Quick Takes: Trump Isn’t That Impressed With the First Amendment

* During the last presidential debate, we got the obligatory questions about the 2nd Amendment and abortion. It’s really too bad that Chris Wallace didn’t ask about the candidates’ views on the 1st Amendment. Let’s quickly review what it says.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Obviously Trump isn’t that impressed.

If Donald Trump is president, he’d like to make some changes to the First Amendment.

In an interview with WFOR, CBS’ Miami affiliate, Trump was asked if he believes the First Amendment provides “too much protection.”

Trump answered in the affirmative, saying he’d like to change the laws to make it easier to sue media companies. Trump lamented that, under current law, “our press is allowed to say whatever they want.”

It’s that part about “freedom of the press” that Donald isn’t fond of.

* Steve Benen notes that Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has come up with a completely unique way of justifying why the Judiciary Committee hasn’t held hearings on the Garland nomination to the Supreme Court. Here is what he told the editorial board of the Des Moines Register:

Sure, sure. Umm, I suppose, the tradition is – and I’m not sure I would follow this tradition because I know who I have on my staff, I know how deep you have to go into going through a person’s record, in order to hold a hearing that’s worthwhile. And so you appropriate – you get special, not appropriations – you get ‘special’ from the rules committee; additional money to hire additional legal people. My staff tells me that’s about a half a million to $750,000 to hire people to maybe work for three or four months to do it.

As Benen says:

I think this is the first time I’ve heard such an argument: senators could to their job and meet the constitutional obligations, but the process is too expensive to bother.

* Matt Yglesias shares some good news from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The inflation adjusted weekly income of the typical full-time American worker hit an all-time high in the third quarter of 2016, according to data released yesterday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Median weekly earnings had been approximately stagnant for the first 15 years of the 21st century. (They spiked temporarily during the Great Recession because low-wage workers were disproportionately likely to be laid off.) But earnings have rebounded sharply over the past 18 months. That’s a mix of an improving labor market giving workers some bargaining power and cheap energy prices keeping inflation low.

* Ashley Weatherford brings us some interesting information about the Clinton campaign.

There are more African-American women working on Hillary Clinton’s campaign than any other presidential campaign in history. Thirty-eight, in fact, are stationed at her headquarters. More than both of President Obama’s campaigns in 2008 and 2012, and certainly more than her current Republican opponent. The black women’s roles spread across all layers and tiers of the campaign. They are designers, accountants, and senior policy advisers. They are campaign veterans and political neophytes. Summarily, they have all strapped themselves to the Hillary train and are willing it forward through the recalcitrant tracks of America.

* Speaking of those recalcitrant tracks, they seem to be heading in a different direction lately.

* Recently we’ve seen several polls showing that the presidential race in Texas is heading towards a dead heat. Over the weekend, RCP moved Texas into their “toss up” category. These numbers from a recent YouGov/CBS News poll show that even if the state doesn’t turn blue in 2016 – it is inevitable in the future.

* Here’s a reminder that those memes that came out of the final presidential debate are still humming along.

* Finally, I think that there are some ways that political correctness actually does bogs us down. I just define the term very differently than folks like Donald Trump and Ben Carson. This ad from a guy who is running for county commissioner in Texas wound up on a lot of people’s favorite list for being unique and funny. It did so by being politically incorrect. In an age of rage, Daugherty is flaunting his wonkishness.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.