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Posts Tagged ‘New York’

Scathing Op ED From Washington Post Editorial Board on the Trump Foundation

Thursday, September 15th, 2016

trump-and-me

Is the Trump Foundation as fake as they two fake Trumps on the road in Exeter, New Hampshire?

From the Washington Post Editorial Board September 15, 2o16:

THE TRUMP campaign believes this editorial is not journalism. It is “badgering.” That is how campaign manager Kellyanne Conway described on Tuesday some simple questions The Post and others have asked Mr. Trump and his circle over the past several months about his supposed philanthropic activities. If anyone has an authenticity problem, it is Mr. Trump. The facts on the table suggest he is not a great philanthropist — he is a scam artist.

Mr. Trump has cultivated the persona of a generous man, repeatedly claiming on television he would donate to charity “out of my wallet” and accepting honors from groups he appeared to support. In fact, an exhaustive investigation by Post reporter David A. Fahrenthold shows that Mr. Trump retooled his foundation about a decade ago to act as an intermediary for other people’s charitable giving, a racket from which Mr. Trump gained in reputation and from which he may even have occasionally profited.

Mr. Trump does not appear to have given his own money to the Trump Foundation since 2008, and by then Trump funds had become a tiny slice of the organization’s revenue. Since then, the available records suggest, a charitable group that bears the billionaire’s name has been funded by others. That has not stopped Mr. Trump from claiming credit for doling out other people’s cash. He happily accepted an award from the Palm Beach Police Foundation in 2010 — then he cut the group off once the real source of the money, a New Jersey charity, stopped contributing to the Trump Foundation. Donations he promised on “The Celebrity Apprentice” would come out of his “own wallet” instead came from his foundation or a television production company. The story is the same with a 2009 TV contest called “Trump pays your bills!”, in which the Trump Foundation, not Mr. Trump, paid the winner’s bills.

Perhaps Mr. Trump confused the Trump Foundation with his own bank account because he occasionally treated it like one. Melania Trump used $20,000 of foundation funds to buy a six-foot painting of Mr. Trump at a charity art auction. Mr. Trump bid $12,000 in foundation money to win a football helmet signed by quarterback Tim Tebow. These examples appear to violate IRS rules against charity officials engaging in “self-dealing.” Then there is the fishy donation sent from the Trump Foundation to a committee supporting Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi (R). The donation was illegal — charities cannot give to political campaigns — and it came just as state attorneys general were subjecting Trump University to increasing scrutiny.

Trump staffers claim the Bondi donation was an honest administrative mistake. The campaign, meanwhile, has aggressively dismissed other questions about Mr. Trump’s giving by claiming that he has donated tens of millions to charity over his lifetime. Yet his surrogates offer no new evidence suggesting that he has given that much out of his own pocket. Mr. Trump might clear up some of the confusion if he released his tax returns. But he has so far refused to do so, defying decades of political precedent.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) announced Tuesday that he is investigating the Trump Foundation. There is a movement to persuade the Justice Department to do so as well. Yet the potential violations of the law seem to be less significant than what Mr. Trump appears to have done legally: duped people into believing in another one of his self-aggrandizing shams.

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10 Commandments Re-envisioned: Ten Ideas For Education (All From Current American College Students)

Saturday, January 30th, 2016

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The Roosevelt Institute in Manhattan works on policy making at the student level, among other things.

Join In Shaping The Future:

The Rooosevelt Institute

570 Lexington Ave

New York, New York

(212) 444-9130

http://www.rooseveltinstitute.org/

https://www.facebook.com/Roosevelt.Institute

 

For more info on these proposals, see more detailed story below this one.

Sensible School Start Times: An Inexpensive Policy for Achievement and Health   Nathaniel Bechhofer, George Mason University

Later school start times for students attending Fairfax County middle and high schools would enhance both academic performance and student health at costs lower than other policies with benefits of a similar magnitude

 

Discouraging Discriminatory College Admissions: The Case for Reporting Need-Sensitivity  Liam Grace-Flood, Wheaton College

To help applicants navigate the deceptive world of college admissions, the U.S. Department of EducationCollege Scorecards should publish data on need-sensitivead missions.

 

Cognitive Enhancement Through Multilingualism: Empowering Students Through Elementary Dual-Language Immersion Joshua Kemp, City College of New York

New York State should incentivize early foreign language instruction through a statewide dual-language immersion education program so that elementary students may receive the benefits multilingualism provides.

 

Increasing Awareness at Cornell: Diversity Courses as a Graduation Requirement Stephanie Hahm, Cornell University

Cornell University should require undergraduates to take courses exploring ethnic, cultural, religious, and gender diversity. This requirement will engage students with conversations about diversity and prepare them for a multi-cultural society.

Cognitive Enhancement Through Multilingualism: Empowering Students Through Elementary Dual-Language Immersion Joshua Kemp, City College of New York

New York State should incentivize early foreign language instruction through a statewide dual-language immersion education program so that elementary students may receive the benefits multilingualism provides

 

Alleviating Public School Finance Inequities: Funding According to Student Characteristics Christine Kil, University of Georgia

Georgia should implement student-based budgeting base don student characteristics to ensure equitable, fully funded education.

 

Closing the Achievement Gap: Elementary Second Language Education in Philadelphia Schools Laura Pontari, University of Georgia

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) should create a partnership between Philadelphia public universities and the School District of Philadelphia to provide second language education for elementary school students.

 

Promoting Success for English Learners: Dual-Language Immersion in Georgia

Rahul Shah, University of Georgia

Georgia should subsidize the implementation of magnet dual-language immersion programs in public schools to support the academic achievement of English learners

 

 9 Project based Learning In Philadelphia Paul Selling, Georgetown University

The Philadelphia School District should switch from a traditional, test-based learning model to a project-based learning model to better educate students

 

10 reviving Our Roots: Reconnecting Teens to Agriculture Elizabeth Wilkes, University of Georgia

The American farmer is growing older, the American agricultural system is unsustainable, and the American teenager is not interested in farming. High schools at the rural–urban interface should implement farmer development

programs to address these nationwide issues while strengthening communities.

 

 

 

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The Third Way: A Record of Impact

Friday, January 29th, 2016

The Third Way

The Third Way is not just an idea-that it’s not about Democrats and Republicans, it’s about what works–it’s also an organization in Washington, and it is perhaps the most effective moderate organization in that city. Here is their essential record of achievement entitled a record of Impact. Sometimes people get offended by third wayers, or anyone they see as moderate. “Andrew Cuomo in New York, for instance,  has taken money from the Koch Brothers,” they will say.  Things like this.  I think what may offend people most about Cuomo are the strong armed tactics and a real keen interest in looking good though large public achievements, some of which may not be incredibly efficiently funded, and some that may or may not get done. The Third Way really should boil down to: The most effective use of public funds to “Supercharge” the economy…so that it works for everyone. As noted below, it works as a way to find common ground in many fields. But supercharging the economy so that it works really well for everyone is a HUGE plus, and I think best achieved by a moderate Third Way approach. The Clintons argue they are the best at this. I continue to hold the view that the most successful Third Wayer in History is on the Campaign trail right now: William Jefferson Clinton.

–Milon Henry Levine

 

Clean Energy

Third Way developed a new centrist approach to the climate debate.

Third Way has rejected the ideological rigidity of the climate change debate, which pits climate deniers against those who believe renewables are the only answer. We have developed a campaign to ensure the U.S. leverages all of our energy resources as part of a climate solution, with a focus on commercializing advanced nuclear energy, cutting the carbon emissions from fossil fuels, and moving freight off American roads and onto our rails and waterways. Over a dozen of our proposals have been introduced as legislation or executive orders, and three have become law.

Deficit Reduction

Third Way helped enact over $3 trillion in deficit reduction.

Third Way led the effort on the Democratic side to enact a series of bipartisan deals that reduced the ten-year deficit by $3.3 trillion. Our three-year education and advocacy campaign built support for deficit reduction that included both budget cuts and new revenue. Though these deals were far from perfect, they have eliminated the near-term deficit problem.

Entitlement Reform

Third Way has spearheaded a long-term campaign to fix the safety net.

After the 2008 election, we launched a long-term campaign to make the progressive case for fixing the broken entitlements system. In those five years, we prepared and got introduced a bill that would create a Social Security Commission, created the narrative around an impending “collision course” between entitlements and investment spending, became the leading center-left venue for entitlement reformers, and directly influenced the language and policies of top Democratic officials.

Exports

Third Way was the principal Democratic group behind three free trade agreements.

Third Way played the leading role among Democratic organizations in passing trade deals with Columbia and Panama, and we hosted the kick-off and helped shepherd through Congress the deal with Korea, the largest trade accord since NAFTA. The White House adopted Third Way’s pro-trade messages to make their case for the FTAs, and our policy papers were cited throughout the Congressional debates.

Federal Pensions

Third Way reformed federal pensions for all new employees.

In 2011, Third Way proposed a series of changes to bring federal pensions in line with the private sector. In 2012-13, Congress passed legislation that included our central idea, permanently raising the rate of federal employee retirement contribution from 0.8% to 4.4% for all new federal employees, which will save tens of billions over the next decade.

Gun Safety

Third Way fundamentally altered the gun debate.

As The Atlantic has noted, “The story of the way the gun debate changed is largely the story of Americans for Gun Safety. AGS ceased to exist in 2005… absorbed by…Third Way. But its success endures.” We helped shift the focus for gun safety advocates to the centrist notion of “rights and responsibilities.” We passed ballot initiatives in Colorado and Oregon to close the gun show loophole and a bill in Congress to improve the background check system. Every major Democratic presidential candidate of the last decade has turned to us for guidance on gun policy and messaging.

Health Care

Third Way helped shape and pass the Affordable Care Act.

Third Way fought successfully for a market-based approach to cost control in the ACA. We also developed a messaging framework built upon a series of reforms that would provide “stability and security” to the insured, and President Obama took our framework and used those exact words repeatedly, including in a speech to a joint session of Congress in September 2009. In a moment when the bill was failing, his shift to our message tipped the balance and helped pass the ACA.

Immigration Reform

Third Way won the support of moderate Senators for immigration reform.

When the initial push for comprehensive immigration reform in 2006 had lost the support of Democratic moderates, Third Way entered the debate to help shape policy arguments about a pathway to citizenship and making the U.S. a magnet for global talent. We combined that with groundbreaking public opinion research that led to a centrist framework for immigration reform—“tough, fair, and practical”—and helped persuade a number of wavering Senators to support reform. By the time another comprehensive reform bill was up for a vote on the Senate floor in 2013, every moderate Democratic senator supported using this centrist narrative it, including five who had opposed even the narrower D.R.E.A.M. Act in 2010.

Marriage for Gay Couples

Third Way’s narrative reversed decades of losses on marriage for gay couples.

By 2008, advocates of marriage for gay couples had a record of 0 for 30 at the ballot box. We conducted deep public opinion research to understand why, which revealed a serious strategic flaw: the focus on the rights and benefits of marriage was driving away Americans in the middle. To sway these critical voters, we advised advocates to emphasize instead the common value that all couples share around marriage: lifetime commitment. Our approach was widely adopted, and as a result, in part, the tide has turned. Marriage went 4 for 4 with voters in 2012, and political leaders from President Obama on down have used this “commitment” message to announce their support for allowing gay couples to marry.

Middle Class Success

Third Way developed a middle-class success agenda and turned it into legislation.

Our policy ideas on helping the middle class get ahead—including getting to and through college, managing care for an aging parent, preparing for a successful retirement, and starting a small business—have been introduced as thirty-three pieces of legislation in Congress. A number of these were also included in the agenda of the Vice President’s Middle Class Task Force.

Military Readiness

Third Way led the effort to increase the size of the wartime Army.

In 2005, the U.S. Army was nearing a breaking point. Third Way revealed the extent of the strain on the Army in a groundbreaking report, which led to legislation that Third Way initiated co-sponsored by then-Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) and Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI). That bill, which increased the size of the Army by 100,000 troops, became law in 2006. Though Third Way opposed the Iraq War, the Army end-strength increase was required to save the force from catastrophe (as happened after Vietnam). We now are pushing to modernize the military for a new era.

Use of Force

Third Way changed the debate in Congress on the Authorization for the Use of Military Force.

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Teachers’ Unions: Noble…Yes…Flexible?…Not So Much.

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

Speaking with someone from the American Federation of Teachers on 12-13-14  in DC. I came away with much more respect for Teaching Unions, and  for quite a bit of Teachers’ Unions do…but as we’re seeing with the Police Union in New York City..there can be a blanket un-nuanced vibe…after this very guy told me teaching unions never do anything wrong….I came back the next day with more of a conversational and critical tone.  However, he did have some wonderful things to say ,though. Hope to talk to these guys again…maybe a few times.

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