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    Incredible: All These Old, Hideous Politicians Were Once Young and Hot
    Photo of two people who you once might have considered having sex with via AP

    Turns out politicians are just like us—they were once young and attractive, with their whole lives ahead of them, and now they’re not. Join us on a truly incredible DNC-themed look back at once was, what could have been, and which former cutie you should call “dad” this week on Twitter (it’s Tim Kaine).

    Joe Biden

    Michael Bloomberg

    Cory Booker

    Bill Clinton

    Hillary Clinton

    Andrew Cuomo

    Bill de Blasio

    Al Franken

    Jesse Jackson

    Chloe Grace Moretz

    Barack Obama

    Michelle Obama

    Tim Kaine

    Martin O’Malley

    Nancy Pelosi

    Harry Reid

    Bernie Sanders

    Chuck Schumer

    Elizabeth Warren

    Lest we forget—death comes for us all.

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  • 07/28/16--19:49: Weekend at Bernie's
  • During her historic acceptance speech Thursday night, Hillary Clinton thanked Bernie Sanders. As the cameras cut to him, Bernie visibly reacted, which is to say I can tell he’s not dead because he’s clearly blinking. Never change Bernie!

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    A Woman Has Accepted the Nomination for President
    Photo: AP

    On Thursday night, Hillary Clinton took the stage at the Democratic National Convention to become the first woman ever to be nominated for president by a major party. Standing before a crowd of thousands of supporters, Clinton accepted, saying, “When there are no ceilings, the sky’s the limit.”

    Clinton, dressed in an all-white pantsuit reportedly consulted on with Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, was introduced by her daughter Chelsea and offered a positive outlook for the future of the United States, denouncing Donald Trump, who she repeatedly described as antithetical to the values of the country, which she described as facing a “moment of reckoning.”

    “A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man you can trust with nuclear weapons,” Clinton said.

    “Don’t let anyone tell you that our country is weak. We’re not. Don’t let anyone tell you that we don’t have what it takes. we do. Don’t believe anyone who says, ‘I alone can fix it,’” Clinton said. “Americans don’t say, ‘I alone can fix it, we say, ‘We’ll fix it together.’”

    She also quoted the play Hamilton.

    Within the arena as Clinton took the stage, some male protestors yelled out, prompting loud shushing not audible on the television feeds of the speech. Supporters also drowned out yells of “No more war,” by chanting Clinton’s first name.

    But Clinton’s historic hour-long speech continued over the disruptions, as she described her working class roots and obliquely addressed the sexism that has surrounded her candidacy.

    Clinton also addressed Bernie Sanders supporters, some of whom have expressed a reluctance to support her over Trump. Hinting at a possible cabinet position, Clinton explicitly promised to work together with Sanders on issues like college affordability, and described a progressive platform that includes raising taxes on the wealthy. She also pledged to overturn Citizens United and promised to implement gun control, saying “I’m not here to take away your guns. I just don’t want you to be shot by someone who shouldn’t have a gun in the first place.”

    Here’s the full speech:

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    Here's the Full Text of Hillary Clinton's Historic Democratic Convention Speech
    Photo: AP

    On Thursday, Hillary Clinton formally accepted the Democratic party’s nomination for president, making her the first woman ever to be nominated. Here’s the full text of her historic speech:

    Thank you! Thank you for that amazing welcome.

    And Chelsea, thank you.

    I’m so proud to be your mother and so proud of the woman you’ve become.

    Thanks for bringing Marc into our family, and Charlotte and Aidan into the world.

    And Bill, that conversation we started in the law library 45 years ago is still going strong.

    It’s lasted through good times that filled us with joy, and hard times that tested us.

    And I’ve even gotten a few words in along the way.

    On Tuesday night, I was so happy to see that my Explainer-in-Chief is still on the job.

    I’m also grateful to the rest of my family and the friends of a lifetime.

    To all of you whose hard work brought us here tonight, and to those of you who joined our campaign this week.

    And what a remarkable week it’s been.

    We heard the man from Hope, Bill Clinton.

    And the man of Hope, Barack Obama.

    America is stronger because of President Obama’s leadership, and I’m better because of his friendship.

    We heard from our terrific vice president, the one-and-only Joe Biden, who spoke from his big heart about our party’s commitment to working people.

    First Lady Michelle Obama reminded us that our children are watching, and the president we elect is going to be their president, too.

    And for those of you out there who are just getting to know Tim Kaine – you’re soon going to understand why the people of Virginia keep promoting him: from city council and mayor, to Governor, and now Senator.

    He’ll make the whole country proud as our Vice President.

    And I want to thank Bernie Sanders.

    Bernie, your campaign inspired millions of Americans, particularly the young people who threw their hearts and souls into our primary.

    You’ve put economic and social justice issues front and center, where they belong.

    And to all of your supporters here and around the country:

    I want you to know, I’ve heard you.

    Your cause is our cause.

    Our country needs your ideas, energy, and passion.

    That’s the only way we can turn our progressive platform into real change for America.

    We wrote it together – now let’s go out there and make it happen together.

    My friends, we’ve come to Philadelphia – the birthplace of our nation – because what happened in this city 240 years ago still has something to teach us today.

    We all know the story.

    But we usually focus on how it turned out - and not enough on how close that story came to never being written at all.

    When representatives from 13 unruly colonies met just down the road from here, some wanted to stick with the King.

    Some wanted to stick it to the king, and go their own way.

    The revolution hung in the balance.

    Then somehow they began listening to each other, compromising, finding common purpose.

    And by the time they left Philadelphia, they had begun to see themselves as one nation.

    That’s what made it possible to stand up to a King.

    That took courage.

    They had courage.

    Our Founders embraced the enduring truth that we are stronger together.

    America is once again at a moment of reckoning.

    Powerful forces are threatening to pull us apart.

    Bonds of trust and respect are fraying.

    And just as with our founders, there are no guarantees.

    It truly is up to us.

    We have to decide whether we all will work together so we all can rise together.

    Our country’s motto is e pluribus unum: out of many, we are one.

    Will we stay true to that motto?

    Well, we heard Donald Trump’s answer last week at his convention.

    He wants to divide us - from the rest of the world, and from each other.

    He’s betting that the perils of today’s world will blind us to its unlimited promise.

    He’s taken the Republican Party a long way, from “Morning in America” to “Midnight in America.”

    He wants us to fear the future and fear each other.

    Well, a great Democratic President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, came up with the perfect rebuke to Trump more than eighty years ago, during a much more perilous time.

    “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

    Now we are clear-eyed about what our country is up against.

    But we are not afraid.

    We will rise to the challenge, just as we always have.

    We will not build a wall.

    Instead, we will build an economy where everyone who wants a good paying job can get one.

    And we’ll build a path to citizenship for millions of immigrants who are already contributing to our economy!

    We will not ban a religion.

    We will work with all Americans and our allies to fight terrorism.

    There’s a lot of work to do.

    Too many people haven’t had a pay raise since the crash.

    There’s too much inequality.

    Too little social mobility.

    Too much paralysis in Washington.

    Too many threats at home and abroad.

    But just look at the strengths we bring to meet these challenges.

    We have the most dynamic and diverse people in the world.

    We have the most tolerant and generous young people we’ve ever had.

    We have the most powerful military.

    The most innovative entrepreneurs.

    The most enduring values. Freedom and equality, justice and opportunity.

    We should be so proud that these words are associated with us. That when people hear them – they hear America.

    So don’t let anyone tell you that our country is weak.

    We’re not.

    Don’t let anyone tell you we don’t have what it takes.

    We do.

    And most of all, don’t believe anyone who says: “I alone can fix it.”

    Those were actually Donald Trump’s words in Cleveland.

    And they should set off alarm bells for all of us.


    I alone can fix it?

    Isn’t he forgetting?

    Troops on the front lines.

    Police officers and fire fighters who run toward danger.

    Doctors and nurses who care for us.

    Teachers who change lives.

    Entrepreneurs who see possibilities in every problem.

    Mothers who lost children to violence and are building a movement to keep other kids safe.

    He’s forgetting every last one of us.

    Americans don’t say: “I alone can fix it.”

    We say: “We’ll fix it together.”

    Remember: Our Founders fought a revolution and wrote a Constitution so America would never be a nation where one person had all the power.

    Two hundred and forty years later, we still put our faith in each other.

    Look at what happened in Dallas after the assassinations of five brave police officers.

    Chief David Brown asked the community to support his force, maybe even join them.

    And you know how the community responded?

    Nearly 500 people applied in just 12 days.

    That’s how Americans answer when the call for help goes out.

    Twenty years ago I wrote a book called “It Takes a Village.” A lot of people looked at the title and asked, what the heck do you mean by that?

    This is what I mean.

    None of us can raise a family, build a business, heal a community or lift a country totally alone.

    America needs every one of us to lend our energy, our talents, our ambition to making our nation better and stronger.

    I believe that with all my heart.

    That’s why “Stronger Together” is not just a lesson from our history.

    It’s not just a slogan for our campaign.

    It’s a guiding principle for the country we’ve always been and the future we’re going to build.

    A country where the economy works for everyone, not just those at the top.

    Where you can get a good job and send your kids to a good school, no matter what zip code you live in.

    A country where all our children can dream, and those dreams are within reach.

    Where families are strong, communities are safe, and yes, love trumps hate.

    That’s the country we’re fighting for.

    That’s the future we’re working toward, and so it is with humility, determination. and boundless confidence in America’s promise that I accept your nomination for President of the United States!

    Now, sometimes the people at this podium are new to the national stage.

    As you know, I’m not one of those people.

    I’ve been your First Lady. Served 8 years as a Senator from the great State of New York.

    I ran for President and lost.

    Then I represented all of you as Secretary of State.

    But my job titles only tell you what I’ve done.

    They don’t tell you why.

    The truth is, through all these years of public service, the “service” part has always come easier to me than the “public” part.

    I get it that some people just don’t know what to make of me.

    So let me tell you.

    The family I’m from, well, no one had their name on big buildings.

    My family were builders of a different kind.

    Builders in the way most American families are.

    They used whatever tools they had – whatever God gave them – and whatever life in America provided – and built better lives and better futures for their kids.

    My grandfather worked in the same Scranton lace mill for 50 years.

    Because he believed that if he gave everything he had, his children would have a better life than he did.

    And he was right.

    My dad, Hugh, made it to college. He played football at Penn State and enlisted in the Navy after Pearl Harbor.

    When the war was over he started his own small business, printing fabric for draperies.

    I remember watching him stand for hours over silk screens.

    He wanted to give my brothers and me opportunities he never had.

    And he did. My mother, Dorothy, was abandoned by her parents as a young girl. She ended up on her own at 14, working as a house maid.

    She was saved by the kindness of others.

    Her first grade teacher saw she had nothing to eat at lunch, and brought extra food to share.

    The lesson she passed on to me years later stuck with me:

    No one gets through life alone.

    We have to look out for each other and lift each other up.

    She made sure I learned the words of our Methodist faith:

    “Do all the good you can, for all the people you can, in all the ways you can, as long as ever you can.”

    I went to work for the Children’s Defense Fund, going door-to-door in New Bedford, Massachusetts on behalf of children with disabilities who were denied the chance to go to school.

    I remember meeting a young girl in a wheelchair on the small back porch of her house.

    She told me how badly she wanted to go to school – it just didn’t seem possible.

    And I couldn’t stop thinking of my mother and what she went through as a child.

    It became clear to me that simply caring is not enough.

    To drive real progress, you have to change both hearts and laws.

    You need both understanding and action.

    So we gathered facts. We built a coalition. And our work helped convince Congress to ensure access to education for all students with disabilities.

    It’s a big idea, isn’t it?

    Every kid with a disability has the right to go to school.

    But how do you make an idea like that real? You do it step-by-step, year-by-year, sometimes even door-by-door.

    And my heart just swelled when I saw Anastasia Somoza on this stage, representing millions of young people who – because of those changes to our laws – are able to get an education.

    It’s true, I sweat the details of policy – whether we’re talking about the exact level of lead in the drinking water in Flint, Michigan, the number of mental health facilities in Iowa, or the cost of your prescription drugs.

    Because it’s not just a detail if it’s your kid - if it’s your family.

    It’s a big deal. And it should be a big deal to your president.

    Over the last three days, you’ve seen some of the people who’ve inspired me.

    People who let me into their lives, and became a part of mine.

    People like Ryan Moore and Lauren Manning.

    They told their stories Tuesday night.

    I first met Ryan as a seven-year old.

    He was wearing a full body brace that must have weighed forty pounds.

    Children like Ryan kept me going when our plan for universal health care failed, and kept me working with leaders of both parties to help create the Children’s Health Insurance Program that covers 8 million kids every year.

    Lauren was gravely injured on 9/11.

    It was the thought of her, and Debbie St. John, and John Dolan and Joe Sweeney, and all the victims and survivors, that kept me working as hard as I could in the Senate on behalf of 9/11 families, and our first responders who got sick from their time at Ground Zero.

    I was still thinking of Lauren, Debbie and all the others ten years later in the White House Situation Room when President Obama made the courageous decision that finally brought Osama bin Laden to justice.

    In this campaign, I’ve met so many people who motivate me to keep fighting for change.

    And, with your help, I will carry all of your voices and stories with me to the White House.

    I will be a President for Democrats, Republicans, and Independents.

    For the struggling, the striving and the successful.

    For those who vote for me and those who don’t.

    For all Americans.

    Tonight, we’ve reached a milestone in our nation’s march toward a more perfect union: the first time that a major party has nominated a woman for President.

    Standing here as my mother’s daughter, and my daughter’s mother, I’m so happy this day has come.

    Happy for grandmothers and little girls and everyone in between.

    Happy for boys and men, too – because when any barrier falls in America, for anyone, it clears the way for everyone. When there are no ceilings, the sky’s the limit.

    So let’s keep going, until every one of the 161 million women and girls across America has the opportunity she deserves.

    Because even more important than the history we make tonight, is the history we will write together in the years ahead.

    Let’s begin with what we’re going to do to help working people in our country get ahead and stay ahead.

    Now, I don’t think President Obama and Vice President Biden get the credit they deserve for saving us from the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes.

    Our economy is so much stronger than when they took office. Nearly 15 million new private-sector jobs. Twenty million more Americans with health insurance. And an auto industry that just had its best year ever. That’s real progress.

    But none of us can be satisfied with the status quo. Not by a long shot.

    We’re still facing deep-seated problems that developed long before the recession and have stayed with us through the recovery.

    I’ve gone around our country talking to working families. And I’ve heard from so many of you who feel like the economy just isn’t working.

    Some of you are frustrated – even furious.

    And you know what? You’re right.

    It’s not yet working the way it should.

    Americans are willing to work – and work hard.

    But right now, an awful lot of people feel there is less and less respect for the work they do.

    And less respect for them, period.

    Democrats are the party of working people.

    But we haven’t done a good enough job showing that we get what you’re going through, and that we’re going to do something about it.

    So I want to tell you tonight how we will empower Americans to live better lives.

    My primary mission as President will be to create more opportunity and more good jobs with rising wages right here in the United States, from my first day in office to my last!

    Especially in places that for too long have been left out and left behind.

    From our inner cities to our small towns, from Indian Country to Coal Country.

    From communities ravaged by addiction to regions hollowed out by plant closures.

    And here’s what I believe.

    I believe America thrives when the middle class thrives.

    I believe that our economy isn’t working the way it should because our democracy isn’t working the way itshould.

    That’s why we need to appoint Supreme Court justices who will get money out of politics and expand voting rights, not restrict them. And we’ll pass a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United!

    I believe American corporations that have gotten so much from our country should be just as patriotic in return.

    Many of them are. But too many aren’t.

    It’s wrong to take tax breaks with one hand and give out pink slips with the other.

    And I believe Wall Street can never, ever be allowed to wreck Main Street again.

    I believe in science. I believe that climate change is real and that we can save our planet while creating millions of good-paying clean energy jobs.

    I believe that when we have millions of hardworking immigrants contributing to our economy, it would be self-defeating and inhumane to kick them out.

    Comprehensive immigration reform will grow our economy and keep families together - and it’s the right thing to do.

    Whatever party you belong to, or if you belong to no party at all, if you share these beliefs, this is your campaign.

    If you believe that companies should share profits with their workers, not pad executive bonuses, join us.

    If you believe the minimum wage should be a living wage and no one working full time should have to raise their children in poverty — join us.

    If you believe that every man, woman, and child in America has the right to affordable health care… join us.

    If you believe that we should say “no” to unfair trade deals, that we should stand up to China, that we should support our steelworkers and autoworkers and homegrown manufacturers, join us.

    If you believe we should expand Social Security and protect a woman’s right to make her own heath care decisions, join us.

    And yes, if you believe that your working mother, wife, sister, or daughter deserves equal pay… join us.

    Let’s make sure this economy works for everyone, not just those at the top.

    Now, you didn’t hear any of this from Donald Trump at his convention.

    He spoke for 70-odd minutes – and I do mean odd.

    And he offered zero solutions. But we already know he doesn’t believe these things.

    No wonder he doesn’t like talking about his plans.

    You might have noticed, I love talking about mine.

    In my first 100 days, we will work with both parties to pass the biggest investment in new, good-paying jobs since World War II.

    Jobs in manufacturing, clean energy, technology and innovation, small business, and infrastructure.

    If we invest in infrastructure now, we’ll not only create jobs today, but lay the foundation for the jobs of the future.

    And we will transform the way we prepare our young people for those jobs.

    Bernie Sanders and I will work together to make college tuition-free for the middle class and debt-free for all!

    We will also liberate millions of people who already have student debt.

    It’s just not right that Donald Trump can ignore his debts, but students and families can’t refinance theirs.

    And here’s something we don’t say often enough: College is crucial, but a four-year degree should not be the only path to a good job.

    We’re going to help more people learn a skill or practice a trade and make a good living doing it.

    We’re going to give small businesses a boost. Make it easier to get credit. Way too many dreams die in the parking lots of banks.

    In America, if you can dream it, you should be able to build it.

    We’re going to help you balance family and work. And you know what, if fighting for affordable child care and paid family leave is playing the “woman card,” then Deal Me In!

    (Oh, you’ve heard that one?)

    Now, here’s the thing, we’re not only going to make all these investments, we’re going to pay for every single one of them.

    And here’s how: Wall Street, corporations, and the super-rich are going to start paying their fair share of taxes.

    Not because we resent success. Because when more than 90 percent of the gains have gone to the top 1 percent, that’s where the money is.

    And if companies take tax breaks and then ship jobs overseas, we’ll make them pay us back. And we’ll put that money to work where it belongs — creating jobs here at home!

    Now I know some of you are sitting at home thinking, well that all sounds pretty good.

    But how are you going to get it done? How are you going to break through the gridlock in Washington? Look at my record. I’ve worked across the aisle to pass laws and treaties and to launch new programs that help millions of people. And if you give me the chance, that’s what I’ll do as President.

    But Trump, he’s a businessman. He must know something about the economy.

    Well, let’s take a closer look.

    In Atlantic City, 60 miles from here, you’ll find contractors and small businesses who lost everything because Donald Trump refused to pay his bills.

    People who did the work and needed the money, and didn’t get it – not because he couldn’t pay them, but because he wouldn’t pay them.

    That sales pitch he’s making to be your president? Put your faith in him – and you’ll win big? That’s the same sales pitch he made to all those small businesses. Then Trump walked away, and left working people holding the bag.

    He also talks a big game about putting America First. Please explain to me what part of America Firstleads him to make Trump ties in China, not Colorado.

    Trump suits in Mexico, not Michigan. Trump furniture in Turkey, not Ohio. Trump picture frames in India, not Wisconsin.

    Donald Trump says he wants to make America great again – well, he could start by actually making things in America again.

    The choice we face is just as stark when it comes to our national security.

    Anyone reading the news can see the threats and turbulence we face.

    From Baghdad and Kabul, to Nice and Paris and Brussels, to San Bernardino and Orlando, we’re dealing with determined enemies that must be defeated.

    No wonder people are anxious and looking for reassurance. Looking for steady leadership.

    You want a leader who understands we are stronger when we work with our allies around the world and care for our veterans here at home. Keeping our nation safe and honoring the people who do it will be my highest priority.

    I’m proud that we put a lid on Iran’s nuclear program without firing a single shot – now we have to enforce it, and keep supporting Israel’s security.

    I’m proud that we shaped a global climate agreement – now we have to hold every country accountable to their commitments, including ourselves.

    I’m proud to stand by our allies in NATO against any threat they face, including from Russia.

    I’ve laid out my strategy for defeating ISIS.

    We will strike their sanctuaries from the air, and support local forces taking them out on the ground. We will surge our intelligence so that we detect and prevent attacks before they happen.

    We will disrupt their efforts online to reach and radicalize young people in our country.

    It won’t be easy or quick, but make no mistake – we will prevail.

    Now Donald Trump says, and this is a quote, “I know more about ISIS than the generals do….”

    No, Donald, you don’t.

    He thinks that he knows more than our military because he claimed our armed forces are “a disaster.”

    Well, I’ve had the privilege to work closely with our troops and our veterans for many years, including as a Senator on the Armed Services Committee.

    I know how wrong he is. Our military is a national treasure.

    We entrust our commander-in-chief to make the hardest decisions our nation faces.

    Decisions about war and peace. Life and death.

    A president should respect the men and women who risk their lives to serve our country – including the sons of Tim Kaine and Mike Pence, both Marines.

    Ask yourself: Does Donald Trump have the temperament to be Commander-in-Chief?

    Donald Trump can’t even handle the rough-and-tumble of a presidential campaign.

    He loses his cool at the slightest provocation. When he’s gotten a tough question from a reporter. When he’s challenged in a debate. When he sees a protestor at a rally.

    Imagine him in the Oval Office facing a real crisis. A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons.

    I can’t put it any better than Jackie Kennedy did after the Cuban Missile Crisis. She said that what worried President Kennedy during that very dangerous time was that a war might be started – not by big men with self-control and restraint, but by little men – the ones moved by fear and pride.

    America’s strength doesn’t come from lashing out.

    Strength relies on smarts, judgment, cool resolve, and the precise and strategic application of power.

    That’s the kind of Commander-in-Chief I pledge to be.

    And if we’re serious about keeping our country safe, we also can’t afford to have a President who’s in the pocket of the gun lobby.

    I’m not here to repeal the 2nd Amendment.

    I’m not here to take away your guns.

    I just don’t want you to be shot by someone who shouldn’t have a gun in the first place.

    We should be working with responsible gun owners to pass common-sense reforms and keep guns out of the hands of criminals, terrorists and all others who would do us harm.

    For decades, people have said this issue was too hard to solve and the politics were too hot to touch.

    But I ask you: how can we just stand by and do nothing?

    You heard, you saw, family members of people killed by gun violence.

    You heard, you saw, family members of police officers killed in the line of duty because they were outgunned by criminals.

    I refuse to believe we can’t find common ground here.

    We have to heal the divides in our country.

    Not just on guns. But on race. Immigration. And more.

    That starts with listening to each other. Hearing each other. Trying, as best we can, to walk in each other’s shoes.

    So let’s put ourselves in the shoes of young black and Latino men and women who face the effects of systemic racism, and are made to feel like their lives are disposable.

    Let’s put ourselves in the shoes of police officers, kissing their kids and spouses goodbye every day and heading off to do a dangerous and necessary job.

    We will reform our criminal justice system from end-to-end, and rebuild trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve.

    We will defend all our rights – civil rights, human rights and voting rights, women’s rights and workers’ rights, LGBT rights and the rights of people with disabilities!

    And we will stand up against mean and divisive rhetoric wherever it comes from.

    For the past year, many people made the mistake of laughing off Donald Trump’s comments – excusing him as an entertainer just putting on a show.

    They think he couldn’t possibly mean all the horrible things he says – like when he called women “pigs.” Or said that an American judge couldn’t be fair because of his Mexican heritage. Or when he mocks and mimics a reporter with a disability.

    Or insults prisoners of war like John McCain –a true hero and patriot who deserves our respect.

    At first, I admit, I couldn’t believe he meant it either.

    It was just too hard to fathom – that someone who wants to lead our nation could say those things. Could be like that.

    But here’s the sad truth: There is no other Donald Trump.This is it.

    And in the end, it comes down to what Donald Trump doesn’t get: that America is great – because America is good.

    So enough with the bigotry and bombast. Donald Trump’s not offering real change.

    He’s offering empty promises. What are we offering? A bold agenda to improve the lives of people across our country - to keep you safe, to get you good jobs, and to give your kids the opportunities they deserve.

    The choice is clear.

    Every generation of Americans has come together to make our country freer, fairer, and stronger.

    None of us can do it alone.

    I know that at a time when so much seems to be pulling us apart, it can be hard to imagine how we’ll ever pull together again.

    But I’m here to tell you tonight – progress is possible.

    I know because I’ve seen it in the lives of people across America who get knocked down and get right back up.

    And I know it from my own life. More than a few times, I’ve had to pick myself up and get back in the game.

    Like so much else, I got this from my mother. She never let me back down from any challenge. When I tried to hide from a neighborhood bully, she literally blocked the door. “Go back out there,” she said.

    And she was right. You have to stand up to bullies. You have to keep working to make things better, even when the odds are long and the opposition is fierce.

    We lost my mother a few years ago. I miss her every day. And I still hear her voice urging me to keep working, keep fighting for right, no matter what.

    That’s what we need to do together as a nation.

    Though “we may not live to see the glory,” as the song from the musical Hamilton goes, “let us gladly join the fight.”

    Let our legacy be about “planting seeds in a garden you never get to see.”

    That’s why we’re here, not just in this hall, but on this Earth.

    The Founders showed us that.

    And so have many others since.

    They were drawn together by love of country, and the selfless passion to build something better for all who follow.

    That is the story of America. And we begin a new chapter tonight.

    Yes, the world is watching what we do.

    Yes, America’s destiny is ours to choose.

    So let’s be stronger together.

    Looking to the future with courage and confidence.

    Building a better tomorrow for our beloved children and our beloved country.

    When we do, America will be greater than ever.

    Thank you and may God bless the United States of America!

    0 0

    BuzzFeed News Reminds Writers to Conceal That They Want Hillary to Win
    Photo: AP

    Thursday night, Business Insider’s Oliver Darcy obtained a memo from BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith simply titled “🇺🇸👀” reminding news division staff not take “partisan stands on social media” as they enter “the home stretch” of this year’s election.

    Though BuzzFeed’s ethics guide has long prohibited news writers from “commenting in a partisan way about candidates or policy issues,” the timing of Thursday’s reminder couldn’t send a more obvious message: Tonight, when Hillary Clinton accepts the nomination as the first female presidential candidate of a major American political party, pretend like you aren’t hoping she defeats Donald Trump.

    The directive seems especially strange given that BuzzFeed killed an advertising deal with the Republican National Committee last month after Donald Trump became their presumptive nominee. At the time, BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti explained that the “Trump campaign is directly opposed to the freedoms of our employees in the United States and around the world.”…

    Thursday’s memo alluded to the company’s apparent Trump exception, Smith writing that this election is an unusual one “in which one candidate has, for instance, said things that can fairly be described as bigoted.”

    “Readers are entitled to trust you less if they think you’re in the tank,” wrote Smith. “When in doubt, the ideal journalistic posture is: 👀”

    Of course, it’s possible Smith is just worried staffers will choose this night to finally endorse Gary Johnson.

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    Terry McAuliffe Insists Hillary Clinton Will Never Support TPP, Says "She's Wrong"
    Image: AP

    PHILADELPHIA — Making a late-night appearance at a post-DNC party early this morning, a vivacious and enthusiastic Governor Terry McAuliffe asserted to Gawker not only that Hillary Clinton is not at risk of changing her position on TPP, but that she had “never supported it and never would.”…

    Earlier this week, the longtime Clinton confidant and Virginia Governor insinuated to reporters that Hillary Clinton might possibly reverse her opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal should she become President. McAuliffe’s spokesperson then softened the message to Politico, saying “he was simply expressing what he wants Clinton to do if she is elected president.”

    Tonight however, when pressed on the issue, McAuliffe told Gawker:

    She’s wrong. I support it. She doesn’t. She never supported it. I create jobs in Virginia, I always supported it. We’re best friends. She has never supported it.

    Before moving away to greet well-wishers, McAuliffe turned back briefly to say once again, “She will never support it. We’re best friends.”

    0 0
  • 07/29/16--04:25: 101 Days and a Wake Up
  • 101 Days and a Wake Up
    Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton loves balloons. Photo: AP

    0 0

    Dozens More Civilians Reportedly Killed in U.S.-Led Coalition Airstrikes in Syria
    Smoke rises from the Syrian city of Manbij. Photo: AP

    On Wednesday, the U.S. military announced that it was pursuing a formal investigation into the July 19 airstrike in a northern Syrian city that observers estimate killed at least 73 civilians. A subsequent airstrike in the same city “may have resulted” in yet more civilian casualties, Centcom disclosed late Thursday.

    “U.S. Central Command initiated an assessment following internal operational reporting that a strike today near Manbij, Syria may have resulted in civilian casualties,” the military said in a statement. “We can confirm the Coalition conducted airstrikes in the area in the last 24 hours.”

    The airstrikes took place around the strategically-critical city of Manbij, where clashes between U.S.-backed Syrian militants and Islamic State fighters have dragged on for months. Local and outside activists described the horrific aftermath of a coalition bombing run against the village of Tokkhar, outside Manbij, earlier this week.

    “The death toll is 117. We could document [the identity of] 73 civilians including 35 children and 20 women. The rest of the dead bodies are charred, or have been reduced to shreds,” Adnan al-Housen, an activist from Manbij, told the Guardian. The Syrian Institute for Justice, a Turkey-based human rights group, also found that 73 civilians had been killed. Chris Wood, director of the U.K.-based AirWars, described it as “likely the worst reported civilian toll of any coalition attack since the bombing campaign against ISIS began nearly two years ago.”

    At least 28 more civilians were killed in the latest incident, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, including women and children. “The death toll is expected to rise because there are some people in critical situation,” the Observatory said in a statement. The Guardian reports:

    The Observatory said 13 others were killed in the airstrike. It is not known if those 13 are civilians or members of Isis, which has been fending off ground and air attacks for more than two months from the US and its Syrian allies.

    US military officials have said they expect the battle for Manbij to drag on, as Isis has dug into a position both sides consider a critical buffer between US-backed forces and the Isis capital of Raqqa. Manbij has strategic value for another reason: it provides a pathway for Isis to exfiltrate fighters through Turkey to the outside world.

    Syrian allies of the US, advancing through extreme fighting, have accumulated terabytes’ worth of digital information on Isis from computers and mobiles left behind in the battle.

    “We take all measures during the targeting process to avoid or minimize civilian casualties or collateral damage and to comply with the principles of the Law of Armed Conflict,” Centcom’s statement on Thursday concluded.

    0 0

    Donald Trump Is So Mad Michael Bloomberg Called Him a Con Man
    Photo: AP

    Regardless of whatever political good or harm it did, former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg’s appearance at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday appears to have gotten under Republican nominee Donald Trump’s skin. “Trump says he wants to run the nation like he’s run his business,” Bloomberg told the DNC. “God help us.” (Folks!) “I’m a New Yorker,” he continued, “and I know a con when I see one.”

    At a campaign rally in Davenport, Iowa, on Thursday, Trump responded—albeit somewhat unusually, without using his critic’s name. “I was going to hit one guy, in particular a very little guy,” Trump said. (Bloomberg is 5' 8".) “I was going to hit this guy so hard his head would spin. He wouldn’t know what the hell happened.”

    In the past, according to the New York Times, Bloomberg, an actual billionaire, and Trump, an alleged billionaire, have had a somewhat cordial, if superficial, relationship:

    On at least a few occasions, Mr. Bloomberg and Mr. Trump met up on the golf links. In 2007, when Mr. Bloomberg was in the second of his three terms as mayor, the two played together in a charity event at Trump National Golf Club in the city’s northern suburbs. An article in New York magazine described how Mr. Trump, Mr. Bloomberg, the comedian Billy Crystal and the former New York Yankees manager Joe Torre were set to play together in the lead foursome — but could not agree on who would go first.

    “How about the mayor starts it off in honor of the city?” Mr. Trump was quoted as saying, playing peacemaker and showing deference to Mr. Bloomberg.

    Mr. Bloomberg also appeared twice on Mr. Trump’s reality TV show, “The Apprentice,” in 2004 and 2008, in part as a way to demonstrate support for the show, which was produced in New York.

    In an appearance on CNN in January, when Bloomberg was mulling a third-party run for president, Trump questioned Forbes’ estimate of the former mayor’s worth ($36.5 billion). “We used to be friends,” Trump said. “I guess we’re not friends anymore.”


    Update – 10:05 am:

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    Something About Hillary Clinton's 'Not So Attractive Voice' Really Bothers Men, But They're Not Sure Why!
    Photo via AP

    Hillary Clinton took the stage last night to make her historic acceptance speech, but male pundits wondered: Didn’t she sound a little... shrill? Wasn’t she... maybe... shouting? Can’t she do something about her... tone? Welcome to the next four months of nuanced, non-sexist political commentary, which also functions as a descent into Hell!

    The least subtle version of this criticism came from Fox News’ Brit Hume, who isn’t a fan of Clinton’s “sharp, lecturing tone:

    Hume suggested that Clinton could “make herself more appealing” to voters. Her voice, he added, “makes you feel like you’ve been called into the principal’s office to be read the riot act. Tonight, in the beginning, she spoke more softly. She sometimes as though acts as if she doesn’t understand that when you speak into a microphone like that, there’s such things as amplifiers and speakers and you’re gonna be heard.”

    Hume is, however, a fan of Clinton’s “radiant smile,” which makes up for her “not so attractive voice.”

    Wonderful and very smart! For the progressive version of this very hot take, let’s turn to Andrew Sullivan, live-blogging for New York magazine and defending himself from criticisms that he sounds sexist when he criticizes Clinton’s voice. Or, as he puts it, “the gender thing:”

    I should address the gender thing. Readers lambasted me for every criticism of her speaking style on feminist grounds. And I understand how Clinton carries an enormous weight as the first woman presidential candidate that makes the usual criticisms of her – that she’s pedestrian, uninspiring, and hectoring at times – sound sexist.

    But there were many, many women in this convention who spoke far more memorably than she did, who held the crowd in more rapt attention, who were able to modulate their speeches in ways that helped people understand their message better. This is not, in other words, a woman problem; it’s a Hillary Clinton problem. She simply doesn’t have certain gifts of oratory and connection with people that other more natural politicians do. It’s a weakness in a presidential candidate.

    You just have to “modulate,” Hillary! Fresh and vibrant criticism from a man treating liveblogging as a very new innovation!

    For the British version of this same, very original perspective —ooh, posh— let’s turn to someone named James Naughtie, who works for the BBC, and who, as the Huffington Post notes, called Clinton “shrill.” Very good. I feel done with this one!

    Vox has a roundup of some other tweets about Clinton’s voice, and a helpful explainer that maybe sometimes criticizing a woman for being shrill can sound sexist. Preposterous. After all, one very important person had the same, tirelessly original thought last night, and this man has zero problems with women.

    I can’t wait to listen to variations on this brand of political commentary until I claw my own eyeballs out and self-remove my eardrums to get away from it!

    0 0
  • 07/29/16--07:53: The Hedge Fund Candidate
  • The Hedge Fund Candidate
    Photo: AP

    As we leave the “Feel-Good Personality Propaganda Celebration” period of the campaign and move into the part where we think about the stuff that may or may not actually get done, here is a relevant data point.

    The Wall Street Journal, via the Center for Responsive Politics reports: “Owners and employees of hedge funds have made $122.7 million in campaign contributions this election cycle, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics—more than twice what they gave in the entire 2012 cycle and nearly 14% of total money donated from all sources so far.”

    Here is the current tally of hedge fund donations given in support of the two major candidates:

    Donald Trump: $19,000 (Nineteen thousand dollars)
    Hillary Clinton: $48,500,000 (Forty eight million five hundred thousand dollars)

    It will be interesting to see how high the taxes on the rich get raised in the next four years.

    0 0

    Gawker Is Filing to Unseal the $10 Million Lawsuit Bill O’Reilly Wants to Keep Secret
    Photo: Getty Images

    You may have heard that Bill O’Reilly is suing his ex-wife, Maureen McPhilmy, for upwards of $10 million over vague claims that she somehow defrauded him in their divorce agreement in order to fund an “existing extra-marital relationship.” What you probably haven’t heard is that a New York judge recently granted the 66-year-old Fox News host’s demand to place the entire case under seal—effectively preventing the public from evaluating the merits of a civil lawsuit filed by a public figure against a private citizen. This week, Gawker Media petitioned the court to vacate that ruling and open up the proceedings.…

    The origin of O’Reilly’s most recent litigation dates back to 2011, when he and McPhilmy, then known as Maureen O’Reilly, divorced after a year of separation. While the divorce itself was relatively uncontentious, the couple has battled for years over the custody of their two children, who are 14 and 17 years old. In 2011, McPhilmy sought to end their joint custody agreement after she learned that O’Reilly had been employing the purportedly neutral therapist who, under the agreement, was supposed to negotiate custodial disputes, as his nanny. An appellate court later determined that O’Reilly had tasked therapist Lynne Kulakowski with “virtually all of his parental duties,” which compromised the entire custody deal.

    The McPhilmy-O’Reilly dispute was sealed, but as it made its way through the Supreme Court of Nassau County, various details about O’Reilly’s campaign against his ex-wife emerged. He apparently succeeded, for example, to having McPhilmy formally reprimanded by their local Catholic parish, on the grounds that her second marriage, to Nassau County Police Department detective Jeffrey Gross, is unholy. When he first learned that McPhilmy and Gross were dating, O’Reilly worked his connections within the Nassau County Police Department to launch a frivolous internal affairs inquiry into the detective’s private life.

    Gawker Is Filing to Unseal the $10 Million Lawsuit Bill O’Reilly Wants to Keep Secret
    O’Reilly with New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton at the Four Seasons hotel in New York City on April 6, 2016. Photo: Getty Images

    Perhaps the most damning information to come out of the case was O’Reilly’s daughter’s claim, relayed in testimony by a court-appointed forensic examiner who had interviewed her, that she had witnessed O’Reilly dragging McPhilmy down the stairs by the neck. According to the same examiner, the daughter said that her father—who settled a sexual harassment claim by former O’Reilly Factor producer Andrea Mackris in 2004, while he was still married to McPhilmy—called her mother an “adulterer” and told her that associating with Gross would “ruin her life.”

    These revelations are particularly significant given the fact that Fox News pays O’Reilly a handsome salary to heap judgment on the families of others, especially those of black Americans. “The reason there is so much violence and chaos in the black precincts is the disintegration of the African-American family,” he claimed in August of 2014. A few months later, he blamed “the astronomical crime rate among young black men” not on systemic issues such as racial discrimination or America’s history of white supremacy but on “kids with no fathers.”

    Just this week, O’Reilly criticized Michelle Obama for her speech at the Democratic National Convention, where she spoke of watching her two daughters grow up in the White House, which was erected in the 18th century with the labor of enslaved Africans. “Slaves that worked there were well-fed and had decent lodgings provided by the government,” he said on The O’Reilly Factor, as if the perceived lack of food and shelter was the main disadvantage of chattel slavery, which did more to destroy black families than any other American institution.

    Through his lawyer, O’Reilly initially denied the domestic violence report, but went silent after Gawker published partial court transcripts that corroborated our story. Soon thereafter, he petitioned an appellate court in Brooklyn to issue a gag order, which would have prevented anyone involved in a case from speaking to the press. The court rejected O’Reilly’s petition on procedural grounds, leaving the final decision to the justice overseeing the original case in Nassau County. It’s unclear if the lower court approved O’Reilly’s request, though; under New York State law, nearly all family court proceedings at the local level are kept confidential.

    Proceedings in civil court, on the other hand, are generally an open book. Federal and state judiciaries have held for decades that the First Amendment covers the right of the public and the press to access court records. But at O’Reilly’s request, his latest offensive against McPhilmy—a civil case alleging fraud, not a family dispute—is being conducted in secret.

    As Gawker reported in May of this year, O’Reilly applied for an “anonymous caption order and sealing of file” on April 1, but was denied on the same day. O’Reilly later filed a separate action under a new justice, this time attaching a copy of a his and McPhilmy’s separation agreement, in which he argued that he and his ex-wife “are contractually obligated not to disclose information related to this dispute as they agreed it is in the best interests of their children, which overcomes the right of public access to records.” He also claimed that his occupation as a Fox News host ensured that “matters concerning his personaI life, marriage, and children, attract media attention [which have] caused [his and McPhilmy’s] minor children extreme emotional distress.”

    Gawker Is Filing to Unseal the $10 Million Lawsuit Bill O’Reilly Wants to Keep Secret
    O’Reilly with Samantha Power, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, at Manhattan’s Lincoln Center on April 21, 2015. Photo: Getty Images

    The justice assigned to the case, the Hon. Roy S. Mahon, apparently found this line of argument persuasive, and on June 1, granted O’Reilly’s motion to seal the proceedings. His decision prompted the Supreme Court of Nassau County to retroactively delete every single document filed in the case—including 13 documents, totaling 34 pages, that had been previously available to the public—and currently protects any further filings from public inspection.

    Judges routinely permit both plaintiffs and defendants to seal individual filings, often for reasons of protecting trade secrets or either party’s personal privacy. It is highly unusual, however, for a judge to order the sealing of civil case’s entire docket. Because Gawker’s own filings fall under Mahon’s sealing order, we cannot publish any of them.

    Astonishingly, Mahon did not offer any legal reasoning, at least in any publicly available filing, for approving O’Reilly’s far-reaching sealing motion. In other words, he seems to have endorsed the logic of O’Reilly’s original petition. At best, that means he believes O’Reilly and McPhilmy’s private separation agreement overrides the public’s access to court records. At worst, that means he believes O’Reilly is entitled to sue a private citizen in total secrecy, simply because the lawsuit would invite attention to himself, and thus his children.

    Fame does not grant a litigant the license to a closed courtroom, nor to bring a $10 million lawsuit against another person, famous or otherwise, within it. Accordingly, Gawker Media officially filed a motion to intervene and vacate Mahon’s order on July 26. O’Reilly’s attorneys have until August 17 to respond.

    0 0

    It Wasn't Just the DNC: Somebody Hacked the DCCC, Too
    Photo: AP

    Amid its ongoing probe into the cyber attack against the Democratic National Committee, the FBI has begun an investigation into a separate but possibly related hack of another group within the Democratic party—the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. The DCCC hack and the FBI’s subsequent investigation was first reported by Reuters, on Friday.

    In a statement, DCCC spokeswoman Meredith Kelly confirmed to the Washington Post that it had been the target of “a cybersecurity incident.”

    “The DCCC takes this matter very seriously,” Kelly said. “With the assistance of leading experts we have taken and are continuing to take steps to enhance the security of our network in the face of these recent events. We are cooperating with the federal law enforcement with respect to their ongoing investigation.”

    The newly-reported attack may have targeted donor information. The DCCC, a political committee working to get Democrats elected to the House of Representatives, shares office space with the DNC. Reuters reports:

    It was not clear what data was exposed, although donors typically submit a variety of personal information including names, email addresses and credit card details when making a contribution. It was also unclear if stolen information was used to hack into other systems.

    The DCCC raises money for Democrats running for seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. The intrusion at the group could have begun as recently as June, two of the sources told Reuters.

    That was when a bogus website was registered with a name closely resembling that of a main donation site connected to the DCCC. For some time, internet traffic associated with donations that was supposed to go to a company that processes campaign donations instead went to the bogus site, two sources said.

    The sources said the Internet Protocol address of the spurious site resembled one used by Russian government-linked hackers suspected in the breach of the DNC, the body that sets strategy and raises money for the Democratic Party nationwide.

    Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Reuters that Russia had nothing to do with the DCCC hack, just as it had nothing to do with the earlier, DNC hack. “We don’t see the point any more in repeating yet again that this is silliness,” he said.

    0 0

    Today's Best Deals: Over-Ear Headphones, Lodge Dutch Oven, ExOfficio Underwear

    AKG headphones, a 2-in-1 Lodge dutch oven, and the most popular underwear lead off Friday’s best deals.

    Bookmark Kinja Deals and follow us on Twitter to never miss a deal. Commerce Content is independent of Editorial and Advertising, and if you buy something through our posts, we may get a small share of the sale. Click here to learn more, and don’t forget to sign up for our email newsletter.

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    15% off sitewide at Monoprice, promo code SCORCHER

    Monoprice is already known for bargain basement prices, but they’re currently taking an extra 15% off sitewide with promo code SCORCHER, which opens up a whole world of deal possibilities.

    We’ve highlighted a few of our favorites items below, but Monoprice is great for cheap cables, speakers, printer ink, and peripherals as well, so be sure to shop around. In fact, Lifehacker put together a guide to help you pick the best stuff.…

    Let us know what you got in the comments!

    Today's Best Deals: Over-Ear Headphones, Lodge Dutch Oven, ExOfficio Underwear
    PS4 Console, $280

    This PS4 deal doesn’t include any bundled games, but $280 is one of the best prices we’ve ever seen on the rarely discounted console. Now please, stop spamming the comments in every Xbox One deal article about how these never go on sale.

    Today's Best Deals: Over-Ear Headphones, Lodge Dutch Oven, ExOfficio Underwear
    Black & Decker Compact Grass Shears/Shrub Trimmer, $32

    Black & Decker’s electric garden shears are perfect for touching up your shrubs and edging grass, and $32 is a match for the best price Amazon’s ever offered. Please, just mind your fingers around this thing.…

    Today's Best Deals: Over-Ear Headphones, Lodge Dutch Oven, ExOfficio Underwear
    Jackery Leaf 6 Battery Case, $16 with code IN8IX3MT | Jackery Leaf 5 Battery Case, $16 with code IN8IX3MT

    Battery life on your iPhone not cutting it? Jackery’s blowing out their Leaf battery cases for just $16 with code IN8IX3MT. The iPhone 5/5s/SE model comes in both white and black, while the iPhone 6/6s version is only available in one color, but both have enough capacity to give your phone at least a full charge.……

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    RAVPower Dual Port Quick Charge 3.0 Charger + FREE 5-Pack MicroUSB Cables, $20 with code ESA4I59J

    $20 is a decent price for a Quick Charge 3.0 wall charger, and today, RAVPower will throw in a free 5-pack of MicroUSB cables, including extra-long 6' and 10' cords. Just add both items below to your cart, and use code ESA4I59J at checkout.……

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    Extra 50% off Clearance. Promo code SHOPNOW

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    $100 Southwest Gift Card, $92

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    Pro tip: Use the money you saved to buy Earlybird check in.

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    2-Pack Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen, $10 with Subscribe & Save and 10% coupon

    Neutrogena’s Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch sunscreen was your favorite sunscreen, by a large margin. Right now, clip this coupon on Amazon and get this 2-pack for only $10. You have to subscribe to the Subscribe & Save delivery, but you can always cancel after the first delivery.……

    Today's Best Deals: Over-Ear Headphones, Lodge Dutch Oven, ExOfficio Underwear
    5 Indochino Made to Measure Shirts, $279, use code KINJA5, free shipping, expires 7/31.

    Indochino is your favorite custom clothing company, and this week they’re offering Kinja Deals readers their best shirt pricing ever. $279 gets you five shirts with promo code KINJA5. Read more about the deal here.…

    Some of our peers have Melania’d the discount we launched with Indochino back in May, so we can’t call it an exclusive anymore. However, it’s still the best pricing they’ve ever offered, so if you missed out last time or want more suits, here’s your chance. Read more here.…




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    You Can’t Get There From Here: Party Hopping at the DNC
    Photo: Gawker

    PHILADELPHIA — On the third night of the Democratic National Convention, the parties were empty. The ones I was invited to, anyway.

    Something fun about the DNC is that, while the politicians and Chloe Grace Moretzes of the world are speaking, the real action is unfolding at the ancillary parties and events orbiting the Wells Fargo Arena, where on Wednesday Barack Obama gave an 11 p.m. speech to a crowd of thousands, before kissing Hillary Clinton gently on the forehead and removing his shirt to reveal a large “I’m with her” chest tattoo—I’m assuming that’s what happened, anyway, since my colleagues and I left a few minutes early to avoid the crush of people exiting the stadium.

    We had our work cut out for us just trying to leave the parking lot. The convention’s byzantine logistics made it near-impossible for anyone without a motorcade or a helicopter to move freely between the arena and, well, anywhere else. The official DNC programming was split between two locations, the Philadelphia Convention Center and the Wells Fargo Arena—a seven-mile drive about twenty minutes away in good conditions, which this week’s protests, road closures and increased traffic ensured were not. And that’s if you could even get a taxi or Uber—at the peak exit times, hundreds of people were requesting rides from cars waiting as long as an hour to get in just to pick people up.

    So this is the conundrum: In general, most of the official sponsored parties started around 9 p.m., and ended at either midnight or 2 a.m., and most of the venues were in or around Philadelphia’s Center City. Each day’s official convention proceedings didn’t actually end, though, until 11 p.m., and on Wednesday, Obama—not exactly a speakers convention attendees would have minded skipping out on—went 45 minutes late. By the time anyone in or near the Wells Fargo Center could have possibly made it back to central Philly, nearly all the open bars were closed.

    This means that throughout the week, thousands and thousands of dollars went to waste as lavish media parties unfolded with few attendees to nosh on the spreads and imbibe the sponsored liquor. The Creative Coalition Gala, which featured a performance by Fergie, had to push back its start time, and even then she was almost forced to take the stage to a pretty much empty room (Jezebel’s Ellie Shechet says a decent-sized crowd had formed by the time she started singing around 1:30 a.m., thanks to the adjusted schedule). The Daily Beast, which had a confirmed guest list so full even some of the usual suspects were told they couldn’t attend, ultimately decided to let in whoever showed up at the Reading Terminal Market when it became clear they weren’t going to come close to reaching capacity.

    Meanwhile, there are so many celebrities crowded into the city over the week my hands would break trying to type them all into this post. Jerry Springer was walking around the convention plugging his new podcast to anyone interested; Rosario Dawson, Rosie Perez, and Susan Sarandon showed up on the arena floor; Sigourney Weaver, Demi Lovato, Lena Dunham, America Ferrara, Debra Messing, Lenny Kravitz, Paul Simon, Alicia Keys, Chloe Grace Moretz, Tony Goldwyn, Meryl Streep, Star Jones, Lee Daniels, Idina Menzel, Ben Platt, Elizabeth Banks, Kristen Bell and Darren Criss all appeared onstage to speak, sing, or in some cases, both. Even Karl Rove showed up for the fun.

    At the D.C. Statehood Luncheon Tuesday, hosted by D.C. shadow Senator Paul Strauss—a D.C. lawyer and superdelegate who loves famous people almost as much as he loves taxation with representation, a parade of recognizable faces: Ashley Judd, David Schwimmer, Alison Pill, Dean Norris, Kevin McHale, one of the inmates from Orange is the New Black, and Billy Baldwin, who lectured me about Hulk Hogan. It was enough famous people to fill a bus, which as it turns out, they eventually did. (The most annoying person on the bus, Veep’s charming Reid Scott told me, was Josh Gad, though he says it was a close call between three people he wouldn’t name. So it’s not not Billy Baldwin.) Even Jazzy Jeff got to do a red carpet at a liquor party played by two alcoholic artists: Jason Isbell of the Drive-By Truckers and Joe Walsh of the Eagles.

    But those are just the people you’d recognize on the street. The really important people were at the secret parties held by Super PACs and interest groups, where they, along with their corporate sponsors, are courting politicians and donors with free concerts from artists like Kesha, who performed at the Americans for Responsible Solutions PAC hosted by Gabby Giffords, Mark Kelly, and Elizabeth Banks. Rahm Emanuel held a secret party at 30th Street Station, where Blues Traveler performed. Nancy Pelosi’s party, one attendee reports, had a ten-person band fit for a wedding. Blackstone, Independence Blue Cross, Bloomberg LP, Johnson & Johnson, Walgreens, AFLAC, the Financial Services Roundtable New York LifeTonight, were all out there, pressing free stuff into the hands of politicians, the New Republic reports. On Thursday, Lady GaGa and Lenny Kravitz are performed for wealthy donors at the Camden Rising concert, which was emphatically closed to press, despite the best efforts of some Bernie supporters who were reportedly giving away their tickets on the street in protest. At Google’s warehouse-sized party, guests had to dash through the rain outside to get to the bathrooms, which were of the fancy-trash trailer port-a-potty variety. The Future Is Blue PAC party Monday required interested parties pay a minimum of $15,000 to mingle with dozens of representatives under branding from AT&T and Cisco. The theme, apparently, was technology lobbying. And then there were the afterparties, which popped up wherever a bar was able to extend its hours til four a.m., something I’m sure Terry McAuliffe now regrets showing up for.

    So, good news: Not all the sponsored champagne and caviar went to waste.

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    Report: Justin Bieber Almost Took $5 Million To Play RNC Party
    A bottle of champagne that may or may not cost $5 million: Getty

    Political insiders who attended last week’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland were united in their assessment of the one thing Donald Trump’s long-awaited weeklong coronation was missing: Justin Bieber. And to think he was almost there!

    According to a TMZ report, Bieber was offered $5 million by “GOP donors” to “perform for 45 minutes at a venue near” the arena where the convention was held. Citing sources at CAA—the mega-powerful Hollywood talent agency that reps the singer—TMZ says that Bieber “seriously considered” playing the gig “partly because he’s Canadian and didn’t have a dog in the fight and partly because of the money.” Sounds about right, frankly.

    TMZ further reports that Bieber’s longtime manager Scooter Braun—who has fundraised for Hillary Clinton—let Bieber make the decision on his own but told him he would no longer be able to represent him if he showed up at the Trump Circus. TMZ says that Braun suggested Bieber hang Black Lives Matter banners during the venue, but was told instead that he could only hang “All Lives Matter banners. I’m not sure what this has to do with anything beyond making Scooter Braun look like a good person, which makes one wonder how TMZ got this story in the first place.

    Also—also!—TMZ reports that Bieber’s camp heard that LeBron James was going to make some sort of RNC adjacent appearance, but when they contacted LeBron’s people they were told this was untrue and LeBron wouldn’t be there and neither should Bieber. Again, I’m not sure what this has to do with anything aside from making LeBron look good for choosing to not show up to a thing he was never going to show up for, but good for him.

    As it pertains to Bieber, his political views are essentially unknown. He is particularly guarded in interviews, a strategic choice that dates back to 2011, when, as a 17-year-old, he talked to Rolling Stone’s Vanessa Grigoriadis about abortion:

    He isn’t sure what political party he’d support if he was old enough to vote. “I’m not sure about the parties,” Bieber says. “But whatever they have in Korea, that’s bad.” He does have a solid opinion on abortion. “I really don’t believe in abortion,” Bieber says. “It’s like killing a baby.” How about in cases of rape? “Um. Well, I think that’s really sad, but everything happens for a reason. I don’t know how that would be a reason. I guess I haven’t been in that position, so I wouldn’t be able to judge that.”

    Do you think Justin Bieber knows who Hillary Clinton is?

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    Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz yesterday called Apple’s offshore tax(-evasion) practices “a fraud,” which is very rude to Tim Cook who seems like such a nice man.…

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    Federal Appeals Court Strikes Down Racist North Carolina Voter ID Law
    Photo: AP

    On Friday morning, a federal appeals court struck down a number of sweeping changes to North Carolina’s voting rules made in 2013, including its voter identification law, holding that they had been “enacted with racially discriminatory intent.”

    In addition to overturning the voter ID requirement, the three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit ruled unanimously to reinstate early voting; out-of-precinct voting; preregistration; and same-day registration.

    According to civil rights activists and attorneys for the Justice Department, the rule changes made in 2013 had not only disenfranchised tens of thousands of voters, but also discriminated against minorities.

    The nonprofit Common Cause North Carolina, one of the plaintiffs that challenged the constitutionality of the state’s rule changes, celebrated the circuit court’s decision. “We are pleased that the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals recognized that the restrictions enacted by the legislature hurt North Carolinians by creating unnecessary and discriminatory barriers to voting,” the group’s executive director, Bob Phillips, said in a statement. “This decision is a vital step in returning North Carolina to its position as a national leader on voting rights and equal access to the polls.”

    The 4th Circuit’s decision on Friday overturns a North Carolina federal district court judge’s decision to uphold the rule changes in April. “There is significant, shameful past discrimination,” Judge Thomas D. Schroeder of Federal District Court in Winston-Salem, allowed in his earlier decision. “In North Carolina’s recent history, however, certainly for the last quarter century, there is little official discrimination to consider.”

    The appeals court’s decision, issued on Friday, can be read here. Justice Diana Gribbon Motz wrote for the majority:

    In response to claims that intentional racial discrimination animated its action, the State offered only meager justifications. Although the new provisions target African Americans with almost surgical precision, they constitute inapt remedies for the problems assertedly justifying them and, in fact, impose cures for problems that did not exist.

    “Faced with this record,” Motz wrote, “we can only conclude that the North Carolina General Assembly enacted the challenged provisions of the law with discriminatory intent.”

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  • 07/29/16--11:06: Why No Beyonce at the DNC? 
  • Why No Beyonce at the DNC? 
    A still from the infamous ZapruderBeyonce film: Getty

    The Democratic convention in Philly featured “celebrities” including Eva Longoria, Elizabeth Banks, and Lena Dunham. Why no Beyonce?

    Do Eva Longoria, Elizabeth Banks, or Lena Dunham pull votes? No.

    Beyonce pulls votes.

    Think this is a “silly” question? Shortly before the convention. Refinery29 had this exchange in an interview with Leah Daughtry, the CEO of the Democratic convention:

    I heard you love Beyoncé. Any chance she’ll be joining us in Philadelphia?

    “I believe she’s in Sweden on the Formation tour, but we’re going to see what we can do to get her to fly over for the night or so. We’ll see!”

    Beyonce is a known Clinton supporter. But was Beyonce there? No.

    Without Beyonce the DNC was just a celebrity selfie fest. Do Demi Lovato or Sarah Silverman pull votes? No.

    Beyonce pulls votes.

    Where was Beyonce? Did someone “get to her?” Did anyone pull any strings—or fail to pull strings? Did Obama make a call? Have we been double-crossed? What is the real story?

    If Donald Trump wins we’ll have Beyonce to thank.

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    Officer in Sandra Bland Case Accuses Officials of Cover-up and Threats
    Still: Police dashcam video

    A police officer with incriminating information in connection with the jailhouse death of Sandra Bland says that he was threatened by county prosecutors into staying silent, the AP reports. Sandra Bland died in jail, under troubling and suspicious circumstances, three days after she was pulled over for a traffic violation.

    Officer Michael Kelley was one of the first to be called to the scene of the arrest as backup. He says that the police left out key details from the report and that Bland appeared injured.

    “She had a large mark on her head. Maybe she fell when she was in handcuffs. Maybe she got kicked,” Kelley told the Huffington Post. “My opinion is that he messed up,” he added “He did not have probable cause to detain her after he pulled her out of the car.”

    Kelley also says he overheard state trooper Brian Encinia telling his supervisor over the phone, “I don’t know what I’m going to charge her with yet,” after he arrested Sandra Bland. The Huffington Post:

    In all, Kelley said that officials whittled his two-page rough draft down to less than a page and entered it into the official record without his approval. He said he also wanted to testify before the grand jury investigating Bland’s arrest, but that Assistant District Attorney Warren Diepraam threatened him.

    “He told me it wouldn’t be good for my career,” Kelley said. “Then I told him I was going to talk to Sandra Bland’s mother’s attorney, and he told me I was going to be beneath the jail.”

    The prosecutors strongly denied Kelley’s accusations, first made public by an activist via the Houston Chronicle.

    Kelley himself is embattled. He was suspended and indicted for official oppression related to an unlawful arrest earlier this year, after being captured on video using a Taser on a black city councilman.…

    On July 13, 2015, Sandra Bland, a newly hired student outreach coordinator at a historically black university, was pulled over by state trooper Brian Encinia in Prairie View, Texas near her campus, for failure to signal a lane change. Her interaction with the officer, which was captured in part on dashcam video, became heated as Encina got angry at Bland for not putting out her cigarette. Encinia attempted to drag Bland out of her car, screaming, “I will light you up! Get out!” Video captured by a bystander appears to show Bland, with two officers on top of her, saying: “You just slammed my head into the ground. Do you not even care about that? I can’t even hear. He slammed my fucking head into the ground.”

    Bland was ultimately arrested for “assault of a public servant” for allegedly kicking Encinia. Her family was unable to pay for bail and Bland was held in custody until she was found dead in her cell, three days after her arrest.

    The Waller County Sheriff’s Office stated that Bland died of self-induced asphyxiation and an autopsy ruled her death a suicide. According to a jail intake form, Bland had admitted to a suicide attempt in 2014. She was not placed on suicide watch. Since then, a jailer admitted under oath that he falsified records in a jail log about checking in on Bland the hour before her death.…

    Sarah Bland’s mother, Geneva Reed-Veal, is currently pursuing a federal lawsuit against the county, alleging willful and wanton negligence that resulted in her daughter’s death.

    In January, Encinia was fired and indicted for a misdemeanor charge of perjury for alleged false statements about the arrest, a charge which is still pending. No one from the jail or the sheriff’s office has been indicted in connection with Bland’s death.

    On Wednesday, Geneva Reed-Veal appeared on stage at the Democratic National Convention with the mothers of Michael Brown (whose killer, a cop, walked free), Eric Garner (whose killer, a cop, walked free), Dontré Hamilton (whose killer, a former cop, walked free), Trayvon Martin (whose killer, a neighborhood watchman, walked free), Jordan Davis (whose killer, a man who didn’t like loud music, whose first murder trial was a mistrial; he was convicted in the second trial) and Hadiya Pendleton (who was killed during a crossfire of a possible gang-related shootout, resulting in two indictments of the shooters on multiple counts.)

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