Tuesday, April 4, 2017

This is your Brooks on drugs

Reweaving. Via Houston Culture Map.
Former New York Times columnist David Brooks tries his hand at Trump whispering ("Let's Go for a Win on Opioids"):
If we lived in a normal country our president would use the current moment to try to get a win — to try to pass something that would help people, demonstrate that Washington can function and rebuild his brand.
No no no, if we lived in a normal country we wouldn't be in the current moment, with a president exclusively interested in scoring wins and building his brand. As a matter of fact that is what he's doing, as far as anybody can tell, in between bouts of hanging out with his role models—

—and trying to distract people from the increasingly compelling evidence of a criminal international conspiracy to manipulate the US elections with a revival of the Demonize-a-Black-Woman gambit that's always served him and his friends at the Daily Caller and the Benghazi select committee so well—
(Daily Caller finally found a named source who's not named Devin Nunes to fill in the details on this story, and it's Joseph DiGenova, the former US attorney who claimed inside knowledge last spring that a grand jury had been called to indict Hillary Clinton for criminal emailing—if not there would be "an eruption you cannot believe"—and then when it didn't happen explained that it was "an FBI cover-up", maybe that was the predicted eruption, because I certainly can't believe it)—

—in the midst of these, trying to get a win and rebuilding his brand is taking up lots of his time. Or at least asking Jared, the Lord High Everything Else of this imperial court, to do it for him, looking out for many areas where wins might be waiting, including Brooks's big idea of the day:
To its credit, the Trump administration has launched a commission to see how the federal government can tackle this crisis. Trump already appears to support Obama administration spending levels on opioid addiction. But Trump could propose legislation fully funding the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act. When that was passed, by overwhelming bipartisan majorities in 2016, the price tag was put at $1 billion. But only a portion of that has actually been appropriated.
The portion being $37 million, from the Republican Congress, or a little over 3% of the total request. Trump's budget proposal actually adds $500 million back to the request and it's part of the already enacted law, as HHS secretary Tom Price has clarified, even as the Trump proposal slashes $15 billion from the HHS budget as a whole, so Brooks seems to be addressing the wrong person altogether. Dealing with the opioid crisis is apparently one of Trump's favorite things already. Just don't tell him it's Obama's program.

But then—
An anti-opioid effort won’t be effective unless it’s part of a broader effort at social and economic reweaving, a set of efforts to either help people move out of rural, blighted communities or to find jobs and social networks while there.
Poor Brooks unable to remember what he started out in search of, wanders home to the usual local, Edmund's Modest Reweaving and Alterations, where you rebuild communities by moving everybody out, unless you don't. Sometimes I don't even have the heart to go on. Maybe he really meant "Let's go for a Spin on Opioids."

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