Posts tagged with "United States of America"

Veterans illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 MAGAZINE

Postal Inspection Service Lists Scams Targeting Veterans

As Veterans Day approaches this Wednesday, Operation Protect Veterans is alerting more than 17 million U.S. veterans to scams that are specifically targeting them. OPV is a joint crime prevention program created by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and AARP.

Some of these scams are listed as: 

  • Secret Veterans Benefits Scam: Veterans are told they qualify for “secret” government programs or benefits that offer thousands of dollars. But first, they attempt to collect personal information or a fee.
  • Pension Poaching Scam: Scammers often offer veterans lump sum payments up front, in exchange for signing over all their future monthly benefit checks.  
  • Bogus Employment Scam: Scammers post fake job descriptions to collect personal information from a veteran’s job application, or they charge an employment fee.
  • VA Loan Scams: Offers to refinance VA loans at extremely low rates. 
  • Update Your File Scam: An imposter, claiming to be from a government agency, attempts to get a veteran’s personal information to “update their file,” so they can maintain their benefits.
  • Aid and Attendance Scam: Veterans (or their family members) receive an offer to move their assets into a living trust so that they can qualify for financial assisted Iiving benefits.

According to research conducted by AARP, veterans are twice as likely as the general public to be victims of scams. What can veterans – and those who care about them – do to prevent being taken advantage of by scammers? 

The Postal Inspection Service advises every veteran do the following:

  • Visit the Postal Inspection Service’s website (www.uspis.gov) to learn about scams targeting veterans and what they can do to prevent becoming a victim.
  • Check out any offer with a trusted family member, friend or your local veteran’s affairs office before acting. 
  • Don’t be pressured into acting immediately. If you are dealing with a legitimate outfit, they won’t try to pressure you to act before having a chance to check it out and think about it. If they do, just say “no” and hang up.
  • Get an answering machine and caller ID display. Then, let the machine answer the phone for you. If you don’t recognize the person leaving a message, don’t pick up the phone! 
  • Contact your telephone service provider, and ask them what kind of services they offer to help you block unwanted calls.
  • Report if you believe you have been the victim of a scam. Contact your local police or AARP (protectveterans@aarp.org or 877-908-3360).
  • Get credible information on how to qualify for veterans’ benefits by contacting your state veterans’ affairs agency. Visit www.nasdva.us, and click on “Links.”

“Veterans have access to special benefits and share a special bond that scammers know and use to take advantage of them,” said Chief Postal Inspector Gary Barksdale. “The Postal Inspection Service works hard every day to stop scams targeting veterans, but we need everyone to become better informed, so they can help spread the knowledge to the veterans they know and love. 

“I encourage all Americans to make this Veteran’s Day not only a day of remembrance and thanks for our veterans,” Barksdale continued, “but also to make it the start of learning about, and helping to spread information on scams targeting veterans.”

For more information on scams targeting veterans and other scams, visit www.uspis.gov. To learn more about the U.S. Inspection Postal Service, visit www.uspis.gov. You can also follow them on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Covid-19 Reaches Dangerous Levels in the U.S.

By Hannah DiPilato 

As summer turns to fall, many cases of Coronavirus in The United States are beginning to spike. Fourteen states have set hospitalization records due to the virus and officials are concerned about how the virus will progress. 

According to the Covid Tracking Project, Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Montana, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin, all reported their highest number of hospitalizations this past week. 

The director for the National Institutes for Health, Dr. Francis Collins, told National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition” on Tuesday that his family would not be gathering for Thanksgiving. 

“It is just not safe to take that kind of chance with people coming from different parts of the country of uncertain status,” said Collins. “The problem with this disease is it is so easy for people to be infected and not know it, and then spread it to the ones next to them without realizing it.”

“All of this, I’m afraid, happens because we have not succeeded in this country in introducing really effective public health measures,” he continued.

Deaths in the U.S. have now reached over 220,000 and experts are concerned this number will continue to escalate. The average of new daily cases was over 58,300, the highest the average has been since August.

It seems the most spikes are happening in the “Midwest, Great Plains and parts of the West,” according to CNN. Pennsylvania is on its 15th consecutive day of reporting over 1,000 coronavirus cases. Although, New York City, which got hit harder at the beginning of the pandemic, has not seen a marked increase in deaths. 

“We are not seeing an increase in overall deaths and that’s been true over the last several weeks to several months,” said Dave Chokshi commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Human Services. “The total number of deaths per day is averaging in the single digits.” 

New York City’s rate of positive tests is 2.52% and in open schools, the rate is only 0.17%. In other states, the positive rates are not so promising. According to the Florida Department of Health, Florida has reported 3,662 new cases of the virus and 86 additional deaths on Tuesday. 

Experts are warning that things regarding coronavirus are only going to get worse, predicting a bleak fall and winter. Vaccine scientist, Peter Hotez, reported that the next few months will be the worst of the pandemic. 

“The key is now hanging on now for the next four or five months, where we’re going to enter what may be the worst period during this epidemic,” said Hotez. “As bad as it’s been, it’s about to get worse.”

Pence vs. Harris illustration for 360 mag

Harris vs. Pence Vice Presidential Debate

By Hannah DiPilato

On Wednesday night, amidst many members of the White House testing positive for Coronavirus, the vice presidential debate was still held. Vice President Mike Pence and vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris discussed important topics with 57 million people watching. 

The debate was a little calmer than last week’s, but there is still a lot to take away from the dispute. Moderator Susan Page of USA Today was able to keep things in check between the two, allowing a fair debate. 

The first topic was the unavoidable coronavirus, even more relevant now that so many people in Washington have tested positive. “Stop playing politics with people’s lives,” said Pence when he brought up Harris’ opinion that she wouldn’t get a COVID vaccination unless it was endorsed by public health experts. Pence also shot blame at China for causing the coronavirus while Harris contrasted this idea by saying the Trump administration didn’t do enough to combat the pandemic. 

Another pressing issue presented was the two candidates’ opinions on abortion. Pence made a comment that “Joe Biden and Kamala Harris support taxpayer funding of abortion all the way up to the moment of birth, late-term abortion.” Although this is an exaggeration, Biden does support abortion rights. 

Pence and Harris argued about loopholes that currently exist in abortion laws that allow abortion all the way up to birth, but comparing the right to abortion to infanticide are two drastically different things. Pence could not confirm how Judge Amy Coney Barrett would vote on Roe v. Wade if confirmed into the Supreme Court. This has been a hot topic ever since the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Many Americans are familiar with Biden’s plan to raise taxes on many people across the United States, but Pence took this a step forward claiming Biden would raise taxes on everyone. “Senator Harris is denying the fact that they’re going to raise taxes on every American,” said Pence. Harris noted that Biden has made it clear he won’t be raising taxes for anyone that makes less than $400,000 a year. 

Pence also acknowledged that climate change is real and that the Trump administration will “follow the science,” but he quickly changed the subject back onto Biden’s proposed tax increase. Harris responded that the government needs to do more to combat the changing climate, but didn’t say exactly how much preventative measures would cost. She also said Biden would rejoin the United States with the Paris climate accords. 

On the lighter side of the debate, social media buzzed about a fly landing on Pence’s head. The Vice President didn’t notice the fly, but the fly’s black body stood out to the audience against Pence’s bright white hair. 

The fly became a sensation and many twitter accounts were created from its perspective. There were hopes for a Saturday Night Live skit and jokes about a Netflix special. An online Halloween store is even selling a white wig with a fly on it called “Debate Fly Wig.” Biden also took advantage of this running joke and created a tweet with a fly pun to encourage donations and put a fly swatter up for sale.  

In the debate’s final moments, a question submitted by an eighth-grader was asked regarding the political division of The United States and the disagreement between the country’s leaders. 

Pence responded by attacking the news media for showing more of a significant divide that actually exists between most citizens. Harris referenced the 2017 Charlottesville violence and how this motivated Biden to run. “Joe Biden has a history of lifting people up and fighting for their dignity,” she said explaining how Biden could unite Americans. “I mean, you have to know Joe’s story to know that Joe has known pain, he has known suffering, and he has known love.”

On Thursday, following the vice presidential debate, President Donald Trump stated he would not be attending the next virtual debate against presidential candidate Joe Biden. Trump said on Fox News he would hold a rally instead.

Trump Tax Findings posted by 360 MAGAZINE and illustrated by Rita Azar.

Trump’s Tax Records Exposed

By Hannah DiPilato

Recently The New York Times got ahold of President Donald J. Trump’s tax information and made the shocking discovery that he has not been paying his fair share of taxes. 

According to The New York Times in 2016 and 2017, Trump only paid $750 in taxes each year. Many working Americans pay much more than this and have an income that is far lower than Trump’s. The Times also reported Trump paid nothing for income takes for 10 of the last 15 years. 

“The Fake News Media, just like Election time 2016, is bringing up my Taxes & all sorts of other nonsense with illegally obtained information & only bad intent,” said Trump in a tweet today, September 28th. “I paid many millions of dollars in taxes but was entitled, like everyone else, to depreciation & tax credits….. Also, if you look at the extraordinary assets owned by me, which the Fake News hasn’t, I am extremely under leveraged – I have very little debt compared to the value of assets.” 

Although Trump is brushing this off as fake news, the evidence proves otherwise. Trump has hidden these records and sold others to the American people. Although he takes in hundreds of millions of dollars a year, Trump has claimed losses that gave him millions of dollars in tax refunds. 

This information is being revealed just 37 days before the presidential election where Trump appears to be just behind the democratic candidate Joe Biden. The first presidential debate is also coming up in two days, a debate that may need to question Trump’s behaviors regarding taxes. In the first debate in Cleveland, Ohio on Tuesday, Biden could easily interrogate Trump with these accusations. 

Alan Garten, a lawyer for the Trump Organization spoke on the findings in a letter. “Most, if not all, of the facts appear to be inaccurate,” said Garten and requested to see the documents that the accusations were based on. After seeing the records, Garten said that Trump “has paid tens of millions of dollars of taxes to the federal government.” However, by saying “personal taxes,” it appears that Garten is combining income taxes with various other federal taxes. 

The Twitter account “Team Joe” made a video comparing the tax returns of middle-class workers to those of Trump in 2019. They reported that the typical income tax for elementary school teachers was $7,239, for a firefighter the average was $5,283 and for a nurse it was common to pay $10,216. They then compared this to Donald Trump’s payment of $750.

Trump’s millionaire persona could be all about appearances. He is facing a lengthy audit battle with the Internal Revenue Service because of a $72.9 million tax refund that he claimed. The IRS is investigating the legitimacy of this claim which he received after declaring major losses. If the IRS finds this claim to be false, Trump could owe over $100 million. 

For example, Trump disclosed in 2018 that he had brought in at least $434.9 million, but his tax records show a loss of $47.4 million. Tax records are not specific enough to investigate all the business expenses that Trump uses to reduce his taxable income. For example, from 2016 to 2017 Trump’s Bedminster golf club in New Jersey showed expenses that increased fivefold. He has even previously boasted that getting away with paying fewer taxes makes him smart. 

The president also brings in a hefty income from overseas in various different countries. In his first two years in office, this revenue added up to $73 million. He paid more to other countries then he did to The United States, by thousands. 

Trump’s tax records can be compared to President Richard M. Nixon’s tax bill that showed in 1970 he paid $792.81 of taxes when his income was around $200,000. When this information was revealed there was an uproar from the American people and resulted in the decision that presidents and presidential candidates should allow their tax records to be shared. In 2014, Trump even agreed to this saying, “I would love the do that,” referring to revealing his tax records if he ran for office. Then when he ran, Trump mocked this idea and said he would make the records public if Hillary Clinton made her deleted emails public and if Barack Obama showed his birth certificate. 

This information could greatly impact the election coming up in November. Depending on how people that planned to vote for Trump take these findings into consideration. Biden has been previously leading the polls, so it will be interesting to see how things will play out in both the upcoming debates and the election.

Presidents Illustration for 360 Magazine by Maria Soloman

Biden’s Fight to Lead

By Hannah DiPilato

Joe Biden is leading in the polls against Donald Trump for the upcoming presidential election. 

Although Hillary Clinton was also in the lead for most of her 2016 campaign and even won the popular vote, she lost due to the electoral college. As of now, Biden is not only leading the popular vote, but there is also evidence that he is ahead when it comes to the electoral vote.

Swing states are critical in deciding the fate of the election. According to a recent poll tracker, Ohio and Iowa, both swing states, are leaning more towards Trump. However, swing states such as Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, North Carolina, Arizona and Wisconsin are showing Biden in the lead. 

Wisconsin, Minnesota, New Hampshire and Nevada will be vital for Trump in the upcoming election. Currently, however, the polls are showing that Biden is ahead. Nevada has swung more democratic in recent years, as their demographic of voters has changed from Caucasian voters that leaned right to a larger proportion of working-class minorities. Wisconsin has historically voted democratic from 1988 to 2012, and Trump only had the lead by a small percentage in 2016. Minnesota also generally votes democrat, but Trump believes he could be successful by campaigning to voters in rural areas. What will be necessary for Biden to see victory are securing the few states that Hillary Clinton wasn’t able to obtain – currently he leads in those crucial states. 

Even with his current lead, the fight is not over for Biden. In a Mammoth University poll, Biden was leading in Pennsylvania by thirteen percent in July, but this number had already shrunk to four percent by late August. Earlier in the year, with more media coverage on the Black Lives Matter movement, many democratic activists made sure to stress the importance of voting among younger generations which was helping Biden with votes. Now that the media coverage of the movement has become less prominent, this could explain the change in percentages from July to August. 

Although certain surveys are showing Biden in the lead, the race is still close. According to U.S. News, this is usually how the election plays out. Guy Cecil, chair of the Democratic SuperPAC Priorities USA said to reporters during a conference call that the United States is “still dealing fundamentally and structurally, with a very close election.” The electoral college votes could swing either way, meaning nothing is ever certain in an election. 

The most important thing to recognize is that these polls can never be fully accurate and can lean one way or another based on who is participating. Depending on the demographics of the people surveyed, along with who chooses to respond at all, these polls are only an estimate. 

After the recent and unfortunate death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, many younger generations have been pushing strongly that everyone needs to vote. The death of Ginsburg could allow Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to select another supreme court justice making the supreme court lean more towards the right. However, in Obama’s last year of office McConnell led a blockade against Obama’s ability to nominate another justice with so little time left as president. Biden commented on this issue and said, “Let me be clear: The voters should pick a President, and that President should select a successor to Justice Ginsburg.” The death of Ginsburg so close to November could end up swinging the votes significantly in the upcoming election. However, just like the polls, it all depends on who chooses to participate. 

HARLEY-DAVIDSON × LABOR DAY WEEKEND

Harley-Davidson Museum® Readies for the Party of the Year over Labor Day WeekendFree live music, high-wire thrill shows, Wall of Death performances and so much more make the Harley-Davidson Museum® the epicenter for this end-of-summer

That rumble growing in the distance can mean only one thing: Thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts are making their way to southeastern Wisconsin for the biggest party of the summer over Labor Day weekend. And beginning on Wednesday, Aug. 30, the H-D Museum™ campus will be rocking with free concerts from headliners like Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Jackyl and crowd favorites Hairball (among others).

But before the stage lights go up, the spotlight will shine on daily performances from Circus Una Motorcycle Thrill Show and Rhett Rotten’s Wall of Death. And while we will say goodbye to our special summer exhibit – “The Race of Gentlemen” – after Labor Day, the weekend’s activities will make sure this is one for the books.

Many of our friends and fans throughout the city, including the Wisconsin Center, the BMO Harris Bradley Center, the Corners of Brookfield, the Wisconsin DOT and more, will look to shine a welcoming light to all the riders as they turn their buildings and landmarks orange in support of Milwaukee’s most famous export. 

Some highlights include:

Free, live music on the H-D Museum™ campus, Wednesday through Sunday

  • Wednesday, Aug. 30 (7 p.m.): Déjà vu
  • Thursday, Sept. 1 (7 p.m.): Hairball with opener Shallow Side
  • Friday, Sept. 2 (7:30 p.m.): Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band with opener Wayland
  • Saturday, Sept. 3 (7:30 p.m.): Jackyl with opener The Dead Daises
  • Sunday, Sept. 4 (11 a.m.): Rachel Stacy with opener Mellencouger


Harley-Davidson New Product Trailer (all-weekend long)

  • Be among the first to throw a leg over Harley-Davidson’s new line of 2018 motorcycles, including the highly anticipated line of 115th Anniversary Models. This is the Motor Company’s largest-ever product launch, and this is a chance to be a part of history.

Demo rides at Harley-Davidson’s Powertrain Operations

  • If you’re itching to see what Harley-Davidson’s 2018 models can do on the road, head to the Powertrain Operations in Menomonee Falls for demo rides on a first-come, first-serve basis.
  • Open to the public Friday, Sept. 1 (9 a.m. – 5 p.m.); Saturday, Sept. 2 (9 a.m. – 5 p.m.) and Sunday (9 a.m. – 1 p.m.) 

Ride-in Custom Bike Show

  • Your bike is hot, show it off at the H-D Museum’s annual Custom Bike Show. Rolling sculptures will blanket the campus as builders compete for the coveted Willie G. Davidson Award.
  • (Sunday, Sept. 3. Registration: 8 – 10 a.m. Judging: 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Awards show: 4 p.m.)

“The Race of Gentlemen”

  • This weekend marks your last chance to see the special summer exhibit, “The Race of Gentlemen,” before it heads back to the Jersey Shore. At the intersection of speed and style, The Race of Gentlemen has become a must-see and must-do automotive carnival. The H-D Museum™ is proud to bring together the vehicles, the artistry and the personalities that make up The Race of Gentlemen for its special exhibit. Regular Museum rates apply.

But that’s just the beginning. The Wall of Death and Motorcycle Thrill Show will keep the campus buzzing during the day, while MOTOR® Bar & Restaurant delivers the best in bold, American classics to your table. Miller High Life and Sailor Jerry will bring their world-famous beverages to ensure nobody goes home thirsty. The Shop will offer unique items available all weekend, including 115th Anniversary Rivets to commemorate the rider in your life and our new line of authentic archive reproductions with H-D Originals. And if some body work is the sort of customization you had in mind, Horseshoe Tattoo will again be on hand to spill a little ink.
Fans are invited to visit H-DMuseum.com to learn more about all the weekend’s activities. And for those looking for a second-helping of fun, be sure to visit the Big Gig BBQ on Sunday, Sept. 3 (noon – 7 p.m.) for the best BBQ in town on the lakefront at Henry Maier Festival Park.

About the Harley-Davidson Museum®

A walk through the Harley-Davidson Museum® is a walk through the history of America. With an unrivaled collection of Harley-Davidson® motorcycles and memorabilia, a 20-acre, park-like campus, and a calendar full of activities, the H-D Museum™ is one of Milwaukee’s top tourist destinations for visitors from around the globe. A visit to the H-D Museum™ is an experience that will stay with you for a lifetime. Make your plans to visit the Harley-Davidson Museum® at h-dmuseum.com.

Trump Revealed on Opioid Epidemic 

With more than 100 Americans dying every day from drug overdoses, Trump declared it was time to take action and officially declared the opioid epidemic a national emergency. The announcement was short on details. Declaring a national state of emergency involves more than just a brief statement from the president to the press — there’s a formal process that requires documents to be signed and legal steps to be followed.

On ViceNews.com, Keegan Hamilton details Trump’s informal state of emergency declaration and how a White House spokesman confirmed that the paperwork still remains incomplete.

The informal state of emergency declaration follows a pattern for the Trump administration. Much like his recent tweets about banning transgender people from the military or his early executive orders about cracking down on crime, Trump’s opioid gambit has been — at least so far — all flash and no substance, attracting attention without making any major policy changes.

Read “State of no emergency” by VICE News’ Keegan Hamilton here: http://news.vice.com/story/trump-officially-declared-an-opioid-emergency-and-then-officially-did-nothing. Follow @vicenews and @keegan_hamilton for more updates.