The U.S. spends far more money on its military than any other country, more even than the next 10 countries combined. But still, some Americans want to spend even more. According to the latest Gallup poll, 28 percent of Americans want to spend more on the military, compared to 37 percent who want to spend less:
The difference is most pronounced between Republicans and Democrats. Just 15 percent of Democrats think that Americans are spending too little on the military, whereas 49 percent of Republicans do:
Gallup argues that military preparedness may be a 2016 campaign issue, as military spending is currently being cut. I'm not convinced. While military spending is a big issue for Republicans, 70 percent of Independents believe military spending currently is either about right or too much. John Aziz
Sonia Rykiel, the French designer dubbed the "queen of knitwear" by Women's Wear Daily in the 1960s, died Thursday at her home in Paris. She was 86.
Rykiel was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in the early 1990s. She was born to Russian and Romanian parents outside of Paris in 1930, and in her early twenties, married a Paris boutique owner. She wasn't happy with any of the items he had for sale, and started making her own pieces, beginning with maternity clothes. Her husband sold her work, and the pieces, like the "poor boy" sweater, were so popular she opened her own store on Paris' Left Bank in 1968. Early fans included Audrey Hepburn and Brigitte Bardot, and Rykiel's fashion house turned into a multi-million dollar global brand. Her designs have been featured in museums, and she also wrote several books. She is survived by a daughter, Nathalie, and son, Jean-Philippe. Catherine Garcia
American swimmer Ryan Lochte was charged Thursday by Brazilian police with filing a false robbery report during the Rio Olympics.
In a statement, the police said Lochte will be notified and can decide if he wants introduce a defense in Brazil, The Associated Press reports. The indictment will also be sent to the International Olympic Committee's ethics commission. Lochte had said that while returning to the Olympic Village from a party August 15, he and three other swimmers were robbed at gunpoint by men with badges. Police say a video instead shows an altercation between the swimmers and armed security guards. Lochte later said he was intoxicated at the time and the confrontation was caused by his behavior.
In Brazil, the penalty for filing a false crime report is up to 18 months in prison. If he does not return to Brazil to face the charge, Lochte could be tried in absentia. Catherine Garcia
Donald Trump is not taking back earlier comments he made about Hillary Clinton being a "bigot," and instead is doubling down.
In an interview Thursday with CNN's Anderson Cooper, the Republican presidential nominee said Clinton is a "bigot" who is "selling" minorities "down the tubes because she's not doing anything for those communities. She talks a good game. But she doesn't do anything." Cooper pressed Trump, asking him if he believes Clinton personally hates African-Americans, and Trump replied, "Her policies are bigoted because she knows they're not going to work."
During a speech Thursday in Nevada, Clinton said Trump "has built his campaign on prejudice and paranoia" and is "taking hate groups mainstream and helping a radical fringe take over one of America's two major political parties." Catherine Garcia
Hillary Clinton played up the theory of "you are who your friends are" in reference to Donald Trump during a speech in Reno, Nevada, on Thursday. Clinton mentioned Trump's past retweeting of racist Twitter accounts and his hesitancy to disavow former KKK leader David Duke's endorsement as evidence of Trump's improper temperament before pulling out the big guns: zeroing in on Stephen Bannon, Trump's newly minted campaign CEO and the chairman of Breitbart News.
She offered the audience a "flavor" of what Trump's friend Bannon is like, in the form of some of the headlines Breitbart News has published under Bannon's leadership:
Bannon-era Breitbart headlines HRC ran through just now: pic.twitter.com/HHQor51Er7
— laura olin (@lauraolin) August 25, 2016
"I'm not making this up," Clinton said. Sometimes "show, don't tell" really is the best strategy after all. Becca Stanek
Hey, remember Jeb(!) Bush? The former Florida governor and gone-too-soon 2016 Republican presidential candidate — who, by the way, was the original guy to look at American politics and say "hey, I can fix this"? Well, he appeared on New York's 77 WABC Radio to discuss GOP nominee Donald Trump's ever-shifting views on immigration — and he sounded pretty energetic about shooting down Trump's policy flip-flop.
"I can tell you what I'm for, which is meaningful reform across the board so that we secure the border, first and foremost," Bush told host Rita Cosby. He then said he'd support a policy "including an E-Verify system, and including visa reform, because 40 percent of illegal immigrants don't cross the southern border. They come with a legal visa, and they just stay." When Cosby pointed out that Trump's newest stance is strikingly similar to what Bush laid out, the former governor just chuckled:
— Ali Vitali (@alivitali) August 25, 2016
Bush also said people looking for a comprehensive immigration plan could purchase his 2013 book Immigration Wars, which "probably is a buck-ninety-nine on Amazon these days." Chin up, Jeb: The paperback version of Immigration Wars is currently pulling a whole $16 on the e-retailer. Pick up a copy, or listen to the whole interview here. Kimberly Alters
Hillary Clinton highlighted just how extreme Donald Trump is in a speech in Reno, Nevada, on Thursday, pointing to the Republican presidential nominee's embrace of "discredited conspiracy theories," his "steady stream of bigotry," and his campaign's use of "prejudice and paranoia." Although Trump may be attempting to reposition himself as a more moderate candidate via "some new people putting new words in his mouth," Clinton insisted that we already "know who Trump is."
She then pulled out an old Mexican proverb as evidence: "'Tell me with whom you walk, and I will tell you who you are.'" Trump, Clinton said, is essentially walking with "hate groups," whose support he hesitates to disavow, and with a campaign CEO who has published headlines praising the Confederate flag.
In her appeal to the center-right, Clinton urged voters — no matter what political party they may belong to — to realize this election is about "who we are as a nation." "If he doesn't respect all Americans," Clinton said of Trump, "how can he serve all Americans?" Becca Stanek
When her husband assumed the presidency in 1993, first lady Hillary Clinton faced a lot of criticism for taking on a public, policy-based role when she headed up the push to make health care universal. Nine days before Bill Clinton was sworn in as the 42nd president, in fact, the first lady-elect was already sitting in on meetings regarding health-care reform. But according to one former Clinton adviser cited in a comprehensive Washington Post article on Hillary's failed health-care push, "health-care task force leader" was not initially the front-facing title Hillary wanted in her husband's administration:
Dick Morris, a former Clinton adviser who is now a critic, said the idea [to lead a health-care task force] emerged from "a whole series of phone calls and a meeting at the governor's mansion" with [Hillary]. He said she first proposed becoming White House chief of staff — an idea Morris said he discouraged. She pondered attorney general or secretary of education, he said. Morris suggested she consider leading an important task force that would boost "her own credentials and her own accomplishments," he said. [The Washington Post]
The Post notes that Clinton recounted events differently in her 2003 autobiography Living History, where she says "Bill first broached the idea" of her leading the health-care task force. The story delves deep into how Hillary's first major government project crumbled beneath her — including how it led to the first time she ever had to wear a bulletproof vest. Read the whole extensive report at The Washington Post. Kimberly Alters