AP FACT CHECK: Smoke and mirrors in Trump tax plan CALVIN WOODWARD and JOSH BOAK •WASHINGTON (AP) — Nothing brings out smoke and mirrors like a tax overhaul plan, especially one as incomplete as President Donald Trump’s.A look at some of the claims emerging from the debate sparked by the plan released Wednesday:Related SearchesSmoke And MirrorsTrump Tax CutsDonald Trump Tax PlanTrump Tax Plan DetailsTrumps Tax Plan 2017 TRUMP: „I think there’s very little benefit for people of wealth” — to reporters Wednesday.THE FACTS: Actually there’s a clear and substantial benefit for people of super wealth: the proposal to eliminate the estate tax. Under current law, the first $11 million of an estate is exempt for a married couple, meaning only the wealthiest Americans pay it. Those super-rich would be off the hook. Also, business owners who report business income on their individual returns — as most do — would see their top tax rate drop to 25 percent from 39.6 percent.Some of Trump’s claim rests with the administration’s own unique accounting. The administration has said it isn’t including the estate tax when making calculations about which income groups would benefit from the plan. Nor is it clear how Trump officials are weighing the benefits of the lower corporate taxes — which would primarily help investors.More generally, the plan has so many holes — left for Congress to fill in — that a full picture of who gains the most cannot be drawn at the outset. The plan could well benefit both the rich and the middle class, at the cost of national debt, but that remains to be seen._TRUMP: As Indiana governor, Mike Pence „signed the largest income tax cut in the state’s history” — Indiana speech introducing the plan.THE FACTS: True, but it wasn’t much of a cut.The measure the vice president signed into law as Indiana governor in 2013 took effect in stages, gradually lowering the state’s income tax rate to 3.23 percent this year from 3.4 percent.That amounts to about $85 in savings a year for someone making $50,000 in taxable income, according to data from Purdue University economist Larry DeBoer, who has studied Indiana tax policy for about 30 years.The only other income tax cut in state history was a 0.1 percentage point reduction in the 1970s, according to DeBoer’s data. That rate was raised during the 1980s to 3.4 percent — where it remained until Pence won the new cuts.Overall, Pence’s income tax cut is far from the biggest tax cut in Indiana history. Statewide caps on property taxes enacted under Pence’s predecessor as governor, Mitch Daniels, cut much more._SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, Senate Democratic leader: „Each of those proposals would result in a massive windfall for the wealthiest Americans and provide almost no relief to middle-class taxpayers who need it the most” — Senate remarks.THE FACTS: „Each” is a stretch, given the scarcity of detail. He’s referring to the proposed elimination of the estate tax, rate cuts on the top tier and on business income reported on personal returns, and an increase in the lowest income tax rate.But he’s playing without all the cards, just as Trump does when making the opposite argument that the rich won’t benefit. The income levels at which the new tax rates would apply are not specified and there are no credible distribution tables showing how various income groups would fare.Middle-income people could benefit substantially from lower tax rates and a near doubling of the standard deduction to $12,000 for individuals and $24,000 for families. But they might not, because they would lose many deductions. It depends in large measure on how the tax tables are drawn._TRUMP on the estate tax: „The farmers in particular are affected” — Indiana speech.THE FACTS: That assertion appears to be at odds with statistics. Only 1.7 percent of family-farm estates were required to file an estate-tax return in 2016 and only 0.4 percent ended up owing the tax, according to an analysis by the Agriculture Department. Overall, the very rich are affected in particular._Associated Press writer Brian Slodysko in Indianapolis contributed to this report.EDITOR’S NOTE _ A look at the veracity of claims by political figures
Poll: Majority says Trump not ‘fit to serve as president’The Hill 30K evacuated from Ukraine blastsA majority of Americans, including most independent voters, says President Trump is unfit for office, according to a new poll.Survey results released Wednesday by Quinnipiac University show that just over half of American voters say that Trump is „not fit” for the office of the presidency. That number includes 57 percent of independents and 94 percent of Democrats.A wide majority of Republicans surveyed, 84 percent, said that Trump is fit for office.Those numbers are divided evenly among men, 49 percent to 49 percent, while six in ten women say Trump is unfit for the presidency.The divisions over Trump’s job performance on race relations are stark in the poll. Ninety-four percent of African Americans surveyed disapproved of Trump’s handling of race relations as president, compared to 66 percent of Hispanics who said the same.White voters disapprove by a slimmer margin, 55 percent disapproval compared to 39 percent approval.Trump faced heavy criticism last month for his response to violence in Charlottesville, Va., that left one dead and dozens injured. In his response to the attack, Trump blamed „many sides” for the violence that occurred at the „Unite the Right” rally.Six in ten Americans say Trump is doing more to divide the country than bring it together. Just over half, 51 percent, said they are „embarrassed” by Trump’s presidency.Quinnipiac University polled 1,412 voters nationwide between September 21 – 26. The poll carries a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points.
Trump insists Facebook was actually against him all along Michael Walsh Reporter • Yahoo News photo illustration; photos: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images, Ralph Orlowski/Reuters, AP, FacebookAs congressional investigators pursue evidence that Russia used Facebook ads and fake user content to influence last year’s election, President Trump struck back Wednesday morning with a tweet asserting — on no apparent evidence — that the social media company was part of a media cabal against him.He accompanied the charge with his familiar claim that “the people were pro-Trump,” overlooking the fact that millions more Americans voted for his opponent, and repeated his boast about his accomplishments in office, on the day after his signature campaign promise to repeal Obamacare died, again, in the Senate.Related SearchesTrump Against NflRepublicans Against TrumpDonald Trump FacebookPresident Trump Comments Trump’s reference to the New York Times having “apologized” for its coverage presumably alludes to a letter from the publisher and executive editor to their readers in the aftermath of Trump’s upset over Clinton last November. In the Nov. 13 letter, they questioned whether Trump’s “sheer unconventionality” led them — and other media outlets — to underestimate his support among American voters. They also expressed a desire to “rededicate” their newsroom to the paper’s fundamental mission: “To report America and the world honestly, without fear or favor, striving always to understand and reflect all political perspectives and life experiences in the stories that we bring to you.” The right-wing blogosphere and Trump chose to interpret this as a tacit admission of bias.Facebook does not run editorials or commission its own articles, although its proprietary algorithms play a role in determining what content users will see. A former Facebook employee claimed last year that the designation of certain topics as “trending” was manipulated to downplay conservative opinion, but that allegation has not been substantiated.Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO and co-founder of Facebook, responded Wednesday evening to Trump’s accusation with a lengthy Facebook post, writing that he wants the social media network to be a platform for all ideas where everyone has a voice.“Trump says Facebook is against him. Liberals say we helped Trump. Both sides are upset about ideas and content they don’t like. That’s what running a platform for all ideas looks like,” he wrote.According to Zuckerberg, Facebook played a major role in last year’s election, but it was resoundingly positive: giving a voice to more people, providing candidates a way to communicate directly with their followers and running “get out the vote” efforts.“I made a comment that I thought the idea misinformation on Facebook changed the outcome of the election was a crazy idea. Calling that crazy was dismissive and I regret it,” Zuckerberg said. “This is too important an issue to be dismissive. But the data we have has always shown that our broader impact — from giving people a voice to enabling candidates to communicate directly to helping millions of people vote — played a far bigger role in this election.”Trump has tweeted many times, most recently last week, that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible collusion between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign is a “hoax” and a “witch hunt.”Special counsel and former FBI Director Robert Mueller on June 21, after briefing members of the Senate Judiciary Committee on the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. (Photo: Michael Reynolds/EPA/REX/Shutterstock)The U.S. intelligence community says Moscow launched a multilayered campaign of deception and propaganda to disrupt American democracy and tilt last year’s election in Trump’s favor.“The Russia hoax continues, now it’s ads on Facebook. What about the totally biased and dishonest Media coverage in favor of Crooked Hillary?” Trump wrote on Twitter on Sept. 22.“The greatest influence over our election was the Fake News Media ‘screaming’ for Crooked Hillary Clinton,” he continued. “Next, she was a bad candidate!”Much like Trump’s successful appropriation of the phrase “fake news,” the accusation that some form of conspiracy transformed Facebook into a hub of anti-Trump propaganda reverses what insiders say actually happened.Facebook recently admitted that it had sold $100,000 worth of political ads to hundreds of fake accounts with connections to a notorious Russian “troll farm” in St. Petersburg between June 2015 and May 2017. These ads generally praised Trump while deriding his opponent, Democrat Hillary Clinton. It’s illegal for foreign interests to purchase political ads in the U.S.Facebook has already turned over more than 3,000 “secretly sponsored” ads to Mueller. But the social media giant has refused to release them publicly — citing internal policies to protect the privacy of users.“When we recently uncovered this activity, we provided that information to the special counsel. We also briefed Congress — and this morning I directed our team to provide the ads we’ve found to Congress as well,” Zuckerberg said.Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at his company’s annual F8 developer conference in San Jose, Calif., on April 18. (Photo: Noah Berger/AP)“As a general rule, we are limited in what we can discuss publicly about law enforcement investigations, so we may not always be able to share our findings publicly. But we support Congress in deciding how to best use this information to inform the public, and we expect the government to publish its findings when their investigation is complete.”Back in January 2016, however, Trump had a much warmer view of the platform, tweeting about how he completely dominated Facebook conversations.Facebook did not respond to a request for comment from Yahoo News.
The FBI has about 1,000 open domestic terrorism investigations — approximately the same number as more traditional jihadi terrorist cases — the bureau’s new director said Wednesday, as he sought to assure Congress that his agents take the domestic threat seriously.After last month’s clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia, Democrats said they believe the Trump administration is too focused on radical Islam and isn’t paying enough attention to white supremacists and anti-government militants here at home.Several Democrats at a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on threats to the country said they wanted different priorities. They said the white nationalists and anti-government groups pose even bigger dangers.Sen. Claire McCaskill, Missouri Democrat, said there have been nearly three times as many domestic terrorism incidents in the years since Sept. 11, 2001, as there have been foreign-inspired jihadi incidents. She said the combined death tolls are similar for both categories — 106 for domestic and 119 for Islamic extremists.“I don’t think Americans understand the level of threat we have in this country from white supremacists,” said Ms. McCaskill, the ranking Democrat on the committee.Sen. Kamala D. Harris, California Democrat, demanded that the committee open an investigation into the dangers
The mysterious life of Kim Jong Un’s wife, Ri Sol-ju, who probably has 3 children and frequently disappears from the public eye Business Insider Slide 1 of 15: <p> Few details are known about Ri Sol-ju, the woman who in 2012 was identified as the wife of North Korean dictator <a href=”http://www.businessinsider.com/kim-jong-un-life-2016-9?utm_source=msn.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=msn-slideshow&utm_campaign=bodyurl”>Kim Jong Un</a>.</p><p> Ri is thought to be 28 now and a mother to three children, according to South Korean intelligence reports. The Hermit Kingdom’s secretive government, however, has not confirmed that information.</p><p> Ri doesn’t appear in public very often. She’s usually seen when Kim celebrates missile test launches, and is always photographed smiling politely, wearing clean-cut, pastel-colored dresses.</p><p> Ri was reportedly born into an elite family – her father was a professor and her mother a doctor – but little else is known about her life or how she ultimately became the wife of the world’s most notorious living dictator.</p><strong> Here’s everything we know about Ri Sol-ju:</strong>1/15 SLIDES © KCNA via ReutersFew details are known about Ri Sol-ju, the woman who in 2012 was identified as the wife of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.Ri is thought to be 28 now and a mother to three children, according to South Korean intelligence reports. The Hermit Kingdom’s secretive government, however, has not confirmed that information.Ri doesn’t appear in public very often. She’s usually seen when Kim celebrates missile test launches, and is always photographed smiling politely, wearing clean-cut, pastel-colored dresses.Ri was reportedly born into an elite family – her father was a professor and her mother a doctor – but little else is known about her life or how she ultimately became the wife of the world’s most notorious living dictator.Here’s everything we know about Ri Sol-ju:
Get a Load of the U.S. Navy’s Newest Nuclear SubmarineJOINING THE USS TEXASThe USS Washington will be joining earlier-block vessels of the Virginia-class like the USS Texas.
The USS Washington will be joining earlier-block vessels of the Virginia-class like the USS Texas.Get a Load of the U.S. Navy’s Newest Nuclear SubmarineLOOK FROM ABOVE
The USS Washington will look a lot like the USS North Dakota, as we see here from above. The white markers you see from this angle indicate the vessel’s emergency hatches.The North Dakota was commissioned on October 25, 2014.Get a Load of the U.S. Navy’s Newest Nuclear Submarine
Ray Mabus praised the ship builders of the USS Washington calling it a “technological marvel.” A redesigned bow, two Virginia Payload Tubes, and many other features means improved stealth and surveillance for this sub.
The USS Washington will be joining earlier-block vessels of the Virginia-class like the USS Texas.
USS Texas was christened on July 31, 2004 by FLOTUS Laura Bush.
The Texas was commissioned on September 9, 2006, and built at the same Newport News Shipbuilding facility as the Washington.