To understand how the Bush administration "could fool tens of millions of Americans, intimidate Democrats, and transform the vaunted Washington press corps from watchdogs to lapdogs," look to the 1980s, suggests Robert Parry.
Next week, I will moderate a panel titled "Beyond the Phony 'Debate': Government Science and the Climate Crisis" in Washington, DC. In case I needed any proof that the climate is important, last month's flooding in the Midwest gave me a personal look at what the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was talking about last year when it warned of "an increased chance of intense precipitation and flooding due to the greater water-holding capacity of a warmer atmosphere."
The photograph at right shows a road not far from my home in Portage, Wisconsin that was damaged during the floods. In Sauk County, just a few miles from where I live, officials estimated that 95 percent of the roads were damaged. The seven states where the flooding occurred are still trying to assess the cost of the disaster, but it is already clear that the damages will run into billions of dollars.
In Lake Delton, about 20 miles from Portage, the water broke through a dam, causing the entire lake (600 million gallons of water) to drain into the Wisconsin River, washing away several homes in its path. The Wisconsin River passes through Portage. Like other local residents, I spent some time at the levee, gawking at the rising waters and watching for bits of other people's homes as they floated downstream.
The American Association of Public Health Physicians (AAPHP) has published an updated analysis of H.R. 1108, the massive bill currently under consideration by Congress that would give the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authority to regulate tobacco products. AAPHP concludes, "This bill is a scam.
"The State of Nevada faces almost a billion dollar budget shortfall," reports Edward Lawrence. "The Nuclear Energy Institute says there is a solution ... but it comes with one very large string attached" -- that the state end opposition to the proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain.
When the major American tobacco companies signed the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement with the 46 states who sued to recover the costs of treating sick smokers, the companies agreed to nominal advertising restrictions and massive yearly payouts to the states.
Despite U.S. Food and Drug Administration warnings, the Veterans Administration (VA) failed to alert 32,000 veterans using the smoking cessation drug, Chantix.
The U.S. government-funded Arabic news channel Alhurra "paid former Bush and Clinton administration officials, lobbyists and high-profile Washington journalists tens of thousands of dollars in U.S.