THE BIG IDEA:
-- Hillary Clinton moved closer to securing the Democratic nomination last night, handily winning Puerto Rico’s primary and sweeping all seven pledged delegates in the Virgin Islands.
Puerto Rico gets no say in the general election, but the commonwealth actually sends more pledged delegates to the Democratic National Convention (60) than Iowa (44).
By the Associated Press’s tally, Clinton is now just 26 delegates short of the 2,383 needed to win the nomination. She has 1,809 pledged delegates; Sanders has 1,520. Counting superdelegates, she leads 2,357 to 1,566. That means that networks and other news organizations are likely to declare that she has clinched her party’s nomination before polls even close in California tomorrow.
-- Clinton beat Sanders in Puerto Rico by 22 points, 61 percent to 39 percent. But tensions ran high nonetheless: “Some voters endured waits of more than two hours — or gave up entirely — because of long lines at polling stations,” Robert Costa, Abby Phillip and Anne Gearan report. “The commonwealth, which is facing a financial crisis, reduced the number of polling stations by more than two-thirds from the more than 1,500 originally announced. Sanders supporters complained vociferously on social media. An MSNBC reporter said that the Democratic Party blamed the Sanders campaign in part because it had requested a reduction in sites, citing a lack of volunteers to monitor them. Sanders spokesman Michael Briggs called the allegation ‘total bunk.’ Briggs said the campaign had instead urged the Democratic Party to maintain the more than 1,500 polling stations promised. ‘They cannot blame their shoddy running of the primary on our campaign,’ he said in a statement (sent at 10:52 p.m. Eastern).”
-- This back-and-forth bodes poorly for Democratic unity. The more Sanders and his team question the legitimacy of balloting, the harder it will be for Democrats to bring his core supporters on board in the fall. Both Bernie and Donald Trump traffic in this notion that the system is “rigged.” The reality is Trump got more votes than his Republican rivals, and Sanders got fewer votes and won less states than Clinton. Early in the campaign, the Sanders team argued that super delegates should not be able to invalidate the popular will of the voters. Now Sanders is resting his long-shot hopes on these same super delegates breaking for him.
-- Today both Democratic campaigns are focused on the California primary, the biggest delegate prize of the year. More specifically, with polls showing the race neck-and-neck in the home stretch, Sanders and Clinton are each focused on younger Latinos.
Hillary won California’s Latinos by 35 points in 2008. She beat Barack Obama among Latinos under 30 by 30 points – even though the nomination had already slipped away from her. Last week’s Field Poll showed Clinton ahead among Latinos by just four points. A USC/Los Angeles Times poll found Sanders ahead of Clinton 58 percent to 31 percent among Latino voters younger than 50, while Clinton led among Latinos over 50 by 69 percent to 16 percent.
-- “A record-breaking 2.3 million new voters have registered” since the start of the year in California alone, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. “Roughly two-thirds of them are under 35 and 26 percent are Latino, according to Paul Mitchell, vice president of Political Data Inc., which does a running tally of voter registration. But so far, only about 10 percent of those new voters have cast early ballots. And only 1 in 8 of early voters have been Latino, leading some — like Mitchell — to wonder what to make of this registration surge. ‘The question on Tuesday is who turns out and whether that enthusiasm to register is reflected in enthusiasm to vote,’ Mitchell said. ‘Or was registering just a cathartic exercise in reaction to what they’re seeing happening, and that is where it stops.’”
-- Sanders has not been able to reliably turn out Hispanic voters this year. After beating expectations in the Nevada caucuses, the Vermont senator got smoked in the Florida, Texas and Arizona primaries. Clinton has won nine of the 10 majority-Hispanic congressional districts that have voted so far.
-- The Sanders campaign believes the Golden State is different. He has camped out in the state for weeks, visiting three dozen cities and connecting directly with tens or hundreds of thousands of voters.
Eligible Hispanic voters also skew much younger in California. “The state's 15 million Latinos are about a third of the Democratic electorate, and they are much more likely than any other minority group to be younger - prime targets for Sanders's message,” Abby Phillip reports. “The median age for Latinos is 27, compared with 34 for blacks and 43 for whites, according to the Census bureau.”
-- David Weigel, who has been traveling with Sanders, reports an uptick in young Latinos at his California events over the past few months. He quotes two voters he met at a Sanders rally in Ventura last week: “Guadalupe Potocacetpl, 35, showed up in the ‘brown beret’ gear of a Chicano nationalist group. He had protested Trump at a Phoenix rally and started having conversations with fellow alienated activists who had jumped aboard with Bernie. … ‘At one point, I wasn’t even going to vote because of the outcome of what Obama did — the deportations, the promises that didn’t come through. But then I saw Bernie, and he gave me a little bit of hope again,’ he said.” Then there’s Brian Meza, 19: “I started finding news about Bernie on social media and finding out about Hillary the same way — what she’d said, whether she had changed her mind. The older people are getting their news from TV, so they don’t see that.”
-- In a testament to the issue’s potency among younger voters, immigration is driving the online conversation. Over the last two weeks, Sanders has received the bulk of the media mentions in Tweets and stories that specifically mention the California primary, according to our analytics partners at Zignal Labs. For both candidates, the top issues were the same: Trump's attack on the judge in the Trump University case and immigration. "Mexico" and "immigration" were mentioned in about one-third of all Tweets mentioning California and one of the two Democratic candidates.
-- To get votes, Sanders has changed his tune on the issue. He used to decry “open borders.” No more. Sanders has been heavily emphasizing his opposition to the Obama administration’s deportation of undocumented immigrants.
-- In 2007, Sanders helped torpedo comprehensive immigration reform. Bernie hails from a state with very few Latinos. Throughout his career, when forced to choose, he has consistently put the interests of labor unions (who have historically wanted to minimize immigration in order to increase wages for native-born workers) ahead of Latinos. Now he claims he opposed the bill because it didn’t include enough protections for farmworkers, but the people who were closely involved in the effort remember it very differently.
-- Hillary has been trying to avoid criticizing Bernie by name. She’s worn kid gloves over the last several weeks in an effort to ease him out and help foster party unity. But, with the very real prospect of a stunning humiliation in California tomorrow that would make her look weak. HRC is hitting Sanders explicitly in her closing argument. “It is true we got close to immigration reform,” Clinton said in Los Angeles, referring to 2007. “President Obama and I voted for it, and Senator Sanders voted against it.” Sitting between two children of undocumented immigrants at Mission College, she added: “It was heartbreaking. … Immigration is at the center of this presidential campaign. This is very personal to me.” (Hillary and her allies are also talking a lot more about how she helped farmworkers as a teenager and registered Latinos to vote in Texas in 1972.)
-- The uncertainty about the Hispanic vote makes it very hard to forecast California, Nate Silver argues on 538: “Our polls-only model, taking all the various polls into account, gives Clinton a 5 percentage point lead, and translates that into a 86 percent chance of her winning California. Even though Clinton has led in every poll, that seems overconfident given the generally mixed track record of the polls in the Democratic primaries this year … [Polls] often have small sample sizes for ethnic subgroups and trouble reaching a representative sample of Hispanic voters. … So while the polls could be off by enough for Sanders to win California — I like his odds better than our polling model does — they could also be off in the other direction, meaning that Clinton could win by 15 to 20 percentage points.”
-- Sanders has a number of other advantages that have allowed him to make the primary competitive. “All along, he has done much better in open primaries, where independents as well as registered Democrats can vote. In California, independents, who are officially referred to as ‘non-partisans,’ are eligible to vote as long as they registered by May 23rd," the New Yorker’s John Cassidy notes.
-- How it’s playing in the Golden State: The Los Angeles Times, the San Diego Union Tribune and the San Jose Mercury News endorsed Clinton, but the San Francisco Chronicle declined to endorse either her or Sanders. The liberal board slams HRC for not agreeing to a sit-down. “Her double-cross on the debate pledge only feeds into the perception (established through the years) of the Clintons’ sense of entitlement and their presumption that they can set their own rules,” editorial page editor John Diaz writes. “As tempting as it would be to endorse Clinton as a candidate who blends idealism with practicality … there remain serious questions about her judgment and ethics.”
“Sanders has had a profound impact on the debate, moved Clinton to the left, and, admirably, inspired young people to engage in politics,” Diaz adds. “Yet there is a certain disconnection with reality in Sanders’ aggressively progressive promises.”
-- No matter what happens, Sanders promises not to give up: “The Democratic National Convention will be a contested convention,” Sanders declared on Saturday. He reiterated the line yesterday.
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WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING:
-- Deshauna Barber, 26, won the Miss USA pageant, the first District resident to take home the crown in 14 years. Barber, an Army officer and IT analyst for the U.S. Department of Commerce, beat out Miss Georgia and Miss Hawaii. (Emily Yahr)
-- The Warriors routed the Cavaliers 110-77 in Game 2 of the NBA finals. “The nine-game winning streak LeBron James compiled after trailing 1-0 in a playoff series is gone. Cleveland’s hopes of winning a championship may be gone with it,” Tom Bontemps writes. “Golden State was dominant on offense, shooting 54.3 percent overall and 45.5 percent from three-point range. The Warriors were possibly even more dominant defensively, holding the Cavaliers to 35.4 percent shooting overall and 21.7 percent from three-point range and turning 18 Cleveland turnovers into 26 points.”
-- NO MORE #FRENCHREVOLUTION: David French announced he will NOT run for president as a conservative alternative to Trump: “I gave it much thought and prayer,” the National Review columnist wrote Sunday. “Never before have both parties failed so spectacularly … But it was simply not prudent for me to take on the task.” His decision all but ends the anti-Trump gambit to draft a credible independent candidate – the unlikelihood of which we wrote about last week.
Bill Kristol, the Weekly Standard editor who has been pushing French, reacted on Twitter:
David French would have been a fine alternative to Clinton and Trump. But the path is open, and a better choice remains necessary.— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) June 6, 2016
And, with an allusion to the Battle of the Bulge, he signaled he'll keep looking for someone:
Surrender? NUTS.— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) June 6, 2016
GET SMART FAST:
- Three-quarters of Swiss voters rejected a proposal that would have guaranteed all citizens a basic income. Many feared a mandated salary would make their country more attractive to refugees. (Max Bearak)
- The Justice Department will not defend a key provision of the Veterans’ Affairs reform law that weakens the ability of senior executives to appeal disciplinary actions, saying that granting administrative judges “unreviewable” discretion is unconstitutional. (Joe Davidson)
- A veteran NPR photojournalist, David Gilkey, and his Afghan interpreter were killed while on assignment in Afghanistan. The army convoy they were traveling with came under attack. (NPR)
- ISIS is targeting civilians attempting to flee Fallujah as Iraqi forces aim to wrest back control of the city. As many as 50,000 residents are reportedly trapped. Anyone who is trying to escape is being shot. (CNN)
- Two Bangladeshi citizens, including a Christian man and the wife of a senior police officer, were brutally killed this weekend in attacks by Islamic extremists. There has been an uptick in sectarian violence across the region. (Max Bearak)
- Islamic militants killed six at a Kazakh national guard base and several nearby stores. Four of the attackers were killed in the attack, while seven more were detained. Others are stillat large. (AP)
- An American sailor was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving and causing a crash on the Japanese island of Okinawa, injuring two locals and further inflaming tensions over the American military presence on the island. The crash comes amid a month-long curfew placed on U.S. service members, which followed the arrest of an American contractor on murder charges. (Anna Fifield)
- Three were killed after a Belgian passenger train slammed into a freight train near Liege, derailing two cars and injuring nearly 40. (BBC)
- Local law enforcement agencies are underreporting hate crimes. More than 2,700 localities have not reported a single hate crime during the past six years, according to an AP investigation.
- Extending the duration of hormone therapy in breast cancer patients reduces the risk of a relapse, according to a fresh study from the American Society of Oncology. (Laurie McGinley)
- President Obama granted clemency to 42 inmates Friday, part of an ongoing effort to commute sentences of inmates serving “unduly harsh” punishments as a result of mandatory minimum sentences. To date, Obama has commuted the sentences of 348 federal inmates, more than the last seven presidents combined. (Greg Jaffe and Sari Horwitz)
- Former President Bill Clinton will be among those eulogizing Muhammad Ali at his funeral in Louisville on Friday, joining Billy Crystal and Bryant Gumbel. (CNN)
- Thousands of Israelis marched through Jerusalem’s Old City and the Muslim Quarter, commemorating the 1967 capture of the city’s eastern sector. The controversial march comes amid months of Israeli-Palestinian violence, with police beefing up security in the area to avoid potential conflict. (William Booth)
- Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib is recovering at a Dallas hospital after being shot in the leg outside of a nightclub. The team declined to release details about the nature of the incident but said Talib is expected to make “a full recovery.” (USA Today)
- A New Jersey couple had 276 dogs in their home. Authorities call it the “worst hoarding case” in that county's history. New puppies were being born even as others were being rescued. (Peter Holley)
- A California elementary student was forced to go home after refusing to take off his “Make America Great” hat. Teachers said the hat, signed by Trump himself at a recent rally, was causing too many tense conversations among fellow third-graders. (WABC-TV)
TOXIC TRUMP: Let's dispel once and for all with this fiction that Donald Trump can change. He can't. He won't.
-- Republican leaders who spent the past month reluctantly hitching their horses to Trump are realizing that he might be marching the party over a cliff after all. A growing number of GOP heavyweights fear that Trump’s spate of hostile remarks towards and about minorities have imperiled his campaign, costing him a five-week head start on Clinton that they hoped would be used to build party unity ahead of the general election. From Sean Sullivan and Jenna Johnson: Concerns have increased as Trump continues to furiously peddle his assertion that the Latino judge overseeing the Trump University fraud case should recuse himself because of his “Mexican heritage."
On Friday, Trump dodged 23 questions from CNN’s Jake Tapper about whether he thought his complaints against Judge Gonzalo Curiel were racist. “No, I don’t think so,” Trump finally answered.
The presumptive nominee doubled down on those comments Sunday, saying that he believes a Muslim judge could be biased against him too. “If it were a Muslim judge, would you also feel like they wouldn’t be able to treat you fairly?” asked CBS’s John Dickerson. “It’s possible, yes," Trump replied. "Absolutely.”
-- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell criticized Trump’s behavior yesterday, saying that he “couldn’t disagree more” with his comments about the judge. But McConnell declined repeatedly to answer whether the comments are racist. "America is changing. When Reagan was elected, 84 percent of the electorate was white," McConnell said on "Meet the Press." "This November, 70 percent will be. It's a big mistake for our party to write off Latino Americans … They’re an important part of the country and soon to be the largest minority group in the country."
-- Paul Ryan moved to distance himself from Trump just one day after endorsing him. “It’s reasoning I don’t relate to,” Ryan said Friday. “I completely disagree with the thinking behind that." The Speaker claimed the attacks on the judge "came out of left field.” Really? This came out of left field?
-- Even Newt Gingrich, who would love to be Trump's VP, spoke out: “I think it’s inexcusable. I don’t know what Trump’s reasoning was, and I don’t care.”
-- Sen. Rob Portman blasted Trump for his comments against Curiel, saying heritage has “nothing to do” with judicial ability. The Ohio senator also said he has no interest in being Trump’s running mate. "I disagree with him on a number of issues, and that would be awkward," Portman said. (Katie Zezima)
-- Dan Balz calls Trump "A SORE WINNER": “In the aftermath of a remarkable achievement, he has seemed as angry as ever and at times off stride.”
-- Trump has awakened dormant Latino voters in a way that may cost the House GOP seats. Here's just one example:
-- Trump’s racial comments are not the only things worrying party leaders. After cementing his claim to the nomination, Trump has taken long stretches off the trail and bizarrely focused resources on blue states where he has no chance.
- “I’m going to play heavy in California,” Trump said Friday. “I think we can win.” But California has long been inhospitable territory for Republican candidates, who have not won the state since 1988. So inhospitable, in fact, that the RNC does not even have a California state director.
- “By any stretch of the GOP imagination, as many as 18 other states that Mitt Romney lost would probably be better targets for Trump than California,” said former Romney pollster Neil Newhouse. “It may not be far-fetched for the Trump campaign to believe they can expand the electoral playing field, but overreaching can expend scarce resources and divert them from states that are more realistic targets.”
-- Trump’s campaign hired Jim Murphy as its new national political director, replacing the fired Rick Wiley. Murphy, who worked on Bob Dole's 1988 and 1996 campaigns, has lots of ties to the GOP establishment. (New York Times story; Jim's bio)
-- The consultant class cares more about profits than principles, continued: The newly-launched super PAC "Rebuilding America Now" has hired Alex Castellanos to help steer its efforts. The GOP ad man explored mounting a “Stop Trump” effort last fall but gave up when he could not raise enough money. Now he'll work to elect Trump. He insists he is motivated primarily by the possibility of a Clinton presidency. (New York Times)
-- An exception: GOP strategist Rick Wilson writes an open letter to down-ballot Republican candidates about the perils of continuing to support Trump: “You own the racial animus that started out as a bug, became a feature and is now the defining characteristic of his campaign. You own every crazy, vile chunk of word vomit that spews from his mouth. … He’s political poison. Don’t believe me? You will. … Trump doesn’t give a damn about your election. You’re not part of a unified Republican ticket; you’re collateral damage in Trump Rampage Raw WWE 2016.”
Wilson tells Republican candidates that it is not too late to dump Trump: “As much damage as he does every day, he’s also giving you an out. Tear off the bandage. Take the short blast of pain and the stupid tweets from stupid people. Take the idiotic Tweet he’ll hit you with and make fun of it. Wash the stink off, and you’ll feel like a human again. You won’t spend every day in fear of defeat, or in fear of losing your political soul…Stop trying to run a generic, please-the-base campaign where your political lanes are bounded. Run as a Florida Republican or a Colorado Republican or a Nevada Republican and separate your brand from Trump’s. You can’t finesse this. There is not ‘just a little Trump’ just as there’s no ‘just a little pregnant.’ Just run.” If you’re on the ballot this November and have an R after your name, Rick’s whole letter is worth a read.
-- GOP strategist Craig Snyder, a former chief of staff to Arlen Specter, has formed a “Republicans for Hillary” outside group: Trump is “utterly unfit, by character, temperament, experience, and professed ideas” to be president, its website reads. “Republicans for Hillary 2016 will engage in voter education and communications, aimed at registered Republicans, in targeted areas of the country – beginning with the … Philadelphia suburbs, which could determine the fate of Pennsylvania's (potentially decisive) electoral votes.” Snyder co-founded a public affairs company in the 1990s with longtime Trump confidant Roger Stone and also served under Paul Manafort at the 1996 GOP convention.
-- Florida Gov. Rick Scott postponed a previously scheduled Monday meeting with Trump in New York in order to monitor a tropical storm approaching his state. The two intended to discuss general election strategy. Some have speculated that their warm relationship -- and Scott's background as a business man and leader of a must-win state -- could make him a contender to serve as Trump’s running mate. (Sean Sullivan)
-- Coming Attractions --> “Black Democrats Want To See Bigger, Earlier Voter Turnout Efforts,” from BuzzFeed’s Darren Sands: “Strategists plan to zero in on … what they contend is his deliberate decision to draw in white supremacist elements of the American electorate. The strategists will also focus on his record as a business leader, questioning the number of black executives he’s hired or have served on his company’s board of directors. ‘All we have to do is just point it out. The Central Park 5 is one of many things we can bring up. That his father was affiliated with the Klan is another,’ said consultant Cliff Franklin.”
MORE ON THE DEMOCRATIC DENOUEMENT:
-- A federal judge postponed the deposition of Bryan Pagliano, a former State Department staffer who helped Clinton set up her private email server. The judge said he is “seeking more information” about Pagliano’s “immunity agreement” with federal prosecutors, as well as his claim to a Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in a civil lawsuit. (Spencer S. Hsu)
-- Harry Reid has had lawyers review the Massachusetts rules for filling a U.S. Senate vacancy. The move is the latest indication of the seriousness with which Democrats are gaming out the possibility of Elizabeth Warren joining Clinton on the ticket. (The Boston Globe’s Matt Viser)
-- Warren also said she “doesn’t believe in superdelegates”: “I’m a superdelegate, and I don’t believe in superdelegates,” the senator said at the Massachusetts State Democratic Convention, urging more scrutiny of the process ahead of the 2020. She also said she has “no timetable” for making a presidential endorsement and declined to say whether Sanders should leave the race after the California primary. (Politico)
-- The Post’s Fact Checker gives Trump three Pinocchios for his claim that Warren “made a quick killing” from buying foreclosed property for family members in Massachusetts. “This is not a portfolio of a savvy real estate investor,” Glenn Kessler writes, “but fits the profile that has been portrayed by Warren and her aides — a sister helping out her brothers and other relatives, mainly through loans. There’s nothing hypocritical about that.”
SUNDAY SHOW HIGHLIGHTS:
-- Trump again reversed his position on Libya, saying he supported a “surgical” strike on Muammar Gaddafi. “You do a surgical shot and you take him out,” Trump said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” The mogul has previously bashed Clinton for getting involved, saying she de-stabilized Libya and made the nation a “haven” for Islamic State terrorists.
-- Trump also said he made "a lot of money" in a deal years ago with Gadhafi, despite suggesting at the time he had no idea that dictator was involved in renting his suburban New York estate. (AP)
-- Clinton declined to say whether she believes in a constitutional right to bear arms, twice demurring when ABC's George Stephanopoulos asked her whether she agrees with the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Second Amendment. "If it is a constitutional right," she finally offered, "then it — like every other constitutional right — is subject to reasonable regulations." Her comments are likely to set off a fresh onslaught of attacks from Trump, who has accused her of wanting to “abolish” the Second Amendment. (Callum Borchers)
-- Clinton urged party unity on CNN’s State of the Union, telling Tapper that she is going to do “everything she can” to unify Democrats after Tuesday’s California primary and adding that she “expects Senator Sanders to do the same.” We "share so many of the same goals,” Clinton said of the Vermont senator. “We have different approaches, different ideas about how best to achieve those."
-- Sanders, meanwhile, said Clinton will have to work hard to win over his supporters, adding in a separate interview that he can’t "snap my fingers" and send them into Clinton's camp. "It is Secretary Clinton's job to explain to those people why she should get their support. And that means she's going to have to address their needs," Sanders said.
The Vermont senator also assailed the Clinton Foundation for accepting foreign donations while Hillary served as Secretary of State, opening a new line of attack. "Do I have a problem when a sitting secretary of state and a foundation run by her husband collects many millions of dollars from foreign governments, governments which are dictatorships?” Sanders said on CNN. "Yes. Yes, I do.”
He also urged supporters not to engage in violence on the campaign trail: "Any person who is a Bernie Sanders supporter, please, do not in any way, shape or form engage in violence," he said. "That is absolutely not what this campaign is about." His comments come after Trump linked violent San Jose protestors to Sanders, suggesting many were carrying signs with his name.
-- “A major Native American site is being looted. Will Obama risk armed conflict to save it?”, by Juliet Eilperin in Utah: “For centuries, humans have used the red sandstone canyons here as a way to mark their existence. First came archaic hunter-gatherers who worked in Glen Canyon Linear, a crude geometrical style dating back more than 3,500 years. Then about 2,000 years later [came] early ancestral Pueblo farmers of the Basketmaker period … Now, Obama is weighing whether and how he can leave his own permanent imprint on history by designating about 2 million acres of land, known as the Bears Ears, as a national monument. And despite the uniformly acknowledged historical significance of the area, some people regard the conservation efforts by the White House as classic federal overreach. In the current-era conflict between Washington and rural Westerners, the idea of a Bears Ears national monument has produced warnings of a possible armed insurrection.” Some have suggested unilateral action could provoke similar resistance to the 41-day takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon earlier this year.
-- "The biggest question in Florida politics: 'Is Rubio running or what?'" by Mike DeBonis, in Boca Raton: "That is the question currently consuming political players from Key West to Pensacola and on to Washington: Will Marco Rubio, the former presidential candidate who has only barely veiled his frustration at Capitol Hill, renege on his pledge not to seek re-election and help save the Senate for the GOP? ... In terms of fundraising, Rubio would start nearly from scratch. His presidential campaign account had more than $3 million when he withdrew but also $2 million in unpaid loans ... Rubio would have to mend fences with party regulars who say they’ve gone six years without having any meaningful interaction with him ... The speculation has put [Rubio friend Lt. Gov. Carlos] Lopez-Cantera in a particularly awkward position ... Lopez-Cantera declined to say whether Rubio had personally reassured him that he wouldn’t enter the race. But he confirmed Rubio did a fundraising call for him on May 27, shortly after the senator taped the CNN interview, and Rubio is set to appear at a Miami fundraiser for Lopez-Cantera on June 24, the day of the filing deadline."
-- It's not just Merrick Garland that Republicans are blocking. Republicans are also stalling on unobjectionable district court nominees. From Spencer S. Hsu: “An exodus of older judges has created a spike in vacancies at federal trial courts nationwide, intensifying complaints that election-year fights over ideological control of the bench now extend to lower-court appointments. ... The less-noticed openings are increasing workloads and delaying trials in federal courts that take in hundreds of thousands of cases a year. The practical impact of bottlenecks has raised warnings from judges appointed by both parties. ... Jerome B. Simandle, chief judge of the federal district court in New Jersey and a 1992 George H.W. Bush appointee, told his state bar association that three emergency vacancies are leading to ‘untenable,’ record caseloads for judges."
TODAY'S SOCIAL MEDIA SPEED READ includes a fair amount of Schadenfreude from leaders in the Never Trump Resistance:
Virginia GOP strategist Tucker Martin agreed:
The way he loses is when the cycle slows and he can't lie fast enough to outpace it. Focus equals trouble for him https://t.co/FFnD3kH5w5— Tucker Martin (@jtuckermartin) June 5, 2016
How can conservatives not see that Trump's attack on Judge Curiel is an assault on the rule of law & even on what it means to be American?— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) June 5, 2016
Rep. Chris Stewart:— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) June 5, 2016
3/7/16: Trump is "our Mussolini."
5/7/16: “We must move forward and unite to defeat Clinton.” https://t.co/cdrS7dx9gQ
Jeff Flake called Trump's comments on Gonzalo Curiel unacceptable:
Brian Walsh called for Republicans to condemn Trump's rhetoric:
I don't care if he's the nominee - Republicans should loudly condemn this racist, nonsensical rhetoric by Trump. https://t.co/4RveY52umd— Brian Walsh (@brianjameswalsh) June 5, 2016
And Jay Cost slammed Newt Gingrich for calling Trump's attack on the judge "unacceptable":
Trump in last 2 weeks - incapable of focusing on IG report, attacking judge's heritage, a new stand on Libya - shows no growth,just weakness— Ari Fleischer (@AriFleischer) June 5, 2016
Trump remembered Muhammad Ali:
Here's Trump just last December:
Obama said in his speech that Muslims are our sports heroes. What sport is he talking about, and who? Is Obama profiling?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 7, 2015
He will always be an inspiration. He will always be my idol. He will always be the greatest. pic.twitter.com/B2YPC6QPEY— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) June 4, 2016
Biden threw his annual summer gathering:
Sanders stopped at In-N-Out burger:
Spotted at his campaign headquarters in Los Angeles:
Darrell Issa, along with other lawmakers, celebrated National Donut Day:
As did Clinton and Chloe Moretz:
More celebrities spotted on the Clinton campaign trail:
Katy Perry backed Kamala Harris:
Forty-eight years ago yesterday:
Sean Duffy welcomed his eighth -- you read that right -- child:
Finally, Vicky Hartzler's kittens are getting bigger:
HOT ON THE LEFT:
“Latino high school students in North Carolina upset after classmates build wall in prank,” from Fox News Latino: "Latino students at a western North Carolina high school are upset after some of their classmates decided to build a wall made of boxes … as part of a senior prank.” Thirty students were reportedly allowed into school Wednesday night to perform the prank with teacher supervision. They then shared a photo on Instagram with the caption “we built the wall first.” A student sitting in front of the photo is wearing a ‘Trump’ T-shirt … According to the principal, one of the students wanted to a put a Trump logo on the wall, but was told he couldn’t do that."
HOT ON THE RIGHT:
“Obama backs 'terrific' VA secretary McDonald,” from the Washington Examiner: “President Obama offered a strong vote of confidence to Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald, just weeks after the agency head stirred controversy for comparing the waits at VA hospitals to lines at Disneyland. ‘I think Secretary McDonald has done a terrific job,’ Obama [said] … Since there's only eight months left in my administration, he got all the way until then to run through the tape,’ Obama added."
On the campaign trail: Here's the rundown:
- Clinton is in SoCal: Lynwood, Los Angeles and Long Beach.
- Sanders is in NorCal: He has a press conference this morning in Emeryville and then a huge evening rally in San Francisco.
At the White House: President Obama welcomes the Denver Broncos to the White House to celebrate their Super Bowl victory. Vice President Biden is in Chicago for his cancer work, then in New York, N.Y. to speak at the American Institute for Stuttering Gala.
On Capitol Hill: The Senate meets at 2 p.m. to resume work on the NDAA. The House is not in session.
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
A 23-year-old who was raped by a star swimmer at Stanford delivered a powerful message after her attacker was sentenced to just six months in prison. “You took away my worth, my privacy, my energy, my time, my intimacy, my confidence, my own voice, until today,” she said. “The damage is done, no one can undo it. And now we both have a choice. We can let this destroy us, I can remain angry and hurt and you can be in denial, or we can face it head on, I accept the pain, you accept the punishment, and we move on.” The judge said he feared imprisonment would have a “severe” impact on the rapist. Read her full statement here.
NEWS YOU CAN USE IF YOU LIVE IN D.C.:
-- A nice, summery Monday to start off our week. The Capital Weather Gang forecasts: “We’re in between weather systems so we should have a good deal of sunshine and warm conditions. Highs reach the mid-80s in most spots. Humidity is slightly lower than the past few days thanks to drier winds out of the west …”
-- Phase One of Metro’s SafeTrack program has started. Our Dr. Gridlock has a comprehensive guide on what to expect:
- Surge One is from June 14-16 and affects riders in Northern Virginia. Commuters should expect continuous single tracking from East Falls Church to Ballston, with Orange and Silver Line trains operating every 18 minutes.
- On weeknights, scheduled system maintenance will begin at 8 pm. Midday maintenance will be conducted between the morning and afternoon rush from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
-- The Nationals beat the Cincinnati Reds 10-9.
-- The D.C. Council could vote as early as Tuesday to raise the city’s minimum wage to $15 per hour, a historic decision that would more than double the current federal minimum wage. One of the flash points has to do with how tips are counted, per Aaron C. Davis.
-- The Baltimore police officer who faces the most serious charge in the death of Freddie Gray heads to court this week: Prosecutors allege that 46-year-old Caesar Goodson Jr., who was driving the van, is responsible for Gray’s death because he failed to buckle him inside the vehicle or get him medical help, despite Gray’s “obvious and recognized need for medical assistance.” (Lynh Bui)
-- Police are searching for two Maryland men who disappeared after their boat capsized in the Potomac. Lawrence Grey, 62, and Evonne Lee, 52, were on a fishing trip outside Washington when the boat overturned. (Martin Weil)
-- “Traffic-weary homeowners and Waze are at war, again. Guess who’s winning?,” by Steve Hendrix: “When the traffic on Timothy Connor’s quiet Maryland street suddenly jumped by several hundred cars an hour, he knew who was partly to blame: the disembodied female voice he could hear through the occasional open window saying, ‘Continue on Elm Avenue.’” The marked detour around a months-long repair was blocks away. But plenty of drivers were finding a shortcut past Connor’s house, thanks to Waze and other navigation apps. And so Connor decided to borrow a tactic he read about from other traffic-weary regions: He became a Waze impostor. Every rush hour, he went on the app and posted false reports of a wreck or speed trap on his street, hoping to deflect the flow. “These great shortcuts used to spread by word of mouth, but now they just spread like wildfire,” said traffic engineer Paul Silberman. “Those who live on side streets have been complaining for years about becoming through routes, but now it’s happening at Internet speed.”
VIDEOS OF THE DAY:
Michigan officials are grappling with whether or not the words of an African gray parrot can be used as admissible evidence in a murder trial. The bird keeps repeating a certain phrase that sounds a lot like "Don't f---ing shoot!" He may have witnessed the killing. Peter Holley has the story.
Jimmy Kimmel poked fun at Trump:
The Clinton campaign rounds up Republican criticisms of Trump's comments about Judge Curiel:
Did you hear Will Arnett is running for vice president?
Obama met 108-year-old Lester Townsend:
What made Muhammad Ali the most famous man in the world?