Bush Gardens

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Scott Gottlieb practicing the mandatory
Bush crony expression: The Dubya smirk

George H.W. Bush deposited so many friends at the Commerce Department that the agency was known internally as ‘Bush Gardens.’” And according to Time Magazine, Dubya’s favoritism and cronyism has even trumped the excesses of his father. Here’s an excerpt from Time’s essential article published this week; “How Many More Mike Browns Are Out There?”

Nowhere in the federal bureaucracy is it more important to insulate government experts from the influences of politics and special interests than at the Food and Drug Administration, the agency charged with assuring the safety of everything from new vaccines and dietary supplements to animal feed and hair dye. That is why many within the department, as well as in the broader scientific community, were startled when, in July, Scott Gottlieb was named deputy commissioner for medical and scientific affairs…
[Gottlieb’s] most recent job was as editor of a popular Wall Street newsletter, the Forbes/Gottlieb Medical Technology Investor, in which he offered such tips as “Three Biotech Stocks to Buy Now.” In declaring Gottlieb a “noted authority” who had written more than 300 policy and medical articles, [his official] biography neglects the fact that many of those articles criticized the FDA for being too slow to approve new drugs and too quick to issue warning letters when it suspects ones already on the market might be unsafe…
Jimmy Carter-era FDA Commissioner Donald Kennedy, a former Stanford University president and now executive editor-in-chief of the journal Science, say Gottlieb breaks the mold of appointees at that level who are generally career FDA scientists or experts well known in their field. “The appointment comes out of nowhere. I’ve never seen anything like that,” says Kennedy.
Gottlieb’s financial ties to the drug industry were at one time quite extensive. Upon taking his new job, he recused himself for up to a year from any deliberations involving nine companies that are regulated by the FDA and “where a reasonable person would question my impartiality in the matter.” Among them are Eli Lilly, Roche and Proctor & Gamble

Read the whole article here.
And just in: evidently Heckuva Job Brownie is still receiving the full FEMA salary.