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Stinger
08-19-2009, 11:33 PM
Firms with Obama ties profit from health push

By SHARON THEIMER, Associated Press Writer Sharon Theimer, Associated Press Writer Wed Aug 19, 6:08 pm ET

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama's push for a national health care overhaul is providing a financial windfall in the election offseason to Democratic consulting firms that are closely connected to the president and two top advisers.

Coalitions of interest groups running at least $24 million in pro-overhaul ads hired GMMB, which worked for Obama's 2008 campaign and whose partners include a top Obama campaign strategist. They also hired AKPD Message and Media, which was founded by David Axelrod, a top adviser to Obama's campaign and now to the White House. AKPD did work for Obama's campaign, and Axelrod's son Michael and Obama's campaign manager David Plouffe work there.

The firms were hired by Americans for Stable Quality Care and its predecessor, Healthy Economy Now. Each was formed by a coalition of interests with big stakes in health care policy, including the drug maker lobby PhRMA, the American Medical Association, the Service Employees International Union and Families USA, which calls itself "The Voice for Health Care Consumers."

Their ads press for changes in health care policy. Healthy Economy Now made one of the same arguments that Obama does: that health care costs are delaying the country's economic recovery and that changes are needed if the economy is to rebound.

There is no evidence that Axelrod directly profited from the group's ads. Axelrod took steps to separate himself from AKPD when he joined Obama's White House. AKPD owes him $2 million from his stock sale and will make preset payments over four years, starting with $350,000 on Dec. 31, according to Axelrod's personal financial disclosure report.

A larger issue is a network of relationships and overlapping interests that resembles some seen in past administrations and could prove a problem as Obama tries to win the public over on health care and fulfill his promise to change the way Washington works, said Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics, a government watchdog group.

"Even if these are obvious bedfellows and kind of standard PR maneuvers, it still stands to undercut Obama's credibility," Krumholz said. "The potential takeaway from the public is 'friends in cahoots to engineer a grass roots result.'"

White House spokesman Ben LaBolt said that Axelrod has had no communications with Healthy Economy Now or with Americans for Stable Quality Care, and his payments aren't affected by the ad contracts. Axelrod's son, a salaried AKPD employee, doesn't work with either coalition "or stand to benefit from that work," LaBolt said.

"David Axelrod has fully complied with the toughest-ever ethics rules for administration officials, including divesting from AKPD before the administration began," LaBolt said.

Ken Johnson, a PhRMA senior vice president, said GMMB and AKPD were the only two firms working on the $24 million in ads. He declined to reveal how much each was paid beyond saying that each received a small percentage of the total. The coalition's campaign team decided to hire the two firms, he said.

"In a perfect world, it's a distraction we don't need right now, but these are very gifted consultants who have done very good work," Johnson said. "And it's also important to remember that at the end of the day, the coalition partners determine the message."

Healthy Economy Now spokesman Jeremy Van Ess said the two firms were hired because "they are the best at what they do. Period." The coalition didn't seek approval or direction on any of its activities from the White House, said Van Ess, a partner in a consulting firm that has worked on Democratic Senate election activities and a former speechwriter for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

AKPD and GMMB both proudly proclaim their connections to Obama on their Web sites.

AKPD has a full page on Axelrod that includes pictures of Obama. In one photo, Obama hugs Plouffe on election night.

"We are deeply honored to have been part of Barack Obama's historic campaign to change America and the world," GMMB says on its Web site. GMMB's partners include Jim Margolis, a senior strategist for Obama's presidential campaign.

Both GMMB and AKPD also have worked for Democrats this year. The Democratic National Committee paid AKPD at least $106,000 for polling, media production, communication consulting and travel costs from February through April. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee paid GMMB roughly $75,000 from February through June for ads. And GMMB took in at least $9,000 this year from Senate leader Reid's political action committee for communications consulting.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090819/ap_on_go_pr_wh/us_health_care_consultants

MikeTheWildcat
08-20-2009, 07:29 AM
But, that can't be right, King Obama said that only the right is doing stuff like that (Org on health care).

HonestChieffan
08-20-2009, 07:31 AM
Mayor Daley...His Honor Richard J, always felt that you should spread it around so everybody wins.

Welcome to Chicago, D.C.

Frankie
08-20-2009, 09:59 AM
Funny how some folks are now concerned about some companies who MAY profit from the Health Care reform, when they didn't mind companies who HAVE BEEN profitting from a PHONY WAR!!!

HonestChieffan
08-20-2009, 10:11 AM
actually its a real war and our guys are dying. Its not phoney. Whats phoney is we are letting the insurgents take Iraq back and Obama has no care and we are getting beaten in afganistan because we dont have the gonads to blast those cave dwellers to smithereens and get it over with.

blaise
08-20-2009, 10:52 AM
Funny how some folks are now concerned about some companies who MAY profit from the Health Care reform, when they didn't mind companies who HAVE BEEN profitting from a PHONY WAR!!!

Not like you who is equally outraged on both counts, right?

Frankie
08-20-2009, 11:45 AM
actually its a real war and our guys are dying. Its not phoney. Whats phoney is we are letting the insurgents take Iraq back and Obama has no care and we are getting beaten in afganistan because we dont have the gonads to blast those cave dwellers to smithereens and get it over with.

But the war itself was brought on on phony premises and for nothing but profiteering. The fact that so many human lives have been sacrificed to line the pockets of billion dollar corporate execs does not make it a real war. Just an illegitimate one.

KC Dan
08-20-2009, 11:48 AM
But the war itself was brought on on phony premises and for nothing but profiteering. The fact that so many human lives have been sacrificed to line the pockets of billion dollar corporate execs does not make it a real war. Just an illegitimate one.I would argue that the exact same thing is happening with Health Care. Look at Axelrod's sons' employer who just got millions to tout Obama's health care plan if you doubt that. It is ALWAYS about the money - ALWAYS.

Frankie
08-20-2009, 11:48 AM
Not like you who is equally outraged on both counts, right?

EVEN IF one is stupid enough to buy the bogus "Death Panel" nonsense, the 'casualties' of health reform would be minute next to Iraq war's. There is no reason for equality of outrage.

blaise
08-20-2009, 12:11 PM
EVEN IF one is stupid enough to buy the bogus "Death Panel" nonsense, the 'casualties' of health reform would be minute next to Iraq war's. There is no reason for equality of outrage.

Yes, your outrage is always determined by the principles of the topic, and has nothing to do with which party is in question.

Uh huh.

I'll let you in on a secret- you're the only person here who thinks that's even 1% true.
And everyone else is correct.

patteeu
08-20-2009, 01:18 PM
But the war itself was brought on on phony premises and for nothing but profiteering. The fact that so many human lives have been sacrificed to line the pockets of billion dollar corporate execs does not make it a real war. Just an illegitimate one.

Keep spreading ignorance one post at a time. It's your talent.

Frankie
08-20-2009, 06:54 PM
Yes, your outrage is always determined by the principles of the topic, and has nothing to do with which party is in question.

Uh huh.

That's almost correct. But there's a reason I'm a Dem and you are a Repub. We both gravitated to these sides based of sharing a majority of our ideals with them. It is, therefore, not strange that one tends to generally approve of his/her party and condemn the other.


I'll let you in on a secret- you're the only person here who thinks that's even 1% true.
And everyone else is correct.What is true. You lost me there?

Frankie
08-20-2009, 06:56 PM
Keep spreading ignorance one post at a time. It's your talent.

ROFL
So You believe the Iraq war is legit? And YOU call ME ignorant?

mikey23545
08-20-2009, 07:07 PM
ROFL
So You believe the Iraq war is legit? And YOU call ME ignorant?

What an embarrassment you must be to your children.

Frankie
08-21-2009, 12:30 AM
What an embarrassment you must be to your children.

I'm sorry pal. Can't help you there. My son is quite smart and capable of figuring things out by himself. You, on the other hand, are welcome to go on believing that the Iraq war was for patriotic reasons. Now THAT would be embarrassing, dude.

alanm
08-21-2009, 12:42 AM
EVEN IF one is stupid enough to buy the bogus "Death Panel" nonsense, the 'casualties' of health reform would be minute next to Iraq war's. There is no reason for equality of outrage.Do you really want to trust your health to the government?

Frankie
08-21-2009, 12:45 AM
Do you really want to trust your health to the government?

Way more than I trust it to ruthless mega-profit driven corporations. Don't forget, we have the 37th ranking health care system in the world. Everybody's above us is government run.

And BTW, isn't it true that you are given a choice to go government or private?

blaise
08-21-2009, 08:07 AM
That's almost correct. But there's a reason I'm a Dem and you are a Repub. We both gravitated to these sides based of sharing a majority of our ideals with them. It is, therefore, not strange that one tends to generally approve of his/her party and condemn the other.

What is true. You lost me there?

I'm saying the only person that thinks you aren't a knee jerk follower of all things the Democratic party wants you to follow is yourself.
And you "generally approve" of the Democrats the same way a Florida gator "generally approves" of the Gators.
Come on dude, you must know you're just a blind follower of the left, right? I thought you realized that. I'd have more respect for you if you were at least self-aware.

patteeu
08-21-2009, 08:32 AM
ROFL
So You believe the Iraq war is legit? And YOU call ME ignorant?

I didn't call you ignorant. I said you're spreading ignorance. I don't know whether you believe the intellectually vacant things you say or not. And yes, the Iraq war was definitely "legit", whether you agree with it as good policy or not.

patteeu
08-21-2009, 08:35 AM
Way more than I trust it to ruthless mega-profit driven corporations. Don't forget, we have the 37th ranking health care system in the world. Everybody's above us is government run.

And BTW, isn't it true that you are given a choice to go government or private?

After you just accused the government of taking us to war, callously disregarding the well-being of our troops, for the sole purpose of profiteering, you're now saying that you trust the government to provide for our health care? You've got some seriously crossed wires, dude.

ChiTown
08-21-2009, 08:38 AM
OMG!11111111111!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1111111111111

Cheney is the Devil!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11111111111111111111!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

HALLIBURTON AND CHENEY ARE KILLING IRAQI BABIES FOR OIL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11111111111111111!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1111111111111111111111!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now, are you libtards in agreement that all politicians are turds and should be considered guilty until proven innocent?
:D

Frankie
08-21-2009, 12:25 PM
And yes, the Iraq war was definitely "legit", whether you agree with it as good policy or not.

So saddam had WMD and pointing them at us.

OOOOOOKAY!

Frankie
08-21-2009, 12:31 PM
After you just accused the government of taking us to war, callously disregarding the well-being of our troops, for the sole purpose of profiteering, you're now saying that you trust the government to provide for our health care? You've got some seriously crossed wires, dude.

I believe in a well run government. That's why I vote. I believe in the forgotten concept of "Government of the people, by the people, and for the people." Not a government of the corporations, by the corporations, and for the corporations. That my friend was the essense of the Bush/Cheney government. And yes the IRAQ war was a direct offshoot of that kind of government and the greed and the profiteering of big corporations and their agents in the WH.

patteeu
08-21-2009, 01:55 PM
So saddam had WMD and pointing them at us.

OOOOOOKAY!

Whether Saddam had WMD pointed at us is not the measure of whether or not the war was a legitimate policy choice. There were many reasons for wanting to change the regime in Baghdad and the existence of WMD stockpiles was only one of them. It wasn't even close to the most important one although it was, unfortunately, one of the most relied upon to build public support.

patteeu
08-21-2009, 01:57 PM
I believe in a well run government. That's why I vote. I believe in the forgotten concept of "Government of the people, by the people, and for the people." Not a government of the corporations, by the corporations, and for the corporations. That my friend was the essense of the Bush/Cheney government. And yes the IRAQ war was a direct offshoot of that kind of government and the greed and the profiteering of big corporations and their agents in the WH.

Even if what you are saying weren't complete nonsense, what would you do after handing over near-total control of our health care system to the government only to find yourself in a minority again and subject to the whims of a government once again dominated by corporate interests (as you believe the Bush/Cheney government to have been)? You're clearly not thinking this through. Your position doesn't even make sense if we stipulate that your premise is a given.

mlyonsd
08-21-2009, 01:59 PM
...and the greed and the profiteering of big corporations and their agents in the WH.

Which, according to the article you have now.

Inspector
08-21-2009, 02:03 PM
Funny how some folks are now concerned about some companies who MAY profit from the Health Care reform, when they didn't mind companies who HAVE BEEN profitting from a PHONY WAR!!!

Now here's something that would be fairly interesting and something to see:

What if we could some how get Frankie to tell my son this when he returns from his 3rd tour of duty (2 in Iraq, now in Afganistan). That would make for some entertaining conversations I'm sure.

Duck Dog
08-21-2009, 02:23 PM
Only liberals can answer the claim that Obummer has corporate ties to health care with, 'oh yeah, Bush's war was phony.'

Baby Lee
08-21-2009, 02:29 PM
I believe in a well run government. That's why I vote. I believe in the forgotten concept of "Government of the people, by the people, and for the people." Not a government of the corporations, by the corporations, and for the corporations. That my friend was the essense of the Bush/Cheney government. And yes the IRAQ war was a direct offshoot of that kind of government and the greed and the profiteering of big corporations and their agents in the WH.

Which is why this article should anger you, yet somehow . . . nope.

Chief Faithful
08-21-2009, 02:31 PM
I believe in a well run government. That's why I vote. I believe in the forgotten concept of "Government of the people, by the people, and for the people." Not a government of the corporations, by the corporations, and for the corporations. That my friend was the essense of the Bush/Cheney government. And yes the IRAQ war was a direct offshoot of that kind of government and the greed and the profiteering of big corporations and their agents in the WH.

I am beginning to understand you now.

HonestChieffan
08-22-2009, 06:47 AM
ROFL
So You believe the Iraq war is legit? And YOU call ME ignorant?

Well your president has sure helped out this Iraq thing has he not? Looks like the Iraqi's are under seige from insurgents just as predicted would happen if we pulled troops too soon. So Good on Obama I guess. Is the idea that we just let muslims kill each other and forget this thing?

Im amazed at the lack of attention to the way Obama has so far screwed up almost every step in the middle east. We have seen Iraq go worse daily, Afganistan efforts have been marginal at best and under resourced and ROE have hampered and exposed our troops to more danger, he ignored Iran and will probably be a buddy to that creep, funded hammas with our tax dollars, and pissed off the Israelis.

While he sits on Martha's Vineyard this week real American blood is shed and he cares not.

WilliamTheIrish
08-22-2009, 09:28 AM
actually its a real war and our guys are dying. Its not phoney. Whats phoney is we are letting the insurgents take Iraq back and Obama has no care and we are getting beaten in afganistan because we dont have the gonads to blast those cave dwellers to smithereens and get it over with.

When did we have control over Iraq and when did we start "letting" insurents take it back?

Why didn't we "blast them to smithereens" in 01? 02? 03? I'm interested in your thoughts on our military strategy in Afghanistan. Because apparently, according to your well trained military mind it's as easy as rolling the dice in a game of RISK!

So, enlighten me.

RedNeckRaider
08-22-2009, 09:34 AM
Which is why this article should anger you, yet somehow . . . nope.

Bingo!

BucEyedPea
08-22-2009, 10:10 AM
"Corporatism IS inherent in any moves toward socialism in a mixed-economy.The drug and insurance companies are putting hundreds of millions into advertising on behalf of Obamacare. While some lefties have (even if out of mistaken economics) come to oppose the takeover from the standpoint that it is not socialistic enough, while certain central elements about the plan remain a mystery (public plan? no public plan? “co-ops” instead?), and while the Congressional Budget Office and others have shown Obama’s proposal will fail in one of its main promised goals, to cut costs, one thing is almost a certainty: If this new piece of socialism passes, many stand to get rich from it. The biggest corporate interests will be happy, as they almost always are happy with extensions of the state into the market, as is practically unavoidable with the racket of big and bigger government."-- Gregory Anthony

Frankie
08-23-2009, 08:03 AM
Whether Saddam had WMD pointed at us is not the measure of whether or not the war was a legitimate policy choice. There were many reasons for wanting to change the regime in Baghdad and the existence of WMD stockpiles was only one of them. It wasn't even close to the most important one although it was, unfortunately, one of the most relied upon to build public support.

Could you list those reasons pat?

Calcountry
08-23-2009, 09:54 AM
"Corporatism IS inherent in any moves toward socialism in a mixed-economy.The drug and insurance companies are putting hundreds of millions into advertising on behalf of Obamacare. While some lefties have (even if out of mistaken economics) come to oppose the takeover from the standpoint that it is not socialistic enough, while certain central elements about the plan remain a mystery (public plan? no public plan? “co-ops” instead?), and while the Congressional Budget Office and others have shown Obama’s proposal will fail in one of its main promised goals, to cut costs, one thing is almost a certainty: If this new piece of socialism passes, many stand to get rich from it. The biggest corporate interests will be happy, as they almost always are happy with extensions of the state into the market, as is practically unavoidable with the racket of big and bigger government."-- Gregory AnthonyYeah, why should baseball teams(private companies) build brand new stadiums when they can get local governments to?

patteeu
08-24-2009, 08:52 AM
Could you list those reasons pat?

Saddam's track record of aggression toward his neighbors.

Saddam's track record of cooperation with terrorists.

Saddam's continued pursuit of WMD capabilities which was borne out by the Iraq Survey Group's findings after the war.

Saddam's ongoing attacks against our aircraft in the no-fly zones.

Saddam's lack of cooperation according to the terms of our ceasefire agreement following the first Gulf War.

The fact that global resolve to maintain a sanctions regime in order to contain Saddam was failing.

Not to mention his treatment of his own people, his proven willingness to use WMD, his continued instigation in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, and his attempt to assassinate a former US president.

BucEyedPea
08-24-2009, 09:07 AM
Saddam's track record of aggression toward his neighbors.
Out of context since we supported some of that aggression ( Iran)
and instigated the Kuwait incident

Saddam's track record of cooperation with terrorists.
Over generalized. Terrorists that did not do it's dirty work in the US.We're not the world's cop and this is an Israeli matter.

Saddam's continued pursuit of WMD capabilities which was borne out by the Iraq Survey Group's findings after the war.
Still not an imminent threat if he was. But he had disarmed.

Saddam's ongoing attacks against our aircraft in the no-fly zones.
Illegal zones.He had a right to defense by shooting at them.

Saddam's lack of cooperation according to the terms of our ceasefire agreement following the first Gulf War.[/quote]
He cooperated. He materiall disarmed and it was known. The inspections process was corrupted under Clinton using the CIA to wage a coup by trying to get into areas they had no authority to be in.

The fact that global resolve to maintain a sanctions regime in order to contain Saddam was failing.
Sanctions don't work and these were an act of war by the west. Sanctions hurt the people and not the leader/

Not to mention his treatment of his own people, his proven willingness to use WMD, his continued instigation in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, and his attempt to assassinate a former US president.
Sure he was thug and petty dictator no different than some of the regimes we support now and we supporte him too until we didn't need him. Further, Iraq has had a history of such leaders and the Kurds have thug leadership too but are on our side. Also, the new govt of Shi'as have their won torture chambers abusing the former Sunni. The tribal hatreds of the ME run deep and they never forget....which is a good reason to disengage from Chaostan.

petegz28
08-24-2009, 09:17 AM
Saddam's track record of aggression toward his neighbors.

Saddam's track record of cooperation with terrorists.

Saddam's continued pursuit of WMD capabilities which was borne out by the Iraq Survey Group's findings after the war.

Saddam's ongoing attacks against our aircraft in the no-fly zones.

Saddam's lack of cooperation according to the terms of our ceasefire agreement following the first Gulf War.

The fact that global resolve to maintain a sanctions regime in order to contain Saddam was failing.

Not to mention his treatment of his own people, his proven willingness to use WMD, his continued instigation in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, and his attempt to assassinate a former US president.

Frankie wanted us to take out Ahmenutjob for killing a few protestors but Sadaam was ok torturing and mass-murdering people for his own pleasure.

patteeu
08-24-2009, 10:22 AM
Out of context since we supported some of that aggression ( Iran)
and instigated the Kuwait incident


Over generalized. Terrorists that did not do it's dirty work in the US.We're not the world's cop and this is an Israeli matter.


Still not an imminent threat if he was. But he had disarmed.


Illegal zones.He had a right to defense by shooting at them.

He cooperated. He materiall disarmed and it was known. The inspections process was corrupted under Clinton using the CIA to wage a coup by trying to get into areas they had no authority to be in.


Sanctions don't work and these were an act of war by the west. Sanctions hurt the people and not the leader/


Sure he was thug and petty dictator no different than some of the regimes we support now and we supporte him too until we didn't need him. Further, Iraq has had a history of such leaders and the Kurds have thug leadership too but are on our side. Also, the new govt of Shi'as have their won torture chambers abusing the former Sunni. The tribal hatreds of the ME run deep and they never forget....which is a good reason to disengage from Chaostan.

We had no way of knowing whether he was an "imminent threat" or not, but that is irrelevant. The fact that in this day and age we don't have the ability to know when someone becomes an "imminent threat" or not makes "just war theory" obsolete. Neither I nor the Bush administration ever claimed he was an imminent threat.

Any attacks against US aircraft, personnel, assets, interests, or territory is an attack against the US. I don't approve of your apologies for people like Saddam and your penchant for blaming America first. It's even less respectable when you rely on such easily recognized falsehoods as your false claim that Saddam had cooperated and fulfilled his obligations under the Gulf War ceasefire agreements.