Pandemic-related liability shields are saving lives

Little noticed among the plethora of writings about the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccines, and other actual or potential drug therapies is the topic of liability prevention. When pharmaceutical makers are compelled to produce vaccines or other treatments to combat pandemics, they understandably may be reluctant to do so if it could result in billions of dollars of liability exposure. The law should provide clear protections for these innovating manufacturers now so we are better prepared for future pandemics and other health crises.

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The Secrets to the Best Dry Martini You’ll Ever Have

This is my last column for Half Full. Over the past five-and-a-half years, I’ve been lucky enough to write a great number of them here, on any topic I found interesting. Anything from the crucial role African American bartenders played in the development of the American way of mixing drinks; to the history of America’s oldest whiskey brand, Old Overholt; to the difference between Aristotelian bartending and Platonic bartending; to the epic, or at least epically long, story of New Orleans’ oldest bar (in four parts, no less); and a whole lot of other things besides.

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The Secrets to the Best Dry Martini You’ll Ever Have

This is my last column for Half Full. Over the past five-and-a-half years, I’ve been lucky enough to write a great number of them here, on any topic I found interesting. Anything from the crucial role African American bartenders played in the development of the American way of mixing drinks; to the history of America’s oldest whiskey brand, Old Overholt; to the difference between Aristotelian bartending and Platonic bartending; to the epic, or at least epically long, story of New Orleans’ oldest bar (in four parts, no less); and a whole lot of other things besides.

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‘Fox & Friends’ Host Claims Buttigieg’s Infrastructure Plan Is Just Like Segregation

Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade on Thursday compared Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s proposed allocation of infrastructure funds to how things were in America when segregation was legal.
Appearing as a guest on Tucker Carlson Tonight, Kilmeade pounced on the secretary’s comments on MSNBC last week about racial gaps in usage of certain forms of transportation. Buttigieg also recently stressed that infrastructure decisions he makes have an inherent racial and climate component, something he has repeatedly said.

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The Supreme Court Appears Ready, Finally, to Defeat Affirmative Action

Opponents of affirmative action in university admissions couldn’t possibly have had better news than the Supreme Court’s announcement on Monday that it will hear two cases organized by Edward Blum, the anti-affirmative-action crusader. The first, a lawsuit against Harvard alleging that it discriminates against Asian American applicants, was unsuccessful in federal district court in Boston, and unsuccessful again in the First Circuit Court of Appeals. It’s hard to imagine that the Supreme Court took the case because it wanted to affirm the lower courts’ rulings.

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Why Ron DeSantis is the junior Donald Trump Jr.

If there were ever a cock astride a weather vane who could point in which direction the GOP base is blowing, it is Donald J. Trump.
He figured out that Tea Partiers actually cared about Barack Obama’s papers (and skin color), not the deficit. He sensed the party didn’t just want to kick immigrants out. They wanted to build a wall from which they could kick back and fondle their guns, as they enjoyed the mass deportations. Now he’s sensing how the political winds may be blowing his party’s base into the arms of another Mr. White.

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The Ukraine Crisis: Handle With Care

I don’t know what’s coming in Ukraine or what the U.S. should do beyond think first of its national interests. The trick is defining those interests for this moment and with these players. We have to get it right and the stakes feel high, but there seems a paucity of new thinking. I find myself impatient with confidently expressed declarations that we have no interest in a faraway border dispute, that Russia and Ukraine have a long and complicated history, and in any case the story of man is a tale of organized brutality, so get a grip. That’s not . . . right.

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2022 is the year of the parent

OPINION:
Parents should have primary responsibility for their children’s education and their children’s medical decisions. This should be a non-controversial statement, but radicals these days are trying to pry control away from parents all across the country. We must fight back. 
In California, lawmakers are pushing legislation that would allow children as young as 12 to receive COVID-19 vaccinations without consent from their parents. While I got both of my COVID-19 shots and booster, I believe that parents should be the ones making that decision with their children.

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Attack of the Right-Wing Thought Police

Americans like to think of their nation as a beacon of freedom. And despite all the ways in which we have failed to live up to our self-image, above all the vast injustices that sprang from the original sin of slavery, freedom — not just free elections, but also freedom of speech and thought — has long been a key element of the American idea.
Now, however, freedom is under attack, on more fronts than many people realize. Everyone knows about the Big Lie, the refusal by a large majority of Republicans to accept the legitimacy of a lost election.

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Tennessee School Board Pulls Maus From Eighth-Grade Curriculum

Art Spiegelman’s once-controversial and now-canonical graphic memoir Maus has been removed from the McMinn County, Tennessee, school curriculum in a unanimous decision by the local Board of Education.
It was an unexpected irony for the news to hit this week, today being Holocaust Remembrance Day. Spiegelman’s Pulitzer-winning book, with its enormous cultural impact and reader-friendliness, has been a, perhaps the, primary pop vehicle of such remembrance over the past few decades.

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