The shame statement.

I think every writer who wants to make a living at it says, at some point, “I’ll write labels that say, ‘Aim sprayer away from face,’ as long as I’m making a living as a writer.” And in our heart of hearts, we all fret we might end up like Meredith McIver.

This is the ghostwriter who fouled up the Melania Trump speech, or at least, she is the one who fell on her sword for it, only to be rescued by None Other, if her statement is to be believed.

There’s no shame in any job, and ghostwriting can be a lucrative line of work, requiring its own kind of writing skill. It’s not easy to write in the voice of another. And god knows, people who have to channel Jack Welch or Bill Gates or Donald Trump deserve every penny they earn.

But McIver isn’t a co-author on “The Art of the Deal” or the sorts of books that get mentioned in a famous person’s obituary; rather, she worked on the ones that might charitably be lumped into the phrase “…as well as other titles.”

She’s co-author on “Trump: How to Get Rich” and “Trump: Think Like a Billionaire,” as well as other titles. These are books so slight they’re sold in “pocket editions” with built-in bookmarks with a little silver dollar sign dangling at the end. Because these are the sorts of books you want to keep handy, I guess, like the Bible or a Moleskine or the Tao Te Ching. In case you forget how to think like a billionaire. Let’s read the customer reviews:

The first half of the book gives some very common sense advice that can basically be summed up by; keep and open mind, stay positive, and be persistent in achieving your goals/dreams. The second half of the book was lousy. It was just name dropping and telling us whether or not he loves or hates the person

Poor Meredith. Sixty-five years old, forced to commit public seppuku under the Trump letterhead. Melania read her some passages written by Michelle Obama, Meredith took notes and drafted the speech in such a way that it took phrase after phrase and reproduced them intact? I’ve been taking notes all my life, and this woman’s transcription skills are far beyond mine.


Sorry. I’ve got the RNC playing in the background, and Ted Cruz is getting lustily booed – he’s not endorsing the nominee, ha ha. God, this week is so weird. Now, the Trump children. The boys look like extras from a party scene in “Wall Street,” and Ivanka, all of 35, has the youthful polish of a woman five years older.

I’m glad to be living through this era, in equal measure which how much I’m appalled by it.

But when the choices include a man who apparently cannot understand seventh-grade levels of humor and irony, what can you expect? Ben Carson sounds like the people who used to call me when I hosted talk radio, worrying that naming a minor league baseball team the Fort Wayne Wizards would bring down the wrath of God.

Oh, I need to go to bed. There is only so much Ted Cruz one can handle.

Posted at 12:06 am in Current events |

44 responses to “The shame statement.”

  1. brian stouder said on July 21, 2016 at 12:37 am

    I stuck it out to the end, and was treated by the SNL guys doing a send-up of the evening in Cleveland.

    Writing and being creative isn’t easy, but parodying the litany of Trumpian mistakes by the lake cannot be any harder than simply ripping and reading the straight news

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  2. Dexter said on July 21, 2016 at 1:54 am

    Pence spewed a long damn time, then Trump fucked the whole evening up by coming out of a hidden wing and air-kissing Pence, then everybody stumbled around and Trump left without even giving the arms-up victory formation for the photo-op…and then Pence’s family came out of the same chute like emerging from a clown car, and old grandma almost lost her balance and went flying off the stage, but someone caught her just in time.
    Chuck Todd was aghast, calling the entire convention an awful mess, Lester Holt, Savannah Guthrie and Andrea Mitchell all began laughing uncontrollably at the screwed up post-Pence speech choreography …Mitchell said the reason was there were no campaign organizers who had any clue at all how to present the candidate with the veep candidate. Oh, as my late dad would say, “Oh, that;s rich!” All of them agreed, individually, that there has never been any thing like that (that ending clusterfuck) in history.

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  3. Sherri said on July 21, 2016 at 2:42 am

    Holy fuck.

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  4. Linda said on July 21, 2016 at 6:03 am

    Sherri: not a surprise:

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  5. David C. said on July 21, 2016 at 6:33 am

    At the end of this nightmare, they only thing they’ll have to chalk it up as a success is that there were no firefights on the convention floor. There’s one night left though.

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  6. Suzanne said on July 21, 2016 at 6:33 am

    You make me kind of wish I had watched the freakiest! But I don’t like to vomit and was afraid of that being the outcome of my viewing. I read Twitter instead. Very entertaining!

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  7. Suzanne said on July 21, 2016 at 6:44 am

    That “freakiest” was supposed to be “freakfest”.

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  8. adrianne said on July 21, 2016 at 6:47 am

    Josh Marshall applied Trump’s razor – “Ascertain the stupidest possible scenario that can be reconciled with the available facts” – to last night’s shit show and concludes that either of two scenarios are possible: “that the Trump camp allowed Cruz, under their very noses, to blow up their convention through a feat of staggering, almost incomprehensible incompetence. Somehow, with so much at stake, they didn’t even read the speech. The second: the Trump campaign knowingly allowed Cruz to light his bomb and then egged the conventioneers on to an outraged chorus of boos imagining that Cruz would be humiliated and that laying bare the GOP’s protracted civil war before millions would in fact ‘unify the party.”

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  9. Suzanne said on July 21, 2016 at 6:59 am

    “…the Trump campaign knowingly allowed Cruz to light his bomb and then egged the conventioneers on to an outraged chorus of boos imagining that Cruz would be humiliated and that laying bare the GOP’s protracted civil war before millions would in fact ‘unify the party.”
    I doubt Trump cares one iota about unifying the party. I’d lay bets the first half of that sentence is correct, but that where it ended. Humiliate Cruz. Mission accomplished!

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  10. Jolene said on July 21, 2016 at 7:40 am

    You are right, Suzanne. Apparently, there were Trump people whipping up the booing in the NY delegation, and Trump himself tweeted that he saw the speech two hours before Cruz gave it. Here’s what he said:

    “Wow, Ted Cruz got booed off the stage, didn’t honor the pledge! I saw his speech two hours early but let him speak anyway. No big deal!”

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  11. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 21, 2016 at 8:52 am

    I’m confused. My son was awarded Eagle Scout last night by a Board of Review, and it’s not leading all the news coverage?

    There’s another neat twist here, which I’ll post something about when I quit crying enough to be able to see the keyboard better.

    But there’s your headline for the day!

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  12. brian stouder said on July 21, 2016 at 9:19 am

    And a superb headline it is!

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  13. Deborah said on July 21, 2016 at 9:45 am

    Jeff, what does a kid have to do to become an Eagle Scout? I know it’s a big deal, but I’m curious about the kind of effort they have to make to receive the honor.

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  14. alex said on July 21, 2016 at 9:56 am

    Another gratuitous police shooting you probably won’t hear about on Fox:

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  15. susan said on July 21, 2016 at 9:57 am

    Here’s something fun, get away from the Republican Shitshow for a brief moment. The only problem is it makes me already wistful for the Obamas in public.

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  16. Heather said on July 21, 2016 at 10:54 am

    Regarding the RNCinCle, I keep vacillating between schadenfreude and horror.

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  17. Peter said on July 21, 2016 at 11:15 am

    Deborah, as an Eagle Scout myself, there’s the progression of ranks from Scout to First Class, then the upper ranks (Star, Life, Eagle) d are based on the number of required and optional merit badges you have to earn – it’s a total of 21, although they’ve changed the required ones again – Cooking is in, and you can switch Emergency Preparedness for Lifesaving.

    The big item is that you have to organize and carry out a service project for the benefit of the community – my son’s was to organize an electronic recycling drive (this was right after you couldn’t throw your TV in the trash but before suburbs had their electronics drop off areas). Also, you have to finish all of this before your 18th birthday – you won’t believe how many kids finish their project the day before.

    The two items I want to stress are:

    1. Congrats to Jeff TMMO and his son!

    2. When you meet someone who said they were only one merit badge short of being an Eagle Scout (and you can bet that it was Personal Fitness), remember that they didn’t do their service project, which can take as much time and effort as doing all of those merit badges….

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  18. Deborah said on July 21, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    Jeff and son, Peter and son, congratulations, I figured it had to be pretty strenuous to get.

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  19. adrianne said on July 21, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    Jeff, you’re right to be proud of your son, Eagle Scout is quite the accomplishment!

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  20. alex said on July 21, 2016 at 12:21 pm

    Yesterday someone asked what Mike Pence was all about, what he’d ever done. Here’s a looksee:

    Lest anyone think he’s bringing a modicum of sanity to the ticket.

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  21. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 21, 2016 at 12:36 pm

    Peter – true about the project. I do like to point out to my Life Scout friends that, per “Last Crusade,” Indiana Jones only made it to Life. I’m guessing all that academic travel with Dad made it hard to do a service project through to completion.

    Peter put the requirements out pretty well, and I’d also note the leadership requirement (you have to have shown leadership, and it’s not a phone-it-in deal) along with the service project process itself. My wife, who has a PhD and two Masters in science and education, said as we waited through his Board of Review “this is not only more challenging in the paperwork and process and work than almost any Master’s degree, it’s darn near a PhD with more hands-on than dissertation, but a chunk of a dissertation’s worth of brain and written work, too!” She’s heard about mine and seen others, but to be a parent through the journey to Eagle: it’s really worth a fuss if you know a kid who earns one.

    Ditto Girl Scouts’ Gold Award for Senior GS, which my sister earned. Not sure what the current requirements are. And if you look at the requirements for those Eagle Required merit badges, you’d say “I wish more kids learned all that in high school.” See with hyperlinks to the merit badges and the requirements.

    And now off to the council office to ceremonially deposit the original signed form from the committee and two copies — it really is like real life and grants and job apps and community review processes, in ways I might tell you all later when I’m not so giddy. Yes, personalities are involved, and boy did my son learn about that side of getting something done…

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  22. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 21, 2016 at 1:04 pm

    Meanwhile — did Ted Cruz rickroll Trump? I missed it all, sitting nervously in a parish hall outside of a conference room where my son was being grilled by five uniformed men . . . Scout uniforms, true, but still . . .

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  23. Sherri said on July 21, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    Jeff(tmmo), congrats to your son. Eagle Scout is one of the few accomplishments from your teens that still proudly belongs on a resume years later, because of what it requires and what it says about you.

    Cruz walked into Trump’s party last night and pwned him. He said, in so many words, that Trump is a loser, and staked his claim to be the leader after Trump is defeated in November. Not really the change in the Republican Party I’d like to see, but a bold stand nonetheless.

    Trump, OTOH, is the candidate of Putin’s dreams:

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  24. adrianne said on July 21, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    Most hilarious thing is that Cruz TOLD Trump ahead of time that he wasn’t going to endorse him, and his speech still seemed to take The Donald by surprise.

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  25. Bitter Scribe said on July 21, 2016 at 2:30 pm

    Linda @4: The Republicans have been cursing Obama for years on end for not standing up to Putin in Ukraine and Syria. Now they’re falling in line behind Trump, who actively kisses up to the guy.

    Do these people stand for ANYTHING besides winning the next election?

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  26. Bitter Scribe said on July 21, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    Maybe Trump thought that, since Cruz was the second-place finisher, keeping him off the stage would look petulant, and it was better to let Cruz look like the petulant one by withholding his endorsement.

    OTOH, that would require a level of forward thinking and emotional maturity that I haven’t seen so far.

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  27. brian stouder said on July 21, 2016 at 2:41 pm

    A non-sequitur/digression/quick report about the ‘taxed enough already’ (aka tea-party) meeting, about running tea-party candidates for the Fort Wayne Community Schools board of trustees, at the Aboite library(!!)

    It was…somewhat strange. The guy who ran the show was pleasant enough, although his opening remarks had me tilting my head.

    He was very against the 17th Amendment (which allows for the popular election of senators, rather than having state legislatures elect that state’s senators), and worked in a barb or two for “revisionist” historians. (Pull my finger and I’ll go on about how ridiculous I think both of those positions are!). He also bemoaned “liberals” and “progressives” on these school boards, which truly made no sense to me.

    What drew me was that one of our current board members was slated to take part in the proceedings, and I wanted to hear what she would say. Turned out, her hair was NOT on fire, and she gave an interesting talk about how so much comes down onto the local school board, from the state legislature, and from Congress. She invoked the name “Obama” pretty liberally (barump-bump!), but aside from that, her talk was interesting enough.

    Then a former schoolboard member from the bad-old-days (John Olinger) spoke about the nuts-and-bolts business of running for the board, etc etc. By the end of the meeting, it was looking like they were wanting people to run – with a political agenda that they conceded cannot be implemented!

    It was a generally interesting evening, which was essentially incoherent from the beginning to the end!

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  28. Peter said on July 21, 2016 at 2:44 pm

    Jeff TMMO, I would add that the service project requirements have changed a lot since I was a scout (and that was several decades ago). One thing I tell today’s kids is that, like many things in life, there’s a hidden agenda with the service project – in this case, the BSA wants free publicity. A project where you spend 500 hours to it done and get a blurb in the church bulletin is not as good as one where you spend 50 hours and get a mention in the city paper.

    I tell the kids to call the alderman and see if they would come by the project to get their picture taken – believe me, it will get published somewhere.

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  29. Peter said on July 21, 2016 at 2:47 pm

    Oh, sorry to carry on, but to prove my point: Lowe’s has a program where they will subsidize Eagle Scout projects. Sell items at cost? No, of course not – they’ll give $50.00 off supplies IF the scouts hang a big ass banner advertising Lowe’s at the service project site.

    I’m kind of surprised Trump hasn’t thought of that yet.

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  30. adrianne said on July 21, 2016 at 2:50 pm

    And Cruz gave his speech ahead of time to Trump. Did NO ONE read it? Jesus, these people!

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  31. Deborah said on July 21, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    A friend of mine and Nancy’s who has hired people for his various businesses said sometime, somewhere that when he finds out someone had been an Eagle Scout he is extra inclined to hire them, they make the best employees. Is there anything out there for young girls that has the same gravitas?

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  32. Sherri said on July 21, 2016 at 3:50 pm

    The magnificent Shelly O!:

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  33. Jerri said on July 21, 2016 at 5:32 pm

    My mother’s neighbor stopped by this afternoon to tell us why she was unable to find a “Presidential Barbie” for her grand-daughter at Toys R Us. The sales associate told her that the store wasn’t carrying it because it was “too controversial.”

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  34. basset said on July 21, 2016 at 6:09 pm

    Congrats to the new Eagle! Basset Jr. is one, I never came anywhere near it.

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  35. Deborah said on July 21, 2016 at 6:10 pm

    As you all probably know by now Roger Ailes resigned. Yay!

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  36. Deborah said on July 21, 2016 at 6:40 pm

    I just read that the heat index in Chicago was going to be 113 this afternoon. While in Santa Fe it’s 88 with a heat index of 88 now. My husband is very happy to be leaving Chicago tomorrow morning for a week in NM.

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  37. LAMary said on July 21, 2016 at 7:47 pm

    It’s stinking hot here. My office is actually cold and I’m reluctant to go home and feel all sweaty while I watch The Donald.
    Last night’s air kiss and finger gun gestures for Mike Pence nearly did me in. The man is made of cheese. If I walked into a car dealership and Donald Trump approached me to try to sell me something I would leave. He regularly screwed small businesses out of money he owed (including the one I used to work for in NYC) he lies, and he is just godawful. Why do people believe anything he says?

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  38. Deborah said on July 21, 2016 at 7:53 pm

    I just spoke to my husband and apparently there’s something going on with air travel that I don’t understand that might make his trip to Santa Fe impossible tomorrow. Oy.

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  39. Sherri said on July 21, 2016 at 8:11 pm

    Young Mr. Royce Mann, slam poet, tackles All Lives Matter and White Boy Privilege.

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  40. Julie Robinson said on July 21, 2016 at 9:20 pm

    Deborah, was he supposed to fly Southwest? I just read about a computer glitch that ended up cancelling all kinds of flights. Our daughter is supposed to make to fly SW tomorrow on the last leg of her trip home from Italy. She kind of needs Saturday to prep for church, so it could get interesting.

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  41. Jim Moehrke said on July 21, 2016 at 10:25 pm

    Southwest definitely had a bad couple of days. Our boy was supposed to fly back to his home in SoCal yesterday. We are currently driving him the 400 miles because every one of his other options have been canceled. Two flights yesterday, two more today.

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  42. Judybusy said on July 21, 2016 at 10:27 pm

    Sherri, those were wonderful. I had never heard of this young man. Part of me is just feeling drained today between the insanity of the GOP and the latest shooting. I have also had an energizing 2 days of clinical training on motivational interviewing. Old school social work method with concepts and research to back it up. The 2 trainers were black and half the class wrestling POCKET

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  43. Judybusy said on July 21, 2016 at 10:29 pm

    Ugh doing this on the phone with auto fill. Half the class was POC too, so we get to hear their perspective and stories.

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  44. Jerry said on July 22, 2016 at 1:05 am

    Judybusy thanks for the correction to autocorrection. I was wondering what was involved in POCKET wrestling – and my thoughts weren’t good.

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