Kim Jong Un Fears That G.O.P. Tax Bill Makes His Plan to Destroy the U.S. Redundant | The New Yorker


Kim Jong Un is concerned that his long-standing plan to destroy the United States has been made totally irrelevant by the Republican tax bill moving through the Senate, a source close to the North Korean dictator said on Friday.

The source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that Kim fears that his scheme to turn the United States into an uninhabitable hellhole has been to a large extent upstaged by a similar proposal from congressional Republicans.

Source: Kim Jong Un Fears That G.O.P. Tax Bill Makes His Plan to Destroy the U.S. Redundant | The New Yorker

Trump’s Red Line Is Holding Up Tax Cuts | The New York Times


Republicans suddenly have a fiscal headache in their tax bill. They can thank President Trump for it.

The cost of the Senate’s bill came in at $1 trillion over 10 years, after factoring in economic growth, according to an analysis released on Thursday by the Joint Committee on Taxation. That has alarmed Senator Bob Corker, Republican of Tennessee, an influential lawmaker who has long warned against bloating the federal deficit.

He is demanding that lawmakers come up with hundreds of billions of dollars to bring down that cost, most likely through future tax increases.

Source: Trump’s Red Line Is Holding Up Tax Cuts – The New York Times

Congress’ deficit hawks seem to have gone missing in action | TheHill


One has to regret that at the time that the country most needs them, Congress’ deficit hawks would seem to be missing in action. Not only does this risk putting the country’s public debt on the most dangerous of trajectories, it also heightens the risk both of a hard economic landing and of a widening in the country’s trade deficit.

If the deficit is not reduced in the good times, the country’s public debt is bound to remain on an ever increasing path. That in turn would put at risk our children and our grandchildren’s future economic prosperity.

Source: Congress’ deficit hawks seem to have gone missing in action | TheHill

McConnell works to salvage tax bill | TheHill


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has his work cut out for him to save the Senate tax bill, which stalled Thursday evening after three GOP rebels threatened to effectively kill it.

After weeks of careful negotiations, Senate Republicans are locked in a huge behind-the-scenes fight over what the tax bill should look like.

Source: McConnell works to salvage tax bill | TheHill

Kamala Harris Navigates the 2020 Presidential Landscape | US News


The trio of other front-runners – Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and former Vice President Joe Biden – are no surprise given their well-established national followings.

It’s the 53-year-old Harris who has rocketed up the chain of fresh possibilities this year, as she’s been feted by elite donors, fawned over by the Democratic establishment and elevated by a smitten national press corps.

As the cultural and ideological antidote to the current president, her ascension was almost inevitable. But it’s also been in motion for years.

Source: Kamala Harris Navigates the 2020 Presidential Landscape | The Report | US News

Tax bills must be stopped before they do major damage to poor


The proposed tax plan would also generate enormous income gains for very high-income families, and much less for those in the middle class at a time when inequality between the rich and everyone else has already grown hugely.

Yet, there is another aspect of the plan that has not been fully acknowledged: It would likely hurt lower-income families in many ways over time.

Projections by the Congressional Budget Office show that the Senate bill hurts the poor almost immediately, mostly by eliminating their health insurance subsidies and raising their premiums. But, more broadly, these deficits would also squeeze out other important public spending on lower-income Americans for many years to come.

Source: Tax bills must be stopped before they do major damage to poor

Can Congress stop a president waging nuclear war?


The simmering concern had already reached a medium boil last week when the Senate Foreign Relations Committee heard testimony on the president’s authority to order a nuclear attack. The Senate hearing came at the behest of committee chairman Bob Corker, a Republican from Tennessee who, since announcing he would not run for reelection next year, has publicly fretted that Trump’s intemperate tweets and other public pronouncements risk putting the United States “on the path to World War III.”

But as the Senate hearing and subsequent commentary made clear, concern about Trump’s authority to launch an unwarranted first-strike nuclear attack is one thing; circumscribing that authority is quite another.

Source: Commentary: Can Congress stop a president waging nuclear war?

Trump weighs recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital


President Donald Trump is considering recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, a move that could upend decades of American policy and ratchet up Middle East tensions, but is expected to again delay his campaign promise to move the U.S. embassy there, U.S. officials said on Thursday.

Such a move by Trump, which could be carried out through a presidential statement or speech, would anger the Palestinians as well as the broader Arab World and likely undermine the Trump administration’s fledgling effort to restart long-stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

It could, however, help satisfy the pro-Israel, right-wing base that helped him win the presidency and also please the Israeli government, a close U.S. ally.

Source: Trump weighs recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital: officials

Bitcoin pauses below record peak; gained 55 percent in November


The latest slide has tempered an astronomical rise in recent months: Bitcoin had jumped almost 1,100 percent year-to-date on Wednesday. As of 0200 GMT, it was still up around 915 percent.

One wealth manager said technical chart analysis was predicting deeper falls.

“A correction could bring bitcoin back to its previous level of chart support of around $7,500. That’s over a 20 percent drop from its current price,” said Shane Chanel, equities and derivatives adviser at ASR Wealth.

“Without everyday utility, pure speculation is driving prices at the moment. Traders are forced to use technical indicators to make buy and sell decisions.”

Source: Bitcoin pauses below record peak; gained 55 percent in November

British Labor leader Corbyn tells Morgan Stanley: ‘We’re a threat’


Britain’s opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn warned Morgan Stanley that bankers are right to regard him as a threat because he wants to transform what he cast as a rigged economy that profits speculators at the expense of ordinary people.

Morgan Stanley cautioned investors on Nov. 26 that political uncertainty in Britain was a bigger threat than Brexit given the risk of Corbyn winning power and then dismantling what was once seen as one of the world’s most stable free-market economies.

Source: British Labour leader Corbyn tells Morgan Stanley: ‘We’re a threat’