Friday, August 13, 2004

From the Annals of WOCOWOT 

Via Cursor, Political Animal Kevin Drum reports on a new offensive in the administration's ongoing War on the Credibility of the War on Terror:
"Cues from chatter" gathered around the world are raising concerns that terrorists might try to attack the domestic food and drug supply, particularly illegally imported prescription drugs, acting Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Lester M. Crawford says.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Crawford said Wednesday that he had been briefed about al-Qaeda plans uncovered during recent arrests and raids, but declined further comment about any possible threats.

"While we must assume that such a threat exists generally, we have no specific information now about any al-Qaeda threats to our food or drug supply," said Brian Roehrkasse, spokesman for the Homeland Security Department.

Crawford said the possibility of such an attack was the most serious of his concerns about the increase in states and municipalities trying to import drugs from Canada to save money.
It could happen. Again, no specific information, but it could happen. There's also some chatter indicating that Al Qaeda moles in the genetic research community might tamper with stem cells, transforming Alzheimer's and Parkinson's patients into radical-Islamic, burnoose-wearing suicide bombers -- which could happen.

Far be it from us to kibitz, but we feel A-Q would be making a bit of a strategic blunder focusing on cheap Canadian drugs, since a mere handful of American communities now import them, and they go mainly to the elderly and poor (two constituencies our current administration wouldn't miss all that much if they did keel over and die). Do they hate us for our penury, too?

If the evil ones wanted to do some real, long-term, systemic damage, they could insinuate their way into the insurance lobby and conspire to spike any legislation that might extend basic healthcare coverage to the 43 million Americans who have none (an unlikely scenario, since it would require a working knowledge of the ways of capitalism that is no doubt well beyond the grasp of the savage raghead). Or they could infiltrate the medical system directly, and . . . .

Oh, my God!

MARGINALLY-RELATED SIDEBAR (because where else are we supposed to put it?): From Charles Pierce at Altercation:
Generally, I stay away from depositing scorn upon the First Ladies of the land . . . . Until this week, when they rolled her out to talk about stem cells, and she unctuously explained to the country that, maybe, the benefits of stem-cells were being "oversold." I watched her, all creamy certitude, and for the first time since 2000, wondered: "Where in the hell do you get off, lady?"

We all recall that Hitlery tried to sneak the Russian Red Army into the country under the guise of reforming the health-care system, but shouldn't we be a bit alarmed as well that a back-country librarian from Level Crossing, Texas is out there explaining cutting-edge science to the nation? Where in hell is the President's Council On Bioethics? (Probably either bleeding people with leeches or booking tours to Lourdes.) I mean, would I ask Gregor Mendel where the biography section is?

Look, it is entirely possible that stem-cell research will not be the panacea that its proponents say it will be. Sadly, that may well be the case with Alzheimer's, which is my particularly nasty-ass dog in this fight.

But, what eludes Laura, her husband, and whoever reads "My Friend, The Genome" to him is that's what f***king research is FOR! (I'm shouting now.) You do the research to find out IF the little critters will perform as advertised.

What you don't do is choke off the inquiry because something MIGHT not work out, and might get Jesus pissed in the bargain. And you damned sure don't send your wife, the librarian, out to run the ball on the issue for you. God, it was insufferable. All those devastated families, like mine, having our little heads patted, and being warned not to get our tiny hopes up, all the while being talked down to out of a family of failures, spoiled children, and international sex tourists.

If there's a god in heaven, Laura Bush will get caught in a Green Room one day with Nancy Reagan.

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