Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Ned Lamont is still an airbrain

Remember goofy Ned Lamont, the sock puppet of Markos "Mickey" Moulitsas and Jane "Hamster" Hamsher? Well, the butt kicking that Joe Lieberman gave him apparently hasn't increased ole Ned Lamont's IQ:

It amuses me that millionaire Ned Lamont wants "the option" of opting in to discount welfare reduced-benefits Sub-Medicare. I'm sure he'll be the first on the sign-up sheet.

In related news, Ned Lamont also wants to opt-in to government housing. Some of those joints have sweeet concrete balconies. And the stairwells will give him plenty of room for his illegal pit-bull-breeding business.

Ned Lamont fever: Catch it!

Must be like the swine flu.

The Great Swine Flu Hoax - It's Looking More Like Bull Flu Every Day

The other day I mentioned the fact that at the end of August the US Center for Disease Control stopped reporting swine flu deaths separately from the usual seasonal flu deaths. That was sure convenient since the numbers actually show that the swine flu is rather less lethal than ordinary seasonal flu:

News flash: Swine flu is a massively overrated threat -- overrated not only in the media but by the World Health Organization, the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology and others who have a duty to know better.

The presidential science council warned in late August that, "in a plausible scenario," swine flu might kill 90,000 Americans with the epidemic peaking in "mid-October." But it's now obvious that this won't happen.


Total deaths since Aug. 30 from "Influenza and Pneumonia-Associated" illness are 1,397, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site FluView (cdc.gov/flu/weekly/). But only 192 of those have been laboratory-confirmed as flu of any type. (And yes, people die of pneumonia from many causes other than flu.) In fact, FluView reports that deaths from influenza and pneumonia are well within the normal bounds for this time of year -- or, as the CDC puts it, "below the epidemic threshold."

Golly, even adding the flu strains together doesn't provide any basis for panic. And look when happens when you really do try to separate out the swine flu cases:

The CDC no longer publishes specific data on swine-flu cases or deaths. But the FluTracker Web site (flu- tracker.rhizalabs.com/) does. As of last Friday, it listed 680 total US deaths compared to 644 the week before. That's just 36 deaths in a week -- or about the number the CDC estimates die every four hours of "regular" flu during the season.

FluTracker also provides a graph that shows new worldwide cases and deaths -- and that tells us deaths are occurring less often than they were a month ago. They were lower in the past week than in the previous three.

New York City data indicate that swine flu is perhaps a tenth as lethal as the seasonal variety. Plus, government Web sites from such southern hemisphere countries as Australia and New Zealand, whose flu season is now ending, show fewer flu deaths than normal.

And the Swine Flu Count Web site shows about 4,100 deaths worldwide in the last six months, fewer than die every six days from seasonal flu.

They're dropping like flies! Not.

But here's the real puzzle:

Note that, when it issued its "up to 90,000 deaths" report, the presidential council had ample access to the preliminary data from all these sources (and many more) showing the mildness of swine flu. Some scientists.

So you tell me. Are Obama's science advisors merely incompetent or are they working yet another big government hustle like the kleptocrats at The UN's World Health Organization?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Why not call the Swine Flu the Bull Flu?

Or even the Bulls**t flu:

So You Think You Have Swine Flu? Am I the only one--besides Michael Fumento--who finds reports like NBC's last night on the spread of swine flu ("galloping its way across the country") to be wildly unconvincing? The NBC piece claims "90 dead" last week under the rubric "swine flu cases." [See about 1:10 in] This is almost certainly BS. As this CDC report makes clear, that figure includes both the swine flu and the regular annual flu. Indeed, NBC promiscuously conflates a) swine flu (H1N1); b) regular flu and c) "flu like symptoms" which may not be any kind of flu at all. ... That may be because the CDC itself has decided to conflate at least the first two categories, as noted in this seemingly damning CBS story and confirmed in the CDC report itself:

This new system was implemented on August 30, 2009, and replaces the weekly report of laboratory confirmed 2009 H1N1-related hospitalizations and deaths that began in April 2009. Jurisdictions can now report to CDC either laboratory confirmed or pneumonia and influenza syndromic-based counts of hospitalizations and deaths resulting from all types or subtypes of influenza, not just those from 2009 H1N1 influenza virus. [E.A.]

I think this means the CDC does not really know how many cases are swine flu and how many aren't. (The regular flu kills many thousands of people every year.)

There's nothing bureaucrats like better than a crisis because it allows them to a) justify their existence and b) ask for money from any likely sucker. The United Nations is probably the all time champ in this regard since they are so woefully inept and so wildly profligate, but the Obama bureaucrats are coming on strong since they have the American taxpayers' pockets to pick and a lapdog Congress to let them get away with any hare-brained scheme they dream up. Of course, lack of a crisis is no problem - they'll just make one up like global warming and now the Bull Flu.