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Obama 42 articles

3 signs the Government is still in bed with BP

As the disaster in the Gulf has played out over the last 47 days, it has become painfully obvious just how much control big business has over our federal government. BP and its employees have given more than $3.5 million to federal candidates during the past 20 years. Obama has received a total of $77,051 from the oil giant and is the top recipient of BP money in the past 20 years, according to financial disclosure records. On top of that, the oil giant has spent millions each year on lobbying — including $15.9 million last year alone — as ... Read More

How has the federal government responded to BP's oil spill?

As frustration escalates over BP’s inability to cap and contain its massive oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, more and more people are directing their anger at the federal government for not doing more to curb the catastrophe and stem the economic impact the spill is having throughout the Gulf. Neither the U.S. nor BP has ever faced an environmental disaster of this magnitude, so nearly every response carries an element of the unknown with it. And along with the unknown comes an element of fear that the fix could do more damage than the oil itself. President Obama’s ... Read More

NHTSA wants more states to ban texting while driving

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has developed a legal template that will help states develop legislation banning the act of texting behind the wheel. The sample law is modeled after the Executive Order issued by President Obama in October of last year that prohibited federal employees from texting while driving. The sample law represents the latest steps taken by the federal government to reduce the number of traffic accidents caused by distracted drivers. According to NHTSA data, in 2008 approximately 6,000 people were killed and more than 500,000 people were injured in traffic accidents involving distracted drivers. The nation’s ... Read More

EPA’s recommendations on coal ash the focus of dispute

As the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ponders how waste from coal-firing plants should be classified, the debate on how best to regulate the toxic material heats up. Here is one more view on The Coal Ash Case, from The New York Times. Editorial: The Coal Ash Case Published January 19, 2010, The New York Times Just more than a year ago, one billion tons of toxic coal sludge broke loose from a containment pond belonging to the Tennessee Valley Authority, burying hundreds of acres of Roane County in eastern Tennessee and threatening local water supplies and air quality. The Environmental ... Read More

CPSC urges parents to prevent child injury and death

Young children are naturally curious, playful, and eager to pull themselves up onto anything that offers them a chance to stand upright. Too often, however, heavy pieces of furniture, appliances, television sets, and other heavy objects tumble down onto young ones, causing serious injury and in some cases death. To help lessen the number of household accidents, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a statement yesterday urging parents to safeguard their homes against these potential tragedies. The CPSC estimates that 16,300 children age 5 and younger received treatment in emergency rooms for injuries caused by TV, furniture, and appliance ... Read More

Justice Dept. hits Pfizer with $2.3 billion in fines and civil penalties

With the nation’s healthcare system groaning under epic pressure, you would think that the pharmaceutical giants would be a little more judicious in the way they promote their drugs and sell them to federal, state, and municipal government programs. Perhaps they will be, now that the United States Department of Justice has slapped Pfizer with a record $2.3 billion fine for defrauding the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Pfizer has agreed to pay $1.3 billion in criminal penalties to the Justice Department for its illegal promotion of Bextra, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug used to treat arthritis and menstrual pain. Pfizer followed ... Read More

Historic food safety legislation passes House

This week the House of Representatives passed legislation representing what would be the largest overhaul of the food safety system in American history. The measure passed the House 283 to 142 with nearly all Democrats and about half of Republicans voting in favor. The Senate is expected to review the bill in the fall after its recess. Food safety has been a top priority for the U.S. government in modern times, but a slew of recent salmonella and E. Coli outbreaks threw open the curtains on a food safety system that has become dangerously inadequate and lax across the board, ... Read More

new CPSC chairman is a devoted child and public safety advocate

The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission announced that it has sworn in its new Chairman, Inez Tenebaum, an attorney and child advocate who recently completed two terms as South Carolina’s State Superintendent of Education. Ms. Tenenbaum was nominated by President Obama on June 9 and confirmed by the Senate on June 19. Her term will expire in October 2013. “I am honored to have been nominated by the President to lead CPSC and plan to be a consumer advocate for families across the United States,” Chairman Tenenbaum said in a statement released by the CPSC. “My life’s work has been ... Read More

New federal agency would protect consumers against bad business

If President Obama has his way, businesses that rely on predatory and deceptive lending practices will soon have to straighten up or face federal fines and other punitive action. In his weekly radio address, Barack Obama defended his proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency, saying that the new government office is needed to crack down on the types of business practices that led to the economic crisis. The proposed agency comes as part of the Obama administration’s overhaul of federal regulations governing the financial sector. “It’s no coincidence that the lack of strong consumer protections led to abuses against consumers,” President ... Read More

Chrysler, GM bankruptcy deals strip victims of legal recourse

Dozens of accident victims and their lawyers made their way to Washington, DC, and the halls of Capitol Hill last week, urging lawmakers and the Obama administration to protect their ability to pursue medical claims against Chrysler and General Motors. In a May 31 ruling, U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Arthur Gonzalez overruled objections lodged by the Ad Hoc Committee of Consumer-Victims of Chrysler LLC and other consumer groups when he approved the sale of Chrysler to Italy’s Fiat, free and clear of outstanding legal claims against the U.S. car manufacturer. Gonzalez effectively ruled that only liabilities that promote Fiat’s commercial ... Read More