Watch 3 conservatives argue, in 3 different ways, that Trump's KKK response was a disqualifying game-changer
You know Donald Trump made a mistake when he implicitly admits he messed up. On Monday, as Trump blamed a "lousy earpiece," Republicans and other conservatives split over Trump's refusal Sunday to disavow David Duke and his former organization, the Ku Klux Klan, on CNN. It may be easy to discount Mitt Romney's criticism that Trump disqualified himself, since Romney, seen as a GOP moderate, and Trump are already feuding. But here are three more conservatives arguing in three different ways that Trump's brush-off of the KKK endorsement is a really, really big deal.
Joe Scarborough, the host of MSNBC's Morning Joe, has been famously friendly with Trump in recent weeks. On Monday's show, after co-host Mika Brzezinski morosely set up the CNN clip, Scarborough lit into Trump: "That's disqualifying right there. It's breathtaking. That is disqualifying right there."
A former Republican congressman from Florida, Scarborough seemed personally offended: "I mean, is he really so stupid that he doesn't think Southerners are offended by the Ku Klux Klan and David Duke? Is he really so ignorant of Southern voters that he thinks this is the way to their heart, to go neutral, to play Switzerland when you're talking about the Klan!?"
On the more conservative end of the GOP spectrum, Hugh Hewitt offered a historical perspective. Trump's refusal to disavow David Duke "is what we call in politics a game-changer, equivalent to Mitt Romney's 47 percent comment four years ago, equivalent to Gerald Ford's comment in 1976 that Poland was free," he said on CNN, and even "as bad, much worse, actually," than several famous Hillary Clinton gaffes:
— rosierifka (@rosierifka) March 1, 2016
Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) brought some home-town flavor and class resentment to the Trump take-down. King argued on Fox News that Trump's mixed message on the KKK and Duke shows that he'll say anything, "that he's temperamental, that he's erratic," and he lies when caught, a combination that makes him "not qualified to be president." Trump says "he's the tough guy, the tough guy from Queens," King added. "I grew up in Queens. The neighborhood he grew up in Queens, that's where the rich, pampered kids lived: Jamaica Estates. No tough guy ever came out of Jamaica Estates, I can tell you that."
None of the conservatives said they thought Trump's remarks would seriously hurt him on Super Tuesday. Peter Weber
The Republican National Convention might have had its share of chaos, ranging from a plagiarism scandal to all-out mutiny, but Donald Trump did something right according to the latest polls. In a four-way competition including Gary Johnson and Jill Stein, Trump leads the current race for the White House following a 6-point post-convention bump, putting him at 44 percent to Hillary Clinton's 39 percent.
The CNN/ORC poll found that Trump's surge comes mainly from independents that were convinced by his convention in Cleveland — 43 percent reported being swayed by what they saw, while 41 percent said they were dissuaded. Overall, what voters heard and saw boosted Trump's favorability. CNN writes, "There hasn't been a significant post-convention bounce in CNN's polling since 2000. That year Al Gore and George W. Bush both boosted their numbers by an identical 8 points post-convention before ultimately battling all the way to the Supreme Court."
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) July 25, 2016
Two other polls published Monday will also raise concerns for the Clinton camp: Morning Consult shows Trump has pulled 4 points ahead of Clinton. CBS News shows Clinton and Trump in a dead heat, 42 percent to 42 percent after both the Republican Convention and Clinton's announcement of Sen. Tim Kaine as her running mate.
The CNN/ORC poll reached 882 registered voters by telephone between July 22 and 24 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5. Jeva Lange
Police say two people were killed and at least a dozen more were injured Monday in a shooting outside a nightclub in Fort Myers, Florida, NBC News reports. Shots were fired in the parking lot of Club Blu bar around 12:30 a.m. ET, officials say. One suspect is in custody but "the Fort Myers Police Department and Lee County Sheriff’s Office are actively canvassing the area looking for other persons who may be involved in this incident," police said in a statement.
The incident comes a little more than a month after a gunman killed 49 people in an attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Jessica Hullinger
Whether it's Donald Trump appearing at the Republican National Convention with the strains of Queen in the background or Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) playing the Dropkick Murphys during a campaign stop, politicians have long been using music at their events against the wishes of the artists.
On Sunday's Last Week Tonight, John Oliver urged musicians to come together and take a stand against the unauthorized use of their work, and Usher, Michael Bolton, Josh Groban, Sheryl Crow, and others accepted his call to action. Watch the video below to hear their message to politicians, and also for a free song that any one of them could — and should — start using on the campaign trail. Catherine Garcia
It didn't work for Kramer and Newman, and prosecutors say it also didn't work for a man found with 10,000 empty cans in the back of a rented Budget truck.
In Michigan, recyclers receive 10 cents for the bottles they return, a higher refund than in most states where it is 5 cents. Under Michigan's bottle deposit law, it is illegal to recycle bottles and cans purchased out of state, with the maximum sentence being five years in prison. Prosecutors say that this is exactly what Brian Everidge planned to do when he was pulled over about 40 miles away from Detroit in April for speeding. The trooper said he found more than 10,000 aluminum cans in the back of Everidge's truck, and Everidge told him they were from Kentucky and "his intent was to return them; he just didn't say where he was going to return them."
Everidge's attorney is arguing that his client was improperly charged, since the trooper "caught him too early," The Guardian reports. "He attempted to attempt to return the bottles." He is charged with one felony count of beverage return of non-refundable bottles, and faces up to five years in prison. Wayne State University law professor Peter Henning said if Everidge is found guilty, he doubts he'll be put in prison — it would cost the state $35,500 a year for him to be incarcerated. Had Everidge returned all of the bottles in Michigan, Henning estimates he would have pocketed about $1,000. Catherine Garcia
Goodbye Twilight Zone, hello Guardians of the Galaxy.
— 102.7 KIIS-FM (@1027KIISFM) July 24, 2016
At Comic-Con in San Diego, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige announced Disney is revamping its popular California Adventure elevator drop ride, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. The ride, which sends thrill seekers plummeting down several stories, will close in January and reopen in the summer of 2017 with a new theme: Guardians of the Galaxy. Disney bought Marvel Entertainment in 2009 for $4 billion, and fans have predicted that the attraction will be part of a new Marvel land at the Anaheim theme park, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Fans of the ride in its original form are not happy with the plan, and have let Disney know about their anger on Twitter and by launching a Change.org petition. One person even offered up another tower to be sacrificed instead:
get rid of this tower of terror instead pic.twitter.com/ETW2pwoPwd
— david murray (@itsdahveeed) July 25, 2016
Are you listening, Disney? Catherine Garcia
Heat warnings and advisories are in place across 26 states, with higher than normal temperatures expected through the next week.
In Michigan, at least five people are dead from heart attacks or breathing difficulties related to humidity and high temperatures, Roseville Fire Chief Mike Holland told The Macomb Daily. Meteorologists say a dome of high pressure is affecting most of the United States, trapping hot air and causing extremely high temperatures. The heat is fueling fires in California and will make for an uncomfortable Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, where on Monday it is expected to feel like it's 108 degrees. Catherine Garcia
Four people died Sunday afternoon after a Dallas Cowboys bus and passenger van collided in northwestern Arizona.
— ABC News (@ABC) July 25, 2016
The accident occurred on U.S. 93, roughly 28 miles north of Kingman, and officials say the van was making an illegal left turn onto the road when it collided with the bus. The Arizona Department of Public Safety said no one on the bus was seriously injured, and the dead were passengers in the van; KTNV reports two of the victims were adults and two were teenagers. No players were on the bus when the accident took place, but four staff members, including the team mascot, have bumps and bruises, WFAA says. Catherine Garcia