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Senator John McCain’s charitable works don’t appear to be terribly impressive. As I reported here a few months back, he has essentially been the sole contributor to the John and Cindy McCain Family foundation, which between 2001 and 2006 made contributions of roughly $1.6 million, of which more than $500,000 went to his kids’ private schools. So McCain apparently received major tax deductions for supporting elite schools attended by his children.
Last Friday, wife Cindy — heiress to Hensley & Co. and a major Anheuser-Busch distributor – whose net worth is approximately $100 million — “cav[ed] to overwhelming pressure…and finally released a two page summary of her 2006 tax return,” reports perrspectives.com. “A quick glance at the filing explains her hesitation to let her tax returns see the light of day. As it turns out, Mrs. McCain gave only 1% of her $6 million income to charity in 2006.” And just like her husband, most of her contributions “went to private schools attended by her children.”
Note: Perrspectives.com added an update to say, “It is not possible to gauge the full scope of Mrs. McCain’s charitable contributions based solely on the limited disclosure Friday…[She] Her may well have given more than 1% of her $6 million income to charity in 2006 from separate assets. But without either the release of her full return – or a statement from the McCain campaign – we’ll never know.”
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
On a Friday evening in January, a thousand people at the annual California Native Plant Society conference in San Jose settled down to a banquet and a keynote speech delivered by an environmental historian named Jared Farmer. His chosen topic was the eucalyptus tree and its role in California’s ecology and history. The address did not go well. Eucalyptus is not a native plant but a Victorian import from Australia. In the eyes of those gathered at the San Jose DoubleTree, it qualified as “invasive,” “exotic,” “alien” — all dirty words to this crowd, who were therefore convinced that the tree was dangerously combustible, unfriendly to birds, and excessively greedy in competing for water with honest native species.
In his speech, Farmer dutifully highlighted these ugly attributes, but also quoted a few more positive remarks made by others over the years. This was a reckless move. A reference to the tree as “indigenously Californian” elicited an abusive roar, as did an observation that without the aromatic import, the state would be like a “home without its mother.” Thereafter, the mild-mannered speaker was continually interrupted by boos, groans, and exasperated gasps. Only when he mentioned the longhorn beetle, a species imported (illegally) from Australia during the 1990s with the specific aim of killing the eucalyptus, did he earn a resounding cheer.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A tourism company in Australia announced a service that will allow users to take the “world’s biggest selfies,” and a Texas man accidentally killed himself while trying to pose for a selfie with a handgun.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”