Sanders Calls for Nationalized Health Care
Riding on the crest of poll numbers showing a surge for his presidential bid, Sen. Bernie Sanders (S-Vt) upped the ante vs. rival former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by calling for a nationalization of health care.
"Obamacare is a confusing mess of broken promises," Sanders asserted. "We need to replace it with a fully socialized system where all medical payments and decisions are made by the federal government."
Under Sanders' proposal everyone would be covered with a zero deductible and zero co-pay plan. "No one should have to skimp on medical treatment merely because they'd have to pay out of pocket for visiting a doctor," Sanders said. "That decision should be based purely on health considerations."
The savings in avoiding health insurance premiums now hitting those under Obamacare would be offset by a 30% boost in federal tax rates—about $1.38 trillion per year. Whether that would be enough to cover the likely increase in demand for services with a zero out-of-pocket price to consumers seems doubtful.
To keep government costs from spiraling out of control, though, Sanders' plan calls for a government board to make determinations on which treatments are necessary and effective. "The notion that each individual doctor or patient can be permitted to decide how much treatment is needed has to be replaced by a more socially responsible metric, as it has under the United Kingdom's National Health Service," Sanders argued.
"Access to government-approved therapies will be free-of-charge to the patient," Sanders explained. "Wasteful, ineffective, and unapproved therapies will be outlawed. The current practice of letting those who can afford it the privilege of purchasing treatments outside of the nationalized system will be eliminated. No one has the right to waste society's collective resources on idiosyncratic medical theories. All will be allocated the modicum of health care that government experts determine is optimal for the whole."
Clinton labeled Sanders' plan "pie-in-the-sky socialism of the worst sort. While we agree that the anarchistic idea that individuals can be entrusted with decisions about how much to budget for their own health care, does anyone truly believe that a committee of government bureaucrats could efficiently and effectively determine a one-size-fits-all plan? Such authority should rest with medical community experts—the insurers and drug manufacturers—who have decades of experience in managing health care."
Muslim Refugee Rampages and European Mental Confusion Continue
In France, Muslim migrants burned down the refugee shelters that the French government spent 20 million euros to build for them. The humanitarian gesture of providing migrants with proper beds, showers, electricity and heating was spurned by ungrateful refugees as "far below the accommodations kafirs are obliged to provide us," according to an immigrant from Africa. "The so-called housing is dormitories. We demand private apartments with big-screen TVs, wifi, and all the normal standards enjoyed by the dhimmis."
In Saxony, Germany, Muslim immigrants showed their dissatisfaction with government efforts to accommodate them by masturbating into a jacuzzi and defecating into a swimming pool. This is in addition to the sexual harassment that is becoming a routine part of the immigration experience for German females. In Munich, a pair of young girls were groped at a local pool by a gang of Syrian and Afghan asylum seekers. The offenders were released by police because, according to the Merkel government "it is not our prerogative to impose European cultural standards on our Muslim guests."
Meanwhile, Sweden, which has seen its share of crude and threatening behavior from its contingent of Muslim immigrants, has called for an investigation of Israelis' killing of knife-wielding assassins for what Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom characterized as "extrajudicial executions. Just because someone tries to stab you doesn't give you the right to shoot them." Wallstrom brushed off the Israeli self-defense argument saying, "since when do two wrongs make a right?"
National Review Booted from Debate for Anti-Trump Editorial
The Republican National Committee has uninvited the editors of National Review from participating in the GOP presidential candidate debate scheduled for February 25 in Houston, citing the magazine's stance against Donald Trump as "disqualifying bias," RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said. "It is my responsibility to protect all of our candidates from the baleful effects of media bias."
The Chairman attempted to distinguish NR's "bias" from that of the liberal media personalities who regularly moderate GOP debates. "While everyone knows that media moderators are biased against Republicans, the bias is not explicitly overt," Priebus pointed out. "The sneers, the loaded questions, the badgering of our candidates may evince a subtle antagonism toward our Party. However, by stopping short of outright vocalization of opposition a facade of impartiality is still maintained."
"The National Review editors, though, have come right out and accused Donald Trump of not being a conservative," Priebus said. "Whether the accusation is true or not, it is an argument for GOP voters to not support him in the upcoming primaries. That is simply unfair."
Priebus also reminded everyone that "Trump has been the chief reason why the GOP debates have been such a big draw. If we were to permit National Review to get away with opposing him he might boycott further debates, or worse, sue the Republican Party. I mean, Trump is threatening to sue the Washington Post for daring to report on his role in the bankruptcy of his casino in 1991. The risk of alienating him is very palpable."
In related news, Secret Service agents protecting Trump demanded that Mounds, Oklahoma Police Chief Tim McDaniel leave a rally because he was carrying his duty weapon. SS spokesman Andy Pretorian explained that "our sole concern is the safety of the candidate. No weapons other than what we are carrying are allowed. There can be no exceptions for so-called self-defense. All other persons attending a campaign event must do so at their own risk."
GOP Establishment Warms to Trump
GOP presidential front runner Donald Trump boasted to rally attendees in Las Vegas' South Point Resort and Casino that "the Republican establishment is coming over to our side. They hate Ted Cruz so much that they're throwing their support to me."
While there hasn't yet been an explicit endorsement from key establishment figures, Trump maintained that "it seems pretty clear that Sen. Dole and Sen. McConnell prefer me to Cruz. They recognize that I'm the guy who can reach across the aisle and make a deal with Pelosi (D-Calif) and Reid (D-Nev). Cruz has been the guy blocking consensus between Republicans and Democrats for the last four years. He says he wants to shrink government, but that's the stance of a loser. We have the opportunity to grab the reins and use the power of government to restore order, to direct resources toward the right investments, to make America great again."
Former Sen. Bob Dole, the GOP's 1996 nominee for president, castigated Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz as "an unlikable guy. I get the sense that he cares more about conservatism than governing. Trump, on the other hand, has the right personality to wheel-and-deal in Washington. He understands the way things get done. He won't get hung up on some obscure Constitutional principle. He will 'horse trade' and 'twist arms' the way it's always been done."
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell averred that "if the choice is between Cruz and Trump I'd have to say Trump is more likely to be in sync with how we do business in DC. He isn't out to hamstring the government like Cruz is. He will give a little to get a little. I think those who rely on funds from the government have nothing to fear from Trump."
In related news, Trump denied that the billions in loans he has received from big banks would influence him the way in which much smaller amounts lent to Cruz that Trump says amount to the banks "owning Cruz." "Cruz will be bound by the idea that he has to pay back those loans," Trump contended. "The banks know that I will not be bound in the same fashion. One way or another I will figure out how to get out from under any obligation. In contrast to every other candidate, I am free from outside influence. I will do whatever I think is necessary as president without worrying about who I owe what. It's called 'winning.' My $10 billion personal fortune shows I know how to get the better of any deal I make."
Prof Debunks Idea that Right-Wingers a Bigger Threat
Professor Andrew Holt of Florida State College at Jacksonville has challenged the Obama Administration's contention that right-wing extremists pose a greater threat than Islamic terrorists. "If we look at all the casualties resulting from terrorist attacks over the last 15 years, the number of people killed by jihadis outnumber those killed by right-wingers by more than 60 to one," Holt said.
Department of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson brushed off the professor's analysis as "a simplistic body count. Merely adding up the number killed assumes an unwarranted equivalence among those affected. All the victims of Islamic terrorists in the United States were 'soft targets' comprised of relatively unimportant private citizens. In contrast, right-wing extremists are focused on government officials. Even if they don't actually kill them, right-wing agitation that could lead to voters opposing the government pose a much larger existential threat to what we're trying to accomplish."
By way of example, Johnson cited "the tolerable toll of the thousands of US troops that died on the D-Day invasion of Normandy to the incalculably greater catastrophe that would have resulted if right-wingers had prevailed in the 1944 election. Replacing Roosevelt with Dewey would have been a disaster of major magnitude. So, we make no apology for accepting the losses inflicted by jihadis as a reasonable price to pay for focusing our efforts on preventing the overthrow of the Obama Administration by the Romney insurgency in 2012."
In related news, Attorney General Loretta Lynch says she may have to defy a court order to hand over documents to a congressional committee investigating the Fast and Furious gun-walking scandal. "The 30,000 Mexicans estimated to have been killed by these weapons is not a serious threat to our government," Lynch maintained. "Unwarranted prying into the confidential activities of the Administration is. My duty to protect the President from this threat takes priority over my legal obligation to obey a court's order."
UN to Consider Emergency Aid to Islamic State
A report that the Islamic State has been forced to cut the pay of its fighters in Iraq and Syria has sparked interest in a possible aid package for the beleaguered infant state.
"It's a simple matter of fairness," UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon observed. "With both Russia and the United States taking military action against them the Islamic State is in deadly peril. Maintaining the necessary fanaticism for those it sends into battle absent adequate financial rewards may be too big of obstacle for them to overcome. It may be appropriate for us to provide some funding to help level the playing field."