Joe Biden's inexorable march toward the fanatical left continued this week, as he and Bernie Sanders…
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Biden Drug Plan Would Slash Innovation and U.S. Consumer Access

Joe Biden's inexorable march toward the fanatical left continued this week, as he and Bernie Sanders (D - Vermont) introduced their "unity platform" in anticipation of this year's Democratic convention.  We can thus add weaker U.S. patents and drug price controls imported from foreign nations to Biden's existing dumpster fire of bad ideas.

Here's the problem.  As we've often emphasized, and contrary to persistent myth, American consumers enjoy far greater access to new lifesaving drugs than people in other nations, including those in "other advanced economies" (Biden's words) whose price controls Biden seeks to import:

Of all new cancer drugs developed worldwide between 2011 and 2018, 96% were available to American consumers.  Meanwhile, only 56% of those drugs became available in Canada…[more]

July 10, 2020 • 04:52 PM

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A Farewell to Czars Print
By Troy Senik
Thursday, October 23 2014
As conservative critics have noted since the announcement, Klain is a political hack par excellence, not someone who has any special insight (or, really, any insight whatsoever) on a public health issue like Ebola.

I’ve got a new working theory about Barack Obama’s second term: It’s all one elaborate practical joke. It’s not just the increasingly improbable string of bad news — after terrorist beheadings and the Ebola virus, I’m pretty sure plagues of locusts come next — but also the White House’s ability to react to every crisis as if trying to answer the question “What could a President do in this moment to be the least reassuring?”

Vladimir Putin starts moving military assets west towards Europe? We’ll react by publicly chiding him for “behaving like he’s in the 19th century.” Nothing gets to an ex-KGB man quite like an American president who sounds like a schoolmarm.

A new terrorist group comes on the scene calling itself the Islamic State? We’ll send the president out on national television to declare that it’s neither Islamic nor a state. It’ll be like that bit Mike Myers used to do on Saturday Night Live!

Given that context, I suppose nothing about the Obama Administration’s response to the arrival of the Ebola virus in America should be surprising. Any day that goes by without Vice President Biden declaring that people should barricade themselves inside their houses and prepare to resist the coming armies of the undead probably counts as a win by the White House’s debased standards.

Still, there’s something remarkable about the Administration’s choice to tap Ron Klain, a former political hand for Biden and Al Gore, to be their “Ebola Czar” (there’s a line that no one’s ever had to put on a résumé before). As conservative critics have noted since the announcement, Klain is a political hack par excellence, not someone who has any special insight (or, really, any insight whatsoever) on a public health issue like Ebola.

That fact, combined with his conspicuous absence from several key meetings on dealing with the disease have led to the perception that Klain’s appointment is primarily a public relations gesture — a way for the White House to handle the political problems stemming from Ebola rather than the substantive ones.

As many drawbacks as Klain has, however, I think there’s a bigger problem at work here: that his new position even exists.

Let’s start with a seemingly superficial matter: the name. True, “Ebola czar” is not Klain’s official title, but it’s the one that’s going to be used as shorthand for him both inside and outside the White House. This formulation wasn’t invented for him, of course. We have everything from a “Drug Czar” (which sounds kind of cool) to — and I promise I’m not making this up — an “Asian Carp Czar” (slightly less cool).

I realize that the whole constitutional republic thing is out of fashion in elite precincts, but can we at least go easy on the authoritarian nomenclature? Czar, for those of you who come to this column for the etymology (I know you’re out there), comes from the same root as the German “Kaiser” — that would be the Latin “Caesar.”

Now, I’m not exactly concerned that Ron Klain is going to be leading a military parade down Pennsylvania Avenue anytime soon (although I’d keep my eye on the Asian carp guy), but I think Americans would be rightly spooked if we appointed an “Ebola emperor.” Let’s stick to titles that don’t cut against our own civic traditions.

The other issue here is the idea that we need to appoint a new official anytime the government actually has to address a serious issue.

The executive branch of the federal government has approximately 2.7 million civilian employees. When it comes to matters of public health, the President has a Secretary of Health and Human Services, a Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a Surgeon General (true, the current nominee hasn’t been confirmed, but Democrats could take care of that in an instant if they wanted to) and legions of other public employees.

If these people aren’t enough when a genuine crisis (read: an occasion when government actually has to get things right) breaks out, then why are taxpayers footing the bill for them year-round? It’s as if a couple of times a year the federal government gets shamed into implicitly admitting that it’s not actually capable of achieving anything meaningful under the status quo.

Do we need someone on critical issues like Ebola who can cut through the red tape, coordinate federal action and make sure that the government’s response isn’t compromised by bureaucratic infighting? Yes, I’d say we do. But that position already exists. As a matter of fact, it’s an elected post. It’s called the Presidency of the United States.

If that office was occupied by someone who actually took its administrative responsibilities seriously — or, for that matter, by someone who was capable of discharging them effectively — then we probably wouldn’t be stuck with this PR kabuki. That brings me back to my original thesis: This is all one big prank. And the American people are the butt of the joke.

Question of the Week   
In which one of the following years was the National Park Service established?
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Quote of the Day   
 
"Allowing third parties to collect election ballots, a term sometimes called 'ballot harvesting,' is unconstitutional if it creates 'wide opportunity for fraud,' Trump campaign senior legal adviser Jenna Ellis says.'I think that ballot harvesting is definitely opening up a ripe opportunity for fraud,' Ellis told Just the News in an interview, while acknowledging there is no language in the Constitution…[more]
 
 
—Carrie Sheffield, Just the News White House Correspondent
— Carrie Sheffield, Just the News White House Correspondent
 
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