Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Monday, October 29, 2007
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Full page interview and review of my new book in "Svenska Dagbladet," Sweden's largest conservative newspaper - check.
My op-ed article appeared in "Dagens Industri," the largest business daily in Scandinavia - check.
Radio interview, one hour show - check.
Great review of my new book in the business magazine Affärsvärlden, calling the book a "nail-biting thriller."
Pretty good day, all in all.
Oh yeah, my book is now featured as the top selection on the first page of the largest Swedish Internet book store, next to Harry Potter, and above the book by the former Swedish Prime Minister released yesterday.
Very good day, I'd say.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
One is written by Sweden's former prime minister, the other one by yours truly.
Killer Drug/Vargflocken is off to a great start and tomorrow is official launch date.
Monday, October 22, 2007
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Last time I left my dog alone at home, after driving away I had to return because I forgot something. Usually she's right by the door, yapping and going crazy that I'm arriving back home. This time there was silence. Couldn't find her anywhere. Finally I found her in the stairs, trying to get back down from upstairs, unnoticed. She's forbidden to go there . . . clearly first thing she did, though, as soon as I left and she thought I wouldn't be back for a while.
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Swedish front cover of Killer Drug/Vargflocken
And if you read Swedish, you can click on entire cover below and read . . . have fun Pfizer!
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Monday, October 15, 2007
Friday, October 12, 2007
“Information about Jeff’s personal contributions to political candidates, including Senator Hillary Clinton, is easily accessible on a number of campaign disclosure web sites. These donations are distinct from Pfizer PAC, which supports candidates approved by an independent steering committee of employees. (For more information, see this) Participating in America’s political electoral process is an extension of our colleagues’ involvement in the communities where we live and work.”
My comments here.
Pfizer CEO Jeff Kindler has donated a couple grand to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, a post over on Brandweek NRX points out.
Not terribly surprising, perhaps, given Clinton’s new ideas on health care, and Kindler’s history of donating to Democrats. But it’s sure a switch for Pfizer’s top brass. Kindler’s predecessor Hank McKinnell showered his dough on Republicans (with few exceptions), according to data from the Federal Election Commission. (Enter “McKinnell” on this page at the FEC to see for yourself.)
But it’s always interesting to learn how pharma fat cats are using their cash to play politics — especially at a time when Washington’s buzzing about health care. So the Health Blog did a little digging at this Center for Responsive Politics web site to see what other drug company CEOs are up to. Here are a few interesting tidbits:
- Pfizer’s Kindler isn’t afraid to put some money on a longshot — in addition to giving $2,300 to Clinton, he gave $2,300 to Chris Dodd, a presidential candidate and senator from Kindler’s current home state, Connecticut. Dodd’s chances of becoming president are about the same as torcetrapib becoming Pfizer’s next blockbuster.
- Amgen CEO Kevin Sharer has been ladling out gravy left and right — $26,000 to the Republican Senatorial and Congressional campaign committees, and another $26,000 to the Democratic Senatorial and Congressional campaign committees. On top of that, he’s given to Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Mitt Romney and assorted senators. Makes sense for a guy running a company whose cash-cow anemia drugs have been facing lots of scrutiny in Washington.
- Abbott Laboratories’ Miles White, on the other hand, is a party-line man. He gave $15,000 to the Republican Party of Illinois (where Abbott is headquartered), $5,000 to the National Republican Congressional Committee, and smaller donations to Senator Ted Stevens (R-Ak.), Congressman Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
The data go back to the beginning of this year, and were downloaded from the SEC on Sept. 24. So there may be some donations that aren’t captured here.
Peter Rost, who burst onto the business news landscape a few years ago as a Pfizer [PFE 25.32 -0.13 (-0.51%) ]
whistleblower and the subject of a piece on CBS' "60 Minutes", is enjoying a new career as a blogger and a reporter for Brandweek.
And late yesterday he blitzed some of his reporter contacts with this item about the apparent 180-degree change in presidential politics at the world's biggest pharmaceutical company. The former Chairman and CEO of Pfizer, Hank McKinnell, was a dyed-in-the-wool Republican and one of President Bush's "Rangers"--no, not a player on the baseball team he used to own, but someone who brought in six-figures to the Bush campaigns.
And while the industry knows it has to play both sides of the aisle these days, it's conventional political wisdom that big pharma, in general, is friendlier with the GOP than the Dems.
But based on the campaign contribution record of the new Pfizer Chairman and CEO, Jeff Kindler, it appears he likes the Dems better. You can check it out here.
For example, last April, Kindler gave $2,300 to Senator Hillary Clinton. Over the past few years, he's written checks worth several thousand dollars for Virginia Democratic Governor Mark Warner. Last year he contributed more than $4,000 to the campaign of a Democratic Congressional candidate in his homestate of Connecticut.
And earlier this year, he also supported Connecticut Democratic Senator and presidential candidate Chris Dodd to the tune of $2,300. You have to go back to 2003 to find a contribution to a Republican--$1,000 to Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch.
I've got emails and voicemails into Pfizer's top spokespeople requesting a comment on Rost's report. I will update this entry if/when I hear back, even if it's a "no comment".
Perhaps it was a secret hiding in plain sight. But Peter Rost at BrandweekNRX got our attention this morning by saying that Jeff Kindler at Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) not only contributes to Democrats but is a major supporter of Hillary Clinton for president. He bases this on a clear pattern of pro-Hillary campaign donations, and he poses this question:
Question is what this means as far as Hillary goes - if the big drug companies start to support her, she sure has come a long way since she tried to implement healthcare reform.
We also might wonder how this might play with other C-level pharma executives, who by and large are Republicans and support Repblicans, according to our experiences and a raft of research. Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MRK)'s CEO Dick Clark is a registered Republican in Montgomery County. So is Wyeth's R&D chief Bob Ruffolo. The list could go on. Them again, the political landscape for Big Pharma, of course, began changing last year with the Democratic takeover of the House. Stay tuned.
- Thomas Ginsberg
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Monday, October 08, 2007
Sunday, October 07, 2007
Sure looks like it!
Saturday, October 06, 2007
Bush opened the letter and it appeared to contain a single line of coded message:
Bush was baffled, so he e-mailed it to Condi Rice. Condi and her aides had no clue either, so they sent it to the FBI.
No one could solve it at the FBI so it went to the CIA, then to the NSA.
With no clue as to its meaning they eventually asked Britain's MI-6 for help. Within a minute MI-6 called the White House with this reply, "Tell the President he's holding the message upside down."
Friday, October 05, 2007
In addition to the current gig for Brandweek and Realtid.se, more news outlets have approached me to write for them. If it happens, and they like what I do, I'll let you know.
My only regret is that it makes it a bit harder to keep up with this personal blog.
After all, I'd like to keep it going since you never know how long the other stuff lasts, and it is nice to have a voice out there . . .
So all the Pfizer lawyers following me will have to learns Swedish.
You can find the first article here.
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Former Pfizer CEO Bill Steere and seven other Pfizer execs may be arrested by Interpol
Physician reimbursement is too low. Or so they say.
Walgreens eating humble pie. The Wal-Mart effect sets in.
Wyeth CEO makes life-style choice four months after Wyeth CFO makes life-style choice.
Getting high on a can of Coke.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Pfizer lawyer Ronald Green loses $11.6 million trial (and more to come) in Knicks sexual harassment suit.
Mr. Green also represents Isiah Thomas, the coach of the New York Knicks, who was accused of sexually harassing a former team executive and the Madison Square Garden, the owner of the team, which was accused of improperly firing her for complaining about the unwanted advances.
According to the New York Times, the jury, in Federal District Court in Manhattan ruled that the former executive, Anucha Browne Sanders, is entitled to $11.6 million in punitive damages from the Garden and James L. Dolan, the chairman of Cablevision, the parent company of the Garden and the Knicks.
Of that figure, $6 million was awarded because of the hostile work environment Mr. Thomas was found to have created, and $5.6 million because Ms. Browne Sanders was fired for complaining about it. Mr. Dolan’s share is $3 million; the Garden is liable for the rest.
The judge will decide later on compensatory damages, covering actual economic harm suffered by Ms. Browne Sanders, like back pay and benefits.
”This is not about sexual harassment,” Mr. Green said. Instead, he said, it was about money.
Of course, this is what Mr. Green is paid to say.
Monday, October 01, 2007
So over here at Question Authority, I've been doing posts that deal with questioning authority in general. In fact, several readers have asked me to do more of the "light" and less heavy duty stuff over here.
But of course, if there's a big story I may have cross linked.
I also have the possibility to write for CounterPunch, which I've done frequently on certain occasions, and I have a column over at NJ.com and also sometimes write for OpEdNews. It does become a bit hard, however, to keep up with all those sites, so for now I focus on this blog and Brandweek.
That may change. Additional news outlets have approached me about writing for them, and if there is no conflict and they decided to go ahead, then, I'll let you know . . .