Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Monday, July 17th, 2006.

Missing Clues


Avedon is right — this story doesn’t add up.

When the dispatcher called, Stephanie Adamson knew this might be the run she had feared. But it wasn’t until her ambulance arrived at the hospital and she saw the words “elective abortion” on the patient’s chart that she knew she had to make a choice.

“I just got a sick feeling in my stomach,” said Adamson, an emergency medical technician from Channahon, Ill.

Adamson called her boss to say she could not transport the patient to the other hospital where the procedure was scheduled.

“I just knew I couldn’t do it. I’ve never been for abortion — I’ve always been against it,” Adamson said. “I was brought up in a Christian home and always believed life was precious.”

Adamson’s supervisor fired her on the spot and dispatched another ambulance to transfer the distraught young patient.

Adamson sued the ambulance company, charging religious discrimination. But Avedon is right — who calls an ambulance just for an elective abortion? There’s got to be more to this story that Adamson isn’t admitting. Such as, what sort of medical emergency required the patient to go to a hospital by ambulance to terminate her pregnancy?

Washington Post reporter Rob Stein must’ve been asleep when he wrote this. Alarm bells should have gone off in his head that he’d better call the ambulance company and get its side of the story. Is Anderson lying when she says the patient’s chart said elective abortion? Did the chart in fact say therapeutic abortion, and Anderson either misread it or doesn’t know the difference between elective and therapeutic? Did the person who initiated the chart write the word elective by mistake? Had the patient already undergone an elective abortion but was having complications that required emergency medical treatment? If in fact the young woman was having no medical problems and simply wanted an elective abortion, who did the ambulance company expect to bill for the ambulance ride, since no insurance company I’ve ever heard of would have paid such a bill? And why didn’t she just take a cab?

I suspect Adamson just saw the word abortion on the chart and refused to transport the patient, no matter what the patient’s emergency was. In which case the ambulance company was correct to fire her.

Update: Avedon has more of the story. The patient was in severe pain, and the ambulance company fired Adamson for putting the patient in danger.

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Dean: The President Is a Weenie

Bush Administration, Middle East

Philip J. LaVelle writes for the San Diego Union-Tribune:

Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean accused President Bush last night of being weak on national defense and absent in the escalating violence between Israel and Hezbollah fighters in Lebanon.

In remarks at San Diego State University, Dean urged activists to fan across the nation – including deep into the heart of Republican-rich “red” states – to tell voters that Bush has failed as president – including in national defense, which Republicans tout as their core strength.

“There are a lot of things we can say when we knock on the door (of voters),” Dean told hundreds at San Diego State’s Open Air Theatre.
“You know, people say the Republicans are tough on defense. How can you be tough on defense if five years after 9/11, Osama bin Laden is still at large, the Iranians are about to get nuclear weapons, North Korea’s quadrupled their nuclear weapons stash. . . .

“Explain to me how it is that this president is tough on defense? I think this president is weak on defense and he’s hurt America because he hasn’t done the right thing,” Dean said.

(Rightie heads explode. )

Dean was especially pointed in an area the Bush administration has long claimed as its home turf – a muscular national defense.

Dean said the Bush administration’s decision to go to war against Iraq and its overall foreign policy have hurt America’s standing in the world.

“This country is in the worst shape since Richard Nixon, and probably before that,” Dean said.

“We’ve lost the high moral high ground everywhere in the world. We want to be respected around the world again.

“We want our moral authority to be restored, because part of defending America is not just well-armed troops; it’s having the high moral ground.”

In an apparent reference to Israeli military action deep inside Lebanon, Dean said:

“If you think what’s going on in the Middle East today would be going on if the Democrats were in control, it wouldn’t, because we would have worked day after day after day to make sure we didn’t get where we are today. We would have had the moral authority that Bill Clinton had when he brought together the Northern Irish and the IRA, when he brought together the Israelis and the Palestinians.”

Righties commenting on this story made the usual juvenile excuses, but the fact remains that the President of the United States was prancing around Europe and Russia, riding his bicycle and making smarmy jokes about pig slicing while the Middle East blew up in his face. The best excuse a couple of righties came up with is that the current crisis would have happened anyway, no matter who was President. So (I counter), if the President of the United States is, in fact, impotent to effect change in the Middle East, why are we in Iraq?

Past presidents of both parties would have been actively — hell, pro-actively — engaged in the current conflagration. Bush doesn’t appear even to be trying. Other than his lame statement that Israel has a right to defend herself — which of course she does, but that’s not exactly the issue at hand — he’s sitting the whole mess out.

Oh, correction — Bush cursed Hezbollah yesterday during a G8 lunch — he didn’t know the microphone was on —

Bush expressed his frustration with the United Nations and his disgust with the militant Islamic group and its backers in Syria as he talked to British Prime Minister Tony Blair during the closing lunch at the Group of Eight summit.

“See the irony is that what they need to do is get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this (expletive) and it’s over,” Bush told Blair as he chewed on a buttered roll.

He told Blair he felt like telling U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who visited the gathered leaders, to get on the phone with Syrian President Bashar Assad to “make something happen.” He suggested Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice might visit the region soon.

In other words, Bush is whining that Kofi Annan should do something. The righties ought to love that.

So far, righties aren’t bothered by President Bush’s inaction; they’re just upset that Howard Dean called Bush a weenie. So this genius blames the current crisis on Bill Clinton (I guess if he’d just left well enough alone, the Israelis and Palestinians would be buddies now), and this one complains that the Dems have “No solutions, plans, or solutions, etc.” But I don’t see why that’s a slam on the Dems, since it’s obvious Bush doesn’t have solutions, plans, or solutions, either. He’s a whiz at slicing roast pig, though.

An ankle biter proclaims that we don’t need no respect.

And when did “high moral ground” and “respect” of others ever win a war? I’m not saying these are bad things, but the world is a place in which might, power, and the ability to rout another are far more relevant. I don’t think what keeps Kim Jong Il, the nut in Iran, and others like them from striking at us is our “high moral ground”, but rather our overpowering military force.

Clue: Our “overpowering military force” is, um, rapidly becoming as impotent as the rest of Bush’s foreign policies, thanks to Iraq. And these days the smart guys are talking about Fourth Generation warfare, which is all about pulling “opposing states apart at the moral level,” says William Lind. Thinking of war as only applying firepower to targets is so over. It’s way pre-9/11. See also Tom Engelhardt on why force ain’t what it used to be.

As a public service for other bloggers writing commentary on President Bush’s foreign policy, I dug out the thesaurus to find synonyms for impotent. Here are some: powerless, helpless, inadequate, ineffectual, incapable, inept, weak, lame. Or, just stick with weenie.

Dean and the Dems should be running a split screen ad — on one side, Bush making sliced pig jokes and getting slapped around by Vladamir Putin; on the other, the Middle East going up in flames. Scrolling across the bottom of the screen: This is being tough on national security?

And they could replay the “mission accomplished” clip a few times, while they’re at it. The scrolling message should be something like He acted like a hot dog, but he’s only a weenie.

Update: See also Michael Stickings.

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