Dizzying reality.

The news the past few weeks has been so weird I’m starting to get vertigo. Last night I drank a fair amount of wine — not stumbling drunk, just one of those sip-sip-sip for several hours deals — and the last thing I watched was Melania’s speech. It was pretty much what I expected, and I headed off to bed more worried about Screamin’ Rudy than the lady with the exquisite highlights. Then I woke up at 5 a.m., turned on the iPad for the overnight headlines, and: whoa.

I was giving her the benefit of the doubt at the first scan of headlines. I feel like I have a little expertise in this area (ahem) and I’m pretty generous in my judgment, compared to some. I’ve seen plagiarism accusations made over very thin evidence — five words, eight words, not even a full sentence. But as soon as I saw the texts and saw the video, I was astounded. But now, 24 hours or so after it dropped, this already feels like old news. Because day two is in progress as we speak, and Roger Ailes is packing his bags at Fox.

Roger Ailes. Well, he only managed to have a career until he was 76. I’m sure scores of women are out there, remembering his jowls quivering while he said stuff like, “If you want to play with the big boys, you have to lay with the big boys,” in one memorable phrase. Some surely believed him. Imagine sex with Roger Ailes. Ew. Ew. EWWWW.

Wheels are turning. As I’m sure today’s reading will be overcome by events, let’s post it anyway. Some of it was already in comments, but not every reader here reads the comments:

Josh Marshall at TPM, making some important points about the dangerous territory we’ve entered:

It goes without saying that it is a highly dangerous development when one presidential nominee and his supporters make into a rallying cry that the opposing candidate should be imprisoned. This is not Russia. This is not some rickety Latin American Republic from half a century ago. This is America. For all our failings and foibles this is not a path we’ve ever gone down.

This is not a disagreement about a matter of law: it is a demand for vengeance and punishment, one rooted in the pathologies of the current Trumpite right and inevitably to some extent about the fact that Clinton is a woman. If you have a chance rewatch the speeches by Rudy Giuliani or even more ret. Gen Michael Flynn. These are not normal convention speeches. It is only a small skip and a jump to the state legislator in West Virginia who demanded Clinton by executed by hanging on the National Mall. In such a climate, don’t fool yourself: worse can happen.

Marshall’s been killing it the last few days, btw.

James Fallows on why the speech screwup matters. Many good points.

Finally, because we can always use one of these, a dog picture:


Posted at 12:11 am in Current events |

49 responses to “Dizzying reality.”

  1. Sherri said on July 20, 2016 at 12:28 am

    Marshall seems to have grasped Trump the best; his heuristic for Trump now called “Trump’s Razor”: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/dominance-and-humiliation-no-middle-ground

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  2. Sherri said on July 20, 2016 at 12:32 am

    Trump is indicating that he’ll name his chief fundraiser Treasury secretary. Talk about pay to play…


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  3. Dexter said on July 20, 2016 at 1:50 am

    Baseball on TV and dog-walking seemed to suit me, so I didn’t turn on politics until late, but Lester & Co. showed a good chunk of Christie calling for punishment, but it was those grey-haired women in the front rows who either started or joined in with extreme vigor, “Lock Her UP!!” Christie then was pleased, like an ancient king pleased with a supportive gathering to watch as the king thumbs-down’ed a dozen enemies to be beheaded. It’s nice to see Samantha Guthrie there in the booth with Chuck Todd and Lester Holt and others. The plagiarism, so obvious, so easy to apologize for..but these denials make this Trump machine look incapable of remedying any crisis.
    Melania’s speech was written by a noted speech writer (Andrea Mitchell revealed his name but I can’t remember it) , handed to “Trump, Incorporated”, and someone, somebody…edited that controversial part into the final text of speech. No firings, no accountability… God forbid any admission of stupid-ness or ignorance or any fucking thing, whatsoever.
    I did see most of D.J.T. Junior’s speech. A goddamn robot.

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  4. Dexter said on July 20, 2016 at 2:05 am

    Oh yeah…JMMO mentioned Saul Alinsky last thread. I’ll say this, Ben Carson could make it as a stand-up comedian—he makes me laugh anyway. Did you hear about how Saul Alinsky’s book of radicalism acknowledges Lucifer? And HRC is/was an admirer of the late Alinsky (dead 44 years now) , and Hillary had Alinsky write the forward to her book? WELL SHE DID!
    And we can’t have that, and God has blessed every American unit of money and EVERTHING! And Trump is God’s choice…I guess. I just threw that in there. Cuz who gives a fuck?
    Carson is way crazy, man. WAY nuts. Ya gotsta read this (take ya one minute)

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  5. adrianne said on July 20, 2016 at 6:20 am

    This is rich: Chris f-ing Christie, one step ahead of federal indictments over using the Port Authority of New York/New Jersey as his personal tool, incites the Republican crowd to “lock her up!” On what charges, you ask? Doesn’t matter. This Hillary hysteria is like the Salem witch trials.


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  6. David C. said on July 20, 2016 at 6:21 am

    Anyone want to wager on Trump’s convention bounce. I’m guessing -5%. This is a worse shit show than Bush I’s Pat Buchannan “better in the original German” speech convention. It’s crazy upon incompetent upon fascist.

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  7. ROGirl said on July 20, 2016 at 6:47 am

    I had been thinking that the next step in the Hillary scenario will be choruses of “Burn her! Burn her!”

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  8. Suzanne said on July 20, 2016 at 7:26 am

    If the GOP’s convention theme was to bring fear to the populace, they’ve succeeded. I am now terrified of them winning the election. If they do, get ready for the re-education camps.

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  9. Heather said on July 20, 2016 at 7:33 am

    If Hillary’s power is so vast that she can break the law multiple times without leaving any evidence, despite endless investigations, as well as have her operatives do things like sabotage the teleprompters at the RNC (!!), I don’t know how she hasn’t succeeded in orchestrating a coup to take over this country already.

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  10. Suzanne said on July 20, 2016 at 7:49 am

    Exactly, Heather!

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  11. basset said on July 20, 2016 at 8:09 am

    It certainly is the worst shitshow ever, but there are way too many people out there who think it’s just brilliant and exactly what we need, because Amurcah! Freedom! Benghazi! I am not at all convinced that the orange train is gonna crash the way we’be been predicting – too many voters just don’t think.

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  12. alex said on July 20, 2016 at 8:48 am

    Basset, we both live in states where outspoken fools are part of the cultural norm, so it’s easy to think that the far right has more sway than it really does. Trump cannot possibly win without the support of women and minorities and there is no evidence that he is doing anything but alienating them further with each passing day.

    My only concern is that they’ll be even sorer losers than they were in the last two presidential elections and their vitriol will be forever uglier.

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  13. Deborah said on July 20, 2016 at 8:54 am

    I watched Christie’s speech, it was appalling to see the expressions on his face as he did the call and response. And the horrid expressions on the faces in the audience as they screamed to lock her up was frightening and depressing. It really did remind me of old news reels of people at Hitler rallies. I can’t watch anymore of it.

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  14. Joe K said on July 20, 2016 at 9:03 am

    Screw politics, 46 years ago today we walked on the moon,
    I miss those days,
    Pilot Joe

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  15. Deggjr said on July 20, 2016 at 9:12 am

    Deborah #13, I just saw the clips of the RNC crowd during Christie’s speech and thought they were yelling “Crucify her” but maybe I didn’t hear that correctly.

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  16. Kirk said on July 20, 2016 at 9:49 am

    I think they were yelling “Give us Barabbas!”

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  17. brian stouder said on July 20, 2016 at 11:13 am

    I made it through Trump-the-younger’s speech, and after listening to Rachel (et al) swoon over how good it was, called it a night

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  18. brian stouder said on July 20, 2016 at 11:59 am

    …and speaking of “dizzying reality” – there’s this:


    the lead:

    WOODBURN, Ind. (WANE) The chief of the Woodburn Police Department pledged to never take away city residents’ guns in the improbable event martial law would be declared.In a Facebook post late Monday, Chief Randall Duhamell posted on the Woodburn Police Department’s Facebook page that his department has fielded requests for information about martial law.

    “LET ME BE CLEAR….We Will NEVER take your weapons…no matter who tells us too!” Duhamell wrote in the post.



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  19. mm said on July 20, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    I’m just back from Netroots Nation in St. Louis and I want to throw in two interesting things:

    Rep. Keith Ellison, the only Muslim member of Congress called Trump-Pence “The Bigot Ticket”. I like that.

    I saw a screening of “The Brainwashing of My Dad”. A Kennedy Democrat starts listening to Rush and watching Fox News and turns into one of those relatives we all know. His daughter decides to try to find out how did this happen and traces the evolution of the vast right wing conspiracy. It’s 99c to rent right now on iTunes.

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  20. Suzanne said on July 20, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    I just checked Facebook and saw that same article, Brian, and thought the same thing. WHAAAATTT?!?!? Who says this stuff? Scary that enough people believe this (including probably the police chief) that he has to make a statement. Martial law??

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  21. Scout said on July 20, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    They found someone to fall on their sword for the Melania screw up.
    Good to know this is how mistakes will be dealt with in the (never gonna happen) Trump admin. Deny deny deny and then find some jamoke to take the blame so it can be swept under the rug.

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  22. susan said on July 20, 2016 at 2:13 pm

    Suzanne @20 (& Brian)- If anyone would declare martial law it would Drumphth. Wonder what the nice chief poeleeceman would do in that case? Numbskull Nation, indeed.

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  23. Scout said on July 20, 2016 at 2:20 pm

    Further evidence that Trumplethinskin only wants the glory, and not the actual job of Presidenting.


    “…according to the Kasich adviser (who spoke only under the condition that he not be named), Donald Jr. wanted to make him an offer nonetheless: Did he have any interest in being the most powerful vice president in history?

    When Kasich’s adviser asked how this would be the case, Donald Jr. explained that his father’s vice president would be in charge of domestic and foreign policy.

    Then what, the adviser asked, would Trump be in charge of?

    “Making America great again” was the casual reply.”

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  24. Sherri said on July 20, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    I’ve read several times that the Trump campaign considers Washington to be in play. That’s delusional; Republicans have won exactly two statewide offices since I’ve lived here: attorney general and secretary of state. Trump isn’t going to win Washington.

    Today, though, I got a hint of why they might think so. Evidently the state chair of Trump’s campaign, Don Benton, is part of his inner circle. Don Benton is an retiring state senator from Vancouver, WA who has never been part of anybody’s inner circle. He’s an asshole who is most famous for managing to scuttle the project to replace the I-5 bridge between Vancouver and Portland, which is ancient and way insufficient, because the project included light rail. Yes, the project would have connected Vancouver commuters to Portland’s extensive light rail system, and that was unacceptable. Federal funding was lined up, and Oregon had agreed to pay their share, but Benton fought tooth and nail to prevent Washington from paying up, and the project was dropped.

    He’s also a first-class grifter; evidently 3 of the 5 paid staffers on the Trump campaign in Washington are his family.


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  25. adrianne said on July 20, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    Wow, Sherri, The Donald certainly surrounds himself with the best, eh? Ye shall know them by their friends, indeed.

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  26. Jolene said on July 20, 2016 at 3:40 pm

    Indeed, Trump seems to have a habit of connecting with people who are marginal in their own world, but, because he doesn’t know the landscape, he thinks are highly influential. A good example is Jeff Sessions. Too racist to be appointed a federal judge, but not too racist to be elected and re-elected in Alabama, he is nobody’s idea of a distinguished legislator. He is, though, perhaps the Senate’s most anti-immigrant member, and that has made him a star in the Trump universe. Revolting.

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  27. nancy said on July 20, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    Kind of like how he used to call Ivana a former “top model,” and when Spy went looking high and low for *any* evidence she’d ever been paid to pose in front of a camera, found one (1) picture of her. From Canada, I believe.

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  28. brian stouder said on July 20, 2016 at 4:02 pm

    Sherri – that was a great article (about the VP selection process).

    This evening the local tea-partiers are holding a public meeting to complain about the ongoing (and, in the May primary election, voter-approved) FWCS renovation project.

    They’re holding this meeting in Aboite (an affluent suburb that is outside the FWCS district!), at a public library….and I shall be there.

    This editorial in the this morning’s local paper will be in my pocket, too.


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  29. Sherri said on July 20, 2016 at 4:26 pm

    While enjoying this may be evidence that I am not a nice person, nevertheless, I got a chuckle out of this: https://youtu.be/Wh1wctQNKRM

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  30. Sherri said on July 20, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    Ed Kilgore explains that while Ben Carson may appear to be suffering from dementia, he’s actually just a Seventh Day Adventist: http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/07/why-ben-carson-was-talking-about-lucifer-at-rnc.html

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  31. Jolene said on July 20, 2016 at 5:07 pm

    Colbert has been killing it this week. He’s broadcasting live, though some material is pre-recorded, as the show usually is. You can see full episodes here or look for clips by date on YouTube. I loved the musical theater-type opening number on Monday night’s show.

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  32. beb said on July 20, 2016 at 5:32 pm

    The best writing about the RNC convention…

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  33. beb said on July 20, 2016 at 5:38 pm

    It’s not Tom and Lorenzo but fashion is fashion:
    There’s law enforcement officers from 50 different agencies. Personally I find the Michigan State Police looking the sharpest. Professional but not overly military.

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  34. Julie Robinson said on July 20, 2016 at 5:42 pm

    We watched Monday’s Colbert last night and howled. It was a great antidote to three days of the uber-Republican relatives from Iowa as well as the convention.

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  35. Sherri said on July 20, 2016 at 5:46 pm

    Samantha Bee has a RNC special tonight; if form holds, it should be pretty good.

    Reading several reporters from the convention commenting on the pervasiveness of “bitch” and “cunt” directed towards Hillary, and wondering how long until the candidate himself utters those terms in public with respect to his opponent? Given where we are now, and how far we are from election day, and how thin his skin is, it seems all too plausible, doesn’t it?

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  36. Jeff Borden said on July 20, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    Those with HBO would be well advised to tune into Bill Maher’s program at 11 p.m. EDT.

    I kind of miss the empty chair from Romney’s convention.

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  37. David C. said on July 20, 2016 at 6:30 pm

    Trump seems like he would be so easy to bait into doing something really stupid. If I was Hillary, at debate time first I would have Chelsea backstage with the grandkids and ask Hillary to change the baby. Make sure he knows what’s going on. Then just before they go out to debate Hillary could blow her nose. Then march right out, stick her hand out and let that notorious geromphobe Trump freak out at shaking it.

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  38. Jeff Borden said on July 20, 2016 at 6:41 pm

    Hey Hoosiers!

    There are credible reports that Il Douche Jr. (Donald Jr.) reached out in May to an aide to John Kasich with the offer to become the most powerful vice president in American history. The kid said the veep would have more or less complete control of policy, while daddy would concentrate on “Making America Great Again.”

    If this is true, Pence would become the real president while Il Douche popped up now and then to make some grand pronouncements. My sense of Pence from living next door is that he has done little or nothing for Indiana, but you folks would know best.

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  39. alex said on July 20, 2016 at 6:53 pm

    Pence came in wanting to give Indiana the same kind of tax scheme Sam Brownback gave Kansas. Fortunately, though our state legislature is a bunch of rabid right-wingers and many of them not very bright, even they knew it would be fiscal suicide. Otherwise Pence can be credited with the further ruination of public education in this state and that’s about it.

    I don’t know why people think it’s a big deal if the second in command is secretly functioning as the first. Dick Cheney did it for eight years.

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  40. Sherri said on July 20, 2016 at 6:59 pm

    I have two questions for the crowd here. First is, can anybody tell me the difference between the alt-right and the neo-Nazis?

    And two, where the heck is Sarah Palin? By whose choice is she not in Cleveland? Normally, I’m happy that she has disappeared, but this convention just seems like something she wouldn’t be able to stay away from. Did she make fun of Trump’s small hands? Diss Putin? Inquiring minds want to know.

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  41. Deborah said on July 20, 2016 at 7:09 pm

    Sherri, I read something somewhere that Sarah Palin wasn’t going to be at the RNC because her oldest son, Track (?) was on trial for domestic abuse and had recently made some kind of a plea deal. His trial is happening now or very soon, or just over. I can’t remember.

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  42. adrianne said on July 20, 2016 at 7:09 pm

    Apparently Sarah is dealing with felon son, Track, who beat up his girlfriend. What a lovely family the Palins are!


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  43. alex said on July 20, 2016 at 7:49 pm

    I’m sure Track can handle his own domestic battery trial without his mommy there to hold his hand. I suspect La Palin’s absence is one of the few things Trump’s team got right. She’s liable to hijack the show.

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  44. Sherri said on July 20, 2016 at 9:05 pm

    Since a pyramid scheme grifter is speaking tonight at the RNC, I thought it was appropriate to link to Rick Perlstein’s study of the long history between the right wing and MLM. Here’s part 4, links to parts 1-3 are early in the piece: https://www.thenation.com/article/eye-pyramids-part-4-incredible-bread-machine/

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  45. David C. said on July 20, 2016 at 9:17 pm

    WooHoo. A Koch Bros affiliated group has cancelled $2 million in ads for Ron Johnson, Wisconsin’s idiot Senator.


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  46. alex said on July 20, 2016 at 11:18 pm

    Cruz went out and jabbed a stick in Trump’s eye tonight, and much as I detest him I have to give him my heartiest congratulations.

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  47. LAMary said on July 20, 2016 at 11:21 pm

    Pence is such a weenie.

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  48. Deborah said on July 20, 2016 at 11:31 pm

    Me too, Alex.

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  49. Ann said on July 22, 2016 at 10:32 am

    I love my feedly reader but I get behind (“1390 unread articles”) so I’m too often late for these chats. But I did go back and read the 2008 story on the dear Timothy Goeglein and then checked for an update. Sure enough, he landed on his feet and then some–no doubt making far more than the piddly $125,000 he made in the Bush Whitehouse. “Tim Goeglein is Vice President for External Relations at Focus on the Family and a Senior Fellow at The Heritage Foundation in Washington….Tim is a member of the Board of Directors for Coalitions for America, and a member of the board of governors of the Young America’s Foundation which owns and operates the Ronald Reagan Ranch in Santa Barbara, California.”

    “Expertise: 1)Apologetics 2)Family/Parenting 3)Life Issues (abortion, adoption, euthanasia) 4)Politics/Government
    Speaking Topics: World View, Faith And Public Life, Family, Marriage, Parenting In The Focus On The Family Context, Pro Life.”

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