Monday, March 13, 2006

Another resignation under fire.

Just as everyone is speculating about why Interior Secretary Gail Norton suddenly resigned and about her connections to Jack Abramoff and his Indian friends, here comes another resignation. Claude Allen, a domestic policy advisor for W. abruptly resigned on Feb. 9 and was arrested this past Thursday for allegedly ripping off Target and Hechts for $5000 in phoney refunds. W. says he's "shocked." [LA Times.]Why? This is sort of thing is pretty much par for the course in this administration at this point isn't it?

Can't beat our meat!

Last Wednesday, a report by the CDC went public saying that in 2004 the Agriculture Department didn't inform the public that suspect ground beef had poisoned 31 people or request a recall. The WaPo reports, "The Department decided no action was needed because the plant was following federal guidelines. Department spokesman Steven Cohen said officials did a full investigation and were prepared to act on any probelms at the plant," which remains unnamed. That's pretty reassuring eh? I'm sure it's all a misunderstanding and all those people that got sick are reassured that the governemnt is watching out for them and won't let this happen again.

From another story about the Agriculture Department a day later in the NYT, "An internal report from the Agriculture Department has found that one of the nation's leading kosher slaughterhouses violated animal cruelty laws and that governemnt inspectors not only failed to stop the inhumane practices but also took improper gifts of meat from the plant managers. Also, some of the plant's 10 inspectors made faulty inspections of carcasses, failed to correct unsanitary conditions and were seen asleep and playing computer games on the job, said the report, by the agencies inspector general."

So in this case what action was taken, you ask? After pressure from the Orthodox Union kosher cerification authority and Israel's chief rabbinate the plant claened up its act, somewhat. The Agriculture Department then decided, "legal action will no be insitiuted at this time." But you better watch it, if you screw up again we might ask for more free meat! After a six month investigation of the inspectors, one was suspended for 14 days and tow other were give warning letters! Wow, that's harsh.

For more on this go to PETA and eat kosher meat from AgriProcessors Inc. of Postville Iowa, because the USDA says it's oh so yummy.


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