Our Hope for 2018 - Less Anonymous Outrage

As 2017 comes to an end, it's a good time to look ahead for our hope at One Headline A Day for 2018 -- Less Anonymous Outrage.   It's our belief that while the "Outrage Industry" has been alive and well for sometime, it has gotten worse in the last few years and has in part been fueled by social media.    I was able to find two such examples from my local newspaper.   Columnist John Tevlin is retiring and his final column is below.    I took note of following quote:

In the past couple of years, however, I’ve gotten worn down by the weekly screeds and wishes that I lead a short, uncomfortable life. I began to dread the 3 a.m. calls and anonymous notes. After many weekends got ruined by hostile chatter on social media...

Hugh Hewitt's column on our addiction to outrage, correctly predicts the following:

Wait a bit after this column posts online, then check the comments. It will be a cut and paste of every other comment section of every other column, left, right and center. Just as cable news talking heads are beginning to blur into one long declarative sentence of certainty surrounded by nodding heads.

We hope that OneHeadlineADay.com  will be an antidote to our online outrage addition.    We welcome and encourage your comments to the posts here, but we do not allow anonymous comments.   If you feel strongly about your opinion, you should "put your name next to it".

Looking forward to a great 2018.

'Against all odds, I survived a career in journalism'

By Jon Tevlin, @jontevlin

Being a newspaper columnist is a strange and beautiful caper. Your world is populated by oddballs and knuckleheads, superheroes and sociopaths. You rub and trade elbows with the up-and-coming and the down-and-out. For the same column, you can be called “the last person with common sense in the city,” and a “tone-deaf curmudgeon.”

Thanks for that second one, by the way. I had it emblazoned on my coffee mug.

People always ask me where I get the ideas for columns. They come from everywhere and nowhere, from breaking news to my slightly skewed curiosity about the world. A lot of times, the columnist Gods (readers) drop one in your lap. As Guy Clark said, some days the song writes you. <more>

A sad, outrageous fact: We've gotten hooked – on outrage

 By Hugh Hewitt

 Addiction is the story of 2017.

Not addiction to opioids, though of course tens of thousands of families are mourning the death of a loved one to fentanyl or heroin or some other variant of the scourge coursing through the United States.

Not addiction to the toxic combination of power and lust that has metastasized for so many decades and burst onto the public stage in so many places, with the name Harvey Weinstein now synonymous with a sociopathic need to dominate, humiliate and exploit for a twisted set of pseudo pleasures. <more> 

Cause of Deadly NYC Fire Determined

There aren't really two sides to this story, other than to provide the facts and offer hope that this type of thing does not happen in the future.   The CNN post below gives the tragic details on the cause a result of a 3 year old playing with burners on the stove.    This is the worst fire tragedy in NYC in the last 25 years.    The fire spread very quickly in this mostly brick building when the door to the apartment was left open and the building stairway acted as a chimney.    The NBC post gives suggestions on what can be done to help kids from starting fires.  Timely information as NYC gets 100 reports each year of children playing with fire.

Fatal NYC fire started by 3-year-old playing with stove, official says

By Matt Rehbein and Eric Levenson, CNN

New York (CNN)A 3-year-old boy's screams alerted his mother that a fire had erupted in their first-floor apartment in the Bronx on Thursday night. The boy had been playing with the burners on the kitchen stove, New York fire officials said Friday.

When the mother fled the burning apartment with the boy and his 2-year-old sibling, she made a fatal mistake -- she left the apartment door open.
The tragic result was the deaths of at least 12 people, including at least four children, the New York Police Department said.
It was the deadliest fire in New York City in more than 25 years.
The apartment's stairway acted "like a chimney" as the fire burst from the apartment, feeding the flames and allowing them to spread throughout the building, FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said Friday.
The boy in the first-floor apartment had a history of playing with the stove burners, Nigro said. The fire commissioner reminded all New Yorkers of his department's frequent messages emphasizing the crucial step residents must take in the event of a fire. <more>

NYC Fire Dept. Tips for Keeping Kids From Starting Fires

NBC Chicago

A fire that killed at least a dozen people in the Bronx this week was sparked by a child playing with a stove, authorities say. Kitchen fires make up 50 percent of all apartment fires and they’re the leading cause of home fires and fire injuries, according to the FDNY.

Children cause thousands of home fires each year by playing with matches, lighters or candles, the FDNY says. Kids have a natural curiosity about fire and what to know how it looks and feels, what it can do, and how it will burn.

Quick facts about home fires:

More than half of all home fire deaths occur between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

More than a third of home fires occur during the months of December, January and February.

Children are a major cause of fire, often because they are playing with lighters, matches or candles. Fires caused by kids most often start in bedrooms.

The FDNY’s top three safety tips: Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors; Have a home fire escape plan, and practice it; Conduct a safety inspection of potential fire hazards in your home and eliminate them. <more>

Doug Jones Certified in Alabama Senate Race

Today Doug Jones was certified as the winner of the Alabama Senate race by the Alabama state canvasing board (all three are Republicans) despite allegations of widespread voter fraud from his opponent, Roy Moore.    The post from Fox News gives the details on today's events. 

As to the claims of voter fraud, even President Trump has  called for Moore to concede.   What could be Moore's motivation (beyond actually believing it) for claims of fraud?   The post from CNN below gives some history on Roy Moore's "down but never out" career.

Doug Jones certified as winner of Alabama Senate race

By Alex Pappas | Fox News

Democrat Doug Jones was certified Thursday by Alabama’s secretary of state as the winner of the state’s Senate race, less than an hour after a judge rejected Republican nominee Roy Moore’s last-ditch attempt to challenge the election results.

Earlier Thursday, Moore’s campaign alleged potential election fraud and asked a circuit judge for a restraining order to stop Alabama's canvassing board from certifying Jones' victory.

A judge then denied the request, leading Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill to certify Jones’ victory.

Jones, who will be sworn in Jan. 3, celebrated the certification and vowed to be “an independent voice” for Alabama.

"I am looking forward to going to work for the people of Alabama in the new year," Jones said in a statement. "As I said on election night, our victory marks a new chapter for our state and the nation." <more>

Here's why Roy Moore will never concede

Chris Cillizza
Analysis by Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large

Roy Moore lost.

That fact -- which we all knew on the night of December 12 -- became official on Thursday afternoon when the Republican governor, Republican attorney general and Republican secretary of state in Alabama certified that Democrat Doug Jones had defeated Moore in the special election to fill the four years remaining in Attorney General Jeff Sessions' Senate term.
Moore, of course, didn't -- and doesn't -- accept that fact.
On Wednesday, Moore filed a complaint alleging widespread voter fraud -- and insisting that the certification of Jones' win should not go forward. Moore's primary complaint seemed to revolve around increased black turnout in the election. Why that would be somehow fraudulent wasn't detailed in the complaint. And John Merrill, Alabama's secretary of state, dismissed a number of the specific issues raised by Moore as either misleading or simply false.
A judge denied Moore's delay request Thursday morning. And then came the official certification -- just after 2 p.m. Eastern time.<more>

Yes, the NFL Ratings Are Really Down

We have heard a lot about the poor NFL TV ratings all fall.   In yet another sign, NBC is cancelling this upcoming Sunday night's (New Year's Eve) game due to anticipated poor ratings.    The CNN post below gives more detail on that decision.

So what is behind the poor ratings?  Yes, the anthem protest  did not help, but bad football and other factors are likely to be greater contributors as outlined in the post from OutKick the Coverage from earlier this fall.

NFL cancels Sunday Night Football this week

 by David Goldman   @DavidGoldmanCNN

The NFL has canceled the final Sunday night football game of the season. Don't worry, no one was going to watch anyway.  Next Sunday's game had two disadvantages: The games all had a likelihood of being dull by the time Sunday night rolled around. And this coming Sunday is New Year's Eve, a day when historically few Americans watch television.

The last time the NFL held a Sunday night football game on New Year's Eve was in 2006, when the Chicago Bears hosted the Green Bay Packers. It was quarterback Brett Favre's last game with the Packers (and widely expected to be his last game ever). Still, only 13.4 million people watched that game, about a quarter fewer than the average Sunday Night Football game that season.

Since the last Sunday night football game also happens to be the final game of the season, the NFL tries to schedule a game that will definitely have playoff implications for one or both of the teams playing. (A team that already made the playoffs might sit their starters, leading to an exceptionally boring game.) <more>

NFL TV Partners Set To Lose Up To $500 Million On Ratings Decline

 by Clay Travis - OKTC

 As Roger Goodell, Jerry Jones, and the NFL engage in an ugly internal fight over the future leadership of the NFL, TV partners at CBS, ESPN, Fox and NBC are staring at their own internal conflicts — namely a substantial decline in NFL ratings that is on pace to cost the four networks up to $500 million in lost revenue.

Already several hundred million in lost revenue has been booked in 2017 and it has the league’s top executives and television partners scrambling to figure out what went wrong. How did a league that was setting ratings records in 2015 suddenly see its audience fall by nearly 20% just two years later.

While much of the attention has focused on the protests, according to ongoing conversations with several people close to the league and its television partners over the past couple of months, the ratings decline that will cost the TV partners up to $500 million can actually be attributed to four primary factors.

Those factors in order: <more>

Were Words Really Banned at the CDC?

I first noticed the story about the CDC having seven words banned from use in preparation for the upcoming budget on page 3 of the second section of my local newspaper.    I thought this was a bit odd, but a relatively minor story (confirmed by it's placement in the newspaper).   Less than an hour later I connected to a couple of social feeds, and it had already been shared 5 times.   I thought this might be worthy of the Daily Headline here at One Headline A Day. 

I was still a bit suspicious, and decided to wait to find out more about it.  By December 17 (two days after the original story was posted in the Washington Post), Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald took to Twitter to say, "I want to assure you there are no banned words at the CDC".   Later in the week, Snopes.com put together a time-line along with statements from the CDC that this was the result of mis-communication at the CDC.    Listed below is the original story from the Washington Post along with a well written piece in Slate that even though the Trump administration did not ban these words, its attitude towards science remains clear.

Editorial Note:  The speed at at which Social Media spread dis-information on this story is one of the primary reasons that our tag line at OneHeadlineADay.com is "Read, Think, Share" - in that order.  #ReadThinkShare

CDC gets list of forbidden words: Fetus, transgender, diversity

By Lena H. Sun and Juliet Eilperin

The Trump administration is prohibiting officials at the nation’s top public health agency from using a list of seven words or phrases — including “fetus” and “transgender” — in official documents being prepared for next year’s budget.

Policy analysts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta were told of the list of forbidden words at a meeting Thursday with senior CDC officials who oversee the budget, according to an analyst who took part in the 90-minute briefing. The forbidden words are “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based” and “science-based.”

In some instances, the analysts were given alternative phrases. Instead of “science-based” or ­“evidence-based,” the suggested phrase is “CDC bases its recommendations on science in consideration with community standards and wishes,” the person said. In other cases, no replacement words were immediately offered.
The Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees the CDC, “will continue to use the best scientific evidence available to improve the health of all Americans,” HHS spokesman Matt Lloyd told The Washington Post. “HHS also strongly encourages the use of outcome and evidence data in program evaluations and budget decisions.” <more>

There Is No Ban on Words at the CDC

By Daniel Engber

On Friday, the Washington Post reported that the Trump administration had banned  certain scientific words from use at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to an unnamed, outraged CDC source, higher-ups instructed staffers to avoid seven phrases in budget documents: vulnerable, entitlement, diversity, transgender, fetus, evidence-based, and science-based. In the days since, editorials have likened this to censorship in China, Cuba, and Belarus; to Polish laws prohibiting certain language to describe the Holocaust; and to the totalitarian regime described in 1984.* Follow-up reports said the “irrational and very dangerous” policy on budget language might put “millions of lives in danger” with its “an astonishing attack on reality-based medical treatment.
But if reality is indeed in danger here, it’s not because of Donald Trump. The story of the language rules at CDC has quickly broken free of underlying facts. Despite what you may have heard, the alleged “ban” of seven words does not reveal a secret “War on Science” carried out by thought police in Washington; nor is it some evil plot to “enforce a political and ideological agenda,” as the Washington Post editorial board suggested. A more sober measure of this soggy crumb of news—one that’s, well, evidence-based rather than reflexive—suggests it should be understood as a byproduct of the Trump administration’s much-less-secret war on science funding. It appears that the ban is an attempt by bureaucrats to save their favorite projects from unforgiving budget cuts. <more>

Congress Votes to Avert a Shutdown

Does anyone wonder how Congress would pass a tax cut that will add $1.5 Trillion to the national debt and pass a bill to avoid a government shutdown the very next day?    Wonder no more as Congress did just that this week by passing an emergency spending bill one day before federal spending was set to expire.  Stranger still, is that this will keep the government funded only through January 19, 2018, so we will be hearing about this again very soon.   The Reuters post below describes the facts of the current funding bill.   On the political side of things, the Washington Post article describes how the Trump administration might view a shutdown helping the president on his stance on immigration -- stay tuned.

U.S. Congress votes to avert shutdown, sends Trump stopgap spending bill
Richard Cowan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Congress on Thursday averted a government shutdown just one day before federal funding was due to expire, sending President Donald Trump a bill to provide just enough money to keep agencies operating through Jan. 19.

With lawmakers eager to begin a holiday recess until Jan. 3, the House of Representatives and Senate scurried to pass the hastily written bill by votes of 231-188 and 66-32, respectively.
When Congress returns, lawmakers will immediately have to get back to work on appropriating more money for a fiscal year that already will be three months old. They will try to pass an “omnibus” spending bill to fund the government from Jan. 19 through Sept. 30. <more>

Trump tells confidants that a government shutdown might be good for him
By Josh Dawsey, Sean Sullivan and Ed O'Keefe

(Washington Post) President Trump has told confidants that a government shutdown could be good for him politically and is focusing on his hard-line immigration stance as a way to win back supporters unhappy with his outreach to Democrats this fall, according to people who have spoken with him recently.

Over the past 10 days, the president has also told advisers that it is important that he is seen as tough on immigration and getting money for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, according to two people who have spoken with him. He has asked friends about how a shutdown would affect him politically and has told several people he would put the blame on Democrats.

Cardinal Bernard Law Dies at Age 86

There has been perhaps no one figure that epitomized the Catholic Church's sexual abuse scandal the last 15 years, than Cardinal Bernard Law, the former Archbishop of Boston.  Law resigned in 2002 after it was revealed he had extensive knowledge of abuse.  He  remained in the inner circle at the Vatican until 2011.    He is of course de-cried by victims and now the plans for his funeral have outraged his accusers (See the CNN post below).    Pope Francis will preside at Cardinal Law's funeral as reported below by the Catholic News Agency.

"Chop him up" Accusers Seethe Over Vaticans's Funeral Plans
By Jason Hanna and Emanuella Grinberg

Alexa MacPherson says very little about Cardinal Bernard Law's death gives her peace of mind -- including the Catholic Church's plans for a full cardinal's funeral at St. Peter's Basilica.
The Boston-area native says she is a survivor of sexual abuse by a priest. Law, 86, died Wednesday, 15 years after he resigned as Boston's archbishop amid allegations that he covered up for pedophile priests like the one accused of abusing MacPherson.
"With his passing, I say I hope the gates of hell are open wide to welcome him," MacPherson said Wednesday.
Survivors including MacPherson are outraged over the Catholic Church's plans for a full cardinal's funeral for Law in Vatican City on Thursday, saying he deserves no such dignity. <more>
    Pope Francis and Bishops Respond To Law's Death as Funeral Plans Are Finalized
    Hannah Brockhaus

    The Vatican announced Wednesday that the funeral Mass of Cardinal Bernard Law, the former archbishop of Boston who died Dec. 20, will be held Thursday.
    As is customary for cardinals who most recently resided in Rome, the Mass will be held at the Altar of the Chair in St. Peter’s Basilica, and will be presided over by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, alongside other cardinals and bishops.
    After the Eucharistic celebration, Pope Francis will preside over the rite of Last Commendation and the Valediction, as is usual. Law will be buried in a tomb at Rome’s Basilica of St. Mary Major, which is customary for the priests who have served there. <more>

    Will The Tax Plan Generate Economic Growth?

    With the passage of the the tax plan now all but a certainty, the sales job to the American public will now begin and we can expect this to last until the mid-term elections next November.   Since this site is about the search for opposing viewpoints on an any topic, we have searched for those opposing views.   This has proven to be difficult.  OneHeadlineADay.com has not been alone in that search, here is a similar attempt by the New York Times.   While there seems to be some debate as to whether or not this tax plan will spur economic growth, even conservative economists do not claim that the tax cuts will pay for themselves as Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin claims.  (see Yuval Rosenberg's post below)

    Then there is the debate on who actual experts are.    Eric Zorn writes below about the number of economists ("actual experts") that are very skeptical of the claims about the amount of growth this plan will produce.   His article links to a detailed survey of experts across the political spectrum. 

    Get used to this topic, we will be hearing about it for for the next 11 months.

    Actual Experts Confirm the GOP Tax Plan is a Dud
    By Eric Zorn
    Chicago Tribune

    “Have you no sense of economics?” demanded an angry reader, objecting to my nine-point critique last Wednesday of Republican plans to overhaul the federal tax code.

    Well, I do have some sense.
    The write to be shown on the left side I have a sense that economics is in part a faith-based social science in which political and ideological inclinations can distort the interpretation of the evidence. And I have a sense that economics is an extraordinarily complicated field of study that combines data analysis with psychological modeling to generate forecasts that aren’t always spot-on.

    I do a lot of reading. But am I an expert? No.

    It happens, though, that actual experts tend to share my skepticism about the hastily conceived tax scheme the GOP is going to try to ram through Congress on purely partisan votes in the next few weeks. <more>
    Conservative Economists Say Corporate Tax Cuts Will Boost Economic Growth
    By Yuval Rosenberg
    The Fiscal Times

    Nine distinguished conservative economists sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin laying out why they believe the GOP’s tax plan would generate additional economic growth — and additional revenue that would bring down the cost of the tax cuts.

    The economists include Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Glenn Hubbard, George P. Schultz, Larry Lindsey and John B. Taylor. They write that corporate tax cuts of the sort being proposed in the House and Senate tax bills could increase GDP growth by 0.3 percentage points a year for a decade, or 0.4 percentage points if the immediate expensing of business equipment and investment was made permanent. Those projections assume that tax code changes don’t add to the deficit, but the economists add that “the impact of changes in interest rates resulting from greater investment demand and government borrowing are likely to be relatively small.” <more>

    Disney Buys Fox for $52 Billion

    Usually when there is a mega merger in the media industry, it usually means one thing for consumers -- higher prices.   This one of the reasons that antitrust laws were passed and the Trump administration has already had the AT&T and Time Warner deal to review and this may face even great scrutiny as the CNN article describes.    Aside from the potential of increased prices, what doe industry experts will change in the content both of these companies will provide after a merger takes place (the deal does not include Fox News)

    Trump's Anti-trust Team Will Be Working Overtime On Disney-Fox Deal

    In some respects, experts say the Disney-Fox deal could face more antitrust scrutiny than a combination of AT&T and Time Warner, CNN's parent company.
    The Disney-Fox merger would pair the largest movie studio by box office sales (Disney) with the third-largest (Fox), as tracked by comScore. It would bring together Disney's Marvel's superhero movies with Fox's X-Men.
    The deal would also combine Disney's cable channels ESPN, Freeform and the Disney Channel with Fox's FX, National Geographic and Star India. (Fox News, Fox Sports and Fox's broadcast network are not part of the deal and will be spun off into another company.) <more>

    6 Things We Know (And Don't Know) About The Disney-Fox Deal

    With the Walt Disney Company’s announcement Thursday that it had reached a megadeal to buy most of the assets of 21st Century Fox for $52.4 billion (plus another $13.7 billion in assumed debt), Hollywood watchers have been working overtime trying to parse the merger’s overall entertainment-industry impact. Will it yield a Reese’s “Your chocolate’s in my peanut butter” corporate synergy between two behemoth TV-movie-internet companies—or mark the birth of a terrifying new media monopoly? And will the FCC, which under the Trump administration has turned a surprisingly cold shoulder to mergers, put a stop to the whole thing? There are plenty of unanswered questions, but there are few broad areas where certain outcomes seem more likely. Let’s break down what we (think) we know so far: <more>

    The FCC Rolls Back Net Neutrality

    The Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 along party lines to repeal the 2015 decision to have stronger oversight broadband providers.   As the both our economy and our social networks have become more dependent on fast internet, this vote drew quite a bit of interest among the general public.   Defenders of Net Neutrality have suggested that this will stifle innovation and increase costs for all the services we use on the internet.    Opponents point to the 1996 Telecommunications Act among others.   Let's go beyond the headline with these two opposing viewpoints. 

    The Biggest Whopper From The FCC's Net Neutrality Meeting

    IT TOOK LESS than two hours of debate for the Federal Communications Commission to repeal net neutrality protections, a decision that could send ripple effects across the internet for years. Over the objections of the commission's two Democrats, the three Republican members, including Chair Ajit Pai, voted to overturn protections put in place in 2015—but not before fudging a few facts.
    In their remarks, Chairman Pai, Commissioner Brendan Carr, and Commissioner Mike O’Rielly framed their votes as an attempt to restore the internet to a time not so long ago when it was free of heavy-handed government regulation. But that characterization of Thursday’s decision rests on a selective and misleading reading of recent history and how the internet has been regulated.
    Here are some of the most spurious claims we heard from the commissioners: <more>

    Am I The Only Techie Against Net Neutrality?

    If you watch the news, it seems just about everyone is in favor of “Net Neutrality” legislation. Despite being a tech-addicted entrepreneur, I am not. No, I am not a paid shill for the cable industry. I am no fan of Comcast or any other ISP I’ve ever had the "pleasure" of dealing with. I’m skeptical of large corporations generally and dislike the fact that in this debate I appear to be on their side. While I have no problem with net neutrality as a principle or concept, I have serious concerns about Net Neutrality as legislation or public policy. And since a false dichotomy is being perpetuated by the media in regards to this matter, I feel an obligation to put forth a third point of view. In taking this stand, I realize I may be the only techie, if I can aspire to that label, opposed to Net Neutrality and that I open myself to accusations of killing the dreams of young entrepreneurswrecking free speech, and destroying the Internet. Nevertheless, here are three reasons I’m against Net Neutrality legislation. <more>

    Is the Alabama Senate Election a Repudiation of President Trump?

    With all the focus on the Senate race in Alabama that has been in the news for last several weeks (has it only been weeks?) there is plenty of reaction to what this means for President Trump's future and his ability to pass any major legislation through Congress.

    Trump Repudiated in Alabama Senate Election

    Atlantic Sentinel
    Roy Moore’s defeat in Alabama’s special Senate election on Tuesday is a repudiation of Donald Trump and the party he wants to build.
    Never one to accept responsibility, the president was up early this morning tweeting he knew Moore couldn’t win and that’s why he supported his Republican opponent, Luther Strange, in the primary.

    Changing minds

    Reporting at the time was that Trump sympathized with Moore but was forced into endorsing the more mainstream Strange by Republican leaders in Congress.
    He later threw his full support behind Moore, even when three women accused the former judge of sexual assault and others claimed he pursued romantic relations with them when they were teenagers.
    That wasn’t enough for Trump, who has himself been accused of sexual misconduct and sexual assault by numerous women, to change his mind about Moore. <more>

    What Happened in Alabama May Stay in Alabama

    U.S News

    As Alabama goes, so goes ... ah ... just Alabama?
    It's inviting to posit the notion of sweeping impact to Doug Jones's Senate victory in Alabama or, as it will be better known, the defeat of Roy Moore (and Steve Bannon and President Donald Trump). But some, not all, smart folks demur and would have done same even if the poster child of poor candidates had won.
    "This has nothing to do with the rest of the country or the rest of the GOP," argues John Feehery, a Republican consultant in Washington and onetime top aide to GOP chieftains on Capitol Hill.
    "There is nothing more exhilarating than to be shot and missed," Feehery says, alluding to the prospect of a victorious Moore, the man whose wife assured that her family is not anti-Semitic because "one of our attorneys is a Jew."
    Says Feehery, "The GOP escaped a bullet." <more>

    Are we any safer?

    With today's explosion in the NYC Subway system, this will no doubt renew the administration's language about the travel ban.    Here are two views on whether or not the President's Travel ban is actually making us safer.

    With President Trump’s Travel Ban 3.0, is America any Safer?

    Huffington Post, 12/5/2017
    By Kashif N Chaudhry

    Today, the Supreme Court allowed President Trump’s revised travel ban to be fully enforced. This ban restricts visas from eight countries, including six Muslim-majority nations. The premise: ‘National Security.’ But, does such a ban really make Americans safer? Here are five points ALL Americans need to understand.

    1. Religious extremism, not Islam, is the real threat: There is no denying the fact that religious extremists, and terrorist groups like ISIS, pose a grave threat to the United States. These groups pervert religion for ulterior geo-political agendas. Their violent rhetoric - advocating for the killing of homosexuals, ‘blasphemers,’ apostates and anyone who disagrees with their worldview - has no place on our planet. Period.  ....more

    Is the USA safe under Trump?


    No one can ever say we are totally “Safe” but the President intends to increase our security both at the border and through a stronger more robust military and so far has been taking steps to do just that.
    He has also vowed to reduce crime and deporting criminal illegal aliens is one step towards doing that but we’ll have to see if he can really do anything for extremely dangerous inner cities like south Chicago and similar.
    The President was long critical of both Bush and Obama actions in getting us into wars, especially without a clear plan so avoiding stupid wars or fighting wars intelligently (largely by telling the generals what you want to ACCOMPLISH and letting them just get it done) should help.

    Does History Show Tax Cuts Pay for Themselves?

    Much has been written about over the last few weeks (and more in the coming weeks as the House and Senate work out the details) about whether or not the tax cut proposed will pay for itself or add the project $1 Trillion to the national debt.   What can we learn by looking at the history of previous tax cuts?  Here are two articles on the topic:  one on the economics and one on the politics of that question.

    History lesson: Do big tax cuts pay for themselves?

    Washington Post

    During an interview about a proposed “trigger” to stem tax cuts if the budget deficit unexpectedly widened, Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Tex.) made a reference to economic history that caught The Fact Checker’s attention.
    Hensarling, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, dismissed the trigger as a “uniquely bad idea” because it would leave businesses uncertain about their tax rates. Moreover, he predicted that “we will be able to fill any deficit hole with additional revenues,” citing the tax cuts engineered by Calvin Coolidge, John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan. He said that if a deficit widened, it could be handled with spending cuts, but he indicated he was not worried.  ....more

    History Lesson For GOP: An Unpopular Tax Cut May Not Save You In 2018

    Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

    The GOP is in a tax panic. Pressured by donors and worried about the 2018 midterm election, party leaders have convinced themselves that a tax cut is vital to their political survival. The unseemly result? A headlong rush to get something – anything – passed into law.
    Republicans might be right about their need for a tax cut. The tax legislation making its way through Congress is remarkably unpopular. In fact, this tax cut is polling worse than many past tax increases.  But when it comes time to face the voters, Republicans might be better off with an unpopular accomplishment than showing up empty-handed.

    Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel? What's Behind That?

    The news that the Trump administration was recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has been in the headlines for the last 48 hours.   Why is this a big story?   Should you care?   What is motivating this decision?   Here are two viewpoints on the issue.

    ANALYSIS: Four theories behind Trump’s Jerusalem embassy move

    Middle East Eye

    NEW YORK, United States – US President Donald Trump’s expected announcement of plans to move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem has quickly whipped up a furore, with pundits and foreign leaders warning of intifada-style upheaval and the collapse of Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts.
    Which begs the simple question: why announce the move? Trump has spoken of a desire to strike the “ultimate deal” between Israelis and Palestinians – relocating the embassy would likely render Washington unable to play an honest broker in future talks.  ....more

    Ten Reasons for Recognizing Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel

    Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

    Jerusalem has been the official capital of the State of Israel and the center of its government since 1950. Jerusalem is the seat of Israel’s President, Knesset, and Supreme Court, and the site of most government ministries and social and cultural institutions. Jerusalem is the ancient spiritual center of Judaism and is also considered a holy city by the members of other religious faiths. Israel protects the holy sites of all faiths.
    In 1967, Jordan rejected warnings from Israel and opened an aggressive war against Israel by bombarding Jerusalem. In response and in self-defense, Israel captured east Jerusalem, then controlled by Jordan.....more

    What You Should Know About The Estate Tax

    Now that both the House and Senate have passed their Tax plans, it's time to start looking at the details.   One key difference is the estate tax -- the Senate plan keeps it, while the House plan eliminates it.   Here are two thought analysis on the topic.

    Gary Cohn says the estate tax repeal isn’t just about the wealthy. Here’s the truth

    Washington Post

    Gary Cohn, the head of President Trump's National Economic Council, said Thursday that repealing the estate tax was necessary to protect help farm families and small businesses."Are you seriously saying with a straight face that getting rid of the estate tax is about farmers and not about very wealthy families?" CNBC host John Harwood asked in a November 9 interview."What I'm saying is that it benefits farms, it benefits small businesses, it benefits a lot of different people," Cohn replied.  ....more

    In the 'death tax' debate, both sides are unconvincing

    Minneapolis Star Tribune

    The estate tax is an issue on which I’m almost convinced I agree with my progressive friends (who ardently defend the tax) — right up until they start explaining their reasons for thinking it a wise public policy.I then conclude that I must concur with conservatives, who badly want to kill the “death tax.”
    This agreement generally evaporates the moment my conservative friends start explaining why they favor estate tax repeal.The seemingly immortal death tax debate is back in the news, of course, as a relatively minor element of the Republicans’ massive tax overhaul legislation, ....more