Sunday, April 17, 2011

90 Percent Bullshit

If you’ve read this site for very long, you’ve no doubt gathered that one of my pet causes is reproductive freedom; in other words, the right for people (women) to decide for themselves what to do with their own personal bodies, without the helpful advice of the of prissy, pasty, well-to-do white men of the US Congress.

Planned Parenthood, as I’m sure you’ve heard, has been squarely in the crosshairs of the political right during this month’s budget negotiations.  The Teabaggers want funding for Planned Parenthood cut, you know, because it represents such a huge portion of the federal budget.  (Caution: sarcasm alert.)

In truth, the amount of money spent is infinitesimal.  And for every dollar spent there, the country reaps a savings of $4.00.  That makes the Teabaggers pretty budget-savvy, eh? 

Their cause wasn’t helped at all, this week, when Arizona Senator John Kyl made one of those televised speeches to an empty Senate chamber and claimed that 90% of what Planned Parenthood does is abortion. 

Of course, this argument has no relation to the truth, as this chart verifies:
3% < 90%… a LOT <.

John Stewart got in on the action as well, ripping open the tightened sphincter that personifies Sen. Kyl.

It doesn’t surprise me that the right is making this kind of shit up out of whole cloth… they’ve been doing it for the last 10 years, at least.  And I’m not talking about fudging a percentage here and there, but just making shit up and repeating it until their idiot constituency takes it as the truth.  (See: Birthers.)

I’ve said before, if I ever become King, I’ll establish new guidelines on political speech.  (Assuming there is a need for politics at all… cuz I’LL BE KING!)  Any speech by a politician, or by an organization for or against a disputed political issue and communicated through the media… TV, radio, print or online, will be subject to instant factual verification.

It’s not like it can’t be done… it’s already being done, only on such a small scale that people don’t know it.  Every so often, an event like this breaks out and garners attention, but unfortunately it’s a rarity.  And it’s even more unfortunate that people will continue to disregard actual verifiable facts, in order to keep running with lies that they would rather believe.

What puzzles me is that Planned Parenthood should be flush with cash, if the goal of the right was to actually decrease abortion.  Birth control does that for a fraction of the monetary and emotional cost.  But still they fight… against Planned Parenthood, against Plan B contraception, against sex education, against SEX, period.  (Hey, getting caught in the airport men’s room with your “wide stance” is not “sex,” right?)

I also think that Planned Parenthood is attacked because they fight all the bullshit delaying tactics that lawmakers try to insert into the doctor’s office.  They want pamphlets passed out that are often filled with lies, exaggerations, assumptions and other elements of religious orthodoxy.  They want waiting periods that vary between hours and days, knowing that often times, women have to travel long distances to get to a clinic.  They inject emotionally loaded language and imagery into a discussion that should be about a hard look at the particulars of life from that day forward. 

Next, I hear South Dakota is introducing a law that will require the woman to watch a very special episode of Oprah with her prospective child and then go to church.  (OK, that’s only 90% true.)

Then you had deposed Right-Wing Dipshit Glenn Beck come out and say that the only people using Planned Parenthood are hookers.  This is a guy that used morality and religion as the means to club his viewers into voting Republican.  Such comments show just how removed he is from the everyday life of average Americans.  Apparently his brand of religion is high on judgment and pretty goddamned light on empathy.

I’m just grateful that for a change, the Democrats haven’t rolled over on this one.  Did you hear about President Obama being “caught” making some comments about the Planned Parenthood fight, that he thought were off the record?  He made some remarks to a small group after a more formal statement, but the press was still receiving the feed and someone took notes.

Addressing what he called “sneak attacks on his health bill:

I said, (to Republicans), ‘You want to repeal health care?  Go at it.  We’ll have that debate.  You’re not going to nickel and dime me in the budget.  You think we’re stupid?’”

Regarding attempts to cut funding for Planned Parenthood he said he told House Speaker John Boehner:

Put it in a separate bill.  We’ll call it up.  And if you think you can overturn my veto, try it.  But don’t try to sneak it through.”

Also, regarding Paul Ryan, the Chairman of the House Budget Committee, who recently authored a draconian (unless you’re a wealthy business owner) budget proposal:

When Paul Ryan says his priority is to make sure, he’s just being America’s accountant… This is the same guy that voted for two wars that were unpaid for, voted for the Bush tax cuts that were unpaid for, voted for the prescription drug bill that cost as much as my health care bill, but wasn’t paid for… So that’s not on the level.”

This last point goes directly to what I’ve been saying for the last 2 years… the deficit hawks are only concerned about the deficit when it’s not their guy doing the spending.  It’s just the political cover they’re using to reinstate their own ideology in place of the one we voted into office in 2008.

What bugs me about this whole thing is that these comments were not meant for general consumption.  This is exactly what I think the Pres should be out there trumpeting!  Call their asses out on this budgetary nonsense.  If they wanted to really affect the deficit, repealing the Bush tax cuts on those making over 250K would make a huge difference.

Sure, the big business money people would start squealing like stuck pigs and funneling even more dough into their Teabagger mouthpieces, but that’s where we have to keep hammering the facts.  Why is it that the Middle and Lower Classes are supposed to get by with so much less, but the rich expect to ride along in luxury, unscathed?  Who can actually believe that if big businesses paid Clinton-era rates (when they paid any taxes at all…) that they would then be unable to produce any jobs?  Shit, we’ve had these low high-end tax rates for 10 fuckin’ years.  Where are all the jobs then?  The companies are NOT producing jobs with all their tax savings; they’re shipping them overseas, sitting on the cash and paying huge bonuses to their upper echelon.  (And screaming about regulation.)

Why is it that we have to continue producing insanely expensive weaponry that the Defense Department itself says they don’t want, but we continue to make because no one dares say “no” to Haliburton and other defense contractors?

So of course, there is a huge push back.  Naturally, they can’t actually run a campaign based on their actual principles, so instead, the wealthy right revs up their little Teabagger squads with indefinable issues like “liberty” and scare issues like immigration, guns, gays, Muslims and the threat of mass babycide.

And one last note… if the Right was so insistent on babies being born into any circumstance, why are they trying to cut funding to programs specifically designed to help single mothers and their babies?  Maybe it’s just the overall Republican Plan… first cut the money for Planned Parenthood, which results in more babies being born into low-income families.  Then cut all the support for said babies.  I expect the next step to be to have them all delivered directly to the penitentiary, for safekeeping, long-term storage and to bolster the business of the prison industry.

The thing is, they don’t actually care about babies… not at the top.  It’s just one more wedge issue designed to mobilize people into voting against their own economic interest.  Then once in office they can get back to their primary mission of enriching their benefactors and widening the income gap between the rich and the poor.

This Sunday Sermon has been brought to you by the suppression of 2 months worth of political hostility over the budget process and a serious lack of sleep.  Now I’m off to cut a check to NARAL.

31 comments:

  1. I am sick of politics.

    Remember when a year ago the Dems tried sneaking the repeal of don't ask don't tell into the military budget? Yea the Dems don't remember that so much because Nancy P just said it was a shame that Reps were sneaking in the planned parenthood crap into a bill during the latest budget brewhaha. Hey Nancy, ever heard of Pot, Kettle, Black?

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  2. Bluz, your last cartoon really says it all. As long as the people can be kept marginally educated, the women kept barefoot and pregnant, and the elderly put on ice floes to float away and die, the Republicans will spew their foul blather.

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  3. When none of the children in the world - the whole world, not just the first one - who have already been born die of preventable causes anymore, then I'll discuss the ethics of abortion.

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  4. ..."their own personal bodies". Are there any other kind? Just being snarky.
    Please hurry up and be King. This political poop surrounding us smells worse every day.
    Be sure to mandate universal membership in Planned Parenthood with dues based on income, unlike taxes. Any unwanted children automatically go to the wealthiest families, best able to raise them. Those unfortunate few who still need abortions will be given Purple Hearts, to recognize their sacrifice and suffering, like soldiers like soldiers wounded in combat.
    Kings RULE.

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  5. Trash,
    I agree that it's a shame when politicians have to sneak basic civil rights into public policy, in order to get around those that are trying to bring back the marginalization of anyone that's not a well-to-do straight white male, ie: the 1950s.

    Judie,
    Politicians count on that... they know the uneducated are easily swayed. It's like a hypnotist, saying "focus on all these scary things that want to take away your freedom... Pay no mind to the massive tax breaks behind the curtain."

    Tattytiara,
    You'll be waiting quite some time. It's easy to champion the cause of an entity that it costs you nothing to support.

    Mary Ann,
    I was going to say "personal private bodies," but I thought that might have been overkill.

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  6. And along comes the Donald! It is so sad to me that 19% of Americans would want that horrible comb-over on a President of the United States.

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  7. Judie,
    He's just another empty suit, out only for himself. In other words, just like any other politician. Like they said in Doonesbury this morning, being a celebrity doesn't mean anyone actually LIKES you.

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  8. That's the thing about extremists: They can't see the forest for the trees.

    I'm very afraid for this next election.

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  9. Sherry,
    The amount of money being spent on the 2012 election... the first under the new Corporation = Citizen rules, will be staggering... enough to feed a nation... including ours. It's just a shame that all that money will be brought to bear on behalf of accumulating and retaining even more money.

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  10. http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/381282/april-11-2011/pap-smears-at-walgreens?xrs=share_fb

    Funniest thing I've seen in ages.

    I'm with Trash, I HATE POLITICS. I know what I believe in and that's all. I don't push my beliefs on others and I sure as hell don't tell others what to do. BUT this is ridiculous.

    Vasectomies, colonoscopies and ED meds will never NOT be covered. But heaven forbid a woman needs birth control.

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  11. Cassie,
    This is a kind of thing that should be beyond politics. It's basic human health care and the rights to self-determination. You know... the kind of thing that America is supposed to value.

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  12. Bluz, Cher is my guest writer today. Could you please read her post on my blog and comment? Thanks.

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  13. Awesome stuff man! Loved it! The right just hates the word "planned" to proceed the word "parenthood".

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  14. "Teabaggers", tee hee. Long Live King Bluz.

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  15. Tony, I would marry you and have your children. This is exactly the kind of righteous outrage that needs to be said over and over and over again. Nothing will change until we get mad and get loud and I think the din of those voices is starting to build.

    And it's not about abortion. That's just a smoke screen for the right's desire to take away birth control and all reproductive rights from women "as God intended." These people are sick, sick fucks.

    Thanks for speaking out, my friend. Now I'm off to scrawl your URL on every virtual bathroom wall in the Internet.

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  16. Bluz, Somebody had an extra cup of coffee on Sunday! Just for the record, conservatives walk the divide of being anti-abortion and anti-condom. Seems like a contradiction until you realize that they are really anti-nookie! Especially for women, gays, and the poor. Exceptions made of course for Congressional interns and staffers. That's different.

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  17. Judie
    I will, and so should everyone else!

    Virgil
    Thanks… and welcome. Yes, they only like “Planned,” when it comes to “Tax Breaks.”

    DG
    Like Bill Maher, I still use that term because they used it first on themselves. Back when the Tea Party came to be, they weren’t yet aware that “teabagging” was a very specific porno term. So I about busted a gut when they first used it.

    I’m sure you’d find me to be a wise and benevolent King, much like Monty Python’s Wise Old King Otto. Mine would be the happiest Kingdom on Earth because anyone found to be sad or loudly unpleasant will be put to death, under the Cheerful Noises Act.

    Bagger
    That’s one of my main points. They’re anti-sex. That’s the only way to read that. They’re afraid of their own bodies and everyone else’s. How else can you be against abortion AND birth control AND sex education? The idea seems to be that sex is to be between a white man and his white wife, and only when necessary to produce their 2.2 kids.

    Or on a drunken bender in Vegas. But that’s OK because they’re really doing The Lord’s work. Just ask the C-Street House.

    And oh, yeah. That was a Sunday rampage. The funny thing is that I thought I was done after about a page and a half (in Word). But I kept remembering things that I meant to include and next thing you know, I’m about an embolism away from a Unibomber Manifesto. (This one had been brewing a while…)

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  18. Jayne,
    I knew you'd like this one. It took a while for the pressure to build, but it's been building for the last couple of weeks.

    I'll gladly accept any Help I can get, in getting eyeballs on this post.

    Lastly, If I lived on the West Coast, I'd probably take you up on the offer...

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  19. Bluz if you are scared of the money spent on elections, hell in 2008 alone in the presidential run it was around one billion spent. Yes that is billion with a capital B. All to get a job which ages you at a rate of 50 times the average person and only pays a few hundred grand a year.

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  20. Trash,
    No question, the amount of campaign money spent could be put to far better use. With the Supreme Court ruling, the money spent on 2012 elections is going to dwarf 2012. Perhaps the networks can cut politicians a deal... buy one spot, get one free if all of their claims can be documented and proven.

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  21. What if a really good man who was not rich and actually could fit through the eye of a needle, tried to run for president? Not in this country---ever. So here we are stuck in the proverbial middle with the rich guys who do not pay taxes. Yep, this is another fine mess they got us into, Ollie!

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  22. Bluz for Prez! Bluz for Prez! Bluz for Prez!

    That is all.

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  23. Cher,
    I don't think we're going to see any more Harry Trumans, that's for sure. Anyone that tries to come in and shake up the status quo will generate a tidal wave of opposition from the established powers of industry. And they'll spend a fuck-ton of money convincing people that black is white, up is down and they are only want what's best for America.

    Mundane,
    King! Who wants to be a measley President when you can be King and rule with impunity? No more screwing about with Congress or geriatric judges.

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  24. 90% might be a modest estimation. It's hard to take sometimes, so I can relate to your bottled up frustration.

    That's why we need hockey and football! At least someone gets to beat up the other guy.

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  25. Guy
    Oh, man, and there’s nothing like playoff hockey, too! Just what the doctor ordered! In the games I’ve been watching, (Penguins games, of course), there’s been some serious head-knocking going on.

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  26. My first thought when I heard that 90% bullshit was "What a dumbass!" But then I thought about it and realized that these assholes are pretty savvy, because they make up "facts" and then put them out there. And no matter how wrong they are - no matter if they are publicly proven to be wrong - no matter how man people refute them - no matter even if they themselves admit they were wrong - the fact is, you can't un-say it.

    And they know damned well that the ignorant jackholes out there will hear the FIRST thing they said - the completely, ridiculously, overwhelmingly UNTRUE "fact" and they will run with it - regardless of the truth that comes afterward.

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  27. Gina,
    No question... they've figured out some time ago that they can come up with any ridiculous "fact" or bullshit "statistic" and it won't be questioned by anyone that wants to believe it, and will in fact refuse to un-believe it even in the face of tangible proof. Again... like with Birthers.

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  28. Keep fighting the good fight, mate. You've got our support.

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  29. Beer,
    Welcome, and thanks. We Libs need all the support we can get. Hope to see you here again.

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  30. I so agree on all points, Bluz. The cartoon about the timing of the debt/deficit and the high-end tax break is spot on.

    I can't remember where I first heard or saw this concept (maybe Rachel Maddow?), but this stuff is frighteningly real, people finding evidence to support something they already believe and not paying attention to evidence to the contrary. Here are a few things I found on it:

    Inferred Justification

    "Inferred justification operates as a backward chain of reasoning that justifies the favored opinion by assuming the causal evidence that would support it."

    “There Must Be a Reason”: Osama, Saddam, and Inferred
    Justification
    from the Sociological Inquiry journal:

    "This model envisions respondents as processing and responding to information
    defensively, accepting and seeking out confirming information, while ignoring,
    discrediting the source of, or arguing against the substance of contrary information."

    "Lies of Mass Destruction" article on Newsweek:

    "...59,934,814 voters cast their ballot for John McCain, so we can assume that tens of millions of Americans believe the wrong guy is in the White House. To justify that belief, they need to find evidence that he's leading the country astray."

    Messed up stuff, man. Keep preachin' it, Bluz, and we'll make you king yet! :)

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  31. Cristy,
    As I posted once before, people will believe proven lies that support their convictions over proven facts that refute it. "Proven," not hypothesized or suggested.

    Sad state of affairs, this.

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