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The Scramble

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Republicans in Congress said little when Donald Trump's ban on immigrants led to chaos, they ignored widespread protest against his cabinet picks, and they still fail to call out statements that are untrue. Save for a scattered voice of dissent in Republican ranks, the GOP seems unruffled by Donald Trump's behavior as president - except when it comes to Russia. John McCain is turning into Trump's fiercest critic where most others fear to tread. Is this his moment to be a hero?

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On Friday night, U.S. District Judge James Robart ordered a nationwide stay on President Trump's week-old executive order barring refugees and immigrants from seven countries from entering the U.S.  His ruling was broad and did not rule on whether the order was constitutional.

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President Donald Trump issued an executive order Friday indefinitely barring Syrian refugees from entering the United States. He also suspended all refugee admissions for 120 days, and blocked citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries - Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen - from entering the country for 90 days. Chaos ensued, lawsuits were filed, and people protested nationwide against Trump for the second time since his Inauguration. 

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President Donald Trump made clear on the first day of his presidency that he intends to undermine the press. He sent Press Secretary Sean Spicer to use the power of his pulpit to deliberately deceive the public about the size of the crowd at Friday's Inauguration. 

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  His followers were “impressionable voters” duped by “radical doctrines and quack remedies,” claimed The Washington Post. Now that Hitler actually had to operate within a government the “sober” politicians would “submerge” this movement, according to The New York Times and Christian Science Monitor. A “keen sense of dramatic instinct” was not enough. When it came to time to govern, his lack of “gravity” and “profundity of thought” would be exposed.

Donkey Hotey / Creative Commons

Molly McKew says the liberal world order of democratic values is unraveling. In its place, Vladimir Putin is building a new world order with the primary goal of weakening America and NATO. He's waging a quiet war of subversion rather than domination and we've been slow to catch on. Yet, we see it all around us in Americans loss of faith in its democratic institutions. Is a new Cold War what America needs? We're already in the war - whether we want it or not. 

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Colin is back, and we've got some questions, and we're guessing you do too.

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You may have heard there was an election last week. You may have heard that the outcome... surprised some people. You may have heard that the press made some mistakes, here and there, in its coverage.

This hour, we look at this election season's media winners and losers.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

American democracy is limping to the finish line this election week, dehydrated and injured from many stumbles during this race. Can it recover before Americans lose faith that America has the will or ability to help them? Can it recover before foreign friends and foes alike lose faith in America's sanity and stability? 

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FBI Director James B. Comey wrote in a Friday memo to Congressional leaders that "the FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation" of Hillary Clinton's use of a personal email server. The memo sparked a firestorm that rages hotter by the day, resisting all attempts to contain its damage. 

Betsy Kaplan / WNPR

Against Everything is a book about self-improvement. Before you tune out, I ask you to challenge your notion of 'self-improvement.' 

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Donald Trump spent the recent days creating an alternate reality filled with 'global conspiracies' against him he claims are led by Hillary Clinton and the global elite. This is in response to several women who came forward last week to accuse Donald Trump of sexually harassing and/or assaulting them after a 2005 tape was released on which Trump was bragging about how easy it was for him to "grab" women as he pleased. 

Barry Blitt / The New Yorker

Donald Trump's horrible, terrible week got worse after the New York Times released three pages of Trump's 1995 tax return this weekend. They show he lost nearly $916 million in a year when the economy was thriving. But, that's another story. He may have used legal loopholes in the tax code to make more money off his loss and avoid paying federal income taxes for the next 18 years. Did he? He won't tell. But, he did note at last week's debate that he would be smart if he did. 

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This hour, we mourn the loss of 24-year-old Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who died in a boat accident over the weekend. 

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How we make decisions is a thread that runs through today's Scramble.

First, Donald Trump called a press conference in his new Trump International Hotel in D.C. this past Friday to announce, "President Obama was born in the United States. Period.” He was late to the press conference and used it to promote both a new lie about Hillary Clinton and his new hotel - which ‘coincidentally’ opened last week. How did certain media organizations choose to cover this non-news event instead of say, Hillary Clinton addressing the Black Women’s Agenda Symposium, where she was talking about the economic challenges faced by women of color. Will this episode of "sewer dwelling” prompt the media to re-examine the role and privilege of a free press?

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Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have both been criticized in recent weeks for activities related to their respective foundations. Clinton is accused of using her position as a way to give special treatment to foundation donors. Trump used foundation money to support the re-election of Florida Attorny General Pam Biondi to allegedly stop her from investigating Trump University. As it turns out, Trump has been using his foundation for things that have nothing to do with philanthropy. 

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The presidential debates are scheduled to begin this month with the first scheduled for September 26 at Hofstra University in Long Island. Donald Trump announced this weekend that yes, he would participate -now that he approves of the moderators chosen to referee the debates. 

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We're losing about 22,000 square miles of Arctic ice every week, the Great Barrier Reef - which dates back to the start of civilization - is rapidly dying, fires from heat and dryness are burning in Canada and California, and recent floods in Baton Rouge, Louisiana killed thirteen people and damaged the homes of 40,000 and counting. And let's not forget that our last three summers have been the hottest on record - EVER.  Is it time for America to mobilize our collective force into halting climate change with the same collective force we used to halt Hitler in World War II? 

Donkey Hotey / Creative Commons

Donald Trump canceled his big speech on immigration scheduled for Thursday. It could have something to do with the comments he made to his new Hispanic advisory council suggesting he'd like to find a more "humane" approach to dealing with the undocumented immigrants he has - up to now - wanted to deport. Up to now, his supporters have been loyal despite policy pronouncements contrary to their views. Immigration may be the one area they won't tolerate a back-pedal. We talk about this and more news in politics.

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The ten-part Netflix documentary "Making a Murderer" covers the 2007 conviction in Manitowoc County, Wisc., of Steven Avery for the murder of Teresa Halbach. A secondary story in the film is the interrogation, confession, and later conviction of Avery's nephew, Brendan Dassey, as an accessory to the crime.

In a turn of events that forces to mind Adnan Syed and "Serial," a federal judge on Friday overturned Dassey's conviction on the grounds that his confession was coerced and unconstitutionally obtained. (Read the decision here.)

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You might think all is going well at the Olympics if you enjoyed the glossy opening ceremony or heard the inspirational stories of athletes, many of whom have made it to the games against all odds. We should be inspired by these athletes. And, we do want to believe in the Olympics.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

It's the final day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia -  and the ride has been almost as wild as last week's Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

Ralph Nader is not happy with either the Republican or Democratic candidates for president. He says Republicans tolerating Donald Trump will look back and be ashamed and that Democrats chose a "deeply-rooted corporatist" and "militarist." In fact, he thinks the "two party tyranny" reduces the "voices and choices" of the people and we should all consider a third-party.  

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The Republican National Convention in Cleveland wraps up today following a speech by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

Mike Licht / Creative Commons

The Republican National Convention kicks off in Cleveland today after several days of pre-convention fireworks, including efforts by anti-Trump delegates to change the rules, Trump's agonizing indecision on his VP, and a changing list of speakers that will include more Trump family members than seasoned politicians. 

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