No Play-Doh, but Tens of Millions of Dollars in Federal Assistance. Campbell Robertson & Michael Shear of the New York Times: "Nearly 11 years to the day after came to meet with flood victims in a visit that required him to navigate a delicate mix of compassion and politics.... The president praised W. Craig Fugate, the FEMA administrator, for overhauling the agency to make it work better, and he announced that the federal government had already distributed $127 million in aid to the flooded communities..... Local and state officials from both political parties have praised the federal response in Baton Rouge, drawing a sharp contrast with the much-criticized delays by the Federal Emergency Management Agency after Katrina. Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser, a Republican who frequently criticizes Mr. Obama, said in an interview that federal officials had done 'an excellent job' responding to the floods. 'They actually do care,' he said.... For those most intensely affected, the political debate is a luxury they can hardly afford." -- CW ...devastated New Orleans, [President] Obama
... CW: Maybe these short clips give an unfair picture, but it seems to me there's a telling difference in Obama & Trump's body language. Obama stops to talk to people, shake their hands, hug them, give them pats on the shoulder, etc. Trump walked around looking at piles of rubbish, & in a clip we ran last week, left it to pence to hand the Play-Doh boxes to flood victims. My guess is that this is more about substance than style.
Julian Hattem of the Hill: "The House Oversight Committee is increasing the pressure on the FBI to hand over additional details related to ’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of State. In a letter on Monday, committee Chairman (R-Utah) asked FBI Director James Comey for additional information about the presence of classified information on the system of personal machines Clinton used. He also pushed for the FBI to create an unclassified version of the files it sent to Capitol Hill last week detailing its yearlong investigation, which could then be made public." -- CW
Stephen Braun & Eileen Sullivan of the AP: "More than half the people outside the government who met with Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state gave money — either personally or through companies or groups — to the Clinton Foundation. It's an extraordinary proportion indicating her possible ethics challenges if elected president. At least 85 of 154 people from private interests who met or had phone conversations scheduled with Clinton while she led the State Department donated to her family charity or pledged commitments to its international programs, according to a review of State Department calendars released so far to The Associated Press. Combined, the 85 donors contributed as much as $156 million. At least 40 donated more than $100,000 each, and 20 gave more than $1 million." -- CW ...
... Heidi there is no evidence she granted them special favors, an important distinction that may determine how damaging the controversy is to Clinton’s campaign." -- CW ...of USA Today: "Although a conservative group investigating Hillary Clinton’s relationship with donors to the Clinton Foundation maintains that newly released emails prove she granted special 'access' and 'favors' during her State Department tenure, nonpartisan experts say that Judicial Watch is right about the former but has not yet proven the latter.... According to experts, the emails confirm donors were gaining access to Clinton, yet
... Jonathan Chait: "The Clinton Foundation is hardly a large or unique source of corruption in American politics. It is, however, a source of grubby, low-level access headaches. That is the takeaway from the latest batch of State Department emails. The emails do not show that Clinton Foundation donors received any policy favors from Hillary Clinton or other elected officials. What they show is that people who donated to the foundation believed they were owed favors by Clinton’s staffers, and at least one of those staffers — the odious Doug Band — shared this belief." -- CW ...
CW: This might be a good time to play Compare & Contrast.
Hillary Clinton, according to the AP story linked above, went out of her way to help a man whose organization had contributed to the Clinton Foundation. That man was "Muhammad Yunus, a Bangladeshi economist who won the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize for pioneering low-interest 'microcredit' for poor business owners." The Obama administration already supported Yunas's work, & President Obama awarded Yunas the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009, Obama's first year in office.
Donald Trump's campaign manager Paul Manafort made millions working to promote former Ukrainian prime minister Viktor Yanukovych & his pro-Russian party. Yanukovych "won" the presidential election of 2004, but the election was overturn during the ensuing Orange Revolution. Also, too, he is widely believed to have poisoned his pro-Western opponent Viktor Yushchenko. With help from a Manafort "makeover," Yanukovych finally won the presidency in 2010, but was forced to flee to Russia amidst another Ukrainian revoluiton in 2014. The U.S. government & human rights advocates opposed Yanukovych's administration, & the European Parliament accused his government of emprisoning political opponents, including former PM Yulia Tymoshenko. Manafort reportedly is still working for the remnants of Yanukovych's party.
So Both Sides Do It.
Matea Gold & John Wagner of the Washington Post: Hillary "Clinton spent most of August raising huge sums for the national part.... The Democratic ticket’s relentless fundraising this month — which included 50 private events through Monday, split roughly in half between the running mates — is helping to drive what is expected to be a record monthly haul for the campaign and the Democratic National Committee. But the intense pursuit of big money spotlights what has long been one of Clinton’s biggest vulnerabilities: her immersion in a wealthy elite circle that has supported her family’s political and philanthropic causes over the past four decades." CW: I think we're supposed to be shocked to learn that politicians -- and Hillary Clinton in particular -- spend so much time fundraising, a fact of political life that has been amply reported for at least a couple of decades.
Trump to Quit Saying "Mexican Rapists," Also Will Observe Black People in Their Habitats. Philip Rucker, et al., of the Washington Post: "Guided by his new campaign leadership, [Donald Trump] has ordered a full-fledged strategy to court black and Latino voters and is mobilizing scores of minority figures to advocate publicly for his candidacy. Trump is planning trips to urban areas.... Trump’s new posture is being influenced by his new campaign captains, chief executive Steve Bannon and campaign manager Kellyanne Conway.... Asked Tuesday whether he might change his hard-line deportation policy to accommodate immigrants who contribute positively to society, Trump told Fox News Channel anchor Sean Hannity, 'There certainly can be a softening because we’re not looking to hurt people.'... So far, Trump has declined appearances before minority audiences that many past Republican nominees have made, such as the NAACP convention.” CW: I can't think of a better person to direct a minority outreach program than the publisher of an online rag popular with white supremacists. Maybe Bannon could partner with David Duke on this. ...
... ** David Graham of the Atlantic outlines the many reasons Trump's new outreach to black voters might not work. For instance, "Trump’s caricatures of black communities as dens of crime, poverty, and shiftlessness are not likely to win him many fans.... Meanwhile, he’s delivering his appeals to black voters in overwhelmingly white places.... Trump is redoubling his focus on racial dogwhistle politics just as he attempts to court black voters. He’s begun talking repeatedly about how vote fraud is the “only way” he could lose the election." -- CW
Who Bought the Play-Doh? David Fahrenthold of the Washington Post: "During [Donald Trump's] visit [to Louisiana], news outlets reported that he had made at least two donations to flood-relief efforts there.... Trump promised a $100,000 donation to Greenwell Springs Baptist Church, which lies to the northeast of Baton Rouge, in a zone affected by floods.... That church's interim pastor is Anthony Perkins, who is also president of the Family Research Council — a powerful and politically active Christian conservative group that condemns abortion, homosexuality and what it calls 'transgenderism.'... Perkins said Tuesday that Trump's gift had not yet been paid.... Trump has also been credited — by CNN, and by his campaign's Louisiana state director — with donating a truckload of supplies that arrived in the flood-ravaged town of St. Amant, La. But so far The Post has been unable to confirm the details of that account." (Emphasis added.) -- CW
Rebecca Savransky of the Hill: "Indiana Gov. said Tuesday that [Donald Trump] has been clear about his intentions to restore strong borders and enforce immigration laws. 'We’re going to build a wall. We’re going to enforce the laws that are on the books today,' Pence ... said in an interview with CBS News' Major Garrett. 'And the mechanism for how we do that — he’s also been very clear that we’ll do it in a humane way.' The process will be 'tough but fair,' Pence said, but when asked further to explain what it means when it comes to deportations, Pence declined to give more details. 'I think those are issues that will continue to be worked out in the days ahead,' Pence said." -- CW
Louis Nelson of Politico: "Hammering Hillary Clinton once again over allegations she used her former position in the State Department to dole out favors to friends, Mike Pence said revelations that the former secretary of state met often with Clinton Foundation donors 'is further evidence of the pay-to-play politics at her State Department.'... 'The Clinton Foundation must be immediately shut down and an independent special prosecutor be appointed to determine if access to Hillary Clinton was for sale. It would be a dereliction of duty by President Obama and his Justice Department if they fail to act on these startling new facts right now.'” -- CW