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On the roster: Harris rides the wave in California – Time Out: Now we know beans  Dem fundraising juggernaut raked in $246 million – House wreckers – Cruel, unusual

Quinnipiac University: “Native daughter Kamala Harris comes from behind to win the support of 23 percent of California Democrats and voters leaning Democratic, with 21 percent for former Vice President Joe Biden, leaving the Democratic primary too close to call, according to a Quinnipiac University Poll released today. Also in the running are Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders with 18 percent and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts with 16 percent. South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg has 3 percent and entrepreneur Andrew Yang has 2 percent. There are four Democratic contenders with 1 percent and 15 candidates scoring less than 1 percent. … Looking today at candidates’ qualities, California Democrats say: 26 percent that Biden would be the best leader, with 18 percent for Harris, 17 percent for Sanders and 14 percent for Warren; 28 percent that Warren has the best policy ideas, with 20 percent for Sanders, 11 percent for Biden and 9 percent for Harris…”

Bullock makes the cut for second round of debates – Politico: “The field is set for the second round of Democratic primary debates — and a number of candidates will go onstage knowing it could be their last. Twenty candidates have qualified for two nights of debates in Detroit on July 30-31, according to a POLITICO analysis — including Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, who missed the first debates in June but vaulted onto the stage after Rep. Eric Swalwell’s campaign ended… POLITICO projects these 20 candidates will appear in the Detroit debates: Michael Bennet, Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Bullock, Pete Buttigieg, Julián CastroBill de BlasioJohn DelaneyTulsi GabbardKirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, John HickenlooperJay InsleeAmy KlobucharBeto O’RourkeTim Ryan, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Marianne Williamson and Andrew Yang.”

Biden campaign paid for coaching after tanking first debate – WashEx: “The day after Joe Biden tanked in the first round of Democratic presidential debates, his campaign hired a prominent speech coach for the 36-year senator and 8-year vice president. Records from the Biden’s second-quarter Federal Election Commission filing show his campaign paid Washington, D.C.-based Sheehan Associates $5,300 for ‘strategic consulting’ on June 28. The night before Biden was put on the defensive in the first round of Democratic debates by California Sen. Kamala Harris… Michael Sheehan, the principal of the firm, has coached both Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, as well as numerous vice presidents, first ladies, members of Congress, and governors.”

Steyer defends wealth – The Guardian: “Tom Steyer entered the Democratic primary with a singular advantage: the largest fortune of any 2020 candidate. It could also be his biggest liability. Reflecting on the ethics of a billionaire candidate at a time when growing inequality is a key election issue, the former hedge fund manager and Democratic party mega-donor offered up an unusual defense: Queen Bey. ‘Should we put a limit on what Beyoncé makes? I don’t see why,’ Steyer told the Guardian by phone. ‘I don’t think in the United States of America, we should put a ceiling on how far people can go.’ Steyer transitioned to a critique of communism and the argument that ‘at the heart of every great fortune is a crime…’”

AARP warns 2020 presidential candidates about ignoring older voters – Fox Business: “While a lot of emphasis is focused on attracting young voters during election cycles – 2020 candidates might want to turn more attention toward an older demographic: Baby Boomers. Americans age 65 and over are expected to make up about 23 percent of the electorate in 2020, according to research from The Pew Research Center. That is their largest share since at least 1970. And while Generation Z will make up one-in-ten eligible voters, researchers noted that – based on historical trends – older Americans are more likely to turn out to vote, which means that older generations could end up accounting for a larger share of actual voters than their share of the electorate. AARP chief advocacy and engagement officer Nancy LeaMond told FOX Business it would be unwise for candidates to ignore older Americans – and their top concerns.”

“The steady operations of war against a regular and disciplined army can only be successfully conducted by a force of the same kind. Considerations of economy, not less than of stability and vigor, confirm this position.” – Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 25

Smithsonian: “Of all the great debates … few have been more polarizing than chocolate versus vanilla. Those of us aligned with chocolate—the product of ground, roasted cacao beans—find it warm, comforting, ambrosial, and generally dismiss all things unchocolate as ‘vanilla,’ meaning bland and boring. Those who prefer vanilla, a climbing orchid that bears long podlike fruit, praise its aromatic sweetness and note that it enhances the flavor of chocolate, which unembellished would be dull and kind of flat—in short, vanilla. The one aspect of the chocolate-and-vanilla divide that has seldom been disputed is the question of provenance. But over the last year two new studies have radically rejiggered the origin stories of both. On the chocolate front, the earliest chemical evidence of cacao use has been pushed about 1,400 years further into the past and about 2,000 miles south. For vanilla’s part, researchers now believe that the beans were not only used by humans more than two millennia earlier than previously thought, but an entire ocean away.”

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Trump job performance
Average approval
: 44.2 percent
Average disapproval: 51.2 percent
Net Score: -7 points
Change from one week ago: up 0.4 points 
[Average includes: NBC News/WSJ: 45% approve – 52% disapprove; ABC News/WaPo: 47% approve – 50% disapprove; CNN: 45% approve – 51% disapprove; Gallup: 41% approve – 54% disapprove; IBD: 43% approve – 49% disapprove.]

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Politico: “Democratic campaigns and organizations are riding high off support from small donors. ActBlue, the online fundraising platform used by most Democratic candidates and outside groups, announced that 3.3 million donors contributed $420 million through the platform in the first six months of the year. ActBlue’s first filing of the year with the Federal Election Commission, which covers the same time period, is due at the end of the month. The group said $246 million came through ActBlue during the second quarter of 2019. Nearly 8,700 campaigns, committees and organizations use the platform, and 1.1 million donors gave via ActBlue in the final 10 days of the second quarter alone. The numbers demonstrate the incredible growth of online fundraising in recent years, especially among Democrats. The party broke fundraising records in 2017 in response to President Donald Trump‘s inauguration…”

Kraushaar: Fundraising takeaways – National Journal: “Democrats have good reason to cheer their congressional candidates’ second-quarter fundraising figures. … But Republicans also picked up their fundraising levels from last year’s midterms. Five GOP senators facing competitive reelections raised more than $2 million in the quarter. Two highly touted House GOP recruits hit the half-million-dollar mark, an impressive tally for first-time challengers. On the leadership front, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise both outraised Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Here are five other clues the numbers can give us into the trajectory of the 2020 congressional campaigns: 1. Several Democratic Senate recruits still have to prove their strength. … 2. Targeted House Democrats continue to bring in big bucks. … 3. Texas Republicans pick up the pace. … 4. Stage set for Mike Pompeo in Kansas. … 5. Scandal-plagued Republicans in desperate territory.”

Bwhahahah – NY Post: “The Big Apple showered Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg — the mayor of tiny South Bend, Indiana — with $2.35 million in donations during the past three months, Buttigieg’s campaign revealed Tuesday. The haul is more than twice the $1.1 million that Mayor Bill de Blasio raised in total — nationwide — since launching his own White House bid in May. Buttigieg also humiliated de Blasio in his own back yard by collecting contributions from 14,000 city residents, more than twice de Blasio’s total 6,700 donors. … Buttigieg’s local supporters include such quintessential Gothamites as longtime Vogue editor Anna Wintour, media tycoon Barry Diller and financier Bill Ackman, who each made maximum contributions of $2,800, with Ackman doubling down for both the primary and general elections.”

Roll Call: “A day after Rep. Emanuel Cleaver abandoned his post presiding over House proceedings in frustration over bickering between Republicans and Democrats, the Missouri Democrat urged lawmakers and the American people to ignore President Donald Trump’s online antics as he ‘tweets away his presidency.’ ‘We can’t continue to react to this,’ Cleaver said Wednesday on CNN’s ‘New Day’ about the chaos that ensued as Democrats tried to hold a vote to condemn racist tweets the president posted over the weekend attacking four minority female congresswomen. … On Tuesday, the House eventually voted, 240-187, to approve a nonbinding resolution that that ‘strongly’ condemned Trump’s ‘racist comments that have legitimized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color.’ In the end, four Republicans — Susan W. Brooks of Indiana, Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, Will Hurd of Texas and Fred Upton of Michigan — and independent Justin Amash of Michigan … voted with all 235 Democrats in favor of the resolution.”

Trump’s tweets drive wedge between campaign and critical voters – WashEx: “President Trump’s incendiary claims that his Democratic critics in Congress are un-American are driving a deep wedge between his 2020 campaign and critical elements of the coalition he needs to secure a second term. Suburban women and college-educated whites sidelined doubts about Trump and provided support crucial to his victory over Hillary Clinton. But many, fed up with the president’s antics and rhetoric, defected to the Democratic Party in midterm elections two years later. Senior Republican strategists are warning that Trump’s divisive attacks on the four female minority congressional Democrats could permanently exile these key voting blocs, costing the president reelection. ‘Republicans want this election to be about the economy and judges. If it’s about Trump’s tweets and temperament, it’s likely that Democrats will have an enthusiasm advantage,’ said Alex Conant, a GOP operative who has advised presidential candidates.”

Squad goals: Trump’s attacks foreshadow 2020 – NYT: “With three days of attacks on four liberal, minority first-term congresswomen, President Trump and the Republicans have sent the clearest signal yet that their approach to 2020 will be a racially divisive reprise of the strategy that helped Mr. Trump narrowly capture the White House in 2016. It is the kind of fight that the president relishes. He has told aides, in fact, that he is pleased with the Democratic reaction to his attacks, boasting that he is ‘marrying’ the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic Party to the four congresswomen known as ‘the squad.’ His efforts to stoke similar cultural and racial resentments during the 2018 midterm elections with fears of marauding immigrant caravans backfired as his party lost control of the House. But he is undeterred heading into his re-election campaign, betting that he can cast the entire Democratic Party as radical and un-American.

R.I.P. John Paul Stevens – NYT

Ocasio-Cortez gets new 2020 challenger: a Republican immigrant from Jamaica – Fox News

“You got to be against Yucca Mountain and you gotta say Nevada right.” – Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., giving advice to presidential candidates who visit her state per the WSJ.

“The Democrats in Congress missed a great opportunity to chastise the president, bring Republicans to their side, and take a giant leap for civil discourse. Trump’s remarks deserved condemnation; they were not the occasionally-well-intentioned ‘love it or leave it’ phrase. Some congressmen’s misrepresentation of facts deserved to be challenged, but Mr. Trump went beyond that to claim they hated our country. While such I-know-your-heart attacks are common, they are still wrong. But the resolution hid the president’s misbehavior by making the dubious claim of racism – this was easily dismissed as partisan trash. What a disappointment to read the excellent phrases about our immigrants love for our United States in the first part of the resolution to see the effort destroyed in its accusations. Thank you for your civil discourse!” – Tom Parks, Rogers, Ark.

[Ed. note: But your premise assumes, Mr. Parks, that the aim was persuasion. That was pure base boosting alloyed by just a pinch of sticking to the other side. That whole fracas – allegations or dispatriotism, racism, corruption and worse – is how we let politicians behave these days.]

“You said [in Monday’s Halftime Report that] Trump attacked persons elected to the branch superior to his. That is incorrect. Legislative, executive, and judicial branches are co-equal, no? I realize Congress is upstream of the president in the sense that it passes the laws he is responsible for enforcing, but still, ‘co-equal’ is the term I’ve always heard used to describe the relative standing of the three branches. I might be wrong, though, and if I am, I would be grateful for instruction. Think you do a great job.” – Thaddeus Perry, Fishers, Ind.

[Ed. note: Great question, Mr. Perry! Certainly there are those who agree with the concept of “co-equal branches,” but that’s not how the Constitution reads. The charter goes in order: Legislative, executive and judicial. Congress is given the most significant powers – especially the power to declare war and to tax – and while Congress has the power to remove officials from the other branches, the other branches can do nothing similar to Congress. Certainly, the judicial branch is the weakest. It relies on the legislative branch for its money and the executive branch to enforce its edicts. America has been slouching toward excessive executive power since at least the Wilson administration because it’s just easier. Americans have gotten to be extraordinarily lazy guardians of their own liberty and the pitiful decrepitude of Congress is probably the greatest evidence.]

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AP: “Officials in West Palm Beach are hoping a continuous loop of children’s songs played throughout the night will keep homeless people from sleeping on the patio of a city-owned rental banquet facility. West Palm Beach parks and recreation director Leah Rockwell tells the Palm Beach Post they’re trying to discourage people from sleeping outside the glass-walled Waterfront Lake Pavilion, which she says rakes in some $240,000 annually from events. The loop of ‘Baby Shark’ and ‘Raining Tacos’ is a temporary fix to keep homeless people off the patio. Rockwell says the city wants to formalize hours for the facility, which should make trespassing laws easier to enforce. Illaya Champion tells the Post ‘it’s wrong’ to chase people away with music. He says he’ll still sleep there, but ‘it’s on and on, the same songs.’”

“A broad national consensus is developing that health care is indeed a right. This is historically new. And it carries immense implications for the future. It suggests that we may be heading inexorably to a government-run, single-payer system.” – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) writing in the Washington Post on March 30, 2017.

Chris Stirewalt is the politics editor for Fox News. Brianna McClelland contributed to this report. Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.

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