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Ryan Disinvites Trump

In a statement just released moments ago, Speaker Paul Ryan says he's "sickened" by the Trump tape and says Trump is "no longer attending tomorrow's event in Wisconsin."

Ryan appears to remain a supporter and endorser of Trump, saying he hopes Trump "works to to demonstrate to the country that he has greater respect for women than this clip suggests."

GOP: We Have a Plan, Let's Do This

Shortly after Reince Priebus released his statement tonight there was a veritable flood of statements released from various GOP officeholders currently running for reelection. They were all some version of 'this is indefensible, this is unacceptable' with some customization left to the individual politician's sensibilities. And then no more.

In other words, no defections or recantations of support. The timing of the statements strongly suggests that they were released after some high level conference call or decision making. But the general plan seems clear: Say it's deplorable and then hunker down.

We'll have a list of the various statements for you shortly.

Reince Issues Statement

"No woman should ever be described in these terms or talked about in this manner. Ever.”

That's a statement just out from RNC Chair Reince Priebus.

Notably, the issue is framed as entirely a matter of word choice and denigrating language.

Absolutely a Must Read Piece

Two big items of news in Lauren Fox's amazingly reported piece on Trump and the middle class tax cut. First, she finally got the goods on whether or not Trump tried to get the New York City middle class tax break. He did. Second, Trump was apparently still going tax-less or virtually tax-less even after the expiration of those loss carry-forwards he got in 1995. Yes, even after the ability to use that close to $1 billion in losses had expired, Trump was still paying little or no taxes. Check it out.

My New Podcast: Bronze Age Edition

In episode #5 of my new weekly podcast I talk to Bronze Age historian Eric Cline about his recent book 1177 BC: The Year Civilization Collapsed. We discuss this critical transition era in the ancient world, which coincides with the probable era of the Trojan War and the arrival or emergence of the Israelites in Canaan, his book and the challenges and bounties of studying this period of history in which archeology is so central to what we know of the era. Click here to listen.


Storm and Menace

Jews are one of the most consistently Democratic voting groups in the country, going back many decades. The only comparable group, whose percentages of voting for Democrats greatly exceeds that of Jews, is African-Americans. But Jews' propensity to vote for the Democratic party actually significantly predates that of African-Americans. Given this history, it's not like Jews needed a lot of riveting. But I think - and polls back this up - that one of the less discussed aspects of the 2016 political cycle is how it has deeply intensified Jews' collective attachment to the Democratic party, both in voting and political giving.

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