Those of you reading from the most recent post on down should probably reference this first.
It’s funny how most of the attention lately has been on Daschle’s tax problems, when the problem we should be concerned about is how beholden he is to the very industries he’s supposed to ride herd on as Secretary of HHS. The Los Angeles Times adds:
According to financial disclosure forms filed with the Office of Government Ethics, Daschle also took in $153,200 in 2008 for giving speeches to healthcare companies and industry groups such as GE Healthcare, a leading manufacturer of medical devices.
A decade ago, Daschle’s wife did some work for the healthcare industry as well. In 1999 and 2000, Linda Daschle was among a group of lobbyists at Baker Donelson Bearman & Caldwell who represented the drug maker Schering-Plough Corp., which paid the law firm $470,000 over the two years, according to federal lobbying reports.
You might find it ironic that Republican Senators plan to grill Daschle on this matter, but Daschle’s own record shows how pervasive the revolving door culture can be in our nation’s capital. All I can say about the irony is that I’m just glad there are still two major parties in DC. If there were any fewer, we probably wouldn’t be hearing about this at all. [I do have to quibble over the “two major parties” portion of this post – unless, of course, major is defined as one party being a major pain in the arse and the other majoring in cluelessness. – ed.]
Even assuming Daschle was willing to say goodbye to all that, it’s unlikely that he’ll also be willing to work his wife out of a living.
All I’d heard on Daschle up until now was gushing praise. So it’s interesting to see another perspective and realize that if his nomination goes down in flames, it might not be such a horrible thing. It would even be thought-provoking if I were capable of thought this evening.
Cujo359 isn’t gentle on Daschle, but he’s absolutely brutal when it comes to Sanjay Gupta, Obama’s pick for Surgeon General. Considering that I thought Dr. Gupta was nothing more than a cheap stunt anyways, I’m delighted to see him getting mauled:
Equally unimpressive is President Obama’s choice for Surgeon General. Dr. Sanjay Gupta is, as many people are aware, a medical correspondent for CNN. Just that statement would be cause for suspicion about where his loyalties lie, given that so much commercial time is bought by insurance, pharmaceutical, and healthcare companies. As The New Republic observed:
For over six years, Gupta has been co-hosting “AccentHealth”—a CNN television segment beamed straight into doctors’ waiting rooms, sponsored in part by many of the major pharmaceutical companies. Touted on its website as an “integrated marketing opportunity” that allows companies to deliver their message “in a trusted environment,” the show has been underwritten by drug industry leaders Aventis, Pfizer, Procter & Gamble, Merck, and Warner Lambert.
But suspicion doesn’t equal guilt, so let’s look at what Dr. Gupta’s been up to. That same TNR article goes on to say:
At the same time, Gupta has been appearing on CNN’s primary broadcasts as an ostensibly objective medical authority, discussing the drugs produced by the very same pharmaceutical companies. In a November 2003 broadcast of CNN’s “American Morning,” Gupta described the benefits of the cholesterol-reducing drug Lipitor, which is produced by Pfizer…
It gets worse. And no, Dr. Gupta doesn’t make it out alive. Luckily, Cujo359, being our Thinking Brain dog, can readily suggest an alternative.
It’s a thought-provoking post. I haven’t even begun to extract all of the awesome bits, so head on over and have a look yourself.