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[Markets] 45 Population-Control Quotes That Expose The Elites' Plan To Cut The Number Of People On The Planet 45 Population-Control Quotes That Expose The Elites' Plan To Cut The Number Of People On The Planet

Authored by Michael Snyder via TheMostImportantNews.com,

At one time, the elite at least attempted to conceal their boundless enthusiasm for population control from the general public, but now they aren’t even trying to hide it anymore. On Tuesday, an alarming new study that advocates global population control as one of the solutions to the “climate emergency” that we are facing was published in the journal BioScience. This document has already been signed by 11,258 scientists from 153 different countries, and it openly calls for a reduction in the human population of our planet. This has always been the endgame for the climate change cult, but now a big push is being made to make the public believe that there is a “scientific consensus” that this is necessary.

You can find a summary of the report here, and I would very much encourage you to read it, because it is essentially a blueprint for where the elite intend to take humanity in the years ahead.

But in order to achieve their goals, first they are going to have to convince us that planetary disaster is imminent, and in this study the authors boldly tell us “that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency”

Scientists have a moral obligation to clearly warn humanity of any catastrophic threat and to “tell it like it is.” On the basis of this obligation and the graphical indicators presented below, we declare, with more than 11,000 scientist signatories from around the world, clearly and unequivocally that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency.

Sounds pretty scary, right?

So what solutions are they proposing?

Well, the study breaks down the necessary solutions into six basic groupings

The letter focuses on six key objectives: replacing fossil fuels; cutting pollutants like methane and soot; restoring and protecting ecosystems; eating less meat; converting the economy to one that is carbon-free and stabilising population growth.

If that sounds a lot like “the Green New Deal”, that is because it is a lot like “the Green New Deal”.

It is the sixth “objective” that concerns me the most. Because the truth is that they don’t want to just “stabilize” the global population.

According to the study, the population of the Earth really needs to be “gradually reduced”…

Still increasing by roughly 80 million people per year, or more than 200,000 per day (figure 1a–b), the world population must be stabilized—and, ideally, gradually reduced—within a framework that ensures social integrity. There are proven and effective policies that strengthen human rights while lowering fertility rates and lessening the impacts of population growth on GHG emissions and biodiversity loss. These policies make family-planning services available to all people, remove barriers to their access and achieve full gender equity, including primary and secondary education as a global norm for all, especially girls and young women (Bongaarts and O’Neill 2018).

But if humans are the primary driver of climate change, and if we only have about 12 years before we reach the point of no return as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has suggested, will a “gradual” reduction of the human population really be enough to satisfy the climate change zealots?

For true believers in the cause, there would be no faster way of turning this crisis around than to radically reduce the population of the planet. According to them, every one of us has “a carbon footprint”, and as the population grows the climate change crisis only gets worse. So a logical extension of this thinking would be that anyone that can find a way to significantly reduce the global population would literally be “saving the planet”. To you and I, the idea of millions or billions of people dying is absolutely horrific, but for those that have fully embraced the climate change narrative such an outcome would be extremely desirable.

And of course population control has been an obsession among the global elite for a very long time. Way before “global warming” and “climate change” were popularized, those at the top end of the social pyramid have been dreaming of dramatically culling the herd.

To demonstrate this, I would like to share with you 45 quotes that prove the elite really do want to dramatically reduce the number of people on the planet…

1. Charles Darwin (his thinking is at the foundation of so many of our scientific theories today): “At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace throughout the world the savage races. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes, as Professor Schaaffhausen has remarked, will no doubt be exterminated. The break will then be rendered wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state as we may hope, than the Caucasian and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as at present between the negro or Australian and the gorilla.”

2. Bill Gates: “The problem is that the population is growing the fastest where people are less able to deal with it. So it’s in the very poorest places that you’re going to have a tripling in population by 2050. (…) And we’ve got to make sure that we help out with the tools now so that they don’t have an impossible situation later.”

3. Bernie Sanders: “In poor countries around the world where women do not necessarily want to have large numbers of babies, and where they can have the opportunity through birth control to control the number of kids they have, is something I very, very strongly support.”

4. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson: “The primary challenge facing our species is the reproduction of our species itself…It is time we had a grown-up discussion about the optimum quantity of human beings in this country and on this planet…All the evidence shows that we can help reduce population growth, and world poverty, by promoting literacy and female emancipation and access to birth control.”

5. UK Television Presenter Sir David Attenborough: “The human population can no longer be allowed to grow in the same old uncontrolled way. If we do not take charge of our population size, then nature will do it for us.”

6. Paul Ehrlich, a former science adviser to president George W. Bush and the author of “The Population Bomb”: “Solving the population problem is not going to solve the problems of racism… of sexism… of religious intolerance… of war… of gross economic inequality. But if you don’t solve the population problem, you’re not going to solve any of those problems. Whatever problem you’re interested in, you’re not going to solve it unless you also solve the population problem.”

7. Dave Foreman, the co-founder of Earth First: “We humans have become a disease, the Humanpox.”

8. CNN Founder Ted Turner: “A total population of 250-300 million people, a 95% decline from present levels, would be ideal.”

9. Japan’s Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso: about medical patients with serious illnesses: “You cannot sleep well when you think it’s all paid by the government. This won’t be solved unless you let them hurry up and die.”

10. David Rockefeller: “The negative impact of population growth on all of our planetary ecosystems is becoming appallingly evident.”

11. Richard Branson: “The truth is this: the Earth cannot provide enough food and fresh water for 10 billion people, never mind homes, never mind roads, hospitals and schools.”

12. Environmental activist Roger Martin: “On a finite planet, the optimum population providing the best quality of life for all, is clearly much smaller than the maximum, permitting bare survival. The more we are, the less for each; fewer people mean better lives.”

13. HBO personality Bill Maher: “I’m pro-choice, I’m for assisted suicide, I’m for regular suicide, I’m for whatever gets the freeway moving – that’s what I’m for. It’s too crowded, the planet is too crowded and we need to promote death.”

14. Al Gore: “One of the things we could do about it is to change the technologies, to put out less of this pollution, to stabilize the population, and one of the principal ways of doing that is to empower and educate girls and women. You have to have ubiquitous availability of fertility management so women can choose how many children to have, the spacing of the children… You have to educate girls and empower women. And that’s the most powerful leveraging factor, and when that happens, then the population begins to stabilize and societies begin to make better choices and more balanced choices.”

15. MIT professor Penny Chisholm: “The real trick is, in terms of trying to level off at someplace lower than that 9 billion, is to get the birthrates in the developing countries to drop as fast as we can. And that will determine the level at which humans will level off on earth.”

16. Julia Whitty, a columnist for Mother Jones: “The only known solution to ecological overshoot is to decelerate our population growth faster than it’s decelerating now and eventually reverse it—at the same time we slow and eventually reverse the rate at which we consume the planet’s resources. Success in these twin endeavors will crack our most pressing global issues: climate change, food scarcity, water supplies, immigration, health care, biodiversity loss, even war. On one front, we’ve already made unprecedented strides, reducing global fertility from an average 4.92 children per woman in 1950 to 2.56 today—an accomplishment of trial and sometimes brutally coercive error, but also a result of one woman at a time making her individual choices. The speed of this childbearing revolution, swimming hard against biological programming, rates as perhaps our greatest collective feat to date.”

17. Colorado State University Professor Philip Cafaro in a paper entitled “Climate Ethics and Population Policy”: “Ending human population growth is almost certainly a necessary (but not sufficient) condition for preventing catastrophic global climate change. Indeed, significantly reducing current human numbers may be necessary in order to do so.

18. Professor of Biology at the University of Texas at Austin Eric R. Pianka: “I have two grandchildren and I want them to inherit a stable Earth. But I fear for them. Humans have overpopulated the Earth and in the process have created an ideal nutritional substrate on which bacteria and viruses (microbes) will grow and prosper. We are behaving like bacteria growing on an agar plate, flourishing until natural limits are reached or until another microbe colonizes and takes over, using them as their resource. In addition to our extremely high population density, we are social and mobile, exactly the conditions that favor growth and spread of pathogenic (disease-causing) microbes. I believe it is only a matter of time until microbes once again assert control over our population, since we are unwilling to control it ourselves. This idea has been espoused by ecologists for at least four decades and is nothing new. People just don’t want to hear it.”

19. Kofi Annan, UN Secretary-General from 1997-2006: “The idea that population growth guarantees a better life — financially or otherwise — is a myth that only those who sell nappies, prams and the like have any right to believe.”

20. Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, UN Under-Secretary-General from 2000-2010: “We cannot confront the massive challenges of poverty, hunger, disease and environmental destruction unless we address issues of population and reproductive health.”

21. Bill Nye: “In 1750, there were about a billion humans in the world. Now, there are well over seven billion people in the world. It more than doubled in my lifetime. So all these people trying to live the way we live in the developed world is filling the atmosphere with a great deal more carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases than existed a couple of centuries ago. It’s the speed at which it is changing that is going to be troublesome for so many large populations of humans around the world.”

22. Actress Cameron Diaz: “I think women are afraid to say that they don’t want children because they’re going to get shunned. But I think that’s changing too now. I have more girlfriends who don’t have kids than those that do. And, honestly? We don’t need any more kids. We have plenty of people on this planet.”

23. Democrat strategist Steven Rattner: “WE need death panels. Well, maybe not death panels, exactly, but unless we start allocating health care resources more prudently — rationing, by its proper name — the exploding cost of Medicare will swamp the federal budget.”

24. Matthew Yglesias, a business and economics correspondent for Slate, in an article entitled “The Case for Death Panels, in One Chart”: “But not only is this health care spending on the elderly the key issue in the federal budget, our disproportionate allocation of health care dollars to old people surely accounts for the remarkable lack of apparent cost effectiveness of the American health care system. When the patient is already over 80, the simple fact of the matter is that no amount of treatment is going to work miracles in terms of life expectancy or quality of life.”

25. Planned Parenthood Founder Margaret Sanger: “All of our problems are the result of overbreeding among the working class”

26. Gloria Steinem: “Everybody with a womb doesn’t have to have a child any more than everybody with vocal chords has to be an opera singer.”

27. Jane Goodall: “It’s our population growth that underlies just about every single one of the problems that we’ve inflicted on the planet. If there were just a few of us, then the nasty things we do wouldn’t really matter and Mother Nature would take care of it — but there are so many of us.”

28. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: “Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of.”

29. Planned Parenthood Founder Margaret Sanger: “The most merciful thing that the large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.”

30. Salon columnist Mary Elizabeth Williams in an article entitled “So What If Abortion Ends Life?”: “All life is not equal. That’s a difficult thing for liberals like me to talk about, lest we wind up looking like death-panel-loving, kill-your-grandma-and-your-precious-baby storm troopers. Yet a fetus can be a human life without having the same rights as the woman in whose body it resides.”

31. Paul Ehrlich: “Basically, then, there are only two kinds of solutions to the population problem. One is a ‘birth rate solution,’ in which we find ways to lower the birth rate. The other is a ‘death rate solution,’ in which ways to raise the death rate — war, famine, pestilence — find us.”

32. Alberto Giubilini of Monash University in Melbourne, Australia and Francesca Minerva of the University of Melbourne in a paper published in the Journal of Medical Ethics: “[W]hen circumstances occur after birth such that they would have justified abortion, what we call after-birth abortion should be permissible. … [W]e propose to call this practice ‘after-birth abortion’, rather than ‘infanticide,’ to emphasize that the moral status of the individual killed is comparable with that of a fetus … rather than to that of a child. Therefore, we claim that killing a newborn could be ethically permissible in all the circumstances where abortion would be. Such circumstances include cases where the newborn has the potential to have an (at least) acceptable life, but the well-being of the family is at risk.”

33. Nina Fedoroff, a key adviser to Hillary Clinton: “We need to continue to decrease the growth rate of the global population; the planet can’t support many more people.”

34. Barack Obama’s primary science adviser, John Holdren: “A program of sterilizing women after their second or third child, despite the relatively greater difficulty of the operation than vasectomy, might be easier to implement than trying to sterilize men.”

35. Another quote from John Holdren: “If population control measures are not initiated immediately and effectively, all the technology man can bring to bear will not fend off the misery to come.”

36. David Brower, the first Executive Director of the Sierra Club: “Childbearing [should be] a punishable crime against society, unless the parents hold a government license … All potential parents [should be] required to use contraceptive chemicals, the government issuing antidotes to citizens chosen for childbearing.”

37. Maurice Strong: “Either we reduce the world’s population voluntarily or nature will do this for us, but brutally.”

38. Thomas Ferguson, former official in the U.S. State Department Office of Population Affairs: “There is a single theme behind all our work–we must reduce population levels. Either governments do it our way, through nice clean methods, or they will get the kinds of mess that we have in El Salvador, or in Iran or in Beirut. Population is a political problem. Once population is out of control, it requires authoritarian government, even fascism, to reduce it…”

39. Mikhail Gorbachev: “We must speak more clearly about sexuality, contraception, about abortion, about values that control population, because the ecological crisis, in short, is the population crisis. Cut the population by 90% and there aren’t enough people left to do a great deal of ecological damage.”

40. Jacques Costeau: “In order to stabilize world population, we must eliminate 350,000 people per day. It is a horrible thing to say, but it is just as bad not to say it.”

41. Finnish environmentalist Pentti Linkola: “If there were a button I could press, I would sacrifice myself without hesitating if it meant millions of people would die”

42. Author Dan Brown: “Overpopulation is an issue so profound that all of us need to ask what should be done.”

43. Prince Phillip, husband of Queen Elizabeth II and co-founder of the World Wildlife Fund: “In the event that I am reincarnated, I would like to return as a deadly virus, in order to contribute something to solve overpopulation.”

44. Ashley Judd: “It’s unconscionable to breed, with the number of children who are starving to death in impoverished countries.”

45. Charles Darwin: “With savages, the weak in body or mind are soon eliminated; and those that survive commonly exhibit a vigorous state of health. We civilised men, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process of elimination; we build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed, and the sick; we institute poor-laws; and our medical men exert their utmost skill to save the life of every one to the last moment. There is reason to believe that vaccination has preserved thousands, who from a weak constitution would formerly have succumbed to small-pox. Thus the weak members of civilised societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care wrongly directed, leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but excepting in the case of man himself, hardly any one is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed.”

As you can see, this kind of thinking goes all the way back to Charles Darwin.

The elite really do look down on all the rest of us with great disdain, and let us hope that their goal of dramatically reducing the size of the human population is not realized any time soon.

Tyler Durden Wed, 11/06/2019 - 16:40
Published:11/6/2019 3:43:46 PM
[Markets] "What Are You Thinking?": Pelosi Warns 2020 Candidates They're On The Wrong Track "What Are You Thinking?": Pelosi Warns 2020 Candidates They're On The Wrong Track

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi thinks Democrats running for president in 2020 might strike out against Trump with ultra-liberal policies that fire up the party's progressive base, yet might not go over so well with swing voters in flyover states.

Proposals pushed by Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders like Medicare for All and a wealth tax play well in liberal enclaves like her own district in San Francisco but won’t sell in the Midwestern states that sent Trump to the White House in 2016, she said. -Bloomberg

"What works in San Francisco does not necessarily work in Michigan,"Pelosi said in a wide-ranging interview with Bloomberg. "What works in Michigan works in San Francisco — talking about workers’ rights and sharing prosperity."

"Remember November," she added. "You must win the Electoral College."

And while she didn't back any particular candidate running for office, Pelosi said Democrats should be focusing on "lower costs of prescription drugs, bigger paychecks by building infrastructure, and cleaner government."

She also worries that candidates like Warren and Sanders are going down the wrong track by trying to 'out-left' each other to court fellow progressives while abandoning moderate voters that the party needs to win back from Trump.

"As a left-wing San Francisco liberal I can say to these people: What are you thinking?" Pelosi said. "You can ask the left — they’re unhappy with me for not being a socialist."

Pelosi also expressed concerns that voters don't care about the Green New Deal promoted by Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, which calls for rapid, radical reductions in carbon emissions.

"There’s very strong opposition on the labor side to the Green New Deal because it’s like 10 years, no more fossil fuel. Really?" said Pelosi.

The speaker’s concerns reflect those of many Democratic leaders and donors who believe that left-wing policies will alienate swing voters and lead to defeat.

Warren and Sanders are betting on a different theory — that voters who float between parties are less ideological and can be inspired to vote for candidates who represent bold new change in Washington.

Pelosi said Democrats should seek to build on President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act instead of pushing ahead with the more sweeping Medicare for All plan favored by Warren and Sanders that would create a government-run health care system and abolish private insurance. -Bloomberg

Instead, Pelosi says Democrats need to salvage Obamacare:

"Protect the Affordable Care Act — I think that’s the path to health care for all Americans. Medicare For All has its complications," she said, adding that "the Affordable Care Act is a better benefit than Medicare."

Warren on Friday announced that her Medicare for All plan would cost $52 trillion (raising federal spending by $20.5 trillion over 10 years), and would be funded through a wave of taxes on large corporations, the wealthy, cracking down on tax evasion, an $800 billion reduction in defense spending, and putting newly legalized immigrants on the tax rolls. The Biden campaign called her plan "mathematical gymnastics" which would raise taxes on the middle class. Warren hit back, accusing Biden of "running in the wrong presidential primary."

"Democrats are not going to win by repeating Republican talking points," Warren said while speaking in Des Moines, Iowa. "So, if Biden doesn’t like that, I’m just not sure where he’s going."

Watch above, or read the rest of the report here.

Tyler Durden Sat, 11/02/2019 - 14:00
Published:11/2/2019 1:17:04 PM
[Health Care] Trump Administration Is Right to Eye Free-Market Health Plan Finders

One lesson learned from the disastrous 2013 launch of the Obamacare website, HealthCare.gov, is that the federal government isn’t much of a tech-savvy e-commerce innovator.... Read More

The post Trump Administration Is Right to Eye Free-Market Health Plan Finders appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:10/25/2019 1:59:30 PM
[Markets] Zombie Nation? The Democratic Party Is Dead, And Everyone Knows It But Them Zombie Nation? The Democratic Party Is Dead, And Everyone Knows It But Them

Authored by Helen Buyniski via HelenOfDestroy.com,

Failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, thought to have finally retired from politics after an embarrassing electoral loss to a politically-inexperienced reality show personality, is threatening to enter the 2020 race, serving up reheated Cold War fearmongering and an ironclad sense of royal privilege to a Trump-weary populace. A morally and fiscally bankrupt Democratic Party is poised to enable this sick drama with the help of a spineless and compliant media.

How could this possibly happen? Surely Democrats learned their lesson after their decision to take Clinton’s money in order to stay financially solvent in 2016 required them to rig the primaries in her favor, a crime that likely tanked her candidacy when it was revealed by WikiLeaks? Surely the mainstream media realizes that, three years on, the preposterous Russiagate conspiracy theory they cooked up to defend her has ripped the last shreds of journalistic integrity out of the mainstream media establishment?

Just kidding — the Democratic Party and its media handmaidens bargained away their morals long ago. They’re aiding and abetting a Clinton comeback, wheeling her out to give her opinion on everything from the latest steps toward peace in Syria (bad, needs more war) to the 2020 candidates. Last week, she took aim at Tulsi Gabbard, the best hope the party has of getting voters excited enough to show up in 2020, claiming (without a shred of evidence) that the National Guard major and former DNC chair is being groomed by Russia to act as a third-party spoiler, handing the election to Trump. Had such a claim come from anyone else, the DNC would have slapped it down. But they know on which side their bread is buttered. They’d rather lose than defy their queen.

Let’s do the time warp again

This month’s primary debates proved that, if nothing else, the party has refused to move on from 2016. Candidates clamored to distinguish themselves as the biggest Trump-hater and impeachment zealot, with not one appearing to comprehend that next in line behind their favorite punching bag is Mike Pence. The vice president is a man so possessed by religious sexual phobia that he refuses to be alone in a room with a woman. A Christian Zionist, he is even more willing than Trump to send US soldiers to fight Israel’s battles — the better to hasten the Rapture. Only Andrew Yang — a party outsider — dared speak the truth: “When we are talking about Donald Trump, we’re losing.”

Indeed, everything about the 2020 election is signaling a repeat of the last one. The DNC is broke again, ripe for a Clinton rescue that will once again require the rigging of the primary in return for her kindness. Naysayers who once laughed at the idea of yet another Clinton candidacy are reconsidering their scorn, and former Trump strategist Steve Bannon insists she is, in fact, running — merely waiting for the right moment to officially declare her candidacy. Certainly the media blitz of the past few weeks — ostensibly to promote a book co-written with her do-nothing daughter, but in reality a string of opportunities for her to denounce the “illegitimate” president and remind America that the position is rightfully hers — looks like a campaign publicity tour.

i’ll take “sore loser” for $1.2 billion, please

For all that Clinton says she empathizes with current Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden, currently being accused of corruption, she has, in these interviews, always brought the conversation back around to 2016, insisting that “the most outrageously false things” were said about her as well (and lamenting that “enough people believed them” to rob her of the presidency). Biden, like Clinton, is still being pushed as the 2020 favorite, despite coming with decades of baggage including flagrant corruption (threatening to withhold $1 billion in IMF loans from Ukraine until it fired the prosecutor probing an energy company that gave his son a no-show job is only the tip of the iceberg).

Even the New York Times has pointed out the similarities between their two candidacies — both physically deteriorating before voters’ eyes, uninterested in changing the status quo, and embraced by the wealthy donors that keep the party afloat. Biden’s Ukraine problem is as massive and impossible to avoid as Clinton’s email problem. Biden, like Clinton, is positioning himself as not the best candidate, but the only one who can beat Trump — embracing his identity as, he hopes, the lesser of two evils. Both have a long history in politics, dozens of skeletons in the closet (literally, in Clinton’s case), and a string of failed presidential attempts. Both cringingly pander to working-class and minority voters despite a history of racism (“superpredators,” the 1994 crime bill, close friendship with segregationists) and classism (NAFTA).

If at first you don’t succeed…

Ever the strategist, Clinton is likely biding her time until the facts come out about Biden’s involvement in Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma during impeachment hearings and sink his candidacy. She’ll then swoop in, volunteering to take his place as the crusty old standard-bearer of the Democratic pack. Biden’s suicidal stubbornness all but ensures he’ll go down in flames (despite his son Hunter’s admitted drug problems and the obvious nepotism and corruption behind his receiving a $60,000/month directorship just months after being kicked out of the Navy Reserves for cocaine use, Biden insists Hunter will join him on the campaign trail).

Clinton feels the presidency is hers by divine right — that it’s “her turn” to take the reins, like she was promised after Obama snatched it out from under her in 2008. Having paid her dues as First Lady, the long-suffering wife and enabler of serial rapist Bill Clinton occupied a Senate seat just long enough to present herself to the public as a stateswoman in her own right, then made a run at the glass ceiling of the presidency — only to be rejected in favor of a spray-tanned novice without her baggage. Patiently serving as Secretary of State, she oversaw the destruction of Libya, once the jewel of the Middle East under Gaddafi with the highest standard of living on the African continent, turning it into the failed state with open-air slave markets it is today. Thwarted in her efforts to do the same in Syria, she left the White House in 2012.

a rare shot of Cthulhu in his sea-floor auditorium practicing his political speeches

Clinton transformed the State Department into an extension of the Pentagon via her misleadingly-named “smart power” philosophy. The agency once tasked with solving America’s foreign policy problems diplomatically now merely provides diplomatic cover for regime-change operations like the one she helped engineer in Ukraine in 2014 (while she left the State Department in 2013, the processes she set in motion would culminate in the Maidan revolution that saw actual Nazis take over in Kiev) and the one currently trying to pry Hong Kong from China’s grasp.

She also monetized the position, selling access to the presidency through the Clinton Foundation. The Clintons vastly enriched themselves at the expense of the rest of the world, having never met a dictator they didn’t like. But while they elevated corruption to an art form, their actions were wholly in keeping with the modus operandi of the Democratic Party. Swaddle oneself in the appearance of helping the less fortunate (Clinton has appeared with countless ‘save the children’ and ‘women’s empowerment’ type groups like Somaly Mam’s AFESIP, which notoriously invented Cambodian child brothel horror stories out of whole cloth) while exploiting them to within an inch of their lives (Haitians still protest outside Clinton events over the Foundation’s decision to give over 90 percent of the $13.3 billion given in response to the 2010 earthquake to foreign contractors and Foundation donors while Haitians starved and died).

The rot goes to the core

Clinton wouldn’t be able to get away with this sort of thing if her party wasn’t fully on board with such moral depravity. The current impeachment circus is merely the latest proof that they do not believe anything they say in public. For the entire party and its stenographers in the media to turn on a dime from accusing Trump of colluding with Russia to accusing him of engaging in quid-pro-quo with Ukraine (an enemy of Russia, if one is paying attention) suggests they don’t believe either scandal is necessarily based on facts, but that, to quote congressman and impeachment fanboy Al Green, “if we don’t impeach the president, he will get reelected.”

After losing its collective mind with the 2016 defeat, the Democratic Party, led by Clinton and outgoing President Obama along with CIA director John Brennan and FBI chief James Comey, cobbled together Russiagate as their revenge. Relying on a network of spooks and paid operatives, they conjured up a half-baked menace from the depths of Americans’ collective Cold War memories, light on facts but heavy on the implications, with just enough salacious material to ensure it would go viral. The intention was to cripple Trump’s presidency — if they couldn’t remove him from office, they could at least ensure he played by their rules rather than follow through on wild promises to end the wars in Syria and Afghanistan and normalize relations with Moscow. The status quo held until the release of special counsel Mueller’s Russiagate report meant the media could no longer claim with a straight face that Trump was scheduled to be executed for treason any second now. But top Democrats were unfazed when it was exposed as a hoax — they’d invented it in the first place.

actual post-election moment

If not a sense of moral outrage that the president is colluding with a foreign power, what has driven the party leadership and its enablers in the media to pursue Trump to the ends of the earth? Democrats’ choice of impeachment issues is proof they lack any sort of moral center — as fake as Russiagate and Ukrainegate are, there are dozens of issues that could potentially be used to skewer Trump. The sky-high civilian casualty rates and record number of bombs dropped on his watch don’t faze Democrats — after all, Bush and Obama started those wars, and neither were impeached for the atrocities committed under their watch.

If anything, Democrats are clamoring for more war, shrieking after Trump announced the latest attempt at a troop pullout from Syria that such an action was unthinkable. Weeping and gnashing their teeth over the impending “genocide” of the Kurds, they spun on a dime when Trump announced a five-day ceasefire with Turkey last week, claiming such a deal — which gave Kurdish militias ample time to vanish from the Turkish border area without being attacked — somehow “discredited” American foreign policy. The Democrat-controlled House even voted to condemn the troop pullout — perhaps forgetting they’d never authorized the deployment of troops to Syria in the first place, an easy mistake to make as the US military has been industriously building up a base infrastructure in flagrant violation of Syria’s sovereignty.

The Trump administration’s blatant nepotism — Jared Kushner, a pampered princeling who has never held a real job in his life, was tasked with making peace between Israel and Palestine, despite blatant partiality toward the Netanyahu government (Bibi slept at the Kushners’ home in New Jersey) — didn’t bat a single Democratic eyelash. After all, Hunter Biden got his own lucrative sinecure in Ukraine with as few credentials. The massive deregulation that has seen the deficit skyrocket as corporations and the wealthy pay even less taxes than they did before bothers no one — Democratic donors benefited as much as Republicans, even though billionaires now pay a lower tax rate than the working class. Trump spitting in the face of international law by “declaring” first Jerusalem and then the Golan Heights the property of Israel went down smoothly as can be — no surprise when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi herself has said that she would back Israel “even if the Capitol crumbles to the ground.” Democrats’ problem has always been finding an “impeachable offense” Trump was committing that they were not also guilty of.

relevance is Russian

The devil’s rejects

Perhaps Democrats’ awareness that they’re morally as well as fiscally bankrupt is what drives them to make the same mistakes they did four years ago. Just as they did with Bernie Sanders, the party is doing its utmost to sideline Tulsi Gabbard at every opportunity, barring her from September’s debate despite her polling higher than several candidates who were included and refusing to speak up for her in the face of Clinton’s baseless smear. Their hypocrisy is transparent, preaching identity politics until a Hindu woman emerges championing antiwar policies. Gabbard is the only one bringing fresh ideas to the table, ideas that have excited many voters sick of the shame they feel knowing their country is the number one killer since World War II. Spike her, and they’re almost guaranteed to lose.

As if to prove that point, Clinton pounced on the Hawaii congresswoman last week with her “Russian asset” smear — not referring to Gabbard by name, but making it clear she was talking about no one else. Her spokesman Nick Merrill, asked if Clinton was really saying Gabbard — who served in the Iraq war — was an agent, confirmed the smear: “If the nesting doll fits…” In a sane society, Clinton’s disapproval would be a badge of honor (and to her credit, Gabbard appears to be wearing it as such) — but in the mainstream media hothouse, it’s another strike against her — along with the guilt-by-association smears that come with a 4chan fan club and even her looks.

Sanders might be able to muster a win against Trump, but at 78, his health is failing, and his base is wary after he betrayed them in 2016. Despite stolen primaries in New York and California, he sat mutely, throwing his own supporters under the bus during the convention. After a solid year of slamming Clinton for giving secret speeches to Goldman Sachs, voting to bail out the banks in 2008, and backing every war in the past three decades, Sanders turned on his supporters and implored them to vote for her. He remained silent while his supporters demanded a legal reckoning. Some have forgiven him and returned to cheer him on in 2020, but many have not.

Nevertheless, he is head and shoulders above most Democrats, who are completely for sale to the highest bidder, whether it’s Israel, the arms industry or Big Pharma. They violate the Constitution on a daily basis, whether it’s by voting to make participation in boycotts of Israel illegal (a blatant violation of the First Amendment, as a Texas court recently found; passing a law permitting indefinite detention without trial for American citizens (as Obama did in 2011, backed by a supine Congress, in violation of the Sixth Amendment); or outlawing religious vaccine exemptions (a violation of both the First Amendment and the Geneva Convention).

In perhaps the most shocking betrayal of the party’s liberal and progressive wing, Democrats have embraced the CIA, the FBI, and the entire intelligence apparatus that has infiltrated and destroyed leftist movements since the 1960s. Once the home of the counterculture, the Party now clings to authority, enthusiastically licking the boots they believe will curb-stomp Trump. Bereft of historical perspective — even the torture revelations of the early 2000s have vanished amid the onslaught of Orange Man Bad — Democrats ironically calling themselves the Resistance wear slogans like “It’s Mueller time!” and “Comey is my homey,” broadcasting their allegiance to men who’ve covered up monumental crimes and even committed a few themselves. It’s no surprise to see the mainstream media taking the side of the intelligence agencies — assets like Anderson Cooper, Ken Dilanian, and Wolf Blitzer have been keeping newsrooms safe for democracy for decades. But never before have ordinary voters leapt to embrace their oppressors quite so openly. The phenomenon can’t even be described as selling out — because selling out implies getting something in return for one’s soul.

A hive of lesser evils

Even if Clinton does not run, her influence permeates the party. “I’ve talked to most of them,” she revealed on ABC’s The View earlier this month, slyly hinting that previous contests’ frontrunners a year before the election had failed to secure the nomination. Instead of Sanders and Gabbard, the Democratic National Committee is propping up Biden and grooming as his second Elizabeth Warren, the neoliberal wolf in sheep’s clothing trying to steal Sanders’ thunder by insisting she’s all he represents plus a pair of X chromosomes. Decked out in borrowed rhetoric and forged identity politics credentials, she earnestly presents herself as a leftist, hoping no one remembers she was registered as a Republican until her 40s.

still more authentic than Hillary

Lest anyone be fooled by Warren’s “radical” act, former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid recently gushed “I know she’s pragmatic, just wait.” Such an endorsement should be a death knell for her progressive support, especially after the revelation that she has been in constant contact with Clinton. Warren emphasizes in communications with donors that she doesn’t actually intend to upend the status quo, and has flip-flopped repeatedly on accepting big-dollar donors and PACs, only rejecting them once she’d stockpiled a healthy war chest from those very donors.

Many of Clinton’s 2016 campaign operatives have chosen California Senator Kamala Harris as their standard-bearer, and Harris exhibits many Clintonesque characteristics. Her enthusiasm for locking up black men for minor drug offenses (she bragged about increasing drug dealers’ conviction rate from 56% to 74% in just three years) — and black women for their truant children (she supported a law that imprisoned mothers if their kids skipped school, then lied about it on the campaign trail) — is worthy of the woman who called black kids “superpredators.” Harris has praised Clinton for “putting our country first” and “serving with distinction” while calling for Trump to be banned from Twitter for his “irresponsible” language.

The other candidates are largely distractions aimed at getting the selection process at the 2020 convention to a second ballot. With voters clamoring for reform after the 2016 disaster, the party obliged by doing away with superdelegates on the first round, but for any round beyond that, they’re fair game — and the DNC refuses to leave the selection up to chance, or anything so small-d democratic as a vote. With a handful of votes thrown to Pete Buttigieg — the anti-Gabbard, a gay pro-war vet — and Beto O’Rourke — the face of privilege whose Spandering caused the cringe heard ‘round the world in the first primary debate — the convention will progress to a second round, and the superdelegates will slither out of their holes to crown their king — or queen.

Status quo defenders

As much as those Democratic establishment stalwarts with presidential ambitions — Clinton and the two dozen-odd candidates determined to dislodge Trump in 2020 — want to get rid of the Bad Orange Man, the benchwarmers in Congress have learned to love him. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer can merely rail against Trump instead of actually governing, floating whatever irresponsible fantasy bills they want with the knowledge that they’ll die in the Republican-controlled Senate or — at worst — be vetoed by Trump. House Democrats got the chance to virtue-signal about ending the war in Yemen, helping voters forget Obama had gotten the US involved in the worst humanitarian crisis of the 21st century, knowing Trump would kill the bill to serve their shared Saudi paymasters. And pearl-clutching about kids in cages on the border (cages built, again, by Obama) while calling for open borders attracts the votes of recent immigrants while ensuring they’ll never have to cash the checks they’re writing.

Michael Moore, once a progressive darling, recently appeared on ‘comedian’ Bill Maher’s program to lambaste his fellow ex-progressive about abandoning his own liberal credentials. Maher complained that the “Squad” — progressive congresswomen Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — were unpopular, that Medicare for All was less desirable than Obamacare, and that a leftward shift would sink the party. Moore whimpered that if the election was held today, Trump would win, just as he had predicted in 2016. But where was Moore in 2016? Pleading on Democracy Now for Sanders supporters to go to the polls for Clinton, even though “she is to the right of Obama.”

The exchange between the two millionaire entertainers was a disturbing window on the utter alienation of the Democratic Party, insulated by layers of money, from its constituents — and increasingly ex-constituents, as nearly 40 percent of Americans disavow both parties. Maher represents the McCarthyite neoliberal centrism that has taken the mainstream media by storm, in which any flicker of anti-war or pro-working class sentiment is viewed as Russian. And Moore represents the thought-leaders who, despite knowing better, have led the party into its current moral sinkhole, insisting it’s the only pragmatic route.

the tweet heard ‘round the world

Moore knows Clinton is — as Gabbard declared — the Queen of Warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long. He just doesn’t care as long as he gets paid. Moore, like Clinton, took money from casting couch predator Harvey Weinstein despite his predation being an ‘open secret’ in the industry. As late as 2015, he called the molesting mogul “one of the best people to work with in this town” in a tweet he quickly deleted after it was dug up in October 2017 following Moore’s belated decision to speak out against Weinstein’s crimes. Even after the New York Times story in which several actresses first went public with their accusations was published, it took Moore weeks to climb aboard the dump-Weinstein bandwagon, likely out of concern it would hurt his film — Fahrenheit 11/9 — about the Trump presidency. The bottom line — not morality, or even being factually correct — is his chief concern.

In that respect, Moore is the Democratic Party writ large. Caught in a vicious cycle of selling out to wealthy donors to keep the lights on, it has sealed itself off to the working class, the minorities whose voice it still claims a monopoly on, and the young people just now awakening to the fact that they’ve been cheated out of a future. There has been barely any pushback against the DNC’s relentless trudge to the right from the mainstream media and the party establishment. Van Jones appeared on CNN calling out Clinton’s red-baiting of Gabbard, pointing out the smear contained “no facts” and that Gabbard had been the party chairman before she was demonized for backing Sanders in 2016, but the rest of the #Resistance remained silent as Clinton insisted that opposition to war was anti-American. Even the few candidates who defended Gabbard from her slurs did not mention Clinton in their rebuttals. No one dares to oppose the party’s owners.

Until someone does, the Democratic Party is dead. And it’s all but turned Trump into the lesser evil.

Tyler Durden Thu, 10/24/2019 - 19:55
Tags
Published:10/24/2019 7:00:16 PM
[Health Care] Rep. Mike Johnson on Conservatives’ New Health Care Plan

It’s been two years since Republicans fell one vote short of repealing and replacing Obamacare. Since then, Democrats have moved further to the left and... Read More

The post Rep. Mike Johnson on Conservatives’ New Health Care Plan appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:10/23/2019 2:46:46 AM
[Politics] Republicans to 'Storm the Beaches' With Health Care Overhaul Conservative Republicans in the House will launch a major strike at Obamacare Tuesday morning by unveiling a new healthcare reform package, Newsmax learned on Monday afternoon."We're going to storm the beaches!" Rep. Mike Johnson, R.-LA,... Published:10/21/2019 9:08:34 PM
[Markets] The US Healthcare System Is Hemorrhaging Close To $1 Trillion A Year The US Healthcare System Is Hemorrhaging Close To $1 Trillion A Year

Authored by Dagny Taggart via The Organic Prepper blog,

The Affordable Care Act continues to be anything but affordable.

In fact, the healthcare system in the US is in terrible financial shape.

new study has revealed that waste and needless spending in America’s healthcare system could amount to almost $1 trillion each year. This exceeds the total US military expenditures in 2019 – the world’s largest defense budget – and as much as all of Medicare and Medicaid combined.

This news should not shock anyone.

If you are one of the hundreds of thousands of Americans who are in serious debt due to medical expenses, you are likely not surprised by the new study’s findings. As we recently reported, 66.5 percent of all bankruptcies in the US are tied to medical issues, either because of high costs for care or time out of work. An estimated 530,000 families turn to bankruptcy each year because of medical issues and bills.

Published earlier this month in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the study found that roughly 20 percent to 25 percent of American health care spending is wasteful.

The cumulative waste in US healthcare ranged from $760 billion to $935 annually – or 25 percent of what Americans spend each year on health services. And we spend a lot – approximately 18 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) or more than $10,000 per individual a year on average.

The US healthcare system is bleeding billions of dollars.

For the study, researchers reviewed data from January 2012 to May 2019, with a focus on the 6 waste domains previously identified by the Institute of Medicine and Berwick and Hackbarth.

Computations yielded the following estimated ranges of total annual cost of waste for each domain:

  • failure of care delivery: $102.4 billion to $165.7 billion

  • failure of care coordination: $27.2 billion to $78.2 billion

  • overtreatment or low-value care: $75.7 billion to $101.2 billion

  • pricing failure: $230.7 billion to $240.5 billion

  • fraud and abuse: $58.5 billion to $83.9 billion

  • administrative complexity: $265.6 billion

There have been significant efforts over the years to reduce this waste. Current efforts save $191 billion to $282 billion annually, reducing the net effect of waste to perhaps $478 billion to $744 billion, lead author William H. Shrank, MD, MSHS, told Medscape Medical News.

The study breaks down where those savings occurred:

The estimated annual savings from measures to eliminate waste were as follows: failure of care delivery, $44.4 billion to $93.3 billion; failure of care coordination, $29.6 billion to $38.2 billion; overtreatment or low-value care, $12.8 billion to $28.6 billion; pricing failure, $81.4 billion to $91.2 billion; and fraud and abuse, $22.8 billion to $30.8 billion. (source)

Administrative issues are the largest source of waste.

Administrative complexity, which includes time and resources spent on billing and reporting to insurers and public programs, is the largest source of waste. It is concerning that despite the astronomical costs associated with this domain, the authors found no studies that evaluate approaches to reducing it.

The reason for this may be related to the “complex interplay within these estimates of waste and savings with efforts to combat it,” as Medscape Medical News explains:

Insurers count on prior authorization, for example, to try to rein in overtreatment and what they call low-value care, such as use of expensive drugs when there are cheaper equivalent treatments. Yet prior authorization also contributes to what the authors term “administrative complexity,” the biggest category of wasteful spending identified in their paper, according to Shrank.

“The providers’ administrative complexity represents the payers’ effort to reduce waste,” he told Medscape Medical News. “It’s a perfect example of where the incentives are perfectly misaligned and it creates administrative complexity that just sucks value out of the system.” (source)

Dr. Donald Berwick, CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvementtold CBS News that “There are so many different payers, kinds of coding, billing products, recordkeeping requirements, that when you get a system that complicated it adds tasks and paperwork.”

Indeed, a 2016 study funded by the American Medical Association found that doctors spent almost twice as much time on administrative work (49% of their time) as they did seeing patients (27%). Physicians also took another one to two hours of clerical work home with them each night.

The existing fee-for-service payment system, under which each provider bills for the services they deliver, is another major source of complexity and waste.

“Right now you’re billed for the hospital room, by the ambulance company, by every doctor, rehab facility — everyone is keeping their own records and doing their own billing and dividing it up into tiny pieces, which makes it hard for the patient and hard for the caregivers,” Berwick said. “It has long since outlasted its usefulness.” (source)

The government has a history of making healthcare unaffordable.

Asking the government to repair our broken healthcare system is like asking a fox to guard the henhouse.

Government involvement in healthcare is a major reason it is so expensive. The details are complex and beyond the scope of this piece, but if you would like to learn more about the role government plays in rising healthcare costs, I recommend the following in-depth articles:

How Government Regulations Made Healthcare So Expensive

What Student Loans and Health Care Have in Common

The Real Cost of Medicare for All is in Lives, Not Dollars

This Obamacare Program Was Meant to Save Money, Instead it Killed Thousands

100 Years of Government’s “Managed” Health Care

After reviewing the history of the healthcare system in the US and how the government damaged it beyond repair, it appears there is only one viable solution: removing government from the equation completely. A truly free market system in which healthcare providers and patients make decisions without interference from middlemen (the government and insurance companies) would likely bring costs down to a reasonable level for most Americans.

There are already medical practices like this across the country. They are usually referred to as “concierge care” or “direct primary care (DPC)” practices. Generally speaking, these business models are membership-based, meaning that patients pay an annual or monthly membership fee in exchange for services. A unique feature of these practices is that the patient and doctor get to spend more time together. Some medical practitioners who offer concierge or DPC services take insurance, some do not. Both business models can allow physicians and patients more freedom because approval from a third party (insurance company) is not required for services and treatment.

Many direct primary care practices offer fees on a sliding scale and some offer special rates for low-income families. Others provide charity care.

In Why I Chose Concierge Medicine, Dr. Simon Murray writes that he believes the concierge business model “will save primary care and will ultimately reduce the cost of healthcare in the United States because doctors with more time will refer less, prescribe, test less, and keep people out of the hospital more.”

Another possible solution to our healthcare crisis comes from a surprising source.

Imagine being able to go to one place to get the following healthcare services:

  • Primary care

  • Dental

  • Counseling

  • Labs & x-rays

  • Health screening

  • Optometry

  • Hearing

  • Fitness & nutrition

  • Health insurance education & enrollment

Now, imagine those services were offered at prices ranging from $20 to $40 for office visits and annual exams, $10 to $20 for lab tests, $45 for counseling, $25 for dental exams (including x-rays), $25 for teeth cleanings, and $45 for a vision exam.

While this sounds too good to be true, those are the services and prices offered at a new Walmart Health center in Dallas, Georgia. The huge center (10,000 square feet) opened last month and is currently the only one of its kind. It appears to be a pilot program of sorts, perhaps (hopefully) with the goal of providing affordable basic healthcare to Americans.

Here’s a bit more information from Walmart’s press release:

The Walmart Health center will offer low, transparent pricing for key health services to provide great care at a great value, regardless of insurance coverage. Customers will be notified on the estimated cost of their visit when they book their appointment.

The Walmart Health center will be operated by qualified medical professionals, including physicians, nurse practitioners, dentists, behavioral health providers, and optometrists. Walmart Care Hosts and Community Health Workers onsite will help customers navigate their visit, understand resources and be a familiar presence for regular visits.

Working in partnership with wellness organizations, the Health center will offer specialized community health resources, online education and in-center workshops to educate the community about preventive health and wellness. (source)

Walmart offers Care Clinics in 19 stores, but those facilities are much smaller (1,500 square feet) and are more limited in service.

Love or hate Walmart, the company is finding ways to provide services many people desperately need at prices that are far more affordable than standard options. As Eric Boehm put it in Walmart’s Entry Into Health Care Could Be Hugely Disruptive in All the Best Ways,

A single Walmart health clinic on the outskirts of Atlanta isn’t going to fix any of the big problems with the American health care system. But you’d be foolish to think that the people running one of the world’s most efficient and successful companies aren’t going to come up with better solutions than the men and women trying to get elected. (source)

CVS and Walgreens are also offering outpatient healthcare services through various models and things appear to be going well for both companies so far.

The best way to avoid medical debt is by taking care of yourself.

Accidents are often not preventable, and neither are some health conditions.

But many of the health issues that lead to massive medical debt are preventable, including obesity, Type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.

A 2014 study published in The Lancet revealed that

…chronic diseases are the main causes of poor health, disability, and death, and account for most of health-care expenditures. The chronic disease burden in the USA largely results from a short list of risk factors—including tobacco use, poor diet and physical inactivity (both strongly associated with obesity), excessive alcohol consumption, uncontrolled high blood pressure, and hyperlipidaemia—that can be effectively addressed for individuals and populations. (source)

If you’d like to improve your health (and hopefully reduce your risk of accruing medical debt), here are some resources that may help.

45 Ways To Add More Physical Activity to Your Day

Quit Smoking program

Bug Out Boot Camp

99 Healthy No-Cook Meals and Snacks

Health Care vs. Death Care: 20 Ways to Stay Well (for Less Money than Obamacare)

Tyler Durden Thu, 10/17/2019 - 17:45
Published:10/17/2019 4:45:33 PM
[Markets] National (In)Security: The Hypersonic Road To Hell National (In)Security: The Hypersonic Road To Hell

Authored by Rajan Menon via TomDispatch.com,

Why Arms Races Never End

Hypersonic weapons close in on their targets at a minimum speed of Mach 5, five times the speed of sound or 3,836.4 miles an hour. They are among the latest entrants in an arms competition that has embroiled the United States for generations, first with the Soviet Union, today with China and Russia. Pentagon officials tout the potential of such weaponry and the largest arms manufacturers are totally gung-ho on the subject. No surprise there. They stand to make staggering sums from building them, especially given the chronic “cost overruns” of such defense contracts -- $163 billion in the far-from-rare case of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

Voices within the military-industrial complex -- the Defense Department; mega-defense companies like Lockheed Martin, Northrup Grumman, Boeing, and Raytheon; hawkish armchair strategists in Washington-based think tanks and universities; and legislators from places that depend on arms production for jobs -- insist that these are must-have weapons. Their refrain: unless we build and deploy them soon we could suffer a devastating attack from Russia and China.  

The opposition to this powerful ensemble’s doomsday logic is, as always, feeble.

The (Il)logic of Arms Races

Hypersonic weapons are just the most recent manifestation of the urge to engage in an “arms race,” even if, as a sports metaphor, it couldn’t be more off base. Take, for instance, a bike or foot race. Each has a beginning, a stipulated distance, and an end, as well as a goal: crossing the finish line ahead of your rivals. In theory, an arms race should at least have a starting point, but in practice, it’s usually remarkably hard to pin down, making for interminable disputes about who really started us down this path. Historians, for instance, are still writing (and arguing) about the roots of the arms race that culminated in World War I. 

The arms version of a sports race lacks a purpose (apart from the perpetuation of a competition fueled by an endless action-reaction sequence). The participants just keep at it, possessed by worst-case thinking, suspicion, and fear, sentiments sustained by bureaucracies whose budgets and political clout often depend on military spending, companies that rake in the big bucks selling the weaponry, and a priesthood of professional threat inflators who merchandise themselves as “security experts.”  

While finish lines (other than the finishing of most life on this planet) are seldom in sight, arms control treaties can, at least, decelerate and muffle the intensity of arms races. But at least so far, they’ve never ended them and they themselves survive only as long as the signatories want them to. Recall President George W. Bush’s scuttling of the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and the Trump administration’s exit from the Cold War-era Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty in August. Similarly, the New START accord, which covered long-range nuclear weapons and was signed by Russia and the United States in 2010, will be up for renewal in 2021 and its future, should Donald Trump be reelected, is uncertain at best. Apart from the fragility built into such treaties, new vistas for arms competition inevitably emerge -- or, more precisely, are created. Hypersonic weapons are just the latest example.

Arms races, though waged in the name of national security, invariably create yet more insecurity. Imagine two adversaries neither of whom knows what new weapon the other will field. So both just keep building new ones. That gets expensive. And such spending only increases the number of threats. Since the end of the Cold War in 1991, U.S. military spending has consistently and substantially exceeded China’s and Russia’s combined. But can you name a government that imagines more threats on more fronts than ours? This endless enumeration of new vulnerabilities isn’t a form of paranoia. It’s meant to keep arms races humming and the money flowing into military (and military-industrial) coffers.

One-Dimensional National Security

Such arms races come from the narrow, militarized definition of “national security” that prevails inside the defense and intelligence establishment, as well as in think tanks, universities, and the most influential mass media. Their underlying assumptions are rarely challenged, which only adds to their power. We’re told that we must produce a particular weapon (price tag be damned!), because if we don’t, the enemy will and that will imperil us all.  

Such a view of security is by now so deeply entrenched in Washington -- shared by Republicans and Democrats alike -- that alternatives are invariably derided as naïve or quixotic. As it happens, both of those adjectives would be more appropriate descriptors for the predominant national security paradigm, detached as it is from what really makes most Americans feel insecure.

Consider a few examples.

Unlike in the first three decades after World War II, since 1979 the average U.S. hourly wage, adjusted for inflation, has increased by a pitiful amount, despite substantial increases in worker productivity. Unsurprisingly, those on the higher rungs of the wage ladder (to say nothing of those at the top) have made most of the gains, creating a sharp increase in wage inequality. (If you consider net total household wealth rather than income alone, the share of the top 1% increased from 30% to 39% between 1989 and 2016, while that of the bottom 90% dropped from 33% to 23%.) 

Because of sluggish wage growth many workers find it hard to land jobs that pay enough to cover basic life expenses even when, as now, unemployment is low (3.6% this year compared to 8% in 2013). Meanwhile, millions earning low wages, particularly single mothers who want to work, struggle to find affordable childcare -- not surprising considering that in 10 states and the District of Columbia the annual cost of such care exceeded $10,000 last year; and that, in 28 states, childcare centers charged more than the cost of tuition and fees at four-year public colleges.  

Workers trapped in low-wage jobs are also hard-pressed to cover unanticipated expenses. In 2018, the “median household” banked only $11,700, and households with incomes in the bottom 20% had, on average, only $8,790 in savings; 29% of them, $1,000 or less. (For the wealthiest 1% of households, the median figure was $2.5 million.) Forty-four percent of American families would be unable to cover emergency-related expenses in excess of $400 without borrowing money or selling some of their belongings.

That, in turn, means many Americans can’t adequately cover periods of extended unemployment or illness, even when unemployment benefits are added in. Then there’s the burden of medical bills. The percentage of uninsured adults has risen from 10.9% to 13.7% since 2016 and often your medical insurance is tied to your job -- lose it and you lose your coverage -- not to speak of the high deductibles imposed by many medical insurance policies. (Out-of-pocket medical expenses have, in fact, increased fourfold since 2007 and now average $1,300 a year.)

Or, speaking of insecurity, consider the epidemic in opioid-related fatalities (400,000 people since 1999), or suicides (47,173 in 2017 alone), or murders involving firearms (14,542 in that same year). Child poverty? The U.S. rate was higher than that of 32 of the 36 other economically developed countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Now ask yourself this: how often do you hear our politicians or pundits use a definition of “national security” that includes any of these daily forms of American insecurity? Admittedly, progressive politicians do speak about the economic pressures millions of Americans face, but never as part of a discussion of national security.

Politicians who portray themselves as “budget hawks” flaunt the label, but their outrage over “irresponsible” or “wasteful” spending seldom extends to a national security budget that currently exceeds $1 trillion. Hawks claim that the country must spend as much as it does because it has a worldwide military presence and a plethora of defense commitments. That presumes, however, that both are essential for American security when sensible and less extravagant alternatives are on offer.  

In that context, let’s return to the “race” for hypersonic weapons.

Faster Than a Speeding Bullet

Although the foundation for today’s hypersonic weaponry was laid decades ago, the pace of progress has been slow because of daunting technical challenges. Developing materials like composite ceramics capable of withstanding the intense heat to which such weapons will be exposed during flight leads the list. In recent years, though, countries have stepped up their games hoping to deploy hypersonic armaments rapidly, something Russia has already begun to do.

China, Russia, and the United States lead the hypersonic arms race, but others -- including BritainFranceGermanyIndia, and Japan -- have joined in (and more undoubtedly will do so). Each has its own list of dire scenarios against which hypersonic weapons will supposedly protect them and military missions for which they see such armaments as ideal. In other words, a new round in an arms race aimed at Armageddon is already well underway.

There are two variants of hypersonic weapons, which can both be equipped with conventional or nuclear warheads and can also demolish their targets through sheer speed and force of impact, or kinetic energy. “Boost-glide vehicles” (HGVs) are lofted skyward on ballistic missiles or aircraft. Separated from their transporter, they then hurtle through the atmosphere, pulled toward their target by gravity, while picking up momentum along the way. Unlike ballistic missiles, which generally fly most of the way in a parabolic trajectory -- think of an inverted U -- ranging in altitude from nearly 400 to nearly 750 miles high, HGVs stay low, maxing out about 62 miles up. The combination of their hypersonic speed and lower altitude shortens the journey, while theoretically flummoxing radars and defenses designed to track and intercept ballistic missile warheads (which means another kind of arms race still to come). 

By contrast, hypersonic cruise missiles (HCMs) resemble pilotless aircraft, propelled from start to finish by an on-board engine. They are, however, lighter than standard cruise missiles because they use “scramjet” technology.  Rather than carrying liquid oxygen tanks, the missile “breathes” in outside air that passes through it at supersonic speed, its oxygen combining with the missile’s hydrogen fuel. The resulting combustion generates extreme heat, propelling the missile toward its target. HCMs fly even lower than HGVs, below 100,000 feet, which makes identifying and destroying them harder yet. 

Weapons are categorized as hypersonic when they can reach a speed of at least Mach 5, but versions that travel much faster are in the works. A Chinese HGV, launched by the Dong Feng (East Wind) DF-ZF ballistic missile, reportedly registered a speed of up to Mach 10 during tests, which began in 2014. Russia’s Kh-47M2 Kinzhal, or “Dagger,” launched from a bomber or interceptor, can reportedly also reach a speed of Mach 10. Lockheed Martin’s AGM-183A Advanced Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW), an HGV that was first test-launched from a B-52 bomber this year, can apparently reach the staggering speed of Mach 20.

And yet it’s not just the speed and flight trajectory of hypersonic weapons that will make them so hard to track and intercept. They can also maneuver as they race toward their targets. Unsurprisingly, efforts to develop defenses against them, using low-orbit sensorsmicrowave technology, and “directed energy” have already begun. The Trump administration’s plans for a new Space Force that will put sensors and interceptors into space cite the threat of hypersonic missiles. Even so, critics have slammed the initiative for being poorly funded.

Putting aside the technical complexities of building defenses against hypersonic weapons, the American decision to withdraw from the ABM Treaty and develop missile-defense systems influenced Russia’s decision to develop hypersonic weapons capable of penetrating such defenses. These are meant to ensure that Russia’s nuclear forces will continue to serve as a credible deterrent against a nuclear first strike on that country.

The Trio Takes the Lead

China, Russia, and the United States are, of course, leading the hypersonic race to hell. China tested a medium-range new missile, the DF-17 in late 2017, and used an HGV specifically designed to be launched by it. The following year, that country tested its rocket-launched Xing Kong-2 (Starry Sky-2), a “wave rider,” which gains momentum by surfing the shockwaves it produces. In addition to its Kinzhal, Russia successfully tested the Avangard HGV in 2018. The SS-19 ballistic missile that launched it will eventually be replaced by the R-28 Samrat. Its hypersonic cruise missile, the Tsirkon, designed to be launched from a ship or submarine, has also been tested several times since 2015. Russia’s hypersonic program has had its failures -- so has ours -- but there’s no doubting Moscow’s seriousness about pursuing such weaponry.

Though it’s common to read that both Russia and China are significantly ahead in this arms race, the United States has been no laggard. It’s been interested in such weaponry -- specifically HGVs -- since the early years of this century. The Air Force awarded Boeing and Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne a contract to develop the hypersonic X-51A WaveRider scramjet in 2004. Its first flight test -- which failed (creating something of a pattern) -- took place in 2010.

Today, the Army, Navy, and Air Force are moving ahead with major hypersonic weapons programs. For instance, the Air Force test-launched its ARRW from a B-52 bomber as part of its Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon (HCSWthis June; the Navy tested an HGV in 2017 to further its Conventional Prompt Strike (CPS) initiative; and the Army tested its own version of such a weapon in 2011 and 2014 to move its Advanced Hypersonic Weapon (AHW) program forward. The depth of the Pentagon’s commitment to hypersonic weapons became evident in 2018 when it decided to combine the Navy’s CPS, the Air Force’s HCSW, and the Army’s AHW to advance the Conventional Prompt Global Strike Program (CPGS), which seeks to build the capability to hit targets worldwide in under 60 minutes.

That’s not all. The Center for Public Integrity’s R. Jeffrey Smith reports that Congress passed a bill last year requiring the United States to have operational hypersonic weapons by late 2022. President’s Trump’s 2020 Pentagon budget request included $2.6 billion to support their development. Smith expects the annual investment to reach $5 billion by the mid-2020s.

That will certainly happen if officials like Michael Griffin, the Pentagon’s undersecretary for research and engineering, have their way. Speaking at the McAleese and Credit Suisse Defense Programs conference in March 2018, he listed hypersonic weapons as his “highest technical priority,” adding, “I’m sorry for everybody out there who champions some other high priority... But there has to be a first and hypersonics is my first.” The big defense contractors share his enthusiasm. No wonder last December the National Defense Industrial Association, an outfit that lobbies for defense contractors, played host to Griffin and Patrick Shanahan (then the deputy secretary of defense), for the initial meeting of what it called the “Hypersonic Community of Influence.”

Cassandra Or Pollyanna?

We are, in other words, in a familiar place. Advances in technology have prepared the ground for a new phase of the arms race. Driving it, once again, is fear among the leading powers that their rivals will gain an advantage, this time in hypersonic weapons. What then? In a crisis, a state that gained such an advantage might, they warn, attack an adversary’s nuclear forces, military bases, airfields, warships, missile defenses, and command-and-control networks from great distances with stunning speed.

Such nightmarish scenario-building could simply be dismissed as wild-eyed speculation, but the more states think about, plan, and build weaponry along these lines, the greater the danger that a crisis could spiral into a hypersonic war once such weaponry was widely deployed. Imagine a crisis in the South China Sea in which the United States and China both have functional hypersonic weapons: China sees them as a means of blocking advancing American forces; the United States, as a means to destroy the very hypersonic arms China could use to achieve that objective. Both know this, so the decision of one or the other to fire first could come all too easily. Or, now that the INF Treaty has died, imagine a crisis in Europe involving the United States and Russia after both sides have deployed numerous intermediate-range hypersonic cruise missiles on the continent. 

Some wonks say, in effect, Relax, hi-tech defenses against hypersonic weapons will be built, so crises like these won’t spin out of control. They seem to forget that defensive military innovations inevitably lead to offensive ones designed to negate them. Hypersonic weapons won’t prove to be the exception.

So, in a world of national (in)security, the new arms race is on. Buckle up.

Tyler Durden Wed, 10/09/2019 - 23:05
Tags
Published:10/9/2019 10:25:38 PM
[Markets] The Global Pastime Of Kicking The Can Down The Road The Global Pastime Of Kicking The Can Down The Road

Authored by Bruce Wilds via Advancing Time blog,

Nowhere is the trend of kicking the can down the road more prevalent than in government. Consider this a tribute to politicians and governments everywhere that postpone and delay taking necessary actions. Frequently for politicians, the goal of being reelected takes priority over doing the right thing. This is why  those in office often surrender their better judgment as they go seeking jobs and economic growth at any cost. The idea of paying later for a hamburger today is very seductive for those in this state of mind.

This explains why we constantly see government bargaining with, and making concessions to companies like Amazon to locate facilities in their State. This is done to gain a few jobs with little thought to the long-term consequences. Sometimes it is exempting sales tax, sometimes it is giving the company free utility build-outs, forgiving property taxes, or seeing they are granted special pricing and privileges when it comes to delivering their goods. I use Amazon as an example because it uses all these methods to gain an advantage and exploit its competitors. Sadly, the toll Amazon takes on the brick and mortar stores that line the streets of our cities and neighborhoods is just now becoming apparent.

The sweet allure of getting and receiving the benefits while setting back the negatives is not new or is the desire from which it flows. Getting something for nothing is often the catalyst for bad policy. This is apparent in our healthcare system when it comes to the Affordable Care Act or what is still commonly known as Obamacare. After promises the ACA would lower healthcare costs while extending coverage to millions of Americans the decision was made to phase it in.  In just a few years we have seen healthcare cost soar moving Obamacare towards the brink of failure. As usual, those handed the task of cleaning up such a mess are faced with the unpopular job of making many people unhappy so they do nothing.

When politicians give one company an advantage over another you could say the government has entered the game of choosing winners and losers. States are also lowering the ability of some companies to compete and in the long run can lose more jobs than are created in the short term. In Fort Wayne, Indiana years ago the city backed a bond and the loan to build a massive hangar at the airport for an air-freight company named Kitty Hawk. In return the company promised a slew of new jobs when they located their hub in the city, Kitty Hawk is now bankrupt and the jobs are gone. With the taxpayers of Fort Wayne now paying for an empty hanger that they are trying to lease at an aggressively low price. this means private investors and property owners that lease building space are taking a hit as they are forced to compete against the government to which they are forced to pay taxes. This goes past the issue of fairness and into an area where companies are disincentivized to invest.

National Debt Now Almost 23 Trillion Not 12!

The Devil is in the details when these so-called "pay you later" deals are crafted. When dealing with the Devil we often pay a price far greater than anticipated. It is not uncommon to find promises broken and estimates way off the mark as to the final costSadly, the National Debt Clock is rapidly moving towards the 23 trillion dollar mark. The chart to the right predicted that by 2019 the national debt would top 12 trillion dollars, boy they really missed that one! Projections made by the government or any group predicting budgets based on events that may or may not happen at some future date are simply predictions and not fact. This means that such numbers are totally unreliable.

Another place the effort to obtain a free lunch or at least to get a big discount on it can be seen in the explosion of Public-private partnerships. Over the years we have been hearing a lot of good things about "Public-Private Partnerships" and how they can propel forward needed projects by adding an incentive for the private sector to undertake projects they might choose not to do alone. Often this is because the numbers often simply don't work. These collaborations between government and a private-sector company while touted as our salvation tend to create boondoggles and white elephants.

These projects are often haunted by problems that go from one extreme to another ranging from over-engineering to shoddy work with little oversight. Risks are frequently distributed between the public and private partners according to the ability of each to assess, control and cope with them. The risk-sharing may be in the form of "guaranteeing" a certain occupancy such as was the case of a hotel recently constructed where I live, or the government may pick up part of the cost of the project by providing low-cost loans or supplying part of the infrastructure needed for the project to proceed.

Expensive studies paid for by the government to determine whether a project is viable or needed by a community is often the first step down this slippery slope. Public officials constantly promote and undertake glorious and unsustainable projects to better their communities at little or no cost. This can be seen in situations where the public partner agrees to guarantee a minimum occupancy or income if it turns out that there are fewer users or demand for the service or infrastructure than expected. Fortunately for the public officials involved it generally takes years before anyone notices how toxic many of these projects are and voters seldom are focused enough to hold them accountable.

The lesson is that there is no such thing as a free lunch. Delaying payment should be viewed as sidestepping reality rather than a solution. Short-sighted attempts to sidestep real structural failures and problems are usually doomed to fail. Real problems must be addressed with real solutions not just promises of future action or put off until a later date. Not taking the proper steps to set things right often causes more problems down the road.

Winston Churchill said, "The era of procrastination, of half-measures, of soothing and baffling expedients, of delays, is coming to a close. In its place, we are entering a period of consequences."

My point is that sooner or later the piper always demands his due. 

Tyler Durden Wed, 10/09/2019 - 12:45
Published:10/9/2019 11:53:03 AM
[Markets] One 'Deplorable' Takes A Stand: "They've Gone Too Far!" One 'Deplorable' Takes A Stand: "They've Gone Too Far!"

Authored by 'sundance' via TheConservativeTreehouse.com,

Stand...

They’ve gone too far. “Donald Trump’s supporters are racist“, or “uneducated”, or “unenlightened”, or (fill_In_The_Blank).  This hate-filled sentiment is clear within the latest corrupt and targeted impeachment attack against the office of the President.

Now the media narrative controllers are fully engaged, gleeful with impeachment blood-lust amid their broadcast brethren.  The raw political corruption is now extreme.

Do not look away.

As we bear witness, anyone trying to convince us this entire assembly of our union is headed in the right direction, well, they might want to revisit their proximity to the 2020 election ballpark. Because they’re not just out of the city – they’re also out of the same state the election ballpark is located in….. Then again, the media know that.

David Mamet had a famous saying, essentially: …‘in order for democrats, liberals, progressives et al to continue their illogical belief systems they have to pretend not to know a lot of things’… By pretending ‘not to know’ there is no guilt, no actual connection to conscience. Denial of truth allows easier trespass.

This hate-filled Democrat ideology relies on our willingness to accept their lies, falsehoods, and scripted presentations; and then demands we grant benefit amid their seeds of doubt.

There’s a level of anger far deeper and more consequential than expressed rage or visible behavior, it’s called Cold Anger.

Cold Anger does not need to go to violence. For those who carry it, no conversation is needed when we meet. You cannot poll or measure it; specifically because most who carry it avoid discussion… And that decision has nothing whatsoever to do with any form of correctness.

We watched the passage of Obamacare at 1:38am on the day before Christmas Eve in 2009. We watched the Senate, then the House attempt passing Amnesty in 2014. We know exactly how it passed, and we know exactly why it passed. We don’t need to stand around talking about it….

We know what lies hidden behind “cloture” and the UniParty schemes.

We watched the 2009 $900+ billion Stimulus Bill being spent each year, every year, for seven consecutive years. Omnibus, Porkulous, QE1, QE2, Bailouts, Crony-Capitalism. We know exactly how this works, and we know exactly why this ruse is maintained. We don’t need to stand around talking about it…. We’re beyond talking.

We accept that the entire Senate voted to block President Trump’s ability to use recess appointments in 2017, and 2018, and 2019. Every.Single.Democrat.And.Republican.

Cold Anger absorbs betrayal silently, often prudently.

We’ve waited each year, every year, for ten years, to see a federal budget, only to be given another Omnibus spending bill by “CONservative” politicians.

We’ve watched the ridiculing of cops, the riots, and the lack of support for laws, or their enforcement. We’ve been absorbing all that. We’ve been exposed to violence upon us by paid operatives of the organized DNC machine. We know; the media trying to hide it doesn’t change our level of information.

Cold Anger is not hatred, it is far more purposeful.

We watched in 2012 as the Democrat party thrice denied God during their convention. The doors to evil enterprise opened by official proclamation and request.

Cold Anger takes notice of the liars, even from a great distance – seemingly invisible to the mob. Cold Anger will still hold open the door for the riot goer. Mannerly.

We’ve watched our borders being intentionally unsecured.

We’ve watched Islamic Terrorists slaughter Americans as our politicians proclaim their uncertainty of motive. We know exactly who they are, and why they are doing it. We do not need to stand around discussing it…. we’re clear eyed.

Cold Anger evidenced is more severe because it is more strategic, and more purposeful. Eric Cantor’s defeat, Matt Bevin’s victory, Brexit, Donald Trump’s highest vote tally in the history of presidential primaries or President Trump’s victory might aide your  understanding.

Cold Anger does not gloat; it absorbs consistent vilification and ridicule as fuel. This sensibility does not want to exist, it is forced to exist in otherwise unwilling hosts – we also refuse to be destabilized by it.

Transgender bathrooms are more important than border security.

Illicit trade schemes, employment and the standard of living in Vietnam and Southeast Asia are more important to Wall Street and DC lobbyists, than the financial security of Youngstown Ohio.

We get it. We understand. We didn’t create that reality, we are simply responding to it.

The intelligence apparatus of our nation was weaponized against our candidate by those who controlled the levers of government. Now, with sanctimonious declarations they dismiss accountability.

Deliberate intent and prudence ensures we avoid failure. The course, is thoughtful vigilance; it is a strategy devoid of emotion. The media can call us anything they want, it really doesn’t matter…. we’re far beyond the place where labels matter.

Foolishness and betrayal of our nation have served to reveal dangers within our present condition. Misplaced corrective action, regardless of intent, is neither safe nor wise. We know exactly who Donald Trump is, and we also know what he is not. He is exactly what we need at this moment. He is a necessary glorious bastard.

He is our weapon.

Cold Anger is not driven to act in spite of itself; it drives a reckoning.

When the well attired leave the checkout line carrying steaks and shrimp using an EBT card, the door is still held open; yet notations necessarily embed.

When the U.S. flags lay gleefully undefended, they do not lay unnoticed. When the stars and stripes are controversial, yet a foreign flag is honored – we are paying attention.

When millionaire football players kneel down rather than honor our fallen soldiers and stand proud of our country, we see that. Check the NFL TV ratings – take note.

When a school community cannot openly pray, it does not mean the prayerful were absent.

When a liar seems to win, it is not without observation. Many – more than the minority would like to admit – know the difference between science, clocks and political agendas.

Cold Anger perceives deception the way the long-term battered absorb a blow in the hours prior to the pre-planned exit; with purpose.

A shield, or cry of micro-aggression will provide no benefit, nor quarter. Delicate sensibilities are dispatched like a feather in a hurricane.

We are patient, but also purposeful. Pushed far enough, decisions are reached.

[…] On the drive to and from the East Coast, I paid attention to the billboards and bumper-stickers. Folks, the people in “Fly over” country are PISSED, from the guy that guides hunters, to the mayors of towns and cities, to state senators congressmen and Governors who are voting to arrest and imprison federal law enforcement officials for enforcing federal gun laws that don’t agree with state law … The political pendulum has never, in the history of humanity, stayed on one side of a swing. The back lash from over reach has always been proportionate to how far off center it went before coming back … right now we’re staring at a whole hell of a lot of the country (about 80-90% of the land mass, as well as about 50+% of the population) that is FED UP. You really don’t want those guys to decide that the only way to fix it is to burn it down and start over… (more)

It’s too late…

This man has faced opposition that would overwhelm any other President.  Our chosen President is constantly attacked by those holding a corrupt, conniving and Godless leftist ideology.  It is our job now to stand with him, firm on his behalf.

To respond we must engage as an insurgency. We must modify our disposition to think like an insurgent. Insurgencies have nothing to lose. If insurgents are not victorious the system, which controls the dynamic, wins. However, if insurgents do nothing, the same system, which controls the dynamic, also wins.

Do nothing and we lose. Go to the mattresses, and we might win. The choice is ours.

Right now, through November 2020, every day is Saint Crispins day.

If we are mark’d to die, we are enow
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
God’s will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.
By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires.
But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive.
No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England.
God’s peace! I would not lose so great an honour
As one man more methinks would share from me
For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made,
And crowns for convoy put into his purse;
We would not die in that man’s company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
This day is call’d the feast of Crispian.
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam’d,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say ‘To-morrow is Saint Crispian.’
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say ‘These wounds I had on Crispian’s day.’
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he’ll remember, with advantages,
What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words-
Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester-
Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb’red.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.

The awakened American middle-class insurgency, led by Donald Trump, is an existential threat to the professional political class and every entity who lives in/around the professional political class. Their entire political apparatus is threatened by our insurgency. The political industry, all of corrupt governance, is threatened by our support through Donald Trump.

Decision time.

You know why the entire apparatus is united against President Trump. You know why the corrupt Wall Street financial apparatus is united against President Trump. You know why every institutional department, every lobbyist, every K-Street dweller, every career legislative member, staffer, and the various downstream economic benefactors, including the corporate media, all of it – all the above, are united against Donald Trump.

Donald Trump is an existential threat to the existence of a corrupt DC system we have exposed to his disinfecting sunlight. Donald Trump is the existential threat to every entity who benefits from that corrupt and vile system.

Global elites now stand with jaw-agape in horror as they witness the result.  The value of multi-billion dollar contracts dispatched at our leisure. Trillion dollar multi-national trade deals, full of scheme and graft, left nothing more than tenuous propositions smashed asunder from the mere sound of our approach.

The fundamental construct within decades of their united global efforts to tear at the very fabric of our U.S.A is being eliminated. They too have nothing to lose; their desperation becomes visible within their apoplexy; and they’re damn sure displaying it.

Do not look away.

Throw aside the sense of discomfort and bear witness to the evil we oppose. Do not turn your eyes from the hatred focused in our direction. Stand firm amid the solace of our number and resolve to the task at hand.

Those who oppose our efforts are merely vile parasites quivering as they stare into the Cold Anger furnace of righteousness.

Who fuels that furnace?

…..US !

Tyler Durden Thu, 10/03/2019 - 16:45
Published:10/3/2019 3:48:41 PM
[Issues] Obama-era Scheme Illegally Paid $227 Million to State As A Result of Miscalculations

The federal government incorrectly paid states hundreds of millions of dollars in bonuses to expand health care coverage before Obamacare's implementation.

The post Obama-era Scheme Illegally Paid $227 Million to State As A Result of Miscalculations appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:9/25/2019 4:31:02 AM
[Uncategorized] Video: Top three Obamacare promises, RIP

Behold, the death of three core Obamacare promises, in 74 seconds, using Democrats’ words only.  The trifecta:

The post Video: Top three Obamacare promises, RIP appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:9/21/2019 1:03:35 AM
[Markets] Medical Debt Is Crushing Many Americans. Is The Health Care System On The Verge Of Collapse? Medical Debt Is Crushing Many Americans. Is The Health Care System On The Verge Of Collapse?

Authored by Daisy Luther via The Organic Prepper blog,

Health care expenses are a massive burden for many Americans, and for some, they can be financially devastating.

A new report from Kaiser Health News revealed some shocking examples of just how bad things can get for some people.

‘UVA Has Ruined Us’: Health System Sues Thousands Of Patients, Seizing Paychecks And Claiming Homes covers the cases of individuals who are dealing with serious financial hardship due to the University of Virginia Health System’s aggressive collection practices.

The article begins with the story of Heather Waldron, who required emergency surgery in 2017. She believed she had insurance at the time – it wasn’t until after her hospitalization that she learned a computer error involving the HealthCare.gov website caused a lapse in her coverage.

The UVA health system slapped Waldron with a lawsuit and a lien on her home to recoup the $164,000 in charges, leading to serious financial hardship for her family:

She is now on food stamps and talking to bankruptcy lawyers. A bank began foreclosure proceedings in August on the Blacksburg house she shared with her family. The home will be sold to pay off the mortgage.

She expects UVA to take whatever is left.

The $164,000 billed to Heather Waldron for intestinal surgery was more than twice what a commercial insurer would have paid for her care, according to benefits firm WellRithms, which analyzed bills for Kaiser Health News using cost reports UVA files with the government. Charges on her bill included $2,000 for a $20 feeding tube. (source)

Waldron is not alone. There are many stories similar to hers – and some are much worse.

The UVA Health System aggressively pursued patients for medical bills for years.

The Kaiser Health News (KHN) analysis found that during a six-year period ending in June 2018, “the UVA health system and its doctors filed 36,000 lawsuits against patients seeking a total of more than $106 million, seizing wages and bank accounts, putting liens on property and homes and forcing families into bankruptcy.”

People who have received treatment in the UVA system are facing a particularly formidable opponent. “UVA stands out for the scope of its collection efforts and how persistently it seeks payment, pursuing poor as well as middle-class patients for almost all they’re worth,” the KHN report explains. Court records, documents, and interviews with hospital officials and dozens of patients revealed that UVA has sued people for as much as $1 million and as little as $13.91.

The system has garnished thousands of paychecks, seized $22 million over six years in state tax refunds owed to people with outstanding bills, sued about 100 patients every year who were their own system’s employees, filed thousands of property liens, and hit some patients with legal fees and interest that added up to more than the original bill. UVA has the most restrictive eligibility guidelines for financial assistance of any hospital system in Virginia. “Savings of only $4,000 in a retirement account can disqualify a family from aid, even if its income is barely above the poverty level,” KHN reports.

UVA Health System spokesman Eric Swensen told KHN that UVA gave $322 million in financial assistance and charity care in fiscal 2018. But legal and finance experts said that’s not a reliable estimate:

The $322 million “merely indicates the amount they would have charged arbitrarily” before negotiated insurer discounts, said Ge Bai, an accounting and health policy associate professor at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School.

The figure is “based on customary reporting standards used by hospitals across the U.S.,” Swensen said.

Insurers would have paid UVA only $88 million for that care, according to an accounting of unpaid bills presented in September 2018 to the UVA Health board. Even that unpaid figure did not come out of UVA’s purse since federal and state governments provided “funding earmarked to cover indigent care” for almost all of it — $83.7 million, according to Bai.

The real, “unfunded” cost of UVA indigent care: $4.3 million, or 1.3% of what it claims, according to the document.

“That’s nothing,” given how much money UVA makes, Bai said. “Nonprofit hospitals advance their charitable mission primarily through providing indigent care.” (source)

Perhaps the most surprising detail about the UVA Health System is that it is not a for-profit system and does not have shareholders making demands. It is funded with taxpayer and state money (also taxpayer money, of course):

Like other nonprofit hospitals, it pays no federal, state or local taxes on the presumption it offers charity care and other community benefits worth at least as much as those breaks. Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam, a pediatric neurologist, oversees its board.

UVA Medical Center, the flagship of UVA Health System, earned $554 million in profit over the six years ending in June 2018 and holds stocks, bonds and other investments worth $1 billion, according to financial statements. CEO Sutton-Wallace earns a salary of $750,000, with bonus incentives that could push her annual pay close to $1 million, according to a copy of her employment contract, obtained under public information law. (source)

Other hospitals in the US are suing patients too.

Recently, journalists and academics have exposed hospital collections practices in BaltimoreMemphisNew Mexico, North CarolinaNebraska, and Ohio. In 2014, NPR and ProPublica published stories about a hospital in Missouri that sued 6,000 patients over a four-year period.

NPR recently reported on collection practices at Mary Washington, another Virginia hospital. According to their report, Mary Washington sues so many patients that the court reserves a morning every month for its cases.

Since KHN and NPR exposed the collection practices at the two Virginia hospitals, both have stated they are going to change their ways.

“Gov. Ralph Northam and the president of the University of Virginia committed to changing UVA Health System’s collections practices a day after Kaiser Health News detailed its aggressive and widespread pursuit of former patients for unpaid medical bills,” KHN reported.

NPR added an Editor’s note to its June 25 article about Mary Washington that states:

The day after this story published, Mary Washington Healthcare announced it will suspend its practice of suing patients for unpaid bills, stating: “We are committed to a complete re-evaluation of our entire payment process to ensure that all patients know they have access to care.” When asked what they will do about any patient whose wages are currently being garnished, Eric Fletcher, Mary Washington’s senior vice president, said in a statement to NPR: “We are happy to try to work with that patient and the courts and their employer to try to eliminate the garnishment.” (source)

According to a study published in the American Medical Association’s journal, JAMA in June, an estimated 20% of US consumers had medical debt in collections in 2014. Medical debt has been increasing with direct patient billing, rising insurance deductibles, and more out-of-network care being delivered, even at in-network facilities.

For the JAMA study, researchers looked at Virginia court records from 2017 and found that in the state, 36% of hospitals sued patients and garnished their wages in 2017. They identified 20,054 warrant-in-debt lawsuits and 9232 garnishment cases. Garnishments were MORE common in non-profit hospitals (71%).

“If you’re a nonprofit hospital and you have this mission to serve your community, [lawsuits] should really be an absolute last resort,” says Jenifer Bosco, staff attorney at the National Consumer Law Center, told NPR:

Bosco explains that IRS rules require nonprofit hospitals to have financial assistance programs and prohibit them from taking “extraordinary collection actions” on unpaid medical bills without first attempting to determine patients’ eligibility for financial assistance.

Nonprofit hospitals, Bosco says, “have to provide some sort of financial help for lower-income people, but the federal rules don’t say how much help, and they don’t say how poor you have to be to qualify [or] if you have to be insured or uninsured.” (source)

“Hospitals were built — mostly by churches — to be a safe haven for people regardless of one’s race, creed or ability to pay. Hospitals have a nonprofit status — most of them — for a reason. They’re supposed to be community institutions,” Dr. Martin Makary, one of the JAMA study’s authors and a surgeon and researcher at Johns Hopkins Medicine, told NPR.

Unpaid hospital bills are a leading cause of personal debt and bankruptcy in the US.

According to a study published in the American Journal of Public Health earlier this year, 66.5 percent of all bankruptcies in the US are tied to medical issues, either because of high costs for care or time out of work. An estimated 530,000 families turn to bankruptcy each year because of medical issues and bills, the researchers found.

The study, titled Medical Bankruptcy: Still Common Despite the Affordable Care Act, states, “Despite gains in coverage and access to care from the ACA, our findings suggest that it did not change the proportion of bankruptcies with medical causes.”

Prior to the ACA’s implementation in 2014, 65.5 percent of debtors reported medical reasons for filing bankruptcy. After the Act was implemented, 67.5 percent cited medical expenses as their reason. In 2007, an estimated 62.1 percent cited medical bills as contributors to their bankruptcy, and 40.3% cited income loss due to illness.

Other studies have found that at least 25 percent and as many as 50 percent of bankruptcies include significant medical debt, according to a recent report from The Balance.

One study found that the insured were a bit more likely to declare bankruptcy (3 percent) than the uninsured (1 percent), The Balance reports:

Most probably thought their insurance protected them from medical costs. They weren’t prepared to pay for unexpected deductible and coinsurance costs. Almost a third weren’t aware that a particular hospital or service wasn’t part of their plan. One-in-four found that the insurance denied their claims.

How did those with insurance wind up with so many bills? After high deductibles, co-insurance payments, and annual/lifetime limits, the insurance ran out. Other companies denied claims or just canceled the insurance. (source)

According to GoFundMe CEO Rob Solomon, one-third of the donations made through the site help people pay for medical care. Roughly 250,000 campaigns for assistance with medical bills and healthcare costs are set up on the crowdfunding site annually, raising total contributions of $650 million per year.

Millions of Americans are struggling to pay healthcare-related costs.

Even Americans who have insurance coverage are struggling to afford medical bills. As the research shows, health insurance won’t completely protect you. Many people have been bankrupted by high deductibles and other out-of-pocket expenses. This is why you should try to have at least the amount of your deductible in savings.

Rising healthcare costs have serious implications for many Americans. According to a recent report from The Balance, many people cannot afford groceries, rent, and clothing due to medical costs. Many have burned through their savings, and others have taken on extra work to pay medical bills. Some cut back on or skip prescription medications and follow-up care, and many rack up credit card debt and use loans to pay for healthcare expenses.

Here are some more troubling facts from The Balance report:

In 2015, the Kaiser Family Foundation found that there were 1 million adults who declared medical bankruptcy. That is more than those going bankrupt for unpaid credit card debt or mortgage defaults. A 2013 Nerdwallet study found that almost 30 percent maxed out their credit cards, while 8 percent were forced into bankruptcy because the illness cost them their jobs.

Even more disturbing was that 78 percent of them had health insurance that failed to cover all their bills. Sixty percent were let down by private insurance, not Medicare or Medicaid. Ten million of them will incur medical costs they can’t pay off each year, thanks to high-deductible plans.

How did those with insurance wind up with so many bills? Before the ACA, many were sunk by annual and lifetime limits. Others were stuck when insurance companies denied claims or just canceled the policy once they got sick.

But even after Obamacare, many weren’t prepared for high deductibles and co-insurance payments. In 2017, 31 percent of the insured found it difficult to afford copays. That’s up from 24 percent in 2015, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation study. Similarly, 43 percent found deductibles too high, compared to 34 percent in 2015. (source)

What are the causes of rising health care costs?

A recent report from The Balance answered this question. Here are some shocking statistics from that report:

In 2017, U.S. health care costs were $3.5 trillion. That makes health care one of the country’s largest industries. It equals 17.9 percent of gross domestic product. In comparison, health care cost $27.2 billion in 1960, just 5 percent of GDP. That translates to an annual health care cost of $10,739 per person in 2017 versus just $146 per person in 1960. Health care costs have risen faster than the average annual income. (source)

There are two causes of this massive increase – government policy and lifestyle changes, the report goes on to explain:

First, the United States relies on company-sponsored private health insurance. The government created programs like Medicare and Medicaid to help those without insurance. These programs spurred demand for health care services. That gave providers the ability to raise prices. A Princeton University study found that Americans use the same amount of health care as residents of other nations. They just pay more for them. For example, U.S. hospital prices are 60 percent higher than those in Europe. Government efforts to reform health care and cut costs raised them instead.

Second, chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and heart disease, have increased. They are responsible for 85 percent of health care costs. Almost half of all Americans have at least one of them. They are expensive and difficult to treat. As a result, the sickest 5 percent of the population consume 50 percent of total health care costs. The healthiest 50 percent only consume 3 percent of the nation’s health care costs. Most of these patients are Medicare patients. The U.S. medical profession does a heroic job of saving lives. But it comes at a cost. Medicare spending for patients in the last year of life is six times greater than the average. Care for these patients costs one-fourth of the Medicare budget. In their last six months of life, these patients go to the doctor’s office 29 times on average. In their last month of life, half go to the emergency room. One-third wind up in the intensive care unit. One fifth undergo surgery. (source)

The best way to avoid medical debt is by taking care of yourself.

Accidents are often not preventable, and neither are some health conditions.

But many of the health issues that lead to massive medical debt are preventable, including obesity, Type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.

A 2014 study published in The Lancet revealed that

…chronic diseases are the main causes of poor health, disability, and death, and account for most of health-care expenditures. The chronic disease burden in the USA largely results from a short list of risk factors—including tobacco use, poor diet and physical inactivity (both strongly associated with obesity), excessive alcohol consumption, uncontrolled high blood pressure, and hyperlipidaemia—that can be effectively addressed for individuals and populations. (source)

If you’d like to improve your health (and hopefully reduce your risk of accruing medical debt), here are some resources that may help.

45 Ways To Add More Physical Activity to Your Day

Quit Smoking program

Bug Out Boot Camp

99 Healthy No-Cook Meals and Snacks

Tyler Durden Thu, 09/12/2019 - 18:25
Published:9/12/2019 5:38:35 PM
[Health Care] Obamacare Caused Premiums to Spike. Here’s How States Are Lowering Them Again.

Throughout much of last year, critics of the White House darkly warned that “Trump sabotage” of Obamacare would result in steep increases in premiums for... Read More

The post Obamacare Caused Premiums to Spike. Here’s How States Are Lowering Them Again. appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:9/10/2019 12:31:11 PM
[Markets] Trump SCOTUS Pick Neil Gorsuch Says US Is In "Civility Crisis" Trump SCOTUS Pick Neil Gorsuch Says US Is In "Civility Crisis"

In his first book since being appointed to the Supreme Court to fill the seat vacated by Antonin Scalia, Neil Gorsuch writes that the US is facing a "civility crisis" and that the president and Congress are both guilty of violating the separation of powers laid out in the Constitution.

The book, "A Republic, If You Can Keep It", has a title that reflects Benjamin Franklin's reported reply as he left the Constitutional Convention in 1787. In it, Gorsuch describes his vision for the Supreme Court's proper role: That judges should interpret the constitution according to its original meaning, and therefor overturn ObamaCare, slash abortion rights and bolster gun rights, according to Bloomberg.

Gorsuch also describes the run-up to his nomination. For example, he and his wife caught their flight to Washington after a neighbor drove them down a bumpy farm track so they wouldn't be spotted by reporters staking out the family house in Colorado.

The Justice said the drive left a lasting impression on him.

"That drive threw me face first into the topsy-turvy world of modern-day Supreme Court confirmation battles," Gorsuch writes in the 323-page book, officially released Tuesday. He was confirmed on a 54-45 vote, with only three Democrats voting in favor.

Notably, Gorsuch's book makes only passing reference to President Trump, even though the president is often blamed for "coarsening" the public discourse.

But he does point to surveys showing that "incivility" is broadly deterring Americans from dedicating themselves to public service.

"Without civility, the bonds of friendship in our communities dissolve, tolerance dissipates, and the pressure to impose order and uniformity through public and private coercion mounts," Gorsuch, 52, writes.

Gorsuch also lamented the fact that the executive branch and legislative branch had grown beyond their proper spheres.

"The framers firmly believed that the rule of law depends on keeping all three governmental powers in their proper spheres," Gorsuch writes.

Gorsuch also complains about more "niche" issues, like the rising cost and complexity of the US legal system.

"Our civil justice system is too expensive for most to afford; our criminal code is too long for most to comprehend; and our legal education system is too monolithic to allow lawyers to serve clients as affordably and well as we might," he writes.

The rest of the book, which was co-authored by two of the justice's former law clerks, is a compilation of the Justice's speeches and court opinions. But the book also includes newly written original sections.

Tyler Durden Tue, 09/10/2019 - 05:47
Published:9/10/2019 5:02:32 AM
[World] Addressing unexpected medical bills

Closing in on a decade since the passage of the grand health care reform better known as Obamacare, lawmakers are under increasing pressure to deal with both issues it created, and others that it merely exacerbated. One of the latter that has been quickly gaining attention, for good reason, is ... Published:9/4/2019 2:19:38 PM

[Politics] Biden Touts Obamacare in New Ad Former Vice President Joe Biden defends Obamacare in a new minute-long ad in Iowa, The Hill is reporting. Published:8/27/2019 10:00:09 AM
[Politics] Dem Complains About Her Taxpayer-Subsidized Obamacare Plan

A congressional Democrat is unhappy with the taxpayer-subsidized health insurance she receives from Obamacare.

The post Dem Complains About Her Taxpayer-Subsidized Obamacare Plan appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:8/26/2019 5:27:36 PM
[Politics] Column: Trump is proposing to reduce the employer health insurance system to utter chaos

Trump's position on the notorious Texas-led attack on Obamacare would be disastrous for employer-sponsored health plans

Published:8/23/2019 12:36:47 PM
[The Blog] Democrats at a crossroads over push for Medicare for all

"The Democrats want to repeal and replace ObamaCare with socialized medicine."

The post Democrats at a crossroads over push for Medicare for all appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:8/8/2019 2:10:34 PM
[Markets] 2020 Candidates Offer New Government Ponzi Schemes

Authored by Gary Galles via The Mises Institute,

Seeing the Democrat debates has reminded Americans just how much of campaigning is promising something-for-next-to-nothing in attempts to buy electoral support. But when you think about historic Democrat bragging points, like Social Security and Medicare, that is not surprising. They have long been “something for you today partly at someone else’s expense tomorrow” programs. In other words, they have been partial Ponzi schemes from the beginning.

While there have been many attempts to deny and confuse voters about the Ponzi-ness of those Democratic signature programs, the reason they are partly Ponzi schemes is very simple. After Social Security’s creation, those in or near retirement at the time got benefits far exceeding their “contributions,” which lasted for very few years. Giving those “excess” benefits over costs to the start-up generation meant that those resources would have to come from later generations of “players,” just like Ponzi schemes.

Every time the program expanded, another partial Ponzi scheme of excess benefits over costs was created for the initial group of beneficiaries, again inevitably at the expense of later generations. Another started when Social Security benefit levels doubled between 1950 and 52, and when they were raised 15 percent in 1970, 10 percent more in 1971, and 20 percent more in 1972. Another started when disability and dependents’ benefits were added in 1960. Still more were started when Medicare was added in 1966, and each time its benefits have been expanded (e.g., Medicare Part B, only one-quarter funded by recipients and Part D’s prescription drug benefit, only one-eighth funded by recipients).

So how has the modern Democrat party built on its proud legacy of such Ponzi schemes? By adding new ones.

Obamacare was also a partial Ponzi scheme, with a slightly different mechanism. Its policy to “limit premium variation based on age” forced insurance companies to under-charge those older, requiring them in turn to over-charge those younger. That bad actuarial deal was why younger people had to be forced to buy coverage (or were bought off by extending how long they could stay on their parent’s coverage). The consequence was that the coerced subsidy from the young allowed older recipients to get more than they paid for, which necessarily imposed an added burden on the next generation. Those near retirement age would also escape most of the future tax increases that would be part of funding it, adding to the inter-generational redistribution.

This January 30, over 200 Democratic co-sponsors returned to the older style of Medicare Ponzi scheme when they introduced the Social Security 2100 Act. It would increase all retirees’ benefits (including current retirees who would pay nothing toward the boost) and increase the inflation (over)adjustment for benefits, picking future high-income earners’ pockets to pay for the vast majority of it.

“Medicare for all” is also a partial Ponzi scheme. People are to get free medical benefits. But they must be paid for by income or other taxes. So what happens to those currently older? They get benefits for the rest of their lives while paying little in income taxes, since they are generally beyond or near retirement age. That excess of their benefits over their costs will again require imposing greater burdens on the earnings of those in the future.

That makes it important to remember that Democrats who are now promising a new something-for-next-to-nothing deal at the expense of later generations are from the same Ponzi party that in earlier years, promised those then older a great deal by sticking you with that tab and now defend those policies as their greatest hits.

However, while Democrats have historically led the charge in creating and doubling down on Social Security and Medicare Ponzi schemes (and scaring senior citizens into voting for them out of fear Republicans might put a stop to them), do Republicans offer serious hope for improvement? Some do, since many of who have publicly objected to such expanding Ponzi schemes have come from the libertarian leaning wing of the Republican party. But that subset doesn’t dictate Republican policy. And political history is not very encouraging when it comes to preventing the pillage of future generations. For instance, Social Security passed the House, 372 yeas to 33 nays, and the Senate, 77 yeas to 6 nays, before the conference report was passed on a plausible deniability preserving voice vote, which hardly shows either unified or effective opposition by Republicans. The benefit increases in the early 1970s resulted from a bidding war between Richard Nixon and Legislative Democrats to buy senior citizen votes. George W. Bush was the ramrod for the Medicare, Part D, expansion of unfunded liabilities. And when have you heard President Trump propose anything that would confront the unsustainable status quo in either Social Security or Medicare?

In fact, what seems to have dictated both parties’ policies, though to different degrees, is that present voters are willing to steal from future generations, many of whom do not yet get to vote, or are poorly informed or involved in the political process. That is, so long as the intertemporal redistribution is presented as “really” a noble and reliable political compact. So being clear that Social Security and Medicare are, at least in part, ignoble and unreliable (because they are unsustainable) political compacts of a sort we would put people in jail for if they did it in the private sector, may be the first small step toward any true hope of reform.

Published:8/7/2019 9:11:17 PM
[Health Care] How ‘Medicare for All’ Would Impact Our Lives

Obamacare is old news for the political left. Now, the big item is “Medicare for All”—a single-payer, government-run health care system. But what kind of... Read More

The post How ‘Medicare for All’ Would Impact Our Lives appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:8/7/2019 2:31:40 AM
[Markets] Did Ilhan Omar Have An Affair With A Top Dem Strategist Who Was On Her Campaign's Payroll?

Congresswoman Ilhan Omar has been seen getting suspiciously cozy with a political strategist who has been paid more than a quarter of a million dollars by her campaign, according to a Daily Mail report.

Last week, The Mail reported that Omar was spotted dining and holding hands with an unidentified man at a secluded Italian restaurant outside of Los Angeles earlier this year. The paper has now identified that man as Tim Mynett, partner at E Street Group, which bills itself as providing national progressive strategies for candidates, nonprofits and advocacy efforts.

Omar recently split from her husband, and there would be nothing untoward about the two carrying on an affair, if it weren't for the fact that Omar's campaign has paid Mynett's firm more than $250,000 in consulting fees and travel expenses between August and June 11, per FEC records.

Word of the intimate dinner spread just days after the Daily Mail reported that Omar had recently split with her husband, Ahmed Hirsi, the father of her three children. 

Mynett, it appears, is still married to a Washington DC-area doctor who is 17 years his senior. But the two are no longer living together.

In a video taken by the Daily Mail, Mynett can be heard asking the reporter to turn his camera off.

Reps for both Omar and Mynett declined to comment to the Daily Mail about whether the two are having an affair. But the paper trail of payments is enough to raise questions about whether Omar was having an affair with one of her campaign's top consultants while paying him thousands of dollars.

Federal Election Commission records show Omar's team began paying Mynett's company in August of 2018, splashing out $62,500 by the end of 2018.

Payments continued into 2019, with $5,000, $10,000 and $12,000 chunks being shelled out every month, totaling just over $253,000 in a single year.

In January, Mynett posted an image on his Instagram of Omar's name plaque outside of her congressional office, writing: 'It’s been one hell of a journey. Incredibly proud of this fearless woman.'

Mynett and fellow veteran Democratic strategist William Hailer run E Street from a shared WeWork office space in DC. According to a profile on the E Street site that has since been removed, Mynett has served as lead fundraiser for a number of notable dems including Keith Ellison, Omar's predecessor in her House seat, Senator Jeff Merkley, Congresswoman Hilda Solis and Congressman Ron Kind.

He has also worked for several national non-profits and progressive groups, including Angelina Jolie’s Global Action for Children and the SEIU’s Change that Works initiative (which was focused on passing ObamaCare, legislation that Omar herself is now seeking to undo in favor of Medicare for All).

Their website currently has a single accessible page displaying the message: 'Accepting new clients by referral only.' But an archived version accessed by DailyMail.com includes a lengthy 'about us' section where Mynett reels off his career accomplishments and boats of close ties with 'national opinion leaders'.

'Tim Mynett brings over 15 years of experience conducting high-level national fundraising and providing political and strategic advice to our clients at E Street Group,' it says.

'He has continually developed and implemented successful fundraising plans for national nonprofits, progressive advocacy efforts, and Democratic leaders in Congress. Throughout his career he has raised of over $100 million in gifts, grants, and donations.'

Here's a list of all of Omar's disbursements filed under 'operating expenditures' on the FEC's database.

Notably, Mynett was sitting front and center during the infamous speech where Omar described the 9/11 hijackers as "someone doing something."

Omar first married Hirsi in an Islamic ceremony in 2002 when she was 19, but the two divorced six years later. The next year, Omar married British Citizen Ahmed Nur Said Elmi. Media reports have identified him as her brother, though due to poor recordkeeping in her home country of Somalia, that can't be conclusively proven.

Published:8/6/2019 7:03:28 PM
[Health Care] A Health Reform Plan Trump Can Get Behind President Donald Trump says he wants health reform that will be better than Obamacare, better than what we had before Obamacare, and better than the... Read More Published:8/2/2019 10:54:54 AM
[Markets] Joe Scarborough Slams Dems For Attacking Obama's Policies More Than Trump's

MSNBC Host Joe Scarborough of MSNBC's 'Morning Joe' complained in a tweet last night that the Democratic contenders onstage last night for Pt. 2 of the second Democratic debate spent more time attacking President Barack Obama's policies than they spent attacking President Donald Trump.

He added that this is "politically stupid and crazy."

Though Scarborough also inadvertently admitted something important: The Democratic Party of today isn't the same party from 2016. Instead, even candidates who once believed themselves to be part of the mainstream have embraced policies that are much further to the left, largely thanks to the influence of "the Squad" and their fellow progressives, who have been gaining influence in Washington since the mid-terms.

Scarborough is probably also referring to the fact that Biden and Harris, the two front runners who participated in Wednesday night's debate, were lightning rods for criticism.  Bill de Blasio and others got into a huge debate with Biden over health-care reform, even prompting Biden to declare these criticisms of Obamacare "malarky".

Biden was also attacked over the 800,000 deportations that occurred during the Obama Administration, which seemed to support the Trump Administration's argument that Trump's supposedly "draconian" border policies are merely a continuation of the Obama years.

While the "you're playing into Republicans' hands!" argument is certainly compelling to some, they should probably tell Scarborough not to say the quiet part out loud.

Published:8/1/2019 7:55:16 AM
[Markets] Senator Harris "Wins" The 'Free Stuff' Contest... Taxpayers Lose

Authored by John Stossel, op-ed vbia Townhall.com,

Never before have presidential candidates offered voters so much “free” stuff.

Kamala Harris wants you to “collect up to $500 a month.”

Elizabeth Warren says, “We need to go tenfold in our research and development in green energy.”

No one has tracked the cost of all of the promises. So my video team did!

Who will spend the most?

Here are the new spending proposals from the five most popular (according to ElectionBettingOdds.com) candidates.

In my latest video, we break it down by category, education spending first:

Joe Biden wants to “triple the amount of money we spend for Title I schools” ($32 billion) create “universal pre-K” ($26 billion), provide “free community college” ($6 billion per year) and double the number of psychologists and social workers in schools ($14 billion) — $78 billion total. 

That’s a lot, but much less than what Kamala Harris would spend.

She too wants to “make community college free” ($6 billion), but she’d add debt-free “four-year public college” ($80.1 billion), “increase government’s investment in childcare” dramatically ($60 billion) and “give the average public school teacher a $13,000 raise” ($31.5 billion) for a total of $177 billion.

Pete Buttigieg rarely says what his proposals would cost, but he at least seems to want to spend less than Harris.

He touts “free college for low- and middle-income students” and would give teachers more money. Assuming his plan is like Harris’, that brings his education total to $87 billion.

Elizabeth Warren would spend much more.

“You’ll be debt-free!” she tells students. Taxpayers, unfortunately, will be deeper in debt, since she would “forgive” most existing student debt and make public college tuition-free ($125 billion).

She also wants a “Universal Child Care and Early Learning Act” ($70 billion).

These big-ticket items put her in the first place so far.

But wait! Bernie Sanders would spend even more.

He’d completely “eliminate student debt,” “make public colleges and universities tuition-free” and provide universal daycare and pre-K. That totals $280 billion, so Sanders “wins” in education spending.

I assumed the self-described socialist would be the biggest spender, but he’s got lots of competition!

Let’s look at health care spending.

Harris, Sanders and Warren all propose “Medicare for All,” including for people here illegally.

Sanders goes further, saying, “Under our plan, people go to any doctor they want.” He admits it will cost between $3 trillion and $4 trillion per year, about what the government now spends on everything. How will he pay for that? Well, somehow the rich will pay. Or Martians. Somebody.

Sanders, Harris, and Warren all said they’d ban private health insurance — although Harris now says she’d let private companies sell “Medicare plans” that “adhere to strict Medicare requirements on costs and benefits.” She also claims her “Medicare for All” will be cheaper than Sanders’ version, but as of now, there is no independently calculated cost.

When it comes to the environment, all Democratic candidates but Biden say they support the Green New Deal, which Republicans say would cost $93 trillion. For our ranking, I went with the lowest estimate we could find: An economist who likes the idea says it will cost around $500 billion a year.

Welfare? Harris would increase benefits and have the government pay your rent if it’s over 30% of your income ($94 billion), and Friday she offered $75 billion to black colleges and minority entrepreneurs.

Warren wants to spend more ($50 billion) on housing.

Sanders would increase food stamps for kids ($10.8 billion), boost Social Security benefits ($19 billion) and guarantee everyone a government job ($158 billion), for a total of $187.8 billion.

President Donald Trump, who says America will never be a socialist country, hasn’t been a responsible spender either.

Since he took office, spending increased about $500 billion per year. Trump did propose some cuts, but when Congress ignored his cuts and increased spending, he signed the bills anyway.

Now he says he’d spend even more: $200 billion a year for infrastructure, $8.6 billion for the border wall construction, $1.6 billion for more NASA funding and on and on, for a total of $267 billion.

We can’t afford it! The federal government is already $22 trillion in debt -- $150,000 per taxpayer.

While Trump’s $267 billion is bad, the Democrats’ plans are worse. We counted $297 billion proposed by Biden, $690 billion from Buttigieg, $3.8 trillion from Warren, $4 trillion from Sanders and $4.3 trillion from Harris. That would double what the entire federal government spends now.

Senator Harris “wins” the free stuff contest.

Taxpayers lose.

Published:7/31/2019 1:53:53 PM
[US News] Joe Biden goes after Medicare for All, gets an assist from Paul Krugman

In a preview of what’s to come at tonight’s debate, 2020 Dem frontrunner went directly at Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and Cory Booker for their support of Medicare for all as a replacement for Obamacare: Let's clear up the confusion about Medicare for All. We have the facts: ?Costs 30x more than @JoeBiden’s […]

The post Joe Biden goes after Medicare for All, gets an assist from Paul Krugman appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:7/31/2019 10:50:26 AM
[Volokh Conspiracy] [Eugene Volokh] Welcome to Our New Coblogger, Josh Blackman I'm delighted to report that Prof. Josh Blackman of the South Texas College of Law will be joining our blog. Josh teaches, writes, and litigates about constitutional law; he has been extensively involved in debates about Obamacare, the Emoluments Clause, 3D-printed guns, DAPA, the proposed ABA speech code for lawyers (Rule 8.4(g)), and much more. He has written many law review articles and four books, two of them with our own Randy Barnett: Constitutional Law: Cases in Context (3d ed.) and An Introduction to Constitutional Law: 100 Supreme Court Cases Everyone Should Know. He has also guest-blogged often with us here, as well as writing his own blog, JoshBlackman.com, so many of you may know him from that. We very much look forward to having him with us! Published:7/21/2019 10:41:41 PM
[Politics] Federal judge gives Trump a VICTORY over Obamacare A federal judge has upheld an order by Trump from last year that allow insurers to sell non-Obamacare-compliant healthcare plans to healthy people for a cheaper rate: BLOOMBERG – The Trump administration . . . Published:7/19/2019 10:29:23 PM
[Politics] Federal judge gives Trump a VICTORY over Obamacare A federal judge has upheld an order by Trump from last year that allow insurers to sell non-Obamacare-compliant healthcare plans to healthy people for a cheaper rate: BLOOMBERG – The Trump administration . . . Published:7/19/2019 10:29:23 PM
[The Blog] Biden ad: I’m for keeping ObamaCare — and I’m surprised that so many of my Dem rivals aren’t

"I believe we have to protect and build on ObamaCare."

The post Biden ad: I’m for keeping ObamaCare — and I’m surprised that so many of my Dem rivals aren’t appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:7/15/2019 11:05:12 AM
[Politics] Biden Surprised So Many Democrats Want to Get Rid of Obamacare

Former vice president Joe Biden released his campaign's healthcare plan Monday morning in a short video in which Biden criticized some of his presidential primary contenders who want to get rid of Obamacare and private insurance entirely. 

The post Biden Surprised So Many Democrats Want to Get Rid of Obamacare appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:7/15/2019 10:31:26 AM
[Health Care] A Conservative Vision for Health Care

Top Democrats have moved way beyond Obamacare and are now pushing Medicare for All—a single-payer, government-run program. Surveys show that Americans like the sound of... Read More

The post A Conservative Vision for Health Care appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:7/12/2019 2:10:22 AM
[ObamaCare] Federal Appeals Court About to Rule Obamacare Unconstitutional

The following article, Federal Appeals Court About to Rule Obamacare Unconstitutional, was first published on Godfather Politics.

A federal appeals court seems to be on the verge of ruling that Obamacare is unconstitutional, court watchers say.

Continue reading: Federal Appeals Court About to Rule Obamacare Unconstitutional ...

Published:7/11/2019 10:15:25 AM
[Markets] Frustrated Judges Slam "Complicated" Obamacare Mess

When John McCain stymied a Republican-controlled Congress from gutting Obamacare back in the summer of 2017, he infuriated President Trump and sent pundit tongues wagging about how Republicans might never manage to kill the law.

Two years later, the Trump Administration is backing 19 Republican-controlled states, including Texas, in a lawsuit that they hope will eventually prompt the Supreme Court to invalidate the entire law - something it declined to do back in 2012, when Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the court's liberals to preserve the law.

Medical

But first, the complicated legal mess must wind its way through the appeals courts, where a panel of judges is apparently having a hard time untangling the Trump administration's position, which is constantly in flux. As Bloomberg reports...

While the red states and the Trump administration are technically adversaries in this challenge, their lawyers sat at the same table during the hearing and told the judges they both think Obamacare is unlawful. However, Hawkins took pains to highlight inconsistencies that have developed in the Trump administration’s position, which left Flentje, the Justice Department lawyer, occasionally struggling to explain himself.

When the challenge was in the lower court, the Justice Department said it didn’t need a specific judicial order halting the ACA because the federal government would treat the judge’s decision as a nationwide injunction. Later, the Trump administration shifted gears and said it will keep enforcing Obamacare until a court orders it to stop. And last week, the administration shifted positions again to insist that lower-judge’s order only blocks Obamacare in states that sued to overturn it.

At a hearing this week before a panel of appeals-court judges, a DoJ lawyer effectively begged the court to resolve the issue, much like the Supreme Court did when it legalized gay marriage nation-wide.

Several times, Flentje seemed to almost beg the judges to resolve the impasse between the White House and Congress, as the Supreme Court did when Obama refused to defend the federal law denying recognition to same-sex marriages.

"The courts then said this was a reasonable way to let the judicial branch have the final say," Flentje sai. "The Supreme Court discussed this conundrum and said it’s a reasonable way, especially when we have a complicated statute that covers a lot of ground."

A gang of attorneys appeared before the panel during the hearing, including a lawyer representing the White House, a lawyer representing Congress, and a hodge podge of attorneys representing the red states (who are challenging the law) and the blue states (who are defending it).

But the judges at times sounded confused about the administration's position to invalidate the law in states that are challenging the federal legislation, but let it stand in the blue states that want it.

"Why does Congress want the judiciary to be a taxidermist for every big-game legislative accomplishment it achieves?" the rookie on the panel, Kurt Engelhardt, an appointee of President Donald Trump, asked the lawyer representing the U.S. House of Representatives during a lively hearing in New Orleans.

Another judge didn’t understand how the federal government thinks it can administer a law it believes is completely unconstitutional in just parts of the country.

"You want to strike it down, only in certain states, in its entirety?" U.S. Circuit Judge Jennifer Elrod, appointed by President George W. Bush, asked a lawyer for the Justice Department.

"A lot of this stuff has to be sorted out, and it’s complicated," replied the attorney, August Flentje, as he shifted uncomfortably. "We haven’t gone down that road yet."

Whatever happens, most expect the Supreme Court to have the final say. And with President Trump's appointment of two very conservative judges (Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch), it's likely that the court might be more predisposed to issue a bold ruling that invalidates the law in its entirety, potentially ending health coverage for 20 million people just as the 2020 campaign is heating up.

Published:7/10/2019 5:19:25 AM
[a720c00c-2923-56ed-b974-89b360bb37fd] Ken Paxton: It's time to bury ObamaCare once and for all and deliver REAL health care reform Obamacare may be the best thing that Washington bureaucrats could hope for, but it's time the courts return control over healthcare to the states. Published:7/9/2019 11:43:57 AM
[Volokh Conspiracy] [Randy Barnett] Are Con Law Professors Wrong Again About the Individual Mandate? [The state AG's current challenge to Obamacare is stronger than they say] In late 2009, as Congress debated the Affordable... Published:7/5/2019 10:15:54 AM
[Markets] Obama DHS Chief Says 2020 Democrats Have "Unworkable" And "Unwise" Immigration Positions

Democratic presidential candidates have "unworkable" and "unwise" immigration policies, according to Obama administration Homeland Security chief Jeh Johnson.

"That is tantamount to declaring publicly that we have open borders," Johnson told the Washington Post on Tuesday, referring to a push to decriminalize illegal immigration. "That is unworkable, unwise and does not have the support of a majority of American people or the Congress, and if we had such a policy, instead of 100,000 apprehensions a month, it will be multiples of that."

Johnson's comments follow sharp criticism of the 2020 Democratic contenders, who all raised their hands during the second night of debates when asked if illegal immigrants should receive taxpayer-funded health insurance (let's not forget that Obamacare penalized American citizens who weren't covered). 

On Tuesday, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) said he would “virtually eliminate immigration detention” by executive order. During last week’s debate, presidential candidate Julián Castro proposed decriminalizing illegal border crossings — a position other Democrats in the race rapidly adopted. -Washington Post

Meanwhile, Johnson on Friday pointed out that the "cages" housing detained migrants weren't built by President Trump, noting "Chain link barriers, partitions, fences, cages, whatever you want to call them, were not invented on January 20, 2017, OK?" 

Jeh Johnson touring detention facility during Obama administration

"But during that 72 hour period, when you have something that is a multiple, like four times of what you’re accustomed to in the existing infrastructure, you’ve got to find places quickly to put kids. You cant just dump 7-year-old kids on the streets of McAllen or El Paso. And so these facilities were erected …they put those chain link partitions up so you could segregate young women from young men, kids from adults, until they were either released or transferred to HHS." (via Daily Caller). 

 

Published:7/4/2019 3:10:28 PM
[Politics] GOP Lawmakers Ask HHS to Eliminate Abortion Charges

More than 120 members of Congress are asking the Department of Health and Human Services to finalize a new rule that would prevent Obamacare providers from hiding surcharges for elective abortions covered by government health plans. 

The post GOP Lawmakers Ask HHS to Eliminate Abortion Charges appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:7/3/2019 4:09:38 PM
[In the Courts] Red States Request Delay In Big Obamacare Case

By Evie Fordham -

A coalition of red states led by Texas requested Monday that they receive 20 extra days to file a supplemental brief and a delay of opening arguments in a case they hope will overturn Obamacare in front of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. “As of today, it appears ...

Red States Request Delay In Big Obamacare Case is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust - Conservative News Website for U.S. News, Political Cartoons and more.

Published:7/2/2019 12:59:13 PM
[Opinion] Medicare For All = Obamacare Redux

By Jim Clayton -

Its’ gonna be a big heart Breaker/ Grandma needs a new pacemaker/ And the doctor says I realize she’s ill/ But there’s been some legislation on all our medications/And All I can do is put her on a pain pill.—-Singer, songwriter and satirist, Ray Stevens on his song about Obamacare. ...

Medicare For All = Obamacare Redux is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust - Conservative News Website for U.S. News, Political Cartoons and more.

Published:7/2/2019 7:30:47 AM
[49881f15-c12e-5247-ae3e-315b38f23118] Curt Levey: Supreme Court: On census, Roberts disappoints conservatives (again). Is he new Justice Kennedy? In a repeat performance of his infamous 2012 decision rescuing ObamaCare, Chief Justice John Roberts acutely disappointed conservatives Thursday. Published:6/28/2019 12:42:25 PM
[Markets] "2020 Race Is Over" Post-Mortem Of Second Dem Debate: Kamala Crushes Bernie & Biden

President Trump commented on the second Democratic Party primary debate as his meeting began with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the Group of 20 summit in Japan:

"They definitely have plenty of candidates, that's about it," Trump said of the debate while seated next to Merkel.

"I look forward to spending time with you, rather than watching."

The previous night's debate, he added, "wasn't very exciting."

Trump also tweeted about the Democratic health care pledge to undocumented immigrants.

"How about taking care of American Citizens first!?" he tweeted.

"That’s the end of that race!"

And if the extremist perspectives of the primary continue that may well be true.

As Liberty Nation's Graham Noble details, the second night of debate was more feisty, more confrontational, and even more radical.

Night two of the first Democratic Party primary debate, featuring most of the heavy-hitters among the 25-strong field of candidates, promised to be less mundane than the first night. The event lived up to that promise, and most of the ten candidates seemed more feisty than their colleagues who debated on night one. The Democrats may be fatally flawed in their search for a candidate who can defeat President Donald Trump in 2020, though. That flaw is the fundamental misunderstanding of what America is all about.

There was far more confrontation, this time, between the candidates and whereas on the first night President Donald Trump was hardly mentioned, several of the second-night candidates launched hysterical and exaggerated attacks upon the man they aspire to replace.

The Pressure Of Competition

It may have been the lineup itself that spurred a more fierce and passionate exchange: Sens. Kamala Harris and Bernie Sanders, former Vice President Joe Biden and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg are all considered leading contenders for the Democratic nomination, and so the pressure was on for each of them to stand out.

For those other candidates who may be considered less likely to make the stage at the 2020 Democratic Party convention, the opportunity to hold their own against the front-runners was too good to pass up.

The Common Theme Of Socialized Healthcare

Following the same format as the previous night’s debate, the first half-hour was devoted to the issue of healthcare. The candidates touted variations of the same policy goal, which is to take the nation into a government-run, single-payer system. Sanders and Harris were the only two candidates who signaled their intention to completely do away with private health insurance.

It is worth noting that, even in European countries operating variations of socialized healthcare systems, private insurance is still an option. Removing even the possibility of a private option is an extreme position even when viewed through a global perspective.

Sanders claimed that, under his system, Americans would be able to choose their doctor and choose which hospital they visit, but the nation has heard that before. In a single-payer system with no private option, this is quite simply a false promise. Interestingly, every candidate pledged that their respective healthcare policies would include coverage for illegal aliens.

As with the first round of this debate, the discussion spanned gun violence, immigration, climate change, and foreign policy. As with the first round, there were all kinds of vague promises to quickly solve all these problems – often “on day one” of the new president’s term. One wonders how these issues have not been long ago resolved if they were all so simple to deal with.

Winners And Losers

Sen. Harris will almost certainly be considered the biggest winner of the night.

[ZH: Certainly judging once again based on Google Search interest, Harris was the clear winner]

Her first opportunity to speak came as several candidates were already talking over each other. When finally the moderators calmed the crosstalk, Harris said “Guys, you know what? America does not want to witness a food fight; they want to know how we’re going to put food on the table.” It was a good line and Harris continued to make an impression – at one point, directly confronting Biden over his recent comments about working with segregationists in the Senate.

Joe Biden

For his part, Biden leaned heavily on his political resume. He began almost every one of his answers to moderators’ question by pointing out that “I’m the only guy” to get this or that done. He also asserted that he would not support any attempt to get rid of Obamacare.

The former VP is currently well ahead in the polls, and he got plenty of speaking time, though he did not put on a stellar performance. His campaign strategy is clear: Portraying himself as the most experienced candidate and trying to outdo his competitors in attacking the president. It is hard to escape the feeling, however, that the party’s base may be more attracted to younger blood and fresher ideas.

Mayor Buttigieg spoke well and held his own but was not remarkable. He did himself no harm in the debate, though, and is likely to remain competitive in the race for the nomination, even though he brings nothing unique to the contest. His plan, like all the others, is to give out free stuff and hope that, somehow, he can tax the wealthy and the corporations in perpetuity to pay for it all.

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) did little to boost his campaign and he was not alone in failing to leave an impression. Sen. Gillibrand (D-NY) chimed in frequently and constantly went over her allotted time. It was clear she desperately needed the attention and who can blame her for not seizing the opportunity? Like Swalwell, however, she failed to leave her mark.

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders appeared to be fading; his performance in the debate may well give his campaign a new lease on life. The Vermont senator is always the angry, socialist revolutionary, though, who is entirely incapable of speaking to people – instead, he lectures and, although his strident tone may appeal to many young, uninformed idealists, it will not win over a large enough number of Americans to secure him a victory against Trump. He always sounds like the grumpy old man yelling at kids to get off his lawn and constantly telling everyone how terrible things are when, in fact, they are really not that terrible is not a winning strategy.

[ZH: CNN's Brian Stetler summed things up well: "Former NBC exec and debate producer @DeanLuk summed up Thursday's debate in 14 words: "Eric Swalwell asked Joe Biden to pass the torch. Kamala Harris just took it." "]

The Outsiders

Two people on the stage shared the distinction of not being politicians, though they are not at all similar and their respective fortunes in this race will likely be very different. Entrepreneur and philanthropist Andrew Yang has a unique and fairly non-partisan approach to domestic and economic policy. He acquitted himself well in the debate, clearly demonstrating that he has a better head for figures than any other candidate. The question for Yang, though, is whether he can capture the imagination of the party’s primary voters. Given the competition, his chances are slim.

Author Marianne Williamson was given very little opportunity to speak and appeared to have no specific policy ideas, though she did make what was, perhaps, the most perceptive observation of the night. Having listened to the various, vague plans presented to solve all the nation’s ills – real or perceived – Williamson said: “[Trump] didn’t win because he had a plan, he won by simply saying “Make America great again.”

Flawed Thinking And Lack Of Vision

Therein lies the flaw in Democrat thinking: Single-issue candidates and policy wonks do not win presidential elections. The victorious candidate is the man or woman with the biggest and broadest ideas and the most optimistic vision. Reagan, Obama, and Trump are all good examples. Going back further into American political history, Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy were other examples.

Every one of these Democratic candidates is promising a vision of a vast central government administering almost every aspect of American life. They are gambling on persuading the nation that government alone can make life better and that, somehow, only the government is able to create cost-effective and efficient solutions. They are promoting a massive, administrative state when, at no point in history, has such system produced efficiency, economic prosperity, more freedom, and less corruption.

When all is said and done, the Democratic message to the American people is: “Your life sucks and your country is awful, so get your revenge by giving us all the power.” Moreover, Americans traditionally do not get enthusiastic about the idea of the government telling them it knows better than they do how to run their lives.

Even worse for the Democratic Party is that none of these candidates, save one, has the kind of sweeping vision that captures the imagination of the public. For all their proposed solutions and “free” government services, they are not big thinkers. Sanders alone has a big, radical, transformative vision but his would lead, ultimately, to a Soviet-style government and there are still too many voting Americans who are old enough to remember the horrors that regime.

Published:6/28/2019 5:37:39 AM
[Politics] Joe Biden opens up about death of first wife, daughter during debate Joe Biden recalled the 1972 car crash that tragically killed his first wife and one-year-old daughter while speaking at Thursday’s Democratic primary debate. The former vice president was asked about improvements in Obamacare during the debate in Miami when he responded that the question was “very personal to me.” A few weeks after Biden won... Published:6/27/2019 10:03:57 PM
[Politics] Cancer Survivor Hails Trump for ‘Right to Try’ Experimental Drug Law

President Donald Trump on Wednesday promised to roll out soon a health care proposal that “blows away” Obamacare, while receiving credit for another health care... Read More

The post Cancer Survivor Hails Trump for ‘Right to Try’ Experimental Drug Law appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:6/26/2019 9:32:03 PM
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