Ricin is in the news again, this time two letters sent threatening Mayor Bloomberg last week have been found to to contain the poison.
Two letters that contained threats to Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg — one addressed to him, the other to a lobbyist who works on his gun control campaign — have tested positive for the deadly poison ricin, the authorities said on Wednesday.
The first letter was opened at a New York City mail center in Lower Manhattan on Friday, the police said. Although staff members at the mail center do not appear to have become ill, several police officers who came into contact with the letter’s contents “indicated some mild symptoms the next day, including diarrhea,” and they are being treated in hospitals, the New York Police Department’s spokesman, Paul J. Browne, said on Wednesday afternoon. “They’re being checked out as a precaution.”
The second letter, which was opened on Sunday in Washington, was addressed to Mark Glaze, the director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a group Mr. Bloomberg helps run and finances, officials said. No injuries were reported as a result of that letter, Mr. Browne said.
A spokesman for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, J. Peter Donald, confirmed that the bureau was investigating the letters, but declined to comment further. Both letters were identical in content, bore references to the debate over gun regulation and contained written threats to Mayor Bloomberg, Mr. Browne said.
Both letters have the same postmark and and sent around the same time and place. Investigation is continuing.
Meanwhile, the American company that makes Smithfield ham has been bought by a Chinese firm: Smithfield Foods sale to Chinese firm gives US pork giant entry to China
A takeover would give Smithfield entry into China, one of the biggest and fastest growing markets for pork. Photograph: Tony Talbot/AP
China‘s Shuanghui International has made a $4.7bn bid to takeover Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork producer, in what would be the biggest takeover of a US company by a Chinese firm to date – if it passes regulatory hurdles.
The deal is likely to run into heavy opposition in Washington, where a series of Chinese takeovers have been blocked by politicians and regulators. Shuanghui, also known as Shineway, is China’s largest pork producer and is part owned by an investment firm run by Goldman Sachs.
A takeover would give Smithfield entry into China, the biggest and fastest growing market for pork.
Take a look at the comment section and you will get a laugh or two.
And lastly, this past Sunday I mentioned the legislation passed in Oklahoma to defund Planned Parenthood. Well, take a look at the one GOP rep who spoke out against his fellow Republicans: Oklahoma Lawmaker Blasts GOP’s War On Women: ‘What Happened To The Republican Party That I Joined?’ | ThinkProgress
In an op-ed published on Wednesday, an Oklahoma Republican sharply criticizes his fellow party members for focusing on enacting unnecessary legislation to limit women’s access to abortion and contraception. “What happened to the Republican Party that I joined?” state Rep. Doug Cox (R) wonders, pointing out that the mounting pile of reproductive restrictions represents a government intrusion into women’s personal lives.
Cox, who is a practicing physician, writes that the GOP-led pushes to eliminate women’s health resources don’t work in the “real world,” as the U.S. continues to face high rates of unintended teen pregnancy. Instead of expanding access to contraception to help address that reality, his fellow Republicans are working to do the opposite — pushing to eliminate Medicaid coverage for Plan B and allow pharmacists to refuse to fill birth control prescriptions for any reason.
This is what Cox had to say: State Rep. Doug Cox: The GOP and abortion legislation | News OK
All of the new Oklahoma laws aimed at limiting abortion and contraception are great for the Republican family that lives in a gingerbread house with a two-car garage, two planned kids and a dog. In the real world, they are less than perfect.
As a practicing physician (who never has or will perform an abortion), I deal with the real world. In the real world, 15- and 16-year-olds get pregnant (sadly, 12-, 13- and 14-year-olds do also). In the real world, 62 percent of women ages 20 to 24 who give birth are unmarried. And in the world I work and live in, an unplanned pregnancy can throw up a real roadblock on a woman’s path to escaping the shackles of poverty.
Yet I cannot convince my Republican colleagues that one of the best ways to eliminate abortions is to ensure access to contraception. A recent attempt by my fellow lawmakers to prevent Medicaid dollars from covering the “morning after” pill is a case in point. Denying access to this important contraceptive is a sure way to increase legal and back-alley abortions. Moreover, such a law would discriminate against low-income women who depend on Medicaid for their health care.
But wait, some lawmakers want to go even further and limit everyone’s access to birth control by allowing pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions for contraception.
Yes….please go on…
What happened to the Republican Party that I joined? The party where conservative presidential candidate Barry Goldwater felt women should have the right to control their own destiny? The party where President Ronald Reagan said a poor person showing up in the emergency room deserved needed treatment regardless of ability to pay? What happened to the Republican Party that felt government should not overregulate people until (as we say in Oklahoma) “you have walked a mile in their moccasins”?
Watch him call out the hypocrisy…
Is my thinking too clouded by my experiences in the real world? Experiences like having a preacher, in the privacy of an exam room say, “Doc, you have heard me preach against abortion but now my 15-year-old daughter is pregnant, where can I send her?” Or maybe it was that 17-year-old foreign exchange student who said, “I really made a mistake last night. Can you prescribe a morning-after pill for me? If I return to my home country pregnant, life as I know it will be over.”
What happened to the Republican Party that felt that the government has no business being in an exam room, standing between me and my patient? Where did the party go that felt some decisions in a woman’s life should be made not by legislators and government, but rather by the women, her conscience, her doctor and her God?
Just 15 plus comments on that op/ed, mostly positive, but then it hasn’t been linked on Drudge yet. Sure wish more GOP folks talked like Cox did.
Have a good night…
This is an open thread.