'Whole-Life' Pro-Life Democrats Aren't Quite as Advertised
But their party continues to tell them thanks but no thanks

PHILADELPHIA — The pro-life Democrats trying in vain to point out the self-defeating down-ballot and state-level results of their party’s increasing hostility toward them were not quite as NARAL Pro-Choice America president Ilyse Hogue described from the podium on Wednesday night.  

“And the people who so loudly oppose abortion rights? Let me let you into their dirty little secret,’’ Hogue told the crowd. “It’s not abortion that bothers them; it’s empowering women to live their own lives.”  

The Three Less-Noticed DNC Speeches Most Likely to Help Clinton Win
Each of them highlighted a Trump vulnerability

PHILADELPHIA — As anyone who has caught the DNC on television knows, this, even more than the RNC in Cleveland, has already been one unconventional nominating convention, with some boos for the nominee and a couple of “Knock it off!” remonstrations from the podium.  

Some of the early speeches soared , like Michelle Obama’s when she said, “Don’t let anyone tell you this country isn’t great.” (And thanks, Mrs. O, for inspiring my 20-year-old daughter to notice that you refrained from being “mean about Melania” Trump’s speech that borrowed from your own, when that would have been so easy but so unnecessary: “I’m going to remember,” my daughter said, ‘When they go low, we go high .'")  

Harassment, Rape and Donald Trump's Defense of Roger Ailes
Bold talk for a candidate with a historically low standing among women

PHILADELPHIA — All those hacked DNC emails showing the joy of backstabbing , the self-absorption of DWS  and the price of sitting next to the president have, alas, distracted us from another shocking/not that shocking revelation, this one from the GOP nominee.  

On "Meet the Press" on Sunday, Donald Trump stuck up for his old friend Roger Ailes, the ousted (but still well-compensated) head of Fox News, who’s been accused by some two dozen women of trying to pressure them into sex by promising jobs and advancement if they complied and professional consequences if they did not. (Through his famous feminist lawyer, Susan Estrich , he has denied doing any such thing.)  

Chaotic Convention Puts Trump's Managerial Brilliance in Question
And makes a joke of today's theme, 'Making America One Again'

Donald Trump’s biggest selling point is his brilliance as a manager.  

Yet if this week’s Republican National Convention is any guide, a Trump administration would marry the micromanaging of Jimmy Carter, who refused to delegate even the scheduling of the White House tennis courts, with the incompetence of, say, James Buchanan, who held that Southern secession was illegal, but that going to war to keep the country together was, too.  

Faces of the RNC: This Is Mike Miller's 14th GOP Convention
And he can laugh now, looking back at snafus like the time confetti dropped early and caught on fire

CLEVELAND — This is the 14th Republican National Convention  79-year-old Mike Miller has worked on — and his last, he swears, though his friends have heard that before.  

A former Scripps-Howard reporter who covered Congress and then the Pentagon during the Vietnam War, he’s a seven-time RNC media operations director who always pushed for more access for his former colleagues “because I believe that’s how I best serve the party,” he says.  

Melania Appropriates Michelle's Words as GOP Borrows Dem-Style Emotion
A grieving mother and other gut-punchers are center stage on Day 1 of Donald Trump's RNC

The undisputed lowlight of the first night of the Republican National Convention was Melania Trump’s overt and initially dumbfounding plagiarism of Michelle Obama’s 2008 speech at the convention that nominated her husband.  

Homage? No, I think we can safely rule that out. Given that there was zero chance that this appropriation would go unnoticed , we might next wonder if the speechwriter had booby-trapped her prime time moment. Except, isn't her husband a careful monitor of the words she said she wrote herself? He has signed off personally on every speaker at the convention, I’m told, so he would hardly let his wife's address come as a surprise.  

Faces of the RNC
Betsy Gehring, in charge of logistics, fields requests for rooms with a view, or a bar, or a spa

If you think your to-do list is daunting, meet Betsy Gehring , who is in charge of logistics – hotel assignments and delegate travel – for this week’s Republican National Convention .  

Her more interesting list, though, is the one she’s been keeping of all of the special requests that have made her laugh. Some delegates, for example, said they really had to have a room on Lake Erie , with a pool, gym and walking trails. Or in a hotel with a bar , or a spa . Or near someone they like , or far from someone they really do not .  

Mummy Wars, Brexit Edition
Theresa May to Move into 10 Downing after 'Mum-gate'

The incoming British Prime Minister, Theresa May, who will become the UK’s second female head of government on Wednesday, had no competition for the job after her rival, fellow conservative Andrea Leadsom, made the mistake of suggesting that she was better suited to lead the government by virtue of her experience as a mom.

The mythological furies, goddesses of vengeance, had nothing on those tweeting Brits who tore into Leadsom after she told the Times of London that while May “possibly has nieces, nephews, lots of people,” she herself had a bona fide biological stake in the future: “I have children who are going to have children who will directly be a part of what happens next.’’

Let's Not Call Dallas Shootings 'Terrorism'
Ascribing a political agenda to every murderering hater just offers an undeserved veneer of rationality

It had to have cost Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings to refer to the shooter in Thursday’s sniper attack on police officers there as a “lone gunman .” Because even now, that phrase has the power to summon the “city of hate ” reputation Dallas has struggled to live down since JFK was killed more than a half-century ago.  

[ Congressional Black Caucus Chair: Dallas Shooter 'Terrorist by Any Definition'  ]  

'Abraham Lincoln Is Grieving For His Party'
Steny Hoyer on Trump, Clinton and His Dismay that Kathleen Matthews Didn't Win

In Roll Call’s Power Brokers newsmaker series, presented by United Health Group, Rep. Steny H. Hoyer sits down with Roll Call editor-in-chief Melinda Henneberger to discuss the lack of female members in the Maryland delegation, the FBI’s probe of Hillary Clinton’s private emails and the Democratic party’s chances of taking control of Congress.

In Puerto Rico, One Expectant Mother's Zika 'Nightmare'
Slathered in mosquito repellent, wearing a citronella bracelet and protective clip-on fan

In Florida, the first case of a baby born with Zika-related microcephaly — an abnormally small head — was confirmed on Tuesday, bringing the total in the 50 states and the District of Columbia to five.  

On Capitol Hill, Senate Democrats spent the day killing $1.1 billion in funding to fight the mosquito-borne virus. (This over GOP provisions involving the Confederate flag, a ban on any Zika-related funding going to Planned Parenthood, and a proposal that would have weakened environmental restrictions on the use of insecticides.) Now, the Senate won't even consider Zika funding again until July 7 at the earliest, after the Fourth of July recess.  

Roll Call Columnists on SCOTUS Abortion, McDonnell Decisions
'Where's the consistency, people?'

What we've seen from federal courts lately is a distaste with the way government prosecutors pursue corruption cases against high-ranking public officials, from the late Sen. Ted Stevens to Gov. Bob McDonnell. I'm not the first to say this, but scandalous behavior and criminal activity are not one and the same. Often, the scandalous aspect of a public official's action is that distasteful things are technically legal. It's important that the court clarified a definition of what constitutes a quid pro quo exchange.  

[ Supreme Court Overturns McDonnell's Bribery Conviction ]  

So Far, Brevenge Not So Tasty
But the fury of Brexit and pro-Trump voters has an appeal that 'staying the course' lacks

The four stages of Brexit ? Bregret , bremorse , brecession and maybe, brecount .  

Before you could say, "Oh bollocks but we didn’t need a global downturn,’’ Donald Trump declared himself delighted at Britain’s decision to exit from the European Union .  

How the House Sit-in Happened, and What Happens Now
Organizer Katherine Clark, of Massachusetts: 'I had that sinking feeling'

After the shootings in Orlando took a record-breaking 49 lives, Rep. Katherine Clark , D-Mass., says she got “that sinking feeling that we were going to have yet another moment of silence” on the House floor in response.  

Not that she doubts the sincerity of her Republican colleagues in offering their prayers and condolences to survivors and the families of victims, she said in an interview. But she and others couldn’t bring themselves to participate in a ritual they felt had been rendered downright disrespectful by repetition.  

Sexual Assault a Personal Issue for Rep. Ann Kuster
New Hampshire Democrat, attacked three times: 'We are all Emily Doe'

Last week, after members of Congress took turns reading the complete court statement of the woman sexually assaulted by a Stanford University swimmer, half a dozen of them were so struck by her words that they decided to speak out about their own experiences and those of women close to them.  

“We were all discussing that sexual assault and sexual harassment in the workplace had happened to us” over the years, too, Rep. Ann McLane Kuster , a New Hampshire Democrat, said in an interview on Tuesday evening, but “none of us had ever spoken about it, either.  

What Trump Supporters Talk About When They Talk About Trump
'Illegal aliens hurt black people the most'

Throughout the Republican Party’s presidential primaries, New York billionaire Donald Trump has stirred controversy with remarks about minorities, women and the disabled. Yet he draws at least some support from those groups, and Roll Call Editor-in-Chief Melinda Henneberger attended a recent Trump rally to hear why.

RICHMOND, Va. — Waiting to get into Trump's rally here on Friday night, a 23-year-old man who grew up on Navy Amphibious Base Little Creek in Virginia Beach says he had been drifting away from his family’s conservative beliefs until Donald Trump came along.  

“Out of high school, I was as liberal as can be,” says Michael, who didn’t want to give his last name. So when he cast his first ballot in 2012, it was for Barack Obama .  

Why Removing the Judge Who Gave Stanford Swimmer a Tap on Wrist Is a Terrible Idea
Judge Aaron Persky let Brock Turner off way too easy, but we can't fire judges for being wrong

When Rep. Ted Poe , of Humble, Texas, was a judge himself, back in Harris County, he made national news by not only sentencing an abusive husband to jail but also making him apologize to his wife on the courthouse steps. He forced shoplifters to wear placards marked “CONVICTED THIEF” outside the stores they’d stolen from, and sent out cleanup crews doing community service clearly marked as criminals, too.  

“Public punishments,” they called it. In a 1998 interview , Poe explained that he’d seen way too many perps with excellent self-esteem, and found humiliating them an effective way to curb their criminal impulses.  

Longest-Serving Woman in the House Sticks by Sanders, For Now
Rep. Marcy Kaptur: 'Let him get a night's sleep!'

For the longest-serving woman in the House of Representatives, who also happens to be a Democrat, Hillary Clinton’s historic moment on Tuesday night was not exactly an unalloyed joy.  

That’s because Rep. Marcy Kaptur , of Ohio, was an ardent supporter of Bernie Sanders – and still is.  

Roll Call Columnists on Tuesday's Primaries
Who was that delivering Donald Trump's speech for him?

Melinda Henneberger : Hillary Clinton didn’t so much play the woman card as a whole darn deck of them, and given the historic nature of the night, that was as it should be.  

But who was that delivering Donald Trump’s victory speech for him? Haven’t seen that guy before, though the real @RealDonaldTrump did show up just long enough to make a pee pee joke and promise that as president, he'd take the best possible care of "our African Americans." And among other pressing questions, why did Melania and Ivanka look so grief-stricken? Somebody had a serious Come To Jesus, and it seems to have inspired fear.  

25 debates, 9 Democrats and 1 expensive race to replace Chris Van Hollen
Some takeaways from the talkathons in Maryland's 8th District

The nine Maryland Democrats whose April 26 primary will decide who beats the Republican in Chris Van Hollen's  district have debated a stupefying 25 times . And even the two talk-a-thons I attended in recent weeks left no doubt that:  

Businessman David Trone , who’s poured more of his own money into this race than any congressional candidate in history, relieving his heirs of a total of $12.4 million, seems to have united his rivals in opprobrium.