Obama's march to the middle continues!!!

Non-lacrosse specific topics.

Postby Chris Larson on Thu Jul 10, 2008 1:35 pm

Dr. Jason Stockton wrote:
dgr01002 wrote:And "Big Pharma"...Michael Moore, anyone?


I'm all for free enterprise, but I don't like it when the government gets involved. Big Pharma isn't the only industry getting a governmental "free ride," but they are probably the biggest culprit. There are more lobbyists on the Pharmaceutical Companies payroll in Washington than there are Congressional representatives. This buys "Big Pharma" protectionist regulations and a ridiculous amount of tax-payer funded R&D money. . .for which the drug companies reap all of the profits.

And on top of all of the financial mess, the number of people (including babies) that die in the US every year due to the side effects of pharmaceuticals is one of the biggest scandals in our country today. . . in my opinion.

I certainly am not saying I want government to control medicine in our country. . .I just wish the people voted to protect us (Dems & Reps) were not so deep in the wallets of the drug comanies that they can't see straight.


Interesting balance between the pressure to bring an effective drug to market and maintain safety - all at an affordable price. The current late-stage failures have been a stark illumination of this problem.
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Postby KnoxVegas on Thu Jul 10, 2008 2:01 pm

dgr01002 wrote:...Richard Branson (Virgin), Mark Cuban, (shall I go on and on and on?) voted Democrat).


RIchard Branson is English and not a US citizen, so he could not vote Democrat. I am sure you meant it in jest but for other who might be confused, this clears it up.
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Postby Dr. Jason Stockton on Thu Jul 10, 2008 4:31 pm

Chris Larson wrote:Interesting balance between the pressure to bring an effective drug to market and maintain safety - all at an affordable price. The current late-stage failures have been a stark illumination of this problem.


I agree that this requires an interesting balance. . .but I still think the government gives way too much financial support to an industry that brought in over $400B last year. And that financial support is a direct result of the financial support they give back to the politicians. It's a convoluted mess that is unlikely to "change". . .even if we elect a president promising "change". . .
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Postby jayjaciv on Thu Jul 10, 2008 5:01 pm

If you really want to believe that the majority of large corporations are not in favor of a Republican administration (and will back up that desire with money), then that's fine. It's a free country. Clearly this is a sore topic for some.

Let's see, "Big Pharma" in your mind needing to be replaced by Big Government Pharmacy?...Or, Communisim?

I thought McCarthyism went out of style in the 60s. Your leaps of "logic" are really fun to read. I don't think many rational, educated people want the government as it is to control things like pharmaceuticals, myself included. But again, the pharm companies all have the same interests to protect and the Republicans have gone to bat for those interests again and again. I'm not even saying that's a bad thing. The Dems have gone to bat for big corporations as well, as I'm sure someone will want to say as soon as they read this. It just looks to me like the Republicans historically have given big corps bigger tax breaks, more often.

I was really just trying to say (amidst many other, on-topic points) that John McCain is shifting to the right - and flip-flopping just like Obama in the process - to regain the trust of those perennial Republican supporters so that he is not fighting a sort of two-front battle against what is widely considered to be the Republican base and also against (or rather for) the independents. The reason this is a bad idea, which I obviously did not communicate effectively, is that while the support of the Republican base is necessary, especially in terms of fund-raising, it is much more effective to have the voting support of the independents.

All the sarcastic knee-jerking is really hilarious, though. Did I touch a nerve?

jayjaciv and Dan...you guys confuse me. Is Sen. McCain moving to the right extreme or is he tacking to the center ala Politics 101? Regardless the man is not dumb.

Obama is tacking to the center (thanks for FLALAX for informing us all of this). McCain, meanwhile, appears to be courting the more conservative factions of the Republican party; this is a move which many believe to be a mistake. By "many" I mean "The Economist" and "me." And you're right, he is not dumb. Senile, maybe. :twisted:

Sonny, good call. I was wrong. Independents are apparently actually only about 30% of the populace. A third of the country is not to be ignored, though.
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Postby Zeuslax on Thu Jul 10, 2008 5:19 pm

The 2008 electoral map is pretty interesting, with The "Big Four" of Michigan, Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania again likely to hold the key to which candidate will win. But if Obama can turn some other "red states" to the blue column -- Virginia, Maine, New Hampshire, Nebraska and Colorado to name just five that went to Bush last time -- he can conceivably reach 270 electoral votes even if he loses three of the "Big Four".


The map definitely changes with Obama in the race. States that were never really in the mix now become additional battle grounds. IE) Iowa, Montana, North Dakota, New Mexico, NC, SC are the major ones. Ohio, Pennsylvania and FL will continue to be the major battle grounds for sure, but Obama has an infastructure on the ground. Population shifting to southern states continue too.
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Postby StrykerFSU on Thu Jul 10, 2008 5:39 pm

Don't Republicans and Democrats have to play by the same political contribution rules? I guess I'm still confused. The Republicans are beholden to big corporations for monetary contribution? Is there not a limit that both sides must respect? For example, $2300.
http://www.fec.gov/pages/brochures/fecfeca.shtml#Corporate_Union

How much do PACs give you ask? I'm glad you did. PACs have given more money to Dems in 2007-2008 than to Republicans.
http://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/toppacs.php?Type=C&cycle=2008&Pty=A
It's also notable that unions and professional associations make up the honor roll of PAC donors, not evil corporations.

Of course, McCain is accepting Federal campaign funds so his campaign isn't really beholden to anyone. Obama is the one taking private money, after promising he wouldn't, so isn't he more liable to be influenced by those contributors?

So jayjaciv is on the record as saying McCain is going right. Dan, I thought he was going to the center like all presidential nominees in the general election. (all in good fun guys) But no one has offered an answer to which direction a President Obama would go. I'm especially interested to see how Obama will address his changing positions in the context of a town hall meeting or debate. As for Independents, I can't speak for the group as a whole but given John McCain's long history of independent actions in the U.S. Senate in contrast to Obama's 2 years of exceptionally liberal voting I think McCain might have a shot at winning their vote.

And big corporations don't pay taxes, people do. And by people I mean consumers, that is "you" and "me". But yes, let's institute windfall profit taxes on oil companies (but not companies like Microsoft) because the added cost (that's what a tax is to a company) won't be passed down to consumers and hey, we should try to punish companies for doing good business anyway.
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Postby Jac Coyne on Thu Jul 10, 2008 5:41 pm

Dan Wishengrad wrote:So if there's a reeking stench there at your computer I'd humbly suggest spraying some Febreeze or Oust.


I missed the body odor joke in my first read of your enlightening post. Well played, sir. The ad hominem stuff suits you.

Your post about both party's candidates moving to the middle is probably spot on. Wait...um...let's see.

I was really just trying to say (amidst many other, on-topic points) that John McCain is shifting to the right - and flip-flopping just like Obama in the process - to regain the trust of those perennial Republican supporters so that he is not fighting a sort of two-front battle against what is widely considered to be the Republican base and also against (or rather for) the independents.


<gasp> It appears even the leftist fringe hasn't been clued in to Politics 101. My, my. Isn't this an awkward moment?

Anyhoo, I'm actually looking forward to the next installment of Politics 101, Danny. I've lost my syllabus, but I'm hoping the "Dukakis Chronicles" are coming up this semester. Seeing as the presumptive Democratic nominee appears to be following the same playbook, it should be enlightening.

Moving on, so to speak, I think the biggest concern in BO's hard right turn is the continuation -- or perhaps the "refining" is the word the Dems would prefer -- of Bush's faith-based initiative. Including any type of religion in a platform is taboo on the left.

I read with great amusement in one of the other Cooler threads as some libs tried to saddle a secular issue to one faith in order to demonize it. The demonization of religion is a standard practice for the left, and while Obama's embracing of the non-secular probably won't cost him too many votes, it's another measure of the man.

As it becomes clear that Obama is a Man of God and will make sure his administration will follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, I often wonder who he talks to about his faith?

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Postby jayjaciv on Thu Jul 10, 2008 6:02 pm

I know we don't like to read here, but come on. From, well, myself:
McCain, meanwhile, appears to be courting the more conservative factions of the Republican party; this is a move which many believe to be a mistake.

Politics 101 does indeed dictate a move to the center during the course of a general election, which is why it is rather shocking to see McCain make this move to the right.
...I'm actually getting sick of repeating that.
McCain move right. Move right be dumb. Me no understand why McCain move right. Me baffled by McCain. You Jane.

As for giving corporations tax breaks, well, I think they ought to deserve them. Like, give a corporation a tax break if they open more factories in America instead of China, or give a corporation a tax break if they invest in the community in which they are housed. I like laissez faire economics, as unrealistic as it is, and I'd like to see more of a free-market with tax breaks used as encouragement to help Americans. If I have to pay 10 cents more for my Happy Meal, so be it. Maybe the corporations could use the money they're spending on lobbyists to help offset the tax expenditures?

I personally don't think McCain will appeal as well to independent voters as Obama will. I say this as a staunch independent (/libertarian if you want to put a label on it). McCain's voting record is indeed independent, but I just haven't seen him do anything this election cycle that appeals to either my social liberalism or my fiscal conservatism. Obama's liberal voting record does give me pause, but he has shown a willingness to get things done, especially recently. I laugh every time I see a conservative try to get mad at Obama for supporting the same faith-based initiatives the right has championed for years now.

Despite the ever-present mocking of Obama supporters as delusional, zombie-like Obamamaniacs, I've got to say I haven't met a single one who doesn't have a carefully thought-out reason for supporting him. But you could be right; there might be an army of twits with "Change" signs running around. Maybe I just don't know many dumb people. I really only know young people. But my personal anecdotal evidence leads me to believe that Obama supporters are, in general, very thoughtful people.
Edit: Not to say McCain supporters are not thoughtful. I just don't know anybody who likes him.
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Postby Dr. Jason Stockton on Thu Jul 10, 2008 7:06 pm

jayjaciv wrote:If you really want to believe that the majority of large corporations are not in favor of a Republican administration (and will back up that desire with money), then that's fine. It's a free country. Clearly this is a sore topic for some.

I thought McCarthyism went out of style in the 60s. Your leaps of "logic" are really fun to read. I don't think many rational, educated people want the government as it is to control things like pharmaceuticals, myself included. But again, the pharm companies all have the same interests to protect and the Republicans have gone to bat for those interests again and again. I'm not even saying that's a bad thing. The Dems have gone to bat for big corporations as well, as I'm sure someone will want to say as soon as they read this. It just looks to me like the Republicans historically have given big corps bigger tax breaks, more often.


I don't know if you are referring to my leaps of logic or those of someone else. . .but with respect to Big Pharma, I think you are missing the boat here. Yes, historically Republicans fight for tax breaks - which I think is good most of the time. This is not about taxes. They aren't lobbying congress and other politicians to get tax breaks. They lobby politicians so that "we the people" are forced to use their products, so that we are not given access to those products from less expensive channels, and essentially they guarantee their success by lobbying politicians. It's not R or D with Big Pharma. . .it's all of the above. We are being poisoned every day by their policies and Big Pharma makes money hand over fist. It has NOTHING to do with tax breaks.

I don't want more government involvement with respect to drug companies. I want less lobbying and fewer special interest dealings.

And big corporations don't pay taxes, people do. And by people I mean consumers, that is "you" and "me".


And with all due respect. All corporations pay taxes. Yes, the public picks a lot of those up. . .but with small businesses, we pay taxes that the public does not. Does that mean I charge more for services and you end up picking up the bill? Maybe. But until you pay city and county B&O taxes, sales taxes, payroll taxes, "use" taxes (yes, I said "use" taxes). . .it's pretty safe for me to say that corporations pay taxes that "you" do not.
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Postby jayjaciv on Thu Jul 10, 2008 8:00 pm

I was referring to whomever I was quoting in that section, Dr Stockton...I can't remember who it was, but it was not you.
You clearly know more about the pharmaceutical industry as a whole than I do so I will defer to your opinion on that...I simply tend to reference pharma as a representative of big corporations as a whole, just because I hear so much about how much money they spend on advertising and lobbying vs. actual R&D.
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Postby StrykerFSU on Thu Jul 10, 2008 8:48 pm

Doc,
Not to distract from Obama's newfound moderate beliefs but I need to ask something for clarification...

Whatever industry or business you are in you have costs and income right (unless you are not charging for a service)? A tax fits into the cost side of the ledger and you use income to pay for cost so if the government imposes a new tax on a company, say they want 5% of the profit from the widget market, the producer of widgets can either eat that 5% and cut into their own profit margin or they can pass that 5% on to the consumers of widgets...am I wrong?

I'm not trying to be a smartass, just trying to clarify what I meant.
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Postby FLALAX on Thu Jul 10, 2008 9:22 pm

The broad statements that are being made in regards to Drug research and development do not hold true. It is a convenient catch phrase to talk about "cheaper drugs" and big pharma's push to keep cost high for profit.

The cost of developing life saving drugs has risen with the intense demands that clinical trials and testing now bring.

At the end of 2006 the COB published this study looking at R&D as a whole, cost, time to market, etc. Read it here http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/76xx/doc7615 ... rugR-D.pdf

US pharmaceutical companies account for 80% of new drug patents globally. These patents include the majority of ground breaking drugs used for cancer, HIV and other diseases. Asia and Europe subsidize and over regulate these industries. With a competitive market and consumer driven demand, "big pharma" wants to bring the most effective drugs to market fast.

A great example of this is in the company Genentech. Their drug Avastin is one of the most expensive cancer drugs but it adds months on to the lives of terminally ill patients. It is also being used to treat once thought terminal instances of breast cancer. They put billions into its development and should reap a financial reward for their work. Granted their drug may not be available to all but it would have never been availalbe given a govt or over regulated system.

Just because some politicians say something does mean it is so. Take a look at the market and the facts on the ground. Granted , you watch TV you would think everyone was taking Cialis or Viagra, but my point holds true that R&D are a direct by product of profit. Keep the profit.
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Postby Zeuslax on Fri Jul 11, 2008 8:33 am

I encourage all of you to read the book, "The Truth about Drug Companies, How They Deceive Us and What To Do About It". It's a great book for a book club full of pharmacists and doctors.

The broad statements that are being made in regards to Drug research and development do not hold true. It is a convenient catch phrase to talk about "cheaper drugs" and big pharma's push to keep cost high for profit.

The cost of developing life saving drugs has risen with the intense demands that clinical trials and testing now bring.

At the end of 2006 the COB published this study looking at R&D as a whole, cost, time to market, etc. Read it here http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/76xx/doc7615 ... rugR-D.pdf


This process is also outlined in the book.
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Postby FLALAX on Fri Jul 11, 2008 8:46 am

Many have called Dr. Marcia Angell's positions on the US health care system, drug companies and her critics of alternative medicine as extremist.

"A Prescription for Injustice Big Pharma and the Rest of Us" was her pulpit since she was removed from her editorial job at the NEJM. She now is a socialist at Harvard, who religiously defends the Canadian and Socialist medical programs of Europe.

Perception trumps reason once again.
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Postby Sonny on Fri Jul 11, 2008 8:59 am

Dr. Jason Stockton wrote: And with all due respect. All corporations pay taxes. Yes, the public picks a lot of those up. . .but with small businesses, we pay taxes that the public does not. Does that mean I charge more for services and you end up picking up the bill? Maybe. But until you pay city and county B&O taxes, sales taxes, payroll taxes, "use" taxes (yes, I said "use" taxes). . .it's pretty safe for me to say that corporations pay taxes that "you" do not.


If you, as a small business owner, don't pass along those taxes to the end user consumer - you aren't a smart business person and won't be in business for very long. One more dollar in extra taxes is one less dollar you can pay an employee or reinvest in your business. One more dollar in additional taxes is one less dollar you can use to hire an extra employee or add an extra shift.

Business don't pay any taxes. Individuals pay those taxes. All these taxes roll down hill as it is a cost of doing business.... And when BO and others from the left scream about raising corporate taxes, they are really pandering to a stupid electorate who don't know the difference.
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