Hello and welcome to an “almost time for the first debate” edition of Friday Hot takes! It didn’t get enough attention, but we got a real look into what drives Donald Trump this week, when a new report from Politico revealed “Donald Trump’s presidential campaign has paid his family’s businesses more than $8.2 million” as he’s run for president. A shocking number to be clear, but only if you haven’t paid attention to Trump’s chronic pattern of lining his pockets no matter who he hurts or what sham operation he hides behind. As a businessman Donald Trump paid himself millions as the companies went bankrupt. And Trump established a foundation that takes money from others and uses those funds to pay his own legal bills and grow his bottom line. So naturally his campaign for president is another vehicle to make a profit. Imagine the ways in which he’d enrich himself and his friends if he was President of the United States?

Of course, it’s no different when you talk policy, Donald Trump’s tax plan overwhelmingly “favors the ultra-rich.” To the news…

TRUMP’S STILL A BIRTHER. In one of the more disgusting (and the bar is high) episodes of the campaign Donald Trump supposedly changed his mind after five years of pushing racist and offensive falsehoods about where President Obama was born. Trump hoped that mean folks would stop criticizing him for being a birther (they won’t) but it turns out the only reason he pretended to change his mind is he didn’t want to incur further political damage, leading some to question (the answer is yes) whether Trump still in fact believes President Obama was not born here. We shouldn’t be surprised. Donald Trump hasn’t missed an opportunity to advocate for racism and apparently the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

ONCE MORE, TRUMP STOKES VIOLENCE. Once again, the GOP nominee for president has raised the possibility of physical harm against Hillary Clinton. While discussing inner-city violence at a rally this week, Trump veered off topic, suggesting “…that [Clinton’s] bodyguards should drop all weapons. They should disarm, right? I think they should disarm. Immediately. What do you think? Yes? Yes? Take their guns away! She doesn’t want guns. Let’s see what happens to her. Take their guns away. OK? It’ll be very dangerous.” As the Des Moines Register Editorial Board points out, “Fifteen months into the circus act that is Donald Trump’s campaign for the presidency…the public can no longer absorb, let alone assess, each individual offense” made by Trump. But what Trump said this week is unprecedented (other than you know, the other time he said it) and jarring, and deserves attention because “the next time Donald Trump raises the specter of his political opponents being assassinated, it may be from the Oval Office where the president has the full command of America’s military arsenal and intelligence agencies. That’s a scenario that should deeply concern every American, regardless of party.

“CLINTON ACTED LIKE A LEADER, TRUMP DID NOT.” Trump’s habit of congratulating himself for predicting horrible atrocities continued over the weekend with Trump “claim[ing] credit for accurately calling the weekend’s explosion in Manhattan a bombing, even before full details were in” as he, once again, “attempt[ed] to exploit the latest terror threats to boost his campaign.” Not only did Trump announce that the incident was a bombing before the police did, but he also suggested racial profiling as a solution and perpetuated hateful rhetoric in the process. We’re not alone in thinking that Trump’s politicization of these events, and his rash judgment would be dangerous, should he become Commander-in-Chief. The Tampa Bay Times argued that “the episode also exposed again the inexperience and rash judgment that Donald Trump would bring as commander in chief in tense situationsthe next president should have the patience to wait for facts in evolving situations and discern the difference between radicals and an entire religion. Trump again this week raised questions about his judgment that show no sign of going away.” Similarly, the Washington Post took issue with Trump’s “reckless” behavior in his reaction, contrasting it with Hillary’s “calm and cautious” response that “one naturally expects from a leader” in situations like this.

LOS ANGELES TIMES ENDORSES CLINTON. This morning the Los Angeles Times endorsed Hillary Clinton, citing her preparedness, her “infinitely better thought-out” policy proposals, and “her pragmatism — her ability to build consensus and solve problems. As president, she would be flexible enough and experienced enough to cut across party lines and work productively with her political opponents.” Trump, on the other hand, has “virtually no leadership” record, his “ignorance of the issues is manifest… He has run a divisive, belligerent, dishonest campaign, repeatedly aligning himself with racists, strongmen and thugs while maligning or dismissing large segments of the American public.” Furthermore, he is unapologetic for doing so. “Every presidential race is described as ‘defining’ and historic.’ This time, it’s true. Americans must not sit this election out, but cast their votes for Hillary Clinton over her dangerous Republican opponent, Donald Trump.” Simply put, “Hillary Clinton would make a sober, smart and pragmatic president. Donald Trump would be a catastrophe.” We couldn’t agree more.


AP: Report: Trump proposals would add $5.3 trillion to debt (So…the debt will be…huge?)

Huffington Post: 375 Top Scientists Warn Us Not To Vote For Trump (Oh.)

New York Times: Mr. Trump’s Stupid Excuses on Taxes (They are in fact, stupid)

New York Times: Donald Trump Stands by Chris Christie Despite Revelations in Bridge Closing Trial (Of course he does)

Wall Street Journal: Trump Trade Plan Could Push U.S. into Recession, Study Says (Starting to think Trump would be dangerous for our economy)

New York Times: A Trump Empire Built on Inside Connections and $885 Million in Tax Breaks (“Long read” but a good one)

TWEET OF THE WEEK: This week’s tweet of the week goes to Politico’s Isaac Dovere for saying this:

Have a great weekend!

Justin Barasky
 @JustinBarasky |

Courtney Rice

@Court_Rice |

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.