Monday, December 27, 2004

Skybox Swine 

The Abramoff gang and the GOP: ...just helps illustrate further what the party of 'W' is really made of. Namely elitist skybox swindlers and arrogant pious frauds.
Tribal Money Linked to GOP Fundraising - By Susan Schmidt and Jeffrey H. Birnbaum, Washington Post Staff Writers

For most politicians, fundraising is a dreaded chore. But until recently, Rep. John T. Doolittle of California and other members of the House Republican leadership had adopted a painless solution: fundraising events in luxury sports boxes leased largely with the money of Indian gaming tribes, where supporters snacked on catered fare in plush surroundings as they watched the Wizards, Caps, Redskins or Orioles.

Doolittle, a Mormon, is an ardent opponent of casino gambling, so it is somewhat ironic that he would invite supporters to watch the Wizards play the Sacramento Kings from an MCI Center suite paid for by casino-rich Indian tribes. But the plaque at the door to Suite 204 did not say Chitimacha or Choctaw. It said "Jack Abramoff," a name synonymous with largesse and influence in the GOP-controlled Congress.

Until the power lobbyist's downfall this year, Abramoff spent about $1 million annually in funds largely provided by his tribal clients to lease four skyboxes -- two at FedEx Field and one each at MCI Center and Camden Yards. Season after season, he kept them brimming with lawmakers, staffers and their guests, part of a multimillion-dollar congressional care and feeding project that even the brashest K Street lobbyists could only watch with awe or envy.

Long article, I haven't even finished reading it yet myself, but -- continue reading here: WaPo via YahooNews

More Swine:
Big Pharma's Dirty Little Secret - by Peter Rost

The American healthcare system is the best in the world. Or so we are often told. But is it really true?

It is certainly the best system for drug companies, which can charge the highest prices in the world to some U.S. consumers. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that average prices for patented drugs in 25 other top industrialized nations were 35% to 55% lower than in the United States.

And it is a pretty good system for hospitals, insurance companies and others that deliver healthcare services. Americans spend about twice as much per person for healthcare as do Canadians, Japanese or Europeans, according to the World Health Organization.

But it's not a good system for American citizens. The U.S. has shorter life expectancies and higher infant and child mortality rates than Canada, Japan and all of Western Europe except Portugal, according to the WHO.

I'm a drug company executive who has spent 20 years marketing pharmaceuticals. And I'm troubled. I'm most troubled by the fact that we stick it to the people who can afford it the least. ~ Sunday, December 26, 2004 by the Los Angeles Times

Continue reading via Common Dreams


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