Yes, Mr. Trump.

And the winner is…

Wait. Not Newt? Darn.

Well, we’re keeping the Newt-inspired title, since anyone running on a Trump ticket will be far more subservient than your average Veep. Boisterous bully Chris Christie amply demonstrated the effect such desperation can have on a man, while more stalwart prospects bravely hid under blankets to avoid Trump’s gaze. We’re sure Mike Who? will be suitably amusing, but it’s still a missed opportunity.

And hey, we still have Reince, who is looking more like Waylon Smithers by the day.

Speaking of the professional political class, how about that Trump campaign organization? Trainwreck, right? No money, no ads, no state staffs, no message discipline.

All leading to… A slight edge in the national polls this week.

How bad is Hillary as a candidate? That bad.

Luckily for the Republic, she still holds a substantial lead in Electoral College estimates. Here we might be inclined to credit the Wisdom of the Founders, except that same wisdom gave us Shrub in 2000, and it’s gonna be at least another generation before the Republic recovers from that mess.


Who designed the Trump-Pence logo?

And I am such a sad panda that it’s not Newt or Christie. Or Caribou Barbie (a girl can dream!)

Race Bannon/GI Joe Duke/Roger Sterling clone Mike Pence!

Or not?

Decider Trump can’t make a fucking decision.

FSM protect us as the RepubliKKKan convention will be like standing in front of the wide-open gates to Hell. Hieronymus Bosch couldn’t paint a more horrifying picture of hate-KKKrazed, bug-eyed, tongue-talking submorons and neo-fascist, goose-stepping, far-white lunatics. Also, Cleveland.

The political coverage in Seattle’s alterna-weekly paper has been insufferable since all the white, male, homos of a certain age went full $hillbot. I’m a WMHCA myself, yet it’s like being dropped into a certain psychedelic brainwashing movie: “Hillary Clinton is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I’ve ever known in my life.” Beep! Click… pop… whiiiirrr…

@SanFranLefty: There’s a hint that the Jolly Rogering TP has gone to the Great MS Paint Recycle Bin in the Sky, but given the campaign disorganization, someone may simply have forgotten to include it in a morning email.

In fairness, the Hillary H remains gawdawful.

But the Obama O remains a masterpiece of logo design.

@nojo: It’s been more than eight years that HRC has waited for anything remotely similar to the O that Michelle routinely gets.

The most bizarre aspect so far of the RNC circus is that they srsly believe that a Nixonian, corporate-supremacist, center-right, warhawk like Clinton somehow is a “liberal” who represents the “left.”

Of course, they’re about to nominate Diet Hitler, so that’s where Asshole-Americans are at these days.

I’d just like to point out that I predicted Mike Pence would be on the Republican ticket right here in the comments on Stinque some 4 years ago.

Actually it might have been 8 years ago. I don’t really remember and I can’t make Stinque Search find it. As I recall, I predicted he would actually be the GOP presidential nominee based on the cut of his jaw, so I am probably still 4 years away from having my prognostication confirmed.

That is all.

@libertarian tool: I consider that a challenge…


Since Google picks up comments, every “Mike Pence” hit is actually something from the past few days.

Except this from last year, when he was dancing with George Stephanopoulos about an anti-gay marriage law.

@libertarian tool: I Shall Not Be Thwarted.


January 5, 2011.

@libertarian tool: In case of Trump preznincy, I’m praying to the FSM that the dream of Cascadia reaches “breakaway republic” status. Any predictions there, or should I just get my Canada Go Bag ready?

@nojo: Nicely done! What did you use for the search argument? I couldn’t find it with “libertarian tool” and “Pence”.

Anyway, I think this description was worth the archaeological search:

“Mike Pence… he’s got that square jawed neo-nazi, Robert Shaw/Rutger Hauer look that should appeal to Republicans as the anti-Obama.”

I don’t know that it works for this election cycle though, even ignoring the disaster at the top of the GOP ticket. After 8 years, Americans tend to go for the perceived opposite of the current resident in the White House. I’m guessing the best “Anti-Obama” candidate this cycle is Hillary – for all the reasons @¡Andrew! describes.

@¡Andrew!: I know that there is a lot of angst in the left punditocracy hand-wringing about “don’t underestimate Trump” (Maher,etc.) but…

Put me firmly in the camp that there is NFW he can be elected and it is not going to be close. Call me delusional, but, by and large, I actually have confidence in the American voting public to see him for the con man he is. Really.

I think Trump has a hard core following of maybe 20% of the electorate – comparable to the last cult-of-personality batshit crazy billionaire to make an impact on a presidential election – Ross Perot. The rest of his voting base are the rabid Republican partisans who would vote for anything Republican, will hold their nose and vote Trump. That represents maybe 40% of the electorate (similar to the rabid Democratic partisans), but significantly overlaps with the cultists. With women, Hispanics and Blacks below even Romney levels, I just can’t see how Trump gets much over 40% of the vote.

I guess Johnson could be a factor and get close to 10%, but only because he will be pulling primarily from disgruntled Republicans, cons and independents who won’t vote for Hillz or Drumpf. Stein pulls from Clinton, but won’t get more than a point as Progs are still spooked about the Nader effect in ’00. Hillz should maintain a strong plurality, even as bad a candidate as she continues to be.

@libertarian tool: I, uh, cheated: WordPress Admin comment search.

In related news, I now know there’s a WordPress Admin comment search.

@libertarian tool: I hope to god you’re right, but I can’t let myself be that confident because A) one should never underestimate the stupidity of the American voter or the apathy of those who can’t be bothered to vote; B) everyone said NFW would he be the nominee and look where we are; and C) Bernie bros are too young and too politically unaware to know about the Nader fiasco. Keeping the Canada go-bag ready and sucking up to the friend with a boat capable of reaching British Columbia, just in case they close the borders.

@nojo: Nifty. I don’t use the frontend search box to find things, since I like having the results in a separate tab, but a site search of Stinque from Google achieves the same result. More generally, discovering that feature of Google about ten years ago was, no joke, life changing. I just wish more people knew about it.

I’m back searching Stinque again… Thinking you may want to update the Stinque Book Club review of ‘The Art of the Deal’

His ghost writer/co-author Tony Schwartz is srlsy having second thoughts about the whole endeavor. Money quote:

“I put lipstick on a pig,” he said. “I feel a deep sense of remorse that I contributed to presenting Trump in a way that brought him wider attention and made him more appealing than he is.” He went on, “I genuinely believe that if Trump wins and gets the nuclear codes there is an excellent possibility it will lead to the end of civilization.” If he were writing “The Art of the Deal” today, Schwartz said, it would be a very different book with a very different title. Asked what he would call it, he answered, “The Sociopath.”

@libertarian tool: Having recently returned from a trip to the sultry South, I’m happy to report that for once I have something in common politically with my vast, extended Southern family–we’re all repulsed and disgusted by this election.

Also, the more conservative-ish ones are voting for Johnson, while everyone else is downing double Mint Juleps in order to make voting for Clinton bearable.

My take is that it will be extremely close due to Clinton’s extraordinarly poor polling numbers and probable October Sexprise that’ll leave Beel looking for a country without a US sextradition treaty, but we’ll be stuck With Her thanks to the (S)electoral College. Ugh.

Jeff Sessions does a flawless Tommy Smothers.

Michael Flynn is straight out of Strangelove.

I didn’t know it was even possible to screw up the fluff speech delivered by the candidate’s spouse. Favorite comment: “To be fair, I thought Melania’s heartfelt stories about growing up black in Chicago were very inspiring.”

@mellbell: I’m still thoroughly stunned by it. It’s rare that you get political irony served up so exquisitely.

@nojo: So what’s the culprit, incompetence or sabotage? I mean, it would be bananas to even contemplate the latter scenario under normal circumstances, but this year has proved to be anything but normal.

@mellbell: I start with the presumption that she didn’t write the speech, and had little involvement with its composition. I continue with the observation that the Trump campaign is very thinly staffed, and not by political professionals.

Thus: I blame incompetent Minions.

It’s very easy to imagine some flunky who’s always gotten away with this kind of crap, and never dealt with an audience large enough to call him on it.

I learned this lesson at the college rag: When thousands of people are reading your words, watch your language. This was pre-Internet, of course, but walking down the student union with your words in everybody’s lap gives you a different awareness than just typing shit on your laptop.

@mellbell: @nojo: It’s pretty stunning alright. The Trump campaign continues to set the incompetence bar at new lows.

That said, I feel for Melania. Because – you know – Melania. English is not her native language, it’s an uncomfortable platform, a huge audience and she is clearly relying on campaign speechwriters.

And it’s not like this is uncommon. Barack was cribbing from other Axelrod clients in ’08, as well as failing to attribute the poet that penned one of his most famous lines.

For another layer of irony, it’s Hillary Clinton that was on the other side of both cut and paste speechwriters efforts. She’s probably not going to stoop to going after a spouse, but she could recycle what she was saying about Obama in ’08:

“Lifting passages from someone else’s speeches is not change you can believe in, it’s change you can Xerox” – Hillary Clinton

That said, whoever wrote Melania’s Rickroll is clearly a mole.

@libertarian tool: I also feel bad for her. The typical stance on politicians’ spouses (“They didn’t sign up for this!”) is often disingenuous (assuming they weren’t already in politics, unless it was truly a whirlwind romance, you probably had some inkling of their ambitions), but in Trump’s case, who really thought he would ever follow through on his threats to run, even as half-heartedly as he has?

@mellbell: Not to mention that she is only number 3 in an indeterminate series.

Other favorite line in her speech (not original – found on twitter):

“He will never, ever give up. And most importantly, he will never, ever let you down.” – His third wife

American Horror Story: RepubliKKKan National Freakshow

My curiosity is not morbid enough to watch… yet. It’s like how I felt about Marilyn Manson: sickened, yet oddly fascinated.

Latest blame-avoidance chatter is that two pros wrote the original draft, recognized little or none of their work in the final version. So maybe Melania did add the fun stuff, or a Trump Spawn, or a non-pol minion.

But I agree that Melania is an innocent victim here. A campaign is supposed to protect The Spouse from such mistakes, even if they’re hers.

Paul Ryan is really really really really boring.

Tiffany is the Marilyn Munster of the clan.

@nojo: And DT Jr. is the _____________________.

Consensus is growing that Melania Dun It. Saddens me, really. It’s much more fun to blame a Minion.

@SanFranLefty: …Demon Spawn of Unholy Congress.

@nojo: Colleague of mine just tweeted the perfect comparison – Rolf the Nazi Boyfriend from The Sound of Music

I have no idea how — or whether — this is playing nationally, but it definitely feels like a much more ingrown convention than usual. Trump is still playing to the primary audience.

Olbermann and TPM Josh really need to let go of the Junior Plagiarism non-issue. The original text was from a conservative rag — no fun there — and the original writer was Junior’s speechwriter. We’re in blood-from-turnip territory with this one.

@nojo: I dunno, if he’d done it in two written pieces he’d be skating the edge of double-dipping, depending upon the publications’ policies. And depending upon the university/grad school program, many frown upon turning in the same paper for two classes, but it doesn’t rise to the level of academic disciplinary issues that plagiarism raises.

@SanFranLefty: But even that’s getting into the weeds, especially when the comparisons are to publishing or academia, each with its own rules and traditions.

It doesn’t even compare to Biden’s cribbing from like-minded sources, since he was a candidate himself at the time, and Rolf isn’t.

If Melania had copped Laura Bush lines, there would have been general amusement, but not much else. The source made the story.

@nojo: It’s comparable to what tripped up Obama in 2008, no?

@mellbell: In that Deval Patrick basically approved the theft after the fact, there is a comparison. But Obama was the candidate; Rolf is a son. And there’s no irony involved in either case.

What happens when Trump steals Reagan lines without attribution Thursday, dunno.

Goat scaped. Melania McIvered:

McIver said that while writing the speech, Melania Trump told her that she was inspired by Obama and some of the passages from her 2008 Democratic National Convention speech.

“Over the phone she read me some passages from Mrs. Obama’s speech as examples,” McIver said in the statement. “I wrote them down and later included some of the phrasing in the draft that ultimately became the final speech. I did not check Mrs. Obama’s speeches. This was my mistake, and I feel terrible for the chaos that have caused Melania and the Trumps, as well as to Mrs. Obama. No harm was meant.”

@mellbell: Current conspiracy theory… “Meredith McIver” does not exist. Very sketchy on-line presence and there is a grand total of exactly 2 photographs of her on the intertubes. This election is so much fun.

@libertarian tool: “Meredith McIver” anagrams to “Deceive Mirth Mr.” Coincidence or coincidence?

Rosemary Stretch: The Next Generation

If it turns out she doesn’t exist, I have to go with the “Donald Trump is a Hillary Clinton Democratic Party Double Agent Saboteur” theory.

@libertarian tool: Since he’s gonna hand over everything to Pence, it’s now confirmed he doesn’t really want the job.

@nojo: And he’s entrusting Pence (theoretically, anyway — hopefully only theoretically) with such awesome responsibilities only because Kasich, rightly, can’t stand him. He doesn’t care who’s actually running the show. This campaign truly gets stranger and stranger every hour.

@nojo: @mellbell: The ultimate irony: He is a plant… he is a saboteur… his only mission is to ensure that Hillary Clinton is elected President and… HE FAILS! Despite all his efforts, he winds up being elected POTUS anyway.

@mellbell: I can’t count the number of times Redford has crossed my mind lately…

Mike Pence is a disgrace to Spring 1959 babies.

@nojo: Yeah… well… I too am a bit discomfited about being associated with the virtual Meredith McIver graduating class of 1976.

I feel the eyes of millions of millennials burning into our collective backs, shaking their heads and thinking: “WTF?? How much longer Oh Lord… How much longer must we be burdened by these boomer assholes?”

@libertarian tool: “We didn’t start the fire…”

Hated it then, still hate it now.

@nojo: Yegads, that’s an earworm no amount of VBIED explosion or Thursday night karaoke can remove.

p.s. Thank you for keeping this site afloat while so many of us were away. What’d I miss?

@Beggars Biscuit: Didn’t miss much, really. One day this spring it became easier to write an original post instead of riffing on Yet Another Adult Coloring Book at Amazon, and the site came off the back burner.

And, as it turns out, I prefer the perspective of weeklies, where I don’t have to twitch to every event of the day. (Well, except on Twitter, of course.) This is a pace I can maintain without burning out.

@mellbell: Started a wholesale recode a couple months back that just ditches the ad, haven’t had time to finish it.

Korean-Americans for Trump! At Stinque, we all share the shame.

There are some really dumb Koreans…

Good fucking lord, that was exhausting.

At least truthful wrap-up lyrics:

“Now you’re tryin’ to trick me in love…”

“At her feet was her footloose man…”

“You can’t always get what you want…”

@mellbell: @nojo: Do any of you fools have Ad-Blocker installed? (Oh wait, now Google won’t pay Nojo pennies to tell him that someone who reads this blog also loves vodka, dogs, and weed [in no particular order] & lives within 1 km of the Castro flag?).

@mellbell: No wonder you are continuously crushing my ass in Words With Friends!

@libertarian tool: Meanwhile does she is exist or is it another chapter in this bizarre Andy Kaufman performance art piece?

@SanFranLefty: I recently installed it on Chrome in the hope of speeding up my browser and to stop myself from clicking on bait like “YOU WON’T BELIEVE WHAT THIS CELEBRITY LOOKS LIKE NOW!” I’m not sure I’ve set it up properly. I still see ads like the google ad on the Stinque page asking me to contribute to Trump.

TBD on McIver. There are several stories out there saying “yes, she’s real and you people are idiots for assuming everyone has to be leaving a digital trail on facebook, twitter and/or LinkedIn.”

EDIT: Snopes has weighed in…

Sooooooo, is it common for newspapers to describe convention speakers as “character witnesses”? I’ve seen the NYT say it for Ivanka and Pence. Strikes me as odd.

How ’bout this Kaine?

Makes perfect sense if this move to shore up the conservative-ish, non-insane, white male vote. Many Millennials/Sanders supporters aren’t going to vote for her anyway.

Seems strange though that people are calling it a “safe” choice to run the ultimate establishment-insider ticket at a time when around 70% of the country is so enraged with the direction of the nation that a psychopathic fascist has an actual chance of winning the presidency. Promising more of the same is an interesting recipe for success at a time when voters are in open rebellion against the establishment.

@SanFranLefty: My brother went to Denver for Snoop Dog’s 4/20 thing, and then he came here. He asked me where the weed store was. No idea. Well, there’s an app for that!

Now I know where the weed store is, and the price has dropped, and I’m almost not pissed at my brother for giving me that shit tattoo.

ETA re the blurb: Yes, yes you are.

@JNOV: Absolutely. It’s been too long. We’ve been traveling a fair bit, but we’re back now.

@¡Andrew!: K. I turn 50 (woo-hoo!!) in a couple of weeks, and the dawg and I are supposed to go to Chambers Bay, but then we’re back.

IOW, that’s the only thing I have planned for the next 19 years.

@¡Andrew!: It has to sgnificant that:

1 – Trump based his VP pick and spent the entire convention reactively trying to shore up what should be the rock solid GOP base foundation – and failed. Glaring cracks are still there.

2 – Clinton based her VP pick, and presumably will carry through to the convention, a proactive conscious effort to expand beyond the base and pull in independents, undecideds, centrists and moderates.

I was a little shaken by Trump’s speech, but I am now confident again in my previous opinion. This is not going to be close. Clinton in a landslide.

@libertarian tool: My favorite poll collector — none of the Name Brands — is waiting until after the conventions to start counting electoral votes, but other sources are suggesting an electoral landslide, if not a popular one. I won’t feel comfy until I see that 100-vote margin show up in the charts.

Meanwhile, I’ll agree that Trump blew the opportunity — not just with his banana-republic speech, but all week, and not because of all the entertaining controversies. Much to my surprise, the man can’t even put on a good show.

Contrast Trump with — god help me — Palin’s 2008 convention speech. You knew we were in trouble after that night.

Or even Christie’s self-serving but effective 2012 speech. That was a shot across the bow for 2016, and if not for a hurricane and a bridge, he might have had a much stronger shot, without needing to reveal his Inner Toady.

People were freaking out over the text of Trump’s speech, but the delivery was totally incoherent. Thank god the man’s an amateur.

Nate sez 290-247 right now.

Not that I trust Nate — I think his models are too clever by half — but until starts gathering numbers, that’s what we have to work with.

@libertarian tool: Republicans control 2/3 of state legislatures, governors offices, and Congress despite being grossly incompetent, corrupt, and destructive because they play to their base and turnout voters.

Establishment/Corporate Democrats denounce, ridicule, and betray their base. That doesn’t seem to be working well for them.

@nojo: And three days later they have it at 276-262. Larry Sabato and his team (who update their model far less frequently than the 538 folks do theirs) had it at 347-191 last week. The states where the maps diverge are Nevada, Iowa, Ohio, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Florida.

@mellbell & @nojo: One of Seattle’s local bloggers has performed the most rigorous statistical analysis I’ve ever seen, and you can relax and forget about a Mein Trumpf Preznincy That Never Will Be as we cruise on to the next Clinton scandal, and the one after that, and the one after that, and the one after that…

@¡Andrew!: Polling data is indeterminate enough for me to trust statistical analyses of polling data. An aggregation of state polls over time is the limit of my comfort level.

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