Monday, July 21, 2014

Reflection On Frivolous Lawsuits...

Minnie Bee's Rant
You may remember, as do I, that just a few years ago, the Republican Party and its representatives in Congress mounted an attack against what they called "frivolous lawsuits."  I looked it up just to see exactly what this was, and what the Republicans did about it.

Not being an attorney myself, I googled "frivolous lawsuits," and under that heading, selected what, in my opinion, was a very credible and highly regarded website, Harvard Law.  According to a paper entitled "Suits With  Negative Expected Value," by Lucian Arye Bebchuk, (Discussion Paper No. 226, 12/1997) which is published on the Harvard Law website, a "negative-expected-value" (NEV) lawsuit  "... is one in which the plaintiff would obtain a negative expected return from pursuing the suit all the way to judgment -- that is, one in which the plaintiff's expected total litigation costs would exceed the expected judgment."  The Harvard site goes on to explain that " NEV suit need not be a frivolous suit -- that is, a suit in which the plaintiff is unlikely to win. A meritorious suit -- one in which the likelihood of a plaintiff victory is quite high -- might be NEV if the litigation costs involved are sufficiently large relative to the amount at stake."  In other words, if a suit is not worth the cost and is likely to be lost, the suit is deemed to be "frivolous;"  if the suit is not worth the cost, but is "meritorious," or likely to be won, it is not deemed "frivolous," but it is still not worth financially what it cost - although it could benefit the plaintiff in other, non-financial ways.

So what's the history of frivolous lawsuits and the Republican party?  Google again.  It turns out this was more than just a few years ago.  The campaign against "frivolous lawsuits," was born out of the conservative "tort reform" and "lawsuit abuse" movements of the early 1990's, which became - go figure - populist movements, and basically sought to restrict a citizen's right to sue.   In January, 2003, President Bush (George W.) gave a speech in which he claimed that frivolous law suits were the main cause of a broken health care system - frivolous, in this case, meaning patients suing their doctors, which, now that we are educated in legalese, means that these suits might be meritorious, but were frequently NEV suits.  The Republican politicians took up this mantra during the elections that year, and launched an attack on "frivolous lawsuits,"  blaming these suits on everything from the high cost of medical care to rising unemployment. Bush and other Republican politicians were backed by organizations such as Texans for Lawsuit Reform, who were  funded by corporations like Halliburton, Dow Chemical, Exxon,  AIG, and other companies, mostly (no surprise) in the business of oil, chemicals, and medical liability insurance. 

Fast forward to the present.  Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH), is suing President Obama.  Boehner has switched his stated reason for the suit three times over the past several weeks.  First, the lawsuit was about Obama's abuse of executive power; then, it was about Obama's mishandling of immigration reform.; now, it's about Obama's delaying of the implementation of the employer mandate provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA, aka "Obamacare,")  a mandate that most Republicans are against anyway.
House Republicans have made it clear throughout Obama's presidency that they don't wish to cooperate with this President on anything and have typically acted to obstruct the President, motivating Obama to act on his own.  The fact that Republican lawmakers have been unwilling to proceed through standard legislative processes, which would normally be to work with the other side of the aisle to reconcile their proposals, makes Boehner's suit unlikely to be a winnable one. 

In addition, the cost of this suit to taxpayers is unknown.  House Democrats recently sent a letter to Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-TX) demanding to know the cost of the suit before lawmakers are forced to vote on the measure in late July. As of this blog post, House Republicans have not publicly responded to the request for accountability, but according to Ranking Member of the Rules Committee, Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (D-NY), House Republicans' defense of  the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA ) ended up costing taxpayers $2.3 million without a single victory in court; the Benghazi panel could cost taxpayers about $3.3 million; House Republicans spent an estimated $79 million trying to destroy or dismantle the ACA, and they shut down the government over the ACA, costing the American economy $24 billion in economic activity.  Just imagine, for a moment, the constructive things Congress could have done with this money to help the American worker and the American economy.

That being said, is Boehner's suit against President Obama a "frivolous lawsuit?"  The fact that the purpose of the suit has been changed three times and that House Republicans steadfastly have refused to follow standard legislative procedure makes Boehner's suit likely to be  unwinnable, and, therefore, unmeritorious.  The suit is also likely to be exorbitant, costing taxpayers more than it's worth - millions in taxpayer money that could better be put to use to create American jobs and perhaps to fund the President's proposed American Jobs Act (AJA) to replace and renovate our old and worn out roads, bridges, and public buildings, including schools. 

As far as considering the non-financial benefits of the suit, some will say that it will benefit the Republican party in terms of publicity, particularly with its base.  However, chances are, most of us will view it as just another political stunt, a diversion with all the trappings of a "frivolous lawsuit," a lot of horn and no drive shaft.

Be a jobs creator with your shopping cart! We create and keep U.S. jobs when we demand, promote, and buy "Made in USA" goods and products. Check out our shopping list below and replace one, two, or three of the non-Made in USA products you usually buy with "Made in USA" products. As always, check labels before buying, and please send in your own discoveries to this blog. Remember, "distributed by" or "manufactured by" does not mean that it was made here, regardless of the company address. It must state that it was made in or a product (produce) of the USA!

(Ed. note:  We are not isolationists; we simply believe in promoting and supporting home grown businesses first.  We understand that our economy also depends on exporting our products to other countries.  In future posts, we may occasionally look at products made outside of the U.S. if they are made in countries that are our customers and participate in free and fair trade with the USA.)

Minnie Bee's "Made in USA" Shopping List:

* = new recommendation

**= new category


·         Viking kitchen appliances - Made in USA by Viking Range Corp., Greenwood, MS

Baby Food

·         mom to mom - Product of USA by Lucerne Foods, Inc., Pleasanton, CA

Beer, Wine

·         Yuengling Lager, Light Lager, Light Beer, Black and Tan, Premium, Porter, Lord Chesterfield Ale - Made in USA by D.S. Yuengling & Son, Inc., Pottsville, PA

Beverages  (non-alcoholic, not including coffee)

·         Inko's 100% Natural White Iced Tea - Made in USA by Inko's White Iced Tea, New York, NY


·         Necco Wafers, Clark Bars, Mighty Malt Malted Milk Balls, Mary Janes, Canada Mints, Valentine Conversation Hearts and other candy products - Made in USA by New England Confectionery Co. (NECCO), Revere, MA

·         AmeriCandy - Made in USA by AmeriCandy Co., Inc., Louisville, KY

·         Bissinger's Candy - Made in USA by Bissinger's, St. Louis, MO

·         Hammond's Candies - Made in USA by Hammond's Candy Factory, Denver, CO

·         See's Candies - Made in USA by See's Candy Shops, Inc., Carson, CA

·         Stewart Candy - Made in USA by Stewart Candy Co., Waycross, GA

·         Sweet's Candy - Made in USA by Sweet Candy Co., Salt Lake City, UT

·          Wolfgang Candy - Made in USA by Wolfgang Candy Co., Inc., York, PA

·         Red Vines - Product of USA by American Licorice Co., Union City, CA

·         Mike & Ike, Hot Tamales -Made in USA by Just Born, Inc., Bethlehem, PA

Canned Vegetables

·         Margaret Holmes canned vegetables - Product of USA by McCall Farms,

            Effingham, SC

·         Del Monte canned vegetables(check labels, not all cans bear the "packed in USA" statement!)- Packed in USA by Del Monte Foods, San Francisco, CA

Cereal (Hot)

·         Safeway Instant Oatmeal - Made in USA by Safeway, Inc., Pleasanton, CA

·         Maypo Maple Oatmeal and Wheatena hot cereal - Made in USA by Homestat Farm, Ltd., Dublin, CA

·         Old Wessex Creamy Oat Bran, Irish-Style Oatmeal, and 5-Grain Cereal - Made in USA by Old Wessex, Inc., Providence, RI

·         Nature's Path Hot Oatmeal - Made in USA by Nature's Path Foods, Inc., Blaine, WA

Cereal Bars

·         Eating Right Oats & Peanut Butter Bars - Product of USA by Lucerne Foods, Pleasanton, CA

·         Safeway Variety Pack Chewy Granola Bars, Safeway Chewy Pretzel Bars - Product of USA by Lucerne Foods, Pleasanton, CA

·         Eviro Kidz Bars - Product of USA by Nature's Path Foods, Blaine, WA

·         Annie's Organic Granola Bars - Product of USA by Annie's, Berkeley, CA

·         Nature's Path Granola Bars - Product of USA by Nature's Path Foods, Blaine, WA


·         Sargento's cheese - Product of USA by Sargento Foods, Inc., Plymouth, WI


·         Beyond Clothing - Made in USA by Beyond Clothing, Seattle, WA

·         Eagle Sportswear - Made in USA by Eagle USA, Wendell, NC

·         Red Ants Pants - Made in USA by Red Ants Pants, White Sulphur Springs, MT

·         Wearable Integrity - Made in USA by Barbara Lesser, Los Angeles, CA

·         Bayside Apparel- Made in USA by Bayside USA (union), Anaheim, CA

·         icantoo Resort Classics - Made in USA by Pacico, Inc., Industry, CA

·         New England Coffee - Made in USA by New England Tea and Coffee Co., Inc., Malden, MA

·         Green Mountain Coffee, Caribou Coffee, Gloria Jean's Coffee (K-cups) - Made in USA by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc., Castroville, CA

·         Millstone Coffee (K-cups) - Made in USA by Millstone Coffee, Inc., Orrville, OH
Coffee Creamer

·         Silk Creamer - Made in USA by WhiteWave Foods, Broomfield, CO
Computer Printer Paper

·         Printworks Multipurpose Paper - Made in USA by Paris Business Products, Westhampton, NJ

·         up & up Multipurpose Printer Paper - Made in USA by Target Brands,
Inc., Minneapolis, MN

·         Hemmi Papilio Decal Paper- Made in USA by Hemmi Papilio Supplies LLC, Decatur, TX
Condiments (ketchup, mustard, mayo, relish, salsa, BBQ sauces& marinades)

·         Original Juan Mayonnaise, BBQ Sauce, Hot Sauce, Salsa – Made in USA by Original Juan Specialty Foods, Kansas City, KS

·         French's Mustard - Made in USA by French's Foods, Reckitt Benckiser, Inc., Parsippany, NJ

·         Heinz Tomato Ketchup ((check labels, not all bottles bear the "Mfd. in USA" statement!) - Manufactured in USA by H.J. Heinz Co., L.P., Pittsburgh, PA

Cooking Oil

·         California Olive Ranch Olive Oil -Product of California, USA by California Olive Ranch, Inc., Oroville, CA

·         Safeway Chocolate Teddy Bear Cookies, Grin & Bear It! - Product of USA by Safeway, Inc., Pleasanton, CA

·         Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Baked Graham Snacks (all flavors) - Baked in USA by Pepperidge Farms, Inc., Norwalk, CT

·         Pepperidge Farm (all crackers, Goldfish crackers and pretzels, and crisps) - Baked in USA by Pepperidge Farms, Inc., Norwalk, CT

·         Westminster Crackers - Made in USA by Westminster Cracker Co., Rutland, VT

·         Ry-Krisp Crackers - Made in USA by Bremner Food Group, Princeton, KY

·         Breton Crackers (all except Vinta and Breton Minis) - Made in USA by Dare Foods USA, Spartanburg, SC

·         Streit's Matzo - Product of USA by Aron Streit, Inc., New York, NY
Dips, Hummus

·         Sabra Hummus -Product of USA by Sabra Dipping Co., LLC, White Plains, NY

Dried Fruit

·         Craisins - Made in the USA by Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc., Lakeville-Middleboro, MA

Fruits and Vegetables

·         Fruits and vegetables that are "Product /Produce of USA," including "locally grown" fruits and vegetables (as they come into season.)

·         Clem'n Tina's Mandarin Oranges - Produce of USA by SunWest, Parlier, CA

·         Classic Dover Strawberries - Product of USA by Mike Lott Farm, Seffner, FL (also other FL strawberry farms-check labels)

·         Cuties Mandarin Oranges - Produce of USA by Cuties Cooperatives, Bakersfield, CA

·         Ranier Apples/Pommes, Sweet Cherries - Produce of USA by Rainier Fruit Company, Selah, WA

·         Stemilt Sweet Cherries - Product of USA by Stemilt Growers, LLC, Wenatchee, WA

·         Top Brass Premium Quality Grapes - Product of USA by Vignold Farms, Deland, CA
Fruit and Vegetable Wash

·         All Natural Veggie Wash Fruit and Vegetable Wash - Made in USA by Beaumont Products, Inc., Kennesaw, GA

Hair Care Products

·         California North Hair Care Products- Made in USA by California North, Sausalito, CA

·         J Beverly Hills Hair Care Products- Made in USA by Juan Juan, Beverly Hills, CA

·         Pureology Serious Color Care - Made in USA by Purelogy Research LLC, Irvine, CA

·         Alterna Professional Haircare - Made in USA by Alterna Professional Haircare, Beverly Hills, CA

Mac n' Cheese

·         Annie's Macaroni and Cheese - Made in USA by Annie's, Inc., Napa CA

Meals/Frozen Dinners

·         Annie's Skillet Meals - Made in USA by Annie's, Inc., Napa, CA
Milk and Milk Products

·         Silk Soymilk - Made in USA by WhiteWave Foods, Broomfield, CO
Notebook Paper

·         Roselle notebook paper - Made in USA by Roselle Paper Co., Roselle, NJ

·         Top Flight 81/2 x 11 spiral notebooks (only) - Made in USA by Top Flight, Chattanooga, TN

·         Smart Living notebook paper (only)- Made in USA by American Sales Co., Lancaster, NY

Notebooks, Spiral

·         up&up spiral notebooks - Made in USA by Target Brands, Inc., Minneapolis, MN

·         Basic spiral notebooks; Norcom composition books; Basic notebook paper,

·         Norcom notebook paper - Made in USA by Norcom, Inc., Griffin, GA

Paper Products

·         Vanity Fair Premium Napkins - Made in USA by Georgia-Pacific Consumer Products, LP, Atlanta, GA

·         up & up paper plates, bowls - Made in USA by Target Corp., Minneapolis, MN

Pencils and Pens

·         Pilot Easy Touch retractable pens (only) - Made in USA by Pilot Corp. of America, Jacksonville, FL

·         USA Gold "The Write Dudes" wood case pencils (only) - Made in USA by USA Gold (Mega Brands), Lewisburg, TN

·         General's wood case pencils- Made in USA by General Pencil Co., Jersey City, NJ

Pizza, Frozen

·         Freschetta Pizza, Red Baron Pizza - Made in USA by Schwan Food Co., Marshall, MN

Plates, Tableware

·         Fiesta Dinnerware - Made in USA by The Homer Laughlin China Co., Newell WV
Power Bars

·         Eating Right Nutrition Bar - Product of USA by Lucerne Foods, Inc., Pleasanton, CA

·         Kind and Kind Plus Fruit and Nut Bars - Product of Kind Healthy Snacks, New York, NY

Salad Dressing

·         Annie's Salad Dressing - Made in USA by Annie's, Inc., Napa, CA

·         Bragg Healthy Vinaigrette - Product of USA by Bragg Live Food Products, Inc., Santa Barbara, CA

·         Thorogood Boots - Made in USA by Weinbrenner Shoe Co., Merrill, WI

·         Danner Boots  - Made in USA by Danner Boots, Portland, OR

·         Chippewa Boots - Made in USA by Chippewa Boot Co., Carthage, MO

·         Carolina Boots - Made in USA by Carolina Shoe Co., Martinsburg, PA

·         Red Wing Boots - Made in USA by Red Wing Shoe Co., Red Wing, MN
Skin Care Products

·         St. Ives 100% Moisturizer - Made in USA by St. Ives Laboratories, Inc.,

Los Angeles, CA

·         Mario Badescu Skincare (all products) - Made in USA by Mario Badescu, New York, NY

·         Neutrogena Body Oil - Made in USA Neutrogena Corp., Los Angeles, CA

·         dr dennis gross skincare (all products) - Made in USA by Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare, LLC, New York, NY 


·         *half naked popcorn - Made in USA by Good Health Natural Foods, Inc., Greensboro, NC

·         popchips - Made in USA by popchips, San Francisco, CA

·         *popcorners -Made in USA by Medora Snacks, LLC, Freeport, NY

·         Pretzel Crisps - Made in USA by Snack Factory, Princeton, NJ

·         Pepperidge Farm Goldfish, Baked Naturals, cracker chips - Baked in USA by Pepperidge Farm, Inc., Norwalk, CN

·         Stacy's Pita Chips - Made in USA by Stacy's Pita Chips, Dallas, TX

·         Boulder Canyon Garden Select Vegetable Crisps - Made in USA by Boulder Canyon Natural Foods, Boulder, CO

·         Late July Organic Multigrain Snack Chips - Made in USA by Late July Snacks, LLC, Barnstable, MA
Soups, canned and packets

·         Nature's Promise "Naturals" soup - Product of USA by Foodhold USA, LLC, Landover, MD

·         Campbell's Chunky, Select Harvest, and Condensed soups (canned and microwaveable) - Cooked in USA by Campbell's Soup Co., Camden, NJ

·         Shore Lunch soup mix - Made in USA by Sportsman Recipes, Inc., Rome, GA

·         Streit's Matzo Ball and Soup mix, and Egg Drop soup mix - Product of USA by Aron Streit, Inc., New York, NY

·         Manischewitz Ball Soup, and Matzo Balls in Broth (canned in glass jars), and Matzo Ball and Soup mix - Product of USA by The Manischewitz Co., Secaucus, NJ

·         Safeway soup mix - Product of USA by Safeway, Inc., Pleasanton, CA

Soup Bowls and Cups

·         Maruchan Ramen, Instant Lunch, and Yakisoba soups - Made in USA by Maruchan, Inc., Irvine, CA

·         Annie Chun's soup bowls - Product of USA by Annie Chun, Inc., San Rafael, CA

·         Eating Right soup cups - Product of USA by Lucerne Foods, Inc., Pleasanton, CA

·         Dr. McDougall's soup cups - Product of USA by Dr. McDougall's Right Foods, San Francisco, CA

Soup Stocks

·         Kitchen Basics Vegetable, Chicken, Seafood, and Beef cooking stock- Product of USA by Kitchen Basics, Brecksville, OH

Storage Bags and Wraps

·         Glad Press'n Seal - Made in USA by The Glad Products Co., Oakland, CA

·         up & up storage bags - Made in USA by Target Corp., Minneapolis, MN

·         up & up aluminum foil - Made in USA by Target Corp., Minneapolis, MN


·         locally-made syrups - Made in USA by farms in VT, NY and PA

·         Archer Farms Pure Maple Syrup- Product of USA and Canada by Target Brands, Inc., Minneapolis, MN

·         Wegman's Organic Maple Syrup- Product of USA and Canada by Wegman's Food Markets, Inc., Rochester, NY

Toaster Pastries

·         Nature's Path Toaster Pastries -Product of USA by Nature's Path Foods, Inc., Blaine, WA

·         Pantry Essentials Toaster Pastries - Product of USA by Lucerne Foods, Inc., Pleasanton, CA


·         Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar - Product of USA by Bragg Live Food Products, Inc., Santa Barbara, CA


·         vita fusion calcium gummy vites - Made in USA by northwest natural products,

         Vancouver, WA

·         up&up adults' gummy calcium dietary supplement with vitamin D; up&up calcium + vitamin D chews - Made in USA by Target Corp., Minneapolis, MN

·         Citracal with vitamin D plus magnesium tablets; Citrical calcium + D3 caplets;
            Citracal calcium gummies with D3 - Made in USA by Bayer, Morristown, NJ

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