Thursday, September 29, 2005
Get Frist A Doctor!
Check out Raw Story for an article written by John Byrne - which I also worked on - that contains more details about Senator Bill Frist's (and family's) dealings with HCA: link.
This is the meat of the story:
"Just two days before Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS) stepped down as Majority Leader in 2002, the company Frist's father started quietly settled a massive Medicare fraud lawsuit for $630 million. The eleventh-hour deal -- brokered with Justice Department attorneys after a seven-year court battle -- was made as Frist (R-TN) secured the necessary votes to assume the Senate's top post."
"Those close to the case tell RAW STORY that top HCA executives were scheduled to be deposed the following month. Frist's brother, Thomas Jr., would have been forced to go on the record during the opening days of the senator's tenure as leader."
But John knocked me out with his opening paragraphs:
"Bill Frist, it seems, needs a doctor."
"The Senate's plaintive Southern physician -- envisioned as the Republicans’ antidote to a seemingly racist Trent Lott -- is hemorrhaging political capital. The doctor who so memorably assuaged a terrified nation in the wake of the 2001 anthrax attacks is now dancing to a dangerous duet of swirling stock probes."
Interestingly, on the very same day that HCA made the deal - June 26, 2003 - Senator Frist, the brand spanking new Senate Majority leader may have been showing his appreciation to the Bush Administration when he appeared on NBC's Today Show and spouted some crazy-ass nonsense about Bush's invasion of Iraq (link):
"The Republican leader in the Senate said Thursday that Iraq's weapons of mass destruction (WMD) was not the main justification for the US-led invasion of Iraq."
""I'm not sure that's the major reason we went to war," Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist told NBC television's Today Show."
"Even without the discovery of alleged chemical and biological weapons, Frist said Americans still welcome the ouster of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein."
""If you talk to most of the American people today, to have Saddam Hussein and his rogue regime out of there is something the American people want, it's something they deserve," the Republican leader said."
""We know he has used weapons of mass destruction to kill thousands and thousands of his own people ... as well as outside of the country," he said."....
""When you have a terrorist and people who harbour terrorists, and they've had weapons of mass destruction which they're used to kill their own people, invade other nations with those weapons ... to have him removed is something the American people want, they need and they feel much more secure with.""
"Frist added that he was not surprised that weapons of mass destruction have not been found in Iraq."
""The weapons of mass destruction that we're talking about today are new. They're little viruses, they're bacteria, they're chemicals, things you can't see, you can't touch, and you can't smell. So intelligence is tough," he said."
"The administration made decisions based on the very best intelligence that we have available today," Frist insisted."
"Things you can't see."
Kind of like any wisp of honesty, integrity or competence permeating from the folks who comprise the Bush Administration or the present day GOP leadership.