JIM NORMANDIN

Dear readers,

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Be safe.

Jim Normandin

President and Publisher

Americans loathe the pharmaceutical industry. It ranks dead last in a recent Gallup poll that tracks the public’s opinion of 25 different sectors.

Thanksgiving is here. Along with turkey and mashed potatoes, one thing can be counted on: Awkward dinner table conversations. And unfortunately, this year the main course is a political matter.

Is government-facilitated re-importation of prescription medicines from Canada — a policy now supported by politicians as diverse as President Donald Trump and Senator Bernard Sanders – an issue of free trade, or a backdoor method of imposing price controls? That’s the way the question is usually framed in policy debates, but the great Nobel prize-winning economist Milton Friedman took a third view.

WASHINGTON — President Trump has proved to the 21st century that Lord Acton’s 19th-century maxim still holds: Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

WASHINGTON -- There are many things to fear about the Trump presidency. Scariest of all may be those things we don't even know we have to worry about -- such as President Trump preparing to surrender to the Taliban at Camp David on the 18th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

HONG KONG -- The masked men who recently tossed firebombs at Jimmy Lai's home targeted one of this city's foremost democracy advocates. Lai, a 71-year-old media billionaire, calls this summer's ongoing protest "a martyrdom movement" and "a last-straw movement." It has an intensity and dynamic that bewilders the protesters' opponents in Beijing and in Hong Kong's Beijing-obedient city administration.

WASHINGTON — Nestled on the Front Range of the Rockies, the city of Crystal was a largely upper-middle-class paradise, chock full of health-conscious and socially conscious — meaning, of course, impeccably progressive — Coloradans. Then in slithered a serpent in the form of a proposal for a new school, to be called "Crystal Academy," for "accelerated and exceptional learners." Suddenly it was paradise lost.

WASHINGTON — Airports are places of joy, someone said to me a number of months ago — which actually startled me. I was asking him about joy in the world, and “airports” was about the last thing I expected him to come back with. Sometimes when I’m in an airport, I’m overwhelmed by how transitory so many of us seem. And how casual we are about it.

WASHINGTON — One of the most persistent and pernicious myths in American politics is that immigrants should be excluded because they “steal” jobs from native-born Americans. President Trump has often embraced that falsehood, as he did during a campaign appearance in Phoenix: “They’re taking our jobs. They’re taking our manufacturing jobs. They’re taking our money. They’re killing us.”

WASHINGTON — So far, five Democratic presidential candidates — Kirsten Gillibrand, Eric Swalwell, John Hickenlooper, Seth Moulton and Jay Inslee — have dropped out of the 2020 race. What is amazing is that the number is only five, and that 20 Democrats are still running.

WASHINGTON — In a trade war, as in a real one, people are wounded by friendly fire from their side. Consider some casualties in Donald Trump's "easy to win" — his promise — trade war. Begin with the company whose green machines bear the name of the blacksmith who, in the 1830s in Grand Detour, Illinois, invented a self-scouring plow that could turn the Midwest's heavy black topsoil.

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