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The Ugliness Continues
Author: BobR    Date: 05/18/2016 13:04:11

With the 2016 campaign season still in Primary mode (at least for the Democrats), the stink factor is growing onerous and odorous the closer we get to June. None of the 3 remaining major candidates are clean, which would normally suppress voter turnout. That is unlikely to be the case this time around. Let's take a look at the mess, shall we?

The Donald, T-Rump, Drumpf... he's one of those types who thinks all publicity is good, and feels he can turn the worst publicity into a plus for his campaign. Sadly, among his supporters that seems to be true. He appeals to the types who appreciate a showy WWF-style smackdown, so Trump getting ugly gets them all riled up and excited.

Unfortunately for him, he cannot bypass actual laws and get away with it. He has delayed releasing his tax information because - as he puts it - he is being audited and doesn't want to release them until that is complete. If that's true, perhaps he's concerned about sharp-eyed tax experts finding things that the IRS missed. More likely, he knows that he's in deep shit with New York State, and doesn't want to give the news media any more ammunition:
The Trump National Golf Club in Westchester County, New York, with its lovingly manicured golf course, gently winding streams, stone bridges, 101-foot waterfall and an expansive clubhouse is, according to Donald Trump, reflective of “a true luxury lifestyle.”

Creating such a “memorable club” is not cheap: Trump wrote on a candidate disclosure form that the sprawling 147-acre private club bearing his name is worth “more than $50 million.”

But when it came time to value the property for tax purposes, his lawyers have argued that Trump National is really worth only $1.35 million. The proposed valuation has bewildered officials in the small town of Ossining, who said the new figure would cut Trump’s tax burden by 90 percent and dump that burden on everyone else.
In Ossining, town officials said they plan to fight Trump’s claim that the posh private golf club is worth only $1.35 million. They said Trump bought the property for $8 million in a foreclosure sale, spent $45 million to build the 18-hole course and 75,000-square-foot clubhouse and received permits to build six hotel suites on the property, with no increase in his tax assessment. In fact, the town assessor said, the club already received a 55 percent reduction, from $38 million to $16 million, in 2008.

Yeah - that should go over really well with the Tea Party types who complain that they pay too much in taxes when they find out Mr. Moneybags is cheating on his taxes so that they have to make up the difference.

Sanders has a supporters problem. Most of them are simply Democrats who will vote for whomever the Dem nominee is in November. There is a small VERY vocal minority, however, who have tarred the candidate's campaign with some ugly Trump tactics. The Nevada Democratic conference turned into a near-riot when Sanders delegates were disqualified for not being Democrats. They were replaced with other Sanders delegates who were Dems, but that didn't stop the crowd from disrupting the proceedings. To make matters worse, some of these "good progressives" took to calling the Nevada SoS and leaving threatening messages on her voicemail - not to mention the decidedly not-female-friendly verbiage they used. It also doesn't help when the candidate himself refuses to discuss all the ugliness. If his campaign was smart, they would have gotten on top of this quickly and defused it. Instead - his silence is tacit approval.

(Perhaps we can all sit around a campfire together and sing Kumbaya and rally around a common cause.)

Over the years, it seems as though Clinton has been made of Teflon. Ever since the Bill Clinton presidency in the early 90s, Republicans, other assorted right-wingers, and even some Dems have tried to throw shit at her and see what sticks. From Whitewater to Benghazi to Emails, nothing has. In particular, the Benghazi "investigation" fiasco has been confirmed to be a blatant witch hunt, which has wasted hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars, all for a political purpose which was ultimately self-defeating for the Republicans.

Despite her apparent Teflon coating, it is Clinton herself who seems to self-inflict the most damage, by letting her inner lawyer slip out. She seems to be channeling Bill "depends on what the meaning of 'is' is" during his Blue Dress Days by calling the FBI investigation into her emails a "security inquiry":
Over the past couple of days, some Hillary Clinton critics have complained over the way her campaign has described the FBI’s probe into her private email server. Clinton and her campaign have called the probe a "security inquiry" regarding information stored on the server, as opposed to a criminal probe.

"I say what I have said now for many, many months: It's a security inquiry," she said on CBS May 8.

But on May 11, reporters met with FBI Director James Comey, and he said he is not familiar with the term "security inquiry." Instead, he said, "we're conducting an investigation. That's what we do."

Sure it's just semantics, but it adds an oily sheen that adds to the overall feeling that she is not trustworthy.

It also doesn't help that she and supposedly-neutral DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz are trying to claim that "investigators have not told her that she or any of her staff members are targets of the investigation".
"If she has been informed by the DOJ that she is presently not a target, then her statement that she is not a target would be accurate," Ouziel said, noting that she has no non-public knowledge of the case.

But of course, Clinton’s actions are clearly front-and-center in the FBI investigation. Based on her knowledge of how classified information mishandling cases proceed, and her understanding of public reports about Clinton’s role in the email setup, Glasser said the FBI is very likely looking at Clinton specifically.

"My experience tells me that Hillary Clinton is a subject of a criminal investigation," Glasser said.

The investigation will likely conclude that no laws were broken, but how she is trying to soft-sell this is likely doing her more damage among people who might be inclined to vote for her than the investigation itself (right-wingers wouldn't be voting for her either way).

Keep the fans blowing and the shovels at the ready - there's still plenty of campaign season ahead of us.

16 comments (Latest Comment: 05/18/2016 18:00:58 by Will in Chicago)
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