This time from Washington where reading the local press is truly a hallucinatory experience. Front page, WP: “Amid squabbles, a consensus: More government activism”. If you think they think that’s a bad thing, you should read the rest of the paper. Anyway, no doubt more softballs for the ten Dems on stage tonight. From 11:00 am Melbourne time.
Government benefits. Will taxes go up and how will you sell that. Bernie Sanders. “Time for real change” Must have a single payer system. Education is the future. Free tuition paid for a tax on Wall Street. Will you raise taxes for the middle class. Will pay more taxes but less for health care.
Biden. We have to return dignity is returned to the middle class. We have enormous inequality. Must fix.
Sen Harris, how do we pay for this? Where was this question asked of Donald Trump. Rules are in favour of the rich. Going to provide a $500 tax credit.
Hickenlooper. We must specifically deny we are socialists. Cannot eliminate private health insurance. I’ve done this.
On and on.
Buttiegieg. Free college for low and middle class income earners. Need to raise the minimum wage to help those who didn’t go to college.
Yang: how will you give everyone billions of dollars every year. VAT and via having a mentally healthier country.
Q: $1000 a month and a VAT? Yang: Would increase spending power of 94% of the country.
Stawell: “Pass the torch”. A quote from Biden.
Biden: Everybody needs an education. Focus on schools in distress. Free community college. No one under $25,000 pa does not have to repay debt.
Bernie: Must take on the big money interests.
Sen Harris. “America does not want a food fight. They want to have food on the table. In our America no one should have to work at more than one job.
Health Care. Abolish private health insurance to have a singleton’s payer district. Who would? Sen Gillebrand and Sanders.
Buttigieg. Medicare for all who want it.
Where do we go from Obamacare – Biden asked. Tells an anecdote. Must build on Obamacare. Make sure everyone has an option. People right now.
Sanders. Want to scrap insurance. Answer: Canada does it. Aim is to do the same. How it will be done. We will have Medicare for all when everyone tells the insurance companies they have had enough of a profit-driven system.
Sen. Bennett: Families need this choice. We can have medicare for those who want it.
Sanders. We will stop the greed of the insurance companies.
Sen Harris. Tells a story about how insurance companies rob families.
All would provide health care for undocumented immigrants.
Buttigieg: This is not a hand-out. We should not have undocumented immigrants. They also pay taxes.
Biden: Must provide cover to everyone. They are contributing to the economy. We can deal with insurance companies by putting some of these insurance company execs in jail.
Move to an ad.
Migrant children are being apprehended. What would you do, Sen Harris. She will reinstate DACA. Meaningful process to assess refugee status. No locking people up. Why would some mother bring her child across America? Let them in. Will applause.
Hickenlooper. Bring them in. Reform ICE. Address the whole needs of these migrants.
Williamson: We open our hearts to the stranger.
Gillibrand: Trump has torn the moral fabric of our nation.
Decriminalisation of border.
Buttigieg: Accuses Christians of being unChristian.
Biden: We would reunite families. Trump is outrageous.
Should an undocumented migrant be deported. Biden: only if they have committed a crime. Those who see asylum, we should bring them in. Undocumented migrants should NOT be deported.
Sanders: Must look at the circumstances of why they are leaving. Need to have a meeting of Central American leaders.
Stawell and Harris. Should not deport. Harris runs on and on.
Trade. Greatest geopolitical threat. How would you deal with China.
Bennet: Russia is our greatest threat. Goes on a tirade on border security.
Yang: Russia is our greatest threat.
Buttigieg: China is a major threat. Their authoritarian system is being held up as a model.
Race and community relations. Buttigieg: we are trying to fix the problem, until we move policing our from the systemic racism that plagues it.
Hickenlooper. Why doesn’t every city have accountability?
Sen Harris: An issue that is not being discussed honestly. But Biden is a friend of former Senators who were racists. Cannot just be an intellectual debate. [Wild applause]
Biden: I have stood up against racism. Was Obama’s VP. Supported bussing. [Kamala Harris attacks Biden directly.] Defends himself.
Sanders: We encourage diversity, but we also have to ask something else. Diversity is not enough. Must stand up to the special interests.
Gillibrand: Washington is being run by the special interests.
Will gridlock disappear if Dem Pres? Bennet: No, must also win the Senate. Need to root out corruption.
Biden: I was able to get bi-partisan agreement on various measures.
Bennet attacks Biden. Gillibrand joins in about the corruption in Washington (she’s a senator!!!).
Supreme Court and abortion. Sanders: politicians should not affect a women’s right to choose. Need to fix the courts. Plus Medicare for All gives women automatic right to abortion.
Gillibrand: Rant, rant, rant. No applause.
Climate change. Sen Harris: An existential threat to our existence. Support Green New Deal. Rant, rant, rant.
Buttigieg: Need to start adapting right away.
Hickenlooper. Share the urgency. Socialism is however not the solution. Working with the oil and gas industries. China is the worst polluter.
Biden. We drove down the price of renewables. Aims to have a 100% green automobile economy by 2030.
Sanders: We have 12 years. The future of the planet etc etc etc.
First priority? Lists of this and that.
Ads. (Thankfully. These people are insane.)
Guns. Buy-Back. Stawell – “If we can but save a single life”. “We must be a nation that loves our children more than we love our guns.”
Sanders: Need comprehensive gun reform.
Harris: Give Congress 100 days and will ban by exec order ….
Buttigieg: Worst part of being a mayor is dealing with the violence. Weapons have no place in American cities.
Biden: Have a record of bringing in gun control.
International leadership. Rant, rant, rant answers.
First international repair job? Irrelevant rubbish from each of them.
Asking Biden about foreign policy. He voted for Iraq War so how can he be trusted? Long answer – no applause.
Sanders: This and that but prevent a war with Iraq priority.
Final 45-second case.
Williamson: Wants to “harness love for political purposes”.
Bennett: Build a new era of ???
Hickenlooper: Must not turn towards socialism.
Gillibrand: “I will take on the fights no one else will.”
Yang: Only question is who can beat Donald Trump. It’s me.
Harris: Need to prosecute the case against PDT. She has “the 3:00 am agenda, to deal with the things that keep Americans awake at 3:00 in the morning.
Buttigieg: A new generation philosophy.
Sanders: Take on Wall Street and greedy industry.
Biden: Restore the soul of America. Restore the backbone. There is not a single thing we cannot do if we stand together.
And so it ends. Incoherent and inane. Shockingly shallow.