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On the roster: What to know about the Alabama primary - Utah isn’t like other races - Time Out: Not a want but a need - Bannon becomes further isolated - Dogs and foxes and rats… Oh my?
WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT THE ALABAMA PRIMARY
Politico: “The Alabama GOP Senate primary on Tuesday will go a long way in answering the overriding question of the race: How much do Mitch McConnell’s cash and Donald Trump’s endorsement matter? … With a massive cash advantage, powerhouse endorsements and the advantages of incumbency, [Luther Strange] should be the front-runner. But swirling questions about how he was appointed to the seat by the disgraced ex-Gov. Robert Bentley have dogged Strange throughout his campaign. … In a race in which the candidates have tripped over each other trying to align themselves with the president, Strange can proudly claim he is Trump's man. … Virtually every poll has shown [Roy Moore] making the runoff by a comfortable margin. A trio of recent surveys had the judge leading the field with support in the 31 to 35 percent range. … Strange is struggling even with the support of the president and the GOP establishment. Assuming he makes it to the runoff, though, the strength of his second-place finish will set expectations for how winnable the election is — or not.”
If Strange loses, will GOP eventually lose the Senate seat? - Smart Politics: “Should Strange fail to make or lose the subsequent September 26th primary runoff, he will become just the second appointed senator since the 1970s to come up short in such a bid. Overall, slightly less than two-thirds of appointed senators have run to keep their seat the next time it came up on the ballot in the direct election era – 126 of 196 appointees (64.3 percent). Prior to Strange, the vast majority of appointees who sought their party’s nomination were successful – 101 of 125 (80.8 percent), including 84.4 percent over the last half-century (27 of 32). … Since 1980, appointees nearly have an unblemished mark with 21 of 22 U.S. Senators receiving their party’s nomination, including each of the last 12 aspiring to keep their seat since 1999. The only lawmaker who failed in such an attempt since 1980 was Kansas Republican Sheila Frahm in 1996.”
Strange’s outcome will reflect heavily on McConnell - WashEx: “The special Senate election in Alabama is a crucial test of President Trump's influence with Republican primary voters but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has the most to lose there on Tuesday. Trump endorsed appointed Sen. Luther Strange in what is essentially a three-man contest, urging Republicans in Alabama via Twitter and pre-recorded, telephone ‘robo’ calls to support him as Attorney General Jeff Sessions' permanent successor. But it's McConnell's credibility on the line after his affiliated super PAC and associated nonprofit organization invested millions of dollars to boost Strange over Rep. Mo Brooks and Roy Moore, the former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court.”
Utah isn’t like other races - WaPo: “But as voters in Utah’s 3rd Congressional District head to the polls Tuesday to start choosing a successor to retired Republican Jason Chaffetz, the race has garnered only a fraction of the national… Unlike other House races decided this year, Democrats are not seriously contesting the heavily GOP district… Instead, Tuesday’s GOP primary in Utah is set to be decided along more familiar lines of ideology and sensibility in a state whose Republican voters have long had an uneasy relationship with Trump. ‘The short answer is, President Trump has not been much of a factor in this race,’ said Jason Perry, director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah. … The front-runner for the Republican nomination, according to published polls, is Provo Mayor John Curtis… Curtis’s bona fides have been sharply challenged by former state Rep. Chris Herrod and businessman Tanner Ainge…”
THE RULEBOOK: THE ENDS JUSTIFY THE MEANS
“No axiom is more clearly established in law, or in reason, than that wherever the end is required, the means are authorized; wherever a general power to do a thing is given, every particular power necessary for doing it is included.” – James Madison, Federalist No. 44
TIME OUT: NOT A WANT BUT A NEED
Time: “Nobody likes painful or unpleasant experiences—but they may be necessary in order for us to feel truly happy, according to new research in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. That’s because happiness is about more than just feeling good all the time… Those emotions can include anger or even hatred, as long as they feel like the ‘right ones’ to experience at a particular time, says lead researcher Maya Tamir … Unsurprisingly, most participants desired to have more pleasant emotions—and fewer unpleasant ones… But that wasn’t always the case: In fact, 11% of participants wanted to actually feel fewer ‘transcendent’ emotions (like love and empathy), and 10% wanted to feel more unpleasant emotions (like hostility or hatred). …those participants whose desired emotions best matched their actual emotions reported greater life satisfaction and fewer depressive symptoms. That was true even if they desired and experienced more unpleasant feelings.”
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Trump net job-approval rating: -19 points
Change from one week ago: up 2.8 points
[President Trump’s score is determined by subtracting his average job disapproval rating in the five most recent, methodologically sound public polls from his average approval rating, calculated in the same fashion.]
BANNON BECOMES FURTHER ISOLATED
Fox News: “President Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon has become increasingly isolated inside the White House following the ascension of John Kelly as chief of staff, sources inside the White House and outside advisers tell Fox News. … One source with direct knowledge of White House staffing told Fox News they expect Bannon will be the next one ousted, pointing to the icy nature of his relationship with Trump. Bannon has been the subject of a series of reports in recent days about his future. … White House sources also told Fox News they think Bannon is the main source behind many negatives stories about his political rivals at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, including [Reince Priebus]; Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner; Trump daughter Ivanka; and more recently National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster. And some have blamed him for the tumult inside the administration over these last few months. ‘President Trump is just waiting for him to resign,’ one former administration official said.”
Manafort involved in real-estate deal with Putin ally - Daily Beast: “Paul Manafort partnered on an $850 million New York real-estate deal with an ally of Vladimir Putin and a Ukrainian moneyman whom the Justice Department
recently described as an ‘organized-crime member.’ That’s according a 2008 memo written by Rick Gates, Manafort’s business partner and fellow alumnus of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.”
Trump faces difficult realities in NAFTA talks - Politico
Trump to sign infrastructure executive order today - Daily Caller
Trump lashes out on Obama for Russia knowledge - WashEx
The truth behind “Obama-Trump” voters - NYT
Justice Department demands 1.3M IP addresses related to Trump resistance site - The Hill
CBO score released for ‘The Effects of Terminating Payments for Cost-Sharing Reductions’ - CBO
Poll: Trump Temperament Consequences - Monmouth University
Indiana GOP primary is getting personal - Politico
Under Armour, Intel heads resign from president’s job council - USA Today
“When you take a job like that, your expiration date is coming. I didn’t think I’d last too long, but I thought I’d last longer than a carton of milk.” – Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci in his appearance on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” Monday night.
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[Ed. note: Chris Stirewalt is away. He and FROM THE BLEACHERS will return on Aug. 23.]
DOGS AND FOXES AND RATS… OH MY?
The [UK] Telegraph: “…many families in the eastern Chinese city of Luohe decided to pay a visit to the city’s zoo this week. But those hoping to be thrilled by the zoo’s fearsome beasts were left disappointed by a rather tamer set of substitutes. ‘One family surnamed Liu took their six-year-old son to the zoo in People’s Park,’ reported the local Dahe Daily newspaper. ‘On the way, Mrs. Liu was teaching her son all the sounds that the different animals make. But when they arrived, her son said the lion was barking like a dog.’ Indeed, inside the enclosure marked ‘African Lion’ was a Tibetan mastiff dog. There was another dog in the wolf cage, while some foxes were standing in for the leopards. Finally, a pair of large rats could be found scuttling around a glass cage meant for snakes. The slithery predators were nowhere to be seen. There was no official explanation for the change of exhibits…”
AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“The worst thing that an American president can do in a crisis is to threaten a Latin American country with an American invasion. There is a history of Yankee imperialism that weighs on this. It only weakens our friends, strengthens our enemies. And it's pointless.” – Charles Krauthammer on “Special Report with Bret Baier.”
Brianna McClelland contributed to this report. Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.