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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Day 2 in Cleveland: a smaller, but hotter, dumpster fire

"Indiscriminate discrimination."

I don't give two slaps about the Rules Committee vote bidness yesterday, but I am still angry that Don King was not allowed to assume his long-delayed place as an elder statesman of the GOP last night.

King should have been up there, sharing a box with Bob Dole, the only past nominee of the party willing to show up in Cleveland.

There are still three nights in which to remedy this injustice. According to Politico, this is what America missed last night:

CLEVELAND — Don King said he has “not yet begun to fight.”

Republican Party officials reportedly drew the line with Donald Trump when they insisted that the boxing promoter was just too controversial to take the convention stage in Cleveland.

So King went to “radio row,” in the parking garage of the Quicken Loans Arena, and spoke before a scrum of reporters with a rollicking series of grandiose, occasionally incoherent responses that laid forth his vision for a Trump presidency.

“We will create a whole new system. We will tear this system apart! America first!” King said.

The current system, he said, is “almost like a Holocaust" with white and black pitted against each other. “The bigotry. Indiscriminate discrimination.”

Wearing an oversized jean jacket with a bedazzled presidential seal and airbrushed Mt. Rushmore, King envisioned a coalition of white women and blacks carrying Trump into office. They have similar grievances against the establishment, he said.

"Get that white woman her rights, because she didn't have her rights,” King said. Apparently referring to black people, he said, “we were supposed to be heathens and savages, and they gave us, the heathens and savages, the right to vote 50 years before they gave the white woman the right to vote. Something is wrong with this system."

King offered unconventional praise for Trump’s business acumen: "He made a business out of bankruptcy,” King said. “He's the most magnificent bankrupter in the history of America."

In an interview with POLITICO, King said Trump was a good fighter, and that he would’ve enjoyed fighting alongside him.

“With a guy like Donald Trump who shoots from the hip, you know what I mean. And he goes out there and makes no excuse — he’s a great counterpart. I would’ve loved to have him in the ring for me, you know what I mean, cause he’s a great counterpart,” he said.

King isn’t completely on the same page as Trump. He defended Black Lives Matter, for example, while Trump has expressed unequivocal solidarity with law enforcement.

“What black people are saying,” he explained, is “how can you have these killings indiscriminately, one after another, without any consequences, you know what I mean?”

King also referred to RNC Chairman Reince Priebus as “Rip Van Winkle,” suggesting he had slept through the division of the Republican Party.

“Now I have no significance, no anger, no nothing about this Rip Van Winkle, ’cause I don’t even know the man. But when he starts saying the Party don’t want me, the Party don’t want no brothers. They don’t want no sisters, you know what I mean? But the Party is the same Party that helped to get George Walker Bush elected. Right here in this city,” he told POLITICO.

One of the big reasons Republican officials didn’t want King on the stage: he was convicted of manslaughter for stomping a man to death.

King acknowledged it, unprompted, on Monday — but that’s just another example of unequal application of laws, he said. He claimed it was self-defense.

“Stand your ground don’t work for black people. I had five witnesses," he said. "I did four years, but I did the time."

King said he would help Trump unite the country, as “the Double D,” and that he would serve as Trump’s VP, if asked. He also compared himself to the Revolutionary War hero John Paul Jones and John the Baptist, in response to questions about whether he would eventually get a slot on stage.

King said he thought the election of Obama had been a “miracle,” but he was disappointed that Congress refused to move forward with his agenda.

Trump would have a more effective way of dealing with the gridlock, King said: “He would give me phone numbers.”

Yesterday I recalled the Republicans’ first visit to Cleveland for their 1924 convention. There and then, they nominated their accidental President, Calvin Coolidge, for a full term. He’d come to office ten months earlier when President Harding died. Despite the unraveling of the political scandals collectively known as Teapot Dome, 1924 was a banner GOP year. The Democrats, torn over race and prohibition, held the longest convention in history that year It took them 103 ballots to select John W. Davis- who, thirty years later, argue the wrong side of Brown v Board of Education, to be sacrificed in november.

More liberal Democrats defected to the Progressive Party candidacy of Wisconsin Senator Robert LaFollette, who bolted the GOP’s June conclave in Cleveland after losing to Coolidge.

Come November Coolidge won in a walk, beating David by eight million votes and LaFollette by twelve million.

In 1936, things were different. The Great Depression, which struck eight months after Herbert Hoover succeeded Coolidge in The White House, was in its seventh grinding year. The GOP got thumped in the elections of 1930, 1932 and 1934.

So they went back to Cleveland to get the old mojo.

The air was full of possible candidates: former President Hoover;  Congressman Hamilton Fish; Supreme Court Justice Owen Roberts; President Roosevelt’s cousin, Theodore Jr; former President Taft’s son Robert, a humorless Ohio senator (he ran in 1940, 1948 and 1952 and lost every time); Henry Ford; and Charles Lindbergh.

Among the declared candidates was Senator William Borah of Idaho (an also-ran at the ‘24 Cleveland convention); Chicago publisher Frank Knox; and a favorite son who won the California primary, Earl Warren. But the hot candidate was Kansas Governor Alf Landon, one of the few Republicans to win in 1932 and one of only two GOP governors to win reelection in 1934.

Perceived as a moderate, Landon was opposed by hard-right elements in the party championed by Oregon Senator Fred Steiwer, whose keynote speech denounced FDR as “the New Deal Caesar” and called for the repeal of everything Roosevelt had wrought. Everyone agreed the speech was a barn-burner, but it failed to ignite Steiwer’s hoped-for draft.

After the isolationists tried and failed to derail him, Landon won the nomination and went home to Kansas. He traveled little, and was a poor campaigner, so it was no surprise when he carried only Maine and Vermont and lost to Roosevelt by seventeen million votes.

Surveying the electoral map while ensconced in his election night headquarters, Landon began to laugh as if he was watching a Marx Brothers movie.

“What are you laughing at you old fool?’’ his wife delicately asked.

“The totality of it all,’’ Alf replied.

He returned to his oil business and became a beloved elder statesman of the party, appearing at every convention well into his 90s. As he aged he developed surprisingly heterodox views, supporting much of President Johnson’s Great Society and calling for America to join the European Common Market. He died in 1987, shortly after his hundredth birthday, having lived to see his daughter Nancy elected to the Senate from Kansas.

Brian Beutler in The New Republic:

"And, let’s not gloss over it, this is a depiction of a campaign—a campaign that nurtures white grievance and resentment—trying to profit off the work of a black woman, from an African American family that Trump and his supporters regularly belittle. The fact that the plagiarized text in question was about the value of hard work just makes matters worse. A mortifying, calamitous, self-immolating moment."

All that namby-pamby, argly-bargly piffle Franklin Graham has been mumbling about being nonpartisan while pointing out the GOP platform copies the Bible even more closely than Mrs Trump does Mrs Obama's speeches, that's all over.

Jesus came out as a Republican last night. The millennium has arrived. "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatted calf together; and a little Republican preacher from Easley, South Carolina shall lead them."

Good news, convention sufferers:

Only 19 speakers are scheduled for tonight. They include the Speaker of the House, the Trump Winery manager, a soap opera actress who grows avocados, and- fresh out of college, Tiffany Trump, "a fashion model, singer, and influential presence on social media."

I am hoping Miss Trump will explain the meme about privilege some high school classmates of mine keep sending me, claiming that when Chelsea Clinton graduated college, her parents got her a job paying $900K a year, and how parental privilege has nothing to do with Miss Trump’s appearance.

It's striking how few women are getting to even announce the roll call tallies of their states in The Donald's convention.

Cory Lewandowski took a break just now from being a CNN reporter to announce the New Hampshire vote totals for the convention roll call.

And people say Fox News has no standards.

North Carolina just cast its votes. Senator Thom Tillis was crowding the speakers at the mike making sure he was being seen when he should have been policing a bathroom ("OK, you can use it, but you don't have to wash your hands- that's government overreach").

It took three delegates to announce the totals.

The last of the three was Ada Fisher, the African-American Republican National Committee member and great friend of Jesse Helms. Without a quiver of irony or insincerity, she bragged that ten percent of America's historically black colleges and universities are in North Carolina, notwithstanding that her party's veto-proof legislative majorities tried to strangle three of them to death this year with cuts to direct funding and with tuition cutbacks and caps.

7.12 pm: Donald Trump Jr- a delegate- is announcing the New York delegation's votes "to throw Donald J. Trump over the top."

He was introduced by Richard Nixon's son-in-law.

Donald Trump is now the Republican nominee, and the Rules Committee has announced the Pottery Barn Rule has been invoked.

As the nanovirus stalks GOP delegates and staff with its attendant multi-source, projectile bodily vacations- for Donald Trump Jr to celebrate his dad's campaign having turned into "a movement" seems infelicitous.

North Carolina delegates are reminding those around them that HB2 makes no exceptions for emergencies.

The head of the UFC said when everyone else considered his sport a tasteless bloodspurt, Donald Trump said tastes could be lowered to meet it. He made Dana White rich, and that means he will be a good president. It's a real bromance.

Governor Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas is a Bob Jones University graduate and former congressional manager of President Clinton's impeachment. He offers this vision: "A Trump Presidency will see America realize the Art of the Possible."

The Attorney General of Arkansas hates quota talk but bragged that she is the first Republican woman attorney general of her state, and promised the audience she talks like a hayseed all the time, 24/7/365. She hates on Justice Ginsburg, too.

Former US Attorney General Michel Mukasey is on deck. He's a longtime Rudy Giuliani business partner and legal fixer. Senator John McCain called him a liar over this prevarications to preserve waterboarding.  On August 12, 2008, Mukasey told American Bar Association annual meeting delegates that "not every wrong, or even every violation of the law, is a crime."

Being scolded on ethics by that one is like being called ugly by a frog.

Senator Ron Johnson recently compared his re-election battle to 9/11. Two days ago he said he was going home to campaign, not attend the convention he is speaking at now. In June he said guns didn't kill the Orlando 49, ideology did. His campaign ads pretend he has not been a senator the last six years. He chairs the Senate Homeland Security Committee but takes no responsibility for getting nothing passed all these years of big GOP majorities to fix the problem he whinged about tonight. So that's why he is someone to heed tonight. It's what you'll get more of with the Donald.
Chris Cox of the NRA says it protects LGBT Americans' right to shoot people. Therefore, you should elect a president and party sworn to strip away the legal rights of LGBT Americans.

He also chided Mrs Clinton for not caring about gun rights because she has had 24/7 security protection and will have it for the rest of her life. I would have liked to ask what the Bush family has cost taxpayers since Prescot Bush went to the Senate 64 years ago, but that would be churlish.

Donald Trump appeared by video to remind everyone he still exists. It is an old philosophical problem. Bishop George Berkeley devised the theory of immaterialism to deal with the fear that objects, when not perceived by someone in person, would cease to be. He made God a placeholder, who keeps everything in existence by seeing everything all the time.
But with the sketchy grasp of Biblical inerrancy that has made Trump so endearing to evangelicals, he hedges his bets. Someone, somewhere, must be watching him speak,or reading his tweets, 24/7. Thus his appearance. tonight. He will exist until the morrow.

The Senate Majority leader was roundly booed as the came out to jabber tonight. Speaker Ryan committed to give world-class health care to the survivors of his party's next war; while repealing it for everyone else; to cure poverty by cutting off support for the poor, elderly and disabled, overnight.

Speaker Ryan says his party is for respect and inclusion. We are all neighbors and countrymen. Everyone is equal and no one is written off, except LGBT Americans. They are the party of ideas. Whaddya say? Whaddya say? Let's show them out great ideas! Let's revoke protection for the desert sage grouse!

Congressman Steve Scalise told the delegates that, "in 112 days, it's all over!"

He didn't seem to have considered that works both ways.

Governor Christie has just waddled onstage. The mockery of Hillary Clinton that will follow in his remarks- the spouse who will put up with anything her husband does to advance herself- is as nothing compared to the debasements Governor Christie has inflicted on himself, in public, to cement his bromance with The Great Cheeto.

All that is left, after he doesn't get a Cabinet post, is joining the Metropolitan Opera and single-handedly reviving castrati roles.

Tiffany Trump, the program notes say, "She is a fashion model, singer, and influential presence on social media."  And so she seems.

His winery manager says he is a good listener and pays her well.

So far he has not, however, been able to lead the vines anywhere. One commenter noted this spring, "Of the three publications I checked, Spectator’s been brutal. Of five scores, the highest is 84 points (for the ’07 Brut Reserve). The lowest is a horrendous 81 (’08 Blanc de Blanc), which retailed (at the time of the review) for $24. Would you pay $24 for an 81-point wine? If you would, I have a candidate for you to vote for—and, quel surprise, his name is Trump!

"The birther-in-chief fares a little better over at Wine Advocate. They liked his ’09 Blanc de Noir (91 points), but the ’13 Meritage got a measly 85."

Donald Trump, Jr. loves his father. He kills wild animals for fun.

"Growing up, my siblings and I, we were fortunate to have choices." Schools, summer camps, mothers…
It would have been good of Senator Shelley Moore Capito to confine her remarks to the interests of the coal industry rather than, say ethics. It invites comparisons.

Her dad, former Governor Arch Moore, was tried for extortion in 1975 and acquitted in 1976; a decade later, he pled guilty to five felony corruption counts and did almost three years in prison while trying to withdraw his plea all the way to the Supreme Court.

One could ask her why she opposes mine safety improvements as she sings the praises of her mining constituents. Or how much of the natural beauty of West Virginia she has seen blown up and washed into the state's rivers, how many mountain tops are flat after the promises to restore them? But this is her night to shine, with all the glow silvered tin can cast.

Ben Carson is actually arguing Hillary Clinton is a Satanist because he says Saul Alinsky was her hero and Saul Alinsky included Lucifer in the dedication of a book.

He's rolling out his fake Thomas Jefferson quotes again. And now, suddenly, suddenly the band started up. Surprising, but on balance, a better bum couldn't have been rushed.

Kimberlin Brown was a soap opera babe.

Now she grows avocados. Nothing says "Make America Great Again" like a big bowl o' guac.

The word "avocado" comes from the Spanish aguacate, which in turn comes from the Nahuatl word āhuacatl [aːˈwakat͡ɬ], which goes back to the proto-Aztecan *pa:wa which also meant "avocado". Sometimes the Nahuatl word was used with the meaning "testicle", probably because of the likeness between the fruit and the body part.

The modern English name is not etymologically related to the similar-sounding Spanish word abogado, meaning 'lawyer' (as in advocate), but comes through an English rendering of the Spanish aguacate as avogato. The earliest known written use in English is attested from 1697 as "avogato pear", a term which was later corrupted as "alligator pear".[15] Because the word avogato sounded like "advocate", several languages reinterpreted it to have that meaning. French uses avocat, which also means lawyer, and "advocate"-forms of the word appear in several Germanic languages, such as the (now obsolete) German Advogato-Birne, the old Danish advokat-pære (today it is called "avocado") and the Dutch advocaatpeer.

In other Central American and Caribbean Spanish-speaking countries, it is known by the Mexican name, while South American Spanish-speaking countries use a Quechua-derived word, palta. In Portuguese, it is abacate. The fruit is sometimes called an avocado pear or alligator pear (due to its shape and the rough green skin of some cultivars).The Nahuatl ahuacatl can be compounded with other words, as in ahuacamolli, meaning avocado soup or sauce, from which the Spanish word guacamole derives.

In the United Kingdom, the term "avocado pear" is still used as applied when avocados first became commonly available in the 1960s.It is known as "butter fruit" in parts of India and goes by the name "bơ" [ɓɘː] in Vietnamese, which is the same word that is used for butter. In eastern China, it is known as è lí ("alligator pear") or huángyóu guǒ ("butter fruit"). In Taiwan, it is known as luò lí or "cheese pear".

The party of banning all Muslims is closing its evening with a speech by the founder of American Muslims for Trump.

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