Weekly Updates

What Really Matters: 29 OCT – 05 NOV (Brazile’s New Book, Manafort/Gates, Wilbur Ross, Tax Reform)

Read our centrist recap for the week below. We shine a light on the spin and useless stories from the Left and Right and detail what you should focus on, before people can pull wool over your eyes.

What the Left and Right will focus on:

  • Politico published an excerpt from Donna Brazile’s new book “Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump in the White House” and it has caused quite a ruckus in the reality-show version of American politics.  The gist of the excerpt is that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) needed money, badly, and the Clinton Campaign stepped in to help, setting up an agreement that gave them almost total control of the party’s nomination process. Pundits on the Right, and Bernie’s faithful, are pointing to this excerpt as proof the nomination was rigged in favor of Hillary Clinton, especially with details such as, “The funding arrangement with HFA and the victory fund agreement was not illegal, but it sure looked unethical. If the fight had been fair, one campaign would not have control of the party before the voters had decided which one they wanted to lead. This was not a criminal act, but as I saw it, it compromised the party’s integrity.” Pundits and major players on the Left are going to spend all their organizational power and media sway to defend what’s left of the DNC from this by attempting to deflect it as nonsensical or written for profit. The bottom line: It’s been obvious to anyone watching that the Democratic party is imploding, just as the Republican party is.

What You should focus on:

  • Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is heating up with the release of indictments against Mr. Paul Manafort and Mr. Rick Gates. There are 12-counts in the indictment with some eye-popping ones such as conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, and acting as an unregistered agent of a foreign principal, and then a few less-interesting counts such as false statements or failures to file financial activities. It’s not damning information for the Trump Administration as none of this is a smoking gun for Russia-Trump collusion. However, it’s definitely shocking news and has the chance to turn damning very quickly. We’ll have to wait and see.
  • Leaks being dubbed “The Appleby Documents” show that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross retained investments in a shipping company with ties to a Russian oligarch who’s close to the Putin family and who’s also subject to sanctions from the U.S. Even worse, he didn’t declare these investments when being confirmed for his appointment. This story is likely to develop and escalate as the week continues. The New York Times has a good piece with little spin to catch you up on the matter.
  • Last but not least, the GOP released their proposal for Tax Reform this week. There’re some major changes such as lowering the corporate tax rate from 35% to 20%, allowing a one time tax rate of 12% on the repatriation of cash, and a reduction of the income tax brackets from seven to four. Some of the most controversial changes are items like the estate tax relief limit being raised to 11.2 million dollars from 5.49 million dollars and the removal of some State and Local Tax deductions, also known as SALT deductions. 
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