Billions Blown in Afghanistan Reconstruction Spending? (MuckReads Edition)

After routing the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001, the U.S. government began a now 13-year effort to stabilize and develop the country. It has cost taxpayers billions 2014 and some say, achieved little. These stories examine the waste and problems plaguing U.S. reconstruction efforts that, despite the end of combat, will continue to cost billions 2014 even as our military presence shrinks.

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Let The Game of Whack-A-Mole Begin: Feds Put Forward New Payday Rules

If there’s any industry that has mastered the art of the loophole, it’s high-cost lending. When faced with unwanted regulation, lenders are well-practiced at finding an opening that will allow them to charge triple-digit interest to their customers. As we have reported, they’ve been playing a giant, ongoing game of whack-a-mole with regulators and lawmakers in states across the country over the past decade or so.

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Private Emails Reveal Ex-Clinton Aide’s Secret Spy Network

Starting weeks before Islamic militants attacked the U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, longtime Clinton family confidante Sidney Blumenthal supplied intelligence to then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gathered by a secret network that included a former CIA clandestine service officer, according to hacked emails from Blumenthal’s account.

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