August 25, 2016


"People want a fighter. They’re tired of the lying killer, uh Hillary Clinton and Bill Clintons of the world," --Former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) saing that her comment calling Hillary Clinton a "lying killer" was just a "mispronunciation" of the Democratic nominee's name. 8/18/16

Trump's campaign has now entered the Hospice Phase. He knows he's dying and wants to surround himself with his loved ones. #BreitbartCEO Charlie Sykes@SykesCharlie


"Not this year. The compelling rationale behind this decision: leadership. A good leader must demonstrate such qualities as competence, integrity, empathy, character and temperament. Hillary Clinton has these essential qualities. Donald Trump does not." -- Former General Motors chairman Daniel Akerson, a Navy veteran who has always voted for Republicans for president. 

“People are getting pretty nervous about our candidates because he’s (Trump is) in a death spiral here and nobody knows where the bottom is at. ... It’s going to be like ‘Weekend at Bernie’s’ — you got to make him look alive, even if he’s not,” Graham told the Times. -- Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), concerned that Donald Trump will cost his party the majority in the U.S. Senate. 8/19/16

It’s important to realize that, as far as anyone can tell, there’s nothing wrong with Obamacare that couldn’t be fairly easily fixed with a bit of bipartisan cooperation. The only thing that makes this hard is the blocking power of politicians who want reform to fail. -- Paul Krugman 8/19/16

“Tonight, Donald Trump’s teleprompter expressed regret for the first time during this campaign. Yet Trump did not say what he regrets, and he did not apologize to anyone. Does Donald Trump regret attacking the Khan family? Does he regret his bigoted attacks on the American Muslim community? Does he regret calling Mexican immigrants rapists? Does he regret suggesting that President Obama is a terrorist sympathizer and accusing him of founding ISIS? We don’t know because Donald Trump’s teleprompter didn’t tell us.-- Correct The Record President Brad Woodhouse

"We're going to have a thing called 'extreme vetting.' And if people want to come in, there's going to be extreme vetting. We're going to have extreme vetting. They're going to come in and we're going to know where they came from and who they are." -- Donald Trump remaining consistent on his calls to "not let people in from Syria that nobody knows who they are."


“It’s very hard to find someone to mimic the reckless temperament and the hateful instincts and divisive instincts of Donald Trump.” — Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook on not yet finding someone to play Trump for debate preparation.

Giuliani is no medical professional, and touting plainly slanted videos as evidence of Clinton’s neurological deterioration is egregious. Given the surprising lapses in his own memory, he should devote his attention to his own mental health, and refrain from commenting publicly on anyone else’s. -- Russell Saunders on Giuliani encouraging viewers to use Google to find videos backing up his claims about Hillary Clinton’s ill health.

"As a party, we are basically working ourselves toward extinction." -- Georgia state Rep. Allen Peake (R), saying that his party has alienated Hispanics, African Americans and members of the gay community. 8/22/16

What was once the party of Lincoln has lost not only its bearings but also its very soul. Now it has a candidate who has denied the legitimacy of the nation’s first black president by promoting the racist birther movement and openly campaigns as a bigot — anti-Muslim andanti-immigrant. .... Now Trump’s amorphous charges of cheating, of fraud, of rigged elections threaten to delegitimize not just a Clinton presidency but also a system that not only works, but works well. It is not Clinton or her supporters who are the culprits here, it is cowed Republicans instead. Their silence is the dagger. -- Richard Cohen 8/22/16

“You would have a bunch of people who know nothing about taxes trying to look through and trying to come up with assumptions on things they know nothing about. It would be foolish to do. I’m actually the biggest proponent of not doing it.” -- Eric Trump, on his father releasing his tax returns. 8/24/16

“The main difficulty Trump faces in dispelling the impression that he is a racist is that Trump is, in fact, a gigantic racist.” -- Jonathan Chait 8/22/16

“The only people enthusiastic about her campaign are Hollywood celebrities, in many cases, celebrities that aren’t very hot anymore…-- Donald Trump. 8/24/16.

“So, something astonishing has happened. We appear to have taken over the Republican Party.” --Don Advo, from the white-supremacist friendly website Daily Stormer, during David Duke’s radio show. “ 8/22/16



1. Trump Doubles Down on a Losing Strategy
2. Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball: Clinton now above 270 Safe or Likely Democratic electoral votes
4. From MEDIA MATTERS (They watch Fox News so you don't have to)
5. From the Late Shows
6. From Political Ads/Statements
7. Why Trump Isn’t Tweeting About the Olympics
8. Andy Borowitz: Trump: Obama Vacationing Instead Of Running ISIS
9. Republicans Likely To Lose Senate Control 
10. What To Expect From A Breitbart News Infused Trump Campaign
11. Fake Clinton Medical Records
12. Trump’s ugly and dishonest new TV ads shows he isn’t changing a thing
13. Trump’s false claim that undocumented immigrants collect Social Security benefits 
14. Mark Fiore Cartoon: Make America Russian Again
15. Republicans prep ‘break glass’ emergency plan as Trump tumbles
16. Late Night Jokes for Dems
17. Trump spends campaign money buying Trump products/rentingTrump buildings
18. Trump: So Much For "Get Those Teleprompters Out Of Here"
19. What does the Clinton Foundation do, other than get attacked by Republicans? 
20. Trump Used Campaign Donations to Buy His Own Book
21. "Donald Trump and Very Very Incredible Deal" - Narrated by Rosie O’Donnell
22. Trump No Longer Has a Credible Path
23. The AP’s big exposé on Hillary meeting with Clinton Foundation donors is a mess 


1. Eugene Robinson: Trump ‘pivots’ 360 degrees, back into the mud
2. David Axelrod: Can new team cure what Ailes Trump?
3. E.J. Dionne: Trump's Bannon Bomb
4. Charles M. Blow: Why Blacks Loathe Trump
5. Michelle Cottle: The Era of 'The Bitch' Is Coming
6. Michael Calderone: Donald Trump Is The Candidate From Breitbart News
7. Seung Min Kim: Trump campaign shakeup stokes fresh Hill Republican worries
8. Bill McKibben: A World At War With Climate Change
9. Jeff Greenfield: Why the GOP Will Never Accept President Hillary Clinton
10. Eugene Robinson: Trump's Shakeup Further Imperils the GOP
11. Philip Bump: It’s hard to imagine a much worse pitch Donald Trump could have made for the black vote 
12. Ruth Marcus: Trump’s Sickening attacks on Clinton’s health
13. Maureen Dowd: An Open Letter From Mr. Trump
14. John Cassidy: Why “new Trump” Isn’t So New
15. Paul Brandus: Trump is a vanity project run amok
16. NY Times Editorial: How Can America Recover From Donald Trump? 
17. Eli Stokols: What if Trump won't accept defeat
18. Betsy Woodruff: Donald Trump Keeps Trashing Your Town in His Stump Speech
19. Paul Krugman: The Water Next Time 
20. Paul Brandus: Trump is a vanity project run amok 


1. Trump Doubles Down on a Losing Strategy

One quirk of the American political system is that a candidate can win a primary with a much narrower slice of the electorate than he’d need to win a general election.Trump will need four or five times as many votes — perhaps 65 million — to win in November. His primary voters are just a drop in the bucket.”

All presidential candidates face some version of this problem. But most make at least some effort to expand beyond their base and build a majority coalition. Trump hasn’t — and he has his work cut out for him like no nominee in history. Trump’s decision this week to make Stephen Bannon of the combative, anti-establishment website Breitbart News his campaign’s chief executive suggests that he’s moving in the opposite direction.” 8/18/16 Read more at


2. Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball: Clinton now above 270 Safe or Likely Democratic electoral votes

New Hampshire’s new status is no small change, since we are putting Clinton over the 270-mark in the Electoral College (273 electoral votes, to be precise) with states we have classified as Likely Democratic or Safe Democratic. Clinton had previously been at 269 in those categories. To us, this means that Trump has to find a way not just to sweep all Republican states and the remaining states classified Leans Democratic but to dislodge at least one Likely or Safe Democratic state. Anything can happen over the next dozen weeks, but we wouldn’t recommend betting your children’s college funds on a Trump administration. 8/18/16 Read more at


“Sometimes I can be too honest, Hillary Clinton is the exact opposite: she never tells the truth.” -- Donald Trump at a NC rally 8/18/16


PolitiFact has rated 70 percent of the Trump claims it reviewed as ranging from "mostly false" to "pants on fire," the Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-checking group's harshest rating. -- Politico 8/18/16

“To defeat crime and radical Islamic terrorism in our country, to win trade in our country, you need tremendous physical and mental strength and stamina. Hillary Clinton doesn’t have that strength and stamina.” — Donald Trump, speech in West Bend, Wis. 8/16/16

“Importantly, she also lacks the mental and physical stamina to take on ISIS.” — Trump, speech in Youngstown, Ohio8/15/16


Given Trump’s poor track record with the facts, it should be little surprise that, through innuendo, he is trying to surface debunked Internet rumors from the fringes of the right. But these are also half-baked, ridiculous and easily disproved, making it especially shocking that he would try to highlight them in prepared speeches. Trump has now claimed twice, without proof, that Clinton lacks the physical and mental stamina to be president. In the absence of any evidence, he earns Four Pinocchios. -- Glenn Kessler, the Washington Post Fact Checker 8/18/16


A CNN anchor [Chris Cuomo] acknowledged that the media has given Hillary Clinton a “free ride”: “We couldn’t help her any more than we have. She’s got a free ride so far from the media. We’re the biggest ones supporting her campaign.” -- Trump campaign email perpetuating the claim that this year’s election will be “rigged” and the media is playing a big part in helping Hillary Clinton become our next president. 8/24/16


So, not only did the Trump campaign use a quote that was over two years old to help perpetuate their growing list of asinine conspiracy theories, but what was being discussed by CNN’s Chris Cuomo at that time had absolutely nothing to do with what his campaign claimed was being discussed. Either Trump’s campaign was too incompetent to find out when this quote was said, or they used it in a blatant attempt to fabricate something that wasn’t true. Based upon the kind of person Donald Trump is, and the type of campaign he’s running, either of those are a distinct possibility. -- Allan Clifton 8/24/16

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

Washinton Post's Cillizza: “Alleging That Hillary Clinton Has Dysphasia And Keeps Falling Down Does Not Seem To Me To Suggest That There Is A Pivot”

Breitbart News Spreads Lies About Planned Parenthood And Birth Control

CBS This Morning: Paul Manafort May Be Guilty Of "Tax Evasion, Money Laundering, And Illegally Providing Funds For Lobbyists"

186 Times Donald Trump Shared Breitbart News Articles On Social Media

Joe Scarborough Tries To Convince His Panel That The "Screaming, Racially Insensitive" Trump Is Just A "Character He's Playing"

Former Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann is now advising Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, adding to the list of Trump influencers who have peddled the right-wing media conspiracy theory that Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin is a “Muslim Brotherhood” operative.

Trump Ally Roger Stone: Chelsea Clinton Got “Four Plastic Surgeries” To Hide The Identity Of Her Real Father, Webb Hubbell

Trump Ally Roger Stone: Ohio GOP Gov. John Kasich Will Likely Rig Voting Machines For Clinton

Trump Allies Roger Stone And Alex Jones Say Chelsea Clinton Looks Like Mister Ed The Horse

5. From the Late Shows

Lewis Black on ‘Nightly Show’: This Election ‘Has to Stop!’

The Daily Show: Uncovering Discrimination at the Baltimore Police Department

John Oliver: Sarcastic Trump

John Oliver advises Donald Trump: ‘Drop Out’ Now and ‘You Would Be a Legend’

Jimmy Kimmel Live:

How Hillary Clinton is Preparing to Debate Donald Trump:

Hillary Clinton Tries to Read Donald Trump Quotes with a Straight Face:

Hillary Clinton Proves She’s in Good Health:

Late Night with Seth Meyers Trump's Disastrous Week: A Closer Look

Looking Under the GOP's Hood | Full Frontal with Samantha Bee

6. From Political Ads/Statements

Why do Trump and Putin sound so much alike? | The Briefing

Trump Test | The Briefing

Donald Trump: No regrets | The Briefing


Just One | Hillary Clinton

Donald Trump: demonizing immigrants | The Briefing

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Google "Donald Trump Rudy Giuliani Drag Queen Motorboat"

Shirts | Hillary Clinton

7. Why Trump Isn’t Tweeting About the Olympics

Why has Trump hit the mute button on the Olympics, while Clinton has pumped up the volume? There’s a good reason for that, and a surprising one. The spectacle of America vanquishing its global rivals is—ironically, amazingly—utterly terrible for the “America First” candidate.

A big part of his political message, the one you hear at his stump speeches, is that America has grown weak. America doesn’t win anymore, he says. “Crippled America” is the title of his most recent book. He alone can Make American Great Again. As someone who’s been around a few campaigns, believe me: The Olympics is about the worst thing that could have happened to the Trump train. Here’s a candidate whose message depends entirely on convincing Americans that they’re living in a failing nation overrun by criminal immigrants. And for the past two weeks, tens of millions of Americans have been glued to a multi-ethnic parade of athletes, winning easily. “Make America Great Again” has never felt more out-of-touch than it does against the backdrop of tenacious, over-achieving American athletes driven by their own journeys in pursuit of the American Dream. -- Alex Goldstein 8/18/16 Read more at


8. Andy Borowitz: Trump: Obama Vacationing Instead Of Running ISIS

President Obama is vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard when he should be hard at work running isis, Donald Trump charged on Thursday.

In an interview with Fox News, the Republican Presidential nominee said that the President’s preference for golfing in favor of the demanding day-to-day work of running a terrorist organization shows “what a disaster he has been” at the helm of the Islamic State.

“Frankly, he doesn’t deserve to call himself the founder of isis,” Trump told Fox’s Sean Hannity. “He is a disgrace.”

Trump also drew a sharp contrast between himself and Hillary Clinton, whom he said lacked the mental and physical stamina to run isis.

“I’ve built a great business,” he said. “I’ve employed thousands of people. I will do a much better job running isis.


9. Republicans Likely To Lose Senate Control

According to The Huffington Post’s Senate model, which relies on the polls aggregated in HuffPost Pollster charts, there’s a 55 percent chance that the Senate will swing completely over ― and a 23 percent chance that it’s tied at 50 seats for each party. That means there’s a 78 percent chance that the Democratic Party could get 50 or more seats. Read more at


10. What To Expect From A Breitbart News Infused Trump Campaign

Based on the way Bannon has run Breitbart News and according to statements he’s made in the past, here’s what can be expected from the Trump campaign under his leadership: recycling debunked smears About The Clinton Foundation, conspiracy theories, anti-immigration rhetoric and nativism, doubling down on Islamophobic rhetoric, and outright lies, fabrications, and distortions. 8/18/16 Details of all at

11. Fake Clinton Medical Records

Despite the fact that Hillary Clinton got a clean bill of health from her doctor, fake medical records for Clinton are circulating on some conservative websites, purporting to show that she suffers from seizures and dementia.
Clinton’s longtime physician — whose name appears atop the alleged “leaked” documents — released a statement to calling the documents “false,” and reiterating her diagnosis that Clinton is “in excellent health and fit to serve as President of the United States.”

The fake records are making the rounds just as some in the conservative media have been baselessly questioning Clinton’s health. Among them was Fox News’ Sean Hannity, who played a tape of Clinton vigorously shaking her head in a manner he deemed “seizure-esque” (although neither of the medical experts on his program agreed). 8/16/16 Read more at

12. Trump’s ugly and dishonest new TV ads shows he isn’t changing a thing

'Two Americas: Immigration:

13. Trump’s false claim that undocumented immigrants collect Social Security benefits

The Republican presidential nominee makes a bizarre claim that undocumented immigrants will collect Social Security under a Clinton presidency. In general, people in the United States illegally are not eligible to collect Social Security benefits. They must be granted some type of lawful status — either by obtaining legal status or being granted deferred action.

Even then, it’s not accurate to say they are “skipping the line.” People who obtain lawful status under DACA need to work for at least 10 years, pay taxes and reach retirement age before they are eligible to receive Social Security benefits.

Trump has already earned 41 Four-Pinocchio ratings. We would have liked to see the nominee finally stick closer to the facts in his first general-election ad. Unfortunately, this ad is — to borrow a line from its script — “more of the same.” The broad assertion in this ad is just not supported by facts, and thus earns Four Pinocchios. -- Washington Post Fact Checker

14. Mark Fiore Cartoon: Make America Russian Again

15. Republicans prep ‘break glass’ emergency plan as Trump tumbles

“Republicans, worried about preserving their House and Senate majorities in the face of fierce headwinds, are accelerating their plans to distance themselves from Donald Trump – and may soon concede, if only implicitly, his defeat.

As Chris Wilson, a prominent GOP pollster, said “It’s getting close to the point where we would start recommending our candidates pursue more of a midterm strategy and treat Clinton like a de facto incumbent. 8/20/16 Read more at

16. Late Night Jokes for Dems

"And last night Trump gave his speech using a teleprompter. A teleprompter. This from a guy who got this far by shouting whatever comes into his mind. Trump using a teleprompter is like the Flash calling an Uber, Aquaman taking a ferry, or Bernie Sanders using a comb." –Stephen Colbert

"In a prepared speech last night, Donald Trump told supporters he is going to take care of our African-American people. Though, I don't think he should have added, 'Once and for all.'" –Seth Meyers

"A new poll found that Donald Trump's recent outrageous comments might cost him the state of Florida. You know things are bad when a candidate is considered 'too crazy for Florida.'" –Conan O'Brien

"It is being reported that Ivanka Trump is writing a book titled 'Women Who Work: Rewriting the Rules of Success.' Which is better than the original title, 'Help! My Dad's a Nectarine!'" –Seth Meyers

"Paul Ryan said what Trump is saying about a judge of Mexican heritage is the 'textbook definition' of a racist comment. Even worse, that textbook is made by Trump University." –Jimmy Fallon

"It's official now, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have both clinched the nomination for their respective parties. Which means we could be looking at our first female president or our last president." –Seth Meyers

"In an interview, Donald Trump said he won't have to ask God for 'much forgiveness.' Unless, of course, God turns out to be a Mexican woman who's a Muslim." –Conan O'Brien

"Burger King has merged a Whopper with a burrito to make a Whopperito. So take note, Donald Trump: THAT'S how you Make America Great Again!" –Conan O'Brien

"Donald Trump is continuing to draw criticism for his claims that Judge Gonzalo Curiel's Mexican heritage makes him unfit to preside over a lawsuit against Trump University, despite the fact that Curiel was born and raised in Indiana. And when Trump found that out, he said, 'Oh, no, he's an Indian, too?'" –Seth Meyers

17. Trump spends campaign money buying Trump products/rentingTrump buildings

Through July, Donald Trump’s campaign has spent just shy of $7.7 million on Trump-branded products, including reimbursements to Trump-named surrogates, the Washington Post reports 8/23/16 Read more at

“Trump nearly quintupled the monthly rent his presidential campaign pays for its headquarters at Trump Tower to $169,758 in July, when he was raising funds from donors, compared with March, when he was self-funding his campaign, according to a Huffington Post review of Federal Election Commission filings. The rent jumped even though he was paying fewer staff in July than he did in March.” 8/23/16 Read more at

18. Trump: So Much For "Get Those Teleprompters Out Of Here"

19. What does the Clinton Foundation do, other than get attacked by Republicans?

Hillary Clinton again, which is no surprise. Sometimes it’s helpful, when you’re hearing attacks on something, to know a little about it. So: What does the Clinton Foundation do?

Inside Philanthropy provides some details:

If you look at the Clinton Foundation’s consolidated expenses for 2014, which totaled $249 million, you’ll find that the biggest part of those expenses—57 percent—was for running the Clinton Health Access Initiative, or CHAI. Technically, CHAI is a freestanding nonprofit, and it files its own 990 tax return, but it is still roughly under the Clinton Foundation umbrella. CHAI was started in 2002 to focus on saving the “lives of people with HIV/AIDS in the developing world by dramatically scaling up antiretroviral treatment.” It has since expanded to address other health issues like malaria and maternal health, operating in some 35 countries. The Gates Foundation is CHAI’s biggest funder. It gave it over $60 million last year alone.

Meanwhile, the Clinton Foundation directly runs various programs tackling other problems. The largest of these, dollar-wise, is the Clinton Climate Initiative, which works to prevent deforestation, develop clean energy, and help island nations meet the climate challenge (as we’ve reported). As with CHAI, there’s nothing all that surprising about this effort, which is similar to other nonprofit work in the climate space. The government of Norway, which gives large amounts of money globally to slow deforestation, is among the top funders of CCI. Read more at

20. Trump Used Campaign Donations to Buy His Own Book

Donald Trump used his campaign funds to buy thousands of copies of his own book at retail cost, simultaneously diverting donor money back into his pockets while artificially boosting his sales figures. It’s a tactic that may be illegal, campaign finance experts say. 8/24/16 Read more at

21. "Donald Trump and Very Very Incredible Deal" - Narrated by Rosie O’Donnell

22. Trump No Longer Has a Credible Path

Donald Trump’s presidential campaign slogs on, but he has effectively blown his chances at getting into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. By failing to pivot through his convention, by failing to build a ground team in important states, and by failing to reassure voters uneasy with his primary rhetoric, Trump has killed his campaign. The result: His numbers with college-educated voters and blacks have dropped dramatically, effectively locking him out of states such as Florida, Ohio, and, yes, Pennsylvania.” 8/24/16 Read more at

23. The AP’s big exposé on Hillary meeting with Clinton Foundation donors is a mess

Tuesday afternoon, Stephen Braun and Eileen Sullivan of the AP released the results of a review of State Department appointment data that they used to make some striking claims about Hillary Clinton’s schedule as secretary of state.
According to their reporting, Clinton spent a remarkably large share of her time as America’s chief diplomat talking to people who had donated money to the Clinton Foundation. She went out of her way to help these Clinton Foundation donors, and her decision to do so raises important concerns about the ethics of her conduct as secretary and potentially as president. It’s a striking piece of reporting that made immediate waves in my social media feed, as political journalists of all stripes retweeted the story’s headline conclusions.

Except it turns out not to be true. The key fact that the AP uses to lead its coverage is wrong, and Braun and Sullivan’s reporting reveals absolutely no unethical conduct. In fact, they found so little unethical conduct that an enormous amount of space is taken up by a detailed recounting of the time Clinton tried to help a former Nobel Peace Prize winner who’s also the recipient of a Congressional Gold Medal and a Presidential Medal of Freedom. -- Matthew Yglesias 8/24/16 Read more at


1. Eugene Robinson: Trump ‘pivots’ 360 degrees, back into the mud

Donald Trump’s “pivot,” desperately hoped for by sane Republicans, was over before it began. He couldn’t pretend to be inclusive and statesmanlike for two days in a row if his life depended on it.

Anyone who doubts this should only consider Trump’s idea of an appeal to African American voters: “What do you have to lose by trying something new like Trump? What do you have to lose? You’re living in poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs, 58 percent of your youth is unemployed. What the hell do you have to lose?”

That’s right, black Americans. The Republican candidate for president says you live Hobbesian lives of misery and despair, with no options, no prospects, no joy, no hope. Oh, and he wants your vote.

Does Trump have the faintest clue what black America is really like? From the evidence, no. But I can’t believe he actually thinks he has a chance of winning significant African American support, given the way he has insulted President Obama, dismissed the issue of police violence and acquiesced in support from the white-supremacist fringe. Trump has registered as low as 1 percent or 2 percent among black voters in national polls — and his remarks last week probably cost him support.

Trump’s pivot turned out to be a 360-degree pirouette: back into the mud, where he feels most at home.

I’ve said it before: Trump is not going to change. No matter how many times he reshuffles his campaign, he is who he is. It’s delusional to pretend otherwise. 8/22/16 Read more at


2. David Axelrod: Can new team cure what Ailes Trump?

Good luck to Donald Trump's new managers.

Here is a partial list of Trump's greatest post-convention hits: Attacking a Gold Star family who appeared at the Democratic convention; dissing House speaker Paul Ryan before reversing course and endorsing him; trying to kick a crying baby out of a rally; muffing questions on Russia's occupation of Crimea; joking about winning the Purple Heart the easy way; suggesting the election might be "rigged;" and calling Hillary Clinton "the devil."

I am certain that none of this came at the suggestion of Paul Manafort, though Manafort gamely defended his man in the ensuing uproar. But there really was no adequate defense.

Even if Trump were adding the greatest political team in history, which he is not, the problem is not the campaign. The problem is the candidate, whose allergy to substance and impulse to react angrily -- and often tastelessly -- to any provocation has unnerved voters.

In the primaries, his "shoot first, ask questions later" style was enough to ignite his base, but that very quality has become a liability now that he has to expand beyond it.

Maybe "Trump Team Three" has the magic elixir.

More likely, however, they will be left shaking their heads like old Rocky Bridges as they watch their candidate play. 8/17/16 Read more at


3. E.J. Dionne: Trump's Bannon Bomb

If you thought the old Donald Trump campaign was wild and crazy, just wait for the new Trump campaign now that Breitbart's Steve Bannon has taken over as chief executive.

And if the theme of this latest bit of Trump court intrigue is a return to the "Let Trump be Trump" philosophy, Clinton's operatives will only cheer. Trump being Trump is precisely what led him to this crisis point.  

Bannon's rise dramatizes the catastrophe GOP establishmentarians brought upon themselves by imagining that they could use the far right for their own purposes while somehow keeping it tame. Bannon's European interests suggest he is far more impressed by right-wing third parties than by traditional Republicanism. He believed the anti-establishment rhetoric that Republican politicians deployed but never really meant when they were attacking President Obama. Now, the GOP faces the possibility of a real split.

It fell to Palin in her January endorsement of Trump to tell the party establishment off: "We are mad, and we've been had. They need to get used to it." They are unlikely to get used to Bannon. 8/17/16 Read more at


4. Charles M. Blow: Why Blacks Loathe Trump

So now Donald Trump is campaigning for the black vote. (Long, awkward pause.)

Like so much of what Trump has said and done, this new outreach forces writers like me to conduct scatological studies, framing Trump’s actions in their historical and intellectual absurdity.

Donald Trump is 70 years old. Surely there should be copious examples from those many years of an egalitarian spirit, of outreach to African-American communities, of taking a stand for social justice, right? Right?!

In fact, Trump’s life demonstrates the opposite. He erupted like a rash onto the public consciousness on the front page of The New York Times in 1973 because he and his father were being sued for anti-black bias at their rental property.

This is the same man who took out full-page ads blaring the headline “BRING BACK THE DEATH PENALTY. BRING BACK OUR POLICE!” in New York City newspapers calling for the execution of the Central Park Five, a group of teenagers made up of four African-American boys and one Hispanic boy, who were accused and convicted of raping a white female jogger in the park. A judge later overturned the convictions in the flimsy cases and in 2014 the Five settled a wrongful conviction suit with the city for $41 million.

This is the same man who is quoted in the 1991 book “Trumped!: The Inside Story of the Real Donald Trump — His Cunning Rise and Spectacular Fall,” as saying:

“I’ve got black accountants at Trump Castle and at Trump Plaza. Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day.”

Trump is the same man who stepped into presidential politics by becoming the embodiment of the Birther movement, relentlessly demanding to see President Obama’s birth certificate.

This is the same man at whose rallies African-Americans have been verbally and physically assaulted.

Trump is the same man who repeatedly and falsely insisted that Barack Obama was the founder of the terror group the Islamic State. He then tried to weasel out of the backlash by incredulously claiming that he was being sarcastic.

This is the same man who has refused to reach out to black people in any way, including rejecting offers to speak before the N.A.A.C.P., the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Urban League. (Hillary Clinton spoke before all three.)

Donald Trump is the paragon of racial, ethnic and religious hostility. He is the hobgoblin of retrograde racial hegemony.

And this is the man who now wants to court the black vote? Puh-leese … 8/18/16 Read more at


5. Michelle Cottle: The Era of 'The Bitch' Is Coming

Get ready for the era of The Bitch.

If Hillary Clinton wins the White House in November, it will be a historic moment, the smashing of the preeminent glass ceiling in American public life. A mere 240 years after this nation’s founding, a woman will occupy its top office. America’s daughters will at last have living, breathing, pantsuit-wearing proof that they too can grow up to be president.

A Clinton victory also promises to usher in four-to-eight years of the kind of down-and-dirty public misogyny you might expect from a stag party at Roger Ailes’s house.

You know it’s coming. As hyperpartisanship, grievance politics, and garden-variety rage shift from America’s first black commander-in-chief onto its first female one, so too will the focus of political bigotry. Some of it will be driven by genuine gender grievance or discomfort among some at being led by a woman. But in plenty of other cases, slamming Hillary as a bitch, a c**t (Thanks,Scott Baio!), or a menopausal nut-job (an enduringly popular theme on Twitter) will simply be an easy-peasy shortcut for dismissing her and delegitimizing her presidency.

Raw political sexism is already strutting its stuff. At Donald Trump’s coming-out party in Cleveland, vendors stood outside the Quicken Loans Arena hawking campaign buttons with whimsical messages, such as “Life’s a Bitch—don’t vote for one” and “KFC Hillary Special: Two fat thighs, two small breasts… left wing.” One popular T-shirt featured a grinning Trump piloting a Harley, grinning as Hillary tumbled off the bike so that you could read the back of Trump’s shirt: “IF YOU CAN READ THIS, THE BITCH FELL OFF.”

Forward-thinking women might want to start working to reclaim the word “bitch” from the haters ASAP. Seriously. Bitches of the world unite! Indeed, if Hillary wins in November, I am immediately ordering a dozen hoodies emblazoned with the theme of that brilliant Saturday Night Live riff Tina Fey did about Clinton’s 2008 run: “Bitches get stuff done!” All my girlfriends should expect one for Christmas. Read more at

6. Michael Calderone: Donald Trump Is The Candidate From Breitbart News

Breitbart News, a self-described “populist, nationalist” site, has been viewed as Trump’s biggest media megaphone throughout the 2016 election, amplifying his positions and blasting Republican critics and other media outlets. But as Bannon, the site’s executive chairman, temporarily leaves his position to become the Trump campaign’s chief executive, the perception of who’s been boosting whom gets murky. 

Dubbed the “most dangerous political operative in America” last year by Bloomberg Businessweek, Bannon has led a site that’s increasingly taken hard-line positions on immigration and trade while dropping bombs on Republican establishment figures deemed insufficiently conservative ― from former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor to current House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Given Bannon’s proclivities, the Trump campaign under his watch isn’t expected to tone things down or try appealing to moderates ― in other words, do what a convention Republican candidate would normally do to court the broadest swath of general election voters. 

Instead, it’s more likely a Trump campaign under Bannon will be even less restrained when targeting Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, possibly dredging up the decades-old scandal of President Bill Clinton’s infidelity in the White House. He signaled that was the plan in the Bloomberg News profile: “There’s a whole generation of people who love the news but were 7 or 8 years old when this happened and have no earthly idea about the Clinton sex stuff,” he said. Read more at


7. Seung Min Kim: Trump campaign shakeup stokes fresh Hill Republican worries

In a normal election season, any party loyalist would welcome a campaign shakeup as a sign that a beleaguered candidate was righting the ship.

But Donald Trump’s announcement of two new top campaign hands Wednesday — amid plummeting poll numbers — brought no such response. Instead, it stirred yet another round of private hand-wringing among Republicans in the otherwise sleepy Capitol.

“Rearranging the deck chairs is not an effective strategy. They have to change the course,” one top aide to a conservative House Republican said Wednesday. “Problem is not staff. The problem is with Trump.”

With Trump’s standing in polls sliding precipitously, other top GOP aides doubted the campaign shake-up would do much to change course.

“If the underlying thinking with the move is to better enable Donald being Donald, he is toast,” another senior Republican source said.

The new hires “might help honing his message,” a senior GOP aide said. “Not that it’s a winning message.” Read more at


8. Bill McKibben: A World At War With Climate Change

In the North this summer, a devastating offensive is underway. Enemy forces have seized huge swaths of territory; with each passing week, another 22,000 square miles of Arctic ice disappears. Experts dispatched to the battlefield in July saw little cause for hope, especially since this siege is one of the oldest fronts in the war. “In 30 years, the area has shrunk approximately by half,” said a scientist who examined the onslaught. “There doesn’t seem anything able to stop this.”

In the Pacific this spring, the enemy staged a daring breakout across thousands of miles of ocean, waging a full-scale assault on the region’s coral reefs. In a matter of months, long stretches of formations like the Great Barrier Reef—dating back past the start of human civilization and visible from space—were reduced to white bone-yards.

Day after day, week after week, saboteurs behind our lines are unleashing a series of brilliant and overwhelming attacks. In the past few months alone, our foes have used a firestorm to force the total evacuation of a city of 90,000 in Canada, drought to ravage crops to the point where southern Africans are literally eating their seed corn, and floods to threaten the priceless repository of art in the Louvre. The enemy is even deploying biological weapons to spread psychological terror: The Zika virus, loaded like a bomb into a growing army of mosquitoes, has shrunk the heads of newborn babies across an entire continent; panicked health ministers in seven countries are now urging women not to get pregnant. And as in all conflicts, millions of refugees are fleeing the horrors of war, their numbers swelling daily as they’re forced to abandon their homes to escape famine and desolation and disease.

World War III is well and truly underway. And we are losing. 8/15/16 Read more at


9. Jeff Greenfield: Why the GOP Will Never Accept President Hillary Clinton

According to a CNN poll last fall, 43 percent of Republicans believe Obama is a Muslim; and according to a Huffington Post/YouGov poll earlier this year, more than half of Republicans do not think Obama was born in the United States. That may help explain why they have nominated a candidate who in 2011 repeatedly and insistently argued that he had unearthed evidence so astounding that “you wouldn’t believe” what his investigators had turned up. We still haven’t seen it.

Faced with so alien a presence, someone who “doesn’t love America,” as former New York Mayor Giuliani has said, or who possesses, in the words of Gingrich, “a Kenyan anti-colonial mentality”; faced with a president who, as Rush Limbaugh argued before Obama’s inauguration, wanted the U.S. economy to crater so he could increase government’s control over it—why wouldn’t the Republican Party use every device at its command to thwart the Democratic president’s malevolent goals? Threaten to default on the government’s debt, thus risking the collapse of the global financial system? Sure; that’s the way to force Obama to sign the repeal of Obamacare. Refuse to hold hearings on a Supreme Court nominee with a year left in the president’s term? Of course; otherwise the Court becomes another base for liberal-left policy-making. Reach across the aisle to try and hammer out compromises on public policy? Never; that will get you a primary in which the most committed (or zealous) of party members wield outsize power. (There are about 40 members of the House Freedom Caucus—that’s fewer than one in ten House members. But they were strong enough to topple a speaker and to bring any semblance of deal-making to a halt).

If Hillary Clinton wins, the era of de-legitimizing Obama will likely segue seamlessly into the era of NeverHillary. Not only is she a Clinton—and thus the logical heir to the de-legitimization campaign that Gingrich and Co. heaped on her husband 20 years ago—but the new Clinton administration will be in the eyes of the right little more than Obama’s third term. As Roger Stone promised: “We will not stand for it.” 8/18/16 Read more at


10. Eugene Robinson: Trump's Shakeup Further Imperils the GOP

Shaken by the fact that he's losing, Donald Trump has fled into the parallel universe of the extreme right -- and apparently plans to stay there for the remainder of the campaign. Let's see if the rest of the Republican Party is dumb enough to follow him.

So if anyone was wondering if this election cycle could get any worse for the GOP, it just did.

Trump's decision to throw in with the likes of Bannon can only increase the probability of a GOP debacle. Does it have to be spelled out for you in neon lights, Republicans? Trump could not care less about the party, and he would happily destroy it to feed his own ego.

Trump has made his decision. In a town hall meeting this week moderated by Sean Hannity of Fox News, Trump ignored opportunities to embrace traditional American values and instead reinforced a message of nationalism, xenophobia and fear. He offered himself as the only solution, promising, like any tinhorn strongman, that "I have as big a heart as anybody."

But there is no room in that heart for the GOP. Trump won't save you, Republicans. You had better save yourselves. 8/19/16 Read more at

11. Philip Bump: It’s hard to imagine a much worse pitch Donald Trump could have made for the black vote

At a rally Friday night in Dimondale, Mich., Donald Trump repeated a version of a plea to black voters that he had offered 24 hours earlier in North Carolina.

"Look at how much African American communities are suffering from Democratic control. To those I say the following: What do you have to lose by trying something new like Trump? What do you have to lose?" he asked. "You live in your poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs, 58 percent of your youth is unemployed. What the hell do you have to lose?"
This was not the Teleprompter Trump that we saw in Charlotte, interlacing his prepared remarks with occasional asides. This was Traditional Trump, riffing a bit more on what he wanted to say in a manner that probably didn't do him much good.

Consider: Black Americans are not "living in poverty" as a general rule. A quarter of the black population is, according to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation, about the same as the percentage of Hispanics. In Michigan, the figure is slightly higher. Most black Americans don't live in poverty, just as most white Americans don't.

Consider: The unemployment rate in the black community is higher than that in the white community, as it has been since the Department of Labor started keeping track. Among young blacks, though, the figure is not 59 percent — unless (as PolitiFact noted) you consider not the labor force but every young black American, including high school students. Many young black high school students are unemployed. This isn't a metric that the Labor Department typically uses, for obvious reasons, but calculating the rates for young whites gives you about 50 percent, too.

Consider: Black voters are perfectly able to evaluate candidates on qualities other than their political parties. Black voters began supporting the Democratic Party heavily thanks to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Since then, they have consistently voted for the party — a party that is one-fifth black and which since 1964 has elected the vast majority of the black members of Congress. Democrats win the support of black voters consistently because those voters like the work that they do and like the fights that they fight.

When President Obama won reelection in 2012, 93 percent of black Americans thought he was doing a good job. That's also the percentage of the vote he received, according to exit polls, beating Mitt Romney by 87 points.

And yet, somehow, Trump is doing worse. 8/20/16 Read more at

12. Ruth Marcus: Trump’s Sickening attacks on Clinton’s health

Donald Trump — he who likes to fly home at night in the comfort of his own plane to sleep in the comfort of his own bed — is at it again on the question of Hillary Clinton’s stamina, or alleged lack thereof.

“To defeat crime and radical Islamic terrorism in our country, to win trade in our country, you need tremendous physical and mental strength and stamina,” he said in Wisconsin. “Hillary Clinton doesn’t have that strength and stamina.”

And a day earlier, in case you missed it, “Importantly, she also lacks the mental and physical stamina to take on ISIS, and all the many adversaries we face.”

It’s obvious what’s going on here. The strength-stamina combo is a gender-age twofer, a double whack at Clinton for the price of one. Strength, what men have and women lack; stamina, with its intimations of go-all-night virility. Clinton, in this depiction, is both a weak girl and a dried-up old crone.

No matter that Trump is a year and four months older — and, for that matter, endures a far less rigorous schedule. In Trump World, what counts is the attack, not the truth.

But the Trump & Co. attack on Clinton’s health, with its undertones of ageism and sexism, has no basis in reality, and no place in a presidential campaign. It would be tempting to say this is beneath even Trump, except that it isn’t. Read more at

13. Maureen Dowd: An Open Letter From Mr. Trump

To Whom It May Concern:

Trump is sorry. Trump is humble. Trump is scared. Trump doesn’t want to get crushed.

So if I have offended anyone, or because I have offended everyone, I’m sorry.

I’m sorry that I realized too late that all the great put-downs that helped me put away the 16 dwarfs don’t translate well to the general election.

I’m sorry that I’m causing the Republicans to lose control of the Senate and I’m sorry they wish I’d never been born.

I’m really not that sorry to be causing trouble for Paul Ryan, who’s going to lose seats in the House. He’s a prig and I wish he had lost his primary to that tattooed guy who likes me.

I’m sorry I pretended I was going to release my tax returns. Of course I didn’t pay any taxes. I have the all-time greatest real estate deductions and depreciations.

I’m sorry I asked African-Americans “What do you have to lose by supporting me?” in front of a crowd of white people. I’m sorry I can never find my African-American.

I’m sorry I continue lying about my wild gesticulations mocking a disabled reporter at the failing New York Times. And I’m really sorry that Hillary’s super PAC used it in an ad and made me look like an oaf.

I’m sorry I have to sacrifice so much to make America great again. No one would believe the hatred spewed at me on Twitter. It’s amazing how much super-nasty stuff can be packed into 140 characters. Cyberbullying stinks. I’m sorry Al Gore invented the internet. 8/21/16 Read more at

14. John Cassidy: Why “new Trump” Isn’t So New

For all the fuss over Trump’s remarks, they stopped well short of apologies to the subjects of his many offensive statements. “Sometimes, in the heat of debate and speaking on a multitude of issues, you don’t say the right words or you say the wrong thing,” he said. “I have done that and I regret it, particularly where it may have caused personal pain.” If you were Megyn Kelly or Carly Fiorina, or Judge Gonzalo Curiel, or a member of the Khan family, would you have been satisfied with these weasel words? No, you wouldn’t. And you’d have been right not to be.

Trump didn’t attack the Khans during “the heat of debate.” He belittled Ghazala Khan, the mother of a soldier killed in Iraq, in a telephone interview with Maureen Dowd, the Times columnist, on the day after the Democratic Convention ended. Then Trump extended his comments to the dead soldier’s father, Khizr Khan, who had criticized him at the Convention, and, despite protests by other Republicans, he kept up his attacks for days.

This wasn’t a verbal slip or an instant response. It was a furious lashing out by a politician who realized that the Khans had done him a lot of harm. Now, having allowed almost an entire month to elapse, Trump concedes that he might have said “the wrong thing.” A bigger and better man would have issued a direct apology to the Khans, coupling it with similar gestures toward other objects of his ire. 8/19/16 Read more at

15. Paul Brandus: Trump is a vanity project run amok

The dust of history takes many years to settle, but if he loses in November, here is how Donald Trump will likely be remembered 50 or 100 years from now. He’ll be seen by historians as a vanity project run amok; an outlier nominee, an old man with a lifelong flair for hucksterism and unparalleled conceit. Dropped into a vat of bubbling economic and cultural uncertainty and stirred by ratings-starved television executives, the result was a noxious stew that sickened much of the country.

Trump can be compared to a man who was an even greater self-promoter and showman-turned politician than himself: Phineas Taylor (“P.T.”) Barnum of circus fame. Like Trump, Barnum was a shameless huckster who pitched freak shows, food and alcohol (though like Trump he swore off drink himself). He also wrote books all about himself and his exploits and bragged about how well they sold. Sound familiar? Later in life, as a man of wealth, Barnum ran not for the presidency but for Congress, and lost. He did serve, however, as mayor of Bridgeport, Conn. and as a member of the state legislature.

LaRouche, Green, Paulsen, Barnum. There are others, of course. Trump’s background is more akin to these men — peripheral figures, soothsayers, comics, master showmen — than to serious men and women who have served their country, often at great personal and physical sacrifice. Again, assuming he goes down to defeat in November, that is how historians will likely remember him. 8/22/16 Read more at

16. NY Times Editorial: How Can America Recover From Donald Trump?

Donald Trump is heading to November like a certain zeppelin heading to New Jersey, in a darkening sky that crackles with electricity. He is fighting crosswinds and trying new tacks — hiring the head of Breitbart News to run his campaign, trying on a new emotion (regret) in a speech on Thursday night, promising to talk more this week about immigration, his prime subject. There’s still no telling what will happen when the gasbag reaches the mooring.

It could be that the polls are right, and Mr. Trump will go down in flames. But while that will solve an immediate problem, a larger one will remain. The message of hatred and paranoia that is inciting millions of voters will outlast the messenger. The toxic effects of Trumpism will have to be addressed.

The most obvious damage has already been done — to the debate over immigration, a subject that is America’s pride but that can also show the country at its worst. Mr. Trump’s solution is to build an unbuildable border wall and force 11 million people out of the country, while letting millions of “good ones” back in. Or maybe not — now he says he wants to bar immigrants from most of the world, except for a few who pass religious and ideological tests. “Extreme vetting,” he calls it, bringing the Alien and Sedition Acts and McCarthyism into the reality-TV age.

Yes, Mr. Trump speaks frontier gibberish. Outright nativism remains a fringe American phenomenon. But there is no shortage of mainstream politicians who have endorsed his message by endorsing the Republican nominee. Anyone hoping to build a serious solution to immigration after this election will have to confront the unworkable ideas and vicious emotions that Mr. Trump, with many enablers, has dragged into the open. 8/20/16 Read more at


17. Eli Stokols: What if Trump won't accept defeat

Donald Trump is on track to lose in November and to refuse to accept the legitimacy of that Election Day result. That’s a problem not just for Hillary Clinton but for both political parties and the country. For everyone, really, other than Donald Trump.

By hiring Breitbart News’ Steve Bannon, a media provocateur in his own image, and accepting the resignation of the man who was supposed to professionalize him, Trump is signaling the final 78 days of his presidential campaign will be guided by a staff that indulges his deeply held conspiracy theories and validates his hermetically sealed worldview.

That includes his insistence that the only way he loses is in a “rigged” election. According to two long-time Trump associates, the notion of a fixed election isn’t just viewed as smart politics inside Trump Tower; it’s something the GOP nominee believes.

“If he loses, [he’ll say] ‘It’s a rigged election.’ If he wins, he’ll say it was rigged and he beat it. And that’s where this is headed no matter what the outcome is,” said one Trump ally. “If Donald Trump loses, he is going to point the finger at the media and the GOP establishment. I can’t really picture him giving a concession speech, whatever the final margin.”

“It’s the same as how he looks at the polls,” said another close Trump confidant. “Any poll that shows him ahead, he likes. Any poll that shows him behind, he thinks it’s rigged.” 8/22/16 Read more at

18. Betsy Woodruff: Donald Trump Keeps Trashing Your Town in His Stump Speech

Just about every single Donald Trump stump speech has the same moment.

The mogul pauses, pulls a folded sheet of paper from his jacket pocket, and reads off a list of factory closures printed on it. The factories are all in the general vicinity of the rally—well, for the most part—and Trump uses their closures as evidence of a central theme of his campaign: that free trade is sending all our jobs to China or Mexico.

Just one hiccup: In some cases, the factories Trump names haven’t actually closed. And in other cases, companies that closed plants subsequently opened plants in other parts of the United States.

In one situation, a company Trump called out as an outsourcer actually manufactures products in the U.S. that are then exported to China. Now, Trump’s general idea—that manufacturing in the U.S. is having a tough go of it—is correct. But the evidence he uses to push that narrative is often sloppy, incomplete, or just plain wrong. 08.21.16 Read more at

19. Paul Krugman: The Water Next Time

A disaster area is no place for political theater. The governor of flood-ravaged Louisiana asked President Obama to postpone a personal visit while relief efforts were still underway. (Meanwhile, by all accounts, the substantive federal response has been infinitely superior to the Bush administration’s response to Katrina.) He made the same request to Donald Trump, declaring, reasonably, that while aid would be welcome, a visit for the sake of a photo op would not.

Sure enough, the G.O.P. candidate flew in, shook some hands, signed some autographs, and was filmed taking boxes of Play-Doh out of a truck. If he wrote a check, neither his campaign nor anyone else has mentioned it. Heckuva job, Donnie!

But boorish, self-centered behavior is the least of it. By far the bigger issue is that even as Mr. Trump made a ham-handed (and cheapskate) effort to exploit Louisiana’s latest disaster for political gain, he continued to stake out a policy position that will make such disasters increasingly frequent.

A proliferation of disasters like the one in Louisiana is exactly what climate scientists have been warning us about. 8/22/16 Read more at