Midday open thread

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 01-08-2010-05-2008

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Cameron Scott of the San Francisco Chronicle’s The Thin Green Line provides another small reminder to check labels and always be wary of packaged and processed foods.

A new report from the Center for Science in the Public Interest argues that synthetic dyes should be banned because they pose “A Rainbow of Risks” without any real benefits.

Every year, manufactures pour about 15 million pounds of eight common synthetic dyes into American’s food. Yet, tests have shown that a number of these compounds have health risks ranging from powerful allergic reactions and hyperactivity in children to cancer.

Blue 1, Blue 2, Green 3, Red 40, and Yellow 6 are suspected to cause cancer in animals, but there is not yet definitive proof. Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6 are the most commonly used colorings, and they contain proven carcinogens.

And another reminder that latter day hagiography of Ronald Reagan is more than a little misplaced:

The granddaddy of them all, Red 3, is recognized by the Food and Drug Administration as a carcinogen. The law requires it to be illegal, but pressure from Ronald Reagan’s Secretary of Agriculture, John R. Block, scuttled the required ban.  About 200,000 pounds annually of Red 3 go into foods including Betty Crocker’s Fruit Roll-Ups and ConAgra’s Kid Cuisine frozen meals.

Be alert. The government isn’t always looking out for you, particularly when Republicans have been able to meddle with or override what is known to science. Be smart. Be healthy.

  • Perhaps Newt Gingrich should join this Gainesville, Florida, church.
  • In California, Arnold Schwarzenegger is now less popular than Gray Davis. Perhaps residents of other states ought to consider whether it’s a good idea to elect self-indulgent celebrities (or semi-celebrities) to run their governments.
  • Not exactly breaking news, but Joe Arpaio has no conscience.
  • Perhaps coincidentally, archaeologists have discovered the biggest rat that ever lived.
  • Archaeologists also have discovered the remains of a contemporary wooden structure near Stonehenge.
  • Jungians are skeptical, but image rehearsal therapy seems to help alleviate nightmares.
  • David Dayen debunks the excuse that Republicans wouldn’t support Elizabeth Warren, should she be nominated to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Hopefully, there won’t be a need for excuses.
  • Oh, by the way, Newt Gingrich isn’t just a bigot, he’s also a liar.
  • Haley Barbour has raised more than million from big oil for the Republican Governors Association.
  • You probably didn’t notice this:

    The Internet has undergone a key upgrade that promises to stop cyber criminals from using fake websites that dupe people into downloading viruses or revealing personal data.

    The agency in charge of managing Internet addresses teamed with online security services firm VeriSign and the US Department of Commerce to give websites encrypted identification to prove they are legitimate.

  • If the banks really are rebounding and the TARP program really is working, how do you explain this?
  • House Democrats from the Rust Belt took political risks to support climate legislation, and they have every right to be pissed at the Senate.
  • President Obama wants the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy to expire. The Republicans don’t. Cynthia Tucker skewers their zombie lie:

    Republicans argue that increasing taxes on the wealthy kills job creation, but there is absolutely no evidence that’s so. Raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans would hike their taxes to the same rate which they paid under Bill Clinton, a time of no budget deficit and widespread prosperity. By contrast, George Bush’s tax cuts helped produce a mind-boggling budget deficit while creating NO jobs. The years between 1999 and 2008 were what economists are calling a “lost decade,” in which the net number of jobs created was ZERO.

  • There is no end in sight, to the war in Afghanistan. Vanity Fair puts some faces to the abstraction.


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