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.