Sunday, November 8, 2009

$200 Million to buy NY Rep Slaughter's Vote for Healthcare Reform

This is an interesting video of an exchange between Representative Cliff Stearns (R-FL), who is questioning why over $200 million in loan forgiveness for veterinarians was included in the health care reform bill, and Representative Louise Slaughter (D-NY), who needs to placate veterinarians opposition to a bill (HR 962) she supports banning preventative animal antibiotics. Hmm...The dots are easy to connect here.

Did the Democrats Hide a $283 Million Dollar Bribe in the Health Care Bill? (via Breitbart)


  1. I'm curious where you got your "facts"? You've got the wrong bill number, the wrong year for when the EU banned antibiotics for growth promotion, and completely the wrong info about the effect on animal health resulting from the ban. The truth is that when Denmark--the world's leading pork exporter--eliminated the nontherapeutic use of antibiotics in 1998 (as proposed in Slaughter's bill), overall antibiotic use went DOWN by over half with no harm to animal welfare or increase in consumer prices. Under this policy, pork producers are still allowed to use antibiotics to treat sick animals. At the same time, rates of antibiotic-resistant diseases in humans has gone DOWN in Denmark. The EU followed suit with a similar policy in 2006. Anyone who doesn't think that veterinary oversight of animal agriculture practices isn't intimately linked to human health hasn't been paying attention to recent world events.

    Google makes it pretty easy to get basic facts right. I suggest you use it before you compile your next expose.

  2. "Anonymous": Your comment above doesn't make much sense in the context of this blog post. Did you accidentally leave on the wrong post or blog? (I'm sure your trolling several right now, it's an easy mistake...)

    If your comment was indeed meant for this post, then I'll do my best to respond:

    The Bill number is correct. (Perhaps you googled HR 962 for the wrong year?) The summary and full text of the bill can be found on here.

    As for your other accusations, it seems you were intelligent enough to get to this site and start the video playing, but not intelligent enough to notice that we did not create the video. (That's what the "Naked Emperor News" part was all about, for next time.)

    This post wasn't about the use of antibiotics in stock animals, it was about the inclusion of $200 million in loan forgiveness for veterinarians in the [HUMAN] health care reform bill in exchange for the vote of one representative who needed that payoff. That is the only "PORK" were talking about here.

    Now that you're up to date with issue, do YOU think that loan forgiveness for VETERINARIANS belongs in a HEALTH CARE REFORM bill? Do you think it's okay that one representative's vote was bought with $200 million of taxpayers' money?

  3. Whether this belongs in this bill is a legitimate argument to have, and you are right that I did realize belatedly that you did not personally make the video. I don't see how that calls my intelligence into question, but, this being the internet, I know the only way to debate is to rudely insult everyone who doesn't agree with your position. But I'm sorry to tell you that the correct bill number is HR 1549. HR 962 is the bill number from a previous session of Congress.

    I don't really know what you mean by trolling. Someone sent me this link, and I commented to refute inaccuracies. This is bad... why? You prefer to stay in your bubble of like-minded folks who never question what you say?

    Again, a legitimate debate can be had regarding whether this provision belongs in this bill. But doesn't it bother you to learn how many of the facts in the video are wrong? Doesn't it then call the whole argument into question? You may not have produced it, but by posting it here you are essentially accepting and endorsing its content.

    This is what troubles me about so much of what passes for "debate" in this country (if I can use what my conservative relatives send me as a small sample size). Most of the time I just send them the snopes link refuting most of the content, showing that it relates to something that happened years ago, etc. and then they say "Oh, well, my friend sent me this so I figured it must be true." I say again, how hard is it to do some basic fact-checking?

  4. Oh, and one last question... whose vote was "bought" based on this provision? There hasn't even been a vote on HR 1549 yet. And Louise Slaughter has been the foremost champion on that bill for YEARS (long before the health care bill came up). HR 1549 is languishing in committee because the pork, beef, and poultry industries oppose it. Nevermind that ever major medical organization in the country is begging Congress to pass this bill to keep antibiotics from becoming completely ineffective against human diseases. I hope you and yours don't have to know what it is like to suffer through (or die from) an antibiotic-resistant infection and know that something could have been done to prevent it.

  5. "Anon"... One of the clearest indications that a poster doesn't know what to say is when they start in with the "Well you don't have to personally insult me, I thought this was about real debate." This always comes after they have done many personal attacks and left the original question unanswered.

    So is the case here. You blast this website for not "fact checking" only to be told that you missed the whole focus of the post. (You know, the part that was written in the text, you somehow missed...) Then when asked to comment on the point presented, you first reiterate your off-topic points, complain that we were mean to you, ask a ridiculous question ("Whose vote was bought and paid for in this bill?" Clue: Read the post title again.) and then go off on your agenda again.

    Let's try this again: DO YOU THINK THAT A PROVISION GIVING LOAN FORGIVENESS TO VETERINARIANS BELONGS IN A [HUMAN] HEALTH CARE BILL? Why would our already heavily indebted government put a $200 Million appeasement for veterinarians into a bill that they are worried will already cost too much?

    Please, try to stay on topic this time.

  6. Honestly, I can see both sides. Like I said, it is important to have vets who know something about the connection between human health and animal agriculture practices. But, at the same time, I agree that it could probably be better considered in the context of a stand-alone bill.

    Since I indulged you, perhaps you can indulge me and address what I think are fairly well-articulated points about the veracity of the video you posted. You can't just post something like that and then say, "Actually, my real point was in the TEXT... nevermind what the big video thing in the middle of my post says." Rep. Slaughter has been working tirelessly on building support for HR 1549--an important measure to protect public health-- as she did for HR 962, and I don't think it's fair to take this one little clip out of context and say that she's offering a bride, or buying a vote or whatever. Deals are made on Capitol Hill ALL THE TIME... "you support this thing, I'll support that." If she is indeed trying to win vet support for her bill by supporting the loan forgiveness program, I see that as politics, and it's pretty small beans, really, in the scheme of our overall federal budget. Do you have any idea how much money is going to prop up the OPPONENTS of her legislation? Federal farm subsidies to corn are really a subsidy to the livestock and poultry sectors (for cheap feed) and they get BILLIONS every year. I'm sorry if you think this is unrelated, but I think you are barking up the wrong tree here. You want to talk government waste and politicians being bought? Try looking at who the Farm Bureau is supporting. Hint: they're mostly so-called "conservatives."

    And the reason my previous comments did not relate to your text? That's not what I care about. I care about passage of HR 1549, and as such, I wanted to set the record straight on the video you posted.

    Okay, start flaming me and calling me an idiot again. I couldn't possibly be a nice and decent and well-educated American citizen who has different but equally legitimate views from you, so I probably deserve it.

  7. You did much better this time trying to stay on topic, though half of your response continued down the line of Rep. Slaughter's off-topic talking points. And then, of course, you had to couch your comment with the "You're so mean! I just want to have a fair debate" hypocrisy again. I guess I'll have to accept that that's as close as you're going to get to staying on topic. Let me first address your various accusations again and then I will response to the issue at hand.

    First of all, you came to OUR blog and demanded that we reconsider a viewpoint that we never expressed. Then, when I pointed out that we never expressed that point, you demanded that we defend the position that you accused us of anyways. Why should we be obligated to do that? I'm sorry that you didn't read our post carefully or look at the tenor of our blog and realize that we have never discussed the issue you are addressing and was made to look stupid for your accusations and comments, but that still doesn't obligate us to become your straw man so you can save face.

    As per your comments on-topic, if I understand you correctly you are quite unconcerned about this nearly $300 million pay-off for one House vote. You believe this is "business as usual" in Washington, small change in comparison to all the bribes and pay-offs that happen in Washington and, in your view, a very desirable thing because it may give your favorite congresswoman just what she needs to pass her pet legislation. Well, I think the views that you finally expressed would make a lot of my readers VERY upset. We call your idea of "business as usual" congressional corruption and it makes us sick to the stomach to know that $300 million of our children's income was used buy a vote for a program that will destroy our nation's health care system and enslave us in colossal debt ... to China, no less! And you give us the dishonest cop-out, "I can see it either way." Well, apparently you don't, or you would be pissed off like many Americans are right now. As for your accusations that the opponents of your favorite legislation will also be spending millions of dollars (there you go off topic again), I don't have as much of a problem with individuals and corporations spending their own money to support any campaign: No one is being forced to pay for something they don't support (unless it comes from union dues, but that's a whole 'nother issue). But when the government takes OUR money to campaign for or even bribe for an issue over half of the population (we're talking about the Health Care bill here) opposes, I have a very big problem with it.

    So let's review: We are very concerned about the passage of the Health Care Reform bill, you are unconcerned. You are very concerned about the passage of some bill banning the use of antibiotics in stock animals (I know, I know: "Except when they're sick!") and we are unconcerned. We are very concerned about the corruption of "buying" congressional votes by inserting unrelated "pork" into bills, you are unconcerned. You are concerned about the mean conservatives who are going to spend millions to try to defeat this other bill that you are very concerned about. Again, we are currently unconcerned about that bill.

    If it WAS a concern of ours, I'm pretty sure Cura Te Ipsum would support your viewpoint, Dr. B would probably oppose it, and I would want to look into it more before deciding. But with all the other crap happening in Washington right now, we are much more concerned about socialized medicine being installed in America. Tell you what, you can bookmark this site and come back periodically to search for your bill. Actually, I'll do even better. Why don't you send us an email when the bill actually gets close to a vote.

  8. You're wrong about something else... I am pissed off. Just at different stuff than you. You see, I think it's people like you that are ruining this country. But isn't that the beauty of America? You get to go out and yell your little tea-bagging heart out, and I respect your right to do so thanks to our lovely First Amendment. Have a nice day.

  9. So this is your idea of intelligent debate? Tell us we're ruining the country and calling us a sexually vulgar term? How old are you? 15?

    And how is it that "people like [us]", who have almost no political power in the government right now are "ruining this country?" Before you do any more "flaming" or "trolling" on this blog, I would love to hear your intelligent, articulate response to this.


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