Tag Archives: Abortion

Fundies Silent On Israel’s Free Abortions

You know, there’s nothing more hypocritical than your modern pro-life conservative Fundiegelical American Christian. These folks have a no-compromise attitude when it comes to Planned Parenthood: every penny the taxpayers give PP for STD testing and mammograms is a penny PP can use toward aborting babies, they argue. They refused to support UN women’s health programs during the Bush years because they included abortion (as well as birth control and vital HIV/AIDs prevention). But no, millions of people in Africa could contract HIV, as long as not one penny was spent on abortion.

And Obamacare? The double backbends the Obama Administration went through to make sure no religious group directly sullied its hands by touching birth control was not enough. The demands that no insurance policy offer coverage for abortion continue.

But when it comes to Israel? Well, Fundiegelicals love, love, love Israel, because Jesus and Nuke The Ragheads and the Chosen People and Zionism, etc. etc. etc. So when it was announced late last year that Israel would offer free abortions to all women age 20-33 for any reason whatsoever, one might expect cries of outrage, demands to withhold U.S. aid, etc.

Aaand you would be wrong. We got crickets. Worse than crickets. Some of them have even defended the decision:

Ari Morgenstern, spokesman for Christians United for Israel (CUFI), which boasts more than 1 million members nationwide, the abortion policy won’t change the organization’s support for the Jewish State.

“CUFI is a single-issue organization that supports the democratically elected government of Israel regardless of whether or not we agree with the decisions taken by that government,” he said.

Got that? It doesn’t matter what they do, we will support them regardless. I find that … odd.

And then there’s this:

Tom McClusky a spokesman for the March for Life said, “It seems that especially while a lot of Europe and also Russia and the former Soviet Union is having trouble keeping up with birthrates, that it’d be a pretty poor policy for a country to take right now.” When asked if he thought the new provision might alienate pro-Israel American conservatives, McClusky added, “A lot of people that I’ve partnered with here and at my former job [the Family Research Council] who were pro-Israel were also pro-life. It seems they’d just be another country where we’d be looking to overturn a law.

See? No biggie. We can still send them billions of dollars in defense aid, we’ll just work to overturn the policy. (Hey: can Planned Parenthood get that deal? No?) You could argue that every Israeli bomb and fighter jet Americans pay for is money the Israelis can now spend on abortion. You could argue that, unless of course you’re a right-wing pro-life Fundiegelical American Christian, in which case you won’t, because you’re a hypocrite.

Writes Ed Kilgore:

Most antichoicers who are also aggressive supporters of a Greater Israel form of Zionism clearly just don’t want to “go there” in examining Israel’s abortion policies. It just would not do for them to apply the sort of “abortion as Holocaust” rhetoric to Israel as they routinely do with respect to America’s less liberal laws.

The bottom line is that many of the most adamant conservative Christian supporters of Israel (or at least the Israel represented by politicians like Bibi Netanyahu and those to his right) treat that country as an instrument for their own fantasies about the Middle East, not as a society representing their own values. Jewish Zionists who welcome their support ought to keep that in mind.

I would point out that this applies to American politics, as well. To paraphrase Kilgore, the most adamant conservative Christian opponents of abortion treat that issue as an instrument for their own fantasies about a conservative America, not as a policy reflecting any real religious conviction.

Or to put it another way: the abortion issue is simply a political tool used by leaders of the organized Christian Right to raise funds, get out the vote, gather mailing lists, win elections and achieve other political ends. The leaders of the religious political movement don’t give a shit about fetuses or babies or anything else. Fundiegelicals who support them ought to keep that in mind.

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Filed under abortion, Israel

Fundie RWNJ Admits Climate Change Is Man-Made

Sorta:

“We’ve made God angry by allowing abortion! Abortion causes climate change!” claims Barton.

Barton claims that we opened the door to losing God’s protection over our environment by supporting abortion which, he says, will lead to just killing everybody anyway.

Progress?

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Filed under abortion, climate change, religious fundamentalism, religious right

Go Back To Your Man Cave, Asshole

Via Twitter, scenes from the anti-choice protests at the Texas state capitol today:

Mansplaining.jpg-large

AND:

BOMvY-eCYAAVqvQ.jpg-large

Dudes who regret their abortions? This is a new thing!

Here’s an idea. When you can carry that fetus 9 months and not have to worry about how you’re going to a) care for it and yourself and whatever other progeny you have while you’re pregnant and after giving birth and, b) figure out how you can care for it for 18 years amid all the challenges and life issues you may be dealing with right now? Come talk to me. Until then, STFU.

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Filed under abortion, feminism

“Pro-Lifers” Gave Us Kermit Gosnell

Republicans like Rep. Marsha Blackburn might want to be careful about invoking the name of notorious Pennsylvania butcher Dr. Kermit Gosnell as they push to restrict access to abortion.

Beside the fact that it defies logic — what Gosnell did was illegal, DUH, that’s why he was put on trial and is now in jail, dumbasses — a brief look at his practice shows his clientele was driven to him by the very anti-choice, anti-woman policies that the Marsha Blackburns of this country keep clamoring for.

I direct you to the BBC World Service, which today did an in-depth radio documentary on the Gosnell case, and which I recommend you hear, graphic details and all. I transcribed a few pertinent excerpts:

“It wasn’t the cleanest place … the rooms were small, it was dimly lit. It just didn’t seem like a kind of medical situation you would want to be in — unless you were desperate. Because the abortions weren’t expensive. He was cheap! So that brought people that couldn’t afford to go anywhere, but to him. And that’s why they would sit down in that lobby and that waiting area for hours at a time.”

A country which lacks a functioning healthcare system that serves the reproductive needs of poor women — women who are desperate — is asking for a Kermit Gosnell in every city. That is reality.

Margaret Davidson, whose cousin died after Gosnell perforated her uterus during an abortion, says he had a reputation. “He was known in the community for doing abortions, it didn’t matter what the gestation was. That you could get it done quickly, you could get it done cheaply, no questions asked.

If you are going to make women jump through medically unnecessary hoops like transvaginal ultrasounds and radically restrict the gestational date at which abortion is permitted — some states have gone to ludicrous lengths — then you are asking for a Kermit Gosnell in every city. That is reality.

He says Gosnell didn’t just treat women from West Philadelphia. “There was always a group of white women who came to the clinic for a lot of the same reasons. Some of them were poor and they needed an abortion and Dr. Gosnell was there. Others were suburban teenagers that got pregnant and their parents wanted them to get an abortion and Gosnell once again was there. So he developed a reputation, not just in Philadelphia but pretty much along the East Coast as the abortion doctor of last resort.

If you are going to restrict women’s access to affordable reproductive healthcare, including birth control and abortion services, then you are asking for a Kermit Gosnell in every city. That is reality.

In 2009, Karnamaya Mongar traveled up the East Coast to see Gosnell. Her story reveals just how shambolic Gosnell’s clinic was. Her family’s lawyer is Bernard Smalley.

“She was a political refugee from a country called Bhutan. She came with her husband, her two children, and her grandchild here to Northern Virginia, and found herself once she got here pregnant, and made her own decision not to carry through with the pregnancy.”

(Neal Razzell): So, explain how it is that a woman who wants an abortion in Virginia ends up getting it in Philadelphia?

“What we know is, abortion is legal in the state of Virginia. She attempted to go to a facility in Virginia and then later in D.C., and was told that they could not assist her.

(Neal Razzell): And in Washington D.C. they say the same thing?

“We can’t help you. But why don’t you go to Dr. Kermit Gosnell, we believe he can help you.”

One more time: if you are going to prevent women from having legal, safe abortions, a large number of them are going to seek out an unsafe alternative. And yes, you are asking for a Kermit Gosnell in every city in America. That is reality.

I have no idea what Virginia and D.C. clinics Karnamaya Mongar went to, or why she was denied services and sent to Gosnell. I have to wonder if she’d mistakenly gone to one of those Christian “crisis pregnancy centers” which routinely lie to their clients.

Kermit Gosnell is the inevitable result of these anti-choice policies. It’s not like we don’t have history to prove this is true. Prior to 1973, the country was filled with Kermit Gosnells, preying on the desperate and poor who were denied a choice.

How utterly, completely, positively predictable that following decades of chipping away at abortion rights, Kermit Gosnell has reappeared. If this horrifies you, Marsha Blackburn and Diane Black? Look in a mirror. You’re the ones responsible.

I have no doubt there will be another Kermit Gosnell making the headlines in years to come, too. Just you wait. The more you restrict access to affordable, safe abortion care, the more you are asking for the alternative. And women’s lives will be lost.

Not that you so-called “pro lifers” care. Apparently “life” ends at birth with these clowns.

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Filed under abortion, reproductive rights

Idiots

[UPDATE]: Word in some corners is that the “some idiot” in question is named Erick Erickson.

———————————————-

Some GOP idiot started this Twitter hashtag today, to universal derision:

Sit Down

This, of course, referencing the heroic fillibuster of Texas state senator Wendy Davis. They just don’t get it, do they?

Republicans still think if they find female mouthpieces to spout their crap, they’ll endear themselves to women voters. And they have no idea how insulting that is.

Wendy Davis galvanized more women voters than any S.E. Cupp repeating Frank Luntz-written talking points ever will.

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Filed under feminism, reproductive rights, Republican Party, women's rights

Dear GOP: Please Stop Talking About Rape

Idiots.

While the Texas House debated an anti-abortion omnibus bill for 15 hours Sunday night, Rep. Senfronia Thompson (D) called for an exemption for victims of rape and incest, the Associated Press reported. Rep. Jodie Laubenberg (R) objected, saying “rape kits” make that exemption unneccessary:

“In the emergency room they have what’s called rape kits where a woman can get cleaned out,” [Laubenberg] said, comparing the procedure to an abortion. “The woman had five months to make that decision, at this point we are looking at a baby that is very far along in its development.”

Her apparent confusion about “rape kits” — a phrase generally used to describe the equipment used by medical personnel during forensic examinations to gather physical evidence following allegations of rape or sexual assault — sparked widespread ridicule on social media sites. Laubenberg then simply rejected all proposed changes to her bill without speaking until the end of the debate.

Jesus, the ignorance of these people, to actually think a “rape kit” is an abortion. I’m trying to wrap my head around how this idiot in Texas can support anti-abortion legislation while thinking that abortions occur regularly whenever a woman goes to the police to report a rape.

Dumber than a box of hammers. This is scary shit. This isn’t the first time an elected representative who is tasked with making laws has shown such sheer ignorance about the issues he or she is legislating.

9 Comments

Filed under abortion, Texas

Junk Science: The Last Refuge Of A Losing Argument

Yet another Republican opens his yap about reproductive issues and some stupid falls out. This time it’s Rep. Michael Burgess of Texas, who thinks fetuses masturbate. If they feel pleasure, surely they feel pain, his argument goes.

Um, no. And, um, no.

In fairness, when you operate in an information bubble, you’re going to see a lot of this type of pseudo science, and you’re not going to be equipped with any critical thinking skills or factual information to debunk it. So after we’ve all had a good laugh at Rep. Burgess’ expense, let’s look at what’s behind the right-wing’s use of pseudo science in the first place.

First and foremost, it’s the right’s attempt to sidestep Roe v Wade:

The fetal-pain bills do not directly challenge the Supreme Court’s judgment. Instead, they assert a new theory for outlawing abortion. The Nebraska bill states that “by twenty weeks after fertilization there is substantial evidence that an unborn child has the physical structures necessary to experience pain.” The legislatures passing these laws say that preventing this pain is a compelling state interest that justifies prohibiting abortion.

Hence, the loophole: Although the Supreme Court has identified preserving fetal life after viability as a compelling interest, the justices have never said it is the only one.

This tells us two things: first of all, that conservatives have given up on their “repeal Roe v Wade” battle cry. And second of all, it tells us conservatives know their anti-choice argument fails on its core merits, which has always been morality.

Conservatives have always maintained that they think abortion is morally wrong. That’s fine if that’s what you think, but clearly they haven’t gotten any traction with this approach or they’d be passing laws saying as much. And no wonder! They have zero credibility on the morality front in the first place. You can’t hear Rep. Marsha Blackburn say the House’s 20-week abortion ban is “for the children” without wondering why she doesn’t give a crap about children who are already born and maybe need some food stamps and education. Seriously, watching Republicans over the past 10 years has been absolutely hilarious. They really don’t care about anyone unless they’re in utero. After that, you’re on your own.

Clearly they’ve failed to make their morality case. So instead Republicans have adopted the value set of the culture at large — science! facts! pointy-headed experts with lots of alphabet soup behind their names! The fact that their “science” is completely bogus is something they hope you don’t hear.

The TV has been full of footage of Tennessee Rep. Diane Black and Marsha Blackburn claiming “the science is on our side”. Except it’s not. And Black is registered nurse, fer crying out loud. Her husband is a doctor! They should know better.

(By the way, who supplied all the B-roll of Republican women making anti-choice speeches on the House floor? I find it curious … )

Junk science is becoming a favorite ploy of the right. We’ve seen it with the climate change debate. And in fact, as this piece points out, the pseudo science ploy goes all the way back to Big Tobacco:

Probably the most prominent example of junk science involves what Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway call the “Tobacco Strategy,” which refers to the way that tobacco companies marshaled their own research “experts” (that were both bullied and bought) for judicial trials in the 1970s and 1980s that involved plaintiffs alleging serious health complications as a result of smoking cigarettes. The tobacco companies found that as long as they could present reasonably credible scientists to testify in suits alleging long-term physical harm from cigarettes, they would win lawsuits and avoid paying damages. Tobacco experts routinely testified that cancers, emphysema, heart attacks, and strokes were not prompted by cigarette smoking based on their own studies or cherry-picked data that argued against a causal link between smoking and negative health effects.

In both the case of cigarette smoking and fetal pain, the use of junk science demonstrates how credible, peer-reviewed scholarship is too often disregarded for pseudoscience that touts conservative values at the expense of empirical data. In these examples and in many more, junk science serves to manipulate public perceptions of the scientific process.

Funny how so much of our modern politics — propaganda, astroturfing, junk science, etc. — goes back to Big Tobacco. The thing is, Big Tobacco lost! They lost. We’ve got smoking bans everywhere and the rate of smoking in adults has been dropping for decades. Heck, I remember when you could smoke on airplanes, in movie theaters and even in grocery stores! Now some landlords are banning smoking in their rental units. So for all the junk science and astroturfing, they still lost.

And the anti-choice crowd is going to lose, too. Because truth always comes out. Always. Saying you have the science on your side doesn’t work when you don’t.

And I think it’s kinda cute that the right-wing anti-choice crowd will disparage our modern “permissive” culture every chance they get while at the same time adopting that value system themselves to make their arguments. It’s kinda sad.

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Filed under abortion

Guess Who Went To The Doctor Today

Last week I went to the dentist. Today I went to my ob/gyn for my annual.

These days, any trip to the doctor is an infuriating, exasperating traipse through our screwed up healthcare system. And I’m a really healthy person, with really good insurance. Still, red tape and insurance bullshit manages to piss me off every damn time.

I had already decided I was going to ask my doctor about the mandatory pre-abortion ultrasound bills currently making their way through the legislature, in particular, the deafening silence from the medical community and ob/gyn’s in general on this and other issues affecting women’s healthcare. But dang, before I could even get to that we got in a debate about socialized medicine.

It started when she told me she wouldn’t perform the ol’ “blood in the stool” test, aka the FOBT, which I’ve had done routinely for 30 something years. This was because, she said, “BlueCross Blue Shield of Tennessee no longer covers it.” Lovely. I repeat: not because I didn’t need it, but because insurance wouldn’t cover it. And that, she said, was because over the past few years insurance has routinely been paying for fewer and fewer things.

This test is an easy, cheap way to detect colorectal cancer. But hey, I’m over 50 now, it’s not like colon cancer is a concern for us olds, right?

Don’t answer that.

It doesn’t matter because she said I need to think about getting a colonoscopy at some point, since I’m an olds, and of course it’s a better diagnostic test. Now, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee only pays for one every 10 years if the first one comes back clean. So let’s hope I don’t develop anything in the decade in between tests because apparently I’d have no fucking way of knowing about it.

Okie dokie, let’s hope what I don’t know won’t kill me! Thank you, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee! May you all get colorectal cancer and die an excruciating, miserable death.

Yes, Republicans. Do tell me more about bureaucrats coming between me and my doctor. I’m dying to hear.

So then we both commiserated about how awful insurance was. I asked her which insurance company was the best in terms of coverage, since she dealt with so many. She said none of them, they’re all bad. Okay, I said, fine, then why don’t we ditch them all and go to socialized medicine?

“Oh, no! That’s worse,” she said. In England, she said, whether you have a hangnail or cancer, you’re put into the system at the same place. In other words, serious health issues aren’t given any more priority than minor ones. She heard this from a patient who lived in London for two years. Her patient, however, was considered a “guest of the country” and was put to the top of the list, she explained. (I’m a little unclear how the patient would know, plus if that were true, wouldn’t there be astronomical cancer fatality rates there? Which doesn’t seem to be happening.)

“That’s certainly not what my Canadian friends have told me,” I said. “I don’t know about England, but they told me in Canada if something’s seriously wrong, you’re priority. It’s true you might have to wait longer for routine stuff, but heck, I made this appointment a year ago!” It’s true, I had.

“Oh no,” my doctor responded, wagging her finger at me. “I know someone who lives in Vancouver and when she needed something done she went to Seattle.”

Clearly we weren’t getting anywhere, trading our stories about “people we knew.” What I did say was, what do we do? This can’t be the best there is. What we’re doing now isn’t working, too many people are uninsured, and the poor are suffering the most.

“Oh, the poor have TennCare,” she said.

And so it went. Clearly my doctor didn’t know the first thing about people who weren’t her patients. She worked at a nice office in the heart of Nashville’s central healthcare campus, not the Vine Hill or Downtown clinics. Her clients weren’t the uninsured or marginalized. Nor did she know anything about what was happening in the state legislature. I asked her if she was aware that there were bills in the legislature requiring women to get an ultrasound before receiving an abortion.

“Really?!” She seemed genuinely surprised. Jesus, lady! I wanted to scream. You’re a gynecologist! This is your field! Don’t you pay attention to what legislators are doing affecting your own business?

I asked if there was any medical reason why this procedure would be necessary. “They need to do it,” she said, “to determine the age of the fetus.”

“But what if a woman is positive that it’s within the first trimester?”

“They still need to do it, to make sure.”

“To make sure?”

“To make sure she’s telling the truth.”

Wow. So we have this law to mandate a diagnostic procedure because women are liars. Got that, ladies? The government thinks you’re all liars, just like with all of that “legitimate rape” stuff, and so they need to check up on you with a diagnostic tool whose sole function is to make sure you’re telling the truth.

Yes, Republicans. Do tell me more about your belief in “small government.” I’m dying to hear.

Keep in mind, I was just told I wouldn’t get a routine colon cancer diagnostic because my insurance won’t pay for it.

Like an idiot, I asked my doctor if she performed abortions. She told me no.

“Does anyone here perform them?”

“No.”

“So where does someone go if they need one? Someone with insurance, who can afford it, where do you refer them?”

“Planned Parenthood, I guess,” my doctor answered. “Or Atlanta.”

Keep in mind, Nashville is a healthcare city. Healthcare is one of the largest industries here. We have several major hospitals here. The Nashville Chamber of Commerce proudly touts how healthcare contributes $30 billion to the local economy and creates over 210,000 jobs. But that’s all bullshit. None of that matters if you’re a woman who needs an abortion. For that, you go to Atlanta.

I asked why, although I already knew the answer. But I wanted to hear her say it. And she did. It’s just too controversial, she said. “It’s the religious people, they don’t want it,” she said. Insurance won’t pay for it. Hospitals don’t want to have anything to do with it. And finally she said, “doctors have been killed.”

I’m sure “the religious people” will be thrilled to learn they have successfully intimidated doctors in Nashville into not performing abortions. What’s sad is that Nashville is touted as being a progressive city, a patch of blue surrounded by a sea of red. But we’re still a city where women are second-class citizens because our healthcare needs aren’t treated equally.

It’s not just abortion. My doctor told me that as of January 2009, she can’t perform tubal ligations at Baptist Hospital. Baptist is one of the major hospitals here in Nashville and in 2002 Baptist merged with St. Thomas, another major player, so both are now under the Ascension Health umbrella, which is a Catholic non-profit. I had read that because religious hospitals all receive federal funds, they had to offer some kind of “secular floor,” where stuff the Catholics find religiously offensive can be done.

“It was a room, not a floor,” my doctor told me. “A separate room.” And the nurse technician that would assist her had to clock out, clock in again for the hour of surgery, and clock back out again, so she could be paid out of separate, non-religious funds. But as of January 2009, that room is no longer there. Someone who is not a Catholic will nonetheless have their medical choices made by the Catholic church.

Yes, Republicans. Do tell me more about your belief in “religious freedom.” I’m dying to hear.

This is all just so crazy to me. I didn’t intend to write a novel, but we just covered so much ground. What I wanted to know is why the medical profession hasn’t spoken up as the state house and senate legislate their profession. I mean, good lord, every time something happens in Washington we have a flurry of industry associations and phony astroturf groups telling us why it’s a bad idea. Where’s the TN Medical Assn.? Besides offering “doctor of the day” volunteers and lobbying for tort reform, I mean. It seems they haven’t spoken up because the just don’t know or don’t care.

I asked my doctor why people in her profession didn’t speak out. And she said it’s because nothing was ever going to change. That was just it, it’s too big, too hard, too controversial. It’s not going to change. I was so outraged. I just refuse to believe nothing will ever change. I said, what if people said that back in the days of Jim Crow? We’d still have black hospitals and white hospitals. Yes, she said. You’re right. And that was that.

It was the most disheartening conversation I’ve ever had. Apparently the doctors just can’t be bothered. I mean, I don’t know what else to say and I’m way beyond needing to wrap this up. But I guess I had somehow thought that doctors cared about their patients’ healthcare. Silly me.

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Filed under abortion, birth control, Blue Cross, health insurance, healthcare, Nashville, women's rights

Today’s Anti-Abortion WTF Moment

I ask you, who does this?

original

Unbelievable. I don’t think there’s enough irony in the world for this marketing ploy to make sense. Either this dry cleaners’ is cluelessly unaware of the historic, documented impact of anti-abortion laws, or else they are aware of it and are just being cruel. According to the story, Cincinnati’s Springdale Dry Cleaners has been getting negative publicity (and losing customers) over this since 2010. So I’ll take cruel.

Assholes.

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Filed under abortion, women's rights

Creepy Scott DesJarlais Even Creepier Than We Thought

Damn:

But the new transcript and other revelations from court documents paint a more damning picture of a man who was a serial philanderer willing to push one of his lovers — whom he met as a patient with a foot problem — to terminate a pregnancy, even when he suspected he was the father.

“You told me you’d have an abortion, and now we’re getting too far along without one,” DesJarlais tells the woman at one point in the call while negotiating with her over whether he’ll reveal her identity to his wife. They then discuss whether he will accompany her to a procedure to end the sort of life the congressman now describes as “sacred.”

“You told me you would have time to go with me and everything,” the woman complains.

“I said, if I could, I would, didn’t I? And I will try,” DesJarlais says. “If I can [find] time, you’re saying you still will?”

“Yeah,” the woman answers.

The two bicker over when they can meet to hash out a solution, and they make clear the nature of their relationship when DesJarlais says delaying a resolution isn’t fair to his wife.

“This is not fair to me. I don’t want you in my life,” the woman says.

“Well, I didn’t want to be in your life either, but you lied to me about something that caused us to be in this situation, and that’s not my fault, that’s yours,” the doctor responds.

“Well, it’s [your] fault for sleeping with your patient,” the woman fires back.

Jesus effin’ whatever. I thought it was weird enough that he spent three hours with a gun in his mouth when he split from his first wife. Now DesJarlais just looks like a freaking monster.

Just your modern pro-life Republican, Tennessee Tea Party style. How the hell did Lincoln Davis lose to this sleazebag?

Also, the best part of all this? He apparently made the tape recording himself. To prove to his wife that the affair was over.

Can you imagine? Not just a sleazebag but a stupid one.

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Filed under abortion, Tea Party, Tennessee, Tennessee politics, TNGOP