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Daily Reads: Trump Tries to Relive Glory Days With Arizona Rally; Paul Manafort Under Pressure

A roundup of stories we're reading at BillMoyers.com HQ...

Trump Tries To Relive Glory Days in Arizona

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Arizona –> With reports of very large protests outside and below-capacity attendance inside, Donald Trump began his latest campaign event telling the crowd there weren’t many protesters and marveling at the size of his audience. “Over the next 72 minutes,” reports Jenna Johnson for The Washington Post, “the president launched into one angry rant after another.” At first they were greeted with cheers, but “as the night dragged on, many in the crowd lost interest in what the president was saying.”

And some are questioning whether local police reacted proportionally when they dispersed largely peaceful protesters with tear gas, stun grenades and other weapons. Officials claimed that they responded to protesters throwing projectiles at them, but several witnesses interviewed by The Arizona Republic offered conflicting accounts.

Speaking of Arizona –> A federal judge ruled on Tuesday that “racism was behind an Arizona ban on ethnic studies that shuttered a popular Mexican-American Studies program,” according to Astrid Galvan at The Associated Press.

Kleptocracy –> Bloomberg’s Peter Robison and Michael Smith take a hard look at how Donald Trump’s sons are running his business. They find the same pattern of using “other people’s money,” questionable ethics and business partners that marked their father’s management.

The squeeze is on –>  Special counsel Robert Mueller’s “Kremlingate” probe is “zeroing in on whether” former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort “may have evaded taxes or engaged in any money laundering schemes,” reports McClatchy’s Peter Stone. Stone writes that such findings would likely yield “the sort of pressure that could cause Manafort to cut a deal with Mueller.”

Chaos –> Charlottesville’s first city council meeting since last week’s white supremacist riot got heated on Tuesday, as citizens expressed outrage over what they saw as the city’s lack of preparation and the police department’s inaction. Henry Graff reports for the local NBC affiliate that after order was restored, the councilors voted unanimously to move forward with removal of the city’s Confederate monuments. 

Speaking of civil wars –> The New York Times’ Alexander Burns and Jonathan Martin write that “what was once an uneasy governing alliance” between Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell “has curdled into a feud of mutual resentment and sometimes outright hostility” that’s imperiling the GOP’s agenda.

And Josh Dawsey reports for Politico that Trump is likely to “go to the mat” to get Congress to fund construction of the wall that Mexico was totally going to pay for, and that “could cause significant rifts within his own party if he follows through.”

About those nuclear codes –> At Lawfare, Sarah Grant and Jack Goldsmith consider the disconcerting possibility of Trump ordering the military to do something “deeply unwise.” The uncomfortable truth is that there are virtually no checks on his authority in this area.

Revenge –> Callum Borchers reports for The Washington Post that with Steve Bannon back at the helm, “Breitbart is crushing Trump for his Afghanistan speech.”

And an activist posing as Steve Bannon via email got Breitbart Editor-in-Chief Alex Marlow to pledge “that he and several other top editors would do Bannon’s ‘dirty work’ against White House aides.” According to CNN’s Oliver Darcy and Jake Tapper, that effort would include “smearing” Ivanka Trump.

Reprieve, for now –> Yesterday we mentioned that Missouri was moving ahead with the execution of Marcellus Williams despite DNA results suggesting that he’s innocent. Later in the day, the AP reported that Gov. Eric Greitens had put a halt to the execution pending a review of the case by a board of inquiry.

While we’re following up on stories we’ve highlighted in the past, we’re pleased to note that “the Department of Justice (DOJ) is dropping its controversial request for visitor IP addresses related to an anti-Trump website.” Morgan Chalfant has that story at The Hill.

Medicaid for all? –> Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) is going to offer a proposal to allow states to open up their Medicaid systems for anyone to buy into. Vox’s Sarah Kliff and Jeff Stein explain why this might be a big deal.

Speaking of media –> Allied Progress, a progressive watchdog, issued a report on Tuesday detailing how Sinclair Media “could be considered the Godfather of Fake News, with criticisms of media bias dating back to the early 2000s.” The company’s merger with Tribune Media has raised concerns about its ability to blanket the airwaves with conservative messaging.

And at FiveThirtyEight, Harry Enten warns that “fake polls” are becoming a real problem.

Creepy rich guy is still creepy –> As he awaits sentencing for his fraud conviction, “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli “is buying websites associated with the names of journalists critical of him and customizing them with mocking messages,” according to Maxwell Tani at Business Insider.

Looking directly at the sun wasn’t the only harm –> Lynda Mapes and Hal Bernton report for The Seattle Times that unusually large tides associated with Monday’s eclipse are being blamed for a breached net that allowed 305,000 farm-raised salmon into the wild. Environmentalists say the release could pose a big problem for native fisheries, and local authorities have encouraged people to catch all of the salmon they can.

Daily Reads was compiled by BillMoyers.com staff and edited by Kristin Miller.

We produce this news digest every weekday. You can sign up to receive these updates as an email.