By Andy Blom, TES Washington Editor
A New Year! Full of Hope, Division and Promise. The Division — well, unfortunately that’s obvious. The Promise includes serious work going on by Free Market advocates and organizations… and we promise, whatever insanity or inanity the mainstream media covers, we’ll be here, giving you the news that matters…the news most people ignore. Here’s where serious policy discussion was as 2021 got going…
Trust Us, You’re Going to Hear a Lot About Antitrust. And trust the Antitrust Alliance to keep you informed. No matter which side of the political spectrum you fall on, you’ll hear loud voices hollering about Big Tech and antitrust. Break up Amazon, FaceBook, Google, Apple, etc. because they’re too big? Or praise them for developing and meeting consumer needs? Congress is going to bat this ball around all year. Keep up here for (one) conservative POV. And get a thorough briefing from Heritage Foundation here.
SLAPP Lawsuits are a Slap in the Face of First Amendment Rights. Don’t be embarrassed, we hadn’t heard the term before either. But SLAPP Lawsuits (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) are lawsuits filed (or threatened) by Governments, Companies and Individuals to intimidate or punish those who have exercised 1st Amendment Rights. In short, a SLAPP in the face will shut them up. Also cost them lots of time and money and sometimes public exposure or embarrassment. SLAPP suits usually aren’t filed with any intention of winning. Their purpose is to have a calling effect on free speech. The good folks at the Pegasus Institute have a brief explanation and a primer on what SLAPP is and what should be done.
Herd Immunity Boosted by…Congress? The multiple vaccines brought about by President Trump’s Operation Warp Speed offer hope for control of the Coronavirus. But until we reach Herd Immunity life will not get back to normal. Happy as I am to do my critical Washington Meetings in pajamas, normal is needed. And even as Dr. Fauci keeps moo-ving the goalposts on herd immunity, Congress, of all people, is doing something to help us reach that elusive goal. Jim Martin, founder/chairman of the 60 Plus Association, has the details on a bipartisan group in Congress working to inform us, remove fears of the vaccine, and bring the country together to combat the Rona. Good news!
The Military and Statecraft — A Suggested Playbook for the Biden Team. President Elect Joe Biden has called for his team to “reimagine” (a dreadful and over used word) national security. The Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft has some ideas. A lot of them, in fact. NeoCon to NeoGlobalist, their thorough review raises interesting questions.
Covid and the Economy: Study the Ohio Model. Federal bailouts? The Buckeye State says No! Timely budget cutting, fiscal responsibility and better than expected tax revenue has helped Ohio not just weather, but begin to prosper in spite of the impact of the pandemic. Now, The Buckeye Institute wants to share the wealth. Or at least the Ohio plan to achieve it. Let’s hope other states, and Washington, pay attention.
That Drug Rebate is Going to Cost You. So rebates on drugs should lower costs and be a good thing for patients, right? Wrong. It’s counterintuitive, but drug rebates create Rebate Walls which actually create higher prices for consumers. Ouch. And it sounded so good. But Wayne Winegarden in an issue brief for the Pacific Research Institute unpacks the complicated truths behind this anti-competitive practice. The Economic Standard’s Editor in Chief Erik Sass summarizes the issue.
Protecting Shareholders — New Rules from DOL. The Department of Labor has proposed a new Rule to clarify and modernize Proxy Voting. Ashley Baker, Director of Public Policy for The Committee for Justice explains the Rule and why it’s a positive step for shareholders in comments to the DOL.
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.