A huge overnight price increase for an important tuberculosis drug has been rescinded after the company that acquired the drug gave it back to its previous owner under pressure, it was announced on Monday.
However, outrage over a gigantic price increase for another drug spread into the political sphere on Monday, causing biotechnology stocks to fall broadly as investors worried about possible government action to control pharmaceutical prices. The Nasdaq Biotechnology Index fell more than 4 percent.
“Price-gouging like this in the specialty drug market is outrageous,” Hillary Rodham Clinton, a contender for the Democratic presidential nomination, said in a tweet on Monday. She said she would announce a plan on Tuesday to deal with rising drug prices.
Ms. Clinton was referring to the actions of Turing Pharmaceuticals, which last month acquired Daraprim, a 62-year-old drug used to treat a serious parasitic infection, and raised its price to $750 per tablet, from $13.50.
Election Season continues to close in on us with a number of national policies under consideration and under fire.
It’s time to focus on issues.
Hillary Clinton has introduced her policy prescriptions for sensible gun regulation. They include repealing laws giving legal protection to gun manufacturers and dealers. Gun manufacturers and gun retailers are the only industry given protection from every circumstance of negligence in product design, sales, and use. Dealers can sell to anyone and not be held to account. On-line dealers and gun show dealers bear no legal responsibility for selling to felons or the mentally ill. Clinton’s position stands in direct conflict with Senator Bernie Sanders’ voting record. Sanders–an independent–is Clinton’s closet challenger in the Democratic Party presidential race. Martin O’Malley–a former Governor and Democrat–also embraces sensible gun control. Of course, the Republicans support a weapons free-for-all.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Monday detailed new proposalsaimed at closing gun sale loopholes and holding accountable those who sell guns for violence committed with those weapons.
Seizing the moment following last week’s mass shooting in Oregon, Clinton called for the repeal of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which gives legal protection to gun manufacturers and dealers whose guns are used for criminal activity.
As a senator from New York, Clinton voted against the law in 2005 and, the official said, would lead an effort to repeal it if elected president. Her closest competitor in the Democratic primary, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who served in the U.S. House at the time, voted in favor of it.
Clinton appeared viscerally frustrated as she spoke after Thursday’s shooting at Umpqua Community College, in which authorities say a student killed nine people before turning one of several guns he had with him on himself. “What is wrong with us, that we cannot stand up to the NRA and the gun lobby, and the gun manufacturers they represent?” Clinton said Friday at Broward College in Davie, Florida. “We don’t just need to pray for these people. We need to act.”
In staking out a hardline position on guns, Clinton is capitalizing on an issue where she stands to the left of Sanders. He has a mixed record on gun control—he voted against the Brady Bill in 1993 and for the liability protection law, but also in favor of restrictions on the size of gun magazines—that he attributes to the gun culture of his rural state. He responded to the shootings in Charleston, South Carolina, and in Oregon with promises to implement “sensible gun-control legislation” and to improve mental health services, but has not yet offered specific proposals.
Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, who is trailing Clinton and Sanders in polls, on Sunday in New Hampshire called on his rivals to “join me in building a new consensus” on gun control by supporting his four-point plan, his campaign said.
Could Clinton staking out a position make Gun Control an actual issue in the 2016 presidential primary? Greg Sargent of the Plum Line discusses the question.
Clinton’s new plan, which she will discuss on the campaign trail today, includes a raft of ideas: closing loopholes in the background check system; more aggressive action to revoke the licenses of gun dealers who knowingly supply so-called “straw purchasers”; and repealing a law that protects gun manufacturers from liability for gun violence.
But the most controversial aspect of Clinton’s plan is this: She vowed to take executive action to partly close the loophole that allows private sellers to peddle guns without a background check if Congress doesn’t.
Clinton’s campaign says that this could theoretically be accomplished via a new rule by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms that would more clearly define what it means to be “engaged in the business” of selling firearms. Gun control advocates point out that under federal law, those “engaged in the business” of selling firearms must perform background checks, but federal regulations defining that phrase are too vague, allowing too many gun sales to proceed without such a check. Such federal regs, they say, could be changed through executive action that, for example, would set a clearer threshold defining “engaged in the business” of selling firearms in terms of the number of guns sold.
Arkadi Gerney, a gun policy expert at the Center for American Progress, tells me what Clinton’s new policy proposal means:
“The statute says that anyone engaged in the business of selling firearms must apply for a federal license. Like any other statute where it’s vague, there’s the potential to define it further. You could update the regulation and have a more clear threshold. You couldn’t say, we define ‘engaged in the business’ as anyone who sells a gun ever. But you could change the regulation to be more focused, more narrow, and less vague than it currently is, which makes it very hard to prosecute people who abuse the law and are selling tens and hundreds of guns as private sellers.
“One way you could do this would be to have a clear numerical threshold on the number of gun sales.”
But if Clinton could do this as president, couldn’t Obama do this by executive action right now? Gerney thinks the answer is Yes:
“Clinton’s idea of clarifying further what kind of gun sellers are engaging in business and need to get a license to sell guns is a smart one. She’s right that the President can do more to define the current law on what level of gun-selling activity triggers the requirement to conduct background checks. And, by putting this idea forward it is something of an implicit challenge to the current administration to move forward along these lines.”
More on this later, but this raises new questions: Is Obama, who has been visibly frustrated by government inaction, thinking of undertaking such an executive action? Will Clinton’s public vow to undertake such action raise the pressure on the administration to do the same?
It seems another Columbine-style school massacre was in the planning stage in California. How can we put an end to these things?
An investigation into a planned shooting at a Tuolumne County school led to the arrests of four male students, deputies said Saturday.
“They were going to come on campus and shoot and kill as many people as possible at the campus,” Tuolumne County Sheriff Jim Mele said.
Investigators with the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office said administrators at Summerville High School contacted them Wednesday about three students who were making threats against students and faculty.
The investigation included interviews with the students and several searches, and deputies said they were able to identify a fourth student who was also involved in the plan.
“The suspects’ plans was very detailed in nature, and included names of would-be victims, locations, methods in which the plan was to be carried out,” Mele said.
Mele said the students confessed to planning the mass shooting.
They were removed from campus Wednesday after other students at the school noticed suspicious activity and alerted administrators.
“Their willingness to get involved and report what they saw prevented what well could have been another needless tragedy,” Mele said.
Detectives plan to meet with the families of the children whose names were on the hit list to notify them. Among those listening at Saturday’s press conference were parents sick with worry.
Meanwhile, carly Fiorina appears to be challenging Sarah Palin for most stupid answer to a lack of foreign policy credentials. Palin is well known for explaining that parts of Russia are close to Alaska which was later turned into the Tina Fey’s “I can see Russia from my front porch” lampoon. Fiorina argues that her Medival History degree will help her contain ISIS. I can see the political cartoons referencing The Crusades already. Maybe her plans include holding Rennaisance Festivals in Syria.
For over three decades, Carly Fiorina’s bachelor’s degree from Stanford University in medieval history and philosophy has had little real-world application.
But as she mounts a presidential bid, the Republican candidate says her degree is finally of use as she considers how she would deal with ISIS as commander-in-chief.
“Finally my degree in medieval history and philosophy has come in handy,” Fiorina said Sunday night, “because what ISIS wants to do is drive us back to the Middle Ages, literally.”
Well, the Republican Party should know about policies that derive from the Dark Ages. That explains a lot of Fiorina’s management style at HP.
There is still speculation about a Biden candidacy. It seems awfully late to get into the race, but the some members in the media seem to be dying for something resembling an internecine battle between Democrats. Ed Kilgore haves some Tiger Beat on the Ptomac for breakfast.
It figures that the penultimate Biden’s Running!story comes from Mike “Win the Morning” Allen of Politico, who begins with the trumpet blare of a scoop:
He’s finally close. Confidants of Vice President Joe Biden expect him to make a decision next weekend, or shortly thereafter, on whether to launch an epic battle with Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Several people who have visited Biden recently said he seems to be leaning “yes.”
“Nothing he has heard in the past couple of months has deterred him,” said one Democrat close to the process.
A former Senate colleague of Biden’s said, after visiting the vice president, “He loves what he does, and he has a great deal of confidence that he could contribute in a meaningful way. He’s willing to face, ultimately, having his final political expedition be a defeat.”
Ah, but then Allen starts hedging, and before you know it, the confident trumpets become the kazoo orchestra of mere rumors and guesswork:
One longtime friend said the long windup — and the fact that no staff has been hired — tells its own story.Huh. Didn’t I just read at CNN last week that campaign managers had been lined up for all the early states? Could it be that was just another assertion by the five or six Draft Biden blind quote machines who have been more or less making stuff up for months? But somebody didn’t get the memo:
“If you’re going to run, you run,” the friend said. “Every time he pushes back a decision, that’s the ultimate tell.”
A third recent Biden visitor said: “I can’t see how he can wake up one morning and think some big tidal wave sweeps him in. The raw politics just aren’t there.”
After describing their hunches, friends and advisers almost universally added that they remain unsure which way he’ll go.
But there will be a big announcement any day now, right?
Meanwhile, the real internecine battle is in the Republican House leadership race where right wing extremists are out winging each other. Who votes for these people? Oh, never mind. Steve Scalise–representative for David Duke Land (aka Jefferson Parish)–is one of our neoconfederates. Representative Scalies (KKK) says he has the votes to win majority leader.
The Louisiana Republican held a conference call with backers Sunday evening during which he indicated he’s locked up support from more than half of the 247-member GOP conference. Closed-door voting for the majority leader post is expected on Thursday, though some Republicans are pushing to delay it until after a new Speaker is sworn in.
“I’ve been making calls all day. I haven’t stopped working, and I know you haven’t stopped working either,” Scalise said, according to a source on the call. “In this race, the winning number has always been 124. A couple of days ago, we actually hit that number and we’re continuing to add to it each day.”
Scalise, the current No. 2 Republican in leadership, is squaring off with Budget Chairman Tom Price (R-Ga.) in the race for GOP leader, a post occupied by Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who is running for Speaker. Both Scalise and Price are red-state conservatives who previously have served as chairman of the Republican Study Committee.
Last week, several Republicans tried to draft Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) into the majority leader’s race, but he said he was focused on leading the House panel investigating the deadly 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya.
Did I mention he likes to mention he’s “David Duke without the baggage?”
One of the major Congressional whackados is going for Speaker. You had to know Jason Chaffetz of Utah was after something given his embarassing performance in the Planned Parenthood witch hunt. Embarassing, non-reality based witch hunts are a Republican Leadership speciality these days.
The bid by Rep. Jason Chaffetz (Utah), chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, comes amid unrest from conservatives driven by doubts that McCarthy (Calif.) will be any more inclined than Boehner to embrace the right flank of the House Republican Conference.
Chaffetz said on “Fox News Sunday” that he was “recruited” by members displeased with McCarthy’s ascent and that he would “bridge the divide” in the House GOP
“You don’t just give an automatic promotion to the existing leadership team,” he said. “That doesn’t signal change. I think [House Republicans] want a fresh face and fresh new person who is actually there at the leadership table in the speaker’s role.”
Chaffetz’s remarks not only reflect tensions between conservatives and establishment Republicans, but also concerns about McCarthy’s ability to communicate with the GOP base and the public at large. Those concerns grew after McCarthy made comments last week suggesting that a House investigation into the 2012 attacks on a U.S. diplomatic compound and a CIA annex in Benghazi, Libya, stemmed from political motivations.
“We need somebody who’s out there who is actually going out there and making the case to the American people, talking to the Senate about what we need to do, and going on the national television shows and winning that argument,” Chaffetz said. “We don’t seem to win the argument, and that’s a problem.”
Some one needs to tell Mister Chaffetz that they don’t win the argument because the majority of people in the Senate do not think the Moon is made of Green Cheese because Satan!!!
The frontrunner is no peach either. Remember, this position is third in line to the President.
In spite of the rapid dumbing-down of the GOP (see also Mr. Trump), they continue to churn out more dummies.
Enter Kevin McCarthy. The Bakersfield, California Republican is the most likely conservative white-guy to ascend into John Boehner’s post as Speaker of the House. And he shouldn’t have been allowed anywhere near Congress, much less a leadership post.
By now, we’re all aware of McCarthy’s admission that the congressional select committee investigating the 2012 Benghazi attacks is almost exclusively designed to undermine Hillary Clinton’s presidential aspirations.
They say gaffes are merely the truths spoken out loud. This was certainly the case with McCarthy. By the way, we should underscore at this point how McCarthy isn’t just another ambitious member of Congress. He’s the House Majority Leader. So, yes, the House Majority Leader accidentally spilled the beans on one of the longest running scams in congressional history — one of the biggest wastes of taxpayer money since Ken Starr’s probe into President Clinton’s pants-parties.
That’s pretty bad. But McCarthy’s bad week didn’t end there.
Either McCarthy is incapable of reading, or he has the worst speech-writing staff in the history of American politics — and that includes Sarah Palin’s self-authored Patriotic Mad Libs. Three days after Boehner announced his resignation from Congress, McCarthy was propped up for a foreign policy speech before the John Hay Initiative. The ostensible goal was to burnish McCarthy’s political heft, but the exact opposite happened and, frankly, even the dumbest Republicans ought to be embarrassed to caucus with this idiot.
So, that’s my round up of what passes for politics in our country. To me, the choice couldn’t be clearer.
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?
It sure looks like Vladimir Putin is trying to embarrass President Obama with the Russian air strikes in Syria. The Russians have bombed U.S.-supported rebels rather than ISIS. From The Guardian:
Russia has bombed targets in north-west Syria for a second day, as the Kremlin said it was going after a list of well known militant organisations and not just Islamic State.
The Russian defence ministry said planes hit 12 Isis targets, including a command centre and two arms depots, though the areas where it said the strikes took place are not held by Isis.
Activists reported a number of strikes in the country’s north and centre, including strikes in the province of Hama, which they said hit locations controlled by the US-backed rebel group, Tajamu Alezzah.
A spokesman for the Syrian civil defence said a strike also hit Jisr al-Shughour in Idlib province.
“They targeted the northern neighbourhood of the town, which only houses civilians, but there are very few people there because of repeated airstrikes,” the spokesman said.
Al Mayadeen, a Lebanese pro-Assad TV channel, separately reported that Russian aircraft had launched 30 fresh airstrikes against Jaysh al-Fateh, a powerful rebel coalition that includes Ahrar al-Sham and the al-Qaida affiliated al-Nusra Front.
The Daily Beast: Putin Hits West’s Rebels Instead of ISIS.
A Russian general asked the U.S. to remove its planes from Syrian airspace Wednesday, just hours before Russian airstrikes began there.
The Russian three-star general, who was part of the newly formed intelligence cell with Iraq, Iran, and the Syrian government, arrived in Baghdad at 9 a.m. local time and informed U.S. officials that Russian strikes would be starting imminently—and that the U.S. should refrain from conducting strikes and move any personnel out. The only notice the U.S. received about his visit was a phone call one hour earlier.
The Russian strikes were centered about the city of Homs, according to initial accounts in the local press and in social media. That’s significant, because Homs is not known to be an ISIS stronghold.
This can’t be good.
“The northern countryside of Hama has no presence of ISIS at all and is under the control of the Free Syrian Army,” Major Jamil al-Saleh of the Free Syrian Army told Reuters. U.S. officials corroborated this account to The Daily Beast.
The FSA has receieved U.S.-made anti-tank missiles; the CIA and Pentagon have been recruiting FSA soldiers as proxies against ISIS.
“There is no Islamic State in this area,” another FSA commandertold Reuters. “The Russians are applying great pressure on the revolution. This will strengthen terrorism, everyone will head toward extremism. Any support for Assad in this way is strengthening terrorism.”
The Washington Post: Obama administration scrambles as Russia attempts to seize initiative in Syria.
UNITED NATIONS — Blindsided by the unexpected swiftness of Russia’s air attacks in Syria, the Obama administration scrambled Wednesday to retake the diplomatic and military initiatives, saying that it would not be bullied into supporting President Bashar al-Assad and that it was about to significantly expand its own Syrian air operations.
After spending much of the day together here behind closed doors, Secretary of State John F. Kerry and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, said in terse evening statements that U.S. and Russian military officials would meet, perhaps as soon as Thursday, to “deconflict” their operations in Syria.
Standing side by side outside the U.N. Security Council chamber, they said they had reached some preliminary agreements on a way forward toward a negotiated political solution to Syria’s civil war but indicated they were far from agreed on its outcome. They took no questions.
“We have a lot of work to do, understanding fully how urgent this is,” Kerry said.
Earlier in the day, Russian President Vladimir Putin brushed off Western concerns, suggesting that other countries “get involved” in Syria under Russia’s leadership. Senior foreign policy spokesmen in Moscow said the action proved Russia was a force to be reckoned with on the world stage.
Administration officials countered that the airstrikes showed only Russian weakness and what White House press secretary Josh Earnest said was growing concern “about losing influence in the one client state they have in the Middle East.”
This is really making me nervous–probably even more so because I’m not sure how to interpret this news.
Back in the USA, Republicans in Congress are still focused on such non-issues as Benghazi, Hillary Clinton’s emails, and trying to cripple Planned Parenthood–although I’m sure they’ll find a little time to criticize Obama’s foreign policy as well.
The media is filled with descriptions of the contents of meaningless Clinton emails and suggestions that her server may have been hacked. Of course the State Department server actually has been hacked several times and so have a number of other government servers. So perhaps Clinton’s private server was actually safer.
Associated Press reports: Russia-linked hackers tried to access Clinton server.
Russia-linked hackers tried at least five times to pry into Hillary Rodham Clinton’s private email account while she was secretary of state, emails released Wednesday show. It is unclear if she clicked on any attachments and exposed her account.
Clinton received the infected emails, disguised as speeding tickets from New York, over four hours early the morning of Aug. 3, 2011. The emails instructed recipients to print the attached tickets. Opening an attachment would have allowed hackers to take over control of a victim’s computer.
Security researchers who analyzed the malicious software in September 2011 said that infected computers would transmit information from victims to at least three server computers overseas, including one in Russia. That doesn’t necessarily mean Russian intelligence or citizens were responsible.
Nick Merrill, a spokesman for Clinton’s Democratic presidential campaign, said: “We have no evidence to suggest she replied to this email or that she opened the attachment. As we have said before, there is no evidence that the system was ever breached. All these emails show is that, like millions of other Americans, she received spam.”
Practically every Internet user is inundated with spam or virus-riddled messages daily. But these messages show hackers had Clinton’s email address, which was not public, and sent her a fake traffic ticket from New York state, where she lives. Most commercial antivirus software at the time would have detected the software and blocked it.
The phishing attempts highlight the risk of Clinton’s unsecure email being pried open by foreign intelligence agencies, even if others also received the virus concealed as a speeding ticket from Chatham, New York. The email misspelled the name of the city, came from a supposed New York City government account and contained a “Ticket.zip” file that would have been a red flag.
Sigh . . .
On the Benghazi front, erstwhile Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy opened his big mouth yesterday and gave Democrats an amazing gift. Bloomberg:
…the Republican leading the race to replace John Boehner as House speaker said it for them, boasting Tuesday that his party has spent nearly three years dragging her through investigations of the Sept. 11, 2012, attack in Benghazi in hopes of doing serious damage to her presidential campaign.
“Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right?” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy boasted on Fox News Channel’s “Hannity.” “But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she’s untrustable. But no one would’ve known any of that had happened had we not fought and made that happen.”
Wow. The longest investigation in House history–longer than the Watergate hearings!–was totally trumped up, and the next House Speaker admits it publicly. Democrats quickly responded.
“It’s just jaw-dropping,” said former Democratic presidential candidate and Vermont Governor Howard Dean, who has endorsed Clinton. “The Republicans lied through their teeth when they said this wasn’t about politics.”
Clinton herself said on Wednesday that McCarthy’s comments were “deeply distressing.”
“When I hear a statement like that, which demonstrates unequivocally that this was always meant to be a partisan political exercise, I feel like it does a grave disservice and dishonors not just the memory of the four that we lost but of everybody who has served our country,” she said in an interview with MSNBC’s Al Sharpton.
Earlier, Clinton campaign press secretary Brian Fallon called McCarthy’s words “a damning display of honesty by the possible next speaker of the House,” who has “just confessed that the committee set up to look into the deaths of four brave Americans at Benghazi is a taxpayer-funded sham. This confirms Americans’ worst suspicions about what goes on in Washington.”
The Benghazi committee’s top Democrat, Maryland Representative Elijah Cummings, said in a Wednesday statement that McCarthy had simply acknowledged what “Republicans never dared admit in public.” He added that Republicans “have blatantly abused their authority in Congress” by spending more than $4.5 million in taxpayer funds on the Benghazi committee “to pay for a political campaign against Hillary Clinton.”
New York Representative Louise Slaughter, the top Democrat on the House Rules Committee, added: “That’s not what we’re here for and, in fact, I think that might be impeachable for crying out loud.”
Someone in the government also chose the day after Republican members attacked Planned Parenthood head Cecile Richards for nearly five hours, someone in the government to leak some embarrassing information about the committee’s chair Jason Chaffetz. From the Washington Post:
An assistant director of the Secret Service urged that unflattering information the agency had in its files about a congressman critical of the service should be made public, according to a government watchdog report released Wednesday.
“Some information that he might find embarrassing needs to get out,” Assistant Director Edward Lowery wrote in an e-mail to a fellow director on March 31, commenting on an internal file that was being widely circulated inside the service. “Just to be fair.”
Two days later, a news Web site reported that Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, had applied to be a Secret Service agent in 2003 and been rejected.
That information was part of a Chaffetz personnel file stored in a restricted Secret Service database and required by law to be kept private….
The Chaffetz file, contained in the restricted database, had been peeked at by about 45 Secret Service agents, some of whom shared it with their colleagues in March and April, the report found. This prying began after a contentious March 24 House hearing at which Chaffetz scolded the director and the agency for its series of security gaffes and misconduct. The hearing sparked anger inside the agency.
In another slap in Chaffetz’s face the organization that has been running the right wing campaign against Planned Parenthood admitted that the video that Carly Fiorina described in the last Republican debate had nothing to do with Planned Parenthood and the baby Fiorina saw had not survived an abortion. Raw Story: ‘This wasn’t an abortion’: CNN forces anti-Planned Parenthood group to admit Fiorina was wrong.
David Daleiden, the project lead Center for Medical Progress’ anti-Planned Parenthood campaign, admitted on Wednesday that an alleged fetus on a table that GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina described during a graphic anti-abortion rant was actually from a miscarriage.
Read the rest at the Raw Story link.
Finally, some reactions to Kim Davis’ meeting with Pope Francis for you to explore:
Vanity Fair: Kim Davis and Pope Francis’s Curious Meeting.
Tuesday night, lawyers for Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples even after she was jailed, announced that she had been invited to a secret meeting with Pope Franciswhile they were both in Washington, D.C.
The Vatican initially refused to confirm or deny those reports, which suddenly made things far more confusing. On Wednesday morning, however, the Vatican changed its tune, and confirmed the meeting to The New York Times.
“I do not deny that the meeting took place, but I have no other comments to add,” said Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi.
Robert Moynihan at Inside the Vatican, a magazine covering Catholic news, broke the story on Tuesday night, citing “Vatican sources” as confirmation. The New York Timesfollowed up with an interview with Davis’s lawyer, Mathew Staver, who said that yes, totally, the meeting definitely took place.
During the visit, Staver said the Pontiff gave Davis two rosaries and told her to “stay strong.”
According to Staver, the invitation was extended through the Vatican itself, and seeing as Davis and her husband, Joe, were in town to receive an award from a conservative advocacy group, they decided to briefly visit the Pope at the Apostolic Nunciature right before he left for New York City.
Staver added that he expected the Vatican would soon send them photos of the visit.
As far as I’m concerned this is so disgusting that I think it might overshadow anything good that came from the Pope’s visit to the U.S. The fact that the meeting was kept secret until Francis was back in the Vatican makes it even more awful and shameful. The Pope probably doesn’t understand the damage he did, but along with the canonization of Junipero Sera this will leave a very bad taste in the mouths of many Americans.
More links to peruse:
Vanessa Urquhart at Slate: Why Pope Francis’ Meeting With Kim Davis Is Such a Disaster.
Trevor Martin at The Guardian: Pope Francis’s meeting with Kim Davis should come as no surprise.
So . . . what else is happening? Please post your thoughts and links on any topic in the comment thread and have a terrific Thursday!
How low can they go? Only time will tell. We are still about four months away from the primaries, and it could get a whole lot worse. Recently passengers in the GOP clown car have been calling each other clowns and freaks, but none of them seem to see their own ridiculousness.
A few days ago, Donald Trump called Mario Rubio a “clown” at the Values Voters Summit, and got booed for it.
“I’ve been so nice to him. I’ve been so — but he’s in favor of immigration,” Trump said at the Value Voters Summit, before quickly moving on.
The audience had heard Rubio speak just two hours earlier and gave him several rounds of enthusiastic applause.
Yesterday, Rubio told NPR he didn’t want any part of Donald Trump’s “freak show.” CNN reports:
The two candidates have battled through sound bites for the past week, after essentially staying muted on each other for most of the campaign. As Rubio has enjoyed a marked boost in the polls since his performance in the second debate, Trump has gone after Rubio with insults including calling him a “kid” and dinging his voting record this year.
The Florida senator has willingly dished it back at Trump, calling him unserious and “touchy.” That continued in an NPR interview on Monday.
“I’m not interested in the back and forth to be a member or part of his freak show,” Rubio told NPR.
But despite that statement, Rubio quickly ticked off a list of Trump’s recent foibles, including mentioning a speech in South Carolina that had many empty seats and Trump getting booed at Friday’s Value Voters Summit when he called Rubio a “clown.”
“He is a very sensitive person,” Rubio said. “He doesn’t like to be criticized. He responds to criticism very poorly. … His poll numbers have taken a beating, and he was embarrassed on national television at the debate by Carly Fiorina and others.”
Also yesterday on CNN, Rand Paul said of Trump, “How could anyone in my party think this clown is fit to be president?.”
While out on the trail talking to reporters, the mogul picked Paul as one of the next candidates to drop out of the race, after two governors have left the race in recent weeks.
Paul called Trump a “clown” and said the attacks on his campaign were similar to the last presidential debate, when the mogul kicked off his first answer with a volley on Paul and a critique of his inclusion in the top-tier debate.
“It kind of reminds me of the funniest moment, I think, of the second debate, where out of nowhere, complete non sequitur, he starts going after me. And I guess it’s part of his bravado, his shtick,” Paul said. “I’m thinking, how did we get the race for the most important office in the free world to sink to such depths, and how could anyone in my party think that this clown is fit to be president?”
Paul said there’s no truth to Trump’s assertions that his campaign is having trouble fundraising. In fact, he said, his campaign is focused on organizing on the ground in key primary states and pleased with how that’s going.
As The National Memo notes, “A few years ago, that was the same stuff people used to say about Rand Paul.”
Of course Bobby Jindal and some of the other clowns have been attacking Trump as a clown for quite awhile. It’s the only way some of them can get any media attention. From The Guardian on September 10:
In a speech at the National Press Club in Washington, Jindal, the governor of Louisiana, followed Jeb Bush, Rand Paul, Lindsey Graham and Rick Perry in targeting Trump, who has become the clear frontrunner in polls concerning the 17-strong GOP presidential field despite a succession of controversies over his remarks and policy positions.
In his speech, Jindal called Trump a “narcissist and egomaniac”, whom he said was “unserious and unstable”.
“Donald Trump is for Donald Trump,” Jindal said, adding in reference to Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan: “Donald Trump is not for making America great. Donald Trump is for making Donald Trump great.”
Jindal even dipped into some of Trump’s trademark insult comedy, saying: “You may have recently seen that after Trump said the Bible is his favorite book. He couldn’t name a single Bible verse or passage that meant something to him.
“And we all know why, because it’s all just a show, and he hasn’t ever read the Bible. But you know why he hasn’t read the Bible? Because he’s not in it.”
He also avoided a commitment to supporting Trump if he were to secure the Republican nomination, saying “he cannot be our nominee”, and predicted that if Trump did become the Republican standard bearer in 2016, he would “implode” and “hand the election to Hillary Clinton.”
All very true, but much of it applies to Jindal as well. These guys are both horrifying and fascinating at the same time. I can hardly wait for the next GOP “debate.” Maybe the clowns will actually come to blows.
As Melissa McEwan writes, none of these fools running for the Republican nomination have any illusions about the voter base they are trying to appeal to–a bunch of poorly educated racists, nativists, gun nuts, and fetus fetishists who can be easily conned into voting for whatever the Koch brothers and Wall Street want. From Shakesville:
Rubio is merely the latest, and most brazen, of Republicans to talk about Trump as though he and his fetid campaign exist somehow outside the Republican mainstream, instead of being the uncensored id of their disgusting party that he really is.
As if Rubio doesn’t know the truth about his party. Of course he does. Every single time he dogwhistles “tradition” or “values” to his base, he’s evoking that truth. He, like Governor Bobby Jindal, is just mad that Trump has the spine and the indecency to be straightforward about what that truth really is.
If Rubio, Jindal, or any of their other fellow candidates for the US presidency are really operating under the misapprehension that their base isn’t voting for them because of fear, hatred, and bigotry, but because of smaller government and lower taxes, then they are too fucking ignorant to be trusted to tie their own shoes, no less elected to lead the nation.
Speaking of ignorant racists, George Zimmerman is back in the news. Isn’t he a perfect example of the kinds of people Republicans appeal to?
From The New York Daily News: George Zimmerman goes on depraved Twitter rant after retweeting picture of Trayvon Martin’s corpse.
George Zimmerman’s Twitter trolling has reached a new low.
Days after retweeting an image of Trayvon Martin’s corpse, Zimmerman went on a depraved Twitter tirade Monday afternoon, spewing racist rants and boasting about “mocking all you trolls.”
The man who shot and killed Martin three years ago also gave out an apparent stranger’s phone number, referring “all media inquiries” to the unsuspecting man.
“Gee..I sure hate offending people that have plotted and tried to kill me and my family…” Zimmerman wrote with one tweet, with a photo matching President Obama with Virginia murderer Vester Flanagan.
Zimmerman flew off the handle days after he seemed to boast about killing the 17-year-old Martin.
Over the weekend, an admirer tweeted him a photo of Martin’s body, which was used as evidence for Zimmerman’s trial. The user called Zimmerman a “one man army.”
Ugh. Why isn’t this disgusting man in prison?
I’m going to give you the rest of the news as headlines as links only, because I have to do some things for my mother this morning. Here we go:
Reuters via The National Memo: Biden Eligible For Democratic Primary Debate: If He Decides To Run.
Ezra Klein at Vox: A theory of how American politics is changing.
Politico: Schumer in talks with Ryan on major tax, infrastructure deal (Count me as not looking forward to Schumer leading the Senate Democrats.
Have I told you lately how much I hate Bill Maher?
Vanity Fair: A Terrifying Look at Our Eventual Trump Presidency.
David Weigel at The WaPo: Trump’s tax plan calms conservatives worried about a populist moment.
What else is happening? Let us know in the comment thread, and have a great Tuesday!
Did you see the Blood Super Moon last night?
Sky-watchers from the Americas to western Europe enjoy a rare astronomical event in which the moon appears to redden in the night sky – a ‘blood moon’. It is the result
NASA has a site up with some fantastic pictures if you’d like to see what some great lens and photography can do for an event like this. You can also read about NASA’s amazing find. There is briny water on Mars which portends the finding of some kind of Martian life. It’s actually flowing!
So the news is that there is flowing water on Mars. The evidence comes from dark streaks that appear on the surface of the Red Planet. These have been known about for many years because the landscape has been seen to change on successive images taken by spacecraft orbiting Mars. Although flowing water has always been a possibility for their creation, other ideas such as the movement of dry ice (carbon dioxide) or the action of the wind, could not be ruled out.
Now, however, strong evidence for them being driven by water has been collected by an instrument called CRISM on board Nasa’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. It has seen the signature of salts known as perchlorates in the dark streaks. These indicate that flowing salty water is responsible for the markings.
In light of this discovery, the search is on for finding where this Mars water is coming from, how it finds its way to the surface and how much of it is down there? There is much we do not know: previous radar studies from Europe’s Mars Express spacecraft had come up empty handed when looking for underground aquifers of water. So where is the water hiding?
Nearly seven in 10 Americans — 69 percent — oppose shutting down the government over funding for Planned Parenthood, according to the results of a new national Quinnipiac University poll released Monday.
Just 23 percent support closing the government over the dispute. Even among Republicans, a majority of 56 percent to 36 percent opposes a shutdown due to Planned Parenthood.
At the same time, 44 percent to 39 percent said they had a favorable opinion of Planned Parenthood, with a significant gender gap. Among women, 50 percent to 35 percent approve of the group, while men disapprove, 43 percent to 38 percent.
But as far as cutting off funding to the group, 52 percent said they would oppose doing so, compared with 41 percent who supported such an action. Women opposed such an action by a wide margin — 60 percent to 34 percent — while men responding to the survey supported an end to federal funding 49 percent to 44 percent.
Paul Krugman refers to the the scorched-earth policy of the Republicans as damaging to American credibility abroad and to the economy at home. He also calls them the Blackmail Party.
In other words, despite all Mr. Boehner’s efforts to bring him down, Mr. Obama is looking more and more like a highly successful president. For the base, which has never considered Mr. Obama legitimate — polling suggests that many Republicans believe that he wasn’t even born here — this is a nightmare. And all too many ambitious Republican politicians are willing to tell the base that it’s Mr. Boehner’s fault, that he just didn’t try blackmail hard enough
This is nonsense, of course. In fact, the controversy over Planned Parenthood that probably triggered the Boehner exit — shut down the government in response to obviously doctored videos? — might have been custom-designed to illustrate just how crazy the G.O.P.’s extremists have become, how unrealistic they are about what confrontational politics can accomplish.
But Republican leaders who have encouraged the base to believe all kinds of untrue things are in no position to start preaching political rationality.
Meanwhile, Boehner talks about the lesser angels–or perhaps more apt, larger demons--left to do the dirty work in the caucus. He called them “false prophets” which far kinder than they deserve.
Visibly exasperated, Boehner said his top accomplishments as speaker – including the first major entitlement reform in decades, and deficit reduction – “all were voted against by my most conservative members because it wasn’t good enough. Really? This is the part I really don’t understand.
“Our founders didn’t want some parliamentary system where if you won the majority you got to do whatever you wanted,” he added. “They wanted this long, slow process. And so change comes slowly. And obviously too slowly for some.”
Asked if his critics on the right are unrealistic, Boehner exclaimed, “Absolutely they’re unrealistic!”
Democrats in both chambers say Boehner’s resignation has given them a sinking feeling ahead of the hard negotiations slated for later this fall.
“I’m afraid that it may make things much worse. John Boehner is a good and decent man. I’ve known him since he’s been in the Congress and he’s trying to do his very, very best,” Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) told MSNBC.
The outside groups that constantly attacked Boehner immediately said they expect more from his successor.
“We have a reset. Now the challenge is will whoever takes John Boehner’s job understand that dynamic and be aggressive in trying to put forth conservative policy and fighting for that conservative policy,” said Dan Holler, spokesman for Heritage Action for America.
No matter who is the next Speaker, he or she will face a difficult task in reaching deals with Obama on spending levels, the debt ceiling and a host of other issues.
Before Boehner’s announcement, some had faint hopes that a lame-duck president and Speaker might be able to work out a deal. Those hopes came crashing down on Friday.
“There’s a building sense among some in the administration and on the Hill that a bigger package could have been put together in a December, but now I don’t think anyone thinks that’s possible,” said Jim Manley, a former senior aide to Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).
If Congress is able to agree to a short-term spending bill this week, its next challenge may be reaching an agreement on a measure to keep the government operating through the next fiscal year.
Democrats want to lift the spending ceilings agreed to as part of a 2011 budget deal, and some Republicans are interested in a deal if it increases defense spending.
Holler, however, said conservatives would put heavy pressure on Boehner’s successor to not agree to any such deal.
“I would certainly think that as members are meeting with folks who are interested in having that job, that’s going to be one of the questions they ask,” Holler said of proposals to break the caps set by the 2011 Budget Control Act.
Even something supported by many centrist Republicans, such as extending expiring tax provisions, could be thrown into jeopardy.
One conservative aide called the package of tax provisions “cronyism,” adding, “It’s not a good image, bailing out Wall Street at Main Street’s expense.”
The Export-Import Bank’s authority lapsed over the summer. Boehner was a supporter of the bank, but House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), the favorite to succeed him, is not.
The GOP establishment has been troubled by Boehner’s rocky tenure in the House, and many elder Republicans said they are worried about the trend in their party.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) cheered Boehner’s demise at a Values Voter Summit Friday in Washington, while Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who, like Cruz, is running for president, said McConnell should be next.
Meanwhile, there are some pretty weird people lining up for the overall of Republican Leadership in the House. Okay, weird is simply too nice. There are all kinds of whackadoos lined up including “Check out my White Sheets” Scalise.
All manner of knuckle-draggers want be the next Speaker of the House. Where is Dennis Hastert now that you really need him? Oh, yeah, never mind.
Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who is quietly locking down support to be the next House speaker, is privately assuring Republicans he’ll take a tougher stand against the White House — and also the Senate GOP leadership, according to people familiar with the talks.
Oh yeah, it can get worse. Even their “moderate candidate” wants blood on the floor.
Another funny name I saw mentioned is Pistol Pete Sessions from Texas. OhHoly Crap. The guy is also known asCaptain Stupid. But there’s also the possibility that he’ll be a hairdresser’s dream.Best Pete Sessions?
Just hours after federal agents charged banker Allen Stanford with fleecing investors of $7 billion, the disgraced financier received a message from one of Congress’ most powerful members, Pete Sessions.
“I love you and believe in you,” said the e-mail sent on Feb. 17. “If you want my ear/voice — e-mail,” it said, signed “Pete.”
He’s a crate of crazy, Honey.Oh yeah, pick him! Pick him!
Maybe I should consider signing up for the next Mars Mission.
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?
I can’t remember the exact date, but it has been a while.
It must have been around the time when Hobby Lobby was in the news? Or maybe it was before that, Troy Davis? Perhaps.
No, it was after Davis…after the Jesus in my Uterus decisions…and the Bundy Ranch militias, the Wendy Davis defeat and the countless scenes of police brutality and idiotic right-wing shitheads stoking the embarrassing political cable TV dumb ass reality show that stands for our elected officials.
Y’all know what I am talking about. We have seen it here on the blog, Mona aka called it Political Affected Disorder. It was really something serious for a few of us…like me. What would have taken just an evening to bring me down from an anxiety and depressed mood brought on by the absolute ridiculous hate filled rant of Bachmann back in the day, now took days to calm down.
There was other things going on at home, yeah but there was something else about the feelings of defeat and real disgust that were different this time around. I didn’t have that anger like I did in 2008. That anger that pushed me, with a vengeance. No, this was not the same.
I’ve been worn down, depression does that I guess.
My only way to keep some sense of sanity was to avoid the news and stop going online all together.
I could not bring myself to comment on the blog anymore. Doing the afternoon news threads was unbearable. I avoided almost anything, just researching articles the evening before my post…and catching up on the threads that Boston Boomer and Dakinikat had written the days before. (Actually, I still do this…I can’t help it, it is my only way to protect myself because I feel like if I get back involved as I once was…I will really loose it. Mentally.)
So. I check out. Only to “check in” on Tuesday evenings or Wednesday mornings…same goes for Saturday nights and Sunday mornings….that is when I will look at what has happened with the circus show of current events.
The reason I bring all this up, is because I felt I had to explain. The reasons for why I am hardly ever here.
Once upon a time, American men used to get something called a “raise.”
That is when your employer would actually pay you more money. Now, it is true that some people still have experience with this all-but-forgotten practice, but even the ones who do tend not to get pay increases that keep up with price increases. That is why, as David Wessel of the Brookings Institution points out, the typical male worker actually saw his after-inflation pay fall between 1973 and 2014.
What is four lost decades between friends?
Alabama has turned hundreds of pregnant women into felons for using drugs — even when they’re legal and the kids turn out fine.
This next thread from Wonkette is something you have to read in full: Let’s Meet The Biggest Loser Candidate In America. His Name Is Carl! – Wonkette
Four candidates are vying for the seat: 1. a dreamy young GOP lawyer who is on the Richmond School Board, 2. a filthy rich Democrat who is a real estate developer and a county supervisor, 3. an independent community organizer who used to be a county supervisor, and 4. our subject today: Libertarian Carl Loser.
And other stories of note:
The baseball world got some sad news late Tuesday evening when the Yogi BerraMuseum announced via their Twitter account that the New York Yankees Hall of Fame catcher had died at the age of 90.
Berra is considered the greatest catcher of all-time, and is a New York Yankees legend. His No. 8 jersey is retired at the Yankees monument park.
The 18-time All-Star took home three MVP awards in 1951, 954 and 1955. He is one of just six managers to lead both the National and American league teams to the World Series.
More than the man himself, Berra was a larger-than-life personality who would speak to the media freely, delivering some of the most memorable quotes in history often known as “Yogi-isms.”
Here are some of the most memorable Yogi-isms from the Yankees’ legendary backstop.
“We made too many wrong mistakes.”
“Congratulations. I knew the record would stand until it was broken.”
“A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.”
“Baseball is ninety percent mental, and the other half is physical.”
“When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”
“You can observe a lot by just watching.”
“It’s like déjà vu all over again.”
“It ain’t over till it’s over.”
“Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t come to yours.”
We promise there will be a lot of people at your funeral, Yogi. Rest in peace.
— Yogi Berra Museum (@Yogi_Museum) September 23, 2015
That is it for today, this is an open thread.
BTW, Happy 18th Birthday Jake…wow…
Well, I really didn’t think I’d end up writing my next morning reads about Scott Walker although we’ve covered his reign of terror in Wisconsin quite a bit. It appears the Koch sponsored Governors are not doing very well this year. Walker’s coffers were full of funds but his campaign was as empty as bucket with a hole much like his rhetoric and ideology.
“Today, I believe that I’m being called to lead by helping to clear the field in this race so that a positive conservative message can rise to the top of the field,” Walker announced at a press conference in Madison, Wisconsin on Monday. “With this in mind, I will suspend my campaign immediately.”
“I encourage other Republican presidential candidates to consider doing the same, so that the voters can focus on a limited number of candidates who can offer a positive, conservative alternative to the current front runner,” Walker went on to say, referring to current GOP frontrunner Donald Trump.
Walker’s run started on July 13 and lasted 71 days.
The move comes just two months after polls showed Walker leadingTrump in the crucial, first-in-the-nation caucus state of Iowa. Many pundits considered Walker to be a favorite for GOP nomination after his successful recall election in Wisconsin in 2012 and his establishment support.
But over the last several weeks, Walker has fallen dramatically in national polls, registering at less than 0.5 percent in the latest national CNN/ORC poll this weekend. In Iowa, where for much of the year Walker was considered the favorite to win the first in the nation caucuses, Walker slid from 19 percent to 5 percent in just six weeks of NBC News/Marist polling.
Walker first gained attention in Iowa for a speech at the Iowa Freedom Summit in January. But after riding high in the polls in that state for over half the year, Walker was outpaced in the polls following a lackluster performance in the first televised Republican debate.
Walker, never having graduated college, pitched himself as an outsider to Washington and argued that the next president needed to be a governor.
Walker’s governorship was ideological from the get go. Anyone with a critical eye toward results can see the damage he’s done to Wisconsin. Kansas and Louisiana also stand out as failed states in the ALEC/Koch style. It’s not like any of these guys can run on a successful economy or stewardship of their state’s funds. Walker’s jihad against teachers and police officers and their unions took on a nasty tone. His actions spoke far louder than his words on the campaign trail. I found his debate manner insipid. Even one of his slighted former campaign aids said he tried to please every one and came off as having no real core ideals.
Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, whose early glow as a Republican presidential contender was snuffed out with the rise of anti-establishment rivals, announced Monday that he was quitting the race and urged some of his 15 rivals to do the same so the party could unite against the leading candidate, Donald J. Trump.
Mr. Walker’s pointed rebuke of Mr. Trump gave powerful voice to the private fears of many Republicans that the party risked alienating large parts of the electorate — Hispanics, women, immigrants, veterans, and most recently, Muslims — if Mr. Trump continued vilifying or mocking them as part of his overtures to angry and disaffected voters.
Still, Mr. Walker’s exit was not a selfless sacrifice: He was running low on campaign cash, sliding sharply in opinion polls, losing potential donors to rivals and unnerving supporters with a stream of gaffes, like saying he would consider building a wall along the Canadian border.
Appearing ashen and drained at a brief news conference late Monday in Madison, Mr. Walker said the Republican presidential field was too focused on “how bad things are” rather than on “how we can make them better for everyone.” Without naming Mr. Trump, Mr. Walker issued a plea to fellow candidates to coalesce around a different Republican who could offer a more “optimistic” vision and guide the party to a victory next year that, he admitted with sadness in his voice, he could not achieve himself.
The Great Wall of Canada may have been the first whiff of how absolutely clueless the man was on the world outside. What was he planning on doing? Stopping Americans from getting cheap Canadian drugs?
Walker’s decision to quit followed two lackluster debate appearances, tepid fundraising and several statements that attracted a flurry of negative headlines, including those that followed the candidate’s assertion that building a wall along the Canadian border was a possibility that deserved further examination. It may have also been hurt by the fact that Walker is essentially a life-long politician in an election season in which Americans are so far embracing outsiders.
While Walker’s union-bashing record provided his ticket into the race, the narrative that brought him headlines and donors didn’t prove to be a white-hot issue. At a time when organized labor is already losing membership, reducing its clout hasn’t been a top national priority for most Republicans. In the first debate on Aug. 6, the word “union” was used just three times, and only once by Walker, in his closing statement.
“I took on the big-government union bosses, and we won,” said Walker, who saw his state and national poll numbers fall almost as soon as Trump entered the race. “They tried to recall me, and we won. They targeted us again, and we won.”
The references were to Walker’s 2011 fight with public-sector unions, as well as his 2012 recall and 2014 general election victories, both contests that included heavy union spending against him. His ability to remain “unintimidated” in those battles has become a central theme of Walker’s campaign.
On the campaign trail, however, Walker wasn’t that intimidating. In an often monotone Midwestern voice, his speeches virtually never changed and he wasn’t as quick on his feet in interviews or during debates as some of his opponents. While he worked extremely hard to stress his common-man credentials, seemingly making almost continuous references to his love of his Harley-Davidson motorcycle, it also kept him from looking presidential.
But Walker began the 2016 campaign season in a promising spot. He had a record of fighting for conservative priorities in Wisconsin in a way that impressed both the GOP’s base and its elites. Since he wasn’t so identified with pro-immigration policies as Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio, it seemed to some that he was well-positioned to unite the party’s disparate factions. And despite some early rockiness on policy issues, Walker took the lead in Iowa caucus polls in mid-February, and held it for the next five and a half months.
Then Hurricane Trump rolled in. The billionaire’s showmanship and disdain for what he called “political correctness” on the topic of unauthorized immigration excited the Republican right, and powered him to the front of polls nationally and in Iowa.
In comparison, Walker looked like a typical politician, had an unimpressive speaking style, and failed to stand out from the crowd in the two debates so far. In last week’s second debate, the Wisconsin governor spoke the least of any candidate, and twopost-debate surveys asking Republican voters who won this week’s debate found Walker in last place of the 11 primetime debaters. After the first debate, he plummeted in the polls both in Iowa and nationally. Currently, he’s in 11th place nationally and in 7th place in Iowa, according to RealClearPolitics’s poll averages.
There are some other candidates that are on the ropes but seem oblivious to their problems. Hillary was in Baton Rouge yesterday. Jindal challenged her to debate health care with him. Instead, she took the stage and left him to his less than 1% standing in the polls among Republican voters. She’s not backing down on the Affordable Healthcare Act.
Hillary Clinton defended President Barack Obama’s signature legislation, the Affordable Care Act, during a campaign stop in Baton Rouge on Monday and took aim at her Republican rivals who say they want to repeal “Obamacare.”“It’s not just a political issue, it’s a moral issue,” the Democratic presidential front-runner told a crowd of 1,200 cheering supporters and schoolchildren at the Louisiana Leadership Institute.
Attendees circulated volunteer sign-up sheets and texted their information to the campaign during the rally, which was the first of several stops on Clinton’s latest effort to campaign on the importance of the federal health care law and her plans to protect and build on it.
“I’m not going to let them tear up that law, kick 16 million people off their coverage and force the country to start the health care debate all over again,” she said as supporters waved bright blue “Hillary” signs.
Clinton won several bouts of applause from the friendly crowd, particularly as she took jabs at Gov. Bobby Jindal and U.S. Sen. David Vitter, both Republicans.
Jindal, who is seeking the GOP nomination for president, has been a vocal opponent of Obamacare and has repeatedly called for its repeal. He also blocked the state from expanding its Medicaid program for the poor and uninsured through an optional piece of the federal health care law — a point that Clinton was quick to point out.
“He put ideology ahead of the well-being of the people and the families in this state,” Clinton said, noting that some 190,000 people in Louisiana would have been eligible for Medicaid if Jindal had supported expansion.
The ACA has faced near constant backlash from many Republicans since it was signed into law in 2010. Jindal, through his America Next policy group, released hisown proposal to repeal the law and replace it last year.
But Clinton said such a move would be too disruptive and vowed to fight any effort to repeal the law, if elected.
“I want to build on the progress we’ve made. I’ll do more,” she said.
Clinton said she would announce a plan this week to further address health care costs, including rising drug prices.
The equity markets are evidently betting on Hillary. The viral story of the day was of a dudebro hedge fund manager who bought a drug on the cheap and hiked its price to the stratosphere. Hillary demanded investigation in to price gouging and the entire industry felt the discipline of the market and the expectation she’d do it too. One company who’d gotten a patent from a non profit associate with Perdue for a Tuberculous drug wound up with the patent deal rescinded. The dudebro’s move still stands for the time being.
Mania-prone biotech stocks were in the market’s doghouse Monday, after a 21-word tweet from Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton ripping a drug company’s pricing policy sparked a sharp selloff for the group.
Referencing a New York Times report on a steep price hike for a drug recently acquired by Turing Pharmaceuticals, Clinton lambasted the often-astronomical price tags for specialty drugs being developed by biotech and pharmaceutical companies and pledged to provide a plan to keep such therapeutic costs in check.
You can read more about both situations here.
It’s really interesting to watch the difference between a campaign on fire and one going doing in flames.
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?