More Insanity

We are not having a good week with regards to violence:

A Muslim convert who said he was opposed to the U.S. military shot two soldiers outside an Arkansas recruiting station, killing one, police said Monday.

“This individual appears to have been upset with the military, the Army in particular, and that’s why he did what he did,” Little Rock Police Lt. Terry Hastings said in a phone interview.

“He has converted to (Islam) here in the past few years,” Hastings said. “We’re not completely clear on what he was upset about. He had never been in the military.

“He saw them standing there and drove up and shot them. That’s what he said.”

Sarah Palin and Other Conservatives Condemn Right Wing Terrorist Act

While it sometimes aggravates some readers on the left (although usually not regulars who are aware of the variety of material posted) I do try to quote conservatives when they are making sense. Perhaps I have a fantasy that such positive reinforcement will contribute to improving the sanity of the right wing. In that vein I quoted from Dick Cheney earlier today. It is often the case that I can find material to quote from most politicians that I both agree with and disagree with, I’m not sure that I ever posted anything from Sarah Palin which I agreed with. Finally I found something worthwhile:

“I feel sorrow for the Tiller family. I respect the sanctity of life and the tragedy that took place today in Kansas clearly violates respect for life. This murder also damages the positive message of life, for the unborn, and for those living. Ask yourself, ‘What will those who have not yet decided personally where they stand on this issue take away from today’s event in Kansas?’ Regardless of my strong objection to Dr. Tiller’s abortion practices, violence is never an answer in advancing the pro-life message.”

Along similar lines, founder and Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser released the following statement about the killing yesterday:

“The Susan B. Anthony List condemns this anti-life act in the strongest of terms. The heart of the pro-life movement is one founded in love. Without this driving powerful center no justice can possibly be achieved.  Authentic progress in women’s rights has always encompassed the protection of human rights of every person across the board. The rights of one human being can never be honored by diminishing or ignoring the rights of another. This week as we gather for our annual June Tea event, themed Love Lets Live, we will lift up George Tiller’s loved ones in prayer.”

As I noted last night, there has been both unfortunate support from some on the right as well as opposition from others for this act of right wing terrorism. The blogosphere, especially in the comments, can easily amplify the views of a noisy minority and hopefully the comments supporting this type of terrorism do represent a tiny minority on the right.

Some additional sane views from the right on this issue, with Allahpundit followed by Ed Morrissey at Hot Air:

I could say there are no Bill Ayers types on our side, but I can’t; I wish I could say there are no right-wing nutroots degenerates online cheering them on, but I can’t say that either. As for those who condemn the murder while merrily hoping that he’s burning in hell, let a poor confused atheist ask you this: Isn’t the proper Christian response to any death to pray that God will have mercy on a flawed, fallible sinner, who’s now at last seen the error of his ways? Tiller might have changed his mind about abortion and repented in years to come but his killer’s deprived him of the chance. No prayers that God will take that into consideration?–Allahpundit

The murder of George Tiller at his church is a heinous crime, without any sense or justice. Regardless of how one feels about George Tiller’s profession, his murderer is nothing more than a domestic terrorist — someone attempting to impose by force a policy that one cannot get in place through democratic means. Tiller’s killer is no better than William Ayers, Kathleen Soliah, and Eric Rudolph, people who attempted to use violence for their extremist ends. Those who value life know that murder is the antithesis of the pro-life movement.–Ed Morrissey

The far right wing ties of the accused killer have been revealed today. While many conservatives are condemning this, there continues to be signs of support from some on the right.  Right Wing Watch has video and text on Randall Terry’s  press conference at the National Press Club “to discuss how the pro-life movement should deal with Dr. [George] Tiller’s death” and defend his statement that Tiller essentially deserved to die because he was a “mass-murder.”

While there have been far more vile responses from some on the right who have condoned this act of terrorism (which I won’t bother to give any publicity to) one of the more absurd arguments has been that this coverage given to right wing terrorism somehow justifies the bizarre reaction on the right to the report from the Department of Homeland Security on right wing terrorism. This act actually verifies the fact that right wing terrorism is a real problem, with this being only one example. This demonstrates that the Department of Homeland Security had reason to prepare a report on right wing terrorism. Of course conservatives who are bringing up the report ignore the facts that DHL prepared reports on both far left and far right wing terrorism, and that the recently declassified reports were prepared by a Bush appointee.

Michael Moore and GM

This isn’t meant to indicate agreement with Michael Moore. In general I agree with him on some things and not on others. I do find some irony in seeing him write about General Motors today. In 1989 Michael Moore first attracted attention with his documentary Roger and Me which alternated between Moore’s criticism of GM and his attempts to get the attention of Roger Smith, former chairman and CEO of GM.

Now GM is in bankruptcy and Michael Moore is just doing what he has always done. Back in 1989 who would have guessed where the two would be today.

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Dick Cheney Backs Gay Marriage

Dick Cheney said a lot of things I don’t agree with, but he did repeat his support for gay marriage. While he is undoubtedly influenced by having a gay daughter, hopefully Cheney will be able to convince other conservatives to reconsider their position:

Speaking at the National Press Club for the Gerald R. Ford Foundation journalism awards, Cheney was asked about recent rulings and legislative action in Iowa and elsewhere that allowed for gay couples to legally wed.

“I think that freedom means freedom for everyone,” replied the former V.P. “As many of you know, one of my daughters is gay and it is something we have lived with for a long time in our family. I think people ought to be free to enter into any kind of union they wish. Any kind of arrangement they wish. The question of whether or not there ought to be a federal statute to protect this, I don’t support. I do believe that the historically the way marriage has been regulated is at the state level. It has always been a state issue and I think that is the way it ought to be handled, on a state-by-state basis. … But I don’t have any problem with that. People ought to get a shot at that.”

Missed Opportunity By Obama


When Barack Obama announced his reversal of George Bush’s ban on embryonic stem cell research I was wondering if Nancy Reagan would be invited. The political benefits of doing this were obvious. When she wasn’t invited I guessed that this might be because her health wouldn’t permit her to attend. From an interview in Vanity Fair it now looks like this was a missed opportunity for Obama:

She feels President Obama missed an opportunity when he did not invite her to the ceremony announcing his reversal of Bush’s policy on embryonic-stem-cell research. “I would have gone, and you know I don’t like to travel,” she tells Colacello. “Politically it would have been a good thing for him to do. Oh, well, nobody’s perfect. He called and thanked me for working on it. But he could have gotten more mileage out of it.”

Senate Democrats Happy To See Clinton Out Of Congress

While it now appears that people around Obama are happy with the choice of Hillary Clinton to be Secretary of State, there were reservations over this at first. Huffington Post has an excerpt about the appointment from Renegade: The Making of a President.  While I had reservations about her being appointed to this position, I reluctantly supported the decision thinking that Clinton would do less harm in such a post than in the Senate, especially as this would keep her away from health care reform. It turns out that Senate Democrats were also happy to see her out of the Senate:

Obama was under no illusion about the legacy of the long primary season. During one transition meeting, Obama said he wanted to offer Clinton the diplomatic job. “I’m really interested in pursuing this, but I know she has some hard feelings coming out of this campaign.” Emanuel and John Podesta, the former Clinton official who ran the transition, assured Obama that she was over those hard feelings now. Obama smiled and said, “Believe me. She’s not over it yet.”

His decision to offer her the job of secretary of state came surprisingly early. Well before the end of the primaries, when his staff and friends still felt hostile to her, Obama decided that Clinton possessed the qualities to carry his diplomacy to the rest of the world. “We actually thought during the primary, when we were pretty sure we were going to win, that she could end up being a very effective secretary of state,” he told me later. “I felt that she was disciplined, that she was precise, that she was smart as a whip, and that she would present a really strong image to the world…I had that mapped out.”

Recruiting and managing a team of rivals would not be easy, and Clinton came with her own set of issues. Chief among them was her campaign debt, which she wanted eliminated before she took the job of secretary of state. Would the president-elect go out and help her to do so? “I’m not begging her to take this job,” Obama told his senior aides. “If she wants it, I could help. But I’m not willing to go out in these difficult economic times to do a flashy fundraiser in California.” As it happened, plenty of people in the Senate were begging Obama to offer Clinton the job. Obama’s aides believed that many Senate Democrats thought Clinton had extended her presidential campaign far beyond the point where she had lost the election. Her negative advertising wasted Democratic money, threatened to undermine the party’s nominee, and suggested that she was disloyal to the party. They were unwilling to offer the junior New York senator a position ahead of her lowly rank, and she stood little chance of becoming majority leader. “There was a lot of encouragement from inside the Senate to get her into this job,” said one senior Obama aide. “They wanted her out of there.” …

As for controlling the uncontrollable Bill Clinton, Obama’s aides drew up a series of checks on his fundraising for both Clinton Global Initiative and his work on HIV/AIDS across the world. But they really counted on Hillary to be the ultimate safeguard – against both her husband and her own ambition. “It’s in her interests to keep him in line,” warned one senior Obama aide. Others in Obama’s inner circle said the president-elect believed Clinton needed to demonstrate that she was a team player and to shape her own career and legacy. “There are plenty who don’t trust her and think she still harbors something,” said another senior adviser. “It’s still potentially problematic down the road. Barack’s thinking on this is that it’s not in her interests to mess with us. She can’t win that fight internally and she’s smart enough that she won’t want that fight publicly.”