Tuesday, July 19th, 2016


That’s What She Said

Four score and seven years ago (or maybe it was last night), the GOP opened its convention in Cleveland. And by the time the first night was over, almost all of the talk on media (mainstream and social) was about the lines in Melania Trump's speech that are near perfect copies of those recited by Michelle Obama at the 2008 Dem convention. Earlier in the day, there was a significant anti-Trump revolt on the floor of the convention. So the focus on the speech controversy could be a net positive for the campaign. It's like I always say. That which does not kill us makes us stronger.

+ Lost in the speech hubbub was the theme of the first night of the convention which was "Make Our Country Safe Again." It is a theme perfectly timed considering the big news stories over the past few weeks. But as Josh Zeitz points out, "by almost any measure, the United States is safer than it has been in decades. Notwithstanding localized spikes in urban homicides, for the past decade the crime and violent crime rates have hovered at near-50 year lows. And despite the recent tragedies in Dallas and Baton Rouge, the same is true of the number of police officers killed in the line of duty." How Trump Is Recycling Nixon's Law and Order Playbook (at a time when there is quite a bit of both).

+ Had it not been for Melania's copy/paste snafu, Rudy Giuliani's speech would have been the one making headlines today, both for its tone and message: "You know who you are, and we are coming to get you." (Last time he said that, all the Squeegee Men disappeared from NYC.)

+ With convention season comes serious polling season. The NYT Upshot estimates that Hillary Clinton has about a 76% chance of winning. And Nate Silver suggests Clinton's Lead Is As Safe As Kerry's Was In 2004.


Dashed Expectations

A homeless, black teen who was living in a tent was approached by a couple of police officers in Barnesville, Georgia. If you only view life through the prism of current headlines, you know how this story goes. But it turns out that when the officers learned that Fred Barley had biked more than six hours to register for college courses, they handed him the money in their pockets and put him up in a motel. And shortly thereafter, the community helped raise more than $184,000 for his education. Not everything is as it memes.

+ "It was the first time since 1992 that Jarvis Scott, the black man, said he'd sat down with a police officer, and the other two said it was their first time ever sitting down with an officer." That time the Wichita Police Dept held a cookout with the local Black Lives Matter group.


Grinding Turkey

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Turkish crackdown continues. Critics accuse Erdogan of using the coup attempt as an excuse to crush all opposition. From WaPo: "Turkey suspended more than 15,000 Education Ministry workers on Tuesday and demanded resignations from all university deans as authorities widened their far-reaching crackdowns."

+ And predictably, there are rumblings that America was in on the plot.


You Are What We Fund

Corn, soybeans, wheat, rice, sorghum, dairy and livestock. "About $170 billion was spent between 1995 and 2010 on these seven commodities and programs." Which brings up a question: Is the US government subsidizing junk food?


Wind Taken Out of Ailes

"According to two sources briefed on parent company 21st Century Fox's outside probe of the Fox News executive, led by New York–based law firm Paul, Weiss, Kelly has told investigators that Ailes made unwanted sexual advances toward her about ten years ago when she was a young correspondent at Fox. Kelly, according to the sources, has described her harassment by Ailes in detail." NY Mag's Gabriel Sherman (whose reporting has been borrowed by many other publications) digs in to explain why Roger Ailes term as perhaps the most influential person in news is almost certainly over.


When the Rubber Hits The Road

The Guardian with the latest news on the sport that is consistently the most popular among Olympic athletes: "Seventeen days, 10,500 athletes, 33 venues, and 450,000 condoms. That's how many camisinhas (little shirts in Brazilian slang) are being supplied by the International Olympics Committee for the 2016 Rio Summer Games. Forty-two per athlete, to be specific, which, even by Olympic standards, is a hell of a lot." (They give out twice that many at the news aggregator's convention, and that only lasts a weekend.)


Clothes Make the Fan

"How this happened is a complex story. It's not just a matter of style, but art, hype, economics, and the internet. Any one attempt to explain the brand feels like a false start." Racked goes deep with a look at how Supreme became the most influential streetwear brand in the world.

+ Vice: Why Are So Many People Obsessed with Supreme? Me and a few homies are gonna walk through SOMA wearing this gear. It'll make all the cool kids feel like they're wearing dad jeans.


Hurl Your Way to Success

"Where ayahuasca retreats typically identify as places for deep healing and spiritual growth, Entrepreneurs Awakening also promises benefits such as 'a new level of innovative thinking' and 'increased tactical clarity.'" In California Sunday Magazine, Chris Colins follows the yellow brick road (OK, it's actually vomit-colored) to the mountains of Peru, where an ayahuasca retreat is tailor-made for the startup set. In my day, when a techie wanted to puke, they just put on VR goggles.


Hopping, Not Hops

"If I am holding any other light beer, it says I'm a wimp. Holding a Michelob Ultra says: I like to go on all-day hikes and then throw back a few beers on mountaintops with my fit friends." In an age of evaporating sales for macrobrews, how is Michelob Ultra maintaining a cool buzz? (Maybe people are mistaking it for bottled water...)


Bottom of the News

"Vin Diesel plays it. So do Dwayne Johnson, Drew Barrymore, Stephen Colbert, Mike Myers and Jon Favreau, among other bold-face names. Some even built their careers by playing it." The Hollywood Reporter takes you behind closed doors where A-list stars are playing Dungeons & Dragons. (Wait, having a paying job, an active sex life, and playing D&D at the same time? These celebs are definitely breaking new ground.)

+ Want to experience 70-degree weather all year long? It can be done. You'll just need to take a well-timed 13,235-mile road trip.

+ Leslie Jones is the latest person to find out that there are lot of jerks on Twitter and in general. Pro-tip. Do. Not. Engage.