- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Toss zucchini slices with olive oil, seasoning, salt & pepper and about 2 tablespoons of the parmesan cheese.
- Place on a baking sheet and top with remaining parmesan cheese. Bake 5 minutes.
- Turn oven to broil, place pan near the top and broil 3-5 minutes or until cheese is melted and zucchini is tender crisp.
In response, polls show Americans remain deeply concerned about the current health care system, and support for Medicare for All has surged. And yet, despite data showing that a single-payer system would save big money, surveys still indicate some popular trepidation about the price tag of government-sponsored health care. That reflects, in part, a Democratic primary season that saw most candidates, the press corps, and the Washington political class try to pretend that the planet’s wealthiest nation cannot possibly afford the kind of Medicare for All system that other less wealthy nations have had for decades.
“No matter how you cut the numbers, there is absolutely no way to pay for Medicare for All without tax increases — or spending cuts — on the middle class,” one pro-austerity group told Politico in a story breathlessly touted by the health care industry’s dark money group.
But here’s what few seem to have noticed: as of the last few months, we just definitively proved we actually did have the money all along — and we had it even if we never hiked taxes to raise new revenues.
Somehow, this astounding fact was never granted any of the same giant bold-faced headlines that all the anti–Medicare for All fearmongering generated during the presidential primary.
Under our current system, America is on track to spend roughly $52 trillion on health care in the next decade. That includes both government programs (Medicare, Medicaid, etc.) and household spending (insurance premiums, out-of-pocket costs, etc.). Medicare for All would consolidate all that spending under one program. Experts estimate that this would require the government to come up with an additional $20 trillion and $36 trillion — money that would cover the out-of-pocket spending that households and employers would otherwise pay to insurance companies, drug companies, and other parts of the corporate-run health care system.
Well, guess what? That happens to be almost exactly the amount of money our government committed to corporate bailouts since 2008:
- After the 2008 financial crisis, lawmakers gave $700 billion of grants to big banks.
- Depending on how you count, the Federal Reserve additionally committed somewhere between $16 trillion and $29 trillion to large financial institutions.
- A decade later amid the coronavirus outbreak, lawmakers passed a bailout bill that will funnel $4 trillion to large corporations.
So again: the same government that says we cannot afford $20–$35 trillion over a decade to finance a Medicare for All program just gave Corporate America between $20 trillion and $35 trillion since the financial crisis roughly a decade ago. And that money was funneled to Corporate America not just in absence of tax increases — it was delivered while the government was actually cutting taxes.
The picture gets even more absurd when you slightly broaden the frame and add in another $10 trillion that we nonchalantly spent on other items.
For instance, we spent $2 trillion on the Iraq War. We also spent a combined $2.6 trillion on increases in the Pentagon’s already-giant base budget since its first post–9/11 budget. And we devoted about $5 trillion to the Bush and Trump tax cuts.
“Egypt stresses utter rejection of any interferences that may undermine the sovereignty of any of its brotherly Arab countries, taking into account the consequences of these actions in further fueling instability in the region, while calling on all parties to respect the sovereignty of Iraq, and to spare it any international or regional rivalries that would hinder the achievement of the aspirations of the government and people of brotherly Iraq for stability and development,” the statement read.
Kurdish political sources said that the broad Turkish operation underway in northern Iraq could not have been possible without prior coordination and facilitation with the Kurdish parties, especially the Kurdistan Democratic Party led by Masoud Barzani. The Iraqi government strongly condemned the Turkish incursions and summoned the Turkish ambassador in Baghdad, Fatih Yildiz, twice within the space of 36 hours.
The sources indicated that Kurdish authorities are looking for ways to protect their interests with some Arab countries while Turkey is circulating news that the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) is receiving support from countries hostile to Ankara, and especially after reports indicating that Turkey is building military bases in northern Iraq.
Local sources said that the authorities of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq associated with Barzani are still keeping silent about the Turkish military operation, while tracking money transfers directed to support the opposition PKK.
Iraqi-Kurdish political analyst Hoshyar Malu said that “Turkey is violating international law while the Iraqi government is showing a timid reaction” regarding the first Turkish air strikes, a reaction that did not deter a ground operation.
The Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq accused the Iraqi government and Shabak militia Thursday of torturing prisoners in jails in Nineveh governorate, Anadolu reports.
“Detainees in the government’s and militia’s prisons in Iraq are subjected to heinous crimes that go against human nature,” the association’s general secretariat said in a statement.
“A report issued Wednesday by the Iraqi Center for Documentation of War Crimes revealed extensive human rights violations that are systematically taking place in intelligence prisons in Nineveh governorate at the hands of intelligence agents and the militia, known as the Shabak militia,” the statement added.
There has been no comment from the Iraqi government.
For Immediate Release: June 18, 2020
Hawkins and Walker Call for More Radical Changes to Policing
Howie Hawkins and Angela Walker, the leading candidates for the Green Party nomination for president and vice president, released the following statement today calling for community control of the police, large-scale federal spending to end poverty, and the decriminalization of drugs.
They say the nationwide uprising against police brutality and racism should raise these demands in order to make more fundamental changes in public safety systems than only reforming police practices and shifting some money in police budgets to social services.
Creating a Public Safety System That Really Protects and Serves
By Howie Hawkins and Angela Walker
June 18, 2020
A long menu of policing reforms has been thrust into public debate and legislative consideration by the nationwide uprising against police brutality and racism. Many of the proposed reforms of policing practices at the state, local, and federal levels are good policies.
The movement is also demanding to Defund the Police. Defunding means scaling back what police do and transferring the savings into social services, schools, housing, and community economic development. Defunding means removing police from dealing with many social problems such as homelessness, drug use, sex work, mental health crises, domestic disputes, and school discipline that are better addressed by other trained first responders, including social workers, EMTs, doctors, child protective services, therapists, and legal aid lawyers.
Reforming police practices and reallocating portions of police budgets to the provision of social services are not enough. These reforms do not shift the power to control policing to the people the police are supposed to protect and serve. These reforms do not provide enough resources to resolve the social problems that police are now sent in to contain because the system has criminalized problems like poverty, homelessness, mental health issues, and drug use. These reforms do not decriminalize personal drug use and possession, the largest single category of arrests and imprisonment in the US criminal justice system.
If we are going to truly create a public safety system that serves and protects the people, we must add three critical demands to the our menu of reforms:
1. Community Control of the Police
Police brutality will not stop as long as the police can continue to police themselves and brutalize people with impunity. We need Community Control of the Police to make the police work for the people and be held accountable for misconduct. Community control means police commissions, publicly-elected or randomly-selected like juries, with the power to hire and fire the police chief, to independently investigate and discipline police misconduct, to formulate and oversee police practices and budgets, and to negotiate police union contracts. Community control shifts the power over policing to the people and away from the police and the power structure that created the abusive policing system we now have.
2. Federal Social Investment to End Poverty and Economic Despair
Police budgets do not have enough money with reallocations to pay for the services and economic development that working-class communities of color need. Sending in cops instead of social services and economic resources has been at the center of the public austerity program of the power structure. As part of reimagining public safety, it is time to fight crime by fighting poverty instead of sending in the police for every social problem. That will require a multi-year, multi-trillion federal investment in community-controlled housing, schools, social services, and businesses in the communities of color that have been impoverished by generations of discrimination by racists who exploit these communities.
3. Decriminalize Drugs
Ending the war on drugs will take the single biggest bite out of police budgets. Drug law offenses account for 16% of all arrests and are the single biggest category of arrests. Drug offenses account for about 1 in 5 people in jail or prison, including 46% of federal prisoners. Drug abuse is a health problem, not a criminal problem. Instead of a criminal offense, we must make drug use and possession a violation that refers drug users to medical and social services.
We discuss this approach in more detail in our policy paper on Reimagining Public Safety.