Everyone who is trashing the shit out of Hillary Clinton because of the Clinton Foundation should be ashamed of themselves. Seriously ashamed. However, the progressives who are implying that the Clinton Foundation is little more than a honey pot for the Clintons are demonstrating way too much ignorance. This is another right wing swiftboating and too many of you are falling for it.
Do you know why you think you know so much about the Clinton Foundation? That is due to the fact that the Clinton Foundation, when it was founded in 2001, made a conscious decision to be completely and absolutely transparent about the money they take in and everything they do. They didn’t have to. Under the rules for non-profit foundations, it is not necessary to list every single donor to the organization and it is not necessary to list the amounts they give or what the money they spend goes to. But the Clintons, for all of the vitriol being leveled against them, decided to let everyone know what they were doing. Once again, despite the constant attacks, they usually tend to do the right thing.
And what we know, based on the “journalists” who have been poring over every detail of these disclosures because they can, is that not a single member of the Clinton family has personally benefitted from their Foundation. That right there makes it almost impossible to claim some sort of corruption, which was the intent when they decided on full transparency. While many moronic pundits and others, including the leader of the current GOP, Donald Trump and even some Bernie Stans, are suggesting that Hillary is a crook and the Clinton Foundation proves it, actual evidence shows just the opposite.
As Bill Clinton wrote earlier this week, the purpose of the Foundation is “creating opportunities and solving problems faster, better, at lower cost so that more people are empowered to build better futures for themselves, their families and their communities.” As might be expected from a self-described “policy wonk” who seems to like complexity, the Clinton Foundation is a sprawling body, made up of 11 different non-profit groups, each of which works in one of four major issue areas:
- Global health and wellness – Those who are calling for donations to the Clinton Foundation to dry up or worse, for the Foundation to close altogether, should realize that more than 11 million people, including nearly 1 million children, depend on the Clinton Foundation for health care. That includes people with HIV/AIDS, who couldn’t afford their medications without their help.
- Climate change – Those who are calling for Clinton Foundation to scale back are going to end up kneecapping The Clinton Climate Initiative, which fights climate change on a global scale by tailoring scalable projects to local communities and conditions, which is how you best develop innovative real-world models that work to reduce or eliminate emissions in various parts of the world, in which conditions are different. They also engage individuals and communities in other ways designed to mitigate the effects of climate change by showing local communities how to implement tree-based land use and by selling them carbon credits to increase incomes in poor areas. They encourage farmers to adopt recognized responsible land management strategies that both reduce soil erosion and increase soil fertility.
- Economic development – As with climate change, the Clinton Foundation works to develop programs that deal with underserved populations in local communities around the world, providing investment opportunities and wealth building opportunities in areas that have traditionally been neglected. Their programs have helped millions so far work their way out of poverty and helped bring their communities back from despair. If you are going to demand that the Clintons scale back, you are effectively limiting the ability of millions of poor people to lift themselves out of poverty.
- Improving opportunities for girls and women – If you claim to admire Malala Yousafzai (and everyone should – I know I do), then you should know that your demands that the Clinton Foundation scale back to satisfy your sense of “right and wrong,” you should know that millions of girls and women worldwide will be affected. They have developed programs all over the world that empower girls and women by expanding their access to education and training, and by supporting women entrepreneurship.
If you want to know more about this kind of thing, go to their website. As I said, this is easily the most transparent charitable group of all foundations run by former presidents. In fact, their decision to disclose the names of all contributors is even more transparent than the Carter Center, which has been the standard for ex-presidential foundations for a long time. The Carter Center lists all donors, except for small donors. The Clinton Foundation lists everyone.(Source)
Then we read a ridiculous article like the one from the AP yesterday, in which they claim that;
At least 85 of 154 people from private interests who met or had phone conversations scheduled with Clinton while she led the State Department donated to her family charity or pledged commitments to its international programs, according to a review of State Department calendars released so far to The Associated Press. Combined, the 85 donors contributed as much as $156 million. At least 40 donated more than $100,000 each, and 20 gave more than $1 million.
There is just one thing missing from this story; evidence that Hillary did something wrong. Even in the article, they dismiss most of the visits are no more than coincidence and there is no evidence of quid pro quo. If you read nonsense like that and you are quick to judge that something untoward happened, then you are falling for the media’s bait. That’s what they’re hoping for. The first thing you need to ask yourself is, over the course of four years, is 85 visitors a significant number? The second thing is, what were the meetings about? But the third and most important question has to be, is there evidence of any sort of quid pro quo? I met with someone yesterday who is helping to build an organization to find a cure for breast cancer; if they are successful, does that mean I found a cure for breast cancer? I don’t plan on taking credit, but should I?
If someone can find that the Clintons are personally benefiting from donations to the Clinton Foundation, there may be a story here, but until then, there is no story. Even if you accept the weak premise that Hillary Clinton violated the letter of her agreement to not meet with donors to the Clinton Foundation to discuss issues having to do with the Foundation, what was the effect? That more kids received AIDS medications? That more mosquito nets were provided to people in Africa? That more women received an education and were able to pull themselves out of poverty?
Seriously, I’m asking; even if she may have violated the spirit of the agreement on some level, why not look at the effect? If the Clintons are not benefitting personally from their foundation, then where’s the harm? Why is a donation by, say, Saudi Arabia, to an organization that combats discrimination against girls and women, such an evil thing? I once won a bet with a hardcore anti-Semite bigot and made a donation to a major Jewish charity. I never thought of that as “corrupt” before. I suppose I should have?
That the Clinton Foundation will no longer accept foreign contributions if and when Hillary is elected president sounds like it’s a good thing. It sounds as if they are doing the right thing and avoiding the appearance of a “conflict of interest,” but really, is it? Have we become so absurd as a people that we can look at donations to a completely transparent organization that does nothing but good for as many people as somehow corrupt, sans any kind of evidence of wrongdoing?