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WH Source: Trump SOTU to highlight opioid crisis, illegal immigration & economic growth

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A White House source familiar with President Donald J. Trump’s preparations for his first official State of the Union address Tuesday told Big League Politics the president will speak in a personal style from the heart about American values that unite us with patriotism and greater opportunities.

Trump is looking to be bipartisan redirect Congress towards the future with specific call outs for action in the next year, the source said.

Following the tradition started by President Ronald W. Reagan, Trump will introduce special guests sitting with First Lady Melania Trump. The president invited these guests in order to highlight his commitment to battle opioid addiction and the success of his tax legislation.

The speech is being prepared in five movements, Jobs and the economy, Infrastructure, Immigration, Trade and National Security.

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Deregulation of the economy and getting the government out of the way of business is slated as the cornerstone of the first movement. This is consistent with the meetings the president-elect held at Trump Tower with business leaders from all over the country and all over the economy.

President Donald J. Trump at the White House demonstrating how his administration cut regulations on government construction projects. (Official White House Photo by Stephanie Chasez)

Then, Trump was asking each industry and trade: How is the government stopping you from growing and hiring more people?

Now, Trump is looking to build on his just-signed tax reform bill, The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and his opening salvos against the regulatory state.

The second movement is slated to be infrastructure. Trump is expected to ask Congress for $1 trillion to fund the rebuilding of the country’s roads. bridges and other public buildings and structures critical to transportation and travel.

In his 2009 economic stimulus program, American Recovery Act, President Barack Obama said he would focus on “shovel-ready” projects, but the program was focused on getting as much federal spending into the economy as possible in order to jump-start the economy.

Today, the American Recovery Act is seen as a failure because the additional spending was all new borrowed dollars, which spiked the annual deficit over $1 trillion for the first time,  and there was no unifying goal to what projects were approved, so there was no long-term benefit after the projects were completed and the building jobs went away.

In contrast to Obama’s American Recovery Act, Trump’s infrastructure proposal is being developed to be “fast and right”–with an emphasis on the value of the project, rather than the sugar-high of construction jobs and materials purchased.

Trump’s middle movement is immigration, which is being written to line up with the president’s Framework on Immigration Reform & Border Security released Thursday.

The third movement combines four phrases:

  • Enhanced border security financed by a $25 billion trust fund dedicated to a wall on the Mexican border and other infrastructure improvements;
  • Amnesty for young illegal aliens covered by Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program;
  • Rebalance immigration visas towards members of nuclear-family units and away from extended-family members;
  • End the visa lottery programs and then, redistribute those visa slots to reduce the backlog of nuclear-family visa applications.

The president’s penultimate movement is set right now to focus on trade and comes on the heels of his address Friday to the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland.

Speaking to a room full of billionaires, world leaders and media, Trump reasserted that his administration would put the interests of American business first.

Instead of “free trade,” Trump will repeat his call for “fair and reciprocal trade” like he did at Davos and in his Nov. 10 address to the Asian Pacific Economic Conference at Da Nang, Vietnam.

President Donald J. Trump addressing the Asia-Pacific Economic Conference in Da Nang, Vietnam Nov. 10, 2017. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

“The United States will no longer turn a blind eye to unfair economic practices including massive intellectual property theft, industrial subsidies, and pervasive state-led economic planning,” the president said to his Davos audience. “These and other predatory behaviors are distorting the global markets and harming businesses and workers not just in the U.S.”

Speaking at APEC, the president said: “We lowered or ended tariffs, reduced trade barriers, and allowed foreign goods to flow freely into our country, but while we lowered market barriers, other countries didn’t open their markets to us.”

Trump is expected to wrap up his second address to a joint session of Congress by putting forward his plan to improve America’s national security by rebuilding the military and returning to Reagan’s policy of peace through strength.

The president is also planning to speak specifically about the crisis on the Korean Peninsula and the battle against terrorists.

Republic of Korea (ROK) Tanks with 1st Tank Battalion, 1st Marine Division, head off firing line in formation after Battel Sight Zeroing their Tanks during Korea Marine Exercise Program (KMEP) 17-6 at SuSong Ri Range, Pohang, Republic of Korea, on March 23, 2017. The purpose of KMEP 17-6 is to enhance and improve the interoperability of both U.S. Marine Corps and Republic of Korea Marines at the tactical level to build warfighting capabilities as partners. This includes ground combat element staff planning, mechanized maneuvers, mountain warfare training, bilateral tank operations and live fire ranges. (Marine Corps photo by MCIPAC Combat Camera Cpl. Anthony Morales)

An overriding theme in Trump’s national security movement is expected to be avoiding confusion and speaking with clarity to friends and foes alike.

The State of the Union address is scheduled to run from 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III (D.-Mass.), son of the former congressman, grandson of Robert F. Kennedy and grandnephew of President John F. Kennedy, was selected to deliver the Democratic Party’s official response to Trump’s address.

Rep, Joseph P. Kennedy III (D.-Mass.) toured an Ohio Ford factory in October. He was chosed to deliver the Democratic response after President Donald J. Trump’s Jan. 30, 2018 State of the Union address. (Courtesy of Kennedy’s official Facebook page)

Kennedy is an interesting choice because he is generally known as one of the least politically strident House Democrats and like other members of the Massachusetts delegation, the congressman supported Ohio’s Rep. Timothy Ryan 2016 challenge to Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.).

Neil W. McCabe is a Washington-based political journalist and editor. Before joining Big League Politics, he was the Capitol Hill correspondent for Breitbart News, where he also led Breitbart's political polling operation and wrote up the Breitbart-Gravis polls. McCabe's other positions include the One America News DC Bureau Chief, a senior reporter at Human Events and a staff reporter at The Pilot, Boston's Catholic paper. McCabe also was the editor of The Somerville News, The (North Cambridge, Mass.) Alewife and served as an Army combat historian in Iraq. His 2013 e-book The Unfriendly Skies examined how the American airline industry went from deregulation in the late 1970s to come full circle to the highly-regulated, highly-taxed industry it is today.

 

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2018 Midterms

Democrat Senate Candidate Buys Bizarre Ad in WaPo: ‘Did You Ever Stare at a Picture of a Naked Child?’

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A Democrat candidate for U.S. Senate from Maryland employed a bold advertisement in the Washington Post. 

“Yes, I am a socialist, and you might be one too, listen to your body,” said the ad bought by Jerome M. Segal.

After that, it gets strange. Research analyst Anna Massoglia first posted photos of the ad to her Twitter account:

“Did you ever stare at a picture of a naked child?” the ad begins. “Full frontal? And did it stick in your mind? Did it bring about emotions, ones that might have surprised you? Like that cover of Newsweek with the naked, crying Vietnamese girl, desperately following in a line of desperate Vietnamese, not having a clue what was happening to their country, or why?”

Perhaps the intro is meant for shock value – to capture the attention of the reader. But the ad gets weirder.

“Did you ever watch a video of a three-way, between two men, one white and one black, and a big dog?” it continues. “One a big fellow another kind (sic) slender? And did you feel strange emotions? Does it come readily back to your mind? Like that video of the sheriff’s deputy in Selma, with his German Shepherd, assaulting freedom fighters from SNCC?”

So far, the ad contains references to child pornography and bestiality, and we have officially entered bizarro world.

But perhaps the scariest part is the anti-capitalist propaganda that follows.

The rest of the ad is a rambling, semi-coherent rant about what socialism and capitalism are, and some of the virtues of each.

“Capitalism is not the same as free markets,” Segal’s ad says, before lavishing praise on the quality of Soviet tanks during WWII. (Stalin’s communism killed 60 million, but they had great military equipment!)

“My name is Jerome Segal. I’m a socialist and proud. I’m happy to be part of the LBGTQ&S community, and you should fess up, and be proud as well,” the ad finishes.

According to the FEC documents that Massoglia provided, Segal paid nearly $25,000 for the ad.

Segal will likely lose to incumbent Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD), along with six other Democrat candidates on the primary ballot on June 26.

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Politics

Trump Alpha-Dogged Angela Merkel At G7 With A Starburst

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According to a report from CBS, President Donald J. Trump made quite a spectacle with a Starburst candy at the G7 summit.

“[Trump] stood up, he put his hand in his pocket, his suit jacket pocket, and he took two Starburst candies out, threw them on the table and said to Merkel, ‘Here Angela, don’t say I never give you anything,’” said Ian Bremmer, senior global affairs contributor for CBS.

Bremmer provided little context for the exchange, but context is unnecessary for understanding Trump’s massive power play.

According to Trump, the meeting went well.

“Despite what you have heard from the FAKE NEWS, I had a GREAT meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel,” he said. “Nevertheless, Germany owes…..”

Trump recently took a swipe at the migrant-laden European nation on Twitter.

“The people of Germany are turning against their leadership as migration is rocking the already tenuous Berlin coalition,”  he said. “Crime in Germany is way up. Big mistake made all over Europe in allowing millions of people in who have so strongly and violently changed their culture!”

Meanwhile, Merkel is fighting to save her chancellorship and political career, which have been marred by an “open door” policy resulting in the migration of 1.6 million “refugees” from Africa and the Middle East. The wave of migrants has caused devastating crime and employment issues, as well as a housing crisis.

“We are in a serious situation because the question of the migration crisis evolved into a power question,” German lawmaker Kai Whittaker told the BBC. “It could well be that at the end of next week we have a new situation… Probably a new chancellor.”

Whatever the relationship between the two leaders, there seems to be little question about who is in charge.

 

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2018 Midterms

Sen. Claire McCaskill Husband Invested in Hedge Fund In Caymans

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A Senator running for reelection in Missouri has been hit with allegations that her husband is storing investment money in an offshore bank account in order to evade taxes.

“Joseph Shepard’s investment in Matrix Capital Management has earned him between $230,000 and $2.1 million in income since he first invested in 2013, according to McCaskill’s financial disclosure forms. Such forms only show a range of income,” said a Kansas City Star article.

Shepard is the husband of Democrat Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri.

According to the report, Shepard has invested $1 million in a hedge in the Cayman Islands, a “notorious tax haven.” The capital gains tax in the Caymans is much lower than the income tax rate paid by the ordinary American citizen.

Campaign finance law mandates that candidates for office must declare the income of spouses.

McCaskill co-sponsored the 2009 Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act, but has declined to release her tax returns until later this year. She will not release Shepard’s tax returns. The bill, which was not passed, targeted the Caymans among countries and would have subjected income earned there to be taxed at the same rate as U.S. Corporations.

“Secretive hedge funds seek outsized profits and are open only to the ultra-wealthy, who are considered sophisticated investors and can withstand big losses,” said the report. “These funds do not have to disclose their investors to regulators.”

So far, mum is the word from McCaskill’s office.

“Claire does not make decisions on public policy based on what’s best for her husband; she makes decisions based on what is best for the people of Missouri,” Meira Benstein, a McCaskill campaign spokesperson told the Kansas City Star.

Big League Politics reached out to McCaskill’s office, but they refused to comment.

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