EVGA Expands Its Global Graphics Card Warranty

One of the wonderful things about a competitive market is the fact that consumers get certain perks they would otherwise never receive. In the always burning GPU market, it’s not just the big chip makers constantly competing with one another, though certainly AMD (ATI) and nVidia are always hot on each other’s heels. Which, for the GamingBuff, this means the latest tech is available in each new chip […]

Read more at Forbes.

America is one hell of a country, according to Rick Santorum

“The mind is its own place, and in itself Can make a heav’n of hell, a hell of heav’n.” ~from Paradise Lost “This is not a political war at all,” Rick Santorum told Catholic…

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Darrell Issa’s all-male contraception panel

Andrew Sullivan thinks that it’s ”hard to believe that the GOP has become so isolated from the American mainstream that they could not find and would not allow a single woman to testify in the Issa hearings today on contraception and religious freedom.” But is it? Is it really?

We’ve all been watching the Republican party deteriorate lo these past five, ten, twenty years. Should anything surprise us anymore?

I share Andrew’s flabbergastedness, even though I probably shouldn’t. One would think that after The Daily Show so effectively outed Sean Hannity’s own all-male contraception and religious freedom panel that the GOP leadership would be quick to change course but…well, let’s just say that women’s issues are not really the Republican Party’s forte. Best leave these things to the men.

Andrew writes:

Added to Santorum’s chief financial backer’s simply staggering and disgustingly sexist recommendation that the only birth control a woman should have is crossing her legs – with the implication that straight men have no responsibility for the matter – and we have really returned to the 1950s, as TPM has pointed out. But that’s who they are now backing: Santorum, the man who wants gays back in the closet and women in their 1950s reproductive place: beneath men without a condom, and denied an abortion thereafter.

Ah, the good ol’ days.

And of course, it will get worse before it gets better. All across the country, women’s access to healthcare is being threatened in one form or another. Virginia is just the latest in a long string of absurd moves by the right to expand government into the bedroom. Because government is only too big if it’s giving poor kids chicken nuggets. When it’s forcing women to have an ultrasound whether or not she wants one it’s no big deal at all.

This is not the right way to go about decreasing the rate of abortions. Universal access to healthcare, prioritizing education, and working toward prosperity for everyone will all lead to fewer abortions in the long run. Cultural and economic forces, not more prying authoritarianism, and yes contraception are more likely to slow the rate of abortion than forced ultrasounds.

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Santorum calls Foster Friess’s Bayer aspirin comment a “bad joke”

Back in Foster's day they walked five miles uphill both ways just to get Bayer aspirin to put between their ladyfolk's knees.

Rosie Gray, writing at BuzzFeed, chatted up Rick Santorum about the unfortunate comments his SuperPAC backer, Foster Friess, made about contraception earlier:

Rick Santorum wasn’t very amused by his friend and super PAC backer Foster Friess’ comment today about using aspirin as birth control.

Today on MSNBC, Friess said “Back in my days they used Bayer aspirin for contraceptives,” adding, “The gals put it between their knees and it wasn’t that costly.”

Asked about the quote outside the Oakland County Republican Party’s Lincoln Day Dinner here in Novi, Santorum wasn’t at first aware of the incident — but when it was described to him, he told BuzzFeed “I’m not responsible for every bad joke one of my supporters makes.”

Friess will be appearing on MSNBC again at 10 tonight to “set the record straight” on his aspirin remark, he tweeted earlier.

Speaking with Lawrence O’Donnell this evening, Friess played dumb, saying: “Back in my days, they didn’t have the birth control pill, so to suggest that Bayer Aspirin could be a birth control was considered pretty ridiculous and quite funny. So I think that was the gist of that story, but what’s been nice, it gives an opportunity to really look at what this contraceptive issue is all about.”

Right, the part about putting the aspiring between girls’ knees had nothing to do with it.

“I have been blessed by contraceptives,” Friess went on, inexplicably. “It’s an important thing for many women. it’s allowed them to advance their careers and make their own choices. That’s what’s special about America. People can choose. That’s what’s so annoying about this idea that President Obama forcing people to do something that is against their religious beliefs and that’s what the issue’s about, where Rick Santorum, as I said earlier, you know what his position is, but yet he’s never had any attempts, in fact, has even funded contraceptives to fight aids in Africa.”

What an odd shuffle. It’s almost as though Santorum and Friess are coordinating their message, and when Santorum expressed his distaste for Friess’s joke, Friess backed away from it. Not surprising, really, given Santorum’s meteoric rise in the polls and his need to start appealing to larger swaths of the American public. One can only play the far-right social conservative card in so many settings. After a while you need to diversify.

The problem for Santorum is that he really can’t shake his social conservative bona fides. That’s his strength and his weakness. Despite what Politfact might say, a majority of Americans are not hardcore so-cons, and most Americans are pro-birth control. 2011 was the first year that most Americans voiced a favorable opinion about gay marriage, for that matter. Santorum’s politics are a dying breed.

I hope he wins the nomination, even though I’m pretty sure he won’t.

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Santorum benefactor Foster Friess tells women to put an aspirin between their knees to use as contraception

I don’t know if Foster Friess, the billionaire supporter of Rick Santorum, is representative of all of Santorum’s supporters, but I get the feeling he is. Which is great, because if Santorum wins the nomination, that means that all Barack Obama has to do is role tape of this sort of bad crazy and he’s sure to win:

“Here we have millions of our fellow Americans unemployed. We have jihadist camps being set up in Latin America, which Rick has been warning about, and people seem to be so preoccupied with sex. I think it says something about our culture,” Friess said. “We maybe need a massive therapy session so we can concentrate on what the real issues are.”

He continued: “On this contraceptive thing, my Gosh it’s such [sic] inexpensive. You know, back in my days, they used Bayer aspirin for contraception. The gals put it between their knees, and it wasn’t that costly.”


Friess’s ties to Santorum go back a few years. He donated to Santorum’s miserable 2006 campaign to no avail. I think his money is going down the drain this time around, too, but it’s his money and if he’d rather spend it trying to prop up a losing candidate with seriously antiquated ideas about sexual equality, he’s welcome to it.

For that matter, the culture wars represent a losing battle for the right, regardless of the money they burn to wage them. It’s a question of dying ideas and the dying demographics who hold them. I’m all for keeping an eye to tradition, and making sure that as society evolves we don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater, but part of evolution is to cut off limbs. If we’re to really grow as a culture and a people, we have to get past the notion that somehow women are inferior or that they shouldn’t have control over their own destiny. And we need to get beyond the idea that sex is icky, too.

For conservatives or people like me who actually do value a certain brand of conservatism, this means keeping an eye on how to run a properly limited government – not extend ourselves so far overseas, not fall too deep into debt waging wars and locking up nonviolent offenders. It means modesty instead of hubris. There is much to be said for a conservatism of doubt and a conservatism that urges caution and skepticism toward power. That’s not on display on the right anymore, but it isn’t to say that it couldn’t be. Certainly Ron Paul strikes me as the most tempermentally conservative presidential candidate we’ve seen come out of the GOP in a long time.

Over at Forbes I talk about why women ought to be allowed into combat, by the way, contra Santorum. If Israel can do it, so can America.

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Contraception is pretty damn important to a woman’s health


So our healthcare system is all screwed up for innumerable reasons like the fact that we have to get insurance from our employers. We have the whole thing rigged with middle-men and price controls and protectionism. On top of that it’s an unfair system that leaves too many people out in the cold. Maybe part of the problem here is the government getting involved in utterly ridiculous ways over the years – an ad hoc approach that has left a terrible tangle in its wake.

The other problem is that too many people think that we can get healthcare to people without government assistance, which I just don’t think is true. I’m fine with using markets to get the pricing mechanism working again, but I want the state to help people get basic access to care and to make sure nobody is without life-saving coverage and that nobody goes bankrupt.

It seems painfully obvious to me that a fundamental piece of a woman’s basic healthcare needs is her ability to have some modicum of control over her own body. Contraception is extremely important to many women (and their families) and having the ability to have access to contraception is a basic individual right in today’s world.

What about before there even was contraception? Well, women were much worse off in general back then, and the lack of an ability to have control over their own bodies was a big part of it (not long ago it was perfectly legal to rape your wife, for instance.) Women were also worse off before they had a right to vote – even when nobody had a right to vote. Rights are not always eternal. Sometimes they emerge with new systems of government, new notions about our humanity, new technologies. Sometimes people want to take them away.

In this day and age, we’ve basically put together a piecemeal social contract and a part of that contract is to protect individual rights. We’ve also agreed to protect religious freedom. Fortunately for religious freedom, nobody is forcing anybody to actually take contraception.

What’s happening in the current debate is that people are simply saying that the individual right of women is just as important as religious freedom. And as with something like the Civil Rights Act, these freedoms need to be weighed against one another to some degree. With the Civil Rights Act we decided that the right of all races to be treated equally in the public and private sector outweighed the right of white people to discriminate against black people. A similar debate is going on with regards to contraception.

The administration’s compromise in all of this was to tell insurance companies that they had to act in their own best interest and provide money-saving contraception to women. It’s a win for everybody even if the end result means that workers have one less thing that bosses can hold over their heads, and that the individual rights of women come before the rights of religious employers. Not everything can be a clean win. Not everyone is going to be happy. That’s just life.

I feel the same way about the ACA in general. It didn’t fix our problems with healthcare and it may make some of those problems more entrenched, but it does move us toward something a little bit more fair and it may eventually mean that workers won’t have to depend as much on their employers for health benefits. That’s a win in my book. When we can align worker rights and worker autonomy with individual rights I think we’re moving in the right direction.

Ditto that for sexual equality.