horses and saddles sold cheap and other metaphors

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Looks like the undersecretary for disinformation has been caught with his hands in the intelligence jar.

Pentagon official distorted intelligence, report says
The report said that a classified document prepared by Douglas Feith, the undersecretary of defense for policy, did not accurately reflect the intelligence agencies' assessment of the relationship, despite a Pentagon claim that it did.

In issuing the report, Senator Carl Levin of Michigan, the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said that he would ask the panel to take "appropriate action" against Feith. Levin described the Jan. 15 communication from Feith as part of a pattern in which the Defense Department official, in briefings for Congress and the White House, repeatedly described the ties between Iraq and Al Qaeda as far more significant and extensive than the intelligence agencies had assessed.

.....In an interview, Levin said that he had concluded that Feith had practiced a "continuing deception of Congress." But he said he had no evidence that Feith's conduct had been illegal in any way.

There's a project for future scholars; the encylopedia of twisted information about terrorism and Iraq promulgated by the Bushites.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Save our Forest, nice Flash cartoon.

This is funny, but not funny.

More flu shots will be available in January
Drug maker Aventis-Pasteur has found an additional 2.6 million doses of flu vaccine that it will deliver to the United States in January, Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson said Tuesday.

The semi-panic we're in now probably would not have been necessary if BushCo had been paying attention: from Winning Arguments

The Bush administration knew about the shortage and didn't do anything about it. The administration found out about the shortage – caused by contamination at a factory owned by Chiron in northwest England – in mid-September. Britain found out at the same time and responded to the warning by quickly securing alternative supplies.

Its called social policy. At this point, most of the non-Kool-Aid drinkers know that BushCo cares very little about social policy. Its all gung-ho social-darwinism lite. Wonder what the mythical "security-moms" think about Bush's, shall we say lack off attention to vaccine supplies. Was Bush paying as much attention to the vaccine supply as he was to the PDB that said Bin Laden was planning to hijack some airliners?

Did I mention that Aventis-Pasteur is a french company. Irony rears its ugly head. I guess the freeper crowd and Spin O'Reilly will be forgoing their flu shots. You know, for the sake of integrity and all.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Because I'm not an economist and don't have the patience to be one, I refer you to Brad DeLong on the latest Bush saga; privatizing social secuirty. The Bush Administration Wrestles with Itself on Social Security Reform--and Loses
On the one hand, they are saying that private accounts are a good deal--even after one factors in 0.5% per year additional fees deducted from your balance--because large-scale market failure in the financial markets makes stocks a better investment than Treasury bonds. Stocks are risky, yes, but because financial markets overvalue that risk shifting Social Security's resources from the Treasury bonds of the Trust Fund to the stocks of equity-heavy private accounts generates a free lunch for young workers.

On the other hands, they are saying that financial markets work so well and are so nearly perfect that an extra $100 billion of Treasury bonds sold at auction each and every year will have no effect on interest rates.

These two arguments are inconsistent. The Bush administration should not be using one set of assumptions about how financial markets work to calculate returns to investors, and another to calculate costs to the government. This kind of "fuzzy math" is anathema to those of us in the reality-based community.

As a memebr of the reality-based community myself I refer those that think Social Security was meant as a way to tie up potential investment money to a commentor, who wrote, " social security is an insurance concept, and not an investment for retirement." Intent does matter. Just because the money is there, or rather will be there when you retire
doesn't mean that its there to be played with like a weekend in Las Vegas. If people opt out even partially, they may screw up the formula that makes the system work for everyone. If they're investment doesn't pay off they may in fact become a burden on society, the very thing the privatizers say they would never be. If only one's destiny were that easy to predict.

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