Today, Wonkette linked to an article on MotherJones by Nickk Baumann about a new GOP-backed bill that would require the Internal Revenue Service to audit how folks use pre-tax money on abortions. Baumann interviewed tax analyst Christopher Begin, who said, “Were this to become law, people could end up in an audit, the subject of which could be abortion, rape, and incest. . . . If you pass the law like this, the IRS would be required to enforce it” (qtd. in Baumann par. 3). Perhaps it should be reassuring that, “The proposal, which House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has declared a top priority of the new Republican Congress, has 221 cosponsors and is expected to pass the House easily” (Baumann par. 4). Why is this a top priority? Shouldn’t the GOP, whose members claim to be focused on the economy and job growth, work on more pressing matters than using the technologies of taxation to curb access to biomedical technologies of choice. These idiots claim to want less government and less bureaucracy, but it is obvious that they want more control over the lives of American citizens by enforcing their skewed ideology and wonky do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do religious beliefs on others through more laws, penalties, and people responsible for enforcement (I suppose they could privatize the extra headcount necessary for these measures. A system of incentives such as a percentage of fines going to contractors could simultaneously create more jobs for like-minded goons to do the GOP’s dirty work). There is no decency, compassion, or understanding on the part of the GOP House members who support this bill. They make me feel like reality is a thread’s breadth away from The Handmaid’s Tale.
If you missed it, as I had, you should make a point to read Judith Warner’s “Fact-Free Science” in the New York Times Magazine. I saw it linked today from a discussion on Slashdot.org, which you can find here. It bears noting however that I am not entirely sure whether the original Slashdot poster G3ckoG33k meant to employ hyperbole or not when he linked to Warner’s article as “describing the latest chilling acts of the socially relativistic, postmodern loons.” Nevertheless, Warner’s article charts, in broad strokes, how the attack on scientific truth shifted with the political winds from the radical left to the radical right. It is useful to thinking about how we find ourselves in the current anti-scientific malaise.