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Have you ever lost friends over politics? Greg shares his response to a friend when he was called ‘evil’ and was asked to stop tweeting… – via Greg Kelly Reports, weekdays at 7PM ET on Newsmax TV

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At CPAC, Trump steps back into the conservative limelight after monthlong retreat

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Former President Donald Trump will take the stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Sunday afternoon in a position few would have imagined prior to November of 2020: Voted out of the White House, impeached (and acquitted) a second time, accused of fomenting a riot at the U.S. Capitol — yet still the major voice in the GOP, and perhaps the frontrunner for the party’s presidential nomination in 2024.

Trump’s own meteoric rise to the White House, which he accomplished in part by defeating the well-oiled Clinton political machine, was perhaps eclipsed only by his chaotic fall from power, which concluded amid violence at the Capitol and an unprecedented impeachment trial that took place after he had already left office. 

Still, after roughly a month of near-total silence from the former president — an uncharacteristic lull aided in part by his lifetime bans from multiple social media platforms — Trump nevertheless seems likely to remain a dominant force in the Republican Party he has so effectively reshaped in his own image. 

For one thing, repeated polls since the 2020 election have shown that Republicans are still solidly in favor of Trump, with consistent majorities of GOP voters stating their preference for the former president should he decide to run again for the party’s presidential nomination in 2024. 

Whether that support will hold — and whether it will translate into Republican victories in the 2022 midterms and through 2024 — will likely depend in large part on how both Trump and GOP leadership interact with each other over the next few years. The raucous, irreverent MAGA movement of which Trump is the leader has never meshed well with the relatively staid politics of the Grand Old Party.

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Trump’s immense popularity among the GOP base during his presidency impelled many veteran establishment Republicans to grudgingly go along with him, if only in order to survive politically. With much of the media claiming Trump “incited” an uprising against the government on Jan. 6 — even as the riot appears to have been pre-planned — many of those same Republicans may be hoping to be able to extricate themselves from Trump now while appealing to GOP moderates who have accepted that media narrative.

A Republican break from Trump — or vice versa — could prove politically fatal to both, with Trump potentially taking his voting base to a doomed third-party option, the GOP foundering in national elections, and a mostly unified Democratic voting bloc claiming historic victories at the federal and state levels. 

Trump’s highly anticipated CPAC appearance, then, could be the beginning of his second chapter as a GOP standard-bearer — or it could be the beginning of the end, depending upon a complex set of political factors and decisions that play out over the next several years. 

The former president is scheduled to speak at 3:40 p.m. EST.

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Sanders says he will seek alternative means to raise minimum wage to $15

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Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders on Thursday declared that he would resort to seeking alternative means to raising the federal minimum wage to $15 after an attempt to do so in the COVID relief bill was scuttled in the Senate. 

Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough on Thursday ruled that Democrats’ attempts to include a massive minimum wage hike in the latest coronavirus stimulus package did not adhere to the Senate’s rules about what may be included in bills passed under budget reconciliation. 

In a statement following that decision, Sanders blamed “archaic and undemocratic rules of the Senate” for ending that effort.

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“In the coming days,” he said, “I will be working with my colleagues in the Senate to move forward with an amendment to take tax deductions away from large, profitable corporations that don’t pay workers at least $15 an hour and to provide small businesses with the incentives they need to raise wages.” 

“That amendment must be included in this reconciliation bill,” he declared.

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Rep. Thomas Massie: U.S. creditors may soon stop loaning money to the federal government

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Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) is warning the United States may soon face severe consequences as a result of its astronomical national debt.

Massie explained to the John Solomon Reports podcast that as the U.S. national debt nears $30 trillion with the current $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill, the government’s interest rate will rise and creditors may soon stop lending it money.

“I was that guy on March 27 that CNN called ‘the most hated man in Washington, D.C.,’ because I have the gall to stand up and say if you’re going to spend $2 trillion, you need to show up and vote on it. And I had everybody’s ire that day, but – and I predicted that this would get out of hand, this would become a regular occurrence, and we’d be spending a trillion or $2 trillion at a clip. You’re right, we’re at 28 trillion. I’ve got a debt clock here in my office. And this is the bill that could put us up to $30 trillion, which was a prediction that I made back this summer,” Massie said.

“So this bill is gonna push us to $30 trillion. I mean, that’s insane. To think about that – seven trillion spending, seven trillion in debt in one year, and typically those numbers are one trillion of deficit and one trillion of spending.”

Massie continued, “I mean, let’s say we’ve got $28 trillion in debt, and we’ve got a 28 trillion-dollar GDP. Here’s another – if your interest rate goes to four percent, well, four percent of 28 trillion, that’s how much of your GDP is being wasted. And when – and what I tell people is, not just four percent of all labor, but four percent of the robots’ labor in this country is wasted, right? Four percent of the 3-D printers, an effort is wasted on the interest on the debt.”

The congressman detailed the consequences of such a high national debt.

“I feel like we’re kind of almost headed where Puerto Rico got to. You know, Puerto Rico – the only thing that stopped them from spending more money was when their creditors quit lending it to them. And that’s, you know, typically, if you’re in debt or about to go bankrupt, you don’t come to that realization until people quit loaning you money,” Massie said.

“The first thing they do is they raise your interest rates because your risk – the risk of getting paid back goes up. And so the interest rates are going to go up, and I think we’ll still keep spending money. There’ll be nothing to regulate it here, people just borrow money to pay for the interest. But at some point, you become such a risk that you’re, you know, the people who are financing you refuse to loan you any more money.”

Massie added that in the eight years he has been in Congress, “I haven’t seen the fiscal restraint that’s necessary to stop us from hitting that final bumper, which is when your creditors say, ‘That’s it, we’re not serving you anymore.'”

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He continued by explaining how congressional budget bills worked in the beginning of his tenure.

“When I first got here, there was something called Simpson-Bowles, if you remember that. It was a deal, where they said, ‘Okay, we’re going to increase your taxes by, you know, that’ll be like, one-fourth of it, and three-fourths will be cuts. So we’ll cut some spending, and it will increase the taxes.’ And honestly, that seems very reasonable compared to what happens now,” Massie said.

“Now, when John Boehner and Paul Ryan were in power, we produced Republican budgets. Oh, they balanced, John. But, you had to look at a 10-year window, right? So the budgets were 10 years, and if you looked at the first two years, they spent more money, not less. And it was in the third year where they started to cut spending. Now, why is the third year significant? Because every congressman is, you know, can win reelection before the third year rolls around. And then you do another budget with a 10-year horizon that spends more money than it saves in the first two years.”

Massie discussed a strategy to balance the budget and end the annual multi-trillion dollar deficits.

“So what needs to happen? You know, hopefully, we get back into the majority. But that’s a necessary but not sufficient condition for balancing the budget. And once we get in the majority, we’ve got to have the fiscal restraint. I’ll be honest with you – and you know, to his credit, or in his defense, Trump never promised to balance the budget or cut spending. He didn’t. And so, there was – he had to, he came in with no constraints, and, you know, if the President is going to spend the money well, I guess, you know, a lot of the Republicans in Congress will vote for – to spend the money,” Massie said.

“But we’re going to need a leader, whether that’s a Speaker of the House, or Senate Majority Leader, or a president, Republican president – of course, we’d have to wait four years for that – who gets everybody sobered up, and says we’re gonna have to cut spending, or at least go back to the ridiculous spending we had, which was trillion-dollar deficits per year. Six and seven trillion dollar deficits? It’s the doubling rate of our debt, is one thing that bothers me.”

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