Clinton 2811
Sanders 1879
 Needed   2383
Trump 1542
Cruz 559
Rubio 165
Kasich 161
Needed 1237
TODAY'S HEADLINES (click to jump there; use your browser's "Back" button to return here)
      •  Was the American Revolution a Mistake?
      •  Sanders Is Not Happy with the Democratic Party Platform
      •  Cory Booker Cagey about Veep Vetting
      •  Trump Says Convention Lineup is Set
      •  Cabinet Secretaries Won't Speak at Democratic Convention
      •  Johnson Calls Trump a Racist
      •  Image in Trump Tweet Came from White Supremacist Site
      •  Kennedy Dynasty May Resume

Was the American Revolution a Mistake?

While many Americans are out celebrating Independence Day by eating hot dogs and watching fireworks, at least one American thinks the American Revolution was a bad idea for three reasons. First, the slaves would have been freed much earlier if the King of England had been making the call. The Brits abolished slavery in most of the British Empire in 1834—almost three decades before America, and with a lot less bloodshed.

Second, starting in 1763, the British government placed limits on the westward expansion of the colonists because it didn't want border conflicts with the Native Americans. If the King had been running the show, a lot fewer Native Americans would have been slaughtered.

Third, and probably most important, absent the American Revolution, the country would likely have adopted a parliamentary system of government and become independent along the same lines that Canada became independent, which occurred in steps from 1840 (the Act of Union) to 1931 (the Statute of Westminster). The author of the piece, Dylan Matthews, argues that the years and years of complete paralysis that the U.S. has had would never happen under a parliamentary system, where the parliament is supreme and there are no checks and balances. A party with a majority in the parliament can actually get things done. (V)

Sanders Is Not Happy with the Democratic Party Platform

Although Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) got some of his top issues into the Democratic Party platform, including a $15/hr minimum wage and the reintroduction of Glass-Steagall, he is still not happy, and wants the party platform to look more like his program. In particular, he wants the platform to make it clear that no Democratic president will sign off on the TPP trade deal. Even though Sanders lost the primaries in terms of votes, states won and pledged delegates, he is still assuming he has a lot of leverage left. That may not be so true any more, though. (V)

Cory Booker Cagey about Veep Vetting

Up until now, Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), has brushed off talk about his being Hillary Clinton's running mate. Yesterday he was more cautious about the issue and said that reporters should ask Clinton about who her possible choices are. It is possible that Booker just wants to raise his profile, because there is little obvious value on having him on the ticket. New Jersey is a done deal, with or without Booker. Black voters are the most loyal Democrats in the country and don't need a black Veep to pull them off the fence. If Clinton wants to get the supporters of Bernie Sanders on her bandwagon, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is the obvious choice. It's just not clear what, if anything, Booker brings to the ticket.

Another politician who is playing coy about the vice presidency is Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH). Brown is well liked by progressives, and comes from a key swing state, but has the disadvantage that if he wins the #2 job, the Republican governor of the state will appoint his successor. (V)

Trump Says Convention Lineup is Set

Since Donald Trump became the Republicans' presumptive nominee, one question that has been on the commentariat's minds is: "Who will speak at the convention?" Normally, it's easy to find politicians who want a prime-time opportunity to promote themselves and their program, but this is not a normal year. Politicians and non-politicians alike, from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Speaker Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to Ben Roethlisberger and Mike Ditka, have unequivocally declined the honor.

On Sunday, to everyone's surprise, Trump announced that he has filled all of the speakers' slots at the convention. He even said there is a "long waiting list" of those who did not make the cut. The Donald did not announce the full list (he has promised that will come on Wednesday), but he did note that his wife would make a speech, as would his children Ivanka, Tiffany, Don, and Eric. If he has managed to find slots for no less than five of his family members, one wonders exactly who got pushed to the waiting list. Trump's tailor? His college roommate? The guy who delivered pizza to his residence last Tuesday? Who knows? (Z)

Cabinet Secretaries Won't Speak at Democratic Convention

The Democratic convention comes after the Republican convention, and—more importantly—prominent members of the blue team are actually going to take Hillary Clinton's calls when she invites them to speak. These things being the case, there has, as yet, been no rush to nail down the particulars of the DNC. One thing we do know, however, is that Cabinet secretaries will be forbidden from giving addresses.

The reason for the prohibition is, in a word, optics. While President Obama wants to help Hillary Clinton get elected (and thus to protect his legacy), he also does not want it to seem as if he has stopped doing his job in the last months of his term. So, while secretaries are allowed to appear on the campaign trail, they are not allowed to use their title while doing so, or to ask for money. And, of course, no on-stage time at the convention (this would presumably be waived for a secretary who was chosen for the #2 slot).

Another issue that comes into play, in some cases, is federal law. Most obviously the Hatch Act, which forbids certain types of political activity on the part of certain government officials. Obama is concerned about possible legal or ethical violations, and so he has instructed his staff to be especially vigilant in the waning months of his administration. Though the president himself is largely exempt from Hatch, and from other election laws, Obama has nonetheless erred on the side of caution. He made a point of recording his endorsement of Clinton in the residential rooms of the White House, as opposed to the executive offices. Similarly, White House lawyers have worked out a formula for sharing the costs of presidential transport between the federal government and the Clinton campaign when he appears at campaign events. This kind of conscientiousness certainly stands in marked contrast to some of the candidates who would presume to succeed the President. (Z)

Johnson Calls Trump a Racist

Almost all politicians of both parties have said that Donald Trump has made racist remarks from time to time, but few, if any, have said he is an out-and-out racist. Now one has said that: Gary Johnson, the former New Mexico governor running on the Libertarian Party ticket. Yesterday, Johnson discussed Trump's plan to replace Muslim TSA agents with (presumably non-Muslim) veterans. After dissing the plan, he was asked if Trump was a racist and Johnson said he clearly was. (V)

Image in Trump Tweet Came from White Supremacist Site

Yesterday, we joined many other sites in noting that Donald Trump had posted an anti-Hillary Clinton image to his Twitter account, one that was immediately lambasted from all parts of the political spectrum. "A Star of David, a pile of cash, and suggestions of corruption. Donald Trump again plays to the white supremacists," said conservative radio talker Erick Erickson. "Trump's disgusting Star of David Clinton tweet appeals to anti-Semites," declared liberal commentator Alan Colmes. Unfortunately for Trump, the story isn't going away, at least not yet. A few reporters followed the trail back to the source, and discovered that the image was originally posted to a white supremacist website, where conspiracy theories and racist and anti-Semitic rhetoric are the order of the day.

This revelation has raised some uncomfortable questions for the Trump campaign, which have thus far gone unanswered. For example, where did Trump get the image? And, are there members of the campaign who are regularly visiting racist websites? Really, no matter what the answers are, the error is pretty damning for Trump. Even if he got the image in a completely non-problematic fashion (say, a retweet from a supporter), it still shows an incredible lack of awareness on the part of the candidate. A lack of awareness that does not line up well with the sensitivity demanded of the leader of the free world. (Z)

Kennedy Dynasty May Resume

Among the leading contenders for the #2 slot on the Democratic ticket, as noted above, is Elizabeth Warren. The Senate seat she currently occupies was, before being kept warm for a brief spell by Scott Brown, in the possession of the Kennedy family for more than half a century: John F. from 1953-1960 and then Teddy from 1962-2009. Now, it appears that another member of the family may be angling for a chance. Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-MA) says that if Warren vacates to run for VP, he will "take a look" at running.

There are still a lot of things that have to break in the right way in order for another Senator Kennedy to be sworn into office in 2017. Still, the Kennedy name carries a lot of weight, particularly in Massachusetts. If Joe III, who is the grandson of Bobby Kennedy, was indeed to be a candidate, he would certainly be a heavy favorite. That is especially true given that the election to replace Warren would happen very quickly, and so name recognition would be particularly significant. Once Kennedy had the national prominence that comes with being a U.S. Senator, there is every chance that by 2020 or so, his name would start popping up on lists of presidential contenders. So, Hillary Clinton's VP pick could potentially have consequences that linger for a very long time. (Z)

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---The Votemaster and Zenger
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Jun28 Dueling Benghazi Reports Coming Tuesday
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