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Divernan

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 12,802

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Signed Jan. 21, 2009 - the times, they've been a-changin'

Bill Clinton: "It depends on what your definition of "is" is. For Obama, it all depends on what your definition of "transparency" is.

Words and deeds, baby, words and deeds. I always vote based on the latter, not the former.
Or as the Marlon Brando character in the old film, One Eyed Jacks said, "Talk is cheap, Jack. Make your play."


http://govfresh.com/2009/12/white-house-transparency-and-open-government-memorandum/

Starbucks is Moving Its Bottled Water Business Out of Drought-Stricken California

Source: Think Progress

Last month, Starbucks came under fire for its bottled water business. An investigation by Mother Jones magazine found that Ethos — the Starbucks-owned water brand created “to help fix the global water crisis” — was sucking groundwater out of a California county in exceptional drought, and making a lot of money doing it.

Now, ostensibly in response to that criticism, Starbucks has announced that it will stop doing that. The company said it would move the sourcing and manufacturing of Ethos water out of California and into Pennsylvania. Moving the entire West Coast operation cross-country would take about six months, it said.

As Mother Jones pointed out in its investigation, the area where Starbucks has been sourcing and bottling its Ethos water for the West Coast has been in severe drought for years. “Placer County, where Ethos’ spring water is drawn, was already declared a natural disaster area by the USDA because of the drought back in 2012,” the article reads. “Merced County, where the bottling facility is located, declared a local emergency due to drought more than a year ago, as ‘extremely dry conditions have persisted since 2012.'” Last month, Placer County declared a water shortage emergency.

Now, Starbucks says it will move its California operations to Pennsylvania, which currently provides the East Coast with its Ethos water. But Pennsylvania also has a drought problem. While nowhere near as bad as California’s, the state Department of Environmental Protection recently issued a drought watch for 27 counties, including the one where Ethos operates.

Read more: http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/05/11/3657262/starbucks-dumps-california-bottled-water-drought/



Good luck to Starbucks in finding and utilizing springs not at risk of ground water contamination from Pennsylvania's fracking operations!

HRC's problem? There is no "there" there. She's a shape-shifter.

What is so astounding is that she can get up and categorically deny her actions, speeches, meetings, etc., in support of NAFTA, when there is so much video and documentary evidence giving the lie to those denials.

Her attempt at historical revisionism does not survive the internet.

Reminds one of the classic line from the adulterous husband caught in flagrante delicto, whining "Hey, Baby! Who you gonna believe? Me or your lying eyes?"

(In flagrante delicto is a Latin phrase defined as someone being caught during the act of a crime or sexual act.)

Clinton Foundation "facilitated" $45 million luxury hotel in Haiti.

so potential corporate investors cough/boodsuckers/cough looking to take advantage of cheap labor could visit in comfort. Those damned ungrateful, greedy Haitians (do I need a sarcasm emoticon?) expected the Clinton Foundation to direct the "donations" cough/bribes/cough to replace housing destroyed by the earthquake. But that $45 million was used to build a 500 room hotel. That works out to $90,000 per room. Way to go, Clinton Foundation! ! !

Once all of the carnage was assessed, more than 100,000 buildings were damaged or destroyed, hundreds of thousands of people were left without homes and Haiti's government put the death toll at 316,000, according to ABC News.

Five years later, after billions of dollars of aid and donations, many are still living in abject poverty created by the earthquake. NBC News notes that while some $13 billion went to the country, more than "85,000 people still live in crude displacement camps and many more in deplorable conditions."

NBC News does note that while many of the roads destroyed by the earthquake have been repaired and some businesses have been rebuilt, very few people displaced by the massive quake have acquired permanent housing.


http://www.theroot.com/articles/culture/2015/01/_5_years_after_massive_earthquake_where_is_haiti_now.html


Ten facts about Haiti’s housing crisis from Amnesty International
12 January 2015, 00:00 UTC

Amnesty International’s new report: “15 minutes to leave” - Denial of the right to adequate housing in post-quake Haiti documents the tragic lack of progress made rebuilding the country since the 2010 earthquake five years ago and finds:

1. More than 2 million people were left homeless after the earthquake that struck Haiti on 12 January 2010.

2. According to the latest data (September 2014) 123 camps for internally displaced people (IDPs) remain open in Haiti, housing 85,432 people.

3. Conditions in many IDP camps are dire. A third of all those living in camps do not have access to a latrine. On average 82 people share one toilet. (Compare to 500 toilets at the luxury hotel Clinton "facilitated" - used by 1 or 2 people each.)

4. Forced evictions from camps are a serious and ongoing problem. More than 60,000 people were forcibly evicted from their shelters in makeshift camps since 2010. About a quarter of those remaining in camps are at risk of forced evictions. Amnesty International has documented six cases of forced evictions from IDP camps and informal settlements hosting IDPs since April 2013 alone. More than 1,000 families were affected.

5. Around 37,000 houses are known to have been repaired, rebuilt or built. However, less than 20% of the housing solutions provided as a response to the disaster could be seen as long-term, or sustainable. Instead most programmes have simply provided temporary measures, such as the construction of temporary shelters and the allocation of rental subsidies.

6. Rental subsidies are a common method used by the government and humanitarian organisations. Subsidies of US$500 are handed out to help people pay rent in private accommodation. However, a 2013 survey found that nearly half of those that had been receiving grants had to move out of their homes once the grants ended. Three quarters were forced to move into sub-standard accommodation.

7. Canaan, a large area in the outskirts of Port-au-Prince, has seen its population grow exponentially since the area was declared for public use in March 2010. It is now estimated to be home to around 200,000 people. Many of the residents are people made homeless by the earthquake. In the absence of state interventions in the area, people are building their houses as best as they can and have created their own, often inadequate ways to cope with access to water, waste management and security. Many people in Canaan live under threat of being forcibly evicted.

8. Several infrastructure projects are being undertaken as part of the post-earthquake reconstruction. However, hundreds of families have been forcibly evicted from downtown Port-au-Prince in May 2014 in order to clear the area for the construction of public administration buildings.

9. There was a crisis in the housing sector even before the earthquake. Then Haiti’s national housing deficit was estimated at 700,000 units. At least another 250,000 houses were destroyed or badly damaged by the earthquake. Housing was the sector most affected by the earthquake, with a total damage of US$ 2.300 billion (approximately 40% of the overall damage of the earthquake).

10. The problems in Haiti persist despite the US$13.34 billion pledged by the international community and financial institutions in humanitarian and recovery funding during the post-earthquake response.
Other topics






https://www.amnesty.org/en/articles/news/2015/01/ten-facts-about-haiti-s-housing-crisis/

Privatizing welfare (Clinton Foundation) lets him skim off the top

Although "skim" is too mild a description of the vast funds collected but never quite making their way to actually helping those in need. Millions spent on private jets/5 star hotel at glitzy help-the-poor international conferences, etc. And only 9 to 15% of Foundations' funding actually donated to charity - depending on which source is reporting. Is there a term for the inverse of skimming? The relatively small amounts actually distributed to charities are more like skimming, with the vast majority of the funds tightly clutched to the Clinton Foundation bosom.

Oh and, by the by, the foundation’s $250 million was invested with a firm called Summit Rock Advisers, where Chelsea Clinton’s best friend Nicole Davison Fox is managing director. The two were classmates at Sidwell Friends School, and Davison Fox interned in the Clinton White House. She later served as matron of honor in Clinton’s wedding, and her husband was a founding employee of the hedge fund started by Clinton’s husband, Marc Mezvinsky.
https://nonprofitquarterly.org/philanthropy/25752-hillary-clinton-s-philanthropic-controversy-the-clinton-foundation.html

Pay Attention, Folks! That's two degrees of separation between the Clinton Foundation's hundreds of millions of unspent "donations" and Chelsea's husband's hedge fund. Gee, I wonder if Nicole's firm has parked Clinton Foundation funds in her husband's hedge fund?That would be Eaglevale Partners,noted by the Wall Street Journal to be vastly underperforming. https://in.finance.yahoo.com/news/nytimes-wrote-brutal-takedown-chelsea-140710252.html The answer to that query makes no difference to true believers, of course.

Meanwhile, Charity Navigator put the Clinton Foundation on its “watch list,” which warns potential donors about investing in problematic charities. The 23 charities on the list include the Rev. Al Sharpton’s troubled National Action Network, which is cited for failing to pay payroll taxes for several years.http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.watchlist
We don't evaluate Bill Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation.
Why not? We have determined that this charity's atypical business model cannot be accurately captured in our current rating methodology.

https://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?keyword_list=Clinton+Foundation&Submit2=Search&bay=search.results

Also meanwhile,
Clinton charity refiles tax return after errors
Hillary Clinton’s family charity has said that it will refile its tax returns after failing to identify tens of millions of dollars donated by foreign governments, in a fresh embarrassment at the start of her presidential campaign.

The Clinton Foundation was already under scrutiny over suggestions that overseas entities showered it with cash while Mrs Clinton was US secretary of state from 2009 to 2013, hoping to win her favour.
The Foundation has now admitted that money from foreign governments was mistakenly combined with other donations in US tax filings over the course of serveral years.


http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/world/americas/article4424036.ece

Other nonprofit experts are asking hard questions about the Clinton Foundation’s tax filings in the wake of recent reports that the Clintons traded influence for donations. “It seems like the Clinton Foundation operates as a slush fund for the Clintons,” said Bill Allison, a senior fellow at the Sunlight Foundation, a government watchdog group where progressive Democrat and Fordham Law professor Zephyr Teachout was once an organizing director.

Sunlight is a nonprofit transparency watchdog group funded in part since its founding in 2006 by George Soros' Open Society Institute, Ford Foundation, Omidyar Network and the John L. and James S. Knight Foundation, among many others.
https://sunlightfoundation.com/

In July 2013, Eric Braverman, a friend of Chelsea Clinton from when they both worked at McKinsey & Co., took over as CEO of the Clinton Foundation. He took home nearly $275,000 in salary, benefits and a housing allowance from the nonprofit for just five months’ work in 2013, tax filings show. Less than a year later, his salary increased to $395,000,
In December 2014, the board of the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation approved a salary of more than $395,000, plus bonus, for its Yale-educated CEO, Eric Braverman, while voting to extend his board term through 2017, according to sources familiar with the arrangement.

Braverman, who had worked with Chelsea Clinton at the prestigious McKinsey & Company consultancy, had been brought in with the former first daughter’s support to help impose McKinsey-like management rigor to a foundation that had grown into a $2 billion charitable powerhouse. But in January, 2015, only weeks after the board's show of support and just a year and a half after Braverman arrived, he abruptly resigned. Why? The back story is it was after a falling-out with the old Clinton guard over reforms he wanted to impose at the charity. Last month, 74 year old Clinton loyalist, Donna Shalala, a former secretary of health and human services under President Clinton, was hired to replace Braverman.

HRC's problem? There is no "there" there. She's a shape-shifter.

She will say or do whatever her triangulating/focus-grouping advisers tell her is most popular with the voters - easy enough to do when it's just campaign rhetoric which will be gone with the wind, should she win.

One of her supporters recently posted that to be a viable presidential candidate, one had to raise a billion dollars. Pure HRC - if you've got the money, i.e, the quid, she's got the pro quo.

The American voters (except for the one percenters) are desperate for a candidate with the courage of his/her convictions - not some mealy-mouthed, insecure, I-can't-tell-you-what-I-think, because my advisers haven't told me what to say, candidate.

Canada’s Land Of Tar Sands Just Elected A Left-Wing Government!

Whoo Hoo! Bet it was those bomb trains and fracking spills which turned the tide!

If you don’t know much about Canadian politics & want to understand how unprecedented this is, think of it as a comparison to Texas. As Bloomberg’s Dave Weigel put it on Twitter, abbreviations extended: “Imagine if Democrats took not only Texas Governor, but supermajority control of Legislature and all state offices. That’s what is like in Canada.”
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/05/06/3655798/canada-did-what-now/

I'd love to have posted this in latest breaking news, but gasp, it's around 14 hours old. In fact IchingCarpenter posted aabout this around 2 a.m. but at that hour it sank like a stone.

This is big frackin' news! If Canada can come to its senses and vote against Big Oil/special interests, there's hope for the US, and BERNIE!

See also, Iching's link:
http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2015/05/06/world/ap-cn-canada-alberta-election.html?_r=0

It certainly could not be more out of date - looks like it's from the 1990's.

I've been working/volunteering on Democratic campaigns at the national, state and local level since JFK. I have NEVER, not one single time, known a candidate to use non-current photos, i.e,. from the way back time machine.

Whose brilliant idea was that? Some 20-something whiz kid on her campaign staff? What next? James Carville with a head full of hair?

And speaking of hair, a word about hair styles for professional women - I'm a retired female attorney - about HRC's age, so have interacted professionally and socially with female lawyers, judges, doctors, CPAs, MBAs, bankers, politicians, etc., for decades. They find a good stylist, get a cut which is flattering without being distracting, and they stick with it.

Think Sandra Day O'Connor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elizabeth Warren, Barbara Mikulski, Angela Merkel, Margaret Thatcher, Indira Ghandi, Ladybird Johnson, Roslyn Carter. They each settled upon a basic hair style with which they were comfortable, and were psychologically secure enough to not be constantly changing. Women (and men) who have an important message to convey want their audience/listeners to focus on their message, not their appearance.

And yes, yes, yes - I am fully aware that a candidate's values and actions (not her campaign rhetoric) have far more significance than her level of security/self-confidence about her appearance. When it comes to values and actions, HRC is at the bottom of my list of preferred candidates - but in case she does end up winning the primary, I very much hope that some strong-willed campaign adviser can get her to stick to the same hair style for the entire campaign, and dress in dark, professional, business-style clothing - lose the whole wardrobe of pastels or brightly colored pants suits.




Judge Orders Kane to Explain Aide's Firing

The whole Kane situation is getting really messy. I'm sorry I voted for her - as a government attorney myself (now retired), I knew she wasn't as well qualified for the AG's office(small county assistant district attorney) as her primary opponent, Patrick Murphy (years as State House of Representatives staffer,then years as JAG officer in Bosnia and Iraq, then 2 term U.S. Congressman). But I have to admit, as a female lawyer, I yearned to see the first woman Attorney General. She has self-destructed, not because she is a woman, but because she was not qualified to handle the powers and responsibilities of her office. Lesson learned: vote for the best qualified regardless of sex, race, etc. I digress. Sorry. Returning to the Keystone State brouhaha:
HARRISBURG - A judge on Friday ordered Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane to prove she did not violate his court order when she fired a top aide this week - and said she would face contempt charges if she did.
Montgomery County Judge William R. Carpenter directed the embattled attorney general to appear at an April 27 hearing before a three-judge panel to review the circumstances of her decision to oust James Barker, a chief deputy attorney general.

Barker was among several top aides to Kane who testified last year in the leak investigation that now threatens her career. The Inquirer has reported that his testimony appeared to contradict Kane's claims that she didn't violate any laws when she authorized the release of confidential information to the Philadelphia Daily News.

During that inquiry, Carpenter issued a protective order to prevent any witnesses from being harassed or intimidated. He said this week that even though the investigation had ended, his order was still in force.If the panel of judges find that Kane violated it, "an indirect criminal-contempt hearing proceeding will follow forthwith," Carpenter wrote in a filing Friday. A contempt-of-court finding can result in jail time.
Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20150411_Judge_orders_Kane_to_explain_aide_s_firing.html#o0xRM75obWdiaQAw.99

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly

Mess One:
According to this article, although Kane's office initially described Barker's dismissal as part of a "restructuring" of the attorney general's criminal division, in a later statement, the office said the 53-year-old appeals chief was fired because of alleged leaks out of a sitting grand jury, although it did not specify which leaks. Another big, bush-league mistake on Kane's part not to have an explanation firmly in place before firing Barker and sticking to it. For further insight into the rumors and speculations swirling around Kane, read the comments to the OP link - including a few oblique references to Hillary and Bill Clinton, which lead us to Mess Two.

Mess Two - the Clinton connections: A Tale of Revenge, Payback & Rumors

Kane took time off from her job back in 2008 to serve as a northeast Pa. surrogate for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. As pay back, Bill interfered in the PA Democratic primary to endorse Kane over former JAG lawyer(deployed in Bosnia and Iraq)/Dem. Congressman Patrick Murphy. Murphy backed Barack Obama in the 2008 primary. Bill not only endorsed Kane, he repeatedly and actively campaigned with her in both the primary and the general election. There are numerous photos and videos of the 2 of them together, laughing and smiling, with arms around each other. http://www.politicspa.com/breaking-bill-clinton-endorses-kane-for-ag/33207/ Add those to her dark, flowing, Monica Lewinsky look-alike hair, and there are rumors that the divorce action Kane filed last December is linked to Bill.

Clinton endorsed Kane in her competitive primary against former Rep. Patrick Murphy. The rally in April – and the resulting television ad - helped to catapult Kane to a win.
Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20150411_Judge_orders_Kane_to_explain_aide_s_firing.html#o0xRM75obWdiaQAw.99


When Kane, the wife of a wealthy Scranton businessman, ran for attorney general last year, she benefited from a Bill Clinton political score that needed to be settled. Her better-known, union-endorsed primary opponent, former Congressman Patrick Murphy, had done the unthinkable in 2008 and endorsed Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton in the state Democrat primary.

Clinton repaid that favor by fundraising, endorsing, cutting ads and bringing out the big guns for Kane over Murphy. He thereby reminded Pennsylvanians and Washington political-watchers that the Clinton machine still has big game in a big state — and that Kane was their girl.

Read more: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2013/12/29/kathleen_kane_is_the_democrats_new_it_girl_121080.html#ixzz3X08HnJUV
In other words, Bill Clinton backed her vociferously in the primary, not because she was the best qualified, but because of the Clinton commitment to revenge on anyone - even fellow Democrats - who crosses them.

Kane, who touted her blue collar background in campaign ads, married a man described as the wealthy scion of a Scranton family. He ponied up $2.25 million in contributions to her race for AG. What thanks does he get? Once elected and after 14 years of marriage and 2 sons, she filed for divorce from him last December. As the song goes, money can't buy you love.
http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politics/20141228_Attorney_General_Kathleen_M__Kane_files_for_divorce.html

http://powerplayers-pa.herokuapp.com/donors/christopher-kane-i/

Fracking linked to Radioactive Gas (Radon) in Homes

We Pennsylvanians can "thank", cough/blame/cough both Dem. Governor Rendell & GOP Gov. Corbett for the fracking. Rendell was Gov. from 2003 to 2011; Corbett from 2011 to 2015. Radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the world after smoking, according to the the Environmental Protection Agency. Approximately 40 percent of Pennsylvania homes are believed to have radon levels above the recommended limits, according to the state DEP.

The researchers were careful to note that the side-by-side increases in radon and fracking only represented a correlation, and should not be taken as a declaration that fracking directly caused an increased radon presence in homes. However, study leader Brian Schwartz told ThinkProgress that it’s possible fracking could be the cause, and noted that more research is needed on the subject.



The amount of radioactive material in Pennsylvania homes has increased alongside the state’s fracking boom, according to a new study published Thursday in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

Researchers from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health asserted that levels of radon — a odorless, carcinogenic, radioactive gas — have been on the rise in Pennsylvania homes since 2004, around the same time the state’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) began rapidly increasing the number of permits it issued for unconventional gas drilling. There had been no similar increases in indoor radon concentrations prior to 2004, the study said.

The research is not the first to raise concerns about radioactivity exposure from Pennsylvania’s fracking operations. The state’s Marcellus Shale — the underground rock formation where gas is derived from — contains a lot of Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material, or NORM. Specifically, the Marcellus Shale has 20 times more NORM than typical shale formations, according to the Institute for Energy & Environmental Research.

Because of this, there’s evidence that radioactive elements have made their way into the environment, particularly though wastewater. Fracking uses a lot of water to blast underground shale rock, and the produced water that’s leftover from Marcellus Shale drilling operations contains on average nearly 500 times as much radon as the federal drinking water limit, according to the Johns Hopkins study. That water is generally injected back underground in disposal wells or stored in pits, where it can leach into the environment.

After analyzing the radon data, the study found a “statistically significant association” between how close houses are to Marcellus Shale fracking wells and how much radon is concentrated on the houses’ first floors in the summertime. This, the study said, “suggests a pathway through outdoor ambient air, but does not rule out the possibility of radon moving from the basement to the first floor.”


http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/04/09/3644539/pennsylvania-fracking-radon-study/
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