The Wictims Win: President Obama bows to the American Catholic church by withdrawing the White House's plan to require private employers (including religious organizations, like all those Catholic hospitals) to provide health insurance that covers contraception. Instead, insurance companies will be required to provide that coverage free of charge. The compromise with Catholics may seem like a miracle, considering that Obama is a Muslim. But the red-wing blogs, bloviators, and email alerts were just getting going. It's hard to imagine Obama being able to comfortably skirt this issue while seeking reelection to the White House. Here's the NYT quoting Obama explaining that it was largely a political calculation:
“After the many genuine concerns that have been raised over the last few weeks, as well as, frankly, the more cynical desire on the part of some to make this into a political football, it became clear that spending months hammering out a solution was not going to be an option,” Mr. Obama said on Friday.
My TCW: The religious liberty and conscience argument being raised by the Catholic church, which is ostensibly worried about paying for birth control, (and legislators who are expressing concern about florists and photographers being forced to serve gay couples) has less to do with contraception and gay marriage, and more to do with a clever sleight of hand. No longer is the Catholic Church bullying women and LGBT people, in this framing, they're the victims being forced to forgo their religious convictions. It's a trick and it's working.
In Pressing Media Matters: Five of Murdcoch's people at the Sun tabloid were arrested for allegedly bribing bobbies. And in case you wondered: My worst nightmare is accidentally taking a job that requires me to write this sort of story.