It rocks, you know.

So, Cleveland. Cleveland! Love that town, and always have. Growing up in Columbus, Cleveland was always the bigger, cooler brother and Cincinnati the pretty, popular sister. We were just…in the middle. The middle C of the Three C Highway. The place with the safe, boring, white-collar economy that ended up being the horse to bet on. Cleveland sank to its knees when its rust-belt industries closed or moved. Cincinnati is still pretty, but in the end, it’s uptight and does all its sinning across the river.

(You can get a nice bourbon in Cincinnati, though, I’ll say that. My first boyfriend’s father was a raging alcoholic and a big success, and used to have a kid drive a case over the river for him every week. Yes, a case. Yes, weekly. See previous sentence.)

But Cleveland is a different kettle of three-eyed fish. Cleveland had WMMS, the best radio station in the region. They had pro sports, great local music, the same sort of sweaty, blue-collar ethnic energy that Detroit has. They had their own squashed-vowel local accent, as anyone who’s heard a story about “the Fleeats” can tell you. Ten-cent beer night. River on fire. Their own REM song. An infamous rock hotel. And there’s the one about the mayor’s wife turning down an invitation to the White House because it conflicted with her bowling night.

And its core, buoyed by new stadiums and the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame, is back with a vengeance. Hey, they have bus rapid transit! How much more cosmopolitan can you get?

So I’m looking forward to the #RNCinCLE, as the hashtag goes. Not heartened by the weather forecast, though — it’s going to be in the 90s here all week, and that doesn’t mean it’s going to be 72 at the other end of Lake Erie. Kate picked up a job last Friday for a friend of mine who sells bulletproof vests, delivering four cases to a cop-supply store there. The friend was delivering the rest of his inventory the following day. Fingers crossed.

How was everyone’s weekend? We had a birthday party on Friday, and a lot of choices on Saturday — three different music fests, plus more. We considered attending the Don Was All-Star Review at the Concert of Colors, but I decided we would not wallow in what-was nostalgia — this show puts people on stage straight from their assisted-living suites, I’m convinced — and went to Crash Detroit, a smaller, looser celebration of street bands in the New Orleans style. It was raucous and fun and not too hot, a blessing:


The final act, the Detroit Party Marching Band, had three people in sloth outfits mingling through the crowd. I snagged a sloth selfie:


I think this might be my spirit animal, many days.

So, on to the bloggage, then.

I’m reading the speakers lineup for the convention, and people? I’m finding it both easy and hard to believe. This will be a pass-the-popcorn event for sure. Of course, it had to include one of these feebs:

Also, Scott Baio, enough assorted Trumps to fill an extra-long luxury SUV and this poor girl:

On another topic, how food became a religion.

And then, of course, this, in Baton Rouge. A developing story, so I’m going to let it develop for a while.

Monday and the 90s approach. Let the great work begin.

Posted at 12:04 am in Current events |

49 responses to “It rocks, you know.”

  1. Brandon said on July 18, 2016 at 12:25 am

    Of course, it had to include one of these feebs:

    I’m not a big fan of Duck Dynasty, but it’s occasionally watchable. The only thing really objectionable about Willie is his wearing an American flag as a sweatband.

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  2. Sherri said on July 18, 2016 at 2:52 am

    “The Art of the Deal” ghostwriter has regrets:

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  3. Dexter said on July 18, 2016 at 3:50 am

    I have spent time in all three Cs. Columbus for me was 4 years of OSU visits to daughter and football games when she was there, and the last 16 years it’s been 99% burb-life…they don’t like going downtown for anything, so it’s Hilliard to Grove City and back for us when we visit.
    Cincinnati is just a drive-through or a baseball game every five years, maybe. Skyline Chili…hell, I know not a soul there.
    Cleveland is my favorite. Fucking off in The Flats, going to an Indians game a couple times a year, and by luck I found a great coffee house and a great Spanish restaurant, but I don’t go there since I retired and am on a budget. Never been inside Quicken Loans Arena, but I love the Rock and Roll HOF setting at the bottom of 9th Street. Cleveland has a million fun things to do, I wish it was as close to me as is Toledo.
    Did you see the fucking idiot strapping AR 15 and hand cannon on top of armor in Cleveland? What, they just stupid? He said he was proving a point…yeah, and officers have been sworn in all the way from California to police the RNC.
    Those Darth Vader masks and cartoonish-looking body armor the fed money (10 mil) bought the elite bicycle cop force are goddamn impressive, I’ll say. Those brand new black Volcanic cop-bicycles, whoa…I’d tag them at about $1600 each, cuz they look sturdy and sharp and may have been custom made. OK..I am wrong. $1,800 each and they bought 300 from Seattle. The article also says Cleveland got $20 mil to toss around, some say much more. That comic book lookin’ armor must cost a boatload of cash. ga/invitation-to-bid-on-rnc-police-bikes-requests-specific-bike-model-made-in-seattle

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  4. ROGirl said on July 18, 2016 at 4:59 am

    Burn on, big river, burn on

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  5. adrianne said on July 18, 2016 at 6:08 am

    Your sloth selfie made me laugh out loud! And Sherri, thanks for the link to The Donald’s Boswell. If you have any doubts about what Trump really represents, read it and weep. My favorite line? If Tony Schwartz were redoing “The Art of the Deal,” he’d call it, “The Sociopath.”

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  6. David C. said on July 18, 2016 at 6:27 am

    I’m glad others are willing to watch the RNC and document the atrocities. I don’t think I could watch five minutes without running down to the basement and hiding in the closet like for any other natural disaster I saw coming.

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  7. Suzanne said on July 18, 2016 at 6:37 am

    I’m not sure I can watch any of the convention. Usually I am interested, but this year, I can’t even think about listening to Trump and watching Pence bask in the glow. I do keep hoping Trump will fire Pence because he’s not bringing the adulation he expected. Then Pence would be out completely of the Governorship and everything else. That would be rich! If Pence was smarter, I think he’d have figured out by now that Trump only picked him to make him seem a bit respectable and has no intention of working with or listening to him.

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  8. basset said on July 18, 2016 at 7:13 am

    saw a good bumper sticker yesterday:
    “Giant Meteor 2016/Just End It Already.”
    We’re gettin’ there…

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  9. alex said on July 18, 2016 at 7:41 am

    I’m rather enjoying watching Mike Pence reduced to licking that son-of-a-bitch’s boots. It’s fitting punishment for everything he has done to advance himself in his political career thus far. I wish I were a writer for SNL. I’d have him eating turds straight out of Trump’s ass and telling the world effusively how great they are and how lucky he is.

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  10. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 18, 2016 at 7:42 am

    What? Trump has a ghostwriter?

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  11. beb said on July 18, 2016 at 8:15 am

    I wonder if 60 Minutes will interview Hillary once she announces her VP pick? Probably not.

    So when they say “The Mistake By the Lake” are they referring to the city, the baseball team or the baseball stadium? Never been there so I don’t know.

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  12. Pam said on July 18, 2016 at 8:17 am

    They don’t call it Cincitucky for nothing. It’s pretty, but hated living there and couldn’t after awhile. So uptight and conservative, but in a mean way. Yuck.

    Trump is such a con man! A sucker is truly born every minute and he’s found them all. Bill Maher thinks his kids (Uday and Kusay) are now running his campaign, LOL!

    Ruth Bader Ginsberg has it right, he’s a faker. She took the delivery of that message from the Republican book of nasty tactics. Say the thing, wait for it to hit the media, apologize later but don’t really mean it, move on.

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  13. Jolene said on July 18, 2016 at 8:19 am

    Am watching Morning Joe (Yes, I’m embarrassed.), which they’re holding in a restaurant in Cleveland, with locals filling the table. At the top of the show, Mika asked how many of the people there “loved” each of the candidates. It was a “shout out for your guy” moment. There was a moderate amount of applause for Hillary, but only one guy said he loved Trump.

    Of course, Cleveland is a Democratic town, but it made me feel hopeful.

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  14. Julie Robinson said on July 18, 2016 at 9:01 am

    Having spent most of the weekend with my uber-conservative relatives from Iowa, I’ve no need to watch the convention; I’ve already heard all.the.talking.points. One more day to go, whee!

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  15. Judybusy said on July 18, 2016 at 9:42 am

    Hang in there Julie! I know your pain–at least my relatives don’t talk polictics too much.

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  16. Jolene said on July 18, 2016 at 10:01 am

    Hijinks in Cleveland: Steven Colbert managed to get onto the stage for a few minutes before being dragged off by a security guard.

    He’s going to be doing live shows all this week, with Jon Stewart participating in some yet-to-be-defined way.

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  17. BethB from Indiana said on July 18, 2016 at 12:03 pm

    Sherri, reading the New Yorker article literally made my stomach hurt. What really scares the hell out of me is that all of these articles that we share and talk about here are simply “preaching to the choir.”

    WE all know how awful Trump is and what a terrible and dangerous President he would be. Unfortunately, the people who adore Trump and who vow to vote from him are not the people who read The New Yorker, The Atlantic, the New York TImes, or The Washington Post.

    What will stop him? It seems as if there is nothing to be done, and I am very discouraged and frightened.

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  18. St Bitch said on July 18, 2016 at 12:36 pm

    tRump is, himself, just pathetic…but outside of himself, he embodies a uniquely American kind of political terrorist. I hope I’m over the fear and loathing he’s managed to inject in my day-to-day existence, and have arrived at an uneasy acceptance that we’ve already entered into a violent, volatile chapter of our great democratic experiment…but that it hasn’t failed to the extent that tRump will ever be POTUS.

    Preaching to the choir is just fine. I’m mostly lurking these days, but do so for the soothing and enlightening tonic I know is always on offer.

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  19. Deborah said on July 18, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    Beth B, what I hope is that Berners who read those magazines will realize how important it is to vote for Hillary, because any other vote (Libertarian etc), is a vote for Trump.

    Today is the day. My husband and I figured out over the weekend how much we are able to give to Hillary’s campaign, and we decided to divide it up into 4 parts, one for each month before November. Today I gave the amount for this month. My biggest worry if Trump gets elected is healthcare. Little Bird has gotten such great care over the last couple of years with Obamacare. I can’t stand to think about what will happen if she loses that. I lose sleep over it. Of course I worry about a lot more about the possibility of Trump’s election, but that’s my biggest fear. I’ve given here and there to Hillary these last few months, but now it’s serious. We decided to put our money where our mouths are. We did the same for Obama. I’m writing this to encourage others to pony up. It’s important unfortunately.

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  20. Jakash said on July 18, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    Frightened, Beth B? “hiding in the closet”, David C.?

    From that New Yorker article: “He went on, ‘I genuinely believe that if Trump wins and gets the nuclear codes there is an excellent possibility it will lead to the end of civilization.'”

    Uh, yeah, I’d say being afraid of that is a pretty rational response…

    I have no hope that his fans will be dissuaded by any article in a “lefty” publication, either, nor that they’re concerned by his racism and misogyny. But if I were actually talking to one of them, I’d focus on something I’d think they *might* care about, as the article concludes: “what anyone who deals closely with him already knows — that he couldn’t care less about them.” He’s not a business genius and he’s *only* in it for himself, with no idea how to run the country. Simple, but “Giant Meteor 2016” has a pretty simple message, too…

    But Deborah is taking the only effective approach, I suppose. There’s probably not going to be much dissuading of anybody who’d be inclined to vote for Rumpelthinskin by this point. Facilitating an overwhelming turnout by the folks who *do* live in the fact-based world is likely the best one can do.

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  21. Sherri said on July 18, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    A Trump supporter can not be converted, at least not by the likes of us. There are some Bernie supporters who will go full Nader; nothing to be done about them either. The race will be won, as most races are, on turning out supporters.

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  22. Icarus said on July 18, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    to keep tabs on the “other side” I subscribe* to the Matt Walsh FB page and man I don’t know what frightens me more; his posts or the comments his supporters make. I really hope that the guy is just pandering to his audience and doesn’t actually seriously believe the crap he posts.

    * in FaceBook vernacular its like but I do not like him.

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  23. susan said on July 18, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    What money I give to politicians is to state and local candidates. THAT’S where the churning is important. City Council. County Commissioners. State legislature.

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  24. adrianne said on July 18, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    Well, it’s coming out that the Baton Rouge shooter was a member of a very weird hate group that calls itself “Sovereign Citizens.” Basically, they don’t recognize the United States as a legitimate government, going back to the Articles of Confederation, so they refuse to pay taxes or recognize any U.S. laws as legitimate. They’ve been implicated in other cop shootings, because, you know, they’re merely jackbooted thugs of an illegitimate order. Southern Poverty Law Center ranks them as more dangerous than jihadists. My encounter with them was when they established a compound in Ulster County and threatened a local judge. Scary shit.

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  25. Sue said on July 18, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    Our sovereign citizens have been pretty benign, they have a ‘church’ which until a few years ago used a city hall room for their ‘services’. They came from a couple of counties but there were never many people. They had to pull up stakes when there was a remodeling and the meeting room was no more. I don’t know where they went.
    Yes, a tax free church using a government building (for free cuz they were a church) to preach about the evils of being forced to pay your share. They did clean up after themselves better than most community room users, I will give them that.
    I think their worst offense was the standard drivers license/license plate nonsense. Of course, they’ve had a few years to steep in the current brew so I hope we don’t wake up to a surprise here one day.

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  26. Dexter said on July 18, 2016 at 2:58 pm

    As an old friend told me as I was boring him with one of my stories, “OK…I gotta go..and hey, man…everybody’s got a story, OK?” But this is my best Cleveland story (no, not the one about the food cart hot dog guy and the falafel dudes trading insults).
    On weekends there’s free street parking down the hill by The Flats, and I’d park there and take the bike off my car and pedal up the hill and on to the baseball stadium. On the way to the park I stopped for a light, W.10th and W.St.Clair. After the game, late that afternoon, I was driving home and turned on the radio and heard an armored truck had…yes…it happens seemingly a lot…the door fell open and a huge amount of cash fell out. As I pieced the story together, I realized I had crossed that intersection on my bike about 5 minutes prior. The place is a stone’s throw from Cleveland’s court house and huge jail. It was a really hughe amount of cash. I sometimes wonder what I would done if…grab it and pedal like hell, or grab it and take it straight to the municipal building and just turn it in. Of course, I know…I would have just turned it in. But maybe…:) Easy street!
    If you go: Mallorca (restaurant), W. 9th Street. Oh My Gawd is it good. $$$$$%

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  27. alex said on July 18, 2016 at 3:28 pm

    And the Sovereign Citizens aren’t just Duck Dynasty types as this article about Fort Wayne proves. Some of you may know Mr. McGauley referenced therein.

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  28. Charlotte said on July 18, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    We had a Sovereign guy a few years back — black even. Called himself “The Pontiff” (—-paradise-valley/article_a2f380ce-4521-11df-b917-001cc4c002e0.html)

    Caused all sorts of trouble at the trial.

    And Deborah — I’m with you. Part of the reason I can parachute out of my corporate job is that I have Obamacare — reasonable rates, great coverage, actual caps on what I can owe in any given year.

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  29. Sherri said on July 18, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    When my husband started talking about doing a startup, it was soon after I had stopped working and we had a baby. we had planned ahead for that, so things were a little tight, but not that tight. The only concern I had was about health insurance; as long as he could tell me that we would have health insurance, I was fine with him doing a startup. It wasn’t a problem; his startup was VC-funded, and we always had adequate health insurance.

    Today, if he wanted to do another startup, he would avoid VC funding, start smaller, but we could still have health insurance because of Obamacare, even though I have pre-existing conditions. A government safety net makes it easier to be entrepreneurial and take risks.

    That’s the argument behind a book reviewed in Sunday’s Seattle Times, “The Nordic Theory of Everything”, written by a Finnish journalist who moved to America:

    I haven’t read the book, so I don’t know if the book talks about the thing the review doesn’t mention: race and how that changes the social contract.

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  30. Deborah said on July 18, 2016 at 4:41 pm

    This is how I feel now too I’ve been trying to take an Internet hiatus and do something about the way things are. I’m at a loss to know what to do except give money. Maybe I need to figure out how I can go around and get people to register to vote with a boot on my foot? There is a large Hispanic community in Santa Fe, so it shouldn’t be hard to convince people how important it is now. Anyone have any other ideas?

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  31. Heather said on July 18, 2016 at 5:01 pm

    Yeah, I might have to do some canvassing in my neighborhood–there are lots of Latinos and other immigrants, including from the Middle East, so we could get a pretty good anti-Trump bloc going. Of course Chicago is always going to be solidly Dem but you never know how your efforts might snowball in unexpected ways.

    Obamacare in Illinois is in trouble. One of the leading providers, Land of Lincoln, which was a co-op, is going out of business, leaving thousands of people in the lurch. And apparently there weren’t a lot of other good options, so not sure what will happen in 2017.

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  32. Sherri said on July 18, 2016 at 5:21 pm

    Donating money does help. If you want to canvass or phonebank, go to the web site of the candidate you want to volunteer for, and they’ll have a link for signing up. Whether it’s for Hillary or for the local state legislator race, most campaigns can find a way to use you.

    Dorothy, I wouldn’t really advise going door-to-door with a boot on your foot, though often when I’ve been involved with doorbelling in a suburban environment, we’ve found it helpful to have someone drive a couple of doorbellers around. Phonebanking would be easier, though, and is much more efficient than it used to be in the old days. Phonebanking software is cheap enough that many campaigns can use it, and so you don’t have to dial numbers, and the computer only gives you calls that have been answered.

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  33. Sherri said on July 18, 2016 at 6:27 pm

    Zeynep Tufekci, one of my favorite writers on sociology and information, was in Turkey on vacation during the coup:

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  34. alex said on July 18, 2016 at 6:31 pm

    I was always a Three Dog Night fan but they’ve evidently become whores. And Cleveland has become a police state for the next four days.

    Tonight on the local news, our county GOP chairman deflected any suggestion that there’s a rift within the party with a lot of bravado about how America’s collective heart is gonna melt when they get to meet Trump’s wonderful family, whom (it should be noted) are the only people Trump was able to line up as convention speakers besides Chachi and a few other forgettable has-beens.

    Tonight we’ll hear from the Slovenian strumpet who more than earned her green card by servicing that grotesque fool, a job more vile than cleaning overflowing toilets in a Greyhound bus depot.

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  35. Deborah said on July 18, 2016 at 6:54 pm

    I forgot about phone banking, I did that in 2004 and 2008 in Chicago for Move-on. One of the people we were calling for was Sherrod Brown, from Chicago, which was kind of strange, since at first I didn’t even know how to pronounce Sherrod. I found out what a great guy he was while doing that though.

    Here’s a funny article about Trump written with only one syllable words–one-short-strong-word-at-a-time/2016/07/17/76f2ba82-4c43-11e6-a7d8-13d06b37f256_story.html.

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  36. David C. said on July 18, 2016 at 7:01 pm

    Has anyone heard this weekends “This American Life”. The piece on the Dallas Billionaire
    Dad/Deadbeat Millionaire Son. When your starting point is Rick Perry, it doesn’t seem like it would be too big a step to the Donald, but they seemed to agonize over it. But it sounds like tRump gave them a little kiss on the cheek, or cheeks, and they’re on board. Good news, I guess, is that the Koch Bros. really do seem to be sitting this one out. So while they may be vile, money grubbing shits, they’re not crazy.

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  37. Deborah said on July 18, 2016 at 7:40 pm

    David C, that was well worth the listen. Talk about bad judgement, wow. Makes you wonder how people like that can keep a business going. Also tells you something about the business world. Let’s hope the Koch’s can keep their billions out of it.

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  38. Sherri said on July 18, 2016 at 9:05 pm

    That segment is interesting to listen to. To hear the son talk about how it’s all about the ideas, not the candidate, how important the ideas are, how Koch has changed his life, and then all Trump has to do is tell them how great they are and they roll right over, ideas be damned, even though he went into the meeting with a checklist, is something.

    Maybe Dad and Son need to spend some time with people outside the Koch Network, so they can get used to the idea that you can be charmed by someone and yet disagree with them? I guess that wouldn’t make them feel like warriors, though.

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  39. Sherri said on July 18, 2016 at 9:54 pm

    As a liberal Democrat, I’m not surprised to be called an enemy at the RNC. I’m a little surprised to be called an enemy by a paster giving a benediction. But then I looked him up, and saw that he was a prosperity gospel televangelist, and so I’m not surprised by anything he does.

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  40. alex said on July 18, 2016 at 10:48 pm

    Melania’s munching the same shit as Pence and thinks it’s just as delicious. And Bob Dole does too. My takeaway from Day One.

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  41. Deborah said on July 18, 2016 at 11:01 pm

    Ok, you guys, I have to admit Melania changed my mind completely. I am now a full on Trump supporter. Her speech was amazing, she is so beautiful and sophisticated and intelligent. Who would not want her as your First Lady? I mean, come on?


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  42. alex said on July 18, 2016 at 11:11 pm

    Dole reminds me of Bob Hope in his last days when he was being exploited for commercial gain, what with that same infantile facial expression, delirious extremities and shriveled torso with a pantload-of-poop center of gravity. He’s obviously so senile that he doesn’t see how this convention pales next to his own failed one in ’96.

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  43. Dave said on July 18, 2016 at 11:25 pm

    Alex, I had that thought and also, I remember Hope having Groucho Marx on his show in his last days, a terribly sad spectacle that was even worse than Dole tonight. I was watching MSNBC and they were going on about how Dole was a party man, regardless, and would come out to to support the party. I was thinking, he must be so out of it that someone (sort of) kidnapped him. Yet, there was no sign of Elizabeth Dole anywhere. Is she worse off than he is or maybe still a little sharper.

    I didn’t stick around for all the speeches, it was too much.

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  44. Jolene said on July 19, 2016 at 12:02 am

    . . . Trump-style politics — soaked in macho posturing and racial conflict . . .”

    That’s the line of the night, from a rundown of the first night of the convention by Matt Yglesias.

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  45. Dexter said on July 19, 2016 at 1:19 am

    My entire web world has blown up…plagiarism rears its…uhhh…pretty head.
    In case you retired early to your cave, Missus Trump lifted entire passages from …can you believe it? Missus Obama, 2008. Lawrence O’Donnell said one passage contained 22 of 26 words verbatim from Michele’s speech. Send in the clowns….

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  46. Dexter said on July 19, 2016 at 1:24 am

    Got my links mixed up..again. The Frannie link is also good stuff from 19 years ago.

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  47. Sherri said on July 19, 2016 at 1:45 am

    My husband has a theory that there’s a mole in the Trump campaign intentionally sabotaging things. It’s hard for even stupidity to cover some of the screwups. Plagiarizing Michelle Obama’s speech from 8 years ago? Playing “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” while waiting for the VP press conference to start? Scheduling a low profile speaker after Melania, even if he had been a potential VP pick?

    That’s not including the Trump being Trump stuff, like him calling into O’Reilly’s show during the middle of the convention tonight, because I’m assuming nobody can stop him from Trumping.

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  48. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 19, 2016 at 7:28 am

    It’s not that I want people to think plagiarism is a worse crime than many others — it’s that it’s so hard to get people to understand it’s a crime in the first place. And as a writer and speaker, the fact that so many people think plagiarism is not an offense of any sort is an indication that they think speaking and writing is just an exercise of a minor reflexive talent, like humming or skipping, or purely derivative, like singing a folk song or cooking someone’s recipe. But if you take that other person’s list of ingredients and order of preparation, sell the product you prepare, and market the same recipe as something you came up with on your own, it is theft. If you tell a story, at length, exactly the same way, using almost all the same adjectives and modifiers let alone nouns, and put your name where someone else’s was and personal pronouns unmodified — and present that tale, message, sermon, column, whatever as your own work, then you are a thief. But one likely to get away with your crime, and even be complimented by polite society for it.

    As have Mike Barnicle, Fareed Zakaria, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Jared Keller, Jonah Lehrer, Maureen Dowd, Joe Biden: and I’ll be curious to hear if they find the right words to comment on last night’s events. I mention that cast of characters not to salute Melania Trump for joining their august number, but to continue to seethe over how plagiarism tends to be brushed over as a minor infraction, as no doubt this one will be.

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  49. Jolene said on July 19, 2016 at 7:45 am

    Here’s your answer, Jeff. They certainly did not find the right words. To accuse Clinton of having anything to do with this is really beyond the pale. The plagiarism was, as far as I know, simply noticed by a guy who listened to the speech. So far, no one has produced any information indicating that he has any connection to the Clinton campaign.

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