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The confidence fairy

Wonder why Obama isn’t talking about jobs? Because Tim Geithner has convinced him to do the exact thing that will make it worse: Cut spending.

Wheee!

Beltway translation: WTF?

But some administration allies fear the administration is doing more than keeping a low profile or biding its time — that it is actively reinforcing conservative dogma, at a moment when the jobs report may have created an opportunity to shift the economic debate away from budget imbalances and towards employment. “I understand the constraints of the moment,” says another senior Democrat, “but I’m not sure what’s gained by giving any oxygen to the incorrect idea that fiscal austerity right now would be expansionary.”

A real penis story

But you will most likely not see it in your corporate media:

As ThinkProgress reported yesterday, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce — one of the largest and most influential big business lobbying groups in the world — fired a letter off to Cass Sunstein, administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, telling him to block the regulation of extremely toxic chemicals in consumer plastics. Despite the overwhelming evidence of the dangers of such chemicals, the chamber letter declares that that EPA “lacks the sound regulatory science needed to meet the statutory threshold for a restriction or ban of the targeted chemicals.”

A wide body of scientific research has linked these chemicals, including phthalates and Bisphenol A (BPA), to declining birth ratesstillbirths, and an increasing number of birth defects. Many of the chemicals under review for increased regulation have already been banned in Europe and Canada.

In fact, studies have shown that these plastic chemicals are directly linked to an alarming rate of male genital birth defects such as hypospadias, a condition in which the opening of the urethra is on the underside, rather than at the end, of the penis. A report by the Center for American Progress’ Reese Rushing details many other risks associated with the chemicals slated for regulation.

The Chamber letter to Sunstein is signed by chief lobbyist Bill Kovacs. Why is Kovacs fighting so aggressively to continue to allow birth defect and miscarriage-causing chemicals to be used in household items and food containers? Perhaps it is because the Chamber is heavily funded by some of the largest plastics manufacturers in America. According to investigations by the New York Times and ThinkProgress, Dow Chemical and Proctor & Gamble have contributed millions to the Chamber’s war chest in recent years.

Oh, Orrin

We already are a second-rate nation! If you ever got out of the Beltway bubble, you’d know that.

Fungus

On top of everything else these poor people have to deal with:

(AP) JOPLIN, Mo. – An aggressive fungus is striking Joplin tornado victims, contributing to a handful of deaths.

Doctors told the Springfield News-Leader that at least nine survivors may have contracted blood-vessel invading zygomycosis infections.

Overall numbers weren’t available. The Springfield-Greene County Health Department declined to release them, citing patient privacy concerns.

Kendra Williams, of the health department, says the common fungus likely came from soil or vegetative materials imbedded in the skin by the tornado.

Hmm

The scandal-ridden Philadelphia Housing Authority is one of the non-profits that just had that status yanked by the IRS.

Cleanup

Look at what a great job the Japanese government has done, cleaning up after the earthquake. Compare that with the U.S. response to Katrina…

Oxy

It’s not just Florida. Close by my neigborhood (and let’s not kid ourselves, probably right in my neighborhood) are a hellacious number of Oxy addicts.

My favorite local blog, Philly Neighbor, points out the industriousness with with Oxy addicts supply themselves:

Even a Kenzo* only moderately addicted to Oxycontin will spend thousands of dollars a year on the drug. An Oxy 80 pill costs roughly $50. If the Kenzo snorts just one a day for an entire year, he will spend over $18,000.

And that figure doesn’t include other drug-related expenses. During his junky adventures, a Kenzo is going to purchase at least a few Xanax pills, bags of wet, and eightballs of cocaine. A Kenzo with a truly robust drug habit may need upwards of $40,000 a year just to cover his bases. And, of course, by “cover his bases” I mean “the need to nearly overdose every fucking day.”

With huge narco-expenses, a very small number of Kenzos can actually afford to pay a monthly rent. Therefore, any Kenzo who goes through life happily munching mouthfuls of pills will learn how to be homeless.

*A Kenzo is technically a resident, present or former, of Kensington, the local Junkie Central hood, but it is also refers to a state of mind, like ghetto: “That is so ghetto!” The Kenzos are a fact of life, like taxes. About 40 years ago, Kensington was a nice little blue-collar area with a vibrant strip of local stores, much like the one I live in now — until the factories closed down. Now it’s famous instead for the intersection of Kensington and Somerset avenues, where there’s an open-air, 24/7 drug bazaar. It was recently famous for its serial killer, but once he was caught, city officials went back to ignoring the area’s crime problem and concentrate instead on keeping it from reaching the East Kensington and Fishtown hipsters.

Hooray

For the Great Hamster of Alsace!

Nope

Now the Germans say it really was the sprouts that caused their e.coli epidemic.

Boulder to Birmingham

Emmylou’s tribute to Gram:

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