March 13, 2012

Alabama and Mississippi Primaries Live Blog (Santorum Wins Both)

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:47 pm

Links at CBS: Alabama, Mississippi.

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March 14, 8:15 a.m. — The combined delegate hauls: Santorum – 28; Gingrich – 20; Romney – 19. If Romney had “Two Paths to Victory in Alabama and Mississippi” last night, he didn’t take ‘em. I say he never had ‘em. Gingrich’s delegate haul was particularly poor in two states where he should have done much better.

11:18 p.m. — Fox panelist from the Hill is saying that Gingrich is saving Mitt Romney’s candidacy by staying in. Exactly.

11:10 p.m. — What, no Romney speech coverage tonight? I guess it’s hard to speak when you’re preoccupied with licking your wounds.

10:59 p.m. — Gingrich in his speech tonight says that Mitt Romney’s inevitability “has collapsed.”

10:55 p.m. — I’ve lost track of how many times Mitt Romney has underperformed expectations. If he wins the nomination, he’ll underperform in November too.

10:43 p.m.Fox has called Mississippi for Santorum.

10:42 p.m. — Watching Santorum’s victory speech, I think I saw a “sink-in” moment, as in, “It’s really sinking in that we’re getting the upper hand here,” with a bit of a struggle to keep his composure.

10:36 p.m. — Santorum’s lead is about 3,300 votes with about 84% counted. I think it’s over. Gingrich will have to almost take a majority of the rest of the votes to win. I don’t see it happening. I’m calling Mississippi for Santorum. Wow. Oh, and Romney will finish third here too.

10:32 p.m. — Mississippi’s 33-32-30 mix of Santorum-Gingrich-Romney mix is holding with about 83% counted. Santorum’s lead is about 2,500 votes. It’s looking pretty good for the Rickster at the moment.

10:22 p.m. — Mississippi’s 33-32-30 mix of Santorum-Gingrich-Romney mix is holding with almost 75% counted. Santorum’s lead is about 2,000 votes.

10:18 p.m. — Ron Paul is only pulling 4%-5% of the vote,

10:15 p.m.Fox has called Alabama for Santorum. So has CBS. Romney will more than likely finish third.

10:12 p.m. — Alabama’s 35-30-28 mix of Santorum-Gingrich-Romney is holding with 45% counted. Same with Mississippi’s 33-32-30 identical mix with almost two-thirds counted.

10:08 p.m. — Alabama’s 35-30-28 mix of Santorum-Gingrich-Romney is holding with 40% counted.

10:06 p.m. — Fox is on the verge of declaring Santorum the winner in Alabama.

10:04 p.m. — Just over one-third of precincts are reporting in Alabama, and it’s Santorum-Gingrich-Romney, 35-30-28. In Mississippi (60% counted), Santorum clings to a very thin lead over Gingrich, and Romney looks to be fading a bit.

9:55 p.m. — With about 30% counted, Alabama is basically the same. With about 55% counted in Mississippi, it’s also the same percentage breakdown.

9:52 p.m. — On Fox News, John Fund really made a stupid comment (and very disappointing, considering that he’s supposedly a big Tea Party fan) in saying that Santorum wins will move his up for vice-presidential consideration. Bleep you, John.

9:45 p.m. — Earlier today, the Real Clear Politics polling consensus for today’s southern primaries showed Rick Santorum in third place — within striking distance, but clearly third.

Well, so far, Santorumentum has struck in Alabama and Mississippi.

Yes, it’s early, but in Alabama, with about 20% counted, it’s Santorum-Ginrich-Romney, 35-29-28. In Mississippi with about 40% counted, it’s same lineup, with a tighter situation — 33-31-30.

Mitt Romney is finishing third in both states. As I’ve been saying for weeks, Romney’s status as a front-runner is totally dubious.

More on Rugaber’s Risible Report on February’s (Not Recognized) Record Federal Budget Deficit

Last night (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I noted how Christopher Rugaber at the Associated Press, also known to yours truly as the Administration’s Press, failed to tell his readers that the federal government’s $232 billion reported deficit in February was an all-time single-month record. I also went back and showed that another AP reporter in March 2008 did note that February 2008′s deficit was at the time an all-time record. If there’s a reason for the patently obvious inconsistency other than who happens to be occupying the White House at the moment, I’d sure like to know what it is.

Rugaber’s report had other risible aspects which I have excerpted below in three separate segments:

(more…)

Sliding Down the Slippery Slope at Warp Speed

Filed under: General,Health Care,Life-Based News,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:00 am

A medical journal article ruthlessly proposes — and its editor defends — rhetorically dressed-up infanticide.

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Note: This column went up at Pajamas Media and was teased here at BizzyBlog on Sunday.

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Almost three centuries ago, in A Modest Proposal, satirist Jonathan Swift suggested that poor children in Ireland should be fattened up for a year and sold as food. This would spare families years of expense, provide them some income, enhance the upper crust’s dining experiences, and improve the nation’s economy.

Given the long-lasting fame which came to Swift as a result of this work, I figured that Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva, two Australian writers who somehow convinced the UK’s Journal of Medical Ethics (JME) that they are “ethicists,” were surely attempting a similar exercise in Juvenalian satire in their February 23 paper entitled “After-Birth Abortion: Why Should the Baby Live?”

In that paper, excerpted here (the original has since gone behind a subscription wall), the pair told us that society faces a really big problem, namely that many pre-born babies who should have been killed in the womb escape because their physical condition wasn’t fully known ahead of time:

An examination of 18 European registries reveals that between 2005 and 2009 only 64% of Down’s syndrome cases were diagnosed through prenatal testing. This percentage indicates that, considering only the European areas under examination, about 1700 infants were born with Down’s syndrome without parents being aware of it before birth.

The fact that many of the parents of the other 36% might in otherwise stable circumstances have chosen to end the pre-born baby’s life if only they had known of the baby’s handicap is far from the only problem. Sometimes the mother’s life situation changes for the worse, and what was expected to be a bundle of joy has become a serious encumbrance.

That’s all bad enough, but there’s something even worse:

… to bring up such children might be an unbearable burden … on society as a whole, when the state economically provides for their care. On these grounds, the fact that a fetus has the potential to become a person who will have an (at least) acceptable life is no reason for prohibiting abortion.

One must admit that as satirists, the two Aussies really rock.

The pair then immodestly proposes that we make the exercise of killing already-living children palatable by changing the language:

… we propose to call this practice ‘after-birth abortion’, rather than ‘infanticide’, to emphasize that the moral status of the individual killed is comparable with that of a fetus (on which ‘abortions’ in the traditional sense are performed) rather than to that of a child. Therefore, we claim that killing a newborn could be ethically permissible in all the circumstances where abortion would be. Such circumstances include cases where the newborn has the potential to have an (at least) acceptable life, but the well-being of the family is at risk.

… The alleged right of individuals (such as fetuses and newborns) to develop their potentiality, which someone defends, is over-ridden by the interests of actual people (parents, family, society) to pursue their own well-being because, as we have just argued, merely potential people cannot be harmed by not being brought into existence.

Giubilini and Minerva are absolutely brilliant, aren’t they? Through their satire, they make incredibly powerful pro-life arguments. Over forty years of reason-based attempts at persuasion and breathtaking improvements in science and technology affirming the wonders of human life at all stages have failed to prevent the annual slaughter of a million-plus children in the U.S. from abortion on demand. But now, in points bluntly made and sharply executed, the two Aussies have found the key. After reading their work, nobody can possibly believe that children, once born, are not entitled to continue to live. Once readers are reminded of that obvious point, they’ll reach the inescapable conclusion that “pre-birth abortion” is every bit as evil as “after-birth abortion.”

… Uh, what’s that?

Giubilini and Minerva aren’t satirists? They really are “ethicists” — and they’re freaking serious? O … M … G.

Indeed, they are, pun intended, dead serious, as is JME’s editor Julian Savulescu. In a blog post five days later, jaded Julian not only defended the publication of the indefensible work, he virtually agreed with its authors’ immoral proposal:

The arguments presented, in fact, are largely not new and have been presented repeatedly in the academic literature and public fora by the most eminent philosophers and bioethicists in the world, including Peter Singer, Michael Tooley and John Harris in defense of infanticide, which the authors call after-birth abortion.

… the goal of the Journal of Medical Ethics is not to present the Truth or promote some one moral view. It is to present well reasoned argument based on widely accepted premises. The authors provocatively argue that there is no moral difference between a fetus and a newborn. Their capacities are relevantly similar. If abortion is permissible, infanticide should be permissible.

Savulescu also bitterly attacked those who dared to express their outrage over the decision to publish the Australian pair’s conclusions in a “scholarly” journal. Oh sure, he cited death threats and racist comments, which everyone agrees are out of bounds and should be legally pursued when warranted. But it’s clear from his posting of the following comments he identified as “abusive threatening correspondence” in his introduction that the thin-skinned Savalescu despises being on the receiving end of any form of disagreement from the rest of us inferior beings:

“These people are evil. Pure evil. That they feel safe in putting their twisted thoughts into words reveals how far we have fallen as a society.”

“I don‘t believe I’ve ever heard anything as vile as what these ‘people’ are advocating. Truly, truly scary.”

“The fact that the Journal of Medical Ethics published this outrageous and immoral piece of work is even scarier.”

What Savulescu calls examples of abuse and threats, the rest of us would characterize as “strongly worded opinions.” There is little doubt that if they could, “ethicists” like Savalescu and many of his odious American counterparts would silence any and all dissent from their “ethical” discussions. Really, can gulags for objectors who won’t shut up be that far behind?

Abortion proponents in the late 1960s and early 1970s ridiculed those who warned against the “slippery slope” consequences of allowing abortion on demand. “It won’t lead anyone to seriously consider euthanasia and infanticide,” they said. Well, yes it did.

We’re even taking the first steps towards realizing Swift’s sardonically imagined world where its people consume its children — not in preparing what we eat (yet), but indeed in what we drink, again accompanied by astonishing arrogance:

In a decision delivered February 28, the Security and Exchange Commission ruled that PepsiCo’s use of aborted fetal remains in their research and development agreement with Senomyx to produce flavor enhancers falls under “ordinary business operations.”

… PepsiCo also requested … (that a related shareholders’) resolution be excluded because it “probed too deeply into matters of a complex nature upon which shareholders cannot make an informed judgment.”

Can anyone reasonably doubt presidential candidate Rick Santorum’s deep concern that if we continue down our current path — one which, if Obamacare is ever implemented, will lead inexorably to a point where “every man, woman and child in America … (will be) dependent upon the federal government for your life and your health” — we will “leave a very cold dangerous, frightening America to our children”?

Thomas Sowell on ‘The Biggest Hoax of the Past Two Generations’ and How the Obama Admin Is Supporting It

Filed under: Education,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:23 am

ISSSowellCSad — and true:

White House Feeds Minority Paranoia To Gain Votes

… the biggest hoax of the past two generations is still going strong — namely, the hoax that statistical differences in outcomes for different groups are due to the way other people treat those groups.

The latest example of this hoax is the joint crusade of the Department of Education and the Department of Justice against schools that discipline black males more often than other students. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan says this disparity in punishment violates the “promise” of “equity.”

Just who made this promise remains unclear, and why equity should mean equal outcomes despite differences in behavior is even more unclear. This crusade by Attorney General Eric Holder and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is only the latest in a long line of fraudulent arguments based on statistics.

If black males get punished more often than Asian-American females, does that mean that it is somebody else’s fault? That it is impossible that black males are behaving differently from Asian-American females?

Nobody in his right mind believes that.

… Among the many serious problems of ghetto schools is the legal difficulty of getting rid of disruptive hoodlums, a mere handful of whom can be enough to destroy the education of a far larger number of other black students — and with it destroy their chances for a better life.

… Among the many serious problems of ghetto schools is the legal difficulty of getting rid of disruptive hoodlums, a mere handful of whom can be enough to destroy the education of a far larger number of other black students — and with it destroy their chances for a better life.

Whether the current generation of black students get a decent education is infinitely more important than whether the current generation of Democratic politicians hang on to their jobs.

Well, that depends on whether you’re among “the current generation of Democratic politicians.” If you are, nothing else matters, regardless of the collateral damage.

Tuesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (031312)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 7:45 am

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

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Positivity: Couple weds at local Walmart

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 7:40 am

From Brunswick County, North Carolina (video at link; HT Daryn Kagan):

Posted: Feb 14, 2012 5:11 PM EST
Updated: Feb 14, 2012 11:26 PM EST

A lot of people are used to hearing, “Cleanup on aisle three,” at stores like Walmart, but not usually, “Wedding in the layaway section!”

But one area couple decided to do just that — they tied the knot at their local Walmart Tuesday.

For Wayne and the new Susan Brandenburg, everyday low prices have led to happily ever after.

“She was a cashier at the time,” said Wayne. “I kept coming through and seeing her…my [former] wife died seven years ago, and I asked [Susan] out. For some reason, she said yes and it went from there.”

They wanted to share their special moment with all their friends, and they wanted to do something different.

Go here for the video and the rest of the story.