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Showing posts from August, 2007

The Surge Splurge Urge

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[As perhaps you can tell, I don't vent about the Iraq war very often, but this just steamed me up to venting pressure.]

With the inevitable stay-the-course message coming in the "General Petraeus" (NOT!) September report, we should all ingest and digest this news:


Dang! With over two million Iraqis already displaced by the war, the "Surge" is making things worser faster.

And there's all the news about the inability of the current Iraq government to ever heal the sectarian hatred... Well, just add a bunch of salt to the coming news of "progress."

Hedge Fund Tax Cheats

Heartfelt letter:

Representative Heather WilsonU.S. Congress, House of RepresentativesWashington, DCDear Rep. Wilson This is from the Wall Street Journal 9.14.07.I hope you are one of the lawmakers working on this.We have to close all the loopholes in paying taxes, for the good of the country.• The Situation: U.S. lawmakers are examining a tax perk enjoyed by hedge funds.• Background: Many of these funds lend money like banks but, unlike traditional lenders, often don't pay taxes on the profits.• Consensus? While some tax lawyers say these transactions are proper, others argue that many variants are legally dubious. Hedge funds, which control liquid pools of capital with little regulatory oversight, are a growing presence in the lending business. They increasingly take part in lending syndicates with traditional banks, often indirectly, and also make direct loans, frequently to riskier or smaller companies that may have difficulty obtaining traditional financing. Indeed, the additio…

UPDATED News the Chemical Companies Don't Want You to Hear

[UPDATE AT END]

My Suspicious, eh? button was pressed when I heard such good corporate citizens as Dow, Bayer and Hexion Specialty Chemicals were fighting to suppress government regulations on one of their very profitable chemicals. They just might succeed, since their lobbyists are making sure the government (Health & Human Services) sees mostly industry-funded research.

The stuff is BPA and is rife in plastic baby bottles, plastic-lined cans of food and lots of other plastic products like toys and sippy cups. In the studies not funded by the chemical companies, BPA is shown to have mucho bad impact on test animals; stuff like diabetes, ovarian cancer, prostate cancer, male reproductive problems, obesity, and behavioral changes stemming from imbalances in the endocrine systems. Its worst effects are on babies in the womb and those recently emerged therefrom.

And - surprise! - "Other studies – mostly funded by the chemical industry – have claimed little or no effect of BPA."…