GOP, Democrats Battle Over Infrastructure Plan

getfile.aspxguidDD15E1D0 2581 4571 9A8D 91B131DAB74C

GOP, Democrats Battle Over Infrastructure Plan GOP, Democrats Battle Over Infrastructure Plan Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., said the proposed rise in the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28% was "a big mistake for the administration." (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP Images)

By Brian Freeman | Monday, 05 April 2021 10:04 AM

Republican congressmen are criticizing both the size of President Joe Biden’s proposed $2.25 trillion "infrastructure" plan and the fact that its funding is based on an increase in the corporate tax rate, while Democrats are touting it as a way to generate long-term job growth, The Hill reported.

"We think we can not only have a strong job rebound this year, but we can sustain it over many years,” National Economic Council Director Brian Deese told Fox News. “That’s the goal," adding that "let's also think to the longer term about where those investments that we can make that will really drive not just more job growth but better job growth, not just job growth in the short term but job growth in the long term by investing in our infrastructure, by investing in our research and development in a way that we haven't since the 1960s."

The Biden administration says its plan would provide billions of dollars to rebuild such structures as roads, bridges, and tunnels while also funding efforts to transition the United States away from the use of fossil fuels.

Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg explained on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that the legislation would be completely funded by an increase to the corporate tax rate and that it would also start cutting into the deficit after 15 years.

"Now is our chance to make infrastructure choices for the future that are going to serve us well in the 2030s and on into the middle of the century, when we will be judged for whether we met this moment here in the 2020s," Buttigieg said. He added that "across 15 years, it would raise all of the revenue needed for these once-in-a-lifetime investments. So by year 16, you'd actually see this package working to reduce the deficit."

But Republicans have slammed the tax hike included in the legislation, with Sen Roger Wicker, R-Miss, calling the rise in the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28% “a big mistake for the administration,” according to The Hill. Wicker added the proposal represented "a repeal of one of our signature issues in 2017," referring to the GOP tax reform bill that passed that year.

Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., stressed Republicans would be willing to back a smaller infrastructure package, telling Fox News that "I think there's an easy win here for the White House if they would take that win, which is make this an infrastructure package, which is about 30 percent [of what their proposal entails]… My advice to the White House has been take that bipartisan win, do this in a more traditional infrastructure way.”

It is unclear , however, if Democrats will attempt to gain Republican backing to help pass the bill, as there is disagreement in the party if the effort it worth it or if it is better to push through the legislation by usinig budget reconciliation.

Original Article

Journalist Glenn Greenwald’s Harrowing Home Invasion Story

getfile.aspxguid31BCAAA1 DDAF 4734 A0D4 7673884D3601

Journalist Glenn Greenwald's Harrowing Home Invasion Story glenn greenwald speaks in court US journalist Glenn Greenwald, founder and editor of The Intercept website gestures during a hearing at the Lower House's Human Rights Commission in Brasilia, Brazil, on June 25, 2019. (EVARISTO SA/AFP via Getty Images)

By Jim Thomas | Monday, 05 April 2021 06:03 AM

Reading like a script from a thriller crime drama, journalist Glenn Greenwald shared a true-to-life story about what it was like to have his own home invaded by a group of 5 men at gunpoint.

He was inspired by a similar story he was working on involving an Oakland, California family who were also the victims of a home invasion, where that family was tied up, beaten, and threatened with death, mediaite.com reported.

His story begins at an isolated house on a farm near Rio de Janeiro that his family has been renting during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thinking ahead, he had hired an off duty local cop to provide security for him and his family. During the invasion, he was unfortunately in the farmhouse, but luckily his family was in Rio.

Suddenly on March 5 around 9:30 p.m., Greenwald’s dogs signaled something was wrong by loudly and frantically barking. Curious as to what all the fuss was about, Greenwald ventured outside to discover, "three men wearing full black face masks descending on me, all pointing guns at me."

The men then shoved their way into the house as two others held the security guard at bay with guns drawn. The intruders demanded cash; "they did not believe that there wasn’t much in the house, which drove them to a considerable amount of anger," he wrote.

"They repeatedly threatened to shoot the security in the head, repeatedly kicked him so hard that they cracked several of his ribs, ordered me to open my mouth and stuck a gun in it as they demanded to know where the rest of the money was, smashed my phone and tablet against a wall when they could not figure out how to erase the hard-drive, and just generally tried to create a climate of extreme fear," according to Greenwald.

The invaders bound his and the security guard’s arms and legs with cords, and then escaped in the Greenwald’s car after an hour of ransacking the home, Greenwald said.

All they got away with was "a couple hundred dollars, some kitchen appliances, and clothes for ourselves and our kids." Greenwald added.

Greenwald opined that the invaders were not professional criminals rather they were more the desperate kind. Following the invasion, they went on to commit "at least three other armed invasions of stores in the area using the car they stole from us."

Fortuitously, police spotted the car — registered to Greenwald’s husband, a member of Congress in Brazil — on security cameras, and soon uncovered the identity of the criminals.

Sen. Barrasso: Border Officials Told Us to Delete Photos of Migrant Facilities

getfile.aspxguidF0C66C09 2A80 4485 B06E 65FCA9725D67

Sen. Barrasso: Border Officials Told Us to Delete Photos of Migrant Facilities Sen. Barrasso: Border Officials Told Us to Delete Photos of Migrant Facilities Minors lie inside a pod at the Donna Department of Homeland Security holding facility, the main detention center for unaccompanied children in the Rio Grande Valley run by U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Donna, Texas. (AP/Dario Lopez-Mills, Pool)

By Brian Freeman | Sunday, 04 April 2021 10:48 PM

Sen. John Barrasso said on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures” that he was told by border officials to delete photos of migrant facilities during a recent visit with other Republican lawmakers.

“We were told to delete the pictures,” the Wyoming senator said. “No one did. You’ve seen the video coming out of all of these kids crammed together under the foil blankets, huddling together.”

He added that that they are “crammed like sardines,” emphasizing that “This is what the Biden administration is trying to hide from the American public.”

Barrasso stressed that “This is both a humanitarian crisis and a national security crisis.”

He also emphasized that the fact that Customs and Border Protection is only testing children when they leave the facilities – rather than when they arrive – means the testing is not halting the spread of the virus.

"They do the instant test. And then those that have been tested positive are just kind of moved to one side of the courtyard, those negative to the other of this courtyard," Barrasso said. "They've all been exposed, and then they're sent all across the country. You know, that is the real tragedy of this. And we're not sure what variant of the of the coronavirus they're carrying. They are carrying it, though, all around America."

Barrasso added that "The irony here is that we're hearing a lot about Joe Biden wanting vaccine passports to prove that people have vaccines," "Meanwhile, the border crossers, they don't even require I.D. We don't know who they are, where they're coming from, what their background is."

Air Force Staff Sergeant Creating Wreaths From Old Uniforms

Air Force Staff Sergeant Creating Wreaths From Old Uniforms vintage marine uniform (Dreamstime)

By Sandy Fitzgerald | Friday, 25 December 2020 02:34 PM

An Air Force staff sergeant is repurposing old military uniforms into patriotic wreaths to allow owners to both remember family members' service while celebrating the holidays.

''I started the business because the Air Force was switching over to new uniforms, and I wanted to find a cool way to memorialize my old ones,'' Staff Sgt. Nicole Pompei, 29, of Texas, told People magazine. ''Thanks to some help from my crafty mother, we came up with this design.''

Pompei sells the uniforms through her company, Wreaths by Nicole, which was launched in July. She is on active duty with the Air Force, and also served with the Marine Corps.

Some of the wreaths, which come in various sizes and designs, reflect patriotic themes while others have a holiday theme. Pompei said it takes around four hours to make a wreath.

One of her more interesting wreaths was made for a customer who had sent her three uniforms from 1946.

"This was the second time I’ve received uniforms that were almost 80 years old,'' she said on her Facebook page. ''I almost didn’t have the heart to cut them. I’m happy I did. Now they have a blended memento that they can hold with them for a lifetime.''

Pompei said she never expected to make a business out of her hobby, but her Facebook inbox soon became full of requests.

''The most rewarding part is hearing all of the stories of my customers and their family members,'' she said. ''I feel so honored that I can memorialize and honor their service. I have such respect for anybody who has served in the military.''