aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Rice & Rosen via Fox
More from John:
And then there’s Rice. Rumors about her sexuality have long since become late-night TV monologue fodder. The 50-year-old bachelorette’s greatest ambition, after all, is to become commissioner of the National Football League. And while nobody has found a smoking gay gun for her, don’t tell that to Fox News. Recently, the network’s James Rosen seemingly tried to match-make Rice with one of Fox’s female anchors.
ROSEN: I close with a gift for you. You met this person once, I believe, but you really, I think, ought to know each other because this woman isÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ I think you’ll have an interest in knowing her. She is one of our Fox News anchors in New York. Her name is Lauren Green. She is brilliant, she’s beautiful, she’s African-American, she’s single, and she’s a concert pianist in her spare time.
RICE: My goodness.
ROSEN: And she asked me to give you her CD, and I promised her that I would.
RICE: That’s perfect.
ROSEN: And here’s her doing a number of different classical pieces.
RICE: Well, that’s special.
ROSEN: So there you have it.
RICE: Thank her very much and I look forward to seeing her sometime.
ROSEN: All right. She’s going to want to hear from you.
RICE: And maybe even playing dual piano sometime.
My guess is she’s asexual. But in a different time and place who can know what might have been…
Mehlman’s on The Daily Show. A repeat.
This week President Bush’s second Supreme Court nominee, Harriet Miers, joined the swelling ranks of high-powered Republicans with, um-how to put it?-ambiguous sexual orientations. The club of what we’ll call “closet heterosexuals” also includes such luminaries as the very single Republican National Committee chairman Ken Mehlman, California congressman David Dreier, and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Miers, 61, has never been married, has no kids, doesn’t appear to have any serious love interests, and has a special place in her heart for softball. Does that make her a lesbian? Of course not. But is it kosher to pose the question or just to report on the fact that others are asking it? According the mainstream media, no.
With Mehlman, Dreier, and Rice the mainstream press has simply refused to report on long-standing rumors about each of them. A reporter for a major newspaper told me that his paper had asked Mehlman about the rumors last year, but when Mehlman refused to affirm on the record that he was straight, the editors killed the article. Why? The fact that the incoming head of the Republican Party-which, after all, put the subject of sexual orientation front and center in the cultural wars-won’t publicly commit to liking women is about as legitimate a story as I can think of.
I don’t get it; the slightest excuse and nothing, nothing at all, is private. But up to that moment there’s some rule of etiquette that says don’t ask, don’t tell?
Health care hopes
Major article in the Times today about the labyrinth of paperwork our health care system inundates us with:
Medical paperwork is a world of co-payments and co-insurers, deductibles, exclusions and contracted fees. Nothing is as it seems: patients receive statements that often do not reflect what is actually owed; telephone calls to customer service agents are at best time-consuming and at worst fruitless. The explanations of benefits that insurers send out - known as E.O.B.’s - are filled with unintelligible codes.
The system is so impenetrable that it mystifies even the most knowledgeable.
“I’m the president’s senior adviser on health information technology, and when I get an E.O.B. for my 4-year-old’s care, I can’t figure out what happened, or what I’m supposed to do,” said Dr. David Brailer, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, whose office is in the Department of Health and Human Services. “I can’t figure out what care it was related to or who did what.”
Nathan Newman had a post this week suggesting there’s hope for national health care. Employer provided health care coverage is down and dropping further:
[I]n addition, copays and other costs mean that even employees with health care coverage are paying more out of pocket.
Which means that fewer and fewer people have a stake in the present system of health care coverage. And unions increasingly see negotiations for health care sucking up all their time and efforts during negotiations, so they are redoubling their efforts to pass serious health care reform. And as large employers providing health care see their profits eroding due to having to compete with countries with national health care systems—and without the costs they face—even some employers can be cajoled around to support.
He points to Ruy Teixeira on what we know and what we don’t know about public opinion on universal health care.
Dobson & me (reprise)
I’m (half) watching Diane Sawyer interview Charlize Theron and they’re chortling over the second “kiss-my-ass” video clip. Charlize kissed one and now hers is being kissed.
Ha ha ha.
At 8:15? They’re appealing to an audience I guess. Do they suppose the kids have gone off to school? Or it just doesn’t matter any more? More likely morning television is just that desperate.
On this one I bet my views are closer to James Dobson (though I’m not sure I’d make it illegal).
Many social conservatives believe, as I do, in local control of media and support mandates for diverse radio and TV ownership. We’re not always oppositional. If we worked together more on issues like these maybe we could find even more common ground.
Yes and no
Steve Miller on suing a doctor:
A Lambda Legal attorney is suing two fundamentalist doctors in California who refused to artificially inseminate lesbian Guadalupe Benitez. The doctors said to have done so would have violated their religious beliefs, and that they also would have refused to inseminate an unmarried heterosexual women.
So, Ms. Benitez couldn’t go to another doctor? The idea, it seems, is now prevalent in the gay legal world that no matter of personal conscience or religious conviction should permit a private business or practitioner to discriminate against a gay client.
I believe discriminating against gays is morally wrong. I also believe that there are limits in the ability of the state to force people to go against their personal convictions, especially in matters of abortion or procreation. There are other doctors in Southern California.
Ok, I agree. But then there’s this:
The matter has parallels with attempts to force all pharmacists to dispense birth control.
The difference that pops to mind is that doctors are the decision makers; the health practitioners. Pharmacists are dispensers.
Now I know that pharmacists once were health practitioners, and I’ll grant that those in hospitals may still be. But those at my local CVS have been reduced by insurance companies and their corporate chiefs to little more than computer jockeys who look up the med, phone in for approval, then pull it from the shelf, stick it in a bag and send me off to the register.
No, I’m not willing to give them an ethical veto over my meds.
UPDATE: A web-enabled mail order option both moots my concern and proves my point. Pharmacists aren’t what they used to be.