Sunday, January 18, 2009

CSPAN's Washington Journal & Fleecing of America

CSPAN: Ken Duberstein & Mack McLarty, former White House Chief of Staffs reflect upon their experience, the job of the Chief of Staff, as well as what is ahead for Pres.-elect Obama.

One would never think two affable guests, like Mack McLarty and Ken Duberstein, might fleece the average citizen. Both are ex-White House Chiefs of Staff, Duberstein under President Reagan and McLarty under President Clinton. Yet, both made huge money, directly and indirectly off taxpayers.

Ken Duberstein served on the Board of Fannie Mae from 1998-2007. He also advised the huge mortgage entity on regulatory matters, garnering $1,875,000 in consulting fees. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac received $250 billion in federal money during the Wall Street implosion.

Mack McLarty is a Senior Adviser to The Carlyle Group, a politically connected private equity underwriter (PEU). Carlyle's corporate office resides at 1001 Pennsylvania Avenue, down the street from 1600. The PEU has a track record of buying businesses, increasing their government sales, and later selling them for a profit. They purchased huge government contractor Booz, Allen, Hamilton last summer. With nearly 1,000 affiliates in ten industry segments, Carlyle wants to be a one stop shop for Uncle Sam. Carlyle deepened their blue bench with numerous Clintonites, McLarty included.

Carlyle's list of undue influence is lengthy, but one story is representative. Two weeks before Hurricane Katrina sideswiped New Orleans, the Carlyle Group purchased LifeCare Hospitals, a long term acute care hospital company, from GTCR Golder Rauner. Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans rented a floor to LifeCare. Post landfall, Memorial was flooded. Thirty four patients perished over the next 5 days, 24 on the LifeCare unit and 10 in the rest of the facility. Memorial Medical Center was owned by Tenet Health.

President Bush's Katrina Lessons Learned report made no mention of Memorial, LifeCare or their combined 34 deaths. Why not? Was the White House covering for their Pennsylvania Avenue friends? It certainly helps a company facing 24 wrongful dealth lawsuits for the federal government to be silent in their robust investigation.

A year later, what happened? Jeb Bush landed a seat on the Tenet Health board. His pay? $34,000 a day. Carlyle Group lawyers claimed the federal government was responsible for their 24 patient deaths, using the innovative legal defense that patients became wards of the feds when FEMA evacuation teams set up in New Orleans.

Ken Duberstein and Mack McLarty may be affable, but they're laughing while lifting the taxpayer's wallet. What does this portend for note taking Rahm Emanuel? He'll make a lot of money like Ken and Mack, only Rahm made $12 million working for an investment banker. One of their clients was GTCR Golder Rauner, the firm that sold LifeCare to The Carlyle Group. GTCR Golder Rauner's CEO coached Mr. Emanuel on his career. The Carlyle Group donated significant money to Congressman Rahm Emanuel, cracking his top ten political sponsors.

Washington Journal thanks you for enjoying today's political theater.

No comments: