QUESTIONABLE DRUG USED IN MEAT PRODUCTION

Most people have never heard of ractopamine. It is a growth drug fed to hogs and cattle to make them put on weight. (Additional weight with less feed means more money for the farmer per animal.) There are questions about the drugs safety for the animals and the humans eating them.

What is Ractopamine? It is a beta-agonist. That defines “a class of medication that relax muscles of the airways, which widens the airways and results in easier breathing”. It is a drug originally developed to treat asthma in humans. It also helps animals develop more muscle instead of fat. This helps farmers meet the consumer demand for leaner meat and makes heavier animals to market.

“The drug has triggered more adverse reports in pigs than any other animal drug on the market,” Helena Bottemiller reported for the Food and Environment Reporting Network in 2012. Ractopamine was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for use in animals. 

Have you figured out whose health the FDA is looking out for?
More on this drug and its use on animals is here: FORTUNE MAGAZINE STORY

Florida Bill Would Let Adoption Agencies Refuse Gay Couples

CBS Miami

Follow CBSMIAMI.COM: Facebook | Twitter

TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/AP) —A bill, ready for a House vote, would allow private adoption agencies to use religious and/or moral reasons to deny gay couples wanting to adopt children.

The House Judiciary Committee approved the bill Thursday after emotional testimony that compared the legislation to Indiana’s new religious objections law.

The bill (HB 7111) was filed after the House voted to strip a gay adoption ban from state law, which upset social conservatives. Republican Rep. Jason Brodeur said if gay couples want to adopt, they can go to the Department of Children and Families or a private agency that don’t have a problem with it.

Democratic Rep. Dave Kerner said the gay adoption ban was unconstitutional, and if agencies want to discriminate against gays, they shouldn’t be in the business.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE…

View original post 31 more words

Banks, Shielded by Regulators, Senator Asks Why!

On Tuesday, fierce consumer advocate and needler of banks Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) called out Wall Street regulators for their habit of giving tepid punishments to misbehaving banks, and asked the agencies to justify their policy of settling with the wrongdoers out of court.

Why are the punishments so light and no one is guilty? One Senator wants to know why. Looks like she is the only one. Click for The story, Mother Jones is the source.

Stop Blaming George Bush –

Published September 6, 2012 in the Miami Herald

“Jeb Bush said President Obama needs to quit blaming his brother George W. Bush for his failed economic policies. But it was his brother who, in 2001, was handed a surplus and then took this country into two wars. And it was on his brother’s watch that the financial and housing crisis occurred

Do people really believe that a debt of this magnitude can be paid off in just a few years? For many years to come, future presidents will be right to blame Jeb Bush’s brother for our debt

Wilfredo Jimenez, Miami”

The letter is here, for as long as it lasts at this link: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/09/06/2988451/bush-brother-to-blame.html#storylink=cpy

The writer shows in very few words the effects of a politician’s selective amnesia and distortion of documented facts. The plain unvarnished truth is; George Bush and the Republican Party royally screwed the country for many years to come and Jeb Bush, George’s brother, wants us to forget it and stop blaming his brother. He cites Obama’s failed economic policies when the truth of the matter is, the failed policies were put in place by his brother and the Republican Party. They spent the surplus left by the Clinton Administration on frivolous policies, deregulated the financial sector to an extent where the house of cards constructed by the banks, mortgage companies and other financial institutions collapsed under the eight of the massive fraud that went on. The Obama administration has done damage control and is blocked from doing anything meaningful by the house.

Sarah Palin – An Obscure Historical Footnote

Last week Sarah Palin announced that she will not be a candidate for president.  The former half-term Governor of Alaska has called it quits.  There is now no reason for the media to follow her and report on her activities.  They were just waiting on her to enter the presidential primary.  The  history books will record her as not finishing her term as Governor of Alaska.  A footnote in the historical record.

Her legacy will be the answer to the Daily Double trivia question on Jeopardy.

What is He? A Politician or a Preacher

Who am I referring in the title? His name is Rick Perry, he is the governor of Texas. This person held a religious event on Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011, in Houston, Texas to ask god for answers to the nations troubles. The press reports that it was well attended by thousands of evangelicals.

The following quote is taken from the AP news article ( http://m.apnews.com/ap/db_16028/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=Bp8qNUAh ): “The event was Perry’s idea but was financed by the American Family Association, a Tupelo, Miss.-based group that opposes abortion and gay rights and believes that the First Amendment freedom of religion applies only to Christians.”. This group is an extreme fringe group. Perry mixed politics and religion freely during his quasi religious event. He even huddled with, what passes as, ministers to pray. His words show that he, denies the truth, does not accept responsibility and blames someone else. He is appealing to a republican fringe, who by voting often, give the impression that they are the mainstream voter in the southern and central states.

He is actively courting the righteous right. He is not interested in moderates and liberals.  He is mixing religion and politics and does not see the difference. The religion he uses is exclusionary, no Jews, Muslims or the non-evangelicals. He should become another one of the many exclusionary evangelical preachers, instead of coveting the presidency.  The really scary thing, how many sharing this view have been elected to Congress, state legislators, as governors, to school boards, county and city governments. How many are now running for elected office?

What did Florida do to deserve this?

Florida has elected a man with a reputation not many would want.  This person spent a big chunk, more than $73 million, of his personal fortune to get elected. He wanted to be governor, really, really, wanted to be the governor. Why?

Here is some background on the 45th Governor in Florida. He is an aggressive Self-made millionaire who goes after what he wants. He has a business degree and a law degree. He graduated, then practiced law with Johnson & Swanson in Texas. While he was at the law firm he use his contacts to back a bold bid to buy the Hospital Corporation of America (HCA). The bid was rejected by HCA.  This did not stop Scott in his pursuit of a hospital corporation.

In 1988 he and a very rich financier each put up $125,000 to form the Columbia Hospital Corporation. They borrowed millions to buy two hospitals in El Paso, Texas. They bought a 3rd hospital in the area and shut it down. This net effect was to reduce the available beds and drive more patients to the Columbia hospitals. Instead if three struggling hospitals, their are now two successful hospitals.  The question that is not answered, how did Scott treat the employees who were affected by the hospital closing? His attitude and actions in the state affecting people makes me wonder if he screwed the employees and walked away.

Columbia Hospital expanded aggressively by buying other hospitals on other states. After each expansion, Scott still ran the company. As head of a large hospital corporation he was making millions in compensation and stock options. He then set his sights on HCA, the original acquisition target. He got it in 1994 and made his company the largest healthcare provider and ranked as one of the 50 top companies in the USA. Quite an accomplishment, but was it? It seem that the company was built on defrauding Medicare and Medicaid. When didn’t start?  Only the managers would know and they are not talking.

He was forced to resign “Following the raids, the Columbia/HCA board of directors forced Scott to resign as Chairman and CEO.   He was paid $9.88 million in a settlement. He also left owning 10 million shares of stock worth over $350 million” (quote; copied from Wikipedia).

“In settlements reached in 2000 and 2002, Columbia/HCA plead guilty to 14 felonies and agreed to a $600+ million fine in the largest fraud settlement in US history. Columbia/HCA admitted systematically overcharging the government by claiming marketing costs as reimbursable, by striking illegal deals with home care agencies, and by filing false data about use of hospital space. They also admitted fraudulently billing Medicare and other health programs by inflating the seriousness of diagnoses and to giving doctors partnerships in company hospitals as a kickback for the doctors referring patients to HCA. They filed false cost reports, fraudulently billing Medicare for home health care workers, and paid kickbacks in the sale of home health agencies and to doctors to refer patients. In addition, they gave doctors “loans” never intending to be repaid, free rent, free office furniture, and free drugs from hospital pharmacies.” (Wikipedia)

“In late 2002, HCA agreed to pay the U.S. government $631 million, plus interest, and pay $17.5 million to state Medicaid agencies, in addition to $250 million paid up to that point to resolve outstanding Medicare expense claims.  In all, civil law suits cost HCA more than $2 billion to settle, by far the largest fraud settlement in US history.” (Wikipedia)

Solantic, a chain of clinics in Florida that he cofounded, “has been the target of numerous employment discrimination suits, including one that settled with 7 plaintiffs for an undisclosed sum on May 23, 2007. These suits allegedly stem from a Scott-directed policy to not hire elderly or overweight applicants, preferring ‘mainstream’ candidates.” (Wikipedia)

From the Herald on Saturday, July 9, 2011.   Enu Mainigi, his lawyer, defended him in the contract dispute against Columbia/HCA in 2000, in which he pleaded the fifth 75 times, and in the 2010 whistleblower lawsuit against Solantic, the chain of urgent care clinics Scott founded and recently sold.  She is one of his advisors in Tallahassee.

From The Miami Herald on his veto of the state’s funding for FarmShare.

Patricia Robbins, as cofounder of FarmShare, a nonprofit organization that sorts, packs and distributes food throughout Florida, Robbins was smacked hard by Gov. Rick Scott’s recent veto of $750,000. That money is crucial to help pay for refrigeration of food and transporting it from here to North Florida. Pantries at churches and synagogues, soup kitchens, senior centers and homeless shelters throughout the state depend on this program.

Now farmers will have to get creative to qualify for federal payments for donated food because FarmShare’s program has been crippled. Will the farmers pay for the refrigeration and transport of this produce? How many South Florida farmers are making big bucks in this economy to do that?

Or will they be forced to dump the food they can’t sell because the vegetables are a bit small or too big for the market — just dump it in the landfill?

What was Scott thinking? Talk about clueless.

To continue; Scott killed the high speed rail project but approved the controversial Sun Rail project in Orlando.  This wins him points with the Orlando business groups, now they owe him and this man needs favors to call in if he wants to run for a second term.  His approval rating is the worst of any governor in the 50 states.

Where are this man’s morals.  He does not care about people.  His actions show a complete disregard for people and their welfare.  He is a millionaire with nothing to worry about.  He is screwing state workers and teachers, while paying his staff about 4X what an average state worker makes.  He has made 1,300 state employee redundant, many of them making less than $30,000 per year.  Big savings, these employees cost less than his campaign.  His policies are designed benefit the wealthy and penalize anyone who works for living.

He pledged to bring jobs to the state.  What type of jobs he did not say, but given his record will he count flipping burgers at McDonnell’s as production line jobs to show his policies work.  Given his history, can you trust an announcement from Tallahassee.

He was elected by a minority of Florida voters.  A failure to vote was a vote for Scott and many failed to vote.  To answer the question of why he wanted to be governor?  That is for the reader to answer. The state will survive his tenure, but in what shape?

News articles.

http://fcir.org/2011/03/30/rick-scotts-approval-ratings-plummet/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/29/rick-scott-robocalls_n_887077.html