News & Politics

The Morning Briefing: Tax Reform, RUSSIAN Facebook Ads and Much, Much More

President Donald Trump talks to reporters as he walks to board Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Good Thursday Morning.

Here is what’s on the President’s agenda today:

  • In the morning, President Donald J. Trump will receive his daily intelligence briefing.
  • The President will then meet with Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke.
  • In the afternoon, the President will participate in the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the National Security Council.
  • The President will then greet Vice Premier Liu Yandong of the People’s Republic of China.

Here comes the tax reform debate

Congress is getting ready to bring a 2018 budget resolution to the floor next week.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Wednesday he plans to bring the bill, which includes reconciliation instructions for tax reform, to the floor sometime next week so committees can start the process of writing the bill.

“We’re going to get it done next week,” he told The Daily Caller News Foundation, adding he’s confident the lawmakers will be able to pass the legislation.”Yes – that’s why, getting the budget done next week builds that momentum even,” McCarthy said.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady of Texas said members are prepared to deliver a bill to “the president’s desk by the end of the year.”

President Trump announced his plans for tax reform at an event in Indiana on Wednesday.

“I’m doing the right thing, and it’s not good for me, believe me,” Trump said.

“This is the right tax cut and this is the right time. Democrats and Republicans in Congress should come together finally to deliver this giant win for the American people and begin [a] middle-class miracle.”

The deets:

The nine-page plan calls for three individual tax rates of 12 percent, 25 percent and 35 percent, while expressing openness to an additional rate that’s higher than 35 percent. The top rate is currently 39.6 percent.

The framework also would lower the corporate rate from 35 percent to 20 percent and would cut the rate for “pass-through” businesses whose income is taxed through the individual code, to 25 percent. It would also nearly double the standard deduction and would repeal the estate tax and the alternative minimum tax.

Trump traveled to Indiana with Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN), who is facing reelection in a Trump state.

RUSSIANS targeted Baltimore, Black Lives Matters, Ferguson

CBS News is reporting “At least one of the advertisements that RUSSIAN agents bought on Facebook specifically mentioned Black Lives Matter and was targeted to reach Ferguson and Baltimore, a CBS News source confirms.”

A report on the RUSSIAN Facebook ads was released on Monday. “The apparent goal of the Russian buyers was to amplify political discord and fuel an atmosphere of incivility and chaos,” according to the report.

It’s not clear what the purpose of the ads was. “The Black Lives Matter ad appeared on Facebook at some point in late 2015 or early 2016, the sources said. The sources said it appears the ad was meant to appear both as supporting Black Lives Matter but also could be seen as portraying the group as threatening to some residents of Baltimore and Ferguson.”

CNN explains:

New descriptions of the Russian-bought ads shared with CNN suggest that the apparent goal of the Russian buyers was to amplify political discord and fuel an atmosphere of incivility and chaos, though not necessarily to promote one candidate or cause over another. Facebook’s review of Russian efforts on its platform focused on a timeframe from June 2015 to May 2017.

These ranged from posts promoting Black Lives Matter to posts promoting gun rights and the Second Amendment to posts warning about what they said was the threat undocumented immigrants posed to American democracy. Beyond the election, Russians have sought to raise questions about western democracies.

“This is consistent with the overall goal of creating discord inside the body politic here in the United States, and really across the West,” Steve Hall, the former CIA officer and CNN Analyst, said. “It shows they the level of sophistication of their targeting. They are able to sow discord in a very granular nature, target certain communities and link them up with certain issues.”

Sow discord? Sounds just like the mainstream media.

However, ABC News reports that some RUSSIAN ads on Facebook had “an explicit pro-Trump slant.”

Posts that circulated to a targeted, swing-state audience on the social media site railed against illegal immigrants and claimed “the only viable option is to elect Trump.” They were shared by what looked like a grassroots American group called Secured Borders, but Congressional investigators say the group is actually a Russian fabrication designed to influence American voters during and after the presidential election.

ABC News has copies of the ads shared on Facebook if you want to take a look. Did you see any of them in your feed?

Historical picture of the day:

Two hundred demonstrators march outside the Rivergate Convention Center in New Orleans where Ronald Reagan is speaking, Sept. 28, 1981. (AP Photo/Jack Thornell)

Other morsels:

Hugh Hefner, Playboy founder, dead at 91, magazine confirms

Anti-Israel Speakers Making Rounds at U.S. College Campuses, Libraries

Federal court strikes down abortion ultrasound law in Kentucky

Titus to forego Senate bid, will run for re-election

Meghan McCain joins ‘The View’ as regular co-host

Female Antifa warrior blasts brother in arms for his ‘white performativeness’ — then it gets ugly

Black Families’ Wealth Grew Substantially In 3-Year Period, Report Shows

BBQ Food Truck Kicked Out Of Town For Feeding Hurricane Victims Without A Permit

Poll: Voters skeptical of Feinstein reelection bid

Obama’s alma mater launches scholarship in his name

Donations pour in for woman who lost job after shooting robbery suspect

Michelle Obama slams women Trump supporters for ‘voting against their own voice’

Chicago Cops Reprimanded After Taking A Knee In Support of Kaepernick

Hurricane Maria moves away from North Carolina coast

Pharma execs urge quicker FDA approval for opioid alternatives

O.J. Simpson Could Be Released from Prison on Parole ‘As Early as Monday’

Trump warns Indiana Democrat: ‘We will campaign against him like you wouldn’t believe’

6-year-old admonished for taking a knee during Pledge of Allegiance at Florida school

Trump administration planning to cap refugees at 45,000 for FY18

And that’s all I’ve got, now go beat back the angry mob!