I can’t blog today. Family stuff. I’ll be back as soon as I can. Rebecca
Caring for an old person is a little bit like driving a car with 300,000 miles on it. You never know when it’s going to break down, or in what weird way it will do it.
Last night was an example of this. Mama passed out on us in a 3-2-1-lights-out sort of way, and then she stayed passed out. My oldest son and I spent hours in the er beside her bed while she was off wherever it was that she’d gone and the medical staff tried to figure out what was happening.
Then this morning, she woke up like an old car that wouldn’t start yesterday but today kicks over as if nothing had happened. She’s still in the hospital, and I’m glad to have her there. She needs the care, and we need the help.
I wrote about it for the National Catholic Register. Here’s a bit of what I said:
Old people — and by that I mean very old people — are funny.
They’re not funny in the sense of laughs. They’re funny in the sense that you never know from one moment to the next what’s going to happen.
Caring for a two-year-old is a piece of the proverbial cake compared to caring for a 90-year-old with dementia. My family and I have been doing our best to care for my 90-year-old-two-year-old for years now.
Her dementia started when she was in her high 80s. It was a late-comer to the aging party, but once it arrived, it went through her brain like a laser, cutting away pieces with every pass. Dementia never stops taking. It is an aggressive and remorseless beast that slowly, but inevitably, lops off chunks of the person you love.
Mama is my baby now, complete with diapers and the sudden medical crises that go along with the physical declines of extreme age. A 90-year-old going on eternity can slide straight down from doin’fine and being a pest to the brink of forever in one, breath-taking step.
Consider last night.
What we had was Mama, prattling along with her nonsensical word-salad talk-talking while changing into her night gown. With no warning, she stopped talking and slumped forward.
This is the latest video by Center for Medical Progress.
I found two videos, one edited and another unedited version of a second situation. The second video talks about public reaction and says that “this is the first step in stem cell research,” meaning embryonic stem cell research.
I can tell you from personal experience that the medical establishment has been highly successful in using business interests to shut down legislation banning embryonic stem cell research. Sad to say, Republican leadership and a good bit of pro life advocacy leadership cooperates with them in this by actually killing pro life legislation. This is all done in back rooms, without the public knowing about it. The press never covers it, and even if they did, they wouldn’t understand it.
Living in this environment was one of the most painful things I’ve experienced as a legislator. I’ve experienced more than a bit of that again, with the votes in Congress to defund Planned Parenthood. I know too much, and that can be hard to bear.
For that reason, I’m going to take the rest of today for prayer. I need time with God.
Today’s United States Senate vote on defunding Planned Parenthood fell 7 votes short.
Sixty votes were needed to pass cloture, which would have cut off a filibuster. The final vote on cloture was 53-46. Congressional Republicans vow to fight on throughout the rest of the session. One idea that is being floated is to attach an amendment to the budget bill. This action would most likely result in a shut-down of government.
The Senate has not posted the roll call on this vote yet. When they do, I’ll post it for you.
From The Washington Post:
Senate Democrats on Monday blocked a Republican-backed effort to strip federal funding from Planned Parenthood following the release of undercover videos raising questions about its practice of harvesting tissue for research from aborted fetuses.
The procedural vote on a bill that would immediately halt funding to the group fell short of the 60 needed to proceed. Democrats vowed to filibuster the bill, and Republicans were unable to peel off enough support to counter it. The final tally was 53-46.
But GOP leaders have made defunding Planned Parenthood a centerpiece of their agenda going into the summer congressional recess, and some Republicans have said they are willing to force a government shutdown in October if federal support to the group is not severed.
We won one.
The United States District Court for the District of Columbia has granted a permanent injunction against the United States government in the matter of its attempt to force Tyndale Publishers to abide by the HHS Mandate. In other words, the court ruled that attempts to force Tyndale to abide by the HHS Mandate had previously been ruled Unconstitutional in the Hobby Lobby decision.
The reason for this is that Tyndale is a for-profit corporation, as opposed to the Little Sisters of the Poor, which is a non-profit. The Hobby Lobby decision addressed for-profits.
This allowed the Obama Administration to issue a new set of guidelines, forcing the nuns to abide by the HHS Mandate. It also forces the Little Sisters to take their case to the Supreme Court.
In the meantime, I wonder why, given the Hobby Lobby case, the government didn’t just drop its case against Tyndale. Why was the publisher forced to seek this injunction? The Obama administration seems determined to try to force Christian employers to violate their faiths, up to and including forcing them to take their individual cases to court to claim their rights.
This is a critical vote, since Manchin is one of a handful of pro life Democrats in the United States Senate. It is possible that Senator Manchin will pay a large political price for this vote inside his own party.
One of the problems we’ve had with this particular issue is separating contraception from abortion in the public’s mind and the minds of elected officials. I can tell you that back in the years when I was pro choice, I honestly did not believe that Planned Parenthood performed abortions. I didn’t learn I was wrong until many years later.
Perhaps the videos of Planned Parenthood executives selling aborted baby body parts will clarify people’s thinking.
I told friends I wasn’t going to write about Cecil the dead lion because it “wasn’t worth the candle,” which is to say that I think the whole fracas is exaggerated and addlepated.
I’m still not going to write about Cecil and his demise except to say this: Get a brain, people.
He was a lion.
He was killed by a hunter who may or may not have violated hunting’s rules of fair play.
Let. Me. Repeat: He was a lion. He was not a human being.
Hunting is not immoral. Maybe this particular hunter broke the rules of, as I said, hunting fair play, in a manner that sounds akin to spotlighting deer. It is true that lions in the wild are becoming rare. These are all concerns to be dealt with.
But this obsessive craziness over a dead lion is, well, obsessive craziness.
He was a lion. Not a human being. He also was not your pet. A month ago, you had never heard of Cecil the lion.
Talk about bread and circuses.
(OK. Now lay into me for being an animal hater or whatever. Get it all out.)
This is an interesting discussion about defunding Planned Parenthood.
I want to make a point about one thing that Tod Starnes says. The Rs have not really been “in control since 2013” as he says. They’ve been dealing with a split government in which the Executive is in the hands of the Ds.
That said, he is correct in saying that they’ve pushed hard for corporatists agendas, such as doing way with the retirement for our men and women in arms, while they’ve used pro life as a rabble rousing vote-getter and have not really been serious about doing anything to save babies’ lives. Ditto for the sanctity of marriage and religious freedom.
The Rs were in control of the government during the first decade of this century, when they held both houses of Congress and the White House. They did not defund Planned Parenthood then, and they could have, if they had wanted to.
I believe that Mr Starnes makes a valid point when he says that elected supporters of Planned Parenthood are much more committed to their cause than elected pro life supporters are to our cause.
Now here’s a surprise.
The White House media guy supports Planned Parenthood and uses Planned Parenthood’s talking points to do it. We all know who the White House media guy works for, right?
For what it’s worth, each of the videos under discussion in the YouTubes below was released in two versions, one of them was edited, but the other was complete and without editing.
Senator Rand Paul says pro life Democrats are “the key” to defunding Planned Parenthood.
Turns out his math on the vote is the same as mine. The vote in question is a vote on cloture, which would limit debate and stop a filibuster against the bill. Cloture requires 60 votes.
According to Senator Paul, 52 of the 54 Rs will vote for cloture. I’ve read that Republican Senator Collins of Maine, and Senator Kirk of Illinois plan to vote against defunding Planned Parenthood. What that means is that the Ds are going to have to cough up 8 pro life votes to pass cloture and allow the bill to come to a vote of the full Senate.
How many pro life Ds are there in the United States Senate? By my count, we have 4 who have mixed pro life records. They vote pro life a lot of time, but not on every, single vote. Perhaps the most prominent of these is Senator Casey of Pennsylvania, who has said that he will not vote to defund Planned Parenthood. This is consistent with his previous votes on the issue.
I’ve been over the numbers several times, and I can’t get to 60. If the Rs can change both their “nos,” and pro life Ds can pull 6 votes out of their hat, then we’re home.
Public Catholic readers are often active in the pro life movements in their local communities. Do any of you have better intel on how this vote is like to come down? Have you talked to your senators’ offices and gotten information that there’s a D or two out there who might switch and vote with us?
If you do, please share the info here.