Better VP picks for Trump! Kris Kobach, Scott Brown, Pat McCrory, Mike Crapo, David Clarke, Mike Tyson, my next door neighbor ... -- Ann Coulter ✔@AnnCoulter

Unhappy that the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server resulted in no indictment? Don’t acknowledge defeat and move on with your life! Instead, reverse your previous statements about accepting the integrity of the FBI’s investigation, as Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) did, and pummel the agency director in a public hearing about his judgment, biases and secret agenda. Or alternatively, take a cue from Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), and threaten to shut down the entire federal government until you get your desired indictment. -- Catherine Rampell

“Western civilization is in a war. We should frankly test every person here who is of a Muslim background and if they believe in sharia they should be deported,” -- Newt Gingrich calling for deporting everyone in America with a Muslim background who believes in sharia law. 7/15/16

“Now might be a good time for the Republican leadership to shut down the federal government, in protest of what he called “an imperial president” who will not “enforce criminal charges against a criminal. We should be willing to shut down the government if the president won’t limit his power.” -- Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) referring to the lack of charges filed against Hillary Clinton for her private email server. 7/6/16

“I don’t know how women can vote for him… It’s incomprehensible to me.” — Barbara Bush, in an interview with CBS News, on Donald Trump as the Republican nominee.


“A Trump-Pence ticket should send a shiver down the spine of women in this country. Donald Trump just sent a message to the women of America: Your health and your lives are not important.” -- Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. 7/16/16

.@realDonaldTrump & @mike_pence are a perfect match: Two small, insecure, weak men who use hate & fear to divide our country & our people. --Elizabeth Warren@elizabethforma

“We may not yet know the motives for this attack, but I want to be clear:  there is no justification for violence against law enforcement.  None.  These attacks are the work of cowards who speak for no one.  They right no wrongs.  They advance no causes.  The officers in Baton Rouge; the officers in Dallas – they were our fellow Americans, part of our community, part of our country, with people who loved and needed them, and who need us now – all of us – to be at our best.” -- Statement by the President following the Baton Rouge shootings. 7/17/16

“We don’t need another big mouth from Congress…What Donald needed was a partner who governed.” — Gov. Chris Christie (R), apparently still bitter about not being picked as Donald Trump’s running mate. 7/18/16

“I put lipstick on a pig,” -- Tony Schwartz, the ghostwriter for Trump’s “The Art of the Deal”

@HillaryClinton You should be tried for treason, murder, and crimes against the US Constitution... then hung on the Mall in Washington, DC — Michael Folk @MichaelFolk34 , a member of the West Virginia House and a pilot for United Airlines. A screenshot of his now deleted tweet is athttps://twitter.com/MrJoshCharles/status/754467717550407681 7/16/16

“I feel a deep sense of remorse that I contributed to presenting Trump in a way that brought him wider attention and made him more appealing than he is. I genuinely believe that if Trump wins and gets the nuclear codes, there is an excellent possibility it will lead to the end of civilization.” -- Tony Schwartz, ghostwriter of Trump's “The Art of the Deal.” 7/18/16

“I’m worried that I will be the last Republican president.” — G.W. Bush talking to Bush administration alumni about the state of the Republican party. 7/19/16

“Chris Christie, the governor of New Jersey (and a possible attorney general if Trump wins), stood on stage and accused Hillary of being a criminal, bellowing “GUILTY” over and over again as the crowd egged him on. He had the entire arena chanting “lock her up” — a cry that has become the mantra of the RNC. If you closed your eyes, you could imagine it being a lot like a witch trial — they were barely one step removed from screaming “burn her at the stake.” It felt like a dark turning point in American politics — a sign that our nation is on the brink of something dangerous that we might not recover from.” -- Email from Hillary’s campaign. 7/20/16

“This whole thing disgusts me, Hillary Clinton should be put in the firing line and shot for treason.” --Trump adviser Al Baldasaro, before going on to call her a "piece of garbage. 7/20/16



1. Let It Go, Media: Hillary Clinton Does NOT Have a Trust and Honesty Problem
2. The World According To Mike Pence
3. Paul Ryan's bargain: He'll support racism if it will help the Republican 'agenda'
5. From MEDIA MATTERS (They watch Fox News so you don't have to)
6. Andy Borowitz: Poll: Americans Worried About Keeping Families Safe From Rudy Giuliani
7. Trump versus Clinton: The Pinocchio count so far
8. GOP War on Voting (Cont.): North Carolina Law Could Put Thousands of Votes at Risk
9. Trump’s real scandal: Putting a confused grieving mother on stage to lie about Hillary and Benghazi
10. Late Night Jokes for Dems
11. From the Late Shows
12. Political Ads/Statements
13. Nothing Will Change Trump Supporters’ Minds
14.. Mark Fiore: Cartoon: The Amazing Non-binary Brain
15. GOP Platform Proposes To Get Rid Of National Parks And National Forests
16. LA Times Electoral College Map
17. Trump campaign soliciting illegal foreign donations despite warnings
18. Trump’s Long History of Lying
19. 141 Things Donald Trump Has Said and Done That Make Him Unfit to Be President


1.Adam Gopnik: Being Honest About Trump
2. Catherine Rampell: Why Republicans’ new anti-immigrant platform likely spells doom for them 
3. Eugene Robinson: The Coronation of a Charlatan
4. Jay Michaelson: Mike Pence, Trump’s VP Pick, Is Too Anti-Gay Even for Republicans
5. White Evangelicals Put Fear Before Faith to Stand Behind Donald Trump
6. Washington Post Editorial: Republicans keep trying to normalize Trump. He keeps proving it’s impossible6. Charles P. Pierce: This Isn't Funny Anymore. American Democracy Is at Stake.
7. Sophia A. McClennen: The blowback from Hillary bashing: Right-wing attacks thwart reasonable criticism of Clinton’s campaign
8. Gail Collins: Does Pence Make Sense for Trump?
9. Joan Walsh: Mike Pence Is a Smooth-Talking Todd Akin
10. Jeet Heer: Ignore the Polls. Trump’s Campaign Is a Hot Mess, and That’s All That Matters
11. Jane Mayer:Donald Trump’s Ghostwriter Tells All
12. LA Times Editorial: Pence can't 'balance' Trump's lack of qualifications
13. Clare Malone: The End Of A Republican Party
14. Washington Post Editorial: Republicans keep trying to normalize Trump. He keeps proving it’s impossible.
15. Paul Krugman: Both Sides Now? 


1. Let It Go, Media: Hillary Clinton Does NOT Have a Trust and Honesty Problem

If you follow politics you know there’s a gaping chasm between Hillary’s public image and her actual character. That chasm was purposely created by her opponents and is purposely exploited by them.

In the caricatured version of Hillary promulgated by her detractors in politics and media, Hillary is lying and corrupt. In actual reality, Hillary is a person of integrity who is respected, loved and trusted by those who know her best.

The list of political leaders, public officials, organizations, and labor unions who have endorsed Hillary, who have expressed faith in her to lead our country, is long; they include President Obama, Michelle Obama, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, John Lewis, Joe Biden, Lilly Ledbetter, Dolores Huerta, Jim Clyburn, Morgan Freeman, Cecile Richards, Jerry Brown, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bernice King, and numerous others.

No matter what her venomous critics say, no matter how often the media repeat it, and no matter how monstrous the distortion of her character, Hillary the human being does not have a trust and honesty problem.

She doesn’t have a trust and honesty problem because she’s honest and trustworthy and no one has ever proven otherwise.

The investigation into her emails, like every other investigation over the decades, found ZERO evidence of intentional wrongdoing on Hillary’s part. 

The media’s incessant reporting on her so-called trust and honesty problem is designed to become a self-fulfilling loop, where the baseless questions become the reality.

Believe the facts not the fabricated misconceptions. 7/15/16 Read more at http://bluenationreview.com/hillary-clinton-does-not-have-a-trust-and-honesty-problem/

2. The World According To Mike Pence

“Time for a quick reality check. Despite the hysteria from the political class and the media, smoking doesn’t kill. ... The real danger to the public was not cigarettes but “back-handed big government disguised in do-gooder healthcare rhetoric.” -- Mike Pence.

CO2 from burning fuels can’t be the cause of increased global temperatures because it “is a naturally occurring phenomenon in nature…” not an unnatural one. -- Mike Pence Op-Ed

“Republicans, from George Washington to George W. Bush just have better ideas.” -- Mike Pence, apparently not knowing that Washington didn’t belong to any political party and famously warned against them in his farewell address.

“I embrace the view that God created the Heavens and the Earth, the Seas and all that’s in them. The means that he used to do that, I can’t say, but I do believe in that fundamental truth.” -- Mike Pence, a believer in creationism. 2005

“The environmental movement has found a new chant for their latest ‘chicken little’ attempt to raise taxes and grow centralized governmental power. ... Most climatologists agree that, at best, global warming is a theory about future climactic conditions and cannot be proven based upon the historic record. ... Greenhouse gases ... are mostly the result of volcanoes, hurricanes and underwater geologic displacements.” -- Mike Pence who also claimed that “the earth is actually cooler today than it was about 50 years ago.” -- Mike Pence 2001

Gov. Mike Pence signed an anti-abortion bill forced women to seek funerary services for a fetus — whether she’d had an abortion or a miscarriage, and no matter how far along the pregnancy was. The law Pence backed would have required all fetal tissue to be cremated or buried, an unprecedented measure in state law. The law also banned abortion if the fetus had a "disability" like Down syndrome, which would have also denied women the right to end a pregnancy in the event of more serious fetal anomalies. 2016

Representative Mike Pence was one of Congress’ staunchest backers of the Iraq War. In fact, he co-sponsored the October 2002 resolution that gave the Bush administration authorization to invade the country. In November 2005, Pence said “the war in Iraq was just, is just, and the freedom of the teeming millions who established a constitutional republic one week ago supports that conclusion.”


3. Paul Ryan's bargain: He'll support racism if it will help the Republican 'agenda'

House Speaker Paul Ryan's Thursday CNN "town hall" was enlightening, if for no other reason than being able to hear from the horse's mouth just why a supposedly decent, upstanding not-racist Republican like Speaker Paul Ryan would not just tolerate, but openly support a candidate whose penchant for public racism has defined his belligerent, anti-Hispanic, anti-Muslim campaign. It is for the same reason every other supposedly decent conservative Republican ever does: Because having an openly racist president would be worth it, so long as that person supported the conservative agenda.

Paul Ryan believes someone who calls a federal judge "a Mexican," who promised race-based deportations on a historic scale and who proposed we bar Muslim-Americans from re-entering the country is still preferable to working with the other party, the game is up. We don't need to ask what kind of person you are; you've just told us outright what sort of person you are.

Speaker Paul Ryan was asked why he, as the top House Republican, was willing to tolerate a candidate from his party who has advanced the most racist, xenophobic, hateful speech since the days of segregation. He says he doesn't agree with such things, but it's either that or setting back a laundry list of current Republican goals, so the racist it is. 7/14/16 Read more athttp://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/7/14/1548345/-Paul-Ryan-s-bargain-He-ll-support-racism-if-it-will-help-the-Republican-agenda#read-more


“Look forward to introducing Governor Mike Pence (who has done a spectacular job in the great State of Indiana). My first choice from start!” -- Donald J. TrumpV@realDonaldTrump


Donald J. Trump raged at the leaked reports of his plan to choose Mike Pence, the governor of Indiana, as his running mate. In public, he denied having made a “final, final decision,” and postponed a planned event to unveil his choice. In a Thursday evening phone call with top aides, he asked for reassurance that Mr. Pence was really right for the job. -- NY Times 7/15/16


“We don’t need a president that took 13 hours to send help to Americans under fire and after four brave Americans fell said ‘what difference, at this point, does it make.’ Anyone who did that, anyone who said that, should be disqualified from ever being commander in chief of the armed forces,” -- Mike Pence


Hillary Clinton wasn’t the one in charge of sending help — that task fell to military officials. So it doesn’t even make sense to say that she “took 13 hours to send help,” because that wasn’t her responsibility. When she said “what difference does it make,” she was addressing repeated badgering by Republicans who continued to obsess about whether an Internet video had triggered a spontaneous attack or if it was a calculated and planned terrorist attack. -- Allen Clifton 7/16/16

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

Donald Trump Defends Roger Ailes Against Allegations Of Sexual Harassment -- "I think they are unfounded just based on what I've read," said Trump. "Totally unfounded, based on what I read."  http://mediamatters.org/blog/2016/07/14/donald-trump-defends-roger-ailes-against-allegations-sexual-harassment/211578

WSJ Misleads On Obamacare To Blast The "Radicalism" Of A Public Option  http://mediamatters.org/blog/2016/07/14/wsj-misleads-obamacare-blast-radicalism-public-option/211567

Gingrich Calls For Testing Everyone Of A "Muslim Background," Hannity Agrees "Wholeheartedly"  http://mediamatters.org/video/2016/07/14/fox-newt-gingrich-calls-muslims-be-deported-if-they-believe-sharia/211594

20. Andy Borowitz: Poll: Americans Worried About Keeping Families Safe From Rudy Giuliani

In what promises to be a key issue in the 2016 general election, a majority of Americans now say that they want a President who can keep their families safe from Rudy Giuliani, a new poll finds.

According to the poll, which was conducted on Monday night by the University of Minnesota’s Opinion Research Institute, an unprovoked attack by Giuliani now rivals immigration, terrorism, and the economy as a top concern of likely voters.

In interviews across the country, voters expressed dismay that neither of the major political parties’ presumptive nominees had offered a coherent plan to prevent the former mayor of New York from harming them or their families in a sudden fit of rage.

“He clearly could go off at any moment, and no one is talking about how to stop him,” Carol Foyler, a mother of two from suburban San Jose, said. “I feel less safe from Rudy Giuliani than I did one night ago.”

Harland Dorrinson, a father of three in Toledo, shared her concerns. “When I put my kids to bed last night, I told them, ‘Don’t worry, the bad man on TV can’t hurt you,’ ” he said. “I wish I could believe that. I really do.”'

Elsewhere: In a stunning rebuke to one of the nation’s oldest and most established law-enforcement agencies, House Republicans voted unanimously on Tuesday to abolish the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Representative Trey Gowdy of South Carolina bemoaned the F.B.I.’s “bloated and wasteful” annual budget of eight billion dollars, which he said could easily pay for an additional eleven hundred Benghazi investigations.

Elsewhere 2: Governor Chris Christie, of New Jersey, angrily refused to pick up Donald Trump’s dry cleaning during a tense encounter between the two men on Friday, campaign sources confirm.

Trump’s press secretary, Hope Hicks, warned the media against making too much of the apparent rift between the billionaire and Christie. “In the long hours of a campaign, emotions can sometimes get a little raw,” she said. “We are confident that Governor Christie will pick up Mr. Trump’s dry cleaning going forward.” Read more at  http://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/

7. Trump versus Clinton: The Pinocchio count so far

Trump’s Four-Pinocchios ratings is sky-high. In fact, nearly 85 percent of Trump’s claims that we vetted were false or mostly false. A line graph of Trump’s numbers would show a very steep sky jump. By contrast, Clinton has a bell curve of a typical politician. The number of false claims equals the number of true claims, while her other claims fall mostly somewhere in the middle. -- Glenn Kessler, the WA Post Fact Checker 7/15/16 Read more at  https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2016/07/15/trump-versus-clinton-the-pinocchio-count-so-far/


8. GOP War on Voting (Cont.): North Carolina Law Could Put Thousands of Votes at Risk

“A Reuters review of Republican-backed changes to North Carolina’s voting rules indicates as many as 29,000 votes might not be counted in this year’s Nov. 8 presidential election if a federal appeals court upholds the 2013 law. Besides banning voters from voting outside their assigned precinct on Election Day, the law also prevents them from registering the same day they vote during the early voting period.”

“The U.S. Justice Department says the law was designed to disproportionately affect minority groups, who are more likely to vote out of precinct and use same-day registration. Backers of the law deny this and say it will prevent voter fraud.” 7/15/16 Read more at http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-voting-northcarolina-ins-idUSKCN0ZV13L

9. Trump’s real scandal: Putting a confused grieving mother on stage to lie about Hillary and Benghazi

In what might have been the most uncomfortably exploitative moment in the history of televised political conventions, Patricia Smith took the stage to express grief over the death of her son Sean Smith, who was one of four Americans to die in Benghazi. Her anger and grief were very much real. The trouble: she had every single one of her facts wrong about the incident, and about Clinton’s role in it. Smith appeared to have been too spun around to even know what the truth might be anymore, but Trump surely knows – and he sent the poor woman out there to humiliate herself in front of the nation anyway.

PolitiFact says that there is no basis for Patricia Smith’s claim that Hillary Clinton lied to her about Benghazi. Richard Engel of NBC says that Smith had her facts wrong. Other family members who witnessed the conversation between Smith and Clinton say it didn’t happen the way Smith remembers it. http://www.dailynewsbin.com/opinion/donald-trumps-real-scandal-he-put-a-confused-grieving-woman-on-stage-to-lie-about-benghazi/25270/

10. Late Night Jokes for Dems

"The Washington Times reported that Indiana Gov. Mike Pence was Donald Trump's pick for vice president. I'm not saying Chris Christie's upset, but he was last seen at the top of the Empire State Building swatting at planes." –Jimmy Fallon

"Bernie Sanders' endorsement of Hillary Clinton has angered many of his supporters. Many of them are threatening to not vote for her when they don't vote in November." –Conan O'Brien

"Donald Trump has begun referring to himself as the 'law and order' candidate, while his sons look more like 'Law & Order' suspects." –Seth Meyers

"Donald Trump has dropped hints that he may name a Democrat as his running mate. In fact, today he chose Donald Trump from 2008." –Conan O'Brien

"Donald Trump met with 200 House Republicans who were described as 'nervous.' And following the meeting, many of them were described as 'Democrats.'" –Conan O'Brien

"Donald Trump is now saying the media took his praise of Saddam Hussein 'out of context.' Trump also said the media misinterpreted his 5 star Amazon review of 'Mein Kampf.'" –Conan O'Brien

"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

11. From the Late Shows

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: RNC Convention: Night 2. This Man Sure Knows How To Make An Entrance


The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Melania Trump Did Not Plagiarize Her RNC Speech


12. Political Ads/Statements

Donald Trump's victims: Andrew Tesoro | The Briefing


Role Models | Hillary Clinton


Donald Trump's Vice President: Mike Pence | The Briefing


Clinton to Rep. Pence (R-IN): Obama Won the Election


Indecisive Donald | The Briefing


Confessions of a Republican | Hillary Clinton


Dear Donald Trump | Hillary Clinton


Donald Trump's victims: Michael Diehl | The Briefing


Trump Loves War | The Briefing


13. Nothing Will Change Trump Supporters’ Minds

What would it take for Donald Trump to lose his supporters’ votes? When the Jimmy Kimmel show ran a man on the street segment asking that very question, one Trump enthusiast replied, “Nothing. There’s nothing he could do to lose my vote.”

To his ardent supporters, Donald Trump is an exemplar of power and status. Donald Trump is going to make America great again. He’ll put America First. He refuses to be silenced by the thought police. He’s so rich, he can’t be bought. He speaks his mind. He’ll get the job done.

To those who oppose him, he’s a racist, misogynistic, narcissistic buffoon.Repeated lies, racist statements and attacks on women have led many people, including some prominent conservative donors, to conclude thatTrump is unfit to be president, yet these missteps don’t seem to bother his supporters much. Trump told a campaign rally in January that, “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters, OK? It’s incredible.” http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/theres-probably-nothing-that-will-change-clinton-or-trump-supporters-minds/

14. Mark Fiore: Cartoon: The Amazing Non-binary Brain


15. GOP Platform Proposes To Get Rid Of National Parks And National Forests

“Congress shall immediately pass universal legislation providing a timely and orderly mechanism requiring the federal government to convey certain federally controlled public lands to the states,” reads the adopted language. “We call upon all national and state leaders and representatives to exert their utmost power and influence to urge the transfer of those lands identified.”

The provision calls for an immediate full-scale disposal of “certain” public lands, without defining which lands it would apply to, leaving national parks, wilderness areas, wildlife refuges, and national forests apparently up for grabs and vulnerable to development, privatization, or transfer to state ownership.

The delegates also passed language specifying that the Republican Party believes that the sage grouse, prairie chicken, and the gray wolf should be exempt from the protections of the Endangered Species Act. This not only gets into the weeds of local issues, but cuts corners in scientific species and conservation management regulations. 7/15/16 Read more athttp://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/07/15/3798652/gop-platform-national-parks/


16. LA Times Electoral College Map

Clinton 247
Trump 191
Votes to win: 270


17. Trump campaign soliciting illegal foreign donations despite warnings

Donald Trump's campaign is still soliciting illegal donations from foreign individuals – including members of foreign governments at their official email addresses — weeks after the campaign was put on notice by watchdog groups.

Foreign members of parliament from the United Kingdom and Australia confirmed to The Hill that they received fundraising solicitations from the Trump campaign as recently as July 12 — two weeks after a widely publicized FEC complaint issued on June 29 by non-partisan watchdogs Democracy 21 and the Campaign Legal Center. 7/16/16 Read more at  http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/288031-trump-campaign-solicits-illegal-foreign-donations-despite-warnings

18. Trump’s Long History of Lying

A survey of Mr. Trump’s four decades of wheeling and dealing reveals an operatic record of dissembling and deception, some of it unabashedly confirmed by Mr. Trump himself, who nearly 30 years ago first extolled the business advantages of ‘truthful hyperbole.’ Indeed, based on the mountain of court records churned out over the span of Mr. Trump’s career, it is hard to find a project he touched that did not produce allegations of broken promises, blatant lies or outright fraud. 7/17/16 Read more at  http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/17/us/politics/donald-trump-business.html?smprod=nytcore-ipad&smid=nytcore-ipad-share&_r=0

19. 141 Things Donald Trump Has Said and Done That Make Him Unfit to Be President

We know that Trump is aracist, a misogynist, an authoritarian, and a narcissist, - for a list of the specific things he has said and done that make Trump an unacceptable candidate for the presidency go to  http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_


1. Adam Gopnik: Being Honest About Trump

A certain number of the disengaged insist that Trump isn’t really as bad as all that. And there may indeed be another universe in which Donald Trump is one more blowhard billionaire with mixed-up politics but a basically benevolent heart, a Ross Perot type, or perhaps more like Arnold Schwarzenegger, preaching some confused combination of populism and self-help and doomed to flounder when he comes to power. This would not be the worst thing imaginable. Unfortunately, that universe is not this one. Trump is unstable, a liar, narcissistic, contemptuous of the basic norms of political life, and deeply embedded among the most paranoid and irrational of conspiracy theorists. There may indeed be a pathos to his followers’ dreams of some populist rescue for their plights. But he did not come to political attention as a “populist”; he came to politics as a racist, a proponent of birtherism.

Hillary Clinton is an ordinary liberal politician. She has her faults, easily described, often documented—though, for the most part, the worst accusations against her have turned out to be fiction. No reasonable person, no matter how opposed to her politics, can believe for a second that Clinton’s accession to power would be a threat to the Constitution or the continuation of American democracy. No reasonable person can believe that Trump’s accession to power would not be. 7/14/16 Read more athttp://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/being-honest-about-trump


2. Catherine Rampell: Why Republicans’ new anti-immigrant platform likely spells doom for them

The Republican Party had a chance to disavow Donald Trump’s xenophobia and nativism. Instead, the GOP doubled down. In the new 2016 Republican platform, delegates not only promised a wall along the southern border; they also decided to replace the term “illegal immigrants” with the more pejorative, dehumanizing epithet “illegal aliens.”

If history is any guide, these choices could prove very, very costly.

Like it or not, we are a nation of immigrants. Naturalized immigrants, and their children and kindred ethnics, are almost always a large share of our electorate. Today, as in other periods, they are also a growing share of the electorate.

Politicians alienate the “aliens” at their peril. 7/14/16 Read more at https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/why-republicans-new-anti-immigrant-platform-likely-spells-doom-for-them/2016/07/14/4a40f204-49fc-11e6-bdb9-701687974517_story.html?wpisrc=nl_rampage&wpmm=1

3. Eugene Robinson: The Coronation of a Charlatan

Years from now, bright-eyed children will look up at Grandma or Grandpa and ask, "Where were you when they nominated Donald Trump?" Far too many prominent Republicans will have to hang their heads in shame.

As the garish imperial coronation in Cleveland reaches its climax, there will be much commentary -- some, no doubt, from me -- about fleeting events. Did So-and-so's speech help Trump or hurt him? Did one line of attack against Hillary Clinton seem more or less promising than another? All of this is news, but we must not lose sight of the big picture: The "Party of Lincoln" is about to nominate for president a man who is dangerously unfit for the office.

Trump is a brilliant showman, no question about that. His life's work has been self-aggrandizement, not real estate, and all those years of practice served him well when he turned to politics. He knows how to work a crowd. He understands television and social media. He dominated and vanquished a field of experienced campaigners as if they were mere apprentices.

But he lacks the knowledge, curiosity, temperament, wisdom, compassion and resolve to be president. The GOP is about to formally endorse a charlatan for the most important job in the world.

Great political parties do not do this. They might nominate a candidate who is too conservative or too liberal, too wooden or too glib, too inexperienced or too much of a warhorse. They do not nominate the likes of Trump. 7/19/16 Read more athttp://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2016/07/19/the_coronation_of_a_charlatan__131223.html


4. Jay Michaelson: Mike Pence, Trump’s VP Pick, Is Too Anti-Gay Even for Republicans

Trump’s pick may well backfire. If Mike Pence were merely a foe of abortion, that would be one thing. But Trump has chosen the poster child for “religious freedom” and anti-gay discrimination—precisely where pro-business Republicans have drawn the line.

Add the Pence choice to the “most anti-LGBT platform in the party’s history” (in the words of the hapless, hopeless Log Cabin Republicans group), Trump’s many derogatory comments about women, and Trump’s extreme anti-business positions on protectionism, and it’s easy to see a Trump-Pence ticket as attracting few pro-business Republicans at all.

It doesn’t matter what gay people think of Pence—they’re not going to vote for Trump anyway. But it does matter what moderate Republicans and Democrats think. And based on the last year of evidence, they don’t think highly of using religion as a pretext for discrimination. On this issue, Pence is a loser. 7/14/16 Read more at http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/07/15/mike-pence-trump-s-likely-vp-pick-is-too-anti-gay-even-for-republicans.html



5. White Evangelicals Put Fear Before Faith to Stand Behind Donald Trump

That Donald Trump’s record of emboldening white nationalists by amplifying their messaging on social media, playing to their fears in his rally speeches and publicly marginalizing religious and racial minorities hasn’t drawn the ire of the religious right, writ large, says something about his candidacy—and a lot about what really drives the evangelical vote. The full-bodied embrace by the likes of Liberty University president Jerry Falwell Jr., televangelist Paula White, and Texas megachurch pastor Robert Jeffress despite Trump’s significant moral failures and heresies on matters of faith exposes a central truth about the nature of the movement. And it also serves to explain why the donor class haven’t been eager to pour cash into the campaign’s coffers.

There are a few in the movement who’ve had the political moxie and faith in their beliefs to say something about Trump’s bigotry and new-found religiosity. Russell Moore, spokesman for the Southern Baptist Convention and president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, said even the word “evangelical” has lost meaning in this election year.

“We have been too willing,” he wrote in a Washington Post op-ed, “’to look the other way when the word ‘evangelical’ has been co-opted by heretics and lunatics.’” 7/18/16 Read more at http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/07/19/white-evangelicals-put-fear-before-faith-to-stand-behind-donald-trump.html


6. Washington Post Editorial: Republicans keep trying to normalize Trump. He keeps proving it’s impossible

DAMAGING AS Donald Trump’s style is to American political culture, that’s not where the focus should be after this astonishing weekend. True, the campaign fumbled the rollout of Mr. Trump’s vice-presidential pick and failed even more miserably in its efforts at style adjustment. But those missteps should not distract from the more basic failure of substance. The candidate does not deal honestly with issues — neither in the sense of basic logic and fact nor in the sense of offering voters something more than slogans upon which to evaluate his potential presidency.

As Republicans assembled in Cleveland, the Trump campaign was trying to normalize the candidate. The choice of the relatively conventional governor of Indiana, Mike Pence, as running mate, was part of the effort, as was the sheaf of boilerplate that Mr. Trump sporadically consulted during his introduction of Mr. Pence on Saturday. But in repeated flights of rhetoric, both Saturday andin a joint interview with Mr. Pence on Sunday’s edition of “60 Minutes,” Mr. Trump showed that belligerent self-absorption is not, for him, just an act; it’s characterological. You might say this bull carries the china shop around with him.

That is less alarming than Mr. Trump’s continuing inclination to fiction. He wildly accused his likely opponent, Democrat Hillary Clinton, of having “created” or “invented” the Islamic State terrorist group. He blamed her for having “led” President Obama into all of his policy mistakes, when in fact it is well-documented that she pushed for a different, more muscular approach to Syria’s civil war. He insisted that the Obama approach to the Islamic State is “weak,” and that his would be far stronger, then, in response to prodding from CBS’s Lesley Stahl, outlined an approach — selective use of U.S. ground troops, reliance on regional allies — hardly distinguishable from current policy. To be sure, a Trump administration would “declare war” on the Islamic State, presumably with a vote of Congress; that, indeed, might fill the legal lacuna in which the United States now operates. We wonder, though, whether Mr. Trump understands that a declaration of war reaffirms the applicability of the laws of war, which would preclude his plan for “worse than” waterboarding.7/18/16 Read more at http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/18/opinion/both-sides-now.html?emc=edit_ty_20160718&nl=opinion&nlid=74243604


7. Sophia A. McClennen: The blowback from Hillary bashing: Right-wing attacks thwart reasonable criticism of Clinton’s campaign

The right-wing attacks on Clinton are so excessive, so misogynistic, so mean-spirited and so often absent of any connection to reality, that it has become almost impossible to criticize her at all.

It’s no news that Hillary Clinton may well be the most lambasted politician in recent history. And, given the trouncing Barack Obama has endured, that is really saying something.

Whether you support Clinton or not, it is hard for a reasonable person to ignore the realities of how she has been bashed by public discourse.  It is also hard to ignore the fact that that very same media bashing has led to a vicious social narrative—buttressed by a pack of social media trolls– that perpetuates deep hatred for Clinton. 7/12/16 Read more at  http://www.salon.com/2016/07/12/the_blowback_from_hillary_bashing_right_wing_attacks_thwart_

9. Joan Walsh: Mike Pence Is a Smooth-Talking Todd Akin

If Trump thinks he’s getting a running mate who can appeal to the center and swing voters, he’s wrong about that. Pence is so far right when it comes to women’s and LGBT issues, he makes Trump look like a Democrat. Frankly, he’s a smooth-talking Todd Akin.

In Congress, Pence co-sponsored a bill that would have redefined rape and limited federal funding for abortion to women who suffered “forcible rape”—what Akin famously described as “legitimate rape” when he doomed his 2012 Senate bill. Pence is also the guy who began the GOP’s ugly and so far unsuccessful crusade to defund Planned Parenthood, back in 2007. “He’s the only one I know of who has been so completely obsessed with Planned Parenthood,” Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards said back then. “This just seems to be an enormous focus of his.” Of course, Pence got more company in the Tea Party Congress of 2011, and that year he threatened to shut down the government over continued Planned Parenthood funding.

Since becoming governor in 2013, Pence has signed various anti-abortion bills and succeeded in defunding Planned Parenthood in his state. That helped lead to a devastating resurgence of HIV/AIDS, since Planned Parenthood was one of a few providers of HIV testing in the state.

Of course, Pence is probably best known nationally for supporting one of the nation’s toughest so-called “Religious Freedom” laws, and then backing down when big businesses from Apple to SalesForce to Angie’s List said they’d curtail commerce in his state. Pence says he “fixed” the law, but LGBT advocates don’t entirely buy it. Conservatives do, however, and they consider Pence a traitor for bowing to business.

Journalists hoped Trump would pick either the voluble Gingrich or the combative Christie, to make the race more fun. I don’t think Hillary Clinton much cares which of the men Trump chooses; they will all send women voters into the Democratic camp even faster than they’ve been running from Trump. Read more at https://www.thenation.com/article/mike-pence-is-a-smooth-talking-todd-akin


10. Jeet Heer: Ignore the Polls. Trump’s Campaign Is a Hot Mess, and That’s All That Matters.

The Trump campaign is in disarray, displaying a chaos rarely seen in national politics (since at least 1972, when George McGovern’s presidential run became a legendary shambles after his running mate dropping out because of reports about his mental history).

Consider these facts: Fundraising for both Trump and the RNC is terrible, with the latter reportedly sending out a last-minute plea to billionaire Sheldon Adelson to send them $6 million they need to just host the convention in Cleveland in a few days. The Trump campaign also leaked news that football player Tim Tebow was going to speak at the convention, but had to walk it back when the athlete denied the reports. The lineup for the convention was announced just a few days ago, long after it was promised, and 20 percent of those who will be addressing a national audience are members of the Trump family, including four of his five kids. While the Trumps will be out in full force at the convention, hundreds of Republican legislators are staying away.

But the best evidence of chaos in the Trump camp is the botched vice presidential announcement, which revealed a level of anarchy rarely seen outside of schoolyards at recess. Trump had been conducting a high-profile search, making Governor Chris Christie, retired Lt. General Mike Flynn, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and Governor Mike Pence perform before him like contestants at a beauty pageant. Trump’s manager and some members of the Trump family reportedly were leaning toward Pence, but Trump felt an emotional affinity for Christie and an intellectual respect for Gingrich.

The state of the polls really don’t matter compared to the four-lane pile-up that is the Trump campaign. With his organization in such a mess, Trump has little chance of convincing those who aren’t already on board to support him. Indeed, he’s likely to lose voters over time. And he certainly won’t be able to field an effective get-out-the-vote push in competitive swing states. The chaos of the Trump campaign is the biggest story of the election, and the key indicator of where the race is headed. 7/15/16 Read more athttps://newrepublic.com/article/135114/ignore-polls-trumps-campaign-hot-mess-thats-matters

11. Jane Mayer: Donald Trump’s Ghostwriter Tells All

“The Art of the Deal” made America see Trump as a charmer with an unfailing knack for business. Tony Schwartz, who ghostwrote the book, helped create that myth—and regrets it.

Schwartz says of Trump, “He lied strategically. He had a complete lack of conscience about it.” Since most people are “constrained by the truth,” Trump’s indifference to it “gave him a strange advantage.”

When challenged about the facts, Schwartz says, Trump would often double down, repeat himself, and grow belligerent. This quality was recently on display after Trump posted on Twitter a derogatory image of Hillary Clinton that contained a six-pointed star lifted from a white-supremacist Web site. Campaign staffers took the image down, but two days later Trump angrily defended it, insisting that there was no anti-Semitic implication. Whenever “the thin veneer of Trump’s vanity is challenged,” Schwartz says, he overreacts—not an ideal quality in a head of state.

In his journal, Schwartz wrote, “Trump stands for many of the things I abhor: his willingness to run over people, the gaudy, tacky, gigantic obsessions, the absolute lack of interest in anything beyond power and money.” Looking back at the text now, Schwartz says, “I created a character far more winning than Trump actually is.” The first line of the book is an example. “I don’t do it for the money,” Trump declares. “I’ve got enough, much more than I’ll ever need. I do it to do it. Deals are my art form. Other people paint beautifully on canvas or write wonderful poetry. I like making deals, preferably big deals. That’s how I get my kicks.”

Schwartz now laughs at this depiction of Trump as a devoted artisan. “Of coursehe’s in it for the money,” he said. “One of the most deep and basic needs he has is to prove that ‘I’m richer than you.’ ” As for the idea that making deals is a form of poetry, Schwartz says, “He was incapable of saying something like that—it wouldn’t even be in his vocabulary.” He saw Trump as driven not by a pure love of dealmaking but by an insatiable hunger for “money, praise, and celebrity.” Often, after spending the day with Trump, and watching him pile one hugely expensive project atop the next, like a circus performer spinning plates, Schwartz would go home and tell his wife, “He’s a living black hole!” 7/25/16 Read more at http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/07/25/donald-trumps-ghostwriter-tells-all

12. LA Times Editorial: Pence can't 'balance' Trump's lack of qualifications

In tapping Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his running mate, Donald J. Trump has come up with the ultimate balanced ticket. Unfortunately, Pence balances the ticket by having experience in government and an even temperament. That only underlines the fact that Trump spectacularly lacks both qualities.

Whatever one thinks of Pence’s views — and we find many of them narrow-minded and troubling, such as his skepticism about climate change and his attacks on abortion rights — he possesses the sort of résumé that Americans traditionally expect in their presidents and vice presidents. He also is likely to be a less explosive and more disciplined running mate than either New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie or former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, the other finalists.

Yet, far from compensating for Trump’s deficiencies, Pence's credentials bring them into sharper and more frightening relief. Even if Pence were the reincarnation of Abraham Lincoln, his presence on the ticket won’t alter the fact that the Republican candidate for president is a shallow self-promoter who traffics in bigotry and bluster.

Far from compensating for Trump’s deficiencies, Pence's credentials bring them into sharper and more frightening relief.

Much as we would like to hope Pence will help Trump mature as a candidate, it seems likely that Trump will have the final — and perhaps only — say during the campaign and in the unimaginable event that he is elected president.

Even more than in other presidential elections, voters this November will be paying attention to the candidates at the top of the ticket. That’s a problem for Pence, and for the Republican Party. 7/14/16 Read more at http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-trump-pence-20160714-snap-story.html


13. Clare Malone: The End Of A Republican Party

Legend has it that after leveling Carthage in the Third Punic War, Roman army generals ordered that the city’s fields be sown with salt so that they’d lie fallow for years, Roman generals not being particularly well known for their benevolence in victory.

Many Republicans think Donald Trump’s nomination is doing roughly the same thing to their party: destroying any chance for growth it once had and leaving the GOP to wither and die on Trump vineyard vines.

“My general sense, looking at this election, is that what we’re witnessing here is the end of something much more than the beginning of something,” Yuval Levin, editor of the conservative policy journal National Affairs, told me recently.

Many have assumed that adherence to a certain conservative purity was the engine of the GOP, and given the party’s demographic homogeneity, this made sense. But re-evaluating recent history in light of Trump, and looking a bit closer at this year’s numbers, something else seems to be the primary motivator of GOP voters, something closer to the neighborhood of cultural conservatism and racial and economic grievance rather than a passion for small government.

What’s more, the idea of an electorate motivated more by issues of cultural grievance than by the grand ideas of conservatism is a dispiriting notion to Republicans already frustrated by the party’s particular pattern of positioning itself as ever beholden to the past. To those Republicans, Reagan hagiography has stunted the GOP: “No one under the age of 51 today was old enough to vote for Reagan when he first ran for president,” the authors of the party’s 2012 election post-mortem, a reviled document in some corners of the party, wrote. “We sound increasingly out of touch.”

Somewhere in recent years, the GOP’s engagement with modern America and how to best project those values into a nation of 320 million people became dysfunctional. As the country has diversified, the party has remained monochromatic, has grayed, and rather than allowing some birch-like give on shifting cultural norms, has become an unbending oak of ideological purity. The GOP now finds itself lacking an intimate’s ability to criticize productively, given its demographic and cultural divergence from the majority of the country. 7/18/16 Read more at http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-end-of-a-republican-party/