The late Tom Lantos memorably referred to former Gerhard Schroeder, the former German chancellor, as a "political prostitute" for his hilariously corrupt dealings with Russian gas giant Gazprom.
One wonders what Lantos would have to say about Bill Clinton. You may have missed last month's excellent New York Times story concerning Clinton's close ties to a Canadian tycoon named Frank Giustra. It seems that former President Clinton helped Mr Giustra secure an extremely lucrative mining deal with Kazakhstan's government, and that Mr Giustra offered very graciously repaid the favor with a donation of $31 million to the former's president's charitable foundation and a pledge of $100 million more.
But of course the Clintons expect to be compensated for some of their good deeds.
As Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign has intensified, Mr. Clinton has begun severing financial ties with Ronald W. Burkle, the supermarket magnate, and Vinod Gupta, the chairman of InfoUSA, to avoid any conflicts of interest. Those two men have harnessed the former president’s clout to expand their businesses while making the Clintons rich through partnership and consulting arrangements.
Clearly the Clintons are a remarkable pair, capable of spinning dross into gold. But wouldn't it be nice if they tried to find a more honest, less Abramoffian way to make a living, one that didn't rope in the rest of us into acquiescing while they play the government the way some of us play the slots?
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