comments_image Comments

Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: When the facts are inconvenient, make stuff up

Visual source: Newseum

Gail Collins summarizes the Republican to-do list, starting with the daily denial there's a war on women.

Dana Milbank:

No fewer than three Romney claims in that one speech merited PolitiFact’s “Pants on Fire” rating: that Obama led “a government takeover of health care,” has been “apologizing for America abroad” and is ending “Medicare as we know it.” Romney’s assertions that Obama “is the only president to ever cut $500 billion from Medicare” and that eliminating Obamacare saves “about $100 billion” were rated false.

That Romney resorts to such gratuitous falsehoods discredits his leadership more than his opponent’s.

Now we know what the Etch a Sketch is for.  Inconvenient facts? Just erase them. Get caught lying? it never happened (fetch the Etch a Sketch).

LA Times:

Gas prices have soared about 15% in the last six months, hitting $3.94 a gallon on average nationwide, and $4.29 in California.

The mood of motorists? Meh.

Partisan finger-pointing aside, polls suggest that most people aren't as worked up over gas prices as they were four years ago, when a gallon of regular hit a national average of $4.11 a gallon. Nor has there been as much clamor for drastic measures, such as tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in Texas and Louisiana.

But... but... gas prices are dooming Obama! Don't you watch cable news?

Frank Newport/Gallup:

The key takeaway from our March Gallup/USA Today update of voters' attitudes in 12 key swing states:  Barack Obama is better positioned against Mitt Romney now than he has been -- at least, for the moment.
Black Americans' views differ dramatically from those of nonblacks regarding the circumstances involved in the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla., on Feb. 26. Blacks are paying much closer attention to the news of the incident; overwhelmingly believe that George Zimmerman, the individual who shot Martin, is guilty of a crime; believe that racial bias was a major factor in the events leading up to the shooting; and believe that Zimmerman would already have been arrested had the victim been white, not black.
And speaking of Gallup, don't miss Obama's job approval in the volatile Gallup tracker is back up to 50, for a day at least.


The Obama administration is hoping for a Friday three-fer.

Amid a political fight over women’s rights that has caused GOP support among women to collapse; a Friday jobs report expected to show that the economy continues to grow rapidly; and an election year fight over the Republican Party’s controversial budget, the White House will host a forum on women and the economy — to highlight the administration’s accomplishments in the area of women’s rights, particularly in contrast with the Republican Party’s governing platform.

The goal is to capitalize on all three simultaneously.

How about 2 out of 3?

Two from Commonweal, here:

This is, as Verrilli put it, the “result of the social norms to which we’ve obligated ourselves.” To which Justice Antonin Scalia (a Catholic) replied, “Well, don’t obligate yourself to that.” The implication of Scalia’s remark was chillingly clear: if victims of car accidents arrive at the emergency room without insurance, hospitals must be allowed to let them die on the curb, because that’s what the founding fathers would have wanted.

That seems doubtful. It is certainly not what most Americans want now, or what human decency demands. Most people want the sick and injured to get as much care as they need, and most people want them to help pay for their own treatment if they can. This is precisely what the Affordable Care Act was designed to make happen. By requiring insurance companies to cover those with “pre-existing conditions,” it guarantees that the people who most need access to health care will have it. And by requiring everyone above a certain income level to buy insurance or pay a penalty, the law prevents free-riding, which drives up insurance premiums and taxpayer-funded Medicare and Medicaid payments. While not everyone may want to buy health insurance, everyone with a pulse will eventually need health care. The only questions are when and how much. Because we can’t answer those questions in advance, we need a way to distribute the risk of serious illness as broadly, and therefore efficiently, as possible. Hence the mandate. There’s nothing tyrannical about it, and even if there were, voters wouldn’t need the Supreme Court to provide a cure. The Constitution itself insures an adequate remedy for tyranny. It’s called the ballot box.

and here:
But how will people know if they are enrolling in a plan that covers abortion? Richard Doerflinger of the U.S. Catholic bishops’ prolife office says that “government will forbid the insurers to give people any special warning that abortion is included.” Is there a malicious plot afoot to trick people into signing up for abortion coverage, perhaps as a political gift to abortion providers?

Not at all. Under the ACA and the exchange regulations, people will learn whether a plan covers abortion in the same way they will learn about all the other features of available plans: through the Summary of Benefits and Coverage.