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Still waiting for some good ideas


Remember that time the Republican Party said it was going to re-re-rebrand itself as the Party of IdeasTM, and we all rolled our eyes and laughed and rolled our eyes some more? Yeah, well, that's going as well as we all knew it would: failtastically. A recent poll showed Americans think the GOP sucks crusted dingleberries, so we expect another announcement of re-re-extra-re-with-a-side-of-super-sized-re-branding any second now.

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You know who doesn't suck, according to everyone who is not an elected Republican? Planned Parenthood. So, naturally, the Republican Party is trying, this very minute, to defund it, by way of a Senate Amendment to H.J.Res. 61. Because Republicans only want to continue funding the government, which is in their job description, if they can simultaneously defund Planned Parenthood, which is not in their job description. Also, it's against the very clear and explicit wishes of the The American People, who have responded, when asked whether they want Congress to defund Planned Parenthood, "Are you kidding me up the ass with that noise? Fuck NO."

So you already know it's a bad idea, on account of how no one in America wants that to happen. And also how it would make it that much harder for low-income The American Peoples to access healthcare. But let's have another reason why it's a real stupid idea, why not? According to the Congressional Budget Office -- you know, those nonpartisan nerds who look at legislation, crunch the numbers, and then tell Congress how expensive its dumb ideas are -- says this dumb idea is (surprise!) extra dumb:

The CBO, Congress’s nonpartisan scorekeeper, projects that defunding Planned Parenthood would actually end up increasing government spending, because it would result in more unplanned births as women lost access to services such as contraception. Medicaid would have to pay for some of those births, and some of the children themselves would then end up qualifying for Medicaid and other government programs.

So while CBO estimates that cutting off federal funds to Planned Parenthood would reduce spending by $520 million 10 ten years, it would also increase spending by $650 million over that period. The net effect is an increase in spending of $130 million.

Quick, grab your abacus and figure out whether spending an extra $130 million is more than not spending $130 million. We'll wait while you do that complicated math.

Now, we are aware that some Republicans, whose names are Jeb Bush, think that spending $500 million on women's healthcare is excessive, because Jeb Bush is an asshole and also does not know how to use an abacus. Then there are the Republicans, like Marco Rubio, who are equally dumb but have jumped on Jeb's stupidity to try to distinguish themselves as being dumb in a different way. So they think it's OK to spend half a billion bucks a year on women's healthcare, so long as it doesn't actually go to women's healthcare, but instead to religious "pregnancy centers" that don't employ trained medical staff because you don't need a degree to tell women with unwanted pregnancies that their options are: (a) have the baby, or (b) have the baby, or (c) go fuck yourself and burn in hell, but after you have the baby. (And no, they sure as hell don't do STD testing or pap smears or any of that non-baby healthcare women need.)

OK, so this idea is dumb because it costs money and denies healthcare to people who can't otherwise afford it, but let's pile on and and take a look at this statement from the White House, to more fully demonstrate how this stupid idea comes in a variety of flavors, and they all taste like stupid:

The Administration strongly opposes Senate passage of the Senate amendment to H.J.Res. 61, making continuing appropriations for fiscal year (FY) 2016, and for other purposes, which contains highly objectionable provisions that advance a narrow ideological agenda. Specifically, the Amendment includes a provision that would defund Planned Parenthood. By eliminating Federal funding for a major provider of health care, the Senate Amendment to H.J.Res. 61 would limit access to health care for women, men, and families across the Nation, and disproportionately impact low-income individuals.

The Administration urges the Congress to pass full-year appropriations legislation for FY 2016 that excludes ideological provisions that are intended to advance a narrow political agenda, reverses sequestration for defense and non-defense priorities, and makes critical investments needed to support national security and sustain economic growth.

If the President were presented with H.J.Res. 61, as amended by this Amendment, he would veto the bill.

So, to review: Defunding Planned Parenthood is an extremely unpopular idea, it would cost the taxpayers even more money than it would save, and the president will never allow it anyway. Great idea, Republican Party! Is there anything else you could be doing with your time instead?

Well, there is the one specific thing New Pope just asked you to do, which is to pull your heads out of your asses and do something about climate change, which, yes, is a manmade problem that men should do something about. Seriously, he just said it, like, an hour ago. You were there, so you heard him. What you didn't hear him say is one single syllable about defunding Planned Parenthood.

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We're not suggesting Congress should start taking orders from the Catholic Church because we have actually read the First Amendment. But since you are all running around with raging religious liberty boners all the time, insisting it is an insult to America and God Himself if we don't base our legislation on Catholic whining (yes, we're looking at you, Ted Cruz,) maybe you could get on that and leave Planned Parenthood alone.

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Oh, and do be sure to check out the First Amendment when you have a chance. You'll be shocked and amazed if you ever get around to reading it.

[The Hill / White House]

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