Archives for May 2009
Commenter deekaa6 on his experiences with Dr. George Tiller:
In 1994 my wife and I found out that she was pregnant. The pregnancy was difficult and unusually uncomfortable but her doctor repeatedly told her things were fine. Sometime early in the 8th month my wife, an RN who at the time was working in an infertility clinic asked the Dr. she was working for what he thought of her discomfort. He examined her and said that he couldn’t be certain but thought that she might be having twins. We were thrilled and couldn’t wait to get a new sonogram that hopefully would confirm his thoughts. Two days later our joy was turned to unspeakable sadness when the new sonogram showed conjoined twins. Conjoined twins alone is not what was so difficult but the way they were joined meant that at best only one child would survive the surgery to separate them and the survivor would more than likely live a brief and painful life filled with surgery and organ transplants. We were advised that our options were to deliver into the world a child who’s life would be filled with horrible pain and suffering or fly out to Wichita Kansas and to terminate the pregnancy under the direction of Dr. George Tiller.
We made an informed decision to go to Kansas. One can only imagine the pain borne by a woman who happily carries a child for 8 months only to find out near the end of term that the children were not to be and that she had to make the decision to terminate the pregnancy and go against everything she had been taught to believe was right. This was what my wife had to do. Dr. Tiller is a true American hero. The nightmare of our decision and the aftermath was only made bearable by the warmth and compassion of Dr. Tiller and his remarkable staff. Dr. Tiller understood that this decision was the most difficult thing that a woman could ever decide and he took the time to educate us and guide us along with the other two couples who at the time were being forced to make the same decision after discovering that they too were carrying children impacted by horrible fetal anomalies. I could describe in great detail the procedures and the pain and suffering that everyone is subjected to in these situations. However, that is not the point of the post. We can all imagine that this is not something that we would wish on anyone. The point is that the pain and suffering were only mitigated by the compassion and competence of Dr. George Tiller and his staff. We are all diminished today for a host of reasons but most of all because a man of great compassion and courage has been lost to the world.
Dad has sent me two quick videos of the puppies, who are now really pretty big:
George Tiller, the Wichita doctor who became a national lightning rod in the debate over abortion, was shot to death this morning as he walked into church services.[….]
Tiller has long been a focal point of protest by abortion opponents because his clinic, Women’s Health Care Services at 5701 E. Kellogg, is one of the few in the country where late-term abortions are performed.
Tiller had been shot earlier, but survived. His clinic was vandalized earlier this month.
At what point are we allowed to start worrying about right-wing domestic terrorism?
Update. I’m not usually one for nutpicking, but the Freeper comments on this are unusually appalling. (They’ll probably be taken down but here they are permanently: pdf1;pdf2)
The newest version of the conspiracy theory regarding Chrysler dealerships circulating the WingNet is pretty awesome. I just love it when they go old school:
This puzzled us. Why would there be a significant and highly positive correlation between dealer survival and Clinton donors? Granted, that P-Value (0.125) isn’t enough to reject the null hypothesis at 95% confidence intervals (our null hypothesis being that the effect is due to random chance), but a 12.5% chance of a Type I error in rejecting a null hypothesis (false rejection of a true hypothesis) is at least eyebrow raising. Most statistians would not call this a “find” as 95% confidence intervals are the gold standard for this sort of work. Nevertheless, it seems clear that something is going on here. Specifically, the somewhat low probability that the Clinton data showing higher survivability of Clinton donors could result just from pure chance. But why not better significance with any of the other variables? Why this stand out?
Then we got to thinking. Steven Rattner, the Car Czar, is married to Maureen White, one-time national finance chairman of the Democratic National Committee. What does Maureen do now? From her website:
Maureen White is currently Chairman of the Board of Overseers of The International Rescue Committee (IRC), a member of the North American Advisory Board for the London School of Economics, and a National Finance Chair of the Hillary Clinton for President Campaign. (emphasis ours)
That website looks dated, but you get the idea.
Someone wake me when they figure out how Monica was involved.
*** Update ***
I suppose part of what makes this so funny to me is I just got done reading a puff piece on Clinton, which essentially said that big bad Bill is sweet William now, and I thought that maybe the Clinton scares were over.
*** Update #2 ***
Someone else has noticed the seamless transition from the original hypothesis to the new and improved Clinton conspiracy. Unfortunately for the conspiracy theorists, that someone is Nate Silver:
In spite of this, Singer reports that “there [is] a significant and highly positive correlation between dealer survival and Clinton donors”. Although she hedges her conclusion a bit later on, this is a fairly irresponsible sentence to have written. Most people, in looking at this same exact set of data, would not only have avoided the implication that it proves the dealergate hypothesis, but would probably have come to something of the opposite conclusion: it argues strongly against the dealergate hypothesis. After all, there is no positive relationship whatsoever in the data on Democratic, Republican, Obama or McCain donations — which until Singer’s analysis was posted approximately 10 hours ago — had been the focus of the dealergate hypothesis. In fact, in several cases — such as for the data on Republican donations — the coefficient has the opposite sign of the one that the purveyors of the dealergate hypothesis were hoping for. Republican donors were incrementally less, rather than more likely likely to have their dealerships shuttered, according to Singer’s analysis, although the pattern is nowhere in the ballpark of being “statistically significant” as most of us would define it.
Predictably, this has not prevented people like Michelle Malkin and Doug Ross from claiming that Singer’s data confirms their hypothesis. Of course, it does not confirm their original hypothesis, which was that donors to Republican candidates were more likely to have their dealership closed. Instead, a new hypothesis has evolved — it’s all about those dirty, rotten Clintons! — the sole reed of evidence for which is Singer’s overstated conclusion (but not really her underlying data itself).***
Why, after all, stop at Clinton donors, who until this morning had never been central to the dealergate hypothesis? Why not look at John Edwards donors, or Ron Paul donors, or donations to any of various political action committees, or donations to members of the Senate Banking Committee, or donations to Congressmen who voted for the auto bailout plan? If you looked at enough of these, you would eventually come up with a few positive results — and then you could work backward to formulate your own conspiracy theory around it. There is a name for this sort of practice: data dredging.
At the end of the day, people are going to believe what they want to believe: some people believe that the moon landing was faked, that 9/11 was a grand conspiracy, and that Barack Obama was born in Indonesia. There is no evidence for any of these claims, but that doesn’t stop tens of millions of people from believing them! Dealergate, particularly in its original formulation (that Obama was punishing Republican donors with the Chrysler closings), is in largely the same category.
These folks are really just hopeless.
Steve Benen on the Cheney doctrine of blame:
This generally goes unsaid, but it’s a key aspect of the recent Cheney crusade — if something horrible happens, we’re not supposed to blame the team that left this mess for Obama to clean up, we’re supposed to blame Obama himself. If only the president kept torturing people like Cheney wanted, we’d all remain safe indefinitely.
This isn’t especially new, but it seems to be increasingly common. Back in January, just 48 hours after the president’s inauguration, Marc Thiessen, George W. Bush’s former chief speechwriter, argued, “During the campaign, Obama pledged to dismantle many of [Bush’s] policies. He follows through on those pledges at America’s peril — and his own. If Obama weakens any of the defenses Bush put in place and terrorists strike our country again, Americans will hold Obama responsible — and the Democratic Party could find itself unelectable for a generation…. President Obama has inherited a set of tools that successfully protected the country for 2,688 days — and he cannot dismantle those tools without risking catastrophic consequences.”
Jason Zengerle noted at the time, “You almost get the sense guys like Thiessen are hoping for an attack so that they can blame Obama when it happens.”
I credit Zengerle for going as far as he does here, but let’s be honest: obviously, guys like Thiessen are hoping for a terrorist attack so they can blame Obama. The only “almost” here is that they’re almost using those exact words. It’s time to just admit that.
I think it’s important to be careful with the “my political opponents are rooting for America to fail.” I don’t think opposing the Iraq war means that you want America to fail in Iraq (whatever that means). And I don’t think that wanting Obama to torture, wire-tap, keep Gitmo open, etc. means that you want America to get attacked. But openly fantasizing about the political price Obama might have to pay if we’re attacked again seems altogether different to me.
I just got Chaplain Klingenschmitt’s Top Ten list of reasons Sotomayor won’t be confirmed via the Human Events mailing list. Here’s the number one reason:
1) SOTOMAYOR: BASEBALL BIAS FOR NEW YORK YANKEES!
As a native of South Bronx, Sotomayor’s hidden home-town bias became manifest in her love for the New York Yankees, judicially favoring her “Bronx Bombers” over teams from all other cities. No kidding! When ruling to end the 1995 baseball strike, she sided with the player’s union against team owners (who sought parity among all teams with an talent-sharing salary cap). Instead Sotomayor created bias in favor of rich teams who can afford to buy up all the good free agents. So when the New York Yankees hogged 4 titles and 6 pennants in the 8 years after her ruling, with payrolls averaging three times most other team salaries, you can blame Sotomayor for creating that competitive imbalance. I understand why Yankees fans might celebrate her promotion to the Supreme Court, but baseball fans from all other cities should complain loudly against her confirmation!
But George Will told me that revenue sharing was a communist plot.
(You can see the whole list here on some Paultard forum.)