A Single Tear for Billy Tauzin

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Billy Tauzin | Wikimedia Commons.Billy Tauzin | Wikimedia Commons.Poor Billy Tauzin. The Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-head of the pharmaceutical company lobby, PhRMA, is losing his job. The New York Times says it’s because his constituents (pharmaceutical companies) think he “bargained away their profits” and spent too much money supporting a health care reform bill that he thought would inevitably pass. Tauzin and the White House made a secret deal last year that would limit the pharmaceutical industry’s costs over the first ten years of the health bill to some $80 billion. Both sides thought they needed the deal—Tauzin because he was certain the bill would pass, and the White House because they were worried it might not if PhRMA opposed it.

Sure, PhRMA’s support probably helped health care reform get to where it is now—stalled on the five-yard-line. It’s a bummer to lose your job. But Tauzin has been making $2 million a year since 2004, when he got the PhRMA job a few months after negotiating (as a GOP member of Congress) the huge Medicare prescription drug benefit—widely seen as a massive giveaway to drug companies. So pardon me if I don’t feel too bad for not-so-poor Billy.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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