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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 19, 2009 11:25 PM. The previous post in this blog was Once a weasel, always a weasel. The next post in this blog is Need pot?. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Sunday, July 19, 2009

$300 a day for Gatsby

As much as his hired minions try to help him hide here on the home front, Sen. Ron Wyden (R-N.Y.) is taking some much deserved shinola from his Democratic Party base over his startling move to derail health care reform:

Sicko #3: Democrat Ron Wyden of Oregon has raised more than $1.4 million in campaign contributions from the health, insurance, and pharmaceutical industries over the course of his career, averaging almost $300 per day since taking office in February 1996. Comments may be addressed to Senator Wyden via his Senate contact page (Oregon residents only) or by direct e-mail at: senator@wyden.senate.gov (CRP: Ron Wyden).
Wyden is the guy who made a bunch of speeches a few years back about how the estate tax ought to be repealed -- even voted for repeal when it was Bush Tax Cut Time. Why Portland loves him so much is about as mystifying as why it wants to give somewhere between $30 million and $80 million to Henry Paulson to prop up his bush league sports empire. Being "progressive" in Oregon apparently means throwing the corporate oppressor class some big bags of bones from time to time -- more often than one might have expected.

Comments (23)

I guess his love of senior citizens loses out to his love of re-election cash.

The seniors that Ron used to love are all dead. It's all Gucci and the Hamptons from here on out.

Using the same source, opensecrets.org, I see that Obama received $19 million in one election from those same health industry contributors. Whether it is $1.4 million over the course of a senate career or $19 million in one election, it is all the same to me.

Don't you think that financial dependence might explain why both Obama and Wyden have ignored the many Americans who want single payer?

Perhaps there are wealthy Democrats that actually (gasp!) profit from our current healthcare system?

There are plenty of "non-profit" insurance companies that are paying lots of six figure salaries: many of whom are told who to support with their political donations. Not to mention the pharma junkets to Hawaii for the Insurance company executives, their top prescribers, and a few Congresspersons.

And here I thought Palin was the "progressive Portlander" target of the year.

"move to derail health care reform"

Again, I am not seeing a move to derail it, he presented an alternative that seemed to make sense. Unless there is a senator/rep that can explain exactly what we are getting with this "reform", I don't think anyone really knows.

I keep hearing Obama saying we need HC reform now using the same tactics Bush did to push into Iraq.

If you judge members of Congress by the source of their campaign funds, I guess you'd have to include Chris Dodd's multi-million-dollar bonanza from the financial industry as the reason for his support of the stimulus bill that Obama pushed so hard for. Wall Street really appreciated it.

http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/summary.php?cid=n00000581

Yes, but he rolls up his shirt sleeves, and kind of looks like a liberal environmentalist, you know?

It's all that new dental work that gives him that new confident smile.

Why Portland loves him so much is about as mystifying as...

It isn't love per se going on, it's rank partisanship. Ds outnumber Rs at least 3:1 in P-town, many if not most of whom mindlessly vote for the D candidate regardless.

The blush was off the blossom for me with Wyden when he was still a 3rd District Congressman, running for the Senate, and put on the spot Wyden was unable to find Bosnia on a world map and had no clue about who the largest employer in the 3rd District was, a district which he had been representing for 16 years. Hello empty suit.

Check out:
The Profiteers of Suffering
The Top 10 Enemies of Single-Payer

By RUSSELL MOKHIBER

Most people, when they arrive in Washington, D.C., see it for what it is – a cesspool of corruption.

Two reasonable reactions to the cesspool.

One, run away screaming in fear.

Two, stay and fight back and bring to justice those who have corrupted our democracy.

Unfortunately, many choose a third way – stay and be transformed.

Instead of seeing a cesspool, they begin seeing a hot tub.

The result – profits and wealth for the corporate elite – death, disease and destruction for the American people.

Nowhere does this corrupt, calculating transformation do more damage than in the area of health care.

MORE at http://www.counterpunch.org/mokhiber04162009.html

See also: The Single-Payer Taboo

By RALPH NADER

Among the giant taboos afflicting Congress these days is the proposal to create a single payer health insurance system (often called full Medicare for everyone).

How can this be? Don’t the elected politicians represent the people? Don't they always have their finger to the wind?

Well, single payer is only supported by a majority of the American people, physicians and nurses. They like the idea of public funding and private delivery. They like the free choice of doctors and hospitals that many are now denied by the HMOs.

There are also great administrative efficiencies when single payer displaces the health insurance industry and its claims-denying, benefit-restricting, bureaucratically-heavy profiteering. According to leading researchers in this area, Dr. David Himmelstein and Dr. Stephanie Woolhandler, single payer will save $350 billion annually.

Yet, on Capitol Hill and at the White House there are no meetings, briefings, hearings, and consultations about kinds of health care reforms that reform the basic price inflation, indifference to prevention, and discrimination by health insurers.

There is no place at the table for single payer advocates in the view of the Congressional leaders who set the agenda and muzzle dissenters.

Continue at http://www.counterpunch.org/nader05112009.html

A MUST SEE -- http://singlepayeraction.org/

"Everybody in. Nobody out."

Ds outnumber Rs at least 3:1 in P-town, many if not most of whom mindlessly vote for the D candidate regardless.

I would characterize it more as simply holding our nose and voting for him anyway. From my standpoint, he has not been a friend of environmentalists.

Quick - who did the Republicans put up against him in 1998 and 2004? Can't remember? Neither could I - so I looked it up (John Lim lost in 1998, 61%/34%; Al King lost in 2004, 63%/32%). That should tell you something right there about his longevity.

Ronnie sold us out in 1993 when he refused to consider single payer; he sold us out again in 2003 when he voted for the law that prohibits Medicare from negotiating drug prices with the manufacturers. Why should we be surprised at this?

It is interesting to note the obvious, based on many of the posts here, that the influence peddling occurring in health care is a bipartisan issue. Just like on so many issues nationally and right here in puddle city.

If the electoral begins to acknowledge not to just look at whether there is a (D) or (R) behind a name, but to questions the real stance each candidate has, then we can begin to see some real Change.

If the electoral begins to acknowledge not to just look at whether there is a (D) or (R) behind a name, but to questions the real stance each candidate has, then we can begin to see some real Change.

yes. sounds obvious, doesn't it?

unfortunately, that would mean about 60% less political posts on Jack's blog--because unless they're able to resort to simplistic "conservative vs. liberal" characterizations, many would have nothing to say.

D's & R's and "two-party system"? -- Catastrophic Fail!

As Mokihber paraphrased: "We have met the enemy. And it ain't us."

I didn't know that he had voted to repeal the estate tax. Thanks for opening my eyes.

Again, I am not seeing a move to derail it, he presented an alternative that seemed to make sense.

Wyden's Healthy Americans Act wasn't proposed as an alternative, it's been something he put together a couple years back to make it look like he was doing something on health care, his supposed area of expertise, and to make him look all bipartisany. The thing's just ugly, and one big proof of its ugliness is that until the most recent election, its list of cosponsors was mostly conservative Republicans like Trent Lott and Gordon Smith and reactionary Democrats like Ben Nelson and Mary Landrieu.

Wyden's latest is a "free choice" proposal, which is a similar load of garbage that supposedly lets people change plans if they're unhappy. When do most people find out that they're unhappy with their insurance coverage, though? It's when you're in the middle of some medical emergency that the insurer decides they don't want to cover. That's when you really find out what the limits of your coverage are.

"Wyden's latest is a "free choice" proposal, which is a similar load of garbage"

Fine, tell me how Obama's alternative is better. Wyden said he was going to make health care benefits taxable to help pay for this. My take is that we are getting something shoved thru that no one knows the good or bad about. I just get a sense there is going ot be some real surprises if this thing passes like lousy coverage at a very high price.

Fine, tell me how Obama's alternative is better.

I'm not really sure why I should have to defend Obama's proposal. Not only did I not mention it, but I don't think it goes far enough to providing universal coverage, which is the only method of ensuring reductions in costs. I see Wyden's plans as somewhere between the plans under consideration in Congress now and doing nothing.

Anyone with a brain knows he's a hack and always has been. My hottest ire is reserved for pseudo-progressives, like BLUE OREGON, that convince the herd that they're progressives, then give aid and comfort to their hack buddies, like Wyden, and folks conclude it's all krap. To people like Kari Chisolm, re-election cash is "the mother's milk of politics". He's 1/2 right. They suck. And you have to fuck somebody to get it flowing.

In fact, anyone that turns an argument on Dem v Rep is suborning the fraud of the two-faced, one party system. Ditto anyone that says that it's just a few, not noticing that they add up, eventually accounting for complete groupthink (ganz sheist) across every major issue.

You know, the ones that would chime in, "but isn't he great on Iraq", or whatever the hell they choose to distract themselves with.

You want a responsible health care bill? ONCE, just ONCE, deal with something consequential that doesn't end up going the way of the dullest minds, representing monied interests. You think it's going to be health care? Nancy fucking ineffectual Pelosi found a way to cowtow to monied interests on a non-binding referendum on Tibet! Once- I don't care how trivial it is- I want to see the ENTIRE Congress do the right thing. THEN, and only then, can we reasonably hope that they will do the right thing on a big issue.

Of course they represent us, and, there I think we're getting what we deserve. Look at your own life. Faced with powerful interests that want you to sell out every five minutes, how do you look compared to Ron? Yeah, about the same. That was why everyone ended up hating Shrub, in my humble estimation. The trend started with Clinton. Used to be Presidents weren't like ordinary folks. Clinton, and to a greater extend Baby Bush, are exactly like the people you meet everyday. Which is good. It just puts the onus on us to make a much better society unless you want our government looking an awful lot like our personal lives.

When was the last time you peed in a cup? Gave money to "cancer research", which was more a promo for industrial lab research and outdated experimental paradigms, just because it's for the "fill in the blanks". Tell me about standing up to big pharma!

Used to be Presidents weren't like ordinary folks.

Ronald Reagan.

I'm not a reader of Blue Oregon. career partisan punditry is a waste of my life, energy, and soul.


Of course they represent us, and, there I think we're getting what we deserve. Look at your own life. Faced with powerful interests that want you to sell out every five minutes, how do you look compared to Ron? Yeah, about the same.

good one.

That was why everyone ended up hating Shrub, in my humble estimation.

no, I hated Shrub because he grossly misoverestimated his ability, grossly lied about his intentions, and often couldn't accurately remember the wording of the Constitution or its application.


Obama is going to get something through. The best I hope for is something half good and half bad.

There are too many aspects and tentacles of the medical mechanics of it, more than debate and reason and wisdom can direct in enactment. One large 'consideration' in it, for instance, is the age-advancing baby boomers ... having said that, your imagination and perspective can pick out whatever details (of boomers) you're interested in. Bottom line in the medical regard is if not so many people die for awhile, which is not the same as saying more people care better for their own health but maybe there can be some of that, too. Either way, or both ways, 'as a result of' Health Care Administration, having some people live then gathers an advocacy group saying, 'hey, it works for me.'

But the politics of enacting a consciousness-changing legislation like this 'health care' biggie, has not much to do with health or medicine and has everything to do with power management. Yeah, it feels like Obama is forcing it, and forcing it moving on us, but it really is no worse (nor better) that the 'forcing it' of opponents -- status quo Establishment, The System -- forcing to stop it from moving. So, you decide for yourself: do you want to try 'health care' something or not -- choose your side, push to move it or push to stop it, and we'll see what happens when push comes to shove.

Bottom line in the power shifting is some (how much?) tip of the pool so the cess flows a different way. In the end it remains a cesspool and no health sloshes out of it. ... yet.

After the fact, (when the pushing tips over and it's a done deal), the first effect to see is to count the bodies who are in the shallow end, exposed to the air, and who start to dry up without their previous pie-slice of cess.

And that's where I expect we are going to see Wyden. He crapped too much where he has been, soon his boat don't float; lame ducky.


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