Public Health and Safety

Political pork, political disease

Submitted: Nov 11, 2009
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

11-07-09
Rep. Dennis Cardoza
Congressman Dennis Cardoza
18th Congressional District of California
Congressman Cardoza supports health care reform legislation 
Commitments for UC Merced Medical School funding will ease Valley physician shortage 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT:  Mike Jensen
(202) 225-6131 
 http://www.house.gov/list/press/ca18_cardoza/PRHEALTHVOTE.html

 WASHINGTON, DC –  This evening, I voted for H.R. 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act. This bill is a historic and positive national step forward and offers the greatest improvement to the quality of health care for all Americans since the creation of Medicare. It will provide health insurance to 96 percent of our citizens. It stops the obscene insurance industry practice of denying people health care coverage due to “pre-existing” medical conditions. In the 18th  Congressional District, an estimated 107,000 more residents will qualify for affordable health care insurance. 

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MARG and private citizens sue City of Merced and Wal-Mart

Submitted: Nov 03, 2009
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Merced Alliance for Responsible Growth (MARG), Tom Grave, Kyle Stockard and Joel Knox filed suit against the Merced City Council and  Real Parties of Interest Wal-Mart Stores East, L.P., Wal-Mart Stores East, Inc., and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. on October 28, 2009 in Merced Superior Court, according to the court’s register of actions.

 

The case number is CV000593.

 

The case will be heard by President Judge of Merced Superior Court John D. Kirihara.

 

The law firm of Lippe Gaffney Wagner LLP represent plaintiffs MARG, Grave, Stockard and Knox.

 

 

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Scamramento

Submitted: Oct 29, 2009
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

10-29-09
Sacramento Bee
Sacramento let developers get jump-start before formal permits...Ryan Lillis
http://www.sacbee.com/topstories/story/2290221.html
For three years, the city of Sacramento has allowed developers to start work on their projects before receiving formal permits.
The practice, covered by the controversial Facilities Permit Program (FPP), is now part of an expanding city investigation into the operations of its Community Development Department.
That investigation was launched after city officials said the son of a city councilman improperly allowed new homes to be built in the Natomas flood zone – months before permits for those homes were issued.
Questions about the permit program surfaced this week after city officials determined that construction of a new Nestlé water bottling plant was permitted to start with a verbal approval and authorization letter – and not a formal building permit.
As a result, the FPP program was suspended Tuesday.
City Attorney Eileen Teichert said at Tuesday's City Council meeting that current work on the Nestlé plant began weeks before the building permit for the work is scheduled to be issued Nov. 10.

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Welcome to the Age of Ordinary

Submitted: Oct 27, 2009
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

The claims for economic, social and environmental justice are ultimately based a moral claim not to waste, oppress or despoil the biosphere. The idea is that if people rationally consider the arguments, they will go and do better in these areas. However, a completely different side of those arguments is provided by natural reality: the economy is based on oil, the quantity of oil is diminishing, therefore the economy will have to

change; systematic impoverishment of the working class destroys the market for the nation's industries and leads to sharper and sharper criticism of the rich and finally to social unrest; and impacts of accelerating global warming are themselves the greatest material argument for the existence of a grave environmental crisis.

 

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Subprime/junk carbon credits

Submitted: Oct 11, 2009
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Today, as the twentieth anniversary of the Rio summit rapidly approaches, the world ecological struggle is more polarized than ever. A considerable part of the environmental movement (including many formerly on the left) has gone over to strategies of "green capitalism" and "ecological modernism." Sustainable development has become increasingly identified with the promotion of accumulation within the system, and even with some kind of alliance with neoliberalism. Environmental reform is no longer seen mainly as the reformist creation of an environmental state on top of the capitalist economy (in a manner akin to the old welfare state), but is now frequently conceptualized, even more conservatively, as an investment-driven process that is simply the leading edge of the economy. This view has been popularized by the Breakthrough Institute and Thomas Friedman's market-driven model of a "green revolution." The business of "sustainability," in this view, is simply a new frontier for accumulation, in which carbon trading is the model scheme." --John Bellamy Foster, The Ecological Revolution, p. 139.

 

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The WalMart project public comment period

Submitted: Sep 27, 2009
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

The Merced City Council is to be commended for holding two lengthy public hearings on the WalMart distribution center project including citizens with sharply opposed views on health, human safety and economic growth, who spoke their mind in an orderly, safe process. This begs the lie of Rep. Dennis Cardoza, the Pimlico Kid, that citizens in his district could not meet together in town hall meetings to discuss health care reform. In fact, on another contentious issue, Riverside Motorsports Park, a large number of town hall meetings were held, some by proponents, some by opponents. We observed several moments of tension and name calling in those meetings, held without security, but only feelings were bruised.

 

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Blue Dog healthcare honcho accused of taking bribes

Submitted: Sep 25, 2009
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board


"You can buy half the town for $420,000," said Adam Guthrie, chairman of the county Board of Equalization and the only licensed real estate appraiser in Prescott. -- Marcus Stern, ProPublica, Sept. 22, 2009

Rep. Mike Ross, Blue Dog-AR, is the chairman of the Blue Dog Coalition Healthcare Task Force, which also includes two Californians, representatives Mike Thompson and Loretta Sanchez. Ross is also accused of having taken bribes from a drug-store chain as part of the sale of a pharmacy he and his wife owned in his district.

This story is of interest to Merced and the San Joaquin Valley because Valley representatives Dennis Cardoza and Jim Costa are Blue Dogs. Former Rep. Gary Condit, D- Ceres, was a founder of this group of Boll Weavil Democrats, created when the Republicans took over the Congress in 1994 in the rightwing counter-revolution.

Like Ross' Arkansas district, as we know, Cardoza's and Costa's districts are chronically low-income, high- unemployment districts, where, due to the fiscal collapse of the state, public medical services are being cut back daily. They are also districts, again as we have recently seen, whose politicians are bought and paid for by large landowners at home and lobbyists in Washington. Costa has at least taken a position against a public option for healthcare insurance. Cardoza continues to ride the fence, with palms outstretched to both sides for "balance".

The free market in votes by members of Congress is on full display in the debate on healthcare reform.

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What is Cardoza afraid of?

Submitted: Sep 21, 2009
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

As things stand, the CPC -- not the unreliable and unfocused Blue Dogs and certainly not the Democratic Leadership Council-aligned "New Democrats," who come with more corporate strings attached than many Republicans -- are the best strategic and practical allies that the president has. By adopting the CPC line with regard to the public option, Obama could energize the base that elected him and turn this into a real fight, bringing savvy inside-outside political operations like that of Progressive Democrats of America into the thick of the struggle and activating the crowds that turned out in cities across the country last week for the "Mad As Hell Doctors" tour on behalf of "Medicare for All." --

John Nichols, The Nation, 9-21-09

 

 

 

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Corruption at the Department of Interior

Submitted: Sep 19, 2009
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

The federal Justice Department is looking into the alleged corruption of former Interior Secretary Gale Norton. Under Norton, Interior’s corruption reached baroque proportions, particularly in issues involving California, as stories beneath indicate. For underlying documentation, readers are urged to consult Interior’s Office of Inspector General’s special reports at http://www.doioig.gov/index.php?menuid=2&viewid=-1&viewtype=REPORT&pgid=598&rpttype=special

 

 

Badlands Journal editorial board

 

 

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The price of dirt, Part 5 -- the Medical Assistance Program, Auditor/Controller Report, and budget passage

Submitted: Sep 16, 2009
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Item 22: Health, Reconvening the Beilenson Hearing of Medical Assistance Program

 

Chairwoman Deidre Kelsey: We will reconvene the Beilenson hearing and I’ll have Mr. Volanti get us back on track.

 

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