RCP Morning Note, 04/25/2017: EPA Budget Cuts; Stalking Obamacare; the Canadian Model; Double Helix


Carl Cannon’s Morning Note

EPA Budget Cuts; Stalking Obamacare; the Canadian Model; Double Helix

By Carl M. Cannon on Apr 25, 2017 08:27 am
Good morning, it’s Tuesday, April 25, 2017. A loyal reader of this newsletter, in response to Monday morning’s note about the weekend pro-science march, said that her favorite poster from that event was: “Got Polio? Me Neither. Thanks, Science!" This is a nice segue to today’s date in U.S. history — an article published on April 25, 1953 by Nature magazine. In it, researchers Francis Crick and James Watson described a momentous new finding: the DNA double helix. From this discovery flowed the secrets of molecular biology and, eventually, the mapping of the human genome. I’ll have more on this in a moment. First, I’d point you to RealClearPolitics’ front page, which presents our poll averages, videos, breaking news stories, and aggregated opinion pieces spanning the political spectrum. We also offer a complement of original material from our own reporters and contributors, including the following: * * * Gutting EPA Is a Threat to Our Health. In an op-ed, Rhea Suh asserts that the president’s budget proposal will undo important gains made since the EPA was created in 1970. Time for America to Follow China’s Lead. In RealClearWorld, Kishore Mahbubani writes that roles have reversed as the Asian nation emphasizes strengthening rather than weakening multilateral institutions. Will Obamacare Survive Another Round in the Congressional Boxing Ring? In RealClearHealth, Shawn Yates evaluates the future of the GOP’s repeal effort. For ‘Big League’ Regulation Cuts, Look to Canada. In RealClearPolicy, James Broughel offers the Trump administration an unlikely model for regulatory reform. ‘Buy American, Hire American': Cruel to U.S. Businesses and Workers. RealClearMarkets editor John Tamny reminds readers that such a policy weakens consumers by blinding them to important market signals. Inclusive Growth Requires Full Employment. Also in RCM, Isabel Sawhill explains a key prerequisite for broadly shared prosperity. Study on Charter School Applications Is Useful, in Measured Doses. In RealClearEducation, Frederick Hess and Jenn Hatfield assess whether a new study can predict which charter schools will succeed or fail. * * * Although James Watson and Francis Crick announced the existence of the double helix on this date in 1953, they couldn’t restrain themselves from spilling the secret earlier. “We have discovered the secret of life," the gregarious Crick announced at the Eagle pub in Cambridge, England, a month earlier. The ensuing Nature article he co-wrote with Watson was more restrained, but both men had ample reason for their pride. “History supports the boast," wrote Brian Hayes in the American Scientist many years later. “If life ever had a secret, the double helix of DNA was surely it." In a 2012 review of a reissue of “The Double Helix," James Watson’s classic book, the New York Times put it this way: “Anyone seeking to understand modern biology and genomics could do much worse than start with the discovery of the structure of DNA, on which almost everything else is based." Both scientists stayed active for many years in the field they helped shape. In the mid-1970s, Crick reached mandatory retirement age at Britain’s Medical Research Council — but he wasn’t ready to hang up his spurs. At 60, Crick joined the Salk Institute in Southern California where he worked for another 27 years. By way of gratitude, Crick’s family donated a letter he’d written to his son, Michael, in 1953 outlining how the two researchers came across the genetic code. “My dear Michael," began the missive to the 13-year-old boarding school student. “Jim Watson and I have probably made a most important discovery." The letter goes on to describe what that discovery entailed, and how it was made. Four years ago this month, on the anniversary of Jonas Salk’s first polio vaccine tests, the letter was sold at auction for $5.3 million. It ends this way: You can understand that we are very excited. We have to have a letter off to Nature in a day or so. Read this carefully so that you understand it. When you come home we will show you the model. Lots of love, Daddy Carl M. Cannon
Washington Bureau chief, RealClearPolitics
@CarlCannon (Twitter)

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