Four numbers. At first glance today’s title doesn’t make much sense (unless you are a very lucky political nerd who guessed it) but I promise it will by the end of this article.

There is an interesting reason Donald Trump was not at Mar-a-Lago when the FBI executed the search warrant. He was in New York preparing for his deposition before New York State Attorney General Tish James’ staff. He was asked 441 questions. The first was his name. He answered, reportedly correctly. The second question was answered by taking the Fifth. The response to the next 439 was, “Same answer.” In other words, he took the Fifth 440 times. Today’s 400 meter event in track was known as the 440 back when baby boomers were in high school. This might be the first time Trump was a 440 man.

One of the few things I agree with Trump on is that, as he repeatedly said during the 2016 campaign, only guilty people take the Fifth. I have never called Trump a genius but does it really take a couple of days to prepare to take the Fifth to every question but your name?

Republicans will no doubt try to make inflation an issue this fall and will attack both President Biden and the Democrats. Last week the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 passed both chambers. The bill will lower the cost of living for average Americans. In the process it both combats climate change and lowers the deficit. The Republicans are the only political party of consequence in the world who does not recognize man’s involvement in climate change (and in some cases flat out denies it). The deficit/national debt (most of their minions don’t know the difference) is a common talking point when they are out of power.

When the “rubber met the road” the Democrats passed the legislation without a single Republican vote. In the Senate they were forced to go the reconciliation route. All 50 Republican voted no forcing Vice President Kamala Harris to break the tie. In the House the vote was 220-207-4. All 207 nays came from the Republicans and the other 4 didn’t even bother voting. The minimum wage in the House is $174,000 a year. Under the current rules you don’t even have to be present to vote. For $174,000 a year do you think it is too much to ask an employee to at least phone it in?

Certainly, as a progressive I’m disappointed in some of the things that didn’t make it into the bill, lost either through negotiation or the Senate Parliamentarian’s ruling. I like to consider myself to be a practical progressive and the good in the legislation certainly outweighs the bad. Politics, and certainly legislation, is the art of compromise.

I’ve heard a few of the Republican excuses for not voting for the bill. They were lame at best. The inflation, along with several other issues the legation addresses, is having a serious negative impact on Americans. In November remember that when you asked for help the Republicans all said no – oh, except for the four (Jerry Carl and Mike Rogers of Alabama, Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin and Greg Pence of IndianaJ) who couldn’t even bother to phone it in.

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