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Name: Don
Gender: Male
Hometown: Massachusetts
Home country: United States
Member since: Sat Sep 1, 2012, 02:28 PM
Number of posts: 60,536

Journal Archives

Matt Gaetz's dad says he wore a wire for FBI probe into DOJ extortion claims

Source: Politico


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Rep. Matt Gaetz’s father, Don, a former Florida Senate president, said he is working with the FBI, including wearing a wire on more than one occasion as part of an investigation into an alleged extortion plot that the pair said was organized by former federal prosecutor David McGee.

“The FBI asked me to try and get that information for Matt and an indication we would transfer money to Mr. David McGee,” Don Gaetz said in an interview late Tuesday, without specifying what information he was referring to.

McGee, who is now in private practice with a Pensacola, Fla.-based law firm, did not respond to a POLITICO request seeking comment, but told other media outlets there is no truth to the alleged extortion plot.

Don Gaetz said in the interview he wore a wire during a meeting earlier this month with McGee and said he was set to meet Wednesday with Stephen Alford, a local developer who he said is also part of the alleged extortion scheme. During that meeting, Don Gaetz said, he was again set to wear a wire and try to get Alford to talk about payments he allegedly was to make to McGee, but the meeting fell apart when news broke that his son was being investigated by the Justice Department. Alford did not respond to text messages seeking comment.

Read more: https://www.politico.com/states/florida/story/2021/03/31/gaetzs-father-backs-up-son-matts-claims-of-extortion-over-doj-probe-of-involvement-with-teen-1370695

Trump lashes out at Biden for 'cruel and heartless' plan to create jobs by taxing the wealthy

Source: RawStory

Trump angrily lashes out at Biden for 'cruel and heartless' plan to create jobs by taxing the wealthy

Eric W. Dolan
March 31, 2021

Former president Donald Trump criticized his successor Joe Biden in a written statement on Wednesday, claiming the current U.S. president's infrastructure plan is an "attack on the American Dream."

"Joe Biden's radical plan to implement the largest tax hike in American history is a massive giveaway to China, and many other countries, that will send thousands of factories, millions of jobs, and trillions of dollars to these competitive Nations," the ex-president said. "The Biden plan will crush American workers and decimate U.S. manufacturing, while giving special tax privileges to outsourcers, foreign and giant multinational companies."

As a presidential candidate, Trump had vow to implement sweeping infrastructure programs. But he failed to deliver on his promises once he got into the White House.

Biden's infrastructure plan would follow the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan signed into law earlier this month, which was aimed at helping the world's largest economy recover from the damage done by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Read more: https://www.rawstory.com/trump-lashes-out-biden-infrastructure/

Cuomo Signs Marijuana Legalization Into Law

Source: PoliticalWire

March 31, 2021 at 1:46 pm EDT By Taegan Goddard

“After years of stalled attempts, New York State has legalized the use of recreational marijuana, enacting a robust program to reinvest millions of dollars in minority communities ravaged by the decades-long war on drugs,” the New York Times reports.

“With his signature, New York became the 15th state to legalize the recreational use of cannabis, positioning itself to quickly become one of the largest markets of legal cannabis in the nation.”


Read more: https://politicalwire.com/2021/03/31/cuomo-signs-marijuana-legalization-into-law/

Trump's Presidency Is Over. So Are Many Relationships.

Joe Biden wants the country to heal from its political divisions. But some people say they aren’t ready to reconnect with their estranged friends and family members.

MARCH 30, 2021

American political discourse was not exactly harmonious five years ago, but over the course of Donald Trump’s presidency, it corroded even further. What’s called the national conversation is really just millions of people communicating with each other, and if you could tune out all the yelling, you might be able to detect some of the silences that have arisen when two people stopped talking entirely.

One of those silences formed between Mary Ann Luna and a dear friend of hers from her federal-government job. By the time their relationship ended, after disagreements about Trump and the severity of the pandemic, Luna, a 74-year-old who lives in Gilbert, Arizona, and her friend had three decades of shared history. They ate lunch with each other every workday for about 15 years and once went on vacation together; when Luna’s daughter got married, her friend hosted a celebratory brunch.

Politics wasn’t something they talked much about until the 2016 election, when Luna says her friend started parroting Trump in daily conversation, making racist remarks and questioning Luna’s news sources. As her friend kept this up, Luna often tried to gently redirect the conversation. Their communication didn’t get confrontational until last year, when, among other things, her friend sent her a prayer for Trump, which upset Luna because her friend knew Luna didn’t like Trump. The last text Luna sent to her friend was in November, following a rare month-long silence between them: “I am sorry that your guy lost, but let’s leave politics out and just be friends.” She never heard back.

Luna was sad about losing a long-standing friendship but has come to accept what happened. During the Trump presidency, “she had crossed over to a side I had never known or seen before,” Luna told me. “I will miss the old person, not the new one.” Over the past five years, many other Americans have found themselves in a similar position, measuring the gap between what a relationship was like before Trump entered politics and what it was like after.


Did Matt Gaetz Float Resignation Rumors?

March 31, 2021 at 12:30 pm EDT By Taegan Goddard

Philip Bump looks at rumors that Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) was considering resigning from Congress to take a job in conservative media.

“Outside of the context that emerged with the reported investigation, the story made some sense. Gaetz has been on Fox News an average of 87 minutes a month over the past 12 months; for a low-ranking member of the minority party with an affection for the spotlight to make such a transition wouldn’t be a shock.”

“With the new revelation, though, that story takes on a different color: Was that rumor floated simply as cover for Gaetz to resign for other reasons? (It’s worth noting that resignations from positions of power can be part of plea agreements.) Once we’re reconsidering Gaetz’s willingness to walk away from Congress, we might reconsider his offer in early February to resign from Congress to aid Trump’s impeachment defense. Was the impetus for that attention or, even then, some form of self-preservation?”



Ivanka Trump's flagship policy program slammed by government auditors

Source: Politico

She touted more rigorous standards for women's empowerment, but USAID delivered the opposite.


03/31/2021 01:34 PM EDT

The Government Accountability Office has issued a damning report about Ivanka Trump’s pet project during her time as an adviser to her father, President Donald Trump.

As Ivanka Trump traveled the world talking up the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative, a whole-of-government women’s empowerment initiative, deep problems were developing in the implementation of the bi-partisan Women’s Entrepreneurship and Economic Empowerment Act of 2018.

Trump’s stump speech on the global conference circuit was anchored in stories about the legal and regulatory barriers many women face around the world in establishing their property rights and starting businesses, and she had a solution: W-GDP.

Supporters of W-GDP saw it as a ground-breaking whole-of-government approach to female empowerment, while critics of the new law derided it as too limited to make a real difference.

Read more: https://www.politico.com/news/2021/03/31/ivanka-trump-womens-initiative-gao-478710

'Completely, totally false': Former DOJ official says Gaetz's claim of extortion is to distract...

'Completely, totally false': Former DOJ official says Gaetz's claim of extortion is to distract from investigation

Sarah Al-Arshani
Tue, March 30, 2021, 10:39 PM·2 min read

A former Department of Justice official denied an accusation by GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz, saying the claims are false and merely a way to distract from the investigation into whether Gaetz violated federal sex trafficking laws.

In an interview with Fox News' Tucker Carlson on Tuesday, Gaetz said that David McGee, now a lawyer at Beggs & Lane, a law firm in Pensacola, Florida was going after his family for money to help conceal the DOJ investigation.

McGee told The Daily Beast the reports of extortion were "completely, totally false." This is a blatant attempt to distract from the fact that Matt Gaetz is apparently about to indicted for sex trafficking underage girls," McGee told the Daily Beast on Tuesday.

During the Fox interview, Gaetz denied reports that he ever traveled with a 17-year-old girl and alleged the former DOJ official targeted his family and is seeking "$25 million while threatening to smear my name."


82 unions and liberal groups call on Biden to create wealth tax

Source: The Hill

BY TAL AXELROD - 03/31/21 01:16 PM EDT

Scores of unions and liberal advocacy groups pressed President Biden to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans to help pay for his sprawling infrastructure plan, which he is set to roll out later Wednesday.

Eighty-two national organizations, including the AFL-CIO, MoveOn and the Center for American Progress, sent a letter Wednesday to Biden and Vice President Harris urging them to pay for the multitrillion-dollar proposal by reversing several aspects of the 2017 tax rollbacks implemented under the Trump administration.

Among the changes the groups say should be made are a return of the top marginal tax rate on the highest incomes to 39.6 percent from 37 percent and raising the corporate tax rate on domestic profits to 28 percent from the current 21 percent. The groups said Biden should also end “the current almost 50% tax discount on investment income from long-term capital gains and dividends” on Americans making more than $1 million per year.

All of those proposals were included in Biden’s tax plan during the 2020 campaign.

Read more: https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/545784-82-unions-and-liberal-groups-call-on-biden-to-create-wealth-tax-on

Matt Gaetz denied having inappropriate relationship with teen boy. Is there an underage girl too?

The latest round of allegations has people remembering the adage, "Where there's smoke, there's fire."

By Bil Browning Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) is no stranger to controversy, but the past 24 hours have set a new standard. A bombshell report in the New York Times claims he is under investigation by the Department of Justice (DOJ) official over his relationship with a teenage girl.

Last year, a mysterious teen boy turned up from Gaetz’s past that the far-right congressman claimed he considered his “son.” Gaetz had avoided even mentioning Nestor Galbán, now 19-years-old, during his political career in state and national politics.

The controversial congressman is not Galbán’s biological father and did not adopt him. Galbán was 12-years-old when he immigrated from Cuba and met Gaetz who has said the boy was his former girlfriend’s child. He did not name the boy’s mother and refused to talk about it beyond a brief statement.

“Our relationship as a family is defined by our love for each other, not by any paperwork,” the anti-LGBTQ congressman said at the time.


EPA dismisses dozens of key science advisers picked under Trump

Source: Washington Post

The Biden administration says it needs to restore trust in the agency by “resetting” membership on two key science advisory panels

By Dino Grandoni
March 31, 2021 at 11:33 a.m. EDT

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan will purge more than 40 outside experts appointed by President Donald Trump from two key advisory panels, a move he says will help restore the role of science at the agency and reduce the heavy influence of industry over environmental regulations.

The unusual decision, announced Wednesday, will sweep away outside researchers picked under the previous administration whose expert advice helped the agency craft regulations related to air pollution, fracking and other issues.

Critics say that under Trump, membership of the two panels — the EPA’s Science Advisory Board (SAB) and Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) — tilted too heavily toward regulated industries and their positions sometimes contradicted scientific consensus.

The Biden administration said the move is one of several to reestablish scientific integrity across the federal government after what it characterizes as a concerted effort under the previous president to sideline or interfere with research on climate change, the novel coronavirus and other issues.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2021/03/31/epa-advisory-panels/
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