Robin King of the Toronto Star: Canadian "Prime Minister Justin Trudeau..., U.S. President Barack Obama and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto ... signed a comprehensive North American climate, clean energy and environment partnership and committed themselves to better protecting the LGBT community. During a joint press conference, each leader denounced the isolationism of Brexit and the 'demagoguery' of politicians like Donald Trump, although they were careful not to directly challenge his candidacy.... [Later,] Obama addressed the House of Commons.... It clearly went over well with parliamentarians, who gave standing ovation after standing ovation.... When he was finished, the floor erupted into a chorus of 'Four more years! Four more years!'” -- CW ...
... President Obama, at a joint press conference in Ottawa, on what "populism" really is:
... President Obama on the politics of international trade. Here again, he doesn't name That Name:
Mike DeBonis & Steven Mufson of the Washington Post: "Rescue legislation aimed at helping Puerto Rico address its mounting fiscal crisis cleared Congress Wednesday, two days before the U.S. territory is set to default on roughly $2 billion in debt payments. The bill passed by the Senate on a 68-to-30 vote opens a path for an orderly restructuring of the island’s $72 billion in bond debt while creating a new federally appointed fiscal oversight board. It passed the House earlier this month, and President Obama has said he will sign it." -- CW
Robin Wright of the New Yorker interviews Dr. Anne Stevens, the sister of Ambassador Chris Stevens. THe family does not blame Hillary Clinton (or Leon Panetta) for the attack on the Benghazi stations. In addition, they say the aftermath has been entirely politicized. -- CW (Also linked yesterday afternoon.)
Dan Lamothe of the Washington Post: "The Marine Corps is investigating allegations of hazing, physical abuse and assault against 15 drill instructors at the Parris Island recruit depot, Marine officials said Wednesday, broadening the scope of a probe first disclosed after the death of a Muslim recruit in March.... The growing scandal is likely to rock the service, which considers the training depot in South Carolina to be hallowed ground. All enlisted female recruits undergo initial Marine training there, as well as all male recruits born east of the Mississippi River. Already, at least two Marine officers have been removed from their jobs." -- CW
Josh Rogin of the Washington Post: "In the early morning of June 6, a uniformed Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) guard stationed outside the U.S. Embassy in Moscow attacked and beat up a U.S. diplomat who was trying to enter the compound, according to four U.S. officials who were briefed on the incident. This previously unreported attack occurred just steps from the entrance to the U.S. Embassy complex, which is located ... in Moscow’s city center. After being tackled by the FSB guard, the diplomat suffered a broken shoulder, among other injuries. He was eventually able to enter the embassy and was then flown out of Russia to receive urgent medical attention.... The attack caused a diplomatic episode behind the scenes that has not surfaced until now." -- CW
Drip, Drip, Drip, Ctd., Ctd., Ctd. Rosalind Helderman of the Washington Post: "... disclosures over the past several weeks have revealed dozens of emails related to [Hillary] Clinton’s official duties that crossed her private server and were not included in the 55,000 pages of correspondence she turned over to the State Department when the agency sought her emails in 2014. At least 69 such emails have come to light so far, many of them through public-records lawsuits brought by the conservative group Judicial Watch.... The newly disclosed gaps in Clinton’s correspondence raise questions about the process used by the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee and her lawyers to determine which emails she turned over to the department." -- CW (Also linked yesterday afternoon.) ...
... Drippity Drip. Steven Myers & Eric Lichtblau of the New York Times: "Huma Abedin, created frustration at times because of computer glitches but said she did not raise concerns about the unusual arrangement, according to a transcript of a deposition made public on Wednesday." -- CW’s longtime aide and confidante, acknowledged that Mrs. Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of state
Josh Gerstein of Politico: "This week, lawyers for Trump began the process of suing the District of Columbia government to reduce Trump’s tax bill for the new Trump International Hotel project. The hotel is set to open in September, just two months before the presidential election in which Trump is all but certain to be the Republican nominee." ...
... CW: Don't say Trump isn't a jobs-creator. Look at all the jobs he creates for corporate lawyers. (Never mind that he sometimes stiffs them.)
Trump embodies everything that is wrong with our current trade policies.... He personally profited from NAFTA. He told students at Trump University that outsourcing creates jobs. And he has consistently sent American jobs overseas to line his own pockets. -- Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO president, Tuesday
If you really want a 1950s economy, you need to accept 1950s living standards — enjoy your 19-inch black-and-white TV, your Studebaker with bias-ply tires and drum brakes and having fresh fruits and vegetables only in season. -- Scott Miller, trade analyst ...
... Ignoramus-in-Chief, Ctd. Adam Behsudi & Doug Palmer of Politico: "Some of Donald Trump’s biggest applause lines come when he’s threatening to scrap free-trade agreements or block Chinese goods from U.S. markets. But American global economic relationships are now so complicated — and deeply intertwined — that many economists insist his goal of saving manufacturing by shutting open markets will backfire." -- CW
Donovan Slack of USA Today: "The National Rifle Association’s political arm is launching its first ad campaign of the 2016 presidential race, with a survivor of the terror attack in Benghazi urging viewers to vote for Donald Trump. The ad, which the NRA Political Victory Fund is backing with more than $2 million, is one of the larger expenditures by an outside group on behalf of the presumptive Republican nominee." -- CW (Also linked yesterday afternoon.)
Plagiarist-in-Chief. Jonathan Martin of the New York Times: "In 2005..., Mr. Trump ... lent his name, and his credibility, to a seminar business he did not own, which was branded the Trump Institute.... As with Trump University, the Trump Institute promised falsely that its teachers would be handpicked by Mr. Trump. Mr. Trump did little ... besides appear in an infomercial — one that promised customers access to his vast accumulated knowledge.... In fact, the institute was run by a couple who had run afoul of regulators in dozens of states and been dogged by accusations of deceptive business practices and fraud for decades. Similar complaints soon emerged about the Trump Institute. Yet there was an even more fundamental deceit to the business, unreported until now: Extensive portions of the materials that students received after forking over their seminar fees, supposedly containing Mr. Trump’s special wisdom, had been plagiarized from an obscure real estate manual published a decade earlier.
Together, the exaggerated claims about his own role, the checkered pasts of the people with whom he went into business and the theft of intellectual property at the venture’s heart all illustrate the fiction underpinning so many of Mr. Trump’s licensing businesses: Putting his name on products and services — and collecting fees — was often where his actual involvement began and ended. -- CW (Also linked yesterday afternoon.)
digby: "Once more [Donald Trump is] implying that he would behead people. That's on top of the waterboarding and the hostage taking and the torturing and killing of their families. The crowd responded with shouts of 'USA! USA!' I just saw a succession of Republicans on CNN agree that Trump is right about terrorism and that we need a 'strong[man]' leader. I feel sick." -- CW (Also linked yesterday afternoon.)
Geoff Bennett & Courtney Pence of NY1 News: "... in an interview with Washington, D.C. bureau reporter Geoff Bennett, [Senate Majority Leader Mitch] McConnell said Trump is not yet a credible presidential candidate.... During the interview, the Kentucky Republican complimented ... Hillary Clinton." CW: McConnell has said he would back Trump.
Caitlin MacNeal of TPM: "Two watchdog groups, the Campaign Legal Center and Democracy 21, said they will file Wednesday a complaint with the Federal Election Commission, arguing that the Donald Trump campaign has broken federal law by sending fundraising emails to foreign elected officials.... The complaint from the two watchdog groups notes that elected officials in Iceland, Scotland, Britain and Australia have received the emails. Members of parliament in Denmark and Finland also say they have received the fundraising pleas." See also yesterday's Commentariat. -- CW
Ed O'Keefe of the Washington Post: "With less than three weeks to go, Donald Trump’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland is poised to be the most chaotic GOP gathering of the modern era.... Dozens of well-known Republicans aren’t showing up. There’s no word yet on who will speak. A growing number of corporate sponsors are taking a pass. Groups of white supremacists and other agitators are on the way, while the official protest routes are frantically being redrawn after being thrown out in court. And then there’s the fight to dethrone the big star." -- CW (Also linked yesterday afternoon.) ...
... Friend to Rapists-in-Chief. Emily Heil of the Washington Post: "Was former heavyweight champ Mike Tyson going to appear at the Republican National Convention and not speak, or was he not coming at all? Despite a Bloomberg Politics report late Tuesday that the pugilist was among the big names invited to the big political event by aides to presumptive nominee Donald Trump, it seems Tyson is not — repeat not — convention-bound. Soon after the Bloomberg report, Trump tweeted what seemed to be a denial of the report. 'Iron Mike Tyson was not asked to speak at the Convention though I’m sure he would do a good job if he was.'"
... Akhilleus. Got that? Convicted rapist and Trump buddy (just think of the sexual assault stories they could share), Mike Tyson (oh, sorry, "Iron Mike Tyson"), won't be speaking at Donaldo's coronation, but if he did, he'd be great. Amazing, even. And that "denial" doesn't sound iron-clad either. Sounds like Tyson could show up after all. Maybe he can assault an empty chair. ...
... Ben Mathis-Lilley of Slate: Former Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka also says he hasn't been invited. CW: In the firewalled Chicago Tribune, I read -- before the wall came up -- that Ditka had declined a late-afternoon invitation from Trump. Darn! I was so looking forward to hearing the nice things Tyson & Ditka had to say about Trump. ...
... BUT Wait! Andrew Kaczynski of BuzzFeed: "Ivanka Trump on Wednesday confirmed that athletes and coaches are being lined up to speak at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. 'We’re putting together the line up of speakers now and the interest is incredible,' she told Virginia-based radio host John Fredericks. 'So I think it will be a convention unlike any we’ve ever seen. It will be substantive. It will be interesting. It will be different. It’s not gonna be a ho-hum lineup of the typical politicians.'...” -- CW
Good Thing They're Not Running in North Carolina (see link below). Amber Phillips of the Washington Post: "For the first time in U.S. political history, an openly transgender candidate won a major-party congressional primary. In fact, on Tuesday, two did ... Misty K. Snow is a 30-year-old grocery store cashier. (If you're wondering, the Constitution says you have to be 30 to be a U.S. senator.) According to the Salt Lake Tribune, she jumped into the primary race at the last minute to give voters a progressive alternative to the conservative Democrat expected to win. She won by nearly 20 points. Misty Plowright is a 33-year-old IT worker who similarly beat out her primary opponent -- a single dad and an Iraq combat veteran -- to challenge Rep. Doug Lamborn (R) in one of the most conservative districts in Colorado.'I'm the anti-politician,' she told the Colorado Gazette shortly after getting in the race." (Also linked yesterday afternoon.) ...
... Akhilleus: Ms. Snow will be facing off against 'bagger troglodyte and Ted Cruz BFF, Mike Lee. Think he'll follow her around to see which bathroom she uses? ...
Beyond the Beltway
North Carolina Finds a New Way to Screw Trans Citizens. Samantha Allen of the Daily Beast: "Facing backlash over the notorious anti-LGBT law they passed this March, which requires transgender people to use the restroom matches their birth certificate, legislators in the Republican-controlled House are working on a new draft of House Bill 2 (HB 2) in an effort to keep the 2017 NBA All-Star Game in Charlotte." Trans individuals wanting to use a rest room would need to show '... special 'certificates of sex reassignment,' [which] would only help about seven percent of transgender people.... Even then, the certificates would only be useful for the subset of that seven percent who have the money or the need for SRS." Pay to pee? (Also linked yesterday afternoon.)
... Akhilleus: So this idea is so much better than out and out denying everyone. Now you have to show a Special Certificate in order to pee in the right restroom. What's next, the Genital Police?
Erin Cunningham of the Washington Post: "A brazen assault by three suicide bombers on Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport has set the stage for a more violent conflict between Turkey and the Islamic State, a development that would deepen Turkish involvement in the Syrian civil war. There has been no claim of responsibility for Tuesday’s carnage, but Turkish officials blamed the Sunni extremists for the attack, which killed 41 people and injured at least 239." -- CW