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Who’s That Zombie in the Political Window?

by Ed Raymond | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Gadfly | March 18th, 2020

Why, It’s Joe Biden, Stumbling Through Debates and Billionaire’s Pockets
Brian Michelz and his wife Sarah in Madison, Wisconsin are saddled with medical and college student debt, and like half the families in the United States, can’t come up with $400 to cover an emergency although both are working, she as a nurse, he in an auto parts store. A great economy? my a--. They can’t afford to have children. Mrs. Michelz pays off a $100,000 debt from nursing school $800 a month at a time. Brian doesn’t say how much student debt he owes, but at age 29 his credit score is so low he has never qualified for a credit card. After grocery shopping a couple of weeks ago his bank account totaled $3. He voted for Bernie in 2016 and wants to do it again in 2020.

He has heard all the negatives about Bernie’s radicalism and unelectability, but thinks he has been treated unfairly by the Democratic establishment. He sums up Biden’s political record with this damning summary: “Even if Biden beat Trump, millions of Americans will still be in poverty, schools will be underfunded, and all the stuff they are blaming Trump for will still be there. I have nothing against Biden as a person, but my life wouldn’t change if he became president. I don’t think other peoples’ would either. So what’s the point?” Exactly my view. Biden is a political zombie. Billionaires love him because he turned Delaware into a tax haven for corporations--and Wall Street loves him like Trump. Why should the Michelzs vote for Biden if he is going to do nothing to help them?

The Best Medical Evidence Against Biden and Moderate Democrats So Far
After Biden’s strong showing in the Super Tuesday primaries, the stock market went up 687.93 points and 2.65%. The four major health insurance companies in the United States liked the vote for Biden: United Health gained 293.52 points and 12.29%, Cigna Corp gained 208.07 points and 9.94%, Anthem Insurance gained 293.64 points and 14.53%, and Centene gained 61.96 points and 14.68%. What’s the message behind the spectacular increases in their stock value?

The chance that Bernie’s Medicare-For-All and single-payer plan will be approved has been lessened by Biden so the health insurance companies and the healthcare industry can continue to screw the American public into paying twice as much as any other country for healthcare. After Bernie had won primaries in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada the healthcare industry—doctors, hospitals, insurance companies—spent millions on ad buys supporting the Biden campaign. Such action says: ‘WE’RE BACK IN THE MONEY!” What is Biden’s healthcare program? About every other week he mumbles something about making a “public option” insurance program available.

Dr. Adam Gaffney, the president of Physicians for a National Health Program which supports Medicare-For-All, states it bluntly: “The industry has long seen Biden as their white knight.” All exit polls from the early primaries show a strong majority of Democratic voters support the elimination of private insurance and favor a universal care single-payer system such as Medicare-For-All. But the healthcare industry is backing Biden because he is not fighting for universal care or for any program which would dramatically lower the greed level of the industry. Poor Joe has always been a “status quo” politician whose main goal is re-election.

The Best Economic Evidence Against Joe and Moderate Democrats So Far
Can you imagine a conservative think tank publishing a report that supports Bernie’s messages? This report was published by the Manhattan Institute: “In 1985, the typical male worker could cover a family of four’s major expenditures (housing, health care, transportation, education) on 30 weeks of salary. By 2018 it took 53 weeks. Which is a problem, there being 52 weeks in a year.”

This report is called the Cost-Of-Thriving Index which measures the median annual salary against four major household expenditures based on the following criteria: “(1) Housing, defined as the annual rent for a three-bedroom house in the 40th percentile of the local housing market, (2) Health care, defined as the annual premium 0n a typical family health insurance policy, (3) Transportation, defined as the average cost of owning and operating a car driven 15,000 miles per year, and (4) Education, defined as the the average cost of tuition, fees, and room and board at a four-year public college.” Here is the most important statement coming out of this economic report: “In 1985, the typical male breadwinner could cover these costs and still have 22 weeks of pay left for everything else a family wants and needs, such as food, clothing, entertainment, and savings.” Today the typical salary doesn’t even cover the four basics!

The report also covers female earners. In 1985 her median annual salary was about 80% of men, so it took her 45 weeks to cover the four major costs—and today it would take her 66 weeks. It concludes: “A generation ago the typical male worker could be confident in his ability to provide for his family not only the basics of food, clothing, and shelter but also the middle-class essentials of a comfortable house, a car, health care, and education. Now he cannot. Every adjustment represents an economic challenge. If both parents are working, who is supervising the kids after school? What happens when a family is maxed out on their mortgage, then one spouse loses a job? How long can you avoid the doctor before chronic health conditions catch up with you? Middle-class families worry that their kids’ standard of living will be lower than theirs. How useful is a cheap flat-screen TV when you can’t afford your insulin?”

It’s absolutely shocking to me that a conservative, free-market think-tank, headquartered next to the Empire State Building, that supportedRonald Reagan and “trickle-down” economics, has issued this report in 2020. This is getting serious. Imagine a conservative agreeing that “the free market embrace of staggering economic inequality is a threat to everyone’s well-being!”

More Evidence That Joe Doesn’t Have A Clue About Healthcare and Inequality
Back before Joe was road-kill, before he was DOA, before he was “Elvis leaving the building,” and before he “miraculously” became the leader for the nomination, Joe told wealthy donors at a big fundraiser in Manhattan on June 2019 that, if he were elected, “nothing would fundamentally change.” What planet does he want to live on?

Even former presidential candidate Marianne Williamson, who joined the race of 20 Democrats to gain some notoriety so she could sell more books, recognized the country needed “fundamental changes—in our policies and in ourselves--that will transform our country. I ran for president to help forge another direction for our country.” She endorses Sanders for these reasons: “A forty-year-old trend of capitalism without conscience—corporate elites and their errand boys in government—have created the inevitable blowback in the form of a political revolution. That revolution is the one that Bernie Sanders now leads, and I want to do everything I can to further its success.”

Poor Joe, like George W. Bush, is no dummy, but he has never made a reasonable effort to really know anything new. He doesn’t seem to understand the basic major issues of our times. In his 46 year involvement with the federal government he has managed to pass a few bills (according to Joe), but he has never been smart enough to figure out what his bills would do over the long-term. Our jails and prisons are still stuffed with victims of the crime bill he brags about that contained long sentences for drug offenses and those who committed “three strikes and you’re out” minor crimes that put violators in prison for decades. Remember the California guy who stole $150 worth of compact discs to sell on the street and was sentenced to over 40 years because it was his third offense? That’s why we lead the “civilized” world in the ratio and number of people incarcerated.

How Do We Know What Joe Biden Has In His Political Platform? What Is He For?
Where is Joe on abortion? Up until the summer 0f 2019 Joe has supported the Hyde Amendment since its passage. The Amendment prohibits any federal funding for performing abortions under all federal programs, and Medicaid in particular, which prevents poor people from getting that reproductive care. He’s had a lot of practice in reversing positions on issues at the “convenient” time. He reversed his position on Hyde the night after he had received criticism on it from members of the Democratic National Committee. That quick decision made him a candidate for the presidency. He is a Catholic but is pro-life or pro-choice depending upon his electability. He seems to have a flexible frontal lobe and spine. He worked hard behind the scenes to cut mandated coverage for contraceptives while Obama’s Affordable Care Act was being formed.

The writer April Salchert recognizes the great divide that exists between Democratic progressives and so-called moderates, but still supports Bernie for these reasons: “On the practical side of things, I realize that Bernie Sanders has struggled to win over black voters; however, I’m a little confused as to why Joe Biden is doing so well with this group—is it simply his proximity to Obama? If that’s the case, then I must attest that regardless of proximity, Biden’s policies do nothing for black voters, or any voters, for that manner, who are making less than $100,000 a year. “Because I have a black friend named Barack” should not be a reason Biden is elected president of the United States. I simply want to vote for the person who I believe would best serve our country as a leader of progressive change—change we desperately need.”

What are Joe’s positions on these issues: health care, income inequality, income taxes, climate change, student debt, education funding, pre-school and child care, abortion, contraception, immigration, women in the workplace, son Hunter and Burisma, and the whole field of foreign policy? Does anyone know?

There are three factors about the 2020 election that may not relate to primary results. Perhaps the most important question is how soon the world COVID-19 pandemic attack will be over. It is affecting the entire planet right now—and it may be just in its preliminary stages. Who will win the presidential debates between Bernie and Joe? Joe, like King Donald, has problems with truth, facts, words, and demeanor. Joe’s campaign workers panic every time he opens his mouth. The third factor: we have eight months to go to the election. In today’s political world that is several lifetimes. Why, just last week Jeff Bezos of Amazon and Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway each lost $4.4 billion in four days on Wall Street. What if all fast food, restaurant, motel, and hotel workers called a national strike? Chaos. What happens if all billionaires go on strike? For what? Who gives a damn? The primary vote may not mean anything at all to what name is on the ballot.

After listening to the presidential debate, it reinforced my opinion that Joe Biden is an old man at 77 and Bernie Sanders is a young man at 78.

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