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HassleCat

Profile Information

Member since: Tue Mar 17, 2015, 12:56 PM
Number of posts: 6,409

About Me

I am a disgruntled former DU member. Most people here are fine, but the site is ruined by zealous Hillary supporters. DU took my money and put my account on everlasting review. Cowards. Dishonest cowards.

Journal Archives

Cuban Embassy announced

I just heard a radio clip of the president announcing we will establish an embassy in Havana. Of course, they will have one here too. Thanks, Mr. President. Something that should have been done 30 years ago. We just needed a president with the courage to do it.

Chelsea Clinton Speaking Fee Flap

Chelsea Clinton’s big speaking fee is attracting much attention on DU this morning, particularly since her mom asked for $275k to speak at a luncheon to celebrate a women’s center opening at a university. Hillary Clinton’s detractors are pointing it out as evidence of naked greed. Her supporters are firing back, accusing the detractors of vitriolic cheap shots, and pointing out the money goes to the Clintons’ foundation, not to them personally. This made me curious about the foundation and how it spends its money. Rush Limbaugh said most foundation money goes for salaries, but he’s not much of a source.

Here’s an excerpt from the New York Post, but the Post is not exactly a paragon of journalist excellence.

The Clinton Foundation’s finances are so messy that the nation’s most influential charity watchdog put it on its “watch list” of problematic nonprofits last month.

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.
The group spent the bulk of its windfall on administration, travel, and salaries and bonuses, with the fattest payouts going to family friends.

On its 2013 tax forms, the most recent available, the foundation claimed it spent $30 million on payroll and employee benefits; $8.7 million in rent and office expenses; $9.2 million on “conferences, conventions and meetings”; $8 million on fundraising; and nearly $8.5 million on travel. None of the Clintons is on the payroll, but they do enjoy first-class flights paid for by the foundation.



Charity Watch gives the foundation an “A” rating, and calculates 89 percent of money donated goes to program activities, with only 11 percent for overhead. So why the difference? Reading the Post article gives the impression the foundation operates as Clinton slush fund, which is exactly the words they choose for their headline: “Charity Watchdog: Clinton Foundation a Slush Fund.” But wait! If you read more of the Post article, they claim the information comes from the “most influential” charity rating organization, and I always thought that was Charity Watch, but the Post says it’s Charity Navigator. So off to another website to find out their rating of the Clinton Foundation.

“We had previously evaluated this organization, but have since determined that this charity's atypical business model cannot be accurately captured in our current rating methodology. Our removal of The Clinton Foundation from our site is neither a condemnation nor an endorsement of this charity. We reserve the right to reinstate a rating for The Clinton Foundation as soon as we identify a rating methodology that appropriately captures its business model.”

What! No talk about slush funds? No accusations of misuse? No mention of warnings, alerts, watches or alarms? This hardly matches the Post’s implication that the foundation is just a personal petty cash fund for the Clinton family. In fact, it seems the foundation is entirely above board. Well, as much as any other big charity. Sure, they may employ some of their friends in jobs that don’t involve much work. Sure, they take money from big corporations who expect political access. This is not unusual for large charities in the United States.

What’s the conclusion, here? Yes, the Clintons do use their foundation as a political tool, which is clear when looking at big donations from corporations involved in Canadian energy production, for example. The Clintons demand large speaking fees and send the check to the foundation, which they use to promote their political agenda, as well as their personal political ambitions. But this is not illegal. If you want to pay Chelsea Clinton $65k to speak at your event, you can see where the money is going, and how it’s used. In fact, some of the foundation’s work appears to be on behalf of good causes, things almost anybody would say are valuable contributions to society. Yes, they rub elbows with the rich and famous, and they lay on the luxury thickly to attract people who will give money to the foundation. I don’t like this very much, but the starving children don’t get fed unless you serve the expensive champagne.

So, the high speaking fees are par for the course. You can argue, as I would, that it’s a case of greed by proxy, and the foundation is as much a political tool as it is a charity. But it still does good stuff, and the Clintons are not pocketing the money. I would prefer a presidential candidate who is less connected to big corporate donors, but it’s not realistic to expect all public servants to follow the Socratic model. I’ll wager most Americans see nothing wrong as long as no illegal activity occurs. This doesn’t make Hillary Clinton untrustworthy or anything like that. In fact, she can claim a certain patch of moral high ground, when compared to past presidents who collected big speaking fees and didn’t give the money to anyone but themselves. So Clinton is probably much better than Ronald Reagan, but maybe not as pure as Jimmy Carter. I realize that pleases neither her supporters not her detractors, but politics and politicians are people, and they make certain compromises. Yes, even my guy.

Blood lust in response to shooting


COLUMBIA, S.C. — (Associated Press) Two days after the shooting deaths of nine people during a Bible study at a Charleston church, Republican Gov. Nikki Haley made a bold public statement: The gunman "absolutely" should be put to death. But her state, though largely pro-death penalty, can't secure one of the drugs needed for lethal injections and hasn't executed an inmate since 2011.

Yeah, that's right! Our first concern should be revenge... oh, excuse me... "justice" for the victims. The governor has not even admitted the shooting was racially motivated, which indicates she hasn't though about it very seriously, and she's calling for Roof to be executed. Before he's been convicted, by the way. Maybe it would occur to her to hold her tongue for a couple weeks, maybe talk with the victims' families and find out how they feel. You know, all that rational sort of stuff. But, no. She just has to get her mug on TV and show how "tough" she is.

OK, governor, here's a deal for you. You can show everyone you are just one bad ass woman. When they convict Roof, we'll march him out into the middle of a sports stadium and you can shoot him in the head, in front of thousands of people. In fact, we'll let you knee cap him first, and dance around joyously, while cheered on by 20,000 bloodthirsty admirers. Would that do it for you?

A little odd for DU

When I open the "latest threads" page, an ad for the NRA comes up next to the list of topics. I guess DU does not control the pop-ups.

My socialists vs, your socialists

It may surprise many people to learn there are different kinds of socialists, just as there are different kinds of Democrats and Republicans. No... I take that back. There is only one kind of Republican, the crazy kind. The Socialist Workers Party came out with some criticism of Bernie Sanders, implying he's not a "real" socialist and saying he can't possibly win the presidency, etc. I imagine they want us to vote for their candidate, since they almost always run one, because his or her chances of winning are so much better than Sanders' chances. Anyway, I'm a democratic socialist, same as Sanders, so I hopped on over to the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) to see if they felt differently about Sanders. Whaddya know? They certainly do.

This is from the DSA web page:

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has announced that he is officially running as a candidate for President in 2016 to further a desperately needed political revolution in the USA.

Senator Sanders is a lifelong champion of the public programs and democratic rights that empower working class people. His candidacy could help expand both the progressive movement and the democratic socialist voice within that movement.

Bernie.PNG

By running in the Democratic primaries, Independent Senator Sanders will challenge the dominant discourse of neoliberal Democrats that privilege corporate business interests over those of all working people. He will contribute to building a strong movement to halt the vicious attacks of Tea Party Republicans at all governmental levels on workers' rights, voting rights, and people of color in general.

Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) strongly supports Senator Sanders as the strongest candidate for President of the United States. We encourage him to meet with grassroots activists throughout the country to discuss how his candidacy might effectively promote their varied struggles for social and economic justice, human rights, world peace and a healthy environment.

Those who wish to promote the goals of democratic socialism should consider taking concrete and specific actions at the grassroots level that would support Sanders' candidacy. Volunteer with DSA and join us in saying: #WeNeedBernie!

Socialists vs. Socialists

It may surprise many people to learn there are different kinds of socialists, just as there are different kinds of Democrats and Republicans. No... I take that back. There is only one kind of Republican, the crazy kind. The Socialist Workers Party came out with some criticism of Bernie Sanders, implying he's not a "real" socialist and saying he can't possibly win the presidency, etc. I imagine they want us to vote for their candidate, since they almost always run one, because his or her chances of winning are so much better than Sanders' chances. Anyway, I'm a democratic socialist, same as Sanders, so I hopped on over to the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) to see if they felt differently about Sanders. Whaddya know? They certainly do.

This is from the DSA web page:

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has announced that he is officially running as a candidate for President in 2016 to further a desperately needed political revolution in the USA.

Senator Sanders is a lifelong champion of the public programs and democratic rights that empower working class people. His candidacy could help expand both the progressive movement and the democratic socialist voice within that movement.

Bernie.PNG

By running in the Democratic primaries, Independent Senator Sanders will challenge the dominant discourse of neoliberal Democrats that privilege corporate business interests over those of all working people. He will contribute to building a strong movement to halt the vicious attacks of Tea Party Republicans at all governmental levels on workers' rights, voting rights, and people of color in general.

Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) strongly supports Senator Sanders as the strongest candidate for President of the United States. We encourage him to meet with grassroots activists throughout the country to discuss how his candidacy might effectively promote their varied struggles for social and economic justice, human rights, world peace and a healthy environment.

Those who wish to promote the goals of democratic socialism should consider taking concrete and specific actions at the grassroots level that would support Sanders' candidacy. Volunteer with DSA and join us in saying: #WeNeedBernie!
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