Daily Archives: April 14, 2008

Same as it ever was

Those of you who have been worrying that un-metabolized drugs people piss into their toilets are winding up in your drinking water can relax.

The White House task force assigned work on this issue has … um … decided you’re better off not knowing about it (via The Washington Post):

A White House task force that was supposed to devise a federal plan to research the issue of pharmaceuticals in drinking water [That’s fancy speak for string this thing out until 2009 – ed.] has missed its deadline and failed to produce mandated reports and recommendations for coordination among numerous federal agencies, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.

The working group on pharmaceuticals in the environment was formed two years ago through the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. The panel has met several times for briefings and is aware of public concern about pharmaceuticals in water supplies, according to the documents.

Now, unless you’re a cynical dick, you’re thinking that they must have come up with something, because if your boss gave you two years to work on a project less complicated than a cure for cancer and you came up with bupkes you’d be out on your ass.

Alas, that’s because you can’t invoke the super top secret if we tell you the terrists will win defense:

But it is impossible to track any possible progress by the group because the White House has classified task force agendas and minutes as internal documents, and therefore cannot be released, said spokeswoman Kristin Scuderi. The group’s annual report is in draft form and therefore also cannot be released at this time, she added.

Also, their dog ate it. WTF?

Aside from greed, incompetence or some combination of the two here are some possible reasons the WH is dragging its feet:

  1. Coke in the pResident’s urine screws up the samples.
  2. Taking water samples annoys the Old Ones and CthCheney hates it when you disturb his relatives.
  3. If God didn’t want us to drink drug-laced water he’d take it out Himself.
  4. Drugs in water affect frogs. And we know how the Chimperor feels about frogs.
  5. Shriveled balls are good enough for the pResident so they’re good enough for the American people

____

Forgot to include the link.

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Cop a Fail

For those of you who were catching 400,000 winks, much of the world is less than pleased with China. It seems that monk stomping  is not something we do in polite company, especially when one is about to host the Olympic games. People tend to ask awkward questions like “Hey there China. Why are you hosting the Olympic games, an international symbol of goodwill, if you can’t stop oppressing the shit out of your own people?”

You might even see the leaders of countries that have been pounding their chests and stuffing their codpieces to promote democracy get a little shirty about attending your little shindig.

Ha, ha. Don’t be stupid. Not only did Bush borrow the money for his Pony Quest from China, they have nukes. Still it is a little hard to reconcile his policy of promoting peace through war with acceptance of China’s behavior. So, it must have come as a relief when National Security Advisor Stephen Handjob came up with this bit of spin (via ESPN News):

“This issue [of the boycott] is in some sense a bit of a red herring,” Hadley said in a broadcast interview. “I think unfortunately a lot of countries say, ‘Well, if we say that we are not going to the opening ceremonies we check the box on Tibet.’ That’s a cop-out.

Got that? It couldn’t possibly be that the other countries will do more than skip the opening ceremonies. Nope, they’re only going to make a token gesture and then pretend nothing happened because their chicken fraidy cat cut n’ runners.

“If other countries are concerned about that, they ought to do what we are doing through quiet diplomacy, send a message clearly to the Chinese that this is an opportunity with the whole world watching, to show that they take into account and are determined to treat their citizens with dignity and respect. They would put pressure on the Chinese authorities quietly to meet with representatives of the Dalai Lama and use this as an opportunity help resolve that situation,” Hadley said.

Yeah, because China has no fucking idea what’s going on in the world or what the world thinks of its behavior. Yeah. ‘Cos there’s this big wall around the country and they can’t see over it. China probably thinks everyone spends time stomping monks and would be shocked, I say SHOCKED to find out that we don’t.

Meanwhile, that quiet diplomacy must be pretty damn quiet because I haven’t heard a peep.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will not attend the opening ceremonies.

No wonder we have no friends.

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The oversight, it burnsss!

17 March 2007 (via the NYSAGO):

Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today revealed deceptive practices that he has uncovered in his nationwide investigation into the college loan industry. In a letter sent to every college and university in New York state, and certain other schools across the country, Cuomo warned them to end or fully disclose potential conflicts of interest in their relationships with private lenders. He also cautioned students and their families to protect themselves against these practices.

Industry practices revealed include: Establishment of so-called “preferred lender” lists without disclosing the basis for selection or the specific benefits associated with these preferred lenders; revenue sharing and other financial arrangements between schools and lenders; denials or impediments to a student or parent’s choice of lender based on the borrower’s selection of a particular lender or guaranty agency; impediments to competition in the lending industry that stifle better loan terms for students and parents.

10 April 2008 (via The Washington Post):

Nearly 50 student lenders, including some of the industry’s biggest names, have stopped issuing federally guaranteed loans in recent weeks because of paralysis in the credit markets, confronting students with higher borrowing costs just as they are starting to apply for financial assistance for the coming school year.

Dear me, whatever could have brought this on?

These companies represented 12 percent of the market before they left, and analysts say this is just the beginning of an exodus. That is because virtually all student lenders have been shut out of their traditional funding sources on the debt markets. Dozens of other lenders that offer private loans, which have no federal backing, have also dropped out.

Sure. Would anyone like to buy a bridge? No? Then listen to this man:

“The congressional action and the media coverage on this issue is doing a massive disservice to students and families, many of whom are concerned about paying for college already,” said Luke Swarthout, higher education advocate for the U.S. Public Interest Research Group. “We know many of them are adverse to debt, and for lenders to be sending out a message of crisis in order to secure themselves a bailout potentially could dissuade families from seeking available financing options.”

Yeah. If we could find a way to not chuck another few million at large corporations that would be just dandy. Maybe colleges could lower their tuitions or something so people don’t start their adult lives with huge amounts of debt.

Hmmm. There seems to be a large angry mob of college administrators outside. I wonder what they want? 

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