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ObamaPharmaBribe

S160612ometime in 2003, I had my first flare-up of cellulitis in a surgical scar on my left leg due to the borrowing of that artery and two others from my left arm and left chest to repair two 99% blockages at the top of my aorta (at the point where the aorta split to traverse both lungs), and a 100% blockage where the aorta feeds blood through my heart. It's impossible to have 99% to 100% of your circulation cut off and still be alive. I am only because everytime my left arm went numb, I prayed life over my heart. I didn't pray over the cellulitis because I didn't know what it was, since it only felt like an itchy irritant.

Staphylococcus and streptococcus are just two of many types of infections responsible for cellulitis. After treating myself with over-the-counter Neosporin™, I ended up with an outpatient IV regime of amoxicillin three times a week for three weeks at a local hospital. Within a month or so, the Staph infection was back. This time I went to a dermatologist who identified the infection as cellulitis and prescribed a gel of carbomer homopolyene glycol under the brand name Clobetasol Propionate™ Gel 0.05%. ClobetasolGel0.05.jplThe product was branded by Perrigo®. Under my group health plan, my co-pay for a 60 gram tube was $30.00.

Today, under Obama's creeping universal healthcare system, the co-pay for a 15 gram tube of this ointment is $31.00. The 60 gram tube, according to CVS Pharmacy is "off the table." with the nation's largest medical insurer. When I started using Clobetasol Propionate Gel, B.O. (before Obamacare) the 60 gram tube of this ointment had a $15 co-pay and likely retailed for less that $60.

In 2014, 5 years after Obama cut a deal with the pharmaceutical industry in 2009 to back the Obamacare legislation, Big Pharma was allowed to raise the wholesale prices of certain classes of drugs which alleviate chronic medical problems and prolong life in order to reward compliant drug companies for agreeing to expand Medicaid discounts from 15% to 23%—and discounts on other critically-needed "senior prescriptions" from 50% to 75% to make it appear that Obama favored Sen. John McCain's Canadian drug reimportation plan which would have forced American pharmaceutical companies to compete against themselves had there been enough votes to force Obama to sign the bill with the McCain reimportation amendment intact, or quietly strip it from the legislation in joint conference—which is what happened when the bill ended up on Obama's desk for a very public signing..

In the meantime, the Democratically-controlled Congress made sure that Big Pharma understood the rules being laid out by the Obama White House for the medical community's full support of Obamacare. If you weren't sitting at the feast-laden Affordable Care Act table, you were going to be on the menu. Of course, as it turned out, the promise made to Big Pharma was quickly forgotten by Obama who was going to sign Obamacare regardless of what promises were made to the medical community whose support it initially needed to make the Affordable Care Act law. The Obama rhetoric about being at the Affordable Care Act dinner table was just so much smoke and mirrors because Obama never had any intention of keeping his word.

Because Big Pharma was successful in lobbying Congress years before for laws which allowed the drug industry to pass all of their research and development costs for new drugs on to the consumers who need the drugs—and who are having their prescriptions filled in the United States. Why? Because the bulk buyers of most pharmaceuticals globally are socialist or quasi-socialist government healthcare systems of the countries which allow their importation. Those state-run systems demand proof of the value of the drugs they purchase from global pharmaceutical companies. In many instances, the "new" formulations are the same old drugs they've been using for decades gift-wrapped in a new patent with a new name—and much higher prices which theoretically pay for the additional research (usually aspirin or some other additive to justify the new patent application). Ocassionally new drugs are superior to those they replace. For example, cardiovascular disease grew dramatically in the 20th century suggesting high cholesterol (coming from vegetable shortening and margarine—which is loaded with poly-unsaturated fats instead of lard and butter—processed baked goods loaded with trans fats, and grain-fed rather than grass-fed meat which greatly increases LDL cholesterol)—all of which were Big Agra's contribution to Big Pharma.

Which, of course, is why most of the effective pharmaceutical growth have been in the area of cardiovascular disease. The early cholesterol-lowering drug, Cholestyramine™, a bile acid sequestran, was initially dispensed only in powder form to dissolve blockages in the arteries. It was later sold in tablet form because Cholestyramine™ is a resin, which has been described by critics of the drug as drinking cement. Perhaps that's why they converted it into tablet form.

Cardiovascular disease became the leading killer in the United States due to high cholesterol. American College of Cardiology data shows that deaths from heart disease began dropping in the 1980s with the development of statin drugs like Lipator™ and Zocor™. But Big Pharmas biggest successes have come in the development of treatments for cancer. Which is a well-deserved quid pro quo since many of the pharmaceuticals created by US research ingenuity to cure other diseases have potential side effects that could result in the formation of cancerous tumors in those who took prescriptions designed to heal other diseases.

Because Big Pharma hates clinical trials which can block their pharmaceuticals and medical devises from reaching the market, the industry proposed the 21st Century Cures Act. According to University of California San Francisco Medical Center cardiologist Dr. Rita Redberg, who disapproved of the legislation proffered by Congressman Fred Upton [R-MI], told the New York Times that "...The emphasis has been on getting drugs and devices on the market quickly, not on making sure that they are safe." Redberg continued by saying that the legislation, if enacted, would lower the bar for medical safety.

In the United States research and development is a cost borne by solely by the product's creator who is expected to recoup his development costs through the sale of the prescription drugs or medical devises they sell. If the drug fails to perform as promised, the pharmaceutical company loses. Half of the pharmaceutical drugs in use today were accidental discoveries. In those instances the research scientists were actually looking for something other than what they inadvertently discovered. For instance, AZT (marketed as Retrovir™), the AIDS drug, was created in 1964—two decades before AIDS became pandemic. The scientist who formulated AZT, Jerome Horwitz, was trying to synthesize a cancer-killing drug, not one to kill a disease he did not know existed.

If the prices are over-inflated, most foreign state-run healthcare systems simply decline to buy the overpriced drugs until the factored profit percentage ( the percentage of the cost of all of the research for all the drugs created by that company plus the normal cost-to-retail mark-up which is assessed to any one drug, then broken down to the raw cost per pill—usually 100% to 500% or more of the actual manufacturing cost of the pill) is removed and the state-run healthcare systems pays only the actual cost of the drug plus an acceptable profit-padding to offset 20 year old research of another product.

The costs not borne by the foreign entities purchasing those drugs is burrowed back into the price per pill of those pharmaceuticals sold in the United States. US law, Obamacare and the profit-incentivized deal Obama made with the US healthcare industry to gain the support of the pharmaceutical trade organizations like PILMA (Pharmaceutical Industry Labor Management Association), PhRMA (Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America); AMPS (Association of Professionals & Staffs), the AMA (American Medical Association)—politically, the most powerful labor union in the United States; UAPD (Union of American Physicians and Dentists); and NNU and UAN (National Nurses United [the largest nurses' union in the country] and United American Nurses [an affiliate of the AFL-CIO]) and other healthcare advocacy groups made the unions of those healthcare affiliates turn a blind eye to what was about to happen to the American middle class consumer when they needed to avail themselves of healthcare services in the United States.

The American people were financially raped by the Obama healthcare plan with the "gun" in the hands of the IRS which was unconstitutionally provided by Chief Justice John Roberts [who used wordspeak to change the meaning of the verbiage in HR3590]; and former House Speaker John Boehner [R-OH] who could have singlehandedly killed Obamacare by simply telling the high court that HR3590 did not clear the House of Representatives as the Affordable Care Act, but as a mortgage protection bill for military veteransówith Obamacare failing to meet the requirements of the Originality Clause, thus making the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional on its face, and therefore, null and void. Of course, both then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi [D-CA] and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid [D-NV] committed felony perjury, committing legislative fraud by stripping all of the verbiage from the Service Members Home Mortgage Act after it was voted on, and passed by the House, and replacing it with the language of S.3962, the Senate bill which unconstitutionally originated the Obamacare mess in the Senate.

So, just to make sure you understand what is driving up the prices of scores of critically needed prescription drugs in the United States, lobbyists for Big Pharma paid for, and received, laws that would not only prevent government from restraining wholesale and retail drug prices but also preventing government healthcare providers from doing what foreign government do—negotiate their own prices. Whatever prices Big Pharma charges Medicare pays—or rather, the consumer pays for the overages Big Pharma's barons of business charge.

The eleven largest global pharmaceutical companies made a mind-boggling $711 billion in profits from 2002 to 2012. Those drug companies are: Abbott Labs, Astra-Zeneca, Bristol Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Novartis, Merck, Pfiser, Roche, and Sanofi-Aventis. When Congress legislated Medicare Part-D (prescription coverage) in 2006 (and until 2012), the combined profits of those 11 companies soared 34% to $76.3 billion because the drug companies were legislatively given the power to charge the US consumers whatever they wanted for the prescription medicines.

Martin Shkrel, a 32-year-old hedge fund trader, acquired the patent rights to the anti-parasitic AIDS drug Daraprim™ in September, 2015 through a biopharmaceutical start-up firm he created, Turing Pharmaceuticals. Almost immediately he raised the price of Daraprim from $3.50 to $750 per pill—a 5,000% increase not because the cost to produce the pill had risen, but because federal laws allowed him to pretend it did. Daraprim™ is a pyrimethamine, which fights toxoplasmosis, a common food-borne disease, which is believed to infect about 60 million Americans whose immune systems have been weakened by AIDS, chemotherapy or pregnancy, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

As the price of Daraprim™ skyrocketed, the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) and the HIV Medicine Association sent letters to Turing calling the price increase for Daraprim"...unjustifiable for a medically vulnerable patient population,".advising Turing to quickly implement a pricing policy with a "....a rational and fair pricing strategy for pyrimethamine that keeps treatment for a potentially fatal condition accessible to our patients." Turing replied that they were working with hospitals and healthcare providers to get those who needed Daraprim™ covered, even to the extend of providing it free to those without insurance, defending Shkrel's pricing of Daraprim™ by claiming the increases were needed for further research in treating toxoplasmosis.

Turing was not alone. What they did was a prevalent practice throughout the drug industry. Always charge what the market will bear—and, a little more if it can be squeezed out of a desperate public for a lifesaving or life-preserving drug. Gilead Sciences developed its Hepatitis-C drug Sovaldi™ in 2014 and introduced it at a price-gouging rate of a 12-week treatment at $84,000.00 in the United States. The same treatment in Egypt costs $900.00. Look at some other overpriced life-saving drugs which you've likely seen advertised on TV:

• Abilify™ • a psychiatric drug usually added on to another expensive psychiatric drug. Cost per year? $17,316.00
• Acthar™ •
a drug which treats seizures in infants under 2-years-old. What parent wouldn't take out a second mortgage on their home to protect an infant son or daughter? Cost per year? $300,000
• Hetlioz™ •
a drug that treats non-24 sleep disorder—(a problem affecting blind people whose sleep rhythm is off, and the blind person cannot distinguish between day and night.. Cost per year? $60,000.00
• Kadcyla™ •
a breast cancer drug (trastuzumab emtansine), an antibody-drug conjugate consisting of the monoclonal antibody approved to treat metastatic breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body after initial treatment. Cost per year? $94,000.00
• Kalytdeco™ • a drug (Ivacaftor) used to treat a rare form of cystic fibrosis in about 4% to 5% of people affected with cystic fibrosis. Cost per year? $300,000.00
• Praluent™ • a human monoclonal biologic antibody is a "statin" medication for people with homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (an inherited type of high cholesterol). (Statins are some of the most common cholesterol lowering drugs on the market. All of them have taken a boost in price. But the price of this one is ridiculous. Cost per year? $94,000.00
• Xyrem™ • a chronic brain disorder that involves poor control of sleep-wake cycles. People with narcolepsy experience periods of extreme daytime sleepiness and sudden, irresistible bouts of sleep that can strike at any time Cost per year? $35,000.00
• Zydelig™ •
a leukemia drug made by Gilead, the maker of Sovaldi™ the Hepatitis C drug [above]. Cost per year? $58,000.00

In April of this year, three wealthy executives whose names were associated with Valeant Pharmaceuticals International—a hedge fund billionaire and two former Valeant executives—appeared before a Senate Committee to testify how Valeant justified buying the patent rights for several life-saving drugs, jacked up the prices of the medications and made a killing as the money poured in.

As the media began shining the political spotlight on the pharmaceutical industry in the late fall of 2015, focusing on Valeant who, when they purchased the 30-year old drug, Syprine™ which treats Wilson's Disease, in 2010, raised the retail price of the drug by 3,200%. Wilson's Disease is a rare inherited disease that causes an accumulation of copper to build up in the liver, brain, eyes and other vital organs. (Copper plays a key role in the development of a healthy nervous system, healthy bones, collagen and the skin pigment melanin. In people without Wilson's, copper is absorbed from food. Excess amounts of copper are excreted through bile produced by the liver. But, in people with Wilson's, copper accumulates to life-threatening levels. When diagnosed early enough, Wilson's Disease is treatable, and many of those who inherit the disease live normal lives. One in every 30,000 people in the world have Wilson's. When a drug like Syprine™ is priced outside the reach of those who need it but can't afford it, an early death is almost a certainty.)

Last year, the total number of prescriptions for all medications dispensed in the United States was 14 billion. That's an average of 14 prescriptions per US citizen in 2015, with an average cost of $44 per prescription.

The media, much-too-much controlled by the princes of industry and the barons of banking and business, claim that government regulators appear to be doing their best to curtail price gouging by Big Pharma. The reality is that when Obamacare became the hot-button issue in 2009, the Democratically-controlled Congress and the Obama Administration began writing laws which specifically allowed the barons of business to strip mine the nickel and dime wealth of the working class by legalizing pharmaceutical price gouging for the healthcare industry's support of legislation which the medical community generally opposed. The federal rules which regulate the healthcare industry also distort and manipulate it. Money corrupts and Big Pharma corrupts completely.

Thus, with all of the high-ground rhetoric from Congress, its clear to everyone who takes more than two minutes to think about it, Big Pharma owns the same Congressmen and Senators who hold the hearings and feign concern over the price gouging carried out by the pharmaceutical industry. Congress didn't go against Valeant because of the rapid escalation of the retail price of Syprine™. Congress went after them solely because Valeant did not raise the retail prices of the patents they bought modestly, quietly and unobtrusively. They broke the unwritten rule and rubbed the government's nose in their price gouging, making Congress look as bad as Valeant. Congress, trying to mitigate their rule in creating a pharmaceutical monster, created a pharmaceutical monster.

Let's look at a few more examples of collaborative price gouging (the first from Valeant who purchased the patent rights on Isuprel and Nitropress™ from Marathon. It was this purchase which caught the eye of Congressman Elijah Cummings [D-MD] who fired off a letter to the Chairman of the House Oversight and Budget Reform Committee. Within 24 hours of buying the patents, Valeant raised the retail price on Isuprel™ by 525% and on Nitropress™ by 212%.

Valeant broke the "rule of three." If you buy a patent so you can make obscene profits through price gouging by raising prices, then the smart fraud monger would [a] raise them quietly, [b] modestly, and [c] do it over a long period of time so that their financial gluttony was not obvious. Price gouging should be a federal felony.

Biogen, a Cambridge, Massachusetts biotech company, began raising the retail price of its multiple sclerosis drug, Avonex™ 16% each year from 2005 to 2014. Amgren did the same thing after purchasing its antinflammatory drug Embrel™, raising its wholesale price from $12,000 per year to $48,000. (Which is why so many hedge fund traders partner with pharmaceutical companies. It's profitable.)

The list of price gouging drugs is almost endless. Most of the commonly used lifesaving drugs which are covered by your healthcare plans are escalating as well. I've been taking Toprol XL™50 mg since undergoing a triple bypass in 2001. About a year ago I lost a just filled Metaprolol™ (Toprol™) prescription. My healthcare and prescription carrier would not refill it because it was "too early to refill" the fact that it was lost, notwithstanding. Metaprolol™ is a dangerous heart medication. If you arbitrarly stop taking without being weaned off of it by a doctor, you will suffer a perhaps fatal heart attack. Since I had refills available, the pharmacy refilled it at its full non-covered retail, $40.89 for 30 tablets. Today, in 2016, the retail cost of those 30 pills in $105.00.

Under my healthcare prescription plan, instead of the $10 co-pay I paid for that prescription last year; my June, 2016 co-pay was $35.00. The same with Diltazem24HR ER 120 mg capsules (a generic version of the heart-related medication Cardizem™ and its primary generic equivalent, Cardia™). Last month, the co-pay on a 30-day, 30-capsule supply cost $10.00. This month, $35.00. What is interesting about both Metaprolol™ (the generic version of Toprol™) and Diltazem™ is that both are manufactured and/or marketed by Par Pharmaceuticals, whose cost of research had just gone up. But, since there is no research cost on generic drugs since generics, which are clones of the patented brand after the patent rights expire are protected from lawsuits because they are copycat drugs and not original phramaceuticals—and therefore, do not engage in research to improve those products.

When Valeant broke the secrecy veil on pharmaceutical pricing and price gouging in 2015, Congress was forced to pretend they were the innocent arbitrators of a new form of corporate thievery. Congress, of course, had been guilty of accepting bribes from drug companies since the passage of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1938, Pub. L. No. 75-717, 52 Stat. 1040 by Franklin D. Roosevelt's socialist New Deal Congress in 1938. The 1938 law was enacted to repeal Theodore Roosevelt's Pure Food & Drug Act of 1906 P.L. 59-384, 34 Stat. 768) (also known as the Wiley Act), which Congress created in 1906 to police claims made about food and drug ingredients. No formal government approval was required to market new drugs, and the government lacked the power to pull drug or food products off the market. One of the early drugs regulated (but not in terms of safety or efficacy) by the new agency was Sulfanilamide™, an effective antibiotic to treat a variety of ailments from gonorrhea to sore throats and a host of streptococcal infections in between. Elixir

Druggists never had a problem with Sulfanilamide™ until the S.E. Massengill Company in Bristol, Tennessee, decided that an Elixir form of sulfanilamide could also be a best seller. Massengill's chief chemist formulated a solution of 10 percent sulfanilamide, 72 percent diethylene glycol, and 16 percent water—and flavored it with raspberry extract and saccharin. By September 1937, the company had distributed 240 gallons of what they called Elixir Sulfanilamide across the United States. While Sulfanilamide™ is a safe and effective antibiotic, diethylene glycol was a poison.

Six of many Americans in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area who were prescribed the liquid form of Sulfanilamide™ containing diethylene glycol died. Before the scare was over, more than a hundred people across the United States reportedly died from an antibiotic which should have saved their lives.

S.E. Massengill, who tried to recall the elixer, estimated that as many as 4,000 people nationwide may have been prescribed the deadly cocktail. America faced its first government approved medicinal mishap, and the FDR Administration moved quickly to change the laws and exert more authority over the manufacture and distribution of Massengill's elixer.

The government ruled that S.E. Massengill hadn’t really done anything wrong because all of the ingredients in the product were listed on the package. Analysis of the concoction taken by the Tulsa patients revealed that the ingredients in the prescription were exactly what the company said they were—the fact that one of the ingredients was toxic, notwithstandng. .(The only law Massengill appears to have broken in 1937 was in calling the liquid Sulfanilamide™ medicine an "elixir"—a classification reserved for compounds containing something else history would ultimately show to be unsafe for human consumption—ethanol.) The Elixir Sulfanilamide™ tragedy led to a public outcry which led to the passage of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act of 1938 which empowered the FDA to regulate the safety of all new pharmaceuticals as well as every existing drug on store shelves in the United States.

The Elixir Sulfanilamide™ tragedy which led to the Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act also birthed the quid pro quo system where lobbyists were allowed to bribe politicians who voted on issues in a manner pleasing the phramaceutical companies represented by the lobbyists—even if the votes ultimately proved to be detrimental to the constituent (but advantageous to the Congressman or Senator). It took a disaster to happen before Congress ignored the extended hand full of greenbacks and voted to empower the FDA to actually monitor the pharmaceutical industry. But they still dragged their heels almost a quarter century before Congress passed the Kefauver-Harris Drug Act in 1962. That legislation required pharmaceutical companies to provide evidence of efficacy in addition to the safety of their products, before they could secure drug approval.

As real drug regulation made headway over the last five decades, Big Pharma was doing everything it could to influence how the drug-granting powers of the FDA impacted them. Big Pharma's lobbying efforts are now so good that the question now being raised is whether or not the FDA has been compromised by payments made to FDA officials and to members of Congress by the the lobbying arm of the drug industry.

On July 17, 2013 sociologist Donald W. Light, Ph.D, an expert in institutional corruption wrote a piece for the Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics (JLME) sponsored by Harvard University's Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics. The article presented ample evidence that about 90% of all new drugs approved by the FDA over the past 30 years are no more effective than any of the drugs which have been used by the medical community over the past 50 years or more. Light's article was entitled, "Risky Drugs: Why the FDA Cannot Be Trusted."

In his article Light noted that "...over the past 30 years, approved drugs have caused an epidemic of harmful side effects even when properly prescribed. Every week, about 53,000 excess hospitalizations and about 2,400 excess deaths occur in the United States among people taking properly prescribed drugs to be healthier. One in every five drugs approved ends up causing serious harm, while one in ten provide substantial benefit compared to existing, established drugs. This is the opposite of what people want or expect from the FDA. Prescription drugs are the 4th leading cause of death. Deaths and hospitalizations from over-dosing, errors, or recreational drug use would increase this total. American patients also suffer from about 80 million mild [prescription] side effects a year, such as aches and pains, digestive discomforts, sleepiness or mild dizziness."

In Light's essay, he noted that Big Pharma was making large contributions to favored people in the FDA to review its drugs. At the same time the drug companies were also making huge contributions to Congressmen and Senators who advocated to those specific people on behalf of the substitution of private pharmaceutical money to pay for the reviewing of drugs instead of using public funds. Why? Because when bureaucrats use public funds there generally is no bias nor distortion of truth in the fact-finding. The same cannot be said for reviews orchestrated by the pharmaceutical industry on their own behalf.

In September, 2005 the National Library of Medicine, part of the National Center of Biotechnolgy, a division of the National Institute of Health published an abstract on pancreatic cancer in which they tracked cases of drug-induced cancer [DIC] from 1966 to April 30, 2004. Medications implicated in DIC were classified based on the strength of evidence into one of three classes of drugs associated with pancreatitis.They reviewed the top 100 prescription drugs in the United States for their association to acute pancreatitis. Forty-four were implicated. They are: rifampin, lamivudine, octreotide, carbamazepine, acetaminophen, phenformin, interferon alfa-2b, enalapril, hydrochlorothiazide, cisplatin, erythromycin, cyclopenthiazide, didanosine, asparaginase, azathioprine, valproic acid, pentavalent antimonials, pentamidine, mercaptopurine, mesalamine, estrogen preparations, opiates, tetracycline, cytarabine, steroids, trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, sulfasalazine, furosemide, rifampin, lamivudine, octreotide, carbamazepine, acetaminophen, phenformin, interferon alfa-2b, enalapril, hydrochlorothiazide, cisplatin, erythromycin, cyclopenthiazide.and sulindac.

The National Library of Medicine warned that among adverse drug reactions, cancer and acute pancreatitis are often-ignored because of the difficulty in implicating multiple prescription meds as the cause of a deadly drug reaction even though physicians treating such patients should be suspicious of drug-induced pancreatitis or drug-induced cancers in geriatric patients receiving multiple medications. Big Pharma and the FDA spends a lot of money blurring the implication that lifesaving drugs can cause cancer, blaming cancer on Big Tobacco instead—particularly when non-smokers get lung cancer. The FDA invented the phrase "second-hand smoke." to imply that recycled, exhaled cigarette smoke is the cause of lung cancer in non-smokers, and not prescription drug-induced cancers.

American's of every stripe in life have reason to be suspicious not only of the princes of industry, the aristocrats of agriculture, the barons of banking and business and the courtesans of commerce who, since 1787 have viewed The People who escaped serfdom 229 years ago when the Founding Fathers crafted the Constitution of the United States and freed the chattel of the Lords of the Manor by placing the States and The People over the Executive they created as the servant of both the People and the States. The Lords of the Manor (wealthy elite of America), who held all of the real power under the Articles of Confederation, discovered that, with the ratification of the US Constitution, the power they held was unilaterally transferred to the States through the Senate and to the People through the House of Representatives.

When the Lords of the Manor (who owned vast county-sized to state-sized land grants and controlled the politics in their fiefdoms) realized the political power they possessed had shifted to the States and We The People, they used the power of the purse [i.e., bribery] to win it back. When you have all the money in the world, you don't mind spending some of it to control that world.

The first American entrepreneur to bribe a government official was fur trader John Jacob Astor who formed the American Fur Company in 1808 to compete with the Canadian Hudson Bay Company (which was protected by the Northwest Mounted Police). Astor, a friend of President James Monroe, gave the president a $5,000 "loan" with a no repayment clause—a gentleman's bribe—to create military posts at each of Astor's trading post in order to protect Astor's assets.

Bribes, which legislatively, are now officially referred to as "earmarks" lost much of their luster in Washington-town after\the Credit-Mobilier/Union Pacific scandal which corrupted almost every Congressman and Senator in the country began during the presidency of Ulysses S. Grant in 1869 until the Union Pacific railroad went bankrupt in 1873. The Credit-Mobilier scandal touched almost every Congressman and Senator in the country, with laws being enacted to legitimize the bribing of Congressmen and Senators during the Gilded Age of politics in America when the wholesale buying of politicians in the United States began.The Credit Mobilier Scandal ended the political careers of some 30 House and Senate members. Among them was Grant's vice president, Schuyler Colfax, who was forced to resign to avoid impeachment and likely imprisonment.)

Nineteenth and 20th century graft in Congress was largely created by the Jacobin Republicans whose goal in 1864 was to assassinate not only of Abraham Lincoln but Andrew Johnson, Secretary of State William Henry Seward and Speaker of the House, Schuyler Colfax in order to overthrow the government of the United States with Secretary of War Edwin Stanton assuming the presidency, and forever changing the destiny of the United States of America. The Jacobin plot failed when only Lincoln was assassinated. In 1896 the Republicans lost control of both Houses of Congress and the White House, ending the 40 year GOP dynasty of America's wealthiest families. Seeing the handwriting on the wall, the Jacobins jumped ship and took over the Democratic Party, which they control to this day. And, of course, earmarks and quid pro quos continue to influence the legislation which is bought and paid for by the princes of inudstry, the barons of business and, of course, the courtesans of commerce.

If the American people want an honest government, we—the adults who should know better—need to stop electing crooked insiders who take the bribes of the princes of industry and the barons of banking and business because the quid pro quos they repay don't come from their pockets—they come from the piggy banks of our children and grandchildren. And, all those unsuspecting children will get in return, when they grow up, are higher taxes and—food stamps.instead of a living wage.

 

Just Say No
Copyright © 2009 Jon Christian Ryter.
All rights reserved
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