Patterico's Pontifications


Obamacare, Crony Capitalism and Big Media

Filed under: General — Karl @ 3:42 pm

[Posted by Karl]

By sheer coincidence, as our Supreme Court hears arguments on the constitutionality of Obamacare, the Washington Post runs an op-ed by fmr. Sen. Maj. Ldr. Tom Daschle shilling for the legislation and for Pres. Obama. In fact, it runs under the banner “On Leadership.” The bio the WaPo ran for this propaganda states:

Daschle was one of the longest serving Senate Democratic leaders in history, and the only one to have served twice as both majority and minority leader. He was President Obama’s initial nominee for secretary of Health and Human Services, and currently serves as a senior adviser at DLA Piper.

The WaPo fails to mention why he was the initial nominee for HHS Secretary. He withdrew mostly because he failed to pay $128,000 in taxes, primarily for personal use of a car and driver provided to him by a private equity firm for which he consulted. But at the time, even the New York Times noted the lurking backstory:

Mr. Daschle’s financial ties to major players in the health care industry may prove to be even more troublesome as health reform efforts proceed. Like many former power players in Washington, Mr. Daschle cashed in on his political savvy and influence to earn $5 million in recent years, including more than $2 million from Alston & Bird, a law and lobbying firm; more than $2 million from the private equity firm, InterMedia Advisors, which provided the car and driver; and hundreds of thousands of dollars for speeches to interest groups, including those representing health insurance plans, medical equipment distributors and pharmacy boards.

Although Mr. Daschle was not a registered lobbyist, he offered policy advice to the UnitedHealth Group, a huge insurance conglomerate. He was also a trustee of the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, on whose behalf he voiced opposition to a federal loan for a freight rail line near the clinic’s headquarters in Rochester, Minn. The loan was subsequently denied by the Federal Railroad Administration.

Mr. Daschle is another in a long line of politicians who move cozily between government and industry. We don’t know that his industry ties would influence his judgments on health issues, but they could potentially throw a cloud over health care reform.

In typical Beltway fashion, Daschle remained the Democrats’ “go-to guy” in the efforts to seize control over American healthcare. The main thing that changed was Daschle’s clients used to be mostly Big Insurance, while at DLA Piper, they seem to include pharmacies and pharmacos. That, and the likely pay increase over the huge pay boost he got becoming a “not a lobbyist” influence peddler.

This is the sort of thing folks a liberal outlet like the WaPo cared about before Obamacare needed a public defense, e.g., Dan Froomkin. Now the paper fails to disclose Daschle’s seeming financial interest, while Ruth Marcus complains about Obama’s naivete in not hiring more lobbyists from the outset. They all probably hoped for an even more socialistic government healthcare law, but now that Obamacare faces an important legal attack, it is time to circle the wagons for the crony capitalism of the mandate.


18 Responses to “Obamacare, Crony Capitalism and Big Media”

  1. Ding!

    Karl (f07e38)

  2. They looked at Daschele and found him wanting for his tax avoidance.
    No telling what you could find in his wife’s lobbying while Tom was Maj.Ldr., and his positions vis-a-vis legislation that her clients had an interest in?
    But, the WaPo would never go there, just like they take no position on Virginia Thomas.

    AD-RtR/OS! (b8ab92)

  3. The Washington Post also today in an editorial endorsed this sh#tstain as Constitutional by simply saying “we need it and it’s too important so its Consititutional.”

    This is the same media that is now telling us that a hispanic guy is white so they can advance a narrative of racism in Florida. These people do not care truth, they care about “the Truth”, which is leftism.

    Mr. Pink (8de8b7)

  4. we need it and it’s too important so its Consititutional.

    If that were true (And it’s untrue) then they could amend the constitution.

    Things THAT important can get broad support. Obamacare had to pass by the skinne of its tethe in the dead of night.

    Like seems to go on without universal health care.

    Dustin (330eed)

  5. slightly off topic, but i have a monster post quoting from and analyzing the arguments. it was a good day for our side.

    And for the god given right now to eat broccoli.

    Aaron Worthing (73a7ea)

  6. How weird that the short-term future of our country, and possibly the long-term future as well, came down to a few votes in the House and Senate and one vote in the Supreme Court.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  7. DRJ – I find the entire thing quite sad.

    JD (318f81)

  8. I enjoyed Harry Reid reaming out Jeffrey Toobin’s summary of today’s arguments as a trainwreck for ObamaCare supporters.

    Has Nancy Pelosi been reached for comment?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  9. dang it… now = not.

    i miss having administrative super powers.

    Aaron Worthing (73a7ea)

  10. He was not a registered lobbyist, he was an unregistered lobbyist that called himself a consultant exactly like Gingrich did but when a republican does it, it is different somehow.

    dunce (15d7dc)

  11. There was room for only one lobbyist in the Daschle household, and she got to wear those pants.

    AD-RtR/OS! (a3d0cc)

  12. 4- done during christmas vacation, as well. Such a scam.

    sickofrinos (44de53)

  13. Daschle also wears the ugliest toupee this side of Marv Albert. It could be a small forest mammal burrowing into his head. We simply don’t know, except that wearing that ugly ass rug in a Sean Connery/Michael Jordan bald in okay world is ridiculous. It’s impossible to take a man seriously when he does such a thing very day.

    Bugg (34ad0e)

  14. Dunce’s name appears to be quite appropriate. Why not blame Bush and no warforoilandnobloodforoilandHalliburton too?

    JD (e5c06b)

  15. Hubs tells me Tommyx went a little nuts about the twitter stream published at Daily Caller.

    Made me want to bang MY head on the pavement. Somewhere upstream you in this thread I think I mention (pre-DC publishment) that the whole thing is still on There’s a “peoplebrowser” utility there that lets you look over archived tweet activity going back 1000 days).

    Tommy’s all “WHERE DID YOU GET THAT” as if some kind of dirty game is afoot.

    It was easy to find because Martin used a picture linked to his myspace account.

    Two search utilities that figured prominently in Weiner-rama – used to get Jenay/Starchild tweets (and those of other persons/socks) and to search for the images of “Nikki” and “Marianela.”

    What is wrong with him that he doesn’t even know how to look this stuff up?

    SarahW (b0e533)

  16. By the way, there’s likely an older twitter stream for Trayvon – he started a new one in December.

    SarahW (b0e533)

  17. Shoot, wrong thread.

    SarahW (b0e533)

  18. I get reading glasses today by the way. Here’s hoping it helps.

    SarahW (b0e533)

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