What Fresh Hell Is This?

May 31, 2015

Jack Kelly Sunday

Does anyone still trust the "facts" found in “Clinton Cash” by Peter Schweizer?

That's obviously a rhetorical question as at least one person, the Post-Gazette's Jack Kelly, does and he shows it in this week's column.

Like the rest of the right-wing pundit class in this a lesson ad hoc ergo propter hoc Jack smears himself out of the range of credibility.

Let's start with his first paragraph:
The Clinton Foundation “received as much as $26.4 million in previously undisclosed payments” from corporations, foreign sources and other groups in 2014, The Washington Post reported 10 days ago.
Looks menacing, until you check the facts outlined in the source material.  Here's the Washington Post article Jack's referencing.  And its first paragraph:
The Clinton Foundation reported Thursday that it has received as much as $26.4 million in previously undisclosed payments from major corporations, universities, foreign sources and other groups.
See what Jack just did?  It was the foundation itself that reported the payments.  The Washington Post was just reporting on what the foundation reported.

But why were these payments "previously undisclosed?"  Here are the Post's next two paragraphs:
The disclosure came as the foundation faced questions over whether it fully complied with a 2008 ethics agreement to reveal its donors and whether any of its funding sources present conflicts of interest for Hillary Rodham Clinton as she begins her presidential campaign.

The money was paid as fees for speeches by Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton. Foundation officials said the funds were tallied internally as “revenue” rather than donations, which is why they had not been included in the public listings of its contributors published as part of the 2008 agreement.
And what of this "ethics agreement?"  Here's what the Post had to say (and what Jack decided not to tell you):
The ethics agreement was reached between the foundation and the Obama administration to provide additional transparency and avoid potential conflicts of interest with Hillary Clinton’s appointment as secretary of state.
And then a few paragraphs later:
Vincent Salamone, a spokesman for the Office of Government Ethics, said this week that speeches delivered by public officials or their spouses acting as an “agent” of a charitable group in which the payment is made directly to the organization need not be disclosed in financial filings of public officials.

Brian Fallon, a spokesman for the Clinton campaign, said that analysis explains why the Clintons did not disclose the speeches while Hillary Clinton was a senator and then secretary of state.
And so in order to be more transparent, the foundation decided to post the material on its website - even though it didn't have to.

Now go back and look at Jack's first paragraph.  See how he played you only one track of the multilayered recording and then let you insinuate the full story from his frame of reference?  It's like hearing only Paul's bass line and being left to assume that "Harry the Horse" was a reference to heroin.

But let's get to the big Schweizer shite Jack offers us:
CharityWatch says even a “minimally efficient” foundation spends 60 percent of its budget on programs. In the years 2009-2012, the Clinton Foundation devoted just 15 percent to charitable grants, according to an analysis of IRS filings by The Federalist. That fell to 10 percent in 2013. Forty-five percent was spent on salaries, perks and travel for staff.
This is something that Polifact has already declared "mostly false."

But before we go into Politifact's argument, let's take a closer look at CharityWatch.   Ever wonder what sort of rating they gave the Clinton Foundation?  Take a look - they got an A.

Here's one reason, they describe how they analyze how much a foundation treats the funds it receives:
A charity's Program % is the percentage of its cash budget it spends on Programs relative to Overhead (Fundraising and Management & General Expenses)
And they rated the Clinton Foundation as:
  • 89% Program
  • 11% Overhead
Why didn't Jack tell you that?  Jack quotes CharityWatch with a criteria for how to rate good foundations and then quickly moves onto a questionable Federalist article with information that completely contradict CharityWatch itself.  Didn't anyone at the Post-Gazette catch this?

If so, why did they let it pass through?  And if not, why the heck not??

But let's look get back to Politifact:
Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh aired this line of argument on April 23, 2015, citing a report in the Federalist, a conservative publication. Here’s a portion of what Limbaugh said:

"The Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation -- 99 percent pass-through. The Clinton Family Foundation pass-through is 15 percent. The Federalist reports only 15 percent of the money donated to the Clinton Family Foundation went to actual charitable causes. The bulk of the money donated to the Clinton Family Foundation went to travel, salaries, and benefits. Sixty percent of all the money raised went to other expenses. In other words, folks, 85 percent of every dollar donated to the Clinton Foundation ended up either with the Clintons or with their staff to pay for travel, salaries, and benefits. Fifteen cents of every dollar actually went to some charitable beneficiary." [Italics in original.]
And here's Politifact's main point in one paragraph:
[M]any foundations carry out charitable works by giving money to other organizations that, in turn, do the ground-level charity work, whereas the Clinton foundation’s charitable works are mostly done by people on the foundation’s payroll. "We are an implementing organization rather than a grantmaking organization," said the foundation’s [spokesman, Craig] Minassian. That’s why the Clinton Foundation’s 990s show a relatively small amount of money categorized as "grants" -- only about 10 percent of all expenses in 2013.
As the man said, you're entitled to your own opinion but you're not entitled to your own facts.  And Jack Kelly left out enough facts to invalidate his entire column.

Doesn't anyone check these things at the P-G?  And if they did and this is the result, imagine what Jack submits to them before they check his work.

1 comment:

Heir to the Throne said...

It was the foundation itself that reported the payments.
Just like George Stephanopoulos discloses $75,000 contribution to Clinton Foundation
Except ABC News ran to Politico to help spin this when the Washington Free Beacon asked ABC to comment.

This is something that Polifact has already declared "mostly false."
PunditFact: A Case Study In Fact-Free Hackery
Watch PunditFact turn a statement that is "clearly accurate" and "technically true" into something that is "Mostly False."

Sean Davis the author of "the big Schweizer shite" so why do you credit to Peter Schweizer?

Rush then talked about a “mostly false” rating that PunditFact gave to his recitation of a report from The Federalist about the Clinton Foundation finances. He detailed The Federalist’s Sean Davis revealing that PunditFact’s Louis Jacobson admitted that the report cited by Limbaugh was “technically true,” even though PunditFact declared it “mostly false.” Rush praised Davis for having “the guts to go public with all of this, and further expose these fact-check organizations as nothing other than Democrat Party front groups,” adding “Sean Davis stood up and got in their face and caused it to back down.”

Clinton foundation’s charitable works are mostly done by people on the foundation’s payroll.
Like "AIDS" researcher/expert Sidney Blumenthal