"Pharma came out of this better than anyone else," said Ramsey Baghdadi, a Washington health policy analyst who projects a $30 billion, 10-year net gain for the industry. "I don't see how they could have done much better."…
Lobbyists beat back proposals to allow importation of low-cost medicines and to have Medicare negotiate drug prices with companies. They also defeated efforts to require more industry rebates for the 9 million beneficiaries of both Medicare and Medicaid, and to bar brand-name drugmakers' payments to generic companies to delay the marketing of competitor products.
Washington has its share of murder mysteries, but the one that interests Sen. Byron Dorgan involves the untimely death of his amendment to allow cheaper prescription drug imports from Canada.
There are several sets of fingerprints in the Senate chamber where the legislation died, including some from the White House, says Dorgan, a North Dakota Democrat. “They did not support this,” and worked with Democratic Senate leaders to kill it in order to move the larger bill forward, he said in an interview. The amendment failed in the Senate Tuesday evening.
Congratulations on helping out with the winning campaigns.
In Brazil, are there regularly updated political blogs that are independent of individual campaigns and parties, like in the US? Is there a polling analysis site like 538; political blogs like MyDD and FDL; or on-line news sites like HuffPost and Salon.com? Are there experts that obsessively blog and influence the debate like Glenn Greenwald and Paul Krugman?
When I was following the Australian and UK elections this year, I didn't find many political blogs that would compare to what's available in the US. Liberal Conspiracy and Pollytics are the only sites I found that stood out.
If TPM and DK are going to play games with poll data to pretend things aren't as bad as they really are, at this point it's hard to trust anything that their writers write. They've become on-line spin rooms for the Democratic Party.
And besides, I'm off building technology for a dozen statewide campaigns in Brazil…
Jerome, it would be interesting to hear more about politics in Brazil, if you have time to write a post. With presidential candidate Dilma Rousseff backed by the Workers' Party (and poised to win, after struggling early in the campaign); and José Serra backed by the Brazilian Social Democratic Party, Democrats, and Socialist People's Party (an odd mix of right and left?); politics in Brazil seems to be a lot more fluid than the U.S. two-party system.
ComRes has crosstabs up for its April 16th-17th poll. The Tories have been targeting 11 Lib Dem marginals in the South West and things didn't look so good after the disappointing local and European election results.
Here's the results (page 7), which only include people who say they are likely to vote.
Wales and Southwest
Lib Dem: 28%
Don't know: 23%
Here's how people report voting in 2005 (page 2). Some of these people, though, might not have lived in the same region in 2005, so it's not a strict apples-to-apples comparison.
Wales and South West
Lib Dem: 19%
Did not vote: 29%
Because of the "Did not vote" and "Don't know" categories, the percentages aren't directly comparable. However, back in 2005 the Lib Dems trailed the Tories by a couple points among poll respondents. Now, they've pulled ahead. Hopefully, this translates into safe seats for the Lib Dem incumbents in the South West.
Posting articles, verbatim, from other websites into the comment section is extraordinarliy obnoxious behavior. A link would suffice, along with a short excerpt of a few paragraphs, if you thought the article was relevant to the topic at hand.
In the words of the Telegraph, the poll "is all the more startling because the majority of respondents were polled before Mr Clegg’s victorious showing in Thursday night’s debate, suggesting the Lib Dem advance was already under way."
According to a recent post at FDL, they sometimes delete individual comments instead of banning the user. In addition, I have seen them leave in a comment but snip out the offending parts [with an editor's note] when users engage in personal insults against one another. They use a variety of moderating techniques.
At OpenLeft, Rosenberg just banned a user a week or two ago for being a troll. I didn't see the discussion that led to the ban but saw an apology from Rosenberg for accidentally wiping out the entire comment threads the troll was part of when he meant to simply lock out the user.
NAFTA was one of the first issues that I worked on when I became an activist in college. The following are my recollections, though it's been a long time so everything should be prefaced with IIRC.
The IATP (http://iatp.org) spearheaded a lot of the NAFTA research in Minnesota for NAFTA opponents. A call to them (612-870-0453) would get you all the info you need. As a sidenote, the founder of the IATP, Mark Ritchie, last year defeated a Republican incumbent to become Minnesota's Secretary of State.
NAFTA was a major issue of the 1992 Presidential campaign. Perot's campaign highlighted his opposition to it. He used the phrase "giant sucking sound" to describe how US jobs would go to Mexico, and he led in the polls at one point based on the NAFTA issue, among others. The blue collar workforce hated NAFTA, and organized labor fought hard against it.
The theories of David Ricardo, one of the classical economists, were the backbone of the pro-NAFTA folks. You can find more about his theories of comparative advantage on his wikipedia page -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Ricar
do . NAFTA supporters also constantly held up the tech industry as the savior for displaced factory workers -- there was a lot of talk of retraining for the new high-tech economy. NAFTA was portrayed as a progressive force, forcing workers out of old-fashioned factory jobs and into new, better paying tech jobs. No one foresaw that free trade would also lead to a major loss of tech jobs to countries such as India.
Clinton did his typical weasel-words during the election and promised to "review" NAFTA. His "side agreements" pacified some of the environmentals, I seem to recall, but in general it was organized labor that led the fight anyway. I was an organizer of our campus environmental group, but every event that I went to was sponsored by organized labor, not environmental groups.
I'd say the vote on NAFTA was the start of the "Clinton Era", when progressive and labor voices were systematically pushed out of the Democratic Party by Clinton and the DLC crowd. A lot of people were disillusioned and many I think left the Democratic Party or at least no longer actively participated in it.
On January 1, 1994, the day that NAFTA went into effect, the Zapatistas took over some areas of Chiapas, Mexico, in protest of NAFTA. Although it didn't lead to as much as was hoped/feared, it did produce an infamous memo from Chase Bank where the author said the following,