Martin Shkreli has done some good, though surely by accident, by helping highlight how many other drugs are absurdly expensive, like the anti-cancer drug Gleevec, which sells for around 660 times what it costs. Even in England, where true socialized medicine keeps costs down, it still sells for about 200 times more than it costs. How do the big pharma corporations respond? With the same old crap: lower prices would stifle gilding the plumbing on our CEO's 19th vacation home, ahem, innovation.
Robert Reich explains "Why We Must End Upward Pre-Distributions to the Rich." He diagnoses the malady correctly, but we shouldn't call it "pre-distribution" -- gosh, why do liberals have to make everything so hard? The other side has already given us the words to use against them: what the rich are doing to us now is "income redistribution," simple and plain, and they're redistributing that income from working families to their bosses. It's more words, sure, but I'd rather rely on words everyone already knows than words that rhyme with words everyone already knows.
College Republican asks a pointed question of Marco Rubio during an Iowa town hall. Dan Herrera seems like a terrific kid -- I certainly did not expect him to say "I don’t like waking up every morning knowing that I’m wrapping my hands around my nieces’ and nephews’ necks, choking them out with the exhaust that I’m emitting" -- but he was still too impressed that Mr. Rubio didn't just dismiss his concerns. What a shame that Republicans have lowered our standards so much that we think "I oppose pollution, too" is something to praise! But I'll keep hope alive and hope Mr. Herrera can help get his party to do the right thing more often.
Natasha Geiling at Think Progress describes a permeable concrete that can absorb a thousand gallons of water a minute and filter that water back into the ground. And Tarmac's Topmix Permeable filters out impurities like motor oil in the process. There's a downside -- Tarmac doesn't recommend paving highways with it, and we don't know how it'll hold up in really frigid climes -- but the technology has promise, and I wish Tarmac the best.
Finally, Jamelle Bouie and Rebecca Onion, writing at Slate, debunk seven lies and half-truths people like to trot out about slavery. Why do people spread these things around? Because they fancy themselves smarter than other people (whom they may commonly call "sheep"), they think the unusual is always more important than the commonplace, or they merely enjoy fomenting confusion and chaos.