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  • Support Our Troops: Honoring American Heroes on 9/11 Anniversary

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    By Neil A. Carousso

    On the 16th anniversary of the tragic terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, Adopt-A-Battalion, Inc. held its annual memorial barbecue to honor the heroes in the U.S. military who perished in the global war on terror and the brave men and women who continue to fight for freedom.

    The 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, The Pentagon and United Airlines Flight 93, perpetrated by the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda, killed 2,996 innocent people and injured over 6,000 people while leaving first responders and others with illnesses resulting from the carnage at Ground Zero. Our country will never forget.

    Present at Adopt-A-Battalion’s 9/11 memorial barbecue were veterans from the Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam and Korean wars, veterans from all different services and missions, and families of our troops who are currently stationed overseas plus first responders from the New York City Policy Department and the Fire Department of New York.

    Adopt-A-Battalion volunteers gather weekly to prepare care packages with necessities to U.S. military members in Afghanistan and Kuwait.

    The Sgt. Peter F. Colleran Jr. Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7763 in Massapequa Park, NY accepted a flag on behalf of the fallen soldiers from Massapequa who died fighting in the war on terror that the United States was thrust into after 9/11.

    “Unfortunately, our troops have to go in where [U.S. enemies] are or they’ll come where we are,” said VFW Post 7763 Commander William E. Colfer. “I’m very proud of the men and women who served and I am more than proud to do anything I can to help.”

    “For anything that respects our people, any of the veterans, especially from 9/11, responders who are equally as courageous, we will do whatever it takes to honor them,” First Sgt. Rick Zarembski said.

    Zarembski fought in Vietnam and now associates with the 11th New York Regiment Volunteers. The volunteers organize proper military funerals and burials for any soldier’s family in the area at no cost to the Gold Star Family.

    As we are reminded of the day that changed the country and the world forever, we stand in solidarity with the heroes – past and present – abroad and at home – who fight for freedom – some who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation.

    Adopt-A-Battalion President and Vietnam Veteran Richard Olson gave an emotional address to volunteers and military families about how the country is more united than portrayed, echoing the nation’s responsibility to respect and take care of those who protect our citizens, our freedom, our sovereignty and our way of life.

    While getting choked up, Olson said, “This is America. It is our country. And, we do love them.”

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  • EXCLUSIVE: Congressman Pete King Will Not Vote for Tax Reform, Only Tax Cuts as President Trump Prepares to Use the Bully Pulpit

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    By Neil A. Carousso

    In a wide-ranging 25 minute-long sit-down interview with Rep. Peter T. King (R-NY) on the GOP legislative agenda, a variety of pressing national security concerns and the nationwide opioid epidemic at his congressional district office in Massapequa Park, NY, Mr. King emphasized tax cuts over President Donald J. Trump’s promised tax reform and urged Republicans to compromise with Democrats.

    “Tax reform, I think, would be another debate going on forever,” said Rep. King, adding, “I wouldn’t vote for it myself.”

    Rep. King suggested that his fellow House Republicans feel Democrats will not support any tax reform legislation. He substantiated his reasoning for favoring tax cuts this year by citing former President Ronald Reagan’s tax cuts in 1981 that preceded the Tax Reform Act of 1986 – the last comprehensive tax reform law that included a slashing of the top individual income tax bracket to 28 percent from 50 percent, a reduction in the number of tax brackets from fifteen levels to four levels of income, and expansions of the standard deduction and personal exemptions.

    Rep. King is not alone in preferring tax cuts to reform. Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R) – a friend and informal advisor to President Trump, and sometimes, a critic of the Trump Administration in appearances on Fox News Channel – wrote an op-ed in The Hill earlier this month in which he called for Republicans to get points on the board with favorable and “easy to explain” tax cuts.

    President Trump has proposed a simplification of the complex tax code that has 4 million words and takes a collective 6.1 billion hours a year for taxpayers to comply with the tax laws. Mr. Trump has called for a reduction of individual tax brackets from seven to four with the rates being 0 percent, 10 percent, 25 percent and a top-rate of 35 percent.

    The Chief Executive emphasized reducing the corporate tax rate to 15 percent; the current effective corporate tax rate is 39.6 percent, which is the highest among industrialized nations. A 15 percent corporate tax rate would be the lowest since 1937. It peaked at 52.8 percent in 1968 and 1969.

    “I think to get it through, we have to get the party in a stronger position and that’s why you need tax cuts,” said Congressman King. “Tax cuts, to me, would be a lot easier to get Democrats on your side.”

    Rep. Pete King introduces President Donald Trump who gave remarks to local, state and federal law enforcement on the MS-13 gang threat to the Long Island community in Brentwood, NY on July 28, 2017. This reporter and Congressman King discuss the MS-13 gang threat on Long Island communities in detail. Screenshot: The White House/YouTube
    Rep. Pete King introduces President Donald Trump who gave remarks to local, state and federal law enforcement on the MS-13 gang threat in Brentwood, NY on July 28, 2017. This reporter and Congressman King discuss the MS-13 gang threat on Long Island communities in detail. (Screenshot: The White House/YouTube.)

    Rep. King said the priority this fall should be tax cuts for “working class middle income people who are the backbone of the country” and reducing the corporate tax rate to unleash private sector business growth, and hopefully, the hiring of American workers out of the labor force.

    The significant drop in the corporate tax rate and President Trump’s proposed repatriation of trillions of corporate dollars stored overseas to be taxed at a one-time low-rate of 10 percent would contribute to further economic growth. The U.S. markets have been banking on tax cuts, at the very least, seeing gains over optimism of tax cuts coming into fruition after Congress’ August recess.

    “I think repatriation is absolutely essential,” Rep. King said. “We should be able to get a certain amount of bipartisan cooperation.”

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average reached 22,000 for the first time at the beginning of August, although it has slipped for a variety of reasons, and $4.1 trillion in wealth was created in U.S. markets in President Trump’s first 6 months in office – absent of major legislation on taxes, infrastructure and health care. The President’s executive orders on cutting bureaucratic regulations plus Trump’s campaign promises have sustained investors’ hopes to this point.

    “Within a year or two, you’re going to see more jobs being created,” said Congressman King on President Trump’s roll back of Obama-era regulations. “I fully support what he’s doing as far as cutting back on the regulations. They got totally out of control.”

    President Trump’s successful removal of over 860 regulations in his first 7 months in office and an executive order he signed on the early days of the Administration to eliminate two regulations for every new one created by the federal government has been a contributing factor in the 2.6 percent of GDP (gross domestic product) growth in the second quarter of 2017.

    The economy grew at a sluggish 1.4 percent of GDP in Q1 and an anemic average of 1.5 percent of GDP in 8 years under former President Barack Obama who is the only U.S. president to not see 3 percent annual growth since the Great Depression.

    While 41,000 manufacturing jobs have been created in the U.S. since President Trump was sworn in on Capitol Hill on January 20, the rate of job overall growth, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, has essentially remained the same – 184,000 jobs per month this year compared to 187,000 in 2016.

    Companies such as Foxconn, Wal-Mart, Alibaba, Toyota, Ford and others have made commitments to the “blue collar billionaire” elected President to invest in the U.S. and employ American workers based on the promise of pro-business and pro-growth policies and legislation.

    President Trump begins a campaign to garner support for his proposed overhaul of the federal tax system Wednesday when he visits Missouri – a state Mr. Trump won by 19 points over Hillary Clinton in November.

    President Trump tweeted Sunday morning with a jab at Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Democrat, who stands for re-election in The Show-Me State in 2018. McCaskill said in a statement she hopes she and the President can “find common ground.”

    Congress is expected to begin pushing for tax cuts after the recess. Congress has pressing priorities such as raising the debt ceiling by the end of September to keep the government open.

    Neil A. Carousso interviews Rep. Peter T. King R-NY) at Congressman Kings district office in Massapequa Park, NY on August 24, 2017.
    Neil A. Carousso interviews Rep. Peter T. King (R-NY) at Congressman King’s district office in Massapequa Park, NY on August 24, 2017.

    Watch this reporter’s comprehensive interview with Congressman King on the embedded player above or below about Congress’ legislative priorities and whether the Republican Party will keep their promises, including “repeal and replace” of Obama’s signature Affordable Health Care Act of 2010, which Rep. King said will be “pushed to the side for a while.”

    Further, the Chairman of the House Homeland Security Sub-Committee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence slams Democrats’ divisive rhetoric over the construction of the border wall on the U.S.-Mexico border that was supported by both parties in 2006. Rep. King emphasizes progress under the Trump Administration in tackling the heinous MS-13 gang that is responsible for double-digit murders this year on Long Island and discusses citizens’ roles in the nationwide opioid epidemic.

    FULL TRANSCRIPT: NEIL A. CAROUSSO’S INTERVIEW WITH REP. PETE KING (R-NY)

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  • Russia Collusion Witch Hunt is What Putin Wants, Bill Browder Testifies

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    By Neil A. Carousso

    Bill Browder, a notorious Putin-critic (more about his background below), testified Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee about Russian foreign agents working in the U.S. and Russia’s attempt to repeal the Magnitsky Act. Browder said in his prepared opening statement ahead of his testimony that he will be speaking about “the enablers who conducted this campaign in violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, by not disclosing their roles as agents for foreign interests.”

    Browder discussed his testimony on Fox News’ “The Story with Martha MacCallum” Wednesday evening. Watch the interview below.

    Catherine Herridge’s detailed reporting on the matter is on the Fox News website. Herridge is an accomplished, award-winning and well-respected journalist and the Chief Intelligence Correspondent at Fox News Channel.

    President Donald J. Trump
    cited her report in two tweets Thursday morning, because the mainstream media have ignored the story (along with the DNC staffer who was arrested before trying to flee the country on bank fraud charges and possible corruption).

    Carousso’s Comments: Analysis of Russia’s Election Interference

    The media and the public is missing the fact that Russia is getting what they want: Not President Trump in office, but utter U.S. political chaos.

    Russia doesn’t necessarily care who is the president. They want Americans beating each other up in public spouts, riots and disgusting displays of political disagreement and anarchy. They want chaos in our political system, and that’s what Browder has testified to under oath.

    The Senate Judiciary Committee hearing today proves Russia has been manipulating everyone to believe they wanted Mr. Trump elected, but in reality, it is part of their larger machinations to inflict political turmoil in the U.S. and countries around the world.

    Did Russia meddle in our elections? Yes, they’ve been doing so for over 40 years and other countries have attempted to interfere in our elections as well. And news flash: Our former-President Barack Obama used taxpayer money to fund the opposition campaign to oust Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is supposed to be a strong U.S. ally and is again because of his personal relationship with President Trump and his pro-Israel foreign policy. We are long overdue to upgrade our cyber-security systems and counter warfare. We still use floppy disks at the highest intelligence levels of government. That’s pathetic.

    Testimony Thursday also revealed that Fusion GPS – the group that published the discredited, phony dossier in January alleging salacious activity by Mr. Trump – was paid by Russia to create the fake report that was first published by Buzzfeed, which is partially owned by NBC News. Fusion GPS helped advocate for corrupt Russian and Venezuelan officials while hiding its foreign work from federal authorities. The sketchy group has a connection to Democrats. It has been proven that Fusion GPS has published false reports multiple times. The left-wing party attempted to block this revealing testimony.

    “This is yet the latest piece of evidence that vindicates what the President has said that this is a witch hunt and a hoax and it’s a shame that the President and the country have had to go through this charade continually, and hopefully, this will help us move forward in that process,” said Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee-Sanders at the end of The White House Press Briefing Thursday afternoon.

    The January fake news story actually claimed “Trump has deep ties to Russia,” but evidently the Russia’s intention to forge this dossier was to cause havoc in Mr. Trump’s transition and our political system. Further, it was leaked by a top intelligence official to all media outlets, which sat on the story because none could confirm the fictitious details.

    Reportedly, former FBI Director James Comey brought the dossier to then-President-elect Trump’s attention in an intelligence briefing at Trump Tower. Obama’s Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, NSA Director Admiral Michael Rogers were among the intelligence officials with Comey in the meeting in which Mr. Trump was made aware of the bogus allegations disseminated and funded by the Kremlin.

    Did Russia change votes or elect Trump? No, all intelligence officials definitively confirm that President Trump was elected by the American people – by the forgotten men and women of this country on his message and policies and a rejection of the corrupt Clinton-Obama establishment.

    There’s evidence of voter fraud that mostly benefits Democratic candidates like Hillary Clinton, who also had her primary rigged by the DNC and special interest donors, but there’s no evidence of collusion by the Trump campaign.

    The witch hunt against the outsider, politically inexperienced candidate and his small novice team is what Russia bet on by making the appearance of impropriety, but in reality, this was all a calculated scheme to take advantage of our vulnerabilities enabled by Secretary Clinton and former-President Obama in the Uranium One deal that sold 20 percent of U.S. uranium (used to make nuclear bombs) and kicked-back $145 million to the Clinton Foundation, the failed Russian reset and other Obama Administration foreign policy disasters to cause pandemonium in the United States.

    And, what did Obama mean when he told outgoing Russian president Dmitry Medvedev in March 2012 in Seoul, South Korea that Vladimir Putin should give him more “space” and that “[a]ter my election, I have more flexibility?” That incident was caught on a hot microphone. Watch below.

    Who Is Bill Browder:

    Browder, who is the CEO of Hermitage Capital Management, was previously a hedge fund manager in Russia and one of the country’s most successful foreign investors. Since working on reducing corporate corruption in Russia, his entry into the country was revoked.

    Bill Browder/Twitter.
    Bill Browder/Twitter.

    In 2015, he spearheaded the Magnitsky Act — a sanctions package on Russia that was imposed for the first time in 35 years. The sanctions were created to punish Russian officials involved in the death of Browder’s accountant, Sergey Magnitsky, who was jailed in 2008 and died under mysterious circumstances a year later. Browder has been outspoken about Putin’s killings and menacing orders, including that of his friend and accountant.

    Magnitsky uncovered a $230 million corruption scheme involving Russian officials just before he was arrested.

    Browder also is familiar with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, who recently came into the spotlight when it was revealed she met with Donald Trump Jr. last year during the U.S. election, reportedly to offer damaging information on Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Browder told NPR Veselnitskaya was part of the campaign to repeal the Magnitsky Act.

    h/t Fox News Channel

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  • “Carousso’s Comments:” Repeal ObamaCare and Remove Government from Health Care Business

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    By Neil A. Carousso

    Two Republican senators announced their opposition to the “Better Care Reconciliation Act,” the Senate healthcare bill to repeal and replace the “Affordable Health Care Act,” known as ObamaCare, that has resulted in fewer options and premium increases across the board, including a 116 percent increase in premiums in Arizona last year. On average, premiums have doubled.

    Business Insider/Andy Kiersz, data from The Department of Health and Human Services
    Business Insider/Andy Kiersz, data from The Department of Health and Human Services

    Last night, Senators Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Mike Lee (R-UT) tweeted their opposition to the Senate Republicans’ proposal.

    After 7 and a half years of campaigning and promising “repeal and replace” of ObamaCare, the fate of that promise is hanging in the balance despite having majorities in both houses of Congress and a Republican president who is arguably working harder than anyone to negotiate a better healthcare deal for Americans while attempting to unify moderates and conservatives.

    President Donald J. Trump tweeted Monday night: “Republicans should just REPEAL failing ObamaCare now & work on a new Healthcare Plan that will start from a clean slate. Dems will join in!”

    This may be the only sensible option at this point.

    Senate Republicans passed a bill in December 2015 to repeal most of ObamaCare in a 52-47 vote. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), who also opposes the BCRA, and then-Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) voted “no” with the Democrats – the only two Republicans who opposed the bill that was dead on arrival when it hit former-President Barack Obama’s desk in the Oval Office.

    On Tuesday morning, President Trump tweeted: “With only a very small majority, the Republicans in the House & Senate need more victories next year since Dems totally obstruct, no votes!”

    I’m not sure the GOP deserves victories, though. While Democrats’ partisan, anti-Trump obstruction is impeding progress and sets a standard of unprecedented division and so-called “resistance,” Republicans have been weak in passing the legislative agenda that was voted for on November 8, 2016.

    That is why “Drain the Swamp” was a message that resonated through the heartland of America with Americans frustrated over the gridlock in Washington and broken campaign promises. Americans deserve better from their government officials. The fact remains, the only “politician” who is not receiving funds and lobbying from special interests is the President.

    The Chief Executive also tweeted Tuesday in favor of changing the Senate rules to pass healthcare legislation.

    Using the so-called “nuclear option” will hurt Republicans, in my opinion, if and when Democrats control Congress in the future.

    The nuclear option was first invoked by then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) in 2013 to expedite the confirmations of Obama’s judiciary nominees. In April of this year, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) used it to the Republicans’ advantage in confirming Constitutionalist Justice Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.

    Democrats are good at passing legislation and moving the country left through judiciary confirmations and laws. Republicans are divided among the moderate and conservative facets of the Party. It is incumbent upon the GOP to use the rules of the Senate, as is, to do their jobs that they were voted to perform by the citizens of the United States.

    On the Senate floor Tuesday morning, McConnell said the Senate will vote on the repeal legislation from 2015. “President Obama vetoed it then. President Trump will sign it now.”

    The U.S. Government should have never been in the business of healthcare. At this point, the most viable option for the GOP would be to repeal the mess of ObamaCare and alleviate middle class Americans and small business owners of the outrageous taxes and mandates.

    Then, the GOP should work on small bills to fix minor problems, not one-size-fits-all legislation that moves us towards socialist, single-payer healthcare, supported by Democrats, that would undoubtedly result in longer wait times than veterans experience at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

    The free market, not politicians driven by special interests, should dictate healthcare costs through competition, health savings accounts and individual and family choices.

     

    Featured Image: President Donald Trump, flanked by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentiucky, left, and House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, speaks during a meeting with House and Senate leadership on Wednesday, March 1, 2017 at The White House in Washington, D.C. (Evan Vucci/AP)

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  • No Cuts to Medicaid! The Facts on the GOP’s Repeal and Replace Healthcare Bill

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    By Neil A. Carousso

    CBO Score – What It Means:

    Most people have seen the headlines that the Congressional Budget Office is predicting 22 million more uninsured by 2026 if the Senate health bill passes into law in its current form.

    The CBO also reports that the bill would lower premiums and cut $321 billion from the federal budget deficit. The CBO had projected that the American Health Care Act, passed by the House, would cut the deficit by $119 billion.

    The report also says the Senate GOP ObamaCare repeal and replace plan will increase Medicaid spending by $71 billion over the next 10 years. ObamaCare calls for a $231 billion spending hike. 

    This is the free market and a smaller, less intervening government at work. People who don’t want health insurance, will not be forced to pay for healthcare (at their own peril) under the “Better Care” plan because the individual and employer ObamaCare mandates are removed.

    The CBO was also wrong when it predicted 22 million people would be on the ObamaCare exchanges by 2016; only 10 million Americans were enrolled. People would rather pay the penalty than be forced to pay for health insurance they couldn’t afford with rising costs each year.

    The CBO projected that the ACA Medicaid expansion would be much smaller and less expensive than it has turned out to be.

    Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are the top three mandatory spending items, accounting for over $1.87 trillion combined, which is roughly 48 percent of the United States federal budget. With a national debt of over $19.9 trillion, these government programs are not sustainable.

    Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid must be reformed and its growth slowed (like the Senate healthcare plan does) or the entitlement programs will not exist for future generations.

    No Cuts to Medicaid:

    What Republicans and President Donald Trump must do a better job of is communication and messaging about its healthcare bill. They need to be transparent and honest about its plans and discuss the reasons why they believe in certain policies that are fiscally responsible while the President touts “heart.” Otherwise, Americans, unlike this reporter, who don’t read the bill will have a grasp on the GOP’s intentions to improve the failing healthcare system in the U.S. with skyrocketing costs and poor coverage throughout the nation. (This is why socialism doesn’t work.)

    POLICY DETAILS IN THE “BETTER CARE RECONCILIATION ACT OF 2017″

    Democrats like self-proclaimed Democratic socialist Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said, “Thousands of our fellow Americans every single year will die.”

    House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said, “Many more people, millions, hundreds of thousands of people will die if this bill passes.”

    And, Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) piled on with erroneous numbers, saying, “One to 2,000 people will die if you cut 750,000 people from Medicaid. So that means you’re killing one to 2,000 — killing them.”

    The left’s scare tactics continue with vile and outrageous rhetoric that could be seen as a call to action following the politically-motivated terrorist attack against Republican lawmakers at the Congressional baseball field that seriously injured House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), but the Democrat bullet points are not based on fact.

    Former White House Press Secretary for President George W. Bush’s first term Ari Fleischer explained Medicaid policy in the Senate GOP bill best in a series of Tweets on Sunday:

    Medicaid has vastly increased as a percentage of government spending. In 1986, Medicaid accounted for 2.5 percent of all government spending. At the end of 2016, Medicaid accounted for 9.6 percent of the budget with a deficit of over $19 trillion.

    There are also people receiving Medicaid who shouldn’t and there is plenty of waste, fraud and abuse of big government bureaucracy. We are moving in the right direction in my eyes. Of course, it’s not perfect, but it’s much better than ObamaCare.

    Featured Image of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) answering media questions courtesy of the Associated Press.

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