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Drew
United States
North Dakota
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Thanks for the rent-free space in your head. Would have been nice if you'd cleaned it up a bit before you rented it out, though.
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It's Politico, so you won't get conservative cooties by clicking the link:

Bill Clinton aides used tax dollars to subsidize foundation, private email support

Quote:
Bill Clinton's staff used a decades-old federal government program, originally created to keep former presidents out of the poorhouse, to subsidize his family’s foundation and an associated business, and to support his wife’s private email server, a POLITICO investigation has found.

Taxpayer cash was used to buy IT equipment — including servers — housed at the Clinton Foundation, and also to supplement the pay and benefits of several aides now at the center of the email and cash-for-access scandals dogging Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

This investigation, which is based on records obtained from the General Services Administration through the Freedom of Information Act, does not reveal anything illegal. But it does offer fresh evidence of how the Clintons blurred the line between their nonprofit foundation, Hillary Clinton’s State Department, and the business dealings of Bill Clinton and the couple’s aides.

The thousands of pages of newly uncovered records reveal sometimes granular detail about how Bill Clinton’s representatives directed the spending of taxpayer cash allocated by the GSA under the Former President’s Act.

The Act authorizes the GSA to fund the pensions, correspondence, support staff and travel of ex-presidents. It was passed in 1958 to “maintain the dignity” of the presidency by helping former commanders in chief avoid hard times like those that befell Harry S. Truman. He complained that, without help from Uncle Sam, he would be forced to “go ahead with some contracts to keep ahead of the hounds.”

The Clintons did not have this problem.

After leaving the White House “dead broke”, in the words of Hillary Clinton, they quickly raked in tens of millions of dollars from book deals, speaking fees and consulting gigs. At the same time, Bill Clinton was relying on his connections to some of the world’s deepest-pocketed donors, corporations and governments to seed a global philanthropy operation that overlapped with his consulting work and speaking fees and his wife’s work as secretary of state — and served as a jumping-off point for her presidential campaign.

But even as the Clintons got rich and grew their foundation into a $2 billion organization credited with major victories in the fights against childhood obesity and AIDS* — while paying six-figure salaries to top aides — Bill Clinton continued drawing more cash from the Former President's Act than any other ex-president, according to a POLITICO analysis. The analysis also found that Clinton’s representatives, between 2001, when the Clintons left the White House, and the end of this year, had requested allocations under the Act totaling $16 million. That’s more than any of the other living former presidents — Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush — requested during that span.

The program supplemented the income of Clinton’s staff, while providing them with coveted federal government benefits, alleviating the need for the Clinton Foundation or other Clinton-linked entities to foot the bill for such benefits. Similarly, Clinton aides got the GSA to pay for computer technology used partly by the foundation.


More at the link above.

---------

*Credited by themselves, no doubt.
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J.D. Hall
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So it was legal but in poor taste?

Meh.
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J.D. Hall
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bjlillo wrote:
remorseless1 wrote:
So it was legal but in poor taste?

Meh.


That's a pretty sad attitude towards the blatant abuse of taxpayer money. The Clintons and other shitbags like them who are more than happy to abuse the system thank you for your apathy.

Hey cowboy, the Defense Departments wastes a billion dollars a day. THAT outrages me. Members of Congress are paid $150K+ and get the best health insurance in the land, free haircuts, free gym membership, etc. while working less than 110 days a year, THAT outrages me. They can't fund the VA or AFDC, but they want to spend billions to build a wall that won't do anything but make my country look stupid, and THAT outrages me.

Get down off your partisan high horse and realize it's the system these jagoffs have created that allow them to do this kind of shit. Yes, it would have been nice if the Clintons hadn't taken advantage of the law. But they didn't break the law. My issue is with the LAW, not the Clintons.
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Drew
United States
North Dakota
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remorseless1 wrote:
So it was legal but in poor taste?

Meh.


I've noticed that every time more information comes out about Hillary's shady and often illegal dealings, your response is "meh, no big deal" or "meh, everybody does it."

So I'm going to put you in the "Hillary-licker" category until you convince me otherwise.

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Drew
United States
North Dakota
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remorseless1 wrote:
Yes, it would have been nice if the Clintons hadn't taken advantage of the law. But they didn't break the law. My issue is with the LAW, not the Clintons.


So why doesn't it bother you that she broke the law, but the DOJ won't prosecute?

Because it doesn't. Because your response is always "meh."

remorseless1 wrote:
Get down off your partisan high horse


So there's room up there for you?

 
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J.D. Hall
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(sigh) If you go back to the FBI/Hill thread, you'll find I was surprised as hell they didn't prosecute her. Admittedly, I thought she'd get probation and a fine instead of jail time, but I really still believe she broke the law and should have been prosecuted. Had she been indicted, she would have been forced out of the race, and my guy -- the Bern -- would have been the nominee and would currently be wiping his wrinkled old ass with Trump's stupid hairpiece. But that didn't happen.

The difference is this time they didn't break the law. Did they waste taxpayer money? Isn't that what politicians do?

And, if you go back to the editorials I wrote in the 1990s, you would notice a consistent theme: reduce the deficit, stop wasting money, reform the laws so politicians can't enrich themselves on the taxpayers' dime. You two have no idea who I am or what I believe, and you tend to forget the few things I write here when I disagree with you.

To sum up: stupid law wasn't broken by sharp-ass lawyers (the Clintons). It was tasteless and leaves a bad impression. But it was legal. And I'm not the partisan here.
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Drew
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North Dakota
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Your defense would carry more weight if you weren't "Meh"-ing all over the place lately.

No, BJ's got it. You claim to care when politicians waste money, but you give the Clintons a pass. Get up on your high horse, man! Ride it into the sunset!
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J.D. Hall
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bjlillo wrote:
remorseless1 wrote:
The difference is this time they didn't break the law. Did they waste taxpayer money? Isn't that what politicians do?

And, if you go back to the editorials I wrote in the 1990s, you would notice a consistent theme: reduce the deficit, stop wasting money, reform the laws so politicians can't enrich themselves on the taxpayers' dime. You two have no idea who I am or what I believe, and you tend to forget the few things I write here when I disagree with you.


The editorials you allegedly wrote in the 1990s would be ashamed of you right now then. Brushing this off as "what politicians do" and saying "meh" to taxpayer abuse like this is what allows politicians to do what they do. Here's an opportunity for you to stand on your claimed principles but instead you make excuses and use hand-waving to ignore the Clinton Corruption.

When someone proves the "corruption" is any different than what every other politician does, I'll get upset. I covered politics and election throughout my career, 2008 was the last one, and you have no clue just how screwed up legislators and chief executives are in this country. You really don't.

And the "meh"? I'm retired from journalism, so I don't have to give as much of a crap as I used to. So yeah, meh.
 
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Chris
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So everybody's doing it so it's ok?

Why the fuck don't we all work together to fix a broken system instead of ignoring it?
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Drew
United States
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galad2003 wrote:
So everybody's doing it so it's ok?


Well, if just Republicans were doing it, it wouldn't be okay. If just Democrats were doing it, it would be perfectly acceptable.

"Everybody does it" is a way for partisan Democrats to make it look like it matters to them, but "the system" is a problem, and so they shrug in resignation.
 
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J.D. Hall
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galad2003 wrote:
So everybody's doing it so it's ok?

Why the fuck don't we all work together to fix a broken system instead of ignoring it?

Ignoring it? I'm ignoring it? I'm the first one who pointed out that it was legal and thus it's the law that's truly fucked up, not just the Clintons.

But here's the thing, no matter who wins the presidential election, it's Congress that we should focus on. They pass the laws that allow this kind of shit, not the president. But scrolling through RSP, I don't really find a lot of threads on Congress.

And incidentally, I've got the scalp of a state Speaker of the House on my belt for doing something quite similar. How about you?
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Wendell
United States
Yellow Springs
Ohio
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Just curious what people think about foundations giving illegal contributions to political campaigns - specifically to a state attorney general who was deciding whether or not to bring charges against the foundation's namesake for fraud?

http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/29414...
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Andrew Bartosh

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California
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galad2003 wrote:
So everybody's doing it so it's ok?

Why the fuck don't we all work together to fix a broken system instead of ignoring it?


Because people have two widely varying beliefs regarding how the problem should be addressed, with each side claiming that the other's path is fucking stupid. This forces compromises which are increasingly completely half-assed measures that are setup to fail, which returns us back to the original place we started.
 
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J.D. Hall
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AndrewRogue wrote:
galad2003 wrote:
So everybody's doing it so it's ok?

Why the fuck don't we all work together to fix a broken system instead of ignoring it?


Because people have two widely varying beliefs regarding how the problem should be addressed, with each side claiming that the other's path is fucking stupid. This forces compromises which are increasingly completely half-assed measures that are setup to fail, which returns us back to the original place we started.

Oh sure, make sense.
 
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Donald
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Quote:
...had requested allocations under the Act totaling $16 million..


It doesn't add up. According to the Act "Each former President shall be entitled for the remainder of his life to receive from the United States a monetary allowance at a rate per annum, payable monthly by the Secretary of the Treasury, which is equal to the annual rate of basic pay, as in effect from time to time, of the head of an executive department, ". The President gets $400,000 a year. Bill's been out for 15 years, so 6.2 million-ish to date.

Quote:
...provide for each former President an office staff. <snip> ..basic rates of compensation for persons employed for him under this paragraph which in the aggregate shall not exceed $96,000 per annum, except that for the first 30-month period during which a former President is entitled to staff assistance under this subsection, such rates of compensation in the aggregate shall not exceed $150,000 per annum.

So roughly another $1.5 million. So less than half mentioned in the article.

Another thing, it's his money, why can't he use it for what he wants? It's not like taxpayer money is being directly used to fund the Foundation. Bill gets his pension, he spends it. I don't understand that part of the controversy.



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MGK
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bjlillo wrote:
That's a pretty sad attitude towards the blatant abuse of taxpayer money. The Clintons and other shitbags like them who are more than happy to abuse the system thank you for your apathy.


Man there simply isn't a nothingburger Clinton "scandal" you won't get your undies in a twist about these days, huh?

Like, this one is actually plain and simple explained within the linked story itself:

Politico wrote:
According to several people familiar with the former president’s operation, the rationale behind the interwoven payrolls is that they allow for a small team to assist Clinton in a variety of settings without having to do logistically complicated hockey-like line changes. In a given day, Clinton might deliver a paid private speech (during which time his employees’ salaries could be paid by the executive services corporation) and a public speech in his capacity as a former president (during which his staff could be paid by the GSA funds). And he could attend events for the foundation (where staff time would be paid by the foundation) as well as his wife’s presidential campaign (staff time would be paid by the campaign).

The records provided by GSA show that for each pay period, Clinton’s office submitted to GSA a list of personnel who were eligible to receive pay or reimbursement for travel done on behalf of the former president, along with the number of hours worked by each Clinton aide.


There's nothing new about this if you know anything about how nonprofits operate when they hire people who are being paid by different entities, which is what happened here. Politico knows that this is what happened here, because Clinton's office documented all of their hours working for GSA funding, to which - and this is important to remember - Clinton was entitled to claim in the first place.

And if you actually read the entire article, instead of being a Drew and getting about six sentences in before declaring Hillary to be demonspawn all over again, Politico's big examples of "corruption" in this respect are:

- the GSA-paid employees got health benefits that the Clinton Foundation didn't have to pay for, but then again that's the major benefit of being a part-time federal employee in the first place and the GSA-paid employees of other ex-Presidents get the same benefit; Clinton just divides his GSA funds among more staffers. So, you know. A few more people than normal (Clinton had ten staffers paid by GSA, Dubya Bush had four, so at most we're talking six people) got federal health benefits, and not illegally either.
- GSA funds paid for a data storage system to store and process Clinton's correspondence - again, something expressly contemplated by the program - but Clinton office aides admitted that sometimes, CF workers have to check Clinton's correspondence as well, so Politico is pretending this is a big deal.
- The Clinton office once requested GSA funds for a Dell server which would be used for GSA-responsible duties but which would be stored at the Clinton Foundation offices for tech support reasons; the GSA said no, so the CF bought the server with its own money.

That's literally everything Politico was able to find in their comprehensive research of GSA-related documents for the Clinton offices. And we know that because if they had found anything juicier than those things, they would have led with them, instead of burying the boring, mundane details of what actually happened deep in the bog of the piece.

Once again: this is nothingburger. Just like like how you got upset that the Clintons didn't donate to charity properly, which was both wrong and a nothingburger, and the Clinton Foundation donor meetings non-scandal, which was a nothingburger from the start, and the emails, which were nothingburger and now that the actual FBI report has been released, we finally have an answer as to why Bob Comey called Hillary "extremely careless" but also didn't feel she met the gross negligence standard: it's because the actual FBI report basically exonerates her in practically every respect and Comey didn't have anything he even come close to charging her with, but he wanted to do a hatchet job on her as best he could so Clinton-mouth-frothers could do their thing, and boy howdy did he deliver on that one.

You and Drew keep screaming and screaming about how Hillary Clinton is some singularly corrupt politician, and every time the actual evidence comes in, she just isn't - the actual evidence in all of these things shows that the Clintons generally try to follow rules as written. They're willing to take advantage of legal loopholes, but even then they only do so sometimes and it's usually to benefit the Clinton Foundation, which is an extremely efficient charity which actually does a lot of good work.
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Ben Foy
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Ellicott City
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mightygodking wrote:
FBI report has been released, we finally have an answer as to why Bob Comey called Hillary "extremely careless" but also didn't feel she met the gross negligence standard: it's because the actual FBI report basically exonerates her in practically every respect and Comey didn't have anything he even come close to charging her with, but he wanted to do a hatchet job on her as best he could so Clinton-mouth-frothers could do their thing, and boy howdy did he deliver on that one.


I didn't think Comey's comments were that bad. One of his duties is to protect classified info so he felt obligated to make sure everyone knows that Clinton's e-mail setup was 'extremely careless'. But he was also clear that no one had ever been prosecuted for something like that. And there was not any coverup.

The recent AP article was a real hatchet job. News Flash! Many friends of the Clintons give to their charity! Horrors! What a scandal, complete with misleading headline. shake
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