LftS 124: 2 Trillion Dollars!?! Pt 19 Inspector General and Congressional Oversight of HR 748 Cares Act
This episode of Lessons from the Screen we are into part 19 of HR 748 which covers the Office of the Special Inspector General of Pandemic Recovery and Congressional Oversight amongst other things.
LftS 123: 2 Trillion Dollars!?! Pt 18: Economic Stabilization & Which Party is Better For Black People
This episode of Lessons from the Screen we are into part 18 of the series on the largest stimulus package in US history and this week we are talking about Title 4 which focuses on economic stabilization and assistance. We are also going to be getting into political parties and which one has been better for Black People. What do you think about that, leave a comment.
This episode of Lessons from the Screen we are continuing with HR 748. This is part 17 of the series on the largest stimulus package in US history and this week we are talking about Title 4 which focuses on economic stabilization and assistance. We will also be talking a bit about President Trump's recent recording with regards to knowingly false statements that he made to the public during official government events geared towards giving information to the public. What do you think about that, leave a comment.
This episode of Lessons from the Screen takes us back to our block as we finish up title 3 of HR 748. But we are also going to spend a bit of time at the end talking about the payroll tax deferment plan that many of you have been asking me about. Tune in! Let me know what you think about the tax deferment plan presented by Trump and what’s your take on the user fees in this episode? Remember to share these episodes, like these episodes, and subscribe to this podcast! If you want to reach out to us with comments or suggestions you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
I know I said I’d be dropping a video this week, but that didn’t happen for various reasons so we are going to aim for next week. I want the video to be quality and to enhance the way the information is consumed not to just be a video. That being said, we still have a lot to get into with this show as we take on part 1 of subtitle F covering Over-The-Counter Drugs and their review. The world however is continuing to move through the pandemic and the upcoming election returned to prevalence as Joe Biden selected Kamala Harris as his running mate.
Talks of another stimulus check are gaining major steam, deaths and infections continue to surge as official began to reverse course and go back into lockdown mode, and even President Trump has reversed course when it comes to COVID restarting the white house COVID briefings. China and the USA both closed embassies as tensions continue to rise. The global recession continues with signs of getting worse. Needless to say, there continues to be a lot to talk about, but we are going to continue to talk about HR 748 the Cares Act. On this episode of Lessons from the Screen we are getting into part 1 and Part 2 of Subtitle E covering Medicare Provisions as a part of a group of HHS extensions.
Today we finish up with the section on the Finance Committee. There are several noteworthy things that have happened in the past week however. Harvard and MIT are suing the Trump administration for its guidelines regarding international students, something that will have a big impact on higher education. The CDC has come under fire for their recommendations regarding the opening of schools. Covid cases continue to rise and Trump is now flexible on his convention format. The Supreme Court has also issued several interesting decisions. One that opens the door for states to punish electoral voters that refuse to vote the direction of the popular election, another that rejects Trump’s claim of absolute immunity from criminal investigation, and another that essentially sent congresses request for enforcement of its financial subpoenas to a lower court. The news cycles have shifted away from the protest that seem to have lost focus and back onto other matters, despite a number of hangings of Black People (some of which have been deemed suicides). But we have not lost focus, that’s why in this episode of Lessons from the Screen we continue to ask, what the hell imma do with that!?!
This week we are continuing our trek, but we are past the halfway point. Hopefully, that is also true with regard to the presidency of Donald J. Trump. Not only has COVID caused an end to the ever-growing streak of economic growth, but it also has seemingly disrupted Donald Trump’s ability to be impervious to any measures of accountability. Iran has issued a warrant for his arrest regarding the drone attack months back that killed Iranian General Soleimani, something that we talked about in a show dedicated to that incident when it happened. Trump’s niece has published a book about Trump and her publishing company won the right to distribute it. John Bolton has also finally published his book after several attempts to have it blocked by the White House. His war on social media has also been taken up a notch as multiple platforms have taken down his post or issued corrections and fact-checking messages, meanwhile he has tried to repeal protections for social media and has threatened to take them down. He has also stated that he is using his power to slow the rate of testing in America amid a growing surge of new COVID cases following states reopening and protest continuing.
The single-day record for new cases was broken twice by America last week with estimates that it’s going to continue to rise. The protest themselves have turned a corner and have seemingly finished shedding their racial beginnings to now be the new version of the Occupy Movement, LGBT Rights, and Police Reform in general. Not that I have a problem with any of those things, but it does mean that Black People are once again placed on the back burner. All in all, it’s been a busy week, but let’s continue to get into our show in the 2 trillion dollar stimulus package.
We are on and into Labor Provisions this week. But before we get into that, protests are continuing however the focus seems to be shifting from racial equality to something akin to the occupy movements of the early 2010s. New threats loom as the benefits from this very COVID Package begin to end and states start opening up. Not only has there been a spike in COVID cases but there is also concern that evictions are about to be on the rise for many in low-income areas as the freeze on evictions ends. Politics continues to get even more swampy as America continues to just overall not even be interested in pretending to care about some of the various serious issues that need to be taken care of. But on a positive note, this show is almost at 150,000 for the year so make sure you are sharing and talking about how awesome the show is. For those of you that want to get me something for Father’s Day, you can go to amazon and by my book, “The Chasm” as it's a non-fiction book looking at Black Men and Women and how they have experienced America. But let's get into it ...
As the protest continues, I’m hoping everyone does their best to be safe while making their voices heard. Regardless of how you feel about the movement, this particular movement is having a bigger impact than any of the other movements in the past few decades. That is because lots of reports are starting to show the second wave of COVID that might end up causing the swell that overwhelms the American Medical System. The numbers were already creeping back up with states opening up prematurely as we now know, but these protests have potentially taken transmission to another level in a situation where people have simply not been protecting themselves. To be clear I am not speaking against the protesters, I believe you can protest and be safe at the same time. As has already been mentioned, the numbers were starting to rise before the protest began. But that’s why it’s important that in this episode we get back to the Cares Act with it’s $2 Trillion price tag. In this episode of Lessons from the Screen we are getting into part 2 of the Education Provisions.
Things keep on going, the CDC declared that covid can’t survive as well on surfaces as they once thought. Trump continues giving bad advice and doing everything he can to downplay how bad things are in America and his role in making them that way. Vaccines are well into human trials. The cold war between China and the US continues to heat up (or get colder). Hong Kong has retaking a bit of time in the global news cycle. And Lessons from the screen continues its trek through HR 748 aka 2 Trillion Damn Dollars.
This week we are going to continue our push. As the governments around the world are starting to see cases rise again after reopening, states here in America are also executing a phased reopening but thus far it’s too early to tell if it was a good idea or a bad idea. Reports continue to surface about the politics influencing (or attempting to anyway) the science as healthcare officials all over the nation are making statements about political pressure to report lower numbers. The political war between China and the US is still going as propaganda and rhetoric pick up. There is also talk of a second round of stimulus payments as the house passed a program that would give households $1500 per person up to $6000. With all that said, on this episode we are going to continue moving forward going into part 3 and 4 or title 3 finishing up Subtitle A.
Part 6 in the series on the stimulus package, we are going to be going through Part 2 of Title 3 in HR 748 the CARES act. This section covers access to Health Care for COVID-19 Patients. As the list of symptoms continue to get longer, the virus continues to mutate, and previously safe places experience a resurgence in viral cases, this section is more important than ever. It is important to note that the virus is now having an increased effect on children causing immune overdrive conditions that can and have resulted in death.
As we start into the 3rd title and the 5th show in this series, we also take note of the many things that are currently going on. Kim Jong Un has returned to the public after being missing and many suspecting he may be sick or dead. China and America continue their cold war in another display of the cyclical battle between the emergent power and the old power. Covid-19 continues its rapid spread across the globe even as many countries and states begin to re-open or talk about reopening. Disadvantaged communities in America also continue to show an over-representation in the numbers of the infected and dead. People are attacking and killing each other over minor disputes as tensions continue to be high.
One thing that I will get into with all that’s going on right now is a recent conversation I had with a couple of people who I respect immensely regarding the natural occurrence of viruses. But with all that and more happening we will move into Title 3 covering changes and support for the Health Care System as we continue to see what you can buy with 2 trillion damn dollars!
Earlier this year a bomb dropped as Katherine Eban released the culmination of roughly a decade of research and investigative work on the Generic Drug Industry, and the explosion should be huge. In this Episode of Lessons from the Screen we are going to be taking a look at Bottle of Lies: Inside the Generic Drug Boom by Katherine Eban.
The book starts out introducing us to an FDA Inspector that ends up in a foot race down a hallway chasing a pharmaceutical plant manufacturing worker who is trying to destroy paperwork. This sort of cat and mouse game is basically the narrative of the entire book and thus the narrative of what has been happening between the FDA and overseas generic drug manufacturers since the boom of the industry. Which this book manages to tie to Gandhi as he leads the resistance against British colonialism and advocated for Indian corporations. 2 students, in particular, heeded his direct call and birthed the generic pharmaceutical industry. While Gandhi wanted cheaper, high-quality drugs from Indians what ended up happening was lower quality drugs for India and the rest of the developing world in favor of profits.
The point of profit over quality is especially clear with regards to AIDS medications in Africa at the onset of the AIDS global epidemic. At several moments in the book, it is alleged that a very dismissive behavior was given to the fact that the drugs weren’t working in Africa because “they were just Black People,” which is a sentiment that probably also filter down through Gandhi. These poor quality medications are mentioned as a potential reason why the AIDS epidemic in Africa never came under control like it did in other countries. It speaks to those in Africa that tried to start legitimate pharmaceutical companies to supply high-quality drugs to the continent only to find that high quality, low cost was the biggest lie in the pharmaceutical industry and the entire generic drug sector was built on that lie. In one occasion mentioned in the book, an African Drug Company wanted to purchase active ingredients for medications only to be presented with the option to by low-quality ingredients at the “African” rate. A segment of these low-quality goods was regularly being set aside to sell to those making drugs for African Nations.
But far from just being focused on the underprivileged, the book also takes a look at the impact of generic drugs on wealthy countries such as the European and Western Nations of the World. While those implications have been minimized to an extent by the ability to create and pay for brand drugs, it details how the growing trend of resistant diseases could actually be attributed, in part, to substandard generics. The concept of substandard generics causing treatment-resistant bacteria is a new development but evidence is quickly being amassed to prove the case. As the generic drug industry continues to grow and expand, plants founded in corrupt areas of the world are also selling active ingredients to other manufacturing plants lowering the quality of the drugs made in potentially safe plants.
The book spoke passively to the fact that well-meaning activist where being used to place the FDA in a tough position. The public largely sees generic drugs as a lower cost version of brand drugs and as such demands and champions generics. Unfortunately, this is far from the case and the book makes this point over and over again. But the FDA is not treated as the victim, they are in a lot of ways treated as an accomplice to what is happening and in a lot of ways they are an encouraging accomplice but so is the uninformed populace.
Most of the story is told from the perspective of Ranbaxy and Dinesh Thakur, the whistleblower that ended up getting $48 million from the $500 million dollar settlement Ranbaxy agreed to with the FDA. It veers off into necessary and informative tangents where necessary, quickly coming back to the main story after a tangent has been sufficiently explored. Like all books, this one is another must read. I actually struggled with what to share and what not too because I wanted to share everything. What I settled on is that next week's show will be on Generic vs. Brand drugs. So get ready.
Data manipulation, governmental politics, dirty plants, compromised drugs, villains, heroes, evil schemes with deadly consequences it's all here and it’s all real. It’s hard to read this book and believe that drugs are drugs. But reading this book and understanding that drugs aren’t drugs is something that I believe all people must do.
In March of 2019 Joseph Ward released the 3rd volume of his On the Shoulders of Giants Series of books with this one being focused on South America. The book gives a brief summary of the life and impact of 12 South American Heroes and 1 South American Culture group from the view of the Black Diaspora in South America. In this episode of Lessons from the Screen we are going to be taking a look at this book in typical Lessons from the Screen fashion.
On the 21st of December 2018, the First Step Act or S.756 was passed into law. It was hailed as a landmark passage, one that was desperately needed and that would change the American Justice System for the better making it more equitable and more humane. While it is just a first step as the name implies, it was treated with such fanfare and such excitement that many thought this was the law to end the discriminatory practices of the Justice System. We took a few weeks, let that fanfare die down, and studied the text of the law to determine if it really was worth all the excitement. On this Episode of Lessons from the Screen, we are going to be diving into the First Step Act of 2018.
Today we finish up our series on the Climate Science Olympics focusing on the 4 National Climate Assessment Vol 2. The 4 year report which gathers multiple scientist across multiple fields together to present climate science from multiple angles focusing both on causal factors and potential impacts. The last show was on the first half of the report which primarily focused on the environment, this show is focused on the second half of the report which is more focused on its affect on communities and regions.
Volume 2 of the 4th National Climate Assessment was released Friday and like the NATO report released in July, it tells of a frightening future if we don’t do what’s necessary to reduce our negative impact on the climate. The first volume of this report was released in November of 2017 a called the Climate Science Special Report (CSSR). While Volume 1 focused more on the science behind climate change and how it is physically affecting the earth and everything on it, this report focuses on the impact of the science and analysis presented in volume 1. On this episode of Lessons from the Screen, we are going to be diving into this report in our typical LftS fashion, breaking it down were we can and making it a bit more digestible while also opening up the lane for conversations.
Back in January of this year, we got Fire and Fury from Michael Wolffe, a pretty entertaining and damning expose of the first year or so of the Trump White House along with his campaign leading up to his election. It was viewed as an interestingly accurate picture of the administration, but that picture was viewed as more of a caricature than a portrait. Since that time there has been a slew of administration books coming out, seems like everyone that leaves the administration writes a book and it seems like every reporter or journalist with a name has written a book. None of them reach the level of detail and have the level of credibility as the book produced by Bob Woodward entitled Fear. During this episode of Lessons from the Screen, we are going to talk about that book a little bit and help you make the decision about whether you should read it or not.
Earlier today China released a white paper regarding its position on the trade frictions with the United States. The Information Office of the State Council for the People's Republic of China released the report In order to clarify the facts about China-US economic and trade relations, clarify China’s stance on trade friction with the US, and pursue reasonable solutions.
With America and China having the largest economies in the world and with China’s Economy on pace to pass the American Economy in the next 10 to 15 years what we are seeing could be a structural realignment of global markets. During this episode of Lessons from the Screen we will look at this report, what does it say, and what does it potentially mean.
Since 2013 Ipsos has been releasing a yearly report on how well informed people are about the societies they live in. It’s a yearly survey of over 50,000 people from 38 different countries being asked to give their opinions on various issues and situations within their country. The last one was done in November of 2017 and a composite book being released about the surveys and the data that is due to come out September 6, 2018, which would be Thursday. But we thought it would be a good time to just look at the survey from last year and talk about the questions and where America stood in understanding the realities of the societies we live in. In this episode of Lessons from the Screen, we will look at the Ipsos Ignorance Index.
Last show we defined mental health and what makes someone mentally healthy. We talked about it being more than just the absence of illness but also the presence of balance and stability. This show we will be talking about a report produced in November of 2017 regarding some of the disparities and issues surrounding mental health in the Black Community. While I don’t agree with most comparisons being used for serious strategic planning, they do serve the purpose of providing context to numbers when the context is needed. As we continue on into Mental Health Awareness month we continue to hope that you will take everything you’re getting from the network and start a conversation around mental health in your circles. Conversations that spark action and changes to the world around you in a positive way.
We are always at a critical juncture in history. That is one of the deeper lessons of history that you don’t get until you start connecting the dots between major past events and the minuscule things that proceed them. There is more to learn in some cases from the long and peaceful periods of history, aka the boring bits, than there is to learn in the eventful war filled periods. History is fluid, as is the present and the future, ever-changing based on the actions of the present and the perceptions of the future. That being said we find ourselves at a critical juncture in history.
For the last 30 years, we have been engaging in an increasingly hostile political environment that seems to have been pushed over the edge by 2 recent occurrences, the election of Barack Obama and the subsequent election of Donald Trump. Both of these events triggered massive increases in political incivility not seen since the years before the war of succession, and contrary to popular opinion it wasn’t the war that changed politics it was the compromise of 1877. That brings us to the point of this show, is democracy dying, and if it is, why are we so willing to kill it?
A more timely book couldn’t have been produced than the one Steve Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt released in January of this year. A book that at its core takes a look at democracies across the globe and analyzes how they transformed into authoritarian states. It does this in a very comparative and analytical way bringing every discussion back to what we see in America today. In this episode of Lessons from the Screen we will be taking a look at How Democracies Die.
In 1849 a book was published in a niche but growing genre that would become one of the most powerful sections of American Literature and the most damning for American Historical Pride. That Genre was dubbed: Slave Narratives. Not only did these books serve to vilify a major force in American Culture and a major source of American Wealth, but they also pushed back heavily on American Propaganda which sought to convey an image of pride and dignity with regards to the owning of human beings. And after more than 150 years these books are still serving the same purposes as America continues to resist accepting it’s cultural legacy and continues to push propaganda that promotes the pride and dignity of the darkest sections of American History.
Today on Lessons from the Screen we will be taking a look at the Narrative of Henry Bibb an American Slave. The book was written in 1849 by Henry Bibb himself and reveals a lot about slavery in America, in addition, the overall American Culture at that time that it would accept such an institution. We will give a brief review of the book and interesting points about it, we will also give one of the biggest takeaways for us from the reading of the book. This is definitely a book you should read and its one that you can find for free at that, the link will be provided on this post.
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is a lover of learning and analyzer of anything that can be analyzed, even if it probably shouldn't be.