What Were Bush’s People Thinking?

I read this on Yahoo this morning and I thought their site had gotten hacked. Then I thought I was reading The Onion (The funniest site on the Web.) But I think this might actually have been real.

Pentagon Abandons Terrorism Betting Plan

The Pentagon will abandon a plan to establish a futures market to help predict terrorist strikes, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee said Tuesday. Sen. John Warner, R-Va., said he spoke by phone with the program’s director, “and we mutually agreed that this thing should be stopped.” Warner announced the decision not long after Senate Democratic Leader Thomas Daschle took to the floor to denounce the program as “an incentive actually to commit acts of terrorism.”

Would Bush make this futures market available for me to invest MY social security money? This has got to be one of the most insane ideas I have ever heard of. I’m only blaming Bush because it’s under his watch. Plus I like blaming him for everything. I seriously hope he had nothing to do with this. I say we go back to the “Lock Box” idea. *lol* I’m waiting for your comments, Jen. And Jake too, if you feel like it. Why not the whole in-laws clan? Get in there, and start swinging, Marmie.

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  1. Haven’t heard or read about it yet. BTW, where do you get your news? The NY Times…? 😉

  2. No, Yahoo. They have an AP feed. I don’t have much time to surf for news, so I just check out the headlines on Yahoo throughout the day when I’m checking mail. Although when I do look for news, I do go to the source: “All the News That’s Fit to Print”.

    Doesn’t that report sound crazy?

  3. I first saw this early this morning. Let me recommend Outside the Beltway’s post on the subject. He links to the information but his commenters are pretty smart as well.

    I don’t know enough about it to comment. But from what little bit I read at OTB this morning, it’s not completely nutty. I think they bagged the idea because of the perception of it, people not understanding what it was really intended for, and thinking it might not work as they intended.

  4. The Dems did the “Bork” thing again. Label something someway and the label sticks. Never mind logic and truth, the enemies of the Dems. What the Dems didn’t understand (or chose to ignore) is that with the latest heuristic evaluation techniques you can actually glean useful information from data gathered that way. We know that Usama and the boys invested in the stock market before 9/11 in stocks that would profit from the chaos they planned. By offering this plan the idea is that if even just one or two people get greedy and try to play, even if it’s through intermediaries and blinds, the overall pattern will emerge as a lead to be followed. It’s like watching the “noise” on the net, or the volume of calls in the cellular system as an indicator of something is underway. You can’t say “Joe plans to do this.” but you can say, “We should look into this area, something’s changed.”

    But the Dumbs, (sorry, I meant Dems) decided to make fun of it and killed it. Too bad. It was brilliant. Obviously too brilliant for Daschle to comprehend. (But then, most things are.) Daschle’s argument about it being an incentive to terror is the same argument crooks make that police sting operations encourage crime. Sorry, Tom, it doesn’t wash in court and it doesn’t wash here, either.

    D-man, happy now? 🙂

  5. Pop, at least that makes sense. I don’t know if it would work as they wanted though. Yes, it might help predict some impending terror attacks, but I’m not certain that information would lead to stopping any of them or even the arrest of anyone associated with them. If I invested in another attack on NYC, would that necessarily make me a terrorist? I’m still not buying this one, no matter how dumb you think Daschle might be, but thanks for the info.

  6. You would be surprise how little information it takes to show a trend. It’s not that any one individual selecting a particular threat would be targeted, it’s the change in the pattern that is critical. And the goal is not to have the program stop terrorists itself, it’s to open up avenues of investigation that could lead to stopping somebody. Or even to show ways to terrorism that nobody dreamed of. Remember when the Feds asked Hollywood? It’s a similar thing. Let’s let the market tell us what’s a perceived threat. Market forces are pretty powerful.

    Anyway, I can’t pass up any chance to slam Daschle. Thanks for the opening! 😉

  7. I like that they were thinking outside the box – way outside the box. That’s the way we’ll find and stop some of the terrorists.

    It’s a shame that folks only look at the surface of something that is outside the box and automatically assume it’s a bad idea.

  8. No, this is a bad idea.

    If we know now that Osama and his pals invested in the stock market before the strike, why don’t we just watch the current markets for signs of impending terrorism? Why do we need to make a specific market just for it. The whole idea still sounds absolutely crazy.

    I’m sorry that I can’t tell my Daschle’s from my Bush’s, but I think they’re all crazy.

    If I cared enough I’d have read more about this terrorist market they were thinking of starting and brush up on the details, but you know me, apolitcal. *lol*

  9. I asked my friend Ed to post a resonse to this but he declined, but he did send me a couple of questions I could ask. And here they are practically verbatim. Take it with a grain of salt, and an antacid or two.

    “If betting on terrorism is such a good idea, why not leave it to the professionals in Las Vegas? For that matter, if it’s such a good idea, why did the Republicans dump it like a hot potato? Don’t the Republicans have the courage of their convictions? Or are they just sniveling wafflers suffering from Clintonitis? As I mentioned the other day, I think it’s probably unAmerican not to to capitalize on terrorism. Of course, I suppose Osama might have an inside track on the terrorism futures market. But then he must know that this Administration can’t catch inside traders either. Get with the program, Den — markets are wiser than a government of, by, and for the people. Does our government bring us sex on television or rap music? Does it encourage tattoos and piercings? Or a majority of the people voting for those dumb, traitorous, Godless Democratic presidential candidates? God bless free markets.”

  10. The idea was to have the list of players available. In Las Vegas, if the Government started asking the casinos to send them a list of every player, every bet so that they could track the betting on terrorism the outcry of “invasion of privacy” would be deafening. By having the Government run the program, the assumption is that the Government knows who is in the market.

    Not sure what Ed’s other question really was, but yes, the Republicans caved on this one. The press had basically carried the Dumb’s message for htem about how this was idiotic, and the average American is wonderfully naive about anything remotely scientific, so the GOP backed away. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it surface again with a different face. The science is still sound.

  11. Perception. It’s all about perception being reality.

    The perception would have been negative on this market and the GOP already fights an uphill battle in the perception game.

    I was an idea that was worth pursuing further, imho.

  12. The perception matches the reality in one case, the economy still has not bounced back to the Clinton years. I don’t care what the media will have us believe. They are not the arbiters of reality. And mark my words, that will be Georgie Porgie’s down fall come November 2004.

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