This week, our readers shared their insights on Voter ID laws, the Affordable Care Act and whether rape jokes are ever justified. Let us know what you think—in the comments!

Nell H: South Carolina is another state fighting the photo ID law.

SC is a state with almost no public transportation. To obtain the photo ID, citizens must go to a county elections office (one per county) during normal working hours. In my county, the round trip from my home is 40 miles and takes almost 2 hours. There is no public transportation to this office.  

Once obtained, there is no expiration of the SC photo ID. If I obtain one at age 18, it will still be a valid photo ID at age 78. This makes no sense.

Once obtained, if the voter moves to another address, a new photo ID will not be issued. So, if I move to another precinct, my address on the photo ID will be incorrect. So, my photo could be 60 years old and my address incorrect. What kind of ID is this?

The State Elections Commission knows of no cases of voter impersonation — the kind of fraud that the photo ID is intended to prevent. This law is not for ID. It is clearly intended to prevent the poor from voting. In SC it prevents many minorities from voting.
In response to Ari Berman’s “Why Republicans Are Challenging the Voting Rights Act.” July 9, 2012

DrRexDexter: This is just the "Tip of the Iceberg". Most A.R.M. Products, as well as Consumer Loans have their rates based on the LIBOR. If these rates have been artfully manipulated for decades, so have those products, products notably "booked" by the planets largest lenders and a governing factor in the resulting meltdowns of the last couple decades. Add complicity by the US Mortgage Bankers Association and this picture gets very ugly—ugly to tune of Trillions of dollars picked from the pockets of same tax-payers that bailed out these tools 4-5 years back.
In response to Katrina vanden Heuvel’s “Time for ‘Banksters’ to be Prosecuted.” July 10, 2012

Jack: When it was passed, my mother was dead set against it. Since she has learned that it will fill in her donut hole, and hasn’t gotten a notice to appear before the death panel, she likes it a lot more now.

I don’t think hers is an isolated case. Lots of people are noticing things like the donut hole starting to disappear and they like it more than they did two years ago.

The problem with going out on a limb is it’s hard to retreat when the limb gets sawed off. This article is spot on, because if the law is fully implanted, then all the disinformation will be fully exposed. People like my mom, who were stampeded into being against it, are now realizing that it is helping them, not endangering them.
In response to George Zornick’s “Democrats Think the Tables Are Turning on the ACA, and Some Predict a Public Option.” July 11, 2012

dmcrane: I have always felt that this law was more than a "foot in the door" toward single payer. It covers people who desperately need it NOW, not ten years down the road, because they won’t live that long. The old adage, perfect is the enemy of the good, is a good analogy.

My son, age 40, lost his job and insurance. He got very sick shortly after with acute pancreatitis. After being without insurance for six months and denied coverage for his pre-existing by private insurers, he was able to get on ACA/ Pre-existing Insurance Plan ( He has had affordable coverage for a year now and it has been great. He pays $188 mo w/$25 co-pays, kept his same primary care physician, and has seen two specialists, had a CT scan & blood tests and has never been refused by any doctors or labs. It also includes an RX plan so he can get his medications to keep him out of the hospital emergency room. During the six months he was without insurance he was hospitalized and now has a $60K hospital bill he will likely never be able to pay. He is now working part-time and has been able to pay his PCIP fee and co-pays and medications. He could have never paid the $1200 – $1400 a month the private insurers offered which "excluded his pre-existing condition." In other words, they didn’t want to cover him and gave a fee they knew he couldn’t afford and would do him no good anyway.

I have a friend with two small children born with disabilities, one is blind. She and her husband own a small printing business and have never been able to get coverage for their kids until now. Both her kids are now covered by PCIP for $119 a month each and she no longer worries their family will lose everything if one of the kids has a crisis that bankrupts them.

I believe we will get to our goal of single payer over the next 10 years. Vermont is already working on it’s own single payer plan and will opt out of ACA when they implement it. Canada, which started their single payer in Saskatchewan, caused the entire country to demand the same thing when they saw how happy Saskatchewan people were with their plan. We will get there too, but the ideologues on the Left need to back off, bite their tongue and say "we’ll take this now because people desperately need it, and continue to work for eventual single payer.” We all need to promote this now because many can’t wait for the help and it gets us one step closer to our goal.
In response to Wendell Potter’s “Healthcare Advocates: Time to Bury the Hatchet.” July 11, 2012

TheBadassMuppet: Thanks for writing this. It is extremely telling that the knee-jerk "Freedom of speech! Anything goes in comedy!" responses largely seem to be from men. It’s not even being allowed to tell rape jokes, or make rape threats, that they’re arguing for: it’s being allowed to make rape threats *without criticism.* It’s horrifying that people are so invested in that. As a five-time survivor, I would rather not hear any rape jokes ever, and had I been in that room, I would have been too afraid (of the exact kind of bullshit she’s getting, and worse) to stand up like the woman did. I would simply have left. I applaud her for speaking her truth.

I heard the most nauseating "debate" on the radio the other day between two men. One was all, "Eh, people probably shouldn’t make rape jokes," and the other was saying, "Yeah, but it’s sad that comedy clubs aren’t a safe space anymore." A safe space. For rape threats without criticism. I just can’t.
In response to Jessica Valenti’s “Anatomy of a Successful Rape Joke.” July 12, 2012

Ben Atherton-Zeman: As a feminist comedian, I try to use humor to educate about sexual violence.  I think it’s harder than Tosh’s use of old-fashioned misogyny – the same sexist (racist, homophobic, etc.) put-downs that have contributed to a rape culture.  Tosh and other white male comedians should use their creativity to challenge rape culture and misogyny, not to benefit and support it.
In response to Jessica Valenti’s “Anatomy of a Successful Rape Joke.” July 12, 2012