Doing Whatever It Takes

Grind for April 8th, 2019

“All people are born alike – except Republicans and Democrats.”

– Groucho Marx.

Say What?!

The Headline

House Democrats are cheating to secure incumbents

The Grind

As reported by The Hill, leading House Democrats have introduced a new policy that seeks to reduce the chances that incumbent Democrats will be defeated by challengers from the same Party.

Under the new policy, any consultants working for candidates challenging a sitting Democrat would be blocked from working with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC).

Consultants who promise not to work with said candidates will be added to a list of approved vendors eligible to work for the DCCC.

The Details

Freshmen lawmakers like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) see the policy as a “blacklist” designed to reign in the Progressive Left, but DCCC veterans insist the policy is nothing more than an old rule that was never put on paper (until now).

“Keeping the House requires the DCCC to focus on shoring up incumbents and challenging Republicans in red and purple districts, not battling in blue districts,” explains a former DCCC official. “It’s extremely difficult to keep that focus if the committee is constantly being pulled into Dem-on-Dem battles.”

In reality, few consultants who do significant business with the DCCC work for insurgent candidates. The only major example from last year’s midterms was the polling firm Lake Research Partners, who worked for AOC.

The policy is already making some would-be candidates question their bids.

Take Marie Newman, for example: Newman is a Democratic activist who last year came close to unseating Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-IL). Newman says the new policy will be a major “consideration” as she decides whether to challenge Lipinski again.

“When you’re going to those lengths to ensure that incumbents, no matter who they are, stay in office, that feels like overreach,” says Newman.

Ocasio-Cortez has already asked her supporters to “pause” donations to the DCCC and instead give money to endangered Democrats. Her request garnered $90,000 in the first day.

This Is Going To Hurt

The Headline

Scientists look to animals for answers amid global organ shortage

The Grind

Nearly 113,000 Americans are waiting for organ transplants. An estimated 8,000 of those patients will never receive the organ they need and 20 of them will die within the next 24 hours.

As the global organ shortage persists, scientists are starting to consider xenotransplantation (cross-species organ transplantation) as a viable solution.

Last year, after developing a new pre-surgery treatment for pig hearts, a team of scientists in Germany was able to keep four baboons with foreign hearts alive for 180 days.

The experiment marked a giant step forward in the field of xenotransplantation.

The Details

Working towards the same goal is a company called eGenesis, which is using the gene-editing tool CRISPR to remove foreign markers from pig organs – thereby reducing the chances that a human host’s immune system will reject the organ.

“I think this is a magical point in the field of [animal transplants],” says eGenesis researcher William Westlin. “It’s no longer a question of if. It’s just a question of when.”

Researchers at the University of Alabama plan to start conducting human trials with genetically engineered pig hearts and kidneys within the next few years.

Xenotransplantation will “revolutionize medicine,” says UAB researcher David Cooper. “You’d have these organs available whenever you want them…If somebody’s had a heart attack, you could take their heart out and put a pig heart in on the spot. There is huge potential here.”

Did you know… Your body is creating and killing 15 million red blood cells per second!