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Gender: Do not display
Hometown: Atlanta
Home country: US
Member since: Sat Jun 1, 2013, 01:19 AM
Number of posts: 4,650

Journal Archives

Scoop: Sinema issues ultimatum to Biden

Source: Politico

Sen. KYRSTEN SINEMA (D-Ariz.) delivered a tough message to President JOE BIDEN at a private meeting Wednesday, we’re told: If the House delays its scheduled Sept. 27 vote on the bipartisan infrastructure plan — or if the vote fails — she won’t be backing a reconciliation bill.

Sinema is not the only moderate taking this stand. Rep. KURT SCHRADER (D-Ore.) — one of approximately 10 moderate Democratic House members playing hardball with leadership — said he and several members of their group are on the same page. Some of the lawmakers have conveyed that message up the chain to leadership and the White House. A senior Democratic aide confirmed the warnings.

“If they delay the vote — or it goes down — then I think you can kiss reconciliation goodbye,” Schrader told Playbook. “Reconciliation would be dead.”

Read more: https://www.politico.com/newsletters/playbook/2021/09/20/scoop-sinema-issues-ultimatum-to-biden-494397

Senate parliamentarian nixes Democrats' immigration plan

Source: The Hill

Senate parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough on Sunday ruled against Democrats' plan to provide 8 million greencards as part of their $3.5 trillion spending bill, dealing a significant blow to Democrats' immigration reform chances.

MacDonough's guidance, a copy of which was obtained by The Hill, all but closes the door to Democrats using the spending bill to provide a pathway to citizenship for millions of immigrants.

MacDonough, in her guidance, warned that the Democratic plan doesn't meet the strict rules on what can be in the spending bill, calling the plan "by any standard a broad, new immigration policy."

"The policy changes of this proposal far outweigh the budgetary impact scored to it and it is not appropriate for inclusion in reconciliation," she wrote in the ruling obtained by The Hill, referring to the budget process Democrats are using to avoid the Senate filibuster.

Read more: https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/572956-senate-parliamentarian-deals-blow-to-democrats-immigration-reform-plan

Clarence Thomas says Supreme Court could be "most dangerous" branch

Source: Axios

Justice Clarence Thomas on Thursday, during rare public remarks at the University of Notre Dame, warned against politicizing the Supreme Court.

Driving the news: Thomas, the court's longest-serving member, said that the justices do not rule based on "personal preferences" and that politicians should not "allow others to manipulate our institutions when we don’t get the outcome that we like," per the Washington Post.

Thomas, 73, also criticized some of his colleagues, without naming names, for veering into the role of politicians, saying that "[w]hen we begin to venture into the legislative or executive branch lanes, those of us, particularly in the federal judiciary with lifetime appointments, are asking for trouble."

"The court was thought to be the least dangerous branch and we may have become the most dangerous," he added. What he's saying: "It is not about winning or losing at the court, it is about the entire country and the idea of this country," Thomas said.

"I think we should be careful destroying our institutions because they don't give us what we want, when we want it."

Read more: https://www.axios.com/clarence-thomas-supreme-court-dangerous-aeee0246-bd95-4349-af0f-9d3bdb351acd.html

Taliban leaders had a massive brawl after disagreeing over which of them did the most to boot the US

Source: Business Insider

title was clipped:
Taliban leaders had a massive brawl after disagreeing over which of them did the most to boot the US out of Afghanistan, report says

Top members of the Taliban had a massive brawl after falling out over who did the most to secure victory in Afghanistan, the BBC reported, citing senior officials of the militant group.

The fight between two factions in the Taliban leadership took place inside the Afghan presidential palace in Kabul late last week and came after a debate over who had most to drive the US military out of their country, the BBC reported.

The parties also clashed over who should get which cabinet roles in their new government, the BBC reported.


Leading one side of the fight was Taliban cofounder and interim deputy prime minister Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the BBC said, while the other was led by Khalil ur-Rahman Haqqani, the minister for refugees.

Taliban sources told the BBC that the argument broke out because Baradar was unhappy about the makeup of the interim government.

Read more: https://www.businessinsider.com/taliban-leaders-brawl-who-did-most-us-afghanistan-departure-report-2021-9

I feel bad, but this made me laugh.

Vindman calls for Milley's resignation: 'He usurped civilian authority'

Source: The Hill

Retired Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who testified against former President Trump during Trump's first impeachment trial, is calling for the resignation of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who, according to a forthcoming book, moved to limit Trump's ability to call for a military strike after the Capitol riot.

"If this is true GEN Milley must resign. He usurped civilian authority, broke Chain of Command, and violated the sacrosanct principle of civilian control over the military," Vindman tweeted on Tuesday. "It’s an extremely dangerous precedent. You can’t simply walk away from that."

The retired Army intelligence officer was responding to new reporting in an upcoming book about the end of Trump's presidency written by veteran journalist Bob Woodward and The Washington Post's Robert Costa.

In the book, Woodward and Costa report Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley moved to limit Trump's ability to call for a military strike or launch nuclear weapons following the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Read more: https://thehill.com/policy/defense/572330-vindman-calls-for-milleys-resignation-he-usurped-civilian-authority

While I sort of agree with what Milley did, what he did was absolutely against the rules. If it happened to anyone but Trump, the entire country would be up in arms, and Milley would already be indicted.

House Democrats promise 'meaningful' relief for state and local tax deduction cap

Source: CNBC

House Democrats have said they will pursue “meaningful” change to the $10,000 cap on the federal deduction for state and local taxes, known as SALT.

The controversial measure is part of former President Donald Trump’s signature 2017 tax overhaul and has been a pain point for Americans in high tax states.


However, the proposed repeal has received pushback from lawmakers who argue the tax cut may primarily benefit the wealthy.

The top 20% of taxpayers may receive more than 96% of the benefit of a SALT cap repeal, according to a Tax Policy Center report, and only 9% of American households may be affected.

Moreover, the top 1% of households may receive 54% of the benefit, with an average tax break of $34,000.

The cap on the SALT deduction brought in $77.4 billion the first year it was instated, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation. Removing the limit for 2021 may cost $88.7 billion, and more in future years.

Read more: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/09/15/democrats-vow-meaningful-relief-for-state-and-local-tax-deduction-.html

Top Democrat threatens to subpoena Biden officials as Blinken testifies on Afghanistan

Source: Axios

Secretary of State Antony Blinken is testifying Tuesday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where he'll face a second day of interrogation from Republican lawmakers highly critical of the Biden administration's withdrawal from Afghanistan.

The latest: The committee's chair, hawkish New Jersey Democrat Bob Menendez, pulled no punches in his opening statement, threatening to subpoena Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and other Biden officials who decline to voluntarily appear before the committee.

Mr. Secretary, the execution of the U.S. withdrawal was clearly and fatally flawed," Menendez told Blinken.

Menendez promised accountability for the multiple administrations who "lied" about the stability of the Afghan government, and she aid Austin's refusal to testify "will affect my personal judgment on Department of Defense nominees."

Read more: https://www.axios.com/blinken-senate-testimony-afghanistan-f49c16e1-7093-49ab-8c47-af4e9dee8789.html

Producer inflation accelerated in August, as wholesale prices rose record 8.3% from a year ago

Source: CNBC

Prices that producers get for final demand goods and services surged in August at their highest annual rate since at least 2010, the Labor Department reported Friday.

The producer price index rose 0.7% for the month, above the 0.6% Dow Jones estimate, though below the 1% increase in July.

On a year-over-year basis, the gauge rose 8.3%, which is the biggest annual increase since records have been kept going back to November 2010. That came following a 7.8% move higher in July, which also set a record.

The data comes amid heightened inflation fears fed by supply chain issues, a shortage of various consumer and producer goods and heightened demand related to the Covid-19 pandemic. Federal Reserve officials expect inflationary pressures to ease through the year, but they have remained stubbornly persistent, with Friday’s numbers indicating that the trend likely will continue.

Excluding food, energy and trade services, final demand prices increased 0.3% for the month, below the 0.5% Dow Jones estimate. Still, that left core PPI up 6.3% from a year ago, also the largest record increase for data going back to August 2014.

Read more: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/09/10/august-wholesale-prices-rise-8point3percent-on-an-annual-basis-biggest-advance-on-record.html

Lenox Square in Buckhead to require youths be accompanied by adults

Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

In the wake of several shootings, including one involving two teens, Lenox Square will begin requiring visitors under 18 to be accompanied at all times by an adult.

A Wednesday afternoon news release detailed the new policy, which is called the “youth supervision program.” Any youth will have to be accompanied by their parent or an adult who is 21 or older after 3 p.m. each day, starting September 21.

The change comes after a violent two years for the mall, a premier retail destination in the heart of Buckhead. Lenox has struggled to maintain its reputation for posh shopping despite a string of headline-grabbing shootings and assaults.

Two shootings took place on Lenox Square property over the summer after 3 p.m., one of which involved two 15-year-olds. Rising crime in Atlanta’s richest neighborhood has reinvigorated an effort to make Buckhead its own city.


Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, who has faced criticisms over the city’s rising crime rate since 2020, lauded the mall’s actions in a statement.

“The engagement and care of young people remains a top priority for our Administration. We welcome responsible efforts by the business community to ensure the wellbeing of Atlanta’s residents and visitors — especially our young people,” Bottoms said.

Read more: https://www.ajc.com/neighborhoods/dekalb/breaking-lenox-square-in-buckhead-to-require-youths-be-accompanied-by-adults-after-3-pm/U5GLNXGIAFDKHO6UMQSKPIIKUE/

Not sure how I feel about this, and I don't think it'll stop Buckhead seceding from Atlanta next year.

Top Dems leave door open to trimming Biden's $3.5T price tag

Source: Associated Press

Congress’ two top Democrats seemed to leave the door open Wednesday to ultimately reducing the $3.5 trillion price tag of President Joe Biden’s plan to boost social and environment programs, illustrating party divisions they will spend weeks trying to resolve.

The leaders seemed to suggest what many lawmakers and analysts have long predicted and progressives fear — satisfying moderates may well require shrinking the measure, perhaps by hundreds of billions of dollars. They spoke as 13 House committees have begun writing pieces of the bill, an initial step leaders hope to complete by next week.

“We will have our negotiations,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told reporters, saying her chamber would produce “a great bill that honors the values of the president.” She added, “I don’t know what the number will be.”

Asked separately if he would back a less costly measure, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said, “We’re going to all come together to get something big done. And second, it’s our intention to have every part of the Biden plan in a big and robust way.”

Read more: https://apnews.com/article/joe-biden-business-nancy-pelosi-520ab7773adb68c6df4ac559c94c3687
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