Quick Morning News

Morning Jumpstart

  • GOP convention: Chaotic Day One
  • Did Melania’s speech rip off Michelle’s?
  • Clinton: End “senseless killings”
  • Baton Rouge shooter sought out police
  • Freddie Gray case: Another officer not guilty
  • WH asks SCOTUS to rehear immigration case

GOP Convention: Chaotic Day One (Politico, NYT, AP, Hill, TMN, TMN, me)

• Donald Trump’s supporters painted a dark and dystopian portrait of an America in decline on Monday, as a parade of people spoke about a country slipping from their grasp, cops getting gunned down in the streets, and their family members slain by illegal immigrants (was a real razor blade Monday, folks)

• But a self-inflicted scheduling blunder which infuriated schedulers – the Trump campaign put the evening’s headliner, Melania Trump, well before the prime-time hour ended – had the networks turning away before the precious hour of tree TV had been used up. Worse, her speech bore a striking resemblance to a Michelle Obama speech from 2008 (oh come on, ya think?)

• People inside the hall streamed for the exits as Lt Gen Michael Flynn droned on, and NBC wrapped up its hour, after some banter from its anchors, with a shot of a shockingly empty arena (partee time – or just exhausted after the shouting in the afternoon after the chair in a sort of fascistic way rode roughshod over delegates who demanded a roll-call vote – see below)

• It was a rough end to a day that began with Trump’s campaign feuding with the popular GOP governor of Ohio, and in between featured shouting and jostling on the convention floor as the party tried to stomp out the last embers of the Never Trump campaign. All day, cable chyrons spoke of disunity and chaos (about right – reflection of the candidate himself)

• Of the 71 prime-time speakers expected to take the podium over the course of the convention, more than 80% are white. Perhaps most striking, only seven of the speakers are black and just three are Latino. Women compose one-third of the speaking slots (not sure why I even put that in – this is supposed to be news – that’s just a given, really)

• Listen: “I just don’t understand if anyone is hesitating about getting behind our candidate,” Sen David Perdue (R-Ga) told Talk Media News. “This is a guy that won Michigan and Mississippi on the same day. When’s that ever happened?”

• Rudy Giuliani, the former New York mayor, spoke in prime-time about “why our enemies see us as weak and vulnerable” and of the terrorists planning to “come here and kill us.” “There’s no next election,” he said, “This is it.” He was hugely popular with the crowd
• Melania Trump stood out, in an all-white dress, as a beacon of positivity, hailing her husband’s tenacity: “He will never, ever give up and most importantly he will never ever let you down.” She was introduced by Trump, making a a weird sort of foggy, over-dramatic entrance that overshadowed her – which seemed rather unfair

• More than an hour earlier, a series of speakers delivered intense, emotional addresses about family members killed by illegal immigrants and why they supported Trump – and opposed Hillary Clinton. But MSNBC, CNN and Fox News didn’t carry those speeches, sharply limiting the audience. It was fallout, in part, of the way the Trump campaign arranged its schedule

• Trump himself (of course) trampled all over the emotional testimony. He called in live to Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, which switched away from the mother of one of four Americans killed in Benghazi to hear his thoughts. As Patricia Smith held back tears on stage and the crowd roiled with anger, Trump told O’Reilly, “I’m probably the least racist person there is.” (naturally)

• Former underwear model Antonio Sabato, who delivered a speech supporting Trump, told ABC Go that President Obama is “absolutely” a Muslim “I don’t believe the guy is a Christian. I don’t believe he follows the God that I love and the Jesus that I love. I think that he has had an agenda from the beginning.” He said Obama has “never” spoken about Jesus – (really? really?)

• One Republican convention-related arrest was reported Monday morning, involving a local man who pleaded not guilty to a petty theft charge after allegedly attempting to lift a gas mask from a Ohio state trooper. Police Chief Calvin Williams said the man may be suffering from an undisclosed mental illness. There were peaceful protests, with some carrying guns openly (TMN)

• Many of the party’s past and future stars were glaringly missing from the lineup, underscoring the concerns some GOP leaders have with closely aligning themselves with Trump. The businessman has cast aside decades of Republican orthodoxy in his unexpected political rise, creating a crisis within the GOP about its future

• GOP divisions erupted briefly on the floor Monday afternoon after party officials adopted rules by a shouted voice vote. Anti-Trump forces seeking to derail his nomination responded with loud and angry chants, though they were quickly quieted and there were no lingering signs of the protests as delegates returned to the convention hall for the evening program

• But campaign officials undermined their own effort to unite the party Monday by picking a fight with the hugely popular Gov John Kasich (R-Ohio), who isn’t attending the convention and has yet to endorse Trump. Campaign chair Paul Manafort called Kasich “petulant” and said the governor was “embarrassing” his own party in his home state. Ohio GOP pols were livid

• House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis) seemed to be avoiding Trump – even though Ryan was at the convention. Speaking to delegates Monday morning, he didn’t mention Trump. Ryan, asked later whether Trump was really a conservative, said: “Define conservative; he’s not my kind of conservative.” (Ryan’s speech today should be interesting)

• Trump on Monday morning on Fox News suggested that Obama was in cahoots with cop killers. “I watched the president and sometimes the words are OK, but you just look at the body language. There’s something going on. Look, there’s something going on and the words are not often OK, by the way.” (what’s “going on” sounds like a bit of racism and the politics of fear)


• Talk Media News is providing on-the-scene coverage from the Republican National Convention in Cleveland all this week. Check back here with Talk Media News throughout the day and throughout the week for news and interviews

Did Melania’s Speech Rip Off Michelle’s? (NYT, TMN, me)

• Whether Melania Trump wrote her own speech is up for grabs. She said on camera Monday: “I wrote it.” Early today, the Trump campaign put out a statement saying she had a “team of writers” and “in some instances” it “included fragments that reflected her own thinking.” Trying to protect her? Taking one for the team? Contradicting her, for sure

• Melania 2016: My parents impressed on me the values: that you work hard for what you want in life. That your word is your bond and you do what you say and keep your promises. That you treat people with respect. They taught me to show the values and morals in my daily life. That is the lesson that I continue to pass along to our son

• Michelle 2008: And Barack and I were raised with so many of the same values: that you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond and you do what you say you’re going to do; that you treat people with dignity and respect, even if you don’t know them, and even if you don’t agree with them (only way around this is she channeled the speech psychically)

• Watch Melania Trumps’s apparent plagiarism of Michelle Obama’s speech here (NYT)

• Melania 2016: And we need to pass those lessons on to the many generations to follow. Because we want our children in this nation to know that the only limit to our achievements is the strength of your dreams and your willingness to work for them

• Michelle 2008: And Barack and I set out to build lives guided by these values, and pass them on to the next generation. Because we want our generation – and all children in this nation – to know that the only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them (yeah there’s actually no way around this)

• (It’s notable that Michelle Obama speaks about her husband as well, whereas Melania Trump doesn’t even mention Donald Trump in these passages. Trump is on TV this morning. Watch for him to rip the press over his own campaign’s – or his wife’s – screw-up – just cannot wait) The similarity in the passages was first pointed out by Jarrett Hill on Twitter

• Democratic National Committee chair Rep Debbie Wasserman Schults (D-Fla) told reporters during a conference call Monday: “We’re here [Cleveland] because if elected Donald Trump would severely damage our economy, diminish our standing in the world and make our communities less safe.” (TMN)

Clinton: End “Senseless Killings” (Politico, AP, me)

• Hillary Clinton on Monday called for an end to the “senseless killings” that have ignited controversy across America. “Killing police officers is a terrible crime,” she said. “That’s why our laws treat the murders of police so seriously. Because they represent the rule of law itself. If you take aim at that and at them, you take aim at all of us.”

• Speaking to the NAACP annual convention in Cincinnati, she said: “We have difficult, painful work ahead of us to repair the bonds between our police and our communities and between and among each other.” “Another hard truth of this complex matter is that many African-Americans fear the police. I can hear you.”

• Change, Clinton said, “can only happen if we build trust and accountability. And let’s admit it: That gets harder every time someone else gets killed. So now is the time for all good people who agree that these senseless killings must end to stand up, speak out loudly and clearly.” (Clinton should have said some of this on Sunday – she missed an opportunity – really silly)

• Clinton has proposed a series of reforms to the criminal justice system, including developing national guidelines on the use of force by police, new investments in bias training, legislation to end racial profiling and funding for body cameras. She has also pushed for cutting mandatory minimum sentences, particularly for drug offenses

• “Rosa Parks opened up every seat on the bus. Our challenge now is to expand jobs so everyone can afford the fare,” she said, prompting applause. “And let’s ensure that the bus route reaches every neighborhood and connects every family with safe affordable housing, good jobs and quality schools.” (don’t understand her press people – she should be all over the media this week)

• Watch: “Confessions of a Republican II” – good new web ad from Hillary Clinton featuring Bill Bogert on how he’s a lifelong Republican who doesn’t trust Donald Trump, can’t vote for him, but must vote in November. Bogert was originally featured in “Confessions of a Republican” in 1964 during the Barry Goldwater campaign – the ads mimic each other (1964 is must-see and even better)

Baton Rouge Shooter Sought Out Police (Reuters, Reuters, me)

• The black Marine Corps veteran who shot dead three policemen in Louisiana’s capital deliberately sought out officers to assassinate them, police officials said in Baton Rouge on Monday, as the U.S. reeled from the latest deadly shooting involving police and African-Americans

• “There is no doubt whatsoever that these officers were intentionally targeted and assassinated,” said Louisiana State Police Superintendent Colonel Mike Edmonson, adding that video showed that gunman Gavin Long “completely dismissed” a number of civilians while walking around wearing black with a gun. The video “is chilling in the sheer brutality of the shooting,” Edmonson said

• Authorities said three guns were recovered from the scene. Edmonson said the gunman “had been in our community for several days” and that police could not yet rule out his having assistance in planning the attack. Long was a 29-year-old from Kansas City, Mo. He was shot dead on Sunday morning in a gunfight with police

• The suspect said he wanted to change his name from Gavin Eugene Long to Cosmo Ausar Setepenra in May 2015, according to Jackson County, Mo, records. But court officials said he never completed the process. A website, YouTube videos and social media accounts that appeared tied to Long included praise for killings of the Dallas policemen

• Long also affiliated himself with the Washitaw Nation, an African-American offshoot of the Sovereign Citizen Movement, a group whose members view the federal govt as illegitimate. A senior member of the group, Frederix Washington, said, “We know nothing about this man. We don’t give cards out. IDs out.”

• President Obama wrote an open letter to “brave members of our” law enforcement community Monday posted on the Fraternal Order of Police’s Facebook page. “As you continue to serve us in this tumultuous hour … we should give you the resources you need to do your job, including our full-throated support,” he wrote (Politico)
Freddie Gray Case: Another Officer Not Guilty (WaPo, Baltimore Sun, TMN, me)

• A judge on Monday found the highest-ranking officer charged in Freddie Gray’s arrest and death not guilty on all counts, dealing a devastating blow to prosecutors, who have now tried four of the six officers initially indicted without winning a conviction. The verdict renews questions about whether the state should move forward with charges against the remaining officers or not

• Judge Barry Williams acquitted Lt Brian Rice, 42, of manslaughter, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office after a week-long bench trial, finding that Rice didn’t commit a crime when he loaded Gray into a police transport van without seat-belting him. Gray suffered a fatal neck injury as he was being taken to a police station

• Gov Larry Hogan (R-Md) said Monday that he doesn’t see the point of moving forward with the remaining trials against the officers. “It’s a waste of time and money,” Hogan said. “But that’s up to the court system to decide.” (prosecution has messed this up – overreach – handled it badly – if Rice wasn’t convicted, it’s unlikely anyone else will be)

• Williams’ verdict echoes his findings in the trials of two of the other officers. In each case, the judge focused on whether the officers deliberately disregarded the dept’s general orders requiring them to seat-belt detainees. For a third time, he has found their actions weren’t criminal. Two more officers await trial, one at the end of July and one in October

• In Rice’s case, the judge said prosecutors didn’t prove the lieutenant acted with “wanton and abandon indifference to human life” just because he didn’t put Gray in a seat belt. Williams added that failing to follow a general order requiring seat belts, even if Rice had been aware of it, “is not inherently criminal conduct.” (so nobody is held accountable so far)
WH Asks SCOTUS to Rehear Immigration Case (Reuters, me)

• In a last-ditch effort to revive a WH plan to protect up to 4 million immigrants from deportation, the Obama admin on Monday asked the Supreme Court to rehear a case on which the eight-member court was split 4-4 last month (this was a bit of a surprise)

• The decision left in place a lower court ruling that blocked the plan, which has never been in effect. The court is currently one justice short following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February. The DoJ asked the court to take a second look at the case once it has a full complement of nine justices – likely after President Obama leaves office (gamble that Clinton wins…)

• Acknowledging that the high court rarely rehears cases, Acting Solicitor General Ian Gershengorn said the immigration case is unique because the court couldn’t in future take another case to resolve the issue if the plan is blocked. The high court “should be the final arbiter of these matters through a definitive ruling,” he wrote

• Obama unveiled his plan in November 2014. It was quickly challenged in court by GOP-governed Texas and 25 other states that argued that Obama overstepped the powers granted to him by the Constitution by infringing upon the authority of Congress

• The plan was tailored to let roughly 4 million people – those who have lived illegally in the U.S. at least 2010, have no criminal record and have children who are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents – get into a program that shields them from deportation and supplies work permits

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Victoria Jones – Editor
News is news
Comments are my own