Tobacco is still killing over 400,000 Americans each year.
Does anyone remember lawsuit by the US Government against tobacco companies, and the Justice department asked for a huge damages award? Then with their usual corruption the Bush administration set that aside and asked for only $10 billion? See Prosecutor Says Bush Appointees Interfered With Tobacco Case.
Well guess what?
The Obama administration asked the Supreme Court on Friday to allow the government to seek nearly $300 billion from the tobacco industry for a half-century of deception that “has cost the lives and damaged the health of untold millions of Americans.”
But the tobacco companies know that 5 of those Supreme Court justices are likely to dance with the once that got them there. They are now claiming it was all just “free speech”:
The companies also say the courts’ decision to brand their statements about smoking as fraudulent unfairly denied them their First Amendment rights to engage in the public-health debate about smoking.
The first problem I have with President Obama stems from his refusal to uphold the rule of law and hold the Bush administration accountable for possible criminal activity. It doesn’t matter if we need to look forward, have big problems on the table, whatever. The first job of government is to uphold the rule of law, or the legitimacy of that government is undermined.
The conspiracy to invade Iraq needs to be investigated. If it is determined that these people lied, planted evidence, etc. in order to cause us to invade that country, this is the most serious crime imaginable. Enough people in this country and the world think this is a possibility that it undermines law and democracy not to look into this and see what we can find out.
Next move on to torture. This must be investigated, or else everyone will come to believe first that there are different standards in the law for people in power, and that it is the accepted policy of our country.
Now move on to the appearance of bribery, embezzlement, cronyism, favors to campaign contributors, selective prosecutions, no-bid contracts, improper political appointments, etc. These, if fond to have actually occurred, are all crimes. They are all supposed to be investigated and prosecuted. The rule of law demands that this is done. If they did these things and get away with it, then these things will happen again, with the bush administration as only a starting point next time. President Obama’s failure to uphold the rule of law is inexcusable.
After the S&L Crisis over a thousand industry insiders went to jail.
How many have gone to jail after the biggest financial crisis since the great depression? Bernie Madoff doesn’t count, so that make’s … zero, I think.
But how many got bailed out with our money and continue to make million-dollar bonuses while people are being thrown out of their houses and jobs because of what they did?
And Democrats think that ANYONE is going to vote for them in 2010????
Is there any accountability yet? Have any major financial thieves been put in jail and/or made to give the money back yet? (I don’t mean the Madoffs, I mean the ones who talked people into mortgaging their houses so they could sell CDOs.) Have any corrupt government officials from the Bush years been prosecuted yet? Have any lobbyists been indicted for giving bribes – or politicians indicted for taking them? Have any government officials been prosecuted for doing bug companies a favor and then leaving the governemnt and taking huge-paying jobs from those companies?
How about has anyone been held accountable for torture people and launching wars that killed tens of hundreds of thousands? Or how about just having pallettes of money shipped to Iraq for distribution?
How about something simple, like getting bonuses back from people who made millions and millions defrauding people and ruining the economy and destroying millions of people’s retirement? Or maybe even just making them pay their taxes? Or how about just asking people making tens of millions to pay at least the same taxe rates that the rest of us pay?
Nope. Nada. Not that I have seen. No accountability yet. Nothing. The rich and the powerful can get away with anything. Anything. We have a two-tiered justice system in America now and no one bothers to deny it.
Is the new boss same as the old boss? Or will things change?
Merck paid an undisclosed sum to Elsevier to produce several volumes of a publication that had the look of a peer-reviewed medical journal, but contained only reprinted or summarized articles–most of which presented data favorable to Merck products–that appeared to act solely as marketing tools with no disclosure of company sponsorship.
. . . The issues contained little in the way of advertisements apart from ads for Fosamax, a Merck drug for osteoporosis, and Vioxx.
. . . The claim that Merck had created a journal out of whole cloth to serve as a marketing tool was first reported by The Australian about three weeks ago. It came to light in the context of a civil suit filed by Graeme Peterson, who suffered a heart attack in 2003 while on Vioxx, against Merck and its Australian subsidiary, Merck, Sharp & Dohme Australia (MSDA).
They invented a phony “scientific” “peer-reviewed” journal to public marketing articles promoting their products, making it look like “science” validated them!
How many people did Vioxx kill? Question: Does this “pharmaceutical” company, like others, refuse to develop antibiotics – even though we (humanity) are running out of effective antibiotics – because they don’t make enough profit?
Why are they allowed to call themselves a pharmaceutical company? Why are they allowed by our laws to be a corporation?
It is time to put a stop to all corporate lobbying of all types, and get a handle back on control of our own government!
I have to say, it is striking that the day after the Governor of Texas talked about his state seceding from the United States, I have seen no reports or discussion in the news! This should be a huge, huge story. The historical precedent for the impact of such statements could not be more alarming. Yet, nothing.
What is the reason for this? Why are the editors of the corporate media, who decide what will eb on the nation’s agenda, hushing this up?
This reminds me of the silence last year after when it came out that the Republican Vice Presidential candidate was associated with a group calling for Alaska’s secession from the United States. There was also little discussion of the implications of such a position.
I thought the media loved to cover controversy and hypocrisy? What could be more controversial than a Governor calling for his/her state to leave the United States? What could be more hypocritical than supposed “patriotic” conservatives hating the country so much they want to disband it? Update – Alaska, texas, now Georgia, too. Nothing on the TV yet. (h/t Americablog.)
Doctors did a study in Peublo, Colorado after the city banned smoking in workplaces and indoor public areas. They compared hospital admissions for heart attacks for a year before and three years after the ban, and compared the results with two nearby areas that did not have similar bans.
The study found a 41 percent drop in hospital admissions for heart attacks resulting from the public smoking ban.
It turns out that tobacco companies started studying this in 1971 and knew about these results. But instead of doing something about it “Philip Morris masterminded a massive global effort to confuse and deceive the public about the health hazards of secondhand smoke and to delay laws restricting smoking in indoor public places.”
Read about the techniques they used to prevent smoking bans at: Deadly Deception: The Tobacco Industry’s Secondhand Smoke Cover Up | Center for Media and Democracy
Ford pardoned Nixon, which led to the crimes/bribery/theft/fraud/lies/wars of the Reagan/Bush I administration. It also led to a common understanding that in America the big fish operate under different rules and are held to a different standard.
Reagan was let off the hook for Iran/Contra and Bush I pardoned everyone who otherwise might have testified against him. Then under Clinton they let bygones be bygones, bribery remain unpunished and stolen money stay stolen which led to the crimes of Bush II. (It also paved the way for Clinton’s impeachment because they knew the Dems would let them get away with anything and the public was ready for a story about people at the top not being let off the hook.)
If you don’t prosecute lawbreaking and hold accountable the lawbreakers, it will just happen over and over, worse each time. Throughout the Bush II administration the Dems refused to hold anyone accountable and look what’s happening today.
… nine banks about to be getting a total equity capital injection of $125 billion, courtesy of Phase I of The Bailout Plan, had reserved $108 billion during the first nine months of 2008 in order to pay for compensation and bonuses…
The country’s top investment bank (which since Sept. 21 calls itself a bank holding company), Goldman Sachs, set aside $11.4 billion during the first nine months of this year — slightly more than the firm’s $10 billion U.S. government gift — to cover bonus payments for its 443 senior partners, who are set to make about $5 million each, and other employees.
CALL your Congressperson’s office and demand to know why the taxpayer bailout money is being used for bonuses.
The Obama campaign today sent a letter to Attorney General Mukasey asking that he expand the scope of the ongoing investigation into Justice Department politicization to “include a review of any involvement by the Justice Department and White House officials in supporting the McCain-Palin campaign and the Republican National Committee (RNC)’s systematic development and dissemination of unsupported, spurious allegations of vote fraud.”
Briefly, the DOJ politicization scandal stems from Republican efforts to conduct partisan vote fraud investigations before the 2006 election. Prosecutors who refused were fired, prosecutors who played along were not fired (and are still there). After an outcry and the resignation of Attorney General Gonzales the new Attorney General, Michael Mukasey, appointed a special prosecutor to look into the politicization. The current vote fraud accusations and accompanying Justice Department, FBI and White House involvement follow the same pattern, and are based on no credible evidence, so the Obama campaign believes that it may be related to the ongoing partisan politicization of the government’s law enforcement.
Citing an “unholy alliance” between Republican operatives and potentially illegal conduct by law enforcement targeting voter fraud, the Obama campaign demanded Friday that the U.S. special prosecutor looking into the U.S. attorney scandal investigate the matter.
General counsel Bob Bauer sent a letter to Atty. Gen. Michael Mukasey charging that coordinated “misconduct” by McCain campaign representatives and GOP officials were relevant to the special prosecutor’s work, because the activities may relate to the dismissal of seven U.S. attorneys in late 2006.
The letter requests that the special prosecutor’s inquiry “include a review of any involvement by Justice Dept. and White House officials in supporting the McCain-Palin campaign [and RNC’s] systematic development and dissemination of unsupported, spurious allegations of vote fraud.”
The FBI is investigating whether the community activist group ACORN helped foster voter registration fraud around the nation before the presidential election. A senior law enforcement official confirmed the investigation to The Associated Press on Thursday.
A second senior law enforcement official says the FBI was looking at results of recent raids on ACORN offices in several states for any evidence of a coordinated national scam.
First, it is ILLEGAL for anyone in the government to leak news of an FBI investigation. That by itself should be a tipoff to what is going on here.
Second, this is what the Justice Department politicization scandal was about: prosecutors fired for refusing to involve themselves in phony pre-election investigations of vote fraud, and others who were not fired because they played along. Those prosecutors are still on the job. Get it yet?
I am seeing 24.7 hysteria in the media that ACORN is engaged in a conspiracy to steal the election. But once you look into it there is not a single fact behind the charges. In fact, there were a total of 26 cases of voter fraud in the United States in a 5-year period studied.
Meanwhile the Republicans are fighting to purge millions of citizens from the voting rolls before the election. Do you not get it yet?
In 1992, for reasons that have never been explained, Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist replaced MacKinnon with one of the most right-wing judges in the federal judiciary, U.S. Appeals Court Judge David Sentelle.
By naming Sentelle, Rehnquist altered the political climate surrouding the selection of special prosecutors, effectively injecting conservative ideology into the process in a way that had been avoided during the previous 14 years.
. . . A North Carolina Republican, Sentelle was seen as a hard-line conservative, a protege of Sen. Jesse Helms and a close ally of Sen. Lauch Faircloth, two of the Senate’s most conservative members.
Before donning black robes, Sentelle also had been a Republican Party activist.
. . . Even after his appointment to the federal bench, Sentelle engaged in public writings harshly critical of liberals. In one article, Sentelle accused “leftist heretics” of wishing to turn the United States into “a collectivist, egalitarian, materialistic, race-conscious, hyper-secular, and socially permissive state.”
. . . Since his appointment, Sentelle has steered nearly all sensitive investigations into the hands of partisan Republicans.
In late 1992, when the Bush administration was caught searching Clinton’s passport files looking for derogatory information, Sentelle’s three-judge panel handed off the investigation to GOP stalwart Joseph diGenova, who found no wrongdoing by his Republican associates.
After Clinton’s inauguration, Sentelle’s panel kept picking Republicans for high-profile cases. David Barrett, head of Lawyers for Reagan in 1980, was named to pursue allegations that Housing Secretary Henry Cisneros had understated how much money he had paid a mistress.
. . . But Sentelle’s most controversial special prosecutor was Kenneth Starr.