Quick Morning News

Morning Jumpstart:

  • GOP Day 3: Boos for Cruz = chaos
  • Trump: Defending NATO allies conditional
  • Melania misstep: Meredith McIver = messup
  • Protests: “You’re on fire, stupid!”
  • Obama and Clinton have talked Veeps
  • Texas voter ID law discriminatory
  • Turkey prez: State of emergency


GOP Day 3: Boos for Cruz = Chaos (WaPo, NYT, Politico, AP, TMN, TMN me)


• The Republican convention erupted into tumult on Wednesday night. In the most electric moment of the convention, a clamor broke out as it became clear that Sen Ted Cruz (R-Texas) wasn’t going to endorse Donald Trump, pointedly snubbing the party nominee from center stage on the eve of Trump’s formal acceptance speech (how could he endorse a “pathological liar?”)


• As hundreds of delegates chanted “Vote for Trump!” and “Keep Your Pledge!” Cruz attempted to dismiss the outburst as “enthusiasm of the New York delegation,” only to have Trump himself, stone-faced and clearly angry, suddenly appear in the back of the convention hall and flash a thumbs-up at the delegates (oooh Trump was so cross – and so stupid to let it happen)


• Cruz was all but drowned out as he asked for God’s blessing on the country and left the stage, while security personnel escorted his wife, Heidi, out of the hall. One delegate yelled “Goldman Sachs!” at her – a reference to the company that has employed her, a job that Trump attacked during the primaries (delegates looked like they were going to attack her – very scary stuff)


• Cruz, who has all but declared that he wants to run for president again in 2020, faced Republicans’ fury as he stepped off the stage. And Trump tweeted: “Wow, Ted Cruz got booed off the stage, didn’t honor the pledge! I saw his speech two hours early but let him speak anyway. No big deal!” (but it was a big deal – Trump doesn’t like being thwarted)

• Donald Trump – of course – appeared onstage at the end of Mike Pence’s speech as the crowd gave them a standing ovation. Then Trump moved to give Pence a – – – big kiss on the cheek. But at the very last minute, he air kissed him instead. Yeah, Donnie, don’t think a kiss would have gone down too well with Big Butch Bikers for Trump


• Trump had invited Cruz to speak even though he had doubts that peace was possible after their brutal race, during which Trump repeatedly called him “Lyin Ted” and suggested Cruz’s father had a role in President Kennedy’s assassination (that was the final straw, along with the revolting tweet of side-by-side hideous picture of Cruz’s wife with flattering one of Trumps’s)


• Trump advisers said Wednesday night that Trump held out for the possibility that Cruz would make a last-minute endorsement. (ego ego ego) When no endorsement arrived, and with Cruz sounding like a nominee-in-waiting, Trump grew furious and made an unplanned appearance in the convention hall in a show of gratitude to the balky delegates


• The drama overshadowed the appearance of Trump’s running mate, Gov Mike Pence (R-Ind), who was expected to be the highlight of the third night. Pence served as Trump’s character witness. “He’s a doer, not a talker,” Pence said. “He doesn’t tiptoe the thousand new rules of political correctness.” (poor Pence. he barely knows Trump and has to praise his character)


• After the speech, Trump appeared, walked across the stage and greeted Pence. “What a great job,” Trump said. Trump was especially eager to steer the convention back on course with fiery speeches and warnings about electing Hillary Clinton after days of confusion and recriminations over Melania Trump’s plagiarized speech (below)

• Slate lists 141 things Donald Trump has said and done that it says make him unfit to be president – check it out – you may go, oh yeah, that one, oh yes, when he did that, yup he said that too, oh yes thaaat, ohhhh i’d forgotten he actually said that, omg did he really say that about his then one-year-old daughter Tiffany’s future breasts?? – no. 60…


• “He’s a chicken,” said Eugene Delgaudio, a delegate from Sterling, Va, who clucked like a chicken when asked about Cruz’s decision. “He needed to toughen up like every other Republican loser of any other nomination battle in the last 100 years since Abraham Lincoln and just suck it up.” (sorry – couldn’t find video of the clucking )


• Former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga), who spoke after Cruz in the prime-time lineup, was left to clean up some of the Cruz mess for the TV audience. “To paraphrase Ted Cruz, if you want to protect the Constitution of the U.S., the only possible candidate this fall is the Trump-Pence Republican ticket,” he said (ummm – at least that’s far far far from plagiarism…)


• Gov Rick Scott (R-Fla) started out mild. “It’s time for all Americans to put down their partisan banners and vote for the survival of this country,” he said to polite applause. Moments later, he bashed Clinton as weak on national security and job creation – sparking delegates to revive their “lock her up!” chant (at least it wasn’t “hang her high!” – maybe tonight in Trump’s speech?)


• In a sign of Cruz’s reluctance to endorse Trump, the most generous statement he could offer was this plea: “To those listening, please, don’t stay home in November. Stand and speak and vote your conscience, vote for candidates up and down the ticket who you trust to defend our freedom and to be faithful to the Constitution.”


• When Cruz addressed friendly delegates at an open-bar reception on Cleveland’s waterfront on Wednesday afternoon, a “2020!” chant broke out. And, as if to send a signal that he knew what Cruz was up to, Trump’s 757 roared over the gathering while the senator was speaking

• A kiss is just a kiss… not. Soooo I’ll bet this billboard is going down a treat in Cleveland: Donald Trump and Ted Cruz about to engage in what looks like major lip lock action. “Love Trumps Hate. End Homophobia” it says. It’s paid for by Planting Peace (Planting Peace just had the guy wrong – it was Pence, not Cruz, who was the honey)


Trump: Defending NATO Allies Conditional (NYT, Politico, me)


• Donald Trump repeatedly defined American global interests almost purely in economic terms in a NYT interview. Its roles as a peacekeeper, as a provider of a nuclear deterrent against adversaries like North Korea, as an advocate of human rights and as a guarantor of allies’ borders were each quickly reduced to questions of economic benefit to the U.S. (n.u.t.s.)


• In perhaps the most explosive part of the interview, Trump said he wouldn’t necessarily come to the aid of the Baltic states if they were attacked by Russia, saying he’d need to evaluate whether they had “fulfilled their obligations to us.” All three Baltic countries, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are members of NATO (l.o.o.p.y.)

• Trump said that he wouldn’t pressure Turkey or other authoritarian allies about conducting purges of their political adversaries or cracking down on civil liberties. “I don’t think we have a right to lecture. Look at what is happening in our country. How are we going to lecture when people are shooting policemen in cold blood?” (bodes ill for future under him…)


• Asked if President Erdogan was exploiting the coup attempt to purge his political enemies, Trump didn’t call for the Turkish leaders to observe the rule of law, or Western standards of justice. “When the world sees how bad the U.S. is and we start talking about civil liberties, I don’t think we are a very good messenger.” (if not us, then who?)


• Asked what the term “America First” meant to him, Trump paused for a moment. “We are going to take care of this country first,” he said, “before we worry about everyone else in the world,” he said.” (duh – deeep thoughts. allowing Russian aggression against the Baltic countries because of cheapness is a fatal – and not financially cost-effective, either)

• Former Gov Bob Ehrlich (R-Md), who supported Gov John Kasich (R-Ohio) in the primaries, told TMN in Cleveland that he was now on board with Donald Trump: “We have a nominee who I agree with on some issues but disagree with on others – but is far, far, far preferable than anything the Democrats … [have] produced.”


Melania Misstep: Meredith McIver = Messup (NYT, WaPo, HuffPo, TMN, me)


• Longtime employee of the Trump Organization Meredith McIver took responsibility for lifting two passages from a 2008 speech by Michelle Obama for Melania Trump’s address on Monday at the Republican National Convention, saying that it was an innocent mistake


• McIver, who has worked on some of Donald Trump’s books (so should presumably know better), appears to be the first person to publicly apologize for an error at any point during the Trump campaign. McIver was brought in after Ms Trump tore up the majority of a draft written by two professional speechwriters (sigh)


• McIver identified herself in an unusual statement posted on the Trump campaign’s website, hours after chief strategist Paul Manafort said the issue was manufactured by the news media. And it breathed new life into a story then in its third day. McIver said “a person she has always liked is Michelle Obama” (Melania’s husband’s followers don’t – maybe Melania could convince them…)


• “Over the phone,” Ms Trump “read me some passages from Mrs Obama’s speech as examples. I wrote them down and later included some of the phrasing in the draft that ultimately became the final speech. I did not check Mrs Obama’s speeches. This was my mistake and I feel terrible for the chaos I have caused Melania and the Trumps as well as to Mrs Obama.”


• Watch the two passages from the two speeches here (btw – “examples” of what? was Trump reading to McIver? Words she couldn’t come up with herself? What? Sounds like maybe Trump was cribbing) (NYT)


• McIver said that she had “offered my resignation to Mr Trump and the Trump family but they rejected it,” and that “Mr Trump told me that people make innocent mistakes and we learn and grow from those experiences.” She apologized for the “confusion and hysteria my mistake has caused.” (not hysteria – legitimate concern about plagiarism)


• An hour before the statement was released, Trump accused the news media of holding a microscope to his wife. A tweet said: “The media is spending more time doing a forensic analysis of Melania’s speech than the FBI spent on Hillary’s emails.” The investigation of Clinton’s email server lasted nearly a year. WH spox Josh Earnest said Wed no lightbulbs went off Tuesday night


• A spox said early Tuesday that “a team of writers” took notes and “included fragments that included her own thinking.” Later Tuesday, Manafort refused to acknowledge wrongdoing by the campaign, saying he speeches touched on common themes and accused Clinton of orchestrating it. A chief RNC strategist said the words could have come from “My Little Pony”


• Manafort said on CNN on Wednesday that the media should “move on.” Chris Cuomo said, “I can’t move on because you keep lying about it” and asked yes/no whether a portion of the speech came from Obama’s. Manafort said the “feelings of those words and the commonality of those words do not create a situation where we feel we have to agree with you.” (huh? you can just lie?)


• Listen: State Rep Al Baldasaro (R-NH), a Trump adviser, tells the Jeff Kuhner Show on WRKO in Boston that Hillary Clinton is a “disgrace” and “this whole [Benghazi] thing disgusts me, Hillary Clinton should be put in the firing line and shot for treason.” Weirdly, Baldasaro refers to “Ambassador Anderson” not Stevens. Secret Service is investigating the threat. I should bloody think so


Protests: “You’re on Fire, Stupid!” (AP, CNN, WSJ, TMN, TMN, me)


• Police fired pepper spray at a surging crowd and arrested 18 people as skirmishes broke out during a flag-burning Wednesday in the streets outside the Republican National Convention. As the flag began to burn, it touched the back of one of the protesters, prompting a senior police officers to begin shouting: “You’re on fire, stupid! You’re on fire!”


• It was the most turbulent protest since the four-day convention began on Monday. The chaos briefly prevented delegates and members of the media from getting into the Quicken Loans Arena for the evening’s proceedings. Police said two officers were assaulted and suffered minor injuries. One officer was seen bleeding from his elbow


• Carl Dix, a rep of the Revolutionary Communist Party, said the group organized the burning of the American flag as a “political statement about the crimes of the American empire. There’s nothing great about America.” (go somewhere else?) Anti-Trump forces are planning an afternoon parade and an evening rally today. Donald Trump gives his acceptance speech tonight


• Officers, some wearing riot helmets, yelled at the crowd to move back as members of the flag-burning group locked arms amid chants of “it’s time, it’s time for a revolution.” Pushing and shoving broke out, and police began pinning people to the ground and handcuffing them. Firefighters extinguished the flag and took it away, police said


• Earlier in the day, blocks away from the arena in Public Square, a right-wing religious group lifted a banner reading “Jesus is angry with you sinners,” while kissing lesbians mocked their message. The day’s demonstrations started with people holding banners printed with a brick design and forming a human wall to mock Donald Trump’s plan to seal off the Mexican border


• Bernie Sanders will meet with his 1,894 delegates before the Democratic National Convention begins in Philadelphia on Monday, according to an email from his campaign. The message promises a “very special meeting” with Sanders and is part of a series of meetings aimed at giving his supporters guidance after he endorsed Hillary Clinton (Hill, AP)


Obama and Clinton Have Talked Veeps (Bloomberg, Politico, me)


• Hillary Clinton and President Obama have consulted about the presumptive Democratic nominee’s running mate choices, WH spox Josh Earnest said to reporters Wednesday. He praised Housing and Urban Development Sec Julian Castro, Agriculture Sec Tom Vilsack and Sen Tim Kaine (D-Va) as having “fulfilled their responsibilities quite well.” (what about Warren?)


• Obama has “benefited from their leadership and their good service to the admin and to the country. So I don’t know if the president has a specific favorite, but I know the president is extraordinarily proud of all three of those individuals but ultimately he’s going to defer to Sec Clinton to make the decision that she believes is best.” (think Warren is out – no firebrands)


• Obama’s keynote speech at the Democratic convention next week on 27 July will target undecided voters as much as it tries to rally the Democratic faithful, Earnest said. Obama will make the case in Philadelphia that Clinton is the only candidate qualified or willing to build on his accomplishments – and will make a comparison with Donald Trump (should liven things up)

• Watch: Mother Jones asks Trump voters “How should Hillary Clinton be punished?” Pretty amazing answers – including “death” – oh, and the Illuminati were in there, too


• “It’s so important that the next president is somebody with the judgment, skill, leadership to build on that progress; that’s the overarching case the president will make,” Earnest said. “It’s the kind of case the president hopes will resonate with progressive Americans but also with people who may not have an attachment to one party or another.”


• The first night of the GOP convention was dedicated to persuading Americans that Obama had left them more vulnerable to crime and terrorism. Earnest said: “Our country is more prosperous and safer than when President Obama took office, and the president believes strongly that we can’t afford to flush that progress down the drain.” (tough case to make right now)


• Former President Bill Clinton has privately expressed his support for Kaine, according to three Democrats briefed on the conversations. Clinton believes that Kaine, a former governor and member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has the domestic and national security resume necessary. Hillary Clinton is likely to appear with her running mate on Saturday in Florida

• 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



Texas Voter ID Law Discriminatory (Dallas Morning News, Reuters, AP, me)


• The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday struck down Texas’ voter ID law, saying it violates federal laws prohibiting electoral discrimination. The court rules that the 2011 state law, widely viewed as one of the nation’s strictest, violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act


• “The record shows that drafters and proponents of SB14 were aware of the likely disproportionate effect of the law on minorities, and that they nonetheless passed the bill without adopting a number of proposed ameliorative measures that might have lessened this impact,” Judge Catharine Haynes wrote in the ruling


• Although the court found some of the arguments made in previous court cases to be legitimate, “there remains evidence to support a finding that the cloak of ballot integrity could be hiding a more invidious purpose,” Haynes wrote


• The ruling doesn’t nullify the entirety of the law, but it offers relief to people who face obstacles to getting an ID. Voters must still show ID at the polls in November under the decision, but a lower court is now instructed to devise a way for Texas to accommodate those who cannot show photo ID


• The case may not be over yet, as Texas will have the option to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court. But with Justice Antonin Scalia’s death, Texas is likely to receive only four votes to reverse the 5th Circuit’s decision. If the court deadlocks, the 5th Circuit’s en banc decision holds

• The more Harry Potter books you read, the more you’ll dislike Voldemort – errr – Donald Trump, according to a new study from the University of Pennsylvania, titled “Harry Potter and the Deathly Donald.” (sure to get author J.K. Rowling’s approval) Trump’s policies apparently clash with the themes of the Potter books: inclusion, tolerance and opposition to punitive policies – and death eaters


Turkey Prez: State of Emergency (BBC, BBC, AP, me)


• Turkey’s President Erdogan on Wednesday declared a state of emergency for three months following Friday night’s failed coup. He said citizens shouldn’t have “the slightest concern with regards to democracy, the rule of law, fundamental rights and freedoms.” The state of emergency would protect those values from attacks against them, he said (sure they would)


• Erdogan said foreign nations should stay out of Turkish affairs, adding: “This nation has the right to determine our own destiny.” Earlier, Erdogan warned of further arrests and suspensions to come as Turkish authorities continued to pursue those they said were responsible for the thwarted coup – the supporters of U.S.-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen


• Gulen advocates a Sufi-based Islam of tolerance that emphasizes education and promotes business. Speaking in Pennsylvania in self-imposed exile, he condemned the coup as treason, claiming that even people who “would like to replace me and suppress me and oppress me at the level of blood-sucking vampires, I do not want to remove them with anti-democratic means.”


• Turkey submitted documents about Gulen to the Justice Dept on Tuesday. SecState John Kerry said he had told Turkish FM Cavosoglu in several phone calls: “Please don’t send us allegations, send us evidence. We need to have evidence which we can then make a judgment about.” (sounds like he’s having trouble getting that through to his counterpart)


• More than 50,000 state employees have been rounded up, fired or suspended in the days since the coup attempt. Wednesday, 99 top military officers were charged in connection with the weekend events. Officials continued to take action against university and school employees, banning foreign travel for academics, shutting down schools and forcing resignations


• Rocking into Thursday with: Sooo – what’s My Chemical Romance teasing that broke the internet on Wednesday? For the 10th anniversary of “The Black Parade,” the video features a huge white flag and a brief piano version of the iconic song – then it says 9/23/16 – hmmm – fans are crawling out of their coffins and slapping on the eyeliner…

Get it fast. Sign up here for Morning Jumpstart

Victoria Jones – Editor


News is news
Comments are my own