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This Should Worry Republicans a Lot

Donald Trump has had a terrible few weeks, largely self-inflicted, as I noted here. But as he gets less popular and gets sterner rebukes from Republican endorsers, he's actually getting more scattered in his speeches, darker and more apocalyptic in his imagery. This afternoon he compared America to a terminally ill patient and a country that would seem be like Venezuela. Check out these quotes.

The pivot appears to have finally arrived ... but it's toward a crazier, more fire and brimstone Trump.

BREAKING

Senate Democrats are now filibustering to demand action on gun control post-Orlando. Watch.

How Long Can This Last?

I'll try not to be as callow or preening as Donald Trump, taking congrats and high fives. But I do think the last few weeks confirm a point I made back in early Spring. There's no magic to Trump's political showmanship. The magic we saw through the Spring was a unique bond, a sort of mindmeld of white backlash and derp Trump built on an inspired intuition into the mind of the base of the Republican party. Provocation and offense didn't hurt Trump because, as I argued at the time, he was preaching to an audience that yearned for both as positive goods. Campaigning in front of a general election audience today it's all working quite differently. Over the last two days I heard report after report from our team on Capitol Hill about Senators who were refusing to answer questions about Trump, simply walking away when asked about him, or in a growing number of cases, after his harrowing and unhinged speech on Monday, openly attacking him. The Post has a good roundup of the latter out yesterday evening.

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Still Not Ready for Prime Time

TPM Reader DM checks in from Texas ...

I wanted to throw this little story your way, because it jives well with the lack of a ground game angle.

Apparently, Donald Trump is coming to the Dallas/Fort Worth area tomorrow. He is planning on holding a rally in Irving. Irving should be prime Trump territory, where they arrest 13 year old muslim boys for building home-made clocks, and the mayor is a very outspoken Islamophobe. But Irving today rejected the Trump campaigns request to hold a rally here tomorrow because his campaign didn’t bother to ask the city until yesterday! Irving PD says it needs more than 48 hours to prepare for an event like a Trump rally.

Way to go guys.

A Heavily Leveraged Property

Look at the PollTracker Average and Hillary Clinton's margin over Donald Trump has been on the upswing for almost a month. We now put her at 6.2 percentage points ahead of Trump if the election were held today. Of course, the election is not being held today. And we are told, always rightly, that we shouldn't read too much into June polls of a November election. But there's a significant addendum to that conventional wisdom when it comes to Donald Trump. Like a highly leveraged business that does great as long as it's doing well but can collapse under the weight of debt if anything goes wrong, Trump is uniquely dependent on winning poll numbers.

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Denial

Day after day we get emails from readers who are convinced that Donald Trump doesn't really want to be the nominee and is looking for a way to get out of the race. RCP's Carl Cannon says Trump actually does want to lose, though he seems to be talking more about subconscious wish fulfillment than an actual plan to throw the election. Or perhaps he's prepping to get out at some critical moment and hand the nomination over to some more electable candidate. Or perhaps - though much less over the last 48 hours - we hear from commentators that Trump is still getting ready to pivot to the general election.

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Freeing the Internet: Obama's third greatest accomplishment in his 2nd term

President Barack Obama’s third greatest accomplishment in his second term – after the Iran nuclear deal and the Paris climate accord – may be his decision in October 2014 to back the idea that the Federal Communications Commission should be able to regulate internet providers the same way it regulates phone companies. The FCC’s Democratic majority, following Obama’s lead, used this principle to rule that the providers not be able to discriminate among content providers. They have to provide “net neutrality.” And today an Appeals Court, which had ruled against prior attempts to enforce net neutrality, has backed up the FCC’s decision. Here’s what is at stake, and why it’s important.

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Ummm ... Wait a Second

I'm curious about this third graf in the WaPo report on Russian hacking into the DNC networks ...

The intrusion into the DNC was one of several targeting American political organizations. The networks of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were also targeted by Russian spies, as were the computers of some GOP political action committees, U.S. officials said. But details on those cases were not available.

It seems like this went well beyond the DNC. But only DNC officials were willing to discuss it?

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