Quick Morning News

Morning Jumpstart

  • Protesters, police clash
  • Obama to speak: Dallas memorial service
  • RIP: 5 Dallas police officers
  • Dallas gunman planned wider attack: Police
  • Explosions shake South Sudan’s capital
  • Trump veepstakes: General? Governor?
  • GOP convention: Fight starts today
  • Sanders to endorse Clinton Tuesday?
Protesters, Police Clash (Reuters, WaPo, NYT, AP, NoLa, Politico, TMN, TMN, TMN, me)
• Officers stared down hundreds of shouting protesters near a ramp onto I-110 in Baton Rouge, La, Sunday night before another squad in riot gear arrived to make arrests. Earlier Sunday, some 2,000 people rallied outside the Capitol building to protests police killings of black people, State Police Maj Doug Cain said – “very organized and peaceful”
• But as night began to fall, a few hundred people aimed for an on-ramp, trying a tactic protesters were using this weekend in multiple cities. After a lengthy standoff, more police in full riot gear moved in, pinning some protesters as others fled. Some 30 – 40 people were jailed for trying to block a highway, a sheriff’s spox said (not going to win friends stranding motorists for hours)
• That could push Baton Rouge’s weekend arrest total about 160, with just one reported injury to a police officer. Tensions between black citizens and police have risen palpably over the past week or so amid police shootings of black men in Minnesota and Louisiana and the gunning down of five white officers by a black suspect in Dallas in apparent retaliation

• “I remain disappointed in the Baton Rouge police, who continue to provoke protesters for peacefully protesting,” said DeRay Mckesson, a prominent Black Lives Matter activist who embraced supporters Sunday after spending the night in jail (arrested for being on the street – but there was no sidewalk where he was)

• Watch raw: Black Lives Matter protesters close Memphis bridge. Traffic on both sides of I-40 stopped for about four hours Sunday night (AP)

Obama to Speak: Dallas Memorial Service Tuesday
• President Obama cut short an overseas trip and planned on Tuesday to travel to Dallas, where he, along with former President George W. Bush, will address a memorial service. VP Joe Biden and Laura Bush will also attend, the WH said. “I’d like all sides to listen to each other,” Obama said Sunday (there has to be a sense of justice leading to unity – not there yet, it seems)
• “I would just say to everybody who’s concerned about the issue of police shootings or racial bias in the criminal justice system that maintaining a truthful and serious and respectful tone is going to help mobilize American society to bring about real change” Obama said in Spain on Sunday. “It is in the interest of police officers that their communities trust them.”
• Citing Obama’s claim on Saturday that the country isn’t as divided as some suggest, Donald Trump countered that Obama is “living in a world of the make believe.” “Look what is happening to our country under the WEAK leadership of Obama and people like Crooked Hillary Clinton,” Trump tweeted Sunday morning. “We are a divided nation!” (spoken by chief divider)

• Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) said on CBS on Sunday, “When you say black lives matter, that’s inherently racist. Black lives matter, white lives matter, Asian lives matter, Hispanic lives matter. That’s anti-American and it’s racist.” (is it anti-American to say that when black lives really do matter, all lives truly will matter? how is it racist?)

• These two images of a young African-American woman wearing a long dress, standing calmly in the middle of a street in Baton Rouge, peacefully confronting police who are in riot gear, have gone viral. The woman is later arrested after refusing to move. The first is AP and the second is Reuters


• Demonstrators gathered again on Sunday in cities as scattered as Dallas, Falcon Heights, Memphis, St Paul, Baton Rouge, Atlanta and New York City, where 300 people marched silently, fists raised in the air, from Times Square to Union Square, with signs proclaiming “Stop police terror!” and “Stand together.”
• In St Paul, Rashad Turner, leader of the local chapter of Black Lives Matter, told WCCO-TV that the throwing of rocks and bottles at officers was disturbing. He blamed outside agitators for the violence, not the protesters on the freeway. “It’s ridiculous. It cannot happen. It’s not what we do here in St Paul,” Turner said (sounds like outside agitators came to many cities)
• The Congressional Black Caucus called for stronger gun safety measures in the wake of the killing of five Dallas police officers. “We are continuing our fight to remove guns from the hands of would-be terrorists and criminals and require background checks for those seeking to purchase firearms,” said caucus chair Rep G.K. Butterfield (D-NC) (going nowhere)
• Pastors across the nation called for reconciliation and compassion. At St Patrick’s Cathedral in New York, Cardinal Timothy Dolan spoke of a country “worried, frustrated and fatigued over senseless violence.” “From Minnesota to Louisiana and Texas, one nation under God examines its soul,” he said (without unity first, we won’t have peace, well-being or security)
RIP: 5 Dallas Officers (AP, me)
Michael Smith, 55, once received a “Cops’ Cop” awards from the Dallas Police Assn. His positive attitude impressed those around him. “It genuinely troubled him when he saw people treated as objects or when protocol got in the way of personal care,” Pastor Todd Wagner of Watermark Community Church in Dallas, where Smith worked security, said in a statement
Lorne Ahrens at 6’5″ and 300 pounds could intimidate, but his character was kindness. The day before Ahrens, 48, was killed, he bought a homeless man dinner and encouraged fellow officers to greet the man, Jorge Barrientos, another Dallas police officer who was wounded, said. He was married to an officer, and he volunteered at the school his two children attended
Brent Thompson, 43, was an officer with the Dallas Area Rapid Transit authority for the past seven years. There he found love, marrying another transit officer within the past two weeks. Thompson had six grown children from a previous marriage and recently welcomed his third grandchild. He “wanted to save lives and protect people,” Tara Thornton, a close friend, said
Patrick Zamarripa had an urge to serve – first in the Navy, where his family said he did three tours in Iraq, then back home in Texas as a Dallas police officer. His father described him as hugely compassionate. “Patrick would bend over backward to help anybody,” Rick Zamarripa said. Patrick Zamarripa was married with two young children

Michael Krol, 40, was a caring person who always wanted to help others, his mother said. “He knew the danger of the job, but he never shied away from his duty,” said Susan Ehlke in a statement. He had a girlfriend. “He was a guy that was serving others,” said Brian Schoenbaechler,” Krol’s brother-in-law, “And he gave his life in service to others.”

Dallas Gunman Planned Wider Attack: Police (NYT, WaPo, USA Today, AP, AP, TMN, me)
• The gunman who fatally shot five police officers in Dallas was believed to be planning larger attacks, the city’s police chief said Sunday as he provided new details of how the gunman had scrawled letters in his own blood on a wall before he was killed by a bomb-equipped robot and how he had been singing, laughing and taunting officers during negotiations with them
• David Brown, the police chief, said that evidence showed that Micah Johnson, 25, an African-American Army Reserve veteran, had been practicing detonations and that the explosive material had the potential “to have devastating effects throughout our city and our North Texas area.” (feel no regrets that he was killed by a robot bomb – best outcome)
• “We’re convinced this suspect had other plans and thought that what he was doing was righteous” Chief Brown said during an interview on CNN Sunday. The chief said he believed Johnson’s intent was to “make us pay for what he sees as law enforcement’s efforts to punish people of color,” including the fatal shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota
• Brown said that during the two hours of negotiations, Johnson had demanded to speak to a black negotiator, had sung and laughed, and had asked how many officers he had killed. Johnson also wrote the letters “RB” in blood on the walls of the parking garage where he had hidden, an indication he may have been wounded. Not clear what the letters referred to (here we go)

• Brown said Johnson “obviously had some delusion.” he described the gunman as doing “quite a bit of rambling at the scene.” Brown said the police were examining Johnson’s laptop and cellphone and hadn’t completely ruled out the possibility that others were involved (interesting – see below – this guy was like a domestic terrorist, imho)

• On Facebook, Johnson “liked” black militant groups including the African American Defense League and the New Black Panther Party. He also “liked” the Nation of Islam and the Black Riders Liberation Party, which the Southern Poverty Law Center described as “hate groups.” Authorities are investigating whether he was inspired or directed
Gunman Practiced / Army Sexual Harassment
• A neighbor reported to investigators that Dallas gunman Micah Johnson had been seen practicing some sort of military drill in his backyard, said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins. Johnson donned a protective vest and used a military-style semi-automatic rifle for the shootings – the deadliest day for U.S. law enforcement since the 9/11 terrorist attacks
• Officials have revealed that Johnson, who served in the Army Reserve from 2009-2015, had bomb-making materials, ballistic vests, rifles, ammunition and a journal of combat tactics in his home. His journal described a methodical attack in which a gunman can keep moving to confuse the enemy (which he did – and made police think there were multiple killers)
• In May 2014, six months into his Afghanistan tour, Johnson was accused of sexual harassment by a female soldier. The Army sent him stateside, recommending an “other than honorable discharge,” said Bradford Glendening, the military lawyer who represented him
• According to a court filing, the victim said she wanted Johnson to “receive mental help,” while also seeking a protective order to keep him away from her and her family, wherever they went. Johnson was ordered to avoid all contact with her (among other things, he stole women’s underwear – but it sounds like that was the least of it)

• Glendening said Johnson was set to be removed from the Army in Sept 2014 because of the incident, but instead got an honorable discharge months later – for reasons he can’t understand. “Someone really screwed up,” he said. “But to my client’s benefit.” (interesting how, once again, women’s sexual harassment or assaults in the military get short shrift – and how this aspect of the story has been ignored)

• Congress is sprinting to get out of town at the end of this week for a seven-week recess – fights over gun control and Zika funding dominate. Plus, AG Loretta Lynch appears before the House Judiciary Committee Tuesday re her private meeting with Bill Clinton. Lawmakers will send an opioid bill to President Obama for signature (Politico)
Explosions Shake South Sudan’s Capital (BBC, AP, NYT, al Jazeera, me)
• Heavy explosions and gunfire are shaking South Sudan’s capital, Juba, this morning as clashes between govt and opposition forces enter their fifth day, witnesses say, pushing the country back towards civil war. South Sudan on Saturday marked its fifth anniversary of independence from Sudan (country is so broke they had no formal celebrations)
• The UN Security Council on Sunday called on warring factions to immediately end the recent fighting and prevent the spread of violence. In a unanimous statement, the council condemned the fighting “in the strongest terms” and expressed “particular shock and outrage” at attacks on UN sites. It called for additional peacekeepers as a response
• Forces loyal to VP Riek Machar say govt troops supporting President Salva Kiir attacked their positions in Juba. A spox for Machar told BBC on Sunday that the country was “back to war” – but Info Minister Michael Makuei Lueth described reports of war as “dishonest.”
• In a statement on Sunday, the State Dept strongly condemned the latest outbreak of fighting in Juba. Spox John Kirby said Washington had ordered the departure of non-emergency personnel from the U.S. embassy in Juba

• Friday’s exchanges were apparently sparked by a shootout between Kiir’s and Machar’s bodyguards. At least 150 died in the clashes. The two men met at the presidential palace the same day, and issued a call for calm. It’s unclear how much sway they have over their fighters. More than 2.2 million people are displaced by the civil war and over 50,000 have been killed since Dec 2013

• Hamza bin Laden, the son of slain al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, has threatened revenge against the U.S. for assassinating his father, according to an audio message posted online (Reuters)

Trump Veepstakes: General? Governor? (Hill, WaPo, Hill, Hill, Politico, me)
• WashTimes reports that Gov Mike Pence (R-Ind) has a “95%” chance of being Donald Trumps VP nominee, according to sources. Trump has a campaign event in Indiana Tuesday. Trump has said he’ll announce before the GOP convention 18 July. Pence, seeking reelection, would have to withdraw by noon on 15 July to run as VP (he’s the safe choice – Trump may not do safe)
• Trump is increasingly intrigued by the idea of tapping retired Lt Gen Michael Flynn as VP nominee, to project strength and know-how on national security, according to four people familiar with the vetting process. Flynn, a pro-choice registered Democrat, but fierce critic of President Obama, previously ran the Defense Intelligence Agency (Trump could then claim bipartisan)
• The turn towards a military figure is being driven by Trump himself rather than his advisers, the people said, partly as he says national unrest may demand a “tough and steady” presence alongside him. Also by his growing sense that he doesn’t necessarily want or need a running mate who will satisfy GOP insiders, in spite of long saying he’d go in that direction
• Trump is also reportedly also considering retired Army Gen Stanley McChrystal, who stepped down in 2010, after serving as top commander in Afghanistan. He was relieved of his position by President Obama after giving a controversial interview to Rolling Stone, where he made controversial comments about some top U.S. officials, including Obama (both generals attacked Obama)

• Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga), reportedly on Trump’s VP shortlist, is “actively lobbying” for the gig, sources told CNN. Gov Chris Christie (R-NJ) is auditioning for a spot on the GOP ticket, according to Trenton insiders (Trump has turned the veepstakes into a reality game. My money is on a general – today. But I reserve the right to change…)

• North Korea’s military said today it will make a “physical response” to moves by the U.S. and South Korea to deploy the advanced THAAD missile defense system on the Korean peninsula. The U.S. and South Korea said Friday that the system will be used to counter North Korea’s growing nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities (Reuters, TMN)


GOP Convention: Fight Starts Today (Politico, me)

• Anti-Trump Republicans will make their final stand this week, a long-shot bid to hijack the rules of the Republican Party, and deny Donald Trump the presidential nomination. Those fights will play out in two powerful delegate committees. The Platform Committee meets today and Tuesday (this stuff could be vicious this week – Dump Trump v Trump Loyalists)

• Platform Committee: Every four years, this committee of 112 delegates crafts the policy vision and goals meant to represent the official GOP positions on social, economic and foreign policy issues. Usually toothless – but this year Cruz loyalists plan a high-profile effort to preserve the platform’s conservative bent. They think it may be undermined by Trumpers

• Key issues: Same-sex marriage and transgender rights: The GOP platform includes harsh language condemning gay unions. GOP LGBT advocates are circulating language to soften the position. Trump recently met with high-profile transgender activist Caitlyn Jenner. Also: Trade. Abortion. Mexico (rapists, criminals, walls etc. etc.)

• Cleveland police on Friday tightened their security plan for the convention after the deadly shootings of police officers in Dallas, increasing surveillance and intel ops. But Cleveland was still training police officers for duty at the convention. Cleveland police union president Steve Loomis complained before the attack, “They are setting my guys up for failure.” (sounds encouraging)


• Rules Committee: 112 delegates on committee. Anti-Trump delegates led by Colorado’s Kendal Unruh are scraping together support for a plan that would guarantee delegates the option to vote their conscience when picking the party’s presidential nominee – rather than adhere to the results of primaries and caucuses. Trump’s allies plan to stop them cold
• Committee on Permanent Organization: 112-delegate committee meets, headed by former RNC chair Haley Barbour, to recommend the leaders who will run the convention. Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis) is expected to chair. The committee will also select the parliamentarian, who holds great sway should anti-Trump delegates mount a procedural effort to stop him (fly on wall)
• It’s important. Rules and Platform Committee reports must be adopted by the full convention in order to take effect. Delegates on the floor can amend or reject any portions of the reports if a majority differ. Because the floor is governed by the rules of the House of Representatives, the current speaker would have an edge over delegates unfamiliar with the nuances – lot of power

• Watch: 44 seconds of President Obama’s many faces on the campaign trail – including “did I leave the stove on?” and “OK whatever” (Bloomberg Politics)

Sanders to Endorse Clinton Tuesday? (AP, NYT, TMN, me)

• Bernie Sanders held a conference call with reporters Saturday morning to praise a new health care proposal that Clinton had announced. Asked if he was ready to endorse Clinton, Sanders said, “I think it’s fair to say that the Clinton campaign and I, our campaign, are coming closer and closer together. We will have more to say in the very near future.”

• Sanders is expected to endorse Clinton Tuesday morning at a campaign event in Portsmouth, NH, according to several Democrats who are familiar with the planning. Asked if he would campaign with her on Tuesday, Sanders said, “We look forward to continue working with the Clinton campaign and we’ll have more to say as to where we go forward in the near future.” 

• Sanders’ still-impassioned campaign electrified debate over a draft of the Democratic Party’s policy positions Saturday during a frequently combative session in Orlando, winning concessions on climate change but failing to include opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. Boos, shouts, yells, cheers – the meeting had it all
• The draft includes Sanders’ priorities such as a call for a $15 federal minimum wage over time, steps to break up large Wall Street banks and support for the end to the death penalty. The platform is a nonbinding document that serves as a guidepost for the party. The document will be voted on at the convention in Philadelphia this month
• Despite coming together on many pieces of the platform, there were still evident tensions in the room. In the closing moments of the meeting, Sanders supporters shouted down an amendment that implied Hillary Clinton was the nominee (don’t push your luck Hill – just a day or so to go – maybe…)

• An emotional Andy Murray wins Wimbledon for the second time – here are highlights from his straight set win over Milos Raonic – then tops that, meets Benedict Cumberbatch, talks Sherlock and – – newborns. Serena Williams wins her 22nd Grand Slam title, tying Steffi Graf’s record. Portugal beats France 1-0 to win Euro 16 – even with the loss of Cristiano Ronaldo

Get it fast. Sign up here for Morning Jumpstart

Victoria Jones – Editor
News is news
Comments are my own

Victoria Jones created and edits Quick Morning News. She is chief White House correspondent with Washington DC-based Talk Media News, where her insight and analysis are made available to over 400 news talk radio stations around the country and internationally.