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Monday, February 8, 2016

Martin Shkreli Is Just One of Many Pharma A-Holes

Martin Shkreli. (photo: Joshua Roberts/Reuters)
Martin Shkreli. (photo: Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

By Samantha Allen, The Daily Beast
08 February 16

They throw lavish boat parties while marking up life-saving medication 5,000 percent.
ancy Retzlaff is not Martin Shkreli. She won’t inspire hundreds of news articles nor will she become the subject of any Internet memes. She won’t threaten Ghostface Killah and it seems unlikely that she will ever flirt with a minor on a YouTube livestream.

But the chief commercial officer for Turing Pharma is just as responsible for keeping the price of the life-saving drug Daraprim 5,000 percent higher than it used to be. And as long as the public eye is still trained on the Shkreli sideshow, she’ll get away with it.

During last Thursday’s congressional hearing on prescription-drug pricing, Retzlaff sat next to her smirking ex-CEO, calmly defending her company’s choice to keep charging $750 per pill for Daraprim, which is used to help pregnant women, HIV patients, and other immunocompromised individuals fight off toxoplasmosis infection.

She even admitted that Turing handed out large salary increases and held a lavish boat party while the year-old pharmaceutical company was still reportedly in the red.

“Do you know who Metro Yacht Charters is?” Rep. Jason Chaffetz asked her.

“Uh, yes, I do,” she admitted after a pause.

“Why would you know them?”

“I believe we rented Metro Yacht Charters for a sales force meeting,” Retzlaff replied.

“Yeah, for a party. Twenty-three thousand dollars” Chaffetz said, consulting Turing documents. “Did you spend money on fireworks?”

“Yes.”

“Did you spend money on a cigar roller for a yacht night?” he persisted. “Eight hundred bucks?”

“Yes, we did,” was Retzlaff’s response.

It should have been the story of the hearing: Turing Pharma partying on the dime of the hospitals and insurers who are now paying exorbitant amounts for Daraprim, which used to cost $13.50 per pill. Instead, Martin Shkreli stole the show by repeatedly pleading the Fifth Amendment during his own questioning before leaving the room and calling Congress “imbeciles” on Twitter.

Shkreli’s stunts have been effective in drawing public attention to the problem price gouging in the pharmaceutical industry. But now that he’s at the center of that conversation, he’s threatening to suck all the air out of the room. And if the Pharma Bro has been telling the truth about one thing, it’s this: This problem is so much bigger than him.

For one prominent example, all you have to do is follow his trail. In 2014, Shkreli, then the CEO of Retrophin bought Thiola, used to treat the rare kidney disease cystinuria, and raised its price from $1.50 to $30 per pill. Shkreli was then fired from the company but his price hike lived on. A single 100-milligram tablet of Thiola at a New York City pharmacy costs around $36.

The current CEO of Retrophin is Stephen J. Aselage and his name is not on the front page of any newspapers. He doesn’t tweet. He didn’t buy a Wu-Tang Clan album. But he still hasn’t reversed Shkreli’s decision.

Outside of Shkreli’s sphere of influence, there are still more cases of extreme price hikes.

As Bloomberg reported, a recent DRX survey of around 3,000 brand-name prescription drugs found that prices had been at least quadrupled in 20 cases and doubled for 60 since December 2014. The most dramatic increases—of 500 percent or over—include a heart disease treatment, a beta blocker, and an antidiabetic drug.

“The data shows that price increases are an integral part of the business plan,” Jim Yocum, executive vice president at DRX, told Bloomberg of the survey.

It’s disappointing that it took Shkreli’s antics to bring this problem to the attention of Congress. Now, at least, some of these companies are being asked to account for their price hikes even if they don’t have notoriously mouthy leaders.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals, the company behind two of the most egregious increases of recent years, was also present during last week’s hearing at the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform but their representative, at least, had the good sense to act contrite.

“Where we’ve made mistakes, we’re listening and we’re changing,” Howard Schiller, interim CEO of Valeant, said before the committee, adding that “our price increases in the future will be well within industry norms and much more modest than the ones that drew your legitimate concerns.”

In February of last year, Valeant had raised the prices of two heart medications, Nitropress and Isuprel, by 525 percent and 212 percent.

Retzlaff, on the other hand, was unrepentant, saying that she was “comfortable” with the decision to raise the price of Daraprim under Shkreli’s tenure. In her prepared statement, she trotted out the same excuses that the former CEO once used to defend the price hike: some revenue was used on research and development, hospitals were given a “discount”?which only reduces the price of a 100-count bottle to a $35,000?and patients were given access to an assistance program.

“I believe the decisions made by the company have been appropriate and strike the right balance between patient access, innovation, and shareholder value,” she concluded.

She said this even while sitting next to the smug 32-year-old ex-hedge fund investor who wrote “$1 [billion] here we come” in an email to the Turing board when they were about to close the deal on Daraprim.

Under questioning from Chaffetz, Retzlaff noted that Turing’s first-year net sales were $20 million, largely resulting from sales of Daraprim, which she estimated is only used to treat about 3,000 people.

And under fire from Rep. Elijah Cummings, she claimed that Turing’s attempts to secure a meeting with the president of the Human Rights Campaign was not PR maneuvering but an attempt to “engage all important stakeholders to make sure they were aware that the most vulnerable patients suffering from toxoplasmosis … can access that product at a penny per pill.”

Martin Shkreli became the public face of price gouging because he was so transparent. But Retzlaff’s cool, calm, and collected attempt to spin the same exorbitant price increase for an HIV drug as a net good is arguably more dangerous because it is less obvious. Hate the man who raised the price but beware the executive who cleans up his mess and answers questions about the cost of a cigar roller with a straight face.

There are more Martin Shkrelis out there, and not all of them are acting like assholes on Twitter. And if the Shkreli Show overshadows the people who still need easy access to a once affordable treatment, everyone loses. The Pharma Bro started out as a poster child for a pressing problem. He may end up being a red herring.
Martin Shkreli can go to jail. But that won’t change the price of Daraprim.
  
Comments

+11 # Passing Through 2016-02-08 11:12
"Martin Shkreli can go to jail. But that won’t change the price of Daraprim."

No, but it will make me feel better, like maybe there IS some justice to be had in this world...
 
+13 # elkingo 2016-02-08 11:29
Haven't even read the article, too early in the morning to be nauseous. But Shkreli-Boy is the logical dialectical outcome of psychopath capitalism. Throw the book at the little prick, although acc. "market practices" he hasn't done anything wrong. Punishment seems unjust? So what? Socialized medicine, folks. Say, is tarring and feathering illegal?
 
+16 # elkingo 2016-02-08 11:42
OK, read it. Throw the book at Nancy and Howard too. Then again, maybe Nancy should be made president - we DO need a woman, and she exemplifies the virtuous aspects of uh, "healthy business practice." Don't these assholes know that this is the kind of thing that provoked revolutions, French, American and Russian?

"“our price increases in the future will be well within industry norms and much more modest than the ones that drew your legitimate concerns."

Well now, that is exactly the problem - "industry norms" - norms of usury, cruelty and de facto homicide.
 
+5 # Passing Through 2016-02-08 13:12
"our price increases in the future will be well within industry norms and much more modest than the ones that drew your legitimate concerns."

--Well now, that is exactly the problem - "industry norms" - norms of usury, cruelty and de facto homicide.--

Thank you, brilliantly said. Dead or suffering people come in second, at best (third or worse also seems likely) to "shareholders", even when that "shareholder" is a large hedge fund or private equity group.
 
+7 # Kootenay Coyote 2016-02-08 12:31
Aux barricades, mes amis!
 
+7 # Kindinosaur 2016-02-08 13:09
Wonder why your doc is behind in his schedule? Ever changing drug prices and formulary changes are a large part of it. Coverage for this or that drug is changed arbitrarily and this applies to older, generic medications as well. It is frustrating to use my time addressing problems that were stable and now are urgent because of some non-medical desk person. A trend I've noticed lately is renaming old, cheap medications and charging big bucks for them.
The health care crisis is far from fixed. The ACA has some important provisions, but still caters to insurance companies and pharmaceutical giants.
I'm buried in the damn computer screen instead of practicing the thoughtful and compassionate medicine that I learned from many excellent Preceptors.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Ten Things You Should Know About Marco Rubio

Robert Reich. (photo: Perian Flaherty)
Robert Reich. (photo: Perian Flaherty)

By Robert Reich, Robert Reich's Facebook Page
06 February 16
readersupportednews.org
 
en things you should know about Marco Rubio:
  1. He says everyone should own a gun to protect themselves from criminals and terrorists, and would shut down "any place where radicals are being inspired."

  2. He denies human beings are responsible for climate change.

  3. His tax plan gives the top 1 percent over $200,000 in tax cuts per year, and would completely eliminate taxes on capital gains. That’s more than Jeb Bush’s proposed tax cuts for the rich, and about on par with Donald Trump’s.

  4. He wants to freeze federal spending at 2008 levels for everything except defense.

  5. He wants a permanent U.S. presence in Iraq, and would end the nuclear deal with Iran.

  6. He wants to repeal Obamacare.

  7. We have no way to know where he is on immigration because he’s flip-flopped -- first working on legislation to regularize citizenship for undocumented immigrants, and now firmly anti-legalization.

  8. He’s fibbed about his personal history – saying his parents were Cuban exiles although they left Cuba before the revolution.

  9. He’s been careless with official money. When serving in the Florida House he charged personal expenses (including a $130 haircut) to a Republican Party credit card intended for official use.

  10. And although elected to the Senate as a Tea Party favorite, he’s now the establishment’s favorite Republican. Among his top donors are Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo, and hedge-fund billionaire Paul Singer – along with Koch Industries.
What do you think?
  
Comments
+61 # Jayceecool 2016-02-06 10:13
Just another typical Republican hypocrite...
+1 # bmiluski 2016-02-06 13:17
Amen to that jaycee.......
+40 # tedrey 2016-02-06 10:36
There are ignorant, prejudiced, and covetous people in every society and they need representation too. The Republican party is, among other things, a way to segregate a large number of these people under one tent.

Compared to Cruz, though, Rubio is a mere puppy.
+24 # vilstef 2016-02-06 10:57
Welcome to the Big Segregated GOP tent!
+40 # chemtex2611 2016-02-06 10:38
and would shut down "any place where radicals are being inspired."

I assume that would include the Texas Governor's Office and the Texas Legislature. That would be a great help to Texas women and Hispanics and school children.

Has he offered any details on how he is going to accomplish the closing down part?
 
+31 # vilstef 2016-02-06 10:56
Like all the Republican wannabes, he's made sweeping statements like this that are short on details, unconstitutiona l and show a lack of grounding knowledge of what the President can and can't do.

Judging from statements like this, I'd say most if not all of the Republicans failed high school civics.
 
-3 # futhark 2016-02-06 12:23
He's announcing that his campaign headquarters are soon to be closed and his campaign is going to be aborted.
 
+1 # bmiluski 2016-02-06 13:18
HUH????
+59 # Emmanuel Goldstein 2016-02-06 10:41
He's also:

11. Opposed to accepting any refugees from the Middle East, even though the US bears major responsibility for the crisis.

12. Opposed to abortion rights even in the case of a girl being impregnated by a rapist.

13. Opposed to increasing the minimum wage.

14. Opposed to workers' right to collective bargaining -- a human right.

15. Opposed to equal rights for gays, lesbians, transsexuals, etc.

16. In favor of secret mass surveillance by the NSA and other government agencies.

17. A pimp for the sugar industry, the leading cause of obesity in this country.

Yeah, just the sort of man we need in the White House -- NOT!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Ex-Drug Executive Shkreli Invokes Fifth Amendment Before Congress

Martin Shkreli, former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals LLC, prepares to testify before a House Oversight and Government Reform hearing on 'Developments in the Prescription Drug Market Oversight' on Capitol Hill in Washington, February 4, 2016. (photo: Joshua Roberts/Reuters)
Martin Shkreli, former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals LLC, prepares to testify before a House Oversight and Government Reform hearing on 'Developments in the Prescription Drug Market Oversight' on Capitol Hill in Washington, February 4, 2016. (photo: Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

By Sarah N. Lynch and David Ingram, Reuters
04 February 16
readersupportednews.org
 
ormer drug executive Martin Shkreli laughed off questions about drug prices and tweeted that lawmakers were imbeciles on Thursday, when he appeared at a U.S. congressional hearing against his will.

Shkreli, 32, sparked outrage last year among patients, medical societies and Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton after his company, Turing Pharmaceuticals, raised the price of 62-year-old Daraprim by more than 5,000 percent to $750 a pill.

The lifesaving medicine, used to treat a parasitic infection, once sold for $1 a pill.
At a hearing of the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Shkreli repeatedly invoked the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which says no person shall be compelled in any criminal case "to be a witness against himself."

Wearing a sport jacket and collared shirt rather than his usual T-shirt, he responded to questions by laughing, twirling a pencil and yawning.

Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican, asked Shkreli what he would tell a single, pregnant woman with AIDS who needed Daraprim to survive, and whether he thought he had done anything wrong. Shkreli declined to answer.

"I intend to follow the advice of my counsel, not yours," said Shkreli after South Carolina Republican Representative Trey Gowdy suggested he could answer questions that were unrelated to pending fraud charges against him.

After the hearing, Shkreli's lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, attributed his client's behavior to "nervous energy."

Later, though, Shkreli wrote on Twitter: "Hard to accept that these imbeciles represent the people in our government."

U.S. Representative Elijah Cummings, who learned about the tweet while Turing Chief Commercial Officer Nancy Retzlaff was testifying, pounded his fist on the dais. The Maryland Democrat then shouted about an internal Turing document in which a staffer joked about the price increase.

"You all spent all of your time strategizing about how to hide your price increase ... and coming up with stupid jokes while other people were sitting there trying to figure out how they were going to survive," Cummings said.

Shkreli was arrested in December and charged with running his investment funds and companies almost like a Ponzi scheme. He has pleaded not guilty to the fraud charges, which are not related to the pricing of Daraprim. He also stepped down from Turing and was fired from KaloBios Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Cummings pleaded with Shkreli to reconsider his views about drug pricing: "You can go down as the poster boy for greedy drug company executives, or you can change the system."

At one point, Brafman asked to address the committee, but Chaffetz said no.
Shkreli was allowed to leave the hearing early after he repeated that he would not answer any questions.

'Such Contempt'
Representative John Mica, a Florida Republican, said he would consider asking fellow lawmakers to hold Shkreli in contempt for his behavior.

"I don't think I've ever seen the committee treated with such contempt," Mica said.
Brafman said Shkreli would have liked to discuss drug pricing but had no choice, given the criminal charges against him.

Also at the hearing, Valeant Pharmaceuticals Inc interim CEO Howard Schiller put forward a conciliatory face, testifying that his company had changed its business and pricing tactics.

"Where we have made mistakes, we are listening and changing," Schiller said during opening remarks. "In a number of cases, we have been too aggressive" about price increases.

Valeant shares rose more than 5 percent during the hearing.

Retzlaff testified that Turing acquired Daraprim because it was "priced far below its market value" and is committed to investing revenue into new treatments.

The Federal Trade Commission and the New York attorney general are investigating Turing for possible antitrust violations.

Comments

+7 # PeacefulGarden 2016-02-04 16:01
I think Martin has Conduct Disorder. Kinda scary. He could not control his contempt for people with illness.

It is amazing how the media feeds on people with Conduct Disorder.
+6 # JJS 2016-02-04 18:48
I have a remedy for Martin's conduct disorder. I will reveal it to him for a "small fee", but I doubt he is interested.
+6 # opinionaire 2016-02-05 08:32
I never think of Conduct Disorder being an adult diagnosis; I will grant that this character still looks like a smirking adolescent, but he is actually adult aged. I think he is a full-blown personality disorder of the "Cluster B" variety. That includes Antisocial and Narcissistic Personality Disorders.
+6 # HowardMH 2016-02-05 12:37
I don’t care what kind of disorder you say he has, but his tweet after the hearing was right on target, what a bunch of imbeciles. If these imbeciles have any back bone at all they would have called the marshals in and had this sorry narcissistic brat dragged out of the hearing by his feet and thrown in jail for contempt. Then let that be shown on TV for a couple days while he uses some nervous energy to get his sorry ass out of jail.
+12 # jsluka 2016-02-04 22:52
How appropriate - just like the Mafia mobsters did when they were compelled to testify before the Congressional McClellan committee in 1957. Shkreli keeps 'good' company with the other crooks.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3alUB_BmzzU

Friday, February 5, 2016

ASU commits to downtown Mesa satellite campus

And we're supposed to believe a Payson campus is coming any day now

"With Sparky by his side, Mesa Mayor John Giles on Thursday formally announced Arizona State University's commitment to a downtown Mesa satellite campus."
Feb. 5, 2016 Arizona Republic story

OK Pete Aleshire, John Naughton and Kenny Evans, when will you come clean with the people of the Rim Country.  ASU commits to yet another satellite campus not in Payson.  Yet you continue to pretend the university is coming to Payson any day now - despite ASU's crystal clear denial that negotiations are under way.

You are perpetrating a grand hoax on the Rim Country, leaving us to ask: What's in it for you anyway?

That Was the Best Debate Yet

The Democratic debate in New Hampshire. (photo: AP)
Scott Galindez, Reader Supported News
The Democratic debate in New Hampshire. (photo: AP)

By Scott Galindez, Reader Supported News
05 February 16
readersupportednews.org
 
f you came away from last night’s debate not sure what the differences were between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, then there is no hope for you. If you want real change in the system, then Bernie Sanders is your man. If you want to try to improve things within the current system, then Hillary Clinton is the candidate for you.

I have always said that any candidate the Democrats had running is better than any Republican, and I will vote for Hillary if she is the nominee. I have regularly commented that the whole pledge to write in Bernie if he is not the nominee is a counterproductive effort that Bernie will not support. However, one thing we have to face is that Bernie Sanders has brought people back into the Democratic Party process who would either be voting Green or another alternative party … or not voting at all. You cannot expect those people to vote for Hillary in November if they wouldn’t have voted Democrat before Bernie energized them. I do think they should vote for the Democratic nominee while the alternative parties build themselves up in local elections.

I think Hillary Clinton had strong moments in this debate, and as Bernie said, she would be a million times better than any of the candidates in the GOP clown car. I agree with her on gun control, and I think she scored points in the “progressive” debate – even though I agree with Bernie, you can’t vote for the Iraq War and be progressive. While the poli-sci major in me thinks her performance was good, the activist in me saw just that, a performance.

She lost the debate in my opinion on a few issues. I find her attack on Bernie Sanders’ health care plan disingenuous. She knows that Bernie Sanders wouldn’t rip up Obamacare without first passing a bill that brings us closer to Universal Health Care. I also wonder why she keeps saying she doesn’t want another national debate on health care. Should we not debate a way to lower prescription drug costs? Should we not debate a way to lower premiums, deductibles and co-pays? Does she think her proposals will not generate a national debate? As I have said before, I believe we should start the healthcare debate asking for what we really want, and if we don’t get it, then we should start negotiating. That is what Bernie did with veteran’s healthcare.

I also thought Bernie was right on the death penalty. Too many innocent people die as the result of our unjust criminal justice system, and I too believe you don’t address violence with more violence.

I was really happy to hear Bernie Sanders say if he became the nominee he would change the Democratic Party. There is a lot of room for reform within the party I don’t see any changes occurring under a Hillary Clinton-led party.

I think Bernie scored big on trade. NAFTA was a disaster, as have been many other trade agreements that Secretary Clinton supported. Secretary Clinton is still qualifying her opposition to the TPP, saying she "doesn’t think” it meets her standards. I’m willing to bet she will find some reason that it does if she wins the nomination.

I am not bashing Hillary Clinton, I am just pointing out the differences between Hillary and Bernie. You might be a free trade supporter. I am a fair trade supporter like Bernie. I oppose the death penalty on moral grounds. I think the Democratic Party has become too dependent on corporate cash, and while unions are still involved in the party, their voice has been weakened by the influence of corporate cash. Hillary said she doesn’t believe college education should be free. So does that mean K-12 shouldn’t be free? Why draw the line and say that higher education should come at a cost? There will still be private universities just like there are private schools for K-12.

While Bernie’s usual passion was there, I thought he did better at staying composed. Secretary Clinton, even with her prepared lines, seemed rattled a couple of times.

They made their differences clear, and voters will choose whether they want to rock the boat with Bernie or stay the course with Hillary.

Notes on Iowa
I don’t think we will ever know who really won. The major flaw in the system is that there is no paper trail. I like the open process and I like the battle for supporters of candidates who are not viable. When caucus-goers sign in, they check the box of their preferred candidate. I propose that if you switch your preference during the caucus you have to go back to the sign-in sheet and change your preference. That way there is an accurate paper trail.

Plenty of other things went wrong. Some precincts had higher turnout than the room would hold. In those cases, some precinct leaders held things together and devised a process for getting an accurate count. Others were overwhelmed and fighting broke out. Some lost voters and it affected the delegate allocation process. Some precincts had the IDP-designated precinct chair not show up. That created a situation where the people who stepped up ran the caucus did not have access to the app being used to report the results. I have other concerns: If the designated precinct chair did not show up, did the voter rolls? How do we know if people who caucused were registered to vote? Also, the results were reported by reps of all the campaigns on the app. Those who didn’t have the app might not have had the opportunity to have all three campaigns witness the reporting of the results.

With the vote being 49.8 to 49.6 percent, I think they should throw the delegate distribution plan out the window, declare it a tie, and give both candidates 22 delegates. There was too high a chance that they got it wrong, so just call it a tie and move on.



Scott Galindez attended Syracuse University, where he first became politically active. The writings of El Salvador's slain archbishop Oscar Romero and the on-campus South Africa divestment movement converted him from a Reagan supporter to an activist for Peace and Justice. Over the years he has been influenced by the likes of Philip Berrigan, William Thomas, Mitch Snyder, Don White, Lisa Fithian, and Paul Wellstone. Scott met Marc Ash while organizing counterinaugural events after George W. Bush's first stolen election. Scott will be spending a year covering the presidential election from Iowa.

Comments

+35 # moreover 2016-02-05 10:28
Completely agree on officially declaring it a tie. Differences like the ones we've seen are definitively smaller than the margin of error, and there has been plenty of documented error (random error not favoring one side).
 
+15 # HowardMH 2016-02-05 11:59
How much has Burnie got from Wall Street???

Hillary is a creature of Wall St. Did you see the donation chart that Rachel showed on her program last night. Hillary donations $6.2 Million from Wall Street, $118 Thousand from Iowa. At one of her recent BS Session in Iowa she told the people, get out there and vote for me and I will work for you every day. Sure she will $6.2 M = Wall Street, $118K = Iowa -- such a touch decision as to who she will support.

This week, Wall Street’s buddies in Congress are lining up behind a bill to make it harder to prosecute bank fraud. You heard that right: the House of Representatives will be voting on a bill that will make it harder to investigate and prosecute bank fraud.

Tell the House of Representatives that they work for the American people – not Wall Street banks that break the law. Vote NO on the Financial Institution Customer Protection Act.

It’s been more that seven years since the financial crisis. A lot of people in Washington may want to forget, but the American people have long memories.

GO BURNIE GO, MAKE THEM ALL FEEL THE BURN
 
+24 # Barkingcarpet 2016-02-05 10:28
Given the non-choices, I'll vote for Bernie, as have the youth, and I do not expect much to change, until, we the consumers, change our tunes, quit buying "it" along with stuff, and dedicate to tryingat least, to rebuild the commons of Nature, which supports all life. Until we consider the Air, Water, Soil, and interconnected diverse communities and ecosystems of life to be more important than money, fences, and landfills of toxic goo and disposable nonrepairable junk, and drive and fly in circles, consuming along, nuthin is gonna change.
Tikkun IS a great word/concept. We create and recreate this whirley with every waking dollar, and every ecosystem consumed.
 
0 # jdd 2016-02-05 10:42
What's up? Bernie fails to answer with rousing YES to Todd's question "Does he demand an Iowa recount?" referring to the Des Moine Register. He throws up a giant softball and Bernie doesn't even swing.
+25 # Realist1948 2016-02-05 10:45
Bernie has had a consistent focus on the issue of income inequality (among other things). Hillary can parrot the words, but I don't find her credible. After all, she was on the board of directors of Wal-Mart for 6 years. Wal-Mart, the Walton heirs to the Wal-Mart fortune, and the thousands of low-wage workers who generate the wealth for this richest family in the U.S. give us a clear picture of wealth and income inequality at its worst. Hillary participated in creating this situation, while becoming cozy with the rich and powerful. She has benefited from her ties to the rich.

Go Bernie!
 
+14 # jdd 2016-02-05 11:36
Don't forget that the former "Goldwater Girl," and Wellesly Young Republican Club President, was attending the 1968 Republican Convention at the time when others of us, including MLK, were protesting genocide in Vietnam and supporting RFK.
-9 # NRESQ 2016-02-05 12:31
And HRC was fighting for health care reform and getting skewered by Republican fascists when you were in diapers!
+3 # Pikewich 2016-02-05 12:58
if she was fighting for health care reform, she failed, didn't she.
 
+16 # PABLO DIABLO 2016-02-05 10:47
Barkingcarpet --- you are so right. Boycott the corporations that are killing us. They won't change. WE MUST. We really don't need most of their crap any way.
+33 # xflowers 2016-02-05 10:49
Bernie's strongest point was the one he ended on: nothing is going to change without campaign finance reform. I thought his argument was wonderfully adept when he was able to get away from Hillary's charge that he was using the issue against her personally, and instead generalized it, as it should be, with example after example of how too much campaign money have led to outcomes against the public interest, like big pharma and the banks. Great job Bernie. I can't help but really love this guy.