Friday 8 May 2009

Broken Promises? Yes, We Can

Straying across the pond for a moment, how about this sleight of hand from Barack Obama?

Barack Obama made no secret of his feelings for "Washington lobbyists" during the campaign and vowed that they wouldn't be staffing his White House.

Then he appointed some.

* Melody Barnes, lobbyist for American Civil Liberties Union, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, the American Constitution Society and the Center for Reproductive Rights.
* William Corr, lobbyist for Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids,
* Patrick Gaspard, lobbyist for Service Employees International Union.
* David Hayes, lobby San Diego Gas & Electric.
* Eric Holder, attorney general nominee, lobbyist for bankrupt Global Crossing telecommications.
* Ron Klain, lobbyist for Asbestos Resolution, U.S. Airways, Airborne Express and drug-maker ImClone.
* William Lynn, lobbyist for Raytheon.
* Cecilia Munoz, lobbyist for National Council of La Raza
* Mark Patterson, lobbyist for Goldman Sachs.
* Mona Sutphen, lobbyist for Angliss International.
* Michael Strautmanis, lobbied for the American Association of Justice.
* Tom Vilsack, lobbyist for NEA.

The latest signing has attracted the attention of the New York Times.

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama says lobbyists won't run his administration, but he picked an antitobacco lobbyist with ties to the pharmaceutical industry as the No. 2 official at the Department of Health and Human Services.

The nomination of William Corr -- former executive director of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, where he was a registered lobbyist until September -- highlights the murkiness of Mr. Obama's antilobbyist policy.

Mr. Obama requires employees to sign a pledge stating they will not "participate in any particular matter on which I lobbied within the two years before the date of my appointment." Those rules prohibit Mr. Corr from working on tobacco issues, the White House says.

So what will he be advising on?

Mr. Corr has spent a career working on health-care policy at HHS and on Capitol Hill, including a stint with former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle. At a confirmation hearing Thursday, senators called Mr. Corr an old friend and didn't ask about his ties to the drug industry. The Senate is expected to confirm his nomination this week.

At the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, one of Mr. Corr's jobs was pushing legislation to give HHS the authority to regulate tobacco. A measure to do so passed the House and will be considered by the Senate this year.

In the past five years, the drug industry has contributed $3.3 million, amounting to 3.2% of the Campaign's funding, said spokesman Vince Willmore.

Most of the money was donated by GlaxoSmithKline PLC, which has contributed nearly $3 million since 2004, according to Campaign records. Pfizer Inc. donated $385,000 since 2007 and Johnson & Johnson gave $50,000 for an award in 2008 and 2009.

Well, I guess it will be exactly what he has been paid for.

I think we know where this is going, don't we? Big pharma exercising their muscles once the inconvenient voters have been soft-soaped into believing a barrowload of lies.

Yet still these morons continue to push the hypothesis that it's only tobacco companies who are evil, domineering porkie-tellers.

When anyone counters anti-tobacco lies, they are deemed to be in the pay of tobacco (I've even been accused myself) to dilute their argument. Yet, if they are paid by pharma, they are given a nice office, a pair of comfy slippers, and a guiding hand on the tiller of the country.

Fuck the electorate. Fuck what was promised before the election. Socialism relies on lies or else it doesn't hold water.

Good luck with the chosen one, America. I don't know how to soften the blow here but ... it appears you've been screwed up the 'arris with a broken bottle.

Once the BBC have come down from the huge collective climax they experienced in November, they might report this, you never know.

(Sod this transatlatic stuff, I'm going for a lie down)

Reproduced from F2C

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