CNN: Debbie Wasserman Schultz is stepping down as chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee at the end of the party’s convention, which is set to begin here Monday.
The Florida congresswoman’s resignation — under pressure from top Democrats — comes amid hackers’ release of emails that show DNC staffers favoring Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders in the party’s 2016 nominating contest.
Wasserman Schultz announced her resignation in a statement Sunday afternoon, saying she remains committed to seeing Clinton elected president. She talked with both President Barack Obama and Clinton before making her announcement.
“Going forward, the best way for me to accomplish those goals is to step down as Party Chair at the end of this convention,” Wasserman Schultz said in her statement.
DLTDHYOTWO, Debster! https://t.co/KDVUhRUqdb
— Michelle Malkin (@michellemalkin) July 24, 2016
“As Party Chair, this week I will open and close the Convention and I will address our delegates about the stakes involved in this election not only for Democrats, but for all Americans,” she said. “We have planned a great and unified Convention this week and I hope and expect that the DNC team that has worked so hard to get us to this point will have the strong support of all Democrats in making sure this is the best convention we have ever had.”
Wasserman Schultz had faced intense pressure Sunday to resign her post, several Democratic leaders told CNN, urging her to quell a growing controversy threatening to disrupt Clinton’s nominating convention.
DNC Vice Chair Donna Brazile will serve as interim chair through the election, it was announced Sunday.
Separately, a Democratic operative said Hispanic leaders close to Clinton and her high command were discussing Housing Secretary Julian Castro as a possible successor to Wasserman Schultz at the DNC helm.
Party officials decided Saturday that Wasserman Schultz would not have a major speaking role or preside over daily convention proceedings this week.
The DNC Rules Committee has named Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, as permanent chair of the convention, according to a DNC source. She will gavel each session to order and will gavel each session closed.
“She’s been quarantined,” another top Democrat said of Wasserman Schultz, following a meeting Saturday night.
David Axelrod, a former top adviser to Obama’s presidential campaigns and a CNN senior political commentator, said Wasserman Schultz should resign.
“I would ask her to step aside. I would ask her to step aside because she’s a distraction in a week that is Hillary Clinton’s week,” Axelrod told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.”
One close Clinton ally said the hope is that Wasserman Schultz would get the message and leave her position before the convention kicks off Monday. “But she is stubborn,” the Clinton ally said.
Wasserman Schultz reluctantly agreed to relinquish her speaking role at the convention here, a sign of her politically fragile standing. But party leaders are now urging the Florida congresswoman to vacate her position as head of the party entirely in the wake of leaked emails suggesting the DNC favored Clinton during the primary and tried to take down Sanders by questioning his religion.
Democratic leaders are scrambling to keep the party united, but two officials familiar with the discussions said Wasserman Schultz had been digging in and not eager to vacate her post until after the November elections. Read the rest of this entry »
…Carl Dix of the Revolutionary Communist Party said the group organized the burning of the American flag as a “political statement about the crimes of the American empire. There’s nothing great about America.”
Moments after the flag was set on fire, officers charged in to put it out with an extinguishing spray that some in the crowd thought was pepper spray because of similarities in the design of the canisters and the eye irritation caused by the fire-suppression substance.
“You’re on fire! You’re on fire, stupid!” a Cleveland officer shouted at a protester while firing the extinguishing spray.
“You’re on fire! You’re on fire, stupid!”
– Cleveland cop to protester
“Burn that rag! Burn that rag!” supporters of the group yelled.
Pushing and shoving broke out, and police quickly had several group members on the ground in handcuffs. Some in the crowd jeered the officers, yelling, “Blue lives murder!”
About 10 more minutes passed before the crowd was under control.
Earlier in the day Wednesday, blocks away from the arena, a right-wing religious group lifted a banner reading “Jesus is angry with you sinners,” while kissing lesbians mocked their message, helping turn Cleveland’s Public Square into part-carnival, part-debate floor. Read the rest of this entry »
The Hollywood stuntman doesn’t want to follow in his idol’s footsteps so much as rocket above them — over a gaping canyon, no less.
“Evel took off on one side of the canyon in 1974. I’m hoping his spirit lands on the other side of the canyon in 2016. How many people get to fulfill the dreams of their hero? It’s kind of like touching Superman’s cape.”
— Stuntman Eddie Braun
Evel Knievel‘s iconic launch, Take II.
Eddie Braun, fueled by the memory of the late daredevil, plans to strap into a steam-powered rocket cycle on Sept. 17 for his most death-defying role yet: Replicating a launch over the Snake River Canyon in Idaho that almost cost Knievel his life four decades ago.
“With this re-creation, it is my intent to clear his name and tell his amazing story. I like to think that instead of looking up at the rocket launch, he and Evel will be looking down on it, and that’s a much better view.”
— Scott Truax
Braun named his rocket “Evel Spirit ” after his boyhood hero. It’s nearly identical to the model Knievel used for his failed canyon attempt on Sept. 8, 1974. Braun wants to prove Knievel could’ve made it had his parachute not prematurely deployed.
Along for the ride in this endeavor are two sons eager to complete the legacies of their fathers: Kelly Knievel, who was present the day of the crash, and rocket designer Scott Truax, whose dad constructed the original rocket cycle for Knievel.
Ready, set, and (gulp) launch.
“Evel took off on one side of the canyon in 1974. I’m hoping his spirit lands on the other side of the canyon in 2016,” said the 54-year-old Braun, who says he completed the necessary paperwork and will launch a few miles away from Knievel’s original site that’s near Twin Falls, Idaho. “How many people get to fulfill the dreams of their hero? It’s kind of like touching Superman’s cape.”
Braun has long been fascinated by everything Knievel, the popular figure who attempted so many memorable motorcycle jumps over an iconic career:
— The fountains at Caesars Palace in 1967 (crashed, crushed pelvis and femur)
— 13 buses at Wembley Stadium in London in 1975 (crashed, broke pelvis and back)
— 14 Greyhound buses at Kings Island theme park in Ohio in 1975 (success).
— A 90-foot tank filled with sharks in 1977 (crashed on landing ramp during rehearsal, broken arms)
And, of course, the Snake River Canyon attempt. Wearing his patriotic jumpsuit, Knievel was the epitome of cool and calm.
Soon after takeoff, his parachute deployed and halted the rocket’s momentum. Watching that day was son Kelly and the rocket’s designer, Robert Truax, who put a comforting arm around Kelly as the cycle drifted into the canyon.
Knievel walked away with only minor injuries.
“He flipped a coin with his life and came out alive,” explained Kelly Knievel, whose father died in 2007 at 69 after suffering from diabetes and pulmonary fibrosis. “My dad certainly had nine lives, didn’t he?”
Just before the attempt, the daredevil landed on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Just after, his celebrity status was only cemented. Read the rest of this entry »
Erin Blakemore reports Forty-seven years ago, mankind achieved what was once unthinkable when Neil Armstrong stepped onto the surface of the moon. But getting him there involved more than strapping the astronaut to a rocket and pressing “go.” Armstrong and his colleagues headed to space in the most advanced spacecraft of their time: the Apollo 11 command module, Columbia. Now, you can explore the module without leaving your couch with the help of a newly-released 3D model that offers unprecedented access to one of history’s most important technological achievements—and the inside scoop on what it was really like to be an Apollo astronaut.
The model is the result of painstaking digitization efforts by the Smithsonian Institution, which houses Columbia at the National Air and Space Museum, and Autodesk, Inc. Given the complexity of the craft—and the fact that photographers weren’t allowed to actually touch it while capturing every nook and cranny—the 3D model is an impressive feat.
It’s available to anyone with an internet connection and offers glimpses unavailable to museum visitors, who are not allowed to explore the inside of the craft. The model can be viewed online, but also comes with publicly available data files for 3-D printing or viewing with virtual reality goggles.
Armstrong, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin and Michael Collins lived in Columbia during their time in space on the Apollo 11 mission, which launched from Cape Kennedy on July 16, 1969. Four days later, Aldrin and Armstrong headed to the moon’s surface on the “Eagle” lunar module.
Columbia itself is filled with clues as to life as an early astronaut. While photographing the inside of the module, curators discovered markings made by the astronauts on their mission, including information relayed by mission control and a hand-drawn calendar that documents the journey. The men even scribbled notes to one another on the walls, including a warning about “smelly waste!” that presumably cautioned intrepid explorers to keep away from a certain panel on the cramped craft. Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] ‘Trump is Not Almighty…He’s a Mediocre, Narcissistic, Dumbed-Down, Navel-Gazing Reality TV Star’: Cornel West at RNCPosted: July 19, 2016
Activist and civil-rights leader Cornel West speaks after a heated protest on Public Square in the second day of the Republican National Convention.
In May, Governor Edwards signed a ‘Blue Lives Matter’ bill into law, making Louisiana the first state in the country where police officers, firefighters and other first responders are a protected class under hate-crime law.
Multiple officers in Baton Rouge were shot Sunday, July 17. The city’s Mayor told NBC three of them have died. Police warned local residents to stay away from the scene as they searched the area for the shooter. (Reuters)
Three police officers were killed and at least three others injured in a shooting Sunday morning in Baton Rouge, according to the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office.
“This is an unspeakable and unjustified attack on all of us at a time when we need unity and healing. Rest assured, every resource available to the state of Louisiana will be used to ensure the perpetrators are swiftly brought to justice.”
— Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards
Authorities said that one suspect has been killed, and the sheriff’s office said that they believe two other potential suspects may be at large. While the injured officers were taken to nearby hospitals, people who lived in the vicinity were ordered to hunker down and stay indoors.
Details about the shooting remained unclear by Sunday afternoon, and police did not immediately say whether they believe the officers were targeted or if they were injured during a law enforcement action. The shooting happened in a region still on edge after police fatally shot a man there, sparking heated protests that prompted a heavy law enforcement response that some have questioned as unnecessarily forceful.
Officers from the Baton Rouge police force as well as deputies from the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office were involved in the shooting, authorities said, though they did not specify the agencies of the officers who were killed. Multiple officers from both agencies were injured in the shooting and brought to hospitals, police said.
“This is an unspeakable and unjustified attack on all of us at a time when we need unity and healing,” Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) said in a statement. “Rest assured, every resource available to the state of Louisiana will be used to ensure the perpetrators are swiftly brought to justice.”
Edwards planned to speak more about the shooting at a news conference later Sunday, his office said.
Baton Rouge Mayor Kip Holden said he had spoken to officials from the White House, who offered to assist in any way possible.
“It’s touched, basically, people all across the country,” he told WAFB in a telephone interview just after noon. “The phones have not stopped ringing.”
Holden could not confirm reports from various media outlets that as many as seven officers had been wounded.
“When a police officer is shot or assaulted, it makes every single citizen in the country a little less safe. When police officers have to worry about citizens committing unprovoked acts of violence against them it makes it more difficult for them to interact with citizens and that is a key factor in law enforcement.”
— Jim Pasco, executive director of the National Fraternal Order of Police
“In the word community is the word unity,” Holden said. “If this is not a defining moment for us, to bridge the divide and come out with a unified voice, than I don’t know what is.”
In a statement, Baton Rouge said that its police force and other local, state and federal authorities were “actively investigating the circumstances surrounding this morning’s shooting.” Officials also said that the roads around the shooting area remained closed as of 2 p.m. local time.
Agents for the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were on the scene in Baton Rouge responding to the shooting, according to Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch.
“No other state includes police officers as a protected class under hate-crime laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. But at least 37 states — including Louisiana — have enhanced penalties for assaulting police officers.”
A spokesman for the FBI in New Orleans said he was “unsure” whether the officers were targeted specifically, or whether something else might have sparked the incident. He declined to comment further.
But the shooting deaths came during a particularly deadly year for law enforcement, and not long after a gunman who said he was enraged by police killings targeted police in Dallas. Read the rest of this entry »
“The reason it’s impossible to respect American progressives is that they are ALL too stupid to realize that the people they look up to are more than happy to make all the money they can, and become power brokers in the ‘rigged’ system while doing so.”
— Stephen Kruiser
The Associated press reports:
Just days after ending his campaign and endorsing Hillary Clinton for president, Sen. Bernie Sanders is preparing to take his message to the printed page.
Thomas Dunne Books told The Associated Press on Thursday it will publish Sanders’ “Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In.” The book is scheduled to come out Nov. 15, a week after election day. It will include both his policy ideas for the future and reflections on his surprisingly strong run in the primaries.
The 74-year-old Sanders, an independent from Vermont who caucuses with Democrats in the Senate, attracted millions of voters with his blunt rhetoric and progressive agenda of raising taxes on the rich, overhauling campaign financing and providing universal health care and free college education…(read more)
Stephen Kruiser writes:
…Sanders just endorsed the woman he’s spent months saying is part of the corrupt big money Wall St. system he rails against for his kiddie hordes, and now he’s got a book advance that he’s too coy to share. Read the rest of this entry »