$50 Billion of Taxpayer Money Wasted, Rand Paul Says in Latest ‘Waste Report’

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) in his latest “Waste Report” says more than $50.2 billion of taxpayer money has been wasted by the U.S. government on questionable initiatives, with the top money-waster identified as improper Medicare and Medicaid payments totaling $48 billion.

In the Summer 2019 edition of “The Waste Report” published by his office on Aug. 30, the senator identified government spending deemed as “wasted American tax dollars” on a variety of projects, including $466,991 spent on studying frog mating calls in Panama; $10 million spent on improving “green growth” in Peru; and more than $2 billion spent to convert an abandoned mental hospital into the headquarters for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Fitch Cuts Hong Kong Credit Rating, Citing Protests

HONG KONG—The ratings agency Fitch on Sept. 6 cut Hong Kong’s credit rating and warned that conflict with anti-government protesters was hurting the image of its business climate.

Events in the Chinese territory have “inflicted long-lasting damage” to Hong Kong’s image and “called into question the stability and dynamism of its business environment,” Fitch Ratings said in a statement.

Fitch cut the government’s credit rating for foreign currency borrowing to AA from AA+, with a negative outlook. It said the territory’s creditworthiness was strong but was “at risk of being further eroded.” ...read more

In China, P2P Insiders Say Regulatory Shortcomings Have Choked Industry

BEIJING/SHANGHAI—Overburdened Chinese regulators have left the peer-to-peer lending (P2P) industry to poorly staffed local governments, according to ex-regulators, threatening the survival of an important credit mechanism once seen as crucial for the country’s economy.

The resulting difficulties, as the industry tries to grapple with pyramid scheme scandals and runaway bosses, underline the struggles China will face as it tries to balance financial risk and innovation.

Although P2P lenders elsewhere in the world have been viewed skeptically because of how they mix mom-and-pop investors and higher-risk loans, in China the sector was seen as helping plug a gap left by larger lenders. ...read more

Farmageddon Is Real And Farmers Are Suffering

Via Bruce Wilds’ Advancing Time blog,

Farmageddon is real and very painful for a small segment of America. According to the Book of Revelation in the New Testament of the Bible, Armageddon is the prophesied location of a gathering of armies for a battle during the end times. Today many farmers living in America’s farm belt are facing tough times with no end in sight. The trade war with China has taken a toll by bringing grain exports to a near halt.  This has caused grain prices to tumble adding to the list of blows hitting farmers. While the number of people employed on farms has declined over the decades farming remains a big business and has a huge impact on many communities. In these areas, the money flowing into local businesses as farmers sell their crops is evident in everything from truck sales to the little things common in everyday life such as dining out or getting a haircut.

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Hurricane Dorian Hits North Carolina and Virginia as It Moves North

Hurricane Dorian—now a Category 1 storm—lost some of its punch overnight but hit parts of North Carolina and Virginia, inflicting dangerous winds, flash flooding, and storm surges.

Earlier in the week, Dorian descended on the Bahamas, leaving at least 30 people dead in its wake, along with a trail of debris and devastation. It then targeted the southeastern coast of the United States, where it has so far been responsible for five deaths.

Now the storm “is continuing to produce wind gusts near hurricane-force across portions of eastern North Carolina,” the Weather Channel reported. Dorian is now classified as a “high end Category 1 storm.” ...read more

Defiant Pete Buttigieg Insists Presidential Campaign Is Worth Killing the Planet

South Bend mayor Pete “Boat Shoes” Buttigieg has spent more money on private air travel—at least $300,000—than any other candidate in the Democratic primary.

When asked to defend his campaign’s use of carbon-spewing private jets at CNN’s “climate crisis town hall” on Wednesday, Boat Shoes showed little remorse for the planet. “This is a very big country and I’m running to be president of the whole country,” he told Chris Cuomo, the CNN anchor sometimes referred to as “Fredo.”

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