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Still has a shot at Secretary of Foreheads


Georgia Rep. Tom Price, Donald Trump's pick to run the Department of Health and Human Services, is about as ethically conflicted as anyone who's won Trump's love, and is posing for his closeup before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee today. Yes, that's even though news just broke that he'd purchased shares in a medical device company right before introducing legislation which ended up making the stock a lot more valuable. It's nice work if you can get it! The Trump transition team is quite certain it's no big, since the shares were purchased by a broker, not by Price himself, so maybe he didn't know he was going to enrich himself, and what do you plebs have against hard-working people making money anyway are you communists you probably are!

The deets on the deed, from CNN:

Price bought between $1,001 to $15,000 worth of shares last March in Zimmer Biomet, according to House records reviewed by CNN.

Less than a week after the transaction, the Georgia Republican congressman introduced the HIP Act, legislation that would have delayed until 2018 a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regulation that industry analysts warned would significantly hurt Zimmer Biomet financially once fully implemented.

OK, but that's really not so shocking, is it? The regulation would have made all medical doohickeys less profitable, probably, not just the ones made by the company Zimmer owned stock in, and we also know that all regulations are bad, so therefore delaying one that would personally make him money is merely a happy side effect of his strong principles. Clearly, any fool can see that.

Nonetheless, three Democratic senators seem to think maybe it would be a good idea to slow things down a bit and delay Price's confirmation until his ethics issues have been investigated. Al Franken, Elizabeth Warren, and Tammy Baldwin (who would look great on a poster together, we are just saying) are asking for a postponement of Price's hearings because of other medical investments he's made, to the tune of some $300,000 in stocks that could have been influenced by legislation Price sponsored and supported. Price has also reportedly helped campaign donors get approval for drugs and medical devices, which may sound bad, but is really just very aggressive constituent service. You might almost get the impression that Price saw his legislative job as a way of lining his pockets, which is just silly, because who ever heard of a public servant doing such a thing? Besides, the Trump transition team says everything Price did was within the law, and if you can't trust Team Trump, then who can you expect to ruin your life once they're in power?

And then there's Price's dedication to gutting the ACA, privatizing Medicare, and letting medical providers get at seniors' life savings through deceptive billing practices, but there's no suggestion he'd get rich off those -- screwing patients is more a matter of principle for him in those areas.

In any case, the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee doesn't even get a vote on Price's nomination -- they're holding the hearings, sure, but the vote on whether to advance his nomination to the full Senate will be held by the Senate Finance Committee, which hasn't even set a hearing date yet. Price will probably get all his conflicts of interest taken care of by then, and if not, it should be easy enough to simply reframe them as not actually a problem, because as everyone knows, ethics are for little people.

[CNN / Politico]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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DHS photo (Every damn ICE pic looks like this)

Donald Trump's immigration goon squads were all set to start mass arrests and deportations of families in multiple cities Sunday, but before the raids started, he tweeted Saturday that he'd decided to delay the operation by two weeks -- to allow Democrats a chance to join Republicans in trashing US asylum law. Trump took a phone call Friday evening from Nancy Pelosi urging him to hold off on the raids, although it's also possible that internal disagreements about the operation at the Department of Homeland Security may have been part of the reason for the delay, too. In the meantime, Trump gets to terrify undocumented families some more and rant about deporting "millions," although the planned operation was actually targeted only at a couple thousand people who have already received deportation orders.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement had been gearing up to start raids in 10 US cities, including Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, and Baltimore, to show how tough America is, and never mind that the sweeps would certainly have led to more family separations, as ICE scooped up at least some undocumented parents of children born in the US. The news also comes while the media is reporting filthy, inhuman conditions at the border camps where newly arrested immigrants, including babies, are being packed in, leading to plenty of awkward questions about why the government suddenly wants to arrest more people in the interior of the country? (Hint: President Eichmann just announced his reelection bid.)

The Great Deporter announced the delay of the operation Saturday by Twitter, as if that were normal, then followed up with more bluster Sunday.

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Kamala Harris was holding it down at the South Carolina Democratic Convention this weekend, and she wasn't just there to kick it at Clyburn's Fish Fry, hang out with Berndog Sanders, and just look extra good. No. She fucking running for President, and she's actually got a chance, unlike the many Mayo Casserole Men who keep jumping into the damn race. Why did they jump in after Kamala and Elizabeth Warren, the only people who are even running, clearly said, "We got it from here, boys"? Not sure, but regardless, it was unnecessary. Doesn't matter anyway because who is gonna remember Dadface McDorksky when Kamala is turning it the fuck out with speeches indicting Trump?

Do you believe in America? Kamala Harris believes in America, and her Saturday speech calls out for justice, and righteousness; where Barack Obama struck hopeful, dulcet, aspirational tones, Harris strikes sharp chords of urgency. To say that she read Trump the riot act would be, and is, an understatement; what she did here raised a crucial reality that some Dems refuse to see. Trump MUST be prosecuted. The Democratic nominee will wear many hats, and one of the most important of those hats is that of a prosecutor. There is a case to be made against Donald J. Trump, hell, there are so many cases, and as far as Harris is concerned, who better to make that case, but a COP? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Kamala Harris at the South Carolina Democratic Convention June, 22 2019 youtu.be

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