Senior Obama Campaign Advisor David Axelrod: Hillary's Speech....Wasn't Great

CNN analyst David Axelrod, who led President Obama to two White House victories as his senior campaign advisor, admitted last night that Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's DNC convention speech wasn't impressive.

"Giving a speech like this is not her strength. She didn’t give a great speech tonight, she did not give a great speech tonight, but she hit some ground that is very, very valuable to her,” Axelrod said last night on CNN. 

Axelrod continued his remarks by saying she landed some damaging arguments against her Republican rival Donald Trump. 

Be sure to check out Guy's wrap of Clinton's remarks: Charmless Vessel Shouts Acceptance Speech at America

H/T Mediaite

Trump Hits General Who Endorsed Clinton, "Failed Badly in His Fight Against ISIS"

Republican nominee Donald Trump was fired up Friday morning following the conclusion of the Democratic National Convention.  

He went hard after retired Marine Corps Gen. John Allen and his failures to defeat ISIS.  

He also went after Michael Bloomberg, who heavily criticized Trump on Wednesday night, by saying that if a New York City election were held today for mayor, Bloomberg would not get ten percent of the vote.

He was also up late last night hitting Hillary Clinton on her speech, and was up early this morning to steal the headlines once again.  

WH: Obama's the First President to Win Two Popular Vote Majorities Since Ike, You Know

Via the Free Beacon, a frivolous but fun historical misfire that illustrates how silly Team Obama's idolatrous "unprecedented!" meme can get.  In an attempt to demonstrate how popular and awesome his boss is, White House spokesman Josh Earnest asserted that Obama is the only president to win consecutive popular vote majorities since Dwight Eisenhower in 1952 and 1956.  This is wrong.  Ronald Reagan replicated that feat in 1980 and 1984.  When a reporter corrected Earnest on this point, Earnest smugly doubled down:

Back in reality, Reagan carried nearly 52 percent of the popular vote in 1980, beating Jimmy Carter by more than nine percentage points en route to a dominant 489 electoral vote haul. Four years later, Reagan destroyed Walter Mondale by roughly 18 points, winning every state except Minnesota; 525 electoral votes.  Three additional presidents since Ike have scored back-to-back electoral college wins: Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.  Each man failed to hit the 50-percent-plus-one mark at least once.  Clinton never won a popular vote majority.  Many Democrats are pointing to Obama's relatively high approval ratings as an affirmation of his Oval Office tenure. Critics have attributed that uptick to a 2016 election cycle in which most voters are deeply dissatisfied with their choices, and in which the lame duck president has mostly faded into the background.  What Obama fans don't mention is that his ratings were significantly worse throughout most of his presidency, that the country's right track/wrong track numbers are extremely poor, and that popular backlashes against his unpopular agenda resulted in an historic decimation of Democrats at the state and local level in consecutive midterm elections. 

Blue Lives Matter Founder Has Something to Say to Black Lives Matter Activists Who Disrupted DNC's Moment of Silence

Joe Imperatrice, the Founder and President of Blue Lives Matter, joined “Fox and Friends” to weigh in on the paranoia police are feeling right now when they put on their uniforms.

Officers are “definitely on edge,” he said, and feel like they are being targeted 24 hours a day.

“A lot of guys are paranoid,” he said. “A criminal can look like anybody.”

Car stops are the most dangerous, Imperatrice explained, because the officer approaching the driver doesn’t know what’s inside the car. They could be walking straight into an ambush.

Imperatrice’s remarks come the morning after another tragedy Thursday night in San Diego, where an officer was killed in the line of duty and another was seriously injured. The officers were part of an elite gang suppression unit. Details are still emerging so we do not yet know whether this was another battle in the War on Cops.

The “Fox and Friends” anchors asked Imperatrice to respond to Americans’ new distrust of police.

“Many people feel the need to tell police how to do their job,” he said. “Give us the benefit of the doubt.”

Just “let them do their job,” he added. “Believe in them a little bit.”

Imperatrice also responded to the behavior of the Black Lives Matter activists Thursday night at the Democratic National Convention, where they interrupted a moment of silence dedicated to the nation’s fallen officers.

“It’s very disrespectful,” he said, shaking his head. “It’s very hurtful. These are people that lost their lives protecting the community.”

They were doing it to get attention, Imperatrice argued.

"You don’t do something like that.”

Why all the tension between police and civilians?

“It’s about accountability,” Imperatrice said. “No one’s willing to say, 'I’m wrong.'” 

Bill Clinton...Fell Asleep During Hillary's Convention Speech

It's been a long two weeks of convention speeches from Republicans and Democrats. Last night, Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton gave the final remarks of the 2016 convention cycle. Her speech was highly anticipated as the campaign attempts to rebrand and reintroduce her to the country. It was also the first speech in history from a woman formally accepting a presidential nomination for a major political party. 

But after giving his own speech about Hillary on Tuesday, where he tried to frame their relationship as a timeless love story, it appears Bill Clinton didn't have much energy left to watch last night and fell asleep. The cameras and Democrat vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine noticed. 

Don't worry Bill, many of us felt the same way and also had trouble staying awake.

Carly Fiorina Tweeted Eight Things That Totally Gutted Hillary’s Acceptance Speech

Hillary Clinton accepted the Democratic nomination last night, tore into Republican nominee Donald Trump, and pretty much laid out reasons why he was unqualified to be the next president of the United States. One of which was that we couldn’t have a man who can be easily baited by tweets to be near the nuclear codes. That’s fine—a perfectly legitimate litmus test for president. In fact, it’s one of the oldest regarding who do you trust with the nuclear football. Yet, here’s the thing: Clinton left America’s secrets vulnerable to hacking with her private email system that wasn’t approved by the State Department, though she said approval was sought and it was permitted. FBI Director James Comey said Clinton and her staff were “extremely careless” in handling classified material, of which 110 emails were found to be marked as such on 52 separate emails chains at the time they were sent of received. So, when Clinton said no classified material was sent through her server when she was secretary of state—she lied.

Democrats may all freak out about Trump being near the nuclear codes, but it’s a rather irrational fear. First, let’s stop with the hypothetical that Trump is so unhinged that he would launch nuclear weapons. Second, there’s actual evidence that Clinton could’ve seriously harmed national security with her email arrangement.

So, while Clinton outlined her vision for the future as well during her historic address last night—let’s not forget that American voters don’t trust her. After all, has had been caught in a dead lie. Hence, why the former Hewlett-Packard CEO and 2016 presidential candidate Carly Fiorina thought these were appropriate to tweet:

Ouch. Yet, the message is simple. You can't trust her. 

Trump Reacts to Clinton's 'Insulting' Acceptance Speech

In case you missed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s acceptance speech last night, first take a look at Matt’s summary and Guy’s analysis. Then decide if you agree with GOP nominee Donald Trump’s rapid fire assessment of her speech.  

Trump immediately took to Twitter to hit her on everything from being soft on terror, to jobs and the economy, to her role in the Obama administration, to her cozy relationship with Wall Street, and more. 

"Hillary Clinton’s speech was an insulting collection of clichés and recycled rhetoric. She spent the evening talking down to the American people she’s looked down on her whole life," Trump's campaign said in a statement on his website. 

Update: Trump continued Friday morning: 

San Diego Police Officer Shot Dead, Another Seriously Injured

A San Diego police officer has died after being shot multiple times while making a traffic stop. Another officer was seriously injured but is expected to survive after undergoing surgery. 

The shooting happened at around 11 p.m. local time (2 a.m. ET Friday), San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman told reporters early Friday.

The officers — both assigned to the department's gang unit — had just pulled over a car when, almost immediately after, they called for emergency cover, Zimmerman said.

"Other officers were in the area. They arrived shortly on scene and found both of our officers suffering from gunshot wounds," she added.

While the officers have not yet been identified, the one who was killed was a husband and father of two, according to Zimmerman.

One suspect has been arrested in the shooting, but he too has yet to be identified.

Officers across the country have come under attack, with this shooting being the latest. Earlier this month police were ambushed in Dallas, Texas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. 

Clinton Accepts Dem Nomination Proving That You Too Could Be President…If You Marry A President First

Well, folks—the time has come. Hillary Clinton formally accepted the Democratic nomination for the presidency of the United States. Her daughter, Chelsea, introduced her mother before her remarks to the attendees and delegates at the Democratic convention in Philadelphia.

Chelsea said that she was a proud Democrat, mother, and daughter. In an effort to humanize her mother, she said that her daughter Charlotte loves Elmo, and face timing with grandma. She said that her mother would drop everything to spend time with her grandkids. One of her fondest memories growing up was her falling down, being picked up b Hillary, who gave her a big hug—and then proceeded to read “Goodnight Moon.”

As she grew up, Chelsea said that her parents expected her to have opinions back up with facts. She always felt that her parents loved her—and would be there for her. She added that’s how her mom feels about every child in the country, calling it her calling in life that America’s children deserve care and attention.

She described the bad moments growing up in a family whose business was politics. One of those low moments was in 1994, when Hillary lost the fight to enact Clintoncare. She said it was pretty tough to watch, but family movie nights helped in the recovery. Hillary would then be back out in the battlefield that is American politics. People have asked Chelsea how does Hillary do it? Chelsea said that her mom never forgets whom she’s fighting for.

Chelsea added that in her mom’s career as a public servant, she made it easier of 9/11 responders to receive the health care they needed, for women around the world to be safer, treated with respect and dignity—and have more opportunities to better their lives. She also made it easier for families to adopt. She also said that women’s rights are also human rights, as are LGBT rights, here at home and abroad.

Most of all, the former first daughter closed by saying she has seen that we do better when we come and work together. She then introduced her mother, Hillary Clinton, to an uproarious round of applause from the crowd.

Clinton laid out a buffet of progressivism that she hopes to serve to the American people. She first thanked the attendees for a great convention; thanked Chelsea for the mother and woman she has become; and her husband Bill—noting that the conversation they started in the library at law school still goes strong 45 years later. She said that in that period she was able to get more than a few words in, while being partnered with the explainer in chief. As with any marriage, and we all know what happened around 1998, there were good times and bad, but they got through it. She added that she was happy to see that he’s still on the job, noting his Tuesday night address. She also thanked her friends and family—and her supporters, those who have been with her from day one to the newcomers, for their work throughout this convention and this campaign.

Trying to piggyback off the popularity of both Presidents Clinton and Obama, she said that we heard from a president from Hope—bill—and a man from hope—Obama—during this convention. Clinton added that America is better for Obama’s leadership, and that she is better because of her friendship with Obama. In the spirit of unity, Clinton thanked former rival Sen. Bernie Sanders (who looked like her was having the worst time of his life) for putting economic and social justice issues front and center where they belong; inspiring million of Americans to join his left wing crusade; and declared that his cause is now her cause. She added that Demcorats needed his energy, passion, and ideas to turn their progressive agenda into real change for the country. Hillary’s remarks drew chants of “Bernie!” from his supporters, wearing neo t-shorts that dotted the convention hall.

Clinton then spoke about the origins of the American Revolution, why they’re having their convention in Philadelphia, which was the center where our Founder embraced the enduring truth that we’re stronger together. She cited the art of compromise that was deployed that eventually led both factions present to join and sign a Declaration of Independence from the British Crown. Now, those bonds of trust are fraying and powerful forces are working to tear us apart. She said in this election, we have to decide whether we’ll work together so we can all rise together

Clinton invoked our country’s motto – out of many we are one—will we stay true to that motto?

Well, we heard Trump’s answer in Cleveland last week, she said. He wants to divides us from the world and from each other.

“He has taken the Republican Party from morning in America to midnight in America,” she added. Yet, she referenced Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

She declared that we are not afraid, we will rise to the challenge, we will not build a wall, but an economy where everyone who wants a good job can get one; we’ll create a pathway to citizenship to immigrants who are already contributing to the economy; we will not ban a religion; and we will work with all Americans and our allies to fight and defeat terrorism.

Clinton said that we have the most dynamic and diverse people in the world, and the most tolerant and generous young people we’ve ever had. We have the most powerful military, the most innovative entrepreneurs, and the most enduring values of any country—all of this adding the Democratic narrative that our best days are ahead. These socioeconomic factors are the foundations of that hypothesis.

Clinton then went on to provide a stark contrast with Republican nominees Donald Trump. She warned to never believe anyone who says he can fix anything alone.

“Really?” questioned Clinton. She went on to say that a mindset like that leaves behind the troops on the front lines, police and firefighters who protect us, the doctors and nurses who care for us, and the teachers who shape lives. In America, Clinton added, Americans say we’ll fix it together.

Clinton then invoked the Founders again, noting that they drafted a constitution where no one person can control all the power. Power was dispersed and for 240 years we still put our faith in each other. She said we should look at Dallas after the five police officers were assassinated. Chief of Police David Brown and the city came together and 12 days after the attack, 500 people had applied to join the force.

It was after this jab at Trump that Clinton, with humility and great determination accepted the Democratic Party’s historic nomination for the presidency of the United States.

Clinton then discussed about her family upbringing, how they did not have names on big buildings growing up. Instead, she said her family was different builders, ones who used whatever tools they had and whatever life in America provided to build better lives and futures. He father started his own business after a stint in the Navy after Pearl Harbor. Her parents abandoned her mother at a young age, eventually finding work as a housemaid at age 14, which led to her teaching young Hillary that no one gets through life alone. Clinton said that her mother made sure that she learned the words (and I’m paraphrasing here): do all the good you can, for all the people you can, for all the ways you can, for as long as you can. It’s this mindset that led her to grab her first job at the Children’s Defend Fund in Bedford Massachusetts because every kid with a disability had the right to go to school.

Clinton also gave another hat tip to Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, saying they did not receive their fair share of the credit for saving us from the brink to total disaster.

The former first lady then gave a rallying cry for people to join her, but before that she had to offer a sweetener of appointing Supreme Court justices who will take on the non-issue of money in politics and expand voter rights. If we have to pass a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United, then so be it. That drew a loud applause line, which is sort of disconcerting since these liberals were cheering the erosion of First Amendment rights.

Nevertheless, if you support climate change, comprehensive immigration reform, and the belief that companies should share their profits instead of padding executives with bonuses—join us! If you believe the minimum wage should be a living wage and children should be raised in poverty—join us!

She also said that if you believe in affordable health care, if you’re against unfair trade deals (rich, since she called the Trans-Pacific Partnership the gold standard in trade deals),if you want to stand up to China, if you support steel workers, if you support auto workers, and if you support homegrown manufacturing—then join us! Oh, and if expanding social security and protecting abortion rights are important to you, then hop on the Clinton train.

Clinton devoted very little to national security, a good move since her email flap sort of cuts into her ability and judgment on this front, but added that to defeat ISIS she will strike their sanctuaries, increase intelligence assets to prevent attacks, and support the ground troops already fighting them. It won’t be easy, but Clinton assured American victory.

She then tore into Trump for calling our armed forces a disaster, which she says is a sign of disrespect to the men and women who wear the uniform. She then said that a man who you can bait with a tweet should be nowhere near the nuclear codes.

Clinton also said that we couldn’t have a president who’s in the pocket of the gun lobby.

“I’m not here to repeal the Second Amendment. I’m not here to take away your guns,” she said. But added that she doesn’t want us to get shot from someone who shouldn’t have a gun in the first place. She promised to work tirelessly with responsible gun owners to pass common sense reforms and keep guns out of the hands of criminals and terrorists.

The former secretary of state then asked for us to be more empathetic, to put ourselves in the shoes of black and Hispanic Americans who are subjected to institutional racism—and the police officers who put their lives at risk to protects us every day. Clinton promised to sass criminal justice reform and rebuild community policing, declaring that we will defend all of our rights. We will stand up against mean and divisive rhetoric.

Piling more on Trump, Clinton said that America is great because America is good. Let’s cut out the bigotry and bombast. There’s a clear agenda with Clinton, and empty promises from Trump.

“The choice is clear, my friend” said Clinton, as she closed her remarks. Let’s be stronger together, and let’s look to the future with courage and confidence. Let’s build a better tomorrow. And when we do, America will be greater than ever.

Guy has his analysis, which you can read here. But one thing that was clear is that the party is still fractured. Notice all of the weird instances in which “Hillary” was being chanted by the crowd. Well, that was done to drown out the Bernie supporters who are still struggling to come to grips with the fact that their side lost.

Analysis: Charmless Vessel Shouts Acceptance Speech at America

It's finally, blessedly over. As expected, Hillary Clinton's anticlimactic acceptance speech capped off a Democratic convention at which two of the weakest primetime speeches were delivered by the the two members of the nominated ticket. There were powerful moments earlier in the evening -- including an impactful address by the father of a Muslim US soldier who paid the ultimate sacrifice for his country in Iraq, and an address from a valorous Medal of Honor recipient, who was shamefully heckled by some DNC delegates. But when the lights shone brightest, we got a perfectly nice little talk by Chelsea Clinton, an over-the-top 'Heroine Hillary' introductory video, and a over-long, mediocre, robotically-delivered address by the woman of the hour. Pete Wehner, a senior speechwriter for President Bush and an exceptionally harsh conservative critic of Donald Trump, rendered this assessment of her performance:

Some bits were better than others, but Clinton only seemed to truly come into her own when she was attacking Donald Trump -- her longtime friend and donor, whose wedding she attended. Hillary quoted Trump's infamous statement that he understands ISIS better than our generals. She looked into the camera, ice cold, and unleashed one of several stinging lines:

Alas, there is also no other Hillary Clinton. This is it.  If only she and Donald had taken some voice modulation lessons -- maybe (stronger) together? -- a few weeks ago, things might have been better.  They weren't.  In any case, even if you're inclined to agree with her temperament critiques of Trump (as I am), it's quite rich listening to a woman who knowingly compromised high-level secrets for her own selfish reasons and lied repeatedly about it lecture anyone about trust and national security.  The rest of her speech was almost entirely unmemorable -- although newscasts will love her 'break the ceiling, sky's the limit' formulation.  She talked a little bit about her upbringing and family, she tossed a few bland rhetorical scraps to independent and Republican-leaning voters, and she rattled off a laundry list of liberal-left agenda items.  She made sure to highlight her strong opposition to Citizens United -- because this woman is so terribly offended by money in politics, you see -- failing to mention that the ruling she abhors literally overruled the government's censorship of a film that was critical of...Hillary Clinton.  She also condemned "mean and divisive rhetoric," which seems apt in an age of Trump. But once again, physician, heal thyself. As I predicted, Donald Trump earned a clear polling bounce out of Cleveland. It may or may not be receding. I would be surprised if Clinton doesn't garner one from the program in Philadelphia, too.  But because this is 2016, and because the commentariat was largely enamored with the Democrats' gathering, this is a reasonable caveat:

By mid-August, the polls will likely have 'settled' a bit, and we'll have a better sense of the dynamics of the post-conventions horserace.  And then come the debates.  I'll leave you with a sentiment I felt acutely while watching the final evening of the DNC proceedings, and some sorely-needed levity:

Ha: California Delegates Change "Hillary" Signs To "Liar"

The Democratic Party is still far from unified after a long and drawn-out primary season. Plenty of Bernie Sanders supporters are not about to jump on the Hillary Clinton train, and these California delegates figured out a way to show their displeasure at their party's choice of nominee. They covered up part of the "HILLARY" sign to change it to "LIAR."

A tweet with a picture of the modified sign has gone viral:

Props to them to sticking to their guns and sticking it to the DNC.

Oh My God: The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Was Hacked Too

The email woes for the Democratic Party are not over yet. Reuters has reported that the FBI is looking into another breach at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), which could be related to the hack into the Democratic National Committee earlier this year.

The release of the DNC emails prior to the start of the Democratic National Convention caused quite a bit of heartburn between the Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton camps, with the former accusing the national party leadership of trying to tip the scale for Clinton. The emails show DNC staffers discussing ways to derail the Sanders candidacy. It led to the resignation of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz as committee chairwoman.

The news organization added that for some time, a phony site collected the information of would-be donors to the party. Instead of that information going to the company that processes donations, it would go to the phony site. Sources told Reuters that the FBI feels that this was used to obtain donor information and not steal money:

The DNC, targeted by hackers earlier this year, and the DCCC share the same office space on South Capitol Street in Washington.

The DCCC had no immediate comment on Thursday. Donation processing company ActBlue also had no immediate comment. CrowdStrike, the California-based cyber security firm that investigated the DNC breach, declined to comment.

Jim Manley, a Democratic strategist who once worked for Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, said the possibility of the DCCC being hacked was cause for great concern.

“Until proven otherwise, I would suggest that everyone involved with the campaign committee operate under the assumption Russians have access to everything in their computer systems,” Manley said.

The FBI referred questions to a statement it made on Monday on the DNC hack:

"The FBI is investigating a cyber intrusion involving the DNC and are working to determine the nature and scope of the matter. A compromise of this nature is something we take very seriously, and the FBI will continue to investigate and hold accountable those who pose a threat in cyberspace."

The disclosure of the DCCC breach is likely to further stoke concerns among Democratic Party operatives, many of whom have acknowledged they fear further dumps of hacked files that could harm their candidates. WikiLeaks has said it has more material related to the U.S. election that it intends to release.

While there is chatter about the Russians being responsible, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said it was just too early to name a perpetrator. Nevertheless, these hacks only add to the whole email narrative against Clinton that has proven to be disastrous concerning her favorability numbers, especially when it comes to trustworthiness and honesty. Hillary had an unsecure server that housed sensitive information. It was certainly vulnerable to foreign intrusion and could have possibly threatened national security. Now, Clinton’s own party’s files are being scooped up—and they may contain some dirty laundry. Yet, who knew that emails would be tripping up Democrats right now.

Stronger Together: Here Is The Agenda Hillary Clinton Has For America

Hillary Clinton will be accepting the Democratic nomination tonight. In her remark, her agenda centers on creating more job opportunities, raising stagnant wages, and reaching out to every corner of the country—from the cities to the rural 15 MPH small towns—in order to accomplish that economic goal.

She also pledges to be strong on national security, offering a strong leadership on the issue of tackling our “determined enemies,” which is obviously ISIS but they're not mentioned by name. In all, the speech centers on what Democrats have been saying throughout this convention, which is that America’s best days are ahead, don’t be pessimistic like the Republicans, and that we’re stronger together. Also, let’s come together to make sure the Clinton vision of America is a success.

Again, it would be more reassuring if Clinton could name out determined enemy by name, along with the radical ideology they follow. Moreover, given her unsanctioned and unsecure private email server that left our secrets vulnerable—not so sure you’re to be trusted on that front either. In fact, the vast majority of American voters don’t trust you. So, let’s see if Clinton pushes back against that narrative, along with Trump’s definition of her as “Crooked Hillary.” We shall see shortly.

Despicable: Black Lives Matter Interrupts Moment of Silence for Fallen Officers at DNC

Dallas Sheriff Lupe Valdez spoke at the Democratic National Convention Thursday night to offer some remarks about the strained relationship between police and civilians. While she acknowledged the police have been guilty of using excessive force, even against her own family, she decided to become an officer herself and promised that she and her team put on their badges every day to "serve and protect, not to hate and discriminate." She also offered a beautiful story about how four separate tables in a restaurant in which she was dining offered to pay for her bill, proving her community respected her service. 

Following her remarks, she asked the audience to join her in a moment of silence for the fallen officers in Dallas, in and countless other cities that have faced similar tragedies. Her request was respected - until shouts of "Black Lives Matter" interrupted the touching moment.

Disrespectful - and despicable.

Black Lives Matter activists have the right to protest against what they believe is police brutality - but during a moment of silence for murdered officers and the devastated families they've left behind? Unthinkable.

The DNC's "Stronger Together" theme is unfortunately out of reach at this point. This country needs some serious healing.

Former Reagan Staffer To Trump: You're No Reagan

"This year I will vote for a Democrat for the first time," said Doug Elmets, a former aide to President Ronald Reagan at the Democratic National Convention Thursday night.

“I know Ronald Reagan," he explained. "I worked for Ronald Reagan. Donald Trump, you are no Ronald Reagan.”

This year's Republican platform and chosen nominee, Elmets continued, is too extreme for his liking. As a result, he's voting Democrat for the first time in his life.

"Loyalty to our country is more important than loyalty to our party," he concluded.

The Republican National Committee was prepared for Elmets' remarks, highlighting the fact that he has donated to Democrats for years and is no Republican.

Sanders Supporters To Reid: Wait–You Didn’t Speak Up When You Thought The DNC Was Rigging The Game Against Us

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said that he thought that the Democratic National Committee didn’t give Sen. Bernie Sanders a fair shake at the Democratic nomination, which we all knew, and that Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz was right to step down once Wikileaks released emails showing staffers scheming ways behind the scenes to derail the self-described Democratic socialist’s presidential ambitions. Now, Sanders supporters are saying what the heck, why didn’t you say this sooner at the party’s convention in Philadelphia (via The Hill):

The retiring Democratic leader faced multiple questions about Sanders, the party as a whole and progressive flash points over a roughly half-hour question-and-answer session at a state delegate meeting.


He was immediately questioned by a delegate who asked why Reid didn't "speak up earlier for Bernie Sanders" after saying this week that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) hadn't been "fair" with him.

"I've been in touch with Bernie Sanders through the whole campaign. We talk on a regular basis," he said. "I don't have to apologize to anybody for my relationship with Bernie Sanders."

Reid has repeatedly refrained from criticizing Sanders for refusing to drop out of the Democratic primary and sharply told reporters to "lay off" him amid criticism in late May.


In a contentious moment, a Sanders backer — who described himself and other supporters as "victims" — asked to know Reid's stance on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) amid groans and murmurs of "no" from other delegates.

So, as you can see, all is not well in Democrat land. There are also allegations that the DNC is busing in people to fill the empty seats in the convention hall to give the veneer of party unity. It’s quite possible that 30 percent of the Sanders coalition could go third party in November, which only helps Donald Trump. Clinton’s task in unifying her party is something to watch from this night forward. 

Also, look out for the Sanders delegates tonight––they'll be wearing the neon green t-shirts.

Schultz Claims She's 'Taking One for the Team' With Resignation

Outgoing Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz claims she is taking one for the team in offering her resignation. Under her leadership, the DNC behaved belligerently toward the Bernie Sanders campaign, as exposed in the recent Wikileaks email dump. Can Schultz really say she's sacrificing herself on behalf of the team when she's the coach? 

Yes, according to what she told the National Jewish Democratic Council on Thursday.

"It has been a remarkable team effort, and you know sometimes you just have to take one for the team, and that's OK, it's OK," she said with a smile.

Schultz's bias toward a Hillary Clinton nomination was clear from the beginning of the primary process. Instead of providing Clinton's challengers ample opportunity to speak to the American people, Schultz scheduled only six debates. The email leaks only further confirmed Sanders' supporters suspicions. On the first two days of the convention, it was obvious how it affected his progressive fans, who booed Schultz off the podium multiple times and heckled any and every speaker who dared say they vote for Hillary Clinton.

As you can see, the DNC leaks scandal is still causing a stir at the convention.

When Schultz steps down following the DNC's conclusion Thursday night, the Sanders voters she left out in the cold can trade boos for cheers.

Uh Oh: Trump Bounce Already Gone -- Or Not?

It's time to play Pick Your Poll. If you're rooting for Trump, there's evidence that his undeniable public opinion boost coming out of Cleveland is still alive and well. Take, for example, the Los Angeles Times/USC tracker, which shows him expanding his lead to seven points nationally.  The trend lines are self explanatory:

That was yesterday.  Today, his lead has inched up to nearly seven-and-a-half points. Even more encouraging for Team Trump is the Reuters/Ipsos data from yesterday. Sure, both candidates are in the high 30's with Trump two points ahead (a statistical tie), which may not sound especially promising.  Here's the context that makes the new results such good news for his campaign:

Mid-June: Clinton +10

Early July: Clinton +11

Mid-July: Clinton +4

Late July: Trump +2

Quite a trajectory -- and all the more eyebrow-raising considering how unkind this particular series has been to Trump all cycle.  Part of what's at play here is that the Republican National Convention, for all of its upheaval and snafus, relentlessly and successfully reminded American voters of why Hillary Clinton has richly earned her unfavorable and distrusted reputation.  I mentioned these pre-DNC numbers from Gallup last night, but they're worth revisiting to fortify my point:

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton now have identical favorability ratings, according to a new Gallup poll, and the average American does not look fondly upon either one of them. The new poll, conducted July 18-25, found 37 percent of Americans have favorable ratings of the two nominees, while 58 percent have unfavorable ratings. This is the first time Clinton’s favorable rating was not higher than Trump’s...Gallup also found the net impact of the GOP convention was negative, with 51 percent of Americans saying the convention made them less likely to vote for Trump and 36 percent saying they were more like to vote for him.

Hillary is less popular than ever in this poll, which helps explain Trump's surge...but the same survey found a slim majority of respondents saying that his Cleveland convention made them less likely to vote for him in November.  Which brings us to the other side of today's polling coin.  Rasmussen, which has been the pro-Trump outlier series in 2016 (the opposite of Reuters in that respect) has a new survey with Clinton ahead by a point.  That's down from a seven-point Trump advantage two weeks ago.  Hmm.  In fairness, given the amount of polling noise out there, it's tough to separate outliers from trends.  For instance, is this new data point out of Pennsylvania a huge red flag for Trump, or an anomaly?

If that's even close to accurate, this election is effectively over. Trump must be competitive in the Keystone state, and probably carry it, to win. His (highly debatable) theory of the race is that he'll flip enough blue collar, working class white people in rust belt states to pull off a victory. Pennsylvania, so often the GOP's presidential year white whale, is basically serving as a petri dish for that proposition. Statewide polling throughout June showed a competitive race, with Hillary very slightly ahead. But this is now the second consecutive poll showing hear advantage pushing double digits. A third survey with similar results would mark a very serious problem for the Trump campaign. We shall see.

Why Is Michigan Getting The Most Syrian Refugees?

Michigan is receiving more refugees from Syria than any other state in the U.S. according to State Department records.

More Syrian refugees came into the U.S. on Wednesday than any single day since June 6. The State Department admitted 268 people, breaking its previous record of 253.

The top five states to receive refugees were Michigan (42), California (35), Texas (33), Arizona (27), and Pennsylvania (26). These states have also received the most refugees since October. Michigan's total reached 831 Thursday morning, while the other four had 698, 581, 534, and 460.

According to U.S. census population estimates for 2015, California and Texas have the largest populations in America, while Pennsylvania is sixth, Michigan is 10th, and Arizona is 14th. Despite these statistics, Michigan has become the primary territory for the Syrian refugee resettlement effort.

These states have some of the biggest cities in America, but the three Michigan cities which took in the most had higher refugee numbers than every city in Pennsylvania and Texas. Troy (220) gained 18 refugees Wednesday, Dearborn (189) took in 14, and Clinton Township stayed at 191. The only cities to shelter more Syrian refugees were San Diego (360) and Glendale, Arizona (288).

San Diego, Glendale, and Troy take in refugees from many countries, according to Refugee Processing Center. Clinton Township is part of Macomb County, Michigan, one of the top refugee resettlement areas in the state. Dearborn, however, is not a common destination for all refugees seeking resettlement.

According to a Time article from September, at the end of the 2015 fiscal year, Michigan was not originally the biggest refugee state. At the time, Texas and California led the effort while Michigan was third. Only 1,584 refugees had entered the U.S. since the Syrian Civil War began in March 2011.

The article explained how Dearborn might receive more Syrian immigrants:

Some areas already have communities with a long-established Middle Eastern presence. Dearborn, Mich., for example, has a large Arab-American population that stretches back to the late 19th century, and the state has continued taking in refugees from war-torn Arab countries over the last decade.

The numbers in this report reflect Thursday morning totals. As of Thursday afternoon, the RPC's records were updated to show 210 more refugees arrived Thursday, bringing the fiscal year total to 7,491.

Mayor of Rochester, NY "Thanks" Susan B. Anthony For Paving The Way on Women's Suffrage

Suffragette Susan B. Anthony is buried at Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester, New York. I've written before about the sweet tribute female voters leave on her headstone on Election Day. Now, with Hillary Clinton as the first female nominee for president from a major party, another tribute has appeared at her gravesite: a letter from Lovely Warren, the first female mayor of Rochester. The letter thanks Anthony for helping to pave the way for increased female participation in politics. Visitors to the gravesite were given the chance to sign their names in thanks as well.

Warren also points out that less than 150 years after Anthony was arrested for voting, America could very well have a female president.

Regardless of a person's thoughts on Clinton, this is still a very nice tribute for an early pioneer in women's rights.

Pile On: Reid, Booker Follow McCaskill’s Lead On Trump’s Remarks About Russia

Piggybacking off what Cortney wrote about Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) said about Trump’s remarks about enticing Russia to dig up Clinton’s deleted emails. It certainly got under the skin of top Democrats including Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Harry Reid (D-NV) saying they’re either looking into what they can do to respond to these remarks or agreeing with McCaskill that Trump may have violated the Logan Act (via the Hill):

"I'm already in conversations about this. I want to assess what the options are," Booker said in an interview on Thursday on Joe Madison's "The Black Eagle" show on SiriusXM.

"So I want to find out what the appropriate actions will be. ... I’m looking forward to sort of getting into more of the details and understanding the full nature of what he was saying, as well as what the implications are and what my options are in office."

The relationship ship between Booker and the Trump family is sort of odd, as Ivanka held a fundraiser for the former’s 2013 senate race. Now, we have Trump attacking Booker over his speech to the Democratic Convention, where he tore into the Republican nominee. Trump responded by saying that Booker has no future in the Democratic Party, while Booker responded by saying that he loves Donald and will pray for him. All of this whiles the New Jersey senator also called him anti-American prior to the DNC.

After McCaskill and Booker, comes outgoing Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, who was quoted by The Hill, “I had a number of people come up to me yesterday about the Logan Act. He may have done that. He may have violated the law…his business records skirted the law for a long, long time."

Now, we all know that Trump’s remarks were made I jest, or at least that’s what he’s now telling the press. Obama’s intelligence chief, James Clapper, said Americans should stop going nuts over the DNC hack, and blaming the Russians for it. These things happen—and it’s the new reality we live in, where people engages in hacking (via Washington Examiner):

Americans need to calm down and stop blaming Russia for hacking the Democratic National Committee, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said on Thursday.

"I'm somewhat taken aback by the hyperventilation on this," Clapper said at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado. "I'm shocked someone did some hacking," he added sarcastically. "That's never happened before."

Russia also responded by saying this in an in-house matter, and that Russia doesn’t involve itself in the internal affairs of other nations. They also called the allegations lobbed against them by Democrats that they were behind the hack as “total stupidity” (via Reuters):

Russia told the United States on Thursday to get to the bottom of a hacking scandal involving Democratic Party emails itself and rejected what Donald Trump said was a sarcastic suggestion that Moscow should dig up Hillary Clinton's "missing" emails.


On Thursday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said accusations of a Russian hand in hacking Democratic Party emails bordered on "total stupidity" and were motivated by anti-Russian sentiment. He rejected Trump's apparently sarcastic suggestion for Russia to dig up Clinton's emails point-blank.

"As regards these (email) batches, that is not our headache. We never poke our noses into others' affairs and we really don't like it when people try to poke their nose into ours," he said.

"The Americans needs to get to the bottom of what these emails are themselves and find out what it's all about."

Hillary to Give First Interview As Democratic Nominee to Fox News Sunday

"Fox News Sunday" has been working with the Hillary Clinton campaign for months to try and set up a sit-down interview between her and host Chris Wallace.

Well, the details have finally been nailed down – and it couldn’t be at a more important time. This Sunday, Fox News will air Wallace's meeting with Clinton, making it her first interview since officially becoming the Democratic nominee.

Clinton last appeared on Fox News five years ago, although she did participate in a democratic town hall with Special Report’s Bret Baier in March and, more recently, spoke with "O'Reilly Factor" host Bill O'Reilly via phone to discuss the horrifying terror attack in Nice, France.

As Shepard Smith noted on Wednesday, Clinton’s accepting the "Fox News Sunday interview" indicates she wants to appeal to moderate voters.

Clinton's interview with Wallace will air on “Fox News Sunday” on Sunday morning and on Fox News at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Watch LIVE: Last Day of DNC Features Chelsea Clinton and Hillary's Most Important Speech Yet

It's the final day of the 2016 Democratic National Convention and the spotlight belongs to Hillary Clinton as she accepts her party's nomination. Clinton's daughter Chelsea will be introducing her. Watch live starting at 4:30 p.m. ET.

The Internet Is Quite Smitten With This Picture of Young Tim Kaine

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) is the Democratic nominee for vice president, and, as the internet discovered this week, was quite handsome in his younger years.

NBC's "Today" even did a short segment on the "Young Tim Kaine" phenomena:

Glad we're focusing on the important things this election!

Bernie Delegates Say DNC Is Hiring Seat Fillers To Create Appearance of Unity

Delegates for Bernie Sanders have spoken out against the DNC for hiring seat fillers to replace protesting Sanders supporters. 

While many Sanders delegates were outside staging protests during the convention Wednesday, every seat in the arena was filled, giving the impression that the delegates had unified around their nominee, Hillary Clinton. Several Sanders delegates have posted videos claiming that many of those in the delegates’ seats were not delegates at all, but seat fillers paid for by the DNC.

Sanders delegate Nancy Kim posted a video with a man who said he was a seat filler.

“Because our people—the Bernie people—went outside to do a press conference, he was just given a credential,” she said. “Right?”

“Right,” the man said.

“And he came to be a seat filler.” 

Sanders delegate Jeff Day posted a video with his own observations of seat filling.

“I got here around 5:30 or 6 o’clock, and when I got here it was empty,” he said. He explained that many Hillary delegates were attending events outside the convention and many Sanders supporters were protesting outside. Suddenly, however, the convention center was full.

“The convention is full now. Every seat in the house is full. Those seat fillers you guys were talking about? It’s real. They’re in here now. There are a lot of people sitting near me who I don’t know or have seen since I’ve been here.”

Challenging the media coverage which stated the convention looked “more unified,” he said, “It’s because the Bernie people aren’t here!”

“There are a lot of people here that aren’t delegates who are standing and clapping and cheering for somebody that we aren’t ready to believe in,” said Day. “The media needs to know, so they stop telling everybody in America that we’re together, because we’re not together yet. There’s a lot of work left to be done.”

"Don't believe what you see on TV."

Day posted another video Thursday morning suggesting that Sanders supporters stage a sit-in Thursday night. He proposed that the Sanders delegates sit silently as Clinton and others give their speeches, rather than protesting outside and having their seats be taken by cheering stooges. He hopes their silence will signal that the Democratic Party has not unified around Clinton—contrary to media reports.