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Republicans Introduce Their Tax Cut Plan

Republicans have introduced their own tax cut bill. Is anyone surprised the cuts help businesses and the wealthy?

House Republicans on Thursday unveiled a tax cut plan that would slash the corporate rate and lower the personal taxes of most Americans but also limit a cherished deduction for homeowners, as President Donald Trump and the GOP seek to deliver on the first tax revamp in three decades.

Another false Trump bragging claim, according to Reuters: that his cuts would be the largest in history for corporate rates and individuals. It's only true for corporate rates. [More...]

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Do All Roads Lead Through Manafort?

Jason Leopold, writing for Buzzfeed, reports that 13 wire transfers from Manafort shell companies abroad to the U.S. are the basis for whatever charges are coming.

Federal law enforcement officials said they saw evidence of “layering,” the process by which the origin of money is obscured behind many layers of companies. Much of the money ended up in the US, sent to American home improvement contractors, a hedge fund, and even a car dealership.

The New York Times reported on the complicated connections in June, 2017, which include money used to remodel real estate projects involving his daughters and wife and involvement of some sort by his son-in-law.

Why did Roger Stone, former Manafort Partner, have a melt-down on Twitter yesterday?

I'm still not sure who has been indicted, if anyone.

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White House: All Women Who Accused Trump Were Lying

From Friday's White House Press Conference: Sara Huckabee Sanders responding to a question from CBS News reporter: All of the 16 women who accused Donald Trump of sexual harassment were lying:

Question from CBS News reporter Jacqueline Alemany:

"Obviously sexually harassment has been in the news. At least 16 women accused the president of sexually harassing them throughout the course of the campaign," Alemany said. "Last week during a press conference in the Rose Garden, the president called these accusations 'fake news.' Is the official White House position that all of these women are lying?"

Sanders response:

"Yes. We've been clear on that from the beginning, and the president has spoken on it," Sanders replied.

(No potentially libelous comments please, they will be deleted. And no name-calling.)

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Feeding the Swamp: GEO Holds Private Event at Trump Resort

GEO, the huge private prison company, held its annual leadership event at Trump's Doral golf resort in Miami.

The event last week, during which executives and wardens gathered for four days of meetings, dinner receptions and golf outings at the luxurious 800-acre Trump National Doral, followed an intense effort by GEO Group to align itself with the president and his administration.

During last year’s election, a company subsidiary gave $225,000 to a pro-Trump super PAC. GEO gave an additional $250,000 to the president’s inaugural committee. It also hired as outside lobbyists a major Trump fundraiser and two former aides to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, one of the president’s most prominent campaign backers.

GEO Group, meanwhile, has had newfound success in Trump’s Washington.

Please read the article as I'm not going to ruin the rest of my evening by detailing them. It's getting to the point where I may end every post about him with "It's time to scrape that sh!t right off our shoes." [More...]

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Trump Channels Nancy Reagan in Drug Speech

Donald and Melania Trump gave speeches today on the Opioid crisis. I watched and listened to it. You can read the transcript here. The White House Press Release is here. Donald Trump sounded just like Nancy Reagan and her "Just Say No" campaign. He's going to create an advertising campaign to tell kids how bad drugs are and not to use them.

He's going to fund law enforcement programs. (Anyone remember "DARE"? These programs don't work.

He's going to limit prescriptions to 7 days supply. One unnamed opioid will be removed from the approved drug list and become illegal.

He said this will take years if not decades (I guess so he can't be blamed when there's no huge reduction of overdose deaths during his term.)

He talked about his brother Fred, who told him over and over, don't drink, don't smoke and he listened. That's his plan for kids, just tell them don't do it. [More...]

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Monday Madness and Open Thread

Sorry for the lack of blogging the last several days, but every time I read the news, there is so much more Trump madness I get too disgusted to write about it.

This weekend I watched Kate del Castillo's "The Day I Met El Chapo" a three part documentary on Netflix. Sean Penn wanted to block it saying it would endanger him. Then he said she was a fame seeker and her version was a lie. He told his version, why can't she tell hers? Anyway, it's very good -- I ended up watching the whole thing twice. To me, her version makes more sense.

Two weeks (or so) until the TL kids have their baby -- it's just flown by. I've cooked about 15 meals for them in my Instant Pot to freeze and eat after the baby arrives. It's been more far rewarding than blogging about Trump.

This is the last week (for real) of Senor de Los Cielos 5. (warning: auto-play video.) I really don't want Monica Robles to be killed. They should kill the monster Tony Pastrana instead.

Here's a new open thread, all topics welcome.

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Jeff Sessions Testifies Before Senate Judiciary Committee

Jeff Sessions is testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee. (Live video link) He promises to ramp up the war on drugs, especially the war on pain meds, prescribers and manufacturers, and war on immigrants. He praises Trump's border wall. He says there can't be full amnesty for the DREAMERs.

He read out a speech on why he won't answer questions about conversations with Trump -- he says it's up to Trump to claim the executive privilege, and he's considering it but hasn't made a decision so Sessions says he can't it for him.

There are several old people on this committee who look miserable. Maybe they aren't thrilled about Sessions wanting to make it harder for them to get pain meds.

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RNC and Trump Campaign Paid $2.4 Million So Far in Legal Fees For Russia

In September, the Washington Post reported that the RNC was paying out huge bucks for legal fees charged by lawyers for Donald Trump and Donald Trump, Jr. regarding Russia.

The Republican National Committee is using a pool of money stockpiled for election recounts and other legal matters to pay for [Donald] Trump's ballooning lawyer fees related to the multiple Russia investigations, directing more than $427,000 so far to lawyers representing him and his eldest son, party officials confirmed Tuesday.

Today the Washington Post reports that Trump's re-election campaign (not the RNC) shelled out more than $1 million in legal fees for Russia and Trump Sr and Jr just for last quarter. [More...]

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Trump Signs Executive Order Undermining Health Care Rules

Donald Trump signed an executive order today undermining rules insurance companies were required to follow by law.

President Trump signed an executive order on Thursday intended to allow small businesses and potentially individuals to buy a long-disputed type of health insurance that skirts state regulations and Affordable Care Act protections.


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Mike Pence Wants Dignity

Mike Pence tweeted why he left the football game today. He said he and Trump "will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem."

Can someone please tell him the words dignity and Trump are oxymorons?

Much more pleasant: Watching the Florida Gators fans honor Tom Petty at the game in his home town of Gainesville:

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Today's Edition of Trump Unhinged

Trump's latest tweet about North Korea is causing a fuss:

President Donald Trump on Saturday lamented decades of "failed" foreign policy with North Korea, saying "only one thing" will work.

"Presidents and their administrations have been talking to North Korea for 25 years, agreements made and massive amounts of money paid ... hasn't worked, agreements violated before the ink was dry, makings fools of U.S. negotiators. Sorry, but only one thing will work!," Trump wrote on Twitter.

There is a lot of media speculation that John Kelly will be resigning and leaving the Trump Administration. This is very disconcerting to many because it leaves no one to babysit the man with the desk in the Oval Office.

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Tom Price Resigns as Head of HHS

Trump cabinet member Tom Price has resigned as director of Health and Human Services. FlightGate proved too much.

The work-related travel, which was first reported Sept. 19 by Politico, cost taxpayers nearly $1 million, or about $400,000 for private charters and $500,000 in military airplane costs. Most of the trips were between cities where inexpensive commercial flights were also available. The revelations had sparked a flurry of criticism from government ethics watchdogs.

For now Trump will stick with a deputy assistant director as acting secretary:

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Melania Wants to Learn About Opioids

Melania Trump attended a White House "roundtable" on opioid abuse with Ms Most Unimportant Person in the World.

Melania met with experts and people who have been impacted by drug addiction, including opioids, on Thursday The mother-of-one stated that she wanted to 'listen and learn' from their stories, and she sat alongside White House counselor Kellyanne Conway

...Melania stated at the meeting that she wanted to 'listen and learn' from their stories, and she sat alongside White House counselor Kellyanne Conway who reportedly did most of the talking.

According to USA Today, Melania organized the event.

Melania Trump invited experts and people affected by addiction to opioids to the White House for a listening session and discussion about the epidemic.

..."I'm here to listen and learn from all of your stories," she said. And listen she did, leaving White House counselor Kellyanne Conway to do most of the talking.


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The Donald Trump Transcripts From Howard Stern

For those who don't mind stepping into a pile of varmint, here are the transcripts of the Howard Stern interviews with Donald Trump. I wouldn't touch them with a ten foot pole. Not only don't I care, I won't waste my time. We all knew what he was during the campaign. If Americans were too steeped in Hillary-hatred to care then, it won't make a bit of difference now.

A much more productive way to spend your time: It's 15 minutes until Senor de Los Cielos starts. I hope they don't kill Monica Robles tonight. It's on Telemundo, with English subtitles, 9pm and again at midnight. Comcast's English captions for the show this season have been so awful I started watching via my indoor antenna last week. The captions, which come through my Sony TV rather than Comcast that way, are complete and accurate, so it's not the show's fault, it's Comcast's.

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DEA Chief is Latest to Resign From Trump Administration

Acting DEA Chief Chuck Rosenberg is resigning. He has been at odds with Trump several times.

Law enforcement officials told the NY Times Rosenberg became convinced Trump had little respect for the law.

Mr. Rosenberg, who was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2015, is a career prosecutor. Under President George W. Bush, he served as the United States attorney in both southern Texas and eastern Virginia.

Rosenberg and the DEA have also disagreed with DOJ and Trump's insistence on going after the MS-13. [More...]

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