Category Archives: Politics

Postings related to elections and general political stuff

American Petroleum Institute Calls For Obama To Aid 'Economic Catastrophe' Due To Warming-Fueled Drought

In a perverse way this story is kind of amusing, aside from the fact that this isn’t some great Damascus Road experience on the part of the American Petroleum Institute and others, they are purely asking for President Obama to dynamite a deeper channel down the Mississipi and drain the Missouri River reservoir so they can keep hauling more oil that if we continue to burn it at the rate we are is going to lead to more droughts like this in the future… Oh the irony…

These conditions have caused many members of congress and the business community to call on President Barack Obama to help Mississippi River shipping businesses get back to normal. They want the president to allow the Army Corps of Engineers to dynamite the rocky riverbed near two southern Illinois towns ? Thebes and Grand Tower ? to deepen the shipping channel, allowing ships to pass through on less water. They also want the Corps to stop reducing water flow from a Missouri River reservoir, which the Corps does each

year to conserve water for the spring. Members of congress have sent a letter to the Army Corps of Engineers and spoken out about the issue, and on Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute, National Association of Manufacturers, U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other trade groups and organizations sent a letter to President Obama, urging him to declare emergency in the region and calling for ?immediate assistance in averting an economic catastrophe in the heartland.?

Click here to view original web page at www.care2.com

Has Dr Ben Goldacre crossed to the Dark Side?


It was quite a surprise to find out this morning that Dr Ben Goldacre had an article running in the Mail on Sunday. He is more usually found writing his column on Bad Science in the Guardian and certainly the quality of science reporting in papers like the Daily Mail has been a big subject of comment on his part, but it is indeed the same Dr Ben Goldacre writing for a tabloid!

The subject for his article is an important one, picking up themes from his latest book . In this case he is talking about Tamiflu, the drug that the UK government spent £500,000,000 on stockpiling in the wake of the bird-flu epidemic and which the manufacturers are surprisingly unwilling to publish any data on the success of. Essentially GP’s are prescribing this, and a number of other drugs on nothing more than sales patter, with no detailed evidence of whether the drug actually works. Shocking stuff…

Tamiflu is supposed to be the miracle flu drug. Patients across the UK rely on it. In medicine cupboards everywhere patients have eagerly stockpiled it, and in some winters there has even been talk of rationing.

The Government itself has spent £500?million on stockpiling the drug to keep the country from collapse in the wake of a bird-flu epidemic, since it’s supposed to reduce the risk of pneumonia and death.

And yet for all we know, Tamiflu might be no better than paracetamol: because

Roche, the company making it, still withholds vital information on the risks and benefits from researchers, doctors and patients.

Click here to view original web page at www.dailymail.co.uk

Hours After the Election…

Last weekend there was masses of political outrage that children had been removed from foster parents purely because of the foster parents supporting Ukip. Back then I said it sounded dodgy, and what do you know, mere hours after the election…

Fresh details have emerged about the removal of three eastern European children from their foster parents that cast doubt on claims the decision was politically motivated and taken purely because the couple were members

of Ukip. The removal of the children from the Ukip-supporting foster couple in Rotherham caused […]

Click here to view original web page at www.guardian.co.uk

Are the Liberal Democrats doomed?

Although you’d be forgiven for missing it in amongst the publication of the Leveson report, yesterday there were three by-elections. Labour held all three seats previously, and were expected to hold on to them, which they did. The published stories there are highlight the strong showing from Ukip, but what is maybe more of a worry for certain people would be the abysmal showing from the Liberal Democrats. In Rotherham it was a particularly poor showing with the party coming in eighth place producing the worst result by a major party in a by-election on record. This placing was behind Ukip, the racist BNP, the virtually Marxist Respect party, their Tory coalition partners, an English Democrat, and a clergyman standing as an independent. The abysmal showing represented an almost 14% swing away from the LibDems, marking another by-election where the party did appallingly badly.

Are the Liberal Democrats heading for a total wipeout at the next General Election? The Guardian discusses some of the mitigating circumstances in Rotherham, but it

certainly seems to be more than mid-term blues…

In Rotherham, which Labour held with 9,866 votes, Ukip had hoped for a late surge after a week of dream publicity. Not only had polls put its national support at an all-time high of 11% but the Eurosceptic party topped the news agenda after two of its local members claimed they had been told they were unsuitable foster parents for children of east European origin because of their political views.

Ukip came second in the town with 4,648 votes, and the BNP was third with 1,804. Respect took 1,778, and were followed by the Conservative party with 1,157. It was a particularly dismal night for the Liberal Democrats, who came eighth – behind the English Democrats – and lost their deposit. The turnout was 21,330 (33.63%), down by a quarter on 2010 levels.

Click here to view original web page at www.guardian.co.uk

The Tory-SNP deal that may reshape the UK

This story came up in the Guardian earlier this week, but has largely been lost in amongst all the run up to the publishing of the Leveson Report, however if this happens it will have some pretty big consequences for the whole of the UK.

Essentially the story suggests that the Tory government is making a deal with the SNP to make the independence vote a choice between full independence and the so called devo-max option. As part of the devo-max legislation Scottish MP’s will be removed from Westminster, however they’ll also use the opportunity to resurrect the boundary reorganisation plan that they failed to get through earlier this year. There are no Tory MP’s in Scotland, and the boundary changes favour the Tory party too…

For all of the miscalculations and cock-ups of the past two-and-a-half years, the Tory party, and David Cameron in particular, are as strategically focused as ever on winning power and holding on to it.

Few will be surprised to learn, then, that Cameron is still determined to force through parliamentary boundary changes next year that will reduce both the number of seats in parliament and in particular the number of Labour MPs, (by about 30) – and all in the face of opposition from Nick Clegg. And despite Clegg’s protestation, the Tories will probably be able to buy off some Liberal Democrat MPs threatened with extinction with a place in the Lords or on a quango. That he appears to be promising more devolved powers to Northern Ireland and Wales in order to win over the unionists and Plaid Cymru is quite logical in the circumstances.

Click here to view original web page at www.guardian.co.uk