Category Archives: General Interest

Topics (usually with a legal slant) that may be of interest to the general public

Stabenow, Grassley Press USDA on Farm Payments to Deceased Farmers

A news release yesterday from the Senate Agriculture Committee indicated that, “Today, U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, & Forestry Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), and senior Agriculture Committee member U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) raised concerns with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) regarding farm program payments that are made… Continue Reading

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U.S. Home Prices Increase

Laura Kusisto reported this week at The Wall Street Journal Online that, “Home prices continued to rise rapidly in the waning days of 2017, but there are early signs that price gains that have well outstripped wages and inflation could begin to ease this year. “The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index, which covers… Continue Reading

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Craft Breweries Boosting Local Economies

C.J. Hughes reported yesterday at The New York Times Online that, “As Equilibrium Brewery opened for business here [Middletown, N.Y.] on a recent Saturday morning, fans were already lined up outside for a fresh batch of its hazy-colored ales. “The travelers, who came from Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island, snapped up as many… Continue Reading

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Court Blocks California Plans to Put Cancer Warnings on Products Containing Glyphosate

Reuters writer Tom Polansek reported yesterday that, “A federal judge has temporarily blocked California’s plans to require cancer warnings on products containing the popular weed killer glyphosate, in a win for manufacturer Monsanto Co. “U.S. District Judge William Shubb said the warnings would be misleading because glyphosate is not known to cause cancer, according to… Continue Reading

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Startup Focuses on Climate Change Risk

Brad Plumer reported last week at The New York Times Online that, “In Charleston, S.C., where the ports have been expanding to accommodate larger ships sailing through the newly widened Panama Canal, a real-estate developer named Xebec Realty recently went looking for land to build new warehouses and logistics centers. “But first, Xebec had a… Continue Reading

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Report: U.S. New-Home Sales Drop

Sharon Nunn reported yesterday at The Wall Street Journal Online that, “Two months of steep declines in sales of new homes across the U.S. haven’t persuaded many economists that the housing market is turning lower. “Purchases of newly built single-family homes—a relatively narrow slice of all U.S. home sales—fell 7.8% in January after dropping 7.6%… Continue Reading

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Rep. Tim Ryan Takes Venture Capitalists on Midwest Road Trip

Natalie Andrews reported on Friday at The Wall Street Journal Online that, “Standing before a group of Michigan entrepreneurs, Rep. Tim Ryan introduced more than a dozen venture capitalists from Silicon Valley and New York who were on a three-day road trip the Ohio Democrat organized to try to boost businesses in cities that need… Continue Reading

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Some Uncertainty With New Estate Tax

New York Times writer Brian J. O’Connor reported last week that, “Critics of the estate tax like to call the federal levy on assets passed on by the wealthy to their heirs the ‘death tax.’ But the better nickname might be the ‘zombie tax.’ “Despite repeated attempts by conservative lawmakers to kill it — and… Continue Reading

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New Tax Law Prompts Business Owners To Consider Their Company Structure

Ruth Simon reported yesterday at The Wall Street Journal Online that, “As business owners pore through the new tax law, many are asking themselves a fundamental question: Will changing how their company is structured cut their tax bills? “‘This is one of the most pressing issues for taxpayers and business owners,’ said Mark Everson, vice… Continue Reading

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Crop Insurance: Sales Closing Dates Near for Most Crops

A news release yesterday from USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) stated that, “Last year’s hurricanes, wildfires, and droughts, devastated parts of the South, Midwest, Northern Plains, and California, and were a stark reminder that agriculture is an inherently risky business. Federal crop insurance indemnities for these disasters totaled more than $1 billion in 2017. “The… Continue Reading

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