Happy New Year...well, almost! It's nearly 2018 and that means....MID-TERMS and here in Iowa, Mark Smith (D-Marshalltown) and the Iowa House Minority Leader is also looking forward to kicking some GOP tail this fall. What could be better? Welcome to Sunday Morning Coffee my weekly look at some of the stories you've seen or, perhaps, missed...all laced with my commentary. Why? I dunno. It just helps keep us all focused perhaps? Enough banter let's get going!
Robert Reich and Newsweek
Love, love this piece by Dr. Reich: "Trump Voters, He's Taking You for Suckers". It is so damn good. Here is just a sample of what "45" said during the campaign, that so many bought into and what he is actually doing. Ready? This is....sooooo good:
1. He told you he’d cut your taxes, and that the super-rich like him would pay more. You bought it. But his new tax law does the opposite. By 2027, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, the richest 1 percent will have got 83 percent of the tax cut and the richest 0.1 percent, 60 percent of it. But more than half of all Americans — 53 percent — will pay more in taxes. As Trump told his wealthy friends at Mar-a-Lago just days after the tax bill became law, “You all just got a lot richer.”
And there are nineteen more just as yummy. If you want to check it out here is the Newsweek link and here is the Robert Reich Blog...which I hope you subscribe to. I had the opportunity to talk with Robert Reich a couple of years ago during the Working Family Summit in Ames. If you want to listen to that conversation here is a link.
For those of you, and I'm in that group, who think former Vice President Joe Biden is an amazing person, in office or out, check out this article from former DNC Chair Ed Rendell who says that if Biden runs in 2020 he would beat the pants off of "45". He is right you know. As a side note I am trying to get through "Promise Me, Dad" the latest book from Joe Biden about his family and his son, Beau Biden. It is an honest look at the back-story of a family struggling to cope with loss. When I say I am "struggling" it's true. There are parts of the book that are often so very painful. But, at the same time so very real and what so many families go through. Pick it up...good stuff.
There is a lot of love for Joe Biden here in Iowa and while some will, no doubt, say, "But, he is too old to run for President!" let me remind you that Joe is just a year-and-a-half older than "45". And, unlike "45" what a strong hand at the wheel to get us out of the mess we've been handed. The human, wisdom and strength of Joe Biden would be so very welcome. But, we're getting ahead of ourselves.
Look Who's Back!
Every so often my friend, Tim Lloyd, writes a piece for us that is just so fun. If you've been with us for awhile you know all about his character I.M. Stupid. No? Have a listen:
Now, wasn't THAT fun?
Drug Pricing in America
Last week, on The Business News Hour, we had a story about a 40 year-old cancer drug that has seen a 1,400% price increase over the past four years. That's right a drug that has been around for four decades has gone from $50 a capsule to $768 a pill. I am not making this up. The drug was called, by Bristol-Myers-Squib, lomustine. The drugmaker sold lomustine or CeeNu in 2013 to a little known company in Miami called NextSource. They promptly started to raise the price of the drug, they say, "...to cover the cost of research and development". Except the drug, which is out of patent protection, has been around for decades. Oh, and there is no generic match...yet.
This is what they are doing to you and your family. And this rape is considered "good business" by the GOP and by many in the Democratic Party who are all on the take and in bed with Big Pharma. And are you really going to sit back and take it? I truly hope not. This is not health care this is the outright rape of our nation. "Just lay back and take it...bitch" seems to be the message we're getting. Had enough yet?
If you want more here is a piece called "When Your Medication Costs More Than Your Mortgage". Where you will learn that the 10 leading pharmaceutical companies spend more on advertising, lobbying and marketing than they do on research and development. Now you know.
There is going to be an early morning forum on Mental Health in Iowa offered up by The Greater Des Moines Partnership and The Business Record. It's scheduled for 10 January. Our friend Peggy Huppert from NAMI-Iowa is on the panel. I truly hope she does not "hold back" and let's business know how disgusted we are with their support of the Iowa Lawmakers who continue to throttle health care so they can push mo-money to already successful companies. If you wish to go, here is the link for registration...and it is free to attend. Hoping enough people attend so they have to move it to a larger facility. Maybe somebody in business might get the "wake up call".
If you had not heard her talk about mental health in Iowa and the crisis to business...have a listen.
We're into our 5th year of our radio broadcast, Insight on Business the News Hour. Over the years I have tried to stay clear of politics. However 2017 proved to me that the intersection of business and politics is...in a word...busy. Politics has a very heavy impact on business and for that reason I've decided to open our daily news hour to interview the seven Democratic hopefuls who are running to represent Iowa in the Third Congressional District. Our first conversation was with Eddie J. Mauro. If you would like to listen to us talk about health care, education, immigration and more here is that link.
Here is hoping you and your family have a safe, healthful and happy 2018. We've got lots and lots of work to do between now and next year and, if we work it every day, we'll make progress on health care, education, equality, immigration, a living wage, food insecurity, climate change and so many more progressive ideals that truly help our nation grow and prosper. But it all starts at the local level. If you have ever considered challenging the "ruling class" I hope you'll take the plunge. It ain't easy but it is rewarding to be able to stand up and fight for those without voice. We'll see if Facebook allows me to change my political page name. Hang on...I'll let you know.
May you have a wonderful New Year's Eve and a better 2018. Thanks so much for reading. Have a fantastic Sunday.