How the Clintons Tell the Truth

Today Hillary Clinton will testify about the attack on the US embassy in Benghazi. Her defense seems to be that “there are risks in foreign policy.

Frankly, if the administration she was a part of had not tried to cover up the facts of this event, we wouldn’t be here. To ever say that the deaths of American citizens were caused by a spontaneous riot stemming from a Youtube video, when the reality was nothing of the kind, is inexcusable. And to then flippantly ask what difference it makes when first questioned about the events? What could cause someone to do this? Americans died, and their deaths might have been prevented. Of course it matters. It still matters.

It was the investigation into this matter that uncovered the infamous email scandal that has dogged Clinton’s Presidential bid. Her story has changed many times. Every time new information comes out that contradicts her current statement, the statement changes.

The problem isn’t that she lies. It’s that she only ever tells just enough truth to get herself out of trouble. 

Of course, her husband was the same way. Look at the events that led to his impeachment. A string of allegations about sexual naughtiness plagued his career. He was never up front about those events. One could argue that his private life wasn’t my concern. And as long as no laws were broken, I could agree (to a point). But the final lie was that he never had “sexual relations” with Monica Lewinski prompted, to the embarrassment of the office of the President and the country, a little blue dress with a nasty stain to appear. The next thing we know we’re watching our President testify about his sex life, and parse words like “is”.

Talking about politics during the Clinton era I once had a professor ask me if I had ever lied. Of course I have. He told me, according to Republican doctrine, I was not qualified to be president. End of discussion.

But that isn’t the problem. Politicians lie, everyone lies. It’s not right, but we do it. It’s not that either Clinton once or twice- in a moment of weakness- lied. It’s that there is a pattern of lying, a lack of integrity and credibility that undermines the public trust, and ultimately any political office they hold.

In the matter of Benghazi and the email scandal, if Hillary Clinton had simply openly admitted whatever really happened, instead of this prolonged, ever changing denial, both of these issues would be in the past. Would either had disqualified her from being President? I have my opinions, but the public would likely have forgotten, or moved on by now. At the very least we would at least believe she was trustworthy.

But the Clintons don’t tell the truth that way. When they make mistakes, they only say as much as they are forced to.

Do we want a president that has a proven lack of integrity? Or rather, do we want another one?

Abortion Politics

Screen Shot 2015-09-29 at 9.34.20 AMIt’s sad to think that we have to talk about the issue of murdering unborn children in terms of politics, but that’s where we live in modern America.

A few days ago Cecile Richards, CEO of Planned Parenthood, testified before a Congressional committee. (Pictured left) She was asked some hard questions. She answered the way you would expect. Democrats and Republicans said what you would expect. Most of the American people ignored it all, as you would expect.

Meanwhile, the media is Still, STILL freaked out by Carly Fiorina’s comments made in the last Republican debate. Even after CoalFire released a report saying that the full videos from CMP showed no signs of tampering or deceptive editing. They simply cut out bathroom and meal breaks, or travel time. But Planned Perenthood supporters, in a very classy move, threw condoms at Fiorina and the media did their best to ignore the videos while saying Fiorina was wrong or lying  about the content of the videos.

I’ve seen all 10 of the CMP episodes/videos. When Cary started describing the tapes in the debate I was surprised. Then, I realized that the tapes don’t show everything in the same scene she described. Everything she said is in the tapes, either in images, video or testimony, but there isn’t one single scene with everything she described, at one time all together. I knew immediately that she would be criticized for what she said.

Then another video was released. It reportedly shows every single thing that Fiorina described. In one video. Maybe she had seen this before, I’m not sure. Several people have written about how what Fiorina said was true, if not chronologically accurate. If Fiorina is going to make a claim, she needs to be very sure about what she says. Any deviation from what can be simply shown opens her up to massive attack from the left. It seems that the content of what she said is contained in the different videos, either through images or testimony. She wasn’t lying, but because the clip isn’t exactly as she described it, she is called a liar.

Meanwhile, back in the Congressional testimony from Richards, politicians take sides and nothing gets done. Richards did admit that Planned Parenthood does not do mammograms. She also admitted that 86% of Planned Parenthood’s non government funding comes from abortions, which only make up 3% of their services. Abortions make a lot of money for the non profit.

They talked about salaries and travel. They discussed the political action group Planned parenthood has, and how many hours Richards spent working for that group. it’s so hard to take the high road about helping these poor women when salaries are high, and perks are luxurious for employees. And if the taxpayers are paying for any of the political actions… well you can see how that would be a problem.

Several Congressmen pointed out that there are lots more women’s health clinics than PP clinics, and most receive no federal funding. And mentioned other non profits who receive much less federal funding than PP. Richards repeatedly reminded everyone that Planned parenthood doesn’t get a lump sum check, but they get reimbursed by medicare and medicaid for services provided to women. And Richards was repeatedly reminded that not every women’s clinic gets reimbursed, so why should they? One asked why the original PP response, from Richards herself, apologized for the tone and “statements” in the first CMP video, which statements did they apologize for? Richards retreated to their current defense: The CMP videos are heavily edited and deceptive.

And nothing will come of this. The political dance of the right and left on this issue is sick. This wasn’t a criminal inquiry, just an inquiry. The media will continue to ignore the real issues as much as possible. meanwhile, the culture of valueless human life keeps turning, and we keep seeing horrific headlines of murder, and our president encouraging everyone to politicize tragedies.

A Pro Life Look at Arguments for Abortion 2

I’m doing a few posts about some of the arguments for legalized abortion from a pro life view point. I want to really look at them, and try to explain why they are not persuasive for someone who supports making abortion illegal.

Other posts in this series:

Abortion Argument 1: If abortions are illegal, we will have women dying from back alley abortions.

Abortion Argument 2: If you are so Pro Life, why don’t you care about the kids who are born into families who don’t want them? Abortion stops kids from being born into horrible situations. And helps kids already in families who cannot support another child.

I’m probably going to tip my hand here, but put another way from a Pro Life perspective, this argument claims it would better for a child to be killed than to be born into a difficult or harmful life.

Back in July, 2015 Daily Kos ran an article that quoted a Nun: Sister Joan Chittister, O.S.B

“I do not believe that just because you’re opposed to abortion, that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed. And why would I think that you don’t? Because you don’t want any tax money to go there. That’s not pro-life. That’s pro-birth. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is.”

Sister Chittister is exactly right. If the extent of your pro life views ends at the birth of a child, then you really are just anti abortion, not pro life.

Here are some fact about kids in tough family situations:

  1. There are almost 400,000 kids in the foster care system, just over 100,000 are available for adoption. Same article states: “As of 2012, more than 58,000 children in the U.S. foster care system were placed in institutions or group homes, not in traditional foster homes.”
  2. From PBS: “While inter-country adoption may be the most visible category, the majority of American adoptions actually involve children adopted out of foster care. About 135,000 children are adopted in the United States each year. Of non-stepparent adoptions, about 59 percent are from the child welfare (or foster) system, 26 percent are from other countries, and 15 percent are voluntarily relinquished American babies.”
  3. There are several pro life websites that reference a quote from something called “Business Library” which says “there are up to 36 couples waiting for every one baby placed for adoption.” The problem is that this website these articles link to doesn’t exist anymore. So we can’t verify anything about the source. Several other pro life websites claim that there are 1-2 million infertile couples who want to adopt.
  4. Childwelfare.gov site has a PDF which says that “Of women who had considered adoption, about 2.6 million (14.3 percent) had actually taken concrete steps toward adoption.” and went on to say that only 614,000 had completed an adoption.
  5. It can cost up to $50,000 to adopt a child. The average cost of adoption in the US is $30,000.

What does that mean?

1.There are millions of people who want to adopt. Many more who want to adopt than children who are available for adoption.

2. The adoption process is difficult and expensive.

It’s time to reform the adoption process in the US. It’s crazy to think that there are literally millions of people who want to adopt, but can’t afford it.

Back to the argument at hand, I know several families who have adopted, are adopting, are foster care homes. These are loving couples who provide a home for kids who need one.

I know, not every child gets placed in a good home. Not every unwanted child is lucky enough to be placed anywhere. How many times have we heard about children who are abused?

The world is one messed up place. But there are people who want to take in these unwanted children, love them provide for them, and raise them.There is hope for any unwanted child. If we are truly pro-life and not just anti abortion, we should help make that happen.

Many of the churches I have attended have ministries to help young women with unplanned pregnancies. They provide physical and financial assistance, and either continue help the new mother after the birth, or help the child get placed in a loving home. Not everyone has the same opinion about these sort of ministries. Do a search for “crisis pregnancy center” online and you will see a lot of articles from pro-choice organizations claiming all kinds of things about them. But my experience has been that the people who see in these ministries want to help young women in difficult situations.

But let’s assume there is no option for a mother who doesn’t want her child. She can’t get any help, cannot let others adopt her kid. Let’s assume that the baby is going to be born into the absolute worst situation ever… And look at it from a pro life, the fetus in a human life perspective. Here are a couple of horrific scenarios:

-If the baby is born they will have parents who physically, sexually abuse them. 

So, if the parents are going to commit crimes, the answer is to kill the child?

-The family cannot afford to have another child. This extra mouth to feed, person to clothe, etc… will make it so the entire family suffers.

So, even though there is both government and private non-profit assistance available, let’s kill the child?

Can you see how any sort of reasoning that argues for killing an innocent child because of outside circumstances or the potential actions of the child’s parents (or others) can never persuade someone who thinks the unborn fetus is a human life? 

Now, let me address a question you might have. Would I, a religious conservative, support a gay couple who was trying to adopt. That’s a simple answer for me: While I do believe that the ideal family situation is one man and one woman raising children, if the alternative is to murder innocent kids, then yes I support adoption by single people or same-sex couples. If you’re going to kill the baby unless I let them be raised by a gay couple, that’s not even a choice. Human life has value because we are made in the image of God.

As I said before, every life is precious. Mother and child. This article doesn’t address all arguments for why someone might want to have an abortion, but this argument will never persuade a pro life person.