"They say the best defense is a good offense. As the GOP prepares for its convention in Cleveland, Republicans have little other choice. After all, the Party of Lincoln is about to officially crown the pathological liar, race-baiting bigot, and parasite posing as a populist Donald Trump as its nominee for president of the United States." -- Daily Kos 7/10/16


“So the answer is Trump? A rich guy who fired people on his own reality TV show? Who gleefully bestows the “loser” label on anyone who dares to cross him? Who reminds you of the racist uncle at Thanksgiving dinner?” --Henry Gomez about Republicans, who agreed on a kinder, gentler, more-inclusive approach after they lost in 2012 with Mitt Romney,.



“Secretary Clinton has won the Democratic nominating process, and I congratulate her for that. She will be Democratic nominee for President, and I intend to do everything I can to make certain she will be the next President of the United States.” -- Bernie Sanders endorsing Hillary in NH. 7/12/16

“He has energized and inspired a generation of young people who care deeply about our country, and are building a movement that is bigger than one candidate or one campaign. So thank you, thank you, Bernie, for your endorsement, but more than that, thank you for your lifetime of fighting injustice. I am proud to be fighting alongside you.” -- Hillary Clinton thanking Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) for endorsing her at a rally in New Hampshire.7/12, 2016

“Clinton has become a human Rorschach: Some people, particularly Republicans, look at her and see the Devil. Their denunciations of her are so at variance with even the contested facts that it suggests a psychosis — congressional panel after congressional panel, investigation after investigation, all of them of the kind once familiar to the good people of Salem, Mass., who knew what it is like to have the purported criminal but not, alas, the crime.” -- Richard Cohen 7/11/16

“When you think of how far we have come, and at what cost, and with what faith, to just turn it all over to this monstrous clown with a monstrous ego, with no experience, never served his country in any way — it’s just crazy. We can’t stand by and let it happen. The Republican Party shouldn’t stand by and let it happen.” -- Historian David McCullough on the prospect of a Trump presidency. 7/13/16



1. Defending Hillary Clinton against lies still being told about her emails
2. How Long Would the House GOP Have Investigated Iraq if It Cared About Iraq as Much as Benghazi?
3. Republicans Have Only Themselves to Blame For Trump
4. The Republican platform hates gays, puts women back in the kitchen, and insists on religious law
6. From MEDIA MATTERS (They watch Fox News so you don't have to)
8. From the Late Shows
9. Political Ads/Statements
10. Vulnerable Lawmakers Stay Away from Trump
11. The GOP’s war against gays (cont.)
12. Late Night Jokes for Dems


1. Brian Beutler: The Return of Clinton Derangement Syndrome
2. Adam Gopnik: The Horrific, Predictable Result Of A Widely Armed Citizenry
3. Michael A. Cohen: Takeways from the Clinton e-mail probe
4. Jonathan Chait:: How Hitler’s Rise to Power Explains Why Republicans Accept Donald Trump
5. Former Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN): I will never vote for Donald Trump
6. Washington Post Editorial: Both are unpopular. Only one is a threat
7. Jesse Berney: Things Are Even Worse for the GOP Than You Think
8. Dana Milbank: Republican attacks on Comey undermine the rule of law
9. Paul Waldman: The Benghazification of Hillary Clinton's emails
10. Ed Rogers: GOP unity is dead


1. Defending Hillary Clinton against lies still being told about her emails

Republican FBI Director James Comey admitted that:

- Out of over 30,000 emails reviewed, only 3 had any marking stating that they were classified - these 3 were all improperly marked confidential with a (c) somewhere in the body of the email and nothing in the header or subject line.

- There is no evidence that any of Hillary’s emails, incoming or outgoing, were hacked.

- Some emails were retroactively classified by FBI. At the time Hillary sent or received these emails, they were not marked as classified.

- Despite claims, the State Department is not reinvestigating Hillary’s email.http://www.dailynewsbin.com/news/field-guide-to-defending-hillary-clinton-against-the-non-concluded-phony-email-scandal/25114/


2. How Long Would the House GOP Have Investigated Iraq if It Cared About Iraq as Much as Benghazi?

There were four Americans killed in Benghazi whose deaths can on some level be considered a failure by our government; there have been some 4,500 American service members killed in Iraq for whose deaths our government was perhaps even more responsible.

So, calculating proportionally and assuming that those lives cut short in Iraq are worth as much attention as the lives cut short in Benghazi, House Republicans would have launched 6,750 investigations of the Iraq war to have been conducted over the course of 4,500 years. 6/28/16http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/investigations_of_iraq_and_benghazi_compared.html


3. Republicans Have Only Themselves to Blame For Trump

If Hillary Clinton is such a horrible person, so ill-suited for the presidency, why didn’t Republicans unite behind somebody, anybody, while there was still time to beat her?

The truth is that Republicans were not in a mood to nominate Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, John Kasich, Marco Rubio, or any other establishmentoriented candidate. They also despised Ted Cruz so he would never do. None of the other alternatives measured up. They were so angry with the government that they wanted to fire a shotgun blast at Washington. They ended up shooting themselves in the foot. They got Donald Trump and a gimpy party.

In other words, Republicans thought sending a message was more important than beating Hillary Clinton and taking back the White House. So I guess Clinton and the White House weren’t important enough for them to dial back their lofty principles. The perfect was indeed the enemy of the good. -- Charlie Cook 7/8/16 https://www.nationaljournal.com/s/638654?unlock=U2NZRDVVC8AMKTZW


4. The Republican platform hates gays, puts women back in the kitchen, and insists on religious law

Republicans moved on Tuesday toward adopting a staunchly conservative platform that takes a strict, traditionalist view of the family and child rearing, bars military women from combat, describes coal as a “clean” energy source and declares pornography a “public health crisis.”

The platform demands that lawmakers use religion as a guide when legislating, stipulating “that man-made law must be consistent with God-given, natural rights.”

It also encourages the teaching of the Bible in public schools because, the amendment said, a good understanding of its contents is “indispensable for the development of an educated citizenry.”

But nearly every provision that expressed disapproval of homosexuality, same-sex marriage or transgender rights passed. The platform calls for overturning the Supreme Court marriage decision with a constitutional amendment and makes references to appointing judges “who respect traditional family values.” 7/1/\3/16 Read more at http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/7/13/1547874/-The-Republican-platform-hates-gays-puts-women-back-in-the-kitchen-and-insists-on-religious-law


“There is something fishy about this. I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but there are a lot of questions on how this came down.” -- Rep. John L. Mica (R-FL) alleging that Comey’s statement recommending no prosecution of Clinton was a case of “choreography” among President Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, and Comey. 7/08/16


“Look me in the eye and listen to what I’m about to say. I did not coordinate that [statement] with anyone. The White House, the Department of Justice, nobody outside the FBI family had any idea what I was about to say. I say that under oath. I stand by that. There was no coordination, no.” -- FBI Director James B. Comey 7/08/16



Just leaving D.C. Had great meetings with Republicans in the House and Senate. Very interesting day! These are people who love our country! -- Donald J. Trump ✔@realDonaldTrump


"Senator Sasse went to today’s meeting ready to listen. Senator Sasse introduced himself to Mr. Trump and the two had a gracious exchange. Mr. Sasse continues to believe that our country is in a bad place and, with these two candidates, this election remains a dumpster fire. Nothing has changed.” -- Sen. Ben Sasse's (R-NE) spokesperson 7/7/16


Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Donald Trump:

"He is a faker. He has no consistency about him. He says whatever comes into his head at the moment. He really has an ego. ... How has he gotten away with not turning over his tax returns? The press seems to be very gentle with him on that." -- Justice Ginsburg

“I can’t imagine what this place would be — I can’t imagine what the country would be — with Donald Trump as our president. For the country, it could be four years. For the court, it could be — I don’t even want to contemplate that.” -- Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

"I don't want to think about that possibility." -- Ruth Bader Ginsburg


Justice Ginsburg of the U.S. Supreme Court has embarrassed all by making very dumb political statements about me. Her mind is shot - resign! -- Donald J. Trump ✔@realDonaldTrump

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

NY Times Reports On “Marked Classified” Emails In Clinton Case Without Noting The Classification Was Botched http://mediamatters.org/blog/2016/07/07/ny-times-reports-marked-classified-emails-clinton-case-without-noting-classification-was-botched/211432

FBI Director Comey Dismantles Right-Wing Media's Faulty Interpretation Of "Gross Negligence" http://mediamatters.org/video/2016/07/07/fbi-director-comey-dismantles-right-wing-medias-faulty-interpretation-gross-negligence/211413

Trump Ally Alex Jones: Dallas Police Shootings Are Part Of A "Globalist, Leftist Takeover" Involving Obama, Clinton,Media Matters, And The UN http://mediamatters.org/video/2016/07/08/alex-jones-dallas-police-shootings-are-part-globalist-leftist-takeover-involving-obama-clinton-media/211443


Fox Regular David Clarke: Obama And Clinton Are "Straight-Up Cop Haters"http://mediamatters.org/video/2016/07/08/fox-regular-david-clarke-obama-and-clinton-are-straight-cop-haters/211458

Rush Limbaugh: Black Lives Matter Is "A Terrorist Group Committing Hate Crimes"http://mediamatters.org/video/2016/07/08/rush-limbaugh-black-lives-matter-terrorist-group-committing-hate-crimes/211447

Megyn Kelly And Mark Fuhrman Agree That African-Americans' Grievances With Police Are Overblownhttp://mediamatters.org/video/2016/07/08/megyn-kelly-and-mark-fuhrman-agree-african-americans-grievances-police-are-overblown/211463

Here's The Sexism Gretchen Carlson Experienced OnFox & Friends https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIyzYU3oF1g

Sean Hannity: Black Lives Matter's "Advancing Narrative Is Killing Cops"http://mediamatters.org/video/2016/07/11/sean-hannity-black-lives-matters-only-advancing-narrative-killing-cops/211493

Alex Jones Blames “Witch” Hillary Clinton For Dallas Police Shootingshttp://mediamatters.org/video/2016/07/11/alex-jones-blames-witch-hillary-clinton-dallas-police-shootings/211492

NRA’s Ted Nugent Smears Philando Castile And Says Obama Wants To Start A Race Warhttp://mediamatters.org/blog/2016/07/11/nra-s-ted-nugent-smears-philando-castile-and-says-obama-wants-start-race-war/211486


57 guns discovered by TSA agents at airports across the country, during the week of April 1-7, 2016.

People are still accidentally shooting themselves pretty routinely. For yet another week, we’ve got upwards of 20 of them. I don’t think we’ve seen less than 20 for two weeks in a row since I’ve been counting. But any day now, everyone’s going to start following all those safety rules, and we’ll be living in an armed & polite utopia. Hopefully a clean and well-maintained one, though, since eight people accidentally discharged their guns while cleaning them. So we’ve still got work to do there, even with the very basic rule of making sure your gun is properly cleared before you clean it. It’s the thought that counts, though. Minus the blood, bone fragments, and rehabilitation.

In other regular occurrences, eight kids were accidentally shot during the week of April 3rd. Four gun accidents resulted in fatalities. Three people accidentally fired their weapons while out and about in stores, shopping malls and restaurants. Three people accidentally shot family members or significant others. Two were accidentally shot while practicing at the range, two while hunting, and two more accidentally fired into their neighbor’s homes. Mighty generous of you, folks!

The full list of the week’s failures is at http://www.dailykos.com/story/2016/07/12/1510306/-Fight-tyranny-and-shoot-ISIS-I-thought-you-said-fight-deer-and-shoot-thighs-es-GunFAIL-CLXXXVIII


8. From the Late Shows

Late Night with Seth Meyers: Politicians Respond to Police Shootings: A Closer Look


The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Hungry For Power Games: Bernie Sanders



9. Political Ads/Statements

The Briefing: Backfired


Comey Takes Down GOP Conspiracy Theories


Priorities USA: Chauvinist


Correct The Record: The Media Responds to the GOP Benghazi Report


10. Vulnerable Lawmakers Stay Away from Trump

House Republicans’ face-to-face meeting with Trump on Capitol Hill this week didn’t appear to persuade doubters that Trump is willing to adopt the tone, temperament and substance they desperately want to see in their standard-bearer. But as the old saying goes, where you stand depends on where you sit: just as it’s been good politics for Trump to bash his own party elders, it’s also good politics for some GOP members to stiff-arm their nominee.”

Of the 45 Republicans sitting in districts with Cook PVI scores of R+3 or less Republican — the ones who tend to be in the toughest races of 2016 — just 58 percent have publicly pledged support for the nominee and just 31 percent have endorsed Trump by name. By comparison, 80 percent of the 202 House Republicans sitting in safer GOP seats have pledged their support, and 62 percent have endorsed Trump by name. 7/8/16 Read more athttp://cookpolitical.com/story/9746

11. The GOP’s war against gays (cont.)

For the past two months, GOP lawmakers in the House haven’t missed an opportunity to slip anti-LGBT provisions into bills. They passed a National Defense Authorization Act with language to let government contractors fire people for being gay or trans. They tried to pass a 2017 water and energy spending bill with a provision barring the Obama administration from blocking funds to North Carolina over its transgender bathroom law. When Democrats tried twice to strip the anti-LGBT provision from NDAA, Republicans overruled them. 

And those are just bills that made it to the House floor. At the committee level, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) recently tried, unsuccessfully, to amend the 2017 legislative branch spending bill to ban trans people who visit the U.S. Capitol or the Library of Congress from using bathrooms that match their gender identity.

Now, Republicans are moving on to legislation that would let businesses and government contractors deny services to gay people. 7/06/16 Read more at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/house-republicans-lgbt-bills_us_577bf899e4b041646410d8c7?gk

12. Late Night Jokes for Dems

"In a speech yesterday, Donald Trump praised Saddam Hussein for killing terrorists. He also said Hitler was a wonderful dancer and Stalin made a great omelette." –Conan O'Brien

"Yesterday President Obama met with the leaders of Mexico and Canada. Obama said he's trying to figure out where to live if Trump wins." –Conan O'Brien

"Thirty-eight percent for Trump, 13 percent for a meteor, which adds up to 51 percent of the people are OK with the world coming to an end. Two giant destructive orange balls." –Stephen Colbert

"Now Trump might be getting a boost in the polls because sources say Trump is vetting Chris Christie as a potential running mate. Christie would definitely help Trump win voters in New Jersey, who are anxious to get rid of Chris Christie." –Stephen Colbert

"In a speech yesterday, Donald Trump spoke in favor of waterboarding. Trump said, 'It's how I got two of my three wives to say yes.'" –Conan O'Brien

"Yesterday, Donald Trump gave a speech at an industrial plant while standing in front of a giant wall of trash. Before the speech, Trump welcomed his new campaign manager, Mike Metaphor." –Conan O'Brien

"Trump is making a real effort to appear more presidential these days. Yesterday, he went to a Pennsylvania recycling plant where he unveiled part of his economic platform. And instead of wearing his trademark baseball cap, he stood in front of a giant pile of garbage." –Stephen Colbert

"Here's the plan: Trump is going to revive the economy by turning in empties for the refund." –Stephen Colbert

"Donald Trump appears to be softening some of his anti-immigration views lately. So it sounds to me like someone's shopping for a new wife." –Conan O'Brien

"Critics are calling those in Britain who voted to pull out of the European Union 'racist' and 'anti-immigrant.' After hearing this, Donald Trump said, 'Wow, I'm running for leader of the wrong country.'" –Conan O'Brien

"Over the weekend, Bernie Sanders' press secretary left his campaign. Bernie said, 'Now it's just me and my podiatrist.'" –Conan O'Brien


1. Brian Beutler: The Return of Clinton Derangement Syndrome

By the time Comey handed down his utterly predictable recommendation that prosecuting Clinton would not be reasonable, it had become a foregone conclusion on the right that an indictment was imminent, and could only be sidestepped through corruption.

The ensuing dissonance between what this unimpeachable, Republican FBI director had concluded and what the Republican Party had trained its voters to expect explains why some members of the oversight panel felt compelled to question Comey’s honor. It also made it impossible for Republicans to congratulate themselves on a job well done, thank Comey for laying out the truth about Clinton’s “extreme carelessness,” and use his statement as ammunition in the election.

The only other way to resolve the inconsistency was to suggest that Clinton must have lied criminally along the way—to Congress under oath, or to the FBI in an effort to obstruct justice, or both. Jason Chaffetz, the committee’s chairman, thus promised to refer Clinton to the FBI for another investigation.

This will likely produce another disappointing finding (Clinton may have presented facts in a misleading way, but there’s no reason to believe she perjured herself). It will leave the conspiracy-minded GOP base blindsided once again, and give way to some other tangentially related but probably fruitless inquisition. We will be dealing with the fallout of the email investigation well into Clinton’s first term in the White House, unless Democrats reclaim the House and Senate. But now, instead of investigating Clinton for endangering national security or for some other crime related to her public service, it will transform into a shameless witch hunt. The kind of partisan onslaught that only seems to make the Clintons more powerful. And thus the insanity begets itself. 7/8/16 https://newrepublic.com/article/134949/return-clinton-derangement-syndrome


2. Adam Gopnik: The Horrific, Predictable Result Of A Widely Armed Citizenry

Once again, it needs stating because it can’t be stated too often: despite the desperate efforts of the National Rifle Association to prevent research on gun violence, the research has gone on, and shows conclusively what common sense already suggests. Guns are not merely the instrument; guns are the issue. The more guns there are, the more gun violence happens. In light of last night’s assassinations, it is also essential to remember that the more guns there are, the greater the danger to police officers themselves. It requires no apology for unjustified police violence to point out that, in a heavily armed country, the police officer who thinks that a suspect is armed is likelier to panic than when he can be fairly confident that the suspect is not. We have come to accept it as natural that ordinary police officers should be armed and ready to use lethal force at all times. They should not be. A black man with a concealed weapon should be no more liable to be killed than a white man with one. But having a nation of men carrying concealed lethal weapons pretty much guarantees that there will be lethal results, an outcome only made worse by our toxic racial history. Last night’s tragedy was also the grotesque reductio ad absurdum of the claim that it takes a good guy with a gun to stop a bad guy with a gun. There were nothing but good guys and they had nothing but guns, and five died anyway, as helpless as the rest of us.

Once again, the difference in policy views is clear, and can be coolly stated: those who insist on the right to concealed weapons, to the open carrying of firearms, to the availability of military weapons—to the essentially unlimited dissemination of guns—guarantee that the murders will continue. They have no plan to end them, except to return fire, with results we know. The people who don’t want the regulations that we know will help curb (not end) violent acts and help make them rare (not non-existent) have reconciled themselves to the mass murder of police officers, as well as of innocent men and women during traffic stops and of long, ghostly rows of harmless civilians and helpless children. The country is now clearly divided among those who want the killings and violence to stop and those who don’t. In the words of the old activist song, which side are you on? Read more at http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/the-horrific-predictable-result-of-a-widely-armed-citizenry


3. Michael A. Cohen: Takeways from the Clinton e-mail probe

Whatever one thinks of Clinton’s actions, FBI Director Jim Comey’s depiction of Clinton’s actions as “extremely careless” was prejudicial and inappropriate. The only reason for delivering such a lacerating attack on Clinton was to inoculate Comey and the FBI from accusations that he was not recommending charges be filed due to political pressure.

Comey’s characterization of “extremely careless” referred to the fact that Clinton’s private e-mail account contained classified material, pointing to seven e-mail chains in Clinton’s e-mails that contained classified material out of more than 30,00 e-mails read. It’s hard to see how seven chains out of 30,000 work-related e-mails reflects “extremely careless” behavior. Moreover, Comey said three of the 30,000 e-mails searched contained markings that showed they were classified, though he has since acknowledged that the documents in question were not marked classified. It’s worth noting that there is still zero evidence that any classified material became public, or was accessed by someone without a security clearance, because of Clinton’s actions.

Comey said that “any reasonable person” should have known that Clinton’s conversations shouldn’t have taken place on an unclassified e-mail account. This is a highly subjective view, which doesn’t do justice to the nebulous manner in which material is classified. Considering the fact that there has been so much controversy over how different agencies classify different material, the basis for Comey’s assertion is unclear, particularly since he’s someone who is not a State Department employee and is unfamiliar with the culture there.

The rules governing the use of classified materials can be harsh and punitive – and often for good reason. But in era of mobile communications, perhaps there should be a push for under-classification, and for being more lenient with those employees who violate the rules — not out of willful misconduct, but from a desire to do their jobs more efficiently.

Oh and, here’s one last takeaway — at the end of the day, the Clinton e-mail scandal will simply reinforce existing perceptions of her and not change the presidential race one iota. 7/07/16 Read more at https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2016/07/07/takeways-from-clinton-mail-probe/bUswpo38MTqkGD2VagawKK/story.html


4. Jonathan Chait: How Hitler’s Rise to Power Explains Why Republicans Accept Donald Trump

To watch Donald Trump rant and rave uncontrollably on the stump and on Twitter — praising Saddam Hussein for his disregard for civil liberties,insisting the anti-Semitic propaganda he inadvertently borrowed from neo-Nazis is as innocent as a Disney poster — is to ponder the psychology of a party that would entrust supreme executive authority to a racist, nationalistic, power-worshiping demagogue.

To be perfectly clear, Trump is not Hitler or a Nazi. Trump’s racism is not of the genocidal variety, and he is committed neither to a program of Darwinian racial conquest nor the principled imposition of one-party rule. If President Trump does start a world war, it would probably be as a result of blundering rather than a long-term master plan. But the two figures do have certain traits in common relative to the political environments they inhabit.

Like Hitler, Trump is a radical, authoritarian figure who lies outside the normal parameters of his country’s conservative governing class. Thus, there is a parallel between the two men's unexpected rise to power that is worth considering: Why would traditional conservatives willingly hand power to a figure so dangerous that he threatened their own political and economic interests? Why, having failed in their halfhearted efforts to nominate an alternative candidate during the primaries, don’t they throw themselves behind a convention coup, a third-party candidacy, or defect outright to Hillary Clinton? Why do so many of them consider Trump the lesser rather than the greater evil? 7/7/16 Read more at http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/07/donald-trump-and-hitlers-rise-to-power.html


5. Former Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN): I will never vote for Donald Trump

I won't vote for Donald Trump.

I won't vote for Donald Trump because of who he isn't.

He isn't a Republican. He isn't a conservative. He isn't a truth teller.

He's not a uniter. Donald Trump isn't the leader America needs after eight years of a president who deliberately divided us and fanned the flames of racial and socioeconomic strife — and, by doing so, diminished America's standing in the world.

I also won't vote for Donald Trump because of who he is.

A bigot. A misogynist. A fraud. A bully.

Who Donald Trump is should have been at the core of his campaign for president of the United States.

Instead, what Trump wanted us to believe is a marketing package that has been sold to the American people.

America is a great nation. We were a great nation long before Donald Trump sold us on a slogan — and we can be a great nation without Trump's false promises built on a legacy of fiction.

Keep America great.

Fire Donald Trump. Read more at http://www.startribune.com/norm-coleman-i-will-never-vote-for-donald-trump/370932321/

6. Washington Post Editorial: Both are unpopular. Only one is a threat.

Ms. Clinton is a knowledgeable politician who has been vetted many times over. She understands and respects the U.S. Constitution. She knows policy. She can cite accomplishments in the public interest, such as pressing through an important children’s health insurance program during her husband’s administration. As a senator, she was respected by colleagues on both sides of the aisle. She completed four years as secretary of state to generally positive reviews. She began her presidential campaign by rolling out a series of serious policy papers.

Mr. Trump, by contrast, has waged a campaign based on bigotry, ignorance and resentment. He has no experience as a public servant, and his private record of bankruptcies and exploitation should be disqualifying. He regularly circulates falsehoods. He has no dis­cern­ible interest in or knowledge of policy. Just in recent days, Mr. Trump tweeted out an anti-Semitic image circulating on neo-Nazi websites and attacked the media for reporting as much. He called one sitting senator a loser and threatened another while proving that he lacks even a passing familiarity with the Constitution. He praised one of the most vile dictators of the 20th century.

But to equate the two candidates as indistinguishably unqualified products of a rigged or failed system only feeds public cynicism while blurring distinctions that should not be blurred. Ms. Clinton is a politician, long in the arena, whom you may or may not support. Mr. Trump is a danger to the republic. 7/10/16 Read more at https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/both-are-unpopular-only-one-is-a-threat/2016/07/10/4d78dce8-4529-11e6-bc99-7d269f8719b1_story.html


7. Jesse Berney: Things Are Even Worse for the GOP Than You Think

Republicans just faced crippling blows on abortion and Benghazi, while Trump continues to destroy the party

It has not been a slow news week. In the space of just two days:

—The Supreme Court ruled 5-3 that Texas' onerous abortion law was an undue burden on a woman's constitutional right to the procedure.

—The House Select Committee on Benghazi released its final report on the tragic 2012 attacks that killed four Americans, finding "no new evidence of culpability or wrongdoing by Hillary Clinton," according to the New York Times.

—Donald Trump gave a speech in front a literal garbage pile in which he called for the destruction of existing trade pacts and an all-out trade war with China.

It's a political cliché that the Republican Party comprises three pillars: religious, defense and economic. In just two days, all three have been turned upside down.

It's an ugly week in an ugly time to be a Republican. No matter what drew you to the party, the world is falling apart around your head. The walls are closing in. 6/29/16 Read more at http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/things-are-even-worse-for-the-gop-than-you-think-20160629


8. Dana Milbank: Republican attacks on Comey undermine the rule of law

Republicans didn’t just disagree with Comey’s decision, or demand new investigations, which is their right. They alleged that the justice system is rigged and corrupt. This doesn’t hurt Comey or even Clinton as much as it undermines a building block of civilized society: the rule of law.

Until now, nobody questioned the probity of Comey, a longtime prosecutor and former No. 2 official in George W. Bush’s Justice Department. House Speaker Paul Ryan had said “his integrity is unequaled.” Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), chairman of the oversight panel, had said he and his Republican colleagues would “probably” accept his recommendation because “in all of government, he is a man of integrity and honesty.”

But now Paul Ryan is saying Clinton got preferential treatment, Jason Chaffetz says Comey made a “political calculation,” and presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump alleges the attorney general was bribed. Others call the FBI “steeped in political bias” or raise “serious concerns about the integrity” of Comey’s decision.

Comey said that his “all-star” team of 15 to 20 people who “didn’t give a hoot about politics” was unanimous after their year-long probe that Clinton shouldn’t be charged. He said they couldn’t prove that she knew she was receiving classified information or retaining it on her server.

And, because the facts in the case wouldn’t be used to prosecute a “John Doe,” he said, trying to prosecute Clinton with these facts would be “celebrity-hunting.”

That, of course, is what Republicans wanted Comey to do. Instead, he showed integrity. “In my experience, which is three decades, no reasonable prosecutor would bring this case,” he said. “I know that frustrates people, but that’s the way the law is.” Read more at https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/republican-attacks-on-comey-undermine-the-rule-of-law/2016/07/08/04509c2c-44f7-11e6-8856-f26de2537a9d_story.html


9. Paul Waldman: The Benghazification of Hillary Clinton's emails

For much of Bill Clinton's presidency, Congress was practically one giant Select Committee on Getting the Goods on Bill and Hillary. There were hearings on anything and everything — Whitewater, Filegate, Travelgate, this gate and that gate. At one point a prominent congressman conducted a home experiment that involved firing a bullet through a cantaloupe, in an attempt to prove that the Clintons killed their friend Vince Foster (seriously — that actually happened). As The Boston Globe noted in 2005, once George W. Bush was president, Republicans could rouse themselves for only 12 hours of hearings on the mistreatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib, a scandal that did incalculable damage to America's image around the world, but a few years earlier they took 140 hours of sworn testimony on the pressing issue of whether the Clintons had misused the White House Christmas card list.

So get ready, because we're already getting back into that pattern. Whenever there's an allegation (no matter how ludicrous) that Hillary or Bill Clinton did something wrong, there will be a congressional investigation of it, complete with televised hearings, witness badgering, and rising voices expressing righteous anger. For as long as Hillary Clinton is president, those investigations will continue, whether they find anything or not.

They won't accuse her of not being American or sympathizing with our enemies, as they did with Barack Obama. For her, it will be all about the congressional investigations, built on the conviction that if they look hard enough and cut deep enough, they'll reveal the pulsing core of evil that must surely lie within the Clintons. That's just how Republicans confront her; they know no other way. Read more at http://theweek.com/articles/634463/benghazification-hillary-clintons-emails


10. Ed Rogers: GOP unity is dead

When it comes to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, Republicans seem to have reached a point where they have agreed to disagree. A month ago, there was pressure for all Republicans to get behind Trump. No more. This equilibrium has been developing for some time, but yesterday’s meetings between Trump and GOP members of the House and the Senate have solidified the political landscape for Republicans. Members such as Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) reportedly pushed Trump on changing his language and tone, while Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) questioned Trump’s fundamental knowledge of government. Members of Congress and others are no longer feeling any inhibitions about displaying their skepticism of Trump, and there is no longer an ongoing, serious dispute as to whether Trump has the desire, skills or temperament to pull the core of the party together.

Inside and outside the Beltway, Republican leaders are no longer under much pressure to rally around Trump. Trump supporters are being given a pass from their party colleagues, because it is understood they are doing what they think they need to do to keep peace with a bloc of their voters, are doing what they think they need to do for their careers or are at peace being part of an effort to stop Hillary Clinton. And conversely, among Trump’s sincere supporters, very few argue the merits of a Trump candidacy or presidency. There are very few zealous Trump missionaries (as opposed to anti-Clinton crusaders) remaining in the party — even at the state and local level.

Of course, there are some in both the Trump and anti-Trump wings of the party who think he could win. There could be a miraculous transformation at the convention, another Clinton debacle or some other external force that could hand him the presidency. But Trump actually becoming president is viewed as a problem (or opportunity) for another day. Republicans have four months to try to limit their losses and decouple from the Trump campaign. Many still hope for the best in the presidential race, but even knowing what “the best” might be is getting harder to see. 7/08/16 Read more at https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2016/07/08/gop-unity-is-dead/