The Scramble

Mike Licht / Creative Commons

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. 

Arturo Pardavila III, Flickr Creative Commons

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

Seth Capitulo / Flickr Creative Commons

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?

Donkey Hotey / Creative Commons

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. 

John Morgan / Creative Commons

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. 

Akuppa John Wigham / Creative Commons

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.

Tracy Symonds-Keogh / Wikimedia Commons

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.)

finemayer / CCO public domain

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.  

Erik Drost / Creative Commons

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. 

KAZ Vorpal / Creative Commons

Donald Trump wants to advance his business interests in Russia - and Vladimir Putin couldn't be happier. Putin's geopolitical interests rely on weakening the West. To that end, he has supported right-wing populists in Europe for more than a decade.  

Donald Trump may be the perfect tool to help Putin destroy the West. He supports many of the goals of Putin and has openly admired him. He's cultivated ties to Russia for a long time, including with a Russian gangster once jailed for slashing a man's face with a broken margarita glass. To make it worse, Trump has surrounded himself with advisors with shady ties to Russia.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

FBI Director James Comey recommended no criminal charges against Hillary Clinton for her use of a personal email server while she was Secretary of State. His judgment came on the heels of the FBI's more than three hour interview with Hillary Clinton on Saturday

Donkey Hotey / Creative Commons

Donald Trump has had a really bad few weeks. His poll numbers are dropping to the lowest point for any general election candidate in the last three years. He's coming under fire for his response to last week's shootings in Orlando, and for saying U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel -- who is the judge overseeing the fraud case against Trump University -- may be biased against him because of his Mexican heritage.

US Embassy / Creative Commons

Orlando, Florida was the scene of a mass shooting Sunday that left 50 people dead and dozens more injured. We've heard the story before: a shooter walks into a crowded room with multiple weapons to kill large numbers of people in an astonishingly small amount of time.

Steve Terrell / Wikimedia Commons

There has never been a time in the last ten presidential cycles when voters have disliked two presidential front-runners as much as they dislike Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Yes, the country is becoming increasingly polarized, but that doesn't explain why the candidates aren't well-liked by their respective parties.

FutUndBeidl / Creative Commons

 Reporters at The Washington Post noted that Donald Trump has a history of calling reporters under the guise of phantom spokespersons named John Barron and John Miller. He uses the guise to share the wonderful things he's been up to, or depending on how you look at it, to spin his bad press into something more golden, especially his relationships with women he believes are attracted to him. 


Rather than me ham-handedly trying to summarize Stephen Metcalf's Slate cover story, "Donald Trump, Baby Boomer," read his thesis below.

Michael Czerski / flickr

There’s a kind of idiocy about the way the White House Correspondents Dinner is, conceptually, a Feast of Fools with a comedian as Lord of Misrule, a night when decorum is suspended, comedy rules, etc.

And then D.C. never goes all-in. The crowd doesn’t laugh, and then there’s this post-mortem in which interested parties pull organs out of the comedy set and weigh them on political scales and try to make something out of them. The whole city should sign a disarmament pact or just stop doing this thing.

Citizens4taxjustice / Creative Commons

The effect of a declining middle class is everywhere -- the medically uninsured or underinsured, the heroin epidemic, declining life expectancy for middle-aged white men, flat wages, weakened unions -- the list goes on and on.