UPDATE: John Edwards takes on Big Pharma AND Big Insurance

First, John Edwards came out talking about Universal Health Care when no one else would. Then, he came out with the first and ONLY truly Universal Health Care plan by a front-runner on either side. Now, he is detailing his plan for how to TRULY cut costs, not just to talk about it, but how to really do it. And, one of the issues behind his proposals is to take on Big Drug.

Edwards' plan would remove long-term patents for companies that develop breakthrough drugs and then reap large profits because of the monopolies those patents provide, according to a statement by Edwards obtained Wednesday evening.

Edwards said offering cash incentives instead would allow multiple companies to produce those drugs and drive down prices.

Ezra Klein says:

This is a huge deal, undoubtedly the biggest and most transformative health policy idea we've heard during this cycle

Matthew Yglesias says:

I wasn't really as blown away by John Edwards health care as some others I know (it was good, though) but this here is a real game-changer...That's an idea that makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.

UPDATE after the break.

Google moves to Southern Village in Chapel Hill

Okay, maybe not. But, I couldn't help but notice that the office space adjacent to the Edwards campaign, also located in Chapel Hill, now has a Google sign on it. AND, that Google has had an office on Franklin Street for many years. The article in the N&O says they have 5 employees, but that office space they moved into is HUGEish.

Wonder what the deal is?

The Conservative Citizen

As expected, Heath Shuler's handsome face graced the cover of the latest edition of The Conservative Citizen (click for larger image), sharing the bright stage with Rudy G. That's Rudy G., of NYC, who Harry Reid recently said has been "married more times than Mitt Romney has been hunting."

The headline on the story about Heath was big and bold: "Congressman Heath Shuler Explains His Conservative Credentials." The article goes on to report a anecdote Heath shared at the coven meeting. Once upon a time, he apparently walked away from a business deal because that people involved were swearing too much. Beyond that little vignette, Heath was all Blue Dog this and Blue Dog that. Not much of interest that I could find.

Which brings me to two points below the fold:

Don't Count on DCCC to help Larry Kissell

A few days ago, Larry Kissell wrote a diary on DailyKos titled No Confidence in Politics as Usual. Tucked away in that diary was this little morsel:

The Washington folks seemed shocked that we recently polled and it showed my opponent is in big trouble and the district agrees with me that we've had enough.

That's right. There's a poll. Unfortunately, I can't get my hands on it, but what I've heard so far is that Robin Hayes is in more trouble than he's ever been in and Larry Kissell hasn't lost momentum. From what I hear - and I promise to produce the poll if it is ever released - on the uninformed poll question, the two candidates (Kissell v. Hayes) are neck and neck.

Heath Shuler's Civitas Speech

You'll remember the way many felt about Heath Shuler attending the Civitas Institute's Conservative Leadership Conference - that Shuler would be legitimizing a Republican party apparatus masquerading as a non-profit group, that he was giving cover to some of the most rabid conservative partisans in the nation.

While there are plenty of parts of Shuler's speech I take issue with, on the whole Rep. Shuler sounded like a man who was taking a risk and doing his best to reach out. If you have to go consorting with with hard right political organizations, this isn't the worst way to do it.


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