There is a whole lot going on in the news this week, and I want to touch on a few of them here.
First up is a follow up to Cecile Richards and her testimony in front of the the House Oversight And Government Reform Committee. This is a doozy because, as I suspected, Richards was UNDER OATH during her testimony. From The Hill:
[…] First, Planned Parenthood often says that abortions are only 3 percent of the services they offer. The Washington Post’s “Fact Checker” has given this dubious claim “three Pinocchios.” When Richards was asked to divide the number of patients Planned Parenthood saw last year by the number of abortions, the answer was 12 percent. Even more amazingly, when federal funds are exempted, 86 percent of Planned Parenthood’s revenue comes from abortions.
Second, Richards and Planned Parenthood advocates regularly claim that women receive mammograms at Planned Parenthood facilities — as she did on CNN in 2011, to give one example. Asked by freshman Rep. Mia Love (R-Utah) if Planned Parenthood facilities offer mammograms, Richards admitted that they don’t. None of the 650 to 700 facilities offer mammograms, nor do they even have the equipment.
Third, Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.), the author of the bill to end taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood by shifting the funding to community health centers, asked Richards to explain her claim that her bill would block access for women’s health. Community health centers outnumber Planned Parenthood facilities by at least tenfold, and they offer additional services like mammograms that Planned Parenthood does not offer. Richards had no real answer.
Fourth, Rep. Steve Russell (R-Okla.) asked the single most interesting question of the day: If federal funds do not go to abortion services, would ending federal funding reduce abortion services? He cleverly caught Richards in a trap. Admit that federal funding goes to abortion, and Planned Parenthood is violating federal law. Admit that ending federal funding doesn’t reduce abortion services, and you undercut the defense of Planned Parenthood’s funding. She had no real answer and was clearly stumped. […] (Click here to read the rest.)
With this information provided, especially about the tremendous revenue from performing abortions, how is that Congress passed funding for Planned Parenthood anyway? That is the question.
Another question raised by that very budget is another troubling one. That is the decision by Congress not to continue funding the Zadroga Act. From the NY Daily News:
[…] It’s the first piece of the larger Zadroga Act — which was named after the late NYPD officer who like Poliseno has sarcoidosis, an inflammatory growth of cells in the lungs and lymph nodes — to expire.
The rest of the provisions will cease Sept. 30, 2016, including the victim’s compensation fund, which pays people who were too injured to work after suffering 9/11 injuries.
The clinics won’t shut down immediately. Under the law in place, they will keep operating for a year with existing funds.
But nearly everyone admits they will still have problems because of Congress’ inaction.
“There will be consequences,” said Benjamin Chevat, executive director of the advocacy group Citizens for Extension of the James Zadroga Act.
Namely, the program will have difficulty retaining and attracting staff because they can only offer short contracts. And many of the clinics won’t be able to renew contracts with hospitals because of an uncertain future, he said.
The Zadroga Act was named after the late NYPD Det. James Zadroga.
But most importantly, the people who need the clinics — many of whom have PTSD or long-term illnesses like cancer — “will have the burden of additional stress as to what will become of their medical care,” Chevat said. […] (Click here to read the rest.)
Let”s just think about that for a minute. The Congress decided NOT to defund Planend Parenthood even after Cecile Richards was forced to acknowledge that yes, providing abortions is their big money maker andthey perform NO mammograms. Yet Congress did not vote to extend this Act that would provide much needed healthcare for the first responders at the Towers in New York City? Are you kidding me with this? Talk about misplaced priorities…
Speaking of misplaced priorities, that (naturally) leads me to Hillary Clinton and the latest revelations about her emails. It seems the Russians had some interest in Hillary Clinton’s email account.
You know, Russia – the one Donald Trump wanted to leave Syria to to fight ISIS who just Wednesday started bombing sites to support Assad while John Kerry stood next to the Russian Foreign Minister after the bombing began making up words and generally looked like an idiot. That Russia. The one that blindsided our Pentagon with this action in Syria.
Anyway, it turns out that Russia tried to hack Clinton’s emails. From The Hill:
[…] Citing newly released emails, the AP said that at least five times, Clinton received emails disguised as speeding tickets that asked her to print attached files.
If she had done so, it would exposed her account. It’s unclear whether Clinton clicked on any of the links in the emails. […] (Click here to read the rest.)
There was one sentence in there that was very important: “It is unclear whether Clinton clicked on any of the links in the emails.”
But wait. It gets worse – for Hillary, that is. From the Daily Beast:
[…] Hillary Clinton’s closest confidantes mused about the risks of using private email accounts even as they were corresponding with their boss who used one exclusively, according to new State Department emails released on Wednesday.
In one June 2011 email, recently-departed Director of Policy Planning Anne-Marie Slaughter wrote that senior State Department officials, “routinely end up using their home email accounts” due to the antiquated nature of the State Department’s technology, and that someone inside or outside the Department should issue a statement or op-ed on the “woeful state” of affairs.
Clinton originally agrees with this suggestion, writing to her aides that it “makes sense” to do this, but her chief of staff quickly shoots the idea down.
Cheryl Mills, her top aide, indicates that someone had previously tried to hack her email — “as someone who attempted to be hacked [sic] (yes I was one),” she wrote — she didn’t want the public to know how common the practice of using a non-official email account was.
“I am not sure we want to telegraph how much folks do or don’t do off state mail b/c it may encourage others who are out there,” Mills wrote. […] (Click here to read the rest.)
Ruh roh. That can’t be good for Clinton. If the FBI/DOJ does its job, that is. Not holding my breath on that one, though.
Lots of important news out there today, so feel free to talk about any of the above, or whatever else is on your minds today. This is an Open Thread.