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View Diary: Morning Reaction: What Goes Around, Comes Around? (328 comments)

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  •  i'm wondering re: Bill Clinton (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mofembot, NCrissieB

    and this is completely outside the box: O'm wondering if Bill's charitable functions could be expanded to coincide with our efforts around the world and if this could actually be plus?

    We are going to need to do lots of nation building and philanthropic work if diplomacy is going to mean anything. Right now we're sort of sort on cash for various humanitarian programs that woudl aid U.S. interests.

    I'm wondering if there's any way to take advantage of CGI in a way that enhances our foreign policy?

    Anyone heard anything on this or given it any thought?

    •  Conflict of interest issues, sadly. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wary, mofembot, polar bear

      On the surface, what you're saying sounds like a great idea.  But it creates serious conflict of interest issues.  What if one of CGI's major donors said he'd withhold his contributions unless the U.S. implemented some (assume worthy) policy in a country where CGI had been helping people?  Bill Clinton, as head of CGI, would have an interest in ensuring that policy was adopted in order to maintain CGI's funding base (entirely legitimate!).  Hillary Clinton, as Secretary of State, would have a duty to implement the policies of the Obama Administration, even if they did not include the policy in question.  That's an ugly position to put her into.

      This is one of the main reasons I'd rather Hillary were appointed Secretary of Defense.  There's less likelihood of a conflict of interest between her husband's (legitimate!) charity work and her boss' (equally legitimate!) policy decisions.

      •  Conflict of Interest a HUGE problem (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mofembot, NCrissieB, polar bear

        So, yesterday Bill Clinton was in Kuwait-- and let's pretend Hillary was already sec of state--questions would legitimately be raised--how did he get there? Who's paying him to be there? What's his mission, how does this effect the Obama's own foreign policy?

        I can hear the GOP band wagon--hey how come the Obama administration has allowed that their own SOS is married to someone who is a globtrotter, he doesn't have to report to anyone, what is he doing with all those funds he is raising and how does this affect the Obama Administration's own foreign policy--it appears there's a conflict of interest.

        Hillary has nothing in her resume for either SOS or SEC of Defense. Health Human services, or education would be far better, those have been her passions.

        I guarantee you, IF Obama makes this appointment of her, the GOP is going to use this, and I must say rightfully so, we would do the same, they WILL USE this to attack the Obama administration and derail it! I'm sorry but I firmly believe this will happen!

        He will spend a good part of his administration standing up and defending this appointment iF he makes it--and honestly, right now, he just may lose support from his own base because of it.

        I am so sorry he's made such a poor judgment in this.

        "People should not vote for any Republican, because they're dangerous, dishonest and self-serving"

        by Wary on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 04:16:36 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Bill Clinton made $500,000 (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mofembot, NCrissieB, polar bear

          for that speech in Kuwait. I read that somewhere today - will try to find the link. Even though it is totally legitimate for him to make however much people are willing to pay him, it sets up intense conflict of interest questions.

          •  Exactly. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sagittarius, mofembot, polar bear

            Bill Clinton is a private citizen with a legitimate interest in the privacy of his charity work.  Some of his donors want to remain anonymous for entirely good reasons: they don't want credit or accolades, so they make donations on a promise of anonymity.  We ought to encourage that "I don't want the praise; I just want to help" attitude.

            By the same token, Barack Obama has a legitimate interest in the transparency of his administration.  He doesn't want people wondering whether he and his people are doing things for the public good or at the behest of private donors.  We've had enough of "back pocket government" with the Bush administration.

            Bill Clinton is trying to do good things with the Clinton Global Initiative.  I may not agree with all of their programs, but on the whole I think they're trying to do good work for people who need it.  He ought not have to give up that good work.

            Barack Obama wants to do good things as President of the United States.  Again, I may not agree with every policy, but on the whole I think he wants to do good work for the American people.  He ought not have to compromise that either.

            In an ideal world, their good works ought not to compromise each other.  In the real world, there are conflict of interest issues that would be used against both of them.  And I'm sure they're both well aware of that, and discussing whether and how they could reconcile their legitimate interests if President Obama were to appoint Hillary Clinton to a cabinet post.

            There's no villain in this scenario, except perhaps those who are seizing on their legitimate conflict of interests to demonize one or the other.

          •  that $500,00 turned into over $130 million. (0+ / 0-)

            some Canadian gave him tons of money, and it just so happened that Bill introduced the guy to someone in the govt. in Kazakhstan.  Lo & behold, the Canadian won a big contract.

            Unlike more established competitors, Mr. Giustra was a newcomer to uranium mining in Kazakhstan, a former Soviet republic. But what his fledgling company lacked in experience, it made up for in connections. Accompanying Mr. Giustra on his luxuriously appointed MD-87 jet that day was a former president of the United States, Bill Clinton.

            Upon landing on the first stop of a three-country philanthropic tour, the two men were whisked off to share a sumptuous midnight banquet with Kazakhstan’s president, Nursultan A. Nazarbayev, whose 19-year stranglehold on the country has all but quashed political dissent.

            Mr. Nazarbayev walked away from the table with a propaganda coup, after Mr. Clinton expressed enthusiastic support for the Kazakh leader’s bid to head an international organization that monitors elections and supports democracy. Mr. Clinton’s public declaration undercut both American foreign policy and sharp criticism of Kazakhstan’s poor human rights record by, among others, Mr. Clinton’s wife, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York.

            Within two days, corporate records show that Mr. Giustra also came up a winner when his company signed preliminary agreements giving it the right to buy into three uranium projects controlled by Kazakhstan’s state-owned uranium agency, Kazatomprom.

            The monster deal stunned the mining industry, turning an unknown shell company into one of the world’s largest uranium producers in a transaction ultimately worth tens of millions of dollars to Mr. Giustra, analysts said.

            ....

            Just months after the Kazakh pact was finalized, Mr. Clinton’s charitable foundation received its own windfall: a $31.3 million donation from Mr. Giustra that had remained a secret until he acknowledged it last month. The gift, combined with Mr. Giustra’s more recent and public pledge to give the William J. Clinton Foundation an additional $100 million, secured Mr. Giustra a place in Mr. Clinton’s inner circle, an exclusive club of wealthy entrepreneurs in which friendship with the former president has its privileges.

            after mining deal,...

        •  that's been my hope for Hillary, too--health & (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mofembot, NCrissieB, Kula2316

          human services.  Even tho Ted K. wants to "own" the health bill, she could be in charge of it from the executive side.  

        •  Eh. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mofembot, NCrissieB

          I think that the example of Kuwait provdes exactly the opposite.  Here's a country we've gone to war for, and provided military support for, and convoyed its commercial ships for years.  While it shits on democracy, human rights and makes tons of money off us.  How can we be MORE PRO KUWAIT?

      •  good explanation of conflict. imo, clark would (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mofembot, NCrissieB

        be a good sec def.  (i can hear the moans from here :).)

        •  Clark isn't eligible until 2010. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mofembot, polar bear

          He must be 10 years removed from active military service before he can be nominated for Secretary of Defense.  There is an excellent reason for that rule - to ensure that the SecDef is not biased toward any branch of service - and it would not surprise me if Obama is planning to keep Gates in place until 2010 for exactly that reason:  to "hold" that appointment for Wes Clark.

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