Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: RNC 2016: A literal shitshow

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  • Kumara Republic,

    There is a norovirus outbreak at the Republican National Congress. To be fair, uncontrollable vomiting and loss of bowel control would be a reasonable response to the contents of the convention's first day.

    "This is insane," I tweeted yesterday as I watched three people get up and tell their stories under the banner 'Victims of Illegal Immigrants', but it was in keeping with the constant tone of fear and hatred that underscored the day's theme of Make America Safe Again.

    How long before they start blaming undocumented (and disgruntled) migrants for conspiring to poison them? Or the OSHA/FDA officials who try to prevent it happening in the first place?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5418 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    How long before they start blaming disgruntled migrants for conspiring to poison them?

    Logic would dictate that this has already happened.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    Clearly the FDA is ineffective and should be disbanded.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1443 posts Report Reply

  • Hugh Wilson,

    Unfortunately 'denial and attack' has pretty much become the default setting for the Coalition in Australia whenever someone disagrees with them .... so many examples its depressing, so I won't bother listing any

    Melbourne • Since Feb 2013 • 164 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Chief of Staph*?

    ... uncontrollable vomiting and loss of bowel control...

    Where's the shade of Hunter S. Thompson when ya need him...?
    or to paraphrase Laurie Anderson
    Anguish is a virus...

    The Trump camp trying to claim that no one could seriously expect a Trump to say something unoriginal or foolish in front of 35 million viewers is patently risible - that's par for course on the Trump links, I'd have thought...

    * I know, I know, I'm mixing bacteria and viruses

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7889 posts Report Reply

  • Moz,

    There is a norovirus outbreak at the Republican National Congress.

    If I soil myself from laughing too hard at that, does that mean I've got the same virus?

    Also "denial and attack" has become the default approach for an awful lot of politicians, mostly those on the authoritarian side of things. Why answer the question when you can instead attack the questioner and still be taken seriously?

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1198 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Hugh Wilson,

    The jumbuck stops here!

    the default setting for the Coalition in Australia

    Even down by the billabong
    the swagmen are swilling
    'denier billy tea'...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7889 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    I think I will stop at can't--watch

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2537 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    ... for I fear it will lead to regurgitation of this morning's porridge

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2537 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Logic would dictate

    Logic? Logic???!!!

    At what point did logic sneak in???

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1344 posts Report Reply

  • Jason Kemp,

    How to explain how anyone could consciously vote for Trump. Still inexplicable to me. The only possible reason that makes any sense is that voters in the U.S have given up on the system and they are voting to screw the system completely.

    I’d imagine that a percentage of voters are hoping that there is another Trump who is might not be quite so crazy as he seems but that is looking highly unlikely now.

    In DONALD TRUMP’S GHOSTWRITER TELLS ALL in the New Yorker magazine the ghost writer Tony Schwartz tells us about writing the Trump biography back in 1987.

    It turns out it was mostly a work of fiction since Trump really had nothing to say of consequence.

    A couple of paragraphs here but you should read the whole article if you can.

    “But the prospect of President Trump terrified him. It wasn’t because of Trump’s ideology—Schwartz doubted that he had one. The problem was Trump’s personality, which he considered pathologically impulsive and self-centered.”

    ….

    “Schwartz had written about Trump before. In 1985, he’d published a piece in New York called “A Different Kind of Donald Trump Story,” which portrayed him not as a brilliant mogul but as a ham-fisted thug who had unsuccessfully tried to evict rent-controlled and rent-stabilized tenants from a building that he had bought on Central Park South. Trump’s efforts—which included a plan to house homeless people in the building in order to harass the tenants—became what Schwartz described as a “fugue of failure, a farce of fumbling and bumbling.” An accompanying cover portrait depicted Trump as unshaven, unpleasant-looking, and shiny with sweat. Yet, to Schwartz’s amazement, Trump loved the article.”


    ““I was shocked,” Schwartz told me. “Trump didn’t fit any model of human being I’d ever met. He was obsessed with publicity, and he didn’t care what you wrote.”

    …….

    “Trump has been written about a thousand ways from Sunday, but this fundamental aspect of who he is doesn’t seem to be fully understood,” Schwartz told me. “It’s implicit in a lot of what people write, but it’s never explicit—or, at least, I haven’t seen it. And that is that it’s impossible to keep him focussed on any topic, other than his own self-aggrandizement, for more than a few minutes, and even then . . . ” Schwartz trailed off, shaking his head in amazement. He regards Trump’s inability to concentrate as alarming in a Presidential candidate. “If he had to be briefed on a crisis in the Situation Room, it’s impossible to imagine him paying attention over a long period of time,” he said….
    ……
    “This year, Schwartz has heard some argue that there must be a more thoughtful and nuanced version of Donald Trump that he is keeping in reserve for after the campaign. “There isn’t,” Schwartz insists. “There is no private Trump.” This is not a matter of hindsight. While working on “The Art of the Deal,” Schwartz kept a journal in which he expressed his amazement at Trump’s personality, writing that Trump seemed driven entirely by a need for public attention.”

    And so on. It all makes for scary reading. Last quote:

    “Trump’s self-portrayal as a Horatio Alger figure has buttressed his populist appeal in 2016. But his origins were hardly humble. Fred’s fortune, based on his ownership of middle-income properties, wasn’t glamorous, but it was sizable: in 2003, a few years after Fred died, Trump and his siblings reportedly sold some of their father’s real-estate holdings for half a billion dollars.”

    Even a share of $ half a billion is still a huge advantage.

    I tried watching the live stream but it is just too weird. Even the states that voted against him seem to have got pro Trump spokespeople to announce their votes.

    I wonder if there will be a higher than usual vote for parties and candidates other than those of the Republican or Democrats due to these very strange results in the Presidential race?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 364 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    The Trump camp

    = campylobacter.
    “There is a disease … that is tearing apart the lies of thousands …”

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1889 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Jason Kemp,

    Trump seemed driven entirely by a need for public attention.

    Another anecdote here...

    I lean over as we’re talking and I realise everything he’s looking at is an article about himself. In fact at several points in the conversation Donald got so excited about what he was reading about himself that he would pick up the magazine and hold it up to me and say, ‘Look Randal, do you see that The Apprentice was number one in the ratings last week, isn’t that great?’

    “Apparently somebody’s job responsibility is to find all this stuff and to organise it for him to read. I can only conclude that Donald loves reading about Donald.”

    Donald loves reading about Donald. He has, according to many who know him, study him or write about him, made Donald his life’s work.

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1344 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Jeez - Ryan doesn't even know how to use a gavel!!
    he held the head and used the handle on the table!

    Trump also used the Queen song without permission
    http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/7445695/queen-trump-rnc-we-are-the-champions-unauthorized

    who's the live band there? - sounds like The Commodores!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7889 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1344 posts Report Reply

  • Mike O'Connell,

    He dragged the term “New American Century” out of some fetid neocon cellar,

    Oh yes, the Project for the New American Century idea. One wonders if Trump is also creating space on his front bench for the likes of arch neocons like Richard Perle, head until 2003 of Dubya's Defense Policy Board during the launching of the so-called 'war on terror.'

    Perle once said the award-winning journalist Seymour Hersh was 'the closest thing American journalism has to a terrorist' (!) Perle got very touchy about Hersh investigating his dual role as chairman of the Defense Policy Board and as a partner for Trireme (which invests in homeland security and defence-related industries.) Various people interviewed by Hersh in his story Lunch with the Chairman, indicated that Perle would use his Pentagon connections to influence U.S. policy in return for Saudi investment backing.

    Scary stuff indeed if these kinds of individuals were to get back in the tent. God help us if he were to include the incorrigible pair of Douglas Feith or John Bolton.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 379 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    who’s the live band there? – sounds like The Commodores!

    You should've heard them yesterday – they played David Bowie's 'Station to Station'. No, really, they did.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Zach Bagnall,

    Paul Ryan recognizing and pitching to the evaporating middle class.

    Colorado • Since Nov 2006 • 120 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    Another anecdote here

    Having this morning read the New Yorker piece that Jason quoted, reading that Guardian piece is quite the mind-fuck, what with all the quotes from “The Art of the Deal” that are treated as being Trump’s own words.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    Also "denial and attack" has become the default approach for an awful lot of politicians

    Here in the UK, too. Our new unelected PM, when some MPs spoke up against the renewal of Trident in the debate yesterday, had this in response: “Sadly...some members of the Labour party, seem to be the first to defend the country’s enemies”.

    And 'it's all Jeremy Corbyn's fault" has become a cheap, cliched punchline very quickly.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Rich Lock,

    Here in the UK, too. Our new unelected PM, when some MPs spoke up against the renewal of Trident in the debate yesterday, had this in response: “Sadly...some members of the Labour party, seem to be the first to defend the country’s enemies”.

    Theresa May's remarks on nuclear strikes echo Ted Cruz wanting to find out "if sand can glow in the dark". She sounds even more hardline than Maggie Thatcher and David Cameron combined, and it's not just defence and foreign affairs.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5418 posts Report Reply

  • AndrewJ,

    Unfortunately the only journalist with the requisite skillset and drug capacity to even attempt to makes sense of the absolutely terrifying and surreal spectacle that is the RNC has been dead for more than a decade. RIP Hunter S

    Jakarta, Indonesia • Since Jun 2014 • 8 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    Attachment

    Berkeley Breathed is doing his best. My world became better when he started publishing again.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2930 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2930 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    I see a Trump aide has offered to resign over Melania's speech:

    "Over the phone, she read me some passages from Mrs. Obama's speech as examples. 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 I have caused Melania and the Trumps, as well as to Mrs. Obama. No harm was meant."
    She said the Trump family rejected her resignation, because, "Mr. Trump told me that people make innocent mistakes and that we learn and grow from these experiences."

    http://edition.cnn.com/2016/07/20/politics/trump-aide-offers-resignation-in-melania-trump-plagiarism-incident/index.html
    Which doesn't really explain how Melania then didn't recognise the same passages she'd read to the writer when they appeared in her speech prior to delivering it - they're not very good at excuses or cover-ups, which might be a good thing, but no Republican or Trump supporter seems to care anyway, which is even more worrying in the greater scheme of things...

    ...I think Melania's nom de guerre should be Echo

    Echo, by trying to protect Zeus, endured Hera's wrath, and Hera made her only able to speak the last few words spoken to her. So when Echo met Narcissus and fell in love with him, she was unable to tell him how she felt and was forced to watch him as he fell in love with himself.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7889 posts Report Reply

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