Speaking of the stimulus, taxes, and the economy, do you believe Obama’s a Christian?

posted at 12:55 pm on February 17, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Welcome to Non-Sequitur Central, otherwise known as ABC’s Good Morning America. George Stephanopoulos interrupts Michele Bachmann’s argument on tax reform and the economy to ask a pressing question — whether Bachmann believes Barack Obama is a Christian. Bachmann says that it’s not for her to decide and that people should take the President at his word, but Stephanopoulos keeps pressing the issue. Bachmann finally notes that today is the 2nd anniversary of the $787 billion stimulus plan that was supposed to keep unemployment below 8%, a figure we have yet to hit even with falling civilian participation in the workforce (the denominative value in the jobless rate). Stephanopoulos responds with an even more ridiculous non-sequitur than the first (via Greg Hengler):

BACHMANN: You know, what I focus on today, George, is today’s the two-year anniversary of the stimulus program, where we spent a trillion dollars to make sure unemployment wouldn’t go above eight percent. That’s what I’m worried about, because the people in the 6th District of Minnesota are very concerned about job creation, and that’s a lot more important that dealing with –

STEPHANOPOULOS: Final quick question.  We’re just curious, we have a big day here, Lady Gaga in the studio.  You a fan?

George’s reluctance to talk about the dismal performance of the stimulus isn’t an isolated incident, as the Media Research Center discovered:

Just a few years ago, double-digit unemployment seemed like a crazy idea. But when the economy began to stumble, it was fear of high unemployment and a promise to prevent it that the Obama administration used to usher in the $787 billion stimulus package. As The New York Times reported on Oct. 22, 2009, “The Obama administration’s forecast at the start of the year, which predicted that unemployment would not climb much above 8 percent.”

A big promise to be sure and a claim that proved false as unemployment climbed higher and higher reaching 10.2 percent at its peak. Yet, ABC, CBS, and NBC referenced this promise just nine times in two years in stimulus stories mentioning unemployment.

Unemployment still exceeds the Obama-guaranteed 8 percent unemployment rate two years after the bill’s passage. In the same time period, network news barely reported that the stimulus failed to halt the sharp rise in unemployment. ABC ‘World News,’ CBS ‘Evening News’ and NBC ‘Nightly News’ all paid plenty of attention to the stimulus and its accomplishments, but more than 98 percent of those evening broadcast stories skipped over the administration’s failed prediction.

The Media Research Center’s Business & Media Institute (BMI) analyzed network evening news reports that mentioned “stimulus” and “unemployment” from Obama’s inauguration on Jan. 20, 2009, to Dec. 21, 2010. BMI found that the networks almost completely ignored Obama’s 8 percent unemployment promise and the failure of the stimulus to prevent rising unemployment.

They’d rather talk about Lady Gaga than President Obama’s failures.


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A reporter asked Carney why unemployment is at 9% and not 7%, the percentage projected if the stimulus worked. Carney dismissed the question. “We’ve said repeatedly that we don’t want to relitigate the battles of the past,” Carney told the reporter.

You’ve got to love that last line. I suggest it for any “birther” questions to Republicans.

J_Crater on February 17, 2011 at 3:18 PM

Great! She took a few moments getting her bearings, but then she hammered him with her continuation of sticking to the topic at hand. By the time the primaries begin, she will be much more polished and able to deflect these non issues.

astonerii on February 17, 2011 at 3:25 PM

American Idle
ted c on February 17, 2011 at 1:41 PM

That is the best one liner I’ve seen in a long time!

Marine_Bio on February 17, 2011 at 3:29 PM

Dream retort: “George, when President Clinton told you and the entire democrat caucus that he ‘did not have sex with that woman, Ms Lewinsky,’ you all took him at his word and believed him.”

Western_Civ on February 17, 2011 at 3:34 PM

Lawyers’ dream retort: “You know, George, Obama is a lawyer. He must know that the law presumes that when a person fails to produce evidence in his possession, it can be presumed that the evidence is against that person’s interests. It is a very common sense presumption in the law. Obama is choosing not to produce his birth certificate, so he should be accountable for that with the American people, just as he would be in a court of law. However, Obama acts toward the American people as if he is not accountable for anything, including his failed stimulus.”

GaltBlvnAtty on February 17, 2011 at 3:41 PM

I really don’t care if he came from Mars but he sure doesn’t think of America with the same love that other Presidents have.

WHOA unto America for it’s chickins’ are cummin’ home to woost.

PappyD61 on February 17, 2011 at 1:25 PM

The guys at hillbuzz.com think that Obama went to school
in the US on foreign aid.

Amjean on February 17, 2011 at 3:46 PM

GaltBlvnAtty on February 17, 2011 at 3:41 PM

Counter lawyer’s dream retort: Ms. Bachman, the President has produced an official document from the State of Hawai’i stating his place of birth to be Honalulu, HI. He has posted that document on-line for all to see. The document on its face states it is “prima facie evidence”. Therefore, the president has produced prima facie evidence of his birth in the United States. Do you have any evidence that rebuts this prima facie evidence?

No presumption against the litigant can arise when the litigant has produced unrebuteed evidence of the fact at issue.

New_Jersey_Buckeye on February 17, 2011 at 3:55 PM

They’d rather talk about Lady Gaga than President Obama’s failures.

In their defense, Ed, Lady Gaga and Giggles have about as much deapth. Lady Gaga being slightly more deep than Giggles.

crazy_legs on February 17, 2011 at 3:58 PM

In his infamous Cairo speech Obama said Islam was revealed. This is something only a Muslim would say. Either Stephanopoulos doesn’t appreciate the significance of that statement or he is being specious.

Basilsbest on February 17, 2011 at 4:10 PM

No presumption against the litigant can arise when the litigant has produced unrebuteed evidence of the fact at issue.
New_Jersey_Buckeye on February 17, 2011 at 3:55 PM

Nonsense. Western Journalism rebutted your presumption 3 years ago. By now everyone knows that you don’t actually have to be born in Hawaii in order to obtain a COLB. If he was born in Hawaii Obama has access to conclusive evidence in the form of a LFBC. He not only refuses to produce it, he has spent millions defending lawsuits seeking its production. So the inference rational people draw is the opposite of what you suggest.

Basilsbest on February 17, 2011 at 4:18 PM

NJBuckeye: Maybe your rules of evidence are different. What I wrote is correct in California. Further, when someone produces a lesser form of evidence, if he is in possession of a stronger form of evidence, then that which he did produce is to be distrusted. All the inferences under California rules of evidence are against Obama unless he establishes that he does not have a long form birth certificate.
None of this is to say that I want to spend any time on this issue, but others may.

GaltBlvnAtty on February 17, 2011 at 4:21 PM

Do you have any evidence that rebuts this prima facie evidence?

Hey, spanky, the point is that georgie is asking a stupid question trying to damage the reputation of someone who has something substantial to say that will educate the American people. A foul attempt to keep the truth from Americans. Do you claim to be an intelligent person while not noticing how cheap and superficial that little trick was? Or are you as dishonest as georgie? georgie asked an immature, unfair, illogical and stupid question and Michelle Bachmann answered like an adult. georgie needs to go interview those democrats who brought a cartoon character to the capitol yesterday about lady gaga.

peacenprosperity on February 17, 2011 at 4:26 PM

Lady Gaga being slightly more deep than Giggles.

And though lady gaga would hit her knees for bubba if given the opportunity, georgie alrady has.

peacenprosperity on February 17, 2011 at 4:28 PM

Consider this a preview of the 2012, Presidential debates!

George Steppingalloverus: President Obama could you tell us again how you were able to bring peace to the whole world, end world hunger both on Earth AND Orion, end climate change, provide 100% employment for everyone?

Obama: Yada yada …….Bla blah blah

George Steppingalloverus: Generic Republican, Why do you hate puppies? Are you still beating your spouse? Why are you a Racist, Homophobic, Zionist? We checked and found back in 1977 you went out to dinner on 20 April, Hitlers Birthday!

DSchoen on February 17, 2011 at 4:39 PM

Barack Obama as an IDEA marks an evolutionary flash point for humanity.

O

maverick muse on February 17, 2011 at 4:43 PM

Does George have ADD? Stick to the topic Snufalupagus.

Fallon on February 17, 2011 at 4:56 PM

They’d rather talk about Lady Gaga than President Obama’s failures.

Lady Gaga is Obama’s failures in human form.

BobMbx on February 17, 2011 at 5:22 PM

Oh, dear. I see Steph is off his meds… so embarrassing! The Left should really be more careful choosing their spokespeople!

-Aslan’s Girl

Aslans Girl on February 17, 2011 at 5:26 PM

NJBuckeye: Maybe your rules of evidence are different. What I wrote is correct in California. Further, when someone produces a lesser form of evidence, if he is in possession of a stronger form of evidence, then that which he did produce is to be distrusted. All the inferences under California rules of evidence are against Obama unless he establishes that he does not have a long form birth certificate.
None of this is to say that I want to spend any time on this issue, but others may.

GaltBlvnAtty on February 17, 2011 at 4:21 PM

I’m not a california attorney, so I can’t speak to California Rules of Evidence. But under NY and NJ rules of evidence, once a party has satisfied his burden of evidence, the burden shifts to the other party to rebut that evidence. “Prima facie” denotes evidence which – unless rebutted – would be sufficient to prove a particular proposition or fact. The document produced by the President is literally prima facie evidence of his birth in Honalulu HI. Thus once the President produced that document, the burden shifted to the “birthers” to provide evidence that rebuts the document. No such compelling evidence has been provided.
You argue that if the president has in his possession “stronger” evidence of the facts at issue, than the already presented evidence must be disbelieved? First, I would argue that a long form birth certificate is “stronger” evidence. The document provided already is a certified government document. The document sought by birthers’ is a document provided by a private non-governmental institution (the hospital where President Obama was born). To give a similar example: I received a “certificate of marriage” from my Church when I got married. The Church then sent in my signed marriage license into the State of NJ(or local municipal office) who issued my marriage license. My official “marriage license” is the one issued by the State of NJ not the document given to me by the Church.
Second, for prima facie evidence, there must be some reason/facts presented to disbelieve or rebut the prima facie evidence. Suppositions alone don’t defeat prima facie evidence. The belief that there may be better eviedence out there doesn’t overcome the presumption in favor of the already presented prima facie evidence.
Third, under you argument all the President needs to say is “I don’t have the original long form birth certificate.” If he doesn’t have it in his possession, then he has produced the best evidence he has to show he was born in the U.S. It doesnt’ matter that he may be able to acquire the long form birth certificate. If he doesn’t have it in his possession, than your argument is moot.
Finally, what can be on the Long Form Birth Certificate that is missing from the already produced birth certificate that would disqualify the President? Age above 35: Check; Born in the United States: Check. Requirements fulfilled.

New_Jersey_Buckeye on February 17, 2011 at 5:36 PM

DSchoen on February 17, 2011 at 4:39 PM

Well done.

rrpjr on February 17, 2011 at 5:49 PM

Either Stephanopoulos doesn’t appreciate the significance of that statement or he is being specious.

Basilsbest on February 17, 2011 at 4:10 PM

Isn’t Georgie boy the one who was so eager to correct BamBam when he said something about his “Muslim faith”? I can’t remember for sure, because they are all just one big blur of idiotic lackies.

Kind of like being part of the Borg, except that resistance never entered their mind.

jana on February 17, 2011 at 6:18 PM

Wow… embarrassing, Georgie.

princetrumpet on February 17, 2011 at 6:49 PM

These are the effers that should be collecting unemployment

Sonosam on February 17, 2011 at 6:54 PM

Supreme Court schedules ‘conference’ on Obama’s eligibility…

Col.John Wm. Reed on February 17, 2011 at 7:27 PM

Seems like no matter how you slice the stimulus, it would have been cheaper and more cost effective to just give the money directly to the people.
($787 billion / 25 million people = $31,480.00 each). Better yet, a tax holiday for all incomes under $250K would have done the trick and for less than the 787, but no the money we didn’t have had to be funneled thru the Govt to be spend on pork, unions and pretend stimulus.

Epic fail on both Bush & Obambi.

AH_C on February 17, 2011 at 8:07 PM

Here’s a good response:

“You media guys are constantly trying to get Republicans to vouch for the the fuzzy history of the the most opaque and least media investigated political figure of all time. It’s very odd.”

Please don’t ask me to take the president at his word. Bachmann has got to realize how foolish that would be.

Buddahpundit on February 17, 2011 at 8:36 PM

I think every conservative that appears on this show should just randomly ask George stupid questions until he gets how lame he sounds:

George – “So tell us about the wisconsin situation going on right now”

Conservative – ” Hey George? Do you like purple monkeys? Or bubble gum ice cream?”

George – ” uh.. I think we were talking about wisconsin”

Conservative – “oh ok.. but first, lemme ask you this… what do you think of hanes underwear vs. calvin klein undewear? Or do you prefer fruit of the loom?”

johnnyboy on February 17, 2011 at 11:15 PM

When Obama makes Dan Quayle style “potatoe” gaffs, why do people wonder when they take a life of their own?

Obama to ABC’s George Stephanopolous: “You’re absolutely right that John McCain has not uh… talked about my Muslim faith.”

Smart power indeed.

scotash on February 19, 2011 at 12:38 PM

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