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Victor Davis Hanson: Does GOP Get To Play By Radical Left’s New Rules?

Victor Davis Hanson: Does GOP Get To Play By Radical Left’s New Rules?

Authored by Victor Davis Hanson via AmGreatness.com,

Are the New Progressive…

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Victor Davis Hanson: Does GOP Get To Play By Radical Left's New Rules?

Authored by Victor Davis Hanson via AmGreatness.com,

Are the New Progressive Rules Reciprocal?

Are today’s norms tomorrow’s norms? 

In the era of peak woke we are supposed to accept any radical departure from long-held custom and tradition as the new normal.

Perhaps.

But if so, is the improved new code of behavior at least reciprocal? Will the radical Left really wish to live by its own novel normality when it loses power? 

Have leftists ever read Thucydides on the stasis at Corcyra and his warning that zealots who destroy laws, customs, and traditions for short-term gain, soon rue the day they began making such changes when, in vain, they seek refuge in the very sanctuaries of behavior that they have destroyed?  

Or will they just plead that their own rules do not apply to themselves given their innate moral superiority? Will they employ the John Kerry defense that one must bomb the upper atmosphere with private-jet carbon emissions in order to do the important work of flying around the globe to stop carbon emissions? 

The Supreme Court

How about the new protocols regarding the Supreme Court? 

Should conservatives mass at the home of Justice Sonia Sotomayor, decrying her radical nihilist abortionist ideology? Is that an understandable cri de coeur? Would such intimidation in the future moderate her extremism? Is that now an acceptable strategy? 

Should Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) now lead a throng of screaming, right-wing protestors to the very doors of the Supreme Court? Should he egg them on by calling out by name Justices Ketanji Brown Jackson and Sotomayor, warning that they have sown the “wind” and will soon reap the “whirlwind,” as they will have no idea what “hit” them?  

Is that moral courage? Would the New York Times and NPR nod approval to such “grassroots” anguish? Will anyone define what the incendiary “hit them” means? 

When the Republicans gain the presidency and Congress, should they pack the court to 15 justices, on the cue of current progressive efforts? 

Is the new norm that right-wing goons should dog Justice Jackson while eating at restaurants, throng her—and then be contextualized and excused by conservative cabinet members, media, and politicians? Is that our new normal reaction to rulings with which we disagree? 

Should the next president trash the rulings of liberal justices when abroad before his foreign hosts? Should the conservative world keep mum when a crazy right-winger shows up fully armed near the homes of left-wing Supreme Court justices?  

Should the Left one day achieve a 5-4 majority, would major conservative politicians then claim that their rulings are “illegitimate” and seek to find ways to nullify them? 

Should conservative clerks leak controversial drafts of left-wing opinions to the media in hopes of mobilizing preemptive opposition to and strategies against subsequent progressive rulings?

Are the Left’s new Supreme Court protocols the new normal that the Right, when in power, should duplicate? 

The Congress 

If the Republicans enjoy a Senate majority in 2023, should they follow the left-wing cue of Barack Obama—to end the “Jim-Crow-era” and “racist” filibuster, and thereby end “obstructionist” ideologues who prefer “gridlock”? 

Should right-wingers designate 550 sanctuary jurisdictions in which overreaching federal environmental law simply does not fully apply? Are there to be cities and counties where federal gun registration is de facto dropped—on the principle of a higher allegiance to the Constitution? 

When Republicans take over the House in 2023, should they immediately start impeachment proceedings against Joe Biden, for destroying the border and ignoring his oath to faithfully execute immigration laws? 

Will they also appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the “Big Guy” to find how much of son Hunter Biden’s cash he received and whether he fully reported such income to the IRS—all to impeach Biden a second time as a private citizen once he leaves office? Is that the Left’s congressional legacy? 

Or should they call in Ivy League psychiatrists right now to tele-diagnose Biden as demented and deserving of an “intervention” under the 25th Amendment? Should they subpoena transcripts of all Biden’s private calls with foreign heads of state, or bring in those on the national security council to testify to what Biden said privately to foreign leaders, to ferret out any sign of senility or reference to Biden family skullduggery? 

Should a newly elected House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) tear up on national television the next misleading and factually inaccurate State of the Union address by Joe Biden? Will the nation then voice support for his adherence to the Nancy Pelosi norm?  

Will there soon be a return of the January 6 committee in which Speaker McCarthy appoints only those Democratic members who voted in 2023 to impeach Joe Biden and were political lame ducks? Will he announce that any members of “the squad” will not be serving on any congressional committees in 2023? 

Should the selectively packed committee examine the 120 days of 2020 rioting, the planned attempt to storm the White House grounds on May 31, 2020, the burning of a historic church or of a federal courthouse, and the Black Lives Matter/Antifa conspiracy to riot, loot, and destroy that was coordinated on social media? 

Will they call in an “insurrectionary abettor,” Vice President Kamala Harris, to ask why in the violent aftermath of an attack on the White House grounds did she as a vice presidential candidate boast that “protests” such as those would and should continue? 

Should “insurrectionist” Stacey Abrams be compelled to testify about her prior year-long efforts to “nullify” the Georgia gubernatorial vote? 

Will the new Congress investigate all the House and Senate members who tried to reject the Ohio vote of 2004, or who sought to pressure electors to reject their constitutional obligations in 2016, or all the senior left-wing politicians who claimed that the president in 2017 was “illegitimate,” the vote of 2016 was “rigged,” and Joe Biden should not honor the count in 2020 if it did not go his way? 

Will there be a new committee to investigate “left-wing rage,” to ascertain why political attackers, mass shooters, and attempted assassins serially target conservative congressmen, senators, Supreme Court justices, and gubernatorial candidates? Do they use social media to plan their nefarious plots? 

Was such unaddressed and ignored congressional rejectionism in the past “reckless” or even “insurrectionist”? 

The Military 

What will be the new norm should a new Republican-appointed chairman of the Joint Chiefs or defense secretary vow before Congress, without supporting documentation, that he is rooting out dangerous BLM and Antifa sympathizers in the military as likely insurrectionists? 

Will he express worry about “black rage” that is reflected in inordinate proportional representation in spiking violent crime, and especially disturbing new asymmetrical hate-crime statistics? Will he worry that white males are vastly “overrepresented” in combat units and die on the front lines at twice their numbers in the general population? Is that a de facto violation to the most existential degree of equity and inclusion or diversity? 

What will be the reaction if the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs calls up his Chinese Communist counterpart to warn him that Joe Biden is senile and talks recklessly about “removing” Putin, and thus China or Russia must be warned should Biden suggest something dangerous? Do new military norms accept the chairman now has operational authority and can simply abort the chain of command when he sees fit, regardless of the statutory link between the president and defense secretary and their theater commanders? 

What will happen if a slew of conservative retired generals now senses a new normal and will thus publicly decry Joe Biden as a fascist, a Nazi-like failure, a veritable architect of Auschwitz border cages, a liar, a cheat, and deserving of removal the sooner the better? Will that be OK? 

Will there follow applause or at least exemption under the new normal, or will an unhinged liberal voice in the wilderness vainly suggest such invective is improper if not illegal under the Uniform Code of Military Justice? 

What would happen should the new military demand mandatory conservative and traditional civic education among the ranks, banish the current woke diversity-equity-inclusion industry—and thus see recruitment crash? Would the Left stay silent or scream as the army struggles to achieve just 40 percent of its recruitment goals? 

The FBI and CIA 

What about the new normal at the FBI? Will it stay a retrieval service, but this time around for a Republican president in 2025—should an addled first family member lose a feloniously incriminating laptop, a sexually embarrassing diary, an unlawfully and deceitfully registered handgun, or a wayward crack pipe? 

Will the next FBI director preposterously open an investigation during the 2024 election, on rumors that the activities of the Biden family, of General Mark Milley, of Anthony Fauci, of key senators with Chinese financial interests all constitute a sort-of-kind-of “collusion” conspiracy with China, aimed at advancing a self-enriching and mutual left-wing agenda in the presidential election? 

Will the FBI director claim 245 times under oath before Congress he has no memory of what he has ordered? Will it be a slap-on-the-wrist, reduced-sentence tacit approval that an FBI lawyer altered a court document to ensure we get to the bottom of “Chinese collusion”? Is it alright if we learn that a Republican presidential candidate hired a foreign ex-spy, and hid his pay behind three walls, to find dirt on his opponents? 

Will Congress bring in some old right-wing FBI retired bulldog to compile a “dream team” of Federalist Society legal zealots to hunt for “Chinese collusion” among Democratic grandees? 

Will the FBI investigate Mark Zuckerberg, following his $419 million dark-money trail to see how many state registrars were absorbed by Zuck-bucks cash in conspiratorial fashion? 

Will an enterprising conservative ex-spy compile a fantasy “dossier” of alleged Biden family shenanigans, in lurid sexual detail, with the Chinese, and then peddle it to right-wing blogs on the eve of an election, all while being paid by the FBI? 

In answer to the “Access Hollywood” and various lawsuits and investigations of Donald Trump,  will Congress form a committee equally to ferret out the apparent pandemic of left-wing sexual harassment, illicit romances, and dangerous liaisons, as they call in the Cuomo brothers, Andrew Gillum, Lisa Page and Peter Strzok, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.)—and Joe Biden? 

Will the FBI in 2025 be dispatched to school board meetings to monitor whether left-wing activists are too intimidating to board members? Will they bring in SWAT teams to arrest leftist political operatives whom the Republican Justice Department finds possibly indictable? 

Will they put in chains prominent ex-Democratic advisors who refuse a Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) subpoena to appear before his new Hunter Biden committee? Will they roust out in their underwear, leftist reporters who are rumored to be in possession of a Republican president’s daughter’s diary, intimating she took inappropriate showers with her dad? 

Will 50 prominent conservative ex-CIA operatives and other intelligence officers swear in 2024 that a lost Republican laptop outlining payoffs from foreign sources was a product of Chinese disinformation? Will former conservative CIA directors or directors of national intelligence lie under oath to Congress with impunity? 

In sum, are today’s norms tomorrow’s norms? 

Or were they simply transitory and necessary in the age of the dreaded Trump—as one-time leftist means to achieve noble ends, and thus should never be institutionalized much less boomeranged? 

If so, will they reappear whenever the Left returns to power? 

Or should they be applied equally to the Left right now to ensure that outrage and disgust with such immoral and illegal machinations prohibit their use in the future?

Tyler Durden Mon, 08/01/2022 - 22:20

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Four burning questions about the future of the $16.5B Novo-Catalent deal

To build or to buy? That’s a classic question for pharma boardrooms, and Novo Nordisk is going with both.
Beyond spending billions of dollars to expand…

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To build or to buy? That’s a classic question for pharma boardrooms, and Novo Nordisk is going with both.

Beyond spending billions of dollars to expand its own production capacity for its weight loss drugs, the Danish drugmaker said Monday it will pay $11 billion to acquire three manufacturing plants from Catalent. It’s part of a broader $16.5 billion deal with Novo Holdings, the investment arm of the pharma’s parent group, which agreed to acquire the contract manufacturer and take it private.

It’s a big deal for all parties, with potential ripple effects across the biotech ecosystem. Here’s a look at some of the most pressing questions to watch after Monday’s announcement.

Why did Novo do this?

Novo Holdings isn’t the most obvious buyer for Catalent, particularly after last year’s on-and-off M&A interest from the serial acquirer Danaher. But the deal could benefit both Novo Holdings and Novo Nordisk.

Novo Nordisk’s biggest challenge has been simply making enough of the weight loss drug Wegovy and diabetes therapy Ozempic. On last week’s earnings call, Novo Nordisk CEO Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen said the company isn’t constrained by capital in its efforts to boost manufacturing. Rather, the main challenge is the limited amount of capabilities out there, he said.

“Most pharmaceutical companies in the world would be shopping among the same manufacturers,” he said. “There’s not an unlimited amount of machinery and people to build it.”

While Novo was already one of Catalent’s major customers, the manufacturer has been hamstrung by its own balance sheet. With roughly $5 billion in debt on its books, it’s had to juggle paying down debt with sufficiently investing in its facilities. That’s been particularly challenging in keeping pace with soaring demand for GLP-1 drugs.

Novo, on the other hand, has the balance sheet to funnel as much money as needed into the plants in Italy, Belgium, and Indiana. It’s also struggled to make enough of its popular GLP-1 drugs to meet their soaring demand, with documented shortages of both Ozempic and Wegovy.

The impact won’t be immediate. The parties expect the deal to close near the end of 2024. Novo Nordisk said it expects the three new sites to “gradually increase Novo Nordisk’s filling capacity from 2026 and onwards.”

As for the rest of Catalent — nearly 50 other sites employing thousands of workers — Novo Holdings will take control. The group previously acquired Altasciences in 2021 and Ritedose in 2022, so the Catalent deal builds on a core investing interest in biopharma services, Novo Holdings CEO Kasim Kutay told Endpoints News.

Kasim Kutay

When asked about possible site closures or layoffs, Kutay said the team hasn’t thought about that.

“That’s not our track record. Our track record is to invest in quality businesses and help them grow,” he said. “There’s always stuff to do with any asset you own, but we haven’t bought this company to do some of the stuff you’re talking about.”

What does it mean for Catalent’s customers? 

Until the deal closes, Catalent will operate as a standalone business. After it closes, Novo Nordisk said it will honor its customer obligations at the three sites, a spokesperson said. But they didn’t answer a question about what happens when those contracts expire.

The wrinkle is the long-term future of the three plants that Novo Nordisk is paying for. Those sites don’t exclusively pump out Wegovy, but that could be the logical long-term aim for the Danish drugmaker.

The ideal scenario is that pricing and timelines remain the same for customers, said Nicole Paulk, CEO of the gene therapy startup Siren Biotechnology.

Nicole Paulk

“The name of the group that you’re going to send your check to is now going to be Novo Holdings instead of Catalent, but otherwise everything remains the same,” Paulk told Endpoints. “That’s the best-case scenario.”

In a worst case, Paulk said she feared the new owners could wind up closing sites or laying off Catalent groups. That could create some uncertainty for customers looking for a long-term manufacturing partner.

Are shareholders and regulators happy? 

The pandemic was a wild ride for Catalent’s stock, with shares surging from about $40 to $140 and then crashing back to earth. The $63.50 share price for the takeover is a happy ending depending on the investor.

On that point, the investing giant Elliott Investment Management is satisfied. Marc Steinberg, a partner at Elliott, called the agreement “an outstanding outcome” that “clearly maximizes value for Catalent stockholders” in a statement.

Elliott helped kick off a strategic review last August that culminated in the sale agreement. Compared to Catalent’s stock price before that review started, the deal pays a nearly 40% premium.

Alessandro Maselli

But this is hardly a victory lap for CEO Alessandro Maselli, who took over in July 2022 when Catalent’s stock price was north of $100. Novo’s takeover is a tacit acknowledgment that Maselli could never fully right the ship, as operational problems plagued the company throughout 2023 while it was limited by its debt.

Additional regulatory filings in the next few weeks could give insight into just how competitive the sale process was. William Blair analysts said they don’t expect a competing bidder “given the organic investments already being pursued at other leading CDMOs and the breadth and scale of Catalent’s operations.”

The Blair analysts also noted the companies likely “expect to spend some time educating relevant government agencies” about the deal, given the lengthy closing timeline. Given Novo Nordisk’s ascent — it’s now one of Europe’s most valuable companies — paired with the limited number of large contract manufacturers, antitrust regulators could be interested in taking a close look.

Are Catalent’s problems finally a thing of the past?

Catalent ran into a mix of financial and operational problems over the past year that played no small part in attracting the interest of an activist like Elliott.

Now with a deal in place, how quickly can Novo rectify those problems? Some of the challenges were driven by the demands of being a publicly traded company, like failing to meet investors’ revenue expectations or even filing earnings reports on time.

But Catalent also struggled with its business at times, with a range of manufacturing delays, inspection reports and occasionally writing down acquisitions that didn’t pan out. Novo’s deep pockets will go a long way to a turnaround, but only the future will tell if all these issues are fixed.

Kutay said his team is excited by the opportunity and was satisfied with the due diligence it did on the company.

“We believe we’re buying a strong company with a good management team and good prospects,” Kutay said. “If that wasn’t the case, I don’t think we’d be here.”

Amber Tong and Reynald Castañeda contributed reporting.

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Petrina Kamya, Ph.D., Head of AI Platforms at Insilico Medicine, presents at BIO CEO & Investor Conference

Petrina Kamya, PhD, Head of AI Platforms and President of Insilico Medicine Canada, will present at the BIO CEO & Investor Conference happening Feb….

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Petrina Kamya, PhD, Head of AI Platforms and President of Insilico Medicine Canada, will present at the BIO CEO & Investor Conference happening Feb. 26-27 at the New York Marriott Marquis in New York City. Dr. Kamya will speak as part of the panel “AI within Biopharma: Separating Value from Hype,” on Feb. 27, 1pm ET along with Michael Nally, CEO of Generate: Biomedicines and Liz Schwarzbach, PhD, CBO of BigHat Biosciences.

Credit: Insilico Medicine

Petrina Kamya, PhD, Head of AI Platforms and President of Insilico Medicine Canada, will present at the BIO CEO & Investor Conference happening Feb. 26-27 at the New York Marriott Marquis in New York City. Dr. Kamya will speak as part of the panel “AI within Biopharma: Separating Value from Hype,” on Feb. 27, 1pm ET along with Michael Nally, CEO of Generate: Biomedicines and Liz Schwarzbach, PhD, CBO of BigHat Biosciences.

The session will look at how the latest artificial intelligence (AI) tools – including generative AI and large language models – are currently being used to advance the discovery and design of new drugs, and which technologies are still in development. 

The BIO CEO & Investor Conference brings together over 1,000 attendees and more than 700 companies across industry and institutional investment to discuss the future investment landscape of biotechnology. Sessions focus on topics such as therapeutic advancements, market outlook, and policy priorities.

Insilico Medicine is a leading, clinical stage AI-driven drug discovery company that has raised over $400m in investments since it was founded in 2014. Dr. Kamya leads the development of the Company’s end-to-end generative AI platform, Pharma.AI from Insilico’s AI R&D Center in Montreal. Using modern machine learning techniques in the context of chemistry and biology, the platform has driven the discovery and design of 30+ new therapies, with five in clinical stages – for cancer, fibrosis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and COVID-19. The Company’s lead drug, for the chronic, rare lung condition idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, is the first AI-designed drug for an AI-discovered target to reach Phase II clinical trials with patients. Nine of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies have used Insilico’s AI platform to advance their programs, and the Company has a number of major strategic licensing deals around its AI-designed therapeutic assets, including with Sanofi, Exelixis and Menarini. 

 

About Insilico Medicine

Insilico Medicine, a global clinical stage biotechnology company powered by generative AI, is connecting biology, chemistry, and clinical trials analysis using next-generation AI systems. The company has developed AI platforms that utilize deep generative models, reinforcement learning, transformers, and other modern machine learning techniques for novel target discovery and the generation of novel molecular structures with desired properties. Insilico Medicine is developing breakthrough solutions to discover and develop innovative drugs for cancer, fibrosis, immunity, central nervous system diseases, infectious diseases, autoimmune diseases, and aging-related diseases. www.insilico.com 


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Another country is getting ready to launch a visa for digital nomads

Early reports are saying Japan will soon have a digital nomad visa for high-earning foreigners.

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Over the last decade, the explosion of remote work that came as a result of improved technology and the pandemic has allowed an increasing number of people to become digital nomads. 

When looked at more broadly as anyone not required to come into a fixed office but instead moves between different locations such as the home and the coffee shop, the latest estimate shows that there were more than 35 million such workers in the world by the end of 2023 while over half of those come from the United States.

Related: There is a new list of cities that are best for digital nomads

While remote work has also allowed many to move to cheaper places and travel around the world while still bringing in income, working outside of one's home country requires either dual citizenship or work authorization — the global shift toward remote work has pushed many countries to launch specific digital nomad visas to boost their economies and bring in new residents.

Japan is a very popular destination for U.S. tourists. 

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This popular vacation destination will soon have a nomad visa

Spain, Portugal, Indonesia, Malaysia, Costa Rica, Brazil, Latvia and Malta are some of the countries currently offering specific visas for foreigners who want to live there while bringing in income from abroad.

More Travel:

With the exception of a few, Asian countries generally have stricter immigration laws and were much slower to launch these types of visas that some of the countries with weaker economies had as far back as 2015. As first reported by the Japan Times, the country's Immigration Services Agency ended up making the leap toward a visa for those who can earn more than ¥10 million ($68,300 USD) with income from another country.

The Japanese government has not yet worked out the specifics of how long the visa will be valid for or how much it will cost — public comment on the proposal is being accepted throughout next week. 

That said, early reports say the visa will be shorter than the typical digital nomad option that allows foreigners to live in a country for several years. The visa will reportedly be valid for six months or slightly longer but still no more than a year — along with the ability to work, this allows some to stay beyond the 90-day tourist period typically afforded to those from countries with visa-free agreements.

'Not be given a residence card of residence certificate'

While one will be able to reapply for the visa after the time runs out, this can only be done by exiting the country and being away for six months before coming back again — becoming a permanent resident on the pathway to citizenship is an entirely different process with much more strict requirements.

"Those living in Japan with the digital nomad visa will not be given a residence card or a residence certificate, which provide access to certain government benefits," reports the news outlet. "The visa cannot be renewed and must be reapplied for, with this only possible six months after leaving the countr

The visa will reportedly start in March and also allow holders to bring their spouses and families with them. To start using the visa, holders will also need to purchase private health insurance from their home country while taxes on any money one earns will also need to be paid through one's home country.

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