Alabama’s Other Senator Wants Nothing To Do With Roy Moore
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Alabama’s Other Senator Wants Nothing To Do With Roy Moore

Richard Shelby Says Alabama Deserves Better: ‘The 14-Year-Old Was Enough for Me’

No Moore. Alabama’s senior senator, Richard Shelby, said Sunday that Alabama Republicans can “do better” than Roy Moore, the conservative judge accused of sexual misconduct who faces Democrat Doug Jones in Tuesday’s special election for the U.S. Senate. “I didn’t vote for Roy Moore,” said Shelby, a Republican. “I wouldn’t vote for Roy Moore. I think the Republican Party can do better.”

Shelby encouraged fellow Alabama voters to write in the name of another Republican on their ballots which would significantly decrease Moore’s chances of winning. Shelby would not say which Republican got his vote on his absentee ballot. Trump has endorsed Moore.

Shelby said he finds Moore’s accusers believable. “When it got to the 14-year-old’s story, that was enough for me,” Shelby said. The special election is Tuesday.

Scrap Constitutional amendments. Roy Moore said in a 2011 radio interview that getting rid of the constitutional amendments after the Tenth Amendment would “eliminate many problems” in the way the U.S. government is structured. The 14th Amendment was passed during Reconstruction after the Civil War and guaranteed citizenship and equal rights and protection to former slaves and has been used in landmark Supreme Court cases such as Brown v. Board of Education. The 13th Amendment abolished slavery. The 15th Amendment prohibited federal and state governments from denying citizens the right to vote based on that person’s “race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” The 19th Amendment extended the right to vote to women.

NASA photo of California fires

Fire. As California burns, Congress is planning to limit taxpayers’ ability to write off losses from future wildfires and other disasters. The disaster write-off is one of many little-known deductions that would be mostly wiped out in the GOP tax plan. The House tax bill eliminates the deduction that allows people to claim uninsured losses after all types of disasters. The Senate version allows people to take the deduction only if the president declares a federal disaster. Nearly 58,000 wildfires have burned more than 9 million acres in the United States.  Only a small number would qualify taxpayers for relief under the Senate bill. Future victims would have to pay taxes on the personal costs of rebuilding or hope the incident is big enough to be declared a federal disaster. Americans deducted $1.6 billion in 2015 for uninsured losses in natural disasters that were not declared federal disasters.

More cuts. The Trump administration has told employees of the U.S. Office of Financial Research to expect deep budget and staffing cuts. Congress created the office in 2010 under former President Barack Obama to improve financial data and spot risks. The House Financial Services Committee held a hearing about the office Thursday with testimony from its departing chief, Richard Berner, who is stepping down at the end of the year. In May, Trump proposed slashing the office’s budget by about 25% cutting more than a third of its 223 full-time employee positions.

December 11, 2017