Thursday, October 28, 2004

NEJM: Health Care Coverage and Drug Costs — The Candidates Speak Out

The editors asked President George W. Bush and Senator John F. Kerry to respond to two questions regarding health care in the United States. Free full text.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004 Media Fund Twists the Truth More Than Michael Moore

Media Fund Twists the Truth More Than Michael Moore

Radio ad claims most air traffic was grounded when bin Laden's family was allowed to leave. Not true. In fact, the FBI questioned 22 of them and found no links to terrorism.



This anti-Bush radio ad is among the worst distortions we've seen in what has become a very ugly campaign. It states as fact some of the most sensational falsehoods that Michael Moore merely insinuated in his anti-Bush movie Farenheit 9/11 .

The ad was released Oct. 25 by The Media Fund, an independent Democratic group run by former Clinton deputy chief of staff Harold Ickes. It falsely claims that members of the bin Laden family were allowed to fly out of the US "when most other air traffic was grounded," though in fact commercial air traffic had resumed a week earlier.

The ad also falsely claims that the bin Laden family members were not "detained," when in fact 22 of them were questioned by the FBI before being allowed to leave -- and their plane was searched as well.

And by the way, the man who gave approval for the flight wasn't Bush or even any of his close aides, it was former White House anti-terrorism chief Richard Clarke, now one of Bush's strongest critics."


Bob Woodward: Decision Iraq

In Decision Iraq (, Bob Woodward has 22 questions for John Kerry about Iraq: Would Kerry Have Done Things Differently?

Though Woodward has tried, the Kerry campaign is refusing to grant an interview. 'Never explain, never apologize'.

I see a problem with getting his answers now, though: hindsight bias.

[Via TechCentral Station]

Is Kerry Proposing Government Health Care?

Medpundit opines:

""Any plan that expands Medicaid to include over 50% of the population - which is what the Kerry plan does - is a plan that involves government take-over of the healthcare system. There's just no getting around it.UPDATE: People are asking, "where does Kerry say he's going to put over 50% of the population on Medicaid?" His healthcare plan calls for expanding Medicaid coverage to children families that make up to 300% of the federal poverty level. According to the 2004 Federal Poverty Guidelines, 300% of the federal poverty level for a family of four would be a yearly income of $56,500. And according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median yearly income in 2003 for family households was $53,991. Assuming that the average family is a family of four, that means that over 50% of families would qualify for Medicaid. And believe me, employers won't foot the bill for healthcare insurance when they know their employees can get Medicaid. So a large segment of the population will be shifted to Medicaid, and that's a government healthcare program.""

Sunday, October 24, 2004

All about Kerry's health-care plan

Nicole Griffin: Kerry, Healthcare, and Unmitigated Disaster

[Via The Shape of Days]

Why Are Oil Prices High When Supply Is Ample?

Clayton Cramer: Why Are Oil Prices So High?

""....And from Adel al-Jubeir, Advisor to the Saudi Crown Prince September 28, 2004 at about 1:40 PM Pacific time, CNBC interview with Maria Bartaromo:

"We believe the price of oil should be between $22 and $28 per barrel. $25 is a good reasonable price. There is no extra demand accompanying today's very high price for oil. We are seeing no extra customers lined up and there is no shortage of supply. The high prices we are seeing are due to speculation in the oil markets."""

George Will On Voter Fraud

George F. Will at How Voter Fraud Threatens Our Democracy

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Deficit Decline

Jack Kemp--Deficit declines $100 billion:

""Looking ahead to the next four years, our goal should be economic growth rather than reducing deficits per se. If growth is the goal, then tax increases, trade restrictions and nationalized health care are the wrong choices. If long-term growth is our goal, then we will reject tax-and-spend redistributionist policies masquerading as fiscal discipline; and, if long-term growth is our goal, we will continue to pursue lower tax rates on all Americans, free trade, less regulation, tort reform and entitlement reform. Those are the right choices. ""

(emphasis mine)

[Via Kudlow's Money Politic$]

Thursday, October 21, 2004

The John Edwards Fan Club

" "Why, I asked, should we carry a $100,000 medical school debt, stay in school for 8 to 12 years, work long hours during and after residency, and fight the bloated bureaucracy of the health care system, when we can get rich quickly by following John Edwards? So here is what I proposed. We physicians should take turns suing one another..." "

[Via Point Of Law Forum]

NEJM -- Bankrolling Stem-Cell Research with California Dollars

NEJM--Bankrolling Stem-Cell Research with California Dollarscontains a very informative passage about how stem cells are obtained:

""What is at issue here is that the derivation of an embryonic stem-cell line requires the dissection and culturing of about 30 cells from the core of a blastocyst, a microscopic early-stage embryo comprising fewer than 200 cells. The derivation process kills the embryo, even as the stem cells persist and propagate. The embryos themselves are obtained from in vitro fertilization (IVF) clinics, where excess embryos are typically produced in the course of assisted-fertility procedures. An estimated 400,000 IVF embryos are currently in frozen storage and will eventually be discarded, except for those that are donated, with informed consent, for use in research. Some religious conservatives and opponents of abortion have taken a firm stance on what seems to be tenuous, ultimately unsustainable moral, ethical, or logical ground: acquiescence to the discarding of excess IVF embryos, coupled with rigid opposition to the use of embryos for biomedical research.""

The same issue contains another article titled Embryonic Stem-Cell Research — The Case for Federal Funding. Both are available free (kudos to NEJM for this).

Have You No Shame Senators? - Judson Cox

Have You No Shame Senators? - Judson Cox:

" "Sen. Kerry also sought to take advantage of Reeve's tragedy. According to Tribune National Correspondent, Jill Zuckman, Kerry claimed Reeve called him on the night of the second debate, and left a message thanking him for supporting stem cell research. The excitement in his voice was really just palpable. He was just thrilled at where the discussion of stem cell research had come to." Reeve had already fallen in to a coma at the time Kerry claims he called. Kerry's willingness to exploit people and situations knows no bounds." "

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Must Read: Tommy Frank Sets Kerry Straight

New York Times: War of Words

" "...But the gravest danger would result from the withdrawal of American troops before we finish our work. Today we are asking our servicemen and women to do more, in more places, than we have in decades. They deserve honest, consistent, no-spin leadership that respects them, their families and their sacrifices. The war against terrorism is the right war at the right time for the right reasons. And Iraq is one of the places that war must be fought and won. George W. Bush has his eye on that ball and Senator John Kerry does not." "

Tommy Franks Sets Kerry Straight. 'Honest, consistent, no-spin leadership.' I love it. Hey, anybody got Chris Matthew's phone number?

[Via Captain's Quarters]

Monday, October 18, 2004

How Technology Failed In Iraq

MIT Technology Review: How Technology Failed In Iraq

" “Next to the fall of Baghdad,” says Marcone, “that bridge was the most important piece of terrain in the theater, and no one can tell me what’s defending it. Not how many troops, what units, what tanks, anything. There is zero information getting to me. Someone may have known above me, but the information didn’t get to me on the ground.” Marcone’s men were ambushed repeatedly on the approach to the bridge. But the scale of the intelligence deficit was clear after Marcone took the bridge on April 2." " Kerry Falsely Claims Bush Plans To Cut Social Security Benefits

Kerry Falsely Claims Bush Plans To Cut Social Security Benefits

" "It's not Bush's plan, and it wouldn't cut benefits.


A Kerry ad claims "Bush has a plan to cut Social Security benefits by 30 to 45 percent." That's false. Bush has proposed no such plan, and the proposal Kerry refers to would only slow down the growth of benefits, and only for future retirees. It was one of three possible "reform models" detailed by a bipartisan commission in 2001.

The ad also says nothing about what Kerry would do to address the troubled state of Social Security finances. Unless taxes are increased, the system's trustees say currently scheduled benefits would have to be cut 32%." "

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Kerry Blames Bush For......Vaccine Shortage?

I sense the Kerry campaign is growing desperate.

" "Kerry accused Bush of missing signs that a flu vaccine shortage was imminent." "

Okay, Senator, but only if you promise to accept responsibility for every bad outcome, drug shortage, and lack of promised savings on importing drugs from Canada.

[Via Yahoo News] Kerry Exaggerates Role in Some Key Legislative Battles Kerry Exaggerates Role in Some Key Legislative Battles

" "The Associated Press last July found that only eight laws had Kerry as their lead sponsor, five of them "ceremonial," two relating to the fishing industry, and one providing federal grants to support small businesses owned by women." "

Twenty years. Part of why Democrats are so upset is that their primary system left them with a loser like this. I'd be upset, too.

Bill Kristol: 'Fair Game'

"Fair Game"

" "Does he really think they will believe that he singled out Mary Cheney because he "was trying to say something positive about the way strong families deal with this issue?" Does he think they will accept his claim that he was saying something about the Cheneys' "love of their daughter"? Of course, he wasn't. In his answer, he never mentioned or came close to mentioning the Cheney family, or the Cheneys' love. He merely brought up Mary Cheney as a lesbian, out of left field, in order to get her name and sexual orientation into an answer where no such citation was expected, called for, or remotely appropriate. His campaign manager let slip the truth when after the debate she told Fox News's Chris Wallace that Mary Cheney was "fair game." "

Just How Many Bills Has Kerry "Passed?" said Kerry passed five bills. Kerry said he's passed 56. Who's right? That depends on the definition of "passed" and "bills."

Morning Java: Crop Circles, Space Aliens, and a Draft

Morning Java: Crop Circles, Space Aliens, and a Draft:

""What do you say to someone who continues to believe that the sky is green, even when presented with a color wheel, a scientific explanation, and perhaps 264 signed affadavits to the contrary?

What do you say to someone who continues to defend his theory that crop circles are a warning system sent by aliens, even when presented with video evidence of "crop artists" caught in the act of creating said crop circles, admissions of guilt as to when, where, and how the circles were created, and perhaps 264 affadavits signed by witnesses to said crop circle creation?

What do you say to someone who continues to believe that a liar and a traitor is a "war hero," even when presented with documentation, audio and video recordings, numerous witness testimonials, and 264 signed affadavits to the contrary?

I think you'd have to say either "You obviously are not interested in the truth" or "You've obviously lost your marbles."""

[Via Shape of Days]

Retired Gen. Franks On The Violence In Iraq

Yahoo! News - Retired Gen. Franks Criticizes Kerry:

""In an interview before the rally, Franks said he doesn't foresee an endless cycle of violence in Iraq, and he thinks violence will diminish after the Nov. 2 election.

"I believe they (insurgents) are influenced by what they see in our media," he told The Associated Press. "They see if they blow something up it's front-page news ... (and) the presidential candidates will talk about it.

"After Nov. 2, that dynamic will leave. The problem won't go away, but it'll be diminished ... This will be a long process, but there will come a time when the insurgents have less opportunity to create mischief for us," he said.""

[Via Beldar Blog]

Charles Krauthammer on Spinal Cord Injury and Campaigns

Charles Krauthammer weighs in on the Edward's 'Promising the Sky':

" "In my 25 years in Washington, I have never seen a more loathsome display of demagoguery. Hope is good. False hope is bad. Deliberately, for personal gain, raising false hope in the catastrophically afflicted is despicable." "


A Little Friendly Family Election Competition: Part II

My Bush sign is basically a plastic bag with writing on it. My spouse's Kerry sign is made of cardboard and will likely not last through the first rain storm.

Advantage: Bush (again)

Friday, October 15, 2004

Pennsylvania: Court Strikes Nader From Pennsylvania Ballot

The New York Times > Washington > Campaign 2004 > Pennsylvania: Court Strikes Nader From Pennsylvania Ballot:

" "In reviewing signatures, it became apparent that in addition to signing names such as Mickey Mouse, Fred Flintstone, John Kerry and the ubiquitous Ralph Nader, there were thousands of names that were created at random and then randomly assigned either existent or nonexistent addresses by the circulators." "

Embarrassing for my state.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

New Document

New And Recycled Distortions At Final Presidential Debate

""The debates are over and the results are clear: both candidates are incorrigible fact-twisters.

"Bush said most of his tax cuts went to "low- and middle-income Americans" when independent calculations show most went to the richest 10 percent. Kerry claims Bush "cut the Pell Grants" when they've actually increased. Both men repeated misstatements made in earlier debates, and added a few new ones.""

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