Filed under: Bureaucracy, Democrat Corruption, Domestic Policy, Health Care, Law, Regulation, The United States | Tags: Harry Reid's Mistake, The Zika Virus, Turf War in Federal Agencies
Most of the news about the Zika Virus is bad. Babies are born with malformed brains, adults who suffer the progressive paralysis of Guillaine-Barré syndrome, Americans diagnosed after travel to the topics, active transmission of the disease in U.S. territories, but primarily because of regulatory requirements no vaccine is likely to become available before the end of the decade.
The FDA is “blocking real progress on a vital tool to control the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that carry and transmit Zika and the viruses that cause dengue fever, chikungunya and yellow fever.”
Using genetic engineering techniques, the British company Oxitec (a subsidiary of American-owned Intrexon) has created male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes with a specific mutation that causes them to need a certain chemical (the antibiotic tetracycline) to survive. Without it, they die—and their offspring die before reaching maturity. Releasing the males over several months causes a marked reduction in the mosquito population. Because male mosquitoes don’t bite, they present no health risk, and, because their progeny die, no genetically engineered mosquitoes persist in the environment.
Turf battle: the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, which has the authority and expertise to oversee genetically engineered insects vs. the USDA (budgetary concerns and anti-genetic engineering among senior USDA people) who sent it over to the FDA which is unqualified to review the mosquito and unwilling to move it along. If all this sounds nuts, it is.
Brain damage in Zika babies is far worse than doctors expected. The virus attacks lobes of the fetal brain that control thought, vision and movement.
The Senate voted to approve a $1.1 billion bill to fight Zika by a 52 to 48 margin, with funds to go to help develop a vaccine. (Not enough to get the bill to the floor). It was slightly less than what Obama requested, but his budget request earmarked over half a billion for Zika programs in other countries and shortchanged public health here at home. (ObamaCare has a 2 billion slush fund for public health).
Harry Reid called the bill “nothing more than a goodie bag for the fringes of the Republican Party” and said they had no choice but to block it. Their real complaint was that Planned Parenthood wouldn’t be able to get a portion of the funds directed to public health departments and hospitals that are reimbursed by public health. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) claimed that the Republican bill “limits access to birth control services needed to help curb the spread of the virus and prevent terrible birth defects.”
The Democrat’s idea was that the mainstream press would blame the GOP for the bill’s demise, but even the liberal media wouldn’t buy this mess of pottage. The headlines for CNN, NBC, CBS and even the NY Times were uniformly something in the line of “Senate Democrats block Zika funding.”
Scientists are getting closer to understanding how Zika causes Microcephaly, but they’re not there yet. The Senate’s stupid move makes it impossible for Congress to send legislation to the president before July 4. This means the bill is dead, and a new bill will have to be written and submitted. Both chambers are back in session for just one week before leaving for summer vacation July 15 and not returning till after Sept 5.
Filed under: Europe, European Union, Free Markets, Freedom, History, Military, Politics, United Kingdom | Tags: 1769-1821, Napolean Bonaparte, The End of the French Revolution
Filed under: Bureaucracy, Capitalism, Economics, Europe, European Union, Free Markets, Freedom, Politics, Regulation, United Kingdom | Tags: Brexit and its Aftermath, Europeans, The case of Switzerland
Britain’s stock market had erased all of its BREXIT panic losses, fueled by as surge in energy and financial shares. It had slumped 8.7% after the vote to leave the EU. May be more ups and downs as investors absorb the uncertainty about how it will all turn out. Markets don’t like uncertainty.
The President of the E.U. Parliament, Martin Schultz, got all huffy. “The British have violated the rules. It is not the #EU philosophy that the crowd can decide it’s fate.”
Europeans have never understood and never liked Democracy. They have been ruled by Kings and Queens and Dictators and the Church— and allowing the people to decide is mostly unthinkable. I have particularly liked Matt Ridley’s suggestion that when the individual is free to think and create and experiment, you get ideas having sex. Ideas build on other ideas. A new picture, someone else’s new idea may spark something completely different. “Having sex” is as good a way to describe it as any. What kills creation is regulation. The more stoppers a government erects, the less innovation.
Did you wonder why we never seemed to recover from the 2008 recession? The growth of government and the proliferation of regulation, especially on small business, which is where much innovation is hatched.
Few other countries have ever had the free markets and free people that have traditionally been found in America. And then there is Switzerland. (click to enlarge)
Filed under: Bureaucracy, Capitalism, Domestic Policy, Economics, Economy, History, Humor, Regulation | Tags: A Little History, BREXIT, Henry VIII
Filed under: Bureaucracy, Capitalism, Economy, European Union, Regulation, Taxes | Tags: No Self-Awareness, The British Exit, The EU Hissy Fit
Filed under: Bureaucracy, Domestic Policy, Environment, Global Warming, Heartwarming, History, Humor, Junk Science | Tags: Al Gore Cllimate Scientist, Climate Loons, US Fish and Wildlife
(From Mark J. Perry at AEI)