Open Thread for Republican Convention 2016 in Cleveland

The 2016 Republican National Convention starts this Monday, July 18, 2016 Through July 21, 2016.

From their site: 2016 Republican National Convention announces Freedom Plaza

Cleveland, OH – Centered between Quicken Loans Arena and Progressive Field is Freedom Plaza, an open air gathering space unique to the 2016 Republican National Convention. Freedom Plaza will be home to a “Salute to America”; the cuisine and music of the South, East, West, and Midwest will be featured each day of the Convention. All Convention attendees are welcome to grab a drink, indulge in local fare, listen to some great music, and mix and mingle in the hours before and after each Convention session.

It will be a very interesting convention this year because no one knows what to expect. But the Cleveland Police are gearing up for the worst….

Cleveland Police Are Gearing Up for Mayhem at the GOP Convention

With the Republican National Convention imminent, the Cleveland Police Department is finalizing its security plan for what is expected to be a volatile few days. The city announced last Friday that it was updating its plan following last week’s mass shooting of police officers in Dallas, and though it shared scant detail, the Cleveland PD is set to be outfitted with plenty of heavy gear.

The RNC is designated as a National Special Security Event by the US Department of Homeland Security, which entitled Cleveland to a $50 million federal grant toward its security plan. According to bids the city has posted to its website and reports from local news outlets, so far Cleveland has spent the money on:

2,000 sets of riot gear
2,000 steel batons
325 sets of tactical armor
300 patrol bicycles, with accompanying riot gear
25 rifle scopes
10,000 flexible handcuffs

Other supplies include bulletproof helmets, pepper spray, two-point slings (used to carry rifles) and inmate mattresses. The Cleveland PD also asked the Chicago Police Department to loan it three bearcats, and Taser International is loaning the department 300 body cameras that can be attached to riot suits. The city also put out a bid for tear gas, according to the Washington Post, and it recently upped its protest insurance coverage from $9.5 million to $50 million. [more]

Here’s a fresh page for you to fill with comments about what is happening at the convention.

UPDATE:

Charlie Pierce says: Welcome to the 2016 Republican convention: a four-day celebration of the ritual suicide of American democracy.

With balloons.

How Did Trump Happen? Please Explain!

Trump, the Joke, became the GOP candidate! Out of 17 choices, all bad as far as I am concerned, Trump won! Even the media pundits were saying he wouldn’t be in long. The Media covered him 24 hours a day because he was supposed to be a Joke. And by doing that they gave him free air time and some of the voting public didn’t take him as a joke and started to fall for Trump’s Carnival Barker’s Schtick.

Here’s a new post for you to fill with reasons and excuses why Trump won as Candidate for the GOP when even the Republicans don’t want him.

And it’s not really any better on the Democratic side. So much animosity from the voters who back Hillary Clinton and the Voters that back Bernie Sanders. Media already has Hillary winning but Bernie is running close and the polls say he’d win, in some cases by double digits, over Trump and Hillary is almost dead even with Trump.

This is the strangest election in my lifetime! Have at it!

Election and Super Tuesday Open Thread

Since I won’t be here all day March 15, I’ll be an Election Judge at my polling place, here’s a new thread to fill.

Chicago did it! The Chicago Melting Pot of Minorities, Races, Religions and Genders got together to protest Donald Trump’s hate filled rallies and were able to shut it down. There are more Trump hate filled rallies planned. Will people continue to try to shut them down?

Remember this from a very wise man in history:

Open Thread – Making America “Hate” Again – Trump, Cruz Aftermath

Never thought I’d see the Hate and Division I am seeing in our Nation lately. Many things are to blame, especially the two GOP candidates mentioned. But also a lot of the blame goes to the Media. Instead of doing their job of seeking truth, they are seeking ratings which bring them money in advertising dollars. Investigative reporting is almost non-existent! And whipping the racism and anger of the people will leave a big toll in our near future.

The infestation of hate speech, egoism and greed will be hard to erase. And much of that is evident in our Federal and State Governments. A lot funded by the very rich and big corporations pushing money at these politicians to push their own agenda. An agenda that is horrible for the people of this Nation.

This coming year your Vote will be very important, more than ever before. If you don’t Vote or Vote for the wrong people we all live with the consequences and I will warn you, You Won’t Like it!

Congress has a Budget Deal. What’s it all about?

This was Boehner’s last Hurrah as the House Speaker and member. Boehner and Senate Leader McConnell huddled to try to get a Budget passed. Here’s what they had to deal with:

From the NYTimes: Budget Deal Isn’t Boehner’s ‘Grand Bargain’ but Gets Job Done

The agreement, negotiated in secret by top congressional and White House aides, is a recognition by Mr. Boehner and Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, that they were staring into a fiscal and political abyss.

With just days remaining before the Treasury Department estimated it would run short of cash to pay the federal government’s obligations, the two leaders of the House and Senate majorities had no clear path toward raising the federal debt limit. Many House Republicans and some in the Senate refuse to vote for any increase in federal borrowing power no matter the dire circumstances. Support for a debt-limit increase has become a sure ticket to a primary challenge from the right for many of them.

But Mr. McConnell has repeatedly promised no default. And he and Mr. Boehner, with their ties to high-ranking allies in the business and financial worlds, knew that failure to head off a threat to the government’s creditworthiness could boomerang badly on Republicans just one year from Election Day.

So the Right Wing of the Republican Party was fighting this deal the whole time. But the Very Right Wing was going against the Business and Financial “world” so McConnell and Boehner knew that this RW thinking would hurt the Republican Party.

So what’s in the Budget? Lets take a look….

From Yahoo News: White House, Congress reach tentative budget deal

Under the plan, the higher borrowing authority would be in effect until March 2017.

In addition, 58 million barrels of oil from U.S. emergency reserves held at the Strategic Petroleum Reserve would be sold over six years, starting in fiscal 2018, to help pay for the additional spending over two years, according to a copy of the bill posted to a congressional website.

If successful, the agreement would mark a final act for Boehner to clear some politically divisive legislation as Ryan takes over as speaker – assuming the Wisconsin lawmaker gets a majority of the House votes in an election set for Thursday that would win him the top job.

Central to the pact is the easing of across-the-board budget caps which would allow an additional $80 billion in spending over two years, split evenly between military and domestic programs. About $50 billion in added spending would come in fiscal 2016, which started on Oct. 1, and $30 billion would be added to the fiscal 2017 budget.

“The bipartisan budget package unveiled last night represents real progress for hard-working families across the country,” House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement.

Boehner said he was “clearing the deck” before Ryan takes over but here’s what Ryan had to say about it from the above linked article:

Republican Representative Paul Ryan, who is expected to be elected to the top House job of speaker on Thursday, replacing the retiring Boehner, told reporters he was reserving judgment on the agreement until he reviewed its details.

And in a nod to rebellious fellow Republicans who are clamoring for changes in the way the Republican-controlled House is run, Ryan added, “I think this process stinks,” hinting that “under new management” work will get done well before deadlines.

What do you think?