Politico: Trump will sign tax cuts into law; GOP will throw him to the wolves

Photo: Anthony Moretti 20Jan2017

It seems counter-intuitive: President Trump will do something that Republicans want, and then he will pay the political price from those same people.

Politico suggests that once Trump signs tax cuts into law that scenario will play out. That’s because

Republicans will finally have an achievement to run on as they seek reelection in 2018. Their donors and supporters will have a prize that eluded them through eight years of Obama, who reversed the Bush-era tax cuts and made them feel like Scrooges who wrecked the global economy. Simply put, they won’t need the president anymore. After that, the investigative team assembled by special counsel Robert Mueller can do its worst. Mueller would actually be doing GOP leaders a favor.

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It’s 2017. And an elementary school put a black girl on “tethering straps”

I can’t make this up.

Let’s start with the photo.

CBS 4 in Boston has the details.

What appeared to be leashes were actually “tethering straps” the superintendent said in a statement, noting that the “garment worn by toddlers commonly used tethering straps to assist them when learning to walk.”

“We realize without this context added to the photo that was shared by the classroom teacher it could be perceived differently,” Swenson said in the statement issued Thursday.

“Please note it was never the intent of the lesson to demean or degrade any one person or group. The Bridgewater-Raynham Regional School District sincerely apologizes to the students, staff and community at large for this unfortunate incident.”

“Unfortunate incident.”



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Spanish leaders, to Catalonia: Perhaps martial law will work?

Catalan flag, Wikipedia

The Guardian reports that the Spanish government is about to declare what essentially is martial law on Catalonia.

The Spanish government is to suspend Catalonia’s autonomy and impose direct rule after the region’s president refused to abandon the push for independence that has led to Spain’s biggest political crisis for 40 years.

The announcement of the unprecedented measure came after the Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, threatened a unilateral declaration of independence if the Spanish government did not agree to talks on the issue.

In a letter to the Spanish prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, sent on Thursday morning – the deadline set by Madrid for the region to abandon its independence plans – Puigdemont said discussions were the only way to resolve the crisis.

The Catalan president accused Spanish authorities of seeking to repress the independence movement after two of its leaders were denied bail by a national court judge this week, and he said using article 155 of the 1978 constitution to impose direct rule from Madrid would force his hand.

Heavy-handed government tactics might work in the short term, but they will not be successful in the long term. And the hostilities already built up now will fester.

Spain should let Catalonia go. If that region thinks it can survive on its own, let them have the chance. At some point, the people will be shown to be right. Or wrong.

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Washington is not Donald Trump’s town

18Oct2017, Photo: Anthony Moretti

I arrived in Washington this afternoon for a 3-day conference. I haven’t been here since January, when I spent two weeks in this wonderful city working with The Washington Center and its 2017 Inauguration Seminar.

The excitement that Donald Trump’s supporters felt was palpable then. The angst that everyone else felt was equally evident.

I recalled today thinking that 10 months ago I was willing to give Trump a chance as president; I hadn’t voted for him, and I believed his presidency was going to be a disaster. However, I was willing to give him an opportunity to show that he could be a statesman, a leader, a man who respected the office he was about to take over.

18Oct2017, Photo: Anthony Moretti

Whether I was naive, a hopeless optimist or an imbecile remains up for debate.

As I stretched my legs walking around the city this afternoon, I inevitably thought about what Trump has said and done since that rather comfortable January day when he took the oath of office. And he has been the disaster that was expected.

18Oct2017, Photo: Anthony Moretti

I won’t offer you the a list of foul-ups and blunders; suffice to say, the list is long, and it will grow longer. Meanwhile, do not expect him to change his personality: Trump is like any other man in his early 70s: set in his ways, and not changing for anyone.

Trump’s policies will alter the American and international fabric; and the more time he is the president, the more damage he will do. (Anyone who thinks that Vice President Mike Pence would be a sound replacement might want to read the profile of him in this week’s New Yorker.)

For all of Trump’s anger, vulgarity and arrogance, one fact remains: He doesn’t own this city. And he never will.

Yes, the hotel that bears his name is conveniently located almost halfway between the White House and Capitol Hill (the selection of that address couldn’t have been an accident, right?). I missed the anti-Muslim ban protest that took place outside that location today; as luck would have it, I exited my hotel for my walk and went left. Had I gone right, I would have found it.

Yes, Make America Great Again souvenirs are easy to find. No, I’m not buying any of it, literally or figuratively.

Yes, Trump commands the media’s attention, but he cannot turn them into propaganda agencies.

18Oct2017; Photo: Anthony Moretti

Americans will wake up one morning between tomorrow and Jan. 21, 2025, and Trump will no longer be the 45th President of the United States. I trust that the man or woman who replaces him will be a more humble, graceful, charismatic, steady and rational leader.

He or she won’t own this city, however.

It belongs to the people.

It always will.


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Gord Downie has passed


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Xi Jinping: China must be a “mighty force” in the world

The Guardian examines the opening address to the Chinese Communist Party gathering given by Xi Jinping.

Now, Xi said, it was time for his nation to transform itself into “a mighty force” that could lead the world on political, economic, military and environmental issues.

“This is a new historic juncture in China’s development,” China’s 64-year-old leader declared in his bold 3hr 23 minute address outlining the party’s priorities for the next five years.

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BREAKING: Caitlin Coleman in Canadian hospital

The Associated Press has the details.

Boyle told The Associated Press in an email that his wife, Caitlan Boyle, was admitted Monday. His email did not specify why she was taken to the hospital.

“My wife has been through hell, and she has to be my first priority right now,” Boyle wrote.

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