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Thanks to the Internet, the Drug War Lost in 2020

Molly Davis - November 25, 2020

The internet can be an incredibly frustrating space, with anyone and everyone posting whatever opinion pops into their mind, for all to see and engage with — take President Donald Trump, for example. But it has also given us access to endless amounts of information, and connected humans in a way that was never thought possible even just a few decades earlier. The 2020 election was undoubtedly impacted by the internet — but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. This election proved that, thanks to the internet, the tragic tenure of the drug war is finally nearing its...
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The Road to The White House: From Election Day to Inauguration Day

Tom Rollins - November 24, 2020

With so much noise surrounding the 2020 election, it’s easy to forget that this process hinges on one central question: what does it take for a candidate to go from president-elect on November 3rd to officially being sworn in on Inauguration Day? Our election system functions in two tracks: one being the official electoral process, and the other being the behind-the-scenes process that allows a candidate to smoothly transition from president-elect to officially being in power on January 20th. Check out this infographic from The New Center so you know what to expect next. The...

Cities Put Biden over the Top – and They Need a Transit Rescue

Nicole Gelinas - November 24, 2020

Contrary to the focus on today’s version of soccer moms in swing suburbs, this month’s election showed that aspiring presidents ignore big cities at their peril. Sure, president-elect Joe Biden could have secured the critical states of Georgia, Michigan, and Pennsylvania without the lopsided wins he saw in Atlanta, Detroit, and Philadelphia — but it would have been much harder.   Yet Republicans consistently ignore urban areas because they think they can’t win, and Democrats because they take them for granted. Biden and a divided Congress can change that pattern,...

Even a Dem Sweep in Senate Runoff Might Not Deliver on Progressive Hopes for Education

Frederick M. Hess & Hannah Warren - November 23, 2020

Despite the president’s continued protests, it’s clear that president-elect Biden will be the next occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. And even with a surprisingly dismal election performance for the Democrats, in both state races and congressional contests, they retained a slender majority in the U.S. House. Still up in the air, however, is control of the U.S. Senate. On that count, all eyes are on Georgia, where twin January 5th runoff contests will determine the balance of power. There are two notable outcomes from the Georgia contests between GOP incumbents David Perdue and...


Regulators & Politicians Get It Wrong On Tech. Again.

Satya Marar - November 23, 2020

Despite one of the ugliest and most politically polarized elections in the country’s history, Republicans and Democrats alike have united behind a landmark Department of Justice (DOJ) lawsuit challenging a purported monopoly in the big tech space. It threatens to break tech goliath Google up over its dominance in the search engine and online advertising market, and is expected to receive a formal reply from Google by 21 December. Central to the case is the DOJ’s claim that Google abuses its dominance to illegally maintain a monopoly by extracting concessions from other companies...

Big Tech is Overwhelming Our Political System

Paul Michel - November 20, 2020

Giant tech companies have come under a great deal of well-deserved criticism from across the political spectrum on a variety of concerns over their actions. On market power, privacy, political bias and disinformation, they are under a microscope. One area where their actions deserve even more scrutiny — and opposition — is their war on the patent rights of inventors and startups.   These powerful tech companies have long relied on a strategy of deliberate infringement because enforcement litigation is too expensive for younger smaller competitors. Last month, a Federal judge...

Remote Work is Becoming the New Normal. It Comes With Tradeoffs.

Brent Orrell & Matthew Leger - November 20, 2020

In the two decades prior to COVID-19, remote work grew steadily but remained a small portion of the U.S. workforce. Then came March 2020, when stay-at-home orders turned the world upside down, transforming kitchens, bedrooms and home offices of tens of millions of Americans into corporate real estate. What many thought might be only a short-term adjustment looks increasingly permanent. As of September, the percentage of workers who were remote full-time or part-time stood at 33% and 25%, respectively. By the end of 2021, Global Workplace Analytics predicts that 25 to 30 percent of the US...

The COVID Vaccine Trials & the Role of Government in Public Health

Terence Kealey - November 18, 2020

A second company, Moderna, has announced the production of a vaccine against COVID-19. Like Pfizer’s vaccine, announced last week, Moderna’s is based on transfecting RNA into a subject. The RNA then codes for the production of viral proteins, against which the body’s immune system can raise defenses. The companies’ strategy uses the virus’s tools against it (SARS-CoV-2 is an RNA virus that commandeers the body’s own biology to reproduce itself) which is grimly satisfying, like a judo player using their opponent’s momentum against them. No RNA vaccine...


On Additional Stimulus, Try a Little Federalism

Matt Weidinger - November 18, 2020

With the lame duck session of Congress beginning, federal policymakers are reviving stimulus negotiations that stalled before the election. Differences between the sides remain significant, with House Democrats insisting on over $2 trillion in new spending while Senate Republicans propose around $500 billion in additional aid. It’s uncertain whether negotiators will reach an agreement before the end of the year. But if they do, lawmakers should avoid more one-size-fits-all federal policy, especially since economic conditions have improved significantly in many states. They should try a...
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Should the Next Stimulus Target Our Wallets or Our Fears?

Bruce Yandle - November 17, 2020

Although recounts and post-election anxiety dominate the news cycle, getting a second coronavirus stimulus bill to the congressional negotiating table still ranks near the top of the list of growing Washington concerns. As we debate how to hatch a meaningful federal response, let’s remember that something more than money is needed. Indeed, removing as much fear and uncertainty as possible until a reliable vaccine arrives may be more important. To paraphrase a famous FDR quote, perhaps our greatest fear is fear itself. Data suggest this is the case. First, a little background on the...

Health Care’s Bipartisan Moment

James C. Capretta - November 13, 2020

President-elect Joe Biden recommitted this week to pushing the health agenda he offered while campaigning, which includes creating a new “public option” insurance plan and lowering the age of eligibility for Medicare from 65 to 60. The election results suggest a different approach — focused on ideas with bipartisan appeal — might serve him better. The Biden campaign assumed a victory in the presidential race would translate into a strengthened position for Democrats in Congress, and thus ease the way for ideas favored by party activists. It did not work out that way....

The Defeat of Orange Man Means a Return to Happier Times

Patrick Maines - November 13, 2020

OK, so apparently Trump has lost the election, and now the country can go back to its old ways of doing things. What a relief! Now, Democrats like Hillary Clinton can destroy with impunity thousands of emails illegally stored on their personal computers; the Biden family can reap unimaginable rewards for its members by peddling their influence here and abroad; China can grow, without challenge or interruption, into the largest and richest totalitarian country in history; and Members of Congress like Maxine Waters can own homes (located outside her district, of course) valued at $4.3...


Sanitation Needs Will Outlive the Pandemic

Steve Caldeira - November 13, 2020

Few events in our lifetimes have been as damaging as COVID-19. Too many families have suffered. Too many people have died. Even after a vaccine is approved, full recovery will take months.   But some lingering impacts are beneficial. Millions of people have rediscovered the beauty of nature and the comforts of home. Remote work and schooling have become useful options. And individuals have been reminded how important good hygiene is to their daily lives. The latter is a lesson that will not fade with the virus.   Indeed, the pandemic has placed an increased focus on the value...

Thank Pennsylvania Supreme Court & Chief Justice Roberts for Pennsylvania's Election Mess

Pete Hutchison & Michael O'Neill - November 12, 2020

Pennsylvania’s vote count is a chaotic mess. Pennsylvania’s governor, attorney general, and secretary of state have performed poorly and in highly partisan fashion. But matters are much worse thanks to the Commonwealth’s Supreme Court and Chief Justice Roberts. Many have noted that the Supreme Court has been consistent this summer and fall in ruling that federal courts cannot, through judicial decree, change duly enacted election laws. In cases involving federal intrusion into state lawmaking power, Chief Justice Roberts, along with fellow conservative Justices Thomas,...

The Immigrant Experience Proves that Meritocracy is Real

Robert Cherry - November 12, 2020

How should black youth react to the many obstacles they will experience? What paths should they take to give themselves the best chances of moving into the middle class, obtaining stable employment and healthy personal relationships? Individual strategies can be improved by learning from the immigrant experience.     Often immigrant success stories focus on the central role of education in the success of immigrants, particularly those from China, India, and Nigeria. These examples demonstrate two important things: educational attainment is an important avenue to success;...

Make Congress Great Again

Richard Protzmann - November 12, 2020

Aside from turnout and historical perspective, the 2020 election was not particularly unique. The U.S. has held national elections during previous pandemics, world wars, economic collapses, unrest, and a civil war. Cabinet members are not dueling on the Heights of Weehawken nor are members of Congress beating each other with canes. To my knowledge, Mr. Trump did not refer to Mr. Biden as a moral leper nor did Mr. Biden call the president’s mother a prostitute.  Our batting average is still high. Nonetheless, we should feel inspired to reflect on trends in national politics and...


This Trade Secrets Case Will Set the Precedent for Our Economy

Andrew Langer - November 10, 2020

2019 feels like a lifetime ago.  Recently, I reflected on an analysis I wrote regarding the relationship between intellectual property rights protection and our economic strength, and the contrast couldn’t be more stark — our country had low unemployment rates, rising wages, and consumer confidence and small business optimism were incredibly high.   Fast forward just one year and, given the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, our economy has been crippled, shrinking 32.9 percent in the second three months of 2020. In August of 2019, I had encouraged...

Study: Vaping More Effective for Smoking Cessation than Nicotine Patch or Gum

Elizabeth Sheld - November 6, 2020

A new literature review conducted by the Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group in the United Kingdom found that electronic cigarettes (ECs) are a more effective tool for smoking cessation than nicotine gum and nicotine patches (NCTs or nicotine replacement therapy.) The review included 50 different studies involving 12,430 participants of which 26 were randomized control tests (RCTs.) The findings concluded that: There was moderate‐certainty evidence, limited by imprecision, that quit rates were higher in people randomized to nicotine EC than in those randomized to nicotine replacement therapy...

Giving a Voice to Pregnant Women in Prisons

Guy Reschenthaler & Mike Jones - November 6, 2020

The thought of anyone’s wife, daughter, or loved one giving birth alone, shackled, in an unsanitary jail cell is unfathomable. Unfortunately, this is the reality for many incarcerated women. Take for example Shaye Bear, who gave birth to her one-pound, two-ounce son Cashh in isolation at Ellis County Jail in Waxahachie, Texas. Tragically, just nine days after his birth, Cashh died in Cook Children’s Hospital. We have introduced legislation on the federal and state level to improve care for pregnant women and babies and prevent future tragedies. Women are the fastest growing...

Learning from Pennsylvania's Election Chaos

Nathan Benefield - November 6, 2020

What do you do with a ballot that arrives after Election Day, with no postmark and a signature that doesn’t match the voter’s record? Count it — according to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. This suspension of common sense and legal standards is driving Pennsylvania’s postelection chaos, forcing citizens to question the integrity and legitimacy of the voting system. Here’s the story behind the current confusion.  Last year, as a compromise between Democratic governor Tom Wolf and the Republican-controlled legislature, the state enacted election reforms that...