To Haiti cholera, to the Clintons, profit 2

It is not remarkable or surprising to read this account of just some of the IMMENSE AND APPALLING HARM that the United Nations does.

Nor is it surprising to read that the Clintons profit from the harm.

What is surprising is to learn that the New York Times, National Public Radio and CNN actually reported the harm, and the Huffington Post actually criticized the UN and the corrupt firms and organizations that profited from it.

And it’s utterly astonishing to be told that the UN admitted that the 150,000 or so peacekeepers it sends out into the world each year have done so much harm that the UN cannot allow a single claim for compensation to be met because it would be a precedent for an untold number of other such claims. 

From Disobedient Media by Elizabeth Vos:

After earthquakes, hurricanes, and United Nations sex rings have ravaged Haiti, it might be fair to call the locale a hell on earth. In the aftermath of the massive 2010 earthquake, the UN further deteriorated the situation by introducing cholera to the poverty stricken nation. Six years would pass before the U.N. admitted its role in bringing the infection to Haiti.

In the intervening years, thousands of Haitians died from the infection that spread uncontrollably through lack of infrastructure and poor medical treatment. While shockingly little was done by the United Nations in response to the disaster, the tragedy allowed micro-lenders and re-insurers to quickly move in, profiting where critics say aid organizations should have provided help.

The United Nations dispatched peacekeepers to aid the recovery process after a severe earthquake struck Haiti in 2010. Unfortunately the peacekeepers added to the Haitian death toll after introducing cholera to the already devastated environment, apparently brought over by UN peacekeepers from Nepal. It was not until 2016 that the UN finally admitted responsibility for the outbreak. Cholera was not the only plague brought to Haiti by U.N. peacekeepers. As previously reported by Disobedient Media, peacekeepers were revealed to have also been operating a Haitian sex ring in the country from 2004 to 2007.

Bill Clinton was appointed as the United Nation’s special envoy to Haiti at the time of the cholera outbreak, but immediately focused on helping negotiate the release of child trafficker Laura Silsby and her co-defendants before giving attention to Haiti’s plethora of other issues.

Just over ten thousand Haitians are officially reported to have died as a result of the cholera epidemic. However, a study conducted by Doctors Without Borders estimated that this figure may represent a vast underestimation of the death toll. The New York Times reported the results “could multiply the known death toll by roughly a factor of three, at least in the first six months of the epidemic, when it was most intense.” Many of those who died never made it to hospitals, where official counts of the dead were made.

Seven years after it was introduced, cholera is still endemic in Haiti. The United Nations has provided no financial reparations to the victims of the illness and their families. Haitian cholera victims have sued the United Nations in hope of achieving some compensation; so far the absolute diplomatic immunity of the UN has been upheld.

NPR reported that victims want the U.N. to end cholera by installing a national water and sanitation system; paying reparations to cholera victims and their families and publicly apologizing for bringing cholera to Haiti.

U.N. officials’ were cited as fearing that if the Haitian plaintiffs succeed in piercing the agency’s cloak of immunity, it would open the way to unlimited lawsuits seeking compensation for acts of the U.N. or the 150,000 peacekeeping forces it sends out into the world each year.

The UN’s reticence to aid Haitian cholera victims contradicts its central platform promising to uphold human rights. While the country still lacks proper sanitary conditions and medical care, CNN reported that the World Health Organization planned to send one million doses of cholera vaccine to Haiti, adding that there were still: “770 new cases per week in 2016″.

Less than a year after the cholera outbreak, microfinancers and re-insurers including Swiss Re, Fonkoze, Mercy Corp partnered with the Clinton Global Initiative to create the Microinsurance Catastrophe Risk Organization (MiCRO). At this time Haiti still lacked basic sanitation. Mercy Corp is Chaired by Linda A. Mason, who also co-founded Bright Horizons, a large child care organization that has previously operated in Haiti with Mercy Corp.

Disobedient Media has previously reported on Swiss Re’s involvement with a land grabbing scandal targeting impoverished farmers in Brazil. The report highlighted close financial ties that Swiss Re had to investors George Soros and Warren Buffet. The George Soros Foundation is a major investor in Leapfrog Investments, a private equity firm. Other investors in Leapfrog Investments include the European Investment Bank, JP Morgan, Prudential Financial, Metlife, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, and most significantly the TIAA [Financial Services] and Swiss Re. Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. also sank billions into Swiss Re in 2009. Buffet has since offloaded a portion of his stake in Swiss Re in 2015, ending a five year long tenure as the reinsurance group’s largest investor.

On the surface, it appeared that microfinance would benefit Haitians. However, re-insurance and microfinance are for-profit business models, not to be conflated with the work of aid groups. According to an article published by the Standford Social Innovation Review, “in some instances microcredit makes life at the bottom of the pyramid worse… in contrast to nonprofit organizations, commercial banks that make microloans typically provide only financial services.

Indonesia’s Bank Rakyat, Ecuador’s Bank Pichincha, and Brazil’s Unibanco all directly target poor customers.” The apparent inability of microfinance to improve the lives of the impoverished it targets has led to detractors denouncing it as a means of de-facto economic enslavement.

The presence of microfinancing groups in Haiti as the UN failed to intervene during the cholera outbreak raises questions in regards to profits these groups may have made in the wake of disasters, be they natural or man-made.

In 2012, the Huffington Post cited critics who speculated that cholera had introduced a profit motive for international reinsurersand asked why Haitians should pay for cholera insurancewhen the United Nations has yet to make reparations for a disease it introduced to a country that had never before experienced this strain of cholera and no other cholera infections for over a century.

The affair raises serious concerns about whether or not insurance and reinsurance firms used the UN-created crisis to profit, and highlights the endemic problems that the involvement of special interests can cause in humanitarian aid work.

Let us sum up what happened:

The UN introduced cholera to poverty-stricken, earthquake and hurricane tormented Haiti.

Insurance companies extract insurance from Haitians to “protect” them from all such “catastrophe risk”.

George Soros, Warren Buffet, Bill and Hillary Clinton profit. 

Haitians continue to die of cholera and are even poorer.

How the Clintons deal drugs 1

Giving charity is the Clintons’ business. It is enormously profitable for them.  

How do they make their “giving”, through a “non-profit” foundation they own, into a phenomenally enriching enterprise?

We have told how in these posts: The great good works and wonky dilemmas of William J. Clinton, April 18, 2015; Floating up now from a sewer named Clinton, April 23, 2015; What needs to be known about the Clintons’ charities, April 25, 2015; Touched by the Clintons, May 1, 2015; The Clintons’ blood money, May 26, 2016. (Put any title – preferably all in sequence – in our search slot to get the low-down, which is very low indeed.)

Here’s more.

The Washington Examiner reports:

Under [Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s] leadership, at least a handful of the State Department’s global health efforts relied on drug companies that were also major Clinton Foundation donors in arrangements that raise questions about the distance Clinton kept from her family’s philanthropy. …

There is absolutely no connection between anything that I did as secretary of state and the Clinton Foundation.

She said. As usual, she was lying.

However, the same pharmaceutical firms that donated to the Clinton Foundation and sought the foundation-funded contracts Clinton described were also lobbying the State Department at the same time as some pursued taxpayer-funded contracts to do similar work. Executives at those companies have also contributed heavily to Clinton’s presidential campaign, complicating her attempts to attack the pharmaceutical industry as a political “enemy” akin to Republicans. …

The Clinton Health Access is just one of several charities operating within the sprawling philanthropic network known as the Clinton Foundation. Others include the Clinton Global Initiative, the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership and the Clinton Family Foundation. In some cases, the distinctions between which nonprofits are separate entities and which are offshoots of the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation are unclear.

For example, the Clinton Global Initiative was peeled off from the larger Clinton Foundation in 2009 and operated as an individual charity until Clinton left the State Department in 2013, at which point it was rolled back into the main organization.

The confusing structure can make tracing the precise destination of donations to the foundation a difficult task. However, donor records show major pharmaceutical firms — including Pfizer, Merck & Co., and Sanofi — have written generous checks to the Clinton Foundation.

In its 2008 annual report, for instance, the Clinton Global Initiative touted a partnership with Merck to provide rotavirus vaccines to infants in Nicaragua. Shortly before that, the drug corporation was rocked by Brazil’s decision to strip Merck of a patent on HIV drugs in order to open its markets to cheaper generic versions of the medication.

So Merck took a knock, asked Hillary and help, and got it:

During Clinton’s first year at the agency, Merck lobbied the State Department to ease regulations restricting the distribution of its drugs “in certain Latin American markets,” according to lobbying disclosure forms from 2009. That placed the drug company’s international interests squarely on Clinton’s desk. By June of that year, her staff was collecting press clips on a $75 million partnership with Merck, funded by the State Department, to reduce childbirth-related deaths in Africa.

Wasn’t that nice of Hillary?

The Norwegian government had pledged a matching $75 million to the initiative, which was spearheaded by Clinton.

She deserved a little reward, wouldn’t you say?

She got it:

The government of Norway has also donated heavily to the Clinton Foundation, giving up to $25 million to the nonprofit.

She found partnering with Norway great fun, greatly lucrative:

In fact, Clinton’s emails suggest she even asked members of her State Department staff to facilitate a Norwegian donation to a foundation project, the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves.

The clean cookstoves project served as a clear example of the blurred lines between Clinton’s foundation and State Department work.

In 2010, the secretary of state herself took the stage at the glitzy annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative and announced the State Department’s commitment to the clean cookstoves alliance, which sought to reduce dependence on cookstoves for heating and cooking in developing countries.

Led by Clinton, the Obama administration poured $105 million into the clean cookstoves project.

She delivered for Merck:

As a senator, Clinton had reportedly written a letter urging the Department of Health and Human Services to approve Merck’s human papillomavirus vaccine in 2005.

By 2011, under her purview at the State Department, the U.S. government had teamed up with Merck to provide that same HPV vaccine to women in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa. The initiative was set to cost $75 million.

And for Pfizer:

In Aug. 2009, the Clinton Health Access Initiative announced it had negotiated a deal with Pfizer to provide HIV medications across the developing world at a price that was marked down by 60 percent. That same year, Pfizer was also lobbying Clinton’s State Department in its interests, as it did every year of her tenure, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Pfizer gave up to $5 million to the Clinton Foundation, donor records show.

The pharmaceutical giant wrote a large check to the State Department to sponsor the U.S. pavilion at the 2010 World’s Fair in Shanghai. The expo was a priority early in Clinton’s term for political reasons, and the former secretary of state tapped her vast donor network to foot the entire $60 million bill during her first year at the State Department.

In 2012, Pfizer teamed up with the U.S. Agency for International Development, an arm of the State Department, for a major purchase of contraceptive drugs that were to be distributed to three million women.

Executives from Pfizer have also donated heavily to Clinton’s presidential campaign.

The well-connected charity has weathered controversy for the pattern of preferential treatment that seemed to flow from the State Department to the most generous of foundation contributors, be they pharmaceutical giants or oil conglomerates, since Clinton launched her bid for the White House last year.

Many of those same donors line Clinton’s campaign coffers today.

But the Democratic nominee continues to downplay criticism of her family’s philanthropy on the increasingly limited occasions she is asked about it.

Earlier this week, a report detailing financial entanglements among Hillary Clinton’s State Department, Russia and 17 companies that had either donated to the Clinton Foundation or paid former President Bill Clinton for a speech reignited the political perlustration of foundation activities that has come to define the nonprofit’s public profile.

Russia? Oh, yes.

Our next post will be about Hillary Clinton and Vladimir Putin.

The political philosophy of the kick-back 1

Hillary Clinton will not release the texts of the speeches she made to Wall Street institutions, for fees of hundreds of thousands of dollars, while she was secretary of state.

However, an article of hers, published on November 1, 2010, in Foreign Affairs, provides a sample of what she had to say at the time.

We quote from Leading Through Civilian Power: Redefining American Diplomacy and Development by Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Today’s world is a crucible of challenges …

She is – or her ghost writers are – not good with metaphors. They obviously didn’t think about what a crucible is or how it can contain challenges, or if it could what it might do with them. The style of the whole article is pompous, dull, full of over-used and ill-thought-out phrases – not the writing of a thinker. It is the writing of a deceiver, trying to pull the wool over her reader’s eyes.

But those faults are small compared to the message she is trying to convey and its implications for US policy and action.

 … testing American leadership. Global problems, from violent extremism to worldwide recession to climate change to poverty, demand collective solutions, even as power in the world becomes more diffuse. They require effective international cooperation, even as that becomes harder to achieve. And they cannot be solved unless a nation is willing to accept the responsibility of mobilizing action. The United States is that nation.

Translation: The world must sing in perfect harmony – under the baton of the US administration, specifically Hillary Rodham Clinton.

I began my tenure as U.S. Secretary of State by stressing the need to elevate diplomacy and development alongside defense – a “smart power” approach to solving global problems. To make that approach succeed, however, U.S. civilian power must be strengthened and amplified. It must, as U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has argued in these pages, be brought into better balance with U.S. military power. In a speech last August, Gates said, “There has to be a change in attitude in the recognition of the critical role that agencies like [the] State [Department] and AID [the U.S. Agency for International Development] play . . . for them to play the leading role that I think they need to play.”

The State Department (Hillary Rodham Clinton) and USAID must play a leading role. And because President Obama is against a strong military and very much against military intervention in foreign affairs, the military must step aside and let Hillary Rodham Clinton and USAID act for America to deal with violent extremism, as well as recession, climate change, and poverty. And if you think it’s just her saying so, and you still feel the military may be best at dealing with violent extremism abroad, she has some words from the secretary of defense to back her up.

This effort is under way. Congress has already appropriated funds for 1,108 new Foreign Service and Civil Service officers to strengthen the State Department’s capacity to pursue American interests and advance American values. USAID is in the process of doubling its development staff, hiring 1,200 new Foreign Service officers with the specific skills and experience required for evolving development challenges, and is making better use of local hires at our overseas missions, who have deep knowledge of their countries. The Obama administration has begun rebuilding USAID to make it the world’s premier development organization, one that fosters long-term growth and democratic governance, includes its own research arm, shapes policy and innovation, and uses metrics to ensure that our investments are cost-effective and sound.

But we must do more. We must not only rebuild – but also rethink, reform, and recalibrate. During my years on the Senate Armed Services Committee, I saw how the Department of Defense used its Quadrennial Defense Review to align its resources, policies, and strategies for the present – and the future. No similar mechanism existed for modernizing the State Department or USAID. In July 2009, I launched the first Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR), a wholesale review of the State Department and USAID to recommend how to better equip, fund, train, and organize ourselves to meet current diplomatic and development priorities and how to begin building the people, structures, processes, and resources today to address the world’s challenges in the years ahead.

The QDDR is not simply a review. It defines how to make diplomacy and development coordinated, complementary, and mutually reinforcing. It assesses what has worked in the past and what has not. And it forecasts future strategic choices and resource needs.

Although the State Department and USAID have distinct roles and missions, diplomacy and development often overlap and must work in tandem. Increasingly, global challenges call for a mix of both, requiring a more holistic approach to civilian power. …

Now recall, as an example of her “diplomacy and development overlap”, what she did in Haiti as explained in the film Hillary’s America posted immediately below. The cell-phone racket she worked in Haiti has been exposed as one where the Clinton Foundation was the link between “civilian” interests and state-provided “development aid”. The provider of the cell-phones was a crony of the Clintons. One can see how this “diplomacy and civilian development” linkage is community organizing for power and perks globally. It is an enormous over-reach of government function for the benefit of officials. It is the linking together of two activities that should be kept apart. The diplomacy is the activity of the US government, with control of tax-payers’ money; the “civilian development” is private commercial activity. If the private commerce is assisted by an “investment” of US tax-payers’ funds, for the enrichment of the CEOs of the companies involved and of the broker – who is also the secretary of state – there is a clear case of corruption. A clear case of theft from the tax-payers. “Diplomacy and development” is, in this context, a kind of oxymoron. And it encapsulates the self-contradiction of the Left: claim to be doing good using your office to dispense state aid – but profit personally from it.

Diplomacy has long been the backbone of U.S. foreign policy. It remains so today. The vast majority of my work at the State Department consists of engaging in diplomacy to address major global and regional challenges, such as confronting Iran’s nuclear ambitions, facilitating negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians, enhancing stability on the Korean Peninsula, and working with other governments to bring emergency relief to Haiti. And President Barack Obama and I certainly relied on old-fashioned diplomatic elbow grease to hammer out a last-minute accord at the Copenhagen conference on climate change last December.

In annual strategic dialogues with a range of key partners – including China, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, and South Africa – the United States aims to deepen and broaden its relationships and to establish a stronger foundation for addressing shared problems, advancing shared interests, and managing differences. The United States is investing in strengthening global structures such as the G-20 and regional institutions such as the Organization of American States and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. This is part of a commitment to building a new global architecture of cooperation that includes not only the East and the West but also the North and the South.

To call Hillary Rodham Clinton ambitious is to understate the reach of her desires and designs. Ambition aims for the high, the distant, but the attainable. It is her ambition to become president of the United States; and – appallingly – that is a possibility. But to desire to rule the world? That is the urge of a fevered brain.

Although traditional diplomacy will always be critical to advancing the United States’ agenda, it is not enough. The State Department must expand its engagement to reach and influence wider and more diverse groups using new skills, strategies, and tools. To that end, the department is broadening the way it conceives of diplomacy as well as the roles and responsibilities of its practitioners.

Of its chief practitioner she means. Herself.

The original Foreign Service, as its name implies, consisted of people trained to manage U.S. relations with foreign states, principally through consultations with their counterparts in government. This has been the main function of U.S. ambassadors and embassies, as well as the staff at the State Department. But increasing global interconnectedness now necessitates reaching beyond governments to citizens directly …

By “citizens” she means her brother and her friends in manufacturing and mining businesses. Grateful tycoons who repay her patronage with donations to the Clinton Global Initiative. In other words, kick-backs. 

The wool-pulling continues. Now you see the cronies, now you don’t, as the noble ends are spread before you. Don’t look at the provenance of the cell-phones; look at how this state-citizen partnership will improve the world economy, cool the earth and make the seas recede, stop drug trafficking, cure disease, reduce crime, and feed the hungry:

… and broadening the U.S. foreign policy portfolio to include issues once confined to the domestic sphere, such as economic and environmental regulation, drugs and disease, organized crime, and world hunger. As those issues spill across borders, the domestic agencies addressing them must now do more of their work overseas, operating out of embassies and consulates. A U.S. ambassador in 2010 is thus responsible not only for managing civilians from the State Department and USAID but also for operating as the CEO of a multiagency mission. And he or she must also be adept at connecting with audiences outside of government, such as the private sector and civil society. …

Consider the U.S. embassy in Islamabad.

Yes. Consider it in the light of the film.

The mission includes 800 staff members; about 450 are diplomats and civil servants from the State Department, and 100 are from USAID. A large portion of the work there consists of traditional diplomacy – Foreign Service officers helping Americans traveling or doing business in the region, issuing visas, and engaging with their Pakistani civilian and military counterparts. But the U.S. ambassador there also leads civilians from 11 other federal agencies, including disaster relief and reconstruction experts helping to rebuild after last summer’s historic floods; specialists in health, energy, communications, finance, agriculture, and justice; and military personnel working with the Pakistani military to bolster Pakistani capacities and to help in the fight against violent extremists.

We do not know if any of her friends and relations made money out of last summer’s floods in Pakistan, but we have ample to reason to suspect that some did. And if so, more tokens of gratitude will have been dropped into the Clinton receptacles.

Back in Washington, my responsibility as secretary is to ensure that the Foreign Service and Civil Service personnel within the State Department and USAID are working together and with their colleagues across the federal government. The United States’ strategic dialogue with Pakistan involves ten separate working groups that bring together cabinet secretaries and experts from a range of agencies in both governments. The U.S. dialogue with India engages 22 different agencies …

See the section on India in the film below. (It starts at 44.33 minutes.) It does not support Hillary Rodham Clinton’s preferred self-image (at the time this article was written) as one who dislikes military strength. It reveals how she helped India become a nuclear power. And how she and Bill Clinton profited by it.

… and when U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and I traveled to Beijing in May for the second round of the Strategic and Economic Dialogue, our delegation included civilians from over 30 agencies.

Foreign Service officers, Civil Service personnel, and local staff at the State Department and USAID form the backbone of our global engagement. By drawing on the pool of talent that already exists in U.S. federal agencies and at overseas posts, the United States can build a global civilian service of the same caliber and flexibility as the U.S. military.

So you see? She can conquer without firing a shot.

With staff members and experts from a variety of institutions – including the State Department, USAID, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the Export-Import Bank, the Department of Justice, the Department of the Treasury, the Department of Agriculture, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Peace Corps, and many others – the U.S. foreign policy apparatus must reward teamwork, promote collaboration, and support interagency rotations.

She goes on to tell a story  of Hillary the Woman of the People. As if the “civilians” she is concerned with are really the locals in dear little villages.

Engagement must go far beyond government-to-government interactions. In this information age, public opinion takes on added importance even in authoritarian states and as nonstate actors are more able to influence current events. Today, a U.S. ambassador creates ties not only with the host nation’s government but also with its people. The QDDR endorses a new public diplomacy strategy that makes public engagement every diplomat’s duty, through town-hall meetings and interviews with the media, organized outreach, events in provincial towns and smaller communities, student exchange programs, and virtual connections that bring together citizens and civic organizations. Indeed, in the twenty-first century, a diplomat is as likely to meet with a tribal elder in a rural village as a counterpart in a foreign ministry, and is as likely to wear cargo pants as a pinstriped suit. …

But he or she will meet with business people too, of course. And philanthropists. She says as much – and without missing a beat, keeping a straight face as it were, she comes directly to the cell-phones in Haiti:

We can also leverage civilian power by connecting businesses, philanthropists, and citizens’ groups with partner governments to perform tasks that governments alone cannot. Technology, in particular, provides new tools of engagement. One great success this year was a partnership forged almost overnight among U.S. and Haitian cell-phone companies, the Red Cross, social entrepreneurs, the U.S. Coast Guard, and, eventually, the U.S. Marines to create a platform that used text messaging to broadcast the locations of earthquake victims in need of rescue. The State Department also launched a program to facilitate the texting of $10 donations to the Red Cross for Haiti, which drew contributions from 31 million Americans. At the State Department and USAID, we continue to develop new ways to use the world’s 4.6 billion cell phones to improve the lives of people living in remote areas and arduous circumstances.

More profit, more and more and more, for her Irish friend who supplies the cell phones. A very grateful friend.

The article goes on (and on), but what we have quoted is all that’s needed to show what it’s about: a justification of the sort of deals described in the film. It is a long ponderous self-vaunting screed intended to make Hillary Rodham Clinton’s personal corruption look like a marvelous new way of using American power to benefit the world in a charming spirit of co-operation with ordinary people. All and only for the benefit of the people. So much nicer than an America that presides over a world order maintained by the fact of  its military might!

But what it actually displays is the deception, the venality, the corruption, the hypocrisy of the Obama administration, of Hillary Rodham Clinton personally, and of the Left in general.

Posted under Africa, corruption, Diplomacy, Haiti, Leftism, United States by Jillian Becker on Thursday, July 28, 2016

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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.

Aaaaaah!

… 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.