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Gender: Male
Hometown: North Carolina
Member since: Wed Aug 11, 2004, 06:57 PM
Number of posts: 3,813

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Criminal Alex Azar confirmed as HHS Sec. with Democratic complicity

Republicans were two votes shy of making former Eli Lilly executive Alex Azar the next Secretary of Health and Human Services. 6 Democrats made it possible.

According to the roll call vote on the official U.S. Senate website, Senators Tom Carper (D-Delaware), Chris Coons (D-Delaware), Joe Donnelly (D-Indiana), Heidi Heitkamp (D-North Dakota), Doug Jones (D-Alabama) and Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) all voted for Azarís confirmation in the 55-43 vote. Senator Angus King (I-Maine), who caucuses with Democrats, also voted to confirm Azar. Republican Rand Paul was the lone GOP vote against Azar, with Senators Bob Corker (R-Tennessee) and John McCain (R-Arizona) not voting. If those 6 Democrats and Sen. King voted no, Azarís confirmation would have failed.

Between 2012 and 2017, Azar was president of pharma giant Eli Lillyís U.S. division, and oversaw dramatic increases in the prices of life-saving drugs ó namely insulin. As Politico reported in November, Eli Lilly jacked up the price of its Humulin R U-500 drug by 325 percent between 2010 and 2015. That same article noted how despite President Trumpís campaigning on lowering prescription drug prices, Azar is a crusader against ideas that would make drug prices more competitive: [Azar]ís spoken out against studies known as comparative effectiveness research, used to determine which drugs are most cost-effective for treating patients with a disease. He argues that all options should be available since different patients may need different medicines. The problem however, is that if payers must make all drugs available, they have little leverage to negotiate lower drug prices with industry.

Azar has also served on the board of a company that specializes in helping public and private sector healthcare providers find loopholes to exploit in order to avoid paying health benefits. As GritPost contributor Ken Klippenstein recently reported in TYT Investigates, Azar served on the board of the Texas-based HMS Holdings Corp. between October of 2016 and November of 2017.

(Short article: just two more brief paragraphs at link)

Source: https://gritpost.com/6-democrats-pharma-hhs/

A unified Democratic front would have stopped this bastard. Why can't we ever seem to get a unified Democratic front when it matters?

Schumer needs to explain why he can't keep his caucus together on the most basic matters. And if he can't explain why, maybe we need a different minority leader.


Stop with the scolding: Democrats NEED Independents

The majority of the voting-eligible public are either not affiliated with either Party, or did not vote at all during the last election.

SCOLDING most of America from your high horse will NOT bring them into the fold here.


It's looking like both a moral and tactical failure.

Quoting (former DU'er) Will Pitt, "if you're going to do something like this, you stick it out longer than a goddam weekend, or you leave the club in the bag. With this, they failed on both a moral and tactical level. Just stupid self-damage."

I agree with Will here. As far as I am concerned, the DREAMERS are Americans, and deserve a pitched battle by all of us on their behalf. There really can be little debate about the morality without veering into Stephen Miller hater-land.

If a government shutdown was the right tactic, we should have been willing to stick it out for weeks. If it was the wrong tactic, why did we start here? I'll answer my own question at least partly: the CR was the first opportunity for leverage that Democrats had, and they chose to go to the mat over CHIP and DACA. There are about a dozen other issues I think are every bit as important as these two, and could have also been demanded, but I respect Democratic leaders' choice that these two deserve priority. Of the two, Democrats got CHIP for six years, which is no small potatoes (although a later Repub Congress could of course again de-fund it).

The problem with folding on DACA with no real progress on the issue is that there are 800,000 DREAMERS, and their families, AND the larger Hispanic and immigrants' rights communities who now have strong reason to think that Democrats will abandon them the minute the going gets tough. That's bad electoral politics, as well as being moral and tactical failures.


This is the NC GOP trying to void elections forever.

An illegally-gerrymandered legislature wants to keep its power despite voters being against them, and they are trying to rig the courts at the state level with a gerrymandered judge elections scheme as well.

If the US Supreme Court fails to dismiss the NC GOP appeal, democracy of any sort will be finished in North Carolina. The Republican Legislature will choose its voters, and cement their decisions by also choosing the judges who will review their laws.



Four anonymous complaints + 2 Repub partisans + a psycho?

Yes, I am saying that I "believe" that Tina Dupuy is a psycho. If you ask for a photograph "with" someone, putting an arm around a waist is a normal gesture of proximity and friendliness. It is not sexual assault.

If you want to believe partisan Republican Leanne Tweeden, go right ahead, but you don't get to pretend that you're taking a Democratic or progressive stance when doing so.

I feel no obligation to support anyone who railroaded Franken. He was a Democrat I supported. Why should I support his opponents?


How is this at all similar to letting an ethics hearing proceed?

No one is saying that Democrats should throw-out core principles: exactly the opposite. It was Schumer, Gillibrand, Harris, and other conservadems who threw out the principles of due process, fairness, and sticking together as a party who got us into this mess. And many of us are saying they were wrong to do so.

Also, Schumer and Gillibrand, as reliable Wall Street pawns (almost inevitable for a NY Senator, but can't we hope for better?), are the main Democrats catering to the whims of billionaires here.


Yes, but the PLO lost.

And even after losing, Israel came to the table in good faith multiple times. I watched the 2000 Camp David events shepherded by Clinton on live TV, thinking "finally, there's a chance for peace." And then Arafat walked away from a deal that would have given the Palestinians 91% of the West Bank and the vast majority of East Jerusalem. That was a loser move if there ever was one, and a big waste of a Democratic President's time and efforts.


I've seen this tragic Democratic Lifetime movie before...

Yes, this is my perspective on the railroading of Al Franken.

Having been a political junkie since the 1980's, I've watched an eerily-similar sort of group think before among Democrats: the Reagan tax cuts of the 1980's that ballooned the deficit and provided the rationale for the shredding of the social safety net, the 2nd-Amendment-violating and ineffective Assault Weapons Ban of 1994, the early 2000's Iraq War Resolution, then the Swiftboat nonsense against John Kerry, and then the meritless innuendo against ACORN (damn, the B*sh years sucked, didn't they?). With the election of Obama, the group-think became self-constructed weakness: Democrats had to push a Republican/Heritage Foundation private market health plan instead of a public option or Medicare for all. Democrats had to take the "high road" and honor Republican "blue slips" regarding judicial nominations... Are Republicans doing the same now?!? Nooooooo!

And now this Media Star Chamber trial of Franken. I don't know and won't debate whether he was perfect or not, but he is a damned good Senator: on women's issues, on economic issues, on many civil liberties, and on government accountability. Franken is why we have tenuous (and ever fainter) hope that Robert Mueller's investigation might bring us back from the brink of authoritarianism.

On every one of these issues, Democrats pre-emptively folded on the wrong side of the matter and then suffered entirely predictable and avoidable (had they employed a lick of common sense) consequences. As far as I am concerned, Democrats just surrendered 2018 and 2020. Why am I expected to slavishly support their continued incompetence as a condition of posting here?


Actions on this tax theft need to shift into high gear.

I refuse to call the Repug tax proposals "tax reform" or "tax cuts." They are tax theft, pure and simple: a theft from the public infrastructure and working people, benefiting only billionaires. Passage of this theft will hamstring public programs for decades to come, while causing real suffering among working Americans.

This theft MUST be stopped.


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