Israel Warns of Iran Nuke 'Arsenal'; Bloomberg Hosts Cory Booker; '1984' Sales Soar

Sunday, 16 Jun 2013 02:43 PM

By Special From Newsmax's Most Informed Sources

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Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Food Stamp Households at All-Time High
2. Richard Grenell Named Toughest Journalist on Twitter
3. FDA Hindering Antibiotic Development
4. Israeli Minister: Iran Building 'Arsenal' of Nukes
5. Bloomberg Hosting Fundraiser for Cory Booker
6. Sales of '1984' Soaring on Amazon
 

1. Food Stamp Households at All-Time High

The cost of the food stamp program has soared under President Barack Obama and the number of U.S. households receiving benefits reached a record high in March, according to newly released data from the Agriculture Department.

The data show that 23,116,441 households are enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), each receiving an average of $274 a month. That's an increase of 27,600 households from the previous record, set in January.

The number of individuals on SNAP stood at 47,727,052 in March — about one in seven Americans — down only slightly from a record high in December of 47,792,056, according to The Daily Caller. Each received an average of $133 a month.

The cost of the food stamp program has quadrupled since 2001 and doubled since Obama took office. It cost taxpayers about $80 billion last year, and accounts for about 80 percent of farm bill spending.

On Monday, the Senate passed a new farm bill that will cost about $955 billion over 10 years. The bill cuts about $4.1 billion from SNAP over the 10 years.

But a bill pending in the Republican-controlled House would cut about $20 billion from the program over 10 years and make it more difficult for some people to qualify for the benefits.

The House in 2012 declined to take up the legislation during an election year amid disagreements over how much should be cut from SNAP, The New York Times reported.

A Kaiser/Harvard/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation poll in January found that 28 percent of respondents were willing to make major reductions to food stamp spending, 41 percent supported minor reductions, and just 29 percent favored keeping spending at present levels.

Editor's Note:



2. Richard Grenell Named Toughest Journalist on Twitter

Former Bush administration official and Newsmax adviser Richard Grenell tops the list of "10 Journos You Don't Want to Fight on Twitter" on Mediabistro's FishbowlDC site.

Grenell was appointed by President George W. Bush in 2001 as director of Press and Public Diplomacy for the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, and served in that post for eight years.

He now runs Capitol Media Partners, an international public affairs firm, and is on the Advisory Board of LIGNET.com, Newsmax's global intelligence and forecasting service.

In naming Grenell the toughest on Twitter, FishbowlDC cites Slate's Dave Weigel, who wrote: "In a typical week, Richard Grenell might have tweeted 100 times and started 100 arguments."

FishbowlDC goes on to call Grenell "the Mike Tyson of Twitter — when he fights, he FIGHTS. We're always worried his opponents might just lose an ear.

"He tells FishbowlDC, though, he thinks debate is good for us and that even in the fray, he's not above it: 'I learn from all types so when I'm wrong (which is often), tell me.'"

Breitbart News reporter Matthew Boyle is No. 2 on the list, with the comment that he "gets people way above his pay grade to respond to him."

Rounding out the list of 10:

3. Rebecca Schoenkopf, publisher of the online magazine Wonkette
4. Commentary Editor John Podhoretz
5. Washington Times Senior Editor Emily Miller
6. CNN correspondent and anchor Jake Tapper
7. Politico correspondent Glenn Thrush
8. Mediaite correspondent Tommy Christopher
9. Breitbart columnist John Nolte
10. Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin

 


FishbowlDC cautions: "If you take some of them on, you are doing so at your own risk."

 

Editor's Note:



3. FDA Hindering Antibiotic Development

At a time when drug-resistant bacteria are on the rise, the Food and Drug Administration's onerous regulations for the approval of new drugs are discouraging the development of effective antibiotics.

Multi-drug resistance accounts for more than 150,000 deaths a year from tuberculosis alone, the World Health Organization estimates.

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is now the most frequently identified drug-resistant bacteria in American hospitals and appears to be endemic in some urban areas, according to Waldemar Ingdahl, author of a report on antibiotic resistance policy published by the Swedish think tank Timbro.

Since 1999, the number of deaths from MRSA infections in the United States each year has risen to tens of thousands.

The Centers for Disease Control warned about the spread of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE). In 2001, just 1.2 percent of CRE's family of bacteria were resistant to carbapenem antibiotics, but by 2011 the figure had risen to 4.2 percent.

The need for effective antibiotics, then, is crucial. Without them, infections were responsible for 20 percent of all deaths in the 19th century, and infant mortality was 30 times higher than today. Before antibiotics, pneumonia and urinary tract infections were lethal.

Yet in the past 20 years, only two new classes of antibiotics have been developed. And of the antibiotics now available, three-quarters were developed before 1970.

Few pharmaceutical companies actively conduct research for new antibiotics because they are expensive to develop but are used only briefly by most patients, unlike drugs for conditions including diabetes and high cholesterol, which are often taken daily.

"Government can also get in the way," writes Ingdahl in an article for The American, the Journal of the American Enterprise Institute.

"The extensive testing of new antibiotics by the FDA inhibits innovation."

Only one in 10 compounds tested becomes a drug, and today it takes eight years before a drug is approved, he points out.

The danger posed by growing resistance to antibiotics should be ranked along with terrorism on a list of threats, said Sally Davies, the chief medical officer for England, who calls it a "ticking time bomb."

She agrees with Ingdahl that pharmaceutical companies need to be encouraged to develop new drugs, because the manufacture of antibiotics is not viewed as profitable.

Ingdahl concludes: "The key constraint to overall improvement is the rigidity and regulation of the pharmaceutical market."

Editor's Note:



4. Israeli Minister: Iran Building 'Arsenal' of Nukes

A high-ranking Israeli official asserts that the world is still underestimating Iran's potential nuclear threat and warns that Tehran goal's is not simply to build a weapon, but to produce dozens of nukes annually.

"We must speak of an Iranian nuclear arsenal, not just a bomb," Israeli International Relations Minister Yuval Steinitz said in a speech at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

"If they get the bomb, they will get many nuclear bombs."

Steinitz said Iran poses a much greater threat than North Korea: "North Korea has local ambitions, but Iranian ambitions are global. Iranian leaders are speaking about a changing balance of power between Islam and the Western world, of a new era of global Islamic hegemony."

Steinitz said Iran's nuclear industry is already bigger than that of North Korea and Pakistan, "and if indeed the Iranians reached their objective of spinning some 54,000 centrifuges at the Natanz nuclear facility, that alone would allow them to create the fissile material needed for 20-30 bombs per year," the Jerusalem Post reported.

Tehran's ultimate goal, Steinitz added, is to build "hundreds of nuclear bombs in a decade or two," a development that would change the course of "global history."

The minister also expressed concern over Russia's deal to sell S-300 air-defense systems to Syria, warning that they could wind up in the hands of Hezbollah and could be transferred to Iran.

Editor's Note:



5. Bloomberg Hosting Fundraiser for Cory Booker

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is hosting a reception at his home to raise money for Newark Mayor Cory Booker, the leading candidate for Frank Lautenberg's Senate seat.

Democrat Booker, who was first elected in 2002, had expressed interest in running for the Senate in 2014. Lautenberg died on June 3, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie appointed Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa to fill his seat before a special election on Oct. 16. Primaries for that election are scheduled for Aug. 13.

Booker has announced his candidacy in the special election. Three other Democrats will also be on the primary ballot, but Booker is leading in early polling by a large margin.

Bloomberg's reception will be held on the evening of July 15.

Invitations to the event point out that individuals can contribute up to $10,400 to the Booker campaign — $2,600 each for the special election primary, the special election, the 2014 primary, and the 2014 general election.

To be a reception "co-chair" requires a commitment to raise $25,000.

Bloomberg ran for mayor in 2001 as a Republican, but left the GOP in 2007 and was elected to a third term as an independent in 2009.

Editor's Note:



6. Sales of '1984' Soaring on Amazon

Following new disclosures about secret surveillance by the U.S. government, sales of George Orwell's classic novel "1984" have soared on Amazon.com.

The book, published in 1949, envisions a future where the population is monitored by round-the-clock surveillance and government agencies control all aspects of daily life.

News of the NSA's massive program to collect and store phone and Internet records boosted "1984" to the No. 11 position on Amazon's list of "Movers and Shakers."

The paperback version of the novel reached No. 101 among all books on Amazon.

A paperback that pairs "1984" with another Orwell classic, "Animal Farm," reached the No. 4 position in the Literature & Fiction category.

And Orwell reached No. 39 among all authors on Amazon.

Note: Newsmax magazine is now available on the iPad. Find us in the App Store.

Editor's Note:



Editor's Notes:

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