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The Daily Countable: 💻 Zuckerberg testifies and... 🥤Are Sugar Taxes the cure for obesity?

by Countable | Updated on 4.10.18

You made it through Monday, friends. Nicely done.

Can't buck the Zuck—or can you? We'll find out today when Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before a joint hearing of the Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committees. The hearing will take place at 2:15 PM EDT and can be streamed live here.

What will you be drinking as you watch the hearing? While those at Facebook may be sipping on Xanax cocktails, many of us probably reach for a Coke, Mr. Pibb, or Faygo black cherry. Unless we're watching from across the pond—the U.K. just enacted a "sugar tax" on soft drinks in the hopes that the levy will reduce sugar intake. With one-third of U.S. adults suffering from obesity, is it time for our nation to do the same? Read about American cities that have already enacted soda taxes here.

On the Radar

  • Over the weekend, it was reported that the Syrian government had used chemical attacks against civilians in the opposition-held town of Douma, killing at least 40 people. On Monday, the president said his administration would be making "major decisions" about the attack. "We are very concerned when a thing like that can happen," Trump said at the outset of a Cabinet meeting. “This is about humanity, and it can’t be allowed to happen.” Read some of the possible "major decisions" here.

  • On Sunday, White House officials announced the administration had received confirmation directly from Pyonyang that North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, is ready to discuss his nuclear weapons program with President Trump. After weeks of speculation, this is the first direct communication from North Korea to the U.S. about Kim’s intentions, fueling expectations that the meeting will actually occur. Head here to read the full story.

Under the Radar

  • Do you know where your firearm is? A recently released report from the Inspector General for the Department of Justice reveals that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) has allowed for guns, ammunition, and explosives seized by the agency to be lost or stolen. The Department of Homeland Security has also lost track of hundreds of guns in their possession. How did this happen? Click here.

  • OK, but do you know where your journalist is? The Department of Homeland Security has posted a Request For Information from companies interested in providing "media monitoring services". DHS plans to use the selected company to compile a “media influencer database, including journalists, editors, correspondents, social media influencers, bloggers etc." Yeah, there's pushback. Extra extra, read all about it here.

Your Gov at a Glance 👀

The White House: President Trump in DC

  • The president will participate in a working lunch with the Amir of the State of Qatar.
  • He will then host the winners of the 2017 NCAA Football Championship, the Alabama Crimson Tide.
  • Press Secretary Sarah Sanders will hold an on camera press briefing at 2pm ET.

The House of Representatives: In

The Senate: In

  • Voting on the confirmation of Claria Horn Boom to be U.S. District Judge for the Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky.
  • Taking a procedural vote on the nomination of John Ring to be a Member of the National Labor Relations Board.

But Wait! There's More!

And, in the End…

In anticipation of Zuckerberg's hearings, we asked you to tell us "What Should Congress Ask the Facebook CEO??" As usual, we got many thoughtful, divergent comments, including:

Keep the thoughtful comments coming, folks.

—Josh Herman

Talk to Managing Editor Andrea Seabrook via email, andrea [at] countable.us, or on twitter, @RadioBabe. And don’t forget to keep in touch @Countable.

Countable

Written by Countable

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(30)
  • libertyLOL
    04/10/2018
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    ? You do know that we’re are currently SUBSIDIZING sugar, right? If you subsidize something, you get more of it. If you tax something, you get less of it. It seems you understand this when you suggest we should tax it. How about we STOP SUBSIDIZING IT WITH TAXPAYER DOLLARS first? The current U.S. Sugar Program was introduced in 1934 with the goal of lowering sugar production and raising sugar prices. Unfortunately for American consumers, businesses, and taxpayers, the sugar program has achieved its intended goal all too well. The result has been a system of protectionist policies that solely benefit the sugar industry at the expense of American consumers and taxpayers. Since 1934, the U.S. Sugar Program has evolved into a thicket of government imposed price supports, import quotas, and tariffs that keep domestic sugar prices artificially high. https://www.atr.org/top-five-reasons-end-us-sugar-subsidies

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  • Claude
    04/10/2018
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    Why tax sugar? Just remove the price supports and tax breaks we give the sugar industry now. Subsidy removal will allow free market pressure to correct the problem.

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  • drewsholar
    04/10/2018
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    Taxes are the cure for nothing. The government has no right to tell anyone what they can or can’t eat.

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  • Blair
    04/10/2018
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    If there was a sugar tax it could prevent people from buying junk food because of the price increase. The problem with that is that there are communities that are extremely poor and they either don't have the money for produce and healthier options or there isn't even a grocery store that sells those products. In addition we could need to find a way to make produce more affordable and more available.

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  • Gopin2018
    04/10/2018
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    Individual responsibility and accountability are the only cure for obesity. I for one don’t need more government in my life.

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  • Robert
    04/10/2018
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    Either do away with the sugar subsidies or tax the use of sugar but the additional revenue should be earmarked to help subsidize Obamacare. While we are at it, let’s tax guns on an annual basis and earmark those funds to go to victims of gun violence. This way the second amendment people can continue to keep their guns if it is that important to them and we may reduce the number of guns in circulation. We tax alcohol and cigarettes, I believe sugar and guns are just as dangerous.

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  • Wallace
    04/10/2018
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    No, self discipline plays a large part!!!

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  • Doug
    04/10/2018
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    Subsidies and tax, this is classic government waste sounds like dig the hole and then fill it up, why don’t you just ban spoons 🥄 then people won’t get fat.

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  • Dave
    04/10/2018
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    Another Fox clueless person, Laura Ingraham has lean one thing, people can vote with their wallets and call their sponsors! You would think a 54 old person might be smarter than that!

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  • Deanna
    04/10/2018
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    Again... stop with the taxes. It’s not going to solve the issue. You can’t police the amount of sugar a person chooses to eat and you can’t punish the ones of us that are responsible. You can however stop the amount of chemicals that are allowed to grow our food and create our food. Stop the poisoning of this country and leave the natural products.

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  • Abbi
    04/10/2018
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    sugar tax is exactly the lamebrained thinking that would come from this administration! It will only hurt small businesses, which are hurting enough. Big businesses like nestle will be fine. People need alternatives to unhealthy foods, but the unhealthy stuff is what they go for because it's quick and easy to make, and you can eat it quickly, then get back to work. Give people more time to eat healthy foods, give them more time to hit the gym, Hell give gyms incentives to lower the cost of physical fitness! Teach people how to cook healthy! And for the love of god give us fucking Medicare for all!!

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  • Kathy
    04/10/2018
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    He has much to answer for!

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  • Beverly
    04/10/2018
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    You can see how well that tax would work since taxing alcohol has done so well to cure alcoholism. Same with cigarette tax. Idiotic.

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  • Larry
    04/10/2018
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    Yeah - tax sugar to combat obesity. Sure worked for alcohol, cigarettes, drugs and guns. Is there some yahoo in DC saying “We really won the war on drugs... ummm, Someone hold my beer!”

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  • Bullmom
    04/10/2018
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    Not eating everything in site is more helpful than taxes on sugar - what’s next a tax on carbs? And aren’t these adults? Please make someone accountable for something-

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  • SirRobert
    04/10/2018
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    If 5% appears too small be thankful I don’t take it all cause I’m the Tax man! JOIN THE BLUE WAVE AND VOTE EVERY REPUBLICAN OUT OF OFFICE!

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  • OldTimer
    04/10/2018
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    Ok. While a lot of people make good points on here and some just have to run off at the mouth proving they know nothing about the subject they are acting like some kind of authority on and some who just want to insult people and use crude language. Once again I refer to Samuel Clemens. He said something along these lines: When one knows nothing about a subject it is far better to keep ones mouth shut and be thought stupid, than it is to open the mouth and remove all doubt as to ones stupidity.

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  • Anna
    04/10/2018
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    So, let me get this straight! Men in congress want to regulate my vagina and uterus and now my sugar intake? Where the hell do you get off telling adults what they can and cannot do? You're all fucking nuts and either need to retire with heavy mental insurance or be fired by your bosses, We The People! I'm so sick of your do nothing but screw us over attitude instead of working on fucking budgets and getting Donnie Dumbass under control! You're all losers and we'll prove that in November! Morons! Sugar tax! Kiss my ass!

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  • Bluewitsend
    04/10/2018
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    I support Mark Zuckerberg and believe he is willing to do anything he needs to fix the problems with Facebook and help protect elections in this country.

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  • Gordy
    04/10/2018
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    The word subsidize needs to be cut way back,subsidizing is how governments can pick winners n losers...example=ethanol, do not let government apply “behavioral taxation” it’s another form of picking winners and losers, government is a pit of deceit and snakes it’s why our forefathers wanted government to be kept at arms length!

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