Daily Archives: January 9, 2010

ObamaKare: a bill only the drug industry could love

The special election scheduled for January 19th to replace on of the dead Kennedys has moved from a run-away for the Democrat to a dead heat. This alarms Democrats, naturally, but take a gander at who’s rushing up to the bean state to lend money and logistical support to the Democrat: The lady represents the 60th vote necessary to pass ObamaKare and these guys are scared to death. Which ought to tell you all you need to know about what the Democrats have up their sleeve and who they’re protecting. Republican or Democrat, Washington protects its own.

Thomas Boggs, Patton Boggs: Bristol-Myers Squibb

  • Chuck Brain, Capitol Hill Strategies: Amgen, BIO, Merck, PhRMA
  • Susan Brophy, Glover Park Group: Blue Cross, Pfizer
  • Steven Champlin, Duberstein Group: AHIP, Novartis, Sanofi-Aventis
  • Licy Do Canto, Raben Group: Amgen
  • Gerald Cassidy, Cassidy & Associates: U. Mass Memorial Health Care
  • David Castagnetti, Mehlman, Vogel, Castagnetti: Abbot Labs, AHIP, Astra-Zenaca, General Electric, Humana, Merck, PhRMA.
  • Steven Elmendorf, Elmendorf Strategies: Medicines Company, PhRMA, United Health
  • Shannon Finley, Capitol Counsel: Amgen, Astra-Zeneca, Blue Cross, GE, PhRMA, Sanofi-Aventis.
  • Heather Podesta, Heather Podesta & Partners: Cigna, Eli Lilly, HealthSouth
  • Tony Podesta, Podesta Group: Amgen, GE, Merck, Novartis.
  • Robert Raben, Raben Group: Amgen, GE.


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Put this man on the Supreme Court

When the city of Baltimore sued Wells Fargo for causing the blight of its city, a judge minced no words:

A federal judge this week tossed out a lawsuit by Baltimore againstWells Fargo, ruling that the city could not prove that the bank’s lending practices had resulted in broad damage to poor neighborhoods.

Baltimore officials have accused the bank of tipping hundreds of black homeowners into foreclosure by singling them out for high-interest subprime mortgages.

But the city’s claims are “even more implausible,” Judge J. Frederick Motz of Federal District Court wrote, “when considered against the background of other factors leading to the deterioration of the inner city, such as extensive unemployment, lack of educational opportunity and choice, irresponsible parenting, disrespect for the law, widespread drug use and violence.”


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More fun with the mackerel snappers

I’ll confess, so to speak, that the doings of the Catholic church means as little to me as those of the Greenwich Republican Party but the Boviana Bloviator, who is interested, does a nice job of keeping me amused by reporting on the strange doings of both the Catholic and  Episcopalian churches (Mark Twain said that Episcopalians were just rich Catholics, but that’s another matter).

So here’s an amusing anecdote from, where else, San Francisco, where the Catholic church has yanked out its confession boxes (cells? – booths? whatever) and replaced them with a moveable feast of aboriginal art featuring things like pagan idols sporting both breasts and erect penises.

The Jesuits can explain it all. Says the Rev’d James R. Blaettler, S.J., Associate Pastor of St. Ignatius: “In keeping with Ignatius’ understanding that his Constitutions or governing rules for Jesuits would include old principles and new ones, the gallery’s philosophy is to include both traditional religious works and contemporary art in a series of changing exhibitions. Commissioned pieces will enhance the dialogue that take places on a larger scale within the ritual space of the church.”

I was trained by the Jesuits and I don’t remember erect penises and idols being part of the dialogue but then, I was never taught by Father Blaettler.


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They drone on and on

Are you aware that there is a campaign going on conducted by left wing law students, their professors and the Code Pink ladies to ban the use of predator drones? Good discussion of the legal arguments here, but the basic argument seems to be that a weapon that doesn’t expose an American soldier to personal risk is unfair and unsportsmanlike. These are generally the same people who claim they want to end whatever war is going on at any given time because they love our soldiers and don’t want them hurt. I have the feeling they’re much more interested in seeing our defeat, everywhere in the world, than the welfare of U.S. troops.

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King Street vs. Cos Cob: battle in the Republican trenches

King Street resident Joan Caldwell is determined to knock Cos Cob’s Chris Keyserling from his spot of Republican Town Committee RTM Appointments chairman and the result is a deadlock, 6-6. This means – horrors! – that positions of great importance in town might go unfilled for weeks, even months. I hear rumors that the Republicans are going at it fast, furious and bitterly, which brings to mind Sayer’s Law that academic politics are so vicious precisely because so little is at stake. Go for it guys, and let us know how it turns out.

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Scusie’s Dish: Richard Grere to host benefit log cutting party

Quick! Saw this up before the tree warden arrives!

Hurry on up to Pound Ridge for this one. Wonder if he’s paid that fine yet?


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Obama the light skinned negro

Rise up, darkies and learn to speak Demmerkrat, like us!

So says Harry Reid. You may remember the Senator: he’s the one who last month compared opponents of ObamaKare to slave owners. And Reid, of course, doesn’t like slavery because he’s a Democrat, head of the party that nominated, in Reid’s words, “a light skinned negro with no negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.” Democrats are as proud of their young, almost-pass-for-white darkie as they are of the former Klansman, Robert Byrd.


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Deaf, dumb, blind and stupid

Wall Street readies 7 and 8 figure bonuses. Average Goldman employee to get $595,000. They take taxpayer money to stay in business after their own recklessness exposed them to ruin, they get 100% back on their bad bets, including AIG bets, then rake in billions using taxpayer-provided free money and congratulate themselves on their genius and throw themselves a party at our expense. I m not a populist and I am a supporter of the free market and capitalism but I’m pissed as hell – imagine the reaction of those who don’t share my enthusiasm for the present system. Eighteen months ago I thought we should let these bastards crumble and see whether something better took their place. I am convinced now that I was right.

Even some industry veterans warn that such paydays could further tarnish the financial industry’s sullied reputation. John S. Reed, a founder of Citigroup, said Wall Street would not fully regain the public’s trust until banks scaled back bonuses for good — something that, to many, seems a distant prospect.

“There is nothing I’ve seen that gives me the slightest feeling that these people have learned anything from the crisis,” Mr. Reed said. “They just don’t get it. They are off in a different world.”

What really infuriates me is that these greedy, grasping morons are inviting a populist backlash that will wreck our economy and they’re just too arrogant to understand that or care.


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Getting around: I’ve encountered this guy in every airport in the US

TSA employee fired after declaring, “I am God, I’m in charge.”


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I’ve no dog in this fight

Obama shifts State of the Union speech to a later date, won’t preempt premier of last season of “Lost”. I won’t be watching either one, but it’s nice that our country has its priorities straight. Obama will be boring and duplicitous, “Lost” promises at least some entertainment value.


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Teri Buhl – why won’t Westport Bank settle its Madoff suit?

Because they’ll win – the claimants are trying to blame the bank for investment decisions their own financial advisors made. I made the same point last year when this suit was first filed, but here’s a good update, with comments from a better lawyer.

Jeffrey Blomberg, a partner in the Greenwich office of international law firm Withers Bergman LLP, commented that while he didn’t have an opinion as to the merit of the plaintiffs’ entire case, “They are trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. The plaintiffs are trying to impose fiduciary duties on a custodial relationship where they don’t generally apply.”

Even if the newly implemented SEC rules regarding investment advisers who have custody of client assets, which the NY Times’ Floyd Norris penned a column on today, had been in effect at the time the Westport National arrangements were entered into, they wouldn’t apply to the bank because it was acting as a custodian for the IRA and not as investment adviser to an IRA.

“In this case, I don’t see where the bank had a duty to monitor how the assets of their customers were invested,” says Blomberg. “This suit appears to be applying duties of an investment advisor to the bank, who appears to have been acting merely as a custodian with specific contractual obligations.”

With Westport Bank’s largest shareholder having very deep pockets it’s easy to see why plaintiffs would try to go after the bank, but it appears they are really trying to hold a third party accountable for someone else’s mistakes — a notion the bank reminds customers of when they question the ethics in this sad saga


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Prince Charles: we can now all relax about this global warming stuff

I’ve had fun tracking the various doomsday predictions of ardent warmists, pointing out that, for instance, we have only two years left before NASA’s Hansen’s four year deadline elapses and then, according to the noted scientist, it will be too late to do anything.

But I missed this prediction from Prince Charles who, eighteen moths ago, said had only eighteen moths before irreversible doom set in. Time’s up, it’s too late so we can forget this nonsense and go back to business. The Prince, snowed in in his castle, was unavailable for comment.


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