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As timely as ever.


Oh dear. Poor Donald Trump may have to delay signing the Huge Tax Cuts For Rich Fuckwads Act Of 2017 until January, instead of giving a great big Christmas Blowie to campaign donors like he'd intended, because if the bill were signed in 2017, the bill's deficit spending would trigger automatic spending cuts that would hurt Republicans seeking reelection next year -- like, more than this dog's breakfast of a tax cut bill already will. The Atlantic's Justin Berman explains:

Under a 2010 “pay-as-you-go” law requiring Congress to offset any new spending or lower taxes, the $1.5 trillion bill would trigger automatic cuts to Medicare and other programs — across-the-board reductions that Republicans don’t want to be responsible for letting take effect. By waiting until the calendar turns to 2018 to formally enact the tax bill, Trump would push the automatic spending cuts to 2019 and buy Congress another year to waive them.

You see, Republican deficit hawks insisted on requiring those automatic spending cuts if the deficit got too big -- to force Congress to always pass a balanced budget, you know. Such PAYGO rules, in one form or another, go back to 1990, because Republicans want to show they're serious about deficit spending. But since Republicans also want big tax cuts without facing the political consequences of actually slashing Medicare and programs people like, Congress has routinely passed waivers that allow deficits without those mandatory spending cuts. Unfortunately, Congress didn't get around to passing that waiver scheme this year because Republicans were too goddamn busy trying to kill healthcare for millions of Americans and giving a big tax cut to the wealthy.

So signing the tax cuts into law after January 1 will give Congress a year to stop those huge cuts from going into effect.

Mitch McConnell made a big show Wednesday of how important it is to protect America from the combined effects of Republicans' pretense of hating deficits and Republicans' deficit-exploding tax cuts:

Just as we have done in the past, we need to pass a routine ‘Pay-Go’ waiver to avoid a draconian sequester that none of my colleagues want to see take effect. [...] Americans are counting on us not to inflict harmful cuts on Medicare and other essential operations.

Yeah, how on earth would those huge cuts possibly be triggered, huh? Clearly Democrats' fault.

Now that the tax cuts have been rammed through without any pretense of allowing Democratic input, Democrats aren't exactly lining up to save Republicans from the consequences of slashing government revenue. At least not without getting some Democratic priorities in return, like a deal to allow DACA recipients to stay in the country, and ideally a reversal of the tax law's elimination of the ACA individual mandate. Oh, but there's a little catch: Congress also needs to pass a continuing resolution before Friday to keep the government open.

Republicans introduced a continuing resolution this morning to keep the government funded through January 19; it would include funding to keep the Childrens Health Insurance Program going -- though not a full reauthorization of CHIP. Paul Ryan went on CNBC to emphasize that this is a "clean" continuing resolution that will keep the government funded through the holidays and put off any political wrangling until January:

We're just bringing a clean, what we call vanilla CR — no games, no sneaky things. Just a continuing resolution to get us through this moment to get us into next year [...] It's as clean and simple as possible.

Say, did we mention one little catch? There's actually one more little catch: The bill also contains that PAYGO waiver, literally on the last page of the bill. If Dems sign on to this thing, the government stays open, but Donald Trump gets to sign the tax scam bill right away and Democrats lose one of their biggest bargaining chips. Nancy Pelosi said yesterday that House Republicans will have to pass the CR on their own. There's also no telling what the Senate will do -- Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said he'd be open to a clean CR that goes into January, so that DACA and other issues can be worked out in detail, but that was before the PAYGO waiver was slipped into the House version today.

Stay tuned. Like everything else this year, things are likely to get stupider.

Yr Wonkette is supported by reader donations. Please click here to prevent a snark shutdown.

[Atlantic / CNBC / Roll Call]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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If it's a day, the New York Times is fucking shit up, but today, it fucked up BIGLY.

Fresh-faced access journalists Adam Goldman and Michael Schmidt have just published what we can only describe as a drive-by shooting against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, which reads as some bullshit planted by the White House to give Donald Trump the pretext for his Saturday Night Massacre, if he wants it. (He does.)

Maybe the White House is tired of talking about the flailing nomination of Judge Maybe Rapey and how Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen are cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller, and the New York Times was more than happy to help!

Or maybe it was planted by former deputy director of the FBI Andrew McCabe, who was fired by Attorney General Jeff Sessions just hours before his pension was set to kick in, and may have a serious axe to grind with DoJ officials and leaked a copy of his own memos. (His lawyer says that's not true, but he would say that, wouldn't he?)

Or maybe it's both, somehow! Or one of many other things!

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It's not every day Golf Digest gets noticed as a source of hard-hitting investigative journalism, at least outside of reviews of titanium carbon fiber nanotech infinite improbability drivers or some such. But Wednesday, some journamalisming that started with a Golf Digest story about a guy who drew fantastic imaginary golf courses concluded with that guy, Valentino Dixon, walking out of Attica prison, 27 years after he'd been sentenced for 39 years to life. Not bad, Golf Digest. We give you a GOLF CLAP. And a Pulitzer if we had one, which, sadly, we don't.

As Golf Digest says, the twists and turns of the case are a bit complex (they're unraveled in more detail in this New York Times story), but it basically comes down to a local prosecutor who was determined to railroad Dixon for the 1991 murder of a 17-year-old, Torriano Jackson, in Buffalo, New York. The conviction involved

shoddy police work, zero physical evidence linking Dixon, conflicting testimony of unreliable witnesses, the videotaped confession to the crime by another man, a public defender who didn't call a witness at trial, and perjury charges against those who said Dixon didn't do it.

Dixon had a prior conviction for selling cocaine, and he made a convenient target for Erie County prosecutor Chris Belling, who was weirdly determined to ignore even statements from the actual killer, LaMarr Scott, who pleaded guilty to the killing shortly before Dixon's release this week.

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