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Archive for April 24th, 2009



Question & Answer Swine Flu in the United States and Mexico

Further information: CDC’s swine flu page and the initial report published earlier this week.


You know, Flap had Influenza A over Christmas and ended up in the hospital for over 4 days.

This swine flu epidemic is serious business. And, there is NO vaccine yet available.

A strain of flu never seen before has killed up to 60 people in Mexico and has also appeared in the United States, where eight people were infected but recovered, health officials said on Friday.

Mexico’s government said at least 20 people have died of the disease in central Mexico and that it may also have been responsible for 40 other deaths.

Mexico reported more than 1,000 suspected cases and four possible cases were also seen in Mexicali, right on the border with California.

The World Health Organization said tests showed the virus from 12 of the Mexican patients was the same genetically as a new strain of swine flu, designated H1N1, seen in eight people in California and Texas.

“Our concern has grown as of yesterday,” U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention acting director Dr. Richard Besser told reporters in a telephone briefing.

Global health officials were not ready to declare a pandemic — a global epidemic of a new and deadly disease such as flu. “So far there has not been any change in the pandemic threat level,” Besser said.

But the human-to-human spread of the new virus raised fears of a major outbreak and Mexico’s government canceled classes for millions of children in its sprawling capital city and surrounding areas. All large public events like concerts were suspended in Mexico City.

Close analysis showed the disease is a never-before-seen mixture of swine, human and avian viruses, according to the CDC.

Most of the Mexican dead were aged between 25 and 45, a Mexican health official said, in a worrying sign. Seasonal flu can be more deadly among the very young and the very old but a hallmark of pandemics is that they affect healthy young adults.

Mexico has enough antiviral drugs to combat the outbreak for the moment, Health Minister Jose Angel Cordova said.

The WHO said the virus appears to be susceptible to Roche AG’s flu drug Tamiflu, also known as oseltamivir, but not to older flu drugs such as amantadine.

The last “FLU” pandemic was in 1968 when the “HONG KONG FLU” killed around a million people around the world.

The “SWINE FLU” is an Influenza “A” Virus and is designated H1N1. It has DNA from birds, pigs and human viruses.

The Centers for Disease Control is working on a vaccine.

Related Links:

Stay tuned…….

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Meghan McCain and her father, Senator John McCain

Well, sort of……

Sen. John McCain told CNN Friday he doesn’t always see eye-to-eye with his outspoken daughter.

Meghan McCain, the 24-year-old daughter of the former Republican presidential nominee, has grabbed the media spotlight this year, thanks to a string of attention grabbing blog posts, television appearances and speeches.

Her comments critical of some of her party’s positions, and jabs at some senior Republicans like former Vice President Dick Cheney and former Bush senior advisor Karl Rove, have made her one of this year’s hottest young GOP pundits.

“I love and respect my daughter, and I appreciate the fact that she brings fresh views and ideas and we need that in our party,” the senator said Friday on CNN’s American Morning. “We don’t always agree, and sometimes we have spirited discussions, and that is good in families.”

Flap knew this would happen after Meghan attacked Rudy Giuliani, Karl Rove, Newt Gingrich and Dick Cheney yesterday on the View.

Plus, the Maverick has an Arizona Republican primary challenge where he needs to raise some money.

Who do you think will do fundraisers for John McCain now?

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Arlen Specter and Biden

Vice President Joe Biden, center right, and Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., center left, shake hands as Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Pa., left and Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., applaud during a reception at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Friday, Feb. 27, 2009. The reception was held to honor Specter for his vote for the economic stimulus package –Or Was Biden wishing Specter a happy retirement?

The latest polling from Pennsylvania shows GOP incumbent United states Senator Arlen Specter in deep trouble if he expects to win re-election in 2010.
Incumbent Senator Arlen Specter trails former Congressman Pat Toomey by 21 points in an early look at Pennsylvania’s 2010 Republican Primary. Fifty-one percent (51%) of Republican voters statewide say they’d vote for Toomey while just 30% would support Specter.

Specter is viewed favorably by 42% of Pennsylvania Republicans and unfavorably by 55%, according to a new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of voters in the state. Those are stunningly poor numbers for a long-term incumbent senator. Specter was first elected to the Senate in 1980.

Toomey, who served in the House from 1999 to 2005, earns positive reviews from 66% and negative comments from just 19%.

Though Specter has been in the Senate for 28 years, he has struggled to maintain grassroots support within his own party during recent years. Six years ago, the incumbent barely survived a primary challenge and defeated the more conservative Toomey by just two points, 51% to 49%. He then went on to win the general election in 2004 by a 53% to 42% margin.

This time around, things could be even more challenging for Specter. He was one of only three Republicans in the Congress to vote for President Obama’s $787 billion stimulus plan. Fifty-eight percent (58%) of Pennsylvania Republicans said they were less likely to vote for Specter because of his support for the stimulus package.

In another sign that could be troubling for Specter, the current poll finds that 79% of Pennsylvania Republicans have a favorable opinion of the “Tea Party” protests against big government spending and higher taxes held across the nation last week. Thirty percent (30%) know someone personally who took part. Overall, 82% of Pennsylvania Republicans say that the federal government has too much money and too much power. Just four percent (4%) say it has too little.

Specter leads Toomey by just eight points among moderate Republicans statewide, but Toomey holds a solid advantage among conservative Republicans.

But, the question is can Pat Toomey beat a Democrat?

It may make little difference anyway since Arlen Specter has shown weakness in general election polls.

Stay tuned as it continues to be early in the 2010 election cycle.

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Flap mentions below that SarahPAC, Sarah Palin’s political action committee can now be on offense since today she established a legal defense fund. Well, not so fast.

Campaign Solutions, a Republican consulting firm advising Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin‘s political action committee, has parted ways with the former Republican vice presidential nominee.

The group had been working with the Palin operation to raise money
for SarahPAC but decided to step aside after a series of strategic and
philosophic differences, according to a source familiar with the

A spokeswoman for Palin did not immediately return an email seeking comment.

Campaign Solutions head Becki Donatelli had long been associated with the fundraising efforts of Arizona Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) and got to know Palin during last year’s presidential campaign.

When Palin decided to set up a PAC earlier this year as a first step
toward solidifying her role on the national stage and potentially
positioning herself for a 2012 presidential run, Donatelli’s firm was
the obvious choice to help raise money for the fledgling effort.

formally incorporated in late January but is not required to file a
report detailing its contributions and expenditures until the end of

The parting of ways between Palin and Campaign Solutions is the latest sign of a divide between the governor’s official Alaska staff and those advising her on the national level. Palin has struggled badly to balance those competing interests; she recently agreed to and then canceled an appearance at a fundraiser to benefit the Republican House and Senate campaign committees.

Looks like one step forward and then a step backwards for Palin who this week is also struggling with her daughter’s former lover/fiancee and custody issues over their child.

sarah palin forum

Governor Sarah Palin, joined by Alaska’s Congressional Delegation, addresses Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and representatives of the MMS/USGS at a public forum held to discuss Outer Continental Shelf Development. The forum was attended by more than 500 Alaskans

It has been rumored for a while now.

Gov. Sarah Palin (R-Alaska) announced the creation of a legal defense fund Friday to help pay down legal debts stemming from a series of ethics complaints.

The Alaska Fund Trust will be run by longtime Palin friend and Wasilla native Kristan Cole. Palin owes more than $500,000 in legal bills, but donations to the fund will be capped at $150, according to a release.

“Over the past months it became increasingly clear that supporters of Governor Palin needed to help defend against the onslaught of frivolous attacks against her. These baseless accusations are designed to inhibit her ability to focus on the issues Alaskans truly care about and force massive personal debt on her and her family,” Cole said.

In addition to the unusually low, self-imposed donation cap, the fund will also voluntarily disclose contributor names and dollar amounts.

“We have created one of the most restrictive and transparent legal funds in history,” Cole said.

Palin has been hit with numerous ethics complaints from citizens of her state. The latest came Wednesday, when an Anchorage woman complained that Palin violated state ethics rules by using funds from her political action committee to attend a right to life rally in Indiana.

So, this fund will play defense and SarahPAC will be on the offense.

Most interesting to Flap are the $150.00 contribution limits and the transparency. Looks like an internet contribution push is just around the corner.

Looks like Palin is pusihing ahead towards re-election in 2010 and then more……


Sarah Palin Speech in Indiana Spurs Another Alaska Ethics Complaint

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