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Archive of Articles in the "Drugs" Category

Friday Talking Points -- The Hidden Biden Boom

[ Posted Friday, December 10th, 2021 – 17:04 UTC ]

Even though it is still laughably early to make any such future predictions -- especially when it comes to both the economy and politics -- Joe Biden and the Democrats could actually be poised to have a decent shot in next year's midterm elections.

That may sound shocking to some, mostly because pundits are currently predicting doom and gloom for both Biden's presidency and the midterms. But next November is still a long way away, and things change over time. Including current preconceptions.

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Build Back Better Gets A Deadline And A Poster Child

[ Posted Thursday, December 9th, 2021 – 16:49 UTC ]

Congress seems to be dispensing with all the other high-profile things that were on its calendar for the end of the year, and it's still only the second week in December. This could bode well for the chances of the Build Back Better bill actually passing the Senate on Majority Leader Chuck Schumer's stated timeline ("before Christmas"). Additionally, the bill seems to have acquired two things that will ultimately help both its passage through Congress and its appeal to the public: a deadline and an excellent "poster child" issue.

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Toto, I Have A Feeling We're Not In Kansas Anymore

[ Posted Tuesday, November 30th, 2021 – 16:37 UTC ]

Nope -- we're definitely not in Kansas anymore. We're not even where we're supposed to be, which is Pennsylvania. We may be in New Jersey; it's not immediately clear (which brings up a rather ironic twist on "There's no place like home," I suppose, since we're not really sure where his home actually is right now...). But today the following news appeared from some fantastical locale or another:

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Biden's Mandate Messaging Failure

[ Posted Tuesday, November 9th, 2021 – 16:44 UTC ]

We are currently in the midst of yet another Democratic failure to properly frame a political issue. This time President Joe Biden and his administration are largely to blame, although other Democrats should really be pushing back on the media's lazy acceptance of a false Republican narrative as well. When the Biden administration announced a new OSHA rule for all private businesses with 100 or more employees, it should have -- from the very start -- pointedly called it a "testing mandate." Because that is what it is, plain and simple. It is a requirement that all employees get tested once a week for the COVID-19 virus. And that's all it is -- that is the only thing it actually mandates.

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Not Bad For Half A Loaf

[ Posted Tuesday, November 2nd, 2021 – 15:44 UTC ]

I'm not usually that a big fan of (or any kind of rosy-tinted optimist about) legislative compromises. Or incrementalism, in general. But the deal Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced today on prescription drug relief doesn't actually sound all that bad. It certainly has its drawbacks -- parts of it are incredibly limited, for one -- but it also will fundamentally change things to the point where improving upon the basic idea will only require a little future number-tweaking. Which seems good enough, at this point (and with this Congress). So I have to say: this is not too bad for "half a loaf."

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Biden Makes The Case For Vaccine Mandates

[ Posted Thursday, October 7th, 2021 – 15:13 UTC ]

The fastest and easiest way out of the COVID-19 pandemic -- and back to a fully-functioning economy -- is to get as many people as possible vaccinated. That was Joe Biden's message today, in a speech he gave promoting support for vaccine mandates. It was his strongest statement on the subject to date, and he tied it at every step to getting both daily life and the economy fully back to normal.

Biden's timing is pretty good, because many vaccine mandates which had been announced a month or so ago (back at the height of the Delta spike) are finally taking effect. People are getting fired because of their continuing refusal to get vaccinated. But, as Biden pointed out, while most of the news stories center around the few hundred who get fired, they mostly ignore the tens (or even hundreds) of thousands of people who not only keep their jobs, but can now do so more safely. Which was Biden's core message: vaccine mandates work. They save lives, in the end.

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Get It Right: It Is Corporatist Democrats Versus Mainstream Democrats

[ Posted Monday, September 27th, 2021 – 16:19 UTC ]

The mainstream media, as usual, is mostly presenting the power struggle taking place right now within the Democratic Party in a rather slanted way. The fight, we are told, is a fairly equal one between "moderates" or (as is becoming more in vogue recently) "centrists" and the progressives. The progressives are usually painted as the radicals, while the "centrists" are seen as those cautioning moderation and compromise. Virtually none of this is true, however. What is really going on is the old-guard "New Democrats" are being forced to confront the reality that it is no longer the 1990s, and their particular brand of "Wall Street-friendly" Democratic politics is not only seriously on the wane but has now been almost totally eclipsed. Senator Bernie Sanders was at the vanguard of effecting this drastic shift, but it is almost complete. And the old guard is none too happy about it, as they cling to the remaining leverage they still have.

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Friday Talking Points -- A Grim Week

[ Posted Friday, August 27th, 2021 – 17:09 UTC ]

This was never going to be a good week for President Joe Biden. The ongoing crisis in Afghanistan pretty much guaranteed that. But although the week started out with signs of optimism -- more and more people being airlifted out of Kabul, to top 100,000 by week's end -- it ended in disaster. A suicide bomber exploded his vest right at the gate to the airport, which killed at least 13 American servicemembers and over 100 Afghans (as of this writing the official death toll for Afghans had hit 169). So while this week could have been perhaps tense but slightly optimistic, by week's end that was no longer possible. It was disastrous; there's just no other way to put it. One grim way to measure it is Biden has now made his first addition to the number he always carries around with him in his jacket pocket -- the number of fallen U.S. servicemembers from both Iraq and Afghanistan.

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The Frustration Of The Vaccinated

[ Posted Tuesday, August 10th, 2021 – 16:30 UTC ]

In all the discussion over how to convince unvaccinated Americans to get vaccinated, I have noticed one suggestion popping up repeatedly -- but always down in the comments, never proposed by any pundit or politician (that I am aware of, at least). It's a simple and elegant answer to the problem, although I have no idea whether it could actually be legally implemented or not. Or if it should, for that matter. The idea? If you choose not to get vaccinated, then your health insurance company should inform you that you will not be covered if you get it and are hospitalized. Your insurance would still work for all other ailments and treatments, but not for COVID-19.

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Friday Talking Points -- GOP Defunded The Tax Police

[ Posted Friday, July 16th, 2021 – 17:00 UTC ]

There were two interesting developments in the congressional sausage-making process this week, both of which Democrats should immediately adopt as their main messages for the next week or so.

The first was that Senators Bernie Sanders and Mark Warner announced they had come to a compromise on the reconciliation bill which will fund the lion's share of President Joe Biden's economic agenda. They settled on a total figure of $3.5 trillion in new spending, which is far less than Bernie's original goal of $6 trillion (just for this bill alone), but also far more than the opening bid of the fiscally-conservative Democrats, which was in the $1.5 to $2 trillion range. It also will mean that Biden got the exact total he asked for in his "three-legged stool" of economic legislation. His first big legislative achievement (the American Rescue Plan) spent $1.9 trillion, and the bipartisan infrastructure deal represents $0.6 trillion more, which will mean a grand total of $6 trillion for all three -- which is exactly what Biden asked for in the first place.

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