Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Compassionate Conservatives, Part II

For years, Republicans have preached the mantra of removing the odious federal gu'mit from our lives, unless of course the issue involves homosexual sex or Janet Jackson's boob or Paris Hilton and a garden hose or any one of a million issues that offend our Christian overlords.

What the Republicans have succeeded in doing is removing many federal protections that our government, in saner times, provided to its citizens. They have been blazingly successful in appointing energy industry lobbyists to the EPA to gut the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and other environmental protections thought inconvenient to industry, and their glaring conflicts of interest in doing so are breathtaking in their corruption even by Republican standards. They've passed a bankruptcy bill that benefits their huge corporate donors like MBNA and have screwed the little guy who's lost his job or is facing staggering medical bills. What we have left, clearly, is government of the donors, by the donors, and for the donors. And still, the little guy keeps voting Republican, unaware that his societal or religious beliefs are being played in one of the most cynical manners possible by the Republicans and their corporate cronies, who no doubt laugh up their sleeves at the little rubes who keep them in power.

Perhaps no other scam on the American public demonstrates the utter filthy lie of Compassionate Conservatism better than the Vioxx scandal.

In September of last year, Merck was forced to pull Vioxx, a widely-used prescription drug, off of the market after a study showed that the drug doubled the risk of heart attack and stroke in patients. This study was hardly news to Merck, as their own 1999 pre-trial study of Vioxx also demonstrated an increased risk of heart attack and strokes. Given that profit always comes before human lives, Merck sought and obtained FDA approval of Vioxx despite the clear warning signs that were apparent from their own study. It's estimated that 50,000 Americans died as a result of the lethal side effects of Vioxx, and far too late it was removed from circulation.

Can we now say lesson learned, and attempt to clean up the FDA and their approval processes that are stacked in favor of Big Pharma? Quick answer from the Compassionate Conservatives: fuck, no.

In February of this year, an FDA advisory committee voted to bring Vioxx back on the market, although the conclusions reached in the previous studies of Vioxx had not changed. So why was this killer being unleashed again on the American consumer? Easy - ten members of the FDA advisory committee had financial ties to Merck, either having worked or consulted for the company. If these ten members had properly recused themselves from voting, the FDA panel would have reulted in a 14-8 decision that Vioxx not be returned to the market. These ten members, stooges for Merck, instead happily participated in the vote and threw the final decision in Mercks' favor. Even the normally compliant New York Times reported that, "The members with financial ties to the companies were 10 times more likely to favor the drugs as those without such ties." Merck stock soared on the news of the panels' decision, proving once again that it's better to be a part of our "ownership society" and its many exciting rewards than a poor sap who believes in the honesty of our drug approval process and fills a prescription for a silent killer.

The hypocritical fibbing of the Compassionate Conservatives does more than make me want to vomit on my sneakers, because they're not only poisoning our air and water, not only looting the treasury to send our taxes directly to garbage like Halliburton, they're murdering American citizens by putting their greed ahead of our lives. I know this first hand. Six weeks ago, my 47 year old sister died in her sleep from heart failure. She'd been taking Vioxx for over three years for a chronic knee injury. I don't know, and never will, if Vioxx contributed to her death, but the anecdotal evidence is clear from the studies. And now the Compassionate Conservatives want to kill a member of your family, too, while they bible-thump and preach morality at the same time that they and their corporate friends bring a known killer back to the market.

When - WHEN - will the American public wake up to the daily raping they're being subjected to by these people? It's a good thing, I suppose, that so many Chimp followers are insanely religious, because only God can help you under the evil regime we're living under. For the rest of us, we'll just have to figure out how to live without a friend of 45 years on our own.


Blogger Flippy said...

Yeah, funny how because none of the politicians have connections to the marijuana lobby, it's suddenly such a dangerous drug. Uh huh, so much more dangerous than Vioxx, cigarettes, alcohol, etc. I've never seen any evidence anywhere that anyone has died from smoking pot, but it's big and scary and leads to terrorism. If Phillip Morris (or whatever they've changed their name to, to hide their identity) was growing pot, it would be in the stores yesterday and be touted as the cure-all for everything.

12:55 PM  
Blogger -simpchimp said...

If the drug companies could find a way to patent marijuana, you can bet it would be legal today. It all depends on who makes the money.

1:21 PM  
Blogger Flippy said...

Mudpuppy is guessing that they're working on a genetic mutation that they can patent. Fine, just hurry up about it. I don't really care if they make money selling it, just hurry up and give it to the sick people. Sheesh. It's just so much easier to invade foreign lands...

10:27 PM  

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