With occasional exceptions (like President Obama's thoughtful weekly address), Reality Chex is not covering the Olympics. Since they're of great general interest, you may comment on any aspect of them in the Comments sections. If you work in a political angle, good for you. Enjoy the games! P.S. Yoo Ess Ay! Yoo Ess Ay! -- Constant Weader
Sam Mintz of the Cape Cod Times: "This year is full of 'lasts' for the Obamas, and today marks the start of one more: their last trip to Martha's Vineyard as a presidential family.... Obama's younger daughter, Sasha, picked up a brief summer job to keep herself busy: The 15-year-old worked for a few days this past week at Nancy's, a seafood restaurant in Oak Bluffs...." -- CW
Nelson Schwartz of the New York Times: "After months of conflicting signals and economic uncertainty, it became clear on Friday that the American jobs machine has moved back into high gear. A report from the Labor Department that said employers added 255,000 jobs in July had been eagerly anticipated on Wall Street, in Washington and on the campaign trail, and the much-better-than-expected showing immediately rippled through all three arenas. Stocks surged, experts expressed more confidence that the Federal Reserve was likely to raise interest rates at least once this year, and it was evident that long-stagnant wages for ordinary workers were advancing at a more robust pace." -- CW
Annals of "Journalism," Ctd. Margaret Talbot of the New Yorker: "The trouble with [Corey] Lewandowski [as a CNN commentator] is not that he came out of a campaign or that he is clearly partisan.... Lewandowski's signal quality is a kind of unsmiling, nonironic loyalty that admits of no countermanding or even complicating detail; he's like the ultimate faithful retainer, still fixedly serving his master as the mansion crumbles around him.... Advancing birtherism in the guise of political analysis is a firing offense." CW: Good read. Lewandowski, best known for manhandling a female Breitbart reporter, had an on-air fit, Talbot reports, when a female correspondent brushed his hand. "Don't touch me!" he said. Twice. What we are seeing in the entire Trump campaign, from Trump on down to those violent supporters the New York Times videotaped, a yuuuge plaintive wail for white mail hegemony. We only have to hope we are close to the last, desperate gasp.
Yamiche Alcindor & Amy Chozick of the New York Times: "After more than 200 days without holding a formal news conference, Hillary Clinton took her most extensive questions from journalists in months on Friday -- and it wasn't so bad after all.... Speaking before] the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists..., Mrs. Clinton said she took 'seriously' the problems she has had winning voters' trust. She clarified her recent mischaracterization of the F.B.I. investigation into her private email server. And she explained that the economic frustration driving many of Donald J. Trump's supporters should be taken as seriously as his 'bigotry' that appeals to some.... On Friday, Mrs. Clinton said she 'may have short circuited' when she made Mr. Comey's remarks seem more favorable toward her than they had, in fact, been. 'I was pointing out in both of those instances that Director Comey had said that my answers in my F.B.I. interview were truthful,' she said. 'That's really the bottom line here.'" -- CW ...
... Charles Pierce: "That's the way you talk when the mule you sold somebody died on the way home." -- CW ...
... She Just Can't Help Herself. Abby Phillip of the Washington Post: "In an effort to clarify her most recent statements about her use of a private email server as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton on Friday only further muddled a controversy that has dogged her presidential candidacy from the start. Clinton acknowledged that she had misspoken in two recent media interviews when she claimed that FBI Director James B. Comey had characterized as 'truthful' all of her public statements about her use of a private email server. She explained that Comey was referring only to her interviews with the FBI -- but she also insisted that all of her other public statements on the matter have been consistent with those interviews.... On Friday morning, Clinton reiterated that she never sent or received emails that were classified at the time, which Comey testified to Congress was a statement that was 'not true.'" -- CW ...
... Stephen Braun of the AP: "What resulted Friday were still more mischaracterizations.... Comey has declined to say precisely what Clinton told FBI investigators, but he has never publicly called Clinton's comments truthful. He said only that "we have no basis to conclude that she lied to the FBI" -- a legally calibrated statement.... When Comey was asked during a House hearing the same month about whether Clinton lied to the public, Comey begged off, saying: 'That's a question I'm not qualified to answer. I can speak only about what she said to the FBI.'... Overall, he described her handling of 'very sensitive, highly classified information' as 'extremely careless.'" -- CW ...
(CW BTW: Debbie Wasserman Schultz has learned the Clinton Truthiness Two-Step. Step 1: You lie. Step 2: You "clarify" your lie with another lie. Reporter Cristiano Lima doesn't spell out Step 2, but I'm sure you can spot it.)
Hadas Gold of Politico: "Former CIA director Michael Morell dropped his gig as a CBS News analyst before going public with his support of Hillary Clinton." CW: CBS replaced him with Dubya flak Fran Townsend.
Eric Geller of Politico: "Hackers have compromised the email accounts of a Latino political advocacy group with ties to the Clinton campaign.... In an email obtained by Politico, a staffer for the Latino Victory Project warned people not to open any other emails sent this morning by Latino Victory employees. The infected emails carry the subject line 'Very Important Documents' and include an attached PDF titled 'Important Online PDF.'" -- CW
Rebecca Morin of Politico: "Julian Assange said WikiLeaks is 'working on' hacking Donald Trump's tax returns. In a Friday night video interview on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, Maher questioned Assange about the Democratic National Committee leaks that were released the week before the Democratic convention." -- CW
Harper Neidig of the Hill: "Donald Trump endorsed Paul Ryan on Friday night, after refusing to back the speaker's reelection bid earlier this week.... [Trump's] backing came at a rally in Green Bay, Wis., less than a week before Ryan faces a primary challenger whom has Trump praised, though Ryan appears to have little to worry about in the Tuesday race with businessman Paul Nehlen. A new independent pollreleased on Friday showed Ryan leading Nehlen 80 percent to 14 percent." -- CW ...
... Jose DelReal of the Washington Post: "Trump also endorsed Arizona Sen. John McCain and New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte's reelection efforts during the event.... Trump received a cold shoulder from several of the highest profile Republicans in Wisconsin politics during his campaign event there, with [Paul] Ryan and Gov. Scott Walker notably absent." -- CW ...
... Great! Now Trump Is a Totally Normal Guy. Oh, Wait. Cristiano Lima of Politico: "Donald Trump took his insults of Hillary Clinton to another level on Friday night.... 'In one way, she's a monster,' Trump said of Clinton. 'In another way, she's a weak person. She's actually not strong enough to be president. So she's got both.' Trump, who also referred to Clinton as 'unhinged' and 'unbalanced,' relentlessly attacked the former secretary of state in an improvisational tear that contrasted sharply with his scripted endorsement remarks." CW: Once again, Trump attributes his own disorders & deficiencies to an opponent. It's a compensation mechanism.
Patrick Cohen of the New York Times: "On Friday, Mr. Trump announced his economic team, just days before he is expected to give a speech in Detroit on Monday about what he would do to improve American growth. The 13-member team -- all men -- includes several billionaire bankers and investment managers, and even a part-time professional poker player.... Several of those named often have expressed views against the economic mainstream, voicing suspicions about the Federal Reserve and global trade deals." CW: Cohen provides snapshots of the men Trump named -- looks more like a rogue's gallery of big-bucks bad boys than a financial advisory team. ...
... ** Jim Tankersley of the Washington Post: "Donald Trump announced a new team of ultra-rich financiers and businessmen as his core economic advisers, bringing high-profile names to his inner circle but also possibly stepping on his populist claims to save the middle class.... The median net worth of Trump's official economic advisers appears to be at least several hundred million dollars.... He has painted Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton as the candidate of Wall Street, but his team is filled with hedge fund managers, bankers and real estate speculators.... [Hillary] Clinton's inner circle also includes some longtime associates, such as Neera Tanden and Gene Sperling [CW: who, bBTW, are not billionaires]. But she also has spent two years reaching out to more than 200 experts, some of whom she had never met before, to build a sprawling economic agenda." -- CW
Steven Mufson & Tom Hamburger of the Washington Post: Carter "Page is a little-known Trump adviser with an ambiguous role in his campaign. But since being named to the Republican nominee's team in March, his stature within the foreign policy world has grown considerably, drawing alarm from more established foreign policy experts who view him as having little real understanding about U.S.-Russia relations. Many also say that Page's views may be compromised by his investment in Russian energy giant, Gazprom. Other foreign policy experts from both parties say they are distressed with Page for his criticism of sanctions, praise for Putin and his advisers, and his tepid response to what most U.S. policymakers see as Russian aggression.... [Carter's] open embrace of [Vladimir Putin] is unusual for an adviser to a presidential candidate -- and a break from a decades-old Republican tradition of tough stances toward Moscow." -- CW
(Contributor Diane raises the question: is this fellow a Trump look-alike?
Answer: Well, yes, given that they're a couple of fleshy, old white guys who share a British Isles heritage. Main difference? The guy in the bowler does not have stubby fingers.)
... Louis Nelson of Politico: "Donald Trump said his joke about ejecting a baby from one of his rallies this week was misinterpreted and blamed the 'dishonest' news media for turning a lighthearted moment into a negative story.... The media, he said, instead painted him unfairly:... '... Everyone's having fun, but they say Trump throws baby. You know how terrible that is? It's such a lie. And they know it's a lie.'" ...
... CW: Let's see: First he said the baby could stay because he loves babies; then he said, "Actually, I was only kidding; you can get the baby out of here," & dissed the mother for believing he really loved babies who cried when he spoke; now he says, no, he meant what he said the first time, & didn't mean what he said the second time when he said he was kidding the first time. Got that? As for the media, you all are so dumb for not knowing that when Trump says he's not kidding, it means he's kidding. It's Trumpglish! It has all the good words!
Also on the Cape this weekend: Man-of-the-People Donald Trump, who will be attending a fundraiser Saturday night hosted by multi-billionaire William Koch, one of the other-brothers, at his Oyster Harbors mansion. William may be on the outs with his more famous brothers, but he's still a dinosaur. Geoff Spillane of the Cape Cod Times: "The impact of his financial clout on Cape Cod also has been significant throughout the years, especially his opposition to the Cape Wind project. He was chairman of the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, donating $1.5 million to stop the offshore wind farm, which was all but dealt a death blow last year when power purchase agreements from NStar and National Grid fell through." CW: In fairness, numerous Kennedys opposed the wind project, too.
Kira Lerner of Think Progress: Trump has pretty much shut up about it this election season, but his campaign surrogates keep wondering out loud and/or claiming that President Obama is foreign-born, a Muslim, or both. -- CW
White Men Dump Trump? Ed Kilgore: "This week's avalanche of not-so-good polling news for the polls-obsessed Donald Trump continues, with signs that maybe this is something more than a temporary post-convention bounce for Hillary Clinton.... But peering inside the polls reveals another finding that should trouble Trump and his campaign more than the top lines: He's even losing steam in the red-hot core of his base of support, the white working class." -- CW
Trump's Forever Plan. Adam Raymond of New York: "Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have options on their websites allowing supporters to set up recurring credit-card donations to their campaigns. But unlike Clinton's, Trump's website has no option to cancel those donations." -- CW
Tales from the GOP Crypt. Dylan Stableford of Yahoo! News: "'If in 96 days Trump loses this election, I am pointing the finger directly at people like Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham and John McCain,' [Sean] Hannity said [Wednesday on his radio show]. 'I have watched these Republicans be more harsh toward Donald Trump than they've ever been in standing up to Barack Obama and his radical agenda. They did nothing, nothing -- all these phony votes to repeal and replace Obamacare, show votes so they can go back and keep their power and get reelected,' Hannity continued. 'Sorry, you created Donald Trump, all of you. Because of your ineffectiveness, because of your weakness, your spinelessness, your lack of vision, your inability to fight Obama.'" -- CW ...
... AND Hannity has a Twitter account, too. Also is able to spell "dumbass" & "assholes." -- CW
Rep. Tim Huelskamp (RTP-Kansas), who lost his primary race to a more moderate Republican, sings his swan song & trashes the Republican leadership & pro-Hillary Clinton billionaires, in a Washington Post op-ed. -- CW
Gail Collins focuses on some U.S. Senate races.
Beyond the Beltway
Justin Jouvenal & Antonio Olivo of the Washington Post: Scott Silverthorne, the Democratic mayor of Fairfax City, Virginia, has been arrested following a sting operation. "... police said the 50-year-old was ... using a website to swap methamphetamine for sex with other men." -- CW