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Is There Nothing Donald Trump Won't Say?

Shamelessness meets illogic in a memorable (and endless) speech.

By Frank Bruni

I’m so relieved that the pandemic is over! I’d somehow missed that news, but then I watched the Republican National Convention, culminating in President Trump’s big speech on Thursday night, and learned that with his swift, muscular action, he’d pretty much vanquished the “China virus” and other countries wish they were so lucky. I learned that the economic toll of it was fast receding and would be a blurry memory soon.

I learned that it’s now perfectly safe for hundreds of people to sit cheek by jowl without masks, because that’s what they did in order to bathe the president in applause and chants of “four more years.” I learned that anyone who says different is just being a hater. But Trump is a lover. I learned that, too.

How to reconcile that with the vicious tone and vitriolic content of much of his remarks, which were as grounded in reality as a Tolkien novel and about as long? I’m stumped.

But I’m impressed: that he claimed such big-heartedness while showing such small-mindedness; that he twisted facts with such abandon and in such abundance; that he again trotted out that nonsense about having done more for Black Americans than any president since Abraham Lincoln; that he disparaged Joe Biden for not “following the science” about Covid-19 when he, Trump, mused about injections of bleach and vouched recklessly for hydroxychloroquine; that he characterized Biden’s positions as a “death sentence for the U.S. auto industry” when the Obama administration helped to save American carmakers.


Kenosha Tells Us More About Where the Right Is Headed Than the R.N.C. Did

The conservative media’s embrace of Kyle Rittenhouse speaks volumes about its priorities.

By Jamelle Bouie

The most revealing thing to happen in conservative politics this week did not involve the Republican National Convention, at least not directly. Instead, it took place in Kenosha, Wis., in the aftermath of a shooting on Tuesday night that killed two people and wounded a third.

The suspected shooter, Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old from nearby Antioch, Ill., was in Kenosha with a group of armed counterprotesters. After several days of rioting — sparked by the shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man who appears to have been paralyzed after police shot him seven times in the back — so-called militia groups arrived on the scene to defend businesses and other properties from protesters. Rittenhouse was with one of those groups when, according to a visual analysis by The New York Times, he was seen running away from several people.

Eyewitness testimony fills the gap. Rittenhouse was approached by Joseph Rosenbaum, who threw a plastic bag in his direction. He ran, and turned to face Rosenbaum with his AR-15 in the ready position. Nearby, an unknown gunman shot into the air. It’s at this point that Rosenbaum reached for the barrel of Rittenhouse’s rifle. Rittenhouse then fired four rounds, one of which struck Rosenbaum in the head. Rittenhouse then fled the scene. Several people chased him, some shouting to identify him as the shooter.

As Rittenhouse is running, he trips and falls to the ground. He fires again — four more shots — as several people run toward him. One of the people in that group is hit in the chest and falls to the ground. Another, who is carrying a handgun, is struck in the arm. Rittenhouse then gets up and walks toward several police vehicles with his hands raised. Although bystanders identify him as the shooter, police pass him by. Rittenhouse is arrested the next day, in Illinois. Authorities charged him with first-degree murder.


Trump presented the mother of all fabrications on the White House lawn

Opinion by Dana Milbank

Four years ago, when the United States was in the eighth year of an economic expansion and enjoying a time of relative peace and prosperity, Donald Trump saw only carnage.

“Our convention occurs at a moment of crisis for our nation,” he told the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, describing a nation full of “death, destruction . . . and “weakness.”

Now, America actually is in crisis: a world’s worst 177,000 dead from the pandemic, nearly 6 million infected, 6 million net jobs lost during Trump’s presidency, nearly $7 trillion added to the debt, and racial violence in the streets.

And Trump, accepting the Republican Party’s nomination for a second term on Thursday night, offered a most counterintuitive assessment: Everything is awesome!

He declared himself “proud of the extraordinary progress . . . and brimming with confidence in the bright future.” He said he accepted the nomination “full of gratitude and boundless optimism.” He spoke of “new heights of national achievement,” a “new spirit of unity.”


Trump's convention speech was selling a fantasy version of himself

It was a beautiful image. That’s all it was, but that was the most important thing. It was, in fact, the only thing.

On Thursday evening, the stage was dramatically set for the president’s speech to the Republican National Convention on the South Lawn of the White House. Surely there were no more American flags left in the land because they were all assembled as a backdrop for the night’s grand finale.

A pandemic is raging, preventing Americans from traveling freely, shuttering schools and keeping businesses closed. But not at Trump’s White House. The perfectly manicured lawn was filled with little white chairs that were spaced inches apart and most of the 1,500 or so people in attendance were maskless.

Cabinet members, Trump family members, supporters and a beatific Vice President Pence were all nestled up next to one another. It wasn’t so much a cult of denial, but a cult of personality. They were here for the president, Donald J. Trump. He alone can solve the country’s problems, he said when he was running for office four years ago. He has done more for Black Americans than any president since Abraham Lincoln, he has said. Having his face added to Mount Rushmore sounds like a good idea, he has tweeted.


Trump offers up a shit sandwich to the MAGAts and tells them it's delicious, and they eat it up.

Every Android phone will now help detect earthquakes

Everyone with an Android smartphone will now help Google accurately report when there's an earthquake.

Starting Tuesday, Android phones running operating system 5.0 and above will pick up certain seismic wave activity and report it to Google. Google will then use that data in search results and directly warn Android users in California.

Google will use the phones' built-in accelerometers, which orient the compass and stargazing apps, in a new way. Now the sensor will pick up earthquake activity, too, and report it to Google.

When you look up "earthquake" or "earthquake near me," Google will use the accelerometer data to quickly report back information about the quake. The information will be pooled together and sent to a dedicated server to let Google know a lot of people in a certain area are experiencing some unusual movement. So if your phone erroneously detects some seismic movement, Google should notice that it was only your phone flagging a potential quake.


Very cool, but also kinda creepy.

Republicans are lying about Biden and hoping voters are ignorant enough to believe them

Opinion by Editorial Board

TRAILING IN the polls, and with no tangible agenda for a second term, President Trump is doing his best to tear down Democratic nominee Joe Biden. That’s hardly an unprecedented strategy, and some of the policy-based arguments being advanced by speakers at the Republican National Convention this week fall within the normal bounds of campaign debate, even if some of the hyperbole is beyond those bounds. Mr. Biden, it’s said, will be controlled by the Democratic left; he will raise taxes; he will be too soft on China.

There is another strand of the attacks, however, that is as depraved as it is scurrilous. The Trump campaign is attempting to portray Mr. Biden and his family as neck-deep in corruption, based on allegations that have repeatedly been demonstrated to be false. In effect, the Republicans accuse the former vice president of secretly doing what Mr. Trump has accomplished overtly during the past three years — using his office to enrich himself and his family.

Leading the GOP charge on Tuesday was Pam Bondi, a former Florida attorney general who in 2013 received a $25,000 contribution from a Trump charity six days after her office said it was looking into fraud charges against Trump University. The investigation did not go forward. Incredibly, Ms. Bondi opened her case against Mr. Biden by repeating the lie that led to Mr. Trump’s impeachment: that Mr. Biden demanded the firing of a Ukrainian prosecutor who was investigating a gas company that employed the then-vice president’s son Hunter.

An exhaustive congressional investigation, including sworn testimony by Mr. Trump’s own special envoy to Ukraine, demolished that charge. Mr. Biden sought the prosecutor’s ouster at the urging of the State Department, European governments and Republican senators. Ukrainian authorities said there was no evidence of wrongdoing by Mr. Biden or his son, which is why Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky resisted Mr. Trump’s demand that he launch an investigation of the matter. Yet Ms. Bondi used her prime-time slot to renew the smear, as though none of that had happened.


RNC Forced To Pad Out Final Nights Of Convention With Illegitimate Trump Children

CHARLOTTE, NC—Short on time and bereft of any better options, organizers of the Republican National Convention were reportedly forced to pad out the final nights of the event with illegitimate Trump children, sources confirmed Wednesday.

“We’re proud to announce over a dozen new surprise speakers will be joining our lineup this evening,” said RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, who managed to get the president’s many secret offspring to agree to speak at the convention in exchange for an increase in their privately negotiated monthly hush-money payments.

“We’re pleased to welcome Heather, Michael, Cici, Shane, Elliot, and Nicole, as well as many other energetic and exciting newcomers into the fold, some of whom we’re still getting in touch with, so hang tight. This is a diverse and accomplished group that’s, in fact, very representative of this country. Joan Marie is a 43-year-old Jewish mother living in Palm Beach, Florida. Xavier is a 19-year-old auto mechanic saving up money for college in Aurora, Colorado. One of them is even a beloved Hollywood star, so tune in for the big reveal.”

At press time, half of the illegitimate Trump children were cut from the schedule after sharing anti-Semitic conspiracy theories online.


Kellyanne Conway undermined the truth like no other Trump official. And journalists enabled her.

Among the many appalling scenes in the many tell-all books written from an inside-the-Trump-administration perspective, one in particular spoke volumes about how Kellyanne Conway operates:

Former White House aide Cliff Sims wrote in “Team of Vipers” that he once sat down in the West Wing at the personal laptop of President Trump’s senior adviser, at her direction, to compose a press statement. But because Conway’s text messages were tied to both her phone and her personal computer, Sims kept getting distracted by “a nonstop stream of iMessages popping up on the screen,” he recalled.

“Over the course of 20 minutes or so, she was having simultaneous conversations with no fewer than a half-dozen reporters, most of them from outlets the White House frequently trashed for publishing ‘fake news’ . . . As I sat there trying to type, she bashed Jared Kushner, Reince Priebus, Steve Bannon, and Sean Spicer,” and talked about Trump “like a child she had to set straight.”

After the book was published, Conway said the idea that she was a viciously critical leaker was a pure lie and that she was the furthest thing from a backstabber: “While it’s rare, I prefer to knife people from the front, so they see it coming.”

Leaking and lying. Lying and leaking. It’s been the Kellyanne way, and the news media has largely gone along for the ride: Giving her airtime on news shows, failing to forcefully call her out for her continued violations of the Hatch Act, and offering kid-glove treatment in exchange for her inside information.


I hope I will never see nor hear this harridan again.

Border lines stretch for miles, waits grow to 10 hours in coronavirus crackdown

The latest move by Customs and Border Protection to slow traffic from Mexico into the U.S. has caused border traffic jams stretching for miles and waits exceeding 10 hours for those crossing at the San Ysidro Port of Entry.

Border officials say the action, announced late Friday, is designed to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and make people “think twice” about crossing the border. But the backup has infuriated drivers and caused many San Diego- and Los Angeles-area employees to arrive late to work or miss it altogether.

“It’s terrible. Terrible, terrible, terrible. What else can I say? I already called my job and told them I’m going to be late, but I’m probably not going to make it at all,” said Albert Rodriguez, an L.A.-based construction worker who had been waiting for seven hours Monday in the Tijuana traffic.

Several drivers dozed off in their cars or abandoned their vehicles to find a restroom after eight hours of waiting.


A one and a half hour wait to cross the border at San Ysidro is exasperating yet normal, a 10 hour wait is totally fucked up.

To President Trump and the GOP, America is just a prop

If you were among the curiosity seekers who tuned in to the second night of the Republican National Convention on Tuesday hoping for a repeat of Kimberly Guilfoyle’s sternum-shaking fervor — and the humorous memes to match — you were likely disappointed.

The GOP’s opening night program may have tried to shore up President Trump’s COVID-tattered image as an empathetic problem-solver, but it foundered on thunderous rhetoric, watery eyes and white grievance, to say nothing of the pandemic’s death toll or the economy’s collapse.

By contrast, Tuesday’s festivities were almost uniformly sedate. In fact, minus the now commonplace references to “radical left” boogeymen and a particularly lurid antiabortion speech from activist — and would-be women’s suffrage opponent — Abby Johnson, one might describe Night 2 of the Republican National Convention as a utopian vision of America, a place where the novel coronavirus was “successfully fought” and Congress “saved the economy” (former CNBC host and current Trump economic advisor Larry Kudlow); where overseas wars will soon come to an end (Sen. Rand Paul); where the president is an ardent feminist and the battle against “misinformation” is waged from the highest levels of government (Tiffany Trump).

The problem, of course, is that the utopia portrayed during the RNC on Tuesday is a fiction, and its America just a prop.

It’s worrying enough that Trump and company placed the proscenium arch of the nation’s most sacred rituals, the painted backdrop of its most storied locales, in the service of a partisan message, or that Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo violated his own department’s regulations to deliver a partisan speech from Jerusalem. It’s far worse to compare the Trump administration’s actions to Tuesday’s mostly rosy rhetoric, and to conclude that the impressment of those rituals, those locales, was anything but sincere.

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