Patterico's Pontifications

6/24/2009

Iranian Violence Escalates (Updated)

Filed under: International — DRJ @ 5:33 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Instapundit links a PJTV interview with Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi, an Iranian activist and Brooklyn NY-based founder of Iran Press, who says the violence in Tehran has escalated. This is my transcript of a portion of Zand-Bonazzi’s report from an Iranian blogger:

“What they were hearing is more gunshots, except this time on top of the gunshots they were taking axes to people. They were actually slashing people, breaking people’s legs, breaking people’s arms. It’s just turned into one of the most awful and, you know, like a massacre type of thing — to the point where …

Actually, then later on, some of the people who had managed to get home were on the phone with CNN and they were describing the scene. And this poor girl was wailing and begging for help and I think you have that clip. [Crosstalk.] It turned into a bloodbath, basically.”

If the details of this report are true and photos/video are released, this would be a dramatic escalation that will likely have an impact on Western opinion.

Hot Air also has a report with the CNN link.

UPDATE: Gateway Pundit has a number of links.

— DRJ

(Not So) Former Gang Member Arrested

Filed under: Crime — Jack Dunphy @ 4:19 pm

[Guest post by Jack Dunphy]

Alex Sanchez, described by the Los Angeles Times as a “nationally recognized anti-gang leader,” was arrested today by the FBI. Among the charges against him is conspiracy to commit murder.

I’m always very skeptical of anyone who claims to be a “former gang member.” This is just the latest justification for my skepticism.

–Jack Dunphy

No Hot Dogs For Iranians

Filed under: International,Obama — DRJ @ 1:48 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Press Secretary Robert Gibbs announced today that the Obama Administration has withdrawn invitations to Iranian diplomats to attend July 4th celebrations at U.S. embassies:

“July Fourth allows us to celebrate the freedom and the liberty we enjoy,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said. “Freedom of speech. Freedom of religion. Freedom to assemble peacefully. Freedom of the press. So I don’t think it’s surprising that nobody’s signed up to come.”

Gibbs added: “Given the events of the past many days, those invitations will no longer be extended.”

As alluded to in Gibbs’ statement, the Washington Post reports that “U.S. officials said no Iranian diplomats thus far had responded to the invitations.” In light of Obama’s statement yesterday that it was up to the Iranians to decide if they would attend the festivities, it sounds like this is more about the Administration trying to save face than acting out of principle.

H/T SPQR.

— DRJ

UPDATE BY PATTERICO: Remember, Obama has been “perfectly consistent” on this issue.

SC Governor Mark Sanford Apologizes for Affair

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 1:35 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

In a press conference today, South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford explained his recent week-long disappearance. He admitted that instead of hiking the Appalachian Trail (as his staff said) or getting away from his kids to write (as his wife said), he was actually visiting his mistress in Argentina. Sanford apologized to his wife and staff and took the blame for their inaccurate statements. He also resigned as chairman of the Republican Governor’s Association.

Sanford’s admission of infidelity follows a similar confession by Nevada Senator John Ensign a few days ago and his resignation as chairman of the Republican Policy Committee.

I hope Sanford and Ensign can repair their broken families and refocus their personal lives, but I’m glad they resigned their Party leadership positions. They both appear to have exercised poor judgment and engaged in reckless behavior, and those are qualities the GOP can do without.

— DRJ

Why an Obamacare “Public Plan” should be an easy target

Filed under: General — Karl @ 9:01 am

[Posted by Karl]

After Obamacare ran into trouble in Congress last week, the Left grasped at isolated questions in the latest NBC/Wall Street Journal and CBS/New York Times polls, purporting to show overwhelming support for a government-run insurance plan. I was not impressed by the wording of the questions, and even less impressed by the lack of follow-up questions that would have tested that support.

However, I just came across the Kaiser Family Foundation tracking poll, which asked those sorts of questions in late April. The results are highly instructive.

The KFF poll showed that 67% percent supported creating a government-administered public health insurance option similar to Medicare to compete with private health insurance plans. Indeed, if people were told that it would give them more choices and drive down costs by competing with private insurance, support would jump another 11% — right into the range of those the aforementioned MSM polls.

However, if people heard that the public plan would be a first step toward single-payer, government-run healthcare, support dropped to 41%. And if people heard the public plan would give the government an unfair advantage over private insurance companies, support dropped to 32%.

As the healthcare debate unfolds, opponents of a public plan can unroll video after video after video demonstrating that those pushing a public plan see it as the foot in the door to single-payer, government-run healthcare.

On the second point, Pres. Obama has now publicly admitted that “there is a legitimate concern if the public plan was eating off the taxpayer trough, it would be hard for private insurers to compete.” The public will quickly come to realize that unfair competition is the entire point of a public plan.

All anyone need do to demonstrate the point is to ask what would happen if the public plan ran into financial trouble. Does anyone seriously think that after bailing out Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, AIG and GM (soon to be owned by the very UAW whose legacy healthcare costs made GM’s business unprofitable), the feds would fail to shovel money into a public plan far beyond the $10 billion in seed money Sen Chuck Schumer is already trying to lift from the taxpayers’ wallets?

Moreover, Independents and Republicans can be moved by arguing that if the federal government requires all employers to provide health insurance for their employees or pay to support a public plan, employers will likely drop their coverage and shift their employees into a public plan. The Lewin Group has estimated that about 119 million people would shift from their current coverage to the public plan, which is a two-thirds reduction in the number of people with private coverage.

In sum, it’s easy to find a poll that shows mile-wide support for a public plan. It’s much harder to find one that shows support more than a couple of inches deep.

–Karl

Obama Now Finally Appalled and Outraged by Iranian Regime’s Murders

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:31 am

Not appalled and outraged enough to disinvite Iranian diplomats from 4th of July celebrations. But still, appalled and outraged.

President Obama addressed the continued political dissension in Iran at a White House news conference Tuesday, saying the country and international community were “appalled and outraged” by the violence and threats against protesters.

“I strongly condemn these unjust actions, and I join with the American people in mourning each and every innocent life that is lost,” Mr. Obama said from the White House briefing room.

Oh — and he’s been “perfectly consistent” about that all along. Allahpundit has the details, and I can’t top his cogent analysis:

[T]his has been Obama’s M.O. all along, dating back to the blowup over Wright during the campaign. First he issues some weak, heavily qualified half-denunciation in hopes that the crisis will go away, then it doesn’t go away and everyone gets angry, then he comes back and covers his ass by saying how appalled or outraged he is or whatever — assuring us all the while that he’s been “perfectly consistent” throughout.

This is not the murderous regime Obama knew.

Line up, lefties, to tell us why it’s genius for him to say this now, and how he was a genius for not getting involved before, and how he has also been perfectly consistent all along. Let the spin begin!


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