May 12, 2016


“If Donald Trump is at the top of the ticket, here in Arizona, with over 30 percent of the vote being the Hispanic vote, no doubt that this may be the race of my life. If you listen or watch Hispanic media in the state and in the country, you will see that it is all anti-Trump. The Hispanic community is roused and angry in a way that I’ve never seen in 30 years.” -- Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)

“I don’t want my children to look at that man and say, ‘Yeah, he’s my President.’ I won’t have that I will not endorse it, I will not tolerate it. For my children’s sake, for capitalism’s sake, for the Constitution’s sake, for the party’s sake, you have no chance of winning.” -- Conservative radio talk show host Glenn Beck


“Yes. I’m talking to Howard Stern, weeks before, the first time anybody had ever asked. And don’t forget, I was a civilian. The first time anyone ever asked me about the war, about should we go in, because it was a question, are we going in? And I said very weakly, well, blah, blah, blah, yes, I guess.” — Donald Trump, when confronted with audio showing he initially supported the Iraq war.

“Eating a taco is probably not going to fix the problems we have with Hispanics.” — Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

Trump Can't Tweet His Way to Victory Vs. Hillary -- Joe Scarborough@JoeNBC

Trump put out a tax plan last year that included major cuts to income, estate and business taxes for the ultra-wealthy along with far less generous cuts for the middle class. The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center estimated his plan would cut the tax bill for the top 1 percent of earners by about $275,000 a year on average and for the top 0.1 percent by $1.3 million. The overall cost would be $9.5 trillion over a decade. -- Red State

“Endorsing an unprincipled and unprepared man to run the country is more dishonorable than breaking a partisan commitment. Republicans cannot evade responsibility by attempting to distinguish between supporting the “Republican nominee” and endorsing Mr. Trump. Even tepid endorsements count.” -- WA Post Editorial 5/07/16


“I think Paul Ryan is soon to be ‘Cantored,’ as in Eric Cantor. His political career is over but for a miracle because he has so disrespected the will of the people, and as the leader of the GOP, the convention, certainly he is to remain neutral, and for him to already come out and say who he will not support is not a wise decision of his.” -- Sarah Palin, saying she will work to defeat House Speaker Paul Ryan. 5/08/16

“Hillary Clinton wants to abolish the Second Amendment. Hillary Clinton wants to take your guns away and she wants to abolish the Second Amendment.” -- Donald Trump claiming Hillary Clinton wants to abolish the right of Americans to legally own guns. -- Donald Trump 5/07/16

Once her only opponent is Trump, there are signs that recalcitrant Sanders voters, including young women, will come home to Clinton. “What’s going to help Hillary in the end,” says Molly Roberts, “is not how much these voters like her but rather how much they dislike Trump.” Thus her opponent’s flaws, rather than her own appeal, may finally be what smooths her path to the White House. -- Jill Abramson 5/09/16



1. Cook Political Report: Trump Improves Democratic Party’s Chances
2. GOP’s War on Women (Cont): Alabama Passes Bill That Regulates Abortion Clinics Like Sex Offenders
3. #NeverTrump 
5. From MEDIA MATTERS (They watch Fox News so you don't have to)
6. From the Late Shows
7. Briefing 2016:A Unified Party?
8. Clinton slams Trump's 'insidious' birther movement against Obama
9. Barack Obama: Couch Commander
10. Late Night Jokes for Dems
11. Trump Nomination Sparks More Fear Than Hope
12. Few stand in Trump’s way as he piles up the Four-Pinocchio whoppers
13. GOP’s War on Women (Cont): Missouri lawmakers pass 'personhood' bill
14. MarkFiore cartoon: How to Nominate A Trump
15. Paul Ryan, House GOP leadership split on Trump
16: Jon Stewart breaks silence with rant on 'man-baby' Donald Trump
17. Correct The Record: Donald Trump "Respects" Women...


1. Jamelle Bouie: Donald Trump Isn’t Going to Be President
2. Michael Tomasky: Yo, Hillary: Hit Donald Where It Hurts
3. Michael A. Cohen: Dear liberals, stop panicking over Trump
4. Jonah Goldberg: The Republican aristocracy is already bending its knee to King Trump
5. Eugene Robinson: The GOP now belongs to Trump. What are Republicans going to do about it?
6. Paul Krugman: Truth and Trumpism
7. Sen. Elizabeth Warren: I Know Which Side I’m On
8. Jeff Stein: Let's clear up some confusion about the superdelegates and Bernie Sanders
9. Matea Gold: Trump turns to general election — and away from past positions
10. Catherine Rampell: Political ‘outsider’ Donald Trump, the most politician-y politician ever.
11. Paul Waldman: Hillary Clinton is going to be exonerated on the email controversy. It won’t matter.
12. Max Boot: The Republican Party Is Dead
13. Torta: Sanders, Superdelegates, and Stirring up Sore-Loserism
14. Jim Tankersley: Why a conservative economist says Trump could make America ‘the North Korea of economics’
15. Paul Krugman: The Making of an Ignoramus
16. Charles M. Blow: G.O.P. Has Only Itself to Blame


1. Cook Political Report: Trump Improves Democratic Party’s Chances

This has been an exceedingly unpredictable year. Although we remain convinced that Hillary Clinton is very vulnerable and would probably lose to most other Republicans, Donald Trump’s historic unpopularity with wide swaths of the electorate – women, millennials, independents and Latinos – make him the initial November underdog.

As a result, we are shifting 13 ratings on our Electoral Vote scorecard, almost all of them favoring Democrats. Our assessments are based on publicly available polling, data on demographic change and private discussions with a large number of pollsters in both parties. Much could change, but undecided voters begin more hostile to Trump than Clinton. 5/05/16 Read more at


2. GOP’s War on Women (Cont): Alabama Passes Bill That Regulates Abortion Clinics Like Sex Offenders

The Alabama House voted Wednesday in a sweeping 73-19 decision to close abortion clinics located near schools. The bill now goes to the desk of Gov. Robert Bentley (R).

The bill prohibits the state Department of Public Health from issuing or renewing licenses for clinics located within 2,000 feet of a K-8 public school, according to the Associated Press. The bill's sponsor, state Sen. Paul Sanford (R), had likened abortion clinics to sex offenders, saying both should be kept away from children.

3. #NeverTrump

“If we nominate Trump, we will get destroyed.......and we will deserve it.” -- Lindsey Graham@LindseyGrahamSC

“Here’s where I’m at: If Donald Trump becomes the Republican nominee, my expectation is that I will look for some third candidate — a conservative option, a Constitutionalist" -- Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.)

“Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud. His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University. He's playing the American public for suckers: He gets a free ride to the White House and all we get is a lousy hat.” -- Mitt Romney

“I just don't think he has the character to be president of the United States,. It's beyond any particular issue I disagree with him on, or who he picks as VP or something.” -- Bill Kristol

"He's said terrible things about women, terrible things about the military. I don't understand why people are for him, for that reason." -- Barbara Bush

"Trump is not a noninterventionist in foreign affairs; he's a national populist who will adopt any position that advances his political ends." -- Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.)

"With the scenery-chewing, oxygen-sucking political black hole that is Donald Trump, I have one question for the 'don’t attack' camp; how’s that working out for you?" And: "You could be living on a diet of lead paint, cheap vodka and Real Housewivesand still know more than Trump does about, well, everything." -- GOP Media Strategist Rick Wilson

“Donald Trump is epically unprepared to be president. He has no realistic policies, no advisers, no capacity to learn. His vast narcissism makes him a closed fortress. He doesn’t know what he doesn’t know and he’s uninterested in finding out. He insults the office Abraham Lincoln once occupied by running for it with less preparation than most of us would undertake to buy a sofa.” -- David Brooks

“Unequivocally, I am not supporting Donald Trump. I think he’s a sociopath.” — Sen. Gordon Humphrey (R-NH)



"I think we still have a narrow path toward victory." -- Senator Sanders 5/04/16


"the idea that [Sanders] has a path to a pledged delegate majority is as preposterous as those National Enquirer stories about Ted Cruz's father playing a role in JFK's assassination." -- Dave Wasserman, who tracks delegate math for the Cook Political Report



“You know who started the birther movement? You know who started it? Do you know who questioned his birth certificate, one of the first? Hillary Clinton. She’s the one that started it. She brought it up years before it was brought up by me.” — Donald Trump, interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, 5/04/16


There’s no evidence to support Trump’s repeated claim that Clinton “started” the birther movement and was one of the first to question Obama’s birth certificate. He could blame the actions of Clinton’s supporters during the 2008 primary or say the rumor has some Democratic roots. But there’s no evidence that she or her campaign questioned his birth certificate or his citizenship. Further, the campaign denounced isolated instances of Clinton’s staffers questioning whether Obama was Muslim. Four Pinocchios. -- WA Post Fact Checker 5/06/16


Goofy Elizabeth Warren and her phony Native American heritage are on a Twitter rant. She is too easy! I'm driving her nuts. -- Donald J. Trump ✔‎@realDonaldTrump


“Goofy,” @realDonaldTrump? For a guy with "the best words" that’s a pretty lame nickname. Weak! Elizabeth Warren ✔‎@elizabethforma

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

Fox's Juan Williams Pours Cold Water On Fox Conspiracy Theory Clinton's Email Server Was Hacked

Fox News Falsely Suggests Planned Parenthood Is Swapping "Sex Changes" For "Baby Body Parts"

Pundits’ New Lament: Clinton Might Win, But She Won’t Win The Right Way

RedState's Ben Howe: The Republican Party Is "Getting A Sociopathic Maniac" As Its Presidential Nominee

Wash. Post Fact Checker Slams Media For Their Reluctance To Challenge “Trump’s Repeated Misstatements”

CNN Dissects Trump's "Nerve-Wracking" Proposal To Undermine "Full Faith And Credit" Of The United States

“Sheer Bullying”: Right-Wing Media Lash Out At Justice Department For Suing North Carolina Over “Discriminatory” Anti-LGBT Law


Trump’s Latest Clinton Attack Comes Straight Out Of Fox News’ Benghazi Playbook

With Benghazi And Email Pursuits Fading Fast, Media’s Clinton Scandal Machinery Sputters And Groans

6. From the Late Shows

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

Dyin' Ted:

Stephen Has Some Tips For Hillary Clinton:

Stephen Counsels Paul Ryan To Wait Until He's Ready:

Full Frontal with Samantha Bee

2010 Election: Part Two:

Crisis Pregnancy Centers:

Late Night with Seth Meyers: Trump Becomes the Nominee: A Closer Look

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon : Donald Trump Calls Obama After Indiana Win

SNL Cold Open: Church Lady

The Daily Show With Trevor Noah:

Bernie Sanders Stays in the Race:

North Carolina defends its anti-transgender bathroom law:


7. Briefing 2016: A Unified Party?

8. Clinton slams Trump's 'insidious' birther movement against Obama

9. Barack Obama: Couch Commander

10. Late Night Jokes for Dems

""This election is heading into the home stretch and it seems like the whole world is watching. In fact, I read that sales for Donald Trump piñatas have been soaring recently. Or as Donald Trump put it, 'Told you I could make the Mexicans pay for something!'" –Jimmy Fallon

"Apparently four out of Donald Trump's five airplanes are more than 20 years old, which they say is rare for most billionaires. I guess Trump doesn't know you're supposed to change PLANES every few years, and keep your WIFE forever.

"Yesterday, Donald Trump said, 'If I lose, I don't think you'll ever see me again.' So finally, a Trump campaign promise we can all get behind." –Conan O'Brien

"A restaurant in Pennsylvania has unveiled a pizza inspired by Hillary Clinton. Apparently, the pizza is not that fresh or tasty, but it sticks around your stomach until all the other food has given up." –Conan O'Brien

"A woman who looks exactly like a female Ted Cruz has been asked to star in a porn movie. So finally, a cure for your porn addiction." –Conan O'Brien

"Donald Trump did an impression of Hillary Clinton at a rally this weekend accusing Clinton of needing a teleprompter, speaking in a robotic manner and being boring. And then Hillary did an impression of Donald Trump by crushing a poor person's dreams." –Seth Meyers

"If Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are the two nominees, it will be the first time both parties' nominees are over 65 years old. Which should explain that one debate where they just play checkers in the park. 'King me!'" –Jimmy Fallon

"Trump and Hillary would be the oldest nominees since 1848. Or as Bernie Sanders put it, 'My first campaign!'" –Jimmy Fallon

"President Obama yesterday commuted the sentences of 61 federal prisoners, most of whom were low-level drug offenders. Then he had lunch with a bunch of them. Obama ate lunch with seven former inmates. Usually former inmates have to be on the team that won the Super Bowl to get invited to the White House for lunch." –Jimmy Kimmel

"Donald Trump was in Washington, D.C., today to meet privately with members of his newly established foreign policy team. They went over key points like, 'This one's Europe,' and 'No, no, no, THIS one's Europe.'" –Seth Meyers

11. Trump Nomination Sparks More Fear Than Hope

A new NBC/SurveyMonkey poll finds 47% of respondents said their reaction to Donald Trump becoming the presumptive Republican nominee was fear. Just 26% said they were hopeful, while another 21% said they were angry and 16% were surprised. 5/10/16 Read more at

12. Few stand in Trump’s way as he piles up the Four-Pinocchio whoppers

Most politicians will drop a talking point if it gets labeled with Four Pinocchios by The Fact Checker or ‘Pants on Fire’ by PolitiFact. No one wants to be tagged as a liar or misinformed, and we have found most politicians are interested in getting the facts straight. So the claim might be uttered once or twice, but then it gets quietly dropped or altered.”

“But the news media now faces the challenge of Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for president. Trump makes Four-Pinocchio statements over and over again, even though fact checkers have demonstrated them to be false. He appears to care little about the facts; his staff does not even bother to respond to fact-checking inquiries. 5/07/15

13. GOP’s War on Women (Cont): Missouri lawmakers pass 'personhood' bill

The Republican-dominated Missouri House of Representatives passed a “personhood” bill Thursday and sent it to the Missouri Senate, where it seems likely to pass since there are only eight Democrats in that 34-seat body. 

The bill would ask voters to approve an amendment to the state constitution to “protect pregnant women and unborn children by recognizing that an unborn child is a person with a right to life which cannot be deprived by state or private action without due process and equal protection of law.” It states that fertilized eggs “have a natural right to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and the enjoyment of the gains of their own industry.” 5/06/16 Read more at

14. MarkFiore cartoon: How to Nominate A Trump

15. Paul Ryan, House GOP leadership split on Trump

“House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Majority Whip Steve (R-LA), the Nos. 2 and 3 members of leadership, have both fallen in line supporting Trump as the party’s standard bearer this fall,” theWashington Post reports.

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), the No. 4 leader as chairman of the House Republican Conference, is siding with Speaker Paul Ryan, “saying that she is not ready to support Trump due to some of the more controversial statements he has made with regard to religious liberty and minorities.” 5/10/16 Read more at


16: Jon Stewart breaks silence with rant on 'man-baby' Donald Trump

17. Correct The Record: Donald Trump "Respects" Women...



1. Jamelle Bouie: Donald Trump Isn’t Going to Be President

Donald Trump begins the general election with a huge deficit in head-to-head polls, deep unpopularity, and major demographic headwinds. Unless he wins unprecedented shares of black and Latino voters, or, barring any improvement with nonwhite voters, unless he wins unprecedented shares of white voters, he loses. And he has to do this while running as the most unpopular nominee in 30 years of polling. He has to do it while running against a Democratic Party operating at full strength, with popular surrogates (including a former president) crisscrossing the country against his campaign. He has to do it with a divided Republican Party. He has to do it while somehow tempering his deep-seated misogyny and racism. All this, again, in agrowing economy with a well-liked president—solid conditions for a Democratic candidate.

Donald Trump has to become a radically different person to win.

Donald Trump isn’t going to win.


2. Michael Tomasky: Yo, Hillary: Hit Donald Where It Hurts

We have a truly dangerous and borderline sociopathic man who has shown that he knows nothing about military structure and is casually proud of his ignorance—but who may be running it. This will horrify many active and retired military people. The actives have to stay silent, but the Clinton campaign ought to be able to find plenty of retireds who’ll say they basically trust her to treat the military right, while he doesn’t belong within a par-five fairway of the nuclear football.

Business people are scared of him, military people are worried sick about him. Aggressive ads and other forms of attack along these lines will make it clear to middle-of-the-road voters that, however they may feel about Clinton, Trump is simply not an option. Coming from those two groups, the message would carry a lot of weight.

His two strengths—which are not actual strengths but myths he has fashioned about himself—will disappear. 5/06/16 Read more at


3. Michael A. Cohen: Dear liberals, stop panicking over Trump

Six months from now, the American people will head to the polls to elect the next president and after great consideration, I believe the person most likely to emerge victorious will be . . .

. . . Donald Trump.

Wait, who said that?

It’s me, your liberal friend on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, and LinkedIn, who has been in a fetal position since last Tuesday convinced me that Donald Trump is going to be our next president.

Oh hey, how are you doing?

Not so good. I’ve spent all week looking at rental properties in the suburbs of Toronto and replacing my Barack Obama pictures with glam shots of Justin Trudeau.

Well, to be honest, I really don’t think you have much to worry about. I’m pretty certain that Trump won’t be elected president.

How can you be so sure?

Well first of all, I’m confident that the same country that twice elected an African-American president and has given the Democratic Party a majority in the popular vote in five of the last six presidential elections is not going to embrace a racist, misogynist demagogue.

I’m not convinced.

OK, there’s also the math.

Four years ago, Mitt Romney lost the presidency by 5 million votes. So for a Republican to win in 2016, the party nominee has to find a way to increase the number of GOP voters. The problem for Trump is that he’s moving in the opposite direction. Take for example, Hispanic voters. In 2012, Romney lost them 71-27 percent. Trump today has an 81 percent unfavorability rating among Hispanics. Among African-Americans it is 91 percent. Considering that nonwhite voters made up 28 percent of the electorate in 2012 — and could be an even higher percentage this year — that means Trump starts the campaign at a huge, nearly insurmountable disadvantage.

Well, that does make me feel better. 5/10/16 Read more at

4. Jonah Goldberg: The Republican aristocracy is already bending its knee to King Trump

“Let no one be mistaken, Donald Trump’s candidacy is a cancer on conservatism and it must be clearly diagnosed, excised, and discarded,” former Texas Gov. Rick Perry declared ten months ago. Trump’s candidacy, Perry added, represents “a toxic mix of demagoguery and mean-spiritedness and nonsense that will lead the Republican Party to perdition if pursued.”

Lest you’re thrown off by the alliteration, “perdition” means eternal damnation in Hell.

Perry has since had an epiphany, selling his political soul for a seat on the Trump Train. He even says he’d like to be his vice president, which would make him a co-pilot (or co-conductor?) leading us down the tracks to Hell (“Can I blow the whistle Mr. Trump?”).

The Republican aristocracy is for the most part bending its knee to the new king, proving that much of the "establishment" is exactly as craven as Trump always claimed.

As Thomas More might say, “Why Rick, it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world... but to be Donald Trump’s valet?

Taking his words literally, Perry wants to make a deal with the devil. In this war on cancer, Perry wants to help cancer win “any way I can.”

Perry is far from alone in his hypocrisy. With the exception of Sen. Ben Sasse, Speaker Paul Ryan, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and a handful of others (including, I hope, Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio), the Republican aristocracy is for the most part bending its knee to the new king, proving that much of the “establishment” is exactly as craven as Trump always claimed.



5. Eugene Robinson: The GOP now belongs to Trump. What are Republicans going to do about it?

The biggest blows to Trump’s legitimacy as the standard-bearer of the party of Lincoln were struck by the two most recent Republican presidents. Spokesmen for George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush announced that 41 and 43 have no plans to endorse Trump — an extraordinary rebuke from the family that has defined the party since the era of Ronald Reagan.

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (Wis.), asked if he was ready to endorse Trump, said that “I’m not there right now.” Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said he would not vote for Trump — or for Clinton, a spokeswoman added. Sen. Ben Sasse (Neb.), who has vehemently opposed Trump, was unbowed in a lengthy Facebook post that called for a third-party candidate to emerge.

Most of the rest of the party, however, seems to be boarding the Trump train, even if it might be heading over a cliff.

The emerging Republican message: We’re all Visigoths now.


6. Paul Krugman: Truth and Trumpism

A more important vice in political coverage, which we’ve seen all too often in previous elections — but will be far more damaging if it happens this time — is false equivalence.

You might think that this would be impossible on substantive policy issues, where the asymmetry between the candidates is almost ridiculously obvious. To take the most striking comparison, Mr. Trump has proposed huge tax cuts with no plausible offsetting spending cuts, yet has also promised to pay down U.S. debt; meanwhile, Mrs. Clinton has proposed modest spending increases paid for by specific tax hikes.

That is, one candidate is engaged in wildly irresponsible fantasy while the other is being quite careful with her numbers. But beware of news analyses that, in the name of “balance,” downplay this contrast.

This isn’t a new phenomenon: Many years ago, when George W. Bush was obviously lying about his budget arithmetic but nobody would report it, I suggested that if a candidate declared that the earth was flat, headlines would read, “Shape of the Planet: Both Sides Have a Point.” But this year it could be much, much worse.

The public has a right to be properly informed. The news media should do all it can to resist false equivalence and centrification, and report what’s really going on. 5/06/16 Read more at


7. Sen. Elizabeth Warren: I Know Which Side I’m On

Donald Trump is now the leader of the Republican Party. It’s real - he is one step away from the White House. Here’s what else is real:

Trump has built his campaign on racism, sexism, and xenophobia. There’s more enthusiasm for him among leaders of the KKK than leaders of the political party he now controls.

He incites supporters to violence, praises Putin, and, according to a columnist who recently interviewed him, is “cool with being called an authoritarian” and doesn’t mind associations with history’s worst dictators.

He attacks veterans like John McCain who were captured and puts our servicemembers at risk by cheerleading illegal torture. In a world with ISIS militants and leaders like North Korean strongman Kim Jong-Un conducting nuclear tests, he surrounds himself with a foreign policy team that has been called a “collection of charlatans,” and puts out contradictory and nonsensical national security ideas one expert recently called “incoherent” and “truly bizarre.”

What happens next will test the character for all of us - Republican, Democrat, and Independent. It will determine whether we move forward as one nation or splinter at the hands of one man’s narcissism and divisiveness. I know which side I’m on, and I’m going to fight my heart out to make sure Donald Trump’s toxic stew of hatred and insecurity never reaches the White House. 5/04/16 Read more at

8. Jeff Stein: Let's clear up some confusion about the superdelegates and Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders's campaign has seized on a new narrative: The superdelegates will decide the Democratic primary.

"Whoever becomes the nominee, their nomination will depend on getting enough superdelegates," Sanders's aide Jeff Weaver said on Wednesday. "And these are people who are not elected through that process. These are elected officials and Democratic members of Congress and governors and party leaders."

This narrative has gained currency among some Sanders supporters, who have recently published columns in Salon and other blogs saying that the undemocratically chosen elite superdelegates might unfairly cost him the nomination.

But superdelegates are not the reason Clinton is going to win the nomination. Clinton is going to win the nomination because she is getting many more votes than her rival — and thus winning the pledged delegate total.

There is a theoretical world in which the superdelegates subvert the will of the voters and give Clinton the nomination over the will of the voters. We are not living in that world.

Sanders is losing the nomination because he is losing at the ballot box; for the superdelegates to "decide" the nomination in any meaningful sense, they'd have to ignore the voters and undemocratically hand the nomination to Sanders.

In other words: If all of the superdelegates were eliminated overnight, Bernie Sanders would still be losing the race. Blaming them for his pending defeat isn't just missing the point — it's objectively wrong. 5/06/16 Read more at



9. Matea Gold: Trump turns to general election — and away from past positions

Throughout the primary contest, the Manhattan mogul bragged that he was the only contender unencumbered by alliances to rich backers. Even though he has been accepting donations ($12 million worth through the end of March), Trump’s proclamation of financial independence fed a sense among his supporters that he alone was standing outside a corrupt process.

On Thursday, Trump tapped hedge fund manager and film investor Steven Mnuchin to assemble a national fundraising operation, tasked with raising at least $1 billion for the general election. That will probably require the creation of a traditional bundling operation, in which rich supporters are offered perks for collecting checks from their friends and family.

Although the campaign said that Trump still plans to put “substantial money” into his campaign, the first-time candidate will be seeking support from the very donor class he has vilified.

If Trump “makes it clear he wants to change the rules, but he’s stuck playing under them, I don’t think there will be a big turn-off,” said conservative political consultant John Pudner, whose group Take Back Our Republic seeks to reduce the influence of the wealthy on politics. “But if it looks like he’s just abandoning the one thing that got him here, I think there’ll be trouble.”

Selecting Mnuchin to lead the effort is a particularly jarring choice for a candidate who has lambasted hedge fund managers on the trail. The chief executive of Dune Capital spent 17 years at Goldman Sachs, including a stint as the head of the bank’s mortgage department, according to Bloomberg. 5/05/16 Read more at


10. Catherine Rampell: Political ‘outsider’ Donald Trump, the most politician-y politician ever.

It’s nearly impossible to inventory all of Trump’s lies, given that he lives in a parallel universe, wherein suggesting that a rival candidate’s father helped kill JFK is not a mistruth but a thoughtful academic inquiry. Even when called out on his dishonesty — such as when he claimed that Hillary Clintonwas the original birther — he merely barrels through,repeating the lie again and again, until it almost sounds plausible.

Still, some have attempted to assess the bounds of his dishonesty. Of all the presidential candidates this election cycle, Trump has received the highest percentages of “Pants on Fire” and “Four Pinocchios” rulings by PolitiFact and The Post’s Fact Checker, respectively. And by a lot: The Fact Checker team has designated Trump’s statements as “Four Pinocchios,” the worst rating, nearly 70 percent of the time, compared with about 10 to 20 percent for most politicians.

Not bad for someone who’s officially been a politician for only less than a year.

Trump’s flip-flops are legion, too.

His only policy constant is inconstancy, as he regularly and effortlessly reverses himself on taxes, health care and other issues. He changed his stand on abortion five times in three days. He amended his view on high-skilled immigrants three times in one day. He contradicted himself multiple times in a single foreign policy speech — a particularly impressive feat, given that the speech was scripted.

When called out on his fickleness, Trump merely trumpets the virtues of unpredictability. 5/05/16 Read more at


11. Paul Waldman: Hillary Clinton is going to be exonerated on the email controversy. It won’t matter.

Despite the enormous manpower and time the Justice Department has devoted to this case, there has never been even a suggestion, let alone any evidence, that Clinton did intentionally gave classified information to someone without authorization to have it, like David Petraeus did when he showed classified documents to his mistress (and then lied to the FBI about it, by the way).

But when it comes to the presidential campaign, that isn’t going to matter. Republicans already know what they think: Hillary Clinton is a criminal whose every thought and action is vile and despicable, so of course she broke the law. If the investigation doesn’t show that, it could only be because the investigation was a sham. So they’ll just keep saying that this is a scandal, over and over and over.

So here’s what’s going to happen from this point forward. Trump will continue to say that she committed terrible crimes. Other Republicans will chime in to agree. Those statements will be passed on to the public with little or no context or correction. Fox News and conservative talk radio will tell their audiences over and over that this is the most horrific scandal since Watergate, or maybe Teapot Dome.

Then, some time in the summer, the investigation will conclude, and Clinton will be exonerated of any criminal wrongdoing. Republicans will say that just proves the fix was in. Trump will promise, as he has before, to appoint officials who will pursue a criminal indictment against her. And significant portions of the public will continue to believe that she must have done something wrong, even if they couldn’t quite say what it is, because they’ve heard all this stuff about an email scandal, and everybody wouldn’t be talking about it so much if there wasn’t something to it. 5/06/16 Read more at

12. Max Boot: The Republican Party Is Dead

For the time being, at least, that Republican Party is dead. It was wounded by the tea party absolutists who insisted on political purity and rejected any compromise. Now it has been killed by Donald Trump.”

Trump is an ignorant demagogue who traffics in racist and misogynistic slurs and crazy conspiracy theories. He champions protectionism and isolationism — the policies that brought us the Great Depression and World War II. He wants to undertake a police-state roundup of undocumented immigrants and to bar Muslims from coming to this country. He encourages his followers to assault protesters and threatens to sue or smear critics.

There has never been a major party nominee in U.S. history as unqualified for the presidency. The risk of Trump winning, however remote, represents the biggest national security threat that the United States faces today.

As it stands, I only know one thing for sure: I won't vote for Trump. My hope is that he will lose by a landslide, and the Republican Party will come to its senses, rejecting both his ugly, nativist populism and the extreme, holier-than-thou conservatism represented by Ted Cruz. 5/08/16 Read more at


13. Torta: Sanders, Superdelegates, and Stirring up Sore-Loserism

Sanders knows that Superdelegates are not Pledged delegates any more than cats are dogs, he is proceeding with this argument… at his rallies.  It is easy to tap into, and foment further, the feelings of disgruntlement and resentment among his supporters.  Many of them do not understand (and don’t care to understand) the structure of the Democratic Party, the role of Pledged delegates and Superdelegates.  And here’s their candidate shouting to them that the Democratic primary process has been unfair, that the Superdelegates are somehow corrupting the process, acting out of bounds.  This cements further the supporters’ feelings that if Bernie said it it must be true, the contest is rigged, it’s unfair. Thus Clinton’s victory is unfair. Thus Clinton’s legitimacy and validity as Democratic nominee is in question.

What bothers me is that Sanders knows that this is what many of his more fired-up supporters will infer and absorb from his argument about the Superdelegates.  Regardless of the actual rules, regardless of the actual history of how our primary works.  Regardless of the facts.

I truly hope Sanders stops with this line of argument, particularly at his crowd-filled rallies.  It’s inaccurate, and it’s unhealthy for the Democratic Party.  He’s merely stirring up sore-loserism and bitterness among his base, in continuing to make this argument.  And he knows it’s not even true. 5/02/16 Read more at


14. Jim Tankersley: Why a conservative economist says Trump could make America ‘the North Korea of economics’

In his run for the White House, Donald Trump has threatened to slap tariffs on imports from China, in almost-certain violation of international rules. He has threatened to confiscate money that immigrants from Mexico wire home to their families, in order to force the Mexican government to pay for a border wall. This week, he suggested that, in an economic crisis, the government might repay only some of the money it owes to certain holders of its debt.

Those threats reflect an economic philosophy that is at odds with the traditional economic belief that markets cannot function well outside the rule of law. America has built 200 years of prosperity on a foundation of people agreeing to rules in business transactions, and then sticking to them. Trump appears willing to break those rules in the name of cutting better "deals" for American workers.

Trump's pledge to take extraordinary steps to help left-behind American workers has powered his campaign and made him the presumptive Republican nominee. But he has worried many economists, on the right and the left, who warn that breaking laws and commitments could undermine America's credibility with trading partners, raise its borrowing costs and potentially spark global financial panic. 5/05/16 Read more at

15. Paul Krugman: The Making of an Ignoramus

Lots of supposedly serious people have been hyping the alleged threat posed by federal debt for years. For example, Paul Ryan, the speaker of the House, has warned repeatedly about a “looming debt crisis.”Indeed, until not long ago the whole Beltway elite seemed to be in the grip of BowlesSimpsonism, with its assertion that debt was the greatest threat facing the nation.

A lot of this debt hysteria was really about trying to bully us into cutting Social Security and Medicare, which is why so many self-proclaimed fiscal hawks were also eager to cut taxes on the rich. But Mr. Trump apparently wasn’t in on that particular con, and takes the phony debt scare seriously. Sad!

Still, even if he misunderstands the fiscal situation, how can he imagine that it would be O.K. for America to default? One answer is that he’s extrapolating from his own business career, in which he has done very well by running up debts, then walking away from them.

The important thing to realize, then, is that when Mr. Trump talks nonsense, he’s usually just offering a bombastic version of a position that’s widespread in his party. In fact, it’s remarkable how many ridiculous Trumpisms were previously espoused by Mitt Romney in 2012, from his claim that the true unemployment rate vastly exceeds official figures to his claim that he can bring prosperity by starting a trade war with China.

None of this should be taken as an excuse for Mr. Trump. He really is frighteningly uninformed; worse, he doesn’t appear to know what he doesn’t know. The point, instead, is that his blithe lack of knowledge largely follows from the know-nothing attitudes of the party he now leads.

Oh, and just for the record: No, it’s not the same on the other side of the aisle. You may dislike Hillary Clinton, you may disagree sharply with her policies, but she and the people around her do know their facts. Nobody has a monopoly on wisdom, but in this election, one party has largely cornered the market in raw ignorance. 5/09/16 Read more at


16. Charles M. Blow: G.O.P. Has Only Itself to Blame

The Republican Party is trapped between a rock and huckster.

Now that all of their other presidential candidates have dropped out of the race, Donald Trump is the last demagogue standing. He is their presumptive nominee. Their party belongs to him. It’s a YUUGE … disaster.

Now the few remaining serious folks in that party have to make a decision: support this man who, if current trends in polling hold, is likely to lose the general election by an overwhelming margin (and likely do even more damage to the party brand and hurt the chances of down-ballot candidates), or they can … wait, they don’t really have another option other than to sit out this cycle and pretend that their party hasn’t gone stark raving mad.

But please, shed not a single tear for this conservative calamity. They brought it on themselves. They allowed their unhinged contempt for — and in some cases, even hatred of — Obama drive them insane, into the arms of a walking absurdity who catered to their rage.

Trump has used a toxic mix of bullying and bluster, xenophobia and nationalism, misogyny and racism, to appeal to the darker nature of the Republican Party and secure his place as the unlikeliest presidential nominee in recent American history.

Congratulations, Republicans, you’ve hitched yourselves to the madman-driven carriage, and it’s heading for the cliff. 5/09/16 Read more at