Category Archives: Updates

The iPhone X reads your face to open itself up…Good or Bad?


I ‘m NOT happy with this feature….

Image result for apple iphone X facial recognition

I don’t mind having to actually press a button to activate my phone…

I’m kinda old school….

It appears I’ve got company on this….

When Apple Inc. unveiled its new iPhone X this week, there was plenty of interest in the new, sharper display, wireless charging, upgraded camera and stratospheric price tag. But the feature that really got people talking was the phone’s 3-D facial recognition system. It is meant to allow you to log in at a glance and to make your phone more secure. But some have concerns about the implications of a technology company mapping millions of people’s faces, and how that might be abused by companies and governments…..


What’s the benefit of Face ID?

Ease of use and security, according to Apple. The iPhone X detects when you’re looking at the display and unlocks automatically, without you needing to fiddle with the screen, Apple says. And it says the system is more secure than Touch ID, the fingerprint scanner that’s been standard on iPhones for the past four years. According to Apple, the chance of someone else unlocking your phone with Face ID is one in a million, compared with one in 50,000 for Touch ID.

 What’s the downside?

Apple software chief Craig Federighi experienced a slight hiccup at Tuesday’s demo: The phone failed to unlock when he first tried to open it using Face ID. Apple later said this was because the phone hadn’t been previously unlocked with a PIN to activate Face ID. What will really make or break the user experience is how long unlocking takes and how accurate it is in everyday use, which we’re unlikely to know until after its Nov. 3 shipping date. Another issue is whether it works better for some people than others. “Many facial recognition systems have a higher rate of error when tested for accuracy in identifying people of color,’’ U.S. Senator Al Franken of Minnesota wrote in a Sept. 13 letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook, as he sought reassurances on a number of concerns related to Face ID…..


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Donald Trump’s First Lady….

The third wife of Donald Trump, Melania Trump (Born  Melejia Knavs) , has moved from growing up in Slovenia to become a fashon model  in Europe and America before becoming the wife of the President of United States…..

Image result for melania trump events

In the early days of the Trump White House, the question frequently lobbed about by Washington’s chattering class was, “Where is Melania?”

Now, though, she is providing an answer, taking on a public schedule that is beginning to resemble those of her predecessors.

This week, the first lady flew with her husband to Florida, where they surveyed the wreckage left by Hurricane Irma and handed out FEMA lunches. She returned to Washington that same Thursday evening to host a reception for the White House Historical Association, a venerable group founded by Jackie Kennedy to maintain and protect the executive mansion. The event included a sit-down dinner where President Trump introduced his wife as “the star of the Trump family.”

On Friday afternoon, she traveled to Joint Base Andrews in suburban Maryland to visit a youth center in a show of support for military families. Then she and her husband boarded Air Force One for a weekend at their New Jersey golf resort.

“She is more visible and starting to do some of the more conventional first lady things,” said Katherine Jellison, a professor of history at Ohio University who studies first ladies.

Still, “we don’t see her rushing in to do some public press conference about her cyberbullying project” — a cause Mrs. Trump said during the campaign she hoped to champion.

From the start, Melania Trump has said she would take her own time filling out the contours of the role….



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The Supreme’s conservatives just ensured that Latino votes still won’t count in Texas.

Elections DO MATTER….

On Tuesday evening, the Supreme Court blocked two rulings by a federal district court that would have required Texas to redraw its state and federal congressional districts. The lower court had ruled that the Texas Legislature illegally gerrymandered these districts along racial lines and ordered new maps for the 2018 election. But by a 5–4 vote, the Supreme Court put that order on hold, ensuring that the gerrymander will remain through 2018. The decision may also indicate that the five Republican-appointed justices will eventually reverse the district court’s decisions altogether.

The Supreme Court’s abrupt intervention is a devastating blow to the years-long fight against race-based voter suppression in Texas. Since 2011, federal courts have ruled nine times that Texas intentionally discriminated against minority voters. Before Tuesday, civil rights advocates had good reason to believe that the judiciary would finally put a stop to the Texas GOP’s anti-democratic chicanery. Now it seems that the high court’s conservative bloc may thwart this progress and force Texan minorities to continue suffering under a self-perpetuating and racist system of vote dilution….



The court has also backed Donald Trump on his Refugee Ban….

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California is on its way to requiring Presidential candidates to relase tax info…


It shouldn’t be that just people investigating Donald Trump for possible crimes get s to know what a person leading a country of 300 Million  has as a financial history…

This should be a requirement for EVERY state…

The California State Assembly on Thursday passed a bill that would require all presidential candidates to release their tax returns prior to being placed on the state’s ballot.

The bill, called the Presidential Tax Transparency and Accountability Act, passed the state Assembly on a 42-18 vote and will now head to the state Senate for a concurrence vote before being sent to the governor for his signature.

“President Trump’s blatant disregard for the tradition of releasing tax returns is dangerous to our democracy,” state Sen. Mike McGuire (D), one of the authors of the bill, said in a statement. “For decades, every President has put their personal beliefs aside and put our country first and released their returns. “

“SB 149 helps to reestablish desperately needed transparency in the White House, and we are looking forward to seeing the Governor’s signature on the bill.”

The bill would require all presidential candidates to release the last five years of their tax returns in order to appear on the California ballot.

The tax returns would be made available to the public on the California Secretary of State’s website…..


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Coco and Ice-T…And little one makes Three!….

I has been pointed out that we haven’t had a Coco post in quite a while….

Well she’s a mommy now….

And she’s still a body model…..


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Explosion in London Subway Station….Minor Injuries…

A crude device was used and there was no loss of life….

Britain was hit by a terrorist attack on Friday morning, when a crude device exploded on a crowded London Underground train, injuring commuters, sowing panic, disrupting service and drawing a heavy response from armed police officers and emergency workers.

The device exploded at 8:20 a.m. on an eastbound District Line train leaving the Parsons Green station in Southwest London.

“This was a detonation of an improvised explosive device,” Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley of the Metropolitan Police, a top counterterrorism official, said at a news conference. He urged anyone who had seen what happened, or had taken photos or videos of the bombing, to come forward.

The authorities immediately beefed up security around the transit system, as hundreds of police officers and detectives combed the scene for clues.

Officials said that 29 people were hospitalized, several of whom had apparently been injured as panicked commuters fled. None had life-threatening injuries, and hospital officials described the victims as “walking wounded.” By late Friday afternoon, eight of the 29 had been discharged.

“The train was packed, and I was down the other side of the carriage standing up, looking at my phone and then I heard a big boom and felt this heat on my face,” said Natalie Belford, 42, a hairdresser and beautician who was on the train. “I ran for my life, but there was no way out. The doors were full of people and the carriage was too packed to move down.”…



Donald Trump ‘s response to the attck was of course centric and was unappreciated by the Brits

President Trump on Friday suggested British intelligence officials were aware of the assailant or assailants behind an unfolding terrorist attack on the London subway, an assertion that British officials called unhelpful speculation.

Prime Minister Theresa May alluded to Mr. Trump’s Twitter post in an interview with reporters, saying, “I never think it’s helpful for anybody to speculate on what is an ongoing investigation.”

Later on Friday morning, Mr. Trump said he had been briefed on the London terror attack, and he later spoke with Mrs. May by phone. According to the White House, Mr. Trump expressed sympathy for the people injured and promised to continue working with the British to fight terrorism. The White House summary of the call did not address whether Mr. Trump and Mrs. May discussed the president’s tweet about Scotland Yard….


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Tropical Storm Jose could be a problem for the East Coast….

Another storm  is brewing….

It seems that the Europen computer track is the most reliable …..

Jose is now completing its expected loop between the Caribbean and Bermuda, and the track forecast has become more straightforward. Our top track models—the European, GFS, and UKMET models—agree that Jose will continue west-northwest until about Saturday, then head northward toward a upper-level trough that will be sweeping through eastern Canada. By midweek, this northward movement is expected to segue into a more northeasterly track.

The main forecast challenge is how close Jose will get to the U.S. and Canadian coast. The 00Z Thursday runs of the three top track models all place Jose within several hundred miles of North Carolina’s Outer Banks by next Tuesday. Later in the week, Jose could make an even closer pass by Cape Cod and the Canadian Maritimes. At this point we can’t rule out the possibility that Jose will make landfall somewhere along the east coast of the U.S. or Canada. Of the 50 members of the 00Z Thursday ensemble run of the European model, a substantial minority bring Jose inland across the eastern U.S. (see Figure 3). However, only about 20% of the GFS ensemble members produce an eastern U.S. landfall (see Figure 2). The model guidance trended slightly westward overnight, so we’ll need to keep a close eye on any further trends in model guidance. NHC’s 5-day forecast on Thursday morning placed Jose about 250 miles east of North Carolina on Monday, and the “cone of uncertainty” included the Outer Banks.

GFS ensemble forecasts for Jose, 0Z 9/14/2017
Figure 2. The 20 track forecasts for Jose from the 0Z Thursday, September 13, 2017 GFS model ensemble forecast. Only 5 of the 20 tracks predict an eventual U.S. landfall. Image credit: CFAN.
ECMWF ensemble forecasts for Jose, 0Z 9/14/2017
Figure 3. The 0Z Wednesday September 14, 2017, track forecast by the operational European model for Jose (red line, adjusted by CFAN using a proprietary technique that accounts for storm movement since 0Z Thursday), along with the averaged track of the 5 highest-probability members of the European model ensemble (heavy black line), and the track forecasts from all 50 members of the ensemble. The majority of the forecasts keep Jose offshore. Image credit: CFAN.

Jose appears most likely to be a Category 1 hurricane on its closest approach to the U.S. and Canada next week, with a gradually expanding wind field, although models suggest it could be a tropical storm or a Category 2 hurricane. Regardless of whether Jose makes landfall, the East Coast in for several days of big swells, rough surf, and rip currents, starting as soon as this weekend…..


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Conservatives drag out the old ‘No Amenesty’ thing to use against Trump’s Dreamers action ….

They use the ‘A’ word as a curse against ANY effort to enact Immigration Reform. in Congress…

But it appears that Trump will work with the Democrats to get around the rightwingnuts….

This is borderline perfidious. A growing sentiment promoted by the Trump-friendly or MAGA- sympathetic pundit and reporter class that Trump’s loyal immigration base don’t actually care about amnesty for DREAMers is sweeping across social media.


This is absolutely something Trump’s voters cared and care about. This morning, when President Trump tweeted philosophically and incredulously about this supposedly surprising notion that people might want to deport illegal immigrants who are productive and law-abiding, he was met with immediate resistance. And rightly so.

Look, it doesn’t matter if you think deporting DREAMers is bad, or ending DACA isn’t feasible, or whatever you may think. The question boils down to two things: What did Trump promise to do about it, and what did Trump’s immigration base vote for?

In both cases, the answer is “no amnesty, even for those covered under DACA.” This is simply indisputable. Let us revisit a key quote:

We will immediately terminate President Obama’s two illegal executive amnesties in which he defied federal law and the Constitution to give amnesty to approximately five million illegal immigrants, five million.

There is so much more here. That he was specific about DACA, that he said it would be immediate and uncompromised, there is zero doubt. This was something he repeated many times, always to roars and cheers.

Yet today, even good reporters are buying into and repeating the romantic notion that, well gosh, no decent, real, hard-working Trump voters actually wanted these promises they cheered for to come to fruition…..


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The fine points on a Dreamer Act ‘deal’ in Congress…..

Conservatives are using the ‘Amnesty ‘ curse word to fight any Immigration Reform efforts….

But other Republicans seem to be resigned to getting a law on the books that WOULD offer citizenship to the Dreamers down the road….

“We’re not looking at citizenship. We’re not looking at amnesty. We’re looking at allowing people to stay here,” Trump told reporters as he was headed to Florida to survey the damage from Hurricane Irma.

Those comments came as a surprise to Democratic leaders, who had dined with the president at the White House Wednesday night. According to their version of events, they’ve insisted at every turn that DACA recipients be protected by legislation, dubbed the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, or DREAM Act, which grants eventual citizenship.

“Our insistence in every conversation — with the Speaker, with the president, or with the Dreamers — [has been] that it will be the DREAM Act,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told reporters Thursday in the Capitol.

“I’m not here to speak about what the president understands,” she added. “But I do believe that there is an understanding that down the road, there is an eventual path to citizenship in the DREAM Act.”

Other Democrats piled on, emphasizing that the party is virtually united on that issue.

“I would think the overwhelming sentiment among Democrats is that there must be a path to citizenship — there must be,” said Rep. G.K. Butterfield(D-N.C.). He suggested the president might not have a full understanding of what the DREAM Act entails.

“I’m not sure he knows what amnesty is, either,” Butterfield said.

The DREAM Act concept is 16 years old, but it’s gained a newfound urgency this month after Trump dismantled DACA, an Obama-era executive program that grants temporary legal rights to some Dreamers — a term often used for undocumented immigrants brought to the country as minors…..


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Democrats still wishing for a chance to make Senate Schumer Majority…

The chances are VERY SLIM….


But?Image result for schumer

Democrats’ path to 51 Senate seats in 2018 is exceedingly narrow. They would have to defend all of their Trump-state incumbents, including five in states the president won by double-digits. They would have to successfully pick off Sens. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), the only two battleground-state Republicans up for reelection next year — though Flake in particular looks more vulnerable than expected after conflict with Trump this year. Then, Democrats would have to pull off a major upset in a state like Alabama, Texas or Tennessee, victories that would make their 2012 wins in states like Indiana, Montana and North Dakota look easy.

Yet the party is investigating potential candidates in those states and preparing to aid them if the right circumstances arise. And already, former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon is plotting primary challenges against incumbents, Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker is mulling retirement and picked up a potential primary challenger on Thursday, and Republicans are fighting a bitter and expensive primary in Alabama’s special Senate election.

This wouldn’t be the first time Democrats prepped for a wave that never came. In 2016, they got top-tier recruits in Arkansas and Kentucky in the form of former U.S. Attorney Conner Eldridge and Lexington Mayor Jim Gray. Both men lost by double-digits, despite outrunning Hillary Clinton.

Republicans, for their part, don’t find Schumer’s plotting plausible…..


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California Dem Sen. Harris supports her fellow Dem Senator Feinstein for re-election

This from Politico….

Image result for sen harris/feinstein

Senator Kamala Harris, darling of progressives, says she’d support a Feinstein reelection bid ‘100 percent’

In a robust defense of Dianne Feinstein, her embattled Democratic colleague, Sen. Kamala Harris said Thursday that she would back the state’s senior U.S. senator “100 percent” should Feinstein decide to run again in 2018, calling her a tireless fighter for “California values.”

“I am a strong supporter of Dianne, and if she decides to run again, I will be front and center in supporting her — and for lots of good reasons,’’ Harris told POLITICO on Thursday. “I may not agree with her on everything. But I admire and respect her. … I do strongly believe that she is one of the greatest public servants that California has had.”….

Ah, please re-read the headline on this post….

‘Darling of progressives’?

Isn’t that Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren?

Harris is now the flavor of the month in California and increasingly for Democrats nationwide…

Harris’ impassioned defense came a day after a new poll by the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies indicated that Feinstein’s job approval rating had fallen 9 points in recent months to 50 percent, with 36 percent now disapproving of her job performance. The poll also found that only 45 percent of Democrats were inclined to reelect Feinstein should she run for a fifth term, down from 56 percent in April.

By contrast, the IGS poll showed approval numbers for Harris — a darling of progressives and increasingly talked about as a potential presidential candidate in 2020 — were at 52 percent, with just 29 percent disapproval….



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Inside the Secret Service…..Handling the Annual fall UN get together in NYC….RePost from 2011

I’m reposting this because it is that time of the year again….

A good amount of the ‘Heads of State’s from around the World (Including the US President)  will travel to New York City to appear at the UN General Assembly, To stop into the Bill Clinton Global Initiative and to shop in the store’s on New York’s Fifth Ave…..

This piece by Marc Ambinder is an excellent inside look at the annual get together of world leaders in New York from the Secret Service ‘s view…..

I did a piece a while back touching on the same topic…. ‘When President’s Travel’….

Ambinders piece, done from the inside, details Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s travel to New York and the security bubble he travels in managed by the Service overall and the Port Authority Police at JFK Airport…..The New York City Police in the city….The UN’s own Police Unit at the UN, along with myriad of other agencies (Federal and Local ) who make sure that foreign heads of state have a safe and secure trip to the ‘Big Apple’….

It is interesting to note that the New York City Secret Service Office is the largest Service field office…..

A Secret Service Agent ‘controls’ the door of a limo before his protectee enters….


Ahmadinejad was in New York for the 65th United Nations General Assembly—or UNGA, typically pronounced just the way it looks. While the Iranian leader’s visit was particularly high-profile and politically fraught, it was by no means unique. In 2010, the annual event required more than 200 Secret Service details for foreign leaders, American officials, and spouses, along with another 60 or so State Department security details for lower-level protectees. (This is in addition to the thousands of New York City police officers called upon to help secure buildings and traffic routes, and lead motorcades.) Over the course of the event, 900 aircraft would fly in and out of JFK bearing dignitaries; hundreds of events across the city would need to be scouted and secured.

Yet, remarkably, the General Assembly has become an almost unremarkable event, at least by Secret Service standards. There have been 38 “National Special Security Events” since President Clinton first coined the term in a classified 1998 national-security directive. Most of these NSSEs have occurred since September 11, 2001, and 14 of them since 2007, including the two presidential conventions, President-elect Obama’s pre-inauguration whistle-stop train tour, the inauguration itself, and the 2008 and 2009 G-20 summits. The General Assembly poses greater security and logistical challenges than many, if not most, of these events. This is due in part to its size, and in part to the fact that habit is the worst enemy of protective security, and the assembly offers an extremely attractive, recurring target: many foreign leaders stay in the same hotels and attend the same events at the same times each year. But despite all this, the General Assembly has not been categorized as an NSSE since 2001. The Secret Service has it down to a science.

This is the story of a dog that didn’t bark, and of the men and women who kept it muzzled…..


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Seriously?….Is there ANYWAY to stop the increased number of robo calls on my cell phone?

In the last several months I get calls on my cell phone from companies that want to offer me all sorts of  service for the mortgage  and other stuff…

The calls come in different numbers ….

They have gotten so bad that some leave voice mails…..

Image result for cell phone robocalls

Over on Facebook other people say sign up for ‘do NOT call’ ….

But others say that won’t stop the calls…

Anybody out there have the same problems….

And I guess in these times of Trump and Republican less government we’re gonna get these things coming thru the roof, eh?


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Trump WILL keep his support….

Anyone who thinks Donald Trump supporters are gonna give a shit about him talking to Democrats is lost….

For his people?

It’s about ‘The Donald’ not anything else….

Image result for Trump supporters

The guy does NOT have an ideology ….

He adopted the Grand Ole ‘ party and has consistently dissed them…

And they understand he does pass out a LOT of Bull Shit….

As he does at nearly all his rallies, Donald Trump made a dramatic promise to thousands of his followers at a recent event here.

“We’re going to build a wall, and it’s going to be a real wall — it’s going to be a wall that’s going to make that ceiling look quite low, and it’s fairly high,” Trump said, gripping the sides of his lectern and gazing up at the ceiling of this city’s convention center as the crowd roared with laughter and applause. “And it’s going to get built fast, and it’s going to look beautiful because someday they’ll call it the Trump Wall. Who the hell knows?”

The wall along the Mexican border is one of Trump’s most enduring and popular proposals, prompting raucous cheering and chants wherever he goes. Yet many of Trump’s fans don’t actually think he will build a wall — and they don’t care if he doesn’t.

Many also don’t think that Trump as president would really ban foreign Muslims from entering the country, seize oil controlled by terrorists or deport 11 million illegal immigrants. They view Trump’s pledges more as malleable symbols than concrete promises, reflecting a willingness to shake things up and to be bold.

“Trump says a lot of things right off the cuff. Does he mean it to the ‘T’? I don’t think so,” said Dennis Kerns, 55, a retired ­elementary-school teacher who lives near Albuquerque and came to the rally with his wife. “When he talks about bombing ISIS and all of that — his advisers aren’t going to let him go off half-cocked and bomb here and bomb there.”…



That support HAS been softening though even if the core remains strong , since Trump got elected…

image..the boston globe .com

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Some Republicans are giddy about Sanders Single Payer effort….

A Socialist Senator, who hangs with the Democrats,  pushing for something that would cost TRILLONS of dollars in taxes to do, while the existing ‘Obamacare’ healthcare program is having its own issues….

While the GOP has tripped over it’s healthcare pinning to President Obama and the Democrats….

It probably will embark on the same campaign , for a while,  against Nancy Pelosi (who smartly has NOT endorsed the Sanders bill), Democrats and whoever ends up being the 2020 Democratic Presidential nominee , because that person HAS to dance with Bernie Sanders, to get their parties nomination….

As more and more Democrats come out in favor of some form of “Medicare for all” legislation, Republican campaign strategists are salivating.

In much the same way the GOP has tried to tie all Democrats to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi in attack ads, they’re planning to tie all Democratic incumbents and challengers to different proposals from Vermont independent Bernie Sanders in the Senate and Michigan Rep. John Conyers Jr. in the House, regardless of whether they’ve personally embraced those policies.

“I’m thrilled,” said Corry Bliss, executive director of the Congressional Leadership Fund, the leadership-backed super PAC that plans to spend $100 million to help Republicans keep their House majority in 2018.

“I love their new policy so much that I’m thinking about taking the $50 or so million I was planning on spending on attacking Nancy Pelosi and putting a small portion toward explaining how single-payer hurts the American people,” Bliss said Tuesday.

That strategy isn’t much different from the GOP strategy of the past seven years, when the party has gone after Democrats on the 2010 health care law. But after months of their own health care legislative failures, Republicans think they finally have an offensive opening on health care again…..


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While people suffer in Texas and Florida Donald Trump pushes tax cuts….

The Governor of Texas wants Billions for his states recovery…

The Governor of Florida also….

These two guys have been on the for front of cutting taxes, regulations and benefits inn their states…

Now they have their hands out….

The leader of their adopted party has paid their state’s visits and promised help….

Does THAT mean money ?

Where is that money gonna come from if their leaders is simultaneously asking for tax cuts that would decrease the amount of money available for the Federal budget?

President Trump is doubling down this week on his bid to remake the tax code, meeting with Democrats, tying tax legislation to hurricane recovery and dispatching his economic team to Capitol Hill almost daily to prod lawmakers into action.

But he is bringing to the game a relatively weak team — a chief economic adviser whom he has openly disparaged and a Treasury secretary whose counsel he has dismissed — and is promoting quick passage of a new tax code that has yet to be written as members of his party bicker over the details.

The urgency was evident on Wednesday, as Mr. Trump urged Congress to “move fast,” and Republican leaders seemed ready. Representative Kevin Brady of Texas, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, told House Republicans that the administration and congressional Republicans would release a detailed framework of their plan during the week of Sept. 25, with the goal of taking up legislation in late October.

But Republicans remain divided on key details: whether they can meet Mr. Trump’s demand for a 15 percent corporate tax rate; which small businesses and partnerships would qualify for a new low business tax rate; whether tax cuts in the package should be paid for by closing loopholes; and whether hedge fund and private equity managers would continue to see their huge fees taxed at the low rate of capital gains instead of at income tax rates.

Democrats have said they will reject any package that they see as skewed toward the rich, especially if it repeals the estate tax, as the president wants…..


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