The Trump campaign is working on a few "tweaks" to his tax plan:

An updated version of Donald Trump’s tax cut will be about one-third the size of the previous $10 trillion version, two campaign advisers said on Wednesday.

One-third! Down from $10 trillion to $3 trillion. I guess when you're as fabulously wealthy as Donald Trump, $7 trillion hardly seems worth fussing over.

We've known all along that Trump's "policy" proposals were mostly meaningless, but this is sure a brazen confirmation. I can't wait for his new wall proposal: "We've tweaked it from 2,000 miles to 600 miles, and that's already built. Mr. Trump gets things done!"

On July 5, FBI Director James Comey held a press conference about Hillary Clinton's email server. By all accounts, his narrative was devastating. She had been "extremely careless." She had sent and received documents now considered classified. She had used her private server while traveling in unfriendly countries. There was a strong possibility that her server had been hacked.

As it happens, Comey overstated a lot of this stuff. But he did say it. And the reaction of the press was nearly unanimous: Comey had validated many of the worst charges against Clinton. There would be no indictment, but it was certain to hurt Clinton badly. And yet, look what happened according to the Pollster aggregates:

In the week following Comey's press conference, nothing happened. Clinton's poll numbers were basically flat, and then bumped up a couple of points. As near as I can tell, Comey's lengthy rebuke had no effect at all.

This is genuinely puzzling. Sure, the email affair had been going on for a long time and people were pretty tired of it, but Comey made genuine news—all of it bad for Clinton. At the very least, you'd expect a dip in the polls of two or three points for a few weeks.

Why didn't anyone care? Is this a sign that everyone's minds are made up, and there's basically nothing that can change the race at this point? Or does it mean that emailgate was a much smaller deal than we political junkies thought it was?

Wait! Melaniagate Isn't Over After All!

Melaniagate lives! There are still some questions to be answered:

I'm sure McIver will claim that (a) she worked on the speech only in her off hours, and (b) she did it solely because of her deep and abiding love for the entire Trump family.

And here we are. The final chapter in the Melania Trump plagiarism story. Meredith McIver, who has written some of Donald's books and helped Melania write her speech, has taken the fall.

They could have fessed up to this early Tuesday morning and avoided all the angst. Why didn't they? Who knows. More to the point: it seems as if all of Trumpland spent the entire day yesterday insisting that the disputed parts of Melania's speech were just common phrases and nobody plagiarized anything. Steven Dennis summarizes:

So are all these folks going to apologize for obviously trying to deceive everyone they talked to? I think we know the answer to that.

Donald Trump Keeps the Bad News Coming

The fuss over Melania Trump's plagiarism is finally dying down. So what does Donald do? He keeps it going by finally deciding to offer up a comment:

Why would he do this? There's no way to spin this into good news. Does he think he can eventually morph it into some kind of devastating attack on the hated liberal media? Will he spend half his speech on Thursday complaining about the treatment of his wife? The mind boggles.

A Peek Inside a Donald Trump Presidency

According to the New York Times, Donald Trump Jr. approached John Kasich a couple of months ago:

Did he have any interest in being the most powerful vice president in history? When Kasich’s adviser asked how this would be the case, Donald Jr. explained that his father’s vice president would be in charge of domestic and foreign policy.

Then what, the adviser asked, would Trump be in charge of?

“Making America great again” was the casual reply.

Is this actually true? Normally I'd say it sounds ridiculous, but keep in mind that this is Donald Trump we're talking about. Maybe he really does think he can just snap out a few orders—build a wall! destroy ISIS! cut taxes!—and let a guy like Kasich figure out how to get it done. In the meantime, he'll barnstorm the country holding rallies and conducting fireside chats on Twitter.

In any case, this belongs in the category of too good to check. If it's not true, it ought to be.

Obama Is the Guy Who Made America Work Again

The theme of the convention tonight was supposed to be "Make America Work Again." But Donald Trump has a famously short attention span, and apparently that's spilled over into the scheduling of the entire convention. As near as I can tell, not a single person talked about jobs and the economy except maybe soap opera star Kimberlin Brown, who grows avocadoes and spent several minutes railing against Obamacare.

However, I didn't watch every minute of the convention, so maybe I missed one of the early C-list speakers talking about jobs. On the off chance that this happened, I have two charts for you. First, here's a re-up of one of my favorites, showing that Republicans did everything they possibly could to keep America from recovering while Obama was president:

As you can see from the various red and orange lines, Republicans were eager to increase spending for Reagan, Bush Jr., and Bush Sr.—at least until he lost the election and Clinton took over. Then they cut back. For Obama, they depressed public spending from the start. That's the blue line. Today, more than six years after the official end of the recession, public spending is more than 20 points lower than the trendline for Reagan and Bush.

Nonetheless, check out Obama's record on job growth:

Even with two big tax cuts and a housing bubble, Bush Jr. managed to create only 10.9 million jobs. Obama, even with the headwind of Republican obstruction, has created 13.1 million jobs so far.

You can decide for yourself how much credit presidents deserve for the strength of the economy on their watch. But one thing is sure: Obama started with the worst recession since World War II, and six years later he's created over 13 million jobs; the unemployment rate is under 5 percent; inflation is low; and the economy is growing faster than nearly any other rich country. Imagine what he could have done if Republicans hadn't stood in his way the entire time.

Ben Carson warned GOP convention-goers about Hillary Clinton's close relationship with Lucifer.

Today was just plain boring compared with yesterday. Still, I guess I can dig up five favorite moments:

  • Trump campaign defends Melania Trump's plagiarism by saying, "This concept that Michelle Obama invented the English language is absurd."
  • The official theme of the evening, "Make America Work Again," is completely missing in action. Does that count as a moment? A non-moment? Whatever it is, it makes the list.
  • In its place, the vaguely creepy chant "Lock her up" turns into the official slogan of the evening.
  • Donald Trump Jr., the son of a famously flamboyant billionaire, rails against the "self-satisfied people at the top, our new aristocrats."
  • Ben Carson tells us that Saul Alinsky dedicated his book to Lucifer; Hillary Clinton wrote a college thesis about Alinsky; therefore Clinton is…a Satan worshipper?

Obamacare rates are going up in California:

Premiums for Californians’ Obamacare health coverage will rise by an average of 13.2% next year — more than three times the increase of the last two years and a jump that is bound to raise debate in an election year.

....Two of the state’s biggest insurers — Blue Shield of California and Anthem Inc. — asked for the biggest hikes. Blue Shield’s premiums jumped by an average of more than 19%, according to officials, and Anthem’s rates rose by more than 16%.

That's gonna hurt. And it's going to be a big political football too. Just keep in mind what I told you a few weeks ago: Obamacare rates have been way under projections ever since the program started in 2014. Even if premiums go up 13 percent nationwide, the average will still be around $4,746, far less than the $5,616 the Congressional Budget Office originally projected for 2017.

Trump Auctions Himself Off to Wall Street

Check this out:

Donald Trump has told prospective donors that, if elected president, he plans to nominate former Goldman Sachs banker Steve Mnuchin for U.S. Treasury Secretary.

That’s according to Anthony Scaramucci, a high-profile hedge fund manager and Trump fundraiser....Earlier this year, the 53-year-old Mnuchin joined Donald Trump’s campaign as national finance chairman.

Trump's message to Wall Street is: The guy calling you for donations is going to be Secretary of the Treasury in a few months. So no worries: treat him right and he'll treat you right.

This comes via Jordan Weissmann, who has about the right take on things: "Promising to pick a Wall Street banker whom you have charged with the task of raising money for your campaign from other Wall Street bankers to head the Treasury Department may be the single most straightforward way a presidential candidate could auction himself off to the financial services sector." Trump is quite the man of the people, no?