We should never be surprised anymore by the words or actions of provincial conservatives in the U.S. Congress who more often than not, appear to be completely out of touch with the real world and usually show little knowledge or understanding of the workings of a democracy that maintains a definitive separation between church and state.

The GOP-led House of Representatives approved a new $46 billion Homeland Security spending bill today.  But not before Republican Robert Aderholt from that bastion of civil liberties and high-brow sophisticated Americans, the great state of Alabama, added a rider to the bill:  The Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) may not provide abortion services to illegal immigrant detainees.

Are we to assume from this critically important addendum to the Homeland Security spending bill that ICE was providing abortion services to detainees?  Barbara Gonzalez, an ICE spokeswoman, said the agency has not paid for abortion services since its 2003 creation.

Do you think they get newspapers in Alabama?  Do think the good folks of that state are aware of the numerous serious challenges confronting our nation?  Do they know how to read?  Are they in the same country as we are? Same planet?

Lincoln was right about slavery but wrong about secession. This great democracy would work a lot better without some of the intellectual deadweight its had to drag along since the earliest days of the republic.