Headlines – Monday, March 27th

Sessions takes aim at ‘dangerous’ sanctuary cities, warns on funding

In the Trump administration’s most pointed warning yet, Sessions said federal law allows withholding of federal funding to sanctuary cities, and signaled that such measures will soon be taken.

. . .

Immediately after Sessions spoke, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, a staunch critic of Trump, said he will fight any efforts to defund sanctuary communities in the Empire State.

“My office will continue to ensure local governments have the tools they need to legally protect their immigrant communities – and we won’t stop fighting to beat back President Trump’s un-American immigration policies,” Schneiderman said in a statement.

Our take: While there may not be a legal way to force state and local governments to enforce federal immigration laws, there is a financial way.  If the president backs down on this, he will diminish his chances of passing any significant reform during his term.

Read the rest of the story at Fox News

Tax reform could be a back door for another Republican Obamacare repeal attempt

Tax reform could also target the ACA’s unpopular individual mandate, which requires Americans to obtain health coverage or pay a tax penalty.

. . .

Republicans might try to replace the individual mandate with a “continuous coverage” requirement, said Height Securities’ Parmentier and Miller.

The requirement, which is outlined in AHCA, penalizes those who go at least two months without health insurance by making their health coverage 30% more expensive for the first year.

Our take: A ‘continuous coverage requirement’ is the ‘individual mandate’ under a different name with slightly different rules.  True repeal will allow individuals to decide whether they want coverage, what type of coverage they feel they need, and where, when, and how to get coverage – including shopping across state lines for the best plan for their needs.  The AHCA and this new plan is not going to help anything.

Read more at Marketwatch.com

 

Dealt a Defeat, Republicans Set Their Sights on Major Tax Cuts

Eliminating the $1 trillion of Affordable Care Act taxes and the federal spending associated with that law would have made this easier. Because they failed, Republicans will struggle to reach their goal of cutting corporate tax rates without piling on debt. Speaker Paul D. Ryan acknowledged on Friday, “This does make tax reform more difficult.”

In a rare shift, Representative Mark Meadows of North Carolina, whose House Freedom Caucus effectively torpedoed the health legislation, said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” that he would not protest if tax cuts were not offset by new spending cuts or new streams of revenue, such as an import tax.

Our take: It appears the GOP is simply desperate for a win, rather than planning the tax cuts for the true benefit of the people they govern and the country overall.  How much they give up and give into democrats and progressives remains to be seen.

Read the full article at The New York Times

 

Facebook Wants to Help You Be a Better Citizen: The social network is getting more serious about the role it plays in your political life

Millions of us turn to Facebook to talk politics. Now the social network wants to get us more politically active in the real world.

Facebook has rolled out a nonpartisan civic engagement service in the U.S. called Town Hall. It identifies your elected officials—even local ones—sends reminders to vote and goads you to pick up the phone.

Our take: Let’s be honest, Facebook wants to know which way you vote and you know they’ll monetize the information.  If you’re using Facebook to get your political information or connect with your representatives, you’re doing it wrong.

Read the article at The Wall Street Journal

Green groups promise guerrilla warfare tactics to stop Keystone pipeline

Environmental activists vowed over the weekend to fight the Keystone XL oil pipeline to the bitter end, insisting the Trump administration’s approval of the long-delayed project will not be the final word.

Powerful green groups are launching a two-pronged strategy to block the pipeline in the streets and in the courts. First, they intend to use a state review process in Nebraska — where Keystone still does not have a legal route, despite federal approval of the project — to delay any movement forward.

. . .

The second piece of their plan centers on the kind of guerrilla warfare tactics seen throughout last year during the fight over the Dakota Access pipeline.

Our take: It’s time to prosecute SJWs who impede legal business enterprises.

To read the full story go to The Washington Times

Amazon Delays Opening of Cashierless Store to Work Out Kinks

The store in Amazon’s hometown of Seattle uses cameras, sensors and algorithms to watch customers and track what they pick up, according to the people familiar with the matter. But Amazon has run into problems tracking more than about 20 people in the store at one time, as well as the difficulty of keeping tabs on an item if it has been moved from its specific spot on the shelf, according to the people familiar with the matter.

For now, the technology functions flawlessly only if there are a small number of customers present, or when their movements are slow, the people familiar with the matter said. The store will continue to need employees to help ensure the technology is accurately tracking purchases for the near future.

Our take: This is happening.  While driverless cars may still be decades away, Amazon will soon modernize the traditional brick & mortar store, if people can be patient with them during the launch.

Read the rest of the story at The Wall Street Journal

 

 

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