TIME Morning Must Reads

Morning Must Reads: Aug. 4

Capitol
Mark Wilson—Getty Images The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC.

More than two years ago, Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus set about reforming the debating process for the GOP nomination to prevent a repeat of 2012’s 23 debates—which promoted party infighting and left its ultimate standard-bearer battered. Last night’s “Voters First” forum in New Hampshire is the clearest indication that Priebus has largely succeeded in that goal thus-far. The bloodless two-hour event featured two-rounds of questioning of the candidates, almost entirely geared to each candidates’ strengths and stump speeches. (Lindsey Graham got foreign policy questions, Rick Perry: immigration, John Kasich: budget, and so on…) Squeezing 14 candidates in such a small time-frame left the forum feeling like watching televised speed-dating, in which candidates practiced their well-honed pick-up lines. The most contentious questions came to Sen. Rand Paul over his foreign policy and domestic surveillance positions—not as softball as the rest, but beliefs he is well-practiced in defending. All in all, the forum was virtually indistinguishable from every other candidate cattle-call over the last 18 months, other than the fact it took speeches were usually given over two or three days and condensed them into two hours.

Thursday night will be different, not least because Donald Trump will be on stage. Fox New will make the final determinations for entry at 5 p.m. today, but the latest polling indicates that the roster of candidates filling the top 10 spots in national polling (and thus eligible for the debate) looks like this: Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Mike Huckabee, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Chris Christie, and John Kasich. The rest of the field will participate in an undercard forum a few hours before the 9 p.m. Tuesday main event.

Elsewhere in politics, President Obama will meet with American Jewish leaders Tuesday to defend his Iran nuclear deal. And Hillary Clinton will be in Denver participating in what her campaign calls a grassroots event.

Here are your must-reads:

Republicans Brace for Biggest Week Yet in Presidential Race
TIME’s Sam Frizell previews a pivotal week in the contest

Unhappy Voters Shake Up Presidential Race
Anti-establishment candidates find an eager following [Wall Street Journal]

Republican Effort to Strip Planned Parenthood Funding Stalls in Senate
Democrats block procedural motion in mostly partisan vote [Washington Post]

Move to Fight Obama’s Climate Plan Started Early
GOP has been plotting response for months [New York Times]

Sound Off

“I’ve heard this question before…” — Texas Gov. Rick Perry cutting off the moderator at the Voters First Forum when asked which government agencies he’d like to cut — a redo of his famous 2012 brain-freeze. Perry said he’d get rid of Obamacare, but this time didn’t list a single agency. Oops?

“Economic growth is not an end to itself…I think with economic growth comes a responsibility to help people who are living in the shadows. Our whole purpose is to give people a sense that the American Dream is still alive, and that we all can rise.” — Ohio Gov. John Kasich asked why he’s running took a thinly-veiled shot at former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush at the forum

Bits and Bites

Carly Fiorina Prepares to Miss the Cut for First Republican Debate [TIME]

NBA Investor Backed Scott Walker Super PAC Before Stadium Push [TIME]

How Data and Programmatic TV Will Dominate the 2016 Presidential Campaign [AdWeek]

Trump Counters Rivals With Reminders of Past Generosity: His [New York Times]

Scott Walker Given Fake $900m Check from Koch Brothers for ‘Climate Denial’ [The Guardian]

Cash-Strapped Rick Santorum Campaign Reshuffles Staff [Politico]

Parody Harvard Crimson Editorial Endorses Donald Trump [Boston Globe]

Here Are the Polls Fox News Will Use to Select the Candidates for the First GOP Debate [New York Magazine]

TIME Congress

Watch Elizabeth Warren’s Speech in Defense of Planned Parenthood

She was speaking before Monday's vote on a defunding proposal

Senator Elizabeth Warren has criticized members of Congress who want to defund Planned Parenthood.

“Do you have any idea what year it is?” Warren asked, speaking before Monday’s Senate vote on the defunding bill. “Did you fall down, hit your head and think you woke up in the 1950s or the 1890s? Should we call for a doctor?”

Warren was speaking after covertly recorded videos released by the Center for Medical Progress showed Planned Parenthood officials discussing the costs associated with fetal-tissue extraction. That footage, roundly criticized by both parties, set off a political firestorm, with Republicans alleging that the conversations proved that staffers were selling baby body parts for profit.

Senator Joni Ernst introduced a bill involving the sweeping defunding of the organization, in a bid to hit back against what, in a recent TIME op-ed, Ernst and Senators Rand Paul and James Lankford called “callous actions that strike at the moral fabric of our society.”

In response, Planned Parenthood has maintained that the videos were taken out of context and alleges that they were edited.

The Senate later voted down the bill, but the issue is expected to resurface as Congress attempts to pass spending bills later in the year.

TIME Scott Walker

NBA Investor Backed Scott Walker Super PAC Before Stadium Push

Scott Walker, governor of Wisconsin and Republican U.S. 2016 presidential candidate, waves after speaking during The Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, U.S., on Saturday, July 18, 2015.
Daniel Acker—© Bloomberg Finance LP 2015 Scott Walker, governor of Wisconsin and Republican U.S. 2016 presidential candidate, waves after speaking during The Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, U.S., on Saturday, July 18, 2015.

On the day before Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker launched a push this spring to spend $250 million in public funds on a new arena for the Milwaukee Bucks, the super PAC promoting Walker’s presidential campaign received a large check.

The May 27 donation to Unintimidated PAC, for $150,000, came from a limited liability corporation connected to Jon Hammes, a Milwaukee-area businessman and investor in the NBA franchise, as first reported by the Capital Times. Hammes has since signed on as a national finance co-chairman of Walker’s presidential campaign.

A Walker campaign aide noted the stadium deal, designed to keep the Bucks from bolting Milwaukee, had been brewing for months before the two-term governor announced his support for the latest proposal on May 28. The aide told TIME it was “a dangerous leap” to imply the decision to back the agreement was made for the benefit of an influential donor. Hammes has long been a supporter of Walker, donating more than $15,000 to Walker since 2005.

It’s not clear that the deal brought any political benefits for Walker’s presidential campaign. Free-market think tanks and powerful conservative organizations that have long been supporters of the governor denounced the use of public money to help finance a stadium for the team’s billionaire owners. Among them was the Wisconsin branch of Americans for Prosperity, the Koch-backed group that played a significant role in Walker’s election victories.

If the Bucks owners gained from the agreement, Hammes was not the only—or even the primary—beneficiary. One of the club’s majority owners, financier Marc Lasry, is a top fundraiser for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Others have also donated to Democratic candidates.

Walker has cast the arena deal as a way to protect taxpayers from the loss of current and future tax revenue that would ensue if the Bucks skipped town.

“This plan protects taxpayers from the loss of current and future tax revenue generated by the Bucks and visiting teams and supports a new arena without tax increases or state bonding,” Laurel Patrick, a spokeswoman for the governor, told TIME in June.

Unintimidated PAC, which like other super PACs is permitted to raise and spend unlimited sums in support of its favored candidate, is prohibited from coordinating with Walker’s campaign. While Walker was not yet a candidate at the time of the donation, his pre-campaign and super PAC had already established a so-called firewall preventing coordination in accordance with Federal Election Commission rules.

The Wisconsin legislature approved the arena deal last month in a pair of bipartisan votes.

TIME Congress

Senate Democrats Block Move to Defund Planned Parenthood

Senate Democrats blocked a proposal to defund Planned Parenthood Monday.

The Republican proposal failed to reach a 60-vote threshold needed to overcome a filibuster in a 53-46 vote that fell mostly along party lines. Only two Democrats, Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Joe Donnelly of Indiana, backed the bill.

The proposal came after a series of undercover videos were released by the Center for Medical Progress, a group of anti-abortion activists, which showed Planned Parenthood staffers and others who work with the organization discussing fetal tissue donations. The legislation was sponsored by Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa.

The bill’s failure does not mean the fight is over, however. Some House Republicans have said they won’t vote for any government funding bills which contain money for Planned Parenthood.

The dispute has entered the 2016 presidential contest as well. In a two-minute web video released Monday, Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton defended Planned Parenthood, arguing that Republicans are engaged in a “full-on assault on women’s health.”

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who is running for the Republican presidential nomination, told the Dallas Morning News he will consider all procedural tools to defund the organization.

TIME Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton’s Favorite TV Shows Include Madam Secretary and The Good Wife

The 2016 hopeful also loves HGTV

Hillary Clinton sat down for an interview with South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Jaime Harrison in a slightly less formal seat than her regular venues: a rocking chair.

Harrison’s “Chair Chats” series is meant to be a more personal discussion than the average presidential interview, acknowledging that politicians are people, too. It accordingly kicked off with plenty of talk about Clinton’s granddaughter, Charlotte Clinton Mezvinsky, and how much fun the former Secretary of State is having as a grandmother. As for who’s the better diaper changer, Hillary or Bill, she said, “We both were out of practice.”

Harrison also grilled Clinton on her favorite TV shows, and she listed two on-the-nose series, Madam Secretary and The Good Wife, as well as costume drama Downton Abbey. “But what I relax by,” she said, “is House and Garden TV,” naming some of her favorite HGTV programs to kick back and enjoy, such as Love it or List it and Beachfront Bargain Hunt.

Clinton and Harrison also tackled more serious matters like education and the Black Lives Matter movement. “There are some who say, ‘Well, you know, racism is a result of economic inequality,'” she said. “I don’t believe that. I think income inequality is, in large measure, a symptom of underlying racism.”

She would not answer a question on which Republican she’d prefer to face in the general election, arguing that she still needs to make it through the Democratic primary.

[Chair Chats]

TIME Carly Fiorina

Carly Fiorina Prepares to Miss the Cut for First Republican Debate

Presidential Candidates Gather At Western Conservative Summit In Denver
Theo Stroomer—Getty Images Carly Fiorina speaks during the Western Conservative Summit at the Colorado Convention Center on June 27, 2015 in Denver, Colorado.

She's still polling between 1% and 3% in most national polls

Two months ago, Carly Fiorina was dead set on breaking the top ten of national Republican presidential polls, so she could make it on the main Fox News debate stage Thursday night in Cincinnati.

“I’ll be on the debate stage. I’ll be on the debate stage,” she responded in June, when asked by TIME what would happen if she did not make the top ten.

Now, with the first debate just three days away, Fiorina’s campaign is preparing to miss the mark. The former CEO of Hewlett-Packard has struggled in the polls since the beginning of her candidacy, still often clocking in between 1% and 3% in national polls, lower than what she would need to crack the top ten.

Fiorina’s campaign sent around a memo Monday that downplayed the importance of making the main debate stage. “We’ve always acknowledged that debates are important to introduce Carly and speak to voters,” the memo from Terry Neese, her national finance chairman, says. But Neese continues: “We know that what polls say in July or August does not predict what voters will say in 2016. We have built an operation that can go the distance and win. Our strategy does not depend on any one single event to propel our candidate forward.”

Fiorina herself espoused similar sentiments on Saturday, speaking at the Koch-funded Freedom Partners conference: “Truth is we don’t know what debate we’re in yet and we don’t know what polls are being used,” she told Politico. “These national polls mostly measure national name ID. I would also say that at this same point in presidential cycles past, the polls, the pundits, and the money predicted that Jimmy Carter would lose, Ronald Reagan would lose, Bill Clinton would lose, and Barack Obama would lose.”

Fiorina will be on a debate stage Thursday, just likely not the main event. Those GOP candidates who don’t make the main debate stage will participate in a smaller event on Fox several hours earlier. As of now, those in danger of being in the runner-up debate include Fiorina, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, and former New York Gov. George Pataki.

TIME Starbucks

Friends Of Starbucks’ CEO Want Him to Run Against Hillary

Starbucks Holds Annual Shareholders Meeting
Stephen Brashear—Getty Images Starbucks Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz.

Better latte than never for Schultz

Hillary Clinton is still the presumptive favorite to become the Democratic nominee for the U.S. presidency. But high-powered friends of Starbucks’ CEO Howard Schultz are reportedly eager to anoint him as a challenger to Clinton.

The 62-year-old CEO has been urged by supporters to join the Democratic primary, with friends “thinking the time is right for someone who’s not a political lifer,” according to Maureen Dowd’s latest New York Times column. The idea, Dowd postulates, could “be a tempting proposition” for Schultz, and offers a worthy party back-up to Clinton should something unforeseen happen to her candidacy.

It would mark a shift for Schultz if he does enter the presidential ring. In an interview with Time in February, Schultz was adamant that he would not run for President in 2016: “I don’t think that is a solution. I don’t think it ends well,” he said in the story. He threw a cautious endorsement of Clinton, saying he was content to “see what Hillary does.”

Schultz has long been vocal about the role of government and its failure in addressing the nation’s pressing issues. In 2013, Schultz started a Starbucks-led petition to end the government shutdown, and delivered more than 2 million signatures to the White House in their “Come Together” campaign. While promoting his book For Love of Country, Schultz talked about the lack of leadership from the U.S. government and politicians: “The country is longing for leadership and for truth with a capital T,” he told Dowd in a New York Times story.

It was a message he repeated at Starbuck’s Investor’s Day meeting last December.

“The country is definitely not going in the right direction. There is a significant void of leadership in America and around the world,” he said in one report. “I strongly believe that businesses and business leaders have a significant responsibility to do all we can to bring our people along with us and share our significant success … and not wait for Washington because the void of leadership is getting bigger and bigger.”

If he does run, Schultz will be handed the difficult task of defeating Clinton. In the latest numbers by RCP, around 58% of those polled would choose Clinton as the Democratic nominee for President, three times more than runner-up Bernie Sanders.

TIME China

What Is Happening to China’s Stock Market?

Here's what to know

After climbing by 150% in the last year, China’s stock market has taken a tumultuous turn. The market has fallen by 30% over the past month, sparking worries amongst investors across the globe.

What happened to the Chinese stock market, and how did it take such a steep plunge? Watch the video above to find out.

TIME 2016 Election

Republicans Brace for Biggest Week Yet in Presidential Race

A debate that could winnow the field is just part of a critical campaign stretch

For months, the 2016 Republican presidential field has mushroomed to include an almost-unheard-of 17 candidates. This week, the field could finally start to narrow

The top 10 candidates based on national polling will gather in Cleveland on Thursday for the first prime time, nationally-televised debate of the campaign. In a public spectacle millions of Americans are likely to tune in to Fox News for, the 10 will lay out their cases, zing their opponents, fall prey to gaffes—and try to avoid getting sucked into The Donald Trump show.

The seven candidates whose polling numbers are too minuscule for the main event will participate in an undercard event on Fox several hours earlier, playing to a much smaller audience. And while it’s unlikely any candidates will actually drop out this week, those who don’t make the cut will be flirting with anonymity and eventual defeat.

“You know, I’ll be very happy on Tuesday when the standings come out and I’m in there,” New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who is on the cusp of missing the cut for the premier debate, said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union. “Once you get on the stage, it’s not going to matter if you’re No. 1, No. 5 or No. 10. … I’m confident I’ll be there on Thursday night.”

In addition to the debate, 14 of the 17 GOP contenders will speak one at a time Monday night in Manchester, N.H., for a candidate forum that will be broadcast live on CSPAN and in three early-voting states. And on Friday and Saturday in Atlanta, 10 candidates are set to meet for the annual RedState gathering hosted by the influential conservative website.

The GOP debates are as much a pitfall to stumble over as they are an opportunity to shine. In November of 2011, then-Texas Gov. Rick Perry famously forgot the name of the third agency he would eliminate as president, saying only “oops”—a moment that dominated the news cycle and was largely responsible for his eventual defeat in the primary. A strong performance by Mitt Romney in his second debate against President Obama in October 2012 briefly helped boost his momentum and tighten the race with the incumbent Democrat.

This year, the Fox News rules for participating in the debate make it an extremely close contest to be on the national stage. An average of the last five polls show seven of the top 10 candidates—including Ben Carson, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Ohio Gov. John Kasich—within about three percentage points of one another.

The candidates who miss the top-tier debate will be relegated to a smaller forum that will be broadcast earlier in the evening. Those who could be in the undercard event include Perry, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, and former New York Gov. George Pataki, who are all polling at about 3% or less nationally among Republicans.

With the ever-provocative Donald Trump leading the Republican field and set to be center-stage in the GOP debate, candidates are scrambling to prepare to face the real estate mogul and take a bite out of his support. Strategists are divided over the best way to approach Trump, and whether they should attack him or try to stay above the fray.

“I’m not a debater, I’ve never debated before,” Trump said Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press. “I guess my whole life has been a debate in one way but I’ve never been on a stage debating.”

Reince Priebus, the Republican National Committee Chairman, has come under fire about the rules for entering the first debate, but he’s defended the guidelines—which were set by Fox News, not the party—and pointed to the fact that there are basically two debates.

“All seventeen candidates,” Priebus said on Meet the Press, “are going to be participating in debate night. So everyone’s going to have an opportunity, and I think that’s wonderful for our party.”

TIME Donald Trump

Donald Trump’s Companies Tried to Import at Least 1,100 Foreign Workers

EOS 5D Mark III Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Presidential candidate said he would create and project American jobs

Companies owned by GOP frontrunner Donald Trump have sought at least 1,100 foreign worker visas since 2000—a practice that stands in stark contrast to Trump’s self-portrayal as a presidential candidate who would create and project American jobs.

A Reuters’ analysis of Department of Labor data shows that nine Trump-majority-owned companies have applied to bring waitresses, cooks, vineyard workers, and other laborers into the country on foreign worker visas. Most of the visa applications have gained approval, Reuters says. Palm Beach, Fla., resort Mar-a-Lago Club has sought the most foreign workers of the nine Trump-owned businesses. It has submitted applications for 787 workers since 2006. This month, it sought to bring in 70 foreign workers to work as maids, cooks, and servers on H-2B workers later this year.

The visas the Trump companies have relied on the most—H-2B—is a subset of the H-2 visa program that covers nonagricultural foreign workers. (H-2A visas are for farm workers.) The H-2 program is often criticized for leaving workers vulnerable to employer abuses. Last month, a Buzzfeed investigation portrayed the system as one that—at times—fosters modern-day slavery.

Trump has failed to outline a specific economic agenda, but in announcing his candidacy in June, the contender for the Republican presidential nomination said that he “will be the greatest jobs president that God every created. I will bring back our jobs from China, Mexico and other places. I will bring back jobs and our money,” Trump said.

He has since come under fire for lashing out at Mexican immigrants: “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best,” he said in the speech. “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.” (He later specified that “legal” Mexicans are “incredible people” and have worked for his companies for years.) A poll released Monday found that of 250 Latinos surveyed, 75% viewed the television star and real estate mogul unfavorably.

Labor data doesn’t specify the country of origin for recipients of H-2B visas, but Reuters says that a large number of the foreign workers employed by Trump companies through H-2B visas could be Mexican, since in 2013 more than 80% of the more than 100,000 workers admitted to the U.S. on H-2B visas were from Mexico.

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com