Income Redistribution, ObamaCare, BHO Books and National Security + More

Posted on Fri 07/17/2009 by

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From The Patriot Post –  Friday Digest – Vol. 09 No. 28

THE FOUNDATION

“If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people, under the pretense of taking care of them, they must become happy.” –Thomas Jefferson

GOVERNMENT & POLITICS

We’re in for a ride

Income Redistribution: ObamaCare Advances

Make no mistake: The health care debate going on in Washington is about one thing, and it is not the millions of uninsured Americans. It’s about the Obama administration’s goal of turning this country into a socialist nation.

President Barack Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) are pushing Congress to pass the health care overhaul before the August recess, riding roughshod over the protests not only of Republicans, but of some Democrats, many business interests and hospitals. Obama has made clear that, as White House advisor David Axelrod put it, “Ultimately, this is not about a process, it’s about results. … We’d like to do it with the votes of members of both parties, but the worst result would be to not get health-care reform done.”

Wednesday, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee passed the “Quality, Affordable Health Coverage for All Americans” bill, otherwise known as QAHCAA (pronounce it as it looks — CACA). The House Ways and Means Committee followed suit Thursday. No Republicans have voted for it so far, and several Democrats have voted against it.

During the presidential campaign, Republicans, including candidates Fred Thompson and John McCain, warned about the tax implications of electing Obama president. They were right. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel (D-NY) announced late last Friday that Congress would pay for health care by hiking taxes on the households earning more than $350,000 per year and individuals earning $280,000. The hike would put New York’s top bracket at nearly 60 percent. Rangel predicts revenue of $540 billion over 10 years. Democrats’ ultimate goal is to have the highest income earners pay for health care for everyone else. But even the liberal Washington Post editorialized, “There is simply no way to close the [funding] gap by taxing a handful of high earners.”

To cover part of this deficiency, Democrats propose cutting tax breaks for hospitals because they don’t provide enough charitable care to earn them any longer. According to the American Hospital Directory, fewer than half of the 5,482 hospitals in the country actually pay federal, state or local taxes. That will change. Furthermore, the hospital industry agreed this week to take $155 billion less in payments from the government, leaving the money to cover the uninsured.

Beyond the money, the regulations are mind-boggling. In the “Limitation On New Enrollment” section on page 16 of 1,018, under the Orwellian heading “Protecting The Choice To Keep Current Coverage,” the bill states: “Except as provided in this paragraph, the individual health insurance issuer offering such coverage does not enroll any individual in such coverage if the first effective date of coverage is on or after the first day” of the year the legislation becomes law.

In other words, according to Investor’s Business Daily, “[W]e can all keep our coverage, just as promised — with, of course, exceptions: Those who currently have private individual coverage won’t be able to change it. Nor will those who leave a company to work for themselves be free to buy individual plans from private carriers.” Private individual coverage will be outlawed by attrition.

Meanwhile, Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) added an amendment to the bill that would require all health insurance companies to provide unspecified “preventive care and screenings” for “pregnant women and individuals of child-bearing age.” Asked if this would include abortion, Mikulski sidestepped: “It would provide for any service deemed medically necessary or medically appropriate.”

More “highlights”: CNS News editor in chief Terence Jeffrey also reports that “the legal use of tobacco products is the only vice for which insurance companies will be able to charge their customers higher premiums,” adding, “a person could have been admitted to hospitals three times for heroin overdoses, or been pregnant five times out of wedlock, or been treated for venereal diseases at least once per year for the past five years, but none of these factors could be used to charge that person a higher insurance premium.” Jeffrey further notes that the bill calls for improved immunization coverage, including the use of “reminders or recalls for patients or providers, or home visits” to accomplish it. Yes, home visits.

Ronald Reagan once said, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.'” Little did the Gipper know just how terrifying those nine words could be.

The BIG Lie

“I don’t know many small business men or women who are making, themselves, $280,000 [per year], so I’m not sure that very many small businesses are going to be affected by this [$540 billion tax hike].” –House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD)

Note to Steny: Small businesses organized as Subchapter S Corporations file individual returns for gross earnings. Such a business would have to be small indeed to report less than $280,000 in income.

This Week’s ‘Braying Jackass’ Award

“I don’t know how that one percent of households did over the last 10 to 15 years, but my sense is pretty well. I think the president believes the richest one percent have had a pretty good run of it.” –White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs on raising taxes on the “rich” to pay for health care

Now we understand — as long as the rich “have had a pretty good run of it,” it’s okay to take their money and give it to someone who is less fortunate. After all, as former Democrat congressman Dick Gephardt once said, “Those who have prospered and profited from life’s lottery have a moral obligation to share their good fortune.”

News From the Swamp: Sotomayor Hearings

The Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor began this week, with a heavy dose of Democrat grandstanding, some good Republican queries, and a lot of confusing answers from the nominee herself. Democrats, including committee chair Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and others, played some of their best softball to date, serving up easy questions for Sotomayor, who still failed to clarify many of her positions. More pointed questions by Republicans further exposed the nominee’s vagueness and forced her to run away from some of her most noxious utterances.

For instance, when Sotomayor was asked about her statement that appeals court judges help determine policy as well as interpret the law, she said she was taken out of context. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) replied, “I don’t think it’s that clear. I think a person could reasonably believe it meant more than that.” She also said that her now famous “wise Latina” statement was meant only to inspire the audience of young Latina women she was speaking to. Further questioning of Sotomayor’s speeches and judicial rulings brought numerous convoluted explanations, refutations and cross examinations that left Republicans wondering who the real Sonia Sotomayor was. Her carefully crafted answers seemed to be tailored to whatever she believed any particular inquisitor wanted to hear. At one point, she even rejected President Obama’s much vaunted idea of empathy in judicial decision-making, noting that the rule of law is paramount in judgment, not personal feelings.

It should disturb anyone with any respect for this process that a nominee to the Supreme Court of the United States can so thoroughly refute decades of her own legal work and speechmaking. Yet, everyone, even Republicans, have noted that Sotomayor’s confirmation was all but in the bag. Why go through these hearings? Well, by looking deep enough into Sotomayor’s record and her meandering statements during these last few days, it is evident that she is in fact the liberal jurist of the “Living Constitution,” that Democrats are eager to put on the Court.

This “wise Latina,” for example, defended her decision in a January 2009 case that the Second Amendment does not apply to individual state laws governing the prohibition of firearms, and she refused to recognize the right to bear arms as “fundamental.” In addition, her litigation work with the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund was actively engaged in establishing racial quotas in municipal hiring and overturning promotional exams that were unfavorable to her Hispanic constituency. And let us not forget her terribly wrong-headed decision as a federal judge to support the rejection of promotional test results by the city of New Haven, Connecticut, because not enough minorities passed the exam.

Even if Sotomayor had said all the right things this week, it wouldn’t make up for a career spent pushing an activist agenda that would shred our Constitution.

Race Bait

“When we asked questions of the white male nominees of a Republican president, we were basically trying to find out whether — to make sure that they would go far enough in understanding the plight of minorities, because clearly that was not in their DNA.” –Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) to Sotomayor

New & Notable Legislation

Congress has attached Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act to the defense spending measure. McClatchy Newspapers reports, “The provision, named for Shepard, a gay University of Wyoming student who was beaten and left to die in 1998, would extend protection under the federal hate crimes law to people who’ve been attacked based on sexual orientation, disabilities, gender or gender identity.” To Democrats, then, the national defense priority is protecting homosexuals from “hate crimes.”

“The House on Thursday approved legislation that would prevent General Motors and Chrysler from closing car dealerships across the country,” reports The Hill. President Obama, however, warned Congress that to “intervene [in] a closed judicial bankruptcy proceeding on behalf of one particular group” would set a “dangerous precedent.” And really, if anyone knows about the dangerous precedent of intervening in private affairs it’s the president.

From the Jackophiles: Rep. Diane Watson (D-Neverland) tried to introduce a resolution honoring the late Michael Jackson as a “global humanitarian,” though she was thwarted by Nancy Pelosi. When confronted with Jackson’s bizarre behavior and accusations of child abuse, Watson opined, “We have no facts that his behavior was inappropriate when he was among children. We would say that a grown man shouldn’t have kids in his bed, but how many kids jump in bed with their parents? Michael saw the world through his own lenses. He saw no harm, no danger, nothing wrong with romping on the bed with children.” We never thought we’d say this, but thank goodness for Nancy Pelosi.

Hope ‘n’ Change: Obama Defends the ‘Stimulus’

Amid growing criticism, President Barack Obama is out trying to defend his $787 billion stimulus package. As the economy continues to tumble, many are beginning to see the stimulus as an outright failure. Unemployment has continued to rise unabated, the stock markets have yet to rebound with any confidence, capital markets remain perilous, and the president’s own sky-high approval ratings are taking a dive. It was this last fact that probably motivated the president to go on defense.

Obama and his sidekick Joe Biden have admitted that the White House did not have the full picture of how bad the economy was back in February, though during the campaign for both the presidency and for the stimulus package, Obama and his team incessantly told us that this was “the worst economy since the Great Depression.” If it was truly that bad, how much clearer a picture does one need?

Obama also reminded us that the stimulus was meant to work over a two-year period, though back in January he pleaded for Congress to rush through a bill — never mind actually reading it — that would quickly address our economic woes. He claims that the stimulus is working now, and he proudly cited 3,000 jobs that will be created in California for one of his precious solar plants. Of course, the U.S. lost 467,000 jobs just last month.

The true unemployment picture further refutes the president’s faith in the stimulus. Mortimer Zuckerman, editor in chief of U.S. News and World Report, pointed out in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that the number of jobs lost in the last six months is greater than any six-month period since World War II, including the military demobilization after the war. “The job losses are also now equal to the net job gains over the previous nine years, making this the only recession since the Great Depression to wipe out all job growth from the previous expansion.” The loss of jobs has been so rapid during this recession, Zuckerman adds, that it is likely to affect future economic behaviors.

However, New Hampshire has found a way to make its stimulus spending work. The state government proudly hailed the creation of new jobs with its $416 million chunk of the stimulus. Fifty new jobs will be created in programs serving education, law enforcement, health and human services and other state agencies. That’s right — 50. Furthermore, only 34 of them will be full time — and those full-time jobs are temporary and set to expire in September 2011. This means that American taxpayers spent $9.9 million per job for each of the new positions in New Hampshire — positions that temporarily will be added to the government bureaucracy, not the private sector. No wonder the stimulus isn’t working.

This Week’s ‘Alpha Jackass’ Award

“‘To those who say that our economic decisions ‘have not produced jobs, have not produced prosperity, and simply have not worked’ I say, take a look around. I say, ‘Don’t let your opposition to the Recovery Act blind you to its results.’ Come see what I see everywhere I go: workers rehired, factories reopened, cops on the street, teachers in the classroom, progress toward getting our economy back on the move.'” –Vice President Joe Biden

Record-Shattering Budget Deficit

President Obama and his fellow travelers in Congress are about to preside over the largest annual budget deficit in American history. It recently hit $1 trillion and is forecasted to reach as high as $1.84 trillion when the fiscal year closes on September 30. Last year’s deficit was $454.8 billion, a record. At the current pace of spending, budget deficits are not expected to dip below $500 billion over the next decade, and the cumulative deficit for the next decade will reach $7.1 trillion. Servicing a debt of this magnitude will cost some $500 billion a year. This record deficit spending will wreak havoc with interest rates, inflation and dollar valuation on overseas markets, and it will force foreign creditors to walk away. Yet, neither the president nor the liberals in Congress have any interest in trimming back their proposed trillion-dollar health care package, and their eagerness to raise taxes to finance their spending binge makes as much sense as trying to put out a fire with a can of gasoline.

This Week’s ‘Alpha Jackass’ Award II

“[F]olks look, AARP knows and the people with me here today know, the president know, and I know, that the status quo is simply not acceptable. It’s totally unacceptable. And it’s completely unsustainable. Even if we wanted to keep it the way we have it now, we can’t do it financially. We’re gonna go bankrupt as a nation. Now, people say — when I say that people look at me and say, ‘What are you talking about, Joe? You’re telling me we gotta go spend money to keep from going bankrupt?’ The answer is yes, that’s what I’m telling you.” –Joe Biden

Minority Broadcasters Want Federal Aid

Representatives from a group of minority-owned broadcasting companies wrote a letter to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner this week requesting federal aid to help them through the recession. The group, which includes the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters, the Inner City Broadcasting Coalition and the Spanish Broadcasting System, noted that even in good economic times they have a tough time accessing capital, but the recession could drive them into oblivion. The subtle suggestion here is that this group believes they should always receive some form of taxpayer aid. This letter follows another appeal to Geithner in May by House Democrats James Clyburn, Barney Frank, Charles Rangel and Edolphus Towns. No word yet on what the minority broadcasters’ stimulus amount may be, but they certainly have supporters in all the right places.

Car Czar Drives Off Into the Sunset

White House auto czar Steve Rattner announced Monday that he wants to “spend more time with his family” and is stepping down after only a few months spent nationalizing the auto industry. Treasury Secretary Timothy “Tax Cheat” Geithner said, “With the emergence of both General Motors and Chrysler from bankruptcy, we enter a new phase of the government’s unprecedented and temporary involvement in the automotive industry” that served to “strengthen GM and Chrysler, recapitalize GMAC and support the American auto industry.”

There are several possible reasons for Rattner’s exit: He has long harbored political ambitions and could be planning a run for office; he could be avoiding a scandal — his name came up in a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into possible kickbacks and influence peddling in a New York state pension fund invested in Quadrangle Group that Rattner founded in 2000; or, he could just be looking for more money. After all, four months after being fired, GM chief Rick Wagoner got his exit package: $8.6 million over five years. We don’t know what Rattner’s salary was, but we’re guessing it didn’t have two commas in it. Then again, it’s probably just that “new phase” Geithner was talking about.

NATIONAL SECURITY

Intelligence Continues to Elude Democrats

Earlier this week, in what initially appeared to be manna from heaven falling into the Democrats’ laps, the CIA disclosed that, under the direction of former Vice President Darth, er, Dick Cheney, it had kept secret from Congress yet another plan the agency was developing. This news came on the heels of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accusing the CIA of lying to Congress about its use of waterboarding. And we are shocked — shocked — to learn that this secret CIA plan involved the capture or assassination of al-Qa’ida leaders. Criminal! Oh, wait… That’s exactly what the CIA is supposed to do — help capture or kill the nation’s enemies.

Further deflating the Democrats’ hopes, it turned out that this particular plan was only under consideration and never implemented, and further work was terminated by current CIA Director Leon Panetta last month. Sadly for the Democrats, it’s not illegal for the CIA to keep secret every idea the agency kicks around. More important, are the Democrats so detached from reality as to think the American people would get upset at the CIA for trying to eliminate al-Qa’ida’s leaders?

The Donkey Party had hoped this ludicrous episode would divert attention from San Fran Nan’s accusation that the CIA lied to Congress about its interrogation techniques, but it flopped. Next they tried to gin up a controversy with new threats to prosecute Bush administration intelligence officials for being good Americans. Meanwhile, polls show that Cheney’s popularity continues to rise while Nancy’s continues to slide.

Department of Military Readiness: Self-Deterrence

Having seen its F-22 fleet whittled from its original 750+ requirement down to merely 187 ready-for-primetime birds, the Department of Defense now faces the dilemma of explaining how it can sustain America’s “two-war” strategy without having air superiority on both fronts. Solution: Don’t explain it; just change the strategy. In Senate testimony this week, Gen. James Cartwright, Vice Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, offered in rather deadpan delivery that DoD’s new strategy is “a departure from the two-major-theater-war construct.” Unfortunately, the strategy — “do less with less” — is hardly new. Can’t fight two wars? No problem, just fight one. Gen Cartwright is technically correct, too: It is true that a “one-major-theater-war” strategy is a substantial, er, “departure” from a “two-major-theater-war” strategy. As far as national security goes, however, such a “strategy” is a total non-starter.

Piling on, President Obama vowed to veto next year’s $680 billion military spending bill if Congress funds more F-22s than DoD’s coerced, low-ball “estimate.” Obama’s position: “We do not need these planes. … I will veto any bill that supports acquisition of F‑22s beyond the 187 already funded by Congress.” Of course, with a deficit likely to surpass $2 trillion by the end of the year and a total current debt well exceeding $11 trillion, an über-liberal’s threat to “fix” profligate spending by sacrificing national defense shouldn’t be much of a shocker.

Conveniently — and suspiciously — timed with this debate is an article from The Washington Post, “Premier U.S. Fighter Jet Has Major Shortcomings,” which lays out a host of F-22 “deficiencies.” Of course, never once does the article examine whether the U.S. can sustain its current “two-war” strategy with only 187 of the world’s only operational fifth-generation fighter (consensus answer: no).

The Air Force Magazine Daily Report framed the issue in even clearer terms: “The big problem to be faced can be phrased as a question: Will a President, armed with a force sufficient for only one war, ever take action, knowing that doing so would leave the US naked to a second aggressor in some other part of the world?” wryly adding, “This is what in the trade is known as ‘self-deterrence.'”

Commander in Chief Challenged

“U.S. Army Maj. Stefan Frederick Cook, set to deploy to Afghanistan, says he shouldn’t have to go,” reports the Columbus, Georgia, Ledger-Enquirer. “His reason? Barack Obama was never eligible to be president because he wasn’t born in the United States.” According to Cook, if he were to deploy, he “would be acting in violation of international law by engaging in military actions outside the United States under this President’s command … simultaneously subjecting himself to possible prosecution as a war criminal by the faithful execution of these duties.”

Cook’s lawyer, Orly Taitz, has challenged Obama’s legitimacy before and was seeking conscientious objector status for Cook in this case. This week, he got it. Taitz says, “It means that the military has nothing to show for Obama. It means that the military has directly responded by saying Obama is illegitimate — and they cannot fight it. Therefore, they are revoking the order.” We certainly still have questions about Obama’s citizenship — for starters, where’s the long-form version of his Hawaiian birth certificate that has information regarding the birth hospital and attending physician? Even those not born in Hawaii can obtain a short-form document like the one Obama has posted online. This and others are questions that he has pointedly refused to answer. This story could have further implications. Stay tuned…

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Around the Nation: Massachusetts Health Care

With the debate over health care raging on Capitol Hill, one need only look to Massachusetts to see how ObamaCare would play out. A study conducted by Harvard-Pilgrim, a private insurer, has exposed the Bay State’s insurance plan — similar to Democrats’ proposal — for the disaster that it is. The plan, which was favored by former Governor Mitt Romney, requires residents (except those covered by the state) either to buy health insurance or to face penalties. In addition, for the past 15 years, under the “guaranteed issue” and “community rating” system, insurers must cover anyone who applies with no regard to his or her health or pre-existing condition. The result: people are waiting until they are sick or about to go into surgery to buy coverage. Many are buying coverage for a few months, running up astronomical bills, and then canceling it, leaving others to foot the bill.

Speaking of leaving others with the bill, The New York Times reports, “A hospital that serves thousands of indigent Massachusetts residents sued the state on Wednesday, charging that its costly universal health care law is forcing the hospital to cover too much of the expense of caring for the poor.” The state is also dropping coverage for 30,000 legal immigrants to close a growing budget deficit. The question is, why is any of this shocking? How many socialist experiments have to fail before people realize that it just doesn’t work?

Regulatory Commissars: Misunderestimation by the Feds

Generally, economic numbers put out by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) have been accepted as the gold standard for forecasting the impact of legislation on future federal budgets. So it was scored as a victory for Democrat cap-and-tax defenders when the CBO estimated the Waxman-Markey bill that passed the House recently would cost a family of four “only” $175 a year in 2020. Surely, the apologists claimed, the energy savings would more than recoup the cost.

Unfortunately, the CBO projection could only guess at some rather important pieces of the puzzle. As the CBO report dryly buries in a footnote, “The resource cost does not include the potential decrease in gross domestic product (GDP) that could result from the cap.” Minor detail.

Meanwhile, an analysis of Waxman-Markey by the Heritage Foundation found GDP loss in 2020 could reach $161 billion (in 2009 dollars). That GDP loss could cost that mythical family many times the paltry $175 the CBO guesstimate came up with.

In a world where we can barely predict weather a week out, not to mention the Obama administration’s already brilliant forecasting ability — remember unemployment peaking at 8 percent? — perhaps the CBO should have saved reams of paper and hundreds of man-hours and simply told us to kiss our assets good-bye once cap-and-tax passed.

While Congress Argues, Producers Work

One of the problems with Congress is that they think they’re experts on everything. This, of course, causes the real experts to be affected by the legislation produced. For example, while arguments raged in the halls of the Capitol building on the merits of pie-in-the-sky renewable energy methods and how much it would cost taxpayers to implement energy created from these “free” sources (like sunshine and wind), there were private businesses that actually know what they are doing finding the energy we need.

One such business is a favorite whipping boy of the left, ExxonMobil. The company just announced a “world-class” find of shale gas on 250,000 acres in the Horn River Basin, in British Columbia — a source that could easily supplement the plentiful natural gas we already have locked away within our continent. “[R]esults from the first four wells lead the company to conclude that each well will produce between 16 million and 18 million cubic feet of gas a day,” reports The Wall Street Journal. “That’s five times the size of average wells in Texas’s Barnett shale and comparable to big wells in Louisiana’s Haynesville shale, two major shale-gas fields that already have moved the U.S. natural-gas market from scarcity to abundance.” All this without a huge infusion of federal funding. Now if only ExxonMobil could draw useful energy from the hot air emitted by Beltway commissars who think they know better. Indeed, that source would seem to be in limitless supply.

CULTURE & POLICY

Climate Change This Week: Where Has Summer Gone?

In June this year, New York temperatures never made it past 85° F; Chicago saw 12 days of 70° F and below, and Western Pennsylvania nights have dipped into the mid-50s. Temps in Calgary, Canada, have been below average since November, with Environment Canada Senior Climatologist David Phillips saying, “For seven months, it’s really been a long bout of cold weather.” Across the Great Lakes and Northeast in general, the “hot” months haven’t been this cold in more than a decade, prompting some to label 2009 “The Year Without True Summer.”

AccuWeather.com Chief Meteorologist and Expert Long Range Forecaster Joe Bastardi attributes the cold spell in part to “the combination of El Niño and worldwide volcanic activity over the past six to nine months.” But going back even further, global temperatures have dropped by 0.74° F since the 2006 release of Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth.” How … inconvenient.

There is still hope for global warming alarmists, though, as Bastardi predicts a whopping five to 10 days of “more typical summer weather” in the Northeast and Great Lakes in late July and early August — that is, before the eastern U.S. plunges into a colder- and snowier-than-normal winter.

Faith and Family: ECUSA Stokes Fire Again

It’s a gay divorce in the Episcopal Church as the church voted this week to further separate itself from Scripture by endorsing the consecration of homosexuals into “any ordained ministry.” This comes three years after the church passed a moratorium on electing homosexual bishops in a move to placate conservative members, discontented over the 2003 election of openly homosexual Vicky Gene Robinson as bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire. Apparently, the moratorium was just for show.

It seems what’s really important to the church, as stated by House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson, is “deepen[ing] relationships with the rest of the communion, because real relationships are built on authenticity.” Bishop Stacy Sauls went even further, announcing, “It is time for our church to be liberated from the hypocrisy under which it has been laboring.”

The resolution adopted by the church states, “God has called and may call such [homosexual] individuals, to any ordained ministry” and “God’s call … is a mystery.” Far from mysterious, however, is Scripture’s commands against homosexuality. Beyond the church’s position on homosexuality, at issue is its view of Scripture itself. Either it is the authoritative foundation of doctrine or it is little more than flowery verse, subject to the whims of passion and valuable only when convenient. After all, that’s the way liberals treat the U.S. Constitution.

Frontiers of Junk Science: Pandemic? WHO says

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently declared the swine flu a pandemic given the spread of the virus around the world. We haven’t reported much on the swine flu, otherwise known as H1N1, because the whole “crisis” seems more than a bit overblown. After all, the plain old regular flu kills more than 50,000 Americans each year, while — not to make light of it — swine flu has claimed 211 lives, though, to be fair, this could be in part because of the extra-preparedness of organizations such as the WHO. Also, the federal government has committed more than $1.8 billion to buying vaccines for the virus. But we are struck by the alarmist tone of the whole thing. Dr. Marie-Paule Kieny, WHO director of the Initiative for Vaccine Research, is so panicked that she’s babbling almost incoherently: The H1N1 pandemic is “unstoppable” and “therefore … all countries need access to vaccine,” she cried. “Therefore”? Uh, if it’s unstoppable, what good will vaccines do?

And Last…

“Ahmed Omar Abu Ali is serving a 30-year sentence at the federal supermax prison in Florence, Colo., for joining Al Qaeda and plotting to assassinate then-President George W. Bush,” reports Fox News. Abu Ali is obviously dangerous, so when he requested some light reading material for his individual quiet time — two books titled “Dreams from My Father” and “The Audacity of Hope” — the prison denied the request, saying that the books contain material “potentially detrimental to national security.” Maybe someone should alert the CIA that the author of these books is still on the loose. In fact, he has robbed several large banks, swindled two car companies, and runs various other Ponzi schemes through surrogates he calls “czars.” He is approximately 6′ 1″ tall, is of dubious origin and has used several aliases (Barry Soetoro, Barack Hussein), and his last known residence is 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., Washington, DC.

*****

Veritas vos Liberabit — Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus, et Fidelis! Mark Alexander, Publisher, for The Patriot’s editors and staff.

(Please pray for our Armed Forces standing in harm’s way around the world, and for their families — especially families of those fallen Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen, who granted their lives in defense of American liberty.)

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