The Clinton Foundation Becomes an Issue

First Read: “The latest controversy over the Clinton Foundation — the allegation that special access was given to Foundation donors when Hillary Clinton was secretary of state — follows a familiar pattern: The entire arrangement appears sloppy, careless, and seedy… But there’s another familiar pattern to the discussion, especially regarding the AP report showing that Foundation donors met with Clinton when she was secretary of state: This kind of behavior is standard operating procedure for any politician. If you’re a sitting congressman, senator, or governor — raise your hand if you’ve never granted meetings with big donors (either ones you’ve known before or after the donation). This is a practice that happens ALL of the time in American politics. And as a result, none of it is illegal or demands a special prosecutor. So two things can true at the same time: One, what the Clintons are doing can be sloppy, careless and seedy. And two, they’re not the only ones doing it.”

“Of course, the ‘they’re-not-the-only-ones-doing-it’ reasoning isn’t always sufficient in a political campaign, especially one for the highest office in the land. The Clinton Foundation was always going to be a target in this campaign. And if you’re scratching your head as to why the Clintons didn’t have a better plan for dealing with it — like having well-devised exit strategy months ago — remember that the decisions are usually coming from the principals rather than the political advisers.”

Rude Pundit: How is it different from anything else in our broken political system?

Duckworth Calls Kirk ‘Unhinged’

Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) called Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) “unhinged” after the senator referred to President Obama as the “drug dealer in chief,” Politico reports.

Said Duckworth: “If you look at all of the things that he said, I think that he lacks the ability to control what he’s saying. If you look at the numerous gaffes he’s had over the years,” Duckworth said Tuesday after she addressed the City Club of Chicago. “I do think he is unhinged.”

The Pollster’s Dilemma

Mark Blumenthal: “Gary Johnson and the Libertarian Party appeared on state ballots in all but two states in 2012, and Stein and the Green Party appeared on all but 12. They will likely gain access to at least as many state ballots this year, if not more. Without offering supporters of those candidates an explicit option to register their preferences, we have no practical way of tracking their support.”

“Yet if we prompt for third party candidates, many voters who are undecided about Clinton and Trump (or about voting generally) tend to grab for these alternative options as a way of indicating their uncertainty. Whatever the reason, both history and our own data yield evidence that mid-summer polls greatly inflate the true preference for third party candidates.”

Clinton Tries to Run Out the Clock

“She is not planning on sitting for another televised armchair confessional to rehash regrets about a private email server. Nor is the campaign setting up the kind of war room employed last year to discredit a book that aimed to expose a quid-pro-quo relationship between Clinton Foundation donors and State Department officials,” Politico reports.

“With 75 days until Election Day and new emails once again casting a pall over her campaign, Hillary Clinton aims to ‘run out the clock,’ confidants say, on the latest chapters of the overlapping controversies that have dogged her campaign since the start.”

Trump Fights Racist Label

Washington Post: “Guided by his new campaign leadership, the Republican nominee 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 — with stops at churches, charter schools and small businesses in black and Latino communities — and is developing an empowerment agenda based on the economy and education, aides said. Under consideration is an early September visit to Detroit, where retired neurosurgeon and former Republican primary rival Ben Carson would guide him on a tour of the impoverished neighborhoods where he grew up.”

Trump’s Narrow Path Requires Four States

Wall Street Journal: “A Trump victory over Democratic rival Hillary Clinton likely would require a sweep of a set of battleground states where he is competitive but trailing in recent opinion polls—Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania and North Carolina—and both campaigns describe them as the heart of the race. Mrs. Clinton, by contrast, could win with just one of them, partly because Democrats start with a larger number of states that historically side with them.”

“Both campaigns have put their money and their time in those states, despite suggestions they might turn elsewhere. Mr. Trump has traveled to those states more than others and has paid advertising in only these four states. Of the 20 media markets that have received the greatest number of ad spots placed by either the Clinton campaign or its main super PAC, 16 are in one of them, according to data from an ad tracker not affiliated with either campaign.”

Trump Now Focusing on Battleground States

Donald Trump’s campaign “rolled out a revamped schedule, making sure to emphasize — twice — that Trump is focusing on battleground states,” Politico reports.

“Some Republicans have been scratching their heads lately over Trump’s campaign schedule, which had been heavy on red states and relatively light on those states that could prove decisive on Election Day.”

“The new approach, which includes visits to Florida and Nevada, appears to have the fingerprints of Kellyanne Conway, a respected Republican pollster who was elevated last week to the role of campaign manager and who has been credited for Trump’s toned-down approach in recent days.”

Inside Obama’s Lesbian Infiltration Plot

Jonathan Chait: “Barack Obama is nearing the finish line of a presidency filled with accomplishments ranging from death panels to FEMA camps to the importation of Sharia law. Year eight is a natural time for Obama to unveil the most deviously brilliant plot of them all: mass lesbian infiltration of the agriculture sector.”

“I mean, it’s pretty obvious that once Obama locks up the farmers in FEMA camps, he’s going to need to repopulate the farms with political loyalists, or else the cities will have food shortages. That’s where the lesbians come in.”

Explains Rush Limbaugh: “They are trying to bust up one of the last geographically conservative regions in the country; that’s rural America … So here comes the Obama Regime with a bunch of federal money and they’re waving it around, and all you gotta do to get it is be a lesbian and want to be a farmer and they’ll set you up … apparently enough money it make it happen, and the objective here is to attack rural states.”

Clinton Met with Many Donors While at State

“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,” the AP reports.

“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… 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.”