Patterico's Pontifications

6/1/2009

O’Reilly Refuses to Back Down on Tiller

Filed under: Abortion,General — Patterico @ 7:10 pm

The man who murdered George Tiller committed a despicable and indefensible act. But that doesn’t mean we have to pretend that we support what Tiller did for a living. I firmly oppose most late-term abortions, which are done primarily for convenience and not for medical reasons (despite the propaganda you hear to the contrary), and I do not believe Tiller’s medical practice was a force for good. He had a right to live, but we had a right to criticize him for what he did.

I said yesterday that I wouldn’t stand for leftists blaming Bill O’Reilly for George Tiller’s death. And while I think O’Reilly acted in a high-handed, sanctimonious, and hypocritical fashion with respect to its treatment of Hot Air recently, I stand foursquare behind Bill O’Reilly’s comments here:

Where did I find this clip? Why, on Hot Air, the same site O’Reilly recently smeared.

No matter. Sometimes you have to defend people in one setting when you criticize them in another. Here, O’Reilly is 100% correct that leftists are trying to stifle criticism of late-term abortions.

I won’t be stifled. O’Reilly won’t be either. Good on him for that.

Arkansas Gunman Kills Soldier, Wounds Another (Updated)

Filed under: Crime,Terrorism — DRJ @ 5:42 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, 23, of Little Rock, Arkansas, has been arrested in connection with yesterday’s shooting that killed one soldier and wounded another outside a military recruiting office. Based on a police interview of Muhammad in which he confessed to the shootings, Little Rock Police Chief Stuart Thomas said:

“Mr. Muhammad, previously known as [Carlos] Bledsoe, did convert to Islam sometime previously in his life. At this point it appears that he specifically targeted military personnel, but there doesn’t appear to be a wider conspiracy or, at this point in time, any indication that he’s a part of a larger group or a conspiracy to go further,” the chief said. “At this point, we believe that it’s associated with his disagreement over the military operations.”

Authorities said Muhammad “probably had political and religious motives for the attack.” He has been charged with capital murder and 16 counts of committing a terroristic act.

UPDATE: JihadWatch says Muhammad “recently returned from Yemen, where he studied jihad with an Islamic scholar there.”

— DRJ

GM Files Bankruptcy

Filed under: Government — DRJ @ 3:00 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

We can call it Government Motors from now on, since the U.S. government will own 60% and the Canadian government 12%.

Who will be in charge of the new GM for the U.S. government? The Obama Administration has chosen a 31-year-old in his first government job: Brian Deese, “a not-quite graduate of Yale Law School who had never set foot in an automotive assembly plant until he took on his nearly unseen role in remaking the American automotive industry.”

— DRJ

Ted Kennedy and the Government Bendover of Healthcare

Filed under: General — Karl @ 10:38 am

[Posted by Karl]

Sen. Ted Kennedy may unveil his healthcare takeover bill as early as today:

The plan in the summary document, provided by two Democrats who do not work for Kennedy, closely resembles extensive changes enacted in the senator’s home state three years ago.

In many respects it adopts the most liberal approaches to health reform being discussed in Washington. Kennedy, for example, embraces a proposal to create a government-sponsored insurance program to compete directly with existing private insurance plans, according to one senior adviser who was not authorized to talk to reporters.

The Massachusetts version of healthcare reform has been an abject failure, as judged by everyone from Reason to the Boston Globe. That would explain the New York Times report that a split had developed between Kennedy and Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), chairman of the Finance Committee, who is preparing his own bill. Baucus and Kennedy later issued a joint statement Saturday, saying they intend to cooperate so their committees pass similar bills. Kennedy’s bill serves the function of making whatever bill Baucus produces — which will likely be similar to Kennedy’s — seem more moderate by comparison.

Ultimately, as the Washington Post notes, the Democrats’ proposed government takeover of healthcare is being sold as cost-containment, but the Democrats’ proposals will run into the same basic problems as always:

Two cost-saving measures hold the most promise. First, what’s known as comparative effectiveness research, which tracks what works and what doesn’t, would also require outside boards directing doctors and hospitals about what procedures they could and couldn’t use. Policymakers have tended to dance around the second part of the equation. Second, eliminating the tax break for employer-provided health care could generate a good deal of savings and help bring down health-care inflation. But, again, there’s a political challenge; President Obama would have to admit that Sen. John McCain, his GOP opponent in the presidential campaign, was right on this idea.

Here is the bottom line: Most health-care inflation is the result of new technologies. Bending the curve enough to help balance the budget means walking away from some of the new technologies and devices that people want when they are sick. It also means improving consumer cost-consciousness through insurance reform and higher deductibles and co-payments. For most of us, that means paying more, not less. Even then, it is unlikely to be enough to get costs under control.

Asking Americans to pay more for less healthcare is a loser, and the Congressional Budget Office continues to be a thorn in the side of Congressional Democrats trying to pay for their program with faerie dust. As for comparative effectiveness research, Americans will get to hear about how it is already killing cancer patients in Britain. They will also hear about how it would tend to require real colonoscopies instead of virtual ones. Some politican or talk show host will figure out there’s a useful metaphor in that example.

–Karl

Death of Abortion Doctor: Leftists Begin to Point the Fingers

Filed under: Abortion,General — Patterico @ 1:23 am

The AP reports that the killer of George Tiller, Scott Roder, apparently left a comment on Operation Rescue’s site talking about Tiller’s “death camp” — and how a “presence” should be organized at Tiller’s church.

The cached version of the comment is here. Scroll to comment 9 (link via Free Republic):


(Click to enlarge)

The comment reads as follows:

Bleass everyone for attending and praying in May to bring justice to Tiller and the closing of his death camp.

Sometime soon, would it be feasible to organize as many people as possible to attend Tillers church (inside, not just outside) to have much more of a presence and possibly ask questions of the Pastor, Deacons, Elders and members while there? Doesn’t seem like it would hurt anything but bring more attention to Tiller.

What does this prove? That Tiller’s killer was an anti-abortion zealot. Big shocker there.

And the L.A. Times runs an article that sets forth the tactics of the violent fringes of the anti-abortion movement:

Bombings. Butyric acid attacks. Sniper shootings. Letters filled with fake anthrax. These are some of the tactics used over the years by antiabortion extremists.

Fair enough, but when do you see the tactics of leftist extremists portrayed this way? I’m told that even our federal government has recognized that leftist extremists engage in bombings and arson; why, wasn’t a certain Bill Ayers involved with a leftist group that killed people? Yes, I believe he was. (Who knew him again?) You rarely see the angry L.A. Times articles about that.

Meanwhile, the left-wingers are also trying to point the finger at Bill O’Reilly because he strongly denounced Tiller’s late-term abortions. This murder ought to keep the Orcinus site fueled with misplaced righteous indignation for weeks. We’re already seeing the anti-O’Reilly stuff at Excitable Andy’s site. And take, for example, Salon.com, which says:

When his show airs tomorrow, Bill O’Reilly will most certainly decry the death of Kansas doctor George Tiller, who was killed Sunday while attending church services with his wife. Tiller, O’Reilly will say, was a man who was guilty of barbaric acts, but a civilized society does not resort to lawless murder, even against its worst members. And O’Reilly, we can assume, will genuinely mean this.

But there’s no other person who bears as much responsibility for the characterization of Tiller as a savage on the loose, killing babies willy-nilly thanks to the collusion of would-be sophisticated cultural elites, a bought-and-paid-for governor and scofflaw secular journalists.

Regular readers know that I’m anything but a Bill O’Reilly fan, but this is nonsense, and O’Reilly must be defended. Killing Tiller was unequivocally wrong, but what he did — late-term abortions on the flimsiest of excuses — offended a lot of people, and I believe justifiably so. It didn’t merit his getting killed; his murder was an evil and despicable act. But that doesn’t mean that Bill O’Reilly was wrong to criticize Tiller — even harshly. And it doesn’t mean Bill O’Reilly is responsible for Tiller’s death.

So let’s put an end to all such talk right now.

L.A. Times Sends Embarrassing Quote Down the Memory Hole

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 1:10 am

Yesterday at Hot Air, I criticized the L.A. Times for falsely accusing John Cornyn of being concerned with Sonia Sotomayor’s “heritage.” The article in question stated:

Only days earlier, Cornyn said in a radio interview that it was “terrible” for conservatives to be attacking Sotomayor as a “racist.” But today, the senator did not reiterate those sentiments and pledged that he and other Republican lawmakers would probe deeply into Sotomayor’s past comments and rulings to see if her heritage colors her ability to make fair decisions.

As I proved in the Hot Air post, Cornyn said no such thing. As I said: “Rather than focusing on Sotomayor’s ethnicity, Cornyn focused on Sotomayor’s statements and rulings.” As for the accusation that the GOP would question her “heritage” — well, the L.A. Times simply made that part up.

Guess what? Now, if you click on the link for that article, it turns out that the offending quote is now gone — sent down the memory hole. The passage has now been brought in line with what I said would be accurate:

Days earlier, Cornyn said in a radio interview that it was “terrible” for conservatives to be attacking Sotomayor as a racist. He did not reiterate those sentiments Sunday and pledged that he and other Republican lawmakers would investigate Sotomayor’s past comments and rulings to judge her fairness.

(Emphasis added.)

I applaud the fact that they finally got it right — but not the fact that they tried to sweep their earlier false quote under the rug.

In order to prove that the earlier quote was actually published, I now have to provide you with a screenshot. Look at the bottom of the screenshot for the offending quote:

I also saved a copy of the text of the entire article as originally published, here. I normally don’t reproduce articles in their entirety — but given that they’re trying to disappear their embarrassing quote, I think it’s necessary to do so, to prove that I didn’t make up the quote, and to allow you to see it in its original context.

The paper does this on a disturbingly routine basis: publishing articles and then editing them and replacing the entire article at the same Web address. This practice is totally at odds with standard practice of blogs, which is to acknowledge when content at the same Web address has been changed. The blog practice is better; when the content of a link might change without notice at any time, that renders the content less reliable.

When will the L.A. Times figure this out??

UPDATE: Via Highgamma in the comments, here is a link to the original version of the story at boston.com.


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