Quick Takes: Which Foundation is the Real Deal?

* David Cay Johnston looks at the level of giving, impact and transparency to tell us the tale of two charities.

All of the $1.2 million the Donald J. Trump Charitable Foundation had at the end of 2014 came from vendors who do business with Trump. The foundation tax returns show only minor gifts by Trump since 2001 and none since 2008 when he gave $30,000, pocket change for someone who claims to be worth $10 billion…

Since 2001 the Clintons have given $23.2 million to charity, their income tax returns reveal…

The Trump Foundation shows mostly small gifts, from $1,000 to $25,000. The three largest grants it made in 2014, its latest tax filing shows, all had an element of self-interest…

At least 11 million people are breathing as this is written because of the Clintons’ charitable endeavors, which increased the number of poor people overseas getting life-sustaining drugs to suppress HIV from about 250,000 to nearly 12 million…

There is no audited financial statement at the Trump websites for the Trump Foundation or any of the charity watchdogs.

The Clinton Foundation’s audited financial statements and amendments are all online at its website.

* Here is some news that is not likely to break through the election coverage:

The graffiti that appeared on a wall near the mosque in Mosul where the Islamic State leader declared his caliphate two years ago was a small but symbolic act of rebellion.

The spray-painted letter “m” — for the Arabic word “mukawama,” meaning resistance — was part of a campaign by Kitaeb al-Mosul, an underground opposition group in the northern Iraqi city that released a video detailing their efforts this month.

The Islamic State reacted with swift brutality, executing three young men it accused of being involved. The militants released their own video showing the men kneeling in orange jumpsuits before being shot in the head. The letter “m” was sprayed on the wall behind them, a reference to their alleged crime. A spray can lay on the ground beside them, surrounded by blood.

In recent months, the Islamic State has carried out more arrests and executions such as these in a sign of desperation as it faces the prospect of losing Mosul, according to reports from inside the city.

* In a must-read article, Jonathan Cohn takes a deep dive into the history and aspirations of Hillary Clinton’s policy shop.

Clinton’s policy operation has churned out more than 60 papers outlining plans for everything from housing for people with serious mental illness to adjusting the cap on loans from the Small Business Administration. The agenda includes extremely big items, like a promise to ensure no family pays more than 10 percent of income on child care, and extremely small ones, like investing in smartphone applications that would make it easier for military families living in remote locations to receive services available only on bases.

Some of these ideas are more fleshed-out than others. The childcare plan, for example, is missing crucial details, like a price tag. And because the multitude of initiatives doesn’t cohere under a galvanizing theme, the whole of the agenda can seem like less than the sum of its many, many parts. Even so, Clinton’s plans are as unambiguously progressive as any from a Democratic nominee in modern history—and almost nobody seems to have noticed.

* The Obama administration made another big announcement today.

President Obama took another major step to address the threat of climate change by signing a Presidential Memorandum requiring the federal government to fully consider the impacts of climate change in the development and implementation of all national security policies and plans. First, the President’s memorandum directs 20 agencies from across the government to establish a dedicated working group to identify the U.S. national security priorities related to climate change. Second, it instructs these agencies to develop a Climate Change and National Security Action Plan outlining how they’ll develop and share information on these risks. Third, it directs each agency to develop strategies to address climate-related threats, from impacts on our economy to our food security to the flow of migrants and refugees. The system this memorandum puts into place will ensure that data and insights from climate science become a meaningful component of national security policymaking.

* There seemed to be something missing from the Trump/Hannity town hall on African American concerns yesterday. Hmmm…help me figure out what that was.

* Yes, Hillary Clinton repeated what Barack Obama did to appeal to millennials. She appeared on “Between Two Ferns” with Zach Galifianakis.

* Finally, when I watched this video I thought of the time people tried to dismiss children from gathering around Jesus. He rejected that idea and said, “for such is the kingdom of heaven.” Grab a kleenex and watch Alex share some wisdom.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly. Follow her on Twitter @Smartypants60 .