Analysis: In His Element, America's Speech-Giver-in-Chief Soars, Kaine Fizzles

(1) The Bernie folks booed Leon Panetta, President Obama's former Defense Secretary and CIA director. Too serious about killing terrorists and keeping the country safe for the far-Left's liking, it seems.

(2) Joe Biden was likable, over-the-top, and a little bit goofy.  Per usual. His personal family loss engenders sincere nonpartisan sympathy, which manifested itself again tonight. He played the blue collar card, as always, and ripped into Donald Trump -- employing the word "literally" too often, as always, and getting hyper-political immediately after promising an apolitical part of the speech. In other words, Biden was Biden. If you like that sort of thing, you dug it.  He'd be a much better nominee than Hillary.  Trump is lucky to have her.

(3) I wasn't sure how Mike Bloomberg would play, but he did very well. Reviled by conservatives for being a petty, gun-grabbing nanny-stater (who occasionally tells important truths), Bloomberg specifically tailored his address to independent voters. He praised Republicans and Democrats alike, drawing some boos for mentioning education reform and deficit reduction. But his audience was sitting at home, not in the hall.  His message was well-designed and effective.  Bloomberg framed his remarks as an appeal to pragmatism and sanity, begging people to reject Trump and select Hillary, whom he called the only responsible choice:

(4) Tim Kaine was...not good. He seems like a nice, genuine guy -- despite having gutlessly sold out to the abortion extremists who dominate his party. Twitter compared him to a goofy dad, which seems about right. The content of his speech was instantly forgettable, with the possible exception of his cringe-y Trump impression. His delivery was halting and tentative. He seemed uncomfortable in the limelight. He did not look or sound like someone who's ready to be one heartbeat away from the Oval Office.  It probably won't matter.  His personal background is impressive. He's known as a good man with a good family. And his (ostensible) moderation is at least a symbolic departure from the inexorable leftward slide of the party. But Kaine is a do-no-harm VP pick, and so he cleared that low bar this evening.

(5) President Obama's tenure in office is nearly over, thankfully. Despite a gauzy introductory video and some requisite boasting about his record, Obama's two signature "accomplishments" -- Obamacare and the Iran deal -- are enduringly unpopular, failing, and built on lies. The vast majority of Americans believe we're on the wrong track as a nation under his divisive leadership. The president's approval rating has benefited from America's historically-alienating and -disliked major party nominees.  His tribute to Hillary Clinton, and his criticisms of Donald Trump, played very well in an arena packed with adoring fans.  Obama was in his element, giving a soaring speech, the themes of which often diverged from his actions and tone on the job.  He devoted portions of the address to describing Trump as un-Republican and non-conservative, fashioning passages to appeal to disaffected center-right voters.  And of course he offered a heavy dose of liberalism to the gathered partisans.  He talks a good game on unity, and he did so again tonight.  Practicing what he preaches is not his strong suit.  Bottom line: Hillary's favorable rating is horrendous.  And as of this week, it's identical to Trump's.  She joined Obama on stage as the conclusion of what felt like his presidential valediction, all smiles.  It's her moment.  But she is not a talented, trusted, or beloved politician.  If she's going to get a bounce -- and she likely will -- she can thank both Obamas and her husband for it.  I'm sure Chelsea will be lovely, and Hillary will give a workmanlike speech, but I almost wonder if this would actually be the better -- if totally implausible -- play for her:

Onward, to Thursday's anticlimactic finale....

Obama Addresses the DNC: "There Has Never Been Anyone More Qualified to Serve as President"

It was 12 years ago that Barack Obama addressed the Democratic convention for the first time in the 2004 presidential campaign.  

He was praised for his bailouts of car manufacturers, passing into law of Obamacare, and efforts to pass gun control in an opening video before making his case for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.  

Obama ripped the Republican convention by saying that the speeches were mostly pessimistic views of America.  

Obama said that Clinton's VP pick should clear up any doubt about her judgment.  He added that Clinton is the most qualified candidate in the history of the United States. 

He ironically said "democracy works" as he mentioned Bernie Sanders, the man who had the election rigged against him.  

Obama closed his speech with his famed sermon of 'hope,' as he asked the democratic party to accept and elect Hillary Clinton as the next president.  

Wikileaks Releases Hacked DNC Voicemails on Third Night of Convention

While vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine and President Obama took the stage at the Democratic National Convention Wednesday night, Wikileaks was releasing another batch of hacked DNC files. This time, instead of emails, they've offered us several voice recordings. 

Wikileaks has released a total of 29 voicemails. Other outlets who have already done the work of listening to all 14 minutes of the mp3 files have found nothing incriminating

Yet, the first batch of DNC documents has already resulted in a major shakeup within the DNC, including the resignation of DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz. The emails suggested that under her leadership the primary process was unfairly skewed toward Hillary Clinton and left Bernie Sanders out in the cold, explaining why Sanders supporters were often heard booing and jeering throughout this week's convention.

Great: Kaine Encourages Crowd to Applaud Kasich's RNC Absence

We perhaps knew this was coming. At the Democratic National Convention Wednesday night, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine used the GOP's own hesitations of Donald Trump to prove he's unfit to lead.

“Any party that would nominate Donald Trump as president has moved too far away from the party of Lincoln,” Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) said at the Democratic National Convention Wednesday night. “If you’re looking for that party,” he continued, “look no further” than the Democrats.

Kaine officially accepted his party’s vice presidential nomination on Wednesday and attempted to create a much-needed sense of unity in the Democratic Party. He acknowledged the Bernie Sanders supporters and urged them to come to the Clinton camp so they can defeat Trump in November.

“We all should feel the Bern and we all should not want to get burned by the other guy,” he said, trying to quiet them down.

Kaine threw some shade at Donald Trump several times throughout his speech, starting when he told the crowd that his son Nat deployed with his Marine battalion two days ago.

His son left "to protect & defend the very NATO allies that Trump now says he would abandon.”

Kaine said Clinton has a passion for the causes she fights for. As for Trump, he has a passion “for himself,” Kaine said.

The Virginia senator offered his best impression of Trump, mocking the GOP nominee’s famous phrase, “Believe Me.” Trump’s creditors, his “ripped off students” and more all got hurt by “believing” Trump, Kaine insisted.

Even Republicans have proven they don't trust Trump, he continued. Namely, he reminded voters how Barbara Bush said she doesn't know how women can vote for him after the remarks he's made about them. As for Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who had the honor of hosting the Republican National Convention in Cleveland last week, "didn't even show up" because "Trump is such a moral disaster."

Kaine really hammered home the trust issue, perhaps knowing what a handicap it’s been for Clinton this campaign. He tried to assure voters by telling them he believes Clinton is the commander in chief we need.

“I trust Hillary Clinton with our son’s life,” he said.

Joe Biden Addresses the DNC: "Obama's One of the Finest Presidents Ever!"

Joe Biden literally came running onto the stage Wednesday night to the theme of "Rocky" before addressing the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

He strongly suggested that Donald Trump has no clue about the middle class. Better yet, Biden said Trump has "no clue period."

Biden began to whisper and warned of Trump's lack of preparedness regarding national security. 

He then left the audience and viewers with a motivational speech regarding the future of America.  

'Our Children Are At Risk': Sigourney Weaver Shows Eerie Video on Climate Change at DNC

Actress Sigourney Weaver offered a dark picture of the world’s future during her speech at the Democratic National Convention Wednesday night. In her remarks, Weaver warned Americans that if we don’t act to combat climate change, doom is imminent.

The DNC then aired a video featuring Weaver as the narrator.

“It’s happening now,” Weaver says in the video. “The droughts, the record heat waves,” etc.

“This is not something we’ve seen before,” she claims. “Our children are at risk.”

Using remarks from everyone from Pres. George H.W. Bush to Pope Francis, the short film insists the world is at risk thanks to global warming. The video also uses sound bites from families whose homes have been destroyed by natural disasters to prove Weaver's point.

In one particular scene, a man who claims to be a conservative Republican expresses his own concerns about climate change.

“A thermometer is not Republican,” he says. “A thermometer is not Democrat.”

The film also highlights Donald Trump’s climate change denial and contrasts it with Hillary Clinton’s promise to tackle it.

“Together we can do this,” she says. “For our future, for our children.”

The video was inundated with footage of homes burning in wildfires and cars drowning in hurricanes.

This, after liberal pundits claimed Trump’s speech at the RNC last week was too dark. 

Awkward: Hillary For America Shares Photo of Bernie Supporter

The Hillary for America tweet looked innocent enough at first: an emotional woman crying tears of joy over Hillary Clinton winning the Democratic Party's nomination for president. After all, Clinton is the first female nominee for president for a major political party--it was a historic day for women, regardless of political affiliation.

There's just one problem: the girl pictured in the tweet, Nida Allam, is not a Clinton supporter. At all.

One of Allam's friends complained on Twitter that Clinton's campaign had "Tokenized" her because she is wearing a headscarf. Others were quick to note that she is definitely not "with her."

Moral of the story: ask before tweeting pictures of "supporters" at a very divided convention.

The Last WWII Veteran in a State Legislature Loses Primary

It's an end of an era for state legislators across the country as the last veteran of World War II lost his seat in a Georgia primary election on Tuesday.

Republican John Yates, who is also the oldest known state lawmaker, lost his bid for re-election against Karen Mathiak in an election run-off. Despite coming in first place in his May primary (missing the 50 percent threshold to avoid a run-off by merely 50 votes), Yates lost the run-off to Mathiak by about 500 votes.

Yates fought in the Battle of the Bulge and flew more than 200 missions in a Piper Cub Aircraft. He has been a state representative for his district south of Atlanta since 1993.

Here Are 5 Women That Are Better Role Models To Young Girls Than Hillary Clinton

"If there are any little girls out there who stayed up late to watch, let me just say: I may become the first woman president, but one of you is next," Hillary Clinton told the Democratic National Convention audience via satellite Tuesday night.

This remark, said in a tone one might use to talk to babies, was the cherry on top of a slate of speakers who lauded Clinton’s landmark accomplishment as the country’s first female presidential nominee of a major party. The word “historic” was on everyone’s lips as Democrats claimed moral superiority for their support of a woman for president.

Never mind the fact that she is a serial liar embroiled in multiple scandals, or that behind closed doors she is insolent and disrespectful, or that she and her husband have gotten rich by blatant corruption and theft.

Yes, never mind all that. Young girls should still look up to Clinton as their hero who broke the glass ceiling.

When I was little, I wouldn’t have wanted Clinton as a role model. I was emboldened by women who were powerful and successful not because of their gender, but because of their rock-solid values and relentless hard work. Here are five women who are braver, stronger and more inspiring than the Democratic nominee.

They come with a bonus: you don’t have to shove their moral shortcomings under your mental rug when you tell your daughters about them.

1. Malala Yousafzai

A champion for girls’ education in Pakistan since she was a young teenager, Yousafzai was shot in the head by the Taliban when she was 15 years old on her school bus. But she wasn’t silenced. She spoke at the United Nations on her 16th birthday, established the Malala Fund (which has poured millions of dollars into funding secondary education for girls in developing countries) and won the Nobel Peace Prize.

2. Ruby Bridges

Six-year-old Bridges was the first black student to attend a segregated all-white elementary school. Every day she walked to school escorted by federal marshals while racists screamed threats at Bridges and threw things at her. Teachers refused to teach her and parents took their children out of Bridges’ class, but she remained remarkably strong and never gave up the fight for integration.

3. St. Kateri Tekakwitha

The first Native American saint in the Catholic faith, Tekakwitha suffered from a bout of smallpox that killed her entire family. When she was 19 years old, she converted to Christianity and refused marriage, facing ostracism in her Mohawk village. She fled her home and spent two months canoeing 200 miles through the wilderness to get to a Catholic mission. She died at age 24 from disease.

4. Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell

Blackwell was the first woman in the United States to earn a medical degree. She was admitted to the Geneva Medical School after male administrators jokingly voted to accept her. Defying all expectations, she graduated top of her class and spent her life treating poor children and women in Europe and America. She even opened her own practice and women’s medical college with her sister, who became a doctor as well. She became blind in one eye after catching a disease from a young patient, but continued to pave the way for women’s medical education her whole life.

5. Nelly Bly

Elizabeth Cochran, known by her pen name Nellie Bly, broke barriers and uncovered important stories as one of the country’s first investigative journalists. Angered by a local paper’s column that said women should only cook, clean and raise children, Cochran began writing pieces under the Bly name. When papers tried to assign Bly the women’s beat, she resisted. She soon gained national prominence for her groundbreaking stories about mental health institutions, prisons, poverty and more.

The list of female trailblazers more inspiring than Clinton could fill entire libraries. Don’t let commentators paint Clinton as the best woman to ever walk the earth; our young girls deserve better than her.

Trump: I Hope The Russians Hacked and Reveal Hillary's Deleted Emails

Earlier today, Donald Trump touched off another political firestorm when he directly addressed the Russian government during a press conference -- stating that he hopes Moscow's SVR managed to hack Hillary Clinton's unsecure email server, and musing that they'd be "rewarded mightily" for revealing its contents. He added that the Russians "probably" are not behind the (increasingly damning) DNC hack -- warnings about which the Democrats reportedly ignored for months -- which cuts against virtually all evidence and official conclusions.  Here's your nominee, Republicans:

In addition to an immediate slam from the Clinton camp, Trump's running mate rushed out a distancing statement within minutes, and the Republican Speaker of the House quickly called Russia a "global menace led by a devious thug" who should "stay out of this election." Former senior intelligence officials from both parties strongly condemned the billionaire's comments, one of whom will likely address the issue at greater length in his convention speech tonight. Let's get a few things straight, right off the bat: It is unacceptable for an American presidential nominee to encourage foreign meddling in our elections, especially via espionage. Trump is a dangerously reckless person who blurts out whatever is on his mind, then doubles down when criticized.  He also has a long history of publicly egging hackers on, in pursuit of sundry goals and conspiracies.  These are reasons why so many Americans view Trump as unqualified and unfit for the presidency.  With all that being said, and earnestly so, this extraordinary flare-up also reflects very poorly on the Democratic nominee.  This may seem like a small quibble, but it's an important point in terms of timing:

Hillary Clinton's egregiously unsecure server was wiped clean and effectively no longer exists -- she and her unaccountable team of lawyers saw to that long ago. The foreign penetration of her emails, therefore, has already taken place. And there's no use pretending it didn't happen, as Hillary continues to try to do. Several very senior US officials have called that outcome a virtual certainty.  It is extremely likely that the Russians and other foreign governments have all of those messages, thousands of which are classified.  The cache included more than 100 messages that were classified at the time they were sent and received by the Secretary of State, including top secret information.  It is possible and appropriate to be critical of both Trump's half-joking yet deeply irresponsible comments, as well as Hillary Clinton's deliberate misconduct that consciously compromised national security secrets for her own political protection.  Another angle, via Sean Davis:

[The Clinton campaign] did not explain how the e-mails, which Clinton said were about nothing more than her “yoga routines” and wedding planning for her daughter, could possibly pose a national security risk to the United States. Sullivan also failed to explain how unclassified e-mails “private personal e-mails” wholly unrelated to her work as Secretary of State — Clinton declared in an infamous 2015 press conference that she “did not email any classified material to anyone on my email” — could compromise American security.

Yes, Hillary repeatedly stated that the tens of thousands of emails her oversight-free team permanently destroyed had nothing whatsoever to do with her work, and therefore couldn't be classified or relevant to any investigation or FOIA requests.  But the FBI director determined that "several thousand" work-related emails were withheld, including classified ones -- not counting any of the unrecoverable messages that were wiped away for good.  Now Clinton's campaign is admitting that foreign powers hacking her unsecure email server is a threat to US national security after all.  This, in turn, is a concession that Clinton's scheme damaged our national security interests unto itself.  And she's supposed to be the responsible, tested candidate in this race?  Davis also reminds readers that Ted Kennedy asked our Soviet enemies to interfere in the 1984 election in order to defeat Ronald Reagan.  (That by no means justifies what Trump has done.  But at least he's created this mess out in the open.  Kennedy surreptitiously tried to undermine an American president by colluding with sworn US enemies, a fact we only discovered after the Evil Empire disintegrated). In any case, if Trump is not creepily aligned with, or financially tied to, Putin's Russia, he's doing a terrible job of convincing people of his innocence.  His campaign has slammed the door shut on releasing his tax returns (maybe some pro-Hillary foreign intelligence agency should hack and leak them, in the name of the public interest -- right Donald?), and then there's this:

Breathtakingly, it is not far-fetched to say that the Russian government is actively seeking to help Donald Trump win the presidency. If that's true, the next logical question is why.  Parting thought: If you're defending Trump today with an 'ends justify the means' mentality, imagine how you'd react if a foreign adversary were intervening on behalf of Hillary Clinton -- especially if she were openly cheering them on?  I suspect many enraged Trump followers would cite that hypothetical development as further evidence that she needs to be locked up. Also:

ISIS Used Nuns As Human Shields After Killing Priest

ISIS-affiliated attackers used nuns as human shield after murdering a priest in France Tuesday morning.

Adel Kermiche and Abdel Malik shouted "Allahu Akbar" as they left the 9 a.m. Mass, pressing guns to the heads of the two nuns they grabbed to discourage police snipers. A video from Le Telegramme shows the attackers leaving the church while French police wait outside. Gunshots occur near the end of the clip.

Kermiche, who was under house arrest, and Malik slit a priest's throat after entering the church during a service. They had forced 85-year-old Fr. Jacques Hamel to kneel while they gave a sermon in Arabic. The priest was killed for attempting to resist, while three nuns and a couple were held hostage.

The two men had multiple knives and fake explosives, including a false explosive belt and a kitchen timer wrapped in foil. Police killed both attackers as they attempted to escape.

Friendly Reminder: The Democrats Are Still Divided–And It’s A Deep Schism Too

Hillary Clinton is the nominee. Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke on behalf of the Vermont Delegation, where he asked the rules be suspended so that a voice vote could be carried to give the former secretary of state the nomination. It was pretty much unanimous when Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, the DNC secretary, held the voice vote. Prior to this motion that was set to foment unity between the two camps, Clinton has far surpassed the 2,383-delegate threshold to clinch the Democratic nomination.

The Democratic National Convention was marred by instances of party clashes between the Bernie and Clinton camps, some of which were quite ugly. Pro-Sanders attendees in the convention hall booed every time the speakers mentioned Clinton’s name on Monday night—even during the invocation prayer. Sen. Sanders addressed the convention that night, which some said pulled the event from the brink of disaster. But did it? Yes, we see the Pew poll showing that 90 percent of Sanders supporters plan to back Clinton in the general, which all but ends Trump’s outreach efforts to nab disaffected Bernie-ites on issues, like trade. Yet, FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver noted that the poll only offered Sanders and Trump as the option, and postulated that 30 percent of Sanders supporters might break for the Green Party’s Jill Stein or Libertarian Gary Johnson. Moreover, he added that undecided and won’t vote weren’t options either in the survey.

That’s a big number. But Silver said that it’s “low-hanging fruit” for Clinton, as the two-way split breaks for her heavily. Still, he noted that Sanders supporters a) aren’t happy with the Democratic Party; b) they’re mostly independents, so them floating into the Stein and Johnson camps (and helping Trump) is a real possibility; and c) they’re not frequent voters, so we also have a turnout issue. Still, Silver noted that party unity and Sanders voters coming back into the Clinton fold isn’t a done deal. Another issue about Sanders people coming home is that this Pew poll was taken before WikiLeaks released those DNC emails that confirmed what many have thought was going on within those halls, which is the establishment trying to wreck Sanders’ chances. For some of these Sanders voters who were on the fence about Clinton, this might have soured the call for unity.

As Katie noted, some of these folks find Clinton so disgusting that they might pull the lever for Trump, as they see him as the lesser of two evils. There is a defined Never Trump movement within the Republican Party, who staged a rather disastrous bid to stop the billionaire’s candidacy. Yet, is there a significant Never Hillary faction within the Democratic Party? We all know the most, if not all, Republicans are in that camp—let’s see what post-convention polling finds from this group. From the walkouts that occurred last night, and the chants of “Bernie or jail” in the hallways of the Wells Fargo Center as the roll call vote was taken last night—it seems that many Sanders supporters are still fuming over their candidates loss, or maybe a combination of that and the DNC emails.

We also have to remember that while this is low-hanging fruit for the Clinton campaign to lock up the progressive coalition Sanders built, she’s a terrible campaigner who could very well sabotage her own chances with these people.

While last night drew chants of Black Lives Matter, let’s not forget that one of Clinton’s first encounters with this group was an utter disaster at an event in New Hampshire. As Clinton’s exchange with the activists grew more intense—they were talking about the roots of white violence—she eventually responded by saying, “Respectfully, if that is your position then I will talk only to white people about how we are going to deal with the very real problems.” Overall, the group criticizes Clinton, especially when Bill is out on the stump, for passing the 1994 omnibus crime bill that’s been pegged as the legislation that greatly increased the rates of incarceration for black Americans through mandatory minimum sentencing. Bill Clinton recently told the NAACP Convention that while most people in jail are in state prison, “the federal law set the trend,” and that people are now in jail for far too long. Back in April, Hillary had a rocky time defending her husband’s legislation.

It could be the same for her Sanders outreach post-convention.

Turkish Government Bans Hundreds of News Outlets As Erdogan Power Grab Continues

As the fallout from a recently failed coup continues, President Recep Erdogan has forcefully closed at least 130 media outlets. This is another alarming move by Erdogan, who is using the coup and it's failure as an excuse to "cleanse" the military and media of any regime detractors. More from Fox News:

Turkey's government has decided to close down dozens of media outlets, including 45 newspapers and 16 television stations in the wake of a failed military coup, the country's state-run news agency reported Wednesday.

The Anadolu Agency also reported that close to 1,700 military officers have been formally discharged.

CNN Turk reported that 130 media organizations had been shuttered in a widening crackdown by Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government.

Earlier this week, the Ankara government issued detention warrants for 42 journalists suspected of links to the alleged coup plotters.

"We fear there will be a witch hunt which would include journalists known as 'critical' against the government. Because they are putting all journalists into one bag," Ahmet Abakay of the Progressive Journalists' Association, a media group based in Ankara, told the Associated Press Monday. He said the situation was "very dangerous for every journalist" and that government warnings to reporters to be careful would lead to self-censorship.

"By rounding up journalists, the government is failing to make a distinction between criminal acts and legitimate criticism," said Gauri van Gulik, Amnesty International's deputy director for Europe.

Turkey is still considered a democracy and is part of NATO, but as Erdogan's power grabs continue, the status of both are being heavily questioned.

Erdogan has been criticized for years by journalism organizations for tightening his grip on the press and has turned Turkey away from a westernized society while bolstering the Islamicization of country. Three months ago, Erdogan claimed he wasn't at war with the press. It seems things have changed.

Some have argued Erdogan set up the coup, knowing it would fail, in order to achieve absolute power. 

Watch LIVE: Tim Kaine Accepts VP Nomination, Obama Addresses DNC on Day Three

It's Day Three of the 2016 Democratic National Convention. Tuesday night, Hillary Clinton officially shattered the "glass ceiling" and became the first woman to be nominated for president by a major political party. Her running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, will accept his respective nomination Wednesday night. Today's theme is "Working Together," with speeches expected from Kaine, Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama.

George W. Bush's Brother: 'I'm Voting Libertarian 100 Percent'

In a radio interview Marvin Bush, brother to former president George W. Bush and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, revealed he endorses the Libertarian ticket.

"That’s why I’m voting libertarian, 100 percent, these two guys—and nobody knows about them, people think it is sort of a wasted vote—but, both Gary Johnson and Bill Weld were each successful two term governors who balanced their budgets,” said Bush on radio show The Junkies on 106.7 The Fan first reported by Buzzfeed News.

Bush said he thinks a vote for Gary Johnson is not supporting the Republican ticket. He stated he wants to "vote his conscience" which means voting for someone other than Donald Trump.

“I want honest leadership," said Bush. "I want proven effective people running this country and so, I want to be able to go to bed at night and so I don’t really care about that.”

Marvin Bush added criticism for both parties saying Hillary Clinton was, "one of the most dishonest people that’s ever been in politics."

There have been suggestions former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is also backing the Libertarian ticket.

Shots Fired: Conservative Commentator George Will Says Trump Won't Release Taxes Due To Russian Ties

The issue about the release of Donald Trump’s tax returns now has a new angle from conservative commentator George Will, who alleges that the billionaire won’t release those financial documents because of possible ties to Russian oligarchs. These postulations were made during the July 26 broadcast of Special Report With Bret Baier. With Russia appearing to be the principal actor behind the leak of DNC emails that showed staffers working behind the scenes to sabotage the Sanders campaign, our old Cold War adversary is back in the limelight; the Clinton campaign is trying to push this odd narrative that the Russians are helping the Trump campaign (via The Hill):

Both the campaign chair and anybody you talk to, including Sen. [Chris] Murphy [D-Conn.] would not go down that road once pressed on the connection between Russia and the Trump campaign," said Baier. "But they have thrown it out there. George?"

"Well, it's the sort of thing we might learn if we saw the candidate's tax returns," Will responded. "Perhaps one more reason why we're not seeing his tax returns — because he is deeply involved in dealing with Russian oligarchs and others. Whether that's good, bad or indifferent, it's probably the reasonable surmise."

The Clintons were involved with actors that led to the sale of Uranium One to the Russian Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation. The chairman of Uranium One would give the Clinton Foundation over $2 million, while Bill would receive $500,00 for a speech given to a bank selling Uranium One stock. Then-Secretary Clinton was one of the principal actors to sign off on the sale through the Committee on Foreign Investment, which is “charged with reviewing any deal that could result in foreign control of an American business or asset deemed important to national security.” At the time, Uranium One had mining sites in the United States. The deal was approved, with Russia coming that much closer to controlling most of the world’s uranium supply. It’s these types of deals that raised the eyebrows of many, including Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Still, Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort said that the billionaire is not going to release the documents, even with businessman Moishe Mana offering $1 million for any charity of Trump’s choosing as a sweetener. Oh, and this has nothing to do with Russia. Now, back to Will—he’s left the GOP due to Trump’s nomination, with the billionaire’s attacks on a federal judge’s heritage as the straw that broke the camel’s back regarding his affiliation with the party. Nevertheless, Will has taken the position that Republican donors should save their party by not giving to Trump’s campaign. In essence, Will is saying that we should tread water for four years under a Clinton presidency, and then try again with a Republican Party that hasn’t been Trumped in 2020. I mean, it sounds appealing—most certainly to the Never Trump crowd—but Hillary Clinton winning the White House is a scarier thought.

Panetta Questions Trump's Loyalty to US After Russian Hack Remarks

Former CIA Director John Brennan is openly questioning Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's loyalty to the United States after the latter invited Russia to hack Hillary Clinton's emails, CNN's Christiane Amanpour is reporting.

Brennan, who has endorsed Clinton for president, also said Trump's remarks were "beyond the pale" and proves he's not fit to lead.

Expect more Clinton surrogates to come out against Trump's controversial comment in the weeks leading up to the election. I wouldn't be surprised if it was brought up more than a few times at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday night either.

Marion Le Pen Joins Military In Response to ISIS Murder of Priest

Yesterday, France was stunned by the brutal murder of an elderly priest by two "ISIS soldiers." In response to this atrocity, Marion Le Pen, granddaughter of National Front founder Jean-Marie Le Pen and current member of the French parliament, tweeted that she had joined the military reserves and that all patriotic young people should too.

"Faced with the threat to France, I decided to join the military reserve. I invite all patriotic young people to do the same."

She also tweeted a picture of Fr. Hamel, the victim of Tuesday's attack, calling him a martyr from Islamic terrorism.

Le Pen, who is 26, is one of the youngest members of parliament in the modern French era. She was first elected at the age of 22.

Here's Cher's Thoughts On Donald Trump

Grammy-winning singer Cher had some passionate thoughts about Donald Trump's most recent press conference, and lucky for us, she took those thoughts to Twitter. As it turns out, Cher's not very much of a Trump fan.


We live in a magical time.

Bernie Supporters Won't Accept Hillary Clinton Nomination

Last night Sen. Bernie Sanders decided to extend the olive branch to Hillary Clinton and nominated her on the convention floor, but it looks like his supporters don't share the same sentiment. The 'Bernie or Bust' crowd organized a walkout from the convention, and they're continuing their protest outside the arena. 

Just look at how crazy they went after Sanders conceded to Clinton on the convention floor.

The supporters then decided to take their protests to a media tent outside. They then proceeded to stage a sit-in at the media tent, and some protesters refused to move. 

A lot of the protesters decided to duct-tape their mouths to symbolize how they had been silenced, and they also held up signs that had phrases like "The revolution continues" and "DemExit."

There was also a protest outside of the media tent in the streets, and this protest got quite large after it combined with a black live matters protest. By the end of the night the protest had grown to around 1,000 people.

At one point, the protesters decided to climb the 8-foot walls that were set up to block off the secure zone around the arena parking lot. Police immediately arrested four protesters and charged them with entering a restricted arena. They are expected to appear in court Wednesday to deal with their charges. 

Some even decided to burn the American flag in this protest. 

Most of the protesters also believe that Clinton's nomination will split the Democratic Party in half.

"I suspect we are witnessing an event that will fundamentally change American politics," said Cory James, a 22-year-old college student from Flint, Michigan. "We are tired of corruption," said Carole Levers, a California delegate. "The media and the D.N.C. colluded to block Bernie Sanders so he wouldn't be seen. We need to hit the reset button."

So much for that Democratic Party unity that they been trying to tell us is there.

Democrats in Congress Demand DNC Staffers Be Fired

Democratic congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH) is demanding accountability from his own party regarding the recent Wikileaks email hack of the Democratic National Committee. The email dump confirmed what many Bernie Sanders voters believed to be true – that the DNC had no intention of running a fair primary process.

The Wikileaks emails showed DNC staffers attacking Sanders’ religion and DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz even referring to one of the Sanders’ employees as “scummy.” As a result of the hack, Schultz has announced her resignation and Sanders fans have caused many a disruption at this week’s Democratic National Convention, decrying an unfair election that paved an easy path for Hillary Clinton. In an even bigger slap to their faces, Clinton, the now official Democratic nominee, hired Schultz to her campaign without blinking.

In an interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt, Ryan clearly sympathized with the Sanders supporters and sounded off on the Democratic Party’s bias.

“Yeah, and again, no one’s apologizing for that, and I hope, you know, those people, whoever participated or made those comments, are gone," Ryan said. "They need to be cut. You need to get rid of them immediately. And it’s not making an excuse. They should leave. It’s inappropriate.” 

Ryan is one of many Democrats condemning the DNC’s behavior. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) has gone even further than Ryan, demanding all DNC staffers be let go.

Democrats outside of Capitol Hill share the same sentiments. Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner, who is a superdelegate at the Democratic convention, called the committee’s actions “intolerable.”

With Schultz out, DNC Vice Chair Donna Brazile was expected to act as interim chair. The only issue? She was a guilty party in the Wikileaks release too.

Are more firings on the way?

Catholic Tim Kaine Now Supports Taxpayer-Funded Abortion

Well, of course, the media thinks that Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), Hillary Clinton’s choice for vice president, is the most Catholic of Catholics. The Washington Post gushed over him, calling the senator the “Pope Francis Catholic” due to Kaine’s work to help the poor. Newsbusters’ Tim Graham aptly noted that Kaine has a 100 percent rating from the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws (NARAL) and the progressive Human Rights Campaign. So, when The Post, or the larger news media, says politician X is a die-hard Catholic, “it probably means you’re a liberal opposed to Catholic orthodoxy.” Well, that NARAL rating looks like it will be maintained at a perfect A-plus score since Kaine has decided to back taxpayer-funded abortion (via Bloomberg Politics):

Democratic vice-presidential pick Tim Kaine has privately told nominee Hillary Clinton he will support repeal of the Hyde Amendment, a 1976 provision that bans the use of federal dollars for abortion services, Clinton spokesman Jesse Ferguson and Kaine spokeswoman Amy Dudley said Tuesday.


It aligns the Virginia senator with Clinton and other reproductive-rights advocates, who argue that the decades-old Hyde Amendment, which primarily affects Medicaid, is an impediment for low-income women seeking abortions.

The Democratic Party platform approved this week included a plank calling for repeal of the amendment and other measures that "impede a woman's access to abortion."

Abortion foes view the Hyde Amendment, which is routinely attached to federal spending bills, as one of their great successes.

Buzzfeed’s Andrew Kaczynski resurrected 2005 Tim Kaine, where the then-gubernatorial candidate said he was a “conservative on issues of personal responsibility… As a former Christian missionary, faith is central to my life. I oppose gay marriage, I support restrictions on abortion — no public funding and parental consent — and I’ve worked to pass a state law banning partial-birth abortion” in his radio ads. He also said that his position on abortion was similar to that of then-President George W. Bush.

Senate Watch: Are Democratic Takeover Hopes in Jeopardy?

With so much attention focused on the high-octane presidential race, it can be easy to overlook important down-ballot races. House Republicans enjoy a wide enough majority that even in this volatile year, few prognosticators expect them to surrender it -- although senior GOP officials have told me that if Donald Trump tanks down the stretch, they worry that it may become vulnerable. Over in the Senate, however, Democrats only need to net five seats (four, if Democrats hold the White House) to retake an upper chamber majority, The GOP won nine seats in 2014's landslide, but Democrats have a solid chance of flipping control. Why? Republicans took advantage of a very favorable political environment to make major gains in 2010. Six years later, those Senate freshmen are up for re-election, in a presidential year, and in a decidedly different political atmosphere. Because 2010 was such a strong GOP year, Republicans now have a disproportionate number of seats to defend. Advantage: Democrats.

At the moment, defending incumbents in Illinois (Mark Kirk) and Wisconsin (Ron Johnson) are looking like relatively difficult tasks, although neither race is yet out of reach.  But for argument's sake, let's say both of those seats are gone. The Democrats would then need to notch three more net victories to guarantee a Senate Majority. Can they achieve that? New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte's re-election race has been locked in a dead heat for months, while North Carolina and Indiana are also looking too close to comfort. Let's say Republicans earn a 2-1 split in those races. The GOP would need to run the table in all of the other contested races in order to maintain their edge -- unless they can pick off a seat or two currently in Democratic hands. The best opportunities to do so are in Colorado (a fairly long shot, it seems), and Nevada. Let's look at the fight over Harry Reid's soon-to-be-vacant seat:

Joe Heck is an impressive candidate who represents a swing Nevada district in the House of Representatives, and who also leads the deeply flawed Democratic nominee in the RCP average. This appears to be the strongest pick-up opportunity for the party, which would be huge. It would not only make the Democrats' climb much steeper, it would also replace Harry Reid with a Republican. Here are some developments in other crucial races:

Florida: Marco Rubio may have pulled this seat out of the fire by jumping back into the race, reversing his previous decision not to seek re-election.  The incumbent holds a modest but clear lead in the RCP average over serial resume-padder Patrick Murphy, whose political instincts seem increasingly...questionable.  The other Democrat in the race is crazy person and accused domestic abuser Alan Grayson.  Tell us more about the "war on women," Alan.

Ohio: Rob Portman faces a stiff challenge from former Governor Ted Strickland, and the race is tight.  But Portman has an edge.  He leads by five points in a new Democrat-affiliated poll, and just collected two big union endorsements. Buckeye State Democrats are getting worried:

Democrats in Ohio, Washington and Philadelphia seemed knocked back on their heels Tuesday, after Republican incumbent Sen. Rob Portman snagged back-to-back endorsements from major labor unions. The Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio, the state's largest law enforcement union, endorsed Portman on Tuesday over former Gov. Ted Strickland, in Ohio’s tight U.S. Senate race. Just 24 hours earlier, Portman also snapped up the support of the Ohio Conference of Teamsters—a union that typically endorses Democrats. The surprise union support for Portman, a Chamber of Commerce Republican not traditionally allied with labor, fueled a growing concern among Democrats that Strickland’s campaign is losing ground just as voters begin to tune in...Jennifer Duffy, who tracks Senate races for the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, said the Ohio contest looks different in practice than on paper. “If you look at least at the public polling, it still looks like a very close race,” said Duffy. “But if you watch it every day, it doesn’t feel that way.” She said Portman’s campaign “is firing on all cylinders, doing what they need to do,” while Strickland’s campaign seems more complacent.

Pennsylvania: Pat Toomey has led in every poll taken this year, with the exception of a recent outlier from NBC News (a three point deficit).  Toomey is well-funded and well-liked at home, Donald Trump is polling relatively well in the Keystone state, and the "terribly weak" Democratic nominee is on the defensive over this crass attack (content warning):

It'll still be pretty tough sledding for the NRSC over the next few months, but their candidates are in better shape than many forecasters anticipated they would be at this juncture in the cycle. If they, and Trump, can hit their current polling marks in November, they may just pull this off. If they, and/or he, over-perform today's survey positions, the majority will be safe.

Mosby Defends Decision to Prosecute Officers in Freddie Gray Case: 'I'm Not Anti-Police, I'm Anti-Police Brutality'

Speaking at a news conference Wednesday morning, Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby defended prosecuting the six officers in the Freddie Gray case regardless of the outcome, noting that "as a mother," the decision to drop the remaining charges was "agonizing."

She said that the decision to move forward with the case “was not and has never been an indictment on the entire Baltimore Police Department” and dismissed accusations that her efforts in the case meant she was anti-police.

“That’s simply not the case,” she said, “I’m anti-police brutality.”

“Even though the media has made this about everything but the untimely death of [Gray], my office has never wavered in our commitment to seek justice on his behalf,” she said.

Doing so proved to be a challenge, she added, noting the “inherent bias that is a direct result of when police police themselves.”

“As the world has witnessed over the past 14 months, the prosecution of on-duty police officers in this country is unsurprisingly rare and blatantly fraught with systemic and inherent complications, unlike with other cases where prosecutors work closely with the police to investigate what actually occurred, what we realized very early on in this case is that police investigating police … was problematic. There was a reluctance and an obvious bias that was consistently exemplified, not by the entire Baltimore Police Department, but by individuals within the Baltimore Police Department at every state of the investigation, which became blatantly apparent in the subsequent trials,” she said.

"We do not not believe that Freddie Gray killed himself."  

[G]iven [Circuit Judge Barry G.] Williams' acquittal of Nero, Goodson and Rice and the likelihood that the remaining officers would also choose bench trials before him, Mosby said she had to acknowledge the "dismal likelihood" that her office would be able to secure a conviction.

"After much thought and prayer it has become clear that without being able to work with an independent investigatory agency from the very start, without having a say in the election of whether cases proceed in front of a judge or jury, without communal oversight of police in this community, without substantive reforms to the current criminal justice system, we could try this case 100 times and cases just like it and we would still end up with the same result," she said.

In conclusion, Mosby pledged to continue to "fight for a fair and equitable justice system for all."

Watch: #BlackLivesMatter Orders Whites to the Back, Blacks to the Front

Racial tensions tend to always follow the Democratic Party.  Tuesday in Philadelphia, a #BlackLivesMatter representative ordered white media to the back of the line, and black media to the front.  

"Somebody needs to tell these people to get to the back... we are not afraid to put people out!" she ordered.  

In another instance, a black woman lead a chant screaming, "don't vote for Hillary! She's killing black people!"