Monday, March 10, 2008

Drug Traces Common in Drinking Water

We take drinking water for granted. No more. Our food is less safe and so will be our drinking water. We have a government that doesn't believe in protecting the public. They are too busy fighting wars abroad or taking payoffs from lobbyists from the same people that are polluted our environment. How ironic that our troops are being poisoned by water in Iraq just as in the U.S.:

A vast array of pharmaceuticals -- including antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones -- have been found in the drinking water supplies of at least 41 million Americans, an Associated Press investigation shows.

To be sure, the concentrations of these pharmaceuticals are tiny, measured in quantities of parts per billion or trillion, far below the levels of a medical dose. Also, utilities insist their water is safe.

But the presence of so many prescription drugs -- and over-the-counter medicines like acetaminophen and ibuprofen -- in so much of our drinking water is heightening worries among scientists of long-term consequences to human health.

In the course of a five-month inquiry, the AP discovered that drugs have been detected in the drinking water supplies of 24 major metropolitan areas -- from Southern California to Northern New Jersey, from Detroit to Louisville, Ky.

Water providers rarely disclose results of pharmaceutical screenings, unless pressed, the AP found. For example, the head of a group representing major California suppliers said the public ''doesn't know how to interpret the information'' and might be unduly alarmed.

Newsweek: Clintons "Always Their Own Worst Enemies"

Great point that Obama should pick up on:

She has implied that she shared a kind of co-presidency with her husband during her White House years in the 1990s. That suggests the co-presidency would continue in another Clinton administration. If the phone rings at 3 a.m. in the Hillary Clinton White House, will she awaken her husband to discuss what to do? (No one really thinks that a First Spouse would be deeply involved, say, in picking bombing targets in response to a terror attack, but the campaign rhetoric and red-phone ad do suggest experience in dealing with security crises.) In fact, a terrorist attack did occur late on the Clintons' first watch: in August 1998, Al Qaeda blew up two U.S. Embassies in Africa. At that time, Hillary Clinton may not have been as engaged as she usually was talking through the president's problems. A couple of weeks earlier, independent counsel Ken Starr had turned up the semen-stained blue dress in the Monica Lewinsky scandal, and, at the time of the embassy bombings, the Clintons were reportedly not speaking.

The myth of the Clinton superior campaign team:
The biggest crisis facing Hillary Clinton in recent times is her own campaign. Mixed and ever-changing messages and tactics have confused voters. The Obama campaign out-organized the Clinton campaign, especially in the caucus states. Reports of vicious feuds between her top aides have leaked into the press. It seems that Clinton has been saved mostly by her own gutsiness, not by any particular flair for strategy or for running a large organization.

Water Makes US Troops in Iraq Sick

Adding insult to injury. The Bush gang is killing our troops needlessly while sickening those who haven't been killed yet. Meanwhile, making money while at it:

Dozens of U.S. troops in Iraq fell sick at bases using "unmonitored and potentially unsafe" water supplied by the military and a contractor once owned by Vice President Dick Cheney's former company, the Pentagon's internal watchdog says.

A report obtained by The Associated Press said soldiers experienced skin abscesses, cellulitis, skin infections, diarrhea and other illnesses after using discolored, smelly water for personal hygiene and laundry at five U.S. military sites in Iraq.

The Defense Department's inspector general's report, which could be released as early as Monday, found water quality problems between March 2004 and February 2006 at three sites run by contractor KBR Inc., and between January 2004 and December 2006 at two military-operated locations.

It was impossible to link the dirty water definitively to all the illnesses, according to the report. But it said KBR's water quality "was not maintained in accordance with field water sanitary standards" and the military-run sites "were not performing all required quality control tests."

Studies: Iraq Costs US $12B Per Month

That's money we don't have:

The flow of blood may be ebbing, but the flood of money into the Iraq war is steadily rising, new analyses show. In 2008, its sixth year, the war will cost approximately $12 billion a month, triple the "burn" rate of its earliest years, Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph E. Stiglitz and co-author Linda J. Bilmes report in a new book.

Beyond 2008, working with "best-case" and "realistic-moderate" scenarios, they project the Iraq and Afghan wars, including long-term U.S. military occupations of those countries, will cost the U.S. budget between $1.7 trillion and $2.7 trillion — or more — by 2017.

Interest on money borrowed to pay those costs could alone add $816 billion to that bottom line, they say.