As we've seen in numerous polls over the last two years, opposition to abortion isn't merely a "mainstream" American position. It's a majority one. Gallup's new national survey on the question is packed with fascinating data. Especially interesting is the break-down of public opinion split among four options: Abortion should be always legal, legal in "most" circumstances, legal "only in a few" circumstances, or never legal. The former two viewpoints represent the traditional "pro-choice" stance. The latter two are where the "pro-life" movement plants its policy flag. A few highlights from the findings:
(1) On the nominal "pro-life" vs. "pro-choice" question, pro-lifers narrowly outnumber the other side, 48-45.
(2) Fully 58 percent of adults say abortion should be illegal in all circumstances, or only permitted in "a few." Just 39 percent say the practice should be legal in "all" or "most" circumstances.
(3) On that same question, 57 percent of women adopt a pro-life view; 40 percent adopt the more doctrinaire "pro-choice" position, which is supposed to be the official stance of their entire gender.
(4) Millenials (aged 18-34) are the most likely group to believe abortion should be outlawed in all circumstances. Overall, 57 percent of these young voters select one of the pro-life options.
(5) By partisan break-down, 59 percent of independents oppose abortion in all or most cases, as do 43 percent of Democrats. The pro-life positions are adopted by 78 percent of Republicans.
(6) Seventy-four percent of the public is paying little or no attention to the trial of late-term abortionist and accused serial killer Kermit Gosnell. A paltry 25 percent are paying "very" or "somewhat" close attention.
(7) Pluralities believe the media isn't giving the Gosnell case sufficient coverage, though a majority admits it doesn't know enough to say either way. Kermit Gosnell is still an unknown among most of the populace. One wonders how people's abortion views might shift if they were made aware of the horrors that took place at his Philadelphia clinic.
Keep these statistics tucked away for the next time someone who supports taxpayer-funded, late-term abortion-on-demand tries to cast pro-lifers as "extreme." Also, be sure to read this post about how the Cleveland kidnapper is being charged with the deaths of five unborn children. One of his captives became pregnant five times; he beat her stomach until she miscarried in each case. Because those were "wanted" unborn children, their killer faces multiple charges, making him eligible for the death penalty. But if those unborn children had been poisoned and suctioned out by an abortionist, it would have been perfectly legal. Should the "wantedness" of a child determine her humanity?
UPDATE - Per the Susan B. Anthony List, Gallup also notes that overwhelming majorities of Americans oppose late-term abortions; 80 percent reject third trimester abortions, and 64 percent do the same in the second trimester. This is why Live Action's ongoing expose is so important.
For months we've seen the vast majority of media outlets ignoring Benghazi but after sworn whistleblower testimony completely contradicted Obama administration talking points earlier this week, editors are finally starting to pay attention. Up until this point, newsrooms have used excuse that the investigation into the terrorist attack is simply a "Republican witch hunt" and therefore isn't newsworthy.
The BBC's North American Editor Mark Mardell wrote in a post this morning that he believes "heads will roll" after seeing the report from ABC News this morning that the White House and State Department changed the Benghazi talking points 12 times, purposely eliminating all references to terrorism and al Qaeda in the process.
In the interests of full disclosure I have to say I have not in the past been persuaded that allegations of a cover-up were a big deal. It seemed to me a partisan attack based on very little.
I remember listening to reports from the BBC and others at the time that did suggest the attack in Benghazi was a spontaneous reaction to a rather puerile anti-Islamic video.
The new documents contain two rationales for the changes in language. The first is that it would prejudice the FBI investigation.
Perhaps, but I am not at all persuaded.
The other reason given, old-fashioned butt-guarding, is more credible.
As Ms Nuland puts it, such a report "could be abused by members [of Congress] to beat up the State Department for not paying attention to warnings, so why would we want to feed that either?"
However you read the motives, the state department and apparently the White House did get the CIA to change its story.
This is now very serious, and I suspect heads will roll. The White House will be on the defensive for a while.
Meanwhile, the White House press briefing for today has been delayed as press secretary Jay Carney desperately searches for talking points to defend the Obama administration's falsified talking points on Benghazi.
When I took Hillary Rodham Clinton to task in January for the mishandling of security in Benghazi, Libya, I told her that if I had been president at the time, I would have relieved her of her post. Some politicians and pundits took offense at my line of questioning.
During those hearings, I reminded Mrs. Clinton that multiple requests were sent to the State Department asking for increased security measures. I asked if she had read the cables from Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens asking for increased security. She replied that she was busy and had not read them. I find that inexcusable.Paul is expected to run for President in 2016. Considering Clinton has already left her position as Secretary of State, she can't resign however, that doesn't mean she can't be held accountable by Congress and the American people should she decide to run for president in 2015.
This week's revelations have only prompted more questions. Why have there been no arrests, eight months after the fact? Why did State Department leaders deny requests for increased security, even as attacks on Western targets in Benghazi were escalating? Why were two stand-down orders issued to the reinforcements in Tripoli, and who made that call? And who was responsible for the bowdlerized, dishonest "spontaneous protest" talking points -- which were disseminated even after Sec. Clinton herself was made explicitly aware of the true nature of the attack as it transpired? (Also, what massive, classified "omission" was Sen. Tom Coburn talking about here?) To treat the 9/11 Benghazi assault as a proxy fight in a distant election is to ignore the importance and relevance of all of these questions. As I noted in the clip, Sec. Clinton has more to answer for than ever before, on a number of fronts -- from the lax security presence, to the talking points, to the intimidation and demotion of Greg Hicks. But the biggest political risk she presently faces is an issue of legacy management. If Benghazi leaves an indelible stain on her tenure at State, Clinton's strong approval ratings will be exceedingly susceptible to erosion. Indeed, it was Clinton's desire to avoid questions about her preparedness that may have prompted the false talking points in the first place. There's another interesting element to the political side of this story that I barely grazed at the very end of the interview. In 2008, Hillary Clinton's campaign released an attack ad implying that Barack Obama wasn't prepared to field an emergency "3 am phone call" due to his lack of experience:
I mentioned above that Clinton received a 2 am phone call of her own from Benghazi, and botched it. (Where was Obama? We still don't know). But there's another layer to this irony. Do you recall which surrogate Team Obama dispatched to respond to Hillary's attack at the time? That would be their trusted foreign policy aide...Susan Rice, who argued that Obama and Clinton were "both not ready" to handle that hypothetical 3 am call:
The Benghazi phone calls weren't hypothetical, and you know something? Susan Rice was absolutely right back then -- as the very existence of her own falsified talking points last September demonstrated in stark relief.
Being from the Southwest I can't help but be a Mexican food lover but, according to a Latino student group at Northwestern University, loving tacos and tequlia is offensive to Mexicans. More from the DC:
Northwestern University continued to stumble over diversity issues this week as Mexican students voiced disagreement with a campuswide letter that advised students not to celebrate Cinco de Mayo by engaging in racially-offensive activities, such as eating tacos and drinking tequila.
The letter was sent to students via e-mail, and published in The Daily Northwestern last week. Leaders of Alianza, a Latino student group, and the Associated Student Government called on students to remember that Cinco de Mayo commemorates Mexico’s victory over France in the Battle of Puebla. It is not a day to throw a sombrero-themed party, they said.
“Some of our peers choose to throw ‘Mexican-themed’ parties that are culturally insensitive, offensive, and detrimental to the Northwestern community,” said the letter, which noted that this was a problem year after year. “Drinking tequila shots, eating tacos, and wearing sombreros do not commemorate Mexican culture; on the contrary, that offends, marginalizes, and isolates many of our friends, classmates, and community members, and casts our entire community in poor light.”
Poor light? Really? The good news Northwestern students from Mexico aren't buying this crap.
Their recommendations were quite a shock to Northwestern students who actually came from Mexico. Several of them fired back recently.
“I’d like to say that I proudly embrace my tacos, tequila and sombreros,” wrote Ruben Antonio Marcos Bours, a Northwestern student, in a statement. “To me, they are a key part of my childhood, growing up in Monterrey, Mexico.”
It's Friday, I think I'll have tacos for dinner.
Last night, President Obama's Chair for Organizing for Action Jim Messina, sent supporters an email accusing anyone who doesn't believe in global warming of weairing a tin foil hat.
Break out the tin foil hats, folks.
House Speaker John Boehner and the chairman of the House Science Committee are both unsure whether the science behind climate change -- the stuff that shows pretty clearly that carbon pollution produced by humans is damaging our environment -- is real.
Instead, they're on the record saying things like this:
"The idea that carbon dioxide is a carcinogen that is harmful to our environment is almost comical. Every time we exhale, we exhale carbon dioxide. Every cow in the world, you know, when they do what they do, you've got more carbon dioxide." - John Boehner, April 2009
As long as our members of Congress continue to develop their own theories behind climate change, we will fall further and further behind in our ability to make actual progress on this issue.
Make them do better. Add your name to join OFA's team that will hold climate deniers in Congress accountable:
We owe it to our environment and our economy to start having real talk on climate change.
Join us -- and we'll be in touch with next steps soon.
Organizing for Action
As a reminder, the United States just had one of the coldest Spring seasons on record.
It is no surprise by now if you've been paying any attention to the Benghazi scandal that the Obama administration totally ignored reports from the ground in Libya on September 11, 2012 when it came to developing talking points for the American public. From the beginning, President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary of Clinton, UN Ambassador Susan Rice and White House Press Secretary Jay Carney all told the American people the deaths of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were a result of a protest over a YouTube video raging out of control. As we've known for months and revisited Wednesday through testimony from whistleblower Greg Hicks, there was no protest. The video claim is completely fabricated. What happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack and was reported as such to Hillary Clinton at 2 a.m. Reports of a protest outside of the consulate were never issued from Libya to Washington because there wasn't one.
Regardless, the White House, not the intelligence community, came up with falsified talking points. According to ABC News, they were changed 12 times.
ABC News has obtained 12 different versions of the talking points that show they were extensively edited as they evolved from the drafts first written entirely by the CIA to the final version distributed to Congress and to U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice before she appeared on five talk shows the Sunday after that attack.
White House emails reviewed by ABC News suggest the edits were made with extensive input from the State Department. The edits included requests from the State Department that references to the Al Qaeda-affiliated group Ansar al-Sharia be deleted as well references to CIA warnings about terrorist threats in Benghazi in the months preceding the attack.
That would appear to directly contradict what White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said about the talking points in November.
“Those talking points originated from the intelligence community. They reflect the IC’s best assessments of what they thought had happened,” Carney told reporters at the White House press briefing on November 28, 2012. “The White House and the State Department have made clear that the single adjustment that was made to those talking points by either of those two institutions were changing the word ‘consulate’ to ‘diplomatic facility’ because ‘consulate’ was inaccurate.”
And about that whole al Qaeda thing? State Department Spokesman Victoria Nuland really didn't like that, so she had it scrubbed. A final meeting at the White House before the talking points were used publicly eliminated any reference to al Qaeda and the warning signs about an attack and terrorism in Benghazi.
The CIA in its earlier versions of the talking points:
“The Agency has produced numerous pieces on the threat of extremists linked to al-Qa’ida in Benghazi and eastern Libya. These noted that, since April, there have been at least five other attacks against foreign interests in Benghazi by unidentified assailants, including the June attack against the British Ambassador’s convoy. We cannot rule out the individuals has previously surveilled the U.S. facilities, also contributing to the efficacy of the attacks.”
In an email to officials at the White House and the intelligence agencies, State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland took issue with including that information because it “could be abused by members [of Congress] to beat up the State Department for not paying attention to warnings, so why would we want to feed that either? Concerned …”
The paragraph was entirely deleted.
The CIA and the intelligence community were thrown under the bus by the Obama administration on Benghazi from day one, yet, the CIA was the only agency willing to actually tell the truth about what happened. The CIA gave the White House and the State Department accurate and factual information about al Qaeda and terrorist threats in Benghazi. They were ignored before the attack and then stripped after the threats came to fruition.
It starts with a replay of an ad Hillary Clinton’s campaign ran in 2008 that pictures a little girl sleeping. The narrator says, “It’s 3 a.m. and your children are safe and asleep, but there’s a phone in the White House and it’s ringing—something is happening in the world.” The ad then cuts to video of the consulate in Benghazi burning. The words, “The call came…on September 12, 2012” appear over the footage and sounds of a ringing phone can be heard in the background. The screen goes black: “Security requests denied. Four Americans dead. And an administration whose story is still changing.”
The ad, obtained by ABC News, was supposed to run last fall during the final weeks of the campaign but never did. The spot was approved by RNC leadership but was pulled at the last minute over concerns from the Romney campaign that the ad would “distract from Romney’s efforts to focus on the economy.”
Really? They couldn't have attacked the Obama administration on both fronts?
Ron Fournier, late of AP and now of National Journal, opines that Benghazi could be a "big blow" to the credibility of both President Obama and Secretary Clinton. Rather than simply call the story "nothing" like so many of his brethren in the press, Fournier at least concedes that it's damaging both to Obama and Clinton. (Perhaps we could call it a press version of a "limited, modified hangout.")
But Fournier stops far, far short. Although he's right to condemn Republican "overreaching" -- Watergate comparisons and heated rhetoric make it seem like the GOP is more interested in politics than facts -- he is absolutely wrong to insist all the potential damage stems from the duo's behavior in the aftermath of the attacks, the misbegotten efforts to scrub any hint of terrorism from the official record.
There are two different parts to the Benghazi scandal.
Part 1 - Whether any effort was made to rescue Americans in harm's way in an insufficiently secured location
Part 2 - The coverup of what really happened and why
Fournier insists that:
Republicans would be wise to stop . . . second-guessing decisions made in the fog of war. Most voters likely will accept the judgment of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who has said there was no way to provide military reinforcements in time.
But that's either willfully or inadvertently missing the point. No one is trying to micromanage strategic decisions that the President or Clinton made. We're actually trying to find out what those decisions were, and whether they involved simply standing by and watching our ambassador and other Americans be attacked and ultimately killed.
On the one hand, the President has said that we did everything in our power to help those under attack. At an October 26 interview, he said the following:
[T]he minute I found out what was happening [in Benghazi], I gave three very clear directives. Number one, make sure that we are securing our personnel and doing whatever we need to.
Yet the former top diplomat in Libya testified that four US Special Forces troops in Tripoli had planned to ride along on the Libyan C-130 that was headed to Benghazi -- but were told by someone with United States Africa Command that they were to stand down although they were ready to go and could have arrived in time to help.
The coverup -- jailing a moviemaker here in America to hide the terrorist motivation of the attacks -- is clear. But the press needs to take the time and the trouble to understand every aspect of the issue . . . and that, to most Americans, the failure to make any effort to rescue Americans serving their country in harm's way is every bit as repugnant as the lying that appears to have happened afterwards.
CBS News Investigative Reporter Sharyl Attkisson has reportedly been criticized by her bosses for treading "dangerously close to advocacy" as a result of her pursuit of the Benghazi scandal. Which brings me to this, remember when Attkisson exposed Hillary Clinton's bogus "Bosnia sniper fire" lie? Good times. She's an amazing reporter, period.