Grandma P and I have recently returned from an extended cruise around South America. Truly a ‘once in a lifetime’ trip. It was marvelous, and I would recommend that cruise as a ‘bucket list’ event.
Getting ‘geared up’ to write this blog after this hiatus has been very difficult. As I have said many times, “Retiring is tiring!” Consequently, I have needed additional time to reignite my creative juices. There were plenty of events taking place during the cruise that were worthy of a blog, so material was certainly not the issue.
It is always fascinating to meet so many interesting people on a cruise, especially a long cruise. Not only are there the Americans, but the ship had many Canuckians, Brits and Aussies. Having an opportunity to hear their opinions about the United States really did pique my interest about their perception of our country. Answering their questions about the United States, especially about our politics, kept me on my toes! I digress, but I will discuss this further in a later blog.
The one thing that has been constant in all our travels is Grandma P’s ability to limit the amount of baggage that we take on vacation. All of our luggage for the 49-day cruise consisted of two large bags that had to be checked, and two carry-on bags. All of this fitted nicely in the back of a rented Ford Escape on the way to the departure port, and in the hold of United Airlines after leaving the ship. But just like the television infomercials, “But wait! There’s more!” Grandma P is so adept at packing, that we made it home in good order with all the trinkets and souvenirs that we purchased in our concerted effort to stimulate the economy of South America! Yes, she did an amazing job of limiting our baggage.
There is one person that I am familiar with that has way, way more baggage than Grandma P, and that would be Hillary R. Clinton. You know Hillary. She has announced her candidacy for President of the United States for 2016.
Here is just some of the baggage with which Hillary has to contend.
The Clinton Foundation
According to one source, “The Clinton Foundation’s finances are so messy that the nation’s most influential charity watchdog put it on its ‘watch list’ of problematic nonprofits last month. The Clinton family’s mega-charity took in more than $140 million in grants and pledges in 2013 but spent just $9 million on direct aid.”
Wow! Double wow!! $140 million? According to their 2013 tax forms the charity spent $30 million on payroll and employee benefits; $8.7 million in rent and office expenses; $9.2 million on conferences, conventions, and meetings; $8 million on fundraising, and nearly $8.5 million on travel. They must travel first class on the space shuttle! Now here is the amazing fact. None of the Clintons are on the payroll. This includes Hillary, Bill, Chelsea and whoever……….. But, they all enjoy first class flights paid for by the foundation.
Some of the tens of millions of administrative costs finance more than 2,000 employees, including aid workers and health professionals around the world. But that is still far below the 75 percent rate of spending that nonprofit experts say a good charity should spend on its mission. Charity Navigator, an organization that rates charities, refuses to rate the Clinton Foundation, as it does not meet their criteria. Hmmmmm. There are allegations that the Foundation has a ‘Clinton Family Slush Fund’ at its core. (Are we surprised?)
Another large ‘red flag’ concerning this foundation is, “Who are its contributors?” It appears that political favors granted when Hillary was Secretary of State have manifested as donations to this foundation. While in that position, Hillary signed off on a deal that allowed a Russian government enterprise to control one-fifth of all uranium-producing capacity in the United States. Rosatom, the Russian company, acquired a Canadian firm controlled by Frank Giustra, a friend of Bill Clinton’s and member of the foundation board. Giustra has pledged over $130 million to the Clinton family charity. Ronald Reagan has got to be turning over in his grave! Russians? Our uranium?
Recently, there have been other inquiries about other foreign contributions during the time of Hillary’s tenure as Secretary of State.
That foundation alone provides enough proverbial baggage to fill the overhead compartments of a few large passenger planes.
I could not possibly say anything about the deleted emails as well as what was said by the National Post, a leading Canadian news source. In that regard, I am going to share with you three paragraphs of their lengthy report on Hillary Clinton.
“Hillary, during her tenure as Dowager Empress at State, decided, all on her imperious own, that normal practice for record keeping, as required by law and precedent, did not apply to her. (How could it? She’s Hillary.) For her entire tenure – so she tells the world – she stayed off the State department’s own encrypted and secure system, and instead set up her own computer, on her own server, in her own house.
On that private and secret system, she conducted both personal and State Department business. Then about two years after stepping down, under force of exterior revelation, she held a press conference to announce she had her staff review them all, extract what she said were official emails, and sent those self-selected emails back to State. The rest, 30,000 according to her, were personal, and they – along with the server! – were then destroyed. There is now a memory hole in the history of U.S. foreign affairs. The record of the second-most powerful office in the world, where it is not a perfect void, is questionable, selective and, inarguably, imperfect.
These emails are not text messages from a high school dance organizer. The Secretary of State is not a teenager. The record of diplomacy, the electronic conversations with staff, with foreign leaders, with her President, are not for her to dispose. She has blotted out part of her own country’s diplomatic history. This one practice alone should bar her from seeking the presidency. It was the most monumental piece of official arrogance since the ancient Chinese Emperor declared the beginning of his reign was Year One.”
Wow! Those Canuckians are brilliant! That really sums up that piece of baggage quite well. I can move on.
Here is a Hillary situation that will not go away. Benghazi involved the slaying of U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. There is a House Select Committee that will again meet in the coming months concerning this event. If I am reading the ‘tea leaves’ correctly, the original focus of the investigating committee was to determine if the deaths were caused by mismanagement by Hillary Clinton while Secretary of State. And then, and then……..they discovered that most documents surrounding this event were emails destroyed in the 30,000-email massacre! This has provided more fuel for an already burning fire.
But wait. Rumor has it that as the House is now controlled by Republicans, they are going to take a silk glove approach to this matter. Why? Because they do not want to appear to be bullying Hillary before the 2016 election. They are afraid they will look bad and create a sympathetic vote for Hillary. (If she were President, do you think Vladimir Putin would use the silk glove approach?)
While being questioned by yet another committee, this one concerning Benghazi, it was asked if the State Department thought this was a terrorist act, or if these people were out for a stroll and decided to kill some Americans. Her reply, “What difference does it make?” It makes a huge difference, because it was obviously a well-planned terrorist attack and our government decided to give it a pass. What I want to know is if the rumors are true that a military relief force was on the way from Italy, and our government directed the military to cancel the mission. These rumors indicate that Obama made the decision based upon State Department input, meaning Hillary. So much for saving the Ambassador and those Americans defending him. Another big piece of baggage.
I believe Bill Clinton brings more baggage to this campaign. “I did not have relations with that woman.” “It all depends on what the definition of is, is.” Remember all of that? How long are the Clintons going to continue this sham of a marriage? If they are living within 200 miles of each other, I would be surprised.
I would like to think that people seeking political office are doing it to improve the ‘greater good’ of the electorate. They need a plan to outline their goals and a plan for achieving those goals. Have you heard any of what those goals are from Hillary? (Hope and Change worked for Obama. Why have a goal or plan? Rainbows and unicorns seem to be enough promise for voters.) I know I am being overly optimistic about my expectations for politicians, but I do believe the only reason the Clintons are together is because of their quest for power. Power brings money. Power brings prestige. Bill has been to the top and Hillary wants it, too. She experienced it as a U.S. Senator representing a state she never lived in, and as the Secretary of State. Both of the Clintons are automatons when it comes to the quest for power.
So there you have it. Even with Grandma P assisting, I do not believe Hillary could manage all her baggage. There is much more luggage in her closet than what was discussed in this piece. (Travel gate, Whitewater, Vince Foster…) We managed our baggage with a Ford Escape, Hillary would need an aircraft carrier.
My biggest hope, is that the electorate of the United States will wise up and see through the facades of many of these presidential candidates. Let us do something different this time and elect someone who has a goal for the country, a plan for obtaining those goals, one which protects Americans and America and places God and country first. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? Feeling HOPEful for real CHANGE!!!