Yo poliblerds! Welcome back for this week’s edition of political blerdiness. Get ready, because politics and policy has been all over the place for the last couple weeks. Here a few things you should know and might have missed.

#StandwithPP v. #DefundPP Defund Planned Parenthood? This week marked another chapter in a decades long battle between pro-life advocates and reproductive justice advocates. You’d think after Roe v. Wade pro-life advocates would realize that women have autonomy over their bodies or perhaps common sense would lead them to believe that women can make their medical choices and should have ability to do so. Welp!

On Monday, the United States Senate failed (once again) to advance a Republican-led measure to halt federal aid to Planned Parenthood. The impetuous behind the attack was that federal money was going to abortions. The Senators were further galvanized by a series of videos about the group “selling tissue of aborted fetuses.” The videos were later uncovered as doctored.

Although, Planned Parenthood does receive a half-billion dollars a year from the government totaling more than 40 percent of Planned Parenthood’s total $1.3 billion in revenue, abortions only count for 3% of the services that Planned Parenthood provides.

The rest of the services? The overwhelming majority of Planned Parenthood’s services involve screening for and treating sexually transmitted diseases and infections, as well as providing contraception. As for what happens when Planned Parenthood clinics isnt providing those services? Well, see for yourself

#ClimateChange, The Last Days of Obama: The President’s New Environmental Package: Fresh off his recent trip to Keyna and continuing talks about trade, Iranian nuclear deals , mass incarceration and police brutality President Barack Obama has continued to forge ahead in his last days like a man not seeking re-election.

In that vein, the Obama administration unveiled a major climate change plan on Sunday aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the nation’s coal-burning power plants. This plan, two years in the making, is the largest plan of its kind.

Yet, there are still people in the world who don’t believe that global warming is worth sacrificing profits. A small group of lobbyist and advocates aided by Republican Governors and congressional leaders had already begun its work at the Chamber of Commerce to dismantle the President’s plan before it even has a chance to hit the floor for debate.

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Good Luck Mr. President…

Read the plan HERE

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#VRA50: The Voting Rights Act is 50: Fifty years ago President Lyndon B. Johnson signed one of the most important pieces of legislation in our country’s history, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Although many voting right advocates should be celebrating the anniversary of this momentous civil rights win, its a solemn occasion.

The main sources of frustration? Some of the most important parts of that law are no longer in affect. In a 2013 Supreme Court decision, a key provision of the act was stuck down as unconstitutional. That ruling stuck down the requirement that states with a history of discrimination must have pre-clearance of any voting changes are found discriminatory.

President Obama commemorated the day by calling on Congress to update the law and encouraging people to register to voter and exercise their right to cast a ballot.

Here is what voting rights experts (including yours truly) are saying about where we stand with voting rights 50 years later.

“Just the 16 of Us” Republican Debates Take 1:  

CL1JVcxVEAEXQJFThursday night, more than 16 Republican candidates went head to head in a death match style debate in Cleveland in Ohio but not all at the same time. While all candidates were in attendance, only the candidates that are the top ten most viable based on recent polling performed at the “big show.” Those candidates didn’t include one woman but, did include Republican Blerd, Dr. Ben Carson.  Seriously, the man is a neurosurgeon, with 6 best-selling books and 67 honorary  degrees. Which leads this poliblerd to wonder why exactly a man so intelligent was on the stage during a clown show. Nevertheless, the lack of questions Carson received during the night would lead one to believe that his intelligence isn’t a factor.

Carson

The remaining candidates, including everyone’s favorite Twitter-bait, Bobby Jindal (#BobbyJindalSoWhite)  and the only woman Republican candidate Carly Fiorina spoke at a candidate “happy hour.”

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Perhaps Fiorina “hit the bar” before the happy hour, as she reportedly left her debate remarks on the hotel’s printer.

As you might imagine, the debate was full of Ronald Reagan worship, “shrink government” proposals, “enlarge the military” rally cries, “ban abortion” pledges and eliminate the IRS battle hymns. Here are a few of my favorite quotes:

CtUrR

  1. “The purpose of the military is to kill people and break things,” Mike Huckabee.
  2. “I don’t trust President Obama with our records. I know you gave him a big hug, and if you want to give him a big hug again, go right ahead,” Rand Paul about Chris Christie in relation to NSA surveillance of Americans.
  3. “Ill tell you what, I’ve evolved on many issues over the years and y’know who else has, Ronald Reagan,” Donald Trump on his views on abortion and generally flip-floppy-ness.
  4. “Only Rosie O’Donnell,” Donald Trump’s response to being asked about calling women ”fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals.”
  5. Oh hell… anything that “The Donald” said the entire evening.
  6. “The money paid around consumption is paid by everybody — including illegals, prostitutes, pimps and drug dealers.” Mike Huckabee on Social Security and Medicare.
  7. “So, when do you become a Republican?” Megyn Kelly to Donald Trump regarding his extreme change of views on just about everything.
  8. “I don’t want my marriage or my guns registered in Washington.” Rand Paul on gay marriage.
  9. “I have been brought to stand and fight for religious liberty,” Ted Cruz’s recollection of his father’s conversion and his evangelical background.
  10. “I’m the only one to take out half a brain, but if you went to Washington you would think someone had beat me to it,” Ben Carson in one of his rare moment of participation last night.

If you missed the debate, don’t worry. You can get your quick and dirty from PoliBlerd to keep you up-to-date on things. Plus,  its two hours of your life that you can never get back. On that note, I need to recover with a little Doctor Who and The Walking Dead… till next week poliblerds, “God Bless the Republican Party” and good night!

 

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A. Angélique Roché is an attorney, consultant, policy wonk and communications professional. Angelique has previously served as a legislative aide for the United States Senate and has held various positions on local, state and national campaigns. Most importantly she is a Doctor Who loving nerd who loves finding the intersections of activism, policy, politics and current events, aka, a PoliBlerd. In addition to being a contributor to Black Girls Nerds, she is a freelance writer and poet. Roché is a board member of the Women’s Campaign School at Yale University, where she also serves on its faculty and is part of the founders circle for Higher Heights for America.