Thursday, February 06, 2003

Another interesting article in the Wall Street Journal today. That's the nice thing about the WSJ, the editorial page may be full of right-wing propaganda, but the news section is solid. Today's article on Page A4 talks about how the pharmaceutical firms got a big thank you from the Republicans in Congress after helping them take over the Senate during the mid-term elections with $50 million in campaign donations. In return, they got the U.S. to block an effort by the World Trade Organization to allow poor nations to have access to less costly generic drugs to tackle acute health problems.
At the insistence of mostly Republican lawmakers indebted to their pharmaceutical contributors, the U.S. Trade delegation stood alone among the 144 members of the WTO to block the proposal that would have distributed generic copies of patented drugs to less-developed nations. Now untold thousands of people in these desperate nations will continue to die as a result of easily treatable diseases, all thanks to Mr. Compassionate Conservative and his so-called Pro-Life Party.

On the same page is a story about the Bush administration threatening to veto the budget bill if lawmakers insist on slipping in a $3.1 billion disaster relief package for drought-stricken farmers. It's hard to feel sorry for the farmers I knew up in the Texas panhandle, all of whom vote straight-party Republican every chance they get. But they should know that it is much more important that Bush get his tax cut for the rich, before worrying about things like health care, education and disaster relief.

Oh, and the New York Times today had this on its front page: "Hiring in Nation Hits Worst Slump in Nearly 20 Years". So Bush Jr. is looking to best his father on several fronts. He has already proposed a budget with bigger deficits than his father, now he is overseeing the worst employment decline in years.

"The economy has lost more than 2 million jobs, a drop of 1.5 percent, since the most recent recession began in March 2001."

The decline was only 1.3 percent during Bush Sr. Congratulations!!!

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