Osama bin Ladin must be laughing his ass off. Not only is he still on the loose, but, for the cost of a couple of dozen box cutters and flight lessons for a half-dozen suicidal volunteers, he’s made the U.S. the laughing stock of the entire planet. Of course, he didn’t do this alone: he’s had tremendous help from the Bush Administration and its stupid congressional allies (including John McCain). And every time I hear about yet another Bush disaster that’s been caused by his obsession with so-called “the war on terror” (e.g., the Iraq insurgency, the Afganistan mess, the oil crisis, the Katrina failure, the illegal wiretaps, the torturing of “detainees,” the skyrocketing U.S. trade deficit, the collapse of the U.S. dollar…and now, this week, the Wall Street debacle…), I think about bin Laden sitting in his cave and giving ‘high-fives’ to all of his buddies. For the cost of a couple of dozen box cutters and flight lessons for a half-dozen suicidal volunteers, bin Laden got more than he ever could have hoped for: trillions of dollars worth of widespread panic. And here’s the kicker: bin Laden’s reign of terror appears likely to outlast George Bush’s. Nice job, W.