Med School Deans Criticize Biden’s “Cancer Moonshot”

Vice President Joe Biden, pictured with Penn's Dr. Amy Gutmann, launches a "moonshot" initiative to hasten a cure for cancer at Penn Medicine's Abramson Cancer Center in Philadelphia on January 15, 2016.

Vice President Joe Biden, pictured with Penn’s Dr. Amy Gutmann, launches a “moonshot” initiative to hasten a cure for cancer at Penn Medicine’s Abramson Cancer Center in Philadelphia on January 15, 2016.

A coalition of medical school leaders have joined to criticize Vice President Joe Biden’s “Cancer Moonshot” initiative — a plan he launched in January at Penn.

In an open letter to Biden, the med school leaders say that resources would be spent on finding ways to prevent cancer rather than cure the disease.

“Since the beginning of the “War on Cancer,” the most notable cancer successes have been due to the power and efficacy of prevention,” the letter says.  “The massive reductions in lung, cervical, colorectal and gastric cancer mortality rates are almost entirely due to a focus on public health and prevention approaches.” Read more »

Joe Biden, Lady Gaga Teaming Up at the Oscars

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VP Joe Biden is taking to the Oscars to promote his message against campus sexual assault. Biden will be introducing Lady Gaga before her performance of Oscar-nominated “Til it Happens to You.” The song, which was released last year and is featured in the film The Hunting Ground, focuses on the act of sexual assault, the response of victims and friends, and the prominence of sexual assaults at colleges.  Read more »

At Penn, Joe Biden Spells Out How Cancer “Moonshot” Will Work

Vice President Joe Biden, pictured with Penn's Dr. Amy Gutmann, launches a "moonshot" initiative to hasten a cure for cancer at Penn Medicine's Abramson Cancer Center in Philadelphia on January 15, 2016.

Vice President Joe Biden, pictured with Penn president Dr. Amy Gutmann, launches a “moonshot” initiative to hasten a cure for cancer at Penn Medicine’s Abramson Cancer Center in Philadelphia on January 15, 2016.

Joe Biden called it a moonshot, but the vice president says he’s realistic about the fight against cancer. He doesn’t want people to think the push against cancer, announced by President Obama in Tuesday’s State of the Union address, is some over-the-top declaration that we’re going to find a cure for cancer immediately.

“My goal is that we find absolute cures, but for some cancers where we get to the point where we can manage them and they become chronic diseases,” Biden said at Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center on Friday afternoon. “The goal is: Whatever breakthroughs we can make in 10 years, my goal is to make sure we can do it in five years.”

Biden was in West Philadelphia to talk with doctors and kick off the push against cancer, which Biden says is less of a program and more of a way to see how he and the U.S. government can be a “value-add” to the fight against the disease. Biden’s son, Beau, died of brain cancer last year at the age of 57.

Read more »

Philly Schools Have to Borrow Money to Stay Open

School District of Philadelphia

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Good morning, Philadelphia. Here’s what you need to know today:

The Philadelphia School District has to borrow money to keep the lights on.

The budget logjam in Harrisburg has left the school district nearly broke. Officials say they will soon need to borrow money to keep schools open, but it’s unclear exactly how much funding they will seek or what the debt service will cost. “You have to find someone who’s willing to lend you the money,” says district spokesman Fernando Gallard. “And you gotta figure out how much they’re willing to lend you, and what are the rates and all the requirements they have.” NewsWorks reports that the district borrowed $275 million at the beginning of the school year, at the cost of $1 million in debt service. Read more »

Philly Rep. Brendan Boyle: Joe Biden Is Running for President

U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden

Many political observers think it might be too late for Vice President Joe Biden to jump into the presidential race. Frontrunner Hillary Clinton has been able to raise a ton of money already, while Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has gained momentum. If Clinton has the Democratic establishment and Sanders has the cranky old white man vote, where does Biden fit in?

Then again, many Obama bundlers have not gone for Clinton. And Biden has reportedly told allies to be ready. And now, comes this tweet, from Philadelphia Rep. Brendan Boyle.

Oh snap! Just when things got #Chillary, we started to #FeeltheBern. Now here comes #Joementum! Read more »

Joe Biden Gets Emotional in Gripping Stephen Colbert Interview

Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a news conference at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015, in New York. During the event, Biden, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance and actress Mariska Hargitay announced almost $80 million in grants to help eliminate a vast nationwide backlog of rape kits.

Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a news conference at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015, in New York. During the event, Biden, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance and actress Mariska Hargitay announced almost $80 million in grants to help eliminate a vast nationwide backlog of rape kits.

Veep, former Delaware Senator and son of Scranton Joe Biden got deep on the third episode of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. In an interview that was light on jokes and heavy on substance (watch below), Colbert and the vice president got candid and personal when discussing family loss (which both host and guest have experienced) and Biden’s will-he-or-won’t-he flirtation with a presidential run.

“Go, Joe! Go, Joe!” chanted some in the audience, to which Biden smiled, “Be careful what you wish for.”

“I’d like to address the elephant in the room — which in this case is a donkey,” quipped Colbert after discussion of the “one job” being the president’s confidant and policy advisor prepares one for. “Do you have anything to tell us?” Read more »

Poll: Joe Biden Passes Bernie Sanders, Gains on Hillary Clinton

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A new Monmouth University poll shows that still-not-a-candidate Joe Biden is gaining momentum, having passed (democratic) socialist Bernie Sanders and gained ground on problem emailer Hillary Clinton among voters who are registered or lean Democrat.

Of 339 respondents, 22% said they would back Veep, former Delaware Senator, son of Scranton Biden if the 2016 election were held today — up from just 12% a month ago. (FWIW, he scored 16% in this measure back in April when his nascent candidacy was extremely nascent.) While Sanders was eclipsed by Biden — granted, in a poll with a 5.3% margin of error — his support has also trended upward; his 20% support is up from 16% last month. The big “loser” here, of course, is Clinton, whose numbers ticked down from 52% to 42%. Read more »

What Can Joe Biden Learn From Five Pennsylvania Presidential Losers?

From left: James Buchanan, Arlen Specter, Joe Biden, Rick Santorum, William Scott Hancock.

From left: James Buchanan, Arlen Specter, Joe Biden, Rick Santorum, William Scott Hancock.

Pennsylvania has long been regarded as a kingmaker when it comes to presidential politics — we still get awarded “swing state” status by pundits even though it’s been a generation since the state swung to Republicans in a presidential election. But we do a lousy job of electing our own.

The only native of the Keystone State to actually win the presidency? James Buchanan. You might remember him from his stint as The Worst President in American History. (That tends to happen when you stand by and let the nation devolve into ugly, bloody Civil War.) As Joe Biden — Scranton native, longtime U.S. senator from neighboring Delaware (aka “Pennsylvania’s third senator“)  — contemplates his own run for the presidency, he might want to consider the woes that have befallen his predecessors.

Here are five notable Pennsylvanians who failed to win the White House: Read more »

Biden Pondering Presidential Run

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Vice President Joe Biden — the Scranton native and former longtime U.S. Senator from Delaware — is pondering a late entry into the 2016 presidential race, multiple reports say.

“Vice President Joe Biden met privately with Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Saturday in his residence at the Naval Observatory, CNN has learned, another sign he is seriously deciding whether to jump into the Democratic presidential race,” CNN reports. “Warren and Biden discussed economic policy during a meeting that lasted about two hours, a person familiar with the discussion told CNN, adding that the presidential campaign or Biden’s future was not a particular focus of the discussion.” Read more »

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