Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Yes, they are all corrupt/updated

Posted by Charles II on January 13, 2012

Thanks to Sam Seder for hopping on this.

Lena Groeger, ProPublica:

Right now, if you want to read the published results of the biomedical research that your own tax dollars paid for, all you have to do is visit the digital archive of the National Institutes of Health. There you’ll find thousands of articles on the latest discoveries in medicine and disease, all free of charge.

A new bill in Congress wants to make you pay for that…The Research Works Act would [force taxpayers] to shell out $15 to $35 to get behind a publisher’s paid site to read the full research results.

Two members of Congress — Reps. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y. — introduced the bill.

Both Issa and Maloney have received campaign contributions from the Dutch company Elsevier, which calls itself the world’s leading publisher of scientific and medical information. According to MapLight, a website that tracks political cash, Elsevier and its senior executives last year made 31 contributions to House members totaling $29,500. Twelve contributions totaling $8,500 went to Maloney; Issa received two for a total of $2,000.

Bribery?

Yes.

Bribery by a foreign corporation?

Yes.

Bribery by a foreign corporation that would seriously damage American technology startup companies?

Yes.

Issa is beyond shame. But maybe Carolyn Maloney could be persuaded to hear reason by mentioning to her that this corrupt, reprehensible, despicable, and generally stupid.
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Michael Eisen, an evolutionary biologist at UC Berkeley has blogged responses from Tom Reller of Elsevier and of Carolyn Maloney.

Maloney to Alex Kentis:

Moreover, the publishing industry has invested in providing public access to scientific journal articles. Patients can get free access to information on new research through various publisher programs including PatientINFORM.

Reller to Eisen:

The publishing industry has invested significantly in providing public access to scientific journal articles.Patients can get free access to information on new research through various publisher programs including PatientINFORM.

There may be other material that is directly plagiarized, but those sentences are enough to convict either the congresswoman or the publisher of colluding in deflecting the justifiable firestorm that is headed their way.
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Added: Michael Eisen has demonstrated outstanding leadership on this. He published a piece in The NY Times. He brings out the important point that the peer review that the journals claim to be adding actually derives from professors, postdocs, and graduate students that themselves may well be paid by government funds.

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8 Responses to “Yes, they are all corrupt/updated”

  1. Wege said

    Not just bribery, but bribery by the world’s largest publisher of information about illegal psychedelic drugs.

    If the Dems can’t shoot this down, they’re not even trying.

    • Charles II said

      Wege says, “Not just bribery, but bribery by the world’s largest publisher of information about illegal psychedelic drugs.”

      What do you have against psychedelic drugs?

      The problem is that a senior Dem is leading this effort.

      • Wege said

        I don’t have anything against psychedelic drugs, but it seems like a very easy way to embarrass the sponsors of this abhorrent legislation

  2. MEC said

    The last I heard, it’s illegal to accept campaign contributions from foreign individuals. Is money from foreign corporations exempt from that law even though corporations are people?

    • Charles II said

      After Citizens United, it’s not clear that anything is illegal–there’s a push to legalize direct corporate contributions to campaigns.

      But, yes, at the moment, it is illegal for corporations or foreigners to donate to campaigns. So, here’s how it’s done to make it all nice and legal-like.

      If this were the 1990s, we’d call these “conduit contributions.”

  3. MarkH said

    It’s simply unacceptable that we complain about the financial sector getting paid for little or no value and that we would let these people take money for putting a web page in front of a gov’t web site. It’s sheer nonsense.

    It’s unacceptable that the U.S. public pays for something and then can’t get to it for free.

    How many other things are the tax payers paying for which we don’t actually learn about and have access to?

    • Charles II said

      That’s what contracting is all about, Mark. Contract out state prisons to a private company which probably hires the same employees, but pays them less and charges the state more. Contract out army services to Halliburton and Blackwater at exorbitant rates.

      One of the most outrageous cases I know of was when the IRS hired ChoicePoint, the firm that purged the voting lists of Democrats in Florida 2000. Just the people to inspire trust that IRS audits are done in a non-partisan way, right?

      The whole system is riddled with practices that are at best unethical and at worst illegal. What Maloney is doing ought to be bribery in the legal sense of the term.

  4. I knew Issa was corrupt; he’s also hypocritical. Even as he tries and fails to make a scandal out of Solyndra’s failure — a failure that can be traced to the fact that the Chinese have an energy policy and we don’t — he is up to his neck in the Aptera failure:

    http://my.firedoglake.com/phoenix/2011/12/03/investigate-darrell-issas-failed-pet-aptera-motors-maybe-we-should/

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