Sunday, December 16, 2007

US, China Gang up for Greenhouse Gases; World Boos

China, the country that tortures monks, and the US, the country that tortures just about anyone else, joined forces to protect those who pollute and poison the world's residents at the Greehouse Gases Reduction Conference in Bali this week.

When unauthorized parallel meetings were held
at the Conference of 187 countries, leader Yvo de Boer, not known for his emotion, was overcome by jet lag and obstructionism and burst into tears.

According to the UK's Daily Mail:
Officials from China, which feels Western countries should do more to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, accused UN negotiators of ignoring conference protocol.

Mr de Boer, distinctively dressed in a floral shirt, stepped up to the microphone to defend his staff - only to find that the words would no longer come.
As his unfinished sentences trailed away, he broke down and walked off the platform to supportive applause.

"He wasn't just wiping his eyes, he was in floods of tears," said one observer.
"Three colleagues - one of them a woman - formed a protective group around him and escorted him out of the hall. It was all very dramatic."
Mr de Boer's breakdown came after nearly a fortnight of squabbling over proposals to cut carbon emissions.

Then there was piling by the US, recently overtaken by China for the spot of World's #1 Greenouse Gas polluter. US delegation chief Paula Dobriansky , a pretty face with an ugly message, was booed for refusing to support the Conference goals.

One delegate, from Papua New Guinea, pleaded with the US to lead on the issue. "Lead, follow, or get out of the way."

More info:


Sunday Mirror

Telegraph here and full coverage here


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) is bad news for Maryland and for troops

BRAC concentrates traffic, funding headaches while removing our soldiers from communities around the country
Resources for info:

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

American Lives are at risk

Congress has enacted 125 statutes giving the FDA new or expanded responsibilities since 1988, without any new funding to cover the extra work. HuffPo has the story.

An FDA advisory board concluded the situation is dire. "FDA's inability to keep up with scientific advances means that American lives are at risk," the report concluded. A report by the Institute of Medicine in 2006 reached the same conclusion, but the Republican-controlled Congress did nothing to improve the safety of the infant formula, pet food, toothpaste, spinich, prescription drugs and implants relied upon by millions of Americans.

In the wake of the scathing report detailing the dangerously poor state of the Food and Drug Administration, President Bush is threatening to veto much-needed funds for the agency.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-CT, who leads the House panel responsible for FDA funding, called on President Bush to lift his objections to the agriculture appropriations bill, in which there is a drastic increase in money for the FDA. Without the infusion of cash, DeLauro said, U.S. consumers would be at great risk regarding food and drug safety.

The FDA Alliance and the Coalition for a Stronger FDA have issued a press release alerting us that the nation's food supply is at risk, as are the regulatory systems that oversee the nation's drug and device supplies, according to a subcommittee of the FDA's Science Board in a report it presented on December 3. They conclude that this imbalance is imposing a significant risk to the integrity of the food, drug, cosmetic and device regulatory system, and hence the safety of the public.

The result of a year-long review by a distinguished panel of experts, the 300-page report concludes that the state of FDA's scientific and regulatory programs could not be separated from the lack of resources available to support the agency's scientific base, hire and train a broadly-capable scientific workforce, and build a sophisticated and modern information technology infrastructure. You can find the report here.

FDA's need for recall authority here