Lessons from the DNC: Ronald Reagan, the Southern Strategy, and "abnormal politics"

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John Scalzi makes a very good case that the DNC's major message is that "this year is not about Democrat versus Republican, or conservative versus liberal, it’s about normal versus highly fucking abnormal" -- but Corey Robin persuasively argues that abnormality has been normal for a long time in the GOP: "the rational, prudential conservatives [Democrats] think they know [in the GOP] are in fact ultra-revanchist songstresses of domination and violence." Read the rest

Vic Berger Election Special with Tim Heidecker: The Conventions

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Vic Berger and Tim Heidecker’s epic RNC special is terrifying and hilarious.

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Jon Stewart and Colbert team up for one more Daily Show special on the RNC

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I don't think Stewart's ever been in finer form, and his "I've been living in a cave"/Transmet schtick plays well with Colbert's own persona. Read the rest

Clay Shirky to white liberals: Trump could win, so here's what you have to do

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In an epic Twitter tear, Clay Shirky addresses white liberals who are horrified by the rise of Trump and reminds them that "Trump IS the voice of angry whites. He wasn't on stage because he has unusual views. He was on stage because he has the usual ones, loudly." Read the rest

Laurie Penny on hanging out with Milo Yiannopoulos and the gay trolls of the RNC

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Laurie Penny, "a radical queer feminist leftist writer burdened with actual principles," has a weird frenemy relationship with trolling, racist, alt-right opportunist Milo Yiannopoulos, who was just permanently banned from Twitter for orchestrating a racist harassment campaign against Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones. Read the rest

GOP platform: repeal campaign finance laws, allow unlimited dark/offshore money in US politics

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The newly adopted campaign finance reform section of the GOP platform for the 2016 election calls for "raising or repealing contribution limits" for private individuals and demands an end to "requiring private organizations to publicly disclose their donors to the government," which means that the identity of PAC financiers will be completely secret, opening up offshore financing of US political candidates; finally, the platform condemns "forced funding of political candidates," meaning public election financing. Read the rest

Trump Tracts: Subgenius-inflected mini-comics about Trump in the style of Jack Chick tracts

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Ethan Persoff is releasing a new "Trump Tract" every day during the RNC, and he encourages you to print out stacks of them and leave them around Cleveland during the convention, "at a coffee shop, or in the bathroom at a $30,000/plate dinner, or hand-distributing these out in public." Read the rest

Prophets of Rage play Cleveland RNC, kick off 'Make America Rage Again' tour in 35 U.S. cities

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The Republican National Convention will have an unwelcome soundtrack this week from activist supergroup Prophets of Rage.

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'Classic intimidation'—Black Lives Matter activists targeted by FBI ahead of RNC

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The Republican National Convention kicks off this Sunday in Cleveland, Ohio. Most of the highest-profile activists associated with the Black Lives Matter movement are not planning to attend, but that didn't stop FBI agents from contacting them by phone, and showing up at their homes to interrogate them and their grandmothers.

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Cleveland: "First Amendment zones" will fence protesters far away from RNC

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The city of Cleveland has revealed its crowd control plan for next month's Republican National Convention, a heavily policed, fenced off 3.3 square-mile "event zone" -- the size of Baghdad's Green Zone -- with fenced-off protest areas far from the convention itself. Read the rest

Washington Post calls for "blackout" on Trump coverage, appeals to RNC

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Donald Trump's butt-hurt, thin-skinned response to the Washington Post's basic, journalistic skepticism about his Obama-conspires-with-terrorists was to yank the paper's media credentials, adding them to the growing pool of media that is barred from Trump events, which includes "Politico, Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, Gawker, Foreign Policy, Fusion, Univision, Mother Jones, the New Hampshire Union Leader, the Des Moines Register and the Daily Beast" -- as well as any previously accredited news outlet that Trump doesn't feel like admitting on any given day. Read the rest

Watch the watchers with this homebrew map of surveillance cams in Tampa at RNC convention

Tampa, Florida web developer Jon Gales mapped the city's new network of downtown surveillence cameras installed for the Republican convention, to empower fellow citizens to become aware of the encroaching surveillance society. City authorities have not responded to his queries about what will happen to the cameras once the convention ends.

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