DNC Starts Up, But Seems To Be Missing Something

The Democratic National Convention is underway, but it looks like it started off without a very important song. Any event especially a presidential party convention should start off with the national anthem, but it seems that the Democrats have other priorities.

They had no problem starting off with a church choir singing "Battle Hymn of The Republic" designed to pander to minorities voters. 

Next there was a Boyz II Men performance.

It would take them quite some time to eventually get around to the national anthem, but does it really surprise anyone that it took the Democrats this long. 

DNC To Sanders Campaign: We're Sorry About Those Emails, But Let's Unite To Defeat Trump

With the Democratic National Convention underway, the Democratic National Committee issued a formal apology to Sen. Bernie Sanders, his supporters, and the entire party as a whole over the controversy that’s erupted over leaked emails from the DNC, showing that staffers worked behind the scenes to undermine Sanders. It confirms what many have suspected, which is that the DNC was putting its finger on the scale in favor of Hillary Clinton. The revelation of these emails, days before the convention, has intensified Sanders supporters’ distrust (and disgust) of Clinton in Philadelphia. Earlier this afternoon, Sen. Sanders was booed by his supporters when he suggested that they vote for the Clinton/Kaine ticket.

It’s been a day highlighting the deep divisions present within the Democratic Party that have not healed since the end of the primaries. Nevertheless, this move by the DNC, and its incoming interim chair Donna Brazile, aims to smooth over those tensions and call (once again) for unity.

“These comments do not reflect the values of the DNC or our steadfast commitment to neutrality during the nominating process. The DNC does not–and will not–tolerate disrespectful language exhibited toward our candidates. Individual staffers have also rightfully apologized for their comments, and the DNC is taking appropriate action to ensure it never happens again,” read the statement.

So, it sounds that no one is going to be fired or forced to resign over this fiasco. All you need to do is just offer a half-hearted apology.

At the same time, isn't Brazile also another anti-Sanders Democrat. It sure seems so, thanks to the emails obtained by Wikileaks.

Democratic Governor On DNC Emails: Debbie Has Been A Good Leader, So Let's Move On, Already

There are some Democrats who just want the Debbie Wasserman Schultz and DNC email leak story to just go away. One of them is Democratic Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf. During his CNN interview with Carol Costello, Wolf stated that he thought outgoing DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz was a good leader, and that it was time for the Democrats to unite.

Costello had brought up how the hope that Democrats could leave Philadelphia under the narrative that they’re a united party is gone after Sander’s intense speech drew boos when he said that Democrats needed to vote for the Clinton/Kaine ticket, the emails that show the Democratic National Committee tipping the scales for the former secretary of state in the primaries, and testimonials from reporters and Sanders supporters alike that there are a) more pro-Bernie signs than Hillary signs; and b) some of these Bernie supporters are so distrustful of Clinton that they might vote for Trump.

At the time, there was still debate as to whether Schultz was going to gavel in the convention; she’s not doing that anymore. Wolf pressed on, saying that it’s time to unite as a party or risk defeat come November.

“But at this point, Debbie Wasserman Schultz is a distraction, isn’t she?” asked Costello.

“I think she has been a good leader. She has done what she thinks she ought to do and we got to move on,” he said.

“She’s been a good leader? Did you read some of those leaked emails?” Costello asked.

“Okay–we need to move on. This is about unity. I know you want to talk about…but this is a side issue,” Wolf said.

He reiterated the call for unity that is so lacking right now in Philadelphia. At the same time, when Clinton supporters are trying to say this this is just a peripheral issue, and that we should move on–you know it's a big deal. 

Watch LIVE: Bernie Sanders to Address DNC on a Hostile Day One

The Democratic National Convention is already rife with scandal after those notorious Wikileaks emails revealed the DNC's bias against the Bernie Sanders campaign. His supporters have shown up in droves to protest the week's events, believing that their votes were unfairly suppressed throughout the primary process. Their unrest was on display again as they booed DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz off the stage on Monday and chanted "We Want Bernie!" during Sanders' address to delegates. 

Sanders is addressing the convention Monday night, along with Sen. Elizabeth Warren and First Lady Michelle Obama.

One person who will not be onstage tonight: DWS. She is set to resign as chair at the end of the week. 

Here's a 51-Foot "Joint" At The DNC

There are a lot of odd sights abound at the DNC, but this may be the weirdest yet: A 51-foot-long inflatable "joint" being paraded about by angry Bernie Sanders supporters around the streets of Philadelphia.

"Deschedule" cannabis means removing the drug from the Schedule 1 classification of narcotics. Currently, the government considers cannabis to be more dangerous than cocaine, with absolutely no medicinal properties.

This is such a fun election, isn't it?

Revolt? Sanders Delegates Pondering Whether To Challenge Tim Kaine As VP Choice

Cortney wrote about a fiery speech Bernie Sanders just delivered to his supporters at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, PA. He delivered the usual far left red meat about income inequality, universal health care, and corporation paying their fair share of taxes. He also added that he wants to transform the United States’ political system so that it doesn’t favor the one percent. Things were going great until he told his supporters to vote for Hillary Clinton in order to defeat Donald Trump. That drew boos. Now, we have rumblings that Sanders delegates might challenge Clinton’s VP pick, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), during the convention (via Politico):

Supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders are moving towards a challenge of Sen. Tim Kaine’s selection as presumptive vice presidential nominee, accusing Hillary Clinton of failing to roll back “some of the worst neo-liberal policies” with her choice of running mate.

“There’s serious interest right now and exploration as we speak of a formal challenge,” Norman Solomon, a California delegate and national coordinator for the Bernie Delegates Network, said at a press conference Monday. The network represents about 1,250 of the 1,900 delegates that have pledged support for Sanders.

Kaine's selection riled Sanders supporters, who accuse the Virginia Democrat of being too closely tied to Wall Street and fault him for his past strong support for trade deals.

Yeah, that’s why Kaine, like Clinton, flip-flipped on his support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership once he was formally picked as the former secretary of state’s running mate (via CBS News):

A Clinton aide confirmed to CBS News that Kaine had made a private commitment to Clinton that he would now oppose TPP, falling in line with the former secretary of state's declared view on the trade deal.

Previously, Kaine had voted for "fast tracking" authority in the Senate, which would speed trade deals like the TPP through Congress.

And of TPP itself, Kaine had seemed to defend the 12-nation trade pact in an interview with The Intercept earlier this week.

"I am having discussions with groups around Virginia about the treaty itself. I see much in it to like. I think it's an upgrade of labor standards. I think it's an upgrade of environmental standards, I think it's an upgrade in intellectual property protections," Kaine told the publication Thursday.

MSNBC’s Chris Jansing, interviewed radio Host Hugh Hewitt where he reiterated why Sanders supporters, or any member of the progressive left, would not be happy with the Clinton/Kaine ticket–they’re BFFs of Wall Street. He also said that unlike Indiana Gov. Mike Pence–Trump’s running mate–Kaine doesn’t do much for Clinton, and the feeling for Sanders supporters is that they were “punked” by her who dangled the possibility of choosing someone more progressive. Not the case:

CHRIS JANGSING: Joining me now from Cleveland, Hugh Hewitt, host of the Hugh Hewitt Show on the Salem Radio Network, and an MSNBC political analyst. Good to see you, Hugh. What are you looking for this week?

HUGH HEWITT: Well, I am very happy with the Tim Kaine selection. I think that the Bernie Sanders people have to feel punked this morning by Hillary Clinton. You couldn’t get closer to Goldman-Sachs if you were built-in furniture than Tim Kaine. So it’s a huge head fake that Secretary Clinton has pulled off on the left. She met with Cory Booker, she met with Elizabeth Warren, she pretended to be a progressive throughout the campaign. She’s in fact an insider’s insider, as is Tim Kaine. He’s very affable, a very nice man. Everybody likes Tim Kaine. He has some assets. He’s fluent in Spanish. But in terms of those progressives, those hard left members of the Bernie Sanders coalition, the Woodstock generation, meaning the millennials, Chris, they’re not happy. And Donald Trump made an explicit appeal to them, especially on TPP, and Tim Kaine, like Hillary Clinton, is a big supporter of TPP. I’m a supporter of TPP. But the Bernie Sanders people are not. And so Donald Trump said come join us.

CJ: Well, Hugh, are you one of those people, are you one of those people, though, who think that a VP matters? Sort of the conventional wisdom is do no harm. Do you really think that Tim Kaine is somebody who is going to do harm to Hillary Clinton?

HEWITT: Mike Pence did a lot of good for Donald Trump, an enormous amount of good as we saw here in Cleveland, the wonderful, with the exception of the Cruz speech, a wonderful sense of okay, Trump’s our guy. His line on the Supreme Court got the biggest applause line in the room all week long, and it was the Baja 500 convention. Don’t get me wrong. At times, it felt like you know, Yosemite Sam was driving. But Priebus and Sean Spicer and others would get it back on the road. So we ended up having a fine time. Trump had a great speech. The kids were four for four. At the end of the week, they’re unified with Pence adding. Tim Kaine doesn’t do that for her, because the wing of the party she needed to satisfy with her vice president, the way that Trump had to reassure conservatives as he did with Mike Pence, she needed to reassure progressives that she wasn’t faking it. And she has an inauthenticity problem. Nobody believes her. She has this huge, long record of not only failure in Egypt and Libya and Syria, with the Russian reset button, but of lying repeatedly to Congress, and now to her Democratic wing. So Chris, I come out of Ohio happy. In fact, like you, I’m a Buckeye. I used to summer down in Saybrook, not far from your hometown. I now want the Ohio Olympics, I was so happy at the end of the week here in Cleveland. I don’t think the Democrats are going to leave Philadelphia happy.

JANSING: Hugh, I just wonder if you’re, obviously you’re putting a positive spin on this, but don’t you think that what Ted Cruz pointed to, what, frankly, the first two appearances between Donald Trump and Mike Pence pointed to, was an essential disorganization within a campaign, an inability to get their act together by a guy whose, one of his central selling points is that he is organized, that he does have his act together. Do you really think that the, I’m not talking about the Republican voter who was in that audience, who cheered him on, and everybody, Ivanka did an amazing job, but for the swing voter out there, they watched that campaign and thought, oh, yeah, they had their act together there and this is somebody I can get behind?

HEWITT: Oh, Chris, absolutely. I think he reassured people like me, who are traditional party people, conservatives, people who care about the Supreme Court and the American military, he got us back, happy, and generally accepting of his, and I’m not an anti-free trade guy in the way that Donald Trump is, but nevertheless, I’m okay with the ticket. And he reached out to the unemployed union worker in Warren, Ohio, my hometown. He reached out to Southern Pennsylvania to the coal country in Pennsylvania. He went up to Michigan to the unemployed car worker. He built his coalition, and he went to the Bernie Sanders people who were waiting for Elizabeth Warren, waiting for Cory Booker, and who got Tim Kaine. Now Senator Kaine is a wonderful guy. Everybody likes him. I wouldn’t deny that for a moment. But he is corporate. And I was reading the Washington Post story this morning. The progressives, you know, the Bernie-back-to-Woodstock people, are outraged at this choice, and I don’t think he makes a lick of difference to Black Lives Matter. So if you’re a social justice activist, if you’re an anti-big banks activist in the Democratic Party, you’re already mad at Hillary Clinton. He doesn’t help her on the authenticity. He doesn’t do anything to reassure as Admiral Stavridis would have done, he was on the short list, about her chronic inability to tell the truth. And so when you run down her failures and her character problems, she didn’t do much with a Tim Kaine pick.

JANSING: I’ve got to tell you, I was with, out on the trail with Bernie for a month or more. I’ve talked to hundreds of Bernie voters. I’ve not really found many of them who are ready to go for Donald Trump, but we shall see. It will be an interesting set of coming months. Hugh Hewitt, thanks so much.

HEWITT: Thanks, Chris.

Let’s see what happens. Tensions are surely running a bit high.

Hillary Clinton Claims She Faces A "Hillary Standard" On Her Campaign Trail

Presumptive Democratic Nominee Hillary Clinton and her Vice Presidential pick Tim Kaine made their debut as a ticket in an interview on 60 Minutes Sunday night.

In the interview with CBS's Scott Pelley, Hillary complains about the scrutiny the public places on her.

"I often feel like there's the Hillary standard, and then there's the standard for everybody else," she went on to explain that "it is unfounded inaccurate, mean spirited attacks with no basis in truth, reality which take on a life of their own."

Some of the "inaccurate and mean-spirited attacks" came from Chris Christie, Reince Priebus and many more.

"She was the chief engineer of the disastrous overthrow of Gaddafi in Libya. Libya today after Hillary Clinton's grand strategy... their economy's in ruins, there's death and violence on the streets and ISIS is now dominating that country," said New Jersey Governor Chris Christie at the RNC.

"Just look at her disastrous Iran deal. Which lined the pockets of the world's number one state sponsor of terrorism with your money while abandoning our greatest ally in the Middle East, the nation of Israel. It was on her watch ISIS began to spread its wings of evil over the Middle East," said RNC chairmen Reince Priebus.

Apparently the "Hillary standard" is just pointing out facts. Almost all of what was said about Hillary at the RNC were things that actually happened. 

It was proven she lied about her email servers, yet this fact is viewed as an "attack" by the former Secretary of State.

If there is any "Hillary standard" it isn't any harsh scrutiny placed on her. It's the phenomenon in which she doesn't face any consequences for her actions. See this quote from FBI director James Comey's statement on the investigation.

"Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case... To be clear, this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences."

I would say this is a prime example of the "Hillary standard."

BREAKING: ISIS Claims To Have Shot Down U.S. Warplane In Iraq, Crew Killed?; UPDATE: Centcom Says All Aircraft Accounted For

There are reports that ISIS has shot down a U.S. warplane, and that the crew had been killed. It was reportedly shot down near Anbar. Yet, MSNBC’s Cal Perry said it’s unknown if this was a jet fighter or an unmanned drone. We’ll keep you updated.

UPDATE: U.S. CENTCOM denies ISIS shot down a U.S. warplane, says all aircraft are account for.

Dems in Disarray: Delegates Boo Bernie, Chant 'Lock Her Up!'

When RNC delegates chanted "lock her up!" in Cleveland, many in the media clutched at their pearls, scandalized. This is unprecedented demonization, they lamented, willfully forgetting quite a lot of demonization. While I myself became a bit queasy when that particular chant was shouted in response to anti-Clinton criticisms that were not related to her national security-endangering criminal conduct, about which she continues to habitually lie, much of the commentariat's fainting-couch routine engendered deserved eye rolling.  And now we have this, in Philadelphia:

Just some random protesters and agitators? Nope, elected delegates, too:

Angered by email leaks showing Democratic National Committee favoritism toward Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders delegates chanted "Lock her up!" at the California delegation's breakfast on Monday. The scheduled agenda of the delegation's first breakfast of the week was overrun by hundreds of Sanders supporters, angered by their party's bias towards Hilary Clinton, as proved by the recent e-mail leaks. As California Secretary of State Alex Padilla spoke, the crowd chanted "You got served!" and "Count the votes!" until his speech was nearly inaudible. As House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi spoke, much of her speech was drowned out with chants of "Bernie! Bernie! Bernie!" and "Lock her up!"

Perhaps Mrs. Clinton is more of a bipartisan uniter than anyone expected. This comes on the heels of resigning DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz being booed lustily by the Florida delegation, prompting her to abandon the plan to appear on the convention's main stage:

In fairness, Debbie's always been a little slow on the uptake.  Nancy Pelosi was also jeered at her own party's convention.  Last but not least, here is Bernie Sanders himself getting loudly booed while urging his supporters and delegates to rally behind the Clinton/Kaine ticket.  Feel the unity.  Feel it:

Parting Thoughts: (1) Does Hillary get booed at her own acceptance speech? (2)  How's this for a bumper sticker?

"Hillary 2016: Because not everyone agrees she should be in jail!"

Congress Approves GMO Labeling Bill

Congress passed a bill last week that will require companies to label their food to reflect that they contain genetically modified ingredients. 

The legislation passed by Congress and waiting on Barack Obama's signature would require food packages to carry a text label, a symbol or an electronic code that smartphones can read that identifies that the package contains GMOs. 

Pamela Bailey, the chief executive of the Grocery Manufacturers Association described the passage of the bill as a huge victory.

"Today's vote is a resounding victory not only for consumers and common sense but also for the tremendous coalition of agricultural and food organizations that came together in unprecedented fashion to get this solution passed," said Bailey.

The House approved the bill 306-117 on Thursday, and the Senate passed the bill over the strong objections made by Vermont's representatives. Both Sens. Bernie Sanders and Patrick Leahy argued that the bill does not go far enough and compared it to their states tougher GMO requirements. The Vermont law requires the food to be have a label that says "produced with genetic engineering."

"The Stabenow-Roberts GMO bill is confusing, misleading and unenforceable. It does nothing to make sure consumers know what they're eating," tweeted Sanders on Wednesday. 

The federal law renders Vermont and other state's GMO labeling laws null and void. "It's a shame that Congress chose to replace our standard with a weaker one that provides multiple ways for the food industry to avoid transparent labeling," said Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin. 

Many have argued that the bill is pandering to the interests of big business by allowing them to use the code option. Rep. Jim McGovern described the bill as catering to a few special interests and not to the American consumers. 

The food industry argues that GMOs are not harmful to people, and that the labels could mislead people into believing they are bad. They have pointed out that 75-80 percent of foods contains genetically modified ingredients, which the FDA says are safe to eat.

Many now believe that the fight for clear GMO labels is now in the hands of the USDA which has to come up with the new rules and regulations for these labels. 

"The fight for national mandatory GMO transparency now shifts to USDA and to the marketplace, where companies should think twice before they remove GMO labels from their packages," said Gary Hirshberg, the chairman of the Just Label It coalition. 

Awesome: Conservatives Converge on White House With Blue Lights For Fallen Law Enforcement

During Breast Cancer Awareness month in October 2013, the White House was lit pink. After the Supreme Court ruled a ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional, the White House was bathed in rainbow colors. After five police officers were executed in Dallas and another four were assassinated in Baton Rouge, the Obama administration refused to light the White House blue in their honor. 

Over the weekend a group of conservatives, led by Michelle Malkin, took matters into their own hands by descending on the White House with blue lights as a tribute to fallen law enforcement officers around the country. They've deemed every Friday as #BlueLightFriday so people never forget the sacrifices made every day.

We came to light it up! #whitehouse #bluelightfriday #bluelivesmatter

A photo posted by Michelle Malkin (@misstripleem) on

#bluelightfriday #whitehouse Sunset at the people's house honoring the fallen. #bluelivesmatter

A photo posted by Michelle Malkin (@misstripleem) on

Honoring the memories of fallen law enforcement officers when the White House won't, well done.

Bernie Supporter: I Might Vote For Trump, I'll Never Vote For Hillary

Disunity at the DNC is alive and well both inside and outside of Wells Fargo Arena just hours before the 2016 Democrat Convention kicks off in Philadelphia. 

For months, Bernie Sanders supporters have struggled to unify behind Hillary Clinton and the weekend's revelations that the DNC was actively working against Sanders aren't making things any easier. In fact, Sanders supporters are so opposed to voting for Clinton, they're considering a vote for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

"The election [Democrat primary] was cheated, it was rigged from the beginning we knew it," Sanders supporter Eileen Cook told Fox News' Leland Vittert in Philadelphia Monday. "I'm going to wait to see where I think my vote will most hurt Hillary. I might even vote Trump. I've been a Democrat all my life. I'm 60 years old and it'd be the first time I've ever cast a vote for a Republican, but if it'll keep Hillary out of office, I'll vote Trump."

Trump has been courting Sanders voters for months as division within the Democrat Party continues.

Emergency Censorship: Schultz Has Speaking Privilege Revoked by Clinton

The Democratic National Convention has started off with shocking controversy and scandal.  

Just hours after the breaking news regarding the DNC's hacked e-mail servers, it has been announced that chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz has been removed from the position of party chair and will now be revoked from participating at the convention.  

World Youth Day Kicks Off In Krakow

World Youth Day, a weeklong gathering of Catholic young people, has begun in Krakow, Poland. The festivities will continue until July 31. Pope Francis will arrive in Poland on Wednesday and will celebrate Mass with the pilgrims on Saturday and Sunday. Pope Francis will also make a visit to Auschwitz while he is in Poland.

Krakow was announced as the 2016 host city at the conclusion of 2013's World Youth Day in Rio. World Youth Day's next dates and location will be announced at the end of Sunday's Mass.

Attendance at past World Youth Days has ranged from 400,000 to over 5,000,000.

On Twitter, the Bishop of Rome tweeted blessings for those en route to Krakow for the event.

WATCH: Delegates Boo, Chant ‘We Want Bernie!’ After Sanders Says We Need to Elect Hillary

The delegates Sen. Bernie Sanders’ addressed ahead of the 2016 Democratic National Convention on Monday agreed with most of his remarks – until he said “we have got to elect Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine” in November. That declaration was met with boos and jeers.

“We want Bernie!” they chanted.

Their reaction proved that Sanders voters are sour over a new Wikileaks email dump that revealed how the DNC was openly hostile to Sanders campaign. DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz has announced her resignation as a result of the scandal.

Her resignation, Sanders said, “opens up possibility for new leadership that will stand with working people.” Additionally, it will “open the doors of the party for those people who want real change.”

Yet, the damage has been done. Not only have Sanders supporters been booing DNC officials, but thousands have shown up in Philadelphia to protest this week’s festivities.

In his speech, Sanders reminded voters how he proved the pundits wrong with his campaign. What was once dismissed as a “fringe” campaign ended up giving Clinton a serious run for her money.

Speaking of money, Sanders said he was proud to have run a campaign in which he received an average $27 contribution.

“You can run a competitive national campaign without begging billionaires for campaign contributions,” he noted. “All of us are proud that we are the only campaign not to have a super PAC.”

His impressive 2016 showing also allowed him to have an influence in the DNC’s newest platform, which he boasted is “the most progressive platform ever written.”

But platform language and a change in leadership is just the beginning of their successes, he promised. It’s time they “continue the political revolution.”

Sanders is expected to speak Monday night at the DNC. Do we have another Ted Cruz moment on our hands? 

Bounce: Trump Takes the Lead in National Polling Average

PHILADELPHIA - As we anticipated, Donald Trump is enjoying a customary post-convention polling bounce. So far, the boost appears to be modest but clear. Despite a messy RNC in Cleveland, the GOP ticket has surged across multiple polls in advance of the DNC here in Philly. Democrats, meanwhile, will gavel in their quadrennial confab in a state of chaos and disunity. The soon-to-be-ex party chairwoman was booed off the stage by her own state delegation, and Bernie Sanders delegates are openly discussing mounting a floor challenge against Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton's Vice Presidential pick. Will Trump's gains create a deeper schism within the Democratic ranks (see? we never should have nominated this flawed woman!), or will the prospect of a Trump presidency pull the center-Left together (differences aside, he must be stopped)?  We shall see.  Either way, memo to the party that rigged the system to coronate one of the least liked and least trusted politicians of our time -- Donald J. Trump has now seized a very slight national lead:

Morning Consult also has Trump +4.  It's worth noting that the USC tracking poll, like Rasmussen, has been uncommonly kind to Trump. On the other hand, Reuters' tracker has been especially unkind to him, and their latest (mid-RNC) numbers had him within low single digits -- a major shift away from her.  An additional data point to highlight is how in the CNN survey, Trump's margin of advantage grows when Libertarian Gary Johnson is included; in CBS News' findings, Johnson pulls equally from both major parties.  The notion that Johnson acts as a disproportionately anti-GOP spoiler has been undermined by the polling over several months:

The CBS battleground poll of 11 swing states was virtually unchanged from prior to Trump's nominating convention. Hillary Clinton's position remained exactly static, as the billionaire gained two points to take a razor-thin lead, well within the margin of error. It's now 42/41 for The Donald:

And here's elections guru Nate Silver announcing that his unweighted electoral model has shifted dramatically to give Trump the edge:

It's virtually inevitable that the Clinton/Kaine ticket will garner a convention bump of its own, reshuffling the numbers by next week. But as of July 25, 2016, literally the most disliked presidential nominee in the history of American political polling is beating Hillary Rodham Clinton. Over to you, Associated Press: 

Hillary Clinton has a problem. Too many voters say they're supporting her for a reason you'd never want printed on a campaign T-shirt: "I'm voting for the lesser of two evils." It's far from inspiring...Democrats and independent voters in the Philadelphia suburbs — a crucial area in a competitive state — expressed mixed feelings about Clinton in the days leading up to this week's Democratic National Convention in their hometown. Like Trump, Clinton has her faithful followers. And like Trump, negative views of Clinton run deep, even among some supporters. Half of Clinton's own backers say they consider her only slightly or not at all honest, and more than one-third say she's only slightly or not at all likable, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll conducted this month. "I'm not excited," said Matthew Mousley, 36, of Springfield, who nevertheless plans to support Clinton. "I guess, it's just, I feel like there should be better options." It's a worry for Clinton's top aides, who see maximizing Democratic turnout as a main campaign challenge.

Bravo, Democrats.

Clinton On Benghazi: Security Was ‘Not My Ball To Carry’

In their first joint appearance since the announcement of the full Democratic ticket, presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, and her running mate Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine were interviewed by CBS News’ Scott Pelley, where the issue of the Benghazi terror attacks were discussed.

“What’s your responsibility for Benghazi? Did you make any mistakes around that?” asked Pelley.

Clinton responded by saying that she did take responsibility, as she was secretary of state, and looked into what really happened–not what people have claimed in the media or on Capitol Hill. She said that she looked into what could be done to prevent another Benghazi at our various diplomatic missions around the world. Clinton cited precedent in Congress and the governing administration coming together to find such solutions, citing the 1983 Beirut bombings of the U.S. Marine Corps barracks by Hezbollah. Instead, she noted how the proceedings became overly politicized.

The former first lady mentioned that she set up an independent committee made up of distinguished Americans and civilian experts, who pointed out that the ball was dropped on security and that some decisions that were made should’ve been reconsidered.

“But wasn’t that your ball to carry?” asked Pelley.

“No, it wasn’t. It was not my ball to carry. It was—read the reports. Read all the reports, all many hundreds of pages of them, including this latest one which was a political exercise from the very beginning. Those never reached me. Those never came to my attention,” replied Clinton.

“The concerns about the security never came to you attention, they didn’t reach you,” said Pelley clarifying Clinton’s answer.

“Yeah,” said the former secretary of state.

Well, for starters, Clinton lied about her private email server, she lied about classified material being sent through that server, she lies about the reason the server was set up, and she lied about asking State Department officials about setting up said server. The State Department did note that if Clinton had actually requested such a system for her electronic communications, it would’ve been rejected. The explanations from the Clinton camp over the former first lady’s avoidable email fiasco have been nothing but a series of lies. Hence, why anything about Benghazi isn’t going to shift the needle. Republicans are still going to think she’s somehow involved in the disaster that left four Americans dead when the Libyan compound was attacks by Islamic terrorists.

As for Beirut, that bombing and the Benghazi attacks do share one thing in common: both were criticized for being lax in their security protocols. At the same time, security for the diplomatic mission wasn’t her ball to carry? Emails show that Clinton’s top aides told her about the deteriorating situation in the region (via WSJ):

Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton received emails from her top aides warning about dangerous security conditions in Benghazi, Libya, in the run-up to the terrorist attack that killed a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans there in 2012, documents disclosed on Friday show.

The messages were part of a batch of about 300 emails involving Benghazi that were made public by the State Department. State officials already gave the emails in February to a special House committee that is looking into the Benghazi attacks and is expected to take testimony from Mrs. Clinton.

The emails, in addition to what they reveal about the Benghazi attack, offer glimpses into Mrs. Clinton’s thinking and executive style. In an exchange with aides about to testify on Capitol Hill, she wrote: “Well, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger (as I have rationalized for years), so just survive and you’ll have triumphed!”

[…]

One cautionary email sent to her long before the Sept. 11, 2012, terror attack came from longtime aide Huma Abedin. The April 24, 2011, note cited reports that hotels in Benghazi were being targeted for attack.

The note said U.S. diplomat Christopher Stevens—who would later become ambassador and die the following year in the Benghazi attack—would be meeting with Libya’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to make “a written request for better security at the hotel and for better security-related coordination.”

About two months later, in a June 10, 2011, email from Mr. Sullivan [Clinton’s then-deputy chief of staff], Mrs. Clinton was told of a “credible threat…against the hotel that our team is using.” The note said security officials would be moving personnel out to alternative locations.

Clinton kept to her story that State had security experts that decide on these matters at the lower level. Still, this seems to be a strange parsing of responsibility. Clinton took responsibility for the attacks because she was our top diplomat. The late Ambassador Chris Stevens was killed in the attack, but not bolstering security was not her fault because that’s incumbent on the security staff at the lower level? Just like you can’t get a little bit pregnant, you can’t just say responsibility ends at a certain level at the State Department.

Uh Oh: In Two Weeks, Clinton's Chances Of Winning The Presidency Has Dropped Over 20 Points

Well, if the election were held today, Trump would have a 57.5 percent chance of winning to Hillary’s 42.5 percent, according to FiveThirtyEight. In this scenario, Trump and Clinton would tie in the popular vote, but Trump would win Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania­, and New Hampshire, giving him a 285/252 landslide in the Electoral College.

Now, of course, if we keep to the polls for the November 8 projection, Clinton edges out Trump, 46/44 in the popular vote, with a slim 276/261 victory in the Electoral College. A rather squeaker win for a man Democrats think will bring about the next apocalypse. As for the chances of winning in this projection, it’s almost 50/50, with Clinton having a 53.7 percent chance of wining to Trump’s 46.2.

Yet, while Hillary fans might find some relief in that projection, and dismissing the “if the election were held today” scenario because Trump did receive a big bump post-RNC convention, they should go back to July 12, where FiveThirtyEight had her chances of winning at 77 percent. So, in the span of roughly two weeks, the chances of her winning the presidency have dropped by 20 points.

Finally, let’s go to the last projection, where FiveThirtyEight factors in economic and historical data, and the one that Clinton supporters will probably tout since Clinton is trouncing Trump. She wins 282/254 over him in the Electoral College and wins the popular vote (again…barely) 47/45. In this scenario, Clinton has a 58.2 percent chance of winning to Trump’s 41.7 percent. So a 60/40 split pretty much, which sounds a lot better on the airwaves. Yet, on July 12, Clinton had 73 percent chance of winning. She’s dropped 15 points since then.

For all of Trump’s faults, Clinton’s woes seem to be more serious and resonate more with American voters. Again, it’s early, but Trump didn’t mishandle classified information. He didn’t potentially leave America’s national security in a precarious state. He didn’t have a private email server, lie about why it was set up, or lie about what information was sent through it. He’s also not part of a party that’s also embroiled in an embarrassing email flap, where it shows the Democratic National Committee was tilting the scaled for Clinton over her challenger Bernie Sanders, even to go as far as suggesting someone ask about the latter’s religion so it could be used against him­–all of this on the eve of the Democratic National Convention.

At the same time, let’s not get too out of hand. Clinton might get just as big a bump in the polls after the Democratic Convention. Moreover, today’s projection shows Trump winning Pennsylvania. No Republican has won the Keystone State since 1988, so let’s temper the enthusiasm a tad. Nevertheless, it’s a good sign for Trump, whereas Clinton’s campaign should be worried that a candidate so weak, and Trump is weak, could reduce her chances of winning by double-digits in this short period of time. Additionally, they’re probably looking back and wondering whether they should’ve taken the email controversy more seriously. It wasn’t just a fly-by story. It stuck—and the deep dive she took came days after FBI Director James Comey nuked Clinton’s entire email narrative. While the FBI declined to file charges against Clinton, NBC’s Chuck Todd noted that it was an indictment on her judgment, therefore an indictment of her qualifications to be president. Team Trump didn’t push any ads showing clips of Comey’s press conference, which was a Republican attack ad that was ready to go. If Trump had done that, it would be interesting to see what the numbers would be right now if he had got his act together.

FBI Now Investigating DNC Emails: Instead of Blaming Republicans, Dems are Now Blaming the Russians

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is once again involved with Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party.  On Monday, the agency confirmed that it is investigating the release of thousands of e-mails that explicitly show tactics used to prevent Bernie Sanders from winning the Democratic nomination.  

And once again, one of Clinton's counter-parts has suddenly resigned as a result of a tumultuous scandal.  

"The FBI is investigating a cyber intrusion involving the DNC and are working to determine the nature and scope of the matter," the agency said in a statement. "A compromise of this nature is something we take very seriously, and the FBI will continue to investigate and hold accountable those who pose a threat in cyberspace."

Usually, when Clinton is attacked on her record and mischievous, reckless, and outright criminal behavior, she blames Republican conspiracy theorists.  This time, with no one to blame but herself and the DNC for their constant security failures, she is blaming the Russians. 

WikiLeaks Promises More Email Dumps Featuring Hillary Clinton

We're just hours away from the gaveling in of the 2016 Democrat Convention in Philadelphia and the Democrat Party is in chaos after WikiLeaks exposed DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz for anti-Bernie Sanders bias during the primary. Wasserman-Schultz announced yesterday she will resign from her post as the head of the DNC when the convention ends Thursday and will promptly join the Clinton campaign. 

But the damage WikiLeaks has done to Democrats so far isn't over. According to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, the website will publish more hacked emails and this time, they'll be about Hillary Clinton and her ongoing private email server scandal. 

Julian Assange has made an incredible statement in an interview with ITV. Assange says that Wikileaks, the infamous whistle-blowing website, will soon be publishing documents that contain “enough evidence” for the Department of Justice to indict Hillary Clinton, the expected Democratic nominee.

Team Clinton and the DNC have been in damage control for more than 24 hours now and are blaming the WikiLeaks hack on the Russians, saying it was an attack from President Vladimer Putin on Hillary Clinton in an effort to sabotage her campaign.

I'll leave you with this: 

Debbie Wassermann Schultz Is Out, But Top Democrat Wants More Heads To Roll

Chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee Debbie Wasserman Schultz has resigned, but the Clinton campaign tossed her a life preserver. She’ll soon be the honorary chair of the campaign once Schultz leaves her DNC position in the wake of controversial emails that seem to prove Donald Trump’s point that the Democrats actively worked behind the scenes to tilt the scales in favor of Hillary Clinton over her more progressive challenger Sen. Bernie Sanders. Cortney touched upon some of these emails that were leaked by Wikileaks last week. Some are quite nasty. One email by DNC CFO Brad Marshall suggested that a Democratic staffer ask Sanders about his religion:

It might may no difference, but for KY and WVA can we get someone to ask his belief. Does he believe in a God. He had skated on saying he has a Jewish heritage. I think I read he is an atheist. This could make several points difference with my peeps. My Southern Baptist peeps would draw a big difference between a Jew and an atheist.

Another described increasing Hispanic voter outreach as “taco bowl engagement.” To make matters even more juicy, it confirms what many conservatives have know for quite a while—that there is a Democrat-media complex. The very thing the late Andrew Breitbart was seeking to destroy. 

Yet, back to the emails, The Huffington Post’s Howard Fineman noted that top Democrats noted earlier on Sunday that Wasserman Schultz’s time was numbered as DNC chair, though more heads may roll as a result of these correspondences that even Fineman admitted constituted grounds for dismissal. Marshall did offer an apology on Facebook, though Fineman said it doesn’t carry much weight So, will a purge happen at the DNC (via The Hill):

Former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, a vice chairman at the DNC, told The Hill on Sunday that those involved in scheming to undermine Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign should either resign immediately or be fired.

“The DNC needs to make a clear statement that this was wrong and that any member of the staff involved in criticizing another candidate, especially using DNC offices and equipment, should be fired,” Rybak said. “If any officer played a role in helping another candidate when we’re supposed to be neutral, they should resign. It’s that simple. Make a clear statement. Clean up this mess so we can move on and work together.”

A cache of emails released Friday by WikiLeaks revealed at least two instances of DNC officials openly discussing ways to undermine the Vermont senator's campaign.

The Hill did add that Rybak had been critical of Schultz’s leadership for quite a bit of time prior to her resignation that is to take effect immediately after the Democratic National Convention is over. At the same time, he’s right. There needs to be some house cleaning at the DNC. And while more heads should roll, they’re probably not going to, or like Schultz—there may be a slew of resignations only to end with these ex-DNC staffers being picked up by other campaigns, possibly Clinton’s. Hey, friends who have similar email problems stick together, huh?

Sanders people might seethe with rage over these emails. They should, as it shows the Democratic Party establishment was, for all intents and purposes, in the bag for Clinton. At the same time, it was totally unnecessary. Sanders had a stronger than expected showing in the primaries, but Clinton beat him decisively. Her lead expanded dramatically with the help of black Democrats south of the Mason-Dixon line. Sanders was able to recover a bit when the contests moved to the Great Plains and Pacific Northwest, but the I-95 Corridor primaries proved to be the highway of death for the Sanders camp. After those contests, it was mathematically impossible for Sanders to overtake Clinton. Moreover, her grip on the party’s superdelegates was ironclad. Clinton won, albeit a bit more bruised and bloodied than her supporters might have liked. A disheveled senior citizen, self-described Democratic socialist was able to put over $200 million into a war chest to take her on quite well—maybe the red flag was that someone like Sanders could do that well against a titan of American politics.

Hillary isn’t Bill; the 2008 and 2016 cycles have proved that point. She’s a horrible campaigner, though she has a good last name and the best political minds behind her. In that regard, Sanders jumping in did help navigate Clinton toward a more progressive stance on trade and health care. In fact, in some ways, Sanders did succeed in doing what many candidates who mount these types of campaigns aim to do when they run against someone they know they can’t beat—shift the narrative. The Democratic Party is running on the most left wing platform ever thanks to Sanders’ performance. So, in some ways, these emails about attacking Sanders’ religion weren’t just offensive—they were wholly unnecessary. At the same time, the DNC should worry that if they were fretting over how Sanders possibly beating Clinton, than how will she fare against Trump who, unlike Sanders, will attack, attack, and attack some more on her many weaknesses. Yet, before that can be answered, let’s see who’s next to resign over this internal email flap.

Feeling the Bern: Photos of 4-Mile Long Border Wall Around DNC Convention

There will be no bridges being built in Philadelphia during the Democratic National Convention this year.  Instead, a four-mile wide, eight foot tall border wall will surround the compound to prevent commoners from entering the premises.  

Surely this will keep out the thousands of angry Bernie Sanders supporters who feel as though the system was rigged against them since the beginning.

Here is The Full DNC Schedule

The following 2016 Democrat Convention speaker agenda has been provided by the Democratic National Committee and is subject to change. The convention, being held in Philadelphia, starts Monday and concludes Thursday.

Program Hours (all Eastern Time):
Monday, July 25th - 4:00 PM Start Time
Tuesday, July 26th - 4:30 PM Start Time
Wednesday, July 27th - 4:30 PM Start Time
Thursday, July 28th - 4:30 PM Start Time 

***

Monday, July 25th

Start: 4:00 PM ET

Pam Livengood

Pam and her family of Keene, NH have been personally affected by the growing substance abuse epidemic and are guardians for their grandson because of their daughter’s struggle with addiction. Pam raised the issue with Hillary while participating at a round-table during the first trip to New Hampshire.

Karla & Francisca Ortiz

Karla is an American citizen from Las Vegas, NV but her parents, including her mother, Francisca, are undocumented and live in fear of deportation. Karla met Hillary Clinton in Nevada and was featured in the campaign ad, Brave. 

Anastasia Somoza

Anastasia of New York, NY, along with her twin sister, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and spastic quadriplegia when she was born and is an advocate for Americans with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Anastasia interned for Hillary Clinton in her U.S. Senate office and on the 2000 campaign for senate. Anastasia first met President Bill Clinton in 1993 at a town hall meeting for kids. 

DREAMer Astrid Silva

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren 

Senator Bernie Sanders

First Lady Michelle Obama

***

Tuesday

Start time: 4:30 ET

Kate Burdick

Kate, originally from Philadelphia, PA,  is a staff attorney at the Juvenile Law Center in Philadelphia.

Anton Moore

Anton, from Philadelphia, PA, founded and runs a nonprofit community group that strives to bring awareness and educate youth on gun violence.

Dustin Parsons

Dustin, from Little Rock, Arkansas,  is currently a fifth grade teacher at an elementary school in his home state.

Students from Eagle Academy

As a senator, Hillary Clinton supported the creation of the Eagle Academy to educate at-risk youth in New York City. Eagle Academy was featured in the ad Came Through during the New York primary.

Joe Sweeney

Joe, of New York, NY,  was a detective with the NYPD on September 11, 2001. When the towers were hit, he rushed down to the World Trade Center and began digging through the rubble for survivors.

Lauren Manning

Lauren was a former executive and partner at Cantor Fitzgerald. She is one of the most catastrophically wounded survivors of 9/11. Lauren battled single digit odds of survival, spending more than six months in the hospital and fought recovering through the next decade from an 82.5% total body burn. Lauren asked then Senator Hillary Clinton to support the injured and she has remained unflagging in her commitment and dedication.

Ryan Moore

Ryan, originally from South Sioux City, NE, has spondyloepiphyseal Dysplasia dwarfism and has known Hillary Clinton since 1994 when his family came to Washington, DC for an event to advocate for health care reform. Brian Moore, Ryan’s father, lost his job when his employer was unwilling to cover treatment for Ryan’s health condition. Ryan has stayed in contact with Hillary ever since.

President Bill Clinton 

Mothers of the Movement

***

Wednesday

Start time: 4:30 PM ET

Erica Smegielski

Erica’s mother Dawn was the principal of Sandy Hook Elementary and was killed while trying to protect her students. Since then, Erica has become an outspoken advocate for commonsense gun violence prevention measures. Erica was featured in the ad, My Mom.

Felicia Sanders & Polly Sheppard

Felicia and Polly are two of the three survivors of the Mother Emanuel Church shooting in Charleston, SC.

Jamie Dorff

Jamie’s husband was Patrick Dorff, an Army helicopter pilot from Minnesota who died while on a search and rescue mission in northern Iraq. As a senator, Hillary worked with Republicans and Democrats to increase the gratuity paid to family members of fallen veterans from $12,000 to $100,000.

Vice President Joe Biden

President Barack Obama

***

Thursday

Start time: 4:30 PM ET

Beth Mathias

Beth works two jobs and her husband works the nightshift at a factory in Ohio. Hillary met Beth at a roundtable in Marion.


Jensen Walcott & Jake Reed

Jensen was fired from her job at a pizza restaurant in Bonner Springs, KS for asking her boss why she was paid 25 cents less than her male co-worker and friend, Jake. After Jensen and Jake’s story came to light, Hillary tweeted “Good for you, Jensen. Every woman deserves equal pay, no matter what her age. Keep up the hard work—and courage!”


Khizr Khan

Khizr Khan’s son, Humayun S. M. Khan was a University of Virginia graduate and enlisted in the U.S. Army. Khan was one of 14 American Muslims who died serving the United States in the ten years after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Clinton spoke extensively about Kahn during a speech in Minneapolis.

Chelsea Clinton

Hillary Clinton

Big Time Cruz Donors Are Jumping Ship, "Profoundly Disappointed"

Ted Cruz's life-long career as a politician may be in jeopardy.  After his stunt at last week's Republican convention, a mutiny has erupted among key supporters and donors of the once famed Texas senator. 

According to a statement released by businessman and key Cruz donor Robert Mercer, Cruz's speech was profoundly disappointing.  He also ripped Cruz and called his speech "both regrettable and revealing."

Last summer and again this year, Sen. Ted Cruz pledged to support the candidacy of the nominee of the Republican Party, whomever that nominee might be. We are profoundly disappointed that on Wednesday night he chose to disregard this pledge.

Robert and his daughter Rebekah Mercer donated over $11 million to Cruz-affiliated super PACs supporting his presidential campaign.

Politifact Holds Hillary Accountable For Suggesting Pence 'Slashed' Education Budget in Indiana

When Hillary Clinton was introducing her running mate Sen. Tim Kaine in Miami on Saturday, she offered a condemnation of his Republican counterpart Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana. Among her litany of criticism, was the claim that Pence "slashed" education funding in his state.

"While Mike Pence slashed education funding in Indiana and gave more tax cuts to the wealthiest, Tim Kaine cut his own salary and invested in education from pre-K through college and beyond," she said.

Hold up, says Politifact.

Indiana has not "slashed" education funding under Pence’s leadership. In fact, it’s been on the rise every year since Pence took office in 2013 - and they offer a graph to prove it.

Not adjusting for inflation, Indiana state spending for K-12 and higher education combined hit record highs in 2014 through the current year, according to data compiled by Larry DeBoer, a professor of agricultural economics at Indiana’s Purdue University.

Pence did cut individual educational investments, but the state spending increased. Even more awkward, education spending under Kaine actually decreased.

Politifact was generous and only rated Clinton's claim False.