It now seems that the next several days of the campaign cycle will be about whether anyone can figure out what Donald Trump's immigration policy is. Mass expulsions, compulsory taco salads, expelling the bad people, letting the models stay, Obama's awesome after all. Trump's new mantra is that "we will follow the law," which - let's not be ungenerous - is a good place to start but of course tells us nothing. This isn't a pivot. It's an effort to sow confusion. Because there's no tenable place for Trump to be on this issue.
9:05 PM: Watching Trump rally as he tries to explain how he's jettisoning his entire campaign agenda 80 days out from the election.
The Trump campaign can't decide whether to jettison its signature policy initiative - mass expulsion. The conflagrations and controversies are coming at us at a blinding speed. We're keeping you up to speed on all of them. But did I mention we really need you to sign up for Prime? If you absolutely need TPM, then we absolutely need you. Please take a moment right now and join us as a Prime subscriber. It's important; it's awesome, you will be supporting our independent journalism and you'll be very glad you did. Just click right here.
To hear the mainstream media tell it, Donald Trump has spent the last week in a stumbly and maybe not terribly effectual outreach to black people. As I noted over the weekend, Republican faux-outreach to African-Americans with the goal of mollifying moderate or educated white voters is a tried and true political move. There's nothing remotely new about it. The problem for Trumpers, as I noted in this piece, is that they have a hard time even staying in character, randomly blurting out angry slurs while trying to execute their faux-outreach. But there's something a deeper and darker going on with Trump himself. It's not just off-tone. It's not just rants at African-Americans from lily-white suburbs. What Trump's doing amounts to trying to rebrand dehumanization verging on hate speech as 'outreach'.
According to the TPM Electoral Scoreboard, the race now stands at Clinton 326, Trump 154 as Missouri moves from Trump to Toss Up.
Also notable, Clinton currently has a lead of at least 10 points in states that account for 298 electoral votes. Those states include Pennsylvania, Virginia and Florida.
Join us in The Hive for a live chat with Amanda Bellows, the author of the latest TPM Longform on the mysterious black filmmaker Oscar Micheaux. Micheaux's films were one of a kind and his work paved the way for African Americans in Hollywood -- check out the piece here, and drop in your questions at or before 1 p.m. EST on Friday, August 26!