Recording: GOP governor’s race about who can be ‘craziest’
By BEN NADLER
Monday, July 9
ATLANTA (AP) — Another secret recording is shaking up Georgia’s Republican primary runoff in the governor’s race.
Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle’s campaign was already rocked last month by the release of a secretly recorded conversation in which Cagle said he backed what he called “bad public policy” for political gain. Cagle’s runoff opponent, Secretary of State Brian Kemp, released another snippet of that conversation Monday.
In this 50-second piece, Cagle can be heard candidly discussing the GOP primary’s sharp turn to the right, saying the five-man race came down to “who had the biggest gun, who had the biggest truck and who could be the craziest.”
Kemp said in a statement to the AP on Monday that the newly released recording “exposes Cagle’s real opinion of Republican voters in Georgia.”
Cagle has called his talk with former candidate for governor Clay Tippins a private conversation that was never meant to become public, and says it’s being taken out of context.
His campaign said Monday that the comments were not aimed at Georgia voters, but at “his crazy opponents’ campaign, full of gimmicks and devoid of substance.”
Kemp has garnered his own strong criticism — and national headlines — for a series of provocative television ads ran during the primary. In one ad, Kemp holds a shotgun and pretends to threaten a young man interested in his daughter. In another, Kemp says “I got a big truck,” as he slams the door on a pickup, “just in case I need to round up criminal illegals and take ‘em home myself.”
“Pointing guns at kids. Blowing things up. It’s silliness. Some might say ‘crazy.’ No, scratch that, nearly everybody would say it’s crazy,” Cagle’s campaign said.
The recording was captured without Cagle’s knowledge by Tippins just days after the May 22 primary in which Cagle and Kemp beat out Tippins and two others. Tippins secretly recorded the private conversation at Cagle’s campaign office on a phone hidden in his coat pocket, and provided a longer piece of the recording to local media outlets.
“The issues you talk about are the issues I care about as well. The problem is in a primary — and you and I are just talking off the record frank — they don’t give a (expletive) about those things, OK. In the general election, they care about it, OK. But they don’t care about it in a primary.” Cagle says in the newly released snippet.
At the time of the conversation, Cagle was seeking Tippins’ endorsement. Tippins has yet to formally endorse either runoff candidate.
Asked by The Associated Press whether the Kemp campaign has still more snippets it’s holding onto, Kemp spokesman, Ryan Mahoney, said: “We will continue to create a clear contrast between Kemp and Cagle in the weeks leading up to Election Day on July 24th.”
Cagle accused Kemp of “taking part in dirty politics” over the release.
The runoff between Cagle and Kemp will be decided July 24. The winner will face Democrat Stacey Abrams in November.
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“Russia if you’re Listening, find (Hack) my Opponent’s Emails and you will be Greatly Rewarded.”
“The goal of the right has been to restore the economic order last seen under Herbert Hoover, in which a tiny minority possess vast sums of wealth and there is (therefore) essentially no remaining middle class. It is nothing short of a breathtaking display of a world class greed, worthy of the ages.”
~ David Michael Green, professor of political science
Securing the border is one issue. Criminalizing asylum seeking is another. Separating families is immoral, heartless, criminal.
Communism has taken over America and the people are too ignorant to realize it.
Trump’s most corrupt swampster Scott Pruitt, who tried to destroy the EPA, forced to resign in the most corrupt Presidency EVER!
Trump at his rally called Vladimir Putin a “Fine person.” While attacking everyone else!
Can you imagine having a child removed from you, some infants, from a government that has no intentions on returning them to you? Could you have ever imagined that government to be the United States of America? How can any parent anywhere not be completely outraged by what we’ve done, or become? This administration has basically kidnapped thousands of children.
In a year and a half we have returned to the darkest days in our history.
Nice to see that the so-called president of the United States thinks assault on women and rape are fun political punching bags.
We grew up thinking only stupid countries got leaders like this. Turns out we were right.
Retweeted Brian Schatz (@brianschatz): Just got off a conference call with HHS about reuniting kids with their parents. They read from a script for around 20 minutes and then they took only 3 questions from Senators. It was Orwellian in its overconfidence and vagueness. I am more, not less worried for these kids.
I’m sure not going to set back and act like everything is OK. We’re no better than Russia right now, Might as well tear the Statue of Liberty down. He’s at odds with our allies and friends with our enemies.
“TRUMP’S PLAN” JOKES INCLUDE: Trump’s plan to combat opiate addiction: Put the drug companies in charge.
SC Gov. McMaster vetoes all family planning health care for Medicaid patients – a total of $15 million in federal funds – for birth control, Pap smears, breast exams & cancer screenings. Tens of thousands of patients and 4000 providers impacted.
We are one bad election away from watching Republicans lock themselves into power for a generation through extreme right-wing voting laws and gerrymandering put on steroids. There’s even talk of using Republican-controlled state legislatures to rig the Electoral College in key swing states to keep the White House in Republican hands.
Bob Mueller Now Targeting Top Republican Senator, Illegal Activity Alleged
Twitter is finally addressing fake accounts. Trump wants it to go after two specific real ones.
Opinion: The Twenty-Something Burger
By Jill Ebstein
The nothing-burger meme has recently gained popularity as we try to sort out fact from fiction in today’s complicated and dissonant world. Ideas that seem like a whole lot of nothing will often be dismissed as a “nothing-burger.”
Having just worked with a group of twenty-somethings who were penning a piece to share their experiences, I learned that far from a nothing-burger we have a definite “Twenty-Something Burger” as our young adults enter the workforce. Anxiety and self-doubt abound as they become self-sufficient. Understanding the layers of the twenty-something burger may help parents and mentors who seek stronger bonds.
The Buns of the Burger
The bottom is a bun of expectation and the top of the bun is fulfillment. Our twenty-somethings enter this decade believing what we fed them. Their trophy-filled, failure-free environment has led to big expectations that include:
—Purposeful work: They seek to improve the world, at least as much as their individual lot. In a survey I conducted, “mission” rated highest in what matters at work, scoring 8.8 on a scale of 1 to 10. Whether it is teaching in underserved communities, or advocating for social issues, there are many ways they seek to do good.
—Financial independence: Our twenty-somethings want to live on their own, pay back their loans, and still have change in their pockets. One contributor described volunteering to gain experience, while she lived with her aunt and nannied for dough. Free time was spent walking because walking is free. A devout astrologist, the Pisces in her searched for water fountains to make the walk more fun.
—Autonomy in the job: Unlike baby boomers who found it natural to abide by authority, this group often chafes at marching orders. They prefer context and understanding so that they can apply personal ingenuity to their job. Speaking as a baby boomer, this feels dismissive. Why doesn’t our experience count for more in their eyes? This is an important intergenerational conversation to have. A bridge needs building.
The ascent from expectation to fulfillment — where twenty-somethings are to where they want to be — is the “meat of the burger.”
The Meat of the Burger
The meat of the burger has three components:
—Feeling Healthy: Contributors to my book experienced significant anxiety and depression, as they were adrift with squashed dreams. Through therapy, meditation, yoga, nature hikes — you name it — many were able to muscle their way through. The titles of two pieces say it all: “A Clash of Perception and Reality,” and “Heal Thyself.” Without a healthy foundation, everything seems impossible.
—Managing Rejection: Rejection is particularly painful to a generation we shielded from failure. When an out-of-work journalist feels despair and resorts to becoming a Lyft driver, he has called an important audible. He writes, “I just wasn’t used to this kind of repeated rejection. Growing up, I might get rejected from a travel soccer team, but there was always another team to join.” Learning to accept rejection as part of the process and adapt is important.
—Experimentation and Discovery: This generation wears many hats to see what fits best. A camp director switches to politics, a barista by day becomes a writer at night. Allowing oneself the freedom to explore is critical. One contributor admits, “I keep saying yes because that’s when I learn that a path isn’t me.”
What Are We To Do?
After we exonerate ourselves from the question of “What did we do wrong?” we want to know what can we do to support our children. My dad would often tell me, “My money’s on you.” I didn’t think about it much then — at least consciously. Now though, I recognize the wisdom of his words as he expressed complete confidence in me.
My goal in this undertaking? To figure out how to add myself as a special sauce to this burger — be supportive in a way that helps and yet not shirk responsibility when I have something important to say. My playbook has become:
—Ask more questions, offer less advice: For example, “How will you know when …” or “Why doesn’t (fill in the obvious choice) make sense?”
—Recall and share my own missteps: Even though we are built differently, it turns out that anxiety and big expectations are timeless. Missteps shared yields empathy and maybe the start of that bridge.
In “Wizard of Oz,” as Dorothy prepares to click her heels and return home, Glinda tells her it was always in Dorothy’s power, but she had to find out for herself. That might be 21st-century parenting in a nutshell — mum while our kids figure it out. And, it is hoped, we get recognized as the Good Witch.
ABOUT THE WRITER
Jill Ebstein is the editor of the “At My Pace” series of books. She’s the founder of Sized Right Marketing, a Newton, Massachusetts, consulting firm that helps Fortune 500 companies use the customer voice to develop workable strategies that will yield results. She wrote this for InsideSources.com.
Opinion: Maybe We’re Not in a Health Care Crisis?
By Robert Graboyes
America’s health care debate revolves around two talking points, both of which lead the discussion down some nonproductive alleys.
The first point is that on certain key dimensions — lifespan, infant mortality and so forth — America’s metrics underperform other developed countries and even some lesser-developed countries. The second is that Americans spend more on health care than any other country, both per capita and as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product.
We’ll save the first point for another day, other than to say that many of the oft-cited metrics are half-truths, outright falsehoods or non sequiturs. America’s quality of care could be significantly better than it is, but it’s still at or near the world’s pinnacle. The oft-cited comparisons with other countries rest on an aging, poorly executed paper from the World Health Organization. (For those impatient to know why, Google Glen Whitman’s “Who’s Fooling WHO” and Scott Atlas’ “The Worst Study Ever?”)
Here, though, let’s focus on the second point. The United States does spend considerably more than any other country on health care. Observers (on both the political left and right) commonly recite this point as prima facie evidence that American health care is in crisis. They generally assume salvation lies in some sort of reforms to the health care system (particularly the insurance system) — though they differ ferociously on which reforms.
But an alternative view — convincing, I believe — is that America’s heavy health care spending does not by itself constitute a crisis and is driven mostly by factors outside of health care.
Two 2017 articles by Peter Laakmann (“The Price is Right” and “Unique Features of the US Health Care System Are Unlikely to be a Major Cause of High US Health Spending”) provide powerful evidence that Americans spend more on health care because, in effect, we’re wealthy spendthrifts (on everything) — not because of anything intrinsic to American health care.
As Laakmann notes, Americans spend a higher percentage of GDP on practically everything — for the simple reason that Americans save less and consume more than residents of other countries. Rather than stashing our income away for the future, we choose to buy things today — education, housing, travel, and, of course, health care.
But American health care spending as a percentage of household consumption (rather than GDP) is only slightly higher than in other developed countries.
Furthermore, Americans have a massive amount of accumulated wealth — cash, securities, real estate and so forth. So, we tend to buy things, including health care, using this extra reserve.
Here’s a small analogy to illustrate the point:
Picture two men — Smith and Jones. Both earn $1,000 per week after taxes and benefits. Smith doesn’t save a dime. Jones puts $100 in a savings account each week. Then, the two go to restaurants every night. Each week, Smith spends $200 on restaurants and $800 on everything else. Jones spends $180 on restaurants and $720 on everything else.
Now, a social scientist studies their behavior. He notes Smith goes to ritzier restaurants. This, he concludes, is why Smith spends so much. “If we can get Smith to go to the same downscale restaurants where Jones dines, his expenditures will drop to Jones’ level.”
But this misses the key factor. Smith’s bigger tab stems from the fact that, unlike Jones, he has an extra $100 to blow each week on consumption. Smith spends 20 per cent of income on dining out, while Jones only spends 18 percent. But as a percentage of consumption, both men spend an identical 20 percent ($200 of $1,000 for Smith, $180 of $900 for Jones).
Force Smith to dine at Jones’ cheaper restaurant, and he’ll likely just order more expensive items and drink better liquor than Jones.
This is not a plea for policy nihilism. Perhaps Americans’ low saving rate and high consumption is a brewing crisis. But if so, doodling with the health care system isn’t going to change that. And, no doubt, Americans could get far more health from their health care spending than they do — but that doesn’t necessarily mean lower expenditures.
But in formulating policy, perhaps we should rethink the assumption that we’re in crisis and that health insurance reform is the solution.
ABOUT THE WRITER
Robert Graboyes is a senior research fellow with the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, where he focuses on technological innovation in health care. He is the author of “Fortress and Frontier in American Health Care,” and he teaches health economics at Virginia Commonwealth University. He wrote this for InsideSources.com.
Opinion: Time to Think Seriously About Trade War Ramifications
By Donald Kirk
SEOUL — The United States is fighting everyone, it seems. Not in shooting wars, mostly limited these days to skirmishes in the Middle East, but in trade wars that could erupt eventually into the shooting kind.
Listening to the news, one gets the impression there’s no major country with which President Trump is happy when it comes to the U.S. balance of trade. That’s understandable on both sides. U.S. trading partners are upset by the tariffs Trump is imposing. Trump is upset by extraordinary trade imbalances, none so unbelievably enormous as the $400 billion surplus China reaps from exports to the United States.
It’s extremely difficult to sort out who is in the right. Probably there are instances in which the United States can make a good case, others in which traditional trading partners and allies are right in claiming Trump and his advisers are being unfair. If there is one thing I would really not want to have to do, it is sorting out the rights and wrongs of the trade war.
If it worsens, though, such friction can spiral out of control. In the worst-case scenario, it can break apart alliances, turning allies into neutral bystanders or even enemies, sending shockwaves reverberating around the world.
The trade war is likely to have the most dangerous repercussions in Asia. The Americans are deeply upset by China’s claim to sovereignty over the South China Sea. They see China extending its tentacles of power from the Korean Peninsula to the East China Sea where the Chinese claim the Senkaku Islands, held by Japan (the Chinese call them Diaoyu).
Circling beyond the South China Sea, the Chinese for decades have menaced India’s northern reaches in the high Himalayas while building a road through the mountains into the heart of India’s historic foe, Pakistan. The United States and China are historic rivals for friendship with Pakistan, bound years ago to the United States in treaty alliances and still the recipient of American military aid. The Chinese are pumping in still more aid while building a port at Gwador on the Arabian Sea.
Just imagine the dangerous consequences if the United States greatly reduced imports from China. It’s one thing to hike tariffs on selected items, but think of the full range of items. I’ve seen “Made in China” labels inside hats emblazoned with Trump’s “Make America Great Again” motto. One can easily see China forgetting U.N. sanctions on North Korea, which China rather reluctantly agreed on, while building up its own naval forces all around its periphery.
Americans may not have much trouble viewing China as a great if distant threat, but troubles with Canada and Mexico are uncomfortably close to home. Canadians may not speak with southern drawls or Midwestern twangs, but the Canadian accent is basically the same as that of millions of Americans. And so many people of Mexican and Central American descent live in the United States that Spanish is now the second American language.
Who knew that Canada and Mexico had quite large surpluses with the United States or that we’re looking at a standoff in which suddenly we’re veering toward separate crises with each of them?
OK, just about anyone who follows this stuff is aware Trump does not like the North American Free Trade Agreement, but to most of us the debate was rather abstract. It will cease to be so as the United States imposes retaliatory tariffs on both of them and they fight back with tariffs beyond those that Trump tells us, rightly or wrongly, are already hurting American workers and costing all of us money.
That dispute overshadows problems between the United States and South Korea over the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement, which Trump still regards as unfair despite adjustments. The U.S.-Korea trade debate comes at a most inopportune time, just as President Moon Jae-in and Trump are trying to get along with North Korea. For the sake of the U.S.-Korean alliance, it’s imperative to hold trade recriminations in check.
No matter what, this global trade war is going to cost everyone a lot more money if negotiators fail to come to terms. For Americans, the price of cars and gasoline is going up. That’s just one effect of the differences that could drive the United States into recession. If Trump has visions of making America “great again,” he and America’s trading partners had better come up with solutions soon and restore old-time friendships and alliances.
ABOUT THE WRITER
Donald Kirk has been a columnist for Korea Times, South China Morning Post many other newspaper and magazines. He wrote this for InsideSources.com.