Chart of the Day, Part One:
Watch: U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley speaking to the United Nations General Assembly today
Chart of the Day, Part Two: Percent change in after-tax income; comparing the 2009 stimulus and the 2018 Congressional GOP tax bill
President Trump “made a massive, pre-emptive concession to one side in a complicated negotiation without getting anything for it in return…[Announcing plans to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem] actually achieves little on the ground, all the while offending millions of Palestinians, hundreds of millions of Arabs, and public opinion almost everywhere.” Fareed Zakaria (CNN; GPS)
“Throw her ass out!” Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives, yelling at a woman sitting in the gallery after she shouted “you’re lying” during debates regarding the tax legislation. (Ben Jacobs)
“Throughout the 2016 campaign, the political class talked a lot about ‘norms’ and how Donald Trump was violating them all. He brushed off fact-checkers, assailed the media, went on Twitter tirades against his critics, and dabbled in racism. Since taking office, his norm busting has spread. Members of Congress who under other circumstances might be constrained by shame, custom, or the will of their constituents have learned from Trump’s election that you can get away with more than we used to think.” Matt Yglesias (Vox)
“1. Bottom 50% pays lots of taxes, including payroll taxes, which could’ve been cut. 2. It’d be easy to design more progressive income tax cuts — say, lowering bottom rates more and raising top rates. Cutting taxes this much for the rich is a choice.” Ezra Klein (Twitter)
“To use the Obama years as an example, one thing that was true then was that the people making policy cared about policy, they read policy journalism and analysis, and when people said ‘Hey, the experts in this field don’t think this policy is going to work,’ they felt bad about that, they felt concerned about that, they wanted to change it. And it wasn’t just that they cared about left-leaning analysis. They wanted to win over David Brooks, Ross Douthat, Tyler Cowen. They had a sensitivity to policy analysis that was meaningful…The Trump administration obviously doesn’t. But it’s not just them; the Republicans in Congress don’t. Paul Ryan doesn’t. Mitch McConnell doesn’t. They really don’t care, it turns out. They don’t even care that much about policy criticism from the right. If they did, the pass-through provision wouldn’t be in their tax bill; their health bills would have looked totally different.” Ezra Klein (Vox)
“While Americans are fascinated by major legislative drama, endless sexual abuse scandals, endless Trump-Russia scandals, and countless inappropriate presidential Twitter outbursts, key regulators — almost uniformly drawn from the ranks of corporate America — are doling out favors at a pace that boggles the mind.” Matt Yglesias (Vox)
“… Can we figure out some kind of interim sanction here so that we are not talking about, like, lifetime banishment for every single man who’s accused of doing something untoward? …In the court of public opinion, we don’t have a very clear way of distinguishing between large and small infractions. I don’t even think we agree about what those [are.]” Emily Bazelon (Slate, Panoply, The Politicl Gabfest)
“The life narratives that we unpack make it very clear that a lot of people have bad outcomes in life purely as a result of factors beyond their control. They worked hard and they were talented, but shit happens, and reality is complicated. The denial of this can be terribly harmful.” Robert H. Frank (Vox)
Question: Why does President Trump’s audio animatronic newly installed in Disney’s Hall of Presidents attraction genuinely look like Sophia Petrillo from the Golden Girls?
Countdown to Christmas
0.1— By 2027, the newly-passed tax bill gives 83 percent of the gains to the top 1 percent of earners in America; the top 0.1 percent alone will receive 60 percent of the gains. (Tax Policy Center)
5- The top five percent of American taxpayers receive 68 percent of all dividend income and 87 percent of long-term capital gains. Only about 14 percent of Americans own stock directly; approximately 40 percent have an investment indirectly through a 401(k) or similar retirement account. Half of American households have zero investments. (APM Marketplace)
7- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were directed by the Trump administration to avoid using seven words in any official documents being prepared for next year’s budget: vulnerable, entitlement, diversity, transgender, fetus, evidence-based, and science-based. “Science in consideration with community standards and wishes” was suggested, Umbridge-wise, as a replacement for “science-based” and “evidence-based.” (Washington Post)
12- In the 12/20 Cabinet meeting, Vice President Mike Pence praised President Trump once every 12 seconds for three minutes straight. (Washington Post)
Half- More than half of Washington D.C’s 11,000 registered lobbyists report they have worked on the newly-passed Republican tax reform bill. (Vox)
128- The United Nations General Assembly voted 128 to 9 today in support of a resolution demanding that the United States rescind its December 6th declaration on Jerusalem. 35 countries abstained from the vote. (New York Times)
1,489- A Greek man convicted of operating a human smuggling ring that moved approximately 500 migrants into Europe received a prison sentence of 1,489 years. (NPR)
9,380- Center-based care for four-year-olds in Indiana averages $9,380 per year. The median income for a single parent in the state is $26,347. (indychannel.com)
22 Trillion- The current national debt of the United States is over 22 trillion dollars. (APM Marketplace)
Food: This holiday season, skip the egg nog and the holiday punch. Try this instead.
Travel: This image of Christmastime near London’s Tower Bridge will knock off your socks.
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By Michelle Railey