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Morning Reads: The End of #NeverTrump?; GOP Platform Surprise on Financial Regulation

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

Morning Reads: The End of #NeverTrump?

Sen. Mike Lee, (R-UT) and Phill Wright, vice chair of the Utah delegation (L) shout no to the adoption of rules without a roll call vote on the first day of the Republican National Convention on July 18, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

#NeverTrump’s last gasps –> The Republican National Convention has begun and, on Day One, the movement to prevent Trump from winning the nomination made what may have been its last push (there has been talk about a final maneuver during the roll call for Trump’s nomination later today). Ed Kilgore at New York magazine: “A scattered group of delegates — mostly from states where Ted Cruz beat Donald Trump handily in either the primaries and caucuses or delegate selection — failed to come up with the 28 votes on the Rules Committee needed to file a minority report (which could have led to a floor vote on unbinding delegates), and then failed to force a roll-call vote on the rules on the convention floor.”

“…Thus probably died any palpable signs of protest from within the hall of Trump’s convention. As though to signify this transition, the benediction for the afternoon session, from an African-American minister from South Carolina, announced that Trump and Republicans, as believers in Jesus Christ, had a divine mission to smite the ‘enemy,’ Hillary Clinton and the ‘liberal Democrats.'”

Surprise on financial regulation –> The Republican Party platform includes at least (and probably at most) two points that will please progressive Democrats: opposition to TPP and, somewhat surprisingly, the reinstatement of the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act — a financial regulation that separated banks’ investing and banking operations. Its 1999 repeal, many believe, gave rise to a culture of risk-taking at banks that precipitated the 2008 financial meltdown.

The Hill: “News that Republicans were embracing Glass-Steagall was met with surprised optimism from advocates for tougher rules on the financial industry and resigned sighs from the industry itself. One bank lobbyist said backing the bill in the GOP platform was a naked attempt by Trump to win over disappointed backers of former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, a vocal proponent of the law’s return. Trump has explicitly called on Sanders supporters to join his campaign, although Sanders himself has backed Clinton.”

But: In other areas, the GOP platform sounds much like the same old, same old on financial regulation. Reuters: “Trump, who will formally accept the Republican presidential nomination in Cleveland this week, has vowed to dismantle most of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law that was passed under President Barack Obama following the 2007-09 financial crisis… Republicans universally despise Dodd-Frank, which their platform calls ‘Democrats’ legislative Godzilla.'”

Meanwhile, a part of the Democratic platform that tries to block Wall Street heads from jobs in the White House may not mean much, according to Francine McKenna at MarketWatch: “Former Commodity Futures Trading Commission chairman Gary Gensler, now the chief financial officer of the Hillary Clinton campaign, is frequently mentioned as a possible Treasury secretary candidate in a Clinton administration despite being a former executive of Goldman Sachs. A spokeswoman for the Clinton campaign and Gensler declined comment on future appointees. Sen. Bernie Sanders tried to block him from being appointed as CFTC chair in 2009 because of those industry ties. He worked at Goldman Sachs with Jon Corzine, the former Democratic governor and senator from New Jersey who was also a former CEO of Goldman Sachs and, later, the CEO of MF Global.”

Fact check –> As many noted, it was hide-under-your-bed night as the Republican convention offered up its first bevy of speakers in primetime on Monday, most of whom painted a dismal picture of an America under threat from terrorism, immigrants and Hillary Clinton. Glenn Kessler and Michelle Ye Hee Lee at The Washington Post compare the rhetoric to reality.

Plagiarism? –> It appears so. A significant portion of Melania Trump’s speech overlaps with one given by, of all people, current first lady Michelle Obama at the 2008 Democratic convention. Here’s a side-by-side comparison.

Asking for a do-over –> Pete Williams at NBC News: “The Obama administration asked the US Supreme Court Monday to re-hear the lawsuit that shut down its plan to allow more than 4 million people here illegally to remain. The request was a long shot, because such moves are usually rejected. The justices tied 4-4 last month, leaving a lower court order intact that blocked the immigration plan from going into effect…

“The government was hoping that by filing now, the court would keep the request on hold until a ninth justice is confirmed. The request said when the court has granted rehearing in the past, it has most often been when a vacancy led to a tie vote.”

Removing what Ailes them –> Gabriel Sherman for New York magazine: “Roger Ailes’ tenure as the head of Fox News may be coming to an end. Rupert Murdoch and sons Lachlan and James — co-chairmen and CEO, respectively, of parent company 21st Century Fox — have settled on removing the 76-year-old executive, say two sources briefed on a sexual-harassment investigation of Ailes being conducted by New York law firm Paul, Weiss. After reviewing the initial findings of the probe, James Murdoch is said to be arguing that Ailes should be presented with a choice this week to resign or face being fired. Lachlan is more aligned with their father, who thinks that no action should be taken until after the GOP convention this week. Another source confirms that all three are in agreement that Ailes needs to go.”

Morning Reads is compiled by John Light and Michael Winship. See a story that you think should be included in Morning Reads? Tell us in the comments!

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