March 7, 2017: Abortion Disinformation| Lynch Mob | A Movie to Hate
1. Repealing and Replacing?
Last night, the Red Media responded cautiously as Republicans unveiled their plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Under the GOP plan, instead of mandating that nearly all Americans have health insurance, the government would introduce a new form of individual tax credits and grants. In keeping with Obamacare, young adults would still be able to stay on parents’ health plans until the age of 26 and insurers would still be forbidden to deny coverage or charge more to those with pre-existing conditions.
Already, Republicans like Senator Rand Paul, who had raised concerns earlier about the direction of the repeal, were not happy. Paul tweeted last night:
Still have not seen an official version of the House Obamacare replacement bill, but from media reports this sure looks like Obamacare Lite!
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) March 6, 2017
The conservative Washington Examiner wrote:
“The inclusion of refundable tax credits draws a line in the sand in an intra-party fight over Obamacare's repeal and replacement. Conservatives consider refundable tax credits a new entitlement, since people who don't pay taxes can get money. Instead, they want a tax deduction that limits the tax liability for people buying individual insurance.
There was a lot of support from Donald Trump’s pro-life and alt-right base, however, for his offer to allow Planned Parenthood to keep its funding as long as it stops performing abortions. (Planned Parenthood said no way.) But we also noticed a great deal of confusion and skepticism in the Red Twittersphere about what Planned Parenthood can do with Federal funds and what it is really doing with Federal funds.
For example, an article on the social media aggregator, Twitchy, founded by the conservative commentator Michelle Malkin,asks:
“If federal funds don’t pay for abortion, then why are Richards and Planned Parenthood so upset about the stipulation that federal funding not be used for abortions? It’s almost as if abortion is the only “women’s health care” that Planned Parenthood actually cares about.”
As a matter of fact-checking, we should point out that as it is now, Federal Medicaid funds cannot be used for abortions. What Trump is saying is that if Planned Parenthood wants money for anything -- including health screenings -- it must stop performing abortions on its own dime. Here is a good explanation from The Huffington Post:
“Planned Parenthood is only reimbursed for the non-abortion health care services it provides to low-income women, including birth control, Pap smears, breast exams and STI tests, through Medicaid and the Title X family planning program.
What the GOP’s plan would do is prevent Medicaid from working with Planned Parenthood. This would effectively block patients who rely on federally subsidized health care ― about 60 percent of Planned Parenthood’s 2.5 million patients ― from choosing Planned Parenthood for their health care. And by rendering the family planning provider unable to serve more than half its patients, the bill would likely force some of its clinics to shut down.”
Still, positive endorsements based on misinformation continued on Twitter last night for Trump’s Planned Parenthood move. This tweet by BooBooNYC @SarahLyonsInc with 5k followers was typical:
What We’ll Be Watching:
House Speaker Paul Ryan rolled this bill out in near secret. Liberals are bashing it as a give-away to the rich, but will he have the support of the -president or far right conservatives?
2. New Travel Ban: Showing Judges and Liberals Who is Boss
The Red Media reacted positively in general to President Trump’s reissuance of his travel ban, with modifications that his administration hopes will help it withstand legal challenges. For example, people who have previously been issued visas from the six Muslim countries affected by the ban will no longer be stopped at the airport. Trump’s original, hastily drawn-up order was blocked by Federal judges.
The take from the Red Media seemed to be that Trump was bouncing back and showing liberals who is boss. As Breitbart wrote:
The new order also shows how the president has the full authority under the Constitution and the laws to curb the inflow of refugees, despite opposition from U.S-based Islamic groups, judges, progressives and Democratic party legislators. The presidential claim of legal authority is needed to push back against judges, such as the three California judges who declared Feb. 3 that U.S. businesses and individuals can get judges to grant visas to foreign individuals.
3. Snakes on a Plane: The Conspiracy Deepens (and then Goes Overboard)
The conspiracy theories related to Trump’s allegations that he was wiretapped evolve by the hour. One getting a lot of traction on the Right is that the Clintons might actually be behind the whole thing. The link is Obama’s former attorney general Loretta Lynch. Lynch met with Bill Clinton on a plane on a tarmac in Phoenix last June. Soon after, The New York Post ran a cover story, headlined “Snakes on a Plane,” that said the meeting proved the fix was in to protect Hillary Clinton from the then-ongoing F.B.I. probe of the mishandling of her emails.
Largely based on its timing, conservative sites now believe there was another agenda for this meeting. The very conservative Gateway Pundit writes:
We now know that the meeting between Bill Clinton and Attorney General Lynch occurred at about the same time that the Obama administration filed a request with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) to monitor communications involving Donald Trump and several advisers.”
Conservative World Daily was more explicit about asserting a connection with just as little proof:
“Remember when Bill Clinton and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch met on an airport tarmac in Arizona just before the FBI cleared Hillary of any charges in her email scandal? Well, new reports are circulating, claiming the wiretapping may have been a result of that meeting. As Obama and liberals duck for cover over #ObamaGate, a timeline of events is taking shape, and reports indicate that the Clintons may have been in on it.”
What We’re Watching:
While we are musing on the spread of conspiracy theories... Facebook yesterday rolled out a new tool to slow them down. The tool labels fake news with a flag and a warning from third-party groups. We wonder if Facebook will withstand the backlash from the Red Twittersphere, which is arguing that the labeling is a weak excuse for censorship of conservatives:
Joseph Paul Watson @PrisonPlanet, with 525k followers, wrote:
Facebook has begun blocking Infowars links as "spam".— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) March 6, 2017
They're using the "fake news" scam as an excuse for censorship. pic.twitter.com/q4vfdXczNy
4. Video Lynch Mob
And speaking of Loretta Lynch, she has really become the new bête noir of conservatives this week. Senate Democrats, on their Facebook page, released a one-minute video of her giving an “inspirational” speech. The Red Media was inspired, but not as intended. At the end of her speech, Lynch encouraged Democrats feeling discouraged by Trump’s government to take action, saying:
“It has been people, individuals who have banded together, ordinary people who simply saw what needed to be done and came together and supported those ideals who have made the difference. They’ve marched, they’ve bled and yes, some of them died. This is hard. Every good thing is. We have done this before. We can do this again.”
Conservative sites were almost apoplectic at what they described as a call to take arms against the government. Here is Rush Limbaugh:
“And also about Loretta Lynch. Folks, get this. She was the former attorney general. Are you ready for this? Loretta Lynch made a video, and in this video, she is making a plea to leftist protesters to keep it up. She actually asked for more blood and death on the streets……...So former attorney general is encouraging all of this rioting.
Stefan Molyneux @StefanMolyneux, with 157K followers, got 2k retweets and 2.4 likes for this post:
Former Attorney General Loretta Lynch calls for more 'marching' and 'blood' in the streets. Seriously. pic.twitter.com/Cn1CtKT3uK— Stefan Molyneux (@StefanMolyneux) March 5, 2017
5. Meryl & Tom Go To Washington: Conservatives Are Having a Gross-Out Moment
According to The Washingtonian, Steven Spielberg is going to make a movie about the Washington Post’s involvement in the 1971 release of The Pentagon Papers, starring Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep. That’s right: Two Trump favorites -- Streep and The Washington Post -- in the same FAKE, MEDIOCRE movie. The jokes are beginning to fly:
The Op-ed editor of The New York Post, Seth Mandel @SethAMandel, wrote on Twitter:
It would shock you just how much I am not going to see this movie https://t.co/KQSuECSrmm— Seth Mandel (@SethAMandel) March 6, 2017
Gaynelle Sahlmann @Sahlmanette, a user on Twitter, also chimed in:
Boooooo! Well, I will not be seeing this movie. I lost all respect for Meryl Streep https://t.co/9686hC4Xuf— Gaynelle Sahlmann (@Sahlmanette) March 6, 2017