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John McCain and Lisa Murkowski Will Vote for Dangerous GOP Tax Bill, All but Ensuring Its Passage

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Yes, We’re All in Trouble

You will have less money.

That’s the bottom line.

Unless you’re very wealthy.

Two of a small handful of Republican U.S. Senators who have stood in the way of President Trump’s disastrous agenda have announced this time they will not be protecting the American people. Republicans John McCain and Lisa Murkowski have both just announced they will vote for the GOP tax bill that will increase taxes on most Americans, while delivering tax cuts to the wealthy.

Senator McCain’s stature had previously helped other less senior Republicans vote against several versions of ObamaCare repeal. He cited the total lack of hearings and debate – what is often called “regular order” – as one reason for voting against those efforts. 

But the Republican tax bill has had neither debate nor hearings. It also has not received any financial scorings, a stunning move for legislation that literally will re-weave the entire U.S. economy.

Public opinion is against the bill: just 25% support it.

One person who definitely supports it, however, is Donald Trump. Here’s why:

In case there’s any question, yes, the Republicans are lying in order to pass massive tax cuts for the wealthy, paid for by those who can least afford it:

The Senate expects to pass the legislation by the end of the week, the House shortly thereafter.

You can still demand your Senators and Congress member vote against this bill. Call them now: (202) 224-3121.

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YOU CAN'T DO THAT

White House Secretly Meeting With Republicans to Limit Impeachment Trial as President Courts GOP Senators

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The Trump White House is in secret  talks with top Senate Republicans to draft a strategy on how the impeachment trial will be conducted after the House passes what are expected to be damning articles of impeachment. The president has been focused the past few weeks on sitting down with Senate Republicans individually or in small groups to take the temperature of the caucus and to woo those who have occasionally suggested they might be uncomfortable with the actions he has taken that have led to the current impeachment inquiry.

“A group of Republican senators and senior White House officials met privately Thursday to map out a strategy for a potential impeachment trial of President Trump, including proceedings in the Senate that could be limited to about two weeks,” The Washington Post reports late Thursday afternoon.

Among the Republican Senators who clandestinely met with top Trump White House advisors are: Mike Lee (Utah), Ron Johnson (Wis.), John Neely Kennedy (La.), Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.), Ted Cruz (Texas) and Tom Cotton (Ark.). The six strong Trump supporters met, according to the Post, “with White House counsel Pat Cipollone, acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, senior adviser Jared Kushner, and counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway.”

Earlier Thursday Politico reported “Trump cozies up to GOP during impeachment,”noting the President has been “aggressively courting Senate Republicans” including Susan Collins and Mitt Romney, both seen as potentially dangerous to Trump should the Senate hold an impeachment trial.

In a separate Politico article Politico suggests the White House attempted to convince the majority-Republican Senate to immediately dismiss any articles of impeachment and hold no trial.

Senators “informed the White House that there simply aren’t the votes to approve a motion to dismiss the trial; it would take just three Republicans to block any impeachment vote on the Senate floor.”

The Washington Post echoed that reporting, explaining that “even a two-week trial could run counter to what Trump has expressed privately. The president is ‘miserable’ about the ongoing impeachment inquiry and has pushed to dismiss the proceedings right away.”

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CONSPIRACY THEORISTS

Watch: Nunes Stunned When State Dept. Official Knocks Down His ‘Black Ledger Isn’t Real’ Conspiracy Theory

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Intelligence Committee Ranking Republican Member Devin Nunes Thursday afternoon appeared stunned when he questioned a U.S. State Dept. official during the impeachment hearings and did not get the answer he anticipated.

Rep. Nunes has been spewing far right wing conspiracy theories during each impeachment hearing over the past two weeks, including the thoroughly debunked lie that Ukraine – not Russia – attacked the U.S. 2016 election.

(Earlier one of today’s witnesses, Dr. Fiona Hill, publicly lambasted the spreading of the false Ukraine conspiracy theory as she sat just feet away from Nunes. The video is here.)

Nunes asked David Holmes, who is the State Dept.’s counselor for political affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine about the “black ledger.”

That line of questioning did not go well for Nunes.

Nunes asked if Holmes had “ever heard of the black ledger.”

“I have,” Holmes replied.

“The black ledger – is that seen as ‘credible’ information?” Nunes asked.

“Yes,” Holmes responded without hesitation.

Surprised, Nunes repeated his question.

“The black ledger is credible?”

“Yes,” Holmes again replied.

Nunes did not look pleased.

“Bob Mueller did not find it credible. Do you dispute what Bob Mueller’s findings were? – They didn’t use it in the prosecution or in the report.”

“I’m not aware that Bob Mueller did not find it credible. I think it was evidence in other criminal proceedings. Its credibility was not questioned in those proceedings, but I’m not an expert on that.”

Holmes is correct – it was used as evidence in prosecutions (see below).

The black ledger is a register of off-the-book payments made by the corrupt now-former ruling party of Ukraine – not today’s ruling party.

It contains details of 22 payments allegedly made to Paul Manafort, totaling $12.7 million, by his former client, the ex-President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych. Manafort later became Donald Trump’s election campaign chairman. When the ledger was exposed Manafort was forced to resign from the Trump campaign. He is now in prison, serving a 90-month federal sentence.

Mueller actually did find the black ledger credible, as The Washington Post reported one week ago. It was used as evidence in Mueller’s indictment against Manafort.

Rep. Nunes appears to believe the existence of the black ledger and its authenticity are conspiracy theories. He is the one spreading conspiracy theories. The black ledger is real.

 

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AYKM?

RNC Chair Attacks ‘Progressive Liberal’ Pete Buttigieg – Says Trump Would Beat Him for Lack of Foreign Policy Experience

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Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel is targeting Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, apparently seeing his rise in the polls as a threat to President Donald Trump.

McDaniel Thursday told reporters at a breakfast meeting the South Bend, Indiana mayor who currently is polling in first place in Iowa is not a moderate but a “progressive liberal,” and insisted President Trump would beat him should he become the Democratic nominee, The Hill reports.

“Pete is a progressive liberal in moderate clothing,” McDaniel said at the event for members of the media which was hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. “He is somebody who raised his hand to give health care to illegal immigrants. He is somebody who has said he wants to stack the Supreme Court up to 15 judges.”

“This is not somebody who is a moderate,” McDaniel added. “Just because he’s from South Bend, Indiana, doesn’t make him that.”

Claiming the 37-year old former Navy Reserves Lieutenant who served in Iraq and Afghanistan as an intelligence officer is not a “strong” candidate, McDaniel declared, “I think the president wins against Pete Buttigieg.”

“I think he wins big. He doesn’t have any foreign policy experience, he has not been successful,” she added, incorrectly, “he hasn’t, as an executive, had the task of sending people to war.”

Before becoming president Donald Trump had less foreign policy experience than Buttigieg does today, and has never served in the U.S. Armed Forces – except for his title of Commander-in-Chief.

Trump also waited nearly two years into his term before visiting troops overseas.

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