BMV Spokesman Lubsen Fired in Retaliation for Commenting on Indiana Youth Group Double Secret Probation

The continuing saga of the Indiana Youth Group License Plate. Unable to stop the scourge of pro-gay license plates through the democratic process; some legislators seized on a work around. They would put the Indiana Youth Group on double secret probation – subjecting the group to scrutiny, ostensibly for violating contract provisions by giving out low numbered license plates to preferred individuals. That this rationale is pretense becomes immediately obvious when one looks at the other plates doing the same thing with no consequence.

When investigating this maneuver, Indy Star journalist, Mary Beth Schneider spoke with BMV spokesman Graig Lubsen who must not have gotten the memo that the fix was in for the Indiana Youth Group. He was unexpectedly candid about the situation:

Graig Lubsen, communications director for the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, said no decision has been made about the Indiana Youth Group contract. He said someone from the Senate had contacted the BMV about the contract issue this morning.

Lubsen said the contract bars groups from auctioning or selling the plates. But he added that traditionally, the BMV has allowed group to give out low-numbered plates as thank-you gifts to donors.

This is totally not what you want your guy to say if you want to maintain the pretense that this is totally not about politics and is not about treating one group differently but is totally about neutral enforcement of a generally applicable contract provision and gee, isn’t it unfortunate that your group happens to be unpopular among some people in well-connected political circles.

And, so, according to Jim Shella, Mr. Lubsen was fired the next day.

Graig Lubsen was a spokesman for the BMV who last week told a reporter that someone from the Senate had contacted the BMV about cancelling the youth group license plate. He told 24 Hour News 8 that he was fired the next day. Lubsen declined an on camera interview.

I had some interaction with Mr. Lubsen back in 2010 when I vented my spleen in my blog post entitled, “The Indiana BMV Sucks . . . But You Already Knew That.” He reached out to me and worked pretty diligently to help me with my particular situation and investigate what had gone wrong.

Comments

  1. Don Sherfick says

    The State of Indiana undoubtedly enters into thousands of contracts big and small. This one was a pretty minor player in that league, and one really wonders how many other small contracts get instantly terminated without any apparent sembelence of cure notice or other contract due process like has apparently been the case here. Add to that how many times TWENTY State senators decide to gen involved in an alleged “contract breach” of this scope?

  2. Amy says

    This is what happens when you put Republicans in charge. If you have brown skin, have a vagina, or love someone they don’t approve of, then you are a target.

    Anyone who doesn’t think that’s the case is deluding themselves. I wish to hell this wasn’t the truth, but it is.

    Thanks, Indiana legislators, for showing us your true colors. And thanks for everyone who voted them in.

    • Paul C. says

      ^^ Wow. Just wow.

      It is pointless to have civil discussions of policy with anyone who groups 1/3 of the country as racist, sexist, homophobes.

      • Allen J. Lopp says

        Paul, you mean to tell us that 1/3 of the residents of Indiana AREN’T racist, sexist, and/or homophobic? That’s news to me — and the results of numerous public opinion polls support that assessment.

        Unfortunately, this is the environment LGBT Hoosiers are stuck with, and the milieu in which “civil discussions of policy” must be attempted.

      • Amy says

        I wish it weren’t true. I wish this wasn’t the case. I truly do. But it is fact. If you look at the data, it’s all there. Since 2010 alone, when Republicans took control of many state houses and senates, the bills aimed at women’s reproductive rights and gay right have skyrocketed, while bills aimed to help with jobs and the economy have plummeted. The states that have the most strict laws regarding women’s rights, gay rights, and immigration – those are the states with the highest poverty rates, with the highest joblessness rates, and with the worst economies.

        How can anyone look at the evidence and think continuing to elect these people is a good idea? They work incredibly hard to control my uterus, but forget pretty much everything else. They campaign like it’s not their issue, like the Democrats bring it up as a distraction, but the truth is when you put them in charge, it is their #1 priority and those are the bills they sponsor with abundance.

      • says

        I don’t think all Republicans are racists, sexists, and/or homophobes. Not by a long shot. The federal Republicans have gotten, in my view, ridiculous. The state Republicans are a mixed bag but, since Bob Garton got knocked off, seem to be getting worse. I have no problems with my local Republicans and, frequently, prefer them to their challengers.

        I do think too many reasonable Republicans stand silently when such things crop up, either to be a team player or because minorities, gays, and (to a lesser extent) women are not their prime constituencies.

        And, yes, Paul and I can have a reasonable discussion about the nuances of gay marriage or access to birth control or abortions. But, I am (and I’m assuming Paul is) a white, heterosexual male.

        If I were directly affected by the legislation on reproductive rights or marriage equality, I might take a less academic view of things; regard such legislation as more threatening than bizarre. I might even get into William Lloyd Garrison territory:

        I am aware that many object to the severity of my language; but is there not cause for severity? I will be as harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice. On this subject, I do not wish to think, or to speak, or write, with moderation. No! no! Tell a man whose house is on fire to give a moderate alarm; tell him to moderately rescue his wife from the hands of the ravisher; tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the fire into which it has fallen; — but urge me not to use moderation in a cause like the present. I am in earnest — I will not equivocate — I will not excuse — I will not retreat a single inch — AND I WILL BE HEARD.

        • Carlito Brigante says

          I do not think that all Republicans are racist, sexist homphobes. But I think the one-third number that are racist, sexist homphobes is about accurate.

          • says

            When you define racism, sexism, and homophobism as opposition to certain legislation then, yeah, you’re right.

            I don’t happen to define those things that way, so no, you’re not right.

        • says

          Since Indiana is rapidly becoming a one party state, it is really important for those folks who oppose the more extreme elements of the Republican party to get involved in the primary and support more moderate elements.

          With this round of redistricting, the Democrats are going to be pretty marginal at the Statehouse. And with the total collapse of the Democrat party in Southern Indiana, building a non-Republican coalition for statewide office has become much more difficult.

          At some point the unions are going to figure this out, and they will stop funding the Democrats. Without that massive funding advantage, the D’s are going to really become marginal.

          • Doug says

            Reminds me of when Karl Rove was talking about the permanent Republican majority. Or, before that, when Hoover predicted that victory over poverty was nearly upon us.

            These things never progress in a straight trajectory. There is almost always an inflection point; usually an abrupt one. That’s why I’m never all that happy when I’m on top or all that dejected when I’m down.

          • Carlito Brigante says

            I am talking about the underlying prejudices that many Republicans have internalized. The legislation that reflects these underlying prejudices are social enforcements of these offensive pathologies. Maybe you should redefine the policy choices your party seeks to enshrine in legislation.

            I took a look at your website when you linked to your research. Pathetic. Frank Mrvan is an idiot. “Democrat Party.” You asound like just one more loudmouth party activist.

    • says

      Wow, wow. I was all set to agree with Doug on this. I hate people being fired for speaking the truth. I want our laws to protect the whistleblowing. Then we have this racist, sexist tripe from Amy. It’s hard ot have a civil discussion when you have a person like that spouting closed-minded nonsense.

      Democrats retaliate against whistleblowers to. This is not a Republican, Democrat thing.

      • Amy says

        Luckily, since I live with Doug, he gets to hear all my racist, sexist tripe in person. Isn’t he lucky?

        In 2011, there were 13 bills introduced into the Indiana legislature that were aimed, one way or another, at women’s reproductive freedoms. Those 13 bills were sponsored or co-sponsored by 18 different legislators. Of those 18 legislators, 16 were men (shock!) and of those 18, only 1 was a Democrat. Those are the facts. So when I say that women are being targeted by Republicans, this is true. And this example is only in Indiana. It’s like this everywhere Republicans managed to get in charge.

        I’m DONE (there you go Buzzcut) being civil when these people are trying, on a daily basis, to eradicate my rights – rights that women fought hard for. Rights that I thought were put to rest 40 years ago. With everything else going on, WHY do they keep focusing on this?

        I am furious because I am a woman, and these laws take aim at me. I’m not gay, but I know how it feels to have laws targeted at your civil rights. So I will stand with my gay friends and gay family and fight for their rights too. And I will stand with anyone who is being targeted and discriminated against by people in charge. It’s not right.

        The thought of Mike Pence as our governor is an absolutely horrific idea. Forget about national politics. There’s no contest there. But anyone who is voting for Mike Pence, is a vote against women and a vote against gays and a vote against minorities. And I’m not going to go stand with some aspirin between my knees and let any Republican shove their laws wherever they want.

        I have voted split ticket in every election in my life – voting for Democrats, Republicans, and even the libertarian or two. I am not close minded. I research the candidates. I know the issues, I know their stances, and I choose my votes carefully. And it pisses me off when people show up and hit the R button and leave, without knowing a damn thing about the candidates they just elected.

        These people talk the talk, but when it comes right down to what they actually do when put in charge, THIS is their #1 priority. Taking rights away from women, gays, and minorities.

        Tripe or truth? You be the judge.

        • Carlito Brigante says

          Amy,

          The Republican party of today is not the Republican party I was partially raised in. My family was involved in partisian politics, one family branch D, one family branch R, for most of my life. I did not have a stomach for it, that is why I find party hacktivists so offensive. Especially those of today.

          But racism, bigotry, misogyny were not part of my Republican party experience. They are de riguer now.

          I share your analysis of the current Republican Party. With the 2010 Republican sweep, state legislatures, governors offices and the US House have been flooded with legislative proposals and victories that advance this agenda. The proof is in the proposing, or the pudding, as they say.

          Over the past 50, 60 years we have seen the Republican party take up the mantle of the old racist Southern Democratic party. The Republican party owns the bigotry, misogyny and racism that they so effectively courted with the Southern strategy. Kevin Phillips is spending the rest of his life doing effective and insightful pennance for creating the monster of the Southern Strategy.

          Damn I am proud that I am no longer affiliated with the Republican party of today.

        • says

          So there is another side to the story. One person’s “reproductive freedom” is another person’s baby. I don’t think taking your position to the nth degree and being strident about it is all that productive. It just shuts people off.

          Calling people who believe marriage should be between a man and a woman “hobophobic bigots” isn’t going to get you very far, either, seeing as how the majority of Hoosiers, and Americans, believe that.

          And, like it or not, Pence is very likely to be the next governor, and I’m willing to bet that he has supermajorities to work with in both houses of the legislature. I’ll even give odds, I am that confident.

          So… short of being strident, what are you going to do?

          • Amy says

            The majority of Americans do not believe that. Just because the homophobic bigots scream the loudest, doesn’t mean their votes count more than once. Your religious views on marriage can take a hike. Civil liberties don’t stop at the end of your Bible. If churches don’t want to marry gays, then fine. I didn’t get married in a church, and I imagine that’s not a requirement for most gay people. When the state is stopping people from getting married, for whatever reason, then that’s discrimination and it’s wrong.

            “Majority Rules” so get used to it? That’s not how our country works. Our government was created to protect individual rights, not majority rights.

            I wouldn’t count your Pence points yet.

            • Paul C. says

              Amy, you can have your own opinions, but you cannot have your own facts. Gay marriage has been on the ballot in multiple states, including California, widely believed to be the most liberal state in the nation. Each time, gay marriage has received less than 50% approval. So when you argue with Buzz that a majority of American’s don’t believe marriage is between a man and a woman, you lose credibility.

              • Doug says

                Amy cited to the beliefs of most Americans. Paul, you cited to the beliefs of registered voters who went to the polls in the states where it’s been on the ballot. If you’re going to be patronizing, you’d do well to be more meticulous.

              • Paul C. says

                I do what I can with the best information we have Doug. At least I cited some support for my belief. Where is the nationwide poll Amy is discussing?

          • Amy says

            Don’t like abortion? Don’t have one. No one is forcing abortions on you or your family. No one is forcing you to abort up your baby. But first, it’s my body. I am absolutely against forcing anyone to have an abortion against their will. I am also absolutely against vaginally probing women against their will.

            But these decisions are not made lightly. Every situation is unique. Sometimes an abortion is the kind and just choice. And making access to that choice harder is not the right decision. These Republicans seem to think that women want a free for all to run and get abortions so they can have as much dirty dirty sex as they want without consequence. Taking a pill once a day is a whole lot easier than having an abortion.

            I get that some people truly believe that the second a sperm meets an egg that it suddenly turns into a tiny little cute baby with arms, legs, hair and full mental facilities. That it’s still a microscopic organism unable to sustain itself somehow escapes their knowledge. They are misinformed.

            But you know why your argument doesn’t work? Because the same people who are trying to outlaw abortion are the exact same people who are trying to limit access to birth control. The same people who are trying to limit access to sex education. Do you know the absolutely two things that have been proven to reduce abortion? Access to birth control and sex education. But yet, you people don’t want those things either. It makes absolutely no sense.

            Strident. I think I’ll put that on my tombstone.

            • Carlito Brigante says

              Recent polling shows support for gay marrage at 53% in the US, 57 to 37% in NJ, I think it will be on the ballot in Maine.

              This is an interesting statistic: Support for gay marriage was also split along religious affiliation: White Catholics back gay marriage 52-43 percent while white Protestants oppose it 50-42 percent.

              The trend is shaping up and moving in favor of gay marriage. Mean old white people will not live forever. If the Medicare “death panels” don’t cull them from the herd, the sheer weight of their halos will eventually snap their necks.

        • says

          Apparently you are completely unaware that there are just as many women who support those legislative proposals as men. Have you seen the polling on the abortion issue? The No. 1 supporter of abortion rights is men, 18-25. It’s not women. You want to make this as a man v. woman thing when it is clearly not.

          Doug seems like such a reasonable guy. You on the other hand, don’t even seem interested in reason. That’s a shame.

          • Amy says

            Almost 90% of the bills introduced in the Indiana legislature regarding women’s reproduction were by men. So my man versus women thing holds a lot of water.

            I am capable of reason. It’s the other side that is not. Why else would they keep trying to ram their bibles down my kids’ throats, keep my friends and family from being able to get married? Rick Santorum is running a campaign based on the platform of outlawing birth control. How is that reasonable? It’s not!

            A woman stands up for her beliefs and she’s shamed. A man stands up for his beliefs, and he’s cool.

  3. Allen J. Lopp says

    Well, now this gets serious — I don’t mean to tell either IYG or Mr. Lubsen what to do, but I do hope that IYG is looking into the possibility of suing using some sort of “lack of due process” argument …

    … and I hope Mr. Lubsen is looking into a wrongful termination lawsuit for pretty much the same reason. Public employees cannot be terminated “without cause” once their employment probationary period is over, and I doubt that Mr. Lubsen’s statement to News 8 can be defended by the BMV as proper cause for immediate termination. (I am not a lawyer, but I am a former government agency supervisor.)

  4. exhoosier says

    Paul C., given the legislative record, I don’t think she’s wrong. Just like in sports, you are who your record says you are.

    • says

      Exhoosier, let’s examine what she said:

      “If you have brown skin, have a vagina, or love someone they don’t approve of, then you are a target. ”

      It’s her burden to put forward evidence that this is true. It, of course, is not. The comment about women is particulary ridiculous as there are just as many women on the other side as men.

      This reminds me of the comment by Rep. Carson that tea party people wanted blacks hanging from trees. It’s hyperbole, not a serious political discussion.

      • Doug says

        So you honestly don’t see why a person who is not a white, heterosexual male might react this way? Probably the lawmakers of the legislatures where government proposals for meddling with a woman’s reproductive system have spiked also lack this ability.

        At some point, you have to conclude that rational discussion is not going to get you anything but rolled and simply offer an impassioned “fuck you” in response. I’m personally not there yet; but I’m an upper middle-class, white heterosexual male.

        My house isn’t on fire. So, I can talk about whether or not to reduce funding for the fire department in exchange for a tax break because I had the good sense (and money) to buy a house built of stone. Probably I wouldn’t be so reasonable if my house was burning and the tax cut advocates were the ones playing with fire, intending to use their extra money to buy more lighters.

        • says

          Doug, you have to know the polling on these issues. Women and men do not differ in their numbers.. Women are every bit as pro-life as men, if not more. Trying to make this into a men v. women issue is just horse*****, excuse my language. And, no, I don’t excuse people using hyperbole and then pretending that the hyperbole is somehow true. That’s what Rep. Carson did and it’s wrong.

          • Carlito Brigante says

            I checked the Guttmacher Institute site and saw no recent abortion support polling. The Guttmacher Insititute is pro-reproductive rights, but is ackowledged to have the best data and numbers.

            I would like to see some polling, but abortion is only one issue. The broader attack on contraception, sex education in high schools, restrictions on gay marriage and assorted gay bashing, Planned Parenthood, the Girl Scouts (laughable as it may sound) are issues that will resonate and are resonating. Poll some suburban Republican and independant women. See how it trends.

  5. Donna says

    Paul C., this would be a great opportunity for you to, instead of blindly disregarding someone who says something with which you disagree, offer up proofs that what she says is wrong. Can you find and present here any solid instances of the Republican-controlled legislature passing legislation that makes the current economic* and social situation better for women, minorities, and/or homosexuals?

    *Phillip Hinkle’s “job” offer to a teenage boy via Craigslist doesn’t count.

  6. says

    I’ve lived in Indiana most of my life and moved back in 2010 after 10 years in Colorado. While Denver had its problems, moving back to Indiana feels like I’ve stepped back in time 50 years.

    In Denver I felt like there were at least a few people in local government who would at least listen. Here I’m lucky if I get a scripted response. Usually I get nothing. Meanwhile policymaking has been basically one backwards action after another. Marriage amendment; right to work; defund Planned Parenthood: yank IYG plate. Wasn’t there also a creation bill? I mean, wow? Lawmakers are freaking out over a license plate but so far I can’t get anybody to take my concerns about child abuse seriously.

    I don’t like to generalize but every Senate Republican and I believe every House Republican voted for the marriage amendment. Further, all 20 of the senators who wrote the BMV about the IYG plate were Republicans. So it’s hard to think that Republicans are anything other than homophobic and generally small-minded. If not they really need to prove me wrong. So far this is the only conclusion I can draw, at least among the Republicans that currently hold power. And to be fair Democrats have generally been too weak, but at least they are not actively eroding civil rights like the Republican side has been doing.

  7. Bradley says

    I told a friend last week that Daniels probably gave the okay to the BMV to get rid of the plate to build his conservative cred for a possible Vice Presidential nod or other future position in a cabinet as a loyal Republican (if you think the “Modest Mitch” act that he doesn’t want a bigger political position after he leaves the governor’s office as our humble, ballcap and plaid wearing common hero of a man, you haven’t been paying attention). I’m an independent and don’t care for the Democratic Party, either, but Daniels and his disgusting brand of politics will do whatever it takes to better his and his friends’ positions in life even if he keeps telling us how much more ethical he and his administration are than the others before.

  8. Paul C. says

    Thanks Doug.

    Amy, I guess the equivalent response is to say how disappointed I am that 1/3 of our country (Democrats) hates children. After all, why else would Democrats increase access to abortions, which terminate these innocent lives? Why else would our Democrat President decide to weigh down future generations, and reduce opportunity by saddling them with extreme loads of national debt?

    I don’t say these things though. That is because I recognize that this type of conversation is offensive, unproductive, and gets us nowhere, fast.

    • Doug says

      Protestant religious conviction on life beginning at conception didn’t firm up until maybe the late 60s, early 70s. In the scheme of things, your argument that abortion terminates a human life is fairly novel and, really, the kind of angels dancing on the head of a pin question that government shouldn’t get involved with. The risks to a woman from pregnancy, on the other hand, aren’t a matter of conjecture. They’re real.

      On the national debt, I think we can all agree that debt caused by tax cuts for the rich and wars aren’t morally troublesome. But, spending money to help poor people is, like the Bible says, evil.

      • Carlito Brigante says

        Good point, Doug. Until the late 70s, early 80s, Protestant Fundamentalists saw abortion as a Catholic issue.
        It would be interesting to hear what the exegesis of the Fundamentalist “enrapturement” of the issue occurred. (a little rhetorically over the top, I am afraid.)

        For those raised in the Catholic Church, the procreational issues are Issue Prime. Many Catholics ignore the proscriptions, however. Otherwise, we might be living in the Papal State-Annex.

      • Paul C. says

        I can’t speak for protestants Doug, but Catholics (of which I am one) have been against abortion for many hundreds (certainly over 1000) of years. That being said, I am not sure why the date matters.

        Yes, risks from pregnancy are real. So are risks from having an abortion.

        Don’t put the partisan blame on Republicans for choosing war. Most of the Dem. party, including our current Secretary of State, felt the same way. At least many Republicans have decided to reduce spending, while the Dem. party has not had the same realization. Instead, Democrats have decided to hide the deficit increase, by creating and lengthening the payroll tax holiday, and making Social Security even more insolvent.

        To put this back on track, I think it is absurd that we are even having a conversation about such a controversial license plate. No license plates should be created for any political beliefs more controversial than IU vs. Purdue. This is one of the few things I remember Illinois geting right when I lived there.

        • Doug says

          Catholic thinking on when a soul entered the body and human life began has been more malleable than that. In 1869, God apparently changed things up and put a soul into the baby at conception whereas before, He had apparently been waiting until quickening or about 16 weeks in.

          On the license plates, I’ll do you one better. I don’t think we should be using the plates for any kind of expression. One plate to serve a bureaucratic function is what I think should be the policy. That said, once you start putting “in God we trust” or “Choose Life” on the plates, I think the State loses the authority to discriminate on the basis of the content of the speech.

        • Amy says

          It’s not about abortion. It’s about allowing legislators to make decisions regarding women’s health. It’s about letting legislators “play doctor” like they know what the best medical decision is for every person in every situation. I’m tired of it being about “killing little babies.” It’s not. If they were trying to write laws that dictated something about your penis or your testicles, you’d have an opinion, and I’m guessing it wouldn’t be favorable.

          Jews aren’t allowed to eat pork, but they aren’t trying to pass laws making the rest of us abstain from bacon! And if they did, you’d be pretty upset, right?

          Keep your religion out of my sex life. Medical decisions should be left between a woman and her doctor and no one else. And if it was your body, and your reproductive system that was being legislated, you’d be fighting just as hard as I am.

          No uterus=No vote.

          • Paul C. says

            Who is putting their religion in your sex life? Certainly not today’s government.

            Your no uterus = no vote comment pretty much says it all.

            • Amy says

              So Paul, let’s flip it. Let’s say there’s a group of 20 Democrats trying to write various legislations about what you can and cannot do regarding your testicles. None of those legislators happent to have testicles. So we’re saying that a group made completely of women is trying to write laws, not just one but multiple laws, regarding your testicles. And you’are saying that not only are you okay with that, but that it wouldn’t bother you at all that the people writing the legislation don’t even have the equipment they’re legislating? That wouldn’t bother you?

              • Paul C. says

                Amy, your analysis is faulty in multiple ways.

                (1) the problem is that your uterus comment doesn’t recognize that pregnancy, especially unwanted pregnancy, affects men too. Granted, it may not affect both sexes equally, but it certainly affects both sexes.

                (2) I don’t know which laws you are referring to, but if you are talking about laws restricting whether a physician will come anywhere near my testicles with the type of invasive objects used to perform abortions, I am all for those laws.

                To show you how foolish your line of identity politics reasoning is, let me give you two examples:

                (1) Only people 25 or older were allowed to vote for or against the Amendment giving 18 y/o’s the right to vote. Was this also wrong?

                (2) A bunch of “marriage = a man and a woman people” wanted to invalidate the ruling of the Judge that decided Proposition 8 was unconstitutional because he was gay, and couldn’t make an unbiased ruling on the subject.

                (3) Can only people that have been sexually harassed serve on a jury to determine if others have been sexually harassed?

                If you want to play “identity politics” you have something in common with Sarah Palin. Personally, I find that type of crap very distasteful.

              • Amy says

                Making legislation that takes medical decisions away from doctors and women is what I am talking about. Let’s stop the charade of “think about the children” because that’s not what it is or what it’s ever been. It’s about keeping women down. Keeping them barefoot and pregnant and too busy with the little ones to pay attention to what the grown ups are doing.

                Paul, what if the laws us women were trying to create didn’t involve keeping those instruments away, but involved forcing you to get an anal probe? Would that be okay? You are required now to get an anal probe before your wife can have an abortion. How about that?

                My point is, and has been, that the #1 policy issue of Republicans is my uterus, whether gay dudes are doing it, and making people stop speaking Spanish. As long as they are focusing their energy on solely these issues, and they are their record proves it, then the rest of the country falls to crap.

                That is my argument and it holds water. Go get an anal probe and then we’ll talk.

  9. Doug says

    Also with respect to having rational discussions, there’s this danger:

    Open-Minded Man Grimly Realizes How Much Life He’s Wasted Listening To Bullshit

    CLEVELAND—During an unexpected moment of clarity Tuesday, open-minded man Blake Richman was suddenly struck by the grim realization that he’s squandered a significant portion of his life listening to everyone’s bullshit, the 38-year-old told reporters.

    A visibly stunned and solemn Richman, who until this point regarded his willingness to hear out the opinions of others as a worthwhile quality, estimated that he’s wasted nearly three and a half years of his existence being open to people’s half-formed thoughts, asinine suggestions, and pointless, dumbfuck stories.

    “Jesus Christ,” said Richman, taking in the overwhelming volume of useless crap he’s actively listened to over the years. “My whole life I’ve made a concerted effort to give people a fair shake and understand different points of view because I felt that everyone had something valuable to offer, but it turns out most of what they had to offer was complete bullshit.”

    “Seriously,” Richman added, “what have I gained from treating everyone’s opinion with respect? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.”

    • says

      I don’t think that pretty much anyone listens to the other side. Not in the other side’s actual words. We all filter it through third parties that cater to our prior beliefs.

      That’s why you, Doug, never actually heard what Rush said about Sandra Fluke, for example.

  10. IndyRob says

    Amy, with regards to “…It’s about allowing legislators to make decisions regarding women’s health. It’s about letting legislators “play doctor” like they know what the best medical decision is for every person in every situation…” .
    So when legislators passed the “Affordable Care Act” ( the healthcare law) that made decisions about who (male, female, etc) had to pay for what healthcare in regards to health insurance, are you in favour of this act or against it?

    • says

      Are you in favor of non-sequiturs or against them?

      Or, if you think one is analogous to the other, please identify which medical procedure is outlawed by the Affordable Care Act.

    • Amy says

      IndyRob – What Doug said.

      Having a system that is designed to allow everyone ACCESS to affordable health care is different than having a system that determines what kind of medical services I can or cannot receive.

      I have been all for a systemwide ban of employer-provided health care. Make everyone buy their own insurance. That’s the only way to prove how ridiculous the current system is.

  11. says

    Seems to me that the current conservative legislative environment embraces the following:

    1. Preventing expansion of access to birth control.
    2. Reducing access to abortion with a marked indifference as to whether such reduction also reduces access to other female health care services as collateral damages. (Planned Parenthood is exhibit 1 of this.)
    3. Opposing efforts to extend equal treatment to gay people through public word or deed.
    4. Limiting sex education to “don’t.”

    And I think all of this stems from a view of human sexuality that is tied up with religion in a way that almost no other area of policy or life seems to be; at least not in the political arena.

    Whether these sexual/religious views are misogynist in their inception or their intent, I think they end up being misogynist in their effect. What may start as concern for the sanctity of life ends up being aspirin between the knees, lesbian girl scouts, and nostalgia for a time when women were barefoot and pregnant.

    • says

      Stop using the word “access” with regards to birth control. Everyone has “access”. What they don’t have is a sugar daddy who pays for it for them.

      You can have your little simplistic explanations for why you think the other side acts as it does, but it’s just heuristics on your part. I like to call them “just so stories”. I can assure you there are plenty of intellectual justifications for why the right believes what it does. You just aren’t going to find them in Rolling Stone or MSNBC.

      • Amy says

        Rick Santorum is running on a campaign platform that thinks birth control is dangerous and should be outlawed. So I am not off base when I say ACCESS to birth control is trying to be limited by people in government.

    • Paul C. says

      Buzz has a good answer regarding (1).

      Regarding (3), the proper tem isn’t “equal treatment” it is “group rights.” The Constitution and conservative philosophy believe in “individual rights” not “group rights.”

  12. says

    Let me help you out with one thing: Lesbian Girl Scouts. And that’s from 12 years ago.

    And, of course, everyone should have their copy of “On My Honor: Lesbians Reflect on Their Scouting Experience, “. That’s a modern day classic.

    Of course, in the age of “The Vagina Monologues”, lesbians “initiating” underage girls doesn’t get the outrage that it has in the past.

    • says

      The linked article:

      #Oath trades “being honest and fair” for “loyalty” and makes “God optional.

      #Girl Scouts has a sex ed program of some sort.

      #An executive director of the Girl Scouts was previously a Navy admiral who implemented an affirmative action initiative.

      #Girl Scouts support Title IX and favor gun control of some sort.

      #A senior scout resource book deals with topics that include euthanasia, abortion, environmentalism, and gender bias.

      #Girl Scouts have a badge for knowing how to take care of car basics like checking fluids and tire pressure.

      #Girl Scouts have lesbians in their ranks and don’t seem to care.

      I’m shocked and horrified. Thanks for pointing this out. Organizing an Earth Day event for God’s sake?! Monsters.

  13. Carlito Brigante says

    How many times must one rub it in your face that the EEOC currently requires that employee benefit plans that provide prescription benefit coverage must provide contraceptives. That has been the law since March, 2000 I believe. I would call that “access” paid for through wages forgone in exchange for health benefit coverage.

    I would like to hear some intellectual justifications from the right why it holds such positions on reprodutive issues. . But then I remember what John Stuart Mill said about conservatives and I understand its failure to articulate anything but fealty to mythology, inculcated supersitions and the precepts of celibate old men.

    • IndyRob says

      The EEOC decision (made in 2000) applied only to employer paid health insurance; it does not cover health insurance paid for privately. The EEOC also made this decision using the reasoning that since “the pill” ( a compounding of hormones) was only available as a prescription drug, that if the insurance plan included prescription drug coverage , that the insurance plan must also cover “the pill”. If similar reasoning was applied for re-constructive rhinoplasty, that the if the health insurance covered the cost for reconstructing a deviated septum, then it should cover the cost for cosmetic surgery.

      • Carlito Brigante says

        Yeah you are correct. I recall that is what I said. States could mandate coverage in individual policies but I am not aware of any that do. But I havenot checked.

      • says

        That analogy trivializes the significance of pregnancy and pretty well underscores why women aren’t keen to have men (usually older) making these policy decisions.

  14. Karen says

    Women are under attack by conservative men. Like Amy, I am tired of these men acting as the final arbiters on a woman’s right to choose and a woman’s right to affordable health care through Planned Parenthood. And most of all, I am tired of people with names like Buzzcut pontificating about lesbians, Girl Scouts and vaginas – topics I am sure he knows absolutely nothing about.

  15. Carlito Brigante says

    If he is the Bradley Buzzcut I am thinking of, he was investigated at at Highland High School for child abuse when he allegedly touched Beavis’s wiener.

    I guess that takes care of number 3, right?

    • says

      Or, if you like, we have an Idaho legislator standing up to all those women lying about rape to get their abortions. Sen. Winder:

      I would hope that when a woman goes in to a physician with a rape issue, that physician will indeed ask her about perhaps her marriage, was this pregnancy caused by normal relations in a marriage or was it truly caused by a rape.

      If Mrs. Winder requires physician counseling to distinguish between rape and normal relations in a marriage and can’t figure it out all on her own; perhaps it’s Sen. Winder who could use a few pointers.

      • Carlito Brigante says

        This cartoon from Kaiser Health News puts an interesting gloss on Widner’s belief that women will lie about being raped to obtain an abortion.

        http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/cartoons/2012/March/Hippocratic-Oath.aspx

        Idaho is a one-party state. Republicans have overwhelming control over its legislature. Is this the future for Indiana?

        Amy, Doug, and Karen are correct. Womens’ control over their reproductive choices is under assault. A dystopian future such as that described in The Handmaiden’s Tale is probably not in the offing, but I am sure that educated middle-class women in Afghanistan and Iran in the mid-1970s did not see what a theocracy would bring to their lives.

        But then again, as the Monty Python troupe reminds us, nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uprjmoSMJ-o

        And let’s not forget Edmund Blackadder’s rich Puritan Aunt and Uncle Whiteadder. “Cold is God’s way of saying it is time to burn more Catholics.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uprjmoSMJ-o

        I am an equal opportunity blasphemer. But all jokes aside, the attack on women’s reproductive rights (and other rights) is real and racheting up.

  16. Pila says

    Perhaps if there had been an IYG back in the day, Indiana would not have been subjected to two terms of Mitch Daniels as governor. No, I am not trying to be cute or funny at all. Gov. Daniels has managed to keep his name out of the IYG situation for the most part, but the way this went down is his typical m.o. He is a micro-manager, and I have no doubt that he ordered the firing or forced resignation of Mr. Lubsen.

    As for Mr. Lubsen, he was probably a political appointee and one of the few in the Daniels administration who sincerely tried to do his job. I am not sure what legal recourse he has, if any, as a political appointee.

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