The Kaine Mane

Tim Kaine gave a pretty good speech today in Miami. He was warm, earnest and self-deprecating. He fulfilled the VP’s traditional attack dog role without a hint of meanness.

Overall, I’d call it a great roll-out. I was especially moved by what he had to say on guns. He nearly choked up at one point, recalling the Virginia Tech shooting when he was governor.

Kaine seems like a great fit for the Clinton campaign. But one unique Kaine asset I haven’t seen noted by Democrats was raised by Peggy Noonan nearly eight years ago when Kaine was being considered as a running mate for President Obama: Kaine’s haircut. No, really:

I end with a thought on the upcoming announcements of vice presidential picks. Major props to both campaigns for keeping it tight, who it’s going to be, for by now they should know and have, please God, fully vetted him or her. On the Democrats, who are up first, I firmly announce I like every name floated so far, for different reasons (Joe Biden offers experience and growth; Evan Bayh seems by nature moderate; Sam Nunn is that rare thing, a serious man whom all see as a serious man.) But part of me tugs for Tim Kaine of Virginia, because he has a wonderful American Man haircut, not the cut of the man in first but the guy in coach who may be the air marshal. He looks like he goes once every 10 days to Jimmy Hoffa’s barber and says, “Gimme a full Detroit.”

That settles it then. I suspect Noonan finds Kaine’s no-nonsense ‘do especially reassuring when contrasted with Trump’s gravity-defying quadruple-combover. We can count on at least one cross-over Republican vote on the Upper West Side.

Friends Don’t Let Friends Read Andrew Sullivan, Part [n]

Further to my disdain below, I can’t say anything to gloss what Andrew writes in tonight’s RNC liveblog.

MSKG - De idioot bij de vijver - Frits Van den Berghe (1926)

Truly, all you need to know about Andrew’s political and intellectual honesty is right there:

8:18 p.m. We have to answer this core question: how is it that liberal democracy in America is now flirting with strongman, ethno-nationalist authoritarianism? What happened to the democratic center?

It seems to me that the right bears the hefty majority of responsibility, moving from principled opposition to outright nullification of a presidency, trashing every important neutral institution, and now bad-mouthing the country they hope to “govern.” But the left’s abandonment of empiricism and liberalism – its rapid descent into neo-Marxist dogma, its portrayal of American history as a long unending story of white supremacy, its coarse impugning of political compromise and incrementalism, its facile equation of disagreement with bigotry – has also played a part. Liberal democracy needs liberal norms and manners to survive. Which is why it is now on life-support.

In between, moderate Christianity, once a unifying cultural fabric creating a fragile civil discourse, has evaporated into disparate spirituality on one side and fundamentalist dogma on the other, leaving us with little in the center to hold us morally together.

Annnnd, Scene!

Have at it, friends.

Image:  Frits Van den Berghe, The Idiot by the Pond1926

He Did Everything Right…

Charles Kinsey, a behavioral therapist who was trying to help an autistic patient who had wandered away from a group home, did everything right when confronted by cops with guns drawn. He got shot anyway:

Luckily, Mr. Kinsey is expected to make a full recovery. The cops were responding to a 911 call about an agitated, armed man threatening suicide. The man was the group home patient, and the “weapon” was a toy truck. Kinsey said he was more worried about his patient than himself, but Kinsey is the one who ended up shot in the street.

The people who minimize the problem of police violence against unarmed citizens — specifically black male citizens — will point out that the video doesn’t show the shooting. That’s true; it doesn’t.

First it shows Kinsey lying in the street with his hands up, calmly explaining who he is, what he is doing there and stating that neither he nor his patient are armed. Then it shows him handcuffed and bleeding from a gunshot wound.

I guess we’re supposed to believe that Kinsey attempted to ninja the cops during the video break. Such bullshit.

What in the Wide World of Fuck…

Just catching up on last night’s news. Let me see if I have this straight:

Rodent fornicator Ted Cruz double-crossed Trump by failing to endorse him in his convention speech and exhorting so-con crazies to “vote their conscience,” i.e., vote for someone other than Trump. Moreover, Cruz provided an accurate transcript of his speech hours before delivery and ingeniously relied on the Trump organization’s incompetence to ensure it wouldn’t be reviewed in advance.

Master political strategist Trump triple-crossed Cruz by knowingly allowing him to deliver his non-endorsement speech while sending Trump minions to whip the crowd up into an anti-Cruz frenzy, such that Mrs. Cruz had to be hustled from the convention floor to safety by security guards. This is all good for Team Trump because it shows Trump is “well-liked” and that everyone despises Cruz.

In a NYT interview, Trump signaled a novel partnership with Vladimir Putin, in which Trump will stand by while Putin slams smaller NATO countries against the wall, and then Trump will emerge to shake those countries down for protection money. Will Putin get a cut? Probably in the form of an occasional annexation as an example to other countries that they better pony up.

Does that about cover it?

The Throne Room

I’ve come to dislike Trump’s adult children almost as much as I abhor their despicable father. I realize it isn’t their fault that they are trophy-wife crotch-fruit sired by a narcissistic con man. And as the daughter of a gentleman with appalling political views, I do understand keeping filial affection and partisan affinity separate. But the Trumplings are actively trying to foist their buffoonish oaf of a father off on the rest of us, so fuck them.

Anyhoo, by choice, I missed most of last night’s GOP hate-fest, but I did catch the bit when Trump’s pampered, obnoxious princelings “threw Donald Trump over the top” with the New York delegation’s votes, thus officially securing the nomination for their lying, racist demagogue father, even if they aren’t registered to vote in New York themselves.

Then Trump himself appeared on the Jumbotron, his second visitation in as many days at the party convention, where candidates traditionally only show up on the final night to accept the nomination.

Teddy Roosevelt’s daughter once said her father had to be “the bride at every wedding and the corpse at every funeral.” TR was a humble soul compared to Trump, who can’t resist being the entire wedding party and funeral procession. But the background that framed Trump in his pre-acceptance acceptance announcement looked suspiciously like an upscale shower stall:

trump bathroom address

Honest to dog, y’all — I think that flag is hiding a soap tray and shampoo caddy. Even the acoustics sounded restroom-like when the miniscule-fingered, gerbil-headed, apricot-hued nutsack spoke.

So why was Trump broadcasting from the can? Could it be he was driven there by an enraged Mrs. Trump, who had just chased him around the penthouse — flinging bejeweled Jimmy Choo stilettos at him like martial arts stars — in retaliation for the humiliation of making her read a plagiarized speech? Maybe!

Open thread.

Is Evil Prick Roger Ailes Out at Fox News?

Can it be true? Can the vile body-snatcher who orchestrated the replacement of so many nice nanas and agreeable grampies with angry, sputtering, screechy FoxBots have been shoved out of the Murdoch dirigible with a hefty cash cushion? Maybe! From the Beastly Beast:

Several outlets reported Tuesday that beleagured chairman and CEO Roger Ailes will depart the cable news network following sexual harassment claims by former anchor Gretchen Carlson. According to a document obtained by the Drudge Report, Ailes will receive at least a $40 million buyout from the network. The news comes hours after New York Magazine reporter Gabe Sherman wrote that Fox News star Megyn Kelly told investigators hired by 21st Century Fox that Ailes had sexually harassed her ten years ago.

Fox initially confirmed Drudge’s report to The Daily Beast, and subsequently walked back that confirmation. Additionally, Drudge replaced a headline touting the buyout with a new one on “Fox News Drama,” including a statement from the network: “Roger Ailes has never sexually harassed Megyn Kelly. In fact, he has spent much of the last decade promoting and helping her to achieve the stardom she earned, for which she has repeatedly and publicly thanked him.”

Yeah, women who’ve been sexually harassed never have to make nice with the powerful fucks who demean and humiliate them. Anita Hill can tell you all about that.

Anyhoo, true or not, this is a wonderful time to be alive, comrades, what with the Trump convention imploding like a barrel of rancid haggis and now the possibility of the obliteration of the Fox Death Star. Yub-yub, motherfuckers!

A LITERAL Shitshow

Valued commenter LAO submits for our consideration a report of a norovirus outbreak at the RNC:

A handful of Republican staff members in Cleveland for the GOP convention were reported to be suffering Tuesday from a possible norovirus infection.

And if there are a few people with norovirus, it’s likely there will be more.

Norovirus, for those who are unfamiliar with it, is a massively contagious and unpleasant but usually non-life-threatening ailment that turns cruise ships into giant vomit-filled shit canoes.

If Uday and Qusay Trump appear on stage tonight and open their mouths to sing their horrid racist father’s praises but instead emit twin streams of projectile vomit while simultaneously shitting their pants, I will reconsider my lifelong atheism.

Open thread!