Justin Holcomb  - Federal Debt Hits $19,400,000,000,000
Posted: 7/22/2016 1:26:00 PM EST

The federal debt hits its biggest amount yet this week.  As of Tuesday, the number amassed to over $19,400,000,000,000, according to data released from the U.S. Treasury.  

But how could this happen if Congress passed the  “Bipartisan Budget Act,” which was to suspend the legal debt limit until March 15, 2017?  According to one report, when the bill was passed on November 2, 2015, the federal debt stood at $18,152,981,685,747.52.  But since then, the federal debt has increased by $1,249,380,205,181.94.

Well, check the fine print.  Title IX of the Bipartisan Budget Act, “Temporary Extension of Public Debt Limit,” says that "the limit is increased to accommodate obligations issued during the suspension period.”

Paul Ryan and congressional leadership tell the American people how good of a job they are doing maintaining control over an outrageous debt problem, but then they "accommodate obligations" and the process continues on without change.   

Christine Rousselle - BREAKING: Shooting Reported in Munich Shopping Center; UPDATE: Nine Dead
Posted: 7/22/2016 12:51:00 PM EST

UPDATE: The shooting is over, but the scene is still considered to be "active." At least one person has died and 10 are injured, but there are no firm numbers yet.

UPDATE II: There are reports of a second shooting in Munich near a metro station. Nobody has been captured in either shooting.

UPDATE III: The transit system in Munich has been shut down. The shooters are still at large.

UPDATE IV: The media is reporting that six people have been killed.

UPDATE V: Police are asking people to please refrain from sharing photos or videos of the perpetrator on social media.

UPDATE VI: The police are treating the shootings as "suspected terrorism."

UPDATE VII: Nine people are dead, a number which possibly includes the shooter.

UPDATE VIII: Police have upped the death total to 10. The alleged shooter's body has been found.

UPDATE IX: The suspect has been identified as an 18-year-old German-Iranian.

---Original Post---

There are reports of a mass shooting at the Olympia-Einkaufszentrum (OEZ) shopping center in Munich, Germany. There are no details currently available as to the identity of the perpetrators or any casualties.

Witnesses have been tweeting photos and videos of people fleeing the area.

This post has been updated.

Christine Rousselle - Poll: Trump Closing the Gap in New Hampshire
Posted: 7/22/2016 12:30:00 PM EST

A new poll has Donald Trump in a statistical dead heat with Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire. A WMUR poll has Clinton with only a two-point lead over Trump, which falls comfortably in the margin of error. Clinton leads Trump with 39 to 37, with a margin of error of 4.5

When third-party candidates Jill Stein (Green Party) and Gary Johnson (Libertarian Party) are included in the poll, Clinton and Trump are tied at 37 percent.

The latest WMUR Granite State Poll, released on Thursday evening, has Clinton leading Trump, 39 percent to 37 percent, well within the poll’s 4.5 percent margin of error, while a large bloc of likely voters -- 18 percent – say they would support another candidate and 6 percent are undecided.

When other prominent candidates – Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party and Jill Stein of the Green Party – are included, the race is even closer.

Under that scenario, Trump and Clinton are tied at 37 percent each, with 10 percent supporting Johnson, 5 percent for Stein, 5 percent for someone else and 6 percent undecided.

New Hampshire, which is generally considered to be a swing state, last went Republican in the 2000 election.

Cortney O'Brien - Uh Oh: Wikileaks Releases Thousands of DNC Emails Ahead of Convention
Posted: 7/22/2016 12:15:00 PM EST

Wikileaks has just released about 20,000 emails reportedly sent and received from the Democratic National Committee ahead of next week's convention. The email dump is a part of Wikileaks new Hillary Leaks series. Here's what the correspondence includes, according to the whistleblower organization.

Between this and Donald Trump's epic rant Friday morning against Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), how can Clinton hope to steal the spotlight with a routine vice presidential announcement?

You can search through the DNC email database here.

Cortney O'Brien - In Epic Rant, Trump Explains How Cruz ‘Dishonorably’ Doctored His Speech
Posted: 7/22/2016 11:05:00 AM EST

“Somebody got booed the hell out of the place,” Trump noted in a speech to his volunteers Friday morning as the Republican National Convention wrapped up. “There wasn’t one person who was with him,” Trump said, including the Texas delegation.

Of course, Trump was referring to Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) controversial speech on Wednesday night, where he failed to endorse the Republican nominee and seemingly offered a nod to the “Never Trump” movement by telling voters to “vote their conscience” in November.

Trump’s Friday remarks were supposed to focus on the thank yous - and he did for the most part, spending a few particular moments thanking the secret service and the Cleveland police, but he felt compelled to respond to Cruz’s antics.

“He may have ruined his political career,” Trump said. “He’ll come and endorse because he has no choice.”  

Yet, if he gives his endorsement, Trump said “he will not accept it.”

The GOP nominee then explained what happened Wednesday night.

“I saw his speech,” Trump said. His team told him it’s a "boring speech" and the Texas senator even congratulates him for his nomination.

Then, when Cruz stepped up to the podium, he added a sentence, “which could have been viewed as a nasty thing and implying something,” Trump said.

“That’s dishonorable,” he added. “To me not signing a pledge is dishonorable.”

“I don’t want his endorsement,” Trump repeated. “Ted, just stay home, relax.”

Controversy aside, Trump spent some time remarking on the movement they’ve created. What they’ve done is in the history books, he said.

Yet, “it doesn’t matter unless we beat Hillary Clinton.”

Cortney O'Brien - Sanders Reacts to Trump's Claims His Supporters Will Flock to Him
Posted: 7/22/2016 10:45:00 AM EST

In Republican nominee Donald Trump's acceptance speech Thursday night at the Republican National Convention, he predicted that Bernie Sanders supporters will flock to vote for him in November. Why? Because Sanders voters were unfairly ignored in a Democratic primary system that was "rigged" for Hillary Clinton, Trump claimed.

Sanders, who has endorsed Clinton and even joined her on the campaign trail, rejected Trump's notion. The Vermont senator's supporters will never accept the Republican's alienating message, he insisted.

Yet, Sanders may want to take a look at some recent polling. Several surveys indicate Sanders fans are attracted to Trump's anti-political aura. A Bloomberg Politics poll from June revealed 22 percent of those who felt the Bern are planning to vote for the Republican alternative to Clinton.

Clinton, they know, will be more of the same Washington establishment they've come to loathe. 

So, is Trump's prediction really that far-fetched?

Justin Holcomb  - Time to Wake Up: Russia Bombed US Base in Syria
Posted: 7/22/2016 10:15:00 AM EST

Russian bombers conducted an attack on a U.S. military base used by elite American and British forces on June 16th, according to numerous reports.  

Immediately after the strike, U.S. leaders in Qatar called Russia's headquarters in Latakia, Syria to tell them that they should not attack the base.  Ninety minutes later, Russia dropped another cluster bomb on the base and the pilots of the aircraft did not respond to any U.S. stress calls.  

The response from the White House and State Department, despite the possibility of U.S. casualties, was that of compromise.  

Defense officials from the Pentagon and CIA claim that Washington succumbed to Russia's pressure instead of confronting the aggression.  

Leah Barkoukis - NBA Pulls All Star Game From NC Over Bathroom Law
Posted: 7/22/2016 9:15:00 AM EST

With North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory standing firm by his state’s recently enacted Bathroom Law, which requires that people use the public restroom that corresponds to their biological gender,  the NBA decided to pull the 2017 All-Star Game out of Charlotte, it announced Thursday.

“While we recognize that the NBA cannot choose the law in every city, state, and country in which we do business, we do not believe we can successfully host our All-Star festivities in Charlotte in the climate created by HB2,” the NBA said in a statement. “… We look forward to re-starting plans for our All-Star festivities in Charlotte for 2019 provided there is an appropriate resolution to this matter.”

Back in April, NBA commissioner Adam Silver threatened to move the game if the law was not changed. With the clock running down on planning for the big event and no signs that change was coming, Silver followed through on the threat, costing the state an estimated $100 million.

McCrory, as you can guess, was livid.

“The sports and entertainment elite, Attorney General Roy Cooper and the liberal media have for months misrepresented our laws and maligned the people of North Carolina simply because most people believe boys and girls should be able to use school bathrooms, locker rooms and showers without the opposite sex present," McCrory said in a statement.

"Twenty-one other states have joined North Carolina to challenge the federal overreach by the Obama administration mandating their bathroom policies in all businesses and schools instead of allowing accommodations for unique circumstances. Left-wing special interest groups have no moral authority to try and intimidate the large majority of American parents who agree in common-sense bathroom and shower privacy for our children. American families should be on notice that the selective corporate elite are imposing their political will on communities in which they do business, thus bypassing the democratic and legal process.”

Guy Benson - Analysis: Trump's Long, Dark Acceptance Speech Targets Public Anxiety
Posted: 7/22/2016 8:31:00 AM EST

I'll be brief. It's not an original thought by any means -- but it turned into an instant cliche because it's true: Donald Trump just delivered one of the longest, darkest presidential acceptance speeches in history.  The shouted address  was packed with a blend of correct statements, inaccuracies, and exaggerations; fact-checkers have their hands full.  Welcome to politics, especially in 2016.  It also hit on several themes that will likely resonate with many voters -- Security, law and order and restoring American dominance. While most political speeches try to convey optimism and hope, this address painted a very dreary, almost dystopian, picture of America. Yes, it was over-the-top and demagogic, but guess what?

Just look at the horrendous right track/wrong track numbers detected across the board in national polling. A lot of Americans are feeling deep unease and dissatisfaction about the state of the country. Trump may have gone too far on several occasions, but he was speaking directly to that prevailing sentiment. A modicum of positivity came in the form of a series of assertions that Trump is uniquely equipped to fix these problems, and fast. Very few details of how these things would be accomplished were shared. The GOP nominee's speech had a number of genuine bright spots, of course, including an ode to tolerance, a flash of self-deprication (both of which were ad-libbed), and a lovely tribute to his father. From my perspective, the strongest portion of his comments came toward the very end:

We will rescue kids from failing schools by helping their parents send them to a safe school of their choice. My opponent would rather protect education bureaucrats than serve American children. We will repeal and replace disastrous Obamacare. You will be able to choose your own doctor again...We will take care of our great Veterans like they have never been taken care of before. My opponent dismissed the VA scandal as being not widespread – one more sign of how out of touch she really is. We are going to ask every Department Head in government to provide a list of wasteful spending projects that we can eliminate in my first 100 days. The politicians have talked about it, I’m going to do it. We are also going to appoint justices to the United States Supreme Court who will uphold our laws and our Constitution. The replacement for Justice Scalia will be a person of similar views and principles. This will be one of the most important issues decided by this election. My opponent wants to essentially abolish the 2nd amendment. I, on the other hand, received the early and strong endorsement of the National Rifle Association and will protect the right of all Americans to keep their families safe...

My opponent asks her supporters to recite a three-word loyalty pledge. It reads: “I’m With Her”. I choose to recite a different pledge. My pledge reads: “I’M WITH YOU – THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.” I am your voice. So to every parent who dreams for their child, and every child who dreams for their future, I say these words to you tonight: I’m With You, and I will fight for you, and I will win for you. To all Americans tonight, in all our cities and towns, I make this promise: We Will Make America Strong Again. We Will Make America Proud Again. We Will Make America Safe Again. And We Will Make America Great Again. THANK YOU.

Ivanka Trump, the candidate's elegant eldest daughter, offered eloquent and personal introductory remarks. Despite her detours into ideological statism -- the apple doesn't fall far from the tree in that one regard -- it suspect it was quite effective for viewers at home.  So at last, the show is now over, capped off with "you can't always get what you want" (of all songs!) blaring inside the hall, balloons descending from the rafters. This convention was, by any empirical standard, a mess. An avoidable, acrimonious floor fight.  An avoidable, 36-hour plagiarism kerfuffle. An avoidable spectacle of a primetime speaker getting hounded off the stage with loud boos. But the final night was the by far the smoothest of the week, and I would not be the least bit surprised if Trump enjoys a polling bounce after this, in spite of all the snafus and the dour vision he articulated. Over and over again, the American people were reminded of why they dislike and distrust Hillary Clinton so much.  She'll make her counter-argument next week. Onward, to Philadelphia...

Katie Pavlich - Ivanka Trump's RNC Speech Receives High Praise...From Liberals
Posted: 7/22/2016 8:30:00 AM EST

Speaking from the RNC convention stage Thursday, Ivanka Trump made the case that under a Trump presidency, childcare will become more affordable thanks to changes in federal law.

"As president, my father will change the labor laws that were put in place at a time when women were not a significant portion of the workforce, and he will focus on making quality childcare affordable and accessible for all," she said after re-upping the myth of the gender pay gap.

That stance is earning high praise from liberals who have been arguing for years the federal government should get involved to regulate the cost of childcare.

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