The Virtual Pub Is Open

image of a pub Photoshopped to be named 'The I'm With Her Pub'
[Explanations: lol your fat. pathetic anger bread. hey your gay.]

TFIF, Shakers!

Belly up to the bar,
and name your poison!

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What Are You Going to Do About It?

[Content Note: Bigotry.]

I've got a new piece up at BNR: "Conservatives Are Despondent About the Republican Party — They Should Be."

They have every reason to lament the state of the Republican Party. After four days immersed in the Republican convention, I was left with a physical, lingering feeling of unease. I was unsettled. These were not people with whom I merely had deep political disagreements, but people who were espousing a vision of and for America that is fundamentally at odds with what most people, of either party, want the country to be.

I am relieved to know that there are conservatives who are just as alarmed as I am; who also watched the Democratic convention and saw how stark the differences between the two parties now are.

But I'm also wondering: What are they going to do about it?

Simply not voting for Donald isn't good enough. It took the Republican Party decades to reach this point – and, let us be perfectly clear: It didn't happen by accident.

...Conservatives who are horrified by this spectacle cannot bury their heads in the sand, nor can they put a bandage on this mess with some sort of half-hearted, ineffectual protest vote for Gary Johnson.

What is required, urgently, is a full-throated repudiation of everything that has happened in this election; a wholesale rejection of Donald and his movement.

The situation is grim. We know it and they know it. Public hand-wringing and a refusal to endorse Donald is aggressively insufficient.
Can you guess what my recommendation is? (I bet you can!) Head on over to read the whole thing.

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Two-Minute Nostalgia Sublime

Alicia Keys: "Girl on Fire"

This week's TMNS has been brought to you by Hillary's campaign playlist.

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Mike Pence Is the Worst

[Content Note: Bigotry.]

I just spent some time tweetstorming about Mike Pence. If you want to read those tweets, I've Storified them for you.

Seriously. He is dreadful. Tell everyone you know he's probably even worse than they imagine.

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In the News

My time continues to be tight because of wrapping up convention stuff, so let's continue to crowdsource this! Please feel free to use this thread to share news items of interest you've seen in your travels 'round the web today.

(As always, please be sure to add relevant content notes. Thanks!)

Here are a couple of links of interest:

Appeals Court Strikes Down North Carolina's Voter-ID Law.

FBI Probes Hacking of Democratic Congressional Group. (The DCCC. Yes, a different one from the previous DNC hack.)

[CN: Video may autoplay] Six State Employees Criminally Charged in Flint Water Crisis.

Clinton and Trump Will Soon Receive Classified Briefings; Here's How That Works.

Tim Kaine Clarifies Position on Federal Funding for Abortion; Is 'for the Hyde Amendment'. (Ughhhhh. I don't think this is the final word here. My guess is that it's another "personally feel this way; publicly support this policy" situation.)

Why Will Arnett Is the Anti-Donald Trump That America Needs.

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Quote of the Day

"The Republican convention was like a twisted and negative tour— It wasn't a tour of this country; it was a journey through Donald Trump's mind. And that is a very frightening place. That is a very frightening place."—Democratic Vice-Presidential nominee Tim Kaine, on the campaign trail.

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Daily Dose of Cute

image of Olivia the White Farmcat sitting on me, surveying the room
Olivia surveys the room with authority.

As always, please feel welcome and encouraged to share pix of the fuzzy, feathered, or scaled members of your family in comments.

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Meet Hillary Clinton

[Content Note: Misogyny.]

I've got a new essay up at BNR about the Democratic convention and how every speaker was willing and eager to talk about who Hillary Clinton really is, and what that means in the context of decades of narratives about her that have created a caricature we are meant to regard as the "real" Hillary:

It's very common at political conventions to hear from speakers who have benefited from a candidate's policies, but never so many who have been personally helped by the nominee – whether it's Anastasia Somoza, the young disability activist, who has known Hillary since she was 9; or Lauren Manning, the 9/11 survivor who told us of Hillary sitting at her hospital bedside; or the Mothers of the Movement, sharing their painful stories and acknowledging Hillary as the only one who would really listen.

Hillary has made a personal impact on an enormous number of people's lives. And they are showing up for her. They are passionate about telling us about the Hillary they know.

They want us to know her character; not the caricature – and they are inviting us, pleading with us, to see past the decades of false narratives, personal attacks, petty demeanments, and straight-up sexism which have been used to try to discredit and destroy her, in order that we might see the real person. The person they know.

...As someone who has long and zealously advocated for letting marginalized people be the authorities on our own lives, to let us tell our own stories and to believe us, there is some bit of aching irony for me that I am now suggesting listening to other people talk about Hillary, to find out who she is.

But there has never been anyone like Hillary before, and no woman in her position. No candidate has been subjected to such a concentrated, sustained campaign to destroy them, both personally and professionally, before they even secured the nomination.

So listen to the people who speak for her. Listen to every marcher in the parade of intelligent, respected, ethical, and trusted people, some of whom are elected politicians and some of whom are private citizens, telling stories about the Hillary they know.

...And then listen even harder to her when she speaks for herself.

Maybe you will hear that Hillary has some policies with which you disagree. Welcome to the club. The argument is not that you should have no differences with Hillary, nor that she is above criticism; the argument is that she is not the sum of those differences.

That is the treatment to which Hillary is subjected against which I'm arguing – this reductive dehumanization the consequence of which is Hillary being defined, only and exclusively, by her perceived flaws.

Her abundant achievements, her many positive qualities, the enthusiasm of her supporters, the admiration and adoration of her friends and colleagues – these have all been systematically disappeared from the public conversation about Hillary.

If you were reduced to only your worst features, only your failures, and those shortcomings magnified alongside misrepresentations and outright lies about you, and your successes and attributes minimized until some of them were virtually invisible, and all of it was broadcast on an impossibly grand scale for decades, do you think that caricature of you would resemble who you actually are?

What would the portrait of your life look like if your triumphs had been excised? Your qualities turned into points of exploitation?

I bet you would hope that people who had seen nothing but that caricature listened to the people who love you. That they would listen to you.
Head on over to read the whole thing. It's a long one, so settle in. I hope you'll enjoy it.

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Democratic Convention Day Four Wrap-Up!

That sound you heard last night was the shattering of glass.

I again did some live-tweeting of the primetime speakers, and I've Storified those tweets for anyone who wants to read them.

Here are a few of the pieces we published at BNR last night:

Ginger: Who Runs the World of the Democratic Convention? Black Women.

Me: Wow: Muslim American Offers Donald His Copy of the Constitution.

Susie: Preach: Rev. William Barber Brings Down the House at Dem Convention.

Peter: Awe: Look at the Face of This Woman as Hillary Talks About Making History.

Video Team: [Note: Video may autoplay at link] Jarrett Hill: My American Dream.

Naturally, Hillary Clinton gave a terrific address: Part stump speech, part acceptance speech, part fuck no Trump speech. Below, video of the complete address (and link to transcript):

[Complete transcript available at the Washington Post.]

What can I say? She should be our next president. Not just because Trump is a nightmare human, but because she is the most qualified candidate we've ever had. Ever.

I mostly kept it together through her speech. The moment I just utterly broke down was actually at the very end, when she was standing there on the stage alone in her smart white suit, waving to the crowd, and it struck me: There's a woman standing on the stage, not because she's the wife, but because she's the nominee.

I still can't quite get over it. I hope I never do.

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Open Thread

image of baby horses playing in a field

Hosted by colts.

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Democratic Convention Day Four Thread

Instead of doing Questions of the Day during the conventions, I'm posting Convention Threads, since the big speeches happen in the evenings, and I thought we might all want a place to discuss.

Here is a partial schedule of speakers for this evening.

But the big speech tonight is, of course, HILLARY CLINTON!

I am aware, as I'm sure most of you are, too, that there are various disruptions planned for her speech. I certainly hope that doesn't happen. I hope that the people who care so much about social justice will consider that they would be disrupting a historic address by the first ever female nominee of a major party, and think about what a truly shitty and ugly and counterproductive thing that would be to do.

But just in case they fail to reconsider, here's a piece, for anyone who missed it, on shouting at the convention: "What's All That Shouting at the Democratic Convention?" Which I hope will make you feel a little better, if you're feeling bad about it.

If that doesn't work, maybe this tweet by one of my best friends about the "Fart In" will!

Hahahahahahahahahahaha! Let's get ready to CELEBRATE!!! WOO!

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Two-Minute Nostalgia Sublime

Jennifer Lopez: "Let's Get Loud"

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I See You, Donald

[Content Note: Misogyny.]

I've got a new piece up at BNR about Donald Trump's condescending admonishment to NBC reporter Katy Tur to "be quiet" when she was trying to do her job by asking him serious questions about his calamitous comments on Russian government hackers, and then his absurd subsequent explanation that those comments were "sarcasm."

Congratulations and gratitude to Tur for her persistence in trying to do her job — and do it well.

Donald's response is, first of all, entirely typical of his hostility toward the press. And, as Politico reports, typical of his hostility toward Tur personally: He has previously called her "not a very good reporter" and "Little Katy, third-rate journalist," her cardinal sin being asking hardball questions in an attempt to hold him accountable.

That is, doing what she is supposed to be doing as a member of the press.
There is much more at the link, including a Bridesmaids clip, because why not!

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Photo of the Day

image of Hillary Clinton leaning against a wall backstage at the Democratic convention, she is watching Bill Clinton and Barack Obama standing and talking, and she is grinning
[Photo: Barbara Kinney for Hillary for America.]

I don't even know how to describe how much I love this photo. That is all.

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Dear White Lefty Friends Who Are Too Cool For School

Dear White Lefty Friends Who Are Too Cool For School And Keep Sniffing About The Democratic Convention on Facebook:

I get it. Political Parties are Corrupt, We Need Alternatives, Holding Your Nose for Hillary, Yadda. Yadda.

But can you please stop pretending that there is no significant difference between the rhetoric of the Democratic Party and the Republican Party?

Can you please stop with the nonsense that the Democratic National Convention is full of GOP-style “American Exceptionalism”? Because it is not.

Look, stuff like "greatest country in the world" bugs me too. Because I grew up living in two different countries, and even as a child I had a finely tuned nose for the bullshit of “America is the only free country in the woooorld!” and other sentiments fit mainly for Lee Greenwood songs or the garbage bin. (In retrospect, I think it must have been pretty shocking for adults to be asked “What would you call Canada then?” by an 11 year old. Sorry, grade four teachers!)

But let’s talk context here. We are talking about the diversity of the modern Democratic party. These aren’t people who say the Founders are gods, the 1950s were perfect, and we have to “get back” to that perfection.

When someone like Michelle Obama puts it in context [CN: video autoplays at link] that the White House was built by SLAVES and now there is an African-American First Family living in it, that’s not GOP rhetoric. That is acknowledging the racism that literally built our country. While also celebrating that we have come pretty far.

When I see something like Meryl Streep’s speech, and the video that followed [CN: autoplays at link], the one that included explicit references to segregated busing, to the oppression of queer folk…I am seeing something that would emphatically not be found at a GOP convention. It celebrates activists and activism who struggled and sacrificed for greater justice. The rhetoric in that video explicitly acknowledges the US has become a more perfect union, but is not a perfect union yet. It challenges the listener to pick up the legacy of activists and do more…to expect more.

This is not Republican stuff.

Let’s just quote Tim Kaine (and yes, yes, I know how you feel about him, but seriously just think about this):

Thomas declared all men equal, and Abigail remembered the women. Woodrow brokered peace, and Eleanor broke down barriers. Jack told us what to ask, and Lyndon answered the call. Martin had a dream, Cesar y Dolores said si se puede, and Harvey gave his life. Bill bridged a century, and Barack gave us hope.

Do you really think you are going to find that at a GOP convention? None of those people are above criticism, and Kaine isn’t saying that. He’s saying they all contributed something, and, importantly, they’re not ranked. Thomas Jefferson and Martin Luther King get equal weight. So do Eleanor Roosevelt and Cesar Chavez. And he trusts that his audience doesn’t even have to know their last names, that “Harvey” and “Dolores” will be as familiar as “Bill and “Barack.”

If that’s Lee Greenwood –level GOP arglebargle, then I am Abe Lincoln’s tall stovepipe hat.

Look, party conventions aren't academic conferences. Yes, we should be critical, and think critically. Yes, we should be alert to the dangers of nationalism and hyper patriotism. But there is also a time and place for celebration and rousing the troops. And in the end, that’s a big part of what a party convention is all about.

The Democratic Party of the United States is not perfect. It contains people you fundamentally disagree with, it contains people I fundamentally disagree with, above all it is a political party that exists to get shit done. That means it will always have to be less pure than you and I in our ivory towers.

But when you look at the party convention floor and there’s an ocean of faces of so many different colors, and when you hear references to the freedom to love as a fundamental right, and you see the women crying at Hillary Clinton’s nomination, then maybe, just maybe, you could stop complaining for a minute about how both parties are basically alike and how the Democrats “sound just like Republicans.”

Because the Democratic National Convention is evidence that there has been a sea change in where the voting power is in the United States. And that? That is something worth celebrating.

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In the News

My time continues to be tight because of convention stuff, so let's continue to crowdsource this! Please feel free to use this thread to share news items of interest you've seen in your travels 'round the web today.

(As always, please be sure to add relevant content notes. Thanks!)

Here are a couple of links of interest:

Clinton Campaign: Trump Needs to Guarantee He Won't Leak Before Getting Briefed.

Trump Said He Would Bring Jobs Back to the Country; He Just Quietly Hired 78 Foreign Workers.

NARAL President Tells Her Abortion Story at the Democratic National Convention.

North Carolina GOP Mistakenly Attacks Kaine for 'Shameful' Marine Pin That Honored His Son.

Chelsea Clinton Blasts the GOP Platform's Support for Gay Conversion Therapy.

Beyoncé Leads MTV's VMAs Pack with 11 Nominations.

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Daily Dose of Cute

image of Dudley the Greyhound lying on the couch with a pillow tucked under his chin, looking at me
This dog, lol.

As always, please feel welcome and encouraged to share pix of the fuzzy, feathered, or scaled members of your family in comments.

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This video aired at the Democratic convention on Tuesday night, but I only saw it late last night. So, in case you missed it, too, here it is!

Actress Elizabeth Banks and a bunch of her celeb friends (many of whom I don't recognize, because I'm old and haven't lifted my head from my laptop in fully one million years at this point) got together and made a video of an a cappella performance of "This Is My Fight Song" for Hillary Clinton. And it's pretty great!

Video Description: A bunch of people create a performance of the song using only their voices to recreate the sounds of absent instruments, percussion, etc. They are each pictured singing in their own "box," with a solid colorful background, and all the different boxes pop up and disappear and reappear onscreen either individually or in combination with other people in their boxes.

Banks posted it on Facebook with the note: "We believe in Hillary Clinton. We love the sound of the first woman president!"


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An Observation

Anyone who is watching this Democratic convention is seeing just a ceaseless parade of intelligent, respected, ethical, and trusted people, some of whom are elected politicians and some of whom are private citizens, telling stories about the Hillary Clinton they know.

They are saying, each of them, how profoundly decent a human being she is. How caring and loyal and steadfast and hardworking and kind and determined and talented and indomitable.

And still there are people watching this convention who stubbornly believe that Hillary Clinton is a monster.

It's one thing to believe she's a liar, despite all evidence to the absolute damn contrary.

But, at this point, to maintain that opinion of Clinton, you are necessarily asserting that every one of the speakers at this convention is a liar, too.

Suffice it to say, that seems unlikely.

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Democratic Convention Day Three Wrap-Up!

HOT DAMN. The hottest of all damns. That was quite a convention night.

I again did some live-tweeting of the primetime speakers, and I've Storified those tweets for anyone who wants to read them.

There were a lot—and I mean a lot—of amazing moments last night, but GOOD MAUDE did I ugly cry so hard when President Obama finished his indescribably extraordinary address, and Hillary Clinton surprised us by walking out onstage to greet him, and they gave each other the biggest, squeeziest hug. LET'S ALL JUST WATCH THIS OVER AND OVER FOREVER.

Hillary Clinton walks onto the stage to the sound of roaring applause, pointing at President Obama. (In another angle, it was visible that he was pointing back at her, and they were both grinning broadly.) As she walks toward the President, she stretches her arms wide. They embrace each other in a warm, extended hug, rocking back and forth. They pull apart and look at each other. The President says something to her; it looks like, maybe, "Now you've just got to win." She rests her head on his shoulder and they both look full of emotion. They walk to the edge of the stage, waving to the crowd, his arm wrapped around her shoulders.
I'm never going to recover.

President Obama has passed the torch to his friend, Hillary. Tonight, she gives her address. And then we head to November.

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Open Thread

image of fluffy yellow baby chicks

Hosted by chicks.

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Democratic Convention Day Three Thread

Instead of doing Questions of the Day during the conventions, I'm going to be posting Convention Threads, since the big speeches happen in the evenings, and I thought we might all want a place to discuss.

Here is a partial schedule of speakers for this evening.

All I can say is that I hope every single single at the Democratic convention tonight makes this point:

Because it needs to be made. Again and again and again.

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Two-Minute Nostalgia Sublime

Stevie Wonder: "I Wish"

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Quote of the Day

"He's completely unqualified to be president and would be a menace if he were to get there. I do wish more prominent Republicans would step forward and say that."Dr. Eliot Cohen, State Department counselor during George W. Bush's second term (and organizer of the open letter from a number of Republican national security leaders denouncing Donald Trump) on Trump's unfathomably reckless comments today.

I also wish more prominent Republicans would step forward and speak as bluntly as Dr. Cohen. In fact:

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Daily Dose of Cute

image of Zelda the Black and Tan Mutt asleep on the couch with the tip of her tongue hanging out
Sleepy puppeh.

As always, please feel welcome and encouraged to share pix of the fuzzy, feathered, or scaled members of your family in comments.

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In the News

My time continues to be tight because of convention stuff, so let's continue to crowdsource this! Please feel free to use this thread to share news items of interest you've seen in your travels 'round the web today.

(As always, please be sure to add relevant content notes. Thanks!)

Here are a couple of links of interest:

[Content Note: Misogyny] Roundup of Newspapers That Illustrated Hillary Clinton's Nomination with Pictures of Her Husband.

Clinton Running Mate Kaine Endorses Repeal of Hyde Amendment on Abortion.

So We Counted All the Women and People of Color at the DNC and the RNC…

Obama Chooses Historic Jackson Park as Library Site.

Searches for 'Donald Trump Treason' Spike Following Russia Comments.

[CN: Video may autoplay at link] Aide: Trump 'Will Not Be Releasing' Taxes.

[CN: Violence] Would-Be Reagan Assassin John Hinckley Jr. to Be Freed After 35 Years.

Philae Lander: Farewell Messages to Philae as Life Support Ends.

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What Donald Trump Just Did Is Tantamount to Treason

At a press conference earlier today, Donald Trump said: "Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the thirty thousand emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press. Let's see if that happens."

This is utterly gobsmacking. As is most of the media's lack of concern in covering this story meaningfully. I have been tweeting about it, and I've Storified those tweets for anyone who wants to read them.

I also have a new piece at BNR about it: "BIG: Former CIA Director Says Trump's Loyalty to U.S. in Question."
This comes in the context of increasingly alarming connections between Donald, his campaign co-chair Paul Manafort, Russian hackers, and Russian lenders with ties to Putin.

...We cannot state this any more plainly: Donald is an existential threat to the United States. He cannot be elected president.

Further, in saying that Russia will be "rewarded mightily by our press," Donald is openly acknowledging – and exploiting – the media's demonstrated hatred of Hillary.

It should utterly chill members of the media that Donald is (understandably) assured he can exploit their hatred of Hillary to collude with a foreign government.

...This is the man the Republican Party chose as their nominee. Is the Party of Reagan going to sit idly by while their candidate suggests that foreign government hackers should infiltrate the U.S. government?

If so, the entire party has abdicated all pretense of allegiance to this nation.

And if the national media can spend months hammering Hillary for her emails and give Donald a pass for this, then they are openly trying to elect him.
Meanwhile, in other fucking alarming news: "Buried news today: Trump would consider recognizing Crimea as legally part of Russia."

Every new day brings fresh evidence that Donald Trump is, quite literally, running on a platform of being Putin's puppet.

Is our media going to wake up and address this with the gravity it deserves? Is the Republican Party going to do something about the traitorous dirtbag they chose as their nominee?

TRUMP MUST BE STOPPED. That is not hyperbole. This is grim.

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Rage. Seethe. Boil.

[Content Note: Police brutality; death; racism. Video may autoplay at link.]

Prosecutors have dropped all pending charges on the officers who had yet to be tried in the death of Freddie Gray:

Prosecutors dropped all remaining charges against three Baltimore police officers accused in the arrest and death of Freddie Gray in a downtown courtroom on Wednesday morning, concluding one of the most high-profile criminal cases in Baltimore history.

The startling move was an apparent acknowledgement of the unlikelihood of a conviction following the acquittals of three other officers on similar and more serious charges by Circuit Judge Barry G. Williams, who was expected to preside over the remaining trials as well.

It also means the office of Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby will secure no convictions in the case after more than a year of dogged fighting, against increasingly heavy odds, to hold someone criminally accountable in Gray's death.
This cavernous lack of accountability is utterly enraging, even though it is hardly surprising.

Freddie Gray's family still has the opportunity to pursue a civil case, but that is, for a variety of reasons, not the same as a criminal case. Which is why they are separate in the first place.

There will never, ever, be justice without meaningful accountability. And real justice is not just consequences for the killers of Freddie Gray, but no more people killed in acts of police brutality ever again.

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[Content Note: Bigotry; fearmongering.]

So, Donald Trump has added an "Issues" page to his campaign website. I don't know when it was added; I haven't looked at his website for awhile. [H/Ts to Jen Statsky and Ginger McKnight.] And it is really something.

The entire page is just a series of short videos, with Trump talking directly to the camera about something (while cinematic Action President! music plays), and a short paraphrase beneath each video.

screen shot of Donald Trump's 'Issues' page, showing page as described above

There are literally ZERO policy details. Here, for example, is Trump on the issue of "The Military," the description of which on the page reads: "I will make our Military so big, powerful and strong that no one will mess with us."

Trump: I'm gonna make our military so big, so powerful, so strong, that nobody, absolutely nobody, is gonna mess with us. We're gonna take care of our vets, and we're gonna get rid of ISIS. We're gonna get rid of 'em fast.
THAT'S LITERALLY IT. He is, however, minimally more loquacious when it comes to making sure he conveys that he will definitely be a total shit to marginalized people.

I have a great education. I went to an Ivy League college. But I'm not politically correct. Because to be politically correct just takes too much time. It takes too much effort. We have to get things done in this country, and you're never gonna get it done if we just stay politically correct.
At first blush, this might seem hilarious, but that's one of the most sinister things about Donald Trump: He seems like a joke upon cursory examination, but his pithy hatred is scary. Reducing his authoritarian nationalism into small, digestible bites for people who will just uncritically follow and cheer him as long as he speaks (literally) to their lizard brains is not funny. It's terrifying.

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"She has made history."

[Content Note: Misogyny.]

I've got a new piece up at BNR: "SHE DID IT!!! Hillary Overcame the Haters with Grace and Dignity."

A friend of mine, a professor of women's history, once said to me during a conversation about women trailblazers that history looks back on these women through a lens that often filters out the vast array of difficulties they had to navigate on the way to their remembered achievements.

The destination is what we celebrate, and while it's generally agreed that the path must have been tough, rarely are the details, in their specificity and scope, so well-recalled.

It has taken 227 years for a woman to achieve what Hillary achieved today. For the most part, people agree that she had to overcome some obstacles to get here.

But will history remember how truly plethoric and pervasive those obstacles were?
Head on over to read the whole thing, because to truly honor the profundity of Hillary's achievement, we must acknowledge the full landscape of her journey to get there.

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Democratic Convention Day Two Wrap-Up!


As you might have heard, via the news or via the reverberating sound of my celebratory sobs carried on the winds of history, Hillary Clinton officially captured the Democratic nomination yesterday, making her the first woman in the nation's history to be the presidential nominee of a major party.

Woo. What a time to be alive!

At the end of the evening, Clinton made a quick appearance at the convention via satellite from New York:

Video Description: A video that was showing all the male presidents from George Washington to Barack Obama on a huge screen in the convention hall "shatters," revealing Hillary Clinton with a HUGE smile on her face. The crowd cheers as celebratory music plays!

Clinton: Hello, Philadelphia! I am so happy. It's been a great day and night. What an incredible honor that you have given me. And I can't believe we just put the biggest crack in that glass ceiling yet! [cheers] Thanks to you and to everyone who's fought so hard to make this possible. This is really your victory; this is really your night. And, if there are any little girls out there who stayed up late to watch, let me just say [the camera pulls back to reveal that she's in a room full of supporters] I may become the first woman president, but one of you is next! Thank you all! I can't wait to join you in Philadelphia! Thank you! [cheers and applause]
I again did some live-tweeting of the primetime speakers, and I've Storified those tweets for anyone who wants to read them.

Once again, I'll just remark upon how almost indescribably different the Democratic convention is from the Republican convention. I am buoyed by the messages of hope, optimism, and commitment to the hard work of making progress happen together that emanate from every speaker at the Democratic convention. My people.

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Open Thread

image of baby goats standing in the grass

Hosted by kids.

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Democratic Convention Day Two Thread

Instead of doing Questions of the Day during the conventions, I'm going to be posting Convention Threads, since the big speeches happen in the evenings, and I thought we might all want a place to discuss.

Here is the schedule of speakers for this evening.

Y'all, when I started blogging 12 years ago, I honestly didn't think I'd see this day in my lifetime. I had the same thought in 2008. To have gotten to see these two historic nominations back-to-back is overwhelming. I have cried my head dry.

I can't quite put into words what it feels like to have spent so much of the last ten years researching and writing about Hillary Clinton—first, just as her defender against misogyny; then as her hesitant admirer; then as her ardent supporter—and to now sit in this moment, celebrating the history she has made.

I have spent a lot of time with her, although we've never met. I have burdened myself with the task of being her champion, and I have burdened her with the task of being mine.

And I have never been disappointed.

image of President Obama with Hillary Clinton, which has had text added to it by BNR reading: 'My faith in Hillary Clinton has always been rewarded.'--President Barack Obama, July 5, 2016

This is an incredible moment. This entire convention has been incredible for me. Just having the opportunity to watch so many people speak positively about a woman is rare, no less the opportunity to watch them speak about a woman who may be our next president.

Hillary Clinton is officially the nominee. And I am officially overwhelmed.

* * *

Among tonight's speakers is former President Bill Clinton. There have been former presidents who spoke in support of a presidential nominee before, and spouses who spoke in support of a presidential nominee before, but tonight, in another historical first, a former president who is also a spouse will speak in support of a presidential nominee. Whoa.

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She Did It!


image of Hillary Clinton standing in what looks to be a hotel room with her back to the camera, speaking on a cell phone while she gazes out a window
"Hi, Victoria? It's me—Hillary. I did it."

I will say once again: Thank You, Hillary.

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Two-Minute Nostalgia Sublime

Katy Perry: "Roar"

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This is it, y'all! The roll call to officially nominate the Democratic presidential nominee is about to begin at the Democratic convention! Eeeeeeeeeee!

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[Content Note: Hacking.]

Background here.

'DNC Hacker' Unmasked: He Really Works for Russia, Researchers Say:

The hacker who claims to have stolen emails from the Democratic National Committee and provided them to WikiLeaks is actually an agent of the Russian government and part of an orchestrated attempt to influence U.S. media coverage surrounding the presidential election, a security research group concluded on Tuesday.

The researchers, at Arlington, Va.-based ThreatConnect, traced the self-described Romanian hacker Guccifer 2.0 back to an Internet server in Russia and to a digital address that has been linked in the past to Russian online scams. Far from being a singly, sophisticated hacker, Guccifer 2.0 is more likely a collection of people from the propaganda arm of the Russian government meant to deflect attention away from Moscow as the force behind the DNC hacks and leaks of emails, the researchers found.

ICYMI yesterday: Sophisticated Agitators Are Actively Working to Sabotage Hillary.

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Hillary Clinton's Entire Career Has Been Set to a Soundtrack of Shouting

[Content Note: Misogyny.]

I've got a new essay up at BNR: "What's All That Shouting at the Democratic Convention?"

To be a woman is to live a life against a backdrop of shouting.

...And most of us don't live our lives on a stage as visible and a scale as grand as Hillary Clinton has done — and continues to do.

...Hillary is used to being shouted at. The sound of shouts echo through the halls of whatever space she works, doing the business of getting things done, for the people who shout at her. And the people who don't.

So it was inevitable that there would be shouting at the Democratic convention, this place in which Hillary will officially become the first woman ever to be nominated for the U.S. presidency by a major party. It is the biggest and best thing she's ever done (so far), so naturally there is shouting.

But if shouting could stop her, she never would have made it to this moment. Hillary is tougher than the people who shout at her ever will be.

And then there is this: There are people who are shouting for her. With lungs full of air drawn in the deep breath of relief and validation. There are people who are shouting with all of our might that she has done this thing, this extraordinary thing, which took 227 years for a woman to do.

We are shouting, too. We are shouting with the fervor of multitudes; with the vigor of millions of ghosts. Women who have lived and died without ever seeing this moment, who no longer haunt us; whose rattled chains of celebration reverberate in our lifted voices.

We have taken up their legacy with breathless gratitude and compelling need, drawing our lives from their oft unknown lives, beneficiaries of a legacy we only deserve if we endeavor to enrich it with our own contributions, no matter whether infinitesimal or grand, as long as they are honest and true.

This moment is grand. And so we shout. Our shouting will drown in deep, incandescent pools of reproach the shouting of those who would try to derail this moment.
Head on over to read the whole thing. And please share it far and wide with all the Hillary supporters you know who might need the reminder that there are millions of us shouting with joy.

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In the News

My time continues to be tight because of convention stuff, so let's continue to crowdsource this! Please feel free to use this thread to share news items of interest you've seen in your travels 'round the web today.

(As always, please be sure to add relevant content notes. Thanks!)

Here are a couple of links of interest:

Clinton Leads Way on Abortion Rights as Democrats Seek End to Decades-Old Rule.

Cecile Richards: Tim Kaine Is an Incredible Ally for All Women.

There Are All-Gender Restrooms at the Democratic Convention and Nobody Gives a Crap. (Pun intended?)

WNBA Rescinds Penalties Against Players Who Protested Police Shootings.

LUCA: A 4 Billion-Year-Old Ancestor of All Living Things on Earth.

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Daily Dose of Cute

image of Matilda the Fuzzy Sealpoint Cat sitting on the arm of the couch, peering at me from behind a shredded bit of blanket
"Yeah, I was chewing on your blanket. What do you think YOU can do about it?"

As always, please feel welcome and encouraged to share pix of the fuzzy, feathered, or scaled members of your family in comments.

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Photo of the Day

Okay, they might not be Obama-Clinton, but this is still a PRETTY TERRIFIC PICTURE AND I LOVE IT SO MUCH.

image of Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine backstage before their first joint appearance as running maters; Hillary is grinning widely and clapping her hands together; Tim is grinning and making two fists
[Photo: Barbara Kinney for Hillary for America.]

In other news, this AP dispatch is ending me:
Tim Kaine says Donald Trump's got him all wrong.

Trump on Monday put Kaine down as a, "weird little dude."

Kaine, Hillary Clinton's running mate, says he's "not that little."
LOLOLOL!!! So, he has conceded that he's boring, and now he's conceded that's weird.

Senator Kaine, as a fellow traveler who checks both the weird and boring boxes big time, I heartily approve!

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Democratic Convention Day One Wrap-Up!

Well, that was quite a night!

Although the day got off to a rocky start, and stayed fairly bumpy throughout the evening, there were a number of terrific speeches last night, not least of which was First Lady Michelle Obama's. Woo! FLOTUS BROUGHT IT.

[Transcript here.]

I again did some live-tweeting of the primetime speakers, and I've Storified those tweets for anyone who wants to read them.

And here is some of the coverage from BNR:

Me: Grab the Tissues: Karla Ortiz Is Why We're Democrats.

Peter: Karla Ortiz and Anastasia Somoza Make Me Proud to Be a Hillary Democrat.

Peter: Wow! Astonishing Michelle Obama Endorsement of Hillary.

Ginger: Michelle Obama Was My Harvard Law Classmate and Her Convention Speech Floored Me.

Me: Bernie Slams Trump's Twitter Trolling.

What did you think? Whose speeches did you love? It's so amazing when your party nominates someone people love and thus have an embarrassment of riches in terms of speakers, as opposed to nominating a radioactive dirtbag!

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Open Thread

image of three ginger calves standing together in a field

Hosted by calves.

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Democratic Convention Day One Thread

Instead of doing Questions of the Day during the conventions, I'm going to be posting Convention Threads, since the big speeches happen in the evenings, and I thought we might all want a place to discuss.

Obviously, everything is going great so far!

Anyway. I'm looking forward to tonight's speakers!

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Two-Minute Nostalgia Sublime

Sara Bareilles: "Brave"

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Great Point

From Paul Waldman (who is always worth your time to read):

Perhaps it was inevitable that one way or another we'd get a spate of "Dems in Disarray!" headlines as the Democratic National Convention begins, since for a long time that has been the default story many reporters write about the Democratic Party. And there is a story to be told about conflict in Philadelphia. Unfortunately, it's not the one that everyone seems to be telling. The Democratic Party isn't being torn apart from the inside; it's being attacked from the outside.

As you may have heard, there already seem to be many more protests from the left around the Democratic convention than there were around the Republican convention. If it seems strange to you that leftists would be protesting not the candidate who wants to deport 11 million people, ban Muslims from entering the country and roll back civil rights gains for gay Americans, but the candidate who wants to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour, expand Social Security and enact universal child care, well, that would only mean that you're unfamiliar with leftist politics. For a certain kind of activist on the left, the real enemy is never the right; it's always the liberals who are insufficiently committed to their brand of revolution.

And this is what's important to understand about the protests now going on: They aren't Democrats fighting with Democrats. I wasn't able to go to Philadelphia this week, so I'd encourage the reporters who are there and are covering the anti-Clinton protests to ask those participating a simple question: Do you consider yourself a Democrat? Because I'm fairly certain that they'll find almost no one who says yes. This is even true of some of the people who are Bernie Sanders delegates; they got involved in the Sanders campaign, but they weren't Democrats before this election began and they won't be after it's over. We've seen this at the highest levels: Consider that Sanders appointed Cornel West to the Democrats' platform committee, and after helping decide what the party stands for, West promptly turned around and endorsed Green Party candidate Jill Stein.

Just to be clear, none of that invalidates the substance of the critiques the protesters are making; those can be evaluated on their own terms. Nor does it mean that the fact of the protest itself isn't newsworthy. What it does mean, however, is that it's a fundamentally different story from "Dems in Disarray!"

And, frankly, this is precisely why I support parties having closed primaries. Which, by the way, I supported when I was an independent. (I only registered as a Democrat for the first time this year.) Political parties should be allowed to have the people who are members of their parties choose their candidates, because the members of their parties don't necessarily want the same things or have the same ideas about how to best achieve those objectives as people who aren't party members.

Which is fine. But that means that people who don't want to back the Democrats without fundamentally altering the party shouldn't be petitioning the party for open primaries, but for laxing resistance to building third parties.

(Of course, building your own party is a lot harder than just trying to hijack one that already exists.)

This argument does not, of course, preclude outside agitation. I am all for outside agitation! I have been an outside agitator of the Democratic Party for two decades! And it does not preclude inside agitation. I am all for inside agitation, too! Democrats should always be pushing their leadership to be better; we should always expect more!

But I digress. The point is: It's really not that Democrats are in disarray. It's that there are people who mostly aren't Democrats making noise at the Democratic convention. And that is indeed a very different story than the one being told.

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A Black Life That Matters: Lonnie Mitchell

[Content note: gun violence, harassment, institutional racism]

Lonnie Mitchell is “lucky,” if you can call it that.

He’s alive.

He’s alive after being shot in the chest by a policeman in Decatur IL.

He was shot, as he held his hands in the air.

He was taken to the emergency room, but had to be airlifted to another hospital, where he spent 6 days. Now, he is home, with pain in his liver and ribs. He is employed but can’t work while he recovers, has many medical bills not covered by his insurance, and needs help with food, transportation, and caring for his dogs.

But he’s alive.

According to his family, Lonnie was walking home from the party when the police arrived in response to (according to the police report) a “noise complaint” at a party Lonnie had been attending on July 11. In their public statements, the Decatur police have claimed they were responding to reports of a man with a gun, but that’s not what the police report says. According to an e-mail from his sister, Anyta:

He says he was walking away from a party at a friend's, a few blocks from his house, when a police car pulled up to the house he'd just left. He says he was spotted by the officers and recalled to the party. As he approached the officers he held up his hands and informed them that his bracelet had a knife which he was removing. He says he unsnapped the bracelet, it fell off and he stepped over it, with his hands still up. Lonnie says the officer told him to get down on the ground but he refused. He said he told the officer that he was afraid he'd be shot in the back. Then he said he felt an abrupt pain in his chest and looked at the officer and asked, "Did you shoot me?" as his knees buckled and he hit the ground. He said he could hear screams around him but couldn't move or speak but that he could feel his blood pooling around him and he wondered if they'd call an ambulance.

Lonnie and his friends filmed the encounter, but, according to his family, Lonnie’s phone, and those of his friends, were confiscated by the police. There is a state police investigation ongoing.

The police have made much of claiming that Lonnie was carrying a “realistic” bb gun. I want to point out that having a partially concealed real gun is perfectly legal in Illinois, as long as one has the the appropriate license. And if you believe that a 40 year old white man in possession of a gun and interacting in the same way with the police would have ended up shot in the chest, well, I have a bridge to sell you. As of this writing, Lonnie has not been charged with any crime. It’s unclear if he will be. The community has marched, peacefully. Will it make a difference?

Lonnie is alive, but he could use some help. His family has set up a Give Forward Page where, if you would like to do so and are able, you can help with his bills. He is employed in the building trades, so he won’t be able to work for a while. In addition to paying off his medical bills, he will need help with his usual expenses as he recovers. He also needs help with transportation to his medical appointments, food, and caring for his dogs. Even leaving a kind word can make a difference.

On Saturday, I had the opportunity to speak with Anyta, and she shared with me a little of what she and other family members have been going through. We don’t always consider the ripple effects of attacks like this—all of the family members who are also affected. Parents, children, siblings, cousins, and chosen family. And in particular, the women of the family are often most tasked with caregiving; sisters, mothers, aunts, cousins…. There’s stress and anxiety. There’s the problem of trying to effectively advocate for the family member, without simply being written off as a “hysterical black woman,” or otherwise negatively stereotyped. There’s the issue of taking time for self-care, and of getting appropriate support from co-workers and friends. As Anyta put it to me, it’s like you’ve been through a major disaster—a hurricane or fire—and everybody knows, but no-one knows quite what to say or do. Simple messages of support can mean a lot. The “women’s work” of emotional support is, well, real work. And because of this epidemic, an awful lot of family members are working overtime.

It’s been said many times, but it bears repeating: This. Should. Not. Be. Happening. And we know that there are many stories out there like Lonnie’s, stories that don’t grab the headlines, because those black victims of police violence are “lucky,” and survive. Well. I suspect we’d all be happy to trade in that “luck” for a healthy dose of the police not endangering black lives to begin with.

Black Lives Matter. Lonnie’s life matters. It cannot be said enough.

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In the News

My time continues to be tight because of convention stuff, so let's continue to crowdsource this! Please feel free to use this thread to share news items of interest you've seen in your travels 'round the web today.

(As always, please be sure to add relevant content notes. Thanks!)

Here are a couple of links of interest:

[Content Note: Video may autoplay at link] If you missed Hillary Clinton's and Tim Kaine's joint appearance on Meet the Press last night, you can view it here, and the complete transcript is lower on the same page. I was amazed and delighted by their chemistry. It reminds me a whole lot of her camaraderie with President Obama, and, needless to say, I believe that's a very good thing!

[CN: Gun violence; death] Fort Myers Shooting: 2 Dead, More Than Dozen Wounded After Teen Event.

Hillary Clinton's VP Pick Gets Warm Reception from LGBT Groups.

Democratic Convention Makes History with First Openly Transgender Speaker.

[CN: Nazi reference; bigotry] Resignation Letter

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Bernie Can't Put the Genie Back in the Bottle

Bernie Sanders just gave a speech to his delegates at the Democratic National Convention. And it didn't go so well. They really enjoyed the part where he basically gave his stump speech as a victory lap about how his campaign was the best and not beholden to billionaire donors and never had a super PAC and the usual, thus passive-aggressively continuing to indict Hillary Clinton even at the convention, but they didn't seem to like the part where he said it was time to support Clinton and Kaine to defeat Donald Trump.

Video Description: Sanders says it's time to back Clinton and Kaine. The crowd jeers and boos and chants "We want Bernie!" Sanders looks shaken and waves his arm, trying to quiet them. They continue to yell, and he tries to carry on, saying that Trump is running a campaign of bigotry, but they jeer at that, too. He looks like he has absolutely no idea what to do, but continues speaking, over the sustained shouting.
Sanders has now been saying for weeks that his supporters won't fail to support Clinton; won't vote for Trump. He's been in such denial—and/or been so convinced of his own control over his supporters; certain that they'll do whatever he says at the snap of his fingers—that he seemed genuinely alarmed to realize that they didn't understand he was just playing politics all along.

They believed him when he tried to win by saying Clinton is corrupt and unqualified and lacks good judgment and all the rest of it. And it was foolish of him to have failed utterly to realize that's exactly what was going to happen.

Yes, Sanders. It turns out that lots of your supporters actually will vote for Trump, since you spent a lot less time talking about how terrible he is than you did talking about how terrible Clinton supposedly is.

I hope he is deeply shaken over seeing the genie he unleashed and now can't put back in the bottle. He should be.

I sure am.

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Daily Dose of Cute

image of Olivia the White Farmcat hanging over the back of a blue chair, napping, while Sophie the Torbie Cat is curled up on its seat
Just perfectly normal cat napping positions.

As always, please feel welcome and encouraged to share pix of the fuzzy, feathered, or scaled members of your family in comments.

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Why I'm Still Angry About the "Low Enthusiasm" for Hillary Clinton Narrative

[Content Note: Misogyny; racism.]

Because it just. won't. die.

[Note: The embedded Storify was doing weird things to the page, so I've replaced it below with just a link instead.]

The Lumbering Zombie That Is the "Low Enthusiasm" for Hillary Narrative.

I've said it once, or a hundred times, before and now I'll say it again:

Clinton's base of supporters is largely comprised of people of color, white women, LGBTx people, Latinx immigrants, and other marginalized groups.

To consistently disappear us—and our enthusiasm—in service to a narrative that is patently false is some hot garbage.

And it would be bad enough if it was just being done to try to discredit a historic female candidate, but it is being done to try to discredit her in the middle of an election in which her only meaningful competitor is a white supremacist authoritarian patriarch who unapologetically disgorges every shade of bigotry as the centerpiece of his campaign. A person who actively and expressly wants to make our lives worse.

I am filthy angry at the journalists who keep peddling this shit like it's a joke, or like it doesn't matter.

I see you.

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The Real Story of the DNC Email Leak is Trump's Terrifying Ties to Russia

As you may recall, in June, Russian government hackers "penetrated the computer network of the Democratic National Committee and gained access to the entire database of opposition research on GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump, according to committee officials and security experts who responded to the breach. The intruders so thoroughly compromised the DNC's system that they also were able to read all email and chat traffic, said DNC officials and the security experts."

Over the weekend, Wikileaks (very irresponsibly) published DNC emails. There has been an enormous amount of outrage about these emails, but apart from one suggesting exploiting Bernie Sanders' religious beliefs—a suggestion which was never used, and for which the staffer, who will presumably face additional consequences, has apologized—it's mostly a storm in a teacup.

I strongly, and amusedly, agree with Judd Legum, who said: "If you are shocked by the Wikileaks DNC emails, you probably have never worked in politics."

Which is why it's too bad that DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz has been forced out over this stuff. I've had many criticisms of her over her tenure, but I'm nonetheless unthrilled that this is why and how she's leaving.

The DNC had serious concerns about how the Sanders campaign was potentially damaging Hillary Clinton, who was always leading and always seen as most likely to be the party's nominee. And as well they should have: By repeatedly going after Clinton's character, rather than running on the issues, they damaged Clinton and entrenched a deeply mendacious narrative about her character, which Donald Trump is now continually using against her, often invoking Sanders by name.

Which was entirely predictable. That's why political writers (like yours truly) were continually criticizing Sanders for his scorched-earth approach.

The Democratic National Committee exists to elect Democrats. Of course they were concerned and angry about their most likely presidential nominee, and their candidate who had the best chance of winning in the general election, continuing to be attacked in a way that was unfair.

Which Sanders knew. Why do you think he's supporting her now? Because he knew that was all bullshit! He was just trying to win. And he was trying to win in a way the DNC didn't like, for good reason.

Anyway. While everyone who still doesn't understand how politics works focuses on this non-issue, the real story is that this breach was orchestrated "by two Russian intelligence agencies, which were the same attackers behind previous Russian cyberoperations at the White House, the State Department and the Joint Chiefs of Staff last year. And metadata from the released emails suggests that the documents passed through Russian computers." And now, releasing them on the eve of the Democratic convention, they are trying to fuck with the US election.

To Trump's favor.

And why the Russian government would try to fuck with the US election to Trump's favor is what we all need to be talking about, because it is genuinely alarming.

As [Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook] notes, this comes just one week after Donald's alarming comments about NATO and his advisers having successfully weakened the Republican Party's platform with respect to Ukraine, reneging on a promise to provide aid to the Ukrainians in their struggle against Russian aggression.

There have long been questions about some of Donald's advisers' ties to foreign governments. In particular, his campaign co-chair Paul Manafort has built a career specializing in working for arms dealers, dictators, and foreign oligarchs. He was "for many years on the payroll of the Putin-backed former president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych."
In April, Franklin Foer wrote an extensive profile of Manafort, in which Foer details Manafor's decades-long relationship with Trump, which has spanned the former's career of advising some of the most despicable tyrants around the globe. In the piece, he recalls the time that Manafort "snookered" John McCain into aiding him in "undermining American policy."

Manafort's business partner, lobbyist Rick Davis, was one of McCain's top advisers. Manafort's and Davis' work in Ukraine was so concerning that, in 2008, a staffer on the National Security Council called McCain to ask him to help "dial back" Manafort and Davis, because: "By promoting enemies of the Orange Revolution, they were undermining American policy." But McCain had already been taken in by them.
That year, the pair had consulted on behalf of pro-independence forces in the tiny principality of Montenegro, which wanted to exit Serbia and become its own sovereign republic. On the surface, this sounded noble enough, so noble that McCain called Montenegro's independence the "greatest European democracy project since the end of the Cold War."

A report in the Nation, however, showed that the Montenegrin campaign wasn't remotely what McCain described. The independence initiative was championed by a fantastically wealthy Russian mogul called Oleg Deripaska. Deripaska had parochial reasons for promoting independence. He had just purchased Montenegro's aluminum industry and intended to buy broader swaths of its economy. But he was also doing the bidding of Vladimir Putin, on whose good graces the fate of all Russian business ultimately hangs. The Nation quoted Deripaska boasting that "the Kremlin wanted an area of influence in the Mediterranean."
Got that? Manafort and Davis (who was running McCain's campaign) manipulated the Republican nominee to lend his support, under the auspices of "yay freedom," to a geopolitical event designed to enrich Putin and his allies.

And that was hardly the end of it.
Manafort and Davis didn't just snooker McCain into trumpeting their client's cause; they endangered him politically, by arranging a series of meetings with Deripaska, who the U.S. had barred from entering the country because of his ties to organized crime. In 2006, they steered McCain to attend a dinner with the oligarch at a chalet near Davos, where Deripaska speechified for the 40 or so guests. (The Washington Post reported that the oligarch sent Davis and Manafort a thank-you note for arranging to see the senator in "such an intimate setting.") Seven months later, Manafort and Davis took McCain to celebrate his 70th birthday with Deripaska on a yacht moored in the Adriatic.
And now, two presidential cycles later, Manafort is running Donald Trump's campaign. Needless to say, Trump is even less politically sophisticated than McCain. If McCain could be that easily exploited, it's petrifying to contemplate how effortlessly Manafort is able to manipulate Trump.

Further, McCain was not deeply indebted to Russian money-lenders with ties to Putin. As TPM's Josh Marshall details, "Trump appears to have a deep financial dependence on Russian money from persons close to Putin. …There is also something between a non-trivial and a substantial amount of evidence suggesting Putin-backed financial support for Trump or a non-tacit alliance between the two men."

That, of course, is the result of Trump's multiple spectacular business failures and bankruptcies. Despite his relentless boasting about his own extraordinary business acumen, which is essentially his singularly cited (alleged) qualification for the presidency, he is, in fact, not regarded as a wise, skilled, and competent businessman by US banks, who refuse to lend to him. So now he must depend on foreign cash to fund his business ventures.

We don't know how indebted Trump is to Russian lenders. We don't know if his borrowing has now critically compromised the Republican nominee for the United States presidency.

This is not idle speculation. This is a genuine concern based on the facts we know.

And if indeed Donald Trump is beholden, in any way, to Putin and his allies, it should alarm the everloving fuck out of all of us that Russian government hackers now appear to meddling with the US election in order to install Trump.

We are so well beyond what the DNC said in its emails. And, seriously, if you're concerned about the DNC rigging a primary (which wasn't rigged), then you oughta be really concerned about a foreign state trying to rig the entire US presidential election.

If what comes out of this story is somehow, once again, that Hillary Clinton is History's Greatest Monster, then we are well and truly fucked.

Because right now, the only person standing between a man who is possibly (and likely) compromised by a foreign government, and whose aides have already changed the Republican platform in a way that benefits that government, is Hillary Clinton. And hers is the only campaign raising that alarm.

If you look at that and think it's her campaign doing the distracting, I despair for our collective future. I really do.

UPDATE: I have more on this at BNR: "BE WARNED: Sophisticated Agitators Are Actively Working to Sabotage Hillary."

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The Democratic Convention Starts Today

And if you would like to take a look at the schedule and speakers who will be appearing at the convention in Philly, here you go!

I'm especially excited to see Anastasia Somoza speak, who is a friend of a friend, and also to see First Lady Michelle Obama!

But I'm sure all the speeches are going to be great, not only because the Democratic convention are typically full of amazing speakers, many of whom will shape and define the party for years to come (remember when most of us "first met" President Barack Obama as a Democratic convention speaker?!), but also because, unlike the Republican convention, where lots of Republicans wouldn't have spoken if you'd paid them in solid gold busts of Ronald Reagan, Democrats are very excited to show up for and participate in the historic nomination of Hillary Clinton!

They surely had a huge selection of willing and eager speakers from whom to choose, as opposed to having to scrape a bunch of Scott Baios from the bottom of the bin.

Let's do this!

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Open Thread

image of two pink piglets snuggling in the grass

Hosted by piglets.

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More on Kaine

[Content Note: Racism; misogyny.]

So, I'm watching this Clinton campaign video last night about Tim Kaine:

Video Description: Over video of Kaine speaking and/or campaigning with Clinton, audio clips of Kaine speaking: "Remember folks: Tough times don't last, but tough people do last. We've been through tough times as a nation, but we are tough people. ...Do you want a 'me first president,' or a kids and families first president? Do you want a trash-talker president, or a bridge-builder president? ...What leaders do is walk right out into the challenges and embrace them and bring people together. That's what the best leaders have done in this country since we've started. ...Hillary's ready to be our leader. Hillary's ready to make history."
And right at the moment where he says, "Hillary's ready to be our leader," it struck me like a ton of bricks: There is a white man standing on the stage in support of a woman running for president, and he is saying that she will be our leader.

And he is standing there in support of her, her second in command, saying he's going to help her make history.


I just feel very overwhelmed with how powerful a message that is in this moment.

When President Obama selected Joe Biden as his running mate, Biden was much older than Obama, who was, at the time, a one-term junior senator. The choice of Biden, already a statesman, was seen as necessary because Obama's lack of experience was a concern. Biden was positioned as his mentor, even though Obama was, as been made abundantly evident, clearly capable of doing the job all on his own.

Here, Clinton is the one with more experience. She's older than Kaine, and she's held a presidential cabinet position. There's no mistaking that she's the boss.


And let's be honest: President Obama was obliged to choose a white man as his running mate (in part) because of racism. People were (rightly) angry about that, but it wasn't Obama's fault. And Clinton was obliged to choose a white man as her running mate (in part) because of misogyny. People are (rightly) angry about that, too, but I'm seeing a lot more of the blame being directed at Clinton than I saw directed at Obama. And I'm not sure that's fair. Because misogyny isn't her fault any more than racism is President Obama's.

To be frank, my thought was that anyone who was prepared to vote for a woman is prepared to vote for two women, or a woman and a man of color. (I also thought the same thing in 2008, replacing woman with Black man.) But friends around the country who are not professionally ensconced in a pro-Hillary bubble the way I am tell me that I'm wrong. That it still matters to a lot of the less progressive Democrats and independents they encounter that there's a white dude on the ticket.

That's discouraging, but I'm listening to what they're telling me. And if that's true, then I have to believe that Team Clinton's incredibly sophisticated research uncovered the same. And I'm not going to hold her to blame for other people's bigotry.

I will, however, give her credit for making an enormously important political calculation regarding a potential Democratic Senate majority, if the above wasn't, in fact, a consideration. Senator Elizabeth Warren would have been replaced by a Republican governor in Massachusetts. Senator Cory Booker would have been replaced by a Republican governor in New Jersey.

Kaine, on the other hand, will be replaced by Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe, who just last night announced he will individually sign thirteen thousand orders for ex-felons to make sure their voting rights restored. That's the kind of governor who will be picking a new Democratic senator.

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, who was also reportedly in contention, was just found by the US Office of Special Counsel to have violated the Hatch Act. "The agency didn't disclose who made the initial complaint about Castro's interview that prompted the investigation." Yeah, I wonder who it could have been who complained about someone on Clinton's shortlist violating a rule that voters don't care about or understand, making sure there was a ready-made scandal for the media to endlessly discuss if she chose him.

Labor Secretary Tom Perez (who was my preferred pick) is reportedly one of her choices for a cabinet position, where he'd have a lot more to do, and thus a lot more influence, than the average vice-president. If that's right, I'm definitely okay with his not getting the veep nod.

Which brings us back to Kaine. Who has an even lower rating (lol) than his Senate colleagues from the conservative Heritage Foundation. Even lower than Bernie Sanders! The lowest in the entire Senate. Which, in case it's not clear, means he's very progressive.

Since the announcement last night, I've heard from people who have worked with him, and read the accounts of people who have worked with him, and it's remarkable how much what people say about him sounds exactly like what I always hear from people who have worked with Hillary Clinton: He's a pragmatic progressive. He's a great listener; always seeking information; eminently willing to change positions (leftward) if new details demand it. And this:

Also? He, too, is a dork.

I know there's a lot of concern about Kaine's record on choice, which I totally understand, although it's clear that he has moved significantly left on reproductive issues in the last decade. As I noted in comments last night, I would be a lot more concerned about his mixed record were it not for three things:

1. I don't believe that Hillary Clinton would have chosen him were she not certain that he would be 100% committed to supporting pro-choice Supreme Court nominees.

2. I have already been through the "Catholic dude who is personally squishy on choice but is publicly pro-choice" with both John Kerry and Joe Biden, both of whom were more reliable on choice the more influential they became.

3. Normally, when there's someone who's chosen for veep who isn't flawless on choice, I'm super pissed off because it doubles-down the ticket on being insufficiently robust in their support of choice. For the first time ever, because Hillary Clinton is at the top of the ticket, that isn't happening! And that actually isn't a small thing to me.

(And, hey, she pushed Sanders left on Hyde; I've no doubt she can push Kaine left on choice if he needs pushing.)

I'm very excited about indications that my instinct about Kaine's history taking on the NRA figured into Clinton's decision. Clinton hasn't gotten much credit for being bolder than past Democrats on gun reform during this election, but her willingness to give zero fucks about the NRA and campaign with mothers of Black people killed by guns is a big deal. It's not a coincidence that there has been a Senate filibuster and a House sit-in by Democrats on gun reform since she launched her campaign. She seems very serious about gun reform, and it is even more reassuring to me regarding pursuing meaningful gun reform that she chose Kaine. I would very much like to see him lead on that.

And I'm very excited about this, too:

Possibly the most qualified presidential ticket in history vs. Donald Trump, who has never served a day in public office. I am down with that big time.

So that's where I'm sitting right now. I respect people's concerns about Kaine, and I'm not telling anyone how they should feel about him. There are no perfect candidates, and we all draw our lines in different places. I'm just telling you what I'm thinking, because lots of y'all have asked for my further thoughts. No one is required to agree.

I probably don't even need to say this, lol, but I genuinely didn't expect to be as enthusiastic about Kaine as I am. I was surprised to discover he is very different than my impressions drawn from the media.

The irony is not lost on me. You'd think I'd have learned, after a decade of pushing back on the bullshit coverage of Clinton, that I can't trust anything but my own research on candidates—especially a candidate who was being covered because of his potential association with her.


Open Wide...