Thursday, August 27, 2009

Air America: Obama is a "Charming Liar"

Please read the following background material before proceeding to the video.

From the LA Times:

As a candidate for president, Barack Obama lambasted drug companies and the influence they wielded in Washington. He even ran a television ad targeting the industry's chief lobbyist, former Louisiana congressman Billy Tauzin, and the role Tauzin played in preventing Medicare from negotiating for lower drug prices.

Since the election, Tauzin has morphed into the president's partner. He has been invited to the White House half a dozen times in recent months. There, he says, he eventually secured an agreement that the administration wouldn't try to overturn the very Medicare drug policy that Obama had criticized on the campaign trail.

"The White House blessed it," Tauzin said.
It should be noted that these meetings were held secretly, behind closed doors, and only came to fore after the LA times and Huffington Post broke the story.

At the same time, Tauzin said the industry he represents was offering political and financial support [$150 MILLION AD CAMPAIGN] for the president's healthcare initiative...

If a package passes Congress, the pharmaceutical industry has pledged $80 billion in cost savings over 10 years to help pay for it. For his part, Tauzin said he had not only received the White House pledge to forswear Medicare drug price bargaining, but also a separate promise not to pursue another proposal Obama supported during the campaign: importing cheaper drugs from Canada or Europe. Both proposals could cost the industry billions, undermine its ability to develop new cures and, in the case of imports, possibly compromise safety, industry officials contend...

Yet everyone agrees that drug companies -- Washington's leading source of lobbyist money -- now have "a seat at the table" at the White House and on Capitol Hill as healthcare legislation works its way through Congress. If nothing else, a popular president who six months ago criticized drug companies for greed now praises their work on behalf of the public good...

The benefits to the White House go beyond budget savings. Tauzin's trade association, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, or PhRMA, is helping to underwrite a multimillion-dollar [
$150 MILLION] TV advertising campaign touting comprehensive healthcare legislation...
Air America: Obama is a 'Charming Liar':

A Charming individual, indeed........

The last four and a half minutes of the following video were extracted from the preceding video, but the first half is original - and quite amusing too. My favorite part: Town Hall protesters screaming, "Don't close the door!" Perfect analogy! Heh... Enjoy!:

A commenter on the Huffington Post remarks: "This [these secret meetings with lobbyists] helps explain why Obama hasn’t made the White House visitor log public..."

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