Police officers block a road during riots last night in Charlotte. (Adam Rhew/Charlotte Magazine/Reuters)

With Breanne Deppisch

THE BIG IDEA: The fall equinox is technically tomorrow morning. But a riot in North Carolina overnight is a fitting bookend to three months of heightened tensions between the police and the people. From Louisiana to Minnesota to Texas, a host of incidents have again and again put racial tensions back on the front burner of the presidential campaign. They’ve also inspired the national anthem protests that have roiled the National Football League.

The killings of unarmed black men at the hands of police and the murders of cops in Dallas and Baton Rouge did not lead to a period of national healing or sustained soul searching.

The stories might have disappeared from the front pages, but the incidents have continued. Temporarily-bandaged wounds are re-opening around the country this week, as frustrations boil over.

-- What happened in Charlotte? Police were looking for a suspect with an outstanding warrant yesterday afternoon when they found 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott. Scott, who was not the suspect, emerged from his car “holding a ‘firearm” and then got back in his car, police said. He then emerged with the firearm again, posing an “imminent deadly threat to the officers,” according to police. Detectives said they recovered the firearm Scott was holding during the shooting. The police went out of the way to say that the officer who shot Scott was also black.

Meanwhile, Scott’s daughter insists that her father was unarmed and reading a book in his car when police shot and killed him: “In a widely-circulated Facebook Live video, she said Scott was parked and waiting for a school bus to drop off his son when police arrived. Officers Tasered him, then shot him four times, she said. She added that Scott was disabled.” “My daddy didn’t do nothing. They just pulled up undercover,” she said in the video.

A large crowd of demonstrators gathered near the scene of the shooting last night. The gathering started peacefully but took a turn for the worst at some point after dark. Protesters shut down traffic on Interstate 85. Some opened up the backs of tractor trailers, took out boxes and set them on fire in the middle of the highway, WSOC-TV reported. A few dozen other people broke down the doors of a nearby Walmart. Police reportedly then used flash grenades to break up the crowd and cleared the highway in the wee hours of the morning.

Police said 12 officers were injured during the demonstrations, one of them hit in the face with a rock. At least 11 people were taken from the demonstrations and treated for non-life threatening injuries, per our Derek Hawkins.

-- Three indelible images from the mayhem:

-- Scott became at least the 702nd person to be fatally shot by police so far this year, and at least the 163rd black man, according to a Washington Post database tracking fatal officer-involved shootings.

THE WOUNDS RE-OPEN:

-- In Oklahoma: A day after police released video that shows a white Tulsa police officer fatally shooting an unarmed 40-year-old black man, attorneys representing the slain man’s family released photos that they said contradict a key claim in authorities’ version of events. From Peter Holley, Wesley Lowery and Derek Hawkins: "At a news conference, Benjamin Crump ... said Terence Crutcher never reached his hands into the driver’s side window of his stalled sport-utility vehicle before he was shot by police. Crutcher couldn’t have reached into the vehicle, Crump said, because enhanced photos of the vehicle taken from police video show that the window was rolled up. If confirmed by police, the admission would eliminate one of the chief justifications for police using deadly force against Crutcher. Meanwhile, a police official told the Tulsa World that officers discovered PCP in Crutcher’s vehicle."

From demonstrations in Tulsa:

-- In Connecticut: Three state troopers were caught on camera conspiring to make up charges against a protestor at a DUI traffic checkpoint, a new lawsuit alleges. It's another good reminder of why folks don't trust law enforcement. (Amy Wang)

-- In Texas: Seeking publicity, a Dallas police officer filed a lawsuit yesterday against the Black Lives Matter movement for inciting violence. With conservative gadfly lawyer and founder of FreedomWatch Larry Klayman, Sgt. Demetrick Pennie filed a 66-page suit in federal court against Black Lives Matter, President Obama and others. The suit accuses the defendants of inciting “their supporters and others to engage in threats of and attacks to cause serious bodily injury or death upon police officers and other law enforcement persons of all races and ethnicities including but not limited to Jews, Christians and Caucasians.” The phrase “including but not limited to Jews, Christians and Caucasians” appears 35 times in the suit, Travis M. Andrews notes. The suit lists 17 defendants and seeks damages in excess of $500 million. No judge will take it seriously. “Among other things, Pennie does not show some specific harm he has suffered, a requirement for federal lawsuits. And then there’s the matter of the First Amendment and the president’s immunity from suits.”

-- In Virginia: Fairfax County announced the hiring of a police department auditor, creating a new position to monitor how use-of-force complaints are investigated. The Board of Supervisors approved several moves after the fatal shooting of John B. Geer. Officials said they also plan to create a civilian review panel for police-abuse investigations, and they are considering new body camera requirements for officers. (Antonio Olivo and Justin Jouvenal)

The Smithsonian Institute's National Museum of African American History and Culture(Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post)

-- Against this backdrop: The National Museum of African American History and Culture has its grand opening on Saturday, as good a place as any for a national conversation on race. But these conversations are hard, and few genuinely want to engage in them.

-- Donald Trump, for his part, happened to be in North Carolina as the protests began in Charlotte. Speaking to an almost all-white crowd in a rural area, the Republican nominee said that African Americans are “in the worst shape they’ve ever been in.” “We're going to rebuild our inner cities because our African American communities are absolutely in the worst shape they've ever been in before. Ever, ever, ever,” Trump said. As Jose A. DelReal points out, he made this comment in a place that enslaved blacks and then kept them down with repugnant Jim Crow laws. Also recall that Trump said earlier this year that he'd consider paying the legal fees of supporters who got into altercations with civil rights protestors at this events. And in March a North Carolina sheriff considered charging Trump with "inciting a riot" but then decided against it.

Welcome to the Daily 202, PowerPost's morning newsletter.
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WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING:

Ahmad Khan Rahami is taken into custody Monday. (Nicolaus Czarnecki/Boston Herald via AP)

-- Ahmad Rahami was formally charged with using weapons of mass destruction and bombing in a public place, along with seven other counts stemming from the attacks in Manhattan and New Jersey. If convicted, he faces up to life in prison. (Ellen Nakashima, Mark Berman and William Wan)

The FBI said Rahami was investigated as a possible terrorist two years ago after concerns were raised by his father. The revelation marks the second time this year, and the fourth time since 2013, that the bureau acknowledged it investigated someone who later carried out an act of terror.

Rahami may have been radicalized while in Afghanistan and Pakistan between 2011 and 2014: “An item described as a handwritten journal was found on Rahami after the shootout. Included in this was a reference to Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born cleric who was a top leader for al-Qaeda … The journal included notes that the FBI was looking for him, discussed shooting police and said he was praying to Allah ‘to not take JIHAD away.’" (More from Ellen, Mark and William)

-- Two former top aides to Ron Paul were given two years of PROBATION for secretly paying a state senator to endorse his 2012 presidential campaign. Jesse Benton and John Tate were each ordered to pay a $10,000 fine for crimes that federal prosecutors said corrupted the Iowa caucus process. (The Des Moines Register)

GET SMART FAST:​​

  1. The Pentagon said a Russian jet was likely responsible for the bombing of a humanitarian convoy in Syria. The announcement comes as U.S. and other global leaders continue to insist the nation’s cease-fire agreement is not dead, even as heavy fighting plagues the region. (Karen DeYoung and Erin Cunningham)
  2. The population of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. has remained largely unchanged since 2009, according to U.S. Census data: Meanwhile, the number of undocumented Mexican immigrants declined by eight percent in 2014, indicating that since 2009, departures from the country have exceeded arrivals. (Josh Hicks)
  3. Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf testified in front of the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday, apologizing for a wide-ranging scheme in which employees created millions of fraudulent accounts to boost personal sales goals. Lawmakers questioned the longtime company executive for more than two hours, chastising him for not catching the problem sooner. (Renae Merle)
  4. The SEC is investigating Exxon’s valuing of its assets and how it takes climate change into effect, a probe that could have far-reaching consequences for the oil and gas industry. (Wall Street Journal)
  5. Mitch McConnell said he expects the Senate to have the votes to override Obama’s expected veto of a bill that allows 9/11 victim’s families to sue Saudi Arabia over alleged support for terrorists. (Karoun Demirjian)
  6. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen will testify before the House Judiciary Committee today, giving hardline conservative lawmakers a long-awaited chance to argue for his impeachment. (Mike DeBonis)
  7. A Rhode Island man charged with conspiring to help ISIS pleaded guilty in a plot to behead conservative blogger Pamela Geller. The feds say Nicholas Rovinski helped provide “material support” as part of a plot against the blogger, who angered Muslims when she organized a Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest in 2015. (AP)
  8. The Turkish government finally sent Washington evidence that an elderly cleric living in rural Pennsylvania was the mastermind of the failed coup attempt. If the information persuades the Justice Department, a federal court will then decide whether to accede to Turkey’s demand that Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish imam who has resided under self-imposed exile in the U.S. for nearly two decades, be sent home to face charges. (Michael Birnbaum and Karen DeYoung)
  9. Reuters reporters in Russia witnessed multiple incidences of voter fraud at polling stations across the country this weekend, reporting phantom voters and smuggled ballots in the parliamentary election that led to a sweeping win for Vladimir Putin’s allies.
  10. Botswana deported an Arizona pastor after he made anti-gay comments aimed at victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting, calling them “disgusting homosexuals” who “deserved to die.” The country’s president promptly ordered police to escort him from the country for his hateful remarks – a somewhat ironic twist, since Botswana criminalizes homosexuality. (Max Bearak)
  11. An Air Force U-2 spy plane crashed shortly after takeoff in Northern California, killing one pilot and injuring the other. (Thomas Gibbons-Neff)
  12. Scientists uncovered a human skeleton from the 2,100-year-old Greek shipwreck of Antikythera, allowing for DNA analysis and insight into the world’s most famous and mysterious shipwreck. (Sarah Kaplan)
  13. John Boehner joined the lobbying firm Squire Patton Boggs as a "strategic adviser." (Catherine Ho)
  14. Fox News host Megyn Kelly is slated to help produce a new political comedy show, joining “Fifty Shades of Gray” producer Michael De Luca in a series centered around the lives of young campaign trail journalists. (Variety)
  15. Angelina Jolie filed for divorce from Brad Pitt, citing “irreconcilable differences” and seeking custody of their six children. An attorney for Jolie said the decision was made for the “health of the family.” (AP)
  16. A Pennsylvania school lunch worker resigned after she was forced to deny hot lunch to an elementary school student who could not afford it. The years-long employee said she was “stunned” by the new policy, which began this fall. (T. Rees Shapiro)
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) during a heading last week (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

-- West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin's wife, Gayle, used her post on the National Association of State Boards of Education to push sales of EpiPens, benefiting her daughter (the CEO of the company that makes the product). From USA Today: “The association’s move helped pave the way for Mylan Specialty, maker of EpiPens, to develop a near monopoly in school nurses’ offices. Eleven states drafted laws requiring epinephrine auto-injectors. Nearly every other state recommended schools stock them after what the White House called the 'EpiPen Law' in 2013 gave funding preference to those that did." 

Cashing in: “Over the past eight years, the price of EpiPens has risen 461 percent while (the senator's daughter) Heather Bresch's salary as chief executive has gone up 671 percent … In 2015, Bresch made $18.9 million in salary.” (Chris Cillizza)

President Barack Obama delivers his last U.N. address as president. 

-- President Obama delivered his final speech to the United Nations, calling for a “course correction” as he offered a defense of a liberal world order under siege. From Greg Jaffe and David Nakamura: “Speaking to the U.N. General Assembly … Obama sought to rise above the conflicts of the moment and outline a future of international cooperation, stressing the importance of the global liberal institutions formed after World War II, including the United Nations. ‘The world is by many measures less violent and more prosperous than ever before,” Obama said. But he acknowledged a growing global unease, fueled by terrorism and economic anxiety, which has led some Western politicians, including [Trump], to call for tough, new restrictions on immigration and global trade.”

 “At times, Obama’s remarks were directed at his rivals in Russia and China who have in recent years forcefully pressed an alternative to his vision.” In other moments, Obama seemed to be addressing the American electorate, rejecting the idea that a border wall could block danger or terrorism. “The world is too small for us to be able to build a wall and prevent it from affecting our own societies,” Obama said. And he delivered an impassioned plea for countries to increase aid to refugees around the globe, calling conflict that has displaced millions of people from their homes a “crisis of epic proportions.”   

THE DAILY DONALD:

-- IF YOU READ ONE STORY ABOUT TRUMP --> Trump spent more than a quarter-million dollars from his charitable foundation to settle lawsuits involving his businesses, Dave Fahrenthold reports, using money from a charity funded almost entirely by other people’s money. “Those cases, which together used $258,000 from Trump’s charity, were among four newly documented expenditures in which Trump may have violated laws against “self-dealing” — which prohibit nonprofit leaders from using charity money to benefit themselves or their businesses. If the Internal Revenue Service were to find that Trump violated self-dealing rules, the agency could require him to pay penalty taxes or to reimburse the foundation for all the money it spent on his behalf. More broadly, these cases­ also provide new evidence that Trump ran his charity in a way that may have violated U.S. tax law and gone against the moral conventions of philanthropy.”

  • “I represent 700 nonprofits a year, and I’ve never encountered anything so brazen,” said charity adviser Jeffrey Tenenbaum, describing the Trump Foundation gifts as “really shocking.” “If he’s using other people’s money — run through his foundation — to satisfy his personal obligations, then that’s about as blatant an example of self-dealing [as] I’ve seen in awhile,” Tenenbaum said.

-- Trump has finally ramped up his spending this month, paying out nearly $30 million during the month of August, Matea Gold and Anu Narayanswamy report. “That's still less than Clinton, who went through $49 million, with 68 percent of her funds going to ad buys and production. But it is the most he ever spent in a month by far, and signals that the real estate developer is finally investing in the semblance of an infrastructure.”

  • Now, the important question – where did the money go? The largest chunk went to digital consulting and online ads, with San Antonio-based firm Giles-Parscale collecting $11.1 million. Data-analytics firm Cambridge Analytica, backed by GOP megadonor Robert Mercer, got $250,000. Trump's media consultant, Rick Reed, was paid $4.5 million to place TV ads. And Private Jet Services, a New Hampshire-based air charter, received $2.3 million. That's a shift from past months, when Trump mainly used own his private jet company Tag Air to fly. In August, Tag Air was paid just about $320,000.
  • Where it DIDN’T go? Back to his family. “Through July, the campaign had directed nearly $7.7 million in reimbursements to Trump properties and Trump family members, a practice that drew criticism. But such spending drastically dropped in August. In all just $548,519 went to reimburse Trump and his companies, the majority to Tag Air …” Trump continues to maintain a small campaign staff, spending just about $765,000 on an August payroll of 131 staffers. Clinton, by comparison, had 789 people on staff last month.

-- The Trump campaign paid CNN commentator and ex-campaign manager Corey Lewandowski $20,000 in August for “strategy consulting,” reigniting a conflict of interest issue that has dogged the network’s hiring of Lewandowski. “CNN has said previously that Trump’s payments to Lewandowski … were ‘severance’ for his employment by Trump,” Paul Farhi reports. But the description of “strategy consulting” used in the filing suggests Lewandowski is playing a somewhat active, hands-on role in the campaign.

-- “There is little evidence that terrorist attacks help Trump,” per Dina Smeltz: “The 2015 attacks in Paris and San Bernardino didn’t really move polls about a then-hypothetical Trump-Clinton matchup. Moreover .... the 2016 Chicago Council Survey found no difference in support for either of the current major-party presidential candidates just after the Orlando shootings in June. In fact, it’s hardly clear that we should even expect Trump to benefit. Political scientists Jennifer Merolla and Elizabeth Zechmeister have shown that Republicans are generally advantaged on the issue of terrorism, but they also found that candidates with national security experience are also advantaged, which could help Clinton.”

-- Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Arizona is still a birther, even if Trump is not. The Arizona Republic reports that he told a tea party crowd that he thinks what Obama released is forged. 

-- More than 300 top U.S. scientists warned against Trump’s stance on climate change and the consequences of withdrawing from the Paris climate accord. The signatories, which include 30 Nobel Prize winners, said in an open letter that the U.S. abandoning of the agreement would “make it far harder to develop global strategies” to lessen the impact of global warming. (Reuters)

-- Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway responded to more news reports that George H.W. Bush plans to vote for Clinton by suggesting that it is because of “hurt feelings” after Jeb’s loss. "I know there are a lot of hurt feelings there," she said on CNN, noting the “high expectations” surrounding the former Florida governor’s campaign. "That is his right. I think that Americans are very grateful to the Bush family for their public service.” (The Hill)

-- “With 42 words, a hashtag and a bowl of Skittles, Donald Trump Jr. set out to illustrate what he saw as the danger of letting Syrian refugees into the U.S. Instead, he set the Internet ablaze with controversy,” Sean Sullivan writes. “The blowback was immediate and widespread Tuesday, as many critics said the message belittled refugees and was bigoted. Even the maker of Skittles rebuked him. The reactions highlighted a recurrent subplot in this year’s presidential campaign: Trump Jr. has repeatedly sparked controversy by associating himself with ideas, themes and people seen as racially or culturally charged."

-- “If his sister Ivanka Trump has become known for her polish and message discipline, [Trump Jr.] has distinguished himself by wading frequently into the shadowy waters of white supremacy, anti-Semitism, incendiary language and conspiracy theories,” NYT’s Jason Horowitz writes. This month, [he] invoked the Holocaust when he argued … that the news media gave Mrs. Clinton a pass on ‘every indiscrepancy.’ If Republicans had done what she had, he said, ‘they’d be warming up the gas chamber right now.’ … A few days before that, Mr. Trump shared on his Instagram account a picture showing the faces of his father, himself and several Trump supporters with Pepe the Frog, a cartoon character that has been co-opted as a mascot by the ‘alt-right’ … adding that he was ‘honored’ to have been included …”

-- Meanwhile, British citizen David Kittos, who took the now-infamous Skittles photograph six years ago, announced he himself is a refugee, disavowing the younger Trump’s use of the photo. “This was not done with my permission, I don’t support his politics, and I would never take his money to use it,” said Kittos, who said he left Cyprus as a young child. (BBC)

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi speaks at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. (AP/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

-- Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi broke her silence after being accused of a “pay to play” scheme with Trump, saying his $25,000 political contribution had “no bearing” on her decision not to investigate the now-defunct Trump University. “There never was an investigation into Donald Trump by this office,” Bondi said. But she acknowledged she did not return the check because it “would have looked like a bribe”: “If I had returned it you would have reported ‘Bondi accepted a bribe, got caught and returned it.’ That's how the reporting goes,” Bondi said. “And so, no, there was nothing improper about it. So there was no reason to return it.” (Politico)

-- Oregon Republican gubernatorial candidate Bud Pierce walked back his support of Trump, saying he may not vote for his party’s nominee – or any candidate – in the upcoming election. “I was hopeful that [Trump] would rise to the occasion and unify the party during the general election,” Pierce said in a statement. “As each day goes by, more of the opposite has taken place. At this point in time I need to see more from Donald Trump in the way of specific policy proposals and a more inclusive tone in order to vote for him.” (KXL)

-- Fox News’ Sean Hannity has been banned from appearing in any more Trump ads after he appeared in a promotional video on behalf of the Republican nominee. “We had no knowledge that Sean Hannity was participating in this,” a Fox News spokesperson said of the video, “and he will not be doing anything along these lines for the remainder of the election.” (Erik Wemple)  

Clinton shakes hands with with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in New York. (AP/Matt Rourke)

THE DAILY HILLARY:

-- “Hillary Clinton has decided it’s about time she do more talking about Hillary Clinton,” Philip Rucker reports. “After a year and a half of running for president, [she] has concluded that many Americans still do not have a clear understanding of what motivates her or what she would do as president. So in the campaign’s home stretch, Clinton is trying to reintroduce herself and her ideas to the country. Clinton has been unable to break through the cacophony of attacks and counter attacks she and [Trump] have been yelling at each other.” But she will try to do just that here in Orlando today, delivering what is billed as a sweeping address to presents her vision for an inclusive economy.

The shift coms as Clinton and her campaign have focused so acutely on destroying Trump that former Obama strategist David Axelrod said they have left a “gaping hole” in their own narrative: “’Who is she? Why is she running for president? Why should people have trust in her? Why should they feel invested in her candidacy?’ Axelrod said Clinton’s Democratic National Convention was successful in part because the speakers answered those questions. But that was July. ‘The impact of it faded away,’ he said, “and they’ve had a hard time sustaining that story.’”

-- Wall Street Journal, “Bill Clinton’s Speaking Fee Overlaps With Foundation Business,” by James Grimaldi: “The Fragrance Foundation, a trade group for the perfume industry, paid former President Bill Clinton $260,000 to give a speech in January 2014 that lasted less than an hour. In the months after the talk, the [Clinton Foundation] organized and partially funded an effort to get hundreds of farmers in Haiti to plant thousands of lime trees, a project designed to help both the impoverished farmers and the perfume and beverage industries, which had been hurt by a spike in lime prices caused by drought and crop blight. The Clinton Foundation’s partner on the project was one of the world’s largest fragrance and flavoring suppliers, Firmenich International SA, along with the Swiss company’s U.S. charity. … The timing of Bill Clinton’s speech income, from a perfume trade group in which a large member would later benefit from a Clinton Foundation project in Haiti, represents the kind of overlapping of private and charitable interests that has become a political liability for his wife as she runs for office.

-- Meanwhile, the Clinton Global Initiative is preparing to lay off “dozens” of employees at the end of this year, scaling back efforts as the Democratic nominee seeks to combat criticism of her relationship with the initiative. (Politico)

-- Clinton-backed super PAC Priorities USA announced a $21.7 million fundraising haul for the month of August, a record number that boosts its coffers to $132 million for the year. “The super PAC's financial success is largely due to a small group of wealthy Clinton allies who have been regularly doling out seven-figure checks,” Matea Gold reports. “Together, the top six donors as of last month have given Priorities $43.5 million — a third of the money collected by the super PAC." The largest donors for the month of August included hedge fund founder Donald Sussman, investor George Soros, SlimFast founder Daniel Abraham, media company owner Fred Eychaner, and former hedge fund scientist Henry Laufer and his wife, Marsha.

WAPO HIGHLIGHTS:

-- “An inside look at how politicians beg for big checks,” by Matea Gold: Gov. Scott Walker’s heavy-handed attempts to extract “huge” contributions from conservative donors were revealed after a trove of state investigative documents were released last week, illustrating in stark terms how the chase for big money by politicians has largely become a "frantic pursuit of billionaires and corporate executives. The emails were written in 2011 and 2012 when Walker was raising funds to combat the attempted recall of a group of Republican state senators and then the governor himself. The documents show how Walker solicited the money for the Wisconsin Club for Growth, a conservative nonprofit that is not required to reveal its contributors.” In March 2012 billionaire investor Bruce Kovner made out a check for $50,000 to the group, noting “501c4 – Walker” on the memo line. Another wrote in the memo line of his check to the nonprofit, “Because Scott Walker asked.” “Before their investigation was stopped by the Wisconsin Supreme Court, Wisconsin prosecutors were examining whether Walker’s efforts were part of an illegal scheme to coordinate with independent groups not subject to campaign limits."

THE FIRST PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE IS ON MONDAY:

-- Clinton needs to come out on offense during the first debate, NY Mag’s Ed Kilgore writes. “Clinton’s two fundamental problems are persistently high minor-party undecided votes that allow Trump to remain competitive despite low absolute numbers, and growing indications of a GOP turnout advantage attributable to greater enthusiasm. The simple solution to both problems is to use the debates to raise the stakes for the election by leaving no one under the illusion that a ‘protest vote’ or a decision to stay home will have anything less than apocalyptic consequences. Monday’s first debate offers a heaven-sent opportunity for her to make it clear there is indeed a lot more than a dime’s difference between the two major-party candidates, and that life will take a turn for the worse for each and every meh liberal voter if Trump becomes president.”

-- And National Review editor Rich Lowry gives five reasons why there will be an inevitably lower standard for Trump during the course of the evening.

  • Trump is an amateur (and people respect it.)
  • Trump is a “radical disrupter,” and is not trying to preserve the status quo.
  • This is a change election: “The question is whether Trump, who is indisputably the candidate of change, can get over the bar of acceptability or not. This is not a high bar. So far he hasn’t cleared it, although he’s made some [recent] progress…”
  • He’s being attacked as a dangerous monster: “Clinton has basically opened up only one line of attack against Trump, which is that he’s a threat to the republic whose every utterance should be regarded with contemptuous disbelief. This means that if Trump is not perceived as a dangerous madman — again, not a high bar — he has invalidated her entire critique of him.”
  • Disgust with the political class is abiding and deep. This works in Trump’s favor.

-- Meanwhile, Trump falsely claimed NBC News anchor Lester Holt is a Democrat, seeking to tie the debate moderator to an “unfair” system that he suggested is biased against him. “By the way, Lester is a Democrat. It’s a phony system. They are all Democrats. It’s a very unfair system,” Trump told Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly. (New York State voter registration documents show Holt has been a registered Republican in the state since 2003.) (Time)

THE BATTLEGROUNDS:

-- New York Times, “Trump Campaign Vows to Fund Florida Push, Official Says, but Cash Is in Limbo,” by Trip Gabriel: “[Trump’s campaign], whose grass-roots organizing in Florida is far behind that of conventional presidential nominees, promised $1.9 million for a ground game in the state but has yet to come through with the money, less than five weeks before early voting begins. Warning that there is ‘no time to waste,’ Susan Wiles, Mr. Trump’s Florida state director, wrote in an internal email on Sunday that the campaign’s New York leaders gave a ‘green light’ to begin spending a seven-figure sum for a field program to get out the vote. On Monday, Ms. Wiles said the money was being delayed.” Wiles meant to send the email to a Florida campaign official … Matt Parker, who is coordinating the Trump campaign’s field work in Florida. She typed the wrong address, and it went to someone with no connection to the campaign. The recipient forwarded the email to The New York Times.

-- “A whopping 95 percent of all campaign television ad spending scheduled between today and Election Day — more than $143 million worth — comes from Clinton’s team,” according to an ABC News analysis of  data from CMAG/Kantar Media: “Team Clinton will spend $143.2 million on television ads, versus only $6.8 million for Team Trump. The difference in future spending in key battleground states is even starker — with Team Clinton slated to spend 53 times as much as Team Trump on television ads in Florida between now and Nov. 8.”

-- Bloomberg, “Republicans Build New Social Media App to Boost Voter Registration,” by Jennifer Jacobs: “Republicans have been quietly building a new social media app meant to enlist ordinary voters to help register friends to vote, make donations or volunteer -- and win prizes along the way, [RNC] officials said.” The “Lead Right 2016” app is part of the GOP’s effort to close the gap between Democrats and Republicans when it comes to technology, and is designed to spur voter registration efforts by allowing users to share names in their cellphone contacts file. The data will “give the RNC a better picture of the people in the users’ personal networks,” allowing them to ask individuals to reach out to friends and family who may be persuadable targets.

-- “At 'We Won’t Wait' summit, women say they are more than just ‘a vote,’” by Vanessa Williams: “Women of color should be just as tough on [Clinton] as they are on [Trump] in demanding that the candidates address issues important to them … That was the message from Marcia Olivo, a Miami activist who took part in a two-day gathering to mobilize women of color to vote in the upcoming election. ‘Every election, we become just ‘a vote.’ We don’t want to be just a vote,’ she said …” More than 1,200 women representing various groups working to organize and educate low-income women of color met at the Gaylord Resort in Washington as part of the We Won’t Wait summit. “Olivo said women of color are not leaning toward Trump, but they aren't excited about Clinton, either: ‘At a time when everyone is talking about the women’s vote, the Latino vote, the black vote, this is a reminder that we do not lead single-issue lives and we are not single-issue voters,’ [one attendee] said …”

SOCIAL MEDIA SPEED READ:

Our colleague Dave has located the Trump portrait purchased with charity money!

Ivanka Trump visited with GOP women lawmakers:

She was shielded from the press:

Elizabeth Warren called on the CEO of Wells Fargo to resign:

Here's what Bernie Sanders had to say:

The Nevada GOP left Trump off its slate card:

The Tennessean is under fire for publishing this opinion piece, which compares people who benefit from social welfare programs to animals:

Jewish journalists continue to receive terrible, anti-Semitic messages related to Trump's candidacy:

Jared Polis spent part of the day chatting about kombucha:

Tim Scott's staff took this photo in blazers and shorts:

Scott's getup was even funnier up close:

Bill Johnson welcomed this little visitor to his office:

Here's another animal visitor to the Hill -- what a photo:

Jerry Moran captured this photo on the National Mall:

Finally, amid news of Brangelina's breakup, Mr. and Mrs. Met want you to know they're doing fine:

HOT ON THE LEFT:

“Minnesota Restaurant Posts ‘Muslims Get Out’ Sign,” from CBS Minnesota: “A Minnesota restaurant owner upset over what happened in St. Cloud posted a controversial sign Monday morning. The sign outside Treats Family Restaurant in Lonsdale, Minnesota, reads ‘Muslims Get Out.’ A second line reads ‘In Support Of St. Cloud.’ Owner Dan Ruedinger says the sign has led to some backlash, but he says business is up so much that he had to call in three extra workers Monday. ‘It’s time that people started standing up, not worrying about the PC crowd and do what is right,” Ruedinger said. ‘”And I feel what we’re doing is right. We are not targeting the Muslims in general, just the extremists. … It’s my right and I’m going to stand up, and I wish more people would do it.’”

 

HOT ON THE RIGHT:

“Fayetteville teacher placed on leave in flag controversy,” from the Fayetteville Observer: “A history teacher in Cumberland County was placed on paid administrative leave Tuesday after coming under fire for stepping on the U.S. flag as part of a lesson on the First Amendment.  Lee Francis … said he is scheduled to meet with Cumberland County Schools system officials Thursday to discuss the incident stemming from a lesson in his American History class. Pictures have started going viral on social media showing Francis standing over a crumpled flag in front of his class ….” In a Facebook post, one mother said Francis reportedly asked the students for a lighter or scissors. No one had one, she said, which is when Francis put the flag on the floor and “stomped” on it.

DAYBOOK:

On the campaign trail: Clinton rallies supporters in Orlando, while Kaine raises funds in San Francisco. Trump campaigns in Toledo, Ohio.

At the White House: Obama will deliver remarks at the U.S.-Africa Business Forum this morning. In the afternoon, the President will hold a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel. Later in the afternoon, the President will hold a bilateral meeting with President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia. Then he returns to Washington. 

On Capitol Hill: The Senate meets at 9:30 a.m. to resume work on the motion to proceed to the legislative vehicle for the short-term CR.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: 

“I definitely don’t want Trump to win and I definitely want Hillary to lose.” -- A barber, quoted in Kathleen Parker's column

NEWS YOU CAN USE IF YOU LIVE IN D.C.:

-- The last few days of summer temps are upon us – so enjoy them while you can! Here’s today’s forecast from our friends at the Capital Weather Gang: “Still some clouds around today, but overall skies should be brighter than the past couple days. We’ll call it partly cloudy with moderate humidity, as highs head for the low-to-mid 80s.

-- The Nationals lost to the Marlins, 1-0.

-- Federal prosecutors charged former Armed Forces Foundation Director Patricia P. Driscoll for her role in a years-long fraud and tax evasion scheme, accusing her of mishandling some $600,000 in military charity funds from 2006 to 2014. (Spencer S. Hsu)

-- A federal appeals court is considering the constitutionality of D.C.’s gun control laws, weighing in on a requirement that residents show a “good reason” before obtaining a concealed firearm permit. (Ann E. Marimow)

-- Students and faculty were evacuated from Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring after a bomb threat was issued Tuesday afternoon. A spokesman said there were “no immediate details” on the nature of the threat, saying the call came in around 12:15 p.m. They have since been given the all-clear. (Donna St. George)

-- A D.C. college student was stabbed to death Monday night in Baltimore: Officials said 21-year-old Marcus Edwards, an aspiring police officer and student at Morgan State University, was walking to his off-campus apartment when he was attacked. Officials cited robbery as a potential motive. (Martin Weil)

VIDEOS OF THE DAY:

Michelle Obama impersonated the president during a sit-down with Stephen Colbert last night. (Watch here.)

The NRA will go up today with an responding to Jason Kander assembling a rifle blindfolded:

The Trump campaign released a new ad that portrays him as the leader of a movement:

Trump sang the praises of doing things with other people's money:

Sean Hannity blindsided Fox News by participating in this Trump campaign video:

Elizabeth Warren told the CEO of Wells Fargo he should resign:

Seth Meyers took a closer look at Trump's birther past:

So did Colbert:

Al Franken taped a message to millennials about the importance of their votes in November:

Justin Trudeau rated memes of himself for Buzzfeed (click to watch):

The National Zoo's new orangutan infant made his debut: