Tuesday, July 26, 2016

After DNC Leaks Media Must no Longer Normalize Trump not Releasing Tax Returns

The media has mentioned that Trump won't release his tax returns and on occaison an interviewer has asked Trump about it.

But they don't focus all their power on it like Hillary's emails. Or, now, the DNC emails. For some reason, in 2016 emails have been weaponized against Hillary Clinton. No one else's emails does the media find fascinating.

The media should be at least as fasicnated with Trump's refusal to release his tax returns. But they're not. They may ask about it now and again, usualy in the vein of 'The Clinton team has been talking about it' but never do they act like it's a matter of the highest urgency that Trump release his returns well before actual voting.

I'm sure the media might say they try but Trump refuses to comply. Sure. So then you ask about it every day, ever program, every hour, every interview with Trump or a Trump surrogate until they do.

Be as dogged as if it were Hillary's emails. Indeed, while some insist that Emailgate was so important because the FBI was investigating, the FBI is already ivestigating the DNC leak.

While the media has been focused on the part that might hurt Hillary's bid to unify the party-'Did you know that DWS called Jeff Weaver an ass?! The system is rigged!' the really shocking aspect of this has been buried under the rug.

"When something goes wrong, I start with blunder, confusion, and miscalculation as the likely explanations. Planned-out wrongdoing is harder to pull off, more likely to backfire, and thus less probable."

"But it is getting more difficult to dismiss the apparent Russian role in the DNC hack as blunder and confusion rather than plan."

“Real-world” authorities, from the former U.S. Ambassador to Russia to FBI sources to international security experts, say that the forensic evidence indicates the Russians. No independent authority strongly suggests otherwise. (Update the veteran reporters Shane Harris and Nancy Youssefcite evidence that the original hacker was “an agent of the Russian government.”)

"The timing and precision of the leaks, on the day before the Democratic convention and on a topic intended to maximize divisions at that convention, is unlikely to be pure coincidence. If it were coincidence, why exactly now, with evidence drawn from hacks over previous months? Why mail only from the DNC, among all the organizations that have doubtless been hacked?"

"The foreign country most enthusiastic about Trump’s rise appears to be Russia, which would also be the foreign country most benefited by his policy changes, from his sowing doubts about NATO and the EU to his weakening of the RNC platform language about Ukraine."

"None of this is proof. But it is a vivid manifestation of a long-building reality: the chaos that can be unleashed in the new era in which everything is known and anything can be leaked. Concern about these effects goes beyond party. The very conservative defense figure Edward Timperlake wrote about it recently. In Slate, Franklin Foer says the DNC episode is “Watergate, but much worse.” Paul Waldman of the WaPo writes to similar effect. Thomas Rid, a security expert at King’s College, London, says that because “all signs” indicate Russian involvement the U.S. should respond:

"American inaction now risks establishing a de facto norm that all election campaigns in the future, everywhere, are fair game for sabotage—sabotage that could potentially affect the outcome and tarnish the winner’s legitimacy."

"These new developments underscore the importance of an old, familiar point: now, more than ever, Donald Trump must release his tax returns. To put it differently, the press should no longer “normalize” his stonewalling on this issue."

"As another veteran figure in the defense world and political affairs wrote to me this morning:"

"In normal times, this [the Russian hacking] would be the lead on all network news. But these are not normal times."

"I am having trouble getting through to some people that this is a real thing. The very people who always say “follow the money” with regard to the Pentagon [or other boondoggle bureaucracies] don’t see that (a) Trump has been kept afloat for about 15 years by Russian oligarchs; and (b) Russia has a powerful incentive to see a US president who will end economic sanctions."

"So Donald Trump should release his tax returns because in modern times that is the basic price-of-entry in national politics. (Along with a plausible — rather thanPyongyang Daily News-style — medical report.) He should do it whether or not Vladimir Putin ever existed or there was any Russian hack. That would be true in any candidate’s case, but especially this one. George Will has come out and saidthat Trump should release his returns because of questions about his ties to “Russian oligarchs.”

"With 100-plus days until the election, a nominee about whom there are graver-than-usual financial questions is saying that, unlike previous candidates, he won’t make his finances public."

Speaking of George Will.

"On Monday night, conservative columnist George F. Will offered a new — to me — explanation for Donald Trump's ongoing refusal to release his tax returns."

"Perhaps one more reason why we're not seeing his tax returns is because he is deeply involved in dealing with Russian oligarchs and others," Will speculated in a conversation with Fox News's Bret Baier. "Whether that's good, bad or indifferent, it's probably the reasonable surmise."

The context for Will's comment is a whisper campaign from some Democrats that Russia understands Trump would be better for its interests than Hillary Clinton and, therefore, is orchestrating the leaking of hacked Democratic National Committee emails to damage her. (Many experts think that Russia was indeed behind the hack.)

Will joins a diverse group who has tried to sniff out the real reason why Trump adamantly refuses to release his tax returns. His official explanation is that he is being audited and to release his tax returns under that cloud would be a major legal gamble or gaffe."

This explanation doesn't hold any water. The IRS has said that being in an audit doesn't prevent you from releasing your returns as Richard Nixon did back in 1973 while he was being audited.

Right away we see that Trump fails to reach a norm of transparency that even Richard Nixon reached. And Nixon was a very corrupt guy.

I'm not sure which of the theories above is the right one. Or whether the right one is even in our list. But what I do know is that Trump almost certainly is not going to release his tax returns before the November election, making him the first major-party candidate in more than four decades to refuse to do so."

Ok, so good work by Chris Cillizza for writing about this. I tweeted him this morning and complained about he and the rest of his fellow pundits fail to hold Trump accountable.

Cillizza did a good job here. I guess he'll never admit if my tweet had anything to do with it-I'm not at all saying it did. I'd guess no, though it's a funny coincidence at least.

As Trump won't release his tax returns make him pay for it. It should be a topic of conversation every day in the press. Like Hillary's emails have been.

Trump should never be able to talk to anyone without it coming up. Sort of like the press got over Melania's plagiarized speech.

P.S. More on the Russian connection in the Guccifer hacking.

Julian Assange can claim that he's doing this for the purest of motives. But who arrogates to him the right to try to influence an election?

If you look at the Wikileaks twitter page. He's clearly taking all kinds of credit for allegedly foiling Dm unity.

He can claim to be working for some transcendental good but no one elected him to do this. Here he RTs the Right wing Daily Caller with a gloating headline about Hillary being booed.

Who hacked the DNC over the last few years and who gave WikiLeaks their emails are two seperate questions. Can journalists count to two?"

Logically they may or may not be two different questions. Both are important though and whoever Wikileaks obtained it from what gives them the right to interfere in a US election?


  1. Maybe the Putin->trump special relationship will be exposed in those tax returns? Lol... probably unlikely, but that'd be a nice rumor to get going wouldn't it? Make the price of not releasing them higher than releasing them.

  2. I'd like to see some new campaign logos for Trump:


    With the top name all red and a little hammer an sickle in the corner of the P.

    1. Put Trump in the middle of that human centipede!

    2. If I have an idea, my starting assumption is that I'm 95% sure I wasn't the first. Lol.