Quick Morning News

Morning Jumpstart

  • Nice truck attack: 84+ killed
  • Politicians’ reax
  • Obama: Town hall on race
  • Trump postpones VP pick
  • Trump’s convention: Benghazi – no Palin 🙁
  • Clinton slams Trump to Latino group
  • Classified 28 pages on 9/11 out today?
  • Congress slinks off for 7-week recess
Nice Truck Attack: 84+ Killed (BBC, Reuters, TMN, me)
• At least 84 people have died, including children, and 18 people are critical in the hospital, after a truck zigzagged through a large crowd celebrating Bastille Day in the southern French city of Nice. The driver plowed on for 2km on the Promenade des Anglais about at 11 pm local time, before being shot dead by police
• President Francoise Hollande said the attack was of “an undeniable terrorist nature.” A state of emergency, in place since November’s Paris attacks, has been extended by three months. France had been on high alert since those attacks in which 130 people died and hundreds were wounded
• “All of France is under the threat of Islamic terrorism,” Hollande said. The president added that “operational reserves” would be deployed to support the army and security forces across the country, with particular focus on the borders. On social media, ISIS supporters celebrated
• The gunman was a 31-year-old Franco-Tunisian born in Tunisia, a police source close to the investigation said. The man wasn’t on the watch list of French intel services, but was known to police in connection with common law crimes such as theft and violence, the source said. He opened fire before police shot him dead

• No one has yet claimed responsibility, however prosecutors said the inquiry would be handled by anti-terror investigators. A reporter said the incident took place as the firework display was ending, adding: “We saw people hit and bits of debris flying around.” An image on Twitter and videos showed about a dozen bodies lying in the street (no comment necessary – brutal horror)

Politicians’ Reax (Hill, AP, Hill, me)
• President Obama condemned what he said “appears to be a horrific terrorist attack” in Nice. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and other loved ones of those killed.” Noting the attack occurred on Bastille Day, Obama praised “the extraordinary resilience and democratic values that have made France an inspiration to the entire world.”
• Hillary Clinton vowed that “every American stands in strong solidarity with the people of France, and we say with one voice: We will not be intimidated. We will never allow terrorists to undermine the egalitarian and democratic values that underpin our very way of life.” She called for an “intelligence surge.”
• Donald Trump said “this is war. If you look at it, this is war coming from all different parts.” “This has to be dealt with very harshly. I’d be making it very, very hard for people to come into our country from terrorist countries.” Trump also demanded Obama refer to “Islamic terrorism” (because that will terrify ISIS into stopping right. now. cold.)

• European Council president Donald Tusk said, “It is a tragic paradox that the victims of the attack were people celebrating liberty, equality and fraternity. We will stand united with the families of victims, the French people and the govt in the fight against violence and hatred.”

• Watch: Some of the world’s most famous musicians of color – including Beyonce, Rihanna and Pharrell Williams – have appeared in a powerful political video. “23 Ways You Could Be Killed If You Are Black In America” has each celebrity read out one of the ways an African-American has been killed by police officers. It’s put together by Alicia Keys – and is must-see
Obama: Town Hall on Race (NYT, Hill, AP, me)
• In an hourlong televised event on Thursday, President sought for solutions to issues between police and minority communities by promoting a broad dialogue on race and reconciliation. Calling for “open hearts,” he urged Americans not to cloister themselves in separate corners (easier said than done – America’s most challenging issue has stayed that way for a reason)
• “The phrase ‘Black Lives Matters’ simply refers to the notion that there’s a specific vulnerability for African-Americans that needs to be addressed, Obama said. “It’s not meant to suggest that other lives don’t matter; it’s to suggest that other folks aren’t experiencing this particular vulnerability.” (ok – can we move on now?)
• Cameron Sterling, 15, the son of Alton Sterling, a black man killed by police in a confrontation in Baton Rouge, was the first with a question. “I ask that you keep all of these families and my family safe, and the people, and the rest of the good police officers safe from bad people and bad police officers. I ask for your help to unite all the races of this world.” (this kid is amazing)
• Texas Lt Gov Dan Patrick (R) asked “you to consider not being too quick to condemn the police without due process and until the facts are known.” An irritated Obama said he has been “unequivocal in condemning any rhetoric directed at police officers.” “I’ll be happy to send it to you in case you missed it.”

• In a particularly tense moment at the end of the town hall, the daughter of a man who died in a police confrontation started screaming after being denied a chance to question the president. “I was railroaded!” she yelled. Erica Garner, daughter of Eric Garner, later met briefly with Obama in private, the WH said (very sad – it was two years ago – someone messed up here)

• Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg apologized Thursday for her remarks about Donald Trump: “On reflection, my recent remarks in response to press inquiries were ill-advised and I regret making them. Judges should avoid commenting on a candidate for public office. In the future I will be more circumspect.” Trump (whined) that “it wasn’t really an apology (actually, he’s right…) (TMN, me)
Trump Postpones VP Pick (AP, NYT, TMN, TMN, TMN, me)
• Donald Trump abruptly postponed plans to announce his VP pick following a day of rampant speculation, citing the “horrible attack” in Nice, France, that left scores dead. Trump had planned to hold his first event with his yet-to-be-named running mate this morning in New York (so this gives him more time in case he hasn’t decided and he isn’t overshadowed = win/win)
• The stunning announcement raised questions about the status of Trump’s selection process. Gov Mike Pence (R-Ind) had emerged as a late favorite for the job, though Trump said he hadn’t finalized the pick and advisers cautioned he could change his mind. “I haven’t made my final, final decision,” Trump said on Fox News (anyone else bored with the show yet?)
• In addition to Pence, Trump’s VP shortlist included former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga) and Gov Chris Christie (R-NJ), according to people familiar with Trump’s thinking. Pence flew to New York late Thursday, according to a Republican familiar with the process. Pence is a staunch conservative who is popular with GOP leaders
• Trump didn’t say when he plans to announce his running mate. He’s up against a clock: The GOP convention kicks off in Cleveland on Monday. Pence is running for reelection, but Indiana law prevents him from seeking two offices at once. He faces a deadline today to withdraw from the governor’s race (doesn’t mean the announcement has to be made, though)
• Top party officials are grappling with a rules fight that could increase the odds of nationally televised clashes at the convention. Late Thursday, a committee at the Republican convention defeated an effort by conservatives who want to let delegates vote for any presidential candidate they’d like. Conservatives hoped that would lead to blocking Trump’s nomination
Trump’s Convention: Benghazi – No Palin 🙁 (NYT, WaPo, TPM, me)
• A night highlighting the tragedy in Benghazi, Libya. A presentation detailing former President Bill Clinton’s sexual misconduct. Donald Trump’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland lacks many of the party’s rising stars, but he’s eager to put his showbiz stamp on the gathering (really? sexual misconduct and Hillary Clinton’s “enabling?” really?)
• There are several women speaking. They include Pam Bondi, the Florida AG, who tangled – to her detriment – on TV with CNN anchor Anderson Cooper after the Orlando nightclub massacre; Eileen Collins, the first woman to command a space shuttle mission; Sen Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) (famed pig castrator) and Trump’s wife, Melania (famous for saying Trump isn’t Hitler)
• There are a few African-Americans, like Jamiel Shaw Sr, who became an outspoken advocate for tougher immigration laws after his son was killed by an undocumented immigrants. From sports the RNC said there would be former quarterback Tebow – Update: no, it was a “rumor”; Dana White, president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship and professional golfer Natalia Gulbis

• A handful of governors and other lawmakers are scheduled to give addresses, including former primary opponents Sen Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Gov Scott Walker (R-Wis), Gov Chris Christie (R-NJ) and former Gov Mike Huckabee (R-Ark), as well as retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson (hometown Ohio Gov John Kasich will be notably absent, though)

• Talk Media News will provide special on-the-scene coverage from the Republican National Convention in Cleveland next week 18 – 21 July. Check back here with Talk Media Newsthroughout the day and throughout the week for the latest scoop
No Sarah Palin? Trump: “Long Ways Away”
• Trump’s children are scheduled to speak. But what is striking is who isn’t on the list: Sarah Palin? “She was asked,” Trump said. “It’s a little bit difficult because of where she is. We love Sarah. Little bit difficult because of, you know, it’s a long ways away.” (hahaha how about sending your plane? – you can see Russia from her house – that would be a treat for the pilot)
• Night 1 is Benghazi followed by anti-immigrant border control agents, and other speakers. Night 2 is the economy. The nominee for VP on Night 3 as well as other speakers. Donald Trump on Night 4, as well as others. (not sure which night is the Bill Clinton Sexy Fest)
• Not speaking are the GOP’s past two presidential nominees, Mitt Romney and Sen John McCain (R-Ariz), as well as its only two living former presidents, George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush. None will be in Cleveland for the fun (think about it – the four most prominent Republicans – not coming)

• Also excluded from the list are many of the party’s more diverse rising stars, including Gov Nikki Haley (R-SC), Gov Susana Martinez (R-NM), Sens Marco Rubio (R-Fla) and Tim Scott (R-SC) and Rep Mia Love (R-Utah) (hmmm wonder why not…)

• Some Senate Republicans were “freaked out” about polls showing Donald Trump leading or tied in several battleground states during a private meeting with Hillary Clinton in the Capitol Thursday. Clinton said people are unhappy and they don’t trust institutions (no, they don’t trust you – if you don’t deal with reality, you won’t win) (Hill, me)

Clinton Slams Trump to Latino Group (AP, Hill, me)
• Hillary Clinton vowed to expand President Obama’s executive actions on immigration after the Supreme Court’s deadlocked decision, calling on Latino voters to help stop what she called GOP rival Donald Trump’s efforts “to fan the flames of racial division.”
• “Donald Trump is running the most divisive campaign of our lifetime. His message is that you should be afraid,” she told a gathering of Latino activists. “We’ve got to come back twice as strong and twice as clear. We have got to say with one voice that Latinos are a vital part of the American community.” (the key is registration and showing up to vote)
• Speaking at the convention of the League of United Latin American Citizens on Thursday, Clinton promised to create a clearer immigration system where immigrants with “sympathetic cases” or a history of community service can be eligible for special status
• She also vowed to eliminate family detention centers, which hold undocumented immigrant families, including children and babies, for weeks or even months in what advocates call prison-like conditions while they wait for legal procession. “I’m going to work my heart out but I need your help,” Clinton said. “This is your election.”
• Trump’s promises to build a wall along the Southern border, create a special deportation force to catch undocumented immigrants and references to Mexican immigrants as criminals and rapists have alienated many Latino voters. “They will nominate someone who thinks Latino outreach is tweeting a picture of a taco bowl,” said Clinton
• SecState John Kerry is in Russia, where he met President Putin Thursday evening. Kerry took a proposal to boost military and intel cooperation against ISIS and al Qaeda in Syria, despite doubts among U.S. defense and intel officials (Reuters)

Classified 28 Pages on 9/11 Out – Today? (CNN, WashExam, Independent, me)

• The long-classified 28 pages detailing alleged ties of the Saudi Arabian govt to the 9/11 hijackers will be released by Congress as early as today, sources told CNN. The secret doc was part of a 2002 congressional investigation of the attacks and has been classified since the report’s completion. Turns out there are actually 29 pages (will believe it when I see it)

• WH spox Josh Earnest wouldn’t confirm the report. “I don’t have a specific date to confirm for you,” he told reporters Thursday. “Any time we’re talking about declassifying and releasing sensitive national security info, we need to weigh the diplomatic equities involved,” he said (they really don’t want it out)

• “It is going to increase the questioning of the Saudis’ role supporting the hijackers,” said former Sen Bob Graham (D-Fla), who chaired the investigating committee. “Would the U.S. govt have kept info that was just speculation away from American people for 14 years if somebody didn’t think it was going to make a difference?” (point)

• “There were clues. There were allegations. There were witness reports. There was evidence about the hijackers, about people they met with – all kinds of different things that the 9/11 Commission was then tasked with reviewing and investigating,” said former Rep Tim Roemer (D-Ind), who was part of the congressional inquiry and on the 9/11 Commission

• Both Democratic and Republican members of Congress said they would pass legislation to compel the release of the docs if President Obama didn’t. A senior Saudi official said that Riyadh will make any potential suspects available for interviews by U.S. authorities. So far, the official said, the Saudi govt has received no such requests

• This is the best: Map of all the countries that new British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has offended or insulted – it’s interactive so you can click on a country to find out just how rude he’s been. Oh yes, the U.S.A. is in there… (Independent, me)

Congress Slinks Off for 7-Week Recess (AP, Hill, TMN, me)

• Congress exited a sweltering Washington on Thursday, its dysfunction on full display as it left behind must-do legislation to combat the mosquito-borne Zika virus and a stalemate over lawmakers’ basic job of fulfilling agency budgets (so stock up on Deep Woods Off! – because the pols did nothing to help you. nothing)

• Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis) trumpeted victories on opioid abuse legislation and other, more modest bills. But a continuing impasse over the Pentagon budget sent McConnell’s effort to revive the process for advancing annual spending bills off the rails (roll on short term spending bills in the fall)

• Calls by Democrats for modest curbs on gun sales went unheeded as lawmakers embarked on a seven-week vacation extended by the national political conventions this month. (stunning – not even guns) Democratic nominee-to-be Hillary Clinton paid a visit to Senate Democrats amid new polls showing a tightening race against Donald Trump

• As the last act before lawmakers sped away from the Capitol, Senate Democrats again blocked a $1.1 billion take-it-or-leave-it Zika measure drafted by Republicans controlling Congress, protesting a provision that would block Planned Parenthood clinics in Puerto Rico from receiving money to fight the virus

• “The Republicans are choosing vacation over protecting pregnant women and their babies from these terrible birth defects that can be prevented,” said Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev) from the Senate floor (would love to see an analysis of how what percentage of U.S. senators can actually get pregnant…)

• Mick Jagger, 72, is expecting his eighth child. OMG. WTF. His girlfriend, Melanie Hamrick, 29,is pregnant. She’s a ballerina. Rocking into the weekend with “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” (but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need)

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Victoria Jones – Editor
News is news
Comments are my own
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