Selfish Loser Dems

    Establishment favorite neo-liberal Hillary Clinton faced an unexpectedly strong challenge from self-proclaimed socialist Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primaries.  Ultimately, Clinton lost disastrously in November to historically unpopular billionaire Donald Trump who posed as an economic populist. Sanders is now probably the most well-liked politician in America. Under these circumstances, you could be forgiven for expecting a chastened shrunken Democratic Senate minority to unite behind an unabashedly progressive economic agenda, but you’d be wrong.

    As Republican Senators were pushing through legislation to "repeal and replace" the Affordable Care Act (ACA) last week, various amendments were introduced and voted on. Bernie Sanders and Amy Klobuchar proposed allowing insurance companies, local governments, and individuals to import prescription drugs from Canada. Like nearly every country in the world with a name that doesn’t begin with “United” and end with “States,” Canada negotiates aggressively with the drug manufacturers. The result is that Canadians pay 82% less than Americans pay for some treatments.

    Of course the drug manufacturers are still doing profitable business outside the United States. Otherwise, they would simply shutter operations in those countries where ultra-low prices don't cover expenses. There are also no legitimate concerns about the safety of drugs sold in Canada where the government is as stringent as our own and most medications are manufactured in the United States in any event.

    Indeed, the logic behind permitting importation from Canada is so compelling that twelve Republicans voted for the Sanders-Klobuchar amendment. But thirteen Democrats voted no while California’s Dianne Feinstein did not vote at all and the amendment went down 46-52. That’s right. Were it not for the decision of fourteen Democratic senators to side with drug manufacturers, we might have the option to purchase medications at a fraction of their current cost.

    The only plausible explanation for this betrayal of the American healthcare consumer, in other words us, is corruption by corporation. Led by Patty Murray, Bob Casey, and Michael Bennet, every one of the fourteen Democrats receives financing from big pharma. Pure and simple, these Senators put their own selfish interest in having full campaign coffers ahead of the American people. To his credit, West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin voted to allow drug imports even though his daughter is famously the CEO of a pharmaceutical company that stands to lose significant income if it has to survive on the narrower margins Canadian sales generate

    Beyond self-interest, the Senators embodying the Democratic establishment were also probably motivated by a desire not to hand Bernie Sanders a legislative victory. Like every Democratic Senator, except Oregon’s Jeff Merkley, the fourteen enthusiastically endorsed Hillary Clinton. Undoubtedly, her “elect me and you’ll get lots more of the same” campaign gratified them since they are winners under the current system. By contrast, Bernie Sanders called out the Democratic establishment on a number of occasions and promised to crack down on lobbyists and influence peddlers. The last thing these insiders want is to hand a victory to the man who shamed them during the primaries.

    The Democratic fourteen didn’t just shaft the American people, they screwed their own party. As the election dust settles, it is becoming ever clearer that neither white nor black working-class voters believe that Democrats are on their side. By aligning with multi-national corporations against Americans, the fourteen confirmed the truth in that sentiment and undermined the one argument that Democrats must make convincingly in order to regain power.

    There is no question that Republicans have a number of advantages in elections. They have more of the media at their disposal because so many radio and TV stations are owned by conservatives. Even socially progressive newspaper publishers are not economic progressives. By definition business owners, they have a material interest in supporting pro-corporatist anti-labor policies or, at a minimum, to give excessive deference in their pages to the opinions of business leaders and academics who champion such policies.

    The GOP has other advantages. Because Democratic voters are concentrated along the coasts, Republicans control Congress even with a minority of the absolute vote. Given our ethnically and racially diverse society, Republicans can and cynically do use our differences to stymie the emergence of a multi-racial populist political coalition.

    In light of these built-in disadvantages, Democrats must always govern with the best interests of the working-class in mind. Only when they prioritize good working and middle-class jobs, strong unions, affordable housing, healthcare, education, and a secure retirement will they win elections consistently. Only then will our society renew its focus on civil and reproductive rights, environmental justice, and peaceful resolution of international disputes.

    For setting back the progressive cause and guaranteeing more election losses, Senators Murray, Case, Bennet, Booker, Menendez, Donnelly, Coons, Carper, Warner, Heinrich, Tester, Heitkamp, Cantwell, and Feinstein, the conservative movement thanks you.


    A small point - Dianne Feinstein had pacemaker surgery on Tuesday, January 10, after attending most of the first day of Session's confirmation hearing.  The vote on the Klobuchar Amendment No.178 was held on Wednesday, January 11.

    Thanks BF.  I owe DiFi an apology.  I was not aware that she was physically unable to participate.  I should have looked into why she missed the vote.

    I found folks just like you at the Saturday Democratic Party meeting in Kitsap County. You know the folks not getting over a primary, one where you write this:

    ultimately, Clinton lost disastrously in November

    Umm, let me just correct you in your math, 48% - 46% is not a disastrous loss, it is an indication that our electoral college system is undemocratic and has now 5 times allowed the loser to win. And while theOrangeFuhrer will be President, this will still go down in history as a failure of the electoral college.


    If you get your math lesson to the right people [but you better hurry] maybe Hillary will get inaugurated instead of Trump but I am afraid that you would be told, sorry, Trump won the election, disastrous as that might be. 

    Did Hillary lose disastrously or was it a disaster that she lost? Words have meanings and how they are used in a sentence is meaningful. As tmccarthy pointed out Hillary did not lose disastrously. In fact she got 3 million more votes. Though I will agree that the loss was a disaster. Did you deliberately "misunderstand" tmc's comment or is your poor understanding of the English language affecting your reading comprehension? You're not a young man, it's long past time you educated yourself.

    I'll try to help you out. Play close attention. Tmc said:

    Umm, let me just correct you in your math, 48% - 46% is not a disastrous loss, it is an indication that our electoral college system is undemocratic and has now 5 times allowed the loser to win.

    She posits that Trump is the loser so apparently she thinks Hillary is the winner. Winner of what? The election? No, she didn't win and anyone who thinks she did should read the papers and if they are still confused should read the Constitution. My statement in response was unambiguous and clear. I said:

    Trump won the election, disastrous as that might be. 

    That statement has two parts. First is the factual statement that Trump won the election. Second is the speculative suggestion that his winning may be a disaster. What part of that is not clear. What part of that is too hard for you to understand? And, why can't you respond without being a condescending prick about it? 

    Winner of what?

    48% - 46% is not a disastrous loss, it is an indication that our electoral college system is undemocratic and has now 5 times allowed the loser to win. And while theOrangeFuhrer will be President, this will still go down in history as a failure of the electoral college.

    Perhaps you didn't realize that Hillary won the popular vote 48% to 46%. I thought tmc's comment was pretty clear. Winner of the popular vote by a wide margin. Along with a very clear acknowledgement that the loser Trump won the election though the undemocratic electoral college.

    why can't you respond without being a condescending prick about it? 

    That's a question I could ask you. Your comment to tmc was stupid and condescending. That's why I replied to it and that's why I replied the way I did.  I tend to treat condescending pricks like the assholes they are. Usually people get from me what they've earned.


    Let's go back to Tonya Harding vs. Nancy Kerrigan - Harding's boyfriend bruised Kerrigan's leg before the National Championships, in which Kerrigan withdrew and Harding finished first.

    Did she "win"? Had she finished first in the following Olympics, would she have "won" the gold as well?

    While there's a certain amount of messiness we accept in politics, including somehow legally mandated voter suppression, there's also illegal activity that pushes over the line of a free and fair election.

    If the lines had been drawn back to the Oval Office in October 1972 re: the break in of the DNC at the Watergate, would we have still declared Nixon the "winner" that First Tuesday?

    What in your view is required to *invalidate* an election result? Killing the opposing candidate? Jailing? Confiscating all the candidate's money? Kidnapping the candidate's children? Violent threats against voters? Vote rigging? Does breaking into the candidate's headquarters still count as a grievous sin, or are we past that, Overton's Window being in full effect? Is there any space for "interference by foreign government", or are we simply the worst country on earth that requires other countries to alter our elections to be more fair?

    Is the violation of law, bureau rules and/or executive orders worth considering as voiding the election, especially since much of the attacks on Clinton were about procedural violations for a few emails with *NO DAMAGE SHOWN* - that seems to disqualify her for office in some's minds, but having a far more overt attack on the election brings *NO REPERCUSSIONS WHATSOEVER*???

    People seem to be in an awful damn hurry to move on, especially with all the screaming they did over how few debates there were or back when Bernie got caught downloading data and got locked out by the DNC for a day or two - even going so far as to blame it on *Hillary*, for somehow possibly setting up a honey pot to trick the Sanders crew.

    The disaster happened...


    As to the manner in which it was brought about, no one with a PhD in strategy from the Electoral College (see what I did there...?) was at the table when the Clinton campaign decided to spend more on the one "battleground" congressional district in Omaha, Nebraska than Michigan and Wisconsin COMBINED.

    I found folks just like you at the Saturday Democratic Party meeting in Kitsap County.

    I guess you will just have to get used to it because they are not going away anytime soon. They have a voice and they are using it.  It is happening all over the country.  Like it or not the Democrat party establishment is going to have to listen to them or keep losing elections.  

    Obviously Clinton didn't lose by a large margin, but she lost to one of the most despicable, least qualified candidates in American history. It was a humiliating defeat, and if you cannot understand why people are still upset about her campaign a mere two months later, then you don't understand people.

    But I agree that we should move on--both sides, those who would blame our problems on one woman as well as those who are searching for excuses for her loss. Democrats are in very bad shape, the worst in a century. Yes, Republicans achieved this in part by gaming the system, but they were only able to game the system because they won elections. If Democrats hope to fix the system, they have to return to power under the current conditions. And that means that they have to do something different from what they've been doing for the past 30 years.

    So if not Sanders's way--refocusing on the working class, rejecting big money--then what?

    Perhaps Sanders has lost some of his luster since that time in October that your link refers to.

    When you say: "The last thing these insiders want is to hand a victory to the man who shamed them during the primaries", I don't how those people were shamed. Can you point to something that gives more flesh to the idea that Senators voted as they did in order to punish Sanders?

    Sanders told ABC's "This Week" program that Americans should not have to choose between "the lesser of two evils" in the Nov. 8 election.

    Sanders said that if he won the White House, he would not reappoint U.S. Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz as DNC chairwoman. He also endorsed law professor Tim Canova, who is challenging the Florida congresswoman in the August Democratic primary.

    "Do I think she is the kind of chair that the Democratic Party needs? No, I don't," Sanders told CBS' "Face the Nation."

    "Frankly, what the Democratic Party is about is running around to rich people's homes and raising obscene sums of money from wealthy people. What we need to do is to say to working-class people – we are on your side," he said. (May 23, 2016).

    I cannot point to any specific quote or evidence to support my suspicion that the thirteen who voted against importation did so, in part, to deny a win to Sanders.  But I stand by my speculation.  There is no question that he did shame mainstream dems during the primaries as the quote above shows.

    But Hal, this wasn't a Sanders amendment - he was the (only) co-sponsor.  If your suspicions are correct, then the Democrats who voted against it either also have a personal issue with Amy Klobuchar or are willing to throw reportedly good relationships with her away just to get back at Sanders.

    Bernie's been calling for importing drugs from Canada for some time.  He is associated with this solution to overpriced drugs and it was on his campaign website.  If the amendment had passed he would have received and deserved a good deal of credit - as would have Amy Klobuchar.

    Republicans control the House, the Senate, the Presidency and soon the Supreme Court.

    We now have a government not working for billionaires as Bernie warned us about, it consists of billionaires.

    Republicans have lost the popular vote in every national election except one in the last 24 years.

    They hold onto power with anti-democratic means of voter suppression, gerrymandering, endless investigations of Democrats. racism, not compromising as the founders believed essential, not doing their constitutional tasks and they benefit from an antiquated electoral system dating from the 1780's.

    Republicans consider the opposition Party more a threat (to them, they don't care about the country) then a foreign despot who kills journalists and opposition figures. 

    Their leadership welcomes his support, applauds his record and commends him as a truth teller.

    Nothing will get done that is good for the working class or poor unless the Republicans do it with this national government.

    As to sitting Democrats? Damage control, if they can do it.

    Nit picking over every (especially nearly meaningless procedural) vote, speech, contribution or supporter of Democrats who hold office at this point is counterproductive.  Democrats need to survive and strengthen as a unified Party.

    They may lose more seats in 2018, especially in the Senate, the numbers and states there are not in their favors..

    Democratic Party members need first of all unity.  They need to hit the GOP on issues, need to get financial support and good candidates, we do not need day by day out of context quibbling and purity patrolling on our office holders.

    This is not purity patrolling.  They voted against something that they should not have and is being held accountable for it. 

    They just can't whisper sweet nothings in our ears, they have to walk the talk to expand the party. Looking out for their corporate donors will not unite the party.  

    The vote was a meaningless procedural amendment. Private individuals can already buy drugs from Canada.

    The amendment added for Canadian or other regions importation by "American pharmacists, wholesalers, and individuals". This would mean hospitals could get drugs from low bid wholesalers who get drugs from who knows where or who checks if this amendment passes??

    It is already legal for wholesale importers to import drugs from many countries, but the FDA must inspect those producers and the FDA does that in nations like India. The FDA has been approving 60 new generics a month from India for instance.

    It's not clear if an open season on wholesalers getting drugs from the cheapest outside country would be done by, or good for institutional medical practices.

    The big one is an actual law on Medicare negotiation of prices, which law has not come up yet, and this amendment wasn't a law at all as I understand it.

    For  a lot of these votes and issues I find many critics jump to conclusions and don't really know all the complex factors involved.

    The classic being HSG's 'Obama's Arctic Hypocrisy'. "The problem is Obama's deeds are antithetical to his words.  He declined to thwart Shell's plan to drill for oil in the Chuckchi Sea." 

    The result of Obama's 'hypocrisy' happened a couple weeks later when Shell abandoned the well it had spent billions on due to Obama's strict enforcement of the environmental laws, and Shell left the Chukchi Sea.

    Obama was such a 'hypocrite'that  just a few weeks ago he banned any future drilling in the Chukchi Sea.

    Don't jump to opinions on our Senators and Rep's votes unless you fully understand the issues involved, and know their reasons for their vote.

    We are waiting on that one.  People don't want to see no votes on these issues and they are watching very closely to it. A strong message was sent by the voters.  They turned out in the cold to participate in rallies last week end.  

    Here is the latest on this next bill.

    When a Democrat votes against negotiating Medicare drug prices I will expect we will all find out and be looking for why!

    The working class base of the Democrat Party will not be looking for why.  They will be holding these no voters accountable.  What they will be pointing out is that they will not put up with this abuse anymore so these Democrat politicians can ride the corporate gravy train. 

    The working class voter knows the political establishment has been abusing them and they are now pushing back. There is no excuse that will work to allow drug companies to continue to extract extrem rent for their drugs. A large chunk of the population don't give a crap about mincing technicalities. No amount of complaining by the establishment about purity testing, or stating everyone must get behind the party leadership in unity against Trump is going to change that. 

    This fight in the party is a very healthy one and is needed for the party to survive. The plutocrats and corporations cannot control both parties in a two party system.  What the Republic is currently in is the process of a reboot.

    So, are you starting a new political party?  Or are you going with Green, Independent, or another one?  You clearly are not a Democratic Party supporter.  I just hope that the rules are changed so that only a Democrat can run for office as a Democrat.  Pretty obvious, actually.

    You are over thinking.  I am talking about labor pushing the Democrats back to their roots as a progressive party and a way from being corporate tools. 

    Historically this country has gone through a political realignment about every 40 years because of a new generation and technology.. We are in that process now.  It is sometimes messy and the parties end in new directions. Populism is on the rise  Working class is tired of what they have put up with for the last 40 years and won't take a back seat anymore. They know they have been lied to and they are not buying it anymore. 

    You can criticize and pull back the curtain on the abuses of the party and still be a participant of the party. Change happens when there is both pressure from the outside of the organization as well as pressure from the inside.

    If you like the party just as it is and don't think it should do anything different, you better strap yourself in because you are in for a very bumpy ride.  

    And when do these vanguard working class hero "progressives back to their roots" change? Or is it just a 1-way street? The 50's sucked if you weren't in the US. The 70's sucked for everyone. Not sure when our idyllic moment of past respite should be - polishing my retro crystal ball...

    "A working class hero is something to be,

    If you want to be a hero then just follow me..."

    Spot on, as I implied strongly in the blog, because Dems didn't champion and aren't championing the working-class, all the progressive gains, e.g., civil rights, women's rights, environmental justice, since the 1930s, will continue to be eroded.

    I think white voters see things differently than other ethnic groups. A majority of white saw their issues being neglected. A majority of black voters saw a Republican Congress that blocked progress. Republicans blocked infrastructure bills.

    Trump now promotes infrastructure plans blocked by the GOP​

    White voters reward bad behavior by the GOP by electing Republicans. How do we educate low information white voters?

    Edit to add:

    You take as a given that Democrats did not look out for white interests. I take as a given that Democrats were blocked from helping. Whites want Obamacare to stay if it's called Affordable Care Act, but they voted for a party who voted five dozen times to repeat the ACA. They vote against their own interests. Union members vote for the party that wants to destroy unions.

    When 20% of black voters in Ohio voted for GW Bush, there were no acceptable excuses. The direct question was why these voters acted against there own self interest. Soon after Republicans got those votes, they quit their outreach to the black community. The black community corrected an error and voted against the GOP in subsequent elections. Whites voters see Republicans destroying unions, voting against job creation bills, ready to destroy healthcare and they vote for Republicans. They blame Democrats for not addressing their issues. Voting for the GOP makes not sense. Even now people who voted for Trump say that they thought the GOP was just joking when they said that would destroy healthcare. Congress can't wait to gut healthcare. How do we make white voters less gullible?

    Even after losing the election, Democrats fought for healthcare benefits for coal miners who  in all likelihood voted for Trump. Republicans blocked their efforts.

    ​Democrats were looking out for the interests of the coal miners.

    Hal, I know.  It is hard for people to let go of identity politics.  The powers to be keep these gender, ethnic and social issues stirred up to keep us fighting among ourselves. This way we won't notice or focus on them transferring all the wealth to themselves to hoard and how they are starting wars for their economic gains. The younger voters are seeing this. 

    If only millennials voted, Hillary would have whooped Trump. Is it not identity politics when white voters vote their issues?

    Young voters

    The identity politics meme

    Hmmm, most of my issues aren't on the ballot - can't imagine how they'd vote on them. Maybe in a special category called "baggage".

    I think a lot of people don't see their issues on the ballot,but vote for the person and party they feel are the most likely to do the right thing in a general sense. Some Progressives latch on to the wingnut meme of identity politics to attack other Progressives. If the wingnuts create an insane law to address a nonexistent problem about transgender people using restrooms, do we ignore the attack? If wingnuts try to suppress votes in a way that impacts mostly minority groups do we ignore the assault because it is identity politics? How do we address a group of voters who elect Governors who refuse to accept Obamacare/ACA and destroy unions despite benefiting from healthcare and wages fought for by unions?

    I think identity politics have an important place momoe.  I don't think we can or should expect African-Americans or women or other groups that have in the past suffered or continue to suffer discrimination to disregard the specific concerns of their community within our broader American community.  As progressives, we need to make the point over and over that the interests of the working class - white, black, Asian, Latino, mixed - generally align with the more specific interests of women, people of color, LGBQT.  So if you are voting primarily based on your identity as a person of color or a woman (or an environmentalist) or whatever you see as your identity, you will most likely be best served by the candidate who champions reduced economic inequality through higher taxes on the rich, good jobs for working-class people, universal single-payer healthcare, truly affordable education, fair as opposed to "free" trade, etc.

    Thanks Hal, much appreciated.


    You claim, without citation, that Shell decided to stop drilling in the Chukchi Sea in late 2015 after receiving approval from the Obama administration because of "Obama's strict enforcement of the environmental laws".  According to the Guardian, Shell said "it had made a marginal discovery of oil and gas with its summer exploration in the Chukchi Sea but not enough to continue the search for the 'foreseeable' future."  The company also admitted "in private . . . it had been surprised by the popular opposition it faced."  There was little word about "strict enforcement of the environmental laws" although Shell noted that an additional hurdle it faced was "the challenging and unpredictable federal regulatory environment in offshore Alaska.”

    Obama does deserve some credit for banning drilling in the Arctic more than a year after Shell voluntarily abandoned its search.  Still, he waited until less than a month remained in his administration to take this step, it's possible that Trump could sue to reverse the decision, and it appears that no companies are lining up to drill in the Arctic in any case. 

    Is Obama a hypocrite? A simple yes or no......?

    He engaged in hypocrisy when he toured Alaska in 2015 wringing his hands about the harms caused by anthropogenic global warming after his administration approved Shell's request to drill in the Arctic. 

    Wrong. If you check back on your own blog,  I noted an oil industry website immediately after Obama's 'approval' said the restrictions that the feds insisted onto Shell's operation meant Shell could not financially continue, and they didn't, they quit soon after.

    Obama knew that as his sources and judgment told him so, and stopping Shell under the existing regulations and law is the preferred method, especially as Shell had already risked into the billions.

    It is disappointing to find that well educated lefties can be so hostile and ideologically fixated as to ignore facts and go on the attack.  Going on to post derogatory statements on the integrity of leaders like Obama, for whom by now the facts and actions show he cared very much, not only the Chukchi Sea, but for climate and environment. Good night Hal.

    You write that private individuals can already buy drugs from Canada.  While this is true, it is also true that is nearly always illegal for individuals to import prescription medications unless the imported drug is not available in the United States.  Moreover, it is much more difficult for most Americans to buy drugs in Canada than it would be to buy legally from American pharmacies that have stocked Canadian medications.  While online purchases facilitate matters, many times patients want (or may need) to start taking prescribed medications immediately rather than to wait for postal delivery.

    You write:

    The "amendment added for Canadian or other regions importation by 'American pharmacists, wholesalers, and individuals'. This would mean hospitals could get drugs from low bid wholesalers who get drugs from who knows where". 

    In fact, Sanders' original amendment would have allowed imports from countries other than Canada.  But when Klobuchar joined with Sanders, they changed the language of the proposed amendment to provide only for "safe and affordable prescription drugs from Canada."

    You write the "big one" is the vote on allowing Medicare to negotiate with the drug companies.  I agree that is a big one.  But, if that vote fails due to Republican opposition, we won't even have the half loaf of less expensive medications from Canada because of the Democratic thirteen.

    You wrote:

    You write that private individuals can already buy drugs from Canada.  While this is true, it is also true that this is nearly always illegal for individuals to import prescription medications unless the imported drug is not available in the United States.

    But the citation you provided said the opposite:

    In most circumstances, it is illegal for individuals to import drugs into the United States for personal use. This is because drugs from other countries that are available for purchase by individuals often have not been approved by FDA for use and sale in the United States. For example, if a drug is approved by Health Canada (FDA’s counterpart in Canada) but has not been approved by FDA, it is an unapproved drug in the United States and, therefore, illegal to import

    So drugs that ARE approved by the FDA,and are therefore available here (at great expense) are not illegal to import.  You also state that it is difficult to order drugs from Canada.  It actually isn't for routine medications that give you a big supply, and so you can re-order in time to get the next refill.  Saving $600 a month is worth it.   True, if you need Amoxicillin for an ear infection it would be inconvenient, but Amoxicillin is cheaper than coffee at Starbucks.

    CVille - the FDA's verbiage, at the link I provided, is admittedly somewhat opaque.  Here is plainer language from the same agency:


    Q. Can I use the PIP to get less expensive drugs from Canada?
    A. No, the PIP is not intended to permit personal importation of cheaper versions of FDA-approved drugs from Canada or other foreign countries. FDA cannot assure that foreign-made versions of FDA-approved drugs have been properly manufactured, are safe and effective, and are exactly the same formulation as the FDA-approved versions. The PIP is intended to make available, through the exercise of enforcement discretion, unapproved drugs used to treat serious medical conditions for which no equivalent treatment exists in the United States, and unapproved drugs used to continue treatment begun in a foreign country.

    Q. What kinds of drugs are eligible for importation under the PIP?
    A. The PIP is intended to apply to unapproved drugs that are:
    .   used to treat serious medical conditions
    .   not a serious health risk to patients
    .   not commercially available or marketed in the United States
    .   part of a treatment regimen begun in a foreign country

    Great writing.  I agree with you.

    Sanders held some big rallies this weekend for the support of health care and packed his venues.  Our Revolution is fundraising from small donors and will continue to push back against corporate politicians.  He and his supporters are pushing for better health care.  Besides no one is asking permission from the Democratic establishment, this is being funded with out the Democrat Party.  

    Don't kid yourselves this is a hot issue.  I woke up Friday morning 5 AM to my favorite social media site to find over 500 readers there with me. The post that covered this vote had 14k hits and 1300 comments over night.  Booker was being burned at the stake and the other 12 were tarred and feathered while being paraded all over the village square. This is the first group to be inducted into the Democrat Hall of Shame. 

    There was a report that came out this month that showed 25 % of the adults in this country does not even have a $100 to their name. 50% of the adults don't have a $1000 dollars in the bank or checking account.  Also 2/3 of the country struggle with paying for a $500 emergency.  I don't have a link to it.  The point is that there is a large amount of economic pain in this country.

    Shame on those 13 Senators for voting this way.  If they want to vote like that then they need to change to the Republican Party because they are no better then the tea party when it comes to the working class.  


    Thank you.

    I purchase drugs through Canada at least every two months.  edited to add:  [It is a prescription, and is available here in the US.  I am not aware that it is *illegal.]. The shipment is sent from England, where it is produced.  The cost is about one fourth what it would be here.  Sometimes people vote "no" because they want to pick their battles, rather than do something that has no meaning.  A bill that requires Medicare providers are able to negotiate lower prices would actually make a difference, and would be worth fighting for.

    When did you start using the derisive term, "Democrat" as an adjective?  You are sounding like Newt Gingrich and others.


    * See my response to Hal, because what he wrote is the exact opposite of his citation.

    You write what Hal "wrote is the exact opposite of his citation."  I wrote it "is nearly always illegal for individuals to import prescription medications unless the imported drug is not available in the United States."

    From the FDA website:


    In most circumstances, it is illegal for individuals to import drugs into the United States for personal use. This is because drugs from other countries that are available for purchase by individuals often have not been approved by FDA for use and sale in the United States. For example, if a drug is approved by Health Canada (FDA’s counterpart in Canada) but has not been approved by FDA, it is an unapproved drug in the United States and, therefore, illegal to import. FDA cannot ensure the safety and effectiveness of drugs that it has not approved.

    FDA, however, has a policy explaining that it typically does not object to personal imports of drugs that FDA has not approved under certain circumstances, including the following situation:

    • The drug is for use for a serious condition for which effective treatment is not available in the United States;
    • There is no commercialization or promotion of the drug to U.S. residents;
    • The drug is considered not to represent an unreasonable risk;
    • The individual importing the drug verifies in writing that it is for his or her own use, and provides contact information for the doctor providing treatment or shows the product is for the continuation of treatment begun in a foreign country; and
    • Generally, not more than a 3-month supply of the drug is imported.


    Can you explain how my statement conflicts with my supporting citation?

    See above

    Yeah, I still think you're bad at math, she got 48% of the vote Hal, when he received 46% of the vote, so that isn't this epic loss. You certainly do not believe that my vote in Seattle, which is currently worth .68 to all those others in the middle of the country who all get 1 vote. Certainly, in your heart of hearts you see how plainly undemocratic that is, and culturally speaking, it has allowed those in the middle to see those of us on the coast as not American enough.  I am always going to quibble with this point, in the future history books will describe it as another failure of the electoral college. 

    But I also believe we need to get honest about this amendment, which was included in a bill to repeal ACA. I think right now I want my Senator to oppose all things Republican. I want us to stop Republicans from trying to get rid of ACA, they will never replace it.  Should they offer amendments to bills to kill ACA?

    There is this also, we all know the amendment was going to allow the importation of drugs from 26 different countries. Isn't our real problem that the big programs like Medicare and Medicaid are barred by law, from negotiating bulk deals with drug companies and we are all paying the cost of this. I'm pissed at our Senators and Representatives because they do shit like that, they sell us off to corporations! Because corporations are people folks!  Shouldn't they be working to repeal the law that bars big government programs from negotiating drug prices? 

    It's imperative we don't run off half-cocked, but our Senators and Representatives need to learn to take some sort of stand and to not look like such weak, corporate owned sell-outs for the next four years! 

    That just doesn't seem like too much to ask. Did they learn nothing Nov. 8, 2016.

    I'm sorry if this is off-topic.

    They should have learned that polls and vapid proclamations are unreliable vs actual votes, but frayed knot.

    Yep. Exactly.

    Thanks.  Tmac.  I don't find this comment to be off-topic.

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