Category Archives: Media

After their tax bill, the GOP is coming for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid

The Senate Finance Committee late Thursday approved the Senate’s version of the GOP’s “tax cuts for corporations and Plutocrats” bill, after the House passed its version earlier in the day. Senate panel approves GOP tax plan. The panel voted to send the tax plan to the full Senate on a party-line vote of 14-12.

The Septuagenarian Ninja Turtle, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, said in a statement “When the Senate returns after Thanksgiving, I will bring this must-pass legislation to the floor for further debate and open consideration.”

Well, this is going to make for some heated discussions at Thanksgiving dinner when your drunk uncle shows up wearing his MAGA hat and Trump T-shirt. Here’s some information that you can use to try to properly educate your ignorant drunk uncle.

Paul Waldman of the Washington Post explains, The GOP tax plan is moving forward. It’s a big scam on Trump’s base.

If you’re one of those white working-class voters who propelled Donald Trump into the presidency and gave Republicans total control of Washington, the GOP has a message for you: Sucker!

Today the House [passed] its version of a tax reform bill, and if and when the Senate passes its version, the two will be combined in a final bill that will most likely wind up becoming law. We already knew that the House version would raise taxes on tens of millions of Americans — about 36 million, according to figures from the Joint Committee on Taxation, whose job it is to analyze tax bills before they’re voted on. Now we’re learning more about the Senate version:

The tax bill Senate Republicans are championing would give large tax cuts to millionaires while raising taxes on American families earning $10,000 to $75,000 over the next decade, according to an analysis released Thursday by the Joint Committee on Taxation, Congress’ official nonpartisan analysts.

President Trump and Republican lawmakers have been heralding their bill as a win for hard-working Americans, but the JCT report casts serious doubt on that claim. Tax hikes for households earning $10,000 to $30,000 would start in 2021 and grow sharply from there. By the year 2027, Americans earning $30,000 to $75,000 a year would also be forced to pay more in taxes even though people earning over $100,000 continue to get substantial tax cuts.

Everyone always knew Republicans were going to cut taxes for the wealthy. They’re Republicans; that’s what they do. But it’s a genuine surprise to see them raising taxes on people with more modest incomes. Why isn’t this being angrily decried by all those conservatives who believe that tax increases are a crime against humanity? Could it possibly be that they don’t really care about the middle class as much as they say? Was the whole point of this exercise to cut taxes on corporations and the wealthy, and if regular people have to pay more so those at the top can pay less, then that’s fine with them? Say it isn’t so!

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Arizona’s mismanagement of public education

You may have been following this story over the past several weeks. Arizona allocated $85 million to wrong schools for special-education, low-income students:

Financial miscalculations by state education administrators have resulted in hundreds of Arizona schools missing out on tens of millions of federal dollars to serve students with special needs and those from low-income families.

According to an Arizona Republic analysis of data provided by the Arizona Department of Education, the state has misallocated $85 million over the past four years, giving some schools too much and some too little.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas last month publicly announced that the state erroneously allocated $56 million in federal Title I funds for low-income students. Last week, she sent a letter to schools notifying them of another problem: $30 million in federal Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) grants over the past three years allocated to the wrong schools.

For some underfunded schools, this may have required them to pull general classroom funds to cover expenses for special-needs services, and prevented them from hiring additional teachers or giving raises.

“The superintendent and (Arizona Department of Education Chief of Staff) Michael Bradley are not taking this lightly,” said department spokesman Stefan Swiat. “They are taking an audit found under a previous administration and they are tackling it.”

Swiat said the start of both problems dated back to prior superintendents, although the issue with special-education funds wasn’t fully assessed by federal officials until this September.

The disclosures from the Arizona Department of Education has fueled the argument from education leaders that they need more money to properly educate the state’s K-12 students.

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Wikileaks is at the center of Trump-Putin campaign investigation

Wikileaks is a non-state actor intelligence agency hostile to the United States. Wikileaks founder Julin Assange has a program on Russian Television International, a Russian propaganda network. Assange frequently attacks the United States while pulling punches for Vladimir Putin’s autocratic kleptocracy in Russia.

WikiLeaks was the conduit the Russians used to disseminate the DNC, DCCC and John Podesta emails. This is the unanimous assessment of U.S. intelligence agencies.

Martin Longman at the Political Animal blog summarized, Did Nigel Farage Serve as Roger Stone’s Intermediary?:

The Smoking Gun wrote up an extensive article on their contacts with Guccifer 2.0, the “online persona that U.S. officials say was created by Russian government officials to distribute and publicize material stolen during hacks of the DNC, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and Gmail accounts used by Clinton staffers like John Podesta, the campaign’s chairman.”

The main focus of their article was Roger Stone, however, who had significant online contacts with the Guccifer 2.0 persona, called him a hero, and defended him extensively against accusations that he wasn’t who or what he claimed to be. It’s a fascinating article, and it just became much more urgently interesting this morning after BuzzFeed News reported that they essentially busted Nigel Farage coming out of a meeting with Julian Assange today in Ecuador’s London embassy.

Longtime Trump confidant and GOP ratfucker Roger Stone admitted to having a “back channel” to Julian Assange during the campaign. Roger Stone claims he has ‘perfectly legal back channel’ to Julian Assange. And Stone admitted to speaking privately with Guccifer 2.0, an alleged Russian cyberspy.

Today The Atlantic reports that Donald Trump’s son, Donald Jr., also had a back channel to Julian Assange. The Secret Correspondence Between Donald Trump Jr. and WikiLeaks:

Just before the stroke of midnight on September 20, 2016, at the height of last year’s presidential election, the WikiLeaks Twitter account sent a private direct message to Donald Trump Jr., the Republican nominee’s oldest son and campaign surrogate.

* * *

The next morning, about 12 hours later, Trump Jr. responded to WikiLeaks. “Off the record I don’t know who that is, but I’ll ask around,” he wrote on September 21, 2016. “Thanks.”

The messages, obtained by The Atlantic, were also turned over by Trump Jr.’s lawyers to congressional investigators. They are part of a long—and largely one-sided—correspondence between WikiLeaks and the president’s son that continued until at least July 2017. The messages show WikiLeaks, a radical transparency organization that the American intelligence community believes was chosen by the Russian government to disseminate the information it had hacked, actively soliciting Trump Jr.’s cooperation. WikiLeaks made a series of increasingly bold requests, including asking for Trump’s tax returns, urging the Trump campaign on Election Day to reject the results of the election as rigged, and requesting that the president-elect tell Australia to appoint Julian Assange ambassador to the United States.

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House GOP tax scam exposed

The House Ways and Means Committee on Thursday approved the House Republicans’ bill to rewrite the tax code on a party-line vote. GOP tax bill clears hurdle, heads to House floor:

The measure — which reduces the number of individual tax rates, slashes the corporate tax rate and eliminates many deductions and credits — was approved on a party-line vote of 24-16.

The only changes made to the bill during the markup were from amendments offered by Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas).

Thursday afternoon, Brady made a number of changes to the bill which included restoring the adoption tax credit, additional tax relief for pass-through businesses and higher tax rates on repatriated foreign earnings.

Republicans and Democrats argued during the markup over whether the bill would help the middle class. GOP lawmakers pointed to estimates from the Joint Committee on Taxation that showed that on average every income group would get a tax cut in 2019.

“It was established over and over again that the Joint Committee on Taxation says taxpayers at every quintile will pay less taxes under this plan,” said Rep. Tom Rice (R-S.C.).

But Democrats cited Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that showed some middle-class taxpayers would still see their taxes go up, particularly in later years.

“This bill will raise taxes on the middle class. It will raise taxes on the middle class. It will raise taxes on the middle class,” said Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.).

So who is right? As one should surmise, it’s not the GOP bait-and-switch tax scammers. Paul Waldman of the Washington Post reports, The GOP tax plan will raise taxes on lots of people. A new analysis shows how many.

Republicans have always been good at spin, but right now they’re facing one of the most extraordinary PR challenges they’ve ever confronted: Can they sell a bill that raises taxes on tens of millions of Americans as a glorious tax cut for everyone?

It would be an extraordinary trick if they managed to pull it off, but distracting from the facts will be no easy task.

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#MeToo movement ensnares Judge Roy Moore in Alabama (and other men behaving badly)

In the month since The New Yorker and The New York Times published allegations of serial sexual predatory behavior by producer Harvey Weinstein — some 100 women have now accused him of misconduct ranging from harassment to rape — people who said they had been sexually victimized have felt emboldened to voice allegations against men who had been seen as untouchable. Hollywood wracked by chaos in aftermath of sex scandals.

Actress Alyssa Milano used her Twitter account to encourage women who’d been sexually harassed or assaulted to tweet the hashtag #MeToo. This has now become a movement. The Movement of #MeToo:

The power of #MeToo, though, is that it takes something that women had long kept quiet about and transforms it into a movement. Unlike many kinds of social-media activism, it isn’t a call to action or the beginning of a campaign, culminating in a series of protests and speeches and events. It’s simply an attempt to get people to understand the prevalence of sexual harassment and assault in society. To get women, and men, to raise their hands.

California Rep. Jackie Speier has brought the #MeToo movement to Congress. #MeTooCongress campaign shines a light on sexual harassment on Capitol HillWomen of Congress share #MeToo stories.

State Rep. Michelle Ugenti-Rita, R-Scottsdale, has brought the #MeToo movement to the Arizona Legislature. At least five women have now publicly accused Rep. Don Shooter, R-Yuma, of making sexually charged comments, touching them inappropriately or making unwanted sexual advances. Several women accuse Arizona state Rep. Don Shooter of sexual harassment.

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Rep. Martha McSally is still being coy about senate run

Rep. Martha McSally continues to toy with the idea of running for the Senate seat being vacated by Senator Jeff Flake, but she has yet to make a public announcement. The Arizona Daily Star reports, US Rep. Martha McSally tells House colleagues she’s running for Senate:

U.S. Rep. Martha McSally has told Republican colleagues that she’s running for Sen. Jeff Flake’s open seat next year, meaning there will be someone new representing Southern Arizona’s hotly contested Congressional District 2.

The news didn’t come from McSally but instead from U.S. Rep. David Schweikert, a Republican colleague in Congressional District 6, who confirmed to reporters for several news outlets that the retired Air Force colonel said she was planning to enter the Senate race.

McSally could not be reached for comment and has not made a formal announcement about her plans. Calls to her campaign office, as well as to her congressional office in Tucson, went unreturned Tuesday.

Geezus, she’s still hiding in the chicken bunker. Come out, come out, and face your constituents, Martha.

Former state Sen. Kelli Ward and several other Republican candidates have already announced they were running for Flake’s seat in the GOP primary.

McSally is already facing resistance from President Trump supporters. Last week, the Great America Alliance PAC put out a digital ad (Amnesty Martha) and dedicated website amnestymartha.com that criticized McSally for “supporting amnesty for illegals.”

Ward challenged Sen. John McCain last year and lost, but Trump has offered support for her candidacy even though he did not endorse her. Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon, however, endorsed Ward last month.

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