Tax Plan on the Brink, Office Politics

Taxing Issues: The Senate Republican tax plan would increase the deficit by $1.4 trillion over the next 10 years, according to an estimate by the Congressional Budget Office.

The CBO also estimates that if the bill wipes out the Obamacare insurance mandate, “average premiums in the nongroup market would increase by about 10% in most years of the decade.” That means people who directly buy their own insurance.

The CBO also says the number of people with health insurance would decrease by four million in 2019, and 13 million by 2027.

The NY Times’ Paul Krugman writes, “The core of the bill is a huge redistribution of income from lower- and middle-income families to corporations and business owners. Corporate tax rates go down sharply, while ordinary families are nickel-and-dimed by a series of tax changes, no one of which is that big a deal in itself, but which add up to significant tax increases on almost two-thirds of middle-class taxpayers.

Office Politics: A federal court is expected to decide, temporarily, who’s in charge at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney marched into the CFPB yesterday, took over the office, and ordered all employees to ignore acting director Leandra English, who was appointed by her predecessor.

English sent the staff a post-holiday note of appreciation signed “Acting Director.”

Mulvaney sent an email saying, “Please disregard any instructions you receive from Ms. English in her presumed capacity as acting director,” and to report any professional communications from English to the general counsel’s office.

Despite previous statements that the bureau is a “joke,” Mulvaney told reporters, “This agency will stay open. Rumors that I’m going to set the place on fire, or blow it up or lock the doors are completely false.”

Big Chief: At a White House event to honor three of the last surviving Navajo code talkers from World War II, President Trump rolled out his well-worn insult to Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who once claimed to have native American heritage.

“You were here long before any of us were here. Although we have a representative in Congress who they say was here a long time ago. They call her ‘Pocahontas,’” he said. “But you know what? I like you.”

The room stayed quiet.

The Supremes: The Supreme Court declined to take up a Mississippi case claiming that the Confederate battle flag in the corner of the state flag symbolically supports white supremacy. — The court also rejected a case challenging the State of Maryland’s ban on assault weapons.

Sting: The Washington Post reports that a woman came to them falsely claiming to have been impregnated by Alabama senate candidate Roy Moore when she was just 15 in what was apparently an effort to embarrass the paper.

The Post did not publish the story she was peddling, but instead went with a story about what she tried to do. The story says Jaime Phillips repeatedly tried to get a Post reporter to give an opinion about what her story would do to Moore’s candidacy.

The paper says, “But on Monday morning, Post reporters saw her walking into the New York offices of Project Veritas, an organization that targets the mainstream news media and left-leaning groups. The organization sets up undercover ‘stings’ that involve using false cover stories and covert video recordings meant to expose what the group says is media bias.”

Veritas is run by James O’Keefe, a conservative crusader who was once convicted of entering a federal building under a false identity.

This is an Apple: CNN devoted a lot of airtime yesterday to stories touting the network’s credibility and the risks their correspondents take when reporting the news from around the world. They are fighting back against President Trump’s repeated claims that they are “fake news.”

The latest came via Twitter just yesterday. “We should have a contest as to which of the Networks, plus CNN and not including Fox, is the most dishonest, corrupt and/or distorted in its political coverage of your favorite President (me). They are all bad. Winner to receive the FAKE NEWS TROPHY!”

In all his claims, he has yet to point out a single, actual fake story.






Friday, February 23, 2018

Page Two

Jaw Meet Floor

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Small President

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Cuba Diaries

Sunday, March 13, 2016

An Alphabet of Maladies

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Healthcare Confusion Act

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Freedom from Speech

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Too Big to Fire

Friday, June 19, 2015

More Probable Than Not

Thursday, May 14, 2015

It's Been Said

" 'The enemy of the people,'" was what the president of the United States called the free press in 2017 ... It is a testament to the condition of our democracy that our own president uses words infamously spoken by Josef Stalin to describe his enemies. It bears noting that so fraught with malice was the phrase 'enemy of the people,' that even Nikita Khrushchev forbade its use, telling the Soviet Communist Party that the phrase had been introduced by Stalin for the purpose of 'annihilating such individuals' who disagreed with the supreme leader."
Arizona republican Sen. Jeff Flake speaking on the floor today.

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