• Trump Donates $50 Million To His Campaign
• Corey Lewandowski Joins CNN as Political Commentator
• Trump Can't Back up Claims About Clinton Server
• Kirk Running Against Trump
• Democratic Insiders: It's Kaine
• Federal Judge Throws Out Cleveland's Anti-Protest Plan
• Democrats End Sit-In
• Brexit Will Proceed
Yesterday, the Supreme Court issued a major decision and failed to issue a second major decision, both of which could rock the election. The decision the justices did make was to allow universities to use race, among other factors, when deciding who to admit. The case was brought by a would-be University of Texas student, Abigail Fisher, who claimed that the university's policy of taking race into account was effectively illegal discrimination against white people, and cost her a chance to study at the University of Texas. In a 4 to 3 decision written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, the Court disagreed and said that within limits, universities could have an affirmative action program if it furthered their goals of having a diverse student body.
Now here is the political angle. About two-thirds of working-class whites—Donald Trump's base—believe that discrimination against whites is a big problem. He is naturally going to exploit their grievances to the max, saying he will appoint Supreme Court justices who don't believe race should be considered in college admissions or anything else.
The other case didn't result in a decision at all, but could have an even bigger effect on the election. The Court split 4 to 4 on an injunction on the president's authority to allow some undocumented immigrants to stay and work in the U.S. As a consequence, the appeals court ruling—that the president does not presently have the authority to create a program allowing undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children to get work permits—stands, either until the original lawsuit is resolved (thus lifting the injunction), or until the Supreme Court weighs in again.
This case affects about 4 or 5 million people. Since none of them are citizens, none of them can vote, but many of them have friends and relatives who are citizens and can vote. Donald Trump will certainly hail this as a great non-decision because it prevents millions of undocumented immigrants from getting quasi-legal status (though perhaps only temporarily). Trump wants to deport them all and has made this a key part of his campaign.
The bottom line on this one is that it further inflames the country on immigration and puts it front and center as a campaign issue. Since the Supreme Court didn't actually rule on the case, after the ninth justice has been appointed and confirmed, either the injunction or the actual case is likely to come back, with the new justice having the deciding vote. This situation makes the president's power to nominate judges and justices another major campaign issue.
No sooner had the Court issued its non-decision than Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) said that bad as Obama's plans were on granting amnesty, Hillary Clinton's would be even worse (English translation: I would be very pleased to be Trump's running mate). (V)
So far this year, Donald Trump has loaned has campaign $50 million. Yesterday he announced that he was going to convert the loan into a contribution. While this appears to indicate that Trump is now serious about his campaign, since he put his own money into it, that is actually not so. Under federal rules, the campaign had only until August to repay the loan and with the campaign basically broke, that wasn't going to happen. So all this announcement really did was speed up the conversion of the loan to a donation by a few weeks. (V)
Some people have all the luck. On Monday, Donald Trump said to his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski: "You're fired." Yesterday, CNN said to Lewandowski: "You're hired." Monday afternoon Lewandowski was in the studio talking to reporter Dana Bash. When he left the studio, he walked straight into a meeting with CNN executives. Whatever he said there must have worked, since he will now be doing analysis for the news network, which Trump refers to as the Clinton News Network.
One potential issue going forward is a nondisclosure agreement Lewandowski signed with the campaign earlier this year. It prohibits Lewandowski from talking about the campaign's internal operations and also prohibits him from making disparaging remarks about Trump. It is also far from clear that Lewandowski bears any kind of grudge against Trump. He obviously was a strong Trump supporter when he worked for The Donald and may well still be.
One thing Lewandowski did say, though, is that Trump's short list of Veep candidates has four names on it and all of them are very well known people. But he didn't say who the four are. (V)
Donald Trump has, of course, been trying to make hay out of Hillary Clinton's infamous e-mail server. Not content to merely question her judgment or honesty, however, he asserted that the server had actually been hacked by foreign governments, and that state secrets had therefore been spilled.
In a possible sign of things to come, now that he is the presumptive nominee, the media are not allowing him to get away with such unfounded assertions. Trump was on NBC News with Lester Holt on Thursday, and Holt asked for—indeed, fairly well demanded—proof that a hacking had taken place. A flustered Trump resorted to his standard boilerplate response: "Well first of all, she shouldn't have had a personal server, OK? She shouldn't have had it. It's illegal. What she did is illegal. Now she might not be judged that way because, you know, we—we have a rigged system. But what she did is illegal." Once Holt pressed the matter and asked if there was any evidence whatsoever that a hack had taken place, The Donald said, "I think I read that and I heard it and somebody that also..." He then promised to find the evidence. The whole exchange undoubtedly had newly-minted campaign manager Paul Manafort tearing his hair out; too many more interviews like this, and Trump's media availability may be severely reduced. (Z)
Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) was among the first sitting senators to endorse Donald Trump. Then, facing a difficult re-election battle in deep blue Illinois, he walked that back quite a bit. And now, he is running a commercial lambasting The Donald, declaring him unfit to be commander-in-chief.
The ad does not solely focus on the evils of Trump. It also notes Kirk's efforts to try to persuade Senate Republicans to vote on SCOTUS nominee Merrick Garland. And it highlights Kirk's pro-choice record. In other words, the Senator appears to be running for re-election as a Democrat. It remains to be seen if Illinois voters will prefer a Republican in Democratic clothing, or an actual Democrat (Rep. Tammy Duckworth). At the moment, the polls suggest the latter, which may explain the dramatic change in strategy. (Z)
Democratic insiders believe that Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) has the edge over all his competitors to be Hillary Clinton's running mate. He was formerly governor of Virginia, a key swing state, and is now the state's junior senator. He was chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 2009 to 2011. He speaks fluent Spanish. If he were to be elected vice president, the state's Democratic governor, Terry McAuliffe, would appoint himself to the vacant seat. His one downside is that he doesn't excite minority voters. Still, the insiders think he has the edge over Julian Castro, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and everyone else. (V)
The city of Cleveland would like a nice, orderly Republican National Convention with no protesters anywhere near the convention site, so it drew up a plan to keep all unauthorized people miles from the venue. Yesterday Federal Judge James Gwin overturned the plan saying it infringed on people's constitutional rights to freedom of speech. He said the no-go zone was too big, the hours during which parades are allowed were too few, and the city's restrictions on the use of parks by protesters were too limiting. It is expected that a new and less restricted plan will be negotiated quickly. (V)
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi declared that the 170 Democrats staging a sit-in in the House of Representatives would remain "until hell freezes over." It would seem that the refrigeration down there is working very well, because the demonstration ended after 25 hours.
Really, Pelosi should not have let her enthusiasm get the best of her like that. Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) gaveled the House out of session Wednesday night, and he and the other Republicans left Washington for the Fourth of July holiday (Unlike everyone else in the country, they get two weeks, instead of one day). This being the case, the sit-in was going to have no further impact until July 5, when Congress is back in session. That's a long time, so the Democrats threw in the towel. They are still claiming victory, of course, insisting that their protest drew attention to the issue of gun control. We won't know for two weeks if a vote will indeed happen, or if the sit-in will resume, or if some sort of compromise—possibly brokered by Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND)—will be reached. (Z)
In a development that has sent shockwaves across the globe, British voters have decided to exit the European Union (EU). The impact was immediate—financial markets across the world were thrown into chaos, and the British pound lost more than 10% of its value, pushing it to a 30-year low. Prime Minister David Cameron was compelled to resign. The United Kingdom itself may not last much longer than he did—voters in Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to stay with the EU, and now each of the those component states of the UK may pursue independence referenda (which, for Scotland, would be the second time in as many years).
In the U.S., the issue has already become a political football. President Obama and Hillary Clinton are both unhappy with the result, seeing it as shortsighted and counterproductive. Paul Ryan, for his part, blasted the President for expressing his opinion on the matter so publicly, saying that it is inappropriate for the leader of one country to try and influence the affairs of another. It would seem that Ryan has forgotten how he facilitated Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's recent visit to the United States.
The Brexit will take years to sort out, and it will be a messy process, so this issue isn't going away anytime soon. It will put the relationship between the U.S. and the U.K. to the test, possibly weakening a once-powerful partnership. President Obama is already scheduled to speak with outgoing PM Cameron, and to start trying to figure out what's next for the Anglo-American alliance. (Z)Email a link to a friend or share:
---The Votemaster and Zenger
Jun23 Why Clinton Might Not Pick Warren as Veep
Jun23 House Democrats Stage Sit-In
Jun23 Trump Prepares to Fight the Dump Trump Movement
Jun23 Trump Says Clinton is Corrupt and a Liar
Jun23 Trump's Foreign Experience: A Failing Golf Course
Jun23 Sanders Acknowledges that He Will Not Be the Nominee
Jun23 Libertarian Party Is Gaining Support
Jun23 Brexit Vote is Today
Jun22 Anti-Trump Movement Grows To Hundreds of Delegates
Jun22 Clinton Is Planning To Turn Convention into an Entertaining Show
Jun22 Clinton Really Doesn't Like Press Conferences
Jun22 Trump Launches New Site: LyingCrookedHillary.com
Jun22 Trump Is Causing an Identity Crisis for the GOP
Jun22 Will Lewandowski's Departure Matter?
Jun22 Evangelicals Have Lost Faith (in Trump)
Jun22 Save the Dates
Jun22 GOP Congressman Wants to Keep Jackson on the $20 Bill
Jun21 Trump to Campaign Manager: You're Fired
Jun21 Trump Campaign Extremely Low on Cash
Jun21 Man at Rally Was Trying to Assassinate Trump
Jun21 Republican Party Is at an All-time Low in Bloomberg Poll
Jun21 Senate Rejects Gun-Control Measures
Jun21 Sanders and Clinton May Find Common Ground on Health Care
Jun21 Warren Intrigued by Vice Presidency
Jun21 Clinton Plans to Go After Millennials by Age Group
Jun21 Sanders Is on a Collision Course with the Congressional Black Caucus
Jun21 Clarence Thomas May Retire Next Year
Jun20 Can Disaffected Democrats and Republicans Write in a Candidate?
Jun20 Trump Isn't Really Running a Campaign
Jun20 Covering Donald Trump
Jun20 Trump at Odds with NRA
Jun20 Trump at Odds with Bush (Again)
Jun20 It's All about the Electoral College
Jun20 Senate Could Go Either Way
Jun20 Is the House in Play?
Jun20 Pressure Growing for Changes to Democrats' Nomination Process
Jun20 Profanity Reigns
Jun19 Will Anyone Be Willing To Be Trump's Running Mate?
Jun19 Republicans Fear that the Election Will Be a Referendum on Trump
Jun19 The Republican Cold War
Jun19 Trump: Bernie Is Crazy As a Bed Bug
Jun19 Trump Needs $100,000
Jun19 Charles Koch Gives $3 million to the GOP but Not To Trump
Jun19 Doctors Will Protest Trump in Cleveland
Jun19 Warren Stops By Clinton Headquarters
Jun19 Clinton Welcomes a Grandson
Jun18 Republican Delegates Working on a Plan to Dump Trump
Jun18 RNC Names Rules Committee Chairwoman
Jun18 Can Trump Dig Himself Out of the Hole He Is In?