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Monthly Archives: October 2017

Wharton – How a Lower 401(k) Cap Could Cause More Harm Than Good

[email protected] – “The Republican tax overhaul is a plan in search of revenue – and one solution that appears to be under consideration for covering the proposed cuts is lowering the cap on pre-tax contributions to 401(k) retirement savings plans. More than 62 million Americans have put money into 401(k) retirement plans, according to The Washington Post. Currently, those under age 50 can contribute up to $18,000 annually pretax, while older workers can contribute up to $6,000 more per year. Republicans are set to unveil their tax bill this week, and there is speculation that the legislation will include a reduction in the pretax contribution limit – which would boost government coffers by directing more money to post-tax individual retirement accounts, such as Roth IRAs…”

Doing Business 2018: Reforming to Create Jobs

World Bank: “Governments in 119 economies carried out 264 business reforms in the past year to create jobs, attract investment and become more competitive, says the World Bank Group’s latest Doing Business 2018: Reforming to Create Jobs report. Marking its 15th anniversary, the report notes that 3,188 business reforms have been carried out since it… Continue Reading

CRS – The Vacancies Act: A Legal Overview

CRS report via FAS – The Vacancies Act: A Legal Overview, October 30, 2017. “This report first describes how the Vacancies Act operates and outlines its scope, identifying when the Vacancies Act applies to a given office, how it is enforced, and which offices are exempt from its provisions. The report then explains who may… Continue Reading

The North Korean Nuclear Challenge: Military Options and Issues for Congress

CRS report via FAS – The North Korean Nuclear Challenge: Military Options and Issues for Congress, October 27, 2017. “North Korea’s apparently successful July 2017 tests of its intercontinental ballistic missile capabilities, along with the possibility that North Korea (DPRK) may have successfully miniaturized a nuclear warhead, have led analysts and policymakers to conclude that… Continue Reading

Maryland Investigating Kushner Real Estate Practices

The probe by the Maryland attorney general comes after reports by ProPublica, The New York Times and The Baltimore Sun about the firm’s aggressive treatment of tenants. “The suit follows a May 23 article jointly published by ProPublica and The New York Times Magazine that detailed the Kushner Companies’ highly litigious dealings with the people who rent apartments in… Continue Reading

Facebook, Google and Twitter Executives Testified on Russian Disinformation

The Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism hearing entitled: “Extremist Content and Russian Disinformation Online: Working with Tech to Find Solutions” October 31, 2017. This link includes video of the testimony as well as transcripts of prepared testimony by Facebook, Twitter, Google as well as two subject matter experts. View the… Continue Reading

WaPo – Who’s who in Mueller’s investigation into Russia ties

Follow up to previous posting – Mueller Investigation Criminal Indictments Against Three Trump Campaign Officials – the Washington Post assists in the effort to visualize this very tangled web: “On Oct. 30, three former officials from President Trump’s campaign were charged in relation to the investigation by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. Different members… Continue Reading

Survey Says Tech is Embraced and Mistrusted at the Same Time

Axios: “More than 70% of Americans believe technology has had a positive or somewhat positive effect on society, according to an Axios/ SurveyMonkey poll, and most Americans are optimistic about the impact of technology on the future. But that doesn’t mean they trust tech companies — 78% thought it was a “bad thing” that tech… Continue Reading

Mueller Investigation Criminal Indictments Against Three Trump Campaign Officials

On May 17, 2017, Robert S. Mueller III was appointed by acting Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein to serve as Special Counsel by the order below. Order 3915-2017 Related Court Documents and a selected overview of articles pertaining to the indictments: U.S. v. Paul J. Manafort, Jr., and Richard W. Gates III (1:17-cr-201, District of… Continue Reading

Evolving Law on Airport Implications by Unmanned Aerial Systems

National Academies: “TRB’s Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Legal Research Digest 32: Evolving Law on Airport Implications by Unmanned Aerial Systems provides guidance to enhance understanding of the basic legal and operational issues presented by civil unmanned aerial systems (UAS), and evaluates best practices for managing these issues. The digest covers background on UAS uses,… Continue Reading

Cost of War Update as of June 30, 2017

Steven Aftergood – Secrecy News: “The Department of Defense has spent more than $1.46 trillion for direct war-related costs since September 11, 2001, according to the latest Pentagon tabulation of war costs obtained by Secrecy News. The 74-page DoD report provides extensive and detailed reporting on war-related appropriations and expenditures. See Cost of War Update… Continue Reading

Study: GOP tax plan would cost $2.4 trillion

The Hill – GOP tax plan will explode deficit: “The Republican tax plan expected to be released this week will explode the deficit, according to a study from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School released Monday. The study, which relies on the Penn Wharton Budget Model (PWBM), found that the deficit would increase by $1 trillion… Continue Reading