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Clinton Cash Redux

15 May 2015

Clinton Cash
Clinton Cash Redux
May 15, 2015

The feedback to my Clinton Cash book review has been heartfelt on both sides, but the most interesting responses come from Hillary supporters who have not read it but gossip about it to no end. At least some of it comes from a vigorous disinformation campaign from her campaign staff, which was to be expected. They got an advance copy of the book before publication and had ample time to pick it apart. The $136 million in speaking fees that Bill and Hillary have earned since 2001 are chump change compared to what they will "earn" if she is elected president, so they have strong financial incentive to do what they can. That said, there are problems with the book - no surprise to me - that bear discussion.

The book's publisher has already re-released the Kindle version of the book with "7 or 8 corrections". You can read the details of the corrections here. This is rare for a publisher to do. It's only natural that the book's detractors would focus on these errors, but these are errors of detail, not of the general picture portrayed. The qui pro quo transactions that author Schweizer discusses are detailed and serpentine; I assumed as I read the book that there were some errors of detail because the book is full of details, unlike a typical political attack book. A short book with 57 pages of footnotes was easy to pick apart, so the fact that the footnotes are provided is unusual evidence of an author who wanted to be taken seriously.

The bottom line, unchanged by the corrections, is that both Clintons have milked the political system for everything it's worth for their personal financial advantage. No doubt the Bushes are unspeakably envious, since the old man taught Bill Clinton a lot of the tricks he now uses. Most of the attacks on the book are based on attacking the author personally. I admit that I am unimpressed with a lot of his background, so I was prepared for a bad book, but the book is substantive and almost incremental, given what we already know about Clintonian politics.

The pervasiveness of the corruption has been underscored by a revelation from Politico that ABC News fakir George Stephanopolous has been a secret Clinton Foundation donor ($50,000) himself - a fact that he deliberately failed to mention when he grilled author Peter Schweizer on his This Week show a few Sundays ago. Given that he used to be mouthpiece, I mean press secretary, for Bill Clinton, this is no shock either, but it does go to show how deeply the corruption has burrowed into our political system. Stephanopolous has proven to be a journalistic fraud no one should take seriously.

Am I too harsh on the Clintons? Just read these quotes being circulated in an e-mail from The Nation magazine, a 150-year-old progressive publication:

Reform-minded progressives agree: Clinton Cash is serious investigative journalism that demands serious answers about crony capitalism and how Hillary and Bill Clinton amassed over $136.5 million of wealth.

Columbia University Earth Institute Director Jeffrey D. Sachs says, "The new book Clinton Cash: is compelling reading on how Bill and Hillary have mixed personal wealth, power, and influence peddling."

Progressive columnist Eleanor Clift says Clinton Cash: author Peter Schweizer "is an equal-opportunity investigator, snaring Republicans as well as Democrats."

Demos Senior Fellow Nomi Prins agrees: Clinton Cash: "provides a damning portrait of elite and circumspect power and influence.'"

Harvard Law School Professor Lawrence Lessig concludes: "On any fair reading, the pattern of behavior that Schweizer has charged is corruption."

You may also like this related article: Clinton Cash (216)
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