PHARMA CARES. You may have had your daily Law & Order time interrupted recently by ads congratulating legislators who voted for the Medicare Prescription Drug bill, and blasting those who didn't. The ads were paid for by the Chamber of Commerce -- only they weren't. It turns out the pharmaceutical industry -- the main beneficiary of Medicare�s expansion -- have actually been footing the bill, while the CofC attaches its name to the closing credits. And this isn't the first time Pharma has funded ads supporting their agenda but lacking their byline: Back in May 2002, the United Seniors Association stepped forward with a $10-million blitz praising the new Medicare bill.
NOW THERE'S AN '08 PRIMARY ISSUE. It's a rare thing when a national issue manifests itself in its most extreme form in presidential primary states, but that appears to be exactly what's happened with America's growing student debt problem, according to a new report (PDF) by The Project on Student Debt. Students who attended colleges in Iowa and New Hampshire graduated in 2005 with the highest debt burdens in America, an average of $22,727 and $22,793 respectively. That made New Hampshire's recent college grads the most indebted in America, with those from Iowa following a close second.
MCCAINIACS. On behalf of the rest of American journalism, I'd like to apologize for this. The profession lost its mind in 2000, with very unfortunate consequences. There was the War on Gore, which I witnessed first-hand when the vice president got heckled and booed by some of the people watching him on TV in the press room at the Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner in Iowa. (Oh, yes, you did, kids, just the way you did in Hanover later on.) I remember telling a veteran reporter who was as agog as I was that this was the kind of behavior that literally would get you ejected from any press box in any American stadium. Then there was the ongoing novelization of that trust-fund cowboy, George W.
The NYT applies a large does of whitewash in its discussion of President Clinton�s current efforts to promote the treatment of AIDS in developing country. While the article notes in passing that Clinton �conceded that his administration fought too long to protect the patent rights of pharmaceutical companies against countries trying to make or import cheaper AIDS medicines,� this lone sentence hardly does justice to Clinton�s work on behalf of the pharmaceutical industry during his tenure in the White House.
ALWAYS LOW SALARIES, ALWAYS.Jonah Goldberg accuses me of ducking his criticisms -- which would be true, only I, uh, didn't see his criticisms. Amazingly, I don't actually read the Corner on Saturdays, and was only responding to those, like Glenn Reynolds, who answered me during the week.
DEBUNKING THE SOUTHERN MYTH. If I may add a footnote to Charles� post below, I am particularly sensitive to the pervasive �conventional wisdoms� about Democrats and the South. One of the most annoying of these analyses -- so common that I wonder if it�s one of those cut-and-paste paragraphs journalist pre-write and insert into their stories about the South -- closed the very piece Charles links to:
SINKING FAST. A new Rasmussen poll shows Ken Blackwell trailing Ted Strickland by a whopping 25 points in the Ohio gubernatorial race While I typically spend more time handicapping Armageddon than elections, it�s hard to see how even Blackwell could come up with voting rules draconian enough to keep more than 25 percent of the electorate from voting. While the gap may be explained by Republicans falling out of favor nationally and in particular in Ohio, one might also read into these poll results a growing disgust with the self-righteous political proselytizing of Blackwell and his friends on the theocratic right.