Bureaucrat Beat: Dark Glasses, Greed Grinders and Chicken in Traffic

Hey, candidates and those who think they might run for office! If you do and you win, watch for the news. Just a slight hint about the reality of public service. Some local officials think the media should cheerlead. Wrong. We just shine the light on you. If you can’t take the glare, try dark glasses.

Anthem Blue Cross executives should slap on the dark glasses and slither through alleys. News headlines say that Anthem customers who buy individual policies face increase of as much as 39%. So, for those who thought the health care system was just peachy keen, guess what, the corporations will fleece you when you’re down.

State investigators will look into this. No need to look. We know what happened. The greed grinders who call themselves public officials in Washington, D.C. were too bought off to regulate insurance companies and reform health care. The insurance companies, free from fear of regulation, now feel they have license to steal our money. They wasted no time.

We prefer the idea of Medicare for all. Make it a number one federal government priority. After they pay for that, then pay for the rest of it or not. Maybe let the banks go down next time. News flash in the LA Times – Goldman Sachs Group CEO gets a $9 million stock bonus. Poor baby gets no cash. Question. Why do these people who failed miserably get any bonuses at all?

Hey, David Freeman of DWP, get a load of the Japanese. They have plans to harvest solar power from space and send it back to earth via microwave or laser. They will launch a 10-megawatt prototype in several years. Once we’ve given up all our resources, LA could go to the final frontier – space!!!

Wow. Listen to this. According to the National Academy of Sciences the Great Basin bristlecone pines have grown faster in the past 50 years than they have in 3.7 millennia. The scientists say it’s because of rising temperatures.

Andy Rooney of 60 Minutes tries to keep tempers from rising with tips circulating on the internet to defeat telemarketers and other irritants. The tips suggest if you get one of those phone calls with no one on the other end that you hit the number button six or seven times. The email says, “This confuses the computer that dialed the call and kicks your number out of the system. Seems the computer calls to find out the best time to get a real person. Arghhhhhh!!!!

More teeth-grinding news on the internet. A budget analyst from the U.S. Department of Commerce showed us how much the pharmaceutical companies have ripped us off. She found prices for active ingredients in drugs and compared that with actual product prices. Here we go:

  • Claritin – Consumer Price for 100 tablets – $215.17. Ingredient cost – $.71. That’s a more than 30,000% markup.
  • Lipitor – 100 tablets – $272.37. Actual ingredients -$5.80. 4,700% markup.
  • Prilosec – 100 tablets -$360.97. Actual ingredients – $.52. Nearly a 70,000% markup.

You get the picture.

Remember the pony that wandered into traffic in Northridge? Now, the Associated Press reports, a chicken plays chicken with drivers in Glendale. Seems the clucker has dodged cars and other dangerous things for two months. The chicken has drawn a crowd of photographers and reporters as animal control has tried but failed to catch the bird. No, it’s not the Chinese Year of the Chicken. It’s the tiger. Watch out, chicken.

With that, this is Benett Kessler signing off for Bureaucrat Beat where we await your word on our lives in the Eastern Sierra and beyond.


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