A Preview “Wait, What?”

So I have some interesting things planned for the next couple weeks as I bring the blog back from the dead for the Presidential election season, including an article using an infographic/advertisement in a way I am fairly certain the provider of said “adver-graphic” never intended, but I thought I’d toss out a late Friday night “Wait, What?!?” to check out the new layout and see how I like it.  (Speaking of, if you ever felt the need to suggest a theme for this blog, I’ll be open to suggestions for a week or so.)   So let’s take a trip to Ohio, via Raw Story:

Senate Majority Leader Tom Patton was blasted on Thursday after comments he made about fellow Republican Jennifer Herold, reports Cleveland.com.

In a radio interview, Patton said, “The gal that’s running against me is a 30-year-old, you know, mom, mother of two infants. And I don’t know if anybody explained to her we’ve got to spend three nights a week in Columbus.  So, how does that work out for you? I waited until I was 48 and my kids were raised, and at least adults, before we took the opportunity to try.”

Patton also referred to Herold as a “young gal” and added: “I want to tell her, ‘Hey Sweetie, I just got 27 percent of the pie in just my district, which is nine times what should have been done.’

“Hey Sweetie”?  Seriously?  He called his competitor “sweetie?”  *facepalm*

Well, at least the head of the Ohio GOP took Senator Patton to task for his outright misogyny.

Faced with criticism over the condescending comments, GOP county chair Rob Frost defended Patton, saying, “These are not sexist or out-of-line comments.”

Frost went on to say that Herold was only outraged over Patton’s remark in order to get attention.

“This is his opponent, who really, you know, is desperate to try to get some attention onto her run, against a guy who is going to do a stellar job.” Frost stated.

According to the GOP head, Patton would have made the similar comments even if she wasn’t a young mother.

“[It] would be the same if he had said, ‘You know, hey, there’s a guy running against me who’s an insurance agent or a lawyer or a radio host,’” he explained.

Wait, what?  Screw this, my niece just earned her doctorate, I’m going to drink a Fist City to celebrate.  I’m sure I’ll have enough sexism to write about next week.

And the Winner for Most Misogynistic GOP Debate Participant is…..the One Woman on the Stage. Sigh.

Well hey, Trump showed that the way to get noticed in this crowded field is by being the most vile example of humanity of the group, so it came as no surprise that Carly Fiorina would say something vile to get people talking,  and since everyone and their mother on the right has latched on to those Planned Parenthood videos that were edited so deceptively that they make Expelled look like an honest film,  it was no surprise that she brought them up.  What was a bit of a shock was just how far she was willing to take the lie.  From Salon (Only cause it’s Digby):

In that same debate when she bizarrely combined an answer about Iran with the Planned Parenthood controversy, she also challenged Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, with a straight face, to watch a video showing “a fully formed fetus on the table its heart beating its legs kicking while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.”

Of course the debate moderator didn’t immediately ask her what the fuck video she was watching, or inquire about the new Planned Parenthood video apparently directed by Eli Roth.  No, that would be doing a service to the electorate.  Instead it fell to fact checkers which reach only a small fraction of the debate’s audience.

This claim was also thoroughly fact checked and proved her to be lying. None of the videos produced by the hoaxters who made the Planned Parenthood videos showed what she described.

Like Carly, or the GOP base for that matter, cares about what fact checkers say is true or false.  What is truth anyway when you’re fighting those evil feminists and all atheists favorite fast food joint, Planned Parenthood?

But instead of apologizing or just quietly dropping the subject, Fiorina’s Super-PAC has created an ad featuring some footage like that she described in a bold doubling down on the falsehood:

RH Reality check describes it this way:

A doctored video is being used to defend GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina’s false statements about a doctored video…

The video, according to a fact-check from Planned Parenthood, splices together five different video and audio sources from [the deceptive anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress]: an interview with a former tissue procurement technician, Holly O’Donnell; a photo of a Pennsylvania woman’s stillborn son that was used without permission; a video from a discredited anti-choice archive called the Grantham Collection; audio from a secret video of a doctor in Colorado; and audio from a surreptitiously recorded phone conversation with a man who works at another independent health-care organization in California.

The deceptive ad ends up showing a “fully formed fetus” with “legs kicking” (a stock image), an unrelated and completely out-of-context audio quote about a “heart beating,” and a mention of harvesting a brain.

The Grantham Collection is an anti-abortion archive which uses photos of still births or miscarriages, among other things, to deceive people into believing they are viewing aborted fetuses. According to Mother Jones, the group even claimed that a photo of basic medical tongs is an image of the tool used to pull apart the limbs of an aborted fetus.This stuff is so ghoulish you have to wonder what kind of person would spend their time making up such fantasies.

Of course, thanks to the infinite wisdom of our political system, Carly can reap all the positives effects of the video on the rabid right while maintaining perfect deniability in the face of moderate criticism since it was released by a pro-Fiorina SuperPAC.  How long has our democracy been the laughing stock of the world anyway?  But instead of playing the SuperPAC card, Carly instead played the “cancer survivor” card and then just continued to lie.

In response to a request for comment on the veracity of the video, Fiorina’s campaign didn’t take a strictly legal approach and say they have no relationship with the Super PAC and therefore cannot comment on the ad. Her campaign spokeswomen Sarah Isgur Flores replied to an inquiry from Mother Jones via email:

“Carly is a cancer survivor and doesn’t need to be lectured on women’s health by anyone. Over their long and factually incorrect letter, Planned Parenthood doesn’t and can’t deny they butchering babies and selling their organs [sic]. This is about the character of our nation.”

Actually, Planned Parenthood does and can deny “they butchering babies and selling their organs.” It is simply not true.

Unfortunately, Carly is discovering and taking advantage of a sad fact in American politics.  If you lie, and keep lying, never admitting you lied, repetition and ignorance will find many people believing your lie as the truth.

Dave Weigel at the Washington Post wrote:

Other campaigns have climbed down from similar claims about the videos. Fiorina and her allies have done no such thing. Three days after the debate, CARLY for America — the PAC that legally has to keep its distance from Fiorina’s actual campaign — put together a video that spliced the candidate’s answer with different clips. The viewer, hearing about the controversy but unaware of the original videos, might think that Fiorina nailed it.

That would be the idea. And it’s working. Think Progress interviewed some of her fans in South Carolina this week and they absolutely believe that Planned Parenthood is videotaping the butchering of babies to harvest their brains because this wonderful woman told them so.

Cleveland, Ohio resident Carol McDowell, who came to Fiorina’s event while on vacation in Charleston, said Fiorina’s debate performance really “won us over” — pointing to two of her friends. “I loved the Planned Parenthood response that she had. The things being done today — it’s gone way beyond just abortion and it needs to stop.”…

The message resonated with women in South Carolina. “Look, I got my first set of birth control pills from Planned Parenthood a long time ago,” said Lazar, who added that she is actually pro-choice. “I have nothing against them, but they should not be selling baby parts. As a country, we shouldn’t be doing that.”

It’s hard to believe anyone running for president believes she could get away with such blatant deceptions but never say Fiorina doesn’t have scads of chutzpah. She has refused to admit that she made a mistake and her Super PAC is now trying to cover her original lie with yet another lie. And even pro-choice GOP women are believing her. It’s enough to give you a migraine.

This is disgraceful.  This is a nightmare for low income women and their access to health care.  And it is politics as usual in the United States.

Pop Quiz: Why Did PA State Rep. Leslie Acosta Get Cut Off?

In a sadly unsurprising breach of House protocol on Monday, Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (Guess) cut Rep. Leslie Acosta (D), the only Latina representative in the state House before she was allowed to ask a question during the question and answer period.  Now put your notebooks and smart phones away, because it is time to test your knowledge of Pennsylvanian politics.

  1.  Why did Rep. Metcalfe cut off Rep. Acosta?
  • a) Because Rep. Acosta is a Latina.
  • b) Because Rep. Acosta is a woman.
  • c) Because Rep. Metcalfe is a raging asshole.
  • d) All of the above.

And……pencils down.  I’m sorry, it was a trick question. The correct answer is actually “e) Because the GOP has been taken over by a group of racist, misogynist, nativist trash desperately trying to hold on to the olden days when white men controlled everything, women knew their place (the kitchen), and members of other races stayed in their ghettos unless a garden needed tending, clothing needed laundered, or a mansion needed a butler.”  While each of the given answers is technically correct, the true root cause is “e” so I am arbitrarily failing the lot of you.  Kinda like Rep. Metcalfe arbitrarily cut Rep. Acosta off before she could ask a question.

Anyway, the story.  The Pennsylvania House, seeing as my home state is in no way going through a serious budget crisis caused by the state GOP believing that “compromise” means Gov. Wolfe giving in to all of their demands, has decided that the declaration of English as the official language of Pennsylvania is an appropriate use of tax dollars.  While Pennsylvania’s proximity to the Mexican border definitely makes this an issue constantly on the mind of every Pennsylvanian, your guess is as good as mine as to why the state GOP feels this bill is necessary.  Are they just avoiding discussing AG Kathleen Kane out of fear that she’ll leak embarrassing “sexts” they sent using state accounts?  (Not to change the subject, but damn it, AG Kane, please resign already.  Innocent or guilty, you are just making the whole party look bad now.)  Or is this just another part in the GOP’s masterful Latino Outreach Program?

Monday’s hearing on the bill was, well, let’s just let Think Progress explain it:

The hearing on Pennsylvania’s “English-only” bill was framed as a question and answer session, where lawmakers ask witnesses about different aspects of the bill. These are similar to Congressional hearings, where lawmakers have an allotted time to make statements about what they believe, and then end with a question. On Monday, Acosta was attempting to question witness Robert Vandervoot, a white nationalist testifying in support of the bill.

So there are two things I want to make clear here.  First off, no one just asks a question during these hearings.  That’s why the time limit is two minutes or so and not 15 seconds.  Representatives use the time to make a point, flesh out the question they are going to ask, make a really short speech, whatever, as long as they stay within their allotted time frame House protocol dictates the Representative is allowed to finish.  Second, the state GOP had a white nationalist testify in the House in support of this bill.

A white nationalist.

I have to hand it to the GOP, this Latino Outreach Program is brilliant.

Rep. Acosta, who is once again the only Latina in the PA House, began her time allotment by speaking in Spanish before switching over to English, no doubt giving Chairman Metcalfe a raging anger boner.  Then:

She then talked about how she too believed learning English was necessary for immigrants to succeed, but expressed concerns about the Constitutionality of requiring all government records to be in one language. In 1998, Arizona’s English-only law was ruled unconstitutional because it “unfairly interfered with the access to government by those who did not speak the language.”

In the middle of that point, Metcalfe interrupted. “You’re out of order,” he said. “I asked for a question.” Acosta then said she was “making a point,” and Metcalfe said “You’re not making points.” Acosta responded that she technically had two minutes to ask a question, to which Metcalfe retorted, “You don’t have two minutes.” Acosta said she had “the right to make my statement,” and Metcalfe said he would come back to her at the end “if we have time for you to finish your comment,” before turning her microphone off.

For those keeping score at home, that’s a white nationalist allowed all the time he wants to speak, followed by the one Latina in the room having her microphone cut off after being called “out of order.”  I’m amazed he managed not to use the word “uppity.”  Like me, Rep. Acosta was not amused.

Acosta, however, told ThinkProgress that she was appalled not only by how she was treated at the hearing, but by the fact that a white nationalist was allowed to speak before state government officials.

“This is overt racism in the 21st century. We’ve got to call it like it is,” she said. “It has no place in the House of Representatives. I’m on this and I’m not letting go.”

Why is PA even considering this bill?

Though America does not have an official language, Pennsylvania is vying to be the 32nd state to have their official state language be English. Vandervoot, who heads the advocacy organization ProEnglish, told ThinkProgress earlier this month that “one common language” is necessary for “a common bond of unity.”

“[M]ulticulturalism is actually what’s divisive and taking away from our unity,” he said.

Others, however, decry the push as inherently racist. “English-only is incredibly divisive because it sends the message that the culture of language minorities is inferior and illegal,” reads a statement from the immigrant advocacy group League of United Latin American Citizens. “With a dramatic increase in hate crimes and right wing terrorist attacks in the United States, the last thing we need is a frivolous bill to fuel the fires of racism.”

…..

English-only laws are generally pushed by groups and individuals who take strong conservative stances on illegal immigration in general. Indeed, Metcalfe is the founder of a coalition of state legislators that work to eliminate “all economic attractions and incentives … for illegal aliens” and “secur[e] our borders against unlawful invasion.”

Metcalfe and the English-only bill’s co-sponsors assert that the measure would save government money currently being used to translate documents, though they do not assert how much is being spent, or how much would be saved.

That last paragraph is the main point.  Personally, I believe that immigrants to the United States should make an effort to learn English, not because of any inherent superiority of the language, but  rather to facilitate their acclimation to the nation.  I don’t think it should be mandatory, just encouraged.  If I moved to France, even if I was living in a community of English speakers, I would still make an effort to learn French to make my life easier if for no other reason.  Rep. Metcalfe and crew claim that this bill would save tax payers money and say that is the reason they are sponsoring it, yet the savings is never defined.  Come on, if the money was really the issue, the bills co-sponsors would be on point with exact figures detailing how much money is spent translating documents and hiring interpreters.  Instead we get the abstract concept of “savings” while my dog goes absolutely nuts.

Psst.  Rep. Metcalfe?  It’s not a dog whistle if we all can hear it.  Inviting a white nationalist to testify in support of your bill kinda gives the game away.

Fight Back.

Saturday saw thousands of the War against Women folks take to the street to protest against Planned Parenthood.  They managed to get several anti-Planned Parenthood hashtags trending on Twitter as well.  While the Center for Medical Progress continues to release its deceptively edited videos to outrage the loud and proud ignorant fringe of the right, elected officials with actual power keep attempting to defund PP while wasting taxpayers money with investigations into PP that turn up no wrongdoing.

It is beyond time to fight back.

Abortion only makes up 3% of Planned Parenthood’s services.  Zero federal dollars out of Planned Parenthood’s funding goes to abortion services.  The federal funds go to the other 97% of services Planned Parenthood provides, stuff like STI testing, cancer screenings, contraception prescriptions, and FUCKING prenatal care.  Sure, there are other locations women can go to get these services, but there aren’t enough of them to handle the overflow that would occur if Planned Parenthood actually  disappeared.  Sure, rich and upper middle class women would still find someone to smear their pap, prescribe their birth control, provide prenatal care, or terminate their pregnancy.  These things are never in danger for the rich and upper middle class.  It doesn’t matter how conservative the state Congress gets, or how many clinics get shut down, rich girls from Texas or Mississippi can just get on a plane and fly wherever they need to go to get whatever service they need.

These attacks on Planned Parenthood are attacks on the health and family planning of all women who can’t hop on the jet for a quick trip to Cali for an IUD or an abortion.

The issue isn’t abortion.  It isn’t “selling” baby parts.

The issue is poor people having sex and the right’s quest to make sure they have to face the consequences.

Donate something to PP.  Write your Congress Critter.  Send out a tweet.

And smack down an anti-PP troll on social media.  Do your part for a great organization.

Really Rachel? Really?

I have to admit, I was so caught up shopping for a gay wedding present for the totes-legal-now-that-the-Supremes-said-that-everyone-needed-to-stop-kung-fu-fighting-long-enough-to-get-gay-married-everybody-even-puppies-goats-llamas-cable-news-shows-websites-and-straight-men-except-not-Jared-from-Subway-cause-seriously-fuck-that-guy impending nuptials joining The Wonkette and The Rachel Maddow Show in the bonds of holy matrimony, wondering what happens on the honeymoon for a website/cable news show marriage, who would get pregnant, and if they would give birth to little podcasts and oh my god this sentence ran on so long I got lost.

Okay, so I was busy doing that thing mentioned in the above sentence so I almost missed this little comment from Rachel Maddow on her show last night, and that would have been a shame because I so disagree with her for once.

There`s no reason to think that Jeb Bush is a terrible person.

I understand, Rachel.  You are always trying to get Republicans to come on your show, and those that do are always treated fairly.  Perhaps in the not too distant future (na na na), when elected Republicans can once again govern like adults without fear of being primaried for the sin of compromise, more members of the GOP will realize appearing on your show is not like a progressive on The O’Reilly Factor.  Of course, for that possibility to, well, be possible, you can’t exactly go around calling Republican candidates for President “terrible people,” now can you?

But I can.  Especially when the Republican in question actually is a terrible person.  In fact, one of the most pressing questions I hope to answer in my 17 part on-going series, Getting to Know the Trip, is if there is a non-terrible person in the field.  (Preliminary answer?  No.  They’re all pretty terrible.)  Things need to change if we have any hope of reclaiming our democracy and building it back up to something other than a world wide joke.  One thing that really needs to change is that the press needs to live up to the responsibility the Founding Fathers gave it by enshrining Freedom of the Press in the Bill of Rights.  The only bias a news anchor/reporter should have is an overwhelming bias towards reality. Stop covering politics like sports and stop being afraid of offending people if a political party takes a stance in opposition to objective fact.

While I am going to save most points for when I get to Jeb in my Goat Countdown, hearing Rachel last night compelled me to let you all know a few reasons why yes, Jeb Bush is a terrible person.  And we’ll start off with the two words that should immediately disqualify him from the Presidency:

Terry Schiavo

Raise your hand if you remember this ghoul trying to score political points by reinserting the feeding tube into a women in a persistent vegetative state, forcing her to “live,” against the wishes of her husband (and guardian) and, if you believe her husbands word, and I have no reason not to, against her own wishes as well.  Die with dignity? Not with Jeb on duty:

She had left no will. No written instructions. She was 26. To try to determine what she would have wanted, there was a trial, in the Pinellas County courtroom of circuit judge George Greer, in which Michael Schiavo relayed what she had told him in passing about what her wishes would be in this sort of scenario. Others did, too. She also had next to no chance of recovery, according to doctors’ testimony. Greer cited “overwhelming credible evidence” that Terri Schiavo was “totally unresponsive” with “severe structural brain damage” and that “to a large extent her brain has been replaced by spinal fluid.” His judgment was that she would not have wanted to live in her “persistent vegetative state” and that Michael Schiavo, her husband and her legal guardian, was allowed to remove her feeding tube.

But that was before the Jeb signal went up!

So on October 15, 2003, Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube came out. Judge’s orders. She would die within two weeks. This stage of the case looks in retrospect like the start of a test. Just how much power did Jeb Bush have?

HB 35E was filed after 8 at night on October 20. Many lawmakers already were gone for the day. Gelber, the state representative from Miami, put his suit back on at his apartment in Tallahassee and hustled back to the Capitol. Fellow Democrats gathered around as the attorney and former prosecutor began to read the bill one of Bush’s staff attorneys had helped to write.“Authority for the Governor to Issue a One-time Stay …”

Gelber looked up.

“I don’t have to read anymore,” he said. “It’s clearly unconstitutional.”

“The governor can’t just change an order of the court,” Gelber explained this month. “It’s one of the most elemental concepts of democracy: The governor is not a king.”

But the governor is Jeb!  He’s better than a king.  Letters poured into his office, each attempting to suck his dick a little bit better than the previous one.  Oh, it must have been good to be Jeb in those heady days.  Unfortunately, those pesky courts, you know, the ones who had earlier ruled in favor of Terri’s right to die with dignity?  Yeah, those ones.  Well, they were about to meddle around and ruin poor Jeb’s good day.

Back in Florida, though, the courts were focused not so much on what was “morally obligatory” but more on what was legally mandatory.

A circuit judge ruled Bush’s “Terri’s Law” unconstitutional.

Well, that’s only a circuit court.  Wait til it gets to the Florida Supreme Court.  They’ll see it Jeb’s way, I just know it.

The seven state supreme court judges took less than a month to dismiss unanimously “Terri’s Law.”

Oh.  Well, that was embarrassing.  Unanimous?  Damn.  The only thing worse would be if the Chief Justice released a written smackdown that Foster could mark up with bolding and italics on his blog, in this article.

“If the Legislature with the assent of the Governor can do what was attempted here,” chief justice Barbara Pariente wrote in her ruling, “the judicial branch would be subordinated to the final directive of the other branches. Also subordinated would be the rights of individuals, including the well-established privacy right to self-determination. No court judgment could ever be considered truly final and no constitutional right truly secure, because the precedent of this case would hold to the contrary. Vested rights could be stripped away based on popular clamor. The essential core of what the Founding Fathers sought to change from their experience with English rule would be lost …

But that was like, forever ago.  Surely Jeb has learned from his attempt to destroy the system of checks and balances to score cheap pro-life points.  No matter how many letters from supporters he received over the matter, he had to hear the overwhelming outcry in opposition to his privacy and self-determination shredding power grab.  Right?

No, not really.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said Friday he had no regrets about fighting to keep Terri Schiavo alive, addressing the mid-2000s controversy on his second trip to New Hampshire this year.

“I don’t think I would have changed anything,” he told New Hampshire business leaders at St. Anselm College’s Politics and Eggs breakfast in response to a question about whether he would have handled things differently with the benefit of hindsight.

Speaking of the past, it turns out that Jeb longs for the good old days, back when adulterous women were forced to wear large letter “A’s.”

Public shaming would be an effective way to regulate the “irresponsible behavior” of unwed mothers, misbehaving teenagers and welfare recipients, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) argued in his 1995 book Profiles in Character.

In a chapter called “The Restoration of Shame,” the likely 2016 presidential candidate made the case that restoring the art of public humiliation could help prevent pregnancies “out of wedlock.”

One of the reasons more young women are giving birth out of wedlock and more young men are walking away from their paternal obligations is that there is no longer a stigma attached to this behavior, no reason to feel shame. Many of these young women and young men look around and see their friends engaged in the same irresponsible conduct. Their parents and neighbors have become ineffective at attaching some sense of ridicule to this behavior. There was a time when neighbors and communities would frown on out of wedlock births and when public condemnation was enough of a stimulus for one to be careful.

Bush points to Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1850 novel The Scarlet Letter, in which the main character is forced to wear a large red “A” for “adulterer” on her clothes to punish her for having an extramarital affair that produced a child, as an early model for his worldview. “Infamous shotgun weddings and Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Scarlet Letter are reminders that public condemnation of irresponsible sexual behavior has strong historical roots,” Bush wrote.

Who’s a cute little misogynist?  Come on, Jeb, make that “grrr” noise.  It will go great with this quote from Alternet:

After all, we’re talking about a man who once put the life of a disabled woman who’d been raped at risk by intervening legally to force her to carry her child to term — a move a Florida court later found illegal.

We’re talking about a man who, as governor, signed a controversial abortion ban into law — and praised a similar measure passed by the House on Wednesday as “humane and compassionate.”

We’re talking about a man who likes to defend his anti-choice record by saying “the most vulnerable in our society need to be protected” — even though he’s shown he’s not above playing politics with a child’s body, once going so far as governor as appealing the decision of a court that ruled a 13-year-old girl could have an abortion when her pregnancy posed an extreme risk to her health.

We’re talking about someone who likes to talk a big game about how taxpayer dollars should never be used to fund abortions — even though he slipped millions in taxpayer dollars to Florida “crisis pregnancy centers” notorious for lying to and misleading women about their reproductive health choices. (This, in a state where 73 percent of counties have no abortion providers and crisis centers may be the only places women have to turn for the medical care they desperately need.)

And let’s not forget that Jeb once held $1 million in family planning grants hostage until the programs receiving the money agreed not to discuss birth control at all.

And since I want to save most of the ammo for my 6k or so word introduction of Jeb that is still probably a couple months away, I will leave you with this recent little gaffe.  Wasn’t Jeb supposedly the establishment candidate who wouldn’t make stupid gaffes?  From Correct the Record, though you can find it just about anywhere:

 Jeb Bush: “I’m not sure we need half a billion dollars for women’s health issues.”

I know you were trying to be nice, Ms. Maddow, but he is a terrible person.

Now I’m going to do a knife hit to get the taste of yet another bush out of my mouth.  Have a good weekend, I’ll try to get a few posts up during the weekend.

For those interested, here is the order for the next few parts of Getting to Know the Trip

  1. Bobby Jindal
  2. Lindsey Graham
  3. Rick Perry
  4. Jim Gilmore
  5. George Pataki

I will try to have Gov. Jindal up on Monday, although his is going to be so much fun that it may take til Wednesday.  I mean, this is a Governor who has pissed off just about every single voter in his state in his hopeless attempt to win the presidential nomination.  A legitimate answer to the question “What is wrong with the United State’s method of electing a President?” would be simply pointing at Jindal.  He is a guy who got himself elected Governor of a state solely as a stepping stone to higher office, and every single decision he makes as Governor is informed by his higher goal.  Yes, it will be fun.

After I finish out the under 2% gang I’ll make a schedule for the other candidates.  I’m thinking of going by national poll numbers, which is meaningless, but hell, Fox News thinks they mean something, so why not?  We’ll see.

If you have a few minutes, I urge you to read the whole piece on Jeb and the Terri Schiavo over at Politico, titled “Jeb ‘Put Me Through Hell’.”  It’s worth checking out, if only to remind you of the situation.

 

 

 

 

Wait. What’s That I Hear? No, It Can’t Be… It’s the GOP War on Women, 2015 Edition!!!!

Dear GOP.  Please hire Erick Erickson as your head of campaign strategy for 2016.  Please?

With that out of the way, let’s get to business.

As the videos continue to flow from the Center for Medical Progress (ahem, cough, great name), edited in a way that makes the editing of the film Expelled look totally honest and above board by comparison, anti-abortion extremists continue to use them as evidence in their witch hunt against Planned Parenthood.  Surprised?  Of course not, since this is a well-coordinated, multi-front attack on women’s access to reproductive health care.

“Well known” political hack and editor of the site where logic goes to die, Erick “Triple K” Erickson has laid out a challenge to the GOP on Red State, declaring the issue of funding for Planned Parenthood the hill the Republicans should win or die on. (Super big hat tip to Mock, Paper, Scissors for this one.  “Hi guys!”)

Republicans in the Congress are beginning to use the word “try.” They will try to defund Planned Parenthood. But the President has a veto and they do not have the votes to override the veto.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) 47% has moved from try to “can’t.” He says Republicans cannot defund Planned Parenthood because of the President’s veto.

This is really, really simple.

If Republicans do not defund Planned Parenthood, they will see a great portion of their base vanish overnight. That is not an exaggeration.

Ummm.  Yeah, actually that is an exaggeration.  In fact, it is a textbook example of an exaggeration.  When the 2016 version of the dictionary gets released, it would not shock me to see Mr. Erickson’s statement there beside the word “exaggeration” as the given example.  Republicans are not going to defund Planned Parenthood, and a great portion of the lunatic fringe “base” is going to do what they do best: “rabble, rabble, rabble,” then move on.  Why?  Because Erick’s claim,

Planned Parenthood, we now know, is killing living children who have already been born, cutting them up, and harvesting their organs.

is bullshit ripped from a context-free, heavily edited hit video that even the far right anti-abortion activists, at least those with working brains, know is, well, bullshit.  The terrifying reality, however, is that this claim will be believed, not by anti-abortion organizers and politicians who are just cynically reaping the propaganda benefit of the videos, but rather by some of those “on the front line” protesters who really believe they are fighting a war, who are already of questionable mental stability with, unfortunately, unquestioned access to firearms.  Yeah, I hate to say this, but the above claim about Planned Parenthood will more than likely cost someone their life.  (But remember, right wing terrorism isn’t a problem)

But fear not, ye Republicans who realize that defunding Planned Parenthood is an outright impossibility under the current administration, good ole E-Squared (once again, hi Mock, Paper, Scissors!) has the tactic you need to succeed! (Oh please, oh please, oh please, oh please, oh please, oh please listen to him!)

If Abraham Lincoln’s Party cannot go to war against that where war is not bullets, just a government shut down until the President relents, then Abraham Lincoln’s Party needs to be put on the ash heap of history. It really is that simple.

Okay, ignore the fact that if Lincoln was alive today the current Republican party would have him labeled a communist liberal social justice warrior and Erick Erickson would be writing hit pieces about him at Red State as we speak.  Did you catch it?  Here, let me help:

just a government shut down until the President relents

You got it now, didn’t ya?

a government shut down

Here, let me give it the bolding it deserves.

a government shut down

Maybe some italics even?

a government shut down

I know it’s too much information, but I think I need to change my shorts.

OMG, can you please shut down the government over this?  Pretty please?!?  How about right before the 2016 election?  Well, not “right before,” we need it to be long enough before that our senior citizens miss a Social Security check or two.

Republicans, I totally agree with Erick here.  Shut down the government over funding Planned Parenthood.  Wait, hold on…..  I mean:

OMG, Republicans, whatever you do, please DO NOT shut down the government over funding Planned Parenthood!  It would be such a political home run for your party, it would crush us progressives and hand the election to the GOP nominee on a silver platter.  Please, oh please, DO NOT shut down the government over this.

Did I sound believable?  Too eager?  Not seemingly frightened enough?  I’ll work on it.

Erick!  Do not let this ball drop!  The country depends on you sir.

Hmm. A “Wait, What?!?,” a Jumped Shark, or Just Plain Disgusting?

Don’t get me wrong, fighting the war to end slavery was a moral good, its just that sometimes I wish these people were from a different country so we weren’t associated with them.

From Alabama, surprise surprise, courtesy of ThinkProgress:

Alabama officials are currently seeking to prevent a pregnant prison inmate from obtaining a legal abortion by stripping her of her parental rights, in a case where a lawyer has been appointed to represent the interests of her fetus.

Because inmates don’t have rights, and women shouldn’t, of course.  Come along and get depressed with me.

An unnamed woman, who is referred to in court documents only as Jane Doe, is asking for permission to travel to Huntsville to end her pregnancy. She says she was unable to get an abortion before she was taken into custody and is now feeling desperate. “I am very distraught, and do not want to be forced to carry this pregnancy to term,” she wrote.

Jane Doe — who has to get permission from the court to be transported to the nearest clinic because prison officials consider abortion to be a non-emergency procedure — is being represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, which argues that it would be “cruel and unusual punishment” for the state of Alabama to deny her constitutional right to abortion.

Yet another reason why, as poor as I am, I still give money to the ACLU.  Forcing a woman to carry a fetus to term because she is incarcerated is, if not cruel and unusual punishment, at the least all kinds of fucked up.  So, what tactics will Alabama use to force this women to incubate a baby for the state?

Now, as Lauderdale County District Attorney Chris Connolly prepares to argue against this request, he is asking the court to strip Doe of her parental rights so that she will no longer have the right to end her pregnancy. In a hearing to determine the outcome of the case, which is expected to be decided by Friday, the state court appointed an attorney — known as a “guardian ad litem” — to serve on behalf of Doe’s fetus.

Yep, they are attempting to take away her parental rights before the fetus is even viable outside the womb.  And if you can manage to look past what this says Alabama thinks about women and their “rights,” it doesn’t get any better.  This clump of cells will be better represented than Jane Doe would no doubt be, if not for the probable pro bono work of the ACLU, and definitely represented more effectively than every single “innocent until proven guilty” defendant who has to rely on a public defender.  Unless, to be fair, this particular guardian ad litem happens to also be representing 300 other cell clumps each week.  That would be quite doubtful in most states, but this is Alabama.

“It appears to me that what the state is attempting to do is turn Jane Doe into a vessel, and control every aspect of her life, forcing her to give birth to a baby, which she has decided she does not want to do,” Randall Marshall, one of Doe’s attorneys, told the Huffington Post. “The case has certainly moved to this new dimension, but welcome to Alabama.”

Hey, I finally get to use a slippery slope argument!  If this tactic works, what exactly is stopping Alabama from forcibly impregnating all fertile female inmates?  I mean, if it is in the interest of the state for fetuses to be carried to term in prison, and if women are nothing but incubators, which is what a decision for the state in this case would literally mean, then isn’t that the obvious next step?  What’s that?  This case is different because she needs to face the consequences of being sexually active?  Fine then, only forcibly impregnate the sexually active female inmates.  After all, Alabama apparently has a pressing need for unwanted prison babies.

Hell, that is less of a stretch than marriage equality leading to legalized pedophilia.

Hey, as long as you’ll let all your citizens immigrate freely to another state if they so desire, I’ll help you file the succession paper work.  Think about it!  No more Obama, no more Obamacare, no more pesky separation of church and state, and as a third world nation, think of all the sweet aid you’ll get from European nations and the UN!  You can even fly that damn flag whenever you want.  Do it now and we’ll let you take Mississippi and Georgia as well.