CAPITOL ENVIRO CRUSH
Environmental groups from around the state have converged on Tallahassee this week to lobby legislators in hopes that they will support their efforts to “Make Florida Green Again?”
Florida’s “green” Governor Ron DeSantis (R) has been doing the heavy lifting for these groups, garnering state and much-needed federal dollars to help restore the state’s waterways and fragile ecosystems threatened by pollution.
And what thanks does he get?
The Sierra Club, a group that is considered as extreme as The Center for Biological Studies (has sued the Trump administration 179 times), recently graded DeSantis’ environmental efforts with a ‘D.’
Meanwhile, Republican legislators are pushing back against the two-day Everglades Action event, questioning some of the groups involved. READ MORE
Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (D) is one of several members of Florida’s congressional delegation that praised President Trump for allotting a lot of cash for Everglades Restoration.
“As my colleagues from the Everglades Caucus and I stated in our recent letter to President Trump, the Everglades is a national treasure. One of the true ecological wonders of the world and is fundamental to Florida’s economy. Over the course of my career in public service, I’ve successfully fought for and obtained more than a billion dollars for Everglades restoration funding to ensure we can continue to reap the benefits of this unique ecosystem for generations to come. This funding will lead to the completion of critical Everglades Restoration projects and shows this Administration’s continued commitment to Florida. I thank POTUS for including the requested $250 million in his proposed budget, and I look forward to advancing this in the House.”
NEW HAMPSHIRE PRIMARY
Considering how bad the Iowa Caucus turned out, New Hampshire Democrats are probably making sure their primary election doesn’t become the second biggest laughing stock in the 2020 election cycle.
Well, it can’t get any worse than Iowa, right?
Let’s not count our chickens just yet. Remember, there is still an active Democratic civil war raging, and establishment Democrats appear to stop at nothing to stifle Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential aspirations, again.
Because Bernie can’t win Florida. Here is why… READ MORE
Visit The Floridian
“Republican legislators stiff-arm anti-Trump environmental lobby in Tallahassee” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – The 8th annual Everglades Action Day is underway in Tallahassee and the message the lobby group has packaged together to help press legislators on support their cause appears to be falling on deaf Republican ears. Florida’s Everglades Coalition, which includes the Everglades Foundation and Everglades Trust, is sponsoring the event aimed to lobby state legislators about keeping this issue a top priority throughout the 2020 legislative session. The Everglades Coalition also includes the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), the national group that has received money from billionaire George Soros’ Tides Foundation and has sued President Donald Trump 179 times since he took office, will also be in attendance. Prior to this week’s day of action for Everglades awareness, Rep. Anthony Sabatini (R) told The Floridian that the CBD was nothing more than a “radical left” organization that more interested in abusing the courts for their selfish political agenda. “The abuse of the court system for political ends is nothing new for the radical left,” said Sabatini “Although this level of court abuse may be a new low for the Never Trump fringe.” Reps. Bill Rommel (R) and Mike Hill (R), both praised President Donald Trump’s effort of allocating hundreds of millions of dollars for Everglades Restoration and millions for water infrastructure reparations.
“Matt Gaetz responds to bar complaint filed against him” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – Days after Senate Republicans acquitted President Donald Trump on two articles of impeachment, and the debacle at the Iowa Caucus, and an appeals court’s ruling in favor of Trump over more than 200 Democratic congressional lawmakers do not have a case in suing the President over allegations that he had violated the Emoluments Clause concerning foreign payments to his businesses, Florida Democrats have filed a bar complaint against Rep. Matt Gaetz (R). The group lead by Chairman Steve Simeonidis contends that Gaetz broke into a “secure, compartmented information facility” before ordering pizza to the room. According to the Simeonidis, who in their press release affixed a picture of Gaetz’s DUI arrest mug shot, Gaetz is a “self-intitled” and “ultimate defender” of the president, “who abused his position in congress to stymie an official investigation to which his position did not entitle him access. “Impeachment proceedings are a legal process leading to a trial, and therefore covered by the Florida bar’s rules of conduct,” Simeonidis says. “But Republican Attorney General Bill Barr isn’t going to hold a member of his own party responsible. So we must appeal to our state’s institutions to restrain this rogue lawyer who obstructed the impeachment process twice, and generally treats the powers of his elected office like a personal plaything.”
“South Florida poised to reject Sanders’ “Socialist society” in 2020” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I), a self-proclaimed “Socialist Democrat,” recently asserted,” “We are a Socialist society.” While many Progressive Democratic voters may agree with him, most Americas do not consider themselves as being part of a “Socialist society,” and that could push many of those “soft” Republicans and Democrats to vote for President Donald Trump if Sanders wins the Democratic Party’s nomination. “In many respects, we are a socialist society today,” Sanders said in response to Trump calling him a Communist. “The difference between my socialism and Trump’s socialism is I believe the government should help working families, not billionaires,” he added. But Giancarlo Sopo, a former Democratic staffer and now an Independent voter living in Texas, reminded voters that Floridians rejected the “Socialist” label and agenda of 2018 gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum. Sopo also added that Cuban Americans will turn out in greater numbers to defeat a “full-blown pro-Castro, socialist nominee for president” like Sanders. Sopo could be right. In the 2018 governer’s race between Democrat Andrew Gillum and Republican Ron DeSantis, DeSantis lost Miami-Dade County to Gillum by only 166,977 votes. The vote total in that county was 478,958 to 311,981 in favor of Gillum. In comparison to the 2016 presidential contest between now-President Donald Trump and Sec. Hillary Clinton, who ran as a moderate and not a Socialist, Trump lost the county by 290,147 votes.
“Biden: Trump ‘Should Have Been Pinning a Medal on Vindman and Not on Rush Limbaugh’” by The Floridian’s Mona Salama – Former Vice President Joe Biden at the Democratic debate called on the audience to stand and applaud Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, adding that he should have been awarded the Medal of Freedom and not conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh. “Colonel Vindman got thrown out of the White House today, got walked out,” Biden said at the Democratic presidential debate in New Hampshire Friday night. “[Trump] should have been pinning a medal on Vindman and not on Rush Limbaugh.” Earlier this week, President Trump during his State of the Union address awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Limbaugh, just a day after the conservative talk radio host announced he is battling stage 4 lung cancer. Trump praised Limbaugh for “all that you have done for our nation, the millions of people a day that you speak to and you inspire, and all of the incredible work that you have done for charity.” While the move drew applause from Republicans, it drew outrage from Democrats. Biden condemned Trump in a statement following the address, calling it a “shameful display” for presenting the award to Limbaugh. “I think we should all give Colonel Vindman a show of how much we supported him. “Stand up and clap for Vindman!” Biden added, sparking a standing ovation from the crowd. Biden’s remark came after Vindman was fired by the National Security Council and escorted off the White House grounds Friday morning.
“Progressive Lawmakers Says DNC Chair Must Be ‘Held Accountable’ For Iowa Debacle” by The Floridian’s Mona Salama – Top Progressive lawmakers, all who are backers of 2020 presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) are the latest to criticize Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez, saying he needs to be “held accountable” for the enormous embarrassment in the Iowa vote-counting debacle. “What’s happened in Iowa is a complete disgrace and someone needs to be held responsible,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez(D-NY) said in the Capitol on Friday. She stopped short for calling on Perez to be ousted, saying a “a conversation needed around taking responsibility for Iowa and ensuring that this bungled process never happens again.” Ocasio-Cortez fellow squad member, Rep. Ilhan Omar(D-MN) said Perez “should be held accountable” for what happened in Iowa. “I would say Tom Perez should be held accountable for this failure,” Omar said. “I believe it all starts from the top. There are things that Tom should do and should have done. If this was happening in my home state, we would be having a serious conversation about what accountability would look like for our own chair.” Co-chairwoman of the Progressive Caucus, Rep. Pramila Jayapal, called the Iowa fiasco a “national embarrassment” that has already had serious consequences on the primary race. She said Sanders’s rival Buttigieg declared victory in Iowa with the official results still outstanding and managed to raise more than $2.5 million this week.
“DeSantis praises Fifth Third Banks decision to support scholarship fund” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – Florida Governor Ron DeSantis praised Fifth Third Bank for reversing its decision to stop funding the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program. The bank said it was halting their donations to the program after it was discovered that more than 83 private and religious K-12 schools had a policy that barred gay students from applying and enrolling. “The tax credit scholarship program provides educational opportunities to more than 100,000 low-income families in Florida,” stated DeSantis “I support these families and am glad to see Fifth Third continue to do so as well. Thanks for empowering parents and students. Fifth Third Bank may have been one of the companies pressured to resist funding of these religious schools by Florida legislators. Two of the most outspoken pro-LGBTQ and race equality elected officials in the Florida legislature, controversial Reps. Anna K. Eskamani (D) and Carlos Guillermo Smith (D), are facing significant backlash over their effort to “bully corporate donors” of the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship program into pulling their contributions from the education initiative that supports LGBTQ and black students attending private religious schools. A press conference held last week by the Florida African American Ministers Alliance for Parental Choice in the state Capitol, had with some 100 black and Hispanic pastors and parents in attendance to push back against Smith and Eskamani’s anti-school choice push.
“Media Reacts to Rubio’s defense of Trump’s ‘firings’” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – Senator Marco Rubio (R) has poked the media bear President Trump likes to call the “Fake News” after tweeting in defense of the president’s decision to reassign Col. Vindman and fired U.S. Ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland. Rubio insisted that Vindman “wasn’t fired” because he was still in the U.S. Army. Because Sondland was a political appointee, Rubio said that there was “no point in having a political appointee wh no longer has the president’s confidence. CNN dedicated an entire segment on Rubio’s tweet while promoting the banner that Trump “fired” both men when in reality, only Sondland was really fire.
“2020 Democrats support a “Socialist Democratic” presidential nominee” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – During the recent 2020 Democratic presidential primary debate in New Hampshire hosted by ABC News, Host George Stephanopoulos asked the candidates if they would be concerned if there was a Socialist nominee at the top of their party’s ticket. Everyone except for Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who raised her hand to assert her concern didn’t seem afraid of the possibility of a Socialist Democratic nominee. All the candidates refused to verbally address the question except for Sen. Bernie Sanders who said that he was not afraid of that possibility. Stephanopoulos: Is anyone on the stage concerned about having a Democratic Socialist at the top of the Democratic ticket? Bernie Sanders: I’m not. Sanders is a self-styled Democratic Socialist who is backed by the Socialist-mined “Squad” that consists of Reps. Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib. President Donald Trump recently called Sanders an outright “Communist” in an interview with Fox News Host Sean Hannity.
“Trump’s Appeals Court Win Spells 2020 Doom for Democrats” by The Floridian’s Daniel Molina – This week has proven difficult, if not catastrophically bad for Democrats as they look to find a nominee to take on President Trump in the upcoming November election. Not only was President Trump acquitted on both articles of impeachment, but the Iowa Caucus proved to be confusing, throwing doubt on the process. Now, Democrats have taken another blow as a federal appeals court has unanimously ruled that the more than 200 Democratic congressional lawmakers do not have a case in suing the President over allegations that he had violated the Emoluments Clause concerning foreign payments to his businesses. In a statement, the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit informed that “because we concluded that the Members lack standing, we reverse the district court and remand with instructions to dismiss their complaint.” Furthermore, “the [House] Members can, and likely will, continue to use their weighty voices to make their case to the American people, their colleagues in the Congress and the President himself, all of whom are free to engage that argument as they see fit.” However, they concluded that they “will not – indeed we cannot – participate in this debate.” In addition, the court commented that “the Constitution permits the Judiciary to speak only in the context of an Article III case or controversy and this lawsuit presents neither.”
“Florida courts struggle to collect fines owed by felons” by Fresh Take Florida’s Danielle Ivanov – After serving two stints in Florida prison in the 1990s for felony theft and cocaine possession, Ryan Cherry returned home to his family in Orlando to start his own air conditioning business. Cherry, 48, tried to register to vote after Florida voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2018 restoring the voting rights of felons, but then learned he still owed more than $300 in court fines and fees. Until those were paid, it would still be illegal under Florida law for him to vote. Provisions of that law are in dispute as part of a pending federal lawsuit. “I never knew I had fines and court costs until I did a bunch of research,” Cherry said. He said he never received letters, calls or internet notices from a collection agency about his overdue balance and said he could not find any record of it online. Without Cherry’s subsequent efforts, spurred by his desire to vote, it’s unlikely the fees and fines in his case ever would have been repaid. A new government study shows Florida courts have a remarkably difficult job collecting fees and fines in criminal cases – failures that now have a direct impact on the ability of felons to vote in future elections after they serve their prison sentences. Of more than $315 million in fines and fees assessed in 2017 and 2018, the study by the Florida Legislature’s Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability found that state circuit courts – where most criminal cases are adjudicated – collected less than 10 percent of the money owed. County courts collected just under 40 percent.
“Bill would end tenure of long-time public advocate on utilities with major rate cases on the horizon” by Florida Phoenix’s Michael Moline – Legislation that would force out veteran Public Counsel J.R. Kelly, who represents ordinary utility customers before the Florida Public Service Commission, passed its first committee test Monday on the strength of a lopsided Republican vote. The bill (SPB 7052) would limit public advocates to as many as three four-year terms – 12 years total – in office, effective on July 1. Kelly has already reached that milestone. The vote by the Committee on Innovation, Industry, and Technology came as the PSC prepared to undertake reviews next year of rates charged by Florida Power & Light Co. and Gulf Power Co. Should the bill become law, that could potentially leave the ordinary ratepayers with an untested representative against powerful utilities with their armies of lawyers. “There was not any magic to that number,” said bill sponsor Wilton Simpson when asked about the 12-year limit. Simpson chairs the committee and is in line to become Senate President next year presuming the Republicans retain control of the upper chamber. His district stretches through three counties north of Tampa Bay. He compared the term limit to those for members of the Legislature but Democrats on the committee didn’t buy it.
“Man Who Drove Van at GOP Voter Sign-Up in Florida Worked as Stagehand” Associated Press – A man charged with driving a van into a tent where local Republicans were registering voters worked as a stagehand and had lived in northeast Florida for two years, according to jail records and an arrest report. Gregory Timm, 27, had been referred work through the local International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, according to the arrest report released Sunday. Jail booking information said he had lived in Jacksonville for two years. The heavily redacted arrest report didn’t offer a motive for the Saturday incident and didn’t reveal Timm’s political affiliations. Records from Arizona showed Timm registered to vote in 2011 as a “non-partisan.” Florida records showed no voter registration information for him. Saying they were outraged, state and local Republican officials on Monday vowed to not let the incident stop them from registering voters and working to re-elect President Donald Trump. They called what happened a “partisan political attack” since it was obvious that the event was meant to support the president. “We must not lash out in kind. What we must do is win,” said Dean Black, chairman of the Republican Party of Duval County. “The coward who attacked us tried to sweep us from the streets. He is not going to be successful. We will return in ever greater numbers in street corners across this city and across America.”
“Progressive Lawmakers Says DNC Chair Must Be ‘Held Accountable’ For Iowa Debacle” by Hispolitica’s Mona Salama – Top Progressive lawmakers, all who are backers of 2020 presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) are the latest to criticize Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez, saying he needs to be “held accountable” for the enormous embarrassment in the Iowa vote-counting debacle. “What’s happened in Iowa is a complete disgrace and someone needs to be held responsible,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez(D-NY) said in the Capitol on Friday. She stopped short for calling on Perez to be ousted, saying a “a conversation needed around taking responsibility for Iowa and ensuring that this bungled process never happens again.” Ocasio-Cortez fellow squad member, Rep. Ilhan Omar(D-MN) said Perez “should be held accountable” for what happened in Iowa. “I would say Tom Perez should be held accountable for this failure,” Omar said. “I believe it all starts from the top. There are things that Tom should do and should have done. If this was happening in my home state, we would be having a serious conversation about what accountability would look like for our own chair.” Co-chairwoman of the Progressive Caucus, Rep. Pramila Jayapal, called the Iowa fiasco a “national embarrassment” that has already had serious consequences on the primary race. She said Sanders’s rival Buttigieg declared victory in Iowa with the official results still outstanding and managed to raise more than $2.5 million this week. “I’m sure there is shared blame to go around. I don’t think we should blame just one person,” Jayapal said. “But Tom Perez is the head of the DNC, and I do think that there clearly was not the process in place to make sure all these [protocols] were going to be followed.””
“Biden: Trump ‘Should Have Been Pinning a Medal on Vindman and Not on Rush Limbaugh’” by Hispolitica’s Mona Salama – Former Vice President Joe Biden at the Democratic debate called on the audience to stand and applaud Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, adding that he should have been awarded the Medal of Freedom and not conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh. “Colonel Vindman got thrown out of the White House today, got walked out,” Biden said at the Democratic presidential debate in New Hampshire Friday night. “[Trump] should have been pinning a medal on Vindman and not on Rush Limbaugh.” Earlier this week, President Trump during his State of the Union address awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Limbaugh, just a day after the conservative talk radio host announced he is battling stage 4 lung cancer. Trump praised Limbaugh for “all that you have done for our nation, the millions of people a day that you speak to and you inspire, and all of the incredible work that you have done for charity.” While the move drew applause from Republicans, it drew outrage from Democrats. Biden condemned Trump in a statement following the address, calling it a “shameful display” for presenting the award to Limbaugh. “I think we should all give Colonel Vindman a show of how much we supported him. “Stand up and clap for Vindman!” Biden added, sparking a standing ovation from the crowd. Biden’s remark came after Vindman was fired by the National Security Council and escorted off the White House grounds Friday morning. Vindman was a key witnesses who testified during the House’s impeachment inquiry about Trump’s phone call with Ukraine’s president, during which Trump discussed investigations of former Biden and his son’s dealings in Ukraine.
“Prosecutors Seek up to Nine Years in Prison for Ex-Trump Adviser Roger Stone” by Wall Street Journal’s Aruna Viswanatha and Byron Tau – Prosecutors recommended that longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone receive seven to nine years in prison on charges related to his efforts to make contact with WikiLeaks during the 2016 presidential campaign, in what could be the longest sentence to stem from the Special Counsel’s investigation. Mr. Stone was found guilty last year of witness tampering, obstruction of a congressional proceeding and lying to Congress. He is scheduled to be sentenced next week. “Stone was not compelled to testify falsely before Congress,” federal prosecutors in Washington, D.C., wrote in a sentencing recommendation filed on Monday. “He could have told the truth, or he could have declined the invitation to testify altogether. Instead, Stone chose another option: he lied to Congress and then he tampered with a witness who could expose those lies. Stone’s goal, at the outset, was to obstruct the Committee’s search for the truth.” The witness tampering charge, which involves Mr. Stone’s effort to pressure a New York comedian to describe himself as Mr. Stone’s intermediary to WikiLeaks, carries a 20-year maximum penalty, though first-time offenders often get far less time. The comedian, Randy Credico, asked U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in January not to send Mr. Stone to prison, calling a prison sentence not justice but cruelty.
“Four Members of China’s Military Indicted Over Massive Equifax Breach” by Wall Street Journal’s Aruna Viswanatha, Dustin Volz and Kate O’Keeffe – Four members of China’s military have been indicted by the U.S. government on charges of hacking into Equifax Inc. and plundering sensitive data on nearly 150 million Americans as part of a massive heist that officials said also stole trade secrets from the credit-reporting agency. In an escalation of U.S. efforts to counter China’s alleged attempts to use cyber theft and other means of technology acquisition to become the world’s dominant economic power, a federal grand jury in Atlanta returned a nine-count indictment made public Monday against the four Chinese nationals working for the People’s Liberation Army. They are accused of conspiring to steal reams of data as part of a sophisticated hacking operation that exploited a major vulnerability in the software used by Equifax’s online dispute portal. The charges for the 2017 breach came as the U.S. and China remain locked in negotiations over trade after recently hammering out the first phase of an agreement. In brief remarks on Monday, Attorney General William Barr sought to distinguish the alleged Equifax theft from accepted intelligence gathering that governments conduct. “This was a deliberate and sweeping intrusion into the private information of the American people,” Mr. Barr said. “We collect information only for legitimate national security purposes; we don’t indiscriminately violate the privacy of ordinary citizens,” he said. China has historically denied involvement in hacks on U.S. businesses. The Chinese Embassy in Washington didn’t respond to a request for comment.
“Former Dem lawmaker removed from Tlaib event after asking about anti-Semitism” by Fox News’s Ronn Blitzer – Campus police removed former Democratic New York Assemblyman Dov Hikind from an event at Rutgers University Sunday afternoon, after Hikind asked guest speaker Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., about past comments he believes to be anti-Semitic. The event, titled, “A Global Crisis: Refugees, Migrants, and Asylum Seekers – Lessons from the Prophet Muhammad,” was organized by the group Muslims4Peace. Hikind described the New Jersey event as “fine” and spreading “nice messages” of tolerance, unity, and love. “I loved what they were saying,” Hikind said, noting that he sat in the audience for nearly three hours. “Then Rashida came on at the end as the main speaker,” Hikind told Fox News, adding that he stood up and asked her about “her anti-Semitism and spreading a blood libel.” The blood libel originally referred to the false claim during the Middle Ages that Jews used Christian blood to make matzah for Passover, but has since been used to describe other false claims that Jews committed heinous acts. Hikind was referring to Tlaib retweeting a message from Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi that spread the unsubstantiated claim that Israeli Jews murdered 8-year-old Palestinian Qais Abu Ramila, who went missing in January before he was found dead. Abu Ramila’s death was later ruled an accidental drowning. “She never apologized,” Hikind said about Tlaib. “This, to me, is serious stuff.” Ashrawi apologized for spreading the false message. Three days later, Tlaib shared Ashrawi’s apology with a message of her own. While she did not technically apologize, she said, “In this era of inaccurate and manipulative news, I will also strive to hold myself to the highest standards for what I share.”
“Trump, looking to ‘shake up the Dems a little bit,’ hits ‘mumbling’ Pelosi in rally ahead of key NH primary” by Fox News’s Gregg Re – President Trump said he was looking to get under Democrats’ skin Monday with a rally in New Hampshire on the eve of the state’s first-in-the-nation primaries, and he wasted little time — quickly reliving his dramatic State of the Union speech with a thinly veiled shot at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. “I had somebody behind me who was mumbling terribly,” Trump mused, as chants of “Lock her up!” broke out. “Very distracting. Very distracting,” Trump continued. “I’m speaking, and a woman is mumbling terribly behind me. There was a little anger back there. We’re the ones who should be angry, not them.” He thanked Pelosi for giving Republicans the highest poll numbers they’ve “ever” had — or at least since 2005, according to a recent Gallup survey. Pelosi, who ripped up Trump’s State of the Union address as soon as it concluded, was widely criticized especially after videos emerged showing she had visibly torn some of the pages in advance. “Nine months from now, we are going to retake the House of Representatives, we are going to hold the Senate, and we are going to keep the White House,” Trump said to thunderous applause. “We have so much more enthusiasm, it’s not even close. They’re all fighting each other. … They don’t know what they’re doing; they can’t even count their votes.” Perhaps worst of all, Trump said, liberals and the “fake news” media simply “can’t take a joke.” Later, he again jabbed the Democrats over the Iowa caucus debacle and the party’s treatment of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.: “The Democratic Party wants to run your health care, but they can’t even run a caucus in Iowa. … Actually, I think they’re trying to take it away from Bernie again. They’re doing it to you again, Bernie! They’re doing it to you again.”
“How Trump’s long-promised middle class tax cuts might happen, despite deficits” by CNN’s Donna Borak – President Donald Trump has repeatedly promised middle class Americans fresh tax cuts if he wins a second four-year term in office in November, a pledge that might clash with his efforts to reduce yawning federal deficits. Stephen Moore, an outside adviser who was floated last year for a seat on the Federal Reserve Board, told CNN that the administration is “homing in” on a proposal that would include lower rates for middle class families. Moore also floated the possibility of a savings account that would allow middle class Americans to save up to $10,000 tax-free. White House spokesman Judd Deere said the administration “is studying numerous proposals that will benefit the middle class and the American worker and promote long-term economic growth.” But another tax cut by the Trump administration would only further widen the country’s mounting deficit, which surpassed $1 trillion for the calendar year in 2019. It hasn’t crossed that symbolic threshold since 2012 after the Obama administration and Congress approved stimulus funding in order to keep the economy afloat following the financial crisis. The deficit is only expected to expand even further over the coming decade, reaching a total of $1.7 trillion in 2030, according to the latest projections by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released in late January. The Trump administration’s $4.8 trillion fiscal 2021 federal budget proposal released on Monday projected balancing the federal budget by 2035 based on rosy economic projections of 3% annual growth. Trump didn’t mention tax cuts in his State of the Union address last week or in his latest budget proposal, raising speculation by some analysts that the plan may have fallen from the administration’s priorities.
“First ballots of the New Hampshire primary to be cast at midnight” by CNN’s Gregory Krieg and Lauren Dezenski – The New Hampshire primary kicks off at the stroke of midnight tonight, when the residents of three tiny townships cast the first ballots of the contest. Dixville Notch in the state’s northern tip, nearby Millsfield, and Hart’s Location, further south and tucked in the White Mountains, are the first places to declare primary results because voters cast ballots so early. Tiny Dixville Notch holds a special place in many observers’ hearts. The midnight voting tradition dates back to 1960, though it nearly didn’t happen this year because the town’s selectman had moved away — meaning there was no one available to help administer the election. Since then, the position was filled and the tradition will continue for another cycle.
The reporters and observers trekking up to the polling location tonight will likely outnumber the actual residents of Dixville Notch. There were only 12 residents of the township as of the 2010 census. Voters there have correctly predicted the eventual winner of 3 of the last 5 general elections. It’s less predictive with primary returns: In 2016, Bernie Sanders, who went on to win the state by 22 percentage points, was the choice for 100% (or four, in total) of the voters who cast ballots in the Democratic contest. But it was former Ohio Gov. John Kasich who edged out Donald Trump, 3 to 2, in the Republican race. Trump, though, was resilient. He won the state’s GOP primary, by about 20 percentage points, when the rest of red New Hampshire had its say. But as its population has dwindled over the years, the simple fact that Dixville Notch has kept the mini-contest alive is a smashing success for local leaders — and a reason to smile for political junkies eager for an early taste of what’s to come.
President Donald Trump @realDonaldTrump – This is a horrible and very unfair situation. The real crimes were on the other side, as nothing happens to them. Cannot allow this miscarriage of justice!
If you’re a millionaire or corporate exec, the #TrumpBudget says ‘You’re in luck: Your tax cuts should be extended.’
Everglades restoration is critically important to the State of FL & enjoys broad bipartisan support in Congress.
Marco Rubio @marcorubio – Over the top politics works well in this era. It generates fundraising, voter intensity & is ratings & social media gold.
But it also comes at a high price to the nation at large.
It paralyzes the ability to govern & creates deep resentments that will not be easy to heal.
Debbie Wasserman Schultz @DWStweets – The Trump Administration’s Orwellian attacks on immigrants and refugees will forever tarnish America’s image.
Rep. Ted Deutch @RepTedDeutch – Last week, President Trump missed an opportunity to bring the country together. He could have voiced support for the 300+ bipartisan bills passed by the House & urged the Senate to vote & send them to his desk.
Matt Gaetz @mattgaetz – This was a very emotional experience. I was honored to attend the dignified transfer and I pray for the day when more Northwest Floridians are home with those they love.
Rep. Brian Mast @RepBrianMast – I had the privilege of showing students from Golden Grove Elementary School around the Capitol last week. Thank you for taking the time to let me be a part of your trip to Washington!
US Rep Kathy Castor @USRepKCastor – I will stand against this reckless budget that pays for tax cuts for the wealthy at the expense of working families.