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Link for 10/30/09 – A scary scary man

Today’s link is a clip of Ruth Limbaugh discussing the latest outbreak of the H1N1.   He critiques the Administration claim that the vaccine is a result of less-than-expected yield from manufacturers (how could anything be the fault of the private sector) and references a CBS report which suggests that the H1N1 flu is being improperly diagnosed and that those with a “probable” or “likely” case of the flu probably didn’t have it.  From there, he blames the government for this misdiagnosis because they tabulate results and goes into his main point that the CDC and the Obama administration are using the Swine Flu as a tool to convince people to support the Obama healthcare plan.

Ok, so let’s start back at the beginning.

1. Rush- Not getting expected yield is ABSOLUTELY possible and, in fact, likely.  According to foxnews, Novartis, one of the main manufacturers was getting only about 23% of expected yield.  Other firms, including GSK and Sanofi, saw similar problems which were mostly attributed to an ineffective seed virus.  The fixes that Rush mocked Kathleen Sibelius for are actually a replacement of the seed virus which has caused significant yield increases (up more than 40% at Novartis).   I know you think that, somehow, President Obama must have snuck in (probably using his kids as a decoy) to labs across the world and altered the seed virus just enough to cause the low yields and is now trying to blame that poor defense-less private sector but, uhh…you’re wrong.

2. The CBS report is certainly a troubling one and an important one to read.  However, no where in the report is there the slightest suggestion that the Obama Administration is trying to artificially pump up the number of H1N1 cases for political purposes.  In fact, according to the report, the CDC made the decision to stop counting and testing probable H1N1 cases because they had already made the decision that it was a pandemic and the resources were better used elsewhere (like getting more vaccines).  Even the states, like CA, that are gathering their own information, admit that they “support CDC policy to stop counting individual cases, maintaining that [they have] the resources to gather more specific testing data than the CDC.”  If you want to rail against something, Rush, why not talk about the fact that the CDC doesn’t have the resources they need.  Oh wait, that is a government program.  I forgot, you think they are all evil.

So this brings us to Rush’s main point.  That the Obama administration is somehow manipulating the public by creating a false sense of panic in order to push through policies that the public would never accept under normal circumstances.  What policies you ask?  Well the invasion of a country of course.  Oh.  That was the last president?  Ok, well how about a law designed to give the government unprecedented rights and strip citizens of many of the freedoms that this country was founded on.  That sounds like a Democrat with their big government….what?  Oh, that was the last president too?  A president Rush supported and never complained made these claims against?  That sounds hypocritical…  Well, I’m sure when Tom Ridge admitted that “he was pressured to raise the terror alert to help Bush win re-election in 2004” Rush was ready to jump all over Bush right?  I mean Bush wanted to manipulate the public by creating a false sense of panic in order to cement his re-election and serve another four years as an unpopular president.  Rush – you claim that Obama is using Swine Flu as a “tool” to make the public do what you want them to do.  Even if that were true, isn’t that EXACTLY what Bush did with the terror alert.    Isn’t it worse to manipulate the public to send young men and women into harms way, than to manipulate them into getting better healthcare?  What am I missing here?  Why is this the battle you fight? 

In writing this, I have come to realize that it is not only Rush I’m mad at.  He is an entertainer.  He knows people only tune in because he says ridiculous things and he loves the publicity that comes with it.  I just wasted a whole blog post on a man who has the intelligence level of a piece of seaweed.   He and Jon Stewart are very similar (well only Jon is smart).  They both take extreme positions and entertain people in their defense of those positions.  However, Stewart is very open about the fact that his is a comedy show.  He isn’t trying to preach the gospel, he is trying to be funny.  Rush, on the other hand, either thinks he is preaching the gospel or has come to the conclusion that the way for him to be rich is to make people think he is.  And they flock to him.  And they don’t think for themselves, they just listen and believe….like some creepy cult.  And that my friends, that is a problem.