Janet's Conner

This Blog tell the Truth and will never not tell the Truth. Impeach Bush

Sunday, May 21, 2006

THE "REAL" SENATOR ARLEN SPECTER (R-PA) "REALLY" WORKS FOR BUSH


During his 2004 bid for a fifth term in office, Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) faced a tought primary battle. Pat Toomey, a candidate handpicked and supported by the Republican Party's most extreme element, i,e., their base, gave the Pennsylvania Senator a run for his money. It wasn't until the GOP's most radical elected officials, like George W. Bush and Rick Santorum, rallied to Specter's side, that he was finally able to stave off Tommey's challenge.

In Republican and media circles, Specter is considered a "moderate" which is coded language for a GOPer willing to do whatever it takes to appear to be mainstream, while in reality furthering the most stygian policies of the Party. As a solid moderate, Specter has become adept at straddling both sides of every subject and choosing one over the other only when political expediency requires him to do so. Republicans like Specter are the equivalent of a political Rorschach test: people see in Specter whatever they hope to see. Their perception, however, is never linked to reality.

Arlen Specter's "moderate" Republican nature allows him to adopt any political shape, take any side on an infinite number of issues and, cut dark and unholy deals. In the era of the Bush-Rove Republican Party, no one is more abhorent than GOP members who aren't fully committed to the most extreme elements of the Party's agenda. The Party is not comfortable with so-called moderates because they have a tendency to sell out their Dear Leader when they need to save their own political hides. Uncomfortable with those who are able to step around unpalatable items on the extremist agenda, Bush and Rove want party members to be faithful zealots.

This reality of the Republican Party makes one wonder just how much of his soul Specter had to sell in order to get Bush, Rove, and the likes of Santorum to come to his political rescue in 2004. The permanent senator from Pennsylvania must have prostrated himself so as to convince his ideologically-driven masters to save him; it shows in nearly everything Specter does.

Yet, Bush and Rove wouldn't have made any deal with Specter, no matter how much of his soul he had auctioned off, unless doing so had served a greater goal. And wrapping his tentacles around Specter did just that.

Not only do Bush, Rove, and the extremist GOP machine now own Specter's soul, but they have captialized on the absurd nation that the Pennsylvania senator is a "moderate." But, for Bush and Rove, still more was to be gained from saving Specter's political fortunes and owning him lock, stock and barrel: Specter, if re-elected, would head the Senate Judiciary Committee. Thus, given his position, they could further insulate themselves from legal and judiciaty inquiry. And that is exactly how the reelction of Specter has played itself out.

Specter's alleged "moderate" credentials lend credence to those many instances when he promises to provide meaningful oversight of Bush's frequent abuses of power. After every revelation of a fresh criminal and extra-Constitutional action by Bush, Specter is quick to appear on camera to announce a new hearing. But nothing much materializes from all this grandstanding.

A promised hearing may in fact be held, but invariably thurns out to be nothing more than a GOP political commrical. Republican members of the committee show up with Rove's targeted talking points in hand and simply rattle them off withour deviating from the text. Illegal and warrantless wrietapping, for example, is converted into "terrorist monitoring programs" whose nature is so secret, so vital to nation security, that even thinking about them places every American in grave danger. And so it is: with each turn at the mocrophones the Republicans recite from the ovian script: "Dear Leader has the leagal power to....," Dear Leader needs this program to....," "These hearings can only serve the enemy....," and so on.

End of PART I.....


Source: A. Alexander
Progressive Daily Beacon
Mat 21, 2006
VETERANS HEAR FROM DEPARTMENT SECRETARY.................................................


White House rep addresses questions, concerns of audience

A White House Cabinet member came to Loveland on Friday to answer qustions about veterans issues.

James Nicholson, secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, talked to about 100 people at the Loveland Police and Courts Building.

U.S. Rep. Marilyn Musgave sponsored the veterans forum and introduced Nisholson to the crowd.

Nicholson talked for about 45 minutes to the group of veterans, many of whom wore red, white and blue clothing or hats signifying their participation in past wars.

Nicholson and Musgrave answered written questions from the audience. One person asked if the department is ready for the new veterans leaving the conflict in the Middle East.

"Absolutely yes," Nicholson said.

He said about 110,000 veterans are entering the system every year, but that's only about 2% of the total number of veterans the department serves.

He said a challenge to get veterans of recent wars to seek treatment for PTSD.

*The department is not ready for the new veterans leaving the conflict in the Middle East and they "are" trying to get help for PTSD. It takes longer than 2 months to get an appointment for mental health care, if you can get it at all.

"It's a common reaction to an uncommon experience," he said. "It doesn't mean you're crazy."

*Some troops can handle stress more than others. If you need to get mental health care, you need to get it right away or it can cause deep-set problems, sometimes for life. Nicholson talks as if PTSD is not a big deal, but it is. They blow it off because they are trying to do away with the benefits that are needed by these troops while they are trying to get thier heads together.

Two Fort Collins World War II veterans, Phil Bush, 83, and Maurice Rupel, 80, said they came to the event to find out about burial arrangements.

Bush said he's been happy with his benefits so far.

"The VA has done really well with me for 20 years," he said.

Nicholson said the department serves 24.8 million veterans with a staff of 238,000. Funding for the department has increased 70% since President Bush entered office, he said.

*I find it funny when Nicholson or anybody says that "funding for the department has increased 70% since President Bush entered office."
"IT WAS MADE TO "APPEAR" LIKE BUSH HAS DONE SO MUCH FOR THE VETERANS SINCE HE HAS ENTERED OFFICE, BUT "AS USUAL" BUSH IS A LIAR AND SO IS ANYBODY THAT SAYS HE GAVE THE VETERANS A LOT!

THEY ARE OVERSTATING THE RESOURCES THAT HAVE BEEN GIVEN TO THE VA HEALTH CARE SYSTEM.

What has Bush and the Republicans given to the veterans?:

* CHRONIC UNDERFUNDING

* MISREPRESENTING THE NUMBERS

* COOKING THE NUMBERS

* A BLEAK FUTURE FOR VETERANS HEALTHCARE

* ESTIMATES OF CONVENIENCE

* UNMET MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES

* CURTAILED SERVICES

THAT'S WHAT BUSH HAS GIVEN THE VA SINCE HE'S ENTERED OFFICE!!!!!!!

By the way, since you're here anyway, make sure that you read my posting called ''THE REPUBLICAN RECORD: BREAKING FAITH WITH AMERICA'S VETERANS." It will explain all of the above.


Source: Reporter-Herald
Loveland FYI
May 20, 2006
MORE EAVESDROPPING IN U.S. CASTING WIDER NET.............................................


What else is the Bush administration not telling us?

It turns out that, since shortly after Spet. 11, 2001, the NSA has been secretly amassing the calling information of tens of millions of subscribers to three major phone companies. according to USA Today.

The three companies covertly cooperating with the NSA---AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth---are said to have an aggregate 200 million subscribers. A fourth company, Qwest, declined, insisting that the NSA first get a court warrant, which the agency refused to do, said USA Today.

The companies provided the NSA only the phone numbers---no names, addresses or personal information---but, as reporter Leslie Cauley pointed out, "The phone numbers the NSA collects can easily be cross-checked with other databases to obtain that information."

In theory, the agency could track down the calls Cauley made to report the story.

The reasons for building a database for all the calls Americans made in the last four and a half years are murky. It falls into the category of "date mining," a gray area of the law with grave privacy implications. A public backlash caused the Pentagon to abandon a plan for extensive data mining.

The White House insists that the secret program is legal and necessary and that the relevant members of Congress have been appropriately briefed.

But Senators Arlen Specter and Patrick Leahy, the Republican chairman and ranking Democrat in the Senate Judiciary Committee, don't sound like lawmakers who had been briefed.

Asked Leahy, "Are you telling me that tens of millions of Americans are involved with al-Qaida? These are tens of millions of Americans who are not suspected of anything. Where does it stop?" The Senate will get a chance to ask when former NSA chief Michael Hayden comes up for confirmation to head the CIA.

In December, it was disclosed that Bush, invoking emergency powers that it's not altogether clear he has, had authorized the NSA to eavesdrop on calls and e-mails between people in the United States and overseas without obtaining warrants under the Federal Intelligence Surveiallance Act, as the law requires.

At the time, the White House indicated the eavesdropping was confined to communications in which one party was suspected of having terrorist connections. Now we know that the eavesdropping was much, much broader.

As we asked earlier: What else is the Bush administration not telling us?


Source: Knox News
TENNESSEE
May 15, 2006



BUSH USES FDA TO SHIELD BIG PHARMA FROM LAWSUITS---PART II..................


This is Part II of a story telling you about how Bush is paying back the Big Pharmaceutical corporations that helped pay for his re-election, which he never won in the first place. Senator Frist (R-TN), helped to do this by attaching protective provisions to a Department of Defense appropriations report that gave the industry "unprecedented immunity."

MAKE SURE THAT YOU READ PART I, BECAUSE THIS "IS" AFFECTING US ALL IN ONE WAY OR ANOTHER. IT ALSO SHOWS HOW "CORRUPT" SENATOR FRIST IS................................


.....Vioxx set off the industry's worst nightmare when users or their heirs began filing lawsuites all over the U.S. According to the January 24, 2006, Associated Press, Merck currently faces 9,200 Vioxx lawsuits, with about 4,050 in federal courts and the rest in state courts.

But Vioxx by far is not the only worry for Big Pharma. These days, every major drug company has litigation problems involving one or more FDA-approved products and a few prominent law firms have taken up the battle for plaintiffs' in state courts.

For instance, since 1990, the Los Angeles based Baum Hedlund Law Firm has been handling SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) suicide/violence cases and served on the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee in the first SSRI-suicide litigation involving Prozac, the first SSRI approved by the FDA.

Baum Hedlund partner, Karen Beth Menziess, has been litigating claims involving injuries stemming from SSRIs such as Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft and, more recently, Lexapro/Celexa, for over a decade.

She heads a team of attorneys, who have successfully defeated Pfizer's and the FDAs preemption arguments in a number of cases, including Motus v Pfizer and Witczak v Pfizer.

In addition to her court activities, Ms. Menzeiss has testified about the dangers of SSRIs before the California State Assembly and the FDA's Psychopharmalogical Drugs Advisory Committees and met with members of Congress regarding the risk of antidepressant induced suicidality and preemption issues.

Ms. Menziess wrote an article discussing the ill-effects of preemption in Mealey's Emerg. Drugs and Devised 27 (2006), titled, "Preamble to FDA final Rule: FDAs Latest Effort To Immunize Drug Manufacturers From Tort Liability At The Expense of Consumer Safety," and stated in part:

"Pharmaceutical industry lobbying efforts and zealot tort reformers have sired a new wave of brazen attempts to shield drug manufacturers from tort liability.

"The preemption language in the preamble to the Final Rule is but the latest attempts. Preemption has become the argument du jour and politically appointed regulatory officials the mouthpieces. The crafty messages sound of consumer protection, but are just the opposite. Limiting the liability of drug companies will not improve public safety.

"The FDAs purported position on preemption assumes that the FDA is infallible and that negligent misconduct by pharmaceutical companies should be the sole purview of FDA. Recent regulatory failures demonstrate that FDA is neither infalliable nor does it have the capability of policing drug manufacturers negligent misconduct."

The Bush administration went up against a tough opponent in Baum Hedlund when it turned to the courts, and had the FDA file amicus briefs hoping the courts would rule in favor of preemption, but those attempts also failed.

Ms. Menziess explains some of the history of the FDAs intervention into lawsuits she was involved in stating: "Until his resignation in late 2004, FDA Chief Counsel, Daniel Troy, was the pharmaceutical industry's 'inside man,' filing legal briefs on behalf of former clients such as Pfizer (the maker of Zoloft) and soliciting defense attorneys to submit their cases for government amicus brief consideration."

"Although the newly appointed Chief Counsel, Sheldon Bradshaw, lacks the blatant pharmaceutical industry ties that Troy had," she advises, "he clearly was not selected to his position because of a sudden change-of-heart in the political leadership or direction of the FDA."

"In fact," Ms. Menziess says, "following in his predecessor's footsteps, Bradshaw submitted a legal brief in support of Pfizer's federal preemption arguments."

The FDA filed its first brief in favor of a manufacturer of SSRIs in September 2002 in Motus v Pfizer, one of Baum Hedlund's cases in California, which was pending in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Daniel Troy, who was the FDAs Chief Counsel at the time, was contacted by Pfizer's national counsel, Malcolm Wheeler, in the summer of 2002 requesting that the government get involved in this private lawsuit to help Pfizer with its preemption argument related to Zoloft-induced suicidality.

Despite the fact that Pfizer had been one of his clients and Troy was paid over $358,000 for work he had conducted for Pfizer in the year he took office, Troy acquiesced, arguing that there was no impropriety in doing so because he did not become involved until after the required 1-year period in which government employees may not participate in official activities involving former clients.

From public accounts, it appears that the 1-year "grace period" elapsed less than a month before Troy entered the fray.

Troy argued in the FDA brief that, even though Pfizer never sought to strengthen Zoloft's warning label concerning suicidality, any warning, no matter how worded, that suggested a link between Zoloft and suicidality would have been false and misleading, would have misbranded the drug, and the FDA would have rejected any effort by Pfizer to use such a warning.

The 9th District Court never decided the preemption issue, instead ruling on another appeallate issue, which concluded the case on unrelated grounds.

Nevertheless, Menziess said that Pfizer has continued to use the brief in its battle against Zoloft-induced suicide cases, arguing that the lawsuits are federally preempted and should be dismissed.

But Judges across the US have been rejecting Pfizer's arguments, as well as the FDA brief itself. A federal judge in Texas pointed out that the law "allows, even encourages, manufacturers to be proactive when learning of new safety information related to their drug."

"Manufactureres, not the FDA, are tasked with responibility of taking proactive steps once a manufacturer learns of 'reasonable evidence of an association of a serious hazard with a drug,'" the judge stated.

A state court judge in California ordered the FDA brief stricken from the record, calling it "hearsay and irrelevant."

In an Illinois case, the judge said the brief "contains nothing more than legal argument by [FDA] counsel."

In a Zoloft suicide case in Minnesota, the court rejected Pfizer's arguments, stating the it "declines to treat statements from a single FDA legal brief as declarations afforded the preemptive force of law." The same judge also called Pfizer's arguments "perverse" and a "public policy argument gone awry."

Ms. Menzeiss notes that the FDAs legal stance on preemption is "particularly egregious in the wake of congressional investigations involving FDA failures to protect the public health, in particular related to antidepressants."

Without state liability laws, she says, drug companies will be able to escape liability for injuries and deaths caused by drugs like SSRIs and Vioxx.

Baum Hedlund currently represents approximately 50 victims and their families in cases involving alleged antidepressant-induced suicide attempts, over one third of whom are children and adolescents.

As with Vioxx, the risks associated with SSRIs were also kept hidden. Ms. Menzeiss's litigation has evidence from as far back as the 1980s that people taking SSRIs were at a heightened risk of suicidality, and not just children, she notes.

In fact, in the early 1990's it was the FDA safety officer Dr. David Graham, of recent Vioxx fame, who raised concerns about the risk betwen antidepressants and suicidality, but no one listened, Ms. Menzeiss says.

Fourteen years later, the FDA finally ordered black box warnings labels on SSRIs alerting physicians about the increased risk of suicidality. Ms. Menzeiss describes the FDA during these years as "complacent, ignoring its own internal scientist when they raise concerns, and in the pocket's of industry."

She believes that the FDA would never have confronted the issue had it not been for the public outcry from victims, consumer groups, courageous experts willing to place their careers on the line, investigative reporters and pressure from certain members of Congress; and yes, "lawyers uncovering the drug industry's dirty little secrets through legal discovery and speaking out about the dangers."

Ms. Menzeiss points out that "the antidepressant contoversy and resultant congressional investigations, and later, the Vioxx public health debacle, have served to highlight deep-seeded problems within the FDA."

Over the past couple of years, a growing number of lawmakers have been turning up the heat on both the FDA and the industry in response to their combined failure to reveal the problems found in studies conducted on drugs like SSRIs and Vioxx.

At one point, Senator Charles Grassley (R-IOWA), Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, came right out and accused the FDA of suppressing studies in order to protect industry profits and the careers of certain FDA officials.

"The Vioxx example showed that the FDA and Merck were too close for comfort," Senator Grasley told Health News on March 12, 2005. "Testimony and documents at our Finance Committee hearing showed that the FDA allowed itself to be manipulated by Merck," he said.

The results of a trial that took place in 2000, surfaced that showed that the FDA and Merck were aware that heart attacks were 5 times likely in patients taking Vioxx than among those taking a similar drug, Senator Grassley pointed out, but the FDA did nothing to change the labeling for nearly 2 years, he said, while Merck marketed its product on nightly TV.

On November 18, 2004, Senator Grassley drew enormous media attention when he held hearings on Vioxx, and FDA scientist, Dr. Graham, testified that he determined that Vioxx may have caused tens of thousands of heart attacks and strokes, but that his superiors at the FDA pressured him to keep quiet.

"The estimates range from 88,000 to 139,000 Americans," Dr. Graham told the committee. "Of those, 30 to 40 percent probably died," he advised. "For the survivors," he added, "their lives were changed forever."

*This is the end of PART II..........Make sure that you come back for PART III


*I've been thinking about a recent article that I posted called "Unfit for Duty." If you haven't read it, take a look at it. It's about our troops who are being medicated and sent back onto the battlefield. A lot of them are taking Prozac, Zoloft and other anti-depressants. The sad part is that a lot of them are committing suicide and some homicides.

It makes me wonder if this wasn't done by Frist in order for the families of these troops not to be able to file lawsuits against the government for their deaths. I'm sure that it's for other reasons too, as a matter of fact, I know that it's been done for other reasons, but after posting "Unfit for Duty" and posting this article, it shows me what a bunch of creeps this administration and this Republican Congress are actually capable of. They don't care anything about the people. It's their supporters they care for. The ones that line their pockets!


Source: OpEdNews
Story By: Evelyn Pringle
May 13, 2006

*Evelyn Pringle is a columnist for OpEd News and investigative journalist focused on exposing corruption in government and corporate America.