Thursday, May 03, 2007

Fred Hiatt & The Plastic Editorial Band: Double Fantasy

Well, the editorial board (Fred Hiatt) is at it again today with a twofer. First in his Iraqi denial post of the day, he states:
This mix of developments points to a reasonable compromise for Mr. Bush and Congress. Democrats have agreed to remove from the war funding bill their ill-advised timetable for troop withdrawals. But Democrats and some Republicans want to press the Iraqi government to take the missing steps toward political conciliation by writing those steps into the legislation and providing for punishment -- in the form of cuts in nonmilitary aid to the Iraqi government -- if they are not taken.

Ok, so Bush is going to change 60 years of life experience and start compromising all of a sudden, and timetables are a bad thing. Yes. Setting goals, and expecting performance by a deadline has always failed as an organizing tool in the past, so we should never attempt it again. That is just perfect Hiatt logic. Perhaps the President shouldn't set a time table for the congress to give him funding then. It never works. So, let's just hope that they get around to it when they are ready.

Fred Hiatt's next bit of wankery is on FDA fee collecting re-authorization. He likes the bill except for one small detail. There is an amendment in the bill that simply can not stand.
Complicating the bill's prospects for passage, however, is an amendment from Sens. Byron L. Dorgan (D-N.D.) and Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine) that would allow the importation of prescription drugs from other countries, a proposal that supporters claim would let cut-rate pharmaceuticals flow into the United States, saving ailing Americans untold amounts of money. This is a mirage; importation will not solve the problem of drug pricing. U.S. drug firms sell prescription medications to countries such as Canada at low prices, a situation that would quickly change if Canadian distributors started to recycle large quantities of drugs back to the United States.

Well, he has layed down the evidence conclusively here. The drug companies will bring Canada and their socialized medicine to their knees. I mean does Hiatt even have to bother explaining how this is a scientific and economic certainty? For many conditions there are competing drugs as well as generics. They are going to refuse to sell to the Canadian market unless they get a big price hike? What if the Canadians tell Pfizer to take a hike, and buy competing drugs from Eli-Lilly? I am sure that Fred Hiatt's foreign policy and economics experience though is helping him see a truth that isn't plainly obvious to everybody else.

Apparently, Hiatt saves us from the evidence behind his statements because it is much too complicated for us.

Or, he could be a wanker. One of the two.