The Clinton's dubious promise....

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The Clinton's dubious promise....

Post  Swampguy on Mon Aug 29, 2016 2:26 am

Can The Clintons Break Their Addiction?

"No. They cannot."


By: Carl. M. Cannon

Once upon a time, when Bill and Hillary Clinton enjoyed a more modest lifestyle while living in public housing in Little Rock, Ark. (i.e., the governor’s mansion), a former Texas senator named John Tower was nominated to serve as secretary of defense.

Although Tower was highly qualified, problems soon arose. Tower could be difficult with colleagues. He was an unreconstructed Cold War hardliner. He ran after women, it was whispered. He did such things when he drank, and he drank too much.

The twice-divorced nominee didn’t apologize for what critics called his “womanizing.” (“I’m a single man,” he explained. “I do date women. What’s your definition of ‘womanizing’?” But the drinking couldn’t be finessed — the job was too important — although Tower tried. If confirmed, he vowed, he would not consume “beverage alcohol” while heading the Pentagon.

Everyone with an alcoholic family member immediately recognized that this was a man with problems. Drinking was one; denial was another. Tower was acknowledging an issue with liquor, but said he could control it. Fifty-three of his fellow senators disbelieved him, and he was not confirmed.

Twenty-seven years later, in hopes of fending off ethical questions about their $2 billion family foundation, the Clintons are offering the voting public a similar deal: Send us back to the White House and we’ll stop accepting donations from foreign dictators and other sketchy individuals and institutions.

They didn’t exactly phrase it that way, which is understandable. The first person an addict must fool is himself — or herself — so the language of addiction entails euphemism and obfuscation. But this kind of bargaining reveals the underlying pathology, in this case a level of material greed perhaps unmatched in American political history.

Getting filthy rich by holding public office is commonplace, but usually in non-democracies. Any number of foreign potentates have skimmed hundreds of millions of dollars off the top of their nations’ economies by various methods. Most of these kleptocrats are unknown to the average American.

World leaders who become notorious in the U.S. usually do so because they have direct relevance to American public life. Panama strongman Manuel Noriega partnered with traffickers who brought cocaine into Miami. Donald Trump’s pal Vladimir Putin dealt himself into lucrative Russian government-controlled monopolies. The Saudi royal family that the Clinton Foundation treats as a piggy bank takes huge annual “stipends” originating in the kingdom’s oil revenues.

In the 1980s Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos, the first couple of the Philippines, were caught siphoning billions in direct U.S. aid intended to fight communism and poverty, in that order. Marcos and his wife owned Picasso paintings, New York real estate holdings, and expensive jewelry — although what’s best remembered is Imelda’s 3,000 pairs of shoes. When Marcos was finally ousted from power, with a timely shove from the Reagan administration, he was represented by recently resigned Trump adviser Paul Manafort, and apparently planning to funnel millions of dollars into U.S. elections.

This kind of corruption is called “crony capitalism.” It’s an entrenched malady that Bernie Sanders sporadically railed against, but not loud enough to actually hurt the Clintons. No longer the province of Third World tinhorns, it has been practiced by both political parties — and perfected by the Clinton political machine.

Speaking on her own behalf midweek, Hillary Clinton claimed that the foundation did much good in the world. Perhaps, this is so, but it’s a superficial defense. Did the money it raised do more good than if it had been funneled into an existing charitable effort with expertise, a track record and no political agenda — say, the Gates Foundation? Hillary’s case would be easier to make if half the foundation’s budget wasn’t spent on travel and salaries with some of those salaries going to Clinton political aides with no expertise or interest in charity.

It was Charity Navigator, a group that rates nonprofits, not the Republican National Committee, that put the Clinton Foundation on a donor “watch list” after determining that it spends far below the 75 percent benchmark on its stated mission. It was the liberal Sunlight Foundation that concluded that the foundation “operates like a slush fund for the Clintons.”

Moreover, their co-mingling of money, personnel and purpose has an unseemly whiff of gluttony. When the Clinton’s arrived in Washington in 1992, they didn’t own a home. Today, their net worth exceeds $100 million, almost all of it derived from selling books and access — the access coming in the form of obscenely high speaking fees.

Last week, the Associated Press revealed that more than half of private individuals who met with Secretary of State Clinton were Clinton Foundation donors. In damage-control mode, Clinton phoned CNN anchorman Anderson Cooper and said it was “absurd” to think she’d instituted a pay-for-play system at State. Meanwhile, using the predictable Clinton playbook, Democratic Party surrogates and Clinton-friendly journalists have attacked the AP investigative reporters.

Although it seems axiomatic that true liberals would detest crony capitalism, these partisans fancy themselves progressives. Are they hypocrites — or have they simply made a calculation that Trump is worse? Either way, there’s a word in the addiction community for such people. That word is “enablers.”


Swampguy

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