Sunday, March 3, 2013

Good News Sunday

Here's an amazing story about the advances in medicine and where we're heading in the battle against AIDS.  This will save the lives of innocent children, courtesy of Ron Winslow and the Wall Street Journal.

Enjoy your Sunday folks...

  • The Wall Street Journal

Friday, March 1, 2013

The Case for Qualifications

SECDEF Chuck Hagel
Courtesy: DOD
The recent political dust-up over the nomination of former senator Chuck Hagel (R-Nebraska) for Secretary of Defense, and the ongoing hold-up over the nomination of John Brennan for Director of the CIA, is just another chapter in the march towards further polarization and dysfunction that our government is hell-bent on perfecting.

In a time when we are a nation at war holding up the incoming SECDEF for political purposes is one of the most inappropriate, irresponsible and selfish things the Republican senate could do.  Not only was it unprecedented for a SECDEF to be essentially filibustered, but the reasons for obstructing his appointment left me wondering what the hell is really going on in Washington.

So he said some things that he wish he wouldn't have.  I'll cover a few examples below, but before I do: a few things about that:
  • Who here is surprised that a politician said something they shouldn't have?
  • Who cares, anyways?  Is that the new standard for getting a job in Washington?  

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Cable News Sucks: Exhibit A

If you don't follow politics, you may not know what happened between on the Hannity program between host Sean Hannity and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) on FoxNews.  If you're a FoxNews viewer, you probably saw this as Hannity interviewing someone having a nervous breakdown right before your eyes.  If you're a fan of MSNBC, you probably just saw Hannity finally getting his due.  Admittedly, I don't watch FoxNews (or MSNBC) because I don't care for their "journalism," but it almost seemed like they went into this interview expecting a fight.  I have half a mind to call this a PR stunt.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Cancer in the EPA

The Environmental Protection Agency usually gets a bad wrap from many conservatives as a "job-killing" agency that exists only to regulate the profit and competitiveness right out of the free market.  The progressive folks, usually, are the ones that have to step up and defend the agency as the protector of the American people from the excesses and irresponsibility of big business and other threats to public health.  

My take is that if it "kills jobs" but keeps me and my family safer or healthier than we'd otherwise be -- and even saves lives -- it's worth it.  I'll take my water clean, thank you very much.  Just how clean and safe our water is though, is the subject of a joint investigation between the PBSNewsHour and The Center for Public Integrity.  The cause for concern: the connection between chemicals in our water -- and cancer -- and what the EPA is doing about it.  

The investigation uncovers what is says is a conflict of interest, poor policy decisions and influence by powerful special interests working against the will of the people.  With this goes the integrity of science, the government, and this public institution.  While I'm a supporter of the mission of the EPA, and I'm not they type that is immediately suspicious of everything the organization does, the findings of this investigation are very troubling.  I know that no agency is perfect and without its own issues, but pubic health and the EPA are supposed to be different.  

I hold the president responsible for this.  The health and safety of the American people are being sold to the highest bidder.  Under his administration he promised robust transparency and the triumph of science over influence.  Neither one of those seem to be the swing vote in this situation.  Recently, the head of the EPA, Lisa P. Jackson, announced that she wanted to leave the EPA.  When an investigation like this comes out shortly after an announcement like that, it sure does make you question if the two are related.  I'm not one for conspiracy theories, but when an agency like the EPA commits acts of this nature, it opens itself up to all kinds of scrutiny.  Even worse, it gives its detractors more than a leg to stand on.  

For shame, EPA.  

Below is the text of the article.  Fair warning: it's a heavy lift.  You can find the original version here.