The Complicated Diplomatic Life of Hillary Clinton (UPDATE 1X: Clinton on the Defensive in Congo over Bill’s “Presence”; UPDATE 2X: Bill Off the Leash?; UPDATE 3X: Video of Clinton Congo Outburst, Glenn Beck Comments)

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

UPDATE 1: 8/10/09 PM:

Apparently, Hillary Clinton IS getting touched by the recent focus on her husband–in Congo, no less!  This is SO NOT GOOD! And in so many ways…for women, for Clinton herself, for the country…is the final set-up in place for her to leave? A large part of her visit to Congo is going to focus on the mass rapes in the country and human rights issues, but by the time the following report gets to the U.S. that emphasis will probably be lost.

Note: I’ve deleted the original excerpt after seeing that it was from the AP….replaced by the story from the France24/AFP:

Clinton pushes rights issues in Congo, Angola

snip

Clinton faced a flurry of questions from the students, not all to her liking. At one point, she showed a rare flash of public anger as a young man asked for the views of her husband, former president Bill Clinton.

“My husband is not the secretary of state, I am,” Clinton said forcefully.

The AP story also quoted her as saying she wouldn’t be “channeling” Bill Clinton and described her response as being “snapped.”

The Voice of America news omits the exchange and the BBC story only cites the last line/quotation (without the “she snapped” or the “forcefully.”)

UPDATE 2

Albert R. Hunt, Exec. Editor for Washington for Bloomberg News opined 8/10:

Big Dog May Not Return to Leash After Pyongyang

What will this Pandora’s Box yield?

UPDATE 3   8/11/09   AM

From the AP story at FOX News, the video…and, as predicted, this is going viral. Glenn Beck was razzing Clinton about this on his AM radio show just now and will sending it in his newsletter.  He did make one comment that makes a lot of sense: that Clinton must really regret that she took the job.  Whatever it is, she’s cleary frustrated as hell.  Beck also played a tape of her during the campaign in which she shouts about how “Amercans have a right to debate” and how “debate is patriotic” (in reference to the Bush Administration). Beck mocked her “gentle” style and compared it to her outburst in Congo.  He also commented on her absence from the trip to Russia and the N. Korean business.  He was implying that she was being cut out of the loop.   He was caustic, of course, but an awful lot of it was spot on.  Especially when he finished up by saying that the Obama/ACORN machine had taken down the Clinton machine–that’s how scary these people (Obama people)  are.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “untitled“, posted with vodpod

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ORIGINAL POST BEGINS HERE (Touching on what’s been brewing and finally came out today, as reported above.)”

This is a complicated post that has evolved over several days observation…

To start,  back on Tuesday, 8/4/09,  I posted a little comment over at the TD Blog’s open thread on Bill Clinton’s mission to N. Korea to free Al Gore’s journalists/reporters  from Current TV (or whatever they are).  I commented:

I expect to hear at some point that Bill’s success shows that Hillary sucks at being SOS…

So, lo and behold, I listened to the report on the “rescue” the next  morning on the BBC World Service news bulletin (at 1400 UTC)  and at the very end, the throwaway comment by a reporter on the phone (a British reporter, not an American) was (sic) “What’s interesting is that SOS Hill Clinton is married to Bill Cinton and he accomplished what she couldn’t.”  The AP on Thursday (8/6) in an analysis piece (can’t quote them) and the L.A. Times in a news story that, of course, includes “analysis” used the word “overshadow” in their post-mission coverage.

Meanwhile, over at the BBC’s “Have Your Say” page, the teaser is “Should Africa Listen to Hillary Clinton?”

Should Africa listen to Hillary Clinton?

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has begun a tour of Africa, saying improving democracy is the key to boosting trade and development. But should Africa follow her advice? (more)

Gee, I thought she was representing the Obama Administration/the United States–why the “personalization” of her foreign policy trip?

Well, I guess it’s understandable, since Clinton has personalized some of her rhetoric, notably her comments in late July regarding North Korea. From the detailed coverage of the spat at India’s IBNLive:

“Maybe it’s the mother in me, the experience I’ve had with small children and teenagers and people who are demanding attention, Don’t give it to them,” she said in the interview.

She also said the North Koreans were like “little children” who “had no friends left.”

I have no no problem to the reference to motherhood, in general, but …did Clinton’s acid comments really help the situation?

North Korea’s Foreign Minister issued a scathing response. From the KOREAN CENTRAL NEWS AGENCY of DPRK(Democratic People’s Republic of Korea)

She said during her recent trip to India that “north Korea should not receive the attention it is seeking through behavior like missile launches,” likening Pyongyang’s behavior to that of unruly children. Her words suggest that she is by no means intelligent.

The DPRK has taken necessary measures to protect the nation’s sovereignty and right to existence to cope with the U.S. hostile policy and nuclear threat, not to attract anyone’s attention.

snip

We cannot but regard Mrs. Clinton as a funny lady as she likes to utter such rhetoric, unaware of the elementary etiquette in the international community.

Sometimes she looks like a primary schoolgirl and sometimes a pensioner going shopping.

Anyone making misstatements has to pay for them.

While some stories in the Western press called N. Korea’s personal attack “bizarre”  (See: the Agence France-Press report at News.com.au titled  North Korea in bizarre Hillary Clinton attack ),  over at IBNLive there’s a vote up on Clinton, up or down which is basically tied, and also a place where, among several choices,  you can give her flowers or throw tomatoes, complete with a “live action” tomato throw at Clinton.  Currently the tomatoes are the most popular choice.

The result of this spat was that the 6-party talks were declared “dead”….but the rhetoric was toned down and backchannel work to reset the playing field  was undertaken and then, enter Bill Clinton and the freeing of the Current TV writers.

Early on,  Asia Times Online, the “private” nature of Bill’s N. Korean rescue mission was nabbed as a “fantasy”: See Dear Leader stars in Bill and Hillary show for a good read.

Clinton was just the high-profile visitor North Korea hoped to entice from Washington in return for handing over the journalists.

Why bother to pretend otherwise, after wife Hillary, as secretary of state, had laid the groundwork by saying that maybe Ling and Lee had made a mistake and strayed across the Tumen River border with China when North Korean soldiers picked them up on March 17? And hadn’t Hillary already expressed an apology for the mishap after having said earlier the two had done nothing wrong?

The Independent Opinion Page seemed to think everything is OK for Hillary:

Yet one perk now stands out. How many other jobs would enable a woman to send her philandering husband to North Korea? Many women have fantasised about it. Mrs Clinton has actually done it. Take note Harriet Harman. Some sisters, at least, are letting their menfolk know who wears the (pantsuit) trousers.

Well, that BBC reporter quoted up top doesn’t seem to echo this shallow assessment. Neither did the AP or the L. A. Times and other media outlets. From the  above L.A. Times story,

It once again led to him overshadowing his wife, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, even as she is on her own diplomatic trip to Africa.

snip

At the same time, the trip left some uncertainty about how Clinton’s new diplomatic career is fitting in with that of his wife, America’s chief diplomat. While Bill Clinton was in a worldwide spotlight, the debut of Hillary Clinton’s 11-day trip to Africa received scant attention. She has been trying to raise her visibility in an administration stocked full of capable diplomats and influential White House foreign policy aides. The Africa trip, including stops in Kenya — Obama’s father’s homeland — and several longtime hot spots, was meant to help her raise her own profile.

In an NBC interview Wednesday, the secretary of State said that though she had originally favored Gore for the North Korea assignment, she was “very much in favor” of sending her husband once the North Koreans requested it.

And, here’s something else, also from the L.A. Times story:

“This is really going to help consolidate his role as an elder statesman,” said Ross Baker, a political analyst at Rutgers University. “It almost gave him a kind of heroic tint.”

So Bill is the hero of the story; Hillary, not so much. Heck, by the end of the week on the McLaughlin Group, Hillary Clinton’s name didn’t even come up in the discussion of Bill’s trip to N. Korea and its potential implications at all!

Back to that BBC news bulletin I mentioned right up at the top…

A short bit later in the same news bulletin, I heard the report on Hillary Clinton’s umbrage at the Kenyan government…their corruption, impunity, and failure to correct the problems that resulted in the post-election violence back in December 2007.

The BBC story below has a video of  Clinton Speaking at the 8th AGOA Conference.

Kenya impunity ‘disappoints US’

snip

Addressing the press following a meeting with the Kenya’s president and prime minister, Mrs Clinton strongly criticised Kenya’s political leadership.

She said the absence of strong and effective institutions had permitted ongoing corruption, impunity and human rights violations.

And she noted that these conditions had helped fuel the violence that engulfed the country in early 2008.

“We’ve been very clear in our disappointment that action has not been taken [over the violence],” she said.

“It is far preferable that it be done in the regular course of business, that prosecutors, judges, law enforcement officials step up to their responsibilities and remove the question of impunity.”

The violence broke out after supporters of Raila Odinga – the main opposition leader at the time – said he had been cheated of victory in the December 2007 polls.

Clinton adds:

“I want you to know President Obama feels a personal connection and commitment to the future of Kenya.”

If you listen to her speak this line, she enunciates every word very carefully, as if she wants to make sure everyone listening gets it.  It’s overkill, of course.  Perhaps over-compensating for Obama’s ties to Odinga and the same old, same old foreign policy that’s chugging along. Or some reflexive sense that she has to make sure any hint of “not being fully on board” is dispelled.  Whatever.  It seems to happen fairly often.

A little bit below this video there’s an audio clip which discusses the main concern of the U.S. regarding  Africa, namely, OIL, since 24% of our imports come from Africa and catching up with China, Russia, and India.

Emira Woods, Liberian-American  journalist and an “expert on U.S. foreign policy in Africa”  comments, that  despite the ” lofty rhetoric” of Obama’s Inaugural Address, U.S. foreign policy is “still focused on a  narrow definition of U.S  interests” with regard to “extractive industries”…oil, gas, and mining.  Then there’s the “land grab” which is going on across the African continent.  According to Woods, large “tracks of lands” are being turned over to the production of biofuels to fuel cars around the world, but there’s really very little concern about feeding starving children.  Woods also relays concerns about the militarization of Africa. (Note: Both the Clinton video and the Woods audio are here on one page:   http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8185626.stm).

Very little “hope and change” over there, just like there’s very little here at home…

And in Angola, Clinton pushed for  “credible elections”…you know, the kind the Democrats gave us last year during the primaries.  Eek!

Of course, the topic turned to oil. From the BBC:

In Luanda, Mrs Clinton is expected to sign a memorandum of understanding with American oil giant Chevron and the US Agency for International Development (USAid) to promote investment in Angola’s agricultural sectors like coffee and bananas.

Asked about China’s growing influence in Angola, Mrs Clinton said she was not interested in what other people were doing in Angola because her focus was on what the US was doing.

Last year, Angola overtook Saudi Arabia as China’s leading source of crude oil.

She’s not interested in what China is doing?  Really?  Oh, please.  It sounds sort of glib, doesn’t it? And completely disingenuous…

So, basically, all the trumpeting of a new foreign policy seems to be a lot of hot air and not much different than anything that’s come before. The U.S.’s self-interest is still all wrapped up in oil.

Remember how during the Bush years we got all sorts of big talk?  Remember the infamous “axis of evil” reference in his 2002 State of the Union address (axis = North Korea, Iran & Iraq)?  Well, there are times when Clinton sounds just like George W. with her sometimes very harsh or very glib statements.

Now, I really deplore the snark from that BBC reporter aimed at  Hillary Clinton about Bill coming to the rescue.  She seems to absorb al this without batting an eye. Then again, Hillary got the “street finger” from the Obama crew during the primaries. And she chose to leave the Senate and sign on with the Obama crowd.  It’s nice that she’s adding some comments about women in her speeches, but in real life, she’s being slimed by a reporter for the BBC and undercut in her desired appointments to positions by the Obama team.  It’s been reported that HIS  people are in under her, not her first choices for key jobs.  And now, Bill has re-entered and is the new hero of the N. Korea situation.

But she’s apparently OK with all this. (?)

So, the upshot of how this makes me feel is that 1) She’s getting shafted or undercut too often and 2) Sometimes she speaks in ways that makes me scratch my head. But most of the time, I just wonder what will happen next. What does Bill do next?  Madeline Albright sure didn’t have to deal with this sort of thing. I can’t figure it out, unless Clinton is used to the soft form of “battered wife” syndrome.  Then there’s the dealings with Obama, the guy who cheated and muscled himself into the nomination.  Here she is, right on board the train with the usual U.S. foreign policy, surrounded by Obama loyalists, while he keeps his nose clean. I guess she’s OK with this and how she must defer to his lead, but it I don’t feel OK watching it all happen.

So, while others cling to Hillary Clinton as their personal inspiration, I can only say that I’m left with very mixed feelings at this point. I sort of shake my head and say ” Too bad”  about Clinton’s odd position at State, along with everything else that is “too bad” these days…

The Past Week: August 2-8, 2009 (Detroit’s Middle Class Faces Hunger; Accelerating Bank Failures; Eustace Mullins/FOEM’s Site)

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

I’ve been bogged down all week. And yesterday I spent 3 hours online for a seminar involving financial cycles.  Plus, I’ve been working a on meandering piece that will go up next week and have a few more things I’m working on.

But, here are a couple of tidbits that I ran across this week:

First, the middle class is starting to feel the pangs of hunge. CNN coughed up the story:

Hunger hits Detroit’s middle class

snip

In this recession-racked town, the lack of food is a serious problem. It’s a theme that comes up again and again in conversations in Detroit. There isn’t a single major chain supermarket in the city, forcing residents to buy food from corner stores. Often less healthy and more expensive food.

As the area’s economy worsens –unemployment was over 16% in July — food stamp applications and pantry visits have surged.

I know there’s been talk about reclaiming blighted urban lands in places like Flint, MI and turning it back to a natural state and for food production. Apparently, the good citizens of Detroit aren’t waiting around for that as urban gardens are springing up on abandoned property.

Detroiters have responded to this crisis. Huge amounts of vacant land has led to a resurgence in urban farming. Volunteers at local food pantries have also increased.

But the food crunch is intensifying, and spreading to people not used to dealing with hunger. As middle class workers lose their jobs, the same folks that used to donate to soup kitchens and pantries have become their fastest growing set of recipients.

more

What will they do in the winter when the gardens die?

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Wonder how the banks are really doing?  Here’s a view of reality from Jeff Nielson’s Instablog:

Accelerating U.S. bank-failures refute “recovery” hype

With 69 failed banks already this year, bank failures are already on course to exceed the number of failures in 2008 by 400%. However, if they continue accelerating, that increase could easily rise to 500% or 600%.

Meanwhile, despite raising the size of its bribes to take over these failed companies, the FDIC is seeing less bidders step up to bid on these companies. It’s “insurance fund” will be nearly completely exhausted when the pending failure of Texas-based Guaranty Bank takes place – forcing it to tap into a $200 billion “line of credit” from the insolvent U.S. Treasury. Does this sound like an economy which is “recovering”?

He continues with a good overview of housing, consumer credit, business credit, and the bailout as a whole.  It won’t make you happy…

***

I’ve added a new link to the Financial blog roll–a wealth of information here!!

DollarDaze

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Finally, a while back American Lassie wrote a post on Eustace Mullins titled Eustace Mullins’ “Secrets of the Federal Reserve”: Read About what Ezra Pound Called “The Great Betrayal”. We had a comment this week that led us back to FOEM’S Site (Friends of Eustace Mullins Society). There are recent pictures of the man himself; he’s alive and kicking!

THE PAST WEEK

Forget the Mainstream Media “Business Analysts”: Economics Prof Explains Obamanomics and Conducts Experiment That Proves His Point

The Past Week: July 26-August 1, 2009 (Inflation vs. Deflation; CNBC Ratings Plunging; Wind Turbines; Perpetuum Jazzile and Simulated Rain)

Forget the Mainstream Media “Business Analysts”: Economics Prof Explains Obamanomics and Conducts Experiment That Proves His Point

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

American Lassie forwarded this little ditty which does what the mainstream media can’t won’t do–explain what extreme government control can do to a country’s get up and go.

Now, I, personally, believe in a strong social safety net, so I’ll NEVER be a Republican.  I’m not far over on the other side of the spectrum which seems to put unfettered business and profit above everything else.  Sadly, we’re in a situation now where pandering to business combined with the autocratic streak of the extreme left, is playing into GOP hands for the future.  When they get back in control on the back of their OWN misinformation and scare tactics, their own autocratic stamp will be put on our lives…the table will have been set for extreme cuts to the social services we need.  The GOP have blocked anything that even tries to help strengthen the social safety net in the past and I think they’re salivating right now at the thought of having a carte blanche in the future to wield a harsh and punitive knife so Medicare, Social Security, etc.  And many workers will suffer, as usual, at the hands of employers, as they have done for eons.

Of course, IF we actually have a sane Democratic Party that fights this in the future, we may survive, but at this point, we don’t have a sane Democratic Party, so all bets are off!

So, here is the current state of affairs explained simply. You may want to pass it around to anybody you know who is confused and needs a basic primer…Of course, things are way more complicated in real life.  After all the big banks are TOO BIG TO FAIL, so that sort of skews the curve…

An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before, but had once failed an entire class.

Economics Prof in Action

Economics Prof in Action

——————————————–
That class had insisted that Obama’s socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer.
The professor then said, “OK, we will have an experiment in this class on Obama’s plan”.
All grades would be averaged and everyone would receive the same grade so no one would fail and no one would receive an A.
After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B.
The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy.
As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little.
The second test average was a D!
No one was happy.
When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F.
The scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else.
All failed, to their great surprise, and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed.
Could not be any simpler than that.

The Past Week: July 26-August 1, 2009 (Inflation vs. Deflation; CNBC Ratings Plunging; Wind Turbines; Perpetuum Jazzile and Simulated Rain)

~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

Like nearly everyone else, I’m obsessing over the economy, so this discussion on inflation vs. deflation really caught my attention this week.

Check it out at the Two Beers with Steve site:

Episode 14 – Chris Martenson Talks Inflation Vs. Deflation

In Episode 14 we have our first ever interview with Dr. Chris Martenson, the author of the Crash Crash video series and the namesake for the www.ChrisMartenson.com website. We spend an hour discussing the most hotly debated topic in the economic blogosphere, Inflation Vs. Deflation.

This was one of the more fascinating podcasts we have done and is worth a second listen. But we have plenty of more interesting interviews coming up in the near future so I ask that you please subscribe to the Two Beers With Steve podcast through Itunes. The direct link to Itunes is provided below.

http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=315666764

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You’ve just listened to a brilliant discussion (above), which is exactly what you DON’T get on CNBC, parent company GE.  And guess what? The ratings are plummeting. I tune in every day to see what the markets are doing, but am fully aware of the “acts” that are being presented to us every day on the subject of the economy. So, I turn it off. And so are a lot of other people. Now, there may be some “dropoffs” from cancelled cable subscriptions, but I figure the reason for the drastic decline in the numbers is that people are sick of being sold propaganda. But FOX is no better and not everyone (including me) can tune into Bloomberg, although they have an excellent website broadcast.

More here from The Pragmatic Capitalist:

WHY IS CNBC VIEWERSHIP PLUNGING?

(snip)

What’s even more baffling is that none of the other financial news networks have been able to capitalize on this.  Bloomberg continues to simply report the news – which is great, but makes for very boring TV.  Fox has essentially copied the CNBC model, but has done so without the talent and respected (or disrespected) personalities.  There is a huge market for financial TV and all viewers really want is a station that doesn’t feed them bullshit all day and does so through an informative two sided debate model.   Can anyone dethrone the king of financial news as they flounder or will the total lack of creativity at the other networks continue to give CNBC the title of “best of the worst”.

Late evening reruns of Jim Cramer’s Mad Money and Donny Deutsch’s  Big Idea are the only things still standing.  Deutsch isn’t bad, but Cramer…well, it’s a shame he’s still getting eyeballs!

The piece includes a chart of what’s going on at http://pragcap.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/nielsen.jpg.

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Just a note: there’s a new post up at our sister site, Open Range Ramblings. If you want to see what creates windpower, check out the up-close pictures of a turbine blade that I encountered on my trip to Albuquerque!

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Finally, Kenosha Marge forwarded this amazing video.  It’s incredible!  It’s even more wonderful as we wait for our monsoon rains to start falling here in Southern NM.  The clouds are there, but where is the rain?

Chicago Correspondent Leslie also created a direct link, just in case the video doesn’t play at  http://tinyurl.com/n5k6wb

The fabulous simulation is at the start of the choir’s performance of Toto’s “Africa.”  WONDERFUL STUFF! You’ll feel refreshed!

Title: Amazing choir (Perpetuum Jazzile) uses their hands to simulate storm

THE PAST WEEK

*By Grail Guardian

*A Stolen Victory During the Beer Summit–OR, How to Rewrite Congressional Votes While No One is Really Looking (It’s About Our Food)

As China (And Other Countries, Too) Makes Non-dollar Trade Deals Around the World, Maybe Americans Should Seek Safety in the Reincarnation Bank

A.P. Clamping Down on Bloggers; New Stance Will Stifle “Even Minimal Use” of News Articles Online

The Past Week: July 19-25, 2009 (The Journalism School Named after Walter Cronkite; Poor Economy, Cash-Strapped Families = Unclaimed Bodies of Loved Ones)

A Stolen Victory During the Beer Summit–OR, How to Rewrite Congressional Votes While No One is Really Looking (It’s About Our Food)

~~By Grail Guardian

Virtually unnoticed this last week by the MSM (who’d a thunk?) while the Resident hoisted a cold one with his new BFFs was the seemingly unremarkable failure of a bill that hasn’t been in the news much, HR2749: Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009. Right about now you’re probably yawning and asking, “So what, Grail?” But before you click your browser button, let’s review exactly what this bill that InfoWars.com referred to as “Totalitarian Control of the Food Supply”. (I know, I know; it’s Alex Jones. But as a friend of mine used to say, “Every once in a while even a blind squirrel gets a nut”! This time he’s got lots of company.)

[Author’s note: I apologize for all the links, but it’s hard to accuse a monster corporation with attempted genocide without backing it up.]

Let’s start with the basics: Monsanto. You know who they are, right? If you’re not familiar, they’re basically the agricultural equivalent of Goldman Sachs. Big business, big restriction of competition, big health issues (in case you forgot Monsanto owned the rights to Aspartame when it was patented), and most importantly big buddies with the big “O”. Monsanto is the largest grower of fruits and vegetables in the world. They also manufacture the herbicide RoundUp. Sounds innocent so far, right? Bzzzzt! After RoundUp became the most widely used weed killer in the world, the sneaky little bastages at Monsanto decided that since virtually no one pays attention to agriculture anymore they could stealthily take over not only the marketplace, but literally the world’s food supply. They started making GMOs or Genetically Modified Organisms. And yes, that’s as spooky as it sounds.

There are basically 2 GMOs we need to be worried about: RoundUp Ready seed and Terminator Technology (basically sterile seeds that do not reproduce after one season so the farmer must purchase more seed – from Monsanto, of course – each year). Let’s take them one at a time:

RoundUp Ready seed has been genetically altered by Monsanto so that if it is sprayed with RoundUp, the desired plant won’t be killed by the herbicide. Sounds pretty good, at least until you think that through a bit. You probably have used RoundUp yourself to kill a few weeds growing between the cracks in your driveway or back yard patio, right? Me too. You take the bottle and aim at the weed, then in a few days it withers and dies. So the rocket scientists at Monsanto decided, “Well if a little works, a lot would be much better, right?” They engineered crop seeds so that instead of targeting the weeds, farmers can spray their whole crop and kill just the weeds while the corn, soy, or canola would survive to be harvested without all the hassles. But if you follow that thought through to its logical conclusion, what that means to you and me is that farmers are now dousing our food with RoundUp before they send it off to the local store or giant food processing plant. Now I’ve never tasted the stuff, but I can tell you from the smell that RoundUp is not something I want included in my diet. Shades of DDT anyone? What’s worse, neither the farmer nor the food processing plant need to disclose to us as consumers that this food was soaked in a chemical designed to destroy living organisms. Makes me feel all warm inside. (Or is that merely the burning of my digestive tract being slowly destroyed by the simple act of eating?)

Terminator Technology or sterile seeds are the Big M’s other grab to take over the world food supply. Monsanto uses genetic engineering to develop plants that are incapable of reproducing after 1 season. This means that poor farmers throughout the world will be left without the ability to use seeds from their current crop to start next year’s crop – they must buy new seed from Monsanto each year in

In India, this is a cause for some concern as scientists fear for the livelihood of 400 million farmers and for food security in the country. Already some poorer Indian farmers have been driven to suicide. It is feared that this type of technology could be used to make the poorer farmers even more dependent.

So much for solving the world hunger crisis. Now on to our innocuous bill, HR2749. The summary provided by the Congressional Research Service tells us that our bill

Requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to: (1) issue science-based performance standards to minimum…

Hmmm. “Science-based standards”. Now just who might be in the business of creating these standards? Could it possibly be the scientists at good ol’ Monsanto?

(3) inspect facilities at a frequency determined pursuant to a risk-based schedule; (4) establish a food tracing system; (5) assess fees relating to food facility reinspection and food recall;

A“food tracing system”? Seriously? Am I going to break a tooth on an RFID chip? Will this be added to my electronically distributable Health Care records gathered under HR3200:America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009? Will my food be held up until it starts to rot while it is properly” inventoried?

and (6) establish a program for accreditation of laboratories that perform analytical testing of food for import or export.

I guess this leads us to the conclusion that current labs are not accredited. Yikes!

Authorizes the Secretary to: (1) order an immediate cessation of distribution, or a recall, of food; (2) establish an importer verification program; and (3) quarantine food in any geographic area within the United States.

In other words, it’s up to the sole discretion of the Secretary (it’s not real clear to me if this refers to Tom Vilsack, the Monsanto fed Secretary of Agriculture or Obama lapdog Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services – not that there’s a difference) whether anyone can distribute food, or if food can be quarantined without due process of law. Winston? Is that you?

Provides for unique identifiers for food facilities and food importers.

There is not limitation on this. It could be required, under this law, for small farmers that sell fruit on a roadside stand, or even for people who grow their own tomatoes in the back yard. Kiss your local farm market goodbye unless they’ve got compliance bucks.

Deems a food to be adulterated if an inspection is delayed or refused.

Here’s the government double dip; first they can delay the food to be properly traced and inspected, then they can commandeer it after they held it up too long to still be fresh.

Gives the Commissioner of Food and Drugs subpoena authority with respect to a food proceeding.

Great. The FDA, who brought you such medical wonders as Aspartame, Fen Phen, and Vioxx gets to issue subpoenas against Farmer Jones down the road that had the audacity to try to grow his crop without using RoundUp on it.

Aside from my personal commentary, the less-snarky folks at FoodRenegade.com also point out:

A careful reading of the bill also reveals that HR 2749:

1. Will create duplicate fees & requirements for certified organic producers.

2. Will erode wildlife habitats in a misguided attempt to keep produce “clean” — when it is clear from the scientific evidence that it is industrialized animals that spread E.Coli 0157:H7 and Salmonella, not wild animals.

3. Will greatly increase the costs associated with safely composting manure and using it as a fertilizer for natural and organic crops.

4. Will interfere with and possibly prohibit small-scale farmers adding value to their products. This includes washing and cutting produce, creating canned jams or jellies, anything really.

5. Will require a costly electronic filing system that may well put farmers using paper records out of business, including many of our Amish brothers and sisters who can not comply with the electronic filing standards without violating their religious principles.

6. Will give the federal government the power to ban raw milk sales.

Ironically, it was the politicians own attempts at back door deals and sneakiness that appears to have sunk this ship during the legitimate House vote.

The bill was voted on by suspending the rules, limiting discussion to less than an hour, and not allowing any amendments that could have clarified who these new rules should affect. In the course of the last 24 hours, the language of the bill had been changed three times, and most representatives didn’t have the chance to read the latest version before being required to vote.

The only reason this bill is NOT the current law of the land is that it did not win enough of a majority to pass.

If you’re paying attention to the above quote written on July 29th, you should be scratching your head and saying, “huh?” So now it’s time for the kicker. The bill was voted on in the House of Representatives on July 29, 2009, and here is a direct copy from govtrack:

Jul 29, 2009: This bill failed in the House of Representatives by roll call vote. The vote was held under a suspension of the rules to cut debate short and pass the bill, needing a two-thirds majority. This usually occurs for non-controversial legislation. The totals were 280 Ayes, 150 Nays, 3 Present/Not Voting. Vote Details.

That was the way the page read yesterday when I started to write this article. When I went back to source some material, I suddenly noticed a spiffy little amendment:

Jul 30, 2009: This bill passed in the House of Representatives by roll call vote. The totals were 283 Ayes, 142 Nays, 8 Present/Not Voting. Vote Details.

That’s right, America! While you were watching Obama, Gates, Crowley, and Biden sing “Ein Prosit”, Congress was busy changing the vote on this bill because they (read Pelosi, Obama, Monsanto) didn’t like the outcome!

A little critical analysis of the changed votes shows that a couple of different things:

1) The members of the “Blue Dog Democrat Coalition” were obviously strong-armed into submission (along with a few non-proclaimed Blue Dog-type friends) when the Speaker didn’t get the results she wanted .

2) The RINOS (Republicans in Name Only) were easily bought off once again. There is no difference between the 2 major parties.

3) John Murtha needs to take his Alzheimer’s medications.

Here’s the breakdown:

Congressional District “Representative” Change in Vote Designation
AL-2 Bright, Bobby [D] Nay to Yea Blue Dog Coalition
CA-47 Sanchez, Loretta [D] Not Voting to Yea Blue Dog Coalition
CO-3 Salazar, John [D] Not Voting to Yea Blue Dog Coalition
FL-5 Brown-Waite, Virginia [R] Nay to Yea RINO
FL-8 Grayson, Alan [D] Yea to Not Voting Almost grew a spine
FL-10 Young, C. W. [R] Nay to Yea RINO
GA-7 Linder, John [R] Nay to Not Voting RINO
IL-8 Bean, Melissa [D] Nay to Yea Chicken
MN-2 Kline, John [R] Nay to Yea RINO
MS-4 Taylor, Gene [D] Nay to Yea Blue Dog Coalition
MO-2 Akin, W. [R] Nay to Not Voting RINO
NJ-3 Adler, John [D] Yea to Not Voting Confused
NY-23 McHugh, John [R] Not Voting to Yea RINO
NC-9 Myrick, Sue [R] Nay to Yea RINO
OR-3 Blumenauer, Earl [D] Nay to Yea Chicken
PA-12 Murtha, John [D] Yea to Not Voting Confused as hell
TN-4 Davis, Lincoln [D] Not Voting to Nay Blue Dog Coalition
TX-24 Marchant, Kenny [R] Yea to Nay Woke up from his nap
WI-8 Kagen, Steve [D] Nay to Yea Chicken

Here’s the breakdown:

So, my friends, we’ve been bamboozled again. We had a victory, but just like during the Democratic primaries, when TPTB didn’t get their way they simply changed the vote. Just like that. And the residents in Florida should be ever so happy to learn that they were screwed by both political parties once again. Um, guys – 3 of your non-representing Representatives changed their votes after the fact; think you might want to consider a change in 2010? Like None of the Above!

Now comes the question, “What can we do about it?” There are several things:

1) This bill has not passed the Senate yet. Get on the phone/fax/email and hammer them! Let them know there’s no way you’ll let anyone forget if they vote to starve America and the world.

2) If you live in one of the districts listed above, get on the phone and scream at these bastages! Let them know that you’re paying attention and you know they changed their vote. Demand to know why?

3) Join the march on Washington, D.C. on September 12, 2009. We need to let those inside the Beltway know that America does not support their thieving stealing lying condescending flip flopping actions against our wishes.

4) Boycott Monsanto. Shelly Roche from ByteStyle TV started this seemingly impossible (but in reality simple) idea. Check out her video here for one way to beat them at their own game.

If all this talk about Monsanto determining what you can eat has gotten to you, Shelly has also put together a dynamite list of how to recognize GMO foods that’s worth checking out. To induce you to read her article, I’ll share one I didn’t know about:

Look at the stickers on fruitthere is a PLU code with either 4 or 5 numbers. If your fruit’s label has 4 numbers, it is conventionally grown. 5 numbers starting with a 9 means it was organically grown, and 5 numbers starting with an 8 means GMO.

Last, but not least, if you really want to be vigilant about avoiding GMOs, corn is an important yet difficult thing to avoid (thank you Tom Daschle). Check out the Emergency Guide to Avoiding Corn from findsafefood.com. You might be surprised at where it’s hiding.