those dern terrists are even gonna come after us in our bathrooms (Godless heathens, including those danged li-bu-ruuls).

    This tells us that the law phasing out incandescent light bulbs was signed in 2007, so whatever you may think of that (and the jury seems to still be out, as they say, on the replacement-type bulbs…I’ve read that though fluorescent bulbs contain a smaller amount of mercury than the traditional incandescent bulbs, they pose more of a risk of mercury exposure than the older type if they break), you can’t blame Obama for that (not as president, anyway).

    But in terms of the water from the shower heads, the Murdoch Street Journal tells us here that consumers mostly aren’t affected, and 95 percent of existing shower heads are compliant anyway.

    So it looks like Deroy Murdock is all wet (sorry, too easy).

  • 3) Finally, it’s time for another chapter of Fun With Poll Numbers Starring Former Laura Bush Employee Andrew Malcolm (here)…

    According to president No. 44, George Bush presided over eight years of failed policies and left a huge mess that Obama has been unable to clean up, even with Joe Biden’s verbal help.

    But here’s the problem. And it’s a big one: The American public is now disagreeing with Barack Obama on that issue, too. A new CNN/Opinion Research Poll shows the pair are virtually tied now in terms of approval of their presidencies.

    This tells us the following (“Photoshopped” pic and all)…

    A new CNN/Opinion Dynamics poll released today should provide some hope to Democrats and cause a bit of concern for the GOP ahead of the mid term elections. The poll revealed that a majority of Americans (53%) blame George W. Bush and the GOP not Barack Obama and the Democrats for the nation’s current economic problems.

    The CNN/ Opinion Dynamics poll asked a very simple question. Who do you hold responsible for the nation’s current economic problems George W. Bush and the GOP, or Barack Obama and the Democrats? Fifty three percent of respondents blamed Bush and the Republicans, while only 33% blamed Obama and the Democrats, 10% blamed both parties, 3% said neither, and 1% were not sure.

    In the poll cited by Malcolm, the numbers are 47 percent Obama and 45 percent Former President Highest Disapproval Rating In Gallup Poll History (which, despite it all, are twice those at least of a former moose-hunting, half-term Alaska governor, as noted here).

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