Obama administration has aggressively pushed a $433-million plan to buy an experimental smallpox drug, despite uncertainty over whether it is needed or will work

By David Willman,
Los Angeles TimesNovember 13,
2011

Reporting from Washington—

Over the last year,
the Obama administration has aggressively pushed a $433-million plan to buy an
experimental smallpox drug, despite uncertainty over whether it is needed or
will work.

Senior officials have taken unusual steps to secure the
contract for New York-based Siga Technologies Inc., whose controlling
shareholder is billionaire Ronald O. Perelman, one of the world’s richest men
and a longtime Democratic
Party
donor.

When Siga complained that contracting specialists at the
Department of Health and Human Services were resisting the company’s financial
demands, senior officials replaced the government’s lead negotiator for the
deal, interviews and documents show.

When Siga was in danger of losing
its grip on the contract a year ago, the officials blocked other firms from
competing.

Siga was awarded the final contract in May through a
“sole-source” procurement in which it was the only company asked to submit a
proposal. The contract calls for Siga to deliver 1.7 million doses of the drug
for the nation’s biodefense stockpile. The price of approximately $255 per dose
is well above what the government’s specialists had earlier said was reasonable,
according to internal documents and interviews.

Once feared for its
grotesque pustules and 30% death rate, smallpox was eradicated worldwide as of
1978 and is known to exist only in the locked freezers of a Russian scientific
institute and the U.S. government. There is no credible evidence that any other
country or a terrorist group possesses smallpox.

If there were an attack,
the government could draw on $1 billion worth of smallpox vaccine it already owns to
inoculate the entire U.S. population and quickly treat people exposed to the virus.
The vaccine, which costs the government $3 per dose, can reliably prevent death
when given within four days of exposure.

Attorney general says gun-walking ‘should never have happened’

Attorney general says gun-walking ‘should never have happened’

By Jordy Yager and Pete Kasperowicz – 11/08/11 10:20 AM ET

Attorney General Eric Holder admitted Tuesday that a federal gun-tracking operation was “flawed” and said it “should never have happened.”

In testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Holder condemned the controversial Operation Fast and Furious, which has been under intense congressional scrutiny for its use of “gun walking.”

//

Holder said the effects of Fast and Furious will be felt for years to come as the thousands of firearms sold to known and suspected criminals are used in future crimes.

 

“I want to be clear: Any instance of so-called ‘gun walking’ is unacceptable,” Holder said.

“This operation was flawed in concept, as well as in execution. And, unfortunately, we will feel its effects for years to come as guns that were lost during this operation continue to show up at crimes scenes both here and in Mexico. This should never have happened. And it must never happen again.”

 

Holder faced questions Tuesday about whether he misled Congress on May 3 when he testified about Fast and the Furious to the House Judiciary Committee.

 

At the House hearing, when asked when he first became aware of Fast and Furious, Holder said, “I’m not sure of the exact date, but I probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks.”

On Tuesday, Holder clarified his remarks, saying that he first learned about Fast and Furious and its gun-walking tactics after news reports emerged based on the concerns of whistleblowers. He said he immediately asked for an inspector general (IG) investigation.


 

Report: Sarkozy calls Netanyahu ‘liar’ Microphones accidently left on after G20 meeting pick up private conversation between US, French presidents. Sarkozy admits he ‘can’t stand’ Israeli premier. Obama: You’re fed up with him? I have to deal with him every day!

Report: Sarkozy calls Netanyahu ‘liar’

YNet
Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Microphones accidently left on after G20 meeting pick up private conversation between US, French presidents. Sarkozy admits he ‘can’t stand’ Israeli premier. Obama: You’re fed up with him? I have to deal with him every day!


French President Nicolas Sarkozy reportedly told US President Barack Obama that he could not “stand” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and that he thinks the Israeli premier “is a liar.”

According to a Monday report in the French website “Arret sur Images,” after facing reporters for a G20 press conference on Thursday, the two presidents retired to a private room, to further discuss the matters of the day.

The conversation apparently began with President Obama criticizing Sarkozy for not having warned him that France would be voting in favor of the Palestinian membership bid in UNESCO despite Washington’s strong objection to the move.

General Fuller’s Career-Ending Message for Americans

General Fuller’s Career-Ending Message for Americans

By
Fred
J. Eckert

One of America’s top generals in Afghanistan was fired
last Friday for making “inappropriate public remarks.”

Major General Peter Fuller’s career-destroying offense
was to publicly criticize Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai for saying during
an October 22nd interview with Pakistani news media that that if the
U.S. and Pakistan got into a war, he and Afghanistan would side with Pakistan in
fighting against the United States.  The general’s critical comments were made
during an interview Thursday with the left-leaning news website
Politico.

“Why don’t you just poke me in the eye with a needle?
You’ve got to be kidding me. … I’m sorry, we just gave you $11.6 billion, and
now you’re telling me, ‘I don’t really care?’ ” Fuller
said.

General Fuller also referred to Karzai’s being
“erratic,” expressed hope that Afghanistan’s next leader will be more
“articulate,” said he thought Afghan government leaders are “isolated from
reality” in their expectations of what America should expend in that country,
and said those Afghan leaders “don’t appreciate” the sacrifice that the United
States is making in “blood and treasure” for the people of their
country.

The general could have — but didn’t — mention that
Karzai is forever demanding apologies from us; that he has referred to the U.S.
and other foreign soldiers protecting him and  his country as “occupiers;” that
he has publicly threatened to join the Taliban; that he now and then demands our
“immediate” withdrawal; that his is a highly corrupt operation; that he is
scheming to dismantle his country’s constitution to perpetuate himself in power;
that when an October 29th Taliban suicide bombing attack against a
NATO bus in Kabul resulted in the deaths of some thirteen persons, most of them
Americans, Karzai again insulted us by expressed condolences only for the four
who were Afghans; and that it took our leaning on him to extract belated
inclusion of the Americans and others.

The elite media is treating as a fairly big story
General Fuller’s being fired for saying what he said in public.  Fair enough.
But what the elite media have been missing and continue to miss — and likely
will keep right on missing — is the bigger story of the bigger picture
here.

Everything General Fuller said that got him fired is
true and needs to be understood by the public and by the media.  Bear in mind
that General Fuller, a man who has served our country as a U.S. Army officer for
more than 30 years, was the deputy commander charged with turning Afghan’s
military into an effective fighting force.  Knowing this, there is something
lacking in anyone’s sense of patriotism who does not understand and share the
general’s annoyance and frustration about Karzai’s revealing that he would have
no qualms about ordering Afghan soldiers trained by Americans to fight and kill
Americans.

And yet…it is not the place of General
Fuller to presume without authorization to make and conduct U.S. foreign policy.
Clearly he crossed the line.  Thus, it is beside the point and matters not one
bit that what he said in public is true and very likely echoes what the superior
officer who fired him and just about every other American military official in
Afghanistan says in private.

We can expect that most of the debate about the firing
of General Fuller will center on the point just made and answered.  Big
mistake.

The firing of General Fuller raises a much larger
unanswered question, the question that should have been raised and discussed in
the media all along from the very moment that Hamid Karzai publicly made his
inappropriate, insulting remarks at which General Fuller and every other clear
thinking American rightly takes great offense: what should U.S. leaders say and
do when a foreign leader who owes his country’s freedom, and perhaps even his
own life, to American goodness acts towards America as one would act towards an
enemy?

This bigger question remains unanswered in the public
mind — because the media does not discuss it, does not bother to put the
question to those who should be made to answer it.

What did the president of the United States say or do
about Karzai’s volunteering a promise to fight against us?  No one seems to have
any idea.  A good guess is that Barack Obama either went golfing or went
fundraising, but that’s only a guess.  Did Obama issue a statement expressing
his displeasure and calling upon Karzai to apologize and retract?  No.  Did the
media ask him why not?  No.

What did the Obama administration’s secretary of state
say or do?  Hillary Clinton says she promptly called the U.S. ambassador to
Afghanistan and asked him to “go in and figure out what it means,” “it” being
these words uttered by Karzai on Pakistani media: “If fighting starts between
Pakistan and the U.S., we are beside Pakistan.”

Now, most people would take Karzai’s statement as
unequivocally declaring which side he would take in a war between America and
Pakistan — and that it would be against us.  Pakistan’s double-dealing
government understood it — and loved it.

But when the president of the United States is so
weak, apparently his secretary of state felt that the best course was to try to
protect him from embarrassing himself yet another time.  So Secretary Clinton
covered for Karzai, claiming that his remarks were “taken out of context and
misunderstood.”  She gets it that what nowadays passes for journalism is not
likely to run interference against a Democratic administration’s attempt to
hoodwink the American people.

What never got properly reported — because the media
never pressed the matter — is that the Obama State Department contends that
Karzai was merely making the observation that Afghanistan and Pakistan are
nextdoor neighbors, and thus, anyone fleeing Pakistan during a war with the U.S.
would not have to travel far to find welcome refuge.  This is not a joke.  This
is Obama administration foreign policy in action. Try to imagine how the media
would have played this had Condoleezza Rice resorted to such a cockamamie claim
to spare George W. Bush from having to act in the face of such an affront to
American honor.

Did Karzai ever issue a clarification explaining just
why it is a “misunderstanding” to think he said what he said, that he would side
with Pakistan against us in a war?  No.  Did the U.S. government demand it of
him?  No.  Why don’t the U.S. media ask?  Can’t they figure how to track down
the ambassador of Afghanistan in Washington?  Do you think the Pakistanis
believe that Karzai didn’t mean it when he said he’d side with them against us?
Shouldn’t the elite media ask?

When NATO and American commander in Afghanistan, Gen.
John
R. Allen
,
explained that he was firing General Peter Fuller because of “inappropriate
public comments,” he may not have caught the irony.  General Fuller’s
“inappropriate public comments” were a reaction to Karzai’s wildly
“inappropriate public comments” that insulted our country and are an affront to
any and every American who has aided the people of
Afghanistan.

General Allen also used the word “unfortunate” in his
statement announcing the firing of General Fuller.  It is indeed unfortunate for
us all that it was General Fuller rather than President Obama who took Hamid
Karzai to task for insulting America.

A president worthy of respect would have been man
enough to take Karzai to task himself and not permit this sad spectacle of a
long-serving soldier ruining his career for defending American honor when the
president should have but didn’t.

Barack Obama should have picked up the phone and told
Hamid Karzai something like this: “I am alerting you that your life is
suddenly in much greater danger and I urge you to take prompt action to lessen
this increased danger. I expect you to appear on television and radio at the
earliest possible opportunity and announce to the world that not only would you
never side against America in a war but, rather, you would stand with us. Until
you have done this, I have ordered the complete withholding of all personal
safety protection provided by US military that you, your family and your
colleagues have relied upon to keep you alive.  The other affected parties are
being informed of this in private.  As soon as I learn that you have taken this
step necessary to correct your insult to my country I will restore protection –
but not one moment sooner. If you do not act swiftly, I shall begin working on
drafting eulogy remarks.  Have a nice day.”

I wonder — don’t you? — which, if any, of the
Republican candidates for president would handle things in such a firm and
highly persuasive manner.

Don’t you wish that someone in the media — hey, it
could certainly be one of the conservative outlets — would approach Barack
Obama or at least his press secretary plus each of the Republican presidential
contenders, point to the firing of General Fuller, and then raise the big
question this whole issue needs discussed and answered?
Namely:

What should U.S. leaders say and do when a foreign
leader who owes his country’s freedom and perhaps even his own life to American
goodness acts towards America as one would act towards an
enemy
?

It would be foolish of the media and the rest of us to
now only focus on whether General Fuller should have taken it upon himself to be
the one to publicly confront Harmed Karzai over his reprehensible insult to
America (already asked and answered).

It’s time to demand that the current president of the
United States and anyone who might be president come 20 January 2013 be asked –
and forced to answer — how they would deal with such an affront to American
honor.

Fred J. Eckert is a former
conservative Republican congressman from New York and twice served as a U.S.
ambassador (to the U.N. and to Fiji) under President Reagan, who called him “a
good friend and valuable advisor.”  He’s retired and lives with his wife in
Raleigh, NC.

ALL EUROPEAN LIFE DIED IN AUSCHWITZ written by Spanish writer Sebastian

ALL EUROPEAN   LIFE DIED IN AUSCHWITZ

The following   is a copy of an article written by Spanish writer Sebastian
Vilar Rodriguez   and published in a Spanish newspaper on Jan. 15, 2008.
It doesn’t take much imagination to extrapolate the message to the rest of
Europe – and possibly to the rest of the   world.

REMEMBER AS YOU READ — IT WAS IN A SPANISH PAPER
Date: Tue.   15 January 2008 14:30

ALL EUROPEAN LIFE DIED IN AUSCHWITZ By Sebastian Vilar Rodrigez

I walked   down the street in Barcelona , and suddenly discovered a   terrible
truth – Europe died in Auschwitz   . We killed six million Jews and replaced
them with 20 million Muslims.. In   Auschwitz we burned a culture,   thought,
creativity, talent. We destroyed the chosen people, truly chosen,   because
they produced great and wonderful people who changed the   world.

The contribution of this people is felt in all areas of life:   science, art,
international trade, and above all, as the conscience of the   world. These
are the people we burned.

And under the pretense of   tolerance, and because we wanted to prove to
ourselves that we were cured   of the disease of racism, we opened our gates
to 20 million Muslims, who   brought us stupidity and ignorance, religious
extremism and lack of   tolerance, crime and poverty, due to an unwillingness
to work and support   their families with pride.

They have blown up our trains and turned our   beautiful Spanish cities into
the third world, drowning in filth and   crime.

Shut up in the apartments they receive free from the government,   they plan
the murder and destruction of their naive hosts.

And thus,   in our misery, we have exchanged culture for fanatical hatred,
creative   skill for destructive skill, intelligence for backwardness   and
superstition.

We have exchanged the pursuit of peace of the Jews   of Europe and their
talent for a better   future for their children, their determined clinging to
life because life   is holy, for those who pursue death, for people consumed
by the desire for   death for themselves and others, for our children and
theirs.

What a   terrible mistake was made by miserable Europe   ..

The Global Islamic population is approximately 1,200,000,000; that   is ONE
BILLION TWO HUNDRED MILLION or 20% of the world’s population. They   have
received the following Nobel Prizes:

Literature:
1988 –   Najib Mahfooz

Peace:
1978 – Mohamed Anwar El-Sadat
1990 – Elias   James Corey
1994 – Yaser Arafat:
1999 – Ahmed   Zewai

Economics:
(zero)

Physics:
(zero)

Medicine:
1960   – Peter Brian Medawar
1998 – Ferid Mourad

TOTAL: 7 SEVEN

The Global Jewish   population is approximately 14,000,000; that is FOURTEEN
MILLION or about   0.02% of the world’s population. They have received the
following Nobel   Prizes:

Literature:
1910 – Paul Heyse
1927 – Henri   Bergson
1958 – Boris Pasternak
1966 – Shmuel Yosef Agnon
1966 – Nelly   Sachs
1976 – Saul Bellow
1978 – Isaac Bashevis Singer
1981 – Elias   Canetti
1987 – Joseph Brodsky
1991 – Nadine Gordimer   World

Peace:
1911 – Alfred Fried
1911 – Tobias Michael Carel   Asser
1968 – Rene Cassin
1973 – Henry Kissinger
1978 – Menachem   Begin
1986 – Elie Wiesel
1994 – Shimon Peres
1994 – Yitzhak   Rabin

Physics:
1905 – Adolph Von Baeyer
1906 – Henri   Moissan
1907 – Albert Abraham Michelson
1908 – Gabriel Lippmann
1910   – Otto Wallach
1915 – Richard Willstaetter
1918 – Fritz Haber
1921 –   Albert Einstein
1922 – Niels Bohr
1925 – James Franck
1925 – Gustav   Hertz
1943 – Gustav Stern
1943 – George Charles de Hevesy
1944 –   Isidor Issac Rabi
1952 – Felix Bloch
1954 – Max Born
1958 – Igor   Tamm
1959 – Emilio Segre
1960 – Donald A. Glaser
1961 – Robert   Hofstadter
1961 – Melvin Calvin
1962 – Lev Davidovich Landau
1962 –   Max Ferdinand Perutz
1965 – Richard Phillips Feynman
1965 – Julian   Schwinger
1969 – Murray Gell-Mann
1971 – Dennis   Gabor
1972 – William Howard Stein
1973 – Brian David Josephson
1975 –   Benjamin Mottleson
1976 – Burton Richter
1977 – Ilya   Prigogine
1978 – Arno Allan Penzias
1978 – Peter L Kapitza
1979 –   Stephen Weinberg
1979 – Sheldon Glashow
1979 – Herbert Charles   Brown
1980 – Paul Berg
1980 – Walter Gilbert
1981 – Roald   Hoffmann
1982 – Aaron Klug
1985 – Albert A. Hauptman
1985 – Jerome   Karle
1986 – Dudley R. Herschbach
1988 – Robert Huber
1988 – Leon   Lederman
1988 – Melvin Schwartz
1988 – Jack Steinberger
1989 – Sidney   Altman
1990 – Jerome Friedman
1992 – Rudolph Marcus
1995 – Martin   Perl
2000 – Alan J. Heeger

Economics:
1970 – Paul Anthony   Samuelson
1971 – Simon Kuznets
1972 – Ken neth Joseph Arrow
1975 –   Leonid Kantorovich
1976 – Milton Friedman
1978 – Herbert A.   Simon
1980 – Lawrence Robert Klein
1985 – Franco   Modigliani
1987 – Robert M.. Solow
1990 – Harry Markowitz
1990 –   Merton Miller
1992 – Gary Becker
1993 – Robert   Fogel

Medicine:
1908 – Elie Metchnikoff
1908 – Paul   Erlich
1914 – Robert Barany
1922 – Otto Meyerhof
1930 – Karl   Landsteiner
1931 – Otto Warburg
1936 – Otto Loewi
1944 – Joseph   Erlanger
1944 – Herbert Spencer Gasser
1945 – Ernst Boris Chain
1946   – Hermann Joseph Muller
1950 – Tadeus Reichstein
1952 – Selman Abraham   Waksman
1953 – Hans Krebs
1953 – Fritz Albert Lipmann
1958 – Joshua   Lederberg
1959 – Arthur Kornberg
1964 – Konrad Bloch
1965 – Francois   Jacob
1965 – Andre Lwoff
1967 – George Wald
1968 – Marshall W.   Nirenberg
1969 – Salvador Luria
1970 – Julius   Axelrod
1970 – Sir Bernard Katz
1972 – Gerald Maurice Edelman
1975 –   Howard Martin Temin
1976 – Baruch S. Blumberg
1977 – Roselyn Sussman   Yalow
1978 – Daniel Nathans
1980 – Baruj Benacerraf
1984 – Cesar   Milstein
1985 – Michael Stuart Brown
1985 – Joseph L. Goldstein
1986   – Stan ley Cohen [& Rita Levi-Montalcini]
1988 – Gertrude Elion
1989   – Harold Varmus
1991 – Erwin Neher
1991 – Bert Sakmann
1993 – Richard   J. Roberts
1993 – Phillip Sharp
1994 – Alfred Gilman
1995 – Edward B.   Lewis
1996- Lu RoseIacovino
TOTAL:   129!

The Jews are NOT promoting brain-washing children in   military training
camps, teaching them how to blow themselves up and cause   the maximum number
of deaths of Jews and other non-Muslims. The Jews don’t   hijack planes, nor
kill athletes at the Olympics, or blow themselves up in   German restaurants.
There is NOT one single Jew who has destroyed a church.   There is NOT a
single Jew who protests by killing people.

The Jews   don’t traffic slaves, nor have leaders calling for Jihad and death
to all   the Infidels.

Perhaps the world’s Muslims should consider investing   more in standard
education and less in blaming the Jews for all their   problems.

Muslims must ask ‘what can they do for humankind’ before they   demand that
humankind respects them.

Regardless of your feelings   about the crisis between Israel and the
Palestinians and   Arab neighbors, even if you believe there is more
culpability on Israel ‘s part, the following two   sentences really say it
all:

‘If the Arabs put down their weapons   today, there would be no more violence.
If the Jews put down their weapons   today, there would be no more Israel ..”
Benjamin   Netanyahu

When the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces, General   Dwight Eisenhower,
found the victims of the death camps, he ordered all   possible photographs to
be taken and for the German people from surrounding   villages to be ushered
through the camps and even made to bury the   dead.

He did this because he said in words to this effect:

‘Get   it all on record now – get the films – get the witnesses –   because
somewhere down the road of history some bastard will get up and say   that
this never happened.’

Recently, the UK   debated whether to remove The Holocaust from its school
curriculum because   it ‘offends’ the Muslim population, which claims it never
occurred. It is   not removed as yet. However, this is a frightening portent
of the fear that   is gripping the world and how easily each country is giving
in to   it.

It is now more than 60 years after the Second World War in   Europe ended.
This e-mail is being sent as   a memorial chain, in memory of the 6 million
Jews, 20 million Russians, 10   million Christians, and 1,900 Catholic priests
who were ‘murdered, raped,   burned, starved, beaten, experimented on and
humiliated’ while the German   people looked the other way.

Now more than ever, with Iran   among others, claiming the Holocaust is ‘a myth,’ it is imperative to make   sure the world never forgets.

This e-mail is intended to reach 400   million people. Be a link in the
memorial chain and help distribute this   around the world.

How many years will it be before the attack on the   World   Trade Center ‘NEVER
HAPPENED’ because it   offends some Muslim in the United States ?

Green energy is little more than a way for President Obama to dole out federal dollars to his favorite firms at the expense of coal, oil, and natural gas producers.

Green Energy: Damn the Facts, Full Speed Ahead!

By Neil
Snyder

In 2008, a group of more than 31,000 scientists signed a petition dissenting from the
position of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
that man-made CO2 emissions are destroying our planet.  More than
9,000 of them have Ph.D. degrees in fields like atmospheric science,
climatology, earth science, and environmental science.  That’s fifteen times
more Ph.D. scientists than are involved in the IPCC campaign.

 

One of the group’s leaders, the late Professor
Frederick Seitz, said:

 

The United States is very close to adopting an
international agreement that would ration the use of energy and of technologies
that depend upon coal, oil, and natural gas and some other organic compounds.
… This treaty is, in our opinion, based upon flawed ideas.  Research data on
climate change do not show that human use of hydrocarbons is harmful.  To the
contrary, there is good evidence that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide is
environmentally helpful.

 

Seitz was a first-rate scientist who served as
president of Rockefeller
University
and president of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.  Seitz
was also a recipient of the National Medal of Science.  The agreement to which
he referred is the Kyoto Protocol.

 

Ivar Giaever, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist, resigned from the American Physical Society because of its
position on global warming.  So did University of California professor Hal
Lewis.  When Lewis resigned, he said that the global warming movement was a “scam” and a
“pseudoscientific fraud.”

 

Even so, our government is imposing strict controls to
reduce greenhouse gas emissions in hopes of staving off global warming even
though earth’s atmosphere is cooling.  Meanwhile, the cost to you and
me is higher energy prices, higher inflation, a lower standard of living, and
fewer new jobs, since every product we buy has an energy cost component.  Under
orders from the president, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is moving ahead aggressively with regulations to reduce
CO2 emissions.  President Obama’s misguided effort to stay the course
by fiat or by executive order is very expensive, and it’s a price that we can
ill afford to pay — especially now, as our economy is struggling to recover
from the Great Recession.

 

Global warming alarmists have resorted to fixing data, hiding data, and other things to keep people from learning the
truth.  They are motivated by blind faith in a theory that isn’t supported by
the facts.  It’s a perfect example of anti-science at work in the scientific
community.  To deny that our climate is cooling, you have to ignore a mountain
of hard data, and the facts are mounting year by year.  For example, it was
comical to watch the participants at the December 2010 U.N. Global Warming
Summit in Cancún, Mexico dress for winter as temperatures plunged to a 100-year record low.  That kind of thing is happening all over
the world, and it’s not anecdotal data.  It’s a global trend that only die-hard
global warming alarmists refuse to accept.

 

Did you know that the number of global weather
tracking stations has been reduced, and disproportionately, the eliminated stations are
in colder regions?  Global warming alarmists have continued to report data
showing global temperatures rising despite the fact that colder locations have
been taken out of the data set, and they haven’t bothered to divulge that fact.
If you take cold readings out of the data set, average temperatures rise, but it
has absolutely nothing to do with the climate.  Similarly, if you included the
temperature inside my oven in the data set, average temperatures would
rise…but it would be an act of fraud.

 

The climate is cooling, and it’s been
cooling since 1998.  Eventually, the truth will prevail, but in the
meantime, President Obama continues to retard progress at great cost to the
American people.  The only people profiting from global warming hysteria are
global warming alarmists who are selling a pig in a poke.  President Obama is
firmly in their camp.  In fact, he is their champion.

 

The United States has been blessed with enough
resources to meet our energy needs and to export our surpluses, but we have not
developed them the way we should.  Instead, we have been cowed by liberal
progressives who would rather see our economy go down the tubes than develop
what they consider “dirty energy.”

 

In 2008, the U.S. imported almost 13,000,000 barrels of oil per day, or about 57% of our total
oil consumption.  Although our energy needs have been increasing rapidly, the
U.S. didn’t build a new refinery between 1998 and 2008, even then
over the strong objections of liberal progressives.  In 2008 alone, the U.S.
spent almost $500,000,000,000 on imported oil.  That’s half a trillion
dollars that we didn’t need to spend.  Our dependence on foreign oil is putting
our economy (not to mention our national security) at risk.

 

Saying that the U.S. is rich in energy resources is an
understatement.  At today’s consumption levels, we have enough coal to meet our
needs for the next 500 years.  We have 22,450,000,000 barrels of proven oil reserves, and we are
finding new oil reserves all the time.  The U.S. has 250 trillion cubic feet of proven natural gas reserves.  We
are finding new gas reserves daily, and we are discovering new ways to tap into
hard-to-get gas deposits.  Putting that in perspective, the U.S. has more energy
in natural gas than the entire Middle East has in oil.  It’s disgraceful that
we’re putting our economic and national security at risk to import strategic
resources that we have in abundance.

 

T. Boone Pickens, one of the world’s leading oil and
gas men and an energy investor, has launched a campaign to reduce our dependence
on foreign oil by developing our natural gas reserves.  His plan is called
the Pickens
Plan
.  Pickens deserves our support, but we need to do more.  We must
develop our coal, oil, and natural gas reserves.  We also need to develop wind
energy, solar energy, and hydrogen energy.  There is absolutely no excuse for
the United States to import oil and gas from another nation.

 

We have already spent more than $2,000,000,000,000 on a vast array of stimulus programs since
President Obama took office.  That’s several times more than will be needed to
fully develop all of our energy resources.  We have squandered our wealth to
reward individuals and groups that supported candidate Obama in 2008 while our
critical economic and security needs have gotten scant
attention.

 

Green energy alternatives may satisfy our energy needs
one day, but this much is certain: today, green energy is little more than a way
for President Obama to dole out federal dollars to his favorite firms at the
expense of coal, oil, and natural gas producers.  The science and technology do
not exist in green energy areas to meet even a smidgen of our energy needs.
That’s what the facts tell us, and ignoring the facts is costing us jobs and tax
revenue.

 

Neil Snyder is a chaired professor
emeritus at the University of Virginia.  His blog,
SnyderTalk, is posted
daily.  His latest book is titled
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Obama’s food-stamp dole at record levels

Obama’s food-stamp dole at record levels

David
Paulin

 

Nearly 15 percent of the population — 45.8 million people
–  were on the food-stamp dole in August, the Wall Street Journal
reported. How come?

According to the paper, it’s all because of the horrible
economy, with the number of people on food stamps having risen 8.1 percent in
the past year.

What the WSJ doesn’t mention is that the exploding use of
food stamps has much to do with changing attitudes over the years about what
food-stamp recipients are entitled to — and that now includes junk food and
sugary drinks. In addition, soaring levels of fraud have helped to drive soaring
food-stamp use, according to a recent Op-Ed in The Journal, “The Food-Stamp Crime Wave.” (Do WSJ
reporters read their paper’s Op-Ed page?)

Interestingly, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg tried some
months ago to stop the use of food stamps for sugary beverages like soda pop in
an effort to curb exploding levels of diabetes and obesity among New Yorkers. However, the
Obama administration rejected Bloomberg’s proposal for eliminating soda. Among other
things, administration bureaucrats claimed Bloomberg’s plan lacked “a clear and
practical means to determine product eligibility, which is essential to avoid
retailer confusion at point-of-sale and stigma (emphasis added) for
affected clients.”

Stigma? Now that’s an interesting word, because there is no
stigma left anymore for those using food stamps, which incidentally are no
longer actually “stamps” but debit cards that you swipe like a credit card. And
food-stamp cards can buy just about anything your stomach
desires. Nationwide, 6 percent of
food stamp benefits are spent on sugary beverages, according to the United
States Department of Agriculture, which administers the food stamp program and
that was the source of the WSJ’s statistics about soaring levels of food-stamp
use.

As to fraud, that WSJ Op-Ed by James Bovard noted that “The
number of food-stamp recipients has soared to 44 million from 26 million in
2007. Not surprisingly, fraud and abuse are rampant.”

Among other things, he explained:

Millionaires are now legally entitled to collect food
stamps as long as they have little or no monthly income. Thirty-five states have
abolished asset tests for most food-stamp recipients. These and similar
“paperwork reduction” reforms advocated by the United States Department of
Agriculture (USDA) are turning the food-stamp program into a magnet for abuses
and absurdities.

Ultimately, soaring food-stamp use is not just another
anti-poverty program for the Obama administration. It’s all about “spreading the
wealth around.”

Unfortunately, poor people who really need food stamps must
now endure the “stigma” of being lumped together with the many deadbeats now on
the food-stamp dole.

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