Quote of the day

I should be going to bed instead of doing more blogging, but I just had to highlight this awesome Gingrich quote from a nice John Dickerson piece about Romney’s don’t care about the poor gaffe:

Citing the remarks in a rally Wednesday, Gingrich said he was “fed up with politicians dividing Americans.”

Seriously?!  Newt is fed up with this.  Is there a word for Super-Chutzpah?  If not we need one.  Something with “newt” in it.

[And, yes this does make 9 posts today.  I’ll accept your silent gratitude.]

Printed Prescriptions

Seems like all my families doctors have switched over to computerized, rather than handwritten, prescriptions.  This is a very good thing.  Sarah Kliff hit upon this first, but Drum does a better job summarizing (I hope that doesn’t make me sexist):

Today Sarah Kliff points us to an Australian study that quantifies this. In two different hospitals, researchers replaced handwritten records with electronic records in some wards but not in others. Then they measured prescribing errors per 100 patient days. Here are the results:

  • Hospital A: Errors reduced from 51 —> 17
  • Hospital B1: Errors reduced from 39 —> 10
  • Hospital B2: Errors reduced from 48 —> 17

Wow!!  Those our absolutely huge results.  And results that have a hugely meaningful positive impact on people’s health (i.e., getting the wrong drug can be very not good).   I wonder what other wonders can be worked from the move to electronic records.  This improvement is just awesome.

Mitt = Nixon

First of all, just let me say, damn John Cassidy can write.  I love this intro to his latest take on Mitt:

At 8:30 P.M. E.T. last night, barely half an hour after some polling stations in the Florida Panhandle had closed, a new, voter-friendly Romney took the stage in Tampa before a large, cheering crowd. Looking far more relaxed than the stuffed shirt we have seen on the campaign trail for the past few months, this Romney smiled in a way that appeared unforced, joked about how the five sons in the family “keep us humble,” and generally came across as a warm and genuine human being.

Unfortunately for all you folks hoping to make Barack Obama a one-term President, this was Ann Romney speaking, not Mitt.

Okay, that was just for fun.  Short version, Mitt Romney is stiff as ever.  What I really liked was the way Cassidy writes about Romney stoking the politics of cultural resentment in much the way Nixon did.  Though, of course this time we are not dealing with hippies:

Listening to this litany of platitudes, I was put in mind, for the second time, of Richard Nixon. In 1968 and in 1972, Tricky Dick effectively ran on a platform of defending Norman Rockwell’s America from assault by hippies, peaceniks, and Black Panthers. Spouting the same sort of nativist pablum that Romney used last night, he tied Hubert Humphrey and George McGovern to dopers, agitators, and proponents of free love.

Actually, Romney is taking the Nixon strategy a step further. In his telling, the enemy of the real (read white, suburban, Christian) America isn’t the latter-day descendants of Abbie Hoffman, or Jerry Rubin, or Huey Newton, but Barack Obama himself—a Barack Obama who “wants to grow government and continue to amass trillion-dollar deficits”; a Barack Obama who “demonizes and denigrates almost every sector of our economy”; a Barack Obama who “orders religious organizations to violate their conscience”; a Barack Obama who “has adopted a strategy of appeasement and apology.”

Watching Romney mouthing these attack lines, his strategy for this fall was patently clear. Embarrassingly short of his own distinctive policy proposals, he intends to make the election a referendum on Obama. Not the real Obama—the equivocating, eager-to-compromise moderate who has been inhabiting the White House for the past three years—but the crypto-socialist America-basher who lives in the minds of some Republican voters.

I participated in a little NCSU forum on the primaries today and the moderator asked what, if anything, would unite Republicans.  My response… their rabid opposition to the caricature of Barack Obama.

Florida’s pro-choice Republicans

One of the more under-appreciated facts of American politics is that although our elites are incredibly polarized on the abortion issue; among ordinary Americans, it’s much less so.  Even in the more conservative lot of primary voters, there’s a lot of support for legal abortion among Republicans in Florida.  From last night’s exit polls:

If that’s a little hard to see, 13% of Republican primary voters favor abortion being “legal in all cases” while another 23% favor legality “most of the time.”  That’s a solid third that you’d label pro-choice.   Somebody I know wrote something sort of about this some time.

Photo of the day

Having a little fun at Romney’s expense, David Alexrod tweets: “How loving owners transport their dogs” and links to the following photo:


Why the media love Newt

Millbank answers.  Here’s your real media bias:

Dear Newt:

These are difficult times for you, no doubt, and we understand that people sometimes say things they don’t really mean. We hope that explains your cruel comment about us here in Orlando this week.

“All of our friends in the news media,” you said, “are very excited and eager to end this race as early as possible.” In our hurry to crown Mitt Romney as the Republican presidential nominee, you seem to think, we’re trying to use your wipe-out in the Florida primary to declare an end to your campaign.

Newt, these are hurtful words. I speak for many colleagues when I say that we in the news media are great fans of your candidacy: of the 200 people in the room for your “Victory Party” when polls closed Tuesday night, about 185 of them were journalists. And no wonder: You’re the only thing saving us from a long spring of despair, the only person who can, by extending the presidential race, drive up our audience and bring us the revenues we so desperately need.  [emphasis mine]

Kind of Milbank to lay it our so starkly.  There’s lots of media bias, but it almost nothing to do with ideology and everything to do with getting eyeballs on the product.  Anybody who thinks otherwise is willfully ignorant.

Winning the Future

I could not help but borrow (steal?) Seth Masket’s pitch-perfect title for this chart from the FL exit polls:

Republicans run old.  Floridians run old.  Primary voters run old.  Add them all up, and this is what you get.  As Seth said on FB, apparently, they want the future tomorrow.

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