FROM Charlie Mahtesian
The Voting Is Over; Let the Campaign Begin Hillary Clinton has all the delegates needed to stake her claim as the first woman nominee of a major political party. But Bernie Sanders will carry on. Despite accusing Donald Trump of "textbook" racism, House Speaker Paul Ryan is reportedly telling colleagues to continue backing their nominee. As for Trump, he did stick to a speech on a once-scorned teleprompter, but he was anything but contrite, and many Republicans are looking for cover. The bottom line? Both presumptive nominees have made clear that months of negative campaigning are just getting started.
The GOP Tries to Get Down to Business With Hurricane Gustav a diminishing distraction, John McCain's convention is trying to get back on track. President Bush will speak live from the White House and former Senator Fred Thompson and former Democrat Joe Lieberman will speak in prime time, but the delegates and news media are focused on Sarah Palin . Did her daughter's pregnancy and a corruption investigation take McCain by surprise? As the torch passes from Bush to McCain inside the Excel Center, we hear about yesterday's protests and the police response outside.
Romney Says Goodbye at CPAC John McCain will address a traditionally hostile crowd of conservatives today at the Conservative Political Action Committee in hopes of building support from the base of his party. But in the meantime, Mitt Romney has stolen the moment by dropping out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination. After a series of applause lines the CPAC audience wanted to hear, he explained, "I entered this race because I love America. And because I love America, in this time of war, I feel I now have to stand aside for our party and for our country." Romney's "suspended" campaign leaves Mike Huckabee as McCain's only remaining obstacle, whether conservatives like it or not. We hear what Romney said, consider the consequences and look at McCain's failure to vote yes or no on economic stimulus.
Trump's ethical conflicts pile up as transparency diminishes President Trump's refusal to reveal his income tax returns is just one example of a lack of transparency that could be hiding conflicts of interest. Other conflicts are already obvious from his appointments. And he's being sued for using his job to increase his profits.
"Tough on crime" rhetoric sees a revival at Sessions' DOJ The pendulum swings between treatment-focused approaches to drug abuse and tough law enforcement. Now, after years of Obama-era "reforms," President Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions wants local police freed from federal restrictions to fight another "war on drugs."
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.