by Henry Farrell on January 24, 2004

CT extends its hearty congratulations to Congressman Billy Tauzin (R-La), who’s demonstrating his sincere attachment to free market virtues by retiring from politics and selling himself to the highest bidder. For the last couple of weeks, there’s been a “bidding war”: between the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) for Tauzin’s services. The MPAA had paid its outgoing head lobbyist, the unlamented Jack Valenti, more than $1 million a year. Apparently this wasn’t nearly enough for Tauzin, who held out for a substantially larger sum – and got it from PhRMA. As it happens, PhRMA is a particularly unpleasant organization – it played a dishonorable role in the AIDS drugs licensing for Africa controversy a few years ago, and has been up to its eyeballs in other controversies and backroom arrangements, up to and including the recent Medicare porkfest. Needless to say, Tauzin has been assiduous in his efforts to protect the interests of “big pharma”: and the “content industry”: over the last couple of years; it’s hard to believe that his grossly inflated salary is unconnected to services previously rendered. The phenomenon of Congressman-turned-lobbyist is hardly a new one; but the openness and extent of the greed on display is unusual, even for Washington. A sign of the times.

“I don’t think they existed”

by Jon Mandle on January 24, 2004

Thanks to Calpundit for linking to this Reuters interview with David Kay.

Q: What happened to the stockpiles of biological and chemical weapons that everyone expected to be there?
A: “I don’t think they existed.
“I think there were stockpiles at the end of the first Gulf War and those were a combination of U.N. inspectors and unilateral Iraqi action got rid of them. I think the best evidence is that they did not resume large-scale production, and that’s what we’re really talking about, is large stockpiles, not the small. Large stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons in the period after ’95.”

Q: You came away from the hunt that you have done believing that they did not have any large stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons in the country?
A: “That is correct.”

Q: Do you think they destroyed it?
A: “No, I don’t think they existed.”

The interviewer, it seems, had some difficulty believing that Kay was being so straight, and wanted him to say these words twice.