Secret Back Door Deal With Obama Had Drugmaker Campaigning For Now-Doomed ObamaCare Law While He Blocked Parts Of It They Didn’t Like

May 31, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – Drugmakers led by Pfizer (PFE) Inc. agreed to run a “very significant public campaign” bankrolling political support for the 2010 health-care law, including TV ads, while the Obama administration promised to block provisions opposed by drugmakers, documents released by Republicans show.

The internal memos and e-mails for the first time unveil the industry’s plan to finance positive TV ads and supportive groups, along with providing $80 billion in discounts and taxes that were included in the law. The administration has previously denied the existence of a deal involving political support.

The documents were released today by Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. They identify price controls under Medicare and drug importation as the key industry concerns, and show that former Pfizer Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Kindler and his top aides were involved in drawing it up and getting support from other company executives.

“As part of our agreement, PhRMA needs to undertake a very significant public campaign in order to support policies of mutual interest to the industry and the Administration,” according to a July 14, 2009, memo from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. “We have included a significant amount for advertising to express appreciation for lawmakers’ positions on health care reform issues.”

The goal, the memo said, was to “create momentum for consensus health care reform, help it pass, and then acknowledge those senators and representatives who were instrumental in making it happen and who must remain vigilant during implementation.”

Republican View

Republicans, including Representative Joe Pitts, of Pennsylvania, have been probing promises made during the March 2010 passage of the health law, with some arguing that political activity by the drugmakers in any agreement may cross an ethical line.

“After promising transparency, the White House turned around and cut a secret deal with pharmaceutical companies,” Pitts said today in a statement. “Today’s revelation about the $80 billion deal shows an administration that cared more about victory than reform.”

White House spokesman Eric Schultz called the Republican probe “a nakedly political taxpayer-funded crusade to hurt the president’s re-election campaign.”

The committee has wasted time on investigations “but has done almost nothing to move legislation that would create jobs or grow the economy,” Schultz said today in an e-mail.
Committee Investigation

The Republican probe began last year. Bloomberg reported earlier this month that the committee was targeting whether Democrats were promised political support from drugmakers in exchange for limiting what the industry would be asked to contribute under the 2010 health-care overhaul, according to people familiar with the talks who asked not to be identified because they were private.

“PhRMA has a long history of advocating for policies that ensure patient access to innovative medicines and foster medical progress,” said Matt Bennett, a PhRMA spokesman, in an e-mailed statement. “Before, during and since the health-care reform debate, PhRMA engaged with Congress and the administration to advance these priorities.” Bennett declined further comment.

The Supreme Court is considering a challenge to the law and is expected to rule in June.

Obama’s fellow Democrats who backed the health-care law’s passage in 2010 pushed back against Republicans and said today that the documents released by the Republicans were misleading.
‘Always Done’

“President Obama’s efforts to enlist the support of private industry are exactly what presidents have always done to enact major legislation,” U.S. Representatives Henry Waxman of California and Diana DeGette of Colorado said in a joint statement.

Waxman and DeGette, in their statement, said the Democrats had managed to get more than the $80 billion out of drugmakers described in the memos, putting the figure at $110 billion to $125 billion.

Included in the documents released by the Republicans was an October 2012 e-mail from Bryant Hall, a PhRMA lobbyist,

In it, Hall wrote that the Obama administration had agreed to block a proposal by Democrats in Congress that would let people import pharmaceutical products from outside the U.S., where price controls offer them at lower costs than they can be obtained inside the U.S.

The White House “is working on some very explicit language to kill it in health-care reform,” Hall wrote in an e-mail sent to Kindler and Sally Susman, a current Pfizer executive vice president and head of the New York-based drugmaker’s public policy and communications operations.
Three Groups

In other documents, PhRMA agreed to help back at least three different advertising and advocacy groups that pushed for health-care reform.

A PhRMA memo described a group called Health Economy Now, and noted that under an agreement “the industry provides the majority of financial support for positive TV ads advocating passage of health reform.”

It also provided financial backing for television ads thanking lawmakers for their support of an expansion of children’s health care insurance under Medicaid, the U.S. insurance program for the poor, and a campaign called “Harry and Louise,” run with Families USA, a Washington-based pro- health care reform group that advocates for consumers.

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Savage Black Beast Charged After Killing, Dismembering, And Eating Man In Maryland

May 31, 2012

HARFORD COUNTY, MARYLAND – Alexander Kinyua, a 21-year-old Morgan State University student, has been charged in the killing and dismemberment in Harford County of a 37-year-old man, and while not much was immediately known about the circumstances of the crime, Kinyua’s online trail points to a troubled young man.

Just five days ago on a Kenyan website, a post from his parents showed that he had been arrested following what they described as a fight in his dormitory room:

“Our son, Alexander Kimanthi Kinyua, was arrested on Saturday, May 19th, for being involved in a fight in his dormitory room at Morgan State University. The charge against him is “1st Degree Assault and Excessive Endangerment of Life”. His bail has been set for US $220,000.00. In order to get him the best defense possible, we need to secure an attorney who will take his case and leave no stone unturned.”

Court records on the state’s Judiciary Case Search web site confirm the charges, and show Kinyua, who appears to have no prior record, was able to post bond on May 23rd and was released. Kinyua’s address is listed in the 500 block of Terrapin Terrace in Joppa, the same listed as the address for the slaying victim, Kujoe Bonsafo Agyei- Kodie.

The connection between the two men was not known Wednesday night. Late Wednesday, a man who answered a phone at the number listed told The Sun’s Kevin Rector that his parents, Antony and Beatrice Kinyua, were “resting,” and that the family did not wish to speak to the media without an attorney present.

In the days prior to the arrest, he had posted several strange messages on his Facebook page, in all capital letters. In two of the posts, he uploaded “QR Codes,” those bar code images that lead you to a web page when you hover a smart phone over them. They both led to the following message:


In another, he wrote about campus shootings and “death cults”:


The message ends up with a poll with no discernible connection to the statement. Another post was simply the image of the Predator from the films of the same name. His profile picture is an image of Richard Ansdell’s 1861 painting, “The Hunted Slaves,” showing two runaway slaves facing dogs that have been set on them.

Prior to that, Kinyua appeared to be a happy college student. Photo galleries tagged by Kinyua show him smiling and having fun in September 2011 at a campus student organization event, where he shows off a jacket for the National Society of Pershing Rifles, which according to its website is a fraternity for students in Reserve Office Training Corps programs.

Charging documents in the case are expected to be made public Thursday.

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President Obama Flys Barber From Chicago To Washington DC To Trim His Hair Every 10 To 14 Days

May 31, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – Reports have surfaced that President Barack Obama is very loyal to his barber. The President is a man of the common people, the report tells its listeners. He hangs out with regular folks, like his barber for example. The President has been using the same Chicago based barber, who goes by the name Zariff, for the past 17 years. According to German Public Radio, the President flies Zariff from Chicago to DC for a trim every two weeks. The president allegedly personally funds these trips. President Obama obviously also does not care much about the massive carbon footprint his haircuts are leaving on our planet which, we are told, is tipping precariously.

The German NDR reporter says: ‘The barber never says a word about what they discuss. Perhaps that’s also a reason why Obama feels comfortable being around him. Otherwise he would not fly his barber in from Chicago to Washington every ten to 14 days.’

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Time Bomb: US And UK Banking Regulators Force Banks To Purchase Government Debt

May 31, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – US and European regulators are essentially forcing banks to buy up their own government’s debt—a move that could end up making the debt crisis even worse, a Citigroup analysis says.

Regulators are allowing banks to escape counting their country’s debt against capital requirements and loosening other rules to create a steady market for government bonds, the study says.

While that helps governments issue more and more debt, the strategy could ultimately explode if the governments are unable to make the bond payments, leaving the banks with billions of toxic debt, says Citigroup strategist Hans Lorenzen.

“Captive bank demand can buy time and can help keep domestic yields low,” Lorenzen wrote in an analysis for clients. “However, the distortions that build up over time can sow the seeds of an even bigger crisis, if the time bought isn’t used very prudently.”

“Specifically,” Lorenzen adds, “having banks loaded up with domestic sovereign debt will only increase the domestic fallout if the sovereign ultimately reneges on its obligations.”

The banks, though, are caught in a “great repression” trap from which they cannot escape.

“When subjected to the mix of carrot and stick by policymakers…then everything else equal, we believe banks will keep buying,” Lorenzen said.

Institutions both in the U.S. and abroad have been busy buying up their national sovereign debt for years, he found.

Spanish banks bought 90 billion euros worth while Italian firms picked up 86 billion euros just between November and March. Even in the UK, which has avoided a debt crisis as it is outside the euro zone and able to set its own monetary policy, banks have increased holdings of gilts by 100 billion pounds over the past few years.

And in the U.S., banks, though having “comparatively low holdings” of Treasurys, have bought $700 billion of American debt since 2008.

“Ask the simple question: Why are banks buying sovereign debt when yields are either near record lows, or perhaps more interestingly, when foreign investors are pulling out?” Lorenzen wrote.

He thinks he has the answer.

For one, the European Central Bank’s [cnbc explains] Long-Term Refinance Operations provided guarantees for the debt, which Lorenzen deems a “heavily sweetened form of financial repression given the pressure banks were under” to buy.

“Banks have ended up buying bonds at yields where they would happily have sold them only a few months prior,” he said.

Moreover, banks are allowed to not count the sovereign debt against their Basel capital requirements. Also, Lorenzen argued, European banks have escaped the onus of stress tests this year, a less-than-subtle hint that authorities are willing to tolerate a bit of looseness in banks so long as they are helping to stave off a full-blown debt crisis.

“One doesn’t have to be too cynical to hypothesize that all the disclosures on sovereign exposure have become a bit of a political liability at a point in time where the only buyers in size of periphery sovereign debt are periphery banks funded by the ECB,” he said.

“As long as funding for sovereigns in markets remains in jeopardy, and as long as there is no clear move towards proper fiscal solidarity in Europe, we reckon there will be a strong political incentive to make banks captive buyers. That implies a move away from marking sovereign debt to market, away from raising risk weights, away from capital ratios that don’t risk weight assets and away from stress tests incorporating government bonds.”

For investors in bank bonds, the news is good — for now.

“As long as policy remains to sustain the status quo, bondholders should come out fine. Conversely, if the burden becomes too great, then the alternative will most probably involve a radical departure from current convention — to the detriment of bondholders,” Lorenzen said.

“We suspect this binary outcome requires a political judgement that many funds are not particularly well placed to make.” he added. “Instead of those economics, accounting and finance degrees perhaps you should have done political science after all.”

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TSA High Security = No Security – Man Leaves Jail, Walks Through Emergency Door At San Diego California Airport, Onto Tarmac, And Onto Airplane

May 31, 2012

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA – Hours after being released from jail, a man walked through an emergency door at San Diego International Airport, onto the tarmac and sat down on a United Express plane Tuesday, according to San Diego authorities.

“He completely bypassed TSA screening,” San Diego Harbor Police Chief John Bolduc said. “He was in a public area and went out an emergency fire door, which gave him access to the tarmac.”

Marc Duncan, 38, was paroled from jail Monday night, according to San Diego County Sheriff’s Department records. He had been serving time for theft.

After it was opened, the emergency door alarm sounded, and Bolduc said police were on site in four minutes, but by then Duncan had blended in with other passengers.

He allegedly boarded a 30-seat United Express aircraft operated by SkyWest, which was heading to Los Angeles, according to airline spokesman Wes Horrocks.

The flight attendant realized she had too many passengers, Nicholas Blasgen, a passenger on the plane told CNN affiliate KGTV. “They said, ‘What is your count?’ She said this is my count, and they said that is wrong.”

The passengers got off the plane and their luggage was searched.

“They had us put all the bags out, they separated the bags by enough distance and had the dog go over everything,” Blasgen said.

Duncan was identified and arrested.

He is being held in the San Diego jail and is scheduled to be in court Thursday.

“I still can’t, in the world, understand how this happened,” Blasgen said. “It sounds like they just have lax security or not enough management. Something was going wrong.”

The Harbor Police chief said they will examine this incident and find out where to make security improvements.

“The guy did breach security, but he was caught,” Bolduc said. “We have multiple layers of security built into our airports, as you know, and the backup systems were able to catch this guy.”

“Security of airports is a shared responsibility, and airports and airlines are required to adhere to TSA-approved security standards.” TSA spokeswoman Sterling Payne said in a statement. “TSA has initiated an investigation and if necessary, will take appropriate action.”

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Crazed New York City Mayor Bloomberg Tries To Ban All “Sugary” Drinks Over 16 Ounces

May 31, 2012

NEW YORK, NEW YORK — Every single menu in New York City could soon be getting a major overhaul if Mayor Michael Bloomberg has his way.

The man behind calorie counts is set to announce a new public health initiative to battle obesity, taking aim at super-sized sugary drinks.

In other words, it may soon be time to say goodbye to those Big Gulps, those Slurpees or even Venti at Starbucks, CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis reported.

“That’s okay,” one person said.

No it’s not, according to Mayor Bloomberg, who is set to propose a ban on sugary drinks over 16 ounces everywhere, all across the city.

“I disagree with it, because it’s the right to choose. If you want to drink a Slurpee, you should be allowed to drink a Slurpee,” said Jamie Sawyer, a tourist from Oklahoma.

“Stupid, he did a lot of good things, but this he shouldn’t do,” added Art Lensvelt, a tourist from Amsterdam, Holland.

Dennis found Lensvelt enjoying his sugary iced coffee. He then found police officers actually fighting over Slurpees. Other items that figure to be banned are Gatorade, those fountain drinks at the movies, and, yes, the popular Big Gulp.

“That’s a good idea. A lot of obese people are in New York,” Canarsie resident Jillian Russell said.

And the mayor apparently agrees, taking aim at the sugar in sodas and some juices in an effort to reduce New Yorkers’ waistlines.

However, the NYC Beverage Association is opposed, saying in a statement: “The city is not going to address the obesity issue by attacking soda, because soda is not driving the obesity rates. The overall American diet is.

Either way, lovers of sugary drinks said Bloomberg should take a dip.

“Mayor Bloomberg, let us have our Slurpees, please,” one resident said.

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Pedophile Butte County California Deputy Sheriff Earl Klapperich Arrested, Suspended, And Charged After Seeking Sex With A Child

May 30, 2012

BUTTE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA – A Butte County deputy has been arrested on suspicion of agreeing to meet a minor for sex after a sting conducted by the district attorney’s office.

Deputy Earl Klapperich, 27, was arrested Friday by investigators from the Butte County District attorney’s office. His arrest came after a complaint filed April 14 over the way Klapperich handled a call involving two reported runaway teens.

The complaint alleged inappropriate conduct on the part of the deputy toward the girls, one 16 years old, the other 14 years old.

The sheriff’s department brought in the district attorney’s office and an undercover operation began. The sting involved investigators posing as a 14-year-old girl.

The investigators initiated a text message conversation with Klapperich in which the deputy is alleged to have asked that the “girl” send him a nude picture of herself. Eventually, a meeting was arranged in Chico where Klapperich was taken into custody by district attorney investigators, according to a press release from the district attorney’s office.

Klapperich said he agreed to the meeting in order to counsel the girl in the text messages, according to the press release. He faces potential charges of arranging a meeting with a minor for the purpose of engaging in lewd or lascivious behavior.

The deputy has been removed from duty. An internal affairs investigation is underway.

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