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What first? Today was religion day for Donald Trump, who met with conservative Christians in New York. So how did he do?

Trump’s lack of religious faith is…what’s the right word? I mean, it’s obvious. Really, really, glaringly obvious. He plainly hasn’t thought about religion for more than a few seconds in his entire adult life. And yet, apparently conservative Christians are willing to close their eyes and pretend otherwise. Why? Because he panders to them harder and more explicitly than anyone ever:

As president, he said, he’d work on things including: “freeing up your religion, freeing up your thoughts. You talk about religious liberty and religious freedom, you don’t have any religious freedom if you think about it,” he told the group, which broke in many times with applause.

Throughout the talk Trump emphasized that America was hurting due to what he described as Christianity’s slide to become “weaker, weaker, weaker.” He said he’d get department store employees to say “Merry Christmas” and would fight restrictions on public employees, such as public school coaches, from being allowed to lead sectarian prayer on the field.

….Marjorie Danenfelser of Susan B. Anthony List, which works to oppose abortion…said she couldn’t recall a candidate explicitly stating they would pursue “pro-life” justices. “They usually couch it in other words, like ‘constitutional,’ ” she said.

Remarkable. The reason that even committed religious ultras talk about appointing “constitutional conservatives” to the Supreme Court is that they understand you aren’t supposed to have specific issue litmus tests for judges who are, in theory, making decisions based solely on the law. You’re supposed to just hint at it. Trump is too ignorant to know that, so he just spouts off about appointing pro-life justices—and for people like Danenfelser, Trump’s ignorance becomes a huge selling point. She views it as straight talking.

What else? Mark Cuban had this to say about Trump:

It’s rare when you see someone get stupider before your eyes, but he’s really working at it….But at some point, you’ve got to start learning and understanding the issues. You know, Donald has been at this a year but you don’t look at him and say, ‘Wow, he’s gotten so much smarter on this topic or that topic.’ In fact, you look at him and say, ‘What the hell are you talking about?’ That’s not good for America.

Trump’s ignorance really is phenomenal. Just by osmosis, most people would pick up a fair amount of knowledge if they ran for president. It would be hard not to. But Trump is apparently so proud of his ignorance that he takes considerable pains to avoid learning anything. Even by Trump standards, this is truly peculiar.

But it goes beyond mere ignorance. In today’s edition of the Trump Files, Max Rosenthal shows us a video of Trump not being able to multiply 17 times 6. (Neither could his kids, who acted as if they’d just been asked to solve a differential equation on the fly.) But that’s not what’s so great about this video. Lots of people might screw up this kind of mental arithmetic. What’s great is that even after he’s given the correct answer, he insists that his answer is really the correct one. So be sure to vote for Trump on November 9th! That’s the right day. Not the 8th. No, no, no. It’s the 9th. The 9th. It’s really the 9th.

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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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