BREAKING: Mitt Romney Confirms He’s Out of Running, Issues Statement

Mitt Romney confirmed on Twitter and via Facebook that he is no longer in the running for Secretary of State:

Here is his full statement posted on Facebook –

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BREAKING: Lufthansa Flight from Houston to Frankfurt Makes Emergency Landing at JFK After Bomb Threat

The New York Port Authority has confirmed that an international Lufthansa flight that departed from Houston bound for Frankfurt, Germany, diverted to JFK airport in New York and made an emergency landing after a bomb threat was made.

Here’s more from WLNY New York.

Here’s more from CBS:

Lufthansa flight 411 made an emergency landing late Monday after a bomb threat was made over the phone Monday evening, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said.

Authorities are treating it as a viable threat and the NYPD Counterterrorism Unit is responding along with the Port Authority Police Department, sources told CBS2. But there was no indication of trouble beyond the threat by phone.

This story is still breaking. We will post more info if and when it becomes available.

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Bloomberg Reporter: Trump Called Romney To Say He’s Not Going To Be Secretary of State

Jennifer Jacobs of Bloomberg says she has information that Donald Trump called Mitt Romney to inform him, he was not going to be Trump’s choice for Secretary of State:

This certainly means Donald Trump is prepared to dig in and fight for Rex Tillerson unless Trump completely surprises everybody tomorrow morning:

 

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Class Warfare Looms As New Congress Targets the Death Tax

Right now what a potentially large portion of what a person has earned (and paid taxes on already) for his entire life becomes fair game for the tax man again upon his death.  The Republican majority in Congress may try to repeal the “death tax” in the coming session and that will almost certainly ignite a major class warfare skirmish.

South Dakota Sen. John Thune and other top Republicans will launch a new drive to repeal the estate tax next year, while pulling back on efforts to force a year-end vote aimed at blocking a proposed Treasury Department rule that would tighten levies on inheritances.

Thune, a senior Finance Committee member, has voiced confidence that there would be consensus support for his proposal to repeal the estate tax as part of a broad tax overhaul in the 115th Congress.

“If we can get into a debate about comprehensive tax reform, the odds are good that we can repeal the estate tax,” the South Dakota Republican said in an interview.

That would be no small accomplishment. The estate tax has been on the books for a hundred years.

Currently, individuals can inherit estates worth up to $5.45 million without being taxed. Estates valued over that threshold are taxed at a rate of 40 percent, under a bipartisan compromise that was included in the 2013 fiscal cliff deal. According to GOP aides, full repeal of the estate tax would cost an estimated $200 billion over 10 years.

First, let’s clear up the misleading language. Allowing you to keep more of your money (as opposed to confiscating it at gunpoint) is not a negative cash flow for the government. To say repealing a tax “costs” the government money is categorically untrue. They are not writing you a check from the treasury for money that wasn’t yours in the first place. They are simply not confiscating your money where they once were confiscating your money. Naturally the government speaks in terms of its own costs because they have the money (and then some) spent long before the taxpayer writes a check to the IRS.

Second, the current death tax deal allows you to bequeath an estate of up to $5.45 million without being taxed. How magnanimous. What this means is that politicians in Washington have made a value judgement on how much of your property you should be allowed to pass on to your family when you die. People you don’t know and most of whom you never voted for get together and make deals about how much of your property you deserve to keep in your family. People who owned businesses or property valued at more than $5.45 million currently have to give the government forty percent of the difference. So if you buy a house, a business, a farm, etc. for less than $5.45 million dollars and over time it becomes worth more than that, it is quite possible that your loved ones won’t be able to afford to inherit it. That is immoral.

When the modern death tax was implemented in 1916 it was far less draconian.

In the early 20th century, worldwide conflict cut into trade tariffs–a mainstay of federal revenues–and Congress turned to another revenue source. The Revenue Act of 1916, which introduced the modern-day income tax, also contained an estate tax with many features of today’s system. After an exemption of $50,000 (over $11 million in terms of today’s wealth), tax rates started at 1 percent and climbed to 10 percent on estates over $5 million (over $1 billion in terms of today’s wealth).

You can’t talk about repealing the death tax without class warfare, especially now that we have a President-elect who is part of the über-wealthy. The left will certainly take full advantage of the public’s perception of Donald Trump’s opulent lifestyle. Left leaning people like potential DNC chairman Rep. Keith Ellison think your family doesn’t deserve to inherit what you’ve spent your life working for. It needs to be redistributed to more acceptable people.

Republicans promote estate tax repeal as a way to preserve jobs and save small businesses. But liberals such as Minnesota Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison argue that full repeal would mainly provide a windfall to wealthy investors, including Trump and his family and some of the billionaires and millionaires he has selected for his Cabinet.

“This is 100 percent self-serving — billionaires lining their own pockets. It means we are going to institutionalize an American aristocracy based on wealth,” Ellison said.

Mr. Ellison would probably prefer to institutionalize an American aristocracy based on having held elected office or being a crony of someone who has. Think about his statement and what it means. His reason for wanting a death tax isn’t because the government desperately needs the money. He wants the death tax to remain in effect so he can take money away from people who he believes don’t deserve to keep it.

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Electors Want Intelligence Briefings and Sore Losers In Clinton Camp Agree

If this election wasn’t the strangest on record, it just hit peak stupidity. Some electors, with the backing of the Clinton campaign, are saying they want intelligence briefings to learn more about supposed interference in the election by the Russians.

From Politico:

In its first show of public support for efforts questioning the legitimacy of Donald Trump’s victory, Hillary Clinton’s campaign said it is supporting a request by members of the Electoral College for an intelligence briefing on foreign intervention in the presidential election.

“The bipartisan electors’ letter raises very grave issues involving our national security,” Clinton’s former campaign chairman John Podesta said in a statement on Monday. “Electors have a solemn responsibility under the Constitution and we support their efforts to have their questions addressed.”

“Each day in October, our campaign decried the interference of Russia in our campaign and its evident goal of hurting our campaign to aid Donald Trump,” he said. “Despite our protestations, this matter did not receive the attention it deserved by the media in the campaign. We now know that the CIA has determined Russia’s interference in our elections was for the purpose of electing Donald Trump. This should distress every American.”

This is asinine. First of all, the “conclusion” that Russia wanted Donald Trump to win is one that is being disputed by the FBI. The “determination” made by the CIA was made by political appointees within the CIA, not agents themselves. In addition, Podesta was the one stupid enough to get fooled by a phishing scam. He should learn to take more care as to what he clicks on in his emails than whining about Trump and Putin.

Second, that there are electors are running around demanding intelligence briefings, makes a mockery of the electoral process and seeing Hillary Clinton’s stooges signing on this plan makes it clear they’re nothing but a bunch of sore losers.

Third, electors have a job to do and it doesn’t including demanding they get to see classified information because their hackles are up about the election results. They have a job to do. Get it done and stop behaving like this is an episode of ’24.’

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Trump Won’t Be Making an Announcement Regarding His Future With His Businesses

Trump had announced in November that he would turn control of his business empire over to his children and devote himself to the presidency.

He was to have a news conference on December 15 to announce his plans.

In the time since, his liberal daughter, Ivanka, and her equally liberal husband, Jared Kushner, have begun house-hunting in D.C.

And as of today, the announcement has been “postponed.”

A new date hasn’t been picked yet, but the announcement will come before Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20, according to Bloomberg.

Trump said in November that he would leave his global empire so as not to have a “conflict of interest with my various businesses.”

The president-elect said legal documents are “being crafted” to take him out of business operations.

However, The New York Times reported last week that Trump plans to keep a stake in his business while handing his two adults sons the operational responsibilities of the company.

Trump faced criticism recently over potential conflict of interests that could occur regarding his involvement in the Trump Organization while serving in the White House.

As discussed yesterday, Trump is currently seeking a legal means for bringing Ivanka and Jared Kushner into his administration, which may be one reason for the delay.

Trump has been arguably more dependent on his daughter and her husband through the election cycle and in regards to advising than some conservatives are comfortable with.

Ivanka’s views don’t exactly mesh with the small government, personal liberty framework of the conservative movement.

Then again, Trump wasn’t elected to preserve the conservative movement.

And he won’t.

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