Monday, July 11, 2016

Last Call For The Big Bern Out

With the scrapping over the DNC platform ahead of the convention all but over, and Bernie Sanders gaining a number of language concessions in the party planks, it's looking more and more like the senator from Vermont is going to endorse Hillary Clinton and move on.

Bernie Sanders will join Hillary Clinton on Tuesday for a rally in New Hampshire, Clinton's campaign announced Monday. 
Sanders will campaign with Clinton at a high school in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, at 11 a.m. Tuesday, less than two weeks before the party's convention begins in Philadelphia.

The Vermont senator's campaign announced his participation minutes after the Clinton team's email hit inboxes, with both announcements sharing the same language that the two former primary rivals will "discuss their commitment to building an America that is stronger together and an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top." 
The joint appearance comes after the Vermont senator scored several victories on the Democratic platform over the weekend in Orlando, Florida, including on climate change, health care and a minimum wage increase to $15. Sanders and his allies, however, lost out on language related to the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Don't get much more unity than a joint campaign appearance in New Hampshire, folks.  It's long past time for Sanders to throw in the towel and back Hillary, and it looks like he's been given a final chance to do just that.

On to Philly.

Trump's Pence-sive Decision

Several news outlets are reporting that Donald Trump has decided on Indiana GOP Governor Mike Pence as his running mate.

A Donald Trump campaign stop in Indiana scheduled for Tuesday is raising speculation that the presumptive Republican nominee will announce Gov. Mike Pence as his running mate.

The Washington Times reported Sunday evening that Pence has a “95 percent probability” of being Trump's choice, according to sources close to the campaign and to the governor. The first-term Indiana governor’s name has surfaced in recent weeks as a contender for the position. Pence tepidly endorsed Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas before the state's May primary, but later backed Trump, praising the chance to "take a new direction" in Washington.

"The kind of leadership that I truly do believe, to borrow a phrase, will make America great again," Pence said during a Thursday campaign stop, according to The Associated Press.

Others said to be under consideration for vice president are former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama.

Considering the convention is coming up next week for the Republicans, Trump certainly doesn't have a lot of time to make a decision.  But Mike Pence wouldn't have a whole lot of time to decide to accept, either.

The coming days could see a major shake-up in Indiana politics as Donald Trump considers Indiana Gov. Mike Pence among others as his Republican vice presidential choice.

Pence is set to attend a campaign fundraising event with the New York billionaire in Indianapolis on Tuesday - just six days before the Republican national convention in Cleveland. The Trump campaign also has scheduled a rally for Tuesday evening in suburban Indianapolis.

If Trump picks Pence as his running mate, it would scramble the Indiana governor's race as Pence could not run for both offices under state law and would have to drop his re-election campaign by noon Friday.

A number of other Republicans are already expressing interest, including House Speaker Brian Bosma and U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita. Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb, Pence's current running mate, and U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks also are viewed as potential replacements.

It would also definitively link Trump to Indiana, and I'm not sure how that will be received by Republicans in the state.  It's certainly not going to help Trump in November.  The question is will Pence gamble his political career on arguably the worst job in the GOP right now?

We'll see, possibly as soon as tomorrow.

[UPDATE]: Now we're hearing that Indiana has gone completely insane and that former Dem Sen. Evan Bayh could be getting into the state's Senate race to reclaim his old seat.

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. 
An announcement about Bayh's candidacy for the Indiana Senate seat is expected later Monday morning, said a source familiar with the plans. The source spoke on condition of anonymity because they will not be released publicly until later Monday. 
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. Bayh was dismissive at first, insistent he was done with public life, but Monday's announcement will mark a significant victory for Senate Democratic recruiters. 
Rep. Todd Young won the hotly contested Indiana Republican primary, beating out Rep. Marlin Stutzman for the nomination. Young has been heavily favored to beat Hill in November, but Bayh's entry into the race easily changes that dynamic. 
Bayh stunned Democrats in 2010 when he left the Indiana Senate race after being named the nominee. Indiana Democrats picked then-U.S. Rep. Brad Ellsworth to fill the Senate slot on the ballot, but he lost to Coats in the 2010 tea party wave. 
In an interesting reversal, Indiana Democrats will now have to formally place Bayh's name on the ballot after nominee Baron Hill announces he is stepping out of the race. That announcement is expected at the same time as Bayh's, according to the source.

Holy crap.  I get to break out my favorite retired StupidiTag!

Black Lives Still Matter In Cincy

While there were hundreds of arrests across the country over the weekend as police broke up Black Lives Matter protests in dozens of cities, thousands marched peacefully in Cincinnati's demonstrations which went on without incident.

Black Lives Matter protesters and a diverse group of supporters took to the streets for two hours, memorializing black men killed by law-enforcement and calling for just punishment of the police officers responsible for their deaths.

The “Enough is Enough” rally remembered black men who died in the past week at the hands of police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and suburban St. Paul, Minnesota. Several signs bore the names of the two victims, Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, respectively.

The mother of Samuel DuBose, the unarmed black driver shot and killed a year ago by a University of Cincinnati police officer, spoke to the large crowd in front of Cincinnati police headquarters about the loss she suffered. The officer, Ray Tensing, faces a murder trial in the fall.

“When it happens to you, you got a job to do. You are called out," Audrey DuBose said. "Let’s keep fighting. Don’t wait until it happens to your son.”

Local organizers were undeterred by the sniper ambush that killed five police officers and wounded seven more Thursday night during a Black Lives Matter march in Dallas. They took exception to any suggestion the attack was linked with the Black Lives Matter movement.

"They are sniffing for a connection," Brian Taylor, one of three Black Lives Matter Cincinnati steering committee co-chairs, told the large crowd that assembled in front of District 1 police headquarters in the West End. "We are fed up with police brutality. We are fed up with police not being found guilty."

Organizers took several precautions, primarily against what they perceived as potential police harassment. They formed a legal observation team, designated marshals to guide marchers, gave out two phone numbers for on-call lawyers before marching and collected $3,800 on for bail money.

Some of the speakers said the deaths of Dallas police officers were “sad and unfair to their families” but also noted such sympathy is not always shown to the families to African-Americans who died in encounters with police.

Never let it minimize the scope of your own suffering. We are being hunted," Taylor said. "Oppressed people have the greatest capacity for empathy in history."

Cincinnati is often held up as a model of community policing nationally,  but the fact remains that Sam DuBose was still murdered last summer by a UC campus cop, and that Cincinnati and America have a long, long way to go.

Meanwhile, cops are thinking using bomb disposal drones to deliver a breaching charge to deliberately kill suspects is a good idea, so if you thought police reform was going to happen nationally, you're kidding yourself.  San Bernardino, Orlando, and now Dallas have put that idea to rest as police now want more, not less military equipment despite President Obama scaling that back last year.

And this is gear that will be used against people of color, most likely black and Latino people first. I guarantee it.


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