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March 15, 2009

US Food Safety — Currently ONLY 5% Of Food Processing Plants & Warehouses Inspected!

fda-eat-safely1The Republican Party is full of prophets. 

During his administration President George W. Bush thought that our financial institutions and corporations could and would adequately police themselves so he squashed or crippled agencies created to enforce governmental standards. Then Bush let the corporations redefine and rewrite the standards they should uphold and now it is almost impossible to prosecute these same corporations for breaking the laws because they wrote the laws and know how to get around the laws.  Now we find America in the midst of a preventable economic meltdown. 

When our country started to crumble because of lack of regulation and poor government management by the Republicans, the Republicans couldn’t see the forest from the trees and quickly and gleefully started chirping, tweeting and twittering that government does not work and government cannot do anything right – becoming self-fulfilling prophets.

By proclaiming that government does not work the Republicans were admitting loudly and publically that they believed themselves to be an across-the-board colossal failure, flop and a fiasco.

The United States is suppose to have one of the world’s safest food supplies, thanks in large part to an interlocking monitoring system that watches over our food production and distribution at every level — locally, statewide and nationally.

Continual monitoring is to be provided by food inspectors, microbiologists, epidemiologists, and other food scientists working for city and county health departments, state public health agencies, and various federal departments and agencies. Their precise duties are dictated by local, state and national laws, guidelines and other directives. Some monitor only one kind of food, such as milk or seafood. Others work strictly within a specified geographic area. Others are responsible for only one type of food establishment, such as restaurants or meat-packing plants. Together they make up the U.S. food safety team. The Clinton administration’s Food Safety Initiative which began in 1997 strengthened the efforts of all the members of the United State’s food safety team in the fight against food-borne illness, which badly affects between 6.5 million and 33 million Americans every year.

In 1988 a major initiative by the Department of Health and Human Services which includes FDA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Environmental Protection Agency signed a memorandum of understanding to create a Food Outbreak Response Coordinating Group, or FORC-G. This great initiative was taken apart piece by piece under the mismanagement and negligence of the George W. Bush administration and Americans found our self in the midst of crisis after crisis with new and emerging threats to the U.S. from China — from toys to pet food to baby formula.  We also learned that it wasn’t just Chinese food and drug imports that could kill us — many of those bargain priced products (baby furniture, baby clothes, toothpaste, etc.) you and I picked up at WalMart, Target or Sam’s Club could hurt us or cause serious accidents. It seems to me that George W. Bush was criminally negligent because he gave his unqualified buddies these very important government jobs.  He gave his cronies jobs to govern these life altering agencies that are vital to the well-being of every American and his incompetent friends screwed up royally.

During the George W administration we also learned that arsenic, a poison and a carcinogen (a substance that produces cancer) commonly found in groundwater, is strongly linked with the onset of diabetes in adults.  Arsenic increases the risk of bladder cancer, lung, kidney, skin, and possibly prostate cancer.

Dr. Navas-Acien and colleagues at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore found a “relatively strong” association between levels of arsenic commonly found in the urine of patients with type-2 diabetes in a study of adult Americans.

Navas said that there can be no safe level of arsenic.  20% of the nearly 800 participants in the John Hopkins study who had more arsenic in their bodies are 3.6 times more at risk of developing diabetes later in life than those in the 20% with the less amount of arsenic in their bodies.

Arsenic levels are 26% higher in people with diabetes or late development of type-2 diabetes than people without the disease the study found.

The U.S. government sets a limit of 10 micrograms of arsenic per liter (about the size of an individual bottle of spring water) in water Americans consume but that level is exceeded by about 13 million Americans plus arsenic accumulates in our bodies.  The accumulation of arsenic in our body ruins the body’s ability to use insulin and perform the vital task of converting blood sugar into energy.

President Obama is a thinking President who believes in social, economic and political reform that will make United States live up to its promises to the American people that are outlined in the Declaration of Independence and made legal in The Constitution of America.  The first sentence of our constitution states:

We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

President Obama is striving to fulfill the promises of our constitution and shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon and Republicans obviously can’t keep up with him.  If Republicans are unable to keep up with President Barack Obama then we as Americans who love our country should help Republicans find another line of work by voting them out of office in 2010. 

I am so pleased that Barack Obama is our President. For eight years we were paying taxes without any representation. Once again we have a President who is working for the people of America.

 

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December 1, 2008

Did George Bush Fall Off The Wagon?

bush-pisco-sour-brandy-peru Last weekend, President Bush attended the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Lima, Peru. Turns out you can’t do anything in Peru without someone handing you Peru’s national drink, the Pisco Sour (made with pisco, a brandy-like liquor). It’s a pretty potent drink and President Bush has supposedly been abstaining from alcohol for 22 years. He avoided an international incident and did not snub his hosts by happily guzzling down the cocktail.

Peru successfully promoted its national drink “Pisco Sour” during the entire Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Summit, Peru’s Environment Minister Antonio Brack said Sunday.

He noted that the flagship drink of Peru was well accepted by international guests, including Japan’s Prime Minister, Taro Aso.

“Pisco Sour has been the “star” of the APEC Summit, the drink was served in several meetings at the Government Palace and the APEC Summit venue,” he told CPN Radio.

“We have achieved to place our products including pisco on international markets, but also kiwicha, sweet potatoes and traditional Peruvian potatoes”, said Brack.

Bush who allegedly quit drinking at 40 was photographed drinking the Peruvian cocktail during a meeting on Saturday.

happy-holidays-4

Photo: ANDINA/Carlos Lezama

October 31, 2008

Al Gore REMINDER: “Go Vote EARLY! Every Vote Counts”

“Take it from me,” Gore said. “Elections matter.

Every vote matters.”

Every state counts.  Every vote counts. 

Just in case Democrats needed a reminder of the importance of EVERY VOTE, 2000 Florida “Butterfly Ballot and Chad” victim Al Gore returned to Palm Beach County today to urge Barack Obama supporters to free themselves of the voting demons that plagued Democrats eight years ago.

“Right now we are in the final days of this historic campaign. Don’t let anyone take your vote away from you or talk you into throwing it away. Go and vote early,” Gore told a crowd at the Palm Beach County Convention Center.

On November 27, 2000 Republican Secretary of State Katherine Harris officially certified George W. Bush as the “winner” in Florida by 537 votes.

Since that date, independent investigations by the media have revealed that many illegal votes were counted while many legal votes were not counted.

If the votes in Florida had been counted by non-partisan election officials in compliance with the law, Gore would have won Florida.

Unfortunately, George W. Bush, his brother Governor Jeb Bush, Secretary of State Katherine Harris, a partisan Republican majority on the U.S. Supreme Court, and the Republican-owned media did everything in their power to prevent a fair and legal count of the votes.

In other words, the Republicans used their enormous power to steal the Presidency of the United States. After several recounts George W. Bush was selected by the Supreme Court by a vote of 5-4 to be president of the United States.  

  

YOUR VOTE MATTERS!

 

Vote NOW!

 

Obama/Biden 08!

 

September 23, 2008

$700 Billion: Bail-out, Evasion or Trickery?

  Seven hundred billion dollars – that’s ‘11’ zeros.  It’s almost incomprehensible to me.  I had to write it out – $700,000,000,000. This is the amount of money George Dubya wants us to entrust Henry Paulson with.

This so called “bailout” of America’s failed financial institutions seems to me to be the greatest heist in America ever; this will be the greatest highway robbery in broad daylight, in the middle of day with everyone watching with our eyes wide open.

How can anyone with any common sense give $700,000,000,000 of American citizens’ money; of middle class American’s money to ONE person to ‘handle’ with virtually no oversight?

According to a draft of the bailout proposal, all decisions by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, “are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.” What the heck!!!

I don’t care if anyone tells me that I have to trust the ‘experts’.  This just doesn’t sound right to me.  Not at all.  I don’t trust this solution. Not me, not today, not tomorrow. No way.

One thing that bothers me is that the very executives who destroyed their companies are going to get to put a share of hundreds of billions in their ‘pockets’. Plus they will get this money practically hassle free. Less hassle than it would take for you or me to get an unemployment check after working years and making a contribution to the system. These CEOs get to evade their responsibilities. That just doesn’t sit right with me.  Not at all.

I am one of those people who believe that this ‘bailout’ has to be inspected and dissected with a fine tooth comb with little or no room no trickery and thievery. There is just way too much of your dollars and my dollars at stake. Accountability and oversight has got to be paramount!  The current proposal only requires one oversight report to Congress every 6 months. What kind of crap is that?  This has to be the worst business decision ever…ever!

Dubya Bush is saying, just give us the money and trust us, we’ll handle it. Yeah, right, just like we trusted him with the WMD and the Iraq war. To quote George W. Bush, “There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.”  You get the idea, right?

The Bush administration is urging Congress to quickly stabilize the financial system by temporarily transferring the bad debts of American financial institutions to taxpayers. The proposed plan would give the Treasury Secretary Paulson sole power to manage the funds and the buying and reselling of mortgage debt. “This is something that has to work. I very much believe it will work”, said Paulson.

So we should trust Paulson (who said 2 weeks ago that the economy was strong!) because he simply believes it will work?!  Where are the spreadsheets, economic forecasts, market analyses and scientific formulas?  I want to see credible reports and projections!  I want more than ‘I believe’ from Paulson.

I believe that I am going to come up with one of the most innovative business idea ever and become a billionaire overnight – that’s what I believe.  Will a bank give me a loan based on what I believe???  I think not!

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July 21, 2008

Janet Jackson’s Boop Went To Court; Why Then Won’t We Impeach President Boop?

  Has law in America become a joke?!  Are we willing to waste tax payers money and judges time by sending a case to court about someone’s boop popping out of fabric on television but we won’t impeach a president who gravely abused his powers?!

In the now infamous “nipplegate” episode involving Janet Jackson, Justin Timberlake and their halftime performance during the 2004 NFL Superbowl broadcast which was watched by approximately 90 million — the actual nipple incident was seen by much less than 90 million because it happened in a flash. 

Timberlake grabbed Jackson’s breast and ripped off her bustier, exposing her boob even though her nipple was actually covered by a star shaped object.  It seemed to me that the entire ‘incident’ was over before anyone really had a chance to notice.  But millions, by choice, caught a glimpse of Janet’s felonious boob thanks to the internet and madness ensued.  Fines were thrown around, press conferences were held and the media went into a frenzy!

Today, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Federal Communications Commission “acted arbitrarily and capriciously” in issuing the fine over the deeply alarming image of the naked, star covered boob.

I’m rehashing the story of ‘nipplegate’ because it is ridiculous to me that a breast could be bought up on charges but George W. Bush won’t be impeached?  How ridiculous is this?

I understand Congressman Dennis Kucinich’s frustrations that his colleagues in congress continue to hold hearings to investigate the Bush administration’s alleged constitutional violations, but refuse to hold President George W. Bush accountable for what Kucinich believes are High Crimes and Misdemeanors.

“How many more hearings do we need to have to prove this administration has violated the constitution, taken the law into its own hands, and condoned torture?” Kucinich said in an interview. “There is a point at which you reduce congress to a debating society which diminishes Congress’s role.”

Kucinich has spent the past year making a case for impeaching President Bush. Last year, he introduced a resolution to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney. But that effort failed. In fact, it barely received any media coverage.

On June 9, Kucinich introduced a resolution on the House floor calling for the impeachment of President Bush and then spent nearly five hours reading 35 articles of impeachment against President Bush, alleging the president was guilty of a wide-range of crimes, into the Congressional Record.

The articles of impeachment were introduced a few days after the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released a long-awaited report on prewar Iraq intelligence that concluded President Bush and Vice President Cheney knowingly lied to the public and to Congress about Iraq’s links to al-Qaeda and the threat the country posed to the U.S. in the aftermath of 9/11.

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June 24, 2008

George W. Bush: Idiot-in-Chief?

   Despite George Bush’s good intentions, he always manages to be a nincompoop.

George Bush met with Philippines President Gloria Arroyo to express America’s condolences due to the Philippines’ recent bout with a devastating typhoon.

To help, the United States will move aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan to the Philippines to help with the assistance, along with other U.S. Navy assets, Bush said.

 “We are happy to do it, we want to help our friends in a time of need,” Bush said.

Bush did not quit while he was ahead; he had to put his little foot in his big mouth.  Here is some of what he said to President Arroyo, who is in ‘mourning’:

PRESIDENT BUSH: Madam President, it is a pleasure to welcome you back to the Oval Office. We have just had a very constructive dialogue. First, I want to tell you how proud I am to be the President of a nation that — in which there’s a lot of Philippine-Americans. They love America and they love their heritage. And I reminded the President that I am reminded of the great talent of the — of our Philippine-Americans when I eat dinner at the White House.

PRESIDENT ARROYO: Yes.

PRESIDENT BUSH: And the chef is a great person and a really good cook, by the way, Madam President.

PRESIDENT ARROYO: Thank you.

SMDH and LMAO at the same time! 

Is that ALL Bush could think to say about Philippine-Americans?  This was not an impromptu meeting, this was a planned meeting.  This is all he could think to say?

With all respect due, George Bush has no common or private sense.  Watch the clips below — they’re funny but this is America’s President.

Paulette

 

June 11, 2008

Economy: America’s For Sale!

Because of George W. Bush and his economic non-strategies, America is for sale – again. 

I distinctly remember in the late 1980s when the Japanese started to purchase significant amounts of American real estate in Hawaii.  The yen had improved and the US economy was struggling and Hawaii saw a substantial increase of Japanese tourists and subsequently Japanese investors.  It got to the point where local home buyers and investors in Hawaii were competing for the limited supply of real estate with investors from Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Hong Kong and Canada.  Once the Japanese investors bought up Honolulu and The Big Island, they set their eyes on the “The Big Kahuna”.  They came to Manhattan and purchased Rockefeller Center.  New Yorkers were up in arms!  Shocked!  Livid!

It was a matter of pride with New Yorkers and most Americans. The very idea that the center of journalistic and architectural modernity, Rockefeller Center, should belong to another country was beyond comprehension.  Things were THAT bad in America.

Rockefeller Center was named after John D. Rockefeller, Jr., who leased the space from Columbia University in 1928 and developed it from 1930.  It was the largest private building project ever undertaken in modern times. Construction of the 14 buildings in the Art Deco style began on May 17, 1930 and was completed on November 1, 1939 when he drove in the final (silver) rivet into 10 Rockefeller Plaza. Rockefeller Center is a magnificent complicated beauty.  Radio City Music Hall is a part of it. It’s the home of NBC and it’s where Saturday Night Live broadcasts from.  It is the home of the iconic Rockefeller Center Ice Skating Rink which we see in the background of so many movies.  It is where thousands gather each December to watch the lighting of “The Christmas Tree”.

In the late 80s, sadly, the Japanese purchased a major slice of America’s apple pie.

Here we are in 2008, 20 years later and the Chrysler Building is for sale; the world’s tallest brick building is now owned by the United Arab Emirates.   Another beautiful Art Deco building being purchased by a foreign country, this time the super-rich Abu Dhabi Investment Council is negotiating an $800 million deal for a 75 percent stake in the Art Deco treasure that has defined the Midtown skyline since 1930. (more…)

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