There was such high hopes for Republicans going into 2017. A GOP-controlled House and Senate putting legislation on a Republican President’s desk is exactly what they’ve been asking for since Barack Obama first took office. Voters delivered. All was well in the world. 2017 was going to be the year the GOP finally got stuff done.

I don’t have to tell you the punchline. It’s more like a punch in the gut. I know there are readers who will have valid excuses why Obamacare wasn’t repealed, Planned Parenthood wasn’t defunded, the wall wasn’t funded, and DACA is on its way to becoming law. I also know there are plenty of readers who will point fingers at this faction, that branch, or this person about why we don’t have anything of substance after nearly a year of trying. I’ll nod in agreement with pretty much all of the excuses and finger-pointing because all will likely be valid to some extent. The only one I won’t accept is that the Democrats obstructed. That would be false. They didn’t have to. The GOP obstructed itself just fine.

All of this leads me to the current dilemma. The GOP must pass tax cuts before the end of year. Why? Because the aforementioned utter failures at everything else they’ve attempted have forced them into a position where they might get literally nothing big accomplished in their entire first year with full control. That label is too much for them to want to carry, so they’re doing everything they can to get something they can call tax “reform” on the books. This should terrify us all.

Not only is the plan not what most Republicans would have wanted, it actually does worse by some of the people who wanted it. The effects on the middle class are debatable, but one thing that’s very clear is a huge mistake they have to get fixed before they can pass it. As reported by the Wall Street Journal:

That means a business owner’s next $100 in earnings, under certain circumstances, would require paying more than $100 in additional federal and state taxes.

As lawmakers rush to write the final tax bill over the next week, they already are looking at changes to prevent this from happening. Broadly, House and Senate Republicans are trying to reconcile the bills they passed, looking for ways to pay for eliminating the most contentious proposals. The formal House-Senate conference committee will meet Wednesday, and GOP lawmakers may unveil an agreement by the end of the week.

The possible marginal tax rate of more than 100% results from the combination of tax policies designed to provide benefits to businesses and families but then deny them to the richest people. As income climbs and those breaks phase out, each dollar of income faces regular tax rates and a hidden marginal rate on top of that, in the form of vanishing tax breaks. That structure, if maintained in a final law, would create some of the disincentives to working and to earning business profits that Republicans have long complained about, while opening lucrative avenues for tax avoidance.

In reality, this is should be pretty easy to fix. I’m not going to blow this out of proportion like so many in the media will, but it demonstrates a reality: these tax bills were rushed with the sole purpose of getting something passed in 2017. Had they repealed Obamacare, they would have been much more careful and methodical about putting out a tax cut package that wasn’t loaded with glaring holes and fiscal irresponsibility. Had they gotten the wall funded and started building it in full force, they might have held the tax bill a little longer to make sure they weren’t making huge mistakes with the nation’s economy.

We are riding a wave when the economy is in great shape. By rushing a mistake-ridden tax plan through to the President’s desk, they’re putting all of that at risk. This economy would be strong with very few risks of backsliding if it weren’t for Capitol Hill’s arbitrary deadline prompted by their failure to accomplish anything in 2017. For the sake of their majority, the GOP is willing to put the economy at risk with a sloppy tax plan.

We need tax cuts badly, but I’d rather wait a little longer and get the right tax plan in place instead of rushing it to protect a few politicians fighting for their careers.

Al Franken’s resignation is one thing for the Democrats: part of a strategy. They will pretend to lament, but they realize they’re not really losing anything they hadn’t already lost when the allegations were first made. He will be replaced by another liberal Democrat, one who doesn’t have the baggage Franken has accumulated.

Behind closed doors, they’re celebrating. This is a great PR move for them because it allows them to hold the moral high ground. Now they can go after President Trump, Roy Moore if he wins, and all the Republicans who supported either or both of them. They’ll point to Franken and John Conyers and say, “we police our own, but the Republicans do not.”

In other words, they’ll try to ride the wave of sexual misconduct all the way to majorities in the House and Senate in 2018.

Republicans will be cheering today now that Franken has resigned. They shouldn’t. This is bad news for them. As Franken noted in his resignation speech, the Republicans have a guy in the Oval Office who has been caught on tape saying things very crudely against women. It wasn’t enough to keep him out of office, but with the current environment of sexual misconduct accusations taking down powerful men, Democrats are now positioned to build a strong midterm election narrative.

If Moore wins, they’ll attach him to Trump. Whether Moore wins or loses, the Democrats will attach Trump to every Republican running for office in 2018. They won’t focus on policy or political maneuvers. The new agenda is to make this emotional. As many political strategists know all too well, emotion trumps policy when it comes to votes.

As Trump’s popularity rises, it will be difficult for Republicans running for office to abandon him. They can’t afford to lose his base, but they may not be able to afford the damage Democrats can do by invoking him with Independents. It’s a catch-22 for the Republican Party and Al Franken’s resignation made midterm elections seem even more bleak for them.

Despite prognostications by #NeverTrumpers going into President Trump’s first year in office, he hasn’t been the liberal Democratic plant some expected him to be. I expected a couple of liberal programs and policies to hit this year, but so far they have all been pushed forward. 2017 has focused on Obamacare repeal, dismantling the regulatory state, improving border security, getting right-leaning judges on the bench, and our latest push for tax cuts.

This is good and bad news for conservatives. It’s good because we’ve been able to stay focused on the active components of the agenda and so far those active components have been aligned ideologically. I could go into great detail about the failings of the false attempts to repeal Obamacare (we were presented with “tweak and rebrand” efforts instead of “repeal and replace”) or the small degree we’ve been taking down the regulatory state (it should be a three-pronged attack with major cuts instead of the minor PR victories we’ve been seeing), but at least they’re sort of trying. It could have been worse.

Rich Lowry over at National Review went after those who continue to point to President Trump’s liberal actions when in reality, they haven’t been as liberal as many of us thought they’d be. I was on the verge of contacting him to explain what I’m about to write about here, but he finished the article by acknowledging what everyone needs to know.

The good conservative stuff was intentionally frontloaded into the administration’s agenda. Before the midterm elections, expect the White House and Congress to push the populist and liberal aspects of their agenda:

  • The trillion-dollar infrastructure plan that mirrors Chuck Schumer’s plan nicely will get a big push
  • Amnesty may be coming, regardless of what they call or it or how the President tries to justify it
  • “Fair trade” is still being pushed hard as the Establishment tries to convince conservatives in 1984 doublespeak style that we are opposed to free trade and have always been opposed to free trade
  • Budgets are going to be quietly engorged until the GOP is able to spend more money than we did in the Obama era
  • A continuation of silence on social issues; we’re still funding Planned Parenthood even today

It’s important for conservatives to be cognizant of all these things and anything else that screams of creeping liberalism coming from the GOP-controlled House, Senate, and White House. All of them, particularly the President himself, have demonstrated a willingness to be reasonable and even malleable when it comes to denouncing liberal ideas. We have to be loud. We have to be willing to oppose even when faux-conservative sheep announce their undying support for whatever their dear leader pushes. Be aggressive. Stay conservative.

When a politician can’t change the direction of the winds, they tend to give up and flow with them. Such is the case for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi who has spent a week defending Representative John Conyers. Her days of defending him appear to be done.

This should be the final straw that broke the Representative’s back. After multiple reports of downright strange examples of sexual misconduct, the man who’s been on Capitol Hill the longest is being asked by his beloved leader to step down. He already declared he wouldn’t be running for reelection, but that’s apparently not enough for Pelosi.

As American society heads down the road of exposing men in power who utilize their status for sexual pleasure, we can embrace the change and push for something better or we can say the sky is falling. I, for one, agree with the sentiment that this can all be a great thing.

There are many things to be thankful for in America. If you’re reading this, you’re alive… let’s not forget the big things. We don’t have Hillary Clinton in the White House. Stranger Things 2 was really good. Neil Gorsuch. Longmire finally released its final season. I could go on about all the blessings I’ve received, but I want to turn your attention to a heartwarming story in Philadelphia.

Last month, Kate McClure found herself stranded, out of gas, in a bad neighborhood in Philadelphia. She was approached by a shadowy, disheveled figure late at night as she walked to the gas station. He stopped her and told her to go back to her car. Lock the door, he said. He’s got this covered.

With his last $20, homeless veteran Johnny Bobbit Jr. got gas and brought it back to McClure. She made it to her destination safely. She and her boyfriend returned to thank Bobbit with food and clothes, but they felt they needed to do more. They set up a GoFundMe page and hoped to get $10,000 for two-months rent and possibly some transportation.

Donations are so high – nearly a quarter of a million dollars as of the posting of this article – that he has asked her to stop accepting donations and to use the exposure they’re getting to ask people to find other worthy causes.

As we eat our turkey, watch our football (which I won’t be doing – I’m one of those pesky NFL boycotters), and spend time with friends and family, it’s good to know there are people out there helping their fellow man.

Today, Mick Mulvaney said something shocking. He declared if the Senate tax cut bill was getting stalled over repealing the individual mandate, then the White House would be okay with killing off that portion.

Huh?

What Republican would oppose the tax cuts specifically because they had the individual mandate repeal attached to them? Can anyone who feels this way really be called a Republican? No. As I noted on RedState:

If there are Republicans in the Senate and/or the House who are objecting to the tax cuts because of killing the individual mandate, it’s time for them to declare they’re Democrats. No Republican, not even the swampiest of the RINOs, could look anyone in the eye and claim they’re part of the GOP if they hold up cutting taxes for the sake of protecting the worst component of Obamacare. Not John McCain. Not Lisa Murkowski. Not even Susan Collins.

Let’s be perfectly clear. True Republicans should favor tax cuts. True Republicans should favor repealing the individual mandate. Neither is debatable nor are they mutually exclusive. If there are fiscal reasons for wanting to keep the mandate, then cut expenses elsewhere. Otherwise, don’t even pretend you’re a Republican if you oppose tax cuts or want to keep the individual mandate.

I’m no fan of the GOP, but I want two things they want: lower taxes and less government in my healthcare. This shouldn’t be an issue and the fact that the White House is already signalling retreat on this aspect of the cuts should be a wake up call for anyone who believes in limited government and fiscal responsibility.

Sylvester Stallone. Al Franken. Harvey Weinstein. Kevin Spacey. Roy Moore. These men and countless others are on a list that’s growing every day.

Our modern sensibilities can be blamed for a whole lot of bad in this world from abandonment of a Biblical worldview to embracing failed ideologies such as socialism. One thing that has progressed positively in some regards is a problem that has been around since man was first put on the earth: disapproval of sexual misconduct.

Up until very recently, crimes against women (and men) perpetrated by people in power had been “acceptable.” It’s not that it was right or not deserving of punishment, but it was accepted as a part of human existence. Powerful men got away with actions that other men couldn’t, particularly when it came to the treatment of objects of their sexual desires. Over the last few decades, this “acceptance” has been fading. Now, American society seems to be at a tipping point upon which the “acceptable” is no longer tolerated.

Women (and men) are coming forward with their stories. Most of them had valid reasons for not coming forward before, whether it was out of fear, shame, helplessness, or simply because they didn’t think anyone would believe them. Thanks to the floodgates Harvey Weinstein’s accusers opened and the support the accusers are getting in the media and on social media, courage is finally getting the better of the men who used their power to prey on people.

The problem isn’t solved. In fact, we’re now faced with the rise of an old but persistent problem: false accusations. It’s now required in our society to believe first and question the accounts only if there’s a clear reason to do so. That doesn’t mean every account is truly believed by everyone, but if you want to make enemies in the court of public opinion, call an accuser a liar without the ability to prove it.

What are we to do as a society? Do we believe every accusation? No. Some of them will be false and we must be discerning while being fair. Do we denounce all or most of them? No. The abundance of sexual misconduct accusations is a necessary polarizing force. It’s not what predators in power wanted, but it may have been necessary for us to finally overcome the biggest roadblock to redemption for the victims, the roadblock of “acceptance” of these predators as part of being human.

Standard operating procedure before the #MeToo uprising was for victims and those familiar with the crimes to report them, pretend they didn’t happen, or deal with them internally within an industry or other circumstance. Weinsten, for example, was known by a whole lot of people in Hollywood to do what he’s been accused of doing. Many actresses would warn other actresses about it, but until recently they wouldn’t speak out publicly. This is the thing that’s going to disappear in this brave new world of #MeToo. It’s no longer acceptable to just warn others in an industrial variation of internal housekeeping. Courage and support are now available to everyone. Suddenly, we’re expected to report every infraction.

Pandora’s Box has been opened on past and current sexual predators. As destructive as this will be on many industries and institutions from Hollywood to Washington DC, it’s absolutely necessary. In fact, it’s amazing that it’s taken this long to come to light. Welcome to the new sexual revolution.

When the story broke an hour ago that Roy Moore was being accused by multiple women of inappropriate sexual behavior when they were underage teens, I thought, “uh oh.” Then, I saw the source: Washington Post. A short wave of relief came over me before the real dread of our current situation took hold.

I don’t trust the Washington Post. They are among the worst journalistic predators in the country in that they claim to be the beacon of truth while constantly spinning facts to match their liberally approved narratives. They adamantly protest accusations of being biased while demonstrating pure and unadulterated bias with every political story they post. What’s worse is that they have, for several years now, allowed their “news” stories to be editorialized. They are a propaganda machine. They should not be trusted.

That’s the problem. I have no idea whether or not Roy Moore did what they claim. As Breitbart points out, it’s conspicuous that the story broke shortly after the paper endorsed his opponent. That SHOULD shine a light of skepticism on the story altogether, but it won’t. Most Americans, even the ones who acknowledge there’s plenty of fake news out there, willfully stick their heads in the sand when it comes to the “respected” publications of old like WaPo, USA Today, and the New York Times.

I’m not against editorializing. I’m doing it right now. What concerns me is the intellectual dishonesty and blatant manipulation these news outlets embrace. They are not unbiased. I’m biased and readily admit it. Most if not all writers on this publications are equally biased and in no way attempt to hide that fact from our readers. WaPo does. Their facade of journalistic integrity means that stories like the Roy Moore blockbuster will do major damage whether it’s true or not. In general, Americans do not put on the glasses of skepticism when WaPo publishes something.

The left won’t believe RedState or Daily Caller. The right won’t believe Slate or Salon. Both are workable dynamics because there’s no illusion attempted by these publications. They’re biased and proud of it. WaPo perpetuates an illusion if journalistic integrity. By doing so, they have far too much power in wielding the “truth” even if it’s spun in the direction they want.

These reports are so old that there’s very little chance they can be proven. Unfortunately, there’s also very little chance they can be properly refuted. That’s the power of the “unbiased” mainstream media. They can cast shadows of doubt in any direction they choose based upon their bias. They can choose to print allegations about Moore. They can choose to ignore allegations about Barack Obama. When a major media outlet is biased while claiming otherwise, we’re left with deciding which truth to believe.

Update DTG: Steve Bannon in a speech in NH and Corey Lewandowski in an exclusive DTG interview weigh in plus Instalanche Thanks Ed


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Gun control fanatics are already out en masse calling for “common sense gun control.” This is the playbook and the gungrabbers execute this particularly play flawlessly every time there’s a shooting. One important omission in the way the play is structured is to check out the facts before executing the play. They know that if they do, their narrative falls apart.

This is the case with the Texas church shooting as over two dozen people were gunned down while worshiping. The calls for gun control were instant and often offensive. Some celebrities and leftist pundits had the gall to call out those Tweeting about prayers since it happened in a church.

Here’s the problem. They can be as loud as they want about how a lack of gun control laws is the reason for this tragic crime, but they’re skipping one important detail. Devin Patrick Kelley was dishonorably discharged following his court-martial in 2014. He was not allowed to own a firearm based upon the current gun laws.

The dishonorable discharge is based on a general court-martial conviction. This means the conviction is a felony, regardless of what the underlying offense may have been. The convicted felon is banned from possessing a firearm.

What gungrabbers fail to grasp is that the existence of laws preventing ownership of guns has been demonstrated time and time again to be ineffective at keeping guns out of the hands of bad guys. Law abiding citizens are affected, but criminals who want to use firearms aren’t hindered. The fact that it was illegal for Devin Patrick Kelley to own a firearm did not stop him. We need better enforcement, not more laws.

We don’t need more “common sense gun laws.” We need more common sense so gungrabbers can see the real root cause of problems. Their proposed solutions won’t work.

The clear corruption within the DNC and the Hillary Clinton campaign were well known to Donna Brazile after their convention, but she decided to aid the cover up until now because she feared what would happen if Donald Trump won the election. Some are calling her brave. Sorry, folks, but what she did is not bravery. It’s a way for her to clear her conscience after the fact.

Here’s a tidbit from her article on POLITICO:

The funding arrangement with HFA and the victory fund agreement was not illegal, but it sure looked unethical. If the fight had been fair, one campaign would not have control of the party before the voters had decided which one they wanted to lead. This was not a criminal act, but as I saw it, it compromised the party’s integrity.

The short version of the story is that the DNC was broke, Hillary’s campaign came in and took over by putting them on financial life-support so they could keep control before winning the nomination, then they funneled as much money as possible into her campaign. Oh, and it’s a combination of poor management by Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Barack Obama that caused the financial problems in the first place.

It’s an interesting read that gives us more details about three things we already knew:

  1. The DNC fails because they practice the same economic irresponsibility that their politicians practice in DC.
  2. Hillary Clinton will work whatever backend deals she can to elevate herself regardless of what damage it does to the people surrounding her, the Democratic Party, or the nation.
  3. Barack Obama was the epitome of horrendous financial decision-making for both the DNC and the country.

What Brazile did by revealing all of this was make herself feel better about participating in arguably the most corrupt primary process the nation has ever seen. I always thought it should have been a Ted Cruz vs Bernie Sanders general election, but it wasn’t. The difference between the two winners is that Donald Trump beat Cruz fair and square while Hillary had to steal the nomination from Bernie. Brazile’s revelations at this late stage prove that she’s a coward, not a hero.