Here are some noteworthy pieces from around the media and blogosphere:
“Battles For Eight Open Seats Could Determine Control of Kentucky House This Fall”—Lexington Herald Leader
If Republicans hope to take over the Kentucky House this fall for the first time since 1921, they'll probably need to win most — if not all — of the eight contested districts that don't have an incumbent seeking re-election.
Republican incumbents can't or have chosen not to seek re-election in seven of the eight open seats, which are among 53 contested House seats on the Nov. 4 ballot. (Incumbents and primary winners in the other 47 seats are unopposed.) Democrats, who hold a 54-46 majority in the House and redrew House district boundaries last year to their liking, hope the newly drawn maps will give them an advantage.
In a 2009 address to Congress, President Obama said the government would not use taxpayer dollars to fund elective abortions as part of the Affordable Care Act.
“Under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions, and federal conscience laws will remain in place,” Obama said.
But according to a long-awaited report on Obamacare this morning from the Government Accountability Office, taxpayers do, in fact, subsidize insurance plans that cover abortions. This occurs even if individual Americans seeking insurance oppose abortion as morally wrong.
In a report requested for by eight Republicans House members, the GAO found that 18 insurance providers in 28 states made no attempt to limit access to abortion coverage. And though the Office of Personnel Management is theoretically tasked with making sure at least one insurance plan in each exchange does not cover abortions at all, in states like Connecticut, Hawaii, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Vermont, every insurance plan on the exchanges offered elective abortion. Yes, it’s against the rules. What are you going to do about it?
Much like the administration, it seems the private sector is free to interpret the law in a way it feels comfortable. Certainly you can imagine the shrieking hysteria we’d have live through if a government accountability report found 18 insurance companies in 28 states had determined on their own to, say, stop providing mandated contraception coverage through ACA? A person might end up in front of the Supreme Court. Yet, alleged ignorance of the law and blatant avoidance of the provisions companies don’t care to follow was greeted with only muted headlines. By the time it’s over, the entire incident will be covered as if it were a partisan nitpick by the GOP. That’s the way these things go.
"An Evangelical Defense of Traditional Marriage"—Andrew Walker, Time.com
You can arrive at a civil understanding of marriage that still upholds the man-woman definition as essential without making it a theological argument. We do this all the time. We make laws like this for common good purposes, none of which require a theological rationale. Consider stealing. The government forbids stealing, for example, not simply because the Decalogue forbids it, but because stealing violates the public trust. Because stealing undermines cooperation and a well-ordered civil society, common belief about the harms of theft leads to outlawing it. Of course, as evangelicals, we believe everything has God as its author, and so we view stealing as breaking God’s commandment. But that is not government’s interest in making theft illegal. The same is true of marriage. We uphold marriage because no institution like it in society can secure civilization’s stability and future.