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Homeland Security
November 18, 2002 3:56 PM   Subscribe

Homeland Security "Goodies". "The bill the president supported was 35 pages long. The bill that I've been asked to vote on on Monday or Tuesday is 484 pages long, filled with special-interest legislation, loaded up by the House Republicans in the last few days," Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) The most egregious, Democrats say, is language to protect pharmaceutical companies from lawsuits over the vaccines they create and their side effects, including wiping out lawsuits already in court.
posted by Espoo2 (39 comments total)

 
The bill gives "the HHS secretary virtually unlimited powers to declare an emergency and order smallpox treatment that could include forced immunizations, detainment and quarantines," said the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons.
posted by michaelonfs at 4:33 PM on November 18, 2002


If I were a Democrat in Congress right now, I would be strongly tempted to just say "fuck it," throw in the towel, and watch the special interests bleed this country dry.
posted by zekinskia at 4:33 PM on November 18, 2002


Yet another repulsive example of why it should be illegal to attach unrelated items to ANY bill, ever.
posted by rushmc at 5:19 PM on November 18, 2002


Oh yeah, let's sue the people who are inventing preventatives to devastating disease.

Lawyers who sue vaccine developers should be taken into the city square and properly hung. That Democrats serve as the the willing puppets of liability lawyers helps explain why they were turned out of office in the last election.
posted by paleocon at 5:43 PM on November 18, 2002


interesting info about the government covering insurance losses. Isn't that what the companies got into business to do in the first place?

If you give the cash to a single mother in the slums or to a boardroom full of executives, it's still welfare....
posted by themikeb at 6:03 PM on November 18, 2002


So do you have issue with all three ( forced immunizations, forced detainment and forced quarantines) or just the forced immunizations?

Do you belive that the government should not be able to remove infected individuals from the populous that may infect others?

Frankly, I'd like to meet the dumb-ass that doesn't want his/her smallpox immunization when there is an outbreak in their city.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 6:05 PM on November 18, 2002


You're damn right I'll sue them when I was forced to get a vaccine before they would allow me back in school. Now I have brain damage from the encephalitis I got from the forced vaccine. That's what the fund mentioned was created for. Now they want to do away with it? What are they going to did with the couple billion in the fund? Maybe they can crank up my SSI to a livable level. Say a $5 increase to $550.00?
posted by @homer at 6:13 PM on November 18, 2002


Oh and to get access to the fund you have to give up your right to litigate. We are damned either way.
posted by @homer at 6:14 PM on November 18, 2002


what rushmc said. if we get anything resembling a democratic republic back after we turn these assholes out of office, this is a practice which must be eliminated.

and vaccine developers who peddle their wares the world over for 1/10 of what they charge americans should be taken into the city square and burned alive.
posted by quonsar at 6:19 PM on November 18, 2002


Where do you get 90% mark-up, out of curiosity?
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 6:23 PM on November 18, 2002


Steve,

I half agree with you, but where are the checks and balances here? The anthrax vaccine developed in hurry and used on US military personel caused much undo harm. This is even scarier when you can fight off anthrax with simple remedies such as garlic.

I highly doubt the medical lobby is morally superior to that of liability lawyers. At least you know the lawyers are lying.
posted by velacroix at 6:26 PM on November 18, 2002


Mmmm ... pork. The other white meat. A little limited liability here, a little legal insurance there, federally funded R&D over there. What we have here is collectivization of risk. I hear it's the new big thing among so-called free-market types.

And once again, I ask: can you imagine the shouting if a Democratic President was even rumored to favor "forced immunizations" or "forced quarantines"? Where's all the "Black helicoptering FEMA agents are the architects of the New World Order" marlarky so beloved of the right, now?
posted by octobersurprise at 6:47 PM on November 18, 2002


One bill, one issue.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 6:48 PM on November 18, 2002


If I were a Democrat in Congress right now, I would be strongly tempted to just say "fuck it," throw in the towel, and watch the special interests bleed this country dry.

riiiiight... because the Dems are hardly beholden to special-interests-lobby-money-bribery.
posted by victors at 6:56 PM on November 18, 2002


i pulled the 90% markup right out of my ass.
posted by quonsar at 7:06 PM on November 18, 2002


and i was being deliberately conservative.
posted by quonsar at 7:09 PM on November 18, 2002


because the Dems are hardly beholden to special-interests-lobby-money-bribery.

Not at all. I'd say that they're frequently about as money-grubbing, interest-beholden as the rest of them. I'm not sure what that has to do with the (ridiculously named) Homeland Security bill, however. I've never understood how the ethics--or lack thereof--of one party automatically justifiy whatever actions the other party wishes to take. The Democrats might be selling their mothers into white slavery and this bill might still be a very bad idea. Ever think of that?
posted by octobersurprise at 7:22 PM on November 18, 2002


[[ Frankly, I'd like to meet the dumb-ass that doesn't want his/her smallpox immunization when there is an outbreak in their city. ]]

Frankly, I'd like to meet the dumbass who is eager to forfeit the choice of whether or not to take the vaccine over to the department of Health and Human Services.

Wait, that's right -- the Republicans are the party that think government beauracracies should make all your decisions for you, because they know your best interests better than you do.

Wait, no, that's the Democrats.

Wait -- now I'm confused.
posted by boredomjockey at 7:34 PM on November 18, 2002


What bothers me the most about this is that, supposedly, one of the Republican tenets regarding the economy is "hands off" and deregulation.

And now the reinsurance companies can't grow the balls to cover terrorism? If we're really to trust the market, isn't it just a matter of how much terrorism premiums should be?

I've got a new slogan for this new world order:

"Capitalism. When the market gets tough, the fat-cats turn commie."
posted by zekinskia at 7:37 PM on November 18, 2002


interesting info about the government covering insurance losses. Isn't that what the companies got into business to do in the first place?

Ah, but this is the era of SaveKaryn! Profit without risk. Take it to the next level, baby!
posted by rushmc at 8:31 PM on November 18, 2002


Here is the elephant in the corner that no one wants to talk about. Well worth dismantling the American dream for, no?
posted by rushmc at 8:51 PM on November 18, 2002


Words fail.

I wonder exactly what would have to happen to actually show the average republican that their party has no interest in them what-so-ever unless they have a net worth over 50 million.

You serve but one purpose, to get them elected. After that, they are completely, totally, beholden to their corporate masters.

The only reason they need you is that corporations (so far) do not have the right to vote. Perhaps we should give corporations votes, and the # of votes should correlate to the amount they contribute to our GDP.

I've also wondered where the parades in the street are over this whole police state we are assembling. If Clinton had said he was going to force anthrax vaccinations on people on a whim there would have been an NRA sponsored (and supplied) march on the White House and Rush would have, quite literally, had an aneurysm on the air.

Now, the faithful merely line up and only ask they hand out free "Old Glory" pins and "God Bless America" suckers for the kids.

I remember the first person who told me about the FEMA = New World Order stuff... I actually thought they were joking and I literally laughed in their face. And laughed. They were really offended. That made me laugh even harder.

If we're really to trust the market, isn't it just a matter of how much terrorism premiums should be?

Absolutely. I mean, that's what we're supposed to do with health insurance, right?

Oops.

And yes, heaven forbid the pharm companies be at all responsible or liable for what they produce. I mean, they happen to mix up the anthrax vaccines and the insulin at the factory, minor foul up right? A few thousand people die, but that is certainly nothing that should impact their bottom line or those all important CEO bonuses.

This kind of stuff makes me sick. I don't see how they, or their defenders, sleep at night.
posted by Ynoxas at 9:41 PM on November 18, 2002


What's the problem? If they don't like the vaccine stuff included in the bill, they can take it out, and vote later, or just vote against it. I don't think goose-stepping jackbooted thugs are forcing anybody to vote for this bill, are they?
posted by hama7 at 11:45 PM on November 18, 2002


hama7: It would be so much easier if they were "goose-stepping jackbooted thugs." Even the slowest ostrich can identify that danger.

Before the jackbooted thugs arrive the preliminary work is performed by men in expensive suits who whisper to the politicians, "We're at war now. You're not with the enemy are you?"
posted by ?! at 6:11 AM on November 19, 2002


If this bill makes it through the senate -- with all the pork -- what's the chance that Bush will exercise his line-item veto power? (I know... I'd have a better chance of growing a rootabaga on my head.) But isn't this EXACTLY the type of situation that Republicans brought up when they were the minority and kept arguing for line-item power?
posted by moses at 6:54 AM on November 19, 2002


Frankly, I'd like to meet the dumb-ass that doesn't want his/her smallpox immunization when there is an outbreak in their city.

Well, this "dumb-ass" has, along with a growing number of other "dumb-asses", skin disorders (including eczema and psoriasis) that can make a vaccination almost as bad as the disease itself. I may still very much want to be vaccinated, but I prefer not to be dictated to or called a "dumb-ass" by idiots who don't know what they're talking about.
posted by jalexei at 7:31 AM on November 19, 2002


Here's another "dumb-ass" who suffered the effects of a drug that was taken off of the market when I was a child.
Golly, if it's a vaccine, it must be good.
posted by 2sheets at 8:41 AM on November 19, 2002


Anyone have the number of this bill and/or a link to the full text?
posted by botono9 at 8:46 AM on November 19, 2002


H.R. 5710 -- Here's a link.
posted by moses at 8:52 AM on November 19, 2002


moses, I'll buy your "rootababa"

the line-item veto was declared unconstitiutional in 1998.
And I'm sure duh-bya dumped half the pork in it himself.
posted by themikeb at 8:57 AM on November 19, 2002


Of course he's not going to veto it. The entire POINT is that this is tacked-on to a bill already passed by the now-gone Congress with the stigma that anyone who opposed it is anti-American. This is the closest the GOP will ever get to flat-out extortion without breaking the law.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:49 AM on November 19, 2002


"What we have here is collectivization of risk."

Coupled with the privatization of profit.

It's a simple and brilliant plan: 1) spread the risk out to a broader and broader base (bailouts, elimination/reduction of liability for culpable actions, curtail the masses ability to engage in legal action, etc.), and then 2) concentrate the profit into fewer and fewer hands (income tax reduction, estate tax repeal, undermine collective bargaining laws, reduce/repeal capital gains taxes, etc.).

Makes complete economic sense, but just happens to be completely immoral. It is also, however, a completely predictable outcome in an system of unrestrained market ascendency. Capitalism does many things well, regulating its excesses is not one of them.
posted by edlark at 10:25 AM on November 19, 2002


My favorite is the special exemption so that companies that have moved their headquarters offshore to avoid income taxes are now allowed to get government contracts related to homeland security.
posted by JackFlash at 11:45 AM on November 19, 2002


This kind of stuff makes me sick. I don't see how they, or their defenders, sleep at night.
Ynoxas, those pharmCEO's got all the best dope.
posted by quonsar at 6:58 PM on November 19, 2002


As his colleagues hurriedly tried to give the president a domestic security bill, Senator Robert C. Byrd took the floor this morning to tell them of a "truly great" senator from the first century A.D. named Helvidius Priscus. One day this Roman was met outside the senate by the emperor Vespasian, who threatened to execute him if he spoke too freely. "And so both did their parts," Mr. Byrd said. "Helvidius Priscus spoke his mind; the emperor Vespasian killed him. In this effeminate age it is instructive to read of courage. There are members of the U.S. Senate and House who are terrified apparently if the president of the United States tells them, urges them, to vote a certain way that may be against their belief."
posted by homunculus at 11:39 PM on November 19, 2002


/cheer Robert Byrd
posted by rushmc at 6:39 AM on November 20, 2002


Three Cheers for former Members of the Ku Klux Klan!
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 7:35 AM on November 20, 2002


Yes, even cheers for people who don't agree with me or you. Cheer not for the words they speak, but for the words that give them the right to speak. Words only diluted by the Motherland Security Act.
posted by ?! at 12:26 PM on November 20, 2002


Three Cheers for former Members of the Ku Klux Klan!

Funny, but I tend to find them far preferable to current members.
posted by rushmc at 9:31 PM on November 22, 2002


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