Dear South Carolina: You need a new GOP

**Posted by Phineas

Good Lord. First it was possible indictment, now it’s possible impeachment:

The latest impeachment possibility for Gov. Haley revolves around an investigation regarding the possibility that she lobbied while sitting in the state legislature. “Right now, the ball is in the court of the Ethics Committee,” Rep. Chip Limehouse (R) told Brian Hicks of the Charleston Post and Courier.

Republican fundraiser John Rainey filed a lawsuit against Haley back in November alleging that Haley lobbied on behalf of the Lexington Medical Center while sitting in the South Carolina General Assembly. The lawsuit included an email exchange between Haley and the CEO of Lexington Medical Center, in which Haley stated, “We have some work to do not only to switch votes but to hold the ones we have. We are as close as we are going to get and can’t afford to leave one stone unturned. We were all given assignments and are working on them. Fingers crossed!”

The ethics lawsuit was dismissed by a federal judge two weeks ago on jurisdiction grounds, but it was referred to the House Ethics Committee.

Haley’s office naturally denies the charges.

Like I said before, I don’t know whether the charges against Haley are valid and I’m not a particular fan or foe of hers. (Though I did like what I saw and heard of her in 2010.) I don’t know whether she’s been a good or a bad governor. But these repeated smear jobs thrown at her since before the election, all the previous of which have been shown to be baloney, strongly hint that there is something rotten in the SC Republican Party, particularly when members are willing to ally with Democratic operatives against against a Republican governor. I usually roll my eyes at charges of racism, but I’m growing more willing to credit Haley’s accusations against her fellow Republicans and toss in “sexism.” I think some of these guys may have a real problem with a brown woman in the state’s highest office. (1)

Yeesh. It reminds me of what happened to Sarah Palin in Alaska: baseless ethics charge after baseless ethics charge, old-boy Republicans working with Democrats, until she was forced to make a choice between her job and financial ruin.

Dear South Carolina Republicans: Your state has much more important things to deal with. If you don’t like your governor, run a strong candidate against her in the next primary election and don’t renominate her. But stop with the political cannibalism.

It’s embarrassing.

(1) You scoff? Let me present just one example among many: State Senator Jake Knotts and “raghead.” Yeah, the state party later condemned Knotts, but, call me a cynic, I have a sneaking suspicion it was a case of CYA.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

“Your medical needs offend the Earth. Go away!”

**Posted by Phineas

An elderly grandmother in the UK has been told by her NHS (1) clinic to find another doctor, because the “carbon footprint” of her two-mile round-trip is too big:

Avril Mulcahy, 83, was told to address the “green travelling issues” over her journeys from her home in Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, to the West Road Surgery. The surgery wrote to Mrs Mulcahy, telling her to register with a new GP within 28 days.

The letter said: “Our greatest concern is for your health and convenience but also taking into consideration green travelling issues. Re: Carbon footprints and winter weather conditions, we feel it would be advisable for patients to register at surgeries nearer to where they live.

“We would be very grateful if you could make the necessary arrangements to re-register at another practice.”

Mrs Mulcahy, a grandmother, believes the decision was made because she complained about a doctor.

So, we either have the apotheosis of Green Statism, marrying government control of personal medical decisions to the dogma of the Cult of Gaea, or they came up with a truly lame way to get rid of a possibly troublesome patient.

Either way, this stinks.

For what it’s worth, my guess is that the latter is true: For whatever reason, legitimate or not, Mulcahy complained about a doctor. Rather than deal with the complaint in a professional manner, the surgery acted like petty tinpot gods and invented an excuse straight out of the Book of Gore to be rid of her.

But, whichever is true, Mulcahy’s case is an illustration of the dystopia created when we let bureaucracy turn us into dependent children. Mulcahy and other NHS patients don’t pay their doctors, the government does. Thus they are not really accountable to their patients, but to those higher in the bureaucracy. We, on the other hand, are faceless proles whose needs (2) are either to be sacrificed to religion ideology or who simply are sent away when we are too much of a bother.

And with the Left’s devotion here to both single-payer health care and “fighting climate change” (3), we surely have much the same to look forward to if ObamaCare isn’t defeated.

(1) “National Health Service,” the UK’s state-run single-payer system, something beloved and admired by key Obama appointees.
(2) Having taken care of elderly parents, I know how important it is for them to see the doctor or doctors they like and trust. This isn’t just a matter of convenience, but a need for good care.
(3) Or whatever they want to call it this week.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

#Trayvon: Zimmerman 911 call update: Lawyers say he said “f–king punks”

When last we left you, CNN had reported on a “cleaned up” version of George Zimmerman’s now-infamous Feb. 26 call to 911 about a ‘suspicious person’ who turned out to be Trayvon Martin. In that audio analysis, it sounded like Zimmerman said under his breath “it’s f–king cold”, not “f–king coons”, as had been widely asserted by race-obsessed liberals and media types. In fact, after listening to that audio, I would have bet money he said “cold”, and I am not normally a betting woman.

However, CNN reported yesterday that Zimmerman’s lawyers say Zimmerman told him he said “punks” not “coons” (hat tip):

Sanford, Florida (CNN) — George Zimmerman told his lawyers that he whispered “punks,” not a racial slur, in the moments before he shot Trayvon Martin, his attorneys told CNN on Thursday.
Some people interpreted the police recording of Zimmerman’s call to 911 as evidence the fatal shooting was racially motivated.

Zimmerman attorneys Hal Ulrig and Craig Sonner told CNN their client told them that he said, “F—ing punks.”

Forensic audio expert Tom Owen, who analyzed 911 recordings, agreed the garbled word that raised controversy was “punks,” not the racial slur some people said they heard.

When Owen, chairman emeritus of the American Board of Recorded Evidence, used a computer application to remove cell phone interference, the word became clearer, he said. After discussions with linguists, he said he became convinced that Zimmerman said “punks.”

He provided CNN with a copy of the newly processed audio.

CNN also enhanced the sound of the 911 call, and several members of CNN’s editorial staff repeatedly reviewed the tape but could reach no consensus on whether Zimmerman used a slur.

Click on the CNN link above to hear the new “enhanced audio” from the call and see what you think.

While this latest assertion and supposed “confirmation” by an “expert” will no doubt keep everyone guessing, keep this in mind:

Hold the love – Tom Owen is the self-promoter who claimed, contra his own website and that of other experts that he could make a meaningful comparison of screams to the spoken word.  CNN had experts expressing skepticism as to the legal admissibility of this process, but they like him today.

But he apparently has a good reputation, so maybe he really is just playing it straight.

Just for the record, even though it’s silly in the world we live in that audio experts have to spend hours on end dissecting and analyzing audio/video of what someone allegedly said to determine whether or not there is a potential for “hate crime charges”, I have to take my hat off to CNN for being the one network that has dug more than any other to try and get the story right on what Zimmerman may or may not have said that fateful night on that 911 call.  Even listening to the “raw” call (not being enhanced or cleaned up in any way), I have never heard “coons” but obviously reasonable people can disagree on this.

And because there is so much widespread disagreement on what Zimmerman allegedly said that night, and because we can’t take his word as “automatic fact”, it would be unlikely – in my view – that “hate crimes” charges could be brought against Zimmerman, much  less successfully prosecuted.

But it terms of a potential prosecution, my opinion and that of the chattering classes is meaningless – but the grand jury’s, which will convene next Tuesday the 10th (unless the special prosecutor makes a decision before then), is not. Stay tuned.