I’d Recommend a Shitload of Scotch

I’m not sure whose turn in the rotation it is at Reason magazine to tell us there is no racism in the tea party movement (Welch, Young, Walker, and Michael Moynihan, with multiple entries, have all done their best, while the Fonzi of Freedom Nick Gillespie had a leather jacket to oil and outsourced his efforts… yesterday. Nice timing, boss.), but which ever poor bastard draws the short straw, I have some advice- start drinking. Heavily:

Dear Mr. Lincoln

We Colored People have taken a vote and decided that we don’t cotton to that whole emancipation thing. Freedom means having to work for real, think for ourselves, and take consequences along with the rewards. That is just far too much to ask of us Colored People and we demand that it stop!

In fact we held a big meeting and took a vote in Kansas City this week. We voted to condemn a political revival of that old abolitionist spirit called the ‘tea party movement’.

The tea party position to “end the bailouts” for example is just silly. Bailouts are just big money welfare and isn’t that what we want all Coloreds to strive for? What kind of racist would want to end big money welfare? What they need to do is start handing the bail outs directly to us coloreds! Of course, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is the only responsible party that should be granted the right to disperse the funds.

And the ridiculous idea of “reduce[ing] the size and intrusiveness of government.” What kind of massa would ever not want to control my life? As Coloreds we must have somebody care for us otherwise we would be on our own, have to think for ourselves and make decisions!

The racist tea parties also demand that the government “stop the out of control spending.” Again, they directly target Colored People. That means we Colored People would have to compete for jobs like everybody else and that is just not right.

Perhaps the most racist point of all in the tea parties is their demand that government “stop raising our taxes.” That is outrageous! How will we Colored People ever get a wide screen TV in every room if non-coloreds get to keep what they earn? Totally racist! The tea party expects coloreds to be productive members of society?

Mr. Lincoln, you were the greatest racist ever. We had a great gig. Three squares, room and board, all our decisions made by the massa in the house. Please repeal the 13th and 14th Amendments and let us get back to where we belong.


Precious Ben Jealous, Tom’s Nephew National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Head Colored Person

That would be Mark Williams, Tea Party Express Chairman, who last night took to CNN to call the NAACP “the real racists.”

No racism there. No sirree.


Leverage Meets Real Life

The latest Leverage episode, the Double-Blind Job, featured a plotline in which a drug company executive was planning to release a new drug and make billions. There was only one problem- they knew that it caused liver damage and would kill people. Not so fictional, it seems:

In the fall of 1999, the drug giant SmithKline Beecham secretly began a study to find out if its diabetes medicine, Avandia, was safer for the heart than a competing pill, Actos, made by Takeda.

Avandia’s success was crucial to SmithKline, whose labs were otherwise all but barren of new products. But the study’s results, completed that same year, were disastrous. Not only was Avandia no better than Actos, but the study also provided clear signs that it was riskier to the heart.

But instead of publishing the results, the company spent the next 11 years trying to cover them up, according to documents recently obtained by The New York Times. The company did not post the results on its Web site or submit them to federal drug regulators, as is required in most cases by law.

“This was done for the U.S. business, way under the radar,” Dr. Martin I. Freed, a SmithKline executive, wrote in an e-mail message dated March 29, 2001, about the study results that was obtained by The Times. “Per Sr. Mgmt request, these data should not see the light of day to anyone outside of GSK,” the corporate successor to SmithKline.

If only we had de-regulated the pharmaceutical market and got rid of the heavy hand of the FDA, the free market would have discovered this well in advance and SmithKline would be punished by consumers.

They’re Paid to Spin

Digby flags this CNBC clip of an anchor shooting down someone making shit up:

That was Hans Bader of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, which as far as I can tell is dedicated to simply spewing right wing/glibertarian nonsense across a variety of formats. It’s basically Reason magazine if they wore suits and didn’t care about weed or porn. If I remember correctly, one of them even commented here about something a while back. It is hard to tell why the Jones Act has a bug up their ass, but I guess it has to do with some more recreational union bashing.

And Marijuana Remains Illegal

Sweet jeebus:

During one week in June Pfizer 1) agreed to pull its 10-year-old leukemia drug Mylotarg from the market because it caused more, not less patient deaths 2) Suspended pediatric trials of Geodon two months after the FDA said children were being overdosed 3) Suspended trials of tanezumab, an osteoarthritis pain drug, because patients got worse not better, some needing joint replacements (pattern, anyone?) 4) Was investigated by the House for off-label marketing of kidney transplant drug Rapamune and targeting African-Americans 5) Saw a researcher who helped established its Bextra, Celebrex and Lyrica as effective pain meds, Scott S Reuben, MD, trotted off to prison for research fraud 6) was sued by Blue Cross Blue Shield to recoup money it overpaid for Bextra and other drugs 7) received a letter from Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) requesting its whistleblower policy and 8) had its appeal to end lawsuits by Nigerian families who accuse it of illegal trials of the antibiotic Trovan in which 11 children died, rejected by the Supreme Court. And how was your week?

I bet their stock went up that week, because the mavericks on Wall Street know to reward any company that will go to those lengths to make a profit. Of course, if we would just abolish the FDA, none of this would have happened because the first time one of Pfizer’s products killed someone, the market would punish them so brutally they would never do it again. That’s what I’ve learned at Reason magazine.

Debtors’ prisons

People underestimate just how much the glibertarian right likes the idea of a return to 18th century mores. Because if you put people in jail for having debts (via David Dayden), then people wouldn’t go into debt and the FREE MARKET would take care of the rest.

And, no, he’s not talking about AIG and Citigroup, as far as I can tell.

The guy in the video is the CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, an anti-Social Security Broder favorite. Peterson himself was head of the Council on Foreign relations for 22 years, which means he probably was responsible for hiring Amity Shlaes.

These are just some of the very serious people who dominate the economic debate in this country.