NewsBusters Columns

I finished Part 1 last week informing you that in just a single year, from 2008-09, Planned Parenthood received $363.2 million in government grants and contracts, a $13.6 million increase from the previous year, which resulted in 324,800 abortions.

I then left you to ponder this question, which Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, asked more than a year ago: "Why should people of conscience be forced to participate in any aspect of abortion?"

That is exactly where Washington is leading us unless this 112th Congress detours from forcing pro-life citizens to pay for abortions via Obamacare or the passing of some legislation like the Freedom of Choice Act.

Thank God the pro-life cavalry has come to Washington. But it needs our help to rally our representatives.



The contrast between what Illinois Democrats did last week and what Republicans have done in Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa, Virginia and New Jersey, could not be clearer.

In Illinois, Democratic legislators and a Democratic governor pushed through a massive 67 percent personal income tax hike (and a 46 percent boost in corporate taxes), claiming an accompanying "cap" would mean no new spending. Sure.

Illinois is caught in a trap of its own making, agreeing with unions (the Democrat base) to pay exorbitant amounts of retirement and health benefits to public employees the state cannot afford. Governors in nearby states are inviting Illinois residents and businesses to move from Illinois. No doubt many will accept those invitations, taking their money and their jobs with them.



"It is with a heavy heart that I write to you about the senseless violence in Tucson today," EMILY's List president Stephanie Schriock wrote as so many of us turned to Arizona and prayed for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' survival. We prayed for Giffords, her family, and those who were tragically affected by the civic gathering that ended in bloodshed. We gave thanks to God for brave men and women who kept the attack from being even bloodier.

When Giffords was shot in Tucson, it was a jarring confrontation with evil. A child, Christina Green, who was born on 9/11 and was interested in government at a young age, was murdered, as was a federal judge, John Roll, coming from Saturday-morning Mass.

You know their stories by now.

There were prayers. But there was also a lot of noise. Fingers pointed. Accusations made.



Within minutes of the news breaking that Jared Lee Loughner had killed six and wounded 12 in a rampage outside a Tucson safeway store, including a critically injured Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, the news media immediately leapt to the conclusion that the harsh tone of our political discourse – led by conservative talk radio -- surely must be to blame.

That narrative turned out to be hogwash, but another one has emerged during the investigation into Loughner’s psyche, yet virtually no one wants to discuss it. Was the shooter inspired by the entertainment media?

Why would violent movies or music be left out of the rush to judgment? Perhaps it’s because pop-culture defenders never tire of arguing that no one can blame the “artists” – be they musicians, movie-makers or video-game manufacturers – for youth violence. So it becomes awkward, to say the least, that everyone’s discussing the need to curb a national appetite for angry rhetoric, when it was disturbing music and movies that were influencing Loughner’s mind, and they are ignored.



The evidence mounts that liberalism is dead.

The liberal wizards, working their wonders at The New York Times and its clearinghouses in the major networks, cannot even dupe the American people with an absurd conspiracy theory anymore. In Dallas back in 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald, a pious communist awash in the Marxist-Leninist bilge, shot President John F. Kennedy. In no time, the liberals had the nation focused on the "dangerous right-wing atmosphere" supposedly pervading Dallas. Soon all the talk was of "the paranoid style" of American politics. Oswald was almost forgotten. Doubtless, today there are fervent liberals living in haunts in Massachusetts and in Berkeley, Calif., who believe in their heart of hearts that the president was felled by Texas Republicans.



I agree with President Obama. When it comes to politicizing random violence, he and his supporters have been "far too eager to lay the blame for all that ails the world at the feet of those who think differently than" they do. Recognition is the first step toward reconciliation. It's time to recognize the poisonous pervasiveness of the Blame Righty meme.

For the past two years, Democratic officials, liberal activists and journalists have jumped to libelous conclusions about individual shooting sprees committed by mentally unstable loners with incoherent delusions all over the ideological map. The White House now pledges to swear off "pointing fingers or assigning blame." Alas, the Obama administration's political and media foot soldiers have proved themselves incapable of such restraint.



President Obama is receiving uniform praise for his memorial remarks in Tucson, Ariz. Even conservatives are saying he hit the right notes, substantively and tonally. I agree, with a few qualifiers and gentle cautions.

Obama was eloquent in his tribute to the victims and appropriately acknowledged that "none of us can know exactly what triggered this vicious attack ... or what thoughts lurked in the inner recesses of a violent man's mind."

More importantly, he said: "But what we cannot do is use this tragedy as one more occasion to turn on each other. That we cannot do. ... Let us remember it is not because a simple lack of civility caused this tragedy; it did not."



There are many heroes who showed indomitable courage and grace under fire during this weekend's horrific Tucson massacre. Blowhard Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik was not one of them.

If the White House has any sense, President Obama will stay far away from the demagogic Dupnik and his media entourage when he visits Arizona on Wednesday to memorialize the victims. Indeed, if the White House is truly committed to unifying the country, it will explicitly disavow Dupnik's vulture-like exploitation of the shooting rampage.

Within hours of the bloody spree, Dupnik mounted more grandstands than a NASCAR tour champion. A vocal opponent of S.B. 1070, the popular state law cracking down on illegal immigration, Dupnik immediately blamed Arizona for becoming a "mecca for prejudice and bigotry."



In the aftermath of the tragic shooting of Congresswoman Giffords and others, it is predictable that some self-centered politicians and political commentators quickly assumed the killer must have been provoked by political comments.

Following on that conclusion, they naturally argue (notwithstanding their exposure last week in the House to the reading of the Constitution, including the First Amendment) that whatever political words may have provoked him to his irrational violence should be silenced.

But as news organizations have begun to flesh out the interests and activities of the alleged psychotic killer, I am struck by several non-political factors that may have both shaped his mind and provoked his action.



Here's the House of Representatives new rule: "A bill or joint resolution may not be introduced unless the sponsor has submitted for printing in the Congressional Record a statement citing as specifically as practicable the power or powers granted to Congress in the Constitution to enact the bill or joint resolution." Unless a congressional bill or resolution meets this requirement, it cannot be introduced.

If the House of Representatives had the courage to follow through on this rule, their ability to spend and confer legislative favors would be virtually eliminated. Also, if the rule were to be applied to existing law, they'd wind up repealing at least two-thirds to three-quarters of congressional spending.