This topic is so outrageous I don’t need to be quippy in the post title. I’ll just let the subject speak for itself…
I’d like to start this post with a Newt Gingrich joke. And this has nothing to do with his wife, either. It’s about him on a hot sex date. ba-doom-boom!
I keed, I keed. Seriously, though. I’m here all week.
So here’s the joke:
Gingrich is out on a date and things are going swimmingly. He drops his pants and says to the young woman, “Check out this Eye of Newt!”
Well, at least we can say this much about my sense of humor. It’s painfully obvious that I write my own material.
I woke up this morning planning a Newt Gingrich post. A quick check of Google News, though, and I feel like my thunder is about to be stolen away before I can even start. Check out some of these headlines:
- Our bizarre political theater
- Commentary: Newt Gingrich’s political suicide
- Gingrich, in N.H., tries to refocus his campaign
- Republican Gingrich defiant over Tiffany’s account
- Gingrich takes few questions, avoids press at NH town hall
- Gingrich’s campaign blindsided by bling
- Newt Gingrich Defends Paul Ryan From People Saying Same Things Newt Said
- Political Lolapalooza: Newt Gingrich’s Diamond Studded Hypocrisy & Other Tales From The Crypt
Note: These are all real headlines shown exactly as I found them while writing this post.
Apparently the Gingrich campaign is not long for this world. It’s about to slip the surly bonds of Earth and touch the face of God. Or something like that.
Even so, I’m still in the mood to discuss my planned topic. And that’s doctors. Let’s give Gingrich a chance here. Let’s focus on the issues.
With all of the issues facing our country, what does Gingrich see as the cornerstones of his campaign?
- Repeal The Affordable Health Care Act
- Preserve Bush-era tax cuts for top 2 percent
- Combating radical Islamism
- Emphasis on math and science to give the U.S. military the “most advanced and powerful weapons in the world”
- Dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and replace with an “Environmental Solutions Agency” which would view the environmental based on job creation and energy costs
- Defund Planned Parenthood
- Protect religious expression (creches, crosses, menorahs) on public property
- Protect healthcare workers’ “right to conscience”
- Provide access to government funds for home schooled students
- Protect rights of teachers to discuss religion in the classroom
- Protect frail, infirm and elderly from the state’s arbitrary decision to terminate life
Wow, Newt! See the boogeyman much?
There’s so much meat here, but if I take too big of a bite and I won’t be able to digest and then, well, I’ll be irregular. So let’s just take a nibble. Besides, since he’s got no chance, this is all just a thought experiment. A quick look, though, could still be a bit of fun.
I really want to discuss the doctor thing, but first, a brief history lesson on the biggest boogeyman of all-time. At least since abortion was made the end-all distraction issue of conservatives.
Planned Parenthood facts:
- Opened in 1916 as the first birth control clinic in the United States.
- In 1970 President Richard M.Nixon (Republican) signed the Family Planning Services and Population Research Act. This provided government funding to Planned Parenthood. The act had bipartisan support by liberals (who saw it as giving families greater control over their lives) and conservatives (who saw it as a way to keep people off welfare).
- Planned Parenthood is the largest provider of abortions in the United States, which constitutes about 3% of the health care services it provides.
- Receives about one-third of its funding from the government.
- By law does not use any federal funding for abortions.
Now, the doctor thing. Gingrich essentially wants “healthcare workers” to have the right to “refuse service to anyone.” No big surprise that this one has to do with abortion. Gingrich wants to make sure that doctors are not forced to participate in or refer procedures such as abortion.
A couple of thoughts. First, is this a big problem facing our country? Do you lose a lot of sleep over this? Excuse the fuck out of me, but really. Boo-fucking-hoo. I don’t even know what to make if this. Has there ever been a doctor forced to do anything he/she didn’t want to? I find that hard to imagine.
Note: Some will point out, correctly, that an employee has to what he’s ordered to do (as long as it’s legal) or risk getting fired. True enough. I’ve been in that situation all my goddamned life. But where is the “force” in this equation? Like trillions of people have told me before, if you don’t like your job, go “vote with your feet” and find a new one. Unless the doctor is performing an abortion at gunpoint no one is legally being “forced.” Don’t like something about your job, whatever it is? Put on your big boy pants and go find a new job. This is, by the way, a basic building block of a “free market.”
And how exactly would this sort of thing be implemented? How to you legally define a “right to conscience?” Could it apply to any situation? Any medical procedure? Could it be based on hair color? The length of the patient’s skirt that is offensive to the doctor? A tattoo? A religious symbol? Gender? The color of skin? Smell?
How exactly would this conscience thing work? What would be permissible grounds for refusal and what wouldn’t?
This is exactly the sort of shit that flimflam politicians like to run up the flagpole to distract the rabble. Inflame the passions, distract, and walk your way into office with your prize money.
Another thing: Doctors are an important part of our society and we recognize them for that. They get money. The get privilege. Influence. Respect. Power. Isn’t that enough?
“So sorry, old chap. I appreciate all that, but it simply isn’t enough. I need to have total control over everything. Stat! Understood?”
What makes doctors so much more special than anyone else? I’d really like to know. How many other jobs can you imagine where the worker demands the right to refuse service?
- The firefighter won’t put out your fire
- The police officer won’t protect and serve
- The teacher won’t teach
- The mechanic won’t fix your car
- The cable company refuses to put the internet in your house
- The minister won’t administer sacraments and holy communion
Actually, that last one is already all too real. We’ve been working for millennia to end discrimination based on things like gender and the color of skin. When did it become acceptable to do it based on things like beliefs? And why, pray tell, does religion always seem to be right smack dab in the middle of it? Riddle me that, Batman!
Sure, in America, you have the right to your own personal beliefs. And we have the right to refuse service. You believe something different than us? We’ll do a little embargo of our own. Let’s see you eat nothing, you fuck! Enjoy your “rights” while you starve to death! Ha ha ha ha ha!
We’ve traded in one form of discrimination for another. I guess we can’t abide the thought of a world without some form of discrimination.
Do you know any worker who enjoys this sort of right? It sure the fuck ain’t me. I have to wait on everyone who comes my way or I get fired. Am I offended or find something repugnant about that task? Too fucking bad. Suck it up or be out of a job. That’s the everyday choice for most ordinary working people.
Why do doctors need and/or deserve different?
Doctors take an oath to do no harm. If it’s your turn in the barrel and you’re on shift when a patient is brought it, you do your fucking job. You don’t become a conscientious objector based on things like differences in personal beliefs. Saving that human spark of life – no matter what – is your job. If you won’t do that, then society has absolutely no use for you. You don’t get the option of intermittent refusal and still keep all the special goodies and prizes and what’s behind door number three, k?
And no, you can’t stand back, do nothing, and say it is the problem of something else and get to keep your “do no harm” status. Doing nothing when your actions could have made a difference is the same as causing harm.
This is one so-called “issue” that should absolutely never see the rule of law. Ever!
Jesus Christ! I can sit here and close my eyes and I can’t even begin to imagine the kind of world that Newt Gingrich wants to live in. It sounds like a scary and hateful place. It sounds twisted. It sounds un-American.
Tiger is the Masters
Showing the patience of a saint, class, humility, dignity and style, Tiger Woods sat out a grand total of zero Masters tournaments before announcing his return. This is, of course, exactly as predicted by yours truly deep down here in the bowels of the abyss.
It was way back on Dec. 11th that Woods announced he’d take an “indefinite break” from golf to try to save his marriage. As if we needed additional evidence of exactly how much worth he places on that sacred institution.
For those who study calendars, the grand total of that “indefinite break” turned out to be about four months. Shit! Who can even remember that far back? That’s a whole whopping one-third of a year. Our memories can only go back so far, ya know?
No doubt Woods believes that the quicker he gets back into play the quicker the public’s collective memory will fade.
He probably has publicity strategists planning his every move.
Here’s a piece of free publicity advise for Mr. Woods: Keep Mr. Winky in his frickin’ cage!
Tiger, I’m available for consultations at my standard ten percent rate if you need more, and I think we all know you do.
Hopey changey stuff
Last Saturday night Sarah Palin delivered a speech to a “tea party convention,” whatever that is. The tea party movement, as we all know, is a bunch of Obama-hating right wing conservatives. It was reported that they were even registering people as Republicans right on the floor of this “convention.”
All the talk about the tea party movement being non-partisan and having no leadership and not being tied to any one party is just a smokescreen. When you talk about the tea party movement you are talking about the conservative right-wing and you are talking about Republicans. Just dump all that plausible deniability crap about being “non-partisan,” okay? It doesn’t suit you.
Palin, in her speech, asked the crowd a version of the question I’ve been hearing from rightie wingnuts for the last six months:
“Now a year later, I have to ask those supporters of all that how is that hopey changey stuff working out for ya?“
As you can see she spruced up the the standard talking point question with her own unique personalized stylings and flair.
“Hopey changey stuff.” Does anyone really talk that way? I mean, really?!?!?
Even someone on the national stage using crib notes sloppily written on her own hand? Really?
That irony was delicious. While she stood there addressing the tea party crowd and criticizing Obama for his usage of teleprompters she had handwritten notes on her hand. ON HER HAND!
Personally I could care less if she had something written on her hand. I wouldn’t cross the street to criticize her for that. But the hypocrisy of criticizing Obama for his teleprompter usage at the same time is simply unbelievably stunning. The phrase “unmitigated gall” comes to mind.
But don’t you dare criticize her for it. Oh no, then of course you’d be one of those people that seem to unfairly nitpick her every move. The kind of person that makes her ask, “Golly gee. Don’t they have anything better to do?” Never mind that she was in the act of nitpicking Obama. That’s different. Nitpick them = good. Nitpick me = bad.
The thing about writing crib notes on your hand is that it seems to me it’s either your habit or it’s not. Personally I’ve never written notes to myself on my own body. Ever. Not even a phone number for a hot woman in a bar. I’d rather go without. 🙂
It seems to me, though, that if you are a famous woman in her mid-40’s writing crib notes on your own hand then chances are pretty good it’s something you’ve probably been doing your entire life. It’s probably a lifelong habit. It’s probably something you learned early and used often, like in elementary school, junior high, high school, in a beauty contest, college, while governor of a state and maybe even while running for vice president of the United States.
And what’s the all-time number one reason for using crib notes in the first place?
Now that is something that wouldn’t surprise me one little bit.