Ben Pogue, owner of a Texas construction company, provided the use of a private jet to President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign last fall. Several months later, his father received a presidential pardon.
Like more than a dozen other big Republican donors, many whose businesses are affected by Trump administration policy, he found a way to gain influence beyond simply writing a check. And, like many of them, he received some form of payback.
Records reviewed by The Associated Press show that donors with private aircraft have provided nearly $600,000 in private flights since July 2019 to Trump Victory, the president’s big-dollar fundraising committee led by Kimberly Guilfoyle, a former Fox News star who is dating Donald Trump Jr.
Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was. But, only under the worst, the most corrupt politicians in American history.
” Prescription drugs in the United States rank as the most expensive by a long shot, a report published this week has found, with the average cost of medications in the US exceeding the global median price by some 300 percent.
The study by digital healthcare provider Medbelle – based in the United Kingdom – reveals substantial differences in prescription drug prices around the world…
The index compares the affordability – or lack thereof – for the same drugs across 50 countries, showing how prices in each nation deviate from the global median.
” “The medications chosen for comparison span a variety of common conditions: from heart disease and asthma, to anxiety disorders and erectile dysfunction…”
“The average prices of both the brand compound and their generic versions were included in order to have a complete profile of each medication,” it added, saying that the dosage size was also normalised.
Read it and weep, sisters and brothers. I’d suggest asking your friendly neighborhood elected officials what their response is to this criminal state of affairs. But, first, I’d ask if they turn down the payola Big Pharma offers to just about every federal-level elected official. I wonder if anyone in Congress does?
❝ EU regulators based a decision to relicense the controversial weedkiller glyphosate on an assessment plagiarised from industry reports, according to a report for the European parliament.
A crossparty group of MEPs commissioned an investigation into claims, revealed by the Guardian, that Germany’s Federal Institute for Risk Assessment…copy-and-pasted tracts from Monsanto studies…
❝ The authors said they found “clear evidence of BfR’s deliberate pretence of an independent assessment, whereas in reality the authority was only echoing the industry applicants’ assessment.”
Really pisses me off. I’ve read and referenced that report in the past – and accepted it as legitimate. Just another example of the lengths corporate profiteers will go in corrupt practices to make a buck.
❝ A resolution to encourage breast-feeding was expected to be approved quickly and easily by the hundreds of government delegates who gathered this spring in Geneva for the United Nations-affiliated World Health Assembly.
Based on decades of research, the resolution says that mother’s milk is healthiest for children and countries should strive to limit the inaccurate or misleading marketing of breast milk substitutes.
Then the United States delegation, embracing the interests of infant formula manufacturers, upended the deliberations…
American officials sought to water down the resolution by removing language that called on governments to “protect, promote and support breast-feeding” and another passage that called on policymakers to restrict the promotion of food products that many experts say can have deleterious effects on young children.
❝ When that failed, they turned to threats…
Trump’s swamp is deeper in greed and lies than any Republican administration since Nixon. It should end the same!
May as well give ’em their own printing press for money…
❝ Waste at the Pentagon is nothing new. But recent revelations suggest that it may be reaching historic levels.
❝ The Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction has uncovered scandal after scandal involving U.S. aid to that country, including the creation of private villas for a small number of personnel working for a Pentagon economic development initiative and a series of costly facilities that were never or barely used. An analysis by ProPublica puts the price tag for wasteful and misguided expenditures in Afghanistan at $17 billion, a figure that is higher than the GDP of 80 nations…
It’s not just about Afghanistan, though. Back in the United States, wasteful spending abounds. A Politico report on the Pentagon’s $44 billion Defense Logistics Agency notes that it spent over $7 billion on unneeded equipment. Meanwhile, Congress is doing its part by inserting its own pet projects into the budget, whether or not they are top priorities in terms of defense needs. The most notable example is the F-35 combat aircraft, which at $1.4 trillion over its lifetime is the most expensive weapons project ever undertaken by the Pentagon. Despite the fact that the plane is far from ready for prime time, Congress stuffed 11 additional F-35s into the defense bill that was signed by the president last month…
❝ During the Reagan military buildup of the 1980s, tales of $600 toilet seats and $7,600 coffee makers convinced Congress and the public that the Pentagon had more money than it knew what to do with, and that the time to curb spending had come. But overspending on routine items – such as the Army’s recent expenditure of $8,000 on a gear worth $500 – continues. In fact, because the Pentagon can’t pass an audit, the department doesn’t even know for sure how much it is overpaying on basic items, or how much excess equipment it is purchasing.
❝ The common thread uniting the C-5 scandal of the 1960s, the spare parts scandal of the 1980s and today’s array of wasteful expenditures is that they all came on the heels of major military buildups. When there is too much money to go around and no one is minding the store, spending discipline goes out the window…
❝ What can be done to get the “fat” out of Pentagon spending? For starters, the department needs financial incentives to get its books in order. Members of Congress…have put forward bills designed to press the Pentagon to become audit ready as soon as possible.
But the best management tool is to put the Pentagon on a tighter budget, so it is forced to make some tough choices. No one, hawk or dove, should sit still for the waste of tens of billions of tax dollars. Waste doesn’t defend us. On the contrary, spending too much on the Pentagon just subsidizes bad choices.
It’s time for Congress, the president and the presidential candidates of both parties to speak out about Pentagon waste, and put forward concrete plans for reining it in. Otherwise, our era may have the dubious distinction of being the golden age of Pentagon waste.
Even though I can vote for Bernie or Hillary – one because it’s a good choice, finally – the other because we need at least a centrist defense of the Constitution to protect the rights we’re supposed to have – Bernie’s more likely to come down on the principled side of this question.
In front of most American audiences, the middle ground still plays well. Regardless of material reality. Hillary will stick with historic Liberal Democrat copouts. The kind that brought us everything from VietNam to Iraq.
So be it.
Want a little extra sidebar? Col. Lawrence Wilkerson was a heavy-duty military jock for George W Buch. And has a conscience about it. Read what he has to say.
As ever, Luckovich rocks!