Rights and benefits denied

by lestro

After reading this article in today’s New York Times, it is literally impossible to continue saying that marriage does not provide certain rights and benefits that are being denied to an entire class of people (to use the legal term) while being bestowed on another.

And that is wholly unamerican and unconstitutional.

Today’s article is about health care and how difficult it is for gay couples to get the same benefits married couples get simply by signing a legal contract denied to a certain percentage of the population:

Same-sex couples have been making headlines; Maine followed the lead of Iowa and Vermont this week in legalizing same-sex marriage, and several other state legislatures are now considering it. But Ms. Hudson says that fairer and more comprehensive health care coverage for partners — whether they are legally married or not — is not necessarily part of the package.

“For the vast majority of gay couples,” she said, “getting health insurance for a domestic partner is still a challenge.”

[…]

Even if the relationship is formalized with the state in a marriage or union, that does not always obligate the employer to cover a same-sex spouse. For one thing, self-insured employers are not regulated by the states.

And other benefit-providing employers that choose not to offer such coverage can sometimes use the Defense of Marriage Act — a law that forbids the federal government to recognize same-sex marriage — to trump state laws, said Ilse de Veer, a principal with Mercer.

Let’s review the 14th Amendment while we’re at it, just to make sure we understand why all this is illegal:

…No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws…

Without a doubt, gay people are not getting equal protection under the laws, especially in health care.

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Eight years later

by twit

From the NY Times blog The Caucus on October 24, 2008:

A twist on the old Budweiser “Wassup” commercials, using the same guys as the originals, and incorporating Iraq, the economic meltdown and the electrified change atmosphere of this election.

and the original “Wazzup” commercial:

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Dennis Kucinich is the sexiest man alive

by twit

and the crowd goes wild:

“Wake Up America” DNC 2008

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if your kid lied as much as Hillary Clinton you’d take away her TV privileges

by lestro

Once again, Hillary Clinton “misspeaks” on the campaign trail:

Over the last five weeks, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York has featured in her campaign stump speeches the story of a health care horror: an uninsured pregnant woman who lost her baby and died herself after being denied care by an Ohio hospital because she could not come up with a $100 fee.

The woman, Trina Bachtel, did die last August, two weeks after her baby boy was stillborn at O’Bleness Memorial Hospital in Athens, Ohio. But hospital administrators said Friday that Ms. Bachtel was under the care of an obstetrics practice affiliated with the hospital, that she was never refused treatment and that she was, in fact, insured.

“We implore the Clinton campaign to immediately desist from repeating this story,” said Rick Castrop, chief executive officer of the O’Bleness Health System.

Linda M. Weiss, a spokeswoman for the not-for-profit hospital, said the Clinton campaign had never contacted the hospital to check the accuracy of the story, which Mrs. Clinton had first heard from a Meigs County, Ohio, sheriff’s deputy in late February.

A Clinton spokesman, Mo Elleithee, said candidates would frequently retell stories relayed to them, vetting them when possible. “In this case, we did try but were not able to fully vet it,” Mr. Elleithee said. “If the hospital claims it did not happen that way, we respect that.”

They really have to knock this shit off. It seems like every week Hillary is caught in another false statement.

Maybe this is why her unfavorability rating is at an all time high and she comes in third in the “able to unite the country” question.

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Right To Life

by squishmael

I haven’t finished the process of breaking down all the issues yet. I admit to not giving the race for the presidency a lot of attention until the last month or so. But, you can count on one issue being on the top of my list when I line up the candidates side by side to compare their positions: how do they address the issue of the people’s right to life?

Now, you may already be writing me off as a Christian conservative, but, hold on. When I consider the right for each individual being to live, I’m not just talking about fetuses (which I do believe have that right), but, also about American citizens being forced to serve in Iraq, elderly people who can’t afford medication, hispanics who cross the border out of desperation, and blue collar workers who can’t afford proper medical care.

The worst thing somebody could do is claim that they are for protecting the lives of the unborn and vote for a candidate who says they also want to protect the unborn, but, then put hundreds or thousands of people in harm’s way for the sake of oil.

The fact that the American political system is flawed becomes apparent when you realize that bundled laws that aren’t even read by most lawmakers are being passed by the truckload and presidential candidates are burning millions of dollars just to make the point that they’re responsible enough to have the job of righting our economy, providing healthcare for people who can’t afford it, and feeding those whose cupboards are bare.

As Chris Cornell once sang so brilliantly several years ago, “The wreck is going down. Get out before you drown.”