No Rock And Roll Fun isn't - you might have noticed - as busy as it has been traditionally, mainly because who the hell has the energy to write about an ecosystem that has somehow evolved Rag N Bone Man and everyone takes him seriously?
But the blog remains open, and from time to time I'll be posting here when there's something that warrants it. And something that warrants it is... well, this:
Yes, that's long-time friend of the unpleasant Bono shaking warmly the hand of Mike Pence, enabler-in-chief to Donald Trump. This was during a meeting yesterday in Munich.
Bono also took the chance to praise Pence. He lauded Pence for "hitting the ground running", which is a bit like applauding bird flu for being especially virulent. Then tried to find a reason for touching the man that would play well to the liberal audience Bono believes still values him:
According to a pool report, the two men shared an exchange about the 2003 passage of the President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief and its 2008 renewal, which Pence advocated for as an Indiana congressman.It's true, Pence DID support the Emergency Plan back in 2008. However, this was the same Pence who - in 2000 - tried to derail the Ryan White Care Act:
"Twice on the House floor you defended that. That’s how we know you," Bono, who has been a vocal proponent of the fight against AIDS, told Pence.
"And we really appreciate it," he added.
“Congress should support the reauthorization of the Ryan White Care Act only after completion of an audit to ensure that federal dollars were no longer being given to organizations that celebrate and encourage the types of behaviors that facilitate the spreading of the HIV virus,” read an LGBT section of Pence’s website, called Strengthening the American Family.So had he changed his mind since then, and is he helping the fight against AIDS?
Well, no. He's making it worse, and singlehandedly helped create an HIV crisis in Indiana:
Pence first laid the groundwork for Indiana’s HIV outbreak as a congressman back in 2011, when the House passed his amendment to defund Planned Parenthood. Then in 2013, Pence’s first year as governor of Indiana, Scott County’s one Planned Parenthood closed in the wake of public health spending cuts. Since that particular Planned Parenthood was also the county’s only HIV testing center, there was no longer a place for the county’s 24,000 residents to get tested.Maybe if Bono had a spine, or perhaps didn't need to be loved so much, he might have mentioned this.
Nearly 20 percent of Scott County residents live below the poverty line. Injection drug use there is a major problem, increasing the risk of HIV outbreak.
Fast-forward to 2015. Local health officials began to report HIV cases linked to intravenous prescription opioid use in Scott County. Scott County residents were sharing needles to inject their opioids, and nobody was getting tested.
The situation quickly spiraled out of control. At the height of the outbreak, 20 new cases of HIV were being diagnosed each week, reaching a total of nearly 200 cases by the time the outbreak was finally under control.
Maybe if Bono had a spine, he'd have drawn the link between the defunding of sexual health providers in Indiana, and the Trump-Pence White House's first executive order. That's the one which pulls funding from any organisation working overseas which mentions abortions as an option.
The executive order was restoring an older, Bush-era rule. And how did that work out?
Implementation of the global gag rule went well beyond abortion to effectively limit all discussions of family planning, including condom use to prevent HIV infection and multiyear spacing of pregnancies to avoid maternal deaths. Organizations as diverse as the World Health Organization, the United Nations Population Fund and Family Health International lost millions of dollars in support from the US government during the years the gag rule was enforced.Bono - who is such a useful idiot he's more the Swiss Army Knife of Idiots - is shaking the hand of a man who has created an HIV crisis in his home state, and is part of a White House that's making rules that will stop condom use and education overseas, and praising him as a great warrior in the fight against HIV.
After this meeting, Bono moved on to take a selfie with Famine, noting that the famous Horseman had really "cut through and found a way to persuade people to eat up their leftovers."