Friday, February 16, 2018

How Donald Trump's Views on Guns Shifted Over Time

My Comments and My Opinions:
Trump and his administration have repealed and loosened President Obama's legislation regarding guns and gun background checks.
Trump and his administration have also made it easier to allow people to conceal guns.

How Donald Trump's Views on Guns Shifted Over Time
By Meghan Keneally
May 20, 2016, 5:49 AM ET
Quoted Excerpts
Donald Trump's stance on guns has been consistent during his presidential campaign, but it has shifted over the past two decades.
Here's how his view shifted over time, based in part on two of his policy-oriented books.
In a page-long explanation of his stance on guns, Trump assessed the differences between the two main political parties' gun policies. He called what he said was the Democratic party's desire to "confiscate" guns "a dumb idea" and said Republicans "refuse even limited restrictions," noting that they "walk the NRA line."
"I generally oppose gun control, but I support the ban on assault weapons and I also support a slightly longer waiting period to purchase a gun," he wrote.
In "Crippled America," Trump argues that background checks "accomplished very little" as they effectively just brought "more government regulation into the situation."
In his 2015 book, Trump wrote that he "owns guns. Fortunately, I have never had to use."
According to publicly accessible records, Trump has had a concealed weapons permit since 2010.
He has also cited gun control as being partly to blame for mass shootings like those in Paris and San Bernardino, arguing that the attackers could have been stopped more quickly if more bystanders had guns.
"Somebody attacks me, oh, they’re gonna be shocked," he said in October after mentioning his concealed weapons license.
"Can you imagine? Somebody says 'Oh there's Trump, he's easy pickings,' 'What'd you say?'" he said while holding his fingers like a drawn gun.
Read More
Link To

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Burned by the budget, right warns Ryan on immigration

My Question: Has anyone ever thought about first reviewing and updating our existing immigration laws and policies, and then seeing if new ones are needed?

Burned by the budget, right warns Ryan on immigration
The Hill
Melanie Zanona
Tuesday, 2/13/2018
Several Quoted Excerpts
Ryan helped muscle a sweeping, bipartisan budget deal through Congress last week that sets the stage for $300 billion more in federal spending over the next two years. The measure also raises the debt ceiling for one year, knocking two major to-do items off lawmakers' plate.
In the end, a total of 167 Republicans backed the package. The previous two-year budget deal garnered just 79 GOP votes.
The deal was negotiated by leaders on both sides of the Capitol, but was announced by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.).
Trump is rescinding the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. He has given Congress until March 5 to come up with a permanent legal solution for the program, which protects certain immigrants who were brought to the country illegally as children.
Ryan last week said he's serious about passing legislation to help people who have been enrolled in DACA.
"I know that there is a real commitment to solving the DACA challenge in both political parties. That's a commitment that I share. To anyone who doubts my intention to solve this problem and bring up a DACA and immigration reform bill, do not," Ryan said.
"We will bring a solution to the floor - one that the president will sign," he said.
Despite the rumblings of discontent, conservatives aren't throwing out the threat of offering a "motion to vacate the chair" - which would force a vote on whether to strip Ryan of his Speaker's gavel - if Ryan doesn't follow through on his promise to only put an immigration bill on the floor if it has a majority of the GOP's support.
Ryan is trying to thread the needle by promising to solve DACA in a way that does not upset members of his own conference.
The Goodlatte bill is further to the right than the proposals being considered in the Senate or the framework outlined by the White House.
The legislation would offer a renewable, three-year legal status for DACA recipients in exchange for authorizing border wall funding, ending family-based immigration and eliminating the diversity visa lottery program.
It also would crack down on so-called sanctuary cities, increase criminal penalties for deported criminals who try to return to the U.S. and require employers to use an electronic verification system to ensure they only hire legal workers.
But it's unclear whether the Goodlatte bill can get a majority in the House, with some Republicans representing the agricultural industry concerned about the E-Verify language. There could also be concern that putting the bill on the floor could upset the high-level, bipartisan DACA negotiations that are currently taking place among the leadership.
While many Republicans are expecting to see some version of the Goodlatte measure pass the House, others aren't quite as confident.
"Here is what worries me: The Speaker, just a few years ago, was a leader in our party in fiscal responsibility and yet we got a [budget] bill like we did last week," Jordan said. "And now we are heading into an immigration debate where we know the Speaker historically has not been where the country is, or the Republican Party is, on immigration."
Ryan may have less to risk in the debate, however, if he doesn't plan on sticking around in Congress next year. He said he would make a final decision with his wife this spring on running for reelection.
But Ryan has insisted that his political future will not impact how he moves forward in the DACA debate.
"It doesn't," Ryan said last week when pressed on how his personal future might play into his immigration decisions. "I don't think about it at all."
Link to Article

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Pelosi Protests Stalled Immigration Talks With Marathon House Speech

Pelosi Protests Stalled Immigration Talks With Marathon House Speech
Wednesday, February 7, 20184:19 PM ET
Quoted Excerpts
While Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has promised Senate debate on immigration, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., has made no such commitment. On Tuesday, Ryan said, "We're not going to bring immigration legislation through that the president doesn't support."
Throughout the speech, Pelosi asked Ryan to change his mind and promise floor debate.
Read The Article

My Comments and My Opinions:
The article states that McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan will not support DACA because Trump will not support DACA.
Trump is one reason why there are no improvements in immigration laws and in DACA.
Read The Article

Friday, January 26, 2018

Symptoms of deadly flu strain spreading across US tend to 'escalate rapidly,' doctor says

Symptoms of deadly flu strain spreading across US tend to 'escalate rapidly,' doctor says
FOX News
Melanie Dadourian Thursday,1/26/2018
Last Friday, the CDC reported that 30 children have died so far this season from flu-related illness compared to eight at this time last year.
It started with a cold, and then it turned deadly.
The grieving family of Dylan Winnik of West Palm Beach, Fla. is in shock after their 12-year old son died Tuesday from complications related to the flu.
Dylan’s family said cold symptoms developed just a day after the seventh-grader was playing at a birthday party on Sunday, according to a report from Local10 News. By Tuesday, his condition worsened and a neighbor called 911. When sheriff's deputies arrived at the home, Dylan already had died.
Family member Mike Medwi told the Palm Beach Post that the boy had not gotten a flu shot.
Last Friday, the CDC reported that 30 children have died so far this season from flu-related illness compared to eight at this time last year. Those numbers are expected to rise at Friday’s weekly briefing, with more kids’ flu-related deaths having been reported in the past days.
Dr. Margarita Rohr from NYU Langone Health told Fox News the most common form of flu being reported this season, Influenza A (H3N2), "is particularly worrisome as symptoms tend to escalate rapidly, especially in children and older adults."
"The short duration time, from the diagnosis of flu with onset of symptoms leading rapidly to death may be attributed to the particular strain of virus we are currently facing," she said.
CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald told Reuters that 85 percent of the children who die from the flu likely have not been vaccinated. While the vaccine does not guarantee a patient won't get influenza, experts say data suggests the vaccinations can make the flu milder.
Meanwhile people across the country are reacting to the daily drip of new stories of children and apparently healthy adults dying from the flu.
Little 6-year-old Emily Muth from Cary, N.C. was diagnosed with the flu last Tuesday and died just three days later.
Family and friends were shocked by the news of 36-year-old single mom in Oregon, Tandy Harmon, who died just two days after being diagnosed.
And Lily Kershaw, 5, died of flu-related complications on Jan. 21, the first child to die from the flu in Nebraska this year, according to health officials.
While the spate of sudden deaths is frightening and tragic, there could be relief on the horizon. Fitzgerald said the CDC’s “surveillance systems show that nationally the flu season may be peaking now,” but cautioned “we know from past experience that it will take many more weeks for flu activity to truly slow down.“
To protect yourself, wash your hands frequently, cover your mouth when you cough, and limit contact with others who may be sick.
And if you haven’t gotten the flu shot yet, physicians are urging people to get them.
A total of 110 children died during the 2016-2017 season. The CDC estimates since 2010, the average range of hospitalizations from influenza has been between 140,000 and 710,000 cases. The flu has caused between 12,000 and 56,000 deaths in a typical year.
Link To Article

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

3 Alcatraz inmates survived 1962 escape, swim to land, letter suggests

3 Alcatraz inmates survived 1962 escape, swim to land, letter suggests
FOX News
Edmund DeMarche Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Quoted Excerpts
The three prisoners were serving sentences for bank robbery when they pulled off the escape with stolen spoons, dummy heads and a raincoat raft. Their exploits were turned into the 1979 movie “Escape from Alcatraz,” starring Clint Eastwood as Morris.
U.S. Marshal Michael Dyke, who inherited the unsolved case in 2003, told the Associated Press in 2012 that he didn’t know whether any of the trio was still alive. But he had seen enough evidence to make him wonder.
That evidence included credible reports that the Anglins’ mother, for several years, received flowers delivered without a card and that the brothers attended her 1973 funeral disguised in women’s clothes despite a heavy FBI presence.
The report pointed out that today Morris would be 90 and John and Clarence, the brothers, would be 86 and 87.
The federal government closed Alcatraz as a prison in 1963, just a year after the men's escape.
John Cantwell, National Park Service ranger, told the station that the Federal Bureau of Prisons said they drowned “once they got off” the island and their bodies were swept out to the Pacific.
“End of story,” he said.
Link To Article

My Opinion:
I doubt they survived.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Senate breaks budget impasse, paving way for government to reopen

My Opinions:
I would like long term solutions.
I am hoping that the Republican Senators will create legislation for DACA.
It is good news that the short term solution did not include Trump's wall.

Senate breaks budget impasse, paving way for government to reopen
The Washington Post
Robert Costa, Erica Werner, Ed O'Keefe, Elise Viebeck
Several Quoted Excerpts
Roughly 60 hours after the federal government first shut down, a bipartisan group of negotiators in the Senate reached a breakthrough to reopen the government by uniting Republican and Democratic leaders in an agreement on immigration and spending.
The Senate headed toward overwhelming passage of a short-term spending bill later in the day Monday after voting to end debate by a vote of 81-18. The House was then expected to pass the measure and send it to President Trump for his signature, laying the groundwork for the government to reopen by Monday evening.
The spending bill would fund the government through Feb. 8 and reauthorize the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for six years.
A majority of Democrats had forced the shutdown with demands for a vote on legislation to protect young undocumented immigrants known as "dreamers" from deportation. The final agreement did not include these protections, nor any specific guarantee of a vote.
"So long as the government remains open, it would be my intention to take up legislation here in the Senate that would address DACA, border security and related issues," McConnell said on the Senate floor Monday morning.
"This immigration debate will have a level playing field at the outset and an amendment process that is fair to all sides," he said.
Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) warned McConnell to keep his word.
"I expect the majority leader to fulfill his commitment to the Senate, to me and to the bipartisan group, and abide by this agreement. If he does not ... he will have breached the trust of not only the Democratic senators, but members of his own party as well," Schumer said before the vote to end debate.
Democratic and independent senators who relented in the standoff said they trusted the bipartisan group of negotiators, including Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.), to force McConnell to abide by his commitments.
But a group of liberal senators, some of whom are weighing runs for the presidency in 2020, said they did not hear anything new from McConnell that would give them confidence he would hold an immigration vote.
"I believe it's been a false choice that's been presented" between keeping the government open and resolving the DACA issue, said Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), who voted no. "I believe we can do both."
Senators who voted against the bill included Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), all considered possible White House contenders.
The Senate still must pass the final spending bill before sending it to the House.
Trump wrote that if the "stalemate continues," then Republicans should use the "Nuclear Option" to rewrite Senate rules and try to pass a long-term spending bill with a simple majority rather than the 60 votes needed to pass most legislation — a notion Trump has previously floated to McConnell's repeated dismissal.
The president otherwise remained uncharacteristically quiet, heeding the advice of senior advisers who argued that he has the upper hand over Schumer and the Democrats and that they would soon be forced to capitulate.
On the Senate floor, Schumer showed no signs of caving and kept pressure on Republicans.
"Not only do they not consult us, but they can't even get on the same page with their own president," he said.
Link To Article

My Diary/MyOpinions: The Government Shutdown

I am not an expert on government shutdowns.
I have posted my opinions regarding this government shutdown.

The Government Shutdown Late Friday Evening:1/19/2018.
One big problem for the Republicans and the Democrats is that Trump does not know how to do his job.
Trump is making it difficult for both parties to work together.

The government remains shutdown.
Normally the Republicans and the Democrats are able to make decisions.
Trump the deal maker will not sign legislation unless he gets his brick wall and the right to throw immigrants out, and the right to continue dismantling the USA.

The government remains shutdown: Monday,(Morning) 1/22/2018.
In my opinion the Republicans are puppets on strings.
They know that this government shutdown is also about Trump not being qualified and not fit for the job.
It is time they think of the USA and work with the Democrats.

Senate breaks budget impasse, paving way for government to reopen
The Washington Post
Robert Costa, Erica Werner, Ed O'Keefe, Elise Viebeck

Link To Article
My Opinions:
I would like long term solutions.
I am hoping that the Republican Senators will create legislation for DACA.
It is good news that the short term solution did not include Trump's wall.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Government shuts down after Senate bill collapses, negotiations fail

Government shuts down after Senate bill collapses, negotiations fail
The Washington Post
Mike DeBonis, Ed O'Keefe, Erica Werner, Elise Viebeck

Link To Article

Quoted Excerpts
But the White House drew a hard line immediately after midnight, saying they would not negotiate over a central issue — immigration — until government funding is restored.
“We will not negotiate the status of unlawful immigrants while Democrats hold our lawful citizens hostage over their reckless demands,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement. “This is the behavior of obstructionist losers, not legislators. When Democrats start paying our armed forces and first responders we will reopen negotiations on immigration reform.”
Both parties confronted major political risks with 10 months to go until the midterm elections. Republicans resolved not to submit to the minority party’s demands to negotiate, while Democrats largely unified to use the shutdown deadline to force concessions on numerous issues — including protections for hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants.
A government shutdown causing employee furloughs has never occurred under unified party control of Congress and the White House. Some furloughs of White House employees began immediately early Saturday.
Flake had previously gotten a similar commitment from McConnell, but the majority leader insisted in recent days that any dreamer bill would have to be one Trump supported. Flake said he had urged him, and McConnell had agreed, not to wait on the president.
“At this point, we agree we can’t wait for the White House anymore,” Flake said.
Earlier in the night, around 150 protesters gathered outside the Capitol to hear Democrats promise not to back any spending deal that did not grant legal status to DACA recipients.
“This is a movement,” said Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.). “We’re going to have some good days, and we’re going to have some bad days. And like every movement that has allowed our country to progress, we are going to have to fight.”

My Comments:
In 2016 candidate Trump did not have an immigration policy.
In 2018 Trump still wants to throw immigrants out.
It is time for Trump to get a legal immigration policy.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Trump Was Not ‘Fully Informed’ in Campaign Vows on Wall, Chief of Staff Says

My Opinions:
From day one Trump has not provided facts that prove the necessity of building a wall.
Trump has expressed his anti-thoughts on Mexico.
Trump has expressed his anti- thoughts on immigrants.
Trump has expressed his thoughts about security and protecting America from the Muslim Terrorists.
Where are those truthful facts?
Trump has not proven that he knows what he is talking about.
Link To Article

Trump Was Not ‘Fully Informed’ in Campaign Vows on Wall, Chief of Staff Says
Wednesday, JAN. 17, 2018

WASHINGTON — President Trump’s chief of staff privately told a group of Democratic lawmakers on Wednesday that Mr. Trump had not been “fully informed” when promising voters a wall along the Mexican border last year, and said that he had persuaded the president it was not necessary. He also expressed optimism that a bipartisan immigration deal could eventually be reached.
John F. Kelly, the retired Marine general credited with bringing a measure of discipline to Mr. Trump’s chaotic White House during his six months as chief of staff, told members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus that he had educated the president about the issue of immigration, adding that Mr. Trump had “evolved” on the wall.
But President Trump directly contradicted the chief of staff on Thursday, saying his position on building the wall had not “evolved.”
In an early-morning Twitter post, Mr. Trump said, “The Wall is the Wall, it has never changed or evolved from the first day I conceived of it.” He added in a second tweet, “The Wall will be paid for, directly or indirectly, or through longer term reimbursement, by Mexico, which has a ridiculous $71 billion dollar trade surplus with the U.S.”
The comments Mr. Kelly made Wednesday were an unusual instance of a White House chief of staff seeming to undercut public statements made by the president, in the process contradicting the central message of “Build the wall” that defined Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign. The president has recently begun to temper his own statements about the wall, telling a group of Republican and Democratic lawmakers at the White House last week that a 2,000-mile structure would not be needed because parts of the border would be impassable.
But in telling lawmakers that Mr. Trump had essentially erred from the start in promoting a wall and by claiming credit for dissuading him, Mr. Kelly appeared to be voicing a sentiment some in the West Wing have heard him express privately — that it is his job to tutor a sometimes ill-informed president who has never served in public office before.
At the same time, it suggested that Mr. Kelly, who served as secretary of homeland security before coming to the White House and has hard-line views on immigration that mirror the president’s restrictionist approach, was positioning himself now as a moderating influence.
Mr. Kelly made the remarks at a meeting with members of the Hispanic Caucus, as a group known as the Twos — the No. 2 Democrat and Republican in both the House and Senate — worked toward negotiating a deal to protect from deportation the young undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers. The meeting with the Hispanic caucus was first reported by The Washington Post.
Mr. Kelly expressed confidence that the negotiations to preserve the protections provided by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, the Obama-era policy that Mr. Trump moved in September to end, would succeed, though not necessarily this week. The president gave Congress six months to enact a replacement for the program, which protects about 780,000 young people.
“There’s no doubt in my mind there’s going to be a deal, so long as men and women on both sides are willing to talk,” Mr. Kelly said in an interview with Fox News.
As recently as Sunday, Mr. Trump was far more pessimistic about the program’s future and criticized its Democratic supporters. “DACA is probably dead because the Democrats don’t really want it, they just want to talk and take desperately needed money away from our Military,” he wrote on Twitter.
Mr. Kelly told lawmakers that “he was the one who tempered” Mr. Trump “on the issue of the wall, on the issue of DACA,” said Representative Raúl Grijalva, Democrat of Arizona, who attended the session.
Representative Luis V. Gutiérrez, Democrat of Illinois, who was also at the meeting, quoted Mr. Kelly as having told the group that, “a 50-foot wall from sea to shining sea isn’t what we’re going to build.”
Mr. Gutiérrez told reporters that at the meeting, Mr. Kelly said that during the presidential campaign, “there were statements made about the wall that were not informed statements.”
Mr. Trump often cited his promise to build a “big, beautiful wall” to energize his campaign rallies.
Marc T. Short, the White House director of legislative affairs, denied the Democrats’ characterization of Mr. Kelly’s comments about the president’s familiarity with immigration issues, telling CNN in an interview: “I don’t recall General Kelly saying the president was uninformed.”
But he did not dispute the notion that the president has changed his view of what is needed to secure the border, based in part on information from Customs and Border Protection, the government agency charged with immigration enforcement.
The wall has been a prominent issue in the negotiations over DACA, with Mr. Trump insisting that funding to build it be part of any such bill, along with measures to limit the extended family members immigrants can sponsor for entry into the United States and an end to the diversity visa lottery.
As Mr. Trump’s first secretary of homeland security, Mr. Kelly presided over the beginnings of the president’s immigration crackdown, including the enactment of his travel ban and tougher interior enforcement measures.
But Mr. Kelly did not push the idea of a solid wall across the entire southern border, arguing from the outset that “a physical barrier will not do the job.” More recently, he has prevailed upon Mr. Trump not to dwell on the idea of Mexico paying for the wall, a notion that the president has not mentioned for some time.
“He used the word ‘evolved,’” Mr. Grijalva said, adding that Mr. Kelly said Mr. Trump has “evolved, in the general context of the wall and DACA, and he said you make campaign promises; that’s different from governing.”
Two House Democratic aides who attended the meeting confirmed the accounts given by Mr. Grijalva and Mr. Gutiérrez.
Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard, Democrat of California, said she sought a clarification from Mr. Kelly about what would constitute the border wall that Mr. Trump is seeking, since “so many people have different ideas about what the wall actually is.”
Mr. Kelly said that since taking office, Mr. Trump “realizes what the realities are, and that they are no longer considering the wall to be what was described in the campaign,” Ms. Roybal-Allard said.
“It wasn’t until he got to the White House that he was better informed in terms of what were the possibilities in terms of barriers,” Ms. Roybal-Allard added, recalling what Mr. Kelly said about Mr. Trump.
Emily Baumgaertner contributed reporting.
Link To Article

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Israel destroys tunnel from Gaza it says intended for attacks

Israel destroys tunnel from Gaza it says intended for attacks
Sunday, January 14, 2018
Israel said Sunday it used a combination of air strikes and other means to destroy a tunnel stretching from the Gaza Strip into the country and continuing into Egypt.
Israeli military spokesman Jonathan Conricus said the tunnel belonged to Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas and was intended for attacks as opposed to smuggling.
Such tunnels have been used to carry out attacks in the past.
He said he was not aware of any casualties from the destruction of the tunnel, which was still being built.
It ran underneath the main goods crossing between Israel and the blockaded Gaza Strip -- known as Kerem Shalom -- as well as gas and fuel pipelines, he said.
According to Conricus, Israeli air strikes late Saturday along with other unspecified means were used to destroy the tunnel.
The strikes occurred within the Gaza Strip, while further means were used in Israeli territory.
The tunnel began east of the city of Rafah in the Gaza Strip, crossed into Israel some 180 metres, then continued into Egypt for an unspecified length, with no exit point detected, he said.
Conricus said Israel had coordinated with Egypt on the operation.
The tunnel stretched a total length of around a kilometre and a half, he said.
Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said: "Destroying the network of offensive tunnels is an essential component in our policy of systematically damaging the strategic abilities of Hamas."
"The message to the Gaza leadership and residents is clear -- invest in life and not burial tunnels," Lieberman said in a statement.
Israel says it has been developing a new method to identify and destroy such tunnels, though it does not comment on details.
It is also building an underground wall in the area around the Gaza Strip to stop such tunnels.
The latest tunnel was the third destroyed since late October by Israel, but it comes at a particularly sensitive time.
Tensions between Palestinians and Israel have been high since US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital on December 6.
Unrest has included rockets being fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel, with Israel's military responding with air strikes.
Conricus said Sunday Israel was defending its sovereignty with the destruction of the tunnel and was not seeking an escalation.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Interior puts science grants through political review

Interior puts science grants through political review
The Washington Post
Juliet Eilperin
Quoted Excerpts
The Interior Department has adopted a new screening process for the discretionary grants it makes to outside groups, instructing staff to ensure those awards "promote the priorities" of the Trump administration.
The Dec. 28 directive, obtained by The Washington Post, represents the latest attempt by Trump political appointees to put their mark on government spending. Last summer, the Environmental Protection Agency instituted a system requiring that a political appointee in the public affairs office sign off on each grant before it is awarded.
David J. Hayes, who served as Interior's deputy secretary under Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, said in an email Monday that laws passed by Congress govern these programs.
"Subjugating Congress' priorities to 10 of the Secretary's own priorities is arrogant, impractical and, in some cases, likely illegal," said Hayes, executive director of the New York University School of Law's State Energy and Environmental Impact Center.
Interior has ordered the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine to halt two studies that conflict with the administration's goal of expanding domestic fossil fuel production.
Officials said they had questions about the studies' expense to taxpayers. One, stopped in August, was looking at whether residents near surface coal mining sites in Appalachia face higher health risks than other Americans. The second, suspended last month, was aimed at updating and enhancing the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement's oil and gas inspection program.
Read Article

Saturday, January 6, 2018

David Clarke, former Milwaukee sheriff, set to face trial for Facebook posts

David Clarke, former Milwaukee sheriff, set to face trial for Facebook posts
By Andrew Blake - The Washington Times - Saturday, January 6, 2018
Quoted Excerpts
A federal judge has ordered former Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke to face trial in connection with a First Amendment complaint filed in response to his Facebook posts.
U.S. District Judge J. P. Stadtmueller has scheduled a jury trial to start later this month concerning a couple of Facebook posts published following an incident that unfolded onboard a Milwaukee-bound aircraft last January between Mr. Clarke and the plaintiff, local resident Daniel Black.
“Next time [Black] or anyone else pulls this stunt on a plane they may get knocked out. The Sheriff … does not have to wait for some goof to assault him. He reserves the reasonable right to pre-empt a possible assault,” the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office posted on its public Facebook page on Jan. 18, 2017.
“Cheer up, snowflake … if Sheriff Clarke were to really harass you, you wouldn’t be around to whine about it,” Mr. Clarke posted the following day accompanying a picture of the passenger.
Mr. Black ultimately sued Mr. Clarke over the airport encounter as well as the Facebook posts, alleging violations of his rights under the First, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
Weighing in from Milwaukee federal court Friday, Judge Stadtmueller dismissed most of the allegations against Mr. Clarke, but not the claims surrounding the couple of Facebook posts.
Mr. Black “has raised a triable issue of fact as to his claim for First Amendment retaliation based on Clarke’s Facebook posts,” the judge wrote, adding the posts could reasonably be understood as a “threat, coercion, or intimidation that punishment … will immediately follow.”
“Of course, another interpretation is that the posts are intentionally hyperbolic (and juvenile) attempts at mockery and self-promotion, and that an ordinary person would not be intimidated by them,” the judge added.
The case will go before a jury trial on Jan. 22, according to the judge’s order.
Mr. Clarke could not immediately be reached for comment.
Mr. Clarke, 61, served as sheriff of Milwaukee County from 2002 to 2017. He campaigned for Mr. Trump during the president’s 2016 campaign and was previously reported to be in the running for a position in his Department of Homeland Security.
Link To Article

Warren rips Trump over immigration demands: 'Dreamers aren't bargaining chips'

Warren rips Trump over immigration demands: 'Dreamers aren't bargaining chips'
The Hill
Avery Anapol
Friday, 1/5/2018
Quoted Excerpts
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) slammed President Trump on Friday over his newly released priorities for an immigration deal.
Warren tweeted that recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, commonly referred to as "Dreamers," should not be used as "bargaining chips."
"Dreamers aren't bargaining chips," Warren tweeted. "They aren't pawns in President Trump's game. We made a promise. We said come out of the shadows & be fully woven into the fabric of America because that's who you are. In America, we work hard & dream big & we must keep our promise to Dreamers."
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), whose office released the document, said the demands show that Trump is willing to risk a government shutdown in exchange for his border wall.
The president has made it clear that he will not accept a fix for DACA that does not include funding for the border wall, and has called for $18 billion in funding for the wall.
Trump announced in September that he would rescind DACA and gave Congress until March to pass legislation to protect Dreamers. Lawmakers have been battling to come up with a deal to satisfy both parties, but so far have come up empty.
Link To Article

My Opinions:
Trump's brick wall was never a solution.
Trump does not want immigrants in his USA.

Trump book author says his revelations will bring down U.S. president

Trump book author says his revelations will bring down U.S. president
Quoted Excerpts
Michael Wolff told BBC radio that his conclusion in "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House" that Trump is not fit to do the job was becoming a widespread view.
Trump has dismissed the book as full of lies. It depicts a chaotic White House, a president who was ill-prepared to win the office in 2016, and Trump aides who scorned his abilities. 

Link To Article

My Opinions: 
In 2016 the RNC saw and knew what Trump was.
In 2016 other Republican candidates were running for that same office.
In 2016 Trump was not qualified.

Friday, January 5, 2018

FBI launches new Clinton Foundation investigation

FBI launches new Clinton Foundation investigation
The Hill
John Solomon
Quoted Excerpts
One witness recently interviewed by the FBI described the session to The Hill as “extremely professional and unquestionably thorough” and focused on questions about whether donors to Clinton charitable efforts received any favorable treatment from the Obama administration on a policy decision previously highlighted in media reports.
The witness discussed his interview solely on the grounds of anonymity. He said the agents were from Little Rock and their questions focused on government decisions and discussions of donations to Clinton entities during the time Hillary Clinton led President Obama's State Department. The FBI office in Little Rock referred a reporter on Thursday to Washington headquarters, where officials declined any official comment.
A renewed law enforcement focus follows a promise to Congress late last year from top Trump Justice Department officials that law enforcement would revisit some of the investigations and legal issues closed during the Obama years that conservatives felt were given short shrift. It also follows months of relentless criticism on Twitter from President Trump, who has repeatedly questioned why no criminal charges were ever filed against the “crooked” Clintons and their fundraising machine.
Officials also said the Justice Department was re-examining whether there are any unresolved issues from the closed case into Clinton's transmission of classified information through her personal email server. Former FBI Director James Comey in 2016 concluded Clinton was “extremely careless” in handling that classified information and that there was some evidence of legal violations, but he declined to recommend charges on the grounds that he could not prove Clinton and her top aides intended to break the law.
A senior law enforcement official said the Justice Department was exploring whether any issues from that probe should be re-opened but cautioned the effort was not at the stage of a full investigation. One challenge for any Clinton-era investigation is that the statute of limitations on most federal felonies is five years, and Clinton left office in early 2013.
Link To Article

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Sheriff David Clarke temporarily blocked on Twitter after violating terms of service

Sheriff David Clarke temporarily blocked on Twitter after violating terms of service
By Jake Tapper, Anchor and Chief Washington Correspondent
Tuesday, 1/2/2018
Quoted Excerpts
Former Milwaukee Sheriff David A. Clarke, Jr., a vocal surrogate for President Donald Trump on the campaign trail, was temporarily blocked from tweeting after Twitter users' complaints alerted the company that three of his messages violated the terms of service, CNN has learned.
Clarke was placed in read-only mode until he deleted three tweets that seemed to call for violence against members of the media.

Read More

My Opinions:
It is time that Trump and his associates stop using social  media to express their anger, violent words and racism.
Trump's recent Nuclear Tweet is not in the best interest of the USA.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

WHO to classify ‘gaming addiction’ as mental health disorder

WHO to classify ‘gaming addiction’ as mental health disorder
New York Daily News
Tuesday, December 26, 2017, 1:38 PM
Quoted Excerpts
The World Health Organization will classify “gaming addiction” as an addictive behavior disorder, similar to gambling disorder, in its 2018 International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11), according to a beta draft posted on the ICD website.
The International Classification of Diseases contains codes as well as signs and symptoms of diseases and disorders to be used by healthcare and clinicians across the globe.
The organization classifies gaming addiction as a “pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behavior which may be online or offline.” The description says that the addiction may manifest by impaired control over gaming onset, frequency, intensity, duration or context, increasing priority giving to gaming so much so that it takes precedence of over aspects of daily life, and continuing or escalating gameplay despite negative consequences.
These symptoms normally must appear over a period of 12 months for a diagnosis, though it may be diagnosed in a shorter amount of time depending on the severity.
The new classification is not saying that all video game playing is a mental health disorder, but rather that excessive gaming over a period of time can lead to diagnosis and treatment.
The upcoming ICD, in its 11th update, will allow doctors and health care workers, as well as researchers and policymakers, to classify gaming addiction as a mental health condition. It is not the final update approved by WHO and wording may be changed based on expert suggestions to the beta draft.
Link To
Link To Article

Friday, December 29, 2017

New GOP tax reform bill has people playing taxes early

New GOP tax reform bill has people playing taxes early
Friday,December 29, 2017
Quoted Excerpts
Not every state or city allows you to prepay.
Tax experts say you should prepay early only if:
You have enough money saved.
You usually itemize your taxes.
You usually pay more than $10,000 in overall state and local taxes.
You are not subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax, which limits what you can deduct.
Friday is the last day Massachusetts residents have to prepay their property taxes.
The secretary of state said people can prepay the tax if payment is made and assessed this year, even if it is not due until next year.

Link To Article

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

What ever happened to Trump's border wall?

What ever happened to Trump's border wall?
Toluse Olorunnipa
Wednesday, 12/27/2017
Quoted Excerpts
In April and September, Congress passed short-term funding bills that didn’t include any funding for the proposed wall.
But Congress hasn’t appropriated any funding for continuing the project next year, and there is no timeline for when the border wall might be constructed.
Several senators, including Arizona Republican Jeff Flake, have objected to spending taxpayer money to build a wall along the border.
Even Trump’s DHS Secretary conceded the wall isn’t necessary for the full length of the border.

Link To Article

My Opinions:
The brick wall is not necessary.
I doubt Trump's brick wall will be built. 
Improve upon the various technologies and the securities that we already have.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

New York’s Attorney General in Battle With Trump

New York’s Attorney General in Battle With Trump
The New York Times
Quoted Excerpt
“We try and protect New Yorkers from those who would do them harm,” Mr. Schneiderman said during a recent interview in his Manhattan office. “The biggest threat to New Yorkers right now is the federal government, so we’re responding to it.”

Link To Article

My Comment: I thought the article was interesting.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Republicans knock holes in Affordable Care Act but don’t deliver a knockout punch

Republicans knock holes in Affordable Care Act but don’t deliver a knockout punch
The Washington Post
Amy Goldstein
Monday, December 25,2017
Quoted Excerpts
Before Congress left Washington for the year, Republicans finally made good on their determination to knock big holes in the Affordable Care Act, crippling its requirement that most Americans carry health insurance and leaving insurers without billions of dollars in promised federal payments.
After year of full GOP control, congressional Republicans and the White House have damaged the ACA but fallen short of their vehement goal of dismantling broad swaths of it. More ambiguous is whether their end-of-year victory — removing tax penalties starting in 2019 for people who violate the insurance mandate — will whet the GOP's appetite for taking apart more of the law.
Read The Article

My Opinions and My Question:
The Republicans have shown two things.
They want to dismantle The ACA.
They do not know how to create a good health care plan.
Do the Republicans care about Americans having good health care?

Saturday, December 23, 2017

AP FACT CHECK: Trump's 'middle-class miracle' favors wealthy

AP FACT CHECK: Trump's 'middle-class miracle' favors wealthy
Associated Press
Thursday, December 21,2017
Link To Article

AP FACT CHECK: Tax plan shows 2 things can be true at once

Find AP Fact Checks at

Read The Article

AP FACT CHECK: Tax plan shows 2 things can be true at once
Quoted Excerpts
Two things can be true at once. President Donald Trump's tax overhaul is slanted to the rich, as Democrats say and Republicans like to ignore. It also comes with tax cuts for average people, which Democrats bypass in slamming Trump's "betrayal" of the middle class.
Trump's signing of the tax bill into law Friday capped a week also marked by a national security speech in which Trump misrepresented the records of his predecessors in his ceaseless effort to claim achievements that in many cases remain ambitions.

VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE: "You're delivering on that middle-class miracle." — to Trump at a Cabinet meeting Wednesday.
THE FACTS: Modest doesn't usually make for a miracle. Pence's praise to the boss reflects Trump's assertion that "it's a tax bill for the middle class," as he often put it, but average people are not the prime beneficiaries of the tax cuts. Aside from businesses, rich people get the most.
The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center estimates the biggest benefit of the new law will go to households making $308,000 to $733,000. Households making over that should get a tax cut worth 3.4 percent of their after-tax income. For the richest 0.1 percent (making over $3.4 million), the tax cut should be worth 2.7 percent of their after-tax income. For middle-income earners: 1.6 percent, the center estimates.
Moreover, only high-income people would get a meaningful tax cut after 2025, when nearly all of the plan's individual income tax provisions are due to expire.
Republicans argue that the middle class will also see benefits from the business tax cuts, in the form of more jobs and higher wages.

DEMOCRATIC SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER: "Their bill increases taxes on lots of middle-class people. ... According to the Tax Policy Center, the top 1 percent of earners in our country gets 83 percent of the benefits." — remarks Tuesday.
THE FACTS: The tax cuts are not nearly as lopsided as many Democrats are portraying them. Almost all of the middle class would initially pay less in taxes.
For the next eight years, the vast majority of middle-class taxpayers — those earning between $49,000 and $86,000 — will receive a tax cut, albeit a small one. In 2018, nine-tenths of the middle class will get a cut, according to the Tax Policy Center. In 2025, 87 percent will. The tax cut won't be very big: just $930 next year for the middle one-fifth of taxpayers, the center's analysis concludes. For those paid twice a month, that's about $40 a paycheck.

REP. NANCY PELOSI, House Democratic leader: "86 million middle class families get a tax hike." — tweet Wednesday.
THE FACTS: She's ignoring all the middle-class tax cuts before 2027; that year, taxes will be slightly higher for the middle class unless the cuts are extended.
Find AP Fact Checks at
Associated Press writers Josh Boak and Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar contributed to this report.
EDITOR'S NOTE _ A look at the veracity of claims by political figures

Trump Promised to Protect Steel. Layoffs Are Coming Instead.

Trump Promised to Protect Steel. Layoffs Are Coming Instead.
The New York Times
By ANA SWANSON   Friday, December 22,2017
Quoted Excerpts
CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. — At this sprawling steel mill on the outskirts of Philadelphia, the workers have one number in mind. Not how many tons of steel roll off the line, or how many hours they work, but where they fall on the plant’s seniority list.
In September, ArcelorMittal, which owns the mill, announced that it would lay off 150 of the plant’s 207 workers next year. While the cuts will start with the most junior employees, they will go so deep that even workers with decades of experience will be cast out.
The layoffs have stunned these steelworkers who, just a year ago, greeted President Trump’s election as a new dawn for their industry. Mr. Trump pledged to build roads and bridges, strengthen “Buy America” provisions, protect factories from unfair imports and revive industry, especially steel.
But after a year in office, Mr. Trump has not enacted these policies. And when it comes to steel, his failure to follow through on a promise has actually done more harm than good.
Foreign steel makers have rushed to get their product into the United States before tariffs start. According to the American Iron and Steel Institute, which tracks shipments, steel imports were 19.4 percent higher in the first 10 months of 2017 than in the same period last year.
Reforming trade was one of the president’s signature campaign promises, and in his first months in office, Mr. Trump issued dozens of executive actions. One pulled the United States out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a 12-country trade pact. Others ordered investigations into imports or renegotiations of trade pacts.
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My Comment: I disagree with Trump making promises that he cannot keep.

Final round of layoffs planned at Carrier plant Trump promised to save

POLITICS November 8,2017
Final round of layoffs planned at Carrier plant Trump promised to save
By Gregg Re | Fox News
Carrier Corp., the HVAC manufacturer that had planned to move its operations to Mexico before President Trump staged a much-heralded intervention, is gearing up for a final round of layoffs.
Less than four months after it laid off nearly 340 employees at its Indianapolis factory, Carrier said Tuesday that 215 employees will be terminated on Jan. 11.
The company originally had planned those layoffs for late December, but delayed the move until January. The number of layoffs is slightly lower than the 275 employees who initially would have been impacted – the company said fewer workers were affected because of voluntary attrition.
Employees at the Indianapolis plant reportedly do not feel they have job security.
"They just don't have any faith in this plant staying in Indianapolis," Robert James, the president of a union that represents plant workers, told The Indianapolis Star.
Shortly after Trump’s election, Carrier announced that it had reached a deal with the then president-elect to keep approximately 1,070 jobs in Indianapolis for 10 years in exchange for up to $7 million in various incentives.
The highly publicized deal, which protected about 730 manufacturing jobs, abruptly reversed the plan Carrier announced in February 2016 to move its factory to Mexico and eliminate nearly 1,400 jobs.
Although Carrier employees appeared elated in widely circulated photographs after Trump struck the deal with the company, the mood in Indianapolis has apparently soured as layoffs continue.
“Trump came in there to the factory last December and blew smoke up our a---s,” Brenda Darlene Battle, a longtime Carrier employee, told The New Yorker. “He wasn’t gonna save those jobs.”
But the company said in a statement: “More than 1,100 jobs remain at the Indianapolis facility in keeping with our 2016 commitment.”
Gregg Re is an editor for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @gregg_re.
Link To Article

Monday, December 18, 2017

The Fraying of the Trump Brand

The Fraying of the Trump Brand
Experts say President Trump is damaging his party and its candidates' election prospects.
By Susan Milligan, Senior Writer | Friday, December 15, 2017, at 6:00 a.m.
Quoted Excerpts
In Virginia, for example, half of voters in Nov. 7's gubernatorial and state legislative elections said Trump was a reason for their vote, and twice as many (34 percent) told exit pollsters they were casting votes to oppose Trump as to support him. Democrat Ralph Northam won the governor's race by nine points, and Democrats made huge gains in the House of Delegates, with recounts set to determine whether the chamber will flip from GOP to Democratic control.
Even in deep red Alabama, Trump's tainted brand appeared to have an impact on a special election that led to the upset win of Democrat Doug Jones to replace now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions in the U.S. Senate. Trump initially endorsed interim Sen. Luther Strange, the Republican lost the primary to Roy Moore. And while Moore was surely tainted in his own accord, being accused of preying on teenage girls when he was in his 30s, but Trump's endorsement and robocall of support did not put Moore over the top, even in the heavily Republican state.
Those are ominous signs for Republicans, whose party is being branded by an outsider president who prefers provocative remarks about sexual harassment complainants, protesting NFL players and white supremacist demonstrators to the blue-chip GOP agenda of smaller government and lower taxes.
....."He's able to deflect really well," Millman says. "What is happening, I think, is that people who voted for him were hoping that his brand would reflect on them, and they would get the benefit of his brand, and they are not."
.....But the party's brand is being crafted by a man who equated Nazi sympathizers with counter-protesters, he laments, frustrating the GOP's ability to expand its rank and file – let alone elect more Republicans to office.
Link To
Read More 

Opinion Article: Why Won’t the Pentagon Tell Us Where Our Troops Are Fighting?

Why Won’t the Pentagon Tell Us Where Our Troops Are Fighting?
By Emma Ashford On 12/13/17 at 7:10 AM

Opinion Article
Quoted Excerpts
In addition to the media focus on the ongoing chaos in the Trump White House, the Pentagon has consistently avoided disclosing where and who America’s armed forces are engaged in fighting until forced to do so.
The fundamental problem is simple. With only limited knowledge of where American troops are, and what they are doing there, we cannot even have a coherent public discussion about the scope of U.S. military intervention around the globe.
Link To Article

Report: US soldier fought to end after ambush in Niger

Report: US soldier fought to end after ambush in Niger
By LOLITA C. BALDOR | Associated Press
Monday, December 18,2017
Quoted Excerpts
The Pentagon has declined to release details about the exact mission of the commando team. U.S. officials have previously said that the joint U.S.-Niger patrol had been asked to assist a second American commando team hunting for a senior Islamic State member, who also had former ties to al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb. The team had been asked to go to a location where the insurgent had last been seen, and collect intelligence.
Link To Article

APNewsBreak: US soldier fought to end after ambush in Niger
Published: Sunday, December 17, 2017 @ 1:05 PM
Updated: Sunday, December 17, 2017 @ 1:05 PM
By: Associated Press
Quoted Excerpts
The Pentagon has declined to release details about the exact mission of the commando team. U.S. officials have previously said that the joint U.S.-Niger patrol had been asked to assist a second American commando team hunting for a senior Islamic State member, who also had former ties to al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb. The team had been asked to go to a location where the insurgent had last been seen, and collect intelligence.
Link To Article

U.S. soldier in Niger was killed by enemy fire, not captured, according to report
Rick Jervis, USA TODAY Published 3:48 p.m. ET Dec. 17, 2017 | Updated 5:25 a.m. ET Dec. 18, 2017
Quoted Excerpts
The Pentagon is investigating the incident and has not released details about the exact mission of Johnson’s commando team. U.S. officials have said the joint U.S.-Niger patrol had been asked to assist a second American commando team hunting for a senior Islamic State member, who also had former ties to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. The team had been asked to go to a location where the insurgent had last been seen and collect intelligence.
Link To Article

Tax Reform Act Of 1986: Conference Report To Accompany H.R.3838

Tax Reform Act Of 1986
Conference Report  To Accompany H.R.3838
Link To

GOP faces 5-day scramble to pass tax bill, avoid government shutdown

GOP faces 5-day scramble to pass tax bill, avoid government shutdown
The Washington Post
Jeff Stein, Mike DeBonis, Patrick Reis
Sunday, December17, 2017
Quoted Excerpts
The measure's passage would mark the first major legislative accomplishment for Trump and GOP leaders in a year of stumbles, the products of months of negotiations and late adjustments aimed at winning over the last holdouts.
"We think as a result of lowering business taxes, wages will go up. So, this is a huge opportunity for creating jobs, for creating tax cuts for working families," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union."
Congress' nonpartisan tax analysts, joining several other nonpartisan assessments, concluded that the bulk of the bill's benefits would go to the wealthy and corporations. Those analyses have also projected that the cuts will produce far less economic growth than Trump and administration officials are promising.
The plan, unveiled in its final form Friday, would make the biggest changes to the tax code in three decades. Most significant, it would drop the corporate tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent. The bill also would cut taxes for nearly all individuals, giving the biggest trims to the wealthy but in most cases providing some relief for the middle class.
.....Democrats, who were shut out of the bill's construction and find themselves all but powerless to prevent its passage, attempted to hammer home that point Sunday.
The young people, many of whom have lived in the United States for nearly their entire lives, were afforded temporary protection from deportation via an executive order from President Barack Obama. The Trump administration is changing that policy, and Democrats — as well as some Republicans, such as Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) — are eager to replace it with new protections.
The tax bill, meanwhile, is projected to increase the deficit by at least $1 trillion over the next decade, a figure that would expand greatly if Republicans are correct that future Congresses will extend the plan's many income tax cuts set to expire in eight years.
Few Republicans have raised major concerns about the tax bill based on its fiscal impact. GOP leaders assert the plan will generate enough economic growth to pay for itself, though virtually every independent analysis of the plan has found that it will fall short of that goal. One prominent senator who raised deficit concerns, Tennessee's Corker, reversed his opposition to the bill on Friday, saying he had concluded that the country would be "better off with it" than without it.

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Sunday, December 17, 2017

In The Past Has The American Government Banned Words?

Sunday, December 17,2017
I  wanted to know if  in the past America had banned words.
Here are the results of my Internet search.

By Tap Vann on March 30, 2012
Link To

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
May 20, 2016
Statement by the Press Secretary on H.R. 4238, H.R. 4336, H.R. 4923, H.R. 4957, S. 1492, S. 1523, S. 2143
On Friday, May 20, 2016, the President signed into law:
Quoted Excerpt H.R. 4238, which modernizes terms in specified statutes related to minorities;
Link To

Sponsor: Rep. Meng, Grace [D-NY-6] (Introduced 12/11/2015)
Committees: House - Energy and Commerce; Transportation and Infrastructure
Latest Action: 05/20/2016 Became Public Law No: 114-157. (TXT | PDF)  (All Actions)
Roll Call Votes: There has been 1 roll call vote
Link To
Link To

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Everything You Need to Know About the GOP Tax-Overhaul Plan

Everything You Need to Know About the GOP Tax-Overhaul Plan
Bloomberg News
Quoted Excerpts
(Bloomberg) -- Here are key changes to U.S. tax law for individuals and businesses that have emerged from the final Republican bill that’s headed for votes in the House and Senate next week.

Standard Deduction and Personal Exemptions
Current law: $6,350 standard deduction for single taxpayers and $12,700 for married couples, filing jointly. Personal exemptions of $4,050 allowed for each family member.
Proposed: $12,000 standard deduction for single taxpayers and $24,000 for married couples, filing jointly. Personal exemptions repealed.

Medical Expense Deduction
Current law: Qualified medical expenses that exceed 10 percent of the taxpayer’s adjusted gross income are deductible.
Proposed: Reduce the threshold to 7.5 percent of AGI for 2017 and 2018.

Read More

My Opinion:
I think the voting should wait until the new senator from Alabama is officially seated.

John McCain to Trump: Lay off the 'fake news' claims

John McCain to Trump: Lay off the 'fake news' claims
Jackie Wattles
Quoted Excerpts
Senator John McCain again called out President Trump for his anti-media rhetoric.
In a tweet Wednesday afternoon, McCain shared a new report from the Committee to Protect Journalists that says the number of journalists imprisoned around the world has reached 262, a new record.
The total includes 21 reporters being held on "false news" charges.
Trump is known for dismissing press coverage he doesn't like as "fake news."
"If you want to preserve -- I'm very serious now -- if you want to preserve democracy as we know it, you have to have a free and many times adversarial press," McCain said in a February interview with NBC News. "And without it, I am afraid that we would lose so much of our individual liberties over time. That's how dictators get started."
Link To Article

Friday, December 15, 2017

Obstacles emerge as GOP races to tax finish
The Hill
Alexander Bolton, Naomi Jagoda and Scott Wong
Quoted Excerpts
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) lobbed a bomb into the final negotiations Thursday by threatening to vote against the bill unless it makes the Child Tax Credit more generous to people who don't pay income taxes.
It does not appear, however, that the Child Tax Credit will be indexed to inflation in the bill, which means middle-class families would likely see the benefit shrink in future years.
Corker told reporters "the issues I had before are still there," though he hasn't ruled out voting for the bill when it comes back to the floor next week.
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), another key swing vote, hasn't yet committed to voting for the bill. She has expressed concern over the lowering of the top individual rate from 39.6 percent to 37 percent.
But Collins has won other major concessions, such as the $10,000 deduction for state and local taxes, as well as a promise from Pence and GOP leaders to pass legislation to subsidize insurance companies and set up high-risk insurance pools for sick people.
Read More

My Comment: The Republicans cannot afford to lose too many Republican votes.