The Republican National Convention will be a metaphorical dumpster fire, unless the metaphor turns into reality…. (More)

“Get comfortable with the phrase President Hillary Clinton”

That, in a nutshell, is RNC Chair Reince Priebus’ pitch to GOP delegates who are still hoping for a last-minute Trump Dump:

Even as they finalized the list this week, Mr. Trump’s campaign aides and party officials were also working behind the scenes to stave off any challenges to Mr. Trump’s nomination on the convention floor next week.

Mr. Priebus was blunt about the need for party leaders to support Mr. Trump and defeat Hillary Clinton – even if the reasoning he offered appeared to be less than a full-throated endorsement.

“If we don’t stick together as a party and stop her, then the only alternative is to get comfortable with the phrase President Hillary Clinton,” Mr. Priebus said in remarks to party leaders on Wednesday.

The phrase “less than a full-throated endorsement” was probably borrowed from the Undersecretary of Understatement. Just sayin’.

The New York Times’ Jeremy Peters also reports that the first night of the convention will focus on Benghazi, and another night will feature a presentation on Bill Clinton’s sexual indiscretions. Yes. Really.

“We don’t know who the ‘good guy’ versus who the ‘bad guy’ is”

If you think that’s beyond ugly and want to protest, The Marshall Project’s Simone Weichselbaum offers a list of do’s and don’ts. For example, don’t argue with cops, don’t block the streets, don’t try to sneak past the Secret Service, and don’t carry dangerous stuff:

A perplexing range of items – tennis balls, canned foods, glass juice bottles and more than a dozen other things – are banned from the event zone. During past conventions, protesters hurled tennis balls at cops, which signaled to authorities that household goods could be turned into weapons. If a cop sees a person carrying, let’s say, a ladder or a tent near the convention sites, be prepared to be asked to leave. (Firearms, however, are allowed into the event zone because of the state’s open carry laws.)

Yes, you read that right. You can’t bring a tennis ball or a can of Spam – I’ll resist the joke – but you can bring a gun. And a lot of groups plan to:

As Republicans gather in Cleveland next week, the life-and-death issue that party leaders regularly duck – the potential for violence that citizens with easy access to guns pose for the nation – will be on graphic display outside their convention center. A number of groups have announced plans to exploit Ohio’s lenient open-carry gun law to flaunt their military-style assault rifles and other weaponry in designated protest zones, all in the name of protecting gun rights and free speech.
In the panicking crowds that night in Dallas were 20 to 30 armed individuals legally carrying rifles as self-appointed vigilantes who had vowed to somehow protect the demonstrators. Their presence – some were dressed in macho camouflage gear – greatly confused the police when the sniper started firing and protesters ran for cover. “We don’t know who the ‘good guy’ versus who the ‘bad guy’ is,” the Dallas police chief, David Brown, said. For a while, one rifleman was cited as a potential suspect until the police ascertained he was a legal, not lethal, presence. Chief Brown’s warnings echoed widespread concern among law enforcement officials about the potentially disastrous consequences of open-carry laws now blossoming in state legislatures at the urging of the gun lobby.

That New York Times op-ed quotes one GOP delegate who plans to carry a concealed 9mm pistol everywhere except in the convention hall – where guns are prohibited – because “American values.”

I am not making this up. I promise.

“The diversity that you seek in the spot that you’re, you know, the vice presidential spot can be a lot of things”

Meanwhile, white male Reince Priebus says white male Donald Trump considering three white male running mates – Newt Gingrich, Chris Christie, and Mike Pence – is just fine, diversity-wise-speaking:

In an interview Wednesday, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer questioned Priebus about previous comments he made hoping Trump’s veep hopefuls would be “diverse.” When Blitzer asked him if he was disappointed that no people of color or women made the cut, Priebus said that is not what diversity means to Trump.

“Well, I know that all of those things are on the table and I think it also comes down to who he thinks is most compatible, and who would be best for our country,” Priebus said. “There is also diversity of experience, and sometimes something that would be beneficial that I think he is also looking at. He has been pretty clear that having experience in matters in both governing in Washington and your state as an executive, he talked about foreign policy experience as another issue to be thought about and discussed. So diversity from Donald Trump as an outsider, a successful businessman, is these choices that he is looking at.”

Blitzer followed up to see if this was the type of diversity Priebus had in mind when he made his comments and Priebus doubled down on the comments.

“Look, for each presidential candidate, the diversity that you seek in the spot that you’re, you know, the vice presidential spot can be a lot of things,” he said. “It can be all of the above, experience, gender, race, that is an important ingredient.”

Aren’t we lucky have a white male to explain what “diversity” is?

“It’s getting more and more obvious and it’s very sad, very sad”

Just in case white men white-man-splaining diversity isn’t enough, Trump is pouring gasoline on the fire again:

Asked by the Fox News host if there was a divide between blacks and whites in America, Trump used this as an example of how “there would seem to be.”

“It’s getting more and more obvious and it’s very sad, very sad,” Trump went on. “When somebody called for a moment of silence to this maniac that shot the five police, you just see what’s going on. It’s a very, very sad situation.”

There were no media reports about anyone calling for a moment of silence for gunman Micah Johnson, though groups from Congress to the New York Stock Exchange held moments of silence for the victims of last Thursday’s mass shooting. Searches on social media for people making such calls also came up short.

Despite this lack of evidence, Trump reiterated the claim at a rally in Westfield, Indiana on Tuesday night, where he criticized Black Lives Matter for holding rallies across the country the weekend after the Dallas shootings.

“The other night you had 11 cities potentially in a blow-up stage,” he said. “Marches all over the United States – and tough marches. Anger. Hatred. Hatred! Started by a maniac! And some people ask for a moment of silence for him. For the killer!”

Talking Points Memo’s Josh Marshall pulls no punches:

The details of the rapid-fire fulmination are important. So let’s look at them closely.

Trump claimed that people – “some people” – called for a moment of silence for mass killer Micah Johnson, the now deceased mass shooter who killed five police officers in Dallas on Thursday night. There is no evidence this ever happened. Searches of the web and social media showed no evidence. Even Trump’s campaign co-chair said today that he can’t come up with any evidence that it happened. As in the case of the celebrations over the fall of the twin towers, even to say there’s ‘no evidence’ understates the matter. This didn’t happen. Trump made it up.
At the risk of invoking Godwin’s Law, if you translate the German, the febrile and agitated language of ‘hatred’, ‘anger’, ‘maniac’ … this is the kind of florid and incendiary language Adolf Hitler used in many of his speeches. Note too the actual progression of what Trump said: “Marches all over the United States – and tough marches. Anger. Hatred. Hatred! Started by a maniac!” (emphasis added).

The clear import of this fusillade of words is that the country is awash in militant protests that were inspired by Micah Johnson. “Started by …”

We’re used to so much nonsense and so many combustible tirades from Trump that we become partly inured to them. We also don’t slow down and look at precisely what he’s saying. What he’s saying here is that millions of African-Americans are on the streets inspired by and protesting on behalf of a mass murderer of white cops.

This is not simply false. It is the kind of wild racist incitement that puts whole societies in danger. And this man wants to be president.

Mother JonesKevin Drum adds his thoughts:

Trump’s explicit race baiting has been so normalized by now that we hardly notice this stuff. This kind of talk from a major-party candidate for president should be front-page news everywhere. Instead, it warrants a few words in various campaign roundups.

Blacks, Hispanics, Muslims, foreigners of all stripes: they’re all grist for Trump’s crusade to convince white voters that they’re surrounded by rapists, murderers, terrorists, and assorted other predators who want to take their jobs away and impoverish them. It’s his whole campaign.

This is loathsome. For years it’s been clear that the Republican Party could only win by turning out an ever greater share of the white vote. But by 2012 they seemed to have done everything they possibly could: Fox News stoked the xenophobia, Republican legislatures passed voter ID laws, and outreach to white evangelicals had reached saturation levels. What more did they have on their plate? Now we know the answer: nominate a guy who doesn’t play around with dog whistles anymore. Instead he comes out and flatly runs as the candidate of white America, overtly attacking every minority group he can think of. That shouldn’t work. In the year 2016, it should alienate at least as many white voters as it captures. But so far it seems to be doing at least moderately well.

So I’ll agree with Trump, sort of. “It’s getting more and more obvious” that his entire campaign is based on bigotry, “and it’s very sad, very sad.”

“You hereby promise and agree not to demean or disparage publicly the Company, Mr. Trump, any Trump Company, any Family Member, or any Family Member Company”

Oh, and Trump is suing a former campaign staffer who had the unmitigated gall to comment on a public event:

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is seeking $10 million from former campaign consultant Sam Nunberg, who Trump says allegedly leaked confidential information despite signing a nondisclosure agreement, Nunberg’s lawyer told BuzzFeed News Wednesday.

The lawyer, Andrew Miltenberg, said Trump’s side believes Nunberg leaked a story in the New York Post about campaign spokesperson Hope Hicks and former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski arguing on the street.

Read that carefully. The argument happened on a public street. This is not about “leaking confidential information.” It’s about criticizing Trump, in violation of a contract that says his employees must never criticize him “During the term of your service and at all times thereafter.”

And Nunberg made exactly that case in his response filed with the court:

Nunberg says in his response filed today in New York Supreme Court, “The Trump campaign is misguidedly and improperly attempting to use the sword of private arbitration proceeding against me to silence media coverage of a loud and angry argument on a public street between its former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski … and a female Trump campaign staffer, concerning their sordid and apparently illicit affair, which … was witnessed by another Trump campaign staffer, as reported in the New York Post, Page Six.”

Nunberg also claims that there were many witnesses to the “lovers’ quarrel” that took place at 61st Street and Third Avenue, which he describes as “a public inappropriate display by the former campaign manager and, upon information and belief, his paramour.”

He continues, “I did not provide the New York Post with any information concerning that embarrassing and lurid event … [I] learned of it … long after my consulting agreement had been terminated … This tawdry public incident between Mr. Lewandowski and a female Trump campaign staffer occurred well after the termination of my consulting agreement.”

I have an idea. The Clinton campaign should offer to pay the legal fees of any former Trump employee who is willing to talk – on camera – about Trump’s career of scamming, cheating, and bullying employees, contractors, and business partners.

Maybe the Democratic National Convention could have a whole night about that. It’s a hell of a lot more relevant than Benghazi and Bill Clinton’s affairs….


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Good day and good nuts