Archive for the ‘corrupt politician sells out americans & montanans’ Category

max-amgen

“What is the best policy for Montanans and people across the country lies at the heart of every decision Chairman Baucus makes,” said Meaghan Smith, a spokeswoman for Mr. Baucus. “It’s as simple as that.”

By JC

I’m not going to dissect this story. What with all the hoopla over at Pogie’s Place, and Pete’s article below, it seems that there is a crack in the dem distortion field that protects incumbent, yet corrupt, politicians from the scrutiny they deserve.

In this case, Senator Baucus once again has been caught with his pants down, getting serviced by the health care industry — this time by Amgen and its lobbyists. It’s the usual story of revolving door crony capitalism: former Baucus Chief of Staff goes back to work in the industry, lobbies his former boss and plies him with campaign contributions, then manages to insert last minute provision benefiting company into the ram-rodded fiscal cliff bill with Sen. Amgen’s Baucus’ approval.

The story originated with investigative reporters at the NY Times, and has spread all over (half a million hits for “Baucus + Amgen” at google already) the internet, but as Mark over at PoM notes, “All corruption that has ever been reported on Montana office holders has originated out-of-state, and local media like Lee newspapers ignore it unless it gains s national traction.”

Yawn, just another day at the local Baucus corruption media newsline, relegated to a LTE submission.

In any case, if dems were really concerned about their politician’s corruption, they’d take quick notice, and begin casting a wide net for a replacement for Max (with all due respect for Ellie Hill’s distancing herself from the race). While Max’s last election victory (a 73%-27% shellacking of Bob Kelleher–one of his campaign managers called it “the easiest job I’ve ever had”) was basically a “gimmie” that the republicans ceded by not putting up a candidate, one can be assured that they smell blood on the water this time ’round.

And Baucus’ revolving door, that is emblematic of everything wrong with Congress, is certain to be his achilles heel. Acquiescence (i.e. lesser of two evil arguments) is acceptance at this point. Dems who willingly support Baucus will have to explain how they can overlook his corruption. The cognitive dissonance  MT Dems are going to experience over Max is going to be the single-most interesting part of the primaries lead-up, and the election should he make it to the generals.

I’ll leave you all with a small clip from Bill Moyers talking with a Congressman about this issue:

Continue Reading »

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By JC

Well, let’s knock another $15 million out of the Montana economy, and beat up on the poor some more while doing it.

“You can go to school, collect your Pell Grants, get food stamps, low-income energy assistance, section 8 housing, and all of a sudden we find ourselves subsidizing people that don’t have to graduate from college. And there ought to be some kind of commitment and endgame”…

But in Montana, Rehberg has been taking some heat for voting for the House GOP budget resolution, which would reduce the maximum Pell Grant from $5,500 to $4,705 and narrow the eligibility of applicants. Financial aid officials at the University of Montana and Carroll College in Rehberg’s home state recently told reporters that they were disappointed in his vote and urged Montana’s two U.S. senators to preserve funding.

In Montana, 24,000 students are scheduled to receive a Pell Grant next year. If the House budget bill becomes law, the state would lose $15 million in funding for the program.”

Gotta pay for them tax breaks for himself, er, the rich somehow.

bozo the drunk

By JC

Look what stunk up my Inbox this morning. I don’t think this needs any further prologue…

denny

30-Second Survey



stop, watch, and listen

Starts now…

The State of the Union called for more government:

While some politicians want to talk about where they were sitting at President Obama’s second State of the Union Address on Tuesday, Montanans care more about how they will vote in the next two years. Americans face many challenges – from high unemployment to the increasing cost of health care and a gallon of gas. In the State of the Union, President Obama made his case for more government solutions. But we’ve already been down that road. It’s a dead end.

Solutions will come from the American people:

There’s a better way forward. Instead of making government bigger, we can unleash the ingenuity of the American people by reducing the size of government, reining in reckless spending and empowering individuals with choices and opportunities. We have more government than we could handle in the last two years, and all it gave us was a bigger debt and fewer jobs. It’s time for government to get out of the way of recovery.

The State of the Union

The average price of a gallon of gas is more than $3. Do you:

– Agree with the President that we should raise taxes on the domestic production of oil?
– Agree with Congressman Rehberg that we should keep all our energy options on the table?
– Other/Not sure

The federal deficit exceeded $1.4 trillion in 2010, adding to a record debt. In the last two years, government spending has exploded. Do you:

– Agree with the President that simply freezing existing levels of overspending will solve the problem?
– Agree with Congressman Rehberg that in order to balance the budget we need to actually reduce spending?
– Other/Not sure

Obamacare is poised to irreversibly change the American health care system to be more like the socialized systems of Canada and Europe. Do you:

– Agree with the President that Washington politicians know better than the American people and that Obamacare is the best way forward?
– Agree with Congressman Rehberg that the Obamacare blueprint should be abandoned in favor of true reform that reduces costs while increasing quality and access?
– Other/Not sure

~ Submit & Join ~

* By answering this survey, you are subscribing to my newsletter.

If you are having trouble, click here.

most of us now realize that max’s plan didn’t work out very well, did it?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pg7xhTyOtAk&feature=player_embedded#!

by problembear

the next citizens initiative i would like to see in the 2012 election cycle is for: Montana Public Option health care insurance. check this site out and let’s get the ball rolling here:  http://twitter.com/MTPublicOption

first order of business:

we should start drafting legislation that will enable employers of this state to pool their health insurance premiums into a public option insurance policy that actually uses the money for paying for health care for the insured rather than simply create more profits for private health insurance companies who are raising our rates and increasing our deductibles with impunity since max baucus’s gift to his friends in the health insurance lobby.

montana could enact legislation to develop a public option health insurance program which would:

  • lower most insurance rates by 33%
  • guarantee coverage for all insured who opt in
  • provide stability to employers tired of searching for decent HC plans
  • attract businesses to MT who want our plan for their employees.
  • increase participation of all health care providers who want in.
  • bring costs back in line with benefits for both insured and vendors
  • take away the uncertainty of dealing with private insurers.
  • make private insurers who do business in montana more competitive

now who can argue with that?

(besides max and his friends, i mean.)

By JC

It seems that Montana’s junior Senator and Banking Committee member, Jon Tester, has been resorting to some two-stepping to add to his double-speak with his newest routine with Wall Street Lobbyists. Despite Jon’s contentions that he is doing what is best for his Montana constituents, it seems that a series of votes on the Financial Regulation package that just cleared the Senate speak volumes about his true intentions: preserving Wall Street campaign contributions.

Over at Left in the West, an OpEd written by “The Office of Sen. Jon Tester,” and published by the Huffington Post, seems to be designed to head off criticism of the Senator’s latest votes:

“The U.S. Senate made history on May 20. We passed a powerful bill that finally holds Wall Street accountable. It finally cleans up the schemes and abuses that nearly brought our entire economy to its knees.

Most importantly, the Wall Street reform bill once and for all ends taxpayer-funded bailouts of Wall Street banks and investment firms. It finally gets rid of the notion that one private company can somehow be ‘too big to fail.'”

Well, aside from the fact that our economy is still on its knees, having neatly “assumed the position” in many instances (Goldman and BP, I’m looking at you), once again our faux populist Senator would have us believe he’s doing the people’s business. As I wrote in my article a few weeks ago about Tester’s vote against the Brown-Kaufman amendment, which would have capped the size of big banks, relative to GDP, it seems that Jon’s actions spoke much louder than his words:

“The Brown-Kaufman amendment was the one strong point of regulation that would cut to the heart of why Wall Street has become immune to the will of the people. Crony capitalism, and corrupt corporatism are the guiding forces in Washington D.C. these days. It is no longer the will of the people–or the best intentions of once-innocent politicians–that governs our nation. It is corporate money and the influence it buys direct from Wall Street that has taken a stranglehold on our political and economic system.”

Well, after Tester’s latest attempt at foofaraw with his OpEd, I decided to take a look at what else is going on in the Senator’s world. It seems that he not only voted against Brown-Kaufman, he voted against Sen. Durbin’s bank card transaction fee amendment, which would have capped the fees we pay when we use our debit cards at the checkout counter. Those fees amount to a $19.71 billion dollar industry, with 80% being paid back to the issuing banks as profit. So your bank is profiting on you to the tune of 1.63% on each transaction. Which is more than your bank paid you for interest for a whole year of holding onto your money.

I guess Jon is OK with this. A little extra goodness for Wall Street to pay its lobbyists… so they can hold parties for, and give contributions to, senators who vote with them. Nothing like preserving almost $16 billion in profits for the big banks, after the regs were excluded from all the small community banks that Tester seemed to be protecting.

Senator Durbin designed this amendment to help small businesses and consumers–businesses because they lose 1.63% on each transaction they process with debit cards, and consumers, because those costs are taken directly out of their bank account and given to banks as a profit:

By early in the week Mr. Durbin’s staff was confident that a majority of senators would support the measure, particularly after he made changes to limit the impact on small banks, a powerful constituency that many senators are loath to cross.

The largest change limits the new price controls to cards issued only by the very largest banks, those with at least $10 billion in assets. As a result, the pricing controls will affect only about 65 percent of debit card transactions, staff members said.”

So Durbin tweaked the bill to attract senators who were worried by its impact on small banks, like Senator Tester claimed in a press release explaining why he voted against the Durbin amendment:

“My vote against this amendment was a vote to preserve the critical role community banks have in strengthening America’s small businesses and rural communities.

My vote against this amendment was a vote for Montana consumers, families, small businesses, farmers and ranchers and all who depend on their community banks. I stand with folks on Main Street as we reform Wall Street.”

I guess this is pretty much the definition of double-speak.

Now let’s get on with the two-step. It seems that on March 16th, our good Senator, who campaigned as a man of ethics and transparency, was the recipient of a “Pre-St. Patrick’s Day Reception” put on by a host of lobbyists–including bankers and Wall Street insiders. Now that couldn’t have had anything to do with any of his votes and attempts to sidestep any backlash from them, would it?

As the NY Times put it:

“And this was not an easy vote. Lobbyists for the wounded but formidable banking industry made clear to some senators that this decision would affect future campaign donations, according to people who participated in those conversations.”

Well, let’s just see who some of those lobbyists were that put on the party for Jon. According to the Sunlight Foundation:

“the fundraisers ranged from a “pre-St.Patrick’s Day” reception for Banking Committee member Jon Tester, D-Mont., on March 16 that asked for $100 to $1,000 in contributions, to a breakfast for Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, of the Agriculture Committee on March 10 that asked for contributions ranging from $500 to $2,000…

Tester’s fundraiser was hosted by 28 people, at least two of whom have disclosed lobbying on financial reform this year: Mitchell Feuer who represents Goldman Sachs, the Citigroup Management Corporation, Barclays PLC, Genworth Financial, Visa U.S.A., the Appraisal Institute, FX Alliance LLC, the Farm Credit Council and the LCH.Clearnet Group, and Thompson Reuters; and Shannon Finley who represents the Edison Electric Institute, Rent A Center and the Home Depot…

In addition to raising money for the beneficiaries, the lobbyists hosting the events also had a chance for face time with other influential lawmakers.”

Face time. Yeah… Just whose face was where??? And as I wrote over at LitW yesterday:

“Worse, he’s turned into a poser

At least that’s what this sort of PR over FinReg shows me. He thinks his constituents are too stupid to understand finance and its regulation, and he can speak out both sides of his mouth. All the while pocketing Wall Street lobbyist money.

So now that he’s bought and paid for by Wall Street lobbyists, they held a big “Pre-St. Patrick’s Day” party for him in his honor a while back. Look over the names of the lobbyists who put it on, and you’ll get the message. Here’s a sample:

Mitchell Feuer of the Rich Feuer Group. Mitchell lists Goldman Sachs and Citigroup among his Wall street clientele.

Niles Godes: lobbyist for Sallie Mae

Shannon Finley: Lobbyist fot The Americans Bankers Association

And there’s more. But I’m headed to the (real) “Farmer’s” market. A dirt farmer no longer, that Tester fella. He’s got real dirt on his hands now with his new circle of partying friends.

Sad. So sad. Another one bites the dust. No wonder he didn’t vote for Brown-Kaufman. Doing damage control for his new Wall Street buddies.

Signed, sealed, and delivered. ‘Two-step’ Tester.
.
.
testerparty

by problembear

 the health insurance parasites are so grateful to max for taking care of their interests they made him a commercial….




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