This Week’s Cartoon: “Unplanned Parenthood”

As you may have heard, House Republicans are looking to solve our nation’s economic problems (not) by defunding Planned Parenthood. What you may not know is that there are currently over 4,000 anti-choice “crisis pregnancy centers” around the country, more than five times the number of abortion providers. These largely “faith-based” operations, known for disseminating medically-dubious advice, received at least $60 million under the Bush administration. (You’ll recall the many Republicans who howled about that instance of deficit spending, no? Hmm… neither do I.) So, in a sense, Unplanned Parenthood already exists, and this cartoon is merely absurdist exaggeration. I hope.


  • James

    So you’re going with the “the [opposite party] did it, so ergo [said party] is hypocritical for attacking [insert sacred cow here].” If we’re going to be serious about that deficit thing (and holy crap is it time to be serious), cows have to get slaughtered. DoD (you know, one of those funny _baseline functions of government_) is bracing for 10% cuts. I think before we cut 1% of national defense, everything that’s a “pet rock” (and, sorry, Planned Parenthood _and_ abstinence education are both pet rocks) needs to be cut.

  • Library Lady

    I donated my Christmas money to Planned Parenthood before all of this happened, now I only wish I had more!

  • Steve Fisher

    @James –

    Funny, I never heard a word from your ilk about the evils of deficits when GWB was initiating off-the-books wars, at the same time that he was cutting taxes for the people who don’t really need tax breaks.

    So — please — spare me the horse shit about how “everything [except DOD] needs to be cut.” (Not really sure how Pet Rocks come into play here.)

    If the cretin Repubs have their way, we’ll be cutting our way right back into another recession.

  • http:/// Karyl Miller

    Hilarious and true. Thnk u Jen for focusing on the absurdities!!

  • Pingback: This Week’s Cartoon: “Unplanned Parenthood” « Pulse: Comic Book News, Opinion and Insight

  • Marcus

    Hey James,

    Or we could *gasp* raise taxes. How do we think we balanced the budget in the 90s? We raised taxes. (The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993) And the economy boomed anyway, belying the claim that such an action would be disastrous.

    Cutting discretionary domestic spending is never ever going to balance the budget. Total non-defense discretionary spending is about $660 billion. The deficit is $1,290 Billion, nearly double. The GOP proposal to $60 Billion in spending is less than a 20th of the total deficit. The only way we will balance the budget is by raising taxes or by going after the big line items, DoD, Medicare, and Social Security, which so far have been untouchable.

  • James

    Our fair hostess can educate you, Steve, on “my ilk” and statements I may have made regarding budget deficits during GWB. Or my stance on GWB’s wars. (Remind me how many Democrats voted for those again?) Just something to think about while you’re munching on that Super Value Meal of “ad hominem.”

    I do wonder, however, Steve by what ability you can automatically discern my views. Since you have not met nor really heard me say anything about Iraq/Afghanistan or George W. Bush, why do you automatically assume I’m a fan? Hmm, next you’ll be calling me one of those petty white, gun-clinging Tea Partiers rather than, you know, addressing my actual argument.

    Pet Rocks = meaningless objects of little utility which, no matter how much someone may love them, are not worth the fiscal expenditures. You know, sort of like the Federal government funding any type of sex education.

    Note–I did not say DoD did not need to be cut. How about, once you’ve taken off your “conservative scum” blinders you go back and read what I said. The key word there being “before.” I’ve come around, in recent years. to the opinion that we can even cut DoD by about 10% provided we stop using Defense as a Swiss Army Knife of government agencies. (“Does it involve the national interest? Killing people? Breaking their stuff? If the answer is yes to all three of these, then it’s DoD. If not, then Mapquest “Foggy Bottom” if international, the appropriate cabinet agency if domestic.”)

    And oh, btw, I’m not a Keynesian, much less a deficit-spending Keynesian–so the argument about cutting back into a recession doesn’t work with me. Indeed, generally deficit spending is bad, bad juju economically (the bill always has to be paid at some point).

    Marcus–why do we have to raise taxes to pay for Planned Parenthood? Or for that matter, abstinence education? Why is the answer to our current size of government “Hey, let’s add more income?” Because I think there’s something more than a little effed up about raising my taxes to pay for a program (e.g., Social Security) that was designed to have 10-15 workers supporting 1 retiree but no longer has that because, oops, we figured out reliable birth control.

    And yes, your statement on the amount the GOP wants to cut and its total lack of serious fiscal restraint sort of proves my point that we have too many pet rocks. I’d like to fund a Death Star with a variable intensity laser–are you ready to pay 55% taxes for it? No? Then why the hell do I have to pay increased taxes for _your_ “Precious”? How about you persuade your state legislature to fund something so at least if I (and people of similar opinion) can choose to move another state and watch the festivities from a different jurisdiction?

  • Jen Sorensen

    I can confirm that James, a longtime reader despite disagreeing with me regularly, was not a fan of the Iraq war. Although this is the first I’ve heard about his plans to build a Death Star.

  • Marcus

    James. I think you missed my point. Even if we cut all of the “pet rocks”, we’ll still be left with a giant giant hole. The GOP proposal’s cuts are twenty times smaller than the total deficit.

  • Steve Fisher

    So –James – you are NOT a Keynesian. Gee– what a surprise!

    Never mind that FDR’s succumbing to the Deficit Hawks of the 1930s actually prolonged the Great Depression. (His one very big mistake.)

    And — that the onset of WW 2 (i.e., massive government spending) is what finally got us out of the depression.

    But — don’t let the facts stand in the way.

  • Mr. Mayes

    Cutting planned parenthood is irresponsible. It is more than being about abortion; planned parenthood provides valuable health services to women who otherwise cannot afford it. DOD should be the first thing on the list to get cut. It’s all about common sense: the DOD is a big part of the pie, and we are paying for weapons that will never get used except for practice and are paying for bases in countries who have their own military. Before taking a dime out of helping Americans (and, yes, the poor are citizens too) who need it we should first get rid of the wasteful billions that are used for defense, pet-rock projects.

  • James

    Steve–you don’t want to argue history with me. Trust me, you will lose. Decisively. Especially if your best gambit is to trot out how good ol’ FDR was brilliantly running his (extra constitutional) response to the Great Depression until those blasted deficit hawks tripped him up. To wit, there is just as much evidence to indicate that FDR’s response to the Great Depression would have run out of steam had there not been the nice happenstance of Europe deciding going at each others throats for the second time in twenty years was a great plan as there is to support your argument. Moreover, World War 2 was government spending on a scale that was unrivaled in history (I mean, people have just paid off their war debt _in the last decade_ and, oh btw, there was a rather severe recession _after_ 1945. The only reason that said recession did not become a depression itself? Most of the other nations of the world were absolutely _shattered_ (I mean, look at the prewar industrial top 10) to the point that there was really no economy to implode. In this current global economy, I’m pretty sure if we end up going to inflation/price control central like we did after World War 2 then chaos is going to result, nevermind what the markets would do if we attempted to spend to percentage of GDP like we did from 1939-1945. But, hey, you’re right, that’s a BRILLIANT example that proves your hypothesis–I’m sure Mr. Ismay will be pleased you want to add _more_ speed.

    Do yourself a favor–before you start to respond and allow me to provide more “facts,” book a plane ticket to Kansas City, rent a car, then drive out to the Truman Library in Independence. Plan a couple of days to read Truman’s correspondence about how “great” the economy was after the massive infusion that you’re talking about. I don’t let the facts “stand in my way”–I just actually, you know, _use facts_ (as well as primary sources, books written by historians, and professors who have been teaching longer than I’ve been alive) rather than talking points or anecdotes. Considering even Keynesians reject Keynesianism (that not so funny interlude of stagflation in the ’70s pretty much served as the pimp hand of reality to that one), I think that you’ll find I’m not exactly in bad company.

    And before you go getting all lathered up about me being a “typical conservative” who thinks tax cuts are the answer, I’ve been quoted as saying “tax cuts are nucking futs” when you have a deficit as huge as ours is. See part about _neither party_ is serious, and I grow increasingly concerned that reality is going to supply the proverbial pimp hand to our collective national face followed by us learning real quick what “_____, where’s my money?!” sounds like in Mandarin and/or Japanese.

    Jen–the Death Star was a sarcastic comment in response to people who seem to think that the only thing we need to fund at DoD is the Air Force so we can do airstrikes. “At that point, why not just build a couple of death stars so you can just lase dictator X’s compound from space…” is my usual response.

    Mr. Mayes–It seems to me what you are calling for is some sort of government entity that provides health care to women who cannot afford it. I swear I thought that was what Medicaid was supposed to do. Moreoever, why are we only providing health care to women and how is this acceptable? I know, dangerous ground here, but I would submit that perhaps we as a society have too long supported things that imply pregnancy is “women’s concern” as opposed to saying, “Hey, guys, your duties involve more than depositing DNA in appropriate receptacles and, if the court says so, paying x amount a month.”

    On the larger aside, I say again–DoD can stand a haircut. However, I think that DoD should be last in line for cuts while we’re in the middle of two wars that, oh wait, both parties have blessed off on while in control of Congress and the White House (i.e., it’s no longer just W’s follies, everyone owns those ugly children). More importantly, we need to have a serious discussion of what we want our military to do over the next 5, 10, 15, and 20 years. Why? Because, you know, you can’t just wave a magic wand and get air superiority if you cut all those “weapons that will never get used [until holy sh*t we actually need them]” and it’s hard to project power when you have to pay more for tankers because we left a whole bunch of countries. _I_ am all in favor (no really, I am) of having that discussion–but I don’t think anyone in Congress is willing to because, well, “Congressman / Congresswoman X is weak on national defense…” makes a _great_ attack ad.

    I’m not saying I wholly blame Congress. Far from it. Part of the reason the attack adds work is because the average citizen is too busy reading about Charlie Sheen to, you know, consider reading something like Andrew Bacevich, Chalmers Johnson, or anyone else who writes for the American Empire project. Which is a long way of saying if you want to cut DoD before Planned Parenthood because you think it’s a bloated ox in a time of war, tell me _specifically_ what you want to cut and then how funding Planned Parenthood is of more importance to the national interest than that item. Because while I know what I would take the chainsaw cut to in Defense, I’m not doing the homework for you just so that we can have clinics doing what Medicaid should be funding.

  • Jen Sorensen

    James – I know you were using the Death Star as a humorous example, and my comment was also intended as a joke.

  • Steve Fisher

    @ James –

    Well, yes, you would certainly beat me up as regards revisionist history. As far as the real kind goes, just how can you be so cock-sure?

    (But you’ll certainly beat me there, too. Hey, how can anyone have any reasonable doubt? You said it yourself. Just ask you.)

    Actually, Chalmers Johnson makes a lot of sense. But why, after citing him, do you seem to be so much of an apologist for current DOD spending on useless wars?

    So — “Even Keynesians reject Keynesianism.” Oh, really, says who? I guess, then, that Paul Krugman was not really sincere when he warned, before the last stimulus package was passed, that it would not be nearly enough to solve the problem, and that it would be politically impossible to get a truly adequate stimulus package passed. (Gee, any of that sound familiar to anyone now?)

    Gotta give you credit, James. As a troll, you certainly keep the rest of us on our feet.

  • James

    Steve–so you say that you have nothing to defend yourself with and you’re going to go on bleating about how the big, bad historian beat you up with facts? I mean, you’re not the first person to call history they don’t like “revisionist”–that’s sort of the profession’s equivalent of Godwin’s Law. There is no such thing as “revisionist history”–there is either history based on facts or polite fictions people tell themselves so they can sleep at night. I’ve told you where you can find my facts–you can either go research them, find counter facts, or keep making noises about how I’m a “troll.” I may seem a bit acerbic at times, but I think that if we’re to get out of this mess, people have to be able to argue a case on its merits, not because they believe something that’s just been often repeated. And yes, we’re at the point where I don’t care what party someone belongs to, as long as they’re willing to stay within the Constitution and their options are moral in the actual (i.e., no Logan’s Run solution to the Social Security crisis) versus once removed (i.e., no “Well if you cut that program then grandma may have to eat Alpo”) sense I’m in.

    As to Krugman–last I checked, he was not a professor of economics. On the other hand, folks like James Tobin were. There are at least two articles where Tobin has argued for a revision of classic Keynesianism. Oh, wait, he’s probably using more of that funky revisionism-fu I keep using. But either way, we could not _borrow_ enough money to get the size stimulus Krugman wanted. While I’m not a fan of tax cuts (unless it’s only for people making _less than_ 150k or, alternatively, a 1:1 cut on corporate taxes:wage increase for all employees making less than 75k and/or not in a corporations’ leadership) I do think _tax raises_ to send cash to China (with interest) at a later date is not exactly a good course of action. Your mileage may vary.

    I am NOT a DoD “apologist” for spending on current wars. Unfortunately, the funny thing about wars is once you start them you either lose or win–there are no “draws.” The also cost money, so if you’re planning on winning then unfortunately you have to shovel money into the furnace almost as fast as you can print it. This, incidentally, is why I firmly believe you only start a war in the face of an actual attack or imminent threat. Afghanistan was the former. People claimed (and, once again _I DISAGREE WITH THE CLAIM_) that Iraq was the latter. Either way, once you kick a conflict off you have to spend to win. I personally think that it’s well past time to leave Afghanistan, but I also think there’s usually a reason places which haven’t had central government for years are in said condition.

    My personal military policy in most cases is “rubble don’t make trouble,” i.e. if someone’s going to go to war with you then you make sure that it’s a mistake they only make once. Unfortunately, we as the United States seem to have gotten into this mindset that we should reshape the world in a classical Western image. You know, because the Englightenment and liberalism are both easily exportable to people who still believe that a religious text is sufficient for law of the land. (Why yes, I do believe the same thing about the Bible–it’s fun watching religious nutjobs’ eyes bulge out when you ask them, “So, you’re saying Leviticus should replace U.S. Code? Okay, but don’t complain to me when someone’s expecting you to shag your daughter…”.) Either way, given events in the last 48 hours I think that we can safely say _both_ parties now own military adventurism, they just choose to carry it out for different reasons.

    Yes I’m cocksure on history, but only with regards to arguments I’ve researched and/or know where to find stuff. It’s because while with power tools I am dangerous to myself, others, and the surrounding populace, modern history is one of the things I happen to be good at. Or at least, that’s what the M.A. after my name would seemingly indicate. You want to argue about Elizabethan Court politics, I’m not your guy (although I could probably put you in touch with someone who is). But yes, if you’re going to start arguing about modern history…well, I’m not saying I never lose, but I look at the few times I’ve gotten my rear end kicked as learning opportunities. I’ve got thick skin (product of my parents’ raising style) and I heal pretty quickly.

  • Steve Fisher

    Oh, gosh, James –

    Paul Krugman is not a professor of economics. Really? Did Princeton fire him today or yesterday? Guess I missed that.

    But hey, Obama wasn’t really born in the US, either. And the sun orbits around the earth. For that matter, the earth is really flat.

    Wars — winning or losing — no “draws.” Well, just how would you define a “win” in Afghanistan? And what would you call Vietnam? (Not exactly a victory for us there. On the other hand, those Bad Commies didn’t overrun the US West Coast, either, as was breathlessly predicted by the proponents of that war, if we didn’t achieve “victory.”)

    Thick skin, you say? I’d almost have to say otherwise, based upon your posts.

Jen Sorensen is a nationally-published political cartoonist. She is a 2017 Pulitzer Finalist and recipient of the 2014 Herblock Prize and a 2013 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award.