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Can Our Fabric Hold?

From longtime TPM Reader BW in Baton Rouge ...

Reflecting on your piece “Taking Stock,” where you said “…the pace of transgression can grow quick enough to build on itself and overmatch the force of communal and inter-communal bonds and social integument…”

Yesterday evening, I attended the “Prayer Vigil for Peace and Unity in the Community in response to the shooting death of Alton Sterling” held at an African-American church in the same part of town where the shooting took place.

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Taking Stock

As someone whose professional life is news, I'm not accustomed to coming to shocking or horrific events well after they're underway or even over. Because of a very unusual set of circumstances last night which I'll describe at another time, I was awake while this was all transpiring but didn't see or hear anything about it until I woke up about 8 o'clock this morning. As I'm sure it has with you, it took me a moment — really more than a few moments — to make sense or get my head around what I was reading. It's not simply the loss of life, not just the numbers, but the premeditated nature apparently with multiple assailants (ed.note: the number of shooters now seems less clear). More than both of these, this feels like a bomb being set off at one of the key stress points, architectural holds, that fastens our whole society together.

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Trump, Dominance Politics and the Limits of the Bullshit Production Model

Part of making sense of the current Trump campaign is understanding that Trump is continually trying to take the hyper-aggressive bullyboy tactics he learned from his father in the New York City real estate world and apply them to national politics. That style might fairly be described as sell, sell, sell and attack, attack, attack. In particular, as a New York City real estate pro described here, it's largely about getting inside other people's heads with over-the-top aggression that knocks them on their heels and leaves them unprepared to fight back. Some of this is simply what I've called "dominance politics", an idea I've developed in various posts over the years, and which I described back in March as being based on "the inherent appeal of power and the ability to dominate others." Trump is the master of a certain kind of 'dominance politics' and that's made him the master — in a very deep sense of the word — of a certain part of the electorate. But the general election electorate is a different animal. And in his interactions with that wider swath of the public and even with fellow Republicans we're seeing another pattern I noted about a month ago: "the inherent turbulence faced by a bullshit-based candidate making first contact with an at least loosely reality-based world."

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Why Trump's Hispanics Answer Was the Big Deal in Today's Meeting

David has already flagged Lauren Fox's amazing debrief piece coming out of Trump's meeting with members of Congress this morning (incredibly proud of her work). It's our feature piece. But there's one part of that story I want to focus in on. Everything that happened in that meeting underscores Trump's extreme ignorance and, just as importantly, extreme indifference to being ignorant. But the exchange about Hispanic support has a unique significance in the context of that meeting.

Trump was asked - not surprisingly and not unreasonably - what about your unpopularity with Hispanics voters and what about down-ballot races? Trump's response: No, Hispanics love me!

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Here's Lauren Fox's latest report on Trump's Hill meeting this morning. What House GOP members have to say about their own nominee 10 days before their convention is probably unprecedented in the annals of American politics (sorry, Goldwater, but Trump is leaving you behind). But Trump's comments about the Constitution? Amazing.

No Place To Hide

We'll have a report soon on how it went in Donald Trump's meeting this morning with Republicans on the Hill, but in the meantime you should really read Lauren Fox's piece on how GOP members were scrambling to avoid going to the meeting in the first place. She does a great job capturing the awful position Republican elected officials are in, and how awkwardly they are handling it. The kicker of the piece is a bonus gem.

Welcome To The Next Stage of Clinton Email Imbroglio

FBI Director James Comey is testifying in front of a House committee right now (watch) about his decision not to recommend charges against Hillary Clinton for mishandling classified information. With calls already by Republicans for an independent counsel and Speaker Ryan exploring ways to deny Clinton the classified briefings afforded to major party nominees for President (Trump would still get his briefings in Ryan's world), the story is quickly losing its grounding in the legal/national security realm and moving entirely into the political realm.

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Trump Math?

Trump makes convoluted announcement of new fundraising numbers for June. Experts can't make sense of it. Our story.

Extra! Tony Blair, Like Bush, Fooled His Citizenry Into Going to War With Iraq

At long last, civil servant Sir John Chilcot released his 12-volume study of Britain’s participation in the Iraq War. The report condemns Prime Minister Tony Blair’s government for misjudgments and miscalculations and for subservience to American foreign policy objectives, but it also blames Blair himself for misleading the British people and members of Parliament in making the case for war on September 24, 2002.

In that speech, and in the famous “dodgy dossier” that accompanied it, Blair declared that Saddam Hussein’s “WMD program is active, detailed and growing. The policy of containment is not working. The WMD program is not shut down. It is up and running” and that “he has existing and active military plans for the use of chemical and biological weapons, which could be activated within 45 minutes.. and that he is actively trying to acquire nuclear weapons capability.” In his preface to the dossier, Blair had asserted that British intelligence had “established beyond doubt” that Iraq was producing WMDs.

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