Doctors of influence peddling

Years ago retailers discretely called them “foundation garments.” Bras and girdles and corsets. You knew they hid lots of things. They re-configured some and padded others. And camouflaged them all. (No way those body parts could be that rounded, slim or pointed.) What they displayed was different from what was really there. It was a bait n’ switch deal for sure.

Maidenform’s theme could have been the old song “Yes, I’m the great pretender.” Hillary might consider this for her campaign?

Now, if you like nostalgia, take heart. The meaning of “foundation” lives today. As in the Clinton Foundation. A new book details and alleges what is no secret in Washington. The Clintons have taken in many millions. Many. Supposedly for charitable works. To save the world, and all that. However, the book alleges the money bought favors from Mrs. Clinton, Secretary of State. Along with favors down the road. If she becomes President. A form of crony insurance.

Now I am not picking on the Clintons. Hundreds of politicians set up such charities. The charities do a bit of good work. And “bit” is probably an accurate word. Meanwhile, they employ relatives and friends. (One report claims the Clinton Foundation spends a bit on charity. And a mountain on friends and political staff. Surprise!) They hit up companies and people and governments for big donations. To buy influence, favors and face time with the politicians.



Let’s be honest. This is the primary purpose of most of these foundations. It is also the primary goal of the teams that twist arms for campaign contributions for shoo-in candidates. The candidates don’t need the money because they are shoo-ins. But you need to give. If you want to stay on good terms with the politicians, that is.

A good example of this is NY Sen. Chuck Schumer. He has already raised nearly $3 million for his 2016 campaign. Yet his re-election is certain. He’ll need to spend maybe twenty-five cents on campaign publicity.

Used to be these guys could keep money they did not spend for their campaigns. Something tells me that does not surprise you. I cannot recall whether this scam was ended. And I am too weary of corruption in politics to try to look it up.

Our politicians are among the most charitable people on earth. You would think this if you saw the list of their charities. Albany is awash with them. The word “awash” implies liquid. Like the liquid in cesspools and septic tanks.

Now the Clintons are the best at lots of the things they do. They make competitors look like bush-leaguers. This is surely true in this influence peddling racket. They have perfected this dodge. They have set the bar for this as high as Everest’s peak. If there was a Nobel Prize for influence peddling they would win it every year. Hands down. Or, maybe, hands out.

As you know, the Clintons are taking fire from all sides in this scandal. Some of this comes from politicians who envy them. They are berating their staffs this very moment.

“Hey! Hillary gets $600,000 for three speeches? And all you line up for me is $1500 and a rubber chicken dinner? Cmonnnn! Bill gets half a billion and maybe more? To grant a pardon for that sleazy crook Marc Rich. And Rich’s shapely ex-wife spends lots of nights at the White House, nudge, nudge, wink, wink? When Guess Who is away? A perfect deal for him! So what do you guys line up for moi? Tea with the Association of Retired Librarians? Gees!! What are we doing wrong here, guys?”

You have to concede that politicians are getting better at this. Used to be they took envelopes stuffed with cash. Vice-President Spiro Agnew, hello, hello. That was high school stuff. Next they conjured up this campaign contribution con. Let’s rate that as an undergraduate activity. Today’s top politicians work at more sophisticated levels. They are worthy of honorary doctorates in influence peddling.

Kind of makes you proud, eh? I dreamt I conned the rubes in my Maidenform bra.

From Tom...as in Morgan.

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