Harm through the government 2020

Democrats cannot cave to the Republican death cult on the stimulus bill Elie Mystal The Nation October 21, 2020
Liability protection might not sound like an issue worth fighting for, but lives literally depend on whether Democrats hold the line during stimulus negotiations.

Trump’s crony capitalism Anne O. Krueger Project Syndicate October 21, 2020
During his first presidential campaign four years ago, Donald Trump promised to change the way America does business. He has kept that promise: Now more than ever, America resembles the kind of crony-capitalist system that one more commonly associates with developing and post-communist countries.

This is not normal: A guide to what the next president will have to unwind Amy Siskind Washington Post October 16, 2020

Trump, lagging in polls, pressures Justice Dept. to target Democrats and criticizes Barr Ann Gearan, Matt Zapotosky, Karoun Demirjian and Josh Dawsey Washington Post October 9, 2020

Our democracy in peril. A series of editorials on the damage President Trump has caused — and the danger he would pose in a second term Editorial Board Washington Post September 22, 2020

How a massive bomb came together in Beirut’s port Ben Hubbard, Maria Abi-Habib, Mona El-Naggar, Allison McCann, Anjali Singhvi, James Glanz and Jeremy White New York Times September 9, 2020
Fifteen tons of fireworks. Jugs of kerosene and acid. Thousands of tons of ammonium nitrate. A system of corruption and bribes let the perfect bomb sit for years.

Justice Dept. intervenes on behalf of Trump in defamation case brought by woman who accused him of rape Matt Zapotosky Washington Post September 8, 2020

Louis DeJoy’s rise as GOP fundraiser was powered by contributions from company workers who were later reimbursed, former employees say Aaron C. Davis, Amy Gardner and Jon Swaine Washington Post September 6, 2020

Trump promises permanent cut to payroll tax funding Social Security and Medicare if he’s reelected Tony Romm Washington Post August 8, 2020
The president made the pledge after signing a directive postponing payroll tax payments into next year.

The corrupt political class that broke Lebanon Mohamad Bazzi Foreign Affairs August 14, 2020
A decaying sectarian system kindled Beirut’s port blast.

Inside the Iraqi kleptocracy Robert F. Worth New York Times July 29, 2020

DeVos aide played role in helping failing for-profit colleges, texts and emails show Danielle Douglas-Gabriel Washington Post July 28, 2020

Najib Razak, Malaysia’s former Prime Minister, found guilty in graft trial Richard C. Paddock New York Times July 28, 2020
Mr. Najib was sentenced to up to 12 years in prison and faces fines of nearly $50 million on charges of abuse of power, breach of trust and money laundering.

The Trump administration just admitted it lied about singling out New Yorkers for punishment Editorial Board Washington Post July 26, 2020

Powerful Ohio Republican is arrested in $60 million corruption scheme Giulia McDonnell Nieto del Rio New York Times July 22, 2020
The House speaker was connected with a conspiracy to enact a $1.3 billion bailout of an energy company, the F.B.I. said.

Trump’s request of an ambassador: Get the British Open for me Mark Landler, Lara Jakes and Maggie Haberman New York Times July 21, 2020
Woody Johnson, the N.F.L. owner, Trump donor and ambassador to Britain, was warned not to get involved in trying to move the tournament to a Trump resort in Scotland, but he raised the idea anyway — and he failed.

Trump’s corrupt dealings with Turkey are some of the most startling stories in Bolton’s book David Ignatius Washington Post June 23, 2020

Inspectors general warn that Trump administration is blocking scrutiny of coronavirus rescue programs Tom Hamburger, Jeff Stein, Jonathan O’Connell and Aaron Gregg Washington Post June 15, 2020
As uproar over small-business disclosures intensifies, watchdogs tell Congress the White House is trying to shield how money is being spent.

Former government spokesman pretended to be CIA operative in $4.4 million scam Rachel Weiner and Tom Jackman Washington Post June 11, 2020
The former chief spokesman for the Drug Enforcement Administration admitted Thursday that he ran a $4.4 million scam by manipulating officials from the DEA, the Army, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the National Institutes of Health as he falsely claimed he was part of a covert task force doing secret operations in Africa.

Ordinary investors have to pay a tax on the profits they have made when they sell the investment. However real estate investors do not if they invest their proceeds in a roughly similar real estate investment, thus enabling real estate investors to avoid capital gains taxes for a long time, possibly forever. The disruption in the real estate market caused by the pandemic may make it cheaper to pay capital gains taxes!
How a tax benefit for developers could backfire in the pandemic Paul Sullivan New York Times June 5, 2020

IRS fails to pursue thousands of rich tax cheats, watchdog says Laura Davison Bloomberg June 1, 2020
Report finds 879,415 high-income people didn’t pay tax bills. Budget cuts have forced agency to scale back enforcement.

The government has spent decades studying what a life is worth. It hasn’t made a difference in the covid-19 crisis. Todd C. Frankel Washington Post May 23, 2029
Economists at the University of Wyoming estimated the economic benefits from lives saved by efforts to “flatten the curve” outweighed the projected massive hit to the nation’s economy by a staggering $5.2 trillion. Another study by two University of Chicago economists estimated the savings from social distancing could be so huge, “it is difficult to think of any intervention with such large potential benefits to American citizens.”

The Trump administration is reversing nearly 100 environmental rules. Here’s the full list. Nadja Popovich, Livia Albeck-Ripka and Kendra Pierre-Louis New York Times Updated May 6, 2020

Private equity, lobbying the U.S. for help, Is mostly hearing ‘No’ Kate Kelly and Peter Eavis New York Times May 5, 2020
Many U.S. firms have used profits and the large corporate income tax reduction of 2018, not for investment, nor building up financial reserves, but for stock buybacks and other payouts to stockholders and corporate executives, in a process known as value extraction. Although many firms that practiced value extraction, such as the airlines, are eligible for Federal Reserve support funds, one group that has not, for the moment at least, has been the largest private equity firms with their holdings–Harmful Economics

Large, troubled companies got bailout money in small-business loan program Jessica Silver-Greenberg, David Enrich, Jesse Drucker and Stacy Cowley New York Times April 28, 2020
This article describes how companies which would be thought not qualified for a small-business loan program did in fact receive one. Of the $349 billion in low-interest loans for small businesses more than 200 publicly traded [= not-small] companies have disclosed receiving a total of more than $750 million in bailout loans.

The tax-break bonanza inside the economic rescue package Jesse Drucker New York Times April 24, 2020
As small businesses and individuals struggle to obtain federal aid, the wealthiest are poised to reap tens of billions of dollars in tax savings.

Banks gave richest clients ‘concierge treatment’ for pandemic aid Emily Flitter and Stacy Cowley New York Times April 22, 2020
Some businesses seeking coronavirus loans got to avoid flaky online portals or backed-up queues. Many other small businesses couldn’t get their loan requests submitted before the money dried up.

Mapping corruption: Donald Trump’s Executive Branch Jim Lardner American Prospect April 9, 2020

Inspector General fired by Trump urges whistle-blowers ‘to bravely speak up’ Charlie Savage New York Times April 6, 2020
Michael Atkinson, who President Trump made clear was dismissed in reprisal for his role in revealing the Ukraine matter, broke his silence.

Iran says U.S. sanctions are taking lives. U.S. officials disagree. Farnaz Fassihi New York Times April 1, 2020
Iran, devastated by the coronavirus, is asking the U.S. to lift sanctions on humanitarian grounds. U.S. officials say sanctions aren’t to blame; Iran is.

A Mexican oil chief’s hide-out: sea views and 2 golf courses Raphael Minder New York Times February 22, 2020
Before he was arrested this month, the former head of Pemex lay low in one of the world’s most discreet and exclusive locations on Spain’s sunny southern coast.

  DC Water tunnels constructed thus far helped save the Anacostia River from 4.5 billion gallons of sewage overflow in 2018, according to DC Water.  Credit: DC Water
DC Water tunnels constructed thus far helped save the Anacostia River from 4.5 billion gallons of sewage overflow in 2018, according to DC Water. Credit: DC Water

EPA is letting cities dump more raw sewage into rivers for years to come Christopher Flavelle New York Times January 24, 2020

Trump removes pollution controls on streams and wetlands Coral Davenport New York Times January 22, 2020

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