Posts Tagged ‘Obama’

Obama pals around with William Daley

January 10, 2011

Obama's Chief of Staff's friends pal around with terrorists

Last week Barack Obama announced that William M. Daley would be replacing Rahm Emmanuel as the White House Chief of Staff. And yeah, that would be the brother of current Chciago mayor Richard M Daley. Their father was Richard J Daley, who was also a mayor of Chicago.

The older (dead, actually) Richard Daley was mayor of Chicago from 1955 until 1976. Right in the middle of his tenure in office was the 1968 Democratic National Convention, which attracted lots and lots of anti-war protesters, whom in turn attracted lots and lots of police officers who then proceeded to beat up and throw tear gas at the demonstrators. Punching Dan Rather in the stomach was also a popular pastime at the convention.

A year later, also in Chicago, was the Days of Rage direct action demonstrations led by the Weatherman Organization where young people smashed windows, trashed fancy cars, and crippled one of Daley’s corporation counsels. And one of the people who led the riots in Chicago was BILL AYERS.

ATTENTION REPUBLCIANS: This is yet another connection between the Obama White House and Bill Ayers! I mean, sure, maybe it just shows that Obama is on the opposite side of 1960s radicals since he’s now appointing one of their main targets to a high government position. But whatever! It’s another name to add to the blackboard, right?


I’m going to take the President’s lunch money

December 9, 2010

Shoot the hostage

OK I’m going to kind of sort of agree with someone on Fox “News” here. So, you know, be warned.

The backstory here is that Obama pretty much caved completely to Republicans’ demands of extending Bush’s tax cuts for the rich, instead of just extending them to those making under something like $250,000 per year as Obama claimed he wanted. In a press conference, Obama framed this as if it were a deal made where Republicans conceded things, even though the “concessions” – extending unemployment benefits, for example – were things Republicans always eventually concede on without any real dealmaking necessary.

It’s not like Obama made a deal for the DREAM Act or START Treaty. He just voluntarily gave away all of his bargaining power for nothing, because that is how he rolls. It’s the same unilateral disarmament strategy he used for health insurance reform and the stimulus bill and pretty much everything else the administration has managed to kind of sort of halfway do the past 2 years. And now he’s held a press conference trying to defend his strategy to his critics, and that’s where things get interesting.

Media Matters has this video of James Rosen, Fox’s Washington correspondent on the Bill O’Reilly Happy Funtime Hour. At the end of the two minute clip, he says that Obama’s claim that his willingness to appease the Republicans stems from the danger Republicans put the country in by refusing to pass anything until they get tax cuts for the rich has national security implications. Obama made the comparison to a hostage situation where the Republicans were the hostage takers, their demands were tax cuts for the rich, and the hostages were the country as a whole.

So the national security implications Rosen’s referring to here is that Obama will apparently do whatever anyone wants as long as he perceives them as threatening the country. Another way of looking at this situation is that anyone can get the President of the United States to sign on to anything – even something he’s come out clearly against – simply by threatening the country, or even simply by making him believe they are doing so.

As a Murdoch employee, Rosen wants this to come off as frightening to people who are very afraid of terrorists (in which case I think he might not be thinking it through very well. After all, what does that say about the Republicans demanding the tax cuts? That they’re like terrorists?), but there’s no reason the problem he raises should be limited just to Muslim extremists and Republicans. Progressives could also exploit this vulnerability of the administration too. Maybe we should start doing that sometime instead of leaving it to the Republicans to do it first.

It’s the “end” of the Iraq war

August 31, 2010

The President is delivering a speech later today to announce the supposed end of the Iraq war. But as far as I’ve gathered, there isn’t even a substantial change in our foreign policy inre: Iraq today. Or even yesterday, or the day before. There was an announcement made by MSNBC a week and a half ago where the last full US combat brigade left Iraq.

So if you break that down, that would mean that brigades which are only partially for combat would not necessarily have left. And then you still have the “non-combat troops” tasked with completing the training of the Iraqi police and military. And for each one of those “non-combat troops,” there are two private contractors and/or mercenaries whom are not really affected by this pseudo-deadline except to the extent that their job is dependent on the presence of “full US combat brigades.” It’s not so much the qualitative change those of us who have been against the war were hoping for as much as it’s a quantitative reduction of an ongoing military occupation.

And seriously, I don’t buy this whole idea of “non-combat troops.” There have been a lot of military officials making a big deal of how the remaining troops won’t be doing any fighting. But I haven’t yet heard a journalist ask any of them what these “non-combat troops” are to do in response to an attack by insurgents. I would think they would, well, combat the people shooting at them. Right? Either they would combat them, in which case they can’t be said to be “non-combat;” or they wouldn’t, which is just absurd.

It could be that by “not fighting,” these military officials mean that troops aren’t actively seeking out insurgents and so the chances of something like this happening are greatly reduced. That would be a fair point, but the whole nature of this war from its beginning has blurred the line between what used to be seen as illegal war actions and legitimate defense. We were told that our military involvement in the Middle East is a “preemptive defense,” a way to “fight them over there so we don’t have to fight them over here.” And so the supporters of the war would object to terms like “invasion” and “occupation” on the grounds that the whole thing was, at its core, a form of defense.

It’s not like any of that matters to Iraqis though. None of the families of casualties from this point on are going to be consoled by the fact that their loved ones were killed by a stray bullet fired by “non-combat troops” post August 2010 when they would have been outraged if they were killed by a specifically-designated combat troop in 2003 through the present. This kind of distinction really matters to the audience of the occupation moreso than those actually involved in it.

The same defense of the war in 2003 can now be applied on a smaller scale to the prolonged quasi-withdrawal of 2010-whenever.And at the same time the Democrats can hope to capitalize in the mid-term elections on their “end” of the war. In the end, this is more about the superficial talking points than any substantial change in the real situation.

WikiLeaks v. Pentagon

August 1, 2010

So it’s been a week since WikiLeaks published the leaked internal US military documents which detail some aspects of the occupation of Afghanistan which the administration would rather not emphasize. Like how Pakistan’s ISI is funneling our ‘aid’ back to the Taliban, which they then use to attack our troops. And civilian casualties are being massively underreported. And there’s a secret task force which captures and executes Taliban leaders. Oh yeah, and the US military is paying Afghani journalists to write favorable stories about the occupation.

Certain people can be expected to react to this leak in certain ways. Republicans will insist that we firebomb the internet and every last one of its many series of pneumatic tubes. Liz Cheney just now said something like that, as if anyone gives a shit.  Newt Gingrich is calling it treason, etc.

If you’ve paid attention to the Obama administration’s pattern of hostility towards whistleblowers, then it’s not very difficult to predict how they would react. Here’s White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs being questioned:

Q Thanks, Robert. Two questions, a few on WikiLeaks. What was the President’s reaction once he heard about the leaking —
MR. GIBBS: Well, I remember talking to the President sometime last week after discussions with news organizations that these stories were coming. Look, I think our reaction to this type of material, a breach of federal law, is always the same, and that is whenever you have the potential for names and for operations and for programs to be out there in the public domain, that it — besides being against the law — has a potential to be very harmful to those that are in our military, those that are cooperating with our military, and those that are working to keep us safe.

OK, got that? This is all VERY SERIOUS and will PUT ALL OF OUR TROOPS IN DANGER, and by the way it’s also a FEDERAL CRIME. If it’s putting our troops in danger to have this information publicly available, it must be the case that this is new information in the public sphere. Because if it were already known, then there would be no danger in releasing it. Right? Well, only a few questions later, Gibbs contradicts that line of reasoning:

MR. GIBBS:  Well, let’s understand a few things about the documents.  Based on what we’ve seen, I don’t think that what is being reported hasn’t in many ways been publicly discussed either by you all or by representatives of the U.S. government for quite some time.

So the WikiLeaks data dump is at the same time both YAWN OLD NEWS and VERY SERIOUS TREASONOUS TROOP-KILLING CRIMES. Julian Assange must be both a dangerous anti-American criminal and a harmless kid living in his parent’s basement all at the same time. That’s pretty much how it plays out inside the heads of people like Robert Gibbs and the President.

But all that’s not that surprising, especially given the aforementioned administration’s record on whistleblowers and the internet in general. What’s more surprising is that one of the three publications given access to the documents pre-publication, the NY Times, has basically been toeing the administration’s line on their own leak. And the Washington Post has been producing their copy on the subject pretty much directly from the Republicans’ playbook. The two other newspapers (Der Spiegel and The Guardian) have been a bit more responsible and independent, to their credit.

If you’ve been following the ongoing saga of WikiLeaks, you might remember the ‘Collateral Murder’ video they released a few months ago of the US military shooting at a group of people from a helicopter which turned out to be civilians and a journalist. US Army Intelligence Analyst Bradley Manning was charged with forwarding the video based on an online conversation he had with a hacker named Adrian Lamo who subsequently informed on him. Manning is now in the brig in Virginia, where he faces a sentence of up to 52 years. And now the NY Times is quoting unnamed Pentagon officials who claim that Manning is a “person of interest” in the case of these newly-released documents. Here you can find a support group for Manning.

The Pentagon’s also going after WikiLeaks founder/editor Julian Assange, who’s more or less on the run. He is wanted for questioning, presumably to verify or deny whether or not Manning was the source of the Afghan War Diary. And oh yeah, they’d also like WikiLeaks to be shut down, please. For now, Assange is staying out of the US and responding strongly to comments from the administration. As a side note, he’s also trying to turn Iceland into a journalistic refugee’s paradise.

Now two more things just happened in the past day or two. First, a WikiLeaks volunteer named Jacob Appelbaum was detained, searched, and interrogated by US Customs officials at the Newark airport. They asked him to decrypt his laptop, an offer he refused. Then they confiscated it, but his laptop had no storage device and therefore there was nothing for the officials to search. He was later approached by FBI agents at a conference where he gave a talk in place of Julian Assange, who could not attend for reasons which should by now be pretty obvious.

The second recent development was WikiLeaks posting a mysterious encrypted 1.4 GB file called ‘insurance’ on their Afghan War Logs page. There are no instructions or details on what it’s supposed to be, but the general consensus is that a password will be issued in the event that anything fishy happens to WikiLeaks, Assange, or anyone associated with them. This is turning into a very interesting conflict, much better than anti-war protesters v. cops. But don’t bother downloading the file just to see if the password is “password,” that’s already been checked.

WikiLeaks publishes tens of thousands of documents detailing the harrowing inside story of Lindsay Lohan’s imprisonment

July 27, 2010

(WASHINGTON, DC) The whistleblower group WikiLeaks released to three major newspapers this weekend tens of thousands of leaked internal documents which detail the first few days of Lindsay Lohan’s imprisonment in Lynwood, CA.

The documents detail incidents of Lindsay Lohan crying, and some of the conversations the actress had with her fellow prisoners in neighboring cells. There are even some of the menus from the prison’s kitchen; meals which the former child star reportedly described as “unpalatable garbage.”

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs earlier today condemned WikiLeaks at a press conference.

“I think WikiLeaks should concentrate on ways of disagreeing with Ms. Lohan which are legal and which do not put our future reality television stars in danger,” Gibbs remarked to a question from the NY Times. Staring off into a far corner of the room he continued, “These people keep us safe from the.. uh…” At this point, Gibbs wandered off mic and out of the room, oblivious to the gathered reporters’ urges to continue with the conference.

President Obama later made a statement claiming that the WikiLeaks documents give no new information on Lohan’s imprisonment, but that he is very concerned with how they may endanger the ability of the inexplicably famous to serve relatively small prison terms. The President said that he is worried that this will endanger national security, and will proceed immediately to destroy the internet with predator drones.

Anwar al-Awlaki

April 24, 2010

UPDATE: The Department of Justice is now considering filing charges against al-Awlaki.

Anwar al-Awlaki is an American citizen thought to be living in Yemen who makes videos praising al Qaeda. He’s also had an e-mail exchange with Nidal Malik Hasan at some point before his shooting spree at Fort Hood last November.

Earlier this month, the Obama administration authorized the targetted killing of al-Awlaki. From the NY Times:

The Obama administration has taken the extraordinary step of authorizing the targeted killing of an American citizen, the radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who is believed to have shifted from encouraging attacks on the United States to directly participating in them, intelligence and counterterrorism officials said Tuesday.

There are a few problems with this, and they’re really split into two categories. On the one hand you can argue that this sets bad precedent and gives too much power to the executive branch. It’s a denial of due process even more extreme than anything the Bush administration ever did. Even if you’re in agreement with Obama on this one, there’s still the danger of future presidents abusing their power by following this precedent. These are the kinds of loftier arguments based on the principle of the rule of law which has been the foundation of western civilization.

There’s some good evidence against al-Awlaki, and it’s very unlikely that he’d be found not guilty. But the whole point of having a legal system in the first place is to find out whether or not someone is guilty of a crime. If the evidence holds up, then we can honestly say that we’ve tried our best to do justice while he’s rotting away locked up in a cell somewhere. If the evidence doesn’t hold up, then we find out that we were wrong. You win either way when you use the law instead of circumventing it.

It might even be that al-Awlaki is not even guilty of the crimes he’s accused of. Although Spencer Ackerman at the Washington Independent says “Any court would find him guilty of incitement” just due to his videos, other charges relating to direct involvement in terrorist activities aren’t quite so solid. From that noted commie rag which, upon investigating after 9/11 “Why They Hate Us,” discovered that the answer was because we’re SO AWESOME; Newsweek:

To begin with, it is not even known for certain that Awlaki is a member of Al Qaeda. Certainly there are suspicions, and his published statements and interviews clearly support Al Qaeda, but the organization has never acknowledged him. His name has been mentioned exactly once in 12 issues of Sada al-Malahim (“The Echo of Battles”), the organization’s bimonthly journal. And even that citation was hardly an endorsement: it merely disputed recent claims that Awlaki had been killed in a joint U.S.-Yemeni airstrike. He has never written an article, released an audiotape, or starred in a video for the organization. Each of these is an integral part of the group’s propaganda outreach that senior AQAP leaders have done multiple times.

What’s more, there is no evidence to suggest Awlaki is on AQAP’s legal council, an internal group that both provides the religious justification for attacks and guides the future direction of the organization. Nor is there even a hint that he plays anything resembling a leading role in the group.

Even his links to the two attacks are more speculative and assumed than concrete. Awlaki is known to have exchanged e-mails with Hasan, the Fort Hood shooter (he confirmed as much to Al-Jazeera), and to being in contact with Abdulmutallab, whom he called his “student.” (Abdulmutallab is thought to have attended one of Awlaki’s sermons in London.) But he never acknowledged meeting either man.

Newsweek then goes into some of the reasons to oppose this based on the second category I referred to earlier. Even if you don’t buy into the idea that the President should not be above the law and that due process is important, there’s still no good reason to just kill this guy. If he’s guilty of some of the heavier terrorism charges, he’d be an excellent source of information. It’s tough to get intelligence from a corpse.

And what’s more is that the perceived positive effects of such an assassination are pretty unlikely to actually happen. It’s not going to destabilize al Qaeda. If anything it’d give them a martyr and a recruiting mantra. They’re all pretty much as batshit crazy as it’s possible to get, but when they say that Americans don’t care about justice we’re giving them an air of legitimacy on that matter when we do crap like this.


National Day of Prayer ruled unconstitutional

April 20, 2010

The Freedom From Religion Foundation‘s long-running case against the Bush administration for the National Day of Prayer has finally come to a kind of sort of conclusion last week when federal district Judge Barbara Crabb ruled the NDoP unconstitutional.

First, something about the FFRF. They have a certain legal strategy which is kind of controversial, even amongst freethought activists. Their strategy is basically to take every church/state separation issue very seriously and technically, and then to sue on as many of them as possible.

Some other organizations, like American Atheists, try to discourage this kind of strategy because it can lead to bad precedents. They encourage people to only take legal action when it’s clear that the case is going to come out in their favor.

So if you’re in a situation where secularism is being threatened and the legal system you would have to appeal to is stacked against you, then it would be better to wait for the political climate to change before bringing up the issue at all. Otherwise, you make an unofficial and semi-unspoken Establishment Clause violation into an official and legal Establishment Clause violation by setting a bad precedent. So there’s this discussion going on between those advocating legal action based on political tact (like American Atheists) and those advocating action based on principle (FFRF).

What this case makes clear is that we need a little of both of these strategies and to simultaneously be taking risks while understanding the probabilities of winning. Even though they may sometimes make bad precedent, and even though it’s easy to make fun of Dan Barker on the Daily Show, and maybe his debating leaves something to be desired, the FFRF also sometimes wins in court, and wins big.

There is, however, some question as to how big this victory will turn out to be. From the Associated Press:

Obama spokesman Matt Lehrich said in an e-mail to The Associated Press the president still plans to issue a proclamation for the next prayer day.

“As he did last year, President Obama intends to recognize a National Day of Prayer,” Lehrich said.

Now Pat Robertson’s American Center for Law and Justice (Get it? It’s the ACLJ, kind of like that other organization except totally different), which is defending both the Bush and Obama administrations in this case, is now appealing to a higher court. So this isn’t over yet. But, as far as I understand it, the judge’s ruling is still law while the appeal is pending.

The NDoP is scheduled for the first Thursday in May, so it is very difficult to believe that the appeals process will be over by then. So even if this ends up being overturned by a higher court, the FFRF will still have yet another lawsuit to press against the current administration for clearly acting against the judge’s ruling, as if the President were somehow above the law. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

UPDATE: Rev. Barry Lynn of Americans United for Separation of Church and State on Fox

Fuck Louis Farrakhan

March 2, 2010

If you want to take the title as endorsement of the violent rape of the Nation of Islam leader, I can’t stop you from interpreting that way. From the Associated Press:

“The word ‘prophet’ is too cheap a word. I am a light in the midst of darkness,” Farrakhan said at the annual convention of the movement that embraces black nationalism. “It ain’t ego, it’s my love for you.”

Get that? He’s not egotistical at all. Farrakhan being a “light in the midst of darkness” is really just about his love for others, and not about his ego. Because his love for you is just that special, which itself is also not egotistical. How dare you suggest such a thing?

Farrakhan spent most of the fiery nearly four-hour speech recounting a 1985 vision he had in Mexico. Farrakhan has often described how he believes he was invited aboard an unidentified flying object he calls “the wheel” where he said he heard the late Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad speak to him.

Putting the UFO aside for a minute, a four hour speech? Really? Is that necessary? Hasn’t this deity punished people enough? I’m no big fan of the soundbite culture but sitting around listening to this nonsense for four fucking hours has got to qualify as cruel and unusual punishment. Concision can be a good thing sometimes.

And plus I love it when these guys use this kind of synergy of woo. It’s not enough for this to just be about talking to dead people, or for it to just be about a UFO abduction, or for it to just be about seeing the future (Farrakhan claims this incident “led him to inklings of future events,” in the language of the article cited above); it has to be about all of them at once. And it’s not even just those things, because he also seems to think that the Chilean earthquake is an indication of future political problems for Obama. Oh yeah, also white people are plotting against him, too. Nice.

UPDATE: The Young Turks reported on this (after me):


Obama’s science budget changes

February 2, 2010

Wired Magazine has this chart to show how Obama’s proposed small increases in investing in science will be divied up amongst government agencies.

So the NIH is a big winner here, which is probably due to Francis Collins‘ prayers to the frozen waterfall. But the CDC is being cut, which will make it much more difficult to use the nanobot-filled vaccines to enslave us all. NASA is getting a bit more, but that comes at the expense of cutting the Constellation moon project.

But it should be noted that these are all just proposed changes, not final in any way. So in true Democratic Party fashion, I’m sure they’ll cave to demands that it be cut over and over until all of these agencies end up owing money to Freedom Works and James O’Keefe is put in charge of NIST.

Obama is out to get this guy

December 18, 2009


The amazing Washington Independent reports on this crazy birther preacher:

“[Pastor James David] Manning rose to “fame” with a January 2008 video of a sermon in which he labeled Barack Obama a “long-legged mack daddy” — the cognitive dissonance of an African-American preacher launching racist attacks against Obama created a minor sensation, although the original video has been deleted. After that, Manning latched onto basically every Obama conspiracy theory, even appearing at one of the first Washington, D.C., “birther” events.”

I just have this mental image of Manning as a younger man, while Obama was a 9 year old or something, where he played some kind of Dennis the Menace role to Manning’s Mr Wilson. So now Obama’s a long legged mack daddy (or is he the daddy mack?).

War on Christmas XIV, the President vs. Charlie Brown

December 6, 2009

The mayor of some Tennessee suburb has discovered another shocking facet of the War on Christmas.

I’m trying to not be too serious in this War on Christmas series since it’s obviously not a very serious topic. But I think I’m going to have to break that rule here.

Here’s what some dipshit mayor has to say about Obama’s speech on the Afghanistan war escalation. This is what passes for political discourse these days:

“Ok, so, this is total crap, we sit the kids down to watch ‘The Charlie Brown Christmas Special’ and our muslim president is there, what a load…”

It’s not even really a complete sentence yet, and there are already a few problems. Like that Obama isn’t a Muslim. He’s a Christian. In fact, as President he’s already referred to Jesus more than Bush did during his 8 years in office. Not only that, but he receives daily prayers on his Blackberry from the 26 year old Pentecostal (read: snake-handling, faith healing, crazy people) Director of Faith-Based Initiatives. To top it all off, the substance of the interrupting speech by this supposedly Muslim President is how we need to use Bush’s ‘surge’ strategy in order to wage war on a Muslim country – exactly what one would expect from a secret Muslim, I guess.

But OK, let’s put that aside for now. I can understand being upset at a Presidential address interrupting a TV show you might want to watch. It’s happened to me before. But the Charlie Brown Christmas Special is on YouTube. If he really wanted to make his kids watch it, Obama was not stopping him from doing so.

“Ask the man if he believes that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and he will give you a 10 minute disertation (sic) about it…”

Has he ever done that? What the hell is he talking about here? I know some of those annoying “emergent” Christians who are into post-modernism are susceptible to diarrhea of the mouth, but is Obama one of them? But I will give him that those kinds of Christians are incredibly annoying, so I’m with him here.

“w…hen the answer should simply be ‘yes’….”

And that’s where he lost me. It should simply be ‘No.’

“you know, our forefathers had it written in the original Constitution that ONLY property owners could vote, if that has stayed in there, things would be different…”

Yeah, things would be different if things were different. Good thing they’re not… Right?

And later, responding to criticism for this kind of crap:

“You guys are trying to make a mountain out of a molehill.”

Dr. Freud, call for you on line 1.

Quote of the Day

November 28, 2009


October 25, 2009

Due to a slight error a retraction must be issued for the previous post. The portrait shown is not the real official Obama family portrait. For that, you will need to click ‘below the fold,’ as they say.


Obama first family portrait released

October 24, 2009

Health care reform

September 30, 2009

There are a couple of aspects of health care reform I don’t think I’ve heard much about in the ongoing debate. Actually there are probably a lot more than just a couple, but two in particular I just wanted to briefly mention.

One would be the words “signing statement.” Remember those laws passed by Congress during the Bush administration which did things like restrict things like warantless wiretapping and extraordinary rendition, and then Bush would sign it attached to a statement which clarified the legislation as being interpreted to mean the exact opposite of what it actually said? Bush set a record with the sheer number of those signing statements. It was big news for a while back then.

So I’m not saying that Obama should do that as a way to force in a viable public option. But has anyone even mentioned it? All I’m finding is that he claimed to want to weaken the executive power involved in signing statements, but then used exactly that power to weaken whistle-blower protection, among a few others. But nothing about health care reform in regards to signing statements.

The other issue is that if we actually do get a public option, viable or not, there is a danger that the “alternative medicine” industry will try to capitalize on that and get even more subsidies for their quackery than they already have. The Center for Inquiry has released a report (PDF) warning of the dangers of funding “alternative medicine” alternatives to medicine garbage.

On the one hand, lots of other government-funded scientific organizations successfully avoid woo in their studies. NASA doesn’t have to study astrology. The US Geological Survey doesn’t have to entertain flat Earth or expanding Earth “theories.” The American Institute of Physics doesn’t have to invest in alleged perpetual motion machines.

But on the other hand, the “alternative medicine” industry has something that flat Earthers and perpetual motion machine scammers and astrologers don’t – lots and lots of money and political influence. So there really needs to be some stipulation in whatever health care reform gets passed – if it even does – where methods of treatment will need to be tested and will need to pass those tests. And they’ll need to be double-blinded with proper controls. Anecdotes and testimonials can not be good enough.

Sure, people like Bill Maher and Jenny McCarthy and Kevin Trudeau will claim this is all part of a conspiracy to outlaw their useless “medicine,” but so what? Fuck them. There is real danger in allowing that into a government supported health care system. One is that obviously we’re going to be forced to pay for treatments that don’t work, and the other is that it will make true all the conservatives’ claims that government can’t run health care. Because in that case, they’ll be right.