Bipartisan legislation was introduced on Tuesday that would provide $908 billion in pandemic aid. It is not the $500 billion Republicans wanted and it is not the $2.4 trillion that Democrats wanted but at long last it is something!
The proposal includes $160 billion in state and local aid, $180 billion in unemployment insurance, and $288 billion for small businesses.
Noticeably missing is any funding for additional direct stimulus checks to the American people.
The bill came from Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Angus King (I-Maine), Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), as well as House members.
Of course, this does have to pass congress and the McConnell/Pelosi rivalry has not done anything of the sort since April but with bipartisan authorship and such a low price tag, this has more of a chance than anything we’ve seen in months.
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The Trump Administration thinks that screenshots are a good enough way to archive records from their time in office. A government watchdog group disagrees and is suing the President and his team in order to keep them from deleting communication.
The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a lawsuit accusing the President and the White House of not keeping transparent and accurate records of government business. The lawsuit also names the President’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, the National Archives and Records Administration, and David Ferriero, the archives of the United States.
Screenshots can be altered. They do not contain metadata of communications. And they can be incomplete. In this lawsuit, CREW asks that the defendants be prohibited from deleting any communication immediately.
During the Mueller investigation, investigators used several methods to keep the Trump Administration from throwing out the information that was found, including archiving with several departments in the FBI and using public legal filings as records that could not be deleted. In other words, this is not the first time investigative groups have had concerns about what would make it to the shredder upon the Trump team’s exodus.
900 tons. That was the weight of a radio telescope in Puerto Rico that collapsed yesterday, plunging 400 feet to the ground. Thankfully no one was hurt but meteorologists are heartbroken as the telescope played a key role in astronomy for years and was until recently the largest radio telescope in the world.
$27.7 billion. That is how much Salesforce confirmed that it will pay to acquire Slack.
30%. That is how many small businesses in the U.S. have gone out of business since the pandemic, with New York and New Jersey in the lead.
2045. That is the year that France hopes it will have its new electric propulsion submarine that can stay submerged as long as a nuclear-powered boat without having to come up for air. It is called the SMX31E.
3 years. That is the prison sentence for Ryan Hernandez, the hacker who stole information about the Nintendo Switch prior to its release. He also has to pay Nintendo $259,323.
Companies listed on the Nasdaq may be kicked off for having all-white-male leadership. A new Nasdaq proposal would require that each company on the stock exchange have “at least two diverse directors.”
In order to meet this requirement, the 3,249 companies would have to show at least one female director and at least one underrepresented minority or LGBTQ+ director. If they don’t, they must have a good explanation for why not.
Currently, three out of four companies on the Nasdaq do not meet this requirement but they have some time to start going through resumes. Nasdaq plans to ask the SEC to pass this policy and that process will take a few weeks.
A pharma company announced a blood test that can diagnose Alzheimer’s disease. The test has not yet been approved by the Food and Drug Administration but was cleared for sale in some states and in Europe.
Alzheimer’s is the result of amyloid plaques on the brain. C2N Diagnostics claims that its blood test can measure amyloid particles and other proteins that cause the disease.
Usually, doctors need brain imaging to confirm Alzheimer’s but a blood test could help to speed up early treatment with faster diagnosis. Alzheimer’s is not curable but it is a disease that can be slowed by avoiding neurotoxins and doing brain exercises. If this is of interest, we highly recommend this book: The End of Alzheimer’s by Dale Bredesen.
Tax Payers Funded Hate Groups
When the IRS designates an organization as a charity, that organization does not pay federal taxes or property taxes and contributions are tax-deductible. CBS News looked at IRS tax-exempt charities and found that 90 of them are white supremacists groups, anti-immigration groups, anti-Muslim, or anti-LGBTQ.
One such group is the Unite the Right, which organized the deadly rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017. During the last 10 years, this group and others have received more than $1 billion in tax-deductible donations.
Anyone can do it.
Designating an organization as a charity is incredibly easy. The IRS only rejected 66 out of 100,000 applications, less than 1/10 of 1%. Once an organization is given tax-exempt status, it cannot be revoked just because the IRS doesn’t agree with a viewpoint. So what exactly is a charity that should be exempt from taxation? Is a violent hate group within its rights to be tax-exempt?
“When we hear that term charitable, we think good,” Phil Hackney, a former IRS attorney who is now an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Pittsburgh, told CBS News. But, with these distinctions, the IRS is “endorsing hate groups with dollars.”
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