Billionaire Charles Koch told a gathering of conservative donors Saturday that politicians must end taxpayer-funded subsidies and preferential treatment for corporations. That message, though, came from an industrialist whose company and corporate subsidiaries have raked in tens of millions of dollars worth of such largesse.
in the last 15 years, Koch’s firm Koch Industries and its subsidiaries have secured government subsidies worth more than $166 million, according to data compiled by the watchdog group Good Jobs First. The group says since 1990, Koch-owned properties have received more 191 separate subsidies worth a total of $195 million.
They say a lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth gets its pants on. That’s certainly the case with a new and highly deceptive anti-choice propaganda video that claims to show a Planned Parenthood official caught on a hidden camera while allegedly discussing how the women’s health clinics are involved with the harvesting and selling of aborted fetus organs via a sordid underground black market.
In the video, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Planned Parenthood’s senior director of medical services, is seen eating salad and drinking a glass of red wine as she discusses what the selectively edited video would lead us to believe is the process of acquiring intact organs from aborted fetuses and then selling them to buyers. Nucatola describes the most desirable organs, as well as the admittedly disturbing manner by which the fetuses are aborted in a way that doesn’t damage the organs that are to be harvested. She also appears to discuss the prices that buyers pay for a particular fetal organ.
As we’ve seen with similar “gotcha!” videos, this one completely misrepresents what Nucatola was discussing, and numerous sites have almost too-easily debunked just about every claim. (Full debunkery here, here, here and here.) It turns out, Nucatola wasn’t discussing the illegal black market sale of fetal organs, but instead the perfectly legal donation of the organs to biomedical research laboratories that use the organs to help save lives. The price range of the organs described by Nucatola is, in reality, the reimbursed expenses accrued in the delivery of the specimens. (Which makes sense: $30 to $100 is hilariously below the going rate for human organs.) Furthermore, the video was produced by an anti-choice pop-up outfit called the Center for Medical Progress, which not only claimed that this one video required three years of research, but which also has ties to known video fraudster James O’Keefe.
Yet as rapidly as the video was resoundingly debunked as a fraud, it wasn’t fast enough to catch up with the zealous haste of the lies.
As soon as the video hit The Daily Caller and The Drudge Report, it was pretty much game over for the already beleaguered Planned Parenthood. Social media immediately erupted with garment rending and all varieties of unhinged screeching over what too many gullible viewers perceived as the ultimate smoking gun indictment of the organization. Anyone pointing out the obviously deceptive editing and the false claims made by the video were attacked as ghouls, Nazis and baby-killers.
The intensity of the outrage closely matched the degree of the flimflam. Anti-choice activists wanted desperately to believe the video was an accurate representation of what Planned Parenthood is up to behind the scenes, so they overlooked the obvious scare-edits and manipulative soundtrack. Clinically speaking, the video is cleverly produced, even though it’s really easy to make abortion sound creepy. That said, it flagrantly exploits the worst and most ignorant aspects of social media: the utter lack of critical viewing, the impulse to rapidly retweet clickbait without reading, and especially the internet’s torch-and-pitchfork mob justice.
On the Tuesday edition of my podcast, I predicted that in addition to the radical far-right mob, the video would also be accepted at face value by A-list Republicans and especially the congressional GOP. And why not? It’s happened before. Congress buried ACORN based on a provably fake video. Planned Parenthood has been relentlessly de-funded due to previously fraudulent videos. Indeed, members of the most powerful governing body in the world spoke on-the-record from the floor of both the House and Senate and permanently attached their names to more than one egregiously fake smear video. Legislation was passed and livelihoods were ruined because congressional Republicans were repeatedly duped by James O’Keefe and his acolytes.
Sadly, my prediction came true on Wednesday when Republican members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee announced they’d hold hearings on the video.
“This video is abhorrent and rips at the heart. The committee will get to the bottom of this appalling situation,” the press release quotes Republican lawmakers Fred Upton, Marsha Blackburn, Tim Murphy, and Joe Pitts as saying.
Again, taxpayer money will be wasted on an investigation into Planned Parenthood based on a video that was debunked within 24 hours of dropping. Even anti-choice Americans ought to be outraged by this total waste of resources. But they won’t be because now the “respected” members of an elite governing body of 535 powerful Americans have announced that this mendacious video is, in fact, “abhorrent” and “appalling.” So, now, the video is endowed with the legitimacy of a congressional committee.
Meanwhile, several GOP presidential hopefuls have condemned Planned Parenthood for the (misleading) content of the video.
“The video showing a Planned Parenthood employee selling the body parts of aborted children is a disturbing reminder of the organization’s penchant for profiting off the tragedy of a destroyed human life,” said former Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
“Today’s video of a Planned Parenthood official discussing the systematic harvesting and trafficking of human body parts is shocking and gruesome,” said Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. […]
“This latest news is tragic and outrageous,” said businesswoman Carly Fiorina. “This isn’t about ‘choice.’ It’s about profiting on the death of the unborn while telling women it’s about empowerment.”
We seriously have to question whether any of these Republicans have given their bank account information to Nigerian princes with dubious Hotmail email accounts. I hate to be a Debbie Downer, Republicans, but guess what? Professional wrestling is fake and the Easter bunny isn’t real. Sorry.
Arguably the worst aspect of this scam video, beyond the harm it will do to reproductive rights and Planned Parenthood, is the reality that Dr. Nucatela’s life is all but ruined for the foreseeable future. At this moment, anti-choice extremists are likely fanning out around the internet, collecting damaging information about her; finding out her home address and contact information; discovering whether she has children and where they go to school; planning rallies outside her house; or worse. Based on wrongful charges, she now represents Enemy Number One for googly-eyed radicals, fueled by visions of aborted fetuses and the false impression of Planned Parenthood as the Walmart of black market fetus organs.
The release of a video produced by anti-choice activists who claim to prove that Planned Parenthood illegally sells fetal organs has ledGOP lawmakers to call for congressional hearings andgovernors to call for investigations.
However, questions have been raised about the claims of alleged illegal activities and about the agenda and connections of the organization that produced the heavily-edited video.
The video is alleged to show Planned Parenthood Senior Director of Medical Services Dr. Deborah Nucatola discussing the sale of fetal tissue with two unidentified actors posing as buyers from a biological company. The video was filmed without Nucatola’s knowledge at a Los Angeles restaurant on July 25, 2014.
Contrary to the claims of anti-choice groups, Nucatola never says anything in the video about Planned Parenthood selling fetal organs or tissue.
Planned Parenthood spokesman Eric Ferrero said in a statement that patients sometimes want to donate tissue to scientific research that can help lead to medical breakthroughs, such as treatments and cures for serious diseases.
The videos were produced by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), a self-described group of “citizen journalists” who monitor and report on “medical ethics and advances.” David Daleiden, the organization’s project leader, told the Washington Post that the actors wore “police-quality undercover cameras,” but refused to elaborate further on how the video was produced.
“I don’t answer questions about our undercover costumes,” Daleiden said.
Daleiden is also an associate of the right-wing activists James O’Keefe and Charles C. Johnson.
O’Keefe produced similar undercover videos of public figures with his organization Project Veritas, most notably undercover videos that purported to show wrongdoing by employees of Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) in 2009. O’Keefe pled guilty in 2010 to charges stemming from an attempt to make undercover recordings at the office of U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D), and was sentenced to three years’ probation.
Johnson, who shared the same academic advisor as Daleiden at Claremont McKenna College, wrote in a post on his website Got News that Daleiden worked “largely alone” on the Center for Medical Progress project.
Beyond Daleiden’s connections to these prominent conservative young activists, CMP includes connections to some of the anti-choice movement’s more radical members.
The “initial registration form” the organization filed with the Office of the California Attorney General in 2013 lists three people as the organization’s officers: Troy Newman, Albin Rhomberg, and Daleiden.
Newman, who is named as the organization’s secretary, is one of the most prominent and radical activists in the anti-choice movement, and serves as the president of Operation Rescue. After the 2003 execution of Paul Jennings Hill, who was convicted for the 1994 murder of abortion provider John Britton in Pensacola, Florida, Newman issued a press release defending Hill because the “court prevented him from presenting the legal defense that his conduct was justifiable defensive action.”
Newman and Operation Rescue targeted Wichita abortion provider Dr. George Tiller andclinic workers with protests for several years prior to Tiller’s murder by anti-choice terrorist Scott Roeder in 2009.
Another individual, Nichole Surkala, is listed on the initial paperwork as “initial agent,” who under state law would accept legal documents on the organization’s behalf if a lawsuit was filed naming CMP.
Sukala was arrested and jailed in 2007 on suspicion of child endangerment, according to a report by the San Francisco Chronicle. Law enforcement discovered multiple animals living inside her home; authorities described the conditions as “horrendous.”
Life Legal Defense Foundation revealed its support of CMP this week, prompting Daleiden to praise the organization, reported the Christian News Wire. LLDF provides legal counsel to various anti-choice activists and organizations. It has been involved with litigation with clients including pro-life Mississippi anti-choice activists who were arrested due to protest activities outside the Jackson Women’s Health Center. LLDF also joined Alliance Defending Freedom in filing an amicus brief in the Fifth Circuit in support of HB 2 in Texas. “The Center for Medical Progress thanks Life Legal Defense Foundation for their initiative and foresight in consulting on and helping to develop this project,” said Daleiden.
The Foundation issued a statement that said it had been with the project from its inception, and “Life Legal is committed to following through.”
CMP, a nonprofit registered with the IRS as a 501(c)3, is at the center of media firestorm over the videos. However, there is still precious little information publicly available about the organization or the individuals and funding behind it.
There is no office space that houses the organization, as both the address listed in the founding paperwork and the address listed on the organization’s website contact information are private mail boxes rented at PostalAnnex stores. The CMP website was registered through the Bluehost privacy service in April 2013, and the phone number listed goes directly to voicemail.
Daleiden has been the only public face of the organization, but he has given few interviews since the release of the video. RH Reality Check requested an interview with Daleiden through CRC Public Relations, a public relations firm with clients that include conservative organizations such as Americans for Prosperity and the Federalist Society.
Daleiden declined to comment for this story.
Daleiden is the former Director of Research for the anti-choice organization Live Action andwrote dozens of articles for its news site during his time there. Daleiden was employed by Live Action for five years, according to Breitbart, before leaving to found CMP.
Live Action has produced several similar undercover and selectively edited videos attacking Planned Parenthood for alleged wrongdoing. None of Live Action’s claims have ever been successfully proven. In his blog post, Johnson claimed that “the lack of power” in Lila Rose’s recent videos at Live Action “owes mostly to the fact that David [Daleiden] left her organization.”
The release of the video has led to calls for congressional hearings and investigations of Planned Parenthood—a longtime target of anti-choice legislators on the state and federal level.
“When an organization monetizes an unborn child—and with the cavalier attitude portrayed in this horrific video—we must all act,” Republican House Speaker John Boehner (R) said in statement, reported Politico. “As a start, I have asked our relevant committees to look into this matter. I am also calling on President Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell to denounce, and stop, these gruesome practices.”
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R) announced Wednesday that his committee would investigate the allegations made against Planned Parenthood.
“Every human life is sacred and should be protected from the atrocities allegedly undertaken by Planned Parenthood. The House Judiciary Committee is investigating these horrific acts including ascertaining how Congress might act,” Goodlatte said in a statement.
Congressman Jerrold Nadler, the senior Democrat on the Judiciary panel, said the upcoming investigations are “another witch hunt” by Republicans, reported the Associated Press.
The fury from at least some Republican lawmakers might not have been as spontaneous as it appeared.
Republican Congressman Tim Murphy, a member of the House Pro-Life Caucus, said at a press conference Wednesday that he’d seen the video weeks before, reported CQ Roll Call. Republican Congressman Trent Franks also said that he had seen the video about a month ago.
When Murphy was asked why he and others waited until the video’s release to take action, the congressman reportedly struggled to answer the question before abruptly ending the interview with CQ Roll Call. Murphy then reportedly said that he should not be quoted. “This interview didn’t happen,” Murphy said.
Several anti-choice organizations also expressed outrage over the videos and called for investigations.
Americans United for Life President Charmaine Yoest said in a statement that there should be an immediate congressional investigation. “We call for an immediate Congressional investigation into these alleged atrocities,” Yoest said. “And just as important, the time is now to de-fund Planned Parenthood. The American taxpayer should not be in business with such callous profiteers.”
Governors of five states have also called for investigations into Planned Parenthood.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) ordered an investigation of Planned Parenthood and moved to block the organization from building a reproductive health-care facility, and Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced his office is investigating whether the state’s three Planned Parenthood centers broke the law by “profiting from the sale of aborted babies.”
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced that his office has launched “an official investigation into Planned Parenthood,” and Gov. Mike Pence (R) of Indiana and Gov. Nathan Deal (R) of Georgia have also called for investigations.
Co-Founder Behind Planned Parenthood Video Has Close Ties to Abortion Clinic Violence
Center for Medical Progress, the anti-choice group behind the deceptively edited video attacking Planned Parenthood, is run by an activist with ties to discredited conservative groups and a board member who believes killing abortion doctors is “legally justified.”
Conservative Group Claims Planned Parenthood “Sells The Body Parts Of Aborted Fetuses”
Center For Medical Progress: Video Proves Planned Parenthood Is “Selling Aborted Baby Parts.” The Center for Medical Progress (CMP) released a video July 14 that it claimed shows Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s Senior Director of Medical Services Dr. Deborah Nucatola discussing how the organization “sells the body parts of aborted fetuses.” The nearly nine-minute video and an accompanying press release claimed that Planned Parenthood is in violation of 42 U.S.C. 289g-2, a federal law regulating the use and sale of fetal tissue. According to CMP’s press release:
New undercover footage shows Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s Senior Director of Medical Services, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, describing how Planned Parenthood sells the body parts of aborted fetuses, and admitting she uses partial-birth abortions to supply intact body parts.
In the video, Nucatola is at a business lunch with actors posing as buyers from a human biologics company. As head of PPFA’s Medical Services department, Nucatola has overseen medical practice at all Planned Parenthood locations since 2009. She also trains new Planned Parenthood abortion doctors and performs abortions herself at Planned Parenthood Los Angeles up to 24 weeks.
The sale or purchase of human fetal tissue is a federal felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000 (42 U.S.C. 289g-2). [The Center For Medical Progress, 7/14/15]
The Center For Medical Progress Bills Itself As A Non-Profit That Conducted A 30-Month Investigation Into Planned Parenthood, But It Has Almost No Internet Footprint
Center For Medical Progress Describes Itself As A Non-Profit “Group Of Citizen Journalists.” According to the organization’s website description of itself:
The Center for Medical Progress is a group of citizen journalists dedicated to monitoring and reporting on medical ethics and advances. We are concerned about contemporary bioethical issues that impact human dignity, and we oppose any interventions, procedures, and experiments that exploit the unequal legal status of any class of human beings. We envision a world in which medical practice and biotechnology ally with and serve the goods of human nature and do not destroy, disfigure, or work against them.
The Center for Medical Progress is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. [Center for Medical Progress, Accessed 7/15/15]
Center For Medical Progress Has A Small And Recent Internet Footprint. CMP’s presence online was nearly non-existent until several weeks ago. The group’s Facebook page shows no posts before May 24 of this year and the organization didn’t join Twitter until May 30. No videos other than the deceptively edited Planned Parenthood clips appear on the group’s YouTube site. The website address listed on their Facebook page leads to a PostalAnnex+ in Irvine, CA instead of real organization. [Facebook.com, Accessed 7/15/15; Twitter.com, Accessed 7/15/15, YouTube.com, Accessed 7/15/15; Yelp.com, Accessed 7/15/15]
CMP’s Founder, David Daleiden, Has A Long History With Discredited Conservative Groups
Center For Medical Progress: Daleiden Is “Founder” And Project Lead For The “Human Capital” Investigation. According to the Center for Medical Progress’ website, Daleiden not only spearheaded the “Human Capital” investigation that produced the deceptively edited video attacking Planned Parenthood, he also founded the organization. Daleiden’s bio also describes his past work at conservative news outlet The Weekly Standard:
David Daleiden is a citizen journalist with nearly a decade of experience in conducting investigative research on the abortion industry. In 2013, David started The Center for Medical Progressas a vehicle through which to pursue sophisticated, in-depth, and scintillating investigative journalism projects pertaining to contemporary bioethical issues.
As Project Lead at CMP, David recently completed the organization’s first long-term project, the 30-month-long “Human Capital” investigation documenting Planned Parenthood’s illegal sale of body parts from aborted fetuses. Prior to CMP, David worked as Director of Research for a national new media education and advocacy organization. David is a graduate of Claremont McKenna College with a B.A. in Government, and his writing has been published in The Weekly Standard and The Human Life Review. [Center for Medical Progress, Accessed 7/15/15]
Life Legal Defense Fund Credits Daleiden As Director Of CMP’s Project. In a press release discussing CMP’s video, the Life Legal Defense Fund credited David Daleiden as the director of the “Human Capital” project behind the deceptively edited video, thanking him specifically “for bringing these shocking practices to light”:
The “Human Capital” project was a nearly 3-year-long undertaking produced by The Center for Medical Progress (CMP). Directed by CMP Project Lead David Daleiden, the effort secured audio and video recordings of Planned Parenthood administrators and abortionists casually agreeing to sell freshly-extracted parts from their abortions. CMP’s devastating expose of PP’s trade in body parts may be seen at centerformedicalprogress.org.
Life Legal gives the credit for bringing these shocking practices to light to David Daleiden. But Daleiden gives a lot of credit to Life Legal: “The Center for Medical Progress thanks Life Legal Defense Foundation for their initiative and foresight in consulting on and helping to develop this project.” [Christian News Wire, 7/14/15]
Daleiden Was Formerly The Director of Research At Live Action. In 2009, Daleiden was the director of research for the discredited anti-abortion group Live Action, which has been criticized before for deceptively editing undercover footage of abortion clinics in an attempt to smear Planned Parenthood. According to Daleiden’s bio from the time on Live Action’s website, he assumed his role in 2008 and was later banned from Pomona College’s campus after “videotaping a Planned Parenthood of Los Angeles speaker denying Planned Parenthood’s responsibility for the cover-up of statutory rape”:
David Daleiden has a passion for promoting the culture of life in communities and campuses across the country. He is proud to be a part of the Live Action team.
A native of the Sacramento area, David first became involved with the pro-life movement at age 15, working with local college pro-life groups and learning from veteran activists in his community. He founded a pro-life club at his high school, helped bring pro-life debater Scott Klusendorf to his hometown, and has participated in the “Genocide Awareness Project” to show abortion images to the public. David points to such images as the original impetus for his work in the pro-life movement.
During high school, David was also heavily involved in speech and debate. He first met Lila Rose in the Junior State of America (JSA) organization, and over the years became more and more involved in Live Action.
In 2007, David began his studies at Claremont McKenna College (CMC) in Claremont, California. David currently runs a Live Action chapter in Claremont, which routinely conducts sidewalk counseling efforts, community education, and campus activism.
David took on his current role as Director of Research for Live Action in 2008 during the early stages of the Mona Lisa Project. In March 2009, David and a fellow student were banned from sister campus Pomona College after videotaping a Planned Parenthood of Los Angeles speaker denying Planned Parenthood’s responsibility for the cover-up of statutory rape. The ban was soon lifted after intense public scrutiny. [Live Action, 8/17/09; Media Matters for America, 2/4/11; Media Matters for America, 5/31/12]
Snopes: Daleiden Is Reportedly Friends With Conservative Figure Best Known For “Severely Edited” Videos. A Snopes.com takedown of CMP’s video noted that Daleiden is reportedly a friend of James O’Keefe — another conservative figure notrious for using “severely edited” videos to target liberal organizations:
An individual named David Daleiden has been widely credited as the “leader” of the Center for Medical Progress. While Daleiden’s online footprint is minimal, a 2009 Claremont University article (penned by fellow conservative activist Chuck Johnson) reported:
James O’Keefe is a friend of David Daleiden’s. O’Keefe and Hannah Giles have been going coast to coast documenting instances of ACORN employees willingly giving advice on how to avoid paying taxes and shielding a would be pimp (running for congress) and a prostitutent from the watchful eye of the law. They’ve brought their investigation to New York City, Washington D.C., and Baltimore.
O’Keefe came to prominence in 2009 after he produced “egregiously misleading” and “severely edited” videos targeting agencies such as ACORN.” [Snopes.com, 7/14/15]
Center for Medical Progress Board Member Called Murder Of Abortion Doctor “Justified”
Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue, Serves On Board of Directors. “Operation Rescue President Troy Newman serves on the Board of Daleiden’s Center for Medical Progress. During this investigation, Newman advised Daleiden, providing consultation services and material support.” [Christian Newswire, 7/14/15]
Newman Called Murder Of Abortion Clinic Doctor A “Justifiable Defensive Action.” In a 2003 press release, Newman defended Paul Jennings Hill, who was executed by lethal injection for murdering abortion doctor John Britton in Pensacola, FL. Newman argued that Hill should have been able to defend himself by classifying the murder as justifiable.
Today’s scheduled execution of Paul Hill is not justice, but is another example of the judicial tyranny that is gripping our nation. A Florida judge denied Rev. Hill his right to present a defense that claimed that the killing of the abortionist was necessary to save the lives of the pre-born babies that were scheduled to be killed by abortion that day. Our system of justice is based upon ‘innocent until proven guilty,’ but in Rev. Hill’s case, there was no justice because the court prevented him from presenting the legal defense that his conduct was justifiable defensive action.
“There are many examples where taking the life in defense of innocent human beings is legally justified and permissible under the law. Paul Hill should have been given the opportunity to defend himself with the defense of his choosing in a court of law. [Operation Rescue West press release, 9/3/03]
Newman Stalked Clinic Workers. A 2004 Los Angeles Times story detailed Newman’s anti-abortion activism:
“Newman will pick through clinic workers’ trash to figure out where they do business; he’ll trail them at a distance to learn their routines. His goal is not just to make their lives uncomfortable. He wants to unsettle and disgust their friends and associates, so their hairstylists and their pharmacists, even their neighbors, make it clear they’re not welcome in Wichita.” [Los Angeles Times, 2/17/04]
Center For Medical Progress Connected To Disreputable Anti-Choice Organization
Vox: Center For Medical Progress “Appears To Be Associated” With Life Legal Defense Foundation. In a July 14 post detailing the controversy around the deceptively edited video released by CMP, Vox noted that the Life Legal Defense Foundation “appears to be associated with” the organization, linking to a series of materials on Life Legal’s website from the Center For Medical Progress. [Vox, 7/14/15]
Life Legal Defense Foundation Has Been With The Center For Medical Progress “From The Very Start.” In a press release discussing CMP’s video, the Life Legal Defense Fund said it had been working with CMP “from the very start”:
Life Legal Defense Foundation was finally able today to reveal its support of an undercover operation proving that Planned Parenthood routinely peddles the organs and tissues of babies aborted in its “health centers.” This systematic profiteering is known about and approved by officers at the abortion giant’s highest levels of authority. Planned Parenthood’s abortionists will even alter the abortion procedure in order to guarantee the tissues most sought after–regardless of what might be best for the aborting mother.
Life Legal gives the credit for bringing these shocking practices to light to David Daleiden. But Daleiden gives a lot of credit to Life Legal: “The Center for Medical Progress thanks Life Legal Defense Foundation for their initiative and foresight in consulting on and helping to develop this project.”
Familiar as we are with the contract killer’s practices, Life Legal can’t claim to be surprised by Planned Parenthood’s utter disregard for medical ethics. But we are delighted that it has been so ably and thoroughly documented by David Daleiden.
Life Legal is proud to have taken an active, essential role in exposing Planned Parenthood’s “Dr. Frankenstein” wrongdoing. Katie Short, Life Legal’s Vice-President for Legal Affairs, remarked, “Planned Parenthood’s unconscionable acts are recorded and proven. But it will take a lot of pressure to bring consequences to bear. After these revelations, the first thing every public official should be asked is why a penny of taxpayer money is going to fund any part of Planned Parenthood’s work.”
Having been with the project from its inception, Life Legal is committed to following through. Planned Parenthood will not lightly escape the judgment it has merited by trafficking in babies’ eyes, hearts, livers, muscles, and other organs and tissues. [Life Legal Defense Fund, 7/14/15]
Life Legal Defense Foundation Does Not Meet Standards Of Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance. According to the BBB’s Wise Giving Alliance, which “helps donors make informed giving decisions and promotes high standards of conduct among organizations that solicit contributions from the public,” the Life Legal Defense Foundation does not meet their standards for charity accountability. Citing the organization’s indirect compensation of board member’s sibling as well as inaccurate “presentation of LLDF’s fund raising and program service expenses. [Give.org, Accessed 7/15/15]
Right Wing Watch: Life Legal Defense Foundation Espoused Conspiracy Theory That National Defense Authorization Act Was “Really A Way .... To Round Up Anti-Abortion Activists And Imprison Them Indefinitely Without Trial.” In a January 2012 post, Right Wing Watch called out members of the “Religious Right” — including the Life Legal Defense Foundation — who forwarded the fringe conspiracy theory that the Obama Administration’s National Defense Authorization Act for 2012 would allow the government to permanently imprison pro-life activists without a trial. Speaking to LifeSiteNews.com at the time, Dana Cody, the president and executive director of the Life Legal Defense Foundation, said her organization was studying the NDAA because it says “enemy territory could be anywhere,” and added, “If it’s within the discretion of the government under the National Defense Authorization Act, of course it will be used by the government to intimidate and silence pro-life people, especially those who are in the public forum.” [Right Wing Watch, 1/4/12]
I’m posting the full version of the Planned Parenthood hit job produced by David Daleiden and his “Center for Medical Progress” (an Orwellian name if there ever was one), along with a link to the complete transcript, because it leaves absolutely no doubt that the edited version most people are seeing is deliberately deceptive. The edited video leaves out some very important information — and even the unedited version carries a completely false title: “Planned Parenthood Uses Partial-Birth Abortions to Sell Baby Parts.”
No, they do not.
For example, here’s a section from the transcript in which the undercover right wing operative sleazily tries to get Planned Parenthood medical director Dr. Deborah Nucatola to discuss selling organs and body parts for profit — and she makes it very, very clear that this is not something Planned Parenthood ever does. This was left out of the edited video, obviously deliberately, because it destroys the impression they’re working so hard to convey, that Planned Parenthood is profiting from the sale of fetal tissue.
Buyer: If, we can offer to an affiliate that we’re going to take care of everything, the consenting, the collection, we don’t even need an extra room, we just need three feet of space in the path lab, in the back with a dish so we can do that.
PP: Uh huh. Which we already have set up, you just have to-
Buyer: Right. Is that- are there affiliates, who would just donate the tissue for
PP: Probably. I mean really, the guidance is, this is not something you should be making an exorbitant amount of money on.
Buyer: Is that the PPFA guidance or?
PP: Yes. Our goal, like I said, is to give patients the option without impacting our bottom line. The messaging is this should not be seen as a new revenue stream, because that’s not what it is.
Buyer: That seems like it would be, and correct me if I’m wrong. Seems like it would be such an easy thing to not show a profit. No matter how much we compensate, it—
PP: Yeah. Well, but at the end of the day, you still need to have the paperwork to back it up because, we are under a microscope.
Buyer: But your cost, your loss in some areas must be so much that that can be shown to, I don’t know-
PP: I understand. If you were to look at it in the big picture, yes. But nobody looks at it in the big picture, they look with the little blinders on.
Buyer: Ok. I’m just trying to brainstorm. Because, I think offering some people, not only, just offsetting their cost in other areas, seeing the potential for that, besides the potential, for the patient, I’m still going down that road, even though I know, I understand what you’re saying. This cannot be seen as, “We’re doing this for profit.”
PP: No. Nothing, no affiliate should be doing anything that’s not like, reasonable and customary. This is not- nobody should be “selling” tissue. That’s just not the goal here.
Notice how the undercover operatives label themselves as “Buyer” — even though they’re not “buying” anything and Dr. Nucatola made that very clear to them. Again, Planned Parenthood and other clinics do not profit from the sale of fetal tissues; these specimens are donated by the women who undergo procedures, like any other tissue might be donated from any other medical procedure. Any fees involved are only intended to cover costs of handling, shipping, storage, etc. Nobody profits from these donations.
Another section was left out of the edited video because it destroys the image of Dr. Nucatola as a soulless monster, and makes it clear she’s a compassionate, caring physician who was motivated to help women in a time of great need and distress. Dr. Nucatola talks about a patient she saw when she was an OB/GYN resident, who was transferred to her after suffering complications:
I will tell you the date, I was on-call, it was my last day, I was on call, when you’re a resident in obstetrics and gynecology you spend a dedicated amount of time in obstetrics and a dedicated amount of time in gynecology. In your senior year, it’s four months of each. So, February 28th 1998 was my last day of GYN ever as a resident and then I would be done. July I would graduate and then I would be an OB/GYN. And on that day, there was patient that was transferred to me, from an outside clinic, who had had a D&E, dilation and evacuation, late second trimester abortion, she was bleeding. That patient was transferred to me and she got to the hospital and I met her in the emergency room and I saw her and she was as white as this napkin, and I still remember her name, I remember everything about her, and she looked up at me, and she said, “Don’t let me die.” And she actually bled to death. We did a hysterectomy in about twelve minutes and she died. It was very distressing and very upsetting. I probably had a very different reaction than most people would, which was well I do D&Es all the time, and I don’t ever have complications. And I think I’m pretty good at them, I need to keep making sure that there are lots of people doing these D&Es safely so there’s not another patient like this.
There you have it — the reason why we can’t let these dishonest right wing hatchet men succeed in destroying Planned Parenthood. If their agenda succeeds, there will be many more women who die from complications after illegal abortions. Making abortion illegal won’t stop abortions, it will just drive them underground and bring back the bad old days.
But of course, that’s exactly what these right wing goons are after — bringing back the bad old days.
Read more at http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/44841_The_Full_Planned_Parenthood_Sting_Video_Reveals_Right_Wing_Deception_Tactics#A3y8ZTQT0fKK9rYB.99
A new kind of fascism has taken over America: the merger of corporations and government whereby corporate power dominates. With the emergence of ever-larger multinational corporations — due to consolidation facilitated by the Federal Reserve’s endless FIAT money — the corporatocracy has been in a position to literally purchase the U.S. Congress.
A James Jaeger Film featuring RON PAUL, Congressman/Presidential Candidate; PAT BUCHANAN, Author/Political Analyst; G. EDWARD GRIFFIN, Author/Producer; EDWIN VIEIRA, Author/Constitutional Attorney and TED BAEHR, Founder of MovieGuide and Christian Film & TV Commission.
A result of the corporate purchase of Congress is that many of the nation’s “laws” have been re-configured to benefit WE THE CORPORATIONS, rather than WE THE PEOPLE. “Laws” like NAFTA and GATT resulted in the outsourcing of the U.S. manufacturing base and the destruction of the Middle Class. This is nothing less than the 1 Percenters abusing the 99 Percenters. Known as “monopoly capitalism,” “crony capitalism,” “mercantilism,” “globalization,” “the new world order,” and/or “free trade” — this is NOT your Grandfather’s capitalism.
How horrible must your life be if you get irrationally offended every time someone doesn’t salute the flag to your liking during the Pledge of Allegiance?
In Miami, Assistant Chief Anita Najiy — the highest-ranking female cop in the city — kept her arms at her side during the ritual instead of putting a hand over her heart. Now, the head of the Miami police union is flipping out because ‘Murica.
Fraternal Order of Police President Javier Ortiz wants Najiy reprimanded for not saluting the flag or covering her heart during the Pledge of Allegiance.
“Since she clearly has no respect for the flag or the United States, on behalf of the Fraternal Order of Police, I am requesting that Assistant Chief Najiy is removed as the commander of the MPD Honor Guard Detail,” Ortiz said in a letter Monday to Police Chief Rodolfo Llanes.
“If she isn’t loyal to the United States of America, what country is she loyal and shows allegiance to?” he asked.
As much as I’d like to say Najiv was protesting the Pledge, she was actually just following protocol:
Police Maj. Delrish Moss produced a section of the conduct code for U.S. military personnel, which he says supercedes police code. It reads: “When in uniform, indoors, stand at attention, remain silent, and face the flag.”
So she was following military rules… and that, in Ortiz’s eyes, makes her un-American. What he has against her, I don’t know, but even if she sat down during the Pledge, it wouldn’t make her any less patriotic. If you equate being a True American with participating in a mindless ritual, your priorities need adjustment.
Thankfully, it looks like no one is taking Ortiz seriously. After all, he’s the same guy who went to Ferguson, Missouri to show solidarity… with the officer who shot and killed Michael Brown.
Yesterday we introduced you to the honorable Justin Harris, a proud Republican member of the Arkansas House of Representatives, who kinda-sorta hid from the public the fact that he’d adopted two little girls out of foster care, tired of them after a year in his home, and given them to another family to raise. The other family wasn’t so great, seeing as how the new adoptive father, Eric Francis, raped the older of the girls, all of six years old. Francis had also briefly taught at the Christian daycare owned by Harris and his wife, “Growing God’s Kingdom Preschool,” and when the news of the sexual assault broke last year, that was the only connection Harris admitted publicly; the Arkansas Times broke the full story this week. It’s a horrible story, and the more we find out about Rep. Harris, the more charming he seems.
For instance, Justin Harris is a small-government conservative who likes to say that government spending never created a single job — and whose daycare business depends almost exclusively on taxpayer-subsidized tuition, as an Arkansas Times column noted in 2011:
Harris’ business operates on almost $900,000 a year and serves about 150 kids. Of that, all but about 6 percent comes in the form of state and federal dollars in a program aimed at developmentally disabled and poor children. The money provides Harris and his wife almost $60,000 a year in salary and benefits. It also covers the mortgage on his privately owned building and rent payments to the Harrises. So the government spending hawk lives on government spending, a double dip of payroll, perks and rent payments.
In addition, while Harris was pushing a bill to deny state services and in-state tuition to any Arkansas residents who couldn’t prove they were U.S. citizens or legal immigrants, Growing God’s Kingdom Preschool was happy to take government subsidies for “perhaps a dozen undocumented students among his 150 pre-schoolers” — not that undocumented kids shouldn’t get daycare, but it’s rather rich that Harris was seeking to deny benefits to some undocumented people while collecting taxpayer money for others. As columnist Max Brantley put it:
An anti-tax, anti-government-spending, anti-illegal-alien legislator is living off a government program that includes payments for kids who haven’t produced proof of citizenship.
Oh, but that’s not all.
God’s Little Acre Growing God’s Kingdom also came under fire in 2011-2012 when Americans United for the Separation of Church and State lodged a complaint against the state’s “Arkansas Better Choice” (ABC) program for granting funds to the Harrises, even though Growing God’s Kingdom explicitly advertised that it provided religious instruction, and would even turn out little evangelists. The preschool’s handbook promised parents that teachers and staff would:
“strive too [sic] ensure that your child feels the love of Jesus Christ while preparing them for Kindergarten.” The preschoolers, it continues, will be taught “the word of God” so that they can “spread the word of God to others.”
Harris insisted that it wasn’t no thing, since parents had the option of letting their kids sit out during daily prayers and Bible readings, but the ABC program later revised its guidelines to specify that no state funds could be spent on religious instruction during the school day. So Harris once again took a strict course of sorta-compliance, saying he would shift the prayers and religious instruction to after-school hours only. And of course, he complained that his state-subsidized clients were being discriminated against, because while he can’t stand Takers, he sure loves parents and little children:
Read more at http://wonkette.com/578427/lets-meet-justin-harris-the-arkansas-houses-godly-child-abandoner#bK52fw3JB8jTbHYB.99
In 1981, Texas Senator Phil Gramm lamented: “We’re the only nation in the world where all our poor people are fat.” It was, to Gramm, clear evidence of how exaggerated the problem of economic hardship in America was, and how horrible the nation’s welfare state had become. Apparently, poor people aren’t really suffering or deserving of much sympathy until their ribcages are showing and their eye-sockets have all but swallowed their eyes. If the poor are fat, it’s not because so many of the cheapest and most readily available foods in poor communities are high in empty calories, sugar and non-nutritional ingredients—or because, in general, the U.S. food supply is overly-processed and unhealthy—but rather, it must be because poor people have it too good and are able to do a lot of fancy eating at public expense.
America’s culture of cruelty has long been fed by this kind of thinking: namely, the belief that the poor and unemployed really aren’t suffering that badly. This “poverty denialism” rests on three claims: first, that America’s poor are fabulously wealthy by global standards and thus, should essentially stop complaining; second, that the poor buy expensive food with their SNAP benefits and have all manner of consumer goods in their homes, which means they aren’t poor in any sense that should cause concern; and third, that large numbers of welfare recipients commit fraud in order to get benefits, and then misuse the benefits they receive. In short, these are not the deserving poor—their pain is not real.
The Fallacy of Global Poverty Comparisons
As for the idea that the poor in America are not really poor, one can almost understand why this notion might seem persuasive even to those who are not particularly callous or cruel. Someone who has worked in the Peace Corps for instance, or the military, or has merely traveled widely and witnessed the kind of abject deprivation that is common in much of the world, where billions of people live on less than a dollar a day, might find this part of poverty denialism compelling. Most all of us have seen at least one if not several late-night infomercials seeking charitable contributions to bring running water and vaccinations to the globe’s poorest inhabitants. By comparison to the poverty highlighted by such efforts, one might not find the moral claims of America’s poor to be particularly pressing.
That said, to diminish the real hardship faced by the poor in the United States, solely because it is usually not as crushing as suffering elsewhere—and I say usually, because in some poor counties of America, conditions and life expectancy actually do rival those in some of the poorest nations on Earth—is neither a logical nor ethical response to that hardship. Even though in absolute terms it is true that America’s poor are not poor in the same way and to the same extremes as say, Sri Lanka’s poor, such a reassurance is likely not much comfort for America’s struggling masses. After all, Americans are notSri Lankans, and they are trying to stay afloat and compete in a society against other Americans. This is why the international standard for evaluating poverty is not simply a set dollar equivalent amount, since poverty in a poor country is by definition different from poverty in a rich country, but is determined by looking at what percentage of a country’s citizens live at half or less of the nation’s median wage. To be at half or less of the median in any society, no matter what that median might be, is to be at a significant disadvantage relative to others in the job market, housing market, in terms of the quality of education your children will likely receive, and in terms of the health care you can access. If the median income is well above your own, you will be effectively priced out of the market for any number of opportunities; as such, even if you are objectively richer than someone in Bangladesh or Ghana, the life you will be able to carve out for yourself in the place you actually live will be far removed from the mainstream there.
This is why the reassurances of economics blogger Catherine Rampell at the New York Times, to the effect that “the bottom 5 percent of the American income distribution is still richer than 68 percent of the world’s inhabitants,” or that “America’s poorest are, as a group, about as rich as India’s richest,” are vapid to a point that would be laughable were the subject matter not so serious. Contrary to Rampell’s breathless excitement at the chart demonstrating these fun facts—which she found in a book by World Bank economist, Branko Milanovic and to which she refers as an “awesome chart” that “kinda blows your mind”—there is nothing awesome, mind-blowing, or even remotely relevant about the statistics in question. Nor are the protestations of Sean Hannity—who assures us that “poor in America is not poor like around the rest of the world”—helpful in understanding the real face of need in the United States.
If anything, to be poor in a rich country, where one’s worth is sadly too often presumed to be linked to one’s possessions (unlike in a poor country where people still know better) is to create a particularly debilitating kind of deprivation. To be poor in a place where success is synonymous with being rich is to find oneself marked as uniquely flawed. To live in a place where wealth is not only visible but flaunted, where the rich make no pretense to normalcy, and where one can regularly hear oneself being berated on the airwaves as losers and vermin and parasites precisely because you are poor or working at a minimum wage job, is to be the victim of a cruelty that poor folks in poor nations do not experience. The poor of Vietnam, for instance, do not have to listen to those who are doing better than they put them down on a daily basis. And why? Because those who are doing better than they, for the most part, are not the kind of people who would bash them for their poverty. The culture of cruelty is not as well developed there. It’s quite an American thing, which unlike most American things we haven’t yet exported to the world. So in a poor nation, the poor are still viewed as belonging to a common humanity, unlike in the United States, where the humanity of poor people, and certainly their right to full citizenship is increasingly under attack.
Ultimately, the politics of comparative suffering is always a losing and amoral proposition. It’s the kind of argumentation that would justify telling a Japanese American who was herded into an American internment camp during World War Two that they have nothing to complain about and should actually be grateful: after all, they could have been in Tokyo when we firebombed it, or in Hiroshima or Nagasaki when we dropped the atomic bombs. It’s the kind of position that would rationalize saying to someone who survived the Holocaust of European Jewry that they had no legitimate complaint against the Nazis, since had they lived in the Soviet Union they may well have perished in Stalin’s gulag (or for that matter, the reverse of this argument). To forward this kind of position is like telling an African American during Jim Crow segregation to get over it, since King Leopold killed roughly ten million Africans in the Congo under Belgian colonialism. In other words, this kind of comparison between the suffering one is currently experiencing and the much greater suffering one could theoretically experience elsewhere lacks all moral and practical relevance.
Not to mention, there is something ironic about this kind of argument coming from elites who regularly push for greater tax breaks so they can have more money with which to “do great things,” or just because they think they’ve earned it. After all, to whatever extent the poor in America are rich by global standards surely the wealthy in America are obscenely, disgustingly, perversely rich by the same; and yet they always seem to want more. They don’t seem satisfied with the kind of wealth that would allow them to literally buy entire countries outright, and which certainly dwarfs the wealth of the so-called rich in less wealthy nations, but yet they have the temerity to lecture poor people about gratitude?
Consider a recent commercial paid for by the Charles Koch Foundation that seeks to remind Americans how good they have it by noting that even if one earns only $34,000 a year, that’s enough to vault one into the top one percent of the world’s population in terms of income. Or consider the remarks of Bud Konheim, CEO and co-founder of fashion label Nicole Miller, who recently said those who are poor or working class in America should stop complaining since their incomes would make them wealthy in India or China. To whatever extent one finds this kind of thinking even remotely persuasive, shouldn’t the logic of such an argument run both ways? Shouldn’t the rich in the U.S. stop complaining about their taxes? The regulations they have to put up with? The minimum wage they have to pay employees? Talk about ingratitude! If they lived in any other industrialized nation the taxes they paid would be higher, regulations would be just as strict or more so, and their workers would have far greater protections and safety nets than in the United States. So when it comes to shutting one’s mouth and being grateful for what one has, perhaps the rich should lead by example.
The Future of Ontario will look like this if Tim Hudak and company is elected
In a time of slack economic growth and high unemployment around the country, Kansas lawmakers thought they had the solution: massive tax cuts for the wealthy would lure economic activity and jump-start the state’s economy. But after Gov. Sam Brownback (R) signed $1.1 billion worth of tax cuts into law over the past two years, the state is behind the national average for economic growth.
A new forecast from Kansas’s budget officials projects that “personal income in Kansas will grow more slowly than U.S. personal income in 2014 and 2015,” the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) writes. The projections come from Brownback’s own Division of the Budget, which expects personal income growth of 3.8 percent this year and 4.2 percent next year. The state’s overall economic growth is now projected to fall behind the nation’s after two decades of keeping pace, the think tank adds.
At the same time that Brownback’s promised economic growth is failing to materialize, his critics‘ predictions about the tax cuts are largely coming true. The tax package is starving the state of revenue. With less money coming in, Kansas is cutting public services. The state Supreme Court has ordered lawmakers to restore funding to poor school districts, saying that the spending levels they enacted were so low as to be unconstitutional. But given the state’s revenue problems, the way that the legislature is going about correcting the underfunding problem simplytakes money away from other schools that need it.
Things are also getting worse for the neediest people in the state. Last fall, Census data revealed that the poverty rate in Kansas had risen each year since the governor was elected after vowing to reduce child poverty. A study by Kansas Action for Children last fall found that child poverty continues to rise in the state.
Brownback’s official response to the state’s poverty problem was a brief report that advocated fighting poverty by encouraging traditional family structures througheight-hour “pre-marital education” classes for couples wishing to wed, kicking tens of thousands of residents off of food stamps so that they will work harder, and finding mentors for the state’s kids.
When a 67-year-old white Republican begins a sentence with “I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro,” you know the sentence is not ending well. But deadbeat rancher and domestic terrorist Cliven Bundy wasn’t content to stop with mere racism, however undisguised. No, he went ahead and added a dose of flagrant hypocrisy to the mix:
“I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro … because they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do?” he asked.
Oh! Basically on government subsidy. Well, a man who’s been grazing his cattle on federal land for 20 years without even paying the ridiculously low (effectively: subsidized) rates he legally owed should know a thing or two about government subsidy. This is a man who sparked an armed standoff with the federal government in an effort to avoid paying the more than $1 million he owes. And he’s talking about how the effects of government subsidy on black people are that:
“They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom.”
Does government subsidy somehow work differently for white ranchers with 14 children? Sorry! Stupid question, I realize. Cliven Bundy is a special snowflake to whom no rules apply, ever. He gets to illegally graze cattle on public land for decades and take up arms against the federal government, and then when the New York Times comes calling to write about them, he gets to hold forth about how the Negroes were better off under slavery and it not only doesn’t make the headline, you have to read down 11 paragraphs to get to what would seem to be significant information about who this guy is. But apparently the Times thought the more significant piece of information in the article was that Bundy “savors the audience that rallied to his side.” What a piece of hard-hitting news that is—deadbeat on ego trip savors ego trip.
LAS VEGAS — Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy’s battle against the federal government over land rights took an unexpected detour after a newspaper quoted the 67-year-old grandfather suggesting African Americans were “better off as slaves” because slavery taught work skills and enhanced family life.
Bundy, who has waged a standoff with the Bureau of Land Management, insisting he has a right to graze hundreds of head of cattle on public lands without paying fees, has been surrounded by citizen militias that have converged on his ranch in rural Bunkerville after armed federal officials moved in to remove Bundy’s cattle.
The BLM called off the roundup and released the cattle, but says the matter is not over. Bundy and his supporters are awaiting the government’s next move.
Over the weekend, Bundy spoke to supporters about general issues involved in the standoff. Suddenly, he took a turn and began discoursing on African Americans and public welfare.
“I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro,” he said in comments quoted by the New York Times. He recalled driving past a public-housing project in North Las Vegas, “and in front of that government house the door was usually open and the older people and the kids — and there is always at least a half a dozen people sitting on the porch — they didn’t have nothing to do. They didn’t have nothing for their kids to do. They didn’t have nothing for their young girls to do.”
He added: “And because they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do?” he asked. “They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom.”
Conservative lawmakers in Washington, who have so far supported Bundy, have blasted his remarks, including Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), who had previously referred to the gray-haired rancher as a patriot.
Heller “completely disagrees with Bundy’s appalling and racist statements and condemns them in the most strenuous way,” his office said.
But some Bundy supporters remained undeterred.
“His statements were not a criticism of blacks. They criticized the federal government,” said Brandon Rapolla, a concrete mixer from Oregon who spent eight days at the ranch. “I’ve met the Bundys, and that’s not who they are.”
Rapolla said he has posted Bundy’s remarks on social media. If people read them, he said, they will understand his point.
“It’s not racism,” he said. “People are trying to divide us on this issue. This is about the federal government, not anything else.”
Nevada’s other senator, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who has called Bundy’s supporters “domestic terrorists,” denounced Bundy’s remarks.
“I used to live in North Las Vegas and it is home to some of the hardest-working people I have ever met — men and women who embody the American dream by working hard every day to build a better life for themselves and their families,” Reid, a Democrat, said in a statement.
“By contrast, Cliven Bundy has spent decades profiting off government land while refusing to pay the same fair use fees as his fellow ranchers. Today, Bundy revealed himself to be a hateful racist. But by denigrating people who work hard and play by the rules while he mooches off public land he also revealed himself to be a hypocrite.”
A leading advocate of the patriarchal Quiverfull movement groomed a teenage girl as his “personal sex object” and then used the purity culture to shame her into silence, according to a lawsuit filed by his victim.
Douglas Phillips resigned last year from Vision Forum and Vision Forum Ministries over what he described at the time as an extramarital affair.
But the lawsuit, reported by Right Wing Watch, revealed more details about this relationship and the ways that women are treated in the Quiverfull movement – which has been popularized by the prolific Duggar family and their TLC reality show, 19 Kids and Counting.
HOUSTON (KTRK) — Federal officials have arrested a Katy man who they say was plotting to commit a string of crimes as a part of a political movement.
Robert James Talbot Jr., 38, has been arrested and charged with attempted interference with commerce by robbery, solicitation to commit a crime of violence and possession of an explosive material, specifically C4. His arrest comes at the end of an eight-month undercover investigation by the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force.
The US Attorney’s Office says that according to the criminal complaint,Talbot wanted to recruit five to six other like-minded individuals to blow up government buildings, rob banks and kill law enforcement officers. Talbot allegedly created a Facebook page titled “American Insurgent Movement” (AIM). The complaint alleges he described that page as:
“a Pre-Constitutionalist Community that offers those who seek True patriotism and are looking for absolute Freedom by doing the Will of God. Who want to restore America Pre-Constitutionally and look forward to stopping the Regime with action by bloodshed.”
The criminal complaint further alleges Talbot made several postings on the page between January 30 and February 9, seeking people interested in “walking away from your life … to stop the regime.”
On March 15, Talbot allegedly posted again to the page:
“In a few weeks me and my team are goin active for Operation Liberty…I will not be able to post no more. We will be the revolution, things will happen nation wide or in the states. They will call us many names and spin things around on media. Just remember we fight to stop Marxism, liberalism, Central banking Cartels and the New World Order. I will try to find someone to take over this community page, but most of the guys who are admins are part of my unit. I will have a website up in 2 months…The funding is unlimited since the banking cartel will be forced to fund our movements.”
The complaint alleges that on March 20, Talbot conducted surveillance of multiple financial institutions in the northwest Houston area, monitoring the movements of people entering and exiting the banks. Talbot also allegedly followed an armored car, watching how personnel exited the vehicle and whether the carrier was picking up or dropping off bags.
On March 22, Talbot sent $500 as a down payment for the explosive devices he had requested, according to the complaint.
Two days later, Talbot allegedly claimed to have quit his job and was preparing for an armored car robbery. On March 27, Talbot and others met at a storage facility in Houston with the intent to conduct an armor car robbery that morning, according to allegations. Talbot allegedly provided detailed maps of the target financial institution as well as escape routes. The complaint further alleges he placed two explosive devices made of C4 into his black backpack and allegedly stated he would place the explosive device on the vehicle. He further instructed the group how to block the armored car with their vehicle to prevent it from leaving the location and provided a “manifesto” which was read to the group. “We must rebel. There is no other option no. Blood and bullets are the only two things that will change this world, short of divine action.”
While en route to conduct the armored car robbery, Talbot was arrested and taken into custody by the FBI Houston Division Special Weapons and Tactics team.
If convicted, he faces up to a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment and a possible $250,000 fine for the attempted robbery as well as another 10 years imprisonment and $100,000 fine for each of the remaining charges.
Despite their sharp criticisms of federal spending, Republican states are the most dependent on government funds, according to a new Wallet Hub report.
Mississippi, a state mired in poverty and racism, takes about $3 in federal spending for every $1 dollar that state taxpayers contribute. The Magnolia State ties with New Mexico when it comes to dependency on government funds.
South Carolina taxpayers contribute $1 per capita for every $7.87 in federal funds funneled to the state.
The state with the lowest return on taxpayer investment is South Carolina. Its citizens pay $1 in taxes per capita for every $7.87 in federal funding received.
Ironically, Democratic states are less likely to depend on government funding, receiving fewer government contracts, fewer direct payments while simultaneously having a higher tax rate.
Red states under President Barack Obama have very publicly tried to distance themselves from government spending by refusing to expand healthcare for families and individuals in need, as well as working to reduce economic assistance via the SNAP program.
Despite this, Republican states still depend on the federal government to function.
A new Pew Research survey finds a demographic trend in the United States that threatens to push the Republican Party into permanent minority status unless it changes quickly.
The survey found that millennials — the generation of adults between the ages of 18 and 33 — vote heavily Democratic and have “liberal views on many political and social issues, ranging from a belief in an activist government to support for same-sex marriage and marijuana legalization.”
They are also the most racially diverse generation in American history and it’s a key factor in explaining their political liberalism.
But, as Pew notes, it is not the only factor: “Across a range of political and ideological measures, white millennials, while less liberal than the non-whites of their generation, are more liberal than the whites in older generations.”
They are also the only generation in which self-described conservatives do not outnumber self-described liberals.
Meanwhile, the most loyal Republicans are growing older. As time marches on, their numbers are dwindling
But Republicans do have an opening: Millennials may be more liberal, but they don’t have much loyalty to the Democratic Party.
In fact, 50 percent of all millennials now describe themselves as political independents — the highest level of political disaffiliation recorded for any generation in the last quarter-century. They don’t like either of the two major political parties.
Nonetheless, this generation mostly votes Democratic and has little in common with the Republican Party. Needless to say, it’s a real problem for the GOP.
the fifth estate | Season 39, Episode 10
With massive cuts by Ottawa to everything from food inspections to water quality and climate change and the dismissal of more than 2,000 federal scientists and researchers, some scientists have become unlikely radicals — denouncing what they call a politically-driven war on knowledge. In Silence of the Labs, Linden MacIntyre tells their story – and what is at stake for Canadians – from Nova Scotia to the B.C. Pacific Coast and the far Arctic Circle.