Weekend headlines (with SOME explicit content)…

As per usual, just the headlines for today.

-Rick Perry’s pretty much done for: Alex Isenstadt at POLITICO is reporting that former Texas Governor Rick Perry is down to just one paid campaign staffer in the state of Iowa. Considering that Iowa is pretty much the only primary state where Perry would even be slightly competitive, this is as big of a white flag as I’ve ever seen. Isenstadt states in the article that this is because Perry is hoping to be competitive in South Carolina. The last polling for the Republican South Carolina primary was done a week ago, and Perry is at a whopping 0 percent. A top former Perry adviser, Karen Fesler, has left his hopeless campaign to join another hopeless campaign, this one of former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum. Isenstadt calls this development a “stunning disappointment”, but frankly, even if Trump weren’t running, I’d have a very hard time believing that Perry’s campaign would be anywhere near competitive. His debate skills haven’t improved at all, he’s got competition from his own state in current Texas Senator Ted Cruz and he had very little access to the big donors (again, even before Trump announced his candidacy). Perry should call it a day now and save himself from further humiliation.

-Carson gaining steam in Iowa: According to the latest Monmouth University poll, Trump and Carson are now tied in Iowa. To be honest, I still don’t get understand what the attraction is to Carson’s campaign. Yes, yes I know, this is the year of the “anti-politician”, as was 2011, 2007 and 2000 and so on. As for the latest developments in Carson’s campaign, Carson has railed against the Black Lives Matter movement, denounced Planned Parenthood as a racist organization that specializes in eugenics, and called for getting rid of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Despite the fact that I believe Carson has the personality of a moldy sandwich, I have to give him credit. He’s hitting all the right targets. As for other notable developments in the poll, Carly Fiorina may be gaining some traction after all, as she came in at 10 percent (third highest). Fiorina has recently been engaged in a contentious public relations battle with the RNC and CNN lately, as she may be left out of the next debate taking place on September 16th in Simi Valley, CA. Rubio, Walker and Bush came in at 4, 7 and 5 percent, respectively. Cruz also has decent numbers, as he came in at 9 percent (fourth highest).

-Sanders may be gaining on Clinton in Iowa: So we all know by now that Bernie Sanders has pretty much caught up with Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire and may even be leading her there. However, despite the poll released last week showing Clinton way ahead in Iowa, a new poll from the all-important Des Moines Register shows a much different story. According to the poll, Clinton only leads Sanders by 7 points (37 percent Clinton, 30 percent Sanders). Vice President Joe Biden was included in the poll (despite the fact that he has yet to announce), and he stands at 14 percent. Without Biden in the poll, Clinton receives 43 percent of the vote. I’m sure the people at Clinton HQ in Brooklyn are not happy with the brutal summer Clinton has had. But we’ll have to wait and see what happens in the fall when the e-mail story begins to die down and the Democratic debates finally begin (October 13th). I may be wrong, but I still have a feeling that Clinton will really begin to regain her strength in the late fall.

Another interesting poll: Nick Gass at POLITICO tells us some interesting finfdings from the latest Quinnipiac University poll taken over the weekend. To summarize, 71 percent of Americans are dissatisfied with the direction that the country is heading in, including 41 percent of respondents who are “very dissatisfied”. But that’s not really the news-worthy portion of the piece. The poll also included questions on abortion and college tuition assistance, and THESE results were indeed very surprising. Regarding college tuition assistance, “[a] majority of 61 percent to 34 percent expressed support for “major new spending by the federal government” to help students pay for their tuition at public universities.” On the issue of abortion (I am so happy to report this), a booming 56 percent of respondents said that abortion should be legal in all or most cases, while only 14 percent responded that it should be illegal in all circumstances (26 percent illegal in most circumstances). I’m particularly excited about this because I plan on writing a response to a recent op-ed I read in The Hill regarding abortion and whether millenials are “pro-life” (to be linked later).

Warning – Explicit Content here: When I started writing this blog, I knew it was inevitable that my family would read my work. Because of that and my desire to maintain some amount of professional decorum, I’ve tried to keep my language as clean as possible. I will not do so for the following story. So to my family, whom I love and cherish very much, please do not read any further if you do not want to read coarse language. Onward.

So we all remember last week when America had almost three mass shootings in one week. In particular, a heartbreaking story arose when it was discovered that at a 24 year-old anchorwoman (Alison Parker) and a 27 year-old cameraman (Adam Ward) who worked for WDBJ in Roanoke, Virginia were fatally shot last week by a former employee. Now of course, Parker’s father, Andy, was understandably devastated for his daughter’s loss and by what transpired. Andy Parker then vowed to join part in the political fight to enact stricter gun laws in the U.S.

Naturally, this did not go over well with gun-rights extremists at the NRA. One of the NRA’s news personalities, Colion Noir, recently made a video that attempted not only to exculpate the NRA in any wrong-doing, but also to lecture a father whose daughter was just mercilessly killed as to how he should feel and where he should direct his ire. The video can be seen below.

https://mediamatters.org/embed/static/clips/2015/08/31/41701/colionnoir-colionnoir-20150830-emotional

Some excerpts from Noir’s video include the following:

“Grief-inspired advocacy can be extremely effective and powerful, and I say run full speed to find a way to end violence like this. However, sometimes in a fight we can become so emotional everyone and thing starts looking like the enemy, even if they’re there to help us. I’m deeply sorry for your loss.”

“Turning this murder into a gun control dog-and-pony show minutes after the shooting because you can’t make sense of what just happened is ridiculous…”

“[Hillary Clinton and President Obama] try to take advantage of people’s ignorance about guns and their emotional response to horrible events to win votes and push an agenda that fosters an unhealthy dependence on the government.””

Fuck you, you stupid piece of shit. Fuck you, fuck the assassins’ lobby you get a paycheck from, and fuck your insincere concern for a man whose just had his life torn apart by yet another unstable individual getting easy access to a gun. Fuck your fake insincerity, fuck your stupid YouTube channel and fuck you, you stupid fucking ass-hole.

If you want to advocate for guns and gun-rights, be my fucking guest. But don’t stand there and say you have sympathy for the parents whose daughter has just been ripped apart by bullets from a gun and then call his advocacy a “dog and pony show”. Andy Parker has every right to be angry. The entire country does. Andy Parker has every right to advocate for stricter gun laws in this country. It’s not a fucking “dog and pony show”, you sadistic fucking advocate for mass murder. It’s called wanting to do something, so that maybe one day we can live in a country where a parent doesn’t have to see their child murdered on live television. So that maybe one day, a parent can send their kid to school without suffering from anxiety while at work hoping that some psychopath doesn’t come in and blow their brains out (along with 26 other individuals). So that maybe one day, we can reduce the number of mass shootings in our country to single-digits. That would be a great fucking start.

But as I write this, seething from anger, I know in some ways Noir is right. This is all a dog and pony show. Because nothing will ever fucking get done about guns in this country. Ever. The NRA, which should be called the assassins’ lobby, has lawmakers on both sides of the aisle bought and paid for. Even after one of the most horrific shootings ever seen in the country, we couldn’t even get a simple background check system to pass.

Even the bullshit about how they feign concern for people suffering from mental health issues makes my fucking skin crawl. There is no fucking way the NRA would support more federal funding to open clinics for people suffering from mental health issues. They’re just full of shit.

The worst part about all of this is that everytime a mass shooting in this country occurs, the NRA gets richer and richer. When a mass shooting happens, politicians and gun lobbyists engage in mass fundraising and convince people that the government is just one step away from taking all their guns. What happens as a result? The NRA raises millions of dollars, and gun sales skyrocket. It’s bad enough the NRA gets to take advantage of a dysfunctional federal government and prevent any legislation they don’t like from passing. It’s quite another to raise money off of dead children.

I know people will inevitably run across this and say “hey guy, you’re badmouthing the NRA, why don’t you have this much anger for the actual shooter?” I do. I hope there is a hell for him to rot in, and frankly I’m glad he’s not alive to breathe the same air that I do anymore. But my outrage really comes out when I see people profiting off of dead children and grieving parents. I expect that a person suffering from mental health issues will attempt to take advantage of the easy access to guns in this country. However, I also expect our lawmakers to actually do something to remedy the situation. In this country, that won’t come anytime soon. Keep up the good work, Andy. You have a lot of people standing by your side.

And one more time, fuck you Colion Noir. Fuck you and the piece of shit organization you work for.

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Smarten up, Hillary

No, Hillary Clinton doesn’t need to apologize for this latest comment about Republican presidential candidates increasingly more extreme views on issues like abortion. But going forward, leave the terrorist stuff out of future complaints about the GOP platform. It’s just not smart.

Here’s what Clinton said in full:

“Now, extreme views about women, we expect that from some of the terrorist groups, we expect that from people who don’t want to live in the modern world, but it’s a little hard to take from Republicans who want to be the president of the United States… [y]et they espouse out of date, out of touch policies. They are dead wrong for 21st century America. We are going forward, we are not going back.”

I have a feeling Clinton was attempting to channel Elizabeth Warren’s speech about Republicans’ attacks on Planned Parenthood and women’s reproductive rights in general (see video below):

“Did you fall down, hit your head and think you woke up in the 1950s or the 1890s? Should we call for a doctor? Because I simply cannot believe that in the year 2015, the U.S. Senate would be spending its time trying to defund women’s healthcare centers…”

Make no mistake, Hillary should absolutely be issuing scathing remarks about how Republicans are attempting to curtail women’s abortion rights and defund Planned Parenthood. But she should do so prudently, and avoid the talk of terrorist-related activity. It doesn’t matter if the Taliban is against abortion. The point is, Islamic terrorist groups (one can assume that these were the terrorist groups Hillary was referring to, even though christian terrorists have attacked abortion clinics and women in general) want to create a horrible life for women that we would never see here in the U.S.

So in the future, just stick to what you do best, Hillary. Just talk about how Republican policies are wrong for women overall and wrong for America. Explaining their policies and the effect they will have on women and the U.S. in general will be more than enough to convince voters who is in the right on these issues.

Stand with Planned Parenthood.

We got 30!

According to Niels Lesniewski at Roll Call, senior Delaware Senator Tom Carper is on board with the Iran deal regarding their nuclear weapons program. Chris Coons, the junior Delaware Senator is also expected to give his support for the deal on September 1st. Carper has put out an editorial stating his reasons for supporting the deal in Delaware Online.

At POLITICO the other day, Burgess Everett and Seung Min Kim stated that the five Democratic Senators that President Obama needs to vote yes on the deal are the following: Ben Cardin (D-MD), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Chris Coons (D-DE), Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT). I find it hard to believe that the Obama administration won’t get all these Senators to back the deal, even if Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) are not on board with the deal. The other day, Washington senior Senator Patty Murray gave her support for the deal.

Eli Lake and Josh Rogin at Bloomberg View wrote what everyone pretty much already knows by now; any fight that Congress puts up o kill the deal will be futile. The following paragraph is particularly telling:

“Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid is threatening to filibuster the bill [a resolution of disapproval by opposing Senators] altogether, and unless at least four more Democrats promise to vote against the deal, Reid may succeed. Critics of the deal are outraged at the idea that Congress’s only chance at oversight of the initiative might not even get a hearing on the Senate floor. The White House is also reportedly pushing for the deal to be filibustered, so that Obama won’t have to veto a resolution disapproving the signature foreign policy accomplishment of his presidency. Such talk has prompted Congressional Republicans to consider moving the legislation first in the House, where passage is assured.”

With a little more than 10 Democratic Senators who are still unsure how they will vote on the deal (there are a total of 46), the Obama administration doesn’t have much work left to do on this. The notion that Republicans will get 67 votes to overturn a veto by President Obama is pure fantasy. Has President Obama gotten better at herding the cats to support his initiatives? The fact that Obama isn’t having much trouble despite the widespread public opposition to the deal displays a notable difference from the reticent 2009 President Obama who would look to the polls before making an important decision. A President only has two terms to determine his legacy. President Obama clearly wants to make this deal count. Rightfully so, considering this is a pretty good deal.

It’s all our fault…

By “it’s”, I mean Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and by “our”, I mean liberals. You hear that, libs? You are responsible for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, and the fact that it’s soaring like a rocket to the moon. This is the case that somewhere-in-between moderate and conservative Republican S.E. Cupp attempts to make at Town Hall. You’re probably asking yourself (if you’re a liberal), “wait, I’ve been laughing hysterically at the crazy stuff Trump has said over the last few weeks and the fact that he’s popular among Republicans just shows how crazy they are. What do I have to do with his recent success?” Good question. Well, liberal voter, if you weren’t such a fierce advocate of political correctness, Republicans wouldn’t be so mad at you for shoving your P.C. culture down their throats, and therefore wouldn’t be in favor a Trump campaign.

Does it sound like S.E. Cupp is trying to exculpate Republican voters for Trump’s recent success? And more importantly, is she serious? Here is her case:

“I have a different explanation for ascendant Trumpism. It isn’t the result of conservatism but of liberalism. Thanks to unrelenting demands by the left for increasingly preposterous levels of political correctness over the past decade, people are simply fed up. Trump survives — nay, thrives! — because he is seen as the antidote, bravely and unimpeachably standing athwart political correctness.”

I’m confused, is Erick Erickson a liberal now? Are Republican presidential candidates Jeb Bush and Lindsey Graham liberals now too? They have all had problems with Trump’s rhetoric on a myriad of issues, and last I checked it wasn’t because they were concerned about an encroaching P.C. culture. It was because the recent stuff that Trump has said was really, really, dumb. Also, this paragraph implies that Republicans were somehow okay with liberals’ P.C. attitudes before 2015. I remember the Republican presidential candidates of 2012, they weren’t exactly supportive of political correctness. In fact, several candidates made quite a few statements that would not be considered P.C. Let’s move further along.

“The new era of liberal political correctness — in which colleges designate “free speech zones,” words like “American” and “mother” are considered discriminatory, and children are suspended from school for firing make-believe weapons — has reached critical mass. If not for the loony sensitivities foisted upon us by the left, someone like Trump would be immediately dismissed as unprofessional and unserious, an incoherent blurter. Instead, he’s the equally extreme response to extreme correctness — if everything is offensive in Liberalville, then nothing will be offensive in Trumpland.”

It is news to me that “American” and “mother” are considered discriminatory. Also, is the implication here that Jeb Bush and Scott Walker also believe that these banal words are discriminatory? Cupp not only doesn’t have evidence that non-Trump Republican presidential candidates support P.C. culture; she doesn’t even have evidence that most liberals support this incredibly strict (and ridiculous) P.C. culture. Cupp of course has a history of taking something one liberal said and applying it to what all liberals believe with no evidence whatsoever (see: her last book, which takes selective quotes from random liberals and uses them to justify the notion that the left is waging war on religion), so this is no surprise.

Also, I seem to seem to have noticed a few “loony sensitives” being “foisted upon us” by the Right. For instance, Texas Senator Ted Cruz and his claim that because individuals have lost their jobs or have been fined for expressing views that advocate for discrimination against LGBT people, there is a “liberal intolerance” against “anyone that dares follow the biblical teaching of marriage”. Cruz was referring to recent cases where States ruled that private businesses who had religious oppositions to same-sex marriage did not have the right to deny gay people the sale of a product that could be used in a same-sex wedding ceremony.

Back in March, Cupp defended Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, or RFRA (the law that would have made it legal for private businesses in Indiana to deny a gay couple service if the business did not want their product to be used in a same-sex marriage ceremony),  by questioning if “…the idea that more anti-discrimination laws — whether to protect religious freedom or homosexuals — are actually the solution to end discrimination.” Cupp doesn’t pull a Rand Paul and question the validity of all components of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, but states that “…culture and the markets are far better motivators” to end discrimination. This should beg the question then; if markets can solve racism, why does Cupp support the Civil Rights Act? More importantly, are the Civil Rights Act and the backlash to Indiana’s RFRA also responsible for Trump’s recent rise in the polls?

Getting back to Cupp’s most recent contention that liberals are the reason for Trump’s (temporary) political success, Cupp attempts to point out liberals’ hypocrisy by equating the gaffes of Vice President Joe Biden with Trump’s rhetoric about women and Mexican immigrants. Of course, Cupp neglected to provide evidence that Biden has called women “fat pigs” and accused an entire group of immigrants to be rapists and drug dealers, but I assume she’ll get back to us on that.

There is also one inherent flaw in this entire column. Why wouldn’t liberals want Donald Trump as the Republican frontrunner? This entire column seems to be predicated on the fact that liberals would somehow be unhappy with the result of Trump becoming the Republican nominee. But of course, this is not even close to a fact. As a Democrat, I find it nothing short of hilarious that an elite billionaire from New York City is drawing millions of supporters from Republicans in the South and Midwest who want a god-fearing conservative as their nominee. Did Cupp even bother to think of this before writing this column?

I mean, think of it in the reverse. Wouldn’t Republicans and conservatives love it if say, Michael Moore was our nominee? He’s a liberal with no political experience whose only claim to fame is that he makes documentaries that make Republicans and conservatives look bad. Oh, except that Michael Moore has consistently been a liberal, whereas Donald Trump became a conservative in 2011 (yes, I know Trump has been a Republican since the 80’s, but by no means was he ever really all that conservative).

What S.E. Cupp attempted to do here is somehow link a rise in P.C. culture with Trump’s (again, temporary) political success. While it’s true people can point to random situations where political correctness is presented in an absurd manner, most political correctness refers to societal changes like how it’s improper to accuse millions of undocumented immigrants to be drug dealers and rapists. Or how it’s improper to assume that women who ask you tough questions in a debate setting are doing so because they are on their period. If Republican voters are responding positively to this kind of rhetoric, it isn’t liberals’ fault. It is a result of the state of the current Republican Party, where individuals who make outrageous and stupid comments are remunerated with massive attention from Republican voters and the media.

The latest anti-abortion talking points, courtesy of Ben Carson and Marco Rubio…

Yesterday, neurosurgeon and Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson said that while there’s no war on women in this country, there is “…a war on what’s inside of women” in America. So Democrats have a war on babies. I suppose that’s a clever talking point, but it doesn’t really make any sense. First of all, the Democratic Party is not forcing any woman to get an abortion. Women, under their own volition, can choose to get an abortion in this country at a local Planned Parenthood clinic or at other private clinics (albeit there are far fewer abortion clinics now than there were six years ago, but still).

Now, to the broader point, while I think the political phrase “war on women” is a little hyperbolic for my taste, it is going to be difficult for Republicans to disassociate themselves from that talking point. As Jessica Valenti pointed out last week, Republican presidential candidates seem to once again be engaging a game of “anti-abortion one-upsmanship”. Considering how far right Mitt Romney pivoted on this issue (by not only recanting his former pro-choice views, but also vowing to put stringent restrictions on abortion), it’s hard to see how repeating this strategy will lead to a different outcome in 2016. And make no mistake about it, Republican presidential candidates have already begun attempting to “one-up” how far the Romney/Ryan ticket went to please the Republicans pro-life constituency. We have heard multiple presidential candidates (Florida Senator Marco Rubio and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee) endorse the view that there should not be exceptions for rape, incest and the health of the mother in an abortion ban.

Obviously, Republican presidential candidates (and legislators) have to please their devoutly pro-life base. Interestingly, there are 27 percent of Republicans who do identify as “pro-choice”, but that obviously is not going to change Republicans’ overall tone on abortion. The pro-life faction of the party clearly calls the shots, and that’s not going to change anytime soon. In order to compete in the “paint the other guy as an extremist” game, candidates like Rubio have developed their own talking points to respond to Democrats’ accusation of extremism on the abortion issue. Rubio starts off with a little “[Clinton] believes that children should be aborted even after 20 weeks of the pregnancy…” and ends with some “[s]he doesn’t believe that the parents of minors should be notified when their daughter is going to have… an abortion.” Now the question is, are voters going to be convinced that because Clinton supports post-20 week abortions (in certain circumstances), that she and the Democratic Party are the real extremists on this issue?

For the record, Clinton did vote No on the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003, and did so because she felt the bill would eventually lead to “…infringing on fundamental rights… imposing onerous burdens on women and their families…”. But Clinton has not campaigned on the right to kill 34 week-old babies. When Clinton discusses abortion, she uses the same pragmatic rhetoric that her husband former President Bill Clinton used by saying it should be “safe, legal and rare”. Furthermore, Hillary treats the discussion of abortion as an opportunity to discuss it in conjunction with women’s healthcare issues. This is obviously appropriate, because as Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor stated in 2009 during her confirmation hearings, abortion is “unequivocally” a public health issue.

The last poll that showed Americans overwhelmingly do not support partial-birth abortion bans was conducted in 2003, the same year the Bill mentioned above passed. It’s probably safe to say that remains true except in cases of rape, incest and health of the mother. However, it should also be noted that according to what Gallup found in May of 2015, most Americans consider themselves “pro-choice”. Of course, Life News only focused on that 39% of respondents wanted it “legal in only a few circumstances” and 19 percent want abortion “illegal in all circumstances” (29% responded “legal under any circumstances and 13% responded “legal in most circumstances”). The point is, is this good enough of a reason for Republican presidential candidates to pivot further right on the issue of abortion? And will going further right on this issue revive the accusations that Republicans are engaged in a “war on women”?

My assumption is yes, for the following reasons. Republicans tried to paint President Obama as the same type of liberal abortion extremist in 2008 and 2012. We all know how that turned out. Furthermore, even the Planned Parenthood videos that furtively record employees talking about the fetal tissue donation process has not really changed Americans’ mind on Planned Parenthood. Rueters conducted a recent poll and found that 54 percent of respondents support federal funding for the women’s health organization (once again, Life News somehow took this as a victory and reported this as “the more Americans are familiar with the shocking videos showing the Planned Parenthood abortion business selling aborted babies and their body parts, the more likely they are to support de-funding the abortion company.”). Also, there is a case to be made that the more Republicans go on further to the right on this issue, the likelier they are to say something akin to “legitimate rape” or how pregnancy from rape is “…something God intended to happen“.

So yes, Republicans are going to continue to espouse anti-abortion rhetoric. And yes, their overall position on abortion is going to be even more conservative than the Romney/Ryan ticket was. But is this going to lead to a Republican win in 2016? In my estimation, it’s safe to say that Republicans may win the White House in 2016, but it won’t be because they tacked so far to the right on abortion.

Here is the video of Carson:

UPDATE: As always, Amanda did it better.

Yes, the Center for Medical Progress deceptively edited their videos…

Whenever I see a chopped-up video that has obviously been spliced together in a laughably unorganized fashion, I know I’m either being subjected to deceptively edited video or I’m streaming a Rangers game on the internet because Time Warner Cable only broadcasts 50 out of 82 Rangers game per NHL season (thanks, Buffalo Sabres). Such is the case for the eight videos released by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), which were all heavily edited and left out very important parts that completely contradict their case against Planned Parenthood. A report has been put together by I stand With PP, which you can view here.

For those of us who hate PDF files (ME!), some very gracious person at I Stand With PP took the details of the report and put them online for everyone to see. Here is the rundown of all the B.S. found in the CMP videos:

  • Collectively, the five videotapes of Planned Parenthood staff have at least 42 splices where content is cut and edited together to make it appear to be a seamless conversation.
  • In some cases, these splices completely change the meaning of statements. On one video, a Planned Parenthood staff member’s remarks about lab protocols were edited to make it sound like she was talking about changing abortion procedures. Phrases on the tape were isolated and removed, stringing together unrelated sentences to change the meaning.Anti-abortion activists used the doctored “quote” to support false claims that she was talking about changing how an abortion would be done, and the “quote” was published by mainstream media as if it were real.
  • On one tape, a Planned Parenthood staff member in Colorado says 13 separate times that any arrangements related to fetal tissue donation need to be reviewed by attorneys and follow all laws – and all 13 are edited out of the video.
  • On another tape, a Planned Parenthood staff member in Texas says nine separate times that there is no “profit” related to fetal tissue donation – and all nine are edited out of the video.

This is just like the scandal with ACORN. See, the people at CMP had to deceptively edit the videos, because they knew that as soon as the videos were released in full context, they would paint an entirely different portrait of the situation. For instance, everybody knows that Planned Parenthood would have consulted with lawyers before dealing with any arrangements related to fetal tissue donation. But of course, the CMP left that part out to make it seem like what they were doing was engaging in human trafficking of fetal body parts without consulting anybody who knows the law first.

And this other notion that Planned Parenthood deliberately altered how an abortion was performed so they could collect the body parts. This claim was laughable enough by itself, but it was obvious from the video that they pieced random quotes together to make it seem like they were asking the doctors performing the abortions to change the procedure, even though they clearly weren’t. The fact that the media just ran with this story before looking at the full video goes to show you that despite claims that the media is “liberal”, they’ll report false accusations against liberal advocacy groups due to pressure from conservative advocacy groups.

Again, I shouldn’t even need to read a report telling me that someone “selling” a fetal baby part for $30 isn’t intending to make a profit off of that. Seriously, have you ever been to UPS Store? Those guys charge like $10 to ship a damn C.D. to your next door neighbor. Also, the fact that conservatives swooned in on the Lamborghini comment just shows how desperate they are to pretend they actually had a legitimate case. The woman in that video looked… well, she didn’t look like the typical Lamborghini customer, let’s put it that way. And, she EVEN FREAKING SAID THAT SHE COULDN’T DRIVE THE DAMN CAR A MINUTE LATER.

Look, again, I understand that there are individuals who find abortion to be repugnant and discussing the details of abortion sounds heinous. But that’s not how we conduct law in the United States. You’re not going to arrest Planned Parenthood individuals for discussing abortion in a cavalier manner. Moreover, just because some Planned Parenthood officials did discuss abortion in a cavalier manner cannot affect one’s judgement of whether what they were doing was wrong and/or illegal. It is legal to donate fetal tissue. Period, the end.

And yes, despite what any Republicans running for president say (even the “moderates” like Jeb Bush), Planned Parenthood is very actively involved in women’s health care. You can read about Amanda Marcotte’s Planned Parenthood experience here, which I highly recommend.

I feel like dancing (and acting like a jerk)…

Okay, so for the last few days I’ve been reading that it’s essentially over for Hillary Clinton. She might as well just give up now, they said. Clinton isn’t going anywhere, they said. I think you know where I’m going with this.

Matthew Yglesias on Vox says the obvious: Even though the media is reporting that Clinton’s campaign is flailing, what is actually going on is exactly the opposite. The latest poll from Quinnipiac shows that Clinton is in the lead with 45 percent of Democratic voters, and in second is Bernie Sanders at 22 percent. But of course media outlets on both the left and the right are somehow portraying this poll as if it’s curtains for Clinton.

Yes, I feel like being a vindictive jerk today. But it’s only because I’m seeing columns like this, where H.A. Goodman says that Bernie Sanders should be considered the Democratic frontrunner now. Just cause. Or columns like this, where the same author lists three ridiculous reasons that Clinton is somehow doomed. Goodman claims the FBI is now Clinton’s “running mate”, and that she will be investigated for storing classified emails on her private server and that “… there’s a great likelihood of more revelations pertaining to breaches in protocol.” Again, Goodman’s evidence that she “breach[ed] further protocol” does not appear in the column. Furthermore, Goodman claims that because Sanders has increased his name recognition (which is true), that somehow makes him competitive. I’d now like to list three reasons that Goodman and other Sanders’ supporters are getting ahead of themselves.

  1. They mistake interest in Sanders’ campaign for actual votes in a Democratic primary.
  2. Because Hillary isn’t liberal enough for them, she must be punished. Remember, Sanders’ supporters now speak collectively for the Democratic Party, which is particularly interesting because Sanders isn’t even a registered Democrat.
  3. People like Goodman don’t even want a debate. They just want to cast Hillary aside because of her stature of her last name. Well, guess what? There are still plenty of polls that show a vigorous interest in Clinton’s campaign. Deal with it.

Now, before I get carried away, yes I did see there is a second poll (this time from PPP, a left-leaning polling firm) that shows Bernie Sanders ahead of Clinton in New Hampshire. But all that tells us is that Sanders’ campaign is competitive in a state that’s right next to his home state of Vermont. As for every other geographical territory (Iowa, South Carolina, and while there as of now is no polling in Nevada, this poll showing her with a 58% favorability rating among Latino voters basically tells the story), he remains noncompetitive.

And yes, Hillary’s favorability ratings are not very high among all voters at the moment. And yes, there’s another Quinnipiac poll that shows that the most common word people associate with Hillary is “liar” (while Trump is “arrogant”). And yes, Hillary is not handling her “server-gate scandal” in a deft manner. But I think back to my last post, when “experts” (read: everyday people) were just so sure that the U.S. economy was tanking. I think back to 2012, when “experts” were just so sure that Romney was going to win and the election was going to be close.

I’m not even saying Bernie won’t win New Hampshire. He just may. Hell, he even may win the whole damn nomination. See, the difference between me and a guy like H.A. Goodman is that I KNOW that it’s months away from the first Democratic debate, let alone the first Democratic primary. I KNOW that a lot can happen between now and then, and I’m not going to speculate in a ridiculous fashion the way Goodman and other Sanders’ supporters so ostentatiously do on a daily basis. I KNOW that it’s not up to one faction of the Democratic Party as to who our party nominates. It’s up to all Democratic primary voters. So let’s all just report what’s going on in the moment and stop trying to be fortune-tellers, okay?