A growing number of key congressional Republicans are considering a controversial maneuver that would allow for about $450 billion of tax cuts without offsets, according to four congressional aides familiar with the discussions. Under the proposal, the GOP would not account for things like expiring tax breaks when gauging the budgetary impact of tax legislation -- giving tax writers more room for cuts. Senate budget and tax panels are discussing the move to a "current policy" baseline -- instead of the standard "current law" baseline -- said the people who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. The chief House tax writer, Kevin Brady, also signaled openness to the approach last month, saying it would lead to deeper tax cuts. read more
Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin said conservatives may need to turn to physical violence in order to protect the United States against contemporary liberalism. The Republican governor put forth the controversial suggestion after speaking of the "degradation of society" during an impassioned, 15-minute speech at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C., on Saturday. The provocative comments started to gain national attention at the start of this week.
In a swap of All-Star point guards, the Cleveland Cavaliers have traded Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and a first-round draft pick in 2018 likely to be top five. The season opens on Oct. 18 with these teams playing each other on TNT.
Donald Trump just showed why even some Republicans question whether he has the temperament and the capacity to serve as president. In an incredible performance at a raucous Arizona rally Tuesday, Trump rewrote the history of his response to violence in Charlottesville and reignited the culture wars. Trump in effect identified himself as the main victim of the furor over the violence in Virginia, berating media coverage for a political crisis that refuses to abate over his rhetoric on race. read more
What's Chuck E. Cheese without its iconic animatronic bands? It may be more appealing to children who have grown up with sophisticated video games and entertainment, according to owner CEC Entertainment. The kid-focused pizza chain is updating a handful of restaurants with open kitchens and toned-down colors, as well as one striking omission: the animatronic animals who play music and entertain families. The revamp comes as the restaurant chain is looking to reengage families and kids with a "modern experience," said CEC Chief Executive Tom Leverton. The redesigned locations also feature a dance floor where a live Chuck E. comes out to shake a leg with children.
The relationship between President Trump and Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, has disintegrated to the point that they have not spoken to each other in weeks, and Mr. McConnell has privately expressed uncertainty that Trump will be able to salvage his administration after a series of summer crises. What was once an uneasy governing alliance has curdled into a feud of mutual resentment and sometimes outright hostility, complicated by the position of McConnell's wife, Elaine L. Chao, in Trump's cabinet, according to more than a dozen people briefed on their imperiled partnership. read more
A recurring story line in the conservative Daily Caller goes something like this: President Trump's 11-year-old son, Barron, gets bullied online by some jerk, proving that liberals and the media (which are basically the same thing) have no class. ... So it was more than a little surprising to read this Daily Caller headline Monday: "It's high time Barron Trump starts dressing like he's in the White House." ... Chelsea Clinton, who knows a thing or two about being scrutinized as a kid in the White House, tweeted that "it's high time the media & everyone leave Barron Trump alone."
The wife of the Treasury secretary on Monday night took a page from President Trump's social media playbook for punching down. Louise Linton, the labels-loving wife of Steven Mnuchin, replied condescendingly to an Instagram poster about her lifestyle and belittled the woman, Jenni Miller, a mother of three from Portland, Ore., for having less money than she does. The brouhaha began when Linton posted a photograph of herself disembarking a military jet emblazoned with official government markings. She had joined her husband on a quick trip to Kentucky with the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell. "Great #daytrip to #Kentucky!" Linton, 36, wrote under the photograph. She then added hashtags for various pieces of her expensive wardrobe, listing #rolandmouret, #hermesscarf, #tomford and #valentino. Ms. Miller, 45, wrote under the photograph, "Glad we could pay for your little getaway. #deplorable." read more
Breitbart seems ready for one of Steve Bannon's famed "wars." Just minutes after President Donald Trump concluded his Afghanistan policy speech Monday night, the conservative site took an aggressive, critical approach to the address and Trump's new policy. A banner headline blasted the president's decision to extend the U.S. military commitment in Afghanistan as a "flip-flop" that "reverses course." Articles likened him to his predecessor, President Barack Obama -- a known sore spot for Trump.
A recent study by the Southern Poverty Law Center tallied at least 1,500 symbols of the Confederacy in public spaces, concentrated largely in states like Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia. The reasons there are so many of these statues, and why they're so easily toppled, are one and the same: Many of them were mass-produced in northern foundries and shoddily installed across the American South. read more
A new poll indicates that nearly one in ten Americans believe that neo-Nazi and white supremacist ideology is "acceptable." The survey, which was published Monday by ABC News/Washington Post, was conducted in the wake of the violent white nationalist rally earlier this month in Charlottesville, Virginia, in which a woman was killed when a white supremacist drove into a group of counter-protesters. According to the poll of 1,014 respondents, 9 percent of people said that neo-Nazi views are okay to hold, while 83% said such ideology is "unacceptable" and 8% had no opinion. Among Republicans, 13% said that neo-Nazi views were acceptable, and the number climbs to 17% among Trump supporters. read more
It was an idea almost too good to be true: Bonnie Tyler singing "Total Eclipse of the Heart" during the first total solar eclipse to cross the U.S. in 99 years -- on a cruise ship. But somehow, Royal Caribbean International pulled it off, largely because they thought of it first. The Miami-based cruise line reached out to Tyler last September, just before calls started coming in to book the singer at other eclipse-themed functions. ... At about 2:45 p.m. Monday, as Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas sailed into the eclipse's path of totality east of the Bahamas, Tyler and pop band DNCE belted out the 1980s power ballad. read more
Finn Murphy ... has been a long-haul trucker for more than 30 years. "Every single driver I've ever talked to listens to NPR," said Murphy. ... Murphy writes that even if truckers "may not like the slant, if there is one," they still listen to public radio. A few years ago, he was sitting at a truck stop coffee counter with a driver who was a Ku Klux Klan member. Murphy asked the other driver if he listened to NPR. "He said, 'Oh god, yeah, 'US Jews and Girls Report.' I said, 'Well, what do you mean?' He said, 'Well, all the commentators are Jews ... and they're always talking about women's issues. It drives me crazy.'" read more
President Donald Trump opened the door on Monday night to an increase in U.S. troops in Afghanistan as part of a retooled strategy for the region, overcoming his own doubts about America's longest war and vowing "a fight to win." Trump, in a prime-time televised address at a military base near Washington, said his new approach was aimed at preventing Afghanistan from becoming a safe haven for Islamist militants bent on attacking the United States. The Republican president, who has repeatedly criticized the Afghanistan strategies of his predecessors, now inherits the same challenges, including a resurgent Taliban and a weak government in Kabul. He is laying the groundwork for greater U.S. involvement without a clear end in sight or providing specific benchmarks for success. read more
Sonny Burgess, a rockabilly singer whose hollering vocal style and frantic, jangling guitar made him one of the most electrifying stars in the Sun Records galaxy in the 1950s, died on Friday in Little Rock, Ark. He was 88. The cause was complications of a fall, his son, John, said. Burgess, the lead singer and guitarist for the Pacers, recorded only a half-dozen singles for Sun, the storied label founded by Sam Phillips in Memphis, and none of them made the charts. But they were enough to cement his reputation as the Arkansas Wild Man, a full-tilt rocker capable of whipping audiences into a frenzy. read more