Patterico's Pontifications


A Vote for Barack Obama is a Vote for Partial-Birth Abortion

Filed under: 2008 Election,Abortion,General — Patterico @ 10:42 pm

This isn’t really news, but I think it needs emphasizing anyway; a vote for Obama is a vote for partial-birth abortion. He will see to it that partial-birth abortion happens in this country again.

Partial-birth abortion is a “procedure” in which the abortionist stabs the baby in the skull with a pair of scissors and sucks out its brains using a suction catheter. Justice Thomas’s dissent in Stenberg v. Carhart notes that the procedure is used to abort fetuses anywhere from 16 to 26 weeks old:

There is apparently no general understanding of which women are appropriate candidates for the procedure. Respondent uses the procedure on women at 16 to 20 weeks’ gestation. 11 F. Supp. 2d, at 1105. The doctor who developed the procedure, Dr. Martin Haskell, indicated that he performed the procedure on patients 20 through 24 weeks and on certain patients 25 through 26 weeks. See H. R. 1833 Hearing 36.

Here is an 18-week old fetus — a prime candidate for this “procedure”:

On July 17, 2007, Senator Obama said to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund: “The first thing I’d do as president is sign the Freedom of Choice Act. That’s the first thing that I’d do.”* Skip ahead to 1:32.

Obama co-sponsored the act, which (among other things) states that a”government may not deny or interfere with a woman’s right to choose . . . to terminate a pregnancy after viability where termination is necessary to protect the life or health of the woman.”

Will this invalidate the federal ban on partial-birth abortion? You bet it will. The abortion rights supporters at NOW agree, saying that the law “would override the Court’s decision in the two cases” upholding the federal Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003. The law approvingly quotes Justice Ginsburg’s characterization of the rulings in those cases as “alarming,” and as “an effort to chip away at a right declared again and again by this Court.”

In short, the act Obama supports would give us partial-birth abortion again.

Radical abortion rights supporters claim that we need to have partial-birth abortion, because (they claim) most late-term abortions are done for medical reasons such as terrible genetic abnormalities. This is not so. Don’t believe me; believe liberal journalists David Savage and Franklin Foer.

David Savage of the L.A. Times has written: “Doctors say only a small percentage of [partial-birth abortions] are done because of medical complications or fetal deformity.” Foer summarized research done by the Washington Post and Bergen Record and said: “After interviewing doctors who perform the procedure, both papers concluded that only in very few instances was the [partial-birth abortion] actually necessary to protect the woman’s health. Most of them were performed on poor women who could not muster the money to pay for abortions earlier in their pregnancies.”

In addition, the “health” exception for women is not limited to physical health. The exception is so broad that it can always be justified by a doctor willing to claim that a woman’s mental health would be affected by the denial of an abortion. As Jan Crawford Greenburg has explained:

Current Supreme Court jurisprudence is understood by lower courts to prohibit those flat-out bans unless the laws provide exceptions for a woman’s mental health. Lower courts repeatedly have struck down laws that only provide an exception for serious physical issues as being contrary to Supreme Court precedent.

Look again at the picture of the 18-week-old fetus. Are you comfortable with stabbing that creature in the head with a pair of scissors and sucking out its brains? When statistics show that most such abortions are not done for physical health reasons?

Bottom line: Obama has pledged to sign legislation that will bring us that unnecessary horror again.

That’s what you’re voting for if you vote for Obama.

*In context, Obama does not appear to mean that this would be his first act as President; he is responding to a questioner who is asking him what he would do to protect access to abortion on a federal level.

Saudis Claim 2003 Terror Attack on US Foiled

Filed under: Terrorism — DRJ @ 8:04 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Last month Saudi Arabia claimed that, over the previous 5+ years, it had arrested 991 alleged terrorists responsible for 30 terror attacks and foiled an additional 160 terror plots aimed at many countries. Now a Saudi official claims one of those plans included a 2003 airplane attack on the US:

“Saudi Arabia foiled a 2003 terror plot by militants who planned to hijack a plane and blow it up over a densely populated American city, a Saudi official said Sunday.

The official said the plan, first reported Sunday in government-guided Al-Watan newspaper, was for the attackers to transit through the U.S. to another destination so they could avoid applying for hard-to-get American visas required for Saudis. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, said the militants were preparing to execute the alleged plot when it was halted.

Fifteen of the 19 hijackers who attacked the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, were Saudis.”

The timing of this announcement is interesting but if it’s politically motivated, the Saudis won’t be the only foreign government or entity to try to influence a U.S. Presidential election.

The real question is “Is this true?” and, if so, “How far along was the plot and what happened to the plotters?” And as a bonus question, “Who discovered the plot?”


Philadelphia Unveils the ‘Trojan Donkey’

Filed under: Humor — DRJ @ 7:49 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Driver at Amused Cynic spots a metaphor for the political season — the Trojan Donkey:

[T]he world’s largest Piñata, unveiled today in Philadelphia. They were going to break it open with a wrecking ball, but delayed it because the Obama-sized crowds gathered for free stuff had become too large for safety. D’ya think there might have been a Trojan Horse metaphor there too? Or maybe a Trojan donkey?

A photo of the pinata and crowd is at the link.


Blogging for Brain Power

Filed under: Blogging Matters — DRJ @ 4:16 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Yahoo offers these 12 tips for better brain function:

  • Eat almonds.
  • Drink apple juice.
  • Sleep well.
  • Enjoy simple pleasures and avoid stress, such as:

    — Enjoy music you love.
    — Play with your children.
    — Appreciate others.
    — Run few miles a day, bike or swim.
    Start a blog.
    — Take a yoga class or Total Wellness routine.

  • Exercise your mind with puzzles, discussions, hobbies, or learning a new skill.
  • Practice Yoga or meditation.
  • Reduce sugar intake.
  • Eat whole wheat.
  • Eat a light meal at night.
  • Develop imagination.
  • Control your temper.
  • Take Vitamin B-complex.
  • I think these are also good tips to help maintain a healthy immune system. Good news, right? Blogging is not only fun, it’s good for our minds and health.

    — DRJ

    A PSA for North Carolina Voters

    Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 3:32 pm

    [Guest post by DRJ]

    According to Jim Geraghty at NRO’s The Campaign Spot, voting a straight ticket on the North Carolina ballot does not cast a vote for President:

    “But in North Carolina, if you vote the straight party line… you don’t vote for president. That takes a separate vote.”

    Geraghty states the rule was enacted in 1967 at the insistence of NC Democrats who feared Hubert Humphrey would be a drag on the ticket.

    The Charlotte Observer interviewed a Duke University computer scientist and ballot expert who found that 2-3% of NC voters didn’t vote for President in 2000 and 2004. The expert noted that, nationally, 1.1% of voters leave the presidential selection blank so he thinks it’s likely some NC voters are not aware that presidential and straight-ticket votes are separate.

    — DRJ

    IBD-TIPP Poll, 10/29 to 11/1

    Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 1:26 pm

    [Guest post by DRJ]

    The IBD-TIPP poll shows the Presidential race has narrowed to within the margin of error:

    Obama — 46.7%
    McCain — 44.6%
    Undecided — 8.7%

    This is a 3-day average but the two prior days’ polls showed Obama leading by at least 4 points, which means the Saturday results moved sharply toward McCain or are an anomaly. Tomorrow’s results may clarify this. Meanwhile, Obama leads with:

  • voters from the Northeast (54%-46%) and the West (48%-44%).
  • urban (51%-40%) and suburban (48%-41%) voters.
  • 18-24 year-old (64%-36%) and 45-64 year-old (47%-44%) voters.
  • female voters (52%-37%), including single women (62%-25%) and married women (46%-43%).
  • voters who are not parents (47%-43%).
  • voters making less than $30K a year (60%-34%), $30K-50K a year (55%-34%), and $50K-75K a year (48%-46%).
  • voters who identify as Democrats (85%-8%), liberal (88%-6%) or moderate (60%-29%).
  • voters who are not investors (55%-37%).
  • voters with some college (47%-45%) and college degrees (48%-43%).
  • voters who identify as Jewish (78%-19%), no religion (83%-21%), or Other (63%-20%).
  • voters from Union households (54%-34%).
  • voters who don’t display flags (62%-31%).
  • McCain leads among:

  • voters from the South (50%-45%).
  • rural voters (55%-39%).
  • 35-44 year-old (47%-44%) and 65+ (45%-43%) voters.
  • male voters (54%-40%).
  • voters who are parents (48%-46%).
  • voters making more than $75K a year (55%-40%).
  • voters who identify as Republicans (89%-5%), Independents (45%-43%), or conservative (71%-21%).
  • voters who are investors (50%-43%).
  • voters with a high school education (47%-43%).
  • voters who identify as Protestant (55%-36%), Catholic (51%-38%), or other Christian (48%-46%).
  • voters from non-Union households (47%-45%).
  • voters who display flags (52%-39%).
  • Midwestern voters are tied at 44% with 12% undecided so we may see a lot of targeted political activity in the Midwest until election day.

    — DRJ

    Obama’s Plan to Bankrupt the Coal Industry (Updated x3)

    Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 11:19 am

    [Guest post by DRJ]

    Gateway Pundit posts the audio and a transcript from a January 2008 San Francisco Chronicle/Gate interview in which Barack Obama said twice that he will bankrupt coal plants with heavy fees for emitting greenhouse gases:

    “So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it’s just that it will bankrupt them because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.

    That will also generate billions of dollars that we can invest in solar, wind, biodiesel and other alternative energy approaches.

    The only thing I’ve said with respect to coal, I haven’t been some coal booster. What I have said is that for us to take coal off the table as a ideological matter as opposed to saying if technology allows us to use coal in a clean way, we should pursue it.

    So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can.

    It’s just that it will bankrupt them.”

    I hope the bitter, clingy folks in coal states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Indiana, West Virginia, and Virginia are listening. As for voters in other states, we already know Obama opposes most oil and gas drilling, and Gateway Pundit reminds us (via the Wall Street Journal) that Obama likely has the same opposition to nuclear energy.

    It’s clear Obama votes “No” on vital energy choices for America. It’s time to vote “No” on Obama.

    UPDATE 1 — from the same interview via Hot Air: Obama knows “electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket” from his plans.

    UPDATE 2Jake Tapper provides a lengthier transcript where Obama says eliminating coal is an illusion. Does it change Obama’s meaning? I don’t think so but as Tapper says, you be the judge.

    UPDATE 3 — The WSJ reports Sarah Palin attacked Obama on his coal comments today in Ohio. In an update, the WSJ also provided this response from the Obama campaign:

    “The Obama campaign says that Palin took Obama’s position out of context because in the interview Obama said that “this notion of no coal, I think is an illusion.” Obama and McCain have both pushed for technology to develop cleaner burning coal. “What we have to do then is figure out how can we use coal without emitting greenhouse gases and carbon,” Obama told the Chronicle in the interview.”

    Michelle Obama says Barack thinks he can do anything, so perfectly clean coal should be a snap. Right after he invents that perpetual motion machine …

    — DRJ

    California Propositions

    Filed under: 2008 Election — JRM @ 9:27 am

    The host has hit the biggies; I’m going to hit them all. These are my views only, and may not reflect the Official Blog Position. For those not in California, I hope you find what we’re voting on interesting:

    Prop 1A: No

    Proposition 1A is a $19 billion bond to privide for high speed rail connecting central California to Southern California and San Francisco. I believe government’s job includes transportation, and in better economic times, I would support this.

    Prop 2: Yes

    Proposition 2 requires farms to give some animals sufficient room to move a little bit. I would be a member of an animal rights group if such groups were sane at all. Animals don’t think like humans, but they certainly appear to feel pain, and the housing conditions are awful on some farms. I’ve seen plenty of farms run with very nice conditions – happy cows, even – and reducing the pain to critters who aren’t in such good conditions is worth a few bucks a year.

    The panic ads by the anti-Prop 2 folks (Prop 2 will kill children!) are appalling.

    Prop 3: No

    It’s $2 billion for a children’s hospital bond. I like children. I like medical care. We don’t have $2 billion, so let’s not spend it.

    Prop 4: Yes

    Pre-existing views: I’m pro-choice, but I despise the arguments made that abortion’s a purely medical procedure entirely up to the woman to the point of birth. I’m for roughly the rules determined in Roe v. Wade, even though I’m of the strong opinion that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided.

    But that’s not what this is really about.

    Sure, I’d like the protections in Prop 4 for teens in dysfunctional family units to be stronger than they are now, but all in all, parental notification seems like a good idea. Note that this is a parental-consent [Edit: Notification, not consent. Words are hard. Thanks to commentator MayBee] issue, not a parental-permission issue – it’s still the minor’s choice. That’s a big difference.

    Prop 5: No

    You need to understand the current position: If you possess drugs and aren’t committing other crimes, you’re just not going to jail. (Yes, you can find a way to go to jail this way, but it’s really hard.) The prisons aren’t filled with non-violent drug offenders.

    This proposition destroys the tiny vestiges of prosecuting drug crimes, and it’s going to result in people who are committing non-drug crimes getting treatment rather than jail. What happens if they don’t get the treatement? They get warned! Presumably sternly.

    Prop 5 will result in more murders. A fair number of drug treatment folks oppose Prop 5. This is a total disaster. This isn’t just Prop 36 (which has been mostly ineffective, but I understand the point.) This isn’t Drug Court, which works better than other programs. This is a free pass.

    For those of you who are professional thieves, though, make sure to keep a meth pipe at home. Then if you get caught, claim drug addiction.


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