Rush Limbaugh and Slut-Shaming

I’m sure you’ve heard about Rush Limbaugh’s increasingly provocative comments on birth control. In brief, Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke testified that birth control pills cost a typical woman about $3000 over a three year timescale and that this was quite a burden for students. Some Right Wing idiot calculated how many condoms that would buy (several thousand) and yucked it up about just how much birth control she needed and how much sex she was having. It was an extremely stupid analysis, since birth control pills cost the same whether you have sex every day or not at all. And they are, on occasion, prescribed therapeutically, such as when a woman is undergoing fertility treatments or having some procedure — like chemotherapy — in which getting pregnant would be dangerous.

But then Limbaugh picked that stupidity up and ran with it, saying the girl essentially wanted to be paid to have sex. And when called on it, he doubled down, joking that she should send the taxpayers a sex tape in repayment for their sponsoring of all the sex she was having.

There are several aspects to this and I’d like to turn it over a few times before putting it down and walking away. First, I agree with what Ken at Popehat said last night on Twitter. At this point, Rush Limbaugh is clearly power trolling, saying provocative things to get attention and ratings. I know Rush’s show enough to know when he’s being facetious. This is clearly not meant literally (not that this excuses the gross misogyny of the remarks).

However, that in itself is shameful. As I said on Twitter, there used to be a time when Rush Limbaugh didn’t need to do this shit to be relevant. During the mid-90’s, Rush was at the epicenter of our political world. And the reason was because he was fucking brilliant. He had facts and arguments on his side. He relished the debate. He gloried in skewering the Clintons and their myriad supporters. And he argued persuasively for many of the policies we eventually enacted. The Left always claimed he was “spewing hate” but he wasn’t. He was upbeat, optimistic and grounded in facts and data. And it was clear that the Clintons, at least, knew this. They fed him information during the NAFTA debate. And they started dumping policies and press releases at 3:00 pm on Fridays so they would have three days to spin it before Rush could comment.

Now his show is more bitter and angry, less about ideas than about bombast. And this is just the apotheosis. It’s like watching a fading athlete take steroids to try to regain his former glory. It’s just sad.

But, let’s turn this issue over again. People are outraged about what Rush Limbaugh said and that’s fine. They should be. But where is the comparable outrage to the Left referring to a standard medical procedure as “rape”.

Pro-choice commentators have called the transvaginal form of ultrasound that’s standard early in pregnancy “rape,” “forced vaginal penetration,” and an “unnecessary medical procedure” in response to bills in Virginia and elsewhere that would, practically speaking, require all abortion recipients to undergo an ultrasound by this method.

But I have considerable concerns about what calling these ultrasounds “rape” and “unnecessary” will mean for abortion patients and providers. The reality is that most abortion patients do receive an ultrasound to date their pregnancies. Since most abortions take place in the first trimester of pregnancy, many of these ultrasounds are performed with a transvaginal probe, the most effective method for viewing early-stage pregnancies.

But now that women have heard abortion supporters describe this form of ultrasound as “rape,” will more of them be terrified when they arrive at a clinic and are informed they will have such a procedure? Or might they be scared off altogether? Will abortion clinic staff who perform the ultrasound be seen as “rapists,” as the provider I mentioned earlier worried? This is a possibility not lost on the anti-abortion website LifeNews, which recently ran the headline, “If Ultrasound is Rape, Arrest Planned Parenthood Staffers.”

For the Left to compare the forcible sexual violation of a woman to a standard medical procedure is far more deeply offensive than anything Rush Limbaugh has said. And the thing is that they mean it. This is not a joke or an exaggeration for comic effect. This is a tactic, plain and simple. But it has generated a thousandth of the outrage reserved for some radio guy talking out of his ass.

Really, I am disgusted by this entire debate. I’m disgusted that our government is trying to mandate insurance coverage. It doesn’t matter if it’s birth control or metamucil: the principle is wrong, stupid, expensive and anti-free market. If I ran a business, I’d get insurance that covered birth control. But I don’t want to see that mandated. I don’t want to see any coverage mandated.

I’m further disgusted with the President for choosing this fight. He could have chosen anything to start the coverage mandate fight on. But he chose birth control because he knew what would happen: we would end up in a debate about birth control and not one about economics. Remember when playing political games with women’s health was a bad thing?

And I’m finally disgusted with the Republicans for stepping right into the bear trap. They could have framed this debate the right way: being about economics and not religion. They could be proposing a bill that suspends all federal coverage mandates. But instead they got bogged down in this stupid culture war bullshit. And now we are all paying the price. Not just politically … but economically. Because by fighting over birth control, they have left untouched the basic idea that government can dictate what kind of insurance we can buy.

And so, in the end, the loser in this situation is not Limbaugh, who is gaining attention. It’s not Obama or even the GOP, who are able to rally their bases. It’s us … all of us … everyone who has an economic stake in this country. Because while we’ve been looking the other way, another bit of our freedom has been swiped out from under us.

Comments are closed.

  1. Poosh

    I’m confused. Condoms can be found on eBay at reasonable prices … and maybe she should be getting the male to buy them. Or is she that much of a skank/slut that she hasn’t even the class to sleep with decent males.

    As far as I know the pill costs at most $50 a month which would be $1800 for three years at uni, which is about £1,100 probably (though in UK all contraception is either free or with a heavy discount) – that’s for like a really expensive pill from what I can find out. Others are much cheaper.

    And her uni, even in America, will more than likely arrange Birth Control at a very discounted price also. I can’t help but feel she’s a full-of-shit skank.

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  2. hist_ed

    The biggest idiocy is having her there to defend the mandate which doesn’t cover student health plans.

    They could have framed this debate the right way: being about economics and not religion.

    Sorry Hal, but this is about religion. Imagine the shit storm if the FDA said that Halaal butchering techniques were against the law. Or ordered a Muslim business to stock pork products.

    It’s also about limited government. The economics of it is way down the list. The President of the United States does not have the power to order this. He also does not have the pwoer to tell private companies what they will and will not offer to their customers (never mind if he wants them to offer it for free).

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  3. Seattle Outcast

    $3000? Seriously? Somebody moved a decimal place.

    I quit listening to Rush 20 years ago when I caught him saying some the most stupid BS ever. He was either trolling or stupid – I couldn’t figure out which. Maybe both.

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  4. Seattle Outcast

    They can go to Planned Parenthood and get it for free or discounted to a few dollars each month.

    Even it was $1000 year, so the hell what? Life isn’t free.

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  5. Kimpost

    Leaving the mandate and the whole freedom issue out of it, I can see how some people would consider $1000/year expensive. Seems pretty worthy of subsidy to me. At least if we want to see fewer unwanted pregnancies and abortions. Probably a money saver too.

    Am I to understand that some religious people would object even to that, because it would be the gov funding something that is anti their religion?

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  6. Biggie G

    And her uni, even in America, will more than likely arrange Birth Control at a very discounted price also.

    Poosh, I think that was why she was asked to testify. She attends Georgetown Law which is part of a Catholic university. I’m not sure what their student health insurance plan covers, but that is how the whole argument has been framed. The mean old Catholic Church will not give the students at the universities they run “necessary health care.”

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  7. Hal_10000 *

    Someone put up Georgetown’s health plans and some of them do cover birth control, as I recall. I think the school may be in one of the jurisdictions that already requires birth control coverage.

    hist, I hear on your religion. It’s not an irrelevant point. The problem is that the religion issue has caused the GOP to fall down the rabbit hole of discussing birth control in general (and it doesn’t help that a leading presidential candidate has spoken against it).

    I do think the Left has it out for us on this one. They have been jumping on every little quote to portray the GOP as anti-sex misogynist monsters, such as when some random campaign contributor made the aspirin joke.

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  8. Hal_10000 *

    And let’s get one thing clear: Obama started this fight. This was not a case where the GOP suddenly started ranting and raving about birth control for no reason. This was a case where the President decided to buy some votes by, essentially, bribing the distaff part of the electorate with the promise of free birth control. And if he got to make the Republicans look idiotic in the bargain, so much the better.

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  9. hist_ed

    Seems pretty worthy of subsidy to me

    I can’t think of anything that is worthy of subsidy.

    Am I to understand that some religious people would object even to that, because it would be the gov funding something that is anti their religion?

    It’s not the government funding it (that already happens by the shitload). It is forcing someone else to fund it (like, you know, a Jesuit College).

    And a correction: Georgetown’s insurance plan would be covered. Got incorrect info there.

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  10. hist_ed

    Boobs. Boobs are worthy of subsidy. Always.

    But what would happen to them once there was a government department of boobs? Do you really want your experience with boobs to be like the DMV? Resist socializing boobs (think about, say, the boobs of East German Women circa 1975).

    That does bring up something I onced asked a leftist. Where were all the hot Russian women before the end of the Cold War? Right now, Russia sees to have plenty of totally hot womem. In the 1970s and 1980s, not too many hot women. Communism seems to promote ugliness. Free (er) markets (or Putin corrupt thugocracy) seem to promote hotness.

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  11. Mississippi Yankee

    Here is just a little back story on Ms Fluke. Sorry if it gets in the way of the Narrative™

    For me the interesting part of the story is the ever-evolving “coed”. I put that in quotes because in the beginning she was described as a Georgetown law student. It was then revealed that prior to attending Georgetown she was an active women’s right advocate. In one of her first interviews she is quoted as talking about how she reviewed Georgetown’s insurance policy prior to committing to attend, and seeing that it didn’t cover contraceptive services, she decided to attend with the express purpose of battling this policy. During this time, she was described as a 23-year-old coed. Magically, at the same time Congress is debating the forced coverage of contraception, she appears and is even brought to Capitol Hill to testify. This morning, in an interview with Matt Lauer on the Today show, it was revealed that she is 30 years old, NOT the 23 that had been reported all along.

    In other words, folks, you are being played. She has been an activist all along and the Dems were just waiting for the appropriate time to play her.

    Sandra Fluke’s Appearance Is No Fluke

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  12. Miguelito

    I hate how the left has somehow managed to reframe the argument again. How the hell is this about women’s health? We’re talking birth control here, something that they can get essentially for free if they just go to Planned Parenthood or something.

    This is just like calling a slightly smaller increase in budget as a cut. It’s complete Bullshit.

    Worse, for those that truly believe everything like this should be covered, and there’re already those trotting out the “Pay now or pay later,” and, “It’s cheaper now then covering childbirth/whatever later,” what is the limit? Why not pay for everyone’s proper food? I mean, that’s cheaper then paying for the needed healthcare later right? Of course they’ll need to monitor everything we eat or drink, and might as well cover (and require use of) a gym membership too? Or why not pay for everyone’s housing too? Surely having a safe home is a part of good health too, right?

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  13. Poosh

    There’s a solid argument to be made that contraception and limited abortion is completely vital to the freedom and equality of females, on par with demanding money be spent on the military in order to solidify freedom. Men and women are not equal, women are held down and imprisoned by their own biology, so it’s arsine to approach the freedom of women in the same manner as the freedom of men. A conservative and libertarian can quite happily make that argument if s/he thinks about it and her/his first principles. YET these liberals NEVER make this argument. The confuse and play smoke and mirrors. They always end up tying themselves up in knots and using subterfuge because they have no consistent core principles concerning real freedom and equality, liberty. For them, at the heart of this, this isn’t about females and the natural hardship women are born into on account of their bodies (in contrast to men), for liberals this is about FREE STUFF FROM THE GOVERNMENT/THE RICH and making other people pay for something. This is about, for them, the right to other people’s wallets a priori. This has nothing to do with female equality, though they may dress it as such. If it was, then they would be far more consistent.

    Either make the liberty-based argument that tax should be spent on certain forms of reasonable contraception and if you don’t like it you can leave – in the same manner one must pay for the military via tax, or you should shut up. This is moving towards a systematic targeting of religious and soft target areas for political reasons, not reasons of liberty – and it is set up as a “bonus” for women, rather than a vital necessity. This is a very complex argument and these liberals never address the fundamentals, they only pay lip service – and it probably has something to do with the tiny fact that if they *were* honest about this, they would have to admit that females are not equal to men at a fundamental level, and this would be hugely problematic for their liberalism (which is a religion, not a political position). A conservative can happily change his position any which way if the facts present themselves in such a manner: the plus side of conservatism not being an ideology or following a religious template.

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  14. HARLEY

    is it too much to ask the lil whore to keep her legs together for at least a day or so.. and concentrate on her school work, which she is paying sooo much for?

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  15. HARLEY

    I hate how the left has somehow managed to reframe the argument again. How the hell is this about women’s health? We’re talking birth control here, something that they can get essentially for free if they just go to Planned Parenthood or something.

    Wasn’t this first about the overreach of teh federal government, forcing a group and a business to provide a service to a customer or member for free…….?

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  16. JimK

    I can’t think of anything that is worthy of subsidy.

    Aside from the aforementioned boobs – and my caveat there is the subsidy should be private – I am worthy of subsidy. More specifically my penchant for wrecking motorcycles and needing new ones.

    Why? Well for one that shit is expensive. Two, dudes who can’t or won’t risk their lives riding on these hellish streets full of morons on cell phones and jackholes who think that one lane is three can live vicariously through me.

    Win win. Right? Yeah. Absolutely. Subsidy checks please.

    As to the topic? There’s not one good guy in this story. From the woman to Rush to the various people taking public stands, I think of all of them like I think of the “heroes” on The Walking Dead. They;re so fucking useless that I sorta root for the zombies.

    See what I’m saying here? The idiots that framed PAYING for birth control as a health issue…not access, not legality, not even morality but simply the payment…zombies should eat their fucking eyes. Rush is an asshole for doing something that is A. so blatantly misogynist and B. so utterly unhelpful to the national conversation on this issue. He may as well be a Democrat if that;s the kind of help he’s gonna give. He’d have been better off calling in sick that day.

    If anyone listened to me about anything, ever, my advice would be this: EVERY time someone tries to frame this as a rights issue, correct them and tell them that this is simply a fight about who will pay for the pills. Don’t let it go. Don’t be a dick. Just correct them and re-frame the debate.

    Do that enough times to enough people and oh, guess what? We’re having a completely different conversation, one that actually matters. Instead we’re all wasting time talking about Rush Limbaugh’s latest Stern-like stunt to get more people to subscribe to his paywall.

    But seriously. Boobs, and motorcycles for me. Let’s see what we can do there.

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  17. AlexInCT

    I hate how the left has somehow managed to reframe the argument again. How the hell is this about women’s health?

    Actually what I hate is that the right let them do it. Something that was about religious freedom, and freedoms in general, was turned into yet another bullshit lie about republicans hating women or women’s rights. Seriously, if hating forced big government confiscation of my wealth so the politicians can buy votes with handouts, and the left, which always is hammering the whole separation of church and state issue when it is convenient to them but now seems to feel this is convenient to ignore, means I hate women, then fuck them, I do. Of course, people that are not stupid know better.

    This is a 30 year old woman that seems to be spending as long as she can in college, that the left’s nanny staters are pretending is a 21 year old disenfranchised coed. When does the subsidizing of lazy people stop? My bet is she gets out of college with several hundred thousands in debt then throws a tantrum because they are not giving her that for free too. And I do not under any circumstance buy the $3K number. What is he buying designer birth control pills?

    We are doomed when we have people actually arguing that this is a great idea. This is what I mean when I point out how wrong what the left believes in is. Under the illusion of doing good they get us to subsidize anything from stupid to the worst possible types behaviors, then complain and say they need a bigger nanny state to combat the fact it becomes prevalent.

    I think Rush Limbaugh is right to double down on how stupid and vile this thing is. He is right about it not just being stupid but about the left yet again co-opting what really is happening and manufacturing a convenient lie that the right has just let them get away with. Women’s rights I guess is the new racism defense, after the racism defense fell flat from over use. We should wake up to that fact. These people will never argue in earnest. They wil always portray anyone that gets in the way of them growing their big nanny state as being against moral things, when they are the ones with the twisted morals.

    BTW, what does it say about the whole women’s liberaton movement when they feel contraceptives at other people’s expense is a defining right? How pathetic of a movement can this be?

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  18. HARLEY

    I think of all of them like I think of the “heroes” on The Walking Dead. They;re so fucking useless that I sorta root for the zombies.

    So i’m not the only one then…. other than the redneck, the rest of them are F–ing stupid… They cant find guns or ammo? its fucking GEORGIA! ……. Home of the gun carrying redneck…..

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  19. JimK

    Harley you are NOT alone. How these numbnuts aren’t armed to the teeth with a surplus of everything from elephant guns to BARs is beyond my comprehension. And do not get me started on the magic farm that walkers never seem to find. Or how they often don’t carry reloads and backup weapons.

    Darabont left and the show went to hell fast.

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  20. HARLEY

    Agreed, hell they walk right past much better vehicles and military equipment without even looking…
    and as for the the sound of gunshots attracting walkers? WTF? suppressors. AAC in Georgia is one of the LARGEST suppliers of suppressors in the USA! surely at least one of the cops would know that!?
    AGH…

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  21. Kimpost

    There’s a solid argument to be made that contraception and limited abortion is completely vital to the freedom and equality of females, on par with demanding money be spent on the military in order to solidify freedom.

    I don’t think such an opinion will get much traction here, though, which serves to illustrate yet another area where the European/British right differs from the US ditto. I’m generalizing of course, but still…

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  22. hist_ed

    There’s a solid argument to be made that contraception and limited abortion is completely vital to the freedom and equality of females, on par with demanding money be spent on the military in order to solidify freedom.

    What a load of shit. There’s also an argument to be made that food in vital to the freedom, equality and life of females. Do you think that the government should require employers to provide food to all their employees?

    If your answer is yes, then admit that you are a commie and have done with it. If your answer is no, then please explain why birth control is more important to women than food.

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  23. hist_ed

    Aside from the aforementioned boobs – and my caveat there is the subsidy should be private – I am worthy of subsidy. More specifically my penchant for wrecking motorcycles and needing new ones.

    Why? Well for one that shit is expensive. Two, dudes who can’t or won’t risk their lives riding on these hellish streets full of morons on cell phones and jackholes who think that one lane is three can live vicariously through me.

    Win win. Right? Yeah. Absolutely. Subsidy checks please.

    I have not manage to go shooting in quite some time. I really think that someone, somewhere, ought to pay me for a case of 9mm and some range fees. The shooting ability of the free population of these United States is vital to freedom. Someone get me some ammo.

    Oh and really, I need to have a few decent rifles, too. Please mail me a 10/22, a decent AR and and FAL. And the ammo. And extra mags. And sights. And a new Jeep to haul them around in.

    Oh and I changed my mind. If someone wants to pay for me to have more access to boobs, I’ll accept that too. As long as Mrs _ed doesn’t find out (hmmmm maybe a good gun safe might be a good idea while we are at it-wouldn’t want the Mrs to have access to my firearms while I am indulging in subsidized boobs).

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  24. Kimpost

    What a load of shit. There’s also an argument to be made that food in vital to the freedom, equality and life of females. Do you think that the government should require employers to provide food to all their employees?

    I take it you feel differently about national defence? Public education? Police?

    I really think that someone, somewhere, ought to pay me for a case of 9mm and some range fees. The shooting ability of the free population of these United States is vital to freedom. Someone get me some ammo.

    Oh and really, I need to have a few decent rifles, too. Please mail me a 10/22, a decent AR and and FAL. And the ammo. And extra mags. And sights. And a new Jeep to haul them around in.

    I notice that you are mocking the concept, but that’s frankly how I think it’s supposed to work. The people of a society should decide what proper use of public funds is, at any given moment. That might mean general access to healthcare where the specifics of access varies over time. It might include contraceptives or not, dental or not, optics or not – all depending on what we can or can nor afford, and of what we the people wish should be included.

    The principled stance is fine and all, but we already live in mixed economy societies, in which I choose to fight the particulars I don’t agree with. Raise a tax sometimes, lower another. Increase medical co- pays, or lower them. Remove or lower a particular subsidy. All part of democracy.

    If we are afraid that government always grows bigger and never gets smaller, then we are truly fucked. Because that would mean that our democracy isn’t working that well.

    Oh and I changed my mind. If someone wants to pay for me to have more access to boobs, I’ll accept that too.

    We are talking about contraceptives, and all you guys can think of is free access to boobs? :)

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  25. hist_ed

    I take it you feel differently about national defence? Public education? Police?

    National defence and police forces are core government functions. Equating whining for free condoms to wanting a decent police force is absurd.

    If it were up to me, the federal government would have nothign to do with public education. Nor would I require lower government to have anything to do with it either.

    I am more aware than most of the consequences of fecundity. I am simultaneously paying for college and pre-school tuition. Lack of access to birth control is not why I have these bills. The law student cited above almost certainly has access to free or very cheap condoms. Having sex once a day for three years at a dollar a condom is around a thousand bucks. If she can’t scrape up that money, then she should content herself with jerking off, giving and getting head or just not doing it as much.

    You know what I really enjoy? Flying. My father in law has taken me up in small planes a few times and it’s fucking amazing. My only real memory of my grandfather is being up in four seater with him and my dad. I’d love to fly a lot more and I’d love to get a pilot’s license and my own plane. There is a problem, though. I can’t afford it right now. So, because I can’t afford it right now, I don’t do it. One day when all the little ones are older, my car is paid off and the retirement fund is a little fleshed out, then I’ll spend the money to get my license. If the little lawyer-to-be thinks buying $1 condoms is too much of a burden then she should stop fucking.

    The people of a society should decide what proper use of public funds is, at any given moment.

    Yep, that’s what were doing right here, debating these ideas, right?

    If we are afraid that government always grows bigger and never gets smaller, then we are truly fucked. Because that would mean that our democracy isn’t working that well.

    Can you point to any advanced government in the last century that, absent a major crisis that threatened the entire society, actually reduced the size of government?

    I can’t think of one. Once the people get their hands on the social welfare goodies, they’ll riot to keep them. This is the beginning of the end of social welfare democracy. Fucking Bismark screwed us all.

    Of course the only way to keep the socialist democracies going is to have more babies in each succeeding generation. Funny how the lefty sacrament of birth control is is making their lefty social welfare dreams less viable.

    Oh and boobs. Boobs are awesome. Why wouldn’t you want to talk about boobs?

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  26. Kimpost

    I would agree with you that police and defence are more important government functions than birth control, but I can’t accept the narrative portraying sex as just another activity, like say flying, firing a gun or playing baseball. That’s as absurd to me, as my comparison (which really wasn’t a comparison at all) between a police force and access to contraceptives was to you.

    If $3000 is an exaggerated number (it might be), and if significantly cheaper alternatives are readily available, then the whole argument might just be nothing but hot political air. But if it isn’t, if the number is “in the ballpark” as Hal put it, I personally wouldn’t object to having contraceptives subsidised by government. I’d regard it as a freedom issue for women who otherwise couldn’t afford them.

    The women’s right issue aside, I also believe that it’s very likely that subsidised contraceptives would be a net plus for society, financially. A win-win situation in my opinion.

    Can you point to any advanced government in the last century that, absent a major crisis that threatened the entire society, actually reduced the size of government?

    I can’t think of one.

    I can think of many. I see countries fluctuating all the time, but I guess it also depends on our ability to measure the size of government. To make it manageable I equate size of government with money in this regard. So let’s assume that:

    Total tax revenue as percentage of GDP = Size of government

    Here’s a link to a PDF covering 1975 – 2006/7
    Here’s a link to an Excel covering 1965 – 2009/10
    Here’s a table showing shrinking/growing governments from 1995-2007

    Oh and boobs. Boobs are awesome. Why wouldn’t you want to talk about boobs?

    Because as awesome as boobs are, they are dwarfed by the total awesomeness of pussy.

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  27. Xetrov

    I take it you feel differently about national defence?

    To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

    To provide and maintain a Navy;

    To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

    To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

    To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

    Give you one guess as to what document that is from. See if you can find me the corresponding article that outlines contraception as a specific responsibility of the government to make your argument hold any water.

    As for the rest of it – Hal, it is most certainly a religious argument (as well as an economic one). But the left has turned it into a women’s rights issue, and the right has let them do it. Stupid.

    In regard to the “slut” comment – What else do you call a woman who wants to FORCE someone else to pay for contraception so she can keep having risk-reduced sex? Piss on that, keep your legs closed if you can’t afford the pill or a condom, slut.

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  28. Hal_10000 *

    Rush is an asshole for doing something that is A. so blatantly misogynist and B. so utterly unhelpful to the national conversation on this issue. He may as well be a Democrat if that;s the kind of help he’s gonna give. He’d have been better off calling in sick that day.

    THIS. Ann Althouse had a great quote today. One of her readers said this was about the media distracting attention away from Obamas failure on the economy. And she responded by thanking limbaugh for sitting in on their orchestra. If he wants O reelected, he just gave a big boost.

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  29. Kimpost

    Give you one guess as to what document that is from. See if you can find me the corresponding article that outlines contraception as a specific responsibility of the government to make your argument hold any water.

    I tried to keep it in general terms to avoid discussions on the constitutionality of the issue. Interesting as it may be, I was more interested in the overall principle of what society should or should not provide, and the thinking behind such limitations.

    Food was mentioned as something very essential, which it of course is. But we can’t practically afford to provide everyone with “free” (tax funded) food. At least not without finding entirely different ways of building our societies. It seems however as if we can afford to pay for decent healthcare, education, police and defence – among quite a few other things.

    We “just” have to keep finding that balance between personal freedom, security and what’s fiscally possible and/or desirable. Not an easy task, but what is?

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  30. Kimpost

    In regard to the “slut” comment – What else do you call a woman who wants to FORCE someone else to pay for contraception so she can keep having risk-reduced sex? Piss on that, keep your legs closed if you can’t afford the pill or a condom, slut.

    This from Wikipedia:

    Slut or slattern is a term applied to an individual who is considered to have loose sexual morals or who is sexually promiscuous. The term is generally pejorative and often applied to women as an insult or offensive term of disparagement, meaning “dirty or slovenly.”

    So a woman testifies that contraception could cost her up to $1000 a year, and that this is so expensive that government should help funding it. From that you then think that it’s natural to suggest that she has loose sexual morals?

    Call her cheap or anti-constitution or find something else that might fit, but slut’s just not very factual. That, and it probably hurts the conservative cause.

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  31. hist_ed

    I can think of many. I see countries fluctuating all the time, but I guess it also depends on our ability to measure the size of government. To make it manageable I equate size of government with money in this regard. So let’s assume that:

    Total tax revenue as percentage of GDP = Size of government

    Dude, did you even read your chart? You first document shows about 30 countries from 1975 to 2006. The only country in that time frame that shows taxes as a lower percentage of GDP is The Netherlands. They go from 40.7 to 39.3 and the chart notes that the 2006 figure is an estimate. Not exactly a huge reduction in government. The ex communist countires enter the chart in 1995. Their taxes as a percentage of GDP are reduced somewhat, but one can assume that A) The transition to democracy had huge costs B) They were dealing with a holdover tax regime that included some commie era taxes that they eventually jettisoned and C) they experienced some pretty significant economic growth after their economies left state control.

    So, my point stands. Unless you want to count The Netherlands’ tiny drop, no advanced economy has ever reduced government in any significant way. As you said:

    If we are afraid that government always grows bigger and never gets smaller, then we are truly fucked. Because that would mean that our democracy isn’t working that well.

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  32. Poosh

    “What a load of shit. There’s also an argument to be made that food in vital to the freedom, equality and life of females. Do you think that the government should require employers to provide food to all their employees?

    If your answer is yes, then admit that you are a commie and have done with it. If your answer is no, then please explain why birth control is more important to women than food.”

    I said nothing to imply employers should directly provide anything (as with the case at hand). Food is vital, and the government, via taxation, provides the bare minimum of that. But government certainly should not be in charge of that area because it is simply inefficient compared to the free market. But you have control over whether or not you can work for food or find food yourself.

    You cannot control foreign powers conspiring to invade your country, and a woman cannot control the female body she was given, the inherent disadvantages that a woman has which are highlighted within a capitalist society. Men and women are sexual creatures, etc blah blah blah. But if a man knocks a woman up then it’s largely no problem – for him. If a woman gets knocked up it IS a problem, a significant problem. For a number of months she cannot work and may even be refused work again (keeping in mind many argue an employer should be free to refuse WHOEVER he chooses, why hire a woman who’s gonna be gone for 4 months?). Without contraception a woman cannot avoid all these problems that simply do not affect or damage a man in a similar manner. It’s not hard to put yourself in a woman’s shoes and imagine living a woman’s life… or perhaps it is. It’s not good enough to simply say “well, don’t have sex”, because while that might be true, men are not subject to the same rules, and that is an inequality. Women are born with the game rigged against them. It’s only recently – and largely because of contraception – that they can play the game.

    For all of history apart from LAST CENTURY women have been oppressed by men. They have been denied political rights and equality and treated as a subset. They’ve been barred from competing with men for jobs, thus forcing them to marry. All the while being threatened with pregnancy – if they are somehow lucky enough to get a job or some form of work, pregnancy will see them lose it. If they don’t marry they’re unlikely to ever make a living, and if they do marry they’re bound for impregnation. This is the repulsive condition men have forced women into across every single culture and nation. Only now, with the rise in political rights for women AND contraception (and the handgun) can women compete with men. Contraception (the pill also lessens some of the pain that affects a woman every month) allows women to play the game as if they were men.

    It’s fine so say “well, women shouldn’t be having sex then, or should wait ’til they’re married” and there’s truth to that, but the fact remains then whilst that *should* also apply to men, men – due to their biology – simply don’t need to follow that advice: they can and often do ditch the girl / a man will never have to experience having a baby grow inside him, effectively removing 4/5 months of his life. Men can waltz through life with minimal consequences, whereas a woman cannot. Millions of women have, of course, died giving birth, and even today there is a possibility of dying in childbirth (in advanced western societies). A man is born far more free than a woman, and the only thing that makes a woman as free as a man is what science can produce. A woman’s biology puts her at a disadvantage in western society, and capitalist societies (and all societies thought of by men, to date, including socialist and communist). For a women to be as free and subject to the same quality of equality that the other half of the population enjoys from birth, it makes sense to consider contraception vital, something specific to women and their freedom (after all they are an entire sex). It is NOT analogous to anything else, it is intrinsically connected to the relationship between the two sexes.

    Of course if the free market does this then there isn’t really a problem. And last time I checked the cost of the pill is in some cases cheaper than the monthly charges of a bloody mobile phone.

    / The above is NOT the argument or case being made, as I said above, by these liberal sorts. Of course this student (who is not in full time work i assume) is essentially asking for money so she can have sex, and that in itself causes problems. She is not, as far as I know, appealing to the above argument – she seems to essentially be demanding a right to sex, at the cost of someone else. Which was my point in the first place.

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  33. Kimpost

    I read the charts and concluded that the size of government is fluctuating. If you choose to look at what has happened between 1995-2007, you’ll notice that the following countries have shrunk their government.

    Czech Republic
    Luxembourg
    New Zealand
    Germany
    Poland
    Ireland
    Hungary
    Canada
    Finland
    Slovak Republic
    Netherlands

    If you look at 2000 – 2010 (the Excel) then you’ll see the following shrinking governments. Many of which show significant drops (over 2%). I’ve bolded those.

    Austria
    Belgium
    Canada
    Czech Republic
    Denmark
    Finland
    France
    Germany
    Greece
    Hungary
    Iceland
    Ireland

    Israel
    Luxembourg
    New Zealand
    Poland
    Slovak Republic
    Spain
    Sweden

    Switzerland
    United Kingdom
    United States

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  34. Poosh

    Anyway, why doesn’t she get her partner(s) to pull out in time ffs. That costs zero pennies. I almost never and-boom-goes-the-dynamite’d inside a girl at uni. It just works for everyone involved, and thanks to porn most girls are fine with it. I don’t mean to be crude but this is so obvious it grates, the pill isn’t 100% (in fact the injection thing, 1 in 100 cases it WILL NOT WORK!!) – so it just makes sense. That being said, thank fock for the morning-after-pill. Provided by the university for free with an official “stop being a slut” letter.

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  35. Kimpost

    I have always pulled out even if my girlfriends (don’t have one now, though) have been on the pill . I just want to be feel safe, plus that I fully admit that I am heavily porn influenced. Abstinence would have been even safer I suppose, but that has never been a realistic option.

    Btw, Poosh. I’m starting to see a feminist underneath your tough exterior. ;)

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  36. Poosh

    You never pay too much attention during sex education at school, it’s only later you really just how potentially dangerous even causal sex can be. The fact that no contraception is 100% and the existence of Herpes which can, even you are really unlucky, get you – even if you’re wearing a condom.

    “Feminism” has been sullied. Plenty of original feminists were perfectly right-wing and conservative. The crazy feminists were the second and third wave feminists who most of us think of, when we think of “feminists”. Original feminism is just basic logic, and educating yourself. We must always be on alert for sexism and people advocating political positions which are actually derived from sexism – it was only in the 80s that the French allowed women to have their own bank accounts. The 80s ffs. It’s very naive to think women are safe from the past 10,000 years they’ve had to endure.

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  37. Seattle Outcast

    I have always pulled out even if my girlfriends (don’t have one now, though) have been on the pill . I just want to be feel safe, plus that I fully admit that I am heavily porn influenced.

    Apparently not influenced enough to start packing the other hole though….

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  38. drunkkus

    Everything about birth control in the news lately is a big steaming pile of synthetic election-year bullshit. If a woman has an address/PO box or can use someone else’s and can write her name or get someone else to write it for her, she can get free birth control through Medicaid from her local health/human services department with no questions asked whether she has private health insurance or not and regardless of what her health insurance covers. A broke-ass college student who REALLY can’t afford it wouldn’t even have to wink or bend the truth on the income section of the application. It’s been that way for quite a few years now.

    You’d also shit your pants if you knew how often recipients of Medicaid’s family planning services are moved straight off of that program directly onto another Medicaid program that covers all medical expenses related to pregnancy and childbirth. Most of the women who are too lazy to work and therefore can’t afford birth control for themselves (non-discounted full price of $30/month here btw) are also too damned lazy to take the fucking pill. A student or worker who actually keeps up with taking her pill could probably get two a day from Medicaid without trouble if she really wanted to, and Medicaid will pay for the shot, too, if that’s the way she and her doctor decide to go.

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  39. AlexInCT

    I read the charts and concluded that the size of government is fluctuating. If you choose to look at what has happened between 1995-2007, you’ll notice that the following countries have shrunk their government.

    Shrunk it how? Bill Clinton here in the US claimed he shrunk government too. Only the government was shrunk by republicans controlling both house organs and mostly at the expense of the military – that whole peace dividend thing. My guess is that any shrinkage in the size of European nations happened by drastic cuts, cuts that make the ones of the Clinton era to the US military pale in comparison, and that stands reinforced based on the pathetic shape of any European nations’ current military readiness and ability. Also factor in that a lot of the big bureaucracy that each of these nations had was moved to the EU with a commensurate budget shift, which also allows them to pretend like they reduced the size of government while doing nothing of the sort.

    When we talk about shrinking government, we are talking about getting rid of the massive welfare state. That’s the stuff that used to buy the votes. And these have never, ever been rolled back successfully. During the Clinton years republicans modified the welfare state, thinking this would allow them to then roll back government, only to watch it come back and grow to double the size it was in just a decade. Government never shrunk if you leave out the drastic reductions in military personnel or spending. It’s the same over in Europe where the military cuts where so drastic that most European nations couldn’t field a fighting force if their life depended on it. There is no disproving that. And they have the added bonus of all that shifted big government bureaucracy that is part of the EU.

    Making the claim that the nanny state was ever rolled back is laughable. It is an ever growing ravenous monster that will never, ever give back what it has taken. Ever!

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  40. Kimpost

    Shrunk it how?

    I never pretended to have examined how or why they shrunk their governments. I just said that they have shrunk, and they have grown. We would have to examine each individual country to determine how and what actually happened during each time frame.

    Also factor in that a lot of the big bureaucracy that each of these nations had was moved to the EU with a commensurate budget shift, which also allows them to pretend like they reduced the size of government while doing nothing of the sort.

    The EU colossus is paid for by taxes, so that would show in the provided tables.

    When we talk about shrinking government, we are talking about getting rid of the massive welfare state.

    Making the claim that the nanny state was ever rolled back is laughable.

    Well, I wasn’t, and I never claimed that the nanny state was rolled back. Right or wrong, I believe that the welfare state is here to stay, permanently. We are IMO left with arguing limits and specifics of the welfare state. Not it’s existence. That fight is over. Whether one, many or all western countries should be described as massive welfare states” is subjective, so I’ll just leave that one alone. I suspect that we all have different meters.

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  41. Miguelito

    Something else occured to me about this. Her tale of the fellow student that didn’t learn about the lack of coverage until at the counter… this is a person studying to be a lawyer? Someone who supposedly didn’t even read the coverage info before they signed it (or applied to that school)?

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  42. Xetrov

    More on Fluke

    Sandra Fluke is being sold by the left as something she’s not. Namely a random co-ed from Georgetown law who found herself mixed up in the latest front of the culture war who was simply looking to make sure needy women had access to birth control. That, of course, is not the case.

    As many have already uncovered Sandra Fluke is, in reality, a 30 year old long time liberal activist who enrolled at Georgetown with the express purpose of fighting for the school to pay for students’ birth control. She has been pushing for mandated coverage of contraceptives at Georgetown for at least three years according to the Washington Post.

    However, as I discovered today, birth control is not all that Ms. Fluke believes private health insurance must cover. She also, apparently, believes that it is discrimination deserving of legal action if “gender reassignment” surgeries are not covered by employer provided health insurance. She makes these views clear in an article she co-edited with Karen Hu in the Georgetown Journal of Gender and the Law.

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  43. AlexInCT

    So now we find out Fluke is a liberal agent provocateur, that went to G-Town specifically so she could then create a scene and advocate for G-Town to be made to pay for things like contraceptives and gender reassignment, but the LSM continues to pretend that Fluke is your average coed and the right is anti-women’s rights?

    I have to hand it to the left. They do know how to create a faux crisis to divert attention from how disastrous their policies are. We are heading for $5 a gallon gas this summer, the economy they tell us is getting better but shows no real sign of doing anything of the sort is going to be hammered, real inflation is around 8% and real unemployment at 16%, and instead of being focused on these disastrous things, the right has allowed itself to be dragged into a fight about government mandating contraceptive coverage by insurers, to be painted not as an issue of freedom or abuse of rights, but as the right hating poor defenseless women that need free contraceptives. Seriously, I think our society needs to implode. People deserve the consequences of the stupid collectivist shit are bringing our way.

    And I smell a trap. This entire thing was staged by the left. My guess is they picked the wrong guy to fuck with and he is going to turn the tables on them. I expect Rush to turn this around, in a day or two, and score huge by coming clean and admitting this was all staged by him to prove a point. The left, did not take his apology, just like the insane people in Afghanistan that rebuked Obama’s unwarranted apology and continue to use this Koran burning incident to hide behind their real agenda of murder and intimidation, and he is going to point out this parallel and how the left never wanted or cared about an apology, but where really motivated by the agenda of his destruction. He will point out the how the response by insane and murderous religious fanatics in Afghanistan oddly match the ones by the left, show how both situations are manufactured for political gain, and score big with that.

    He will also get new sponsors and be fine. The LSM will try to ignore this, but the days that the LSM controlled the flow of information are gone, and people will find out. Boy are many of the non-leftists going to feel played when they discover the details about Fluke and that this whole thing was not a coincidence.

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  44. AlexInCT

    I never pretended to have examined how or why they shrunk their governments. I just said that they have shrunk, and they have grown. We would have to examine each individual country to determine how and what actually happened during each time frame.

    I and others already pointed that out Kimpost. But you are welcome to do more examination if you want. They destroyed their military capability while growing the welfare state, pawned off a whole lot of the bureaucracy on the EU to pretend they where shrinking their domestic one, and none other than the Netherlands actually was able to generate anything other than a marginal drop we can dismiss as a statistical anomaly. This kind of shrinking is meaningless. The fact remains that the welfare state doesn’t shrink the welfare component. Ever.

    The EU colossus is paid for by taxes, so that would show in the provided tables.

    Link please? Because the stuff I access clearly doesn’t show the EU being considered as part of any of this. If they do this however, I would love to understand how each country calculates their own piece of the EU pie, and I am certain it will be a lot of smoke & mirrors to mask the true cost of that monster.

    Well, I wasn’t, and I never claimed that the nanny state was rolled back. Right or wrong, I believe that the welfare state is here to stay, permanently.

    No it is not, Kimpost. It will last until the economies of the west collapse under the burden of the welfare state, and they are all well on their way there. The politicians refuse to address the problem and play games, all but guaranteeing that sooner than later the whole house of cards comes tumbling down. We have run out of other people’s money. I give it one or two generations tops. After that it will be revolution followed by dark ages: that’s the human condition.

    We where worried about nuclear annihilation, but that worry seems misplaced. What really was undermining us was our inability to understand or accept that subsidizing all those things that older and less well off societies understood undermined their viability and disdained/forbade, just because we lucked out and had reached unimagined levels of prosperity and got convinced we where being compassionate and enlightened when we did otherwise. Government can no more guarantee people freedom from responsibility or the consequences of bad behavior, especially without having an iron fist to stamp out undesired behavior, meaning the end to all real freedom, than it can guarantee prosperity. When more an more people opt out of being responsible, let alone productive, the balance shifts, and bad follows. We might still end up annihilated in a nuclear war, but it will be one caused by the economic collapse of the west.

    You are welcome to believe the welfare state can survive reality, but unless you think North Korea is a working and acceptable model of a welfare state, you are going to be disappointed. We are all heading that way.

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  45. Kimpost

    I and others already pointed that out Kimpost. But you are welcome to do more examination if you want. They destroyed their military capability while growing the welfare state, pawned off a whole lot of the bureaucracy on the EU to pretend they where shrinking their domestic one, and none other than the Netherlands actually was able to generate anything other than a marginal drop we can dismiss as a statistical anomaly. This kind of shrinking is meaningless. The fact remains that the welfare state doesn’t shrink the welfare component. Ever.

    Do you actually read what I write? I have to wonder because I don’t understand what you are on about the Netherlands.

    Destroying the military capacity would hardly make a dent into the stats, if it had been true, which it isn’t. And if again it had been true, then how many times could you realistically destroy your military capacity, because the numbers keep fluctuating. Look at them, the links were only three. Many of the countries that I bolded in a previous comment show significantly larger drops than previously mentioned Holland.

    Regarding the finances of the EU, where do you think the money comes from? Individual countries pay up, that’s how. Their money in turn comes from taxes. There’s no other way. Whether the EU costs more than people think is another matter (it does). I’m not a huge EU fan, which is why I called it a colossus, but let’s be real.

    No it is not, Kimpost. It will last until the economies of the west collapse under the burden of the welfare state, and they are all well on their way there. The politicians refuse to address the problem and play games, all but guaranteeing that sooner than later the whole house of cards comes tumbling down. We have run out of other people’s money. I give it one or two generations tops. After that it will be revolution followed by dark ages: that’s the human condition.

    Perhaps, but then I predict other welfare states rising. Because that too seems to be the human condition. The only viable option IMO is to keep the welfare state fiscally sound. If a program or a hundred programs are too expensive, then they need to be downsized or scrapped. It’s as “simple” as balancing the books.

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  46. hist_ed

    Kim, I just went to you first document and looked at the oldest figures and the newest. The only non-commie state that showed any drop over that time was the Netherlands and that drop was minor. A little fluctuation year by year during a 30 year trend does not invalidate the trend (just ask them obsessing on the weather types, oooppppsss now i dun it. Thread will now die after a long lingering death strangled by AGW postings.)

    My original question was:

    Can you point to any advanced government in the last century that, absent a major crisis that threatened the entire society, actually reduced the size of government?

    I should have included “over an extended length of time” and added the adverb “significantly” before the word “reduced”

    If you double the size of government from 20 to 40 % between 1960 and 1990 and then drop it to 37% by 2005, I don’t think that’s a sigificant reduction. I will grant you that your data do appear to show some small reductions. I also share Alex’s skepticism that the share of government fell in Western European countires during the creation of the EU.

    But I’ll concede your point. Some governments have shrunk a little bit some times. The overal ltrend in my lifetime has been expansion by leaps and bounds.

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  47. hist_ed

    Alex, I think you give Rush too much credit. The man can be a real jackass occasionally. He handed the left a victory by talking like an idiot for a couple of minutes. Half the people aware of this wil lcome away with “Limbaugh called a chick a slut” as the only thing they remember from this.

    And hey, why are all these people down on sluts anyway? I thought the left wasn’t supposed to judge these things. Isn’t being a slut a perfectly respectable life choice? If so, then why does it bother them that she as called a slut?

    Personally, I like them sluts. They can be quite charming. Been a long while since I had the opportunity to take one up on their favored activites, but, back in the days of yore, I never looked down on sluts (went down of course . . .). Kinda wished there were more sluts back when I was 18 or 19.

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  48. Xetrov

    Oops.

    On Saturday, Carbonite CEO David Friend released a statement on his company’s website declaring that Carbonite had decided to “withdraw” advertising from Rush Limbaugh’s radio show in the wake of his controversial remarks involving Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke because it will “ultimately contribute to a more civilized public discourse”.

    However, it hasn’t done much to contribute to his company’s stock price. Since the market opened on Monday through its close today, Carbonite stock (NASDAQ:CARB) has plummeted nearly 12 percent, outpacing the drop of the NASDAQ index in that same time period by nine-and-a-half points. It was also one of the biggest decliners on the NASDAQ on Tuesday.

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