1. The Speech

If you missed Trump’s RNC acceptance speech last night, you can find the text of the speech here; but really, to get the whole effect, you need to watch the video—seventy-six minutes (that’s six minutes longer than Bill Clinton in 1996 and the longest convention speech in modern history) of an angry old man yelling about how terrible everything is and what a dystopian hellscape America has become and how Syrian refugees and Mexican immigrants are going to murder your children while Hillary Clinton watches and cheers.


Americans watching this address tonight have seen the recent images of violence in our streets and the chaos in our communities. Many have witnessed this violence personally, some have even been its victims.

I have a message for all of you: the crime and violence that today afflicts our nation will soon come to an end. Beginning on January 20th 2017, safety will be restored.

Mussolini would be so very proud.

Here’s The New York Times’s take:

Donald John Trump accepted the Republican presidential nomination on Thursday night with an unusually vehement appeal to Americans who feel that their country is spiraling out of control and yearn for a leader who will take aggressive, even extreme, actions to protect them.

And CNN’s:

It’s scary out there.

Donald Trump painted a foreboding picture Thursday of an America adrift as he accepted the Republican presidential nomination with a sober speech in Cleveland.

He invoked a nation imprisoned by its own rotten political establishment and clawing special interests, at risk from terrorists who could be disguised as Syrian refugees and stalked by tens of thousands of illegal immigrant criminals.

And The Washington Post:

Donald Trump painted a dire portrait of a lawless, terrorized nation as he accepted the Republican presidential nomination here Thursday night, delivering a sweeping indictment of a feckless political and corporate class that he argued was thrusting the United States into a perilouhttp://politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2016/jul/21/donald-trump/despite-new-adverb-trumps-claim-about-clinton-want/s decline.

Declaring that he alone has the leadership strength to secure the homeland and rejuvenate the economy, the billionaire real estate mogul offered himself as a “law and order” candidate and made a direct appeal to blue-collar Americans who have felt left behind in the 21st century.

“The forgotten men and women of our country — people who work hard but no longer have a voice: I am your voice,” Trump said in a long address to fired-up delegates on the closing night of the Republican National Convention.

As the late, great Molly Ivins once quipped about Pat Buchanan’s 1992 RNC speech: “It probably sounded better in the original German.”

True to form—and not that his fans care—Trump’s speech … let’s be generous … did not always rigorously adhere to the facts.

The dark portrait of America that Donald J. Trump sketched in his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention is a compendium of doomsday stats that fall apart upon close scrutiny. Numbers are taken out of context, data is manipulated, and sometimes the facts are wrong.

When facts are inconveniently positive — such as rising incomes and an unemployment rate under 5 percent — Trump simply declines to mention them. He describes an exceedingly violent nation, flooded with murders, when in reality, the violent-crime rate has been cut in half since the crack cocaine epidemic hit its peak in 1991.

In his speech, Trump promised to present “the plain facts that have been edited out of your nightly news and your morning newspaper.” But he relies on statistics that are ripe for manipulation, citing misleading numbers on the economy, for example, through selective use of years, data and sources.

To give just one example:


“The number of new illegal immigrant families who have crossed the border so far this year already exceeds the entire total from 2015. They are being released by the tens of thousands into our communities with no regard for the impact on public safety or resources.”

This is another cherry-picked number. In the fiscal year that began in October, 51,152 families have been apprehended at the southwest border through June, compared to 39,838 in fiscal year 2015, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. (There are three months left in the fiscal year.) But overall apprehensions, including unaccompanied minors, is running slightly higher than 2015 but is far less than 2014, 2013 and 2012.

There are Central American families arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border who are being allowed into the country pending review of their cases in immigration court. If they are being released it is because they have requested asylum or intend to because they are fleeing extreme violence, instability, and endemic poverty in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.

“Nearly 180,000 illegal immigrants with criminal records, ordered deported from our country, are tonight roaming free to threaten peaceful citizens.”

This number sounds worse than it really is. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in fiscal 2015 deported nearly 140,000 convicted criminals. ICE has estimated that there are 953,507 noncitizens with final orders who are still in the United States, of whom 182,786 have been convicted of crimes; 178,126 have not been detained.

The actual crimes committed by this group are not documented, so Trump cannot easily claim all of these illegal immigrants are threatening.

OK, one more fact-check:

We’ll have a lot more to say about this in next week’s paper, and I want to keep this short—early tomorrow morning, I’m heading to Philly for the Democratic convention.

Which brings us to the day’s second major story:

2. Clinton to (probably) decide on her VP.

Bad news, liberals: probably not Elizabeth Warren.

Senator Elizabeth Warren said that she hasn’t heard anything yet from the Clinton campaign about whether she’s going to be selected to be the Democrat’s vice presidential pick, a strong signal that she’s didn’t make the cut.

In the opening moments of Stephen Colbert’s “Late Show,” Colbert confronted Warren outside her “VIP” greenroom in a pre-recorded bit and asked whether she’d thought she was going to get the nod.

“Stephen, I think if it were me, I would know it by now,” Warren said. “So probably not. But look, she’s got lots of good choices and I’m excited about seeing who she’s going to pick.”

It’s probably Tim Kaine.

Democrats close to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign signaled strongly Thursday that she would choose Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia as her running mate, rounding out the ticket with a popular politician from a battleground state.

Both former President Bill Clinton and the White House have expressed their support for Mr. Kaine, but aides cautioned that Mrs. Clinton had not yet made a final decision and that other candidates were still under consideration.

With Mr. Kaine emerging as a clear favorite, one group already expressed disappointment at the prospect of the former governor of Virginia joining the ticket: liberals.

Many of the groups that backed Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont in his Democratic contest against Mrs. Clinton had hoped she would extend an olive branch to the liberal wing of the party and choose a vice-presidential candidate whose stances on Wall Street and global trade deals closely aligned with those of Mr. Sanders. …

Liberals say they are concerned about Mr. Kaine’s positions on global trade deals and Wall Street regulation. He has been an outspoken advocate of free trade and has defended the North American Free Trade Agreement, which many voters in Rust Belt states blame for the loss of manufacturing jobs to Mexico. He voted in support of “fast track” authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a 12-nation trade pact that President Obama has championed.

Not a done deal yet: Labor Secretary Tom Perez, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, and Senator Cory Booker are all said to be in the mix, too. But doesn’t Kaine just feel like the kind of guy Clinton would pick? We’ll find out sometime in the next forty-eight hours.

3. The NBA pulls the All-Star Game.

The dumpster fire that is HB 2 rages on:

The NBA announced late Thursday afternoon that it is moving the 2017 All-Star Weekend out of Charlotte, in reaction to concerns with the North Carolina law known as House Bill 2.

The NBA statement indicated the league is hopeful of awarding the 2019 All-Star Weekend to Charlotte. The NBA has not yet decided which city gets the 2017 All-Star Game. The statement indicated that decision would come in the next few weeks.

“Since March, when North Carolina enacted HB2 and the issue of legal protections for the LGBT community in Charlotte became prominent, the NBA and the Charlotte Hornets have been working diligently to foster constructive dialogue and try to effect positive change,” the NBA’s statement read.

“We have been guided in these discussions by the long-standing core values of our league. These include not only diversity, inclusion, fairness and respect for others but also the willingness to listen and consider opposing points of view.”

The All-Star Weekend would have been the largest event in Charlotte since the Democratic National Convention in 2012. Tourism experts estimated the event could have had as much as $100 million in economic impact in the Charlotte region, with tens of thousands of out-of-town visitors filling hotel rooms and restaurants.

And here’s Governor McCrory’s statement:

The sports and entertainment elite, Attorney General Roy Cooper and the liberal media have for months misrepresented our laws and maligned the people of North Carolina simply because most people believe boys and girls should be able to use school bathrooms, locker rooms and showers without the opposite sex present. Twenty-one other states have joined North Carolina to challenge the federal overreach by the Obama administration mandating their bathroom policies in all businesses and schools instead of allowing accommodations for unique circumstances. Left-wing special interest groups have no moral authority to try and intimidate the large majority of American parents who agree in common-sense bathroom and shower privacy for our children. American families should be on notice that the selective corporate elite are imposing their political will on communities in which they do business, thus bypassing the democratic and legal process.

This mess is everyone else’s fault and the liberals are the ones really doing the bullying. Weird world that guy lives in.

4. Black Lives Matter protesters block traffic in Durham.

Hundreds of demonstrators in a ‘Black Lives Matter’ protest Thursday afternoon blocked Duke Street around 6:30 p.m. in Durham.

The group said it is protesting recent police-involved shootings in the United States. Protest organizers said in a press release that they are demanding “divestment from the police, and oppose the building of a new $71 million police headquarters in Durham.”

Also, props to the Durham cops on this:

Organizers told WRAL News that the group did not have a permit to be on the street. No arrests have been made.

“The Durham Police Department respects and supports the privileges of individuals to exercise their First Amendment rights through peaceful protests,” said a Durham Police Department spokesman. “We will continue to monitor these gatherings to ensure the safety and welfare of the participants and others that may be impacted.”

That’s all for this week, folks. Enjoy your very hot weekend.