Sunday, July 02, 2006


Lewis Lapham's Notebook offering, "Class Act," in the July Harper's is, well, a class act. Near the end of his paean to the late William Sloane Coffin Jr., he offers up a biting portrayal of the Democratic Party:

"The Democratic Party's embarrassing loss of its once abundant moral energies provided the topic for an essay published in The America Prospect during the week of Coffin's funeral under the title 'Party in Search of a Notion.' Michael Tomasky, the journal's editor, likened the latter-day Democrats to dogs trained with electrical shocks to the condition of 'learned helplessness,' crouching in the corners of 'resignation and fear,' clutching their 'grab bag of small-bore proposals' and their 'hodgepodge of narrow and specific fixes.' afraid to come forth with a broad and generous vision of the just society that might give them the courage of their soidisant [self styled; so-called] convictions."

A few days after reading this, I was watching the Frontline program, "Tax Me if You Can," a re-run, I believe. The focus was upon corporate tax shelters via Lease In Lease Out (LILO) dodges that have morphed into service contracts.

The program featured two examples. The first took place in Dortmund, Germany, where a US corporation, leased the town's streetcars for a few million to creates a $100,000,000 shelter. Nothing changed for Dortmund's use of the streetcars; they stayed in service, because it was strictly a paper transaction.

The other example was in Bochum, Germany, where Wachovia Bank had a service contract on the city's sewer system. The contract was for, I think, $5M, which provided Wachovia with a $500M shelter. Another paper made tax shelter.

The director of the IRS said these bogus deals cost the US Treasury something like $300 billion in lost taxes. If collected, the refund to individual taxpayers would double.

I cite this, because it was obvious in the program that heavy marketing of these tax shelters is directed at Congressional members of both parties. And you know that big money and desirable perks are obtained by members of both parties as they carry the water for corporate America.

The Republicans have always catered to the wealthy and big business. More and more the Democrats do the same. That is why the muddled Democratic message of a just society is hard to differentiate from that of the Republicans' messages. The Dems, like the Republicans, make obligatory noise about peace, the environment, education, health care, etc., but the ground they hold in common with their Republican counterparts is the same -- corporate interests. That's where the payoff is, that's where their loyalties lie.

Picks of the Week:

Global Eye

"That the United States, once touted as the 'world's greatest democracy,' is now ruled by a presidential dictatorship is a fact beyond any serious dispute. Indeed, except for a bare majority on the Supreme Court -- which will disappear with the retirement or demise of the aging Justice John Paul Stevens, who wrote the Court's stinging rejection of Bush's kangaroo military tribunals this week -- the nation's political establishment seems to have accepted this revolutionary system with remarkable docility, even as its lineaments are further exposed week by week. The Bush Administration no longer bothers to hide the novel theory of government upon which its rule is based, but declares it openly, in court, in Congress, everywhere."

The real war isn't the war on terror ploy; it's the war on democracy and democratic values.

Drugmakers win exemption in House budget-cutting bill (From the archives)

"As part of a House budget bill that reduces spending on Medicaid prescription drugs, pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and Co. and other businesses secured a provision ensuring that their mental health drugs continue to fetch top price at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars to the states."

Charities tied to doctors get industry gifts

"The Midwest Heart Foundation, and the way it has become quietly interwoven into its doctors' professional lives, is far from unique. Around the country, doctors in private practice have set up tax-exempt charities into which drug companies and medical device makers are, with little fanfare, pouring donations — money that adds up to millions of dollars a year. And some medical experts see that as a big problem."

Top Democrat finds FDA's efforts have plunged

"A 15-month inquiry by a top House Democrat has found that enforcement of the nation's food and drug laws declined sharply during the first five years of the Bush administration."

New rules force states to curb welfare rolls

"The Bush administration plans to issue sweeping new rules on Wednesday that will require states to move much larger numbers of poor people from welfare to work."

Estate-tax cuts 'sweetened' with corporate welfare for timber

"To butter up Senate votes, lawmakers pushing to roll back taxes for the ultra-wealthy are throwing a tax break for timber into the mix -- and drawing the ire of public-interest advocates."

Another Abramoff associate to plead guilty

"Roger Stillwell, the desk officer for the Mariana Islands at the U.S. Department of the Interior who dealt closely with disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, is expected to plead guilty to a misdemeanor count of false certification, his attorney confirmed Wednesday."

Former Alabama governor, Ex-CEO convicted

"Former Gov. Don Siegelman and former HealthSouth chief executive Richard Scrushy were convicted Thursday in a bribery scheme that derailed Siegelman's campaign to retake his former office."

A reader showed me a picture of Scrushy's home on an Alabama lake; it literally looked like a resort complex

Senators criticize payment plan for monitoring veterans' credit

"Two Senate Democrats on Wednesday criticized a White House plan to cut money intended for food stamps, student loans and farmers to pay for credit monitoring for veterans whose personal and financial data was stolen last month."

US emits half of car-caused greenhouse gas, study says

"Cars in the U.S. are driven more miles, face lower fuel economy standards and use fuel with more carbon than many of those driven in other countries, the authors found. According to the report by the environmental group, due out today, U.S. cars and light trucks were driven 2.6 trillion miles in 2004, equal to driving back and forth to Pluto more than 470 times."

GOP ignores danger of global warming

"The EPA's general counsel argued in a memo that '[carbon dioxide] and other [greenhouse gases], as such, are not air pollutants,' and 'substantial scientific uncertainty' still exists about the effects of carbon dioxide on the environment. The statement meant the Bush administration would not have to regulate carbon dioxide emissions under the Clean Air Act. The U.S. Court of Appeals upheld this view. (The Washington Post would later report that 'two of the jurists who helped decide the case' had 'attended a six-day global warming seminar ... sponsored by a free-market foundation and featuring presentations from companies with a clear financial interest in limiting regulation.')"

Senator moves to suspend new arsenic limit for tap water

"Just months after a new standard took effect to limit levels of arsenic in drinking water, Sen. Larry E. Craig (R-Idaho) will introduce a measure today to suspend enforcement of the rule for small water systems, including more than 100 in California."

Hon, are you wearing almond oil or is did you just have a glass of tap water?

Hugo Chavez by Greg Palast

"You’d think George Bush would get down on his knees and kiss Hugo Chávez’s behind. Not only has Chávez delivered cheap oil to the Bronx and other poor communities in the United States. And not only did he offer to bring aid to the victims of Katrina. In my interview with the president of Venezuela on March 28, he made Bush the following astonishing offer: Chávez would drop the price of oil to $50 a barrel, 'not too high, a fair price,' he said—a third less than the $75 a barrel for oil recently posted on the spot market. That would bring down the price at the pump by about a buck, from $3 to $2 a gallon.

"But our President has basically told Chávez to take his cheaper oil and stick it up his pipeline. Before I explain why Bush has done so, let me explain why Chávez has the power to pull it off—and the method in the seeming madness of his 'take-my-oil-please!''

Energy literacy - what you don't know can hurt you

"Five big things Americans should know about energy:"

Iraq: A shocking waste of money

"The shocking truth, according to Bilmes and Stiglitz, is that if one applies the Congressional Budget Office's basic assumptions about the duration of the conflict ('a small but continuous presence'), it will cost nearly a staggering $1.27 trillion dollars before all is said and done.

"The number is so high as to defy human comprehension. All the numbers ending in '-illion' sound the same. But a trillion is what you get if you spend a million dollars a day ... for a million days. That's 2,737 years -- a cool mil a day, every day, in other words, until the Year of Our Lord 4743. Or, working backward, from the time when Homer wrote the Iliad up to now."

US losing war on terrorism, experts say

"'The war in Iraq broke our back in the war on terror,' said the former official, Michael Scheuer, the author of 'Imperial Hubris,' a popular book highly critical of the Bush administration's anti-terrorism efforts. 'It has made everything more difficult and the threat more existential.'"

US law trumps world treaty, High Court says

"Stating that American law outweighs an international treaty, the Supreme Court said Wednesday that foreign criminals held in state prisons did not have a right to reopen their cases if their rights under the Vienna Convention had been violated."The 6-3 ruling spares state prison officials a major headache. If the high court had ruled the other way, thousands of state inmates who were not U.S. citizens could have sought to have their convictions reversed."

Pentagon resists ban on "degrading treatment"

"The Pentagon is pushing to omit from new detainee policies a central principle of the Geneva Conventions that explicitly bans 'humiliating and degrading treatment'. Critics say such a step that would mark a further shift away from strict adherence to international human rights standards."

Truth, justice and the 'Merican way.

Rosa Brooks: Did Bush commit war crimes?

"But the real blockbuster in the Hamdan decision is the court's holding that Common Article 3 of the Geneva Convention applies to the conflict with Al Qaeda — a holding that makes high-ranking Bush administration officials potentially subject to prosecution under the federal War Crimes Act."

Congressional Democrats join with Republican to maintain military commissions at Guantanamo

"In the aftermath of Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling barring the use of military commissions set up by the Bush administration to try detainees at the Guantánamo detention facility, the White House and Republicans in Congress have initiated a drive to provide congressional sanction for the commissions. Leading Democrats have already signaled that they will cooperate with the Republicans to pass such legislation."

Ah, the Dems, seizing the moral low ground.

Spreading cancer

"Depleted uranium - DU - is the Defense Establishment euphemism for U-238, a byproduct of the uranium enrichment process and the ultimate dirty weapon material. It's almost twice as dense as lead, catches fire when launched and explodes on impact into microscopically fine particles, or "nano-particles," which are easily inhaled or absorbed through the skin; it's also radioactive, with a half-life of 4.468 billion years." US waters down Iraqi peace plan

The Iraqi reconciliation plan unveiled by Prime Minister Al-Maliki on Sunday had the potential to mark a turning point in the war. But thanks to U.S. interference, instead of a road map for peace, the plan that emerged looks more like a bump in Iraq's torturous path to continued violence and suffering.

More than 1000 Iraqis dead in June

"AT least 1009 Iraqis, including civilians, soldiers and policemen, were killed in rebel attacks in June, government officials said today.

"In May the total number of people killed was 1055, according to statistics from the ministries of interior, defence and health.

"The 1771, people wounded in June was more than 24 per cent higher than the 1423 recorded in May."

Most victims would still be alive and well had not BushCo illegally invaded Iraq.

"Last stand: The military's problem with the president's Iran policy"

"Inside the Pentagon, senior commanders have increasingly challenged the President’s plans, according to active-duty and retired officers and officials. The generals and admirals have told the Administration that the bombing campaign will probably not succeed in destroying Iran’s nuclear program. They have also warned that an attack could lead to serious economic, political, and military consequences for the United States."

Treason: "Firing squad" for New York Times?

"Yes, let’s talk treason. How about this: Before the 9/11 attack, George Bush’s intelligence chieftains BLOCKED the CIA’s investigation of the funding of al-Qaeda and terror."

A secret the terrorists already knew

"COUNTERTERRORISM has become a source of continuing domestic and international political controversy. Much of it, like the role of the Iraq war in inspiring new terrorists, deserves analysis and debate. Increasingly, however, many of the political issues surrounding counterterrorism are formulaic, knee-jerk, disingenuous and purely partisan. The current debate about United States monitoring of transfers over the Swift international financial system strikes us as a case of over-reaction by both the Bush administration and its critics."

When do we publish a secret?

"Government officials, understandably, want it both ways. They want us to protect their secrets, and they want us to trumpet their successes. A few days ago, Treasury Secretary John Snow said he was scandalized by our decision to report on the bank-monitoring program. But in September 2003 the same Secretary Snow invited a group of reporters from our papers, The Wall Street Journal and others to travel with him and his aides on a military aircraft for a six-day tour to show off the department's efforts to track terrorist financing. The secretary's team discussed many sensitive details of their monitoring efforts, hoping they would appear in print and demonstrate the administration's relentlessness against the terrorist threat."

Department of Defense admits to wider surveillance of Don't ask, don't tell groups

“'Federal government agencies have no business peeping through the keyholes of Americans who choose to exercise their first amendment rights,' said Servicemembers Legal Defense Network executive director C. Dixon Osburn, in the SLDN Statement. 'Americans are guaranteed a fundamental right to free speech and free expression, and our country’s leaders should never be allowed to undermine those freedoms. Surveillance of private citizens must stop,' he added."

Spy agency sought US call records before 9/11, lawyers say

"The U.S. National Security Agency asked AT&T Inc. to help it set up a domestic call monitoring site seven months before the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, lawyers claimed June 23 in court papers filed in New York federal court."

Does that mean the NSA knew that 9/11 and the war on terra was in the works?

Analysis finds e-voting machines vulnerable

"There are more than 120 security threats to the three most commonly purchased electronic voting systems, the study by the Brennan Center for Justice says. For what it calls the most comprehensive review of its kind, the New York City-based non-partisan think tank convened a task force of election officials, computer scientists and security experts to study e-voting vulnerabilities."

The '06 stakes just got raised

"But it was equally noteworthy that only five of the nine justices believed that the rule of law and constitutional limits on Bush’s powers should prevail. Four justices – Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and John Roberts – have made clear that they are prepared to rubber-stamp any judgment that Bush makes."

Bankers' bank puzzles over state of world economy

"There are a number of possible triggers for a market 'bang', including: the tightening of interest rates, protectionist legislation relating to China or Middle East oil exporters, or the sudden failure of a large firm with major financial interests. But it could be something else entirely, for, as the report points out, 'the triggers for most of the financial crises observed over the last few decades were almost entirely unexpected.'"

Dollar likely to extend declines, top currency analysts predict

"The most accurate currency analysts on Wall Street last quarter are telling customers to anticipate more losses for the dollar against the euro."

Quotes from

"The New York Times has now made it more difficult for us to prevent attacks in the future." -- Dick Cheney, (R-Liar) Link Cheney is warning every news outlet in America that, if you report the crimes we're committing, you will be charged with treason and jailed.

"Before 9-11, law enforcement could more easily obtain business and financial records of white-collar criminals than of suspected terrorists. See, part of the way to make sure that we catch terrorists is we chase money trails. "
--the most crooked president in history Link George, name one terrorist you've caught by looking into everybody's private business - can you? And don't say the Miami 7 because homeless people have no financial records.

"The flag is a symbol of what veterans fought for...and what they sustained loss of life for." -- Arlen Specter, (R-Whore) pretending the phony flag issue is the most urgent matter for congress to act on Link

"It is almost impossible to overestimate the anger of swing voters." An amazingly high 73% say the country is on the wrong track and 66% disapprove of Bush. Swing voters prefer Democratic for Congress 45 to 28 over the Republicans. The Senate looks even worse for Republicans (53 to 31)." -- new Greenberg Quinlan Rosner poll, Link

"I think - tide turning - see, as I remember, I was raised in the desert, but tides kind of, it's easy to see a tide turn - did I say those words?"
-- the brainless killer when asked if the 'tide was turning' in Iraq, Link Have you ever been more afraid to be on this planet? Who is more stupid, who is more greedy, who is more eager to kill?

"The difference between Democrats and Republicans? They both steal. But the Republicans steal everything for themselves. The Democrats steal too, but they always make sure to leave a tiny bit left over for the little guy. The Republicans just take it all."
-- Vic's dad, many years ago


Blogger Danny Haszard said...

Regarding Eli lilly

I took zyprexa which was ineffective for my condition and gave me diabetes.

Zyprexa, which is used for the treatment of psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, accounted for 32% of Eli Lilly's $14.6 billion revenue last year.

Zyprexa is the product name for Olanzapine,it is Lilly's top selling drug.It was approved by the FDA in 1996 ,an 'atypical' antipsychotic a newer class of drugs without the motor side effects of the older Thorazine.Zyprexa has been linked to causing diabetes and pancreatitis.

Did you know that Lilly made nearly $3 billion last year on diabetic meds, Actos,Humulin and Byetta?

Yes! They sell a drug that can cause diabetes and then turn a profit on the drugs that treat the condition that they may have caused in the first place!

I was prescribed Zyprexa from 1996 until 2000.
In early 2000 i was shocked to have an A1C test result of 13.9 (normal is 4-6) I have no history of diabetes in my family.
Daniel Haszard

10:39 AM  

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