* This was a fascinating response from Mike Pence today:

Mike Pence, the Republican party’s vice presidential nominee, questioned First Lady Michelle Obama’s fiery denunciation of Donald Trump in a Friday morning interview, saying he couldn’t “understand” the critiques she gave at a New Hampshire rally earlier this week.

“Look I have a lot of respect for the first lady,” Pence told “CBS This Morning” early Friday. “But I don’t understand the basis of her claim.”

If you believe that, Pence is probably the only person in the country that didn’t understand what she said or the point she was making.

* That response from Pence brings up an interesting question.  The two most powerful speeches anyone has given this campaign season have come from Michelle Obama – the first was at the Democratic Convention and the second was yesterday in New Hampshire. On both occasions, Trump has chosen to NOT attack the First Lady and I would suggest that puts her in a category by herself. I can’t think of another person that has silenced him in this way. Fascinating!

* As Martin wrote earlier about Trump’s speech in West Palm Beach, “he might as well have put the Protocols of the Elders of Zion in his teleprompter for all the subtlety he used in going after the media and international bankers.” Today Trump unveiled his latest conspiracy theory.

Donald Trump is pinning the blame for a wave of sexual misconduct allegations against him on Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim.

“The corrupt media is doing everything in their power to stop our movement,” Trump said Friday at a campaign rally in Greensboro, North Carolina, before singling out “the failing New York Times.”

“The largest shareholder in the Times is Carlos Slim. Now Carlos Slim comes from Mexico,” he said. “He’s given many millions of dollars to the Clintons and their initiative. So Carlos Slim, the largest owner of the paper, from Mexico.”

Trump also claimed, without substantiation, that the Times newsroom is part of the Slim-Clinton alliance out to get him.

“Reporters of the New York Times, they’re not journalists, they’re corporate lobbyist for Carlos Slim and for Hillary Clinton,” he said.

* President Obama took aim at that nonsense today.

* I have often thought that Rev. William Barber is the closest thing we have to a modern-day Martin Luther King. The white clergy of his day were no more in sync with him than Franklin Graham is with Rev. Barber.

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* E.J. Dionne weighs in with how he thinks liberals should handle Trump’s supporters when/if he loses.

Progressives regularly preach empathy and insist that the best way to solve a problem is to deal with its underlying causes. These principles apply as much to the struggles of our political opponents as they do to the problems faced by our allies. Defeating Trump is the first step. Giving an ear and a heart to the legitimate concerns of his supporters is the next.

* Charles Pierce is having none of that.

Should Hillary Rodham Clinton win the presidency, and should the Democrats make substantial gains in the national legislature, there is going to be a strong and concerted effort to make her offer some gesture of “healing” to the crazy people after such a “divisive” campaign…

Not until you clean up your own house, boyos. Not until the elements that produced your 2016 presidential nominee have no more purchase in your party. Not until the ideas that have animated eight years of vandalism and obstruction and ideologically based goldbricking are crushed underfoot. You have become a chronic danger to American democratic government and it’s time for a serious intervention. Hell, the Democratic Party had the campaign of George McGovern, as good and decent a man as has ever served in Washington, hung around its neck for 25 years by conservative lightweights and ratfckers who couldn’t carry McGovern’s shoes. Given that, the GOP should have to answer for nominating Trump until time shall be no more.

* Finally, Stacey Anderson takes “A Look Back At Obama’s Musical Milestones” and reminds us of that time he brushed his shoulder off, sang a few lines of Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together,” sang with Willie Nelson and moved us all so powerfully by singing “Amazing Grace” at the Charleston memorial service. One thing that made the list that is not remembered by most folks is that the first look any of us got at what would eventually become the musical “Hamilton” was when Lin Manuel Miranda debuted a work in progress at the White House Poetry Jam in 2009.

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