A couple of weeks ago, the Wall Street Journalquoted Fred Malek, the finance chairman of the Republican Governors Association and a leading GOP fundraiser, reflecting on Donald Trump's finances. The presumptive 2016 nominee, Malek said, is facing a fundraising disadvantage that's "huge and not widely understood."
Trump raised just over $3 million in May -- the month he secured enough delegates to win the Republican nomination -- while Clinton raked in more than $26 million, according to the latest filings from the Federal Election Commission.
Those numbers -- weak for a Congressional campaign, let alone a run at the White House -- have put Trump and the Republican Party at an extraordinary financial disadvantage heading into the general election.
I can appreciate why some of these figures and fundraising terms can make eyes glaze over, but it's important to understand just what a disaster this is for the presumptive Republican nominee. As June got underway, Trump had just $1.29 million in the bank (or "cash on hand"). That's a joke. When Rachel noted this on the show last night, she had to check to make sure the decimal point wasn't in the wrong place.
To put that in context, at the same point four years ago, Mitt Romney had $17 million in the bank. Hillary Clinton started June with $42 million.
Heck, Ben Carson -- remember him? -- ended May with $1.7 million cash on hand, and he ended his campaign in early March.
On Twitter in late May, Trump wrote, "Good news is that my campaign has perhaps more cash than any campaign in the history of politics- b/c I stand 100% behind everything we do."
Three weeks later, it's the sort of comment that's become a cringe-worthy punch-line.
Similarly, Trump boasted on NBC's "Today" this morning, "I understand money better than anybody." If that's true, then the Republican candidate should understand just how big a problem he has. (In the same interview, Trump suggested "the party" is to blame for his campaign's financial troubles, which doesn't make a lot of sense.)
Eight days after the deadliest mass shooting in American history, how much has changed on Capitol Hill? Very little.
Four gun policy measures failed to pass the 60-vote threshold to move forward in the Senate on Monday, following impassioned debate from both sides of the aisle.
The votes came just over a week after a deadly shooting spree in a gay nightclub in Orlando -- the nation's worst mass shooting in modern history -- and a subsequent 15-hour filibuster by Senate Democrats who demanded action on gun control.
For a breakdown on what these four proposals were all about, take a look at our report from Friday.
The two key measures -- Sen. Chris Murphy's (D-Conn.) proposal to expand background checks and Sen. Dianne Feinstein's (D-Calif.) amendment on blocking suspected terrorists from buying guns -- were expected to fall short and they did. Murphy's proposal lost on a 44-56 vote, while Feinstein's measure did only slightly better, failing on a 47-53 vote.
There may be some talk about the votes not falling neatly along partisan lines, but the broader truth is more straightforward: nearly every Democrat in the Senate voted for these reforms, while nearly every Republican in the chamber voted against them.
As the Washington Post's Dana Milbank put it, "[O]n the question of closing the 'terror gap' in gun laws, it really isn't a close call.... Republicans responded as if President Obama himself were going door-to-door, confiscating every American's guns."
For those hoping to see meaningful policy changes, last night was the latest in a series of disappointing setbacks, but there were some silver linings in this cloud.
Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, talks with Rachel Maddow about the changing politics surrounding gun safety legislation and the failure of the Senate to heed that change when it defeated four new bills today. watch
Rachel Maddow reports on the history of enthusiastic receptions of American presidents visiting Ireland, and even some less than enthusiastic receptions, but the sheer unpopularity of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in Ireland will likely keep him from visiting while on a trip to nearby Scotland. watch
Rachel Maddow points out that while it's difficult to tell if the firing of Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski is a sign of the campaign falling apart or getting itself together, the campaign so far is not well run by conventional standards. watch
Rachel Maddow reports on the Donald Trump campaign's firing of campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, and notes that campaign manager firings in the past have indicated anything from a campaign's demise to a rallying reorganization. watch
* Afghanistan: "A Taliban suicide bomber attacked a minibus carrying Nepalese and Indian security contractors to work at the Canadian Embassy early Monday, killing 14 people in one of the deadliest attacks on foreign workers in the Afghan capital, the police and government officials said."
* Venezuela's crisis: "In the last two weeks alone, more than 50 food riots, protests and mass looting have erupted around the country. Scores of businesses have been stripped bare or destroyed. At least five people have been killed. This is precisely the Venezuela its leaders vowed to prevent."
* The Justice Department today released an un-redacted transcript of the 911 call made by the gunman in the Orlando mass-shooting.
* A 5-3 ruling: "The Supreme Court on Monday made it easier for police to get evidence admitted in a prosecution even if that evidence was obtained after an unconstitutional stop."
* On a related note, the ruling included a striking dissent: "Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote a searing -- and at times, wrenching -- dissent in a Supreme Court illegal-stop-and-search case in which she accused the conservative majority of giving 'officers an array of instruments to probe and examine you.'"
* Death penalty: "An Alabama appeals court on Friday upheld the validity of the state's death-sentencing law despite a January decision of the U.S. Supreme Court that struck down a similar law in Florida."
* Over the course of just nine days, three different Oakland police chiefs were forced to resign in the wake of assorted controversies.
* Sorry, conservatives, but the ACA is still working: "Fewer Americans reported not having enough money in the past 12 months to pay for necessary healthcare and/or medicines for themselves or their families than at any point since Gallup and Healthways began tracking this metric in 2008."
Sen. Elizabeth Warren made a visit to Hillary Clinton's Brooklyn headquarters on Friday, a stop that is bound to stoke further vice presidential speculation.
Warren greeted staffers, took photos and delivered a pep talk to mark the start of the general election, according to several people present at the visit.
The Washington Post's report added that Warren, according one person in the room, told aides at Clinton's New York headquarters, "Don't screw this up."
A day later, on Saturday, Warren spoke at the New Hampshire Democratic State Convention where she went after Donald Trump again, labeling him a "proven failure" who is unfit to lead.
"Every day we learn more about him, and every day it becomes clearer that he is just a small, insecure money-grubber who doesn't care about anyone or anything that doesn't have the Trump name splashed all over it. Every day it becomes clearer that he is a thin-skinned, racist, sexist bully," Warren said, according to the Huffington Post's report. "Every day it becomes clearer that he will never be president of the United States."
Initially, the Republican National Convention's corporate sponsors steered clear because they feared possible violence. Donald Trump personally raised the prospect of "riots" at the party's gathering, and as we discussed in March, no corporation wants to see photos of fist fights at a national convention with its logo featured prominently in the background.
As spring turned to summer, and the likelihood of unrest at the Republican convention dissipated, some assumed the corporate sponsors would return. As it turns out, that's not quite what's happening. Politico, for example, had this report on one of the planet's most successful businesses wanting nothing to do with the gathering in Cleveland.
Apple has told Republican leaders it will not provide funding or other support for the party's 2016 presidential convention, as it's done in the past, citing Donald Trump's controversial comments about women, immigrants and minorities. [...]
Apple's political stand against Trump, communicated privately to Republicans, is a sign of the widening schism between Silicon Valley and the GOP's bombastic presumptive nominee.
Note, some other tech companies have said they won't sponsor the Republican convention financially, but they are willing to contribute technological assistance. Apple, however, has decided not to play any role whatsoever at the party's gathering.
By all appearances, it's not a strictly partisan move: the tech giant isn't anti-Republican; it's anti-Trump.
And Apple is hardly alone. Bloomberg Politics reported that Wells Fargo, UPS, Motorola, JPMorgan Chase, Ford, and Walgreens each sponsored the Republican convention in 2012, but they've decided not to do the same in 2016. Microsoft and Coca-Cola have already made the same decision.
On paper, the race for the Republican presidential nomination has been over for quite a while. Donald Trump's remaining rivals quit in early May and he's locked up more than enough bound delegates to win on the first ballot. There is no meaningful doubt as to who the GOP nominee will be.
Dozens of Republican convention delegates are hatching a new plan to block Donald Trump at this summer's party meetings, in what has become the most organized effort so far to stop the businessman from becoming the GOP presidential nominee. [...]
Given the strife, a growing group of anti-Trump delegates is convinced that enough like-minded Republicans will band together in the next month to change party rules and allow delegates to vote for whomever they want at the convention, regardless of who won state caucuses or primaries.
There's no shortage of reasons for skepticism, not the least of which is the arithmetic: the WashingtonPost's report said "at least 30 delegates" are involved in the effort. There are 2,472 delegates headed to the Republican National Convention. "At least 30" is a start, but it's safe to say the odds are not in the renegades' favor.
Launched in 2008, “The Rachel Maddow Show” follows the machinations of policy making in America, from local political activism to international diplomacy. Rachel Maddow looks past the distractions of political theater and stunts and focuses on the legislative proposals and policies that shape American life - as well as the people making and influencing those policies and their ultimate outcome, intended or otherwise.