ON THE RECORD. . .

“The Republican Party is not capable of nominating anyone who is electable nationally.” — Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY) 4/21/16

“Fixing personality negatives is a lot easier than fixing character negatives. You can’t change somebody’s character, but you can change the way a person presents himself.” — Paul Manafort, on why the Trump we see isn’t who Trump really is. 4/23/16

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 “He’s been tough on her. In fact, I’d like him to keep going because the longer he goes the more I’m going to like it. ... So Bernie Sanders, not me, said she is not qualified. So now I’m going to say, ‘She’s not qualified.’ OK?” --Donald Trump offering rare words of praise for Sen. Bernie Sanders. 4/22/16

“Look, if we do not have a majority, it’s going to be hard for us to win…. The only fact that I think remains uncertain is if we continue to be running significantly stronger than she is against Donald Trump, or whoever the Republican nominee will be. I think that’s a factor.” --Sen. Bernie Sanders 4/21/16

“Trump. keeps saying things like, ‘well, you know, uh, I didn’t really mean it. It was all part of my reality TV show'. Well, you know what? If we buy that, shame on us. Because he’s already showed us what he believes and he’s already said what he wants to do, and he wants to go after every one of the rights we have.” -- Hillary Clinton warning voters about Trump's evolving image. 4/24/16

“Well, because poor people don't vote. I mean, that's just a fact. That's a sad reality of American society.” -- Bernie Sanders explaining his losses to Hillary Clinton in Democratic primaries even though Hillary won households with incomes below 50k by 11%. 4/23/16

“So let me make things real simple, even if Donald Trump dresses up as Hillary Clinton, he shouldn’t be using the girl’s restroom.” — Sen. Ted Cruz, before apologizing to the audience for giving them the image of “Donald in a bright blue pantsuit.” 4/23/16

"We got to the end in June and I did not put down conditions. I didn’t say, ‘You know what, if Sen. Obama does X, Y, and Z maybe I’ll support him. I said I am supporting Sen. Obama. I hope that we will see the same this year. --Hillary Clinton, who did not set "conditions" for supporting Barack Obama in 2008.

I’m allowed to be excited that the most qualified and battle-tested candidate in this race is a woman! It’s O.K. that it makes my chin wobble with urgent emotion. I refuse to separate my politics from my pride in being a woman. When barriers for women fall, the world becomes a better place for everyone — especially when they’re kicked down by the baddest lady in the game.” -- Lena Dunham on why she supports Hillary. 4/25/16

"Bernie Sanders has a message that's interesting. I'm going to be taking a lot of things Bernie said and using them. I can reread some of his speeches and get some very good material. He said some things about her that are actually surprising, that essentially she has no right to even be running and that she's got bad judgment. When he said bad judgment, I said 'sound bite!'" -- Donald Trump 4/27/16

“To say about the woman that you’re running against that the only reason she’s in the race is because she’s a woman. That her achievement is basically the result of some sort of affirmative action, some favor being paid to her as a woman – and that as a human being she is patently unqualified when she is the former two-term senator from New York and the former secretary of state and has the experience that she’s had, I do think that even a lot of Republican women will read that wrong.” -- Rachael Maddow responding to Trump’s assertion that if Clinton were a man she wouldn’t be polling above five percent. 4/27/16


IN THIS ISSUE

FYI

1. Trump Terrifies World Leaders
2. GunFAIL CLXXX
3. The DAILY GRILL
4. From MEDIA MATTERS (They watch Fox News so you don't have to)
5. Global warming has made the weather better for most in U.S. -- but don't get used to it
6. Clinton In Commanding Lead Over Trump Among Young Voters
7. Late Night Jokes for Dems
8. From the Late Shows
9. Turmoil, Possible Defections, Among GOP Voters 
10. Two Models Predict Trump Will Reach 1,237
11. HRC ad: The climate is changing - Republicans policies aren’t
12. The Borowitz Report: Koch Brothers Consider Purchasing First Democrat
13. Half of Republicans Now Support Trump
14. MarkFiore: Islamophobic Air
15. GOP Voters Strongly Back Trump Ban on Muslims 

OPINION

1. Charles M. Blow: What Is Sanders’s Endgame?
2. Allen Clifton: A Trump or Cruz Nomination Looks Like It Will Cost Republicans More Than Just the Presidency
3. Amy Davidson: Money Trouble 
4. Mark Salter: The Trump Bandwagon Is Rolling Toward a Cliff
5. Margaret Talbot: Hillary Clinton Should Be Allowed to Boast
6. Andrew Rosehthal: The Real Purpose of ‘Bathroom Bills
7. Ashley Pratte: The Great Trump Thaw
8. La Times Editorial: Is the Paris climate accord too little, too late?
9. Andrew O’Hehir: Bernie’s greatest legacy: Suddenly, it’s OK to question capitalism!
10. Dana Milbank : The Ten Plagues of Trump 
11. Paul Krugman: The 8 A.M. Call
12. Juan Williams: GOP's Supreme Court block will backfire 
13. Dana Milbank: The Kasich-Cruz alliance is too little, too late
14. Evan Osnos: Trump Versus Clinton’s “Woman Card”

FYI  

1. Trump Terrifies World Leaders

President Obama “is trying but failing to reassure foreign leaders convinced that Donald Trump will be the next president of the United States. They’re in full-boil panic.

According to more than two dozen U.S. and foreign-government officials, Trump has become the starting point for what feels like every government-to-government interaction. In meetings, private dinners and phone calls, world leaders are urgently seeking explanations from Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry, Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Trade Representative Michael Froman on down. American ambassadors are asking for guidance from Washington about what they’re supposed to say. 4/21/16 http://www.politico.com/story/2016/04/trump-terrifies-world-leaders-222233#ixzz46SO4N0XU

2. GunFAIL CLXXX

51 guns were discovered by TSA agents at airports across the country, during the week of February 5-11-16.

To no one’s surprise, accidentally shooting yourself was, during the week of February 7, once again the most popular type of GunFAIL. Because it always is! Of course, it’s not really popular, per se. It’s just the most frequently-seen type of GunFAIL. Others, as we know, include accidentally shooting kids, of which there were seven instances, accidentally firing into the home or property of a neighbor (six), and accidentally shooting a family member (five). Read more at http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/4/21/1481772/-Florida-Man-wears-out-his-welcome-When-even-the-Gunshine-state-has-had-enough-GunFAIL-CLXXX

3. The DAILY GRILL

Nate Cohn / New York Times: Why Cruz-Kasich Deal Has the Potential to Stop Trump.

VERSUS

Chris Cillizza / Washington Post: Why the Ted Cruz-John Kasich alliance seems destined to fail.

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“Fixing personality negatives is a lot easier than fixing character negatives. You can’t change somebody’s character, but you can change the way a person presents himself." — Paul Manafort, on why Donald Trump can be a viable GOP nominee.

VERSUS

He can’t change who he is, and he can’t shed the baggage he’s accumulated as a result of being who he is, which is a pig." -- Jim Newell in Slate

I wish Trump would go back to retweeting juvenile photos of Heidi Cruz. I hate the new Manafort & Black Trump.--Ann Coulter✔‎@AnnCoulter 22 Apr 2016

 

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VERSUS

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"She is a woman. She is playing the woman card left and right. She will be called on it." -- Donald Trump 4/26/16

VERSUS

“If fighting for women’s health care and paid family leave and equal pay is playing the woman card, then deal me in.” -- Hillary Clinton in a video posted to her Twitter feed. 4/26/16

 

4. From MEDIA MATTERS (They watch Fox News so you don't have to)

Limbaugh Suggests Nondiscrimination Laws For Transgender People Allow Predators To Kidnap Children On Playgrounds http://mediamatters.org/video/2016/04/21/limbaugh-suggests-nondiscrimination-laws-transgender-people-allow-predators-kidnap-children/210028

NRA Commentator: People Who Hate Guns Should Own Body Armor As A “Passive Way To Protect Yourself From Being Shot” http://mediamatters.org/blog/2016/04/21/nra-commentator-people-who-hate-guns-should-own-body-armor-passive-way-protect-yourself-being-shot/210023

"Travesty": Here Are The Conservative Media Figures Freaking Out Over Harriet Tubman Being On The $20 Bill http://mediamatters.org/research/2016/04/21/travesty-here-are-conservative-media-figures-freaking-out-over-harriet-tubman-being-20-bill/210022

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O'Reilly: Obama "Sends A Signal To The Country" That Drug Dealing Is "Not That Bad" http://mediamatters.org/video/2016/04/22/oreilly-use-hard-narcotics-now-acceptable-and-president-obamas-leading-way/210056

Fox's The Five Uses Earth Day To Push Debunked Climate Change Denier Myths Greg Gutfeld: Climate Change Scientists "Have A Lot In Common With ISIS" http://mediamatters.org/video/2016/04/22/foxs-five-uses-earth-day-push-debunked-climate-change-denier-myths/210055

Fox's Outnumbered Suggests Hillary Clinton Was "Pandering" By Saying Half Of Her Cabinet Would Be Women http://mediamatters.org/video/2016/04/26/foxs-outnumbered-suggests-hillary-clinton-was-pandering-saying-half-her-cabinet-would-be-women/210093

Trump Ally Alex Jones Claims CIA Funds Beyonce To Cause Mayhem http://mediamatters.org/video/2016/04/25/trump-ally-alex-jones-claims-cia-funds-beyonce-cause-mayhem/210071

Fox Host: It's Not "Fair" That Refugee Children Get So Much In Federal Benefits http://mediamatters.org/video/2016/04/26/fox-host-its-not-fair-refugee-children-get-so-much-federal-benefits/210083

5. Global warming has made the weather better for most in U.S. -- but don't get used to it

A new study in the journal Nature has found that 80% of the U.S. population lives in counties experiencing more pleasant weather than they did 40 years ago.

“Virtually all Americans are now experiencing the much milder winters that they typically prefer, and these mild winters have not been offset by markedly more uncomfortable summers or other negative changes,” write Patrick Egan, a political scientist at New York University, and Megan Mullin, professor of environmental politics at Duke University.

It’s hard to complain about sunny days, but the researchers foresee a problem. If Americans think climate change has benefited their lives so far, they’ll have little motivation to demand action or overcome apathy in responding to global warming, the scientists write.

By the end of the century, however, the study predicts the pleasant weather trend to reverse as summers heat up to uncomfortable temperatures.

“We’ve received warmer winters without paying the price for hotter summers,” Mullin said in an interview. “But when you look forward... that’s going to shift, and Americans will experience weather, by their current preferences, they’re going to think of as worse.” 4/20/16 Read more at http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-climate-change-weather-america-20160420-story.html

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6. Clinton In Commanding Lead Over Trump Among Young Voters

A new Harvard Institute of Politics poll of young voters finds Hillary Clinton the clear front-runner over Donald Trump to win the White House in 2016, 61% to 25%.

“More than three in five (61%) prefer that a Democrat win the White House, while 33% prefer a Republican. The divide of 28 points is nearly double what it was in Spring 2015, when the divide was 15 percentage points (55% Democrat; 40% Republican).” 4/26/16 http://iop.harvard.edu/iop-now/harvard-iop-spring-2016-poll

7. Late Night Jokes for Dems

"It's come out that President Obama has been allowed to see special advance episodes of the new season of 'Game of Thrones.' Obama says he watches 'Game of Thrones' to remember what it's like to have reasonably sane people compete for leadership." –Conan O'Brien

"Bernie Sanders said on Friday that his goal for financial reform is to 'make banking boring again.' I think I speak for all Americans when I say, let's just make elections boring again." –Jimmy Fallon

"While he was in New York Bernie even had some time to see the Broadway show 'Hamilton' with his wife. Though it got awkward when Bernie stood up and said, 'I knew Alexander Hamilton! And you sir, are no Alexander Hamilton!'" –Jimmy Fallon

"Hotel and casino tycoon Steve Wynn is under fire after he said, 'Rich people only like being around rich people. Nobody likes being around poor people, especially poor people.' In related news, Donald Trump needs a new opening line for his inauguration speech." –Jimmy Fallon

"Why do I have a feeling if Donald Trump doesn't win he's going to sue all of us?" –Jimmy Kimmel

"John Kasich had to move his campaign event to a larger venue when he got more RSVPs than expected. Kasich said, 'We had to move it from a toll booth to a Sunglass Hut.'" –Conan O'Brien

"Two dangerous mentally-ill men have escaped from a Washington state psychiatric hospital. They're now the leading contenders in the Republican presidential race." –Conan O'Brien

"We have New Jersey governor Chris Christie on the show tonight, which means right now, Donald Trump is unlocking his basement going, 'Oh, no, he escaped.'" –Jimmy Fallon

"I saw that Jeb Bush is going back to giving speeches after his failed run for the Republican nomination. He's actually a very talented motivational speaker, because after you listen to his life story, you feel great about yourself." –Jimmy Fallon

8. From the Late Shows

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Let's Talk About Bathrooms

https://youtu.be/Jv7d8EXxtqs

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah: Previously incarcerated citizens reject their right to vote

http://www.cc.com/video-clips/nj18jx/the-daily-show-with-trevor-noah-previously-incarcerated-citizens-reject-their-right-to-vote

Daily Show with Trevor Noah: Media’s Sad Standards Praising Donald Trump

http://www.cc.com/video-clips/ij1pet/the-daily-show-with-trevor-noah-donald-trump-wins-the-new-york-primary

Full Frontal with Samantha Bee: Twenty-Dollar Tubman

https://youtu.be/y5lYMil1Tts

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9. Turmoil, Possible Defections, Among GOP Voters

A new Suffolk University/USA Today poll finds that while 60% of Republican voters will support the eventual GOP nominee if their candidate is not chosen, a majority of Donald Trump supporters said they would vote for the businessman if he were to lose the nomination and run as a third-party candidate.

Meanwhile, 40% of Republicans whose favored candidate is not nominated said they will vote for the Democratic nominee, seriously consider a third-party candidate, stay home on Election Day in November, or are undecided. Read more at http://www.suffolk.edu/academics/10741.php

10. Two Models Predict Trump Will Reach 1,237

1,285: Number of delegates (or more) Sam Wang predicts Donald Trump will accrue in the remaining GOP primary votes (1,237 are required to win the nomination). Read more at http://election.princeton.edu/2016/04/22/two-ways-to-estimate-primary-outcomes-without-polls/

11. HRC ad: The climate is changing - Republicans policies aren’t

https://amp.twimg.com/v/387b94c3-d38b-4372-9685-1a7544b16996

12. The Borowitz Report: Koch Brothers Consider Purchasing First Democrat

Charles and David Koch, the billionaire industrialists who have spent decades acquiring a world-class collection of Republicans, revealed over the weekend that they are considering purchasing their first Democrat.

“We’ve always bought Republicans, and our father bought Republicans before us,” Charles, the elder Koch, said. “They’re bred to be obedient, and they respond to simple commands.”

He said that he and his brother had considered acquiring a Democrat only after determining that none of the Republicans on offer this year was worth adding to their collection.

While acknowledging the risk inherent in owning their first Democrat, Koch said that it would probably turn out to be a better investment than some of the Republicans they have recently purchased. “It can’t be worse than Scott Walker,” he said. Read more at http://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/

13. Half of Republicans Now Support Trump

A new NBC News/Survey Monkey poll finds Donald Trump has cracked 50% support among GOP voters for the first time, followed by Ted Cruz at 26% and John Kasich at 17%. 4/26/16 Read more at http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2016-election/poll-trump-reaches-50-percent-support-nationally-first-time-n562061

14. MarkFiore: Islamophobic Air

https://vimeo.com/163644507

15. GOP Voters Strongly Back Trump Ban on Muslims

What was once furious Republican opposition to Donald Trump’s proposal to temporarily ban foreign Muslims from entering the U.S. has turned to virtual silence in the face of widespread GOP voter approval.

Exit polls from the nation’s biggest Republican primaries show impressive majority support for Trump’s proposal. In the latest example, in Pennsylvania Tuesday, 69 percent of GOP voters said they support ‘temporarily banning Muslims who are not U.S. citizens from entering the U.S.’ In New York last week, the number was 68 percent. 4/27/16 Read more at http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/byron-york-in-state-after-state-strong-gop-support-for-trumps-muslim-proposal/article/2589663

OPINION  

1. Charles M. Blow: What Is Sanders’s Endgame?

On Tuesday, Sanders’s campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, told MSNBC that if Clinton doesn’t clinch the nomination by pledged delegates alone, even if she has won the most popular votes, pledged delegates and states, Sanders will still take his fight to the convention. Sanders will “absolutely” try to turn superdelegates, who overwhelmingly support Clinton, and win the nomination that way.

First, barring something unforeseen and unimaginable, there is no way I can see that this strategy stands a gnat’s chance in hell of coming to fruition. It’s a fairy tale written in pixie dust.

But still, stop and consider what this means: The purist-of-principle, anti-establishment Sanders campaign would ask the superdelegates — the Democratic Party establishment — to overturn the will of the majority of participants in the Democrats’ nominating process.

The whole idea is outrageous coming from anyone, but coming from Sanders it seems to undermine the very virtues that make him attractive.

Sanders has to figure out how he lands this doomed plane — does he set it down easy so that everyone walks away relatively unscathed, or does he go out in a blaze of glory?

Whatever he chooses to do will say quite a bit about his allegiance to his adopted Democratic Party and about his character. At the end of the day, is his ethos greater than his ego? 4/20/16 Read more at http://nyti.ms/26fHANW orhttp://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/21/opinion/campaign-stops/what-is-sanderss-endgame.html

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2. Allen Clifton: A Trump or Cruz Nomination Looks Like It Will Cost Republicans More Than Just the Presidency

This time last year, almost no one could have predicted that the GOP would be looking at the very real possibility that either Donald Trump or Sen. Ted Cruz was going to ultimately win the nomination.

But with all signs pointing toward that happening, things have gone from good to great for Democrats.

As it stands now, the Republican party is seemingly set to nominate one of two individuals who are disliked by basically everyone except their devout (yet overall fairly small) group of supporters.

Democrats are realizing what nominating Trump or Cruz is going to do to the Republican party and are now preparing to potentially make even bigger congressional gains than they had hoped to originally.

It’s yet another upcoming nightmare for the Republican party. Republicans are looking at the very real possibility of losing the White House, a good chunk of seats in the Senate and a full-on civil war within their own party that could very well tear the GOP apart.

No matter what happens, when it’s all said and done, Republicans only have themselves to blame. 4/26/16 Read more at http://www.forwardprogressives.com/trump-or-cruz-nomination-will-cost-republicans-more-than-presidency/

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3. Amy Davidson: Money Trouble

The quandary—for Sanders and for the Party—is that the corruption of the political system is his issue. Last week, he was asked on the “Today” show about Trump’s “Crooked Hillary” line, and he called it “an ugly statement.” But, when asked if he, in a roundabout way, hadn’t also called Clinton crooked, he smiled and said, “In that case, the entire United States government is crooked.” This disjunction is at the heart of the growing bitterness between the two candidates. Sanders believes that money distorts a politician’s character; Clinton experiences this view as an attack on her particular character. She has responded by pointing out that President Obama collected tens of millions of dollars of super-PAC money. That money, in other words, may be the currency of the corrupt but is not in itself corrupting. At the debate in Brooklyn, when Sanders failed to offer a clear example of a decision she’d made in the Senate because someone had handed her a check, she jumped in and said, “There is no example.”

But there are legitimate concerns about the role of money in politics that go well beyond quid-pro-quo bribery, such as the effect that being in a closed conversational circle with wealthy donors can have on a politician’s world view and priorities. Sanders, though he might do so less derisively, has a right to raise them. Clinton’s mistake has been to treat discomfort with money in politics as discomfort with her. Blind defensiveness on this point poses a risk not only to the Clinton campaign but also to the Democrats’ future as the party championing campaign-finance reform. George Clooney, asked on “Meet the Press” about a Victory for Hillary benefit that he hosted last week in San Francisco, at which the top seats went for three hundred and fifty-three thousand dollars, agreed that the sum was “obscene.” On that, he said, Sanders “is absolutely right.” But Clooney straightforwardly defended the fund-raising as a corrosive but necessary means to counterattack the Republicans, at least until a better system is in place for all. 5/02/16 Read more at http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/05/02/clinton-sanders-and-the-money-question

4. Mark Salter: The Trump Bandwagon Is Rolling Toward a Cliff

With Donald Trump’s resounding New York primary win, the conventional wisdom is on the move again. It’s returning to the presumption that Trump will win enough delegates to secure the nomination on the first ballot or come so close he can’t be denied it without setting Cleveland on fire. 

There are opportunities ahead for John Kasich or Ted Cruz to outperform expectations and prompt the CW to pivot again. But for now we’re back to “Oh my God, Trump is actually going to be the Republican Party nominee for president.”

To Trump’s chagrin, his return to inevitability is accompanied by the media’s notice of his poor prospects in the general election. But what Trump and his supporters take for disrespect is reality nonetheless. Trump would indeed be “the most unpopular nominee in history.” That’s what an unfavorable rating approaching 70 percent means.

Hillary Clinton may not be America’s sweetheart, but most Americans believe she’s fit to hold national office. The same is not true for Trump. By the time California Republicans cast their ballots, Trump’s voters will number some 13 million, around 10 percent of the electorate. Most of the remaining 90 percent are repulsed by him, as anyone with informed opinions and a sound conscience should be.  4/22/16 Read more a thttp://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2016/04/22/the_trump_bandwagon_is_rolling_toward_a_cliff_130354.html

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5. Margaret Talbot: Hillary Clinton Should Be Allowed to Boast

There is a fair amount of social-science research suggesting that women who would be leaders in their organizations are often punished for displaying the very qualities they need to advance with “professional women facing a Catch-22: They must overcome negative stereotypes about women by “acting like men,” yet when they do so they risk being penalized for violating gender prescriptions. In fact, self-promoting women are seen as more dominant and arrogant than self-promoting men, whose behavior is consistent with stereotypic expectations.” That double standard “is a critical barrier to women’s equitable treatment because self-promotion is necessary for career advancement, yet only women risk penalties for it.”

Clinton, as she heads toward another round of primaries next Tuesday—in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Delaware—faces a version of this Catch-22, and it’s particularly pointed because, more than anything else, what she has to offer as a candidate is her considerable experience. Sometimes, when she invokes her résumé, she stumbles badly, as in a debate in November, in Des Moines, when Sanders challenged her on her ties to Wall Street, and she invoked 9/11: “We were attacked in downtown Manhattan, where Wall Street is. I did spend a whole lot of time and effort helping them rebuild.” But she ought to be able to boast, for instance, that, as both a former First Lady and a former Secretary of State, and as someone who travelled exceedingly widely in both roles, she has unprecedented foreign-policy expertise. And she shouldn’t be paying a sexist penalty for it. 4/22/17 Read more at http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/hillary-clinton-should-be-allowed-to-boast

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6. Andrew Rosehthal: The Real Purpose of ‘Bathroom Bills'

The Republicans are having a grand old time carrying on about Democrats (and now Donald Trump) who are bent — as Ted Cruz so cleverly framed it — on “putting little girls alone in a bathroom with adult men.” Mr. Cruz is now running a particularly creepy adharping on this idea.

But like so many things Mr. Cruz and others in his cohort say, this is a gigantic lie.

No one is arguing that male “heterosexual perverts” (as Glenn Beckputs it) should be allowed to go into women’s restrooms and attack people – whether they are little girls, or older girls, or women of any age.

Mr. Cruz is actually talking about laws, passed in enlightened areas of the country like North Carolina, that ban the use of public women’s restrooms by transgender women.

These women suffer bitter abuse, bigotry and discrimination in many parts of their lives. Some transgender women are gay. Some are not. None are “adult men.” And being transgender is not a perversion.

It’s hard to know what is truly going on here, beyond the unceasing effort by smug politicians like Mr. Cruz to claim some special understanding of religion and liberty. And to claim that evangelical Christianity, as practiced by a particular group of right-wing white men, is somehow under threat. 4/22/16 Read more at http://takingnote.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/04/22/the-real-purpose-of-bathroom-bills/

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7. Ashley Pratte: The Great Trump Thaw

The Never Trump movement is still in full swing, but now there seems to be a calm resignation among the Republican leadership that Donald Trump may indeed be the party’s 2016 nominee.

The GOP, which has been at odds with Trump throughout his upstart campaign, may just have to come to terms with the idea of the billionaire businessman representing the party in the general election. With that recognition comes the responsibility of supporting his candidacy — GOP Chairman Reince Priebus, who has stoutly steered clear  of endorsing Trump, alluded to as much at the Republican National Committee’s spring meeting on Friday.

“It is essential to victory in November that we all support our candidate,” Priebus said. “This goes for everyone, whether you’re a county party chairman, an RNC member, or a presidential candidate. Politics is a team sport, and we can’t win unless we rally around whoever becomes our nominee.”

What's more, according to Politico, the American Crossroads super PAC headed by Karl Rove is even preparing for a Trump nomination — privately telling donors it can help Trump win and produce down-ticket congressional victories. Even though Rove is one of Trump's toughest critics in public, it seems that in private he's willing to get behind a Trump nomination if it means taking down Hillary Clinton. Read more at https://www.lifezette.com/polizette/great-trump-thaw/

8. La Times Editorial: Is the Paris climate accord too little, too late?

The U.S. has pledged to cut emissions to at least 26% below 2005 levels by 2025. But President Obama's Clean Power Plan, a linchpin of his climate change strategy, was derailed two months after the Paris accord was reached, when the U.S. Supreme Court halted implementation until legal challenges could be resolved.

Unfortunately, climate change isn't waiting. As the global temperature rises, glaciers are retreating, shrinking polar ice is threatening Arctic species, river and lake ice has been breaking up earlier, plants and animals are shifting ranges, and flowering cycles for trees are occurring earlier in the season.

The signing of the accord, while historic, won't solve those problems. It merely starts the world on the right, though very belated, path. While ambitious, it is also cautious, and contains vague wording that the signatory nations pledge to “reach global peaking of greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible.” The world needs to accelerate the pace. Slow and deliberate means lost species, drowned seaside cities, disappearing island nations and more political instability in the most affected nations.

Despite the urgency of the issue, discussion of climate change has been depressingly limited in the presidential campaign. Whoever wins the White House needs to recognize the enormity and gravity of the problem, and lead the way to a more habitable world. 4/22/16 Read more at http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-0422-climate-change-accord-20160422-story.html

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9. Andrew O’Hehir: Bernie’s greatest legacy: Suddenly, it’s OK to question capitalism!

Bernie Sanders is not going to be president. But in defeat he has accomplished something extraordinary, probably something more important than anything he could have achieved in four or eight frustrating years in the White House. For the first time since the end of the Cold War — and perhaps since the beginning of the Cold War — large numbers of Americans have begun to ask questions about capitalism. Questions about whether it works, and how, and for whose benefit. Questions about whether capitalism is really the indispensable companion of democracy, as we have confidently been told for the last century or so, and about how those two things interact in the real world.

Bernie Sanders did not invent those questions or cause them to emerge, to be sure. They have emerged from a whole range of objective conditions and subjective perceptions, including the dramatic worsening of economic inequality, the near-total paralysis of our political system and the awakening of an entire generation of young Americans, supposedly from the non-poor classes, who have graduated from college tens of thousands of dollars in debt. But Sanders has served as an important channel or catalyst for such questions and the shift in consciousness they represent. He or his advisers appeared to see or sense a rising current of discontent that took nearly everyone else by surprise.

Bernie Sanders served as accidental midwife at the birth of something thoroughly unexpected, the first faint glimmers of what the Marxists would have called a revolutionary consciousness. Where that will lead is anyone’s guess, but don’t be too sure that it leads nowhere and that the normative political order will soon be restored. Defenders of the system have mounted a forceful counterattack, but their confidence is too high and their vision of the future too limited. The threat of “political revolution” can no doubt be dispelled, for now. But the conditions that produced it — the intertwined failures of capitalism and democracy, as described by two socialist leaders a century apart — present problems that President Hillary Clinton cannot hope to solve. 4/24/16 Read more at http://www.salon.com/2016/04/24/bernies_greatest_legacy_suddenly_its_ok_to_question_capitalism/

10. Dana Milbank: The Ten Plagues of Trump

With a haste suggesting he thinks Americans aren’t all that bright, Trump has been rebranding himself as an inoffensive candidate for the general election. He gave a temperate victory speech in New York on Tuesday and he took more moderate positions this week on gay rights, abortion and the national debt. Trump’s chief strategist, The Post reports, told a group of Republicans privately that Trump had been playing a “part” and is “now evolving.”

Those appalled by Trump’s campaign of insults aren’t about to let him succeed in that evolution. But there is a challenge in this exercise: After so many outrageous things have come out of his mouth, which ones to choose?

I suggest borrowing a page from the Passover Haggadah. The Seder service recalls the Ten Plagues that God inflicted on the Egyptians: blood, frogs, lice, wild animals, pestilence, boils, hail, locusts, darkness and slaying of the firstborn. This, come to think of it, sounds a lot like Trump’s descriptions of women: fat pigs, dogs, slobs, disgusting animals. But if the Ten Plagues of Egypt were enough to deliver the Israelites from Pharaoh, perhaps these Ten Plagues of Trump will help to deliver America from his efforts to make voters forget the past 10 months.

But even if we only had these Ten Plagues of Trump, it would be enough — dayenu, as we say during Passover — to make Trump’s rebranding impossible. 4/22/16 Read more at http://wpo.st/uypW1 https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-ten-plagues-of-trump/2016/04/22/42f11f5c-0883-11e6-a12f-ea5aed7958dc_story.html

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11. Paul Krugman: The 8 A.M. Call

I doubt that anyone will be shocked if I say that Mr. Trump doesn’t know much about economic policy, or for that matter any kind of policy. He still seems to imagine, for example, that China is taking advantage of America by keeping its currency weak — which was true once upon a time, but bears no resemblance to current reality.

Oh, and coping with crisis in the modern world requires a lot of international cooperation. Things like currency swap lines (don’t ask) played a much bigger role than most people realize in avoiding a second Great Depression. How well do you think that kind of cooperation would work in a Trump administration?

Yet things could be worse. The Donald doesn’t know much, but Ted Cruz knows a lot that isn’t so. In a world in which gold bugs have been wrong every step of the way, repeatedly predicting runaway inflation that fails to materialize, he demands a gold standard to produce a “sound dollar.” He chose, as his senior economic adviser, Phil Gramm — an architect of financial deregulation who helped set the stage for the 2008 crisis, then dismissed warnings of recession when that crisis came, calling America a “nation of whiners.”

Mr. Cruz is, in other words, a man of firm economic convictions — convictions that are utterly divorced from reality and impervious to evidence, to a degree that’s unusual even among Republicans. A financial crisis with him in the White House could be, let’s say, an interesting experience.

I don’t know how much play the candidates’ readiness for economic emergencies will get in the general election. There will, after all, be so many horrifying positions, on everything from immigration to Planned Parenthood, to dissect. But let’s try to make some room for this issue. For that 8 a.m. call is probably coming, one way or another. 4/25/16 Read more at http://nyti.ms/1qL9pgfhttp://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/25/opinion/the-8-am-call.html

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12. Juan Williams: GOP's Supreme Court block will backfire

McConnell’s blunt refusal to consider Garland fits with the image of the broken, dysfunctional Republican Party that is forcing Senate candidates to run away from its nominating convention.

Last week, four GOP senators said they would not attend the convention, set for Cleveland in July. Their message is that the selection of Donald Trump or Ted Cruz as the party’s presidential nominee — or a fight to push another name into the winner’s circle — is not going to help any Republican Senate candidate.

According to the most recent Cook Political Report, five out of six of the closest Senate races in the country are for seats currently held by Republicans. Moreover, the GOP is defending 24 Senate seats while the Democrats are only defending 10.

According to the most recent FEC filings, the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) has raised $49.5 million this election cycle while the DSCC has raised $74.3 million.

This means that the national Republican Party has fewer resources to spend on saving their most vulnerable incumbents and national Democrats have more resources to devote to taking them out.  

If Senate Republicans lose their majority this November they will have no shortage of factors and people to blame. There can point to the down-ticket drag of a toxic presidential nominee like Trump or Cruz. Or they can look at the party’s broader failure to appeal to an electorate that is becoming more diverse all the time.

But they can also point to McConnell for forcing them to carry the albatross of Garland obstructionism around their necks. 

Chances are they will be able to find him in the Senate Minority Leader’s office in the Capitol next year. 4/25/16 Read more at http://thehill.com/opinion/juan-williams/277434-juan-williams-gops-supreme-court-block-will-backfire

13. Dana Milbank: The Kasich-Cruz alliance is too little, too late

The Kasich-Cruz alliance looks to be a few months late and a few million votes short, even as more Republicans come to terms with the horror of Trump as the nominee. The conservative billionaire Charles Koch, who was largely silent during the primaries, just said, “I don’t know how we could support” Trump. In an interview with ABC’s Jon Karl, Koch called Trump’s call to register all Muslims “reminiscent of Nazi Germany,” and he called it “frightening” that Cruz’s talk of carpet-bombing the Middle East would appeal to Americans. Koch even said it’s “possible” he would support Clinton over the Republican nominee.

Kasich at times already seems to be talking about his candidacy as if it were in the past — a reasonable tense to use for a man who would need 158 percent of remaining delegates to secure the nomination. “I am a fundamental believer in ideas,” he told The Post’s editorial board last week. “And frankly, my Republican Party doesn’t like ideas.”

In the Rockville gym, one of Kasich’s fans carried a hand-lettered sign: “Don’t be so angry. You can’t think straight. Vote Kasich.” That message may make sense in the wealthy Washington suburbs, where many work for the federal government. Connie Morella, a moderate Republican who once represented the area in Congress, introduced Kasich with a lengthy treatment of his legislative bona fides, and Kasich spoke about doubling medical research spending, fighting man-made climate change and opposing the “absurd” idea of deporting 11 million illegal immigrants.

“Everything you say — it resonates,” a woman told Kasich during the Q&A. So why, she asked, is “the rest of the U.S. not picking up on that?”

“At the end of the day,” Kasich replied, “people don’t want to live . . . in tension, negativity, conflict.” As evidence, he pointed to a new poll in New Hampshire showing that Republicans who voted in that state’s primary would now favor Kasich over Trump at a contested convention, 26 percent to 22 percent.

Alas, Trump already won the New Hampshire primary. And buyer’s remorse isn’t going to get Kasich the nomination. Read more at https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-kasich-cruz-alliance-is-too-little-too-late/2016/04/25/af1013cc-0b31-11e6-bfa1-4efa856caf2a_story.html or http://wpo.st/pL5X1

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14. Evan Osnos: Trump Versus Clinton’s “Woman Card”

Among women voters in 2012, Mitt Romney lost to Barack Obama by more than ten points; among unmarried women, the gap was thirty-six points. Trump’s gap is larger; in recent polls, he has been viewed unfavorably by sixty per cent of women, and, if he pursues his “woman card” strategy, he could also be setting the stage for a historic year for women candidates in the Senate, where Democrats have nominated women in nine races. In 2012, Republicans blamed the candidate Todd Akin, who used the phrase “legitimate rape” during the Missouri Senate race, for tarring the Party with the image of a waging a “war on women.” Trump’s vulnerabilities, in the Akin vein, are considerable. His slog to the nomination may, in fact, be closer to the end than many in his Party are ready to admit. But a different kind of race is only beginning. 4/27/16 Read more at http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/trump-versus-clintons-woman-card