Saturday, November 12, 2011

A company controlled by a longtime political donor gets a no-bid contract to supply an experimental remedy for a threat that may not exist.

By David Willman, Los Angeles Times

November 13, 2011

Reporting from Washington

Over the last year, the Obama administration has aggressively pushed a $433-million plan to buy an experimental smallpox drug, despite uncertainty over whether it is needed or will work.

Senior officials have taken unusual steps to secure the contract for New York-based Siga Technologies Inc., whose controlling shareholder is billionaire Ronald O. Perelman, one of the world's richest men and a longtime Democratic Party donor.

When Siga complained that contracting specialists at the Department of Health and Human Services were resisting the company's financial demands, senior officials replaced the government's lead negotiator for the deal, interviews and documents show.

When Siga was in danger of losing its grip on the contract a year ago, the officials blocked other firms from competing.
story continues here:

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Martin Luther King voted for Eisenhower/Nixon

November 06, 2011
On this day in 1956, Martin Luther King voted for Eisenhower/Nixon

On this day in 1956, Martin Luther King voted for the Republican presidential ticket, Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon.

Martin Luther King told Nixon of his vote during a public meeting in Ghana, where they were attending a presidential inauguration.

While campaigning for re-election, Vice President Richard Nixon declared: "Most of us will live to see the day when American boys and girls will sit, side by side, at any school - public or private - with no respect paid to the color of skin. Segregation, discrimination and prejudice have no place in America."

The following year, Vice President Nixon helped defeat the Democrat filibuster against the GOP's 1957 Civil Rights Act.
continue reading here: Grand Old Partisan

Friday, November 4, 2011

Developer with shotgun scared off Oakland rioters

OAKLAND -- Oakland developer Phil Tagami is used to working behind the scenes to broker some of the biggest deals in town. Late Wednesday, he was using different persuasive skills - holding a loaded shotgun to scare away rioters trying to get into a downtown building.

"We had people who attempted to break into our building," the landmark Rotunda Building on Frank Ogawa Plaza outside City Hall, Tagami said Thursday. He grabbed a shotgun that he usually keeps at home, went down to the ground floor and "discouraged them," he said.

"I was standing there and they saw me there, and I lifted it - I didn't point it - I just held it in my hands," Tagami said. "And I just racked it, and they ran."

Read more: SFGate
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