Clinton Foundation Donors Got Access to Secretary of State Clinton

A majority of her non-government visitors coincidentally donated to her nonprofit.

AFP E FACES 12 CLINTONS GOVERNMENT USA NY

A majority of non-government persons granted a meeting with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were donors to the Clinton Foundation.

AP:

More than half the people outside the government who met with Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state gave money – either personally or through companies or groups – to the Clinton Foundation. It’s an extraordinary proportion indicating her possible ethics challenges if elected president.

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.

Donors who were granted time with Clinton included an internationally known economist who asked for her help as the Bangladesh government pressured him to resign from a nonprofit bank he ran; a Wall Street executive who sought Clinton’s help with a visa problem; and Estee Lauder executives who were listed as meeting with Clinton while her department worked with the firm’s corporate charity to counter gender-based violence in South Africa.

The meetings between the Democratic presidential nominee and foundation donors do not appear to violate legal agreements Clinton and former president Bill Clinton signed before she joined the State Department in 2009. But the frequency of the overlaps shows the intermingling of access and donations, and fuels perceptions that giving the foundation money was a price of admission for face time with Clinton. Her calendars and emails released as recently as this week describe scores of contacts she and her top aides had with foundation donors.

In a world where the Republican nominee weren’t a dangerous lunatic, this would be much bigger news.

There’s no evidence that Clinton changed policy in the aftermath of these meetings, which would potentially be a criminal act. But, rather clearly, she used the power of her high government office to entice donors to her family’s foundation. It’s a continuation of the Clinton business model, in which the interests of the not-in-office member of the team reaps tremendous benefits from the station of the in-office member. It’s extremely unseemly and quite often unethical as well.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2016
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. SKI says:

    I think AP has jumped the shark.

    From that article:

    Donors who were granted time with Clinton included an internationally known economist who asked for her help as the Bangladesh government pressured him to resign from a nonprofit bank he ran

    Reality check: This is the “banker”

    Muhammad Yunus (Bengali: মুহাম্মদ ইউনূস; born 28 June 1940) is a Bangladeshi social entrepreneur, banker, economist, and civil society leader who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for founding the Grameen Bank and pioneering the concepts of microcredit and microfinance. These loans are given to entrepreneurs too poor to qualify for traditional bank loans. In 2006, Yunus and the Grameen Bank were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize “for their efforts through microcredit to create economic and social development from below”. The Norwegian Nobel Committee said that “lasting peace cannot be achieved unless large population groups find ways in which to break out of poverty” and that “across cultures and civilizations, Yunus and Grameen Bank have shown that even the poorest of the poor can work to bring about their own development”

    And this is the reason Clinton became involved:

    The allegations against Yunus became political when the government of Bangladesh – led by Sheikh Hasina turned against him and the concept of microfinance, accusing it of “sucking blood from the poor”.[83] Hasina reportedly viewed Yunus as a political rival since Yunus considered creating a political party in 2007.[84] In the book Grameen Social Business Model,[85] its author Rashidul Bari compared the political opposition in Bangladesh by Sheikh Hasina against Yunus as a replay of the conflict between Pope Urban VIII and Galileo Galilei.[86]

    Pope Urban VIII … put 70-year-old Galileo in prison in 1632 for condemning and rejecting Ptolemy’s geocentric model, which was adopted by the early Christian Church. In the same spirit, Sheikh Hasina … who labeled Yunus as a “blood sucker of poor people”—unleashed her propaganda machine (e.g., AMA Muhith) to remove Yunus from Grameen—and used the High Court and Supreme Court to justify her illegal decision. Why did Pope Urban VIII insult the Father of Astronomy? Because Galileo rejected the accepted Christian Church view, that the earth is the center of the universe, and that all other celestial objects orbit around it. Why has Hasina insulted the Father of Microcredit? Because, in 2007, Yunus criticized Hasina, accusing her of corruption.[86]

    The Government announced a review of Grameen Bank activities on 11 January 2011,[87] which is ongoing. In February, several international leaders, such as Mary Robinson, stepped up their defence of Yunus through a number of efforts, including the founding of a formal network of supporters known as “Friends of Grameen”.[88]
    On 15 February 2011, the Finance Minister of Bangladesh, Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, declared that Yunus should “stay away” from Grameen Bank while it is being investigated.[89] On 2 March 2011, Muzammel Huq – a former Bank employee, whom the government had appointed Chairman in January[90] – announced that Yunus had been fired as Managing Director of the Bank.[91] However, Bank General Manager Jannat-E Quanine issued a statement that Yunus was “continuing in his office” pending review of the legal issues surrounding the controversy .[92]
    In March 2011, Yunus petitioned the Bangladesh High Court challenging the legality of the decision by the Bangladeshi Central Bank to remove him as Managing Director of Grameen Bank.[93] The same day, nine elected directors of Grameen Bank filed a second petition.[94] Following Hillary Clinton[citation needed], John Kerry expressed his support to Yunus in a statement on 5 March 2011 and declared that he was “deeply concerned” by this affair. The same day in Bangladesh, thousands of people protested and formed human chains to support Yunus.[95] The High Court hearing on the petitions, was planned for 6 March 2011 but postponed. On 8 March 2011, the Court confirmed Yunus’s dismissal.[96]

    I know that High Broderism and its corollary “both sides are too blame” is a reflective impulse these days but c’mon…

  2. Frank Q. says:

    Huge disclaimer: I’m a dutch, left-wing, Clinton supporter (in the primaries too) and think beating Trump is of huge importance.

    That said, what actually worries me more than the Clinton Foundation stuff is 15,000 more e-mails turning up (I presume these were from the deleted e-mails stack?) and the stories about Clinton telling the FBI that Powell suggested the e-mail setup. I’ve not cared much about all the brouhaha around e-mails (it was a stupid mistake, not reason for indictment), but this is starting to sound close to perjury given that Powell claims her private server use predates his suggestions and the 30,000 e-mails supposedly being of a personal nature. This all mostly worries me not for what it says about Clinton’s ethics but because this election is hers to lose, and I don’t want her to. Can anybody convince me these allegations are nonsense without pooh-poohing them as unimportant?

    I consider her to be a highly intelligent person, why would she make such stupid mistakes such as claiming the 30,000 deleted mails were personal (a few false positives is logical, 15,000 is not) and potentially lying to the FBI about Powell? I can get the Clinton foundation stuff – it’s an error someone that is highly intelligent can make by not compartmentalizing their professional life enough and not caring enough about ethics, have seen enough people do it in other places. But the e-mail stuff is just starting to sound like “ow come on, why would you commit such errors? You’re smarter than that” to me.

  3. SKI says:

    @SKI:
    More on Yanus from the conservative Washington Examiner almost a year ago

    Please note that, again, we have no actual allegation of malfeasance or wrongdoing against Clinton – just allegations of bad optics.

  4. Frank Q. says:

    @SKI: That is for me what’s missing from the AP story: given the Clinton Foundation’s profile nationally and internationally, how likely is it that any given person that gets access to the secretary of state would already be a donor, regardless of the two being linked? Basically, the interesting number is how many % of the kind of people who would seek contact with the State Department during a democratic administration is a Clinton Foundation donor, not the other way around.

  5. SKI says:

    @Frank Q.:

    That said, what actually worries me more than the Clinton Foundation stuff is 15,000 more e-mails turning up (I presume these were from the deleted e-mails stack?) and the stories about Clinton telling the FBI that Powell suggested the e-mail setup. I’ve not cared much about all the brouhaha around e-mails (it was a stupid mistake, not reason for indictment), but this is starting to sound close to perjury given that Powell claims her private server use predates his suggestions and the 30,000 e-mails supposedly being of a personal nature. This all mostly worries me not for what it says about Clinton’s ethics but because this election is hers to lose, and I don’t want her to. Can anybody convince me these allegations are nonsense without pooh-poohing them as unimportant?

    1. you don’t understand what perjury is. Powell did recommend that she do this. That she was already doing it doesn’t change that as being a true fact – and you don’t know what exactly she said opr the context of how she offered the Powell memo.
    2. 30,000 personal emails over 4 years, when you are including all cc’s and receipts and chains and…, is about 20-21 emails a day. That doesn’t sound unreasonable to me. I get more than that and I bet you do too.
    3. The reality is that she should have been more careful about fire-walling the Foundation and its donators when she became SoS but absent actual corruption, of which there are no credible allegations, its a venial sin.

  6. SKI says:

    @Frank Q.: yup.

    And its important tor remember that the Clinton Foundation has done some incredibly important and philanthropic work. Here is a recent outside guide on what they do.

    They have an 88% rate of converting donations to actual charitable work – an “A rating”. To put this in perspective, well run “good” charities are supposed to have at least 75% go to actual programs and services.

    There is no there there.

  7. MarkedMan says:

    Critics keep on tossing around statements about “benefit to the Clintons”. However, these donations were to a charity, they did not benefit the Clintons personally. If someone has evidence that they embezzled the money that would be something else.

    I’d be interested in another number: how many of the people she met with were donors to
    Democratic candidates? Because that is more suspect. And for Rice and Powell, how many Republican donors did they meet with? I suspect in all cases it would be quite high. I remember during the Reagan era there was the Eagles Club (? Might have the name wrong). They actually had a printed pamphlet that outlined which government officials you got access to and how long depending on the amount of your donation. The Dems had something similar. Those types of things are what is really worth investigating, but I’m pretty such an investigation would taint everyone.

    I also wonder if any of the people she met with were for discussions about the charity. SOS’s of both parties are involved with all kinds of groups aside from their government activities. They meet with people from those groups. I don’t think that before Clinton, anyone has made a claim that if a SoS met with such a group it was automatically corrupt.

    If Powell met with people who had donated to say, a charity for homeless vets for which he was on he board, is that de facto corrupt? Or is it only corrupt when Clinton does it?

  8. MarkedMan says:

    Oh and the ridiculous claim that somehow Clinton’s staff didn’t know about what Powell and Rice’s staff did for email before Powell told her? What a load of baloney. The fact is that Powell and his staff used personal email, his successor’s senior staff did (Rice didn’t actually use email (!)), and her successor, Clinton, continued the practice. Are you really claiming that no one at State was aware of the previous policy?

    I suspect Powell is getting nervous that maybe AOL can recover all the emails he claims were permantly lost from his account. And he doesn’t like the idea that he will be dragged through the dirt like Hillary.

  9. stonetools says:

    Here is a 2015 Mother Jones article that adds some context:

    But the foundation funding George H.W. Bush’s library and museum was accepting donations during his son’s presidency—when some contributors, no doubt, had a powerful interest in decisions rendered by the Bush administration. And the foundation that support’s George W. Bush’s library and center is pocketing tens of millions of dollars a year, while W’s brother is seeking to become the third Bush to win the White House. Anyone who wanted to gain favor with the Bush clan while George W. Bush was president could have anonymously donated an unlimited amount of money to his father’s foundation, and now that Jeb Bush is in the hunt, anyone looking to fashion a relationship with the Bushes can contribute millions to either of these Bush foundations and keep that connection a secret.

    Sorts of puts a different spin on things when we know that the Bushes did the same sort of things, eh, James? When the Bushes do it, there are no questions, no investigations, no charges of corruption. But when the Clintons do it….

  10. pylon says:

    Clinton Foundation has 7000 donors. Hillary met with 60 as SoS= ~1%.

    This article is a bit better than your post, sir.

    http://washingtonmonthly.com/2016/08/24/how-the-ap-spun-the-story-about-the-clinton-foundation/

  11. pylon says:

    “But, rather clearly, she used the power of her high government office to entice donors to her family’s foundation. ”

    Or maybe they were impressed with her during the meeting and decided to donate to her Foundation.

    Or maybe they were people who she already knew and would have donated in any event.

    Or maybe they independently thought it would help their own cause, without any prompting.

    Or maybe they are institutional donors who, if you look, donate to a large number of charities and this is just one, so it’s a coincidence.

  12. Hal_10000 says:

    Ah, another day, another revelation about the Clintons, another round of “EveryoneDoesThis ClintonWillBeAGreatPresident ThisWasSoManyYearsAgo AndOMGWhyAreWeStilTalkingAboutThis!!” It’s the standard left wing playbook to revelations about the Clintons.

    I can’t wait to see the defense of the millions the Clintons pulled in from that shady for-profit college. Just wait until I cook up some popcorn.

  13. Guarneri says:

    @Frank Q.:

    You’re in the wrong place. Here it’s defend Clinton all the time at all costs. “It was only some donors.” The hated “Bushs did it too.” “Hey, they, and their army, got filthy rich, but they did some good things too.” Deflect to another’s actions, like Powell. Anything but the plain, simple and straightforward implications of the Clinton’s actions.

    I don’t know what the Dutch call it, but here it’s the willing suspension of disbelief, fairy tale time, or just plain old intellectual dishonesty. Avert you eyes as the commenters French kiss each other all day long while dreaming of French kissing Hillary.

  14. C. Clavin says:

    Look…Cheney had energy people coming in and writing policy. And what happened to him? Bubkis. He was allowed to go on and kill 4000 troops and waste 3 trillion dollars and out a covert operative. And now he’s fly fishing in Wyoming; fat dumb and happy.

    Show me a legislator who doesn’t meet with their donors. And they are using the money directly for themselves; the money isn’t going to worthy causes. The philanthropy watchdog, CharityWatch, gave the Clinton Foundation an “A” rating.

    When you show me that these people are writing policy for Clinton, or having undue influence, then I’ll start to worry.

    In the meantime you’re just stroking your semi-hard CDS. Again.

  15. Rick DeMent says:

    OK here is my problem with this. How is someone donating to a foundation and getting access to a SoS any different then getting access to a politician though a campaign donation? I mean people in this site have breathlessly defended the notion that money = speech precisely on the idea that access to politicians isn’t flat out corruption . If the “optics” are bad for Clinton’s why is it that the “optics” aren’t bad for politicians receiving campaign money from doners who are aligned with corporate business interests pushing agendas that serve those interests.

    I mean for crying out loud int blaten influence peddling and no one gives a damn. But oh boy … the Clintons have a charitable foundation with all of their finances online and transparent, follow all the laws regarding reporting and all of a sudden people act like it’s their personal piggy bank..

    Why is a politician who defends gun rights and also receives money from the NRA (who are in bed with gun manufacturers) or climate denying pols who receive money from fracking interests not “bad optics”? Why is all of this only an “optics” problem when the pol in question has a “D” next to their name?

    For freak sake, politicion take money all the damn time in exchange for access or with serious conflicts of interest (Haliburton and the Bush administration anyone?) .

    I’m sick to death of the double standard. Democrats need to be perfect or else the so called liberal media will start breathlessly whining about “optics” and yet Republicans can get away with just about anything before anyone gives a damn.

    This a is not an “optics” problem this is a hypocrisy problem. The Clinton’s are not “shady” they are effective” and that’s what this is all about. Their foundation has been doing incredible work for 20 years and yes they hang out with rich and influential people from all, around the world who fund those works. So do the Bush’s but even if people scream a the top of their lungs about obvious conflict of interests for them the media just shrugs.

    This is all literally BS.

  16. stonetools says:

    @Hal_10000:

    Actually, it’s another day of people like you having a fit about the Clintons doing something that Republicans routinely do.

    Were you calling for investigations when the Bush family foundation was taking money from secret donors during GWB’s presidency?

    Didn’t think so.

  17. gVOR08 says:

    James, this sort of “scandal” is why people keep saying IOKIYAR.

  18. Facebones says:

    @SKI: Heck, I’ve gotten 30,000 emails from LinkedIn in the last month alone.

  19. Lit3Bolt says:

    Cheney can literally shoot a guy in the face and the press and Republicans give him a pass.

    Scalia and Thomas can have conflicts of interest while on the Supreme Court and basically act like Republican legal hacks, and Republicans and the media shine their shoes.

    Bush can draft-dodge, be connected financially to the Saudis and Charles Keating, and go on vacation for months while a US city drowns, and Republicans and Fox News just drools on his codpiece.

    But I’m supposed to be outraged by Clinton meeting with donors to her charitable international foundation? A charity that will probably do more good than any of us in our entire lives?

    Improperly flagged e-mails and meetings with donors. That’s all you guys have. Yet you can work yourselves up into frothing rages at this stuff, while shrugging at Trump’s racially charged divisive attacks and ignoring Putin’s infiltration of your own party. Trump is actually misappropriating donations to himself as we speak, yet James Joyner has not the slightest interest in Republican corruption or crimes, while the mere appearance of impropriety from the Clintons sends him squirrel-diving to the fainting couch.

  20. Rob says:

    @Hal_10000:

    This appears to be main basis for the Clinton defense:

    “Laureate received no money directly from the U.S. State Department during or after Hillary Clinton’s time as secretary.”

    http://money.cnn.com/2016/08/23/news/clinton-laureate-university/

  21. MarkedMan says:

    In four years Clinton met with people who also donated to a the charity she founded. It was a tiny fraction of the people she met with. James and the rest immediately cease on the “proof of corruption” spew from the right wing BS machine. But I just don’t see what is wrong with this.

    I think it is instructive the one case that James trumpeted as especially egregious (met with a banker that the Bangladesh government didn’t like) turned out to have very legitimate State Department level concerns.

    Look, if someone donates to a charity you run, will they have more success in getting their issues in front of you? Sure. Same if you used to work together at a different company. Or they were in your fraternity/sorority. Or your kids play soccer together. Or you both had the same mentor in another government agency. Or you are a Senator and someone from your hometown requests a meeting. This is reality. Is it “fair”? No. But it’s an unfairness that is based on intrinsic reality, it’s not something that can be avoided. If you know someone they will be able to get your ear. But this isn’t corruption. Corruption depends on what actions you take afterward. If the Bangladeshi banker requested a meeting with the Bangladesh mission head and got it, great. But if that banker asked Clinton to make a call to the CIA and… (I can’t think of anything. Something nefarious), then that would be corruption. But the idea that simply listening to people she knows is in itself corrupt is stupid and juvenile.

    James, you work for the government. Did you ever meet an old friend in the office? Or a former student who wanted advice? Or did a former professor ever recommend you meet with someone? Or an author you admired? Is that corruption? Of course not. If that former student asked you to do something illegal or unethical and you did it, then you would have something. Until then, it’s just a person you met with.

    And don’t give me that “optics” BS. Optics is what people say when they haven’t found anything actually wrong.

  22. Facebones says:

    There’s no evidence that Clinton changed policy in the aftermath of these meetings, which would potentially be a criminal act.

    Well, that’s good to know! Case closed!

    But…

    Oh, there it is! The Clinton Rules come out. Any hint of impropriety by a Clinton must therefore be treated as the Next Watergate, even after proven otherwise.

  23. MarkedMan says:

    @Lit3Bolt:

    Yet you can work yourselves up into frothing rages at this stuff, while shrugging at Trump’s racially charged divisive attacks and ignoring Putin’s infiltration of your own party.

    That’s not fair. James has stated he’s not voting for Trump. In fact, I don’t believe any of the authors on this site have indicated any support of trump at all.

  24. C. Clavin says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Optics is what people say when they haven’t found anything actually wrong.

    Eggzachary

  25. Pch101 says:

    When dealing with influential people and clients, it is wise to contribute something to their pet projects and/or provide some face time on their behalf. That is true irrespective of whether or not they are in government, and it can make sense to pony up even if you aren’t asked for the contribution.

    That’s not corrupt per se, that’s just how the world works. I would not presume that there is a quid pro quo associated with the payments. Humans do this back scratching thing as they climb and stay on top of the ladder, and what looks dirty to outsiders is simply standard operating procedure in these circles.

  26. stonetools says:

    Tell you what, James. When you, Doug, Hal, et al get behind war crimes trials for Cheney and corruption charges for GWB and when you support congressional investigations into Powell’s email practices, we’ll start listening to your talk about Clinton corruption.

  27. C. Clavin says:

    Our firm does a ton of University work.
    We donate to all those schools.
    The shame of it…

  28. C. Clavin says:

    In the meantime Trump is taking peoples campaign contributions and purchasing his own book with the money, and paying inflated rents for campaign offices in his own building, all in flagrant violation of campaign laws.

  29. Raoul says:

    Just typical- all insinuations. As far as I’m concerned JJ lost all credibility when he lied about saying that foreign governments had hacked Clinton’s emails.

  30. MarkedMan says:

    @C. Clavin: The useful comparison isn’t what Trump does. Trump is a total sleaze ball. (Side note: I lived in New Orleans when David Duke ran against Edwin Edwards and I pulled the lever for Edwards because “vote for the crook, it’s important”. I just realized voting for Trump is like voting for the bad sides of both those candidates. ). The useful comparison is whether people consider this unethical behavior when someone else in an equivalent position does it or only for Clinton.

  31. MarkedMan says:

    Completely tangential: I was a bit surprised by how few non-government people she met with. Is that normal? I know the State department arranges all kinds of trips to specific countries for various US industries. They sponsor all kinds of cultural and educational exchange programs. But maybe those are handled well below the level of SOS and they never have to deal with any of the people involved? Or maybe she is such a wonk that if it isn’t policy related she’s happy to push it off? It would be interesting to see how this compares to other politician/SoS combos like Kerry. Or even just regular SoS.

  32. al-Alameda says:

    THIS:
    Despite his recent criticism of the Clinton Foundation, Donald Trump apparently donated at least $100,000 to the organization, according to a 2009 tax document circulated online Tuesday night and foundation records.
    above … is from the Business Insider website.

    Maybe House Republicans will open another investigation? After all, where there’s smoke, there’s a Republican created fire (aka ‘arson’).

  33. Hal_10000 says:

    @stonetools:

    Were you calling for investigations when the Bush family foundation was taking money from secret donors during GWB’s presidency?.

    Yes.

    “Laureate received no money directly from the U.S. State Department during or after Hillary Clinton’s time as secretary.”

    I didn’t say they did. Their money was mostly from student loans. All I’ve said it’s incredibly slimy to be getting $17 million from a shady for-profit college that’s being sued for providing garbage educations. Are you telling me if Trump had gotten $17 million for a for-profit college, you’d be saying, “Oh well, nothing to see here.” Yeah, pull the other one.

    I really don’t understand this defensiveness. The Clintons are awash in money, power and influence and have been since they left office. Trump’s awfulness does not excuse theirs. “Republicans do it too” is not a defense; it’s excuse-making.

    Every time the Clintons are caught doing something slimy, if not necessarily illegal, we go through the same cycle: 1) Denial (“her serve didn’t break any rules!”); 2) Misdirection (“Colin Powell something something!”; 3) Quibbling (“Well, there were only a few classified e-mails!”; 4) Brazenness (“Ok, but she’s still better than Trump!”; 5) Dismissal (“Why are we still talking about this; it was over years ago!”)

    We’re now stage 2 with the Clinton Foundation and Stage 4 with the e-mail server.

  34. bill says:

    her supporters don’t care how dirty she is, her husband cheated on her……she needs to win to exact revenge, in some sick sort of way.

  35. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    “That was Dr. James Joyner, a noted foreign policy expert, establishing again that ‘Rush is always right’ with his brilliant confirmation of something I’ve been saying about the Clintons before they were the Clintons. Next on the EIB network is Clem from Bugtussle. Greetings and welcome to the EIB network, thank you for waiting.”

    “Megadittoes, Rush…”

  36. SKI says:

    @Hal_10000:

    Every time the Clintons are caught doing something slimy, if not necessarily illegal, we go through the same cycle: 1) Denial (“her serve didn’t break any rules!”); 2) Misdirection (“Colin Powell something something!”; 3) Quibbling (“Well, there were only a few classified e-mails!”; 4) Brazenness (“Ok, but she’s still better than Trump!”; 5) Dismissal (“Why are we still talking about this; it was over years ago!”)

    We’re now stage 2 with the Clinton Foundation and Stage 4 with the e-mail server.

    Ummm, you seem to have skipped right over the point where we are challenging whether anything was “slimy”, let alone illegal. At most, the optics are bad – but that is a political standard not a moral judgment.

  37. Hal_10000 says:

    @SKI:

    Ummm, you seem to have skipped right over the point where we are challenging whether anything was “slimy”, let alone illegal. At most, the optics are bad – but that is a political standard not a moral judgment.

    Yep. I’m sure if Trump were taking six-figure speaking fees from Wall Street, seven figure donations to his foundation and eight figure payouts from for-profit diploma mills, you’d call it “bad optics”.

    That Republicans are demented when it comes to the Clintons does not mean the Clintons don’t do stuff worth getting angry about.

  38. SKI says:

    @Hal_10000:

    Yep. I’m sure if Trump were taking six-figure speaking fees from Wall Street, seven figure donations to his foundation and eight figure payouts from for-profit diploma mills, you’d call it “bad optics”.

    Nope, I wouldn’t even comment on it. The same way I didn’t comment on Mitt Romney’s speaking fees in the post Olympics, pre-presidential run time period.

    The reality is that speakers with prestige and notoriety get big bucks. The issue is whether there is any quid pro quo. And there isn’t any allegation that there was.

    The fake issue with foundation donations is even more ridiculous because the Clinton don’t take a salary from the Foundation and don’t profit from those donations in any way other than seeing “their” foundation be able to do good work. THe only gthing that the Foundation does financially for the Clintons is cover transportation and expenses when they travel on behalf of the Foundations.

    Add in that the Foundation gets a A rating from Charity Watch due in large part to its low level of administrative expenses and your pointing at the donations gets even more detached from reality.

    Where is the inappropriate behavior or conduct? Where is the scandal? This is more handkerchief clutching. There is not there there.

  39. SKI says:

    @Hal_10000:

    That Republicans are demented when it comes to the Clintons does not mean the Clintons don’t do stuff worth getting angry about.

    Explain what I’m supposed to be angry about and why. I don’t see it.

  40. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    While I’m thinking about it, people on the ethically correct and morally unambiguous side of these optics tests should consider adding the phrase “Clinton Crime Family” to their screeds musings. It’ll really punch up the monologue. It might also impress Jenos and JKB, too!

  41. MarkedMan says:

    @Hal_10000:

    Misdirection (“Colin Powell something something!”

    It’s more than that. In the case of the emails Powell did the same thing – used his private email account as his government business account. It’s not misdirection. It’s simply pointing out that hardcore Republicans can see the same action performed by two different people and interpret them in wildly different ways – and literally cannot see their own double standard.

    I’m sure I do it too, but if I’m called out on it I’ll at least try to look in the mirror. (Never a pleasant thing to do for a middle aged guy…)

  42. C. Clavin says:

    @Hal_10000:

    That Republicans are demented when it comes to the Clintons does not mean the Clintons don’t do stuff worth getting angry about.

    I can agree with that.
    It’s a matter of scale…proportional response.

  43. C. Clavin says:

    @bill:

    her supporters don’t care how dirty she is

    First…I would prefer she wasn’t running.
    But doing something every politician does doesn’t make her dirty.
    The folks who have you conned have been investigating her for decades. Is she that clever that she’s getting away with it? Or are you guys just dumb fwckers?

  44. C. Clavin says:

    And by the way…I’d like all the small government zealots to take a good hard look at Central Italy today. Yes regulations, like building codes, can cost money and be a pain in the arse. They also save lives.

  45. stonetools says:

    @Hal_10000:

    If you don’t like people earning speaking fees,that’s your preference. However, it’s legal. Lots of people do it. It only ever seems to be a problem when someone named Clinton does it. I have not seen you (or that matter, James or Doug) write one word against GWB earning millions in speaker fees since he left office. Now you’ve said you’ve criticized the Bush foundation. I don’t remember you ever doing so at OTB ( I remember repeated criticisms of Clinton). Can you provide links to these criticisms of the Bushes? Thanks in advance.

    eight figure payouts from for-profit diploma mills, you’d call it “bad optics”.

    Proof that it’s a diploma mill? The CNN report somehow left that out of its none -too-sympathetic report which nevertheless seems to conclude that Clinton did not actually do anything wrong.
    I guess if Clinton was involved, it must be slimy, amirite?

  46. Hal_10000 says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Look, the Powell excuse was already destroyed by the FBI and by Powell’s own statements. Quit dragging that out. Honestly, you sound like a global warming “skeptic” who keeps dragging out 70’s global cooling no matter how many times it’s debunked. I advise you to just go straight to, “it was so long ago, who cares!”

    Here’s a serious question: if the Clinton scandals are all Republican dementia and invented nonsense, why have we seen nothing like this with Obama? The Republican hatred of Obama is arguably deeper and more demented than their hatred of Clinton. And they’ve tried to pin some stuff on him sure. But they’ve never gotten anywhere with it. The IRS scandal fizzled and ended up focusing on Louis Lerner. The gunwalking scandal fizzled. Benghazi ended up focusing on Clinton (and fizzled). Even the VA scandal fizzled. The most they could come up with from his pre-Presidency days was Jeremiah Wright/Bill ayers which (a) weren’t scandals; (b) no one cared about outside of Fox news. They’ve made a lot of noise and tried to get something going, but we’ve not seen them gain the kind of traction they did with Whitewater or Lewinski. Obama has arguably been the most scandal-free President in four decades. So what has been the difference?

  47. MarkedMan says:

    @SKI:

    Nope, I wouldn’t even comment on it. The same way I didn’t comment on Mitt Romney’s speaking fees in the post Olympics, pre-presidential run time period.

    THIS x 10. I’ve seen Colin Powell’s name on billboards for some all day money making stadium “empowerment” rally along with religious and business leaders. I’ve personally seen George W and Bill Clinton give million dollar speeches at trade shows (Bill’s was amazingly good and interesting, George W’s was, well, I think he was a pretty good president but it was amazing he got elected given his speaking style…). Former government officials sit on the boards of thousands of companies. And they all participate in paid panels sponsored by industry. But only when it is a Clinton is it sleazy.

    As for sleazy people donating to charity, well, you get how a charity works, right? Do you think your church turns down donations because the giver is a sinner? And yes, the Clinton foundation got a big donation from someone who was sleazy and they used that money for educating girls in impoverished countries. OK, since you are saying it was unethical to take the money, please explain further the criteria a charity should use when deciding to take someone’s money. And give examples of charities that regularly vet the morality of their donors before taking the money and do so in a manner you approve.

    Corruption in charity occurs when you skim the money, such as when administration is 95% of the donations. The Clinton foundation is 12%, which is considered very good. There are other ways a charity could be corrupt but no evidence whatsoever has been found that the Clinton Foundation is corrupt.

    Do you think the Gates foundation should give back the money Larry Ellison gave them, or refused it in the first place? Because he’s basically slimy, albeit really smart. And the Gates foundation regularly gets together with governments all over the world and Ellison’s companies have business in front of the those governments worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Maybe he’s buying indirect influence?

  48. Pch101 says:

    @Hal_10000:

    Clinton had an email server for the same reason that Colin Powell used an AOL(!) account: Because State Department IT apparently sucks and isn’t easily fixed.

    Climbers, important people and the wealthy use donations, non-profit work and other face time in order to increase their influence and send the message that they are indeed important people. (This sort of thing is expected of those who achieve these things.) There isn’t necessarily a quid pro quo involved; that’s how things are done in those circles.

    Shaving with Occam’s Razor helps with the stubble. Not everything leads to drama or trauma.

  49. MarkedMan says:

    @Hal_10000:

    Look, the Powell excuse was already destroyed by the FBI and by Powell’s own statements. Quit dragging that out

    How was that “excuse already destroyed”? Powell used his personal email, just as Clinton did. Rice didn’t use email but her senior staffers used their personal email. That’s a fact.

    why have we seen nothing like this with Obama?

    That’s a really interesting question. IMHO, it’s because the narrative surrounding Clinton is that she is the devil, so anything is everything when it comes to what runs in the news media and the political websites. The narrative around Obama is that he is cool, distant, level headed, so the stories that pop up don’t get much traction in the main stream press, although per Fox news and the right wing web sites he is the worst president we’ve every had.

    Aside from Clinton there are several other politicians that I think got unfair narratives they couldn’t shake in the mainstream media. Gerald Ford – inept. John McCain – corrupt (the Keating 5 (7?) , although he eventually did shake that, as the mainstream media replaced it with violent and unhinged). Al Gore – serial exaggerator. John Kerry – phony war hero. The public is more likely to tune into a story that reinforces a pre-existing narrative, which means the press is more likely to focus on it. And once someone is branded this way they may never get out of it.

  50. David M says:

    People pushing this story should be embarrassed, and the original post should honestly be retracted.

    http://www.vox.com/2016/8/24/12618446/ap-clinton-foundation-meeting

    Moderate Republicans like to complain about overreach by the Trump and Breitbart crowd, but they are no different.

  51. C. Clavin says:

    Here’s a good review of this whole thing.
    http://www.salon.com/2016/08/24/playing-into-the-rights-trap-the-media-is-all-too-quick-to-go-chasing-phony-clinton-scandals/
    And if I’m not wrong, they call James a goldfish with a head-injury.

  52. C. Clavin says:

    Here’s another pretty thorough take-down of James’ CDS.
    http://www.vox.com/2016/8/24/12618446/ap-clinton-foundation-meeting

  53. Hal_10000 says:

    @MarkedMan:

    How was that “excuse already destroyed”? Powell used his personal email, just as Clinton did. Rice didn’t use email but her senior staffers used their personal email. That’s a fact

    It’s also a fact that Clinton had her own unsecured e-mail server over which classified info was sent after the State Department had updated its communications policies. Even the Fact Checkers are calling the Powell excuse manure.

  54. Hal_10000 says:

    You can always count on Vox to come up with the least convincing defense of the Clintons. “She met with lots of people from other governments and our own government” misses the entire point. And “they only looked at a part of her schedule” elides the problem that parts of Clinton’s SoS schedules have never been released. Really, the whole thing is a wrapper for the Clinton campaign’s response. Might as well just link that directly and not pretend to be objective.

  55. stonetools says:

    @Hal_10000:

    ere’s a serious question: if the Clinton scandals are all Republican dementia and invented nonsense, why have we seen nothing like this with Obama?

    First of all of not all of it was invented nonsense. Bill Clinton really was a serial adulterer. Obama was personally more abstemious than Bill Clinton, and that’s true. It also seems that Obama had more of an arms-length relationship with the rich and powerful.
    However, the Republicans had a simpler and more direct away to attack Obama. They attacked his race and ancestry. As a result, almost half of all Republican voters believe that Obama is an illegitimate President who faked his birth records and was really born in Kenya. Even more believe that he is a seekret Muslim who may be in league with al-Queda. Because the Republicans could attack him directly on race , they did less of the “fake personal scandal” approach.
    Now, the Republican attack on Obama didn’t work for you. But the result is the same: the de-legitimization of the Democratic President .In terms of the result, the Republican attack on Obama may have been more successful in political terms than their campaign against the Clinton.

  56. SKI says:

    @Hal_10000:

    “She met with lots of people from other governments and our own government” misses the entire point.

    YOu don’t think that eviscerates the AP’s claim that the 84 encounters with CF donors equates to more than 50% of all Clinton’s Secretary of State meetings and phones calls?

    In reality, it was less than 1% of all here meetings, not more than 50%. You don’t see a difference?

    Sounds like you are the one not being objective.

  57. SKI says:

    @Hal_10000:

    “She met with lots of people from other governments and our own government” misses the entire point.

    YOu don’t think that eviscerates the AP’s claim that the 84 encounters with CF donors equates to more than 50% of all Clinton’s Secretary of State meetings and phones calls?

    In reality, it was less than 1% of all here meetings, not more than 50%. You don’t see a difference?

    Sounds like you are the one not being objective.

  58. stonetools says:

    @Hal_10000:

    As to Kessler’s Pinocchio nonsense, he bases it solely on the personal server/commercial email account distinction. That’s a big distinction-to a non-tech person,

    Security wise there is no difference between Clinton’s and Powell’s misconduct and anyone who knows anything about email security knows that.

  59. Thor thormussen says:

    This is a good example for James to learn about how ideology biases facts and skepticism.

    There’s nothing there.

  60. Thor thormussen says:

    Hillary, or her people, had contacts with, but apparently didn’t give any significant favor to, a handful of people who donated money to her charity.

    And James considers this evidence of horrible, sleazy corruption.

    That is sad.

  61. Steve V says:

    @Hal_10000: I concur with others that I don’t care how much any politician of any party makes in speaking fees or who they’re speaking to. I honestly don’t understand the hype on that issue.

    The diploma mill thing sounds genuinely concerning, but I don’t know enough about it.

    I’m just trying to figure out the current kerfuffle. Your response to the question about the Bush foundation shows integrity, and I commend that. Would your response be the same if every Republican you’ve ever supported and respected did the same thing? I think there’s a good chance they did (as did every other Democrat), but that’s what I’m trying to get my arms around.

    BTW there are a lot of knee-jerk responses on both sides. Some people on the left assume that Ginny and Clarence Thomas are running some kind of a racket just because of headline-level info about her job. Me, I’m withholding judgment about that until I hear something more meaningful, as I imagine many of the other liberal commenters here are too. But there’s an inclination to immediately assume nefariousness just because they’re on the other side politically, I can’t deny that.

    BTW, your “stages of Clinton scandal” list sounds just as much an attempt to block out any defense of the Clintons as an accurate characterization of their supporters (although it might be that too). You have to admit, many scandals tied to the Clintons tend to start out with explosive headlines and then turn out to be much less than advertised on inspection. This doesn’t mean they’re 100% ethical and clean, it just means it’s a good idea to wait until the dust settles.

    One more thing that I think adds context: Clinton has had, what, 60,000 emails or something produced and pored over publicly? That strikes me as an incredible amount of information and a very large, wide-open window into her activities as SOS. The scrutiny strikes me as greater than that given to any other public figure I can think of. Anyway.

    One more thing: There are now two “Powell excuses.” The first Powell excuse, “Powell did it too,” is widely viewed as dead, I think (although some commenters here might still like to bring it out every once in a while for various purposes). The second one is “Powell advised me to do it.” That’s a different Powell excuse and I really don’t think it means much of anything. If Hillary was relying heavily on that as an “excuse,” she would have trotted it out publicly months ago. Since she didn’t, I think it’s just part of the story (that probably happened) and doesn’t really mean too much.

  62. Steve V says:

    Let me just add: I am not Steve Verdon. Thank you.

  63. john430 says:

    Let’s not leave the details out, lefties…The Bahraini government and a few Bahrainis give the Clinton Foundation a bundle of cash and then they magically get a huge U.S. arms shipment shortly thereafter. It is illegal to accept money from those who have a pending business deal with the government.

  64. SKI says:

    @Steve V:

    The diploma mill thing sounds genuinely concerning, but I don’t know enough about it.

    Short version: Laureate Education, an organization accused of being a diploma mill, paid Bill Clinton about $16.5 Million and he served as a Board member for them before HRC ran for President. Bill’s relationship did not stop HRC from attaching the industry as unethical during her campaign.

    Accurate version: Large payments to WJC had no impact on HRC’s public policy position.

    Again, there is no there there. If anything, it makes HRC look good.

  65. SKI says:

    @john430: link?

    Both because you have no personal credibility left and the news reports a quick google show indicate that while the CF did coordinate a meeting with HRC and the Bahrani prince, it had (a) nothing to do with any arms deal and (b) the $32 Million wasn’t donations to CF but were pledges to a charity that CGI has highlighted but to which it had no control over and one which promoted readership INSIDE BAHRAIN !!! I know, shocking that the Bahraini Crown Prince would pledge money to a charitable endeavor in Bahrain…

    Seriously, if these are the worst examples that can be found by pouring through thousands of emails, this is amazingly clean…

  66. David M says:

    I’m pretty sure arms sales to Bahrain are something that isn’t unique to when Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State. Especially since they were announced as a major non nato ally by Bush in 2002. Also seems like the crown prince should have been able to meet with the Secretary of State, so what exactly is the problem here, besides CDS and IOKIYAR?

  67. Rafer Janders says:

    @john430:

    The Bahraini government and a few Bahrainis give the Clinton Foundation a bundle of cash and then they magically get a huge U.S. arms shipment shortly thereafter

    What the…? Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and every other Gulf State gets regular and frequent huge US arms shipments and have been since the 1970s. They got them, and still get them, under Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Clinton, Bush and now Obama. It would only be news if Bahrain somehow DIDN’T get a huge US arms shipment. You can’t point to something that has gone on for decades, then point to one contribution a few years back, and then claim the contribution caused the decades old pattern. That’s complete nonsense.

  68. Pch101 says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    Well, the US did suspend arms sales to Bahrain for four years beginning in 2011…while Hillary Clinton was with the State Department.

  69. SKI says:

    @Pch101: DOH!

    So to summarize, (a) the big Bahraini donations weren’t to the Clinton Foundation but a pledge to a Bahraini charity the Clinton Global Initiative highlighted, (b) arm sales to Bahrain were a long-standing US practice long pre-dating Clinton’s tenure as SoS and (c) during Clinton’s tenure, we actually stopped such arms deals a year after the big “donation”.

    Could our resident right wing troll have any more egg on his face?

  70. C. Clavin says:

    @john430:
    Well…everyone else pointed it out for me…you are dumb.

  71. Pch101 says:

    It should probably also be noted that the US has had a military base in Bahrain since it became independent from Britain in 1971, and that it had a presence there decades before that. This relationship is nothing new.

    Here’s a 2007 article that describes the George W. Bush administration program to sell arms to Bahrain and other Middle Eastern countries. (I suppose that we should find a way to blame Obama for that…)

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/27/AR2007072702454.html

    It’s not as if the US decided while Clinton was Secretary of State that it was suddenly cool to give them guns and stuff. Some folks need to do their homework prior to making comments.

  72. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @john430: It’s illegal for charities to take money from people who have business pending with the Government? Does that mean that I need to stop my charitable giving? I have business pending with the Federal Government in that I haven’t filed my taxes for 2016 yet. “Enquiring minds want to know!”

  73. Thor thormussen says:

    And now the AP is doing damage control.

    The AP’s defense of its bad Clinton Foundation story is also bad

    Seriously, James, have a drink, take a deep breath, and learn something from this.

  74. MarkedMan says:

    @Thor thormussen: This about sums it up (from your link):

    The AP reported, with much heavy breathing and insinuation, about Clinton holding meetings as secretary of state with people who had also donated money to the Clinton Foundation. It did not, however, appear to uncover anything at all improper resulting from these meetings. And it used to some questionable math to make the meetings seem much more common than they were.

    Once again the sane Republicans found the smoking gun that showed that Clinton was the devil they all knew her to be. And once again once the details come out we see there is no there there.

  75. Rafer Janders says:

    @john430:

    It is illegal to accept money from those who have a pending business deal with the government.

    No, it is not. What complete nonsense. So it’s illegal for a charity to accept money from Boeing, Honeywell, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, AT&T, Verizon, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Apple, Microsoft, IBM, GE, Delta, and every other business which has a pending deal with the government?

    You’re just a sad, silly little stupid liar.

  76. the Q says:

    Wow, you all sound like the wingnuts defending W’s Iraq war by pointing out that Kerry, Clinton, Biden etc all voted for the war, therefore its a good thing. Or, the other argument that the GOP does play for pay all the time so why jump on Hillary’s behavior. Pathetic.

    You all should be ashamed of yourselves. Hillary and Bill are corrupt hillbilly grifters and the more its pointed out, the more shrill is your defense.

    This country could have had its first Dem Socialist elected in your lifetime boomers/millennials but instead the party went for the human cash machines. The biiitch won’t turn over her transcripts, hides her emails, employs a chief of staff who is also on the payroll of doug band’s consultancy company as well as the CGI and not one of you thinks this smells to high heaven? You loons are just as blinded as the idiot wingnuts over Cheney and Bush and Iraq.

    It used to be the GOP was insane, now, unfortunately, many Dem libs are following suit.

    Its like a guy has a knife in his hand, standing over a dead bloody body, but you can’t prove anything since no one saw him actually do the knifing.

    And thats how absurd some of you sound when you say “well, you can’t prove she did anything for them”. What utter balderdash.

    Can you imagine if this was Rumsfeld doing something like this, he would have hell to pay and rightly so from liberals decrying the corruption, but when the Queen B does it, its OK. And SKI is the worst of the worst with his two wrongs make a right argument. SMfrigginH.

    When Hillary is impeached or has to resign, don’t blame us Bernie backers. You idiots blew it big time nominating our version of Nixon.

    But then who cares as long as a first grader can squat and shcitt wherever he/she/Q wants.

  77. Gustopher says:

    These nonsense “scandals” with no actual scandalous behavior have gotten so frequent and absurd that I would probably not believe an actual scandal. Which means, I guess, that Hillary Clinton could be filmed hunting Monica Lewinski from a helicopter and I would just shrug and assume it never happened.

    Is the point of this nonsense to get people riled up about Clinton’s failings, or to inoculate her from actual real, credible charges of something else?

  78. the Q says:

    SKI writes: Accurate version: Large payments to WJC had no impact on HRC’s public policy position.

    Again, there is no there there. If anything, it makes HRC look good.

    Sorry, coffee almost went up my nose on that last HRC look good comment.

    How about we correct your “accurate version” to “total tripe bullschitt version”

    “After Hillary Clinton became secretary of state, Bill Clinton received $17.6 million in payments from a for-profit university. Since that time, another organization with a connection to that university received almost $90 million in grants from an agency that’s part of the State Department

    That makes HRC look “good”.

    Lets keep going shall we?….. “Laureate has faced investigations in Brazil over whether students were getting what they paid for, and in Chile concerning its for-profit status. U.S. students have complained the school failed to deliver on its promised degree programs.

    In addition, three of the five schools Laureate operates in the United States are under what the U.S. Department of Education calls “heightened cash monitoring” because of potential problems with its “financial responsibility.” The school told CNN it disagrees with the government’s methodology.

    Keep with me folks, it gets better.

    Doug Becker, the wealthy founder of Laureate Universities, is a big donor to Democratic causes, and has made large contributions to both Hillary Clinton’s and Barack Obama’s political campaigns.

    “Laureate is also listed as a donor to the Clinton Foundation in the $1 million to $5 million range.
    Since 2008, Laureate has partnered with the Clinton Global Initiative on various educational causes throughout the world.

    And, in 2010, Becker and Laureate signed Bill Clinton to be its new honorary chancellor.
    Between 2010 and 2015, from the time when Hillary Clinton was secretary of state up until the very month she announced she was running for president, Bill Clinton received at least $17.6 million for his role.”

    And now for the payoff, please pay attention SKI to how good this will make Hillary look.

    Laureate is also involved with international education in another organization called the International Youth Foundation. providing job and life skill training to disenfranchised youth.

    It is run out of Baltimore (as is Laureate), but has far reaching programs in developing countries.
    The IYF has been operating with funds provided from the State Department through the U.S. Agency for International Development, a federal government organization.

    What’s the connection to Laureate and the Clintons? Becker is the chairman of the board of IYF. And during the very same years Bill Clinton was honorary chairman of Becker’s Laureate and Hillary Clinton was secretary of state, U.S. government grants to IYF soared.

    The group was awarded $17.1 million in 2010 when Bill Clinton became honorary chancellor, up from $9 million the prior year.

    It was awarded another $40 million over the next two years.

    After Hillary Clinton left State in early 2013, grants declined, to about $6 million in 2014, and $3.8 million in 2015.

    So SKI, still think this makes Hillary look good or will you stick to your absurd point?

  79. Pch101 says:

    @the Q:

    Wow, you all sound like the wingnuts defending W’s Iraq war by pointing out that Kerry, Clinton, Biden etc all voted for the war, therefore its a good thing.

    You’ve done a stellar job of missing the point.

    The point was that nobody in Bahrain had to bribe Clinton to sell them weapons because we were doing it already.

    Furthermore, the US halted arms sales to Bahrain during Clinton’s time at State, which strongly suggests that there wasn’t a linkage between any donations and the resulting policy.

    Stop being agitated, and start paying attention.

  80. the Q says:

    I m sorry, I just have to repeat the last part of my last comment:

    “The group was awarded $17.1 million in 2010 when Bill Clinton became honorary chancellor, up from $9 million the prior year.

    It was awarded another $40 million over the next two years.

    After Hillary Clinton left State in early 2013, grants declined, to about $6 million in 2014, and $3.8 million in 2015.”

    Come on Hillary/Bill slurpers, please comment on how benign this is and how they are not hillbilly grifters.

  81. the Q says:

    PCH, sorry pal, you are missing the point, this isn’t about one little Bahrain deal, its the whole sleaze coming out of the CGI mess.

    When libs start to become as delusional about common sense as the wingnuts we have a real problem is this country.

    You see, we are falling into the “its only wrong if the other party does it” syndrome.

    Also, you posted before I pointed out the above Laureate/IFY debacle.

    Stop being agitated, and start paying attention

  82. Turgid Jacobian says:

    James, didn’t you say Bob McDonnell’s conduct was something other than corruption when they charged, convicted, and then vacated his conviction? And I’ll tell you what, it sure seems that giving money to an “A” rated charity is a totally different proposition to bankrolling a couture shopping trip or vacay.

  83. the Q says:

    Geez, some of you just can’t take it. 3 thumbs down on the obvious pay for play CGI/State Dept/doug Becker/IFY graft which went way up during H’s stint at State, then way down after she leaves?

    Boy, what happened to clear thinking Dems? You’ve all sunk to the Jenos level of head in the sand syndrome.

  84. Dazedandconfused says:

    They were shaking wealthy people down for charity. Unethical…yes…but it’s an activity we all agree Jesus gives the thumbs up to as well.

    Conflict of interest issues make it something to be discouraged, definitely. However, since her opponent had his own shake down operations going (Trump U) which targeted the working poor for buy fuel for his private jet, Hillary has the moral high ground all locked up in any Shakedown Celebrity Death Match, should one come about. Also, according to the NYT, Trump’s holdings are billions in debt to foreign investors, some governmental (China), he will find it much more difficult to isolate himself from the conflict of interest issues. The Clintons can simply shut down their foundation, but he can not easily divest himself from his business holdings. Therefore he has already decided that his kids would run the empire instead of the customary blind trust. Can you say conflict of interest? Of course you can…

    His problems are problematic, as it were…

  85. the Q says:

    “Therefore he has already decided that his kid would run the empire instead of the customary blind trust. Can you say conflict of interest? Of course you can…

    Are you referring to Bill and Chelsea since they have already said they would NOT detach themselves from the CGI if H is President.

  86. Hal_10000 says:

    @the Q:

    You’re arguing against a religion. Just as there is Clinton Derangement Syndrome, there is Clinton Defense Derangement Syndrome, which claims that all scandals involving them are a figment of the deranged imagination of CDS sufferers.

  87. Dazedandconfused says:

    @the Q:

    All comments about Trump must be answered with questions about Hillary and a dose of ad-hominem. I get it. No good alternatives, we all have to make tough choices at times.

  88. stonetools says:

    The AP screwed this story up so bad that it really should issue a retraction. The Washington Post, which is hardly a den of Clinton lovers, said this:

    Yet the tweet promoting the story, which has more than 10,000 retweets and likes combined, is tendentious and misleading. A lamentable hyping on social media.

    David Corn:

    Most of the reaction was overreaction. The article contained no real allegations—let alone evidence—of any corruption or breach of ethics. Most of the meetings cited were the sort of one-on-ones a secretary of state could be expected to hold, whether or not the person in the room with Clinton was a donor to the foundation. The story dwelled on a meeting she had with Nobel Prize winner and foundation donor Muhammad Yunus, a pioneer in microlending with whom Clinton has known for 30 years. In one instance, the article cited a meeting Clinton held with the head of an AIDS foundation, which was developing projects in Africa with the State Department. And OMG—this foundation also gave to the Clinton Foundation, which has long been involved in the global fight against AIDS.

    Anyway, it seems like the people who hate the Clinton Foundation have gotten their wish. The Clintons are going to break up the Foundation and spin off their operations to other charities and governments. Liberals like Chait who didn’t like the Clinton Foundation are rejoicing at this, but it seems to me that a perfectly good charitable organization is being broken up over optics. Essentially, children in Malawi may be denied a chance to go to school or a clinic in Haiti may not open because some Americans don’t like the way the Clintons do charity.

  89. stonetools says:

    @Hal_10000:

    Dude , you are the guy who can’t prove your allegations. When we ask for evidence that the Clintons have done anything wrong, you tell us that you don’t need evidence, you just know they’ve done wrong. Who is the one being “religious” here?

  90. Pch101 says:

    @Hal_10000:

    there is Clinton Defense Derangement Syndrome, which claims that all scandals involving them are a figment of the deranged imagination of CDS sufferers.

    The Bahrain thing is in somebody’s imagination.

    What exactly is “deranged” about pointing out that the US has a long history of selling arms to and basing ships in Bahrain, including during the years immediately before Clinton was Secretary of State and that the arms trade was ceased while Clinton was Secretary of State? That is simply the truth.

    Unless you’ve redefined “deranged” as “logical and supported by facts”, what exactly are we supposed to learn from your points?

  91. Grewgills says:

    the Q, I think it has a lot to do with your history. With all of your rants about boomers and millenials, how your generation were the last real ™ progressives, etc I don’t think I’m alone when I say that all I see with each new rant is this.

  92. stonetools says:

    @Grewgills:

    Yeah, soon he’ll start yelling that the boomers ruined music and telling us to “get off his lawn!”I’ve stopped responding to him altogether.

  93. Modulo Myself says:

    Look, the Clintons are obviously examples of what happens when power-hungry Americans spend too much time in corporations and government and end needing to be roused and directed by Flappers holding lots of cash.

    But your average Clinton-hater is an elitist. In 2000 it went straight from Bill raising money to Cheney and Rumsfeld meeting in secret with energy companies and letting Halliburton and KRB rip off everybody while ‘supporting’ the effort in Iraq. Just like liberal elitists, they are happy to blame the dumb corrupt masses for failing to understand the truth. And yet unlike liberal elitists, there’s virtually no counter. There’s no person saying ‘wait a minute why does our message keep on failing.’ There’s no there there. I mean, I don’t think I’ve ever heard a conservative say that the hate is too much.

    And when Hillary is elected it’s going to be on 24/7. Time to commit more of their crimes to memory and get in the fetal position and talk to the fake microphone you deserve about high crimes and the possibility of 5,000 charges of perjury and 3 x 10^4 charges of high treason (which is naturally an act of lenience given that it’s 5 x 10^8) and blame everybody for failing to grasp the sheer depravity of it all when it doesn’t pan out.

  94. stonetools says:

    @Pch101:

    Fun fact. The very first time a US company struck oil in the Middle East was in Bahrain-in 1932.
    That’s how far the US-Bahrain relationship goes back. But somehow, this Bahrain arms deal-the latest of many-is evidence of Clinton malfeasance. If these Clinton critics would just crack a damn history book -or at least just go only by the EVIDENCE-we could have intelligent discussion about the Clintons. But with the Clinton critics it’s just smoke, emotion and conspiracy theories all the way down…

  95. David M says:

    @the Q:

    It’s sad to see someone jumping on the Trump train of lies. You really should know better and should post a retraction and an apology.

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2016/jul/01/donald-trump/did-hillary-clinton-launder-millions-dollars-while/

  96. Lit3Bolt says:

    @Hal_10000:

    Projection much?

    I don’t see you indicting the entire US political system, or Republicans.

    Just the Clintons.

    Are they elite? Yes. Are they awash in easy corporate money? Yes. Do they leverage their celebrity status? Yes. Are these crimes or evidence of corruption? No. Is it different from any other long served DC politician? No.

    You’re the one making the claim the Clintons are corrupt, self-serving, and criminals. The burden of proof has not been met, not once in nearly 25 years of continual, hostile media scrutiny (Please say the MSM is in the tank for the Clintons, lol, I dare you.). It’s been 25 years that their lives have been under a microscope that you or I can hardly comprehend.

    And the worst things they have done is Bill is an adulterous cad who lied about it, Hillary didn’t properly follow IT protocol of a government department she was nominally the head of, and they accepted charitable contributions to their foundation, and on occasion met with people who they have known for decades who had donated to said foundation.

    This is all from a poorly written AP story that was obviously playing on your credulity for evidence of Clinton venality. I’m sure some media CEO is delighted by your credulous response to their sloppily written, poorly researched stories, because they are looking forward to playing you and James Joyner like fiddles for the next eight years, as they “investigate” “allegations” of “bad optics.”

  97. Hal_10000 says:

    AP has responded to the various “debunkings”. But please, keep believing in your Vast Right Wing Conspiracy that includes … uh … the guys who revealed what a corrupt slime Trump’s campaign manager was.

  98. Hal_10000 says:

    @Lit3Bolt:

    I don’t see you indicting the entire US political system, or Republicans.

    That’s kind of hilarious since I attack the Republicans all the time. And more much of the same stuff I attack the Clintons for.

  99. john430 says:

    @Rafer Janders: See http://www.ibtimes.com/political-capital/ and by error of omission I left out the phrase “foreign donations”. So now I am no longer a “sad, silly little stupid liar” but you remain an arsehole.

  100. Lit3Bolt says:

    @Hal_10000:

    So why are the Clintons special? What warrants this scrutiny and hostility?

  101. Gustopher says:

    Am I supposed to be feeling Clinton Fatigue? Because all I am managing is Republican Fatigue…

    I don’t like the Clintons — from when Bill Clinton went back to Arkansas to preside over the execution of a mentally retarded man so he would be seen as tough on crime, I have disliked him in a way that can only be described as a visceral revulsion, and Hillary Clinton for sharing a bed with that morally unhinged man.

    I didn’t vote for Bill Clinton either time. I was in a safe state, so I knew there wouldn’t be any consequences to my actions, and I didn’t have to think twice about it, and I voted for Republicans each time.

    If you’ve got me on their side, you’ve overplayed your hand. I should be someone who is persuadable that the Clintons are horrible people and utterly corrupt, but all the Republicans come up with is nonsense and drivel and bizarre conspiracy theories.

    I hate Republicans for making me think that the Clintons are getting a raw deal. I try to be a good person, and not slip to hatred, but I can’t. Bill Clinton is a moral wasteland. Hillary Clinton is no better because she stays with that amoral freak*. The Right Wing Hate Machine is worse.

    *I find her staying with him despite him being unfaithful as one of her good qualities — it shows a capacity for forgiveness for normal human failings. Her staying with him despite everything else… that skeeves me out.

  102. Jen says:

    The AP, like other news organizations, wants this to be a horse race; it is not. Furthermore, the constant barrage of negative Trump stories–exclusively his own doing through actions, behaviors, and a campaign largely in chaos–makes them eager to “balance” their coverage by printing stories critical of the Clintons. The problem is, while Trump’s stories genuinely show a pattern of clueless or truly corrupt behavior, the Clinton stories like this one actually have to be massaged and tinkered with to generate the appearance of impropriety.

    This story is incredibly thin, and the AP knows it. Clinton has known Muhammad Yunus since she was first lady…of Arkansas. Plus, he’s a Nobel prize winner. Do you honestly think that someone who has a 3-decade relationship with a politician, PLUS winning one of the most prestigious awards in the world, wouldn’t have been granted a meeting?

    In short, virtually everyone who is being impugned by the AP’s story as suggesting they only received their audience because they donated likely would have had the opportunity to meet with her with or without the donation.

    Viewing this from a personal perspective–I give generously every year to a friend who does a cycling ride to raise money to fight cancer. I have known this individual for a bit more than a decade, through work. If he did me a favor of some sort–say, passing my resume on and putting a good word in for me–is it because I’ve donated to his charity ride? Is that the definition of pay to play? Because that’s all I’m seeing here.

  103. Rob says:

    @Hal_10000:

    Regarding whether or not Laureate University is shady or sleazy…

    Laureate University is a very very large for-profit university. About 84% of their business is in Latin America. They’ve been sued by students and they’ve accused of focusing way too much enough on attendence figures and not enough on quality education. Which of these things makes them sleazy or shady? Is the fact that they’ve been sued, enough? Is it that they are for-profit? I can’t imagine that the fact that they are mainly doing business in the poorer parts of the world has any bearing on whether or not they are shady.

    I really didn’t know so I spent a few minutes with google.

    http://www.cnbc.com/2015/12/15/a-controversial-education-model-us-is-exporting-to-the-world.html

    In fact, many of Laureate’s numbers are not as bad as critics say. At Walden, for example, the U.S. Department of Education’s “College Scorecard” website says the median annual income of graduates 10 years after getting their degree is $54,900. That’s higher than for the University of Texas at Austin, one of the nation’s top public universities, and $100 more than graduates of Rutgers University’s flagship New Brunswick campus make.

    Nor does Walden spend an unusual amount on marketing or top executive salaries. Laureate spent $290.8 million, or 6.6 percent of revenue, on marketing in 2014. At Harvard, administrators spent $721 million, about 16 percent of its $4.5 billion budget for 2014-15, on “institutional support,” a non-instructional category that mostly pays for fundraising. Laureate competitor Apollo spent just under 20 percent of its revenue on sales and marketing during the fiscal year ending Aug. 31.

  104. Rob says:

    What Laureate itself has to say about the “scandal”:

    http://www.laureate.net/AboutLaureate/TheFacts

    It’s definitely clear that some former Laureate University students are very unhappy. Of course, the same can be said about any really large University, but from what I’ve read

    Not sure that their successes outweigh their failures but they do appear to at least run some pretty good schools:

    http://www.laureate.net/AboutLaureate/Proven-Quality-and-Reputation/Top-Ranked-Institutions

    It looks about a ten thousand times more legitimate than Trump University.

  105. stonetools says:

    @Hal_10000:

    Yeah, and their response sucked. Their report made it seem that the majority of Clinton’s meetings as SoS were with Clinton donors. That is objectively false. Clinton had far more meetings that the AP reported on, and they know it, and you know it. And some of those meetings are completely defensible as meetings that SHOULD be happening. From the AP report itself:

    Donors who were granted time with Clinton included an internationally known economist who asked for her help as the Bangladesh government pressured him to resign from a nonprofit bank he ran; a Wall Street executive who sought Clinton’s help with a visa problem and Estee Lauder executives who were listed as meeting with Clinton while her department worked with the firm’s corporate charity to counter gender-based violence in South Africa.

    Tell me again why we don’t want the Secretary of State working to counter gender-based violence in South Africa.

    Muhammad Yunus, a Bangladeshi economist who won the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize for pioneering low-interest “microcredit” for poor business owners, met with Clinton three times and talked with her by phone during a period when Bangladeshi government authorities investigated his oversight of a nonprofit bank and ultimately pressured him to resign from the bank’s board. Throughout the process, he pleaded for help in messages routed to Clinton, and she ordered aides to find ways to assist him.

    I guess Clinton should have just told Yunus to buzz off .

    Nowhere in the report does the AP provide evidence of Clinton malfeasance.FACT.

    If that’s case, why does the AP headline and tweet say there was evidence of Clinton malfeasance? I’ll tell you why : to pander to conspiracy theorists who want to believe that the proof of Clinton malfeasance is out there. Conspiracy theorists like you.

  106. the Q says:

    What is with you people? If we are arguing in a vacuum, maybe we could gainsay Hillary’s behavior as an isolated case and perhaps her opponents are exaggerating the issue.

    But for phucks sakes, this has been a woman with a long history of such behavior and it all adds up.

    Right now if Bernie were running, we would be talking about Mylan and the one percenters and drug company greed as symbolized by that whore daughter of a typical RINO Dem Senator Machin.

    The history here of rightly calling out the wingnut madness is all of a sudden mute when it comes to the corrupt behaviour of these two.

    But then I guess putting your penis in the mouth of an intern in the office where FDR gave his fireside chats or where Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation is righteous behavior and forgivable to some of you. I will have none of it. The Bernie bashers on here who thought he couldn’t win look mighty stupid right now as Madame Hlliary’s scandals are never ending.

    And you wonder why your generation is a bunch of limp wristed do nothing sellouts to the rich elites while pompously patting yourself on the back for liberating bathrooms for 8 yr old TGs.

    So, in essence, Hillary and Bill are your perfect candidates. The ends justify the means. Just don’t get caught and when you do, be like Nixon and blame your “enemies” for your own pathetic actions.

  107. David M says:

    @the Q:

    We’re not the ones posting attacks on candidates that aren’t true. Post something that isn’t made up nonsense and you might get a different response.

  108. Jen says:

    @the Q:

    The Bernie bashers on here who thought he couldn’t win look mighty stupid right now as Madame Hlliary’s scandals are never ending.

    Funny you should bring that up. Sander’s new organization just had many of its top staff quit. It is a 501(c)4 org, that doesn’t have to disclose its donors, and can take in unlimited amounts of money. And, it’s being run by the wife of a sitting U.S. Senator.

    Of course, they have done nothing wrong in any of this–it is all totally legal. But to establish an organization that can take unlimited, anonymous contributions with the spouse of a sitting US Senator at its head…well, that doesn’t look very good, does it? How, exactly, is this that dramatically different than what we are discussing here, other than the fact that the Clinton Foundation does release the names of its donors?

  109. Thor thormussen says:

    @MarkedMan:

    “Once again the sane Republicans found the smoking gun that showed that Clinton was the devil they all knew her to be. And once again once the details come out we see there is no there there.”

    And notice how in the OP James just straight repeated that bullshit fake math, without even noticing that, uh, clinton only had 150 something visitors? does that seem likely?

  110. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @the Q: “that whore daughter of a typical RINO[,] Dem[ocratic] Senator Machin.”
    “But for phucks sake,” indeed… WA! Since when are registered Democrats Republican In Name Only?

    Even thought you’re an old geezer (as opposed to myself–a mere geezer if you will), your rant has to make some sense.

  111. pylon says:

    @the Q:

    Hillary’s “long history” of bad “behavior” is something you refer to but can’t establish in any meaningful way. we don’t take judicial notice of it.

    And what does Bill Clinton’s infidelity have to do with anything at issue here?

  112. David M says:

    Just to clarify, the Clintons run a charitable foundation that is highly regarded. They plan to scale back their involvement after Hillary wins the election. They have also released a ridiculous number of years of tax returns, something over 20 if I remember correctly.

    Trump has a charity, that is kind of a scam, because of course it is. Trump also has a lot of business ventures and debt, of which a significant amount of both are with foreign companies. He plans to continue to run those if he were to be elected. He has not released his tax returns.,

    Why again is anyone who wants to be taken seriously criticizing the Clinton side here?

  113. Grewgills says:

    @the Q:
    It’s easier to list the presidents that didn’t have infidelities, even in the WH, than it is to list the ones who didn’t. You either need to get over Bill getting his wick wet, or hold a consistent standard and excoriate Kennedy, Johnson, and nearly every other president good or bad that we have had.
    The pattern of behavior here isn’t Clinton malfeasance so much as republican overreach in response to typical political behavior of the Clintons and you raging at the sky because it isn’t the 40s anymore.
    Those were the days, huh?

  114. the Q says:

    Ok, so a guy lies about “having sex with that woman” is found guilty of perjury, is stripped of his law license is unsuccessfully impeached, gets rid of Glass Steagal, signs disastrous welfare reform, condemns a generation of black males to prison because of mandatory sentencing laws and I AM THE OLD OUT OF TOUCH GEEZER?????. Thats so rich coming from sycophants bending over backward to excuse shitty behavior. So typical of today’s culture. “Hey, get over it old man, everybody does it. They just had the misfortune of being caught.” Thats the jist of so many arguments here.

    Grewgills, grow some balls and some brains…I could give a schitt less about the 40s or 90s, this is about the constant ethical lapses of this couple that has gone on for 30 years and the blind eye that libs give to the malfeasance.

    Christ, you aholes support Bill’s ridiculous sexist acts AS PRESIDENT by sloughing it off because Zachary Taylor did the same thing!!!! What a bunch of hypocrites.

    The Clintons are slime. Like Tricky Dick. And YOU want ME to prove that they aren’t corrupt? Open your eyes.

    I guess the whole phucking an intern in the Oval office wasn’t enough to ruffle your ethical sensibilities? Once exposes, that hillbilly should have had the decency to resign with some dignity and the nightmare of George W. Bush never would have happened as President Gore would have won without controversy.

    And stop conflating the CGI contributions with campaign contributions. The U.S. Constitution forbids foreign entities from giving money to Presidential candidates.

    Non profits are wholly different animals and they make no such distinctions on foreign vs domestic contributions and DO NOT LIMIT THE AMOUNT as do campaign restrictions. Hence, a sheik can donate 32 million to the CGI but not to her election campaign.

    This has nothing to do with the generational conflict and everything to do with completely flawed thinking.

    And get the hell off my lawn!!!!!!

  115. the Q says:

    PS please, just one of you neo libs admit that Bill Clinton is a piece of slimy schitt and his behaviour as President vis-a-vis Monica was reprehensible…..

    Crickets I am sure……………..

    I’d sooner get an admission from a wingnut about how we didn’t find WMDs in Iraq after all.

  116. David M says:

    @the Q:

    I promise not to cast a write in vote for Bill Clinton this election. Is that better?

  117. Hal_10000 says:

    Wow. I never thought I would see this group defending for-profit colleges.

    In other news, Vox ran an article today where they admitted that some of the allegations about the Clinton Foundation are troubling. They backed off their defense in just a little over 24 hours.

  118. al-Alameda says:

    @the Q:

    PS please, just one of you neo libs admit that Bill Clinton is a piece of slimy schitt and his behaviour as President vis-a-vis Monica was reprehensible…..
    Crickets I am sure……………..

    Bill is a horn dog, to be sure, and he definitely should not have had adulterous sex with a consenting intern.

    Is he a slimy piece of s***? Perhaps, or perhaps not. Certainly no more so than many of the Republican grease balls that impeached him – folks like Henry (‘sacred oath’) Hyde, Newt Gingrich or Bob Livingston. Maybe that’s a long-winded way of agreeing with you, I don’t know.

  119. David M says:

    @Hal_10000:

    Laureate could be a scam. Still not relevant to the issue at hand, which is people telling lies about the Clinton Foundation in order to help Donald Trump.

  120. Grewgills says:

    @the Q:
    Clinton was not convicted of perjury. His Arkansas law license was suspended for 5 years and he was disbarred from cases before the Supreme Court. You’re making crap up again. The impeachment was a major overreach by republicans concerned only with politics, not governance. Things haven’t changed much on that front.
    I can agree with you on Glass Steagal and welfare reform. Those were compromises with republicans and mistakes, but anyone likely to be elected at that time would have either made those compromises (or gone further in the case of republicans).
    His tough on crime stance was disastrous, but was supported by much of the African American community at the time. Most people didn’t have the foresight to know what a mess it would turn out to be, including leaders in the community it hit hardest.

    and I AM THE OLD OUT OF TOUCH GEEZER?????

    Pretty much. I’m glad you can finally see it and embrace it.

    Grewgills, grow some balls and some brains…

    Awwww, you’re cute when you get indignant. Have fun yelling at the clouds.

    I could give a schitt less about the 40s or 90s

    If that were true you wouldn’t be ranting about how there haven’t been any real ™ progressives since Johnson, or was it FDR?

    Christ, you aholes support Bill’s ridiculous sexist acts AS PRESIDENT by sloughing it off because Zachary Taylor did the same thing!!!!

    No, because almost all presidents from Washington to Johnson did the same thing. That is a far cry from one president 150 years ago.

    This has nothing to do with the generational conflict

    Your every comment is about generational conflict. It would be easier to count your comments that don’t mention boomers or millennials than those that do. You romanticize FDR and other progressives from 50+ years ago and give little to no credit to any progressives that came after. FDR did some great things. The New Deal was transformative and is rightly celebrated, but there was a hell of a lot that progressives of that era swept under the rug. I am a hell of a lot happier to have my daughter growing up today out here in this progressive spec of land in the middle of the Pacific than anywhere or anywhen else and that has a lot to do with the progressives that came after the time you pine for.