The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Double-Down

From the very beginning, I have been critical of the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare). It was and is a hyperpartisan piece of legislation that the Democrats rammed through congress in 2010 using legislative rule changes and outright bribery of Democrat legislators (!) to get the bill passed. Each of the promises made for Obamacare has been proven to be incorrect and in more than a few cases, a purposeful lie. It is true that more people are insured, but that insurance has stratospheric deductibles and is subsidized at significant cost to the taxpayer. Enrollments in Obamacare are 50 percent lower than the Obama administration promised with the majority of new enrollees being old and sick. The young and healthy have stayed away. In a moment of candor, a chief architect of the legislation, MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, suggested that Obamacare passed because the voting public is too ignorant to recognize its flaws. Critics (myself included) noted in 2010 that the ACA would cost too much, provide weak and overly-expensive benefits, and slowly implode. That's exactly what happened.

Here a description of the ACA from Vox, a pro-Obama, progressive, pro-Democrat website:
Healthcare.gov is on track to offer shoppers fewer options than ever before in 2017.

Major insurers like Aetna and UnitedHealth have, in recent months, taken major steps to sharply reduce participation in Obamacare's insurance marketplaces. The result, a new Vox analysis shows, is a spike in counties served by just one health insurer — and a precipitous drop in ultra-competitive areas.

There are currently 687 counties on the Healthcare.gov marketplace with just one insurer signed up to sell in 2017 — nearly four times the 182 counties that had one insurer this year.

Competitive markets, meanwhile, seem to be disappearing. In 2016, 66.8 percent of Healthcare.gov counties had three or more insurers. In 2017, only 44.3 percent of counties are on track to have this level of competition.
It's amusing to listen to Hillary Clinton discuss Obamacare. She thinks it's still viable and wants to "fix it," rather than replace it with something that works. That seems to be the Democrat credo over the past eight years—double down on failure.

Monday, August 29, 2016

ICANN

The World Wide Web and its underlying network architecture (the Internet) is arguably the most significant technological achievement of the last 100 years. The Internet has grown and prospered under ICANN—Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers—a quasi-governmental organization controlled by the United States.

In what may be the last in a long line of horrendously bad policy decisions, the Obama administration has decided to cede control of ICANN, allowing it to become either a free-wheeling monopoly or even worse, an organization controlled by the United Nations. What could go wrong?

L. Gordon Crovitz comments:
When the Obama administration announced its plan to give up U.S. protection of the internet, it promised the United Nations would never take control. But because of the administration’s naiveté or arrogance, U.N. control is the likely result if the U.S. gives up internet stewardship as planned at midnight on Sept. 30 ...

When the Obama administration announced its plan to give up U.S. protection of the internet, it promised the United Nations would never take control. But because of the administration’s naiveté or arrogance, U.N. control is the likely result if the U.S. gives up internet stewardship as planned at midnight on Sept. 30.

On Friday Americans for Limited Government received a response to its Freedom of Information Act request for “all records relating to legal and policy analysis . . . concerning antitrust issues for the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers” if the U.S. gives up oversight. The administration replied it had “conducted a thorough search for responsive records within its possession and control and found no records responsive to your request.”

It’s shocking the administration admits it has no plan for how Icann retains its antitrust exemption. The reason Icann can operate the entire World Wide Web root zone is that it has the status of a legal monopolist, stemming from its contract with the Commerce Department that makes Icann an “instrumentality” of government.
It’s shocking the administration admits it has no plan for how Icann retains its antitrust exemption. The reason Icann can operate the entire World Wide Web root zone is that it has the status of a legal monopolist, stemming from its contract with the Commerce Department that makes Icann an “instrumentality” of government.
I suspect that if reporters asked Donald Trump about his position on ICANN he wouldn't know what it was, and if reporters asked Hillary Clinton ... oh wait ... Hillary doesn't answer questions from reporters because ... well, just because. Even more amusing, those same reporters don't seem to mind -- but I digress.

Better yet, one wonders what the Democrats think about ICANN. Will they continue their Stepford Wives march behind Obama's bad decisions, or for once, will they voice their concerns and put a stop to this?

Crovitz continues:
Without the U.S. contract, Icann would seek to be overseen by another governmental group so as to keep its antitrust exemption. Authoritarian regimes have already proposed Icann become part of the U.N. to make it easier for them to censor the internet globally. So much for the Obama pledge that the U.S. would never be replaced by a “government-led or an inter-governmental organization solution.”

Rick Manning, president of Americans for Limited Government, called it “simply stunning” that the “politically blinded Obama administration missed the obvious point that Icann loses its antitrust shield should the government relinquish control.”

The administration might not have considered the antitrust issue, which would have been naive. Or perhaps in its arrogance the administration knew all along Icann would lose its antitrust immunity and look to the U.N. as an alternative. Congress could have voted to give Icann an antitrust exemption, but the internet giveaway plan is too flawed for legislative approval.
The Democrats (and GOP) in the U.S. Congress have acceded to far too many BAD policy decisions by the Obama administration. The Internet works quite well with the current ICANN structure. It's time for congress to stop Obama from modifying that structure.

Barack Obama is opening the door to an Internet that could be censored by rogue regimes, controlled by a corrupt and incompetent UN, and otherwise ruined in ways we can't even imagine. Like everything from Obamacare to the Iran "deal," the ideas floated and implemented by his Team of 2s are poorly thought out and fraught with potential blowback that hurts the United States and its citizens and businesses. But that never stopped them before and certainly it won't stop them now.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Blanche and Hillary

For over 3 years, the State Department and the broader Obama administration did a good job of stonewalling all attempts to access emails from Hillary Clinton's notorious private server and from their own internal files. Hillary, for her part, did everything possible to obstruct justice by deleting thousands of emails that despite her protestations, had little to do with yoga, her grandchild's birthday party, or anything else of personal import. Democrats acting as a veritable monolithic machine, argued against common sense and the facts and suggested that all of this was a right wing conspiracy and that there was no there, there. The mainstream media, despite a few professional exceptions, generally tried to protect their candidate (Hillary) by covering the story half-heartedly at best and investigating the details with all the enthusiasm of an 8 year-old who is being forced to do her homework.

And yet, with every passing week we get more information about Clinton's misuse of government office to enrich herself and her family, influence peddling in an on-going pay-for-play scheme, and the improper and unethical nexus of the State Department and The Clinton Foundation. Austin Bay comments:
“Whoever you are, I have always depended on the kindness of strangers,” says the frequently delusional Blanche Dubois near the bitter end of Tennessee Williams’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play A Streetcar Named Desire.

Ah yes, kind strangers. It’s a playwright’s loaded line. Put bluntly, Miss Blanche may practice intermittent prostitution. According to rumors, before her New Orleans travails, Blanche lost her Mississippi hotel digs because her scandalous associations with menfolk tarnished the joint’s reputation. This naughty gossip, Blanche’s louche behavior, her iffy relationship with what we might call the truth—the drip, drip, drip of on-stage evidence—leads many play-watchers to conclude, yeah, right, Tennessee Williams, I get it. That kind of kind strangers, the kind that tip the tart.

Blanche Dubois is a fictional character. Hillary Clinton often inhabits a fictional universe. Claiming she was targeted by snipers in Bosnia and telling Fox News interviewer Chris Wallace that FBI Director James Comey exonerated her grossly negligent mishandling of classified information are just two examples of Hillary’s fictional existence. However, Hillary’s State Department was no cheap Mississippi hotel, and the latest batch of emails confirming close, coordinated contact between Hillary’s top State aides and the kind strangers who donate to the Clinton Foundation ain’t rumors spread by traveling salesmen. Even The Associated Press is troubled by the number of Clinton Foundation donors with quick access to Hillary’s senior staff. The second paragraph in the AP report has numbers, not rumors:

“At least 85 of 154 people from private interests who met or had phone conversations scheduled with Clinton while she led the State Department donated to her family charity or pledged commitments to its international programs, according to a review of State Department calendars released so far to The Associated Press. Combined, the 85 donors contributed as much as $156 million. At least 40 donated more than $100,000 each, and 20 gave more than $1 million.”

“Released so far.” That’s the AP acknowledging the drip, drip, drip technique. More of Hillary’s emails continue to appear, including emails she swore she destroyed because they were personal.

Indeed, it appears evidence of an axis has emerged, drip by drip, an axis that operationally connected Clinton Foundation donors to Hillary’s State Department. That suggests from 2009 to 2013, when she was secretary of state, Hillary ran a hybrid organization—what we might call the Clinton State-Foundation—which served the needs of Foundation donors, in return for their… kindnesses.

If the Clinton State-Foundation looks like a pay-to-play bribery operation, well, it sure looked like Blanche Dubois was sleeping around a bit with kind strangers, didn’t it?
Of course, the Clintons always strike back when yet another scandal hits. As I have noted in other posts, their M.O. is to change the subject as quickly as possible ... so a few days ago, Hillary called Donald Trump a "racist" and suggested that he is a KKK sympathizer. Trump took the bait and struck back, calling Hillary names. The media gleefully forgot about the damning evidence of Hillary's pay-for-play criminality and jumped into the racism debate.

Hillary Clinton—a politician so corrupt she'd make Tammany Hall pols blush—wins another round and escapes to fight another day. The Democrats, who rarely try to win a political argument on its merits but instead always seem to feel comfortable condemning their opponents as "racists," breath a sigh of relief as they continue forward with a candidate who will bring new meaning to corruption and dishonesty as President of the United States.

UPDATE:
---------------

A.B Stoddard nails it when she writes about Hillary:
Clinton does defiance, denial and deflection but not accountability. Her persecution complex prohibits it, so she instead projects all sorts of terrible deeds onto unknown, even fictional Republicans, whom she has held responsible over the years for everything from her husband’s sexual affair with an unpaid White House intern to an Obama administration investigation into her rogue email server. And when situations call for specifics, like in an FBI interview, well it’s fair game to throw good people like Colin Powell under the bus.

Democrats continue to find this gobsmacking, but it’s nothing new. Who could imagine the gall it would take, while running for president -- a second time -- to take government records and store them on an unsecured server vulnerable to hackers? Did she not think that someday, when those inevitable congressional investigators came poking around, let alone Freedom of Information Act requests from the press, she would be caught not using the government email system she was required to?

Why, as secretary of state, would Clinton permit even the appearance of the co-mingling of foundation business with her official duties, as emails among her top staffers have already demonstrated?

And what moxie did it take for Clinton, upon leaving the State Department and biding her time before another presidential campaign, to go out and give highly paid speeches to corporate and financial interests, some totaling $250,000 for an hour or less?

Observers blame Clinton for being tone deaf. But that’s not remotely the case. She gets it, she just doesn’t care. If she looks greedy, arrogant, above the law and eager to cut corners, so be it. No matter how virulent the storm, there’s a rainbow ahead -- it’s always about the ends and never the means, or the bad press.

There is no good reason to risk tainting her presidency with the foundation’s fundraising, but the Clinton family name, the financial bottom line and a Chelsea-next political dynasty has always been knotted up in the goal of good works. The foundation’s current projects could operate independently of the Clintons by merging with another charity. As the Boston Globe wrote: “If the foundation’s donors are truly motivated by altruism, and not by the lure of access to the Clintons, then surely they can find other ways to support the foundation’s goals.”
Of course they could, but altruism is the farthest thing from the minds of virtually every foreign government and most corporate entities, not to mention oligarchs, Arab princes, and the like, who donate to obtain access and favors. It ain't altruism at all—it's corruption of the highest order.

EpiPen

An EpiPen is a device that allows a person allergic to insect stings to self-inject with epinephrine if he or she is stung by a bee or other venomous insect. The EpiPen helps the person avoid a severe or even life-threatening allergic reaction. In case you missed it, the company that makes EpiPens raised the price of the potentially life-saving device to $600. Cue the moral outrage from the likes of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

Kevin Williamson is a firebrand conservative writer.In an epic rant, Williamson comments:
If we were relying on the intelligence, work ethic, creativity, entrepreneurship, scientific prowess, and far-sightedness of the members of Congress to produce treatments for allergic reactions or any other medical problem, we’d still have a million people a year dying from smallpox and preventable infections. We’d also be starving to death.

Bernie Sanders doesn’t have the first clue how an EpiPen works or what went into developing it, but he’s sure he knows what one should cost, and he’s sure who should decide — him ....

Mrs. Clinton is a bum and a crook who used the State Department as a funnel to guide the money of favor-seeking business interests at home and abroad into the Clinton Foundation, a sham charity that exists to pay six-figure salaries to Clintons (Chelsea is full-time executive there) and their courtiers.

These people are parasites. They make: nothing. They create: nothing. They produce: nothing. But they feel perfectly justified — they positively glow with moral frisson — standing between the people who create and build and the people who benefit from those creations. And they don’t just stand there: They stand there with their hands out. I don’t know how much Heather Bresch [president of the company that makes EpiPens] has in the bank, but without checking, I’ll bet you five dollars it is a good deal less than the Clintons have piled up in “public service.”

Thought experiment: Your child is dying. Who do you go to for help? Sanders? Clinton? Or one of the research scientists who made the EpiPen possible? Yes, Mylan [the manufacturer] raised the price of an EpiPen. You know who else raised the price on EpiPens? Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, that’s who, and Joe Manchin, too. You thought Obamacare meant free goodies for you paid for by wicked rich people and evil corporations, right, Sunshine? Remember that medical-device tax? An EpiPen is a medical device. You think the politicians don’t have any self-interest there?

Short of rainbows and redwoods, just about every good thing we have in this world is the result of the fact that somebody, somewhere, worked to create it. Some of those people were philanthropists, like the ones who built so many of our libraries, museums, and schools. Some were in business, like the people who are bringing you awesome electric cars and little pocket devices that have more computing power than a major research university could muster only a few decades ago.

Epinephrine is unstable, and developing a way to store and deliver it reliably isn’t easy. Others have tried and failed; some have tried and been blocked by federal regulators, who of course have only your best interests at heart. (Federal employees care about two things: serving the public and consuming vast amounts of online porn during office hours. Okay, maybe they care about one thing.) You don’t have to love the people who dream and create — that’s why you pay them.
Although Williamson may be overstating things just a bit, the thrust of his rant is on target. It's particularly galling to be lectured to by people who have never worked in the private sector for any appreciable length of time, have never started a company, have never had to deal with the uncertainties and burdens of business ownership, and (this is important) have enriched themselves at the public trough, tell private businesses what they can and cannot charge for their products. Rest assured that the poor can gain access to an EpiPen through a myriad of existing government programs, and the rest of us can pay for it, just like we pay for any other product developed by private enterprise.

One can only wonder how much less EpiPen would cost if politicians like Sanders and Clinton worked on litigation reform, regulatory reform and otherwise made it easier and safer for those who produce life-saving devices to bring them to market. But nevermind—moral outrage over rapacious capitalists is so much more rewarding.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Corrupt

You gotta give the Clinton Campaign credit—they exhibit incredible message discipline and have an awesome response team. You really do need that, given that you're trying to avoid jail time for your candidate and get her elected President of the United States instead. The campaign's approach was never more evident than its response to a devastating AP report (kudos to the AP for doing the job that real journalists are supposed to do) on The Clinton Foundation pay-to-play activities.

When questioned by the trained media hamsters on MSNBC or CNN (to name only two outlets) after the AP report was published, Clinton's people condemned the AP piece by suggesting that it was "cherry picking" and "unfair" and "highly partisan." They and their media allies argue that there is no smoking gun, as if that negates the dozens of irrefutable facts that indict the Clintons for their influence peddling (and personal enrichment) activities. They didn't mention that the AP fought for three years to get Hillary's schedules from the State Department (the department was trying to stonewall the information) and had to sue to get them. Clinton supporters noted, as did the AP, that Clinton met with a few good people who did good works, but they conveniently forgot the dozens of shady characters (many from very shady foreign regimes) who were involved in her pay-to-play scheme. ArkansasOnline provides us with only one example:
Many of those donations come from more than suspect sources--like Victor Pinchuk, a Ukrainian oligarch whose family led a regime notorious for its corruption and repression. He was responsible for contributing between $10 million and $25 million to the Clinton Foundation, lending his private plane to the Clintons and attending Bill Clinton's big 65th birthday extravaganza in Los Angeles.

Douglas Schoen used to be one of Bill Clinton's political consultants, and he set up about a dozen meetings with State Department officials with or on behalf of Mr. Pinchuk between September 2011 and November 2012.

Strange, or maybe not so strange, how the Clinton Foundation and American foreign policy kept intersecting when Hillary Clinton was secretary of state. Or as a Ukrainian American named Melanne Verveer, who was working for the State Department at the time, emailed Secretary Clinton: "I had breakfast with Pinchuk. He will see you at the Brookings lunch." It's all coming out in the wash, or rather in a lawsuit filed by Citizens United to get a peek at her emails.
But Clinton and her team maintain message discipline—the Clinton foundation does good charitable works (e.g., ridding Africa of AIDS). Unfortunately, the trained hamsters in the media don't follow up a statement like that by asking a simple question—"What verifiable percentage of charitable income is dedicated to those good works?" Or ... why does the Clinton Foundation have a $21 million travel budget, much of which was used for 5-star hotels and private jets?, or "Is Chelsea Clinton $600,000 plus salary plus expense account in line with the salaries provided by other charities?"

I'm not sure any of this will matter in terms of the election. Clinton is protected by a phalanx of media allies (the trained hamsters) and the pay-to-play story is complex. Unlike the AP, few media types have any inclination to dig deep on this story, for fear that they will uncover a smoking gun and then be blamed from derailing her presidential bid.

But as more and more information comes out, Hillary Clinton looks more and more corrupt.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Rigged

California is the bellwether for the blue model—big intrusive (state) government that prides itself on over regulation, over-taxation, and an overbearing countenance that suggests quite strongly that the politicians in Sacramento (the capital) know best. Of course, all of this is supposedly done with the best of intensions. As a consequence, the Golden State is losing businesses at an alarming rate, is in dire financial trouble, has created underfunded state pensions, and is otherwise typical of many states with Democratic governance.

One of the characteristics of the blue governance model is to double down on bad ideas. Instead of fixing a problem (e.g., underfunded pensions), blue politicians expand on the idea, consciously avoiding the inevitable fallout and hoping that they can kick the can down the road so that implosion will be someone else's problem.

The Wall Street Journal reports on the latest example of doubling down on bad pension ideas:
In 2012 Democrats in Sacramento authorized state-managed individual retirement accounts for some six million employees working in the state without access to 401(k)s or pensions. The legislation required employers with five or more workers that don’t offer retirement plans to automatically enroll employees in a new public option. Employees can opt out.

A board comprised of Democrats and their nominees—namely, union reps and attorneys—has been charged with fleshing out the program’s details, which must be approved by the legislature and Governor. The Senate green-lighted the plan in May, and the Assembly intends to vote this week.

The legislation gives the board carte blanche to design and manage the state IRAs. One of the few rules is that the employee contribution must start between 2% and 5% of wages and can only escalate by one percentage point annually up to 10%. Administrative costs after six years are capped at 1% of program assets, which is greater than the operating expenses charged by 90% of IRA equity mutual funds.

The board could invest workers’ money however it chooses, so politicians would be able to direct billions toward their favorite causes. However, the board is supposed to stick to U.S. Treasurys or “similar investments” during the first three years to prevent the plans from going belly up if markets crash. So early investors may get little return on their savings.

Taxpayers would have to cover the program’s start-up costs (putatively in the form of a general fund loan), which are pegged at $134 million. And while the legislation stipulates that the state “shall not have any liability for the payment of the retirement savings benefit,” nothing prohibits the legislature from bailing out the plans in the future. Have you ever heard of a public fund that didn’t have an implicit taxpayer guarantee?

A legislative analysis notes that “the fiscal impact of this bill is subject to considerable uncertainty.” No kidding. If more workers opt out or contribute less than the board projects, administrative costs could exceed the 1% limit. Taxpayers might have to pick up the difference.

The legislation also contemplates a “reserve fund” to smooth out market returns. This would involve the board siphoning off investment returns when markets are roaring to offset losses during other years. What could go wrong?
The short answer is "a lot." History indicates that politicians in general and Democrats in particular are notoriously bad at managing pension funds. That's not an opinion, it's a fact demonstrated by failed or failing pension funds in Puerto Rico, Connecticut, Illinois and many other blue states and cities across the country.

If, as the Democrats suggest, they have only the best interests of workers at small companies at heart, why not let a leading private sector company (e.g., Fidelity Investments or Vanguard) manage the funds. We all know the reason. That would preclude the politicians from ('legally') skimming huge sums, rewarding financial company donors with contracts, and otherwise putting the workers' money at risk, backed, of course, by the taxpayers of California. And by the way ... when the IRA fails and California whines about bankruptcy, it will be taxpayer's nationwide who are told (not asked) to bail the state out.

Yep ... the system (in California and elsewhere) really is rigged.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Squirm

Today, the pro-Clinton and pro-Democrat Washington Post reports that the FBI found 15,000 new emails that Hillary Clinton either deleted or hid. There is no indication what those emails contained, but it's unlikely that all of them were of the "personal" variety she said were deleted by her team of lawyers.

The trained hamsters of the media seem amazingly incurious about of of this. It's almost as if they don't want to break any important stories about Clinton, her corrupt and irresponsible use of her email server and her serial lies about the subject. But more on that in a moment.

Two elements of the modus operandi that the Clintons use repeatedly as they scamper from scandal to scandal is to (1) confuse the issue by (2) placing blame on someone else. Today, Clinton operatives are trying to tie Colin Powell to Hillary's use of an email server. For over a year, Clinton has made the claim that past Secretaries of State used private email. Make this claim allowed her to successfully attempt to confuse the issue and the public. Using an email account on Yahoo or Gmail is vastly different than using a private server. The reason? All emails produced on public email accounts are archived and discoverable. Not so on a private server, where information can be hidden and destroyed by the owner. It can also be easily hacked by a variety of nasty operators. Even if Colin Powell suggested the use of private email (a highly questionable claim by Clinton), he did not suggest a private server.

But back to the media's relaxed attitude about all of this.

It has been almost 300 days since Hillary Clinton has held a no-holds-barred press conference. Since she clains to be the candidate with the temperament, experience and gravitas to be president, it's rather odd that he hides from a overwhelmingly friendly press. Even if she did hold a press conference, it's likely that softball question would dominate. By maybe, just maybe, a few media outlets would choose to ask questions like these:
  • Did any email on your server make any direct or indirect reference to The Clinton Foundation?
  • Did any email that was deleted make direct or indirect reference to The Clinton Foundation?
  • Did you, or Huma Abedeen, or Cheryl Mills or any other person direct any government employee to make any accommodation for any entity or individual who donated money to The Clinton Foundation?
  • Did you, or Huma Abedeen, or Cheryl Mills or any other person direct any government employee to make any accommodation for any entity or individual who paid speaking fees to either Bill Clinton or yourself?
  • What percentage of the monies raised by The Clinton Foundation go directly to people in need—not to contractors, or go-betweens, but directly to those who need help?
  • In 2008, John McCain released a full copy of his medical records to demonstrate that he was in good health. Will you do the same, and when?
If Hillary followed her usual script during a press conference, she would lie and obfuscate, but never answer any of these questions. It would, however, be fun to watch a corrupt politician squirm.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Both Ways

As I have noted on numerous occasions, The Clinton Foundation is a scam at best and a criminally indictable scheme for influence peddling and personal enrichment (for the Clintons) at the worst. Now we see that a number of left-leaning publications and at least one Democrat politician are urging the Clintons to discontinue the Foundation should she be elected president. Chris Stirewalt comments:
There’s hubris and then there’s the Clintons.

The news is that former President Bill Clinton and daughter Chelsea will stop raising money for the family’s foundation and that the organization would stop accepting foreign contributions if Hillary Clinton gets elected.

Think about that one for a second.

If Clinton’s critics are right and her family’s foundation was little more than a legalized form of bribing the woman who stands poised to become president of the United States, then what would the significance be of the foundation vowing to stop accepting foreign contributions if Clinton is elected?

Why a gold rush of influence buying between now and Election Day, of course! Hurry, hurry everybody, this is a last chance to get in good with the next commander in chief.

If Clinton and her supporters were right that the foundation is a unique and essential global charity that does essential work, why would one change course? Would Jonas Salk have ditched the polio vaccine because people complained about his funding? Would Marie Curie have dropped the radium just because she was getting cash from some unsavory sources?

The answer from Team Clinton would be that the ban on foreign funds and diminished role for the family would avoid the “appearance of impropriety.”

But if it appears that there might be an impropriety on Nov. 8, why not now?

The pressure is growing on Clintons on the left to unwind their massive buckraking efforts. Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell and the Boston Globe editorial page both added to the weight this week. Rather than swift response though, we get what has been the hallmark of Clinton’s second White House run: caution imbued with arrogance.
This is actually funny. For years, Democrats have been mum about the Clinton's enterprise. Not one questioned how the Clintons achieved a nine digit net worth with no notable source of income except speech making—it's not easy to acquire $100+ million unless ... well, unless you're running a "charity" for yourselves with willing foreign entities providing millions for quid pro quo influence. Not a single trained hamster in the media suggested that possibly The Clinton Foundation was a conflict of interest. Not one did any serious investigative reporting. Not one Democrat legislator said boo, when a book like Clinton Cash (a serious investigative report) was published with copious evidence of wrong doing. Not one supporter questioned whether a reported 90 percent administrative overhead for the Foundation was appropriate or ethical. Not one.

But now that Hillary looks like a lock for the presidency, every one of those supporters is worried that a hack, a leak, or a stray email might expose significant wrongdoing and derail her candidiacy. The solution is easy—shut the criminal enterprise down -- sooner rather than later. That will fix fifteen years of wrongdoing, won't it? The Clinton Foundation will be "old news"—after all, it's shut down -- there's no there there. It's also interesting that no one suggested shutting down the Foundation when she was appointed Secretary of State. Why was it okay for the Foundation to remain in place then, but questionable now?

There's only one problem. As Stirewalt notes, if the The Clinton Foundation is everything that Hillary's defenders say it is, why on earth would anyone want to shut it down? After all, the poor bedraggled little children that benefit from the reported 10 percent of foundation revenues that actually get to them will suffer, won't they? Hillary is either a charitable philanthropist (keep the foundation open) or a money laundering fraud (close it). Dems can't have it both ways.