Newsom pushes sweeping new California health-care plan to help illegal immigrants, prop up ObamaCare

Shortly after he took office on Monday, California’s Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom unearthed an unprecedented new health care agenda for his state, aimed at offering dramatically more benefits to illegal immigrants and protecting the embattled Affordable Care Act, which a federal judge recently struck down as unconstitutional.

The sweeping proposal appeared destined to push California — already one of the nation’s most liberal states — even further to the left, as progressive Democrats there won a veto-proof supermajority in the state legislature in November and control all statewide offices.

“People’s lives, freedom, security, the water we drink, the air we breathe — they all hang in the balance,” Newsom, 51, told supporters Monday in a tent outside the state Capitol building, as he discussed his plans to address issues from homelessness to criminal justice and the environment. “The country is watching us, the world is watching us. The future depends on us, and we will seize this moment.”

Newsom unveiled his new health-care plan hours after a protester interrupted his swearing-in ceremony to protest the murder of police Cpl. Ronil Singh shortly after Christmas Day. The suspect in Singh’s killing is an illegal immigrant with several prior arrests, and Republicans have charged that so-called “sanctuary state” policies, like the ones Newsom has championed, contributed to the murder by prohibiting state police from cooperating with federal immigration officials.

As one of his first orders of business, Newsom — who also on Monday requested that the Trump administration cooperate in the state’s efforts to convert to a single-payer system, even as he bashed the White House as corrupt and immoral — declared his intent to reinstate the ObamaCare individual mandate at the state level.

The mandate forces individuals to purchase health care coverage or pay a fee that the Supreme Court described in 2012 as a “tax,” rather than a “penalty” that would have run afoul of Congress’ authority under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. Last month, though, a federal judge in Texas ruled the individual mandate no longer was a constitutional exercise of Congress’ taxing power because Republicans had passed legislation eliminating the tax entirely — a move, the judge said, that rendered the entire health-care law unworkable.

As that ruling works its way to what analysts say will be an inevitable Supreme Court showdown, Newsom said he would reimpose it in order to subsidize state health care.

Medi-Cal, the state’s health insurance program, now will let illegal immigrants remain on the rolls until they are 26, according to Newsom’s new agenda. The previous age cutoff was 19, as The Sacramento Bee reported.

Additionally, Newsom announced he would sign an executive order dramatically expanding the state’s Department of Health Care Services authority to negotiate drug prices, in the hopes of lowering prescription drug costs.

Asteroid that killed the dinosaurs caused a mile-high tsunami around the Earth

Dinosaurs went extinct 65 million years ago because of a massive asteroid that hit the Earth in the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico, now known as the Chicxulub crater. While it’s been generally accepted that the asteroid caused a massive disruption in the planet’s climate, a new study says the asteroid also caused a worldwide tsunami that reached more than 5,000 feet in the air.

The research, presented at the American Geophysical Union’s annual meeting on Dec. 14, suggests that the tsunami impact started in the Gulf of Mexico and quickly spread from there. “The impact tsunami spread quickly out of the Gulf of Mexico into the Atlantic and through the Central American seaway into the Pacific within the first 24 hours,” the study’s abstract reads. “Wave reflection and refraction create a more complex tsunami propagation pattern by 48 hours post-impact.”

Led by researcher Molly Range from the University of Michigan, the researchers noted that the “impact not only had major effects on the global atmosphere and biosphere, it also created a tsunami of such magnitude that its effect is felt across much of the world ocean.”

Believed to be nine miles wide, the asteroid caused a global tsunami, “the likes of which have not been seen in modern history,” Range said in comments obtained by LiveScience.

The space rock hit the shallow water in the Peninsula. The model ran what happened in the 10 minutes after impact. At that point, no water had entered the crater, due to the size and scope of the impact, but soon afterward, water began to rush back into the crater and “may have disturbed sediments over 6,000 km (3,728 miles) from the impact origin,” the abstract added.

The paper, which has yet to be published in a peer-reviewed journal, was first reported by EOS in December 2018.

Range and her advisors realized that no one had done any research on whether the impact of the asteroid had caused a tsunami and when they ran the model, they found evidence of a global event.

“We found that this tsunami moved throughout the entire ocean, in every ocean basin,” Range said in comments obtained by LiveScience. After the initial wave, other waves rocked the planet, the researchers added.

The researchers noted that the impact tsunami in the Yucatán Peninsula was 2,600 times more energetic than the Indian Ocean tsunami in December 2004, one of the largest tsunamis recorded in modern history.

Trump’s pivot on Syria: When final decisions aren’t final

All the anguished hand-wringing by media and political figures, all the doom-and-gloom predictions about global instability, turn out to be overblown.

President Trump is changing his policy on Syria.

That became clear over the weekend, and it says something about this White House that its sharpest critics fail to understand.

What was pitched at first as an immediate pullout of all U.S. troops from Syria now won’t take place for months, perhaps years.

Now anyone who wants to criticize Trump for an erratic style, for snap decisions, for zig-zagging on policy, be my guest. It’s not the most efficient way to run a railroad.

But here’s the thing: In many cases, Trump’s edict is not the end of the process. It’s the beginning.

And it’s part of the way he disrupts government.

With traditional presidents, there is an elaborate decision-making process, with meetings, memos, inter-agency consultations. White House officials consult congressional leaders, interest groups and, on foreign policy matters, American allies.

OP-ED ASSAULT: ROMNEY RIPS TRUMP DESPITE EMBRACING HIM AT TIMES

And then a careful rollout plan is devised to announce, market and sell the president’s decision.

The idea is to get buy-in from potential supporters and neutralize potential opponents. But even more, it’s to present the POTUS decision as final, measured and carefully considered. For a president to change his mind afterward would be an embarrassment.

Trump doesn’t care about that.

He’ll announce that he wants to withdraw from NAFTA, but that creates enough pressure that he was able to hammer out a new trade deal with Canada and Mexico. During the internal debate on NAFTA, according to Bob Woodward’s book, Trump said: “The only way to get a good deal is to blow up the old deal.”

In my book “Media Madness,” I broke the story of how Reince Priebus had given the president a decision memo on transgender troops in the military, with four options. They spoke on the phone and a White House meeting was slated for that morning. But Trump simply picked the third most-severe option and tweeted his decision.

The kicker is that Jim Mattis slow-walked the thing and, a year and a half later, a transgender ban has yet to take effect.

So it was with Trump’s order to remove the remaining 2,000 troops from Syria — which some conservative commentators, and such Republicans as Lindsey Graham, strongly opposed.

But John Bolton, the former Fox News contributor who is now national security adviser, laid out “conditions for a pullout that could leave American forces there for months or even years,” as The New York Times put it.

Bolton, in Israel, told reporters that American forces would stay in Syria until the last remnants of are defeated and Turkey offers guarantees that it won’t attack Kurdish troops backed by the U.S. The president, of course, had proclaimed that already had been defeated.

“We don’t think the Turks ought to undertake military action that’s not fully coordinated with and agreed to by the United States, at a minimum so they don’t endanger our troops,” said Bolton, who is said to have led a behind-the-scenes effort to slow down the Trump order. The president said last month he’d pull the troops within 30 days.

Trump pushed back yesterday, in a tweet endorsed by Bolton:

“The Failing New York Times has knowingly written a very inaccurate story on my intentions on Syria. No different from my original statements, we will be leaving at a proper pace while at the same time continuing to fight and doing all else that is prudent and necessary!…..”

MEDIA BUZZ: WHY SPEAKER PELOSI AND PRESIDENT TRUMP AREN’T MAKING A DEAL

Even if the Times story is off to some degree, the process has clearly changed from the original presidential announcement of a month-long withdrawal.

It’s not that these post-decision debates are without cost. The initial Syria announcement alarmed allies and upset much of Congress. And it cost Trump the services of his Defense secretary, although he and Mattis were probably headed for a breakup anyway.

But all the media chatter about Trump losing the “last adult in the room” turned out to be overheated. There are other adults, including Mike Pompeo, who helped persuade the president to essentially drop the idea of an immediate pullout.

Trump goes beyond Yogi Berra. With this president, it’s not over till it’s over — and even then it’s not over.