Saturday, January 17, 2009

We Don't Even Provide Lettuce On Our Burgers


You may have heard me complaining about the shockingly blatant corruption that is the heart and soul of the House Agriculture Committee. It appears to be small time compared to the Appropriations Committee, but it is overwhelming made up of small town crooks happy as pigs in shit to be in the pockets of the corporate farming industry. As a society we are killing ourselves and our children and the finger of ultimate blame points right at scumbag congressman like Collin Peterson (Blue Dog-MN) and Frank Lucas (R-OK). A worse bunch of criminal miscreants than the make up of the Agriculture Committee won't be found anywhere in Washington. It's just stocked with Blue Dogs and wingnuts looking for corporate bribes-- some of the absolute worst members of Congress, from Brad Ellsworth (Blue Dog-IN), Tim Holden (Blue Dog-PA), Mike McIntyre (Blue Dog-NC), John Barrow (Blue Dog-GA), Jim Marshall (Blue Dog-GA), Leonard Boswell (Blue Dog-IA), Joe Baca (Blue Dog-CA), John Salazar (Blue Dog-CO), Dennis Cardoza (Blue Dog-CA), David Scott (Blue Dog-GA), Zach Space (Blue Dog-OH)... [sensing a bit of a pattern here?] to the likes of Steve King (R-IA), Virginia Foxx (R-NC), Mean Jean Schmidt (R-OH), Adrian Smith (R-NE), Bob Latta (R-OH)... I mean, you couldn't design a more vile committee if you set out with that in mind as a goal!

We owe a great big thank you to three straight-as-arrows freshman Democrats who have just joined this rouge's gallery-- Eric Massa (NY), Mark Schauer (MI) and Larry Kissell (NC). God knows if they can turn this beast around but we'll all owe them mightily just for even trying. Hopefully they'll get started by reading Jill Richardson's work at La Vida Locavore regularly, like this piece on how Obama is about to appoint a "nasty pro-industrial ag, anti-sustainable ag" Deputy USDA Secretary, Dennis Wolff or Joy Philippi.
Putting Dennis Wolff or others like him in as the #2 at the USDA would be an end to any hope for change in American agriculture during Obama's time as President. And if this election was a victory for Hope and Change, then choosing Wolff as Deputy Secretary (or another person with similar ideas as him) would directly violate what the people of this great country voted for on November 4.

Currently there's a salmonella outbreak across the U.S.-- at least six confirmed deaths and hundreds of sick people-- caused by peanut butter, not from China but from Georgia, in more than a dozen manufactured foods. Among the products recalled so far:

• Austin Quality Foods Cheese Crackers with Peanut Butter- all sizes
• Austin Quality Foods Cheese & Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers- all sizes
• Austin Quality Foods Mega Stuffed Cheese Crackers with Peanut Butter- all sizes
• Austin Quality Foods PB & J Cracker Sandwiches- all sizes
• Austin Quality Foods Super Snack Pack Sandwich Crackers
• Austin Quality Foods Chocolate Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers- all sizes
• Austin Quality Foods Toasty Crackers with Peanut Butter- all sizes
• Austin Quality Foods Reduced Fat Cheese & Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers
• Austin Quality Foods Reduced Fat Toasty Crackers with Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers
• Austin Quality Foods Cookie/Cracker Pack
• Austin Quality Foods Variety Pack
• Keebler Cheese & Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers- all sizes
• Keebler Toast & PB'n J Flavored Sandwich Crackers- all sizes
• Keebler Toast & Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers- all sizes
• Famous Amos Peanut Butter Cookies (2- and 3-ounce)
• Keebler Soft Batch Homestyle Peanut Butter Cookies (2.5-ounce)

Luckily the House Energy and Commerce Committee is investigating, The Agricultural Committee, with corrupt, corporate-suck-up Georgia Blue Dogs Jim Marshall, John Barrow and David Scott would be worse than useless.

Meanwhile, the Agriculture Committee is tantamount to a legislative version of Arizona's Heart Attack Grill. Watch the CBS News report. It may do you some good.


I just got back from Mali. Doctors routinely warn travelers to take shots for typhoid and a half dozen other diseases, some of which are salmonella-related. I've been traveling in the Third World since the late 1960s and I know how to be careful about avoiding possible dangers from food without taking deadly medicines that are certain to be bad for your health. I was in Mali and Senegal for nearly a month and never had so much as a tummy ache. I get back to America and find out that we're in the midst of a nationwide Salmonella outbreak and that today Little Debbie peanut butter crackers are being recalled. Hundreds of people are ill and at least half a dozen are dead. And this morning the Texas-based H-E-B supermarket chain recalled its H-E-Buddy snack packs containing peanut butter dip.

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At 12:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been accused of being unAmerican because I have never liked peanut butter. Today, I am proud to say I like peanuts, but I hate peanut butter.


At 12:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

PS. The next few months should be absolute heaven for muckrakers around the country. If anyone wondered what we would talk about when Bush left office, the depth and scope of corruption should keep us talking for many moons. One can only hope the gravy train for crooks is pulling into the station at the end of the line.

At 1:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't get it. You want the government to tell us what we can and can't eat? Or, is it that you just want them to watch out for poisoning and alert us? I think that has already happened. Or, do you just like writing the words "Blue Dog" as many times as possible in a 250 word blog?

At 1:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think he just doesn't want to have to bring his own lettuce when he's out ordering a buger.

At 1:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I mean burger.

At 7:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We don't need no stinking lettuce. Now that Bush has gutted the FDA, lettuce has e.coli, anyway.
On a related manner, I was once taken to a place in Baltimore that only sold Deep Fried Crabmeat sandwiches. They took a slice of Wonder Bread (mayo optional), heaped on the crabmeat, layered on two slices of processed American cheese and then another slice of Wonder Bread. Then they took the whole thing and deep fried it! It was pretty obscene. The same guy that took me there also took me to a place that featured One Pound Burgers. I had one. It was great, but, I was younger and healthier then. The guy who treated me at both places died of his second heart attack at the age of 37. Died will driving on the Reisterstown Road out of Baltimore. Left behind two very young kids and a lovely wife. Fortunately, no one else died. R.I.P. Sammy. I hope the food is great wherever you might be and I hope it's not a place where the "grill" is TOO hot.


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