Clinton 2293
Sanders 1533
 Needed   2383
Trump 1160
Cruz 566
Rubio 166
Kasich 159
Needed 1237

Trump Releases List of Possible Supreme Court Nominees

In a bid to get conservatives to love him (or at least not to hate him), Donald Trump released a list of people he would consider as replacements for the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Here is the list and some comments about them:

Judge Currently on Notes
Steven Colloton 8th circuit Worked with Kenneth Starr investigating Bill Clinton
Allison Eid CO SC Clerked for Justice Clarence Thomas
Raymond Gruender 8th circuit Thinks doctors should tell women wanting abortion that fetus is human being
Thomas Hardiman 3rd circuit Once ruled that a jail can strip search all arrestees
Raymond Kethledge 6th circuit Clerked for Justice Anthony Kennedy
Joan Larsen MI SC Clerked for Justice Antonin Scalia
Thomas Lee UT SC Clerked for Justice Clarence Thomas; his brother is Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT)
William Pryor 11th circuit Said Roe v. Wade was "constitutional right to murder an unborn child"; anti-gay
David Stras MN SC Clerked for Justice Clarence Thomas
Diane Sykes 7th circuit Long a conservative favorite
Don Willett TX SC Pro Ten Commandments on public property but has mocked Trump

To start with, all are white conservatives. Six are federal appeals court judges appointed by George W. Bush and five sit on state supreme courts, all appointed by Republican governors. Eight are men and three are women. By releasing this list, Trump is trying to show that he is a real conservative and wouldn't do something off the wall, like nominating his sister (a somewhat liberal federal judge) to the Supreme Court. Neither Hillary Clinton nor Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has responded with a list, probably because they don't want to undercut President Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland. Still, given such a conservative list, it is very unlikely that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will allow a vote on Garland before the election. Nevertheless, if Clinton wins, he might allow a vote after the election. (V)

Trump Working on VP List

Having finished up his list of potential Supreme Court justices, Donald Trump is back to work on his list of potential VPs. Now, a quick quiz. Which of these people would you least want handling this process, if you were the candidate?

a. Ben Carson
b. The guy who vetted Sarah Palin

Time's up. For Donald Trump, apparently, the answer is none of the above. He's entrusted Ben Carson to oversee the making of the list, and has hired Washington attorney A.B. Culvahouse to do the vetting of potential candidates, as Culvahouse did for then-candidate Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) in 2008.

Interestingly, although Trump is unwilling to share his own tax returns, he is insisting that his potential Veeps share theirs. Obviously, what they need to do is tell him they are being audited, and that they will share just as soon as the audit is over in November. (Z)

Trump Releases Financial Disclosure Report

Although Donald Trump still insists that he will not release his tax returns, he did release a 104-page financial disclosure form yesterday. It does not give a good picture of his wealth, but undoubtedly will give oppo researchers some clues about where to find goodies. The first 12 pages lists 560 companies that Trump has some connection to. The last 45 pages detail how much he owns of those companies. Trump claims that his annual income is $557 million and he is worth $10 billion, but few financial experts believe this. His primary assets are commercial and residential real estate, hotels, golf courses and restaurants. He also owns many stocks and bonds, including Ford, Pfizer, Amazon, Apple, and Nabisco.

Although Trump has repeatedly attacked Hillary Clinton for not releasing the transcripts of her paid speeches, he earned $800,000 for four speeches in 2015. He has not released the transcripts of any of them. (V)

About That Wall and Those Deportations...

Donald Trump's first Congressional endorsement came from Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY), who has now become a close adviser of the campaign. On Tuesday, Collins was interviewed about The Donald's policy proposals, and he offered some interesting insights on two of the biggest ones, saying that the wall along the Mexico border is possibly going to be virtual and the deportations are going to be rhetorical.

This explains, at very least, how Trump will get Mexico to pay for the wall, since virtual checks and rhetorical pesos are very cheap. In fact, XE Currency Converter currently has rhetorical pesos trading at infinity per $US1. Now, all the people who supported Trump because of his declarations about the border probably didn't envision a wall and a deportation policy that don't actually exist. So, if Trump's team doesn't walk back this rather remarkable bit of verbal sophistry, they might find that a lot of the votes they were counting on will become virtual, as well. (Z)

Third Party Bid, Already on Life Support, Has Plug Pulled

As we've noted recently, the odds of a #NeverTrump third party bid were getting longer and longer, since ballot deadlines had passed (Texas) or were about to (Illinois, North Carolina); the money to pay the bills was not forthcoming; and nobody with national stature wanted a truly thankless job.

Now, the movement appears to be officially dead. The lead recruiter, Mitt Romney, has thrown in the towel and said he will stop trying to find a True Conservative™ to challenge The Donald. It would seem that it was a hard sell, as Romney tried to convince others to do what he himself was unwilling to do. So now, for the Trump/Clinton haters, it is probably Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, Green Party candidate Jill Stein, or bust. (Z)

Overtime Regulation Exposes Divide Between Republican Donors and Voters

By changing one number in a federal regulation, the Obama Administration has created a nightmare situation for Donald Trump and the Republican Party. The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (as amended) requires that employees (except managers) are required by law to receive time-and-a-half for hours worked beyond 40 hours a week. The law doesn't say who is a manager, but gives the Secretary of Labor discretion to define that. At the time the law was passed, it was decided that anyone making more than the princely sum of $23,600 per annum was a manager and ineligible for overtime. That number hasn't changed since then. In 1938, 60% of the workforce qualified. Now that figure is down to 7%. The Obama administration has now redefined "manager" as anyone earning $47,476 per year, making millions of workers now eligible for overtime pay. The change takes effect on Dec. 1, 2016.

Herein lies the rub for the Republicans: Blue-collar workers love this change but Republican donors (many of whom own businesses) hate it bitterly. When Republican candidates for all offices, high and low, are asked whether they support the change, they have three choices: (1) support the workers, (2) support the donors, or (3) try desperately to avoid answering the question.

The consequences of the change may vary from company to company and industry to industry. Some companies will just pay their workers more for overtime. Other companies will eliminate overtime altogether and hire more workers. Yet other companies will eliminate overtime and try to squeeze more work out of their workers by making them do the same work in less time. Some companies may raise the base salaries of workers close to $47,476 to redefine them as managers. Other companies may reduce workers' base hourly rates to keep their annual compensation, including overtime, the same. Finally, some companies may try to take advantage of a loophole in the law that says that workers who are bona fide executives do not qualify for overtime. Teachers and doctors also do not qualify for overtime. Expect many lawsuits over who is an executive. Details aside, this change puts Republicans on the spot because it forces them to choose between workers and donors, with unfortunate consequences either way. For the Democrats, the choice is easy: They all support the change since, in practice, it is business owners and executives who really strongly object to the change and most of them are Republicans. (V)

Big Banks Favor Clinton over Republicans

Bernie Sanders has been attacking Hillary Clinton all year for being in bed with the big banks. That might not have been true at first, but since August 2015, employees of the six biggest U.S. banks have given 70% of their donations to Clinton and 30% to various Republicans. The split could get even worse in the general election as Wall Street might well prefer the predictability and stability of Clinton over unstable Donald Trump. For example, in 2008 Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein was a major supporter of Hillary Clinton in the primaries. This year he has stayed out of the Democratic primary, but when the general election rolls around, he might just be on her team again. (V)

Sanders Still Wants to Debate

In theory, the final Democratic primary debate is supposed to take place sometime this month, as part of the lead-up to the California primary on June 7. We, and many others, have wondered if it would actually happen, as time is running out and no details have been nailed down. But now, Fox News has stepped forward and expressed a desire to host the debate, and Bernie Sanders has accepted their invitation. So the ball, as they say, is in Hillary Clinton's court.

Clinton, however, is going to be the real sticking point. She has virtually nothing to gain from this debate, inasmuch as she's already got the nomination effectively in hand. Meanwhile, she would be in a no win situation on the debate stage. If she lets Sanders (and Fox News) tee off on her, it could hurt her in the general election. And if she locks horns with the Vermont Senator, she risks irritating the Berniecrats she is hoping to bring into the tent. On top of that is the small but nonzero chance that she makes a big blunder, e.g. MarcoBot, George H.W. Bush glancing at his watch, Dan Quayle comparing himself to Jack Kennedy, Gerald Ford claiming that Eastern Europe is not dominated by the Soviet Union, etc. So, she is going to do her very best to say, "Thanks, but no thanks." (Z)

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---The Votemaster and Zenger
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