My Junior Senator

I live in the state of Pennsylvania, which democratic pollster James Carville once categorized as Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Alabama in the middle.

But it’s certainly an interesting thing to watch. This is the state that gave us Rick Santorum, and on behalf of my state, I apologize to the rest of the country and the world. Indeed, before he was unseated in his 2006 re-election bid by Sen. Robert Casey Jr, I pointed to Santorum as the embodiment of everything wrong with the Republican Party today. (A fact borne out and reconfirmed by his run for president last year…)

Santorum has a clone, though, in a man named Pat Toomey. Pat Toomey, the former chair of an organization called the Club for Growth (the growth they talk about is economic, but their actions most closely resemble a fungus but with fewer potential positive attributes). Toomey first sought to challenge then-senator Arlen Specter for the republican nomination for senator from Pennsylvania in 2004, and it was Specter’s rightward swing that year that made it so that I cannot, in good conscience, vote republican.

In 2010, when Specter switched political parties and lost in the primaries, Toomey emerged victorious in the general election and thus has been my senator now for half of a term.

He is one of the most vocal opponents of Obamacare and has taken to the airwaves and Internet to express his distaste for it. He apparently inherited Sen Specter’s mailing list because I get email newsletters from his Senate office.

Those emails have become increasingly propagandistic and I thus could not stand any longer when he categorized the Affordable Care Act as a “terrible law” without qualification or explanation. (Not that I inherently disagree. I’d rather have something akin to what they have in Canada or the UK than something that gives so much to private companies, but it’s better than what we had before it…) The email specifically cited a modest excise tax on certain medical devices as being something worth repealing.

Below is the complete text of the email I sent to my senator this morning about the excise tax and the email I received.

Dear Sen. Toomey

I am writing to advise you that your efforts to repeal the portion of “Obamacare” that imposes a relatively small (2.3%) excise tax on the sale or import of medical devices are based on faulty claims and, if they were to come to pass, would have a much worse impact on the economy and the deficit than anything you might claim to the contrary.

There are numerous studies that demonstrate that your current fear mongering are just that, and not based upon anything grounded in reality. The following article summarizes those studies nicely:

Furthermore, I have been receiving your email newsletters, which seem to be little more than a piece of propaganda designed to pander to the most extreme elements in the Republican Party and not to your constituents as a whole. This, then, makes me wonder if such newsletters, based upon their content, are a waste of the same government resources you claim to wish to utilize more efficiently.

I thus urge you to stop portraying complex issues in black and white, as you have done so often since you first sought the senate seat you currently hold, from more than a decade ago.

Thank you for your consideration.

Jim Phynn


This packaging turns me off…

How gullible do the makers of these snack fries think its consumers really are?

IMG 2120

Please note that the complete ingredients into this product are as follows (in order as presented here):

  • Cornmeal
  • Potato Flakes
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Seasoning (sea salt, onion powder, sugar, garlic powder, citric acid, canola oil, natural flavor)