Which Warnings Most Ignored by Republicans: About Foley or al Qaeda?

Anyone keeping count? Which warnings were most ignored–warnings to Hastert about Foley or warnings to Rice and Bush about the risk of an al Qaeda attack?

Newt Knows Sex Scandals

Newt Gingrich has the strangest defense of Foley yet. AP quotes him as saying, “Democratic sex scandals have been far worse.”

Newt knows about sex scandals. After all, he was the center of one when he ditched his wife of eighteen years to have an affair with an aide twenty-three years younger than him.

Despite his knowlege of sex scandals, I’m not sure what he is getting at here. While there have been sex scandals involving both parties, I do not recall anything like this involving minors where the party’s leadership was alerted and did nothing.

US To Stop Seizing Canadian Drugs

One of the measures of the Bush Administration to provide financial rewards (corporate welfare) to one of his major contributors, the pharmaceutical industry, is ending. Late in 2005, before the Medicare Part D program came into effect, the government began seizing drugs purchased from Canadian pharmacies and shipped into the United States. At the time there was speculation that cutting off the supply of cheaper medications from Canada was one means of forcing seniors into joining the Medicare program to obtain their prescription drugs. Following intervention from Congress, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency will discontinue their policy of seizing Canadian pharmaceuticals.

The change in policy at this time will be particularly helpful for the many seniors who are now faced with the donut hole in the Medicare program which forces them to pay the full cost of their prescriptions. While most goods and services in health care are provided at a discount (which is often taken into consideration in setting prices), the Medicare Part D program specifically prevents negotiation for discounted prices. Last September the Annals of Internal Medicine compared Canadian and American drug prices and found that “Americans can save a mean of approximately 24% per unit of drug if they purchase their medications from Canadian Internet pharmacies instead of from major online U.S. drug chain pharmacies.