With record-breaking viewership expected Monday night for the first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, few moments could have a bigger impact on who becomes the next president. Both campaigns have been furiously working the refs in an effort to set the bar against which their candidate will be judged. They've also sharply disagreed over the role the moderator, NBC News' Lester Holt, should play. Clinton's campaign says Holt should aggressively fact check the candidates in real time while Trump's team calls for a hands-off approach.
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback enacted his grand "tea party experiment" of Republican government, where he and his Republican-led legislature cut taxes and significantly reduced spending. The result has been catastrophic for the state's economy and for jobs, but a report that would detail just how catastrophic is now being censored by the Brownback administration. According to a shocking Kansas City Star report, Brownback set up a group in 2011 that would put out quarterly reports showing the impact of Brownback's economic laws. His problem, of course, is that the reports don't show what he hoped they would. Instead, they reflect the downward spiral of the Kansas economy thanks to Brownback's failed policies. read more
Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein was escorted off the Hofstra University campus Monday because she didn't have credentials to be there. "She was on the college campus, we asked to verify for proper credentials, she did not have them, and she was nicely escorted off the campus," a police department spokeswoman said. Stein told MSNBC in an earlier interview Monday that she would try to get on the debate stage despite failing to meet the requirements needed to participate.
Several U.S. senators want the TSA to focus more attention and resources on rail, highway, and marine transportation, which would mean greater security oversight at such places as Amtrak stations and Megabus coach stops. A bipartisan bill introduced Thursday by Senator John Thune (R-S.D.) would require the TSA to use a risk-based security model for these transport modes and to budget money based on those risks. It would require a wider use of the agency's terrorist watch list by train operators and more detailed passenger manifests along with tighter screening of marine employees. The legislation also would increase the TSA's canine use by as many as 70 dog-handler teams for surface transportation.
More than half the country fears a Trump presidency. And only about a third of Americans believe he is at least somewhat qualified to serve in the White House. Trump undoubtedly has a passionate base of support, seen clearly among the thousands of backers who fill the stands at his signature rallies. But most people don't share that fervor. Only 29 percent of registered voters would be excited and just 24 percent would be proud should Trump prevail in November. Only one in four voters find him even somewhat civil or compassionate, and just a third say he's not at all racist. read more
Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic: Donald J. Trump has a cruel streak. He willfully causes pain and distress to others. And he repeats this public behavior so frequently that it's fair to call it a character trait. Any single example would be off-putting but forgivable. Being shown many examples across many years should make any decent person recoil in disgust. Judge for yourself if these examples qualify. In national politics, harsh attacks are to be expected. I certainly don't fault Trump for calling Hillary Clinton dishonest, or wrongheaded, or possessed of bad judgment, even if it's a jarring departure from the glowing compliments that he used to pay her. But even in a realm where the harshest critiques are part of the civic process, Trump crossed a line this week when he declared his intention to invite Gennifer Flowers to today's presidential debate. What kind of man invites a husband's former mistress to an event to taunt his wife? Trump managed to launch an attack that couldn't be less relevant to his opponent's qualifications or more personally cruel. read more
Donald Trump's son Eric claims his father is the embodiment of the American dream because he has "gone from just about nothing" to being a successful real estate mogul in New York City. Donald Trump got his start in the 1970s with a $1 million loan from his father Fred. The help continued for years, including an illegal 1990 loan in which Fred Trump bought $3.35 million in chips at Donald Trump's Castle casino in Atlantic City as it was about to miss an interest payment on a loan.
Bloomberg TV will conduct on-screen fact checks of statements made by both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton during Monday night's debate. The channel's decision to conduct an on-screen fact-check sets Bloomberg apart from the other major TV networks, none of whom have committed to doing on-screen fact checks during the debate. Spokespeople for the networks told Politico that on-screen fact checks would be hard to do in real time (despite the fact that providing real time text updates on the screen has been standard practice since the O.J. Simpson trial in the 1990s).
Washington Post editorial board: Permit us to dissent from this conventional wisdom, vigorously. Yes, Monday night's clash, and two additional debates to follow, will add drama to the election, and a bit more data to the massive pile of it already available to voters. In a fundamental sense, however, there is nothing much at stake, or shouldn't be, because there is not much more to learn: Trump has amply demonstrated his unworthiness to occupy the Oval Office. It's beyond his capacity in the upcoming 90-minute question-and-answer sessions to reverse or even substantially modify that conclusion. read more
During tonight's presidential debate at Hofstra University in New York, the live audience of 1,600 people will remain hushed -- as they have during general election debates since the 1970s. "Unlike the primary debates, we specifically instruct the audience at the general election debates to remember that they are there as 'witnesses to history' and are not to applaud cheer or demonstrate,'" said Mike McCurry, co-chair of the non-partisan Commission on Presidential Debates. "We will remind the audience that they will be politely escorted out if they infract."
Donald Trump told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday that if elected, the United States would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Israel, his campaign said, marking a potential dramatic shift in U.S. policy. While Israel calls Jerusalem its capital, few other countries accept that, including the United States. Most nations maintain embassies in Tel Aviv. Palestinians want East Jerusalem as capital of their state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Hillary Clinton also met Netanyahu on Sunday, emphasized her commitment to the U.S.-Israel relationship and talked about her dedication to a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict "that guarantees Israel's future as a secure and democratic Jewish state with recognized borders and provides the Palestinians with independence, sovereignty, and dignity," her campaign said. But she said she opposes "any attempt by outside parties to impose a solution, including by the U.N. Security Council." read more
After Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) endorsed Donald Trump on Friday in a stunning reversal, the Texas senator said on Saturday that his decision to back the Republican nominee was "agonizing," according to the Washington Post. "Any path we took, if I supported Donald, if I didn't support Donald, the criticism was going to be there," Cruz said during a forum held by the Texas Tribune, according to the Chicago Tribune.
With bike sales trends moving more into the online marketplace, manufacturers are having to come up with better ideas of how to ensure their products arrive safely with their customers. For some reason, bicycles in big cardboard boxes have a tendency to get dropped, bashed or crushed by delivery companies, which has spurred Dutch manufacturer Vanmoof into action to find a solution. What did they do? Instead of putting a picture of a bike on the box they printed a picture of a large flatscreen TV instead and saw instances of delivery damage drastically reduce.
Arnold Palmer, a seven-time major winner who brought golf to the masses and became the most beloved figure in the game, died Sunday, a source close to the family confirmed. He was 87. Palmer was seven months removed from a three-year stint in the Coast Guard when he entered the national sporting consciousness by winning the 1954 U.S. Amateur. In a career that spanned more than six decades, he won 62 PGA Tour titles between 1955 and 1973, placing him fifth on the Tour's all-time victory list, and collected seven majors in a seven-year explosion between the 1958 and 1964 Masters. No one did more to popularize the sport. "I used to hear cheers go up from the crowd around Palmer," Lee Trevino said. "And I never knew whether he'd made a birdie or just hitched up his pants."