Quick Takes: The Challenge for Pence Tonight

* If you were Mike Pence, would you rather address questions at tonight’s debate about your running mate’s taxes, foundation, sexism, lack of self control? Or would you prefer to talk about this?

…before Pence became Trump’s running mate, he:

Opposed Trump’s Muslim ban: “Calls to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. are offensive and unconstitutional.”

Supported the TPP trade agreement: “Trade means jobs, but trade also means security. The time has come for all of us to urge the swift adoption of the Trans Pacific Partnership”

Voted for the Iraq war authorization

Praised NAFTA: “As the nation’s sixth-largest corn producer, Indiana benefitted directly under the North American Free Trade Agreement…

* Stephen Rex Brown at the Daily News got the latest bombshell on Trump’s business problems.

Donald Trump has blasted Hillary Clinton for accepting money from Saudi Arabia through her foundation, but a Daily News investigation reveals he has padded his bank account with cash from the same country.

Trump sold the 45th floor of Trump World Tower to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for $4.5 million in June 2001, according to a city Finance Department spokeswoman. In 2008, the apartments became part of the Saudi Mission to the United Nations, records show.

The five apartments included 10 bedrooms and 13 bathrooms at the time of the sale, and had yearly common charges of $85,585 for building amenities, documents obtained by The News show. If those common charges remain the same, Trump was paid at least $5.7 million by the Saudi government since 2001.

Meanwhile, blowhard Trump and his cronies have hammered Clinton on the campaign trail, saying she should return money Saudi Arabia gave to the Clinton Foundation because the Arab state has a poor human rights record.

* Apparently House Republicans never bothered to put together their “binders full of women.”

Rep. Virginia Foxx (N.C.) is the only Republican woman in the House officially in the running to chair a committee, underlining how the GOP has made little progress in diversifying its slate of committee leaders…

The main obstacle in promoting more women to leadership roles is that there are simply fewer to choose from, particularly in the House GOP conference.

Of the 88 women — including delegates — serving in the House, only 23 are Republicans. Just eight of the GOP women were first elected before 2010.

* In an op-ed published in Huffington Post, President Obama rips the Republicans a new one on their obstruction.

This week, the Supreme Court returns to work. The Justices will hear important cases on issues ranging from the separation of church and state to intellectual property to Congressional redistricting to the death penalty. Many of the cases address questions that are fundamental to our democracy: the right to vote, for instance, or what constitutes U.S. citizenship. Yet – regardless of the stakes – Republicans in Congress have forced the Court to weigh these pivotal issues one Justice short of the Court’s full panel of nine.

In a city of self-inflicted wounds, this one is more dangerous and less defensible than most…

But this breakdown at the highest level is part of a bigger pattern…

Republican leaders in Congress have proven they won’t work with my Administration, but along the way, they’ve lost sight of their basic mission. They can’t even meet their own goals. Republicans say they care about good paying jobs, but they’re ignoring one of the best ways to create them by refusing to make long overdue investments rebuilding our roads, bridges, ports and airports. A major infrastructure push would put Americans back to work and make our businesses more competitive – but Congress can’t get it done. They can’t move the ball forward on tax reform, one of the GOP’s biggest priorities, and they continue to delay serious funding to combat an opioid epidemic that has devastated the lives of many of their constituents. They talk a great deal about poverty, but refuse to address it in a meaningful way.

On countless priorities – issues that matter to people across the country, regardless of their politics – Republicans in Washington have traded progress for partisanship.

* The day began with news that, in a debate last night, Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) said that Donald Trump was a good role model for children.

The fact that she had to retract that statement about the GOP’s presidential nominee tells you all you need to know about this election.

* I guess Gary Johnson’s new campaign tagline would be something like, “Ignorance is good.”

* This tweet sums things up nicely.

* Finally, Michelle Obama could have just dropped that mic after this one today.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly. Follow her on Twitter @Smartypants60 .