Five in a Flash – September 28, 2017


In today’s news: tax cuts, Puerto Rico, the Menendez trial, Tom Price, Amazon Echo, and college basketball.


Trump pitches massive tax cuts (The Hill) – “President Trump and congressional Republicans rolled out a sweeping tax overhaul proposal on Wednesday that won immediate praise from conservatives . . . The nine-page plan calls for three individual tax rates of 12 percent, 25 percent and 35 percent, while expressing openness to an additional rate that’s higher than 35 percent. The top rate is currently 39.6 percent. The framework also would lower the corporate rate from 35 percent to 20 percent and would cut the rate for “pass-through” businesses whose income is taxed through the individual code, to 25 percent. It would also nearly double the standard deduction and would repeal the estate tax and the alternative minimum tax.”

Trump administration surges military assets to Puerto Rico amid growing crisis (Washington Post) – “In the first six days after the hurricane made landfall here, the Navy had deployed just three ships, citing concerns that Puerto Rico’s ports were too damaged to accommodate numerous large vessels. But harrowing reports of isolated U.S. citizens struggling in the heat without electricity and running low on food and water have now spurred the Pentagon to throw resources into the relief effort even though they haven’t been specifically requested by territorial officials. The more robust approach includes the deployment of the USNS Comfort, a hospital ship that has responded to other natural disasters.”

Harkin testifies at Menendez trial (Politico) – “In May, 2011, Sen. Robert Menendez asked fellow Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin to meet wth his friend, Dr. Salomon Melgen. . . . That brief meeting, which Menendez and Harkin attended along with some staff, would last about 20 minutes. And it would also be the reason that Harkin, who retired in 2015 after 30 years representing Iowa in the Senate, would be called to Newark to testify in Menendez and Melgen’s corruption trial.”

Tom Price’s future doubtful after use of private charter plains (CBS News) – “President Trump told reporters on Wednesday he is ‘not happy’ with Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, who has come under fire for using a private plane to conduct his daily business, leaving open the possibility of firing Price. Mr. Trump, asked if he would fire Price, said, ‘We’ll see.’ He said of Price’s use of the private plane, ‘I’m going to look at it. I’m not happy about it and I let him know it[.]'”

Amazon unveils new Echo speakers, Fire TV, and Spot alarm clock (Yahoo! Finance) – “Amazon announced a slew of new products and product updates at its posh Seattle headquarters on Wednesday aimed at expanding its reach into your home, from new speakers to a device that could replace your alarm clock.”


Meet the 18 key figures in the FBI’s college basketball corruption probe (SBNation) – “The FBI’s investigation into college basketball corruption has already turned up several big names, including assistant coaches at prominent programs and apparel company representatives. The charges brought by federal prosecutors on Tuesday revolve around alleged bribery and fraud schemes. Here are the most important names and entities to know after the initial wave of charges and complaints.”


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Connor Mighell is a third-year law student at the University of Alabama School of Law with an undergraduate degree in Political Philosophy from Baylor University. He is a contributor at Merion West and the curator of "Five in a Flash," a weekday newsletter. His work has been featured at The Federalist, SB Nation, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Hill, The Dallas Morning News, and The New Americana.

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