Yesterday we had a really unusual hearing. It focused on the Epi-Pen, and the bizarre pricing the company that owns it, Mylan, has employed in the last few months. It bothered me that many Members of Congress, including some Republicans, seemed very interested in telling the company what the "right" price was for the product. That is just one step away from government price-fixing. That frightens me. In fact, it strikes me as something you would expect to hear more in Venezuela than in the USA. At the same time, the company has raised the price of the Epi-Pen dramatically, charging as much as $600 per package, which has a real impact on the ability of ordinary families to afford the product. The real question is, where does the fault lie? With a company that sells a legal product at a market price, or a government whose interference creates the opportunity for outrageous pricing? Anyway, here is how I handled it...
I'm back up in DC today and I apologize for being slow to comment on the FBI decision today not to prosecute Hillary Clinton. I like to think -- though many of you will obviously disagree -- that I tend not to participate in the most hyperbolic of political discourse. (In fact, many people here have regularly questioned my "commitment" or my "principles" just because I won't participate in the most vitriolic of bashing of the other political party.) Anyway, to the extent that I have earned a reputation for being even-keeled, I am going to do my best to destroy that reputation right now: The FBI decision today is outrageous. If I had done what Mrs. Clinton had done, I would be in jail. Period. So would you. There is simply no two ways about that. I hear all of this psychobabble about "lack of malicious intent," but our jails are full of people who "didn't mean to do it." I remember back in the 1990s as I watched in disbelief as the President of the United States -- when accused of perjury in federal court -- admit that he had lied, but that "everyone did it." I remember thinking to myself then that perjury was no longer a crime... or at least the subject matter of the perjury (it was OK to lie in court about extramarital affairs) ...might turn a federal felony into just "little white lies." Apparently, today, it is no longer against the law to destroy public records, evade valid freedom of information act strictures, or -- and this is the part that should scare everyone to death --- be so careless with confidential information that our enemies could gain access to it (as apparently the FBI "cannot rule out" that the information was accessed surreptitiously by foreign actors.) I wonder what David Petraeus would say to all that. In fact, do you remember the "no malicious intent" angle being applied to the General? Maybe he should have invoked the "I didn't mean to do it" defense. I wonder what the FBI Director meant when he said this: “To be clear, this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences,” Comey said. “To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions. But that is not what we are deciding now.” I suppose he was deciding who gets one treatment under the law, and who gets different treatment. It's hard to know where the list of Secretary Clinton's lies on this topic end: "The emails were not classified." FALSE. "I returned all the e-mails." FALSE. "The emails were not marked classified." FALSE. "My private email system was secure." FALSE. And that's not me saying that. That is the FBI. The same one that said they had no evidence of any malicious intent. And apparently you can get caught in those lies, and 50% of the country still thinks you'd be a super President. I suppose the takeaway here is pretty clear: just as some banks were too big to fail, some people in our society are just too big to jail. And roughly half of America doesn't care. I honestly never thought it would come to this. And my guess is, if Hillary wins in November, things will only get worse.
Hillary is wrong: race does NOT determine where you go to school. The government does. They control the monopoly on education.
Nothing like giving an entirely partisan view on things, then attacking your opposition for not being bipartisan.
The President is in Vietnam today. You may have heard about some of the things he has been doing and saying. Importantly, there are also some things he is NOT doing or saying. Last month, the folks from the Rolling Thunder veterans asked me to try to get a message to the President about his trip to Vietnam. I struggled with the best way to do that (while he has mentioned several times that he has a cellphone, I can assure you I don't have the number.) So, I came up with this (see below). I know a lot of times that people think that politicians don't listen to or care about what is important to them. I can assure you that I heard those vets, loud and clear. And while I know it isn't much, the text to this short speech will become part of the permanent record of the House, forever. If this President isn't listening, maybe the next one will.