Bad Deeds for 9-28-2009


Iowa Congressman Steve King is Heartless and Proud of It – Iowa Republican Steve King, who in 2005 earmarked millions for flood control in his own district, told the publication The Hill that the best vote he ever cast was against relief for Hurricane Katrina. Specifically, he voted against the second emergency supplemental appropriation — introduced barely a week after the storm hit the Gulf Coast and the federal levees in New Orleans fell apart.

“Probably the singular vote that stands out that went against the grain, and it turns out to be the best vote that I cast, was my ‘no’ vote to the $51.5 billion to Katrina,” he told The Hill. Rep. King was one of 11 House members to vote against this urgently needed help for an area that, at the time, was still under water. But opposing relief for a devastated region of this country is hardly an act of political courage. The fact that he considers it a point of pride is appalling.
Rep. King also opposes health care reform. Remember, he’s heartless [conservative without conscience].


While Republicans Complain That Health Care Reform will Cost Money, Study Shows That a Good Public Option Will Increase Savings by $85 Billion – House leaders Thursday released CBO estimates for liberals’ preferred version of the public option that show $85 billion more in savings than for the version the Blue Dogs prefer. In total, a public plan based on Medicare rates would save $110 billion over 10 years. That is $20 billion more than earlier estimates, a spokesman for House Speaker Pelosi said.


ACORN Video Filmmaker Lied About His Funding – James O’Keefe, the activist filmmaker who achieved sudden fame for a series of undercover videos recording ACORN workers, has repeatedly said that he is “absolutely independent” and received no outside funding to make his films.

But the Voice has learned that O’Keefe, in fact, has had heavyweight conservative backers who funded the young filmmaker as recently as a few months before his ACORN films were made.
The ACORN videos are actually just the latest of several films O’Keefe has produced and uploaded to YouTube. An earlier film posted in February, “Taxpayers Clearing House” featured nonwhite, working class people being duped by O’Keefe, who led them to believe they had won money in a sweepstakes.

That video was produced with the help of a grant — said to be about $30,000 [Thiel’s spokesman says closer to $10,000] — from Peter Thiel, one of the founders of PayPal and an early investor in Facebook — an investment which made him a billionaire. Thiel now lives in San Francisco and runs a hedge fund.


NJ Politicians Pressured Them Into Approving Unsafe Medical Device – After They Received Large Donations – The Food and Drug Administration said Thursday that four New Jersey congressmen and its own former commissioner unduly influenced the process that led to its decision last year to approve a patch for injured knees, an approval it is now revisiting.
The agency’s scientific reviewers repeatedly and unanimously over many years decided that the device, known as Menaflex and manufactured by ReGen Biologics Inc., was unsafe because the device often failed, forcing patients to get another operation.

But after receiving what an F.D.A. report described as “extreme,” “unusual” and persistent pressure from four Democrats from New Jersey — Senators Robert Menendez and Frank R. Lautenberg and Representatives Frank Pallone Jr. and Steven R. Rothman — agency managers overruled the scientists and approved the device for sale in December.

All four legislators made their inquiries within a few months of receiving significant campaign contributions from ReGen, which is based in New Jersey, but all said they had acted appropriately and were not influenced by the money. Dr. Andrew C. von Eschenbach, the former drug agency’s commissioner, said he had acted properly.

The agency has never before publicly questioned the process behind one of its approvals, never admitted that a regulatory decision was influenced by politics, and never accused a former commissioner of questionable conduct.


Senator Kyl Says “I Don’t Need Maternity Care” So Employers Shouldn’t Be Required To Provide It – Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), broke new ground defending an amendment he’d proposed that struck language from the bill defining which benefits employers are required to cover — in this case, basic maternity care. “I don’t need maternity care,” Kyl said. “So requiring that on my insurance policy is something that I don’t need and will make the policy more expensive.”

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), interrupted Kyl: “I think your mom probably did.”
The amendment was defeated, nine to 14.


Facebook Poll Asks “Should Obama Be Killed?” – A poll was posted on Facebook by a subscriber asking users to vote “should Obama be killed?”
The responses include: “yes,” “maybe,” “if he cuts my health care,” and “no.”


“CO2 Is Green” Campaign Thinks You Are Stupid – There is an outfit called “CO2 Is Green,” whose P.R. strategy is based in playing people for fools by means of the promotion of reductive reasoning and oversimplification. Their central premise is basically: “But human beings breathe out carbon dioxide, so it must be good to produce even more of it!” Normally when one hears this sort of statement being made, one pauses to make sure it’s not being made by a seven-year-old child. CO2 is Green, right on their webpage, happily informs visitors that “Humans inhale and exhale CO2 with every breath. How could anyone expect you to believe it is a human health hazard?” Well, in the first place, this sort of ignores the fact that human beings exhale CO2 for a reason. If you want to appreciate how CO2 becomes a health hazard, you really ought to try inhaling pure CO2 for a period of time.





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About Jim Vogas

Texas A&M Aggie, Retired aerospace engineer, former union member, Vietnam vet, Demcratic Party organizer, husband and father.

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