Saturday, January 26, 2013

Foul is right...

I just read something that made me nauseous, and I wanted to pass it along (so you could be nauseous too!) What's disturbing, in addition to the scenario described by Moyers and Winship, is that few citizens seem to realize what's really going on. Gee, it's almost like television networks believe that whether or not Beyonce lip-synched the national anthem is more important for people to know!

What's scary is contemplating the ramifications of how our Senate/Congress operates: This is a thoroughly corrupted government, and what that means is we do not have a functioning democracy - at all. The following excerpt is from Foul Play in the Senate, by Bill Moyers and Michael Winship.

"...Just a couple of days before the inaugural festivities, The New York Times published some superb investigative reporting by the team of Eric Lipton and Kevin Sack, and their revelations were hard to forget, even at a time of celebration.

The story told us of a pharmaceutical giant called Amgen and three senators so close to it they might be entries on its balance sheet: Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Democratic Senator Max Baucus, chair of the Senate Finance Committee, and that powerful committee's ranking Republican, Orrin Hatch. A trio of perpetrators who treat the United States Treasury as if it were a cash-and-carry annex of corporate America.

The Times story described how Amgen got a huge hidden gift from unnamed members of Congress and their staffers. They slipped an eleventh hour loophole into the New Year's Eve deal that kept the government from going over the fiscal cliff. When the sun rose in the morning, there it was, a richly embroidered loophole for Amgen that will cost taxpayers a cool half a billion dollars.

Amgen is the world's largest biotechnology firm, a drug maker that sells a variety of medications. The little clause secretly sneaked into the fiscal cliff bill gives the company two more years of relief from Medicare cost controls for certain drugs used by patients who are on kidney dialysis, including a pill called Sensipar, manufactured by Amgen.

The provision didn't mention Amgen by name, but according to reporters Lipton and Sack, the news that it had been tucked into the fiscal cliff deal "was so welcome, that the company's chief executive quickly relayed it to investment analysts." Tipping them off, it would seem, to a jackpot in the making.
Amgen has 74 lobbyists on its team in Washington and lobbied hard for that loophole, currying favor with friends at the White House and on Capitol Hill. The Times reporters traced its "deep financial and political ties" to Baucus, McConnell and Hatch, "who hold heavy sway over Medicare payment policy."

All three have received hefty campaign donations from the company whose bottom line mysteriously just got padded at taxpayer expense. Since 2007, Amgen employees and its political action committee have contributed nearly $68,000 to Senator Baucus, $73,000 to Senator McConnell's campaigns, and $59,000 to Senator Hatch.

And lo and behold, among those 74 Amgen lobbyists are the former chief of staff to Senator Baucus and the former chief of staff to Senator McConnell. You get the picture: Two guys nurtured at public expense, paid as public servants, disappear through the gold-plated revolving door of Congress and presto, return as money changers in the temple of crony capitalism..." More here.


Blogger Father Tyme said...

Just imagine...the U.S. DoJ goes after at our expense and prosecutes members of the mob for amking one one thousandth the money these assholes write off at our expense.

And Obama closed the curtain with crumbs to us to make the brainwashed feel good that they're getting screwed.

It'll be like Dana Carvey's character (in the future) talking to his grandkids," We believe every word the politicians said and still got screwed...and we liked it!"

Bulletin: Americans have been found to be too stupid to live. Film at eleven...or after Dancing With the Stars is over.

10:39 PM  
Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Mitch McConnell, Max Baucus, and Orrin Hatch -- just three in a long list of corporatists who have enabled an incremental and continuing coup d'état to occur.

Like high blood pressure, corporatism has been the silent killer. Corporatism, vis-à-vis corruption in the highest levels of government, is killing our democratic processes. It's killing our culture. It's killing and destroying people and other species here, and around the world.

But to the average American, everything still looks okay from the outside. Our newly reappointed president smiles, he looks good in a suit, and it was a beautiful inauguration despite Beyoncé and her unforgivable lip synching. How dare she cheat the citizenry like that?!

8:10 AM  

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