No Longer Breaking News that was Poorly Reported and Lost in the Shuffle: CNN & Hillary Clinton’s Email Edition

Last Friday CNN reported that:

The FBI has not yet interviewed Clinton as part of its investigation. As CNN first reported, investigators have not found evidence to support criminal charges against Clinton and none are expected, but no final determination will be made until that interview has taken place.

This was the fifth paragraph of a longer report dealing with emails about the US drone program. The context was of State Department officials emailing Secretary Clinton about the drone program, which is classified, during the Winter holidays (Christmas to New Years) in 2011 while on leave, away from the office, and unable to access the classified email systems, but still having to conduct their work. It is also spillage – the information was sent to her, she did not go and take classified information and purposefully place it into an unclassified email. This CNN report got lost in the shuffle over the weekend, for obvious reasons, but its important to highlight it nonetheless.

Dispatches from the Left Coast

Make sure you cover your dog’s ears if you read this out loud:

A Trump supporter who protesters told me had shoved a young girl was surrounded by the mob, pushed, punched, and he was rearing for a fight before police finally allowed him behind their skirmish line.

Throughout the night, I saw a woman egged, a couple trailed and pummeled while heading to their car, a man chased and tackled, and more blood than I expected.

Trump likes to make the case that the protesters who attend his rallies aren’t genuine, merely organized efforts by his political opponents. Thursday didn’t have that feel. These were kids who seemed to be out for the thrill of the brawl. Gang hand signs were thrown in abundance.

We’re going to have full fledged race riots this summer. Trump is encouraging it and antagonizing, our airmchair revolutionaries are giddy, the media wants it, and there’s not much we can do about it, I’m afraid.

The Wizard of Haws


In a country with a working press and sane electorate, this would simply be the end of the Trump candidacy:

In blunt testimony revealed on Tuesday, former managers of Trump University, the for-profit school started by Donald J. Trump, portray it as an unscrupulous business that relied on high-pressure sales tactics, employed unqualified instructors, made deceptive claims and exploited vulnerable students willing to pay tens of thousands for Mr. Trump’s insights.

One sales manager for Trump University, Ronald Schnackenberg, recounted how he was reprimanded for not pushing a financially struggling couple hard enough to sign up for a $35,000 real estate class, despite his conclusion that it would endanger their economic future. He watched with disgust, he said, as a fellow Trump University salesman persuaded the couple to purchase the class anyway.

“I believe that Trump University was a fraudulent scheme,” Mr. Schnackenberg wrote in his testimony, “and that it preyed upon the elderly and uneducated to separate them from their money.”

Combined with the fact that he refuses to release his tax returns (nice troll-fu, DNC), this theory that Trump is basically broke by Josh Marshall makes a lot of sense:

This was interesting, too:

The idea that Trump is wealthy to the tune of his oft-claimed $10 billion dollars, combined with his utter lack of transparency regarding his fantasy financial statements left little to go on. For political professionals, due diligence required we assume he could bring serious cash to the game.

By August of last year, I was working to convince major donors that Trump would be a destructive force and likely throw the race to Hillary Clinton. One moment from that period sticks with me as a turning point in my thinking about Trump’s money; a major Wall Street donor laughed when I told him we’d need to mount a serious and fully-funded effort to take on Trump if he chose to self fund.

My friend scoffed at the very idea that Trump was worth even a quarter of the mythical $10 billion, much less that he was liquid to the tune of more than $200 million. “He’s not a billionaire. I’m a billionaire. He’s a clown living on credit.”


The evidence is mounting, and quickly, that his promises to fund his campaign are just one more Trump con; a shell, a hollow edifice of fake-it-til-you-make-it. Trump, is by the standards of 99.9% of Americans, a wealthy man, but he’s not liquid enough to fund an actual modern campaign. It’s not simply that he doesn’t have the money; it’s that his mythos requires that no one ever figure out that he doesn’t have the money.

The press seriously should stop asking him any questions except for those related to his release of his taxes.

No Self Awareness Whatsoever

David Brooks wonders why people don’t like Hillary, spends a bunch of words blaming it on her being a workaholic, and never once broaches the subject that he, the Republicans, and the New York fucking Times have been lying about her for three decades.

I think that might have something to do with it, personally. The fact that her negatives aren’t higher despite the multi-decade attack should be consider a testament to the woman.

They Are Who We Thought They Were, Part Deux

The CIA really, really doesn’t want us to know just how badly it can f**k up:

The CIA inspector general’s office — the spy agency’s internal watchdog — has acknowledged it “mistakenly” destroyed its only copy of a mammoth Senate torture report at the same time lawyers for the Justice Department were assuring a federal judge that copies of the document were being preserved, Yahoo News has learned.


Although other copies of the report exist, the erasure of the controversial document by the CIA office charged with policing agency conduct has alarmed the U.S. senator who oversaw the torture investigation and reignited a behind-the-scenes battle over whether the full unabridged report should ever be released, according to multiple intelligence community sources familiar with the incident. [Via the esteemable Charles Pierce.]

As the aforementioned Mr. Pierce writes

A democracy cannot survive if its people believe they are being played for marks. It can survive for even less time if they turn out to have been right.

Shitty cops are bad enough.  Shitty secret police…


Image: Felix Nussbaum, The Secret, 1939

Trying to make a living and doing the best I can

I salute the people at RedState for continuing to oppose Trump, and I even think their reasoning is pretty sound:

Trump is vocally supported by white supremacists, white nationalists, and racial grievance mongers. He plays to them openly. Trump attacked the wife of a political opponent and that political opponent’s father. He drummed up internet conspiracy theories.

I see that the king of virtue feels differently:

Bill Bennett said this: “It’s not the time to be out there demanding all of these things, trying to get Trump to suddenly become Reagan. Now is the time to surround him with good people and work with him at the convention.”

Bill Bennett, to his credit, was a strong critic of Proposition 187, Pete Wilson’s cynical ploy to rile up the xenophobic masses by shitting on immigrants. Not to much to his credit, Bennett has spent the last 20 years lecturing us about morality. Now he’s asking conservatives to fall in line behind Donald Trump because that’s what pays the bills for a right-wing radio host.

Well I know I had it coming

There’s a great Vox interview with Norman Ornstein about the Trumpocalypse:

But if you forced me to pick one factor explaining what’s happened, I would say this is a self-inflicted wound by Republican leaders.

Over many years, they’ve adopted strategies that have trivialized and delegitimized government. They were willing to play to a nativist element. And they tried to use, instead of stand up to, the apocalyptic visions and extremism of some cable television, talk radio, and other media outlets on the right.

I doubt though that Republicans will pay much of a price for this, at least in the short term. Yes, Trump will probably lose and Democrats will do better in the House and Senate than they otherwise would have. But they’ll find a way to obstruct most of what Hillary wants to do, and they’ll probably do okay in the 2018 midterms by attacking Hillary the same way they’ve attacked Obama.

It’s likely that the Republican strategy is suicide long-term. If I were a conservative, I’d be pretty fucking scared by the fact that, not only do young people vote overwhelming Democratic in general elections, they also just voted overwhelmingly for a Democratic socialist in the primary.

But that’s probably not Mitch McConnell’s or Paul Ryan’s or Reince Preibus’ problem. They’ll be gone out of the water by the time it boils.