Patterico's Pontifications

4/30/2014

Dirty Money And The Moral Dilemma

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:43 pm

[guest by Dana]

Not surprisingly, the fallout from the Donald Sterling debacle continues apace. Charities that have been the recipients of Sterling’s largesse now find themselves facing a bit of a dilemma: Is it morally right to keep Sterling’s dirty money?

Well known and longtime charities like Goodwill of Southern California and the L.A. Rescue Mission have been able, in part, to meet the needs of untold numbers because of Sterling’s sizable donations.

When questioned by TMZ whether they would keep Sterling’s donations or return the money, the responses varied. It would have been interesting to see how each organization arrived at their decisions.

— A Place Called Home — a program for high-risk teens — got a $100,000 donation from Sterling, doled out in $10K yearly installments. The charity has received $30K, which it will NOT return, but it is REJECTING the $70K balance.

— Temple of the Arts — It’s keeping Sterling’s $10K donation.

— L.A. Union Rescue Mission — It’s been receiving $10K a year. They’re keeping the cash, telling TMZ, “We take money from all kinds of bad people all the time.”

— Goodwill of So. Cal. — It got a $100,000 donation from Sterling, doled out over 10 years. It has received $20K so far and it’s giving all the money back and not accepting the balance.

— American Diabetes Ass’n — Sterling donated $25K. It’s keeping the loot, telling us, “The sad reality is that without donations like Mr. Sterling’s, we can’t help the people that we do.”

This week, UCLA announced it will be returning $425,000, which was the first payment of a 3 million dollar donation and will decline the balance. The money was earmarked for kidney research.

Additionally, the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Museum of Tolerance received $30,000 dollars but is unable to return it as it has already been spent.

So, is it ridiculous to return money that could have been well spent on improving the quality of life for those in need or is it a more noble thing to decline money coming from a racist?

(On a side note: As an individual, I suspect if I were the one in need, hungry or homeless or seriously ill, I would not be concerned where the money came from to help meet my needs. If I were at that point of hardship, I would not have the luxury to contemplate such moral dilemmas. My guess is that the efforts to simply survive another day lend a much different perspective.)

On the other hand, one must draw the line somewhere.

–Dana

PATTERICO SEZ: Kudos to everyone who is keeping the cash. Who cares if it came from a guy who said racist stuff in private? It’s not like the money was earned in the process of crimes or horrific acts. It was earned by a flawed man. If he has donated to good causes, then he this flawed man has done something good. These people want to give him back the money, because it’s better for a racist to have more money than it is for UCLA to have money for cancer research??

You know what? Make me a list of anyone giving money back. They get nothing from me.

Not Passing the Giggle Test

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:40 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Last night, I posted about the newly released State Department documents provided to Judicial Watch via a FOIA request. The focus was on one particular email which clearly showed that White House officials intentionally and willfully planned to spin the jihadi attack on the Benghazi diplomatic compound as a spontaneous protest against an anti-Islam video. Smoking gun. But apparently that email wasn’t what it appeared to be. Instead, according to White House spokesman Jay Carney, it was an email about protests outside embassies in Egypt, Yemen and other countries. Seriously.

Last night I also naively declared about that email, It would appear there is no way to spin any of this. Shame on me, because today Jay Carney did just that.

If you look at the document, that document we’re talking about today was taking [sic] about the overall environment in the Muslim world.

Further,

Officials expected Rice to use a different CIA-drafted memos whenever she was asked about the Sept. 11 attack on the lightly guarded diplomatic site, which killed the U.S. ambassador and a State Department official, Carney said.

So the email was really about answers to questions about other protests in Cairo, Sanaa, and various Muslim capitals, Carney said. In fact, Carney said, that’s why the officials didn’t release the email to congressional investigators who were examining the lead-up to the Benghazi attack on the embassy and a nearby CIA site.

The Sept. 14 memo, which was written by Ben Rhodes, President Barack Obama’s top national security spokesman, declared that Rice should emphasize that “these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy.”

And that’s precisely what Rice related in her public comments.

The second page of the email explicitly addresses the Benghazi attack, and includes a proposed answer to a possible question. “What’s your response to [a news report saying that a warning of] the Benghazi attack that was ignored?” said the question. The proposed answer stated “The currently available information suggests that the demonstrations in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.”

The protests, according to the email, “were sparked by a disgusting and reprehensible video.

Also, the Rhodes memo doesn’t say anything about Rice using the CIA memo when she is questioned about on the Benghazi attack, as claimed by Carney.

For those of you who simply want to get to the bottom of this swirling vortex of lies and contradictions because four Americans died and a seemingly complicit administration must be held accountable, Carney wants you to know that he’s concerned there is an “intense effort to politicize this. … The issue here has always been making sure that what happened in Benghazi can’t happen again.”

In response to Carney’s explanation today, Jill Sutherland Farrell, the communications director at Judicial Watch, gave a snort of derision,

That Carney would imply that the State Department gave us some random document doesn’t pass the giggle test.

–Dana

Note: Sharyl Attkisson’s White House Directed Incorrect Benghazi Narrative is well worth the read.

I Blame Elsa

Filed under: General — JD @ 3:06 pm

[guest post by JD]

GDP posted at an anemic 0.1% for 1st quarter 2014. This was propped up by a huge INCREASE in healthcare spending, resulting from bending the cost-curve downward, or something. Absent that surge, it would have been negative.

The Chairman of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors blamed this recovery on winter happening. During winter.

I am kind of at a loss, because this is so mendoucheous and predictable, yet startling nonetheless. They are combating global warming, but winter wrecked the economy. A little more global warming and we would have been just fine.

Couple this with Carnie’s presser where he denied that the Benghazi political talking points for Rice were about Benghazi, and it is now clear that their strategy is simply to just lie. The bigger the better. Flood the zone.

Damn you, Elsa.

—JD

Militia Setting Up Checkpoints Outside Bundy Ranch

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:39 am

Tension:

A Democratic congressman from Nevada said in a letter this week that his constituents have reported the armed militia supporting rancher Cliven Bundy have set up checkpoints to verify the residency of anybody passing through.

Rep. Steven Horsford (D-NV), who represents the area, sent the letter Sunday to Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie, asking him to investigate.

Hey. If y’all are going to call out the militia, there might be better causes. Is all I’m saying.

In fact, I’m sure of it.

UPDATE: To make my point perfectly clear, should I list some of those causes?

Nah. I’ll leave it to your imagination.

Jeffrey Toobin’s Lazy Lefty Screed About Race and the Roberts Court

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:25 am

Why do people pay attention to this guy? (Yes, I know, I am writing an entire post about him. Quiet! I’m trying to make a point here.)

It’s challenging to keep up with the latest in racist tirades, so let’s attempt a brief review. Last week, Cliven Bundy, a Nevada rancher who became a conservative folk hero for his refusal to pay his debts to the federal government, said that he often wondered if black people fared better as slaves. Then, over the weekend, a tape of what appears to be the voice of Donald Sterling, the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, surfaced, and it featured Sterling instructing his girlfriend to avoid being photographed with black people and to refrain from bringing African-Americans to the Clippers’ basketball games.

Bundy and Sterling represent an ugly corner of contemporary American life, but it is one that is entirely invisible in recent Supreme Court rulings. In the Roberts Court, there are no Bundys and Sterlings; the real targets of the conservative majority are those who’ve spent their lives fighting the Bundys and Sterlings of the world.

Toobin goes on to argue that Justice Sotomayor’s dissent is the opinion that is in touch with how racism affects minorities, while the white males in the majority are simply out of it, man.

Let me say up front that I do not have any respect for Jeffrey Toobin, and this sort of lazy, reflexively leftist argument is the reason. Toobin nowhere explains why the existence of racism means that the Constitution requires affirmative action, a policy that provides an unneeded leg up to wealthier minorities while doing nothing for the lower-income people who, if anyone, suffer the effects of racism. More to the point, what do the attitudes of Cliven Bundy or Donald Sterling have to do with this case — or even with the argument that affirmative action is necessary for people to, say, have jobs in this society? Is Toobin saying that if Cliven Bundy were not a racist, he might finally hire a black bodyguard — one so devoted to him that he would “take a bullet” for him? Is Toobin saying that affirmative action is necessary to force Donald Sterling to hire black basketball players? News flash, Toobin! These things have already happened, and not as a result of affirmative action, either. In fact, affirmative action would hurt blacks in professional basketball, as it would require owners to bypass more qualified black players in order to give less qualified whites a chance.

In short, Toobin’s argument will play well with his New Yorker readers, who take their knee-jerk leftism as a given, and are unaccustomed to being challenged on their political beliefs, ever. But to the rest of us, Jeff Toobin is a lazy hack — and worse, he’s boring, because soporific and sophomoric screeds like his are everywhere, threatening to put readers to sleep the second they start reading.

Get a job, Toobin.


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