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Vox Sentences: Make Trump Trump Again

A shake-up in Trumpland; France's burkini bans, explained; why Ryan Lochte's possibly imaginary robbery matters to Rio.

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A shake-up in Trumpland; France's burkini bans, explained; why Ryan Lochte's possibly imaginary robbery matters to Rio.

The least surprising hire of the 2016 campaign

Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
  • While the news appears to come as a surprise to Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, Donald Trump is (in the words of CNN anchor Brianna Keilar) down. In the polls. "All of them." [The Situation Room via Twitter]
  • So Trump has shuffled his campaign, bringing in Stephen Bannon of Breitbart News as his "chief executive." [Washington Post / Robert Costa, Jose A. DelReal, and Jenna Johnson]
  • A 2015 Bloomberg profile called Bannon "the most dangerous political operative in America," which is one of those epithets that may or may not be intended as a compliment. [Bloomberg Politics / Joshua Green]
  • Bannon's site, Breitbart, has become so closely intertwined with the Trump campaign that the move isn't necessarily a surprise. But it does represent a certain consolidation of the nationalistic, populist energies both Trump and Breitbart have cultivated. (The online racialist "alt-right" is positively giddy.) [The Daily Beast / Betsy Woodruff and Gideon Resnick]
  • The loser in the latest shuffle is Paul Manafort, who replaced loose-cannon brawler Corey Lewandowski in May in the hopes of bringing more professionalism to the campaign, only to see loose-cannon brawler Bannon move in. [NBC News / Benjy Sarlin, Katy Tur, and Ali Vitali]
  • Manafort reportedly was at odds with Trump's efforts to "be himself." He disagreed, for example, with Trump's decision to tweet a picture of himself eating a taco bowl during Cinco de Mayo. (Manafort thought it was needlessly offensive, while Trump doesn't believe those two words can coexist.) [Huffington Post / Howard Fineman]
  • But Manafort couldn't actually stop Trump from tweeting the picture, or from being Trump generally. Trump hasn't exactly been muzzled. Being himself is what has gotten him to this point. [Vox / Andrew Prokop]
  • Then again, given continued revelations about Manafort's connections to the pro-Russian faction of Ukrainian politics — the AP reported Wednesday that Manafort helped route $2.2 million in undisclosed payments to American lobbyists — maybe he would have distracted from Trump's message after all. [AP / Jeff Horwitz and Desmond Butler]

Laïcité goes to the beach

Fethi Belaid/AFP/Getty Images
  • Several French coastal cities have banned "burkinis" (full-body swimsuits consistent with some Muslim customs of female dress) over the past few days. [AFP / Clare Byrne]
  • The most recent ban, in Corsica, was theoretically provoked by a beach brawl over the weekend that began when a group of beachgoers took photos of women swimming in burkinis. [LAT / Kim Willsher]
  • But the ban in Corsica is directly tied to the first ban, in the city of Nice — and the ban in Nice is pretty clearly a result of the aftermath of the July 14 terrorist attack in that city. [ / Pierre Briançon]
  • The French government — including Prime Minister Manuel Valls, who has somehow been persuaded to weigh in — defends burkini bans as an expression of the French principle of "laïcité": a rough approximation of what Americans might call "separation of church and state." [AFP / Clare Byrne]
  • This isn't the first time laïcité has been used to forbid Muslim women from dressing according to their faith in public — or the first time it's been, possibly, used to cover for Islamophobia. [NPR / Audie Cornish]
  • But the sheer silliness of the burkini ban, in a country that certainly still tolerates wetsuits, is generating some international backlash, both humorous and not. [The Guardian / Remona Aly]

Lochte the borders after he'd already flown home

Jean Catuffe/Getty Images
  • Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte says he was robbed at gunpoint in Rio, reinforcing the idea that Rio is an unsafe place that never should have had the Olympics to begin with. [Slate / Laura Wagner]
  • Except there's no evidence of such a robbery, but there is evidence that Lochte and his teammates returned to the Olympic Village with their possessions. [AFP / Sebastian Smith]
  • A judge has ordered Lochte and a teammate to stay in the country (Lochte had already left), and reports indicate they may be charged with lying about a crime.
  • To Brazilians, this is something of a fair comeuppance — some of them have started getting defensive about the Rio bashing that's come alongside Olympics coverage. [NYT / Simon Romero]
  • The New York Times's Roger Cohen agrees: Rio was never going to host a perfect Olympic Games, he argues, and the world should focus more on how close it's come. [NYT / Roger Cohen]
  • Poor Rio residents forced from their homes to make room for the Olympic Village might disagree (though, then again, so would poor Atlanta residents forced from their homes before the 1996 Olympics). [Huffington Post / Travis Waldron and Edgar Maciel]
  • Anyway, the games are still going on too. America is still crushing it in the medal count. [SB Nation]


  • Martha Karolyi is coaching the US gymnastics team for the last time this year. Amid the remembrances and celebration, let's not forget the many gymnasts who have accused her and her husband of psychologically and physically abusing them. [Slate / Jessica Winter]
  • Some say technological advancement is slowing down. This is a strong counterargument. [Mental Floss / Shaunacy Ferro]
  • The Dunkin' Donuts Black Card is the world's most exclusive and prestigious means of purchasing Munchkins. [Business Insider / Kate Taylor]
  • Meet Lonnie Johnson, who endured segregated schools in Alabama to become a NASA engineer, test the first stealth bomber, and invent the Super Soaker. [BBC / Lonnie Johnson]
  • Republican National Committee communications director Sean Spicer chews and swallows five packs of gum a day and also has to defend Donald Trump regularly. It is unclear which is worse for one's health. [Washington Post / Ben Terris]


  • "Tiny Insjön in central Sweden isn't known for pig mask-wearing couples shooting lasers at Pokémon hunters before having sex by a waterwheel. But that could be about to change." [The Local]
  • "Omaha dad finds pot brownies, eats 4 of them, says mean things to cat" [Omaha World-Herald / Kevin Cole]
  • "Look, I went to Penn. I saw Wharton undergrads who are really, really smart kids cheat their way to the top and later get caught when they were out in the world when they were brokers. To me, Donald Trump is the perfect Wharton grad. I’m going to get fired." [Buzz Bissinger to Huffington Post / Jason Fagone]
  • "We do not have to live in a world where the country you are born into becomes the number one determinant of your economic prospects." [Ford Foundation / Michael Clemens​]
  • "What's so great about her and Ezra's relationship is how it's built on a solid foundation of statutory rape and never telling each other the truth until they are backed into a corner and have literally no alternative." [NY Mag / Jessica Goldstein]

Watch this: How architecture changes for the deaf

We live in a world made for people who hear. [YouTube / Estelle Caswell, Gina Barton, and Johnny Harris]