Today's Weblog
Weblog 2003-01-02

Happy New Year!

Some choice New Years items from Lori Price's CLG newsletter, with notes.

Dangerous deficiencies in Bush's budget deficits --by Jeffrey D. Sachs "United States President [sic] George W. Bush seems poised to wreck America's budget for years to come. When Mr Bush came into office, the outlook was for budget surpluses as far as the eye could see. Today, through a combination of irresponsible Republican-led tax cuts, a slowing economy, the bursting of the stock market bubble and a massive increase in defence spending, huge deficits dominate the fiscal horizon.",4386,163547,00.html,1413,82%7E1865%7E1080497,00.html

The means of destruction of  public life and welfare most preferred by those who wish to do so is to destroy the ability of governments to fund public purposes or benefits.   In the last 50 years they have done that by repeatedly creating huge, insupportable deficits and consequent inflations.   The Clinton Administration recreated the possibility of a vibrant and healthy public life and purposes in the US through a strategy of budgetary surpluses and financial stability.  The Shrubbyists' chief objective, from tax cuts to war expenditures, is to destroy that possibility and leave our nation in the hands of the oligarchy and kleptocracy they represent.

America, On Death Row: A Letter to Democratic Senators -- by Mary MacElveen "To The Senators In The Democratic Party, December 28, 2002 --As I write this letter to you, I feel like America is on death row. The day she was sentenced to death was on December 12, 2000 when the United States Supreme Court decided for us as a nation who our president would be."

SEC Nominee's Company Paid for Stock Report, BusinessWeek Says --William Donaldson, picked by Dictator George W. Bush to be Securities and Exchange Commission chairman, served on the board of an Internet company that paid $25,000 for a report that boosted its stock price, BusinessWeek reported, citing the firm that did the report.

It does not really seem that a board member would, or should be expected to, be aware of individual $25,000 expenditures.  Still, the policies that permitted any expenditure for such a purpose are suspect to say the least.  Surely boards and their members are responsible for those policies.

Carlyle Group Buys Piece of CSX Container Business --After the bell Tuesday, transportation giant CSX announced that it would sell a majority stake in its domestic container shipping unit -- CSX Lines -- to the Carlyle Group for approximately $240 million in cash and $60 million in securities. [Editor's note: Could this purchase explain the Bush dictatorship's new-found obsession with terrorism via cargo ships and containers? LOL! Hold on to your hats --Bush's poll numbers are plummeting, and he needs a new act of terrorism for
his re-s-election. --Lori Price]

The Carlyle Group is a private equity invesment firm specializing in industries which are scheduled to make huge profits from military and homeland security expenditures here and abroad.   Its principals include GHW Bush, Frank C. Carlucci, former Secretary of State James Baker, etc., a roster of former Reagan/Bush1 administration officials.

The outgoing Chairman/CEO of CSX, who never quite made a success of running the railroad, is John W. Snow, nominated by Bush to replace John O'Neill as Secretary of the Treasury!

Arming for Armageddon: US Military-Industrial Complex Reigns Supreme --by John Stanton "In 2001, the US weapons industry controlled approximately 50 percent of the world arms market...The weapons industry storyline will include appeals to 9-11 and patriotism, free markets, job creation and level-playing fields, and global democracy--US style. But the reality behind the phony proclamations is, of course, profits and free-rides."

G.W. Bush - Making sure the terrorists have won --by Wade Inganamort "...let's take some time to focus on the DoubleSpeak inherent to the Bush concept of 'Freedom at war with fear' and the Administration's policy of taking away our freedoms and storing them for safekeeping where the terrorists cannot reach them."

2003 or 1984?
Triumph of doublethink in 2003 --Orwell warned against the kind of lies we are being fed about Iraq --by Paul Foot "We, the Winston Smiths of today, know that 15 years ago, the US and Britain were in alliance with Iraq... We also know that the key bases from which US bombers will take off to kill Iraqis are in Saudi Arabia, whose regime is even more dictatorial, savage and terrorist than Saddam's. But where does that knowledge exist? Only in our own consciousness.",5673,867152,00.html

Food Industry Wins Label Fight --The Food and Drug Mis-ministration has loosened its regulations for health claims on food labels, lowering the standard for food to the level of dietary supplements like ginkgo and garlic pill.

The above is insignificant but instructive.  Many people concerned with food and nutrition have fought alongside the 'dietary supplement' industry to keep the FDA from tightening labeling requirements for these supplements.

In the middle years of the Clinton administration there was a pitched battle over what level of proof was needed before any claim of benefit or potential benefit could be made on dietary supplementation labels.  The "protect the consumer from possibly exaggerated claims" people wanted to extend full drug labeling requirements to dietary supplements.  But they were fought to a standstill by advocates of that industry and its customers.

Yet some of the same folks who fought restrictive labeling for supplements appear to  find a problem in the fact that FDA has now not only yielded the point with respect to the products of the dietary supplement industry, but has extended the same treatment to general food labels as well.    I am a food nut myself.   But not so nutty that I cannot see the irony in this, the incongruity of being "upset" by the FDA's action.   LMAO when I read the item, in fact.

Perhaps the labeling proposal during that fight should have  been to upgrade the level of proof of benefit, etc. for dietary supplements to that required for food products.   Instead  (at the behest of  the allopathic drug industry lobbyists)  the Clinton FDA over reached proposed to adopt labeling for the supplements modelled after prescription drug labeling.

When they lost that battle, the discrepancy between the standards for foods, and those for dietary supplements stood as an open invitation for a different  FDA to reduce standards for food labeling.  We might have a better standard for both food and dietary supplements today if the two sides had compromised, and adopted standards for dietary supplements compatible with those for foods way back then.

Outflanked Democrats Wonder How to Catch Up in Media Wars - Worried that their party has been outgunned in the political propaganda wars by conservative radio and television personalities, influential Democrats are scouring the nation for a liberal answer to Rush Limbaugh and the many others on the deep bench of Republican friends.
I wonder if the Democrats have enough convicted and pardoned felons in their midst to compete with "Felon Radio" of Ollie North, G. Gordon Liddy,  and their ilk.   Still, at the rate Bush is hiring the Poindexter types, maybe they will run out of radio talent.

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