There's a destructive campaign underway to encourage government confiscation of patents from pharmaceutical…
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Image of the Day: Private Pharma Investment Dwarfs Federal NIH Funding

There's a destructive campaign underway to encourage government confiscation of patents from pharmaceutical innovators and dictate the price for Remdesivir and other drugs.  That's a terrible and counterproductive policy under any circumstance, but particularly now that private drug innovators are already hacking away at the coronavirus.  In that vein, this helpful image illustrates the vast disparity between private investment and National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding that some seem to think justifies patent confiscation, price controls or other big-government schemes:


[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="964"] Private Investment Dwarfs NIH Funding[/caption]…[more]

June 01, 2020 • 10:24 AM

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Pasadena Patriots Show Republicans How to Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way Print
By Ashton Ellis
Thursday, August 19 2010
An NTP is what it sounds like: a small gathering of people connected by love of country and concern about where the governing elites are taking it.

Sometimes it takes a libertarian to show Republicans how to run an effective campaign organization.  Faced with the biggest surge in anti-government sentiment in a generation and a moribund GOP establishment, businessman Mike Alexander knew he had to act quickly or risk losing an historic moment.  Eighteen months after founding Pasadena Patriots, this political entrepreneur is reclaiming Los Angeles County voting precincts, one Neighborhood Tea Party at a time. 

It all started with Rick Santelli’s “rant-heard-round-the-world.”  On February 19, 2009, the CNBC analyst called for a new “tea party” to protest the Obama Administration’s bailout policies and stimulus spending.  Mike and his wife Patricia were ready.  Their local Republican club was not.  Instead, its directors were more concerned with planning the group’s 125th birthday celebration. 

So Mike went into the politics business.  Along with his wife and others he founded Pasadena Patriots and organized a well attended Tea Party protest on the steps of city hall.  More events followed.  So too did invitations to participate in conference calls with other Tea Party groups across the nation.  But talks of bus tours, conventions and Washington, D.C. based rallies didn’t appeal to Mike for one basic reason:  He wanted to take back his community.  Now. 

“Pasadena Patriots is about action,” says Mike.  “Anything that’s not focused on winning elections is a waste of time.”  That insight led the 30-year libertarian to form TEA PAC, an umbrella political action committee with local chapters stretching across Los Angeles County.  Currently, TEA PAC is discussing partnering with an Irvine-based activist who wants to spread the message of limited government and fiscal responsibility to formerly Republican Orange County. 

The managing principal of a private trust and investment firm, Mike appreciates the value of being judged on performance.  Speaking of TEA PAC, he outlines three deliverables to any Tea Party organization that asks: training, service and support.  The key to all of these is implementing an ongoing strategy to get out the vote on Election Day by keeping people interested between campaigns. 

That strategy sprang to life with the idea of sponsoring a Neighborhood Tea Party (NTP).  An NTP is what it sounds like: a small gathering of people connected by love of country and concern about where the governing elites are taking it.  The event proved so popular there are several scheduled each week.  NTPs serve many purposes, including a chance to meet candidates running for office and network with other like-minded local citizens that attendees otherwise wouldn’t know. 

NTPs also make organizing a voting precinct that much easier.  “The key to winning elections is creating sustainable connections among neighbors that keep the pressure on politicians to respect the Constitution before and after an election,” explains Mike.  “One of the mistakes conservatives and Republicans have made in the past is to turn their attention away from politicians after the election is over.  The Left doesn’t do that.  They work through the government bureaucracy, the Democratic Party and unions to keep their politicians accountable.  We in the Tea Party movement must do the same thing.” 

A vivid example occurred when Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA) held a “Neighborhood Town Hall” in his Pasadena-inclusive district.  Using his congressional franking privileges, Schiff sent multiple mail pieces to his constituents inviting them to the event.  But when Mike and “about 3,500 of my closest friends” showed up, they were met by purple-shirted members of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).  Acting more like rented security than concerned citizens, the SEIU members taunted and shouted at Mike’s protestors. 

Mike smiles at the memory.  “We just wanted to show them we have numbers too.” 

Those numbers are likely to grow.  According to Mike’s wife Patricia, the day after this year’s midterm elections is not a day of rest.  “Starting at 6 a.m. on November 3rd, we are going to focus on all the municipal elections here in Los Angeles County: county supervisor, city council, school board, you name it.”  Mike, Patricia and their friends want to make sure that local government delivers the same kind of fiscal responsibility they’re demanding from the state and federal levels. 

To ensure unity of purpose, TEA PAC will soon unveil a pledge for all local candidates to sign if they want the group’s endorsement.  The pledge will likely require candidates to implement the following once in office: Convert public employee union compensation agreements from defined benefits to defined contribution; address public employee pension underfunding by cutting salary and raising employee contributions; prohibit automatic union dues deducted from paychecks, and, if necessary, introduce a resolution to declare bankruptcy and start over. 

When asked whether his members are as excited about local campaigns as they are about higher profile races for Congress, Mike laughs.  “They are more enthusiastic about local races because everyone knows something that could – and should – be done better in their community.  People’s critiques become more concrete because they know exactly what needs to be fixed.  We think our organizing efforts at the local level will dramatically increase our numbers.” 

And with it, the fortunes of California. 

Question of the Week   
The largest-ever helicopter evacuation took place during which of the following conflicts?
More Questions
Quote of the Day   
"Law enforcement is a vital response to any riotous uprising. Indeed, I believe the failure to enforce the laws without apology from the start of the upheaval last week has fueled its ferocity. It would be naive to claim that much of the violence, which is being incited and coordinated by radical groups, might not have happened anyway -- these groups are always on a hair-trigger, pouncing on any opportunity…[more]
—Andrew C. McCarthy, Legal Commentator, Terrorism Expert and Former Federal Prosecutor
— Andrew C. McCarthy, Legal Commentator, Terrorism Expert and Former Federal Prosecutor
Liberty Poll   

Until this week, the U.S. House has required Members to be physically present to vote. Due to coronavirus, "proxy voting," allowing Members to cast votes for absent colleagues, is now being used. Should "proxy voting" be allowed to continue?