by Peter Freyne
How about "Moyers," as in, Bill Moyers, who's back on PBS - and Vermont Public Television - with a Friday night program as only Bill Moyers does it [and available online!], called Bill Moyers' Journal.
The topic: "congressional ethics," or the lack thereof.
And when it comes to buying Congress - a better return on investment than Wall Street - "No one," notes Moyers, "is better at it than the drug industry." And to hit home his point, Bill turns to a familiar face in Vermont - Independent United States Sen. Bernie Sanders.
BILL MOYERS: Money well spent.
Look at what happened just last month when the drug companies fought an effort by Senator Byron Dorgan of North Dakota to lower the prices we pay for our medication.
SEN. BYRON DORGAN (D- ND; Senate floor, May 1, 2007): The fact is, the American consumers are charged the highest prices for prescription drugs anywhere in the world.
BILL MOYERS: So Dorgan proposed to let Americans import drugs from abroad, where they are often sold at far lower prices — like the cholesterol drug, Lipitor.
SEN. DORGAN: FDA-approved medicine produced in an FDA-approved plant in Ireland and then sent to Canada and the United States. The difference? Well no difference — same plastic in the bottle, same medicine inside — except the price. The Canadian pays $1.83 per tablet, and the American pays $3.57--96% more. The American consumer is told: Guess what, we have a special deal for you, you get to pay 96% more for the same medicine.
BILL MOYERS: It's no wonder 80% of Americans in one Harris Poll favored allowing drugs to be imported from abroad.
But 80% of the public can't compete in the Senate with the Washington drug cartel. In the end, industry won and Dorgan's proposal for cheaper drugs was buried.
BILL MOYERS: For Senator Bernie Sanders, the issue goes to the very heart of the political process.
SEN. SANDERS: It's not just the need to lower the cost of prescription drugs. It's really a question as to whether or not the United States Congress can, in fact, represent ordinary Americans, and stand up to extraordinarily well funded, powerful, special interests. And so far, for the last many years, we have been failing that test.
BILL MOYERS: Many new members of Congress agree with him.
"Reality." What a concept!
LBJ; I would tell you...the more that I stayed awake last night thinking of this...and the more that I think of it...I don't know what in the hell...we...looks like to me that we're getting into another Korea. It just worries the hell out of me. I don't see what we can ever hope to get out of there with...once we're committed.....and I just thought about ordering...ordering those kids in there...and what in the hell am I ordering them out there for? It's damn easy to get into a war, but it's...going to be harder to ever extricate yourself if you get in...
BILL MOYERS: That was May, 1964. 260 Americans had been killed in Vietnam by then. Eleven years and two presidents later, when U.S. forces pulled out, 58,209 Americans had died and an estimated three million Vietnamese.
When will we ever learn?
When will we ever learn?