The Bishop and the Butterfly: Murder, Politics, and the End of the Jazz Age
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    The Murders at Planned Parenthood And The Unbelievable GOP Response

    Yesterday on Morning Joe, Joseph McQuaid, the publisher of the New Hampshire Union Leader, was asked why his newspaper was endorsing Chris Christie for president.  Mika Brzezinski asked what successes in Christie's record would stand out as something he could accomplish on a grand scale. Without even blinking, McQuaid rattled off three things.  The first two, apparently in order of importance, were these: Christie is pro-life and has vetoed several pro-abortion bills.  He has defunded a block funding for Planned Parenthood.  (The third one--because there were three--was about Christie keeping taxes in check.)



    Four days after the latest attack at a Planned Parenthood clinic, where three people died--none of whom were there for abortions--after a gunman opened fire, then surrendered, telling the police "No more baby parts", meaning he actually believed the outrageous lies put forth by Carly Fiorina and other Republican operatives that the clinics were ripping apart babies and selling off parts to the highest bidders, the publisher of a major New Hampshire newspaper saw Chris Christie as the best choice for President of the United States because he has an anti-abortion, anti-Planned Parenthood record.

    Granted, I was sitting in my living room, unencumbered by having to worry about how this interview was going and whether lots of people were watching it, but honestly?  Abortion and Planned Parenthood first on the list?  Good lord, people, hackles--or at least eyebrows--should have been raised!  Did the "Morning Joe" panel hear what he said?  Did they remember what happened just last Friday in Colorado Springs? 

    Innocent people were maimed and murdered by an anti-abortion zealot driven to that kind of madness by relentless, hate-filled, dishonest propaganda perpetrated and generated by Republican leaders.  Yes, Republicans

    And yet, days later, the publisher of a major American newspaper goes on television and endorses a Republican candidate based almost exclusively on his past actions against legalized abortion and against the very organization currently in the news, not over anything they've done wrong, but because somebody went in and shot up one of their clinics.  (I'm repeating myself. I know. Allow me.)

    This is how Republicans have to operate now  Their policies are so devoid of the common good their only choice is to resort to lies and fear to ensure they'll keep their jobs.  Nothing new there.  But now, impossible as it seems, they've hit a new low.  They see this latest tragedy at a Planned Parenthood clinic as just the ticket to resurrect their opposition to any taxpayer funding to PP clinics.

    This week the Republicans in Congress are working feverishly to fast-track legislation to defund Planned Parenthood.  Honest to God.  I swear on a stack of U.S Constitutions.  I am not making this up (From ThinkProgress):

    The unfounded accusations against Planned Parenthood have been linked to the recent tragedy in Colorado.  "No more baby parts," the suspected shooter Robert Dear, who killed three people in the clinic and wounded multiple others, reportedly told authorities.
    But lawmakers haven't been deterred from using this inflammatory rhetoric to target the national women's health organization, downplaying the connection between the two.
    Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), the Republican whip, told the Associated Press that the shooting and the investigations into whether Planned Parenthood is illegally profiting from aborted fetal tissue donations are "separate issues completely."

    Can you say "Benghazi"?

    I would once again like to remind the Republican opportunists already frothing at the mouth over their perceived victory that 1) abortion is not the main function at PP clinics--it's barely a blip--and 2) no federal funds have EVER gone toward abortions--at Planned Parenthood or anywhere else.

    Only the lowest miserable bastards would go after Planned Parenthood less than a week after a murderous rampage at one of their clinics.  But I don't have to tell you low miserable bastards who you are.  You already know who you are. 

    And there's the problem.


    (Also posted at Ramona's Voices, The Broad Side, and Crooks & Liars)



    Thanks, Mona, for yet another attempt to bring sanity to this mess.  I have asked in a number of places, and no one has even tried to give me an answer to this question:

    On what grounds does Congress, or anyone else, for that matter have to "defund" a legitimate health facility other than for actual medical or public health deficiencies?

    The fact that Republicans don't like Planned Parenthood simply cannot be the issue:  Planned Parenthood provides preventive gynecological care, including Pap Smears, Breast exams, prescriptions and devices for contraception; which are all accepted care that is provided by any clinic, hospital, and doctor's office in any town in the country.  The federal funds that go to Planned Parenthood are ONLY for services rendered for these specific medical services are indisputable.  Are they saying that all doctors, clinics, or hospitals that provide these services should be denied Medicaid funding because Republicans don't like them?

    Or is it because in some Planned Parenthood facilities they provide (legal) abortion services?  The fact that abortion is legal in this country doesn't seem to make the cut in the conversation, because Republicans really, really don't like abortion, even if they abandon the previous fetus - now child - once it is born.  They are happy to refer to debunked and fraudulent videos to justify their pathologic stances.

    So I ask once again -- what are the grounds for defunding a particular Medical Facility that is operating within the law, and providing a necessary service?  And how are they getting away with it?  Does anyone have an answer?  Are the lawyers here able to suss this out?  How can they pretend this is a legitimate effort?

    I don't understand it either.  For all these years the fact that Roe V Wade is Federal law seemed to be enough to hold off the Pro-Life devils.  Now it looks like each state can, in fact, get around it by making those crazy laws about clinics being connected to hospitals, or women being forced to watch videos or look at ultrasounds before the can receive abortions--I don't know what loophole suddenly gives them that kind of autonomy.

    All I know is women are being forced backward and the Republicans are hell-bent on finishing the job while the Dems howl a lot but don't actually join in on the fight.  Strange, because they know we can't do it without them.  Have to wonder if we have any allies at all anymore.

    It's even crazier that medical abortion is much safer and simpler, but they're required to go by older medical abortion rules that make it more complicated and riskier. Soon we'll need to set up rescue flights to Europe to get RU-486 (with TSA screening passengers to make sure they're not engaging in abortion tourism or other kinds of anti-fetal terrorism)

    States pass a law, Planned Parenthood takes them to court. Occasionally they win, more often they lose. It all comes down to the Supreme Court. They've been willing to call laws that are simply designed to make women jump through hurdles or shut down clinics and are clearly not medically based constitutional. That's one of many reasons that any Nader supporter that ranted about there being no difference between Gore and Bush or Sanders supporter that claims there's no difference between Hillary and a republican is just fucking full of shit.

    CVille, all they seem to run on is that "all funds are fungible"; meaning that any monies outside of Medicaid reimbursements (grants, etc.) can be used for abortion services - even though it's expressly illegal. And there is no proof it's ever happened. Beyond that? Nada.

    Fetal tissue research is not only legal, it's funded each year with millions of federal dollars. The "hmmm" factor is how research is supposed to happen without fetal tissue, especially since aborted fetuses without the defects that are often found through miscarriages are the optimum specimens. If folks want to argue that funding again, fine. But using that as the latest hit against Planned Parenthood - and abortion rights in general - is absurd.

    Ramona, you're right. Democrats need to be stronger in their rhetoric against this nonsense, and push the good that comes from fetal tissue research. That's what won the fight the last time.

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