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Topics - cadence4u

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Off-Topic / The Trump Card: Group reveals 7-point plan to reinstate Trump in 'days, not year
« on: July 11, 2021, 10:18:41 am »Message ID: 1359678
The Trump Card: Group reveals 7-point plan to reinstate Trump in 'days, not years' that includes installing him as House Speaker and ousting Joe Biden and Kamala Harris

* A so-called 'Trump card' was handed out by a conservative group at CPAC detailing a '7-PT. plan to restore' Trump to
   office 'on days, not years'
* The group Patriots SOAR is not affiliated with CPAC event organizers
* The far-fetched plan requires Trump be third-in-line in presidential succession, which is House Speaker, and then
   remove Biden and Harris from office
*  The card prompts readers to visit a webpage, where a letter from 'Author, Investigative-Researcher & Engineer'
   Robert J. Antonellis details the plan
* The webpage includes several Q-Anon-linked conspiracy theories, like the 'secret satanic sacrifices' of Martin Luther King Jr. and John F. Kennedy Jr.

A seven-point plan of how to reinstate Donald Trump as president 'in days, not years' circulated at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Dallas this weekend.

The so-called 'Trump Card' details that the former president's best chances of retaking his seat in the Oval Office before the 2024 election is by getting him placed in the House Speakership post and ultimately leading Congress in impeaching and removing President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris from office.

The card, obtained by Forbes on Friday, appears to have been made and distributed by a group called Patriots SOAR, which is not associated with CPAC organizers.

A letter on pages seven and eight of the 13-page document is signed by 'your fellow countryman, Robert J. Antonellis'. He is described as an 'Author, Investigative-Researcher & Engineer' in the letter.

While Antonellis is mentioned several times in the document, it is not clear what other individuals are associated with Patriots SOAR.

The group did not immediately respond to a request for comment from

Trump will speak at the conservative gathering in Dallas on Sunday afternoon. The ex-president made his first public post-presidency remarks at CPAC in Orlando, Florida in February 2021.

The far-fetched and unlikely plan would require that Republicans regain control of the House in 2022, which Trump and the GOP are working hard to ensure happens.

After current Speaker Nancy Pelosi 'melts like the Wicked Witch of the West,' a 'trusted conservative' needs to be elected into her old post, the information card details.

That new speaker would be responsible for revealing 'Trump legitimately won the 2020 election' and then drafting articles of impeachment for Biden and Harris.

Then the scenario gets even more improbable in describing the speaker would place Trump in the third place in the line of succession to the presidency, which is the House Speaker position.

The group details, finally, that the House and Senate would need to impeach and convict the president and vice president, allowing Trump to rise to the presidency.

The 10-page document from Patriots SOAR includes a slew of conspiracy-related information, like detailing 'secret satanic sacrifices' of Martin Luther King Jr. and John F. Kennedy Jr.

Before this new plot was revealed, rumors circulated that Trump felt he could be reinstated as president by August. MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, a fervent Trump ally, said he was the one who informed the ex-president this could happen.

Trump's circle, however, denies that he feels he will be reinstated as president later this summer.

Off-Topic / Vladimir Putin laughs off Joe Biden's claim he's a 'killer' (but fails to deny i
« on: June 12, 2021, 09:53:08 am »Message ID: 1358285
Vladimir Putin laughs off Joe Biden's claim he's a 'killer' (but fails to deny it) and dismisses the US president as a 'career politician' while praising Donald Trump as 'extraordinary, talented and colorful'

* Putin, 68, spoke to NBC News on Friday ahead of his meeting with Joe Biden
* Biden meets Russia's leader - who he has known for decades - on Wednesday
* In March Biden said that Putin was 'a killer' - remarks that made Putin chuckle
* The Russian president said that he hoped to have a stable relationship with U.S.
* He described Trump as 'colorful', 'talented' and 'extraordinary'
* Putin said questions about deaths of Russian dissidents were 'verbal indigestion'
* He said reports of him backing Iran's satellite program were 'nonsense garbage'
* Biden has previously said he confronted Putin and told him he had no soul

Vladimir Putin burst into laugher when asked if he is a killer - and heaped praise on Donald Trump, before branding Joe Biden a career politician.

The Russian president guffawed when NBC correspondent Keir Simmons asked him: 'Mr President, are you a killer?' during an interview broadcast Friday night.

He avoided directly answering, instead replying: 'Over my tenure, I've gotten used to attacks from all kinds of angles and from all kinds of areas under all kinds of pretext and reasons and of different caliber and fierceness, and none of it surprises me.'

'So as far as harsh rhetoric I think this is an overall expression of US culture. Of course in Hollywood, there are some underlying deep things in Hollywood - macho, which can be treated as cinematic art. But that's part of US political culture, it's considered normal. By the way, not here, it is not considered normal here.'

Putin was speaking in Moscow ahead of his June 16 meeting with President Biden in Geneva. Biden said earlier this year he believed his Russian counterpart was a killer, while Donald Trump did not give a direct answer when asked the same question during his time in office.

Simmons pushed Putin further on the matter, saying: 'I don't think I heard you answer the question, a direct question, Mr President.'

Putin - who appeared to bristle at being pushed further, said: 'I did answer, I did answer. I'll add if you let me. I've heard dozens of such accusations, especially a period of some great events during our counter terrorism events in northern caucuses.

'When that happens, I'm always guided by the interests of the Russian people. The Russian state. In sentience of terms of who calls somebody who, in terms of labels, this is not something I worry about in the least.'

Simmons then reeled off a list of names of Putin critics who died in murky circumstances.

They included Alexander Litvinenko, killed by radiation poisoning in London in 2006, and Mikhail Lesin, who was murdered in Washington DC in 2015. 

Putin, a former KGB lieutenant colonel, said: 'Look, you know, I don't want to come across as being rude, but this looks like some kind of indigestion except that it's verbal indigestion. You've mentioned many individuals who indeed suffered and perished at different points in time for various reasons, at the hands of different individuals.'

Speaking of Lesin, he added: 'I regret to this day he is not with us - we found some of the other criminals who committed these crimes. They are in prison.

Meanwhile, Putin used the same interview to hail Donald Trump, while offering more lukewarm praise - and a backhanded compliment - when asked to share his thoughts on Joe Biden.     

He told Simons: 'Well even now, I believe that former U.S. president Mr Trump is an extraordinary individual, talented individual, otherwise he would not have become U.S. president.

'He is a colorful individual. You may like him or not.

'And, but he didn't come from the U.S. establishment. He had not been part of big-time politics before, and some like it, some don't like it but that is a fact.'

On the current president, Putin said: '(Biden) is radically different from Trump because President Biden is a career man. He has spent virtually his entire adulthood in politics.'

Putin added: 'That's a different kind of person, and it is my great hope that, yes, there are some advantages, some disadvantages, but there will not be any impulse-based movements on behalf of the sitting U.S. president.'

Trump was dogged by accusations of his being too cozy to Russia, and in awe of their strongman leader. 

Putin and Biden will meet in Geneva on Wednesday.   

The White House has said Biden will bring up ransomware attacks emanating from Russia, Moscow's aggression against Ukraine, the jailing of dissidents and other issues that have irritated the relationship.

Last year Biden told his biographer, Evan Osnos, about meeting Putin in the Kremlin in 2011.

'I said, 'Mr Prime Minister, I'm looking into your eyes, and I don't think you have a soul,'' Biden recalled.

'And he looked back at me, and he smiled, and he said, 'We understand one another.' This is who this guy is!'

In March, Biden described Putin as 'a killer'.

'This is not something I worry about in the least,' Putin said.

'Over my tenure, I've gotten used to attacks from all kinds of angles and from all kinds of areas under all kinds of pretext and reasons and of different caliber and fierceness, and none of it surprises me.'

He dismissed the 'killer' label as 'Hollywood macho.' 

Pressed further by Simmons, who mentioned by name some of the Putin opponents who have been killed in recent years, the Russian leader bristled.



Biden, at the start of an eight-day visit to Europe this week, said: 'We're not seeking conflict with Russia.'

'We want a stable and predictable relationship.

'But I've been clear: The United States will respond in a robust and meaningful way if the Russian government engages in harmful activities.' 

On the issue of recent ransomware attacks that the United States has traced to Russia, Putin denied any knowledge of the hackings and called on Biden to reach an agreement with him on cyberspace, NBC News said.

Putin also dismissed a report in the Washington Post this week that Russia was preparing to supply Iran with an advanced satellite that would enable it to track potential military targets across the Middle East.

'It's just fake news. At the very least, I don't know anything about this kind of thing,' Putin said.

Off-Topic / Blocked by Biden: Keystone XL Pipeline is finally AXED five months after Preside
« on: June 10, 2021, 10:34:14 am »Message ID: 1358195
Blocked by Biden: Keystone XL Pipeline is finally AXED five months after President revoked permit: Trump claims 48,000 Americans will lose their jobs

* Canadian developer TC Energy announced Wednesday it was pulling the plug on the controversial $8 billion pipeline
* Biden revoked its permit on his first day in office, undoing Trump's approval
* TC Energy alluded to Biden's decision in its cancellation announcement
* The pipeline would have carried oil from the tar sands of Canada to Texas
* Environmentalists and indigenous groups had long opposed the pipeline
* Trump claimed last week Biden's nixing of it had cost 48,000 US jobs

The Keystone XL Pipeline project has officially been axed, five months after Joe Biden revoked Donald Trump's permit on his first day in office and just days after the former president claimed the move could cost 48,000 American jobs. 

TC Energy, the Canadian developer behind the project, announced Wednesday it was pulling the plug on the controversial $8 billion pipeline that would have carried 800,000 barrels of oil a day from the tar sands of Canada to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast.

The company said it had come to the decision following a comprehensive review of its options and after consulting with the government of Alberta, Canada. It alluded to Biden's decision to ax the permit as part of the reason for the project's cancellation.

The move brings to an end a decade of political wrangling over the pipeline and sees Biden's America wave goodbye to another program launched under Trump.

Environmentalists and indigenous groups had long opposed the pipeline, and Biden vowed during the White House race to withdraw US support for the project.   

TC Energy said Wednesday it had notified the government of Alberta of its decision and will coordinate with regulators, indigenous groups and other stakeholders 'to meet its environmental and regulatory commitments and ensure a safe termination of and exit from the Project.'

The company will now focus its business around the areas of shipping and storing natural gas, liquid fuels and power.

François Poirier, the company's president and CEO, said in a statement: 'We value the strong relationships we've built through the development of this Project and the experience we've gained.' 

Alberta officials also said in a statement that they had reached an agreement with TC Energy to exit their partnership.

The company and province plan to try to recoup the government's investment, although neither offered any immediate details on how that would happen.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said he was 'disappointed and frustrated' with the project's demise and pointed the finger at Biden.

'We remain disappointed and frustrated with the circumstances surrounding the Keystone XL project, including the cancellation of the presidential permit for the pipeline's border crossing,' Kenney said in a statement.

The 1,210-mile (1,947-kilometer) pipeline, starting in 2023, was to transport up to 830,000 barrels of oil per day from the Alberta oil sands to Nebraska and then through an existing system to refineries in coastal Texas. 

Alberta had hoped the pipeline would spur increased development in the oil sands and bring tens of billions of dollars in royalties to the area over the coming decades.

The province invested more than $1 billion in the project in 2020 alone.

Construction began last year after Trump granted the project a permit to cross the border into America when he took office in 2017.

But Biden signed an executive order within hours of entering the White House in January formally rescinding the permit.

Biden had vowed during the presidential campaign to end the project over concerns that burning oil sands crude would make climate change worse.

The Democrat had put the climate crisis high on his political agenda, also moving to re-enter the US in the Paris Climate Agreement - after his predecessor pulled the nation from it.

In January Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hit out at the nixing of the permit and urged Biden to rethink his decision.

However officials in Alberta have since claimed Trudeau didn't push Biden hard enough to reinstate the permit and the president was not swayed.

Republicans were also unhappy about Biden's move. A total of 21 Republican states sued the president over his executive order, saying the line would have created thousands of construction jobs.

The Democrat has even sparked some division on the matter within his own party, with moderate Senate Democrats including Montana's Jon Tester and West Virginia's Joe Manchin urging him to reconsider.

Tester said in a statement Wednesday that he was disappointed with the project's demise, but made no mention of Biden.

Wyoming Senator John Barrasso, the top Republican on the Senate energy committee, was more direct: 'President Biden killed the Keystone XL Pipeline and with it, thousands of good-paying American jobs.'

A White House spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment on TC Energy's announcement.

Trump had raged about the halting of the pipeline at the North Carolina GOP convention dinner in Greenville on Saturday night, claiming his successor had cost America 48,000 jobs. 

'The Biden administration seems to be putting America last. You look at these negotiations where so many bad things have happened,' he said.

'48,000 jobs were lost by President Biden's day one rejection of the keystone pipeline. For what reason - why did they do that?

'And if you like the environment, the pipeline is much better than railroad tracks and trucking. It's great and they ended it on day one.' 

The pipeline has been a source of controversy for more than a decade.

It was first proposed back in 2008 but has fallen in and out of favor with the US as the nation's leadership yo-yoed from Democrat to Republican and back to Democrat.

The project stalled under the Obama administration before its approval under Trump - followed by its total demise under Biden.

The pipeline faced strong opposition from environmentalists who viewed the expansion of oil sands development as an environmental disaster that could speed up global warming as the fuel is burned.

They celebrated the news Wednesday saying the line's cancellation marks a 'landmark moment' in the effort to curb the use of fossil fuels.

'Good riddance to Keystone XL,' said Jared Margolis with the Center for Biological Diversity, one of many environmental groups that sued to stop it.

Native American tribes along its route had also long opposed its building as it would have ran through land that they own. 

Off-Topic / Got 2nd Covid 19 Vaccines
« on: April 24, 2021, 08:40:57 pm »Message ID: 1355533
Got my 2nd vaccines on Wednesday - Had a fever/ chills & massive headache. Massive headache finally going away sine Wednesday!

Vaccine - Pfizer!

Off-Topic / Florida Gov DeSantis signs new anti-riot bill that cracks down on violent protes
« on: April 19, 2021, 10:04:42 am »Message ID: 1355212
Florida Gov DeSantis signs new anti-riot bill that cracks down on violent protests and stops police budgets from being cut on the same day as Derek Chauvin's closing arguments

* The bill that aims to crack down on violent protests comes into effect immediately in Florida
* Gov Ron DeSantis signed the bill, officially known as HB 1, on Monday as closing arguments in the Derek Chauvin trial
   over George Floyd's death were held
* The bill increases the criminal penalties for those who commit crimes during a riot, including assault and defacing
   monuments and public property
* The bill also allows local governments to be sued if they fail to prevent a riot breaking out and protests police budgets
   from being cut
* It also gives civil immunity to people who drive into protesters who have forcibly blocked roads

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has signed a new anti-riot bill into law on the same day as closing arguments in the Derek Chauvin trial over George Floyd's death.

The Republican-backed bill, which aims to crack down on violent protests, comes into effect immediately and is response to the riots that broke out in the wake of the police killing of Floyd in Minneapolis last summer.

DeSantis signed the bill, officially known as HB 1, on Monday at a press conference at the Polk County Sheriff's Office headquarters.

'I think it's really remarkable if you look at the breadth of this particular piece of legislation,' he said.

'It is the strongest anti-rioting, pro-law enforcement piece of legislation in the country. There's just nothing even close.'

It will increase the criminal penalties for those who commit crimes during a riot, including assault and defacing monuments and public property. It will be punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

'This bill protects all monuments in Florida. You have no right to go in and take down monuments, we're not going to let the mob win the day with that,' DeSantis said. 

It also creates a new second-degree felony called aggravated riot that can see people charged when a riot has more than 25 participants and causes bodily harm, more $5,000 in property damage or blocks roadways by force.

The bill allows local governments to be sued if they fail to prevent a riot breaking out and adds language to state law that could force local governments to justify a reduction in law enforcement budgets.

It gives civil immunity to people who drive into protesters who have blocked roads and also prevents those who have been charged in relation to a riot from being released on bail until after their first court appearance.

'Just think about it, you're driving home from work, and all of a sudden, you have people out there shutting down a highway, and we worked hard to make sure that didn't happen in Florida,' DeSantis said.

'They start to do that, there needs to be swift penalties.'

The bill builds on several measures DeSantis introduced last summer as a response to the violent protests following George Floyd's death at the hands of police. 

Republicans say the bill is designed to protect people and property. They have hit back at suggestions that the bill will impact freedom of speech.

'Rights have limits, and violence is where the line is drawn,' said Republican Sen. Danny Burgess, who carried the bill in the Senate. 'This bill is about preventing violence.'

Those who oppose the bill, however, say it aims to stop protests altogether and violate the First Amendment Rights of people involved in groups like Black Lives Matter.

The American Civil Liberties Union previously said the new law would give police broad discretion over what constitutes a demonstration and a riot.

'The bill was purposely designed to embolden the disparate police treatment we have seen over and over again directed towards black and brown people who are exercising their constitutional right to protest,' said Micah Kubic, the executive director of ACLU of Florida.

It was first filed in the Florida House of Representatives in January before being passed by the Senate, 23-17, last Thursday.

The bill was sent to Florida's Republican governor as new protests erupted last week in a Minneapolis suburb after another fatal police shooting of black man Daunte Wright and as closing arguments started in Derek Chauvin's trial.

In Minneapolis, where the trial is taking place, the city is already taking precautions in case of unrest.

More than 3,000 members of the National Guard have been drafted into the city, in addition to 1,100 officers from public safety agencies across the state as part of what has been termed Operation Safety Net.

Businesses have already been boarded up and the area around Hennepin County Government Center, where Chauvin's trial is being held, has already been fortified with concrete barricades and multiple layers of high-security fencing topped by barbed wire.

Off-Topic / Biden tries to sell his $2trillion infrastructure package to Republicans and Dem
« on: April 19, 2021, 09:59:38 am »Message ID: 1355211
Biden tries to sell his $2trillion infrastructure package to Republicans and Democrats with another Oval Office sit down as he prepares another round of taxes on the rich

* President Joe Biden will host Republican and Democratic lawmakers in the Oval Office as he tries to sell them on his $2
   trillion infrastructure package
* Administration considering taxing the wealthy to pay for second phase of its infrastructure plan -  the American Families
* Among lawmakers meeting with Biden is Republican Senator Mitt Romney, who has an infrastructure proposal of his own
* Some Republicans want to pass a 'hard' infrastructure plan with traditional items
* Some Democrats signing on to that as a first step with a social program package to follow that one

President Joe Biden will host Republican and Democratic lawmakers in the Oval Office Monday as he tries to sell them on his $2 trillion infrastructure package.

The meeting comes as the administration prepares for a new round of taxes - this time on wealthy individuals - to pay for the second phase of Biden's infrastructure plan, which focuses on social programs.

The 10 lawmakers meeting with Biden are all former governors or mayors. The president has touted his support from Republican mayors and governors to paint his proposals as bipartisan even as his American Rescue Package didn't garner a single GOP vote on Capitol Hill.

The White House touted the meeting, saying the group of 'former state and local elected officials understand firsthand the impact of a federal investment in rebuilding our nation's infrastructure on their communities.'

Biden faces an uphill battle on his sprawling infrastructure plan, which goes beyond tradition projects of roads and bridges to include housing, childcare and the environment.

Both Democrats and Republicans have weighed in on the proposal, which is in the process of being drafted on Capitol Hill.

Monday's meeting marks the second time in the last two weeks Biden has hosted a bipartisan group of lawmakers. Last week he met with eight lawmakers for nearly two hours.

Among the group of 10 lawmakers sitting down with the president is Republican Senator Mitt Romney, who has an infrastructure proposal of his own to counter Biden's.

He and the president have spoken about it, Romney told reporters on Capitol Hill last week.

The Republican legislation aims for a smaller infrastructure deal - in the $600 billion to $800 billion range.

It would focus on traditional infrastructure items and some Democrats see that as a first step to a larger deal.

Democratic Senator Chris Coons of Delaware, a close Biden ally, said on 'Fox News Sunday that the Senate should 'come together in a bipartisan way to pass that $800 billion hard infrastructure bill' and then tackle a second package that would include additional items the president is proposing.

Meanwhile the White House wooing continues.

White House chief of staff Ron Klain will host leaders of the moderate House Democratic Blue Dog Coalition on Tuesday and key members of the New Democrat Coalition on Wednesday,  a White House official told CNN.

Vice President Kamala Harris is in North Carolina on Monday to sell the plan and other Cabinet officials are also hitting the road. 

Republicans have criticized Biden's plan for being too large and going outside the traditional infrastructure scope.  Some moderate Democrats have expressed similar concern.

Biden has defended his plan by saying all the items contribute to the greater infrastructure of the country.

But he's also facing criticism from his left wing, who wanted him to go even bigger.

The White House is working to mollify progressives with talk of the American Families Plan, a second part of the infrastructure initiative that will be released this month and focus on social programs, including the child tax credit.

But most Republicans strongly oppose the social programs and liberals worry that a smaller first round package passing with bipartisan support could kill the second round proposal.   

To pay for his American Families Plan, Biden is weighing a new series of tax hikes on the wealthy, people familiar with the discussions told Politico.

The new taxes come after the administration proposed a series of taxes on corporations last month to pay for its $1.9 trillion COVID relief package. Some of those funds could pay for first round of infrastructure funding but the way to cover costs is still being worked out as the legislation is being crafted.

But a presidential proposal for a tax on the wealthy is likely to be much more contentious on Capitol Hill than his push to raise corporate taxes.

Republicans are pushing back hard on Biden's plan to raise taxes - both on corporations and on high-net earners.

And some Democrats from high-worth areas - such New York, San Francisco and Silicon Valley -  may object to the president's plan to raises taxes on their constituents.   

Biden has pledged only to raise taxes on households making more than $400,000. But the administration hasn't been clear as to whether that limit applies to individual earnings or combined household - a distinction that makes a big difference especially in areas on the East and West Coasts where the cost of living is high.

One idea the administration is considering would be to reel back Donald Trump's tax cut, taking the top marginal tax rate back to 39.6 per cent, where it was before the 2017 tax cut.

Lawmakers meeting with Biden on Monday


Sen. John Hickenlooper of Colorado

Sen. Angus King of Maine

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri

Rep. Charlie Crist of Florida

Rep. Norma Torres of California


Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah

Sen. John Hoeven of North Dakota 

Rep. Carlos Gimenez of Florida

Rep. Kay Granger of Texas 

Off-Topic / Are these the 30 people who will attend Prince Philip's funeral? Royals face
« on: April 10, 2021, 10:21:47 am »Message ID: 1354737
Are these the 30 people who will attend Prince Philip's funeral? Royals face dilemma over who to invite because of Covid rules with Boris Johnson likely to join senior members of family for service - as equipment is seen arriving in Windsor

* The Queen, 94, will only be able to invite 30 people to the ceremony - plus the clergy - at St George's Chapel
* There were going to be 800 mourners from across the Duke's military units, charities and the Commonwealth
* The final list, which is expected in the next few days, will likely be made up of senior members of Royal Family
* Prince Philip said that he wanted funeral with minimal fuss, but his passing was always going to be a big affair
* Meanwhile lorries were Saturday lunchtime seen hauling scaffolding into Windsor Castle for the preparations

The Royal Family faces a dilemma over who to invite to Prince Philip's funeral due to the coronavirus restrictions in place across England.

The Queen will only be able to invite 30 people to the ceremony - plus the clergy - at St George's Chapel in the grounds of Windsor Castle.

Originally there were going to be 800 mourners from across the Duke of Edinburgh's military units, charities and associates from across the Commonwealth.

The final list, which is expected in the next few days, will likely be made up of senior members of the Royal Family as well as the Prime Minister.

Prince Philip said he wanted a funeral with minimal fuss, but the passing of Britain's longest serving consort was always going to be a big affair - and lorries were today seen hauling scaffolding into Windsor Castle for the preparations.
The Royal Family faces a dilemma over who to invite to Prince Philip's funeral due to the coronavirus restrictions in place across England.

The Queen will only be able to invite 30 people to the ceremony - plus the clergy - at St George's Chapel in the grounds of Windsor Castle.

Originally there were going to be 800 mourners from across the Duke of Edinburgh's military units, charities and associates from across the Commonwealth.

The final list, which is expected in the next few days, will likely be made up of senior members of the Royal Family as well as the Prime Minister.

Prince Philip said he wanted a funeral with minimal fuss, but the passing of Britain's longest serving consort was always going to be a big affair - and lorries were today seen hauling scaffolding into Windsor Castle for the preparations.

Next could be the partners of the senior royals, who are present at most official events.

These are Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, the Princess Royal's husband Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence and Sophie, Countess of Wessex.

Prince Harry is expected to jet across from his new home in California, before quarantining ahead of the burial.

His wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, who is heavily pregnant with their second children, is not believed to be coming and neither is their son Archie.

The rest of those to be invited is less certain but the remaining could heavily feature more distant members of the Royal Family.

Princess Anne's children Peter Phillips and Zara Tindall could be there, with Zara's husband and former England rugby star Mike also present.

Princess Beatrice could be joined by Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, who she married last year.

Her younger sister Princess Eugenie may well also be invited, along with her husband of three years Jack Brooksbank.

Sophie, Countess of Wessex's children may also make the cut - Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn.

It is also likely the Queen will invite her cousins and their spouses: Princess Alexandra, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke and Duchess of Kent and Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, who have offered loyal support and service over the years.

And the Queen is close to the children of her late sister Princess Margaret - her nephew the Earl of Snowdon and niece Lady Sarah Chatto - and is likely to want them to be present as a source of comfort.

The Queen and Philip's 10 great-grandchildren - Savannah and Isla Phillips; Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis of Cambridge; Mia, Lena and Lucas Tindall; Archie Mountbatten-Windsor; and August Brooksbank - are likely to be considered too young to attend the televised proceedings as all are aged 10 and under.

If Meghan does not attend, and Mr Tindall, Mr Brooksbank and Mr Mapelli Mozzi do, then the guest list would total 29, leaving just one place left.

This could be filled by a trusted member of the Queen or Prince Philip's household, or perhaps Boris Johnson if the Queen decides to widen the invitation outside royal circles, or First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Tony Radakin in honour of Philip's military service.

Off-Topic / Prince Philip's funeral set for next Saturday
« on: April 09, 2021, 01:05:04 pm »Message ID: 1354684
Prince Philip's funeral set for next Saturday: Britain enters eight days of mourning as The Queen shares her 'deep sorrow' after the death of her 'beloved' husband Philip at 99 and nation pays tribute to her 'rock' the Duke of Edinburgh

* Her Majesty announced death of her husband of 73 years at midday today and joins 'the world in mourning'
* Philip was in Windsor after being treated for an infection and pre-existing heart condition for 28 nights
* Duke of Edinburgh had kept a low profile since conducting his final solo public engagement in August 2017
* After retiring, Philip spent much of his time at Windsor and at Queen's private Sandringham estate in Norfolk
* Duke was the longest-serving consort in British history and the oldest serving partner of a reigning monarch
* Philip was known for legendary gaffes and uncensored and politically incorrect opinions on various subjects

Britain today enters eight days of mourning before Prince Philip's funeral is due to be held next Saturday after The Queen announced with 'deep sorrow' the death of her husband Prince Philip at the age of 99.

Philip was her 'strength and guide' throughout their 73-year marriage and her 69-year reign, as crowds of mourners laying flowers and tributes at palaces became so large they were told to disperse because of the pandemic.

The Duke of Edinburgh spent his final days at Windsor Castle with his wife, who he lovingly called Lilibet throughout their long life together, after a 28-night stay in hospital having been admitted in mid-February for an infection and a pre-existing heart condition.

Her Majesty announced her husband's death at midday as the Union Flag was lowered to half-mast outside Buckingham Palace, in Downing Street and on public buildings across the UK and Commonwealth. Westminster Abbey will ring its bells 99 times in his memory from 6pm tonight.

The Royal Family said in a statement: 'It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle. Further announcements will made in due course. The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss'.

A frail Philip was last seen leaving hospital for Windsor on March 16. His death plunges the nation and the Royal Family into mourning and brings to an end his lifetime of service to Britain and to Elizabeth, the Queen who adored him since her teens. The couple shared their 73rd wedding anniversary last November and he was due to turn 100 on June 10 this year.

Hundreds gathered in the spring sunshine at the palace and in Windsor, where many hugged and wiped away tears as they laid flowers in his memory - and left messages of love and support for the Queen and her family.

But as the crowds grew this afternoon the Government urged people to stay away and not to leave bouquets for public health reasons because Britain remains in lockdown due to Covid-19. The notice announcing the Duke of Edinburgh's death at the gates of Buckingham Palace even had to be removed to maintain social distancing, officials said, and police horses even arrived to help marshal mourners.

His funeral will be a small family service at St George's Chapel in the grounds of Windsor Castle before the duke is buried in Frogmore Gardens, where Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were laid to rest. The date has not been set officially, but sources claim it could be on Saturday, April 17.

More details will emerge in the next few days, with the plan nicknamed 'Operation Forth Bridge', but the public have already been urged to stay away to avoid spreading Covid-19 and watch it on TV at home instead. A state funeral including a flotilla of boats on the Thames to mark her husband's life looks impossible due to covid restrictions, but the Duke was said to have disliked the idea because he 'didn't want the fuss'.

Prince Harry is expected to return to the UK and be among the small number of mourners at the funeral, but it is much less clear whether his pregnant wife Meghan will return, weeks after the couple accused the Royal Family of racism in their bombshell Oprah interview while Philip lay in hospital.

The Duke of Edinburgh's title will eventually pass on to his youngest son, Prince Edward, it was confirmed today - but he will have to wait until after the death of his mother and his brother Charles becomes king because of royal protocols.

The cause of Philip's death has not been made public, but Philip had his first Covid-19 vaccination with the Queen on January 9, with his second one due around a week ago. It is not known if it was administered.

Parliament will be recalled from its Easter recess on Monday - a day earlier than planned - where MPs will give tributes in the Commons. The Conservatives, Labour and other major parties have suspended campaigning for the local, mayoral and police and crime commissioner elections in May out of respect for the duke.   

As the Queen lost her husband, and the country mourns one of its greatest servants, it also emerged:

Her Majesty will enter a period of mourning with officials planning a royal ceremonial funeral in St George's Chapel,  Windsor, after Philip insisted he didn't want the 'fuss' of lying in state. But well-laid plans have been hit by Covid restrictions and the public already urged not to consider gathering in the streets for the event;
Large crowds stood at Buckingham Palace and at Windsor Castle to lay flowers - before the Government asked them to disperse and stop laying flowers;
Flags around the UK are at half-mast - and will remain so for at least eight days - as Boris Johnson leads tributes to the Duke of Edinburgh, who the PM said has 'helped to steer the Royal Family and the monarchy so that it remains an institution indisputably vital to the balance and happiness of our national life';
US president Joe Biden said: 'Jill and I are keeping the Queen and to Prince Philip's children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren in our hearts during this time
Commonwealth leaders including prime ministers of Australia, Canada and India thank Prince Philip for his decades of public service and send 'love and deepest condolences' to Her Majesty and all the Royal family;
Philip's death came at a time of great turmoil for the Royal Family after Harry and Meghan's emigration to the US and bombshell Oprah interview. The Sussexes have not said if they will be returning to the UK;
Prince Charles, Prince William and other senior royals are yet to give their own personal tributes as ordinary Britons shared their own hilarious and poignant memories of meeting Prince Philip;

Her Majesty, who remains at Windsor Castle with her husband, has now started an eight-day period of mourning. She will not carry out any duties, even in private, while laws will not be given the Royal Assent and affairs of state will also be paused.

Boris Johnson led the tributes to the Queen's husband and addressed the nation outside No 10 Downing Street shortly after the announcement. He said: 'We give thanks, as a nation and a kingdom, for the extraordinary life and work of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh'.

He added: 'Speaking on their golden wedding anniversary, Her Majesty said that our country owed her husband 'a greater debt than he would ever claim or we shall ever know' and I am sure that estimate is correct So we mourn today with Her Majesty The Queen.

'We remember the duke for all of this and above all for his steadfast support for Her Majesty the Queen. Not just as her consort, by her side every day of her reign, but as her husband, her 'strength and stay', of more than 70 years.

'And it is to Her Majesty, and her family, that our nation's thoughts must turn today. Because they have lost not just a much-loved and highly respected public figure, but a devoted husband and a proud and loving father, grandfather and, in recent years, great-grandfather.' Mr Johnson also praised his Duke of Edinburgh scheme, which has 'shaped and inspired the lives of countless young people'. 

Photos from early years to current:

Off-Topic / Biden's Homeland Security secretary now says he wants to prosecute MORE illegal
« on: April 07, 2021, 10:00:03 am »Message ID: 1354561
Biden's Homeland Security secretary now says he wants to prosecute MORE illegal immigrants crossing the border and will crack down on Dem sanctuary cities that refuse to work with ICE

* Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas wants to crack down on illegal immigration
* Specifically, he wants to criminally prosecute more illegal immigrants and target sanctuary cities who refuse to
   cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement
* 'I see cases now where we apprehend and remove individuals that I think need to be prosecuted criminally,' Mayorkas
    told ICE employees during a virtual town hall on Friday
* Also said President Joe Biden is considering restarting construction on Donald Trump's southern border wall
* Resumed construction would help fill 'gaps in the wall,' Mayorkas said
* Biden is facing a massive influx of migrants arrivals, leading to overcrowding at detention facilities
* Vice President Kamala Harris was put in charge of the White House's response to the immigration crisis
* Critics have slammed her for not yet visiting the southern border or its overflowing holding facilities, but instead
   jetting of to promote the American Rescue Plan

Joe Biden's Homeland Security head is looking to crack down on illegal immigration by taking more legal action against border jumpers and targeting U.S. cities that act as a safe haven for them.

'I see cases now where we apprehend and remove individuals that I think need to be prosecuted criminally,' DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said during a virtual town hall with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) employees last week where he also revealed President Biden is considering restarting construction on Donald Trump's border wall.

'Quite frankly, I'm going to have to understand why some of these individuals are not subject to a Title 8 USC 1326 case and I intend to work with the DOJ in that regard,' he added.

Entering the U.S. illegally is a misdemeanor under Title 8 Section 1325. Furthermore, reentering the country after being ousted is a felony under Title 8 Section 1326.

Mayorkas told ICE employees that DHS will also take on so-called sanctuary cities that refuse to work with the agency to turn over illegal immigrants hiding out there.

He also vowed during the meeting, according to notes of the conversation reviewed by the Washington Times, that he is opposed to some more progressive immigration and border protection policies, like the push from the far left to totally abolish ICE.

'I'm 100% opposed to the abolition of ICE,' he said. 'It is the opposite of what I think needs to occur. I think we need to strengthen our policies and practices and communicate more effectively what we do and why we do it.'

Vice President Kamala Harris was put in charge of the White House's response to the immigration crisis. Critics have slammed her for not yet visiting the southern border or its overflowing holding facilities in the few weeks since being designated border czar.

Since Biden made the announcement, Harris has visited New Haven, Connecticut; Oakland, California and Chicago, Illinois – all to promote the American Rescue Plan and preview more relief.

She also went home to California for Easter weekend with second gentleman Doug Emhoff and moved into the Naval Observatory after getting 'frustrated' with the time it was taking to complete the renovations. She has also listed her D.C. condo on the market for $1.995million.

Another notable tidbit to come from that meeting Friday was Mayorkas revealing Biden is considering restarting construction on Trump's southern border wall in an effort to address the record numbers of illegal crossers.

He said the construction might resume in order to plug 'gaps' in the current barrier between the U.S. and Mexico.

The move comes as Biden made a big spectacle on Day One of his administration by issuing an executive order freezing Department of Defense funding for border wall construction. In February, he officially ended the emergency order at the border, but there were concerns about where the funds would go that were already appropriated for the border wall project.

The new hard-line stances come as Biden's administration is facing a growing crisis at the southern border with record numbers of migrants arriving every day and facilities quickly becoming overcrowded and understaffed.

So-called sanctuary cities emerged as a hot topic in the midst of Trump imposing strict crack downs on deporting illegal immigrants.

A sanctuary city refers to a jurisdiction that limits their cooperation with the federal government's effort to enforce immigration law.

California itself has deemed itself a sanctuary state and other cities include places like Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Portland, Oregon.

Mayorkas also revealed during the meeting he's working on a new set of guidelines to govern ICE officers' arrests and attempts to deport illegal immigrants.

Pressed by ICE employees worried about public resistance, Mayorkas said the agency has a 'noble mission.'

Mayorkas served during Barack Obama as head of ICE and later as deputy secretary at DHS under then-Secretary Jeh Johnson.

Some feel Mayorkas is just fronting for ICE employees without the intentions to follow through with some of these plans.

'I've seen this administration say a lot of things that I feel like they're disingenuous about, and they know they can't deliver on, but they pretend and leave their audience to believe they can deliver on. That's what I see here,' a former DHS official told the Times.

During the forum, employees pleaded for a firmer stance amid the current migrant surge.

One employee lamented that DHS was treating illegal immigrants more leniently regarding COVID-19 restrictions than American citizens.

Others questioned the new administration's border policy changes, claiming Trump's policies appeared to be working to curb the immigration crisis.

One employee complained, according to the Times, of 'notoriously low morale' and blamed Washington for its lack of support.

Under Trump there was a lot of freedom to target illegal immigrants with criminal records, which allowed agents and officers to pursue deportation against anyone in the country without permission or legal status.

With Biden in office, however, ICE has been given much stricter rules.

The priorities of the new administration have seen ICE book-ins cut by 62%, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse.

Mayorkas defended the stricter priorities, saying: 'Every law enforcement agency to which I have been a part, or which I have worked, has priorities in light of the fact that it doesn't have unlimited resources.'

'I know there may be disagreements about where those lines are drawn, and we're going to be talking about that in the coming weeks,' he added.

The DHS lead promised 'discretion' and said the final guidelines won't be 'set in stone.'

Biden's administration is facing record numbers of migrants arriving at the southern border and federal government holding facilities are 'stretched beyond thin,' according to an independent report concluded after a visit to the sites.

House Whip Steve Sacalise is leading a delegation of 10 Republican members to the southern border to assess the conditions, which have been described as 'inhumane' and 'horrific.'

Vice President Kamala Harris, who was designated border czar by Biden last month, has faced a slew of backlash for not yet visiting the border. Seemingly, Harris has not done anything yet to improve conditions at holding facilities or address problems with immigration under this administration.

NASA and other federal agencies reportedly sent out emails to their employees asking if they are willing to volunteer at the overcrowded child migrant facilities.

Mayorkas defend Biden canceling border wall construction, telling ICE employees during last week's meeting that it leaves 'room to make decisions' on finishing 'gaps in the wall.'

'It's not a single answer to a single question. There are different projects that the chief of the Border Patrol has presented and the acting commissioner of CBP [Customs and Border Protection] presented to me,' Mayorkas said, according to notes of the ICE session reviewed by the Times.

'The president has communicated quite clearly his decision that the emergency that triggered the devotion of DOD funds to the construction of the border wall is ended,' he continued. 'But that leaves room to make decisions as the administration – as part of the administration – in particular areas of the wall that need renovation, particular projects that need to be finished.'

On February 11, Biden ended Trump's southern border emergency, which was issued through executive order in February 2019.

Off-Topic / Kamala Harris Has Not Visit The US-Mexico Border
« on: April 07, 2021, 09:48:26 am »Message ID: 1354560
A bakery, a water plant and her LA home: Everywhere Kamala has flown in the 14 days since she was placed in charge of migration crisis (but not, obviously, the border)

* The Vice President was tasked with addressing the crisis at the border amid a surge in migrant numbers
* In two weeks she has only held one phone call with the Guatemalan President and offered no interviews
* She did not visit the border despite traveling home to California for four days with no public commitments
* More than 170,000 migrants were caught trying to cross the border in March, its highest level in two decades
* Harris is yet to hold an interview or make a trip to see the 'humanitarian crisis' despite her new role

Kamala Harris has still to visit the US-Mexico border or even hold a press conference about her new duties in the two weeks since being tasked with addressing the migrant crisis.

The Vice President spent Easter weekend at her Brentwood home in Southern California where she baked a 'beautiful' roast pork with rice and peas, but did not find time in her schedule to visit the nearby border.

In the past two weeks she has also visited Connecticut for a talk with the Boys and Girls Club of New Haven, traveled to Oakland to meet with Gavin Newsom to show support amid his potential recall election, and made a trip to a bakery in Chicago.

Harris has also been busy moving into her new residence at the Naval Observatory just days after she complained about living out of suitcases while it was being renovated.

On March 24, she was tasked with leading the efforts to tackle the 'humanitarian crisis' amid a surge of migrants trying to enter the US since Joe Biden's administration came into office.

New government statistics released last week revealed that 171,000 migrants were caught by US authorities at the border in March - the highest monthly total in two decades.

It comes as Biden's Homeland Security head is looking to crack down on illegal immigration by taking more legal action against border jumpers and targeting US cities that act as a safe haven.

The total includes about 19,000 unaccompanied migrant children and 53,000 family members traveling together, the preliminary figures showed.

The March arrest totals at the US-Mexico border represent the highest monthly level since April 2000 when border patrol agents caught more than 180,000 migrants.

But Harris has stayed publicly silent on the issue and has not held a press conference or major interview about her new duties she was assigned them two weeks ago.

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich invited the Vice President on a tour of the border this month in a letter on Friday.

He wrote: 'Recently, you stated, "You have to see and smell and feel the circumstances of people to really understand them." With that in mind, I formally invite you to join me for a tour of the southwest border in Arizona later this month.

'It will provide firsthand insight into what Arizonans, law enforcement officials and migrants are experiencing. I will make myself available any day of your choosing.'

Shortly after her appointment, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey also branded Harris 'the worst possible choice' to lead the border team, saying Biden had 'completely trivialized the issue by putting someone in charge who flat out just doesn't care'.

Ted Cruz added 'she is not going to be able to solve this crisis', branding it Biden's 'biggest political mess'.

Biden initially said his vice president would be in charge of returning migrants to their home countries in her new role.

He said: 'The vice president has agreed... to lead our diplomatic effort and work with those nations to accept the returnees, and enhance migration enforcement at their borders.'

The White House later claimed Harris was not directly involved with the border crisis but was instead addressing its 'root causes'.

Her schedule shows that since she was tasked with helping the crisis, she has largely remained in Washington DC.

On March 25, her only public duty was the White House's virtual Passover celebration with her husband Doug Emhoff, while the following day she visited New Haven, Connecticut, to meet with the Boys and Girls Club.

She spent the weekend in Washington DC with no public commitments, before receiving a Covid briefing and joining Biden for a speech on their pandemic response on the Monday.

On Tuesday March 30, Harris received the President's daily brief in the morning before signing the PPP extension into law in the Oval Office.

She also carried out the only known work related to the border since being appointed Border Czar as she held a phone call with President Alejandro Giammattei of Guatemala.

So far, 64,000 migrants out of the 350,000 who have been caught by US authorities at the border were Guatemalan.

A statement said: 'They discussed the significant risks to those leaving their homes and making the dangerous journey to the United States, especially during a global pandemic.'

The following day, she led a discussion with faith leaders where she encouraged their communities to take up the vaccine.

She returned home to California on Thursday, April 1, her third visit during the administration.

Harris spent the weekend at home where she baked a 'beautiful' roast pork with rice and peas, according to the LA Times.

She had no public events over the weekend until she traveled to her hometown of Oakland on Monday where she met with California Gov. Gavin Newsom and gave her support as he faces a potential recall election.

The Vice President toured a water treatment plant to highlight the benefits of the American Jobs Plan and held a 'listening session' with business owners.

She said during her visit to the East Bay Municipal Utility District’s Upper San Leandro treatment plant, in an area affected by drought: 'For years there were wars fought over oil. In a short time there will be wars fought over water.

'We must address inequities in access to clean water, at local state federal levels, understanding opportunities to build back up infrastructure around water.'

Republican National Committee spokesman Keith Schipper said: 'It's been nearly two weeks since Vice President Kamala Harris was named manager of the Biden Border Crisis, and while she has made time to return home to the Bay Area, Harris has refused to visit the border — which is only 500 miles from her location today — to survey the crisis firsthand.

'Californians don't find this border crisis funny and demand the so-called manager get to work fixing the problem this administration created.'

On Tuesday, Harris traveled to Chicago where she toured a Covid vaccine site before returning to Washington DC.

Upon her return to DC, Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff moved in to their official residence, just days after it emerged she was unhappy about living out of suitcases while it was being renovated.

The Naval Observatory - the VP's official residence - has been out of action for more than two months while it undergoes much-needed updates.

The pair had been living at Blair House, across the road from the White House, since January - an arrangement that was reportedly beginning to wear on Harris.

'She is getting frustrated,' an administration official told CNN, noting that every day her desire to move into her designated house grows more intense.

But it seems that she has now had the green light to move into the official property.

Just days before she was tasked with addressing the migrant crisis, Harris laughed when she was asked if she would visit the border.

She was in Jacksonville to address food insecurity and vaccinations when asked if she had plans to visit the border.

Harris replied laughing: 'Not today. But I have before and I'm sure I will again.'

Kamala's schedule since becoming 'Border Czar'

March 25 - Washington DC: Virtual Passover

March 26 - New Haven, Connecticut: meeting with Boys and Girls Club and education leaders

March 27-28 - Washington DC: no public commitments

March 29 - Washington DC: Covid briefing and delivering pandemic remarks

March 30 - Washington DC: Signed the PPP extension into law and spoke with Guatemalan President

April 1 - Washington DC/Los Angeles, California: Met with stakeholders before traveling to her Brentwood home

April 2-4 - Los Angeles: At home with no public commitments

April 5 - Oakland, California: Met Gavin Newsom, toured water treatment plant and met business leaders

April 6 - Chicago, Illinois: Toured a Covid vaccination site before returning to Washington DC

Off-Topic / Biden is set to announce $3TRILLION in tax hikes tomorrow: President will target
« on: March 30, 2021, 11:52:27 am »Message ID: 1354002
Biden is set to announce $3TRILLION in tax hikes tomorrow: President will target businesses, married couples, high earners on more than $400k, and estates to fund his climate-friendly infrastructure package

* Biden is set to announce his infrastructure plan Wednesday in Pittsburgh
* Total price tag has been pegged at between $3 trillion and $4 trillion
* The administration is working on hikes that could make up $3T of the package
* Biden says families earning less than $400,000 won't get tax hit
* But he is set to target business, married couples and estates
* The White House has backtracked on plans to tax drivers by the mile 
* Individuals filing jointly could still get hit, one tax expert says
* Move to take on 'stepped up' basis for capital gains on investments
* White House said Biden would propose paying for proposals 'over time'

President Joe Biden is set to announce up to $3trillion in tax increases targeting the rich and middle class when he unveils his infrastructure package in Pittsburgh tomorrow.

The hikes could hit Americans earning more than $400,000 a year, businesses, married couples and estates. 

It is part of his bid to fund the revenue needed for his bold proposal to pay for new roads, bridges, green technology and 'human infrastructure' - which includes subsidies for Americans to pay for health insurance and measures to cut child poverty.

But the White House is not drawing a line in the sand over Biden's tax hikes – and even allowing for the possibility the package that moves through Congress not be fully paid for.

'The president believes its responsible to propose a way for paying over time,' White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday.

'There will be a range of views including how to pay for it. 'Some people may not want to pay for it,' she noted, adding that Biden is 'open to having those discussions.'

Psaki held back details about what exactly Biden would propose. 'He believes that there’s more that can be done to make the corporate tax code fair – to reward work, not wealth,' she said.

While the White House will put out details on paper, Biden's role will be 'laying out ... a broad vision ,a bold vision for how we can invest in America .'

The increases could total $3 trillion, the Washington Post reported, with the cost of the infrastructure package running as high as $4 trillion. The rest of the money needed could be made up by borrowing.

One substantial hike that Biden campaigned on is raising the corporate tax rate to 28 per cent, from 21 per cent. Trump signed legislation dropping the rate to its present level from 35 per cent.

Biden has pledged that families earning less than $400,000 would not have their taxes raised, and White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said this would apply to individual filers as well.

But tax expert Timothy McGrath of Riverpoint Wealth Management told Fox Business there could be scenarios would individuals making less than $400,000 do get hit if they file taxes jointly with their spouse.

Two individuals each earning $200,000 could get pushed into the top bracket, with the top rate rising to 39.6 per cent. 

'It's a significant disadvantage to married couples,'McGrath said. 'It's another marriage penalty, and this is nothing new in the tax system.'

Another potential pay-for would get at the 'stepped up' basis for investments that go into estates. Under current law, long-held investments that get transferred at the time of death are only taxed when sold, and the new basis for taxation is set at the higher level at the time of death – potentially shielding millions worth of gains.

A new draft proposal floated by Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) would shield the first $1 million, but the rest would be subject to taxation, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Some tax ideas are dying just days after getting floated by the administration – a reminder of the difficulty getting any of the proposals through Congress.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg touted a potential mileage tax last week to fund road improvements, only to say it wasn't being considered for the infrastructure package. 

The White House also rejected those ideas.

A gas tax is politically risky and would weigh more heavily on lower-income Americans, who often travel longer distances for work.

House Democratic centrists, meanwhile, are making a play to raise the $10,000 cap on deductions for State and Local Taxes imposed by the Trump tax legislation. This would add costs to tax and infrastructure legislation.

Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.) has already threatened not to go along with any tax legislation that doesn't take care of the issue, which hits homeowners in states like his with high property values. Given Speaker Nancy Pelosi's tiny majority, Gottheimer and his allies have leverage.

'No SALT, no dice,' he told Axios this week.

White House aides say that Biden may also rely on some federal borrowing to fund the package, given historically low interest rates.

Whatever the plan, it is likely to inspire heated debate among Republicans, Democrats, economists and academics about the right way to plug the holes in the U.S. economy opened by the vast spread of COVID-19.

'The president has a plan to fix the infrastructure of our country... and he has a plan to pay for it,' White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Monday. If members of Congress don´t like it, 'we´re happy to look at their proposals,' Psaki added.

The nation's nearly 50,000 miles of interstate highways were considered one of the world's cutting-edge infrastructure projects when they were constructed.

But the national piggy bank for funding road and mass transit projects since 1956, the Highway Trust Fund, has been in the red since 2008.

Congressional budget forecasters warn it could have a $207 billion shortfall by 2031 without new sources of revenue.

The fund is powered by an 18.4 cent per gallon tax on gasoline and a 24.4 cent tax on diesel, both of which have not been raised in nearly three decades, even as fuel efficiency standards have improved.

That makes fuel cheap. German drivers paid $6.12 per gallon of fuel in 2019, versus $2.87 in the United States, according to the Peter G. Peterson Foundation. In Britain, taxes account for 63% of the fuel price at the pump, versus 19% in the United States.

Biden has vowed not to raise taxes on Americans making less than $400,000 a year, which includes the overwhelming majority of the country.

Influential trade groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, have failed to convince lawmakers to raise the fuel tax to pay for roads. 'We believe in a user-based system for roads, bridges and transit' said Ed Mortimer, its vice president of Transportation and Infrastructure.

Some Republicans, including Senate committee leaders John Barrasso, of Wyoming, and Chuck Grassley, of Iowa, introduced a bill that included a gas hike tied to inflation and a national electric vehicle fee last year.

Some sort of compromise on funding is necessary.

'If the White House and lawmakers can't find agreement on the Highway Trust Fund, then it doesn't bode well for the rest of the package,' said Quincy Krosby, chief markets strategist at Prudential Financial, who consults on transportation financing.

Biden is also expected to ignore calls from lawmakers for a new way to tax motorists based on how far they drive, not how much fuel they use, a third source familiar with the plan told Reuters.

Tax Hikes Americans Are Facing: 
Tax hikes for American households making more than $400,000 a year. It is unclear how much, financial experts say it could hit married couples.

Biden could raise the corporate tax rate to 28 per cent, from 21 per cent. Trump signed legislation dropping the rate to its present level from 35 per cent

Another potential pay-for would get at the 'stepped up' basis for investments that go into estates
White House has floated the idea of more taxes on motorists, but has scaled back plans for a pay-per-mile scheme.

Off-Topic / REVEALED: Tiger was 'agitated' and rushing to meet NFL stars Drew Brees and Just
« on: February 24, 2021, 10:17:01 am »Message ID: 1351561
REVEALED: Tiger was 'agitated' and rushing to meet NFL stars Drew Brees and Justin Herbert for GolfTV before crash that shattered his leg: Footage emerges of him driving to LA country club seconds before rolling his car

* Tiger Woods is 'awake, responsive and recovering' in hospital after a crash in LA that shattered his right leg
* He was travelling from a five-star resort to country club when he lost control of his SUV in accident black-spot
* Police say 45-year-old rolled his car 'several hundred feet' and firefighters had to cut him out of the wreckage
* Surgeons say he splintered his right shin and calf bones and they have inserted a metal rod, pins and screws
* Man who saw him leave the resort says he was 'agitated', 'took off fast' and nearly hit another car
* He was on his way to Rolling Hills Country Club to meet with NFL players Drew Brees and Justin Herbert
* They were due to film for GolfTV at 7.30am; sources say Tiger was rushing after leaving the hotel late 
* His girlfriend Erica Herman is with him now at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, where he is recovering 

Tiger Woods was rushing to meet NFL stars Drew Brees and Justin Herbert at a golf club where they were due to film for GolfTV when he crashed on Tuesday morning and shattered his right leg.

Woods rolled his Genesis GV80 at 7.12am on Tuesday morning, less than 15 minutes after speeding out of the Terranea Resort in Ranchos Palos Verdes, where witnesses said he seemed 'impatient' and eager to get on the road.

He was on his way to the Rolling Hills Country Club, 10 miles away, where he was due to meet New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees and L.A. Chargers' quarterback Justin Herbert to film a show for GolfTV. They were due to meet at 7.30am and the drive ordinarily takes around 20 minutes.

Sources told FOX News that he was late leaving the hotel after having to wait longer than expected to get his car from the valet. He was picked up by road cameras driving safely, within the speed limit of 45mph at at 7.05am.

The crash site is a known problem area, according to sheriffs who said on Tuesday they have seen people fly down the road at almost twice that speed. The exact spot where he crash is at a point in the road where it widens and is downhill. The sheriffs said people tend to put their foot on the gas prematurely without factoring in that their speed will naturally increase.  There is a gravel runaway ramp after it to slow people down and there's also a net in the central median to try to stop out-of-control cars from rolling over onto the other side of the road.

It's unconfirmed what speed Tiger was traveling at or what exactly caused him to crash but he plowed through the central reservation, rolled several times and ended up on a grassy verge on the other side of the road.

Initially, sheriffs said they had to use the jaws of life to pry him from his vehicle. They later confirmed that they didn't, and that firefighters were able to get him out on their own but they said he was 'lucky to be alive'.

Tiger was taken to the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center to undergo surgery to his legs. He suffered open fractures on his tibia and fibula - where the bone splinters into two or more pieces and comes through the skin - and had a rod inserted in his tibia, with his foot and ankle 'stabilized with a combination of screws and pins'.

On Tuesday night, he was conscious, sitting up and responding to his loved ones. His girlfriend Erica Herman is with him at the hospital, as is his agent Mark Steinberg. It's unclear when he will be released from the hospital, or if his children and ex-wife are there.

The crash occurred when Woods was driving at a 'greater speed than normal,' LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said at a press conference on Tuesday.

[The vehicle] crossed the center divider, to the point that it rested several hundred feet away so obviously that indicates they were going at a relatively -- a greater speed than normal.

'However, because it is downhill, it slopes and it also curves. That area has a high frequency of accidents. It’s not uncommon,' he said.

He added that while the front end of the car was 'totally destroyed', the interior was 'more or less intact'.

After the crash, a neighbor phoned 911.

Deputy Sheriff Carlos Gonzalez was first on the scene.

He told Today on Wednesday morning that he did not recognize the famous golfer when he arrived, and that he just saw 'eyes' when he peered through the window.

'I don't think he was aware of how gravely he was injured at the time. It could be a mixture of adrenaline, it could've been shock. 

'Again it was very quick, the moment that I arrived from the moment that he rolled over, so I don't know if he had time to fully assess his injuries,' he siad.

Woods was wearing his seatbelt. Initially, it was claimed by the sheriff's department that Woods was pried from the wreckage by the jaws of life.

Woods was wearing his seatbelt. Initially, it was claimed by the sheriff's department that Woods was pried from the wreckage by the jaws of life.

The fire department later clarified that they used an axe to break him free.

Oliver Konteh, who is part of a TV crew filming show 'Grown-ish' at the five-star Terranea Resort where Woods was staying, said he saw the athlete get into his $50,000 Genesis GV80 SUV shortly before 7am as he headed to the Rolling Hills Country Club - where he was due to tee off with Drew Brees at 7.30am. He had been loaned the car by Genesis while hosting the PGA Genesis Invitational over the weekend.

Konteh said Woods was blocked for a short time by another vehicle that was unloading luggage, and by the time he left he looked 'agitated and impatient'.

He told TMZ that Woods 'took off fast' and almost hit another car belonging to the 'Grown-ish' director as he left the parking lot, just after 7am.

A front door camera then captured Woods driving at normal speed around 7.05am along Hawthorne Boulevard, around five miles south of the spot where he would later crash.

Anish Mahajan, chief medical officer at the hospital, said Woods suffered open fractures of his tibia and fibula - where the bone splinters into two or more pieces and comes through the skin - and had a rod inserted in his tibia, with his foot and ankle 'stabilized with a combination of screws and pins'.

Muscles surrounding the bones were cut to relieve swelling, Mahajan said, describing the injuries as 'significant'.

Experts say he is facing a long road to recovery and was lucky that he didn't have to have the right leg amputated.

Dr. Joseph Patterson, an orthopedic trauma surgeon at Keck Medicine of USC in Los Angeles, said injuries like those sustained by Woods are among the most common seen in hospital emergency rooms.

Patterson didn’t treat Woods and wouldn’t comment specifically about the golfer’s injuries but said the risk of infection is extremely high for patients with open fractures.

'Tissue can be exposed to bacteria, dirt and clothing. The outcomes can be a lot worse if that tissue gets infected, Patterson said.

'As if his body hasn’t endured enough. I just hope he can get out of the hospital after recovery and he can still play with his kids and have a normal life,' Jon Rahm, the No. 2 player in the world, said from the Workday Championship in Florida.

He did not say what Woods' prognosis is, or whether he will be able to play golf again. Girlfriend Erica Herman is thought to be at the 15-time major winner's bedside. 

Police said Woods did not appear to be under the influence at the time of the crash but that blood tests will be carried out as part of an investigation due to last 'weeks'.

Off-Topic / Ohio bomb squad is called in to disable suspicious looking bag left outside a ch
« on: February 21, 2021, 11:13:56 am »Message ID: 1351370
Ohio bomb squad is called in to disable suspicious looking bag left outside a church - only to discover it is full of abandoned KITTENS

* Small black bag was discovered outside the front door of a New Miami church on Thursday
* Bomb squad descended on the scene to dismantle the 'suspicious package' before they heard the sounds of purring
   coming from inside
* The bag contained a cat named Sprinkles and six baby kittens
* The owner had left a note inside the bag explaining that Sprinkles had given birth to the babies the previous day and
   they could no longer care for them
* The family of felines were taken to a nearby animal shelter and are now 'warm, cozy and fed'; they will be adopted
   out to homes in the coming weeks

A bomb squad has been called in to disable a suspicious looking bag left outside an  Ohio church - only to discover it was full of abandoned kittens.

The incident occurred Thursday in New Miami when a staffer at the church came across the small black carrier outside the building's front door.

Members of the Butler County Bomb Unit quickly descended on the scene to inspect the 'suspicious package' but were left startled when they heard the sounds of purring coming from inside the bag.

'There was a momma cat and her six one-day-old babies in the bag,' the Butler County Sheriff's Office revealed in a Facebook post shared Saturday.

'There was a momma cat and her six one-day-old babies in the bag,' the Butler County Sheriff's Office revealed in a Facebook post shared Saturday.

The update was accompanied by a series of snaps, including one which showed Sprinkles keeping guard over her six babies while inside the black bag.

Several other snaps showed the tiny kittens being cared for by volunteers, who wrapped them up in towels.

The kittens are now 'warm, cozy and fed' and will be adopted out to homes in the coming weeks. 

The story heartened hundreds of people on Facebook, many of whom left comments beneath the post. 

One woman expressed sympathy for Sprinkles' previous owner, saying the person may not have had the funds to properly provide for the new litter.

'Someone cared for Sprinkles and did the only thing they could think of to do, though we may all agree it could have not gone so well, I believe there's someone who struggled and probably worried about mama and babies,' the wrote.

Another stated: 'This story had a happy ending.. and that's what matters the most. Mommy and babies are safe and being taken care of.'

Off-Topic / Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh dies aged 70 - one year after announcing S
« on: February 17, 2021, 12:14:13 pm »Message ID: 1351067
Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh dies aged 70 - one year after announcing Stage IV lung cancer diagnosis

* Conservative radio icon Rush Limbaugh died Wednesday, aged 70, following year-long lung cancer battle
* News of Limbaugh's death was announced by his wife Kathryn on his radio show
* Limbaugh was diagnosed with Stage IV advanced lung cancer back in February 2020
* Days after revealing his diagnosis, Limbaugh attended President Donald Trump's State of the Union where he was
   awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom
* In his first interview since leaving office, Trump on Wednesday paid tribute to Limbaugh in a phone interview with Fox
   News, calling him 'irreplaceable'
* Limbaugh continued to host his radio show, which had been in national syndication since 1988 - only missing a few
   shows in October for treatment
* In his last broadcast of 2020, Limbaugh thanked his listeners for their support and said: 'I wasn't expected to be alive

Rush Limbaugh, the radio icon and 'voice of American conservatism', died on Wednesday, aged 70, following his year-long battle with lung cancer.

Limbaugh's death, which was announced by his fourth wife Kathryn on the radio show he last hosted February 2, was diagnosed with Stage IV advanced lung cancer back in February 2020.

'I know that I am most certainly not the Limbaugh that you tuned in to listen to today,' Kathryn, who was married to Limbaugh for a decade, told his viewers.

'I, like you, very much wish Rush was behind this golden microphone right now, welcoming you to another exceptional three hours of broadcasting. It is with profound sadness I must share with you directly that our beloved Rush, my wonderful husband, passed away this morning due to complications from lung cancer.' 

Just days after revealing he had cancer last year, Limbaugh attended President Donald Trump's State of the Union where he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

First Lady Melania Trump presented him with the nation's highest civilian honor after her husband lauded Limbaugh as 'a special man beloved by millions of Americans' and 'the greatest fighter and winner that you will ever meet'.

Limbaugh was one of Trump's most ardent supporters. In his first interview since leaving office, Trump on Wednesday paid tribute to Limbaugh in a phone interview with Fox News, saying they last spoke three or four days ago.

'Rush is irreplaceable,' Trump said. 'Unique. He had an audience that was massive.'

'People, whether they loved him or not, they respected him.'

Despite his diagnosis, Limbaugh continued to host his radio show, which had been in national syndication since 1988, throughout much of last year.

He had vowed to do his program 'as normally and as competently' as he could while undergoing treatment. He missed only a few shows in October. 

In his last broadcast of 2020, Limbaugh thanked his listeners for their support as he opened up about his fight with terminal cancer.

'I wasn't expected to be alive today,' he said. 'I wasn't expected to make it to October, and then to November, and then to December. And yet, here I am, and today, got some problems, but I'm feeling pretty good today.' 

Tributes immediately poured in from high-profile Republicans and conservatives, including Donald Trump Jr., who called him a 'true American legend'.

Former President George W. Bush said Limbaugh 'spoke his mind as a voice for millions of Americans.'

Unflinchingly conservative, wildly partisan, bombastically self-promoting and larger than life, Limbaugh galvanized listeners for more than 30 years with his talent for vituperation and sarcasm. 

His radio show became nationally syndicated in 1988 and quickly built a large and committed following, making him wealthy in the process.

Forbes magazine estimated his 2018 income at $84 million, ranking him behind only Howard Stern among radio personalities.

He called himself an entertainer, but his monologues during his three-hour weekday radio show broadcast on nearly 600 US stations shaped the national political conversation, swaying ordinary Republicans and the direction of their party.

Limbaugh's appeal and the success of his top-rated radio show arose from his brash and colorful style, his delight in baiting liberals and Democrats and his promotion of conservative and Republican causes and politicians.

Blessed with a made-for-broadcasting voice, he delivered his opinions with such certainty that his followers, or 'Ditto-heads,' as he dubbed them, took his words as sacred truth.

'In my heart and soul, I know I have become the intellectual engine of the conservative movement,' Limbaugh, with typical immodesty, told author Zev Chafets in the 2010 book 'Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One.'

Limbaugh took as a badge of honor the title 'most dangerous man in America.' He said he was the 'truth detector,' the 'doctor of democracy,' a 'lover of mankind,' a 'harmless, lovable little fuzz ball' and an 'all-around good guy.'

He claimed he had 'talent on loan from God.'

Long before Trump's rise in politics, Limbaugh was pinning insulting names on his enemies and raging against the mainstream media, accusing it of feeding the public lies.

He called Democrats and others on the left communists, wackos, feminazis, liberal extremists, f*****s and radicals.

When actor Michael J. Fox, suffering from Parkinson's disease, appeared in a Democratic campaign commercial, Limbaugh mocked his tremors.

When a Washington advocate for the homeless killed himself, he cracked jokes. As the AIDS epidemic raged in the 1980s, he made the dying a punchline. He called 12-year-old Chelsea Clinton a dog. 

He suggested that the Democrats' stand on reproductive rights would have led to the abortion of Jesus Christ. When a woman accused Duke University lacrosse players of rape, he derided her as a 'ho,' and when a Georgetown University law student supported expanded contraceptive coverage, he dismissed her as a 's**t.' When Barack Obama was elected president in 2008, Limbaugh said: 'I hope he fails.'

Limbaugh often enunciated the Republican platform better and more entertainingly than any party leader, becoming a GOP kingmaker whose endorsement and friendship were sought. Polls consistently found he was regarded as the voice of the party.

His idol, Ronald Reagan, wrote a letter of praise that Limbaugh proudly read on the air in 1992: 'You've become the number one voice for conservatism.' In 1994, Limbaugh was so widely credited with the first Republican takeover of Congress in 40 years that the GOP made him an honorary member of the new class.

During the 2016 presidential primaries, Limbaugh said he realized early on that Trump would be the nominee, and he likened the candidate´s deep connection with his supporters to his own.

In a 2018 interview, he conceded Trump is rude but said that is because he is 'fearless and willing to fight against the things that no Republican has been willing to fight against.'

Trump, for his part, heaped praise on Limbaugh, and they golfed together.

Both men ultimately found Florida more comfortable than New York: The former president's Mar-a-Lago estate is eight miles down the same Palm Beach boulevard as Limbaugh´s $50 million beachfront expanse.

In honoring Limbaugh at the State of the Union, Trump called his friend 'a special man beloved by millions.'

Limbaugh influenced the likes of Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly and countless other conservative commentators who pushed the boundaries of what passes as acceptable public discourse.

His brand of blunt, no-gray-area debate spread to cable TV, town hall meetings, political rallies and Congress itself, emerging during the battles over health care and the ascent of the tea party movement.

In 2003, Limbaugh admitted an addiction to painkillers and went into rehab. Authorities opened an investigation into alleged 'doctor shopping,' saying he received up to 2,000 pills from four doctors over six months.

He ultimately reached a deal with prosecutors in which they agreed to drop the charge if he continued with drug treatment and paid $30,000 toward the cost of the investigation.

He lost his hearing around that time. He said it was from an autoimmune disorder, while his critics said hearing loss is a known side effect of painkiller abuse. He received cochlear implants, which restored his hearing and saved his career.

A portly, round-faced figure, Limbaugh was divorced three times, after marrying Roxy Maxine McNeely in 1977, Michelle Sixta in 1983 and Marta Fitzgerald in 1994.

He married his fourth wife, Kathryn Rogers, in a lavish 2010 ceremony featuring Elton John. He had no children.

Rush Hudson Limbaugh III was born January 12, 1951, in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. His mother was the former Mildred Armstrong, and his father, Rush Limbaugh Jr., was a lawyer.

Off-Topic / Senate explodes in laughter as Donald Trump's defense attorney Mike van der Veen
« on: February 15, 2021, 11:50:39 am »Message ID: 1350958
Senate explodes in laughter as Donald Trump's defense attorney Mike van der Veen demands he depose Nancy Pelosi and Kamala Harris in 'Philly-delphia'

*The Senate chamber erupted into laughter on Saturday after Donald Trump's defense attorney pronounced Philadelphia
   as 'Philly-delphia'
* During a fiery speech on the Senate floor, Mike van der Veen sparked chamber-wide laughter with his pronunciation as
   he banged on the podium and snarled
* The Pennsylvania-based attorney was demanding House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Kamala Harris give
   their own in-person at his PA office
* He said he would subpoena them, and several others, if Democrats called for depositions in the impeachment trial
* 'I don't know why you're laughing,' he said, appearing to think the laughter was related to his legal argument. 'It is
   civil process. That is the way lawyers do it'
* Senate President pro tempore Patrick Leahy had to call order in the chamber as the laughter persisted

The Senate chamber erupted in laughter Saturday after Donald Trump's defense attorney demanded House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Kamala Harris appear at his 'Philly-delphia' office for in-person depositions.

Mike van der Veen, during impassioned remarks from the Senate floor during the fifth day of impeachment trial, pronounced his hometown Philadelphia with an accent, which sparked prolonged laughter from the lawmakers.

He also said if House managers call witness depositions, then he would 'slap subpoenas on a good number of people.'

Trump's senior adviser Jason Miller said Saturday they have a list of 301 witnesses they would like to call – and he said that number is growing.

That list, according to pictures taken of a paper Miller was holding at the Capitol, includes Pelosi, Harris, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, House impeachment managers Ted Lieu and Joaquin Castro, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Mazie Hirono and Representatives Ayanna Pressley and Maxine Waters.

'For the House managers to say we might need depositions about things that happened after, it is just not true. But, if he does, there are a lot of depositions that need to be happening,' van der Veen said of House impeachment managers lead Jamie Raskin if he goes forward with calling for depositions on the events following the storming of the Capitol on January 6.

'Nancy Pelosi's deposition needs to be taken. Vice President Harris' deposition, absolutely, needs to be taken,' he said.

'And not by Zoom. None of these depositions should be done by Zoom,' van der Veen asserted, raising his voice and banging his hand on the podium. 'We didn't do this hearing by Zoom.'

'These depositions should be done in person in my office in Philadelphia,' he continued with a snarl on his face, using the pronunciation 'Philly-delphia'. 'That's where they should be done.'

At this point, senators on both sides of the chamber burst out into laughter.

'I don't know how many civil lawyers are here, but that's the way it works, folks,' van der Veen said in explanation, appearing confused over the laughs. 'When you want somebody's deposition, you send a notice of deposition, and they appear at the place where their notice says, that's civil process.'

'I don't know why you're laughing,' he said. 'It is civil process. That is the way lawyers do it, we send notices of deposition –'

Van der Veen was then interrupted by Senate President pro tempore Patrick Leahy who called the chamber back to order as the bipartisan laughter persisted.

'I would remind everybody that we will have order in the chamber during these proceedings,' the Democratic Senate leader said.

'I haven't laughed at any of you, and there's nothing laughable here,' van der Veen said.

Before the trail kicked off on Tuesday, Raskin sent a letter demanding Donald Trump appear to testify in the proceedings, to which the former president's lawyers rejected.

'He mentioned my client coming in to testify, that is not the way it's done,' van der Veen lamented during his fiery remarks Saturday. 'If he wanted to talk to Donald Trump, he should have put a subpoena down. Like I'm going to slap subpoenas on a good number of people if witnesses are what is required here for them to try and get their case back in order, which has failed miserably.'

Miller said there is already a list of more than 300 witnesses Republicans would like to call.

'We're currently at 301 and counting…' he tweeted of the witness count after Trump ally Senator Lindsey Graham voted in favor of calling witnesses.

Graham tweeted after the vote: 'It is my firm belief that the House Managers are trying to investigate the case AFTER it was brought to the Senate. It is better for the country to go to a final vote.'

'However, if the body wants witnesses,' he continued in a thread, 'I am going to insist we have multiple witnesses.'

'We can start with Speaker Pelosi to answer the question as to whether or not there was credible evidence of pre-planned violence before President Trump spoke?' he said.

The South Carolina senator added: 'Her testimony is incredibly relevant to the incitement charge.'

While even Republicans chuckled at van der Veen's suggestion some of the top Democratic leaders appear in-person at his Philadelphia, Pennsylvania office for depositions, the interruption from Democratic senators continued through Leahy calling order.

Pennsylvania's Republican Senator Pat Toomey was seen by reporters in the chamber gallery giving a hearty laugh to the suggestion while chatting with seat mate Kevin Cramer, Republican senator from North Dakota.

There were a few times on Saturday when van der Veen incited laughter.

A few minutes before saying Pelosi and Harris should be deposed at his office, the animated attorney was yelling about how there are multiple reasons Donald Trump should be acquitted.

'Let me take my own advice and cool the temperature in the room a little bit,' he suddenly said calmly after shouting his previous point.

He was greeted with a few chuckles from the chamber.

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