Headlines – Might Have Missed it Edition

The Paradise Papers show how the worlds richest hide their wealth and don’t pay taxes.

Paradise Papers: Everything you need to know about the leak via BBC

The offshore financial affairs of hundreds of politicians, multinationals, celebrities and high-net-worth individuals, some of them household names, have been revealed. The papers also throw light on the legal firms, financial institutions and accountants working in the sector and on the jurisdictions that adopt offshore tax rules to attract money.

The 3 Richest Americans Hold More Wealth Than Bottom 50% Of The Country, Study Finds via Forbes

Most dramatically, it found that the country’s three richest individuals—Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Jeff Bezos—collectively hold more wealth than the bottom 50% of the domestic population, “a total of 160 million people or 63 million American households.” Roughly a fifth of Americans “have zero or negative net worth,” the authors wrote.

Green Beret Discovered SEALs’ Illicit Cash. Then He Was Killed. via The Daily Beast

Part of the intelligence gathering operation in Mali involved a fund used to pay informants.

Melgar, two special operations sources say, discovered the SEALs were pocketing some of the money from the informant fund. The SEALS offered to cut him in, but Melgar declined, these sources said.

The Estate Tax Has Nothing to do with Farmers

Rigid Political Beliefs via Mike Jopek at Flathead Beacon

Montana Department of Revenue data says there are six farms out of almost 80,000 farms statewide that have a productive property tax market value greater than the individual estate tax exemption.

I relayed this to a farm journal editor in Iowa the other day. He responded that 62 out of the 29,000 people, who died in 2015 in his state, had someone file estate taxes. Half likely had tax liability.

Puerto Rican Death Toll after Hurricane nears 1,000

Puerto Rico Is Burning Its Dead, And We May Never Know How Many People The Hurricane Really Killed via Buzzfeed

Funeral home and crematorium directors are being permitted by the Puerto Rican government to burn the bodies of people who they say died as a result of Hurricane Maria — without those people being counted in the official death toll.

Those directors say they are unclear on how to classify hurricane-related deaths and whether they should send bodies to the central institute certifying official hurricane deaths, called the Institute of Forensic Sciences. The result is likely suppressing the official death count, which has become a major indicator of how the federal government’s relief efforts are going because President Trump himself made it one.

Interior Decorator: Zinke’s Push To Redesign Flags And Accessorize With Dead Animals via Huffington Post

“A large stuffed grizzly will arrive at [main Interior building] today at approximately noon,” Daniel Jorjani, a former Koch brothers adviser appointed in May to the position of principal deputy solicitor, wrote to seven agency employees March 21. “If possible, please make sure it clears security and is taken to the Secretary’s office. He would like it placed in the the corner where his collection of Navy SEAL knives are currently located. He would like that table moved to the other side of the room, next to where the doors lead out of his office into the main corridor.”

US report contradicts Trump team: Warming mostly man-made via Billings Gazette

A massive U.S. report concludes the evidence of global warming is stronger than ever, contradicting a favorite talking point of top Trump administration officials, who downplay humans’ role in climate change.

Republican Leaders’ Tax Framework Provides Windfall to High-Income Households, With Working Families Largely an Afterthought via Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

The “Big Six” Republican tax framework announced last week by President Trump and Republican leaders in Congress specifies large tax cuts aimed at profitable corporations and wealthy households while offering only vague promises for lower- and middle-income working families.  It closely follows many aspects of the House GOP’s “Better Way” plan released last year, which was heavily tilted to those high on the income scale.  Like that plan, the new framework offers little for working families with modest incomes compared to what it would do for those at the top.

Reporter Who Led Panama Papers Investigation Killed By Car Bomb via The Guardian 

A blogger whose posts often attracted more readers than the combined circulation of the country’s newspapers, Caruana Galizia was recently described by the Politico website as a “one-woman WikiLeaks”. Her blogs were a thorn in the side of both the establishment and underworld figures that hold sway in Europe’s smallest member state.

Her most recent revelations pointed the finger at Malta’s prime minister, Joseph Muscat, and two of his closest aides, connecting offshore companies linked to the three men with the sale of Maltese passports and payments from the government of Azerbaijan.

Zinke calls criticisms of park fee hikes ‘baloney’ via The Hill

“This proposal seems directly contrary to your often-stated goal of improving public access to our public lands,” 11 Democratic senators wrote to Zinke after the agency proposed the new fees.

“We believe that it is especially problematic for your Department to propose fee increases at the same time that the Trump administration is recommending slashing National Park Service funding levels and holding virtual fire-sales on our public resources at below market value.”


The Next Tech Bubble via TheNextWeb.com

Social content ‘unicorns’ are in race between record-high burn rates and eye-popping user growth. They have one viable option: a fairytale acquisition.

This is unsustainable, and it is inflating the bubble.

Entrepreneurs believe that if they can accumulate enough free users, an acquisition is inevitable. This logic is dying.

To generate ad revenue, tech companies need to provide services that can a) attract users, b) collect enormous amounts of personal data, and c) provide a medium for advertisements. So, they make big bets on platforms, believing that 500 hundred million users will alchemize into 500 unique visitors per month.

If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we would certainly appreciate it.

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