The Morning Roundup: Stumbling Into Philadelphia | News
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Monday, July 25, 2016

The Morning Roundup: Stumbling Into Philadelphia

Posted by on Mon, Jul 25, 2016 at 8:34 AM

Good morning, hope you stayed cool over the weekend.

1. The DNC starts. 

First off, Hillary Clinton picked her VP nominee, Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia. Kaine is a former DNC chair and governor of Virginia. Here's some of his bonafides:

Kaine has a solid record on many core Democratic issues. He supports President Obama’s Affordable Care Act and has long been opposed to the use of the death penalty. Kaine is a strong supporter of comprehensive immigration reform, favoring a pathway to citizenship for immigrants. As governor, he pushed to offer universal pre-kindargarten and also signed a bill toban smoking in Virginia bars and restaurants.

Additionally, Kaine has spoken out strongly about the need to address global climate change. In 2012, he said “humans have a responsibility to do something” about climate change. He has a lifetime score of 91 percent from the League of Conservation Voters, opposed the Keystone XL pipeline and protected 400,000 acres of land from being developed when he was governor of Virginia.

However, Kaine’s climate record does come with a couple caveats. He has supported offshore drilling in the Atlantic Ocean and also supported a measure that fast-tracked the building of natural gas terminals.

Kaine has a strong pro-gun control record. While running for the Senate in 2012, he received an “F” from the National Rifle Association. As a governor, he vetoed a bill that would have allowed the carrying of guns in vehicles and has introduced gun control bills in the Senate.

The progressive wing of the party has some problems with Kaine, however. While Clinton's picked was praised by NARAL and Planned Parenthood, he signed a law as governor that funneled money into crisis pregnancy centers, which we wrote about a few weeks ago. From Slate:

But it’s hard to know whether Kaine’s new look reflects his own changing attitudes, or the changing shape of the Democratic Party. In 2005, he ran for governor on promises to promote adoption, reduce abortion, and support the farce that is abstinence-only sex education. While in office, he backed a so-called partial birth abortion ban, which prohibits a certain method of mid- and late-term abortion, though he supported exceptions in cases where a woman’s health was endangered. He also supported a parental consent law that requires minors to get a parent’s signoff before obtaining an abortion—and though that law theoretically includes a “judicial bypass” option, teens are often prevented from using it by misinformation, as the Huffington Post has reported.


In 2007, NARAL Pro-Choice America gave Virginia an “F” in its annual reproductive freedom report and called Kaine a “mixed choice” governor. Two years later, Kaine incensed local and national women’s rights groups by signing a law that allowed the sale of “Choose Life” license plates whose proceeds went to anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers. “It is unfortunate that, even after receiving thousands of messages from Virginians and pro-choice activists across the country, Gov. Kaine has opted to sign a bill that advances a divisive political ideology at the expense of women's health,” Nancy Keenan, then-president of NARAL, said at the time.

He's also been pushing bank deregulation. Sweet.

click to enlarge giant_meteor_2016.jpg

Anyway, this week is the Democrats' chance to prove to America they're a better choice than the four-day neofascist clowncar we saw last week. It didn't get off to a good start.

From the Intercept:

Among the nearly 20,000 internal emails from the Democratic National Committee, released Friday by WikiLeaks and presumably provided by the hacker “Guccifer 2.0,” is a May 2016 message from DNC CFO Brad Marshall. In it, he suggested that the party should “get someone to ask” Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders about his religious beliefs.

It might may no difference, but for KY and WVA can we get someone to ask his belief. Does he believe in a God. He had skated on saying he has a Jewish heritage. I think I read he is an atheist. This could make several points difference with my peeps. My Southern Baptist peeps would draw a big difference between a Jew and an atheist.
The Clinton camp pinned the leak on Russia, which doesn't bring back sweet memories of the Cold War at all, no sir. 

Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, said on Sunday that “experts are telling us that Russian state actors broke into the DNC, stole these emails, [and are] releasing these emails for the purpose of helping Donald Trump”.

“I don’t think it’s coincidental that these emails are being released on the eve of our convention here,” he told CNN’s State of the Union, alluding to the party’s four-day exercise in unification which is set to take place this week in Philadelphia.

“This isn’t my assertion,” Mook said. “This is what experts are telling us.”

Whether or not Russia did 9/11 or not, it cost embattled DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz her job.

The final push to derail her came from an email leak last week, which revealed that DNC staffers actively tried to obstruct Sanders’ primary campaign against eventual nominee Hillary Clinton. In response to the leak, party officials announced that Wasserman Schultz would play a minimal role in this week’s Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. However, according to her statement, she will address and chair the convention.

Wasserman Schultz’s exit sends the party into a state of uncertainty. After the bruising and contentious primary battle between Clinton and Sanders, the party tried to put on a united front for the convention and general election, including granting concessions to Sanders’ campaign. Clinton also adopted some parts of his progressive policy platform to attempt to woo his supporters, and Sanders put aside his differences and endorsed her. 

Wasserman-Schultz was immediately brought on as an honorary chair for Clinton, which, given how little operational power that job actually seems to have, serves only to inflame tensions even further between the Sanders and Clinton wings of the party.

So, not a great start, but Sanders and First Lady Michelle Obama will be headlining tonight, so today should be interesting. Our own Jeffrey Billman will be there covering the DNC this week for us, so be sure to check back here for more. 

2. Our top elected officials had a rough Friday.

We had a couple of stories about Pat the Governor and Lieutenant Dan on Friday. 

McCrory lost his mind at the legislature's only openly gay member, Chris Sgro, telling him that he "got what he wanted" when the NBA pulled its All-Star Game out of Charlotte. Sgro spoke to us:

"The governor was on Charlotte Talks this morning," Sgro tells the INDY. "He was just spouting a tremendous amount of mistruths in Charlotte’s role in losing the All-Star game and safety and security…so I went over to his press conference, and then he moved the press conference to a secure location that I didn’t have access to."

Sgro then says the interaction described in his tweets happened, and McCrory then ducked back into the room before Sgro had a chance to reply. "No one got what they wanted, and the fault is with the governor," Sgro says. "If the governor is going to continue to spread false information about HB 2 and its impacts, as well as what happened with the All-Star Game, when he knows very well that it’ll move to a city with the protections Charlotte had, he owes a conversation to the LGBT community. And that’s something that needs to happen soon."
At his press conference, McCrory said the NBA's decision was "total P.C. B.S," according to the Charlotte Observer. 

“I’m disappointed,” McCrory said while speaking on WFAE’s Charlotte Talks radio program Friday morning. “I strongly disagree with their decision. To put it bluntly it’s total P.C. BS. It’s an insult to our city and an insult to our state.”

The NBA said it was moving the game because of House Bill 2. HB2 nullified Charlotte’s expanded nondiscrimination ordinance that extended legal protection for gay, lesbian and transgender individuals. It also requires transgender people to use the bathroom that corresponds with the gender on their birth certificate in government buildings.

McCrory said he believes the NBA is practicing “selective outrage” over the issue. He also said he disagreed with the criticism of HB2 by the state’s leading college basketball coaches, including Mike Krzyzewski, who said the legislation is “embarrassing.”

“I disagree with those three coaches,” McCrory said. “I doubt they have read HB2. I haven’t (read) their playbooks either. I do think there is a politically correct elite that is having selective outrage.”

Luckily, doubling his problems, McCrory is making it even easier for Democrats to pin him to Donald Trump, because he's campaigning with Trump and Mike Pence in Winston-Salem today

Meanwhile, Dan Forest told us we don't understand HB 2

"In response to your question as to whether I agree with a statement made by my Press Secretary regarding the restrooms in the Time Warner Arena, I do agree with that statement," Forest said. "Your question itself shows a misunderstanding of House Bill 2. Although Charlotte owns the arena, it is under the control and authority of the Charlotte Hornets as the leaseholder. House Bill 2 does not apply in the least to the Time Warner Arena when it comes to how the Hornets set its own restroom policy. As we have said over and over again, private businesses are able to set whatever policies they want on restrooms. It was only the City Council of Charlotte who dictated to a private business what policy it had to set." 

"Jamey was right in questioning why the NBA would oppose a bill that had absolutely no impact on any anti-discrimination or restroom access policies of the NBA or its teams," Forest added.

Yes, Time Warner Cable Arena can set its own "restroom policy." But that's not the point. Transgender people who wanted to attend the All-Star game can not sleep in Time Warner Cable Arena; they can't only eat in Time Warner Cable Arena, or shop there, or go to the bathroom there. They have to use other places of business and facilities during their visit to Charlotte. And, as anyone who has actually read the law knows, businesses can refuse to serve LGBT customers, not just prevent transgender people from using their bathrooms.
3. It's going to be hotter than hell this week.

Triangle residents likely won’t see highs lower than 95 this week. Hot and humid weather is expected to continue at least through Wednesday, with heat index values peaking each day between 100 and 105 degrees. The heat index is the measurement of what temperature it feels like when humidity and wind are taken into account.

Monday is expected to be sunny and hot with a high near 97 and a heat index of 103. Tuesday won’t be much better, with a high near 96 and a slight chance of rain Tuesday night. Wednesday may bring a better chance of rain and thunderstorms, but the temperatures likely won’t improve, with a high expected near 96, according to the weather service.

Being in direct sunlight can make temperatures in the upper 90s feel even worse, according to the weather service, and can lead to a greater risk of heat illness, so those looking to enjoy their summers despite the extreme heat on Sunday turned to the water to cool off.

4. The Dix Festival!

Raleigh’s Dorothea Dix Park hosted a grand public festival Saturday as its official coming-out party for residents, outdoor enthusiasts and curiosity seekers.

For most of the several thousand visitors who strolled the grounds while enjoying an ice cream cone or food truck fare, it was the first visit to the extensive property overlooking downtown Raleigh. City officials, who purchased the land for $52 million a year ago, are just beginning the process of developing plans for the property.

“It’s a lot bigger than I thought it would be,” noted Andrea Peros, a first-time visitor from Holly Springs, who came with her 2-year-old and a 6-month-old suspended in a sling.

The former psychiatric hospital property consists of a rolling greensward, centuries-old canopy trees and brick offices where some 2,000 state health department employees report to work. City officials regard it as a blank canvas to be filled in, rising to elevations renowned for their spectacular views of Raleigh’s skyline.

That's it. Have a good week. 

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