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Friday, June 23, 2017

Face it: Democrats are way up a creek and can't remember where they left the paddle

The Dirty Secret of How Income Taxes Really Work

Trump backs Pelosi: ‘Keep her right where she is’


Like a skilled property owner, Donald Trump is living rent-free in the heads of Democrats.

During an appearance on “Fox & Friends” on Friday, the president threw his support behind an embattled Nancy Pelosi to remain the leader of House Democrats.

When asked about what fretting Democrats should do after their string of special election losses, Trump responded, “I hope she doesn’t step down.”

“I think that it would be a very, very sad day for Republicans if she steps down,” the president deadpanned.

“I’d be very, very disappointed if she did. I’d like to keep her right where she is because our record is extraordinary against her,” he added.

Trump’s backhanded compliment will only fuel Democrats’ angst.

On Thursday, Pelosi defended herself and attempted to dismiss a growing chorus of Democrats who want her to step aside.

NBC News reported:

Pushing back on criticism from fellow party members after the Democratic loss in a Georgia special election this week, Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that she’s “worth the trouble” as Democrats’ leader in the House.

“I feel very confident about the support that I have in my caucus,” Pelosi said at a press conference in the Capitol after Republicans featured her in almost every ad attacking Democrat Jon Ossoff in the Georgia congressional race which he lost Tuesday.

“I think I’m worth the trouble, quite frankly,” she concluded. “I love the fray.”

“We’re paving a way for a new generation of leadership, and I respect any opinion that my members have,” she said. “But my decision about how long I stay is not up to them.”

The post Trump backs Pelosi: ‘Keep her right where she is’ appeared first on The American Mirror.



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Analysis: The Senate's Initial Obamacare 'Repeal' Bill is Fatally Flawed

Guy Benson 

Senate Republicans released an initial version of their Obamacare replacement bill today -- with "aides stress[ing] the GOP plan is likely to undergo more changes to garner votes"  -- and very few people seem happy with it.  Many Democrats are predictably assailing the proposal in apocalyptic terms, calling it mean-spirited, draconian, etc.  But these same people bear responsibility for the ongoing and worseningObamacare debacle, and have been wildly distorting Republican alternatives, so their credibility is in serious question.  Nevertheless, many conservatives and libertarians are also displeased with the bill, charging that it essentially waters down Obamacare while leaving its basic structure in place.  You know who agrees with them?  Infamous Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber, who helped the Obama administration lie the current law into existence.  Brutal:


The Senate bill would repeal many of the law's mandates and taxes, then (lightly) scale back the generosity of government subsidies, pegging them to income levels, not just age -- a significant departure from the House bill.  Another major shift?  The upper chamber's version would maintain both Obamacare's "guaranteed issue" and "community rating" mandates at the federal level, meaning that all insurers would be required to offer coverage to people with pre-existing conditions at approximately the same price point as healthier consumers.  The House-passed legislation applies "guaranteed issue," but allows states the option to seek waivers on "community rating."  The Senate would eliminate that flexibility -- which was used to (unfairly) bludgeon the previous bill as an attack on people with pre-existing conditions, but was designed to help insurers offer more affordable plans to more consumers.  The new iteration does allow still states to seek waivers on Obamacare's costly "Essential Health Benefits" (EHBs), which have contributed to relentlessly rising costs under the Democrats' law. At ReasonPeter Suderman performs an unsparing vivisection of the bill: 

[The proposal], at least in the near term, retains weakened versions of nearly all of Obamacare's core features while fixing few if any of the problems that Republicans say they want to fix. It is Obamacare lite—the health law that Republicans claim to oppose, but less of it. It represents a total failure of Republican policy imagination...Even more than the House plan, the Senate plan retains the essential structure of Obamacare's individual market reforms. It would likely result in fewer people being covered, and it would not stop the destabilization of the market.  Like the House plan, the Senate plan retains Obamacare's major insurance regulations, including the requirement to cover pre-existing conditions, at the federal level. Unlike the House plan, it does not allow states to apply for a waiver to opt out of those rules. It also eliminates Obamacare's health insurance mandate. Every state that has attempted this combination of coverage regulations without a mandate has seen a swift meltdown in the individual market. There is every reason to expect that the same would happen under the Senate plan, especially since Obamacare's exchanges were struggling with a too-small, too-sick enrollee pool even with the mandate in place. The Senate bill attempts to manage this instability by buying off health insurance companies with payments that Republicans previously argued were illegal and should be stopped...

...More generally, it represents a failure to think beyond the confines of the law that is already in place. At a fundamental level, the Senate plan accepts Obamacare's premises about the nature of health insurance and the individual market. It works from the assumption that the only way to make expensive health insurance cheaper is to subsidize it through the federal government...For Republicans, this might be the notable failure to think beyond the terms set by Obamacare. It means that [the] Senate bill not only won't be Obamacare repeal, it might not even be Obamacare lite. Instead, it might be Obamacare lite—later. And later could easily turn out to be never.

Suderman concedes that both chambers' versions of 'repeal and replace' legislation make serious changes to Medicaid, a massive government program that was already struggling and failing America's most vulnerable citizens before it was hugely expanded by Obamacare (compounding budget strains and access shockproblems).  But another conservative writer and healthcare expert, Philip Klein, expands on what Suderman means when he worries that "later could easily turn out to be never" vis-a-vis these Medicaid reforms:


The Senate bill injects billions of taxpayer dollars to stabilize Obamacare in the immediate future, then begins to phase out the Medicaid expansion between 2019 and 2021.  Fully shifting Medicaid to a capped per-capita program (a welcome conservative reform) pegged to a low spending growth index (lower than the House proposal) won't happen until 2025.  Raise your hand if you can envision a future Democratic president blocking these changes, or squeamish Republicans joining with Democrats to kick the can down the road further as a politically demagogue-able "cliff" approaches -- just as we saw for nearly two decades under Medicaid's so-called "doc fix."  When Democrats propose 'more money today, offset by bigger savings far into the future,' conservatives often scoff.  Similar skepticism is warranted here.  

The biggest concern that I continue to have, which is even more pronounced under the Senate bill, is that these GOP replacement plans will fail to reverse Obamacare's fundamentally flawed dynamic that continues to force costs skyward and carriers out of state marketplaces: Unsustainable risk pools.  As Suderman notes above, this legislation would eliminate the individual mandate tax (good!) -- but like Obamacare, it also still requires every insurer in America to provide coverage to all comers, while barring significant cost differentials between healthy consumers and people with pre-existing conditions.  That's not insurance.  This blend of mandates creates an obvious incentive for healthy people to simply bypass the expense of paying monthly premiums, then sign up for coverage after suffering an accident or falling ill.  

The efficacy of Obamacare's individual mandate tax to force people into the marketplace has proven far weaker than experts projected, but it at least represents some enforcement mechanism.  The House bill compensates for the loss of the mandate with "continuous coverage" rules and a provision under which insurers could charge non-continuously-insured consumers seeking new coverage a 30 percent surcharge on rates for one year.  Puzzlingly, the new bill excludes these mechanisms, leaving...nothing, basically.  Suderman warns that states that have attempted this regulatory combination (guaranteed issue, plus community rating, minus a mandate) have witnessed a catastrophic individual market death spiral; an inevitable outcome, in light of basic economics.  Washington state's failed experiment in the 1990's is an especially relevant cautionary tale.

Republican aides say that this glaring shortcoming may be addressed as the legislation is amended.  But why they decided to roll out a bill that, as written, would double down on Obamacare's single worst flaw (even with an intent to mend it later) is beyond me.  Yes, the Senate bill would throw tens of billions of dollars at insurers in the near term to try to stabilize the individual market, but what happens when those bailout-style funds start to expire?  Especially if the composition of individual market risk polls are still in dicey shape?  We'd have yet another "cliff" with politicians strongly incentivized to punt the issue a few more years into the future.  More spending, uncertainty, and dysfunction, in perpetuity.  In short, while there are plenty of individual pieces of the Senate bill that would bring about welcome improvements over Obamacare, the larger puzzle doesn't seem structurally sound.  If any version of this thing is going to pass, it's going to require substantial changes on some big points. Many Republicans are saying that's just fine because today's release is merely an opening bid, but if that's the case, the proposed timeline for a floor vote next week is ludicrous:


A group of Senate conservatives have already laid down a marker that they can't support the bill in its present form, and other Senators are still digesting the bill for the first time.  Given the amount of work ahead, and the divides that must still be bridged, arriving at an up or down vote by the end of next week seems, shall we say, insanely ambitious.  Maybe Mitch McConnell is using an artificial deadline to focus minds sooner rather than later, privately understanding that the process will need to spill well into July, with an eye toward a vote before the August recess.  Or maybe McConnell knows that his conference's ideological gaps are irreconcilable, so he's rushing toward a floor vote in the full knowledge that it'll fail -- the logic being that he'd rather just give it a shot, and get it over with.  I'm inclined to lean toward the former scenario, but I'm not the only conservative who's contemplated the latter as a real possibility.  Stay tuned.  Perhaps some strategery is afoot:


I'll leave you with President Obama torching the Senate bill.  As you read his painfully Obamiancritique, kindly recall that almost every major assertion and promise he made about the current mess that bears his name was egregiously and harmfully wrong:

ISIS Is Killing Children to Force Families to Stay in Mosul

Leah Barkoukis 

The Islamic State has resorted to killing children in Mosul in an effort to keep families from leaving the city, which is held by the militants as they try to fend off Iraqi forces. 

"They are using children as a weapon of war to prevent people from fleeing," said UNICEF's Iraq representative, Peter Hawkins, AP reports. "This just highlights how indiscriminate and catastrophic this war is."

The U.N. children's agency said it has documented a number of cases in which IS fighters killed the children of families trying to escape from neighborhoods controlled by the militants. […]

Iraqi troops are slowly clearing the last pockets of IS fighters from Mosul's old city in an operation launched earlier this week. But an estimated 100,000 civilians packed into the dense terrain have slowed progress.

UNICEF said 1,075 Iraqi children have been killed and 1,130 wounded since IS militants overran nearly a third of Iraq in 2014. In the past six months alone, violence in Iraq has killed 152 children and injured 255, it said. In addition, the agency said, more than 1 million children have had their educations put on hold by either militant rule or displacement.

Many children have also been forced to join the fight. According to UNICEF, at least 231 children were recruited by the terror group and other militants.

Thousands of civilians have been killed and injured in the fight to retake Mosul, while hundreds of thousands of fled their homes.

Media Attempts to Omit Legal Status Of Man Arrested For Murder Of Muslim Gir



(Screen shot/abcnews.go.com)l
By Will Ricciardella
22 Jun 2017, 06:37 PM

The establishment media’s hasty misreporting and omission of facts relating to the alleged murder of a 17-year old Muslim girl by a 22-year old illegal alien suspect Sunday morninglooks like an attempt to push a narrative and not the facts.

Before the details of the brutal murder were able to materialize,The Atlantic did not hesitate in trying to fit the killing into a neatly wrapped narrative, writing “Muslim Americans are mourning—and terrified.” The articles headline boasts “Muslims Feel Under Siege” and included the 17-year old’s murder as one of “two violent incidents” specifically targeting Muslims occurring over the weekend. The other incident was a man accused of ploughinghis van into a group of worshippers outside a mosque in London, killing one person and injuring 11.

Far left magazineAffinity wasted no time Monday in proclaiming that “this [murder] is terrorism,” and “it comes with no surprise that bigots” cannot accept terrorism as anything other than “non-exclusive of Muslims.” Affinity doubles down on their extemporaneous reporting, lamenting the fact that hate crime allegations are “still” being investigated despite “evidence that proves” the girl was targeted for her faith.

At the time of Affinity’s and The Atlantic’s reporting, no facts about the killers motive were known. However, hours later police reported that there was “nothing” to indicate that the murder was a hate crime, but instead an act of “road rage.” Not only was there no evidence to support their sanctimonious claims, but the accused attacker is not even an American citizen.

Later that same evening, The Daily Caller’s Chuck Rossreported that the suspect, Darwin A. Martinez Torres, is in the United States illegally from El Salvador. The media’s handling of these new facts was indicative of their intent to use this tragedy for their own ends. CNN‘s report revealing that the murder was an act of road rage was forceful in their reporting of the emotionally distraught father’s claims that it was a hate crime. Nowhere in the CNN report was it mentioned the suspect immigration status mentioned, so as not to sully the narrative.

The closestThe Washington Post came to reporting that Torres is an illegal alien was quickly mentioning a “detainer” placed on him by “U.S. Immigration officials” for “possible” deportation proceedings. WaPo, reporting that he spoke through a translator to answer the judges questions, never once uses the term “illegal alien” or “illegal immigrant” to describe Torres.

The New York Timesreported honestly on Torres’ legal status but waited until the next day and included quotes from the slain girls father saying that the public “should stop hating on people” because of religious differences. TheNYT also included that local Muslim leaders were confident that the police would review whether the victim was “targeted because she was Muslim.” Two paragraphs later, the Times acknowledges that the police “classified the case as a ‘road rage incident,'” before describing the reported series of events.

Two of the threeMonday eveningshows on the big three cable networksignoredthe story entirely. ABC News mentioned it briefly in a video segment, with the teaser ahead of the story asking the question, “was it a hate crime?” ABCreportedon Torres’ motive of “road rage” earlier that same day, as well as his legal status before the show aired, yet it was never mentioned on the show.

NBC finally reported on the story Wednesday night, describing Torres as a “construction worker” with no mention of his legal status and reporting that “prosecutors cannot rule out” pursuing charges for a hate crime. Their report came two days after the police reported there was no evidence the killing was a hate crime.

The establishment media’s crusade to highlight tragedies to perpetuate a narrative continues. Their effort to spin a alleged vicious murder committed by an illegal alien of a 17-year old girl because he was “angry” into the broader narrative that this was symptomatic of America’s Islamophobia, shows just how far they’re willing to go.

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Campus Closes And Prof Flees State After He Posts ‘#LetThemF******Die’ About White People



Confused teacher at blackboard (Shutterstock/El Nariz)

By Rob Shimshock
22 Jun 2017, 04:53 PM

A college campus closed Wednesday and a professor reports having fled the state after calling white people “inhuman assholes” and saying “#LetThemFuckingDie.”

Professor Johnny Eric Williams of Trinity College in Connecticut says he has fled the state, claiming to have received death threats after he posted inflammatory, anti-white remarks on Facebook, according toHartford Courant. The college closed Wednesday, but reopened Thursday.

“It is past time for the racially oppressed to do what people who believe themselves to be ‘white’ will not do,” said Williams on Facebook Sunday, according toCampus Reform, “put end to the vectors of their destructive mythology of whiteness and their white supremacy system #LetThemFuckingDie.”

“I’m fed the fuck up with self identified ‘white’s’ [sic] daily violence directed at immigrants, Muslim, and sexual [sic] and racially oppressed people,” he said in a subsequent post. “The time is now to confront these inhuman assholes and end this now.”

The hashtag used by the professor in his first post appeared to be connected to aMedium.comarticle entitled“Let Them Fucking Die”that he shared on Facebook two days before. The article — which describes how Capitol Police Officer Crystal Griner, a lesbian black woman, helped take down the man who shot Steve Scalise — suggests that alleged “victims of bigotry” should not intervene when the lives of their alleged “oppressors'” lives are at risk.

Williams said he fled Connecticut after his posts went viral and he allegedly received threats.

“It was overwhelming for my family,” said the professor. “I have to look out for family. I’ve got young kids.”

“The Dean of the Faculty will review this matter and advise me on whether college procedures or policies were broken. I told Professor Williams that in my opinion his use of the hashtag was reprehensible and, at the very least, in poor judgment,” said Joanne Berger-Sweeney, president of Trinity College, in an email sent Wednesday to the Trinity Community and obtained by Hartford Courant. “No matter its intent, it goes against our fundamental values as an institution, and I believe its effect is to close minds rather than open them.”

“This is about free speech as well as academic freedom,” said Williams to Hartford Courant. “From my perspective, I’m considering whether I should file a defamation against [Campus Reform].”

Williams is a sociology professor at Trinity College and teaches the topics of race and racism.

The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to the school for comment, but received none in time for publication.

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Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Black Dem accuses Steve King of 'white privilege' in heated exchange

Black Dem accuses Steve King of 'white privilege' in heated exchange
By Cristina Marcos - 06-22-17 13:22 PM EDT

The chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus accused Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), who's faced criticism in the past for racially charged comments, of bias stemming from "white privilege."

King was offering an amendment to legislation considered in the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that speeds up the return of unaccompanied immigrant children to their home countries if they haven't been subject to human trafficking and aren't at risk of persecution.

King's amendment would require the Justice Department to report to Congress on crimes committed by the unaccompanied immigrant children following their release from Department of Homeland Security custody.

He began citing statistics comparing the violent death rate in El Salvador to the homicide rate in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.), who represents New Orleans and leads the Black Caucus, quickly interrupted.

"We're going to lose all civility in this committee if he thinks it's appropriate to compare New Orleans to Guatemala," Richmond said.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) tried to be diplomatic. "The gentleman from Iowa has the right to make a statistical comparison between two locations," he said.

But Richmond said it was inappropriate for King to compare New Orleans, which has a large African American population, to a country in Central America where people are fleeing violence.

"It's not appropriate. It's insensitive. And it's nothing more than traditional white privilege of 'let me criticize a minority city,'" Richmond said angrily.

"If the gentleman persists on it, then let's go in the back and have the conversation about New Orleans," he added. "If it takes walking across over there, then I'm prepared to do that, too."

Richmond noted that lawmakers had been calling for more political civility in the wake of last week's shooting at the GOP baseball practice, emphasizing that "words and actions have consequences."

Goodlatte defended King's right to compare the statistical data.

"Words have consequences. So do statistics, and so do arguments. This is the place to do it under the rules of the House," Goodlatte said, yielding back to King.

King suggested that Richmond "remove himself from the room if he can't restrain himself."

Goodlatte stopped King, telling him "that remark is not appropriate."

"The issue of whether or not the gentleman can be here or not is his business, not yours," Goodlatte said.

King then resumed his remarks, declaring that "I will not be intimidated by this kind of thing. It's important that we look at data."

King has faced pushback in the past for inflammatory, racially charged remarks.

In March, he came under fire for tweeting in support of nationalist Dutch politician Geert Wilders. "We can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies," King wrote.

And in 2013, King suggested that many young undocumented immigrants were drug mules.

"For everyone who's a valedictorian, there's another 100 out there that weigh 130 pounds and they've got calves the size of cantaloupes because they're hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert," King told Newsmax at the time.

Trump questions special counsel Mueller's objectivity

Trump questions special counsel Mueller's objectivity
By Ian Swanson - 06-23-17 07:25 AM EDT

President Trump in a new interview with Fox from the White House questions special counsel Robert Mueller's objectivity, saying he is "very, very good friends" with fired FBI Director James Comey.

Trump also argues that Mueller has hired Hillary Clinton supporters and people who worked for his 2016 White House opponent to work on his investigation, a situation he describes as "ridiculous."

The president does not say that Mueller should recuse himself, in response to a direct question for "Fox and Friends" host Ainsley Earhardt.

"Well he's very, very good friends with Comey. Which is very bothersome," Trump says, with first lady Melania Trump at his side. "We're going to have to see. But there has no obstruction, there has been no collusion. There has been leaking by Comey. And virtually everyone agrees on that."

Trump then fires at Mueller for his hiring.

"The people who have ben hired are all Hillary Clinton supporters," he says. "Some of them worked for Hillary Clinton. I mean the whole thing is ridiculous if you want to know the truth from that standpoint.

Trump concludes, however, by stating that Mueller is "an honorable man, and hopefully he'll come up with an honorable solution."

Mueller was appointed to lead the investigation into Russia's involvement in the 2016 election, including possible links to Trump's campaign, after the president fired Comey over his handling of the investigation.

Comey has testified that he believes Trump had sought to get him to end an investigation into former national security adviser Michale Flynn. Comey's testimony has raised the possibility of Mueller bringing an obstruction of justice case against the White House.

It wasn't immediately clear if anyone working for Mueller actually worked for Clinton.

The Hill previously reported that Jeannie Rhee, a member of Mueller's team, donated $5,400 to Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign PAC Hillary for America.

Another person on Mueller's team, Andrew Weissmann, donated money to former President Obama's campaign in 2008 while working at a law firm. Weissmann is the senior lawyer on the special counsel team, Bloomberg reported.

James Quarles, who served as an assistant special prosecutor on the Watergate Special Prosecution Force, has donated to over a dozen Democratic PACs since the late 1980s. He was also identified by the Washington Post as a member of Mueller's team.

Trump also discussed his tweet Thursday acknowledging that he did not tape conversations with Comey, who he fired earlier this year.

Trump for more than a month suggested tapes of his conversations in the White House with Comey might have existed.

On Friday, he said they didn't, and that his story on Comey had never changed.

"Well I didn't tape him," he said. "You never know what's happening when you see that the Obama administration and perhaps longer than that was doing all this unmasking and surveillance and you read all about it and I've been reading about it for the last couple of months about the seriousness of the and the horrible situation of surveillance all over the place.

"But I didn't tape, and I don't have any tapes, and I didn't tape, but when he found out that there may be tapes out there, whether its governmental tapes or anything else and who knows, I think his story may have changed," Trump said.

Fox reporter Ainsley Earnhardt suggested that keeping the tapes was "a smart way to make sure he stayed honest in those hearings."

"Well, uh, it wasn't very stupid, I can tell you that," Trump replied. "He did admit that what I said was right, and if you look further back, before he heard about that, i think maybe he wasn't admitting that. So I think maybe you'll need to do a little investigative reporting to determine that, but I don't think it will be that hard."

"You'll have to take a look at that. Because then he'll have to tell what actually took place at the events. And my story never changed. My story was the straight story. My story never changed."