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Why We Ask to See Candidates’ Tax Returns

Why We Ask to See Candidates’ Tax Returns
Photo Boston — Lost in the debate over Donald J. Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns is the story of where the custom of disclosure comes from — and why it can be so valuable as a measure of character. It’s a tale of presidential tax shenanigans, political scandal and one of the most famous quotations in American history: Richard M. Nixon’s “I am not a crook.” The story begins in July 1969, when Congress eliminated a provision of the tax code that had allowed a sitting or former president to donate his papers to a public or nonprofit archive in exchange for a very large tax deduction. In his taxes for 1969, President Nixon indicated that four months before Congress acted, he had donated more than 1,000 boxes of documents to the National Archives. The write-off didn’t become public until 1973, when it was mentioned in passing during a lawsuit related to the Watergate break-in. Had Nixon really beaten the deadline? No single comment would stick more firmly to Nixon.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/06/opinion/why-we-ask-to-see-candidates-tax-returns.html

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True cost of Louisiana Purchase was theft of Indigenous people's lands Wikimedia Commons/White House Historical Association It’s a familiar chapter in our history, part of the triumphant narrative of westward expansion: In 1803, the United States bought a massive chunk of North America, and we got it for a song. Spain had ceded the Louisiana Territory to France, and Napoleon, in turn, offloaded it to American diplomats in Paris after the Haitian Revolution ruined his plans for the New World. Vaguely defined at the time as the western watershed of the Mississippi River, and later pegged at about 827,000 square miles, the acquisition nearly doubled the national domain for a mere $15 million, or roughly $309 million in today’s dollars. Divide the area by the price and you get the Louisiana Purchase’s celebrated reputation as one of the greatest real estate bargains in history.

Fake news. It's complicated. - First Draft News This article is available also in Deutsch, Español, Français and العربية By now we’ve all agreed the term “fake news” is unhelpful, but without an alternative, we’re left awkwardly using air quotes whenever we utter the phrase. The reason we’re struggling with a replacement is because this is about more than news, it’s about the entire information ecosystem.

The Making of Donald Trump, As Told by a Journalistic Nemesis - BillMoyers.com Veteran reporter David Cay Johnston wasn't satisfied with how the media has been covering Donald Trump. So he wrote a book. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter David Cay Johnston isn’t happy with the way the press has been handling Donald Trump. “The coverage has been extremely poor in my opinion,” Johnston, who at 67 clearly still enjoys making trouble, pronounced at no less a lions’ den than the National Press Club on Thursday night in Washington. So Johnston, as he is wont to do when he sees something going wrong, decided to tackle the problem himself.

Meet the lazy welfare recipients who have spent millions in food stamps: Military service members Over the past few years, we have had Republican governors cutting food stamp rolls in their states. We have seen Republican and Democratic lawmakers cut billions from food stamps. Whether it’s through bullshit drug-testing laws or bullshit work requirement laws, the main culprits, Republicans, have felt that the best way to be able to tell people you have gotten people off of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) was not to create a living wage for your citizens, but to just take those assistance programs away. Forget about the fact that food stamps has kept two million children from being in abject poverty. Forget about the fact that the people needing assistance need it because they are dealing with serious hardships and trying to house themselves and their families, while putting food on the table has been nearly impossible.

UN experts denounce 'myth' pesticides are necessary to feed the world The idea that pesticides are essential to feed a fast-growing global population is a myth, according to UN food and pollution experts. A new report, being presented to the UN human rights council on Wednesday, is severely critical of the global corporations that manufacture pesticides, accusing them of the “systematic denial of harms”, “aggressive, unethical marketing tactics” and heavy lobbying of governments which has “obstructed reforms and paralysed global pesticide restrictions”. The report says pesticides have “catastrophic impacts on the environment, human health and society as a whole”, including an estimated 200,000 deaths a year from acute poisoning. Its authors said: “It is time to create a global process to transition toward safer and healthier food and agricultural production.”

If Jeff Sessions Will Not Resign, He Should Be Impeached Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution of the United States announces that “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” The attorney general of the United States is a civil officer. If he has lies under oath to the Senate, that act demands impeachment. After news reports published last Wednesday made it clear that Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III had deceived the Senate regarding his interactions with Russian officials, there were immediate demands that the attorney general recuse himself from investigations into issues relating to those lies and that he resign as the nation’s chief law-enforcement officer. Sessions announced Thursday afternoon that he would recuse himself from any examination of Russian involvement with President Trump’s campaign. Sessions has made his position clear.

Why Won't Donald Trump Release His Tax Returns? Scott Stantis/Tribune Content Agency David Horsey/Tribune Content Agency Michael Ramirez/Creators Syndicate Linda Taylor, welfare queen: Ronald Reagan made her a notorious American villain. Linda Taylor’s other sins were far worse. Ronald Reagan loved to tell stories. When he ran for president in 1976, many of Reagan’s anecdotes converged on a single point: The welfare state is broken, and I’m the man to fix it. On the trail, the Republican candidate told a tale about a fancy public housing complex with a gym and a swimming pool. There was also someone in California, he’d explain incredulously, who supported herself with food stamps while learning the art of witchcraft. And in stump speech after stump speech, Reagan regaled his supporters with the story of an Illinois woman whose feats of deception were too amazing to be believed.

Google’s featured snippets are worse than fake news Peter Shulman, an associate history professor at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio, was lecturing on the reemergence of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s when a student asked an odd question: Was President Warren Harding a member of the KKK? Shulman was taken aback. He confessed that he was not aware of that allegation, but that Harding had been in favor of anti-lynching legislation, so it seemed unlikely. But then a second student pulled out his phone and announced that yes, Harding had been a Klan member, and so had four other presidents. It was right there on Google, clearly emphasized inside a box at the top of the page: For most of its history, Google did not answer questions.

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