Posted by: maboulette | December 12, 2017

US Treasury Releases One-Page Analysis of GOP Tax Bill


US treasury

After months of pressure from watchdog groups as well as phone calls from many citizens, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, led by Trump-appointee Steve Mnuchin, finally has released a one-page analysis of the Republican tax bill. This analysis shows that even when analyzed under Republican-favored methods, the tax cuts will grow the federal deficit and will need additional policy aberrations to produce the revenue needed to pay for them. The analysis shows that only half of the growth will come from the trickle-down effect of the tax cuts. The other half would be encouraged by a combination of:

  • Regulatory reform;
  • Infrastructure development;
  • Welfare reform.

PAY FOR THE BILL

This means that for the tax plan to make up for the $1.5 trillion addition to the federal debt, Congress needs to make comprehensive infrastructure legislation, cuts entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security, and other unspecified regulatory reform.  And there will be a fight over Medicare and Social Security since this is money taken out of workers pay and is supposed to be available for retirees – there will be some fight coming over this.  If you use this money, you will lose many Republican voters who are using this money for their retirement.

3% GROWTH OVER 10 YEARS

The report also admits that the economy will experience close to 3 percent in growth over the next 10 years—that’s a growth level the U.S. hasn’t seen since 2005. “We acknowledge that some economists predict different growth rates,” Treasury wrote in the document.

GOP REVENUE INCREASE

The breakdown supposed that a Republican-led Congress would increase revenues by $1.8 trillion over a decade. Democrats are calling the Treasury’s estimate “fake math.”

PHONY MATH

This “phony math,” is enough to make “Bernie Madoff blush,” said Senator Ron Wyden, the ranking Democrat on the Finance Committee.

GRASPING AT STRAWS

“It’s clear the White House and Republicans are grasping at straws to prove the unprovable and garner votes for a bill that nearly every single independent analysis has concluded will blow up the deficit and generate almost no additional economic activity to make up for it,” said Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer.  Not to mention what will happen to many of the elderly who are living on their Medicare and Social Security.

GOP LEADERS

Top Republican leaders like House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senator Marco Rubio have indicated that reform to entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare are next on the legislative calendar for the Republican-controlled House and Senate. “We’re going to have to get back next year at entitlement reform, which is how you tackle the debt and the deficit,” Ryan said last week.

DIFFERENT WAY

Here is a different way of thinking – vote and work on the payment for the debt and the deficit before passing the tax bill.   See if you will have the public behind you on reforming entitlement programs first before doing anything.  You won’t because you know that most seniors are living on Social Security and Medicare and there would be a revolution if those funds are touched for any reason except for what these funds are supposed to be used for.

Why does the Republican party always place party over country – that is not the way to govern.

 

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Posted by: maboulette | December 11, 2017

Bravo to Condoleezza Rice – She Put Country Before Party!


condi rice

Ahead of tomorrow’s special Senate election in her home state of Alabama, Condoleezza Rice on Monday implored voters to reject Roy Moore—without explicitly naming him.

In a statement to AL.com, the Birmingham-born ex-secretary of state called the election between Republican and accused pedophile Moore and Democratic nominee Doug Jones as “one of the most significant in Alabama’s history.” She added: “I encourage you to take a stand for our core principles and for what is right. These critical times require us to come together to reject bigotry, sexism, and intolerance.”

While continuing to not name Moore, Rice further swiped at him by telling voters that “It is imperative for Americans to remain focused on our priorities and not give way to side shows and antics. I know that Alabamans need an independent voice in Washington. But we must also insist that our representatives are dignified, decent, and respectful of the values we hold dear.”

Posted by: maboulette | December 11, 2017

President Trump’s Normal Day


watching tv

The New York Times on Saturday presented a lengthy look at Donald Trump’s presidency on the inside with an article written with information received from by “60 [presidential] advisers, acquaintances, friends and members of Congress.” This piece  shows a president who has made almost no steps toward being a capable statesman and instead continues to do things his way, hoping he can reinvent his role on his own terms that are ill-defined. His presidency has mostly been defined by the president’s highly evident insecurities and ego that is out-sized. “Despite all his bluster, [Trump] views himself less as a titan dominating the world stage than a maligned outsider engaged in a struggle to be taken seriously.” Also, this man seems able to tear himself away from his television only long enough to take in a few rounds of golf.

Here are nine of the craziest revelations from the Times article.

  1. HE WATCHES A TON OF TELEVISION, BUT THEN LIES ABOUT IT.

As soon as he wakes around 5:30 am each morning, Trump turns on cable news and channel-hops throughout the day. Fox News shows like “Fox & Friends,” along with programs hosted by Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham and Jeanine Pirro, which offer reliably flattering coverage, give the president “comfort and messaging ideas.” Trump reportedly “hate watches” MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and CNN, particularly Don Lemon, to get “fired up.”

THOSE CLOSE

Those close to the president told the Times they “estimate that Mr. Trump spends at least four hours every day, and often as much as twice that, in front of a tv, sometimes with the volume muted.” (According to staffers, “[n]o one touches the remote control except Mr. Trump and the technical support staff — at least that’s the rule.”)

He also lies about his level of TV ingesting. During a recent trip to Asia he insisted reports about his television obsession were based on “fake sources,” out of fears it would bolster “criticism that he is not taking the job seriously.”

  1. HE’S ERRATIC, AND HIS BEHAVIOR IS OFTEN DETERMINED BY HOW HIS LOOK ON NEWS COVERAGE IS.

Trump chiefly begin tweeting from his iPhone shortly after waking and taking in cable news headlines, even dashing off messages “while propped on his pillow.” Staffers are careful to keep an eye on “Fox & Friends” live in the morning for a guide to the president’s headspace and a sense of how difficult the day will be.

“if there is anyone on the show who says something notable and Mr. Trump does not tweet immediately about it, the staff knows he may be saving Fox News for viewing later on his recorder and instead will be watching MSNBC or CNN live — meaning he is likely to be in a really foul mood to begin the day.”

UNPREDICTABLE

But moodiness means that the president is unpredictable at every turn; cranky and volatile one moment and personable the next. “Several of his advisers said the president may curse them for a tiny transgression…then make agreeable small talk with the same person minutes later.”

  1. HE STILL DOESN’T READ, AND NEEDS BRIEFINGS TAILORED TO HIS SHORT ATTENTION SPAN.

Trump has previously acknowledged that he doesn’t read because he imagines he has “a lot of common sense.” His scorn for knowledge has been a consistent marker of his approach to U.S. intelligence. Post-election, Trump defended his practice of skipping most daily briefings by noting he didn’t need “to be told the same thing in the same words every single day” since he is “like, a smart person.” He now gets verbal updates each day, with staffers noting he has “become more attentive during daily intelligence briefings thanks to sharp presentations by Mike Pompeo, the C.I.A. director.” 

“He really loves verbal briefings,” Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told the Times. “He is not one to consume volumes of books or briefings.”

  1. HE DRINKS UP TO 12 DIET COKES A DAY.

According to a new book by one-time campaign Trump staffers Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie, “On Trump Force One there were four major food groups: McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken, pizza and Diet Coke.” (Another Trump staffer told Axios“Big Macs were served on silver trays in his private jet.”) The Times reports that Trump puts away two six-packs of Diet Cokes every single day, which he guzzles while (what else?) channel surfing and spouting off to anyone within earshot.

Watching cable, [Trump] will talk about what he is thinking with anyone in the room, even a member of his household staff that is summoned via a button for lunch or one of the dozen Diet Cokes he consumes each day.”

  1. FOR ALL HIS COMPLAINTS ABOUT HIS NEWS COVERAGE, HE ABSOLUTELY HATES NOT BEING TALKED ABOUT.  

According to insiders, Trump gets unhappy when he doesn’t see himself obviously featured among the day’s stories. Who would have thought a narcissist with the most fragile of egos would badly need any kind of attention he can get?

STUNNED OUTSIDERS

To a degree that would shock outsiders, Mr. Trump, the most talked-about human on the face of the earth, is delighted still when he sees the name Trump in the headlines. And he is on an unceasing pursuit to see it there every day. One former top adviser said Mr. Trump grows uncomfortable after there is a few days of peace and cannot handle watching the news without seeing himself in it.

  1. HE CONTINUES FABRICATING HIS OWN TRUTH.

Nearly everyone in Trump’s orbit Times writers spoke with “raised questions about his capacity and willingness to differentiate bad information from something that is true.” That jibes with a recent report from the Washington Post that even behind closed doors, the president traffics in conspiracy theories and falsehoods, raising absurd questions about Barack Obama’s birth certificate, insisting he actually won the popular vote and suggesting 2005 Access Hollywood footage of him bragging about grabbing women’s pussies may not be real.

  1. HE THOUGHT BEING PRESIDENT WOULD BE LIKE RULING A MONARCHY.

Trump had never held a role in the military or government before the election and was clearly uninterested in politics or policy. During the campaign season, he promised to defend non-existent Articles of the Constitution, while as president, he revealed complete ignorance about Abraham Lincoln’s membership in the Republican Party of yore. After eight years of enduring racist taunts about every move he made, the Wall Street Journal reported that President Obama had to “spend more time with his successor than presidents typically do” because Donald Trump was so out of his depth coming into the job.

THOUGHT HE WOULD BE KING

In April, Trump told Reuters that being president is “more work than in [his] previous life,” and that he’d thought leading the country “would be easier.” Which is dunderheaded for all the obvious reasons, but also because Trump essentially thought winning the U.S. presidential election was akin to becoming king, per the Times report.

UNREALISTIC EXPECTATION

Mr. Trump’s trying adjustment to the presidency, people close to him say, is fixed in an unrealistic expectation of the powers he had assumed to be more similar to the popular image of imperial command than the sloppy certainty of having to coincide with two other branches of government.

The story goes on to note that “Trump expected being president would [entail]…ruling by fiat, exacting tribute and cutting back-room deals.”

  1. NANCY PELOSI OFFERED THIS BLATANT AND TOTALLY UNDISGUISED SHADE.

“[H]e was absolutely unprepared for this. It would be like you or me going into a room and being asked to perform brain surgery. When you have a lack of knowledge that is as great as his, it can be bewildering.”

  1. DESPITE THE MERE FIVE YEARS THAT SEPARATE THEM, TRUMP MADE FUN OF BERNIE SANDERS’ AGE.

While giving a White House tour to four Democratic legislators, Trump began speculating on who might run against him in 2020. He suggested Bernie Sanders would almost certainly run “even if he’s in a wheelchair,” and then mocked both the aged and disabled by “making a scrunched-up body of a man in a wheelchair.

 

Posted by: maboulette | December 9, 2017

The Truth About the Ambush in Niger


flag funeral

The deaths of 8 soldiers, including 4 U.S. soldiers, in early October in Niger could have been barred and were caused by an inadequately executed mission to collect information on high-ranking Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants, a new report claims.

BUZZFEED NEWS

Sources told BuzzFeed News that the deaths at the village of Tongo Tongo would have been avoided if the mission was planned better and that it is unknown whether the calls were made by the soldiers on the ground or their commanders back at the base.

NIGERIAN GENERAL

BuzzFeed said that it talked to a Nigerian general, a pair of senior military officials and an official from Nigeria’s anti-terror unit for its report.

The Trump administration has faced increasing scrutiny over this operation.

RED ZONE”

The soldiers had entered a hotbed of militants in which was known as the “red zone” that had been marked out of bounds by the U.S., BuzzFeed noted, saying the soldiers lacked adequate evidence at the time of the operation in which a series of “negligent” errors were made.

UNARMORED PICKUP TRUCKS

There had been 46 militant attacks in the area over the past year, however, the U.S. soldiers traveled in pickup trucks unarmored and were not armed heavily when they were ambushed by the militants outside of Tongo Tongo.  The ambush reportedly lasted for two hours and was only stopped when a French military aircraft flew over the scene.

SITUATION DELICACY

Those officials who were familiar with comparable missions told BuzzFeed they were uncertain if this operation should have taken place in the first place due to the delicacy of the situation.

NO COMMENT DOD

A representative for the Department of Defense did not remark on the results of the report to BuzzFeed but cited the ongoing investigation into the matter.

“The investigation is exploring issues of policy, procedures, resources, doctrine, training, judgment, leadership, or valor central to this incident. The Department of Defense will always strive [to] ensure our forces are properly equipped and have the necessary capabilities to accomplish their mission and defeat any threat,” the spokesperson said.

SGT LA DAVID JOHNSON

The mission, which resulted in the deaths of four U.S. soldiers, including U.S. Army Sgt La David Johnson has been thrust into the spotlight due to questions over the preparedness of the troops and President Trump’s response.

Posted by: maboulette | December 9, 2017

Most Americans Suffer When Paying for Tax Cut Factored In


Heather Long – The Washington Post – Friday, December 8, 2017 

taxes

You need to read this and have family and friends read this!

 President Trump and congressional Republicans end up paying for their proposed $1.4 trillion tax cut by reducing spending or raising taxes later on, most Americans making less than $86,000 would be worse off, according to a new report by the Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan think tank.

HOW PAYING FOR

Republicans have yet to say how they intend to pay for the tax cut. Originally, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin argued the tax cut would completely pay for itself because the economy would grow substantially faster, a claim that has not been backed up by independent research. Congress’s official scorekeepers estimate that the tax cut would add $1 trillion to the federal deficit, even after taking into account some additional economic growth.

WELFARE SPENDING

At some point, that will have to be paid for, and top Republican lawmakers, including Trump and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), have indicated they plan to take a hard look at welfare spending and other safety-net programs for potential trimming.

POOR AND LOWER MIDDLE CLASS

The Tax Policy Center warns in its “Winners and Losers” report released Friday that paying for the tax cut by reducing programs that help the poor and lower middle class would leave many Americans in the bottom 60 percent in a worse spot than they would have been without the GOP tax bill.

“Our central finding is that if either bill as written were to become law and plausible ways of financing the bill were taken into account, a significant majority of low and middle income households will eventually end up worse off than if the bill did not become law,” the researchers wrote. “In other words, they will lose more from the financing mechanisms than they will gain from the tax cuts themselves.”

CONFERENCE COMMITTEE

The House and Senate have passed tax bills, and a conference committee is beginning to meet to hammer out a final plan that both chambers can agree on and send to Trump’s desk by Christmas. The House bill would cut taxes for 76 percent of Americans next year and raise taxes on just 7 percent, according to the Tax Policy Center.

THINK TANK

But those numbers looked substantially different once the think tank factored in how to pay for the bill.

FUNDING TAX CUTS

If every household were required to pay the same amount to fund the tax cuts — roughly $1,200 — in 2018, then only 27 percent of Americans would get a cut and 73 percent of Americans would essentially be getting a tax hike. The vast majority of the families that would be worse off would be in the lower and middle classes.

CRITICS OF REPORT

Critics of the report say the Tax Policy Center is running hypothetical scenarios. There are no proposals on the table to make draconian cuts or to make every American pay a fee or tax.

“One of their major assumptions was that if you took the debt and spread it across households equally, then yes it will be extremely regressive, but that’s never going to happen,” said Gavin Ekins, a research economist at the Tax Foundation, which supports the bill.

TAX POLICY CENTER

But the Tax Policy Center says this is actually a pretty similar scenario to what the Trump budget proposed earlier this year with its cuts to various welfare and safety-net programs that mostly affect moderate-income households. The Tax Policy Center is also assuming a modest increase on higher-income households.

SCENARIOS

The three scenarios produced similar results for the Senate tax bill.

“These results emphasize that there are no free lunches in tax reform,” the authors concluded.

But critics say that the whole point of the bill is to stimulate growth in the coming years and that Republicans are unlikely to do anything that hurts the economy, such as imposing fees or reductions in government spending that hit the middle class.

ECONOMIC ADVISER

White House economic adviser Gary Cohn told Fox News on Friday that “with the tax plan we’re going to easily see 4 percent growth next year.”

Ekins, of the Tax Foundation, also pointed out that much of the United States’ $20 trillion debt was accumulated in the past decade. It’s not as if the tax bill is creating the debt problem. If anything, he said, the tax bill might help make the situation better in the next year or two because it is expected to boost growth, which should make the U.S. debt-to-GDP ratio — the metric most on Wall Street and around the world care about — look smaller.

EKINS AGREES

But Ekins agreed that how the budget is adjusted down the road will matter. He pointed out that proposals to reduce military spending and stop wealthy Americans from collecting Social Security and Medicare would be very progressive.

Posted by: maboulette | December 5, 2017

Trump Intends to Move U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem


jeruslem

Reuters in Washington/Gaza are reporting that President Donald Trump told Arab leaders on Tuesday he intends to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, a move that would break with decades of U.S. policy and risks fueling further unrest in the Middle East.

JERUSALEM AS ISRAEL’S CAPITAL

Senior U.S officials have said Trump is likely on Wednesday to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital while delaying relocating the embassy from Tel Aviv for another 6 months, though he is expected to order his aides to begin planning such a move immediately.  The officials said, however, that no final decisions have been made.

LONG-STANDIING US POLICY

U.S. endorsement of Israel’s claim to all of Jerusalem as its capital would reverse long-standing U.S. policy that the city’s status must be decided in negotiations with the Palestinians who want East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.  The international community does not recognize Israeli sovereignty over the entire city, home to sites holy to the Muslim, Jewish and Christian religions.

CHORUS OF VOICES

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Jordan’s King Abdullah and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who all received phone calls from Trump on Tuesday, joined a mounting chorus of voices saying any unilateral U.S. move on Jerusalem could unleash turmoil.

Read more at Reuters

 

 

 

Posted by: maboulette | December 5, 2017

Ordering Glasses Online


glasses

Thumbs up

If you have wondered about ordering eye glasses online and if they were good; I just received mine today – and I give them a “thumbs up”.  Plus, they don’t cost that much.  They fit beautifully!

BROKEN GLASSES

I decided to try the online frame sites after I fell asleep watching a movie and in the middle of the night I rolled over my glasses and broke the left side ear piece off.  I am having cataracts surgery sometime next year and didn’t want to spend a ton of money for new glasses.   So, I had the prescription and I decided to go online and find some cheaper frames.  It worked beautifully – well, there was a problem with UPS but not with the company that I got my new glasses from.

MASKING TAPE

broken glasses

For the last week I have used masking tape on my old glasses after the lens on the right side fell out – the right side of my old glasses were held together all week with tape.  Every home should have several rolls of tape as it has so many uses.

Just thought someone might have been wondering the same thing about online glasses, so this is my review.

Posted by: maboulette | December 3, 2017

E-Mail I Received Friday


Breaking news, Mary. Retired General Michael Flynn just pled guilty to lying to the FBI, and is allegedly ready to testify that Trump ordered him to contact Russia.

This is huge. We’ve known Trump’s inner circle was rotten to the core. And for more than a year, we’ve been demanding an independent investigation into Trump’s ties with Russia. Not only did Flynn lie to the FBI about his dealings with the Kremlin, he says that Trump is the one who ordered him to collude with Russia in the first place.

The Special Counsel’s investigation is getting closer to the Oval Office every day, but Trump could still try to fire Mueller just like he fired FBI Director Comey.

Add your name to our petition today and demand Congress pass a bill to safeguard the special investigation.

This isn’t partisan. This is about the truth. After 9/11, an independent commission was established immediately to investigate the attack. As an Army veteran who served in Afghanistan, I think this situation is just as serious.

We’re looking at a potentially compromised White House that could owe their power to a foreign dictator. And as Mueller’s investigation is revealing, step by step, how deep the collusion goes, he remains vulnerable to Trump shutting him down. We must ensure that Special Counsel Mueller is protected from Trump’s attempts to obstruct justice.

The American people deserve better than this. Thank you for being a part of this fight.

In solidarity,

Perry O’Brien
U.S. Army veteran
Common Defense


passing a law.jpg

Early Friday morning, the Senate floor was empty after the Republicans passed their tax plan and spending all day Thursday rewriting it in secret session.

Now the Republicans are taking a victory lap because they advanced a bill that was rewritten in just a day; none of them have read the entire thing. Some of the changes are just writing in the margins of the pages and are unable to be read.   The bill now goes to the House to be debated and voted on.  And our President needs to take a Civics class as he is clueless about the bill needing to be passed by the House.

This plan will affect every single American: from our children and grandparents to teachers, first responders, and college students. And they haven’t even taken the time to hold a public hearing or read what this bill does, probably because they know it’ll harm millions of Americans.  It is important that the House members can debate and read the plan before voting to pass this 500-page bill.

This is not the way to govern. It’s irresponsible, unfair, and disrespectful to the American people.   It is time that we vote out those who put party before country in both parties.  And our House Representatives need to know that how they handle this bill will determine whether they are voted back into office next time they run.

Everyone reading this needs to forward to everyone on their mailing list.

 

Posted by: maboulette | November 30, 2017

What is President Trump Still Worried About?


Trumpnew

A very interesting day for our President.   Nothing seems to be going right and instead he is more concerned about the Access Hollywood audio tapes being fake.  If those tapes were fake, why did you apologize?  And if those tapes were fake, why are you worried about them again?

NORTH KOREA

North Korea launched another missile, but Trump is more concerned about audio tapes of things he said over a year ago being fake.  That is the behavior of someone who is guilty of something.

ACTING LIKE A CHILD

When I was a child and had done something, wrong and was afraid of being caught – I would hang around my parents just to see what they were talking about and if they knew.  Our president is acting that way today; like a little child afraid someone is going to bring up those tapes again.

ACCESS HOLLYWOOD

Mr. President, the audio tapes were real –  you might have been bragging about things that you really didn’t do, but the audio tapes were real and we all know they are real.

It’s time for you to resign – you are not the person for this job!

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