Friday, May 9, 2008

The Power of Mothers

We set aside the second Sunday in the month of May to honor all mothers, including Mother Earth. This year, she is particularly unhappy because her honey bee children are dying by the millions, which will lead to a reduction in the country's nutrient-necessary fruit and vegetable crops. Many studies now suggest that almost 90% of the feral bee population could already be dead due to a condition called Colony Collapse Disorder.

An amazing documentary called Vanishing of the Bees is in the works. Please, please check out the trailer

Let's honor Mother Earth and Mother's Day 2008 by making a commitment to use our voices, our votes, and our purchasing power to address global warming, the amount of environmental toxins we are willing to tolerate, inaccessible health care for too many Mother's children, and the personal and corporate greed responsible for so much of earth's destruction.

Albert Einstein supposedly once remarked, "If honey bees become extinct, human society will follow in four years." I can't verify that quote, but the honey bee may very well be the canary in the mine.

The hillside color pallet below is Mother Nature's "Ode to Spring." We can collectively honor her on this day by vowing to protect her art and her honey bees for future generations. Simply click on the photo to view an enlargement.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

$445M on Federal Lobbying in 2007

Health care interests spent $445 million on federal lobbying in 2007--more than any other sector of the economy--to finish as the top spender for the second consecutive year, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, HealthBeat reports.

In 2007 pharmaceutical and medical products companies rank first with $227 million in spending, while health insurance companies spent the second-most at $138 million. Hospitals and nursing homes spent $91 million, ranking fifth; while health professionals spent $70 million, ranking 15th; and HMOs/health services spent $52 million, ranking 19th.

Among specific organizations or companies, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America spent the third-most at $22.1 million, the American Medical Association spent the fourth-most at $22.1 million and the American Hospital Association was fifth, spending $19.7 million.

According to the CRP, the pharmaceutical industry has spent $1.3 billion on federal lobbying in the last decade, more than any other industry. In addition, the drug industry's reported lobbying increased by 25% from 2006 to 2007.

Lobbying firm, Patton Boggs, whose clients include Bristol-Myers Squibb and Hoffman-La Roche, reported $41.9 million in 2007 revenue—an increase of 20% over 2006--and the most among Washington, D.C.-area firms.

What can we say, except that hopefully a new administration will take some power away from those who blatently put obscene profits before the health care needs of the public.