Paul Ryan won’t support Trump — for now –> On CNN yesterday, when asked if he supported Donald Trump’s campaign for president, House Speaker Paul Ryan said, “I am not there right now. I hope to and want to… I think what a lot of Republicans want to see is that we have a standard-bearer that bears our standards.” Ryan didn’t make clear if his beef was with Trump’s policies or just with his nasty style and outsider status. Or if the speaker is looking at his calendar and the year 2020. Eric Levitz writes it all up for New York magazine.
Yet The New York Times reported that the party’s fundraising apparatus took a different tack: “Some staff members at the Republican National Committee were told Wednesday that if they were unable to get behind the nominee, they should leave by the end of the week.” (The RNC’s communications director later said the story was “100% not true.”)
Meanwhile, in campaign cash news: Casino billionaire and right-wing megadonor Sheldon Adelson, whose support has funded entire campaigns in the past, is willing to climb aboard the Trump train. He told The New York Times’ Thomas Kaplan and Maggie Haberman: “Yes, I’m a Republican, he’s a Republican… He’s our nominee. Whoever the nominee would turn out to be, any one of the 17 — he was one of the 17. He won fair and square.”
And: Monica Langley and Rebecca Ballhaus report for The Wall Street Journal that Trump will not be self-funding his general election campaign, drawing money from contacts in “his expansive personal Rolodex and a new base of supporters who aren’t on party rolls, two Trump advisers said.”
But meanwhile, Ben White reports for Politico, “Hillary Clinton’s supporters in recent days have been making a furious round of calls to top Bush family donors to try to convince them that she represents their values better than Donald Trump… The moves come as Clinton and the Democratic Party try to take advantage of deep unease among establishment Republicans on Wall Street and elsewhere with Trump’s emergence as the presumptive Republican nominee.”
Media narrative –> No matter the current reality of Trump’s dismal poll numbers for the November election, the media will paint a horse race narrative, David Roberts writes at Vox: “No institution needs a competitive election more than the media, especially what remains of the ‘objective’ campaign media. Imagine writing this headline: Trump, bad candidate, likely to lose. Now imagine writing it again and again for six months — and watching your web traffic dwindle into nothing. Sad!”
New climate chief –> The UN’s head diplomat for climate change, Christiana Figueres of Costa Rica, stepped down following the completion of the Paris agreement. Her replacement at the forefront of international efforts to save the world is Mexican diplomat Patricia Espinosa. Ed King reports for Climate Home that in the years after the disastrous Copenhagen talks, Mexico’s diplomats played a key role in getting negotiations back on track.
The inferno spreads –> Rod Nickel and Liz Hampton at Reuters: “The 88,000 residents who fled a wildfire that has ravaged the Canadian oil town of Fort McMurray in Alberta will not be able to return home anytime soon, officials warned on Thursday, even as the inferno edged slowly south. The out-of-control blaze has consumed entire neighborhoods of Fort McMurray in Canada’s energy heartland and officials warn its spread now threatens two oil sands sites south of the city.”
Purdue knew –> A Los Angeles Times investigation of America’s OxyContin abuse epidemic finds that drugmaker Purdue “has known about the problem for decades. Even before OxyContin went on the market, clinical trials showed many patients weren’t getting 12 hours of relief. Since the drug’s debut in 1996, the company has been confronted with additional evidence, including complaints from doctors, reports from its own sales reps and independent research.” Yet the drugmaker has aggressively pushed doctors to prescribe larger and stronger doses: “More than half of long-term OxyContin users are on doses that public health officials consider dangerously high.”
Doctors pick up single-payer fight –> Deirdre Fulton at Common Dreams writes, “… Thousands of medical professionals across the country have signed onto the ‘Physicians’ Proposal for Single-Payer Health Care Reform,’ calling for a publicly financed, single-payer National Health Program (NHP) that would cover all Americans for all medically necessary care. The plan, unveiled Thursday in the American Journal of Public Health, aims to ‘remedy the persistent shortcomings of the current health care system,’ reads an accompanying editorial.”
Boaty McBoatface sails on, sort of –> Last month, when the British government asked the Internet to choose a name for its new polar research ship, the Internet chose… “Boaty McBoatface.” The UK’s natural environment research council stepped in and suggested that another name might be more appropriate. They’ve arrived at a decision: the ship will be named the RRS Sir David Attenborough, after the noted naturalist and TV host. Nonetheless, a “remotely operated vehicle” on board the research vessel — a little yellow submarine — will carry on the “Boaty McBoatface” name. Nadia Khomami reports for The Guardian.
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