BUSH’S REMARKS ON THE PBA BAN: Don’t get me wrong. Putting aside those pesky constitutional questions, I think the bill banning so-called “partial-birth abortion” (so-called because that’s what it is) makes an important statement. The procedure resembles infanticide. It is repugnant. I have no problem banning it.
But let’s not kid ourselves. The bill doesn’t save the life of a single baby. All it does is force doctors performing late-term abortions to use an alternate technique for killing the fetus — dismembering the fetus inside the womb, instead of collapsing its skull while part of it is outside the womb. If you keep that fact in mind, some of Bush’s remarks from today’s signing ceremony don’t make much sense:
Today, at last, the American people and our government have confronted the violence and come to the defense of the innocent child.
. . . .
The best case against partial birth abortion is a simple description of what happens and to whom it happens. It involves the partial delivery of a live boy or girl, and a sudden, violent end of that life. Our nation owes its children a different and better welcome. The bill I am about to sign protecting innocent new life from this practice reflects the compassion and humanity of America.
. . . .
We’re asked by our convictions and tradition and compassion to build a culture of life, and make this a more just and welcoming society. And today, we welcome vulnerable children into the care and protection of Americans.
How have we “come to the defense of the innocent child” if the innocent child is going to be killed anyway? How does dismembering a child in the womb constitute a “better welcome” that reflects “compassion and humanity”? How does giving birth to body parts “welcome vulnerable children into the care and protection of Americans”?
PARTIAL-BIRTH ABORTION BAN ACT SIGNED, BLOCKED: President Bush today signed the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, the Associated Press reports. The law took effect for less than an hour, and was then blocked by an injunction issued by a federal judge.
The scope of that injunction is discussed here. For all practical purposes, we are unlikely to see any prosecutions under the statute before the Supreme Court rules — or for that matter, after it rules, since it will probably be held unconstitutional.
Remember that story in the Los Angeles Dog Trainer that we discussed on Monday, titled Overall, Race No Factor for Low-Scoring UC Applicants? Mickey Kaus — a bit late to the party but welcome nevertheless — publishes his criticism of the story here.
Kaus notes the exact point made by Patterico Monday morning: the Dog Trainer saved the information on Berkeley and UCLA until after the jump. Patterico is happy to have Kaus’s high-publicity magnifying glass trained on this misleading story.
P.S.: Kaus also makes the argument first made by Brendan Smart: that comparing the rates of admission is misleading, because the numbers could be skewed somewhat by the overall number of minority applicants with high SAT scores.
I continue to think that this is not too big a deal. After all, Kaus’s numbers show that “65% of the students actually admitted to Berkeley and UCLA with low SATs are ‘underrepresented minorities.'” So, as it turns out, the differential in the rate of acceptance is about the same as the differential in the percentage of overall students accepted: about 2-to-1.
What I want to know is why the numbers cited by Kaus and the Dog Trainer seem to be so different from the numbers in this Oakland Tribune article, which found that 89-90% of the low-scoring students admitted to Berkeley in 2001-2002 were minorities.
UPDATE: Kaus has filed an update acknowledging the superior response time of this blog and BoiFromTroy on this story. (Two days: an eternity in the blogosphere!) He also makes a good point that, while obvious, needs to be said again and again: a central issue is “whether these low-SAT students actually do wind up succeeding at the university.” (Kaus wonders why the LAT doesn’t do this analysis, presumably knowing the answer: they are scared of what they’ll find.)
DIDJA THINK THAT PART WASN’T RELEVANT?: Yesterday’s New York Times ran an op-ed by someone named Mark Medish, arguing that Iraq’s debt should not be forgiven. At the end of the column, NYT‘s described Medish as follows:
Mark Medish, a lawyer, was deputy assistant secretary of the Treasury from 1997 to 2000.
But when the Washington Post ran a similar piece by Medish in October, the disclosure at the bottom was a bit more detailed:
Mark Medish is a lawyer in Washington and was a senior Treasury and National Security Council official in the Clinton administration. He represents international corporate creditors of Iraq.
Emphasis by Patterico. Complete omission by the New York Times.
WHAT IS THE DEAL WITH NAT HENTOFF?: Someone explain Nat Hentoff to me. I remember this guy as a liberal. But lately he has been writing rational columns supporting the nomination of Charles Pickering. And now comes this: a sensible op-ed on the Terri Schiavo case.
I don’t get it. Am I mixing him up with someone else? Or did he used to be a wild-eyed liberal? Somebody help me out here.