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Justice Department Is Actually Investigating Bogus Claims About Fetal Remains At Planned Parenthood

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Photo by Portland Press Herald / Getty Images

This is the very worst of partisan politics

A favorite conspiracy amongst the right is that Planned Parenthood is both harvesting and selling fetal remains for assorted and unspecified nefarious reasons. Although the claim has been widely and officially debunked, the Justice Department has launched a new investigation into the family planning organization's practices, subjecting them to unnecessary scrutiny.

According to CNN, the Senate Judiciary Committee has been asked to turn over un-redacted documents pertaining to a 2016 report titled "Human Fetal Tissue Research," which explains the procedures of Planned Parenthood (although, Planned Parenthood is not specifically named in the Justice Department's letter).

"At this point, the records are intended for investigative use only," Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd wrote. "We understand that a resolution from the Senate may be required if the Department were to use any of the unredacted materials in a formal legal proceeding, such as a grand jury."

The Senate Judiciary Committee plans on complying with the request, according to a statement from Chairman Chuck Grassley, who some see as having launched the inquiry through his ongoing attack on reproductive rights.

"The report documents the failure of the Department of Justice, across multiple administrations, to enforce the law that bans the buying and selling of human fetal tissue," Grassley wrote. "It also documents substantial evidence suggesting that the specific entities involved in the recent controversy, and/or individuals employed by those entities, may have violated that law."

CNN notes that federal law does, in fact, prohibit "valuable consideration[s]" for fetal tissue, while allowing for "reasonable payments" for costs, including "transportation, implantation, processing, preservation, quality control or storage of human fetal tissue."

Meanwhile, Democrats are pointing to the fruitlessness of past investigations into the matter: "Multiple congressional committees, 13 states and a grand jury in Texas all investigated Planned Parenthood, and all of them found the organization did nothing wrong," says Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee. "I hope that there isn't a partisan purpose in taking this action and that the department handles the chairman's request in a professional and ethical manner."

"Planned Parenthood strongly disagrees with the recommendations of the Senate Republican staff to refer this matter to the Justice Department especially in light of the fact that investigations by three other Congressional committees, and investigations in 13 states including a Grand Jury in Texas, have all shown that Planned Parenthood did nothing wrong," echoes Planned Parenthood's vice president of government affairs, Dana Singiser. "Planned Parenthood has never, and would never, profit while facilitating its patients' choice to donate fetal tissue for use in important medical research."

The Justice Department has not commented on the situation.

Photo courtesy of Balenciaga / Photo via @McDonaldsSverige Instagram

I'm cackling

Last year, Balenciaga released bright red square-toed mules which bore a striking resemblance to McDonald's french fry cartons. Now, the chain has fired back at the designer, threatening to release its own version of the shoes.

McDonald's Sweden posted a photo to its Instagram of a person wearing actual McDonald's fry cartons as shoes, and honestly, if there weren't yellow M's printed onto them, I'd have a hard time distinguishing them from the Balenciagas from a distance. Though the post doesn't directly reference the Balenciaga shoes, one can only assume that's who they are trolling.

McDonald's version actually makes for some pretty fly slip-ons, if you ask me. Good thing the Swedish branch of Mickey D's seems to be considering releasing the shoes if the post receives enough attention. The caption of the Instagram post translates to, "If we get 103042 likes we release these for real," though it only has about 17,000 as of publish time. These would likely cost much less than the Balenciaga shoes, which cost $545.

Internet, do your thing. I want a pair.

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Photo by Gareth Cattermole / Getty Images.

It marks her third duet with Nas

Here are some words that I never expected to read or hear again: There is a new song with Amy Winehouse. But here we are in 2019, and Salaam Remi has granted me a wish. On Valentine's Day, the Grammy-nominated producer and frequent Winehouse collaborator (also responsible for hits like Miguel's "Come Through & Chill") released "Find My Love" which features rapper Nas and that powerful and haunting voice that I have come to love and cherish so dearly.

Representatives for Remi said that the Winehouse vocals were from an old jam session the two had. Remi was a producer on both of Winehouse's albums, Frank and Back to Black. "Find My Love" marks the third time Winehouse and Nas have done duets under the direction of Remi. They were previously heard together on "Like Smoke," a single from her 2011 posthumous album Amy Winehouse Lioness: Hidden Treasures, and "Cherry Wine" from Nas' 2012 album Life Is Good. Winehouse died of alcohol poisoning on July 23, 2011, before they could complete production on her third album. My heart is still broken about it as she is by far my favorite artist.

"Find My Love" is set to appear on Remi's Do It for the Culture 2, a collection of songs curated by him. Check it out, below.

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