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Tuesday, December 26, 2017

The Trump administration said Sunday that the United Nations budget has been reduced for the coming year, and it framed any cuts as the product of U.S. negotiation. "Among a host of other successes, the United States negotiated a reduction of over $285 million off the 2016-2017 final budget," the United States Mission to the U.N. said in a press release. ... A United Nations spokesman confirmed to NPR the reduction in the budget, and said the total U.N. budget for 2018-2019 is $5.396 billion. But cuts to the U.N. budget are typical: The 2016-2017 budget was roughly $400 million lower than the final appropriations for 2014-2015, which was 2.9 percent lower than the previous biennium's budget. read more


Saturday, December 23, 2017

The judge found, the emoluments clauses of the Constitution are intended to protect the country against presidential corruption from foreign influences or financial incentives that might be offered by either states or the federal government. They were not meant to protect businesses from competition from presidentially owned enterprises, he ruled. Were that the case, Judge Daniels said, the Constitution would not have given Congress the power to allow a president to receive a foreign gift or benefit without considering how the president's business rivals might be affected. Judge Daniels also said that it was up to Congress, not the courts, to decide whether Mr. Trump had violated the Constitution by accepting a gift or benefit from a foreign government.


Generally speaking, most filers benefit from the bill, with exceptions across the income spectrum. As a guide to the bill, it is fair to say that the higher your income the more you're likely to benefit. Filers in the $250,000 to $750,000 range generally see the greatest increase in after-tax income. Those at the very bottom of the income spectrum will benefit less. At the same time, the bill is most likely to raise taxes on some high-income filers in states with high state and local taxes. read more


Thursday, December 21, 2017

Hillary Clinton has all but avoided appearing at campaign events since her stunning 2016 loss, but some Democrats believe she would be a welcome voice in the 2018 midterms. Despite polling that shows Clinton with low favorability ratings, they say the former secretary of State could help Democratic candidates in congressional districts she won last year. read more


Tuesday, December 19, 2017

White House lawyers are expected to meet with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's office late this week seeking good news: that his sprawling investigation's focus on President Trump will soon end and their client will be cleared. But people familiar with the probe say that such assurances are unlikely and that the meeting could trigger a new, more contentious phase between the special counsel and a frustrated president, according to administration officials and advisers close to Trump. read more


Comments

The rest of us get tax increases... - #13 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2017-12-25 11:03 AM

Here is a handy chart 8.5 mil pay more in taxes, 143 million pay less. Are you admitting that there are 143 million 'rich' tax-payers in America, which globally is probably true?

Blatantly stolen from another posting about PR's power issues:
"
You are deranged if you think you can get the power back on in 3 months. I do engineering on major industrial and utility projects (albeit on the mechanical not electrical side) but I know whats required. So here is what you think can be done in 3 months.

Identify the extent of the problem. You can't just say "yup it's gone let's start over again" You actually have survey what was originally there and what is left. Are the plants operational? operational but damaged? Where can we run the new stuff etc etc etc etc

Ok...so the entire grid is farked but the plants seem to be ok. We now know we are going to replace everything from the plant to the house.

We can start buying stuff.

Anyone have a couple thousand miles of high tension wire laying around we can buy?
No?
Ok, well start making some because we are going to need all you can make. Should be a couple weeks (at best) before we have even a partial amount of that...but that's ok because we still have to get rid of all the debris that are in the way of where these lines are going. That should take some time.

Oh yeah...towers. We are gonna need a shiatload of towers because well they seem to be missing. Don't bother asking, these aren't an on-the-shelf item either. Ok...takes a little pressure off the wire guy because we can't do much with wire if we can't hang them.

You: You could bury them to save time

Me: No that would require a survey of all the proposed routes to make sure you could even put them in the ground.

Ok..so we have the high voltage part working that should take a couple months aaannndddd fark. We have no substations left. Someone run down to the ACME transformer, breaker, and relay store and get me a couple thousand of each in various sizes. What you mean they closed? Dammit...fine order a ton of those.

What? Oh yeah were are gonna need a shiatload more poles...oh and a metric assload of distribution transformers (the ones on the poles) and insulators...and more breakers...

Fine..that should cover us on the materials.

So assuming that all of that can just magically appear, you think you can install all that crap and get it working in three months? We haven't even talked about the manpower requirement. Will just assume that we can get enough people there and house and support them with the wave of your magic wand.

Basically you are saying you can rewire the City of Chicago (pop 2.6mil) in 90 days.

I get it you want to point your ignorant rage at a guy you don't like but that is just ludicrous."

Puerto Rico's electrical grid is unlikely to be fully restored until the end of May, the head of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Wednesday -- months longer than the timeline offered by the island's governor.

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