Tag Archives: Clinton Foundation

That darn public domain is tough to shake loose

Oops!

I feel compelled to borrow the famous line from the 2012 Republican presidential primary from then-Texas Gov. Rick Perry who famously suffered the brain freeze while trying to name the three agencies he would terminate were he elected president.

It now applies to something that 2016 presidential candidate Donald Trump said about a foundation run by Bill and Hillary Clinton. He called the Clinton Foundation the “most corrupt enterprise in political history.”

Oh, brother. Now this comes forward.

The Trump Foundation has been shut down because of a “shocking pattern of illegality.”

The Trump outfit was collecting money to service Donald Trump’s myriad “business and political interests.”

I now shall ask: Does this make the Trump Foundation the most corrupt enterprise in political history?

Oh, probably not the “most corrupt.” It does seem to be pretty damn corrupt nonetheless. It’s corrupt enough for the New York attorney general, Barbara Underwood, to order it shut down . . . immediately!

Let’s wait for the president to respond to this latest embarrassment. It ought to be a doozy.

Wealth an issue in this run for the White House

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One candidate for the U.S. presidency, the Republican, keeps harping on his “fabulous” wealth.

Donald J. Trump likes to boast about all the dough he has made in business, erecting tall buildings and getting his name slapped on the sides of them. It’s that boasting and braggadocio that make the release of his income tax returns a campaign issue … that and the questions about whether he’s paying his fair share of taxes and with which foreign governments he’s been doing business.

Democratic nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton, on the other hand, has said a number of other things about her wealth. She has claimed to have been “dead broke” when she and her husband exited the White House in January 2001.Then she said she isn’t “truly well off.”

Not 'truly well off,' Mme. Secretary?

She’s pretty damn “well off” now. Collecting six-figure speaking fees every time she or her husband, the former president, stands before a microphone adds up quickly.

Now, am I as concerned about her wealth as I am about Trump’s stubborn refusal to release his tax returns? Not at all.

Hillary and Bill Clinton have released their returns. The public has seen where and how they have acquired their wealth. They haven’t enriched themselves through the Clinton Foundation or the Clinton Global Initiative.

Yes, the “dead broke” statement was troubling. You know and I know she and her husband weren’t “dead broke” in the way many Americans understand the meaning of the term. Heck, they were able to secure financing to purchase a high-end home after they left the White House; lenders don’t dole out money to those who are “dead broke,” if you know what I mean.

However, her financial portfolio is an open book. Hillary Clinton’s role in the various works of the foundation and the CGI have been scrutinized to the nth degree.

Trump, on the other hand, remains a man of mystery regarding his supposedly vast holdings.

He keeps bragging about them. In public. For all to hear.

Inquiring minds want to know the truth behind the bluster.

Clinton Foundation needs to end certain practices … now!

clintons

Hillary Rodham Clinton has been accused — although not formally — during her during her entire public life of just about every possible crime imaginable.

Even murder!

They are bogus, phony and meant only to smear her and her husband. They come from those who hate them both.

A situation exists, though, that needs the Democratic presidential nominee’s immediate attention. The New York Times editorial board has come up with a reasonable solution, not that it will stop the critics from piling on.

It involves the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation, which Bill Clinton founded in 2001 to help raise money for his presidential library in Little Rock, Ark. It has become, of course, much larger than that.

Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign has forced her to make some pledges, such as refusing to take money from foreign governments. She did so, with some exceptions.

The Times has suggested that the foundation cease at this moment taking money from any foreign government, period, for as long as Hillary Clinton is a candidate for president and certainly while she serves as president if she is elected in November.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/30/opinion/cutting-ties-to-the-clinton-foundation.html?ref=opinion&_r=1

I do not believe Hillary Clinton has broken any laws. Nor do I believe she fits the epithets being hurled at her, particularly by her Republican campaign foe, Donald J. Trump. However, this foundation has created many more problems for her than she might have imagined.

The Times also suggests that if she’s elected, her husband and daughter need to remove themselves completely from any day-to-day operations at the foundation, leaving all administrative matters to others.

The Clintons’ foundation has done tremendous work around the world and it ought to continue.

It can continue raising money and spending it on valuable medical research without the Clintons’ involvement.

Would any of this quell the critics? No. It would, though, send the message that the candidate has heard the concerns — and the criticism — and it willing to provide transparency and accountability to those who are demanding them both.

Campaign becomes ‘race war of attrition’

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Donald Trump calls Hillary Clinton a “bigot.”

Clinton says Trump’s campaign is being fueled by white supremacists.

Back and forth they are going. Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, says his Democratic opponent, Clinton, is the enemy of black Americans.

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/08/trump-clinton-bigotry-fight-227443

Is this what we — the voters — are going to get from now until Election Day?

I do hope the campaign can evolve into something a bit more edifying and educational.

I remain befuddled by Trump’s immigration policy … his softening and then re-hardening of his plan to deport undocumented immigrants.

What’s more, I also am equally befuddled as to how Clinton is going to explain whether foreign governments have sought favors from her by their huge donations to the Clinton Foundation and/or the Clinton Global Initiative.

This week, though, the candidates are exchanging rhetorical artillery fire over who between them is more of a bigot.

Is there any reason to doubt just why public opinion surveys indicate such a low opinion of these two major-party candidates for president?

Trump finds an old nemesis: the media

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Donald J. Trump is not known for his self-awareness or for an ability to look inward.

He likes to assess blame everywhere else, even where no reason exists to assess such blame.

The Republican presidential nominee has launched another tweet storm in which he blames — get ready for it — the media for his collapsing poll numbers.

There you go. Blame the media.

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/08/trump-on-nyt-their-reporting-is-fiction-226988

It’s a time-honored dodge that politicians use on occasion whenever they seek to divert attention from the real problem at hand — which usually happens to be the message they’re peddling.

He said the media are giving Democratic nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton political cover. Trump said the media don’t cover his rallies in an appropriate fashion. He said the media are distorting his message.

It’s the alleged Clinton-Mainstream Media alliance that I find most interesting.

I guess Trump hasn’t read much about the coverage the media have been giving to — in no particular order:

Benghazi, the e-mail controversy, the Clinton Foundation, the Clinton Global Initiative, her husband’s dalliance when he was president, the Whitewater real estate probe, her reluctance to meet with the press regularly, her own negative poll numbers, the public perception that Clinton isn’t “trustworthy.”

So now he’s suggesting the media are to blame because his own poll numbers are plummeting and that he cannot seem find a message — let alone stay on one?

The word “delusional” comes to mind.

Clinton needs to do more of this: answer questions

Hillary Clinton has been keeping a low profile of late, steering clear of nosy reporters whose job is to inform the public about the men and women who seek to lead the powerful nation in the world.

But she relented — finally — to reporters’ curiosity about a number of issues that have dogged the presidential candidate of late.

She spent time answering questions, jousting on occasion.

There must be much more of this as Clinton’s campaign continues to develop.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2015/05/20/reporters_press_clinton_on_25m_speaker_fees_emails.html

Clinton’s Republican foes have chided her for her absence in front of reporters. They have needled her because she’s answered so few questions relating to private emails, her enormous speaking fees, her participation in the Clinton Foundation — all these matters that speak to a number of questions people have about the Democratic Party candidate.

It goes with the territory, which Clinton surely knows already.

She spent eight years as first lady, six years as a U.S. senator and four years as secretary of state. Every one of those posts requires accessibility for the media, which act as the agents for the public.

Alex Semindinger writes for RealClearPolitics: “The former secretary of state is a practiced communicator. Most of what she told the scrum of national media echoed what she’s said before. Nevertheless, her words ricocheted through social media and cable television in an instant, revisiting subjects she’s strained to bury.”

Clinton needs to toss the shovel aside and stop seeking to bury these issues. They’re out there and she needs to explain herself.

 

Now it's Stephanopoulos on the block

What gives with media superstars who keep making serious professional “mistakes”?

Brian Williams fibs about being shot down during the Iraq War and he gets suspended by NBC News.

Bill O’Reilly fibs about “covering” the Falklands War while reporting from a safe distance … but he’s still on the job at Fox.

Now it’s George Stephanopoulos giving 75 grand to the Clinton Foundation and then failing to report it to his employers or to his ABC News viewers.

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/05/the-great-stephanopoulos-mess-117971.html?ml=po&cmpid=sf#.VVjyylLbKt9

ABC calls it an honest mistake. It’s standing by the “Good Morning America” co-host and moderator of “This Week.”

It’s been known for 20 years that Stephanopoulos was an avid supporter of Bill and Hillary Clinton. He worked in the Clinton White House as a senior political adviser. Then he made the switch to broadcast journalism and by most accounts — yes, some conservatives haven’t been so charitable — he’s done a credible job.

Why did he give to the Clinton Foundation — with one of its principals, Hillary Clinton, running for president? He said he’s deeply interested in two issues the foundation supports: the fight against deforestation and HIV/AIDS.

OK, fine. Has he not heard of, say, Greenpeace and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation who fund efforts to fight those very causes? If he was interested more in the causes and less in the people who champion them, then he could have given to any number of reputable foundations to carry on those battles.

He didn’t. Now his reputation as a journalist has been called into serious — and legitimate — question.

Stephanopoulos isn’t the first political hired hand to make the transition to TV news. Diane Sawyer once wrote speeches for President Nixon and the late Tim Russert once was a key aide to New York Gov. Mario Cuomo. They made the switch. Others have gone into political commentary after working for partisan pols — or themselves been politicians — on both sides of the aisle.

None of them, though, gave large sums of money to overtly political foundations while working as journalists or pundits or commentators.

George Stephanopoulos has created a huge mess for himself — and for his colleagues.

Step aside, George Stephanopoulos

I hope it doesn’t come to this, that the Republican National Committee forces George Stephanopoulos to do the right thing.

My hope is that he does it himself.

http://thefederalist.com/2015/05/14/the-rnc-should-ban-george-stephanopoulos-from-participating-in-2016-debates/

Stephanopoulos, host of the ABC-TV weekend news-talk show “This Week,” has revealed that he gave $50,000 to the Clinton Foundation. Hillary Rodham Clinton, of course, is running for president of the United States. Stephanopoulos’s credibility as an impartial journalist has been compromised beyond repair and he must not cover any aspect of the political campaign that’s beginning to unfold.

He didn’t reveal the donation until he was forced to do so by conservative media organizations.

This doesn’t look good for someone I’ve always trusted to be impartial — and bipartisan — in his questioning of political figures.

His contribution to the Clinton Foundation ties him directly — and monetarily — to the Democrats’ leading presidential candidate. He cannot possibly be seen as a neutral participant in any debate involving Hillary Clinton.

Surely he knows that. Just as surely he knows what he has to do.

 

Perry questions HRC's 'loyalty'

Rick Perry thinks Hillary Clinton’s acceptance of foreign money to the Clinton Foundation — all of which went to earthquake relief in Haiti — gives Americans reason to question her “loyalty.”

To whom? To which country? Well, the former Texas governor — and probable Republican candidate for president in 2016 — isn’t providing any suggestions.

http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/rick-perry-questions-hillary-clinton-loyalty

Perry was among a thundering herd of potential GOP candidates to rake Hillary Clinton over the coals at the just-concluded Conservative Political Action Conference.

The Clinton Foundation accepted $500,000 from Algeria right after an earthquake devastated Haiti. The foundation has raised tens of millions of dollars to aid the Haitians. The Algerian contribution went directly to relieve the victims of the quake.

Perry, though, wonders if that kind of foreign cash makes her more, um, loyal to the giver of the funds than — hmm — to her own country?

MSNBC.com reported: “The foundation acknowledged they should have alerted officials about the donation from the country.

“’As the Clinton Foundation did with all donations it received for earthquake relief, the entire amount of Algeria’s contribution was distributed as aid in Haiti,’ the statement said. ‘This donation was disclosed publicly on the Clinton Foundation website, however, the State Department should have also been formally informed.’

“But Perry said Americans will question this.

“’I’m really concerned that – not just going forward — but what has been received at the Clinton Foundation over the course of the years and how that affects this individual’s judgment,’ Perry said.”

I’m trying to connect those dots, but I’m trouble here.

Money given for disaster relief and is administered through an independent non-profit foundation somehow is supposed to cast doubt on the judgment of a presidential candidate? That’s how it goes?

As Denzel Washington said in the film “Philadelphia”: Explain that one to me as if I’m a 5-year-old.