Thursday, June 13, 2013

You Know Who Else Put Faith In Nazi Scientists... **Updated**

Okay, I know I'm opening with something that violates Godwin's Law here, but COME ON PEOPLE.

At a congressional hearing Wednesday, Rep. Trent Franks, a Republican from Arizona, argued against an exception for rape and incest victims from a ban on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. He said, “Before, when my friends on the left side of the aisle here tried to make rape and incest the subject—because, you know, the incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low.” He is of course following in the footsteps of former Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri, who said that women can stave off pregnancy after a “legitimate rape.” (He apologized but that didn’t save him from losing his next election.)These claims are false, of course, or as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists puts it, “medically inaccurate, offensive, and dangerous.” That is not all that’s wrong with the claims. They originate with Nazi experiments on women in concentration camps.

...“In the aftermath of Akin’s statement, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on a 1972 essay by an obstetrician named Fred Mecklenburg, who cited a Nazi experiment in which women were told they were on their way to die in the gas chambers—and then were allowed to live, so that doctors could check whether they would still ovulate. Since few did, Mecklenburg claimed that women exposed to the emotional trauma of rape wouldn’t be able to become pregnant, either. 

Most OB-GYNs say that it's just as likely to get pregnant from rape as from consensual sex, but Republicans seem to think it's important enough to dispute that that they'll quote Nazi science. Obviously nobody is Pro-Rape; but they're desperate to avoid a loophole in their anti-abortion position. I suppose also they'd prefer that rape is treated like any other violent assault, which they feel has enough laws on the books already. It's like hate crime. They're not pro-hate, they're against extra laws.

I can see that point of view; but for pete's sake, why make it easier for violent criminals to avoid further prosecution? Does society have no incentive to discourage prejudice? Most people think it does.

**Update** see further up the timeline for a kind of correction - Meckleberg was wrong, the Nazis never even did the experiment.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Again With Political Celebrities! Jeez.

TEXARKANA, TEXAS Shannon Richardson had been married to her husband less than two years when she went to authorities and told them her suspicions: He was the one who had mailed ricin-laced letters to President Barack Obama and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg threatening violence against gun-control advocates.

When investigators looked closer, they reached a different conclusion: It was the 35-year-old pregnant actress who had sent the letters, and she tried to frame her estranged husband in a bizarre case of marital conflict crossing with bioterrorism.

Friday, June 07, 2013

Malcolm Doesn't Deserve The Abuse

Remember Frankie Muniz? Agent Cody Banks? Malcolm in the Middle? He's not starring in things so much nowadays but he IS on twitter, which is how this came to my attention.

Really? Susan Rice? National Security Adviser? Really? Another. Wake up people.

Now my feeling is that Susan Rice is a perfectly fine choice for NSA, and her bad reputation is the result of the usual demonization campaign that accompanies any Obama appointment. So I disagree with Muniz's sentiment. But dear God, look at some of those twitter responses! I can't repost them here (literally, it's too hard to do it on the iPad) so click on the link yourself. I'm ashamed of the left this time.

The one positive thing i can see coming out of this is, it may have a chilling effect on actors talking about politics.  Let's face it, we can all agree on this being a bad thing, and it certainly doesn't help the actors careers. 

And for the record, Malcom In the Middle was not a mediocre sitcom. It was way above average.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

IRS Only Reviewed Half As Many Liberal Groups! IMPEACH!

I'm going to have remember to give any right wing "scandal" story about a month before I comment on it, because as the details come out,  they all become non-scandals which make the right look worse than the left. So it is with the IRS bias scandal. First of all, the IRS reviewed applications for tax exempt status but hasn't yet denied any conservative groups. If this squelched their political speech, well, the status in question is afforded to non-political groups. They should be paying taxes anyway.

Simple searches on Google, Facebook, Twitter and other news engines point to plenty of political activities that are the essence of what the IRS looks for when deciding who gets an exemption from Uncle Sam.

The group leaders attended rallies to stop Obama administration priorities and ripped into the president’s work on health care and missile defense. They spoke openly about defeating President Barack Obama in the 2012 election. They pushed for winners in state and local election races.

Their activities might not have run afoul of the rules. But for the murky world of charitable exemptions now under heightened political scrutiny, their backgrounds underscore the gray area the IRS was in as it posed questions to the groups.

So there's that. What's more:

Non-conservative advocacy groups given special scrutiny by the IRS in or after 2010 included the Coffee Party USA, the alternative to the Tea Party movement that got a bunch of press in 2010, as well as such explicitly progressive groups as the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada; Rebuild the Dream, founded by former Obama administration official Van Jones; and Progressives United Inc., which was founded by former Wisconsin senator Russ Feingold.

Also included in the special scrutiny were Progress Texas and Progress Missouri Inc.; Tie the Knot, which sells bow ties to raise money to promote same-sex marriage; and ProgressNow, which describes itself as "a year-round never-ending progressive campaign."

The targeting also rolled up centrist groups, such as the Across the Aisle Foundation -- the educational and cultural arm of No Labels, which worked to build momentum for an independent ticket for the presidency -- and politically neutral ones, such as The East Hampton Group for Good Government Inc., formed to encourage better leadership and management of the New York vacation town, and the League of Women Voters of Hawaii.

So it's great that they have spent so much time on hearings for this, because they clear the name of the IRS. But sadly, like the other hearings, Darryl Issa won't publish any conclusions. They don't look so good.


I covered this a couple weeks ago, but since WAMK brings this up on his blog:

You guys on the Left keep telling us how different he is though, ok? I recall you being pissed when Bush did this on a much smaller scale. I'm interested to see your reactions to this by Obama.

My reaction is I hate it. I want it to stop. But it's legal under the PATRIOT act. If the legislative branch makes it illegal again, it will stop; or at least there will be grounds for impeachment. Repeal the PATRIOT act!

Now what I'm wondering is, why was this no big deal under Bush but is an enormous scandal now that a bla Democrat is running things? You guys keep telling me he's the same as Bush.