Daily Archives: February 9, 2004

Sullivan on bush

I haven’t often read Andrew Sullivan but his analysis of bush’s MTP appearance seems pretty accurate to me:

We have a few options here: The president doesn’t know what he’s talking about, or he’s lying, or he trusts people telling him lies. But it is undeniable that this president is not on top of the most damaging part of his legacy–the catastrophe he is inflicting on our future fiscal health.

And in closing:

I cannot help liking the president as a person. I still believe he did a great and important thing in liberating Iraq (although we have much, much more to do). But, if this is the level of coherence, grasp of reality, and honesty that is really at work in his understanding of domestic fiscal policy, then we are in even worse trouble than we thought. We have a captain on the fiscal Titanic who thinks he’s in the Caribbean.

Via Atrios where some of you may be entertained by the comment thread.

What’s a Conservative to Do?

For a moment never mind that I’m not a conservative.
A few minutes ago I was thinking about what appears to be the upcoming bush-kerry competition. First, I think bush is a total disaster (and thought much the same of his predecessor). His potential opponent, depending on which aspects of his voting record you review, looks like a bush clone on Iraq or only a bit left of bush when it comes to spending.
So I was thinking that since things happen best in DC when they happen least that the optimal result this time around will be a kerry win along with a few more repuglicans in both the house and senate. About 1 minute later I happened on to Chris Lawrence’s post linked below which is in response to Steven Taylor who has some thoughts on my opening question and reminds folks:

In short, repeat after me: �I will never get exactly what I want all the time from democratic government.�
The only government in which one gets everything one wants is a government in which one is the absolute dictator. Those jobs are hard to come by.

and then points out:

To put it in simple terms: if one is unhappy with aspects of Bush’s administration, this shouldn’t be a surprise. However, the only serious alternative, it would seem, is Kerry.
And recall that all the conservatives who were upset with Bush I’s breaking of the “read my lips pledge” and who said that “it can’t get any worse” helped led to eight years of Bill Clinton.

To which Chris Lawrence replies:

On the other hand, if you�re a conservative�not necessarily a Republican, mind you�a spell of divided government might well be desirable.
…given that Congress is essentially a lock to remain in Republican hands for the forseeable future,* if you�re not much of a social conservative and you make under $200k it�s hard to see what you�d lose under a Kerry (or Edwards) administration.

This is probably good advice for conservatives as well as those who are orthogonal to the demublicans.

The Medical Care Market

As Kevin Drum notes the US medical care market is not a free one:

The United States really doesn’t have a free market in healthcare at all; in fact, it’s just a bizarre melange of jury rigged policies that seem to provide the worst of all worlds. We don’t get the universal coverage and bargaining power of a single-payer system, but we also don’t have the competitiveness and price pressure of a true free market system.

Kevin then goes on to ask:

So what, then, is the big problem with simply trying to rationalize the system?

By which he means implement a federal single payer system or more specifically universal health care. And he then argues:

In fact, if the system were well designed � never a betting proposition, I admit � overall costs might even be a little less.

Well, he is right if congress is going to design it you don’t want to bet on it being rational or anywhere close to efficient.
I had actually thought for an irrational moment that when he suggested “simply trying to rationalize the system” that he might have really meant what he was saying and been about to suggest beginning to move down the long road to a free market for medical care. Oh well.

ROTK: Extended Edition

Will it be ready for XMAS? Of course, why el$e is Jackson working on it now:

“I’m going to work on an extended DVD version, though I don’t think all of that will make it in, because the pacing would be really weird,” Jackson told the magazine. “But there’s some good stuff that’s not in the book.”

I don’t know as I want much good stuff that was not in the book. As much as I loved the movie I am still smarting over the missing Scouring of the Shire.