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As For Catholics and Healthcare



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As you intimated last night, Kathryn, it was Catholic nuns who started this booming business (Catholic hospitals) in this country in the first place by selflessly caring for those no one else would. They went (and still go) to rural areas with no decent medical services and provide for people with no money, no insurance and little hope. They are helping the homeless, people with AIDS and, for eons now, pregnant women with nowhere to turn.

Alms For The Poor



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BTW, I’d like to point out that I’ll probably never work again in the women’s magazine business as I have been slightly critical of half the books on the shelf in the past month. I mean, I’m just trying to be helpful. Always room for improvement and all that. Hello, anybody there…?

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Cosmo Is What It Is



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Cosmo (the magazine) is defensible, Tim & Kathryn, because it is what it is. It never pretends to be something else. And most women’s books are decidedly liberal, I know. But Catholic-bashing under the guise of health reporting in a fitness mag is a new twist for sure!

Web Briefing: August 20, 2014

The Blair Necessities



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I was traveling and unable to see Blair’s speech. I’m genuinely bummed since I’m a sucker for great political speeches and there’s little doubt that Blair is the great political orator of his generation.

After reading accounts of the speech and the speech itself, I imagine a lot of folks who have had their doubts about the war – and even some who were vehemently opposed to it – pausing to think hard about what the Prime Minister had to say. The extraordinarily bright and perceptive liberal blogger Matthew Yglesias, recently wrote (well before the Blair speech to Congress):

As ever, the Iraq venture sounds a lot more sensible when Prime Minister Blair talks about it than when President Bush does…

I know a lot of people who feel that way – who are uncomfortable with what Bush wants to do because Bush doesn’t always articulate his aims in a way that rings nicely on the ears. But as an exercise in intellectual honesty, when weighing the merits of an action – such as going to war in Iraq – isn’t it incumbent on us to consider the merits of the best case itself? Maybe Bush doesn’t inspire as much confidence as Blair. But for liberals of good faith, how is it that Blair is unpersuasive?

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Atla V. Bush



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The trial lawyers are girding for political battle.

Inconvenient Facts



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The Daily Howler simply shreds the latest Harold Meyerson Washington Post column (on uranium, Iraq, etc.) to pieces.

One More Chick-Mag Post



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Tim, you just reminded me I wrote a defense of Cosmo once. (No, not the mascot.)

Prim and Proper?



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Here’s what Susan had to say about the Wal-Mart ban controversy.

Re: Women’s Mags



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K-Lo and Susan, my colleague Jessica Anderson showed me a rather stunning set of feminist articles in Self magazine (although it could be seen as appropriate: save your Self, lose the inconvenient “pregnancy”). MRC did a study of women’s magazines with Consumer Alert years ago that proved how liberal they were on economic and consumer issues. I’m sure a study on social issues would demonstrate a greater tilt.

Even so, some try to pretend the women’s mags are still prim and proper.

Bush Is a Big Gov’t Conservative



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I have to go to CNN. So I won’t be around for a while. But here’s a nugget from my syndicated column:

The second explanation has to do with the changing nature of conservative dogma. Or, to be more accurate, the faltering adherence to conservative dogma. For fifty years, it was an article of faith that growth of government was synonymous with loss of liberty. Many conservatives believed that government meddling in the free market put us all on what Friedrich Hayek famously called “The Road to Serfdom,” his literary way of saying the slippery slope to communism or fascism.
But welfare reform, the collapse of communism and the relative popularity of middle-class entitlements like Social Security and home mortgage interest deductions have caused that dogma to lose much of its oomph. A movement that believes writing checks to old folks is a step toward tyranny is more likely to fight government spending than one that thinks it’s merely bad bookkeeping.
When you look at it from this perspective, it’s fair to say this administration is conservative. But it’s also fair to say it favors big government. What will make politics very interesting in the years to come is that “big government conservative” used to be an oxymoron. now it means “compassionate conservative.”

More Senate Antics



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Another Senate committee (Appropriations), another delayed vote. This time on D.C. school choice. Guess who the common denominator Republican is? Pennsylvania’s Arlen Specter, who is voting with the Democrats against D.C. school choice (a remarkable position when you consider the state of D.C. schools). In the case of the Bill Pryor nomination battle, Specter is said to still be deciding if he is going to support Pryor’s nomination or not. (Care to place wagers?) This is the White House man in the Pennsylvania Senate race? These are big enough issues to the White House (and these two examples just scratch the surface) to effect a warming to one Pat Toomey, one would think.

Terrorizing The Poor



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Bet you didn’t know that the War on Terrorism hurts the poor. Here’s a report from–where else?–the BBC.

Actually...



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…the NYTimes link here to Blair’s includes the jokes–and an apology for burning down the congressional library. The previous link is the formal Downing Street release.

Blair, Bush and Blair



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Here’s a link to Blair’s speech to Congress. Here’s the joint press conference later.

An excerpt:


We are bound together as never before.

This coming together provides us with unprecedented opportunity but also makes us uniquely vulnerable.

The threat comes because, in another part of the globe, there is shadow and darkness where not all the world is free, where many millions suffer under brutal dictatorship; where a third of our planet lives in a poverty beyond anything even the poorest in our societies can imagine; and where a fanatical strain of religious extremism has arisen, that is a mutation of the true and peaceful faith of Islam and because in the combination of these afflictions, a new and deadly virus has emerged.

The virus is terrorism, whose intent to inflict destruction is unconstrained by human feeling; and whose capacity to inflict it is enlarged by technology.

This is a battle that can’t be fought or won only by armies. We are so much more powerful in all conventional ways than the terrorist. Yet even in all our might, we are taught humility. In the end, it is not our power alone that will defeat this evil. Our ultimate weapon is not our guns but our beliefs.

There is a myth. That though we love freedom, others don’t, that our attachment to freedom is a product of our culture. That freedom, democracy, human rights, the rule of law are American values or Western values. That Afghan women were content under the lash of the Taliban. That Saddam was beloved by his people. That Milosevic was Serbia’s saviour.

Ours are not Western values. They are the universal values of the human spirit and anywhere, any time, ordinary people are given the chance to choose, the choice is the same. Freedom not tyranny. Democracy not dictatorship. The rule of law not the rule of the secret police.

The spread of freedom is the best security for the free. It is our last line of defence and our first line of attack.

Just as the terrorist seeks to divide humanity in hate, so we have to unify it around an idea and that that idea is liberty.

Sorry, C-Span



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Ramesh’s reporting on the Traditional Values Coalition reminds me: an e-mailer suggested “Lou Sheldon’s daughter” appeared on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal on Sunday, which would balance out their Tuesday solo interview with Elizabeth Birch of the gay-left lobby group Human Rights Campaign. I checked. The e-mailer is right. Andrea Sheldon Lafferty was interviewed on the program Sunday, on subjects including the gay agenda. So there was an effort at balance. Shut my blog-hole.

Re: Bikinis & Mergers



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Oh, Susan, how I wish I could say that was new to me. There could be an entire think tank devoted to finding this kind of stuff in the women’s mag world (though I can see how it was a jolt from your friendly Shape). I learned of mergerwatch’s existence–it’s wildly popular among the liberal feminist and abortion (sorry to be redundant) groups—from Glamour or one of the other glossy’s a few year’s ago. Here’s another instance when women’s health proves to be of little consequence to some of these groups when abortion is at all involved: In many of these merger instances, the secular hospital would have closed if the Catholic hospital was not there and willing and able to merge (the Catholic hospital most often the solvent partner). One would think, especially in some of these middle-of-nowhere places anti-Catholic-hospital types cite, it would be better to have a hospital that doesn’t do abortion and doesn’t pass out contraception or do IVF than to have no hospital at all! Whatever you think of Catholics, the Catholic healthcare system is a big deal in the U.S., for Catholics and non-Catholics alike. Rather than seen as the enemy, you’d think some of these folks would give credit where it is due here. (I get into this all a bit here.)

Bikini Workout & Catholic Bashing



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I was absolutely bowled over by an article in the August 2003 issue of Shape magazine. I always read Shape because it is health-oriented and typically has many success stories about real women who went from being couch potatoes with no self-esteem to highly motivating personal trainers. It’s always a lot of fun, very upbeat.

So after reading the tips and recipes and making a mental note to try belly-blasting crunches, I found an article entitled, “Who controls your health care?” Underneath it read, “You might be shocked to discover what your hospital has already decided for you.”

This got my attention. In between features on how to beat rebound pounds and de-flabbing your arms, the magazine occasionally runs an informative service piece about breast-cancer screening or coping with various health problems. So I thought the article would be about one of two things:

1) how many women complain that they are not taken seriously by the medical community–a topic I am researching myself after two close friends brought this up to me before they succumbed to cancer.

Or, 2) the influence of pharmaceutical companies on providers.

I started to read about a pregnant woman whose water broke at 13 weeks and it seemed the baby would be lost; the doctor persuaded her to have an immediate termination because her life was at risk but she couldn’t because the hospital had merged with a CATHOLIC hospital.

Basically, the piece goes on to suggest that Catholic hospitals are in business to watch pregnant women die because they won’t provide an abortion when medically necessary and also to torment rape victims by withholding emergency contraception.

There was no other side to the coin. Even the helpful Internet sources sidebar links to mergerwatch.org which can tell you if there’s been a “faith-based hospital union” in your area and asks, “Want to fight a merger?”

Shape founder Joe Weider, the former bodybuilder, sold his magazine group to American Media a few months ago. Now Catholic-bashing is mixed in with the “Get the Best Butt on the Beach Plan”?

What the heck is going on here?

Chicks & Books



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Derb: Huh? Women don’t accumulate books? Kathleen Parker just emailed me on
the topic exactly as I was thinking: Derb, you’ve seen my office! And, man,
just follow me home. I suspect us women book gluttons are a minority party,
but we’re out there and right here.

Pryor Update



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So much for that. No vote tonight. Hatch has rescheduled the vote on Bill Pryor until Wednesday at 9 am. The Dems are fighting to the death on this one.

Bin Laden Speaks, Again?



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If he is alive, this may be what he is saying. A MEMRI translation.

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