Thursday, October 27, 2016

This is insane money. Congratulations to those that can achieve it.

The only other foundation I can think of that follows the same model as The Clinton Foundation is the "Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation." The Gates Foundation does not conduct fund raising, but, has accepted sizable donations to benefit it's good work. 

The Gates Foundation also works with governments to achieve their goals of making the world a better place to live. The Gates Foundation was organized because Bill Gates could. To his conscience, the monies he was accumulating as a successful businessman needed to have a benevolent identity, hence the foundation.

The Clinton Foundation had it's origins very differently. It was formed at the end of President Bill Clinton's second term and needed donations. The Clinton Foundation was formed to continue the good work of the Clinton Administration. No one can deny President Bill Clinton was a popular figure throughout the world. He was able to move countries like North Korea forward. He didn't use war as a leverage point, but, peace and the pride of conducting governance to benefit the people.

The basis of the two foundations could not be more different. The Gates Foundation was begun by a very wealthy couple and the Clinton Foundation was begun by demand of a global community that valued the Clinton Presidency.

It is easy to have billions to one's name and build a foundation to do good work, it is something very different to need to raise funding to conduct work that no one else will do. 

Katrina caused 1833 deaths and destroyed $108 billion in damage. Who in their right mind would take on rebuilding New Orleans and Louisiana? The only person in the world that could ever conceive of a solution to bring life back to New Orleans is a former President. The same is true of the Tsunami and Haiti. Bill Clinton had the ability to assess a crisis in the world and know what needed to be done. What he needed after his presidency was a Foundation that could fund it. 

President Bill Clinton has been a treasure. One the world valued. Every American should be proud of their former President to realize how he went on to continue to be the one person that could find hope for people through his foundation help.

For the work the Clinton Foundation did there is no wonder it has run into skeptical handling of monies in the billions on a regular basis. But, if the Clinton Global Initiative didn't exist the world would be hurting more today, if that can be imagined.

I take it Donald Trump doesn't like annual audits.

September 29, 2016

Donald Trump’s charitable foundation (click here) — which has been sustained for years by donors outside the Trump family — has never obtained the certification that New York requires before charities can solicit money from the public, according to the state attorney general’s office.
Under the laws in New York, where the Donald J. Trump Foundation is based, any charity that solicits more than $25,000 a year from the public must obtain a special kind of registration beforehand. Charities as large as Trump’s must also submit to a rigorous annual audit that asks — among other things — whether the charity spent any money for the personal benefit of its officers.
If New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) finds that Trump’s foundation raised money in violation of the law, he could order the charity to stop raising money immediately. With a court’s permission, Schneiderman could also force Trump to return money that his foundation has already raised.
The Trump campaign did not respond to a request for comment Thursday....

It appears Donald Trump not only hates audits, but, ignores every rule on the books.

...Tax filings show that in each of the past 10 years for which there are records, the Trump Foundation raised more than $25,000 from outsiders. Tax records alone do not reveal whether the donations amounted to solicitations under New York law, but in several cases there is strong evidence that they did.
For instance, the foundation has received more than $2.3 million from companies that owed money to Trump or one of his businesses — but that were instructed to pay the foundation instead, according to people familiar with those transactions....

There was no corruption in Bill Clinton's speaking engagements.

There is nothing illegal to any of these actions. Chelsea Clinton was right to have it reviewed for ethical standards, but, there is nothing wrong with one person rather than two or three or an entire department advocating for speeches by President Clinton. 

He makes speeches to supplement his income. There is nothing wrong with advocating for his talents. The FBI has already examined the activities of then Secretary Clinton in relation to the Clinton Foundation and found no wrong doing.

I think it is great Chelsea is so involved with the Foundation. She is sincerely a leader at the organization. 

October 27, 2016
By Matthew Rozsa

WikiLeaks has released a 2011 memo (click here) by top Bill Clinton aide Douglas Band which revealed him using his firm, Teneo, to pressure many of the corporations that donated to the Clinton Foundation’s charity to also privately enrich the former president.
In a memo written for the law firm Simpson Thatcher, Band bragged about how Teneo managed to raise “well over $150 million, much of it from people who did not know President Clinton when he was in office.”
Band co-founded Teneo in 2011 with Declan Kelley, who Hillary Clinton appointed as U.S. Economic Envoy to Northern Ireland when she was secretary of state.
Band also wrote that he “sought to leverage my activities, including my partner role at Teneo, to support and to raise funds for the foundation.”
Simpson Thatcher, which specializes in ethical nonprofit management and regulation, was retained by Chelsea Clinton to conduct a “governance review” after she grew concerned about Teneo’s role in the Clinton Foundation’s activities.
The memo described how Band, after co-founding Teneo, blurred the lines between his private for-profit firm and the non-profit Clinton Global Initiative, which had been created by the Clinton Foundation to encourage political and business leaders to meet each year and discuss world problems....

There is a lot of money floating around, but, the Clinton Global Initiative requires a great deal of money to conduct it's good works. It is just what it is. There is no corruption within the organization or the idea President Bill Clinton was involved with something shady. Rightfully, Chelsea Clinton didn't want the hint of impropriety and she took actions to define the ethics of the foundation. A hint of impropriety is not illegal either.

...It wasn’t until late 2011, when news leaked that the hedge fund MF Global had paid Teneo a monthly fee of $125,000 before MF global went bankrupt, that Chelsea Clinton got involved. She was particularly concerned that a member of Bill Clinton’s office staff had been instructed by Band to call British lawmakers on the former president’s behalf for Teneo clients like Dow Chemical. Chelsea Clinton insisted that her father didn’t know about the calls and that they would “horrify” him....

I find the lack of knowledge by Clinton aides of a private server reassuring.

October 27, 2016

Two aides in charge of running (click here) Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign were taken aback as news broke in March 2015 of Clinton's use of private email for her work as U.S. secretary of state, according to stolen emails published on Thursday by WikiLeaks.
The late-night exchange between Robby Mook, Clinton's campaign manager, and John Podesta, the campaign chairman, happened within hours of the New York Times breaking the news that Clinton exclusively used a private email account in a way that may have broken records rules.
"Did you have any idea of the depth of this story?" Podesta wrote to Mook at 10:27 p.m. on the night the Times story appeared online, according to an exchange published by WikiLeaks.
A few hours later, at 1:32 a.m., Mook wrote back: "Nope. We brought up the existence of emails in research this summer but were told that everything was taken care of."...

The Clintons were obsessing over a private email server. There have been extensive criticism of Hillary's plans to hide any controversy on her way to the White House. This proves to me there was no obsessing. Heck, they never thought anything of it. Hillary or Bill didn't say to their most trusted aides, "We have secured any and all controversy in a private server and there is no need to worry about it."

The fact that Hillary and Bill Clinton did not have a clue about the controversy a private server would make. They never planned to hide anything. 

Like I said, the Obama Administration is the first to have an electronic White House. The rules were written and there was no reason to suspect any wrong doing. They are not guilty of anything.

"We are the ones with the guns?" More intimidation!

October 28, 2016
By Sahil Kapur

Election analysts expect Donald Trump (click here) to lose the presidential race in less than two weeks, but the Republican candidate's strongest supporters believe just the opposite will happen.
They are taking solace in Trump's fiery attacks on "rigged" polls and buy into his theories about a wide-ranging conspiracy between Democrats and the media to fix the November 8 results....

They usually want to secede, too.
October 26, 2016
By Detroit News Staff

A state board overseeing Flint (click here) as it transitions from state emergency management has reversed course and lifted the city’s ability to sue without first getting approval from the panel.
The Receivership Transition Advisory Board on Wednesday amended a resolution passed in March, just days after Flint served notice it might file a lawsuit against Michigan over its lead-contaminated water supply.
Flint Mayor Karen Weaver welcomed the decision. “At this time we are still trying to work with the state to right this wrong, and have no plans to sue,” she said in a statement. “If state leaders honor their commitment to do what is best for the citizens and the city of Flint, we will see evidence of that commitment in the city and will have no reason to take legal action.”
State Department of Treasury spokeswoman Danelle Gittus said the change clarifies the earlier order, and it was never the board’s intent to block Flint from suing “but rather to provide oversight of settlements related to litigation and labor disputes.”
The decision came a day after Democrats in Michigan’s congressional delegation called on the U.S. Department of Justice to review the panel’s action in March. The five Democrats, including U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee of Flint Township, argued the move was illegal and raised issues of constitutional due process, equal protection and environmental justice, noting that Flint has a majority-black population....

It was the Bill Clinton Administration that coined the expression "Life Long Learning."

If Donald Trump has his way Russia will surpass the USA in any achievement. It looks like "W" has laid the framework for the failure of the USA educational system, Trump just needs to finish it.

October 21, 2016
By Scott Powers

After laying out his wife’s education plans (click here) from universal prekindergarten through college student loan refinancing, former President Bill Clinton told a Florida’s teachers’ union Friday in Orlando that “if she becomes president, you will have a partner in the White House.”
Clinton’s 35-minute speech to the Florida Education Association delegate conference at the Rosen Centre lightly portrayed Donald Trump‘s vision as that of pessimism, craziness, and longings for the past, while Hillary Clinton‘s vision is forward-thinking, aimed at making public education integral to economic improvement.
The former Democratic president cited Nobel Prize winner Bob Dylan‘s song “Forever Young,” and then argued, “The way you stay forever young is to have your dreams for other people always outweigh your memories of yesterday, no matter how good it was.
“This country, and the emphasis we have put on education from our beginning have kept us forever young. It will keep us always imagining a different tomorrow. We have got to stop the craziness of trying to bring each other down to the lowest common denominator,” Clinton said....

This is not America.

This generation is lucky to find a job they are looking for and when they do their student loans prevent them from purchasing a home. When this generation overcomes the hurdle of student loans to homeownership, they can't get a loan because the Republicans removed all assurances of continued employment. Amazing. What next?

October 12, 2016

Not much more could fit in Lisa Lugo's two-bedroom apartment, (click here) so she went to the bank this summer to inquire about a mortgage for a house.
Everything was working out. She had just scored her first full-time teaching job at St. Petersburg's Lakewood Elementary.
"And I kind of hit a wall," said Lugo, 22. "They said (no) basically because I can't promise I will have a job next year that pays this much."
Lugo is one of thousands of teachers in Florida hired after 2011, when Gov. Rick Scott signed a law eliminating teacher tenure. Since then, teachers not grandfathered into the old system must work under contracts that have to be renewed every year, and districts don't need a reason to let them go.
But 38 school districts statewide, including two in Tampa Bay, have found a way to give a sense of job security for teachers in good standing, and Pinellas County hopes to join their ranks this week....

Flint may be receiving recognition for it's lawsuits in violation of the Michigan constitution as well as the 5th Amendment of the USA Constitution. Incompetent.

There are too many US governors that can claim their were ignorant of the Fifth Amendment.

October 27, 2016
By Ron Fonger

...Two remaining claims (click here) -- that the defendants violated the Michigan Constitution through their actions in the water crisis and a claim for inverse condemnation -- can move forward, the 50-page decision says.
The court rejected an argument that Earley and Ambrose were "local, not state officials" while they worked as emergency managers in Flint and also rejected a state argument that the defendants waited too long to file their lawsuit.
Filed nearly one year ago, the lawsuit claims Snyder and the other defendants are responsible for replacing safe water in Flint with water that was dangerous, unsafe and inadequately treated....

Just Compensation Clause: (click here)
Clause in the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution that provides “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation”.
Eminent Domain:
The power of a sovereign entity to take or appropriate any land within its borders for any purpose that it deems necessary or beneficial.
Public Use:
A use for property that is designed to benefit the public as a whole, rather than just a private individual or entity.
Economic Use Doctrine:
The rule that states that if a zoning law eliminates all economically viable use of a parcel of property, it is considered as if the government took the property, requiring just compensation.
Just Compensation:
Fair market value of a parcel of property that must be paid to a land owner who has had his or her property taken by the government....

I do not think it is wise to attack the family, but, others may see it differently.

Donald Trump has to own the problem. He exploited the power he had as a wealthy man. He exploited it for his own pleasure. That is the issue. Women were valued as sex objects and not the people they were within their own ambitions.

Shannon Coulter, (click here) a tech and media marketing specialist who is boycotting the Ivanka Trump Collection fashion line.

21 October 2016
By Joanna Walters

She had kept it to herself. (click here) “Buried it” and moved on. But when an audio tapeemerged 7 October of presidential candidate Donald Trump boasting in 2005 about habitually getting away with being a sexual predator, Shannon Coulter couldn’t ignore her reaction.

“It was a feeling of recoiling. It was emotional, visceral. Then I had a pounding headache for a few days. I was filled with nausea,” said the technology and media marketing specialist based in the Bay Area.

Like many women who have watched sexual harassment allegations against Trump unfold, Coulter was reminded of her own experience. “I was in an office belonging to a firm I was working for in Silicon Valley and my boss’s boss came breezing through. Suddenly he came up behind me and pressed himself right up against me and said ‘Why is it you always look so good?’ He had a colleague with him and it was so humiliating,” Coulter recalled....

It has always been my point of view that women should not be victimized because of men's behavior.

In holding Ivanka Trump responsible for her father's behavior is counter to the desire to have Donald Trump realize his abuse of women because of his wealth. Fathers and daughters have special relationships and that should be respected.

Ivanka Trump did not victimize women. She has found a career that provides quality apparel to women. There is no connection between Ivanka's business and Donald Trump's abuse of women. I don't see that hurting Ivanka is going to change Donald Trump. He will only take a firmer stance against extremists that hate men.

My point of view is not that of others and if women such as Shannon Coulter find a stronger footing in fighting victimization of women by making an example of a daughter of a wealthy man it may be valid.

Ivanka has been a strong proponent to her father's run for President of the USA. Should she be made aware of a deeper understanding of women and how they fall victim to sexual abuse at the very least; then there is a reason for a boycott. Just get it right when putting forth a boycott. Don't allow the wrong focus to manifest. This isn't punishment of Ivanka; it is however; a means to her foster awareness. 

Ivanka should be working for empowerment of women, including a clothing line that provides good fashion and good value to aspiring women. In order for Ivanka to be held in higher regard, she will ultimately have to speak to her father's behavior. 

The ITCZ water vapor is creating fog in the UK.

October 27, 2016
1415 UTC
NOAA Water Vapor GOES East Satellite (click here for 12 hour loop - thank you)

The east coast of North America has an enormous water vapor system from the ITCZ to the Arctic Circle.

October 27, 2016 
Thursday (click here)
Plenty of cloud around through Thursday morning. There could be some mist or fog patches in the far south at first, but these lifting quickly. A front brings rain to northern and western Scotland as well as the far north and west of Ireland. Western hills may experience a few spots of drizzle too. Elsewhere it will be dry with cloud breaking here and there, mostly through the Midlands and eastern England. Highs at a mild 16C in the south, 13C in northern Scotland.

Thursday Night
A murky night with mist and fog becoming fairly widespread over England and Wales as well as Ireland. There will be a few spots of drizzle over the hills, especially in the west. More eastern areas are likely to be drier. Rain in the far north of Scotland and breezier here too. Broken cloud over the rest of Scotland with a few clearer spells. Lows at 7 to 11C

When water vapor enters the UK's area, fog is frequently the outcome. Fog is a mixing of hot and cold air. (click here)

October 27, 2016
UNISYS water vapor GOES East Satellite (click here for 12 hour loop - thank you) 

I konw this image is odd looking, but, locate California at 2 o'clock and realize it is getting rain from north to south.

October 27, 2016
0800 UTC
NOAA's water vapor satellite of the east Pacific Ocean. It is considered a GOES West Satellite. (click here for 12 hour link - thank you)

The big brown spot is the standard high pressure system that deprives California of rain most of the time. There are two systems of significant water vapor entering the west coast USA.

 The systems bringing rain to California is the 20th hurricane in the east Pacific named "Seymour." It was a Cat 4 yesterday, but, do to the strong jet stream carrying enormous amounts of water vapor to northern California, Seymour is losing velocity and entering into the weather pattern for central and southern California.  

Central California will actually have a mixing of those two systems and may result in high turbulence.

October 27, 2016
UNISYS Water Vapor GOES West Satellite (click here for 12 hour loop - thank you)

This is just about the same moment as the NOAA satellite. There is a difference of 30 minutes. The high pressure can be noted as well as the strong jet stream (which doesn't manifest very often anymore) that turned Seymour from a water based hurricane into water vapor for southern California.

Kindly be mindful of the low lying areas and the people settled into them. They may be some of the most impoverished and migrant works as well. The agricultural sector in California rely on those migrant workers for their harvest. Those workers have children as well.

October 26, 2016

...Rainfall Totals (click here) ranging from a half-inch to 1.5 inches were expected across parts of Northern California.

"The mountains will see upward of 2 inchdes of rain," forecaster Steve Anderson said. Along the Central Coast, the weather service issued a flash flood watch for a burn area from Thursday into Friday morning... 

Every fraction of an inch of rain that makes it to the ground means California is resolving it's drought. Often water vapor will disappear over severely droughted areas, but, it doesn't simply disappear. The water vapor that evaporates and does not make it to the ground adds to the air mass and it's ability to rain. When rain reaches the ground of a severely droughted land, the air mass is already saturated enough to allow the rain to reach Earth.

HIV can now be classified as still another deadly disease out of impoverished Africa.

October 26, 2016
By Beth Mole

...In the end, (click here) they were able to reconstruct the genomes of three HIV viruses from San Francisco and five from the Big Apple. Comparing those eight sequences to a database of others, the researchers found that they were most similar to strains circulating in the Caribbean. By clocking the evolution of the genetic sequences and the virus’ geographic spread, the researchers estimate that HIV arrived in the Caribbean from Africa around 1967, hopped from the Caribbean to New York City around 1971 (between 1969 and 1973), and landed in San Francisco by about 1976.
With that timeline, Dugas would have just been a teenager at the time HIV first arrived in the US, not yet a globe-trotting airline steward. The researchers added Dugas’ HIV genome sequence into their analysis and found it was typical of the viruses circulating in the US in the 1970s—not the root of strains that spread through the country.
“This individual was simply one of thousands infected before HIV/AIDs was recognized,” McKay said in a press conference. The study highlights how challenging—both ethically and scientifically—it is to pinpoint “Patient Zero.”

Is he baseball's MVP?

By Jesse Rogers

Cleveland -- Chicago Cubs slugger Kyle Schwarber (click here) isn't sure if he can play defense when the World Series shifts to Wrigley Field for Games 3, 4 and 5 this weekend, but he and the team aren't ruling anything out.

"We'll see where it goes," Schwarber said after the Cubs' 5-1 win over the Cleveland Indians in Game 2 on Wednesday. "Nothing's set in stone. No one's told me anything, so as of right now, the story is still the same."

Schwarber was the designated hitter for Games 1 and 2, going 3-for-7 with two walks and two RBIs -- both coming in Game 2. He missed all but three games of the regular season after tearing two ligaments in his left knee in early April, but doctors cleared him last week to play, though not in the field. At least not yet....

Baseball might have a real hero without a doping scandal. I look forward to it.

October 27, 2016
By Bob Nightengale

Cleveland — It no longer defies imagination, (click here) but assaults the senses, wondering how sheer and utter fantasy could become reality.

How in the world could a baseball player spend six months just learning to walk again after a devastating knee injury, not playing in a single game, and lead the Chicago Cubs to their first World Series victory since 1945, with a 5-1 victory over the Cleveland Indians, evening the Series at 1-game apiece?

"It’s the  'Legend of Kyle Schwarber,' " catcher David Ross said....

Therefore what? WikiLeaks doesn't want Hillary Clinton in the White House because she never made an effort to free Assange.

Having Hillary Clinton in the White House as President extends the asylum of both Snowdon and Assange. If Russia has Trump in it's back pocket a lot is possible.

Giving speeches is how former Presidents and their First Ladies earn a living after serving in office. Their insight is invaluable, BUT, dated. If dated information is what Wall Street is looking for that might explain a lot.

October 26, 2016
By Roselind S. Helderman and Tom Hamburger
...Band, (click here) who grew close to Bill Clinton two decades ago as his personal aide in the White House and became the architect of his post-presidential activities, argued in the memo that he and his firm had benefited the former president and his foundation.
“We have dedicated ourselves to helping the President secure and engage in for-profit activities,” Band wrote. He also said he had “sought to leverage my activities, including my partner role at Teneo, to support and to raise funds for the foundation.”...

How is Edward Snowden? Russia is banking a lot on the revolution of the USA because of invasion of privacy. 

October 26, 2016
Rumors have been flying (click here) across social media about Julian Assange and whether or not he’s still at the Ecuador Embassy or even if he’s still alive. While WikiLeaks supporters are demanding proof of life, WikiLeaks is saying on Twitter that providing such proof is tougher than it appears. Meanwhile, Assange supporters are worried that he may have been taken from the Embassy or possibly escaped. So what’s really going on? (UPDATE: A video at the end of this article, claiming to have been filmed today for a conference, shows Assange talking about his Internet being cut. You can only hear his voice in the video.)...

The Bush years and it's prejudice against science dummied down a nation.

The testing should not be voluntary. There is no clear picture as to the extent the science curriculum has been effected by prejudice against learning science.

There is no magic that will turn on a light at 12th grade when the basics didn't start in Kindergarten or Pre-school. This is an entire generation that is now handicapped in the world they live in. How did we ever allow it?

October 27, 2016
By Marva Hinton

Students in the 4th and 8th grades (click here) are showing more mastery of science, but high school seniors’ scores on the assessment known as “the nation’s report card” stayed flat from 2009.

The results released this morning from the 2015 National Assessment of Education Progress also found that while large gaps remain between black and Hispanic students and their white peers in science, those gaps are narrowing, as is the gender gap in 8th grade.

The tests measure students’ knowledge in the areas of physical science, life science, and Earth and space science in grades 4, 8, and 12. States’ participation in the assessment is voluntary. It’s offered to public and private school students as well as U.S. Department of Defense school system students. In 2015, more than 237,000 students from 46 states and Defense Department schools took the exam.

The average scores for students in both the 4th and 8th grades went up 4 points, to 154, compared with 2009. That’s on a scale of 1 to 300.

During a conference call with reporters, U.S. Secretary of Education, John B. King Jr., called the results encouraging....

Learning science doesn't begin in the 12th grade, it begins at pre-school. How many years ago did I learn that leaf is not an ordinary leaf? It is a fern with spores.

Go for a walk in the yard or neighborhood. (click here) Take a plastic bag to collect different kinds of leaves and a digital camera. Ask questions: What do you notice about the trees? What do you notice about the leaves? Do all the trees have the same kind of leaves? Besides leaves, what other parts of a tree can you see?
  • Take the collection inside, and press the leaves on the sticky side of a piece of Contact paper....
Learning science is about putting all the pieces together. It is about understanding why the water draining out of a bathtub rotates in a certain direction in the northern hemisphere and the opposition direction in the southern hemisphere. Learning science is as basic as knowing where wheat is grown, harvested and turned into loaves of bread. Science is not a luxury. It is not evil. It introduces investigation into a learning environment that leads to adult interested in their world. Science helps inspire invention. 

This portrait of the USA's science accomplishments with their students is not the USA I grew up in, it is alien to me. I cannot believe the extent politics in search of religious extremism has caused an entire generation (K-12) to ignore the very basics of science. 

Science is reality. There is no room for fantasy. Science is about fact and does not allow dismissal of fact.

What the heck does the science curriculum in the USA look like today? I guarantee it isn't want mine looked like.

..“For the younger students, I think we’re just beginning to come out of a time when there has not been a lot of emphasis on teaching science at the younger grades,” said Evans. “By and large, only English/language arts and mathematics have been tested in the younger grades for quite a few years now. That has really led to a loss in the amount of time and effort that’s gone into teaching science for those younger students. The fact that there’s a gain at all is something that I think we should be encouraged by.”...