Saturday Primaries

The jewel of the primaries running today is, of course, Kansas.  With the results now final, Santorum has stomped in the central state with 51% of the vote to Romney’s 21% and lesser totals for the rest.  Gingrich loudly proclaimed that he wanted to compete there and lost badly.  The end result: Santorum gets 33 delegates and Romney gets 7.  Late word is that Romney (unsurprisingly) has won Guam in the meantime. I am guessing he’ll also get all of the delegates from the Virgin Islands and the Marianas Islands, muting the win from Kansas and actually winding up with more delegates today than Rick (d’oh!).

But the Kansas victory is still a token victory that keeps Rick’s central US domination going.  Keep hope alive for Texas.

An Honest Liberal Excoriates Her Compatriots for Their Fake "Pro-Women" Outrage

Rush Limbaugh Isn’t the Only Media Misogynist
by Kirsten Powers @ the Daily Beast

Liberals—you know, the people who say they “fight for women”—comprise Maher’s audience, and a parade of high-profile liberals make up his guest list. Yet have any of them confronted him? Nope. That was left to Ann Coulter, who actually called Maher a misogynist to his face, an opportunity that feminist icon Gloria Steinem failed to take when she appeared on his show in 2011.

This is not to suggest that liberals—or feminists—never complain about misogyny. Many feminist blogs now document attacks on women on the left and the right, including Jezebel, Shakesville, and the Women’s Media Center (which was cofounded by Steinem). But when it comes to high-profile campaigns to hold these men accountable—such as that waged against Limbaugh—the real fury seems reserved only for conservatives, while the men on the left get a wink and a nod as long as they are carrying water for the liberal cause.

After all, if Limbaugh’s outburst is part of the “war on women,” then what is the routine misogyny of liberal media men?

It’s time for some equal-opportunity accountability. Without it, the fight against media misogyny will continue to be perceived as a proxy war for the Democratic Party, not a fight for fair treatment of women in the public square.

Thank you, Ms. Powers, for summoning the nerve to call out your allies. All the high-handed faux concern I’ve been seeing on Facebook lately has seriously made me nauseous. Tell you what, libs: Why don’t you try policing your own?

And by the way, the follow-up to the above article is also very good. I especially liked the following:

Many of the professional left seem incapable of distinguishing between a few blog posts and comments condemning left-wing misogyny and a full-scale war to remove someone from their job. This really shouldn’t be so hard to grasp: If you hate misogyny and sexism in the media, then react to the consistent and repeated misogyny of men on the left with the same fervor that you have reacted to Rush Limbaugh’s sickening outbursts.

In the end, it really isn’t that hard not to be a disgusting, politically-motivated hypocrite.

A Few More Points on the Birth Control Debate

I apologize for obsessing about this issue, but people continue to piss me off:

1) Sob stories about your polycystic ovarian syndrome or your endometriosis are irrelevant. Sorry, but that’s the truth. The Catholic Church already allows for coverage of contraceptive medications when grave medical need can be demonstrated. As section 15 of Humanae Vitae reads:

On the other hand, the Church does not consider at all illicit the use of those therapeutic means necessary to cure bodily diseases, even if a foreseeable impediment to procreation should result there from — provided such impediment is not directly intended for any motive whatsoever. (19)

If Sebelius had said, “We’re going to mandate that all insurance companies cover contraception when it’s being used to treat a defined, grave medical condition,” that would be one thing. But the HHS mandate is a blanket mandate that covers the use of all contraceptive devices and medications no matter their price or the reasons for their use. So once again, what the left is really arguing is that a wholly invented right to a sex life without consequences should trump the First Amendment — and there’s so much that’s wrong with this position that I don’t even know where to begin.

2) You guys hate big corporations, right? So why are you backing a policy that will undeniably benefit the supposedly eeeeeevil pharmaceutical industry? As Peter Schweizer points out in the Daily Beast:

Forget for a minute the religious question and look at who wins big here: Big Pharma. This mandate is not really about condoms or generic versions of “the pill,” which are available free or cheap in lots of places. This is about brand-name birth control drugs and other devices that some consumers swear off because they are too expensive. The Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate requires health-insurance companies provide contraceptive coverage for all “FDA approved contraceptive methods.” It does not insist on generics. And it does not offer any cost containment.

What’s more, the mandate prevents health-insurance companies from having copays or deductibles for the benefit. This is the perfect set up for Big Pharma. Since the drugs will be paid for by a third party (insurance companies, who will pass the cost on to employers and the rest of us), the consumer won’t worry about the price. Expensive brand names will no doubt see demand rise.

And when more people start buying the pricey pills, guess who’s going to make out like a bandit? The CEO of Pfizer, for one.

3) The morality – or immorality – of an action does not depend on the size of your audience. Throwing around words like “prostitute” or “c*nt” when you’re discussing a female opponent is always wrong whether you are Rush Limbaugh (whose listeners number in the millions) or Bill Maher (whose fan base is decidedly limited). If you are trying to rationalize your double-standard with regards to the treatment of politically active women by citing the reach of Limbaugh’s media empire, you are a tool, and I have no respect for you.

And now I’m finished — for today, at least. We’ll see if people continue to behave like idiots tomorrow.

Actually, one last thing: A few years ago, my rheumatologist decided to put me on Humira. At the time, my health insurance did not cover this particular medication, and if I had paid for it out-of-pocket, it would’ve cost me more than $1000 per month. So Mom and I shopped around. We contacted the pharmaceutical company that manufactures Humira and signed up for their Patient Assistance Program. For the next year, I was mailed my biweekly doses free of charge.

Now why am I sharing this story? Because it’s yet another reason why I respond to the complaints regarding the cost of birth control with a distinct lack of sympathy. As with Humira, there are assistance programs out there for people who can’t afford their contraception. If you can’t be arsed to look those up, that’s not my problem.

Santorum’s Campaign on Life Support

Super Tuesday has gone very, VERY poorly for Santorum.  He’s won Oklahoma, Tennessee and North Dakota (and no one should be surprised by those wins), but his margins of victory were small enough to cost him a number of electors. In Oklahoma, his victory margin essentially gave him a one-elector edge over his rivals with 85% of the votes counted.  In North Dakota, he’s handing as many delegates to Paul and Romney combined as he’s winning.

And in Ohio – the state he had to win – Romney has a small edge with 89% of the precincts in. And even if he finishes just ahead, Santorum is likely to lose the delegate count given that Romney is already ahead 19-9 according to the New York Times Live Tracker.
Idaho, Virginia and Massachusetts went overwhelmingly to Romney in delegates, and Santorum had no showing in any of those states.  So in short, today’s results may mean curtains for Santorum. If he doesn’t pull off a miraculous win in big states like California and Texas, I just don’t see how he can get the delegates he needs to win the whole enchilada.

Local News: Virginia’s "Operation Chaos" Goes Well.

Not really well, but Ron Paul did manage to pull 40+% of the vote in VA and steal three delegates.  Hint to Romney’s people: If you’re giving up 40% to RON PAUL – in VIRGINIA – you’ve got a problem.

More Super Tuesday commentary to follow.

Correction by Stephanie S.: Based on the Post returns, it doesn’t look like any delegates have been awarded to Paul in VA. I’ve therefore changed Matt’s post to reflect those results.

Yet Another Edit by Stephanie S.: Also bear in mind that the turnout in VA was extremely low. The Virginia State Board of Elections reports that only 5% of VA’s registered voters showed up today, so I’m not sure that the results above reveal much of anything. I suppose you could say that our highly motivated voters are not 100% sold on Mitt — but who knows about everyone else?

One Final Edit: When I went to vote at 12 PM this afternoon, the poll workers handed me an entire sheet of “I Voted” stickers. From that, I concluded that the turnout in Dale City was low. Additionally, when Sub Spike went to vote later in the evening, he was the 39th voter. As he remarked a little while ago, “Usually, we get to the 39th voter before I go to work.”

Correction of the Erroneous Correction: According to the New York Times live tracker, Ron Paul got three delegates from VA.

Why Is Santorum Losing Steam?

I hate to say it, but Toby Harnden may be right about Rick Santorum – especially on points 1, 2, and 10. And I think that’s sad. I think it’s sad that our political process is now set up in such a way that honest Rick is less likely to win than the polished, ruthless, well-funded Mitt.

Still, I will go out later today to enter my Not-Romney protest vote here in Virginia. It may be an action akin to tilting at a windmill – especially in NOVA – but I must vote according to my convictions.

Once Again, Obama Is Protecting His Cronies — This Time in the Academy

Did you know that Obama’s Department of Education has been waging a war on for-profit post-secondary institutions? Last year, in fact, the DOE issued a new regulation called the Gainful Employment Rule that is targeted specifically at for-profit vocational colleges. According to the rule, such schools would lose access to federal student aid if it could be demonstrated either that too many of their graduates are in default or that those graduates are using more that 30% of their discretionary income – or 12% of their total income – to pay off their student loans.

This regulation was designed in response to calculations – again promulgated by the Department of Education – that appeared to show that graduates of for-profit colleges were disproportionately defaulting on their loans. But as someone once said, there are lies, damned lies, and statistics. The populations served by for-profit and non-profit colleges are far from identical. Indeed, proprietary colleges like the University of Phoenix or ITT serve more minorities, immigrants, and low-income students than do the non-profits — and as politically-incorrect as it might be to point this out, students from these groups are more likely to go into default no matter where they go.

Genuine justice demands that we hold all post-secondary schools accountable. Genuine justice demands that we scrutinize the worth of every degree program. But it appears the current Department of Education is not interested in genuine justice — and as the National Black Chamber of Commerce has noted, this could have devastating consequences. In focusing its sights solely on for-profit colleges, the DOE risks destroying an industry that provides more than its fair share of educational opportunities to historically under-served, non-traditional students. But for the Obama Administration, this is probably a feature, not a bug. After all, the non-profit educational sector represents a huge stronghold of support for Obama. It makes sense that the president would seek to protect his backers from their chief competitors.

Responding to Annoying Liberal Remarks on Facebook, XI – The "Thanks A Lot, Rush" Edition

Over the past few days, a number of decent but ill-informed folks (who are probably capable of being convinced that we are right) have been posting Facebook messages with this general theme:

“Rush Limbaugh has gone crazy! Why are we debating birth control when the economy is in the crapper?”

I agree that the economy should be our first concern, but let’s be clear who actually started this birth control fight. It wasn’t Rush Limbaugh (although I will be criticizing him for other reasons in a moment), and it wasn’t any of the Republican presidential candidates. It was Kathleen Sebelius and the administration’s patsies in the mainstream media. Remember that GOP debate back in January in which George Stephanopoulos’ question on contraception was received by Mitt Romney in particular as a bizarre non sequitur?

Did you see the look on Mitt’s face? Clearly, he hadn’t given the matter any conscious thought. And what he says in the above clip regarding modern-day political realities has been echoed by every other candidate still in the running — including Santorum, the most socially conservative among them and the source of the “state legislatures have a right to ban contraception” argument (which is a Constitutional argument that should be debated on Constitutional grounds, not an indication that Santorum has “outlawing birth control” scratched into his personal presidential to-do list).

Now, I think it’s overly extravagant to claim – as some conservative bloggers have – that Stephanopoulos was consciously laying the groundwork for the HHS announcement a few weeks later. It’s more likely that he was parroting his buddies in the mainstream media (and the left-wing blogosphere), who, after Santorum did so well in Iowa, immediately got busy digging up obscure quotes from 2011 (and earlier) that fit into their pre-determined “Santorum is a crazy theocrat who wants to steal your ladyparts!” narrative. But regardless of what Stephanopoulos’ actual motives were, birth control became an election issue because the media made it an election issue — and then the Obama administration helped it along by telling the Catholic Church that She could not be the Catholic Church.

As a Catholic, I was perfectly happy to keep my rosary off everyone’s ovaries. I was perfectly happy to keep my opposition to contraception limited to the personal and conversational realm (except when it comes to the debate over whether federal and state governments should fund Planned Parenthood, of course). But then Sebelius announced that birth control should henceforth be “free” and that we should reach into the Church’s pocket – and my pocket – to make it “free.” At that point, I and many conservatives like me found ourselves catapulted into “oh, HELL NO” territory. What you do in your own bedroom is none of my business, but don’t ask me – or my Church – to pay for it.

Rush Limbaugh is not some lunatic who just started talking about contraception out of the blue. He didn’t strike first. Instead, he was responding – intemperately – to the Sebelius/Fluke argument, which – as I note above – has been out in the ether for weeks now. But that doesn’t mean that Rush is entirely blameless. It’s not okay to personally attack a female opponent using sexually suggestive language. Moreover, by slamming Sandra Fluke in the way that he did, Rush basically invited the left to place a giant “Kick Me” sign on the GOP’s back. Apology or no, his words will now be used to bully us into submission for many months – or perhaps years – to come. And while I recognize the media’s outrageous hypocrisy on this (see also: the left’s despicable treatment of just about any female conservative), I still expect Rush to be a lot smarter than that.

Be that as it may, I have zero – ZERO – sympathy for Fluke. She’s not some poor wittle naif who got accosted by a nasty old man. She’s my age, first of all — don’t buy the story that she’s 23. Secondly, as the Jammie Wearing Fools have uncovered, she’s a long-time activist who elected to go to Georgetown for the express purpose of challenging the Jesuit university’s refusal to cover contraception in its health plan. In other words, she’s a liar. She didn’t go to Georgetown for “the educational experience.” She went there in the hopes of snagging her fifteen minutes of fame — and Nancy Pelosi was only too happy to oblige her.

If Fluke is mercenary enough to enroll at Georgetown under false pretenses, how can we possibly trust anything else she says? Hell, we already know her math is completely bogus. Generic Ortho Tri-Cyclen is sold for $9 per month at a nearby Target. I also Googled “free condoms Washington DC” and discovered that, like New York City, DC has its own free condom distribution program: the Rubber Revolution. And your standard well-woman gynecological exams? As far as I could tell, the exams are covered by Georgetown’s health plan — as are any birth control meds that are being used to treat genuine medical conditions. So either Fluke pulled her $3000 figure out of her butt, or her friends are using the contraception equivalent of the Lamborghini. And these are supposed to be some of our country’s best and brightest? Have you ladies considered shopping around? I bet there are clinics in your area that would be happy to help. Planned Parenthood, for example, offers reduced fees for those who can demonstrate economic need.

Sandra Fluke is the poster child for a liberal entitlement mentality that has completely run amok. Instead of giving her what she wants, we should tell her to grow the hell up. When a responsible adult realizes that her budget is getting tight, she gives up a few luxuries to make room for the necessities. She doesn’t beg for perfect strangers to give her a handout.

Washington Goes to Mitt

Just a stub post to report that my projections from a few days ago are already starting out wrongly.  Woohoo! (Not.) Romney gets Washington State and its 43 delegates uncontested.  That was not quite but almost a must-win for Santorum. He needs to do surprisingly well somewhere like Texas or California to have a shot now.