Enquiring minds want to know – will there be open carry at the Republican National Convention?

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Good day Austin:

I moved this weekend from Allandale to Delwood II.

In Allandale, I lived just around the corner from Ginny’s Little Longhorn, home of Chicken Sh*t Bingo.

Ginny's Little Longhorn

Ginny at The Little Longhorn

 

chick2

the chicken

In Delwood II, the fowl of note are peacocks. Wild peacocks.

From the Delwood II Neighborhood Association from a few years ago:

The Delwood II neighborhood of Austin, TX, is a beautiful, tree-filled oasis surroundedby IH-35 to the west, the old Mueller Airport property to the north and east, and Airport Boulevard to the south. The neighborhood consists of seven square blocks with 175 homes built in the late 1940’s, the 90-unit Princeton Apartments, two churches, and a limited area zoned for businesses located on the IH-35 access road. The homes are primarily owner-occupied, and most have been remodeled and well maintained. The residents reflect Austin’s diverse population with a mixture of young families, original homeowners, gay households, and every major ethnic, racial and religious group. The Delwood II Neighborhood Association represents the neighborhood politically and hosts numerous social activities, including the city’s oldest (50 years this 2007) Fourth of July neighborhood parade and celebration.

And noisy wild peacocks.

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From a useful guide accompanying a story in the Daily Mail about an invasion of wild peacocks in the English village of Banks.

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Both Allandale and Delwood II are excellent neighborhoods, but both wanting in one respect. I could not find a current copy of the National Enquirer this weekend. Not at the HEB or CVS – which both continued to carry last week’s edition even days after the new issue supposedly hit the newsstands. And one convenience store after another seemed more focused on their craft beer selection than the people’s right to tabloid journalism, and especially access to what friend-of-Trump David Pecker, CEO of American Media,  owner of The National Enquirer, has called the publication of record on presidential scandals.

 

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The Enquirer certainly had John Edwards dead to rights.

But, as Salon points out, for every direct hit, there are a lot of misfires.

For example, The Enquirer early this month broke the real story behind Antonin Scalia’s assassination, punctuated with the exclamation point that is the universal symbol of accuracy.

In a bombshell world exclusive, The National ENQUIRER has learned that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s death was a highly planned “political assassination” orchestrated by the CIA and carried out by a $2,000-a-night hooker! A top Washington, D.C. source said the Feb. 13 death of the 79-year-old jurist at a remote Texas ranch just 15 miles from Mexico was part of a “shocking conspiracy that tracks back to the CIA and the White House!”
And here is what amounts to the Enquirer’s answer to the League of Women Voters Voters’ Guide for the 2016 presidential election.
The National Enquirer

The National Enquirer

The issue I was looking for was the one about “Cheating Blake” Shelton.

I mean Ted Cruz.

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Beyond the salacious headlines, the Cruz story didn’t offer anything in the way of actual evidence, but was sneakily written to blow a lot of smoke without actually saying anything that would get it sued.
And it did yield an excellent New York Post headline:
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On Friday, Cruz, without prompting from reporters, confronted the Enquirer story head on, while campaigning in Ohskosh, b’gosh, Wisconsin, describing it as “garbage” generated by the Trump campaign, and part and parcel of Trump’s negative tweets directed at Cruz’s wife, Heidi.
Cruz said:

It is a story that quoted one source on the record: Roger Stone, Donald Trump’s chief political adviser. It is attacking my family. And what is striking is Donald’s henchman, Roger Stone, had for months been foreshadowing that this attack was coming. It’s not surprising that Donald’s tweet occurs the day before the attack comes out. And I would note that Mr. Stone is a man who has 50 years of dirty tricks behind him. He’s a man for whom a term was coined for copulating with a rodent. Well, let me be clear: Donald Trump may be a rat, but I have no desire to copulate with him.

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Oh dear. One month, Trump is terrific, and a few months later,  Cruz has no desire to copulate with him. He might not even support him if he is the Republican nominee.

I don’t make a habit out of supporting people who attack my wife and attack my family.

That’s a serious estrangement.

Blame Roger Stone.

For background on Stone, here is a First Reading from November  – Roger and Me: a Saturday in the Stone Zone

Here is Stone replying to Cruz on Frank Morano’s radio show over the weekend.

And here is Trump on ABC This Week with Jonathan Karl on Sunday:

KARL: So, I want to get to some policy issues, but first I’ve got to ask you about this nasty fight that has broken out between you and Ted Cruz. Do you categorically guarantee that nobody on your campaign, nobody tied to your campaign, had anything to do with this National Enquirer story?

TRUMP: Totally. I had nothing to do with it. The campaign had absolutely nothing to do with it. He’s got a problem with the National Enquirer. I have no control over the National Enquirer. I didn’t even know about the story. I just got it last night. Somebody sent it to me over to read so I could at least see what it said.

I had nothing to do whatsoever with the National Enquirer, and neither did the campaign. And I will tell you for him to try and say that I had to do with it try and put the shoe on the other foot is disgraceful.

And by the way, he’s the one that started it. And from what I hear, he and his campaign went out and bought the cover shoot. She did — Melania did a cover shoot for GQ, a very strong modeling picture. No big deal. But it was a cover shoot for GQ, a big magazine. And it was, you know, fine. And from what I hear somebody bought the rights to it and he was the one or his campaign bought the rights and they gave it to the super PAC.

And just so you understand, that super PAC is very friendly to Ted Cruz. He knew all about it 100 percent. So he started. I didn’t start it.

KARL: But let me ask you, this story, this that we see in the National Enquirer, this kind of rumor mongering, should this kind of thing just be off limits? Do you condemn this story?

TRUMP: I don’t care. I mean really I don’t care. The National Enquirer did a story. It was their story. It wasn’t my story. It was about Ted Cruz. I have no idea whether it was right or not. They actually have a very good record of being right. But I have absolutely no idea.

Frankly, I said, I hope it’s not right.

KARL: Let’s go back to the thing that started this all off. You mentioned, of course, in fairness you did not start this. This started with that super PAC ad featuring Melania. But in response…

TRUMP: And he’s very close to the super PAC, just so you understand. And there’s no way in a million years that super PAC did that without his absolute knowledge.

Don’t forget, I call him Lying Ted. I call him that because nobody that I’ve known, I’ve known a lot tougher people over the years in business, but I’ve never known anybody that lied like Ted Cruz.

KARL: But let me ask you, though, because in response you said in that tweet that you would spill the beans on Heidi Cruz. What did you mean by that? Spill what beans?

TRUMP: Well, there are things about Heidi that I don’t want to talk about, but I’m not going to talk about them.

I mean, you know, you can look. But I wouldn’t talk about them.

Very classy.

Here is Cruz on Fox News Sunday with Shannon Bream.

BREAM:  Senator, it was a bit like combat on the campaign trail this week.  It took a very nasty personal turn.

I want to start first with the Facebook and Instagram ad from an anti-Trump super PAC called Make America Awesome.  They published a picture that essentially was a nearly nude photo of Melania Trump.  Mr. Trump has said that you were lying about knowing about it or having anything to do with it.  He threatened to, quote, “spill the beans” on your wife Heidi.  

Did anyone within your campaign, you, anyone else connected you to coordinate in any way or have communications with that group?  Did you know anything about the ad?  

CRUZ:  Not remotely.  It was a group — I don’t know the person who’s involved.  As far as I know, I’ve never met them.  I’ve never spoken to them.  They’re completely disconnected from our campaign.  

The ad they put out was deplorable.  And as soon as I saw it, I denounced it and said it was wrong.  But it wasn’t us.  You know what?  There are a whole lot of people in America who disagree with Donald Trump.  

And he used that as an excuse, the fact that someone else who I don’t know and have no involvement with used a deplorable ad — he used that as an excuse to go after my wife Heidi, to go after my family, to attack her directly.  And not only did he threaten her directly, but then the next day, he sent a really nasty tweet juxtaposing a bad picture of Heidi with a good picture of his wife, and I guess bragging that his wife is so attractive.  

Listen, I have never once said any negative word about Melania or any member of his family.  I don’t intend to.  Melania is a lovely woman.  Everything I’ve seen, she seems to be a terrific mother.  

Attacking spouses and children is off-limits.  It has no place in politics.  

And sadly, what Donald has done, when he gets scared — listen, particularly on foreign policy, Donald is out of his depth, he doesn’t know.  He doesn’t understand these issues.  One of the reasons he was so scared this week is this past week, Donald called publicly for effectively withdrawing America from NATO.  Now that is a catastrophically foolish proposition. Abandoning Europe, withdrawing from the most successful military alliance of modern times makes no sense at all. If Donald were president, he actually did what he said he would do, withdraw from NATO, it would hand a massive victory to Putin, a massive victory to ISIS. ISIS would be dancing in the street at the weakness and isolationism of Donald Trump.

Now the day after he calls for withdrawing from NATO, this Brussels terror attack occurs. Brussels, is, of course, where NATO is headquartered. And so his lack of understanding on foreign policy, his lack of ability and readiness to protect his country was evident. And so Donald did what he always does, he tried to find a way to change the subject. He hasn’t campaigned for a week. He’s been hiding in Trump Tower. But late at night he sends tweets attacking my wife, attacking Heidi. It is inappropriate. It is wrong. It is, frankly, disgusting to see a candidate attacking the spouse of another. And it is a sign of just how scared Donald is right now because he doesn’t want to discuss the substance.

In fact, Shannon, that’s why he’s afraid to debate, why he refuses to debate because when he debates, his lack of understanding of the challenge facing America becomes evident for everyone to see.

BREAM: All right, let’s move on to the National Enquirer. This is what they say —

CRUZ: Yes.

BREAM: Alleging, quote, “private investigators are digging into at least five affairs Ted Cruz supposedly had.” All right, you and I are both lawyers. I have read this article in full. They use the word “supposedly” a lot, “may have,” “allegedly,” “apparently.” I don’t see any concrete allegations.

CRUZ: Yes. No.

BREAM: But would you like to respond?

CRUZ: Yes. Look, this story is garbage. It is tabloid smear. And it came from Donald Trump and his henchmen. You know the only person quoted on the record there is Roger Stone, the chief political adviser to Donald Trump. And this is the kind of lies and sleaze —

BREAM: They did have a parting of ways. They did have a parting of ways, so we don’t — we don’t know exactly what the relationship is. But, yes, he has been linked with Mr. Trump.

CRUZ: But — but — but, Shannon, they haven’t had a parting of ways. Not — Roger Stone remains the henchmen, the hatchet man, the enforcer for Donald Trump. He’s pushing these attacks. And, by the way, he’s been pushing them for many, many months online. These are complete made up lies. They’re garbage. But, you know, it’s indicative of just how low Donald Trump will go. He makes up lies and attacks —

BREAM: OK, but I want to make sure that we include what his response was on whether he’s linked to this or not. In a Facebook posting on Friday he said, “I have no idea whether or not the cover story about Ted Cruz in this week’s issue of the National Enquirer is true or not, but I had absolutely nothing to do with it, did not know about it and have not as yet read it.”

CRUZ: Well, look, that’s very convenient to say except the article quotes Roger Stone, who organized and planned Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. And I’ll note, David Pecker, the CEO of National Enquirer, is a close friend of Donald Trump. The National Enquirer has endorsed Donald Trump for president. And — and this entire campaign they’ve done two things, one, they’ve praised Donald Trump at every turn. And, two, they spread lies and smears and attacks on every — every one of his opponents. And — and — and this is garbage.

Look, we’ve got real problems in America. There — there are right now people — people are hurting. Their wages are stagnant. I mean people are out of work. They want to see jobs. And what does Donald Trump want to do? He doesn’t want to talk about these issues. He doesn’t — he has no answers for how to bring jobs back to America. Donald Trump has no idea how to do that. He has no answers for how to keep America safe from radical Islamic terrorism. So instead, he attacks my wife, he attacks my family he goes to garbage and sleaze and lies.

It’s categorically false and it has no business in politics. This is why people are disgusted in politics. And — and we need a — a leader who is prepared to address the real challenges facing this country. You know, I spent the last several days campaigning in Wisconsin. You know what the people there are interested in? How do we bring back our jobs? How do we see wages rising again?

And, from the Hill:

 Cruz campaign spokesperson Catherine Frazier said the campaign did not buy the photo rights. “Of course we haven’t and Trump knows it,” she said in an email to The Hill. “But [it’s] part and parcel for the sleazy, dishonest campaign he is running.”

This is a very bad situation.

In Friday’s First Reading, I recommended that, with wives’ honor on the line, a Cruz-Trump duel was the most appropriate and satisfactory way to resolve the matter.

But, that may not be sufficient to settle what is turning into a Republican civil war with accusations of delegate rustling and stealing the nomination.

Which brings us to the Change.org petition:

RECOGNIZE OUR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO OPEN CARRY FIREARMS AT THE REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION AT THE QUICKEN LOANS ARENA IN JULY 2016

SUMMARY: In July of 2016, the GOP will host its convention at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. Though Ohio is an open carry state, which allows for the open carry of guns, the hosting venue—the Quicken Loans Arena—strictly forbids the carry of firearms on their premises.

According to the policy on their website, “firearms and other weapons of any kind are strictly forbidden on the premises of Quicken Loans Arena.”

This is a direct affront to the Second Amendment and puts all attendees at risk. As the National Rifle Association has made clear, “gun-free zones” such as the Quicken Loans Arena are “the worst and most dangerous of all lies.” The NRA, our leading defender of gun rights, has also correctly pointed out that “gun free zones… tell every insane killer in America… (the) safest place to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk.” (March 4, 2016 and Dec. 21, 2012)

Cleveland, Ohio is consistently ranked as one of the top ten most dangerous cities in America. By forcing attendees to leave their firearms at home, the RNC and Quicken Loans Arena are putting tens of thousands of people at risk both inside and outside of the convention site.

This doesn’t even begin to factor in the possibility of an ISIS terrorist attack on the arena during the convention. Without the right to protect themselves, those at the Quicken Loans Arena will be sitting ducks, utterly helpless against evil-doers, criminals or others who wish to threaten the American way of life.

All three remaining Republican candidates have spoken out on the issue and are unified in their opposition to Barack HUSSEIN Obama’s “gun-free zones.”

Donald Trump said “I will get rid of gun-free zones on schools—you have—and on military bases on my first day. It gets signed my first day…you know what a gun-free zone is to a sicko? That’s bait.” (Jan. 8. 2016)

Ted Cruz has accurately pointed out “shooting after shooting after shooting happens in so called gun-free zones.” He continued, “look, if you’re a lunatic ain’t nothing better then having a bunch of targets you know that are going to be unarmed.” (Dec. 4, 2015)

And Ohio Governor John Kasich has been a leader in this movement to eliminate deadly “gun-free zones” starting with his brave decision to fight the Democrats and end “gun-free zones” at National Guard facilities in Ohio. (Dec. 18, 2015)

We are all too familiar with the mass carnage that can occur when citizens are denied their basic God-given rights to carry handguns or assault weapons in public. EVERY AMERICAN HAS THE RIGHT TO PROTECT AND DEFEND THEIR FAMILY. With this irresponsible and hypocritical act of selecting a “gun-free zone” for the convention, the RNC has placed its members, delegates, candidates and all US citizens in grave danger.

We must take a stand. We cannot allow the national nominating convention of the party of Lincoln and Reagan to be hijacked by weakness and political correctness. The policies of the Quicken Loans Arena do not supersede the rights given to us by our Creator in the U.S. Constitution.

THEREFORE, WE ARE CALLING TODAY FOR THE FOLLOWING FIVE POINTS OF ACTION:

1. From the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland: A suspension of their policy preventing the open carry of firearms on the premises of the arena from July 18-21, 2016 to coincide with the Republican National Convention.

2. From the National Rifle Association: An immediate condemnation of the egregious affront to the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution constituted by the “gun-free zone” loophole to the state law.

3. From Ohio Governor John Kasich: A concerted effort to use his executive authority to override the “gun-free zone” loophole being exploited by the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.

4. From Reince Priebus and the Republican National Committee: An explanation of how a venue so unfriendly to Second Amendment rights was chosen for the Republican Convention. Further, we demand a contingency plan to relocate the convention to another location should the Quicken Loans Arena refuse to honor the constitutional rights of the RNC guests to open carry firearms during the convention.

5. From all Republican candidates for President: You have been brave in raising awareness about the immense dangers posed by “gun-free zones.” In order to ensure the safety of your supporters, delegates and all attendees at the convention in July, you must call upon the RNC to rectify this affront to our Second Amendment freedoms and insist upon a suspension of the Quicken Loans Arena’s unconstitutional “gun-free zone” loophole. Every American is endowed with a God-given Constitutional right to carry a gun wherever and whenever they please.

As of this morning, here’s where things stand.

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Ideologically and intellectually, I’m not sure how any courageous constitutional conservative can oppose open carry at the Cleveland convention. And, as a reporter who will be covering the convention, I think it will be a lot more convenient to cover violence within the convention hall rather than something like that messy 1968 Chicago Democratic Convention, where the violence sprawled across the city.

I’m sure I would write with greater speed and urgency if the Quicken Pulse Arena turned into a free-fire zone.

And, really, think of how the power of the Texas delegation would be enhanced in an open carry convention, where they could bring a Remember the Alamo spirit and their superior fire power to claiming a second- or third-ballot victory for Ted Cruz, not to mention avenging Obamacare, Jade Helm and the assassination of Antonin Scalia.

Yee Ha!

And, for those who worry about friendly fire, the convention could open with an informational film narrated by Dick Cheney.

Trump was asked for his thoughts on an armed showdown at the Quicken Loans Arena on This Week:

KARL: OK. So let me ask you about a petition you may have seen that is gaining strength now, with more than 30,000 signatures, that is calling on the Republican National Committee to allow delegates at the convention in Cleveland to exercise their Second Amendment rights by carrying guns to the convention.

They have put this petition there, calling on presidential candidates like you, to, quote, “call upon the RNC to rectify this affront to our Second Amendment freedoms and insist upon a suspension of the Quicken Loans Arena unconditional gun-free zone.”

So let me ask you, what do you think?

Should delegates to the Republican convention be allowed to bring guns?

TRUMP: I haven’t seen the petition at all. You’re — I’m hearing it now for the first time. I will certainly take a look at it and I’ll let you know. But I have not seen the petition.

KARL: So you’re open to the idea of — of…

TRUMP: I have — I have not seen the petition. I want to see what it says. I want to read the fine print. I have to see what it says. I’m a very, very strong person for Second Amendment. I think very few people are stronger. And I have to see the petition.

But I’m not going to comment to you when I haven’t seen it. Just give me a few words.

KARL: OK, because you — you are a — as you said, probably the biggest critic of gun-free zones of any of the candidates. Uh, but as you said, very strong on the Second Amendment.

Forget the petition, what do you think of this idea of having delegates be able to carry guns, exercise their Second Amendment right — right there…

TRUMP: I don’t want to forget the petition. I don’t want to — I don’t want to forget the petition, because you’re talking about a petition. I will take a look at it.

It’s the first I hear about it — of it, and frankly, you know, nobody is stronger on the Second Amendment than me.

But I would like to take a look at it.

KARL: OK. Now, you’re getting closer and closer to getting the delegates you need to clinch the nomination. But look at what happened in Louisiana. You won the state of Louisiana. But it looks like Ted Cruz is coming out of there with more delegates, maybe as many as 10 more delegates. And he’s getting them on the key committees that will write the rules for the Republican convention.

Is Ted Cruz trying to steal this nomination from you?

TRUMP: Well, it tells you what a crooked system we have and what a rotten political system we have. And frankly, I’m so — I’m millions of votes more than — I have millions of votes more than “Lying Ted.” I have millions — millions of votes more.

I have many, many delegates more. I’ve won areas. And he’s trying to steal things because that’s the way Ted works, OK. Uh, the system is a broken system. The Republican tabulation system is a broken system. It’s not fair.

I have so many millions of votes more. I’ve brought people into this party by the millions. You understand that. They voted by the millions more. It’s one of the biggest stories in all of politics.

And what do I have?

I have a guy going around trying to steal people’s delegates. This is supposed to be America, a free America. This is supposed to be a system of votes where you go out, you have elections, free elections, not elections where I won.

I won Louisiana and now I hear he’s trying to steal delegates. You know, welcome to, uh, the Republican Party.

What’s going on in the Republican Party is a disgrace. I have so many more votes and so many more delegates. And, frankly, whoever at the end, whoever has the most votes and the most delegates should be the nominee. And I will beat Hillary Clinton. I haven’t even started on Hillary Clinton yet. I haven’t even — I only had one little skirmish with her about two months ago and she didn’t come out so well.

I haven’t even started on Hillary Clinton yet. I’m only focused on the two people I have left.

KARL: All right, Donald Trump, thank you so much for joining us on this Easter Sunday.

 This just in

From CNN:

Washington (CNN)The Secret Service says guns won’t be allowed into the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland this summer for the Republican National Convention, despite a petition pushing for it.

The agency said Monday it won’t allow any firearms past a perimeter and into the convention hall, despite the urging of pro-gun activists who called for Ohio’s open-carry laws to extend into the arena.
“Individuals determined to be carrying firearms will not be allowed past a predetermined outer perimeter checkpoint, regardless of whether they possess a ticket to the event,” a Secret Service spokesman said in a statement.
The agency cited federal law authorizing them to prevent firearms from entering sites that protectees are visiting.
“Only authorized law enforcement personnel working in conjunction with the Secret Service for a particular event may carry a firearm inside of the protected site,” the Secret Service said.
Well, what do you expect out of the Obama administration.
On Monday, Cruz said that he had not reviewed the open carry petition, but that the Secret Service has “the principal decision-making concerning security.”
So, no duel, no armed convention. It’s back to the drawing board.

 

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