Philanthropy Notes: April 2014

Singer Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation is in the news because it blew big bucks on overhead expenses while devoting hardly any of its resources to actual charitable endeavors. The foundation of the New York-based entertainer, whose real name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, raked in $2.66 million in 2012, “but paid out just a single $5,000 grant, while spending $50,000 on social media,” the Daily Mail reports. The philanthropy spent more than $500,000 on its 23-event “Born To Be Brave” bus tour, which supposedly sought to reach out to disillusioned young people. It also spent $406,552 on legal fees, $300,000 for “strategic development,” and $150,000 for “philanthropic consulting.”

First Lady Michelle Obama has thrown her lot in with the movement, started by Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg and promoted by Girl Scouts USA, to ban the word “bossy.” Mrs. Obama tweeted that she was “encouraging girls to lead #BanBossy.” Sandberg, who wrote the book Lean In to push “women to pursue their ambitions,” says that “leadership is not bullying and leadership is not aggression.” But as TruthRevolt.org notes, “the bossy women now trying to boss everyone into not saying the word ‘bossy’ seem immune to the irony of their position. More and more, the left seems to equate the word ‘leadership’ with following the crowd and doing only what is prescribed as politically correct.”

Ashe Schow of the Washington Examiner suggests the campaign to ban “bossy” has partisan motives. “Is there some kind of epidemic of that word being used to keep girls from achieving?” Schow wonders. She notes that Sandberg is a partisan Democrat who donates almost exclusively to female Democratic candidates. Sandberg is also a political ally of – wait for it – Hillary Clinton, the presumed frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016. Sandberg worked as chief of staff to former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers during Bill Clinton’s presidency.

The U.S. Senate dealt a stinging blow to President Obama last month when it rejected the nomination of Debo Adegbile to be civil rights chief at the Department of Justice. Seven Democrats crossed over to reject the nomination, which was voted down, 47 to 52, on a procedural motion. Until fairly recently Adegbile ran the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. The greatest obstacle to his Senate confirmation was that group’s crusade, under his leadership, to permanently free unrepentant Philadelphia cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal, who has become a folk hero to the radical Left. Currently Adegbile serves as senior counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Sen. Pat Leahy (D-Vt.).

 

GOLDMAN SACHS WATCH

 

U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest has ordered former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. trader Fabrice Tourre to pay more than $825,000 after a jury found he defrauded investors in a subprime mortgage product that faltered during the financial crisis, Reuters reports. The defendant will have to shell out $650,000 in civil fines and forego an additional $175,463 in bonuses related to the questionable transaction. The judge prohibited Goldman from paying Tourre’s fine and noted that he showed “no remorse or contrition.”

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