June 6, 2011

Press Ignores Sunstein’s ‘Young Man’ Claim, But in 1998 Jumped on Hyde’s ‘Youthful Indiscretions’ Remark

sunsteinOn Friday, Cass Sunstein, the White House’s 56 year-old Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (pictured at right), attempted to disavow a 42-page paper he wrote called “Lives, Life-Years, and Willingness to Pay,” which recommended that the government reduce resources directed at benefitting the elderly in favor of increasing what goes to young people, because young people have more years of life ahead of them. His statement, as carried at CNS News:

“I’m a lot older now than the author with my name was, and I’m not sure what I think about what that young man wrote,” he said. “Things written as an academic are not a legitimate part of what we do as a government official. So I am not focusing on sentences that a young Cass Sunstein wrote years ago.

So, dear readers, before you go to the rest of this post, guess how “young” Sunstein was when he engaged in his de facto “death panels” advocacy.

… Ready? Okay, here goes:


Positivity: Doctors claim to have ‘functional cure’ for HIV

Filed under: Health Care,Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 3:59 pm

It has involved “a bone marrow, stem cell transplant.”

From San Francisco (video is also at link):

Thirty years ago from Sunday, the Centers for Disease Control issued the first report on the emerging AIDS epidemic. Now, after years of progress in holding back the disease, there is finally an apparent case of one successful cure.

CBS News correspondent Hank Plante, with San Francisco affiliate KCBS, reports that 45-year-old Timothy Ray Brown, now living in the Bay Area, tested positive for HIV back in 1995, but now has entered the scientific journals as the first man in world history to have his HIV completely eliminated from his body. It’s what doctors call a “functional cure.”

He was living in Berlin, Germany, in 2007, dealing with HIV and leukemia, when scientists there gave him a bone marrow, stem cell transplant that had astounding results.

“I quit taking my HIV medication on the day that I got the transplant and haven’t had to take any since,” Brown says, adding that his diseases are effectively gone.

In fact, his only medical problem these days is one involving his speech and motor skills because of neurological damage after the treatment, but that’s getting better.

“The Berlin Patient,” as Brown is known, received stem cells from a donor who was immune to HIV. In fact, about one percent of Caucasians are immune to HIV. Some say it goes back to the Great Plague; People who survived the plague developed an immunity, and that immunity was passed down to their heirs today.

Brown says being the first man to be cured of HIV makes him very, very happy.

Needless to say, Brown is now being monitored by doctors at San Francisco General Hospital and here at UCSF, where we sought out a medical opinion from one of the most respected AIDS researchers in the world, Dr. Jay Levy, who was one of the co-discoverers of the HIV virus.

“If you’re able to take the white cells from someone and manipulate them so they’re no longer infectable by HIV, and those white cells become the whole immune system of that individual, you’ve got essentially what we call a functional cure,” Dr. Levy says.

Go here for the rest of the story.

AP’s Alonso-Zaldivar Inadvertently Proves Political Nature of Obamacare Waivers

NoToObamacareIn late January (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I noted how the Associated Press and the New York Times had been studiously avoiding covering the Obamacare waivers granted by Kathleen Sebelius’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Though I can’t verify that the AP has ignored the issue since, it doesn’t seem to have been a prominently covered item until today, when wire service reporter Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar (“Health care law waivers stir suspicion of favors”) unsurprisingly weighed in for the defense.

In doing so, the AP reporter failed to note that the waiver process’s arbitrary nature, which leaves plans at the tender mercies of HHS, is troubling even if the evidence of favoritism is not yet convincing (arbitrariness can also involve poor judgment even if politics aren’t involved). He also failed to address those who contend that if Obamacare is such a good thing, why are companies and other entities having to scramble to avoid it? Finally, he failed to tell readers if any waiver requests have been turned down, and if so why.

Here are excerpts from Alonso-Zaldivar’s report. Get a load of his third paragraph, where he dreams up excuses, and the final excerpted paragraph, where he all but admits that waivers in general are being granted for a very important political reason — to prevent embarrassing Obama and the Democratic Party (bolds and numbered tags are mine):

Latest Pajamas Media Column (‘The Job Market: Far Worse Than It Appears’) Is Up

It’s here.

It will go up here at BizzyBlog on Wednesday (link won’t work until then) after the blackout expires.


SAandNSAjobsAddsMay01toMay11Subheadline: “The raw numbers are downright scary.”

Bottom Line: “… if the economy in May 2007 had generated the raw overall and private-sector job additions seen in May 2011, both seasonally adjusted results would have been negative.”

Go to the column to fully understand why.

Related commentary:

  • Michael Barone at the Washington Examiner — “Who put the chill on American businesses?” Hints: He plays a lot of golf, and he’s a Democrat. If you still don’t know, Barone gave away the answer in his previous Sunday post — “Obama tunes out, and business goes on hiring strike.”
  • Scott at Powerline (Part 1; Part 2) — “The Real Unemployment.” Money quote: “The scope of the suffering created by large-scale long-term unemployment has somehow failed to register. The real unemployment will never get in the books, so to speak, at least so long as a Democrat is president and an election is looming.” The “truth to power” folks are virtually AWOL.
  • Investors Business Daily cartoonist Michael Ramirez correctly characterizes Obama policies as the equivalent of an economic tornado.

Also: Excerpts from the detail of a Mercatus.org report (“The Economy is Like a Leaky Balloon”; HT Instapundit) by Bruce Yandle (full PDF):

“The average family now spends 5% of its income on gasoline. The share was 2% two years ago. … The longer trend still points to higher prices.”

“Recently minted graduates can make it in today’s knowledge economy. But it’s just almost impossible to absorb unemployed construction workers when construction is practically dead.”

“… household formations have plummeted over the most recent two years for which we have data. Of course, the marriage rate has fallen, and the birth rate has dropped. The decline in household formations comes at a time when owners of empty houses would love to see just the reverse. If the trend continues, and that is a big if, then we might witness a Great Recession generation.”

(in a graphic in the document) “2010 Birth Rate dropped to 13.4/1000. Lowest ever recorded. Ranged from 14.4 to 14 from 1998-2007.”

To fully disclose, Yandle’s report is somewhat upbeat about the job market and American competitiveness. I wish I could agree. In my view, it’s likely that he is underestimating the effect that White House-induced malaise has had and will continue to have.

Positivity: Remembering D-Day

Filed under: Positivity,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 5:56 am

Go to the Army’s web site and watch the embedded video (video transcript is here).

CBS Reporter Whitaker Invokes ‘Long, Hot Summer’ Cliche in Covering Teen Unemployment, Ignores Minimum-Wage Impact

http://i739.photobucket.com/albums/xx40/mmatters/BillWhitakerCBSFor those too young to remember, invoking a “long, hot summer” was a favorite pastime of the establishment press and so-called “civil rights leaders” after the race riots of the 1960s (example here). The message: Get that federal money flowing to us, or there will be violence in the streets.

At CBS News, reporter Bill Whitaker wrapped his coverage of the teen unemployment situation as follows: “For many teens with no jobs and no money, it could be one long, hot summer.” Perhaps Whitaker was unaware of how loaded those words once were (and still may be). But he shouldn’t get a pass for failing to mention three minimum-wage increases enacted late last decade as potential contributors to the 2007-2010 rise in teen unemployment. Whitaker also mentioned “cuts in federal funding” as affecting summer jobs programs, but “somehow” forgot to tell readers and viewers that the funding consisted of so-called “stimulus” dollars that everyone knew was going to go away (see the reference to “the end of Recovery Act funding that might have helped create some public jobs” at this link). Whitaker’s omission leaves an implication that meanies in the current Congress must have done something to reduce funding, which isn’t so.

Here are excerpts from CBS’s Saturday coverage, most of which aired on the Evening News (video is here; bolds are mine):

Summer job bummer: Teen unemployment 24 percent
Nationwide unemployment is around 9 percent right now, but one in four 16- to 19-year-olds can’t find work