November 10, 2016. 100 Days
First 100 days, the honeymoon period of euphoria with a new administration. It won’t matter that Trump is an unpopular President because with Gerrymandering, we have an unpopular Congress (unpopular means selected by less than half the electorate). The first order of business for the GOP will be the takeover of the third branch of government by rejecting Merrick Garland, and letting Trump make his first Supreme Court nomination.
The Constitution is very vague on what qualifies a person to be a court justice, Trump could select anyone, including his daughter Ivanka. However what i think Trump will do is create a reality television program patterned after “The Apprentice” where hopeful lackeys compete for the chance to be nominated. Profits from the show go to Trump’s pocket and it is all perfectly legal. With a 5-4 GOP friendly court, any radical legislation will be upheld. With Trump’s penchant for jailing his opponents, the court may go 5-0.
While there is some divergence between Ryan’s legislative agenda for Congress and Trump’s campaign promises, Obamacare is likely the first to go. Since Obamacare was patterned on the Republican Plan for universal healthcare, there is only speculation on what Republicans have left to replace it with. Social Security and Medicare will be “fixed” by raising the retirement age to 75 or 80. Easiest way to win a game is to move the goal posts. The institutions of government that we rely on to protect us will be disbanded. No more EPA (which was a another Republican idea originally), Flint MI water quality for everyone! Privatization of the Postal Service and closing of Post Offices. Ronald Reagan trippled the cost of postage stamps, so Trump will raise the cost of Forever stamps to $1.50 then Fedex can profit from delivering letters.
November 6, 2016 Democratic Response to Rep Buddy Carter's weekly newsletter
The legacy of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is not in the museum for the same reason we don’t have a museum for the legacy of President Barack Obama. Both leaders are still serving in office, and therefore their record of accomplishment is not complete. Although in your opinion Justice Thomas stopped being useful a long time ago, the Secretary of the Smithsonian has reason to believe otherwise. Rumors occassionally circulate that Justice Thomas has retired from the bench, those continue to prove premature. It sometimes takes a decade for Justice Thomas to speak to the Court, that is no reason to think he has no more to say. In fact his most recent comments (October 26, Heritage Foundation) have been to point out how the Repubican blockade of the Supreme Court justice confirmation process is a fine example of how "Washington in broken", so perhaps you do prefer the long silent Thomas to the uppity new free speaking Thomas. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2016/10/26/clarence-thomas-supreme-court/92799602/
October 2, 2016 Democratic Response to Rep Buddy Carter's weekly newsletter
”Consider that, despite a 32% increase in the list price of EpiPens, Mylan claims their average revenues from the product decreased in 2015. If the manufacturer that develops and markets a drug is not benefiting from the increased prices, where is the money going?”
FYI Buddy, the money goes to advertising. During the recent Brazil Olympics, Mylan spent $1.7 million for its TV ads. During the 2 week Olympiad, drug companies in total spent $56 million with NBC. This pretty much put drugs on a par with Hula Hoops for marketing. For Mylan, its advertising for Epipen alone has gone from $4 million in 2011 to $35 million in 2014. GOK what they shelled out for adverts in the last year.
Another gotcha is Mylan did NOT develop the Epipen, they bought that business in 2007 from Merck. So zero percent of the current price increase can be attributed to “cost of development” only the “cost of marketing”. How much marketing is really needed for a product that has been in regular use for decades and is required by Congress to be available in every school in America.
According to Bloomberg Businessweek, Epipen sale margins were 55% in 2014 so any claim from Mylan the revenue has decreased is BS. This is a lot like Trump telling the tax assessor how worthless his properties are. And the price increase for Epipen since Mylan purchased the product line is not a 32% increase, but a 400% increase.
September 18, 2016 Democratic Response to Rep Buddy Carter's weekly newsletter
Buddy, i sincerely like where you are going with this accountability for VA workers. But why limit it to just the VA, wouldn’t we be better off if we run the entire government like a Trump Industries business? The President would be the CEO and then every member of Congress has to keep the legislative assembly line running. No lollygaging permitted or else Trump (or the current President) says “you’re fired”. Obama asks for a Zika bill in February, it gets done in February and includes every dime requested. Obama names a Supreme Court justice, Senators scramble to get it confirmed. This is a great way to run a company and government, don’t you agree. And don’t even think about organizing a Congressional Union, this is strictly “right to work”. Minimum wage for all, by the hour because we will install a time clock in the Capitol Dome lobby. This is clearly the way government should operate, thanks for the suggestion.
September 17, 2016 The Alt-Universe
On Tuesday the Savannah Morning News published a guest commentatary from Senator Perdue and politically unemployed Jack Kingston. Of course we can't let BS go unchallenged so here is a Democratic response:
The Savannah Morning News treated us to a guest commentary from Senator Perdue and almost senator Kingston. As we have seen in the 2016 election, the GOP has become the party of the Alt-Right, particularly with Donald Trump as the leader. Not mentioned in the article is GOP Senator Isakson, who also endorses Trump. He was not mentioned for good reason, he is part of the Washington Establishment that Perdue and Kingston say we should overthrow by electing Trump. (?) This leads to a very convoluted argument which on careful analysis one could describe only as the Alt-Universe, because it sure doesn’t resemble where we live.
In the Alt-Universe, we don’t want to continue with the “failed” policies of Barack Obama. You know, the $2 gallon gas, the 15 million new private sector jobs over 78 months of steady growth, the 8.8% uninsured rate for American healthcare (lowest level ever) , the elimination of bin Laden and all the top al Qaeda and ISIL leaders that have stood against us, the return of American soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan, and unemployment at 4.9%. News flash from the US Census Bureau: “SEPT. 13, 2016 - The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that real median household income increased by 5.2 percent between 2014 and 2015 while the official poverty rate decreased 1.2 percentage points.” So what part of higher wages, lower poverty, health insurance coverage... is the failed policy, because those that live in the real world find those to be success stories.
In the Alt-Universe Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama represent Naive Foreign Policy. Really, because it was Alt-Right champion Donald Rumsfeld that marched our American boys into Iraq without armor on the vehicles and suffered thousands of casualties to IEDs as a result because he was in a rush to clean the non-existent WMDs out of Iraq. WMDs that could never threaten America even if they did exist because of no delivery system. This did generate a lot of recruits feeding our true enemy, al Qaeda, because of the unprovoked attack on “Islam” and creating an all new foe in ISIL. Expecting to be greeted as the Liberating Heros in Baghdad is the ultimate naivete. Some say the war was prosecuted in no small measure to financially benefit Halliburton and KBR, the former companies of former Vice President Cheney. Trump on the otherhand would be admistrating foreign policy in countries where he has extensive investment and financial ties and would never think of lining his own pockets.
The Alt-Universe also wants us to believe that the current Congress, entirely controlled by the GOP is not the establishment. It seems to me, that electing the head of the party that controls Congress simply means more business as usual, how is that “change”? So far it has taken Isakson and Perdue a full 6 months to fail in confirming one judicial appointment, and have no scheduled hearing to do so in the next 4 months. This is because they believe a federal judge must first pledge loyalty to the Republican Party before being allowed to swear to uphold the Constitution. It has also taken the Congress 5 months to fail in passing a Zika bill, and then went on a 2 month recess. So little to do, so much time to do it. Must be Obama’s fault.
The Alt-Universe wants us to marvel at the Primary election record of Donald Trump. Well chew on this, more Georgia Democrats voted for Hillary Clinton than Georgia Republicans voted for Donald Trump on Super Tuesday. If only the Republicans that voted for Trump in the primary do so in the General, he will get trounced, which is why there is this plea to the base to “hold your nose and vote for the Party”. Gosh, isn’t that taking the stance of the hated yellow dog Georgia Democrats all along? Guess you will have to call us the smart ones now.
When it comes to debt, it is “just a matter of arithmetic” as Bill Clinton once told you. If you cut taxes, then you build debt. That is how Ronald Reagan and George Bush built debt. What can we expect from Trump in terms of fiscal responsibility when his life long dream is to not pay taxes himself. Although if he were to release his returns we might find he has already achieved that. So he bankrupted 4 companies with the Trump name but came out a billionaire (by his own recollection), what will he do if given a free hand with the federal budget? Would you not agree he would be tempted to cut taxes and not care about funding the needs of the government. Before Trump, the United States has never defaulted, but once we are great again, the status quo will no longer be observed.
Vote for Jim Barksdale, Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine and save the real nation.
September 13, 2016 Democratic Response to Rep Buddy Carter's Weekly Letter
It finally happened, Yahoo has declared your weekly letter to officially be Spam. Normally i don’t look in my spam folder, but luckily i did this week so that is why the response was delayed.
Ft Frederica was an important part of Georgia history, and the more preservation, the better. But i am confused by your reference to “Prehistoric artifacts”, is that Congressional speak for Native American? Are you telling us the park expansion will be exempt from the Native American Graves and Repatriation Act that normally applies in situations like this? I mean “prehistoric” is not “Native American” right? Not to take sides here, but the desecration of one heritage is not a fair price to pay for preservation of another. Since this is your project we will be watching.