I haven’t been around for a few days, due to a death in the family which has meant having to travel, and being away from computers, to try to lend a hand getting things straightened out. I’m learning that when an elderly relative passes away without making a will or getting their finances in reasonable order, it creates a mind-boggling mess for their spouse. I’ll be popping in and out over the next month or two because of that. My comment to my sisters was “You know how bad we thought it was? Well, it’s worse than that.” Even though I wasn’t around a computer, a lot of news was happening, making me itch for a good high-speed connection. Well, I’m a little late to the party, but I do have some opinions.
The big news for much of the week was the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s decision to pull funding for its grants to Planned Parenthood. Followed, after a few days, by their reversal of the decision. One might might note that this “reversal” is only to keep funding the grants they’ve already awarded, not a decision to fund any new grants. What struck me about it was the incredible odor of bovine fecal material that was wafting around their “explanations” for their original decision. Saying it wasn’t “politically based” wasn’t believable to anyone, and it was obvious from the media coverage that no one was buying it. Too many things didn’t add up, and their “reversal” just made it clear that yes, it was a politically-based decision on their part.
What they’ve done with this ham-handed effort was to do a huge amount of damage to the foundation’s reputation, one that will impact them for a long time. Not just the time to repair their reputation – if they can – but to restore the donation levels they’ve been accustomed to. It’s also focused an unflattering spotlight on just how the foundation operates. There’s a lot of people who are taking their time, money, and efforts for breast cancer research, screening, and education elsewhere, and those people will need a lot of persuading to devote those efforts against breast cancer back to the foundation.
In other news, Donald Trump decided to endorse Mitt Romney. It figures, they have so much in common. They’re good at hyping themselves, they’re both rich, they like firing people, and they both have a talent for driving companies into bankruptcy. In Republican terms, this makes them prime examples of Republican ethics.
In Georgia, the birthers, to no one’s surprise but their own, lost another battle to keep President Obama off the ballot. So far, their record is perfect – they haven’t won one yet. The best comment about this case was from Reality Check: “Breaking: Birthers take on empty table and lose.” That’s because not only did they lose, they lost even when the President’s lawyer decided not to dignify this by showing up and presenting a defense. After the hearing, they were shouting all around the internet that this was the case they’d “won,” and would “prove their case.” But they lost. Now they’re shedding bitter, bitter tears – sweet to the rest of us, but bitter for them – and screaming about the President having “gotten to the judge,” claiming the judge is an “Iranian Muslim,” and of course, the usual “corruption!” charges being thrown about.
That they were racist jackasses without a case to begin with seems to not to have occurred to them. I won’t give the links, but really, if anyone says that this “movement” isn’t racially based, all they have to do is look at the comment threads on any birther blog – or a few of the opposition blogs that allow them to appear – to see the racist crap these people spew. That’s when they’re not beating the drums for armed insurrection, a military coup, or coming up with incredibly novel interpretations of the Constitution that bear no relationship to what the Constitution actually says.
There are some who whine about being called racists, but heck, if the shoe fits, wear it. Let’s get real: The movement fails the “duck test” when it comes to racism. I’m sure there are a few who aren’t racist, but are either incredibly stupid or batshit crazy. In Orly Taitz, you have a toxic combination of all three. Of course, she’s entertaining as hell to watch. I can’t think of any other time I’ve broken out into laughter while reading a legal brief, or gotten the snickers while reading a judicial decision. But when you realize that some of these people – including one of the lawyers on the Georgia case – are elected officials, you have to wonder just what sort of electorate would elect them in the first place.
I’m sure over the next few weeks I’ll be seeing a lot to blog about. The way the Republican race is heating up, particularly Mitt’s tendency to insert his expensive shoes into his mouth, will provide endless blog fodder. That’s aside from the now-normal Republican tendency to look like idiots, or to come up with new ways to prove that their “firm moral beliefs” aren’t applicable to themselves.