Saturday, November 14, 2009

Feeling and Passionate (by Phila)

As you may or may not know, Steve Levitt and Stephen Dubner have written a new book called SuperFreakonomics. Like all their work, it's incredibly provocative and daring and politically incorrect and not for the faint of heart. For instance, it goes so far as to suggest that climate scientists and environmentalists haven't quite gotten their facts straight on global warming, which is something no one has ever said before...least of all an economist or journalist.

They also throw caution to the winds and call global warming a "religion." This allows them to portray themselves as heretics and blasphemers, which is a useful tactic when you're trying to make painfully drab conventional wisdom sound like a long-overdue revolution in consciousness.

It's even more useful when intelligent people question your scientific literacy and journalistic ethics. Obviously, they're just lashing out because you dared to tell it like it is, which means you get to be inordinately proud of yourself and wallow in self-pity all at once. Since Levitt and Dubner have branded themselves as freewheeling rebels who are shaking up the status quo, their critics must be hyperemotional PC reactionaries by definition. Every attack on them is further proof that they're butterflies in a world of moths.

Despite having made it their mission to bring hard truths to a world that's not prepared for them, they managed to get their own blog at the New York Times, which turns out to be an ideal perch from which to observe the bizarre antics of their detractors. For example, Dubner notes that Elizabeth Kolbert has written a negative review of SuperFreakonomics in The New Yorker. Naturally, this shows that they're heretics, and she's irrational (or possibly even hysterical).
She is a feeling and passionate environmentalist who, seemingly so disturbed by geongineering, is compelled to cast our own horse-dung story right back at us with a splat.
Kolbert is feeling and passionate! She can't handle the cold hard facts of life! And she's lashing out blindly 'cause Dubner and Levitt are tearing her little world apart with their gnarly, in-your-face truthtelling!

One of the things Kolbert whines about, in that infuriatingly feeling way of hers, is teh Superfreaks' lack of scientific credentials. But guess what? She doesn't have scientific credentials either! She just talked to a bunch of scientists about climate change, and wrote a book and some articles about the stuff she learned from them.
[I]f her Wikipedia page is correct, she somehow accomplished all this with a degree from Yale in … literature.
So it's basically a tie, since there's no higher authority we can consult in order to see who has a better grasp of the science. (Or it would be a tie, if Kolbert weren't so "feeling and passionate," which disqualifies her at the gate.)

In addition to being irreverent and visionary and fairminded and supremely rational, Dubner is also very funny. Here, he explains in a clever way why he and his BFF don't need any goddamn credentials:
The time has probably come to admit that neither of us were Ku Klux Klan members either, or sumo wrestlers or Realtors or abortion providers or schoolteachers or even pimps. And yet somehow we managed to write about all that without any horse dung (well, not much at least) flying our way.
Right. Because sumo wrestling is pretty much identical to climatology, both in terms of its complexity and its life-or-death implications for modern civilization.

The other little detail Dubner's overlooking is that while you don't have to be an expert to write about a given topic, you do have to make an effort to be accurate and to acknowledge mistakes. Which, as eminently qualified people keep telling them, they've failed to do vis a vis climate change. Still, I have to give Dubner points for defending himself against charges of arrogant dilettantism by reeling off all the other subjects he and Levitt have tackled over the years in their capacity as self-appointed Village Explainers. It doesn't seem to have occurred to him that this argument might make people wonder whether he and Levitt were full of shit about those topics as well (and, if so, whether they'd be emotionally capable of admitting it).

Anyway, Kolbert lacks the proper credentials, and she lacks them in the wrong way, and she's also shrill and overserious and -- let's face it -- no fun at all. In short, she needs to bugger off, 'cause the adults are talking about money. Come back when you're a professor of geophysical sciences, lady.

Speaking of which, Raymond T. Pierrehumbert actually is a professor of geophysical sciences, and he wrote a critique of Dubner and Levitt that's just as damning as Kolbert's. Levitt's response was basically to suggest that Pierrehumbert was treating his arguments as "blasphemous" rather than wrong. It seems as though it doesn't matter what you know, what you studied, or what you can prove; if you have a problem with Dubner and Levitt, you're irrational, period. And if that upsets you...well, that only proves that you're too "emotional" to see things as clearly as they do.

Yes, it really is amazing how daring and heretical these boys are. There's no one quite like them, anywhere.

Weekly Poetry Slam Thread posted by AMc

Share your poems, prose poems, drabbles, aphorisms, etc.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Celibacy (by Suzie)

I’ve been flirting with the idea of celibacy. A year ago, I retired from sex for medical reasons and found other benefits as well. I haven’t taken a vow of celibacy; I’m free to change my mind. But my experience has opened my eyes to attitudes about abstention.

Many religious people oppose premarital sex, especially among women, although most don’t go as far as Purity Balls or killing rebellious daughters. Marriage is expected, with men wanting sex and women complying.

In the dominant culture, celibacy is suspect. A man cannot be a 40-year-old virgin. He needs to hire a prostitute or be taught how to get laid. Sex is used to prove his masculinity.

To prove her femininity, a woman needs to try to be attractive to men. If she isn’t overtly sexual, people may think of her as repressed or too damaged to snag a man or a closeted lesbian. (Many men will be A-OK if she’s a lesbian with a sexy partner, however.) An older woman may be called a dried-up hag or prude. We have swung from the idea that women don’t enjoy sex to the idea that women should enjoy sex. (But not with a lot of different men, or else they’ll be sluts.)

At times, sex – not just heterosexuality – can feel compulsory.

Because of moralizing conservatives, many liberals equate abstention with conservative politics. Some are so opposed to teaching only abstinence in sex education that they can’t say a good word about it at all.

Apparently, you can’t be hip and celibate, unless you’re the Dalai Lama.

I realize this post reinforces stereotypes of feminists, who have been characterized as sexless. To make up for me, perhaps you readers can have extra sex this weekend.

Friday flower blogging (by Suzie)

Can you name this orchid? (I'm asking because I don't want to say, "This is a purple orchid, and it's pretty.")

ETA: It's a Vanda. Thanks to greennotGreen!

Question for the weekend (by Suzie)

Have there been times in your life when you felt more empowered because you were among people who shared common traits or experiences? I’m not looking for a “yes” or “no,” of course; I’d like to hear stories. I’m sure some of you have experienced this based on gender, ethnicity, sexuality, etc.

I felt this way last week when I attended a sarcoma conference. Among the advocates were two other women with gynecologic leiomyosarcoma, with no evidence of disease now. Sometimes we were the three Graces; other times we were more like Furies. Our personalities and backgrounds differ, but our rare cancer united us.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Now In The Pulpit: E.J. Dionne

Hush! Sit back quietly and listen to the sermon, ladies and gentlemen:

For some years, Democrats have denounced parodies that cast their party as utterly closed to the views of those who oppose abortion. Last weekend, Democrats proved conclusively that they are, indeed, a big tent -- and many in the ranks are furious.

From the outraged comments of the abortion-rights movement, you'd think that Rep. Bart Stupak's amendment to the House version of the health-care bill would all but overturn Roe v. Wade.

No, it wouldn't. The Michigan Democrat's measure -- passed 240 to 194, with 64 Democrats voting yes -- would prohibit abortion coverage in the public option and bar any federal subsidies for plans that included abortion purchased on the new insurance exchanges.

Do I hear an AMEN? Louder, please! There's nothing to worry about here. All the Stupak amendment does is extend the reach of the Hyde amendment!

Besides, women don't really use their insurance for abortion coverage, anyway, so who is losing anything at all here? Well, never mind that basic reproductive health visits are not in the basic list which must be covered without extra pay from the patients! That only affects half of Americans, the half which is invisible. But far too many to be catered for by having their basic health care needs covered in the plan. That would take money!

Now for the real message of this sermon:

Last Friday night, Stupak put forward a final compromise to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that would have prohibited abortion coverage in the public plan but would have allowed an annual vote on the abortion ban for the private plans. Pro-choice Democrats rejected this, and the stronger version of Stupak's proposal then passed.

What happens now? Democratic supporters of abortion rights need to accept that their House majority depends on a large cadre of antiabortion colleagues. They can denounce that reality or they can learn to live with it.

Let us pray: Dear patriarchs, please cut our access to coverage with tiny, tiny scissors so that the cutting takes a long time. Do not let us notice that legal abortion is already as good as banned for many American women, that abortion services are already nonexistent in many states and that poor women mostly can't afford an abortion. Please give us the humility needed to value the antiabortion colleagues while ignoring our own value to the Democratic party. Amen.

Or put it in somewhat shorter terms: The Democratic Party would NOT be in power without its pro-choice base. So how come that base never gets any goodies at all? It's true that the Republicans are much worse with their misogynistic policies (that's how the "middle" becomes one where misogyny is just like a slight touch of measles, by the way), so the mainstream thinking goes that rabid pro-choicers can be safely ignored. What can they do, after all? Stay at home when elections come around again? Not canvas, not send checks, not staff phones?


But lest we forget, here's what happens if we don't learn the lesson of humility:

The truth is that even with the Stupak restrictions, health-care reform would leave millions of Americans far better off than they are now -- including millions of women. This skirmish over abortion cannot be allowed to destroy the opportunity to extend coverage to 35 million Americans. Killing health-care reform would be bad for choice -- and very bad for the right to life.

Hear my confessions for I have sinned, E.J.. But now I see the light and agree that a fair compromise for health-care reform is over the bodies of women. Because it is much better that way, and in any case I don't want to be the one who destroys the health-care reform movement. Amen.

Though I Take My Song From A Withered Limb

So Leonard Cohen sings in "Rivers Of Dark," a song about Babylon, the fabled city of whores, the city of cinnamon and gold and emeralds and the babble of many languages, all gifts from a stern and jealous god; the city which worshipped a mother goddess, though the song does not tell us that. It was a city which made men weak, unable to drink, impotent to sing:

And I did forget
My holy song:
And I had no strength
In Babylon.

By the rivers dark
Where I could not see
Who was waiting there
Who was hunting me.

And he cut my lip
And he cut my heart.
So I could not drink
From the river dark.

Art has no ownership, ultimately. I can take this song and make it mine, mine in this world of Babylon where the prophets with shining blind eyes preach, where the guns sing, where blood and money flow. Where my lips have been sewn shut and torn apart so many times that my song does not carry, and where I never know who is hunting me.

Take One For The Team

Katha tells us why that is the mother of all insults when it comes to the Stupak amendment. As usual, she writes like a demon-angel:

You know what I don't want to hear right now about the Stupak-Pitts amendment banning abortion coverage from federally subsidized health insurance policies? That it's the price of reform, and prochoice women should shut up and take one for the team. "If you want to rebuild the American welfare state," Peter Beinart writes in the Daily Beast, "there is no alternative" than for Democrats to abandon "cultural" issues like gender and racial equality. Hey, Peter, Representative Stupak and your sixty-four Democratic supporters, Jim Wallis and other antichoice "progressive" Christians, men: why don't you take one for the team for a change and see how you like it?

For example, budget hawks in Congress say they'll vote against the bill because it's too expensive. Maybe you could win them over if you volunteered to cut out funding for male-exclusive stuff, like prostate cancer, Viagra, male infertility, vasectomies, growth-hormone shots for short little boys, long-term care for macho guys who won't wear motorcycle helmets and, I dunno, psychotherapy for pedophile priests. Men could always pay in advance for an insurance policy rider, as women are blithely told they can do if Stupak becomes part of the final bill.

President Obama, too, worries about the deficit. Maybe you could help him out by sacrificing your denomination's tax exemption. The Catholic Church would be a good place to start, and it wouldn't even be unfair, since the blatant politicking of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops on abortion violates the spirit of the ban on electoral meddling by tax-exempt religious institutions. Why should antichoicers be the only people who get to refuse to let their taxes support something they dislike? You don't want your tax dollars to pay, even in the most notional way, for women's abortion care, a legal medical procedure that one in three American women will have in her lifetime? I don't want to pay for your misogynist fairy tales and sour-old-man hierarchies.

So beautiful. And laughing hurts when it is about something this insulting.

For insulting Beinart certainly is. He doesn't see all those women (and all those feminist women) who worked very hard to get Obama elected and the Congress into Democratic hands, who canvased and who answered phones and who marched and who wrote letters and who gave money. And who then went and voted for the Democrats in all the elections. The Democrats would not be in power without that extra work by women.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Military And Gods

An article discussing the Fort Hood killer has this very odd bit in it:

The group saw no evidence that Hasan, 39, was violent or a threat. It was more that he repeatedly referred to his strong religious views in discussions with classmates, his superiors and even in his research work, the official said. His behavior, while at times perceived as intense and combative, was not unlike the zeal of others with strong religious views, and some doctors and staff were concerned that their unfamiliarity with the Muslim faith would lead them to unfairly single out Hasan's behavior, the official said.

Perhaps all this is quite innocent. Perhaps. But I'd really like to know a lot more about all those strong religious views in a military paid for by our taxes. What, exactly, do those views encompass and how do we know that they will not affect the way the military would operate?

My guess is that they are talking about Christian fundamentalists in that quote, though of course they could be talking about something else. But it is fairly known that fundamentalist views are prominent in some branches of the military.

And no, I'm not saying that people shouldn't have or express strong religious views. I'd just like to know how we guarantee that accepting certain views isn't a prerequisite for getting promoted or that those views aren't officially supported.

Red Light Art

The National Gallery in London is going to have its first contemporary exhibition. Its name is "The Hoerengracht", Dutch for Whore's Canal, and it is a recreation of the red light district in Amsterdam. Now watch this video which shows some of the installation and also includes interviews with one of the artists who created it.

You back? How did you feel about the comment which argued that the exhibition makes the visitor take the role of a prospective customer? I don't know about you, but I never felt that way, probably because I'm a heterosexual girl goddess. What always fascinates me is the way "mainstream" means "male experience." This is something that comes across very strongly in the video, and not only in that one throw-away comment.

Stephen Dubner Overheard

In an interview with the BBC (on my radio), Stephen Dubner, one of the authors of SuperFreakonomics, talked about the book. I wrote down a part of his comments, starting in the middle. Here are my notes:

...we wrote about the economics of prostitution. But we wrote about some more serious topics, too...

So there ya go! Prostitution is a giggly topic, not a serious one.

For more on that particular not-serious topic, see my earlier post.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Some Fun In These Times

First, a nice pin for all Stupak people:

I'd like to add that there will always be choice for rich women.
Then: Every Sperm Is Sacred:

The Cougars And the Messes

Here's popular culture for you:

While everyone considers Demi to be the O.G. cougar, she doesn't see it that way.

"I'm certainly not the first person to be in a relationship with a younger man, but somehow I was plucked out as a bit of a poster girl," she says. "I don't know why that is. But I just kind of step back sometimes and say, 'There is some reason, and what is it that I have to share in a positive way?' I'd prefer to be called a puma."

("Puma" is already used to describe women in their 30s who go for younger men, so 47-year-old Demi doesn't really fall into that category. But she thinks "she came up with the new designation," so maybe it's best to let her go on believing that?)

Now about her 31-year-old husband. She loves him. A lot.

The predator language is quite revealing. What are men called who go for younger women?

And the sidebar on the linked page shows a woman who is Dressed All Wrong! Under the heading "Fashion Police":

The explanation to the pic:

Sloppy Suiting

Poor Eva is a mess from head to skirt at the New York City premiere of her latest flick.

So what's the problem here? It's fun to laugh at famous people, is it not?

Sure. But these really are the predominant stories on many fashion blogs: Celebrities with bad breasts or silicone breasts, celebrities with anorexia or fat bellies, celebrities with poor clothing choices or bad cosmetic surgery. Almost everything there could be said about any woman, at least by someone nasty, and that's why this is not only about laughing at stars but also about defining acceptable limits for how women look and act. And my cursory overview suggests that the "acceptable" really consists of tightrope walking.

Worth Reading Today

Frances Kissling discusses the background to the Stupak amendment, including the Hyde amendment, in an article at Salon. What made my brain happy was this part:

We started down this road in 1976 when the Hyde Amendment passed and when, in 1980, the Supreme Court upheld the principle that the federal government had the right to enact policies that favored childbirth over abortion by restricting funding for abortion. Most Democrats saw that giving antiabortion taxpayers greater moral standing than women who choose abortion was a political power play. After all, taxpayers don't get any other say in how their taxes are used. Pacifists' dollars support war; anti-bailout Americans saw their taxes go to banks just this year. Except on the issue of abortion, if you want to be a tax resister, the only thing to do is not pay your taxes and go to jail.

Added later:
Also check out Phila on this topic

Monday, November 09, 2009

Bart Stupak, The Family Guy

We know Bart Stupak as the Democrat who offered the infamous Stupak-Pitt amendment, right? But do we know Bart Stupak, the Christian fanatic? A member of the ultra-secret, ultra-powerful, ultra-rightwing Christian "Family"? Who used to live (and may still live, for all I know) in an ex-convent, a house belonging to the "Family", together with lots of other male politicians?

I'm not making this up, honest, though neither have I fact-checked any of it, and that's because Stupak didn't bother to fact-check what it's like to Live While Female. But here's what The Michigan Messenger wrote last summer:

Despite weeks of media attention paid to the now-infamous "C Street" house owned by The Family, a secretive Christian group, U.S. Rep. Bart Stupak — who lives at the house near the U.S. Capitol — denied any knowledge of the nature of the mysterious Washington, D.C., rowhouse and any involvement with the organization that owns it and uses as a seat of influence on Capitol Hill.

During a conference call with reporters Thursday morning, Michigan Messenger asked Stupak, a Menominee Democrat, about the house where he has lived for many years and his connections to the shadowy organization that owns it. The longtime Upper Peninsula legislator claimed to have "no affiliation" with the group, which is known as The Family or The Fellowship.

"I don't belong to any such group," Stupak said. "I rent a room at a house in 'C Street.' I do not belong to any such group. I don't know what you're talking about, [The] Family and all this other stuff."

The C Street house, a former convent, is still listed on official tax documents as a church but it functions largely as a boarding house, with six to eight members of the U.S. House and Senate living there at any given time. Current residents include Stupak, Rep. Zach Wamp (R-Tenn.), Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) and Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.), and Rep. Heath Shuler (D-N.C.).


Jeff Sharlet, contributing editor at Harper's magazine and the author of "The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power," lived for a time at Ivanwald, another boarding house owned by the group in Arlington, Va., this one for younger men without political power.

Sharlet said that Stupak's denial of any knowledge of The Family or its activities is false. "When I lived with The Family at Ivanwald, a house for younger men being groomed for leadership, I was told that Stupak was a regular visitor to the Cedars," Sharlet said. The Cedars is yet another compound owned by The Family, one that hosts weekly prayer events led by former Reagan-era Attorney General Ed Meese.

Sharlet said that Stupak had much greater involvement with the group than he is admitting, noting that the congressman was "a Family-assigned mentor to one of my brothers at Ivanwald." That Ivanwald resident, Sharlet said, "regularly left for what he and others described as mentoring sessions."

Not sure about you but I find this pretty scary.
Link to the story from Joseph Nobles on Eschaton threads. Picture is of Savonarola, because he got gangs of teenage boys to attack women who were not dressed according to Savonarola's ideas of Christian modesty. Though all that was a long time ago.

More On The Stupak Amendment

Mcjoan at Kos has a good post on what it might mean. The big question mark is about its possible impact on abortion coverage in employer paid group plans. That would depend on how the markets change in general.

For new definitions of the term "Stupak," see Urban Dictionary.

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words?

When I first read about the Fort Hood massacre I noticed the repeated use of certain pictures. This one was particularly common:

The Los Angeles Times explained it as follows:

A private is comforted outside Fort Hood Army base after the shooting deaths of at least a dozen people at a personnel and medical processing office and at a theater, both on base. (Ben Sklar / Getty Images)

This picture was also fairly common:

CBC links the following explanation to it:

Sgt. Anthony Sills comforts his wife as they wait outside the army base Thursday. They had to wait for a lockdown to be lifted before they could collect their three-year-old son, was in daycare on the base. (Jack Plunkett/Associated Press)

The Examiner:

Soldier comforts his wife.

The U.K. Guardian used this picture:

with the following explanation:

Daniel Clark hugs and comforts his wife Rachel after the shooting by Nidal Malik Hasan at the Fort Hood army base near Killeen, Texas. Photograph: Rodolfo Gonzalez/AP

All the bolding in these quotes are by me.

So what's my point, you might ask. A horrible event has just happened and people are upset. Other people comfort them, right?

But note how all those comforted are women and how all those doing the comforting are men. It may be that women were more upset by the events. But it may also be that certain pictures look appropriate when a massacre has just happened, and that those pictures are not necessarily picked to be representative of all the people who were upset or comforted others.

Note also that the last picture was picked by some newspapers and described as "the couple embracing" which is, of course, all we really see.

Just Say No To Being A Woman

It is that easy my friends, because being female is just like smoking. Honest:

Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Tex.), the head of the Republicans campaign committee, caused a stir at last night's Rules Committee meeting when he suggested that treating female-related health conditions was comparable to insurance-company imposed restrictions on smokers.

"Why should a woman pay more than a man?" asked New Jersey Democrat Frank Pallone, according to the Courthouse News Service.

"Well, we're all different," Sessions explained. "Why should a smoker pay more?" he said before interrupted.

Bwahahah! I don't know how some of these guys managed to slither out from under that big rock.

But it's so nice that he has never had to worry his pretty head about what the actual differences between smoking and needing gynecological services might be.

Someone in the comments to the linked post argues that the case of charging women higher premiums in health insurance is no different from the case of charging young men more for car insurance. It is, though, because young men can be taught to drive more carefully. Smokers can be helped to quit. But there is no twelve-step program for my ovaries to stop doing what they do.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

My Sixth Blogiversary Is Today

You can read through the archives if you want to know what I have done for the last six years. Thank you for reading and commenting here. Presents are appropriate, according to the goddess etiquette book on blogiversaries, but not required.

This is 1Watt's Thumper wishing me a happy blogiversary.

Releasing Frustration (by Phila)

Japan has one of the lowest teen birth rates in the world. One reason for this, I'd assume, is that Japanese teens tend to delay having sex longer than teens in many other countries.

All the same, the Japanese health ministry hopes to go further and fare better, and so they've commissioned a research study that apparently ties loss of virginity to skipping breakfast.
In a study of 3000 people, those who did not regularly eat breakfast in their early teens said they lost their virginity at an average age of 17.5, versus an overall average age of 19 for all Japanese.

Those who had a morning meal when they were younger had their first sexual experience at 19.4 years.

The study...concluded that a stable home life discouraged early sex.

"Those unhappy with their parents - such as for not preparing breakfast - may tend to find a way to release their frustration by having sex," said Kunio Kitamura, head of the Japan Family Planning Association who led the research.
Putting aside the issue of correlation vs. causation, the number of bizarre assumptions here makes my head swim. First, of course, there's the definition of "a stable home life" as one in which teens are waited on (by an otherwise unoccupied parent of unspecified gender), instead of being provided with food and taught to prepare it. Second, it's assumed that these teens became unhappy with their parents as a result of missing breakfast, though they might just as easily be refusing to eat because they're already unhappy with their parents (or for some other reason entirely, like scholastic stress). Third, sex is portrayed as some idle pastime like playing with matches, to be indulged in when one is bored or frustrated or resentful. Give teens something better to do, and sexual thoughts will scarcely cross their minds.
"If children don't feel comfortable in their family environment, they tend to go out."
To be fair, I haven't seen the study itself, and this article probably doesn't paraphrase it very well, especially given the language and cultural issues.

But taken simply as a layperson's description of research that may or may not be ludicrous, it's a good example of what I see as the ideological flipside of pop-science writing about Evolutionary Psychology. In the popular press, mating and parenting instincts tend to be all-compelling urges against which progressives and feminists struggle in vain, while sexuality tends to be a sort of pathology that's imposed on innocent teens from outside...often by an alleged breakdown in precisely those traditional family roles that EP has made holy. You must transcend biological urges as a teen, and you can't transcend them as an adult.

You wouldn't think we could have it both ways. But somehow, we manage.

H.R. 3962 Passed. Some Collateral Damage.

The House bill on health care reform passed. This is good news. The Stupak amendment was accepted. That is the collateral damage. Or the necessary compromise to get better health care for all (except for the collateral damage).

No Republican voted against the Stupak amendment. Isn't that something? I'm beginning to see a pattern here, what with only Republicans voting against the right of gang-rape survivors to sue. But of course several Democrats also voted for the amendment.

As is required, I'm of course pleased to see the House bill pass.