Your Look At Things You Need To Know For Your Thursday

As you face your day, Smile Often, Think Positively, Give Thanks, Laugh Loudly, Love Others ,Dream Big, Remember, Life is like a Camera, Focus on What’s  Important, Capture The Good Times, Develop From The Negative and If Things Don’t Work out, Take Another Shot. Difficult Roads Often Lead To Beautiful Destinations.

Many find that their anxiety levels will go up when they watch cable news, which causes many to avoid cable news or information that would otherwise help or hurt our society. ” The Government of the people, by the people, shall not perish from the Earth.” Abraham Lincoln.

Stay engaged in the business of OUR SOCIETY, take a break if you get overwhelmed. But equipped yourself with information so that you can make a educated decision that will impact OUR SOCIETY in a positive way. TAKE A BREAK, BUT,  Don’t Quit.

here’s what you need to know to Get Up to Speed

 Congress sends GOP tax overhaul to Trump
House Republicans swiftly passed the final version of their party’s $1.5 trillion tax overhaul on Wednesday, approving it for a second time due to a procedural error and sending it to President Trump for his signature. The Senate passed it in a 51-48 party-line vote hours earlier in a major victory for Trump and his fellow Republicans. Trump said the “biggest factor” probably was cutting the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, saying the legislation “means jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs.” Democrats noted that the individual tax cuts were only temporary and slanted to favor the rich. Republicans passed the legislation without a single Democratic vote in the Senate. Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) called the process “nothing short of an abomination.”

Source: ReutersThe New York Times

 Vehicle crashes into Christmas shoppers in Melbourne
An S.U.V. plowed through a busy street packed with pedestrians in Melbourne, Australia, on Thursday, injuring at least 14 people, several critically. The driver, who is of Afghan descent, and another person were arrested. Police called the incident “a deliberate act.” They said the driver had mental health issues but there was no evidence of links to terrorism. Witnesses said the white Suzuki sped into a crowd of Christmas shoppers and commuters as the evening rush hour was starting. “All you could hear was bang, bang, bang, bang,” Jim Stoupas, the owner of a nearby doughnut shop, said. “The only thing that slowed him down was hitting pedestrians. All you could hear were the sounds of the car hitting people and the screams.”

Source: ABC OnlineThe Washington Post

 House GOP leaders scramble to avert shutdown
Republican leaders, fresh off a victory on their tax overhaul, rushed to rally support for a stopgap spending bill needed to avoid a government shutdown on Saturday. House GOP leaders pared down a temporary spending bill to remove obstacles as hopes for a broader deal faded. A Senate measure intended to stabilize ObamaCare markets with subsidies for the poor was put off to next year. Efforts to strike an immigration deal also were shelved, as was a push to include Pentagon funding for the full year, and new funding for a popular children’s health insurance program. “We’re still working on the details,” House Republican Whip Steve Scalise said.

Source: Bloomberg

 Trump threatens to slash foreign aid to countries opposing his Jerusalem policy
President Trump suggested Wednesday the U.S. might cut foreign aid to countries that vote for a United Nations resolution condemning Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the U.S. embassy there from Tel Aviv. “They take hundreds of millions of dollars and even billions of dollars, and then they vote against us,” Trump said in a Cabinet meeting at the White House. “Well, we’ll be watching those votes. Let them vote against us; we’ll save a lot. We don’t care.” Trump went on to say, “But this isn’t like it used to be, where they could vote against you, and then you pay them hundreds of millions of dollars and nobody knows what they’re doing … We’re not going to be taken advantage of any longer.” The U.N. vote is expected Thursday. Earlier this week, the U.S. vetoed a similar resolution at the Security Council.

Source: The Washington Post

 Report: Franken to leave Senate on Jan. 2
Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) will step down on Jan. 2, one of his representatives said Wednesday. Franken, a former comedian, was considered one of his party’s rising stars until several women came forward and accused him of touching them inappropriately. Franken is the third federal lawmaker to leave over such allegations, following the departures of Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.). Minnesota’s Democratic governor, Mark Dayton, last week named Lt. Gov. Tina Smith (D) to replace Franken. Several high-profile journalists, business executives, and film industry leaders, including movie producer Harvey Weinstein and former Today show host Matt Lauer, have lost their jobs over recent allegations of sexual harassment and assault.

Source: Reuters

 Virginia court denies Democrat’s one-vote victory
A three-judge panel on Wednesday refused to certify a state House of Delegates recount that would have resulted in a one-vote victory for Democratic challenger Shelly Simonds, ruling that a single contested ballot should be counted for the incumbent, Republican Del. David Yancey, leaving the count tied. On the ballot in question, the voter left marks by the names of both candidates, but crossed out Simonds’ name. The voter also selected every other Republican on the ballot. With Yancey and Simonds tied at 11,608 votes each, the balance of power in the state legislature was left at 50-49 in favor of Republicans, instead of even at 50 seats each. State law calls for breaking the tie by drawing lots, essentially a coin toss.

Source: The Washington Post

 Trump commutes sentence of former kosher meat-processing executive
President Trump on Wednesday commuted the 27-year prison sentence of Sholom Rubashkin, the former owner of the biggest kosher meat-processing plant in the U.S., for financial crimes including bank fraud and money laundering. Hundreds of his employees were arrested on charges of working in the country illegally. Rubashkin was sentenced in 2009, but politicians from the left and the right said the punishment was cruel and unusual, calling it disproportionate to his crimes. Rubashkin will not have to serve the remaining 19 years of his sentence, although the commutation is not a pardon. His conviction will stand, and he will still have to make restitution payments.

Source: The Hill

 Shots fired in DMZ as another North Korean soldier defects
A low-ranking North Korean soldier defected by crossing the heavily guarded border into South Korea under cover of thick fog on Thursday. South Korean guards fired 20 warning shots as North Korean troops, apparently searching for the soldier, neared the “military demarcation line” in the demilitarized zone separating the countries. Shots were fired from the North Korean side 30 minutes later. The latest defection came five weeks after another North Korean soldier dashed over the line, and was shot and critically wounded by North Korean guards. The latest incident pushed the number of risky defections from North Korea to 15 this year, three times last year’s total. The incidents fuel already high tensions over North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile programs.

Source: Reuters

 NYT: Reporter accused of sexual conduct to be reassigned, not fired
The New York Times announced Wednesday that it had completed an investigation into alleged sexual misconduct by Glenn Thrush, a high-profile political reporter who had covered the White House, and decided to continue his suspension until January but not fire him. “We found that Glenn has behaved in ways that we do not condone,” editor Dean Baquet said. “He will receive training designed to improve his workplace conduct. In addition, Glenn is undergoing counseling and substance abuse rehabilitation on his own. We will reinstate him as a reporter on a new beat upon his return.” Thrush was accused of inappropriate conduct at Politico, before he joined the Times.

Source: The Hollywood ReporterThe New York Times

 Olympic gold medalist McKayla Maroney sues USA Gymnastics over abuse settlement
Former Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney filed a lawsuit in a California court Wednesday claiming that USA Gymnastics forced her into signing a nondisclosure agreement last year. The NDA was reportedly part of a financial settlement over alleged sexual abuse by former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar. The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that Maroney received $1.25 million from USA Gymnastics — reportedly to fund psychological treatment to recover from the alleged abuse — in exchange for her silence. The lawsuit, which seeks millions of dollars in damages, also alleges that Maroney’s NDA was part of a greater plan by USA Gymnastics to silence Nassar’s victims. Maroney publicly revealed her abuse by Nassar in October.

Source: The Wall Street JournalNBC News

The Week

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(Information on Business & Real Estate Taxes  )

Courtesy of Mark J Kohler, CPA, Attorney, and Mathew N. Sorensen, Attorney..

December 31st –  ROTH Conversion Deadline…If you want to ‘convert’ some IRA money to ROTH you have to do it by Dec 31…however, keep in mind you can always undo it by the time you file your return. Hazy on the reasons why a ROTH is awesome read this.

 

December 31st –  Health Reimbursement Arrangement payment Deadline…If you had an HRA in 2017, you have to reimburse your employees/spouse or yourself before the December 31st if you want the write-off. The max contribution is 10k and if you need a refresher check out this article. 

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House ready to push funding bill to get through the holidays, Republicans look to what’s next after tax win, and watch out for today’s vote in Spain.

Holiday cover

The House is set to vote on a stripped-down funding plan which would avert a government shutdown in the coming days. The measure, which would only extend financing of federal spending until Jan. 19, is designed to give lawmakers a chance in the new year to hash out a longer-term spending plan. To stop automatic cuts to Medicare and other programs from taking effect, President Donald Trump may not sign the tax overhaul legislation until Jan. 3 .

What’s next

Republicans are now looking for their next legislative target after the victory on taxes. House Speaker Paul Ryan sees a chance to build on the momentum to recast the country’s welfare programs, while some of the president’s advisors are prioritizing a less-controversial infrastructure spending plan. Front-and-center for most Republican lawmakers next year will be the mid-term elections, and with the tax bill seemingly less popular among voters than hoped, the infrastructure plan may prove the easier sell.

Gone Green

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May suffered another blow late yesterday when her effective deputy, Damian Green, resigned after he was found to have made misleading statements to investigators. He becomes the third member of her cabinet to quit since the beginning of November. The prime minister is in Poland today as she seeks allies in the EU ahead of the second round of Brexit negotiations. There she may find a sympathetic ear, as the Polish government was on the EU’s naughty step yesterday for controversial judicial reforms in the country.

Markets ready for vacation

Overnight, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 0.2 percent, while Japan’s Topix index closed 0.1 percent higher in thin trading after the Bank of Japan held monetary policy unchanged. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was unchanged at 5:50 a.m. Eastern Time as volumes remain low ahead of the holiday break. S&P 500 futures climbed 0.1 percent, the 10-year Treasury yield was at 2.484 percent and was broadly unchanged.

Coming up…

At 8:30 a.m. initial jobless claims data is expected to show an increase to 233,000 for the week. At the same time the third reading of third-quarter U.S. GDP is published. The big event for markets today is in Europe, where the outcome of a critical regional election in Catalonia is being closely watched for a repeat of earlier independence calls.

Here’s what you should read today

Bloomberg

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