Monday, August 3, 2015

Conservative Boogeymen and Bad Conservative Government

The deeply indebted MN GOP is trying to play their wedge politics on the state's dime, in contrast to legitimate non-wedge-issue investigations, in calling for an investigation into MN Planned Parenthood.  It makes sense they want to use state $$$$ to advance their political agenda, they're still pretty much broke from their past considerable fiscal irresponsibility.  They have very little money of their own, so they try to grab state money.

Planned Parenthood is seeing a spike upwards in donations; and now the MN GOP want to see a spike upwards in theirs out of this pseudo-controversy.

My hope is that in recognizing that MN PP is doing MORE, not less for women in this region, so that Minnesota consumers of the care they provide are not short changed by overstretching of the limited PP resources, the lege instead of investigating PP authorizes significant funding for PP.

A wasteful and pointless investigation would help the MN GOP gin up some excitement and motivate their base to action, which is the purpose of manipulating a wedge issue.  The right operates not by legitimate governing, but by keeping their base in an emotional turmoil and misinformed state of agitation and anger.  To keep that working for them, they have to poke the base with a big wedge issue stick on a regular basis or they get less crazy, and they give less money.

It's pretty well established that in spite of the efforts to fake videos to the contrary, Planned Parenthood is NOT 'selling baby parts', not nationally, not in MN.  Donations of tissue are not selling, and only four clinics in the US have the costly arrangements in place that permit tissue donation.  Minnesota is not one of them.

No one is getting rich on baby carcasses, to put it as crudely as the right likes to do, intentionally mis-framing and mis-representing the issue.

The reality is that once again the right has overplayed any legitimate objection they might have had -- legitimate meaning one that is honest and valid.  The result has been an INCREASE NOT A DECREASE in donations to PP.

Apparently it deeply upsets the right that their inept dishonesty did not work out as planned.  Minnesota PP, which is now doing more, not less good work in taking on the overflow of women seeking reproductive health care and choice, from neighboring red states that have attempted to oppress them with unconstitutional over-regulation, is now under threat of investigation from Minnesota Republicans.

Like the endless efforts to repeal Obamacare, even though they know it is not happening, like the shutting down of government to defund Obamacare which did not happen,  like the endless and pointless hearings on pseudo-scandals that produce NOTHING, at the federal level, now we have state level Republicans wanting to waste more tax payer money on a crazy, costly and useless witch hunt, for no other reason than cheap and exploitive political theater. 

I'd speculate with some reason here that throwing in Mayo and especially the U of MN, that this is also the right's way of subtly threatening those two entities as well.  Certainly the U of MN is dependent on state funding directly, and the state lege can threaten the Mayo indirectly with their authority.

From the City Pages

Republicans demand investigation of non-existent abortion program

Though Planned Parenthood maintains that the videos were heavily edited to remove the employees' repeated statements that fetal tissue is only donated, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is spearheading a federal investigation to prove otherwise. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has launched an investigation into Planned Parenthood in his own state, as has Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana.
A group of 65 Minnesota lawmakers are calling on Gov. Mark Dayton to follow suit. The problem is, Minnesota's Planned Parenthood doesn't even have a tissue donation program.
Planned Parenthood spokeswoman Jen Aulwes says that although some other affiliates across the country give women the option to donate their aborted fetuses to science, the Minnesota branch doesn't have any way of doing so even if patients specifically ask for it.
"We definitely stand by all our sister affiliates around the country who do have those programs," Aulwes says. "We haven't made a conscious decision not to have one. We just happen to not have that particular program in place."
Fetal tissue donations contribute to all kinds of medical research, playing a role in the creation of the polio vaccine and the search for a cure to Parkingson's Disease. Aulwes says none of the legislators who signed the letter to Dayton actually checked with Planned Parenthood Minnesota first to see if it had such a program to investigate.
Dayton said he would not grant the 65 Republicans an investigation. Instead, he offered a bewildered restatement of the obvious: "As far as I'm concerned there's no basis for an investigation at taxpayer expense into a private nonprofit organization that has stated they don't engage in those practices here in Minnesota."
Still, Republican lawmakers press on, unconvinced that Planned Parenthood should be taken at its word.
Rep. Peggy Scott (R-Andover) just wants Democrats to look into it. "The letter that was sent out was written in a way that was very matter-of-fact and in a way that I was truly hoping that Democrats would say, 'Yes, we do need to look into this in Minnesota to make sure it's not happening here,'" she says. "I could really change the tone of that letter but I really, truly wanted an investigation, and I'm not doing it for political reasons. It's astounding that the pro-choice community has been basically silent on this."
Planned Parenthood may say that fetal issue is only being donated and not sold for profit, but the undercover videos did reveal the callousness of the people in the abortion industry, Scott says. "How can you talk about crunching baby bones and parts while you're dining? That I think is off-putting to a lot of people."
Of course Planned Parenthood would deny doing anything illegal, she says. Lawmakers need to make sure that local research hospitals like Mayo Clinic and U of M aren't in the market for fetal tissue.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Friday Fun Day - HILLARY-OUS

Conservatives are far too willing and even eager to believe things which are factually false, silly, and usually mean-spirited.  It is sad, but it is also SO stupid that it is unintentionally funny.

The right wing fringe craziest thing I've heard this week -- the claim that Hillary Clinton is a Satanist, and protesters are now believing they are somehow striking terror in her because of some sort of exorcism protesting. 

A little context: versions of this have been around for a long time.   They appear to depend on an ephemeral link between Saul Alinsky, a prominent agnostic, dedicating a book to Lucifer -- in whom he did not believe as a reality, but as a symbol of rebellion.

Multiple authorities on his life and work describe him as having been brought up by devoutly religious orthodox Jews, and holding a sense of identity as Jewish as a result of experiencing rampant anti-semitism in his life, but as being personally agnostic (agnosticism - believing religious claims are unknown and unknowable).  Some people believe that anyone who is not an active believer is an atheist, but that is not correct; there are differences between agnosticism and atheism.

By whatever words, Saul Alinsky was not a believer in an actual Satan, and not a worshipper of any such entity.  However since prominent conservative William F. Buckley claimed in a Playboy interview back in 1972 that Alinsky was "very close to being an organizational genius", he's become the boogeyman of the right about whom many factually inaccurate and hysterical things are claimed -- and then used to attempt to tar others with a too-broad brush.

Back in 2011 this sums it up from Patheos:


…is an urban legend.
Just for the sake of clarity, Alinsky was not a “quasi-satanist”. He was an old school Comsymp lefty rabble rouser. His dedication of Rules for Radicals to Lucifer was as much “satanism” as eating devil’s food cake is a blasphemous sacrament offered to the prince of darkness. He was an atheist who liked sticking it to the man and who naturally sided with rebels in any fight. Lucifer is the biggest rebel of them all, so he offered a tongue in cheek encomium to Old Scratch. The urban legend that he was a serious devil worshipper is pure pseudoknowledge.
To conclude from that Alinsky was a Satanist is foolish on the face of it; to conclude that Hillary Clinton is an Satanist because she wrote a college paper critical of Alinsky is just bonkers.  And yet this appears to be disseminated from a variety of sources which conservatives trust to be reliable and authoritative.  And it appears to be consistent that conservatives do not themselves ever fact check reliably, or bother to think logically and clearly; instead they succumb to the worst excesses of propagnda.

From Yahoo!
Is Hilary Clinton a satanist?
My Pastor tells me that this is so
This iteration, some of this is from the silly Youtube video about a secret term paper (secret here translates as 'not actually secret' and not leaked); and for the record, Hillary Clinton has been a Methodist for ages.

The ridiculous right, the fringies, are very serious while the rest of us laugh at them.  Especially the religious right has serious problems with a form of delusional thinking that appears to operate as mental illness and wild superstition.

Here is one of the latest going around now for a while:

Then there was this really funny comment on Right Wing News from some yobbo who thinks he scared Hillary Clinton into running away and hiding, like scaring off a vampire by waving a cross at them or relying on garlic.

Christopher John Rozell
July 29 at 11:07pm

CJR- She ran in that building because my sign exposing her Satanic ways scared her half to death! They even put my quote in there and my name Christopher John Rozell! Heck yeah, talk about making a stand and a difference! That's how you be a True patriot and defend this great nation of the United States of America We The People!
Here is what the coverage of the crazies actually wrote, and it certainly was not an endorsement of  this nutjob as clear, cogent political discourse or discussion:
One group of protesters arrived before 4:30 p.m. with signs — one saying “Hillary Clinton is Satanic / I have Proof!” and “GOD Bless AMERICA.”
“I used to be a Hillary Clinton supporter until I researched and educated myself on her,” Christopher John Rozell of Painted Post said.
What is the big fuss about? NOTHING.  Here is the real deal about the supposedly secret paper Hillary Clinton wrote back in college, demonstrating knee-jerking that would qualify as an audition for the Rockettes:
In fact, however, the thesis had been unlocked after the Clintons left the White House in 2001 and is available for reading at the Wellesley College archives. In 2005, investigative reporter Bill Dedman sent his journalism class from Boston University to read the thesis and write articles about it; one of the students, Rick Heller, posted his article online in December 2005.  The thesis is also available through inter-library loan on microfilm, a method reporter Dorian Davis used when he obtained it in January 2007, and sent it to Noonan and to Clinton critic Amanda Carpenter at Human Events, who wrote a piece on it in March. Although publishing the thesis violates copyright,  it can nevertheless be found on various websites.
The suppression of the thesis from 1993 to 2001 at the request of the Clinton White House was documented in March 2007 by reporter Dedman, who read the thesis at the Wellesley library and interviewed Rodham's thesis adviser. Dedman found that the thesis did not disclose Rodham's own views much. A Boston Globe assessment found the thesis nuanced, and said that "While [Rodham] defends Alinsky, she is also dispassionate, disappointed, and amused by his divisive methods and dogmatic ideology."  Rodham's former professor and thesis adviser Alan Schechter told that "There Is Only The Fight . . ." was a good thesis, and that its suppression by the Clinton White House "was a stupid political decision, obviously, at the time."
Was it a stupid decision?  Or just setting up the crazies for a little ridicule?  I'm inclined to think it was more the latter than the former.

Of course, other right wing nut crazies claim Hillary Clinton is an illuminati witch, the anti-Christ, or possibly a man.

Again from Yahoo!'s special corner for crazy people:

Is Hillary Clinton A Man?

I have heard rumors that Hillary Clinton is actually a man, and that his/her tv's, Cokie Roberts. Is this true?

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Gun Free Zones.......are NOT the problem; GUNS ARE THE PROBLEM

If more guns made us more safe, we would not have the gun violence problem as a nation that is unique to us, in contrast to other advanced nations.

Conservatives have it wrong, and conservative candidates are afraid of their idiot, ignorant base voters. Conservatives are afraid of the NRA and other "gun-hugger" groups funded by the gun and ammmo manufacturers. When you realize how many ridiculous things the right and especially the right wing candidates FEAR, wrongly, no wonder they cling to their firearms with insane desperation.

But they are wrong.  And the facts are NOT on their side, nor is reason.

From End Gun Violence on FB: