Tom Paxton sings “I Am Changing My Name to Fannie Mae”

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Senators Question Deals to Block Generic Lipitor

Corporate Greed Pigs don’t mind gouging the ill to buy their fucking luxuries.  The Drug Companies are the worst.

From The New York Times:

Published: December 1, 2011

Three senators on Wednesday asked the drug maker Pfizer and five other health companies to detail their agreements to block prescriptions of generic versions of the cholesterol drug Lipitorand sell only the Pfizer brand-name version.

The action came as the patent expired on Lipitor, the best-selling drug in history.

Pfizer has taken unprecedented actions to preserve market share during the next six months, while generic competition is limited and prices remain fairly high. Pfizer is offering discounts to companies that will reject generic prescriptions and substitute Lipitor.

While some companies say they will save money, others do not. The senators said they were concerned about longer term impacts on employers, Medicare and health care costs.

“We need to take a close look to ensure we’re protecting both taxpayer dollars and access to the medicine patients need,” Senator Max Baucus, the chairman of the Finance Committee, said in a statement released with the senators’ letters.

The letters were signed by Senators Baucus, a Montana Democrat; Charles E. Grassley, an Iowa Republican; and Herb Kohl, the Wisconsin Democrat who is chairman of the Special Committee on Aging.

“Consumers and taxpayers foot the bill when drug benefit companies and insurers manipulate the marketplace to prevent access to generic drugs for millions of Americans,” Senator Kohl said in the statement.

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Welcome to the living dead economy

From The Guardian UK:

A eurozone that somehow stays afloat but can’t be reformed, banks awash with cash that don’t lend, and incoherent economic policy. We’ve only found a sticking-plaster solution to our crisis

Posted by: Economics editor
Sunday 4 December

The longer the economic crisis goes on, the less credible sticking plaster solutions become. Four years in, Europe is heading into a nasty recession, China is flirting with a hard landing, the governor of the Bank of England is warning of a systemic banking crisis and George Osborne has announced spending cuts that will continue for the next six years. The United States is the one part of the world where the news has been better recently, with signs of life returning to the housing market and a welcome fall in unemployment.

What’s happening in America – where the Federal Reserve has used two rounds of quantitative easing (QE) to boost the money supply and announced its intention to keep interest rates low – has encouraged the belief that recovery will eventually come, provided the policy response is big enough for long enough.

It remains to be seen whether this is indeed the case, since there have been false dawns galore since the financial system froze in 2007. The real strength of the US economy will be revealed early next year, when tax breaks supporting consumption and investment are removed and when the world’s biggest economy starts to feel the impact of the slowdown on this side of the Atlantic.

Deadly limbo

An alternative way of looking at the crisis goes like this. We now inhabit a world of the living dead: a eurozone that will not collapse but cannot be reformed; banks that are kept alive by gigantic quantities of electronically generated cash but do not lend; homeowners who are sitting in homes worth more than they paid for them but are able to stay put because interest rates are so low and lenders have no desire to crystallise losses, and policy that is neither one thing nor the other.

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The Republicans’ Farcical Candidates: A Club of Liars, Demagogues and Ignoramuses

From Der Spiegel:

A Commentary by Marc Pitzke
December 1, 2011

The US Republican race is dominated by ignorance, lies and scandals. The current crop of candidates have shown such a basic lack of knowledge that they make George W. Bush look like Einstein. The Grand Old Party is ruining the entire country’s reputation.

Africa is a country. In Libya, the Taliban reigns. Muslims are terrorists; most immigrants are criminal; all Occupy protesters are dirty. And women who feel sexually harassed — well, they shouldn’t make such a big deal about it.

Welcome to the wonderful world of the US Republicans. Or rather, to the twisted world of what they call their presidential campaigns. For months now, they’ve been traipsing around the country with their traveling circus, from one debate to the next, one scandal to another, putting themselves forward for what’s still the most powerful job in the world.

As it turns out, there are no limits to how far they will stoop.

It’s true that on the road to the White House all sorts of things can happen, and usually do. No campaign can avoid its share of slip-ups, blunders and embarrassments. Yet this time around, it’s just not that funny anymore. In fact, it’s utterly horrifying.

It’s horrifying because these eight so-called, would-be candidates are eagerly ruining not only their own reputations and that of their party, the party of Lincoln lore. Worse: They’re ruining the reputation of the United States.


They lie. They cheat. They exaggerate. They bluster. They say one idiotic, ignorant, outrageous thing after another. They’ve shown such stark lack of knowledge — political, economic, geographic, historical — that they make George W. Bush look like Einstein and even cause their fellow Republicans to cringe.

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Eurozone was flawed from the start, says Jacques Delors

From The Guardian UK:

The former European commission president says errors when the euro was created made the current crisis inevitable

and agencies
, Saturday 3 December 2011

One of the architects of the euro, Jacques Delors, has said the eurozone was flawed from the start and that efforts to tackle its problems have been “too little, too late”.

Delors, the former president of the European commission, said errors made when the euro was created had made the current economic crisis inevitable.

European leaders in the 1990s had chosen to turn a blind eye to the economic weaknesses of some member states, and the response now the issues had surfaced had generally been inadequate, he told the Telegraph.

All European countries had to share the blame for excessive borrowing by countries such as Italy and Greece that had brought the system to the brink of disaster, Delors added.

“Everyone must examine their consciences,” he said.

His remarks came as France and Germany edged towards closer fiscal union to avoid a potentially disastrous collapse of the single currency.

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West Coast port shutdown announcement

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The Weight of Walmart (Infographic)

From Frugal Dad:

Published with the permission of Adam Jacob of Frugal Dad

December 1, 2011

After reading your comments about the Amazon Infographic that we released two weeks ago (check it out here if you haven’t seen it), it got me thinking about just how big Walmart could be. So I started researching Walmart and found the information to be unbelievable…but, it makes sense since this Black Friday shoppers turned out to Walmart in record breaking droves. Within hours of Thanksgiving night opening, thousands uploaded videos online of the spectacular struggles over cheap TVs, waffle makers and baby clothes.

In the heat of the holiday shopping season, I’m taking a moment to consider where I spend my hard earned money. You might be familiar with the status: Walmart’s the largest grocery store in the U.S., the largest retailer in the world, the leader in global corporate revenue and the largest employer in existence. Still, these facts don’t do much to demonstrate the reach of this superpower.

Check out our graphic demonstrating the Weight of Walmart, and if you find the statistics as shocking as we do, please share it with everyone you know:

Walmart Infographic


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