Patterico's Pontifications


Senate Bill Passed by House

Filed under: Abortion,Health Care — DRJ @ 7:57 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Senate health care bill passed 219-212 in the House. Thirty-four Democrats voted against it.

The Republicans have submitted a Motion to Recommit that addresses the tenuous nature of handling abortion via an Executive Order. It’s not clear what the provisions of the Motion are — whether it addresses abortion alone or other issues — but it appears to be limited to abortion. That could be a problem for the Democrats.

You can watch the Motion to Recommit on CSPAN.

EDIT: The Motion to Recommit failed.



Democrats may have Health Care Deal; Choose Student Loans Over Babies

Filed under: Abortion,Health Care — DRJ @ 6:58 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The AP reports House Democrats may pass health care reform next week following agreements today that call for more federal spending on student loans:

“Under White House pressure to act swiftly, House and Senate Democratic leaders reached for agreement Friday on President Barack Obama’s health care bill, sweetened suddenly by fresh billions for student aid and a sense that breakthroughs are at hand.

“It won’t be long,” before lawmakers vote, predicted Speaker Nancy Pelosi. She said neither liberals’ disappointment over the lack of a government health care option nor a traditional mistrust of the Senate would prevent passage in the House.
The decision to add far-reaching student aid changes to the bill had its roots in obscure parliamentary rules governing the Senate’s debate of the legislation. But House Democrats and the White House quickly seized on it as a way to advance a top administration priority that lacks the 60 votes needed to clear the Senate otherwise.

The measure would require the government to originate student loans, closing out a role for banks and other private lenders who charge a fee. Obama proposed taking the savings and plowing it into higher Pell Grants that go to needy college students.

Officials said that under current estimates, the change would free as much as $66 billion over a decade, although Pelosi indicated she wanted it spread beyond Pell Grants to other education programs.”

Increased student loan spending added to a health care bill gave Republicans another reason to oppose Democratic-backed legislation:

“Well of course it’s a very bad idea,” said Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. “We now have the government running banks, insurance companies, car companies, and they do want to take over the student loan business.”

He said it was symptomatic of Democrats’ determination to have the government expand its tentacles into absolutely everything.”

Only liberals could believe more federal spending will get people to agree to more federal spending, but the really big news is Rep. Bart Stupak’s belief that Democrats want federal funding for abortion because they know the government can’t afford to pay for more health care:

“Stupak notes that his negotiations with House Democratic leaders in recent days have been revealing. “I really believe that the Democratic leadership is simply unwilling to change its stance,” he says. “Their position says that women, especially those without means available, should have their abortions covered.” The arguments they have made to him in recent deliberations, he adds, “are a pretty sad commentary on the state of the Democratic party.”

What are Democratic leaders saying? “If you pass the Stupak amendment, more children will be born, and therefore it will cost us millions more. That’s one of the arguments I’ve been hearing,” Stupak says. “Money is their hang-up. Is this how we now value life in America? If money is the issue — come on, we can find room in the budget. This is life we’re talking about.”

Margaret Sanger (and others) would be pleased.

H/T Drudge Report.



Roeder Convicted in Murder of Abortion Doctor

Filed under: Abortion,Crime — DRJ @ 3:43 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Jurors in Wichita, Kansas, took only 37 minutes to convict Scott Roeder for the murder of Dr. George Tiller:

“The jury deliberated for just 37 minutes before finding Scott Roeder, 51, of Kansas City, Mo., guilty of premeditated, first-degree murder for putting a gun to the forehead of Dr. George Tiller on May 31 and pulling the trigger.

Defense attorney Mark Rudy described his case as helpless and hopeless.

“I’ve never seen anyone lay himself out as much as Mr. Roeder did,” Rudy said after the verdict, referring to his client’s confessions.”

Roeder claimed he acted to protect the lives of unborn children who were in “immediate danger” because of Tiller. His attorneys hoped for a lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter for Roeder, “a defense that would have required them to show that Roeder had an unreasonable but honest belief that deadly force was justified.” The Judge ruled the manslaughter charge could not be submitted to the jury because Roeder failed to show Tiller constituted an imminent threat.

Roeder could receive a mandatory sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole after 25 years. The prosecutor may also seek a so-called “Hard 50” sentence that would require Roeder “serve at least 50 years before he can be considered for parole.”



The Tebow Super Bowl Ad

Filed under: Abortion,Sports — DRJ @ 4:31 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Super Bowl XLIV pits Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints against Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts. It’s scheduled for February 7, 2010, so the famous Super Bowl ads haven’t even aired yet, but there will be added interest this year — especially from abortion advocates and their pro-life opponents — because of the Tebow ad:

“The 30-second spot, paid for by the conservative Christian group Focus on the Family, is expected to recount the story of Pam Tebow’s turbulent pregnancy in 1987:

When Tebow suffered from a dangerous infection during a mission trip to the Philippines, doctors recommended that she terminate her pregnancy, fearing she might die in childbirth. But she carried Tim to term, and he went on to win the 2007 Heisman Trophy and guide the Florida Gators to two BCS championships.

It’s a happy story with an inspirational ending, but pro-choice critics say Focus on the Family should not be allowed to air the commercial because it advocates on behalf of a divisive issue and threatens to “throw women under the bus.”

The Women’s Media Center, the National Organization for Women, and other abortion groups have initiated an online petition and letter-writing campaign asking CBS to pull the ad as too controversial:

“Greene, of the Women’s Media Center, says CBS should simply follow its own example and ban advocacy ads from its airwaves.

“CBS has a very long history of prohibiting advocacy ads that it deems controversial,” she said, listing banned commercials from PETA, and the United Church of Christ. “We are calling them out for the hypocrisy and bias in making the decision to air an ad that clearly is on a controversial issue.”

Reportedly CBS is “not backing down,” releasing a statement that says, “At CBS, our standards and practices process continues to adhere to a process that ensures all ads — on all sides of an issue — are appropriate for air.”



Planned Parenthood: That is Not a Baby

Filed under: Abortion — DRJ @ 11:31 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Hot Air links this Live Action undercover video of Planned Parenthood’s advice to mothers considering abortion:

Here is Live‘s description of the video taken at an Appleton WI Planned Parenthood clinic:

“In the undercover video, when the two women ask a Planned Parenthood counselor if the pregnant woman’s 10-week-old unborn child has a heartbeat, the counselor emphasizes “heart tones,” and answers, “Heart beat is when the fetus is active in the uterus–can survive–which is about seventeen or eighteen weeks.” On the contrary, embryologists agree that the heartbeat begins around 3 weeks. Wisconsin informed consent law requires that women receive medically accurate information before undergoing an abortion.

The counselor then says, “A fetus is what’s in the uterus right now. That is not a baby.” Dr. Prohaska, the abortion doctor, insists, “It’s not a baby at this stage or anything like that.” Prohaska also states that having an abortion will be “much safer than having a baby,” warning, “You know, women die having babies.”

In 2006, Patterico posted a photo array of babies in utero and addressed the question of “When does a fetus resemble a baby?” I think it helps to see the photos as you consider Planned Parenthood’s advice.



Abortion: It’s No Joke

Filed under: Abortion,Health Care — DRJ @ 1:40 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The abortion issue may heat up as ads air like this one from the Center for Reproductive Rights:

The ad likely opposes the Stupak Amendment discussed in this earlier post.



The White House Takes on the Stupak Amendment

Filed under: Abortion,Obama — DRJ @ 11:03 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

One reason the Pelosi health care bill passed the House was the Stupak Amendment that reaffirmed the Hyde Amendment’s ban on the use of federal funds “to pay for any abortion or to cover any part of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage of abortion” except in cases of rape, incest or danger to the life of the mother.

Planned Parenthood condemned the Stupak Amendment, claiming it undermined “the ability of women to purchase private health plans that cover abortion, even if they pay for most of the premiums with their own money.” [NOTE from DRJ: I believe this is because, under the House bill as amended by the Stupak Amendment, a private policy can’t cover abortions if federal funds pay some of the premiums.] Planned Parenthood argues the Stupak Amendment violates “President Obama’s promise to the American people that no one would be forced to lose her or his present coverage under health reform.”

After the health care bill passed, Cecille Richards, the President of the Planned Parenthood Action Center, called on Planned Parenthood supporters to stop the Stupak Amendment by contacting President Obama at the White House — their “strongest weapon” in the fight to protect women’s health. Today on CNN’s State of the Union, David Axelrod confirmed the White House will work to stop the Stupak amendment and keep it out of the final health care bill:

“The abortion amendment was tacked on to the House health care bill and was a key factor in securing the votes of moderate Democrats before the bill was approved by a narrow margin last weekend. The amendment, authored by Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., went beyond preventing the proposed government-run plan from covering abortion to restrict federal subsidies from going toward private plans that offer abortion coverage.

Axelrod said in an interview Sunday that the amendment changes the “status quo,” something the president cannot abide.

“The president has said repeatedly, and he said in his speech to Congress, that he doesn’t believe that this bill should change the status quo as it relates to the issue of abortion,” Axelrod said. “This shouldn’t be a debate about abortion. And he’s going to work with Senate and the House to try and ensure that at the end of the day, the status quo is not changed … I believe that there are discussions ongoing to how to adjust it accordingly.”

When the abortion issue calls, the White House listens.

By the way, are you really keeping your “present health care policy” if you previously paid for it yourself but the federal government helps you pay for it in the future? Or have I missed out on a great opportunity because the federal government has already been helping people pay for their private insurance policies?



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.

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,, 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.


Questions for Those Who Believe Abortion Is Murder

Filed under: Abortion,General — Patterico @ 8:24 pm

1) Do you believe killing an abortion doctor is morally justified?

2) If you had an al Qaeda terrorist in the sights of your gun, would you pull the trigger? If you were the President and you were told one of our snipers had Osama in his sights, would you give the order to kill him?

I do not happen to believe that abortion is murder, although I believe it is wrong — and becomes more morally objectionable as we get closer to the moment of birth.

But some do believe abortion is murder, no different from murder of a fully formed human. It is those people to whom I put the question.

No doubt I will be criticized for raising the question. I do not raise it to mock the views of those who believe abortion is murder; I have friends who believe it is, and I respect them deeply. I just find it perplexing when people say that they believe abortion is murder, but they don’t support the killing of abortion doctors.

I realize that I run the risk of having people say in the comments that they do support the killing of abortion doctors. All I can say is that I do not support such actions in any way, shape, or form — implicitly or explicitly. However, I am interested in a frank discussion of the issue by those who believe abortion is murder.

I want people to be extra polite in this thread. If you’re not, your comment may be removed. Let’s show the world that we can discuss difficult and emotional issues without insulting one another.

UPDATE: If you answer “no” to the first question, and “yes” to the second, the obvious answer is “why”? And if your answer is that we are at war with al Qaeda, then are you saying that if the Democrats declare that we are no longer “at war” with al Qaeda, then your answer to question #2 would change??

UPDATE x2: The majority of the answers I’m seeing please me. In essence, readers are saying that whatever they might think of abortion, they recognize that’s it’s legal — and that to murder an abortion doctor is illegal. I’m pleased by that reaction. It almost makes me feel like the laws of this country mean something.

Michelle Malkin has more on the evil nature of this murder, and the need to avoid scoring political points.

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