Friday, January 28, 2011

Your Next President: Mitch Daniels?

Any day now, the race for White House will begin in earnest. If the appearance of national TV ads signifies the beginning of a presidential race, this weekend's unapproved Pro Bowl spot for Mitch Daniels marks the unofficial starting line for the 2012 marathon to the White House.

It's time to begin scrutinizing the likely candidates one by one, starting with Mitch. In a thumbnail sketch here's what you want to know...

Mitch is a diminutive, balding, ex-pothead Hoosier with Syrian roots, currently serving as a wildly popular governor in Indiana. As a motorcycle enthusiast who is known for crisscrossing the state on his iconic Harley, Mitch has broad-based appeal, even among Indiana's youngest voting demographic.

Through impressive accomplishments as Indiana's hard-working chief executive, Mitch has earned a reputation as a reliable fiscal hawk even as he reportedly eschews the "conservative" label. On the other hand, through his support for a VAT, and through dubious comments about social conservatism, Mitch has spooked many of the conservatives on whom he would depend for a successful GOP primary campaign.

Moreover, Daniels' deep "establishment Republican" roots, his connections with special interests and his cozy relationship with Democrat James Zogby's Arab American Institute will likely disenchant some tea party groups and other influential conservative organizations.

Now the details...

First, a generous slathering praise via Michael Barone:
  • In 2008, Mitch was reelected Governor of Indiana, receiving more votes than anyone who has ever run for office in Indiana.
  • Mitch received 24% of the Dem vote in '08, up 11% from 2004.
  • He received 20% of the African American vote, up 13% from '04.
  • Mitch won every age demographic, including the 18-29 year-olds.
  • The governor did as well with independents as he did with the general population, winning the independent vote by a 57%-39% margin.
Daniels' everyman appeal:
Daniels kept it real. He has remained in touch and accessible to average Hoosiers through constant statewide travel. His view is always from the taxpayer's perspective and that showed on Election Day. Voters came to appreciate his preference to travel the state on his Harley Davidson motorcycle and his insistence to stay overnight in Hoosier homes, not in hotels. It's no coincidence Daniels did not use campaign consultants, and personally wrote the scripts for all campaign commercials.
Another Daniels fan explains Daniels' impressive electoral success:
Daniels was re-elected to the governor’s mansion in 2008 by a wide margin even as his state went blue. Voters rewarded him for having eliminated in four short years a $200 million hole in Indiana’s budget...

Among his most popular (and typical) accomplishments was to overhaul Indiana’s dysfunctional bureau of motor vehicles – reducing average wait times significantly and raising customer satisfaction to 97%. He is a self-described cheap-skate whose healthy aversion to waste underscores his every move and has rewarded him throughout his career...
Daniels' fiscal accomplishments are quite impressive:
After five years in the statehouse, admirers point out, Daniels has managed to lower property taxes by an average of 30 percent; transform a $200 million budget deficit into a $1.3 billion surplus; and insure 45,000 low-income Hoosiers through a budget-neutral combination of health savings accounts and catastrophic coverage. His approval ratings routinely top 65 percent.
Now some criticism, via our center-left friends at Politico:
Daniels recited from Kahn’s book: “It would be most useful to redesign the tax system to discourage consumption and encourage savings and investment. One obvious possibility is a value added tax and flat income tax, with the only exception being a lower standard deduction.”

“That might suit our current situation pretty well,” said Daniels, who served as George W. Bush’s Office of Management and Budget director and was a senior adviser in Ronald Reagan’s White House...

The so-called VAT, common in European economies which have stagnated, is a toxic acronym to fiscally conservative activists like Grover Norquist and Dick Armey. It slaps a tax on the estimated market value for products at every stage of production.
Immediately after Politico stirred the hornet's nest, the hornets came out!
“This is outside the bounds of acceptable modern Republican thought, and it is only the zone of extremely left-wing Democrats who publicly talk about those things because all Democrats pretending to be moderates wouldn’t touch it with a 10-foot poll,” Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist told POLITICO. “Absent some explanation, such as large quantities of crystal meth, this is disqualifying. This is beyond the pale.”
Speaking of drug use:
While in college in 1970, Daniels was arrested for marijuana possession and spent two nights in jail. Daniels always disclosed that fact on job applications and was forthcoming about it in his public career, writing about the incident in a 1989 column published in The Indianapolis Star.
Democrats' efforts to capitalize on this snippet of Daniels' biography were described as "the great Marijuana Flop of 2004."

More important to Daniels' potential political aspirations is his relationship with social conservatives. When given the opportunity to ingratiate himself to social conservatives with a fiscally responsible position, Daniels failed utterly:
Daniels, speaking to reporters in Washington last week, said he wanted to declare a “truce” on social issues with the left. Daniels wants to focus on fiscal issues in Washington. However, in so doing, Daniels is signaling he is not so much of a principled fiscal conservative as he is a technocratic policy wonk.

When asked if he would reinstate the “Mexico City Policy,” which Ronald Reagan put in place to ban federal funding of abortions overseas, Daniels responded “I don’t know.”
If rendering opinions on abortion are above Daniel's pay grade, it's not because he hasn't had an opportunity to hone his communication skills. Daniels' résumé is golden:
Career History: Director, Office of Management and Budget, Bush Administration, (2001-2003); Senior Vice President, Eli Lilly and Company, (1990-2001); CEO, The Hudson Institute, (1987-1990); Served as director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee under Dick Lugar in 1983-84. In the second Reagan Administration, he was political director and head of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs but quit after clashes with Chief of Staff Donald T. Regan.

Education: Georgetown law school, '79; B.A., Princeton, '71; J.D.
Lately though, Daniels' has impressed all the wrong people. Lefty writers at the Washington Post, Politico, Newsweek ― all smitten. The conspicuous backhanded infatuation with Mitch Daniels is highly suspect and strangely reminiscent of the love fest enjoyed by John McCain, circa 2007.

While Daniels certainly has the right credentials to make a serious run for the White House, it remains to be seen whether his establishment pedigree would serve as an asset or a liability in the Tea Party era. Daniels would do well to show grassroots conservatives that his values are more in line with those of Ronald Reagan than with those of his good friend of four decades, Liberal Republican Dick Lugar.

There are other portions of Daniels' résumé that Daniels may need to downplay if he runs for the GOP nomination. From his history with Eli Lilly, an Indiana-based pharmaceutical company that rallied in support of Obamacare to his warm relationship with Democrat James Zogby's Arab American Institute, Daniels would have much to explain to GOP primary voters. Any lingering reluctance to identify himself as a conservative would be especially problematic.

Last, but possibly not least, there's the matter of Daniels' diminutive and unpresidential physical appearance. This is from our socialist buddies at Newsweek:
At 5 feet 7 (in boots), Daniels is shorter than Obama’s 12-year-old daughter, Malia. His rather uninspiring demeanor—reticent, stiff, and slightly skittish, with darting eyes and long blanks between words—better suits a former director of the Office of Management and Budget, which he happens to be, than a leader of the free world. And his comb-over is borderline delusional. As conservative journalist Andrew Ferguson recently put it, “I see [Daniels] as he strides toward the middle of the stage to shake hands with Obama before the first debate and comes up to the president’s navel. Election over.”
Are we getting ahead of ourselves? Jennifer Rubin reminds us that at this point, perhaps the most important question to ask about Mitch Daniels is whether he's serious about running.

Next in the series: Herman Cain, Pros and Cons

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Pence Will Not Run? UPDATE: It's Official

Mike Pence is expected to make an announcement regarding his political ambitions tonight. Expert tea leaf readers say Pence will run for governor of Indiana and forgo a run for the White House. Here's the chatter, stay tuned for updates:

DrewMTips: Pence decision announced after 7pm tonight ... | If it was "yes," he wouldn't announce it this way...

Evansville-Courier Journal's @EricBradner: "Source I trust says Pence not running for Pres, but will also not announce a run for gov today"

Too Bad: Pence to Announce He’s Not Running for President

michellemalkin Whatever Mike Pence decides to do, he will do mvmt conservatives proud. He's far more than a "rock star." He's a ROCK.

CNN relieved: Pence rules out bid for president

The Hill: Rep. Pence expected to run for governor

Rep. Pence closes door

Preferential Treatment: 500 New Obamacare Waivers

If the GOP doesn't capitalize on this news by incessantly demanding waivers for everyone (or full repeal), I have to conclude that the Republican party likes ObamaCare more than it is willing to admit:
A week after Republicans announced plans to investigate waivers granted to organizations for healthcare reform provisions, President Obama’s health department made public new waivers for more than 500 groups...

As of last week, HHS had granted waivers to 222 organizations covering 1.5 million individuals. Though the number of groups receiving waivers has now more than tripled, the number of individuals covered by the waivers increased just 600,000 to 2.1 million.

The law gives HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius the flexibility to grant waivers to avoid disruption in the insurance market, but Republicans say the waivers are either gifts to Democratic allies or proof that the reform law isn’t working. However, a large number of businesses, in addition to unions, have received waivers.

As of today, a total of 733 waivers have been granted for 2011. Paging Mitch McConnell; report to the Tea Party, STAT.

Hussein's Forgettable, Recycled SOTU Address

Another year, another insipid SOTU speech from Barack Hussein. Largely plagiarized, the speech was well received by Americans, especially with its emphasis on smoked salmon. Via NPR, these are the words that came to mind for most Americans immediately after Obama read his speech ― one apparently written for him by hungry White House interns:
In contrast, state-of-the-art Wordle analysis shows that although George Washington's first SOTU speech was only 1081 words long, it was packed with enlightened substance:

Calvin Coolidge was an incredibly successful but under-appreciated leader, presiding over a golden age in American history. Note the emphasis on property, prosperity and progress in his 1928 address:

Morning in America! Wordle captures the essence of Ronald Reagan's brilliant 1986 Address:

What a difference 25 years makes. From dreams and opportunity to want and need. Obama's America is like an unfamiliar land. The "highlights" of SOTU 2011:

Synthesizing some of the best SOTU speeches in history, as well as speeches by contemporary conservatives including Mike Pence, the skeleton of a more serious (but friendly and familiar) America begins to emerge:

Discussion: Memeorandum

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Laissez-Faire Abortionomics

Kermit Gosnell

Liberals have objected vehemently to suggestions of increasing regulatory scrutiny of the abortion industry. Apparently, the cost of sterilizing equipment to ensure that teen victims of forced abortion do not acquire sexually transmitted diseases while having their babies exterminated could potentially reduce abortionists' obscene profits, putting the whole industry in jeopardy.

Last year, while Dr. Kermit Gosnell was greedily raking in at least $1.8 million at his abortion mill in Philadelphia, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli provided his non-binding opinion on the power of the state to regulate the abortion industry:
It is my opinion that the Commonwealth has the authority to promulgate regulations for facilities in which first trimester abortions are performed as well as for providers of first trimester abortions, so long as the regulations adhere to constitutional limitations...

The regulations at issue [concern] licensing requirements; staffing rules; specified drug, equipment and laboratory availability; detailed record keeping and reporting duties; maintenance, safety and emergency policies; sterilization procedures; and design and construction standards.
As noted by the Washington Times, this opinion ignited a brushfire that quickly engulfed liberal America:
Liberals usually want to regulate everything that breathes, moves, burns, flows or produces. When it comes to abortion mills, however, the same leftists scream bloody murder - not against killing babies, but against daring to regulate the practice even for the mother's safety. Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has drawn fire merely for saying his state's Board of Health is allowed to regulate providers of first-trimester abortions...

Morality demands that women be protected from unhealthy practices of licensed abortionists, who after all are in business to make money and frequently cut corners. Pro-abortion militants are against abortuary oversight for fear that some clinics will be shut down, thus preventing mothers from terminating their pregnancies...
True to form, lefties at The Atlantic were much more concerned about the profitability of the abortion industry than about the safety of mothers and their babies. Nichole Allan accused Ken Cuccinelli of making an "end run on abortion" when Cuccinelli said that Virginia has the power to regulate abortion in the same way that it regulates other procedures at outpatient surgical clinics:
In 2001, Mother Jones ran a story about the rise of what abortion rights advocates call TRAP laws, short for Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers. The article, written by Barry Yeoman and titled "The Quiet War on Abortion," detailed the anti-abortion movement's shift from targeting the legality of the procedure to applying pressure on its providers...

If the [Board of Health] were to follow Cuccinelli's advice, the state's 21 abortion clinics would be subject to the same requirements as hospitals. In order to comply, they would have to undergo structural renovations and obtain staff members with new qualifications. The cost of these requirements would, Virginia abortion rights advocates estimate, put 17 of the state's 21 clinics out of business.

"We predict it's about $1.5 to $2 million per clinic in extra cost," Keene said. "It's just crazy. And the thing is, it's really just designed to shut these places down. It has nothing to do with medical care."
Maybe the folks at The Atlantic can be forgiven for their shortsightedness. This time last week, very few of us had any idea how dirty and unhealthy the abortion industry could be. The holocaust at Dr. Gosnell's flea-ridden charnel house has opened millions of eyes. Because Gosnell was operating his business in a state dominated by militant pro-abortion politics in both political parties, Gosnell was free to subject his victims to filth, disease and death while state regulatory agencies deliberately turned a blind eye.

Now we know how dangerous and reckless the abortion industry can be. The decades-long laissez-faire approach to the abortion industry hurt women and their families in Pennsylvania irreparably.

After playing with the baby, Williams slit its neck

Quote of the day:

"After playing with the baby, Williams slit its neck."

The quote is from the Report of the Grand Jury, RE: Kermit Gosnell...
Kareema Cross testified that, between 2005 and 2008, she saw Steve Massof sever the spinal cords of at least ten babies who were breathing and about five that were moving. When Massof left the clinic in 2008, Lynda Williams took over the job of cutting baby’s necks when Gosnell was not there. Cross saw Williams slit the neck of a baby (“Baby C”) who had been moving and breathing for approximately twenty minutes.

Gosnell had delivered the baby and put it on a counter while he suctioned the placenta from the mother. Williams called Cross over to look at the baby because it was breathing and moving its arms when Williams pulled on them. After playing with the baby, Williams slit its neck.

When asked why Williams had killed the baby, Cross answered:

"Because the baby, I guess, because the baby was moving and breathing. And she see Dr. Gosnell do it so many times, I guess she felt, you know, she can do it. It’s okay."

Adrienne Moton also killed at least one baby by cutting its spinal cord. Cross testified that a woman had delivered a large baby into the toilet before Gosnell arrived at work for the night. Cross said that the baby was moving and looked like it was swimming. Moton reached into the toilet, got the baby out and cut its neck.
Bonus quote:
Tina Baldwin told the jurors that Gosnell once joked about a baby that was writhing as he cut its neck: “that’s what you call a chicken with its head cut off.”
Friendly reminder from the liberal media: This isn't a story about abortion. It's about poverty and health care reform and stuff.

Hat tip: Jill

McCain: "...I don’t think it should be a one-day story, a blip that pops up on the news and is then forgotten."


Neglect by Design

Dr. Kermit Gosnell is the now-infamous Philadelphia abortionist who was finally arraigned this week on charges of murder after a decades-long career of death and mayhem. Gosnell subjected his victims ― mothers and babies ― to humiliation, filth, disease, and extreme pain.

Abortion advocates insist that this story is "not about abortion." They say Gosnell is an outlier whose evil deeds highlight the need for easy access to taxpayer-funded abortions. Some dare suggest that this case shows that "the system is working," and if there are any problems with the regulatory system, it's probably because "rabid fetus people" (pro-lifers) have distracted regulators from the real problems.

These apologists apparently have ignored or dismissed the facts of this case.

District Attorney R. Seth Williams (D) contends than Gosnell's incredibly brazen disregard for the law and for the value of human life was made possible by the generous support of state regulators:
State health officials have also shown a disregard for the laws the department is supposed to enforce. Most appalling of all, the Department of Health’s neglect of abortion patients’ safety and of Pennsylvania laws is clearly not inadvertent: It is by design.
[emphasis in the original]

Seth Williams provides this scathing vignette highlighting of the culture of abortion corruption in Pennsylvania government, particularly at the Department of Health (DOH):
State health officials knew that Gosnell and his clinic were offering unacceptable medical care to women and girls, yet DOH failed to take any action to stop the atrocities documented by this Grand Jury. These officials were far more protective of themselves when they testified before the Grand Jury. Even DOH lawyers, including the chief counsel, brought private attorneys with them – presumably at government expense.
Gosnell's abortion mill was rarely inspected after it opened in 1979, and inspections stopped in 1993. This lack of governmental oversight persisted in the face of highly credible complaints of death, serious injuries and sexually transmitted disease:
According to DOH witnesses, sometime after 1993, DOH instituted a policy of inspecting abortion clinics only when there was a complaint. In fact, as this Grand Jury’s investigation makes clear, the department did not even do that...

In January 2002, an attorney representing Semika Shaw, a 22-year-old woman who had died following an abortion at Gosnell’s clinic, wrote to Staloski [a high-ranking DOH official] requesting copies of inspection reports for any on-site inspections of the clinic conducted by DOH. Staloski wrote to the attorney that no inspections had been conducted since 1993 because DOH had received no complaints about the clinic in that time.
But DOH had received, and continued to receive, numerous complaints from physicians and attorneys:
  • In 1996, an attorney reported that his client had suffered a perforated uterus, requiring a radical hysterectomy, as a result of Gosnell’s negligence.
  • Between 1996 and 1997, Dr. Donald Schwarz, the former head of adolescent services at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, now Philadelphia’s health commissioner, noticed that patients were acquiring STDs at Gosnell's clinic. Dr. Schwarz hand-delivered a formal letter of complaint to the office of the Pennsylvania Secretary of Health. He never heard back from DOH, and no inspection resulted.
  • In 2007 Dr. Frederick Hellman, the Medical Examiner for Delaware County, reported to DOH an illegal abortion of a 30-week-old baby girl at Gosnell's clinic.
  • Janice Staloski, director of the DOH unit that is responsible for abortion clinic oversight, received two inquiries from attorneys’ offices about Gosnell’s clinic in the first two months of 2002. One was from the Shaw family’s attorney. The other was from a paralegal for yet a third attorney who phoned Staloski in February 2002, asking for information concerning the clinic.
The Grand Jury Report documents a callous political calculation that traded public safety for easier access to dangerous abortion clinics:
[DOH Senior Counsel Kenneth Brody] described a meeting of high-level government officials in 1999 at which a decision was made not to accept a recommendation to reinstitute regular inspections of abortion clinics. The reasoning, as Brody recalled, was: “there was a concern that if they did routine inspections, that they may find a lot of these facilities didn’t meet [the standards for getting patients out by stretcher or wheelchair in an emergency], and then there would be less abortion facilities, less access to women to have an abortion.”
Is there any reason to assume that criminal abortion activities à la Kermit Gosnell are confined to one practice, one city or one state? Will the spotlight that was used to expose corruption in the Catholic Church be used to shine a light on this scandal? Don't hold your breath (Exhibit A: Pharyngula vs. Pharyngula).


Ace notes that Jounolistas are neglecting this story by design: "Abortion Should Be Safe, Legal, and Rarely Mentioned In a Negative Headline."

Pundette: Baby A got his picture taken, Baby C had a playmate, and Baby X got to go for a swim.

Michelle Malkin: Deadly indifference to human life isn’t tangential to the abortion industry’s existence – it’s at the core of it.

Quote of the day: "After playing with the baby, Williams slit its neck."

Via Malkin, The Anchoress comments on the relentless machinations of the left-wing media:
Its funny how framing works. A massacre perpetrated by a deranged man is not about the deranged man; it’s about “rhetoric.” But a massacre perpetrated by an abortion provider whose violations against laws of the nation and of humanity were overlooked for years is “not about abortion.” It’s about criminal behavior, and that’s all. But some of our most prominent politicians have voted against the very bill — the “born alive” bill — that defines such behavior as criminal. Meaning, I guess, that if only enough politicians had voted with Sen. Barack Obama, Gosnell’s behavior would not be “criminal” at all, and therefore we wouldn’t even be talking about it?

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Price of a Forced Abortion

Photographer: Louisa Stokes

Dr. Kermit Gosnell is the now-infamous Philadelphia physician who was charged Wednesday with murder, accused of killing one mother and of delivering seven babies alive and then using scissors to kill them. Evidence provided by the grand jury strongly suggests that Gosnell killed countless others.

Gosnell subjected his victims to humiliation, filth, disease, and extreme pain.

Gosnell committed his grizzly crimes over a 30 year period with the tacit support and cooperation of other physicians, the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the Pennsylvania Department of State and the Philadelphia Department of Public Health.

In the 281 page Report of the Grand Jury, Gosnell's evil is documented in incredible detail. I will discuss these details over the course of several posts, starting with this one.

In this post I will shed light on Gosnell's policies and practices relating to forced abortions.

Kermit Gosnell was explicitly in the business of providing forced abortions. This fact is made abundantly clear by Gosnell's schedule of fees for anesthesia. In addition to the fee for the procedure itself (up to $2,500 or more), victims were encouraged to pay extra for dangerous doses of anesthetic agents, particularly in cases in which the "patients" were being subjected to coercion:
An “Anesthesia for Surgery” form [Appendix B] presented to patients for their signature – and payment – did not identify or describe the drugs to be administered.

However, it suggested:

It will probably be best to pay the extra money and be more comfortable if some of the following conditions are true for you.

1. The decision to have the procedure is a difficult decision.
2. Medication is usually necessary for your menstrual cramps.
3. Your decision has been forced by your parents or partner.
4. Your family members or friends “don’t like pain.”
[Emphasis added]

For their special needs, victims of forced abortion were offered several options at various price points:
The “Custom” mix of medications is described on the form as follows:

"Most women who choose CUSTOM SLEEP want to feel ABSOLUTELY NO CRAMPS OR PAIN during their procedure. A needle with an anticlotting medication is inserted prior to the procedure and sedation is repeatedly administered until the patient is comfortable throughout the procedure."

The form has a place to sign next to “I choose CUSTOM SLEEP” and a blank where the price of the “Custom” option is handwritten in. The price of the “Custom” sedation is $150.

The form explains the effects of the “Twilight Sleep” concoction in this way:

"Most women who choose TWILIGHT SLEEP want to feel VERY FEW OR VERY SLIGHT CRAMPS during their procedure."

The cost listed is $90, which was in addition to the cost of the procedure. The form describes the clinic’s “Heavy Sedation” option:

"Most women who choose HEAVY SEDATION feel SLIGHT TO MODERATE CRAMPS during their procedure."

Heavy sedation cost $50 extra.



Thursday, January 20, 2011

Safe, Legal and Rare?

WARNING: Graphic content...

After generations of graphic and pervasive sex education, easy access to contraceptives, and free reproductive services for anyone who will accept them, the abortion industry still stinks as badly as it ever has:
A doctor whose abortion clinic was described as a filthy, foul-smelling "house of horrors" that was overlooked by regulators for years was charged Wednesday with murder, accused of delivering seven babies alive and then using scissors to kill them.
Here's some info for the "legalization and government regulation always make it better" crowd:
In a nearly 300-page grand jury report filled with ghastly, stomach-turning detail, prosecutors said Pennsylvania regulators ignored complaints of barbaric conditions at Gosnell's clinic, which catered to poor, immigrant and minority women in the city's impoverished West Philadelphia section.

Prosecutors called the case a "complete regulatory collapse."
If you can't blame the guy for running a barbaric abortion business, maybe at least you'll disapprove of his racism:
White women from the suburbs were ushered into a separate, slightly cleaner area because Gosnell believed they were more likely to file complaints, Williams said.
Or maybe you can blame him for his unbridled capitalist greed:
Prosecutors said Gosnell made millions of dollars over three decades performing thousands of dangerous abortions, many of them illegal late-term procedures. His clinic had no trained nurses or medical staff other than Gosnell, a family physician not certified in obstetrics or gynecology, prosecutors said.
A filthy, bloody, stinking capitalist:
At least two women died from the procedures, while scores more suffered perforated bowels, cervixes and uteruses, authorities said.
But the fetuses were just clumps of cells... Right?
He "induced labor, forced the live birth of viable babies in the sixth, seventh, eighth month of pregnancy and then killed those babies by cutting into the back of the neck with scissors and severing their spinal cord," District Attorney Seth Williams said.
Gosnell referred to it as "snipping," prosecutors said.

Prosecutors estimated Gosnell ended hundreds of pregnancies by cutting the spinal cords, but they said they couldn't prosecute more cases because he destroyed files.
Did I forget to mention that Dr. Snippy is a filthy capitalist pig?
Gosnell didn't advertise, but word got around. Women came from across the city, state and region for illegal late-term abortions, authorities said. They paid $325 for first-trimester abortions and $1,600 to $3,000 for abortions up to 30 weeks. The clinic took in $10,000 to $15,000 a day, authorities said.
Ladies seeking an abortion from Dr. Snippy probably could have done better in a back alley. Or at home with a coat hanger:
Prosecutors said the place reeked of cat urine because of the animals that were allowed to roam freely, furniture and blankets were stained with blood, instruments were not properly sterilized, and disposable medical supplies were used over and over.
Dr. Gosnell is a truly evil man:
Few if any of the sedated patients knew their babies had been delivered alive and then killed, prosecutors said. Many were first-time mothers who were told they were 24 weeks pregnant, even if they were much further along, authorities said.

Prosecutors said Gosnell falsified the ultrasound examinations that determine how far along a pregnancy is, teaching his staff to hold the probe in such a way that the fetus would look smaller.

Gosnell sometimes joked about the babies, saying one was so large he could "walk me to the bus stop," according to the report.
Another snippet for statists:
State regulators ignored complaints about Gosnell and the 46 lawsuits filed against him, and made just five annual inspections, most satisfactory, since the clinic opened in 1979, authorities said. The inspections stopped completely in 1993 because of what prosecutors said was the pro-abortion rights attitude that set in after Democratic Gov. Robert Casey, an abortion foe, left office.
FYI, Robert Casey was succeeded by Tom Ridge (R).

Unfortunately, this case was not brought to light as a result of concerns about the mothers and their babies:
Authorities raided Gosnell's clinic early last year in search of drug violations and stumbled upon "a house of horrors," Williams said. Bags and bottles holding aborted fetuses "were scattered throughout the building," the district attorney said. "There were jars, lining shelves, with severed feet that he kept for no medical purpose."
To those who have the audacity to say that this case shows that "the system is working," let us point out that "the system" didn't catch up with this murderer intentionally. The system literally stumbled over his victims.

[All emphasis added]


Excerpt from the Report of the Grand Jury:
Gosnell catered to the women who couldn’t get abortions elsewhere – because they were too pregnant. Most doctors won’t perform late second-trimester abortions, from approximately the 20th week of pregnancy, because of the risks involved. And late-term abortions after the 24th week of pregnancy are flatly illegal. But for Dr. Gosnell, they were an opportunity. The bigger the baby, the more he charged.
There was one small problem. The law requires a measurement of gestational age, usually done by an ultrasound. The ultrasound film would leave documentary proof that the abortion was illegal. Gosnell’s solution was simply to fudge the measurement process. Instead of hiring proper ultrasound technicians, he “trained” the staff himself, showing them how to aim the ultrasound probe at an angle to make the fetus look smaller. If one of his workers nonetheless recorded an ultrasound measurement that was too big, it would just be redone. Invariably these second ultrasounds would come in lower. In fact, almost every time a second ultrasound was taken, the gestational age would be recorded as precisely 24.5 weeks – slightly past the statutory cutoff. Apparently Gosnell thought he would get away with abortions that were just a little illegal. In reality, of course, most of these pregnancies were considerably more advanced.

But the illegal abortion business also posed an additional dilemma. Babies that big are hard to get out. Gosnell’s approach, whenever possible, was to force full labor and delivery of premature infants on ill-informed women. The women would check in during the day, make payment, and take labor-inducing drugs. The doctor wouldn’t appear until evening, often 8:00, 9:00, or 10:00 p.m., and only then deal with any of the women who were ready to deliver. Many of them gave birth before he even got there. By maximizing the pain and danger for his patients, he minimized the work, and cost, for himself and his staff. The policy, in effect, was labor without labor.
There remained, however, a final difficulty. When you perform late-term “abortions” by inducing labor, you get babies. Live, breathing, squirming babies. By 24 weeks, most babies born prematurely will survive if they receive appropriate medical care. But that was not what the Women’s Medical Society was about. Gosnell had a simple solution for the unwanted babies he delivered: he killed them. He didn’t call it that. He called it “ensuring fetal demise.” The way he ensured fetal demise was by sticking scissors into the back of the baby’s neck and cutting the spinal cord. He called that “snipping.”

Over the years, there were hundreds of “snippings.” Sometimes, if Gosnell was unavailable, the “snipping” was done by one of his fake doctors, or even by one of the administrative staff. But all the employees of the Women’s Medical Society knew. Everyone there acted as if it wasn’t murder at all.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Giffords Supporter Arrested for Death Threat to Tea Party Leader

Heroic Progressive Weirdo, or Pathetic Media Exploitee?

I'm just gonna suspend disbelief for a few minutes and pretend this story isn't too nutty to be true.

Twenty-four hours ago, Eric Fuller was a left wing martyr-hero still enjoying his fifteen minutes of media whoring fame. How quickly the narrative changes:
Two things are clear from Saturday's ABC News town hall meeting in Tucson. One: Tucsonans are eager to move forward and recover from last week's horrible shooting rampage. And two: that process is going to be slow and painful. That latter point was driven home by the arrest of a shooting victim, who threatened a speaker during the taping of the program.

ABC News Anchor Christiane Amanpour hosted the remarkable gathering of victims, heroes, witnesses and first responders. It was the first time most of them had been together since Jared Lee Loughner opened fire in a Safeway parking lot, killing 6, and wounding or injuring 14 others -- a rampage that happened one week earlier almost to the hour. ...

When Tucson Tea Party founder Trent Humphries rose to suggest that any conversation about gun control should be put off until after the funerals for all the victims, witnesses say Fuller became agitated. Two told KGUN9 News that finally, Fuller took a picture of Humphries, and said, "You're dead."
[Emphasis added]

Yes, this is the very same Eric Fuller nutjob who had been blaming Sarah Palin, John Boehner and Sharron Angle for the tragedy in Tuscon:
“It looks like Palin, Beck, Sharron Angle and the rest got their first target,” Eric Fuller said in an interview with Democracy NOW.

“Their wish for Second Amendment activism has been fulfilled — senseless hatred leading to murder, lunatic fringe anarchism, subscribed to by John Boehner, mainstream rebels with vengeance for all — even 9-year-old girls,” he added, referring to the death of Christina Taylor Green...

“I would put Sarah Palin in first place there. I think, really, she should be incarcerated for treason for advocating assassinating public officials,” Fuller said in an interview with Media Matters. “That map I saw that she published on the Internet had crosshairs on it and one of them was meant for Gabrielle Giffords.”
Yes, this is the same Eric Fuller who conspicuously supports Gabrielle Giffords:
Fuller, a 63-year-old veteran, had campaigned for Giffords during her reelection and was at the supermarket for her Congress on Your Corner event...

He added, “This woman is a spotless, purest, sweetest lamb in the world, gunned down … The only word I could think of is outraged.”
Weird. Do you think a restraining order could be in this guy's near future?

Shortly after Fuller's progressive everyman rants began hitting the airwaves, Fuller's delusional left wing comrades began making paranoid assumptions...

David Neiwert at Crooks and Liars:

"I wonder if Megyn Kelly or Bill O'Reilly will bring Fuller on Fox to browbeat him as they did Sheriff Dupnik for expressing the same view."

"Countdown to smearing wounded veteran from Tucson massacre begins… now."

Charles Johnson at LGF:

"Now watch as Andrew Breitbart, Jim Hoft, and the rest of the right wing blogosphere go into overdrive to smear Mr. Fuller."

Sweet, sweet Mr. Fuller... We'll protect you from the teabaggers!

Now Arizona's second most famous psycho has completely discredited himself:
Fuller was arrested on misdemeanor disorderly conduct and threat charges, Ogan said. While Fuller was being escorted out, deputies decided he needed a mental health evaluation and he was taken to a hospital, where he remained Saturday evening.
Tuscon, we have a problem!

Someone please tell me when this slo-mo train wreck is finally over. I can't keep watching.

UPDATE: Via W.C. Varones… Mental illness and alcoholism ― the not-so-subtle clues.

Tangentially-related news: Only months after losing an election with 3% vote, progressive universal health care crusader Cheryl Allen is being held on charges she made threats against judges and other officials on her Facebook account. For some reason, progressives are proud.

(Spin... it works both ways!)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Evil Health Insurance Corporations Love ObamaCare

What do health insurance executives think of ObamaCare? This will upset principled activists at both ends of the political spectrum (and about 60% of the adult population):
As Republicans push forward on repealing health reform, planning the law’s demise, a different conversation is happening among thousands of health care investors gathered in San Francisco for this week’s J.P Morgan Health Care Conference: how to capitalize on health reform’s new business opportunities.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates 32 million Americans will gain health insurance by 2019 if the law stands. For health insurers, that represents a potential boon for both their individual market business as well as in the Medicaid market, where states regularly contract with private insurers to manage care.
Happy days!

If you think the GOP, as it is currently configured, is serious about repeal, think again. Pay very close attention to what is said of the individual mandate:
Health insurers spent barely anytime discussing Republicans’ repeal efforts. Aetna’s Zubretsky touched on the subject briefly only to say that Republicans understand that a rifle shot approach to tearing out specific health reform provisions, particularly the individual mandate, would not bode well for their business.

“The unintended consequence of repealing and replacing part of the legislation is the biggest risk here,” he said. “If guaranteed issue stays but the enforceable mandate disappears, you need another mechanism to make the costs in the risk pool work.”

Zubretsky said Aetna has been in touch with the GOP on the issue and “believe the Republican leaders we’ve been talking to understand the consequences of decoupling the mandate from the guaranteed issue.”
Without an extreme makeover, the GOP won't get serious about repealing ObamaCare in 2012, whether they control the White House or not.


As I've noted in previous posts, conservatives need to push for an up-or-down vote on a clean and simple repeal of the individual mandate. That will help clarify the intentions of folks on both sides of the aisle.

By a 60% to 38% margin, Americans oppose the individual mandate. Will the new GOP-controlled House take action in accordance with the wishes of the American people? Will conservatives push the GOP hard enough? Are we ready to "primary" more Republicans in 2012?

You have often heard those who favor reform complain about the power of the health insurance industry. I think those who favor repeal are about to feel it.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Get ready, America, for The Hermanator Experience

It looks like Herman Cain is dead serious about running for president.

The progs at The Atlantic have written up a pretty good piece introducing the uninitiated to "The Hermanator Experience." They called him crazy (without citing any evidence) and then proceeded to slather him with praise:
Although often outrageous, he has a shrewd sense of his appeal. At a GOP confab in New Orleans last year, Cain railed against liberals, who, he said, slander conservatives as “racist, redneck tea-baggers.” He paused for effect, then brought the house down: “I had to go look in the mirror to see if I missed something!”

Last year, Cain addressed more than 40 Tea Party rallies, hit all the early presidential states, and became a YouTube sensation. He pops up regularly on Fox News. He has devoted followers—on Twitter, on the radio, and in the real world too. He calls himself the “dark horse.” People love it. In December, he was the surprise choice for 2012 GOP nominee in a reader poll on the conservative Web site, narrowly edging out Palin. “I’m 70, 80 percent there,” he told me. The only question is money. If he can raise enough, he’ll get in the race.

Cain would surely enliven the proceedings, and might even steal a debate or two. But is he for real? Maybe. “The people posting about Cain on Facebook and Twitter are the activists I look to for the pulse of the Tea Party,” Tim Albrecht, a top aide to Iowa’s Republican governor, Terry Branstad, told me. “They’ve taken an increased interest in him.” Get ready, America...
Read the rest here.

And don't miss what Matthew Newman has to say.

Or this from Red State: Herman Cain ... America can be great again.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Arizona Killer Fits Tea Party Profile Perfectly

The Climate of Hate...

The striking similarities between Tea Party conservatives and Jared Lee Loughner:


Uncanny, isn't it?

For all their complaints about the specter of unfair racist profiling in Arizona, the left has provided an amazing example of obnoxious scapegoating with their unhinged reaction to Jared Lee Loughner.

Apparently, the Democrat-run media decided that Loughner was aligned with the Tea Party simply because he wasn't named "Mohammed," and he didn't scream "Allahu Akbar" while spraying bullets on the crowd.

To conclude almost instantly that Loughner was somehow a product of the conservative Tea Party mileu, the left must have been relying on some sort of generalization or profile. This chart shows how crudely and desperately that generalization has been applied.

Charles Krauthammer gets to the heart of this issue with a very good article: Massacre, followed by libel.


Loughner Belongs to the Insane Party

My Name is Betsy. I'm a Killer

More Tea Party Fallout: Haley takes oath as SC's first female governor

Monday, January 10, 2011

Was the Arizona Shooting Sheriff Dupnik's Fault?

It's pretty clear at this point that Jared Loughner was the lone wolf shooter solely responsible for the carnage in Tuscon, Arizona on Saturday. But without a shred of evidence, liberals in this country try to blame the "usual suspects," including Sarah Palin, the tea partiers and conservative talk radio.

Let's cast the net wider.

On Saturday, we began asking pointed questions about Tucson Sheriff Clarence Dupnik:
A congresswoman got shot point-blank in the head in Pima County, Arizona today in broad daylight.

Maybe Pima County, Arizona would be a safe place to live if it had a sheriff who would enforce the law. Maybe the sheriff should spend less time trying to blame all the world's problems on talk radio and the Tea Party...

We should have seen this coming ― a complete meltdown of law and order in [a] county where the celebrity sheriff has very publicly flouted the law. How predictable...
Dupnik earned fifteen minutes of fame in June when he preemtively refused to enforce Arizona's new immigration law.

Now this anti-law enforcement sheriff is scrambling to explain why senseless violence has visited his left-leaning little utopia.

Dupnik has wagged his wretched little finger at Rush Limbaugh, the Chinese, guns, free speech, prejudice, bigotry (i.e. the Tea Party), Sharon Angle and Sarah Palin. But Dupnik admits he has no facts to back up his wild theories.

So why is Dupnik desperately pointing fingers instead of digging up facts?

One blogger presents a provocative possibility:
The sheriff has been editorializing and politicizing the event since he took the podium to report on the incident. His blaming of radio personalities and bloggers is a pre-emptive strike because Mr. Dupnik knows this tragedy lays at his feet and his office. Six people died on his watch and he could have prevented it. He needs to step up and start apologizing to the families of the victims instead of spinning this event to serve his own political agenda...

Jared Loughner has been making death threats by phone to many people in Pima County including staff of Pima Community College, radio personalities and local bloggers. When Pima County Sheriff’s Office was informed, his deputies assured the victims that he was being well managed by the mental health system. It was also suggested that further pressing of charges would be unnecessary and probably cause more problems than it solved as Jared Loughner has a family member that works for Pima County. Amy Loughner is a Natural Resource specialist for the Pima County Parks and Recreation.
Moe Lane's analysis:
...if it comes out that the Sheriff’s office was aware of the threats, and did not act on them, then Clarence Dupnik needs to stop blaming the Right for the murder of six people and start blaming himself. Because Sheriff Dupnik is not in office to, say, fight partisan battles over state immigration policy: he’s in office to keep the peace. If he’s forgotten that, the voters will be happy to remind him.
...if you've dropped the ball, badly, and that's led to six murders and multiple grave injuries, damnit, you'd better start soliciting political allies and dreaming up faraway scapegoats.

Excerpts from the Mark Levin Show in which Levin discusses the stunning ways in which Clarence Dupnik is fumbling the case involving the attempted assassination of Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford... Levin builds a compelling argument culminating in a call for Dupnik to step down:


Right Wing News: Pima County Sheriff Jeopardizes Prosecution of Loughner and Must Resign Now

Doug Ross: Did Loughner's parents "pull strings" in local government to protect a troubled child?

Patterico: Forgive me if it sounds like I am co-opting the “we don’t know, but let’s raise this partisan non-sequitur anyway” format, but I have some questions about our friend Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik.

Wizbang: Did Dupnik give the shooter a pass?

Hennessey: Sheriff Dupnik’s Culpability

Loughner Family Blocked FBI Agents From Home

Libelous Agitprop From The Washington Post

While the chattering class is on the subject of vitriol...

The image above, attributed to Jeff Danziger (, was published by the Washington Post as part of a series of editorial cartoons featuring reactions to the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

The Danziger cartoon was featured without criticism or commentary, along with six other cartoons, most of which were infinitely more thoughtful, appropriate or amusing.

Shame on WaPo for promoting a paranoid theory that is based on not a shred of evidence.

UPDATE: As usual, George Will provides sharp analysis.

Update II: Readers' comments...

Heal thyself:
Disturbingly inaccurate. To the point of being crass propaganda to further an agenda. The hypocrisy of those trying to paint the right as being culpable for this tragedy is astounding. In the midst of trying to point fingers, they just ratchet the hateful rhetoric up a notch or two.
Baseless accusation:
So cartoonist Jeff Danziger has proof that Loughner was a member of, or was motivated by, the Tea Party? Mr. Danziger, you need to run - not walk - to the nearest FBI office. You'll be a national hero. ...oh, you don't? Then why the hateful, incendiary cartoon?
Blood Libel:
I didn't know that WaPo was into publishing libelous cartoons borne of the left's fevered imagination. It's obscene and evil to lie to score political points, especially when there's six bodies not even cold yet.
A credibility deficit:
I guarantee if you check thru the list of participants in the smear campaign you will notice a trend...


...As I recall, these hacks, many whom work for the WashPost, decided that “it does not matter if the charges were true, simply pick a conservative, any conservative and go".
[Actual quote: "Instead, take one of them — Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares — and call them racists. Ask: why do they have such a deep-seated problem with a black politician who unites the country? What lurks behind those problems? This makes *them* sputter with rage, which in turn leads to overreaction and self-destruction."]

The Devastating Impact of Global Warming on The American South

Headline: Winter weather slams South with snow, icy roads...

Here's the early morning view from my neck of the woods, somewhere south of the Mason-Dixon line:

Does anyone know where to get some carbon credits?

INFO: This was at about 04:30 this morning. We have several inches of snow on the ground now. This may be our biggest snowstorm in almost two decades.


ATLANTA (AP) -- Several inches of snow and freezing rain will make the Monday morning commute for those forced to venture out nearly impossible in parts of the South, including Atlanta, where countless cars are stuck on impassable highways and roads while the world's busiest airport canceled thousands of flights.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Sheriff Who Refuses to Enforce The Law Blames AZ Bigotry For Tragic Violence in His County

A congresswoman got shot point-blank in the head in Pima County, Arizona today in broad daylight.

Maybe Pima County, Arizona would be a safe place to live if it had a sheriff who would enforce the law. Maybe the sheriff should spend less time trying to blame all the world's problems on talk radio and the Tea Party...

Pima County AZ Sheriff Clarence Dupnik blamed the “prejudice and vitriol” in Arizona for the shooting today.

For the record: The shooter and the victims were white.
He also wags a finger at talk radio commentators and sundry boogeymen, but here's the money quote:
But again I’d just like to say that when you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain people’s mouths about tearing down the government, the anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous. And, unfortunately, Arizona I believe has become sort of the capital. We have become the Mecca for prejudice and bigotry.
What's all this "Mecca" nonsense? Isn't Mecca a holy city for Islam? Is Jared Loughner a Muslim? What does this shooting have to do with Islam?

Apparently, the confused Democrat sheriff is taking an awkward swipe at the Tea Party and assorted ne'er-do-wells of their ilk. (Dupnik equates the Tea Party with bigotry.) Flashback to September:
“We didn’t have a tea party until we had a black president,” Dupnik said at a forum held at St. Francis Cabrini Roman Catholic church.

Asked how it came up in the discussion, he said, “I brought it up. I think I was talking about how bigotry is alive and well in America.”

He said aside from the timing of the movement’s birth, he’s seen bigoted messages at their rallies.
Don't forget, this is the ideologically-driven left-wing Sheriff who refuses to enforce the law in his county:
Pima County's top lawman says he has no intention of enforcing Arizona's controversial crackdown on illegal immigration. Sheriff Clarence Dupnik calls SB 1070 "racist," "disgusting," and "unnecessary."
We should have seen this coming ― a complete meltdown of law and order in the very county where the celebrity sheriff has very publicly flouted the law. How predictable:

X-posted at LCR


Oh, my: That which I didn't dare speculate publicly...

Did Sherrif Dupnik Pre-Emptively Blaming Sarah Palin Because He Knows True Blame Lay In His Office?
...if you've dropped the ball, badly, and that's led to six murders and multiple grave injuries, damnit, you'd better start soliciting political allies and dreaming up faraway scapegoats.
Legal Insurrection: Illness on display in Arizona

Instapundit: The Arizona Tragedy and the Politics of Blood Libel

Kyl to sheriff: Keep your speculation to yourself… (via Hot Air)

Freedom's Lighthouse: Megyn Kelly Confronts Liberal Sheriff Dupnik On His Political Agenda – Video

Memeorandum thread: Megyn Kelly Takes On Sheriff Dupnik, The awesome stupidity of the calls to tamp down political speech, The Dishonorable Sheriff