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

Liberty Update

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Jester's CourtroomLegal tales stranger than stranger than fiction: Ridiculous and sometimes funny lawsuits plaguing our courts.
Notable Quotes
 
On Request for SCOTUS to Invalidate Obamacare:
 
 

"In a dramatic election-year request, the Trump administration Thursday night asked the Supreme Court to strike down the entirety of the Obamacare law, saying it wrongly limits consumer choices, raises Americans costs and violates the Constitution.

"In a closely-watched filing, the Justice Department told the justices that the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate violated the Constitution, and if that provision is struck down, the rest of the law must be terminated.

"'The entire ACA thus must fall with the individual mandate, though the scope of relief entered in this case should be limited to provisions shown to injure the plaintiffs,' the administration's brief argued.

"In identifying harm to American consumers, the DOJ cited two of the law's least popular impacts among critics: rising costs and fewer insurance choices."

 
 
— John Solomon, Just the News Editor in Chief
— John Solomon, Just the News Editor in Chief
Posted June 26, 2020 • 07:59 AM
 
 
On NY Governor Cuomo's Travel Restrictions:
 
 

"New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that New York, as well as New Jersey and Connecticut, will begin enforcing quarantine orders on travelers from nine other states. ...

"In late March, Gov. Cuomo criticized President Trump for suggesting a state-based quarantine order that would restrict travel for residents of the tri-state area. ...

"Cuomo shot back at Trump's suggestion, calling it a 'declaration of war on states' and saying 'we would be Wuhan, China' if such a quarantine order was enforced. ...

"But under Cuomo's new order, police in New York are now authorized to pull over vehicles with license plates from hotspot states and grill them on why they aren't isolating."

Read entire article here.

 
 
— Elle Reynolds, The Federalist
— Elle Reynolds, The Federalist
Posted June 25, 2020 • 08:01 AM
 
 
On Discovery of New Notes in Michael Flynn Case:
 
 

"In the latest twist, the Justice Department disclosed to a federal court Tuesday it has located a new page of notes from Peter Strzok, the former lead FBI agent in the Russia collusion investigation, that are exculpatory to former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

"Acting U.S. Attorney Michael Sherwin informed U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan of the discovery in a midday court filing, revealing the single page of notes were believed to have been taken by Strzok during the critical juncture of early January 2017 when FBI agents recommended shutting down their investigation of Flynn only to be overruled by FBI superiors. ...

"A source directly familiar with the discovery of the document told Just the News they include one paragraph of notes believed to be taken around Jan. 4, 2017, the date Strzok relayed a request from FBI leadership to the lead agent in the Flynn case asking him not to shut down the investigation as had been planned. The notes are 'highly exculpatory,' the source said, declining to describe them more fully because they are under seal."

Read entire article here.

 
 
— John Solomon, Just the News Editor in Chief
— John Solomon, Just the News Editor in Chief
Posted June 24, 2020 • 07:55 AM
 
 
On Statues and The Mob:
 
 

"Spasmodic attempts to remake the world invariably involve the throwing out of the good along with the bad. Our ongoing bout of statuary iconoclasm has proven no exception.

"The list of figures whose likenesses have been defaced now includes Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Ulysses S. Grant, Winston Churchill, Mohandas Gandhi, Cervantes, Robert the Bruce, Voltaire, General Schuyler, the abolitionist Mathias Baldwin, and the guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan. One can only imagine the philosophy that could draw a line around as motley a crew as that.

"Of course, no such philosophy exists -- and nor will it. Rather, we find ourselves in the middle stages of a cultural riot in which everything -- and everyone -- has become fair game. What do Cervantes and Stevie Ray Vaughan have in common? Well, that they are both made of bronze, and are thus liable to make a sickening thud when pulled by force from their pedestals. The violence, to borrow a fashionable phrase, is the point.

"But it is not acceptable. Irrespective of the nature of their grievance -- or of the strength of the feeling undergirding it -- violent mobs can't make decisions on behalf of everyone else. If, as is occasionally the case, it is necessary for public monuments to be altered, updated, revisited, or removed, that work must be done within the democratic process and under the rule of law. Bad taste is not an excuse for anarchy.

"One of the great ironies of our present upheaval has been the tendency of its most vocal advocates to engage in precisely the type of reactionary thoughtlessness that they believe themselves to be fighting."

 
 
— The Editors, National Review
— The Editors, National Review
Posted June 23, 2020 • 08:15 AM
 
 
On the Real Crisis in American Cities:
 
 

"The real story of America's cities right now is not that people are fleeing the coronavirus or the George Floyd unrest. It is that the very reasons people flee cities are also those that have created the poverty, rage, and despair currently on full display.

"It has been customary for city leaders to blame big problems such as inequality and racism on overarching, borderless culprits such as the rich, corporations, or 'the system.' Yet it is the cities themselves that have limited housing supply and have priced lower-income and minority residents out of good neighborhoods. It is the cities themselves that have let unionized public employees turn their police forces and school systems into sloppy, and sometimes downright corrupt, disasters. It is the cities themselves that have played politics with pensions and squeezed budgets that should support public goods such as infrastructure. It is the cities themselves that have moved away from community policing to command-and-control police tactics. And it is the cities themselves that have let homelessness grow to sometimes shocking levels.

"Those with the least ability to pack up and move -- typically low-income Americans -- are stuck in cities dominated by blame-shifting overlords who have priced them out of better neighborhoods, required their kids to go to lousy schools, and taxed them to pay public servants who are protected by a qualified immunity they could only wish to have. According to the Economic Innovation Group, the number of high-poverty neighborhoods in American cities doubled in the 30 years after 1980. This effectively moved most urban poor people from neighborhoods in which less than 10 percent of the population is poor to communities in which the poverty rate exceeds 30 percent. Low-income African-Americans have been hit especially hard. Someone who is poor and black is three times as likely as a poor white person to live in a neighborhood with a 30 percent poverty rate.

"So here we are. The m.o. of (mostly progressive) urban leaders is out in the open for all to see: Using housing policy, they redline low-income people into violent districts with bad schools and overly aggressive police while blaming poverty and violence on big, nebulous forces beyond their control. They are helped in getting away with it by a pliant mainstream media all too happy to blame the same forces. But as the coronavirus, bad police, poverty, and failing neighborhoods all target the same people at once, the blame is shifting back to where it should have been all along. It is time for mayors, city councils, zoning commissions, and school districts to do their jobs and accept responsibility for what is happening around them."

 
 
— Ryan Streeter, American Enterprise Institute Director of Domestic-Policy Studies
— Ryan Streeter, American Enterprise Institute Director of Domestic-Policy Studies
Posted June 22, 2020 • 07:21 AM
 
 
On Film Censorship in America:
 
 

"Film censorship in America is almost as old as the industry itself. In 1897, the state of Maine banned the showing of a film of a heavyweight championship fight. In 1907, Chicago became the first U.S. city to enact a censorship law authorizing its police chief to screen all films to determine whether they were fit to be seen by the public. Some 100 cities and states soon created local censorship boards. In the 1930s, self-censorship gradually replaced state bans and restrictions. Fearful of federal regulation, the motion picture industry adopted morality codes that persisted until the breakdown of the studio system and the rise of independent filmmakers, in another culturally revolutionary moment in America -- the late 1960s."

 
 
— Judith Miller, City Journal Contributing Editor
— Judith Miller, City Journal Contributing Editor
Posted June 19, 2020 • 08:13 AM
 
 
On Renewing FISA:
 
 

"Top House Republicans said the consideration of any reauthorization of recently expired Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act authorities should be held off until the Justice Department's inquiry into the Russia investigation is complete.

"A 'Dear Colleague' letter, authored by Rep. Jim Jordan, the ranking member of the House oversight panel, and signed by eight top subcommittee Republicans, was sent to the entire GOP conference in the House.

"'Many of us were encouraged when President Trump declared his principled opposition to proceeding with reauthorizing provisions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act,' the letter reads. 'The President is right.'

"The letter pointed to a late May tweet by Trump, which derailed the FISA reauthorization effort that appeared set to pass in the House as it had in the Senate. Trump tweeted, 'I hope all Republican House Members vote NO on FISA until such time as our Country is able to determine how and why the greatest political, criminal, and subversive scandal in USA history took place!'

"Jordan and the others argued on Tuesday that 'we need to allow the ongoing federal investigations to be completed so that Americans can fully understand how and why the Obama-Biden Administration weaponized our national security apparatus and the FISA process to target its political adversaries.'"

 
 
— Jerry Dunleavy, Washington Examiner
— Jerry Dunleavy, Washington Examiner
Posted June 18, 2020 • 08:36 AM
 
 
On Addressing Problems in the Law Enforcement System:
 
 

"President Trump took an important first step Tuesday to address problems that exist within the law enforcement system when he signed an executive order to spur reforms 'encouraging police departments nationwide to adopt the highest professional standards to serve their communities.'

"As the president correctly said, the vast majority of law enforcement officers do an excellent job protecting their communities and don't employ excessive force -- much less kill people they are arresting. But he is right that a tiny minority engage in serious misconduct, and that police departments must remove such officers from their ranks. ...

"In my three decades in law enforcement, which started as a police officer, I have dealt with thousands of law enforcement officers at the local, state and federal levels. I do not hesitate to say that these men and women are the finest 1 percent of our population.

"However, like every other occupation out there, there are some people working in law enforcement who do not uphold the values of the profession and need to be held accountable. ...

"More than 800,000 men and women are employed in U.S. law enforcement agencies. In the wake of killings by police of unarmed African-Americans, we must redouble our efforts to address misconduct and restore trust between law enforcement officers and communities."

Read entire article here.

 
 
— Thomas Homan, Former Acting Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement
— Thomas Homan, Former Acting Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Posted June 17, 2020 • 07:58 AM
 
 
On Nursing Home COVID Check Deficiencies:
 
 

"Thousands of nursing homes across the country have not been checked to see if staff are following proper procedures to prevent coronavirus transmission, a form of community spread that is responsible for more than a quarter of the nation's Covid-19 fatalities.

"Only a little more than half of the nation's nursing homes had received inspections, according to data released earlier this month, which prompted a fresh mandate from Medicare and Medicaid chief Seema Verma that states complete the checks by July 31 or risk losing federal recovery funds.

"A POLITICO survey of state officials, however, suggests that the lack of oversight of nursing homes has many roots. Many states that were hit hard by the virus say they chose to provide protective gear to frontline health workers rather than inspectors, delaying in-person checks for weeks if not months. Some states chose to assess facilities remotely, conducting interviews over the phone and analyzing documentation, a process many experts consider inadequate.

"In places where state officials claimed that in-person inspections have taken place, the reports found no issues in the overwhelming majority of cases, even as Covid-19 claimed more than 31,000 deaths in nursing homes. Less than 3 percent of the more than 5,700 inspection surveys the federal government released this month had any infection control deficiencies, according to a report on Thursday by the Center for Medicare Advocacy, a nonprofit patient activist group.

"'It is not possible or believable that the infection control surveys accurately portray the extent of infection control deficiencies in U.S. nursing facilities,' the report states."

Read entire article here.

 
 
— Rachel Roubein and Maggie Severns, POLITICO.com
— Rachel Roubein and Maggie Severns, POLITICO.com
Posted June 16, 2020 • 08:00 AM
 
 
On the Confederate-Monument Controversy:
 
 

"There are specific, urgent, and immediate questions that demand answers in Minneapolis, and those are questions mainly for its Democratic mayor, its Democratic city council, its progressive leadership and management class, for Democratic elected officials such as Representative Ilhan Omar, and a great many other people who are very comfortable talking about the ghastly moral failures of the Confederacy a century and a half ago but rather less eager to talk about the facts on the ground in Minneapolis in the here and now.

"Of course the past matters. (It is incredible that some people who call themselves conservatives have to be reminded of that.) But the present matters, too, and surely it deserves more of our attention than some potential slight to the very mixed legacies of Braxton Bragg or John Bell Hood. Given current events, the Democrats are very eager to change the subject. They should not be accommodated."

 
 
— Kevin D. Williamson, National Review
— Kevin D. Williamson, National Review
Posted June 15, 2020 • 08:04 AM
 
Question of the Week   
In which one of the following years was the National Park Service established?
More Questions
Quote of the Day   
 
"The only people who might better know the streets of urban America than the cops who patrol them are the crooks who haunt them. What can the criminals tell us now about the state of our cities? The crooks know that the streets and alleys are being returned to them and that the police are in retreat. That is unmistakably the case as crime, particularly violent crime, is exploding all over urban America…[more]
 
 
—George J. Terwilliger, III, Esq., Former U.S. Justice Department Attorney, Deputy Attorney General and Acting Attorney General
— George J. Terwilliger, III, Esq., Former U.S. Justice Department Attorney, Deputy Attorney General and Acting Attorney General
 
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