The great good works and wonky dilemmas of William J. Clinton 2

What does the Clinton Foundation do? Hillary Clinton says it supports good causes. Which good causes exactly?

We extract information from the New York Times, August 13,  2013:

[The William J. Clinton Foundation] has been renamed the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation.

Worried that the foundation’s operating revenues depend too heavily on Mr. Clinton’s nonstop fund-raising, the three Clintons are embarking on a drive to raise an endowment of as much as $250 million

The foundation … has 350 employees in 180 countries  

Big-name companies vie to buy sponsorships at prices of $250,000 and up, money that has helped subsidize the foundation’s annual operating costs.

Last year, the foundation and two subsidiaries had revenues of more than $214 million.

Yet the foundation’s expansion has also been accompanied by financial problems. …  Last year [2012], it ran more than $8 million in the red. … In 2010 and 2011 … it ran annual shortfalls of more than $4 million. …

Presumably some part of its revenues have actually gone to “good causes”?

Sure. Some. According to the New York Times (in the same report) they include:

Childhood obesity in the United States.

Is Bill Clinton succeeding where Michelle Obama failed in the thinning of American children?

Sustainable farming in South America.

Farming in South America has done pretty well for an awfully long time, so why does it need extra help from Bill? A clue probably lies in the word “sustainable”. It’s one of those red-flag words that warn readers that something is coming which might make them feel sick. Did the Clinton Foundation put up windmills? Did it send inspectors to the farms to make sure that their produce was strictly “organic”?

Mentoring entrepreneurs.

Oh, we all know the need entrepreneurs have for mentoring! Lucky the Clinton Foundation exists to provide the service.

Saving elephants from poaching.


… and more. That list will shift soon as Mrs. Clinton and Chelsea build their staffs to focus on issues including economically empowering women and combating infant mortality. …

The Clinton ladies too are doing great things. If they can combat infant mortality and win, it will be a huge surprise to the human race.

But hang on a moment … won’t any reduction in infant mortality be an annoyance to the Environmentalists, who want the world’s population to shrink? And to the “pro-choice” campaigners, who want abortion on demand right up to the moment of birth – and can even see the bright side of infanticide? Isn’t Hillary Clinton their champion?

As answer comes there none, we move on.

The Clinton Foundation sprouted the Clinton Global Initiative. What good causes does that serve?

We find out from The New Republic, where Alec MacGillis wrote on Sept 22, 2013:

[The Clinton Global Initiative] is not a traditional charity — unlike Clinton’s foundation, it does not dispense money of its own. Instead, it is a series of collaborations with corporations or individuals to solve global problems, anchored by an annual conference that costs $20,000 to attend.

In the past eight years, CGI has secured pledges worth $74 billion. …

CGI was the perfect vehicle for [Bill] Clinton. It allowed him to train his intellect on wonky dilemmas

On wonky dilemmas? Such as?

Improving China’s power grid.

Now there’s a cause alright. Why call it a dilemma? What objection could any American have to that? The US owes $1.3 trillion to China, so helping them along with their electricity grid is an amazingly selfless gesture. Completely disinterested (in the real meaning of the word). Christian charity at its purest.

Bolstering Mali’s market for locally produced rice.

Wonder how that’s done? And how much it costs?

And – 

Here comes the proof that virtue is its own reward:

– it placed him [Bill Clinton] at the center of a matrix of the ultra-wealthy and the ultra-powerful, the kinds of people Clinton has always taken a special pleasure in surrounding himself with.

CGI operates like an economy in which celebrity is the main currency.

For Clinton, there is the appeal of tackling existential challenges by striking a deal, one on one, with the right influential person.

He could help expand access to health care for millions, thanks to the whim of a billionaire like Saudi Arabia’s Sheik Mohammed Al Amoudi; 

He could?

or get $30 million in loan guarantees to finance clean water utilities in India, via Dow Chemical; or $100 million for small-business development in Africa, courtesy of Shell. …

And has he?

In some cases, such as securing agreements for carbon-emissions reductions, the solving-by-convening model has produced impressive results. …

Securing agreements was an impressive result. The agreements did not necessarily have  an impressive effect on carbon emissions – a cause we know is dear to the heart of all Democrats – but the money ( how much?) secured agreements on that wonky dilemma.

So there we have it. Now we can all see why the Clintons need $250 million dollars.