Wednesday, September 30, 2015

May the Farce Be With You: Who's Investigating David Daleiden?

Republican House Oversight Chair Jason Chaffetz
Tone deaf Republicans once again used the Capitol Building as a public stage to try and publicly tee off on women's reproductive rights, federal support of Planned Parenthood's women's health care initiatives and programs, and the head of the embattled organization. 

Despite the fact that a detailed investigation of the St. Louis Planned Parenthood clinic by Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster showed there was absolutely no merit to the widely disputed claims made in a series of "sting" videos accusing Planned Parenthood of illegally selling fetal tissue for profit, Republicans are proving once again that what they think and believe trumps the actual truth.

It strains credulity to think that an extremist group like the Center for Medical Progress could be the source of any kind of evidence that would initiate Congressional witch hunts investigations by four separate Republican-controlled committees.

According to an investigation by, CMP has ties to violent anti-abortion groups with a history of harassment and intimidation of people seeking and providing legal abortion services.

Liar: David Daleiden of the Center For Media Progress
As detailed must-read research that was  conducted by People For the American Way reveals, David Daleiden (pictured left), the deceptive right wing misogynist responsible for creating the infamous bogus videos, approached Operation Rescue with his idea three years ago and met with (among others) OR policy adviser Cheryl Sullenger.

Sullenger spent time in jail in the 1980's for plotting to bomb an abortion clinic.

Remember folks, the current Republican movement to shut down the entire federal government over funding for Planned Parenthood wasn't driven by actual evidence of any illegal wrongdoing or a valid investigation conducted by law enforcement or any agency of the government.

This madness has been fueled by concocted evidence manufactured (not gathered) by delusional wing nuts like David Daleiden, Cheryl Sullenger and their ilk - and the Republicans took that phony ball and ran with it.

And they were up on the Hill yesterday, banging away like it was Watergate.

Cecile Richards tries to get a word in 
Any questions about whether Republican members of Congress might actually be remotely interested in hearing what Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards had to say were quickly put to rest.

As Jedd Legum reported in an article for, even dedicated pro-life activists were shocked by the unfettered display of crass bullying and witch hunt hysteria put on by members of the House Oversight Committee on Capitol Hill.

Committee Chair Jason Chaffetz's rambling, tear-filled opening speech at the start of the hearings set the tone for yet another misogynistic display of uninformed Republican attack-speech that had almost nothing to do with facts or truth, and everything to do with contrived ideological theater.

As numerous outlets have reported, he tearfully suggested that if funds that went to Planned Parenthood went to cancer research instead his mother might be alive; obviously Chaffetz seems to have totally missed the point that Planned Parenthood provides pap smears, mammograms and other cancer prevention services for women.

The Federalist co-founder Sean Davis
Politically speaking, I don't usually agree with the conservative co-founder of The Federalist, Sean Davis, a Texas Tech grad who served as Rick Perry's former economic adviser. But he was just one of many conservatives who took to Twitter to lambaste the Republican's handling of the questioning of Cecile Richards:

"Can you imagine if this band of incompetent morons had been in charge of prosecuting the Nuremberg trials? My goodness what a farce."

Farce is right Sean.

Between the near constant rude interruptions of Richards as she patiently tried to answer the barrage of questions thrown at her, to the outright distortion of truth being peddled by a bunch of grandstanding preening clowns masquerading as lawmakers, it was a total disaster for Republicans.

One that may actually serve to boost the already strong public support for Planned Parenthood and further decrease the overall female support for Republican presidential candidates - a Quinnipiac University poll released Monday showed 52% of 1,574 respondents registered to vote opposed Congress cutting of federal funding for Planned Parenthood.

The not-fact-based "Chaffetz chart"
Chaffetz's attempt to pass off a simplistic hokey chart (pictured left) purporting to show that Planned Parenthood increased abortions while decreasing breast exams is a perfect example.

As Sara Jerde reported in article for, Chaffetz tried to pass off the baseless propaganda as having come from "directly from (Planned Parenthood's) corporate reports". 

Richards then informed him that her own attorneys said the chart was actually created by an anti-abortion group called Americans United for Life and suggested he check his source.

Seriously, this guy is the Chairman of the House Oversight Committee and he's bringing in charts made up by Americans United for Life?

That's like a Congressman holding hearings to scale back fuel efficiency requirements for cars bringing in a chart made by Exxon.

As Olga Khazan reported in The Atlantic back in July, AUL (founded in 1971) is almost chiefly responsible for writing the text of legislation for various state houses around the country that seeks to scale back abortion rights.

But give Republicans some credit, at least it wasn't just a panel full of men lecturing Richards.

Republican Congresswoman Mia Love
Chaffetz, who represents the state of Utah, did bring along the freshman Congresswoman from his own state, Mia Love, who represents a rarity on the Hill; An African-American female Republican who represents Utah no less.

If a unicorn walked into the room I'd be less shocked.

Love was just one of many of the GOP reps who lobbed over-the-top attacks at Richards.

She tried to make the fact that Planned Parenthood clinics usually outsource mammograms to other clinics or hospitals simply because the machines are too expensive to have in every Planned Parenthood clinic seem like some kind of subversive plot.

Leave it to a female Republican to try and make providing cost-effective mammograms to lower income women in America seem like a criminal act.

What is wrong with the GOP?

Only Republicans would use a series of deceptively-edited videos created under false pretenses to try and discredit a health care provider that focuses on the needs of lower income women.

Only Republicans would try and use this farce to shut down the government of the nation with the largest economy in the world; the clock is ticking but let's hope even Republicans have enough sense to not let that happen.

In the meantime I won't hold my breath waiting for Jason Chaffetz to summon David Daleiden to the Hill to ask him about his phony "sting" videos; as we've seen the Republican thirst for knowledge is situational at best.

And limited only to that which conveniently fits their ideology.

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