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When Barack Obama nominated Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, he made her appointment contingent on her husband revealing the contributors to his foundation in order to avoid any questions about potential conflicts of interest. The foundation subsequently disclosed its donors– after refusing to list them for a decade– and it turned out they included many “governments, corporations and billionaires with their own interests in U.S. foreign policy”.
Yet try getting an answer now from the foundation about its donors. I’ve been trying all week to see if Gulnara Karimova (daughter of the dictator of Uzbekistan) or any companies she owns have given money to the foundation, and I can’t get a reply. I have heard from a source that Gulnara is a donor, directly or indirectly, but I don’t have any solid evidence of that. Either way, the foundation appears to be quite unwilling to honor its pledge of “openness.” It’s all in the tradition of the foundation’s titular head.
Note: Thanks to all the readers who wrote about the story. Many pointed me to sections of Gulnara’s website, like this one on propaganda. A number also noted that the picture on the site showing Gulnara with Bill Clinton mistakenly refers to the former president as “Senator Bill Clinton.” As one reader wrote to the magazine, “It would have been well for Mr. Silverstein to highlight this error, as it displays Karimova’s obvious unconcern to relay factual information.”
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
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
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 naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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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.”