September 28, 2017

Trump announces framework for tax “reform” that would provide massive cuts for the wealthiest Americans. “Trump’s initial plan – backed by Republican leadership on Capitol Hill – would eliminate the individual Alternative Minimum Tax and estate taxes (paid only on estates of more than $5 million). It would also tax so-called “pass through” businesses at 25% (instead of at a business owner’s personal tax rate).”   Of course, “Honest Don” claims he would not benefit at all. “It’s not good for me, believe me.”

Russian-link accounts also suspected on Twitter. “In addition to Russia-linked Twitter accounts that posed as Americans, the platform was also used for large-scale automated messaging, using “bot” accounts to spread false stories and promote news articles about emails from Democratic operatives that had been obtained by Russian hackers.”

Ohio coroner says no obvious signs of torture on Otto Warmbier’s body. “In June, after Warmbier was released from North Korea and flown back to Cincinnati, he was taken to University of Cincinnati Medical Center where doctors ran tests. Days later at a news conference, the doctors reported that they found no broken bones or other signs of trauma. But the brain damage was extensive and severe.”   His teeth were reportedly undamaged, which is in conflict with his parents’ claims…

DC court of appeals rules that cops need warrants to locate suspects using “stingray” cell tower simulators. “A 2012 lawsuit revealed that the FBI had been using stingrays without obtaining warrants for years, but the public has largely been kept in the dark when it comes to knowing when and how they are used, and what data is being collected.”

Afghan civilians killed in U.S. counter-attack. “Suicide bombers and militants firing mortars attacked Kabul’s airport during a visit by U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Wednesday, prompting a U.S. air strike that accidentally killed civilians, officials said.”

Southwest Airlines passenger with severe dog allergies reportedly dragged off plane, dogs get to stay in the cabin. “The incident, which was captured in jumpy cellphone video, occurred at Baltimore-Washington International Airport after a passenger asked that two dogs be removed from the aircraft, according to a witness. Instead, the flight crew asked the woman to leave, and she refused.”   Video here:

Jared Kushner is registered to vote in New York as a woman. “Kushner can’t even fill out the most basic paperwork without screwing it up, so it’s a mystery why anyone thinks he’s somehow going to bring peace to the Middle East.”

Russia claims it has destroyed the last of its chemical weapons, wonders why the U.S. has failed to do so. “(U.S.) authorities announced they had disposed of 90 percent of the stockpile—30,500 metric tons—in 2012, with two sites in Colorado and Kentucky remaining.”

Spain shuts down pro-independence web sites. “The Spanish Civil Guard on Tuesday closed down over 140 websites supporting the independence referendum planned for this coming Sunday in the Catalan region of north-eastern Spain.”   Police to occupy polling stations. “Catalonia’s prosecutor has ordered the regional police — known as the Mossos d’Esquadra — to take control of any voting booths by Saturday, a spokesman for the Madrid government’s Catalan delegation said.”

10 arrested in college basketball corruption investigation, six colleges and shoe company reportedly implicated. “Joon H. Kim, acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, told reporters that the investigation is ongoing. There might be additional arrests, and more schools might be involved.”

Justice Department reportedly hacks iPhone 6 but unable to open iPhone 4. “In a Sept. 19 search warrant affidavit, a Seattle-based FBI special agent said the FBI obtained a tool just five days before that could open Delay’s iPhone 6.”

Jeremy Corbyn wows Labour Party conference, party’s election prospects looking favorable. “Savour this moment… a Labour leader pledging economic and political revolution, live on national television, cheered to the echo and ahead in the polls. If love conquers all, the next election is a done deal.”

Most Americans say Trump is not fit to be president, only white and Republican voters disagree. “Alongside an overall disapproval rating of 57 percent (with only 36 approving of his job performance), the survey revealed that… 56 percent believe Trump does not have what it takes to be a good president, while only 42 percent think he does.”

New Mexico teacher retirement fund refuses to disclose fees paid to investment firms implicated in corruption scandal. “The total amount New Mexico paid in fees to the nine investment companies, who in total gave more than $1.2 million to political groups backing (Governor Susana) Martinez, is almost certainly higher than $14 million, as that figure includes only management fees, which generally equal 1.5 percent to 2 percent of the total assets.”

92% of Kurdish voters in Iraq vote for independence. “Nationalistic fervour has been widespread in Erbil since Monday’s referendum, which large numbers of Kurds have hailed as a landmark moment in a centuries-old push for self-determination.”

Shipping interests lobbying against lifting Jones Act restrictions on shipments to Puerto Rico. “We have a lot of shippers and a lot of people that work in the shipping industry that don’t want the Jones Act lifted.”

September 28, 2017

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