- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The dreaded floor vote looms over Capitol Hill on Thursday. The House will signal yea or nay on Republican tax reform, accompanied by much handwringing from Democrats, who treat the vote like a fearful spectacle — though many supported key components of the bill in a previous era. Much of the news media refuses to frame the legislation as positive or productive, embracing the standard narrative that the bill favors the rich and hurts the poor — or words to that effect.

But wait. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise points to some “strong support” for the GOP plans.

Mr. Scalise points to 50 major retailers and industry groups that applaud the bill. They include National Retail Federation, the National Association of Manufacturers, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Trucking Association, the American Bankers Association, the American Farm Bureau Federation, the Consumer Technology Association, AT&T, Ford Motor Co., the National Restaurant Association, the Association of Broadcasters, Raytheon, UPS and Walmart.

“As an American automaker with more than 85,000 U.S. employees, we appreciate your positive steps and strong commitment to advance tax reform to help make our nation more competitive by supporting American investment and jobs,” Ford advised House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady in an open letter.

“We support ongoing consideration of tax reform legislation in the House and Senate. The proposals under discussion could provide meaningful tax relief to a number of American families as soon as next year, many of whom shop in our stores and online with us every week,” Walmart said in its own statement of support.

Those with an eye on the American family have some good things to say as well. More than 30 conservative interest groups also have stepped forward with feisty support, including the Family Research Council, the Family Business Coalition, the National Taxpayers Union, Americans for Prosperity and Citizens Against Government Waste.

“America’s families have already waited too long for tax cuts that let them keep their hard earned dollars and care for their families. We must not fail them,” Faith and Freedom Coalition Chairman Ralph Reed said in an open letter sent to every member of the House and Senate.

“The tax reform bill is a tax cut and a jobs bill. Growth. Growth. Growth. Long overdue. Great news for taxpayers and those left behind by eight years of slow growth under Obama,” advised Americans for Tax Reform.


These are learned lawyers to be reckoned with. On Thursday a big flock of them will descend on the nation’s capital for The Federalist Society’s National Lawyers Convention, staged at a historic hotel a few blocks north of the White House and boasting much august discussion and 90 speakers. Among those appearing during the three-day gathering: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Sen. Tom Cotton, White House Counsel Donald McGahn and stalwart attorney C. Boyden Gray.

The events will be livestreamed here

For the uninitiated, The Federalist Society has been around since 1982, is composed primarily of conservatives and libertarians and was founded on these principles: “That the state exists to preserve freedom, that the separation of governmental powers is central to our Constitution, and that it is emphatically the province and duty of the judiciary to say what the law is, not what it should be.”


The age of 70 was proclaimed “the new 50” a few years ago. While that’s a great marketing phrase, it may not work so well in politics.

The Democratic Party has “an old people problem,” writes Alexi McCammon, deputy new editor for Axios. She has done all the math.

“Democrats are rethinking their future — but doing it with the leadership of old men and women deeply rooted in the past. The top three House Democrats in leadership are all nearly 80 years old. By the numbers: The average age of Democrats serving under them is 61. Three of the most talked-about 2020 contenders are Sen. Bernie Sanders, 76; Sen. Elizabeth Warren, 68; and former Vice President Joe Biden, 74,” Ms. McCammon notes.

“Why it matters: Older Democratic leaders are unwilling to give up their seats, even as younger Democrats call for ‘a new generation of leaders,’ as top House Democrat Linda Sanchez said when she asked for Nancy Pelosi to step down. And former DNC Chair Howard Dean told MSNBC: ‘Our leadership is old and creaky, including me.’”


Talk about a cameo appearance: British Princes Harry and William secretly play Stormtroopers in the upcoming “Star Wars” film, reports Hollywood Reporter correspondent Alex Ritman.

“Episode VIII: The Last Jedi” will be released Dec. 15. The pair of famous royals will be seen guarding Finn — a lead character played by John Boyega — in an elevator. Singer Gary Barlow and actor Tom Hardy also will be the scene, also in Stormtrooper garb in clandestine roles.


An event on note Thursday: “The American Family in the Age of Trump,” a collection of pollsters, family experts and other sages who will meet at the American Enterprise Institute. Karlyn Bowman, the organization’s senior analyst, will moderate a discussion of the Trump-era family and present a survey conducted in concert with Brigham Young University and Deseret News. The findings reveal substantial differences between the views of those who voted for President Trump and those who favored Hillary Clinton.

“But it also reveals some concerns and family experiences cut across lines of political division,” the organizers advise.

See the event streamed live beginning at 9 a.m. ET at AEI.org.


60 percent of registered U.S. voters “have never heard of” Judge Roy Moore; 27 percent of those who know of him have an unfavorable opinion, 14 percent a favorable opinion.

59 percent of voters have never heard of Sen. Bob Corker; 25 percent have an unfavorable opinion of him, 16 percent a favorable opinion.

55 percent of voters have never heard of Democratic strategist Donna Brazile; 27 percent have an unfavorable opinion, 19 percent a favorable opinion.

45 percent of voters have never heard of special counsel Robert Mueller; 27 percent have an unfavorable opinion, 28 percent a favorable opinion.

39 percent of voters have never heard of Attorney General Jeff Sessions; 39 percent have an unfavorable opinion, 22 percent a favorable opinion.

Source: A Politico/Morning Consult poll of 1,993 registered U.S. voters conducted Nov. 9-11.

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