Franklin County Democrats

The official site of the Democratic Party of Franklin County, Missouri

This week on the TRavis Smiley Show featured the most knowledgeable person in the country on trade policy. Lori Wallach heade up Public Citizen Trade Watch and joined Tavis to discuss NAFTA, TPP, what Trump could and would do and a few other topics in this half hour segment. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Lori M. Wallach has been director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch since 1995. Wallach is an expert on the operations and outcomes of tradeLori Wallach policies such as NAFTA, WTO, Fast Track Trade Promotion Authority and more. She is steeped in the domestic and international politics of current trade negotiations and disputes, including TPP and TAFTA/TTIP. Wallach works closely with Congress and civil society, scholars, and activists in the U.S and developing countries to foster the growing debate about implications of different models of globalization on jobs, off-shoring, wages, the environment, public health and food safety, equality and social justice, and democratically accountable governance. She’s author of The Rise and Fall of Fast Track Trade Authority.

It’s all the rage, have you read Indivisible? Check it out…



Former congressional staffers reveal best practices for making Congress listen.

Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz, the man responsible for oversight of the brewing scandals of the Trump administration got an earful when he held a town hall in his disrict.

Hundreds of people shouted down Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) at a town hall he held in his home district on Thursday night, with many yelling “Do your job!” at the chair of the House Oversight Committee.stop yelling at me

Chaffetz has come under fire for taking few actions against either Donald Trump’s international business empire and the potential conflicts-of-interest it creates, or pushing Trump to release his tax returns.

As the chair of the committee tasked with investigating “waste, fraud, and abuse” in the federal government, Chaffetz is perhaps the government official with the most power to check Trump’s unprecedented potential to leverage the White House for private gain.

But so far, Chaffetz has issued no subpoenas, called for no hearings, and scheduled no meetings to investigate Trump’s either potential abuse of the office.

One aspect of the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare that seems to be ignored is the impact it has had on helping Americans to start their own business while taking care of their families and providing jobs for others in thier community. A few years before the enactment of Obamacare a friend of mine and I were enjoying some beverages at the Pacific Coffee House and discussing small business and government policy. My buddy really wanted to start his own business but could not afford to give up his employer provided health insurance.

This week’s Missourian has a similar story in Alderman: Affordable Care Act Repeal Real Threat to His Business...

Repealing the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, could spell doom to many small businesses, according to a Pacific attorney who operates a one-man law firm.Doctor patient

Alderman Nick Chlebowski started his law firm, Chlebowski Law LLC, in June 2013, partially because of the ability to obtain affordable insurance for his family through the Affordable Care Act.

Repealing the act could remove affordable insurance coverage to individuals who operate small businesses, hampering one of the best economic growth opportunities for communities like Pacific, he said.

Obamacare went into effect shortly before Chlebowski, a Pacific resident, made the decision to open a law office in his hometown.

“Knowing that I would be able to get insurance for me and my family under what was, at that time, a new law, was what prompted me,” he said. “I had been on Cobra for my previous employment, and I saw that I could try to get a job with somebody else or I can strike out on my own.”

Electrek brings us this video of a trip around San Francisco with no hands on the wheel in GM Releases Impressive Real-World Self-Driving Demo of Bolt EV Prototype…

Last week, Cruise Automation, GM’s startup working on self-driving technology, released a video of its Bolt EV prototype driving autonomously in San Francisco. Even though the company claimed it was driving autonomously, it was quite boring since it was from a dashcam and looked exactly like a video of someone driving around for a few minutes.Chevy Bolt

The company learned from its mistake and with a simple in-video feed from inside the vehicle, they released a much more impressive video this week showcasing their latest self-driving progress.

It might sound trivial, but the simple addition of a clear view of the driver not touching the wheel makes the same feat more interesting.

It was again filmed in San Francisco in a Bolt EV equipped with a sensor suite developed by Cruise. The startup has been operating fleets of Chevy Bolt EVs in the Bay Area, Arizona, and Michigan since last year.

In total, GM has more than 40 autonomous vehicles in its test program.

In December, they released a few shots of one of their most recent test vehicles:

George Lakoff, the linguistics professor, has the answer as to why The Donald activates such passion with his limited speech patterns. How can people support a man that lies more than any politician in modern times? Mr. Lakoff has the answer in this segment of the Tavis Smiley Show…

The cognitive science and linguistics professor joins us to discuss the scientific factors behind the suggestive media messaging used by the Trump administration.Trump lies urinal

George Lakoff is an author, linguist and cognitive scientist. He is Director of the Center for the Neural Mind and Society at UC Berkeley. He is the Goldman Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at UC Berkeley, where he’s taught since 1972. His research involves the application of cognitive and neural linguistics to politics, literature, philosophy and mathematics. Lakoff applies his work to analyzing political world views and the framing of issues in public discourse. He is working on a neural theory of thought and language that explains how meaningful ideas can arise from neural circuitry and their connections to the body. George Lakoff’s books include Don’t Think of an Elephant!, Whose Freedom?, and The Little Blue Book: The Essential Guide to Thinking and Talking Democratic, among others.

Blunt devos

Last weekend This Week In Missouri Politics has their usual panel and raised the unusual topic of “tort reform.” This is going to be one of the next big issues addressed by the Missouri legislature now that they have passed Right-to-Work for less. The corporate financed GOP is now ready to limit your rights to a fair shot at compensation for injuries inflicted by corporations in the name of profit. During discussion of this issue the right wing members of the panel called St. Louis a “judicial hellhole” and cited a study of dubious origins as Exhibit “A.”

This lame attempt by Missouri Republicans to justify the taking of ordinary citizens legal rights has many of the hallmarks of previous campaigns by Big Tobacco. St. Louis was tagged with the “judicial hellhole’ label due to three recent decisions against Johnson and Johnson. BABY POWDER

The particulars of this trial and the importance of maintaining the current legal environment is provided in this excellent opinion piece by attorney Roger Denton, Don’t fall for corporate lobbyists’ junk science, “Judicial Hellhole” claims..

What should we think when a corporate-funded lobbying group places our local courts at the very top of its annual “Judicial Hellholes” list? That was the message last month from the American Tort Reform Association, a group funded by large tobacco, pharmaceutical, insurance, energy and chemical corporations.

With a page straight from Big Tobacco’s playbook, the ATRA is deliberately ignoring difficult facts and is trashing our courts through a negative public relations campaign to change the rules of our courts and shield its corporate funders from responsibility. Don’t be fooled; there is no methodology behind the “Hellhole” list. St. Louis and every other court deemed a “Judicial Hellhole” are singled out for one reason only — these are courts in which citizen jurors have found big corporations liable for dangerous products and practices.

Our city drew the attention of this big-business cheerleader based on three recent verdicts against Johnson & Johnson. In each of these trials, jurors considered three weeks of testimony before concluding that Johnson & Johnson had ignored dozens of published medical and scientific studies and decades of mounting evidence highlighting links between genital application of talcum powder by women and ovarian cancer. These juries punished Johnson & Johnson for a culture that places profit over safety.

Thanks to the central location and efficiency of our courts, dying women have been given a voice. Our juries have seen documents that Johnson & Johnson would prefer to keep hidden, including a 1974 letter to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration in which the corporation pledged to discontinue talc products if any scientific studies revealed questions about talc’s safety. Shamefully, those products remain available despite a raft of studies and meta-studies that have drawn lines from talc use to ovarian cancer. Johnson & Johnson’s own toxicologist wrote in 1994, “Anybody who denies (the published research) risks that the talc industry will be perceived by the public like it perceives the cigarette industry: denying the obvious in the face of all evidence to the contrary.”

St. Louis juries were no doubt alarmed to learn how Johnson & Johnson aggressively marketed its talc products to African-American and Hispanic women even after these safety concerns became apparent. They even heard from a Johnson & Johnson whistleblower who testified that supervisors instructed her to alter hundreds of Adverse Event Reports, which the FDA often relies upon to monitor product safety issues.

This week’s Democratic Radio:

Arthur Lupia
Political scientist Arthur Lupia, an expert on voter ignorance, says most people want quick and easy answers to their problems.on-air

Jeff Hauser
Jeff Hauser is executive director of the Revolving Door Project and he says what we don’t know about Trump’s massive conflicts of interest is more important than what we do know.

Tom Perez
Bill Press interviews Tom Perez, who is running to become chair of the DNC.

Jim Hightower
Why is George Orwell’s “1984” a bestseller again?

This will make a Democrat happy, The Donald and his polls are at record heights..for disapproval. TIME has the story on the Trumpsters continuing decline in favorability in President Donald Trump’s Approval Rating Historically Low.

President Donald Trump, who entered the White House with historically low approval ratings, continues to receive record high disapproval ratings compared to his predecessors.
Two weeks into Trump’s presidency, a majority of people (53%) disapprove of how he is handling the job, while just 44% approve, according to a CNN/ORC poll released Friday. Those numbers reflect the highest disapproval rating for a newly elected president since such figures were first tracked, according to CNN.
By comparison, former President Ronald Reagan’s initial approval rating of 51% was only slightly higher than Trump’s, but his disapproval rating (13%) was not nearly as high.

If that’s not enough a new PPP Poll finds forty percent of Americans support impeaching the orange tweeter…

Trump impeachment

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