Corrosion of the public spirit of scientists and the distortion of scientific inquiry is one of the many costs of pervasive commercialization. And what's truly depressing is that the Obama FDA is only marginally better on this front than George W. Bush's.
That there is something inherent in the person to be found there -- in mental illness and addiction -- is received wisdom, not empirical fact. The belief derives from the assumption that these phenomena are medical diseases.
Many people no longer trust Obama to work in their interests, or even to tell the truth. So they'll vote for Republicans mainly because they're the only other game in town, not because they subscribe to their principles.
Obama is trapped in the same kind of thinking that initially demoralized his hero Abraham Lincoln, who ultimately rejected that kind of thinking, regained his morale, and fought against what was morally wrong.
To the House Dems who reportedly chanted "Fired up! Ready to go!": This isn't a pep rally. This situation calls for a little less partying and a little more party leadership, a few less amendments and a lot more amends.
The House Health bill just throws good money after the bad. And because costs will keep rising, there is now a danger that people will conclude reform is impossible, when in reality, we still haven't really tried.
The Baucus bill makes it clear that the fix is in. We're now going to pour more money into a system that's already shown it can absorb whatever we put into it without providing anything like commensurate health care.