From Sarah (Crooked) <[email protected]>
Subject What A Day: Reign of SALT
Date November 19, 2021 1:21 AM
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Do not let Ted Cruz wear the dress.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

** -Ilhan Omar ([link removed]) in response to Lauren Boebert's House floor slander

House Democrats opened debate on the Build Back Better Act on Thursday, with the goal of voting on the bill as soon as tonight and get on with the urgent business of Thanksgiving recess—provided a handful of moderates don’t stand in the way.

* The Congressional Budget Office released its final cost analysis ([link removed]) of the reconciliation package on Thursday afternoon, theoretically clearing the way for Democratic holdouts in the House to make good on their promise to advance the bill. The CBO found that the bill would add $367 billion to the deficit over the next decade, but that analysis didn’t account for enhanced IRS enforcement, which the White House estimates could offset around $400 billion in spending.

* Anticipating that moderates might use the CBO analysis as an excuse not to support the package, administration officials pre-emptively argued that the analysis was likely to seriously underestimate the revenue that the bill’s IRS reform efforts would generate by scaring rich people into paying their taxes. Economist Larry Summers published a Thursday op-ed ([link removed]) making the case that “it would be irresponsible to not recognize that the CBO estimate for tax-compliance efforts is conservative to the point of implausibility.”

* Democrats have also cleared a final procedural hurdle, receiving confirmation from the Senate parliamentarian that the bill will indeed be filibuster-proof when it makes it to the Senate. With those two final pieces in place, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sent a letter ([link removed]) to House Democrats telling them to get their voting shoes on. At least one former holdout is officially ready to vote yes ([link removed]) .

The House may be set to approve it, but many Democrats are concerned that the bill in its current form would leave them wide open to right-wing attacks next year.

* The House bill includes a measure to lift the cap on the state and local tax (SALT) deduction—a $285 billion tax cut that would primarily benefit high-income earners ([link removed]) over the next five years. It would also offer relief to some middle-class families in expensive coastal blue states, but it’s perhaps not ideal that the second-biggest program in the package would afford Ted Cruz an opportunity to wriggle into a “Tax The Rich” dress and stomp around in it until November 2022.

* As Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) put it ([link removed]) , “You can’t be a political party that talks about demanding the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes and then end up with a bill that gives large tax breaks to many millionaires. You can’t do that. The hypocrisy is too strong. It’s bad policy, it’s bad politics.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, fresh off of officiating a billionaire oil heiress’s extravagant wedding ([link removed]) (and wrangling a razor-thin majority), insisted ([link removed]) on Thursday that Democrats can and should do that, actually.

Keeping the whole party on board with the Build Back Back Better Act has been (and will be) challenging enough, but Democrats have to do it while ensuring that the final product still reflects the party’s priorities—and that starts with making sure the Senate kills the tax cut for millionaires ([link removed]) before sending it back to the House for final passage.

Check out today’s episode of Hysteria with Alyssa Mastromonaco and guest host Julissa Arce! They discuss Alex Jones, Cuba, and Democratic efforts at immigration reform. Plus, Representative Pramila Jayapal joins to talk about the Build Back Better Act and Democrats’ perpetual aversion to being in array. New episodes of Hysteria drop every Thursday. Listen and follow wherever you get your podcasts ([link removed]) .
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Gov. Kevin Stitt (R-OK) commuted the death sentence of Julius Jones hours before his scheduled execution on Thursday ([link removed]) , amid widespread protests over doubts about his guilt. Jones was convicted of first-degree murder in the 1999 fatal shooting of Paul Howell, but alleges he was framed by the actual killer, and the jury never heard evidence from his family members about his alibi. Oklahoma’s Pardon and Parole Board had twice recommended that Jones’s sentence be commuted to life in prison with the possibility of parole, but Stitt ruled out parole in his announcement. He also made no mention of Oklahoma’s inhumane lethal injection procedures ([link removed]) , which will be the subject of a federal trial next year, or of the three other people on the state’s death row who are scheduled to be executed before that
trial occurs.
* Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) has signed legislation designed to punish companies that comply with federal vaccine mandates ([link removed]) , making Florida the first state to impose fines on businesses that require a COVID vaccine as a condition of employment.

* The Justice Department has charged two Iranian hackers with trying to interfere in the 2020 election ([link removed]) , saying they posed as Proud Boys in messages to GOP lawmakers and threats to Democratic voters.

* U.S. District Court Judge Carl Nichols rejected Steve Bannon’s effort to drag out his contempt case ([link removed]) , but said he wasn’t convinced by DOJ’s push for a quick trial, either.

* Text messages show that Kimberly Guilfoyle bragged about raising $3 million for the January 6 rally ([link removed]) , suggesting that members of the Trump family may have something to do with this whole thing after all.

* Travis McMichael, the man who killed Ahmaud Arbery, testified on Thursday that Arbery hadn’t threatened him in any way ([link removed]) before McMichael pointed a shotgun at him.

* Sherrilyn Ifill will step down as head of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund this spring ([link removed]) , to be succeeded by her longtime deputy Janai Nelson.

* Donald Trump has heartily endorsed Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) ([link removed]) , who retweeted his colleague-threatening anime video again ([link removed]) shortly after getting censured over it, like a psychopath, before un-retweeting it, like a psychopath who is also a coward.

* The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has appointed Cleta Mitchell ([link removed]) , who tried to help Trump overturn the election, to the Board of Advisors for the federal Election Assistance Commission. Makes sense!

* Belarusian authorities cleared migrant camps at the Belarus-Poland border on Thursday ([link removed]) , but have yet to say what’s in the store for the migrants they’ve temporarily sheltered at a nearby warehouse.

* New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio will take one last stab at keeping his Day One promise to ban horse-drawn carriages ([link removed]) , a mere eight years later.

* Songwriter David Frishberg, the author of “I’m Just a Bill,” has died at 88 ([link removed]) .

In the absence of federal election reform legislation, our national redistricting nightmare continues! Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC) announced his retirement on Thursday ([link removed]) after North Carolina Republicans racially gerrymandered his district, becoming the 16th House Democrat to decide not to seek reelection. In Wisconsin, Gov. Tony Evers (D-WI) has vetoed a set of GOP-drawn maps ([link removed]) that would solidify Republican control of the state for the next decade, but the map battle will now head to the courts, which could ultimately spit out the same result. And in Georgia,the GOP-controlled legislature has unveiled a new congressional map ([link removed])
that turns two Democratic-leaning swing seats into one red district and one blue district, potentially forcing Reps. Lucy McBath (D-GA) and Carolyn Bourdeaux (D-GA) to run against each other.
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Over 80 percent ([link removed]) of adult New Yorkers are now fully vaccinated.

Five hours of moderate exercise a week ([link removed]) could help tens of thousands of people avoid developing cancer, according to a new study.

Construction has begun on Vineyard Wind 1 ([link removed]) , the country’s first commercial-scale offshore wind farm.

On November 23, NASA ([link removed]) will launch its first test of a future defense system to protect Earth from incoming asteroids.
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