Quick Takes: A Real Pay for Play

* Michael Isikoff’s got the scoop on what looks like a real pay for play.

Donald Trump’s charitable foundation gave $100,000 in 2014 to a conservative activist group that was used to help finance a federal lawsuit against New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman — the same public official who was suing the real estate mogul for fraud over the operations of Trump University.

The size and timing of the donation to the Citizens United Foundation, an arm of the sprawling conservative network run by David Bossie, who is now Trump’s deputy campaign manager, could raise fresh questions about whether Trump has used his tax-exempt charity to further political and personal causes.

* Paul Krugman wonders if the fever is finally breaking.

The good news, I think, is that we may have reached some sort of turning point. Matt Lauer may have done us all a favor with his catastrophically bad performance. By devoting so much time to emails and rushing through Clinton on ISIS, on one side, while letting Trump’s Iraq lie slide by unchallenged, on the other, Lauer offered a demonstration of the prevailing double standard so graphic that it was hard to ignore. But it wasn’t just Lauer: I think the accumulation of really bad examples, of failing to cover the Bondi bribe, of making an unsuccessful request for passports — to rescue imprisoned journalists! — a supposed scandal, even some of the botched initial reaction to the Lauer debacle, may have finally reached a critical mass.

* Allow me just a minute to humble-brag about my home state.

When it comes to professional basketball, Minnesota is officially the wokest state in America. On Wednesday, in conjunction with Secretary of State Steve Simon, the NBA’s Timberwolves launched a series of voter registration public service announcements designed to educate state residents ahead of the polls opening this fall. Of course, they don’t endorse any particular candidates, but they’re important nonetheless.

As an example, here is Karl-Anthony Towns:

* This weekend will mark the 15th anniversary of 9/11. Hunter at Daily Kos reminds us of what Hillary Clinton was busy doing afterwards.

As we near the 9/11 anniversary, again, let us all take a moment to remember that the junior senator from New York made it a personal mission to ensure rescue workers and others affected by the poisoned air of above Ground Zero were not ignored by their government—during a time when ignoring them was the defacto position of that government.

* Finally, it was a short week. But we can still celebrate TGIF. So let’s get ready for Saturday night – with Ozomatli!

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.