Quote of the Day: “No, sir, I am not going to answer that”

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From Rep. Marsha Blackburn, chair of the House Select Investigative Panel on Planned Parenthood:

No, sir, I am not going to answer that.

Fascinating! What exactly is it that Blackburn is so loath to answer—and so unable to defend? Well, it turns out that she wants to issue a subpoena to get the names of individual medical researchers who use fetal tissue, and Rep. Jerrold Nadler wants to know why. Steve Benen picks up the story:

The committee has no rules in place to protect the names of those subpoenaed — raising the possibility of Congress effectively painting targets on the backs of scientists and researchers for no particular reason other than the Republicans’ desire for a culture war.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), the top Democrat on the panel, described the investigation as a “partisan and dangerous witch hunt, and added, in reference to Blackburn, “The chair’s abuse of her position as chair to compel this information is reminiscent of Senator Joe McCarthy’s abusive tactics.”

Nadler himself was more pointed, suggesting that if the names get leaked, it would make the committee “complicit with any physical assaults or murders of these people.” But Blackburn forged ahead anyway. Why? Despite abundant evidence that there’s been no wrongdoing, she insisted that “there is something going on.” No doubt.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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