Warren's Free Health Care for All Plan Costs $52 Trillion
This week, Democratic presidential contender Sen. Elizabeth Warren unveiled her much-touted "free health care for all" plan. The estimated ten-year cost of $52 trillion will be entirely borne by the "rich."
"The middle class—those living on public assistance, unemployment benefits, or working in the informal economy—will receive care at no cost to themselves," Warren boasted. "The rich—those who own businesses that withhold necessities from the masses unless they are paid for supplying them and their employees will be compelled to bear the burden of universal health care."
Rival presidential contender former Vice-President Joe Biden accused Warren of "mathematical gymnastics. Clearly, the vast majority of those she is calling 'rich' are the working stiffs who are the backbone of the middle class. As she would have it, anyone who receives a salary or a wage will be hit with higher taxes to supply the expansive medical care she is proposing."
The Senator welcomed Biden's objections, saying "granted, my plan is projected to cost two million employees their jobs—knocking them out of the ranks of the rich and into the middle class—but the upside is that they will be the beneficiaries of the more complete health care coverage I am mandating. Joe's objection is further proof that he is out-of-step with the modern Democratic Party. He doesn't understand that it is the capitalistic system that forces people to have to work in order to live. Socialism will liberate everyone from this servitude by guaranteeing everyone the necessities of life without imposing the burdens of toil. I am the candidate that is best prepared to usher in the new era of total lifetime security and leisure that will be possible once we bring down the capitalist exploiters."
Pelosi Praises Patriotism of Deep State
With the House finally endorsing the impeachment process being spearheaded by Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif), Speaker Nancy Pelosi took a moment "to give credit to the members of the deep state that made this possible. The willingness of men like James Comey, John Brennan, Peter Strzok, and others to go outside the bounds of strict obedience to the law despite the peril to their reputations, must not be overlooked or taken for granted. Their hyping of the Steele Dossier and surveillance of the Trump campaign nearly turned the 2016 election in Hillary's favor."
"Though that effort was thwarted by ill-informed voters in strategically positioned states, they didn't give up," she continued. "Before Trump was inaugurated they implemented plan B to undermine his ability to carry out his agenda. The covert surveillance of Trump and his supporters was extended. A Special Prosecutor was appointed to provide nearly two years worth of leaks alleging wrongdoing that fed a relentless media campaign against the illegitimate president. After that effort failed to oust Trump, plan C was launched as a CIA mole within the Trump Administration worked with Rep. Schiff to assail Trump's authority to investigate foreign involvement with the deep state's pre-election anti-Trump activities."
"The persistence of these heroic men should be commended," Pelosi urged. "Though not explicitly provided for in our Constitution, the deep state has organically evolved over the years to protect the nation from mistakes made by voters and to ensure that the permanent interests of the government would not be disrupted by unwarranted changes in administrations. The complaints from Trump and his backers should not be allowed to tarnish the work of these patriots. If it weren't for them we'd have no viable way of getting rid of a man who never should have been elected president."
In related news, Pelosi defended the impeachment procedures requiring Republicans to get Schiff's permission to ask certain questions of the witnesses called to testify. "There is a great risk that Republicans will try to ask questions that are either irrelevant or antagonistic to the narrative being developed by the hearings," she pointed out. "Rather than allow them to trip up witnesses into contradicting themselves and muddle the message, we are authorizing Rep. Schiff to rule out anything he deems to be out-of-line with the purpose of our inquiry."
Omar Defends Vote on Armenian Genocide
In a rare instance of bipartisanship, the House voted 405-11 to condemn the extermination and expulsion of 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman Turks during World War I as a genocide. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn) voted "present."
Omar explained that "while there should be accountability for unwarranted human rights violations, weighing in on one side of a religious dispute would be improper. Armenians are Christians. Turks are Muslims. It is the religious obligation of Muslims to fight unbelievers and to slay them if they resist. Even the most cursory reading of the Quran conforms this obligation. I understand the Christians' aversion to being killed, but there was and is a simple solution—convert to Islam or pay the jizya, if that option is offered to them. To refuse to do either is a refusal to have peace. Congress has no business taking sides in this long struggle to make all the world for Allah."
California Governors Blame Republicans for Fires
Former Gov. Jerry Brown (D) says the fires now consuming large swaths of the state are the fault of Republicans. "Both myself and current Gov. Newsom have been striving to return California to the kind of ecological balance that prevailed before the white man invaded the area," Brown asserted. "It is the GOP's insistence on imposing modern technology that is the true cause of the conflagration. If it weren't for the massive amounts of electricity needed to power the unnatural lifestyles of the white man we wouldn't need the PG&E electric lines that are setting our forests on fire."
Prior to the Brown and Newsom regimes, PG&E was permitted to trim foliage near its power lines. This helped minimize the frequency of fires being started by branches falling onto the lines and breaking them. Now, there are more falling branches, more broken power lines, and more uncleared brush under the fallen lines ready to be ignited by sparks from the broken lines.
Most sensible people would recognize the chain of events leading to the fires. Most sensible people would support steps to mitigate the danger while still preserving access to electricity for California consumers and businesses. Yet, Newsom insists that "it is the refusal of these selfish consumers—all of whom are aided and abetted by Republicans—to adjust their modes of living to cut back on excess consumption that is responsible for the disaster that has befallen our state."
Contradicting the claims of Brown and Newsom is a comprehensive analysis done by California's Legislative Analyst Office last year. This analysis cited long standing failures of policy by the state. These failures included neglecting to properly thin out the forest overgrowth that fuels disastrous fires. They also included spending billions to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions by a tiny fraction of the world's annual emission of this gas.
In related news, Newsom blamed homeowners for the surge in homeless encampments in Los Angeles and San Francisco. "Most residents of California have an excess of living space," the Governor maintained. "Rooms that could house homeless people are set aside for such frivolous uses as separate bedrooms for each child, home offices, TV dens, or storage space. We need to look into legislation that will incentivize homeowners to take in boarders. Perhaps a property surtax for underutilized space could be folded into the state's tax code."
Late-Entry Dem Presidential Contender Endorses Reparations
In a bid for black votes, Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer came out strongly in favor of slavery reparations. "The 400 years of unfairness toward blacks must be offset with 400 years of favoritism toward the descendants of the victims of slavery and oppression."
Steyer acknowledged that "it may not be possible to sort out the whites who were responsible for the crimes against blacks from the whites who worked, fought, and died to end these crimes. Neither can we identify blacks who contributed to the crimes by capturing people in Africa to sell to slave traders or who were, themselves, owners of slaves. Another difficulty is determining which of today's blacks residing in America are descended from blacks who were slaves vs. blacks who were not—an example of which is Sen. Kamala Harris who is a descendant of slave owners."
"Nevertheless, even a rough justice that punishes some innocents while rewarding the descendants of some of the guilty is better than no justice," Steyer insisted. "We must not accept the Republican contention that each person must be judged as an individual and that specific proof of culpability must exist before compensation is extracted from that individual. This is the same kind of logic that would allow Trump to go free just because there is no tangible evidence of his guilt. It is a standard that is tied to out-dated concepts of individualism. We need to move beyond that if we hope to achieve the sort of social justice our consciences demand."
2% Budget Cut Rejected
Given the federal government's accumulated $23 trillion national debt and current year projected deficit of nearly a trillion dollars, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) introduced an appropriations amendment that would cut 2% from next year's planned federal spending in the departments of commerce, science, justice, transportation, housing, urban development, agriculture; and interior. The Senate rejected this proposal by a 67-24 margin.
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the top Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Committee, urged a vote against Paul's measure, saying that "taking a meat ax to the federal budget is contrary to what the American voters want. Every dollar requested by each of these federal agencies is vitally needed to ensure the smooth flow of money to our chosen recipients. Sen. Paul's contention that this money would be better spent by the individual taxpayers who earned it is an unproven assertion."
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) argued that "the 'fat' in these agencies' budgets is the payoff demanded by the Democrats for their votes to adequately fund our military. The risk of under-funded defense is a greater threat than the waste that will result from over-funding our bloated bureaucracies. I ask that all Republicans vote against Sen. Paul's amendment."