1) We think it would be fun to be a candidate like Donald Trump, who can say pretty much anything without regard for things like facts. The latest ones – that African Americans kill 81 percent of white homicide victims and that Muslim residents of Jersey City erupted with joy when the World Trade Center towers came down on 9/11 – both have been rated as "pants on fire" by Politifact, which says 75 percent of his statements checked by the group are "mostly false," "false" or the aforementioned "pants on fire."
2) In a broader piece meant to get the media to simmer down about Mr. Trump already, Nate Silver at fivethirtyeight.com pulls out some interesting numbers: Mr. Trump has the support of 25 percent to 30 percent of the 25ish percent of Americans who identify as Republicans. That's about 8 or 9 percent of the overall electorate ... or, in other words, not nearly enough votes to register much of a blip in a general election. And what do the rest of us think of Mr. Trump? Among Republicans overall, his approval ratings have dropped steadily since July; among all voters, more than half have an unfavorable view of The Donald.
3) One other thing to remember about the Trumpernator: Criticism equals "unfair" treatment in his eyes. And that could mean running as an independent instead of as a Republican.
4) Republicans and Democrats in Harrisburg agree that the tentative budget agreement has hit a snag; they don't agree on the reason.
5) ICYMI this morning: Vladimir Putin is threatening Turkey, a NATO member, after that country shot down a Russian fighter over what it says is Turkish airspace and, it also says, after repeated warnings. Stay tuned for an emergency NATO meeting and some serious maneuvering to follow.