Panetta Questions Trump's Loyalty to US After Russian Hack Remarks

Former CIA Director John Brennan is openly questioning Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's loyalty to the United States after the latter invited Russia to hack Hillary Clinton's emails, CNN's Christiane Amanpour is reporting.

Brennan, who has endorsed Clinton for president, also said Trump's remarks were "beyond the pale" and proves he's not fit to lead.

Expect more Clinton surrogates to come out against Trump's controversial comment in the weeks leading up to the election. I wouldn't be surprised if it was brought up more than a few times at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday night either.

Marion Le Pen Joins Military In Response to ISIS Murder of Priest

Yesterday, France was stunned by the brutal murder of an elderly priest by two "ISIS soldiers." In response to this atrocity, Marion Le Pen, granddaughter of National Front founder Jean-Marie Le Pen and current member of the French parliament, tweeted that she had joined the military reserves and that all patriotic young people should too.

"Faced with the threat to France, I decided to join the military reserve. I invite all patriotic young people to do the same."

She also tweeted a picture of Fr. Hamel, the victim of Tuesday's attack, calling him a martyr from Islamic terrorism.

Le Pen, who is 26, is one of the youngest members of parliament in the modern French era. She was first elected at the age of 22.

Here's Cher's Thoughts On Donald Trump

Grammy-winning singer Cher had some passionate thoughts about Donald Trump's most recent press conference, and lucky for us, she took those thoughts to Twitter. As it turns out, Cher's not very much of a Trump fan.

Enjoy:

We live in a magical time.

Bernie Supporters Won't Accept Hillary Clinton Nomination

Last night Sen. Bernie Sanders decided to extend the olive branch to Hillary Clinton and nominated her on the convention floor, but it looks like his supporters don't share the same sentiment. The 'Bernie or Bust' crowd organized a walkout from the convention, and they're continuing their protest outside the arena. 

Just look at how crazy they went after Sanders conceded to Clinton on the convention floor.

The supporters then decided to take their protests to a media tent outside. They then proceeded to stage a sit-in at the media tent, and some protesters refused to move. 

A lot of the protesters decided to duct-tape their mouths to symbolize how they had been silenced, and they also held up signs that had phrases like "The revolution continues" and "DemExit."

There was also a protest outside of the media tent in the streets, and this protest got quite large after it combined with a black live matters protest. By the end of the night the protest had grown to around 1,000 people.

At one point, the protesters decided to climb the 8-foot walls that were set up to block off the secure zone around the arena parking lot. Police immediately arrested four protesters and charged them with entering a restricted arena. They are expected to appear in court Wednesday to deal with their charges. 

Some even decided to burn the American flag in this protest. 

Most of the protesters also believe that Clinton's nomination will split the Democratic Party in half.

"I suspect we are witnessing an event that will fundamentally change American politics," said Cory James, a 22-year-old college student from Flint, Michigan. "We are tired of corruption," said Carole Levers, a California delegate. "The media and the D.N.C. colluded to block Bernie Sanders so he wouldn't be seen. We need to hit the reset button."

So much for that Democratic Party unity that they been trying to tell us is there.

Democrats in Congress Demand DNC Staffers Be Fired

Democratic congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH) is demanding accountability from his own party regarding the recent Wikileaks email hack of the Democratic National Committee. The email dump confirmed what many Bernie Sanders voters believed to be true – that the DNC had no intention of running a fair primary process.

The Wikileaks emails showed DNC staffers attacking Sanders’ religion and DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz even referring to one of the Sanders’ employees as “scummy.” As a result of the hack, Schultz has announced her resignation and Sanders fans have caused many a disruption at this week’s Democratic National Convention, decrying an unfair election that paved an easy path for Hillary Clinton. In an even bigger slap to their faces, Clinton, the now official Democratic nominee, hired Schultz to her campaign without blinking.

In an interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt, Ryan clearly sympathized with the Sanders supporters and sounded off on the Democratic Party’s bias.

“Yeah, and again, no one’s apologizing for that, and I hope, you know, those people, whoever participated or made those comments, are gone," Ryan said. "They need to be cut. You need to get rid of them immediately. And it’s not making an excuse. They should leave. It’s inappropriate.” 

Ryan is one of many Democrats condemning the DNC’s behavior. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) has gone even further than Ryan, demanding all DNC staffers be let go.

Democrats outside of Capitol Hill share the same sentiments. Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner, who is a superdelegate at the Democratic convention, called the committee’s actions “intolerable.”

With Schultz out, DNC Vice Chair Donna Brazile was expected to act as interim chair. The only issue? She was a guilty party in the Wikileaks release too.

Are more firings on the way?

Catholic Tim Kaine Now Supports Taxpayer-Funded Abortion

Well, of course, the media thinks that Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), Hillary Clinton’s choice for vice president, is the most Catholic of Catholics. The Washington Post gushed over him, calling the senator the “Pope Francis Catholic” due to Kaine’s work to help the poor. Newsbusters’ Tim Graham aptly noted that Kaine has a 100 percent rating from the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws (NARAL) and the progressive Human Rights Campaign. So, when The Post, or the larger news media, says politician X is a die-hard Catholic, “it probably means you’re a liberal opposed to Catholic orthodoxy.” Well, that NARAL rating looks like it will be maintained at a perfect A-plus score since Kaine has decided to back taxpayer-funded abortion (via Bloomberg Politics):

Democratic vice-presidential pick Tim Kaine has privately told nominee Hillary Clinton he will support repeal of the Hyde Amendment, a 1976 provision that bans the use of federal dollars for abortion services, Clinton spokesman Jesse Ferguson and Kaine spokeswoman Amy Dudley said Tuesday.

[…]

It aligns the Virginia senator with Clinton and other reproductive-rights advocates, who argue that the decades-old Hyde Amendment, which primarily affects Medicaid, is an impediment for low-income women seeking abortions.

The Democratic Party platform approved this week included a plank calling for repeal of the amendment and other measures that "impede a woman's access to abortion."

Abortion foes view the Hyde Amendment, which is routinely attached to federal spending bills, as one of their great successes.

Buzzfeed’s Andrew Kaczynski resurrected 2005 Tim Kaine, where the then-gubernatorial candidate said he was a “conservative on issues of personal responsibility… As a former Christian missionary, faith is central to my life. I oppose gay marriage, I support restrictions on abortion — no public funding and parental consent — and I’ve worked to pass a state law banning partial-birth abortion” in his radio ads. He also said that his position on abortion was similar to that of then-President George W. Bush.

Senate Watch: Are Democratic Takeover Hopes in Jeopardy?

With so much attention focused on the high-octane presidential race, it can be easy to overlook important down-ballot races. House Republicans enjoy a wide enough majority that even in this volatile year, few prognosticators expect them to surrender it -- although senior GOP officials have told me that if Donald Trump tanks down the stretch, they worry that it may become vulnerable. Over in the Senate, however, Democrats only need to net five seats (four, if Democrats hold the White House) to retake an upper chamber majority, The GOP won nine seats in 2014's landslide, but Democrats have a solid chance of flipping control. Why? Republicans took advantage of a very favorable political environment to make major gains in 2010. Six years later, those Senate freshmen are up for re-election, in a presidential year, and in a decidedly different political atmosphere. Because 2010 was such a strong GOP year, Republicans now have a disproportionate number of seats to defend. Advantage: Democrats.

At the moment, defending incumbents in Illinois (Mark Kirk) and Wisconsin (Ron Johnson) are looking like relatively difficult tasks, although neither race is yet out of reach.  But for argument's sake, let's say both of those seats are gone. The Democrats would then need to notch three more net victories to guarantee a Senate Majority. Can they achieve that? New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte's re-election race has been locked in a dead heat for months, while North Carolina and Indiana are also looking too close to comfort. Let's say Republicans earn a 2-1 split in those races. The GOP would need to run the table in all of the other contested races in order to maintain their edge -- unless they can pick off a seat or two currently in Democratic hands. The best opportunities to do so are in Colorado (a fairly long shot, it seems), and Nevada. Let's look at the fight over Harry Reid's soon-to-be-vacant seat:

Joe Heck is an impressive candidate who represents a swing Nevada district in the House of Representatives, and who also leads the deeply flawed Democratic nominee in the RCP average. This appears to be the strongest pick-up opportunity for the party, which would be huge. It would not only make the Democrats' climb much steeper, it would also replace Harry Reid with a Republican. Here are some developments in other crucial races:

Florida: Marco Rubio may have pulled this seat out of the fire by jumping back into the race, reversing his previous decision not to seek re-election.  The incumbent holds a modest but clear lead in the RCP average over serial resume-padder Patrick Murphy, whose political instincts seem increasingly...questionable.  The other Democrat in the race is crazy person and accused domestic abuser Alan Grayson.  Tell us more about the "war on women," Alan.

Ohio: Rob Portman faces a stiff challenge from former Governor Ted Strickland, and the race is tight.  But Portman has an edge.  He leads by five points in a new Democrat-affiliated poll, and just collected two big union endorsements. Buckeye State Democrats are getting worried:

Democrats in Ohio, Washington and Philadelphia seemed knocked back on their heels Tuesday, after Republican incumbent Sen. Rob Portman snagged back-to-back endorsements from major labor unions. The Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio, the state's largest law enforcement union, endorsed Portman on Tuesday over former Gov. Ted Strickland, in Ohio’s tight U.S. Senate race. Just 24 hours earlier, Portman also snapped up the support of the Ohio Conference of Teamsters—a union that typically endorses Democrats. The surprise union support for Portman, a Chamber of Commerce Republican not traditionally allied with labor, fueled a growing concern among Democrats that Strickland’s campaign is losing ground just as voters begin to tune in...Jennifer Duffy, who tracks Senate races for the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, said the Ohio contest looks different in practice than on paper. “If you look at least at the public polling, it still looks like a very close race,” said Duffy. “But if you watch it every day, it doesn’t feel that way.” She said Portman’s campaign “is firing on all cylinders, doing what they need to do,” while Strickland’s campaign seems more complacent.

Pennsylvania: Pat Toomey has led in every poll taken this year, with the exception of a recent outlier from NBC News (a three point deficit).  Toomey is well-funded and well-liked at home, Donald Trump is polling relatively well in the Keystone state, and the "terribly weak" Democratic nominee is on the defensive over this crass attack (content warning):

It'll still be pretty tough sledding for the NRSC over the next few months, but their candidates are in better shape than many forecasters anticipated they would be at this juncture in the cycle. If they, and Trump, can hit their current polling marks in November, they may just pull this off. If they, and/or he, over-perform today's survey positions, the majority will be safe.

Mosby Defends Decision to Prosecute Officers in Freddie Gray Case: 'I'm Not Anti-Police, I'm Anti-Police Brutality'

Speaking at a news conference Wednesday morning, Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby defended prosecuting the six officers in the Freddie Gray case regardless of the outcome, noting that "as a mother," the decision to drop the remaining charges was "agonizing."

She said that the decision to move forward with the case “was not and has never been an indictment on the entire Baltimore Police Department” and dismissed accusations that her efforts in the case meant she was anti-police.

“That’s simply not the case,” she said, “I’m anti-police brutality.”

“Even though the media has made this about everything but the untimely death of [Gray], my office has never wavered in our commitment to seek justice on his behalf,” she said.

Doing so proved to be a challenge, she added, noting the “inherent bias that is a direct result of when police police themselves.”

“As the world has witnessed over the past 14 months, the prosecution of on-duty police officers in this country is unsurprisingly rare and blatantly fraught with systemic and inherent complications, unlike with other cases where prosecutors work closely with the police to investigate what actually occurred, what we realized very early on in this case is that police investigating police … was problematic. There was a reluctance and an obvious bias that was consistently exemplified, not by the entire Baltimore Police Department, but by individuals within the Baltimore Police Department at every state of the investigation, which became blatantly apparent in the subsequent trials,” she said.

"We do not not believe that Freddie Gray killed himself."  

[G]iven [Circuit Judge Barry G.] Williams' acquittal of Nero, Goodson and Rice and the likelihood that the remaining officers would also choose bench trials before him, Mosby said she had to acknowledge the "dismal likelihood" that her office would be able to secure a conviction.

"After much thought and prayer it has become clear that without being able to work with an independent investigatory agency from the very start, without having a say in the election of whether cases proceed in front of a judge or jury, without communal oversight of police in this community, without substantive reforms to the current criminal justice system, we could try this case 100 times and cases just like it and we would still end up with the same result," she said.

In conclusion, Mosby pledged to continue to "fight for a fair and equitable justice system for all."

Watch: #BlackLivesMatter Orders Whites to the Back, Blacks to the Front

Racial tensions tend to always follow the Democratic Party.  Tuesday in Philadelphia, a #BlackLivesMatter representative ordered white media to the back of the line, and black media to the front.  

"Somebody needs to tell these people to get to the back... we are not afraid to put people out!" she ordered.  

In another instance, a black woman lead a chant screaming, "don't vote for Hillary! She's killing black people!"

Man, People Are Really Starting To Hate Hillary's Campaign Anthem

Hillary Clinton has been using Rachel Platten's "Fight Song" to close out her campaign rallies for quite a few months now. Last night at the DNC was no exception, when actress Elizabeth Banks played an a capella arrangement featuring Clinton supporters.

And boy, are people really, really sick of this song:

I confess: I used to love Fight Song--back in 2014, when I first heard it.

But for the love of all things holy, make it stop. I have no more fight left in me.

Watch: Obama's Brother Destroys Barack in New Interview, "He's Got this Attitude"

It has been a bad week for Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and the Democratic Party in general.  And to make things much worse, Obama's Muslim half-brother living in Kenya is ripping his brother's record and ability to lead the country.  

Speaking live from Kenya on British TV, Malik Obama said that Barack "has this attitude like 'I'm the president, I've made it, I'm the star here.'"

"Looking back, he made so many promises when he was running for president... He was riding on the promise of hope. There was so much excitement and we thought he would do so many things.  But look at the Middle East right now. It's a mess. People are being killed all over the place; Berlin, Florida, France, Brussels. And look at the situation in Iraq right now."

Earlier in the week it was reported that Malik would be flying to the United States in November to vote for Donald Trump.  He reiterated his choice in the interview.  

"Something is going on with Hilary that I don't like," he said. "Donald on the other hand, he speaks his mind and is straight forward.  And remember, the Republican Party is the party of Abraham Lincoln - who freed slaves and freed the black man."

Here is The DNC Schedule For Wednesday

The following 2016 Democrat Convention speaker agenda has been provided by the Democratic National Committee and is subject to change. The convention, being held in Philadelphia, started Monday and concludes Thursday. Below is the agenda for Wednesday, July 27, 2016.

***
Program hours: 4:00 PM Start Time

Location: Wells Fargo Arena

Erica Smegielski

Erica’s mother Dawn was the principal of Sandy Hook Elementary and was killed while trying to protect her students. Since then, Erica has become an outspoken advocate for commonsense gun violence prevention measures. Erica was featured in the ad, My Mom.

Felicia Sanders & Polly Sheppard

Felicia and Polly are two of the three survivors of the Mother Emanuel Church shooting in Charleston, SC.

Jamie Dorff

Jamie’s husband was Patrick Dorff, an Army helicopter pilot from Minnesota who died while on a search and rescue mission in northern Iraq. As a senator, Hillary worked with Republicans and Democrats to increase the gratuity paid to family members of fallen veterans from $12,000 to $100,000.

Vice President Joe Biden

President Barack Obama

Countdown: Five Things Bill Clinton Forgot to Mention Last Night

Former President Bill Clinton spoke at great length last night about his wife, the Democratic Party's 2016 nominee. His remarks, which were largely personal in nature, omitted a few facts and piece of context:

(1) In describing Hillary as a lifelong advocate on behalf of children, he failed to mention this case, in which she defended a child rapist she knew to be guilty. Everyone is entitled to a defense in our criminal justice system, so Hillary's work on this man's behalf isn't a scandal unto itself. But her oddly flippant tone in an interview discussing how he got off, including chuckling about the accidental destruction of incriminating evidence, is jarring.  The victim in the case has spoken out against Clinton's defense tactics, which included aggressively challenging her credibility mental stability at the time.  Clinton "put me through hell," the woman recalled in 2014, bitterly recounting how the young lawyer "lied like a dog" about her in court proceedings.

(2) While tracing their life together, Clinton elided some years in the late 1990's, during which he engaged in an Oval Office sexual relationship with a young intern -- the cover-up of which ultimately led to his impeachment and disbarment.  The Lewinsky affair was not the first time Clinton was credibly accused of sexual misconduct, including sexual assault.  Hillary Clinton, framed as a champion of women's rights in the 42nd president's speech, was an active participant in the smearing of her husband's accusers.  Bill's only possible nod to any of this last night may have been this veiled subtextual reference.

(3) Trumpeting Hillary's record as Secretary of State, Bill said, "you could drop her into any trouble spot, pick one, come back in a month and somehow, some way she will have made it better. That is just who she is."  Well, she was dropped into a trouble spot in 1996, and she lied about what happened.  Libya turned into the worst sort of trouble spot -- a failed state -- because of her foreign policy, resulting in the "preventable" murder of four Americans in an attack about which she lied.  Hillary later defended her disastrous policy, asserting that the US didn't "lose a single person" in that country.  More broadly, the American people have disapproved of the Obama administration's Hillary-engineered global affairs posture for years.

(4) Clinton averred that within her interpersonal relationships, his wife is "straightforward and completely trustworthy."  The public does not share that view, to put it mildly.  A July poll pegged her "dishonest and untrustworthy" score at a dismal 67 percent, spiking to a new high after the FBI director comprehensively dismantled the endless string of lies she has told about her improper and national security-endangering email scandal.  She continues to tell verifiable lies about this imbroglio, for which she has not been held accountable -- despite proven misconduct and strong evidence of criminal actions.

(5) A keyword search of Bill's transcript turns up no uses of the words "foundation" "charity" or "initiative."  If the point of this speech was to underscore Hillary's deep reservoir of human caring, how could the Clintons' extremely dodgy "slush fund"/quasi-charity escape any mention?  If Hillary is so selfless, why did she and her husband choose to exploit their power in order to erect a lucrative influence-peddling racket?  The FBI's chief recently declined to say whether the Clinton Foundation was under federal investigation, as has been reported

Man Who Tried to Assassinate Reagan to Be Released

John Hinckley Jr., the man who would have killed Ronald Reagan if his bullet had landed just an inch closer to the 40th president’s heart during an assassination attempt in 1981, is set to be released from a psychiatric facility.

After 35 years in the mental health hospital, Hinckley Jr. is now going to be permitted to live with his mother in Williamsburg, Virginia, per Senior U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman's orders.

"Mr. Hinckley shall abide by all laws, shall not consume alcohol, illegal drugs...shall not possess any firearm, weapon, or ammunition," Friedman said.

In court, Hinckley was ruled not guilty by reason of insanity.

BREAKING: All Charges Dropped in Freddie Gray Case

All six of the police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray have been exonerated, The Baltimore Sun is reporting

Gray, a young black male, died while in police custody last year in Baltimore, Maryland. He was being transported via police van, where he reportedly suffered spinal injuries after not being properly secured. His death set off a barrage of protests throughout the city.

Baltimore state attorney Marilyn Mosby charged all six officers involved last year after a city investigation. One-by-one, each officer was acquitted in court. William Porter, the first officer to be tried, faced no punishment after his mistrial. Then officers Edward Nero, Caesar Goodson and Lt. Brian Rice were all acquitted in their respective cases. Officer Garrett Miller was expected to face trial Wednesday before all charges were dropped. Sgt. Alicia White is the last officer to be exonerated.

Obama Finally Admits Now What He Wouldn't Admit Before: Trump Can Win

It's working.

Barack Obama has finally admitted that Donald Trump has become more than just a thorn in his side, but now has become someone making it difficult to carry out his agenda.  Obama is shaking, scrambling, and completely perplexed at the idea of Donald Trump becoming the next president of the United States.  

As Obama continually tries to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, as he should for his legacy is on the line, he is routinely proved wrong.  He has virtually no ability to judge and comprehend the future of politics. What does this say about his ability to solve the problems in the Middle East or the horrific conditions Africa-Americans are under in the United States? Is his insight of the 2016 race a measure of his overall competency?  If so, then we now understand the problems of the last eight years.  Obama fumbles the ball.  He does not have a winning instinct.

When asked by the “Today” show if it were possible Trump wins the presidency, Obama responded with “anything is possible.” 

But back in February, he adamantly said that Trump would not become president.  If he cannot judge politics here in America, how he can he judge what is going on in Russia, China, or Iran?  

Uh Oh: Debbie May Have a Hard Time in Reelection Battle as Money Pours in For Her Opponent

When Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz stepped down from her position as chair of the DNC after leaked emails showed the scales were tipped in Hillary Clinton’s favor, she said in a written statement that her “first priority has always been serving the people of the 23rd district of Florida and I look forward to continuing to do that as their member of Congress for years to come."

But her reelection campaign this year may not go as smoothly as she’s hoping, as the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said they will not be spending money to help her in her race, and contributions are pouring in for her opponent, Tim Canova.

Soon after Wasserman Schultz was booed Monday during a Florida delegation breakfast in Philadelphia, Democratic primary foe Tim Canova wrote to his 20,000 Twitter followers, "It's time to end her political career for good," and shared a link to his campaign fundraising webpage. 

The tactic appears to be working. He said he's raised about $100,000 in the 72 hours since the scandal erupted, all without leaving south Florida or picking up a phone to dial for dollars. 

Yet officials with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee made clear Monday they have no plans to spend money to save her. Top committee leaders told reporters that they do not spend money on safe Democratic seats, which hers is, because they need to save resources for states they are trying to save or flip. 

While the seat may be safe in the fall from Republicans, that doesn’t mean she’s a lock in the primary.

Back in May Sen. Bernie Sanders endorsed Canova and even helped him fundraise, noting that “his views are much closer to mine than to Wasserman Schultz's” and that “The political revolution is not just about electing a president.”

Canova, as one can imagine, seems ecstatic over the recent turn of events.

"In some ways it feels like we've won the lottery,” he said. "There's been a natural donor base for someone willing to take on a person with a national profile who is seen as a failed leader."

While it’s still a longshot that she loses her bid for reelection, Nathan Gonzales of the nonpartisan Rothenberg and Gonzales Political Report told Fox News that Wasserman Schultz's recent troubles “raise the natural question” about whether she is at risk in her primary contest.

“In such a high-profile situation, it’s easy to image an (upset.) But it’s extremely difficult to beat an incumbent in a primary,” he said. “She has her share of problems, but I don’t know if that’s going to hit her in her district.”

Gonzales said he would need to see new polling and more information before making a decision to downgrade her seat from “safe.” 

The DNC’s Leaked Emails Show They Were Helping Push Narrative Against NC’s Bathroom Law, Too

The Democratic National Committee’s emails that were released by WikiLeaks last weekend don’t just show that the scales were tipped in Hillary Clinton’s favor over Sen. Bernie Sanders—they also reveal that members of the DNC were actively wading into the debate in North Carolina over HB2.

As companies like PayPal backed away from plans to expand their operations in the state, and entertainers like Bruce Springsteen and Pearl Jam canceled shows in protest over the law, which requires people use public bathrooms or locker rooms that corresponds to their biological gender, DNC staffers pushed a narrative about the cost these type of protestations would have on the state’s economy.

The Christian Post reports:

In response to the news that Pearl Jam had cancelled an April show in Raleigh, North Carolina, Democratic Party communications director Dave Miranda sent an email on April 25 to undisclosed recipients that cited an estimate from The Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau that claims that cancellation of the Pearl Jam show would cost the local hotel industry about $60,000.

Additionally, Miranda claimed in the email that HB 2 had already cost the state 1,750 jobs and over $77 million in economic activity in just over a month since it passed.

One of the recipients of Miranda's email was DNC's deputy director of regional media T.J. Helmstetter, who forwarded the email to DNC communications strategist Deshundra Jefferson and pushed for approval to have the email forwarded to the DNC national email list.

"This is great," Helmstetter wrote in his email. "can we forward to our LGBT and National lists?"

Jefferson forwarded the email and received a reply from another DNC official, who wrote a one word response: "Awesome."

Miranda insists, however, that the comments were not celebrating the economic impact to North Carolina.

"They're basically saying, 'Good work, good work, North Carolina Democratic Party, getting the word out there about the damage that this bill is doing,'" Miranda told wsoctv.com.

Dallas Woodhouse, the Executive Director of North Carolina's Republican Party, isn’t buying it, however. He believes the DNC was trying to bring about economic pain on North Carolina by urging businesses to pull out and events to be cancelled in the state.

“They orchestrated it. They inflicted pain on the people of NC and they celebrated it,” Woodhouse told wsoctv.com.

Other emails show that staffers were keeping tabs on conservative opposition to HB2 as well.

DNC Staffers compiled footage of conservative pundits such as Juan Williams, Hugh Hewitt, Kathleen Parker and Chris Wallace speaking out against the law to proclaim that "it's not only Democrats who are opposing the Republican-backed HB 2 in North Carolina."

In response to the video, Helmstetter shared a Towleroad blog post saying the video attack on HB 2 is "delicious" in an email dated April 27.

And Pablo Manriquez, the DNC’s director of Hispanic media, reached out to the committee’s video research associate for information that would help craft “a decent hit piece on the pro-prejudice backwater of the NC state house,” while also referring to NC Gov. Pat McCrory as a "moronic little bigot of a tarheel governor."

Woodhouse believes the emails show that Democrats actively sought to make HB2 a controversy from the start.

"I think some of the information coming out of the WikiLeaks shows that the other side was determined for there not to be a resolution of this issue because they thought it was good for them politically. No matter the harm," he said.

It Turns Out The Ice Bucket Challenge Actually Helped Fund A Breakthrough

Two summers ago, America was obsessed with "#ALSIceBucketChallenge" videos, where a person was dared to either donate money to the ALS Association (or another ALS charity) or film themselves dumping a bucket of ice water on their heads. Lots of people did both the video and the donation, and the ALS Association raked in millions of dollars while the videos were a popular trend.

The challenge was started by Pete Frates, a former Boston College baseball player who was diagnosed with ALS in 2012 at the age of 27. The #IceBucketChallenge quickly went viral, with thousands of people around the world participating.

Some funny examples:

While lots of people (myself included) got a good laugh after being soaked with ice water, it turns out that all of those videos actually led to something pretty incredible: scientists were able to identify the gene that causes this deadly disease thanks to funds raised through the trend.

The University of Massachusetts Medical School's Project MinE recently discovered the gene that is responsible for ALS. Project MinE scientists were able to research this gene with help from the ALS Association, which donated $1 million from the Ice Bucket Challenge.

The identified gene is NEK1, which its variants could provide clues to understanding and potentially treating familial and sporadic ALS.

"The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge enabled us to secure funding from new sources in new parts of the world," Bernard Muller, founder of Project MinE and ALS patient, said in a statement. "This transatlantic collaboration supports our global gene hunt to identify the genetic drivers of ALS."

Last summer, scientists credited the Ice Bucket Challenge for another breakthrough in researching the disease.

Amazing stuff--hopefully a cure is just around the corner. Who'd have thought a viral video could accomplish so much good?

Analysis: Folksy, Impeached President Endorses Scandal-Plagued, Disliked Wife

PHILADELPHIA - It was fine.

The DNC's Tuesday agenda featured exactly one major primetime headliner: Former President Bill Clinton, who set out to build an emotionally-rooted case on behalf of his wife, whom their party had nominated for the presidency hours earlier. In 2012, I remember sitting in the arena rafters in Charlotte, watching with helpless frustration and dismay as our 42nd president articulated the most compelling (if fact-challenged) argument for Barack Obama's re-election that I'd seen to date. He was masterful, weaving a plausible-sounding story in which Republicans were ridiculed as howling partisans, blinded by resentful and unrealistic expectations of his tale's heroic protagonist. He went full policy wonk at times, somehow pulling it off. He made people believe that Obama and company were the adults trying to fix awful inherited problems, while the GOP shrieked in nihilistic protest. I recall the sinking, intuitive feeling that the race -- which was absolutely losable for Obama at that point -- had shifted with one speech.  I awarded him a B+ in my postgame analysis, which was wishful thinking. The thrust of Clinton's argument went largely unrefuted for weeks, with the glorious and fleeting exception of that first presidential debate in Denver. Bill Clinton really did help Obama win. Period. And Romney knew it, as evidenced by this memorable one-liner from his pre-election Alfred E. Smith dinner comedy routine. The best jokes have at least a kernel of truth to them:

"Campaigns can be grueling, exhausting. President Obama and I are each very lucky to have one person who is always in our corner, someone who we can lean on, and someone who is a comforting presence, without whom we wouldn't be able to go another day. I have my beautiful wife, Ann; he has Bill Clinton."

Tonight, Bill Clinton strode into the spotlight once again, this time to work his magic on behalf of his wife.  He did well, I think, but didn't alter the trajectory of the race.  That's not to say that Hillary won't get a boost out of Philadelphia; she very probably will, as Trump did after Cleveland.  But that was not a lightning strike address.  It wasn't even the best speech of the first half of the convention.  Still, it was pretty clear what he was trying to do.  Before the big address, Megyn Kelly asked me if I thought Bill would seek to rescue Hillary's drowning honesty numbers, which are deservedly and truly awful.  My reply:

He didn't really even try. Instead, he set to work chipping away at her personal favorability gap, which is also a serious problem:

Clinton painted a portrait of a technocratic workhorse (committees! task forces!) who genuinely cares about people, and has channeled those sentiments into a lifetime of tireless public service. That was the whole point of his at times meandering reminiscences about their early life together.  And putting a human face on a woman seen by many as power-hungry and calculating is precisely why he devoted quite a lot of time to describing Hillary as a mother.  (I don't think talking about Hillary's water breaking was simply tossed in casually).  Along the same lines, Chelsea will undoubtedly lay the "grandma" color on thick on Thursday night.  The former president traced his timeline up into the present day -- skipping certain unhelpful bits, like the year 1998 -- and adorning Hillary's tenure at the State Department with the most impressive-sounding "achievement" language he could summon. His only partisan shots were a brief jab about mocking the disabled, and the suggestion that everything at the RNC last week was "made up."  In fairness, he is something of an expert on the subject of making things up.  He didn't need to go uber-partisan, as he did four years ago, because his objectives were different this time. Bill Clinton can read a poll as well as anyone else; he knows that most people already dislike Donald Trump. This was about boosting Hillary's very slight and narrowing favorability advantage, not trying to drive Trump's stratospheric unfavorability numbers any higher. His wife, he said, is serious and committed. The real deal. Believe him, he's witnessed it for decades firsthand.

Was the speech welcomed rapturously in the hall? Yes. They love him here. Did it play well on television? I bet it did. It helped her. Was it a game-changing performance that's likely to permanently alter people's perceptions of Hillary Clinton? I doubt it. She is still the same flawed, unlikable, dishonest, ethically-unfit candidate she was this morning. And if rumors and vows are to be believed, more embarrassments and ethical imbroglios may lie ahead for her.  Bill Clinton hasn't lost his touch as a marvelous political communicator, but there's only so much he could work with here.  His effort was admirable and solid nonetheless. But I suspect it didn't deliver the memorable political juice that his 2012 outing did.

Onward, to day three.

At DNC, Bill Clinton Talks About How He "Met a Girl"

Speaking from the Democrat Convention in Philadelphia, former President Bill Clinton did his best to humanize his wife and Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton during a primetime address Tuesday night. 

Awkwardly, Clinton started his remarks by talking about how he "met a girl" back in 1971.

"In the spring of 1971, I met a girl. The first time I saw her we were appropriately enough in a class on political and civil rights. She had big blonde hair, big glasses," Clinton said. "She exuded this sense of strength and self possession that I found magnetic. After the class, I followed her out intending to introduce myself. I got close enough to touch her back but I couldn't do it. Somehow I knew this would not be just another tap on the shoulder, that I might be starting something I couldn't stop." 

Everyone was relieved when Bill finally revealed he was talking about Hillary. 

In another uncomfortable and highly transparent moment, Bill framed his relationship with Hillary as a longtime love story with a "lifetime of memories."

I'll leave you with this: 

Trump: "Bernie's Exhausted, He Wants to Go Home and Go to Bed"

Bernie Sanders certainly has been through the ringer in the last few months.  And recently, he was caught up in another Democratic Party e-mail scandal that put him in the headlines and in a tough position of defending an obviously rigged system.

Donald Trump shared his feelings for Bernie Tuesday night on the "O'Reilly Factor" by saying that the Vermont senator looked exhausted and tired.  

"He's a tired man, he's exhausted," Trump said.  "He wants to go home and he wants to go to bed."

As The Democratic Convention Nominates Clinton, Sanders Supporters Chant "Bernie Or Jail" In The Hallways

The Democratic Convention has tallied the votes—and Hillary Clinton is now the Democratic nominee for president. Clinton had already blown past the 2,383-delegate mark to clinch the nomination, but Sen. Bernie Sanders, on behalf of the Vermont delegation, moved that the rules be suspended, and that Clinton be nominated by a voice vote, which was near unanimous. At this point, it’s no use to continue the resistance in the Bernie camp. At the same time, outside of the convention, Sanders supporters got into an intense argument with Clinton supporters that prompted more security to be present. They also chanted “Hillary or Jail” in the hallway. Roll Call’s Alex Roarty captured the action.

Hillary Clinton Is Officially The Democratic Nominee

Hillary Clinton is officially the Democratic Party's nominee for president. She is the first female presidential candidate from a major party.

Here's Bernie Sanders' Brother Casting A Vote For Him

In an emotional moment during the roll call at the Democratic National Convention, Larry Sanders, a delegate representing Democrats Abroad, cast his vote for his younger brother Sen. Bernie Sanders. Larry Sanders said that his parents, who both passed away young, would be so proud of their son.

A genuine show of emotion at what must be an unbelievable time for the Sanders family.