Good News For Net Neutrality?

There has been a war going on for net neutrality….Trump’s boy at the FCC does not want it to be all that free….the good news is that the Senate has voted to restore the neutrality, which is good but will the House do the right thing or just be another rubber stamp Trump?

The Senate has voted to kill a Federal Communications Commission rule that repealed the Obama administration’s ban on internet providers blocking or slowing down certain content. Back in December, in an effort to deregulate the internet, the FCC repealed “net neutrality” rules that ensured equal treatment for all web traffic. The Obama-era rule prevented providers such as AT&T, Comcast and Verizon from interfering with internet traffic and favoring their own sites and apps. Three Republicans joined with Democrats in voting to repeal the FCC rule that is scheduled to go into effect next month, the AP reports. The final vote was 52-47.

Telecommunications companies lobbied hard to overturn net neutrality, and critics, including the Trump administration, said over-regulation was stifling innovation. CNN says the measure to reinstate net neutrality will now “be sent to the GOP-led House, where it’ll likely go nowhere,” noting that Trump isn’t likely to back it either. Still, the AP notes, Democrats see their effort as something that will energize young voters who value unfettered access to the internet.

Will this bring about a happy ending……I think not Trump’s lackeys in the House will defeat net neutrality…..there is no way that these toads will do the right thing….

Keep those cards and letters flowing into the House….maybe someone will listen.

Advertisements

Closing Thought–12Jan18

Pres. Kennedy back in the day organized and established the US Peace Corps and since the 60’s this group has done some amazing work….helping people in the Third World from everything from agriculture to water purification…..

Recently the Peace Corps had a tragedy when one of its own died because of lack of medical care in China….the Senate has taken up this to try to see that this never happens again….

U.S. Senators Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), and Chris Coons (D-Del.) today introduced legislation to reform the Peace Corps. The Nick Castle Peace Corps Reform Act of 2018 would improve access to medical care for volunteers, strengthen accountability and oversight, and enhance procedures to reduce the risk of crime in the countries in which volunteers serve. The legislation is named in honor of Nick Castle, of Brentwood, Calif., who lost his life at age 23 due to inadequate health care while serving in China in 2013. It was later determined by the inspector general that flaws in medical care and the response to his illness contributed to his death. Nick would have turned 28 today.

“Very simple steps would have saved Nick’s life,” said Sue and David Castle, the parents of Nick Castle. “As parents, we have worked for legislation to ensure this never happens to another family, and we believe this legislation will make the changes that are needed. Nick wanted to make a difference in this world, but he didn’t have time to do that. We hope with the passing of this legislation that he can make a true lasting impact on the Peace Corps.”

https://www.foreign.senate.gov/press/chair/release/senators-introduce-peace-corps-reform-act-of-2018

My day has come to an end….please have a good evening and be well and safe…..chuq

What Does The Report Say?

These days everybody has an opinion on the Trump/Russia thing….his supporters  are trying to cloudy the water of the investigation with the crap about the FBI investigation is somehow biased because those investigating had donated to the Dems in the past…..this is the lamest of attempts.

I offer up the 300+ page report that was generated by the Senate Judiciary Committee……I offer up the link so that readers will know exactly what was said in this hearing and not depend on the news du jour for their opinions….this will fall on deaf ears if the reader depends on FOX News for their “information”…..

https://www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/_cache/files/3/9/3974a291-ddbe-4525-9ed1-22bab43c05ae/934A3562824CACA7BB4D915E97709D2F.simpson-transcript-redacted.pdf

Read this an you will see just how much the Repubs are lying to the American people.  It is fascinating reading…this official Senate investigation tells a different story than the Repubs are spinning…..after reading I know why Sen. Grassley did not want this report made public…..he is a liar and his “buds” on the Committee are also…..

The Republic Survives! (Sarcasm)

By now the news of the defeat of the ‘Bama pedophile has been making every show on 24 hour news networks…..but in case you could care less….a short synopsis…….

It’s Doug Jones. The Democrat won election to the Senate from Alabama on Tuesday, dealing a political blow to President Trump, reports the AP. Jones narrowly defeated Republican Roy Moore, a one-time GOP pariah who was embraced by the Republican Party and the president even after facing allegations of sexual impropriety. An attorney and former prosecutor, Jones rallied voters on a message of moving past the Moore controversies. He was buoyed by an influx of national Democratic cash and endorsements.

Jones’ victory is set to narrow the slim Republican majority over Democrats in the Senate to 51-49. His win in the Republican stronghold energizes the Democratic Party as it looks to build on anti-Trump sentiment to mount a challenge next year to Republican control of Congress. With 92% of votes counted, Jones had 49.5% of the vote to Moore’s 48.8%, per CNN, which also called the race for Jones.

What does this mean?

It means that the GOP had a deeply flawed candidate.  It does not mean much more than that.  The networks would have us all believing that there is a ground swell for Dems…..I just do not see it.

But I see what the Dems are doing….they are setting the stage for 2018….they are putting out as much positive spin as possible over this election.  I understand why they are making more of this than there is…….

Jones needs to go and kiss every black person he meets for without them he would be shoveling Sassy’s crap.

Now on to 2018……and we will see just how big this vote was in reality.

Don’t Panic Just Yet

The word has been that the Senate has doomed the middle class to lower wages and high taxes in the future….I even fell into the hype around the Senate vote….but foresight has finally come to me….the House has their bill and now the Senate has theirs….and now the two must come together for a final bill 6to be sent to the president for his signature.

How do the two bills compare?

The Senate passed a nearly $1.5 trillion tax overhaul early Saturday after some late changes were made to the bill. The House passed a nearly $1.5 trillion tax bill two weeks ago that differs in key respects, and the two chambers will have to craft a compromise to send to President Trump, the AP reports. A comparison of the two Republican-written measures:

  • Personal income tax rates: The Senate bill retains the current number of brackets, seven, but changes them to 10, 12, 22, 24, 32, 35, and 38.5%. Under current law, the top bracket for wealthiest earners is 39.6%. The House measure condenses seven brackets to four: 12, 25, 35, and 39.6%. Under the Senate bill, the reductions in personal income tax rates are temporary, ending in 2026. They’re permanent in the House bill.
  • Individual insurance mandate. The Senate bill repeals the ObamaCare requirement that people pay a tax penalty if they don’t purchase health insurance. The House bill does not.
  • Personal exemption. Both bills eliminate the current $4,050 personal exemption.
  • Inheritance tax. Currently, when someone dies the estate owes taxes on the value of assets transferred to heirs above $5.5 million for individuals, $11 million for couples. The Senate bill doubles those limits but does not repeal the tax. The House initially doubles the limits and then repeals the entire tax after 2023.
  • Tax credits.:The Senate doubles per-child tax credit to $2,000. The House raises per-child tax credit from $1,000 to $1,600 and extends it to families earning up to $230,000. The House bill also creates a $300 tax credit for each adult in a family, which expires in 2023. Both bills preserve the adoption tax credit.
  • Standard deduction. Used by about 70% of US taxpayers, currently $6,350 for individuals and $12,700 for married couples. The Senate and House bills both double those levels to $12,000 for individuals and $24,000 for couples.
  • Corporate taxes: The Senate and House bills both cut the current 35% rate to 20%, but the Senate has a one-year delay in dropping the rate.
  • Alternative minimum tax. The AMT is aimed at ensuring that higher-earning people pay at least some tax. The Senate bill doesn’t repeal it but reduces the number of people who have to pay it. The House measure repeals the tax.

Pass-through businesses: Millions of US businesses “pass through” their income to individuals, who then pay personal income tax on those earnings, not corporate tax. The Senate bill lets people deduct 23% of the earnings and then pay at their personal income tax rate on the remainder. The House measure taxes many of the pass-through businesses at 25%, plus creates a 9% rate for the first $75,000 in earnings for some smaller pass-throughs.

So I would like to tell my readers that many bills have made it this far and failed…..we can only hope that this is one of those bills.

Sadly I am one of those people that does not look for this bill to fail….

Merry Christmas Suckers!

GOP is smiling with joy for they made their rich clients happy this holiday season….

For a couple weeks now the GOP has been running around to try and get the votes that need to shove a tax plan up the butts of most Americans……even Fearless Fosdick has been telling  his adoring mobs what a good deal this bill will be for most of us (will explain that pile of manure a little later in this post)…..even the so-called “mavericks of Flake, Collins, Graham and McCain have decided that party politics is more important than the people they serve…..who am I kidding?  They serve their rich masters.

“We have the votes.” So declared Mitch McConnell Friday on the GOP’s bid to push a $1.4 trillion tax bill through the Senate. The final vote in the chamber is expected to come later Friday. The Senate majority leader’s comment came soon after the No. 2 Senate GOP leader, John Cornyn of Texas, said the same, per the AP. With the party controlling the Senate 52-48 and Democrats uniformly opposed, Republicans need 50 votes to win approval; VP Pence would break a tie. The measure’s momentum was boosted Friday when Sen. Ron Johnson said he’d vote for it after leaders agreed to his demand to make tax breaks more generous for millions of businesses. Sen. Steve Daines also backed the legislation after winning an increase in the business income deduction from 17.4% to 20%.

The bill seemed to be sailing toward passage Thursday, until a report out of the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation estimated the package would produce budget deficits totaling $1 trillion over the next 10 years. Advocates say the measure’s tax cuts will spark enough economic growth to pay for the lowered levies. The projection left the votes of several GOP senators in doubt, including Tennessee’s Bob Corker and Arizona’s Jeff Flake; Maine’s Susan Collins is also up in the air. Cornyn said leaders are still working on any holdouts. Senate passage would push Congress a step closer to the first rewrite of the nation’s tax code in 31 years. Unlike the House tax bill recently passed, the Senate measure would end the Obama requirement that people pay a tax penalty if they don’t buy health insurance.

Of course the boot lickers of Fearless Fosdick will be in awe of this bill and all it does for us mere mortals but most of it is fracking lies!

As Senate Republicans proclaimed on Friday that they have the votes to pass a $1.5 trillion tax bill whose contents have been kept secret from virtually everyone except corporate lobbyists, progressive lawmakers and activists are once more warning that the GOP is planning to use the massive deficit hole its plan would create to justify taking a sledgehammer to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security—a ploy one group has termed the “tax two-step.”

Indivisible released a video explaining the tactic, which has been utilized by Republicans for decades—but which might now be deployed on a scale never seen.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/12/01/gop-tax-scam-two-step-explode-deficit-cuts-rich-then-screw-poor

Forget campaign promises and White House propaganda about prosperity via tax cuts. The GOP is poised to show every American who isn’t wealthy that it couldn’t care less about their daily economic struggles.

That message comes in the $1.5 trillion tax bill that is on the verge of Senate passage, following a slightly different version the House passed a few weeks ago. Fiscally, the legislation gives temporary minimal tax cuts to the middle-class—on the order of 1 percent or so—while giving increasingly larger and permanent cuts to corporations and wealthy Americans, whose financial portfolios are not commonplace.

https://www.alternet.org/economy/gop-tax-plan-giant-middle-finger-hundreds-millions-americans

Oh there is so much more……

Republicans plan to pass a bill this week to allow churches to engage in political activity. And they plan to pass a bill that limits state spending on education. And a bill that caps state health care. And a bill that cripples public transportation. And a bill that will end the individual mandate on healthcare and drive up insurance prices. And a bill that would halt abortions.

And, incidentally, they plan to pass a bill that gifts trillions to millionaires and corporations while driving up both costs and taxes for the working and middle class. Because all of this, and more, is rolled into the Republican “tax bill.”

https://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/monstrous-details-republican-tax-plan-trump-doesnt-want-you-know-about

And there is the endless use of the term “trigger” when this bill is talked about….would you like to know what that is all about?  Good.  ‘Cause here it is……

As Senate Republicans barrel toward a tax vote, lawmakers worried about the national debt are in search of some kind of last-minute fix — except no one knows what that fix will be.

The idea is still in a conceptual stage: If the rosy deficit forecasts from this tax bill prove to be inaccurate, and the economy does not grow as fast as Republican leaders are saying it will, then they want a trigger mechanism in place to in some way address that.

Matt Yglesias explained how that would work in theory, but “in practice, the economic impact of some kind of backstop provision is going to hinge on the implementation details.” Those details are far from final.

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/11/30/16716860/senate-tax-bill-deficit-trigger

Now they will hammer out the final bill between the two houses….God only knows how much more screwing will come out of that session.

But this should tell you all you need to know about your new “tax cut” bill……

Republicans have already made few bones about the fact that this bill was basically a payoff to their wealthy donors, but Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley took things to another level when he openly displayed the contempt for ordinary Americans that is the beating heart of his party’s politics.

In an interview with the Des Moines Register, Grassley said that people who “invest” are more deserving of tax cuts because they don’t waste their money on frivolities:

“I think not having the estate tax recognizes the people that are investing,” Grassley said, “as opposed to those that are just spending every darn penny they have, whether it’s on booze or women or movies.”

Congrats!  If this is signed into law, and it will, then the Congress has just fucked the entire nation that has to work for a living….this will go down as one of the biggest rip-offs in American history.

And YOU VOTED for it…..now live with it!

Yakety Yak…Don’t Talk Back

Hurricane Harvey is headed inland…..not in my region but it will effect us nonetheless….if worse comes to worse I will get knocked off the internet…..but buck up I will return as soon as possible.

Our fearless leader is not making friends and influencing people during his first 7 months as the center of power.

He has picked fights with just about everyone from his AG to the FBI to Dems and now he is on the case of the Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell….

President Trump and Mitch McConnell have taken potshots at each other in public of late, but that’s nothing compared to what’s going on in private, reports the New York Times. A lengthy story describes their relations as of the “Cold War” variety, and it says the two men haven’t spoken since a phone call on Aug. 9 that devolved into a shouting match. CNN confirms the volatile nature of that call, with one of its sources saying that the president swore at the Senate majority leader. Both stories say Trump is not only peeved at the Senate’s inability to repeal ObamaCare, but at McConnell’s refusal to help shield the president from the Russia investigation. McConnell’s wife, Elaine Chao, is Trump’s transportation secretary, and earlier this month she navigated the rift as best she could publicly: “I stand by my man—both of them.”

The Times story runs through in great detail the sources of friction, including that McConnell “expressed horror” to aides about the president’s reaction to the Charlottesville violence. Maybe the most damning line of all: “McConnell has privately expressed uncertainty that Mr. Trump will be able to salvage his administration after a series of summer crises.” A White House official, however, downplays the feud to CNN and says it won’t interfere with looming action on tax reform and government funding. But Ed Kilgore at New York isn’t so sure. “If nothing else, the ‘cold war’ between Trump and McConnell could lead both men to a decision to go it alone at times when cooperation is essential to GOP goals.”

This is NOT how the conservative agenda gets pushed through Congress.

If Trump has an agenda (I am not sure that he does) he will need the Majority leader to help him accomplish something positive….so far he is on a course of being the only lame duck president in his first year in office.