The Right Advances; Parenthood Defunding Continues, O’Keefe Wins Tax Exemption

Labor Organizing National Politics

planned_parenthood_1West Palm Beach People are pretty excited here South Florida about the Miami Heat’s victory at least folks who actually live here, since the airports and highways seem to be swarming with folks sick of the cold country looking for warmer weather and mainly willing to memorialize the sun itself this weekend.   Add to that the fact that a Dane County judge threw out the anti-union Wisconsin law for an “open meetings” violation, and there you pretty much have the good news for the day.

But back to reality the right advances steadily, and everywhere we look.

The U.S. Supreme Court found it fine and dandy that Arizona of all places (a comic on TV last night called Arizona the “Lindsay Lohan of the states”) can put its boot up the butt of businesses in the state and punish them for hiring undocumented workers.  Speaking of Lindsay Lohan, it sounds like Sarah Palin is moving to Arizona too and has “fire in her belly,” which means that even on the darkest days, there’s still a silver lining in those clouds!

Where the strategic work of the right and the Republicans continues to pay off for them is in their systemic and strategic efforts to eviscerate the “support” institutions of progressives through defunding and extremism attacks.  Planned Parenthood may have escaped Congressional censure but is still fighting in the trenches at the state level to support the health needs of poorer women, and there the news is frightful.

USA Today summarized the on-going efforts in six states yesterday to strip Planned Parenthood of funding:

  • Indiana passed and signed a bill in mid-May that bars “any entity that performs abortions…from contracting with Medicaid to provide health and preventive care.”  There is a lawsuit, but I bet the courts will rule that Indiana can stop its own state contracts though it can’t restrict a federal contract.
  • Tennessee passed a measure in its Senate, though this is not a done deal.
  • Wisconsin (of course) approved a bill through its Joint Finance Committee to strip $1M per year, but compared to everything else Wisconsin is doing Planned Parenthood is probably not losing much sleep on this million.
  • The Texas Senate is looking a piece of legislation that has a poisoned bill in it.  If the courts allow funding to go to Planned Parenthood, then the whole program is defunded!
  • Kansas legislature passed a budget that defunds Planned Parenthood, which once again raises the issue of what they are “teaching young girls in Kansas,” as Josey Wales pointed out.
  • North Carolina also passed a budget to bar the state from giving Planned Parenthood contracts.

Planned Parenthood has lawyers and supporters and they are howling so none of this is over, until it’s really over, but the fight itself augurs poorly for the future.

Meanwhile James O’Keefe has been notified by the Internal Revenue Service that he has received tax exempt status for his vanity vehicle, Project Veritas, which he says will make it easier for him to raise money and train “an army of citizen journalists” to specialize in this kind of skullduggery and create more right wing scam-caspades!