Thursday, January 26, 2006

How to win on Illegal Domestic Spying...

I am really tired of Democrats who keep arguing that, "it's the lawbreaking, stupid." You know how that conversation plays in Peoria?

--"President Bush lied to spy on Americans."
--"Yeah, but he did it to protect us. Wouldn't you break the law to save your son's life?"
--"But that's not the point. Um, it's that he didn't go to congress and let them change the law."
--"Okay, he should have gone to Congress. But I'd rather have a president who'd break the law to protect me than one who was so afraid of going to jail he'd let me die rather than break the law..."

See how this DOESN'T work for us?

Here's how to make it work for us.
--"I love that Bush is talking about how it's OK he broke the law because he takes Osama bin Laden seriously. I seem to remember 6 months after September 11, he said he wasn't worried about Osama bin Laden, but he was REALLY concerned about Iraq."
--"Yeah, but Osama bin Laden is a threat."
--"He totally is. Why the hell did Bush say he wasn't concerned about him? Man, Bush is a total screwup. I don't see why we put up with him breaking the law. He needs someone to hold him accountable."

Friday, January 20, 2006

Insanity is doing the Same Thing Again and Expecting a Different Result.

Can someone please explain to me how this "keep Osama bin Laden on the run" strategy will keep us safe today when it didn't keep us safe before 9/11?
June 26, 2001
U.S. Has Bin Laden 'On the Run,' Sen. Shelby Says

Council on Foreign Relations Q&A:

How did bin Laden end up back in Afghanistan?

After he left Saudi Arabia in 1991, bin Laden settled in Sudan, where he established his own businesses and set up training camps for al-Qaeda. U.S. and Saudi pressure forced him to abandon Sudan in 1996; back then, the United States sought to keep bin Laden on the run, not to capture him [emp mine]. Bin Laden fled to Afghanistan, where the Taliban offered him a base in exchange for money to fund their fighters.

Before September 11, how did America pursue bin Laden?

In several ways, including military strikes, diplomacy, legal action, and intelligence work. The United States used diplomatic pressure and the threat of U.N. sanctions to get Sudan to expel bin Laden in 1996. For several years, the CIA paid agents in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Uzbekistan to monitor bin Laden’s movements; after the 1998 bombing of two U.S. embassies in East Africa, the United States used cruise missiles to hit his Afghan bases. Also in 1998, a federal grand jury indicted bin Laden and 21 other al-Qaeda members for conspiring to kill Americans abroad; four men were convicted in May of 2001.
And, for chrissake, how long are we going to maintain this delusion? That this guy isn't a threat to us because he's "on the run?"

Bush: "My attitude was, once we get him running, it's just a matter of time before we bring him to justice."

Bush: "I don't know where he is. I -- I'll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him. I know he is on the run."

A top U.S. anti-terrorism official says al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden is on the run, amid what officials say is an intensifying hunt for fugitive members of the terror network. The U.S. official says he believes Osama bin Laden will be captured soon.

Ambassador J. Cofer Black, coordinator for the State Department counter-terrorism office, say the United States and its allies will find Osama bin Laden.

"I feel confident that it will be sooner rather than later, although I'm not going to speculate on the exact date," he said.

"I don't know where he is," Powell said. "I don't know his state of health. I believe he is still alive, but I can't prove that. He clearly is in hiding and he is on the run."

KING: Have we ever been close to getting bin Laden?
KING: You can tell us.
CHENEY: Well, we've had him on the run, I believe.

"Clearly the al Qaeda leaders and other terrorists are on the run. They're under a lot of pressure," White House spokesman Scott McClellan said.

Commitment, Terrrorism, and Audiotapes...

George Bush, one week after 9/11:

"I want justice. There's an old poster out west, as I recall, that said, 'Wanted: Dead or Alive'....I just remember, all I'm doing is remembering when I was a kid I remember that they used to put out there in the old west, a wanted poster. It said: 'Wanted, Dead or Alive.' All I want and America wants [bin Laden] brought to justice. That's what we want.

George Bush, six months after 9/11:

"I am deeply concerned about Iraq. And so should the American people be concerned about Iraq. And so should people who love freedom be concerned about Iraq..."


"I don't know where [bin Laden] is. You know, I just don't spend that much time on him....Well, as I say, we haven't heard much from him. And I wouldn't necessarily say he's at the center of any command structure. And, again, I don't know where he is. I -- I'll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him."

Headlines 1/19/06:
Bin Laden tape warns that new attacks on US being prepared
Bin Laden’s tape sends oil prices rocketing
Dollar climbs despite mixed data and Bin Laden tape
Security Stepped Up After Bin Laden Threat
City Fury as Osama Threatens Attacks

Thursday, January 19, 2006

From the Administration that Brought you the Medicare Drug Benefit...

Bush is pushing his Medical Savings Accounts again.

I've pointed out before that these are very bad for many reasons, not the least of which is that they punish the sick, they destabilize hospitals, and they help out well-off healthy people way more than anyone else.

But what you might not have realized is that George Bush is lying when he says they'll control health costs.

Everyone in the field knows that in healthcare, sick people are expensive and healthy people are cheap. Something like 80% of the money in health care is spent on just 20% of people--it's spent on things like 24-hour ventilator care and kidney transplants and cancer treatments and surgery for kids with spinal bifida and holes in their heart. This phenomenon is familiar to every insurance executive, hospital administrator, and healthcare policy person in the country. It's even got a nickname, "the 80/20 rule."

George Bush claims that the reason we're spending so much on healthcare is because people aren't personally responsible. He promises that Medical Savings accounts will make healthcare cheaper because they'll make people spend their own money instead of the insurance company's money. But that's a lie and he knows it, becuase he knows about the 80/20 rule. He knows that MSAs wan't control healthcare costs by making people spend their own money because most of the time, that money is going to be spent by insurance companies and not by individuals.