[Transcript] Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth. What’s up here? I’m in Florida (St. Augustine). I’m going to be here today and tomorrow for the Florida Association of the Deaf’s Conference — it is their 100th Anniversary and will present during their banquet tomorrow night. It’s great to be back in Florida, my home state — and this city is where I used to live in — I graduated from the Florida School for the Deaf. I”ll visit the school as well.
I will be back to Austin on Saturday afternoon, just in time to go to the Wonderstruck red carpet event with Deaf movie star Millicent Simmonds. Busy time.
Now — I’ll share some of today’s top news stories.
More updates on the NYC Truck Attack:
The driver of the truck, Saipov (29), has appeared in court in a wheelchair and had a Russian interpreter. He has been charged with federal crimes — for providing support to a terrorist organization — specifically ISIS. After the appearance, he was ordered to go into jail. His court-appointed lawyer said he needed a wheelchair or crutches because he was still recovering from his gunshot wound and needed daily changes of his bandages and something to help with his pain.
Court documents say he planned for a year to do an attack in the U.S. and chose Halloween day because he thought there would be more people on the streets to hurt and kill. Saipov had ISIS videos and material on his phone and considered putting ISIS flags on the truck but didn’t because he thought it would attract too much attention. He had rented a similar truck the week before Halloween to practice driving it. He wanted to keep driving the truck to hit more people, but stopped because he crashed it into a bus.
President Trump has tweeted frequently about Saipov. He said he was happy in his hospital room and asked for a ISIS flag to be put up in the room. Trump said he should get the death penalty. Trump said he wants to send him to the prison in Guantanamo Bay (Cuba) but said that process was longer than the federal justice system. Trump criticized how the US justice system punishes terrorists, saying the system was a laughingstock and not tough.
President Trump has called to eliminate the Diversity Lottery program and for tougher immigration laws. His political talk just days after the attack has drawn criticism from liberals who say he had acted differently after the Las Vegas massacre — because when he and the White House was asked about gun control, they said it was not the right time to politicize the tragedy and that it was a time to mourn. So this response is different, probably because it aligns with Trump’s strong stances against increased immigration. A lot of people probably agree with Trump because they are afraid of more similar attacks and don’t want more immigrants, but those who disagree say one person shouldn’t be used an example to apply to all the other good immigrants who have contributed to the American economy. We’ll see if laws change in the future.
Denver Wal-Mart Shooting
— Yesterday night in Thornton, Colorado (just north of Denver) at a Wal-Mart, a man entered the store with a handgun and randomly shot and killed three people, two men and a woman. He then escaped, driving away, prompting a manhunt that lasted overnight — he was captured this morning.
His name is Scott Ostrem, 47 and he lives in the north Denver area. It is not known what his motive was and police said it was not terrorism but a terrible act. (Remember, terrorism usually means crimes that are directed against the U.S. government in support of another entity, although many feel the term should apply to terrible crimes such as this or the Las Vegas shooting).
House Republicans Release Tax Reform Bill
Today House Republicans released their tax reform bill. Here’s some things in it
The number of tax brackets will be reduced from seven to five with the standard deduction almost doubled. The tax brackets range from the bottom one of 12%. for singles up to $45k and married up to $90k to the top bracket of 39.6% (for single earners over $500k or married earners over $1 million). You can look it up online to see how it specifically affects you and your income level.
The corporate (business) tax rate will be reduced to 20% from the current 35%. This should boost businesses.
We’ll see if House Republicans will unify to support this bill and send it to the Senate, who will have their own version of it. They weren’t able to unify for the healthcare bill. Republicans can pass this bill without Democrats’ support because they passed a Budget Resolution two weeks ago.
Former FBI Director Comey, who was fired by Trump — will release a book next spring called “A Higher Loyalty, Truth Lies and Leadership.” The word “loyalty” seems to be related to his claim that Trump said he demanded him to be loyal to him. The two later had a falling out and he was fired. The book will discuss his experiences with the Trump administration as well as working in the FBI and as a prosecutor in cases about the Hillary emails, the Mafia, the Bush administration’s practices of torture, and Martha Stewart. It should be an interesting book if you want to know more of what’s in Comey’s mind.
Donna Brazile, who was an interim chairperson of the Democratic National Committee — she took over the helm from former chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who was let go after leaked emails revealed officials within the DNC acted to hurt Bernie Sanders’ candidancy, remember that — Brazile today released an excerpt from an upcoming book where she describes her experiences of shock and frustration when she found out that the Hillary Clinton campaign was controlling the DNC for many months before she was the Democratic nominee. She said she saw that the DNC was millions of dollars in debt from the Obama campaign in 2012 and that Obama “neglected it.” Brazile said the Hillary campaign team supplied the DNC with money to maintain their operations with an agreement that Hillary would control the DNC. Brazile said the previous campaign chairman Schultz allowed the DNC to be controlled by Hillary and didn’t share this information with other DNC officers. Brazile herself has some credibility issues because she was accused of leaking debate questions to Democrats when she worked as a CNN panelist. She was also a Bernie supporter. All this will only build on the strain within the Democratic party who might still be raw from last year’s falling out between Hillary and Bernie Democrats after the leaked emails.
Trump just picked a new head of the Federal Reserve (Fed) — which oversees the U.S. banking industry, controls interest rates, and makes sure our economy is doing good, that the dollar is strong in international markets. The person is Jerome Powell - he was a governor on the Fed. He will replace current Fed chair Janet Yellen, who’s term expires in February. Presidents usually ask the same Fed Chair to stay on for another term until the person retires, but this is the first time in 20 years that a president has replaced the Fed chairperson. Analysts say Jerome will follow in the same mold as Yellen, but will be influenced by Trump. We’ll see how this affects the economy, which has been doing strong with stocks and consumers confidence since Trump won the presidency.
That is all for this week. Check out the spotlight tomorrow. Have a wonderful weekend and… stay with the light!