Welcome back to the Big Mad, the RFT's weekly roundup of righteous rage! Because we know your time is short and your anger is hot:
Men's Team: In a state where there's only one abortion clinic left, Missouri Republican lawmakers — specifically Sen. Bob Onder of Lake St. Louis — decided it'd be a great idea to try to ban Planned Parenthood as a Medicaid provider. OK, first they tried, in an absolutely disgusting and idiotic move, to deny payment to commonly used contraceptives if it "induced abortion." Can someone please tell these men how birth control works? Or ask them to butt out of women's health care? Either one would be fine. After changing the language, in part because of arguments by, you know, women who actually know how birth control works, the Republican senators tried twice more to include language — and failed — to ban Planned Parenthood as a Medicaid provider. Forgive us for repeating ourselves: There's only one abortion clinic, a Planned Parenthood, left in Missouri, and the rest provide necessary medical care to not just women, but also for men. While the amendment failed in the special session, the fight is far from over. In true Missouri GOP fashion, after several Republicans joined the Democrats in voting against the ban, the Senate president and majority leader issued a statement after the adjournment. Calling other Senate Republicans and themselves "pro-life champions" instead of their proper name, "dumbasses who want to control women's bodies," the leaders' statement read that Parson intends on using state administrative processes to remove Planned Parenthood as a Medicaid provider. Ah Missouri, you never fail to let women down, do you?
Biles' Olympic Unfairness: In St. Louis for the Olympic trials, the uber-talented gymnast Simone Biles was featured in a photo of her eating some Imo's Pizza, and to be honest it's an outrage. Many a time have we, regular people, dined at the altar of angular regional pizza, and not even ONCE has it resulted in a double-twisting double-tucked salto dismount off a balance beam or even just a boost on our floor work. No one has named any gymnastics maneuvers after us, and, frankly, what gives?! How much Imo's Pizza do we have to eat to make it to the Olympics, because, we promise you, no matter the training, the grueling repetitions, we will do what it takes to add the square beyond compare to the Olympics rings.
Failing the Test: Now that the COVID-19 Delta variant has begun to make an even bigger mess out of the already dire pandemic situation in Missouri, we know for sure that things are about to get even worse for regional health-care workers. These people have been working non-stop since last March and now a new variant might drag them under when (thanks to vaccines) they've just started to be able to keep their heads above water. One thing that could help to keep the pandemic in check in Missouri is free and easily available testing. A statewide program to offer Missourians quick and free testing could keep thousands more in our state from dying. It's hard to expect much from the government of this ass-backward state, but wouldn't it be nice to show how quickly an outbreak can be squashed, for once?
Just No Mercy: "Wrongfully charged." "Tainted." "A profound error we must correct now." Those are some of the ways prosecutors in Jackson County have described the conviction of Kevin Strickland for a 1978 triple murder — but that's not how Gov. Mike Parson sees it. Earlier this month, he described calls to pardon Strickland, who has spent 41 years in prison, as "not a priority." Then, on June 23, he told KSHB-TV he is "not convinced" of Strickland's innocence and suggested that the decision to free the inmate would "put other people at risk" if it turned out to be wrong. For a former sheriff, Parson should be embarrassed. He not only insults the prosecutors who have sought to correct the injustice, but to then essentially admit that doesn't have evidence to back up his reticence? That he just doesn't feel like taking a risk on freeing an innocent man? It would be laughable if it wasn't so monstrous. Parson is now embroiled in fighting his own party's anti-abortion extremists to save the state budget, but he can't be bothered to listen to law enforcement standing up for Strickland — it's clear where Parson's priorities lie.