Friday, November 20, 2009

Headlines - Friday

Oppose Obama's big agricultural nominee - he is a former pesticide lobbyist and is the vice-president of science and regulatory affairs at CropLife America, formerly known as the National Agricultural Chemicals Association. This industry trade group represents Monsanto, DuPont, and other companies that "produce, sell and distribute virtually all the crop protection and biotechnology products used by American farmers" -- or in simpler words, they promote toxic pesticides.

Here's a sampling of what Siddiqui and CropLife America have been up to:

- weakening the Endangered Species Act and the Clean Water Act;
- lobbying to allow pesticides to be tested on children;
- fighting to keep ozone-depleting chemicals and persistent pollutants like DDT in use;
- resisting the labeling of genetically-modified foods;
- targeting Michelle Obama for planting an organic White House garden; and
- promoting toxic-sludge grown, genetically modified, and irradiated food as "organic."

Send a message to your representatives here:

John Gerspach, CFO of Citigroup, doesn't perform well when he only makes $400,000 per year in base salary. So, his base salary has just been raised to $500,000. 
large hadron collider
Wingnut pork is bad for your health

So much for
evidence based medicine:

While the Senate toned down the House's language on abortion restrictions, it may have ratcheted things up with another controversial reproductive-health issue: abstinence-only education. Sec. 2954 of the Senate health-reform bill, released Wednesday evening, restores funding for abstinence education.
It doesn't matter if it works or not. There are social conservatives out there depending on taxpayers money to sell medical voodoo for profit. And anyway, this is just one small provision among many that have been put in to the health care reform bill to push some dollars toward completely useless procedures that religious zealots and forced pregnancy entrepreneurs insist upon.

But it could have been worse. As far as I can tell the
faith healing provision isn't in the Senate bill. Since Hatch was the one insisting on both abstinence only education and prayer be covered as a health expense, maybe they got him to drop one of them.
"This Year in Jerusalem" - Israel's announcement that it will be expanding settlements in Jerusalem can only be viewed as a huge middle finger by the Netanyahu government to Barack Obama.  It seems to me that the only proper response by the U.S. would be a sharp slap back -- say the suspension of all foreign aid and all military cooperation until the decision is reversed.  I'm dead serious about this. This kind of activity by the Israelis is a huge detriment to the U.S. -- the perception that we not only acquiesce in these acts, but help underwrite them is more dangerous to American interests than just about anything I can imagine. 
george w. bush
4,363 soldiers killed in Iraq; 922 in Afghanistan.
In February of this year, Utah state Sen. Chris "This baby is black. . . . It's a dark, ugly thing" Buttars was booted from a Senate judiciary committee after he made incendiary anti-gay comments that were caught by the crew filming 8: The Mormon Proposition. Today he says he has nothing against gay people and actually supports Salt Lake City's recent move to add LGBT protections. But just so you know, he still doesn't want want you stuffing your dirty homo anythings down his throat.
An acorn with the nut still attached.

More Franken-food on the way

Sorry, but no thanks. If the question is really about feeding more people, vegetarian is a much better option. Somehow this sounds like something the meat industry is more interested in than anyone else. I don't care how much marketing you throw at it, there's little to like about this.

Winston Churchill once predicted that it would be possible to grow chicken breasts and wings more efficiently without having to keep an actual chicken. And in fact scientists have since figured out how to grow tiny nuggets of lab meat and say it will one day be possible to produce steaks in vats, sans any livestock.

Pork chops or burgers cultivated in labs could eliminate contamination problems that regularly generate headlines these days, as well as address environmental concerns that come with industrial livestock farms.


I wonder why anyone would think the Federal government and the medical profession were gunning for only WOMEN'S health care. After all, they're just planning to pass health care "reform" that doesn't allow coverage of abortion, they don't think breast cancer screening is necessary unless you are "at high risk" (note to the geniuses who thought up that one: for years they've been telling us that just being a woman puts you at high risk), and now they don't think cervical cancer screening is all tjay and a bag of chips either:

Cutting back on mammograms and pap smears, but Viagra is covered under insurance and Medicare.
No shit, really? Economic edition
The economy and the stock market may be recovering from their swoon, but more homeowners than ever are having trouble making their monthly mortgage payments, according to figures released Thursday.
No shit. Unemployment is high and if you don't have a job, it's pretty hard to make a mortgage payment.

So we have gone from the foreclosures that were part of the Great Mortgage Swindle, as perpetrated by Countrywide and Goldman Sachs (among others) and now we're into the foreclosures that are happening because millions of people have lost their jobs because of the financial collapse that those fraudsters on Wall Street perpetrated.

Make no mistake about it, it was fraud. They knew what they were doing. They knew that the "securities" they were selling had no core value, their sole worth was that some sucker tomorrow would pay more for them than they sold for today. They had every reason to know that the mortgage companies were creating a huge bubble by deliberately giving mortgages to people who couldn't pay them, which was all done on the sheer speculation that the housing market would go up forever. I say "deliberately", because when the banks were making loans without requiring any proof of ability to pay or any asset verification, then the whole thing was set up to be gamed. It was fraud, a real estate backed Ponzi scheme.

The people who put those deals together made a shitload of cash. Everyone else, even people who had no part in any of it, got screwed. That is why the "official" unemployment rate is 10.2% and the real unemployment rate may even be twice as high.

No shit.
There's always money for war
Eisenhower on the military industrial complex:
Gene Lyons in Salon on the myriad forces that insist we can't afford health care, but just as strongly assure us that $6.73 trillion for the war in Afghanistan is perfectly doable. (That's $1 million per soldier, per year.) Go read the whole thing:

For all its brutality, the Taliban rebellion is mainly a localized, nationalist effort to expel foreigners — one reason Gen. McChrystal hopes to be able to pacify them, as his mentor Gen. David Petraeus bought off Iraqi insurgents. With winter approaching, Taliban fighters will soon be forced into semi-hibernation. Any U.S. buildup will take at least a year to complete.

The big rush, in other words, has less to do with military necessity than with Washington political theater: specifically, the war lobby's ability to force President Obama's hand. Actually, "war industry" might be more apt. It's both more concise than the "military-industrial complex" President Eisenhower warned against and it takes into account the "privatization" of military jobs once done by soldiers — such as driving supply convoys (Halliburton), guarding embassies and other U.S. facilities (Blackwater) and training Afghan soldiers (DynCorp International).

[...] Following upon David Barstow's 2008 Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times exposé about blatant conflicts of interest among Pentagon-coached retired generals posing as disinterested "military analysts" on every TV news network you can think of, Americans can no longer afford to be blasé about the war industry.

They're selling us endless war the way they sell cellphones and Viagra.

The question is: How much is President Obama buying?

Foolproof plans
Ha ha, the Army thinks it can stop Scarah Palin from giving an inappropriate speech

Hmm: "RALEIGH, N.C. — The U.S. Army plans to prevent media from covering Sarah Palin's appearance at Fort Bragg, fearing the event will turn into political grandstanding against President Barack Obama, officials said Thursday." This will have two effects: it (a) won't prevent the media from covering Sarah Palin's appearance at Fort Bragg and (b) won't prevent the event from turning into political grandstanding against President Barack Obama. But there aren't really any good options here for Army officials, because you know that Sarah Palin! She always goes rogue, always. She's a "fresh breath of air," as they say. [AP]


Hoochiemama! Levi Johnston shan't be accepting the generous Turkey Day invitation from Sarah Palin, who selflessly offered her home to Levi on national teevee! "You could tell by her laugh she was full of it," explained Levi.


Virginia Foxx Passed Civil Rights All By Herself, Essentially, In The '60s

Unfortunate Rep. Virginia Foxx, who throws words like "tarbaby" around in casual discourse, for some reason said this about the Democrats today: "Just as we were the people who passed the civil rights bills back in the '60s without very much help from our colleagues across the aisle. They love to engage in revisionist history."

Well, we think Lyndon Johnson's signature helped a bit. Many Republicans did vote for the civil rights bills, though! They were rewarded by being voted out, en masse, by the Virginia Foxxes of the world.  

No comments: