Travis Gettys

An obscure piece of Biden's agenda could deal a big blow to Trump's right-wing nationalism

An obscure provision of President Joe Biden's agenda could deal a big blow to one of Donald Trump's most controversial legacies.

Global minimum taxes will likely be included as part of the reconciliation deal after 130 nations reached a deal that would impose a minimum 15-percent levy on corporations on their overseas profits to stop the "race to the bottom" competition for multinational corporations and keep those companies from stashing profits in low-tax havens, reported the Washington Post.

"Right wing nationalists are supposed to hate such elite chicanery," wrote Post columnist Greg Sargent. "After all, international capital mobility and profit shifting are two key ways that multinationals have emerged as big winners from globalization. This has deprived the nation of revenue, while allowing multinationals access to elite tax avoidance strategies that ordinary Americans lack."

"You'd think this would be particularly offensive to those nationalists who preen around declaring that globalist and cosmopolitan elites have presided over the hollowing out of virtuous nonmetropolitan Real America," he added. "Yet, while such nationalists do sometimes decry this problem, there isn't a real nationalist solution to it. The answer is a multilateral one."

The Biden administration believes the tax would generate billions of dollars over the next decade, but right-wing nationalists will likely oppose it even though the 2017 Trump tax cuts tried but largely failed to recapture some overseas profits for multinationals.

"The standard right wing nationalist objection to such multilateral arrangements is they deprive U.S. citizens of agency by turning over decision-making to globalist elites," Sargent wrote. "But in this case, multilateral cooperation could prevent corporations from exploiting global mobility in ways that limit what nations can do democratically, in keeping with their own citizens' aspirations."

Legal experts trash right-wing think tank for 'blatantly misleading' defense of John Eastman's 'coup memo'

The right-wing Claremont Institute issued a misleading statement about one of its scholars' efforts to overturn Donald Trump's election loss, according to legal experts.

Senior fellow John Eastman drafted a legal memo that argued then-vice president Mike Pence had the authority to reject electors from certain states where Trump had lost, which he claimed would allow those Republican-led state legislatures to appoint their own slates, and the think tank twisted the reporting on that leaked document.

"Contrary to almost universally false news accounts, which have done great damage, John did not ask the Vice President, who was presiding over the Joint Session of Congress where electoral votes were to be counted on January 6, to "overturn" the election or to decide the validity of electoral votes," the institute said in a statement. "John advised the Vice President to accede to requests from state legislators to pause the proceedings of the Joint Session of Congress for 7 to 10 days, to give time to the state legislatures to assess whether the acknowledged illegal conduct by their state election officials had affected the results of the election."

"If the state legislatures had found sufficient illegal conduct to have altered the results, and as a result submitted a second slate of electors, John advised the Vice President that, despite credible legal arguments to the contrary, the Vice President should regard Congress, not the Vice President, as having the authority to choose between the two slates," the statement added.

Steve Vladeck, a national security law professor at the University of Texas School of Law, accused the think tank of distorting -- and therefore defending -- what Eastman urged Pence to do.

"The @ClaremontInst is attempting to whitewash John Eastman's 'how to coup in six easy steps' memo by blatantly misrepresenting what Eastman actually wrote," Vladeck tweeted. "Among other things, Eastman falsely claimed there were dueling slates of electors *and* that Pence *could* act unilaterally."

"They speak for themselves," Vladeck added, linking to the documents, "despite Claremont's transparent and bad-faith attempt to rewrite history."

Other experts weighed in to agree with Vladeck.

'Gorsuch wants to do horrible things': Right-wing justices battle for control of Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court's newly tilted right-wing majority will have a chance to leave its stamp on cases involving abortion, gun rights and torture, and the rulings will reveal who controls the court after Donald Trump jammed through three hardline conservatives.

The confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg takes away Chief Justice John Roberts' power to cast the deciding vote on any ruling, but legal experts disagree who will drive the majority's opinions in the session that starts this week, reported The Guardian.

"Roberts's ambition is to keep the law as narrow as possible and keep as much of the court's legitimacy as possible while twirling ever toward the Republicans' agenda," said Elie Mystal, a justice correspondent for The Nation. "[Brett] Kavanaugh likes beer. Amy Coney Barrett likes Jesus. These are fundamentally narrow positions. Gorsuch wants to fundamentally change the law and reframe the way we think about the law. [Neil] Gorsuch wants to do horrible things, but ambitious things. He's got the intellectual tools to accomplish it."

Another court watcher thinks Justice Clarence Thomas will emerge as the most powerful member of the court.

"Roberts is only marginally in charge to the extent that he can bring Kavanaugh or Barrett with him," said Josh Blackman, of the South Texas College of Law Houston. "I think we are living in Justice Thomas's world. He is always thinking ahead several steps and has built an army of supporters."

Barrett and Justice Samuel Alito recently made unusually defensive remarks about the court's legitimacy after Mitch McConnell used his power as Senate majority leader to engineer a 6-3 conservative majority, which then allowed Texas to outlaw most abortions through its controversial "shadow docket" process.

"I think the thing to watch is whether Roberts can pick off one of the members of the [conservative] super majority to have the result come out differently than the hard right would want," said Garrett Epps, a professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law. "I think it may not be his court, but his role is by far the most interesting of any of the justices because he is – and he alone – an institutionalist, in the sense that he really cares about the Supreme Court and his place in history, more than he really cares about his own policy goals."

MSNBC’s Morning Joe laughs at Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham for whining about failed plot to 'trash the economy'

MSNBC's Joe Scarborough openly mocked Donald Trump and his Senate allies for bellyaching after their plan to wreck the economy flopped.

The twice-impeached one-term president, along with Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), groused on Fox News and the Senate floor that GOP minority leader Mitch McConnell had taken a deal with the Democratic majority to allow a vote to lift the debt ceiling until December, and the "Morning Joe" host laughed out loud at their complaints.

"Oh, my god," Scarborough said, laughing. "You know, that's the Capitol of the United States, where serious stuff is supposed to happen, right? But it hasn't been happening. It hasn't been happening because there's this group, they don't understand. They're talking about your retirement savings, something -- I'm not talking about a portion of your retirement savings, I'm talking about your entire retirement account ... Your entire retirement accounts, the U.S. economy, your job, America's standing in the world, the supremacy of communist China over the United States of America, that's what those guys actually were playing with. They think that's a game. These comments are just incredibly revealing."

If the GOP minority had succeeded in blocking a vote on the debt ceiling, Scarborough said they would have "set fire" to the U.S. economy by forcing a default -- but he would expect someone like Trump to understand the gravity of that scenario. "Republicans are less responsible with deficits and debt than anybody," Scarborough said. "Donald trump ran up the biggest debt in the history of the United States when he was in office. What did Mitch McConnell and the Republicans say? Of course, we're going to raise the debt ceiling. If we don't do it, it will trash the economy. It's the responsible thing to do. What did Mitch start saying a couple weeks ago? We have to do it, we have to raise the debt ceiling, but we're not going to do it.Ted Cruz is not going to do it, Lindsey Graham is not going to do it. Donald Trump from Mar-A-Lago, I mean, the guy never pays any of his debts anyway. How many times has he gone bankrupt? Republicans are listening to a guy who went bankruptcy what -- this guy, the New York Times got ahold of his tax returns over a decade. What did they find? Over the course of a decade, no U.S. taxpayer had ever lost as much money in the history of the United States of America as Donald Trump, and this is what they're listening to."

10 08 2021 06 00 35

Revealed: Mike Flynn hid $200K payments for Middle East nuclear plan before joining White House

Michael Flynn received $200,000 in undisclosed payments for consulting work in the Middle East before joining Donald Trump's administration.

The retired U.S. Army general was paid for his work in 2014 and 2015 on a plan to build 40 nuclear power plants in the Middle East, which never came to fruition but would have involved companies from Canada, France, Russia and the U.S. constructing and managing nuclear plants in Arab nations, reported the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad.

Flynn briefly served as Trump's first national security adviser before he resigned in disgrace for lying to FBI agents about his communications with then-Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak and his undisclosed work for the Turkish government.

Robert Mueller's prosecutors filed charges against Flynn, who pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI, but Trump pardoned him in November.

The newly revealed payments to Flynn came from a U.S. firm connected to the project, ACU Strategic Partners, although his relationship to the project had been reported in 2017.

Two U.S. House committees investigated Flynn's involvement in the project, which he had not disclosed before joining the White House, after Newsweek reported he had been repaid between $10,000-$15,000 for travel expenses.

An audit of a Dutch company that specializes in transport revealed the $200,000 payment to Flynn.

NY Pizzeria forces Brazilian president to eat outside after he refuses to show proof of vaccination

A New York pizzeria forced Trump-loving Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro to eat outside this week after he refused to show proof of being vaccinated against the novel coronavirus.

Via The Daily Beast, Brazilian publication Correio Braziliense reported this week that Bolsonaro had to eat his pizza outdoors while he was in New York this week for a United Nations General Assembly.

The embattled Brazilian leader, who has seen his poll numbers collapse due to his handling of the novel coronavirus pandemic, has not been vaccinated against the deadly virus that so far has killed nearly 600,000 Brazilians.

Despite this, Bolsonaro apparently believes that defying New York's pandemic restrictions will help him with his base of voters, as tourism minister Gilson Machado proudly put a photo of a defiant Bolsonaro eating pizza outdoors on his social media accounts.

Additionally, reports Correio Braziliense, Bolsonaro apparently had to sneak into his hotel because it was surrounded by protesters who carried signs denouncing his presidency.

George Will reveals the disturbing reason why Trump's GOP turned against conservatives

George Will lamented that the Republican Party no longer had room for conservatives like himself, and he offered a disturbing explanation for that dynamic.

The Washington Post columnist appeared Tuesday on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," where he lamented the rightward drift of the party he once called home but no longer feels any affinity toward after Donald Trump took it over.

"Whatever populism is conservatism isn't," Will said. "Populism believes that everything is clear, known to the public and should be directed into the policy and not be refined in the Constitution. That is the antithesis of conservatism."

The veteran columnist explained that Republican elected officials didn't necessarily agree with their party's direction, but they were afraid to push back against their increasingly radicalized right-wing base.

"There is no place for conservatism in the Republican Party right now because we have an absolutely unique situation," Will said. "We a we have a Republican Party who are -- they won't say this -- are frightened of their voters, and because they're frightened of them, they don't much like them. Because they don't like them, they don't respect them. It's a very tension-ridden relationship between the Republican's elected officials and the Republican base. Until the Republican Party gets back to something like the principles that made it a vibrant force in the '80s and '90s, conservatives are, as I say, orphans."

09 14 2021 07 51 58

QAnon conspiracist dies from COVID-19 — and Trump-loving attorney accuses hospital of 'medical murder'

A QAnon conspiracist has died from COVID-19 after becoming the center of a harassment campaign against the Chicago hospital where she was being treated for the deadly virus.

Veronica Wolski died early Monday after spending weeks at Amita Resurrection Hospital, which was targeted for harassment by pro-Donald Trump conspiracists Lin Wood, Sidney Powell and Michael Flynn over doctors' refusal to treat her with ivermectin instead of proven therapies, reported Newsweek.

"I have just learned that Veronica Wolski saw the face of God this morning at 12:44 a.m.," Wood posted on his Telegram account.

Wood had asked his more than 800,000 social media followers to call the hospital to demand ivermectin for Wolski, who he now claims was murdered by medical personnel there for withholding the medication used to treat parasitic infections and is unproven as a treatment for COVID-19.

"It is our responsibility to ensure that these medical murders stop NOW and the perpetrators be brought to justice," Wood posted. "Veronica will be on her bridge in Heaven looking down on us. We must do our best to make sure Veronica did not leave this Earth in vain."

Houston paper shreds Greg Abbott's 'outrageous' refusal to fight COVID-19 as deaths mount and economy sputters

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's stubborn refusal to fight back against the coronavirus isn't just endangering lives in his state, he's also hurting the economy.

The Republican governor's refusal to enact pandemic safety measures has cost the state billions of dollars, according to one Texas economist who said Abbott must change course to save lives and the economy, argued the Houston Chronicle editorial board.

"We've got to listen to the doctors and the virologists," said economist Ray Perryman, CEO of the Perryman Group in Waco. "Despite these concerns, there has been massive resistance by policymakers to sensible and basic protective measures, such as appropriate masking requirements and measures to encourage higher vaccination rates."

Perryman estimates that Texas is losing $186,000 a year for each person out of work due to the pandemic, with possible losses up to nearly $13.4 billion per year -- yet Abbott continues pandering to his party's recalcitrant right wing.

"Last year, after the shutdown-induced precipitous economic drop in the first few weeks of the pandemic, Texas opened up more than some states but still had capacity restrictions and a mask mandate," the editorial board wrote. "In 2020, Abbott mostly acted responsibly, charting a middle course. Now, as the Republican primary next Spring inches closer, each week seemingly brings another outrageous decision to refuse simple strategies that will get us through."

The board wasn't asking for the return of broad shutdowns and restrictions, but rather some common-sense measures to limit transmission of the highly contagious and potentially deadly delta variant.

"Being responsible about Texas' COVID response doesn't mean a state-mandated shutdown, which is indeed harmful to the economy," the board wrote. "At this point, we've learned a lot about this virus. We know which simple protocols can stop the spread. We just have to use them."

Ex-staffer about to 'set fire' to Trumpworld by exposing 'surprising new scandals' in tell-all: report

A former White House official and chief of staff to Melania Trump is about to reveal what a publishing source calls "surprising new scandals" in a new tell-all memoir.

Stephanie Grisham, who served as White House press secretary and communications director without ever holding a press briefing, will publish "I'll Take Your Questions Now: What I Saw in The Trump White House" on Oct. 5 under the Harper Collins banner, reported Axios.

"There isn't enough water on earth to contain the fire she could set to all of Trump world, including parts like the first lady's orbit, which not many people are in a position to illuminate," said a former West Wing colleague. "It's hard to articulate how much anxiety this is going to cause."

A source close to the publication said Grisham "has receipts" from her time in the White House because, as the press secretary, her job required her to know what was happening.

"Grisham knows where all the bodies are buried because she buried a lot of them herself," that source said.

She resigned on Jan. 6, after four years in the White House, and is the only person who served under both Donald and Melania Trump, and one of the few who spent time in their private residence.

"When I heard this," the West Wing source said, "all I could think about was Stephanie surrounded by a lake of gasoline, striking a match with a grin on her face."

Former staffer about to 'set fire' to Trump by exposing 'surprising new scandals' in tell-all memoir


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