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  • Hillary Clinton Selects Tim Kaine, a Popular Senator From a Swing State, as Running Mate July 22, 2016

    From the New York Times,

    Hillary Clinton named Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia to be her running mate Friday, selecting a battleground state politician with working-class roots and a fluency in Spanish, traits that she believes can bolster her chances to defeat Donald J. Trump in November.

    Mrs. Clinton’s choice, which she announced via text message to supporters, came after her advisers spent months poring over potential vice-presidential candidates who could lift the Democratic ticket in an unpredictable race against Mr. Trump.

    In the end, Mrs. Clinton decided Mr. Kaine, 58, a former governor of Virginia who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and speaks fluent Spanish, had the qualifications and background and the personal chemistry with her to make the ticket a success.  Read more about Tim Kaine of Virginia from the New York Times here.

  • Day 4 of the Republican National Convention: It’s Definitely Donald Trump’s Party! July 22, 2016

    From the New York Times: On the final night of a convention unlike any in memory, Donald J. Trump completed his unlikely envelopment of the Republican Party. His rule could last four months, or four years, or eight. All hail Trump. Our takeaways:

    There is no middle

    Mr. Trump and his fellow speakers over four days and nights did not pivot, did not shift, did not seek the notional sweet center of American public life. With few exceptions, the convention was aimed at stirring up true believers and wedding them to his cause. The emotional and cultural core of Mr. Trump’s campaign — reversal of, and even revenge for, perceived slights, disrespect and loss — were undisturbed and at times amplified before a prime-time audience. In Mr. Trump’s telling, the most powerful nation in the history of the world was a victim. And Mr. Trump was its avenger.

     Trump has learned

    While his message was unchanged, the packaging was updated. Mr. Trump spoke almost entirely from a script, and his unmistakable voice had been sculpted into something resembling a traditional tone for a nomination acceptance speech. Only once did he break the mask — when Mr. Trump, grimacing theatrically, mocked those who had said he could never win. The result was a Trump packaged for prime time.  Read more from The New York Times here.
    Donald Trump Speech 7/22/16

    In officially accepting the Republican nomination for President, Donald Trump vowed to put “America first” and put forward a credo of “Americanism, not globalism.”

    While the speech was mainly focused on domestic issues, Trump singled out China as a beneficiary of what he described as the decline of the U.S.  Read more from CNN here.
    Ivanka Trump 7/22/16

    Ivanka Trump pitched her father,Donald Trump, to the nation’s female voters Thursday night, revealing a softer side of the billionaire businessman in a way that almost no other convention speaker has done so far.

    His 34-year-old daughter regaled the crowd with childhood stories about Legos and his favorite adages, rounding out the image of the sometimes hard-edged politician that’s emerged over the campaign. And in the well-received, prime-time speech, she made a direct appeal to women, who are breaking in polls for rival Hillary Clinton.  Read more from CNN here.
  • Republican Convention Day 3: Running Mates and Rivals July 21, 2016

    After a plodding program on Tuesday, the convention hall was finally electric with energy on Wednesday night. But it wasn’t always the kind of energy a presidential nominee wants at the outset of a general election. Republican divisions were on colorful display and threatened to overshadow Mike Pence, the vice-presidential nominee, who is well liked on the right. Our takeaways:

    Pence does it the old-fashioned way

    He stuck to the script, reusing familiar lines and boiling down the Trump campaign’s message into a neat sales pitch. There was no swearing and no attacking other Republicans. In other words, Mr. Pence, the governor of Indiana, gave his speech like a career politician — and it worked.

    Mr. Pence, overshadowed by Donald J. Trump throughout the vice-presidential rollout, used his first prominent solo performance to describe the 2016 election as a choice between a candidate of change (Mr. Trump) and “a stale agenda and the most predictable of names” in Hillary Clinton. He vouched for Mr. Trump’s moral character, calling him “the right man for these times.”

    After two days of meandering speeches from obscure politicians and minor celebrities, Mr. Pence brought roars of enthusiasm from the crowd and set a high bar for Mr. Trump to clear, with his more freewheeling approach, on Thursday.

    Cruz 2020 begins

    The runner-up in the Republican primaries, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, did not endorse Mr. Trump for president. He congratulated him on winning the Republican nomination but urged Americans only to vote their conscience in the fall. At one point, Mr. Cruz explicitly looked past the 2016 election.

    “We’re fighting not for one particular candidate or one campaign,” he said, but rather to tell the next generation, “We did our best for our future and our country.”

    His speech earned rounds of angry booing in the room from the pro-Trump crowd and only scattered chants of support from friendly delegations. But with a soaring address that touched on traditional small-government themes and praised the Republican Party’s historical role in ending slavery, Mr. Cruz staked out a position for himself as a premier torchbearer for conservative ideology — even in defiance of an unorthodox nominee.

    The bargaining process is not over

    As Mr. Cruz gave a cold shoulder to Mr. Trump, other high-profile speakers tried a range of rhetorical strategies to persuade skeptics to back him. Rick Scott, the governor of Florida, noted Mr. Trump’s shortcomings — “He can be a little rough” — before defending him as a friend. Scott Walker, the governor of Wisconsin, said that failing to support Mr. Trump was equivalent to endorsing Mrs. Clinton.

    Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker, even repurposed Mr. Cruz’s words into a plea for unity. “Ted Cruz said you can vote your conscience for anyone who will uphold the Constitution,” he said. “In this election, there is only one candidate who will uphold the Constitution.”

    In a united party, these exhortations would be unnecessary. And every minute of airtime devoted to cajoling reluctant conservatives was a minute not aimed at winning over swing voters for the general election.  Read more from The New York Times here.

    Check out some speeches from Day 3 of the Republican National Convention:

    Mike Pence Speech 7/20/16

    PENCEIndiana Gov. Mike Pence will make his partnership with Donald Trump official at the Republican National Convention, giving Wednesday night’s headlining address as Trump’s running mate.

    Pence’s speech follows a Sunday interview on CBS’ 60 Minutes where Trump and Pence discussed their different political styles but shared ideals as the “law and order” ticket. “One of the reasons why I said yes in a heartbeat to run with this man is because he embodies American strength,” Pence said.  Read more from Politifact here.

    Newt Gingrich Speech 7/20/16

    CLEVELAND, Ohio — Newt Gingrich endorsed Republican nominee Donald Trump, and spoke about national security at the Republican National Convention on Wednesday night.

    “The truth is that although we are losing the war with radical Islamists, we have been very lucky,” he said. “We need to tell the truth about the danger.”

    Gingrich cited many terrorist attacks around the world, including the Orlando Pulse nightclub shootings and the Istanbul airport attack. He said ISIS would continue to pose a threat to the U.S.

    Before Trump announced Mike Pence would be his running mate, Gingrich was on a small list of people Trump considered. Gingrich is a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, where he served as a representative from Georgia.  Read more from the Cleveland.com here.

    Ted Cruz Speech 7/20/16

    Ted Cruz sensationally withheld an endorsement of Donald Trump at the Republican National Convention Wednesday, earning a chorus of boos from the floor before he was upstaged in a power play by the GOP nominee himself.

    In a dramatic development, as Cruz wrapped up his speech, Trump suddenly appeared in the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. He walked to join his family in a VIP area and flashed a thumbs-up — a gesture that transmitted clear anger at the Texas senator’s behavior.
    Cruz, his party’s runner-up, uttered Trump’s name just once — to congratulate him — and instead pitched the ideological brand of conservatism that endears him to the GOP’s base.
    “I congratulate Donald Trump on winning the nomination last night,” Cruz said. “And like each of you, I want to see the principles that our party believes prevail in November.”
    But as it was clear Cruz was going to end his speech without endorsing Trump, delegates began to boo and some chanted “We want Trump!”
    “Don’t stay home in November,” Cruz said toward the end of his otherwise very well-received speech. “Stand and speak and vote your conscience.”
    As delegates began to protest, Sen. Cruz’s wife, Heidi Cruz, was heckled by Trump supporters shouting “Goldman Sachs!” and escorted out by security. Heidi Cruz, who is an employee of Goldman Sachs, declined to answer questions from reporters, saying, “I don’t talk to the media, thanks.”  Read more from CNN here.
  • Donald Trump wins the Republican nomination for president July 19, 2016

    Setting aside another day of self-inflicted turmoil, Donald Trump celebrated his formal ascension Tuesday to the Republican presidential nomination — an achievement once seen as highly improbable and not fully assured until the roll call was completed on the second night of the GOP convention.

    Republicans hoped the moment would correct the convention’s course after a muddled first day that included a failed revolt by resistant delegates and a plagiarism controversy engulfing his wife, Melania.  Read more from the Los Angles Times here.

    Check out some speeches from Day 2 of the Republican National Convention:
    Donald Trump Speech 7/19/16

    trump picDonald Trump officially clinched the Republican presidential nomination Tuesday evening after securing enough delegates during the roll call vote on the floor of the convention.

    A rules change allowed New York to announce its vote out of alphabetical order so that it could be the one to put him over the edge the threshold of 1,237.

    Trump’s son, Donald Jr., who is a Republican delegate, was the one to announce the vote with his sisters Ivanka and Tiffany and brother Eric by his side.

    “Congratulations Dad, we love you!” Donald Jr. screamed.

    Don Jr. told ABC afterwards that “other than the birth of my children, it’s the coolest thing I’ve ever done. Totally surreal. Totally intense.”

    The convention secretary went through one-by-one through the list of states alphabetically as the chairs of each delegation will briefly tout their state before announcing their state’s vote total.

    House Speaker Paul Ryan confirmed the tally after all of the states had been heard, and after Alaska raised some questions about the way that their state’s rules had changed.  Read more from ABC here.

    Donald Trump Jr. Speech 7/19/16

    Hours after his father was formally nominated for president, Donald Trump Jr. electrified the crowd at the Republican National Convention with a speech heavy on conservative policies and ideas.

    In a more policy-driven speech than his father typically gives, Trump Jr. talked about the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform bill, the need for less regulation and more competition and what he said was a broken U.S. immigration system.

    “It’s called the free market and it’s what the other party fears,” said Trump Jr., who, like his father, works for the Trump Organization and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. “They want to run everything, top-down from Washington. They tell us they’re the experts and they know what’s best.”  Read more from the Austin American Statesman here.

    Mitch McConnell Speech 7/19/16

    The top two Republicans in Congress took swipes at presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton Tuesday night at the Republican National Convention.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan warned about what would happen if America elected Clinton as president.

    McConnell called Clinton a consistent liar, citing that she has changed her position on a number of topics.

    “Not since Baghdad Bob has there been such a public figure with such a tortured relationship with the truth,” McConnell told the crowed, referencing former Iraqi official Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf under Saddam Hussein.  Read more from CBS here.

    Paul Ryan Speech 7/19/16

    Ryan, for his part, said Clinton represents a third term of Obama’s presidency instead of the “clean break from a failed system” that many Americans want.

    “The Obama years are almost over, the Clinton years are way over, 2016 is the year America moves on,” Ryan said at the convention.

    Ryan stated that the Republican Party “stands as the great enduring political party.”

    “Progressives deliver everything except progress,” Ryan told the crowd.  Read more from CBS here.

    Chris Christie Speech 7/19/16

    Republicans broke into chants of “lock her up” as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie tried to impugn Hillary Clinton’s character in his speech to the Republican National Convention.

    Christie said as a former federal prosecutor, he wanted to hold Clinton accountable for her actions. He laid out what he said are facts about her to “a jury of her peers.”

    Guilty or not guilty — that’s what Christie asked his audience for, requesting a verdict about Clinton on her leadership on the Islamic State group, China, and an al-Qaida-linked group in Nigeria.

    Each time, delegates responded with boisterous chants of “guilty.”

    Republican activists repeatedly interrupted Christie with shouts of “lock her up.”  Read more from New York Post here.

     

  • Anti-Trump Delegates Cause Chaos on Opening Day of GOP Convention-everything pretty much smooth sailing as the night went on July 19, 2016

    CLEVELAND, Ohio – A chaotic opening set the scene of the Republican National Convention as delegates opposed to Donald Trump and strong-armed pressure from the Republican National Committee erupted in protests on the floor of the convention.

    Ultimately anti-Trump delegates failed to advance their objectives, but only after an aggressive whip operation by the Trump campaign and the RNC, an effort that only elevated the concerns of skeptical party activists.  Read more from NBC here.

    Check out some of the speeches:

    Melania Trump at the RNC 7/18/16:

    Melania Trump stepped onto center stage Monday for the highest-profile speech of her life, offering testimony about the character of her husband, Donald Trump, and saying he would never let America down.

    The former fashion model, who rarely takes a leading role on the campaign trail, was the star attraction on the first night of the Republican National Convention.
    “With all of my heart, I know that he will make a great and lasting difference,” she said. “He will never give up and he will never, never let you down.”
    She went on: “Donald is and always has been an amazing leader. Now he will go to work for you.”  Read more from CNN here.

    Rudy Giuliani at the RNC 7/18/16:

    Rudy Giuliani delivered a rousing speech on the opening night at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland on Monday. The former New York City mayor offered a fiery message to terrorists that brought the convention floor to its feet.

    “You know who you are, and we’re coming to get you,” said Giuliani.

    The theme for night one of the convention was “Make America Safe Again,” and Giuliani pushed for a more clear label for the United States’ enemies. “We must not be afraid to define our enemy,’ Giuliani said. “It is Islamic extremist terrorism.”  Read more from AOL here.
    Senator Tom Cotton at the RNC 7/18/16:

    CLEVELAND, Ohio — Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas praised Donald Trump during his speech at the Republican convention, arguing that Trump would renew the strength of the American military.

    “Let me say again, this time directly to our troops,” he said. “In a Trump/Pence administration and with a Republican congress, help is on the way.”

    Cotton took a shot at Hillary Clinton, quoting former Vice President Dick Cheney to remind Americans of the dangers that the Clinton’s posed when they were in charge of foreign policy. He also skewered her insecure private email account that she used to share classified information.  “It would be nice to have a Commander-in-Chief who can be trusted to handle classified information,” he said, as the audience cheered.  Read more from Breitbart here.
    Sheriff David Clarke at the RNC 7/18/16:

    Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke has been exposing the Black Lives Matter movement since it’s inception two years ago, but at the RNC convention in Cleveland Monday, he took his message to a whole new level in support of the Trump campaign.

    “Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like to make something very clear: Blue  Lives Matter in America!” Clarke said. “I want to talk with you about something important, indeed, a concept that five law enforcement officers were murdered and nine more were wounded for earlier this month in Dallas, and for which three more were murdered yesterday in Baton Rouge:  that is the importance of Making America Safe Again.”

    “What we witnessed in Ferguson, in Baltimore, and in Baton Rouge was a collapse of social order. So many of the actions of the Occupy movement and Black Lives Matter transcend peaceful protest, and violates the code of conduct we rely  on. American law enforcement officers understand that race is and has been a heated issue in our country. Most appreciate the vital need for thoroughness and transparency in pursuit of the greater good in their actions, and in their investigations,” he continued. “These are truths that are self-evident to me, and which I practice, and they are the truths that Donald Trump understands and supports.”  Read more from Townhall here.

  • Lt. Governor Dan Patrick Launches Fundraising Drive for Families of Fallen Officers in Dallas July 15, 2016

     

    Lt. Governor Dan Patrick stopped by The Wells Report to talk about his fundraising efforts and the ABC race relations town hall with President Obama.  Check out his conversation with Jon-David below:

    TO DONATE CLICK HERE

    TO DONATE CLICK HERE

    From the Lt. Governor’s Office:

    Lt. Governor Dan Patrick has launched a CrowdRise drive to raise contributions for the families of the Dallas police officers who were killed last week.  While there is state assistance to the families, they are now facing a lifetime ahead without a major provider in the family.  In launching the fundraising campaign, Lt. Gov. Patrick made the following statement: 

    “Our police are always there when we need them.  I believe we must be there when they need us.  These men left families, wives and children.  The day after the shooting, I visited the family of one of the fallen officers and the children were worried about what would happen to them now that there father is gone. They asked if they would lose their home.  I told them that would not happen. 

    “A few thousand Texas police officers protect millions of Texans every day.  It is time for all of us to stand tall and demonstrate our support and respect for the law enforcement officers who put their lives on the line for us and our communities.”

     

    The Lt. Governor and his wife, Jan kicked off the campaign with a $5,000 contribution.  Contributions in any amount can be made.  To access the fundraising campaign, click here.
    The Lt. Governor told Jon-David, “Anything will help, whether it’s $10 or $20, doesn’t matter.  Anything will help.”

    TO DONATE CLICK HERE

  • At Least 80 Dead in Nice After Grenade-Filled Truck Plows Into Crowd, Officials Say July 14, 2016

    **UPDATE** Dr. Tim Furnish, PhD in Islamic History, consultant, researcher and author joined Jon-David to discuss the Nice, France terror attack and explain how we tell the difference between the Muslims who are not Jihadist and the ones who are set out to destroy our way of life.  Check out their conversation:


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    At least 77 people have died in the French city of Nice after an attacker plowed a truck, which was “loaded with” grenades and other arms, into a large crowd during Bastille Daycelebrations Thursday night, officials said.

    The incident left an “apocalyptic” scene, according to eyewitnesses, on the famed Promenade des Anglais, put the city on lockdown and drew swift condemnation from world leaders.

    “On behalf of the American people, I condemn in the strongest terms what appears to be a horrific terrorist attack in Nice, France, which killed and wounded dozens of innocent citizens,” President Obama said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and other loved ones of those killed, and we wish a full recovery for the many wounded.”

    Secretary of State John Kerry said the U.S. Embassy in Paris was working to account for the welfare of U.S. citizens in Nice. The American consulate in Marseille said it was trying to “determine if any U.S. citizens were injured in the event.”

    The exact nature of the attack was unclear, but the Paris anti-terrorism prosecutor’s office was put in charge of the investigation.

    Christian Estrosi, president of the Nice region, told French TV that the motorist “fired on the crowd, according to the police who killed him” and said that “the truck was loaded with arms, loaded with grenades.”

    The truck was driven by someone who appeared to have “completely premeditated behavior,” Estrosi said, adding that the attacker appears to “have used, while ramming his vehicle, a firearm through the window.”

    Read more from ABC about this attack here.

    Buy Dr. Furnish’s books at major booksellers everywhere!  (Click the books to go directly to a link!)

    DRTFURNISH

  • David Brown is absolutely right: In Dallas, ‘We’re asking cops to do too much’ July 11, 2016

    The Dallas Morning News City Columnist, Robert Wilonsky says:

    He is, by his own admission, “running on fumes.” His brain “is fried.” And he warned that this might be the last we hear from him for a while as he sets about the grim business of burying his dead.

    “I don’t know how I’m going to get through the week,” said Dallas Police Chief David Brown Monday, taking questions from the world’s media still assembled on his doorstep outside Dallas police headquarters, where a makeshift memorial has buried police cruisers beneath flowers, cars, placards. “We can hopefully get past this with God’s good grace.”

    The late-called press conference was intended to provide an update on Thursday night’s shooting that left five officers dead, four under Brown’s command. And it did, for a moment. But Brown quickly went off script, and let the world know he is gassed and spent, yes, but also fed up and furious.

    What began as an update turned into a clenched-jaw soliloquy on the toils of being a cop in Dallas — a place where officers are the “lowest-paid in the area,” he said, and among the most put-upon.

    It was an unexpected turn during what was billed as a briefing about a mass shooting in a downtown that’s still an active crime scene. And a powerful one, especially to Dallas residents still reeling from the mass murder of five officers.

    Brown, exhausted and unguarded, echoed what protesters said in the hours before a lone gunman opened fire on cops: Enough is enough.

    “We’re asking cops to do too much in this country,” he said. “We are. You’re asking us to do too much.”

    Read more from Robert Wilonsky on this by clicking here.

  • **UPDATE**Here’s how to help the Fallen Officers July 9, 2016

     

    The Assist the Officer Foundation-1412 Griffin St. East, Dallas, TX 75215; Online at atodallas.org/support

    The Dallas Foundation has established The Line of Duty Fund at  its site, dallasfoundation.org.

    Donate Blood-The American Red Cross said there is a need to keep supplies of blood stocked in the event of tragedies such as Thursday’s.  More than 225 blood products were supplied to one of the hospitals treating shooting victims.

    Carter BloodCare has multiple blood donation centers open on Sundays, including the Baylor Donor Center, from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The full list of hours and locations is available here.

    Restaurants and breweries across the Dallas area are offering free meals or drinks to uniformed police officers. Many are donating a portion or all of their proceeds to groups supporting the Dallas Police Department and DART Police Department. Check out our lengthy list of those places here.

    You can wear your support, too. Bullzerk, Versatees, TexTeesApparel, and other stores are selling shirts with the proceeds being donated to groups supporting the DPD officers’ families. Oak Cliff print shop We Are 1976 made a letterpress with 100% of proceeds going to the Assist the Officer Foundation supporting the officers’ families.

    The National Latino Law Enforcement Organization is arranging an event in support of the DPD families featuring a 5k or 1-mile run starting at Trinity Groves on July 28. The registration fee is however much you choose to donate, though the option of a T-shirt is available. More information is available here.

    Counseling for those affected by the tragedy across Dallas has been set up as well. At El Centro, where classes were under lockdown while police responded to the ambush, counseling is available for students, employees, and police officers: “Students and employees can call a 24-hour crisis line at 775-784-8090 or text “answer” to 839863; contact Crisis Counseling at 800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs” to 66746; or call 800-273-8255.”

    Free counseling is also being offered at the University of North Texas at Dallas Counseling Clinic, 7300 University Boulevard in Dallas. They will be available Monday and Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information contact the clinic director at Cynthia.Matthews@untdallas.edu.

    The Dallas Central Public Library had offered counseling the day after the shooting, but encouraged anyone who missed the opportunity to call this crisis hotline 24/7: (866) 342-6892.

    GoFundMe pages have been set up for four of the five officers who were killed:

     

    Find out more about groups who have announced donations and from The Dallas Morning News here.

  • Editorial cartoonist William ‘Bubba’ Flint on the Dallas police ambush July 8, 2016