Friday, 30 September 2016

Corruption on a Grand Scale

Birds of a Feather

We published a couple of pieces recently upon the systemic, habitual corruption of the Clintons.  Their habitual sin is known as simony.  The dictionary definition of simony is:
c.1200, "the sin of buying or selling sacred things," from Old French simonie"selling of church offices" (12c.), from Late Latin simonia, from Simon Magus, the Samaritan magician who was rebuked by Peter when he tried to buy the power of conferring the Holy Spirit (Acts viii:18-20). Related: Simoniac; simoniacal.  []
It is clearly an ancient term. But the evil remains alive and well and very modern. Some things never change. The Clintons' version of simony is to sell their office and its influence for pecuniary advantage.  Therefore, they enter into Simoniac bargains accepting money in exchange for special favours.

However, because it's the Clintons--who are donkey deep into the Establishment--few people turn a hair.  The Republic's corruption is a broad river and very deep.  The Clintons will extol their charitable work via the "Clinton Foundation" and will tell all and sundry how many people they have wondrously helped, whilst they siphon off the "charitable" donations to maintain the extravagant lifestyle to which they have become very accustomed and to which they genuinely believe they are entitled.

But what about Donald Trump, Hillary's rival?
 Trump has never held public office.  But he, too, is a big believer in charity.  A few years ago he and the Clintons were great mates.  It is not too much of a stretch to think that Good Old Bill Clinton whispered in Trump's ear about "how to do it".  We have the corruptions of the Clinton Foundation, and lo-and-behold, Donald Trump also has a charity, known as the Trump Foundation.  Great minds think alike, or . . . conspire and confabulate to do evil.

Paul Waldman of the Washington Post, penned the following expose on the Trump Foundation.
If you thought that there were no more varieties of sleaze that could be revealed about Donald Trump, I’m sorry to say you were wrong. Here’s the latest revelation from the dogged work of our own David Fahrenthold:

In one case, from 2007, Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club faced $120,000 in unpaid fines from the town of Palm Beach, Fla., resulting from a dispute over the size of a flagpole.  In a settlement, Palm Beach agreed to waive those fines — if Trump’s club made a $100,000 donation to a specific charity for veterans. Instead, Trump sent a check from the Donald J. Trump Foundation, a charity funded almost entirely by other people’s money, according to tax records.
In case you haven’t been following the story of the Trump Foundation, that last part is critical: Trump has given zero dollars to the Trump Foundation since 2009. Instead, he gets other rich people to donate money to the foundation, and he then uses their money for self-aggrandizement and sometimes self-enrichment.

As Fahrenthold has documented, Trump has used foundation money for things like buying a six-foot-tall painting of himself, sometimes at charity events held at Mar-a-Lago, where he charges the charity for use of the facility, which means that not only is he not making the donation for which everyone is praising him, he’s actually making money on the deal. And then of course there’s the conveniently timed, illegal $25,000 donation from the foundation to Florida attorney general Pam Bondi, which was followed quickly by her decision not to join a lawsuit charging Trump with fraud over Trump University.

We’ll have to see if the IRS investigates the self-dealing Fahrenthold has identified and what kinds of fines might result. But one of the many striking details in this story is the shock experts in nonprofit and foundation law express when they hear about how Trump uses the Trump Foundation. “I represent 700 nonprofits a year, and I’ve never encountered anything so brazen,” one lawyer told Fahrenthold. “If he’s using other people’s money — run through his foundation — to satisfy his personal obligations, then that’s about as blatant an example of self-dealing [as] I’ve seen in a while.”
Donald Trump spent more than a quarter-million dollars from his charitable foundation to settle lawsuits that involved the billionaire’s for-profit businesses, according to interviews and a review of legal documents.  Those cases, which together used $258,000 from Trump’s charity, were among four newly documented expenditures in which Trump may have violated laws against “self-dealing” — which prohibit nonprofit leaders from using charity money to benefit themselves or their businesses.
There you have it.  You can read the rest of the tawdry story in the Post article.  Trump deserves to be in prison, sharing a cell next door to the Clintons.   They are kindred spirits.

Sadly, Paul Waldman, the author of the Post piece, wants to let the Clintons off the hook for their Simoniac corruption.  He attempts to argue there is a genuine non equivalence between the corruption of the Clintons and that of Trump.  His specious apologia for Hillary Clinton is nauseous.  He merely illustrates how deep the corruption actually runs through the Establishment.
It can get tiring to repeat “Imagine if this were Hillary Clinton…” every time we learn of some new kind of malfeasance Trump has engaged in, but it’s hard to avoid the comparison. Republicans and many journalists practically lost their minds when we discovered that an executive at the Clinton Foundation had encouraged Clinton to meet with major donors to the foundation when she was secretary of state — even though those donors were people like a Nobel Peace Prize winner and the Crown Prince of Bahrain, a critical U.S. ally. Say what you will about that, but there’s never been even a hint that the Clintons used their foundation, which has done a tremendous amount of good work around the world, for personal gain. Now think what the reaction would be if we discovered that Clinton used her foundation’s money to pay off personal lawsuits. It would take about twelve seconds for outraged Republicans to demand an indictment and nervous Democrats to start calling for her to pull out of the race.
The Clintons use their Foundation to maintain a lifestyle to which, they believe, they are not only accustomed, but entitled.  Remind us again: how much daughter, Chelsea is being paid by the Clinton Foundation to polish her nails?  Arguably, their sin is much worse because of the resultant corruption of the Republic.  Hillary sold her influence.  Where we come from, that's called accepting bribes.

The Clintons and Trump are birds of a feather.  The attempt by the author, Paul Waldman to defend Hillary and protect her from unjust sufferings caused by disingenuous partisan cant--that is, by Republicans--amounts to self-degradation.

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