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HeadlinesJuly 20, 2016

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It’s Official: Trump is Republican Party Presidential Nominee

Jul 20, 2016

It’s official: Donald Trump is the Republican Party presidential nominee. House Speaker Paul Ryan announced his nomination following a roll call vote on the floor of the Republican National Convention Tuesday.

Speaker Paul Ryan: “The chair announces that Donald J. Trump, having received a majority of these votes entitled to be cast at the convention, has been selected as the Republican Party nominee for president of the United States.”

That’s House Speaker Paul Ryan announcing Trump’s official party nomination. This comes after delegates from the “Never Trump” movement briefly staged a revolt against Trump’s nomination on Monday. The rebellion threw the first day of the convention into chaos, but the effort was quashed by party leadership. Some dissenting delegates booed during Tuesday’s roll call vote.

“Lock Her Up!”: RNC Crowd, Speakers Blast Hillary Clinton

Jul 20, 2016

The second day of the RNC was dubbed “Make America Work Again.” During the prime-time speeches, Donald Trump Jr. spoke about his father’s business record and his negotiation skills. Retired brain surgeon and former presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson used his medical expertise to criticize potential Clinton voters, saying, “They’re not using their God-given brain to think about what they are saying.” New Jersey Governor Chris Christie also criticized Clinton.

Gov. Chris Christie: “Answer me now: Is she guilty or not guilty?”

Delegates: “Guilty! … Lock her up! Lock her up! Lock her up! Lock her up! Lock her up!”

That’s the audience chanting “Lock her up! Lock her up!” But Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, who has chosen not to come to the RNC, tweeted, “Hillary Clinton now belongs in prison? C’mon. We can make the case that she shouldn’t be elected without jumping the shark.” Meanwhile, keynote speaker Paul Ryan mentioned Trump’s name only twice during his nearly 1,500-word speech. Wisconsin Republican Senator Ron Johnson only mentioned Trump’s name once. Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson also spoke Tuesday night. Last year, as governor, he followed the lead of Indiana governor and now Trump running mate Mike Pence in supporting the controversial anti-LGBT legislation known as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, but ended up refusing to sign it until the state Legislature amended the bill. This came after his own son signed a MoveOn petition criticizing the legislation. We’ll have more on Donald Trump’s official nomination with Nation magazine journalist John Nichols after headlines.

Trump Campaign on Melania Plagiarism: “Concept Michelle Obama Invented English Language is Absurd”

Jul 20, 2016

Meanwhile, controversy continues over Melania Trump’s speech on Monday, in which she plagiarized multiple sections of Michelle Obama’s speech at the DNC in 2008.

Michelle Obama: “Barack and I were raised with so many of the same values, like you work hard for what you want in life.”

Melania Trump: “The values that you work hard for what you want in life.”

Michelle Obama: “That your word is your bond, that you do what you say you’re going to do.”

Melania Trump: “That your word is your bond, and you do what you say and keep your promise.”

Michelle Obama: “Because we want our children and all children in this nation to know that the only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work hard for them.”

Melania Trump: “Because we want our children in this nation to know that the only limit to your achievements is the strength of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.”

Melania Trump in her speech Monday night at the RNC, and Michelle Obama in her speech at the DNC in 2008. The Trump campaign has repeatedly denied the accusations of plagiarism.

Katrina Pierson: “Look, these are our values—Republican values, by the way—of hard work, determination, family values, dedication and respect. And that’s Melania Trump. And this concept that Michelle Obama invented the English language is absurd.”

That was Trump spokesperson Katrina Pierson. RNC chief strategist Sean Spicer, meanwhile, said Melania’s speech used common phrases, and compared lines from her speech to dialogue in the animated TV series “My Little Pony.”

Sean Spicer: “Melania Trump said, 'The strength of your dreams and the willingness to work for them.' Twilight Sparkle from 'My Little Pony' said, 'This is your dream. Anything you can do in your dreams, you can do now.'”

That was RNC chief strategist Sean Spicer speaking on CNN. But journalists and experienced speechwriters widely agree Melania Trump did plagiarize parts of the speech. According to The New York Times, months before the RNC, the Trump campaign hired two speechwriters, Matthew Scully and John McConnell, to draft Melania Trump’s text. But The New York Times reports Melania Trump disregarded this draft and instead asked for help from former ballet dancer Meredith McIver. She had helped Trump with his book “Think Like a Billionaire.” At a protest outside the RNC, activist Julia Johnson criticized Melania Trump for plagiarizing Michelle Obama.

Julia Johnson: “Surprise, surprise, stealing from a black woman. I mean, it’s ridiculous how much this country is based off of the exploitation of labor of people of color, of oppressed people, of poor people. So, I’m sure that she thought that she would get away with it, and nobody would care.”

“Ban Guns, Not Balls!”: RNC Protest Takes Aim at Ohio Open-Carry Law

Jul 20, 2016

Protests continue in Cleveland outside the RNC. On Tuesday, two activists scaled a 60-foot flagpole near the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and unveiled a massive flag calling on Republicans not to “Trump” local communities. The flag also read “Ban Fracking, Stop Climate Injustice, and Tear Down the Wall.” In another protest Tuesday, the antiwar group CodePink delivered 500 tennis balls to the front steps of the Republican National Convention, protesting the fact that you can carry semiautomatic weapons—but not tennis balls—in the area around the event. We’ll have more on the protests later in the broadcast.

Band Queen Slams Trump for Using Its Song “We Are the Champions”

Jul 20, 2016

Meanwhile, the band Queen is criticizing Donald Trump for using the hit song “We Are the Champions” during Trump’s entrance onto the RNC convention stage Monday night. Queen tweeted, “An unauthorised use at the Republican Convention against our wishes — Queen.”
The group’s lead singer, Freddie Mercury, died of AIDS in 1991.

Roger Ailes to Resign Amid Sexual Harassment Claims

Jul 20, 2016

Roger Ailes’s lawyers have confirmed he’s in negotiations to step down as Fox News chair amid more than a half-dozen accusations of sexual harassment. Former Fox anchor Gretchen Carlson has sued Ailes. Now, Fox anchor Megyn Kelly has also accused him of harassment. Many are celebrating Ailes’s anticipated departure, though as Feministing founder Jessica Valenti notes, “Removing one lascivious man can’t turn around the mess of misogyny that is Fox News.” Carlson’s suit also alleges Fox News has an overall misogynistic culture.

#BLM & #BYP100 Shut Down Police Union Headquarters in NYC & D.C.

Jul 20, 2016

And right now in Washington, D.C., members of Black Youth Project 100 and Black Lives Matter are attempting to shut down offices of the Fraternal Order of Police as well as the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association in New York City. Activists have locked themselves to the steps of the Fraternal Order of Police with chains, while others have blocked intersections surrounding the headquarters. The activists are demanding police officers stop paying dues to the private unions, which they accuse of defending police accused of brutality. BYP organizer Clarise McCants says the Fraternal Order of Police “acts like a college fraternity and is responsible for maintaining the harmful, lethal, unethical, and unaccountable culture of policing while the families and communities impacted when officers brutalize civilians are left to mourn with little, if any, semblance of justice.”

Baton Rouge: Ex-Marine Shooter Who Killed 3 Cops Had PTSD

Jul 20, 2016

CNN is reporting that a former marine who killed three Baton Rouge police officers suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and had been prescribed multiple medications. Gavin Long was honorably discharged in 2010 and had served in Iraq. CNN reports Long had filled a prescription for Ativan, an anti-anxiety drug, as recently as June. He also had prescriptions for Valium and Lunesta.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson: No Apology for Insults

Jul 20, 2016

In news from Britain, recently appointed Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is refusing to apologize for insults he’s leveled at various world leaders. Johnson has called Hillary Clinton a “sadistic nurse in a mental hospital,” and said, after the Obama White House moved a bust of Winston Churchill, that it was a “symbol of the part-Kenyan President’s ancestral dislike of the British empire.” Johnson also wrote a poem about Turkish President Erdogan having sex with a goat. This is Boris Johnson speaking at a joint press conference Tuesday with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

Boris Johnson: “I’m afraid there is such a rich thesaurus now of things that I have said, that have been, one way or another, through what alchemy I do not know, somehow misconstrued, that it would really take me too long to engage in a full global itinerary of apology to all concerned.”

Turkey Makes Extradition Request for Cleric Accused of Plotting Coup

Jul 20, 2016

The Turkish government has filed a formal request demanding the U.S. extradite Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen, whom President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accuses of masterminding Friday’s failed military coup. Gülen lives in the Poconos Mountains in Pennsylvania. This comes as Turkey continues to purge and arrest thousands of accused coup supporters, ordering more than 1,500 university deans to resign and revoking the licenses of 21,000 teachers.


HRW: Half of Syrian Children in Lebanon Not in School

Jul 20, 2016

In news from Lebanon, Human Rights Watch says about a quarter-million Syrian children living there as refugees do not attend school. The population of Lebanon is approximately 6 million—about 1 million of whom are Syrian refugees. About half of those refugees are children. Even though Lebanon allows for the enrollment of Syrians in its public schools, a shortage of seats and laws restricting refugees’ movements prevent them from attending.

Iraqi Marshes Named UNESCO World Heritage Site

Jul 20, 2016

Iraq’s southern wetlands, thought by some to be the biblical Garden of Eden, have been named a UNESCO World Heritage site. Saddam Hussein dammed and drained the marshes in the 1990s to flush out rebels hiding in the reeds. After the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, locals destroyed dams to let water back in, restoring the marsh ecosystem within a few years. Many of the marshes’ inhabitants are subsistence fishermen, and the area is an important stop for migratory birds. The marshes are, however, once more threatened by new dams in Turkey and Iran, as well as by climate change.


Yale Dishwasher Corey Menafee, Who Broke Racist Window, Wins Job Back

Jul 20, 2016

And former Yale University dishwasher Corey Menafee has won back a job at Yale, after he was fired for smashing a stained-glass window depicting enslaved Africans carrying bales of cotton. This is Corey Menafee speaking on Democracy Now!

Corey Menafee: “It was—it depicted a male and a female, both appearing to be African-American, standing in a field of white crops, what appear to be cotton, with baskets over their heads. And I believe one of the figures were actually smiling, which is like so condescending, because looking back on slavery, like, it wasn’t a happy time for African Americans.”

Amy Goodman: “Describe what you did as you looked up at the stained glass that you’d seen for a while.”

Corey Menafee: “Well, I just basically took a broom handle and destroyed the image.”

Menafee was working at the time at Yale’s residential dorm Calhoun College, named after former Vice President John C. Calhoun, one of the most prominent pro-slavery figures in American history. For years students have demanded Yale change the building’s name. On Tuesday, Menafee told Democracy Now! “I am delighted to return to work.”

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