Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Do Republicans Really Want To Kill Us All?


They do have their partisan agenda, and they certainly put it ahead of the nation's safety-- at least most of the ones in DC do. Jim DeMint has been tweeting hysterically about stopping the very bipartisan-- even nonpartisan-- START agreement with Russia, and he and some other hard-core lunatics on the fringes of the right have been trying to bully weak-willed Republican colleagues to help filibuster it.

Why? Just to hand Obama a stinging international defeat that would make him a less effective leader among nations and damage his political cred here. DeMint is more a nihilist than a conservative, and even mainstream conservatives are starting to worry about his motives. Many in the Senate, the latest being Georgia's far-right Johnny Isakson, are abandoning his dangerous leadership, even if this particular lunacy was embraced by a panic-striken Miss McConnell, desperate to appear to be leading the clown parade, a clown parade that wants to spend its time reenforcing bigotry, allowing free-floating nukes to threaten the safety of the planet, deny health care compensation to 9/11 first responders and poison the whole country's drinking water in the pursuit of "free market" ideological insanity.

Poison everyone's drinking water? Republicans? Sure... well, maybe not everyone's. Rich people, after all, drink expensive bottled water, and on the bright side there are four cities in the U.S., of the 35 tested, whose drinking water isn't carcinogenic. In L.A. and Atlanta there's enough chromium-6 in the tap water to worry experts that stomach cancer rates will rise. Chicago and NYC have rates nearly as high and just as dangerous-- enough to increase the risk of liver and kidney damage as well as leukemia. Levels are even worse in Norman, OK; Honolulu; Riverside, CA; Madison; and San Jose.

A potentially cancer-causing metal made famous by the movie Erin Brockovich has turned up in the tap water of 31 out of 35 American cities tested, according to a study that urges the government to adopt tougher standards for the nation's drinking water.

The Environmental Working Group, an independent, Washington-based research organization, conducted the first nationwide analysis of hexavalent chromium, otherwise known as chromium-6, in drinking water. The substance was regularly used as an industrial chemical until the early 1990s and still appears in some plastics factories. It can also seep into groundwater from natural ores.

The metal has been shown to cause cancer in laboratory animals, and the National Institutes of Health defined it as a "probable carcinogen" in 2008. Last year, California proposed limiting the amount of chromium-6 in its drinking water to 0.06 parts per billion. It's still being debated, but if the measure passes, California would be the first state to set such a limit.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency hasn't set a limit and doesn't regularly test for chromium-6.

In the EWG study released today, 25 U.S. cities' water tested positive for levels of chromium-6 that are above California's proposed limit. The highest levels were found in Honolulu, Riverside, Calif., and Norman, Okla., where the water tested at 200 times the California target.

"I was expecting to find hexavalent chromium in some of the cities we checked, but I didn't expect it to be so widespread," Rebecca Sutton, a senior scientist with the EWG and the lead author of the study, told CNN.

The movie Erin Brockovich chronicles the true story of how the water supply of Hinkley, Calif., was poisoned with chromium-6, which was used in a nearby factory belonging to a utility company. Pacific Gas & Electric ended up paying more than $330 million in damages as part of a 1996 lawsuit.

...The American Chemistry Council, a lobby group representing chemical companies, opposes California's efforts to limit chromium-6, accusing the state of setting unrealistic goals. Some water has a naturally occurring level of chromium-6 that's above 0.06 parts per billion, it said. In a statement to the Post, the group said that "even the most sophisticated analytical methods used by EPA are not able to detect the extremely low levels that California wants to establish."

The president of the EWG, Ken Cook, responded by saying it's understandable that water utilities and chemical industrial groups are opposed to the idea of limits.

"If a limit is set, it's going to be extraordinarily expensive for them to clean this up," Cook told the Post. "The problem in all of this is that we lose sight of the water drinkers, of the people at the end of the tap. There is tremendous push-back from polluters and from water utilities. The real focus has to be on public health."

Since 1990 the chemical industry has contributed $44,209,443 to federal candidates, $30,691,489 of it to Republicans, most of the rest to corrupt conservative Democrats who vote with the Republicans to protect the "freedom" of Big Business to exploit the rest of society. The biggest all-time bribe-taker from the chemical industry is John McCain (R-AZ)-- $595,313-- who may be viewed as an erratic nutbag on most things but has been very consistent in his support of the chemical companies' right to poison our drinking water. Other big-time champions of freedom-to-poison action are:

Dave Camp (R-MI)- $430,633
Joe Barton (R-TX)- $329,340
Joe Lieberman (I-CT)- $324,200
Rob Portman (R-OH)- $290,412
Lamar Alexander (R-TN)- $261,450
Miss McConnell (R-KY)- $227,455

Ken Calvert, an extraordinarily corrupt Republican representing one of the most toxic and endangered counties in America, California's Riverside, was bought off for far cheaper-- just $28,375. And Oklahoma's chemical-industry senatorial champion, Jim Inhofe, is far less interested in the danger the families of his constituents are in than in the $137,110 in thinly veiled bribes the industry has filtered into his disgraceful political career.

When Republicans talk about "freedom" and "liberty," it is always the freedom of the rich and powerful to do whatever they want, no matter how dangerous it is for the rest of society, and the liberty of pursuing the bottom line without regard for the consequences of the rest of us.

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At 7:08 AM, Anonymous Creed said...

Senator Tom Coburn, a 2-time cancer survivor, living in Okla., has experienced the country's highest levels of toxicity. In the meantime, the state of Oklahoma has gotten increasingly more crazy, Republican an is ignoring the plight of the Native American Tribes who must survive off of this drinking water they are constantly allowing to become polluted. Chromium 6 is also found in fertilizers and herbicides used for various crops, the most notorious of which are corn-crops grown for animal feed and now ethanol.

Is tom Coburn and the GOP a victim of their own conspiracies? Look at the maps and determine that the most Chromium-laden cities are also the deepest red voting GOP areas. Does C6 affect voting patterns and rational thought processes?

At 8:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting relationship, Creed. Notice that in Oregon, Bend has the "honors" and Central and Eastern Oregon are red. Oregon would be decidedly red if it weren't for the tri-counties around Portland.


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