Washington Beyond the Headlines: Alcohol Consumption Guidelines Lowered (Again)
By Andy Blom, TES Washington Editor
More elections! There are still undecided seats in Congress and the runoff for control of the Senate in Georgia, which is recently looking more purple than red — something hard to imagine a decade ago. The role of outside money probably has something to do with it: by one estimate, the runoff election alone could generate up to $1 billion in political ad spending! But while politics gets stranger and even more obscenely expensive, Free Market advocates and organizations remain faithful policy watchdogs, doing the critical policy work that makes a real difference. Here’s this week’s news:
You’ll Need a Drink…After You See the New Alcohol Consumption Guidelines. Actually, this affects more than just drinkers. It has a big impact on farmers, industry and even tax revenues. The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee of the U.S. Government (them again) has published a major change to its recommendations — lowering the daily alcohol consumption for men from two drinks to one. These recommendations impact health policy for agencies throughout the government and are very influential. In this case, they also appear to be highly arbitrary and not based on the accurate preponderance of evidence. Aaron Stover of The Heartland Institute has the story. Take a look at the facts then take a stiff drink. You’ll need it.
First Thing We Do, Let’s Grill All the Lawyers. If you’re really into the legal side of policy, and law, then you won’t want to miss this. The Pacific Legal Foundation has a regular Podcast on all things, well lots of things, anyway, legal. Think SCOTUS dissents, Scalia Blackmun and Religion, and Obamacare. They are actually fascinating listening and you can find them all here.
You Can Decide What’s Right for Your Child. Except in D.C. Okay, vaccinations are probably a good idea. But this is (still?) the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave and parents still determine what is best for their children. Except in our nation’s capital. At least not if, for whatever reason, you don’t want your child to receive vaccinations WITHOUT YOUR CONSENT OR KNOWLEDGE! That’s right. Bill 23-171 would allow children as young as 11 to consent to all vaccines on the government schedule…and the school, the health care provider and the parent’s private insurance provider would conceal the child’s vaccinations from the parents or guardian. We won’t even bother to point out the absurdity of 11 year olds giving ‘informed consent’. Wesley J. Smith of the Discovery Institute discusses the outrage for National Review.
‘Blue Collar Joe’ – Saving the Union, or Saving the Unions? Vice President Biden, should he become President (we actually wait for the Electoral College decision, not the media’s) has signaled a very pro-union administration. That could mean union allies as both Secretary of Labor and on the National Labor Relations Board. He also supports the PRO Act — Protecting the Right to Organize. This would overturn existing Right-to-Work Laws (protecting the right not to organize) in 28 states, force something similar to California’s now-repealed AB5 Bill that forces ‘gig economy’ workers to become employees, and expand the Obama Administration’s ‘Joint Employer’ rule, a dog’s breakfast of red tape, liability and limitations for employers. And there’s more. Got employees? An employee yourself? Independent contractor? Invest in any business with employees? This will affect you. Sean Higgins has more for the Competitive Enterprise Institute. By the way, union membership in the U.S. is at 10.3% of the workforce, a record low. Under ‘Blue Collar Joe’ they get the goodies, you pay.
Zeke Emmanuel has Biden’s Ear on Covid. What Could Possibly Go Wrong? Well, Seniors could die, for one thing. It had been well established that Seniors are among those most at risk from the Wuhan Flu. It has also been well established that Ezekiel Emmanuel, a principal appointee to Possible-President Biden’s Coronavirus Advisory Board, doesn’t care much for Seniors…at least he doesn’t think life is much worth living after 75. Oops. Emmanuel is an oncologist, not an epidemiologist or virologist, so his appointment is a bit curious. So are his views of old people who “are no longer remembered as vibrant and engaged but as feeble, ineffectual, even pathetic.” There is more. So much that two different sources felt compelled to raise alarms — Jim Martin, President of 60+ Association in Townhall; and Edward Hudgins of The Heartland Institute in Red State. It could be a sobering new world for Seniors (see story above).
And to Really Kill the Holiday Spirit — The Debt Clock. Look, this debt thing is serious. Really serious. Take a look. So are we going to change from a free spending Republican (Trump) to a freer spending tax hungry Democrat (Biden)? Somebody has got to stop the Government from spending like this. Perhaps our new members of Congress have the courage and stamina. We can only pray. But remember: every time the Government spends even a dime — It’s Your Money! It’s Your Money! It’s Your Money! Maybe more Stimulus Checks and $600 Federal Unemployment bonuses aren’t such a good idea.
Andresen Blom is a Washington based policy and political analyst and author who has been published in The Wall Street Journal, The Hill, and Politico.