Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Jingle Bells On

Burbank, California is a bit of a redneck town. People tend to think of California as entirely peopled by liberals, be it of the tie-dyed, or the latte-swilling, variety. But look, it’s a big state. We can’t all be organic hemp entrepreneurs. Somebody’s got to work at the hardware store.

My hardware store is in Burbank, which is a town adjacent to, but separate from, Los Angeles. I tend to shop in Burbank even though I live in the NoHo neighborhood of LA, because the stores are nicer. Unlike at the North Hollywood Ralph’s, homeless dudes don’t rifle through the bagel bins of my Burbank grocery store. Vacant lots are kept clean of garbage. Police officers pull you over to issue you a warning that one of your brake lights looks a little dim.

And for that reason, Burbank tends to be a magnet for those drawn to the advantages of living in a large metro area, but who don’t necessarily want to share in the whole cultural melting pot thing. In other words, if you want good Mexican, don’t go to Burbank.

The employees of my Burbank hardware store are not the same as those you see working for the larger chains. They’re older. Quite a bit older, in fact. And they’ve been there forever. And I am not necessarily above the impulse to unconsciously judge employers by their ability to retain white employees – who, unlike their Latino counterparts, and in spite of what Fox News might tell you, can pretty much work wherever they want in Los Angeles.

In my store, mostly the men work the floor, and mostly the women work the registers. That’s no surprise. You’ll find that anywhere. In fact, I once had a friend who was a DIY goddess. Not having a garage, she converted a large closet in her condo into a workshop complete with a full-size table saw. She had every power tool known to man. She routed her own moulding. She could install ceramic tile in her sleep. And when she applied for a job at Home Depot, where did they put her? That’s right, behind a cash register. Meanwhile, the teenage boy working in the tool corral couldn’t identify a drill press in a lineup with a circular saw and a palm sander.

Unlike my friend, the register ladies at my hardware store seem content with their lot. And when they’re not busy, they keep up a steady stream of gossip about who always takes two extra minutes on their cigarette break, who didn’t finish stocking the items from Tuesday’s delivery, and who always pretends to be helping customers in order to avoid breaking down the pallets.

Which reminds me of another friend of mine, who worked one summer for a large Midwestern chain of hardware stores. Toward the end of the summer, he received his acceptance into Harvard Law School. When he gave notice, he asked the manager not to mention it to any of the other employees, who had given him no end of shit over the past couple of months because he was, ah, well, maybe not quite as committed to, and respectful of, a life devoted to retail as they thought he should have been. As luck would have it, the manager scheduled an all-staff meeting on my friend’s last day, and he could not resist announcing, proudly, my friend’s latest achievement, as if, without the manager’s expert bagging and stocking guidance, my friend would never have been accepted at such a prestigious institution.

As my friend expected, the announcement was met with much eye-rolling and groaning from his coworkers. One of them protested loudly “He’s going to Harvard? He don’t even know how to work the box baler!”


As I look around my own hardware store, especially at those denizens who count “toothpick” as an acceptable uniform accessory, I can well imagine that a similar scene might take place there. About a week ago, I was in the store picking up some drawer organizers, because that’s what I do when I get a couple of days off, and as I finished paying and had turned away from the cashier, she assaulted me with a fairly aggressive “Merry Christmas!” It was so insistently intoned that it made me stop in my tracks and look back at her.

She was one of those older ladies who dyes her hair that color that kind of splits the difference between grey and blonde, know what I mean? She wore a Santa pin on her uniform vest, and glasses on a chain around her neck. Her name tag placed her squarely in that set of women whose names are no longer in favor in this country: like Bertha, and Marjorie, and Eunice. Her jaw was set at a defiant angle, and her eyes narrowed their gaze at me. In the instant while I considered my reply, I imagined a meeting between workers and management wherein the employees were ordered to end each transaction during the month of December with a generic and inclusive “Happy Holidays.” I also imagined conversations among those who expressed, in between puffs on Pall Malls out on the loading dock, their determination to defy the directive, and their conviction that Christians, especially the English-speaking ones, you know, are the beleaguered martyrs of this country who love the USA while asking for not one thing in return.

And I wondered why she had picked me. As a middle-aged white woman, did she figure me for a friendly? Was her salutation an invitation to respond in kind, a sort of Burbank hardware store version of “geese fly south at midnight”? Or did she take in my ironic mirrored aviators and my Loteria jewelry and decide that I was part of the problem, and thus deserving of her loaded xmas greeting bomb?

I considered a variety of replies, from “Fuck you!” to “Happy Hanukkah!” and I suppose several in between. But at that moment, what struck me as sad, and sort of regrettable about the whole situation was that she was not only kind of missing the point of Christmas, but in fact even missing the point of wishing anybody a merry anything.

I squelched a sincere desire to retort “Christmas is not a weapon, bitch.” And then instead I smiled at her and said “Merry Christmas to you!”

And I meant it.

Because I may not be a Christian, but I believe in Christmas. Peace on earth, good will toward mankind, and all that. It’s a good idea, Christmas, and we’re living in a world sorely in need of some good ideas. So let’s all keep Christmas, all of us, and when we choose to defy the bone-headed so-called “politically correct” middle managers of the world, let’s defy them with love in our hearts and in our voices, not vindictiveness.

And merry Christmas, hardware store lady. For Christ’s sake, merry Christmas to you. Always. Always.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Blue Christmas!

Happy Holidays to everyone. Peace on earth and all that jazz.

I'll be out for the next week or so. Until then, here are some subjects you can stew over in my absence:

- Rick Warren
- Is the South out to destroy the UAW and steal the American auto industry just like they destroyed the garment workers unions and stole the Northern textile industry?
- BushCo's pardon list. Extra credit: Will Cheney be pardoned preemptively?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Fuck Wall Street

One part of my job requires that I keep abreast of financial stories, mostly so that I can make an informed comment or two when the guys at work start in with the “market” talk. To that end, I dutifully listen to Marketplace every morning and every evening on the drive to and from the office. Well, almost every evening. Some evenings, I am so stressed out from the rodent race that I have to turn off the program and crank up Kanye West’s Stronger and break that shit down as I inch along on the 134W. Yeah, screw NPR and informed citizenry! When do I get to be the Louis Vuitton Don???

Believe it or not, middle-aged white women blasting KW out the sunroofs of their sensible Volvo wagons is not as uncommon a sight in LA as one might think.

But back to the financial news, which is never good anymore. Even if there is some kind of moderate gain in the Dow, it’s offset with word that foreclosures are up, or that job numbers are down. And speaking of foreclosures, it’s now known that that piece of shit bankruptcy bill passed by our genius Republican congress in 2005 is responsible for about 32,000 foreclosures each quarter. How so? Well, under previous rules, individuals in bankruptcy were allowed to take money out for their mortgage first, and pay credit card debt second. The bill reversed the order of priority. And that 32k figure is only reflecting people who actually file for bankruptcy. Probably many more don’t bother to file, knowing that it cannot erase their credit card debt, or enable them to stay in their homes anymore.

I know, it’s hard to believe that a Republican congress would pass a bill that was essentially a big sloppy valentine to MBNA and the other credit card companies, but guess who predicted that it would have exactly that consequence? Me! Okay, it was on an older, now-deleted blog and I can’t prove it, but I did predict it. And guess what? I WAS NOT THE ONLY ONE.*

Because when you take downward economy, + rising insurance and healthcare costs + decreases in insurance coverage, what does that equal? It equals fully ½ of the people that are going bankrupt, doing so because of medical bills. Medical bills are the leading cause of bankruptcy, people. And that fucking bill did our fucking joke healthcare industry one better and not only ruined their finances, but kicked them out of their homes, too. Because I guess we don’t need a lot of weak invalid pansies trying to live our American dream of home ownership. If only they’d pulled themselves up by their bootstraps instead of getting surgeries and chemotherapy and things, this wouldn’t have happened. Perhaps they should think about getting their weak-ass selves and families into some government housing next time. Or better yet, perhaps they should all just die, and decrease the surplus population.

You know what that fucking Orwellian-named Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 did not “reform”? Chapter 11 bankruptcy. You know who files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy? Businesses. Apparently businesses are not abusing anything, and so do not require the altruistic reforming efforts of the 2005 heart-full-of-unwashed-socks 2005 Republican Congress.

And apparently, businesses also do not require regulation when they play with credit default swaps, and hedge their bets that other businesses unrelated to their business will fail. For those not familiar with the practice, those bets that companies make against the success of other companies are so huge, that when the bet-upon company does fail, all the companies that placed bets upon that company can fail too, because they are now required to pay out billions of dollars for their bad bets that they will not be able to pay if only one other company fails to pay them.

Sound ill-advised? It is. And the effect is what we have just seen and will no doubt continue to see: one company fails and brings down another, and then that one brings down four more, and so on. It’s basically entirely unregulated gambling, and it’s enormously lucrative when it works, and completely fucking devastating when it fails.

To say nothing of that motherfucker Madoff’s hedge fund antics and the fact that although numerous complaints have been lodged against him over the last nine years, the SEC never investigated him once. Martha Stewart, they got. Madoff, on the other hand, ran completely amok, and may have done more than 50 BILLION dollars of damage, and, well, hell, you know it’s bad when they’re thinking of renaming the Ponzi scheme after this dude instead.

Look, readers, I go back and forth on the whole bailout thing. I do. I weigh the price against the good. Somedays I’m all “Let them dangle.” And somedays I think the cost in human lives of seeing these guys go under is too high.

One thing I do know is that I am sick to death of those fucking pansy-ass motherfuckers on Wall Street, and their fucking arbitrary speculating, and their fucking squirrely dumping of stocks. I am sick of hearing about how buyers are “spooked,” and about how they can be swayed to buy or sell by a single word from some scared shitless government dude who’s probably flipping a coin over what he’s going to say anyway. I am sick of this guy, who no longer even has a straight face to attempt to say things with, claiming that his love of Wall Street is based upon “principle.” I am sick of all those guys and I am sick of the hand-wringing that goes on about what they do, and I am sick of seeing my 401k go down because of them, and I am sick of 401ks and the bullshit choices for investment that they offer, and I am really, really sick of hearing Marketplace playing “Stormy Weather” when they talk about the Dow every morning.

Those assholes should all go fuck themselves. And then when they're finished, they should go out and get a real fucking job, for fuck’s sake. Try making something for a living, or help someone besides another rich asshole get richer. Yeah, instead of speculating on the price of wheat, why don’t you try going out and fucking growing some?

Or at the very least, try this on for size: Country First. Yeah, you guys were all McCain supporters, weren’t you? All hopped up that patriotic claptrap, right? Well, why don’t you try walking the fucking walk just a tiny little bit? Huh? Heaven help this country when I become an example, but I’m not dumping my pitifully small amount of stock, and you know why? Because then I would be part of the problem.

Did that ever occur to you? Could it? Or is the part of your wiring that considers the collective good completely bypassed by now?

C’mon, write me and tell me I don’t know what the fuck I’m talking about, and that my grasp of economic issues is weak, and that I don’t understand the potential of market forces blah blah blah. Do it. I want you to. Defend it. Please. I’ve got my response all ready for you, and it’s very economical.

It’s only two words. Care to speculate what they might be?

*Barack Obama voted against the bill, as did both CA senators, Kennedy, Kerry, Dodd, and holy shit…Lieberman! Senator Clinton…was the only senator who did not vote. See? This is why I always had a problem with her. Joe Biden voted for the bill, which pretty much sums up my problems with Joe Biden as well.

**Thanks to Josh P for the tip.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Hannity needs to look into both the taking and the making of jokes

So on the Daily Show last night, tribute was paid to departing Fox News doormat Alan Colmes, so-called "co-host" of Hannity and Colmes.

Yes, it's a semi-amusing re-make of the very smooth Hall & Oates hit "She's Gone."

One might have wished that they had rehearsed it a little more. Or once, even.

In any event, today, Hannity had a response. Now, I don't usually post about the Hannitys and Coulters of this world, because, well, it's what they want. You know, the ole' "never wrestle a pig" rule. But I absolutely LOVE this response:
"I was actually thinking of Jon [Stewart] as a co-host but I needed someone who could be smart and funny without 50 writers and two has-been rockers who are badly in need of Botox."
Oh, sn-- wait a minute. Huh?

Dude, that's your put down? Seriously?

Because, okay, well, shit. There's so much.

First of all, you're making fun of Hall and Oates for NOT having their faces injected with vanity-fueled neurotoxin? I mean, they actually look pretty good for their ages. They're not bloated, their skin isn't stretched tighter than their underwear, and aside from Oates being in full black shoe polish mode, they have full heads of what appears to be their own hair. There's suprisingly little fuel for ridicule. Kudos to the H&O.

And secondly, the thesis of your Jon Stewart joke is that he's not FUNNY?

Sean, baby, let me explain how jokes work. See, what you do is, when you want to put someone down, is you pinpoint a weakness of theirs, and you make fun of it in some way. Like, if I were to make fun of you, I might say something about how your hairline appears to be advancing down your forehead in a suspiciously Shatnerian manner. See? Like that. Or that your full, rounded neck and jowls suggest that you might be storing nuts there until the next Republican administration. Or, hell, that you don't seem capable of grasping the idea that when you say something on a news program, it's better if it's true.

How you don't make a joke, see, is by taking an attribute that someone clearly has, and just say that they don't have it. I mean, what are you, in the 3rd grade? You're going to go at one of the most popular and topical and intelligent and finger-on-the-pulsey comedians of this or any generation with the comedic equivalent of "I know you are but what am I?"

Well, okay. But guess what? Stewart's going to come back at you, and when he does, it's going to be funny.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Once I ran to you, now I'll run from you

Obama: Dude, you did not!
Daley: I did!
Obama: You taped an "impeach me" sign on his back?
Daley: Hee hee hee.
Obama: Dude, that is some funny shit.
Daley: Right?
Blagojevich: Hey guys, what's so funny?
Obama: Oh, nothing.
Daley: Yeah, you'll find out soon enough.

If you’re not still hibernating following the election, you’ve no doubt noticed that the media is speculating on whether the Blagojevich scandal will taint Obama. Everywhere you look, it’s “Can Obama Escape the Taint of Blagojevich?” and “Will Blagojevich Taint Obama?” and even, dear god, “The Tainting of the President Elect.”

I haven’t heard this much talk about taint since Britney forgot what underwear was.

Having been a close observer of Chicago politics for many years before moving to LA, it’s amusing to me to see the talking heads from out of town try to speculate on the relationship between Obama and Blago. For one thing, the same people who, before the election, went apoplectic at the suggestion that Senator Ted Stevens’s corruption might somehow be a reflection on Governor Palin’s ethics, are now very willing to suggest that the mere fact that Senator Obama worked in the same state as Governor Blagojevich is proof of an impending criminal indictment.

For another thing, Blago is on tape calling Obama a motherfucker. Not to put too fine a point on it, but in Chicagoese, that’s what you call people who aren’t playing fucking ball. For further proof, let’s take a look at Blago’s reaction when a consultant suggested that he should man up and appoint the person (Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett) that Obama was pushing for: “Fuck him. For nothing? Fuck him.”

Obviously the governor…wait a minute, he’s not done: “They're not willing to give me anything except appreciation. Fuck them.”

Okay. I don’t know about you, but that response kinda suggests to me that Obama definitely was not smelling what the Blago was cooking.

But I don’t expect the speculation to end anytime soon, even though dreamy US Attorney Patrick “Untouchable” Fitzgerald suggested it should not even begin when he said “there's no reference in the complaint to any conversation involving the president-elect or indicating that the president-elect was aware of it,” and that the complaint “makes no allegations about the president-elect whatsoever,” and that the press shouldn’t “cast aspersions on people for being named or being discussed.”

But hey, let’s not listen to Fitzgerald. He’s only the guy who brought down Scooter Libby. Okay, W brought him back up again, but still. Fitzgerald also had a hand in bringing down Illinois’ previous governor, Republican George Ryan, who is still in jail for several pay-to-play schemes, including one in which companies bribed officials to give commercial truck driving licenses to dangerously unqualified individuals and/or illegal immigrants, including one who directly caused the death of six children in a highway accident. Don’t worry about Ryan, though, because he’s also in line for a pardon from W.

Ryan chose the non-Ted-Stevens route and decided to leave office before he was brought down. Before he left, he declared a much-needed moratorium on the death penalty in Illinois after it was discovered that there might be more innocent men on death row than guilty ones. It was likely a desperate career move to resuscitate his image and to NOT be remembered as the worst governor in the history of Illinois.

Seeing as how Blagojevich not only tried to sell a Senate seat to the highest bidder, but also to strong-arm the Chicago Trib into firing editorial page critics (did he not think the newspaper might, um, take the story to the press?), and shakedown an organization advocating health care for poor children, I don’t think Ryan has anything to worry about.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Drysies©

Grant Miller was one of the first people from teh internets to find my blog and read it, and as such, he will always be okay in my book, even though when I met him in person he was kind of a dick and didn't even say hi to me - although later he did buy me a drink and so then he was okay again in my book. Although...did you guys know that Grant is only about three feet tall? He's really tiny, like a small kitten, or one of those statues of the Virgin Mary that you put on your lawn in a bathtub planted with petunias. But still, still okay in my book.

But then, I have a really crappy book.

I'm serious. My book sucks. It's really long, and kinda boring, except for the last couple of chapters when I start to overshare in a semi-public forum and spew bilious clouds of political fluff. Several really cool people picked up my book and started reading near the end and actually think it's a good book, and I've decided not to disposess them of that notion.

To that end, please go to Grant Miller Media and vote for me for this year's Drysdale Awards. I am self-nominated in 2 categories:

Least Influential Political Blogger - I have won this award every year since the beginning of the Drysies© in 2006. Please do not let this hallowed tradition end.

Least Logical Political Argument in a Single Post - In my recent post "Nacho Marriage," I argue that the Mormon male experience is so homoerotic that the LDS opposition and support of Prop 8 was motivated by - get this - self-loathing! Seriously! That was the thesis of my post! So vote for me in this category too, because my weak-ass shit deserves it.

"Drysies" is a copyrighted term and may not be used without the express written permission of Bells On© Media.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Total Recall

People of Illinois, you have my sympathies.

Sort of. I mean, you had a chance to dump Blagojevich in 2006, when a great candidate, former regional administrator of HUD and reformer of the Chicago Housing Authority Edwin Eisendrath ran against Blago in the Democratic primary.

Blago won, even though he was already embroiled in numerous scandals.

Why, for chrissakes?

I used to live in Chicago, and let me tell you that although many people are tired of the pervasive corruption of city and state government, many more would just as soon take advantage of it.

To put it another way, the half of Illinois residents who voted to re-elect Blago are the same people whose cousin's brother-in-law has a business partner married to a friend of Blagovich's father-in-law. And someday, by god, that connection is going to put them in the fabled cat bird seat, and award them that plum concession, or that overpriced contract, or that cushy no-show job.

Meanwhile, the scandals, and the investigation of the governor by Plame prosecutor Patrick "untouchable" Fitzgerald seemed to go on and on.

Until today, when the governor of Illinois was arrested by Fitzgerald for attempting to sell Obama's empty US Senate seat to the highest bidder. The hot rumor is that Obama's bulldog Rahm "Rahmbo" Emanuel is the one who blew the whistle.

Yes, it's hard to believe that a man whose every move was being watched, and possibly electronically monitored, by the most feared US Attorney in modern history, would attempt something so audacious and so transparent. But that's Blagojevich for you. The list of possible appointees for the seat that he attempted to shake down is already mostly publicly known, and the best part is that he INCLUDED HIMSELF on the list, because he apparently felt "stuck" in the governor's office, and wanted to move to post where he could position himself as a presidential candidate in 2016.

I know, it's fucking gloriously unhinged, isnt' it?

If Blagojevich could just acquire a goofier accent, and a get a few bad action movies under his belt, he might be able stand toe-to-toe in self-delusion with our own dear governator:

How you like me now?

Ha ha, bang, bitches!

Rumsfeld's old nemesis, General Eric "we'll be needing more troops in Iraq" Shinseki, has been named to Obama's cabinet as Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

Shinseki was one of the numerous tragedies of the BushCo years: a intelligent military commander who was not afraid to speak truth to power, and who was forced into early retirement when he didn't toe the Rumsfeld line. I remember thinking at the time, "so much for letting 'commanders on the ground' guide our strategy."

Look at him. He's loving the smell of vindication in the morning.

Maybe he should call Colin Powell and describe to him how sweet it smells.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Secundus , ignarus primum ut is est incommodus

Just when my hatred of the reign of King George II has begun to mellow in anticipation of its end, W is proceeding with one of his most heinous moves ever.

BushCo plans on implementing a rule prior to its departure, and it comes to us courtesy of the Health and Human Services Department and the Secretary of HHS, Mike Leavitt.

Who is a Mormon.

I’m telling you just in case that knowledge should fill you with a not insignificant sense of foreboding, which it certainly does me. Really, hearing that some highly-placed government official is a Mormon is kinda like hearing da-dum…da-dum… when you’re watching Jaws. You know nothing good is going to follow.

Likewise, the rule is being championed by the Christian Medical Association, and the League of Catholic Bishops, two groups whom I’m sure have your personal freedom, and the best interests of women, very close to their hearts.

So, the rule would forbid any entity that receives federal funds from taking action against an employee who refuses to perform, or even take part in, any medical service that they morally object to.

So first of all, try to think of a hospital, or pharmacy, or doctor’s office that doesn’t receive federal funds. To be clear, it doesn’t have to be entirely, or even significantly, federally funded, it just has to receive federal funds. The LA Times estimates that nearly 600,000 entities would be affected, nation-wide.

Secondly, you might think that this rule is designed to protect doctors who don’t want to perform abortions, and you might think “Hey, I can live with that. Doctors shouldn’t be forced to perform abortions.”

You’d be wrong. Doctors are already protected from performing abortions.

This rule, while being written broadly enough to have many fucked-up consequences that we’ll explore in a sec, is aimed specifically at one event, and that event is the availability to women of the so-called “morning after pill,” one of a class of drugs known as Emergency Contraceptive Pills, which is what women take, for instance, after a sexual assault, in order to prevent pregnancy. Please bear in mind as we proceed that the pill also, by preventing pregnancy, prevents abortions.

Wait, how do I know that that’s why this rule is being forced down our throats at 5 minutes until midnight on the last day in the life of this farkakteh administration? Because they admit it freely. Yes, they have absolutely no problem in the least admitting that they are just fine with keeping women from preventing unwanted pregnancies, even when those pregnancies are the result of rape.

And people wonder why I am not a big fan of Christianity. Look, Christianity may be fine in theory, but in practice…not so much.

So, who’s against the new rule? Oh, only the American Medical Association, and the American Hospital Association, and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Yeah, those stuck-up old fuddy duddies at the AMA, AHA, and ACOG, with their concern for the patient, and the health of the patient, and that whole crackpot patient-centered approach to medicine. When are those cranks going to get with it, and realize that medicine is really all about doctors and their feelings about things?

And not just how doctors feel about things. Because even if you do get a doctor’s prescription for ECP, the pharmacist could feel like he doesn’t want to fill it. The clerk could feel like he doesn’t want to stock it on the shelves. And under the broad language of the rule, physicians would be protected from, for example, assisting gay people with artificial insemination, or in-vitro fertilization, and the only reason they need to give is that they feel, um, conflicted about gay people. The lab tech at a fertility clinic could refuse to perform any part of the process as well. Not only that, but if you were dying, and the medicine they were going to give you for the pain might also suppress your ability to breathe, no matter how okay you and your doctor were with that, the nurse could refuse to give it to you. Just refuse. Because he has issues.

And under this proposed rule, the government would protect those people.

Okay, I know I took a cheap shot earlier when I said that Christianity sucks in practice. I should apologize. I should, although I don’t feel like apologizing. I feel like saying that "sucks" is a nice word for what Christianity does. I also feel like saying that although I don’t believe that Jesus ever existed, I am willing to concede that, not unlike Yoda or Frasier Crane, Jesus gave some good advice from time to time, although of course I must also point out that the words of Jesus are pretty much summarily ignored by the church organizations and by most Christians as well.

If you read what Jesus said, he’s mostly interested in people treating each other better than they were. More compassionately. He wanted to make life more kind, and for rich and poor to be treated more equally, and he pretty much said that’s what God is interested in, too.

So if there is a Heaven, it’s clear that what’s going to get your ticket punched is helping those in need, not refusing to give aid to a woman who’s been raped, or to a couple who desperately want children, or to a 19-year-old woman with a life-threatening pulmonary embolism who requires an emergency abortion.

Remember when white hospitals refused even emergency treatment to black people? I think that if you look back, you find out that when they did that, it wasn’t a copy of the Constitution they were waving in everyone’s faces. It was the Bible. The Bible has been used to justify more mean and evil deeds than the whole of do-gooding Christianity has ever been able to prevent or mitigate. That’s a net loss, Christians. You might want to think about declaring bankruptcy. Or on second thought, just apply to the U.S. Government for a bailout. I’m pretty sure W could hook you up.