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Wicked Blue

Wicked Blue's Journal
Wicked Blue's Journal
July 25, 2024

Joe Biden, quintessential patriot

How many people would willingly relinquish the authority and prestige of being leader of the most powerful nation in the world?

How many would set aside a lifelong career of public service culminating in the highest office in our land, for the sake of preserving our imperiled democracy?

Consider the grace and humility with which President Joe Biden told America tonight that he chose to end his reelection campaign and pass the torch to his vice-president, Kamala Harris.

Contrast the way his predecessor left office: screaming, throwing tantrums, claiming he was cheated, insisting against all evidence that victory was stolen from him. Consider that he and his legal advisors tried everything they could think of, first to try and win the election by behind-the-scenes skulduggery, then brazenly to declare himself the winner, and finally to attempt to overturn certification of the results.

In doing so, he urged his supporters to unheard-of violence, storming the U.S. Capitol, threatening the lives of not only his own vice-president, but members of Congress. Before it was finally stopped, the insurrection damaged the Capitol building and its offices, sowing terror into those who watched it unfold in the media.

A key to the democracy which our Founders established is the peaceful transfer of power from the nation's elected leader to their elected successor. This means no battles, no executions, no setting up of alternative governments. Our presidents are not monarchs.

Would Donald Trump willingly have stepped down from office prior to the end of his term if told the future of America was at stake? Unthinkable! This utterly selfish man-child would cling to office screeching all the way and hiring dozens of lawyers to employ every loophole imaginable. He cares nothing for democracy, nothing for the ideals for which America was created.

By contrast, President Joe Biden's unprecedented decision to cancel his campaign for a second term stands as the epitome of America's ideals.

By giving up for a higher cause, he rises to the title of exemplary patriot and quintessential hero.

July 24, 2024

House lawmakers slam pharmacy middlemen over sky-high drug prices

Source: NBC

WASHINGTON — Democratic and Republican lawmakers found common ground with one another at an oversight committee hearing Tuesday, blaming executives from three major pharmacy middlemen groups for the sky-high prescription drug prices in the U.S.

The House Committee on Oversight and Accountability heard testimony from the leaders of three pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs, one month after the Federal Trade Commission released a scathing report that accused the groups of racking up massive profits by steering patients and employers toward higher-priced drugs.

Prescription drug prices in the U.S. are a major concern for many people.

A report from KFF, a nonprofit group that researches health policy issues, found about one-third of people say they are unable to take the medication they need because of the high cost.

Read more: https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/house-lawmakers-slam-pharmacy-middlemen-sky-high-drug-prices-rcna163180

July 23, 2024

Fish falling from sky shatters N.J. car's windshield

By Brianna Kudisch | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
Jul. 23, 2024, 12:47 p.m.

A Monmouth County couple received a fishy surprise Sunday afternoon, when something fell out of the sky and shattered the windshield of the car in their driveway.

Cynthia Levine was inside the house and her husband, Jeffrey, was in the backyard of their Atlantic Highlands home when they heard a loud smashing sound around 3:30 p.m., said Sage Levine, their daughter.

The car alarm on the couple’s Tesla began sounding.

Jeffrey Levine initially thought it was a neighbor’s car. But, when he went to the driveway, he saw the broken car windshield and a fish nearby, said Sage Levine.

“It’s so absurd,” she said, noting there were fish guts left behind on the car.

https://www.nj.com/monmouth/2024/07/fish-falling-from-sky-shatters-nj-cars-windshield.html

July 23, 2024

Democratic senators seek to reverse Supreme Court ruling that restricts federal agency power

Source: NBC

July 23, 2024, 7:00 AM EDT
By Lawrence Hurley

WASHINGTON — Democratic senators plan to introduce legislation Tuesday that would effectively overturn a Supreme Court ruling last month that imposed new limits on federal agencies when they issue regulations about a wide variety of issues, including the environment and consumer protection.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., will introduce a bill that would restore the previous standard under which federal agencies had some leeway to interpret the law when they issued regulations under statutes that are ambiguously written. It has the backing of nine other Democratic senators, as well as Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.

"Giant corporations are using far-right, unelected judges to hijack our government and undermine the will of Congress,” Warren said in a statement Tuesday.

The legislation, she said, would “bring transparency and efficiency to the federal rule-making process” and “make sure corporate interest groups can’t substitute their preferences for the judgment of Congress and the expert agencies.”

Read more: https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/democratic-bill-seeks-reverse-supreme-court-ruling-federal-agency-powe-rcna163120

July 22, 2024

Can we please get a temporary private forum to express unhappiness about Biden dropping out?

I don't want us to air our frustration and disappointment in public for the maggots to misuse.

But there are a number of DUers, loyal Democrats, who are sad, angry and grieving.

It does not help to be told to shut up, get with the program, put on a happy face, or be accused of being a troll, or being soft on fascism.

It certainly does not help for some to keep harping on our president being too old, too feeble, too incapable. Many of us love and respect our president, and are distressed to see these descriptions continue in public after he has bowed to the party leaders' will and withdrawn his candidacy.

We will come around, but some of us need a place to vent for a short time.

Thank you.

July 22, 2024

The impact of abortion restrictions on American mental health

Abstract
The overturning of Roe v. Wade has led to numerous states enacting new abortion restrictions. However, limited empirical evidence exists regarding the general mental health impact of these bans. Leveraging the nationwide Household Pulse Survey, we evaluate the impact of emergent gestational limits and outright bans on self-reported mental health status between July 2021 and June 2023 using a difference in difference approach. Responses indicate a significant increase in reports of mental distress after the institution of such restrictions. These effects appear to persist at least 4 months following a ban and are moderated by household income and education but not by sex, race, age, marital status, or sexual orientation. Less educated and less wealthy subjects reported greater mental health distress compared to wealthier, more educated groups. These results suggest that the institution of abortion restrictions has had broad negative implications for the mental health of people living in the US, particularly those of lower education and personal wealth.

INTRODUCTION
On 24 June 2022, the Supreme Court of the United States overturned the constitutional right to abortion access in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization (1). The consequences have been pronounced, with many states banning abortion outright (often without exceptions for rape or incest) and numerous others implementing more restrictive gestational limits (2). Since that time, the medical and academic communities have scrambled to understand the implications of these bans, with confusion emerging surrounding the conditions under which abortion remains permissible (3), giving rise to legal action (4, 5). To date, received research indicates that these restrictions increase projected patient travel costs (6), change patterns of health information seeking (7), decrease trust in clinicians (8), contribute to excess mortality (9), and even alter firm recruitment strategies to cover out of state travel if an abortion is needed by an employee (10).
Empirical attention to abortion is not new. Prior work has examined a host of factors, up to and including the effect abortion access can have on mental health, the focus of this investigation. Prior scholarship from the Turnaway Study, for example, uncovered negative effects on self-reported anxiety, at least in the short term, when pregnant women were denied access to abortion services (11, 12). This scholarship has subsequently led to calls to examine the mental health effects of reproductive care restrictions more systematically (13). Recent work opens the door to such an effect, finding that the leak of the Alito draft opinion in Dobbs led to short-term spikes in mental distress among women of childbearing age in states where bans were likely to occur (14), and subsequent research has shown sustained negative effects on mental health in states with bans that were triggered by the Dobbs decision (15). Here, we build on past research not only by investigating state-level statutory restrictions on abortion access that were introduced in the months following Dobbs but also by investigating potential heterogeneity in effects across personal factors like race, sex, marital status, and personal wealth. Such moderations are important to consider, because abortion and associated restrictions have previously been found to affect a broader array of individuals, extending beyond women of childbearing age (16). To the extent that these changes in state level policy may be perceived as leading indicators of other changes to policy that might erode individual rights, it is entirely plausible that any effect on mental health will be felt more broadly by persons living in the US.

https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/sciadv.adl5743

July 22, 2024

So at the end of his term, what will President Joe Biden get out of this?

A handshake and an Amtrak ticket back to Delaware?

Maybe a nice thank-you plaque?

July 21, 2024

Now they OWE President Biden

Those involved in pressuring Joe Biden to drop out of the race now owe him big time.

Those party members must give him their unconditional support in passing any reasonable legislation, approval of appointees or requests for financing that he wants in the next 6 months. It's the very least they could do in compensation after what they have done to a great President and vice president who has served this country for his entire adult life.

But the cynic in me worries that the tech billionaires and other oligarchs who wanted Biden dumped will not go along with anything like this. And could apply pressure by withholding contributions.

Joe should be entitled to whatever support his party is capable of giving him during the remainder of his presidency. He has more than earned it.

It is the Democratic Party's DUTY to see that he gets it.

July 21, 2024

Let's imagine. What if President Biden goes (good guy) rogue in the coming months?

How can he use executive orders and presidential immunity to make lasting changes?

Someone suggested firing Merrick Garland, which is a good start.

Could he somehow fire Postmaster DeJoy? Or expand the postal board and pack it?

Increase aid to Ukraine?

I don't know enough about the federal government to guess what kind of actions he could take, but I'm sure many on DU have thoughts.

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Gender: Female
Hometown: Maryland
Home country: United States
Member since: Tue Aug 11, 2020, 09:58 PM
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