Morning Jumpstart

  • UK tries to calm markets – #fail
  • Brexit: Backpedaling/Will Leave happen?
  • Trump’s strange Scotland pressers
  • SCOTUS: 3 biggie opinions to go
  • Draft Democratic platform: Sanders’ influence
  • Gay pride: Tinged with sadness
  • Benghazi Committee & WH at standstill
UK Tries to Calm Markets (BBC, TMN, TMN, TMN, TMN, me)
• Britain’s finance minister said today the UK is ready to face the future “from a position of strength ” and indicated there will be no immediate emergency budget. He said there would still need to be an “adjustment” in the UK economy and it was “perfectly sensible to wait for a new prime minister” before taking any such action (because they’re scared witless right now)
• George Osborne also said that only the UK could begin the process of leaving the UK by triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. He made the comments in a statement aimed a calming financial markets (all down time of writing) after the Brexit vote triggered market turmoil Friday (totally predictably). He hadn’t spoken since Leave won on Thursday (which hadn’t helped)
• Meanwhile, the opposition Labour party has seen 14 of its senior members resign since shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn (male) was fired in the early hours of Sunday after he told leader Jeremy Corbyn he had lost confidence in him (Benn launched a coup). Three of the resignations came today (Corbyn under fire because he was wishy-washy on campaigning on EU)

• At the same time, Boris Johnson, widely seen as the most likely successor to PM David Cameron who resigned Friday, has said the UK will continue to “intensify” cooperation with the EU following the country’s vote to leave (rubbish). The leading pro-Leave campaigner said the 52-48 result was “not entirely overwhelming.” (opportunist)

• Watch John Oliver totally lose it on Brexit vote: “There are no fu**ing do-overs” (HBO)

• Before Osborne’s statement, the pound fell further in trading in Asia, down another 2.6% against the dollar at $1.34. In early trading on the London stock market, the benchmark FTSE 100 index fell nearly 1% before recovering some of the lost ground (but everything’s down down down as I write early this am)
• Cameron will today chair the first meeting of the cabinet since the EU referendum result. It’s not a political cabinet and Johnson won’t be there (still, it won’t be pretty. Cameron brought the referendum on himself. it’s entirely his fault). The executive of the 1922 Committee of backbench Conservative MPs is set to meet to draw up the timetable for the leadership contest (bloodbath)
• German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande will hold talks later in Berlin to discuss the fallout of Brexit. Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Holyrood could try to block the UK’s exit from the EU (not clear whether Scotland actually can under the unwritten constitution – but Scotland is livid)

• SecState John Kerry will fly to Brussels and London today for talks with EU and UK leaders on the fallout from Britain’s vote. President Obama said in a statement Friday that the relationship between the U.S. and the UK was “enduring.” NATO said Britain’s position will “remain unchanged”

• Despite some skepticism by constitutional experts, an online petition calling for a parliamentary vote for a second referendum to impose a higher bar for approval has crashed the website and gathered 3.6 million signatories. Parliament has to debate any petition with over 100,000 signatures. The poll is being investigated for some fraudulent signatures

Brexit: Backpedaling/Will Leave Happen? (me, NYT, WaPo, Wapo)
• Me: Not only do the Leave campaigners have no plan – anyone actually heard one? no, right – but they’re backpedaling like crazy on the false promises they made to a gullible British public, a public who, just hours after the disastrous vote was over, were frantically Googling: How do I vote in the EU referendum? and What is the EU? In Nov it’ll be: who is Trump?…
• They claimed that 350 million pounds a week that the UK sends to the EU would go to the National Health Service – it was on the side of a red bus that Boris Johnson toured in. He went silent for all weekend. Coward. Nigel Farage of anti-immigrant UKIP said the 350 million pounds figure was a “mistake.” Other campaigners have followed. It was all a con

• They promised to reduce immigration levels – that was a huge part of the campaign. Justice Minister Michael Gove said a leave vote would “bring down the numbers” by 2020. Experts have said that would be very hard to pull off

• The racists are out in full force now that Britain has voted to Leave the EU. White Britons are shouting at foreigners – and at Britons who look different from them to – “leave” or “get out of the fuc*ing country” as seen in this video shot in London over the weekend – note the guy being yelled at says he was born in the UK
• Friday, Daniel Hannan, a member of the European Parliament and a knowledgeable pro-Brexiter, stunned BBC viewers by saying: “Frankly, if people watching think that they have voted and there is now going to be zero immigration from the EU, they are going to be disappointed.” Because it was always a lie. Experts said so. But experts are not popular right now
• It’s sinking in. A commenter to the Guardian’s website noted: “the markets, Sterling, Scotland, the Irish border, the Gibraltar border, the frontier at Calais, the need to continue compliance with all EU regulations for a free market, re-issuing passports, Brits abroad, EU citizens in Britain, the mountain of legislation to be torn up and rewritten … the list grew and grew”
• PM David Cameron’s successors, likely from his own party – as Labour is basically unelectable at this point – have a hideous job ahead of them. Cameron originally said he would invoke Article 50 immediately. Now he indicates he’s leaving it to his successor. Johnson is in no hurry. Is it possible that Britain may find a way out of this mess?
Trump’s Strange Scotland Pressers (NYT, NYT, NYT, AP, TMN, me)
• Donald Trump held two pressers in Scotland, one an actual meandering news briefing, and one a sort of catch-me-on-the-golf-course romp in which reporters chased him on carts and ran along fairways to catch him up over 18 holes as he took question after question. One was in Turnberry and one in Aberdeenshire. A few bits
• “When the pound goes down, more people are coming to Turnberry, frankly.” (this reax to the pound going down after Brexit shows his utter lack of empathy. Other people lost money, but he’s incapable of seeing anything except from the point of view of how it will benefit him)

• “I can tell you, I have a lot of friends living in Germany that have always been very proud Germans to a level that you wouldn’t believe. They would be bragging about their country. They would be talking about their country as though there would be no place.” – and now they say they’re leaving (oh I think we can believe exactly the kind of bragging that Germans have been capable of)

• The Scots wasted no time ripping Trump over his dimwitted tweet: “Just arrived in Scotland. Place is going wild over the vote. They took their country back” – except Scotland voted to Remain. “coc*splat” – “toupéd f**ktrumpet” – “weaselheaded f**knugget” – “eejit” – “weapons-grade plum” – “clueless numpty” – “mangled apricot hellbeast” (Buzzfeed)
• At one point, Trump compared his renovation of Turnberry to how he’s hoping to overhaul the U.S. When a reporter pointed out – correctly – that a country is hardly a golf course, Trump replied: “No, it’s not but you’ll be amazed how similar it is. It’s a place that has to be fixed.” (holes, sand traps, tees, fairways, clubhouses, rough – obviously the same thing, duh…)
• On the 18th hole, Trump said he would welcome Muslim immigrants from any nation, though they would need to be “even more severely vetted if it’s one of the terror countries.” Moments later, a senior aide said Trump wanted to clarify that “it is about terrorism and not about religion.” Hope Hicks, a Trump campaign spox, added, “Nothing’s changed.” (ummm – upsidedown world)

• Asked if he had been consulting with his foreign policy advisers over the British result, Trump seemed to dismiss advisers as a general class: “Honestly, most of them are no good,” he said. “Let’s go to the 14th!”

• A WaPo/ABC News survey has Hillary Clinton ahead of Donald Trump 51%-39%. A WSJ/NBC News poll has Clinton ahead by five percentage points. Both surveys came out on Sunday and show Trump in worse shape than he had been a month ago, with voters expressing doubts about his preparedness and qualifications to lead the nation (NYT)

SCOTUS: 3 Biggie Opinions To Go (AP, Reuters, me)
• The Supreme Court is set to close out its current term with opinions today in three remaining cases after a flurry of decisions last week. It’s expected to be the eight justices’ final meeting before they head out for summer fun. Meanwhile, President Obama’s nominee for the seat vacated by deceased Justice Antonin Scalia, Judge Merrick Garland, has had no hearing or vote
• Abortion: Texas abortion clinics are challenging a state law and regulations that already have cut the number of abortion providers in half, to roughly 20. Fewer than 10 would remain if the 2013 law were allowed to take full effect
• Only Justices Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan, who generally side with abortion rights advocates, have yet to write opinions from the session in late February and early March when the case was argued. Each justice typically write at least one majority opinion from each argument session – so the theory is this favors the clinics – but who knows with this one…
• Public corruption: The justices seemed likely to side with former Gov Bob McDonnell (R-Va), who is challenging his conviction for accepting gifts and loans from a wealthy businessman in exchange for promoting a dietary supplement. A ruling for McDonnell could make it harder to prosecute public officials

• Guns: Two men from Maine are challenging their convictions for possessing guns under a federal law that is intended to keep guns out of the hands of people who have previously been convicted of domestic violence. Justice Clarence Thomas used the case to ask his first questions during oral arguments in a decade about gun rights

• More heavy rains are expected in West Virginia today, where floodwaters have killed at least 25 people in the past week. More than 20 counties are under a flood watch. President Obama signed a federal disaster declaration on Saturday for several counties. Gov Earl Tomblin’s admin believes there are still people missing in Greenbrier County (AP)
Draft Democratic Platform: Sanders’ Influence (AP, Hill, AP, TMN, me)
• A draft of the Democratic Party’s policy positions reflects the influence of Bernie Sanders’ campaign: endorsing steps to break up large Wall Street banks, advocating a $15 hourly wage, urging an end to the death penalty. The platform isn’t binding, but serves as a guidepost for the party moving forward
• Hillary Clinton’s supporters turned back efforts by Sanders’ allies to promote a Medicare-for-all single-payer health care system and a carbon tax to address climate change, and free hydraulic fracking. The DNC’s full platform committee will discuss the draft at a meeting next month with a vote at the convention in Philadelphia in late July
• Sanders said Friday he would vote for Clinton in the fall, but so far hasn’t endorsed her and hasn’t encouraged his millions of voters to back her candidacy.  He wants more. “I think, right now, what we are doing is trying to say to the Clinton campaign: ‘Stand up, be bolder than you have been,’ and then many of those voters may in fact come on board,” he said Sunday on CNN
• Sanders, a vociferous opponent of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, was unable to get language into the document opposing the trade deal. As a result, the party avoided an awkward scenario that would have put the platform at odds with President Obama. Clinton (finally) and Sanders have opposed the deal
• Clinton on Sunday chastised GOP lawmakers for a “paralyzed” Congress, saying they’ve fueled populist anger by refusing to “do their job, including immigration overhaul, confirmation hearings for a SCOTUS vacancy, and action on gun control
Gay Pride: Tinged With Sadness (Reuters, TMN, me)
• Millions of people draped in the rainbow hues of LGBT pride turned out for parades across the U.S. on Sunday, two weeks after a massacre at a Florida nightclub stirred fear and solidarity among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans. Police stepped up security to reassure participants and onlookers (shouldn’t have to, though)
• The march in New York, held every year since 1970, began at noon near the Empire State Building and ended at Greenwich Village’s Stonewall Inn, the birthplace of the gay rights movement and the newest national monument. Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, joined the march for a few blocks in an unannounced appearance
• The mood nationwide was decidedly subdued. “I’ve been so heartbroken and outraged by Orlando,” said Dorothee Benz, 50, who was marching with a group called New York Supports Orlando. “We need to be out loud and proud more than ever, but it comes with mourning and anger.”
• At the head of the Chicago parade, a group carried photos of the 49 Orlando nightclub victims. Later a contingent of marchers donned elaborate, rainbow-colored costumes constructed from hundreds of balloons and carried large letters, also formed by balloons, spelling out P-U-L-S-E. The lead float in New York’s parade carried Pulse owner Barbara Poma

• President Obama designated the Stonewall Inn as a national monument on Friday. It was the first time such an honor has been bestowed in specific recognition of LGBT Americans. The bar was the scene of a 1969 police raid that triggered riots and an impromptu rally that ignited a long struggle to bring LGBT people into the U.S. mainstream and guarantee their rights

• Pope Francis said Sunday on a plane that gays “should not be discriminated against. They should be respected, accompanied pastorally.” He added that the church should also apologize to the poor, to women who have been exploited and to children who have been exploited by being forced to work (Reuters)
Benghazi Committee & WH at Standstill (Politico, me)
• The House Benghazi Committee and the WH are at a standstill over whether President Obama should answer questions about the 2012 attack. The committee sent Obama a list of questions, which the admin has called inappropriate and an attempt to frame the WH as uncooperative, as well as asking questions it already knew the answers to (it’s a dance – well-known moves)
• Neil Eggleston, counsel to the president, advised Obama not to answer “because of the implications of his response on the constitutional separation of powers,” he said in a letter to chair Trey Gowdy (R-SC). “If the president were to answer your questions, his response would suggest that Congress has the unilateral power to demand answers from the president about his official acts
• Committee spox Jamal Ware criticized the WH: “It’s no surprise President Obama would rather take questions from Derek Jeter than answer questions for the American people about the Benghazi terrorist attacks, which followed what he himself has called his worst mistake” – the aftermath of ousting Muammar Qaddafi from Libya
• Eggleston detailed Obama’s actions the night of the Benghazi attack in a 11 May letter. He said Obama was briefed by then-SecDef Leon Panetta at 5 pm and “immediately ordered the military to deploy all available assets.” The letter also said Obama “did not modify or rescind that order.” (ie issue a “stand down” order or order a delay)
• Gowdy has said he would release the (largely GOP-written) report by the summer (so it’s late), and many believe the report will drop before the mid-July party conventions kick off (gosh that would be such a coincidence, wouldn’t it?)

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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.