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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Josh Dubois - (Obama) wanted to meet with the families of the victims and then offer words of comfort to the country at a (Newtown) interfaith memorial service. We prepared seven or eight classrooms for the families of the slain children and teachers, two or three families to a classroom, placing water and tissues and snacks in each one. Honestly, we didn't know how to prepare; it was the best we could think of. The families came in and gathered together, room by room. Many struggled to offer a weak smile when we whispered, "The president will be here soon." A few were visibly angry -- so understandable that it barely needs to be said -- and were looking for someone, anyone, to blame. Mostly they sat in silence. I went downstairs to greet President Obama when he arrived, and I provided an overview of the situation. "Two families per classroom . . . The first is . . . and their child was . . . The second is . . . and their child was . . . We'll tell you the rest as you go." read more


Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Steve Benen, Maddowblog: Donald Trump's legal defense team have responded to the Russia scandal in recent months by arguing, repeatedly and in public, that the president and his campaign didn't collude with Putin's government during last year's attack, and that the president didn't obstruct justice as the investigation has unfolded. The new line from Trump World is that collusion isn't a big deal and the president is literally incapable of obstructing justice. read more


Friday, December 01, 2017

Special counsel Robert Mueller has charged former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn with "willfully and knowingly" making "false, fictitious and fraudulent statements" to the FBI regarding conversations with Russia's ambassador. He is due to appear in court later Friday morning, a court spokesperson said. The White House declined to immediately comment.
Flynn is the first Trump administration official and the fourth connected to the campaign to be charged as part of Mueller's investigation into possible collusion between the Russian government and members of Trump's team, as well as potential obstruction of justice and financial crimes. read more


Thursday, November 30, 2017

In an impassioned letter released exclusively... to AL.com, Leigh Corfman, who accused Roy Moore of undressing her when she was 14 and he was 32, demanded the Republican Senate candidate stop calling her a liar, and attacking her character and end his "smears and false denials." Corfman decided to write the open letter after hearing Moore's own remarks [Monday] night at a rally in Henagar, his first public appearance in nearly two weeks. read more


Monday, November 27, 2017

ShareBlue: Donald Trump's relentless attacks on the free press, and on the very of notions of truth and facts, are thoroughly antithetical to the principles of our democracy. And as one four-star general noted plainly and disturbingly, they call into question who we even are overall as a nation. Retired U.S. Air Force General Michael Hayden, who also served as director of the National Security Agency and later of the CIA, offered a stunning assessment of how Trump's lies and hostility to the first amendment make him view his life's work in service to the country if they now represent who we truly are. "If this is who we are or who we are becoming, I have wasted 40 years of my life. Until now it was not possible for me to conceive of an American president capable of such an outrageous assault on truth, a free press or the first amendment." Hayden has given over 40 years of his life in service to the nation, through multiple administrations both Republican and Democratic. read more


Comments

Whether or not the First Amendment is violated is the only question before the court.

As with Sully, my opinion is that this has nothing at all to do with anyone's First Amendment rights and everything to do with public licensing and contract law as it pertains to business. When you accept a publicly issued license to do lawful business in whatever profession one chooses, it then becomes the public's right to expect access to your services under the prevailing public laws which outlaws discrimination. The business owner and his workers fully expect that all public services such as police and fire protection be provided them as a matter of their legal citizenry so why should they be allowed to deny other citizens access to their services because of their personal religious beliefs? Are we willing to allow public servants these same rights to deny their services to those who offend an individual's religious beliefs too?

This entire line of BS is just that, BS. If you want to make money from the public then you cannot pick and choose which customers you'll agree to serve outside of previously acknowledged limitations, often having to do with public health concerns or attire requirements only enforced within the premises of the businesses themselves. But certainly not as a matter of by whom someone's work product will be used after the fact of its delivery as long as said use is legal.

One's religion is a personal thing that no one nor any government should dictate how one feels. But there is a reason we acknowledge the separation of church and state. The role of state is to foster a community that respects individuality. If one wants the benefits of a government-regulated business environment, then one has to serve every citizen without prejudice. If one wants to claim their religious belief trumps equal treatment under the law then that person wants a Sharia-type mentality to supercede the Constitution. And I hold no illusions that the right-leaning justices on the SCOTUS might see it that very same way. One's individual personal religious rights should never supercede anyone else's constitutional rights when they conflict with each other. If you don't want to serve a sector of the public for religious reasons then do not expect to sustain yourself and utilize a public marketplace supported by the very people you wish to discriminate against.

Yep, in their haste to lay waste McConnell and his cribbing crew missed a cypher. Wonder if there's more to come even beyond this screw up?

Of course there are more problems, and no one actually knows exactly what's in this monstrosity even yet!

Politico reports today that the Republicans' tax plan is "riddled with bugs, loopholes and other potential problems that could plague lawmakers long after their legislation is signed into law."

Some of the provisions could be easily gamed, tax lawyers say. Their plans to cut taxes on "pass-through" businesses in particular could open broad avenues for tax avoidance.

Others would have unintended results, like a last-minute decision by the Senate to keep the alternative minimum tax, which was designed to make sure wealthy people and corporations don't escape taxes altogether. For many businesses, that would nullify the value of a hugely popular break for research and development expenses.

Some provisions are so vaguely written they leave experts scratching their heads.... In many cases, Republicans are giving taxpayers little time to adjust to sometimes major changes in policy. An entirely new international tax regime, one experts are still trying to parse, would go into effect Jan. 1, only days after lawmakers hope to push the plan through Congress.

Greg Jenner, a former top tax official in George W. Bush's Treasury Department, told Politico, "The more you read, the more you go, 'Holy crap, what's this?'"

www.msnbc.com

Remember, this is a once-in-a-generational change to the US Tax Code, and the Rpublicans rushed passage under reconciliation rules in the middle of the night without allowing any Senator a reasonable chance to read the contents of the bill, pocked with illegible handwritten changes in the margins. Absolutely disgusting.

The good news is, Trump's tax package has some key differences from Bush's. The bad news is, Trump's is vastly worse. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities published a new report this week that found that 27% the Bush tax cuts, when fully implemented, benefited the wealthiest 1% of Americans. For the Trump tax cuts, it's 62% of the benefits that go the richest of the rich – more than double Bush's policy.

www.cbpp.org

The GOP is cutting revenues during times of record profits and cash holdings for the 1%, knowing full well inflation, red ink and recession will follow. And then they'll blame the worsening imbalances on federal entitlement programs the working classes have funded and need for their own meager survival.

These people should be run from government en mass.

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