Tennessee's Titans of Abortion Leave Nashville
The city of Nashville knows how to live — and thanks to the latest news, it knows how to let live. As most Americans will tell you, there’s plenty to love about Music City. But after last week, the best thing might just be the fact that there isn’t a single abortion clinic around.
After years of being the state’s largest, the deadly side of the Nashville Planned Parenthood closed on Friday when it couldn’t find a doctor willing to work there. Maybe the group’s shady reputation is catching up with it or maybe there just aren’t enough abortionists to fill the job, but either way, it’s a development worth celebrating! According to WVLT News, Planned Parenthood’s local spokeswoman, Tereva Parham, said the group hasn’t given up on finding someone, but for now, their waiting rooms will stay empty.
That’s a major blow to the culture of death in Tennessee, where just six abortion businesses remain. The seventh, also in Nashville, closed earlier this year. Together, LifeNews points out, they accounted for 20 percent of the states’ abortions — a whopping 1,927 in 2016 alone.
Micaiah Bilger had a chance to talk to Tennessee Right to Life President Brian Harris who says that his group’s phones have been ringing off the hook from women looking for abortion referrals. That alone, he points out, has given them more opportunities than ever to encourage moms to visit their local pregnancy care centers. His staff, he told Bilger, is “busier than they’ve ever been.” That’s great news for future Tennesseans, who will have a better chance at life without a Planned Parenthood on every corner!
Originally published here.
Tech the Halls with Google Hearings
House conservatives have been searching for the opportunity to talk to Google CEO Sundar Pichai — and Tuesday, in a packed Judiciary Committee, they finally got their chance. Thanks to a string of leaked emails and videos, most Americans already had a pretty good idea where the tech giant stands politically. But on Capitol Hill, 2,800 miles from his Google compound, it was important to be reminded.
Most Americans had probably never heard of Pichai until Tuesday — but every one of them has felt his effect. With 90 percent of the world’s online searches at his fingertips, Pichai and his team have more to do with the information people see every day than almost anyone on the planet. That’s what makes his ideology so troubling. In a company so openly disgusted by half of the country, conservatives are right to wonder if they’re getting a fair shake.
Judging by the company Google keeps, they’re not. Back in February, the company finally admitted that one of the groups it trusts to “monitor” internet content is none other than the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) — a group that’s made a small fortune as political defamation machine. The fact that Google cozied up to Morris Dees’s group was especially surprising since everyone else — from the FBI and U.S. Army to Barack Obama’s Justice Department — backed away from SPLC for either its ties to domestic terrorism or its reckless “hate labeling.” As a growing number of journalists will tell you, the last organization anyone should be relying on for neutrality in the public debate is a group that even Politico called “a problem for the nation.”
Still, Pichai seemed to have no trouble defending the partnership, even when Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) brought up SPLC’s role in inspiring gunman Floyd Corkins to walk in our building armed with enough ammo to kill everyone on staff. Despite that — and the string of scandals from falsely labeling conservatives — Pichai reiterated, “The Southern Poverty Law Center is a trusted flagger.”
Louie couldn’t believe his ears. “The Southern Poverty Law Center,” he argued, “has really stirred up more hate than about any other group I know. They stirred up one guy to the point that he went to the Family Research [Council] — and I know those people and they’re Christians. And they believe — and I believe — that Christianity is really more based on love than about any other religion in history… [a]nd yet they stirred up hate against [FRC] and a guy comes in shooting… Now, you consider them a trusted flagger, yet they keep creating problems for people that are not haters.”
And conservatives aren’t the only ones who think so. SPLC has raised the eyebrows of more than a few major news outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, Politico, and most recently, the Washington Post — who are all questioning the group’s credibility. “Researchers at the SPLC have set themselves up as the ultimate judges of hate in America,” the Post points out. “But are they judging fairly?” A growing number of people from both sides said no.
On Tuesday’s “Washington Watch,” PJ Media’s Alex O'Neil thought Sundar’s answer on SPLC may be the most compelling evidence that Google is targeting conservatives.
“Sundar Pichai kept denying any evidence that Google has been discriminating against conservative and Christian groups… But I think the SPLC bit is very telling. You had the CEO of Google admit that he considers the Southern Poverty Law Center a ‘trusted flagger’ [even though it] lists mainstream conservative and Christian groups as ‘hate groups’ — along with the KKK. [This is who they] rely upon to determine which speech should or should not be allowed on YouTube.”
To O'Neil, who’s followed Google’s money, the company’s bias isn’t really a surprise. “What we’ve seen with a lot of big tech companies if you look at where their employees give money, it’s very firmly on the Democratic side.” If Sundar Pichai wants his company’s objectivity to be taken seriously, then he needs to walk away from politically-charged groups like the SPLC. Conservatives don’t want regulation, but we do want fairness.
For more on Google’s partnership with SPLC, don’t miss my conversation with Rep. Gohmert.
Originally published here.
Brady’s Bunch of Conservative Add-ons
Conservatives still have control of the House for another three weeks — and thanks to Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), they’re making the most of it! The Texas chair of Ways and Means had already filed a new tax package at the end of last month. But this week, he decided to make a good bill better. And churches everywhere are cheering!
If you want to win over a chamber full of conservatives, tell them you’ll repeal the Johnson Amendment! That’s what GOP leaders did Monday with their major overhaul of the tax proposal. After the lukewarm response to Brady’s first draft, leaders went back to the drawing board and made the bill one of the most conservative measures of the year.
For starters, conservatives decided to tack on the Free Speech Fairness Act, which is the legislation that would finally topple the Johnson Amendment and give churches the right to speak freely on the moral issues of the day — without fear of IRS backlash. That would be a huge victory for President Trump, whose first promise to evangelicals on the campaign trail was that he would “get rid of the Johnson Amendment.”
Then, to sweeten the deal, Brady tried to meet one of pro-lifers’ goals: recognizing unborn children in the tax code for the first time in U.S. history. Some of you might remember this debate from last year, when Republicans finally managed to pass the first round of tax cuts. As part of that bill, conservatives tried to change the language on 529 education savings accounts (ESAs) so that parents, grandparents, or other relatives with a baby on the way could start saving for that child’s education right away. The language never made it past the Senate, but the House is hopeful that on a bill like this one, it might.
Last — but certainly not least — House Republicans are righting a 2017 wrong that could cost churches and nonprofits almost two billion dollars over the next 10 years. As part of last year’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, thousands of nonprofits are being are being taxed over the benefits they offer their employees — like free parking or transportation. That’s a major sea change in IRS policy, which, throughout history, has never asked religious groups like churches to file taxes. FRC and a coalition of groups has been raising this issue for months with GOP leaders. In a letter to House and Senate leaders, we urged Republicans to fix the problem. This version of Brady’s bill would.
“It is important that we have strong Republican support to pass it,” the Ways and Means Chairman told reporters. And it’s pretty telling that the best way to make the bill more popular is to add socially conservative priorities. “Adding a couple of provisions that are important to the Republican House, I think, is appropriate,” he insisted. Let your congressman know that you agree. Contact your House member and ask them to support H.R. 88!
Originally published here.
This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC Action senior writers.