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Sat Jan 26, 2013, 08:15 PM

Bill Moyers: Foul Play in the Senate

Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 08:51 AM PST
Foul Play in the Senate

By BILL MOYERS and MICHAEL WINSHIP

The inauguration of a president is one of those spectacles of democracy that can make us remember we're part of something big and enduring. So for a few hours this past Monday the pomp and circumstance inspired us to think that government of, by, and for the people really is just that, despite the predatory threats that stalk it.

But the mood didn't last. Every now and then, as the cameras panned upward, the Capitol dome towering over the ceremony was a reminder of something the good feeling of the moment couldn't erase. It's the journalist's curse to have a good time spoiled by the reality beyond the pageantry. 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...

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/01/25/1182003/-Foul-Play-in-the-Senate

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Arrow 19 replies Author Time Post
Reply Bill Moyers: Foul Play in the Senate (Original post)
FourScore Jan 2013 OP
pscot Jan 2013 #1
woo me with science Jan 2013 #5
behrstar Jan 2013 #10
JDPriestly Jan 2013 #12
woo me with science Jan 2013 #15
malaise Jan 2013 #2
Va Lefty Jan 2013 #3
Wounded Bear Jan 2013 #4
nobody_special Jan 2013 #9
cbrer Jan 2013 #6
woo me with science Jan 2013 #7
Stuart G Jan 2013 #8
Frustratedlady Jan 2013 #11
ErikJ Jan 2013 #13
CrispyQ Jan 2013 #18
marble falls Jan 2013 #14
woo me with science Jan 2013 #19
samsingh Jan 2013 #16
woo me with science Jan 2013 #17

Response to FourScore (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 08:17 PM

1. The DOJ will get right on it

That Holder is another Buldog Drummond.

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Response to pscot (Reply #1)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 08:54 PM

5. Yes, but....Holder is not a rogue. He is a symptom

of a purchased two-party system.

It's time to stop talking about individuals and instead talk about our real problem, which is that we have a deep and systemic problem of corporate money and power driving policy and behavior in both parties. It is well past time to stop circling the wagons and admit that the two parties collude to advance the interests of the one percent. The corruption described in this article is an excellent example. We saw another one just a few days ago: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022250081

But most importantly, we saw the full depth and malignancy of the corporate takeover at work this week with the deliberate abandonment of filibuster reform by our own corporate Democrats, a move which was necessary to ensure that our party can continue to *claim* to support progressive policies, but that ensures the voting conditions necessary to prevent any real change in that direction.

It was a move that sets the stage for an entire second term of continued betrayals.

It is time to address the real problem. The corporatists in the two parties win by keeping us divided and hating each other, rather than realizing that they are working quietly together, behind the scenes, to enact an agenda that they both want, that is predatory to all of us.

It is time to talk about corporate influence in both parties and, especially, collusion between the parties. If we truly care about the Democratic Party, we cannot keep our heads in the sand any longer. We will never solve this problem if we keep attributing it to individuals or only to Republicans, instead of recognizing the larger, systemic problem of corporate collusion and control.

It is time to talk about corporate collusion across party lines.


The Democratic Party's Deceitful Game
http://www.salon.com/2010/02/23/democrats_34/

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Response to woo me with science (Reply #5)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 10:09 PM

10. Bravo

Very well said.

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Response to woo me with science (Reply #5)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 10:13 PM

12. Thank you. And now that we are between elections is the time to deal with this.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #12)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 01:31 AM

15. Absolutely.

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Response to FourScore (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 08:29 PM

2. K & R

Thanks

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Response to FourScore (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 08:36 PM

3. At the very least they should be impeached for violating their Oath of Office

They are criminals and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

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Response to FourScore (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 08:46 PM

4. What really bothers me about so many RWers and self-styled "independents".....

is how they whine so vociferously about the evils of government corruption, but care not a whit about the payors of the graft and kickbacks that suck our representatives into the morass of corruption and vice that is crony, corporate America.

Sure, there is a lot of corruption in politics, always was, probably always will be......but it would have a bit more difficult time of it if the corporate interests that actually drive the corruption were held accountable for their greed, avarice, and shenanigans.

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Response to Wounded Bear (Reply #4)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 09:25 PM

9. They do care

In all fairness they do care. Most RW voters are not heartless they simply don't view the world the same as the rest of us. They actually believe the best way to deal with corruption is to remove the power that the corruption is paying to wield. There is some logic to this simplistic view of dealing with a that specific focused issue, but as is always the case simple solutions cannot address problems in a complex system. Say for example they did remove the power of government to its bare minimum and this likely would negate the need for corruption for the most part after all no power means nothing to buy with graft. However then once you neutered the government to get rid of corruption what power would government have to wield to address real problems like social justice.

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Response to FourScore (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 08:56 PM

6. Foul play AGAIN! nt

 

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Response to cbrer (Reply #6)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 09:13 PM

7. And again and again and again...

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Response to FourScore (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 09:15 PM

8. K and R nt

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Response to FourScore (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 10:11 PM

11. What did they cut to pay for the loophole(s)?

I thought they couldn't spend money unless they cut somewhere else. Where did they cut? I think the poor are about totally broke and the middle class isn't far behind.

This must have been a gesture to return some of the wealth to make up for removing the tax cut.

Is Baucus one of the richest congresscritters? Or do I have him mixed up? So hard to keep track.

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Response to FourScore (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 10:13 PM

13. Props to US Rep. Welch who is going after them.

By Chad Terhune-LA Times
January 24, 2013, 12:03 p.m.
A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers is seeking to repeal a Medicare-pricing provision in the recent "fiscal cliff" deal that benefits biotech giant Amgen Inc.

U.S. Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) filed legislation this week to eliminate the exemption for a class of drugs, including Amgen's Sensipar, that are used by kidney dialysis patients.

The fiscal-cliff legislation approved earlier this month excluded these oral medications from Medicare price controls for an additional two years.

"Amgen managed to get a $500-million paragraph in the fiscal-cliff bill and virtually no one in Congress was aware of it," Welch said. "It's a taxpayer ripoff and comes at a really bad time when we're trying to control healthcare costs. Amgen should not be allowed to turn Medicare into a profit center."

The Thousand Oaks company said it supports the two-year delay so patient care isn't disrupted while federal officials examine concerns raised in a 2011 report by the Government Accountability Office..............

http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-amgen-house-bill-20130124,0,1382046.story

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #13)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 12:57 PM

18. I liked this, too.

The Amgen deal "confirms the American public's worst suspicions of how Congress operates," Representative Welch told us this week. "As the nation's economy teetered on the edge of a Congressional-created fiscal cliff, lobbyists for a private, for-profit company seized an opportunity to feed at the public trough. It's no wonder cockroaches and root canals are more popular than Congress."


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Response to FourScore (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 10:40 PM

14. Baucus earns more money fron the insurance industry than any other single legislator. He is....

the worst of the worst. And when one is standing in the company of Mitch McConnel, that takes a lot of doing.

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Response to marble falls (Reply #14)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 01:32 PM

19. +1

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Response to FourScore (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 01:32 AM

16. kick

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Response to FourScore (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 11:56 AM

17. Kick

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