WALTER E. WILLIAMS
U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan issued an order late Friday afternoon ordering former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and two of her most intimate State Department aides, Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills, to account for, under penalty of perjury, their use of Clinton’s ‘home-brew’ server kept at her Chappaqua, New York home during Clinton’s four-year tenure as secretary, as well as any official documents in their possession.
The order came in a FOIA lawsuit by Judicial Watch that was re-opened by Judge Sullivan in June after Clinton’s circumvention of the FOIA laws was revealed when news broke of her use of the private server.
Judicial Watch posted the text of the ruling. (Paragraphs added.)
As agreed by the parties at the July 31, 2015 status hearing, the Government shall produce a copy of the letters sent by the State Department to Mrs. Hillary Clinton, Ms. Huma Abedin and Ms. Cheryl Mills regarding the collection of government records in their possession.
These communications shall be posted on the docket forthwith. The Government has also agreed to share with Plaintiff’s counsel the responses sent by Mrs. Clinton, Ms. Abedin and Ms. Mills. These communications shall also be posted on the docket forthwith.
In addition, as related to Judicial Watch’s FOIA requests in this case, the Government is HEREBY ORDERED to: (1) identify any and all servers, accounts, hard drives, or other devices currently in the possession or control of the State Department or otherwise that may contain responsive information;
(2) request that the above named individuals confirm, under penalty of perjury, that they have produced all responsive information that was or is in their possession as a result of their employment at the State Department. If all such information has not yet been produced, the Government shall request the above named individuals produce the information forthwith;
and (3) request that the above named individuals describe, under penalty of perjury, the extent to which Ms. Abedin and Ms. Mills used Mrs. Clinton’s email server to conduct official government business.
The Government shall inform the Court of the status of its compliance with this Order no later than August 7, 2015, including any response received from Mrs. Clinton, Ms. Abedin and Ms. Mills. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on July 31, 2015.”
Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton issued a statement on the ruling.
This blockbuster ruling is the most significant legal development to date in the ongoing Clinton email scandal. Hillary Clinton will now have to answer, under penalty of perjury, to a federal court about the separate email server she and her aides used to avoid accountability to the American people.
This court action shows that the rule of law and public’s right to know will no longer take a back seat to politics. Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration that is covering for her are not above the law.”
Hillary’s top aide Huma Abedin is being accused of criminal violations that would have allowed her to be overpaid while at the State Department under the Hildebeast.
From the Washington Post:
The State Department concluded this year that Huma Abedin, one of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s closest aides, was overpaid by nearly $10,000 because of violations of rules governing vacation and sick leave during her tenure as an official in the department.
The finding – which Abedin has formally contested – emerged publicly Friday after Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) sent letters to Secretary of State John F. Kerry and others seeking more information about an investigation into possible “criminal” conduct by Abedin concerning her pay.
Grassley’s letters also questioned the status of an inquiry into whether Abedin had violated conflict-of-interest laws related to her special employment status, which allowed her to work simultaneously for the State Department, the Clinton Foundation and a private firm with close ties to the Clintons.
The finding that Abedin, a longtime Clinton confidant who now serves as vice chairwoman of her presidential campaign, had improperly collected taxpayer money could prove damaging to Clinton’s candidacy, as Republicans charge that government rules were routinely bent to benefit Clinton and her aides.
The Hillary campaign has broken all sorts of news today, and very little of good. It looks like Huma is gonna have a crappy weekend.
A new report from a government watchdog examining the success of taxpayer-funded Obamacare co-ops found that the vast majority lost money last year and struggled to enroll consumers, throwing their ability to repay the taxpayer-funded loans into question.
According to the audit from the Department of Health and Human Services’ inspector general, 22 of the 23 co-ops created under the Affordable Care Act experienced net losses through the end of 2014. Additionally, 13 of the 23 nonprofit insurers enrolled significantly less people than projected.
Co-ops, or consumer-oriented and operated plans, are nonprofit insurance companies created under Obamacare. Co-ops exist in a variety of capacities, and lawmakers hoped the entities would foster competition in areas where few insurance options were available.
The co-ops received $2 billion in loans from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to assist in their launch and solvency. However, the government watchdog warned that repayment may not be possible.
“The low enrollment and net losses might limit the ability of some co-ops to repay startup and solvency loans and to remain viable and sustainable,” the report said.
Andy Slavitt, head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, attributed the co-ops’ financial losses to the difficulties of moving into a new market.
“The co-ops enter the health insurance market with a number of challenges, [from] building a provider network to pricing premiums that will sustain the business for the long term,” he said. “As with any new set of business ventures, it is expected that some co-ops will be more successful than others.”
Roughly half of the nonprofit co-ops struggled to enroll consumers, and the vast majority experienced significant losses in 2014.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services’ inspector general report, Arizona’s co-op, Meritus Health Partners, saw the lowest enrollment when compared with its projections. Through the end of 2014, the insurer enrolled just 869 Arizona consumers, compared with its projected enrollment of 23,998.
By contrast, New York far surpassed its enrollment projections. As of Dec. 31, Health Republic Insurance of New York signed up 155,402 people. It expected to enroll 30,864.
Additionally, 22 of the 23 co-ops experienced net losses as of Dec. 31, with the exception of Maine Community Health Options, which was profitable.
Just two insurance companies, including the co-op, offered plans on the federal exchange in Maine. Maine Community Health Options offered the lowest-priced coverage and enrolled 80 percent of marketplace consumers in the state, according to the inspector general.
In South Carolina, Consumers’ Choice Health Insurance Company exceeded profitability projections as of the end of 2014. However, the co-op still incurred net losses of $3.8 million. It expected a net income loss of $8.1 million.
Information regarding income for the co-op serving Iowa and Nebraska, CoOportunity, was not available, as the insurer was liquidated in March. CoOportunity received $145.3 million from the federal government in startup and solvency loans.
The report from the Department of Health and Human Services watchdog came after Louisiana’s co-op, Louisiana Health Cooperative, Inc., announced last week it would be discontinuing operations at the end of the year. The nonprofit insurer projected to enroll 28,106 Louisiana consumers in 2014 but signed up just 9,980 through the federal marketplace.
Additionally, Louisiana Health Cooperative incurred $20.6 million in net losses as of Dec. 31.
Similarly, Tennessee’s co-op, Community Health Alliance Mutual Insurance Company, froze enrollment during Obamacare’s second open enrollment period, which began in October. The co-op cited its financial conditions as a reason for its enrollment freeze.
According to the inspector general’s report, the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services placed four co-ops on “enhanced oversight and corrective action plans.” Two were put on notice for low enrollment.
Via Washington Times:
DENVER | Planned Parenthood Rocky Mountains was hit with a complaint Wednesday for performing an abortion on a 13-year-old girl without reporting possible sexual abuse against the underage girl and returning her to the man who abused her.
The conservative Alliance Defending Freedom filed a complaint with the Colorado Department of Regulatory Affairs against the Planned Parenthood affiliate on behalf of the pro-life Colorado Family Action.
A lawsuit filed against Planned Parenthood Rocky Mountains and four unidentified employees on behalf of the girl was settled earlier this year.
Natalie L. Decker, ADF legal counsel, said that, “Colorado authorities should hold Planned Parenthood and its employees accountable.”
“Failing to report the sexual abuse of a minor is horrifically tragic and illegal,” said Ms. Decker in a statement. “Planned Parenthood has repeatedly shown brazen and appalling disregard for the law, including laws designed to protect children from this kind of damaging physical and emotional abuse.”
The complaint comes with the Denver-based Planned Parenthood affiliate reeling from an undercover video released Tuesday by the pro-life Center for Medical Progress showing Dr. Savita Ginde discussing how to maximize fetal tissue from abortions.
Update to this story:.
Via Washington Examiner:
Planned Parenthood proclaimed on Thursday that its websites were “not available because of an extremist attack,” but seemed to change its story throughout the day after many people pointed to inconsistencies about the alleged hack.
At around noon, the message on the group’s homepage was changed to read that “our normal site is currently undergoing maintenance.”
At the start of the day, Planned Parenthood claimed it was the victim of a cyberattack. “200,000 people a day are now being blocked from information and care by the attack,” the first iteration on the PlannedParenthood.org site said. But many noted on Twitter that it didn’t look like a regular attack, as the homepage still seemed to be controlled by the group, and included links to parts of the group’s website.
Viewed Thursday morning, the source code for the page indicated it was a page put up in response to a cyberattack, and the site asked users to donate to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, the political action fundraising wing of the abortion giant. […]
Later Thursday, the original message was taken down and replaced with a note that made no mention of the hack at all. “Our normal site is currently undergoing maintenance,” it said. “Below you will find information to help you find a Planned Parenthood health center, book an appointment, and get involved with Planned Parenthood.” Instead of redirecting users to another page on the site, the button now provides a phone number for donations.
Thanks to Obamanomics the US economy is plodding through the worst recovery in decades.
The Wall Street Journal reported:
The economic expansion – already the worst on record since World War II – is weaker than previously thought, according to newly revised data.
From 2012 through 2014, the economy grew at an all-too-familiar rate of 2% annually, according to three years of revised figures the Commerce Department released Thursday. That’s a 0.3 percentage point downgrade from prior estimates.
The revisions were released concurrently with the government’s first estimate of second-quarter output.
Since the recession ended in June 2009, the economy has advanced at a 2.2% annual pace through the end of last year. That’s more than a half-percentage point worse than the next-weakest expansion of the past 70 years, the one from 2001 through 2007. While there have been highs and lows in individual quarters, overall the economy has failed to break out of its roughly 2% pattern for six years.
It’s even worse than we thought.
Obama looks even worse, ranking dead last among all presidents since 1932 – over 80 years.
The Daily Caller reported:
Over the first five years of Obama’s presidency, the U.S. economy grew more slowly than during any five-year period since just after the end of World War II, averaging less than 1.3 percent per year. If we leave out the sharp recession of 1945-46 following World War II, Obama looks even worse, ranking dead last among all presidents since 1932. No other president since the Great Depression has presided over such a steadily poor rate of economic growth during his first five years in office. This slow growth should not be a surprise in light of the policies this administration has pursued.
An economy usually grows rapidly in the years immediately following a recession. As Peter Ferrera points out in Forbes, the U.S. economy has not even reached its long run average rate of growth of 3.3 percent; the highest annual growth rate since Obama took office was 2.8 percent. Total growth in real GDP over the 19 quarters of economic recovery since the second quarter of 2009 has been 10.2 percent. Growth over the same length of time during previous post-World War II recoveries has ranged from 15.1 percent during George W. Bush’s presidency to 30 percent during the recovery that began when John F. Kennedy was elected.
The latest video exposing the trafficking of aborted babies by Planned Parenthood showed workers casually laughing over and probing at pieces of a “baby” and “another boy.”
The Center for Medical Progress (CMP) released a fourth investigative video July 30 showing Planned Parenthood executive, Dr. Savita Ginde, bartering over baby part pricing while admitting that the chances of providing intact organs are better if a woman “delivers before we get to see them.” The video showed Planned Parenthood workers laughing over “five-star” baby parts while trying not to “smush” them.
Ginde is the Vice President and Medical Director of the Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains (PPRM) in Denver. According to CMP, PPRM is “a wealthy, multi-state Planned Parenthood affiliate” that performs more than 10,000 abortions per year.
In the video, actors posing as buyers and representatives from a human biologics company spoke with Ginde about partnering to harvest intact baby organs. During their interaction, Ginde revealed that, “Sometimes, if we get – if someone delivers before we get to see them for a procedure – then we are intact.”
According to CMP, PPRM does not use digoxin or other feticide in second trimester abortions, which means “any intact deliveries before an abortion are potentially born-alive infants under federal law.”
“We’d have to do a little bit of training with the providers or something to make sure that they don’t crush” baby parts, Ginde added.
But more horrific part of the video came towards the end.
In the clinic’s pathological laboratory, where baby parts are sorted after abortion,
Ginde and a medical assistant casually probed at baby parts from 11-12 week-old aborted babies with utensils in a dish.
At one point, a buyer asked, “What was that? A crack, was that the just the little bits of the skull?” to which they casually responded, “Mhmm.”
Ginde, later looking at the dish proclaimed, “It’s a baby” and pointed out the heart.
The medical assistant also chimed in at one point: “My fingers will smush it if I try to get it out” and laughed over the dead baby, deeming the intact parts worthy of “five stars.”
Ginde also recognized a baby brain “blasted out” with water, and noted she sometimes doesn’t use water, so that the parts aren’t as “war-torn.”
The video ended with one Planned Parenthood medical assistant announcing: “Another boy!”
Ginde and the buyers also discussed ways to talk about the trafficking of aborted body parts. “Putting it under ‘research’ gives us a little bit of an overhang over the whole thing,” Ginde said. “If you have someone in a really anti state who’s going to be doing this for you, they’re probably going to get caught.”
Ginde spoke about PPRM’s legal protection in relation to fetal tissue law: “[W]e were like, ‘We don’t want to get called on,’ you know, ‘selling fetal parts across states.’” When the buyers asked, “And you feel confident that they’re building those layers?” Ginde replied, “I’m confident that our Legal will make sure we’re not put in that situation.”
Planned Parenthood received more than $528 million in taxpayer funding during the fiscal year 2013 – 2014. That amounted to more than $1.4 million per day, through government grants, contracts and Medicaid reimbursements.
The video, following on the heels of this week’s video with former “procurement technician” Holly O’Donnell, is part of CMP’s investigative study, “Human Capital.”
Since the release of CMP’s first video, the networks have spent a total of 11 minutes and 13 seconds on the story. For contrast, the news shows covered Cecil the lion more in one day than they did these videos in two weeks.
The liberal media raced to defend Planned Parenthood after CMP released its first video. In the first 9 hours and 30 minutes of news shows broadcast after the story broke, ABC, NBC and CBS, spent only 39 seconds on the first video. It took more than 24 hours before all three covered the story. In the week after the first video, the networks gave a mere 9 minutes and 11 seconds to the story (in contrast, the networks devoted more than three times that to the Susan G. Komen controversy, when the charity temporarily decided to defund the abortion giant).
Similarly, the media stayed silent on the case of Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell. Gosnell’s trial, in which witnesses described baby abortion survivors “swimming” in toilets “to get out,” attracted a scant 12 – 15 reporters. Only after 56 days, multiple letters from members of the House of Representatives and a public outcry, did all three broadcast networks report on Gosnell.
Will the media report on this latest video? Don’t bet on it – not when they can go for the cheap outrage of a lion-shooting.
Planned Parenthood claims on several of its websites that the organization’s web operations have been attacked by “extremists,” but this so-called hacking has all the hallmarks of an orchestrated public relations stunt.
Numerous people on Twitter pointed to evidence suggesting that this so-called hack wasn’t a hack at all:
Their site is so hacked right now that someone has been rearranging CSS fonts and alignment.
12:03 AM – 30 Jul 2015
1:56 AM – 30 Jul 2015
A review of the source code of the main page that appears at PlannedParenthood.org shows that as of 9:30 a.m. today, the page is listed as a “Campaign” and uses a specific template named “Site Down Tempalte” (the typo is theirs). The same page then directs visitors to the Facebook page of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, the political fundraising arm of the nation’s largest abortion provider. The web page for PPAF – which can be accessed via both plannedparenthoodaction.org and ppaction.org – repeats the same hacking claims and contains the exact same source code and template used on the PlannedParenthood.org page.
And that’s where Planned Parenthood’s hacking facade begins to crumble. On the splash page declaring that the organization was hacked, visitors are asked “Why do you stand with Planned Parenthood” and invited to share their stories on a separate page housed at ppaction.org.
And wouldn’t you know it, that page functions perfectly. No sign of hacking. No sign of intrusion. Just a perfectly functional and secure web page that exists solely to build Planned Parenthood’s mailing list:
That’s right. Even though ppaction.org redirects to a page saying the site was hacked, the domain still house a perfectly functional URL and page that are being actively used to help build Planned Parenthood’s fundraising list. Coincidentally, this “hacking” happened just days after Planned Parenthood decided to hire a PR firm, SKDKnickerbocker, to help manage its response to the widening baby organ trafficking scandal.
Planned Parenthood says it’s been hacked by “extremists,” but a review of the publicly available evidence suggests that the only things being hacked at Planned Parenthood right now are perfectly healthy and viable unborn babies.
StemExpress, the human tissue processor that has played a key role in recent videos accusing Planned Parenthood of illegally trafficking in fetal organs, has obtained a restraining order against the release of a new video.
The temporary restraining order (TRO), granted by a Los Angeles Superior Court judge, bars the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) from releasing footage of three StemExpress executives the group apparently recorded at a lunch last May. What might have been said at this lunch that StemExpress doesn’t want getting out is unknown.
StemExpress allows buyers to purchase various types of human tissue, including fetal livers and umbilical cord blood. In its court complaint, StemExpress accused CMP of invasion of privacy, breach of contract, receipt of stolen property, and unfair competition.
The most central part of StemExpress’s complaint is that CMP violated California law by videotaping three StemExpress employees without their consent. California is a two-party consent state for video recordings, and the company alleges its personnel never provided such consent. The company also accuses CMP of editing previous videos of Planned Parenthood personnel to show them in a negative light.
“As a result of the coverage [of CMP’s videos, StemExpress founder Catherine] Dyer has been harassed and even received death threats,” the complain says. “StemExpress’s business has already been impacted because of false and misleading assertions… CMP has stated its intention to release more ‘undercover’ video footage. Plaintiffs believe that CMP is at least in part to video illegally taken of the Defendants.”
The complaint asked the judge to bar any such video from being released, arguing both that the video itself is illegal and that it will be maliciously edited.
The restraining order will last until an additional hearing in August. In a statement on its website, StemExpress has pledged to “pursue all available legal remedies” against both CMP and its leader David Daleiden.
CMP released a statement of its own condemning the “meritless” lawsuit.
“StemExpress… is attempting to use meritless litigation to cover-up this illegal baby parts trade, suppress free speech, and silence the citizen press reporting on issues of burning concern to the American public,” the statement says. “They are not succeeding – their initial petition was rejected by the court, and their second petition was eviscerated to a narrow and contingent order about an alleged recording pending CMP’s opportunity to respond.”
CMP but an exclamation mark on its defiance by linking to a StemExpress advertisement touting the “profits” clinics could make by selling tissues to the company.
CMP has also kept up its video releases, launching another video on Thursday that allegedly shows a Planned Parenthood official discussing the pricing for individual fetal body parts.
Planned Parenthood lobbied the Department of State many times during Hillary Clinton’s tenure there and received tens of millions of dollars from foreign policy agencies over the past few years, according to a new report.
As secretary of state, Clinton attacked the Mexico City Policy, which bans federal funding of abortion overseas. Her husband revoked the policy during his administration and President Obama lifted the ban upon taking office in 2009. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), which is tied to the State Department, steered more than $100 million in funding to Planned Parenthood and its international affiliates between 2010 and 2012, according to the Government Accountability Office – about 20 percent of the nearly $500 million pro-abortion organizations received from taxpayers during that time frame.
The taxpayer dollars that Planned Parenthood received dwarfed the $3.4 million that Planned Parenthood spent on lobbying during President Obama’s first term. Government records document more than 30 instances of Planned Parenthood lobbying federal agencies, including the State Department while Clinton was serving there.
Congress is now considering bills to deny taxpayer funds to the nation’s largest abortion provider after undercover video surfaced from the non-profit Center for Medical Progress showing Planned Parenthood officials casually discussing the harvesting of fetal organs and the price of body parts. The group released a fourth video Thursday showing executives at Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains carving up aborted babies while saying “it’s a baby” and “another boy.” The executive identified as Savita Ginde also tells the undercover videographers, who posed as prospective organ buyers, how Planned Parenthood justifies the sale of those organs.
“In public I think it makes a lot more sense for it to be in the research vein than, I’d say, a business venture,” she said. Planned Parenthood has responded to the scandal of the videos by claiming the fetal body parts are used for research on numerous occasions.
Clinton is the top recipient of campaign donations from workers at the nation’s largest abortion provider, including a $2,700 donation from the CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, Vicki Cowart. The nearly $10,000 she received from Planned Parenthood employees and executives is about 20 times more than the rest of the presidential field combined.
Neither the Clinton campaign nor the Clinton Foundation responded to requests for comment.
Pro-life activists, including Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of the Susan B. Anthony List, have criticized Clinton’s support for abortion and Planned Parenthood throughout her political career.
“For more than two decades, her cozy relationship with Planned Parenthood was a source of cash and powerful political support. In light of yet another video brutally detailing the reality of abortion and harvesting of baby organs, it is a massive liability,” she said.
The Clinton campaign has drawn heavily from pro-abortion professionals. One of its top officials in Iowa, the nation’s first primary state, is Lily Adams, daughter of Planned Parenthood’s president, Cecile Richards. Jane Emerson, the women’s outreach director of Clinton’s failed 2008 campaign, previously served as CEO of the abortion provider’s South Carolina operations.
Planned Parenthood has also partnered with Clinton’s controversial family foundation, helping with six projects under the Clinton Global Initiative umbrella. The Clinton Foundation did not respond to a request for comment.
Clinton, a recipient of the Margaret Sanger Award, initially defended the billion dollar organization when the Center for Medical Progress released several hours of undercover video showing Planned Parenthood officials casually discussing the harvesting of fetal organs and the price of body parts. Those videos captured numerous officials and medical personnel discussing the various techniques that the abortionist employees to recover intact body parts, which would violate federal law. Three congressional committees are now investigating Planned Parenthood over these violations.
Clinton has since backed away from outright support of the organization. After a third video was released Tuesday showing a former organ retrieval technician discuss how clinics financially benefit from the practice, Clinton told the New Hampshire Union Leader that she found the imagery “disturbing.”
“I have seen pictures from them and obviously find them disturbing,” she said. “This raises not questions about Planned Parenthood so much as it raises questions about the whole process, that is, not just involving Planned Parenthood, but many institutions in our country… If there’s going to be any kind of congressional inquiry, it should look at everything and not just one [organization].”
Dannenfelser said that Clinton’s tepid support for the investigation was smart politics as voters react to the video scandal.
“Hillary Clinton, like many Democrats have painted themselves into a corner by supporting abortion on-demand, up until the moment of birth, paid for by taxpayer dollars. The more Americans learn the truth about this extreme position, the more they will reject it,” she said.
Two Republican senators have come forward to say they will oppose the heavy push by their colleagues to immediately defund Planned Parenthood following the release of several graphic sting videos.
en. Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) have stated their opposition to a bill introduced Wednesdsay that would stop all taxpayer dollars from going to Planned Parenthood after an anti-abortion group released secretly recorded footage that appeared to show doctors and executive officials casually discussing the sale of aborted fetal body parts.
“In other states tissue donation programs should be investigated but in Illinois there is no similar program,” Kirk, who faces re-election next year, told the Hill. “I do not plan to cut access to basic health care and contraception for women, the majority of whom have no other resources.”
Collins, who isn’t up for re-election until 2020, told reporters she is still looking at the bill but added she would likely oppose it if it allows for immediate defunding.
Sens. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and James Lankford (R-Okla.) introduced legislation to cut off funding Wednesday and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell addressed the bill in a statement on Thursday morning.
“It’s a simple choice,” McConnell said. “Senators can either vote to protect women’s health, or they can vote to protect subsidies for a political group mired in scandal.”
Paul, who is running for the 2016 GOP nomination for president, suggested Tuesday that the bill would come up for a vote before Congress leaves Washington, D.C., for its August recess. Paul told the Associated Press that the vote would be “a huge victory for conservatives,” even if it ultimately doesn’t pass.
The bill would require a 60-vote majority to advance in the Senate, but Republicans only hold 54 seats and Democrats are generally opposed because they say it would cut off basic women’s health services. But, as the Hill noted, supporters of the bill say these basic services would be maintained since money would be redistributed among other organizations besides Planned Parenthood.
The bill was introduced just one week after the release of the first undercover video that purported to show Planned Parenthood executives discussing the sale of fetal body parts.
According to the Media Research Center, in just one day, the various broadcast networks’ news programs have already given the death of Cecil the Lion more coverage than two weeks of videos that appear to show Planned Parenthood senior officials ghoulishly trafficking illegally in dead baby parts:
Tuesday, the networks spent 5 minutes, 44 seconds during their evening news shows on Cecil – and that’s not even counting the teasers. Wednesday morning, ABC, NBC and CBS lamented over the lion for 8 minutes, 17 seconds.
But they couldn’t do the same for a story of babies “picked” apart by tweezers.
On July 29, Good Morning America co-anchor Lara Spencer highlighted the “very disturbing story” with “international outrage” before turning to ABC correspondent David Wright for the full story on the lion-shooting by an American, now, according to Wright, “pretty much the most hated man on the internet.”
“There are no words,” Spencer added at the end of the segment. Again, we’re talking about a lion.
For CBS’ This Morning, co-anchor Gayle King commented, “The more you hear about it, the more upsetting it is.” For the shooting of a lion, yes. For the weekly videos exposing the trafficking of baby parts, no. (According to the media, that is.).
In summation, in two weeks the networks have given the Planned Parenthood atrocity 11 minutes of coverage. In a single day, the death of an animal has earned 14 minutes of coverage.
Our media is useless, corrupt, and evil.
The White House expressed its firm belief Thursday that recently-released videos attacking Planned Parenthood are “fraudulent.” Their source: Planned Parenthood.
Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary, was speaking with reporters when they raised the matter of the videos released by the Center for Medical Progress which appear to show Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of fetal organs for profit, a violation of federal law. He claimed the videos were released in a “fraudulent way” with “not a lot of evidence” behind them.
“There is ample reason to think that this is merely the tried and true tactic that we’ve seen from extremists on the right to edit this video and selectively release this edited version of the video that grossly distorts the position of the person that’s actually speaking,” Earnest said.
But Earnest indicated that the reason he thought the videos were fraudulent was because, well, Planned Parenthood had told him as much.
“Planned Parenthood has indicated that’s exactly what occurred here,” he said. “And any review of the policy that PP says they implement indicates the views expressed in the videos, or at least the way they’re pictured on the videos, is entirely inaccurate.”
In other words, Earnest said, because the images on the videos don’t correspond to Planned Parenthood’s official policies, they must be untrue. Earnest even encouraged reporters looking for more information to simply contact Planned Parenthood.
Earnest admitted he did not know if President Obama had actually watched any of the videos.
“I do know he has been following this story in the news,” he said.
Even if Obama had not watched the videos, though, Earnest said he was sure the president would oppose any effort by Republicans to cut off federal funding for Planned Parenthood.
“The President certainly will not support another effort by Republican to try to defund an organization that offers important and needed healthcare services to women across the country.”
Watch the full C-SPAN video of Earnest’s press conference here. The exchange begins about 28 minutes in.
This week, the Center for Medical Progress, an anti-abortion group dedicated to unmasking the atrocities committed by taxpayer-funded abortion juggernaut Planned Parenthood, released its latest in a series of undercover videos about the organization.
In this video, Dr. Savita Ginde, vice president and medical director of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, calmly explains to the undercover reporter that the organs of babies killed in the womb can be sold separately. “I think a per-item thing works a little better,” she tells the faux buyer while standing over a tray of kidney and spinal cord from a recently aborted baby.
The tape sounds like something from the laboratory of Dr. Josef Mengele. But to the left, the murder of the unborn is routine. Former secretary of state and 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton defended Planned Parenthood, stating that Planned Parenthood has “provided essential services for women,” calling the videos “an attack against a woman’s right to choose.”
Presumably, she then ran out of other euphemisms for the butchering of the unborn.
Meanwhile, former Arkansas governor and 2016 presidential candidate Mike Huckabee drew heavy media fire slamming President Obama’s decision to guarantee both Iran’s regional power and nuclear weapons within a decade. Huckabee stated, “This president’s foreign policy is the most feckless in American history. It is so naive that he would trust the Iranians. By doing so, he will take the Israelis and march them of the door of the oven.”
Huckabee’s invocation of the Holocaust to describe Obama’s facilitation of a genocidal anti-Semitic regime offended President Obama significantly more than a similarly timed tweet from Ayatollah Khamenei containing imagery of an Obama silhouette with a gun to its head. Obama whined, “The particular comments of Mr. Huckabee are just part of a general pattern we’ve seen that would be considered ridiculous if it weren’t so sad.” Clinton said she was “disappointed and I am really offended personally… I find this kind of inflammatory rhetoric totally unacceptable.”
She does not, however, find the prospect of a regionally dominant Iran lording over Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen, and building up terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah, all while the United States provides a shield for Iran’s nuclear program. The real problem, she and the left believe, lies in likening Obama’s Iran policy to Western malfeasance with regard to Hitler.
The left’s willingness to participate in Planned Parenthood’s genocide against the unborn and the Iranian government’s planned genocide against the Jews speaks to the nature of evil. Americans are fearful of invoking Hitlerian analogies because Hitler is seen, wrongly, as a sort of evil apart from the norms of humankind – he must have known he was evil, an evil of a different sort altogether from daily evil. The same holds true, people typically think, of the Germans complicit in his designs. That’s inaccurate. Hitler undoubtedly saw himself as a good man. More importantly, millions of Germans joined in Hitler’s evil because it was easier to look the other way than to confront the nature of an evil they had allowed to flourish. It is always easier to shrug through life by relying on euphemisms than to stand up to the daily evil we encounter.
For Planned Parenthood, as for leftists and their head-in-the-sand allies throughout America, babies are less than the sum of their parts. For the Obama administration, as for its allies, threats to Jews can be dismissed as irrational byproducts of religious fanaticism, rather than as core goals of an immensely barbaric regime. All of these accessories to evil convince themselves that euphemistic thinking will bring harmony.
Turning a blind eye to evil, however, doesn’t make it disappear. It allows it to grow. And those who allow evil to grow in order to protect their own convenience will be held accountable for the end results of the evil they facilitate.
Until the eve of his presidential campaign, Jeb Bush was director of a philanthropy that gave tens of millions of dollars to Planned Parenthood and financed its advocacy of “unrestricted access to abortion” around the world. The charity also approved money to global abortion providers while he sat on its board.
In 2010, Jeb was named one of the founding directors of the Bloomberg Family Foundation, established as a tax-exempt foundation to advance the vision of former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. He resigned from the board at the end of 2014 to prepare his presidential campaign.
While a Bush spokesman has responded to concerns by saying that Bush would not have voted on every initiative of the foundation, a pro-life leader told LifeSiteNews it “stretches credibility” that Bush was unaware of the foundation’s pro-abortion work, given the centrality of such work to the foundation’s mission, and its scope.
LifeSiteNews reached out to Bush for comment, but did not hear back by press time.
$50 million to ‘reproductive health’ and Planned Parenthood
In March of 2014, the Bloomberg Philanthropies announced a $50 million undertaking to expand “reproductive health,” including lobbying foreign nations to loosen restrictions on abortion.
Bloomberg announced a major partnership with Planned Parenthood-Global to train and equip abortion activists in pro-life countries.
“In 2014, we started supporting local nonprofit organizations in Burkina Faso, Senegal, Uganda, and Nicaragua to advocate for better policies in their countries that will expand access to comprehensive reproductive health services,” the foundation stated. “These organizations will receive technical assistance from Planned Parenthood Federation of America – Global Division to help augment their capacity for effective advocacy.”
Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards greeted the news by saying that “governments need to play a stronger role to ensure that all women have access to the health care they need” – including abortion – “no matter who they are, no matter where they live.”
“We’ll Push for Less Restrictive Abortion Laws”
“I am happy to say our major partner in this project will be Planned Parenthood – Global,” Bloomberg said. “In some countries, our funding will help advocates work towards better sexual health policies for teens and better access to contraceptives. In others, we’ll help push for less restrictive abortion laws and more government funding for high-quality, accessible services.”
Such advocacy was “necessary,” he continued, because “there are plenty of outside interest groups funding the other side of these issues, and we cannot let them go unanswered.”
“This is a fight to women control their own destinies,” Bloomberg said. “And let me tell you: We are in it to help them win it, and we’re gonna stay in it until they do.”
“Together we can succeed,” he concluded. “Thank you for this award. God bless.”
As head of a foundation with $5.4 billion in assets, which awards more than $200 million a year, the three-term mayor of New York has put his money where his mouth is.
Funding Global Abortion Providers
One aspect of his philanthropy’s overall health initiative is to underwrite “reproductive health services in the most remote areas of” Tanzania. Although all grants say they are intended “to reduce maternal deaths,” alongside the CDC and the World Lung Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies has funded two abortion providers.
In 2013, Bloomberg Philanthropies approved a a grant of $1,818,000 for EngenderHealth, and another $250,000 for Marie Stopes International – Tanzania.
“EngenderHealth works to ensure reproductive rights of Tanzanian women and their families by integrating family planning with HIV and comprehensive abortion care services,” the group states on its website.
The group also touts the fact that its expansion to all 26 regions of the country “has also contributed to an increase in uptake of long-acting and reversible methods,” especially Implanon. Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives (LARCs) work both by preventing conception and by “alterations in the endometrium,” which can cause an early abortion by preventing implantation.
Marie Stopes is known as a global abortion provider. MSI states that it only provides “post-abortion care” in Tanzania, where abortion is legal only to save the life of the mother.
But Marie Stopes officials have admitted that the group performs illegal abortions.
“We do illegal abortions all over the world,” Paul Cornellison, the director of Marie Stopes International in South Africa, said during a Marie Stopes International conference in 2007 in London – remarks that were caught on film. “There’s various options, you know, once we open a center there… if we can just get our foot in the door.”
In other nations, Bloomberg has supported advocates of unlimited, universal abortion-on-demand.
“Abortion services should be made free… for all women and girls”
Bloomberg Philanthropies underwrites political advocacy in African and Central American nations whose laws reflect the pro-life outlook of its citizens. The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) offers a glimpse into what international abortion lobbyists demand.
Between 2012 and 2014, IPPF wrote a 32-page case study on the Senegalese legal landscape, entitled Over-Protected and Under-Served. While numerous participants told researchers that abortion is “easy” to obtain and “lots of young people are having clandestine abortions,” IPPF focused on promoting “safe” abortion – while making clear that such laws were only one components of its overall mission.
“Advocacy efforts should focus on realizing the ultimate goal of unrestricted access to abortion services, and protection of this right under the law. Abortion services should be made free, safe, accessible and confidential for all women and girls,” the report states.
The abortion industry signaled it rejects incremental aims to achieve the eventual recognition of abortion as a human right. “Anything other than full decriminalization will often lead to abortion remaining inaccessible to all but a very small number of women,” the report says.
The task of pressuring government officials will fall to local activists in the nations targeted by Bloomberg because, in the words of Kelly Henning, the head of the public health program at Bloomberg Philanthropies, “We want this effort to be sustainable.”
If the effort fails, it will not be for lack of resources. In a separate component of its reproductive health plan, Bloomberg partnered with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to enact Family Planning 2020’s global reproductive and population goals.
Is Jeb “Ultimately Accountable”?
The association with Bloomberg conflicts with Jeb’s record as a two-term pro-life governor of Florida who enacted parental consent laws, allowed the regulation of abortion facilities, did not allow state funds to be used for abortion counseling, and created the state’s “Choose Life” license plate.
As one of more than a dozen directors – which include such distinguished names as former Sens. Sam Nunn and David Boren, currently Sen. Cory Booker, and former Bush-43 officials Elaine Chao and Hank Paulson – what responsibility does the former Florida governor bear?
The issue bubbled up in April, giving his yet-unannounced campaign an opportunity to respond.
“Governor Bush was honored to serve on the board of Bloomberg Philanthropies, which does a lot of good work across the world,” Bush spokeswoman Kristy Campbell told the Tampa Bay Times. “As a board member, Governor Bush did not vote on or approve individual projects or programs.”
Although Bush and Bloomberg “disagree on several policy issues, both share a passion for improving education in America,” she added – a reference to their mutual embrace of the Common Core curriculum and other policies.
A spokeswoman for Bloomberg Philanthropies, Meghan Womack, confirmed to the newspaper that directors do not sign off on every project.
But what to what extent was Bush active in the issue?
According to nonprofit norms, directors carry deep responsibility for the organizations they help lead. “Regardless of what board members are called, they are in essence the trustees in the literal and legal sense of the term,” the National Center for Nonprofit Boards wrote on the responsibilities of board members. “No matter how the organization is structured or the degree of authority delegated to staff, committees, or affiliates, the board and therefore the individual trustees are ultimately accountable.”
Bloomberg Philanthropies noted in a press release, “The directors will serve in an advisory and oversight capacity.” Bush earned $37,100 in compensation for his nearly five years of service.
“Bush’s people are probably right that as a board member he did not vote on every project,” Stephen Phelan, the director of mission communications at Human Life International, told LifeSiteNews. “But Bloomberg has been so open about his foundation’s goals for so long that it really stretches credibility to say that Bush or his people wouldn’t have known that the foundation pushes abortion and other population control efforts.”
Bloomberg clarified his goals while accepting his Planned Parenthood award last year. “You can’t fight every battle,” he said. “The things that are high on my priority list are sensible gun laws…I obviously care about a woman’s right to choose… Nobody’s a bigger supporter of gay rights.” He added that “we need a good immigration bill” that provides amnesty for an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants, “so we can continue our economy.”
Bloomberg has described abortion as a “fundamental human right, elevating it to a make-or-break position. “On this issue, you’re either with us or against us.” He once cited abortion among his reasons for endorsing Barack Obama in 2012.
Despite their differences on abortion policy, the billionaire has had no reservations supporting Jeb Bush’s candidacy – even before there was one.
Last spring, he called Jeb and Hillary Clinton “two quality” candidates and “the only two who know how to make the trains run.”
He also showered compliments upon Bush while introducing him to the New York State Republican Party convention in 2010.
“I couldn’t agree more with this guy,” he said of Jeb. “If there’s anyone I would want on my side waging all those important battles and helping provide the government Americans deserve, it is our next speaker.”