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)
      •  Clinton's Mail Server Not Going Away
      •  Trump's Anti-Semitic Tweet Not Going Away, Either
      •  Trump Underwhelms in Capitol Hill Meetings
      •  Cruz Will Speak at Republican Convention
      •  Format for Presidential Debates Announced
      •  2016: The New Year of the Woman?

Clinton's Mail Server Not Going Away

Many Republicans (and a few Democratic Socialists) are very unhappy that Hillary Clinton is not going to be indicted for her mishandling of State Department emails. And they have no intention of letting the issue go anytime soon.

On Thursday, FBI Director James Comey was summoned before Congress to account for his investigation. He held firm under nearly five hours of grilling, patiently explaining that the law, as currently written, does not criminalize stupidity and/or carelessness. His answers covered relatively little new ground, though he did cut one GOP line of attack off at the knees when he declared unequivocally that Gen. David Petraeus' security leaks were much worse than Clinton's. After releasing the Director, House Republicans said that they expected to hold more hearings, though it is unclear exactly whom they will depose.

At the same time, GOP leadership is pushing for Clinton's security clearance to be revoked, so that she will not be given access to the briefings that are customarily provided to presidential candidates. This is solely political theater, since that particular decision lies with President Obama, who—as you may have heard—is rather friendly with Clinton. It would also be unprecedented to give this information to one candidate and not the other.

Just down the street from the Capitol, meanwhile, State Department officials announced that they would resume their investigation into the e-mail server. Their efforts had been suspended so as to avoid interfering with the FBI, but that is no longer an issue. Needless to say, they will have to move fast if they hope to reach any conclusions before Election Day.

Hillary Clinton may have hoped that her e-mail server, like Benghazi, would quickly fade from view. Clearly, that will not be the case. (Z)

Trump's Anti-Semitic Tweet Not Going Away, Either

While Hillary Clinton continues to deal with her soap opera, Donald Trump also has to deal with his. It's been almost a week since the anti-Semitic tweet heard 'round the world, and the story is still in headlines. Today's episode centers on an op-ed written by Trump's son-in-law and right-hand man, Jared Kushner. An Orthodox Jew, Kushner insisted that his father-in-law, "is not anti-Semitic and he's not a racist." To supplement his case, Kushner compared the current situation to that of the "actual" racism and anti-Semitism faced by his Holocaust-survivor grandparents.

What's the problem, then? Kushner's family believes that Trump's tweet was anti-Semitic, and they are furious at Kushner's defense of The Donald, in particular his use of his grandparents. "I have a different take­away from my Grandparents' experience in the war," said one cousin "It is our responsibility as the next generation to speak up against hate. Anti­semitism or otherwise." Another wrote: "When an out of touch with reality nominee hires an out of touch with reality campaign manager, who is also a son-in-law, you get the BS Jared wrote."

And now, we wait to see what new direction this story will take on Friday. (Z)

Trump Underwhelms in Capitol Hill Meetings

In an effort to create some semblance of party unity, Donald Trump was in D.C. on Thursday for a group meeting with over 200 members of the House, and another with several dozen members of the Senate. It did not go well.

First up were the Representatives. They were concerned that Trump would continue to alienate Latinos, and were also unhappy with his recent praise of Saddam Hussein. The Donald was not able to assuage their concerns on either count. "Not helping me to get there," acknowledged Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), who is an Air Force veteran. "I have a hard time getting there because I'm an American before I'm a Republican." Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA) sounded a similar note: "I've said before that I've been concerned about his many incendiary comments, his lack of policy specificity. That was my belief walking into the meeting. That's still my belief right now."

The Senators came second, and they weren't much happier, particularly since Trump spent much of the time rehashing primary season battles and settling scores. He went so far as to call out Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE), Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), and Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) by name, suggesting that if they did not get on board the Trump express pronto, they would likely lose their reelection campaigns. Some accounts report that Trump went so far as to call the trio "losers," but this is disputed. What's much more clear is that Trump did not leave Capitol Hill with more support than he had when he arrived. (Z)

Cruz Will Speak at Republican Convention

Donald Trump did take care of one item of business while meeting with the members of Congress, however. He cornered Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and convinced the one-time presidential candidate to speak at the Republican convention. Since The Donald already announced that the roster of speakers was full, one wonders which family member he will be bumping to make time for the Texas Senator.

Cruz's speech, of course, will be less about Trump 2016 than it is about Cruz 2020. That campaign is already well underway, with two super PACs and a data collection operation already in place. Cruz will take advantage of the national stage to remind Republican voters that he is a "true" conservative who can win in Iowa and in Indiana, in religious states and in really religious states, in states that are 95% white and in states that are 98% white. It should be gripping. (Z)

Format for Presidential Debates Announced

Primary season debates are run by whichever media outlet or outlets happen to be hosting. The four debates of the general election season, on the other hand, are run by the non-partisan Commission on Presidential Debates, which announced its plans for 2016 on Thursday.

The first and third presidential debates, and the VP debate, will all follow a fairly traditional format—they will be broken up into segments, with each segment having a theme (the economy, defense, racial tensions, etc.) and the moderator(s) asking the questions. The second presidential debate will have a town hall format, with questions from both the moderators and the audience.

Of course, it is not the format of the debates that will attract viewers, it's the candidates. A few ratings analysts have suggested that the Trump-Clinton matchup (with the expected fireworks) could be watched by 500 million viewers. That's more than the Super Bowl, which certainly suggests something about the future of American politics. (Z)

2016: The New Year of the Woman?

In 1992, five new women Senators were elected, tripling that gender's representation in the upper chamber of Congress. Back then, pundits described it as "The Year of the Woman." At the moment, it's looking like that label may better be applied to 2016, since the Western world's three mightiest democracies may have a female leader by the end of the year.

Germany's Angela Merkel is the first member of the trio; she's been in office in Germany for a decade and does not appear to be slowing down. Meanwhile, the two finalists for the premiership of Great Britain are both women—Theresa May and Andrea Leadsom. If Hillary Clinton is elected, it will complete the trifecta.

A fair bit of ink has been spilled on this subject: Would it just be a fluke that the three nations all ended up with women leaders, or would it be a sign that the last glass ceiling has been definitively smashed? We won't know for a while, but it's worth noting that the number of female senators has grown from six in the "Year of the Woman" to 20 today. (Z)

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---The Votemaster and Zenger
Jul07 Trump Raises $51 Million in June
Jul07 Corker Withdraws as Potential Republican Veep
Jul07 Ernst Also Withdraws as Potential Republican Veep
Jul07 The Anti-Semitic Tweet that Would Not Die
Jul07 Trump Delegate Math Getting a Little Hairy
Jul07 Rubio Will Skip GOP Convention
Jul07 Democrats Getting Very Angry with Sanders
Jul07 Clinton-Sanders Endgame Appears to Be Underway
Jul07 Did Comey Abuse His Power?
Jul07 Cruz Working Hard on His 2020 Race
Jul07 Trump Raises $51 Million in June
Jul07 Corker Withdraws as Potential Republican Veep
Jul07 Ernst Also Withdraws as Potential Republican Veep
Jul07 The Anti-Semitic Tweet that Would Not Die
Jul07 Trump Delegate Math Getting a Little Hairy
Jul07 Rubio Will Skip GOP Convention
Jul07 Democrats Getting Very Angry with Sanders
Jul07 Clinton-Sanders Endgame Appears to Be Underway
Jul07 Did Comey Abuse His Power?
Jul07 Cruz Working Hard on His 202 Race
Jul06 Hillary Clinton Will Not Be Indicted
Jul06 Republicans Take Non-Indictment Poorly
Jul06 Sanders Still Won't Quit
Jul06 A New Proposal for Conservatives: Don't Run Anyone for President
Jul06 Clinton Gets Obama's Email List
Jul06 Trump Praises Saddam Hussein
Jul06 Clinton Either Crushing Trump or It's Tied
Jul05 Trump Wants an Unconventional Convention
Jul05 Trump's Swing State Problems
Jul05 Trump's Son-in-law Is His De Facto Campaign Manager
Jul05 The Top Ten Senate Challengers
Jul05 Tech Industry Likes Clinton and Dislikes Trump
Jul05 Not Many Ex-felons Are Registering To Vote in Virginia
Jul05 Kaine May Not Be in the Right Place on Abortion
Jul05 Sanders Still Being Protected by the Secret Service
Jul04 Was the American Revolution a Mistake?
Jul04 Sanders Is Not Happy with the Democratic Party Platform
Jul04 Cory Booker Cagey about Veep Vetting
Jul04 Trump Says Convention Lineup is Set
Jul04 Cabinet Secretaries Won't Speak at Democratic Convention
Jul04 Johnson Calls Trump a Racist
Jul04 Image in Trump Tweet Came from White Supremacist Site
Jul04 Kennedy Dynasty May Resume
Jul03 Trump's Meeting with Pence Spurs Veep Rumors
Jul03 Gingrich: No Evidence Trump Is a Racist
Jul03 FBI Interviews Hillary Clinton about Her Email Server
Jul03 Trump Just Can't Help Himself
Jul03 Poll: Neither Clinton Nor Trump Will Be a Good President
Jul03 Trump Claimed a Net Worth of $4.2 Billion in 2011
Jul03 Clinton Ads Running Most Heavily in Orlando, Denver, and Raleigh