Conservatives do and say dumb things. It happens that dumb things are not that difficult to report yet some of the press is not able to put the latest Romney goofiness in perspective – MSNBC mischaracterizes(sic) Romney remarks
MSNBC aired footage today that inaccurately portrayed Mitt Romney’s remarks at a campaign stop in Pennsylvania.
Discussing how the public sector suffers from a lack of competition, Romney told the audience about an optometrist who wanted to change his address and subsequently received 33 pages of paperwork from the federal government, which begat a months-long bureaucratic nightmare during which the optometrist in question wasn’t receiving his checks. “That’s how government works,” Romney said.
Then, to illustrate the advantages of competition in the private sector, Romney shared an anecdote from his visit to the local WaWa chain store. “I was at WaWas, I went in to order a sandwich. You press a little touchtone keypad — you touch this, touch this, go pay the cashier — there’s your sandwich. It’s amazing. People in the private sector have learned how to compete. It’s time to bring some competition to the federal government.”
But in the MSNBC clip, which first aired on Andrea Mitchell Reports, Romney’s remarks begin with the WaWa anecdote and end at “It’s amazing,” an edit — first noted by conservative blogger Sooper Mexican — that makes it seem as though Romney was expressing amazement at the advent of touchtone screens.
The MSNBC clip feeds into the narrative, beloved by some on the left, that Romney is a 1950’s throwback. After the clip cut, Mitchell and MSNBC contributor Chris Cillizza broke out into laughter — which is understandable, given that they both had been led to believe that Romney was wowed by a simple machine. In fact, what Romney found so “amazing” was the discord between private sector innovation and public sector bureaucracy.
This is simple. Romney made a bizarre apples to oranges comparison. Romney’s story – based on a totally unverified anecdote from one person reminds me of the Michele Bachmann(R-MN) statement about vaccines being dangerous. Why were vaccines dangerous according to Bachmann? Because a woman she meet at one of her rallies said so.
One, he could have changed his address on-line in a few minutes. One of the reasons it might take a little longer for a health care provider to change addresses is because Medicare has to take precautions against Medicare and Medicaid fraud. How in the world is that like using a debit card to buy a sub.
Romney plans to gut Medicare and Medicaid anyway so why does he care whether providers have to take a few minutes to file a change of address.
Romney’s little play acting was supposed to demonstrate how private sector efficiencies should be introduced into the public sector. There is just one little problem with that. Government efficiency is at its best in dispensing safety net benefits like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. In a study of private sector versus government, they came out about even in satisfaction ratings: Government is Good. An Unapologetic Defense of a Vital Institution
In the public’s view, government agencies are not only wasteful, they are enormously wasteful. Surveys reveal that Americans believe that 48 cents of every tax dollar going to bureaucracies like the Social Security Administration are wasted.3 Yet investigations by the Government Accounting Office and various blue-ribbon commissions have found that waste amounts to only a small fraction of that figure. Al Gore’s National Performance Review, conducted when he was vice-president, examined the federal bureaucracy in great detail and discovered that waste consisted of less than two cents of every tax dollar.4 Of course we should be ever vigilant about waste and try to eliminate it wherever we can find it, but it seems clear that the extent of this problem is being highly exaggerated by conservative critics of government. As one set of scholars who examined a wide variety of the studies on government waste concluded: “There is … little evidence to support the widespread impression that government inefficiency squanders huge amounts of money.”5
The numbers indicate citations. Is there government waste. Certainly. One of the most infamous examples was the outsourcing of government services to Blackwater, which became XE and than became Academi, “The congressional investigation found that Blackwater charges the government $1,222 per day for each private military operative – more than six times the wage of an equivalent soldier.” Is that the kind of private sector efficiencies Romney thinks are automatic as soon as we turn over government services to private contractors. Than there were those no-bid contracts to Halliburton( or its subsidiary Kellogg Brown and Root (KBR) – which squandered millions in tax dollars, sullied tainted drinking water to the troops, supplied shoddy wiring that electrocuted several soldiers. More here, Questionable Iraq Contracts May Exceed $10 Billion. Liberal media? If there were such a thing they would do their job and make Romney answer some tough questions about the drivel he passes off as keen insights. Another recent example: Experts Say Romney’s Defense Plan Doesn’t Add Up
Romney wants to completely repeal the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Should he and his Republican cult succeed in doing so they will also be repealing the cost efficiencies built into health care reform – Quality Health Care Delivered Effectively and Efficiently.
Not all the the ACA has even been implemented yet and it has already saved tax payers $2.5 billion in Medicare fraud. Not bad considering that Medicare fraud has less than 2% fraud rate.
The media seems to buy into the Romney is now, since the primaries are over, a moderate. yet the sub sandwich story demonstrates that like the NYT resident conservative David Brooks, Mittens is just sneakier about selling deeply false, radical and weird points of view.
Conservatives do seem to have a loyal devotion to falsehoods. Sometimes they know better and are just being malevolent. Other times they appear to believe their own hogwash. The jack bootd poster at the Republican site Atlas Shrugged posted this fantasy, Obama Threatens Any Opposition to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt with the Withdrawal of All U.S. Aid
The Obama administration warned Egypt’s military leaders on Monday to speedily hand over power or risk losing billions of dollars in U.S. military and economic aid to the country.
It wasn’t enough that Obama invited the Muslim Brotherhood to his submission speech in Cairo in June 2009, despite the fact that the group was banned at that time for obvious reasons: they wanted to install a Sharia government, and the draconian, barbaric code of Sharia in Egypt. It wasn’t enough that after he invited the Brotherhood to his speech, he had officials in his administration meeting with this Islamic supremacist group. It wasn’t enough that he abandoned the true freedom movement, when the women of Iran and the Persians, Zoroastrians rose up after 30 years of oppressive Sharia rule. He spit on them and left them to die.
The reality: President Obama warned the Egyptian military – who the CIA, Special Forces and Naval Air helped defeat – to respect the results of the democratically help elections: Obama administration warns Egypt’s military leaders to hand over power or risk losing US aid
As Egypt’s Islamist candidate claimed victory in a presidential run-off, Pentagon and State Department officials expressed concern with a last-minute decree by Egypt’s ruling military council giving itself sweeping authority to maintain its grip on power and subordinate the nominal head of state. The move followed last week’s dissolution of parliament by an Egyptian court.
Pentagon press secretary George Little said the U.S. was troubled by the timing of the military leaders’ announcement, just as polls closed Sunday night for the presidential election. He said the U.S. would urge them “to relinquish power to civilian elected authorities and to respect the universal rights of the Egyptian people and the rule of law.”
The military council pledged Monday to hand over power to the new civilian authorities by the end of the month.
But the new military powers and the recent collapse of Egypt’s first freely and fairly elected parliament have Washington concerned about the perilous state of Egypt’s democratic transition. The Obama administration has sought to safeguard its interests while championing change in Egypt. Sunday’s election runoff were the second round of the first presidential elections after three decades of authoritarian rule under Hosni Mubarak, who made Cairo a bulwark of American influence in the Middle East before being pushed from power in February 2011.
So Atlas Shrugged is portraying the Egyptian military’s attempt to declare the democratic elections void as the same as support for Muslim radicals. She does know that the military is Muslim as well? The “He spit on them and left them to die” silliness is just delusional. It is a reference to the Iranian protests of 2011. What she wanted was for the U.S. to invade Iran just like we did Iraq. The Iranian people showed no signs they wanted an invasion that would have likely caused hundreds of thousands of causalities – and ended up being twice the nightmare of Iraq. I’m pretty darn sure that at no time did President Obama spit on those Iranian protesters. Conservatives are pushing for war with Iran. Which they hope to get with a Romney presidency. To his credit, thus far anyway, Romney has laid out a plan similar to President Obamas’. For those liberals who think there is only degrees of difference between conservatives and Democrats on foreign policy, be thankful for those few degrees of difference.
Senator Scott Brown(R-MA) is quite the little prima donna or just a wuss, I’ll only debate you if that widow shuts up
Furthermore, Brown says that he can only get asked about the Boston Red Sox and Celtics and how awesome they are.
And Elizabeth Warren has to wear an “I love Hitler” T-shirt.
Brown has agreed to two radio debates, including one being moderated by Dan Rea, a conservative-leaning talk show host, and another hosted by Margery Eagan, a Boston Herald columnist…
What, was Newsmax not available? The Herald, of course, is the city’s right-wing newspaper which has relentlessly flogged the “Warren is a fake Native American” non-story. Brown is desperately trying to stay on safe territory.
But hey, can you blame him? He’s woefully out-of-touch with his state’s electorate, so if he can hide the “debates” on wingnut radio, that would be a plus for him.
But telling a widow to shut the fuck up? That level of crassness you couldn’t make up.