We’ve been busy over the last week with our “Heart” series (and there will be two pieces in the same vein over the New Year holiday) but here are a couple of items that have caught our eye recently.
In case you missed this: From the “you must be kidding department”:
Remember Betty Currie? Personal secretary to Bill Clinton who testified 5 times before a grand jury during the Lewinsky scandal? With a lot of the Obama team former Clinton Administration officials, I guess this should be no surprise at this point.
Emerging from retirement in southern Maryland to volunteer at Obama headquarters, Ms. Currie was the personal secretary to President Bill Clinton, who became caught up in an independent counsel investigation into his trysts with the White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Since leaving the White House, Ms. Currie, 69, has shied from publicity and kept a low profile in Hollywood, Md., where she lives with her husband, Bob, and Socks, the presidential cat, which she took with her after Mr. Clinton left office.
Ms. Currie, who works with local nonprofit organizations and serves on the Alcohol Beverage Board of St. Mary’s County, declined to discuss her work for Mr. Obama or her recent life, citing a transition office policy against volunteers giving interviews.
Compelled to testify to a grand jury five times about Mr. Clinton’s relationship with Ms. Lewinsky, Ms. Currie is widely admired in Clinton circles for her loyalty and effectiveness.
Mr. Podesta, who was Mr. Clinton’s last White House chief of staff, said it was natural for him to call Ms. Currie back to service.
“Of course I asked her because in the 30 years we have worked together, I have never known anyone with more grace, dedication and public spirit than Betty,” he said. “And she has one mean Rolodex.”
Yup, that Rolodex must be something to see…along with all that grace, dedication and public spirit! Wonder if Socks has any insights to offer about what’s going on in that transition team?
So, with the huge spending being planned by Team Obama, my mother is talking about the Depression a lot more. Then there’s the concern over to whether to buy gold and silver or to get a Swiss bank account (Swiss francs reputedly offer a stable hedge against the loss of the dollar’s value).
A Canadian visitor named Manuela suggested this animated video which explains what money is and how it is created in response to our discussion of The History Channel’s recent program on “The Crash” (which was not the greatest). (See “The Past Week: December 7-13” below.) It’s the sort of thing that anyone who doesn’t have a clue about the current financial crisis should see…
The film is by Paul Grignon and is called “Money as Debt” and you can see it here.
If you eat animal products, you might want to know this. Two days before Thanksgiving, the FDA REVERSED the ban on the use of antibiotics in food-producing animals, including chickens, cattle, and pigs, effective November 30th. As reported by the the non-profit American Association for Health Freedom:
…In December 2007, a coalition of consumer, environmental, science, and humane groups known as Keep Antibiotics Working wrote to the FDA commissioner, Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach, urging further FDA action. Their letter presented evidence that the widespread use of antibiotics in livestock contributed to the MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus) epidemic in Europe, and showed that the effectiveness of antibiotics against deadly bacteria was questionable at best. They cited data that a new strain of MRSA bacteria in pigs was linked to 20% of all human MRSA infections in the Netherlands and Canada, though there are insufficient studies to make that link in the U.S., where MRSA cases have recently surged. The coalition also estimated that 70% of all antibiotics used in the U.S. are used as feed additives in chicken, pigs, and cattle.
This past summer the FDA instituted an order banning the off-label use of drugs in food-producing animals, while noting that the same family of drugs was important to treat disease in humans. This fall, the FDA echoed again the same sentiment, taking note of the increasing evidence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in cattle. But the FDA’s action met with harsh industry criticism. Pfizer argued that the drugs were essential for preventing disease in animals. Other groups, including the Animal Population Health Institute, the KS Health Department, the National Turkey Federation, and the American Veterinary Medical Association, also criticized the FDA’s ban, which was to go into effect on November 30.
So despite the mounting concern over antibiotic resistance—which is known to endanger human life—on November 25 the FDA revoked their earlier order, to the profound dismay of the Keep Antibiotics Working coalition and researchers like Dr. Stuart Levy at Tufts University, who leads the Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics. Dr. Levy has collected a considerable body of evidence to educate his colleagues and consumers about the dangers of the overuse and abuse of antibiotics both in humans and in animal use.
The AAHF is working with other groups to see reform of the FDA and has a petition up at ReformFDA.org.
Now, with Tom Daschle heading Health and Human Services, which encompasses the FDA, should we expect a reversal of this decision? From Daschle (and wife) who have had some ties through their lobbying activities that might point to other interests? See here for details.
THE PAST WEEK
*By Grail Guardian
**Contribution by Chicago Correspondent Leslie
***By American Lassie
2. The Heart of the Season: Birds of the Solstice and Signs (A Double Post by kenosha Marge and InsightAnalytical-GRL)
Katie in the Christmas Tree by kenosha Marge
Winter Solstice, 1992: The Final Flight of a Soul by InsightAnalytical-GRL
Of Robots and Women and Our Current Life in the Village of Stepford (Antidote on the Way?)(A Double Post by kenosha Marge and InsightAnalytical-GRL)
Women, You’re About To Be Replaced By…a ROBOT! by InsightAnalytical-GRL
Women Will Never Be Equal by kenosha Marge
The Past Week: December 7-13, Recaps and Random Thoughts (Blago in the Can and ON the Can; Obama License Plates in IL?; Reality-Based Black Commentary; Canada & the Auto Bailout; Live Blog of The History Channel on “Crash: The Next Great Depression?”– No Surprise, A Waste of Time; Ignored Science) (Updated 1X)
Filed under: Current Politics, Life | Tagged: "Money as Debt", Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics, Americam Association for Health Freedom, American Veterinary Medical Association, Animal Population Health Institute, antibiotics in food-producing animals, Barack Obama, Betty Currie, Bill Clinton, FDA, Health and Human Services, John Podesta, Kansas Health Department, Monica Lewinsky, National Turkey Federation, Paul Grignon, Pfizer, ReformFDA.org, Socks, the Depression, Tom Daschle | 9 Comments »