Andrew Tobias: No THERE There
Do powerful people, organizations, and countries donate money to the Clinton Foundation so they can rub shoulders with Bill Clinton? You bet they do. That's the whole model: exploit Clinton's celebrity to raise money which can then be used to make progress on important issues like climate change and global health.
Matthew Yglesias: The AP's big exposÚ on Hillary meeting with Clinton Foundation donors is a mess (Vox)
Except it turns out not to be true. The nut fact that the AP uses to lead its coverage is wrong, and Braun and Sullivan's reporting reveals absolutely no unethical conduct. In fact, they found so little unethical conduct that an enormous amount of space is taken up by a detailed recounting of the time Clinton tried to help a former Nobel Peace Prize winner who's also the recipient of a Congressional Gold Medal and a Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Kestrin Pantera: I arrived at my friend's party. A few hours later she died, exactly as planned. (Vox)
I've never known exactly when a friend is going to die - until today. It's a Sunday morning in late July, and I'm struggling to put on my friend Betsy's red Donna Karan wrap dress. I'm definitely doing it wrong. I can tell because Betsy groans with frustration.
Julia Belluz: I went to Italy to eat, and learned an ugly truth about the Italian diet (Vox)
I've often heard Europeans express shock over the gargantuan portions American restaurants dish out. Which is why, on a recent holiday with my boyfriend, I was surprised to find the waiters at everything from small, family-run pizzerias to gourmet restaurants in Puglia (the heel of Italy's boot) piling our table with plates and servings exceeding American proportions.
Julia Bulluz: Cancer is now the leading cause of death in 22 states. Surprisingly, that's good news. (Vox)
As a 2016 report from the American Cancer Society shows, better cancer detection means more cases are being diagnosed that would have otherwise gone unnoticed. Americans are also simply living longer, and the overwhelming majority - 86 percent - of all cancers in the US are diagnosed in older people, over the age of 50.
Suzanne Moore: At what point are women allowed to look their age? (The Guardian)
From cosmetic surgery to HRT, we pursue almost anything that makes us appear youthful because we cannot talk about the reality of ageing.
Jamelle Bouie: There Is No Horse Race (Slate)
It's Clinton by a mile, with Trump praying for black swans.
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Michelle in AZ
The Handmaid's Tale vs Riders of the Purple Sage
I just finished the Librivox recording of "Riders of the Purple Sage" written by Zane Grey when I read the article linked by Michelle about "The Handmaid's Tale".
When I began"Riders of the Purple Sage", I expected an early 20th century cowboy story like the vast majority of Hollywood movies. I was surprised and captured by a double romance and social commentary of women's rights versus the Mormon dictatorship in 1871 Utah.
I also discovered that the movie versions of that classic novel ignored the Mormon oppression of women and substituted the typical western villains of outlaw gangs although the villains' names remained the same in some of the movies. I think that I will try book version of "The Handmaid's Tale" next to see if there are more similarities.
Billy in Cypress
Another interesting read from the same era is Roughing It by Mark Twain.
If you want to cut to the chase, so to speak, scroll way down to 'A. Appendix' (or do a search ["control" + "f"] to "A. Appendix"). And also read B. Appendix.
from Marc Perkel
from that Mad Cat, JD
DON'T DRINK THE POISON!
HI EVERYBODY! I'M STUBBY!
'T' FOR TEXASS!
STOP THE CAPITALIST CRIMINALS!
LET THE VEGETABLE DIE!
"STOP THE HONKIE HATERS!"
DON'T MISS IT!
Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music
In The Chaos Household
The marine layer has returned.
$10M Donation To LA City College
World-renowned trumpeter Herb Alpert's foundation donated $10.1 million to music education at Los Angeles City College, allowing all music majors to have free tuition.
The donation allows not just free tuition to music majors, but also additional private lessons and further financial aid.
"Music students could experience their career potential and not be laden with debt when they came out and do it completely cost free, and that's how we came up with this number. It's a big number, but it's forever, hopefully it's forever," Rona Sebastian, the president of the Herb Alpert Foundation said.
Alpert's contribution was the largest gift to a community college in Southern California and the second largest in the state, school officials said during an announcement Thursday morning.
The free tuition at LACC will begin in the fall of 2017.
Anti-Pot Initiative Sponsor Gives Up
The sponsor of a proposed initiative to repeal Montana's medical marijuana law said Wednesday he won't appeal a judge's refusal to place the measure on November's ballot, but instead will focus on defeating a separate initiative to expand medical pot distribution.
Billings car dealer Steve Zabawa told The Associated Press in an interview that there isn't enough time for him to appeal to the Montana Supreme Court before Secretary of State Linda McCulloch's office certifies the ballots and sends them for printing.
Instead, he said his Safe Montana group will focus on defeating I-182, a ballot measure that would ease restrictions on medical marijuana distribution.
Zabawa made the comments a day after District Judge Heidi Ulbricht denied his request to intervene and order McCulloch to place his initiative on the ballot.
Zabawa spent $92,000 of his own money in the failed effort to place the measure on the ballot, according to campaign finance records filed with the Commissioner of Political Practices Office. He said he spent an additional $100,000 of his own money on audits and legal fees to contest the rejected and missing signatures.
Best Paid Actors
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson was named the world's highest paid actor by Forbes on Thursday, raking in $64.5 million and snatching the title held for three consecutive years by Robert Downey Jr.
The 44-year-old former wrestler more than doubled his earnings from last year thanks to his role in the action comedy "Central Intelligence," the eighth installment of the "Fast & Furious" racing franchise and the forthcoming "Baywatch."
Johnson was ranked number 11 last year, earning some $31 million in the 12 months from June 2014 to June 2015.
Jackie Chan came in second on the Forbes list with $61 million dollars followed by Matt Damon ($55 million), Tom Cruise ($53 million) and Johnny Depp ($48 million).
Topping Forbes's list released earlier this week for highest-paid actresses was Jennifer Lawrence, who earned $46 million -- nearly $20 million less than her male counterpart.
Elevator Will Close For 9 Months
The lone, balky elevator that takes visitors to the top of the 555-foot Washington Monument needs a major renovation that will require closing the landmark for nine months, officials said Wednesday.
The elevator has broken down frequently over the past two years, roughly the period since the monument reopened following an August 2011 earthquake that did major damage to the structure. The monument needed $15 million in repairs and was closed for nearly three years, but the park service did not renovate the elevator during that time.
That turned out to be a mistake, said Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, a Democrat who represents the District of Columbia in Congress. Norton was briefed by park service officials about the elevator problems on Wednesday.
The monument has been closed for a thorough inspection of the elevator since a cable broke a week ago. The inspection was expected to last 10 days, but the park service said Wednesday that it won't be completed until mid-September at the earliest. There's no guarantee that the elevator will reopen after the inspection is finished, said Mike Litterst, a park service spokesman.
There's also no timetable for starting the 9-month renovation, which is expected to cost between $2 million and $3 million, the park service said. Norton said the park service should try to finish the work before next year's tourist season, but that won't be possible.
Racist Governor Keeps A 3-Ring Binder
Republican Gov. Paul LePage is being accused again of making racially insensitive comments, this time by saying photos he's collected in a binder of drug dealers arrested in the state show more than 90 percent of them are black or Hispanic.
The governor made the remark at a town hall in North Berwick on Wednesday, a day he also said the father of a dead Muslim U.S. Army captain is a "con artist" for criticizing GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump.
LePage, who's white, said he keeps a three-ring binder of photos from drug busts and most "are black and Hispanic people from Waterbury, Connecticut; the Bronx; and Brooklyn."
Also Wednesday, LePage, on a program hosted by Boston radio personality Howie Carr, referenced Khizr Khan, whose son was killed while protecting other soldiers in Iraq. Khan appeared at the Democratic National Convention, at which Hillary Clinton received her party's presidential nomination, and held up a copy of the U.S. Constitution while criticizing Trump.
Maine Public Broadcasting Network reported LePage's comments about Khan came after Carr drew a comparison between the Boston Marathon bombers and an Iranian refugee who moved to Maine and later died fighting for the Islamic State group. LePage said Khan "uses the death of his son" to go after Trump.
Photographer Seeking $1 Billion
An accomplished photographer who lets the public use thousands of her images of America for free has sued the Getty Images photo agency for more than $1 billion, saying it's improperly selling her work to customers and threatening those who don't pay.
The photographer, Carol Highsmith, whose work has been featured in books, newspapers and magazines and on two postage stamps, said she became aware that Getty was selling her work in December, when she received a letter from an affiliated company accusing her of copyright infringement for using one of her own photographs on the website of her nonprofit group, the This is America! Foundation. The letter demanded a settlement payment of $120.
The photo, of a striking sculpture of a badminton shuttlecock outside the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri, was one of thousands Highsmith has made available to the public through the U.S. Library of Congress for a quarter-century.
Highsmith's lawsuit, which was before a federal judge in New York for an initial conference on Wednesday, said about 18,000 of the photographs in that collection were being offered for sale by Getty, at prices ranging between $175 and $575.
Based on those numbers, her lawyers are asking for $468 million in damages, tripled because Getty had a judgment entered against it in another copyright case within the last three years.
Walking Papers From HLN
Dr. Drew Pinsky's (R-Fabulist) series on the HLN channel is ending its run after five years.
HLN said Thursday that "Dr. Drew on Call" will air its final episode on Sept. 22.
Pinsky's previous TV series includes "Loveline" and "Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew."
His exit comes amid other changes at HLN, including the upcoming addition of CNN's Ashleigh Banfield to the channel's prime-time lineup and the planned October departure of longtime host Nancy Grace.
No Train, No Tunnel
Explorers' great hopes for finding a legendary Nazi "gold train" in Poland appeared dashed Wednesday when, after digging extensively, they admitted they have found "no train, no tunnel" at the site.
The legend has sparked a gold rush, drawing in drawn explorers and treasure hunters from across Europe to Poland's southwestern town of Walbrzych, and prompting local authorities to dream about a great inflow of tourists and money.
The local legend says in 1945, the Nazi Germans hid a train laden with gold and valuables in a secret tunnel nearby as they were fleeing the advancing Soviet army at the end of World War II.
Last week two explorers - Andreas Richter, a German, and Piotr Koper, a Pole - moved in with heavy equipment and dug deep at a site near rail tracks in Walbrzych, following comments by residents who said they had knowledge of the train's existence.
But the explorers' spokesman, Andrzej Gaik, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that they found "no train, no tunnel" there and that the machines were covering over the three pits that cost 140,000 zlotys ($37,000) to dig.
Most Common Foreign Country Of Birth In UK
Poland is the most common foreign country of birth for people living in Britain, overtaking India, according to official estimates released Thursday.
An estimated 831,000 Polish-born people lived in Britain in 2015, said the Office for National Statistics -- a more than 13-fold increase on the 69,000 residents in 2004, when Poland joined the EU and its nationals gained the right to live and work in Britain.
There were an estimated 795,000 UK residents born in India, which had been the most common country of birth outside Britain for the previous 11 years.
In 2015, the five most common countries of birth for UK residents born outside Britain were: Poland (831,000); India (795,000); Pakistan (503,000); Republic of Ireland (382,000), and Germany (286,000).
The number of non-UK born residents rose by 63 percent from 3.3 million in 2004 to 8.6 million in 2015. They now constitute 13.3 percent of the population.
Scientists Detect Rare Deep-Earth Tremor
Scientists who study earthquakes in Japan said Thursday they have detected a rare deep-Earth tremor for the first time and traced its location to a distant and powerful storm.
The findings, published in the US journal Science, could help experts learn more about the Earth's inner structure and improve detection of earthquakes and oceanic storms.
The storm in the North Atlantic was known as a "weather bomb," a small but potent storm that gains punch as pressure quickly mounts.
Groups of waves sloshed and pounded the ocean floor during the storm, which struck between Greenland and Iceland.
Using seismic equipment on land and on the seafloor that usually detects the Earth's crust crumbling during earthquakes, researchers found something they had not detected before -- a tremor known as an S wave microseism.
Hoax or Secret Code?
Armchair cryptographers, rejoice: A Spanish publisher plans to release replicas of the Voynich Manuscript, a book that no one knows how to read.
Discovered by an antique bookseller in 1912 by the name of Wilfrid Voynich, the 600-year-old Voynich Manuscript is housed today in Yale University's Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library. It's filled with script in a language that's never been seen in any other known text -which, depending on whom you talk to, means it's nonsense or a secret code just waiting to be cracked.
According to AFP, a publisher called Siloe based in Burgos, Spain, will produce 898 copies of the Voynich manuscript, replicating every detail down to the pages'stains and tears. The publisher reportedly plans to sell each of the facsimiles for 7,000 to 8,000 euros (about $7,900 to $9,000).
Many pages of the puzzling script include equally puzzling illustrations. The elaborate ink drawings depict astrological symbols
A few years ago, a radiocarbon analysis of the book's vellum pages proved that it dates back to the 15th century. But even if the book is genuinely old, some researchers have dismissed the manuscript as a Renaissance-era hoax text, intentionally filled with gibberish. (Or, as one paper published by the American Botanical Council succinctly put it, "Many scholars consider research into the Voynich manuscript to be academic suicide.") Others think the manuscript is a cipher that just hasn't been cracked, and theories about the text's contents and origins abound.