Big Government obstructs a persons “Right to Try” [to stay alive]

If a ship was sinking, you would want the right to cling to anything that might save your life, even if not officially sanctioned by the government. If lifeboats were available but not Federally approved due to the possibility of leaking, should a person not be allowed access to that chance? Leftist government says no.

Opponents of the approach call it an ill-advised effort that circumvents federal law, undermines the drug development process and threatens to harm more people than it helps by providing access to medications that haven’t been proven safe and effective.

“The notion is based on the ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ — the idea that you have to get around the indifferent and cruel government to get access to drugs,” said Arthur Caplan, director of the bioethics division at New York University Langone Medical Center, referring to the Oscar-winning movie based on an AIDS patient who smuggled unapproved drugs into Texas during the 1980s.

The truth is that the system desperately needs reform.

For decades now the Food and Drug Administration has maintained an onerous and slow approval process that delays the debut of new drugs for fatal diseases, sometimes for years longer than the life span of the patients desperate to try them. Attorneys and scholars at the Goldwater Institute of Arizona have crafted legislation for the states that would allow terminally ill patients to try experimental drugs for cancer or degenerative neurological diseases earlier. These “Right to Try” bills are so scripted that they overcome the usual objection to delivery of such experimental drugs: safety. Under “Right to Try,” only drugs that have passed the crucial Phase 1 of FDA testing could be prescribed, thereby reducing the possibility of Thalidomide repeat. Second, only patients determined to have terminal cases would be eligible to purchase the drugs, making it harder to maintain that the drug will jeopardize their lives. Representatives in Colorado, Louisiana, and Missouri approved the “Right to Try” measure unanimously. Citizens of Arizona will vote on the effort to circumvent the FDA process this fall.

In cases of terminal illness, there is just no argument to ban access to potentially life saving medicine. This is not a case of the government protecting people from wasting time and money in unfounded “rhino horn” style scam cures. These are people trying to improve their terminal conditions with medicine that has been tested but continues to be tested for FDA approval, and in some cases approved in other countries.

Regulators and others in the pharmaceutical industry say sidestepping the later stages of testing exposes patients to unknown hazards. The first stage, usually involving only a few dozen subjects, is designed to learn whether a compound is safe for consumption. The laws would give patients medicines before rigorous second- and third-phase trials have established their safety and efficacy compared with placebos. Those later-stage studies help scientists determine proper dosages and understand how a drug affects sick patients who may be taking other medications. “These products have serious risks, and maybe even more concerning, we don’t even know what the risks are,” says Coleen Klasmeier, a former attorney for the FDA who represents drug companies at Sidley Austin. “You can’t just say, ‘Sure, take it. It might kill you, but vaya con Dios.’ ”

The new laws can’t compel pharmaceutical companies to make their newest drugs available before they’ve been vetted. It takes about 10 years and $1 billion to win FDA approval for a compound, and only 16 percent of treatments that begin clinical trials ultimately hit the market. Giving an experimental drug to terminally ill patients could tarnish the safety profile of a new drug out of the gate. “We have serious concerns with any approach to make investigational medicines available that seeks to bypass the oversight of the Food and Drug Administration and clinical trial process,” Sascha Haverfield, vice president for scientific and regulatory affairs at the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, wrote in an e-mail.

Everyone deserves the right to try

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Hillary ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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Sheldon Adelson is not a conservative. Not even close

When you think of “big-money Republican donors”, Sheldon Adelson is always at the top of the list.

The Las Vegas billionaire has a compelling story, growing up from nothing as the son of poor Jewish immigrant parents, to buying The Sands and building the Venetian — one of the most opulent casinos on the Strip. He’s worth $34 billion, with a “B”, entering rarefied air occupied by names like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates.

Adelson is consistently vilified by the Left for his unwavering support of Republican candidates in recent years — most notably, propping up New Gingrich’s failing 2012 campaign to the tune of $15 million. He’s spoken of in the same negative terms as the Koch Brothers, who are incidentally not conservatives either, but that’s another story for another day.

Here’s what surprises most — Adelson isn’t a conservative by any stretch of the imagination. He’s famously said:

I didn’t leave the Democrats, the Democrats left me.

His main issue with the current Democratic Party are Israel and free enterprise. Adelson is a staunch supporter of Israel and distributes, for free, the most popular newspaper in the country. He’s even rumored to have such influence that he has Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lobbying Japan on his behalf to grant a first-of-its-kind gaming license in the country.

He’s also called for lowering taxes, relaxations of regulations, and a decrease in the power afforded to unions.

But that’s where Adelson’s conservative bona-fides hit a screeching halt.

Adelson also claimed that he was “basically a social liberal,” and that his views differed sharply from the Republican Party on a number of issues.

His social liberal views?

Abortion:

“I’m pro choice,” he pointed out. “You can take your own religious beliefs …and live your life with your own beliefs. But to make it a portion of the government’s policies?” Adelson also maintained “Abortion shouldn’t be brought up as a political issue,” he said.

Embyronic stem-cell research:

“Number one, I’m supporting stem-cell research.” As exemplified by the new Adelson medical research foundation that is funding some stem-cell based science.”

Immigration:

“I’m pro-Dream Act, I’m pro the Dream Act. My parents were immigrants to this country,” he said. “What are we going to do? Listen, I’m sure a lot of my parents generation ….. snuck onto the ship and they came into the country.”

“It would be inhumane to send those people back , to send 12 million people out of this country to disrupt a whole potpourri of family issues” over what happens to the children.

“I mean it’s all ridiculous. So we’ve got to find a way, find a route for those people to get legal citizenship,” he said.”

Healthcare:

“If one goes to Israel, he said, one chooses among four or five HMO’s. “You go in there you get all your health care from cradle to grave.”

“When I learned about that [Israeli] system, to my own surprise I said, ‘Oh, I’m in favor of socialized medicine’– which is such a bad word here,” he said.”

Adelson’s support for these policies is not a surprise because he’s not a conservative — he’s at best an New-Deal-era Democrat. That includes his pro-Israel stance as well as the fact that Democrats during the New Deal were in favor of some regulation, but certainly not public sector unions, near-50% income taxes, or the onerous regulations current Democrats support.

Keep all this in mind as many 2016 hopefuls, from Rand Paul, to Ted Cruz, to Scott Walker, to Bobby Jindal, to Bob McDonnell, to Chris Christie, to Jeb Bush, to John Kasich, to Mike Huckabee, have all touched down on the Vegas sands to kiss Adelson’s ring in what former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer calls, “The Sheldon Adelson Primary”.

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Valerie Jarrett Confronted Over Unequal Pay for Women in White House

“Good morning, Valerie,” Fiorina said, speaking to Jarrett on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. “I think, certainly, every woman on this panel and every woman across the nation agrees that equal pay for equal work is absolutely required. I also think it’s just a fact that laws exist on the books today, and if a woman is being discriminated against because of her gender, she should use the full extent of that law. I am struck by the fact the president hasn’t really led in this regard. He’s not paying women equally by his own measures in his own White House. And I am also struck by the fact that the single greatest impediment to equal pay for equal work is this seniority system, which pays not on merit, not on performance, but on time and grade. And who is it who supports the seniority system? Unions, government bureaucracies, the vast majority of constituencies that the Democratic party represents and who support the Democratic party. So why wouldn’t the White House take on the seniority system and say let’s pay women by merit and by their results? Because based on my own experience, in those scenarios, women will be paid equally.”

h/t Weekly Standard

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The American Comeback

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GOP Wins Big…

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Left rips Savage for blowing the lid off media exploitation of soldiers with PTSD?

Michael Savage has been ripped savagely for his comments about soldiers with PTSD in response to a caller on his national radio show.

Mediaite in particular leaps on the headline:

Michael Savage Rants Against Military PTSD Sufferers: ‘No Wonder ISIS Can Defeat’ Us’

It’s like a competition to see how many emotionally-charged words can be packed into one steaming oatmeal of clickbaity goodness.

But there’s nothing materially wrong about what he says.

This is not an “attack” on our honorable Armed Forces.

This is an attack on the weakness and hand-holding that permeates every aspect of American life these days.

And before everyone goes “but I served 73 tours in Desert Maelstrom, not Desert Storm, this was even worse, I have PTSDEFGHIJK”—let’s go line by line:

I am so sick and tired of everyone with their complaints about PTSD, depression. Everyone wants their hand held, and a government check. What are you, the only generation that had PTSD? The only generation that’s depressed? I’m sick of it. I can’t take the celebration of weakness and depression.

George Carlin once did a bit on how “shell shock” in WWI became “battle fatigue” in WWII became “operational exhaustion” in Korea became the “post-traumatic stress disorder” that we all know today during Vietnam.

The horrors witnessed throughout those conflicts, especially in the World Wars, never changed. If anything, they decreased over time, and have since. It’s a fact of war that there will be apocalyptic scenes of carnage that will psychologically wreck the mind.

See, I was raised a little differently. I was raised to fight weakness. I was raised to fight pain. I was raised to fight depression. Not to give into it. Not to cave into it and cry like a little baby in bed. “Boo-hoo-hoo. Boo-hoo-hoo.” Everyone has depression in their life. Everyone has sickness and sadness and disease. And loss of relatives. And loss of career. Everyone has depression in their life. But if the whole nation is told, “boo-hoo-hoo, come and get a medication, come and get treatment, talk about mental illness.” You know what you wind up with? You wind up with Obama in the White House and liars in every phase of the government. That’s what you wind up with. It’s a weak, sick, nation. A weak, sick, broken nation. And you need men like me to save the country. You need men to stand up and say stop crying like a baby over everything.

This is patently obvious. Depression is a fact of life in the same way that trauma is a fact of war. Trauma is also a fact of life. The only thing that perpetuates trauma is to either A) continue it or B) stop fighting it, which results in A).

Stand up already. Stop telling me how sick you are and sad you are. Talk about the good things in your life.
When have you last heard that? Oh, everyone’s holding their hand. “Oh, welcome to Good Morning America, sir. You almost committed suicide, how interesting. Please tell us your story.” Maybe a young child who’s on the edge can commit suicide.

Dennis Prager has discussed the perpetuation of happy and upbeat songs and entertainment during difficult times in our country’s past, especially during World Wars and the Great Depression. Contrast that to grunge music in the early 90s and emo music in the early 2000s—depressing, dark music that moaned about the worst of life instead of celebrating the best. We obsess over how sick and sad we are and then wonder why we’re so sick and sad. Heroic soldiers are not a media story and are forgotten by most of the media, Jake Tapper being an exception to the rule. But soldiers with PTSD and depression and after-effects from voluntary service? Come sit on the couch and tell us about your suffering!

What a country. No wonder we’re being laughed at around the world. No wonder ISIS can defeat our military. Take a look at that.

Let’s face it, folks. When America stops projecting strength, America ceases to be strong, respected, loved, or feared. Our allies love us not for being nice guys, or because we share our feelings, but because we protect them. Russia, China, and various Islamic groups are baffled that we can be so externally strong but internally weak. They understand force, whether military or economic. The “well, let’s just sit down and have a chat with them” doesn’t work unless said chat discusses just how precisely we can and will eliminate their armed forces if they cross the line. Even the most hardcore diplomacy-advocates admit that coming to the table with empty words or consistent concessions or being perceived as weak do you no favors.

Take a look at that, why people aren’t even getting married anymore to have children. They don’t even have the guts to raise a child. The men are so weak, and so narcissistic, all they want to do is have fun. Bunch of losers. Just go have a brewski and look at the 49ers, you idiot, you. They won’t even get married, won’t have a child, it takes too much of a man to do that. What a country. You’re not a man, you’re a dog. A dog raises babies better than most American men do.

The crisis in confidence among American men is historically unprecedented. Men in their 30s, 40s, and even 50s have not made the full leap towards adulthood. Kids from different mothers, video game obsession, this generation of American men would consider a man in his mid-20s from the 1950s or 1960s to be a grandfather these days. What started as “mid-life crisis” has turned into “life”.

So what’s controversial about this? Because Savage used words that can congeal into shocking headlines when re-arranged?

What’s controversial is that Savage called for responsibility. Every time a public figure in one way or another mentions the “R” word, from Bill Cosby talking about inner-city youth to Bill Maher talking about moderate Muslims, there’s a stunning blitzkrieg of opposition. They attack the character of the speaker (Maher is a privileged white man!) the speaker’s background (Limbaugh abused prescription pills!) while claiming in no uncertain terms that everyone’s flawed therefore we should just pack up and go home.

That’s true. Everyone’s flawed and at one point or another, everyone’s not met the challenge of responsibility, whether it’s a heroic soldier who was lazy at his summer job in high school or a grandmother who You’re not going to find a speaker who isn’t flawed, but that doesn’t make the argument any less valid. In fact, it makes it even more valid because these are people speaking from experience. Prager (again) frequently states that you’ll find more wisdom in an AA meeting than you will in any major university.

For every story like this, you won’t hear the story of the soldier who overcame PTSD or is struggling through it and might be losing the fight but winning the war but is keeping their chin up and spirits high. That doesn’t make news. Words like “PTSD” and “trauma” and “suicide”—those make headlines.

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Romney’s sound suggestion for President Obama

Since the election, Mitt Romney has stayed mostly silent.

And outside of a few sightings on planes and in restaurants, he’s stayed mostly invisible as well.

As a losing opponent, one is in an unusual position.

It must be extraordinarily tempting to say “well, I wouldn’t have done that” or “See? Look at the bad choice my opponent made”.

Mitt Romney isn’t like that–it’s just not his personality.

He’s gracious.

 

It was difficult to get him to speak anything non-positive or neutral about his opponent during the campaign itself, so you definitely can’t expect any commentary like that after the fact.

But at a recent fundraiser for Terri Lynn Land, running for Senate against Rep. Gary Peters in Michigan, Romney finally made some comments about President Obama–and that the President has one thing to do.

It’s time for him to apologize to America.

It’s a fascinating statement.

Romney doesn’t even directly criticize the President, he just states, very plainly, that President Obama should apologize.

Let’s be honest–we were sold a false bill of goods in 2008 and 2012. Republicans, independents, and Democrats alike–the American people expected something very different when they elected President Obama.

Since just the 2012 election, things have been disastrous. It seems like every week there’s something new, from ebola entering the US because travel restrictions from West Africa were never put in place, to the IRS targeting conservative groups and donors, to the rise of ISIS and sending troops back into Iraq. Every campaign promise has been broken, every assurance has been taken back, and the President can’t even properly staff an agency whose sole purpose is to protect him.

We could have had real leadership.

Instead we have a laundry list of problems and nobody standing up to fix them.

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Bush’s surprising post-presidency comments

Compared to most former presidents, George W. Bush has been relatively quiet.

Clinton is addicted to the spotlight, we can’t get Carter to shut up, and at least we hear from Bush’s dad once per year when he goes skydiving.

But when it comes to commenting on his successor, Bush has taken the high road, choosing to remain silent and let President Obama do his job.

Teddy Roosevelt of course did the opposite, choosing to run third-party against his chosen successor, Taft.

So when former President Bush does speak, it behooves us to listen.

At a golfing tournament for wounded warriors, Bush had the following to say:

As he has in the past, Bush refused to “second guess” President Obama’s decisions, but noted that he was in favor of leaving behind a residual force of about 10,000-15,000 U.S. troops in Iraq.

“The president has to make the choices he thinks are important. I’m not going to second guess our president. I understand how tough the job is. To have a former president bloviating and second-guessing is, I don’t think, good for the presidency or the country.”

Whether or not you agree with President Bush’s decision to not comment, it’s an honorable and principled one. When you’re an ex-President, especially a controversial one, it can pollute the public debate to hear about “well, I wouldn’t have done this” or “I can’t believe he’s doing that”. You have to let the current president live and function in their own vacuum.

When asked about his brother, Jeb Bush running, President Bush only said:

“Yes, I think he wants to be president,” the elder Bush brother said. “I think he’d be a great president. He understands what it’s like to be president — for not only the person running or serving, plus family. He’s seen his dad. He’s seen his brother. And so he’s a very thoughtful man and he’s weighing his options.”

Now, everyone is parsing those words (why did he say “want to be” rather than “want to run”?) but I mean, hell, what else could Bush say when presented with a question like this? Jeb Bush has made his ambitions clear in the past, so instead of adding news fodder, he carefully chose to simply echo that.

It was saddening to see the following, however:

Bush said recently that he used to speak with his predecessor, Bill Clinton, regularly while in office.

But he said he has not heard from President Obama except when the president called with the news that Usama bin Laden had been killed.

“He has not [called] on a regular basis, which is OK. It doesn’t hurt my feelings. It’s a decision he has made. Presidents tend to rely on the people they’re close to … and I understand that,” said Bush.

If you’re President, and your predecessor has a great deal of experience dealing with a problem, why would that not be your first phone call unless you were making it a point of pride to not talk with them?

this is how it’s done

When you look at the presidency, you’re among a rarefied group of around 3-5 living individuals who acutely understand the situation you’re dealing with, from being aware of the demands of office, to the chain of command, to the intelligence, to the knowledge of the threats that face America. Current and former CIA directors, cabinet members, Vice-Presidents, and others are knowledgeable, but not as knowledgeable of the situation as former presidents are.

So to make the choice to not engage or even pick the brain of those individuals, to not put aside any personal or political animosity for the good of the country, is telling.

Personally, I have a great deal of respect for President Obama as a man, obviously not for his decisions, but because anyone who chooses to deal with the demand of the job of President day in and day out, represent our country on a world stage, and speak up about the problems that face our country always deserves respect. But when I see decisions like this made for no discernible reason other than “I don’t like him because he’s the guy who came in before me”, I lose some of that respect.

one person here is clearly uncomfortable

President Obama should be using his second term to put aside any personal animosities and do what’s best for the country. He doesn’t have to worry about getting elected anymore and he has no obligation to get anyone else elected. In the years since President Bush’s difficult second term we’ve learned of the diplomacy, the charity work in Africa, the stock market stabilization, and dealing with a declining situation in Iraq.

When we look back on President Obama’s second term, what will his legacy be? Instead of looking to get courthouses and elementary schools named after him, he should be looking for sustainable solutions to the problems that face us: immigration, diplomacy, terrorism, technology. I may eat crow a decade in the future about this. But I don’t see any evidence of lasting solutions on our major issues, and I see stumbling from day to day problems, learning about them from the news instead of intelligence advisers, and meager success only from sheer, dumb luck.

what happens when you can’t blame him anymore?

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Fired Secret Service head was more delusional than you think

The former head of the Secret Service, Julia Pierson, has overseen an agency whose performance can be generously categorized as “wildly incompetent”.

Two enormous security breaches, from allowing President Obama to ride an elevator with an armed ex-felon to a deranged man penetrating the White House, have raised serious questions about the efficacy of the Secret Service to handle threats against the President.

Pierson was Chief of Staff to the prior head of the Secret Service, “who oversaw the prostitution scandal in Colombia and the 2011 fiasco in which the agency covered up the fact that shots were fired at the White House”. So we’re not exactly dealing with an outsider who either didn’t know the agency or who was unaware of prior incompetence.

In the spring, Pierson was irate at what she considered the excessive security measures her team had planned for the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, which Obama hosted this summer, demanding that it dismantle extra layers of fencing and reopen closed streets, according to two agency supervisors. Supervisors who had mapped out the security plan said they were taken aback when Pierson, who worked during high school at Walt Disney World as a costumed character and park attendant, said: “We need to be more like Disney World. We need to be more friendly, inviting.”…

This is the Secret Service. Not a bunch of mall cops. Embarrassingly, Pierson wanted this culture to prevail at the Secret Service who has one job and one job only: protect the life of the President of the United States, no matter the cost.

[T]his week, Pierson personally ordered that a downtown Washington street be left open near a hotel where Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was staying. Secret Service teams have insisted on the closure for years because Netanyahu is considered one of the most sought-after international targets. But the director agreed to changes because of D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s concern that the street’s closure during an earlier visit caused severe gridlock, said a spokesman for Gray (D).

As AllahPundit at HotAir notes:

Imagine if jihadis had sprung a trap on Bibi Netanyahu in downtown D.C. made possible by the fact that Pierson had told underlings she wanted the agency to be more “inviting.” WaPo doesn’t say so, but I wonder if that’s also why the alarm boxes inside the White House, which reportedly annoyed the ushers there, were muted. Come to think of it, I wonder if that’s why agents opted not to fire at Gonzalez while he was barreling towards and ultimately through the White House.

This isn’t a Sum of All Fears situation either. These are tiny pinholes–a street opening, muted alarms–which would be brought up in an emergency Congressional hearing in the wake of, God forbid, a dead foreign leader or president.

The Secret Service is one of the government agencies that should always, always be above politics.

They have a single job.

They must not waver from that job.

If we’re going to be stupid and make them a political agency, then taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay for them. Let PACs and campaign fundraising operations pay for private contractors to protect their candidates in office.

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