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Inside The Scramble To Oust Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Aides to President Barack Obama urged him to get rid of the troublesome DNC chair last fall. He passed, figuring she was Hillary Clinton’s problem to solve.

By Glenn Thrush, Gabriel Debenedetti and Edward-Isaac Dovere
07/24/16 10:04 PM EDT

PHILADELPHIA — Hillary Clinton and her team aren’t thrilled that the head of the Democratic National Committee was forced out on the eve of the nominee’s coronation – but they aren’t exactly distraught to see Debbie Wasserman Schultz booted from the tent.

Several senior Democratic officials with ties to Hillary and Bill Clinton told POLITICO that campaign higher-ups have been trying to replace the oft-off-message Florida congresswoman from the start of Clinton’s campaign late last year.

John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign chairman – and a former top adviser to Barack Obama – broached the idea of replacing Wasserman Schultz as early as last fall, only to be rebuffed by the president’s team, according to two people with direct knowledge of the conversation.

“It came down to the fact that the president didn’t want the hassle of getting rid of Debbie,” said a former top Obama adviser. “It’s been a huge problem for the Clintons, but the president just didn’t want the headache of Debbie bad-mouthing him… It was a huge pain in the ass.”

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/07/debbie-wasserman-schultz-dnc-226100#ixzz4FOkcd3tj
Follow us: @politico on Twitter | Politico on Facebook

DNC Chair Won't Speak At Dem Convention Following Wikileaks Fallout

Source: CNN

(CNN)The head of the Democratic National Committee will not speak at the party's convention next week, a decision reached by party officials Saturday after emails surfaced that raised questions about the committee's impartiality during the Democratic primary.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz, whose stewardship of the DNC has been under fire through most of the presidential primary process, will not have a major speaking role in an effort "to keep the peace" in the party, a Democrat familiar with the decision said. The revelation comes following the release of nearly 20,000 emails

One email appears to show DNC staffers asking how they can reference Bernie Sanders' faith to weaken him in the eyes of Southern voters.

Another seems to depict an attorney advising the committee on how to defend Hillary Clinton against an accusation by the Sanders campaign of not living up to a joint fundraising agreement.

Wasserman Schultz is expected to gavel the convention in and out, but not speak in the wake of the controversy surrounding the leaked emails, a top Democrat said.

"She's been quarantined," another top Democrat said, following a meeting Saturday night.

Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/22/politics/dnc-wikileaks-emails/

Effort To Abolish Superdelegates Fails At DNC Rules Meeting


PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- An effort to fully eliminate superdelegates in future elections failed at a meeting of the Democratic National Convention rules committee Saturday.

At the gathering in a Philadelphia conference room, a delegate for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders offered an amendment to get rid of superdelegates - party insiders who can vote for the candidate of their choice at the convention. The amendment was defeated, though it earned enough support to force a floor vote at the convention. More amendments on superdelegates were expected at the meeting.

Aaron Regunberg, a Sanders delegate and a Rhode Island lawmaker, argued the current system does not "reflect our core values." But Clinton supporters argued the superdelegate system brings more people into the political process and instead called for a more extensive review of the nominating process.

Sanders has been critical of superdelegates during his contentious primary fight with presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. His supporters argue that Clinton's substantial superdelegate lead may have influenced the outcome of the race, although Clinton also led Sanders with pledged delegates. Late in the race, Sanders sought to flip superdelegates with little success.

Read more: http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_DEM_2016_CONVENTION_RULES?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2016-07-23-16-57-15

Dems Pledge Floor Fight In Philly Over Superdelegates

A group of Democratic delegates are pledging to take a fight over election reforms all the way to the floor of the party's convention in Philadelphia next week.

The push to eliminate superdelegates — the party officials who can cast their vote for any candidate — comes as the Rules Committee is expected to meet Saturday afternoon in Philadelphia.

"We're going to go in and we're going to call on the Rules Committee to do the right thing," Diane Russell, a state representative from Maine, said during a press conference ahead of the meeting. "Then we're going to take our fight to the convention floor."

Aaron Regunberg, a Rhode Island state representative and a member of the Rules Committee, said he'll offer an amendment during Saturday's meeting to eliminate superdelegates.



Pentagon Looking Into Reports Airstrike Killed Syrian Civilians

By Kristina Wong - 07/22/16 03:17 PM EDT
The U.S. military is reviewing whether civilians were killed earlier this week during a bombing in Syria that activists say may have left over 200 dead.

At question is a coalition bombing on July 19 in the Al Tokhar village near Manbij city in northern Syria. The strike was conducted in support of Syrian rebels fighting on the ground against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Airwars, a project run by journalists, researchers and analysts, alleges that somewhere between 73 and 212 civilians died in the strike, according to reports from local Syrian activists on the ground.

U.S. Central Command is looking into whether those reports are credible, said Army Col. Chris Garver, spokesman for the U.S.-led military coalition task force fighting ISIS.


Guest/Panel Lineups For The Sunday News Shows

State of the Union Mook makes an appearance. Donald Trump Jr., Trump's oldest son, will talk about the campaign.

Face the Nation President Barack Obama.

Meet the Press Trump makes an appearance.

This Week With George Stephanopoulos Democratic party unity: Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Paul Manafort, Trump campaign. Robby Mook, Clinton campaign. Panel: Donna Brazile; Matthew Dowd; Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.); Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.).

Fox News Sunday With Chris Wallace Presidential election; the upcoming Democratic National Convention: Joel Benenson, Clinton campaign. Panel: Brit Hume; Anne Gearan, the Washington Post; George Will; Amy Walter, the Cook Political Report.

Va. Supreme Court Strikes Down McAuliffe's Order On Felon Voting Rights

Source: Richmond Times-Dispatch

Posted: Friday, July 22, 2016 6:05 pm
BY GRAHAM MOOMAW Richmond Times-Dispatch

The Supreme Court of Virginia on Friday struck down Gov. Terry McAuliffe's sweeping executive order restoring voting rights to more than 206,000 Virginia felons.

The court declared McAuliffe's order unconstitutional, and ordered the Virginia Department of Elections to "cancel the registration of all felons who have been invalidly registered" under McAuliffe's April 22 executive order and subsequent orders. The court gave a cancellation deadline of Aug. 25.

As of this week, 11,662 felons had registered to vote as a result of McAuliffe's action.

Read more: http://www.richmond.com/news/virginia/article_718d04d8-70b2-5bfb-aa8c-0ff1ca108b8d.html

Federal Judge Blocks Michigan Ban on Straight-Party Voting


DETROIT (AP) -- A judge on Thursday blocked Michigan's new ban on straight-party voting, saying it strikes at the rights of blacks who tend to vote for Democrats with a single mark on the ballot.

U.S. District Judge Gershwin Drain signed an injunction, a week after hearing arguments. He said the law would place a "disproportionate burden" on blacks in the fall election, the first election that would be affected.

Straight-party voting, in which all candidates of a single party are picked with just a single mark, is very popular in Michigan cities with large black populations, especially Flint and Detroit. It's been on the books for more than 100 years and has been a common choice in some counties that are steadfastly loyal to Republicans, such as Ottawa.

But it was repealed in January by Republican Gov. Rick Snyder, who signed a bill approved by the GOP-controlled Legislature.

Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/federal-judge-blocks-michigan-ban-straight-party-voting-40773710

It Looks Like the U.S. Consumer Just Had Its Best Quarter in a Decade

The $13 trillion gorilla is beating its chest once more.

By Luke Kawa

You can't keep a $13 trillion gorilla down for long.

That's how Macquarie Capital Markets Analyst David Doyle describes the U.S. consumer, in a note to clients detailing the growing strength of the engine of the world's largest economy.

Doyle notes that the Atlanta Fed's GDPNow model, last updated on July 19, suggests personal consumption expenditures will expand in the second quarter by an annualized 4.5 percent quarter-over-quarter. That's a pace of growth not seen since the first quarter of 2006.

"Macro data continues to show that the global economy’s $13 trillion gorilla, the U.S. consumer, is getting even stronger," the analyst wrote.



Can Turkey’s Republic Survive Erdogan’s Purge?

Keeping an independent newspaper in business is hard enough. Try doing it in Istanbul.

July 21, 2016

On the afternoon of May 6 the Turkish journalist Can Dundar was speaking to a television reporter outside Istanbul’s Caglayan courthouse when he noticed a man with a mustache and a navy-blue windbreaker walking toward him, holding a handgun. Dundar (pronounced DOON-dar) is editor-in-chief of the newspaper Cumhuriyet, one of the few Turkish media outlets still openly critical of the government. He and Cumhuriyet colleague Erdem Gul were awaiting their sentences after a monthslong criminal trial. Dundar’s bodyguard had remained inside during the court’s recess. Seeing the gun, the TV reporter said, “Run.”

The man with the mustache fired two shots, shouting, “Traitor!” Dundar hopped to one side, his shoulders hunched, and ducked behind his interviewer, who moved to shelter him. Dundar’s wife, Dilek, grabbed the assailant’s right arm, and a parliamentarian who had been standing nearby bear-hugged the man from behind. Dundar ran a few steps off, then slowed and looked back. He was unscathed, though one bullet had grazed the leg of the TV reporter. Seconds later the attacker was kneeling, with the guns of three plainclothes police officers and the cameras of more than a dozen TV crews trained on him. Then Dundar and Gul went back into the courthouse to receive their sentences: five years in prison for Gul, five years and 10 months for Dundar. (They remain free while their case is on appeal.)

A trim man with a broad face and a springy mane of gray hair, Dundar, 55, became Cumhuriyet’s editor-in-chief in February 2015. His conviction this May—Dundar says he’s the defendant in so many concurrent cases he’s all but lost track—was the result of a story he published a year earlier detailing how Turkey’s national intelligence agency smuggled weapons into neighboring Syria, most likely for Islamic rebels fighting the forces of President Bashar al-Assad. After the story came out, Turkey’s president and former prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, went on television and promised that the parties responsible for the story “will pay a heavy price.” Six months later, Dundar and Gul were charged with aiding a terrorist organization, attempting to overthrow the government, espionage, and revealing state secrets. So far, the two have been convicted only of the last offense. They’ve already spent three months in pretrial detention, inhabiting adjoining cells in Istanbul’s Silivri Prison until Turkey’s constitutional court ordered their release.

Turkey has never had a truly free press. It has a long tradition of censorship, especially around the combustible politics of its religious and ethnic minorities. And that was before the bloody coup attempt of Friday, July 15, which began with fighter jets buzzing Ankara and military units in Istanbul closing both bridges across the Bosporus. Battles among civilians, police officers, and soldiers left 290 dead and 1,400 wounded. The putsch also showcased the courage of Turkish journalists: The staff at CNN Turk defied a helicopter full of putschist soldiers who showed up to take over their studios, and a photographer for the pro-government daily Yeni Safak was shot dead in the street.



Cleveland: Where the Trump Campaign Went to Die

JULY 21, 2016 10:16 AM EDT
By Francis Wilkinson

Conventions have multiple purposes, but the part that is televised in prime time has only one: to reinforce the themes and competitive advantages of the presidential candidate. That requires highlighting his strengths, minimizing his weaknesses and damaging his opponent. Three days of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland have produced a slightly different effect, leaving the rationales for Donald Trump's candidacy in tatters.


Trump the CEO. Trump's never been much of a manager, as my Trump-authority colleague Tim O'Brien just made clear. And experts often explain that running the federal government is nothing like running a company -- especially a family company like Trump's. Oddly enough, a convention sort of is. It's entirely your show. You set the schedule, pick the speakers and, in all but exceptional cases, precisely vet what they say. (You don't, however, get to pick its location. Trump seems to have lied about that for no particular reason other than that's how he rolls.)

CEO Trump's convention has been a fiasco. Incompetence is everywhere. Seats throughout the arena are empty in prime time. The schedule has run late, causing key speakers to miss valuable television slots. The arena's video monitor fritzed out on Wednesday night. And, of course, there was the epic plagiarism in Melania Trump's speech. The series of blatant untruths the campaign produced to try to quell the controversy was amateurish even for this group. Worse, the speech plagiarized Michelle Obama of all people. Worse again, it plagiarized a passage on the Obama family values -- which Donald Trump had gone to great lengths to portray as alien and un-American. ("There's something going on there.")

Takeaway: If Trump can't run his own convention, how can he run anything more complex? Like a large country?


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