Thursday Morning Open Thread


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Apart from working together to lift everyone up, what’s on the agenda for the day?

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Wednesday Morning Open Thread: It’s Never A Sprint, It’s Always A Marathon

A nonbinding referendum conducted by mail found 61.6 percent of Australians in favor of allowing gay couples to wed. Even though the measure was expected to be approved, the size of the win and the unusually large participation of 12.7 million Australians out of the 16 million eligible voters added to its political legitimacy.

Though the vote isn’t binding, all major political party leaders have promised to implement the decision, which would make Australia one of approximately 26 countries that allow gay couples to wed.

“The people of Australia have spoken, and I intend to make their wish the law of the land by Christmas,” Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said. “This is an overwhelming call for marriage equality.”

In a wealthy, urbanized country where 52 percent of the population regards themselves as Christian, according to a census last year, the vote marks a defeat for Australia’s two big churches, the Catholic Church and the Anglican Church, whose leaders were behind a well-organized campaign to defeat the referendum…

GLAD!

Apart from sneaking a slab of rainbow cake, what’s on the agenda for the day?
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SAD!


Possible candidate:


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More Election Day Open Thread: Good News in Maine

We could turn winning into a habit:

Maine is one of 19 states whose Republican governors or legislatures have refused to expand Medicaid under Obamacare. Other holdouts like Utah and Idaho are closely watching the initiative, as newly formed committees in both those states are working to get a Medicaid expansion question on next year’s ballot. The outcome may offer clues about the salience of the issue in next year’s midterm congressional elections.

ETA:



Tuesday Morning Open Thread: GOTV


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There’s a lot of big important stories waiting to be written up, but none of them are what you want to be trying to puzzle out first thing in the morning. But it’s Election Day, so go do your civic duty — and make sure your social-media peeps are, too, especially if you’re in Virginia or New Jersey…

Apart from voting / waiting for results, what’s on the agenda for the day?

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For your further social-media consideration…

(Keith Knight via GoComics.com)
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Thursday Morning Open Thread: Hey, Remember That Guy?…

PSA:


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Readership capture:

Former President Barack Obama kicked off the inaugural summit of the Obama Foundation here Tuesday, calling it “an experiment in us trying to have a collective conversation.”

Set to be the central focus of his post-presidency, and seeded with Obama’s own ambition to have the rest of his life exceed the impact of his eight years in White House, the foundation launched with programs and goals still taking shape. There have been training sessions for young activists, with plans for more; 20 Obama Foundation fellows will be announced next year out of a 19,000-person applicant pool; and this meeting is meant to be the beginning of creating a hub and network of innovative up-and-coming leaders…

Organizers stressed that the key is to continue sorting out what exactly they will be doing in the decades to come.

“This is the literally the beginning,” said foundation CEO David Simas, who was previously the White House political director. “We are being deliberate over the course of the rest of this year and into next year about testing different approaches and getting it right before we take it to scale.”



The War on Women Continues Apace

Via the WaPo:

Trump administration narrows Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate

The Trump administration issued a rule Friday that sharply limits the Affordable Care Act’s contraception coverage mandate, a move that could mean many American women would no longer have access to birth control free of charge.

The new regulation, issued by the Health and Human Services Department, allows a much broader group of employers and insurers to exempt themselves from covering contraceptives such as birth control pills on religious or moral grounds. The decision, anticipated from the Trump administration for months, is the latest twist in a seesawing legal and ideological fight that has surrounded this aspect of the 2010 health-care law nearly from the start.

What’s to stop corporate persons from declaring themselves Christian Scientists and exempting themselves from providing any coverage at all?

Open thread, I guess.



Thursday Morning Open Thread: Because of Wow / Because of Uh-Oh…


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What’s on the agenda for the new (hopefully less news-intensive) day?

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Hate to bring this up first thing in the morning, but the Balloon Juice demographic (including me) often depends on the miracles of modern medicine. Personal miracles which may, unfortunately, be impacted by the disaster in Puerto Rico:

Federal officials and major drugmakers are scrambling to prevent national shortages of critical drugs for treating cancer, diabetes and heart disease, as well as medical devices and supplies, that are manufactured at 80 plants in hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico.

Pharmaceuticals and medical devices are the island’s leading exports, and Puerto Rico has become one of the world’s biggest centers for pharmaceutical manufacturing. Its factories make 13 of the world’s top-selling brand-name drugs, from Humira, the rheumatoid arthritis treatment, to Xarelto, a blood thinner used to prevent stroke, according to a report released last year.

With business of nearly $15 billion a year at stake in Puerto Rico, drug companies and device makers are confronting a range of obstacles on the island: locating enough diesel fuel for generators to run their factories; helping their employees get to work from areas where roads are damaged and blocked, electricity is down and phones don’t work. Companies have taken out radio ads pleading with workers to check in. The pharmaceutical and device industries contribute to the employment of nearly 100,000 people on the island, according to trade groups.

“Some of these products are critical to Americans,” Scott Gottlieb, the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, told a congressional panel this week. “A loss of access could have significant public health consequences.”

Dr. Gottlieb, who visited F.D.A. staff in Puerto Rico last week, told the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s subcommittee on Health: “We have a list of about 40 drugs that we’re very concerned about. It reflects maybe about 10 firms.”

Thirteen of the drugs, Dr. Gottlieb said, are “sole-source,” meaning the product is made only by one company. Those include H.I.V. medications, injectable drugs and sophisticated medical devices, although he did not name the products. The biggest problem, he said, was not damage to the factories, but the instability of the electric supply. Manufacturers are worried that a long-term lack of connection to a major power grid could jeopardize their products, and are also wary of relying on the more limited electrical grids that the territory is likely to activate as a first step to restoring power…

As someone who takes several old-fat-person medications every day, I’ve been trying to keep an eye on this, but the Trickster-God-blessed megacorps who profit from such drugs are making it very very difficult. There’s one DailyKos poster who’s put up a partial list, which also includes such “everyday” (heavily advertised, often prescribed) brand names as Crestor, Invokana, Eliquis, Lyrica… and Viagra. (Maybe more Repubs should be quietly informed about a potential shortage of that one.)

The DKos poster suggests that anyone taking any of these drugs would be well advised to consult their doctor(s) now, and that seems like a wise precaution to me.