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April 06, 2010


Chris Matthews was outraged by Limbaugh's use of the word "regime":

I've never seen language like this in the American press, referring to an elected representative government, elected in a totally fair, democratic, American election -- we will have another one in November, we'll have another one for president in a couple years -- fair, free, and wonderful democracy we have in this country…. We know that word, 'regime.' It was used by George Bush, 'regime change.' You go to war with regimes. Regimes are tyrannies. They're juntas. They're military coups. The use of the word 'regime' in American political parlance is unacceptable, and someone should tell the walrus [Limbaugh] to stop using it. . . . I never heard the word 'regime,' before, have you? I don't even think Joe McCarthy ever called this government a 'regime.'
No surprise, but it turns out Matthews was being just a tad hysterical. As Byron York wrote, "Bush regime" was used 16 times in the New York Times, 24 times in the Washington Post, numerous times on MSNBC and, on June 4, 2002, by none other than Chris Matthews himself.

Matthews having beclowned himself, now it seems that it's Brendan whose panties are in a knot. If only we could bottle and sell liberal outrage.

In addition, Newsweek takes down the Harris poll here:


I read the TPM post on Bachman and am startled that the focus is on her overstatment that "100% of the economy was private before 06/2008", when her real point is that 51% is now government controlled.

Frankly, the 51% sounds high to me, but it's curious no one at TPM in this post (or this blog FWIW) seems the least bit concerned with disproving this statistic.

I agree with MartyB - even to say that 51% of the economy was government controlled is an extreme overstatement.

Maybe Matthew 7:3 applies:

And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

Brendan focuses on the "mote": some critics claim that some things are in the health care bill, but they aren't in it. He ignores the "beam": almost nobody knows what really is in the bill. That's because the Dems created an unintelligible monstrosity of a law.

With laws like Social Security and Medicare, there wasn't the same problem of false beliefs. That's because these laws were relatively short and to the point. The public understood pretty well what they were getting.

Rather than merely point out individual errors by particular critics, it would be a great public service if supporters would read and digest the law and provide a comprehensible description of its entire contents.

McClatchy has an interesting article that supports David's point that people don't know what the law contains. But what an article!

We learn that people are asking, "Where do we get the free Obama care?" McClatchy speculates that this "widespread misconception may have originated in part from distorted rhetoric about the legislation bubbling up from the hyper-partisan debate about it in Washington and some media outlets, such as when opponents denounced it as socialism." It seems not to have occurred to McClatchy's reporter that perhaps the misconception arose not from opponents' denuciations of the plan as socialism but from inflated promises by supporters of the plan.

We hear about a breast cancer patient whose treatments are covered by Medicaid, "but she must apply regularly to renew the coverage." Oh the humanity! What a heartless system, that requires a modicum of effort by someone who wishes to receive free medical care.

And we are treated to two paragraphs about "[a]ctor Sam Robards, the son of Lauren Bacall and the late Jason Robards, [who] was visiting Washington last week with his children and Danish-born wife. Chatting in front of the White House gate, he said he tried to follow news coverage of the overhaul but conceded that 'I'm not totally clear' on the details. He said he was glad that he got good coverage through the Screen Actors Guild so he didn't have to worry about it."

The relevance of this celebrity cameo appearance is elusive, but since this is from the esteemed McClatchy Washington bureau, it must be that I'm missing something.

Howard - to be clear, I merely said the 51% seems high to me on it's face. It could be or could not be justifiable. I'd hafta see what it's based on.

My point is that none of the posts I've seen even address this issue. Instead, they focus on the non issue.

The Face the Nation link at least explains where Bachman claims to get the 51% figure. Apparently it's 33% that a particular economist claims the government controlled prior to Health Care Reform (including GM, banks etc.) + 18% (estimated percentage of economy that is Health Care).I followed a link or two and couldn't find the exact references to these numbers.

I believe this is probably overstating the situation, as these types of figures are all estimates and could be argued with the precision. Bachman does indeed throw the numbers around too casually, but her point seems valid - that much more of the economy has come under direct government control in the past 2 years.

In any case, I think focusing on her overstatements, as opposed to countering her main point, is rather juvenile and pointless.

Michelle Bachman's "100%" vs. the Chairwoman of the Council of Economic Advisors' "Exactly":

The federal stimulus act has performed "exactly" as the Obama administration expected it to, Council of Economic Advisers Chairwoman Christina Romer said Sunday.

"I think it has done exactly what we would say it would do," she said on NBC's "Meet the Press."


This claim is clearly incorrect. After all, the President told us that without the stimulus unamployment would go to 9%, but the stimulus would hold it below 8%. In fact, unemployment actually went to 10% after the stimulus bill was passed.

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