House Dems sabotage Biden’s Iran diplomacy House Dems sabotage Biden’s Iran diplomacy

Source: Responsible Statecraft
by Ryan Costello

“Nearly half the caucus voted to renege on the president’s prisoner deal, a move that could derail any future agreements with Tehran.” (12/01/23)

People and Populism, Ends and Means

Source: The American Conservative
by Micah Meadowcroft

“Celebrations by the MAGA right of Javier Milei’s victory in the Argentine presidential election have been met with accusations of incoherence. This says as much about the critics as it does global right-wing populism. The differences between Donald Trump’s economic nationalism and Milei’s self-described anarcho-capitalism, even tempered by the guaranteed compromises of party government, are obvious. But they share more than ‘owning the libs.’ Or, rather, such liberal ownership is more than an emotionally reactionary opportunity for schadenfreude, but a coherent, if often inarticulate, program of political restoration — that is, restoring the political to politics. Milei, like Trump, puts persons, and personality, above process and programs.” (12/01/23)

Pfizer takes a step back in weight-loss race

Source: Axios

“Pfizer capitalized on COVID-19, but obesity is proving to be a tougher animal. … The pharma giant took a step back on that front, announcing on Friday it was pulling the plug on Phase 3 studies for its twice-daily version of danuglipron, its oral weight-loss drug candidate. Pfizer’s shares closed down 5.1%, and are now off over 50% from their peak, when the company’s COVID vaccine drove revenue to record heights. … Pfizer said a clinical trial of danuglipron showed the formulation was effective at shedding pounds, reporting a 13% body weight reduction at 32 weeks, though those results are smaller than those seen in trials of similar rival drugs. The bigger issue was the high rates of side effects; although they were ‘mild,’ they caused more than half the patients in the trial to drop out.” (12/01/23)

FL: Search warrant provides new details of rape accusation against state Republican Party chair

Source: Politico

“The woman accusing Republican Party of Florida Chair Christian Ziegler of rape told him over Instagram messages that she was distraught and ‘terrified’ of him after their encounter and unable to work, according to a search warrant affidavit. The affidavit also revealed that Ziegler’s wife, Bridget Ziegler, who co-founded the conservative parents group Moms for Liberty, acknowledged to police that she, the victim and her husband had consensual sex together over a year before the alleged crime occurred, per an interview police conducted Nov. 1. The search warrant, filed by authorities with the Sarasota County court, provides additional details about the accusations against the state GOP chair and his wife following the revelation about a rape accusation that shocked party members and led Gov. Ron DeSantis to call for Ziegler to resign.” (12/02/23)

Latest Draft of UN Cybercrime Treaty Is A Big Step Backward

Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Katitza Rodriguez

“A new draft of the controversial United Nations Cybercrime Treaty has only heightened concerns that the treaty will criminalize expression and dissent, create extensive surveillance powers, and facilitate cross-border repression. The proposed treaty, originally aimed at combating cybercrime, has morphed into an expansive surveillance treaty, raising the risk of overreach in both national and international investigations. The new draft retains a controversial provision allowing states to compel engineers or employees to undermine security measures, posing a threat to encryption. This new draft not only disregards but also deepens our concerns, empowering nations to cast a wider net by accessing data stored by companies abroad, potentially in violation of other nations’ privacy laws.” (12/01/23)

The Great Red State vs. Blue State Debate was hard to watch, and even harder to listen to

Source: Orange County Register
by Susan Shelley

“Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and California Governor Gavin Newsom sniped at each other for ninety minutes, and then Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity invited them to keep going for another half hour. It appeared that Newsom and DeSantis agreed, and the show went to a commercial break. Thankfully, when the next segment began, Hannity said the governors had suddenly remembered that they had somewhere else to be. Most of the TV audience probably said the same thing 45 minutes earlier.” (12/01/23)