Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, August 22, 2015

MVNews this week:  Page 15

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OPINION

Mountain Views-News Saturday, August 22, 2015 

 

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MICHAEL Reagan Making Sense

PLANNED PARENTHOOD AND THE 
QUEEN OF HEARTS

DICK Polman

IT'S TIME TO TAKE ON TRUMP

Is Donald Trump the Republican Party's 
"Music Man"?

Is he the celebrity con man who's going to lead the 
GOP's parade of candidates from now all the way 
until next November?

I hope not, but so far that's exactly what the 2016 
script is looking like.

Trump — a political novice -- has been leading the Republican's 
presidential marching band all over the political landscape. His 
campaign's theme song should be "Seventy-Six Trombones." 

He's been calling all the tunes, attracting all the media attention and the 
biggest crowds, killing in all the polls and making a lot of professional 
politicians and their campaign managers look like a squad of high 
school baton twirlers.

Over the weekend Trump fleshed out his awful immigration policies.

They include erecting a "strong, strong" wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, 
making Mexico pay for its construction by docking remittances, 
deporting all illegal immigrants from the States and revoking birthright 
citizenship guaranteed by the Constitution.

Trump's policies for achieving "real immigration reform" have a populist 
appeal. They are music to the ears of GOP hardliners, too, but they're 
impractical, unrealistic, stupid and unconstitutional.

Yet when members of the Republican Party's elite corps of presidential 
wannabes were contacted by the media earlier this week, not one of 
them had the courage to really go after Trump or his bad policy ideas.

Chris Christie, the tough-guy governor from New Jersey muttered 
something like "Everything's on the table."

Scott Walker, the brave union-busting governor of Wisconsin, dodged a 
question about ending birthright citizenship for kids born in the U.S. to 
parents who came here illegally.

Carly Fiorina turned uncharacteristically soft, saying she agreed with 
some of Trump's tough positions on immigration but questioned his 
ability to implement them.

John Kasich, Ohio's no nonsense governor, didn't bash Trump 
personally, but at least he pointed out that hunting down people who 
are here illegally is not doable, right or humane.

At first Jeb Bush, a virtual liberal on immigration, barely took issue with 
Trumps' foolish and impossible promise to build an impenetrable wall 
along the Mexican border.

But on Wednesday Jeb came out against "anchor babies," proving that 
Trump is setting the agenda and changing things. 

No candidate I heard noted that deporting millions of illegal immigrant 
families would take years and cost billions in court costs, since every 
deportee would be entitled by law to a hearing and an appeal.

No principled conservative-libertarian candidate pulled out his pocket-
size copy of the U.S. Constitution and pointed out that ending the 
birthright citizenship would mean having to first pass a constitutional 
amendment.

Republicans and conservatives are running out of time. Trump 
is already too off-the-charts to be hurt by anything he says, and he's 
too rich and egotistical to fade away. He's going to be around next fall 
causing trouble for the GOP.

Some Republican presidential candidate — Ben Carson? Carly Fiorino? 
Rand Paul? — needs to stand up now and separate themselves and the 
Republican Party from the Party of Trump before it's too late.

Some gutsy candidate has to step out of the GOP's marching band and 
pound home the truth about "The Music Man" — that he is an idiot and 
he and his ideas do not represent the Republican Party or conservatism.

 Michael Reagan. Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan, 
a political consultant, and the author of "The New Reagan Revolution" 
(St. Martin's Press). He is the founder of the email service reagan.com and 
president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Visit his websites at www.
reagan.com and www.michaelereagan.com. Send comments to Reagan@
caglecartoons.com. Follow @reaganworld on Twitter. 


Everyone has a beef 
about “the media,” 
and here’s mine: 
We typically highlight 
accusations of 
wrongdoing, but we 
typically bury the 
news when it turns 
out that the doer did 
no wrong.

It’s a habit best articulated 
by the Queen 
of Hearts in Alice in 
Wonderland: “Sentence 
first, verdict 
afterwards.”

That’s the deal right now with Planned Parenthood. 
According to last month’s headlined 
accusation, PP sells aborted body parts 
for profit, in violation of the law. Anti-abortion 
activists, and their credulous Republican 
servant have coined selling aborted body 
parts as rote shorthand, figuring that if they 
say it often enough, it will ring true. Presidential 
candidate Mike Huckabee spun it a 
step further at the Fox News debate, claiming 
that PP’s policy is to “rip up body parts and 
sell them like they’re parts to a Buick.”

But just for the heck of it, let’s follow up. 
In the four weeks since the lurid accusation 
was first floated, what actual evidence have 
we seen - I’m talking about chains of empirical, 
forensic, documented evidence - that 
Planned Parenthood illegally sells aborted 
body parts for profit? How many bills of sale 
have been unearthed? How much proof has 
surfaced thus far?

Zero, zip, nada.

It’s indeed illegal to sell aborted body parts 
for profit, but not a shred of evidence has 
turned up that PP does any such thing. However, 
it’s perfectly legal under federal law to 
donate fetal tissue for the purposes of medical 
research (into the causes and treatment of 
Parkinson’s, heart defects, hepatitis, HIV, diabetes, 
cancer, eyesight loss, and more), and 
it’s legal for PP to recoup the transportation 
expenses. PP hews to those laws - donating 
in the states that permit it, and only with the 
women’s consent.

But the dearth of illegality evidence hasn’t 
been highlighted on newspaper front pages, 
or on news site home pages. It has not 
been Twitter-bombed, and it hasn’t trended 
on Facebook. So as a public service, and in 
the spirit of fairness, I’ve pieced together 
the news from various underplayed stories. 
Here’s where things stand:

The feds have already investigated PP’s relations 
with federal research agencies and told 
the Republican Senate sleuths, in a letter, that 
there have been “no violations of (fetal tissue) 
laws in connection with research done at our 
agencies.”

The state of Massachusetts had investigated 
PP. It found no wrongdoing.

The state of Georgia has investigated. It found 
no wrongdoing.

The state of Indiana has investigated. It found 
no wrongdoing.

The state of South Dakota has investigated. It 
found no wrongdoing.

The state of Idaho has simply said, via a gubernatorial 
statement, “Since there is no evidence 
that a crime has been committed, there 
are no grounds for a legal investigation.”

Other states are still hot on PP’s trail - among 
them, Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, Missouri, 
Kansas, and Tennessee, and Ohio - but health 
experts say they’re unlikely to find wrongdoing, 
for a variety of reasons: (a) their PP facilities 
don’t perform abortions, (b) their PP 
facilities don’t do tissue donations, (c) their 
state laws prohibit such donations, or (d) 
their PP facilities perform abortions and donate 
fetal tissue - but they do so legally, without 
selling body parts for profit.

And just to further balance the scales, here’s 
an editorial in The New England Journal of 
Medicine: 

“Planned Parenthood, its physicians, and the 
researchers who do this (fetal tissue) work 
should be praised, not damned....It is shameful 
that a radical antichoice group whose 
goal is the destruction of Planned Parenthood 
continues to twist the facts to achieve 
its ends. We thank the women who made the 
choice to help improve the human condition 
through their tissue donation; we applaud 
the people who make this work possible and 
those who use these materials to advance human 
health. We are outraged by those who 
debase these women, this work, and Planned 
Parenthood by distorting the facts for political 
ends.”

That should trump the Queen of Hearts headlines. 
But probably not in this media climate.

Dick Polman is the national political columnist 
at NewsWorks/WHYY in Philadelphia 
(newsworks.org/polman) and a “Writer in 
Residence” at the University of Philadelphia. 
Email him at dickpolman7@gmail.
com.

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