No Collusion! No Collusion!

Oops.

Well, “hacking the DNC” (Theft) is not the only crime here. Campaign Finance Violations, Treason and Espionage, Tax Fraud, Bank Fraud, Plain Old Fraud, Money Laundering, Lying Under Oath, Perjury, Suborning Perjury, Obstruction of Justice, and Abuse of Power to name only a few.

The correct word is “Conspiracy” and damn right it’s a crime.

Giuliani’s absurd ‘collusion’ walkback signals serious worry about Trump’s vulnerability
By Greg Sargent, Washington Post
January 17, 2019

Everybody is having a grand old time with Rudy Giuliani’s buffoonish new comments on CNN about President Trump and “collusion” with Russia. But beyond the obvious comic relief here, Giuliani’s appearance potentially signals two important things: First, serious worry about Trump’s vulnerability; and second, the beginnings of an endgame to save him.

In an interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Wednesday night, Giuliani was pressed on the news that former campaign chairman Paul Manafort allegedly shared polling data with an operative tied to Russian intelligence. Cuomo noted that there is already ample evidence that Trump campaign members committed “collusion” with Russian efforts to sabotage the election on Trump’s behalf.

“I never said there was no collusion between the campaign, or between people in the campaign,” Giuliani responded. “I said the president of the United States. There is not a single bit of evidence the president of the United States committed the only crime you could commit here: conspiring with the Russians to hack the DNC.”

“The president did not collude with the Russians,” Giuliani continued. He then said, preposterously, that Trump has not actually claimed that “nobody” on his campaign conspired with Russia. Trump has, of course, said “NO COLLUSION” countless times.

Indeed, Trump’s team has repeatedly said the campaign did not conspire with Russia, or has dramatically downplayed the meaning of it, as Aaron Blake’s timeline shows. So this is a real shift: Giuliani now acknowledges that it’s perfectly possible members of Trump’s campaign did engage in conspiracy.

Neal Katyal told me that this appears to be a tacit admission of serious vulnerability — as well as an effort to lay the groundwork for a last-ditch defense of Trump, should more come out. It also makes the nonstop claims that special counsel Robert S. Mueller III is leading a “witch hunt” look ridiculous.

“They’ve been saying for two years that this is a witch hunt,” Katyal told me. “As a lawyer, given the recent revelations, Giuliani now has to pivot and outline the next line of defense.”

“This is straight out of the organized-crime playbook,” Katyal continued. “The boss says, ‘There was no conspiracy.’ Then prosecutors prove there was a conspiracy between your subordinates and a criminal organization. Then the defense shifts to, ‘Okay, there was a conspiracy, but the boss didn’t know anything about it.’”

To be clear, we’re presuming here that Giuliani said these things for a reason. We can’t know this — he is prone to strange and inexplicable outbursts — but if he did, it points to an endgame that Giuliani may be mulling for Trump.

Bob Bauer, the White House counsel under former president Barack Obama, told me that Giuliani “must have some continuing hope” that Mueller cannot prove Trump knew about the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting, which Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Manafort attended in the expectation of gaining dirt on Hillary Clinton produced by the Russian government.

In recent days, new revelations have surfaced. We have learned that after Trump fired James B. Comey as FBI director, the FBI launched a separate investigation into whether Trump was actively working on behalf of Russian interests. We now know Trump went to extraordinary lengths to conceal his communications with Russian President Vladimir Putin, even shielding them from his own top advisers.

We have also learned that Mueller is closely scrutinizing whether Trump was directly informed by longtime adviser Roger Stone of the latter’s advance knowledge of a coming dump of Russian-hacked Democratic emails.

If Mueller determines that the Trump Tower meeting constituted conspiracy, or if more comes out about that meeting or about other collusion we’ve already seen, or if still other conspiring that we don’t know about yet surfaces, Trump’s team will have to build a wall between that and Trump himself — which Giuliani is now doing.

“The insulation of Trump from the campaign is meant to remove him from the circle of any illegal conspiracy,” Bauer told me, adding that Giuliani is moving “to narrow the defense against collusion by arguing that the president is not responsible for what his campaign did.”

But this is a weak defense. It still remains to be seen what Trump knew about all the collusion, whether or not he actively participated in it. And we still don’t know what else Mueller has established. Giuliani’s defense signals he might be worried that still more is coming.

“If you’re the head of an organization, and you’re aware that your associates are conspiring, even if you weren’t the one doing the conspiring you could face criminal liability for it,” Katyal said. “Right now we have only the tip of the iceberg from Mueller. Giuliani may be starting to float a new defense in the event that there’s more damaging information on the conspiracy front coming out.”

Giuliani’s new comments also signal the coming political defense for Trump. Whether or not Mueller ends up indicting, should he clearly establish conspiracy by members of Trump’s campaign, it could prove politically devastating. Giuliani has now signaled this is a real possibility. He is “drawing a tight line around Trump,” Bauer noted. “Since Mueller is unlikely to indict, the defense is against impeachment.”

As an afterthought, you’d think that Giuliani’s new tacit admission that Trump campaign members very well may have committed collusion would put an end to all the screams of “witch hunt.” Of course, Giuliani and Trump will continue describing the Mueller probe as just that, and the obvious absurdity of this won’t trouble Trump’s supporters in the least.

Unindicted Co-conspirator Bottomless Pinocchio, his Family, his Company, and his Foundation are thoroughly corrupt and should be charged, tried, and convicted under the RICO statutes for Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations.

Cartnoon

More what it’s like when you quit your life to become a professional Gamer.

How To Manage An eSports Team

The Breakfast Club (Lost And Found)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:00am (ET) (or whenever we get around to it) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

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This Day in History

Benjamin Franklin born; Soviet and Polish forces liberate Warsaw; Eisenhower farewell address; Japan earthquake; Al Capone is born; Muhammad Ali born.

Breakfast Tunes

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

Your own need to be shines out of any dream or creation you imagine.

James Earl Jones

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Deliverables

Some of the gaslighting Republicans try to do in relation to Unidicted Co-conspirator Bottomless Pinocchio’s Russian Treason Plot is to deny that there is any Quid Pro Quo, This For That.

Like pushing “Collusion”, which is not a crime, as a substitute for “Conspiracy”, which is, they’ll claim that Russian aid during the 2016 Election and Unindicted Co-conspirator Bottomless Pinocchio’s pro-Russia Policies are entirely co-incidental. This is because trading things of value for political favors is EXPLICITLY A CRIME! Either Bribery or Extortion depending on who asks who for what and how.

For instance were I Mayor or something and you came into my office and said, “Hey, I want to put in a Development,” and I said “Sure, that’ll be $100,000,” that would be Extortion. If on the other hand you came to my office and said “I want to put in a Development, here’s $100,000 for you to expedite it,” that would be Bribery.

As I say Republicans will deny there’s any evidence of Quid Pro Quo when in fact there’s plenty already in the Moscow Tower Project and Unidicted Co-conspirator Bottomless Pinocchio’s Real Estate Money Laundering Scheme.

To be more charitable than you should, you might contend this is just garden variety White Collar Crime, part of his standard business model (along with Fraud and Tax Evasion).

But it’s really much worse than that.

Yesterday Chuck Schumer and 11 defecting Republicans put the kibosh on Unidicted Co-conspirator Bottomless Pinocchio’s plan to lift Treasury sanctions imposed after the annexation of Crimea on Russian Oligarch with ties to Putin and the GRU (Russian Military Intelligence, widely believed to have been the Government Spy Organization behind the Internet Research Agency’s theft of email from the Democratic National Committee and John Podesta) Oleg Deripaska.

Yes, the very same Oleg Deripaska that Paul Manafort owes over $20,000,000 and to whom the Internal Polling information from Unidicted Co-conspirator Bottomless Pinocchio’s 2016 Campaign which really has no utility (besides as a curiosity) except to microtarget Disinformation to Facebook idiots (really, really don’t like Facebook) was given through an intermediary but with strict routing instructions.

In other developments in the Manafort case yesterday, Mueller filled his brief detailing at least four categories of lies Manafort told while he was supposedly co-operating. The document is about a 100 pages long (counting appendixes and exhibits) and is heavily redacted so I’ll wait for some more reporting before I’ll talk about it.

The Times today also tells us-

Trump Discussed Pulling U.S. From NATO, Aides Say Amid New Concerns Over Russia
By Julian E. Barnes and Helene Cooper, The New York Times
Jan. 14, 2019

There are few things that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia desires more than the weakening of NATO, the military alliance among the United States, Europe and Canada that has deterred Soviet and Russian aggression for 70 years.

Last year, President Trump suggested a move tantamount to destroying NATO: the withdrawal of the United States.

Senior administration officials told The New York Times that several times over the course of 2018, Mr. Trump privately said he wanted to withdraw from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Current and former officials who support the alliance said they feared Mr. Trump could return to his threat as allied military spending continued to lag behind the goals the president had set.

In the days around a tumultuous NATO summit meeting last summer, they said, Mr. Trump told his top national security officials that he did not see the point of the military alliance, which he presented as a drain on the United States.

At the time, Mr. Trump’s national security team, including Jim Mattis, then the defense secretary, and John R. Bolton, the national security adviser, scrambled to keep American strategy on track without mention of a withdrawal that would drastically reduce Washington’s influence in Europe and could embolden Russia for decades.

Now, the president’s repeatedly stated desire to withdraw from NATO is raising new worries among national security officials amid growing concern about Mr. Trump’s efforts to keep his meetings with Mr. Putin secret from even his own aides, and an F.B.I. investigation into the administration’s Russia ties.

A move to withdraw from the alliance, in place since 1949, “would be one of the most damaging things that any president could do to U.S. interests,” said Michèle A. Flournoy, an under secretary of defense under President Barack Obama.

“It would destroy 70-plus years of painstaking work across multiple administrations, Republican and Democratic, to create perhaps the most powerful and advantageous alliance in history,” Ms. Flournoy said in an interview. “And it would be the wildest success that Vladimir Putin could dream of.”

American national security officials believe that Russia has largely focused on undermining solidarity between the United States and Europe after it annexed Crimea in 2014. Its goal was to upend NATO, which Moscow views as a threat.

Russia’s meddling in American elections and its efforts to prevent former satellite states from joining the alliance have aimed to weaken what it views as an enemy next door, the American officials said. With a weakened NATO, they said, Mr. Putin would have more freedom to behave as he wishes, setting up Russia as a counterweight to Europe and the United States.

An American withdrawal from the alliance would accomplish all that Mr. Putin has been trying to put into motion, the officials said — essentially, doing the Russian leader’s hardest and most critical work for him.

Quid Pro Quo.

I mean, I can hardly blame Russia from their standpoint. Like a warm water port it’s something that’s been a goal for a long time.

Rachel Maddow

It’s beginning to look a lot like Treason
Everywhere you turn
Take a look at the Russian dimes
The evidence left behind
With clandestine meetings in nearly every clime

It’s beginning to look a lot like Treason
Soon the shoes will drop
And the thing that will make them sing
Is the indictments that Mueller brings
Gladdening each Patriotic heart

There are more verses but writing song lyrics is hard and I am lazy.

Pondering the Pundits

Pondering the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from> around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Pondering the Pundits”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

Roger Cohen: Hold a Second Brexit Referendum

A democracy that cannot change its mind is not a democracy. The people may do that when presented with the whole picture after seeing only a partial or distorted one.

It has taken more than 30 months to shift from “Fantasy Brexit” to “Reality Brexit.” The difference, after vitriolic debate that has consumed British politics virtually to the exclusion of all else, is stark.

The first was Britain’s 2016 vote, fueled by lies, to leave the European Union, trumpets blaring. The second, after a crash course in the facts of what membership brings for Britain, came Tuesday in the form of the crushing defeat by a 432-to-202 parliamentary vote of Prime Minister Theresa May’s plan for British withdrawal on March 29. [..]

The vote, the most overwhelming defeat for a prime minister in recent British history, makes it more likely that the March 29 deadline will not be met. It also makes it more likely, if not yet probable, that a second referendum will be held.

Jennifer Rubin: Facing Trump’s tantrum, Pelosi takes away the TV

To say House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has mastered the art of dealing with President Trump would be a gross understatement. She fact-checked him in the Oval Office on live TV and passed spending bills to reopen the government, thereby reinforcing Trump’s responsibility for the shutdown. To top it off, she’s taking away the president’s TV. More precisely, in response to Trump’s nearly month-long temper tantrum, she has told him he won’t get his prime-time State of the Union address on Jan. 29.

In a letter to Trump, she writes, “During the 19th Century and up until the presidency of Woodrow Wilson, these annual State of the Union messages were delivered to Congress in writing. And since the start of modern budgeting in Fiscal Year 1977, a State of the Union address has never been delivered during a government shutdown.” She then explains that both the U.S. Secret Service and the Department of Homeland Security, which are charged with security, “have not been funded for 26 days now – with critical departments hamstrung by furloughs.” Given all that, we couldn’t possibly have the speech, she says.

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All The Way Down

The Fake Border Crisis, Steve King, and Our Lying, Racist President

Trevor Noah: Racism Detective

Cartnoon

When You Quit Your Life To Become A Professional Gamer

Next you’ll be telling me Chess is not a real sport.

And don’t get me started on Curling, Darts, and Pachisi.

The Breakfast Club (Preservation)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:00am (ET) (or whenever we get around to it) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

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This Day in History

Start of Operation Desert Storm; Space Shuttle Columbia lifts off; Prohibition takes effect ; Shah of Iran flees into exile; musical “Hello Dolly” opens.

Breakfast Tunes

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

When you realize the value of all life, you dwell less on what is past and concentrate more on the preservation of the future.

Dian Fossey

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Bigots And Racists All The Way Down

The story goes like this- someone (presumably Chinese but it’s not important) asks a Chinese Philosopher (see, that’s why I think the questioner is probably Chinese), “What holds up the world?”

So the Philosopher thinks about it a bit and says, “The World rests on the back of a Giant Turtle”, which was a fairly widely held belief in China at the time.

The questioner persists, “Everybody knows that. What I mean is, what holds up the Turtle?”

The Philosopher scratches his beard for a while and finally says, “That’s easy. It’s Turtles all the way down.”

So what is the modern Republican Party? That’s easy. It’s Bigots and Racists all the way down.

Megan McCain gets upset when you point this out. I suppose I could be a weenie like Atrios and say something conciliatory like #NotAllRepublicans but the truth is that those who are not Bigots and Racists by inclination are operationally so because their primary constituency is Bigoted Racist Old White Guys.

Because there is a limited supply of Bigoted Racist Old White Guys (thank goodness) and it’s not enough to win elections anymore Republicans cheat. They actively disenfranchise and suppress the votes of People of Color, perhaps not because of Bigotry and Racism, but certainly because People of Color are more likely to vote Democratic.

One of the tactics they have proposed, one which might have the farthest reaching effects, is to add a question about Immigration Status to the 2020 Census in the expectation that it will scare recent immigrants into not filling out their Census Forms for fear of disclosing any paperwork problems they might have and subjecting themselves to the merciless cruelty of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Today we took a small step toward stopping that.

Trump’s effort to rig the census takes a hit
By Paul Waldman, Washington Post
January 15, 2019

It has been amply clear for some time that as far as Republicans are concerned, there is no institution of American government that should be immune from being twisted into a tool for them to obtain partisan advantage. On Tuesday, they suffered a temporary setback in that effort.

Let me quickly give you the background if you’re not up to speed on the Trump administration’s effort to subvert the census. Upon taking office, the administration decided it wanted to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census, but it needed to come up with a reasonable-sounding justification for it, since its true motives were indefensible. So it came up with a cover story: It wanted the citizenship question so that it could properly enforce the Voting Rights Act.

Which is kind of like your kid telling you that you should buy him more Oreos because he wants to make sure he keeps his teeth clean. It’s not a goal he agrees with in the first place, it’s not why he wants the cookies, and getting him the cookies would accomplish the opposite of what he claims.

Why is this important? Anyone who has worked on the census will tell you that getting people to fill out the forms is a challenge, and it gets even worse in immigrant communities where people can feel intimidated by representatives of the government knocking on their doors. Now add in the Trump administration’s relentless assault on immigrants and Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) frequent abuses, and the problem becomes even more acute.

In that context, asking people about their citizenship status is guaranteed to result in undercounts in communities where there are lots of immigrants. Which means those areas will get less representation in Congress and fewer federal dollars for services. And that’s the whole point.

When I call the Voting Rights Act tale a “cover story,” I’m not just expressing an opinion. We have a paper trail of documents showing that the story the administration was telling in public, including under oath to Congress, was a lie. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, whose department oversees the Census Bureau, claimed under oath that the citizenship question was being added because the Justice Department had requested it, and the whole thing was the Justice Department’s idea. “The Department of Justice, as you know, initiated the request for inclusion of the citizenship question,” he said in response to a question about it during congressional testimony.

That was a lie. In fact, it was not the Justice Department’s idea. Ross and his aides approached the Justice Department and asked it to formally ask the Commerce Department for the citizenship question, in order to create a paper trail they could then point to in order to make their false claim. They encountered resistance from officials at the Justice Department, who were obviously uneasy about participating in this scheme. But eventually, after months of pleading and cajoling, they found someone at the Justice Department who was willing to write a letter “requesting” the citizenship question be added to the census. We know this because emails in which they carried out this scheme were obtained in a lawsuit and made public.

Ross also lied to Congress when he claimed that he had not spoken to anyone in the White House about the citizenship question; in fact, he had a conversation about it with Stephen K. Bannon, then the president’s chief political adviser, who suggested that Ross talk about the citizenship question to Kris Kobach, the notorious anti-immigrant vote suppressor who was then Kansas secretary of state; Ross did subsequently consult Kobach about it.

Once these lies were exposed, and facing the possibility that he could at least in theory be prosecuted for perjury, Ross issued statements changing his story, saying that the fog of his memory had cleared and he now recalls that the Justice Department didn’t initiate the request for the citizenship question and he did actually talk to the Trump White House about it.

Not only that, the Census Bureau itself told Ross in a memo in January 2018 that adding a citizenship question “is very costly, harms the quality of the census count, and would use substantially less accurate citizenship status data than are available from administrative sources.” He was undeterred.

All of which is to say that there’s simply no doubt that the Trump administration has been operating in absolute bad faith on this issue, lying to the public and to Congress about it and offering an absurd story to justify its actions. If there’s any silver lining, it’s that the administration is so incompetent that the deception has been completely obvious from the beginning.

Tuesday’s ruling made that clear: “The court concludes that Secretary Ross’s decision was pretextual — that the rationale he provided for his decision was not his real rationale.” That’s a judge’s way of saying, “You lied.”

This has to be seen in the context of a broader effort on the part of Republicans to put a thumb on the electoral scale in every way they possibly can, whether it’s extreme gerrymandering, voter suppression efforts targeted at minorities, or the use of the census to make Republican victories just that much more likely.

And despite this victory, they may well get away with it. This is one in a series of lawsuits filed by states challenging the citizenship question, and the matter will almost inevitably end up before the Supreme Court. Conservatives now have five justices on the court who appear well committed to doing what’s in the interests of the Republican Party. The question is whether they’ll be willing to undermine one of the bedrock institutions of American democracy in order to do it. I wish I could say I had any confidence they won’t.

Pondering the Pundits

Pondering the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from> around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Pondering the Pundits”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

Eugene Robinson: Why are Republicans suddenly outraged over Steve King’s racism?

Republicans are shocked, shocked, to learn that Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) is a dyed-in-the-wool racist. Also , that snow is cold, the ocean is wet and the sky is often blue.

The clamor of GOP voices denouncing King’s latest racist eruption is more amusing than inspiring. Where have his Republican colleagues been all these years? Surely the “party of Lincoln” is aware that race has been the most divisive issue in our national history. Surely Republicans were aware of King’s toxic views, which he makes no attempt to hide. Why such an uproar now?

Perhaps King’s newly outraged critics were waiting for him to finally spell it out in language that even the “party of Trump” cannot ignore. Which he did. [..]

We have seen, in subsequent days, that the open embrace of white supremacy is a bridge too far for many Republicans. That’s what they say, at least. I’ll believe them when they make clear — with actions, not just words — that racists such as King are unwelcome in the party’s ranks.

Paul Krugman: Donald Trump and His Team of Morons

There have been many policy disasters over the course of U.S. history. It’s hard, however, to think of a calamity as gratuitous, an error as unforced, as the current federal shutdown.

Nor can I think of another disaster as thoroughly personal, as completely owned by one man. When Donald Trump told Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, “I will be the one to shut it down,” he was being completely accurate — although he went on to promise that “I’m not going to blame you for it,” which was a lie.

Still, no man is an island, although Trump comes closer than most. You can’t fully make sense of his policy pratfalls without acknowledging the extraordinary quality of the people with whom he has surrounded himself. And by “extraordinary,” of course, I mean extraordinarily low quality. Lincoln had a team of rivals; Trump has a team of morons.

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Redefining Radical

In defiance of Election Losing “Pragmatists” I’ve been saying for years that Democratic Policy Proposals are, in most respects and especially economic ones, cowardly craven sellouts to Monopoly MegaCorps and Thieving Billionaires. Instead the Democrats have escalated Identity Politics as a substitute for true Social Justice, dangling shiny objects while ignoring the root causes of inequality.

These same DLC Blue Dog New Democrat Republicans with a ‘D’ have been trying to reign in Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez because she is too “Radical” and is tarnishing the Party Brand and driving away all their fellow Republican Never Unidicted Co-conspirator Bottomless Pinocchio ers from the “Big Tent” that is perfectly happy to kiss Wall Street’s ass and ignore the plight of their constituents.

The problem is her “Radical” ideas, in particular her “Soak The Rich” Tax Policy are, like Single Payer Medicare For All, enormously popular.

Like 59% popular overall and 45% among Republicans. Republicans!

Poll: A majority of Americans support raising the top tax rate to 70 percent
by Matthew Sheffield, The Hill
1/15/19

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and her Republican critics have both called her proposal to dramatically increase America’s highest tax rate “radical” but a new poll released Tuesday indicates that a majority of Americans agrees with the idea.

In the latest The Hill-HarrisX survey, which was conducted Jan. 12 and 13 after the newly elected congresswoman called for the U.S. to raise its highest tax rate to 70 percent, found that a sizable majority of registered voters, 59 percent, supports the idea.

Ocasio-Cortez has not introduced any legislation to enact the concept but the survey shows a broad cross-section of Americans supports it, at least presently.

Women support the idea by a 62-38 percent margin. A majority of men back it as well, 55 percent to 45 percent. The proposal is popular in all regions of the country with a majority of Southerners backing it by a 57 to 43 percent margin. Rural voters back it as well, 56 percent to 44 percent.

Increasing the highest tax bracket to 70 percent garners a surprising amount of support among Republican voters. In the Hill-HarrisX poll, 45 percent of GOP voters say they favor it while 55 percent are opposed to it.

Independent voters who were contacted backed the tax idea by a 60 to 40 percent margin while Democratic ones favored it, 71 percent to 29 percent.

Ocasio-Cortez is among a group of progressive legislators which includes Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) who have called for increasing federal income tax rates on wealthier Americans. The New York Democrat kicked off a debate within her party in a Jan. 6 interview with “60 Minutes” during which she said she would support setting the highest tax, which she said would kick in at individuals 10 millionth dollar of income, at 70 percent.

In her comments to the CBS show, Ocasio-Cortez referenced tax rates that had once been in place during the mid-20th century. During the 1950s and 60s, the wealthiest Americans were once taxed at a rate in excess of 90 percent.

“That doesn’t mean all $10 million are taxed at an extremely high rate, but it means that as you climb up this ladder you should be contributing more,” she said.

The proposal has been met with both criticism and acceptance within the Democratic party. Republicans and conservative commentators have been universally critical, some incorrectly implying that the congresswoman wants to tax all income of the richest Americans at 70 percent.

Cartnoon

I know I’ve made some very poor decisions recently, but I can give you my complete assurance that my work will be back to normal. I’ve still got the greatest enthusiasm and confidence in the mission. And I want to help you.

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