One of the great pieces of journalism done hereabouts in a long time is Vicki McKenna's interview Thursday afternoon on WIBA radio with a former abortionist.
Vicki did the interview against the backdrop of the UW Hospital and Clinic's sanctioning of second-trimester abortions at the Madison Surgery Center at 1 S. Park St.
Vicki asks Dr. Anthony Levatino how often did he perform an abortion to save the life of the mother.
"In my private practice over 5 years I did over 1,200 abortions - 1,100 in the first trimester and 100 second trimester. Not a single one was, quote, 'to save the life of the mother.' This business about how you need second-trimester abortions to save a life is really way, way, way overblown."
The ob/gyn describes a "dilation and evacuation" of a 20-week old baby, which he describes as being the size of an adult hand, head to rump, not counting the legs, which are curled up in the fetal position. He describes reaching into the uterus with a clamp and yanking out the contents piece by piece, a leg here, an arm there.
Now he's reaching around inside for the head, which is the size of a plum.
"You know you did it right when you crush down on the clamp and white material runs out of the cervix. That was the baby's brains. If you have had a real bad day … sometimes a little face will come back and stare back at you. Congratulations! You just performed a D & E abortion. You just affirmed her right to choose. You just made $600 cash in 15 minutes."
Vicki's interview is rough listening - but abortion is not a pretty business.
On a related note, the Czech Republic's practice of surgically castrating convicted sex offenders is "invasive, irreversible and mutilating" and should stop immediately, the Council of Europe's Anti-Torture Committee said in a report made public Thursday.
If the Council of Europe wants "invasive, irreversible and mutilating" it should listen to Dr. Levatino.
Turns out Thomas Daschle, who does not pay his income taxes, was not a real Democrat. This, despite masquerading as the former Senate Democrat(ic) leader. So says John Nichols in what has to be a major journalistic scoop.
But that's one of my friend John's tactics. Whenever a Democrat transgresses, John revs up his spin machine and out burps his scientific findings: turns out the miscreant was a Republican in sheep's clothing all along. Still, we're making progress. John does not lay the Daschle debacle to the evil machinations of that mad scientist, Karl Rove.
No verdict yet from our John on Charlie Rangel. [Don't Mourn for Daschle] (Believe me, I wasn't.)
Even so, style points to The New President for cutting his losses and admitting a screw-up.
I read that Rush Limbaugh says he hopes The New President fails. Don't know the context and the man can defend himself. As for me, I hope The New President succeeds. He will do so if he listens to people like Senators Lindsay Graham, Ben Nelson and Olympia Snowe and Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin's First District.
More proof that a few months is an eternity in the world of politics. Never mind the income tax-dodging of three of President Obama's appointees. The porculus - excuse me, "stimulus" - bill, especially as it left the House, is just as much the old "politics as usual."
Despite Obama's sky-high personal approval ratings, polls show support has declined for his stimulus bill since Republicans and their conservative talk-radio allies began railing against what they labeled as pork barrel spending within it. The sheer size of it - hovering at about $900 billion - has prompted more protests that are now causing some moderate and conservative Democrats to flinch and, worse, hesitate.[Obama Losing Stimulus Message War]
Isn't Dave Obey the biggest hack in Washington? Wait, maybe he's not even a Democrat. John? John?
It says here
J.B. Van Hollen is not running for governor. Former First District Rep. Mark Neumann may. Milwaukee County Exec Scott Walker is.
I don't get it
There, I admit what many of you suspect. Still, I don't get the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra's strike. Aren't we in a recession? Isn't the Overture Center facing foreclosure? And now is the time to go on strike? A city's high brows, brought to their knees, desperate for their live Debussy fix.
On a lighter note
I think Irish stereotyping is still kosher. It's going to have to be, because Cousin Johan sends these words of wisdom:
Paddy was driving down the street in a sweat because he had an important meeting and couldn't find a parking place. Looking up to heaven he said, "Lord take pity on me. If you find me a parking place I will go to Mass every Sunday for the rest of me life and give up me Irish whiskey!"
Miraculously, a parking place appeared.
Paddy looked up again and said, "Never mind, I found one."