Those Damn High Drug Prices

The health care debate is silent for now….but it will return if Congress has its way……

Whenever the subject of a health care bill comes up one of the first issues they talk about but never do anything about is that of the High Cost of Drugs.

But who can we blame for the high costs?

First of all Bill Clinton…..and then on from him….

Why do Americans continue to pay the highest prices for medicine in the world? The answer lies in the fact that lawmakers have sculpted specific policies, often not found in many other nations, that boost pharmaceutical industry profits. Meanwhile, the drug industry has spent $61 million on state elections and nearly $67million on federal elections since 2010.

Amid rising public anger over the issue, Republican President Donald Trump campaigned for president on a promise to reduce drug prices — and, as recently as Monday, excoriated Merck & Co. CEO Ken Frazier, demanding that he “LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!” Democrats, in the meantime, have long depicted themselves as fight-for-the-little-guy populists crusading against pharmaceutical industry fat cats.

However, key players from both parties have made pivotal decisions at the federal and state levels that have kept drug prices high — and pharmaceutical industry profit margins wide. As part of International Business Times’ ongoing coverage of the fight over drug prices, what follows is a look at six of those individuals, and how their actions have shaped America’s prescription drug market.

Source: Why Are Drug Prices So High? These Politicians Might Have The Answer

Now you know why we pay more for drugs than anyone in the world and thanx to the system these people set up….we will always pay more than they are worth.

Who will step up and make the high cost of drugs a priority?  The Dems?  Of maybe the GOP?

How To Handle The North Korea Situation

This situation with North Korea is getting a bit redundant…..this will be the last pot for now on NK that is until something new breaks….

I have offered my many opinions on how to handle the North Korean situation….and during those opinions I have had some dolt from the Right go off with something about the situation that has little to nothing to do with the situation.

These people seem to have the same opinion….”nuke ’em all and let God sort them out” mindset.  They offer little as far as an actual idea on how the situation needs to be approached.

First the report that came out over the last weekend……

China’s president delivered a direct message to President Trump: Ease up on the North Korea rhetoric. In a phone call with Trump Friday night, Xi Jinping said he wanted both sides to avoid “words and actions” that would make the situation worse, per the BBC, citing Chinese media. The White House statement on the call said the two leaders agreed that North Korea must stop its “provocative and escalatory behavior,” though it didn’t mention Xi’s plea to Trump as well. The call came after Trump made a series of aggressive statements directed at Pyongyang on Friday, the most recent one saying that the North would “truly regret” any missile launches toward Guam. The North, meanwhile, ramped up its own rhetoric on Saturday with a boast that 3.5 million people have volunteered to join the military to fight the US, reports the Washington Post.

“All the people are rising up across the country to retaliate against the US thousands of times,” said a newspaper. Meanwhile, China isn’t the only nation worried. Japan installed missile interceptors, South Korea is speeding up the process needed to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile-defense system, and Germany’s Angela Merkel voiced concern after one of Trump’s tweets, saying, “I consider an escalation of rhetoric the wrong answer,” per the Guardian. Despite his aggressive language, Trump also has spoken of a non-military outcome. “Hopefully, it will all work out,” he said Friday. “Nobody loves a peaceful solution better than President Trump, that I can tell you.”

3.5 million have signed up to fight…..now if that report is accurate it is something to think about…..has any American felt such patriotic fervor and signed up?

Closing Thought–16Aug17

Recently the news came out that a woman had made the cut and could start training as a Navy SEAL….this is good news since a woman had finished Army Ranger school….and since the new thing that women were allowed into the combat arts I say why not?

This was my post on this news….

Source: Closing Thought–25Jul17 – In Saner Thought

Since I reported this news more has come out on this young lady……

The woman on track to become the first female Navy SEAL officer has voluntarily exited the training pipeline, multiple Naval Special Warfare Command sources have confirmed to Task & Purpose.

The female midshipman, identified by Military.com in July as a ROTC junior at an unnamed U.S. college, was the elite SEAL Officer Assessment and Selection (SOAS) program’s first female entrant since the Department of Defense lifted restrictions on female applicants for combat arms and special operations forces roles in 2016.

Had she completed the three-week course, she would have been eligible for review by the NSW officer community manager and officer selection panel in September and, if selected, received orders by October to report to NSW’s grueling 24-week Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training course.

Source: The Navy’s First Female SEAL Officer Applicant Just Dropped Out

Sad news for this young lady….but I am sure that some mindless Neanderthal will find this good news…you know the type that think women should be bare foot and pregnant….in short a Trump supporter.

She has the option of trying again at a later date….maybe do some work to be better prepared for the next attempt.

Diplomats Are Us

There was a time when I wanted to work for the foreign service for the US….the diplomatic Corps….I applied for a couple of positions….the ones that I wanted I never got for there was always someone with more letters after their name than me.

I then tried to find work with the United Nations….the one that would let me use my degrees was in Tunisia…..again I was pushed out by a guy with a whole alphabet after his surname.

I finally found work as an analyst for a Spanish newspaper and finally got to work in the Middle East.

Sorry about that but I wanted to give a little background for this post.

International relations, foreign policy and conflict management are areas that this country needs top people in their fields.  And usually this country has the brightest minds formulating and implementing policies that help protect this country as well as helping with its prosperity.

All that use to be true….but since the election of Donald Trump our foreign policy has become a joke with no laughter.

First he hires a oil company CEO as SecSta, Rex Tillerson….then he cuts the budget of the department then he will not fill the diplomatic positions that are needed to keep the country ahead of the game then he started losing ambassadors…it is said that there is a job listing that is 11 pages and no takers.

Then the sector on the world governing stage, the Untied nations……here we have another amateur as ambassador…Nikki Haley a governor with zero experience on the world situation….and like the State Department she cannot keep qualified people around her…..

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley has lost two of her top aides, key departures that come at a time of growing international tensions between the U.S. and North Korea.

Haley’s Chief of Staff Steven Groves resigned, as did her communications director Jonathan Wachtel. Haley said on Twitter Wednesday it was because of “family concerns.” The departures also come ahead of Haley’s trip to Vienna to review Iran’s nuclear activities with the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency.

These loses probably will not hurt her standing at the UN because neither of them had much international experience other than a think tank.

Without qualified professionals then our policies look more like a 2nd graders coloring book…..and our decisions are more knee jerk than thoughtful deliberation.

Guam In The Cross Hairs

I know I am an opinionated SOB and from time to time I get a Right winger that stops by to drop some wisdom on me…..I have been writing a bit about the North Korean situation and the way we are approaching it…..this well intention person said “If you are so goddamn smart how would you stop a missile from falling on Guam”?

After some thought I decided to take this person up on the challenge.

My plan would center around Ukraine…..this country needs help with encroaching Russians….plus they want to join NATO and possibly the EU….there is lots of bargaining chips in that situation.

I appears that Ukraine is the answer to the North Korean missiles….why?

The heart of their missile is an engine made in Ukraine…..

Many are worried over North Korea’s ICBM launch last month, which analysts say indicate its weapons can now reach the US. And what may be behind this apparent success: liquid-propellant rocket engines from a Ukrainian factory linked to Russia’s missile program that were then scooped up on the black market, per the New York Times. This revelation comes via classified documents from US intelligence agencies and an analysis by Michael Elleman for the International Institute for Strategic Studies, in which he notes the “astounding strides” of North Korea’s missile program, including its upgrade from medium-range missiles to a Hwasong intermediate-range missile and ICBM in just two years’ time—which he says no other nation has ever done. Elleman says it seems Pyongyang was able to pull off this feat with a rocket engine based on Soviet RD-250 engines, which only a few Soviet plants made.

The state-owned Yuzhmash factory that’s being eyed is in Dnipro, a plant the Times describes as “awash in unpaid bills and low morale.” What Elleman says lends credence to his theory is that two North Koreans were busted six years ago trying to swipe data on these types of engines from there. The Yuzhmash website notes it “will not [participate] in any cooperation involving the transfer of potentially dangerous technologies outside Ukraine,” though Elleman doesn’t buy that. “It’s likely that these engines came from Ukraine—probably illicitly,” he tells the Times. “The big question is how many they have and whether the Ukrainians are helping them now. I’m very worried.” No one’s sure how the engines would’ve made it to North Korea, which the Times notes would indicate a “broad intelligence failure” on the part of all countries keeping an eye on Pyongyang. Elleman’s in-depth take is here.

Take away the engine and you take away the threat to Guam.  Hard for a rocket to make it to the island without a motor….that is unless they have a real large sling shot.

We make a deal with the engine maker tom wither stop export of these motors or we do some tweaking to keep them from operating properly.  Granted will be a short term fix but maybe enough time for some sanity to return to this region.

Now this would possibly eliminate Guam as a target for now but it does not solve the South Korean dilemma…..and Japan is a rock’s throw away….they are still under a massive cloud of weapons aimed at their heart.

The challenge was for Guam not South Korea or Japan.

Done And Done!

Will Dems Feel The Pain?

The Dems have been on a vision quest to find a message for the upcoming mid-terms…….right now they have nothing but slogans….maybe they think because one person can win with mindless slogans that it will work them as well.

Appears the health care is the proving ground for the next election……the progressive wing of the DNC is pushing for all to recognize and get behind a Medicare for all provision.

House and Senate Democrats have wondered for months whether Bernie Sanders’ supporters might choose to focus their energy on launching primary challenges to party moderates in 2018. They’re about to get an answer.

Sanders has decided the moment is right to launch his proposal for the single-payer health insurance system that helped form the backbone of his presidential message. And Democrats who don’t get behind it could find themselves on the wrong side of the most energetic wing of the party — as well as the once and possibly future presidential candidate who serves as its figurehead.

Source: Sanders ‘litmus test’ alarms Democrats – POLITICO

I see that the normally liberal media is jumping on the DNC to try and prevent it from moving more Left than they are now….

Thirty Democrats disillusioned with their party’s struggles in Middle America have unveiled a new group aimed at expanding its base beyond just the two coasts. The initiative, which comprises current and former mayors, governors, cabinet members and lawmakers, comes complete with a catchy new title, “New Democracy.”

If that name sounds familiar, it’s because it was the same as that given by Mao Zedong to his theory of democracy in communist China.  (of course it does not sound familiar because no one remembers that far back….but it makes for a great political attack)

“In a word, new-democratic culture is the proletarian-led, anti-imperialist and anti-feudal culture of the broad masses,” Mao wrote on New Democracy in 1940, nine years before coming to power in China.

Source: Democrats new slogan borrows from communist China

A shame when even a liberal media would use such yellow tactics against the Dems…..but their efforts may be a moot point….for you see the DSA is making headway against these cowards in the DNC……

The Democratic Socialists of America are meeting there this week as part of the group’s biannual convention. In the wake of a surge of new interest over the past year, the organization announced earlier this week that it now has 25,000 dues-paying members — a historic peak for the group that makes it the largest socialist organization in the country since World War II.

David Duhalde, DSA’s Deputy Director, was brought on by the organization in 2015. He told The Intercept that shortly before the November election, the organization had between 7,000 to 8,000 members. On November 9, they started seeing supporters of Vermont’s Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential run and others flooding into DSA.

Source: Democratic Socialists of America Celebrate Record Membership in Chicago. Now What?

I for one think that this turn is for the best…..time for the DNC to return to being where it belongs….with the working class.

So the question is….will the Dems return to being the party of working America or will they stay in the lane with big money?

What say you?