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August 4, 2007

The CORRUPTION UPDATES posts corruption news stories from California, the Nation and the World, and gives you the straight story.

Killer Links on this page

Bribed Government is Killing US!

Stop China Trade NOW!

Destruction of our Oceans and Ice



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Next Corruption Updates: Page 99

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1) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited. After the abstract there's analysis and commentary, links to related articles, and a link to the database with suggested search terms.

Expect more woes with prime home-equity loans

SF Chron, Tuesday, July 31, 2007


New data seem to confirm fears that Countrywide Financial is not the only lender facing problems with prime home-equity loans.

Countrywide set off a panic in the stock and bond markets when it said a week ago that 4.6 percent of its prime home-equity loans were delinquent or in foreclosure as of June 30, up sharply from 3.8 percent three months ago and 1.8 percent a year ago.

Although subprime delinquency rates have been soaring, Countrywide was the first major lender to report rising delinquencies among prime borrowers with higher credit scores. But it won't be the last.

Industrywide, the percentage of prime home-equity loans at least 60 days delinquent has more than doubled to 1.14 percent in May from 0.51 percent in May 2006, according to new data from First American LoanPerformance.

Almost 24 percent of Countrywide's subprime mortgages were delinquent as of June 30, up from 15.3 percent the previous year.

Industrywide, subprime delinquencies roughly doubled to 16.3 percent in May compared with 8.2 percent the previous May, according to LoanPerformance.

Countrywide's announcement was the first clear evidence that mortgage problems could spread to prime.

Joseph Mason, an associate finance professor at Drexel University, expects to see more problems with mortgages that were disguised as prime.

"Much of prime is not really prime. The Alt-A base (has) been found to be really subprime. And much of the subprime has turned out to be flat-out fraud," Mason says.

"Borrowers over-borrowed, brokers over-lent, investment banks oversold performance and rating agencies overrated (mortgage-backed securities). What we thought was quality was not quality," he says.

Rosner and Mason, who have written papers together, argue that banks and other institutions are sitting on large mortgage losses they have not realized because they are relying on faulty valuation models. At some point, they will be forced to realize those losses and the scope of the problem will become clearer.


Markets ready to Kill Economy

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., Saturday, August 4, 2007

It is time for us to receive the rewards of allowing the greedy and vicious to run our polity and economy into the ground during the last 35 years of wildly irresponsible growth. This growth has been funded by heavy debt during the last 15 years.

The current national debt is just about 10 Trillion dollars. The total debt owed by consumers, households, and businesses is just about 48 Trillion dollars.

This grand pyramid scheme of endless growth paying back the costs of previous growth is at the brink of collapse. It is incapable of further expansion, and will collapse.

We have not just been economically irresponsible, we have been socially and politically irresponsible as well. Our irresponsibility has spread across every aspect of our nation's life.

Let's be clear about where we stand. During the last 35 years our nation and its infrastructure have been looted to subsidize irresponsible corporate profits. Our Corporations have taken historical profits without paying the social costs of doing business. They have looted our country's long term resources for their own short term profits.

After the last 15 years of record profits and growth, our schools have collapsed. Schools in California alone need 25 billion a year to reach minimum standards. Our prisons are at double capacity, are inhumane, and require twice the funding they now receive. Our roads and bridges are falling apart. This is the true product of 35 years of irresponsible profits. This is the product of 35 years of irresponsible growth.

These profits are the product of two irresponsible strategies: Immigration and Off shoring.

Our economic expansion is based on creating Luxury and wealth by imposing poverty on American Workers. The strategy has two dimensions. First, we moved as much of our manufacturing as possible to poverty stricken 3rd world nations. Second, we simultaneously imported tens of millions of poverty stricken 3rd worlders who have gutted the wages and political influence of the American middle-class.

These brilliant moves have concentrated historical levels of wealth and political power to the echelons of Corporate America, smashing our middle-class, sucking the wealth out of our public infrastructure, leaving our country in a shambles. And now we have a country full of foreigners who have sworn allegiance to greed and our illegitimate corporate fascist government.

We now sit on the brink of the impending legacy of Corporate Globalism: Massive poverty capped by a small, privileged corporate elite.

Our economic "expansion" has destroyed our middle class, concentrated the greatest amount of our nation's wealth at the top of society, while simultaneously de funding every aspect of our national infrastructure, including the regulatory agencies designed to protect us against the very corporations that are now running them.

This has left America with a permanently impoverished foreign working class politically and economically dominated by a vicious corporate elite. The American Working Class has been economically and politically marginalized, and is struggling to keep from falling into abject poverty.

The rest of our country has bought SUVs, multiple homes, and has been living the high life while our infrastructure has collapsed and poverty has spread. They have taken their 40 pieces of silver, and have put their consumption before their citizenship.

Let's see what happens to all of these "players" when the gravy train runs dry, and we are left to deal with the true costs of their irresponsibility.

Also See:

Corruption Updates 41, 1st article on the page,  "Study: Schools need billions"

Corruption Updates 34, 3rd article on the page, "State prisons in 'tailspin,' panel says"

Corruption Updates 36, 7th article on the page,  "More in U.S. plunge deeper into poverty"

Corruption Updates 45, 8th article on the page,  "Income Gap Is Widening, Data Shows"

The End of the Party is Almost here:

Huffington Press, "Auto Sales Plummet"

Corruption Updates 61, 8th article on the page, "Home Sales Climb, but Prices Plummet"

Corruption Updates 81, 8th article on the page, "Bear Stearns Staves Off Collapse of 2 Hedge Funds: Billions in Worthless Loans Ready to Hit Market"

Corruption Updates 83, 8th article on the page, "Report on Amaranth Collapse Is to Be Made Public"

Corruption Updates 93, 1st article on the page, "Bear Stearns Says Battered Hedge Funds Are Worth Little"

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2) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited. After the abstract there's analysis and commentary, links to related articles, and a link to the database with suggested search terms.

FDA Suspends Plans to Close Field Labs

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

(08-01) 13:13 PDT WASHINGTON, (AP) –


The Food and Drug Administration's commissioner has suspended plans to close more than half the agency's field laboratories.

Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach is awaiting recommendations from a presidential panel about how to better guarantee the safety of imported food and other products.

In a letter sent von Eschenbach on Tuesday, Democratic Reps. John Dingell and Bart Stupak of Michigan asked if the purpose of the lab closures was to privatize the testing of imported foods. They cited a pilot program to assess doing just that.

Von Eschenbach denied that the closures were part of an outsourcing plan. Later, however, he said the agency would consider certifying or credentialing private labs to do some testing work.


Corporate Government incapable of Defending Democracy, Constitution, or Public Safety

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., August 4, 2007

Maybe we should just "outsource" running our whole government to Haliburton and Blackwater.

Whoops! Too Late, we already have. And now we are enjoying the best government corporate money can buy.

Also See:


Corruption Updates 16, 4th article on the page, "EPA STANDARDS WILL KILL YOU: SPECIAL INTEREST(Chemical industry) BRIBERY BRINGS AMERICA DEATH"

White House under Investigation for Censoring Science, ap, November 1, 2006 (INSPECTORS FOR NASA AND COMMERECE DEPTS MAY EXPOSE WIDESPREAD MISCONDUCT”)

Trucking lobby buys death on highways, NY Times December 3, 2006

Farm lobby kills safety regs, ap, december 6, 2006

Corruption Updates 26, 4th article on the page, "PRESIDENT CLOSING EPA LIBRARIES"

Corruption Updates 33, 10th article on the page, "Bush Suppressing Science and Truth"


SCIENCE CLAIMS BUSH A NAZI, lat, March 19, 2007


Corruption Updates 46, 9th article on the page, "High Court Faults EPA Inaction on Emissions"

Corruption Updates 69, 5th article on the page, "F.D.A. Issues Strictest Warning on Diabetes Drugs"

Corruption Updates 42, 3rd article on the page, Bush Assures Health Executives Continued Massive Profits

Corruption Updates 85, 4th article on the page, Uninsured in U.S: 43.6 Million, Bush Assures Health Executives Continued Massive

NY Times, August 14, 2007; Ex-Surgeon General’s Maverick Side Was Bound to Appear, Friends Say: Fristky Surgeon General Silent About Political Manipulation of Science-Politics until After he Was Fired

Washington Post, August 31, 2007; In E-Mails, Political Pressure on Ex-Surgeon General: Science, Surgeon General Punked out as Political Tools by Bush

Washington Post, Thursday, August 23, 2007; White House Declares itself a National Secret

Bee, September 9, 2007; Investigative Report: U.S. ships unsafe products: American Product Safety Regulations Kill People Here, and Around the World

NY Times, September 12, 2007; More Studies Cast Doubt on Safety of Diabetes Drug

Bee, September 14, 2007; As "sell all the forests" plan fails, Congress scrambles to aid rural counties: Local Taxes from Killing Local Environment for Corporate Profit Ending as Environment Dies Out

Washington Post, October 3, 2007; Scientists See Politics in Spotted Owl Plan: Bribed Politicians Devastate Forests, America's Natural and Political Heritages

LAT, October 25, 2007; Climate Change Testimony Was Edited by White House: Politicians keep Suppressing Climate Science, buying Scientists

The EPA is Worthless under a Bribed Government:

Corruption Updates 85, 7th article on the page, Ex-E.P.A. Chief Defends Role in 9/11 Response

Corruption Updates 49, 9th article on the page, High Court Faults EPA Inaction on Emissions


Arnie Sells our Health:

Corruption Updates 88, 2nd article on the page, Arnie: Air board's leader fired

Corruption Updates 88, 3 rd article on the page, Arnie: Ex-official of air board says pressure was intense

Corruption Updates 88, 4th article on the page, Governor's deeds on air quality contradict words: Arnie's History Speaks for itself

Arnie plan to give state assets to his bribers, LAT, Nov 28, 2007

Essay: The final piece of the corporate fascist state

Political Bribery is killing us

Corruption Updates 92, 6th article on the page, "Congress: FDA Lab Closure Plan Too Risky"

Associated Press, July 16, 2007; FDA Bonuses Spending to Draw Scrutiny: FDA Incompentence Rewarded

AP, July 27, 2007; Official Says Consumer Agency at Risk: Deregulation and "Voluntary" Standards Killing Americans

NYT, July 31, 2007; Panel backs diabetes drug despite heart attack risks: First Vioxx, Now FDA Allows Pharmacutical Giant to Kill with Avandia

SF Chron, July 27, 2007; Where is the media watchdog? Nader: Government and Media Not Trustworthy

AP, August 2, 2007; White House Accused of Meddling With EPA

Bush climate program drags its feet, has climate research satellites stripped, nyt, September 14, 2007

California: Bribery and Special interests power kills public health and safety legislation, Bee, Sept 18, 2007

Boxer Backs Corporate Welfare for Industrial Agriculture, SF Chron, Dec 4, 2007

Comment: Cycle of Bribery under Dems

White House Manipulation of Climate Science Proven, csm, 12-12-07

Public health ripped off for corporate profits, nyt, January 8, 2008

Fed judge upholds ca auto emissions rules, NYT, December 13, 2007

Energy Bill: Dems Serve Big Oil, NYT, December 14, 2007

And Bush bats them down: EPA rejects ca waiver. (Big Oil vs. democracy. We Lose, again.) Union of Concerned Scientists Clean Vehicles Program, December 19, 2007

Ca sues EPA for emissions waiver, lat, January 2, 2008

Political thieves busted trying to steal our last forests: New forest "rules" withdrawn, ap, January 9, 2008

Interior department manipulation puts big oil before polar bears, mcclatchy, January 17, 2008

bush corrupts law to kill whales, Los Angeles Times, January 17, 2008

EPA ignored science to deny california auto smog rules, bloomberg, January 24, 2008

Congress to Chemical Industry: You're Under Investigation, Environmental Working Group, Apr 3, 2008

White House blocked EPA studies, GAO reports, Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Search the Corruption Database under

Killing Safety Regulations

Environmental Protection Agency

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3) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited. After the abstract there's analysis and commentary, links to related articles, and a link to the database with suggested search terms.

White House Accused of Meddling With EPA

Thursday, August 2, 2007

(08-02) 16:35 PDT WASHINGTON, (AP) –


The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday released an analysis of its new proposal to reduce smog levels that shows higher economic costs — but potentially more lives saved — the more stringent the regulation is.

The document angered environmentalists because in addition to analyzing three relatively stringent smog levels, EPA decided to study a fourth less-stringent smog level after intervention by the White House Office of Management and Budget, according to public documents in an EPA docket.

"The OMB ordered EPA to analyze a weaker standard than they had talked about earlier, and that to me is clear evidence that the White House is tampering with the EPA proposal and trying to make it weaker," said Frank O'Donnell, president of Clean Air Watch.

At issue is the EPA's June recommendation for the first new limits since 1997 on ground-level ozone, commonly known as smog.

EPA measures smog by the concentration of ozone molecules in the atmosphere over an eight-hour period. The current standard is .084 parts per million. EPA is proposing reducing that to somewhere between .070 and .075 parts per million.

It is also accepting comments on leaving the level unchanged — as favored by industry — or reducing it to .060 parts per million — a lower level advocated by environmentalists. The agency will settle on a final figure by March 12.


This is the same EPA that Refused to do its Duty and Regulate CO2

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., August 4, 2007

The EPA has repeatedly reflected the bad faith of this government and this administration in the conduct of their duties. This is a product of our corrupted elections.

As the comprehensive list of links below indicates, the bad faith of this administration is uniformly applied across all the executive branch agencies. Each agency has failed to regulate dangerous chemicals, products, and processes. Many have given away public resources to private interests. All have failed to protect the interests of the American People.

What they all have in common is that each agency has been gutted to payoff political bribes. The destruction of our regulatory framework happened when the industries we regulate bought exemption from our democracy by buying political influence, rather than winning policy points on the merits of their positions.

Both the Dems and Repugs are corporate parties which direct the wealth of our country to their corporate sponsors. Don't expect the Dems, who went along with voluntary regulations, (deregulation) eliminating welfare, (Clinton I) and NAFTA, to do a damn thing to get in the way of corporate profits, either in Congress, or any of the executive branch agencies.

Also See:

Corruption Updates 46 , 9th article down, "High Court Faults EPA Inaction on Emissions"


Corruption Updates 21, 9th article on page, White House under Investigation for Censoring Science

Corruption Updates 24, 4th article on page, “BIG OIL OWNS INTERIOR DEPARTMENT”





How lobbying buys lawmakers and law:

Corruption Updates 1, 2nd to last article on the page, “Big Oil Owns our Politicians

Corruption Updates 2, 6th article down, “Contribute to Win, Big Contribs try to Trump State Safety Laws

See, “Contribute to Win, Big Contribs donate when legislation pending,” Corruption Updates 2, 6th article down.

Corruption Updates 3, 2nd article on page, “Big Business Spends Lawmakers into Compliance

Corruption Updates 4, 1st article on page, “Checks in, Laws Out, It's that Simple

Search the Corruption Database under

Killing Safety Regulations


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4) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited. After the abstract there's analysis and commentary, links to related articles, and a link to the database with suggested search terms.

Fisher-Price to Recall Nearly 1M Toys

Thursday, August 2, 2007

(08-02) 03:34 PDT BEIJING, China (AP) –



China said it would work with the United States to improve product safety amid a massive U.S. recall Thursday of plastic preschool toys made by a Chinese vendor, including the popular Big Bird, Elmo, Dora and Diego characters.

The remarks came just ahead of toy-maker Fisher-Price's announcement that it was recalling almost 1 million toys, the latest in a string of Chinese product safety scandals.

The problem with the recalled toys was detected by an internal probe and reported to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, David Allmark, general manager of Fisher-Price, told The Associated Press Wednesday.

The recall follows another high-profile move from toy maker RC2 Corp., which in June voluntarily recalled 1.5 million wooden railroad toys and set parts from its Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway product line.


Stop China Trade Now

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., August 4, 2007


CU 36_6, March 5, 2007

Our “policy” of “opening,” and integrating China into modernity, has been based on the unlimited transfer of industry (our jobs) to a country where the people have no rights, no environmental laws, and a closed economic and political system. It's a corporate dream, a corporate Disneyland, which the Democrats and Republicans are trying to replicate here.

The consequences of allowing our greedy corporations to move to China are profound. Our corporations have avoided the added expenses of American safety regulations, pollution control, labor regulations, and paying the taxes necessary to educate, medicate, and retire our workforce.

This money has supercharged their profits as much as it has supercharged the pollution pouring out of China, as our American infrastructure crumbles.

Not that our corporations have ever had to act responsibly here. They have cheated the American people every chance they have gotten. But China has done something completely new.

Our Corporations have radically increased their profits by abandoning the social, political, economic responsibilities of doing business in our country by abandoning our country, and running to China.

China enhances our Corporation's profits our by allowing unchecked abuse of   their labor and their environment. Our corporation's profits come directly from these abuses, and are doing tremendous damage to their workers and environment.

It's ironic that the leaders of our corporate fascist state and the leaders of China's authoritarian state get along so well. If the Chinese People are half as disgusted with the hypocrisy of their government as we are with ours, this situation will not go on for much longer.

But until then these bastards are going to continue to kill our kids, poison our food, and poison our environment.

The tainted products that China is sending here would have been eliminated by manufacturing our products here, even under our pathetic domestic environmental regulations.

The flood of Chinese pollution and tainted products that are covering the earth are a direct result of the American foreign policy of greed and irresponsibility.

It is our filth that pouring into the atmosphere from Chinese smokestacks, and it our greed that is poisoning our children, not Chinese leaded paint.

Also See:

Corruption Updates 16, 4th article on page, "U.S. Rules Allow the Sale of Products Others Ban"


Corruption Updates 65, 7th article on the page, "China puts economy before climate" (And before Safety, health, and ethics.)

Corruption Updates 67, 5th article on the page, "China: When Fakery Turns Fatal"

Corruption Updates 77, 5th article on the page, "Thomas the Tank Engine Toys Recalled Because of Lead Paint"

Corruption Updates 79, 2nd article on the page, "As More Toys Are Recalled, Trail Ends in China"

Search the Corruption Database under

China (49 Abstracts)

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5) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited. After the abstract there's analysis and commentary, links to related articles, and a link to the database with suggested search terms.

Scientists say plastic compound causes reproductive problems

Friday, August 3, 2007


In an unusual effort targeting a single chemical, several dozen scientists issued a strongly worded consensus statement Thursday warning that an estrogenlike compound in plastic is probably causing an array of serious reproductive disorders in people.

The compound, bisphenol A or BPA, is one of the highest-volume chemicals in the world and has found its way into the bodies of most human beings.

Used to make hard plastic, BPA can seep from beverage containers and other materials. It is used in all polycarbonate plastic baby bottles, as well as other rigid plastic items, including large water cooler containers, sports bottles and microwave oven dishes, along with canned food liners and some dental sealants for children.

The scientists - including four from federal health agencies - reviewed about 700 studies before concluding that people are exposed to levels of the chemical exceeding those that harm lab animals. Infants and fetuses are most vulnerable, they said.

The statement, published online by the journal Reproductive Toxicology, was accompanied by a new study by researchers from the National Institutes of Health finding uterine damage in newborn animals exposed to BPA. That damage is a possible predictor of reproductive diseases in women, including fibroids, endometriosis, cystic ovaries and cancers. It is the first time BPA has been linked to female reproductive-tract disorders, although earlier studies have found early-stage prostate and breast cancer and decreased sperm counts in animals exposed to low doses.

Next week, a U.S. expert panel convenes to decide whether to declare BPA a human reproductive toxin, which could be a first step toward federal regulation. The review by the panel of the federal Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction, part of the National Institutes of Health, has been controversial. The Los Angeles Times reported in March that the preliminary report on BPA was written by a consulting firm with financial ties to the chemical industry that has since been fired by the center.

Jerrold Heindel, a scientist with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences who organized a meeting last fall to begin drafting the statement, said even though there have been no human studies of BPA, there is now so much animal data that the 38 experts believe that potential human damage is likely. More than 150 studies have found health effects in animals exposed to low doses.


Too Much of a Good Thing: Too late to Worry

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., August 4, 2007

Our last 100 years of growth has dramatically altered our environment. The repercussions of our growth and consumption have ravaged our forests, polluted the oceans, and changed the timing and character of the seasons. And we still press ahead at an unprecedented rate of growth, while ignoring the damages we have done to get where we are now.

It is clearly time to take a breather from our feeding frenzy of greed, corruption, consumption and pollution. Our frenzy of irresponsible growth. It is time to review the liabilities of our present position, and alter our future course to first regain our democracy, take back our free press from its corporate captivity, and have an honest discussion about the future and present costs of our growth up to this point.

Then we can clean this fucking mess up.

The Destruction of our Oceans

See the Latest Ocean Destruction links

Seattle Times, 4-23-06, "Oceans of Waste: Waves of Junk are flowing into the food chain"

Alternate link: "Oceans of Waste..." on wildsiganpore

Wizzard's Blog, 5-22-07, "Plastic Ocean: Our oceans are turning into plastic. Are we?"


NYT, 5-1-07: "Arctic Sea Ice Melting Faster, a Study Finds:Climate Change has already happened"

bbc, 11-2-06: "'Only 50 years left' for sea fish"

NYT, 7-18-07: "Record Gulf of Mexico ‘Dead Zone’ Is Predicted"


Corruption Updates 106, 7th article on the page, Arctic sea ice set to hit new low

Co2 sets record in 2006, AP, 11-23

Radical Increase in Artic melting, AP, 12-12-07


Ca: massive decline in salmon return, nyt, 1-29-08

Shark populations near extinction

Ocean map: Oceans trashed

Ocean dead zones expanding

bush corrupts law to kill whales

Hansen: Past the tipping point

Global warming threatening corals

World fish stocks collaspe: africa feeling it first


ocean circulation changing

impending crash in ocean populations from altered ocean circulation?

check out these fascinating articles that indicate serious ocean circulation problems may have already started:

Ocean dead zones expanding, ScienceNOW Daily News, 25 January 2008


Sea life counts dive for 2nd year: Decrease in essential plankton and krill disrupt food chain, sf chron, june 23, 2006

Mysteries on the US Pacific Coast, niches, 3rd article down, thursday, 9-28-06

Warm Water Surging into Arctic Ocean, environment news service, 9-27-06


study: Warmer seas boosted hurricane frequency by 40 percent


Environmental disasters, page #8

1] Salmon populations have crashed, sf chron, 3-24-08

1b] No salmon fishing this year, sf chron, 3-13-08

1c] Fishery council: salmon collapse, sf chron, 3-8-08

1d] The smelt have vanished, newstribune.com, 3-8-08

1e] Massive city populations draining california's water, bee, 3-3-08

Huge Antarctic ice shelf breaks off, cbc, 3-25-08

Get ready for constant costal flooding for the next 100 years +, nyt, 3-12-08

delay in polar bear protections investigated by oil, interior department


essay: Our water, our fish, and our rights are gone, committee, 4-08


Forecast for big sea level rise, bbc, 4-15-08

Watch the storm that destroyed burma, and all of its crops, Eumetsat, (adjust time frame to 01/05/08, time span to 9 images minimum)

satellite pictures: burma before and after, ng, 5-8-08

burma storm: sign of things to come, usa today, 5-12-08

Mangrove loss 'put Burma at risk,' bbc, 5-12-08


Shark populations near extinction, BBC News, 1-18-08.

World fish stocks collapse: africa feeling it first, nyt, January 14, 2008.


Antarctic glaciers surge to ocean


Salmon arriving in record low numbers

Warming risks Antarctic sea life

Huge Antarctic ice shelf breaks off

Get ready for constant costal flooding for the next 100 years +

Forecast for big sea level rise, bbc, 4-15-08

essay: Our water, our fish, and our rights are gone, committee, 4-08


global warming draining oceans of oxygen, may 1, '08



"Fishery Failure" Declared for West Coast Salmon


global warming draining oceans of oxygen


Wildlife populations 'plummeting,' bbc, 5-16-08

Vast cracks appear in Arctic ice, bbc, 5-23-08


Filth of LA fouling oceans, lat 5-22-08

30% of Alaska salmon wasted: global warming disease ravages yukon salmon, lat, 6-14-08


'Alarming' plight of coral reefs, bbc, 7-10-08


Wilkins Ice Shelf hanging by its last thread, esa, 7-10-08

background; article/pictures: ANIMATED PHOTO: Ice Shelf Collapses in Antarctica, ng, 6-16-08. three articles: Sea Ice. three more articles: Sea Ice.


Mass Extinctions And 'Rise Of Slime' Predicted For Oceans, science daily, 8-13-08


Continued Breakup Of Two Of Greenland's Largest Glaciers Shown In Satellite Images, ScienceDaily, 8-22-08

Global Warming: Warmer Seas Linked To Strengthening Hurricanes, According to New Research, enn, 9-4-08

Shrinking Arctic Ocean sea ice signals climate change, csm, 9-4-08


Sea level rise of 1 meter within 100 years, climate dynamics, 1-8-09

Floods to become commonplace by 2080, newcastle University, uk, 1-8-09


Satellites confirm half-century of West Antarctic warming, nasa, 1-22-09


Dramatic expansion of dead zones in the oceans, eureakanews, 1-25-09


Global warming threatens Antarctic sea life, FIT, 2-4-09


More of North America may face flooding from Antarctic ice sheet melt: study, 2-5-09

Geophysicists predict amplification of sea-level rise in North America following collapse of West Antarctic Ice Sheet, u toronto, 2-5-09

Sea level rise could be worse than anticipated, oregon, 2-5-09



New findings on climate change and fisheries, U EA, 2-12-09

US Atlantic cod population to drop by half by 2050, ubc, 2-12-09

Penguins marching into trouble, wcs, 2-12-09

Changing ocean conditions turning penguins into long-distance commuters, uw, 2-12-09


Very Rapid Change PDF Report: Polar research reveals new evidence of global environmental change, ICSU, 2-25-09

Full Report

International Polar Year Web site


the effects of ocean circulation change

Oceanic seesaw links Northern and Southern hemisphere during abrupt climate change, cardiff, 2-25-09


Climate-related changes on the Antarctic peninsula, nsf, 3-16-09


Scroll up for earlier Ocean Destruction information

Top of Oceans Link List


More Information for your inspection

Growth is killing us links

All Water Links

CA Water Links

water essays

salmon/fish links


All Environment links


Search the Corruption Database under

Environment (55 Abstracts)

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House Drops Tougher Auto Fuel Economy

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

(08-01) 17:16 PDT WASHINGTON, (AP) –


After weeks of uncertainty, House Democrats have decided against a confrontation over automobile fuel economy when they take up energy legislation later this week.

Two proposals to boost the required mileage for new automobiles were submitted Wednesday for consideration as amendments to the energy legislation, but they were withdrawn by their Democratic sponsors.

Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., sponsor of a proposal to boost vehicle mileage to 35 miles per gallon by 2019, said he decided not to pursue the matter after consulting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Pelosi in a statement said she supported requiring automakers to make more fuel efficient vehicles but that the issue was deferred "in the interest of promoting passage of a consensus energy bill."

Pelosi said she supports the Senate-passed mileage measure and that the issue would be addressed when the House and Senate bills are merged, probably in September.

Gloria Bergquist, a spokeswoman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, said the trade group would continue to push for "realistic fuel economy standards" that would preserve jobs and vehicle choice.

Congress has not changed the federal auto fuel economy standard since it was imposed in 1975. It has been at 27.5 mpg fleet average for cars since 1989. The truck requirements, which include SUVs and passenger vans, recently were raised to 22.2 mpg.

The Markey bill, as well as the Senate-passed measure, would combine cars with small trucks, SUVs and vans under one requirement.


Dems Suck Corporate Cocks: Told you So

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., August 20, 2007

The Dems are the littler Bitches of the Corporations, admittedly less that the Regugs, who are THE little bitches of the Corporations. Nonetheless, the Democraps are predominantly a corporate party, even though they do differ ever so slightly from the Regugnants.

There are two limits to the dems service to the corporations, which the Repugs do not acknowledge. The first is at the top end, where the Dems concede full political power to the Corps, except during special times, which I characterize as "crusade" times.

You know these special times well. A little white girl gets killed, and all the politicians crusade to support 3 strikes laws. An uninsured motorist kills the spouse of an assemblywoman, and the mandatory insurance crusade began. America's Most Wanted is what happens when a political crusade crashes into a Hollywood production company. The "popular" face of our corporate politicians is no more than crusading demagoguery.

Then normal times return, and the parties return to their normal business: dividing up the wealth of our country between their various corporate sponsors.

During normal times there was one small distinction between how the Dems and Repugs served the Corporations. While both parties conceded total political and economic dominance to the corporations, they differed in that the Dems always insisted that the corporate elite provide minimal educational, medical, environmental, and infrastructural elements to the lower classes.

Be clear about this: even then the Dems had abandoned democracy, and worked with the repugs and corporate media to maintain their duopoly on politics and government.

And now, since Clinton I, the Dems have abandoned even the shadow of  "Nobel Obligation," of the elite's duty to provide the basics for the society they dominate, that had previously been the only difference between them and the Repugnants.

Neither party is, nor has been a democratic representative of the bottom-up will of the voters for decades. Both are composed of impressive concentrations of corporate and special interest wealth that fight to impose their will on the country. Neither party represents democracy, the people, or the general welfare of our country.

And now the Democraps don't even have the thin shield of their noble obligation to cover their party's sponsorship by naked wealth and power.

Now, they are all Repugnacraps.

Recent examples of Democratic Politics

Chron, August 5, 2007; House passes energy bill: Chronicle Covers Dems Asses

SF Chron, July 27, 2007; Dem leaders shield farm bill: Dems Preserve Subsidies to Corporate Agriculture

SF Chron, August 4, 2007; Feinstein draws fire over vote for judge: Fiendstien was Never more that a Tool of Wealth and Power

Also See:


Corruption Updates 21, 8th article on the page, "DEMS BIG CHANCE TO REAP THE REWARDS OF CORRUPTION"


Corruption Updates 28, 1st article on the page, "LOBBYISTS HIRING-BRIBING DEMS"

Corruption Updates 68, 1st article on the page, "Dems drafting bill that could derail state warming law"

Corruption Updates 79, 3rd article on the page, "Dems Challenge to California emissions rules dropped"

NY Times, August 12, 2007; Democrats Say Leaving Iraq May Take Years: Dems Still Voting for Iraq War

Washington Post, August 5, 2007; House Approves Wiretap Measure: Pelosi, Dems, Betray Constitution Again

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Lobbyists (98 Abstracts)

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7) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited. After the abstract there's analysis and commentary, links to related articles, and a link to the database with suggested search terms.

Dem leaders shield farm bill

Effort by urban lawmakers to curb subsidies defeated

Friday, July 27, 2007


(07-27) 04:00 PDT Washington -- House Democratic leaders surgically picked apart opposition from urban lawmakers to continued crop subsidies, beating back efforts by environmental and food advocates to change a mammoth five-year farm bill.

Bay Area activists focused enormous energy on the farm bill this year, arguing that the five-year, $256 billion legislation has a profound effect on the food Americans eat and the environment they live in. They argued that crop subsidies skew food production, separating consumers from farmers, and encouraging farm industrialization, obesity and environmental damage.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, put pressure on Democrats to support the farm bill as a way to help newly elected rural colleagues and preserve the new Democratic majority. A vote was postponed until today amid the deal making.

Most support the bill, including Reps. Ellen Tauscher of Walnut Creek, Mike Thompson of St. Helena, Jerry McNerney of Pleasanton and Tom Lantos of San Mateo.

Pelosi's office "has been hearing nonstop about the disappointment with her and her leadership, but I think bigger politics are in play here," said Kari Hamerschlag, policy director of the California Coalition for Food and Farming, a Watsonville group that wants to shift subsidies to support local food systems, small farmers and organic agriculture.

Democrats "kind of wrapped a noose around their neck" by refusing to pare crop subsidies, forcing them to turn to a tax increase to finance the bill, Hamerschlag said.

The House defeated an alternative by Rep. Ron Kind, D-Wis., that would have slashed crop subsidies and put much more money into nutrition and environmental programs, as well as provided a much bigger boost for fruit and vegetable research and marketing programs of keen interest to California farmers.

Agriculture Department figures released by Kind's office showed that every California member of Congress would do better under his measure, except for two: Rep. Wally Herger of Marysville (Yuba County), a Republican whose sprawling Northern California district received a third of a billion dollars in mainly rice subsidies from 2003 to 2005; and Rep. Jim Costa of Hanford (Kings County), who represents cotton farmers in Fresno who received most of the nearly quarter of a billion dollars that went to his district.

Although Pelosi characterized the bill as reform, outside analysts say it does not really change farm programs and even increases support for subsidized crops.

"We're perplexed by how they can characterize what they've generated as real reform," said Jim Lyons, vice president of policy for Oxfam America. "It's more regressive than progressive."

Food and Water Watch, another advocacy group, issued a report this week arguing that subsidized corn and other feed grains have sped the move in the livestock industry away from grass pastures and diversified hog, poultry and dairy farms to giant animal feedlots -- which they call factory farms -- that discharge millions of gallons of manure and introduce large quantities of antibiotics and hormones into the meat supply.

Government payments encourage this trend by lowering the cost of subsidized corn and soybeans -- half of which now go to animal feed, the report said, putting farmers who graze their cattle at a competitive disadvantage.


Dems Preserve Subsidies to Corporate Agriculture

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., July , 2007

Pelosi is just another Corporate Whore, as have all of our politicians for the last 30 years. Those that are not directly owned by the Corporations keep their mouths shut, and go along for the ride.

The Dems are amazing. They have found the magic bullet to subsidize Corporate Farmers: Tax Foreign Corporations to Subsidize American Corporate Farmers.

Also See:

Footnotes from #6, above, cover the topic of Democratic Prostitution to Corporate wealth.

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8) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited. After the abstract there's analysis and commentary, links to related articles, and a link to the database with suggested search terms.

Dianne Feinstein

Auditor under fire reaps big profits

Firm has been criticized for rejecting many hospital Medicare claims in state.

By David Whitney - Bee Washington Bureau
Published 12:00 am PDTFriday, August 3, 2007


PRG-Schultz International, the Atlanta auditing company under fire for its sweeping rejection of claims for California Medicare patients cared for by rehabilitation hospitals, announced soaring second-quarter profits Thursday.

The announcement came a day after members of the California congressional delegation met with audit overseers in a heated meeting in which they complained that PRG-Schultz's wholesale rejection of claims is enriching its bottom line while jeopardizing health care for the elderly.

PRG-Schultz was given a three-year contract to audit Medicare payments under a congressionally created pilot program that earns it a bounty of 25 percent to 30 percent for every dollar it recovers. The pilot program ends next year, but Congress is making the program national, and PRG-Schultz officials said the company hopes to pick up a multistate contract for the West.

Blum Capital Partners, a business venture of Richard Blum, the husband of Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., is a major investor in the company and as a result of a restructuring last year, holds a seat on the auditing company's board.

In response to a question during the conference call, PRG-Schultz officials said the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services looked into its auditing for Feinstein, and it found that its claims rejections are correct and its procedures are proper.


Feinstein Robs Elderly of HealthCare, and Profits Handsomely

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., July , 2007

Originally written April 14, 2007, for Corruption Updates 49_9

Feinstein's buddy-buddy, or hubby-hubby deals involved No lobbyists, no Bribes, no luxury trips or meals. This is a lot cleaner than the unseemly behavior of other, less well-married Senators.

None of the usual corruptions were necessary to get the Blum deals done, not when business and politics sleep in the same bed.

It is clear to every honest person that Every Politician who has a financial interest, or received contributions from any interest with business before the government must recuse themselves from any actions concerning those interests.

To do anything else is corrupt, and must be severely punished, no matter who you are married to, or who you sleep with.

How Feinstein Got, and stays, Rich:

Her Husband makes Billions denying Medicine and Manufacturing Arms with Govt Contracts while Feinstein does "Oversight"

Originally written May 19, 2007, for CU 56_7

Who does Fiend Stien work for? Like the rest of our bribed politicians, she works for those who pay to get her elected.

In Fiend Stien's case, that would be her husband. Rather than being a whore for the Corporations and Special Interests, The Blum-Fiend marriage keeps the corruption close to home, in their own family.

I am not ignoring the fact that she also serves her class, the very-very wealthy, but in the present case that is second to serving her husband.

So much for democratic "Family Values," when the prostitution of politics is consummated in their marriage bed.

Also See:

Corruption Updates 49, 9th article on the page, Ethics challenge to Feinstein: She chaired subcommittee on military spending; husband had defense firm investments

Corruption Updates 56, 7th article on the page, "Medicare audits spark protest that nudges Feinstein"

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Feinstein (4 Abstracts)


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Corruption Probe Dogs Alaska

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

(08-01) 14:55 PDT JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) –


One former state representative is guilty of bribery. Three more await trial on similar charges. The state's lone congressman is under federal investigation for corruption. A U.S. senator just had his home searched by the FBI.

This is not exactly the Alaska that Vic Fischer had in mind when he helped draft the state's constitution more than 50 years ago.

"Greed is rampant," said Fischer. "The character of the politicians has changed a lot. I'm very disgusted."

Fischer, current lawmakers and political analysts say the cases are evidence that the state is reaping what it sowed from years of lax oversight and a cozy relationship with the oil industry.

The relationship between lawmakers and the oil industry is a central issue in an investigation that stretches from Juneau to Washington, D.C. First, the former state lawmakers were accused of accepting bribes or extorting favors in exchange for oil tax votes favorable to the industry.

Soon, the Justice Department began looking into the relationship between the contractor VECO Corp. and Alaska's congressional delegation.

The common denominator in all but one case is former oil field services executive Bill Allen, who recently pleaded guilty to bribing lawmakers who were considering an oil tax bill. He remains at the center of emerging corruption probes.

Allen's company, Anchorage-based VECO Corp., has long been a heavy-hitting player in North Slope oil and gas operations. But Allen and former company vice president Rick Smith, who also pleaded guilty with Allen, became political activists as well.

Allen was once a fixture in the state's Capitol. His presence was so strong he was credited as the driver behind a legal change in the definition of a lobbyist — essentially so that he no longer had to register as one.

. He was even spotted improperly passing notes to lawmakers over a railing during a House floor session last year.

Eventually, the lines between the industry and politics became blurred, said former House Minority leader Ethan Berkowitz. The state's checks and balances system eroded and the system broke, he said.

"We've been a one-party state and a one-industry state for too long," he said. "The economic and political power has consolidated into just a few hands and that breeds contempt. That kind of concentration of power gives rise to fascist tendencies."

If things progress, the state's reputation for political corruption could become akin to that of New Jersey or Louisiana, some political analysts said.


Alaska a microcosm of Congress:

Bought and Sold by Big Money Players

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., August 20, 2007

The below was written on, Sept. 1, 2006, when the Alaska Scandal started breaking.


The ownership of Alaskan politics by the oil industry has an unusual challenger:


This 20 search warrants executed on the political leaders of Alaska are described in this article. Apparently, legal political contributions were mistaken for influence peddling and bribery linked to a new production tax law, and a draft natural gas pipeline contract Little solid information about corruption is offered in this article, but since corporate contributions legally buy favorable contracts, policies, laws, it's hard to see how any law was broken.

Whatever anyone says about Alberto Gonzales, his corruption attorneys are prosecuting corruption, and they have plenty of corruption to prosecute. You can't turn around without stepping into a pile of corruption. Except there is one minor problem. Corruption is legal, under our Campaign Finance laws.

The Alaskan warrants, if productive, indicate a particularly intense greed. George Bush was put into the presidency by a special interest coalition led by the oil companies. Enron's internal abuses are now legendary, but the external economic and political power of Enron, and the whole energy industry has been so profitable, and the money spread so widely among the political parties, that it would take an extremely voracious greed to break the law, and threaten their legally sanctioned corrupt profits.

This article cites six of the that warrants were served on the offices of:

“Republican Senate President Ben Stevens, whose father is Alaska's senior senator, who has reported collecting more than $240,000 in consulting fees.”

State Sen. John Cowdery, the Senate Rules chairman.

Republican state Rep. Vic Kohring.

Republican state Rep. Bruce Weyhrauch.

Democratic state Sen. Donald Olson.

Republican state Rep. Pete Kott.

The rest of the warrants were served on a “Republican pollster,” and VECO Corp, apparently a powerful force in Alaskan Oil Politics.

The problem was that Bill Allen and Richard Smith, executives of “oil field services giant” VECO Corp. may have been a little too enthusiastic with their political participation. And the politicians a little too enthusiastic about about pursuing careers in Big Oil after their terms expired. Mr. Volz reported that, “Agents also looked for documents about contracts, agreements or employment of legislators provided by VECO, Allen, Smith and company president Peter Leathard. This must be stopped.

We'll keep you posted.

Also See:

Corruption Updates 1, 10th article on page, "BIG OIL OWNS OUR POLITICIANS"

Corruption Updates 5, 3rd article on page, "Politics in Alaska Under Investigation"

Corruption Updates 24, 4th article on page, "Big Oil Owns Interior Dept"

Corruption Updates 55, 1st article on page, "Alaska Oil Executives Admit to Bribery"

Corruption Updates 70, 6th article on page, "Alaska II, Big Oil's Control of Alaska Contested by FBI"

Corruption Updates 98, 9 th article on the page, Corruption Probe Dogs Alaska, Alaska a microcosm of Congress: Bought and Sold by Big Money Players

Big Oil Owns our Government: Big Oil

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Senator, Aide May Have Run Afoul of Law

Thursday, August 2, 2007

(08-02) 22:52 PDT WASHINGTON (AP) –


A Senate aide who handled Sen. Ted Stevens' personal bills did not report any payments from his personal funds, raising questions about whether the two violated gift restrictions or federal law.

Barbara Flanders, a financial clerk at the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, is cooperating in a corruption investigation of the lawmaker. The Associated Press reported Tuesday that Flanders is cooperating in the probe of Stevens' dealings with a wealthy Alaska contractor.

In her public financial disclosure form for 2006, Flanders checked the "No" box when asked whether she or her spouse had earned income of more than $200 beyond her Senate salary.

Income received from Stevens, R-Alaska, would be reportable under Senate rules.

If she was not paid for the personal work, it could be considered a gift that Stevens would have to report on his annual disclosure forms. He has not reported gifts from Flanders, a longtime aide who also has worked in the senator's personal office.

Flanders testified under subpoena in the past few weeks and provided documents regarding the senator's bills, according to a lawyer in the case who spoke on condition of anonymity because grand jury matters are secret.

Investigators are scrutinizing Stevens' relationship with oil field services contractor Bill Allen, who helped oversee a renovation project that more than doubled the size of Stevens' Alaska home in 2000.

Allen's company, VECO Inc., won tens of millions of dollars in federal contracts. Allen has pleaded guilty to bribing Alaska lawmakers.

Investigators, including FBI and Internal Revenue Service agents, raided Stevens' home Monday. They photographed and videotaped its contents and left with a garbage bag full of unidentified items.

U.S. law prohibits a federal employee from giving a gift to a superior. The law also would bar Stevens from accepting a gift from an employee receiving less pay.

Lawmakers are prohibited from accepting anything of value from someone whose interests may be substantially affected by the performance of the lawmaker's official duties. In this case, Flanders' job and her duties could be affected by Stevens' official actions.

Federal law also says Senate employees must be paid with government funds only for assisting senators in their official duties, and not for performing personal or other nonofficial activities.

Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, who also is under a federal investigation, apologized privately to a group of Republicans on Wednesday, several weeks after a harsh exchange with a GOP colleague during a House debate.

Young had said: "There is always another day when those who bite will be killed, too, and I am very good at that. Those that bite me will be bitten back."

Rep. Scott Garrett, R-N.J., had drawn Young's ire by opposing an appropriation for Native Alaskans.


How My ways can Stevens Steal?

Congress offers Unlimited Potential for Thieves

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., July , 2007

See links and comments about Stevens and Alaska politics above, following #9

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