Wednesday, January 19, 2005

More of That Compassionate Conservatism

Can we stand so much love and concern?

Bush's nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services, Michael O. Leavitt, has complete faith in capitalism to heal the sick:

"Mr. Leavitt said he did not believe that the secretary should have the power to negotiate with drug manufacturers to secure lower prices for Medicare beneficiaries.
The current secretary of health and human services, Tommy G. Thompson, said last month that he wished Congress had given him that power. But Mr. Leavitt said that a healthy, competitive market was a better way to hold down drug prices."
Well, yes. After all, it's been working so well for us. Didn't they tell us the same thing about managed care?

And while we're on the subject of compassion, remember Alberto "Loophole" Gonzales? He has freed the CIA and U.S. mercenaries from any requirement of human treatment toward prisoners, and said even a Congressional ban on torture would not apply to certain aliens unlucky enough to be in U.S. custody offshore. In commenting on this:

Martin Lederman, a former Justice Department lawyer who has analyzed the administration's legal positions on treatment of prisoners, said the documents released Tuesday made it clear that the White House had carved an exemption for the C.I.A. in how it goes about interrogating terror suspects, allowing the agency to engage in conduct outside the United States that would be unconstitutionally abusive within its borders. Although the C.I.A. has been largely bound by Congressional bans on torture, Mr. Lederman said that standard was more permissive than the 2002 directive from Mr. Bush...'s notable," Mr. Lederman added, "that Gonzales is not willing to tell the senators or anyone else just what techniques the C.I.A. has actually been authorized to use."
Does he really need to? Hola, Guatamala!

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