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Bipartisan Moderate Senators Announce Agreement on Infrastructure Focused on No Tax Increases for the Wealthy

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A bipartisan group of moderate Senators, five Democrats and five Republicans, have just announced agreement on an infrastructure bill focused on not raising taxes on the wealthy. The outlines of the package would be $1.2 trillion, but only $579 billion in new spending.

President Joe Biden’s original proposal was for a $2.3 trillion package that including tax increases on the wealthiest Americans. After Republicans refused he dropped it to $1.7 trillion, but again Republicans refused. Biden again came down, offering a stripped down $1 trillion package that would be paid for, at least in part, by forcing companies that pay no federal income taxes, like Amazon, to have to pay taxes.

Republicans again refused and earlier this week President Biden ended negotiations with Republican Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, saying he would focus on moderate Senators instead. The White House was reportedly not consulted on this agreement.

The group of Senators includes:

Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Susan Collins (R-ME), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Rob Portman (R-OH), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Jon Tester (D-MT), Mark Warner (D-VA).

In a statement they say they have “worked in good faith and reached a bipartisan agreement on a realistic compromise framework to modernize our nation’s infrastructure and energy technologies.”

“This investment would be fully paid for and not include tax increases,” which appears to be the goal of the agreement.

 

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. 

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Marjorie Taylor Green’s Chief of Staff Quits — Hours After Her Very Public Meltdown on the Capitol Steps

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Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) lost her most senior staffer on Friday after she made a scene on the steps of the U.S. Capitol.

NBC News reported Greene “instigated a shouting match with a group of House Democrats who were holding an event outside the U.S. Capitol on Friday.”

Greene screamed that Democrats support “murder” for supporting abortion rights.

Following the incident, Greene announced that her chief of staff had “advised” her that he would no longer be working in her office.

“I want to thank my Chief of Staff, Patrick Parsons, for helping me take the fight to the Socialist Democrats as I’ve transitioned into Congress. He’s advised me he will be moving back into the political arena to help elect America First conservatives who can fight alongside me,” she posted to Twitter.

 

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‘Intentionally Misleading or Staggeringly Ignorant’: Maricopa County Destroys Cyber Ninjas After ‘Laughable’ Audit

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Maricopa County officials Friday afternoon responded in detail to claims made by Cyber Ninjas in the $6 million six month “audit” of the Arizona county’s ballots from the 2020 presidential election. Late Thursday night multiple news organizations reported that Cyber Ninjas’ audit, officially released Friday afternoon, found Joe Biden did win the election in Arizona, as originally reported nearly one year ago, and actually walked away with even more votes that first reported, while Donald Trump, the company concluded, got even less.

But the devil is in the details and after six frustrating months of dealing with a company that reportedly has zero expertise in auditing elections, Maricopa County officials blasted some of the “critical concerns” Cyber Ninjas claimed in their report.

Via a lengthy series of tweets Maricopa County officials destroyed Cyber Ninja’s audit, which is being called a “fraudit” and a sham.

For example, calling it “intentionally misleading or staggeringly ignorant,” Maricopa County blasted Cyber Ninjas and GOP state senators over the claim and “concern” that 23,344 mail-in ballots voted from a prior address:

County officials went even further, writing:

1) Military and overseas voters can cast a “federal only ballot” despite living outside the U.S. The address tied to their ballot would be their prior address in AZ.
2) People are allowed to move from one house to another (or even one state to another) in October and November of an election year (yes, shocking!). If the driver’s license address matches the voter registration address, they are still allowed to vote.
3) For the November General Election Maricopa County had 20,933 one-time temporary address requests. In addition, snowbirds and college students tend to have forwarding addresses when they are out of the county.
4) Mail-in ballots are not forwarded to another address.

In another they called it “laughable” that Cyber Ninjas were concerned that in a state of “more than 7 million people” … “yes, some of them share names & birth years.”

“If Cyber Ninjas understood data analysis, they would have performed standard processes to rule out situations that lead to faulty conclusions,” county officials added.

And even more criticisms:

You can read them all here.

 

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‘Pretty Much the Ball Game’: Trump Just Lost Any Chance of Being Able to Claim Executive Privilege

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White House press secretary Jen Psaki Friday afternoon casually let reporters know President Joe Biden will not invoke executive privilege on behalf of former president Donald Trump when the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack requests documents.

Trump is claiming that his status as a former president allows him to retain executive privilege rights, which is wrong. The ability to invoke executive privilege rests only with the current president, and is well-defined.

“The president has already concluded it would not be appropriate to exert executive privilege,” Psaki told Huffpost White House correspondent S.V. Dáte when asked.

(Dáte is the reporter who possibly is best-known for asking then-President Donald Trump last year in August, live and on-camera, “do you regret at all, all the lying that you’ve done to the American people?“)

Top national security expert and attorney Bradley Moss quickly weighed in, saying “this would pretty much be the ball game on that issue,” meaning there’s nearly no chance Trump will get that protection, barring “intervention” from the Library of Congress’s Archivist.

 

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