US Politics in Trump era Public date: 03.10.2019 13:07:34

Publisher: NYTimes

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13 Sep 2019

Trump Administration to Finalize Rollback of Clean Water Protections

The Trump administration on Thursday is expected to complete the legal repeal of a major Obama-era clean water regulation, which had placed limits on polluting chemicals that could be used near streams, wetlands and water bodies. Weakening the Obama-era water rule had been a central campaign pledge for Mr. Trump, who characterized it as a federal land-grab that impinged on the rights of farmers, rural landowners and real estate developers to use their property as they see fit.
The Trump administration on Thursday is expected to complete the legal repeal of a major Obama-era clean water...

Publisher: NYTimes

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4 Sep 2019

Trump Says China Will Suffer as Data Shows Trade War Hurting U.S.

President Trump said on Tuesday that Chinese manufacturing would “crumble” if the country did not agree to the United States’ trade terms, as newly released data showed his trade war was washing back to American shores and hurting the factories that the president has aimed to protect.
President Trump said on Tuesday that Chinese manufacturing would “crumble” if the country did not agree to the...
21 Aug 2019

Trump confirms he’s considering a payroll tax cut amid mounting economic concerns

President Trump on Tuesday confirmed that he is considering whether to push for a temporary payroll tax cut amid mounting concerns about an economic slowdown. Trump’s comments pulled back the curtain on a freewheeling policy process within the White House. Senior administration officials are both trying to assess the real weaknesses in the economy while also determining whether they should take any steps to intervene before the 2020 elections.
President Trump on Tuesday confirmed that he is considering whether to push for a temporary payroll tax cut amid...

Publisher: NYTimes

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14 Aug 2019

How a Trump Ally Tested the Boundaries of Washington’s Influence Game

Elliott Broidy had the kind of past that might have given a more traditional White House reason to keep him at a distance: A wealthy businessman, he had pleaded guilty in 2009 to giving nearly $1 million in illegal gifts to New York State officials to help land a $250 million investment from the state’s pension fund.
Elliott Broidy had the kind of past that might have given a more traditional White House reason to keep him at a...
2 Aug 2019

Military retirement program could lose funding for Trump’s border wall

The Supreme Court decided last week that Department of Defense funding could be used to construct sections of President Donald Trump's border wall.  Notably, it said about $224 million would be taken from the Blended Retirement System, which combines elements of the military's retirement system with a system offering benefits similar to civilian 401(k) programs. Other programs set to significantly lose funding: $604 million that was supposed to support Afghan security forces; $251 million in Pentagon funds for destroying US chemical weapons; and about $343 million "in spending from Air Force weapons programs where officials have negotiated reductions or canceled systems,".
The Supreme Court decided last week that Department of Defense funding could be used to construct sections of President...

Publisher: NYTimes

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1 Aug 2019

Fed Cuts Interest Rates for First Time Since 2008 Crisis

The Federal Reserve cut interest rates for the first time in more than a decade on Wednesday as it attempted to guard the record-long economic expansion against mounting global risks. The widely expected quarter-point move, the Fed’s first since it cut rates to near zero in 2008, is meant to protect the economy against the potentially harmful effects of a growth slowdown in China and Europe and uncertainty from President Trump’s trade war.
The Federal Reserve cut interest rates for the first time in more than a decade on Wednesday as it attempted to guard...

Publisher: NYTimes

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27 Jul 2019

U.S. Economy Slows, Denying Trump 3% Talking Point

The American economy is slowing, dragged down by trade tensions and weak growth overseas. But there are few signs that the decade-long expansion is on the verge of stalling out.Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of goods and services produced in the economy, rose at a 2.1 percent annual rate in the second quarter, according to preliminary data released by the Commerce Department on Friday.
The American economy is slowing, dragged down by trade tensions and weak growth overseas. But there are few signs that...
25 Jul 2019

Coal CEO hosts Trump fundraiser as industry’s hurdles mount and workers are left behind

President Donald Trump will head to West Virginia on Wednesday to deliver remarks at a fundraiser hosted by coal baron Bob Murray, underscoring the close relationship the coal industry has with the White House even as the industry steadily declines. The fundraiser comes in the middle of another turbulent month for coal, with Blackhawk Mining the latest company to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
President Donald Trump will head to West Virginia on Wednesday to deliver remarks at a fundraiser hosted by coal baron...
24 Jul 2019

Trump tweets American farmers ‘starting to do great again’ – except they are not.

President Trump began his Tuesday with a congratulatory tweet to new British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, a shout-out to the military and a rosy assessment of U.S. agriculture: “Farmers are starting to do great again, after 15 years of a downward spiral. The 16 Billion Dollar China ‘replacement’ money didn’t exactly hurt!”
President Trump began his Tuesday with a congratulatory tweet to new British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, a shout-out...
23 Jul 2019

EPA’s watchdog is scrutinizing ethics practices of agency’s former air policy chief

A key architect of the Trump administration’s efforts to weaken federal climate rules is under scrutiny by a federal watchdog for his dealings with industry players who lobbied the government to ease carbon pollution limits. It is the third inquiry into whether Bill Wehrum, who headed the Environmental Protection Agency’s air policy division from November 2017 until last month, violated federal ethics rules.
A key architect of the Trump administration’s efforts to weaken federal climate rules is under scrutiny by a federal...

Publisher: Forbes

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6 Jul 2019

Trump Is Falling Almost 1 Million Jobs Short Vs. Obama

Trump’s economy is not the best ever. In fact Obama added almost one million more jobs than Trump over the same timeframe.  Trump entered office on January 20, 2017, and starting with February 2017 he has been President for 29 months. Total job growth during that time has been 5.613 million or 194,000 per month with those results being helped by the tax cut. Working back from January 2017, Obama’s last month in office, there had been 6.423 million jobs added or 221,000 per month. The difference for the 29 months is 810,000 more jobs or 27,000 more per month than Trump.
Trump’s economy is not the best ever. In fact Obama added almost one million more jobs than Trump over the same...

Publisher: EcoWatch

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29 Jun 2019

EPA Air Quality Chief Resigns Over Ethics Investigation

So little time, so much damage done. That's the legacy left by Bill Wehrum who spent only one and a half years as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) top air quality official before announcing that he will step down this weekend under the cloud of a federal ethics investigation over possible conflicts of interest. His resignation follows conflicting statement he made to Congress about his industry connections, according to Politico.
So little time, so much damage done. That's the legacy left by Bill Wehrum who spent only one and a half years as the...

Publisher: NYTimes

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28 Jun 2019

Heading to G-20, Trump Once Again Assails America’s Friends

In the hours before and after leaving for an international summit meeting, Mr. Trump assailed Japan, Germany and India. He complained that under existing treaty provisions, if the United States were attacked, Japan would only “watch it on a Sony television.” He called Germany a security freeloader and chastised India for raising tariffs on American goods.
In the hours before and after leaving for an international summit meeting, Mr. Trump assailed Japan, Germany and India....
28 Jun 2019

VA ordered fake appointments to cut waiting list, whistleblower says

The Department of Veterans Affairs moved to fire a whistleblowing psychologist, Aghevli, one day before her House testimony. Aghevli has made disclosures that she said led department officials to dismiss her, despite her Gold VA Pins for excellent customer service. Aghevli’s allegations are serious. They include phony-wait-list assertions of the type that have bedeviled VA since it was consumed by a scandal that broke in 2014. She also accused department officials of lying to Congress.
The Department of Veterans Affairs moved to fire a whistleblowing psychologist, Aghevli, one day before her House...

Publisher: NYTimes

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25 Jun 2019

Stung by Trump’s Trade Wars, Wisconsin’s Milk Farmers Face Extinction

Wisconsin is known as “America’s Dairyland,” but the milk makers who gave the state its moniker are vanishing, falling prey to a variety of impediments, including President Trump and his global trade war.
Wisconsin is known as “America’s Dairyland,” but the milk makers who gave the state its moniker are vanishing,...

Publisher: The Independent

Author:

22 Jun 2019

How government money follows Trump on presidential visits to his clubs

When Donald Trump finished the first official rally of his re-election campaign this week, he got on Air Force One. But he didn't go home to Washington. Instead, he flew 190 miles in the opposite direction – to visit his own Doral golf resort, outside Miami. It would be his 126th visit to one of his properties since taking office. And this visit – like more than a dozen before it – would bring paying customers, allowing Mr Trump to play a double role.
When Donald Trump finished the first official rally of his re-election campaign this week, he got on Air Force One. But...
19 Jun 2019

Trump vows mass immigration arrests, removals of ‘millions of illegal aliens’ starting next week

President Trump said in a tweet Monday night that U.S. immigration agents are planning to make mass arrests starting “next week,” an apparent reference to a plan in preparation for months that aims to round up thousands of migrant parents and children in a blitz operation across major U.S. cities.
President Trump said in a tweet Monday night that U.S. immigration agents are planning to make mass arrests starting...
11 Jun 2019

Homeland Security watchdog retires early after his office was forced to retract ‘feel-good’ audits of disaster response

John V. Kelly, the acting inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security, announced his retirement Monday following revelations that he directed his staff to whitewash audits of the agency’s performance after federal disasters.
John V. Kelly, the acting inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security, announced his retirement Monday...
4 Jun 2019

American taxpayers paid over $90 billion more under Trump tax law

After the passage of Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), the IRS encouraged taxpayers to update their withholdings, but few did. More than halfway through 2018, after the law took effect, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) warned that more Americans would owe money to the IRS under the new law while those receiving refunds would decrease. In the end, many Americans saw modest increases in their paychecks throughout the year, but didn’t notice.
After the passage of Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), the IRS encouraged taxpayers to update their withholdings, but few...
30 May 2019

Corporations paid $91 billion less in taxes in 2018 under Trump’s tax law

Trump’s tax cut for corporations and the wealthy didn’t just reduce the top corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%. It also retained a boatload of corporate tax credits and loopholes, making the actual tax rate just 7 percent – the lowest in 71 years.
Trump’s tax cut for corporations and the wealthy didn’t just reduce the top corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%. It...
30 May 2019

Study Finds Trump Tax Cuts Failed to Do Anything But Give Rich People Money

The biggest effect of the Trump tax cuts is obvious: People who own businesses and other sources of concentrated wealth will have a lot more money, and the federal budget will have less. But the advocates of the tax cuts insisted it wasn’t about letting the makers keep their hard-earned money rather than handing it over to the takers. It was about incentivizing business to repatriate funds and ramp up its investments, thereby increasing growth and wages.
The biggest effect of the Trump tax cuts is obvious: People who own businesses and other sources of concentrated wealth...

Publisher: CNBC

Author:

30 May 2019

Transportation Secretary Chao reportedly retained construction co. stake she pledged to divest

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao has held onto her shares of Vulcan Materials, a construction company she promised to divest from more than a year ago, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday. Vulcan, the U.S.′ largest supplier of sand and gravel used in paving and building, has seen its stock price rise more than 12% since April 2018, when Chao said she would cash out her shares, according to a 2017 government ethics agreement.
Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao has held onto her shares of Vulcan Materials, a construction company she promised...
24 May 2019

Kushner Cos. Gets $800 Million Federally Backed Apartment Loan

Kushner Cos., the real estate firm owned by the family of President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, has received about $800 million in federally backed debt to buy apartments in Maryland and Virginia -- the company’s biggest purchase in a decade.
Kushner Cos., the real estate firm owned by the family of President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, has...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

24 May 2019

Trump Gives Farmers $16 Billion in Aid Amid Prolonged China Trade War

President Trump on Thursday unveiled a $16 billion bailout for farmers hurt by his trade war with Beijing, signaling a protracted fight ahead that is already prompting some American companies to shift business away from China.
President Trump on Thursday unveiled a $16 billion bailout for farmers hurt by his trade war with Beijing, signaling a...
23 May 2019

President cancels meeting with Pelosi and Schumer on infrastructure, holds impromptu presser

President Trump abruptly ended a meeting with Democratic leaders on Wednesday, saying he was unable to work with them on legislation following comments by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) that he was “engaged in a coverup.”
President Trump abruptly ended a meeting with Democratic leaders on Wednesday, saying he was unable to work with them on...

Publisher: Politico

Author:

17 May 2019

Trump’s pick for ICE director: I can tell which migrant children will become gang members by looking into their eyes

Mark Morgan, the White House choice to lead Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said during a Fox News interview earlier this year that he can judge the likelihood that an unaccompanied minor will become a gang member by looking into that child's eyes.
Mark Morgan, the White House choice to lead Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said during a Fox News interview...

Publisher: Ars Technica

Author:

15 May 2019

AT&T promised 7,000 new jobs to get tax break—it cut 23,000 jobs instead

AT&T in November 2017 pushed for the corporate tax cut by promising to invest an additional $1 billion in 2018, with CEO Randall Stephenson saying that "every billion dollars AT&T invests is 7,000 hard-hat jobs. These are not entry-level jobs. These are 7,000 jobs of people putting fiber in ground, hard-hat jobs that make $70,000 to $80,000 per year."
AT&T in November 2017 pushed for the corporate tax cut by promising to invest an additional $1 billion in 2018, with...

Publisher: BBC News

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15 May 2019

US ‘blames Iran’ for damage to tankers in Gulf of Oman

US investigators believe Iran or groups it supports used explosives to damage four ships off the United Arab Emirates on Sunday, media reports say. Military experts were reportedly sent to investigate the incident and found a large hole in each of the tankers. No evidence has emerged to show that Iran was involved. The affected countries are yet to assign blame.
US investigators believe Iran or groups it supports used explosives to damage four ships off the United Arab Emirates on...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

13 May 2019

China Retaliates With Higher Tariffs as Trump Defends U.S. Approach

The United States and China escalated their trade fight on Monday as Beijing moved to raise tariffs on nearly $60 billion worth of American goods in retaliation for President Trump’s decision to punish China with higher tariffs on a slew of imports.China’s finance ministry announced that it was raising tariffs on a wide range of American goods to 20 percent or 25 percent from 10 percent in response to Mr. Trump’s decision to raise tariffs to 25 percent on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods
The United States and China escalated their trade fight on Monday as Beijing moved to raise tariffs on nearly $60...
13 May 2019

Trump administration breaks campaign promise, purges 200,000 VA healthcare applications

Trump’s strong condemnation of the Obama administration’s handling of the backlog of hundreds of thousands of veteran benefits claims made him the overwhelming choice for many veteran voters in 2016. But after two years in the White House, the Trump administration has decided to execute a plan to purge 200,000 applications for VA healthcare caused by known administrative errors within VA’s enrollment process and enrollment system — problems that had already been documented by the Office of the Inspector General in 2015 and 2017.
Trump’s strong condemnation of the Obama administration’s handling of the backlog of hundreds of thousands of...

Publisher: Fortune

Author:

9 May 2019

Trump Used the Same Tax Breaks as Amazon to Drastically Reduce His Own IRS Bill

President Donald Trump complains that large corporations, such as Amazon.com Inc., are shirking their tax responsibilities. Yet for at least a decade, Trump paid none or very little in federal income taxes by exploiting some of the same generous tax breaks that the online retail giant and others have used to reduce IRS bills.
President Donald Trump complains that large corporations, such as Amazon.com Inc., are shirking their tax...
3 May 2019

‘Sick, Dystopian Stuff’: Former Trump Adviser Kelly Joins Board of Company Running Immigrant Detention Centers

In what one critic deemed a "nauseating example of the revolving door" through which powerful political players often move in and out of the private sector, former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly joined the board of a company which owns some of the largest detention centers for unaccompanied children who cross the U.S.-Mexico border.
In what one critic deemed a "nauseating example of the revolving door" through which powerful political players often...
1 May 2019

Workers barely benefited from Trump’s sweeping tax cut, investigation shows

Big companies drove Donald Trump’s tax cut law but refused to commit to any specific wage hikes for workers, despite repeated White House promises it would help employees, an investigation shows. The 2017 Tax and Jobs Act – the Trump administration’s one major piece of enacted legislation – did deliver the biggest corporate tax cut in US history, but ultimately workers benefited almost not at all.
Big companies drove Donald Trump’s tax cut law but refused to commit to any specific wage hikes for workers, despite...

Publisher: EcoWatch

Author:

13 Apr 2019

A Former Oil Lobbyist Is Now Officially in Charge of America’s Public Lands

The Senate voted to confirm former oil-and-gas lobbyist David Bernhardt as Secretary of the Interior Thursday, despite calls from Democrats and government watchdogs to investigate his past conduct. ​The confirmation vote was 56-to-41, making Bernhardt the least popular Interior Secretary in 40 years,
The Senate voted to confirm former oil-and-gas lobbyist David Bernhardt as Secretary of the Interior Thursday, despite...

Twice as many companies paying zero taxes under Trump tax plan

At least 60 companies reported that their 2018 federal tax rates amounted to effectively zero, or even less than zero, on income earned on U.S. operations, according to an analysis released today by the Washington, D.C.-based think tank, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. The number is more than twice as many as ITEP found roughly, per year, on average in an earlier, multi-year analysis before the new tax law went into effect.
At least 60 companies reported that their 2018 federal tax rates amounted to effectively zero, or even less than zero,...
11 Apr 2019

Trump hotels exempted from ban on foreign payments under new stance

The Department of Justice has adopted a narrow interpretation of a law meant to bar foreign interests from corrupting federal officials, giving Saudi Arabia, China and other countries leeway to curry favor with Donald Trump via deals with his hotels, condos, trademarks and golf courses, legal and national security experts say.
The Department of Justice has adopted a narrow interpretation of a law meant to bar foreign interests from corrupting...
9 Apr 2019

Trump Reportedly Tells Stephen Miller: You’re “in Charge” of Immigration

A purge is currently underway in the Department of Homeland Security. In the wake of Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen’s resignation Sunday, a slew of top DHS officials appear headed for the exits as President Trump and his dead-eyed policy adviser Stephen Miller look to ram their immigration priorities through no matter the cost or consequence.
A purge is currently underway in the Department of Homeland Security. In the wake of Secretary of Homeland Security...

Publisher: NY Magazine

Author:

30 Mar 2019

Trump’s NAFTA 2.0 Puts Big Pharma First, America Second

If there’s anything Donald Trump hates more than globalist trade deals that restrict U.S. sovereignty, it’s the exorbitant cost of pharmaceuticals in this country. “The next major priority for me, and for all of us, should be to lower the cost of health care and prescription drugs,” the president said in his most recent State of the Union Address. “It is unacceptable that Americans pay vastly more than people in other countries for the exact same drugs, often made in the exact same place.”
If there’s anything Donald Trump hates more than globalist trade deals that restrict U.S. sovereignty, it’s the...

Publisher: Bloomberg

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29 Mar 2019

Trump’s Offshore Cash Promise Falters as $665 Billion Returns

Corporate America brought $664.9 billion of offshore profits back to the U.S. last year, falling short of the $4 trillion President Donald Trump said would return as a result of the 2017 tax overhaul. Companies kept much of their overseas profit offshore because a 35 percent tax kicked in only if they brought the cash back to the U.S. But the Republican tax law set a one-time 15.5 percent tax rate on cash and 8 percent on non-cash or illiquid assets, regardless of the country where the profits sat.
Corporate America brought $664.9 billion of offshore profits back to the U.S. last year, falling short of the $4...

Publisher: Reuters

Author:

27 Mar 2019

U.S. labor unions say NAFTA replacement does not go far enough for workers

U.S. labor officials on Tuesday pressed lawmakers to strengthen enforcement of the provisions of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) intended to protect workers, the latest sign the trade deal could face hurdles to passage in the Democrat-led House of Representatives.
U.S. labor officials on Tuesday pressed lawmakers to strengthen enforcement of the provisions of the United...
23 Mar 2019

Who paid for Chinese execs’ $50K photos with Trump?

Two guests of Cindy Yang didn’t pay for their own photos, priced at $50,000 each, with President Trump at a December 2017 RNC event. Selling tickets to campaign fundraisers without disclosing the buyer to the Federal Election Commission is illegal.
Two guests of Cindy Yang didn’t pay for their own photos, priced at $50,000 each, with President Trump at a December...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

22 Mar 2019

Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump Use Private Accounts for Official Business, Their Lawyer Says

The chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee revealed information on Thursday that he said showed Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner used private messaging services for official White House business in a way that may have violated federal records laws.
The chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee revealed information on Thursday that he said showed Ivanka...
15 Mar 2019

Republicans Laugh Off Concerns About Corporations Putting Money In Trump’s Pocket

Republicans on the House antitrust panel laughed off Democrats’ questions over T-Mobile’s spending at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. immediately after the company announced a mega-merger with Sprint. One day after the merger announcement, nine T-Mobile executives checked in to Trump’s D.C. hotel, The Washington Post reported in January. The company ultimately spent $195,000 on 38 nights at the hotel as T-Mobile executives descended on Washington to meet with regulators about the proposed merger.
Republicans on the House antitrust panel laughed off Democrats’ questions over T-Mobile’s spending at the Trump...
13 Mar 2019

Trump’s 2020 budget proposes $1 trillion cut to Medicare, Medicaid

The White House released its 2020 budget proposal on Monday, proposing more than $1 trillion in cuts to the popular programs Medicare and Medicaid and giving insight into what the executive branch would do if Congress didn’t control the federal government’s pocketbook. The most notable cut comes out of Medicaid, a health program for people who are low-income or have a disability, which Trump proposes cutting by more than $700 billion over 10 years.
The White House released its 2020 budget proposal on Monday, proposing more than $1 trillion in cuts to the popular...
11 Mar 2019

The Big Cheat of 2018: Corporations Make Billions in Profits, Demand Tax Refunds from the American Public

The corporate tax rate nosedived from 35% to 21% in 2017, but the thirty companies listed here paid only 8.7% of their reported U.S. income in current federal taxes (even worse, an estimated 7.4% if U.S. income were based on a true percentage of sales). That's $30 to $35 billion—from just 30 companies—that is owed to the American public.
The corporate tax rate nosedived from 35% to 21% in 2017, but the thirty companies listed here paid only 8.7%...

Publisher: The Intercept

Author:

10 Mar 2019

Defense Tech Startup Founded by Trump’s Most Prominent Silicon Valley Supporters Wins Secretive Military AI Contract

A startup founded by a young and outspoken supporter of President Donald Trump is among the latest tech companies to quietly win a contract with the Pentagon as part of Project Maven, the secretive initiative to rapidly leverage artificial intelligence technology from the private sector for military purposes.
A startup founded by a young and outspoken supporter of President Donald Trump is among the latest tech companies to...
6 Mar 2019

11 Million Taxpayers Losing $323 Billion In Deductions In Trump Tax Hit

There’s more bad news for taxpayers. A government report has revealed that 11 million taxpayers are losing out on $323 billion worth of deductions due to a punishing change in President Donald Trump’s tax law. The hard news comes after early filers were stunned by shrinking — to vanishing — tax refunds.
There’s more bad news for taxpayers. A government report has revealed that 11 million taxpayers are losing out on $323...
13 Feb 2019

Smaller Tax Refunds Surprise Those Expecting More Relief

The tax preparers at H&R Block had a new class before their busy season started this year: empathy training.They listened to a mock exchange between an employee and a customer whose refund would not just shrink but disappear. The ficticious client had received a $1,500 refund last year, but this year would owe $575.
The tax preparers at H&R Block had a new class before their busy season started this year: empathy training.They...

Publisher: Rolling Stone

Author:

10 Feb 2019

Who Makes Money Off the Trump Administration?

At 3:45 p.m. on October 6th, 2017, an unassuming man in his early sixties with a low, raspy voice and a thin, wide smile arrived at the White House. He had been here before, in the George W. Bush years, when he was one of the most sought-after fundraisers in the Republican Party. But a scandal had derailed his life, and afterward he had disappeared from politics. In early 2016, the opportunity arose to make his return. The man had helped Donald J. Trump’s long-shot campaign raise millions of dollars, and he could rightly say he played a role in the most improbable presidential victory in American history.
At 3:45 p.m. on October 6th, 2017, an unassuming man in his early sixties with a low, raspy voice and a thin, wide smile...
9 Feb 2019

New Bank Law Is Already Making Banks Bigger

The proposed $28 billion merger announced Thursday between large regional banks SunTrust and BB&T is the biggest banking tie-up since the financial crisis, creating what would become the nation’s sixth-largest bank. And it’s a direct result of actions taken by the Trump administration and the bipartisan group of lawmakers who passed a bank deregulation bill in 2018.
The proposed $28 billion merger announced Thursday between large regional banks SunTrust and BB&T is the biggest...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

28 Jan 2019

A Tiny Screw Shows Why iPhones Won’t Be ‘Assembled in U.S.A.’

Despite a trade war between the United States and China and past admonishments from President Trump “to start building their damn computers and things in this country,” Apple is unlikely to bring its manufacturing closer to home.A tiny screw illustrates why.
Despite a trade war between the United States and China and past admonishments from President Trump “to start building...
24 Jan 2019

Net Neutrality Repeal, Evidence Shows, Is Doing None of the Good Stuff Ajit Pai and Telecom Industry Promised

The telecom industry and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai justified the Republican repeal of net neutrality protections in December of 2017 with promises that a "light-touch framework" would spur investment, giving broadband providers "stronger incentives to build networks, especially in unserved areas, and to upgrade networks."
The telecom industry and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai justified the Republican repeal of...
16 Jan 2019

A Coal Baron’s Takeover of the EPA Is Nearly Complete

A few weeks after President Donald Trump moved into the White House, he received a memo from one of his biggest campaign donors: Robert Murray, the CEO of Murray Energy, America’s largest private coal company. Emblazoned with the words “Action Plan,” it was essentially a wish list of all the environmental regulations Murray wanted Trump to get rid of.
A few weeks after President Donald Trump moved into the White House, he received a memo from one of his biggest campaign...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

11 Jan 2019

Farm Country Stood by Trump. But the Shutdown Is Pushing It to Breaking Point.

Farm country has stood by President Trump, even as farmers have strained under two years of slumping incomes and billions in losses from his trade wars. But as the government shutdown now drags into a third week, some farmers say the loss of crucial loans, payments and other services has pushed them — and their support — to a breaking point.
Farm country has stood by President Trump, even as farmers have strained under two years of slumping incomes and...
10 Jan 2019

Trump Demands That Reports on Waste and Fraud in Afghanistan Be “Locked Up”

President Donald Trump’s tenuous relationship with the military he commands took another awkward turn last week when he ordered the Pentagon to block the publication of independent reports that have been harshly critical of reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan.
President Donald Trump’s tenuous relationship with the military he commands took another awkward turn last week...
14 Dec 2018

Feds Open Criminal Investigation Into Trump Inauguration Committee

Trump’s inaugural committee is under criminal investigation by federal prosecutors from the Southern District of New York over whether donors handed over cash in exchange for access to government officials and into whether funds were misallocated, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Trump’s inaugural committee is under criminal investigation by federal prosecutors from the Southern District of New...

Publisher: Mother Jones

Author:

13 Dec 2018

Disgraced Trump Fundraiser Tried to Use GOP Contacts to Score “Billions” in Africa

In late 2016, as Donald Trump was readying to move into the White House, Elliott Broidy, then one of the Republican Party’s top fundraisers, was working on a deal to gain control of what a business partner called “billions of dollars in oil & gas, and mining assets” in Angola. And while he was trying to pull together this gigantic venture—as well as mounting another project to provide intelligence services to the Angolan government—Broidy used his clout to hook up top Angolan government officials with members of the US Congress and the Trump administration.
In late 2016, as Donald Trump was readying to move into the White House, Elliott Broidy, then one of the Republican...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

11 Dec 2018

Targets of U.S. Sanctions Hire Lobbyists With Trump Ties to Seek Relief

“People overseas often want to hear that you know so-and-so, and can make a call to solve their problem,” said Erich Ferrari, a leading Washington sanctions lawyer who said he has tried to disabuse prospective clients of such notions. It is a perception that matches up with the pay-to-play mind-set that defines politics in many parts of Africa, Asia, the Middle East and the former Soviet states.
“People overseas often want to hear that you know so-and-so, and can make a call to solve their problem,” said Erich...
10 Dec 2018

John Kelly Was a Bully, Bigot and Liar for Donald Trump

This “great guy” will leave behind an administration mired in scandal, chaos and corruption; a president perhaps even more reckless and lawless today than he was when Kelly arrived for work at the West Wing on the morning of July 31, 2017. That was a period in which political pundits and correspondents also believed the retired four-star general to be a “great guy.” Remember how his appointment, as replacement for the hapless Republican operative Reince Preibus, was greeted by the liberal press? Kelly, we were told, would be the “adult in the room”; he would rein in a brash and belligerent commander-in-chief.
This “great guy” will leave behind an administration mired in scandal, chaos and corruption; a president perhaps...

Publisher: Vox

Author:

7 Dec 2018

Kathy Kraninger is confirmed as director of the CFPB

The US Senate voted to confirm Kathy Kraninger as the next head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the federal government’s top consumer watchdog. She will take permanent charge over the CFPB and replace Mick Mulvaney. who critics say he’s sought to undermine its mission and scale back its enforcement and oversight efforts. Those same critics have echoed concerns about Kraninger, wondering whether she’ll continue on the same path as Mulvaney at the CFPB. They also point to her lack of experience in the consumer sector.
The US Senate voted to confirm Kathy Kraninger as the next head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

7 Dec 2018

Making President Trump’s Bed: A Housekeeper Without Papers

During more than five years as a housekeeper at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., Victorina Morales has made Donald J. Trump’s bed, cleaned his toilet and dusted his crystal golf trophies. When he visited as president, she was directed to wear a pin in the shape of the American flag adorned with a Secret Service logo.Because of the “outstanding” support she has provided during Mr. Trump’s visits, Ms. Morales in July was given a certificate from the White House Communications Agency inscribed with her name. Quite an achievement for an undocumented immigrant housekeeper.
During more than five years as a housekeeper at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., Victorina Morales has...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

26 Nov 2018

G.M. to Idle Plants and Cut Thousands of Jobs as Sales Slow

General Motors announced Monday that it planned to idle five factories in North America and cut roughly 14,000 jobs in a bid to trim costs. It was a jarring reflection of the auto industry’s adjustment to changing consumer tastes and sluggish sales. The move, which follows job reductions by Ford Motor Company, further pares the work force in a sector that President Trump had promised to bolster.
General Motors announced Monday that it planned to idle five factories in North America and cut roughly 14,000 jobs in a...
13 Nov 2018

Trump properties made millions off the midterm election

Trump-owned and branded properties cashed in during the midterm elections, according to a CNN analysis which found that campaigns and outside groups spent at least $3.2 million at the hotels and resorts. The CNN analysis of Federal Election Commission data found that the Republican National Committee was the biggest customer, spending at least $1.2 million at Trump-branded properties since the beginning of 2017.
Trump-owned and branded properties cashed in during the midterm elections, according to a CNN analysis which found that...

Publisher: BBC News

Author:

3 Nov 2018

Trump administration to reinstate all Iran sanctions

The White House said it was "the toughest sanctions regime ever imposed on Iran" and targeted Iran's energy, shipping and banking sectors. However, eight countries will not be penalised by the US for continuing to import Iranian oil. President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal in May, describing it as "defective at its core".
The White House said it was "the toughest sanctions regime ever imposed on Iran" and targeted Iran's energy, shipping...
17 Oct 2018

McConnell Calls For Cutting Government Programs To Deal With ‘Disturbing’ Debt

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) called on Congress to rein in major government programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security in order to slow America’s spiraling national debt on Tuesday, ignoring the fact the tax plan he recently passed has fueled further growth in that number.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) called on Congress to rein in major government programs like Medicare,...
17 Oct 2018

Trump threatens to cut Honduras aid unless it stops migrant caravan

Donald Trump has threatened to cut off millions of dollars of aid to Honduras if it fails to stop a group of as many as 2,000 migrants fleeing violence and poverty who are attempting to the reach the US border overland. Guatemalan police detained the migrant caravan’s spokesman on Tuesday, a day after the group defied warnings from local authorities and crossed the border from Honduras.
Donald Trump has threatened to cut off millions of dollars of aid to Honduras if it fails to stop a group of as many as...
5 Oct 2018

Steel is surging under Trump. Will workers benefit?

When President Trump imposed tariffs on steel imports in June, Richard Lattanzi thought of dozens of his fellow steelworkers who have for years put off badly needed repairs of their cars and homes. “There was a lot of excitement here; there were a lot of us saying, ‘It’s about time someone is looking out for us,’ ” said Lattanzi, the mayor of this town of 7,000 and a safety inspector at the U.S. Steel plant in nearby West Mifflin. “A lot of people around here were saying, ‘We’re going to be okay.’ ”
When President Trump imposed tariffs on steel imports in June, Richard Lattanzi thought of dozens of his fellow...
16 Aug 2018

Thanks to their NDAs, Trump officials have no credibility. These clips prove it.

On the heels of former Trump campaign and White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman saying she’s heard tape of President Trump using the N-word, Trump’s allies have taken to the cable news networks to defend his reputation. But there’s one big problem — because they’ve signed non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), even if they have heard Trump using a racial slur, they’re legally prohibited from saying so.
On the heels of former Trump campaign and White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman saying she’s heard tape of...

Publisher: Forbes

Author:

8 Aug 2018

New Details About Wilbur Ross’ Business Point To Pattern Of Grifting

A multimillion-dollar lawsuit has been quietly making its way through the New York State court system over the last three years, pitting a private equity manager named David Storper against his former boss: Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. The pair worked side by side for more than a decade, eventually at the firm, WL Ross & Co.—where, Storper later alleged, Ross stole his interests in a private equity fund, transferred them to himself, then tried to cover it up with bogus paperwork.
A multimillion-dollar lawsuit has been quietly making its way through the New York State court system over the last...
26 Jul 2018

Emoluments Lawsuit, Accusing Trump of Violating Constitution, Clears a Hurdle

A lawsuit accusing President Trump of violating the Constitution by maintaining a financial interest in his company’s Washington hotel cleared a critical hurdle on Wednesday when a federal judge allowed the case to move forward.The plaintiffs in the lawsuit, the District of Columbia and the State of Maryland, say that Mr. Trump’s profits from the Trump International Hotel, just blocks from the White House, violate anti-corruption clauses in the Constitution and take business from local convention centers and hotels.
A lawsuit accusing President Trump of violating the Constitution by maintaining a financial interest in his company’s...
30 Jun 2018

Justice Anthony Kennedy’s son led Deutsche Bank as it loaned Trump over $1 billion

The son of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy  was leading a real-estate division of Deutsche Bank as it gave President Donald Trump over $1 billion in loans to finance his real-estate projects when other banks wouldn't, The New York Times reported Thursday.
The son of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy  was leading a real-estate division of Deutsche Bank as it...
27 Jun 2018

Is another ex-Trump staffer selling access to corporations with business before the administration?

Priebus joins a long list of former Trump administration officials and staffers who have found lucrative work providing “strategic advice” to clients looking to make good with the administration. While President Trump promised to “drain the swamp” by prohibiting former administration officials from “lobbying activities,” many have found creative work-arounds.
Priebus joins a long list of former Trump administration officials and staffers who have found lucrative work providing...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

15 Jun 2018

N.Y. Attorney General Sues Trump Foundation After 2-Year Investigation

The New York State attorney general’s office filed a scathingly worded  lawsuit on Thursday taking aim at the Donald J. Trump Foundation, accusing the charity and the Trump family of sweeping violations of campaign finance laws, self-dealing and illegal coordination with the presidential campaign.
The New York State attorney general’s office filed a scathingly worded  lawsuit on Thursday taking aim at...
7 Jun 2018

Republicans stop Democrats from helping EPA investigate Scott Pruitt’s ever-growing scandals

House Republicans on Wednesday afternoon blocked an effort by Democrats to increase funding for the agency’s watchdog, which is tasked with investigating the many scandals surrounding agency administrator Scott Pruitt. The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Inspector General (OIG) has in recent months seen an increased workload due to the more than a dozen investigations launched into Pruitt’s spending and management decisions during his first year as administrator.
House Republicans on Wednesday afternoon blocked an effort by Democrats to increase funding for the agency’s watchdog,...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

2 Jun 2018

A Courtside View of Scott Pruitt’s Cozy Ties With a Billionaire Coal Baron

The E.P.A. chief, who has reversed Obama-era rules on coal mining, enjoyed a superfan experience at a University of Kentucky basketball game — courtesy of an industry executive. But there was more to the game last December than a superfan experience for Mr. Pruitt and his son, who joined him. They sat in seats belonging to Joseph W. Craft III, a billionaire coal executive who has engaged in an aggressive campaign to reverse the Obama administration’s environmental crackdown on the coal industry. Mr. Craft and his wife donated more than $2 million to support President Trump’s candidacy and inauguration.
The E.P.A. chief, who has reversed Obama-era rules on coal mining, enjoyed a superfan experience at a University of...
2 Jun 2018

The Trump administration is paying off his supporters

Trump administration officials are making plans to order grid operators  to buy electricity from struggling coal and nuclear plants in an effort to extend their life, a move that could represent an unprecedented  intervention into U.S. energy markets.
Trump administration officials are making plans to order grid operators  to buy electricity from struggling...
26 May 2018

Trump takes aim at federal bureaucracy with new executive orders altering civil service protections

President Trump issued three executive orders Friday aimed at overhauling the federal bureaucracy by making it easier to fire poor performers, sharply curtailing the amount of time federal employees can be paid for union work and directing agencies to negotiate tougher union contracts.
President Trump issued three executive orders Friday aimed at overhauling the federal bureaucracy by making...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

22 May 2018

Trump’s Charm and Threats May Not Be Working on China. Here’s Why.

China has called President Trump’s bluff. Chinese negotiators left Washington this weekend with a significant win: a willingness by the Trump administration to hold off for now on imposing tariffs on up to $150 billion in Chinese imports. China gave up little in return, spurning the administration’s nudges for a concrete commitment to buy more goods from the United States, and  avoiding limits on its efforts to build new high-tech Chinese industries.
China has called President Trump’s bluff. Chinese negotiators left Washington this weekend with a significant...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

11 May 2018

Trump to Drop Call for Medicare to Negotiate Lower Drug Prices

President Trump will lay out on Friday a broad strategy to reduce  prescription drug prices, but in a break from one of his most popular campaign promises, he will not call for Medicare to negotiate lower prices with drug manufacturers, senior administration officials said.
President Trump will lay out on Friday a broad strategy to reduce  prescription drug prices, but in...
8 May 2018

Trump pulls United States out of Iran nuclear deal, calling the pact ‘an embarrassment’

President Trump on Tuesday said he is pulling the United States out of the international nuclear deal with Iran, announcing that economic  sanctions against Tehran will be reinstated and declaring that the 2015 pact had been rooted in “fiction.”
President Trump on Tuesday said he is pulling the United States out of...

Publisher: Vox

Author:

4 May 2018

Trump has helped inspire a wave of strict new abortion laws

Donald Trump promised during his presidential campaign that he would appoint anti-abortion judges to the Supreme Court and that Roe v. Wade would be overturned “automatically.” As many have pointed out, the Supreme Court doesn’t actually work that way. But Trump’s presidency may be shaping abortion law around the country anyway.Perhaps  emboldened by his judicial appointments, legislators are introducing  new abortion bans that directly challenge the tenets of Roe. 
Donald Trump promised during his presidential campaign that he would appoint anti-abortion judges to the...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

1 May 2018

Investment Boom From Trump’s Tax Cut Has Yet to Appear

Republicans sold the 2017 tax law as “rocket fuel” for American  investment and growth, saying that corporations — flush with cash from  lower tax rates — would channel money back into the economy by building  factories and offices and investing in equipment, which would help companies grow and provide winnings for workers. But, so far, hard evidence of such an acceleration has yet to appear in economic data, which show more of a steady investment roll than a rapid escalation.
Republicans sold the 2017 tax law as “rocket fuel” for American  investment and growth, saying that...

Publisher: Reuters

Author:

1 May 2018

U.S. EPA grants biofuels waiver to billionaire Icahn’s oil refinery

The waiver enables Icahn’s CVR Energy Inc (CVI.N) to avoid tens of millions of dollars in costs related to the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program. The regulation is meant to cut air pollution, reduce petroleum imports and support corn farmers by requiring refiners to mix billions of gallons of biofuels into the  nation’s gasoline and diesel each year.
The waiver enables Icahn’s CVR Energy Inc (CVI.N) to avoid tens of millions of...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

22 Apr 2018

Scott Pruitt Before the E.P.A.: Fancy Homes, a Shell Company and Friends With Money

At the E.P.A., Mr. Pruitt is under investigation for allegations of unchecked spending, ethics lapses and other issues, including his interactions with  lobbyists. An examination of Mr. Pruitt’s political career in Oklahoma reveals that many of the pitfalls he has encountered in Washington have  echoes in his past.
At the E.P.A., Mr. Pruitt is under investigation for allegations of unchecked spending, ethics lapses and other...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

19 Apr 2018

Farmers warn of GOP losses over Trumps’s trade policy

“If he doesn’t understand what he’s doing to the nation by doing what  he’s doing, he’s going to be a one-term president, plain and simple,” said Mr. Runck, a fourth-generation farmer who voted for Mr. Trump. Pausing outside the post office in this town of 2,300, Mr. Runck said the repercussions could be more immediate for Representative Kevin Cramer, a Republican whose bid against Senator Heidi Heitkamp, a Democrat, has been complicated by the proposed tariffs.
“If he doesn’t understand what he’s doing to the nation by doing what  he’s doing,...
18 Apr 2018

In new sign of trade battle, China slaps U.S. sorghum producers with 179 percent deposit

China announced temporary anti-dumping measures Tuesday on U.S. sorghum,  potentially hitting U.S. growers and exacerbating the brewing trade war between Beijing and Washington. Hitting U.S. sorghum exports could hurt American growers — potentially having an impact on farming states that have backed President Trump. 
China announced temporary anti-dumping measures Tuesday on U.S. sorghum,  potentially hitting U.S. growers and...
8 Apr 2018

How Trump’s Tax Law Screws Firefighters and Police

A detailed analysis on how the Trump tax cuts will effect the middle class and 99 percent in general. Understand how the republicans took money from the middle class to pay for tax cuts for the billionaires.
A detailed analysis on how the Trump tax cuts will effect the middle class and 99 percent in general. Understand how the...
6 Apr 2018

They voted for Donald Trump. Now soybean farmers could get slammed by the trade war he started.

Bret Davis voted for Donald Trump in 2016, as did many of his fellow farmers in central Ohio. But as a brewing Chinese trade war begins to threaten U.S. exports, Gordon fears his fifth-generation farm will suffer. The farm, where Davis and his stepson grow 1,300 acres of soybeans, corn and wheat for Ritz crackers, may not withstand the long-term drop in crop prices a trade war could bring, Davis said.
Bret Davis voted for Donald Trump in 2016, as did many of his fellow farmers in central Ohio. But as a brewing...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

26 Mar 2018

Fund-Raiser Held Out Access to Trump as a Prize for Prospective Clients

For Elliott Broidy, Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign represented an unparalleled political and business opportunity. An  investor and defense contractor, Mr. Broidy became a top fund-raiser for Mr. Trump’s campaign when most elite Republican donors were keeping  their distance, and Mr. Trump in turn overlooked the lingering whiff of scandal from Mr. Broidy’s 2009 guilty plea in a pension fund bribery case.
For Elliott Broidy, Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign represented an unparalleled political and...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

23 Mar 2018

Trump Hits China With Stiff Trade Measures

President Trump said he would impose tariffs on about $60 billion worth  of Chinese imports on Thursday as the White House moved to punish China for what it says is a pattern of co-opting American technology and trade secrets and robbing companies of jobs and billions of dollars in revenue.
President Trump said he would impose tariffs on about $60 billion worth  of Chinese imports on Thursday as...
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