The Spectacle Blog

Starving Hamas

By on 9.27.06 | 10:50AM

In Time, Tony Karon argues that refusing aid to the Palestinian Authority in hopes that it will cause enough misery to force Hamas to recognize Israel is not a good policy, because any recognition Hamas makes under these cricumstances would be meaningless and it's cruel to the Palestinian people.

I agree with part of that statement. Getting Hamas to verbally recognize Israel is pointless unless the group actually abandons terrorism as well. But, I don't think withholding aid from the Palestinian government is merely about making Palestinians miserable so that they will reject Hamas. The decision to withhold aid arises because Hamas is considered a terrorist group by the United States and Europe, and there are policies in place against funding terrorist groups.

Bin Laden Politics

By on 9.27.06 | 10:31AM

The recent rumors that bin Laden died of Typhoid last month have not been proven true. But the reports made me wonder, at this point, whether there would be any sort of political bounce for Bush if bin Laden were found dead, and particularly if he were to die anticlimactically of disease rather than a U.S. military strike.

Politicians and Bureaucrats Working Group, Pt. 2

By on 9.26.06 | 5:47PM

The Citizens' Health Care Working Group's report (PDF) is also plagued with a lot of nice-sounding fluff. For example, "Many Americans hold the view that public policy aimed at the growing crisis in health care cannot succeed unless all Americans are able to get the health care they need when they need it, and that all Americans pay their fair share."

What does that mean? How do you determine exactly when health care is needed, and how do you define "fair share"? Well, actually, I do know how that last one is defined: higher taxes.

The report also relies on some pretty meaningless poll results to support their first recommendation to "establish public policy that all Americans have affordable health care":

Politicians and Bureaucrats Working Group

By on 9.26.06 | 3:40PM

The Citizens' Health Care Working Group, created by the Medicare Prescription Drug Bill, released its final report (PDF) yesterday. The think tank I work for, NCPPR, released a statement on the report here. I'm going to do some blogging on this for the next few hours. (A response to Slivinksi will come later this evening.)

What I find most unsettling about the Working Group's recommendations is number 4, which calls for the establishment of "a nonpartisan public/private group to define America's core benefits and services and to update it on an ongoing process." Apparently, a group of "experts" sitting on a commission can determine what benefits are needed for nearly 300 million. Someone is not reading his Hayek.