Friday, July 22nd, 2016


It’s Always Darkest Before the Don

Donald Trump capped off convention week with a speech that painted a bleak picture of modern day America, and in which he positioned himself as the one guy who can fix it. "I have visited the laid-off factory workers, and the communities crushed by our horrible and unfair trade deals. These are the forgotten men and women of our country. People who work hard but no longer have a voice. I am your voice." For many Americans, he's decidedly not their voice. (Among other things, it's way too pitchy, dog.) But he's tapping into the very real (and justified) anger of many Americans who have been left out of the economic upswing -- and the national conversation. As Marc Ambinder explains, the speech wasn't aimed at everyone. It was aimed at the five states that really matter.

+ While many were expecting a big shift to the center, in the end, Trump only plagiarized Trump. Here's the speech.

+ Vox: Donald Trump described a dangerous American hellscape that doesn't actually exist.

+ There was some groundbreaking done last night. Peter Thiel told the Republican convention he's proudly gay -- and they cheered.

+ Bloomberg: The 10 most jaw-dropping moments of the Republican Convention. (Editor's note: At the average political convention, there are zero draw-dropping moments.)

+ Meanwhile, back on the trail, Trump questioned why the National Enquirer never got a Pulitzer.


Mambo Dogface to the Banana Patch

"When did the two major political parties create their own vocabularies? Around 1990." The Atlantic's Derek Thompson with a very interesting look back at the era when everything changed in in American politics: Why Democrats and Republicans Literally Speak Different Languages.


Weekend Whats

What to Stream: Twenty One Pilots is a ridiculously good two-man band that is tearing up the charts and building up a growing following of fans across all age groups. I know because my kids and I were singing along with them at the Greek Theater in Berkeley last night. Rolling Stone introduces you to the biggest band of the last year. Here's an outtake of a show I saw them perform last year. If you haven't heard them, start with the Blurryface album.

+ What to Doc: Don't miss Weiner, the look at the rise and fall and fall of Anthony Weiner's political career. It provides an amazing insight into today's campaigning landscape and forces us to consider what kind of personality that landscape attracts.

+ What to Read: Outside has an excerpt from Dave Egger's new novel, Heroes of the Frontier.


Munich Targeted

"For your own safety, avoid squares and streets: perpetrators are on the run. Train and bus transport suspended. Turn radio and TV on." Police say several people were killed in a shooting spree at a shopping center in Munich. The Guardian has the latest.


Roger, Over and Out

"No contemporary figure has done more to shape the intersection of American media and politics than Ailes, who, until Thursday, had been the Fox News chief since its very first day on the air in 1996." NPR on Roger Ailes' unparalleled impact on the public sphere.

+ James Poniewozik in the NYT: "American democracy is meant to be king-proof. Presidents win two terms, maximum. Supreme Court justices are one voice among nine (or, currently, eight), senators one in a hundred. To amass the kind of long-term power that allows you to shape politics and culture geologically, like a river carving out a canyon, you have to go elsewhere. Roger Ailes found that place."


Flight Search Canceled

After two years of looking, the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has been suspended. And it might be completely over.

+ Popular Mechanics: Where did the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 go so wrong? Big news stories grab us and then usually fade away. But remember your initial shock when no one could find this plane. It's incredible that the families of the victims will never have answers.


Let’s Troll

"This is a story about how trolls took the wheel of the clown car of modern politics. It's a story about the insider traders of the attention economy." Laurie Penny: What my evening with Milo told me about Twitter's biggest troll and the death of reason. "According to the law of the wild web, the spoils go to those with fewest f*cks to give. I have come to believe, in the course of our bizarro unfriendship, that Milo believes in almost nothing concrete—not even in free speech."


No Place for the Sesame Seeds

In Venezuela, McDonald's has stopped selling Big Macs. The reason why is another example of just how dire the situation there is becoming. They ran out of bread for buns.


You Will Have Fries With That

I know many of you are suffering extreme temperatures this week. You're not alone. Consider this from WaPo: "The temperature in Mitribah, Kuwait, surged Thursday to a blistering 129.2 degrees (54 Celsius). And on Friday in Basra, Iraq, the mercury soared at least that high. If confirmed, these incredible measurements would represent the hottest temperatures ever recorded in the Eastern Hemisphere."


Bottom of the News

Lysol as contraception and vaginal hygiene product? Doesn't sound like a great idea. But it was a common use marketed to Americans at one point. Consumerist looks at seven "health" products from the past that would never make it onto shelves today. Makes you wonder which of today's health products will shock people in the future.

+ I can peel a cucumber as fast as the best of them. My next life goal is to be able to turn a cucumber into paper.

+ McSweeney's: "That's why I was so stoked to review Gutties, the swimming trunks that automatically remind you to be self-conscious."