January 8, 2011

AP Determined to Pin Giffords Shooting, Multiple Murders on Right, Ignores Lefist Rage at Her Failure to Back Pelosi

The irresponsible propagandists posing as journalists at the Associated Press are going to a frequently visited well tonight — the one where any violence committed against a Democrat or liberal must somehow and in some way be due to a climate of hostility created solely by conservatives, Republicans, and more recently, Tea Party activists.

Never mind that the person who allegedly shot Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and murdered several others, Jared Loughner, is reportedly a marijuana-using loner who lists the Communist Manifesto and Mein Kampf as among his favorite books, or that the most recent items which could bee seen as potential incitements to violence against Giffords have come from the left, in response to her refusal to back Nancy Pelosi for Minority Leader in the House just days ago.

Specifically:

  • Here’s a link (partial screen grab here for when it comes down; corroborated by Tyler Durden at Zero Hedge; HT Doug Ross) to Laughner’s YouTube profile.
  • Here’s a screen grab of a DailyKos post from Thursday entitled “My CongressWOMAN voted against Nancy Pelosi And is now DEAD to Me!” Charming. Michelle Malkin notes that the post has been pulled. The post’s author has left a comment stating: “i now am FULL of guilt after writing this diary. i am a proud atheist, so pray for yourself, not me. i don’t need prayers, nor want them.”
  • It didn’t take me long to find this comment at another “progressive” forum, where proprietor “Booman” travels into the realm of desiring thuggery: “Here’s a list of disloyal jerkoff Democrats who didn’t vote for Pelosi as Minority Leader … I hope Pelosi crushes these idiots and makes their lives miserable. I’m not kidding.”

Despite all of this, here are paragraphs from the Associated Press’s 7:09 p.m. report (since updated; saved here at my host for future reference, fair use and discussion) trying to pin the implied blame on the right:

Giffords has drawn the ire of the right in the last year, especially from politicians like Sarah Palin (Note: Sarah Palin is currently a private citizen — Ed.) over her support of the health care bill. It’s still not clear if the gunman had the health care debate in mind or was focused on his own unique set of political beliefs as witnessed in the Internet videos.

Law enforcement officials said members of Congress reported 42 cases of threats or violence in the first three months of 2010, nearly three times the 15 cases reported during the same period a year earlier. Nearly all dealt with the health care bill, and Giffords was among the targets.

Giffords’ Tucson office was vandalized a few hours after the House voted to approve the health care law in March, with someone either kicking or shooting out a glass door and window. In an interview after the vandalism, Giffords referred to the animosity against her by conservatives. Palin listed Giffords’ seat as one of the top “targets” in the midterm elections because of the lawmakers’ support for the health care law.

… In the hours after the shooting, Palin issued a statement in which she expressed her “sincere condolences” to the family of Giffords and the other victims.

… The shooting comes amid a highly charged political environment that has seen several dangerous threats against lawmakers but nothing that reached the point of actual violence.

A San Francisco man upset with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s support of health care reform pleaded guilty to threatening the Democratic congresswoman and her family, calling her directly on March 25 and threatening to destroy her Northern California home if she voted for health care reform.

In July, a California man known for his anger over left-leaning politics engaged in a shootout with highway patrol officers after planning an attack on the ACLU and another nonprofit group. The man said he wanted to “start a revolution” by killing people at the ACLU and the Tides Foundation.

During his campaign effort to unseat Giffords in November, Republican challenger Jesse Kelly held fundraisers where he urged supporters to help remove Giffords from office by joining him to shoot a fully loaded M-16 rifle. Kelly is a former Marine who served in Iraq and was pictured on his website in military gear holding his automatic weapon and promoting the event.

“I don’t see the connection,” between the fundraisers featuring weapons and Saturday’s shooting, said John Ellinwood, Kelly’s spokesman. “I don’t know this person, we cannot find any records that he was associated with the campaign in any way. I just don’t see the connection.”

Neither does anyone else, which is why it’s incredibly irresponsible and cynically political to go there. If the AP couldn’t resist, it was irresponsible of it not to mention the more recent left-related items I have noted above.

To be clear, I’m not blaming those leftists identified earlier for inciting Laughner’s violence. My point is that Associated Press has no more business pinning implied blame on a right-wing atmosphere condoning violence than I would if I tried to claim that “Booman,” the Kos poster and others encouraged Laughner to commit multiple murders.

But the Associated Press has irresponsibly gone where it had no business going, to the eternal shame of the wire service and the reporters involved: Terry Tang, Amanda Lee Myers, David Espo, and contributing reporters Pauline Arrilliga, Jacques Billeaud, Bob Christie, Paul Davenport, Matt Apuzzo, Eileen Sullivan, Adam Goldman and Charles Babington.

We can only hope that subscribing AP news outlets possess enough sense not to use the particularly execrable elements of this supposedly “objective” news story.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Betsy McCaughey in the WSJ: ‘The CBO’s Fuzzy ObamaCare Math’

In a Friday evening op-ed:

Defenders of ObamaCare have seized upon a Jan. 6 letter from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to House Speaker John Boehner alleging that repeal would “increase the deficit.” Don’t be bamboozled. When big spenders call for “deficit reduction,” they mean raising your taxes. That is what ObamaCare does.

The CBO letter says that the health law spends $780 billion in the next decade and pays for it by raising taxes and fees by $410 billion, and by reducing future Medicare funding by $500 billion. The CBO argues that the law raises more money ($910 billion) than it spends, but that is hardly sufficient reason to keep it, or any law.

Projections from another federal agency—the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)—fill in the grim picture on what ObamaCare will do. The CMS figures, released Sept. 9, show that if you buy your own health plan, you will have to pay more every year than you would have if the law hadn’t passed.

To expand Medicaid, the law eviscerates Medicare. It’s like robbing Peter to pay Paul, only it’s robbing Grandma and Grandpa. The CMS shows that in 2019 the Obama health law reduces annual Medicare funding so much that it works out to $1,428 less for each elderly patient that year. Richard Foster, chief actuary for Medicare, has spoken with brave bluntness about the possible impact, warning that some hospitals may stop accepting Medicare. Where will seniors go?

Of course, the CBO also makes no attempt to estimate the economic growth-retarding impact of ObamaCare’s tax increases, which would shred its deficit-reduction claims even further.

When the CBO came out with its deficit-reduction assertion early last year, Katie Couric laughably described it as a “certified price tag.” Anyone who would characterize a projection into an uncertain future in such a manner is a candidate to be considered certifiable.

Positivity: Transplant just one chapter of first organ donor’s life

Filed under: Health Care,Positivity — Tom @ 7:00 am

From Mt. Vernon, Maine:

Posted: January 2
Updated: 10:05 PM

News of Ron Herrick’s passing came last week, amid all the headlines that, so often, feature a fleeting somebody doing something forgettable.

Why Herrick’s death was mentioned, though, is because he should never be forgotten.

Herrick decided 56 years ago to donate a kidney to his dying twin brother, leading to the world’s first successful organ transplant. As the first organ donor, he helped blaze a trail in a procedure that has since saved countless lives.

But what also makes Herrick’s passing so newsworthy, and his loss felt so deeply, is the life he lived beyond the transplant. This side of Herrick’s story is well known by the wife he loved for 51 years, the students he helped to understand and the boy with whom he shared his love of farming.

“He was an amazing individual,” said friend Roland Bean of Mount Vernon. “I have to say that I loved that man.”

Ron’s wife, Cynthia, and his sister, Virginia, were at his side when Ron died Dec. 27 at the Augusta Rehabilitation Center at age of 79. Ron’s health had declined since an October heart surgery.

Ron and his twin brother, Richard, were born June 15, 1931 in Worcester, Mass. Ron’s early years were spent on the family farm in Rutland, Mass. The farming bug got under Ron’s skin from an early age.

“There’s nothing he enjoyed more than running his tractor and mowing hay,” said Ron’s nephew, Scott Herrick, who purchased his uncle’s farm in Mount Vernon in 1997.

Ron and Cynthia purchased that farm in 1970, two years after moving to Maine. Ron, who had been a math teacher in Massachusetts, took a position at Winthrop Middle School in 1968. He spent 18 years at Winthrop before spending the next 10 years as an instructor at the University of Maine at Augusta. He retired from teaching in 1996 after a 37-year career.

“He loved math,” Cynthia Herrick said. “He loved to get it across, especially to people who had trouble with it. He had a knack for making it clear.

“He was a teacher and a farmer, those were his loves,” Cynthia continued. “He did a good job with both of them.”

Scott Herrick was just 9 years old when he began farming with his uncle.

“It was always a bit of camaraderie being out in the hayfield,” Scott said. “He never talked down to me. He was never mean to me. He was always just a great guy. I idolized him as a kid, and still.”

Scott remembers his uncle’s dry sense of humor. He could get Scott rolling with a simple gesture, without cracking so much as a smile.

Then there was Ron’s mind, which never seemed overly challenged.

“He knew so much more about farming than I ever will,” Scott said. “He would look at something and come up with a solution. Nine times out of 10 it worked.”

Ron rarely talked about his place in medical history, and never without prodding. Bean and Ron were friends and neighbors for years before he knew Ron had been the first organ donor. Bean had to pry his friend for details.

“It wasn’t something he carried around as a badge,” Bean said. “He was proud to be part of it, but he didn’t make a big deal out of it.”

Ron was always friendly, but he kept his emotions in check, Cynthia said. Ron’s most sentimental moments came when talking about Richard.

“It was always hard, even for me, to figure out what was going on inside his head,” Cynthia said. “I would tend to be the one to get emotional or upset. He never indulged in that sort of thing. He took things in stride. He kept me on the straight and narrow.”

There was nothing about Ron that made him stand out, Bean said, but his quiet presence commanded respect from those who met him. Bean and Herrick served a number of years together on the Mount Vernon Board of Selectmen.

Ron was as straightforward in town service as he was in the classroom or the hayfield.

“The thing that always impressed me about Ron is he could stand in front of somebody and tell them what he thought and they always respected him for it,” Bean said. “He amazed me. I could have said the same thing and gotten shot.”

It was Ron’s ability to reflect on a situation that gave him conviction when he made a decision. That was certainly true when it came to giving his kidney to Richard, who was dying from chronic nephritis, an inflammation of the kidneys. There were serious ethical and health concerns expressed by vast segments of the medical community prior to the 1954 surgery.

Ron never wavered. …

Go here for the rest of the story.