Patterico's Pontifications


2016 GOP Debate Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 4:39 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Today President Obama reacted petulantly to the GOP attacks on his record by warning the Republican candidates that there is nothing particularly patriotic about their talking down America.

The JV debate is happening now. The top-tier debate will follow. CNN will be live streaming both debates here.


UPDATE BY PATTERICO: I plan to be active in the comments during the second debate, which is starting now.

UPDATE x2 BY PATTERICO: OK, it just ended. A commenter said:

Fiorina won, silver to Cruz, bronze to Carson.

I agree. I personally thought Fiorina’s impassioned statement on the Planned Parenthood videos was the top moment of the debate. The media won’t say this; they will focus on the fights and insults. But to me, and I think to millions of Americans, that was the moment. And Fiorina was just flat-out the most effective communicator; quickest on her feet, winning just about every exchange she took part in.

She will get a huge bump out of this.

Some Quick Thoughts on Higher Education Silliness

Filed under: General — JVW @ 12:20 pm

[guest post by JVW]

The University of Michigan has settled a lawsuit from a student they suspended on very questionable sexual assault grounds. Add in recent court losses for the University of California San Diego and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and with a solid chance that Amherst College might lose in a similar suit, and the entire edifice of allowing college administrators to adjudicate complex sexual assault allegations might start crumbling down.

President Obama, whose own administration has done much to enable the grievance-mongering of victimized college students, thinks that today’s college students need to grow a pair (did I just microaggress anyone?):

It’s not just sometimes folks who are mad that colleges are too liberal that have a problem. Sometimes there are folks on college campuses who are liberal, and maybe even agree with me on a bunch of issues, who sometimes aren’t listening to the other side, and that’s a problem too. I’ve heard some college campuses where they don’t want to have a guest speaker who is too conservative or they don’t want to read a book if it has language that is offensive to African-Americans or somehow sends a demeaning signal towards women. I gotta tell you, I don’t agree with that either. I don’t agree that you, when you become students at colleges, have to be coddled and protected from different points of view. I think you should be able to — anybody who comes to speak to you and you disagree with, you should have an argument with ‘em. But you shouldn’t silence them by saying, “You can’t come because I’m too sensitive to hear what you have to say.” That’s not the way we learn either.

Now, if only Dear Leader would be bold enough to admit that ideological litmus tests help ensure that certain campus departments are havens for groupthink, maybe we could start making headway in restoring intellectual balance to our universities.

Candidate Bernard Sanders (I’m sick of referring him as “Bernie,” as if he were some guy who checks people in and hands out towels at the front desk of the YMCA) recently spoke at Liberty University where he gave a defense of his socialist economic views and lifestyle liberalism to an audience of mostly Evangelical students at a school founded by Jerry Falwell. Amazingly enough, the Liberty students didn’t whine about the potential for being “triggered” and demand that the invitation to speak be rescinded, nor did they set off a fire alarm to clear the lecture hall or bum rush the stage to disrupt the talk or shout down the speaker until he or she left the stage. Instead, they appear to have respectfully listened to a speaker with whom they may not have agreed.

I mean, what the hell is wrong with these Liberty students?


Tenth Planned Parenthood Video Released: “Everything We Provide Is Fresh”

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:28 am

[guest post by Dana]

A tenth Planned Parenthood video has been released by the Center for Medical Progress.

This new video features conversations between Dr. Carolyn Westhoff, Senior Medical Advisor for PPFA; Dr. Vanessa Cullins, Vice President for External Medical Affairs for PPFA; and Deborah VanDerhei, National Director for the Consortium of Abortion Providers (CAPS) at PPFA, and focus on buyers’ organ preferences, efforts to keep the practice under wraps, and of course, profit:

“We’ve just been working with people who want particular tissues, like, you know, they want cardiac, or they want eyes, or they want neural,” says Dr. Westhoff to a prospective fetal organ buyer. “Certainly, everything we provide–oh, gonads! Oh my God, gonads. Everything we provide is fresh.” Westhoff continues, “Obviously, we would have the potential for a huge P.R. issue in doing this,” before offering to introduce the buyers to “national office abortion people” from Planned Parenthood.

VanDerhei refers to payments for fetal tissue as “donation for remuneration,” which carries the connotation of financial reward or benefit without regard for actual expenses. “I have been talking to the executive director of the National Abortion Federation, we’re trying to figure this out as an industry, about how we’re going to manage remuneration, because the headlines would be a disaster.”

“Is this really worth getting–I don’t even know what in general, what a specimen generally brings in?” VanDerhei later asks a prospective buyer. When she is told $100 per specimen, she remarks, “But we have independent colleagues who generate a fair amount of income doing this.” VanDerhei suggests that Planned Parenthood goes to great lengths to avoid leaving a paper trail about their fetal tissue activity: “It’s an issue that you might imagine we’re not really that comfortable talking about on email.”

As Vanessa Russo, Compliance Program Administrator for Planned Parenthood Keystone in Pennsylvania, observes:

“A company like this that wants to give our organization money for the tissue–I think that that’s a valid exchange, and that that’s okay.”

On a side note: Yesterday, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, who heads the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee investigating Planned Parenthood’s practices, subpoenaed all of the unedited videos from the Center for Medical Progress.


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