Abortion War On Women

Oversight Chairman Admits They’ve Found No Wrongdoing at Planned Parenthood

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

While most of Congress and the press was busy lighting their hair on fire over the race for the speakership, Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz let it slip that his committee hasn't uncovered any evidence against Planned Parenthood.

"Did I look at the finances and have a hearing specifically as to the revenue portion and how they spend? Yes. Was there any wrongdoing? I didn't find any," he said during a Judiciary Committee hearing on the family planning provider. [...]

"Did we find any wrongdoing? The answer was no," Chaffetz said.

Planned Parenthood is accused of selling fetal tissue for profit on some kind of underground black market, but if the Oversight Committee examined the company's finances and found no evidence of wrongdoing, what else is there left to investigate?

No subsequent hearing or investigation will uncover evidence of wrongdoing, but this inquisition has barely even begun.

Chaffetz said Thursday that he still supports digging into Planned Parenthood's activities, even if they're using their money appropriately.

"I think there will continue to be investigations," he said.

This should be taken as an admission that any further investigation will not actually be based on the initial accusations levied against Planned Parenthood.

No members have been appointed to the Select Planned Parenthood Committee yet, but the committee is already morphing into something unrelated to the videos that prompted its creation.

  • 1933john

    Might as well continue,
    there’s nothing else to
    do, well, saving fucking
    the Libyan dog.

  • muselet

    “I think there will continue to be investigations,” he said.

    You will notice Jason Chaffetz doesn’t bother to try to explain why there will continue to be investigations. If the finances of Planned Parenthood are on the up-and-up—Chaffetz himself admits that—and there has been no evidence of wrongdoing regarding tissue donations—HuffPo: “Multiple state investigations and a federal investigation have so far been unable to find any facts to support that claim.”—then there’s nothing left to investigate.

    Oh, right, there’s a presidential election coming up and the fetus fetishists are demanding the Rs do something! about abortion. That explains everything.


  • Christopher Foxx

    “Did we find any wrongdoing? The answer was no,” Chaffetz said.

    “I think there will continue to be investigations,” he said.

    “And we will continue the investigations until we find SOMEthing to say they’re guilty of, no matter how long it takes.” he concluded.

    sigh If we had a functional press or Democratic party this type of shit simply wouldn’t be possible.

    • McKinley

      In a regimented byzantine bureaucratic system such as we have, you can ALWAYS find, in the reams of paperwork and cross-copied forms, some initials that were penned where a signature is required, some date that was entered incorrectly.

      They can find, in the hundreds of thousands of forms and spreadsheet pages, a $5.87 portion of a monthly supply order that’s been incorrectly posted against a federal funding stream –“There! Planned Parenthood DOES use government money for abortions!”

      • Christopher Foxx

        I hear they once failed to use blue or black ink, too.

        • Hemidemisemiquaver

          Black ink was used, but it was from the wrong type of pen.

      • muselet

        If that’s what gets found after millions of dollars get flushed down the pan in these investigations, the response, even from our glorious news media, is likely to be gales of laughter.


  • Aynwrong

    I think Chaffetz just pulled a McCarthy. Democrats should pounce on this in the exact same way. I don’t suppose there is video though which is what made McCarthy’s telling the truth/F*** up such a big story.

    • Christopher Foxx

      Democrats should pounce on this in the exact same way.

      Yes, they very much should. They should have when the suggestion of a committee was first made. but, y’know, it’s the Democrats…

      Hopefully they’ll see how effective it was when McCarthy was forcefully called on his shit and do the same here. But, y’know, it’s the Democrats so it’s not by any means a sure thing.

      • Aynwrong

        Sometimes I feel that this is the price D’s pay for being the party that governs. All brains, no balls. (At least the elected ones.) R’s of course have the opposite problem.

        • Christopher Foxx

          But there no reason to believe, or accept, that the two are mutually exclusive. Brains and courage can and often do go together.

          Alas, that the Democrats so often lack courage in those situations where standing up would provide them political gain reveals how little they have in the brains dept, too.

      • muselet

        Charlie Pierce partly blames the Ds, too:

        Republican extremism should have been the most fundamental campaign issue for every Democratic candidate for every elected office since about 1991. Every silly thing said by Michele Bachmann, say, or Louie Gohmert should have been hung around the neck of Republican politicians until they choked themselves denying it. (I once spoke to a Democratic candidate who was running against Bachmann who said to me, “Well, I’m not going to call her crazy.” She lost badly.) The mockery and ridicule should have been loud and relentless. It was the only way to break both the grip of the prion disease, and break through the solid bubble of disinformation, anti-facts, and utter bullshit that has sustained the Republican base over the past 25 years. Instead, and it’s hard to fault them entirely for their sense of responsibility, the Democrats chose largely to ignore the dance of the madmen at center stage and fulfill some sense of obligation to the country.

        I mostly agree with Pierce on the point, but somebody’s got to be the grown-up, and it sure ain’t going to be the Rs.


        • Christopher Foxx

          I once spoke to a Democratic candidate who was running against Bachmann who said to me, “Well, I’m not going to call her crazy.”

          Why the fuck not?!!!

          Seriously, I just don’t get that. Pierce was right. Rubbing Republican faces in every silly, stupid, fucked up thing they say should be THE primary campaign tactic or Democrats.

          If Democrats truly felt some sense of obligation to the country they’d not be accomplices to letting the Republicans peddle their shit unchallenged. Maybe, maybe that was an excuse 20+ years ago when the crazy started and nobody seriously believed it could take hold. But in the age of Palin, Bachmann, Gohmert and the rest? No excuse for Democrats not leading a constant barrage of “Are you kidding me with this shit?”

          • muselet

            Ever watch the Sunday yak shows? Ever see the Mark Shields/David Brooks segment on The Newshour? Ever so much as glance at the op-ed pages of a major newspaper?

            If Ds made the insanity of the Rs the centerpiece of their campaigns, it would jam a stick into the spokes of the Both Sides! velocipede, and the High Broderists who infest our glorious news media can’t have that. The Ds simply must be as crazy as the Rs because reasons, and let that be the end of it.

            IOKIYAR is a well-known abbreviation for a reason. Rs can call their D opponents everything up to and including traitors and it’s reported as “spirited debate.” Let a D point out the inanity of an R’s favorite applause line and the D is reported to be “shrill” and “desperate.”

            It would be very nice if there were a single standard, but in our reality there’s a double standard, and the double standard doesn’t favor Ds.

            That’s why the fuck not.


          • Christopher Foxx

            That’s why the fuck not.

            I really hope you’re not serious. Punt because “Well, that’s just the way it is. The bad guys get to do what they want and we shouldn’t try to stop them.” ?

            No. Everything you list is exactly why they the fuck should , why the fuck they have to.

          • muselet

            Rs are automatically taken seriously by our glorious news media. You don’t like it, I don’t like it, it doesn’t serve the country or democracy as a concept well, but it is reality. This means George W Bush got endless positive coverage for standing on a pile of rubble that used to be buildings and human beings and vowing deadly revenge through a bullhorn. It means a live-action cartoon like Donald Trump is treated as if he had something of value to say about anything. And it means Rs can hold inane, pointless hearings and threaten to shut down the federal government without fear of being called on it by the Beltway press.

            Ds are automatically not taken seriously by our glorious news media. You don’t like it, I don’t like it, it doesn’t serve the country or democracy as a concept well, but it is reality. This means Howard Dean got mocked mercilessly for sharing the enthusiasm of a noisy crowd by shouting into a (noise-cancelling) microphone. It means The Clinton Rules are in effect once again at the New York Times. And it means no D can start a policy discussion by stating an ideal outcome, because a Democratic ideal outcome will be to the Left of what the Villagers consider acceptable.

            And because our glorious news media need not to be seen as “liberal”—meaning not reflexively supportive of conservatism—High Broderism (Broderism is the belief that centrism—exactly equidistant between the two parties—is the only acceptable politics, regardless of policy outcomes; High Broderism adds a feigned “a pox on both their houses!” sneer for effect) has replaced objectivity in editorial offices. Both Siderism is an outgrowth of High Broderism’s disingenuous distaste for the two major parties, and holds that Both Sides are equally to blame for any problem and are equally unrealistic in their policies and are equally extreme.

            Both Siderism is what you see when a nationally-prominent R likens every damn’ thing he sees to Nazi Germany (hi, Ben Carson!) and immediately after that is reported, someone points out that the City Manager of Parched Throat, Arizona (population 117, including the scorpions), who is a D, said something someone, somewhere might possibly disagree with; therefore, Both Sides are unreasonable.

            Rs can say anything and do anything, safe in the knowledge that they will be protected by the High Broderists and the Both Siderists. Ds can’t deviate much from what a generation ago would have been moderate conservatism or they’ll get hammered for being “extreme” and “not serious.” Bernie Sanders isn’t actually much of a socialist, but you’d never know that if you relied on our glorious news media for your information about him (which, I feel I must point out, describes the majority of American citizens), a news media which don’t bother to take him or his policy proposals seriously.

            And in that environment, in that reality, you want D candidates to go after R insanity hammer and tongs? Stop for one second and consider the entirely predictable consequences of that decision, then tell me again the Ds must openly highlight R extremism.

            I could be wrong, it’s happened before. Perhaps it is possible for a prominent D candidate to stand up and, bluntly and directly, call bullshit on her/his R opponent and not get hooted down by reporters and pundits all around the country, and without bringing the entire Democratic Party into disrepute. Those aren’t odds I’d like to play, but yeah, it could happen and I hope it would happen.

            That’s reality. It’s not a punt, it’s not an excuse, it’s what D candidates for office must contend with all day, every day.


          • Christopher Foxx

            Rs can say anything and do anything, safe in the knowledge that they will be protected by the High Broderists and the Both Siderists. Ds can’t deviate much from what a generation ago would have been moderate conservatism or they’ll get hammered for being “extreme” and “not serious.”

            That’s letting the inmates rule the asylum. It’s saying we must let the most damaging and immature among us set the rules.

            I get that the state of affairs is as you currently describe. Republicans say ridiculous shit, the news media simply echo it unquestioned and the Democrats do nothing to stop it. I get that that is “how it is”.

            But to use the status quo, the ridiculous and harmful status quo, as an excuse for perpetuating the status quo is to say we’ve given up. That we HAVE to cater to the crazies because to do otherwise might, well, make them mad at us.

            Which is pretty much what the Democrats have been doing for a while. “We can’t call the Republicans on their shit because if we do people will say bad things about it.”

            The majority of the country is not in the Tea Party. The majority of the country is moderates. And while there are certainly challenges, given that useless news media, to calling the Republican silliness what it is, there are great benefits to be had for the Democrats if they manage to do it.

            And it’s not really that hard if they actually did it. Yes, they’d be mischaracterized by their political opponents. But that’s happening regardless so how is that really an excuse to not strive for better?

            If the Democrats went on those Sunday shows and consistent talked about how Republicans are crazy and kept pushing that it would penetrate. The problem is they fold at the first sign of resistance or, worse, don’t even start because, y’know, it might be difficult and someone might push back.

            Stop for one second and consider the entirely predictable consequences of that decision, then tell me again the Ds must openly highlight R extremism.

            Without hesitation: The Ds must openly highlight R extremism.

            And if they “get hooted down by reporters and pundits all around the country” they need to challenge those reporters and ask them point blank why they are so utterly failing to do their job. Yes, it will make the media defensive, but slowly some of them will start to do their job better. If for no other reason than they hate having how badly they’ve done it pointed out so much. And a shift will begin.

            But if the Democrats continue to sit on their hands and listen to people like you who are pushing the idea “They won’t listen to us,. Nothing can be done. It’s just what we have to contend with all day, every day.” Then, yeah, what Democrats currently have to “contend with all day every day” won’t change.

            It won’t change unless they DO SOMETHING about it. And sitting around saying “It’s what we have to deal with. It won’t change unless someone does something about it.” is a sorry excuse for not then doing something about it.

          • muselet

            1) Read Driftglass if you really want to get depressed over the state of our glorious news media and the depth of their Both Siderist obsession. I’m a sunny optimist by comparison.

            2) Ds can’t just go on the Sunday yak shows, they have to be invited. That doesn’t happen often, because Ds aren’t taken seriously by the denizens of the mouse circus.

            3) “… [T]hey need to challenge those reporters …” Mark Twain said it best: “Never pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel.” You think reporters will change because some brave D challenges them; they won’t, not as long as their employers’ editorial policy is kept next to a shrine to David Broder.

            4) Do not mischaracterize what I said, please. To be more explicit than I was earlier (I should know better by now than to edit comments for length), D candidates have to address the Rs’ madness, but they must be clever, perhaps even subtle, about how they handle it. Going at the topic head-on is a guaranteed loser.

            Remember the first presidential debate in 2000? George W Bush clearly knew nothing about any topic and Al Gore grew impatient with making constant corrections, which he did at every opportunity. Gore’s irritation led him to sigh audibly a couple of times. Our glorious news media declared GWB the winner of the debate because Gore’s annoyance was “unpresidential.” Never mind Gore was correct on the facts, never mind GWB gabbled nonsense and had a blank, “what have I gotten myself into?” stare most of the evening.

            Al Gore sighed. That’s all it took for our glorious news media to dismiss him as a rude, supercilious know-all who wasn’t presidential timber. That led to weeks of giggling over the fact Gore had a fashion consultant—as if GWB didn’t—and mindless repetition of the lie that Gore had claimed he’d invented the internet. That’s what facts did for a D in 2000; think things are better fifteen years later?

            Like it or loathe it, this is reality. I can’t blame Ds for being cautious in campaigning, although I do agree they need to do more to call out the insanity on the R side of things. They just have to use their inside voices when they do it. In addition, they—or the party—will have to invest a lot of time and resources in GOTV efforts (Ds turn up once every four years, then go back to their lives).

            I understand you disagree with me, and that’s fine. But regardless which of us is correct in our analysis, don’t expect things to change quickly.


          • Christopher Foxx

            2) Ds can’t just go on the Sunday yak shows, they have to be invited.

            This is just more of the “we can’t be proactive, we have to wait for folks to let us do stuff” nonsense that is self-defeating. (And which I find so frustrating when it’s taken my otherwise intelligent folks as fact.)

            If a politician can’t figure out how to get themselves included in an event then they have no business being in office. And if they really find themselves shut out of the Sunday shows then there are loads of other avenues available to them for pointing that fact out.

            I do agree that taking things in a confrontational head on manner all the time may not be the most effective approach. But when something is seriously dumb (and things are seriously dumb from the Republicans almost all the time) then that doses need to be pointed out.

            Sometimes with a loud sigh and cry of “That’s just idiotic!”, yes. And sometimes with a steady drip of a knowing “There they go again.” wink to the audience. Folks love to feel they’re in on the joke.

            An example: During his campaign for President John Kerry had an open mike gaffe where he was heard to say something like “I’ve never seen a bigger bunch of liars in my life.” And following the script he walked it back by apologizing for it. That was a mistake.

            It should have become his unofficial campaign slogan. Anytime a Republican did something dumb, Kerry or someone on his staff releasing a statement should have said something like “Well, I’ve never seen a bigger bunch of…” then trailed off and made a clearer for the record comment. Kerry could have started using the “big bunch” description anytime he was referring to Republicans (“Regarding the latest policy from the Republicans, I’m just going to say it’s a big bunch of… well, let’s go with poorly thought out proposals.” Folks would have gotten what was actually being said and, slowly, everyone would have associated the liar tag with Republicans.

            The point being, subtle or in-your-face, the Ds have to be calling the Rs on their shit every time. And this “we have to be invited” attitude has got to go.

          • muselet

            We’re arguing past each other yet again, and it wearies me.

            I’m done. *deafening applause from everyone else on the site*


          • Christopher Foxx

            We’re arguing past each other yet again

            Yeah. But respectfully. So thanks for that.

            ‘Til next time! 😉

        • ninjaf

          Yer both right. :-)~