The morning meeting with Al Tompkins is a daily Poynter briefing on story ideas worth considering and other timely context for journalists, written by senior lecturer Al Tompkins. Signing up here to have it delivered to your mailbox every weekday morning.
Someone posted this fake-but-real-looking Twitter post on Thursday that raised the hopes of millions struggling to pay for their insulin. The fake but verified tweet was online for three hours and has 1,500 retweets and 10,000 likes.
I suppose this was a double protest against drug costs and Twitter’s new paid tick verification.
The insulin rumor could be part of an insulin pricing battle that Lilly has been trying to answer for the past few days. A study by T1 International, found that 1 in 4 people living with diabetes in the United States reported rationing insulin due to high prescription costs. Another study just published on “Annals of Internal Medicine” he said more than 1 million people with diabetes in the US rationed their supply in 2021 because of costs.
Lilly is committed to making insulin accessible to all people with diabetes, regardless of income or insurance status. In recent years, we have introduced multiple solutions that have progressively lowered the out-of-pocket cost of Lilly insulin. Today, anyone can buy Lilly’s prescription insulin for $35 or less a month, regardless of how many pens or vials they use and whether they’re uninsured or use commercial insurance, Medicaid, or are enrolled in a participating Medicare Part D. Floor.
The fact is, our solutions are having a real impact on people living with diabetes. Despite the increase in deductibles, the median monthly out-of-pocket cost for Lilly insulin has dropped 44%, to $21.80, over the past five years. Lilly has not raised list prices for any of our insulins since 2017 and continues to take steps to reduce out-of-pocket costs.
You can too read recent statements by the other two pharmaceutical companies that produce insulin.
7 million Americans are expected to use insulin every day to control their diabetes. This summer, Yale researchers discovered:
14% of people who use insulin in the US face what is described as a “catastrophic” level of spending on insulin, meaning they have spent at least 40% of their post-living income – what is available after paying for food and accommodation – for insulin .
All of this background may contextualize why anyone would combine the frustrations of insulin and Twitter into one ill-advised protest post.
Thursday, the Washington Post reported that “several senior privacy and security executives resigned from Twitter on Thursday, citing risk fears from Elon Musk’s leadership in a stunning exodus that prompted federal regulators to warn they could intervene.”
About the fake verified accounts, the Post reports:
Musk said the company would suspend such accounts, but a number of fake accounts remained online for hours, receiving tens of thousands of likes and retweets. Early Thursday, in a reply to someone who mentioned that a fake Biden was talking about engaging in a sexual act, Musk responded with two laughing emojis.
And on Muck Rack reporters: This little Chrome extension can help you tell the difference between actual verified accounts and Twitter Blue users. Just install the extension and see the difference. Made by Will Seagar And Walter Lima. For the moment it is a “developer” extension but when it is approved it will be even easier to install.
The link will walk you through the setup process and help you spot the difference between tweets like these:
Today, there is a glimmer of hope that Americans can avert a nationwide railroad strike. The third largest of 12 unions that are voting on a new contract with the railway companies have agreed to a “cooling off” period that starts on November 20 and runs until December 4.
The Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters rejected the recent jobs deal brokered by the Biden administration.
Numerous trade associations, including the American Trucking Associations, the National Retail Federation, the US Chamber of Commerce, the American Farm Bureau, the International Association of Movers and the International Bottled Water Association, are asking President Biden to recommit to prevent a nationwide rail strike. The President can’t stop a strike, but Congress can.
This may all sound familiar. On the eve of a strike set for September, unions and railroads reached a tentative deal brokered by the Biden administration. But so far seven of the 12 major rail unions, including two of the largest, have accepted the proposal. Two others rejected it and three will soon vote on the deal. During the weekend, 52% of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers voted for the new contract which includes 24% raises and a $5,000 bonus. But all 12 unions must accept the contract to avoid a strike.
We write to you today urging you to continue working with the unions and the railways to ensure that the interim agreement you helped broker is ratified by the parties.
“It is imperative that these contracts are ratified now, as a railroad shutdown would have a significant impact on the US economy and lead to further inflationary pressure.”
Unfortunately, we have seen two unions reject the deal and there are fears that others may follow. If that were the case, we could see a strike that would shut down the entire freight rail system. Because the White House has played such a central role in the process, we believe it can be helpful in continuing to move the process forward in a positive direction.
The union leader Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division who rejected its deal earlier this month said whether the railroads I will not consider adding sick time he has no choice but to prepare for a strike next month. Union chairman Tony Cardwell said railroad executives continue to “bow to Wall Street’s continued desire for more than its fair share,” they reported. billion in profits.
JDSupra points out why railroads are so critical to America’s supply chain.
Today, the railways represent 27% of cargo deliveries as of 2020. Their pervasiveness in the United States makes them an ideal form of transportation for delivering goods greater distances than any other mode. Second only to trucking by ton-mile comparison in the United States, each freight and bulk train can carry a load of up to 500 trucks. Indeed, Freight trains can move a ton of cargo over 450 miles on just one gallon of fuel. This makes them more efficient for transporting products.
These are the major rail corridors in the United States. Think of them as expressways for trains.
Remember, trains today are just a part of the intermodal mode of freight transport which includes barges, trucks and trains.
OilPrice.com points out that while we might think of trains as a way of moving things around America, they are a fundamental way of moving American products around the world.
About ⅓ of all US exports rely on freight. Food, wood, coal and metal move to the United States 140,000 kilometers of freight routes. For this reason, many US suppliers of goods are concerned about the possibility of another major train strike.
In September, two of the 12 major US rail unions rejected negotiations, putting a potential attack back on the table this winter. This latest steel news has buyers and sellers wondering: What does this mean for the metal?
Approximately 52% of all US cargo is made up of bulk goods. For instance, coal, iron ore and scrap steel are three common commodities transported daily in the United States. This also includes coking coal used to make steel. Thus, American steel mills are particularly dependent on the ability of rail systems to transport these items locally. If a strike were to occur, it would spell big trouble at an already delicate time.
The FAA asked what you have to say about airplane seats, and people vented their frustrations.
Major airlines have reduced their coach seats to 17 inches by 18.5 inches and have reduced the recline distance of the seats as well. The FAA doesn’t regulate comfort, but is interested in whether the smaller seats could cause a safety issue if people have difficulty getting out of them in an emergency. In his latest discoverythe FAA has ruled that today’s smaller seats are not a safety concern.
I entered some search words into the FAA website to get a sense of what some people have been writing. Hundreds have mentioned the words “torture” or “hardship”.
If the GOP becomes the majority of the US House of Representatives, we will (probably) have a new one House speaker. But the rules about how a speaker is chosen might surprise you.
First, you don’t have to be a member of the House to be a speaker. Members have to nominate the person, but in theory they could nominate you. He says so, right in there Article I, Section II of the Constitution that the Chamber “choose its own president and other officials”. Non-members were nominated, including Colin Powell. Never chosen but nominated.
Upon nomination, a person needs a majority vote of the members of the House who are present and voting. If all members were present, a candidate would need 218 votes. Votes typically fall along party lines, so whoever is in the majority lines up behind one person and selects one of their own. In 1849 the House had been in session 19 days without being able to elect a speaker because no candidate could obtain a majority of the votes cast. Finally, after the 59th ballot, the House adopted a resolution declaring that a speaker could be elected by a plurality. Howell Cobb of Georgia was eventually elected speaker, but he resigned his government post to join the Confederate Army where he became a general.
There was, for a short time, a time limit on speakers, but it was repealed. Each term lasts two years, the length of each session of Congress. And, according to House rules, “The president’s role as president is impartial and his decisions serve to protect the rights of the minority.” That passage is notable because the speaker’s work is so overtly impartial, and the sentence assumes that the speaker is a man.