Tag Archives: USCCB

Quick Picks: Bishops To Square One on Contraception

Bishops to Square One:  The US Conference of Catholic Bishops is pleased to announce their “Fortnight to Freedom,” June 21 to July 4, described by the Catholic News Agency, as follows:

“The initiative was created in response to several moves by the Obama administration that are threatening the Church’s religious freedom. The most well-known action is the Health and Human Services mandate that requires employers to cover birth control and other services that Catholics and other believers find morally objectionable.”

Now, what was that old line the Bishops used to find so objectionable, could it have been “They want to hang their religions around other people’s necks?”

Tax dollars are going out the back door to private schools.  This may not be what the Alliance for School Choice had in mind:

“While the scholarship programs have helped many children whose parents would have to scrimp or work several jobs to send them to private schools, the money has also been used to attract star football players, expand the payrolls of the nonprofit scholarship groups and spread the theology of creationism, interviews and documents show. Even some private school parents and administrators have questioned whether the programs are a charade.”  [NYT]

How many didn’t believe the programs were a charade in the first place?

Solyndra and Lobbyists in Romney’s Bundle?  If an article included  “Solyndra, lobbyists, fundraising, and Romney” would you click over and read it? Would it surprise anyone that Romney has not released the names of any of his bundlers?  We could guess we’d find the list in the stack with his tax returns?

The Not Debt Crisis?  Next time some one tells you that the national debt is Crushing the Nation!!!  Ask why then have Treasuries remained low after a $35 Billion 2 yr. sale. “The securities drew a yield of 0.300 percent…”  [Bloomberg]

Meanwhile back with the “Job Craters” — JPMorganChase is being sued by employees whose retirement funds were hit by the bank’s Big At Least $3B Blunder. “The defendants were accused of violating their duties to 401(k) and other retirement plan participants by including company stock as an investment option, hiding the stock’s risk, and failing to move participants to safer choices.” [Reuters]   And about their former risk manager… there were red flags. [Reuters]

Infrastructure Anyone: The Chinese say yes.  Reuters reports:

The pace of investment in the likes of roads, bridges and real estate is running at its weakest in nearly a decade, April data showed, suggesting the world’s second-biggest economy is heading for a sixth straight quarter of slowing growth.

To provide some support the government had asked for project proposals by the end of June, even for those initially earmarked for the end of the year, said the China Securities Journal, one of the country’s top financial papers.

Citing government sources, the article said Beijing did not rule out bringing forward next year’s projects, if it thought more investments would be needed to stimulate the economy.

Meanwhile, the American Energy and Infrastructure Act  stalled in the U.S. House of Representatives. [ASCE] There is a House-Senate Committee moving on the topic in fits and starts. [VTD]

Flowing Foreclosure money?  Want to see what your state has done with settlement funds from the Big Five Banks?  Pro Publica has the information in a convenient chart.

Yucca Mountain is Still Dead.  [Las Vegas Sun]

Nevada unemployment rate drops below 12% for the first time in 3 years.  [NNBureau]

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A Lesson From Catholic Bishops: How Not To Handle A Controversy

The President compromised on the DHHS regulations and now the Bishops are pushing back with this comment:

“In a nation dedicated to religious liberty as its first and founding principle, we should not be limited to negotiating within these parameters,” the bishops said in a lengthy statement. “The only complete solution to this religious liberty problem is for HHS [the Health and Human Services Department] to rescind the mandate of these objectionable services.” [The Hill]

How else to translate this other than: In a nation dedicated to religious liberty …unless we get our very own way we will not be satisfied, and WE will dictate what WE want rescinded to the government of the people of the United States?

This would be the same group of Bishops who once said:

“Stressing that it is vital to ensure that health care is offered in ways that recognize and protect human dignity, the Cardinal declared that the Medicare program has done this. In order to continue to fulfill this mission, the nation must commit sufficient resources to ensuring its financial solvency as well as reflecting the advances in medical care. In this time of projected budget surpluses, he urged Congress to dedicate a portion of projected surpluses to strengthening the financial stability of the Medicare program.”  [USCCB]

Not to put too fine a point to it, but what we have here is a conference of Bishops who want increased Medicare/Medicaid funds for their affiliated hospitals — money coming from all manner of faithful folks, like Jews, Methodists, Congregationalists, Jains, Muslims, Presbyterians, Buddhists, Episcopalians, Baptists, Quakers, and Unitarian Universalists — but they don’t want members of these groups “interfering” in their employee benefit policies.

Remember, what the President said was not that the Church had to hand out birth control pills, or even pay for the birth control pills, or even pay to provide insurance coverage for birth control pills — what President Obama said was that IF a private employer did not sanction birth control medication then the INSURANCE  corporations would provide the coverage.  This puts the decision of whether or not to use contraceptive prescription medication in the hands of the employees who, according to the Bishops, have the benefit of religious liberty.

There was, and maybe still is, a common complaint made that “Catholics want to hang their religion around other peoples’ necks.”  Sadly, the Conference of Bishops is lending this otherwise specious charge a truck load of credence.

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