4/23/2006

Pigs Lining Up To Suckle At The Public Teat:Repiglickin's

The question often arises, are our public servants seeking election out of a genuine desire to serve the people, or are they merely seeking to serve their own needs and line their pockets? Is it wrong for us to question when say, Dick Cheney's Halliburton and it's subsidiaries get numerous no-bid contracts from the government, or are they just fortunate to be the only companies prepared for the needs of the government? Is it just a coincidence that Halliburton was prepared to meet the many needs of the Bush administration and it's war on "terror", or did they anticipate it?
The avian flu has been named as a threat world wide, as cases appear around the globe. The US, as well as other countries have stocked up on Tamiflu, developed by a
California biotech company, Gilead Sciences. It is now being produced by Roche, which pays a royalty to Gilead on each tablet sold, equal to one-fifth the total cost of each tablet. While it cannot stop the avian flu virus, if taken soon enough following the first onslaught of symptoms it can reduce them.(Although a Vietnamese doctor using the drug to treat people infected with H5N1 says it is useless)Should the world be stocking up on a drug that hasn't been proven to be effective when there is one that has been proven?
In the case of an outbreak in the US of Avian Flu H5N1, George W. Bush has suggested that American troops be sent in, which seems to be his answer to everything. Altough what the troops would do in American cities is anyone's guess. But it makes sense that the Defense Department would be used since the Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, is the majority stockholder in Gilead Sciences.Perhaps that's why Tamiflu was chosen over Sambucol, a more effective drug, because Rummy wanted to line his pockets as much as his buddy Cheney.
In fact, because of world wide demand for Tamiflu, the price of Gilead stock has risen significantly. In 2004, Rumsfeld was able to sell off $5 million worth of his Gilead stock, while still retaining stock valued at $25 million. Of course, that stock's value has risen with the demand for Tamiflu. But don't think that Rumsfeld had anything to do with the government's decision to buy Tamiflu. As a spokesperson for Gilead said: "Upon taking office, he recused himself from participating in any particular matter when the matter would directly and predictably affect his financial interest in Gilead Sciences."

Yeah, right. From the same people who came into power because those on the SCOTUS refused to recuse themselves when Bush brought the vote count there. So the question remains, do we elect our polical leaders to do what's right for this country? Do we elect them to so they may make themselves wealthier at the expense of the American taxpayer? Or, do they hope we're so distracted by fear mongering from terrorist and biological threats that we won't notice them lining their pockets?

31 comments:

Kvatch said...

There was a electoral doctrine that made it into a number of SciFi novels back in the 70's (think it originated with Arthur Clark), that anyone who deliberately manuevered to achieve public office should be immediately disqualified.

Maybe it's time to give a lottery a chance?

glenda said...

The other question is how many of them in public service have NOT made bundles from being in their position. No wonder we cannot get a genuine working ethics mandate through Congress.

Lily said...

Ethics mandate! Glenda you ARE funny!

Oink, oink. Pigs on parade. Thanks for posting, Lew!

anita said...

The excuse that Halliburton is the only company "ready" to fight terror or deal with major catastrophes utterly ridiculous. Halliburton, through acquisition of all its competitors and by weilding an iron fist in an extremely inefficient market for its services, has actually made it almost impossible for small and innovative companies to thrive, let alone survive.

earl bockenfeld said...

Those corporations are the Raygun "Welfare Queens" with deeper pockets and no shame.

tp said...

Yup, lots of bridges to nowhere too.

Donkeyhue said...

FYI

Haliburton had a no bid contract before Bush/Cheney were in office.

Troll Watcher said...

Donkey,
Was the no-bid contract in Iraq?

Elizabeth Branford said...

Look Donkey get past thinking that because Reagan or Clinton did something it is ok, perpetuating a practice is no different really....that thinking misses the point which is to be critical of the goivernment, its actions, its use of public money and abuse of trust. It is part of the democratic/political process for citizens to question the actions and ask for accountability otherwise there is no way the citizen can participate.
Everything is not a "partisan" defend Bush debate. It is necessary sometimes to simply discuss practices on their merit or lack of, attributing them to one person or another has little to do with something that ALL do. Thats like discussing racism and trying to figure out who started it. For what?

You think you reveal some kind of "liberal folly" with these remarks but the fact is that the behavior is on your dime as well. Don't you care about that?
Like the IRS post I did and somebody said "Well DEMOCRATS started it all!!" What the hell does that have to do with the IRS and what it has evolved into? What the hell does that have to do with a discussion of the merits of an entity and the way it is managed?

Why don't you talk about the wisdom of repeatedly awarding bloated no bid contracts to an underperforming overcharging company that repeatedly fails to maintain a level of service? And recall privatization is supposed to replace inefficient government with a competitive private entity that runs it better... is that what a no-bid contract does?

Lew Scannon said...

Well, at least Donkey managed to stay somewhat on topic, but you make a good point lily about continuation of awardance of no-bid contracts to companies that overcharge and under perform (if they perform at all), especially when said company is tied to the current administration.

Douglass said...

All politicians are snake bastards and if you think differently, that's what they did to you and you need to fix it.

(Except the honorable congressman Ron Paul).

Elizabeth Branford said...

Well, I get off topic too. Thats for damn sure.

Donkeyhue said...

Everything is not a "partisan" defend Bush debate

Then if that is truly the case the post would have pointed out the scumbaggery on both sides. This post was a partisan attack piece and if you dont think so than you have half the sense of a half witted hummingbird. I was just stating a FACT, to which no surprise I was met with attacks for being a Bush defender.

attributing them to one person or another has little to do with something that ALL do

Sure seemed to be the purpose of the post to which I responded, perhaps you should read it again. Names were named and people were singled out, not practices in general, of which if it had of I would have wholeheartedly agreed.

I had no intention to reveal your folly of which the job you do is more than admirable, what I did do was once again state a FACT and point out the hypocrisy of your partisan ways. Your argument would be better served with a more fair and balanced approach.

and one last thing...the Democrats started racism

EE-Aw!!!

Donkeyhue said...

However to get back on topic (as apparently I was off it???)

you ask:

The question often arises, are our public servants seeking election out of a genuine desire to serve the people, or are they merely seeking to serve their own needs and line their pockets?

Donkey says...Im a bit of an enigma in the sense that I am an optimistic cynic, that for the majority of poliwags their intentions are good when they are all green starting out at the local level, but once the machine gets hold of them and the move up thru the ranks they lose the very part of themselves that made them want to get involved in the first place. From there the downward spiral of power grabs, kickbacks, cronyism, butter churning, interns, broken promises, scandals, lost ideology, satan worshipping, and free postage stamps is too much for most mortals and their politics transform from their own personal views, beliefs, and tenets to the souless politics of politics.

In school government everyone wanted to be President, the glamour position but what these guys/gals have figured out is that the real power is controlling the purse strings, and a three trillion dollar purse is very tempting.

Troll Watcher said...

Please spare me your self-righteous hypocrisy donkey. Of course this was a partisan attack piece, something that seems to be okay to do when attacking Democrats.If a Democratic administration had used it's position to line the pockets of it's members, we'd never hear the end of it. But what makes this worse is that the taxpayer got nothing in return for it. Why choose Tamiflu when a more effective and natural product(Sambucol) is available? Why continue to offer no-bid contratcs to haliburton after they've been caught overcharging the tax payer, or not fully delivering on the contracts for which they were paid? If there is evidence of a Democrat politician using his position to line the pockets of those within his administration, why haven't you offered it up, as I'm sure many cases do exist. Citing vagueries about them all being scumbags makes me wonder why you would defend one set of scumbags over the other? What it comes down to is the fact that when he was running for office in 2000, Bush claimed he was going to bring integrity back to the White House, which we have yet to see any evidence of six years later.

Donkeyhue said...

Troll,

You could have saved yourself some time and trouble by just admitting that I am right and move on. You obviously didnt read my comments and if you did then your comprehension leaves alot to be desired. Dont make me embarass you, as I will forgive your ignorance and strike it up as naivete. Now read this one more time before you comment before you make a jackass out of yourself again.

Elizabeth Branford said...

Well I did not write it, and I am not a Democrat, and I am not really interested in who started racism or cigar sex. I think this is not only divisive crap but very backward looking.

The point is that there needs to be some form of accountability when corporations as extensions of government do not act in the public interest with the money we pay them. Whether the government performs a service or it is contracted out, there needs to be a mechanism of insuring the public gets the product.

I have said many times that I am not interested in who shafts which group for what reason as much as the fact that the shafting needs to stop.

As I have also said, when politicians care only about themselves and abusing their role as public servants, they should be spanked and have their allowance taken AWAY!

Douglass said...

Troll watcher & donkeyhue!

Watch the democrats with a critical eye and you will find that they are basically in agreement with the republicans on all issues actually vital to running the country.

They disagree over sensationalozed 'issues' like gun control, abortion, and what level of welfare will be distributed to the people.

Notice that they have abandoned the labor unions, instead choosing to defend American businesses who abuse semi-legal labor practices overseas.

The Deomcrats also defend the assertion that unionized domestic labor is somehow 'overpriced' in the face of unoragnized foreign labor, that is cheap only because these workers have been forcibly prevented form unionizing.

AND they want my gun?!?

What exactly do the Democrats have to offer that is appealing?

fosco said...

Neither offers a damn thing in my view. I say let the governors get together once in a while to hash out some vital shit at the fed level but all this redundant bureaucracy is unneeded as are these stupid political games. They have too much money to play with. Screw them all.

Liberty over Aristocracy.
Live in the state that matches your beliefs.

Douglass said...

Fosco,

your words of truth are a beacon of light in the darkness of partisan politics.

tp said...

Words of truth? What about poorer states? Everyone should move?

Douglass said...

"Liberty over Aristocracy.
Live in the state that matches your beliefs."

That wasn't part of fosco’s main post, rather it is a standardized set of parting statements that Fosco includes in every post (I assume)

TP, I think that is naive to believe that it’s possible to "Live in the state that matches your beliefs"

But, Fosco's main post was 100% true.

Elizabeth Branford said...

Douglass,

I think it was just a nod to the notion of state's rights. AGAIN.

The idea that states are being belittled and that there is little in the way of local control. But local control can be good and bad. It can be good when it provides for rights, bad when a state infringes. I personally think that legislation that seeks to regulate behavior, particularly behavior that does not hurt others- is in opposition to the purpose of government and policy.

An example is the tax code, which uses revenue raising to create rules to mold behavior.

Douglass, I'm not sure I am familiar with you. New in town?

Peacechick Mary said...

Regardless - we have been and will continue to be screwed out of our own money. We need a revolution!

Anita said...

Viva la Revolucion!

douglass said...

Peacechick,

You do understand that that American Dollar is a fiat currency essentially pegged on the 1970 agreement with OPEC that makes the U.S. dollar the only thing that can be exchanged for OPEC's oil (hence the existence of petrodollars)


Congress can simply vote money into programs, the treasury will present the FED with a check for the monies appropriated in those programs, and then the FED will print the money.

The Congress, the FOMC, and the FED board of governors don't have a problem with that because they are snake bastards, and to them it’s better for their reelection campaigns and PAC kickbacks if they avoid raising taxes while spending as if they did.

And that is why THIS is happening:
http://www.macleans.ca/topstories/world/article.jsp?content=20050307_101541_101541

Lily said...

Yes, Douglass. You are right. Currency is not backed in anything else, part of the fear about the bourse wasn't it?

But eventually America has to reckon with the fact that the dollar is an inflated, manipulated instrument backed in bombs versus gold! If not now, soon. This can't go on forever. In the age of multinationals, there will be no loyalty to the demise of our government!

This whole situation never should have happened this way.

douglass said...

It is interesting that we are basically in agreement here.

I should have added that the dollar will fall when other currencies gain similar privileges,

Lily said...

Why is it interesting? Do I seem disagreeable?

Loved your link, I actually just finished a piece for elsewhere on the debt. Along those lines. Thats cosmic!

douglass said...

Cosmic indeed.

Elizabeth, You are an agreeable person.

I'm surprised that we agree here because I am opposed to the platform of the Democratic Party on all issues except 1st & 4th amendment rights and abortion.
I consider myself apolitical, but could be described as a libertarian hyper-capitalist.

I am most upset with the democrats for allowing the offshoring of American Jobs into regions that fail to meet the minimum labor standards of U.S. law, aka exploiting foreigners as to price out American labor, WHILE harping about Bush. (I don't like him either, save the fact he earned my trust by letting me buy high capacity magazines) (I don't own any; I just like to know I am FREE to)

Elizabeth Branford said...

Do you mean weapons? Well, when the economic apocalypse comes, citizens will need munitions to barter for goods since money will be worthless and mayhem will ensue.
I think that you will find that around here we do not fit into the political pigeonholes either. But-I have some issues with the Libertarian response to certain questions and am of the opinion that where government responsiveness to social problems is diminished, it leaves a void to be filled by organized religion. That does not create a society conducive to liberty.

But as I have also quoted Mill's thoughts on liberty here, I agree that where behavior and personal matters are concerned, the government should not seek to intrude. Criminalizing everything is also ridiculous. Rights should be the prevailing policy consideration. The hippie part comes in because I feel people have the right to basic life giving resources.

I think that I am opposed to behavioral and social control, opposed to intrusive government but feel it should be accountable and meet its basic obligations. I think the poor and vulnerable should have reasonable protections but I am not a socialist. I think capitalism does not benefit from subsidies and that intervention on markets should exist where harm is a factor, such as regulation of toxic dumping. But arbitrary interference like affirmative action is misguided.The trouble with capitalism as WE know it is that it cannot work to our advantage because it is not permitted to.

So these are not exactly liberal ideas. I am for accountability, transparency, and efficiency. And I don't think the answer to everything lies in the federal government. But I also do not think it makes sense to ignore social problems.

The piece on the deficit will be at Blue Republic blog Sunday. It would be nice to get your feedback on that and the previous IRS post, given your views.

Graphics by Lily.Template Designed by Douglas Bowman - Updated to New Blogger by: Blogger Team
Modified for 3-Column Layout by Hoctro