GOP Showdown in Cleveland

Tonight’s the night! The first GOP debate hosted by Fox News airs tonight. The 10 top candidates will face off in a prime time debate. Seven other candidates will face off in an earlier 5pm battle.  Donald Trump is center stage, and will likely suck up much of the oxygen in the room. He’s polling double his closest competitor (Jeb Bush), and will likely be the center of attention. Must see TV.

We learned today that Bill Clinton had a call with Trump just before Trump threw his hat in the ring. Fascinating.

Despite, her sinking approval ratings, Hillary Clinton is sticking to a strategy of ignoring her competition like Bernie Sanders, and focusing her fire on Jeb Bush. The New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman notes the strategy today, “Her aides, for the most part, believe he is likely to ultimately win the Republican nomination. And in a very crowded Republican field, in which Donald J. Trump is sopping up the news media's attention, Mr. Bush has for the most part escaped the kind of sharp elbows that would normally have been thrown at such a high-profile candidate. Mrs. Clinton seems happy to pick up the slack.”

The Senate goes on recess with a long list of to-do items for the Fall. They include a cybersecurity bill, a vote on the President’s deal with Iran and long-term funding for highways and bridges.

President Obama gave a big speech on the Iran deal yesterday as he continues to try and sell the plan to a very skeptical Congress. Here’s how Gerald Seib puts it in today’s Wall Street Journal, “In a day spent selling the merits of the big nuclear deal with Iran, President Barack Obama didn't merely take on the critics of the agreement Wednesday. He actually challenged something much broader -- what he referred to as a "mindset" that says military action is always the preferred option in dealing with the manifold problems of the Middle East.”

President Obama comparing current critics of the nuclear deal to those who pushed for war with Iraq .

Yesterday, the Senate Finance Committee released a long-awaited report on IRS political targeting. The bipartisan report suggests no laws were broken, but that mismanagement did lead it to unfairly target conservative political groups. Much of the blame was placed at the feet of resigned head Lois Lerner.

We’re also keeping our eyes on the wildfires burning in California. The biggest one is the Rocky Fire now 30% contained, but threatening thousands of homes. It’s already destroyed 39 houses.

We’ll also dive into what happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. Malaysian officials confirming that a piece of wing washed up on the island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean is from the doomed plane. It says maintenance records prove the link.

The U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima on this day 70 years ago. It killed approximately 140,000 people, but the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and later on Nagasaki are widely seen as forcing Japan to surrender before an invasion that would have left thousands of U.S. troops dead.

For more news, follow me on Twitter: