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Divernan

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 11,556

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I'd bet the farm that Big Biotech is covering up its own negative research results.

Back in the 80's - the first law firm I worked for after finishing law school had a section of lawyers specializing in representing asbestos victims. As you all may or may not know, asbestosis or mesothelioma resulting from asbestos typically takes decades to develop. However, lung biopsies proves the presence of asbestos fibers. Once a biopsy revealed asbestos fibers, all the plaintiff's lawyer had to do was negotiate a settlement, because causation was beyond dispute.

The Asbestos Industry Cover-ups

Although it may be unbeknownst to many, the dangers of using asbestos were documented well before the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulated its production and use. In fact, documents show that railroad companies knew as far back as the 1930s that asbestos was dangerous and could cause an array of medical issues, such as lung cancer and asbestosis.


Reasons for Industry Cover-ups

Even though it was established that asbestos was dangerous decades before the EPA’s regulation, companies, as previously mentioned, continued to stifle any information regarding the hazards of the mineral. Even after physicians, scientists, and even asbestos companies provided details of the dangers after conducting studies, companies still wouldn’t scale back on asbestos usage or inform workers of the dangers.

The reason behind the great cover-ups simply comes down to money. If the production of and the use of asbestos was eliminated, many companies would lose the fortune they built. In fact, in another documented statement, when an executive of a corporation that used asbestos was asked if he would let his workers die if it meant continuing to use the mineral, he replied, “ Yes. We save a lot of money that way.” In other words, the profits of the businesses that used asbestos was more important than the lives of the people who helped these businesses survive.
http://www.mesotheliomalawyercenter.org/asbestos/cover-ups/

Classic examples of an industry that hid harmful effects of their products from the public are the Asbestos industry and the Tobacco industry. Both industries hid scientific knowledge of known toxic doses from their products for decades. These toxic doses have been the subject of government regulations and litigation. There are other examples of large corporations in the $880 Billion a year pharmaceutical industry as well as in the medical device industry.

http://www.toxicdoselaw.com/

A mega corporation like Monsanto has doubtless conducted extensive research on all its products, and deep-sixed that research under the guise of "trade secret". What a convenient place to bury any smoking guns. But hey, you never know when some goddamned whistle blower will come back at them, so better get insurance, guys! Let's put HRC on that!

Hillary Clinton Cheerleads for Biotech and GMOs

http://www.nationofchange.org/hillary-clinton-cheerleads-biotech-and-gmos-1405178773

Clinton recently attended the BIO International Convention on Wednesday, June 25 and leaked press snippets to confirm what most sustainable food movement supporters already know: she’s pro-GMO much like the other major political candidates that have been bought out by biotech.

At the San Diego convention, basically a promotional stop for all things biotech, she spoke for 65 minutes on the importance of GMO – despite the fact that she and her husband and former president have Celiac’s disease, which GE foods have been linked to (along with digestive issues).

Clinton also remarked that the “benefits” of GMOs should be better explained in order to counteract the massive grassroots tide against the lab-created crops, saying that “Frankensteinish” depictions should be met with a stronger, more positive spin from GMO companies. Notice the word ‘spin.’ You don’t have to ‘spin’ facts. That’s a public relations game. Hundreds of scientists have warned the world about the effects of biotech’s creations, but perhaps Mrs. Clinton hasn’t heard of those studies.

Many companies, including Monsanto, have already been stepping up the PR efforts, launching sites like GMO Answers in an attempt to change the narrative. They had tried to bamboozle Europe with PR deception campaigns, but largely failed, and now have turned their sights on other countries like the U.S.

Amazon: Send in the Drones (and the Lobbyists)

Kindly read the entire link for details as to where and when Amazon is testing these, and a video showing one.

http://kuow.org/post/amazon-send-drones-and-lobbyists

Amazon says its remote-control drones can fly 50 miles an hour and carry a five-pound package. It promises the system will deliver packages in 30 minutes or less. In December, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos told CBS News that tiny octo-copters could be delivering packages for Amazon within four or five years.

Federal rules now under review don’t allow the commercial use of drones. Amazon has hired lobbyists to try to change that. Congress has instructed the FAA to integrate drones into the nation’s airspace by September 2015.

The FAA approved the nation’s first overland use of commercial drones in June to fly over oil fields on Alaska’s remote north slope, where privacy and safety concerns are small. And last fall, the FAA allowed drones to fly over oil exploration areas in the Arctic Ocean.

Amazon did not respond to KUOW’s requests for an interview. The company’s lobbying efforts were revealed in a legally required disclosure form filed in June with the U.S. Congress.

Chevron admits Oil Shale Will Use Huge Amounts of Western Water.

One of the largest oil companies in the world has been forced in court to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about one of the key environmental impacts of developing oil shale in the arid West. Namely, it will consume an enormous amount of water in a region where drought and climate change are already stressing available water supplies.

Chevron USA, in legal filings in a case brought by the conservation group Western Resource Advocates, has admitted that to meet a goal of developing a half million barrels of oil from sedimentary rock in northwest Colorado it would need 120,000 acre feet of water a year. That’s enough to meet the needs of 1 million people per year.

Chevron and Western Resource Advocates reached a settlement agreement and filed it last week with the Colorado water court. Under the agreement Chevron is allowed to keep its water rights for six years and then must go back to court to keep them beyond that period. It also agreed to provide Western Resource Advocates with five documents that detail how much water it would need for oil shale development and how the water would be used.

That’s how the truth came out. “This legal case puts to bed the argument of whether current oil shale plans will use large quantities of water,” said David Abelson, a policy advisor to Western Resource Advocates. “Now the debate for decision makers is whether allowing oil shale development to use enormous quantities of water in a strained Colorado River Basin is acceptable.”

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/07/08/3457738/chevron-oil-shale-water/

It's demeaning to Thatcher to refer to HRC as "The American Thatcher".

Powerful article. When I first read the reference to HRC as an American Thatcher, I thought - right! she's so conservative. But upon reflection, I decided it was a disservice to Maggie Thatcher to identify her with HRC. I have never agreed with Thatcher's political positions/philosophy, but she did have the courage of her convictions, had a long and loving marriage, and succeeded in breaking through the glass ceiling on her own efforts. Here's some history.

1. Margaret Thatcher was a lifelong conservative. What you saw was what you got. She didn't flip-flop from Barry Goldwater Girl/president of Young College Republicans over to supporting McGovern and end up as a 3rd Way/corporatist/pro-war/Big Bank enabler. Y'all remember George McGovern's objections to Vietnam? One assumes HRC was familiar with them when she campaigned for him:
"It doesn't require any particular bravery to stand on the floor of the Senate and urge our boys in Vietnam to fight harder. And if this war mushrooms into a major conflict and a hundred thousand young Americans are killed, it won't be U.S. Senators who die. It will be American soldiers who are too young to qualify for the Senate." And also, "I'm fed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in."
http://www.buzzfeed.com/summeranne/five-idealistic-quotes-from-george-mcgovern

I remember him saying that because I had the privilege to hear him speak when I campaigned for him. I'm still anti-war. HRC? not so much.

"On Friday in England, Clinton boasted that two years ago she had favored a proposal by a top British General to train 100,000 “moderate” rebels to overthrow the Assad regime in Syria, but Obama had turned her down. The American Thatcher?" http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/hillary_clinton_flaunts_her_surveillance_state_baggage_20140707

2. Thatcher had a solid, 50+ year marriage, with not a whiff of scandal, betrayal or adultery. "Sir Denis Thatcher died of heart failure on 26 June 2003 and was cremated on 3 July. She had paid tribute to him in The Downing Street Years, writing "Being Prime Minister is a lonely job. In a sense, it ought to be: you cannot lead from the crowd. But with Denis there I was never alone. What a man. What a husband. What a friend."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Thatcher

3. Thatcher made it politically on her own - not on her husband's influence, connections or coat tails, and she started at the bottom and hung in through several initial defeats. She ran for Member of Parliament as a Conservative for a safe Labour seat. That's called flying the flag for your party, when there's no chance of victory, but you get your party's point of view out there. It's called paying your dues and working your way up. She was defeated in 1950, 51 and 54. She was finally elected an MP in 1959. From 1970 to 1974 she served as Secretary of State for Education & Science. From 1975 to 1979, she served as Conservative party leader, i.e., Leader of the Opposition. Finally, after 29 years directly serving her party - on her own, not as first spouse - she ran for and was elected Prime Minister, where she served from 1979 to 1990.

"Hillary Clinton Begins to Move Away From Obama Ahead of 2016"

Well, this puts the fox in the henhouse, DU-wise. Although I am not the least bit surprised to know that HRC plans to woo Republicans, i.e., Big Corporate Interests. We already know she favors more trade agreements, the Keystone Pipeline, Wall Street in general and Big Banking in particular. Hence this overall rah-rah-Hillary article in the Wall Street Journal.

Hillary Clinton has begun distancing herself from President Barack Obama, suggesting that she would do more to woo Republicans and take a more assertive stance toward global crises, while sounding more downbeat than her former boss about the U.S. economic recovery.

In another contrast, Mrs. Clinton has said U.S. presidents must never stop courting Congress. Mr. Obama has questioned whether such efforts make any difference. Mrs. Clinton expressed skepticism of candidates with "beautiful vision," while Mr. Obama still hammers on his 2008 campaign mantra: "Hope." "I mean, some people can paint a beautiful vision," she said at a CNN event last month. "And, thankfully, we can all learn from that. But then, can you, with the tenacity, the persistence, the getting-knocked down/getting-back-up resilience, can you lead us there?"

As she mulls a presidential bid, Mrs. Clinton also has suggested that her husband's administration offers a more viable model for governing in polarized times than Mr. Obama's.
Partisanship in the 1990s was as grave as it is today, she suggested at the Colorado event. Nevertheless, Mr. Clinton made inroads with hostile Republican lawmakers, Mrs. Clinton said.

"My husband had some really serious problems with the Congress when he was in office," she said. "They shut down the government twice. They impeached him once. So it was not the most pleasant of atmospheres. But I will say this: Bill never stopped reaching out to them."
Building those relationships on Capitol Hill "is something there is no rest from," she added.


http://online.wsj.com/news/article_email/hillary-clinton-begins-to-move-away-from-obama-ahead-of-2016-1404691988-lMyQjAxMTA0MDAwNzEwNDcyWj

Corbett's no-good, very-bad week: the lonely quacking of a lame duck

It's sing along time: "Oh, it's a long, long time . . . . from July to November" but that quacking sound out of the governor's mansion is only going to get louder!
The whole article is worth a read - relishes detailing how clueless Corbett is when it comes to dealing with a legislature controlled by his own party!

http://blog.pennlive.com/capitol-notebook/2014/07/tom_corbetts_no-good_very-bad.html#incart_most-comments

That "Holy Cow" moment came on Tuesday -- when a House of Representatives controlled by the governor's own party -- voted to send Corbett's favored pension proposal to the House Human Services Committee, chaired by Rep. Gene DiGirolamo, R-Bucks. The suburban Philly Republican has opposed Corbett on most everything, but notably on Medicaid expansion and a controversial county human services block grant program.

It was the functional equivalent of strapping the bill to a rocket and shooting it directly into a black hole. It will never escape. And you could practically hear the peals of Democratic laughter when it happened.

"It was pretty spectacular — what happened," Rep. Patty Kim, D-Dauphin, said in an interview just outside the House chamber on a long, slow Tuesday afternoon. "The bill was 100 pages. It wasn't fully vetted. I applaud Gene DiGirolamo for having it recommitted to his committee."

Then, with some relish, Kim added, "If I know , he loves hearings," she said, foreshadowing the long, slow death of the hybrid plan authored by Rep. Mike Tobash, R-Schuylkill, that would have allowed existing state employees to stay in the current pension program and shifted new hires into a 401(k)-style retirement program. And when it came to Corbett, events Tuesday were "a real black eye for ," Kim said. "He got into the boxing ring ... and he got hit. It's kind of sad
."

Live Blog of Opinions, June 30, 2014 LIVE

Source: Supreme Court of the United States blog

At 9:30 a.m. on Monday we expect orders from the June 26 Conference, followed by opinions in argued cases at 10:00 a.m. We will begin live-blogging at this link at approximately 9:15 a.m. The only remaining undecided cases of the Term are Burwell v. Hobby Lobby and Harris v. Quinn. - See more at: http://live.scotusblog.com/Event/Live_blog_of_opinions__June_30_2014#sthash.vXje5Qmc.dpuf

Both decisions from Alito. Harris is first. In Harris, the Court refuses to extend Abood. These employees can't be required to contribute to unions. This case does not involve full-fledged public employees, the Court notes.
The majority opinion is 39 pages. The dissent is 25.
The Court recognizes a category of "partial public employees" that cannot be required to contribute union bargaining fees.


Kagan writes for the dissenters. The four liberal Justices are the dissenters. The vote is 5-4.
It remains possible that in a later case the Court will overturn its prior precedent and forbid requiring public employees to contribute to union bargaining. But today it has refused to go that far. The unions have lost a tool to expand their reach. But they have dodged a major challenge to their very existence.

The opinion is here: www.supremecourt.gov
- See more at: http://live.scotusblog.com/Event/Live_blog_of_opinions__June_30_2014#sthash.vXje5Qmc.dpuf

How shocked would you be, on a scale of 1 to Andy-Kaufman-Is-Alive, if Justice Alito writes an opinion where Hobby Lobby loses?

Kagan dissent in Harris is strongly critical of dicta re Abood's supposed weaknesses. - See more at: http://live.scotusblog.com/Event/Live_blog_of_opinions__June_30_2014#sthash.vXje5Qmc.dpuf

(Here is Hobby Lobby)
This is a 5-4 opinion.
The Breyer and Kagan opinions are, to be clear, separate dissenting opinions.
Breyer and Kagan each filed a dissenting opinion.
Ginsburg joined by Sotomayor and joined in part by Breyer and Kagan.
There are three dissenting opinions.
Ginsburg dissents; it is 35 pages.
Decision looks like a monster: 49 pages for the majority, four for Kennedy concurrence.

Here is more qualification: It does not provide a shield for employers who might cloak illegal discrimination as a religious practice.
- See more at: http://live.scotusblog.com/Event/Live_blog_of_opinions__June_30_2014#sthash.vXje5Qmc.dpuf
Here is a further attempt at qualification: This decision concerns only the contraceptive mandate and should not be understood to mean that all insurance mandates, that is for blood transfusions or vaccinations, necessarily fail if they conflict with an employer's religious beliefs.

Justice Kennedy's concurring opinion says that the government could pay for the coverage itself, so that women receive it.


The Court says that the government has failed to show that the mandate is the least restrictive means of advancing its interest in guaranteeing cost-free access to birth control.
RFRA applies to regulations that govern the activities of closely held for-profit corporations like Conestoga, HL and Mardel.


Closely held corporations cannot be required to provide contraception coverage.


Here is Hobby Lobby.
- See more at: http://live.scotusblog.com/Event/Live_blog_of_opinions__June_30_2014#sthash.vXje5Qmc.dpuf


Read more: http://live.scotusblog.com/Event/Live_blog_of_opinions__June_30_2014



NOTE: All the entries in "Excerpt" portion are from the link - not my opinions or comments.

HRC charges $225,000 fee to Univ. which just had to raise tuition 17%

Yes, she's charging this speaking fee to a university which just announced a 17 percent tuition increase over the next four years! Way to win the youth vote, HRC! And this aspect cannot be emphasized too much: Although the engagement was confirmed on behalf of the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, a university spokesperson is quoted below as stating that "the money will not go to the family philanthropy."Remember that huge New York Times expose on the problems in the Clinton Foundation because no clear lines were being drawn between work for the foundation and work being done for personal and/or campaign activities? Well, that problem has obviously not been addressed.

Elias Benjelloun, UNLV’s undergraduate student body president, told the Las Vegas Sun this month that the school's trustees were trying to improve its offerings 'on the backs of students.'

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2667421/225-000-Thats-obscene-Hillary-Clinton-collect-massive-speaking-fee-Nevada-university-students-grapple-tuition-hikes.html#ixzz35mrJuxHo

http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2014/jun/06/over-student-objections-tuition-unlv-going-17-perc/

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will collect a $225,000 speaking fee from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in October, it emerged on Tuesday.

The massive expense was confirmed just weeks after the university formalized a 4 per cent tuition increase for each of the next four years. Rate hikes have nearly tripled tuition costs there since 2004.

Clinton will deliver the keynote address at an invitation-only gala for philanthropists and other high-dollar donors who support UNLV. The university said private funds are being tapped to pay her speaking fee.The event was confirmed on behalf of the Bill, Hillary, & Chelsea Clinton Foundation, but a UNLV spokesperson confirmed on Tuesday that the money will not go to the Clintons' family philanthropy.


But students see a zero-sum financial gain in which that money could have chipped away at tuition increases. $225,000? That's obscene!' UNLV student Jordan Mason told MailOnline. 'And the money is all fungible, right? Even if some CEO is writing the check, that's money that the person probably would have given to the university in some other way. I like Hillary,' Mason added, 'but if she's not willing to support us without all that money changing hands, maybe they should book someone else who won't add to the reasons we're paying more for school.'

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2667421/225-000-Thats-obscene-Hillary-Clinton-collect-massive-speaking-fee-Nevada-university-students-grapple-tuition-hikes.html

The UNLV Foundation Board of Trustees is paying Clinton's $225,000 speaking fee to the Harry Walker Agency, which books her public appearances, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.


The $200 per plate dinner will include some attendees paying as much as $20,000 for special sponsorships that include a private photo session with Hillary Clinton.

http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/hillary-clinton-collect-225000-keynote-unlv-fundraiser

Urgent Recommendations For Tesoro Refinery Safety Were Suppressed

Source: KUOW Radio,based in Seattle,serving Puget Sound

In the months following a deadly refinery explosion in Anacortes, Washington, in April 2010, federal investigators with the U.S. Chemical Safety Board were ready to issue urgent safety recommendations. But management at the agency blocked the release of their urgent alert.

It then took the Chemical Safety Board another three and a half years to issue recommendations for making the Tesoro refinery in Anacortes safer.

Those are some of the scathing conclusions of a Congressional inquiry into mismanagement at the Chemical Safety Board.

The independent board investigates explosions and other chemical accidents and is modeled after the National Transportation Safety Board. The Chemical Safety Board issued its report in May on the Tesoro blast in Anacortes, four years after the explosion killed seven.



Read more: http://kuow.org/post/report-urgent-recommendations-tesoro-refinery-safety-were-suppressed



This explosion killed SEVEN people.

The report details that an investigation by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology found:

* A “toxic and abusive” workplace that led to an exodus of the agency’s skilled investigators.

* Retaliation against whistleblowers.

* Chemical Safety Board Chair Rafael Moure-Eraso’s use of personal email accounts for official business.

* Moure-Eraso’s refusal to release documents to an inspector general investigating agency
mismanagement.


The Congressional inquiry found that Moure-Eraso and Chemical Safety Board managing director Daniel Horowitz blocked the recommendations from release in September 2010, even though they had already been peer-reviewed.
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