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.

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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.

Today’s The Big Day

The GOP is up to their typical stuff…..total confusion and butt scratching stupidity.

Today there will be a vote of the whole “Repeal and Replace” debacle…the Senate will vote…..the problem is so far NO one seems to know just which version of what health bill that they will be voting on…..

The Senate will move forward with a key vote this week on a Republican health bill—but it’s not yet known whether the legislation will seek to replace ObamaCare or simply repeal it, the third-highest ranking Republican senator said Sunday. Sen. John Thune of South Dakota said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will make a decision soon on which bill to bring up for a vote, depending on ongoing discussions with GOP senators, the AP reports. Thune sought to cast this week’s initial vote as important but mostly procedural, allowing senators to begin debate and propose amendments. But he acknowledged that senators should be able to know beforehand what bill they will be considering.

President Trump has said he wants Congress to repeal and replace ObamaCare, but would accept a straight-repeal of the law if senators couldn’t reach agreement. In a sign of the high stakes involved, Trump exhorted senators anew Sunday night to pass health legislation. “If Republicans don’t Repeal and Replace the disastrous ObamaCare, the repercussions will be far greater than any of them understand!” Trump tweeted. At least two Republican senators, Susan Collins and Rand Paul, Sunday appeared to reaffirm their intention to vote against the procedural motion if it involved the latest version of the GOP’s repeal-and-replace bill. “We don’t know whether we’re going to be voting on the House bill, the first version of the Senate bill, the second version of the Senate bill, a new version of the Senate bill, or a 2015 bill that would have repealed the Affordable Care Act,” Collins said. “I don’t think that’s a good approach to replacing legislation that affects millions of people.”

There is more on this vote if you would like to know……

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) on Monday said Republican senators have no idea what Obamacare repeal bill they’ll be voting on Tuesday at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) request.

“Senator, what is up for a vote tomorrow? Could you update me?” Fox News’ Neil Cavuto asked.

“I thought you were going to tell me,” Paul replied. “I thought I was coming on air for you to tell me.”

Paul said Republican senators are completely in the dark about what measure they’ll cast on-record votes for or against on Tuesday.

Source: Paul: GOPers ‘Have No Earthly Idea’ Of Repeal Bill They’ll Vote On Tomorrow – Talking Points Memo

Personally I love this confusion…for after 7 years of chanting the same tiring slogan…over and over….and then they have their chance and they have NO plan, never had a plan, to replace the law…..ain’t it great?

Health Care: Will Another Bill Fail?

Yes health care has been in the news a lot….the old “repeal and replace” thing and that promise has not been going very well…..there was a disastrous House bill and then the Senate took a whack at it and theirs was even worse than the House offering…..

They all went back to the back rooms and hammered out yet another incarnation of a health bill…..and now it has been released to us mere mortals for our knowledge….

President Trump said he’d be “very angry” if senators fail to repeal ObamaCare as promised, and GOP leaders have just taken a step in their quest to quell that anger. The second draft of the Better Care Reconciliation Act was released on Thursday with revisions aimed at getting 50 of the Senate’s 52 GOP votes. The Congressional Budget Office should score the bill early next week, and next week should also see a vote. The Hill’s take: “Overall, [Mitch] McConnell appears to have shifted the revised bill toward the conservatives, without giving the moderates much of what they want.” The AP sees “only modest departures” from the original. Indeed, Medicaid cuts are mostly unchanged, to the likely displeasure of moderates. This means the funding that 31 states have used to expand Medicaid under ObamaCare ends in 2024, and further cuts follow the next year. Five things that were changed:

  1. Ted Cruz’s amendment appears, sort of. He, along with Sen. Mike Lee, proposed allowing insurers to offer bare-bones plans as long as those insurers also sell at least one policy that conforms to ObamaCare requirements. What’s included is based on their version, though the AP notes it appears in brackets, meaning the language hasn’t been finalized.
  2. The “stability fund” grows from $112 billion to $182 billion. This is the money states could dole out to help tamp down premiums and other costs.
  3. Opioids get more funding, to the tune of $45 billion, up from the $2 billion in version one.
  • Two ObamaCare taxes on the wealthy are back. Currently, families earning more than $250,000 a year see a 3.8% increase in their investment income tax and a 0.9% bump in their payroll tax. The taxes had been removed in version one.
  • Premiums could be paid for using money from pre-tax health savings accounts, an approach conservatives favor.

Sorry but that offering is as bad if not worse than their first effort….and sadly it is going to the same place as it predecessor….the trash can.

Medicaid still takes a deep hit…..but now people can buy “no frills” health insurance….someone with half a brain explain that to the country.

Unless Mitch can pull a vote out of his butt this will also fail….do not count him out just yet…..he will use party loyalty as a weapon to get the votes he needs…..and we will see where these GOPers loyalty really lies…..my guess is the people will lose out yet again under the GOP boot.

This is NOT as hard as they are making it….but when you have to make your masters with the money happy it becomes a disaster…..and so far that is exactly what we are getting from Congress…disaster after disaster…..

The country waits……

Did Health Care Find A Fix?

Well Obamacare has been in the news a lot since January….House has it version of the “repeal/replace” thing….as does the Senate….neither of which has been found to be anything resembling good.

The “Mouth of the Senate”, Ted Cruz, may have hit upon a fix for the stand-off…..that’s right is said the Tea Party darling, Ted Cruz, may have hit upon a solution to the problem…..

Ted Cruz could be the one to push an ObamaCare repeal and replacement through the House and Senate, the Hill reports. A GOP aide says the Congressional Budget Office is looking at two versions of the Better Care Reconciliation Act—one of which contains an amendment by Cruz that is getting support from moderate and conservative Republicans in the House and Senate. The Cruz amendment would allow insurance providers to sell any kind of policies they wanted—as long as they also sold at least one policy that complies with ACA requirements. Those requirements include covering maternity care and mental healthcare and not charging sick people more for insurance.

Under the Cruz amendment, Americans without health risks could buy cheaper, non-comprehensive plans, while Americans with health problems could buy the more expensive, ACA-compliant plans, the New York Times reports. Government subsidies for those ACA-compliant plans would be available to people making less than $42,000 or so per year. Conservative Republicans like the plan because “it gives everybody some options,” while moderates like that it semi-preserves protections for pre-existing conditions. But experts warn such segmenting leads to expensive and volatile insurance markets. Meanwhile, as his amendment is being considered, Cruz was nearly shouted down during a Fourth of July speech by protesters upset with his healthcare efforts, the Texas Tribune reports.

What are the chances that this person has found the key to a possible compromise?

The CBO scoring may be the answer to my question.
Thoughts?