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Senators Scramble to Advance Tax Bill That Increasingly Rewards Wealthy

At the heart of the debate is whether to more favorably treat small businesses and other so-called pass-through entities — businesses whose profits are distributed to their owners and taxed at rates for individuals. Seventy percent of pass-through income flows to the top 1 percent of American earners, according to research by Owen Zidar, an economist at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.GraphicWhich Republican Senators Might Oppose the Tax Bill, and WhySenate leaders would need to win over several Republican senators to pass a tax overhaul.OPEN GraphicTwo Republican senators, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Steve Daines of Montana, have said that they will vote against the plan if it does not do more to help the owners of those businesses, possibly by increasing the individual income tax deduction for such owners from the 17.4 percent rate currently in the Senate bill.Republicans, who control the Senate 52 to 48, can afford to lose only two of their members if they hope to pass the bill on party lines in the upper chamber.Mr. Johnson could stall the bill by himself on Tuesday, when it is scheduled for a vote in the Senate Budget Committee. Mr. Johnson sits on that committee, where Republicans have a single-vote majority. On Monday, he said he would vote “no” unless his concerns were addressed.“I need a fix beforehand,” Mr. Johnson said.Earlier in the day, Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas and the majority whip, said, “There’s no deal, but there’s been some discussions on how to address Senator Johnson and Senator Daines’s concerns.” He continued, “We’re trying to be responsive.”Adding to the uncertainty, Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee also said on Monday that he could be a “no” vote in the Budget Committee if his concerns about the bill’s effect on the deficit were not adequately addressed.Orrin G. Hatch, Republican of Utah, who leads the Senate Finance Committee, said that there was a strong desire to get a bill passed by Friday and that additional changes would most likely be made on the Senate floor. Despite speculation that the House will face pressure to quickly vote upon whatever passes in the Senate, Senator Rob Portman, Republican of Ohio, said he “fully expects” that there would be a conference to bridge differences between the House and Senate plans.Republican Tax Plan: How to Make Sense of the Push in CongressIt’s virtually impossible to fully understand, let alone keep up with, the flood of proposals, amendments and analyses that continue to pour out. Here are some of the big-picture ideas to keep in mind as this political sausage is being made.The pass-through fight is the first skirmish in what lawmakers and lobbyists expect will be a frenzied week, which Republican leaders hope will produce the first major legislative victory of the Trump-era for their party.Continue reading the main storyThe week is expected to be punctuated by behind-the-scenes arm twisting and deal making as party leaders work to allay senators’ worries without exceeding their self-imposed $1.5 trillion budget for tax cuts […]

In Minnesota, Outrage and Sorrow Over Al Franken Allegations

“If this is a one-off, I’m willing to give him some slack,” said Barbara Kueppers, 72, a retired lawyer from Minneapolis. She also said she supported a Senate ethics hearing into Mr. Franken’s behavior.“Are other things going to come out?” she continued. “Many of us, both professional and nonprofessional women, have been subjected to unwanted touching, kissing and other boorish behavior by our male colleagues. It’s time to end it.”Others said they had seen this brand of behavior from Mr. Franken before. During his Senate campaign in 2008, Republicans pointed to a column he wrote for Playboy in 2000 called “Porn-O-Rama!” that joked about visiting a sex laboratory; a sketch he proposed on “Saturday Night Live” in which the CBS journalist Lesley Stahl was drugged and raped; and comments at a Human Rights Campaign dinner, before he was in the Senate, that included jokes about lesbians.“I think Senator Franken has a track record and a history of inappropriate comments and actions,” Jennifer Carnahan, chairwoman of the Minnesota Republican Party, said in an interview. […]

Opinion: Black Lives Matter Is Democracy in Action

Seshat Mack, a student at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and a leader of the Black Youth Project 100’s New York chapter, explained to me that the campaign, called Housing Over Monitoring and Eviction, has relied heavily on local leadership — in particular, black New Yorkers who live in public housing. Continue reading the main story In Chicago, one of the most segregated cities in the country, an “expanded sanctuary” campaign has brought together black people and Latino immigrants to demand an end to punitive practices like the city’s gang database. Activists have argued that the criteria for inclusion is vague and that people often don’t know they’re on the list. A lead organizer in that campaign, Maxx Boykin, underscores the importance of “building trust between people and organizations,” which can happen only on the local level. The fight to end cash bail was bolstered by Mama’s Bail Out Day, a campaign that is the brainchild of the Atlanta organizer Mary Hooks, a director of Southerners on New Ground, a queer social-justice organization. The organizers raised over $1 million to bail out more than 100 low-income black women on Mother’s Day this year. The Movement for Black Lives umbrella group oversaw the effort by pulling in local bail-reform groups […]

Harvey Weinstein Ousted From Motion Picture Academy

Mr. Weinstein, who was fired by the movie and television studio he co-founded, the Weinstein Company, has denied rape allegations while acknowledging that his behavior “caused a lot of pain.”Although largely symbolic, the ouster of Mr. Weinstein from the roughly 8,400-member academy is stunning because the organization is not known to have taken such action before — not when Roman Polanski, a member, pleaded guilty in a sex crime case involving a 13-year-old girl; not when women came forward to accuse Bill Cosby, a member, of sexual assault; and not when Mel Gibson went on anti-Semitic tirade during a drunken-driving arrest in 2006 or pleaded no contest to a charge of battery against an old girlfriend in 2011.Now, the academy may be forced to contend with other problem members.Scott Feinberg, the longtime awards columnist for The Hollywood Reporter, said, “This may well be the beginning of a very tough chapter for the academy. The next thing that is going to happen, rightly or wrongly, is that a wide variety of constituencies are going to demand that the academy similarly address other problematic members.”Mr. Feinberg added that he was speaking of academy members like Mr. Polanski and Stephen Collins, the “7th Heaven” actor who admitted in 2014 that he molested teenage girls in past decades, which resulted in police investigations in New York and Los Angeles but no charges.Before Mr. Weinstein — who built two studios on the back of the Academy Awards, securing more than 300 nominations for his movies — only one person was known to have been permanently expelled from the academy. Carmine Caridi, a character actor, had his membership revoked in 2004 for violating an academy rule involving Oscar voting. He got caught lending DVD screeners of contending films; copies ended up online […]

Critic’s Notebook: Harvey Weinstein Is Gone. But Hollywood Still Has a Problem.

The industry’s silence has historically shielded the men who make movies, including the old studio bosses like Louis B. Mayer to whom Mr. Weinstein has often been nostalgically compared. In histories, these old-studio chiefs are genteelly referred to as womanizers, a polite metaphor for conduct that ranges from time on the casting couch, another odious euphemism, to what sounds a lot like prostitution. […]

California Today: California Today: A Hard Road to Making It in Los Angeles

Supported byU.S.California Today: A Hard Road to Making It in Los AngelesPhotoReginald Nelson listened as Quinn Knox, an actor, read the script for Mr. Nelson’s audio drama “Red Sun” at a studio in Glendale.Credit Melissa Lyttle for The New York TimesGood morning.(Want to get California Today by email? Here’s the sign-up.)Today’s introduction is by Brooks Barnes, our Hollywood reporter based in Los Angeles.Reginald Nelson moved to Los Angeles in 2004 to become a star.Yes, his dream was a cliché. But he figured he had a better shot than most people. He had studied theater at Howard University with Taraji P. Henson, whose career was then taking off. While performing in Chicago, Mr. […]

Big German Bank, Key to Trump’s Finances, Faces New Scrutiny

It was not clear what information the bank might ultimately provide. Generally, the bank is seen as central to understanding Mr. Trump’s finances since it is the only major financial institution that continues to conduct sizable business with him. Deutsche Bank has also lent money to Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, and to his family real estate business.PhotoDonald J. Trump in 1996 at the Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City. Two years later, he began a banking relationship with Deutsche Bank.Credit Chester Higgins Jr./The New York TimesAlthough Deutsche Bank recently landed in legal trouble for laundering money for Russian entities — paying more than $600 million in penalties to New York and British regulators — there is no indication of a Russian connection to Mr. […]