December 31, 2011

AP Approves of Obama’s 2012 Strategy of Virtually All Campaigning, All Executive Branch Overreach All the Time

On December 31, 2003, looking ahead to the upcoming 2004 election year, an Associated Press reporter — I think it would have been Jennifer Loven at the time — wrote about how George W. Bush was going to spend as much of the next 10-plus months as possible figuring that “he no longer needs Congress to promote his agenda.” Therfore, he would use “aggressive campaign fundraising and use executive action to try to boost the economy.” Thus, his “re-election year will focus almost exclusively on executive action” at the rate of “at least two or three directives per week.” Sadly, this meant that Bush’s “election year retreat from legislative fights means” that his “term will end without significant progress on two of his … campaign promises.”

Oops, I’m sorry. That AP report never happened. The high-handed, non-governing, non-legislating, campaign-driven agenda is what Barack Obama, his White House apparatchiks, and his reelection campaign have said they will do in 2012 — and Julie Pace at the Associated Press seems to heartily approve (bolds repeating what was quoted in the first paragraph above are mine):

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AP Wrongly Claims Palin’s Figurative ‘Death Panels’ Contention ‘Now Widely Debunked’

There are quite a few problems with Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar’s December 28 coverage (“New fee coming for medical effectiveness research”) concerning a new fee (i.e., tax) which will imposed on health insurance companies for each person they cover starting tomorrow.

Several times (twice in the body and once as seen above in the headline), the story refers to the assessment as a “medical effectiveness research” fee (without quotes). Just once, in the eleventh paragraph, does Alonso-Zaldivar call it by its far more widely-known name (written as indicated): “comparative effectiveness” research. But the item which stuck out like a sore thumb with me, and should also do so for anyone else who closely followed how the stimulus bill got enacted into law as well as the Obamacare discussions later that year, was the following paragraph:

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Stacy McCain Notes Rick Santorum Calling Out Ann Coulter

Filed under: Immigration,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:08 am

Yesterday: “Rick Santorum to Ann Coulter: ‘I Mean, Ann, Should I Have Voted for Amnesty?”

Excerpt:

Santorum explained to the Iowa folks that he voted against “E-Verify” when it was part of John McCain’s amnesty bill in 2006 — a bill that Coulter and every other American with a shred of honesty, intelligence or patriotism also opposed. And what he said next was Tweet-worthy:

“Tell @AnnCoulter, next time you see her, get her facts straight.”

Wow. It’s takes a lot of confidence to throw down with Chairman Ann and, even though I’m having a hard time figuring out her pro-Romney turn in recent weeks, I could imagine the MSM headlines:

REPUBLICAN TELLS COULTER TO ‘GET HER FACTS STRAIGHT

Well Stacy, it also takes a lot of confidence (better word in this paragraph’s example: “courage”) to break a virtual seven-year blackout in a nationally televised debate over how the same-sex marriage saga in Massachusetts really went down, i.e., that Mitt Romney made it happen all by himself when he didn’t have to. What Rick didn’t also add it that Mitt Romney did it because he promised that he would.

As to Stacy’s claim that Ann has had a “pro-Romney turn in recent weeks,” it’s quite a bit longer than than that. Her mid-January 2008 column was correctly interpreted as a virtual Romney endorsement — “My thinking was that Romney would be our nominee because he is manifestly the best candidate” is a pretty clear statement of support.

In 2009, Coulter was already hanging up on interviewers who dared to try to bring up Mitt Romney’s real abortion and same-sex marriage records. So Ann’s fandom of the Mittster is no recent phenomenon.

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Previous related posts:

  • Dec. 29 — Ann Coulter Endorses Rick Santorum (Update: Santorum Ran on E-Verify in 2006)
  • Dec. 30 — Ann Coulter Endorses Rick Santorum: The (Sort of) Abbreviated Version

Latest PJ Media Column (‘Ten 2011 Examples of Major Media Malfeasance’) Is Up

It’s here.

It will go up here at BizzyBlog on Monday (link won’t work until then) after the blackout expires.

2011 was far worse than 2010 for media malfeasance. Go to the column and see the completely underappreciated reason why.

In the next couple of days I’ll have a chance to lay out ten or more other media malfeasance items which didn’t make the cut, but which are still quite awful. Part of the difficulty will be the fact that I have several dozen from which to choose.

Saturday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (123111)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 7:30 am

Rules are here. Possible comment fodder may follow later. Other topics are also fair game.

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Positivity: Desperate Craigslist Ad for Kidney Donor Saves Woman’s Life

Filed under: Life-Based News — Tom @ 7:00 am

From Florida:

Thursday, 15 Dec 2011 09:21 AM

Craigslist’s reputation for connecting strangers looking to buy or sell items vaulted to the near-miraculous stage when a 28-year-old Florida woman’s last-ditch plea saved her life with a donated kidney. For free.

Doctors couldn’t find a match for Selina Hodge after searching for more than a year. Her health was deteriorating after three years of daily kidney dialysis, so she posted her plea on the online want-ad site in July, according to the Sun Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale.

The ultimate irony: The woman who matched, 23-year-old Stephanie Grant, out of more than 800 respondents lives only a few miles from Hodge’s Palm Beach Gardens home.

After months of preparation, doctors performed the surgery on Tuesday, and Hodge and Grant are recovering at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami.

The women, who grew close during trips to Miami for physical and psychological tests to prepare for the procedure, are alert and talking to family and visitors, hospital officials told the Sun Sentinel.

“It’s just amazing that somebody would actually lay down their life for a complete stranger,” the newspaper quotes Hodge’s mother, Gina Evans, as telling WPTV-Ch. 5 in West Palm Beach. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

AP Writer Marvels at Omnipresence of Kim Jong Il Images, Never Notes Country’s Communist Tyranny

Jean H. Lee’s Friday afternoon report at the Associated Press on the omnipresence of images of the late Kim Jong Il throughout North Korea reads more like an audition to be the communist nation’s next propaganda minister than a wire service report.

Not once does she call the late tyrant a tyrant, or for that matter even a Communist. If you didn’t know any better, you would think you’re reading about some idyllic place where people are happy, content, and well-off — not a place where oppression rules, hundreds of thousands starve, and millions more would but for the kindness of foreigners. Though there is no substitute for reading the whole relatively short thing, here are several paragraphs indicating just how bad Lee’s report really is (saved here in full as a graphic for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes; HT to an NB tipster):

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December 30, 2011

AP’s Pace Perpetuates Pathetic Claim That National Debt’s Rise Is Due to Wars and Bush Tax Cuts

There are press memes which won’t go away no matter what, and no matter how often disproven. One, repeated in an Associated Press report a couple of weeks ago as our troops were about to leave Iraq, claimed that “No WMD were ever found” there. The truth: Yes they were — along with 550 metric tons of yellowcake uranium found in Iraq after Saddam was overthrown, specifically “the stuff that can be refined into nuclear weapons or nuclear fuel.”

Another meme which won’t die and fails to pass the truth test was in an AP item by Julie Pace about President Obama’s decision to defer raising the debt ceiling by $1.2 billion today. In it, she repeated the leftist line about how the national debt has grown so large (HT to an NB emailer):

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So Much Material, So Little Time, Part 2: Mitt Romney’s Prolife Charade

Filed under: Health Care,Life-Based News,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:22 pm

When you vote for a candidate, you vote for all of his or her positions. You accept the moral responsibility for the working out of their platform in practice.

– Talk radio host and serial Mitt Romney apologist Hugh Hewitt;
December 23, 2011

Fortuitously, given the tightness of time, others posts have sprung up to support core contentions explaining why Objectively Unfit Mitt Romney does not deserve the vote of a single Republican or conservative as long as more acceptable issues-related choices exist (and they do).

On Romney’s alleged prolife values and his alleged “conversion” — the sincerity of that conversion (never mind the story itself, which is shaky enough) which allegedly occurred sometime in 2004 has so many holes in that if it were Swiss cheese, it would collapse in a heap. The most obvious is Romney’s inclusion of a $50 co-pay for abortions in his “landmark” state-controlled health care regime championed by him when he was the Governor of Massachusetts and signed into law on his watch — after his “conversion.”

Today, Erick “Where the Heck Have You Been” Ericksen, head cahuna at RedState, chimed in with more — much more:

Mitt Romney Didn’t Just Give Planned Parenthood Money, He Gave Them Extra Power

… according to ABC News on June 14, 2007, “Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has long cited a November 2004 meeting with a Harvard stem-cell researcher as the moment that changed his long-held stance of supporting abortion rights to his current ‘pro-life’ position opposing legal abortion. But several actions Romney took mere months after that meeting call into question how deep-seated his conversion truly was.”

What was one of those actions?

Two months after his pro-life conversion, Mitt Romney appointed Matthew Nestor to the bench in Massachusetts. Romney seeming bowed to political pressure making Nestor a judge even after Nestor, according to the Boston Globe as far back as 1994, had campaigned for political office championing his pro-abortion views.

By the way, those of you naive enough to believe that Romney will appoint strict constructionists to the Supreme Court and other federal courts need to take off your blinders. This appointment by Romney was by no means atypical — and please don’t tell me you can’t find conservative or even moderate lawyers in the Bay State.

Continuing with Ericksen:

One year after his pro-life conversion, in July of 2005, Mitt Romney vetoed legislation that would expand the use of the morning after pill arguing that it would contribute to abortions. But just three months later Mitt Romney slid back and signed a bill that expanded state subsidized access to the morning after pill.

… But that’s nothing. Two whole years after the pro-life view had settled into Mitt Romney’s conscience and a year after Mitt Romney had vetoed legislation expanding access to the morning after pill, he expanded access to abortion and gave Planned Parenthood new rights under state law. Yes, that Planned Parenthood.

… in addition to providing healthcare coverage for the uninsured and forcing everyone to have insurance … (RomneyCare) also required that one member of the MassHealth Payment Policy Board be appointed by Planned Parenthood of Massachusetts.

… In 2007, Mitt Romney was still denying his healthcare plan did this.

… Except it was. Apparently, like with Obamacare, you had to pass the bill to find out what was in it, but once passed, Romney never read it.

I suspect that Erick is being too kind.

Given how Mitt Romney has lied for nearly eight years about his role in and the motivation behind his unilateral and extra-constitutional imposition of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts, how difficult is it to believe that he has kown all along about Planned Parenthood’s legislated role in RomneyCare?

As Hugh Hewitt wrote above about Ron Paul: “You accept the moral responsibility for the working out of their platform in practice.” In practice, Mitt Romney, even after his alleged conversion, committed so many acts inconsistent with prolife views while he was still Governor of Massachusetts that his insistence that he is prolife is simply not credible.

Having a Republican or conservative presidential candidate who is not clearly prolife is unacceptable.

To paraphrase, if you vote for Mitt Romney when other acceptable alternatives are available, you accept moral responsibility for voting to nominate someone with a virtually uninterrupted proabort record when he had executive authority.

You can’t defensibly do it, and it’s not arguable.

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Update, 11:00 p.m.: At Life News, David French tries and completely fails to rebut Ericksen. What about all the antilife things Romney did after his alleged prolife conversion don’t you understand, David?

Ann Coulter Endorses Rick Santorum: The (Sort of) Abbreviated Version

Filed under: Economy,Health Care,Immigration,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:10 pm

RomneyNo0808RickSantorum1211Lord have mercy, that Coulter write-up yesterday was how long? (Over 1,900 words)

In an era where 140 characters supposedly gives you an enough space to communicate a meaningful message, it seems like a good idea to abbreviate yesterday’s post proving how Ann Coulter (though she’ll probably never admit it) really endorsed Rick Santorum in her Wednesday column.

So here goes. Hopefully readers can hang in there during the remaining 550 or so words.

* * * * * * *

Ann wrote that the two most critical issues we face in the upcoming presidential election are “repealing Obamacare and halting illegal immigration.”

Coulter’s erroneous take on the first issue was as follows: “All current Republican presidential candidates say they will overturn Obamacare.”

But Mitt Romney is absolutely NOT promising to “overturn” Obamacare, because he bitterly clings to the need for the individual mandate, i.e., the government requirement that each and every citizen have and (unless you’re in poverty) buy health insurance. Eight weeks ago, Ohio voters rejected the idea of an individual mandate and incorporated that objection into the state’s constitution by a 66%-34% margin.

The problem with the individual mandate is simple: If the government can force you to buy health insurance, there really is no practical constraint on what else it can force you to do in virtually any aspect of your life.

Here’s video proof that Romney insists on the individual mandate (Direct YouTube; HT Hot Air):

If you “repeal” Obamacare and “replace” it with something containing an individual mandate, you have not “overturned” Obamacare. Mitt Romney will NOT “overturn” Obamacare, period.

Regarding her second standard (“halting illegal immigration”), Coulter validly eliminated Perry and Paul from contention, but she erred on Santorum when she wrote:

… Paul, Perry and Santorum oppose E-Verify. As a senator, Rick Santorum voted against even the voluntary use of E-Verify.

But Rick Santorum does NOT oppose E-Verify. A campaign source communicated that fact, and proved it by reference to two roll-call votes with appropriate explanations, accompanied by a reiterative “Rick supports the E-Verify program.”

Ann Coulter tried to claim that Santorum opposes e-verify simply because he opposed John McCain’s “shamnesty” immigration bill in 2006. That’s hogwash, especially because … (wait for it) … Ann Coulter also opposed it, in her June 1, 2006 column, the first one she wrote after the May 25 vote. Additionally, Santorum ran as a clear supporter of E-Verify in his unfortunately unsuccessful Senate seat defense in 2006.

So, based Ann Coulter’s own requirements and mindset:

  • Romney — Out. He won’t overturn Obamacare. (He’s not credible on any other issue either, but for some reason Coulter and millions of other Republicans either don’t or won’t understand that.)
  • Gingrich — Out, as he has “never had to win votes beyond small, majority-Republican congressional districts,” and for a host of other reasons.
  • Perry and Paul — Out, because of their opposition to E-Verify, and because they both ran in an extremely red state that doesn’t “resemble the American electorate” (plus surely other reasons relating just to Paul).
  • Bachmann — Out, because, “2012 isn’t the year to be trying to make a congresswoman the first woman president.”

That leaves Rick Santorum as Ann Coulter’s only supportable candidate, based on HER December 28 column’s benchmarks. Santorum will overturn Obamacare, supports E-Verify, and is electable, having “won a statewide election in a blue state” — twice (Mitt Romney only won once).

Rick Santorum really is Ann Coulter’s guy. Ann Coulter just need to be woman enough to admit it. Based on how she has failed to face the truth about Mitt Rommey for well over four years — Good luck with that.

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UPDATE:Stacy McCain Notes Rick Santorum Calling Out Ann Coulter”

USAT’s Woodyard Incorrectly IDs 1976 Lincolns Used in Kim Jong Il Funeral as ‘Nixon Era’

ChrisWoodyardUSAT1211It’s certainly not the most egregious media bias or error story you’ll every see. But hey, it’s the end of the year and almost GOP primary time, so take a break, lighten up a bit, and enjoy this one.

On Wednesday, as shown here and based on when comments first appeared, USA Today’s Chris Woodyard put up an item in McPaper’s “Drive On” blog about how the funeral of North Korean Dictator Kim Jong Il used decades-old Lincolns. The headline: “North Korea’s elite use Nixon-era Lincolns.” Figures, right? Any chance to get in a dig at a Republican or conservative. What’s wrong with just saying “1970s”? Well, nothing, especially when you’re proven wrong about the Nixonian lineage.

For posterity, here’s what was carried originally at Topix (the Nixonian headline is also in my cars-related USAT email):

USATnixonLincolnNoKoTopixDec11

Woodyard didn’t fully acknowledge the original headline error as he corrected himself (or perhaps his headline writer). His post began with the update noted:

Kim Jong Il’s death: North Korea uses 1970s Lincolns

Updated 5:58 p.m. ET, to reflect the car appears to be a 1976 model. As we were watching coverage of the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, we couldn’t help but notice what the elite consider the epitome of luxury one of the world’s most isolated countries: Detroit-made 1970s-era Lincolns.

The body of Dear Leader was strapped to the top of an mid 1970s Lincoln limousine. Jalopnik identifies it as a 1976, and who are we to disagree. (Apparently, food isn’t the only commodity in short supply in the desperate Asian nation: It’s hard to find a decent working hearse as well.) Another almost identical car was being used for the Kim Jong Il billboard, lest anyone forget that dictators can indeed smile. We suspect one strong breeze or the rush of air from driving a little too fast could have toppled the sign.

Nixon resigned in August 1974. Sales of the 1976 Lincoln would not have begun until a year later in the fall of 1975 at the earliest. Gerald Ford was president. USA Today was not launched until 1982, which for the historical record is roughly when the country under Ronald Reagan finally began to recover from the Jimmy Carter Era-Driven early 1980s recession.

A couple of decades from now, we’ll accurately be able to look back and poke fun at “Obama Era Chevy Volts” — if any are left on the road. Hopefully we’ll still be a bit more free — oops, I said I was going to keep it light.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

A Reminder of Who Sensible Conservatives’ Political Enemies Are

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:25 am

Rush Holt (Democrat – New Jersey), in an op-ed at NJ.com (HT The Hill; bolds are mine):

my basic point is both true and critically important. According to the Office of Management and Budget, America’s deficits were more than twice as large in the 1940s as they are today. In 1943, the deficit was 30 percent of our economy’s size; in 1944, it was 23 percent. Today, it is less than 9 percent. As for publicly held debt, it was significantly larger as a share of our economy in 1944 than it is today.

Americans could easily have said we could not afford the G.I. Bill and abandoned our future potential. Instead, Congress passed the G.I. Bill. In today’s figures, the federal government spent — rather, invested — $115 billion on these G.I.s.

To those who say that our deficits are too high to invest in research and development, education and infrastructure that would allow America to compete in this increasingly global economy, I will simply point out that, had we listened to that same pessimistic argument seven decades ago, Americans would not be nearly as prosperous as we are today.

As Daniel Horowitz points out at RedState:

Obviously, we had a massive military buildup – the most unprecedented in world history – which was very costly at the height of the war. But those were temporary annual deficits. Immediately after the war, our deficits returned to historical lows.

… The irony is that the military is the only expenditure that Democrats want to cut, yet they are using WWII – when defense consumed almost our entire budget – as a paradigm for auspicious government “investments.”

But it’s far worse than that.

Since World War II, Democrats, with the sad, too-frequent acquiescence of Republicans, have created massive ongoing commitments known as “entitlements” which run on and on to the tune of tens of trillions of dollars into distant decades (actually, in the mindset of the left, forever and ever, never to be touched or altered in any way).

Rush Holt’s op-ed recognizes none of this.

Stopping the runaway freight train of government spending would be hard enough if we didn’t have Rush Holts on the left claiming that we still need to “invest (more, more, more) in research and development, education and infrastructure” as if we still have an unlimited well of resources from which to drink. People like Holt, given any kind of power, make reform virtually impossible, and dash any hopes of real prosperity for future generations saddled with the debts we have imposed on them (especially the out-of-control, party-hearty past three years).

Politicians like Holt who are either so ignorant or so craven (my money is on craven) that they can’t or won’t (my money is on won’t) recognize the difference between the current era and the middle of World War II cannot be persuaded. They must either be defeated or marginalized into virtual powerlessness.

Friday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (123011)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 7:30 am

Rules are here. Possible comment fodder follows. Other topics are also fair game.

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In a few comments pre-dating my column on the Supplemental Poverty Measurement — but I don’t believe ever in an actual post — I’ve theorized that the Obama administration will leave the direct politicization of economic data alone until after 2012 — and they hopefully won’t get a shot at doing it. The SPM represents early evidence that this isn’t so, but a more troubling situation was described by Richard Pollock at PJMedia last week:

On the eve of the 2012 election, the White House is pushing to politicize the impartial U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The administration is also trying to bypass the congressional oversight that protects the independence of the neutral agency.

The BLS is the nation’s premier nonpartisan statistical agency reporting on the state of the American labor market. For more than a century, both political parties have considered BLS to be independent and politically untouchable.

… Over the last year, the administration has refused to fill the two top BLS positions.

… it is clear no commissioner will be running the bureau through much of 2012.

This has led to speculation that the White House is trying to circumvent the Senate so as to appoint a deputy whose position does not need Senate confirmation, and who would defer to the White House and to politically aggressive Labor Secretary Hilda Solis.

… The administration’s job description for the deputy position illustrates the administration’s politicization effort — rather than emphasize the independent status of the post, it states the deputy commissioner will be “assisting the Secretary of Labor in presenting the Department’s interests and policies to Congress, other government agencies, and the public.” In other words: instead of an independent official, the deputy commissioner would be an advocate for administration positions.

A 1998 job description for the same position does not mention any advocacy work on behalf of the Labor Department.

I’ve criticized BLS for getting things wrong which I believe they could fix, but never for politically twisting the data, which I don’t believe is happening, despite assertions by many on the right (and before that, by many on the left when Bush was in office (the closest I’ve ever gotten is wondering about strange results in initially released state and local data in September).

It takes a long time to build a reputation like the one BLS has. Sadly, as Joe Paterno has learned in another realm, it doesn’t long to lose it. When you fudge the data, it’s virtually impossible to stamp out all of the inconsistencies which then arise. We should be especially alert for their possible emergence this coming year.

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At the Blaze“Was the Santa Claus Killer‘s Christmas Day Massacre an ‘Honor Killing?’” It looks more than a little likely. Seven are dead, including the killer, who committed suicide.

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Zombie really, really isn’t happy with the Republican presidential primary field.

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Obama is on his 90th round of golf during his presidency. That’s an average of roughly one round every 12 days.

Positivity: Palm-sized baby, 2nd smallest in US, is growing

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Los Angeles:

Updated 12/15/2011 9:31 AM

At birth, Melinda Star Guido was so tiny she could fit into the palm of her doctor’s hand. Weighing just 9 1 / 2ounces — less than a can of soda — she is among the smallest babies ever born in the world. Most infants her size don’t survive, but doctors are preparing to send her home by New Year’s.

Melinda was born premature at 24 weeks over the summer and spent the early months cocooned in an incubator in the neonatal intensive care unit in Southern California. Almost every day, her 22-year-old mother sits at her bedside and stays overnight whenever she can.

The day before her Thursday due date, Haydee Ibarra visited Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center where her daughter has been since her birth in late August. Melinda is believed to be the second-smallest baby to survive in the U.S. and third smallest in the world.

Ibarra caressed Melinda through the portholes of the incubator where nurses pinned up a homemade sign bearing her name. Now weighing 4 pounds, Melinda gripped Ibarra’s pinky finger and yawned.

“Melinda, Melinda,” she cooed at her daughter dressed in a polka dot onesie. “You’re awake today.”

During her pregnancy, Ibarra suffered from high blood pressure, which can be dangerous for both mother and fetus. She was transferred from a hospital near her San Fernando Valley home to the county’s flagship hospital, which was better equipped to handle high-risk pregnancies.

There was a problem with the placenta, the organ that nourishes the developing fetus. The fetus, however, was not getting proper nutrition, blood and oxygen. Doctors knew Melinda would weigh less than a pound, but they were surprised at how small and fragile she was.

“The first few weeks, it was touch and go. None of us thought the baby was going to make it,” said Dr. Rangasamy Ramanathan, who oversees premature infants.

Even if she survived, doctors told Ibarra and her husband Yovani Guido, children born this extremely premature can have developmental delays and impairments such as blindness, deafness or cerebral palsy.

Ibarra, who previously had a stillborn, told doctors to do whatever necessary to help her baby.

“They said, ‘We’ll take the chance. Please try.’ So we said. ‘OK we’ll try,’” Ramanathan recalled. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

December 29, 2011

Ann Coulter Endorses Rick Santorum (Update: Santorum Ran on E-Verify in 2006)

Filed under: Activism,Health Care,Immigration,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:04 pm

RickSantorum1211RomneyNo0808(Note: I’m interrupting the “So Much Material, So Little Time” series showing relatively recent reasons why Mitt Romney is an unacceptable and objectively unfit presidential candidate to respond to Ann Coulter’s disgraceful column yesterday.)

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Meet your guy, Ann Coulter. He’s pictured on the right.

Note that your guy is NOT the guy whose image is crossed out on the left — where he most definitely belongs because of his issue positions and track record).

Your guy is the other guy, Rick Santorum.

You endorsed him yesterday in your latest column.

Oh, you think you endorsed Objectively Unfit Mitt Romney, but I will prove that you really endorsed Santorum.

Here we go. (Update: A briefer version is here.)

*  *  *  *  *  *  *

Coulter’s December 28 column, entitled “Only One Candidate Is Right on the Two Most Important Issues,” was meant to be a process-of-elimination exercise performed on the remaining contenders for the GOP presidential nomination (I’m going to exclude Jon Huntsman, because he, unlike the six others, has never been more than a cipher in any poll).

Her column is an epic fail on the facts.

Coulter starts out strongly by identifying what she believes are the two most critical issues we face:

In the upcoming presidential election, two issues are more important than any others: repealing Obamacare and halting illegal immigration. If we fail at either one, the country will be changed permanently.

I would throw the economic Armageddon coming at us if we don’t do something about the federal debt and deficit situation (as I’ve noted several times, I’m not convinced that we’ll be able to reach November 2012 or January 21, 2013 without hitting a financial wall first). It just so happens to be the number one issue on voters’ minds. But if you want to contend that any one of the remaining credible contenders would do a passable job in these matters if armed with Republican majorities in the House and Senate, fine.

After articulating why her two issues are of all-encompassing importance, Coulter commits her first obvious unforced error, one which was proven to be an error literally just yesterday as the ink was drying (or the electrons were cooling) on her column (bolds are obviously mine throughout this post):

All current Republican presidential candidates say they will overturn Obamacare. The question for Republican primary voters should be: Who is most likely to win?

If you go to every candidate’s website, I’m sure you’ll find a pledge to “repeal Obamacare.” In fact, even Mitt Romney is promising to do that (“Our next president must repeal Obamacare and replace it with market-based reforms that empower states and individuals and reduce health care costs.”). But the question, using Ann’s word, is who will “overturn” it?

Mitt Romney is absolutely NOT promising to “overturn” Obamacare, Ann.

One of Obamacare principal features — in fact, it has been described as the feature on which the viability of the entire abominable law depends — is the individual mandate, i.e., the government requirement that each and every citizen have and (unless you’re in poverty) buy health insurance.

To demonstrate how unpopular the individual mandate is, Ohio voters just eight weeks ago hardwired an amendment into the state’s constitution declaring that no citizen shall be required to participate in a health insurance plan, and that no citizen shall be required to purchase health insurance. Buckeye State voters did so by passing Issue 3 by a 66%-34% margin.

But it goes way beyond popularity to constitutionality at the federal level, and to the relationship between government and its citizens at all other levels. As Mark Steyn said in his guest-hosting role on Rush Limbaugh’s program today (paraphrasing), if the government can force you to buy health insurance, there really is no practical constraint on what else it can force you to do in virtually any major or minor aspect of your life. At the federal level, such a mandate is plainly unconstitutional; at the state level, it’s authoritarianism at its worst. Regardless of who’s imposing the requirement, it negatively and probably irretrievably changes the nature of the relationship between the government and its citizens forever.

A video playing all over the place from Wednesday demonstrates that Mitt Romney, the creator of RomneyCare in Massachusetts, still supports the individual mandate, and would clearly want to see states incorporate an individual mandate into any form of replacement for Obamacare. Roll tape (Direct YouTube; HT Hot Air):

Here’s the perfect-pitch reaction of Erick Ericksen at RedState:

TODAY, December 28, 2011, Mitt Romney Calls Obamacare “Conservative”

This isn’t a flash back. This is today. Mitt Romney is again declaring the foundation of Obamacare, the individual mandate, “conservative.”

To be sure, it is conservative that one takes responsibility for their own healthcare. But the conservative solution is not to force Americans to buy a product. Forcing Americans, through penalty of law, into purchasing or refraining from purchasing a product is not and will never be conservative.

(Aside: It must really sting to see a core contention of a column you’ve just written debunked — by your guy — in virtually real time.)

Ann, in case you haven’t figured it out, if you “repeal” Obamacare and “replace” it with something containing an individual mandate — what Erick properly characterized as “the foundation of Obamacare” — you have not “overturned” Obamacare. “Overturning” Obamacare is YOUR column’s benchmark, and Mitt Romney fails your first test. I suspect that many readers are tiring of my employment of the word, but the point is simply not arguable.

That leaves the remaining candidates to be tested against Coulter’s second standard: “halting illegal immigration.” Here’s Ann’s “analysis”:

Only Romney (already eliminated per the above — Ed.) and Santorum have won a statewide election in a blue state, making them our surest-bets in a general election. (This knocks out Michelle Bachmann, as Coulter later notes. — Ed.)

But if Santorum wins, we lose on the second most important issue — illegal immigration — and he’ll be the last Republican ever to win a general election in America.

… almost all Republican presidential candidates support some form of amnesty for illegals in order to appeal to the business lobby.

Among the most effective measures against illegal immigration is E-Verify, the Homeland Security program that gives employers the ability to instantly confirm that their employees’ Social Security numbers are legitimate. It is more than 99 percent accurate, and no employee is denied a job without an opportunity to challenge the records.

Although wildly popular with Americans — including Hispanic Americans — the business lobby hates E-Verify. Employers like hiring non-Americans because they can pay illegal aliens less and ignore state and federal employment laws.

Any candidate who opposes E-Verify is not serious about illegal immigration. If anything, E-Verify ought to be made mandatory to get a job, to get welfare and to vote.

Kowtowing to business (while pretending to kowtow to Hispanics), Paul, Perry and Santorum oppose E-Verify. As a senator, Rick Santorum voted against even the voluntary use of E-Verify.

There’s only one problem with Ann’s “logic.” Rick Santorum does NOT oppose E-Verify. A source within the Santorum campaign forwarded me the following concerning Rick’s position on E-Verify (internal links to roll call votes added by me):

Rick voted against the McCain / Kennedy Global Immigration bill on May 25th 2006. The bill passed 62 – 36. DeMint, Grassley, Coburn, Inhofe, Sessions, Thune (some of the most conservative Senators) all voted no. One of the cornerstones of the McCain/Kennedy amnesty immigration bill was the reauthorization of the E-Verify program. By opposing the overall bill, Rick in turn opposed the re-authorization of E-Verify program.

Actually, Rick supports the E-Verify program. Original E-Verify Program was known as the Basic Pilot Program Act. It was included in H.R. 3610, the Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act, 1997. Rick voted for the entire bill on July 18, 1996 at 10:27am.

On 11/12/2003 the Basic Pilot Program Extension and Expansion Act of 2003 passed the US Senate by UC (if Rick opposed, he would have objected). Signed into law by President Bush on 12/3/2003. (“UC” stands for “Unanimous Consent” — Ed.)

The program was eventually reauthorized (Rick was out of Congress) till September 30, 2009. Then it was granted a one month reauthorization till October 31, 2009 (Rick was not in Congress). In October 2009, the Congress agreed to a three year extension of the E-Verify program.

Ann Coulter is trying to say that Rick opposes e-verify simply because he opposed John McCain’s liberal / amnesty immigration bill in 2006.

Concerning that 2006 vote mentioned in the email’s first paragraph:

  • Santorum had to oppose Kennedy/McCain even though it contained E-Verify, because the rest of the bill was so awful. He had a lot of sensible conservative company.
  • (You really can’t make this up, Ann — gotcha bigtime) Ann Coulter also opposed what the Senate did in her very next column on June 1, 2006. Specifically, she vehemently criticized “The ‘path to citizenship’ that Bush and the Senate are trying to pawn off on Americans …” Uh, so did Rick Santorum.

Thus, Ann Coulter is obviously wrong. What about “Rick supports the E-Verify program” don’t you understand, dear?

Okay, let’s recap based on actual facts and Ann Coulter’s requirements:

  • Romney — Out, because he won’t overturn Obamacare. (He’s not credible on any other issue, given his history of flip-flops, but one reason, especially this big of a reason, is enough.)
  • Gingrich — Out, partially because, in Coulter’s words, he has “never had to win votes beyond small, majority-Republican congressional districts.” Coulter also spent her entire December 21 column on reasons why Newt shouldn’t get the nomination. Her likely correct conclusion is that “Gingrich would be a disaster for everything they (newly active conservatives) believe in.” She also contends with historical support that (at least for a conservative or Republican) Newt “is almost certainly unelectable based solely on his having cheated on and divorced two wives.”
  • Perry — Out, for two reasons. First, his opposition to E-Verify. Second (again, Coulter’s take), Perry ran in an extremely red state that doesn’t “resemble the American electorate.”
  • Paul — Out, for the same two reasons as Perry (I’m sure there are others from her point of view, but that’s plenty for now).
  • Bachmann — Out, because, even though she meets Coulter’s issues benchmarks, “… 2012 isn’t the year to be trying to make a congresswoman the first woman president.”

That leaves Rick Santorum as Ann Coulter’s only supportable candidate, based on her December 28 column’s benchmarks. Specifically, Santorum:

  • Will overturn Obamacare.
  • Supports E-Verify.
  • Is electable, having “won a statewide election in a blue state” — twice. (Mitt Romney only won once, and was a fairly good bet to lose had he run for reelection.)

You can pretend to be Mitt Romney’s gal all you want, Ann Coulter, but by your column’s benchmarks, Rick Santorum is your guy. I’m sure he’s grateful for your well thought-out endorsement. You should be grateful that I’ve straightened you out.

______________________________________________

UPDATE: Santorum ran on his support of E-Verify in his 2006 race against prolife pretender Bob Casey. Specifically (bolds other than headings are mine) –

No Amnesty
Giving blanket amnesty, approving guest worker programs masked as amnesty, or charging nominal fines to become an American citizen mocks and demeans the sacrifices of legal immigrants. Illegally crossing our border and breaking our immigration laws must carry real and serious consequences. Rick Santorum will not vote for any immigration bill that includes amnesty.

… Reform the System and Defend American Culture
Rick Santorum supports an improved worker verification program to protect American taxpayers from fraudulent benefit payouts. He is pushing to make temporary workers just that — temporary, not citizens.

“An improved worker verification program” means “an improved E-Verify.”

Rick Santorum is quite serious about illegal immigration.

Really Ann, I’m supposed to believe that you didn’t know ANY of this?

UPDATE 2:Stacy McCain Notes Rick Santorum Calling Out Ann Coulter”