Saturday, December 16, 2017

Republicans appear to lock down key Senate votes for tax overhaul bill
Herb Jackson and Deirdre Shesgreen, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON — A sweeping overhaul of the tax code gained significant momentum on Friday as GOP negotiators in the House and Senate signed off on a final agreement that sweetened a key tax credit and wavering GOP senators announced their support.

Raising the child tax credit won over at least one GOP holdout, Sen. Marco Rubio, who said on Friday he would be a yes after threatening to scuttle the deal only 24 hours earlier.

And in a major reversal, Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, said Friday he would support the bill, despite voting against a similar bill earlier this month because of concerns it would add to the national debt.

“This bill is far from perfect, and left to my own accord, we would have reached bipartisan consensus on legislation that avoided any chance of adding to the deficit,” Corker said in a statement Friday. He said he decided to support the bill now because the country is “better off with it” than without it.

Those two new "yes" votes put the bill on solid ground for final passage next week. Supporters of the bill exuded confidence on Friday that they would have the votes when the final tallies are called. But there are at least a few wildcards left in the GOP deck: along with several senators who remain undecided on the bill, two have missed votes this week because of medical issues.

Document: Deregulation is Part of Trump's National Security Strategy
In a forthcoming National Security Strategy document from the Trump administration, officials will lay out the case that deregulation of businesses domestically largely boosts the country's ability to defend against foreign threats.

"Today, that economic system is under stress. It continues to serve our interests, but it must be reformed to help workers prosper, protect innovation, and reflect the principles upon which that system was founded. American prosperity is also threatened by an economic competition playing out in a broader strategic context.

The United States helped to expand the liberal economic trading system to countries that did not share our values in the hopes that these states would liberalize their economic and political practices, and provide commensurate benefits to the United States.  Experience now suggests that these countries distorted and undermined key economic institutions without prompting significant reform of their economies or politics," excerpts of the document obtained by Townhall state. "America’s business climate and legal and regulatory systems encourage risk taking. Americans have the confidence to try, learn from failures, and try again. Our institutions and our culture combine to create a thriving ecosystem for innovation."

Oklahoma: Muslim who beheaded coworker gets death penalty
By Robert Spencer / Jihad Watch

This is just what Alton Nolen wanted (which is not to say that it should not be done). He “justified his actions based on his reading of the Quran.” The Qur’an promises Paradise to those who “kill and are killed” for Allah (9:111). So now if Nolen is killed, he is assured of his place […]
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