Monday, October 30, 2017

No Mercy Monday

They had some Sunday

Cut you to the quick today.

"Compared to 1986, partisanship will test today’s GOP on tax cuts" by Victoria McGrane Globe Staff  October 30, 2017

WASHINGTON — It all seems so quaint, by today’s standards.

Washington’s most powerful tax policy officials — Democrats and Republicans, from both Congress and the executive branch — got together to hammer out what would become a historic tax reform law.

The year was 1986, and Ronald Reagan was in the White House, working with Congress to forge a grand compromise that had been deliberated over for two years.

Fast forward three decades, and the most significant tax rewrite since that landmark overhaul is embroiled in partisan squabbles, cloaked in secrecy, and, when it finally becomes public this week, set to be crammed into a tight two-month schedule that will allow for minimal formal debate.

The strategy of trying to limit the window for public criticism and internal GOP dissension could be a recipe for triumph for the Republican triumvirate of President Trump, House Speaker Paul Ryan, and Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell.

Or it could just as easily become a full-blown disaster.

Many observers remain skeptical that Republicans can pull it all off.

“It’s ‘Mission Impossible’ morphing into ‘[the] Gong Show,’” said David Stockman, who served as Reagan’s budget director from 1981 to 1985. “This is going to be a bloodletting before it’s over.”

For whom the gong tolls!

Republicans say they’ll deliver a tax bill to Trump’s desk by the end of the year that will cut taxes so aggressively it will fundamentally transform the American economy by spurring companies to invest more in domestic production, yet the first legislative text won’t be seen until this week, when the Republican leadership of the House Ways and Means Committee unveils a draft of what it has been writing for months with private input from corporations and special interest groups. That leaves rank-and-file lawmakers of both parties, not to mention the American public, just a few weeks to digest a sweeping tax-code rewrite that could touch every corner of the US economy.

Republican congressional leaders and the White House last month offered the broad contours of their package but not enough specifics for most Americans to determine if they’re getting a tax cut or a tax hike.

Key details of the legislation remain under negotiation. GOP leaders have provided little evidence to back up Trump’s claims that the legislation will predominantly benefit middle-class and working Americans, not the rich.

Under the aggressive GOP timeline, rank-and-file lawmakers of both parties will not see the actual legislation until Wednesday, after which the House Ways and Means Committee will quickly take up the bill, vote on possible changes, and then send it to the full House.

That text will reveal specific winners and losers on a slew of controversial questions. Accelerating the timeline and limiting debate is already giving Democrats and dissenting Republicans additional grounds for complaint.

By contrast, the 1986 overhaul effort unfolded over more than two years, was bipartisan from the start, and featured numerous detailed, publicly shared policy proposals and hearings as well as closed-door horse-trading sessions.

Democrats charge that the Republicans are keeping the details secret and the process fast to obscure their true goal: delivering a huge tax cut to their millionaire and billionaire political contributors, at the expense of the middle class.

What middle class?

Democrats will use what little time they do have as the tax plan barrels down the tracks to offer amendments on policies they say will help the middle class and grow the economy, such as a package of infrastructure spending, said Massachusetts Representative Richard Neal, the top Democrat on the Ways and Means Committee. The amendments — likely to fail — are part of an ongoing strategy by Democrats to contrast their proposals against what they characterize as Republicans’ tax cuts for corporations and the rich.

Some rank-and-file Republicans are also unhappy with the speed and secrecy of the process.

Stockman, the former Reagan budget chief, said a partisan approach makes killing off popular tax breaks politically difficult. In 1986, support from Democratic leaders for closing loopholes and ending tax breaks provided necessary political cover for Reagan. This time around, Republicans are letting Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer and other Democrats “stand on the sidelines doing target practice’’ on individual ideas that get floated out during the so-far secretive process, he said.....


"Trump tries to shift focus as charges loom in Russia case" by Julie Hirschfeld Davis New York Times  October 29, 2017

WASHINGTON — President Trump’s frustration at the investigations into his campaign’s ties with Russia boiled over Sunday, as he sought to shift the focus to accusations against his 2016 rival, Hillary Clinton, a day before the special counsel inquiry will reportedly produce its first indictment in the case. 

Honestly, I don't blame him.

In a series of midmorning Twitter posts, Trump said Republicans are now pushing back against the Russia allegations by looking into Clinton.

Which should have been done anyway due to the massive corruption surrounding them -- if we are a nation of laws as we are told.

The president, who has often expressed anger that his allies were not doing more to protect him from the Russia inquiries, made it clear he believed that Clinton should be pursued more forcefully, writing, “Do something!”

He did not specify who should take such action, though.

Trump was apparently referring in his tweets to revelations last week that Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee had paid for research that was included in a salacious dossier made public in January by BuzzFeed. The dossier contained claims about connections between Trump, his associates, and Russia. 

Interesting. More to follow on that below.

The president was also reviving unproved allegations that Clinton was part of a quid pro quo in which the Clinton Foundation received donations in exchange for her support as secretary of state for a business deal that gave Russia control over a large share of uranium production in the United States.


It was in the New York Times!

And he was returning to questions about Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server and how then-FBI Director James Comey handled an investigation into the matter, which was closed with no charges being filed.

That also went down the old memory hole, didn't it?

Trump initially cited the e-mail case as a reason for firing Comey before conceding that it was because of the Russia inquiry.

Did he concede that?

The president’s Twitter fusillade came as he and his advisers braced for the first public action by Robert S. Mueller III, the special prosecutor named after Comey’s ouster to investigate Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

As part of his inquiry, Mueller is believed to be examining whether there was collusion between Trump’s campaign and Moscow and whether the president obstructed justice when he fired Comey.

Who himself obstructed justice.

I'm told that in light of Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the elections in favor of Trump —  “We ought to instead focus on the outrage that the Russians meddled in our elections.” 

The question now is, for which side did they pee!!!

UPDATE: Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort surrenders to federal authorities'

The charges were not immediately clear, but represent a significant escalation in a special counsel investigation that has cast a shadow over the president’s first year in office.

The tweets came days after House Republicans announced that they were opening new investigations into two of Trump’s most frequently cited grievances: the Obama Justice Department’s investigation of Clinton’s e-mails and the uranium deal.

Trump is working to fuel those inquiries. The White House acknowledged Friday that the president had urged the Justice Department to lift a gag order on an informant in an investigation into Russia’s attempts to gain a foothold in the US uranium industry during the Obama administration.

Critics called the move improper presidential interference in a federal criminal inquiry, but Trump’s advisers said he was merely encouraging transparency.

In recent days, Trump has suggested that he believes the questions he has been raising about Clinton’s conduct should put to rest any allegations about his own actions and end the scrutiny of Russia’s meddling in the election.

“This was the Democrats coming up with an excuse for losing an election,” Trump told reporters last week. “They lost it by a lot. They didn’t know what to say, so they made up the whole Russia hoax.

“Now it’s turning out that the hoax has turned around, and you look at what’s happened with Russia, and you look at the uranium deal, and you look at the fake dossier,’’ Trump added. “So that’s all turned around.”

He's right. What he is doing is sending a signal to back off, same as he did when he outed Obama's spying on the campaign and unmasking of transition team members.

In a final tweet on the subject of Russian influence, Trump suggested that reemergence of the topic in the news is no accident. ‘‘All of this ‘Russia’ talk right when the Republicans are making their big push for historic tax cuts and reform. Is this coincidental? Not!’’

 Not only this, but everything in the pos pre$$ is nothing but agenda-pushing garbage.

Trump and GOP leaders have described the bill as a once-in-a-generation rewrite of the federal tax code, one they say will stimulate the economy, create millions of jobs, and give voters a reason to stick with the Republicans in next year’s midterm elections. Representative Kevin Brady, Republican of Texas and the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, is scheduled to reveal the House version of the bill on Wednesday.

Senator Susan Collins, a Republican of Maine who serves on the Intelligence Committee, said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday that while she had seen “lots of evidence that the Russians were very active in trying to influence the elections,” she had yet to encounter “any definitive evidence of collusion” with Trump associates.

I'm sorry, say again?

Collins said the committee should further question John Podesta and Debbie Wasserman Schultz after disclosures last week that the Clinton campaign and DNC helped fund research that ended up in the dossier against Trump.

Collins said that ‘‘it’s difficult to imagine’’ that Podesta didn’t know about the funding. Podesta, who was chairman of Clinton’s campaign, and Wasserman Schultz, then-DNC chairwoman, have told con-gressional investigators they did not know of any payments.....

His sources were Russian, that is the rub! 



Bombshell: Hillary Clinton And The DNC Colluded With Russia In An Attempt To STEAL The Election From Donald Trump

Fresh off the heels of a shocking report, published by the Washington Post, that confirmed that the infamous “Russia dossier” was actually funded by both the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee, an even more startling revelation has emerged – The Clinton-DNC machine colluded with the Russians to fabricate and spread serious disinformation about Donald Trump in a failed attempt at swaying the election in the favor of Hillary Clinton.

That’s right, in a literal reverse of what the entire mainstream media has fed the American people for over a year, we now have evidence that, either wittingly or unwittingly, the Clinton campaign and the DNC paid for what amounted to disinformation that came directly from “Russian sources”.

Obviously this may seem truly unbelievable to some, but the facts speak for themselves and there is no denying that Democrats paid a shady opposition research company to try and dig up dirt on Donald Trump who then subsequently hired former British spy Christopher Steele. Steele then openly used Russian sources for most of the serious allegations in the “Russia dossier”.


Of course, "the fact that the facts have turned one hundred and eighty degrees - literally now pointing to Clinton and her cronies, and not Trump - has had no effect of the fairy tale told by the mainstream media, who are nothing but a bunch of self-absorbed slobs in an echo chamber of self-adulation.

Also see:

Roger Stone suspended from Twitter after expletive-laden tweets

Could Trump break up the United States?

I'm sure there is some genius there.

FBI’s use of foreign intelligence stirs privacy debate

They have one of their Five Eyes partners collect it to get around the law.


Look What I Found Department:

Thousands of records on JFK assassination released online

Lessons from JFK in a time of Trump

They have once again buried the story.


"A federal nuclear safety panel says Los Alamos National Laboratory has come up short during drills intended to show how the New Mexico lab would respond to potential emergencies such as radioactive leaks or earthquakes....."

At least the oil spills are invisible.

Events mark 5 years since Hurricane Sandy

Did I mention they want the aid money back?

"The Trump administration is exploring ways to relocate tens of thousands of Puerto Ricans to the US mainland for an extended period as parts of the territory remain devastated, Bloomberg News reported. Officials at the Department of Housing and Urban Development are developing a plan to provide housing to some of the displaced population, Bloomberg said, citing people familiar with the matter. Given the shortage of available housing on the island, the possibility of evacuating large numbers to the mainland has emerged as an option. Two people who spoke to HUD officials said that using large cruise liners had been suggested to move residents en masse....."

I hope you have your backpack prepared.

Power outages pile up as storm moves through Mass.

Sorry I made you kids late for school.


DEA to send team to New Bedford to help battle drug trafficking 

The Taliban are to blame (ha-ha-ha-ha), even though it is not funny.

I think the answer is to recriminalize, as challenging as that may be.

"As the streets swelled with protesters waving Spanish flags, there were chants urging authorities to arrest Catalan regional president Carles Puigdemont and his top lieutenants. ‘‘To jail!’’ they shouted. Frustrated by a defiant but divided Catalan Parliament, the central government on Saturday began to assert control over Catalonia, firing the region’s president, ministers, diplomats, and police chiefs and transferring all authority to Madrid. Since then, the secessionist leaders have been mostly absent from the public stage — not exactly in hiding, but close. Puigdemont on Saturday issued a brief prerecorded call for citizens to mount ‘‘a democratic opposition’’ to the takeover. No one was exactly sure what he meant. On Sunday the Belgian migration minister offered him political asylum — if Puigdemont needs it. Two top leaders of the Catalan secessionist movement are already in jail, without bail, as prosecutors mull sedition charges. Also Sunday....."

Looks like the 2016 Republican Convention, doesn't it?

Here is what they are waving at you in Syria, and it is starting to bug me.

Somali police, intelligence chiefs fired after deadly attack 

They have been put on ice, so to speak --same as Odinga and Barzani.

You know who is at the bottom of it all, right?

Mercifully, this blog is at an end.