The Clinton Foundation: How ‘Bill Clinton Inc.’ operated
As the election draws near, said Thomas Lifson in AmericanThinker.com, we’ve seen “what could be the most meaningful release in the ongoing WikiLeaks saga.” The anti-secrecy group last week released another trove of documents hacked from the email accounts of the Clinton campaign, including an extraordinary, 13-page memo from Douglas Band, a former top aide to President Bill Clinton, detailing his work for what Band openly calls “Bill Clinton Inc.” In the 2011 memo, Band brags that by leveraging Clinton Family Foundation contacts through his consulting firm, Teneo Holdings LLC, he has lined up about $50 million in work for the former president, including $900,000 for speeches to UBS, the financial services firm, and a whopping $3.5 million a year to be “honorary chairman” of Laureate International Universities. Band also boasts of shaking down big corporations, including Coca-Cola, UBS, and Dow Chemical for millions in donations to the Clinton Foundation, and of securing numerous “in-kind services for the president and his family—for personal travel, hospitality, vacation, and the like.” The Band memo has laid bare the truth about our “grifters-in-chief,” said Kimberley Strassel in The Wall Street Journal. The Clintons did not “draw lines” between their “charitable” work, Hillary’s role as secretary of state, their political activity, and “their personal enrichment.”
Did Clinton Foundation donors receive a quid pro quo? asked Betsy Woodruff and Andrew Desiderio in TheDailyBeast.com. The Band memo provides no definitive proof of that, but it’s clear that companies who employed Bill Clinton, or donated to the foundation, were given special access to the State Department. After donating more than $5 million to the foundation, Coca-Cola, for example, lobbied State to intercede in a tax dispute with Pakistan—and Pakistan later removed that tax. After lobbying State, Dow Chemical also appears to have gotten the U.S. government’s support in a dispute with India. This scheme wasn’t just about putting money in the Clintons’ pockets, said Jonah Goldberg in NYPost.com. Since Bill Clinton left office in 2001, the Clintons have seen themselves as “a royal family in exile.” The deeper purpose of the foundation, the Band memo shows, was “to keep all of the retainers, courtiers, and henchmen employed—and the donors engaged—as they plotted their return.”
The Band memo certainly “doesn’t look good” for the Clintons, said Jennifer Rubin in WashingtonPost.com, but Trump remains totally unfit for office—“a raging narcissist and congenital liar” who would pose “a menace to our democracy and a threat to national security.” If Clinton is elected, there are steps she must take to limit the damage of her unethical behavior. The Clinton Foundation must be shut down, or at least renamed and handed over to new, non-Clinton management. Clinton should also ensure that no past donor to the foundation gets a job in her administration, or an ambassadorship overseas. She needs to clean up her many conflicts of interest.
Clinton also needs to address her most “hard-to-manage” problem: her husband, said Ruth Marcus in The Washington Post. Earlier in the campaign, Hillary suggested that she might put the former president in charge of “revitalizing the economy, because he knows what he’s doing.” In the wake of the Band memo, that is no longer an option. Bill Clinton’s sleazy “money chase” and sexual history disqualifies him from any role in his wife’s administration. If voters next week decide to return the Clintons to the White House, the first duty of the “first gentleman” will be to hit the golf course, play with his grandkids, and “disappear.”
Only in America
■ A school board in Charleston, S.C., is removing optional pregnancy and STD prevention lessons from its curriculum for seventh- and eighth-graders over fears the information will promote promiscuity. “I don’t think most middle schoolers are even thinking about sex,” said board member Tom Ducker. Instead, sex education classes will teach abstinence.
■ Administrators at a Wisconsin high school sparked outrage when they announced that four specific students had been killed by a drunk driver, only to reveal later that it was just a “drill about safe-driving techniques.” Many students burst into tears upon hearing the announcement. “It’s a really small school,” one student said. “Most of the people really knew who they were.” Officials apologized for causing “any undue stress.”
Good week for:
Dad bods, after researchers at Yale revealed that men who put on weight after fathering children live longer and are more attractive to females than their leaner, more muscular counterparts.
Peaceful transitions, after the White House announced that President Obama’s official POTUS Twitter feed will be “wiped clean” of content after the election, allowing the next president to take over the account’s 11 million followers and “connect directly with the people they serve.”
Proof of voter fraud, after a Trump supporter in Iowa was arrested for attempting to vote twice. Terri Lynn Rote, 55, cast an early ballot, but worried that her Trump vote would be changed to one for Hillary Clinton, she tried to vote again at another location. “The polls are rigged,” Rote told police.
Bad week for:
Liberal Catholics, after Pope Francis said that women would never be allowed to join the priesthood. “St. John Paul II had the last clear word on this,” the pope told reporters in reference to a 1994 apostolic letter. “And it stands.”
Boomer fashion, after a British survey of 2,000 participants found that people should stop wearing jeans by age 53, on the grounds that they look cooler and better on young people.
Endorsements, after the official newspaper of Ku Klux Klan announced its support for Donald Trump, lauding him as the “nationalist” candidate who will restore America as a “White Christian Republic.” Trump’s campaign rejected the KKK’s support, saying he “denounces hate in any form.”
Weed, guns, and the death penalty on ballots
Voters will be asked to decide on a number of statewide ballot initiatives across the country on Nov. 8. California, Arizona, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada will vote on whether to allow recreational cannabis—potentially legalizing the drug along the entire West Coast—while another four states will decide whether to permit the medical use of marijuana with a doctor’s prescription. Arizona, Maine, Colorado, and Washington have ballot initiatives on raising the minimum wage, and Maine is joining California and Nevada in voting on background checks for gun buyers. Other initiatives include repealing, reinstating, or revising the death penalty in four states, and deciding whether to allow terminally ill patients to end their lives with self-administered lethal drugs.