Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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June 28, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

VACATION....I know this is going to sadden many of you, but I'm afraid I'll be unable to continue my sizzling debate with Andrew Sullivan over pharmaceutical policy. Why? Because I'll be on vacation starting today and going through the end of next week. I may pop in occasionally, but probably not much.

But you'll be well taken care of: Steve Benen will be blogging here in my absence, and Chris Mooney is going to join in next week to blog about his new book, Storm World. Y'all behave while I'm gone, OK?

Kevin Drum 12:47 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (26)

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Comments

Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! Why?!


Enjoy your vacation. ;)

Posted by: wilder on June 28, 2007 at 1:02 AM | PERMALINK

Y'all behave while I'm gone, OK?

Only if you take Al with you!

Enjoy!

Posted by: thersites on June 28, 2007 at 1:06 AM | PERMALINK

Don't forget to be a good Republican and strap your cats to the roof of your car.

That said, enjoy yerselves.

Posted by: lampwick on June 28, 2007 at 1:20 AM | PERMALINK

Actually, I thought Sullivan was getting the better of you.

Sullivan's first argument about R&D was juvenile. It was factually incorrect, and misrepresented the market entirely. By rebutting the factual error, you inadvertently accepted the error of the premise. (The error of the premise being that pharmaceutical markets are global.)

In the second post, you address this premise. But then you make the same mistake with Sullivan's second faulty statement - you address the incorrect factual claim, without addressing the faulty premise upon which it is based.

That premise is that pharmaceutical companies necessarily redirect profits into R&D, and that this is how we get new drugs. The premise is based on the notion of perfectly competitive markets. Pharmaceutical companies "free-ride" on academic research, invest directly in academic research with string attached, provide venture funding for bio-tech startups, produce knock-off drugs at low cost, etc. Their actual R&D work is so monumentally inefficient that were the government to enter the market in various ways -- increased funding for the NIH, federal matching grants with strings, mass procurement of certain types of drugs (AIDS and malarial being good examples), coordinated large-scale R&D projects that are published as public intellectual property, etc. etc. -- the R&D outcome would certainly be better, cheaper, or both.

Each time you're one argument behind Sullivan, and it gives his absurd arguments a veneer of credibility. (And it lets him toss out catch-phrases like "socialism" "Moore" European business "decimated", etc.)

Posted by: Saam Barrager on June 28, 2007 at 1:26 AM | PERMALINK

I think the debate has been great to watch and it's nice to see the disagreement without personal attacks. Hope it keeps up. Have a nice vacation.

Posted by: Lee Stranahan on June 28, 2007 at 1:30 AM | PERMALINK

Geez. My three favorite blogs are Political Animal, Talking Points Memo, and The Carpetbagger. Is Steve Bennan going to write all three? I guess I'll go on vacation too.

Posted by: nonplussed on June 28, 2007 at 1:33 AM | PERMALINK

Someone needs to write a post about how Americans take fewer vacations than Europeans, and what impact that has on our economy. You could work on this, say, over your vacation.

Posted by: KathyF on June 28, 2007 at 1:47 AM | PERMALINK

Make sure to leave a few voicemails for the cats. You know . . . can opener sounds, a cell phone held up in an aviary at the zoo, etc.

Posted by: B on June 28, 2007 at 2:53 AM | PERMALINK

Actually on second thought don't bother if you don't have a physical answering machine.

Posted by: B on June 28, 2007 at 2:54 AM | PERMALINK

I think there's a law that you have to be in or from the South to use the contraction "y'all."

Posted by: Daryl Cobranchi on June 28, 2007 at 4:31 AM | PERMALINK

Have a great vacation, Kevin. My sense is you need it. You have been a bit terse lately.

Beware of 7/7/07.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on June 28, 2007 at 5:45 AM | PERMALINK

"...behave."

only if you take al and hawk with you and promise not to bring them back.

Posted by: supersaurus on June 28, 2007 at 6:13 AM | PERMALINK

Make sure to leave a few voicemails for the cats. You know . . . can opener sounds, a cell phone held up in an aviary at the zoo, etc.

Sheesh. I thought my husband was the only person in the world who leaves voice messages for the cats!

Posted by: pol on June 28, 2007 at 7:51 AM | PERMALINK

PARTY AT KEVIN'S HOUSE . . . MAN ! Toga! Toga! Tog-AHUNH!

Posted by: ferd on June 28, 2007 at 8:04 AM | PERMALINK

Kev,

Have a good vacation. How can a blogger on vacation cope with multiple snowballing DC scandals? Are you going into the deep woods to escape?

Posted by: troglodyte on June 28, 2007 at 8:05 AM | PERMALINK

Vacation? Are you going anywhere special, or are you just disappearing for a while like so many of the people who used to post comments here? Seriously, Kevin, with reader posts down so dramatically lately on Political Animal, do you really think this is the best time to take a break? I have a sense you are nearing a tipping point, as far as people truly leaving the blog. A week of obscure guest posters isn't going to help that. Anyway, think about it. I've been posting here for a couple of years and I just don't want to see it all go under. It's really the best Blog on the Web!

Posted by: Pat on June 28, 2007 at 8:36 AM | PERMALINK

you have to be in or from the South to use the contraction "y'all."

Orange County is south, isn't it?

[And somebody's already beaten me to the "strap your pets to the roof of the car" snarky comment . . .]

Posted by: rea on June 28, 2007 at 8:54 AM | PERMALINK

The Benenization of the blogosphere continues... :^)

Posted by: smiley on June 28, 2007 at 8:57 AM | PERMALINK

Seriously, Kevin, with reader posts down so dramatically lately on Political Animal, do you really think this is the best time to take a break?

It is possible that the readers who are no longer posting are themselves on vacations at the moment.

Summertime rolls...

Posted by: absent observer on June 28, 2007 at 9:52 AM | PERMALINK

If you're looking for some good reading on vacation, I'd like to recommend Ann Coulter and Charles Krauthammer, two of my favorite thinkers.

Posted by: Al on June 28, 2007 at 10:48 AM | PERMALINK

Does this mean no updates on Inkblot and Domino tomorrow?!? NooOOOO!

Posted by: Winnie on June 28, 2007 at 11:10 AM | PERMALINK

Avoid newspapers and TV for a few days. Turn off the computer and avoid the internet for a couple of days as well. Drive north to Big Sur and beyond. Relax, recharge and restore the energy for the big fights to come.

Posted by: Mike on June 28, 2007 at 12:02 PM | PERMALINK

Check in? Please, enjoy your vacation, no need to read more of our windbaggery! Are the kitties joining you?

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on June 28, 2007 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

Do you remember when you went on vacation last year? A mob fight over religion ensued on this blog. When you came back you had to wrench the blog out of the hands of us fire breathers.

And you're going away again???

Bring back the Inquisition.

(Have fun Kevin!)

Posted by: Katherine on June 28, 2007 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

But . . . . . . what about Friday Cat-Blogging????? How will we survive two Fridays without cat-blogging?

Posted by: Mazurka on June 28, 2007 at 8:11 PM | PERMALINK

Aw, man! And I just tagged you in a game of Blogger's Tag.

Posted by: Rook on June 28, 2007 at 11:20 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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