Gardiner Harris & Mark Landler of the New York Times: "President Obama said on Tuesday that the nation mourned along with Dallas for five police officers gunned down by a black Army veteran, but he implored Americans not to give in to despair or the fear that 'the center might not hold.'... Former President George W. Bush[, who lives in Dallas,] spoke earlier at the memorial." -- CW
CW: What I Learned at the Revolution. Above is the one and only photo I took of the Clinton-Sanders event. Sanders, Clinton & the warm-up speakers -- Bill McKibben, John Dean, Gov. Maggie Hassan & Sen. Jeanne Shaheen -- all said all the right things. Hillary has another different hairdo. Her supporters behaved like ladies & gentlemen. The only person more obnoxious than the hard-core Sanders backers was a Trumpbot who paraded past everyone waiting in line before the event & warned us to "get your asses out of the country because you won't be safe when Trump takes over"; when he noticed there were hardly any minorities in the crowd, he amended that to, "well, you're okay because you're white, but look out, everybody else." ...
... Inside the event, a Sanders supporter sitting behind me started screaming, "fuck the pledge" during the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance. An old guy sitting in front of me almost reflexively told her to shut up, at which point she began screaming there was no god and we were all delusional to say the pledge. I very nicely told her she could do what I do & just skip the "under god" part, but show respect for people who want to recite the pledge, god or not. Her response: "I can hardly wait for you & your whole generation to die. You've fucked everything up & left it for me to clean up." (She was about 45, I'd guess.) She went on in that vein for a while until some security guy encouraged her to air her opinions out on the lawn. Later, when Hillary began speaking, Bernie had to signal his loudmouthed peanut gallery to STFU, as many of his supporters kept shouting their opinions over Hillary. They really liked yelling "No fracking!" because it sounds obscene. Democracy is an ass. ...
... It's About Time. Amy Chozick, Patrick Healy, and Yamiche Alcindor of the New York Times: "After 14 months of policy clashes and moments of mutual disdain, Bernie Sanders endorsed Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination on Tuesday, clearing away the last major obstacle to a united Democratic front heading into the party's convention this month and the general election this fall.... About 85 percent of Democrats who backed Mr. Sanders in the primary contests said they planned to vote for her in the general election.."
... Akhilleus: We await a first person report from our intrepid boots-on-the-ground correspondent, the Constant Weader.
News from the South China Sea, parts of which now under new management: Jane Perlez of the New York Times: "An international tribunal in The Hague delivered a sweeping rebuke on Tuesday of China's behavior in the South China Sea, including the construction of artificial islands, and found that its expansive claim to sovereignty over the waters had no legal basis. The tribunal also said that Beijing had violated international law by causing 'severe harm to the coral reef environment' and by failing to prevent Chinese fishermen from harvesting endangered sea turtles and other species 'on a substantial scale.'" -- Akhilleus
benghazi, Benghazi, BEN...oops, we mean email, Email, EMAIL! Matt Zapotosky of the Washington Post: "U.S. Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch repeatedly declined to answer any questions on Tuesday about her department's investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a personal email server while she was secretary of state, making for a bizarre congressional hearing in which she referred questions about the matter to a man lower than her on the organizational chart. At the outset of her testimony Tuesday before the House Judiciary Committee, Lynch said it would be 'inappropriate for me to comment further on the underlying facts of the investigation or the legal basis for the team's recommendation.' That put her in contrast with FBI Director James B. Comey, who answered questions for nearly five hours last week about how he concluded Clinton should not face criminal charges. -- Akhilleus
Be Careful What You Wish for Department. Ned Parker of Reuters: "The New Black Panther Party, a 'black power' movement, will carry firearms for self-defense during demonstrations in Cleveland ahead of next week's Republican convention if allowed under Ohio law, the group's chairman said. The plan by the group could add to security headaches for the Ohio city after last week's killing of five police officers in Dallas.... Several other groups, including some supporters of ... Donald Trump, have said they will carry weapons in Cleveland, leading to concerns about rival groups being armed in close proximity. 'If it is an open state to carry, we will exercise our second amendment rights because there are other groups threatening to be there that are threatening to do harm to us,' Hashim Nzinga, chairman of the New Black Panther Party, told Reuters in an interview."
... Akhilleus: Hoo-boy. This could get bad real fast. But guess which group will be the first to be told to face the wall with their hands up? I'll give you a hint. They won't be the guys wearing the Trump hats.
I'm off to join the circus and won't be back till late afternoon. Carry on. -- CW
Cops Gone Wild. Zack Kopplin of the Daily Beast: "Hundreds of people in Baton Rouge who were peacefully protesting on private property Sunday evening were thrown into the street by police -- and then several were arrested for being on the street.... After 90 minutes of peaceful assembly, police charged the crowd [of about 500 people] for no apparent reason. Protesters scattered, many running down a side street. Those protesters were then arrested for obstruction of a highway.... Throughout the confrontation, police threatened to arrest all journalists without credentials." -- CW ...
... Charles Pierce: "Baton Rouge cops are operating like they're on the streets of Fallujah." ...
... The Lady and the Storm Troopers. Michael Miller of the Washington Post: The woman in a summer dress being rushed and arrested by police in riot gear at a Baton Rouge protest has been identified. "Within hours of the photo's publication, news outlets, activists and the Internet itself were working overtime to figure out who she was.... After activist and New York Daily News writer Shaun King posted the photo to Facebook, several self-identified friends and family members identified her as Ieshia Evans. 'To see all of the comments under this post shows me that my cousin did not make a mistake by going out there and standing up for her rights and what she believes in,' wrote Nikka Thomas." (Also linked yesterday afternoon.)
... Akhilleus: One commenter to the WaPo article noted that it looked like a queen meeting the peasants. But plenty of other commenters can't stand the fact that this is a calm black woman not knuckling under to the power. One idiot whined that Black Lives Matter protesters can't possibly look like that. Others are complaining that protests like this should not be allowed. Still other misogynists zero in on the fact that she has a child but is not married. "Her kid will be a thug soon enough" and "Shame" are common attacks. They can't stand the idea of any black person, especially a woman, displaying dignity when faced with an overwhelming show of force. She should be on her knees begging forgiveness. Heads are exploding all over. Thank you, Ieshia. ...
... Christopher Spata of Complex: "A day after Chris LeDay helped the first video of police officers shooting Alton Sterling to death in Baton Rouge, La. go viral, he was arrested himself in what he believes was retaliation by police officers. LeDay, who lives in Atlanta, didn't film the shooting himself, but was the first person online to help it spread to a wider audience when he posted it to his Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter accounts that all have large followings." -- CW
Charles Fleming & Samantha Masunaga of the Los Angeles Times: "The Securities and Exchange Commission is reportedly investigating Tesla Motor Co. for possibly breaking securities law by failing to disclose that one of its drivers had died while using the company's Autopilot semi-autonomous software." -- CW
All About Bill. Evan Halper of the Los Angeles Times reviews some of the huge speaking fees Bill Clinton charged non-profits in California, along with his requiring super-expensive perqs & refusing to allow non-screened audience questions. -- CW
Matt Zapotosky of the Washington Post: "Two Republican congressmen on Monday formally requested that the U.S. Attorney for the District investigate whether Hillary Clinton committed perjury when she testified before a congressional committee about her use of a private email server while she was secretary of state. The letter from U.S. Reps. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) asserts that evidence collected by the FBI during its investigation involving Clinton's email practices 'appears to directly contradict several aspects of her sworn testimony' and asks federal authorities to 'investigate and determine whether to prosecute Secretary Clinton for violating statutes that prohibit perjury and false statements to Congress, or any other relevant statutes.'" -- CW ...
... David Fahrenthold of the Washington Post: "A watchdog group with ties to Democrats has asked the IRS to investigate Donald Trump's charitable foundation over a report that Trump used money meant for charity to buy a football helmet signed by former NFL star Tim Tebow. 'What's unambiguous is that Mr. Trump ... manager and fiduciary of the Foundation's charitable assets, used Foundation dollars to purchase football memorabilia that he personally coveted,' wrote Brad Woodhouse of the American Democracy Legal Fund, in a letter to the IRS. Woodhouse is a longtime Democratic operative." -- CW
Louis Nelson of Politico: "'We must maintain law and order at the highest level or we will cease to have a country, 100 percent,' [Donald Trump] said during a speech in Virginia Beach, Virginia, in which he heaped praise upon America's law enforcement officers. 'We will cease to have a country. I am the law and order candidate.... Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, is weak, ineffective, pandering, and as proven by her recent email scandal which was an embarrassment not only to her but to the entire nation as a whole,' Trump continued." ...
... CW: I wish somebody would asked Trump what he means by "we will cease to have a country," something he says often. I have no idea what that means. Will we all become non-citizens? Will all the states secede? Will we abolish the Constitution? Will Elizabeth II be our new queen? Or will we become part of Mexico? Cuba? What? Maybe we can all join the Conch Republic. That could be cool.
Arturo Garcia of the Raw Story: "A federal judge ruled on Monday that a Virginia law binding Republican state delegates to Donald Trump was unconstitutional, the conservative news site RedState reported. While it does not change rules regarding delegates at the upcoming Republican National Convention, the decision allows the plaintiff, Carroll 'Beau' Correll, as well as other Virginia delegates to vote for another candidate during the first round of balloting. WTKR-TV reported that the judge agreed with Correll's argument that being forced to vote for Trump as a delegate violated his First Amendment rights." -- CW
Yamiche Alcindor of the New York Times: "Ohio's open-carry laws mean that those who legally own guns can take them into the 1.7-square-mile area where many of the events and protests connected to the Republican convention will be held next week. Beginning Sunday, protesters are expected to flood into the city, with causes ranging from white supremacy to Palestinian rights." CW: We passed a stupid law because we could, & now we're worried about the consequences.
Who Will Stand Up for Racism, Authoritarianism, and Ignorance? Who Else? Priscilla Alvarez of The Atlantic: "The list of speakers for the Republican national convention is taking shape, even as tensions among some Republicans and the party's presumptive nominee, Donald Trump, run high. House Speaker Paul Ryan is among the latest adds to the speaking list.... Ryan ... said 'I want to talk about our ideas, our solutions, and how our party should unite ... around our common principles and how we apply those principles to problems.'" (Also linked yesterday afternoon.)
... Akhilleus: Sure, Paul Ryan claims he doesn't agree with Donald Trump but he's happy to go to Cleveland and support his candidacy. Did I miss something there? Oh, Ted Cruz is also happy to stand up for racism and authoritarianism. Natch.
Trump Allowing Religious Right Loonies to Run the Show. Peter Montgomery of Right Wing Watch: "The Republican Party's platform committee started meeting in Cleveland this morning to hash out final language that will be presented to delegates at the Republican National Convention next week. Religious Right activists have been gearing up for months to make sure that the platform keeps the anti-gay and anti-abortion language.... In May, right-wing Iowa Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, told Fox News that his goal was 'to get as many solid, constitutional conservatives to Cleveland and onto the platform and rules committees.' That same month, The New York Times reported that Ted Cruz supporters, including former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, were out to 'fill the Rules and Platform Committees with strong conservative voices.'" (Also linked yesterday afternoon.)
... Akhilleus: Surprise, surprise, surprise! Maybe they can open the proceedings with a reading from Two Corinthians. ...
... CW: @Akhilleus: Wouldn't that be two readings?
Never Mind. Kristin Salaky of TPM: "A rumored choice for Donald Trump's running mate reversed his stance on abortion Monday, calling himself 'a pro-life Democrat.'Just one day after saying the procedure should be a woman's choice, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn appeared to flip-flop on his view of abortion in a convoluted clarification to Fox News. 'This pro-choice issue is a legal issue that should be decided by the courts...,' Flynn told Fox News. 'If people want to change the law, they should vote so that we can appoint pro-life judges. I believe the law should be changed.' He sent shockwaves through anti-abortion groups Sunday when he said on ABC's 'This Week' that women should have 'sort of, the right of choice' with regard to abortion." -- CW
Tom LoBianco of CNN: "Evan Bayh is mounting a return bid to the U.S. Senate, giving national Democrats a boost as they aim to retake the chamber in November.... National Democratic leaders have encouraged Bayh to run for more than a year, ever since incumbent GOP Sen. Dan Coats announced he would not run again." CW: Because what the Senate needs now is another insufferable bore. ...
... Richard Mayhew of Balloon Juice Looks at the Bright Side: "... what do we know about Bayh -- he is an opportunist, a weather vane, and conventional wisdom Very Serious Person. And those are his good qualities. If he is willing to jump into a race that should be an uphill climb in a neutral environment, the opportunist as a concurrent indicator means things are looking good" in November." -- CW ...
... Dylan Matthews of Vox: "... his announcement could turn this race from a long shot for Democrats into a seriously competitive contest. And that could significantly improve the party's odds of retaking the chamber. -- CW ...
... AND, as Paul Waldman puts it, "Tom Lobianco reports that corporate lobbyist and former senator Evan Bayh is running for his old seat, now that former corporate lobbyist senator Dan Coats is retiring, presumably to resume being a corporate lobbyist." -- CW
Beyond the Beltway
Katrease Stafford of the Detroit Free Press: "Berrien County[, Michigan,] Sheriff Paul Bailey confirmed at a Monday press conference that two court bailiffs -- both retired police officers -- were killed and the suspect, an unidentified man, was shot and killed by police inside the county courthouse in downtown St. Joseph.... 'The person had shot two bailiffs, they're both deceased, and shot a deputy sheriff who is at the hospital right now being treated in an emergency room.'" -- CW