Foundations of Virtue?
This week on Facebook: There has been a lot of media furore over Donald Trump’s election as the 45th President of the USA and I could post five articles in a similar vein to those below about ‘The Trump Foundation’. What is clear to me is that a number of these political foundations are used to fund an ongoing quasi-political lifestyle for the foundation members and more importantly can be seen as sellers of political influence for donations. The fact that foreign governments — as in Australia (Friday’s article) — use their taxpayers monies to buy such influence should cause a national outrage. National administrations, which notionally term themselves democratic, are only able to behave in this kleptocratic manner when their electorate is largely indifferent. If the reported fall in donations to the Clinton Foundation are not an indication of how a foundation operates a pay to play policy, what is?
The world’s media largely predict the election of Donald Trump as a catastrophe for the world in general, I have to wonder that with such media prescience how the world ended up in its present state. Not being a citizen of the USA I’m not eligible to vote in their elections but had I voted I would have voted for Trump. My position being that the media predicts anarchy following Trump’s election to the presidency and anarchy may be the purgative needed to restore some global realpolitiks. Certainly to my mind, anarchy is preferred to the lingering demise that more of the same under any self professed progressive offers. However, we shall have to wait and see what realpolitiks (if that’s what the USA delivers) brings forth.
Monday 23/1/2017 What is the Clinton Foundation and why is it controversial? During her time as secretary, more than half of Clinton’s meetings with people outside government were with donors to the Clinton Foundation. These included executives at Estee Lauder, which was working with the State Department on a gender violence project in South Africa, and the founder of a non-profit bank who was asking for help because the government of Bangladesh pressured him to resign.
Tuesday 24/1/2017 The inside story of how the Clintons built a $2 billion global empire: Today, the Clinton Foundation is unlike anything else in the history of the nation and, perhaps, the world: It is a global philanthropic empire run by a former U.S president and closely affiliated with a potential future president, with the audacious goal of solving some of the world’s most vexing problems by bringing together the wealthiest, glitziest and most powerful people from every part of the planet.
Wednesday 25/1/2017 Two Clintons. 41 Years. $3 Billion: The grand total raised for all of their political campaigns and their family’s charitable foundation reaches at least $3 billion, according to a Washington Post investigation. Their fundraising haul, which began with $178,000 that Bill Clinton raised for his long-shot 1974 congressional bid, is on track to expand substantially with Hillary Clinton’s 2016 White House run, which has already drawn $110 million in support.
Thursday 26/1/2017 How the Clinton Foundation Got Rich off Poor Haitians: Some projects championed by the Clintons, such as the building of industrial parks and posh hotels, cost a great deal of money and offered scarce benefits to the truly needy. Port-au-Prince was supposed to be rebuilt; it was never rebuilt. Projects aimed at creating jobs proved to be bitter disappointments. Haitian unemployment remained high, largely undented by the funds that were supposed to pour into the country. Famine and illness continued to devastate the island nation.
Friday 27/1/2017 The Clintons and Their Corruptocrats: Ostensibly charitable, the Clinton Foundation is the centrepiece of the couple’s amassing of a vast personal fortune. Bill was president from 1993-01. Hillary was Secretary of State for Obama from 2009-13. In Hillary’s term at State, every variety of wealthy crook, influence-seeker and tyrannical government rushed to “donate” millions to the Clinton Foundation, its spin-offs, Bill Clinton personally or vague combinations of all/any of them. Lots of those crooked donors later scored disgrace, convictions and/or gaol on unrelated matters. Amid the sleaze, of course, the Clinton Foundation did manage to do some genuine charity work.
The following is a short collections of links to charities that use the name of political figures, perhaps confirming that the ultimate aim of a politician is to be immortalised. I doubt if many remember Clement Attlee but I’m sure that many will be familiar with the names of Tony Blair and at least one of the Bushes. There are three foundations that — to my mind — were established with the sole purpose of immortalising a political figure; they are those of JFK and Ronald Reagan in the USA and Margaret Thatcher in the UK. It may be that this is really what a politician giving their name to a charity should only be about.
The Attlee Foundation: The Attlee Foundation was established in 1967 with support from across the political spectrum to benefit people disadvantaged by lack of opportunity.
The Blair Foundation: A difficult Foundation to define but the article provides a damming indictment.
The Bush Foundation: When it comes to their foundations’ donors, Bill and Hillary are more open than George W. Bush or his father.
The Kennedy Foundation: The mission of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation was first articulated by Jacqueline Kennedy, who, when describing the yet-to-be-built library, envisioned it as “a vital centre of education and exchange and thought, which will grow and change with the times.”
The Reagan Foundation: The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation is the nonprofit organisation created by President Reagan himself and specifically charged by him with continuing his legacy and sharing his principles — individual liberty, economic opportunity, global democracy and national pride.
The Thatcher Foundation: The Foundation has pursued an innovative and imaginative educational program. Drawing on Lady Thatcher’s worldwide standing and expertise, it raised funds and helped to finance projects promoting Western business, legal, and technical education, particularly in former communist countries.
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