Unthreading Thursday

"This @indystar investigation of sexual abuse and the failings of USA Gymnastics is tough to read at times, but do," advises Joe Rexrode at the Detroit Free Press after reading the USA Today Network report on how USAG protected coaches over kids (at 2,000+ shares so far, and rising). In fact, one of America’s most prominent Olympic organizations had secret complaint dossiers on more than 50 coaches. "How can protecting children NOT be the default response?" wonders Neal Taflinger. It's a damning revelation to publish on the eve of this summer's games, for sure. "When you watch the Olympic gymnastics events, remember: The sport has a very real problem," Indy Star's Zak Keefer points out. Robert Scheer calls it "As important a package as I've ever worked on. About keeping kids safe in the gym."

In other investigations of Olympic nature, a top examiner spills the beans on secret efforts to undermine the Russian doping probe. "The man who ran WADA's Russia investigation speaks publicly. Calls the watchdog a puppy dog," reports ProPublica's David Epstein, that story's author. "Is international sport broken? You judge for yourself," invites Caley Fretz at VeloNews. Meanwhile, the New York Times is covering Brazil’s "other" Olympic spirits: Anger, Anxiety and Indifference. "The mood in #Rio? Not what you'd hope for," wryly tweets journalist Juliana Barbassa. Yeah, you could say that -- apparently there's a bingo game circulating in Brazil for people to bet on which day an attack will occur during the games. What jocularity!

Back to politics, though:

  • It seems there just might be some gaps in Melania Trump's immigration story, raising questions (and a few eyebrows) about her legal status. "Tfw you realize Melania mighta immigrated illegally -- or what was it RNC's platform committee wanted to call that?" crows The Guardian's Lucia Graves. But before we allow schadenfreude to run rampant within certain circles, take note of the latest tweet from WaPo's Rosalind Helderman: "Melania got no pay for 1995 photos, meaning she could have been legally on a visitor's visa. Only she can answer."
  • While some Republicans have opted to keep Donald Trump at arm's length in more diplomatic ways, one member of the GOP is going for a more direct approach, releasing an ad promising to "stand up" to Trump. "Notable lack of vitriol here. What does @repmikecoffman think of Trump? 'Honestly I don't care for him much,'" details NYT's Julie Turkewitz.
  • Trump boasted about watching a "top secret" Iran video immediately after becoming eligible to receive classified briefings. "Can this possibly be what it appears to be? Normally I'd say no. But we left normal behind long ago," admits The Atlantic's Christopher Orr. But is all truly as it seems? Washington Post's Jenna Johnson alleges Trump did not actually watch an Iranian recording of that "controversial money transfer."
  • The struggle was real for Ben Carson, who had to think for a while to come up with a moment when Trump publicly empathized with someone.
  • Pertaining to Trump's campaign officials uncomfortable tango with Latinos, we submit the following without comment: “Do whatever the f**k you want. I don’t know what I’m going to do with you, anyway.”          
  • Simultaneously, Hillary Clinton jumped to a big lead over Trump in a recent Michigan poll, where 60% of voters says Trump is not qualified to be president.
  • But Trump is still fueled by small donations, which have helped him make up some major financial ground. "The Hillary Clinton media minions hope you miss the import of this story," notes Lionel National.
  • That hasn't stopped some wealthy Republicans from campaigning for Clinton: "I wouldn't be able to look at my grandkids if I voted for Trump." Grandkids have factored into this election considerably often.

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