Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for March 29th, 2008

Corruption in privatization of compassion

Posted by Charles II on March 29, 2008

We are told endlessly that government is inefficient and wasteful. Let charities take care of the poor, they say, because there’s better oversight.

So, exactly how good is private charity?  Well….

Stephanie Strom, NYT (via t/o) describes a report done by four accounting professors:

But what is getting the attention of nonprofit leaders is the report’s estimate of the overall cost, which the authors put at $40 billion for 2006, or some 13 percent of the roughly $300 billion given to charity that year.

The new report is based on data from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, which, the report said, found that “all organizations,” whether government, for-profit or nonprofit, “lose on average 6 percent of their revenue to fraud every year.” Applying that percentage to nonprofits’ total 2006 revenue of $665 billion – donations, government payments and other income – the authors came up with the $40 billion estimate.

If the $40 billion figure is accurate, then the money lost to fraud equaled the combined giving by corporations and foundations in 2006, said Diana Aviv, president and chief executive of the Independent Sector, which represents nonprofit groups.

So, is it higher at non-profits or in government? That’s not yet clear. But the dollar costs of frauds at non-profits that are cited are huge. So, one can predict that the estimate is probably not far from wrong.

Posted in corruption, privatization | 7 Comments »

The Polls

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 29, 2008

Lotsa polls came out in the past few days.  Here’s a summary after the jump.   Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in 2008, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John McCain | 1 Comment »

Donna Brazile Reminds Hillary Of Something

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 29, 2008

That’s gonna leave a mark (h/t tommytutone):

Donna Brazile — an uncommitted superdelegate of the Democratic National Convention and one of television’s few black, female political pundits — interjected an intriguing observation this afternoon into a discussion on CNN about Hillary Clinton’s stiff-arming of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

In short, Brazile provided a pointed reminder that some voters (African Americans, in particular, we would think) might recall that Wright did not turn on Clinton’s husband during an hour of need for him.

Her comments assured another burst of attention on the Obama-Wright connection — something her campaign didn’t have to do during the white-hot heat of the controversy. And it took part of the media spotlight away from her faulty memory (or, less kindly, utter fabrication) about her visit to Bosnia when she was first lady.

Clinton could have contented herself with decrying Wright’s messages without saying, in essence, that no way would she tolerate an association with the likes of him.

That’s what Brazile picked up on, making a reference to Wright’s willingness to join dozens of other religious figures in attending an annual White House prayer breakfast just as the Starr report on Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky — in all its lurid detail — was about to come out. No doubt …

… those at the event — at least the vast majority of them — highly disapproved of Clinton’s behavior. But they were not willing to shun him.

Brazile’s none-too-subtle point: There’s a potential downside to turning away, with nary a forgiving nod, from those who once stood by you.

The old triangulation tricks won’t work any more. Not only that, they are actively alienating people who, like Brazile, were once firmly in the Clinton camp. Loyalty is a two-way street, and I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that Brazile was fuming when she saw James Carville call Bill Richardson a “Judas” for backing Obama over Hillary after seeing how the Clinton campaign was attacking Reverend Wright, who had stood by them in their hour of need ten years ago.

Posted in Uncategorized | 11 Comments »

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