Colorado – Michael Bennet and Wall Street.

Was he buying a job before he was appointed to the Senate?

Denver Public Schools entered into three toxic interest rate swaps in 2008 with JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Royal Bank of Canada. From 2008-2011, our schools lost $105 MILLION to these banks. From 2011-2013, we lost another $38 MILLION.

The deals were terminated in 2013, but doing so resulted in the following massive fees:

JPMorgan Chase: $42 MILLION
Wells Fargo: $34.4 MILLION
Bank of America: $70.5 MILLION
Royal Bank of Canada: $35.1 MILLION

That’s roughly $182 MILLION in termination fees alone. Denver taxpayers will continue to pay off these deals until 2037. …

… Nearly $200 million in fees is a lot. And, here’s where Michael Bennet comes in. Bennet was superintendent of Denver Public Schools from July 2005 through January 2009, when he was appointed to fill the Senate seat vacated by then-Sen. Ken Salazar. In the spring of 2008, DPS needed to raise funds to plow back into classrooms (or so the story goes). Bennet and now-superintendent Tom Boasberg struck a deal with JP Morgan to create some kind of “exotic” funding mechanism. Literally weeks before the entire market bombed. Here’s how the school board allegedly fell for the scheme, according to the New York Times:

“To members of the Denver Board of Education, it sounded ideal. It was complex, involved several different financial instruments and transactions. But, Michael Bennet, now a United States Senator from Colorado, who was superintendent of the school at the time, and Tom Boasberg, then the system’s chief operating officer, persuaded the seven-person board of the deal’s advantages, according to interviews with its members.”

BBC and legal prosecutions

The BBC is responsible for more than one in 10 criminal prosecutions. Culture Secretary Sajid Javid reports that 10% of magistrate court cases are for non-payment of the BBC licence fee. Non-payment is a criminal offence, punishable by a fine of up to £1,000. Every week about 3,000 people are fined for non-payment, and about one person a week is jailed for non-payment of the fine.

Women make up about 70% of those prosecuted and convicted, and half of those jailed for not paying the fine. When people fail to pay other utilities, such as energy companies, they are guilty of a civil offence, not a criminal one, and they cannot be prosecuted and fined for falling behind with their payments. Civil action can be taken for recovery, but without fines and jail terms.

Several newspapers have had reporters visit magistrate’s court to describe what goes on. They all tell harrowing stories of frightened, distressed people, mostly women, facing fines they cannot pay under threat of imprisonment if they do not. Many are single mothers, many on benefits. They have not paid the licence fee because they cannot afford to. The sum of £145.50 per year is huge for a young mother struggling to feed and clothe children. Many weep in court, unable to pay the fine for the same reason they couldn’t afford the licence fee; they don’t have the money.

Iran changing the offense for Hezbollah.

Iran is placing guided warheads on its rockets and smuggling them to Hezbollah in Lebanon, a senior Defense Ministry official involved in preparing Israeli air defenses said Tuesday.

Speaking at the Israel Air and Missile Defense Conference in Herzliya, organized by the iHLS defense website and the Israel Missile Defense Association, Col. Aviram Hasson said Iran is converting Zilzal unguided rockets into accurate, guided M-600 projectiles by upgrading their warheads.

Missed this one a while back.

The history of Hillary – one obfuscation after another.

Security problems with ‘auto-fill’.

World leaders’ personal details, including data about passports and visa status, were accidentally revealed by the organisers of the latest G20 summit, The Guardian has revealed.

Those leaders – including Barack Obama, Vladimir Putin, Tony Abbott, Angela Merkel, David Cameron, Narendra Modi and others – were supposedly kept in the dark about the data breach because it was felt it wasn’t necessary to inform them.

On 7 November 2014, the director of the visa services division of Australia’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection sent an email seeking urgent advice from the Australian privacy commissioner.

In that email, which The Guardian obtained under Australia’s freedom of information laws, the breach was blamed on an employee having emailed a member of the local organising committee of the Asian Cup and accidentally including the personal information.

The director blamed the glitch on an employee sending an email via Microsoft Outlook, which auto-filled the wrong address in the “To” field.

Immigration deportations in Israel

Thousands of illegal aliens to be deported to Africa

The Ministry of Interior made arrangements with African countries to take in the asylum seekers who will be deported in the coming days.

In the coming days, an evacuation of migrants and asylum seekers from Africa who have been placed in the Holot detention faulty in southern Israel will take place. After discussions, the state reached a settlement with two African countries who agreed to accept the migrants, according to the Ministry of Interior.

And he doesn’t plan to sue?

Suing is such sweet revenge. Hard to believe.

A Breitbart News investigation of the home exercise accident story told by Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) and “sources familiar with the incident” has uncovered facts which appear to discredit his version of events surrounding a New Year’s Day incident that left him with gruesome injuries to his eye, face and ribs.

This guy wouldn’t sue?

Good idea

A study published in Science demonstrates that vaccination with a mutated form of the Ebola virus provides some measure of protection to non-human primates. This finding places the vaccine one step closer to clinical trials in humans.

The researchers publishing this study have developed what’s called a “whole virus” vaccine for Ebola. Viruses have proteins on their exterior and genetic material on their interior. Whole virus vaccines present the host’s immune system with multiple viral proteins and the viral genetic material. These vaccines trigger broader immune system responses than vaccines that only present a single protein from the virus. Whole virus vaccines have had widespread success in offering protection against potentially deadly diseases such as smallpox, measles, and influenza.

Odds are – nothing …

Hillary Clinton withheld information from Congress. Now what does Congress do?

If you are ‘dead-beat’ enough you can score a free house.

In September, Susan Rodolfi celebrated an unusual anniversary: five years of missed mortgage payments.

She is like a ghost of the housing market’s painful past, one of thousands of Americans who have skipped years of mortgage payments and are still living in their homes.

Now a legal quirk could bring a surreal ending to her foreclosure case and many others around the country: They may get to keep their homes without ever having to pay another dime.

Not exactly home invasion but …

In a landmark case that could determine if Google can be held accountable in the UK, Google has lost an appeal to stop the country’s consumers from being able to sue over alleged misuse of privacy settings in Apple’s Safari browser.

Three judges dismissed Google’s Court of Appeal bid over a high court decision that also went against Google.

The judges ruled that damages can be brought over Google’s alleged misuse of private information.

Safari users are lining up. …

By slipping past Safari’s default privacy setting to place cookies in this manner, Google was able to gather data including surfing habits, social class, race, and ethnicity, all without users’ knowledge.

Walker’s wife.

A Scott Walker presidential campaign may end up being one of the easier things Tonette Walker has had to endure.

The Wisconsin first lady has experienced poverty, becoming a young widow and losing other close family members, the lonely period of cynicism and despair that followed, a whirlwind romance to the much younger future governor, and death threats from a nasty labor fight.

I’m surprising it took this long.


A wise start to using the law.

Egypt prosecutor lists key Muslim Brotherhood members as ‘terrorists’

Good idea.

Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB)

In a new study, the extract from rosehips — the fruit of the rose plant — significantly reduced the growth and migration of cells from a type of breast cancer known as triple negative. This particularly aggressive form of cancer does not respond to most available treatments and tends to affect young women as well as those who are African-American or Hispanic.

A look at the senate races

Below are the 10 Senate seats considered most likely to switch parties in 2016. The No. 1 race is — you guessed it — the most likely to switch.

… 5. Colorado (Democratic controlled): With Reid’s retirement, the only Democratic incumbent running in 2016 who is in any danger of losing is Michael Bennet. Bennet, like Reid, won an unlikely victory in 2010 — a year that was disastrous for Democrats nationally. He again will be a major target, but it’s not clear yet whom Republicans will field as their candidate. The most talked-about option is Rep. Mike Coffman, but who knows whether he will run? Republicans will find someone, but, as 2010 proved, they will need someone better than Ken Buck to beat Bennet.

She didn’t destroy the movie she blamed.

Now that the public knows Hillary Clinton destroyed all the emails on her secret server — her lawyer told the House Benghazi Select Committee that there’s nothing left to search — a question remains: Did Clinton destroy documents that were under subpoena from Congress?

The answer is more complex than it might seem. There’s no doubt Clinton withheld information that Congress demanded she turn over, and some Republicans believe the documents she destroyed were covered under a subpoena as well. But a look at the story behind the subpoena and other document requests from congressional Benghazi investigators is a tale of obstruction, delay and frustration that underscores the limits of Congress’ power to investigate Benghazi. Clinton and her aides had the means to make life very difficult for Republicans trying to learn the full story of the attacks in Libya, and they did just that.

Except she gets a lot less press.

Hillary: The Democrats’ Nixon

She’s secretive, scandal-plagued, and seemingly inevitable. Ever since Hillary Clinton’s e-mail scandal broke earlier this month, comparisons between her secretive style and that of Richard Nixon, whom she ironically pursued as a young lawyer on the House impeachment committee, have been frequent. But with Friday’s revelation that she wiped her private e-mail server clean after her records were requested by the State Department last year, the comparisons are becoming more concrete. Washington wags note that even Nixon never destroyed the tapes, but Hillary has permanently erased her e-mails.

Impossible to know all the laws.

When lawmakers don’t even know how many laws exist, how can citizens be expected to follow them?

What’s ‘the line’ on this one?

NLRB to weigh in on high-stakes McDonald’s labor dispute

Ouch! …. (few states are more deserving)

Md. might owe federal government millions for health-care exchange, audit finds

Graphene – finally a commercial product.

The light bulb was developed by a Canadian-financed company called Graphene Lighting – one of whose directors is Prof Colin Bailey, deputy vice-chancellor at the University of Manchester.

It is expected to be priced lower than some LED bulbs, which can cost about £15 each.

Based on traditional light bulb design, the use of graphene allows it to conduct electricity and heat more effectively.

Prof Bailey told the BBC: “The graphene light bulb will use less energy. We expect it to last longer. The manufacturing costs are lower and it uses more and more sustainable components.”

I would think that it would be hard to live this way.

A look back at some of the more colorful episodes involving America’s most shameless first family.

The (computer) science is settled. – Although, in this case, by a lawyer.

Hillary Wiped Email Server Clean; All Emails Erased, Lawyer Says

I like the Cummings comment half way through.

So who’s anti-science?

The Pope’s Planetologists

Doing science at the Vatican Observatory

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