Donald Trump, at daughter Ivanka Trump’s urging, is showing his soft side by proposing paid maternal leave (no paternal leave; maybe because he’s doing fine with male voters). It’s unclear how Trump plans to pay for the leave or why Republicans, who have opposed this kind of plan for years, would suddenly support it. In what was described as a subdued speech, Trump did go on to say — falsely — that Clinton hadn’t offered a maternal leave plan of her own. Clinton’s plan would include 12 weeks of leave for either mothers or fathers. Via The New York Times. On the other hand, the designer who makes Ivanka Trump’s line of clothing doesn’t offer its employees a day of maternity leave.
Our question of the day, from Jamelle Bouie of Slate: If Donald Trump is even less transparent than Hillary Clinton, why do we only hear about Clinton’s secretive side? (Hint: You probably already knew the answer.)
Mike Pence goes back to Congress to ask his friends and colleagues to give Trump another look. The close-to-unanimous response? No deal. Via The New York Times.
Clinton’s trump card
Barack Obama won’t be an October surprise, but he could be Clinton’s trump card in the final weeks of the campaign. Via The Hill.
Just in case
Because you asked, this is what happens if one of the major-party candidates drops out of the presidential race. Via Vox.
If you’re going to read only one article about the upcoming presidential debates, you’ve got a easy choice in front of you. No one on this topic matches the brilliance of the inimitable James Fallows. In his Atlantic piece, Fallows explains why Donald Trump wouldn’t be the Republican nominee without his alpha-male performances in the GOP debates — and why that same alpha-maleness might backfire in a one-on-one matchup against Hillary Clinton.
A fascinating story of how the United States and its allies removed vast amounts of material used to make chemical weapons from a Libyan base as ISIS forces were closing in. Via The Washington Post.
Tar Heeled and feathered
From North Carolina, a Raleigh sports columnist explains how the state’s bathroom law left the NCAA with no choice but to pull scheduled championship games from the state and, with that decision, to strip North Carolinians of a deeply felt point of pride. Via The Raleigh News & Observer.
Not so fast
The National Review has a different take – that the left is weaponizing sports.
Photo credit: Pawel Loj, Creative Commons, Flickr