US House Rep Gus Bilrakis: General, I know that one of your priorities is ending veterans homelessness. Of course, it's our priority on this Commitee as well. I also know that the VA partners with many faith based organizations to reduce veterans homelessness. Has the VA taken into consideration the repercussions of the HHS Law? Particularly if these faith based entities choose to pay fines rather than violate their religious tenets by providing contraception and that such fines could potentially reduce resources to meet the needs of homeless veterans?
Ranking Member Bob Filner: I thought we'd get through a whole hearing without you mentioning contraception. Amazing. Geez.
Secretary Eric Shinseki: Uh, Congressman, I-I-I would say there's more work to be done here but the president has announced the policy that would ensure employers affiliated with religious organizations will not have to pay or refer for, uh, contraceptive services.
I went ahead and tossed in Bilarkis' question because there was interest in it in the e-mails. (I didn't include it last night because Ava and C.I. were speaking to a group and I didn't want to rifle through her things looking for the notes she took. I don't take notes in these hearings. Sometimes I'm just trying to stay awake. I know she wouldn't have cared but since I hadn't thought to ask ahead of time I just didn't feel right about going through her stuff while she wasn't around.) And I wrote my post last night. I just couldn't post it last night. A number of us (four? three?) got in last night and must have gotten in just before Blogger/Blogspot went loco. Others weren't able to get in.
But those of us 'lucky' enough to get in had a screen to type in but when we went to publish, we couldn't. So I just left the laptop on all night and published it in the morning.
And I'm going to make that it for my posts and waive someone else to write about Pelosi if they want to. She wasn't at the hearing. She made a fool of herself on TV yesterday. If no one writes about it tonight -- no one in the community -- I'll grab it tomorrow.
Closing with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"