Lazy Saturday ReadsPosted: July 2, 2016
I’m illustrating this post with some beautiful people, mostly engaged in outdoor activities–just because I feel like it.
The news continues to be mostly ugly, unfortunately. There’s the latest terrorist attack in Bangladesh, the endless saga of Bernie Sanders’ refusal to accept reality, and of course the very real danger that racist misogynist xenophobe Donald Trump could somehow gain the presidency.
Before I get started on the bad news, here’s a bit of exciting news for Hillary supporters. The Clinton campaign announced yesterday that it raised nearly $70 million in June. Politico reports:
Hillary Clinton’s campaign reported Friday that it had raised more than $68.5 million for Hillary for America, the Democratic National Committee and state parties in the month of June.
Of that total, $40.5 million went to the campaign, while the remaining $28 million went to the DNC and state parties through the Hillary Victory Fund and the Hillary Action Fund, putting Clinton’s total cumulative fundraising at $288 million for the campaign and $90 million for the joint fundraising agreements. Clinton begins July with more than $44 million on hand, with an average donation of $48 to the campaign itself.
Now for the awful news. There’s been another horrible terrorist attack in Bangladesh, just a short time after the massacre in Turkey.
Bangladeshi troops stormed an upscale bakery in Dhaka’s diplomatic enclave Saturday morning, ending an 11-hour siege by militants who killed 20 hostages and two police officers, officials said.
It was the deadliest and boldest act of terror in a country that has become increasingly numb to ever-escalating violence by Islamist militants.
The victims — most of them foreigners — were among roughly three dozen people taken hostage when attackers stormed the Holey Artisan Bakery on Friday evening with guns, explosives and other, sharp weapons Friday evening, authorities said.
Some guests and workers managed to escape, jumping from the bakery’s roof. Others crouched under chairs and tables as the gunmen fired indiscriminately, witnesses said.
Early Saturday morning, military commandos moved in. By the end, 13 people had been rescued and 20 were dead at the restaurant, officials said. Two police officers had been killed in a gunfire exchange earlier in the standoff, authorities said.
Six terrorists were killed and one was captured alive, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed said.
Exactly who was behind the attack is unclear.
Update to the story:
At least 12 of the 20 hostages who were killed in an hours-long attack at a cafe in Bangladesh’s capital over the weekend have been publicly identified, including three people who attended college in the United States.
Two of the students attended Georgia’s Emory University. That included Abinta Kabir of Miami, who was a sophomore at Emory’s campus in Oxford, Georgia. She was in Dhaka visiting family and friends, the school said.
The other was Faraaz Hossain, of Dhaka, a junior at Emory’s Goizueta Business School in Atlanta….
The third student was Indian citizen Tarushi Jain, 19, who was studying at the University of California at Berkeley, according to India’s minister of external affairs, Sushma Swaraj.
At least nine of the dead were Italian nationals, Italy’s Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said Saturday.
According to the Italian foreign ministry, they were: Adele Puglisi; Marco Tondat; Claudia Maria D’Antona; Nadia Benedetti; Vincenzo D’Allestro; Maria Rivoli; Cristian Rossi; Claudio Cappelli; and Simona Monti.
Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed on Saturday declared two days of mourning for the victims.
It’s all so senseless. What can I say?
CNN has news on the attack in Turkey: Istanbul airport attack: Planner, 2 bombers identified, report says.
Two of the three assailants in the terror attack that killed 44 people at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport have been identified as Rakim Bulgarov and Vadim Osmanov, according to Turkey’s state news agency Anadolu, citing an anonymous prosecution source.
The Friday report did not identify the third attacker.
The report did not reveal their nationalities. But officials have said they believe the three attackers are from Russia, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, and entered Turkey a month ago from Syria’s ISIS stronghold of Raqqa.
The report came a day after U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, said the man who directed the attackers is Akhmed Chatayev, a terrorist from Russia’s North Caucasus region.
Bernie Sanders is never going to go away. I’m convinced that he agrees with Susan Sarandon that if Trump is elected president, Bernie’s long wished-for “political revolution” will magically take place. As I’ve said before, I don’t even want him to endorse Hillary, and I certainly don’t want him out campaigning for her. He would only be his passive aggressive self–seeking new ways to undercut her while pretending he doesn’t want Trump to win.
From Politico: Sanders is itching for a convention fight.
Bernie Sanders is still spoiling for a convention fight.
It seemed like Democrats could finally claim unity when no member of the Democratic National Committee’s 15-person convention drafting committee voted against the draft of the policy platform draft during a meeting in St. Louis this past weekend: 13 members of the panel voted for the draft, one abstained and one missed the vote. But since then, Sanders-aligned members have teed off on the draft for not going far enough in key areas.
While both neutral national Democrats and Hillary Clinton-aligned Democrats on the DNC standing committees have hailed the draft document — which is headed to a full vote before the 187-member platform committee on July 8 and 9 in Orlando, Florida — as both satisfactory and historically progressive, Sanders supporters insist the draft remains unpalatable. Among the issues they’ve identified: the platform draft’s treatment of Medicare expansion, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a carbon tax, and a ban on fracking. Sanders and his allies are vowing to fight for changes in Orlando — and all the way to the convention in Philadelphia, if necessary.
Nothing is ever enough for Bernie and his bros.
So far, Sanders and his team have locked up draft policy wins on language for abolishing the death penalty, expanding Social Security through raising the cap on how much Americans earning $250,000 or more pay to expand benefits, and breaking up the country’s largest banks. But that’s not everything on Sanders’ lengthy priority list, so the senator and his allies are vowing to keep pushing hard.
While he admits that some gains are better than none at all, Sanders himself has already begun voicing his dissatisfaction. In an email to supporters on Thursday (titled “We’re going to the convention”) Sanders wrote that “we are going to take our political revolution into the halls of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia where we will fight to place a $15 minimum wage, opposition to TPP, and a ban on fracking directly into the Democratic Platform.”
That email came one day after the campaign asked its supporters to sign a petition demanding language against TPP be included in the platform — a top Sanders priority.
“The most significant issue for us is the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The Clinton team has said there’s absolutely no daylight between their position on TPP and ours,” Sanders policy director Warren Gunnels said. “We want to make that clear in the Democratic Party platform. That the TPP should not receive a vote in the lame-duck session and beyond.
Bernie is a horrible excuse for a human being. He’s nothing but a swollen-headed narcissist with delusions of grandeur. At least we haven’t heard much from Jane lately. Maybe she’s disgusted with him too.
Huffington Post’s Sam Stein: Bernie Sanders’ Endgame Is Increasingly Bewildering To Team Clinton.
Democrats have for weeks treated the still-operational presidential campaign ofSen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) with a mix of deference and caution, worrying about too strongly pushing the occasionally irascible senator and his legion of devoted followers.
But as time has passed and the party’s convention nears, supporters of Hillary Clinton really want to know what Sanders’ endgame actually is.
The question has been prompted by some recent muddled messaging from Sanders himself. The senator has said he’ll vote for Clinton, but is declining to actually endorse her candidacy. On Tuesday, he raised the specter of convention disorder over the nuts and bolts of the party platform, all while insisting he will do everything in his power to ensure that presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump loses.
The problem is, Sanders is actually doing everything in his power to help Trump win.
“So far [Sanders] has been riding a wave of good feelings in the sense he ran an incredible campaign,” said former Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), who served with Sanders and Clinton but has endorsed the latter.
“But that has a pretty short shelf life and then people start looking at you through a different lens, and that lens is: Are you a team player and do you have the larger picture in mind or are you just focused on yourself?” Conrad said. “At some point, pretty soon, he crosses the threshold. He may have already crossed it.”
He crossed it long ago, in my opinion.
With weeks to go before the party convenes in Philadelphia, Sanders’ role in that coronation of Clinton remains a mystery. He said Tuesday on MSNBC that he was taking his campaign to the convention floor in an effort to affect the platform.
“Politics is not a baseball game with winners or losers,” Sanders said at the time. “What politics is about is whether we protect the needs of millions of people in this country who are hurting.”
But changing the platform with the dramatic stripes that would satisfy the senator and his supporters seems unlikely. The party, for example, will be hard-pressed to formally disavow trade deals that its leader (President Barack Obama, not Clinton) still supports.
“You can’t have a platform that will embarrass the president,” said one prominent Democratic National Committee official.
But that’s what Bernie wants. And frankly, he has already embarrassed President Obama. He has also made a fool of himself. But I don’t think he’ll quit–maybe not even after the convention.
I’ll end with a silly story about Clinton Derangement Syndrome from The Washington Post: Watch people attack Hillary Clinton for dishonesty — while lying through their teeth.
Jimmy Kimmel’s “Lie Witness News” took to the streets to ask people about the approximately 160 previously unreleased Clinton emails this week. The show, of course, totally made up what was actually in the rather bland emails — saying Clinton was responding to spam from Nigerian princes and asking Vladimir Putin for shirtless pictures, for instance. But that didn’t stop these people from describing how they had read about these non-existent emails and berating Clinton over them.
The best part? The interviewer gets almost all of these liars to attack Clinton for her lack of honesty.
Here’s the video. It’s maddening but funny.
Have a fabulous Fourth of July Weekend Sky Dancers!!