One of the lessons learned by the Clintons back in the Nineties is that, if you're gonna have a scandal, have a hundred of 'em. And then it's all too complicated and just gives everyone a big headache, and they go back to watching "Friends" or "Baywatch" or whatever it was back then. When a scandal gets too easy to follow, that's where the danger lies.
As things stand, Vladimir Putin has wound up with control of 20 per cent of American uranium production.
That's almost too funny an update of the line variously attributed to Lenin, Stalin and others: "The capitalists will sell us the rope by which we will hang them." In this case, we've sold Putin the uranium by which he will nuke us. As the Russian news agency TASS reported two years ago:
MOSCOW, May 22 (Itar-Tass) - Russia's nuclear power corporation Rosatom controls 20 percent of all uranium reserves in the United States, the corporation's chief, Sergei Kiriyenko told the State Duma on Wednesday...
"I am pleased to inform you that today we control 20 percent of uranium in the United States. If we need that uranium, we shall be able to use it any time," Kiriyenko said.
Great! By the way, before he became America's fastest rising uranium executive, Mr Kiriyenko was Prime Minister of Russia.
In return for facilitating the transfer to Putin of one-fifth of US uranium, the Clintons were given tens of millions of dollars by Vancouver businessman Frank Giustra (the founder of "Uranium One" in its pre-Putin days) and various of his associates. In 2006, Mr Giustra told The New Yorker:
"All of my chips, almost, are on Bill Clinton," he said. "He's a brand, a worldwide brand, and he can do things and ask for things that no one else can."
Oh, my mistake. When I said Giustra and his pals had given over $100 million to "the Clintons", I meant they gave it to "The Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation" - or its Canadian subsidiary, established after Hillary had signed a disclosure agreement for the US foundation with the Obama Administration and, being Canadian, thus exempt from the disclosure agreement. At least as Bill and Hillary's lawyers read it.
I said to Hugh Hewitt on the radio last week:
Well wait, but just a minute, Hugh, there is no 'Clinton Foundation'... The only purpose of this foundation is to enable this family to lead the lifestyle of a head of state after it has ceased to be head of state.
Today The New York Post reports:
The Clinton Foundation's finances are so messy that the nation's most influential charity watchdog put it on its "watch list" of problematic nonprofits last month.
The Clinton family's mega-charity took in more than $140 million in grants and pledges in 2013 but spent just $9 million on direct aid.
The group spent the bulk of its windfall on administration, travel, and salaries and bonuses, with the fattest payouts going to family friends.
For example, Chelsea's chum Eric Braverman was paid $275,000 for five months' work. In Clintonworld, charity begins at home. So, if, like all these big-hearted Saudi princes and Canuck uranium execs, you give money to the Clinton Foundation because you care about starving Third World urchins, for every million bucks you hand over, a full 64 grand goes to the Third World urchins and the remaining $936,000 is the processing fee. Paul Mirengoff cautions:
It's important to note that the Clinton Foundation's status as a problematic charity is distinct from the "Clinton cash" issue that Peter Schweizer and others have highlighted. "Clinton cash" focuses on the fundraising methods used by the Clintons. Specifically, there are substantial allegations that they raise money in part because nations and wealthy individuals hope to influence U.S. policy through their donations, and very possibly have succeeded in doing so.
The problem flagged by Charity Navigator and other watchdogs focuses on what the Clinton Foundation does with the money it raises (whether ethically or not). The Foundation's profligacy and failure to spend a significant percentage of its funds on its alleged mission would be of concern even if there were no ethical problems associated with the Clintons' fundraising.
That's true. But it does undermine the Clinton courties' defense for all the funny money that's rolled in - that all these Saudis are ponying up for Bill and Hill because they want to improve women's rights in Africa; that Kazakh oligarchs are so generous because they want to reduce diarrhea outbreaks in Africa. Which is why Chelsea gets 75 grand a pop to give dull speeches about diarrhea. But, assuming for the purposes of argument that the House of Saud really did want to promote women's rights in the Third World, why would they do it through the Clintons and see 94 per cent of it get sluiced off before it got anywhere near Africa?
What Charity Navigator calls the Clinton Foundation's "atypical business model" is, in fact, the point of the operation. The Saudis, Kazakhs, Canucks et al are giving to the Clintons - and that six per cent to emaciated Africans is merely the equivalent of that moment at the supermarket checkout when the clerk tallies up your $150 of groceries and asks if you'd like to give a buck to Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
But, as I said, let's keep it simple: As Sergei Kiriyenko told the Russian Duma, Tsar Putin now owns a fifth of US uranium - in return for Bill and Hill's slush fund getting a hundred million bucks.
To modify Lady Macbeth, not all the diarrhea in Africa can wash away the stench of the Clinton Foundation.
Pundits often talk about "clothespin" elections, where the voters are obliged to hold their nose in the polling booth and select a malodorous candidate. But never on this scale. If the Clintons are returned to the White House, you'll be holding your nose for the next eight years.