What We Missed

If you haven’t heard already, bad news folks: the U.S. Senate Finance Committee rejected the public option with a 15-8 vote. Fuckers.
The Japanese government plans to introduce legislation that will allow married women to keep their name.
Just when you thought the economic gap couldn’t get wider.
A new “virginity-faking” device is being used in Egypt as a cheaper alternative to hymenoplasty – some are demanding those bringing in the product should be subject to the death penalty.

Join the Conversation

  • hardlycore

    They just voted down a second public option as well, by a lesser margin. Ugh. http://prescriptions.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/29/live-blogging-senate-finance-committee-debate-on-public-option/

  • aleks

    The Sen Fin Committee was never going to approve the public option. The PO isn’t looking any more unlikely than it did yesterday.

  • Comrade Kevin

    The legacy of fear of government control is too strong to overcome by one protracted battle.

  • AvidOne

    I think your blurb about Japanese names is misleading. The legislation allows each spouse to keep their own name.
    As I’ve said before, I don’t think this is necessarily a good thing. I had a source that says the number of Japanese men who take their wives’ names is about 1%. It must have increased in recent years because a recent news brief in Ms. says that 95% of Japanese women take their husbands’ last names , which must, according to Japanese law, mean that 5% of Japanese men change their name at marriage. (http://www.msmagazine.com/news/uswirestory.asp?ID=11961) Imagine if in 5% of (straight) American marriages the man changed his name! Do you see that happening with your friends and family? Nope, and it’s sad to think Japan will be going in our direction on this soon too.

  • bobing_b

    THIS COMMENT HAS BEEN DELETED.

  • aleks

    So you think it’s better to require couples to choose one name then to allow them each the choice?

  • Alice

    What could be more public than the current system, in which existing insurance companies are given such a high degree of government protection from potential competition by regulation and severe barriers to entry?
    If this already extreme degree of public privilege results in the problems of the current system, I fail to see how a completely public option could be an improvement.

  • aleks

    When Alice talks about “regulation” and “extreme degree of public privilege” she means that some states require insurance companies operating within their borders to cover things like maternity care.

  • Lily A

    I don’t mean to feed the troll… but moderators, can you please keep an eye on bobing_b?
    This person has made pointless and inflammatory comments like this on a number of threads today.
    For example:
    “I want one” in response to the “rape tunnel hoax” — http://community.feministing.com/2009/09/columbus-artists-makes-rape-tu.html#comment-302186
    another “stop murdering babies” in response to the health care bill not funding abortions —
    http://www.feministing.com/archives/018035.html#comment-302189
    “i like the youtube woman she knows whats going on you lot cam learn a lot from her” in reference to Phyllis Schlafly saying that feminism is the most destructive force in society — http://www.feministing.com/archives/018025.html#comment-302192
    about feminism: “it not about love and conpasion it is about women wanting to make the world better for women and therefore is shi­t”
    and this gem (and others on this thread): “Get back in the kitchen
    and FYI i don’t have a basement but i do have a girlfriend and she post tits well i post her tits but ti­ts are post unlike you
    TI­TS OR GTF­O” — http://community.feministing.com/2009/09/how-to-deal-with-anonymous-tro.html#comment-302153

  • alawyer

    A new “virginity-faking” device is being used in Egypt as a cheaper alternative to hymenoplasty – some are demanding those bringing in the product should be subject to the death penalty.

    It’s unbelievably depressing that anyone even wants to buy this device.

  • Alice

    That’s not what I meant, but that is part of the broader set of problems with the current system. A better way to say it would be “…some states require insurance consumers to buy coverage for things like maternity care.”
    But I digress. What I was mainly referring to is that states prohibit their residents from buying insurance from companies headquartered in states with different regulations. Rather than a national market for insurance, we have 50 state markets for insurance, each with only a very narrowly defined set of available forms of coverage. The natural result is severe, politically maintained barriers to entry into the insurance market, which highly privileges entrenched companies.

  • aleks

    As opposed to an ideal situation where all insurance companies were located in the state with the fewest customer protections and insurance companies didn’t cover maternity care. Wooo!

  • Alice

    Well, if that sort of company is what consumers want, after some actual competition is allowed into the equation, than by all means. However, if we’re talking about the ideal situation, then ideally the tax advantages for employers offering health insurance in preference to cash (another thing that politically entrenches the power of insurance companies) would be gone as well, and heath care would no longer be so synonymous with health care insurance in the first place.

  • aleks

    Customers who aren’t planning to get pregnant within the next billing cycle aren’t going to pay for maternity care if we can help it. Sorry ladies, you’re on your own. FREEEEEDOM!

  • JupiterAmmon

    it’s so damn clear that the cons aren’t going to vote for anything that changes the status quo, and the dems are only interested in making bigpharma wealthier than they already are (is that mathematically possible?).
    question is: what the fuck are WE doing about it?

  • aleks

    Pushing our Senators to write the best bill we can hope for. What comes out of the committees doesn’t mean much. Four committees have passed bills with the public option, and soon (I hope) the Sen Fin Com will pass a bill without it. Then the Senate “merges” the bill, which could mean rewriting it from scratch if they want, and if they pass it the House and Senate Reconciliation Committee writes another bill, and then the House passes it and the Senate tries to override the filibuster (or rule that the bill cannot be filibustered). We need something to pass Baucus’ committee, but the only committee whose end product really matters is Reconciliation. Pelosi should put strong advocates of the public option on that committee, sadly I don’t trust Reid to do anything but whimper.

  • ooperbooper

    Lily A, it’s a comfort to know that even though I am too lazy to gather all of this stuff myself you have noticed it too and are already on it.

  • bbbf

    - especially that it releases “liquid imitating blood.” First off, not all women have a hymen that rips/breaks, and not all women’s first sexual intercourse involves blood. WTF. This just feeds into society’s desire to define normality. And if you fail to fit within these narrow guidelines – off with your head!

  • bbbf

    - especially that it releases “liquid imitating blood.” First off, not all women have a hymen that rips/breaks, and not all women’s first sexual intercourse involves blood. WTF. This just feeds into society’s desire to define normality. And if you fail to fit within these narrow guidelines – off with your head!

  • aleks

    Schumer on Finance Committee Vote …
    “To come up only two votes shy in the Finance Committee, the most difficult terrain for this proposal in the whole Congress, makes us increasingly optimistic that we can pass a bill with a good public option in the end. We had more votes at the end of the day than we did at the beginning, and many members who aren’t yet for a public option are still approaching us to seek out areas of agreement.”

  • aleks

    Schumer on Finance Committee Vote …
    “To come up only two votes shy in the Finance Committee, the most difficult terrain for this proposal in the whole Congress, makes us increasingly optimistic that we can pass a bill with a good public option in the end. We had more votes at the end of the day than we did at the beginning, and many members who aren’t yet for a public option are still approaching us to seek out areas of agreement.”

  • Brittany

    Well said.

  • jeana

    Or that they have to or else.

  • jeana

    Only an idiot would think that not covering maternity care is a good idea. I guess those brainiacs, since they obviously could care less about the health of the mother & baby, would much prefer to have a high cost, low birthweight, million-dollars-in-maternity-costs baby born for us all to pay for when it could have been avoided with proper prenatal care.

  • jeana

    Only an idiot would think that not covering maternity care is a good idea. I guess those brainiacs, since they obviously could care less about the health of the mother & baby, would much prefer to have a high cost, low birthweight, million-dollars-in-maternity-costs baby born for us all to pay for when it could have been avoided with proper prenatal care.

  • LisaCharly

    Aleks, normally I like your flippant responses, but in several threads I’ve noticed you dogging Alice and twisting her words to try and debase her arguments. Is there a reason you’re targeting her specifically?
    I personally greatly enjoy Alice’s input, it’s a nice break from the homogenous (though not invalid!) economically liberal tone to the comments here.

  • LisaCharly

    Aleks, normally I like your flippant responses, but in several threads I’ve noticed you dogging Alice and twisting her words to try and debase her arguments. Is there a reason you’re targeting her specifically?
    I personally greatly enjoy Alice’s input, it’s a nice break from the homogenous (though not invalid!) economically liberal tone to the comments here.

  • LisaCharly

    Aleks, normally I like your flippant responses, but in several threads I’ve noticed you dogging Alice and twisting her words to try and debase her arguments. Is there a reason you’re targeting her specifically?
    I personally greatly enjoy Alice’s input, it’s a nice break from the homogenous (though not invalid!) economically liberal tone to the comments here.

  • sarah

    Considering that pre-martial sex is absolutely taboo in conservative parts of Egypt, it would be more apt to say that it’s absolutely depressing that anyone needs to buy the device.
    Interesting bit about that BBC article and I’m not sure what to make of this, but there’s a difference between the Arabic language version and the English one. Namely — the Arabic version (http://www.bbc.co.uk/arabic/middleeast/2009/09/090928_mr_china_virginity_tc2.shtml) includes a paragraph about honor crimes that isn’t in the English.
    A loose translation of the missing paragraph is : “Social customs in Arab nations reject women having pre-marital sex, and many nations have witnessed the spread of “honor crimes” where the girl is killed by the men in her family who deem her a (missing word) influence on their honor because of her conduct.”
    I don’t know why that didn’t make it into the English version, but it would have given some useful context. It’s odd, because presumably it’s not the readers in Arabic who need that background about honor crimes…

  • sarah

    Considering that pre-martial sex is absolutely taboo in conservative parts of Egypt, it would be more apt to say that it’s absolutely depressing that anyone needs to buy the device.
    Interesting bit about that BBC article and I’m not sure what to make of this, but there’s a difference between the Arabic language version and the English one. Namely — the Arabic version (http://www.bbc.co.uk/arabic/middleeast/2009/09/090928_mr_china_virginity_tc2.shtml) includes a paragraph about honor crimes that isn’t in the English.
    A loose translation of the missing paragraph is : “Social customs in Arab nations reject women having pre-marital sex, and many nations have witnessed the spread of “honor crimes” where the girl is killed by the men in her family who deem her a (missing word) influence on their honor because of her conduct.”
    I don’t know why that didn’t make it into the English version, but it would have given some useful context. It’s odd, because presumably it’s not the readers in Arabic who need that background about honor crimes…Considering that pre-martial sex is absolutely taboo in conservative parts of Egypt, it would be more apt to say that it’s absolutely depressing that anyone needs to buy the device.
    Interesting bit about that BBC article and I’m not sure what to make of this, but there’s a difference between the Arabic language version and the English one. Namely — the Arabic version (http://www.bbc.co.uk/arabic/middleeast/2009/09/090928_mr_china_virginity_tc2.shtml) includes a paragraph about honor crimes that isn’t in the English.
    A loose translation of the missing paragraph is : “Social customs in Arab nations reject women having pre-marital sex, and many nations have witnessed the spread of “honor crimes” where the girl is killed by the men in her family who deem her a (missing word) influence on their honor because of her conduct.”
    I don’t know why that didn’t make it into the English version, but it would have given some useful context. It’s odd, because presumably it’s not the readers in Arabic who need that background about honor crimes…

  • Vanessa

    Troll banned. Sorry about that, folks – we had some technical issues last night so wasn’t able to ban until this morning. Thanks all for alerting us!

  • asseenontv

    It’s depressing. However in that society, I don’t blame women who feel the need to fake their virginity.

  • eleanargh

    It’s depressing that there is a situation in the world which means people will need/want the device, and that someone will be making money out of that need – but in marriages where virginity is strictly required for cultural/religious reasons, buying the device may save a woman’s life.

  • eleanargh

    (Yeah, so what sarah and asseenontv said above; I should have refreshed before posting.)

  • Gopher

    I always thought Egypt was more liberal.

  • Alice

    People can buy health services directly, you know. Its more expensive than it should be due to the artificial power of insurance companies, but that’s part of what I’m trying to address.
    …since they obviously could care less about the health of the mother & baby…
    I don’t think that means what you think it means.

  • aleks

    Why?

  • aleks

    I don’t like ignorant, selfish or hypocritical people, and Libertarians who won’t move to Somalia are all of the above.

  • aleks

    I don’t disagree but it’s not very nice to call her that when she’s reading this thread.

  • jeana

    Thank you for that Caring Continuum link. You are correct. But it seems as if Aleks is saying that if you’re not going to get pregnant immenently, you’re not going to pay for it. But how do you know if you’ll get pregnant? I think most pregnancies are “surprises”. I just think that it is ridiculous to even offer a policy that does not cover any maternity for female of child-bearing years. Because if you do get pregnant, and you can’t afford care, then you don’t go to the doctor and you don’t get prenatal visits and your pregnancy becomes high risk and costly to you or whoever winds up paying. It doesn’t make sense.
    It’s why we need single payer.

  • aleks

    The whole point of insurance is that everyone pays to cover everything, even things we don’t personally expect to need. The Republican solution is to stop letting states regulate HMO’s and requiring them to cover things like maternity, in which case no one is going to pay into a plan that covers maternity care unless they expect to get pregnant soon. Of course then plans offering maternity care will cost as much as just shelling out for the care, plus overhead, so there’ll be no point. Similarly no one without a prostate is going to buy a plan that covers prostate cancer, etc. The whole system unravels if plans aren’t required to cover anything. Libertarianism is “I’ve got mine, and I’ll never ever lose it, so fuck you.”

  • aleks

    If the BBC ran that paragraph in English they would drown in cries of “Zionist!”

  • Alice

    So then the insurance system unravels. So what? If it really is so inherently bad that nobody would ever willingly buy into it, then good riddance. Alternatives will be explored.

  • aleks

    So then the insurance system unravels. So what? If it really is so inherently bad that nobody would ever willingly buy into it, then good riddance. Alternatives will be explored.
    Tada! Libertarian analysis reaches its climax.

  • cheezwizard

    Case in point. You know, it’s perfectly possible to question an unsustainable system of forever-escalating costs and forever-increasing corporate and bureaucratic power without wanting to live in Somalia.
    And regardless, you might not want to be so flippantly dismissive of the country, when Somalis have managed to cushion the effects of years of civil war and foreign interference by a market economy that’s allowed them to outperform their neighbours in several important indicators.
    Sorry for the interruption, and we now return you to your regularly scheduled “Somalia sux lolol” programming.

  • aleks

    Case in point. You know, it’s perfectly possible to question an unsustainable system of forever-escalating costs and forever-increasing corporate and bureaucratic power without wanting to live in Somalia.
    Can you point to someone who’s been told to move to Somalia for questioning an unsustainable system of forever-escalating costs and forever-increasing corporate and bureaucratic power? I thought I’d only said it to Alice.
    And regardless, you might not want to be so flippantly dismissive of the country, when Somalis have managed to cushion the effects of years of civil war and foreign interference by a market economy that’s allowed them to outperform their neighbours in several important indicators.
    I haven’t dismissed Somalia, it’s Alice who refuses to move there despite its meeting her Libertarian criteria for heaven on earth. I won’t move there, because I prefer to have a government. It’s a simple matter of having the courage of one’s convictions.
    Sorry for the interruption, and we now return you to your regularly scheduled “Somalia sux lolol” programming.
    Google quotation* and come back when you’re ready to respond to something I’ve actually said.
    *As supplementary examples, please note above where I’ve quoted you saying things you have, indeed, said.

  • Alice

    Well, then why don’t you move to a country that already has a socialist health care system rather than try to promote it elsewhere?

  • aleks

    America already has “socialized” health care. I’m trying to make it work better. Did you have to turn in all your critical thinking skills when you were issued your Ayn Rand BFF card?