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Tribes still getting better and better

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PUSHBISCUIT WISHES YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR

Another year of life, Tribes!
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  • Asylum ban may further strain immigrant detention facilities

    Asylum ban may further strain immigrant detention facilitiesA new policy to deny asylum to anyone who shows up on the Mexican border after traveling through another country threatens to exacerbate overcrowding at severely strained U.S. immigration detention centers and makeshift holding areas. Photos and video of Vice President Mike Pence's visit Friday to McAllen, Texas, showing men crammed behind chain-link fences offered the latest glimpse into squalid conditions at Customs and Border Protection facilities. The Border Patrol housed 900 people in an area with capacity for 125 in El Paso, Texas, according to a Department of Homeland Security's internal watchdog report on an unannounced visit in May. Inspectors saw detainees standing on toilets to gain breathing space.


  • 'You had the Nobel Prize?' Trump learns of Yazidi activist Murad

    'You had the Nobel Prize?' Trump learns of Yazidi activist MuradUS President Donald Trump on Wednesday appeared unfamiliar with the work and cause of Nobel laureate Nadia Murad as she pleaded with him to help the Yazidis of Iraq. Murad, one of thousands of women and girls from the ancient faith abducted by the Islamic State group as they overran swathes of Iraq in 2014, joined a group of survivors of religious persecution who met Trump in the Oval Office on the sidelines of a major meeting at the State Department. After Murad explained how her mother and six brothers were killed and that 3,000 Yazidis remained missing, Trump said, "And you had the Nobel Prize?


  • Jon Stewart Eviscerates Rand Paul for Blocking 9/11 Victim Funding: ‘It’s an Abomination’

    Jon Stewart Eviscerates Rand Paul for Blocking 9/11 Victim Funding: ‘It’s an Abomination’One month ago, former Daily Show host Jon Stewart went on Fox News to shame Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for failing to protect 9/11 first responders. Wednesday afternoon, he was back on that network to give his fellow Republican senator from Kentucky a piece of his mind. In an interview with Bret Baier, Stewart immediately took aim at Rand Paul who, along with Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), blocked a Senate bill that would extend the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, making the case that it should be offset by other spending cuts.  Responding directly to Paul, Stewart called his objection “absolutely outrageous,” adding, “Pardon me if I’m not impressed in any way by Rand Paul’s fiscal responsibility virtue signaling.” Jon Stewart Fires Back at Mitch McConnell on ‘Colbert’: Stop ‘Jacking Around’ 9/11 First RespondersStewart went on to condemn Paul for supporting President Trump’s $1.5 trillion tax cut that “added hundreds of billions of dollars to our deficit” and now trying to “balance the budget on the backs of the 9/11 first responder community.” “Bret, this is about what kind of society we have,” a clearly furious Stewart continued. “At some point, we have to stand up for the people who have always stood up for us, and at this moment in time maybe cannot stand up for themselves due to their illnesses and their injuries. And what Rand Paul did today on the floor of the Senate was outrageous.” “He is a guy who put us in hundreds of billions of dollars in debt,” he said of Paul. “And now he’s going to tell us that a billion dollars a year over 10 years is just too much for us to handle? You know, there are some things that they have no trouble putting on the credit card, but somehow when it comes to the 9/11 first responder community—the cops, the firefighters, the construction workers, the volunteers, the survivors—all of a sudden we’ve got to go through this.” Appearing next to Stewart was 9/11 first responder and activist John Feal, who thanked the host and Fox News as a whole for being so “generous” with their time on this issue before calling Senators Paul and Lee “bottom-feeders” who “lack humanity” and “lack leadership.”Stewart said survivors like Feal and others shouldn’t have to “drag themselves back to Washington, put their hats in their hands and beg for something that this country should have done 14 years ago,” adding, “It’s an abomination.” Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.


  • House Vote to Repeal Obamacare Tax Shows Health Care Tension

    House Vote to Repeal Obamacare Tax Shows Health Care Tension(Bloomberg) -- The House voted overwhelmingly to repeal a tax Wednesday intended to fund the Affordable Care Act, preserving tax breaks for employer-sponsored insurance plans favored by large corporations.In a reversal of the usual partisan roles, Democrats rather than Republicans led the charge to kill a key part of Obamacare.The bill to repeal the levy commonly known as the “Cadillac tax” passed 419-6 with bipartisan support. The 40% excise tax on the most generous and expensive employer health-insurance plans was included in Obamacare as a measure that economists said would help curb health costs.Congress kept delaying its implementation so the tax has never actually been collected. Had it gone into effect, it would have hit about one in five employers that offer health benefits to their workers, according to estimates from the Kaiser Family Foundation.The vote to repeal the tax highlights the conflicting forces pulling at Democrats when campaigning versus legislating.Several of the party’s presidential candidates led by Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren support replacing nearly all private insurance with a government-run system financed by tax increases. Former Vice President Joe Biden, the front-runner in the race, has a less sweeping plan to bolster Obamacare, but it still would offer a public health insurance option funded by tax hikes on the wealthy.But in Congress, Democrats and Republicans are facing pressure from labor unions and large companies to move in the opposite direction by keeping tax advantages for employer-sponsored plans. Supporters of repealing the tax say keeping it in place would force employers to offer less generous health insurance to their workers.Employers can reap large tax savings by compensating their employees in the form of more extensive health insurance, rather than wages, which are subject to payroll taxes. Employer-paid premiums are exempt from federal income and payroll taxes, and the premiums employees pay are also often excluded from taxable income.Changing Minds“I’ve been a supporter of the Cadillac tax because I thought it would” lower health care costs, said Representative Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the No. 2 Democrat in the House. “But I’ve read some additional material on it and it’s obviously overwhelmingly thought this will not have the effect in terms of raising money or controlling cost that I thought it would have.”The dissonance among Democrats about whether to expand or shrink employer-sponsored health coverage makes them look like “gymnasts,” said Representative Mike Kelly, a Pennsylvania Republican.“Where are you on this stuff?” he said. “Wait a minute, you’re all advocating that there be no such thing as employer-sponsored coverage.”The repeated delays in imposing the Cadillac tax delays mean that Congress was never able to test whether it would curb the explosion of health care spending, which has risen an average 4.2% every quarter between 2010 and 2018, according to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation.The repeal also would mean that the Treasury Department won’t collect the $201 billion the Joint Committee on Taxation estimated it would raise over a decade.Obamacare TaxesObamacare included several other tax increases, including a 3.8% tax on investment income and a 0.9% levy on wages for top-earners. The portion of the law that was supposed to be financed through the Cadillac tax instead would be paid for through deficit spending, unless lawmakers propose a last-minute tax increase to offset the cost.Democrats have generally opposed measures to chip away at President Barack Obama’s signature legislative achievement, but the Cadillac tax has been unpopular since it became part of the code.The measure to repeal it, H.R. 748, was passed under a fast-track procedure requiring two-thirds support among House members.Yet popularity doesn’t necessarily mean good policy, said Marc Goldwein, senior vice president at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. Politicians don’t like the tax on health benefits, but nearly every economist thinks the Cadillac tax or a similar measure is necessary to help slow the rise in health-care costs and curb overuse of health services, he added.“Just because it’s bipartisan doesn’t mean it’s good,” he said.Not all Democrats are on board with eliminating the tax. Representative Ron Kind, a Wisconsin Democrat, said he opposes the repeal because the cost isn’t offset and there wasn’t any discussion about how scuttling the tax would affect the Affordable Care Act overall.“I think we are lapsing into some very bad habits in the majority,” he said. “We need to start instilling some fiscal discipline in this place and making some tough decisions.”Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, hasn’t committed to addressing the issue in his chamber. Because the repeal effort is led by Democrats, it sets up a path for McConnell to use it as a vehicle to attach Republican tax priorities, such as correcting errors in the 2017 tax law or extending several expired tax breaks that benefit the biodiesel and energy industries.“We’ve kicked the can down the road for so long on this one that the assumption is that it’s never going to go into effect,” said Representative Dan Kildee, a Michigan Democrat. “There’s a certain inevitability to this one getting repealed.”\--With assistance from Emily Wilkins.To contact the reporter on this story: Laura Davison in Washington at ldavison4@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Joe Sobczyk at jsobczyk@bloomberg.net, Laurie AsséoFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


  • Here’s the Lineup for the Second Democratic Presidential Debate

    Here’s the Lineup for the Second Democratic Presidential Debate(Bloomberg) -- The Democratic National Committee and CNN unveiled the list of candidates who will take part in the second presidential primary debates of the 2020 election.The debates will take place in Detroit on July 30 and 31 with 10 candidates on each stage. The group participating each night will be selected at random in a live draw on CNN on Thursday. Each night’s slate will be designed to feature a mix of high-polling and low-polling contenders.Below are the candidates who have qualified based on the DNC rules.Joe Biden, former vice presidentCory Booker, U.S. senator from New JerseyPete Buttigieg, South Bend, Indiana, mayorJulian Castro, former secretary of Housing and Urban DevelopmentTulsi Gabbard, U.S. congresswoman from HawaiiKirsten Gillibrand, U.S. senator from New YorkKamala Harris, U.S. senator from CaliforniaJay Inslee, Washington governorAmy Klobuchar, U.S. senator from MinnesotaBeto O’Rourke, former U.S. congressman from TexasBernie Sanders, U.S. senator from VermontElizabeth Warren, U.S. senator from MassachusettsMarianne Williamson, spiritual healerAndrew Yang, entrepreneurMichael Bennet, U.S. senator from ColoradoTim Ryan, U.S. congressman from OhioJohn Hickenlooper, former Colorado governorBill de Blasio, New York City mayorJohn Delaney, former U.S. congressman from MarylandSteve Bullock: Montana governorTo qualify, the DNC required a threshold of at least 1% support in major polls, or 65,000 individual donations from at least 20 states. If more than 20 candidates qualified under at least one criteria, the DNC would decide who to cut.The candidates who won’t make the second debate are Seth Moulton, congressman from Massachusetts and Wayne Messam, mayor of Miramar, Florida. Billionaire activist Tom Steyer and former Pennsylvania Representative Joe Sestak, who recently joined the race, didn’t qualify because they haven’t been included in polls.The contenders have been grouped into three tiers based on polling to ensure that each stage features a mix of top-scoring and lower-scoring candidates. Contenders in each group will be divided evenly over the two nights. The top tier includes Biden, Warren, Sanders and Harris. In the last debate, Warren was the only top-polling candidate on the first night.(Updates with selection procedure in final paragraph)To contact the reporter on this story: Max Berley in Washington at mberley@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Joe Sobczyk at jsobczyk@bloomberg.net, Wendy Benjaminson, Max BerleyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


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