Merchants of fear

Betsy McCaughey is at it again.

NPR describes the process by which the wingnut noise machine has made a bogey-man out of comparative effectiveness research in health care, which was bipartisan and non-controversial as long as GWB was in the White House. But it fails to credit by name either Betsy McCaughey, whose creative lies helped bring down Hillarycare, or Bloomberg for running her factually-challenged op-ed.

Ezra Klein reviews the bidding.

Long before they went to war with President Obama, the wingnuts were at war with reality. The primary tactic they plan to use to resist health care reform is, as before, to carpet-bomb the country with falsehoods. They need to be called out, every time, and relentlessly mocked. And news organizations may want to reconsider the idea that essays in conservative fantasy are worth publishing. When the White House and the Congress both lived in an alternative universe, it was important to get reports about the color of the sky on their planet. But now that the Democrats are in control, right-wing arguments are of interest only if they have at least some slight substantive merit.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: