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As Trump ranted and rambled in Phoenix, his crowd slowly thinned

(WP) As the night dragged on, many in the crowd lost interest in what the president was saying.

Hundreds left early, while others plopped down on the ground, scrolled through their social media feeds or started up a conversation with their neighbors. After waiting for hours in 107-degree heat to get into the rally hall — where their water bottles were confiscated by security — people were tired and dehydrated and the president just wasn't keeping their attention. Although Trump has long been the master of reading the mood of a room and quickly adjusting his message to satisfy as many of his fans as possible, his rage seemed to cloud his senses.


Billy Joel Wears Yellow Star of David at New York Show Amid Rising Neo-Nazi Activity

(People) Billy Joel made a strong statement against the growing neo-Nazi and white nationalism movement on Monday night, taking the stage at New York’s Madison Square Garden wearing a yellow Star of David.

The 68-year-old hitmaker, who was born to Jewish parents and describes himself as culturally Jewish, donned the patch on both the lapel and back of his suit blazer — a reference to the yellow stars Jews were forced to wear during the Holocaust.

It was a surprisingly political statement from Joel, who previously told Rolling Stone that he found being lectured about political views at a concert to be a turnoff.


Pelosi: Bannon ouster 'worthless'

(The Hill) "Steve Bannon's firing is welcome news, but it doesn't disguise where President Trump himself stands on white supremacists and the bigoted beliefs they advance," Pelosi said in a statement.

"President Trump's growing record of repulsive statements is matched by his repulsive policies," she added. "Personnel changes are worthless so long as President Trump continues to advance policies that disgrace our cherished American values"

George II

Trump Tells Aides He Has Decided to Remove Stephen Bannon

(NYT) President Trump has told senior aides that he has decided to remove Stephen K. Bannon, the embattled White House chief strategist who helped Mr. Trump win the 2016 election, according to two administration officials briefed on the discussion.

The president and senior White House officials were debating when and how to dismiss Mr. Bannon. The two administration officials cautioned that Mr. Trump is known to be averse to confrontation within his inner circle, and could decide to keep on Mr. Bannon for some time.

Judi Lynn

Confederate memorials being removed at Wisconsin cemetery

(AP) The mayor in traditionally liberal Madison, Wisconsin, has ordered the removal of a cemetery's monuments to Confederate soldiers, saying the Civil War was "a defense of the deplorable practice of slavery" and "an act of insurrection and treason."

One of them, a plaque called "Confederate Rest" that lauds the Confederate soldiers buried at the Forest Hill Cemetery as "valiant," was taken down Wednesday. The other, a large stone monument that lists the names of the soldiers, will require heavy machinery to be removed, Mayor Paul Soglin told The Associated Press on Thursday.


WikiLeaks Turned Down Leaks on Russian Government During U.S. Presidential Campaign

(Foreign Policy) In the summer of 2016, as WikiLeaks was publishing documents from Democratic operatives allegedly obtained by Kremlin-directed hackers, Julian Assange turned down a large cache of documents related to the Russian government, according to chat messages and a source who provided the records.

WikiLeaks declined to publish a wide-ranging trove of documents — at least 68 gigabytes of data — that came from inside the Russian Interior Ministry, according to partial chat logs reviewed by Foreign Policy. The logs, which were provided to FP, only included WikiLeaks’s side of the conversation.


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