Posts Tagged ‘Clinton Foundation’

Letter From New York 08 10 2016 Gloomy but not ugly…

August 10, 2016

In my driveway there is a floodlight with a dusk until dawn timer.  It was so gloomy this morning, “dawn” did not arrive until about 9:30.  As bright and beautiful as the days were before, today has been singularly dark, a day when one wants to slip quietly into a corner and delve deep into a mystery. 

I didn’t do that all day but some of the day, reading “The Hotel on Place Vendome,” a study of the Ritz Hotel before, during and after WWII.  Good reading, not quite a mystery, not quite a page turner but a sound non-fiction account of the place that was at the center of Parisian life in those tumultuous years. 

Of course, “Papa” Hemingway appears and his appearances further tatter the legend he built around himself even as his writing powers were beginning to fade, worn down by drinking and partying.

Reichsmarshall Hermann Goring was a morphine addict and spent at least part of the war soaking in the large bathtubs at the Ritz, attempting to wean himself off the drug.

Something like 80,000 children fathered by Germans were born in France during the war years.

It is a time we have not known.  Somewhere today, I was reading an article online and the author was saying the last 70 years had been a dream.  We had gone to peace and are now awaking into another era, not so peaceful.  Yes, perhaps, but we did “duck and cover” as children and during the Cuban missile crisis my very young mind was convinced that we would all be evaporated.

It is not a peaceful world but never has it been very peaceful.  I am peaceful this very moment, wrapped in a cloudy, gloomy day with verdant trees outside my windows, skies heavy with promises of rain, snug inside my cottage, the only sound the humming of the refrigerator.

The thunder of the campaign trail has been held at bay for the most part by my simply choosing not to delve much into it.  Trump said something about “Second Amendment” folks should do something about Hillary and Democrats are charging that he was inciting violence against her.  Of course he wasn’t, he said.

And Hillary has her blind spots, this week they’ve been showing up in relations between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department.

Though the report I was reading was released by a conservative group so I will add my grain of salt to what I was reading.  Just as I put a bit of salt into my reading of the Democratic reaction to Trump’s latest.  Don’t get me wrong, I won’t vote for the man.  He’s crackers…

The number of ill considered things the man has said has slowly become numbing, no longer outraging me.  It is just one unbelievable thing after another and, as far as I can tell, Trump’s not enjoying it much himself.

And he is embattled by his fellow Republicans.  Susan Collins, Senator from Maine, has disavowed Trump.  She’ll vote Libertarian or write in someone.  She won’t support him or Hillary but go her own way.  She is not alone.  A dismaying number of Republicans are following her.

Whereas Clinton…  I think she — and he — live for this kind of season, coming alive in amazing ways.  Though Bill looks frail these days, a shadow of the man.

The Department of Justice released its report about the Police Department in Baltimore.  “Scathing but not surprising” was one headline.  In Ferguson, MO the wheels of justice are turning very slowly there, two years after Michael Brown died.  Change is slow in coming, disheartening to many but the wheels are turning, I hope.

Like many, I have received two phone calls telling me the IRS is about to start a lawsuit against me.  It’s a scam and it makes me crazy and people are being sucked in.  One man paid the scammers $500,000 before he got wise.  So ugly…

And while it is not beautiful outside, it is not ugly in my corner of the world.

Letter From New York 04 23 15 Posting and running…

April 23, 2015

It’s grey and drab here in New York and a little on the chill side. I have been working part of the afternoon at my friend Todd’s office while he is prepping for production on some show or other. All I know is that there are lots of clothes for little girls hanging in the office.

I looked at the clock and realized I would have to rush this blog a bit as it was later than I thought. I’m slipping away to see “Ex Machina,” a movie about artificial intelligence, in a little while with a friend.

Loretta Lynch was finally confirmed as Attorney General after a record-breaking wait for confirmation. There was a part of a bill on human trafficking that I believe Republicans objected to and they tied Ms. Lynch’s confirmation to the passing of that bill. Well, they must have come to an agreement because the bill has passed and Ms. Lynch was confirmed.

Also in news from Capitol Hill: the Benghazi Committee wants to hear from Hillary again on her email and about the event in 2012. It’s another piece of bad news in a week that has been rough on the candidate. The NY Times had a story about the flow of money to the Clinton Foundation that, at the very least, leaves one uncomfortable.

I probably won’t be able to see it but Bruce Jenner is sitting down tonight with Diane Sawyer for an interview. It should make for fascinating viewing. I’d like to know what’s really happening with the former Olympian.

Once he stood as if on Olympus but now he is on probation. That’s what the court decided for David Petraeus, former commander in Afghanistan and CIA Director, for leaking secrets to his mistress.

Earlier today, the President accepted responsibility for the deaths of an American and an Italian in an anti-terrorism operation earlier this year.

A group of Iranian cargo ships heading to Yemen has reversed course while the country is still shuddering under bombings from the Saudi led coalition.

The President of Germany has declared the events of a hundred years ago in Armenia as genocide. Turkey will not be pleased.

A battle of words has erupted again between the US/Ukraine/Russia over where the US trainers are operating in Ukraine. Russia is claiming they are in the battle zone in eastern Ukraine; the US and Ukraine say: nonsense.

What is not nonsense is that I am rapidly running of time and so must post and go.

Letter From New York 04 08 15 From the heat of Delhi to wearing a winter coat…

April 8, 2015

Outside, it is still grey and chill; I have taken to wearing my winter jacket again, worse luck. It’s also been raining today with my mantra being: April showers bring Mayflowers.

Though, for all the grey, it’s been a very pleasant day. I am not quite so time zone loopy as I was yesterday or the day before. I am a little more centered and not quite so forgetful. I feel good and am looking forward to dinner tonight at the Red Dot, with a group of friends, for whom I have souvenirs of India.

I still almost expect to look out my window and see the vivid amber colors of Jaipur or the greens of Delhi but, instead, am greeted by the muted colors of the Northeast, struggling to come alive in the early days of spring.

There is a glorious freshness to the air I breathe here, clean and sweet with the smell of damp earth. The air in Delhi always has an acrid undertow, not so pungent as my first trips but still residing.

Out in the wide world, from which I feel sheltered here at the cottage, the news is much about the guilty verdicts given to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev for his role in the Boston bombings of over two years ago. Certainly not unexpected given that his defense admitted guilt in their opening statements; it has, for some, brought some closure, some finality, to the wounds, physical and emotional, that were inflicted that day. Now we will see if he is sentenced to death or if his defense team can save his life.

One of the necessities of life is coffee, so I ran down into Hudson to get some good espresso roast from Olde Hudson. As I went, the radio played an interview with Ernest Moniz, the Secretary of Energy, who ended up playing a big role in the Iranian Nuclear talks. I couldn’t tell from the interview if he was defending the outlined deal or simply reporting on his role. He seemed guileless in the little bit I heard him, very much the scientist and not very much the diplomat.

Last night, as I devoured my fajitas at Coyote Flaco, I saw the video of the South Carolinian shot in the back by a police officer, not quite able to assimilate what I was seeing. The officer has been dismissed and is charged with murder as a result of the video. And tension runs high.

Rand Paul is finishing his first full day of campaigning for President, promising “shocking” revelations about the Clinton Foundation [and Hillary]. In the meantime, it seems many people are looking at him and his candidacy and asking: is this for real?

Certainly for real is the chaos in Yemen. Doctors Without Borders announced that a ship had arrived in Aden with 2.5 tons of medical supplies though no one was sure how they would be unloaded given the situation there. Iran has sent two naval vessels toward Yemen while the Saudis continue bombing. The US is underscoring its support for Saudi Arabia. 100,000 people have fled their homes, seeking refuge from the fighting.

A Pakistani plane has arrived in New Delhi, carrying refugees from Yemen, a gesture that will help the usually frayed relations between those two countries.

The Iraqis are hoping to build on the victory at Tikrit by advancing into Anbar province, the Sunni heartland now mostly under the control of IS. At least that’s what the Anbar province regional council has said. Seems to be a bit of a surprise to the central government.

What is also a surprise but not in debate, is that IS has released more Yazidis. What is unclear is why they’re doing this.

Fighting for cyber security, the US is attempting to deflect attacks on White House and State Department computers, which seem to be coming from Russia. The Russians deny this.

In the UK, the election is “hotting up” as the May election draws closer, with Scotland appearing, quite extraordinarily, to end up playing a pivotal role in what shape the new UK government takes.

I do know the shape of my evening. That dinner out with friends and then gathering together the things that need to go with me to the city in the morning, an early rise and off on the 7:20 train in the morning for a 10:30 meeting.

It feels good to have my body and my mind in the same time zone, almost.