Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Baucus: "Taking the Filth...errr...Fifth"?

Quite possibly the member of the Dim caucus who is the most unapologetically, thoroughly compromised, most corrupt, most sold-out to health insurance parasites' special interests, Slappsy Maxie "quietly" stopped taking campaign/PAC contributions from the Health Insurance Parasites on June 1, 2009. But not from lobbyists and industry officials.

But, according to DougJ, on Balloon Juice and the WaPo, not from HIP lobbyists.
Top health executives and lobbyists have continued to flock to the (Baucus’s) often extravagant fundraising events in recent months. During a Senate break in late June ('09), for example, Baucus held his 10th annual fly-fishing and golfing weekend in Big Sky, Mont., for a minimum donation of $2,500. Later this month comes “Camp Baucus,” a “trip for the whole family” that adds horseback riding and hiking to the list of activities.

To avoid any appearance of favoritism, his aides say, Baucus quietly began refusing contributions from health-care political action committees after June 1. But the policy does not apply to lobbyists or corporate executives, who continued to make donations, disclosure records show.

Baucus declined requests to comment for this article. Spokesman Tyler Matsdorf said the senator “is only driven by one thing: what is right for Montana and the country. And he will continue his open process of working together with the president, his colleagues in Congress, and groups and individuals from across the nation to get this legislation passed.”
Meanwhile, on Buzzflash, PM Carpenter--who is frequently way too forgiving of Dim pols for my taste--mines the same data and offers this analysis:
There he sits: Chairman of the powerful Senate finance committee, in too-prominent charge of health-care reform. Yet progress has bottlenecked, stalled, sputtered, and become suspiciously hypercomplicated and conservatively malodorous -- precisely the point at which real and sitting criminal defendants start muttering about pure "coincidences."

Uh-huh. Let's see. Let's do take a gander at Max's purely coincidental financial background in ... uh ... possible relation to the above complications.

The sixth-term senator Baucus, reported the Post, "stands out for the rising tide of health-care contributions to his campaign committee, Friends of Max Baucus, and his political-action committee, Glacier PAC." How "friendly" have they been? Very friendly. In fact, from 2003 to 2008, "Baucus collected $3 million from the health and insurance sectors"; and this additional statistic is every bit as staggering -- "about 20 percent of the total, data show."

In merely the last two preceding years, "health-related companies and their employees gave Baucus's political committees nearly $1.5 million." True enough, Max was running for reelection in 2008, so his corporate and lobbying and executive contributions were bound to spike. Their flagrancy, however, is what's breathtaking, coming in such large aggregate sums on the virtual eve of health-care reform's legislative introduction.

Montana Max's reelection coffers were notably non-Montanan, observed the Post; less than 10 percent of his ready cash was homegrown. "Top out-of-state corporate contributors included Schering-Plough, New York Life Insurance, Amgen, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield; individual executives such as Richard T. Clark, chief executive and president of drugmaker Merck, have also made regular donations."

The Post then added, almost tautologically, "Most of these companies ... strongly oppose a public insurance option." Yeah, most do.

And if you haven't read the Post piece yet, then here's a jaw-dropping kicker you'll love at first sight: "To avoid any appearance of favoritism, his aides say, Baucus quietly began refusing contributions from health-care political action committees after June 1." Goddamn that was considerate and self-sacrificial of him; and coy, too -- Max really flushed that "appearance of favoritism" away, didn't he?

Oh, it gets even better. Said his aides -- those who haven't yet departed for six-figure incomes from the health-care industry they're now "negotiating" with -- "the policy [the donor ban, that is] does not apply to lobbyists or corporate executives." (More than a few of Baucus' former staffers, by the way, "including two chiefs of staff, [now] lobby on behalf of the pharmaceutical industry." Fortunate happenstance. Dumb luck. Pure coincidence.)

In one, very fundamental way, the complications we're witnessing with comprehensive health-care reform have nothing to do with the health-care industry per se. It's literally innocent, as is, legally although not ethically, Sen. Max Baucus. Both are only doing what human nature too often dictates: looking after Number One.

No, the fundamental problem exists in the way in which lawmakers permit themselves to fund themselves. It is that which vastly transcends mere health-care reform and poisons virtually every other progressive measure, from energy revamping to defense spending to equitable taxation ... ad infinitum.

A public option in health care? Hell, until there's a thundering public insistence on exclusive public financing of political campaigns, the darker side of Washington's human nature will generally (ALWAYS) prevail. (edit supplied)
How corrupt is Baucus? From Bob Cesca's Awesome blog:
He's earning $1,500 a day from the healthcare and health insurance industries.

$1,500 a day.

And he's the chairman of one of the two Senate committees tasked with passing healthcare reform.
And don't let the phraseology confuse you: Fucking the American people as often, as consistently, as predictably as Mad Max does it is HARD WORK, and he truly "earns" his filthy remunerations. But while Baucus may be alone at the top of the corruption heap (or at the bottom of the pit), there are plenty of others who would, under an even remotely critical system, have so "splainin' to do." Via the "Sunlight Foundation" blog:
Yesterday afternoon, the Center for Responsive Politics came out with a report showing how many congressional lawmakers have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars of their own money into companies that have financial stakes in which bills eventually pass and become law. CRP has found many lawmakers are heavily invested in pharmaceutical and health insurance companies, industries that are very interested in what Congress does to health care. Nearly one in four lawmakers had invested some money in health companies during 2007, the most recent year CRP calculated lawmakers’ extensive personal finances. (In October, data for 2008 will be available in their personal financial disclosure database). Because lawmakers report the value of their assets in ranges, CRP can’t give exact figures. With that said, lawmakers had invested somewhere between $44.2 million and $93.9 million in health care related companies.
Yeah, baby, the fucking Fix is IN!!! Obama is "hollywoodin'" the whole thing, pretending to be ready to call the Parasites' "all-in." But he's ALREADY folded in all respects other than he hasn't mucked our cards...

1 comment:

Liberality said...

I am totally disgusted with all of them!