By Robert A. Vella
If you are one of those objective voters who truly want the very best presidential candidate to emerge from the Democratic Party to run against President Trump next year, then the third debate held last night in Houston wasn’t for you. Neither the overseeing DNC nor the news media moderators – ABC, in this case – have any desire to provide a level playing field for the candidates and to contextualize the debate in an informative manner. Rather, their intent is to promote another political horserace where “favorites” are preselected to lead a field around a predetermined track. Only ten candidates “qualified” to appear on stage for yesterday’s debate.
This isn’t democracy and it doesn’t serve the citizens’ interests. It’s also a major reason why so many Americans, especially younger people, are turned off by politics and believe that the game is rigged. I also blame the candidates themselves who willingly play along with the charade. Consider this revealing fact for a moment. Not a single primary election or caucus has been held yet, but mainstream journalists and the political punditry have already narrowed the field down to three contenders: Joe Biden – a status quo relic from the past who is ill-suited to appeal to populist sentiment, Elizabeth Warren – a passionate progressive who evades answering direct questions like a public relations official, and the elderly Bernie Sanders – another true progressive whose performances vary wildly from debate to debate and from speech to speech.
Make no mistake, any of them or the remaining seven candidates would be a vastly superior president than the destructive megalomaniac Donald Trump. However, I believe the nation deserves the best possible president; and, this process isn’t conducive to that goal. From my perspective, South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg has consistently been the most “presidential” of the candidates so far. He is sharp, knowledgeable, polished, very fair-minded, and brimming with youthful enthusiasm. He reminds me of JFK. He also doesn’t appear to have a chance of winning.
Here’s a new report regarding the debate’s top issue, plus today’s other news:
The U.S. spends more money than any other country on health care, yet life expectancy is shorter, obesity is higher, and the rate of maternal and infant death is higher as well.
Researchers at Harvard University analyzed data from international organizations on types of spending and performance outcomes between the U.S. and other high-income countries: Canada, Germany, Australia, Japan, Sweden, France, Denmark, The Netherlands and Switzerland.
In the U.S. people spend, per person, nearly double the on pharmaceutical drugs — $1,443 — compared to the average of other countries, $749.
In 2016, while only about 90 percent of the population had health care coverage, the U.S. spent about 18 percent of its GDP on health care. Other countries spent much less of their GDP on health care, ranging from 9 percent in Australia to 12 percent in Switzerland — while they had more than 99 percent of the populations with health care coverage.
Two-thirds of the difference in health care costs between the U.S. and other countries were rolled up into medication costs, expensive tests and procedures and administrative costs.
… despite Germany having almost twice as many doctors as in the United States — 4.1 doctors per 1,000 people, versus 2.6 in the U.S. — the amount spent on their salaries is essentially the same.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – A U.S. federal appeals court on Friday revived a lawsuit claiming President Donald Trump violated the U.S. Constitution by profiting from foreign and domestic officials who patronized his hotels and restaurants, adding to the corruption claims against Trump.
The New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals set aside a lower court ruling that had thrown out the case because the people who sued could not prove they were harmed by Trump’s actions and his role as president.
The lawsuit, initially filed by plaintiffs including the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, accused the Republican president of failing to disentangle himself from his hotels and other businesses, making him vulnerable to inducements by officials seeking to curry favor.
As Texas continues to enact laws making it harder for women to obtain abortions — and impossible for towns and cities to provide funding for abortion care — a liberal stronghold city is sidestepping these restrictions to make the procedure more accessible.
The city of Austin voted this week to earmark $150,000 in next year’s budget for “logistical and supportive services for abortion access,” CNN reported. The money will be used to help poor women to overcome barriers to abortion care like transportation and lodging costs, child care and other services. City funds won’t actually pay for the procedure itself.
A Michigan police officer has been fired from the Muskegon Police Department following an inquiry into racist memorabilia found in his home that was for sale.
Officer Charles Anderson was terminated after a disciplinary hearing concluded Thursday afternoon, Muskegon City Manager Frank Peterson told NBC News.
The Muskegon County prosecutor’s office earlier told MLive that it will wait for the results of the police department’s inquiry before it decides whether to reevaluate a 2009 incident in which Anderson fatally shot a 23-year-old unarmed black man. Anderson was cleared in late 2009 of any wrongdoing in the fatal shooting of Julius Allen-Ray Johnson. The shooting was determined to be an act of self-defense.
Kenya on Friday became the third country to start routinely inoculating infants against malaria, using the world’s first vaccine to combat a disease that kills 800 children globally every day.
The vaccine — RTS,S — targets the deadliest and most common form of malaria parasite in Africa, where children under five account for two-thirds of all global deaths from the mosquito-born illness.
Kenya, which is rolling-out RTS,S in the western county of Homa Bay, joins Malawi and Ghana, which earlier this year commenced their own pilot vaccination programmes supported by the World Health Organization (WHO).