How Sensible Regulations Can Stop The One Percent... From Poisoning Every Person In Berkeley
Is there a government regulation that prevents a congressman from paying for his wife's plastic surgery out of his campaign funds?
Patricia McKeon, a 70 year old strict Mormon grandma and wife of House Armed Services Committee chairman, Buck McKeon, is running for the California Assembly because, she told a local newspaper, the "government was too intrusive in people’s lives." That's a very common theme among right-wing politicians, and would-be politicians, coast to coast, almost all of whom insist that the government vigorously interfere with, among other things, women's choice, LGBT equality, and marijuana use. At least conservatives no longer demand the government return runaway slaves to their rightful owners. Conservative Republicans, like the McKeons, favor every kind of authoritarian intrusion into people's lives but oppose any and all regulation that protects the environment, consumers or workers. They speak, like all Republicans, for the one percent and for corporate America.
I've been reading Cheri Seymour's frightening book, The Last Circle and I came across a page that I thought could stand alone and out of the book's context to help understand the danger of Republican Party anti-regulatory mania. One bit of context. The biotech company, BioRad Laboratories, Inc. and its subsidiaries, under discussion here, was owned by a pack of right-wing GOP operatives including Edwin Meese. Seymour starts the discussion by referring to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle on May 31, 1991, entitled, "S.F. Firm Faces Toxics Charges."
A criminal complaint had been filed against a law firm, an investment banking house and several lawyers and financiers involved with InFerGene Company for abandoning its toxic wastes after filing for bankruptcy.
According to an affidavit filed by the Solano County District Attorney's office at the Fairfield Municipal Court, after InFerGene was evicted from the premises, a county inspector found several hundred containers including petri dishes and vials marked "chlamydia, herpes, and HSV2." Many others contained "bacteria of unknown etiology."
A Vacaville newspaper reported that on December 7, an environmental health inspector found 36 55-gallon drums of radioactive Butanol containing "beef mucosa." They were improperly stored and lacked labels showing content, hazard warning or the owner's business address. A follow-up report made by the environmental health office noted that a Halloween 1990 investigation into a smell was traced to a door with a radiation warning on it. The department had recommended that the lab doors be sealed and the pipe opening sealed.
In all, the county Environmental Health Department had responded four times to complaints about smells from the InFerGene labs in the Benicia Industrial Park well before it shut down in February. One complaint listed persistent smells causing nausea, a problem also cited by others still working in the area.
...In June, 1991, the San Francisco Examiner published a story entitled, "Germ War Lab Alarms Berkeley" which noted the community of West Berkeley "was home to the Defense Department's one and only supplier of anti-plague vaccine." On December 28, 1990, four maintenance men made an unauthorized entrance into a room at Cutter Biological which housed Yersinia pestis, commonly known as "The Black Plague," which once killed a quarter of the population of Europe 650 years ago.
There was no harm to the workers and no release of the live bacteria, but if an accident had occurred, all of Berkeley would have been wiped out.
She goes on to discuss highly toxic experimental "vaccines" being developed by Wackenhut on Indian reservations-- where there are no pesky federal regulatory impediments-- that resulted in the deaths of dozens of Native Americans. And the talks about similar experiments on Iraqi battlefields that resulted in thousands of illnesses among unsuspecting-- and unprotected (by regulations or anything else) American soldiers.
Welcome to Republican-world. It's ugly and brutish. But don't worry; life spans will be mercifully short... at least for the 99%. So why is the above related to this information I'm about to convey? Easy to put 2 + 2 together and get a look at a bleak future.
President Barack Obama has raised more money for his re-election bid from small-dollar donors than Republican Mitt Romney has collected from all his contributors, according to a new Center for Responsive Politics analysis.
Obama brought in approximately $58.5 million last year from individuals who donated $200 or less, successfully rallying a massive base of online donors through frequent email pitches and solicitations to purchase merchandise that ranges from t-shirts to coffee mugs bearing Obama's birth certificate to the "Fired Up, Ready to Grill" apron.
Overall, since he launched his re-election campaign in April, Obama has raised about $125 million. Thus, about 47 percent of his total receipts-- nearly $1 out of every $2 raised-- has come from a donor of $200 or less, the threshold for itemized reporting with the Federal Election Commission.
Meanwhile, Romney, who has raised about $56.5 million for his presidential campaign, saw only about 9 percent of that-- or $5.2 million-- coming from small-dollar donors, according to the Center's research.
Big donors, people who give thousands or even millions, expect something in return, something worth that kind of "investment." Small donors, on the other hand, contribute because they believe in principles and values and a better future.