The Blockbuster rolls on. Books will be written about this week in politics. The FBI have apparently found a gargantuan 650,000 emails. They have also got a search warrant. The news rattled markets and currencies. It’s being called a bombshell, and political TNT. Democratic National Committee chairwoman Donna Brazile said it was “Like an 18-wheeler smacking into us.” At least one mainstream columnist says the Democrats should ask Clinton to step aside before the election.
Excuses are flowing but the Clinton campaign has only itself to thank for this PR disaster
Count the ways the Clinton’s could have prevented this trainwreck. 1,2,3…
The Clinton’s raised the stakes from the start — earning something like $57 million on-the-side during the four years that Hillary Clinton served as Secretary of State. This is not illegal, but it raises red flag questions of “conflict of interest”. Anyone playing this game while in charge of trade deals for the largest economy on Earth had better play straight, be careful, and be totally transparent. Hillary apparently did none of the above. The combination of an incoming river of money, with the mysterious disappearance of 30,000 emails added a radioactive glow to what was just a red flag. Those emails were under subpoena. If only she hadn’t deleted the emails…
If only the charity looked legit, she could still get a lot of forgiveness. But IRS statements show the Clinton Foundation donations were mostly spent on employees, plane trips, and “other expenses“. It has all the appearance of being mostly slush fund, rather than charity. Check the scale:
“The Clinton family’s mega-charity took in more than $140 million in grants and pledges in 2013 but spent just $9 million on direct aid.” — New York Post
And the pattern continues. In 2014 only 5.7% of the budget went to charitable grants. You get the idea.
UPDATE: Is that 5.7%, 15%, or 88%? The Clinton Foundation supporters claim the charity employs people directly to help, so the IRS tally of grants underestimates the amount used to help people. (Though I wonder if people in Haiti or what not would prefer they got the money direct rather than have Clinton Foundation employees “help facilitate partnerships” (whatever that is). Charity Watch, gave the Clinton Foundation an A rating and says it spends only 12 percent of the money it raises on “overhead.”
The Federalist documents the Clinton IRS forms and information and points out that while technically more than 6% goes to charity, a lot of money is paid to hold large dinner parties and to preserve the legend of Bill.
The Clinton Foundation’s three largest charitable “program service accomplishments,” according to its tax reports, are the Clinton Global Initiative ($23.2 million), the Clinton Presidential Library ($12.3 million), and the Clinton Climate Initiative ($8.3 million). The Clinton Global Initiative, which exists to organize and produce a lavish annual meeting headlined by former president Bill Clinton, was characterized by the New York Times as a “glitzy annual gathering of chief executives, heads of state, and celebrities,” hardly a portrait of the kind of charitable work that directly impacts the lives of the needy.
Ira Magaziner, a top former Clinton Foundation executive, also explicitly rejected that the group’s climate change activities were charitable in nature. “This is not charity,” Magaziner told The Atlantic in 2007. “The whole thing is bankable. It’s a commercial proposition.”
Meanwhile, ‘Charles Ortel, the investigator who uncovered the financial discrepancies at General Motors before its stock crashed, says the Clinton Foundation is “the largest unprosecuted charity fraud ever.”’
More than half the people outside government who met with Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state gave to the Clinton Foundation, the Associated Press reported Aug. 23. At least 85 of 154 from private interests donated as much as $156 million to the foundation, AP said. — Post-Gazette
The Clinton’s unconventional method of running a charity meant “Charity Navigator, which rates nonprofits, recently refused to rate the Clinton Foundation because its “atypical business model . . . doesn’t meet our criteria.”
Apparently Charity Navigator and other assessors which didn’t like the Foundation have seen the light in an election year and reassessed the Foundation and given it four stars. Who knows? Other non profit experts have been pretty vocal: “It seems like the Clinton Foundation operates as a slush fund for the Clintons,” said Bill Allison, a senior fellow at the Sunlight Foundation, a government watchdog group.”
Really she’s a nice person married to a great man and they get paid a lot to speak because they’re
inspiring, visionary, inventive,… have lots of friends in high places. They raise millions for charity and lots-more-millions to fly themselves first class while she keeps forgetting things she’s supposed to remember, and loses emails she is supposed to keep.
The Democrats didn’t have to get themselves into this mess
It was never a good idea for a political party to nominate someone facing an FBI investigation and for most of the Democrat primaries, it was a possibility. Harry Reid claims the FBI are breaking the law and may affect the election. But no matter what the FBI does, it will be accused of “affecting the election”. Revealing stuff and hiding stuff can both swing elections. The FBI’s only real defense is transparency.
Let’s not forget that 24 years ago Bill Clinton cheered on an FBI probe that was announced against George Bush Snr a mere weekend before the 1992 election and which some Republicans blamed for costing Bush the election.
Why now when the timing is so tight? — There was a revolt at the FBI
There have been reports for weeks that a revolt was building at the FBI. Agents who put their lives on the line for their nation were fed up that James Comey, their Director had said charges shouldn’t be laid even as he admitted Hillary was as good as guilty. He said she was “extremely careless” with the “very sensitive” and “highly classified” national secrets, and “any reasonable person” should have known to do better. Isn’t that exactly what the law was supposed to prevent?
Agent were mutinous, threatening to resign:
‘The atmosphere at the FBI has been toxic ever since Jim announced last July that he wouldn’t recommend an indictment against Hillary,’ said the source, a close friend who has known Comey for nearly two decades, shares family outings with him, and accompanies him to Catholic mass every week.
‘Some people, including department heads, stopped talking to Jim, and even ignored his greetings when they passed him in the hall,’ said the source. ‘They felt that he betrayed them and brought disgrace on the bureau by letting Hillary off with a slap on the wrist.’
According to the source, Comey fretted over the problem for months and discussed it at great length with his wife, Patrice.
He told his wife that he was depressed by the stack of resignation letters piling up on his desk from disaffected agents. The letters reminded him every day that morale in the FBI had hit rock bottom.
Even his wife wanted him to press charges:
[talking to his]…wife, Pat. She kept urging him to admit that he had been wrong when he refused to press charges against the former secretary of state.
‘He talks about the damage that he’s done to himself and the institution [of the FBI], and how he’s been shunned by the men and women who he admires and work for him. It’s taken a tremendous toll on him.
‘It shattered his ego. He looks like he’s aged 10 years in the past four months.’
In the long run, perhaps, the FBI is one of the only institutions that no one can buy off and intimidate. Though there are suspicions that it was attempted. A political action group tied to the Clintons had donated half a million dollars to the wife of Andrew McCabe, at the time, the number three at the FBI. His wife Jill McCabe was a political novice with little history of party activism and yet with just two donations she raised twice the money of the previous candidate. Later he was promoted to number 2, and “started overseeing the probe into Mrs. Clinton’s use of a private email server.” All parties involved deny any wrong-doing. (Of course…)
Ten days to go, thousands of emails to read. The FBI say they “don’t know what they have”.
The polls are seismic
RealClearPolitics gives Clinton a 4 point lead, but the gap is narrowing. The latest WashingtonPost poll has only a 1% gap and say “just” 3 in 10 voters admit it makes them less likely to support Clinton. But that’s not a “just”, anything that affects 34% of voters the week before an election is hardly a small thing. In the end, no one knows if the polls are realistic anyway, with poll surprises the new norm in elections. British experts are warning that the pollsters might be missing the real action like they did with Brexit. The Brexit surprise came partly because 6% of British voters who has “not voted for decades” turned up to vote. Fifteen percent of voters still haven’t decided. And of the undecided slightly more lean Republican than lean Dem.
The derision and mockery used so heavily by the Democrat camp and their media supporters means there is a potential “shy vote”. Polling is hopelessly compromised by the uncertainty of whether voters will turn up to vote. Will some voters stay away because they are certain their candidate will romp it in? Will passionate Trump fans bring five friends to the booths? Will that passion be enough to outdo the hire-cars and buses the Democrat operatives brag they are organizing?
Australian taxpayers are funding the Clinton slush fund
At least 88 million dollars from Australian taxpayers went directly to the Clinton Foundation, but nearly half a billion went to “Clinton affiliated” groups. What did we get for that money — a job for an ex-PM?
Miranda Devine: Foreign-funded green groups could take whole swathes of Australia out of the productive economy
The Australian taxpayer shovelled at least $88 million into the Clinton Foundation and associated entities from 2006 to 2014, reaching a peak of $10.3 million in 2012-13, Gillard’s last year in office.
Gillard also donated $300 million of our money to the Clinton-affiliated Global Partnership for Education.
Lo and behold, she became chairman in 2014 and has been actively promoting Clinton as president ever since — in a campaign video last December slamming Trump, in opeds trumpeting the next woman president and in appearances with Clinton spruiking girls’ education.
The Abbott government topped up the left-wing organisation’s coffers with another $140 million in 2014, bringing total Australian largesse to $460 million, according to a press release from Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.
How much did Tony Abbott know — was this donation really a Julie Bishop gift done without Abbott involvement?
As Tony Thomas said “Imagine the howls if Abbott had funded a Bush-backed charity.”
The consequences are going to flow for years: jail anyone?
Huma Abedin, Clinton’s right-hand-woman, testified earlier this year that she had handed over all her devices that had relevant emails to the Clinton investigators. She doesn’t know how they ended up on her estranged husbands lap top, but if she is found to have lied she faces up to five years.