The Texas Department of Public Safety will investigate charges that the dashcam video of Sandra Bland’s arrest was edited before release. (More)

“Not a model person”

NBC News reports that DPS will investigate allegations of evidence tampering after independent journalist Ben Norton found several apparent edits in the dashcam video of Sandra Bland’s arrest. Trooper Brian Encinia was suspended last week for violating DPS procedures during the arrest, and his arrest report did not include threatening Bland with his taser, as revealed in the video. Bland was found dead in her cell three days after her arrest and Waller County prosecutor Elton Mathis said authorities are handling the case “just as it would be a murder investigation.”

But in a press conference yesterday, Mathis insisted that Bland was not “compliant,” adding “Sandra Bland was very combative. It was not a model traffic stop. It was not a model person that was stopped.”

So if you get stopped by a belligerent Texas state trooper, remember: whatever mistakes the trooper may make, you have to be “a model person.”


“We ask God to watch over the fallen, the families, and their communities”

Yesterday President Obama honored the servicemen who were shot in Chattanooga:

Our thoughts and prayers as a Nation are with the service members killed last week in Chattanooga. We honor their service. We offer our gratitude to the police officers and first responders who stopped the rampage and saved lives. We draw strength from yet another American community that has come together with an unmistakable message to those who would try and do us harm: We do not give in to fear. You cannot divide us. And you will not change our way of life.

We ask God to watch over the fallen, the families, and their communities. As a mark of respect for the victims of the senseless acts of violence perpetrated on July 16, 2015, in Chattanooga, Tennessee, by the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby order that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, July 25, 2015. I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of time at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.

Predictably, conservatives are outraged that President Obama didn’t order flags lowered sooner, and because he didn’t declare the shootings a terrorist attack. Because why wait for evidence?

Speaking of conservative tropes, the Navy Times reports that the CO of the Navy Operational Support Center in Chattanooga and at least one Marine used their personal sidearms and returned fire during the attack. So much for the “gun free zone” fable.


“You have to feel sorry for Munich”

And a Pew Research poll found Americans are skeptical of the Iran nuclear deal announced this week. The poll found that 48% of Americans disapprove of the deal, while only 38% approve. Only 26% think Iran will uphold their side of the agreement, and only 45% are confident of U.S. and international agencies’ ability to monitor Iran’s compliance.

That should cheer Republicans, who began howling “Munich!” when the framework of the deal was announced in April. But that shouldn’t surprise anyone, as Samuel Kleiner and Tom Zoellner wrote for the Los Angeles Times:

You have to feel sorry for Munich. Home to museums, universities, beer halls and one spectacular glockenspiel, it gets international recognition instead for a misbegotten 1938 summit conference in which British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain “appeased” German Chancellor Adolf Hitler, allowing him to take over Sudetenland, in Czechoslovakia, if he pledged to stop there.

Ever since, “Munich” has become the favored shorthand – especially among American conservatives – for a weak agreement, or any other agreement, with a hostile power. So it was as predictable as the noonday glockenspiel chime that the comparisons to Munich and Chamberlain should have been flying within hours of President Obama’s announcement that a deal had been reached that would prevent, or at least delay, Iran getting the bomb.

Kleiner and Zoellner reprise the history of Republicans framing any negotiation – even Ronald Reagan’s 1985 summit with Mikhail Gorbachev – as “another Munich!” They also note that none of those “another Munich!” negotiations resulted in … another Munich.

You’d think after being wrong so many times, Republicans might give up on that metaphor. But don’t hold your breath waiting for that to happen.


Good day and good nuts