Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Lulac Edition #3473, April 18th, 2017

(Photo: Consumer News)
We are all entertained by the Tweets coming out of The White House, the craziness that has become The White House Press Briefings, the glorification of a piece of chocolate cake by the President and the other stuff that is fodder for late night comics. But as all this is going on, deals are being made inside the Oval Office that will set back the way of life for middle class Americans.
It has always been taken for granted that Consumer Safety was a no brainer when it came to looking after those who support the economy. The consumer. But under this President that “given” is not the guarantee it should be.
Since we are backed up for “Write On Wednesday”submissions, we are sharing an article from Bridget Stack, a Consumer Rights Investigator at ConsumerSafety.org
We thank her for sending us her thoughts.

Written by: Bridget Stack
With every new Presidency comes policy changes, and that these have been flooding in like monsoons since Donald Trump took office. Formerly a successful businessman, this first-time politician has some very different ideals than President Obama when it comes to the environment, policy and consumer safety.
In America, consumers have the legal right to collect damages if a product causes them harm. For example, talcum powder, a mineral oftentimes used in baby powder and other cosmetics, has been found to be a carcinogen. Evidence linking talcum powder and ovarian cancer was first found in the 1970’s. Women have used this product for over 50 years without knowing the risk, but evidence surfaced that Johnson and Johnson knew about the risks that their talcum-powder based products posed, and decided not to warn consumers. Current laws give consumers the right to file a lawsuit against distributors of products containing talcum powder, and they have. Three women won talcum powder lawsuits against the company in 2016 as compensation for their ovarian cancer. But under a Trump administration, these rights could be stripped away or diminished, leaving thousands of women with no recourse against such corporate wrongdoing.
Donald Trump, days after being sworn in, stated to a dozen CEOs that “I think we can cut regulation by 75%, maybe more.” One way that many critics think he will achieve this is by defunding the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which is the most important consumer watchdog. The CFPA, an independent government agency that is funded by the Federal Reserve, has been responsible for returning almost $11.8 billion to approximately 29 million consumers. Donald Trump filed a lawsuit to declare the structure of the CFPB unconstitutional, and to remove its Director Richard Cordray from his position. Currently, under the Dodd-Frank Act, the law that established the agency, Trump does not have the power to fire Cordray. This law states that the head of the CFPB can be dismissed only for "inefficiency, neglect of duty or malfeasance in office." Cordray, and the Dodd-Frank Act, is protecting consumers against companies and manufacturers that have put profits ahead of their customers’ safety.
Consumer rights are not the only practice threatened under the new presidency. Trump has taken aim at the FDA, stating that he plans on eliminating what he deems “The FDA Food Police.” A fact sheet published by Donald Trump’s team on the campaign trail stated that he plans on eliminating “The FDA Food Police which dictates how the federal government expects farmers to produce fruits and vegetables. These rules govern the soil farmers use, farm and food production hygiene, food packaging, food temperatures and even what animals may roam which fields and when. It also greatly increased inspections of food 'facilities,' and levies new taxes to pay for this inspection overkill.”
According to the CDC, roughly 1 in 6 Americans get sick, over 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases. This number will only increase if President Trump succeeds in removing many of the regulations that are currently in place. For example, in 2010, a salmonella outbreak linked to peanuts resulted in the deaths of 9 individuals and cased over 700 people to get sick. Without the government’s regulatory shields, incidents like this could become commonplace.
Deregulation would result in a rise in illness and deaths from products. Even more than the danger of personal health deregulation, the greater risk would be removing consumers’ rights to sue when they are harmed by products. This loss of legal rights against companies and harmful products is a real threat under Trump’s administration.

The "What Me Worry" look of Donald Trump. (Photo: CNN)
A majority of Americans do not think President Donald Trump will keep his promises. Look it is expected that politicians will not keep a majority of their promises but Trump was so bombastic in his certainty, unknowingly he set himself up for failure. This new poll marks a significant shift in how much voters trust him.
A new Gallup poll released on Monday finds only 45 percent of Americans agree with the statement that the President keeps his promises. 62 percent of people agreed that he was a man of his word, that was in February. This new rating represents a 17 point drop over two months.
Trump position on labeling China a currency manipulator during the campaign was foolhardy. If he thought he’d win a trade war with China, who holds a lot of our debt, that was his ego talking.
Women fueled a significant chunk of the drop of perception of Trump's promise keeping habits. In February, 65 percent of women surveyed said they thought he kept his promises. Now, that number is at 40 percent.
It is still astounding to me that women who certainly will be hurt the most by his policies voted for him.
Or worse yet, stayed at home.
Trump will most likely call the new poll results fake news but the ironic part is that many of his hardcore supporters, the true believers just might see him for the fake he really is. But as always there will be the justifications for his pivots. In terms of trust, this an eroding journey for this administration.

Democrat Jon Ossoff (Photo: dailykos.com)
The Democrats need a win to show that the General Public is losing confidence in the President. Today’s election in Georgia is going to be a major test. The GOP has entered a field of candidates against Democrat Jon Ossoff. But here’s the thing, in order for Ossoff to win he needs to get over 50%. With so many Republicans splitting and Trump going after the media as well as the candidate, this will not be a cakewalk. It is likely Ossoff will be forced into a runoff. By the way, this is the seat held by Dr. Tom Price the new HHS Secretary.
I know they say the 6th District is heavily educated with people with College degrees but they need to get out and vote to get the win.
We’ll see.


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