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Bernie

I'm curious how this speech was crafted, how much of a role Sanders himself had in writing it. (Presumably the same speechwriters from the campaign, with whatever level of rewrites he does, like every other politician.) It was particularly well put together in terms of giving voice to what animated his campaign while pivoting to supporting Hillary and not having either seem forced, contrived or false. That's not the easiest thing to do. That is an understatement. What really brought it together though was that Sanders heart and head seemed very much in it. He managed to bring all the furious intensity he is capable of to this speech. It was really quite something.

Michelle

That was an extraordinary speech.

I would have to go back and watch the 2008 speeches in their entirety. Michelle Obama was certainly a very solid speaker for a non-politician eight years ago. But I do not remember that kind of command, confidence and grace. She seemed more like someone who did very well in a role she was not entirely comfortable with, one thrust upon her. It's bracing and enlivening to see how she has taken possession of her role as a towering public figure in American popular and political culture.

Things Are Getting Very Weird

Tonight Donald Trump told a crowd in North Carolina that to show our NATO allies how it's going to be, we'll have to leave the alliance and force our allies to bring us back with offers of more money. "We have to walk," Trump said. "Within two days they're calling back! Get back over here, we’ll pay you whatever the hell you want."

Meanwhile, when asked about the Clinton campaign's claim about Russian complicity in the DNC email hack, a Kremlin spokesman replied: “Mr. Trump Jr. has already strongly responded."

Meta

As we watch the Democrats give their speeches this evening with various attacks on Trump's misogyny, nonsense and more, Trump himself is giving a speech in North Carolina which seems to be something like a self-parody. He's hitting all the same points.

A couple examples after the jump ...

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This Is Truly Comical

This is the transcript from an exchange scheduled to run later this evening on NBC News, Julian Assange insisting there's "no evidence" the emails Wikileaks released were from Russian intel ...

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The Horror of Trumpism

As I've noted, I'm still holding on to some level of skepticism about what we truly know about the DNC hack. But this new article from The Daily Beast suggests that the weight of evidence appears to fall heavily of a Russian disruption campaign mounted to help Donald Trump become President.

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Oh, Right! That.

I'm rushing between ten different Trump/Russia posts. But I need to take a quick moment for a reminder. We're focused like a laser on building our subscriber base. It's important. And if you feel like you need us, then we definitely need you. Take a moment, click here and become part of what we do. Thank you.

The Trump and Putin Thing, A Detailed Response

Not long after I wrote this post on Trump and Putin over the weekend I saw a twitter conversation suggesting I'd overstated various facts or included mainly speculation. That exchange included Jeffrey Carr who said he would and did write a point by point "fact-checking" of the piece. This seems to have been done basically in good faith and various people have referenced it. So I wanted to take a moment - honestly, a fairly long moment - to respond in detail.

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It Can't Be Dismissed

I wanted to flag Daniel Drezner's look at a series of articles (including mine) reporting on or speculating on connections between Russia and the Trump campaign. By and large I think he is appropriately cautious and sometimes skeptical. Most things, I would say we agree on. I have similar skepticism that we know to some certainty that Russia was behind the DNC hack or their subsequent disclosure - a point I'll return to in a subsequent post.

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Trump & Putin. Yes, It's Really a Thing

Ed. Note: My weekend post on Russia, Vladimir Putin, and Trump – and the worrisome list of financial, policy and personnel connections between them – has been one of if not the most read pieces I’ve ever written for TPM. And there seems to be significant media and reader interest. So I’m republishing it here in toto. I’ll be addressing some critiques, questions and adding some further reporting as the day goes on.

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Over the last year there has been a recurrent refrain about the seeming bromance between Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. More seriously, but relatedly, many believe Trump is an admirer and would-be emulator of Putin's increasingly autocratic and illiberal rule. But there's quite a bit more to the story. At a minimum, Trump appears to have a deep financial dependence on Russian money from persons close to Putin. And this is matched to a conspicuous solicitousness to Russian foreign policy interests where they come into conflict with US policies which go back decades through administrations of both parties. There is also something between a non-trivial and a substantial amount of evidence suggesting Putin-backed financial support for Trump or a non-tacit alliance between the two men.

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