How many employees were let go or furloughed to justify those bonuses? Executive compensation has been beyond absurd for a while now, but in the midst of a pandemic, I'd like to know how many of these firms masquerading as small businesses are actually retaining employees or are just using it for stock buybacks and the like.

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These companies are doing what is in the best interests of their upper management personnel. What is astonishing to me is that so many ordinary people go along with it.

Thanks for exposing this, Judd.

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That this is happening is no surprise, I'm afraid. The US is increasingly corrupt, all about the rich. Trump is the natural result.

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Thank you Judd for ‘outing’ these greedy companies who not only shouldn’t qualify for this money because they are to wealthy to need it AND because they have no intention of compensating their employees with their ‘Trump gift’. It looks like Judd has become our only government oversight regarding these payouts! Keep up the EXCELLENT work!

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Bonuses paid when the loans came through. Loved the lawyer (consul) got his Dawgie treat, too. Why are the MSM Labradoodles so dead to all of this while our champ a dashing German Shepherd with a bloodhound nose follows the trail??

Because of 1% ownership of most major media, ad profits and yellow journalism. Lazy is right up there with it

Don't mean you are a dog, Judd, but I love dogs. My fav breed is the German Shepherd, sharp, loyal and dedicated canines. My grandfather was in law enforcement with his blood hounds back in the 1920s thru 50s. A no nonsense breed of hound.

In my book,

you have earned top honor with your investigative reporting. Great job!

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Fortunately, the legislation includes a provision for a general auditor to review all awards. Good to know there's a control on all the graft and corrupt distributions that might happen under the aegis of the most corrupt administration in history.

Oh wait. The orange blob axed the position.

(I'm pretty sure PPP was not part of the auditor's charge, but still...)

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Thank you for continuing to dog this story Judd. Only with exposure do these rats scatter. Although it appears there’s a new breed that’s more bold than before. Another unfortunate side-effect of GOP & Trump moral corruption

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Is there anyone in the political sphere who can articulate succinctly (in a way that people will hear) the many ways that Trump and cronies have scooped up all available funding in a way that only benefits the richest but was meant to help all of us? [throughout his whole term] I can only imagine Elizabeth Warren doing that.

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What's the total given out to either publicly traded companies or those who pay their top brass $1M or more, before the $78M will be returned?

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This kind of reporting is why I subscribe. Thanks, Judd.

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Why donate to a mobster if you don't expect to get payback?

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If our local sheriff failed to protect us against known violent gangs in our town, we would get rid of the sheriff. So, tell me, why are Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi still in charge? We could point fingers at the banks and the loan officers, but we don't elect any of them. We do elect Schumer and Pelosi—and the rest of the Democrats who signed off on the Paycheck Protection Program. How difficult would it have been to write guidelines to prevent private or publicly-traded companies worth hundreds of millions of dollars—or more—companies with CEOs pulling down multi-million dollar compensation packages from applying for loans intended for true small businesses?

Was the abuse Judd uncovered beyond their imaginations? Sadly, I expect this sort of behavior from Republicans. Democrats always talk a good game about protecting the little guy, the ones truly being crushed by this pandemic. But such talk is cheap. There's no excuse for allowing so much of the funds of this program to go to the wrong people. Trump stripped out the oversight provisions? If the proper restriction were in place, the need for oversight would have been greatly reduced. (We'll put aside the lunacy of allowing Trump to get away with murder—again.)

Were they worried Republicans would threaten to veto the bill—and blame Democrats—if proper restrictions were written into the legislation? They could have taken their case to the MSM. And when that failed—the MSM has been MIA for years—they could have contacted Judd at PI. He seems to be able to get results.

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When writing complex legislation in a near vacuum and on an impossible deadline, there will be enough ambiguities to allow a freight train to run roughshod over any attempts to create clear rules. The executive branch is charged with ensuring optimal compliance with the clear intent of the legislation. Part of the legislation even included the establishment of an inspector general to oversee the proper disbursement of funds targeted to larger businesses.

What did the current executive branch do? It blatantly ignored the oversight provision.

The only power Schumer and Pelosi have in standing up to Moscow Mitch is to refuse to pass legislation that satisfies his corrupt intent. That would have been a disaster. The emergence of a muckraker like Judd has accomplished what journalism is designed to do: shed light on the corruption. This usually shames the crooks to find a way to scurry back out of the limelight (Mnuchin has voiced a policy shift more in line with the legislation's intent), and allows the electorate a better view of who the crooks are so come election time, the voters can act.

Usually works. Schumer and Pelosi are not the problem.

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I understand your point and it has merit.


• Yes, there was an oversight provision. Trump ignoring that provision was predictable.

• How difficult was it to write a provision that put a cap on revenues/valuation of companies that could be considered "small business?" How could Ruth Christ Steakhouse and other publicly traded companies ever qualify? Are loan officers and banks that oblivious, or are they part of the problem?

• Why are Democrats so afraid of what Trump and McConnell say about them, but Trump and McConnell just shrug off what Democrats have to say?

One thing we both agree on: thankfully there are journalists like Judd shedding light on these abuses. That is why I didn't hesitate to purchase this newsletter. I've been a journalist for 46 years, have worked at major metro newspapers, and have never seen the MSM so reluctant to serve as the watchdog, perhaps its most important function.

Maybe Judd should take a hard look at why the corporate MSM is so slow to cover these stories—if they cover them at all.

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Surprise! #Mangowanker is a crook, with crooked friends.

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