Do The Democrats Have A Chance?

Grind for April 24th, 2019
“I was married by a judge. I should have asked for a jury.”

– Groucho Marx

Good Goals

The Headline

In May, Congress will consider increasing the legal age to buy tobacco

The Grind

Next month, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will introduce a bill to increase the legal age to purchase tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, from 18 to 21.

“For some time, I’ve been hearing from the parents who are seeing an unprecedented spike in vaping among their teenage children,” said McConnell on Thursday. “In addition, we all know people who started smoking at a young age and who struggled to quit as adults.”

If passed, the bill will also improve public health and pull Kentucky away from the “tobacco culture” on which it was “so dependent, for so long,” added McConnell.

The Details

The proposal, which includes exceptions for young men and women serving in the US military, comes amid what FDA Director Scott Gottlieb has described as an “epidemic” of teen vaping.

The FDA last September announced a massive ad campaign to prevent middle and high school students from using e-cigarettes and has started cracking down on Juul and other manufacturers whose flashy ads and fruity flavors appeal to kids.

“I hope and expect this legislation to get strong bipartisan support in the Senate,” said McConnell. “As you know, I’m in a particularly good position to enact legislation and this will be a top priority.”

Eleven states have already bumped the legal age to purchase tobacco products up from 18 to 21.

Not Impressed

The Headline

As usual, the Democratic primary field is full of losers

The Grind

There’s a text meme floating around the Internet about the Democratic Senators running in the 2020 election and the lack of bills they have passed during their time in Congress.

The meme isn’t true, but here’s what is:

Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), AKA “Fauxcahontus,” was elected to the Senate in 2012. Since then, she has introduced more than 300 bills. None of them became laws. To be fair, 45 of the 1,760+ bills she co-sponsored became laws.

Bernie Sanders (I-VT), age 77, served in the House of Representatives from 1991 until 2007, when he was elected to the Senate. During that time he has introduced more than 900 bills. Only 3 became laws: 2 were to name post offices and 1 was to designate March 4th, 1991 as “Vermont Bicentennial Day.” To be fair, 217 of the nearly 6,000 bills he co-sponsored were signed into law.

Cory Booker (D-NJ) has introduced 269 bills since his election to the Senate in 2013; only 2 became law. Of the 1,300+ bills he co-sponsored, 36 became law.

Kamala Harris (D-CA) has introduced 86 bills since she was elected to the Senate in 2017. None of them became laws. Of the 575 bills she co-sponsored, only 13 were signed into law.

The Details

A name that does not appear on the list of losers is Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), who by the end of 2016 had passed more bills than any other Senator.

According to GovTrack, Klobuchar was the primary sponsor for 33 bills that became laws on issues such as human trafficking, congressional accountability, safe adoption, road safety, and women in entrepreneurship. When you take into account co-sponsorship, her number jumps to 111.

That’s pretty impressive considering the vast majority of proposed legislation goes nowhere. Of the 13,500+ pieces of legislation introduced in 2018, only 443 became laws (that’s about 4%).

Klobuchar announced her candidacy on February 10th during a snowstorm in Minnesota.

“What makes me unique is I did this announcement speech in the middle of a blizzard and I think we need people with grit – I have that grit,” said Klobuchar, adding that she “would have liked to see” Donald Trump “sitting here in the snow for an hour giving this speech.”

Klobuchar has promised to represent the working-class, win bipartisan support, and help Democrats take back the Midwestern states that voted for Trump in 2016. Key issues she wants to tackle include money in politics, climate change, and election reform.

Unlike more progressive candidates, she does not want to abolish ICE or provide free healthcare for all.

If I were a Democrat, Klobuchar would have my vote for sure.

Did you know… In 2003, the U.S. Government spent about $2,000,000.00 on potato research!