Friday, November 30

ByKevin Sheekey

USA Today: Feds Still Aren’t Up to Dealing with Opioid Crisis, So We’re Stepping In
by Michael Bloomberg and Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf

The opioid epidemic is a national health crisis of historic proportion. Yet the federal government is still not tackling it with the urgency it requires. The U.S. has the highest drug overdose death rate in the world, and two-thirds of the deaths are attributable to opioids. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control, 47,600 Americans died last year from opioid overdoses. That’s about a 13 percent increase from 2016 — and it’s nearly as many Americans as were killed during the entire Vietnam War.

What’s truly needed is a comprehensive strategy that includes the policy changes necessary to stem the epidemic and overcome barriers to treatment.

We are not waiting around for the federal government to provide that strategy. States have already been leading in ways Washington hasn’t, and foundations can offer resources and expertise that can help them accelerate their work now.

On Friday, Bloomberg Philanthropies announced that it will commit $50 million to help up to 10 of the states hardest hit by the epidemic, starting with Pennsylvania, where the drug overdose rate is nearly double the national average. More than 5,400 Pennsylvanians died of drug overdoses in 2017, one of the highest numbers among all U.S. states. Under this new partnership, the state will receive up to $10 million over three years, and will embed staff in government agencies to support state-and-local-led interventions to reduce opioid-related deaths. Ultimately, the initiative will aim to create strategies for ending the crisis that could become a blueprint for the rest of the nation.

Read more: Bloomberg Philanthropies Will Donate $50 Million to Battle Opioid Epidemic (Washington Post)

How Mike Bloomberg Used His Money to Aid Democratic Victories in the House (New York Times)
While it’s impossible to conclude that any one factor tipped the balance in a race, Mike Bloomberg appears to have reaped the benefits of his millions in giving. Democrats won 21 of the 24 races he sought to influence. Of those, 12 had been considered either tossups or in Republican districts. (18 of 21 winners were women).

“We were able to really come in and overwhelm at the last minute in some of these places,” said Howard Wolfson, a senior adviser to Bloomberg.

Bloomberg’s Independence USA identified target districts based on a theory that highly educated voters were more likely to vote Democratic, even if they had previously voted Republican. Mr. Bloomberg’s operation hired two companies that analyzed educational achievement in Republican congressional districts, Mr. Wolfson said. One of those was Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District, where an increasingly young and well-educated electorate had been lured by jobs and the urban conveniences of Oklahoma City, and where Democrat Kendra Horn was running (and won).

Russia Investigation Latest:
President Trump Emerges as a Central Subject of Mueller Probe (Washington Post)

-The Trump Organization Eyed Giving Vladimir Putin $50 Million Penthouse In Trump Tower Moscow, Broker Says (Bloomberg)
Ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen admitted to lying about deal the shield his boss.

Hot on the Bloomberg:
Marriott Hit by Starwood Hack That Ranks Among Biggest Ever (Bloomberg)

Trade Today: Trump Signs Nafta Replacement, But Hurdles Remain in Congress (Bloomberg)

Bloomberg Opinion.

Editorial: Theresa May’s Brexit Will Cost the U.K. a Fortune

Editorial: There’s No Need for a New Cold War With China
The U.S. can defend its interests without making Beijing an enemy.

China Is Inching in the Right Direction (Bloomberg Opinion – John Micklethwait)
Never mind “Thucydides’s trap.” Today’s rising power seems to have taken history’s lessons to heart.

Ahead of Mexico’s Presidential Inauguration Saturday: Seven Things Investors Should Know About AMLO (Bloomberg Opinion – John Authers)

Arts Section.

Mike Bloomberg Donates $1M to Jackson, Mississippi (Jackson Clarion-Ledger)

Houston’s New Menil Drawing Institute is a Marvel of Light and Lines (Houston Chronicle)
The new Menil Drawing Institute “looks like a stealth jet of a building” and is “a marvel of light, shadow and lines defined by the slant of a razor-thin metal roof and recessed walls of dark gray cedar and glass.” Bloomberg Philanthropies is a supporter of the institute.

Celebrating 60 Years of Alvin Ailey (New York Times)
Bloomberg Philanthropies is a supporter of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

Best Seller: Michelle Obama’s “Becoming” is 2018’s Best-Selling Book – More Than 2 Million Copies Sold (Axios)

Best of late night.

“It’s been a busy 24 hours for the president. Last night, Trump flipped on the Christmas tree lights, and today, Michael Cohen flipped on Trump.”
— Jimmy Fallon

“I’m not saying Trump’s running out of friends, but today he asked Rosie O’Donnell if she wanted to get lunch.”
— Jimmy Fallon

“Payless opened a fake luxury store, selling customers $20 shoes for $600! That is not right. Payless isn’t where you buy $20 shoes for $600, it’s where you buy $2 shoes for $20.”
— Stephen Colbert

For more best of late night from the New York Times, click here.

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