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.

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.

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
If You Voted for Obama in 2008 to Prove You’re Not a
Racist, You Need to Vote for Someone Else in 2012 to Prove You’re Not an
Idiot
.

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.

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.

Debunking Obama’s Latest Jobs Myth

Debunking Obama’s Latest Jobs Myth

Mike Brownfield

November 3, 2011 at 9:37 am

 

Imagine a high-speed train zooming down hundreds of miles of glistening train track stretching across sunny California, connecting Anaheim to San Francisco. It’s a bullet train dream, and it’s a prime example of President Barack Obama’s latest plan to create jobs in America. The trouble is that this dream is far from reality.

The Los Angeles Times reported this week that the California high-speed train–which is funded in part by $3 billion in federal grants from President Obama’s stimulus–is now expected to cost $98 billion, twice what was expected, and will take an additional 13 years to complete, extending the project to 2033. Questions remain about where the funding will come from, whether the project is viable, and whether the projected ridership will even materialize.

But projects like these are central to President Obama’s plan to put Americans back to work. Speaking yesterday from Georgetown Waterfront Park in Washington, D.C., Obama declared that his plan will “put hundreds of thousands of construction workers back on the job rebuilding our roads, our airports, our bridges and our transit systems.” And that is, of course, all at the expense of the American taxpayers.

The President once called these projects “shovel ready,” meaning that as soon as money arrived from the federal government, workers could be on the job. He made it sound as easy as flipping a switch, but unfortunately it didn’t work as planned. Despite a $787 billion stimulus package, America’s economy continues to languish with 14 million out of work and a 9.1 percent unemployment rate. The President joked, “Shovel-ready was not as shovel-ready as we expected.” Though he didn’t use the phrase “shovel-ready” in his remarks yesterday, the implication was still there. If Congress approves his jobs plan, he argued, all the construction workers sitting on the sidelines will be put back to work overnight.

But that’s not the way things work in the real world. Associated Press and Congressional Research Service reports show that infrastructure spending does not create jobs and, in fact, can even have a negative effect. Heritage’s Patrick Knudsen explains:

Building and repairing roads and bridges neither creates net job growth nor boosts the economy in the near term.

First, increasing government spending on these projects simply moves resources from one place to another — it may employ construction workers, but only by reducing jobs in other sectors. Further, the money never gets out the door soon enough to promote near-term job growth.

And then there’s the President’s flawed argument that since others are doing it, the United States should be, too. “How do we sit back and watch China and Europe build the best bridges and high-speed railroads and gleaming new airports, and we’re doing nothing?” he asks. It’s not a new line of argument from the President, and it leaves out some very important facts.

Dating all the way back to the 2008 presidential campaign, Obama spoke of the need to “invest” in infrastructure in order to be competitive with the likes of China. At the time, Jim Geraghty reported at National Review Online that while Obama puts China on a pedestal, he entirely overlooks some serious problems with transportation in China–namely, stories of severe power shortages affecting the country’s exports, an episode where 500,000 train passengers were left stranded for days, and outbreaks of violence where airplane travelers were left grounded without accommodation. And that’s not to mention the working conditions under which China builds its infrastructure.

Meanwhile, Europe, which heavily subsidizes its passenger rail systems, receives a poor return on its investment. Heritage’s Ron Utt explains that despite massive spending, passengers are opting for more efficient transportation in the air:

In Europe as a whole (EU-27), rail accounted for only 6.1 percent of passenger travel in 2007, including travel by air and sea. Buses accounted for 8.3 percent of the market, and air travel accounted for 8.8 percent. Despite Europe’s huge investment in passenger rail, its market share declined from 6.6 percent in 1995 to 6.1 percent in 2007. Over that same period, commercial air increased its share from 6.3 percent to 8.8 percent. By providing faster service and competitive prices, it took passengers away from rail, buses, and autos.

But to hear President Obama tell the story, building a European- or Chinese-style infrastructure is the key to the future–and to creating new jobs. Workers are ready to go, and all they need is your money to get started. But this is something we tried once already with the last stimulus, it didn’t work, and it’s not going to work this time, either. Obama’s infrastructure plan is a train that shouldn’t leave the station, headed for a bridge to nowhere, and jobs are the last thing that it will deliver.

The Worst President Since Before the Civil War

The Worst President Since Before the Civil War

By Steve
McCann

Three years ago, the people of the United States
elected someone who has turned out to be the worst president since the pre-Civil
War era.  Barack Obama, whether in economic matters, domestic affairs or
international relations, has been an abject failure and has severely jeopardized
the future of the American people.

This must be the focus and message of those seeking
the Republican presidential nomination, who must not allow themselves to be
focused on demeaning each other and sidetracked by falling for the usual tactics
of the Democrat and media smear machines (epitomized by the latest specious
attack on Herman Cain).

A cursory examination of Obama’s overall record
compared with other presidents reveals someone driven purely by statist
ideology, whose narcissism renders him incapable of change regardless of the
long-term consequences.  He does not seem to care what happens to the American
people.

Ronald Reagan and Franklin Roosevelt faced far worse
economic conditions when they came into office than were in play when Barack
Obama was elected president.  Yet with one a fiscal conservative (Ronald Reagan)
and the other (Franklin Roosevelt) a liberal Democrat, even though they pursued
differing solutions to the dilemmas at hand, neither put the nation squarely and
inexorably on the road to bankruptcy and second-class status.

Barack Obama and his apologists continuously claim
that he inherited the worst economy since the Great Depression and that if it
were not for his policies presently in place, matters would be far worse.  The
reality is that he did not inherit the worst economy since the 1930s, and his
policies have diminished the standard of living for the majority of
Americans.

The actual factors in play for Barack Obama, Ronald
Reagan, and Franklin Roosevelt when they assumed office were as
follows:

Annual GDP Growth Unemployment Rate          Inflation
Barack Obama               1.1%               6.7%               1.0%
Ronald Reagan                 .1               7.6             12.6
Franklin Roosevelt            -13.0             24.0 -10.0

For the average American, the employment numbers are
the most critical.  The following chart is a side by side comparison of the
employment situation for Barack Obama as of Election Day 2008 versus the present
day after three years of his failed policies:

    November 2008       October 2011           Difference
Unemployment Rate 6.7%              9.1%            +35.8%
Total Employment       144.25 million        140.07 million        -4.18 million
Employment-Goods Producing
sector
20.9 million 18.1
million
-2.8
million
Part-time Workers (Only Jobs
Available)
1.57
million
2.9
million
+84.7%
Unemployed 27 Weeks or more 2.2
million
6.3
million
+4.1
million
Avg. Weekly Wage (inflation
adjusted)
$654.03 $655.87 +.2%

(http://www.bls.gov/schedule/archives/empsit_nr.htm#current)

How does Barack Obama compare to some of his
predecessors, who inherited far more severe financial crises?  As a further
comparison, while he did not inherit a financial crisis, Jimmy Carter is
included, as he is considered by many the worst president in the post-World War
II era, and many of his policies triggered the massive recession and inflation
inherited by Ronald Reagan.

(Note: The Bureau of Labor Statistics changed its
method of calculating the unemployment rate in 1994.  Therefore, in order to
make this a more valid comparison, those workers the BLS considers discouraged
and marginally attached to the labor force and therefore not part of the
unemployment rate calculation have been added below.)

Unemployment Rate as of Election
Day
Unemployment Rate Three years
later
        Difference
Barack Obama             7.9%            10.75%              -36%
Ronald Reagan             7.6              8.3              –  9
Jimmy Carter             7.8              5.9             +24
Franklin Roosevelt           24.1            20.1 +17

Barack Obama has chosen uncontrolled and unbridled
government spending, much of it directed to his cronies and fellow ideologues,
as his solution to restarting the economy.  This has created an enormous amount
of new debt for the nation with nothing to show for it.  One of his
predecessors, Franklin Roosevelt, also chose that route as part of his plan to
rescue the American economy.  However, he never took it to the extreme that
Obama has done, with the aid of his allies in the Democratic Party.  During
Obama’s tenure, he has added over $4,000 billion ($4 trillion) to the national
debt.

Using the historical actual deficits as a percentage
of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) applied to today’s GDP, the comparison would
be as follows (Herbert Hoover has been added, as he faced the actual massive
collapse of the economy in 1929, the first year of his term.)

Average Deficit as % of GDP First Three Years of
Term
(2011 Dollars) Additional National
Debt
Barack Obama                  9.23%              $4,005
Billion
Ronald Reagan                  4.08                1,800
Franklin Roosevelt 3.50                1,531
Jimmy Carter                  2.27                   986
Herbert Hoover .01 15

(http://www.usgovernmentspending.com)

The ultimate measure of the success or failure of a
president’s economic policies is the growth of the nation’s Gross Domestic
Product while facing economic headwinds.  Here, too, Barack Obama cannot measure
up to those who faced enormous challenges, as his policies and regulatory
obsession have shown him to be an anti-capitalist ideologue with more in common
with the Occupy Wall Street Movement than with the American
people.

      Barack Obama      Ronald Reagan    Franklin Roosevelt
Actual inflation adjusted GDP Growth
First Three Years
.3% 13.7% 23.4%

It should be noted that Franklin Roosevelt, after
re-election in 1936, began to pursue more statist policies including demonizing
the rich, higher taxes, passing union-friendly legislation, and additional
government spending, so that by the third year of his second term, the GDP had
contracted by 6.5% and unemployment rose to 19.0% from a low of 14.0% in 1937.
Yet the annual budget deficit as a percent of GDP averaged 3.85% for Roosevelt’s
first two terms as compared to Obama’s 9.23% to date.  (http://www.shmoop.com/great-depression/statistics.html)

By any measure, Barack Obama is not only a failure in
his economic policies, but he is, in the aggregate, the worst steward of the
American economy since economic measurements began to be
recorded.

It is little wonder that his re-election strategy is
centered on demonizing his potential opponents and deliberately appealing to the
base nature of the human race — greed and envy — as manifested in his class
warfare rhetoric.  This is a record that cannot be defended under any
circumstances, and one the Republicans must focus upon and unceasingly bring it
before the American people.

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