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Archive of Articles in the "Health Care" Category

Fifth Debate Roundup

[ Posted Thursday, November 21st, 2019 – 19:51 UTC ]

I'm veering away from the impeachment hearings today to write up my reactions to last night's fifth Democratic presidential debate. This morning's testimony was pretty powerful, and Adam Schiff's closing statement was one for the history books, but it'll all have to wait until tomorrow.

The Democratic field now has 18 people in it, as Wayne Messam formally dropped out but Michael Bloomberg formally took his place. Other than Bloomberg, the candidates who are still running but who didn't appear last night are: Deval Patrick, Michael Bennet, Steve Bullock, Julián Castro, John Delaney, Joe Sestak, and Marianne Williamson. The ones who did appear on last night's debate stage: Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Tulsi Gabbard, Andrew Yang, and Tom Steyer. Hopefully, by the next debate, that entire list will have shrunk a bit more, but these days you never know -- maybe it'll even get bigger!

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Three Big Developments In The Democratic Primary Race

[ Posted Monday, November 18th, 2019 – 18:13 UTC ]

In the midst of all the impeachment-mania, there have been several recent interesting developments in the Democratic presidential primary race in the past few days. We've now got one-and-a-half more candidates in the race, a major candidate either backed off (as her detractors would have it) or clarified (as her supporters will tell you) one of her main policy positions, and a poll out of Iowa has shaken up the frontrunner status in that state. So let's dig into all of these developments in an effort to see where the race stands, two days before the next nationally-televised debate.

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Flipping The 'Burbs

[ Posted Wednesday, November 6th, 2019 – 17:53 UTC ]

That headline is quite obviously a pun on the phrase "flipping the bird," I will fully admit. But more on bird-flipping in a moment, though. Instead, let's begin with what inspired the pun in the first place: last night's off-off-year election results. The results for the 2019 election cycle are now (mostly) in, and what they show is that the big blue wave which arose in 2018 shows no signs of ebbing. Democrats not only won the governor's race in a state that Donald Trump won by 30 points back in 2016, but they also achieved the "trifecta" in Virginia, flipping both houses of the legislature in a single election (they already held the governor's office, completing the trifecta of one-party control). But the biggest news is how they achieved such gains, and the answer is -- as it also was one year ago -- that they flipped the suburbs that Republicans used to routinely count on as strongholds.

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Watching Virginia's Returns

[ Posted Tuesday, November 5th, 2019 – 17:53 UTC ]

Tonight, I will be watching the election returns from Virginia come in. There are other races happening today that the national pundits will be watching more closely (namely, the governors' races in Kentucky and Mississippi), but while they may provide some exciting news for Democrats, the outcome in Virginia is more interesting to me. Democrats winning a governor's race in a deep red state is certainly newsworthy, but in terms of long-term political shifts, Virginia is the one to watch.

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It's Actually A Four-Person Race At Best, Mayor Pete

[ Posted Monday, November 4th, 2019 – 18:22 UTC ]

Once again we're going to take another deep dive into the polling for the Democratic presidential field. We were inspired to do so because this weekend we passed a milestone -- we are now less than a full year away from the 2020 general election. And we're only about three months away from when the first voters get to have their say on the frozen tundra of the Iowa plains.

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Friday Talking Points -- Infair To Rupublicans!

[ Posted Friday, November 1st, 2019 – 18:02 UTC ]

Does President Trump's phone even have a spell-checker? One has to wonder, when he tweets so many idiotic misspellings on such a regular basis. This week's gem came directly after the House voted on impeachment inquiry procedures, which Trump wasn't exactly happy about:

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Friday Talking Points -- Collective Republican Amnesia

[ Posted Friday, October 25th, 2019 – 18:18 UTC ]

Remember when Republicans were the party that stood squarely for law and order? Or for that matter, remember when they used to be the party of fiscal responsibility, chock full of deficit hawks? Yeah, those were the days....

This week it was announced the annual deficit scraped the trillion-dollar ceiling last year -- figures not seen since the depths of the Great Recession. Republicans' reaction to this news? Sounds of crickets chirping. In the same week, Republicans "stormed" a secure facility, illegally carrying in and using their cell phones, in an attempt to intimidate both the committees conducting an impeachment inquiry and the witness scheduled to appear. Republicans also had to twist their pretzel logic a few more turns to explain why their previous go-to response ("There was no quid pro quo") is now, as Richard Nixon would have said, "no longer operative." Meanwhile, President Trump played the victim card once again, saying the constitutionally-sanctioned impeachment process was nothing short of a "lynching," in addition to referring to a clause in the Constitution as "phony." Trump also took the time this week to hold his very own "Mission Accomplished" moment, announcing that Syria was now a wonderful paradise, and that everyone should thank him personally for this splendiferous outcome. Nobel committee, please take note.

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Two More Medicare For All Arguments

[ Posted Monday, October 21st, 2019 – 16:44 UTC ]

I read today an excellent article in Salon which took on the utter shallowness of the current frenzy of making Elizabeth Warren admit she's going to have to raise taxes to pay for Medicare For All. This article impressively paints the bigger picture and offers up several soundbites that I wish we had heard from both Warren and Bernie Sanders in last week's debate. Warren and Sanders are the ones defending Medicare For All, but so far they have struggled to do so in a way which directly answers some of the inane criticism not only from the pundits but also from several centrist Democratic presidential candidates as well.

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New Rule: No Repeat Debate Questions

[ Posted Wednesday, October 16th, 2019 – 16:29 UTC ]

I have a proposal for a new rule for the Democratic presidential debate moderators, going forward: no repeat questions should be allowed. It's a pretty simple idea, really. The moderators would be barred from asking the candidates questions that have already been asked in previous debates. After all, there are plenty of other subjects that have yet to be talked about, so why should voters be subjected to these re-run debate segments, over and over again?

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My Snap Reactions To The Fourth Debate

[ Posted Wednesday, October 16th, 2019 – 00:37 UTC ]

As usual, what follows are my snap reactions to the fourth Democratic presidential debate, held earlier on CNN. But this time I'm opting for a somewhat simpler format. I'm only giving personal reactions to five of the 12 candidates (which does include the three frontrunners). Then I'm going to give some reactions grouped loosely together, under categories such as "good argument / good delivery" or "amusing moments." We'll have to see whether this is a time-saver or not, in the end.

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