Beltway Insider: Trump Tax Overhaul; Obama/Hezbollah; EU MeToo; Philippine Tragedies; Miss America CEO; Christmas

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

President Donald Trump ended his first calendar year in office by signing an historic tax overhaul bill, marking his first legislative victory and jump starting his reelection campaign, in what he calls Making America Great Again.

According to Gallup, President Trump job approval, over the past week, increased by two percentage points to 39% of those polled who approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness as President decreased by two percentage points to 55%.

Trump Signs Historic Tax Bill

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania have left the White House to spend the Christmas Holidays at Mar-a-Lago in West Palm Beach, Florida but not before savoring his first legislative victory of his presidency.

Trump, who ran under the slogan of Making America Great Again, has signed the Tax Bill which, at first glance appears to offer every tax bracket across the board some benefits which would be a substantial building block toward a reelection campaign for the beleaguered president.

The Tax Bill, depending on the source, either the White House or the point by point examination by media reveals some starling differences.

The Real Tax Bill

The Tax Cut and Jobs Act is time sensitive. Oddly or coincidentally the cuts that all are expecting to kick in beginning 2018 Tax Season have an eight year expiration date. The lower taxes for the majority of Americans and small business owners, as well as the major cuts in Corporate Taxes will be the platform for the next two election cycles.

Granted, democrats are still reeling from the 2016 scathing loss and have worked along party lines, with some GOP defects to keep shared American ideals from falling to Trump's vision of America.

Beltway Insider: Trump Taxes; Immigration/ Kate Steinle; Mueller/Flynn Guilty; Germany; North Korea; Argentina; Stanford Rapist; Matt Lauer

The Tax Bill, which has gone through significant changes over the last 22 days, was finally passed in the Republican majority Senate by a narrow 51-48 margin.

The Nuts and Bolts of The Tac Cuts and Jobs Act

"Under President Trump's leadership, Congress passed historic tax cuts and relief for hardworking Americans not seen since President Reagan. The Tax Cuts Act provides $5.5 trillion in tax cuts, of which $3.2 trillion, or nearly 60 percent, goes to families. A typical family of four earning $75,000 will save more than $2,000 in income tax cuts. The Tax Cuts Act nearly doubles the standard deduction. The vast majority of American families will be able to file their taxes on a single page. The Tax Cuts Act will repeal Obamacare's burdensome individual mandate, " a fact sheet, released by White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, stated.

The final version had both concessions and compromises in order to ensure votes from Senator Marco Rubio, (R-FL) and Senator Bob Coker (R-TN).

While the smoke and mirrors middle class protections platform Trump has used to secure his victory and enforce his propaganda, lawmakers who actually have a dedicated commitment to the furtherance of the pollical process past the Trump Era remained cemented on certain tax savings.

Those middle class tax savings that survived after both houses sharpened the axe in preparation include the student loan interest deduction, deduction for excessive medical expenses, which aids more than 8million Alzheimer's patients, and the tax break for graduate students, which is a major victory for the thousands of post graduate students who are working toward Ph.D's and Master's Degrees.

Understanding The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

"Under current law, the highest rate is 39.6 percent for married couples earning over $470,700. The GOP bill would drop that to 37 percent and raise the threshold at which that top rate kicks in, to $500,000 for individuals and $600,000 for married couples. This amounts to a significant tax break for the very wealthy, a departure from repeated claims by Trump and his top officials that the bill would not benefit the rich," reported The Washington Post.

State and Local property tax deduction is now capped at $10,000.

Most Americans will pay less in taxes until 2026 with the Tax bill lowering the tax rate for each income level and nearly doubling the standard deduction. Many Americans will owe nothing and that figure will increase 3.5 percent to 47.5 percent after January 1, 2018.

Again the smoke and mirrors of savings are limited and will expire in 2025. The GOP, who expect President Trump to be reelected opted to make Business cuts permanent and families and single cuts temporary with an expiration date.

"A massive tax cut for corporations: Starting on Jan. 1, 2018, big businesses' tax rate would fall from 35 percent to just 21 percent, the largest one-time rate cut in U.S. history for the nation's largest companies. The House and Senate bills originally had the big-business tax rate falling to 20 percent, but Republicans were not able to make the math work to keep the rate that low and start it right away in the new year, so they compromised by moving the rate to 21 percent," reported The Washington Post.

Americans who fought Obamacare will receive some concession as the mandate, the law which states that all Americans must purchase insurance, will be rescinded in 2019.

For the uber-wealthy, heirs are feeling like popping the corks and celebrating a bit early upon the demise of their benefactors as the cap on tax free inheritance which held at $5.5million has increased under The Tax Cut and Jobs Act to $22million.

After much debate, Mortgage Interest deductions which would have been reduced from the current $1million deduction by half are now capped at $750,000.

The Tax Cuts and Job Acts Bill made no changes to Retirement Accounts.

Former President Obama Hid Massive Hezbollah Drug Cartel

Former President Barack Obama allegedly, in order to hammer out the Nuclear Deal with Iran, turned a blind eye to the massive Hezbollah Drug Cartel that allegedly shipped cocaine into the United States.

It is a well known fact that multiple governments around the world use the lucrative Drug habits of its citizens to fund wars.

Slobodan Milosevic, the late President of Yugoslavia, President of Serbia, and War criminal, who died while in custody and awaiting sentencing at The Hauge, for his participation in War Crimes perpetrated during the War in Kosovo, financed the costly war by expanding his countries drug cartel in Nordic regions.

The Sinaloa Cartel, who is well known, both in fact, fiction and myth, has moved cocaine into the United States for decades and are known to be ruthless, vicious, and territorial. It is doubtful the Sinaloa Cartel would allow Hezbollah to smuggle cocaine into the United States and give up territorial rights.

During the alleged activity Hezbollah was also involved with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and a strong possibility that Hezbollah control midle east drug trafficking. 

"The Obama administration never fought to have two major players in the scheme extradited to the United States to face charges when it had the opportunity, task force members charged. The team sought to bring to justice were Abdallah Safieddine, Hezzbollah's envoy to Tehran, and a shadowy operative nicknamed "Ghost," whom it considered one of the biggest cocaine smugglers in the world. "Hezbollah operates like the Gambino crime family on steroids, and [Safieddine] is its John Gotti," ex-DEA agent Jack Kelly, who created the task force, told Politico. "Whatever Iran needs, Safieddine is in charge of getting it for them," reported the New York Post.

European Union Survivors Speak Up Adding to the Global MeToo Movement

Survivors of decades of sexual harassment and abuse by Members of European Parliament, have been encouraged to come forward after an expose in The Sunday Times detailing a "culture of silence" and retaliation and career assassination for whistleblowers.


More than two dozen women have approached The Sunday Times with accounts of sexual harassment. The first victims came forward after becoming emboldened by the #MeToo social media campaign prompted by the revelations about Harvey Weinstein, the Hollywood producer. One senior staffer allegedly pestered younger female colleagues with demands for sadomasochistic practices.


When his harassment became aggressive, he was reported but his superiors failed to act. A Romanian MEP is alleged to have made forceful sexual advances to a female adviser but, when she rejected him, he became aggressive and publicly accused her of tampering with his legal submissions. The woman reported the case but received no feedback and was even asked to continue working with the MEP, which she ultimately refused to do.


In another case it is said that a 60-year-old adviser to a parliamentary group crawled under a table at an official function to take pictures up women's skirts.


"The tablecloth went all the way to the floor so he remained hidden for a while but then a couple of us realised what he was doing. He just grinned and fled," a woman said.


"When we reported [it] our boss dismissed it as a joke but none of us were amused at having to work with that lecher," The Sunday Times reported.

Zero tolerance is beginning to actually have genuine meaning as the world governing bodies respond to the seriousness and culture of silence that have been the status quo for decades.

The attempts to discredit and blame victims, to silence by harassment, to destroy previous avenues for income, to destroy careers, stalk, defame, circumvent, to deep six sexual assaults and treat the recounting of attacks from victim survivors as insignificant, which are all tactics employed throughout the world, from Hollywood to all points around the world.

Typhon Slams Philippines Killing 200; Leaving 70,000 Homeless

A tropical storm that strengthened into a Typhoon Tembin slammed into the archipelago of islands, with winds between 75mph and gusts of 90mph, causing widespread destruction, death and damage, across the Zamboanga Peninsula.

Christmas Tragedy: Multiple U.S. Citizens Dead in Mexican Tour Bus Crash

Entire villages were wiped out as intense and heavy rains in the mountainous region caused mudslides sending fast moving debris, boulder, and log filled water leaving villagers in Southern Philippines homeless and survivors searching for missing family members.

Roads and bridges and other Infrastructure were totally wiped out leaving those escaping with no way out. Government officials have halted all inter-island ferry service after a ferry carrying citizens heeding evacuation orders sank after high winds, crashing waves capsized the boat. Five passengers died and more than 250 were rescued.

Fast Moving Fire Traps and Kills 37 Christmas Shoppers

The Christmas tragedy was compounded when a fast moving fire swept through the NCCC Mall in the Davao City trapping dozens and killing 37.

No cause is listed for the inferno.

Miss America CEO and Two Others Resign

Three top officers from the Miss America organization including CEO Sam Haskell, President and COO Josh Randel and Chairman Lynn Weidner have all resigned after a series of slut and fat shaming emails surfaced.

Dick Clark Productions, a longtime supporter of the Scholarship Pageant, withdrew its support this week after the emails in which contestants were described in vulgar terms and the former Miss America 2013, Mallory Hagan was a target of the hate campaign.

Executives email frequently regarding Hagen reportedly called her a "blimp" and insinuating she engaged in liberal sexual practices that included dozens of sex partners to which they were the "only four who hadn't slept with her."

"Former Miss Americas, including 87-year-old BeBe Shopp Waring, who was crowned in 1948, and former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson, who was crowned in 1989, signed an open letter Friday. In it, the women called on Haskell, Miss America President Josh Randle, board Chair Lynn Weidner and board member Tammy Haddad to resign," reported the Huffington Post.

Christmas Around the World

With the world in chaos Pope Francis addressed the fiathful in Vatican Square and Catholics everywhere as the world's Christians celebrate the birth of Christ. 

Pope Francis drew analogies between the parents of Christ, Mary and Joseph, and the modern immigrant as each were denied basic human respect. 

"Many other footsteps are hidden in the footsteps of Joseph and Mary. We see the tracks of entire families forced to set out in our own day. We see the tracks of millions of persons who do not choose to go away, but driven from their land, leave behind their dear ones. Even the shepherds who the Bible says were the first to see the child Jesus were "forced to live on the edges of society" and considered dirty, smelly foreigners. Everything about them generated mistrust. They were men and women to be kept at a distance, to be feared," Pope Francis said.

For more information on President Donald Trump:


Haute Tease

  • Jamesy Boy Director, Trevor White, Talks on the Challenges of Making a Coming of Age Street Film

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Trevor White, director of the coming of age street film “Jamesy Boy,” recently took some time from his busy schedule to promote the upcoming January release and discuss some of the finer points of the filmmaking process.

  • Beltway Insider: Trump Stumbles on Foreign Trip; Manchester; G7 Sours; Rome Earth Protests; Kaine Son Arrested

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Donald Trump pushed, shoved, and bullied his way through his inaugural foreign trip setting the tone for his presidency as he met with foreign leaders emphasizing his agenda wouldn't be set by previous agreements or administrations.

  • Breaking News: AirAsia 95% Sure Debris Found is Missing Aircraft

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Small debris fields presumably from AirAsia Flight 8501, which disappeared from radar during severe thunderstorms, have been spotted in the Java Sea some twelve miles from the last known contact with the airliner, authorities and Reuters News Agency has reported.

  • LA Arts: Academy Museum Of Motion Pictures Announces Its Inaugural Exhibitions

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Kerry Brougher, Director of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, announced today Hayao Miyazaki followed by Regeneration: Black Cinema 1900–1970 will be the inaugural exhibitions on view when the Museum opens in late 2019. 

  • Dallas Arts: The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza Names New Chief Philanthropy Officer

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza is pleased to announce that Kimberly Camuel Bryan is joining the Museum's senior leadership team as Chief Philanthropy Officer. where she will oversee all aspects of institutional fundraising initiatives.  

  • Business/Finance: Macy’s CEO Jeff Gennette Speaks with CNBC’s "Squawk on the Street" (Exclusive)

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" team met up with MACY's CEO Jeffrey Gennette, on Black Friday, the traditional start of the holiday shopping on what is widely considered a make or break shopping season for many retailers.


  • Beltway Insider: Syrian’s Assad Challenges Obama; Iranians Elect Moderate Cleric President

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Obama has issued his strongest warning yet to Syrian leader Basher al-Assad as the troubled dictator has gathered military support from Russian President Vladimir Putin as he seeks to defend his country.

  • Money News: Bull Markets Continue; American, Europe, Asian Markets Close Up

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The DOW Jones Industrial Average rallied throughout the week, as did the top ten watched markets with nearly all managing to maintain the Bull Run and with the bear out of sight, earned solid gains across the board.

  • OYOBox Review – Finally A Fashionable Luxury Eye Wear Organizer

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Owning a collection of eyewear, even if you have a favorite pair, like loafers or jeans, creates the need to maintain the various pairs in one location. OYOBox, the ultimate luxury eyewear organizer presents the solution to a problem never addressed.

  • Celebrity Interview: Talking with Armie Hammer on Final Portrait, Geoffrey Rush and Inspiration

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Armie Hammer, who's star power is seriously on the rise, is becoming quite well known and after his award nominated performance in Call Me By Your Name, is their anywhere on the planet where he isn't recognized?

  • Beltway Insider: Trump Asian Agenda;Texas Church Shooting; New York Terror Attack; Wall Street

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Donald Trump began his ten day, five nation, Asian trip this week, stopping in Hawaii before embarking on the most comprehensive Pacific Rim journey undertaken by any Administration in nearly twenty-five years presenting a dedicated, focused agenda. 

  • CURE SPA MALIBU Review - A Blissful Indulgence

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    CURE MED SPA Malibu, a health and wellness center, offering a variety of treatments guaranteed to calm body, mind and soul recently provided an afternoon of treatments at its newest facilities overlooking the incredible Pacific Ocean.

  • Harry Winston Diamonds, Colombian Emeralds, Kashmir Sapphires and Art Deco Jewelry Headline Bonhams Fine Jewelry New York Sale

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Among the many jewels with fascinating provenance being offered to Bonhams clients will be a remarkable collection of jewelry owned by the Olympic gold medalist Katherine Domyan. Leading the sale are two necklaces formerly owned by the swimmer.

  • Blood Brother Review - The Story of Rocky Braat and The Orphans He Loves

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Blood Brother, from Roco Films and Tugg Inc, brings to the screen the story of Rocky Braat, a wandering soul who found life among the abandoned, dispossessed, orphaned AIDS children of Tamil Nadu, India.

  • ICC Recreational Classes: Japanese-American Kitchen Review – Compliments to the Chef (Shefu ni Sanji)

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    International Culinary Center, ICC, located on Broadway and Grand Street in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood is the home to one of the most prestigious culinary programs in the world and occasionally offers recreational classes to home cooks.