Thursday, August 31, 2017

Gas Stations Across North Texas Running Out of Gas, Shortages Possible in Wichita Falls Read More: Gas Stations Across North Texas Running Out of Gas, Shortages Possible in Wichita Falls

Source 92.9NIN

We’ve already seen gas prices steadily rise due to the temporary shutdown of a number of oil and gas refineries in South Texas areas affected by Hurricane Harvey. Now, gas stations across North Texas are reportedly expected to run out of gas over the Labor Day weekend.


Tillis Applauds Trump Tax Reform Goal

Source: Senator Thom Tillis - (R - NC)

Washington, D.C. - August 31, 2017 (The Ponder News) -- Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) issued the following statement following President Trump’s speech on tax reform:

"I applaud President Trump for laying out principles for tax reform that include simplifying the tax code, cutting rates, and producing economic growth. In 2013, North Carolina passed historic tax reform based on these principles, which has helped create more than 300,000 jobs and turned North Carolina’s economy into one of the fastest growing in the entire nation. I look forward to working closely with the President and Congressional leaders to fulfill our promises to deliver tax relief to hardworking families and business owners that will provide them with an even better chance to achieve the American Dream."

Senators Push for Increased Sanctions on North Korea

Source: Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE)

Washington, D.C. - August 31, 2017 (The Ponder News) -- As North Korea continues its unacceptable provocations, U.S. Senators Ben Sasse (R-NE) and Joe Donnelly (D-IN) continue to push for increased sanctions on both North Korea and China designed to crack down on the rogue regime’s weapons program. Sasse and Donnelly sent a letter today to Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Ranking Member Sherrod Brown (D-OH) outlining recent findings on North Korean sanctions and outlining key questions for future full committee hearings. Sasse and Donnelly serve as Ranking Member and Chairman of the Senate Banking Subcommittee on National Security and International Trade and Finance.

Building on a May subcommittee hearing, Sasse and Donnelly encouraged the Banking Committee to push the Administration on its options to expand sanctions and highlight the additional tools available to punish North Korea and those who assist in their illegal activity.

Sasse and Donnelly said in their letter, in part, “As you plan the Banking Committee’s schedule for the coming months, we welcome your consideration of a full committee hearing on sanctions against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)…On May 10, 2017, the Banking Subcommittee on National Security and International Trade and Finance held a hearing on ‘Secondary Sanctions against Chinese Institutions: Assessing Their Utility for Constraining North Korea.’

“…there is a strong consensus that the level of pressure necessary to get the Kim regime to the table, let alone reach an agreement, will be extraordinarily high and must be coupled with a full court diplomatic effort with our allies and with China directly to persuade China to engage more directly with the DPRK. It is our shared belief that the current multilateral sanctions may be insufficient to achieve this goal, even after the progress made at the United Nations in August. Continued U.S. engagement and leadership will therefore be critical in the months ahead and must include a comprehensive effort to ensure rigorous enforcement of all U.S. and multilateral sanctions.

“…Finally, and most importantly, our witnesses stressed that increasing sanctions pressure on the DPRK to the level necessary to force negotiations requires a deliberate, forceful, and coordinated diplomatic effort by the United States coupled with tough sanctions enforcement.”

Portman Praises President Trump's Push on Tax Reform

Source: Senator Rob Portman- (R - OH)

Washington, D.C. - August 31, 2017 (The Ponder News) -- U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), a member of the Senate Finance Committee, issued the following statement praising President Trump’s push on tax reform in Missouri, saying that simplifying our tax code would create more jobs and increase wages for American families:

“Tax reform is about more jobs and better wages for American families, and I commend the president for making the case about how simplifying our complicated, burdensome, and outdated tax code would benefit our country. Our current tax code encourages U.S. companies to take jobs and investments overseas, and that is unacceptable. I’m focused on ensuring that this reform effort encourages more investment in America, brings jobs home, and gives American workers a competitive advantage. I have been working closely with my colleagues in the Senate, the House of Representatives, and the administration on this effort, and I’m committed to getting this done for Ohio and the American people in order to help grow our economy, create more jobs, and increase wages.”

Campaign Finance Reform Legislation

by Senator Gary Peters (D-MI)

Washington, D.C. - August 31, 2017 (The Ponder News) -- U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) has announced that he has cosponsored two bills to increase transparency in campaign finance and reduce the influence of special interests in Congressional elections. The Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light On Spending in Elections (DISCLOSE) Act will require outside groups that spend over $10,000 on election advertising, including super PACs, to disclose their donors and source of funding within 24 hours. Peters is also cosponsoring the Fair Elections Now Act which would establish citizen-funded elections to better strengthen small donors and grassroots voices. Peters previously cosponsored both bills in the 114th Congress.

“For too long, our campaign finance system has given big corporations the ability to spend millions of dollars on federal elections – silencing the voices of Michigan middle class families in the process,” said Senator Peters. “It should be Michiganders deciding who represents them, not corporations looking to buy influence. I’m proud to cosponsor these commonsense bills that will help increase transparency and give power back to the American people in our elections.”

The DISCLOSE Act would require any covered organization that spends $10,000 or more on election ads to file a disclosure report with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) within 24 hours, and to file a new report for each additional $10,000 or more spent. The disclosure report must include the sources of all donations of $10,000 or more that the organization received during that election cycle. The legislation additionally would direct the FEC and U.S. Department of Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) to share information to identify and prevent foreign election spending. The DISCLOSE Act is supported by a number of campaign finance reform stakeholders, including Public Citizen, the federation of Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs), Brennan Center, League of Women Voters, People For the American Way, Center for Responsive Politics, and the Sunlight Foundation.

The Fair Elections Now Act amends the Federal Elections Campaign Act of 1971 to establish a voluntary method for financing Senate campaigns. The legislation would provide qualified candidates for Congress with grants, matching funds, and vouchers from the Fair Elections Fund - which would be established by the legislation - to replace campaign fundraising that largely relies on large donors and special interests. In return, participating candidates would agree to limit their campaign spending to the amounts raised from small dollar donors plus the amounts provided from the Fund.

Failure To Deliver On Tax Is Not An Option

From Senator David Perdue (R-GA)

Washington, D.C. - August 31, 2017 (The Ponder News) -- U.S. Senator David Perdue (R-GA), a member of the Senate Budget Committee, comments on President Trump’s speech on tax reform:

“President Trump's comments today are spot on. Thanks to American voters, we now have the opportunity to create a new tax system that is fairer for everyone and makes our country competitive again. The clock is ticking. There are only 61 session days until the end of the year to pass a plan that eliminates the repatriation tax, lowers the corporate tax rate, and simplifies the individual tax system to bring relief to working men and women. Make no mistake, failure to deliver results on tax is not an option.

“Consumer confidence is at a 16 year high and many businesses are investing and creating more jobs than ever before. We are on the cusp of an economic turnaround, and these tax changes must happen this year in order to have any real impact on business decisions that can produce significant economic growth. Americans are watching the tax debate closely and counting on Congress to deliver real results.”

Houston' s Mayor Turner Tells Houston Residents to Stay Put

Washington, D.C. - August 31, 2017 (The Ponder News) -- On August 24, The Mayor of Houston put out this statement

“False forecasts and irresponsible rumors on social media are interfering with efforts by the city of Houston, and its government and news media partners, to provide accurate information to the public about the expected effects of Tropical Storm/Hurricane Harvey," Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said today.

"All residents of Houston and surrounding areas should rely solely on proven information sources, including the National Weather Service and the city Office of Emergency Management, to decide how to prepare for the heavy rainfall expected here," the mayor added.

"No evacuation orders have been issued for the city and none is being considered.

"Please continue to monitor mainstream news sources for updates on the weather and act accordingly as an informed resident. Rumors are nothing new, but the widespread use of social media has needlessly frightened many people today.”

After searching Texas Governor's press releases, I have found that, although the Governor declared a state of disaster on the days before the Hurricane hit, he did not order Houston to evacuate. He did, however, urge all residents to follow the advice of their local authorities on the matter.

They knew it was coming. The mayor of Houston CHOSE to ignore it.

Democrats aren't getting the support they claim they are...

Liberty Writers

Democrats aren't getting the support they claim they are...


Help Support The Ponder News

  • Get the "Republican Parking Only" parking sign.

  • POW MIA Bumper Sticker "For those who fought for it, Freedom has a flavor they will never know"

  • Warning Politically Incorrect Stainless Steel Tumbler w/ American Flag 32oz
  • Judge Blocks Texas Immigration Crackdown

    Source: Yahoo! News

    A federal judge on Wednesday blocked most of a state immigration crackdown two days before it was set to go into effect on Sept. 1, offering a major victory for opponents as a tropical storm ravages the state and local officials struggle to assure immigrants it’s safe to seek help.

    U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia issued an injunction that prevents Texas Senate Bill 4 from being implemented while a lawsuit challenging the law winds its way through the federal courts. The ruling marks a victory for immigrant rights groups and several local governments ― including those of Austin, Houston, San Antonio and El Cenizo ― that argued the law unconstitutionally requires police to do the work of federal authorities and would lead to racial profiling.


    Help Support The Ponder News

  • Get the "Republican Parking Only" parking sign.

  • POW MIA Bumper Sticker "For those who fought for it, Freedom has a flavor they will never know"
  • Cities to Congress and the Administration: Tax Reform Must Respect Local Authority

    by the National League of Cities

    Washington, D.C. - August 31, 2017 (The Ponder News) -- During a speech in Springfield, Missouri, President Donald Trump outlined his plan for tax reform. While the speech did not provide many details on specific measures the president hopes to advance, it did reinforce the president’s intention to simplify the tax code through comprehensive reform. In response to today’s speech, National League of Cities President Matt Zone, councilmember, Cleveland, released the following statement:

    “City leaders applaud any effort to streamline our tax code, and welcome the president’s emphasis on Main Street in the tax reform process. The federal government, however, should not attempt to place the burden of reform on cities and the hundreds of millions of residents who call them home.

    “While the administration and Congress have yet to provide details, the president has reiterated his plan to broadly target key deductions for elimination. As local leaders, we remain deeply concerned that the tax exempt status of municipal bonds and the state and local tax deduction may be eliminated in a misguided attempt to offset the costs of lower tax rates for top income brackets and corporations.

    “Each day, state and local governments rely on these critical provisions of the current tax code to calibrate their own local tax rates and raise the revenues necessary to keep housing prices and markets stable, build and maintain infrastructure along main street, fund our schools and educate our children, and keep our communities and law enforcement officers safe. Eliminating these deductions would place tremendous pressure for cities to lower taxes and further strain local budgets already bracing for cuts to city funding in the Fiscal Year 2018 federal budget.

    “Cities, states and counties are not a special interest tax loophole. Rather, they are the bedrock of our federal democracy that expect the continued flexibility to raise the necessary funds to address the concerns and challenges unique to their communities. We urge Congress to respect local authority and include city leaders in their ongoing discussions on tax reform.

    Help Support The Ponder News

    Get the "Republican Parking Only" parking sign.

    American Action Network Launches Mail Campaign for Tax Reform

    by the American Action Network

    Washington, D.C. - August 31, 2017 (The Ponder News) -- Amidst President Donald Trump and congressional leaders crisscrossing the country to make the case for tax reform, American Action Network’s Middle-Class Growth Initiative (MCGI) announced a mail campaign in 34 congressional districts nationwide reaching one million Americans. The ad highlights America’s broken tax code and urges constituents to call their member of Congress to pass a simpler and fairer tax code with lower rates. View the list of districts targeted here.

    “Thousands of good-paying jobs are fleeing to countries like China, the status quo is failing, and it is leaving America’s middle class behind,” said AAN Executive Director Corry Bliss. “Americans are ready to see meaningful, pro-growth tax reform become a reality. That’s why we are urging people across the country to call their member of Congress to pass reforms that will help create more jobs and raise wages here at home.”

    In addition to this latest campaign, AAN’s MCGI is running television, digital and radio advertising in congressional districts nationwide to further momentum and ensure Congress prioritizes reforms that put America’s middle class and small businesses first.

    The IRS Gives Tax Relief to Victims of Hurricane Harvey and Warns Against Scams

    The IRS has decided to give tax relief to Hurricane Harvey victims.

    "This has been a devastating storm, and the IRS will move quickly to provide tax relief to hurricane victims," said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. "The IRS will continue to closely monitor the storm's aftermath, and we anticipate providing additional relief for other affected areas in the near future."

    The IRS is now offering this expanded relief to any area designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), as qualifying for individual assistance. Currently, 18 counties are eligible, but taxpayers in localities added later to the disaster area will automatically receive the same filing and payment relief.

    The tax relief postpones various tax filing and payment deadlines that occurred starting on Aug. 23, 2017. As a result, affected individuals and businesses will have until Jan. 31, 2018, to file returns and pay any taxes that were originally due during this period. This includes the Sept. 15, 2017 and Jan. 16, 2018 deadlines for making quarterly estimated tax payments. For individual tax filers, it also includes 2016 income tax returns that received a tax-filing extension until Oct. 16, 2017. The IRS noted, however, that because tax payments related to these 2016 returns were originally due on April 18, 2017, those payments are not eligible for this relief.

    The Internal Revenue Service has also announced that 401(k)s and similar employer-sponsored retirement plans can make loans and hardship distributions to victims of Hurricane Harvey and members of their families. This is similar to relief provided last year to Louisiana flood victims and victims of Hurricane Matthew.

    The Internal Revenue Service has also issued a warning about possible fake charity scams emerging due to Hurricane Harvey and encouraged taxpayers to seek out recognized charitable groups for their donations.

    While there has been an enormous wave of support across the country for the victims of Hurricane Harvey, people should be aware of criminals who look to take advantage of this generosity by impersonating charities to get money or private information from well-meaning taxpayers. Such fraudulent schemes may involve contact by telephone, social media, e-mail or in-person solicitations.

    Criminals often send emails that steer recipients to bogus websites that appear to be affiliated with legitimate charitable causes. These sites frequently mimic the sites of, or use names similar to, legitimate charities, or claim to be affiliated with legitimate charities in order to persuade people to send money or provide personal financial information that can be used to steal identities or financial resources.

    In response to shortages of undyed diesel fuel caused by Hurricane Harvey, the IRS will not impose a penalty when dyed diesel fuel is sold for use or used on the highway.

    Kathy Griffin Withdraws Apolgy about Trump Decapitation Video

    Kathy Griffin, complaining about how much she has lost due to the video, has taken back her apology about the video that caused so much controversy.

    Cruz Joins Trump in Texas

    Washington, D.C. - August 31, 2017 (The Ponder News) -- U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on Tuesday joined President Donald Trump, Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) to tour areas around Corpus Christi that were impacted by the landfall of Hurricane Harvey late Friday night. Later on Tuesday, Sen. Cruz joined President Trump, along with Gov. Abbott, Sen. Cornyn, and U.S. Reps. Roger Williams (R-Texas), Kevin Brady (R-Texas), and Michael McCaul (R-Texas) to receive a briefing on the Texas’ storm response and recovery efforts from the Texas Department of Public Safety. While the storm’s impacts continue to be felt throughout South Texas, including devastating, ongoing flooding throughout the Houston metropolitan area, Sen. Cruz expressed gratitude for the Trump administration’s assistance in helping Texans recover from the storm and stressed his commitment to doing everything possible to ensure federal, state, and local resources can be allocated effectively in the rebuilding effort.

    “The devastation we’re dealing with in Texas is still ongoing,” said Sen. Cruz. “Today in Corpus Christi, we saw brave Texans, for whom the work to rebuild is only just beginning. They still need help and assistance and we’re committed to ensuring they get that help, and I was grateful for President Trump’s assurances today that the full extent of the federal government’s resources will be deployed to help our state. My hometown of Houston, in particular, has been underwater for four days as the flooding continues. And in the face of this massive storm, we’re also seeing incredible stories of heroism. We’re seeing first responders, firefighters, National Guardsmen, Coast Guardsmen, law enforcement, and ordinary citizens, stepping up and saving their neighbors and helping them out. It is a huge challenge and yet at the same time it is inspiring to see Texans coming together and helping other Texans. It is with that spirit in mind that my office continues to work day and night with the federal government, with the state government here in Austin, and with the local governments on the ground throughout the affected areas to ensure they are getting the resources and the help they need to save lives, recover from this storm, and rebuild. We are Texas Strong, and Texas will come back stronger than ever before.”