* Hillary Clinton stirred some anxiety on lefty twitter today when she seemed to say that she is willing to use the phrase “radical Islamism.” A Clinton aide emails over clarification:
She was calling him out. She insisted today that she won’t declare war against an entire religion the way that Trump has, but she isn’t going to let us be distracted with semantic games. The real question is, what’s your plan? And he clearly doesn’t have one.
If you actually read her quote, it seems likely that Clinton meant to use the phrase more in the spirit of, “I’ll repeat this phrase to show how meaningless it is.” This is hardly the “break” with Obama that is being portrayed. Clinton’s point, in multiple interviews this morning, was that Trump’s formulation (“radical Islam radical Islam radical Islam”) risks being seen as an attack on an entire religion and plays into ISIS’s hands. — gs
* Sarah Ferris reports that Democrats are ready to push the issue of the ban on gay men donating blood:
Leading gay rights advocates in Congress plan to ask the White House to end a decades-old policy that prohibits many gay men from donating blood in the wake of the deadly Orlando, Fla., shooting at a gay nightclub.
Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.), the vice chair of the House LGBT Equality Caucus, is drafting a letter to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Robert Califf urging him to strike down the rule they have long called outdated and discriminatory.
Quigley is joining three other longtime critics of the ban — Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) — to call for the end of the ban following the Orlando shooting.
I wonder what Donald Trump would say if you asked him about this issue?
* An important point from Brian Beutler: Trump’s foreign policy speech today shows that Republicans can no longer justify their support for him on the grounds that he can be persuaded to stop with the wretched demagoguery simply by reading from a better script. He really believes this stuff. — gs
* David Nather has a good piece taking a very careful look at what both Trump and Clinton have said and done on health care. You’ll never guess who comes out looking better.
* A new report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Urban Institute examines what would actually happen if Republicans succeeded in their goal of repealing the Affordable Care Act. For starters, 24 million Americans would lose their health insurance.
* Robert Schlesinger talks to Democrats who think they have a real shot at taking back the House this year.
* E.J. Graff considers the persistence of hatred even in the face of greater rights and acceptance for LGBT people.
* Robert Kuttner looks at the variety of ways Trump could abuse executive power if he were to become president.
* Amanda Marcotte argues that the root cause of so many mass shootings is toxic masculinity.
* William Saletan says that Trump’s response to the Orlando shooting was to validate every argument ISIS is making.
* Your humble proprietor (Greg) has a new piece in Washington Monthly that looks at Clinton’s surprisingly long history of advocacy on behalf of people with mental illness. You should also check out WaMo’s new special issue on the topic. — gs