Let’s see what our comrades in the Republican conference were up to once they couldn’t destroy the Fed’s ability to stabilize the economy out of spite:
The draft language of the emergency coronavirus relief package includes a tax break for corporate meal expenses pushed by the White House and strongly denounced by congressional Democrats, according to a summary of the deal circulating among congressional officials and officials who are familiar with the provision.
The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe a proposal that had not yet been publicly released.
President Trump has for months talked about securing the deduction — derisively referred to as the “three-martini lunch” by critics — as a way to revive the restaurant industry badly battered by the pandemic.
But critics said it would do little to help struggling restaurants and would largely benefit business executives who do not urgently need help at this time. Some Democrats recoiled at the proposal, though it has also been denounced as ineffective by conservative tax experts as well.
During negotiations, however, Democratic leaders agreed to the provision in exchange for Republicans agreeing to expand tax credits for low income families and the working poor in the final package, according to a Democratic aide who spoke on the condition of anonymity to share details of internal negotiations.
The Dems were right to take this deal — wasting money on corporate giveaways to get more money for working people is infinitely preferable to austerity Grand Bargains that trade spending cuts for tax increases that will be repealed as soon as there’s a unified Republican government. But it’s still an amazing window into Republican priorities.
The Trump administration is rushing to approve a final wave of large-scale mining and energy projects on federal lands, encouraged by investors who want to try to ensure the projects move ahead even after President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. takes office.
In Arizona, the Forest Service is preparing to sign off on the transfer of federal forest land — considered sacred by a neighboring Native American tribe — to allow construction of one of the nation’s largest copper mines.
In Utah, the Interior Department may grant final approval as soon as next week to a team of energy speculators targeting a remote spot inside an iconic national wilderness area — where new energy leasing is currently banned — so they can start drilling into what they believe is a huge underground supply of helium.
In northern Nevada, the department is close to granting final approval to construct a sprawling open-pit lithium mine on federal land that sits above a prehistoric volcano site.
Well, that’s about as much OUTFLANKING as I can take in one day.