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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Smart Bombs: Spoiler alert – No fetus scandal

Now that the Planned Parenthood “scandal” has proven to be bogus, will politicians who based their charges on deceptively edited video clips be angry with the laughably labeled Center for Medical Progress, which secretly recorded a meeting with a Planned Parenthood official?

Of course not. They’re interested in political gain, not the truth. In fact, they’ll probably continue to parrot the debunked notion that the organization is looking to profit from fetuses. has an extensive write-up of this sting operation based on the entire video, and it’s clear that pro-life activists were pulling a fast one.

The main charge is profiteering, and prices are discussed. But as Sherilyn J. Sawyer, the director of Harvard University’s and the Brigham and Women’s Center biorepository, said, “There’s no way there’s a profit at that price.” Three other experts concur.

Plus, Planned Parenthood’s Deborah Nucatola, the subject of the sting, says, “Affiliates are not looking to make money by doing this.”

Lines like that weren’t included in the clips. You have to watch the entire video, which the group released sometime later. But if you can’t let go of the lie, don’t bother.

Empty gesture. The Patrick Rushing controversy provides a new opportunity to review the non-apology apology. To recap, the mayor of Airway Heights took to Facebook to compare Barack and Michelle Obama to monkeys. Then he claimed he was unaware of the long history of African-Americans being disparaged like that.

This professed ignorance is hard to believe because Rushing’s Facebook page showed that he is obsessed with race … and gender … and sexual orientation … and Muslims. Before abandoning social media, he had dozens of moronic posts, such as a picture of Hillary Clinton on a KFC bucket with this caption: “2 fat thighs, 2 small breasts and 2 left wings.”

Rushing isn’t exactly Brad Pitt himself. More like a cross between Archie Bunker and Bart Simpson.

Incredibly, he’s blamed Facebook, calling it a “tool of the devil.” Ah, the old Flip Wilson defense: “The devil made me do it.” Sorry, but people post every day without succumbing to Beelzebub.

In any event, let’s get to the “apology,” and its use of the conditional tense – a hallmark of the non-apology apology.

“For those of you that were offended, I ask for your forgiveness.” In 2013, he took down a photo and posted this comment: “Earlier today I posted a picture that obviously offended someone. I’ve deleted that photo and sincerely apologize to anyone who might have been offended.”

So what’s missing? Any acknowledgment from Rushing that his comment and photo were offensive. If – and only if – some thin-skinned folks think so, well, he apologizes. The conditional apology is always unsatisfactory, because it leaves open the possibility that in a perfect world nobody should have been offended.

Let’s be clear: Patrick Rushing’s apology is entirely self-serving. If he were thinking of anyone else, he would’ve packed up his crayons and moved on.

Whole latte love. The latte has long been the symbol of frivolous spending – invoked by people who want you to spend on something else. But maybe we’re not paying this sacrificial beverage its proper respects.

For the price of four lattes a year, you can expand library services. Abstain once a month, and you can have more firefighters. Skip one a week, and you get public radio. In 2003, Seattle tried to invoke a latte tax to pay for child care and preschool. If it had passed, calls for abstention would’ve harmed toddlers. Then what?

I appreciate that lattes have become the universal target, because I don’t drink them. If they weren’t around, we’d have to give up something else, like ice cream or french fries.

And that would be unthinkable.