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President Donald Trump announced in an interview with The Associated Press Friday that businesses and individuals will receive a “massive tax cut” in the new tax reform package he plans to unveil next week.
Trump said the tax reform package will be introduced on “Wednesday or shortly thereafter,” just before his 100th day in office. While the president would not reveal details about the tax plan, he did say that the cuts will be “bigger I believe than any tax cut ever.”
“We’ll be having a big announcement on Wednesday having to do with tax reform. The process has begun long ago but it really formally begins on Wednesday,” Trump said in a statement issued to CNBC.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, who has been working with Trump on the new plan, originally set out to have a tax reform plan passed by the end of August but has been recently backing away from the deadline. Regardless, he is still confident that an overhaul of the U.S. tax code will happen before the year is up.
Mnuchin said he hopes there will be bipartisan support for the plan, but should they fail to reach a consensus with Democrats, the White House will consider using the reconciliation process to finalize tax reform. While they would only need 50 votes to do so, the tax cuts would expire in 10 years, which the administration does not consider optimal.
“They need some permanence in the tax code,” said Trump’s top economic adviser Gary Cohn.
We say it pays to wait for all the facts to emerge on breaking news stories, and not to jump to conclusions. The saga of the attack on a German soccer team proves the wisdom of that advice, and the value of skepticism along the way. The attack had all the hallmarks of a radical Islamist terror attack, right down to the purposeful shrapnel and the political statement that accompanied it, and German prosecutors even arrested a known Islamist radical — at first.
Today, however, German police have arrested a man who shorted Borussia Dortmund stock on the morning of the attack, and allege that financial gain was the real motive behind the bombing:
A 28-year-old German-Russian citizen took out a five-figure loan to bet that Borussia Dortmund shares would drop, then bombed the soccer team’s bus in an attack he tried to disguise as Islamic terrorism in a scheme to net millions, German officials said Friday. …
She said the man came to the attention of investigators because he had made “suspicious options purchases” for shares in Borussia Dortmund, the only top-league German club listed on the stock exchange, on the same day as the April 11 attack.
W. had taken out a loan of “several tens of thousands of euros” days before the attack and bought a large number of so-called put options, betting on a drop in Dortmund’s share price, she said.
“A significant share price drop could have been expected if a player had been seriously injured or even killed as a result of the attack,” according to prosecutors, though Koehler said the precise profit W. might have expected was still being calculated.
According to the Associated Press, stock prices did dip after the attack, but rose again quickly afterward. The suspect — identified only as “Sergei W” at the moment — would have had to act quickly to profit off the short, but prosecutors allege he wanted a much bigger payday. Had players been killed or more of them seriously wounded, the stock price would have fallen farther and remained depressed, giving him more opportunity to act quietly. As it turned out, though, only one player was seriously wounded, and the injury is not expected to keep him from missing significant playing time.
Nevertheless, the bombing had its impact on the team’s field play. Midfielder Nuri Sahin told an interviewer that he couldn’t get his mind on their first game after the attack, saying that “there is so much more than football in this world.”
So it was greed rather than religion that was the motivator — not exactly an unknown force in crime, of course, and especially not attempted murder. It’s not as if the initial story didn’t have its holes, either. The first clue was probably the clumsy attempt to shift blame to two very different groups at the same time by leaving letters from both a supposed Islamist terrorist and an imaginary anti-fa radical, which made German investigators suspicious from the start. A real terrorist from either faction wouldn’t have tried to blame the other while claiming credit for an attack. It didn’t take long for investigators to unravel that, either; the AP report says that police had Sergei W under surveillance for a week before the arrest, which would have meant it started the day after the attack.
This makes for a rather memorable lesson in checking assumptions. If German prosecutors have this right, this suspect exploited (very reasonable) fears of terrorism in order to cash in at the expense of athletes, sports fans, and investors. Not all evil springs from radical ideology, a fact to keep in mind when trying to make sense of horrid attacks such as these.
The post German prosecutors: Soccer bombing a stock fraud rather than Islamist terror appeared first on Hot Air.
Harvard University’s Office of BLGTQ Student Life has designed a new school-sponsored gender diversity guide for students aiming to “fight transphobia” and describing gender fluidity as being able to change “from day to day.”
The guide was distributed to students on campus, according to Campus Reform, and asserts gender fluidity as a proven fact. It opens by proclaiming the differences between biological sex and gender identity.
“Sex assigned at birth and gender identity are not necessarily the same,” the heading reads. “Sex assigned at birth, gender identity, sexual orientation, hormonal makeup, physical anatomy, and/or how one is perceived in daily life are not necessarily related.”
“There are more than two sexes,” the guide continues in bold letters. “Many factors influence ‘biological’ sex, including internal and external genitalia, hormones, and chromosomes.”
It adds, “Even within categories of ‘male’ and ‘female,’ every human expression of sex is in some way biologically variant from the next.”
The Office of BLGTQ Student Life then explains in the gender diversity guide that gender is fluid and ever-changing, even as often as daily.
“For many people — cis and trans — gender expression, identity, and self-understanding can change from day to day,” the guide says.
The Harvard student guide then addresses those who may be spreading information contrary to what they have cited above.
“Transphobic misinformation is a form of systemic violence,” the document proclaims. “Fixed binaries and biological essentialism, manifest in gendered language, misgendering someone, and the policing of trans bodies, threaten the lives of trans people.”Image courtesy: Campus Reform Image courtesy: Campus Reform
According to Campus Reform, some students on campus were upset that school funds were used on the project, but refused to come forward out of fear of repercussions from the school.
Campus Reform’s California campus correspondent Peter Van Voorhis, who originally reported on the story, spoke with TheBlaze about the story.
“Students across the country are sick of this gender nonsense, and are fighting back to promote truth on their campuses. It’s a shame that a historic institution like Harvard University has stooped this low,” Van Voorhis said.
The Office of BLGTQ Student Life’s website boasts events like “Drag Night,” “Lesbian Visibility Day,” and a “#QueerHarvard” campaign. A request for comment was not immediately returned.
Call it trickle down politics.
Americans are reporting they are talking more about politics with coworkers these days than previously. Apparently, there’s a new president whose activities and antics are prompting increased discussions on all sides in the workplace.
And guess what? Most Americans seem OK with it — on all sides.
The Gallup Poll just completed a new nationwide telephone survey of 3,244 full and part-time workers in all 50 states. And it found about 60% of them said there’s much more talk of politics at work in these past four months. Only 8% said there’s less such talk.
If you’re an employer who fears that differing political affiliations and heated emotions over results of the historic Nov. 8 upset victory might prove to be a workplace distraction, fuhgeddaboudit. A substantial plurality (43%) say the increased political talk has had no effect on work productivity or quality, Gallup said.
A negative effect of more political discussion was reported by 11% of workers.
You’ll never guess the party affiliation of those most bothered by increased politics talk since Donald J. Trump became president. Yup, Democrats (16%) were most disturbed, followed by independents (11%) and by unbothered Republicans (4%).
The results probably should not be surprising, given the intense attention that the 2016 campaign and its debates attracted across the country, prompted in large part by the controversial candidacy of Trump. His electoral victory was built in large part on attracting blue-collar workers away from their usual political home in the Democratic Party.
And since taking office Trump has continued to emphasize his interest in and connection to workers, holding so-called listening sessions with miners, steel workers, farmer, automakers and signing executive orders benefiting their professions. This week, as our Jazz Shaw wrote here, Trump visited Snap-On tools near Milwaukee to tour, speak and sign a “Buy American, Hire American” executive order.
Gallup also found that only about a quarter of employers (26%) had communicated with their workers so far this year.
The post Who could it be? Someone is prompting more political talk in the American workplace appeared first on Hot Air.
A Florida state senator has resigned after making alcohol-infused, racially charged comments about some of his black colleagues.
Republican Sen. Frank Artiles from Miami announced Friday he would resign from office “effectively immediately.” In the announcement, Artiles also apologized for his inappropriate remarks on Monday, in which he used the “N-word” to refer to a group of black state senators. He also called Sen. Audrey Gibson, a Democrat, a “f***ing asshole,” a “b***h” and a “girl,” the Miami Herald reported.
Florida State Senate President, Republican Joe Negron, took to the Senate floor Wednesday, calling Artiles’ comments “appalling.”
During his Monday night rant, Artiles called Negron a “p***y,” the Herald reported. Artiles apologized on the Senate floor later that day.
But the Florida Democratic Party wasn’t satisfied with a mere apology. The opposing party insisted that Artiles should resign. By Thursday, protesters gathered outside Artiles’ office, calling for him to step down.
“What state senator or what elected official goes up there uses the ‘N-word,’ calls people ‘b****es,’ ” protester Deltravis Williams told CBS News.
Then, on Friday, Artiles caved to pressure to step down in light of his comments. He issued an apology, which read as follows:
I apologize to my family and friends and I apologize to all of my fellow Senators and lawmakers. To the people of my district and all of Miami-Dade, I am sorry I have let you down and ask for your forgiveness.
My actions and my presence in government is now a distraction to my colleagues, the legislative process, and the citizens of our great State.
I am responsible and I am accountable and effective immediately, I am resigning from the Florida State Senate.
It’s clear there are consequences to every action, and in this area, I will need time for personal reflection and growth.
Feel Good Friday: Young Cubs Fan Bursts Into Tears of Gratitude When Dad Rewards His Hard Work With Tickets
'The Promise' Filmmakers Hope Movie Will Spur International Community to Recognize the Armenian Genocide
Fact check: Mostly true.
No matter how much I accomplish during the ridiculous standard of the first 100 days, & it has been a lot (including S.C.), media will kill!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 21, 2017
Why do we continue to use this stupid benchmark? It’s a tradition, Jeff Greenfield allows, one that tells us … almost nothing useful about what’s to come:
The inane 100 days tradition is rooted in the breathless start of FDR’s presidency in 1933. As New Deal historian Adam Cohen recalls, “dire” does not begin to describe conditions. With banks collapsing by the hour, “people who came down for the inauguration literally could not pay their bills when they were checking out of their hotels. The banking system had collapsed. Unemployment was at 25 percent. The stock market had plunged. So everyone agreed that there had to be bold action.”…
Look back on any presidency you choose [after FDR’s], and what are the chances that the first 7 percent of its first term offered a useful guide to the rest? As my former colleague Dan Rather would have put it, “slim and none and Slim has just left town.”…
Did Nixon’s first 100 days offer a clue that he would be toasting the health of Mao Zedong in Beijing a few years later? That Ronald Reagan would be strolling through America with the leader of the Soviet Union? That Barack Obama, who led his party to a smashing triumph in 2008, would preside over the implosion of the party at every level over the next eight years?
Especially in an era of intense partisan polarization, odds are high that unless a president begins his term with a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, not much is getting done domestically in the first hundred days. (Foreign policy may be different, as our brief recent adventure in Syria proves.) On top of that, you’ve got a governing party in Washington torn three ways between a nationalist president, business-class establishmentarians, and Freedom-Caucus-style fiscal conservatives. It’d be hard enough to get health care passed with 52 votes in the Senate even if the party was united. When it isn’t, you get what we’ve got now — a few executive orders, a big Supreme Court confirmation, some noteworthy lunges on foreign policy, and not much else.
Trump, the great non-traditionalist, could have pointed all of that out last year on the trail and warned Americans to keep their expectations for the pace of change realistic if he was elected. In practice, no candidate for the world’s most important job would risk peeing on his voters’ enthusiasm by hinting that reform might not come quickly if he wins, particularly a populist like Trump who was running as a swamp-draining superhero. The entire appeal of his candidacy was that he’d impose his will, in alpha-male fashion, on all the beta losers in Washington, never mind the procedural logistics of getting things passed in Congress.
And so we’re left this afternoon with the absurdity of the president grumbling about the “ridiculous” concept of the hundred days after having tweeted stuff like … this last year:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 25, 2016
Here is Trump's – signed! – "100-day action plan" pic.twitter.com/zHQV0o3WPl
— Will Jordan (@williamjordann) April 21, 2017
He tweeted out a video on November 22, two weeks after his victory, to update Americans on his “policy plans for the first 100 days.” Usually when he’s caught in an act of hypocrisy related to something he’s said in the past it has to do with a stance taken by Obama, not a stance taken by, er, himself just a few months before.
Also, while it may be true that “almost nothing useful” is learned in a president’s first hundred days, it’s not quite true that the benchmark is meaningless. Interesting point by WaPo:
Presidents who failed to sign any major piece of legislation in the first 100 days — especially presidents whose parties also controlled Congress — have sputtered in their first couple of years, too, said Brooklyn College history professor and presidential scholar Robert David Johnson…
“There really aren’t a lot of examples — zero — of presidents who substantially struggled in the 100 days and then quickly rebounded,” Johnson said.
A comparable parallel, Johnson said, was President Jimmy Carter, who struggled to whip up excitement within a Democratic-controlled Congress for pretty much anything, his first 100 days and beyond. He signed an energy bill a year and a half in, but it wasn’t what he wanted, and that “pretty much sucked the oxygen out of his presidency.”
There are ways Trump could break that mold. Anything that can be done via reconciliation in the Senate can be passed on a pure party-line vote, without Democratic help, and if the GOP picks up seats in 2018, the combination of Republicans and red-state Dems in the upper chamber could give Trump 60 votes for key legislation. But that’s a heavy lift, especially with his job approval in the low 40s. With Democrats in “obstruct at all costs” mode, Trump’s presidency is far more likely to be consequential on foreign policy than domestically. Hey — there’s still time for war with North Korea and Iran before next Saturday’s 100-days milestone is reached.
Here’s CNN having some fun at his expense.
The post Trump: Let’s face it, the “first hundred days” is a ridiculous concept appeared first on Hot Air.
A new poll revealed that former independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin would defeat incumbent Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch in a potential matchup in a U.S. Senate race, Salt Lake City’s KSL-TV reported.
The poll by JMC Analytics and commissioned by The Centrist Project, an organization that is recruiting candidates for public office in 2018, found that 33 percent of Utah residents would vote for McMullin and 29 percent would vote for Hatch, while 11 percent would vote for a Democrat if the election were held today. Ten percent of respondents said they would select someone else, while 17 percent said they were undecided.
The poll also found that only 21 percent of Utah residents said they would prefer for Hatch to be re-elected, while 68 percent said they want “someone new.”
A poll released in January by the Salt Lake Tribune and the Hinckley Institute of Politics found that 78 percent of registered voters in Utah do not think Hatch should run for re-election. Hatch has since indicated that he plans to seek another term.
Speculation about a potential run for office by McMullin, who launched a bid for the White House as an alternative for conservatives dissatisfied with President Donald Trump’s candidacy, increased after Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) announced earlier this week that he will not seek re-election in 2018.
McMullin, a former CIA agent, told the Washington Examiner in a Thursday email that he had been considering a primary challenge to Hatch or Chaffetz in the 2018 Republican primary, and Chaffetz’s departure from Congress might help him reach a decision about his political future.
“I’ve been considering challenging Hatch or Chaffetz, or not running at all in 2018,” McMullin wrote. “Obviously, this development today is significant, but there are other important factors. I still haven’t made a decision.”
Notes from realignment: A solid Republican district becomes the site of a Democratic resurgence. In the first round of a special election a thirty-something unknown outperforms Hillary Clinton's 2016
Once again, I get to step outside the box and guest host on Relevant Radio’s Drew Mariani Show from 3-6 ET today! The Catholic talk-radio network is heard nationwide on the air after its merger with Immaculate Heart Radio, as well as online and through their free mobile app that plays live and podcasted shows.
Today’s Relevant Radio show includes:
- Feminists for Life President Serrin Foster
- Dr. Stephen Barr
- Dr. Mark Miravalle
- Peter Grandich
- Father Paul Scalia
We may add more before the show starts today, plus we will have the chaplet of Divine Mercy. We will also take your calls at 1-877-766-3777. You can also listen on the Relevant Radio app no matter where you are in the world, so download it now. I’ll look forward to talking with you!
AdministratorsÃ could provide enough security when conservative speakers are invited. They choose not to.
Elections in France and Britain give us a front-row seat to the future of politics in the Western world.
As missiles fall on Syria in retaliation for Bashar Assad’s medieval use of chemical weapons—and as voices call for the use of some American ground troops to expedite his removal—we might reflect upon American military interventions in the post-Vietnam era. America’s major interventions include Iraq in 1991, the Balkans in 1995 and 1999, Afghanistan in 2002, Iraq from 2003 to 2011, and, Libya in 2011. More minor interventions occurred in places like Lebanon, Grenada, and Panama—and there were occasional bombings in Africa and the Middle East. Although awful...
Senior House Democrats held a conference call on Thursday night with members of the Democratic caucus, and according to a Dem aide, one of the key conclusions reached on the call was this: In the battles over Obamacare, Trump’s border wall, and funding the government, Democrats — not the White House — must behave as the ones with the leverage.
“There are a lot of people who have Democratic values who may not see themselves as a Democrat,” confessed Democratic National Committee Vice Chairman Michael Blake. Someone ought to explain this to the party’s big attraction, the figure on whom Democrats have pinned their hopes for a political comeback: Bernie Sanders. The septuagenarian senator from Vermont, who narrowly missed an opportunity to wrest the party’s presidential nomination from the anointed Hillary Clinton, is a living, breathing example of the crisis afflicting the Democratic Party’s brand.