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Trump Rebelling Against Manafort? Your Premise Is Wrong

We've noted several times in the recent weeks that Donald Trump is quite unlikely to pivot the center, become more presidential, or whatever other metaphor you want to use to describe transitioning away from being a rabble-rousing freak ginning up revanchist white identity politics to becoming someone less likely to freak out establishment Republicans and more able to build a winning general election coalition. Whether such a Romney-ite Etch-a-Sketch would actually change people's opinions of Trump is a fascinating but largely moot point since it's quite clear that Trump is either unable or unwilling to make such a change. After Trump appeared in full 'Trump 1.0' persona mode yesterday on the campaign trail, we're seeing news reports that Trump is rebelling against Paul Manafort's 'shifting persona' narrative and giving power back to wartime campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, who's now out of under a battery rap and ready to roll.

I would submit that the entire premise of this conversation is wrong.

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Last night, when i read ex-Politico CEO Jim Vandehei's oped in the Wall Street Journal I was stunned, even though I know from long experience what a thoroughly corrupt and ridiculous world establishment Washington is. It is essentially a story of how someone at the heart of establishment Washington got in touch with "real America" at a vacation home in Maine and decided that what real America is clamoring for is a third party funded by Mike Bloomberg dedicated to more aggressive use of Twitter, more cynical and politicized use of drone strikes, having Silicon Valley tech hucksters retool the government and 'cleaning up the mess in Washington' even though he doesn't seem to have any clear idea of what the mess is other than too many people focused on public policy. It's probably most generously viewed as a bid to raise money in Silicon Valley for the new media venture he's launching.

A Rendezvous with Destiny (and Choking)

Speaking in Pennsylvania a few moments ago, Donald Trump let slip that he's apparently going to get the endorsement of legendary basketball coach and impulse control sufferer Bobby Knight at a rally tonight in Indiana. It makes sense because Knight is perhaps the ultimate ... the personification of the Trump supporter - old, white and ready to lose it and go off on someone at pretty much any moment.

As we were talking about it just now, I'm even wondering whether they'll have him throw out the first punch or folding chair at tonight's event.

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Coming Soon

We've got a fascinating Prime longform piece we're publishing later this week on how carbon emissions appear to have decoupled from global economic growth over the last two years, largely because of the more rapid than expected growth of renewables in the US and China. That's not breakthrough news in itself but a predicate without which breakthrough news on climate seems very hard to envision.

Trumpus Maximus and the Dead Ted Bounce

There's no better way to understand the arbitrary mutability of 'conventional wisdom' than to look at the dramatically changed perceptions of Donald Trump's chances of securing the nomination after his big win in the New York primary - an entirely predictable and predicted event. I've seen a few people argue that Trump overshot his predicted margins by a few points. That, we're told, made the difference. But no. That doesn't make sense. The conventional wisdom was simply wrong in the first instance, driven by emotion and wishful thinking, and destined for a sharp reversal.

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The Koch's Epic Fixer Upper

Sort of like trying to refurb a classic Mustang or other fixer-upper car and still not being able to get it to run, you can buy the party, invest a lot of money, but still not make it not be crazy. Koch Bros, disenchanted with presidential primaries, to sit out GOP convention.

To be clear with the Kochs, they're not looking for good government. But they're looking for a GOP that reliably delivers as a capital-first policy vehicle. That was Jeb, maybe Rubio, possibly Walker. Not this.

What The ...

You may or may not have heard about this. It was picked up quickly in the Jewish community press and then later in the right-wing press. Two weeks ago, former Israeli Foreign Minister and acting Prime Minister Tzipi Livni was speaking on a panel at Harvard Law School when a student, during a Q&A session, asked her why she was so "smelly." (Now, to bring you up to speed if this is new to you, Jews being 'dirty' or 'smelly' is a centuries old anti-Semitic stereotype, roughly comparable to the same bigoted stereotypes about African-Americans.) From most accounts, everyone was caught off guard and a bit stunned. The student restated the question. Later various other student groups issued statements condemning anti-Semitism. And the student in question issues an apology, sort of.

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