Are Democrats In a “Fearful Frenzy”?

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Every day I get an email newsletter from Bloomberg. I’m not sure why, but I suppose it’s for the same reason I get email newsletters from everyone else on the planet. Normally I just delete them en masse each morning, but today I read Bloomberg’s. It turns out they’re doing their best to keep everyone on the edge of their seats and waiting for their next Bloomberg newsletter:

In five days, America will make history, one way or another. We will either select our first female president, pick a true mold-breaking non-politician, or face a 2000-esque stand-off that paralyzes courts, fuels a media maelstrom and inflames passions around the country. No big deal. So where does the race actually stand as we dive headlong into Tuesday?

There are several new polls that double down on the narrative that the race has tightened….These numbers, the ongoing hum of controversy from the FBI and WikiLeaks, and the positive tone and spin coming from the Trump camp has some Democrats in a fearful frenzy.

Oh settle down. Sure, there’s a rogue cabal at the FBI determined to take down Hillary Clinton. Sure, there’s a lunatic cooped up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London determined to take down Hillary Clinton. Sure, there’s a despot in Russia determined to take down Hillary Clinton. Sure, there’s an entire media edifice determined to take down Hillary Clinton.

But she’s still around, isn’t she? And the polls really aren’t tightening all that much. So relax and read instead about Donald Trump’s illusory wealth:

On the financial disclosure forms that Donald J. Trump has pointed to as proof of his tremendous success, no venture looks more gold-plated than his golf resort in Doral, Fla., where he reported revenues of $50 million in 2014….But this summer, a considerably different picture emerged in an austere government hearing room in Miami, where Mr. Trump’s company was challenging the resort’s property tax bill.

Mr. Trump’s lawyer handed the magistrate an income and expense statement showing that the gross revenue had indeed been $50 million. But after paying operating costs, the resort had actually lost $2.4 million.

Well, really, what’s the difference between +50 million and -2.4 million? According to Trump, nothing much. But it goes a long way toward explaining why he filed for bankruptcy so many times, doesn’t it?

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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