Home Daily Feature Saturday News: As Mueller Closes In On Trump, GOP Passes Disgraceful #TaxScamBill;...

Saturday News: As Mueller Closes In On Trump, GOP Passes Disgraceful #TaxScamBill; “Historic Tax Heist”; “America Is Trapped in Trump’s Delusional World”

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by Lowell

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Saturday, December 2.

  • Sen. Tim Kaine:

    “For months, I’ve tried to convince Republicans to work with us on a tax reform bill that would actually put middle-class families and small businesses in Virginia first. Instead, they jammed through a bad bill that will raise taxes on millions of working Americans, explode the deficit, and raise health care premiums. Tonight we gave Republicans multiple opportunities to give more of the benefits to the middle class instead of big corporations and the super wealthy, but they rejected every single one. The Senate let down the people we serve today, and if this becomes law the American public will be stuck with the painful consequences for years to come.”

    Kaine introduced an amendment to the tax reform bill to provide long-term middle class tax relief and drastically reduce the amount the bill adds to the deficit by cutting big giveaways to top earners. Republicans blocked the amendment.

  • From CASA:

    Comstock Sits on Sidelines As Democratic Challengers Line Up to Support Immigrants

    WOODBRIDGE, VA: Seven Democrats running to replace Barbara Comstock have pledged to take leadership to pass comprehensive and permanent relief for DREAMers and those currently living with Temporary Protected Status while Comstock refuses to take a stance.

    Since the Trump administration terminated DACA and Temporary Protected Status designations which provided relief for immigrants brought to the US as children or coming from countries impacted by natural or humanitarian crisis, pressure has ramped up on Members of Congress to find a solution. Barbara Comstock has refused to cosponsor the almost dozen bills – many bipartisan – that provide a fix. She has also refused to respond to thousands of constituent inquiries regarding her position. And she has refused to meet on dozens of occasions with 10th district residents to discuss the crisis.

    Virginia’s 10th Congressional District is particularly hard hit by the termination of these critical programs. Together, thousands of residents in the district had either DACA or TPS status. Indeed, the 10th is the second largest congressional district in the country for people with TPS.

    Comstock’s refusal to provide relief to immigrants is particularly surprising given the precariousness of her seat. Just four weeks ago, the 10th gave Democrat Ralph Northam 55% of the vote in a campaign, a resounding failure of Republican candidate attacks against immigrants. The Cook Political Report lists the district as a toss-up and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has made the district a top spending priority.

    In stark contrast to Comstock’s silence, Democratic Candidates Julia Biggins, Allison Friedman, Daniel Helmer, Julien Modica, Paul Pelletier, Lindsey Stover and Jennifer Wexton have all committed to take leadership if elected.

    “Unless Barbara Comstock starts acting to resolve the immigration crisis facing DREAMers and people with TPS, voters will have a clear contrast when they vote next year for who will represent them,” said Michelle LaRue, Virginia Director of CASA in Action. “And by all indications, the voters of the 10th will be selecting the candidate willing to stand with immigrants.”

    With 97,000+ lifetime members, CASA in Action is the largest electoral organization fighting for immigrant rights in the Mid-Atlantic region.

  • Andy Schmookler

    Am I missing something? Or is this the nonsense it seems to me to be?

    In the wake of the passage of the tax bill, I’ve been hearing again — from people who do not seem like fools — an idea that has been around pretty much all year: that the Republicans have been sticking by Trump because they want him there to sign their legislation.

    But what sense does that make?

    If Trump weren’t there, they’d have Pence. And if Pence also got eliminated, they’d have Paul Ryan. And either of them would sign whatever the Republicans in Congress passed. Right?

    So why does this idea persist? Does it make some kind of sense that has escaped me?

    • Yeah, I’ve never bought that one, given that if Trump weren’t there, Pence – who would also sign their legislation – would be there. And if Pence were there, he’d pick a new VP, would if Pence were also impeached, would ALSO sign GOP legislation. So…no, this is 100% about Republicans being Trumpsters themselves and/or fearing the Trumpster “base.”

      • Andy Schmookler

        Yes, fearing the Trumpster base. That’s what I’ve been saying lo these many months. With the overwhelming majority of Republican voters still back Trump, Republicans who want to get re-elected would likely be signing their political death warrant if they acted responsibly to deal with the Trump crisis. So they just stick together and pretend it is not the clear and present danger they know it to be. Except, of course, the guys like Corker and Flake and McCain who don’t expect to face those voters again.

    • Andy Schmookler

      And another distortion I hear is that otherwise often insightful commentators make a big deal about this tax monstrosity being TRUMP’s bill– as though it’s because Trump is president that the Rs have gone ahead with such a disgraceful measure (and in such a disgraceful way).

      But really, this tax bill has little to do with Trump. Yes, he and his heirs will benefit. And no, Trump doesn’t care about how much this bill will hurt millions of the people who voted for him. But the bill is the creature of today’s Republican Party.

      And it should serve as another reminder — if any were needed — that the rottenness of this Republican Party preceded Trump, is not dependent on Trump, and will continue to be a threat to the health and well-being of the United States even after we are done with Trump.

      • Who are these “insightful commentators?” They don’t sound particularly “insightful” if they seriously think that the Republicans wouldn’t have pushed this same crap with ANY Republican in the White House. And yes, the GOP is rotten to the core (and has been so at least since Gingrich), it’s NOT JUST TRUMP.

  • Trump hits highest Gallup DISAPPROVAL rating in his presidency – 62% disapprove, only 33% approve (and WTF is wrong with those 33%???)

    http://bluevirginia.us/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/3362gallup.jpg

  • Andy Schmookler

    The developments of the past day have left me with one more question, this one having to do with the other big story– the Flynn/Mueller deal.

    I’ve been reading and watching a variety of knowledgeable legal experts discuss that deal and, strangely, there seem to be two interpretations of the deal that differ in an important respect.

    One interpretation has it that Flynn got himself a very sweet deal (which is interpreted as meaning that he’s offering Mueller a whole lot of useful testimony). According to this interpretation, this deal means that Flynn WON’T be prosecuted on any of the other counts on which we all know he is vulnerable.

    The other interpretation reads the same agreement and concludes that Flynn got rather little– that there is no mention of his being freed of the danger of being prosecuted on other crimes he committed prior to the reaching of the agreement; that there is even no mention of Flynn’s son being given a pass on his involvement in some of those crimes.

    So I’m left wondering: which is it? Did Flynn get a sweet deal, or does Mueller continue to have a pretty full quiver of arrows he can shoot Flynn’s way?

    • Everything I’ve heard is that Flynn got a LOT in return for…presumably a LOT. But I’m not sure we can know for sure, at least for a while…