- - Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The CEO of Whole Foods Market Inc. compared President Obama’s health care law to “fascism” in a radio interview Wednesday, a turnabout from earlier comments in which he compared the signature reforms to socialism.

“Technically speaking, it’s more like fascism,” John Mackey told NPR’s “Morning Edition.” “Socialism is where the government owns the means of production. In fascism, the government doesn’t own the means of production, but they do control it — and that’s what’s happening with our health care programs and these reforms.”

The Wall Street Journal in 2009 ran a piece by Mr. Mackey that was critical of Mr. Obama’s law, which passed in March 2010 and is marching toward full implementation in the coming years. The article led with a quote from Margaret Thatcher, who said, “The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.”

NEW YORK

Fox hires Kucinich, starts in time for inauguration

NEW YORK — Days before President Obama’s inauguration for a second term in office, Fox News Channel has signed Dennis Kucinich, one of his former opponents, to be a regular contributor.

Mr. Kucinich, a presidential candidate in 2004 and 2008 who ended his 16 years in Congress two weeks ago, will make his debut as a Fox contributor on Thursday’s edition of “The O’Reilly Factor,” the network said Wednesday.

“I’ve always been impressed with Rep. Kucinich’s fearlessness and thoughtfulness about important issues,” Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes said. “His willingness to take a stand from his point of view makes him a valuable voice in our country’s debate.”

Fox is the nation’s top-ranked cable news network, particularly popular with Republicans. Its big-name Republican contributors include Karl Rove, Sarah Palin and John Bolton. Democrats in the Fox stable include Evan Bayh, Joe Trippi and Bob Beckel.

Mr. Kucinich was elected to the Cleveland City Council at age 23 and, at 31, became one of the nation’s youngest mayors. He also has been an Ohio state senator and run his own communications and marketing firm.

Fox News has always provided me with an opportunity to share my perspective with its enormous viewership,” he said.

STATE

Clinton calls on Laos to find missing activist

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is urging Laos to investigate the disappearance a month ago of a prominent social activist and reunite him with his family.

International pressure is growing on the authoritarian government in Vientiane to account for Sombath Somphone, 60. Closed-circuit TV footage shows him being detained by police in Vientiane on Dec. 15, and then driven away in the company of two unidentified men.

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