"We must go where the evidence leads us."
January 25, 2016 3:02 PM   Subscribe

A grand jury in Houston investigating the recent videos that claimed that Planned Parenthood sold fetal organs (previously) has cleared Planned Parenthood of any wrongdoing. Instead they indicted two videographers, David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt, on charges of Tampering with a Governmental Record. Mr. Daleiden has also been charged with violation of the Prohibition of the Purchase and Sale of Human Organs.
posted by JDHarper (132 comments total) 76 users marked this as a favorite
 
I actually cackled with glee when I heard this on the radio.
posted by emjaybee at 3:05 PM on January 25, 2016 [89 favorites]


My daily allotment of schadenfreude has been fulfilled.
posted by The Gooch at 3:07 PM on January 25, 2016 [72 favorites]


Really? I could go on. I'm gonna go watch Fox News for a few hours.

That said, I'd be interested to hear some details on the actual charges.
posted by Drinky Die at 3:07 PM on January 25, 2016


Whoops.
posted by Artw at 3:07 PM on January 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


Yeah, the schadenfreude here is delightful. I'm very curious what government docs they tampered with. Also as much as this is a 'just desserts' situation, the damage is largely done and PP will forever be tainted with these videos. They fared slightly better than Acorn in withstanding the onslaught, but they took a huge hit with these videos.
posted by TwoWordReview at 3:08 PM on January 25, 2016 [35 favorites]


Cecile Richards' victim statement during sentencing is going to be glorious.

But GOP controlled states are still using the fraudulent accusations to justify cutting Planned Parenthood funding.
posted by T.D. Strange at 3:09 PM on January 25, 2016 [8 favorites]


The damage was already done. The "PP sells baby parts" will be a constant reminder of mails with the subject started by "Fwd:", and those who believe in it the first place won't be dissuaded by things such as "convicted of fraud".
posted by lmfsilva at 3:10 PM on January 25, 2016 [36 favorites]


Of course the damage has been done, and no statement clearing PP will undo it.

If Texas Governor Abbot, Lt. Governor Patrick, or Attorney General Paxton acknowledge this decision, and reverse their positions regarding PP I will eat a placenta, or something.
posted by Midnight Skulker at 3:10 PM on January 25, 2016 [4 favorites]


See: everything Brietbart has ever done.
posted by Artw at 3:11 PM on January 25, 2016 [11 favorites]


I love this. Like I literally cackled aloud in my office when I read it. And I keep cackling about it and I do love that it happened and it has turned my mood around considerably after a long day.

But I've got to admit my glee is probably cold comfort to the families of the 3 people killed in Colorado Springs because of these lies, not to mention the countless people whose healthcare has been compromised from the fall out.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:13 PM on January 25, 2016 [111 favorites]


The Harris County DA Devon Anderson is a Perry appointee and and a Republican. Dollars to donuts Abbott is just steaming right now.
posted by muddgirl at 3:13 PM on January 25, 2016 [11 favorites]


*Rises to give standing ovation for the Grand Jury*
posted by bearwife at 3:14 PM on January 25, 2016 [22 favorites]


Also as much as this is a 'just desserts' situation, the damage is largely done and PP will forever be tainted with these videos.

Was just going to say something like this. It's part of why propaganda like this is so effective; the truth comes out well after the true believers have digested and distributed the lie. I doubt the false allegations are just going to stop being included in your right wing uncle's forwarded emails.
posted by Hoopo at 3:14 PM on January 25, 2016 [7 favorites]


Sometimes grand juries do their job correctly.
posted by asfuller at 3:16 PM on January 25, 2016 [5 favorites]


This may not help PP, but at least it will make other wannabe James O'Keefes think twice before pulling bullshit like this in the future. And that feels like at least a little bit of a win.
posted by KGMoney at 3:16 PM on January 25, 2016 [64 favorites]


Feels like the damage is done, though - the far right framing of this "incident" will be passed from true believer to true believer as gospel truth far into the future.
posted by ryanshepard at 3:18 PM on January 25, 2016


Eh. PP has been fighting this stuff since they started. In 1916. They have been raided, jailed for obscenity (mailing and publishing contraceptive information), bombed, and blamed for every bad thing that ever happened in this country. But they just keep trucking. Because women still need them.

ACORN was a much smaller and more fragile organization, a soft target. PP has been taking these hits and getting back up for decades.

(Having said that, if you're not donating to them, what's wrong with you, send them money!)

Also, as I sometimes have to remind myself, Ms. Richards who helms PP is the daughter of the late Ann Richards, a certified badass.

(seriously, though, send them money)
posted by emjaybee at 3:19 PM on January 25, 2016 [176 favorites]


Oh god I love it when the justice system works.
posted by a hat out of hell at 3:19 PM on January 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm very curious what government docs they tampered with.

Supposedly they made fake IDs to back up their personas.
posted by resurrexit at 3:20 PM on January 25, 2016 [5 favorites]


It's easy to imagine how the framing will be manipulated: "Cowardly prosecutors bend to Planned Parenthood pressure, twist clearly damning evidence before Grand Jury, subvert justice with tactics bordering on perjury, bring charges against heroic bringers of truth, etc., etc."
posted by clawsoon at 3:22 PM on January 25, 2016


HA HA HA HA
posted by rtha at 3:25 PM on January 25, 2016 [26 favorites]


You know how at the end of jury duty the judge (or proctor if you're lucky enough to have not been empaneled) says "thank you for your service?"

I would like to thank each member of this grand jury for their service.
posted by infinitewindow at 3:26 PM on January 25, 2016 [22 favorites]


Supposedly they made fake IDs to back up their personas.

That's what I would've guessed, but I thought they (mis)represented a private company.
posted by TwoWordReview at 3:31 PM on January 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


I doubt the false allegations are just going to stop being included in your right wing uncle's forwarded emails.

Carly knows what she saw.

On another note, the fact that they forgot it was illegal to try to buy organs - even if you're just pretending - is just glorious. I know nothing about the situation should inspire glee but you gotta give me this one.
posted by ftm at 3:33 PM on January 25, 2016 [34 favorites]


It's easy to imagine how the framing will be manipulated:

I expect that they'll nurse the victimhood factor. Sure, they might have made mistakes, but their hearts were in the right place, compared to the larger evil it's nothing, it wouldn't have been necessary if politicians had the courage to do the right thing, blah blah blah.
posted by Capt. Renault at 3:33 PM on January 25, 2016


UNHOLY CACKLING
posted by poffin boffin at 3:34 PM on January 25, 2016 [10 favorites]


Perhaps a very big lawsuit, emotional distress, harmful libelous actions, etc., with sufficient penalty that it can close down the operation, or offer them the chance to forgo money damages with big ads in many news outlets admitting what they have done and apologizing.
posted by Postroad at 3:35 PM on January 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Speaking of Planned Parenthood, it's worth mentioning that they were among the first organizations to make a meaningful response to the Flint water crisis, months before the issue started attracting attention.

Evidently, they were shoving free water filters into the arms of anybody who visited their clinic.
“We’re more than just a reproductive health organization, we work for reproductive justice,” explained Christina Soliz, field organizer with Planned Parenthood of Mid and South Michigan. “Having access to clean, safe water is a reproductive justice issue. It affects your health. Families deserve better than this.”
Is this when we can start taking back the phrase "pro-life?" Planned Parenthood give significantly more fucks about the living and the unborn than any of their opponents seem to.
posted by schmod at 3:39 PM on January 25, 2016 [313 favorites]


This is really good news.
posted by Dip Flash at 3:39 PM on January 25, 2016


The sad reality is we live in a post fact political climate.

We all knew the PP baby parts scandal was bogus. Ted Cruz and Carly Fiorna knew the PP scandal was bogus. I doubt this news will really break into the news cycle. Certainly not with same outrage power of the original lies.

The truth simply doesn't have the momentum or sex appeal of "some evil feminist super villains selling dead baby organs."
posted by innocentsabored at 3:41 PM on January 25, 2016 [6 favorites]


This may not help PP, but at least it will make other wannabe James O'Keefes think twice before pulling bullshit like this in the future. And that feels like at least a little bit of a win

The tragedy, of course, is James O'Keefe was already busted for bullshit and it didn't keep these guys from doing it. I think the propaganda value to people like this far outweighs the potential risk. This faked video has paid off in droves for them.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:42 PM on January 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


KGMoney: This may not help PP, but at least it will make other wannabe James O'Keefes think twice before pulling bullshit like this in the future. And that feels like at least a little bit of a win.

I think that depends in large part on whether there's a conviction (this is just an indictment) and what the sentence is, if they are convicted. Anything short of jail time can probably be written off as the cost of doing business.
posted by tobascodagama at 3:43 PM on January 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


This is delightful news.
posted by humanfont at 3:46 PM on January 25, 2016


Unfortunately the reality is that PP will continue to be a Republican whipping boy for ages to come because there is simply too many members of the electorate that believe that PP are in league with the devil because of abortion. Never mind the good they do for women's health in a variety of other ways but as far as some people are concerned these two people were doing god's work and probably help revealing even deeper atrocities.
posted by vuron at 3:47 PM on January 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


Made my annual donation to Planned Parenthood the other day. As I get older, I still enjoy buying random things for myself (like books and music) but giving to certain charities like PP keeps getting more and more satisfying in comparison.
posted by A dead Quaker at 3:47 PM on January 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


We all knew the PP baby parts scandal was bogus. Ted Cruz and Carly Fiorna knew the PP scandal was bogus. I doubt this news will really break into the news cycle. Certainly not with same outrage power of the original lies.

The truth simply doesn't have the momentum or sex appeal of "some evil feminist super villains selling dead baby organs."
Zika virus likely to spread throughout the Americas, says WHO

Two of the world’s biggest drug companies are evaluating whether existing vaccine technology could be used against the Zika virus, as the World Health Organisation warned the mosquito-borne virus was likely to spread to all countries in the Americas except for Canada and Chile. ...
If the Zika virus does establish itself in the US -- God and all secular powers forbid! -- or even seriously threaten to establish itself, there is going to be a magnitude 9 seismic shift in the whole political landscape around the abortion issue, and a whole huge lot of Republican strategizing is likely to plunge into the abyss and take a fair number of Republican office-holders with it.
posted by jamjam at 3:49 PM on January 25, 2016 [18 favorites]


If the Zika virus does establish itself in the US -- God and all secular powers forbid! -- or even seriously threaten to establish itself, there is going to be a magnitude 9 seismic shift in the whole political landscape around the abortion issue, and a whole huge lot of Republican strategizing is likely to plunge into the abyss and take a fair number of Republican office-holders with it.

Not necessarily. They could just as easily say "Well, this is part of God's plan, life is life, sorry about your heartbreak and the often-challenging reality of caring for a child with developmental disabilities but you know God works in mysterious ways" etc etc. There is no hardship so awful that sanctimonious Republicans won't tell people that God did it deliberately and hey, maybe it's actually a good thing for you?*

With the notable exception of things like impotence, of course
posted by clockzero at 3:55 PM on January 25, 2016 [32 favorites]


I don't watch the evening news. Did this lede on any of the broadcast networks? Because it should have.

Oh, wait. People are still digging out from the blizzard (which has nothing to climate change, BTW).
posted by stargell at 3:57 PM on January 25, 2016


I remember a few years back Planned Parenthood made a press release that they were getting a spate of inquiries related to illegal prostitution and while it was probably just some idiot activists trying to pull an ACORN on them they forwarded everything they had to the relevant authorities. Then, a few months later, idiot activists released a misleading video, and all of the usual anti-choice voices all piped up as if PP hadn't totally saw this coming and gotten out in front of it.

So no, I don't expect this ruling will change anything.
posted by ckape at 4:00 PM on January 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


Is there perp walk footage? I'd like to see perp walk footage.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 4:00 PM on January 25, 2016 [12 favorites]


Been watching Fox for about an hour now, zero mentions. I am quite certain this would be the same if PP had been found to do something wrong!
posted by Drinky Die at 4:01 PM on January 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


TwoWordReview: "I'm very curious what government docs they tampered with. "

I thought I read that they provided false information in their fraudulent incorporating documents that they filed with the state so their fake company would exist? But I have the vague notion they did that in California, so I'm not sure if it's relevant in Texas.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 4:02 PM on January 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


I want to be happy about this, I really do, but whatever punishment these assholes actually face will likely be a small fraction of the harm they've done by muddying the waters. Twain's quote about the lie going halfway around the world before the truth puts on its shoes would seem to ring true here -- how many people will actually hear that this was all bullshit?

And then there's the fact that Planned Parenthood caved and stopped seeking reimbursement for tissue, which means they eat the costs now, all because of these lying liars.

Throw the book at them, sure, but it won't make things right -- just less wrong.
posted by tonycpsu at 4:06 PM on January 25, 2016 [4 favorites]


This is so beautiful and perfect
posted by naju at 4:06 PM on January 25, 2016


“These martyrs found out that PP was selling baby parts, and then the government convicted them for it!”

Well-deserved, I think, but I’m sadly anticipating seeing that little speech start getting whipped out at campaign events…
posted by Going To Maine at 4:09 PM on January 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


I mean, Planned Parenthood was already a Republican target before the tapes were released. The sort of people who are going to use this as a reason to hate planned parenthood already hated planned parenthood.
posted by dinty_moore at 4:09 PM on January 25, 2016 [8 favorites]


Any trouble brought upon the people who started this they'll just shrug off. Even jail time.

The mission was accomplished. This was the political equivalent of a suicide bombing.

“These martyrs found out that PP was selling baby parts, and then the government convicted them for it!”

Is all i could think, too.
posted by emptythought at 4:10 PM on January 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


“These martyrs found out that PP was selling baby parts, and then the government convicted them for it!”

Copy/pasted quote from my Facebook feed: “So you can murder babies and sell body parts and nothing happens. But you video the wrong doing and you get indicted.”
posted by glhaynes at 4:12 PM on January 25, 2016 [18 favorites]


This is the first whiff of justice I've smelled in a long time! And it smells sweet.
posted by Muncle at 4:13 PM on January 25, 2016


Honestly the undead demon brains in canopic jars GOP strategists who run with anti-PP stuff probably see this as a good thing, now they get to layer the "activist liberal judges (grand juries, whatever)" angle into their narrative
posted by prize bull octorok at 4:15 PM on January 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


All right! I needed some good news today!
posted by saulgoodman at 4:16 PM on January 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


I hope they're both convicted as felons and lose the right to ever hold public office in the state of Texas.

It probably means fuck-all to them in the long run, but hey... it's something.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 4:17 PM on January 25, 2016 [8 favorites]


I don't want to go too far down the Zika virus derail, but it's probably going to be that Zika birth defects are Gods' will in someone else's family.

Otherwise, the policy remains "The only moral abortion is my abortion."
posted by mccarty.tim at 4:19 PM on January 25, 2016 [13 favorites]


Is there perp walk footage? I'd like to see perp walk footage.

Arrest Warrant was just issued about an hour ago
posted by Greg Nog at 4:20 PM on January 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


The videos are pretty much conspiracy theory territory now, so the believers are no longer in a place where the question is whether or not the videos are plausible. They're convinced, and a denial/accusation of fraud counts as a cover-up which counts as evidence for the conspiracy which counts as proof.

When a conspiracy theory goes enough off the rails, it no longer is about proving your theory true, but taking potshots at the accepted truth. Moon landing truthers don't try to explain how the moon landing fake filming was kept secret, they just say why the footage looks fake to them.
posted by mccarty.tim at 4:25 PM on January 25, 2016 [7 favorites]


I guess Planned Parenthood > ham sandwich.
posted by Ickster at 4:27 PM on January 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


The way I see it, we could spend all day fretting over the batshit crazies not being convinced (nothing would convince them). Or we could take a moment to celebrate this one rare instance when justice was done. God knows these moments come rarely enough.
posted by naju at 4:28 PM on January 25, 2016 [31 favorites]


I think that a lot of people really underestimate how much support there is for PP among average Americans, and especially average American women. There's a significant portion of the GOP constituency that thinks of PP as a bunch of satanic babykillers, but we're talking about an organization that has provided medical care to 1 in 5 American women. There are a lot of people who really value PP and view them pretty positively. It's easy to lose sight of that when all you're hearing is GOP attack garbage.

Anyway, this is great news, although I'm not convinced that the DA is going to prosecute them very enthusiastically.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 4:34 PM on January 25, 2016 [12 favorites]


take a moment to celebrate this one rare instance when justice was done.

Justice? What justice?

I'll celebrate when there is a conviction and not before.
posted by innocentsabored at 4:36 PM on January 25, 2016 [9 favorites]


I'm just wigged out that this decision came out of Texas.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:39 PM on January 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


It's Houston, which has a pretty progressive political record, I think.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 4:50 PM on January 25, 2016 [4 favorites]


For the next 12 hours or so I'm going to believe in an afterlife just so I can imagine the look on Cecile Richards' mama's face and the things Molly Ivins is saying about Greg Abbott.
posted by mudpuppie at 4:51 PM on January 25, 2016 [29 favorites]


Yeah, so, even with all of this legal action taking place, I am still convinced that it is easier to lie to people to get them on your side than it is to be truthful.

Did you know Donald Trump gave a billion of the classiest dollars to PP?
posted by qcubed at 4:53 PM on January 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


I'm amazed common sense and the truth prevailed, especially in this case. Faith in humanity restored.

But when I think about it, there is a significant number of US voters who will never, ever be convinced that Planned Parenthood is anything less the tool of the devil and sell organs out the back door, thanks to assholes like the lying videographers and every damn GOP presidential candidate.

So much for my faith in humanity being restored...
posted by bawanaal at 4:56 PM on January 25, 2016


What's also important here, from an optics perspective, is that it is a grand jury in Houston. No "New York values" here.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:58 PM on January 25, 2016 [4 favorites]


I think on a site this far to the left, it's really easy to forget how many people who are on our side still really needed this as permission to go on supporting PP.

I grew up in a liberal town in a heavily-Catholic swing state. I knew a lot of genuine feminist liberals — lifelong registered Democrats or Greens, many of them atheists too — who still faltered when it came to support for abortion. "Well of course it should technically be legal, but." "I mean, if people are going to have them anyway, then I guess." "Like, we can all agree that abortion's not ethical, but." These were people who were thrilled about Roe v. Wade because it saved women's lives, and outraged by clinic protests and bombings, but still thought abortions should be "safe, legal, and rare" with heavy, heavy emphasis on the word "rare" — and who certainly didn't discuss their support for it very loudly, even if they kept on voting for politicians who supported it.

When that's your position, it's real easy to get pushed over the line from "tentative, quiet support" to "silence" or even "grudging, disappointed condemnation." And I think this news — which will have reached all the people I'm thinking of more or less unadulterated, because they're sensible educated Democrats who get their news from NPR and the internet rather than from Fox or your one shitty uncle's emails — will feel to a lot of them like permission to ratchet it back up towards "tentative, quiet support." Which might not feel like a lot, but for people who live in that state it is so, so important.
posted by nebulawindphone at 4:59 PM on January 25, 2016 [61 favorites]


Been watching Fox for about an hour now, zero mentions. I am quite certain this would be the same if PP had been found to do something wrong!

Not too surprising. They're not really a news organization, after all.

I'd imagine the next step for Fox regarding this story is, a) to ignore it, or b) to sanctimoniously make the investigators into martyrs and heroes ala` Kim Davis. You can also throw in ongoing allegations about liberals squashing freedom of the press, or some other such braindead nonsense.
posted by codacorolla at 5:07 PM on January 25, 2016


Arrest Warrant was just issued about an hour ago

Praise Jeesus. Let's see those liars cuffed and shackled and marched in front of a press gauntlet.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 5:09 PM on January 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


It's also clear that as a "news" organization there is absolutely no consequence to perpetuating falsehoods.

Why doesn't MSNBC do am exposé on how Ted Cruz refuses to deny the existence of his harem of underage child slaves for unseemly purposes?
posted by qcubed at 5:13 PM on January 25, 2016 [5 favorites]


yayy! we got the pawns, we got the pawns!
posted by any major dude at 5:13 PM on January 25, 2016 [8 favorites]


Apparently PP alleged that they forged government IDs in order to infiltrate PP. My non-lawyer reading of the first google result for "Tampering with a Governmental Record" makes it look like forging a drivers license might fall under that verbiage.
posted by macrael at 5:19 PM on January 25, 2016


...those who believe in it the first place won't be dissuaded by things such as "convicted of fraud"

As sad as it is, I tend to agree that irrational people will just continue to believe what they feel like believing in spite of all evidence to the contrary.

We've just seen the same thing play out in the anti-vaccination movement. The scientific paper that kicked the whole thing off was debunked and retracted and the author exposed as a scam artist and stripped of his right to practice medicine. It's not like the believers responded to that with "oh, never mind then". Instead we have kids getting measles and whooping cough.
posted by madmethods at 5:22 PM on January 25, 2016 [6 favorites]


Why doesn't MSNBC do am exposé on how Ted Cruz refuses to deny the existence of his harem of underage child slaves for unseemly purposes?

I would imagine the same reason that Fox never actually bankrolls this hackjob "journalism": legal liability. Instead they pretend to report the facts in order to gin up paranoia and hatred while letting individuals take on 100% of the responsibility. The horrible trolls at The Five can opine all they want about this ridiculous story to spread it along, and when the hammer drops (and hopefully it drops hard) they're not on the hook for it.
posted by codacorolla at 5:22 PM on January 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Can I just say something to well-meaning allies? In this thread, and the cop rapist thread, I saw a lot of names I recognized as female celebrating and a lot of names I recognized as male naysaying, in a "this isn't enough" or a "the damage is already done" kind of way. Please don't downplay how psychologically important these little victories are to the people who are most affected. The bad outweighs the good, overall, and we are acutely aware of this because we live it. Please let us celebrate when we can.

I shouldn't say we, because I don't speak for all women. But do please think if your comment of "but this doesn't change anything" really needs to be said.
posted by Ruki at 5:23 PM on January 25, 2016 [95 favorites]


This section of the statute is super-long, but I think this covers the gist of it.
Texas Penal Code Sec. 37.10. TAMPERING WITH GOVERNMENTAL RECORD. (a) A person commits an offense if he:
(1) knowingly makes a false entry in, or false alteration of, a governmental record;
(2) makes, presents, or uses any record, document, or thing with knowledge of its falsity and with intent that it be taken as a genuine governmental record;
(3) intentionally destroys, conceals, removes, or otherwise impairs the verity, legibility, or availability of a governmental record;
(4) possesses, sells, or offers to sell a governmental record or a blank governmental record form with intent that it be used unlawfully;
(5) makes, presents, or uses a governmental record with knowledge of its falsity; or
(6) possesses, sells, or offers to sell a governmental record or a blank governmental record form with knowledge that it was obtained unlawfully.
posted by resurrexit at 5:27 PM on January 25, 2016


i live in one of the worst states for abortion rights and access. with scotus refusing to hear the 6/12wk bans, thus scuttling them, and now this? fuck it, i'm celebrating. no it's not enough. no it won't change the minds of the entrenched anti-choice sexists. no we can't let up. no it isn't fair that facts won't rule the day in a lot of corners. still, i'm celebrating. and i'm still maintaining my out of state abortion fund, because shit ain't safe here.
posted by nadawi at 5:30 PM on January 25, 2016 [56 favorites]


It's true that the damage has been done and that the attacks are going to keep coming. But that was always going to be true.

I had expected that the courts would decide that Planned Parenthood wasn't doing anything wrong and that the media attention would just slowly fizzle out. Instead the propagandists fell into their own pit, and that unexpected bit of justice (both poetic and actual) is delightful.
posted by JDHarper at 5:45 PM on January 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


The energy poured into naysaying any positive moment on the Internet these days is startling, sometimes. If I had a nickel for every time someone showed up in a thread about something that hundreds of people worked hard for years to achieve to smugly declare that All The Things Are Hopeless Why Are You Even Trying I'd be bankrolling PP all by myself.
posted by AdamCSnider at 5:47 PM on January 25, 2016 [41 favorites]


Yeah. Bank the win.
posted by Devonian at 5:57 PM on January 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


An indictment is farther from a conviction than a sack of flour is from being bread.

All this does is confirm what I already know: PP was innocent of all charges and that the "documentary" team were lying political apparatchiks.

But I was already firm in my knowledge of this fact. I don't need it validated. I don't need more memes the on social media.

What I need is to see PP reputation and status restored. I'm not sure that will happen for years. Certainly not with a mere indictment. Only a conviction and then only maybe. And definitely only if everyone here gives PP money.
posted by innocentsabored at 6:00 PM on January 25, 2016


oh! as you're thinking about donating - orgs like pp are helped more by a small monthly donation than by a yearly lump sum. the reasoning is that they can factor your funds into their month by month budget and don't have to wait until dec/jan to figure out what they might have to work with. give what you can, when you can, but if you're giving, say $120 a year, you might consider $20 a month instead.
posted by nadawi at 6:11 PM on January 25, 2016 [13 favorites]


I think I've mentioned this before, but it bears repeating. I donate to PP on the regular, and here is how. Every time a politician tries to diminish women's healthcare rights, I donate to PP in his (or her, but mostly his) name. I make sure to include the office address so they get a thank you card. It is so satisfying.
posted by Ruki at 6:20 PM on January 25, 2016 [80 favorites]


Judges in Texas even...!
posted by markkraft at 6:25 PM on January 25, 2016


But I was already firm in my knowledge of this fact. I don't need it validated. I don't need more memes the on social media.

What I need is to see PP reputation and status restored.


Watching the tide of hatred sweep across the globe, the only thing that keeps me vaguely sane and sober more hours than I am not is the hope, however faint, that validation of facts may, eventually, prevail.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:40 PM on January 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


nelson_muntz_laugh.gif
posted by item at 6:41 PM on January 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Ruki, thank you for the suggestion!
posted by pt68 at 6:50 PM on January 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Every time a politician tries to diminish women's healthcare rights, I donate to PP in his (or her, but mostly his) name. I make sure to include the office address so they get a thank you card.

I can’t tell you how much I love this. It would be great to organize this with a mailing list or something so a lot of people could donate at once.
posted by bongo_x at 6:56 PM on January 25, 2016 [13 favorites]


Let the defamation lawsuits fly. I would be oh so happy if PP could recover even 1/1000th of its losses from the bank accounts of those that knowingly perpetrated the lies.
posted by Muddler at 6:58 PM on January 25, 2016


Really, so satisfying. I know my contributions are small in the grand scheme of things, but it's cathartic, and it sends a clear message. I'd love it if someone could organize this into something bigger. I'd be happy if even one person here did the same.
posted by Ruki at 7:06 PM on January 25, 2016


Sounds like that didn't go as...
*puts on sunglasses*
...planned.
posted by uosuaq at 7:08 PM on January 25, 2016 [29 favorites]


As someone who works in nonprofit fundraising, there is a cost (both in money and in staff time) to sending out those thank you notes. Even when it's thanking anti-choice politicians for the donation made in their honor to Planned Parenthood.
posted by andoatnp at 7:08 PM on January 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


I am so, so glad that someone will be prosecuted for packaging and promoting lies. Needs to happen more often, needs more support from the media, but this is great. Just desserts great.
posted by Dashy at 7:09 PM on January 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


I vowed and publicly stated that every time an anti-abortion comment showed up on my Facebook feed I'd donate money to PP. I posted imigur screen shots of the donation confirmation every time. After a half a dozen or so times the anti-abortion screeds stopped. It worked so well I announced the same thing at Thanksgiving and got up in the middle of a screed at donated. Worked wonders. And as predicted no one on the Right side of the divide seemed to have the guts to match those donations to Operation Rescue. So dinner proceeded with out any more screeds.

Now I'd ABSOLUTELY celebrate if a conviction could bring about a suit for punitive damages.

Because what PP needs is money, not more "in your face, right wingers!" Social media back patting.
posted by innocentsabored at 7:11 PM on January 25, 2016 [50 favorites]


orgs like pp are helped more by a small monthly donation than by a yearly lump sum

Thanks for this, nadawi, I will set something up like the monthly mefi donation.
posted by Dashy at 7:12 PM on January 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Can someone with legal knowledge explain to me why they can't be charged with felony murder? If, in the act of committing one crime, they caused a murder (or three) to occur, doesn't that count?
posted by tzikeh at 7:21 PM on January 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


I just sent a second donation to PP and this makes it all the sweeter. For once it seems the government did the right thing but I too mourn the families of those murdered because of these lies.
posted by bluesky43 at 7:24 PM on January 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


I've been on the board of a non-profit. The thank you card would cost the same for a diehard individual donor or for a dedication. There is a donation. Someone is getting a thank you card. In this case, it's not me. I get follow up requests, which I support. How is this not a win-win? Someone who sends a honorary dedication like this is pretty likely to donate on their own. I do.
posted by Ruki at 7:29 PM on January 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


andoatnp: As someone who works in nonprofit fundraising, there is a cost (both in money and in staff time) to sending out those thank you notes. Even when it's thanking anti-choice politicians for the donation made in their honor to Planned Parenthood.

Is the act of thanking a donor being given as a reason not to donate? Help me out here, andoatnp, I'm looking for some help understanding your point and running short on goodwill.
posted by carsonb at 7:55 PM on January 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


yayy! we got the pawns, we got the pawns!

I hear you, but that's how you do it. You go for jail time and publicize it. Can't be money, because that's not a deterrent these days - cost of doing business. Can't buy your way out of jail, and now they have to find pawns willing to do time for the cause.

Now I'd ABSOLUTELY celebrate if a conviction could bring about a suit for punitive damages.

Punitive damages, hell. Actual damages is going to be more than whoever this gets pinned on can pay. It's not like they can charge the RNC.
posted by ctmf at 8:15 PM on January 25, 2016 [4 favorites]


I'm curious if there have been other grand jury indictments like this. That is, the party responsible for triggering a grand jury on their target ends up with an indictment instead.
posted by ShooBoo at 8:23 PM on January 25, 2016


This is just a jab that landed. PP has been getting pummeled mercilessly...we need to land some solid haymakers and keep it up. Donate!
posted by Chuffy at 8:56 PM on January 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


The shame is, shit like this only emboldens people like this and causes them to entrench even deeper. Imagine what would happen if a gun nut targeted NRA headquarters, for example.
posted by gottabefunky at 9:32 PM on January 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Can someone with legal knowledge explain to me why they can't be charged with felony murder? If, in the act of committing one crime, they caused a murder (or three) to occur, doesn't that count?

A few things:

1. Felony murder is notoriously complicated. It's also different in different states/jurisdictions.

2. The predicate felony generally needs to be more dangerous than this for it to even be considered a possible felony murder. "Dangerous" is complicated in this situation, but these just aren't dangerous felonies.

3. The predicate felony needs to have caused the deaths. I don't know that it's really fair to say that the felony (or the acts they committed in furtherance of that felony) were close enough to the murder to "cause" it. Usually someone who was involved in the crime (co-conspirator, accomplice, victim, bystander, rescuer) needs to be the one causing the death. Not an unrelated third party at a different time and in a different place. But either way, even if this type of causality is satisfied...

4. The thing that makes the felony predicate wrong needs to be what made the felony predicate dangerous to the person who died. Selling organs, even if it were dangerous enough for felony murder, would be dangerous because people could have their organs stolen or could be pressured into dangerous medical procedures. Some third party getting angry that someone is falsely accused of selling organs isn't what makes that felony dangerous. You can hopefully see how this also applies to altering documents. If it's dangerous to alter government documents, it's because someone might be endangered by believing those documents. It's not dangerous because someone might show them to someone in order to slander that person in such a way that will inflame someone else to murder.

5. We want felony murder to be strict. If anything, we want it to be stricter. Too many people get charged with it already.

I hope that is clear at all. Like I said, it is super confusing (and I'm not a lawyer so if you plan to do a felony, do not listen to my discussion above)
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 10:16 PM on January 25, 2016 [8 favorites]


Or, maybe a simpler way to look at it, the dangerous felonies are typically things like kidnapping, arson, robbery, burglary, rape, forcible sodomy, felonious escape. They're all pretty obviously violent crimes, or crimes that create a serious risk to victims or bystanders. That's generally what felony murder involves.

So you might have heard of random people getting felony murder because they were driving a getaway car, but that goes towards accomplice liability and conspiracy, meaning that in some situations, "driving a getaway car" is actually legally equivalent to committing a dangerous felony. (This is a totally fucked area of law so let me be clear that I am not defending it, just trying to explain it.)
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 10:27 PM on January 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


I think the only way you get from these people to Robert Dear is through incitement, which IANAL is a non-starter.
posted by rhizome at 10:49 PM on January 25, 2016 [1 favorite]




Democracy Now! news coverage yesterday on Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole (previously), a case going before SCOTUS concerning the pretextural "health law" in Texas that state Senator Wendy Davis filibustered in 2013. DN calls it a case that "that could shape the future of abortion access in the United States". Further reproductive rights coverage in the full daily broadcast starting around the 20 minute mark.
posted by XMLicious at 11:17 PM on January 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


I just donated to Planned Parenthood.
posted by Belle O'Cosity at 11:24 PM on January 25, 2016 [9 favorites]


I vowed and publicly stated that every time an anti-abortion comment showed up on my Facebook feed I'd donate money to PP. I posted imigur screen shots of the donation confirmation every time. After a half a dozen or so times the anti-abortion screeds stopped.

I'd seen someone earlier today with a fb profile picture with "#IStandWithDavid" over it. I was mad all evening about it.

Thanks for making it really, really obvious what I needed to do.
posted by you could feel the sky at 11:26 PM on January 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


Thou shall not lie.
posted by wenestvedt at 3:48 AM on January 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


One of the things I am most grateful for as a British citizen is never having to worry about healthcare accessibility, especially when it comes to abortions and abortion rights.

I already donate monthly to an Irish charity which supports women seeking abortions outside of the system (Abortion Support Network); thanks for this thread, I'm adding Planned Parenthood to the cycle. Suggestion welcome for similar situations.
posted by citands at 5:36 AM on January 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


I hear you, but that's how you do it. You go for jail time and publicize it. Can't be money, because that's not a deterrent these days - cost of doing business. Can't buy your way out of jail, and now they have to find pawns willing to do time for the cause.

Nothing will change as long as liberals allow Newscorp and websites funded by the Koch brothers to operate as legitimate news gathering organizations. The operation was a success, the right wing got months and months of propaganda out of this fabricated news story and this indictment will be a one day story if that. That's the way the game is played.
posted by any major dude at 5:54 AM on January 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Every time a politician tries to diminish women's healthcare rights, I donate to PP in his (or her, but mostly his) name.

Yes, this has been our strategy in the last couple of years, too, ever since the combination of moving across town and redistricting gave us a hard-right-wing congressperson who's only interested in agitating for tax cuts for corporations and gun-toting. (Realistically, I imagine it's only a staffer / intern screening mail who reads the acknowledgement postcard from PP that comes to their office after our gift in , but it's still satisfying.)
posted by aught at 6:16 AM on January 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


As a Houstonian this was a great bit of uplifting news for me yesterday, and I can't stop giggling about it. Congrats PP, may you keep kicking ass forever.
posted by DynamiteToast at 7:28 AM on January 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


Is the act of thanking a donor being given as a reason not to donate? Help me out here, andoatnp, I'm looking for some help understanding your point and running short on goodwill.

andoatnp did not say not to donate, they said sending the card costs money. That money is money that is not kept in-house, but not everyone thinks to consider that. As someone who worked in development for a different very large, national (civil rights) organization, it adds up. Will a note here or there make a difference? No, but a large coordinated social media campaign might, for example. As a general rule, this was a good reminder that when you donate you can always request not to have anything sent to you, like address labels. And if you mail back physical reply cards, putting a stamp on the pre-paid envelope will also save a few cents.

Maybe someone with knowledge of PP can speak to this, but we always preferred when donations were sent to us, the chapter, directly.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:20 AM on January 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


A large social media campaign that encouraged donating to PP in a fun way that made it an in-group activity would be a huge win. It would harness the cathartic, memetic impulse spending that goes to, for instance, shipping dildos to the militants in Oregon, and redirect it to an actual, effective charity. The overlap with people who would have donated anyway would be insignificant in comparison.
posted by gilrain at 9:00 AM on January 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


I was simply pointing out that andoatnp was not suggesting people shouldn't donate to PP, because that was an unfair characterization of their comment.
posted by Room 641-A at 9:06 AM on January 26, 2016 [5 favorites]


I made a donation, because I am filled with glee. PP has been fighting the good fight since before we got the vote. Fight on!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:39 AM on January 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


i donate to planned parenthood every so often, and my aunt made a generous donation to them in my name for my christmas present, but today i finally decided i should make it a regular monthly donation. i don't have much to spare but i can't think of many other worthwhile things i'd rather spend my money on!
posted by burgerrr at 2:06 PM on January 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


As someone who works in nonprofit fundraising, there is a cost (both in money and in staff time) to sending out those thank you notes. Even when it's thanking anti-choice politicians for the donation made in their honor to Planned Parenthood.

The smiley face drawn on our confirmation card for the donation made in the honor of our local wingnut congressman tells me our local PP, at least, doesn't have a problem with it.
posted by aught at 2:08 PM on January 26, 2016 [5 favorites]


Apparently the tampering charge comes about because he used a fake California drivers license as identification to get past security at the Planned Parenthood building. Using a fake ID is a misdemeanor if used to get into a bar, but it becomes a second degree felony if the intent is to defraud or harm someone. He presented them with a fake contract to purchase tissue, which was intent to defraud.
posted by JackFlash at 3:54 PM on January 26, 2016 [8 favorites]


Everyone celebrating this should also be celebrating when people that go undercover to expose animal torture at factory farms get charged with eco-terrorism. If there was a principle at stake, that is.
posted by king walnut at 8:17 PM on January 26, 2016


Are those people trying to defraud and slander someone?
posted by bongo_x at 8:22 PM on January 26, 2016 [9 favorites]


Everyone celebrating this should also be celebrating when people that go undercover to expose animal torture at factory farms get charged with eco-terrorism. If there was a principle at stake, that is.

Except for the whole part where these folks blatantly lied and misrepresented the facts, while animal activists seem generally to score by showing unedited video.

Did you actually mean to draw that parallel? If not, reconsider your rhetorical technique.
posted by Lexica at 8:29 PM on January 26, 2016 [18 favorites]




Everyone celebrating this should also be celebrating when people that go undercover to expose animal torture at factory farms get charged with eco-terrorism.

Meh. If we're going on principle, I'd probably rate annoying as much, much less evil than dishonesty. Factory farms are pretty torturous operations — for animals and workers alike. On principle, sure, PETA's vegans are annoying, but at least they don't seem to have a track record of just making up shit outright.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 11:37 PM on January 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


And I'm off to set up a monthly donation to PP...
posted by WalkerWestridge at 4:09 PM on January 28, 2016 [1 favorite]












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