Beto Beats It

Photo courtesy of Flickr via Creative Commons

Former Texas Representative Beto O’Rourke announced this week that he was dropping out of the 2020 Democratic primary race. Over the past few months, O’Rourke was unable to recapture the energy of his 2018 Senate candidacy, causing extreme financial strain in his campaign.

In an email to his supporters, O’Rourke said he was proud to have championed issues like climate change and gun control, but admitted that his campaign lacked the means and resources to successfully continue.

Though the 47-year-old has time to consider a future return to electoral politics, in a recent interview with Politico, O’Rourke said that if he did not triumph in the 2020 presidential primary, he would not seek candidacy again.

Warren’s Medicare for All

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren revealed her plan to pay for a huge transformation in the U.S. healthcare system. She proposed to heavily tax billionaires and businesses to help cover the new $20.5 trillion in federal spending.

While Warren’s “Medicare for All” proposal will not increase taxes for the middle class, it opens her to criticism that her plan is far too radical to receive Congressional approval.

Warren would pay for the new federal spending over the next 10 years through various sources, most notably the following three:

  1. Employers would pay the government a similar sum to what they currently spend on the employees’ health care ($8.8 trillion over the decade).
  2. The tax on investment gains would change for the top 1% of households, and her wealth tax on billionaires would increase (raising a combined $3 trillion).
  3. A tax on financial transactions would be established ($800 billion).

54 Killed in Mali

On Friday, at least 53 soldiers and one civilian were killed in a jihadist attack on a military post in northern Mali. The following day, the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack through its Amaq News Agency.

The attack was one of the deadliest against Mali’s military in recent memory. The violence is expected to inflame tensions in Bamako where military families have been protesting safety conditions and a lack of protection.

Since Islamist militants took over the northern region in 2012, Mali has been subjected to sporadic violence. The country is still recovering from jihadist raids in September, which indicated a growing military prowess of enemy groups.

Roll Back on LGBTQ Adoption

The Trump administration has proposed a rule that, if passed, would allow adoption groups to deny service to LGBTQ families on religious grounds.

The Department of Health and Human Services released their proposal on Friday that would roll back on an Obama-era discrimination regulation that makes sexual orientation and gender identity protected classes.

The proposal could be published in the Federal Register as early as Nov. 4, whereupon there will be a 30-day period for comments. After that window, comments will close and the proposal will become final rule.