Mike the Mad Biologist

Actually, this snake is nicer and cuter than Joe Lieberman
(from here)

What’s remarkable in the coverage of healthcare reform is how certain bits of information simply go missing. For example, how often did you read that other developed countries with comparable standards of living can offer better healthcare at half the cost? (Maybe that piece of information got laid off, what with the recession and everything.) If news stories pointed out the obvious every now and then, maybe this whole debate would have worked out a little differently. Which brings us to the subject of political donations

Once again, CT Senator Joe “He’s with us on everything but the war” Lieberman is making a splash for himself by piously undercutting Democratic initiatives (but “He’s with us on everything but the war!”). What weird is that whenever you read stories about Lieberman, though, it’s always portrayed as an earnest policy or ideological disagreement. He just really thinks even modest reform is a really bad idea! Intelligent Designer bless his principled, mavericky stands! He’s even courageous enough to defy his own constituents (why the Villagers automatically think this is a good thing in a democracy escapes me, but then again, they are fucking morons)

Lieberman’s views, of course, have nothing to do with this:

Lieberman’s home state of Connecticut is home to many insurance companies, including Aetna. Over his career, Lieberman has accepted $2,395,369 in donations from the health sector and $1,033,402 from the insurance industry.

Nothing, I tell you. Nothing.

Or that Lieberman’s wife is a “senior counselor” for the lobbyist group Hill & Knowlton, and worked in its “health and pharmaceuticals practice.”

Because these things might be kinda…germane. Imagine if the lede to a story about healthcare and Lieberman began with:

Sen. Lieberman, who has received over three million dollars in donations from the healthcare and insurance industries and whose wife works for the lobbyist group Hill & Knowlton’s health and pharmaceuticals practice, said….

Admittedly, it’s not the most elegant lede–I’ll leave the wordsmithing to the professionals. But you get the idea. Because if the money doesn’t matter, then why did Lieberman take so damn much of it?

Of course campaign contributions matter (along with the de facto Congressional retirement plan).

This seems kinda important to mention–and it would also lay out just how pervasive lobbyist money is in Congress.


  1. #1 Roadtripper
    October 29, 2009

    Olbermann pointed this out quite nicely on Countdown. Does anyone still watch that?


  2. #2 Paul Schofield
    October 29, 2009

    This might also be worth mentioning. Puts his ideological considerations into perspective.

    538 did a pretty thorough analysis the other day.

  3. #3 Mark P
    October 29, 2009

    Leave it to the professionals? Professional what? Surely you don’t mean journalists. If there were any truly professional journalists around, they would already have done it. What we have is a bunch of poorly-educated liberal arts (or worse yet, journalism) majors who know virtually nothing about anything. If you mean TV “journalists” then I have to lower the standards even more.

  4. #4 ps2
    February 3, 2010

    Leave it to the professionals? Professional what? Surely you don’t mean journalists. If there were any truly professional journalists around

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