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According to a journalist friend who works for the AP, Ted Kennedy came to Harrisburg, PA, in 2004 to stump for John Kerry and said the following:

"This administration doesn't do what it says and doesn't say what it's going to do," he said.

Funny, I'm starting to feel that way about a few critically important things from the Obama administration--recognizing full well that my definition of "critically important things" may differ greatly from that of many people who live in the US, such as the state secrets privilege, signing statements, contracts to Xe Services LLC (formerly Blackwater), access to high-powered lobbyists, etc.

Sure, it's a world of difference from the previous administration, and I'm sure from what could have been had we had a different administration (with McCain-Palin), but still.

I'm curious whether the Obama administration will issue a gag order to prevent Sibel Edmonds from testifying this weekend in response to a subpoena. Daniel Ellsburg, who broke the Pentagon Papers, called her case "more explosive than the Pentagon Papers," but only about three hundred people in the US seem to be aware of her case.

Of course, people have been far more concerned about things like Michael Jackson's doctor's knowledge of Michael Jackson's something or other, the economy, and health care. With respect to the latter, I thought these were interesting:

http://www.nytimes.com/...
Drug Industry to Run Ads Favoring White House Plan

By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK
Published: August 8, 2009

WASHINGTON — The drug industry has authorized its lobbyists to spend as much as $150 million on television commercials supporting President Obama’s health care overhaul, beginning over the August Congressional recess, people briefed on the plans said Saturday.

The unusually large scale of the industry’s commitment to the cause helps explain some of a contentious back-and-forth playing out in recent days between the odd-couple allies over a deal that the White House struck with the industry in June to secure its support. The terms of the deal were not fully disclosed. Both sides had announced that the drug industry would contribute $80 billion over 10 years to the cost of the health care overhaul without spelling out the details.

Who's going to trust the next one written by a guy with a name like "Tom Hamburger," but still:

http://www.latimes.com/...
Obama gives powerful drug lobby a seat at healthcare table
The pharmaceutical industry, once condemned by the president as a source of healthcare problems, has become a White House partner.

By Tom Hamburger
August 4, 2009

Reporting from Washington - As a candidate for president, Barack Obama lambasted drug companies and the influence they wielded in Washington. He even ran a television ad targeting the industry's chief lobbyist, former Louisiana congressman Billy Tauzin, and the role Tauzin played in preventing Medicare from negotiating for lower drug prices.

Since the election, Tauzin has morphed into the president's partner. He has been invited to the White House half a dozen times in recent months. There, he says, he eventually secured an agreement that the administration wouldn't try to overturn the very Medicare drug policy that Obama had criticized on the campaign trail.

"The White House blessed it," Tauzin said.

At the same time, Tauzin said the industry he represents was offering political and financial support for the president's healthcare initiative, a remarkable shift considering that drug companies vigorously opposed a national overhaul the last time it was proposed, when Bill Clinton was president.

[....]

I don't know the name of the medication for restless legs syndrome, but I do know that one is already taken. However, I would not be surprised to see Tauzinol lozenges being prescribed in the near future for teenage nail-biting syndrome (TNBS), which, if not treated immediately, might lead to serious deformities in adulthood, such as long or broken fingernails. In severe cases, YOUR precious children could end up with the following:

http://bit.ly/...

http://bit.ly/...

On the issue of the $80 billion in savings as a result of the contributions from the drug industry, here is what yet another roundly ignored "journalist" has to say:

http://www.gregpalast.com/...
Obama on Drugs: 98% Cheney?

by Greg Palast
Thursday, August 13, 2009

For The Huffington Post

Eighty billion dollars of WHAT?

US spending on prescription drugs projected by the government for the next ten years...added up to $3.6 trillion.

In other words, Obama's big deal with Big Pharma saves $80 billion out of a total $3.6 trillion. That's 2%.

[....]

For perspective: Imagine you are in a Wal-Mart and there's a sign over a flat screen TV, "BIG SAVINGS!" So, you break every promise you made never to buy from that union-busting big box - and snatch up the $500 television. And when you're caught by your spouse, you say, "But, honey, look at the deal I got! It was TWO-PERCENT OFF! I saved us $10!"

But 2% is better than nothing, I suppose. Or is it?

The Big Pharma kingpins did not actually agree to cut their prices. Their promise with Obama is something a little oilier: they apparently promised that, over ten years, they will reduce the amount at which they would otherwise raise drug prices. Got that? In other words, the Obama deal locks in a doubling of drug costs, projected to rise over the period of "savings" from a quarter trillion dollars a year to half a trillion dollars a year. Minus that 2%.

We'll still get the shaft from Big Pharma, but Obama will have circumcised the increase.

Oy, get me some Tauzinol before I bite off all my fingernails. Quick!

***** UPDATE *****

It turns out that the Obama administration didn't invoke the state secrets privilege again, after all, and Edmonds already testified two weeks ago. It also turns out that it was indeed much ado over nothing all these years; hence, the lack of media coverage:

http://www.bradblog.com/...
SIBEL EDMONDS' DEPOSITION: VIDEO AND TRANSCRIPT RELEASED

[....]

The deposition included criminal allegations against specifically named members of Congress. Among those named by Edmonds as part of a broad criminal conspiracy: Reps. Dennis Hastert (R-IL), Dan Burton (R-IN), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Bob Livingston (R-LA), Stephen Solarz (D-NY), Tom Lantos (D-CA), as well as an unnamed, still-serving Congresswoman (D) said to have been secretly videotaped, for blackmail purposes, during a lesbian affair.

High-ranking officials from the Bush Administration named in her testimony, as part of the criminal conspiracy on behalf of agents of the Government of Turkey, include Douglas Feith, Paul Wolfowitz, Marc Grossman, and others.

During the deposition --- which we are still going through ourselves --- Edmonds discusses covert "activities" by Turkish entities "that would involve trying to obtain very sensitive, classified, highly classified U.S. intelligence information, weapons technology information, classified Congressional records...recruiting key U.S. individuals with access to highly sensitive information, blackmailing, bribery."

[....]

Edmonds' on-the-record disclosures also include bombshell details concerning outed covert CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson's front company, Brewster Jennings. [....]

An unclassified FBI Inspector General's report, released on her case in 2005, declared Edmonds' classified allegations to be "credible," "serious," and "warrant[ing] a thorough and careful review by the FBI." In 2002, Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-NE) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT), then the senior members of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, co-wrote letters on Edmonds' behalf to Attorney General John Ashcroft, FBI Director Robert Mueller, and DoJ Inspector General Glenn A. Fine, calling on all of them to take action in respect to her allegations. And in a 2002 60 Minutes report on Edmonds' case, Grassley noted: "Absolutely, she's credible...And the reason I feel she's very credible is because people within the FBI have corroborated a lot of her story."

I'm sure this has got to be an improper logical inference, but given that Edmonds has offered a sworn deposition testifying that there is a "broad criminal conspiracy" among big-name figures--albeit less well-known than the King of Pop--and that "the FBI have corroborated a lot of her story," it sure looks as if the FBI believes in wild conspiracy theories.

So my question is: do US taxpayers have to pay for government-issued tin foil?

Seriously, has this been in the US news much?

Originally posted to bookmarkjedi on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 09:08 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Sibel Edmonds' deposition already happened (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bluegrass50, nickrud

    Video and transcript are available at bradblog.

    The DoJ never repeated the States Secrets claim, just advised that Edmonds was still bound by non-disclosure provisions that were part of her FBI contract. As a result, the deposition tried to stick to information that was already available through other channels, but if you read the transcript or watch the video, you'll see that didn't stop a lot of explosive stuff being brought up.

    On the signing statements... which of them do you think is not based on constitutionally sound logic? The one where he asserted his Article II power to make treaties, or the one where he pointed out that since only he is Commander in Chief, Congress has absolutely no authority to require him to act only with the permission of his subordinates in the military chain of command? (Note, that's his only invocation of C-in-C powers to date)

    With the Blackwater contracts... Bush so outsourced military and intelligence functions, and pushed so many of the contracts to Blackwater, that terminating that relationship overnight would pose significant national security problems.

    The Pharma deal I can live with, and the reason should be obvious to you every time you see Harry & Louise on TV talking about how much we need to get reform passed. Obama said he wants to end the game, but everyone in Congress is still playing. So he's left with a choice: wait until Congress wakes the fuck up to the fact that the nation hates the way it does business, or get health reform done and then end the game. I'd rather not make HCR dependent on a new culture arising first. To me, the Pharma deal is an application of one of Mao's strategies: ally with your secondary enemy to isolate and strike at your primary enemy. It may leave something of a bitter taste, but when you think of the numerous proclamations already made that health reform as a whole is dead, or the public option is dead, just think what would be happening if that $150 million of advertising was opposing reform.

    In America, 60% of bankruptcies are because of medical bills, and 80% of those people had health insurance

    by sullivanst on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 10:00:55 AM PDT

  •  I don't think even the insurance industry has (0+ / 0-)

    spent quite that much yet.

    You want weapons? We're in a LIBRARY. Books - the best weapons in the world! Arm yourselves. - The (10th) Doctor, Doctor Who, "Tooth And Claw"

    by The YENTA Of The Opera on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 10:07:56 AM PDT

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