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February 24, 2016

Senate Republicans took the pretty brazen step on Tuesday of officially declaring they won't even hold hearings on President Obama's coming nominee to replace late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. "We believe the American people need to decide who is going to make this appointment rather than a lame-duck president," said Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (Texas). But Republicans have also been citing precedent. On Monday, Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley (Iowa) said that not confirming justices during an election year was simply following "the Biden rules," referring to a recently unearthed clip of Vice President Joe Biden in June 1992.

At the time, Biden was Senate judiciary chairman, and his speech reiterates the so-called Thurmond Rule (which, incidentally, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said "doesn't exist" in 2008). In Biden's speech, highlights of which you can watch below, Biden urged then-President George H.W. Bush not to nominate a Supreme Court justice if a member of the court resigned in the summer or late fall, saying that if he did, "the Senate Judiciary Committee should seriously consider not scheduling confirmation hearings on the nomination until after the political campaign season is over."

On its surface, that's pretty good gotcha politics. But the liberal site ThinkProgress went back and looked at the rest of the speech, and it turns out that 10 minutes after the part of the speech highlighted by conservatives, Biden called for a compromise candidate: "If the president consults and cooperates with the Senate or moderates his selections absent consultation, then his nominees may enjoy my support as did Justices [Anthony] Kennedy and [David] Souter." There were no Supreme Court vacancies that year, but Biden's committee approved 11 federal appellate judges in 1992.

Members of both parties have flip-flopped pretty shamelessly on Supreme Court nominations during election years, but as Jonathan Chait notes at New York, the GOP argument that they are "merely following historical precedent... is demonstrably false." And Biden's 1992 floor speech doesn't change that. Peter Weber

July 28, 2016
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President Obama thought Hillary Clinton nailed it. Shortly after Clinton wrapped up her speech at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday night, Obama fired off this tweet lauding Clinton's leadership qualities and predicting the future of his current Twitter handle, @POTUS:

First Lady Michelle Obama followed up with some praise of her own, too:

The only question is, would former President Bill Clinton inherit @FLOTUS? Becca Stanek

July 28, 2016

Hillary Clinton wants gun owners to know that she has everyone's safety in mind when it comes to gun control.

"I'm not here to repeal the Second Amendment," she said during her speech at the Democratic National Convention. "I'm not here to take away your guns. I just don't want you to be shot by someone who shouldn't have a gun in the first place." If the nation is "serious about keeping our country safe," she added, " we also can't afford to have a president who's in the pocket of the gun lobby." Catherine Garcia

July 28, 2016
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During Thursday night's speeches at the Democratic National Convention, protesters aligned with Bernie Sanders repeatedly attempted to interrupt proceedings. But the Hillary Clinton faction got word of their plans, and came prepared. Check it out. Ryan Cooper

July 28, 2016
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Hillary Clinton painted a grim picture of a Donald Trump presidency during her speech at the Democratic National Convention, asking the audience, "if you dare," to imagine what it would be like to have him in the Oval Office.

"Ask yourself, do you really think Donald Trump has the temperament to be commander in chief? Donald Trump can't even handle the rough and tumble of a presidential campaign," she said. "He loses his cool at the slightest provocation, when he's gotten a tough question from a reporter, when he's challenged in a debate…imagine him in the Oval Office facing a real crisis. A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons." Clinton said Trump says he'll put "America first, well, please explain, what part of America first leads him to make Trump ties in China, not Colorado? Trump suits in Mexico, not Michigan? Trump furniture in Turkey, not Ohio? Trump picture frames in India, not Wisconsin? Donald Trump says he wants to make America great again; well, he could start by actually making things in America again."

She also asked the crowd to think about what Trump did in Atlantic City, 60 miles away from Philadelphia. "You will find contractors and small businesses who lost everything because Donald Trump refused to pay his bills," she said. "But think of this: People who did the work and needed the money, not because he couldn't pay them but because he wouldn't pay them, he just stiffed them. And you know that sales pitch he's making to be president, 'put your faith in him and you'll win big?' That's the same sales pitch he made to all those small businesses. Then Trump walked away and left working people holding the bag." Catherine Garcia

July 28, 2016
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The line that earned Hillary Clinton the most applause Thursday night may have been this simple reminder: "I believe in science!" Clinton chuckled after making that proclamation to raucous cheers at the Democratic National Convention. Then, she added this icing on the cake: "I believe climate change is real." Becca Stanek

July 28, 2016
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Rather than try to assuage voters' frustrations Thursday night, Hillary Clinton admitted Americans were absolutely justified in feeling that way. "Some of you are frustrated, even furious, and you know what? You're right," Clinton said during her speech at the Democratic National Convention.

Clinton admitted that, right now, the economy is "not yet working the way it should." "Americans are willing to work and work hard," Clinton said. "But right now an awful lot of people feel there is less and less respect for the work they do." Becca Stanek

July 28, 2016
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Hillary Clinton's says her historic nomination isn't just a victory for women.

"Tonight, we've reached a milestone in our nation's march toward a more perfect union: the first time that a major party has nominated a woman for president," she said Thursday night during the Democratic National Convention. "Standing here as my mother's daughter and my daughter's mother, I'm so happy this day has come. I'm happy for grandmothers and little girls and everyone in between. I'm happy for boys and men because when any barrier falls in America, for anyone, it clears the way for everyone."

It's a win for everyone because "when there are no ceilings, the sky's the limit," Clinton said. "Let's keep going until every one of the 161 million women and girls across America has the opportunity she deserves to have. But even more important than the history we make tonight is the history we will write together in the years ahead." Catherine Garcia

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