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Pres. Obama makes a full-throated endorsement for Hillary Clinton at the DNC

Embed from Getty Images President Barack Obama is probably the most popular politician in America right now. I don’t even think the residual love for Bill Clinton comes close. Obama’s last year in office has been bittersweet, of course, and we would be in such a different place if only Obama was running for a third term. That’s what I was thinking about last night… I wish this race was Obama vs. Trump. Because Obama would slay. On Day 3 of the DNC, the party brought out their heavy-hitters. It was a really great three-hour block of television, actually. First Biden, then Bloomberg, then Tim Kaine, then Obama. I’m not going to say that Obama gave his best speech ever, but this speech was easily in the Top Five. It was partly a farewell speech (SOB), partly a full-throated endorsement of Hillary Clinton and partly a takedown of Donald Trump. Obama balanced those three subjects brilliantly and, again, kudos to the speechwriters last night. I was genuinely surprised when Hillary Clinton came out at the end too. The biggest moment was when Obama said Hillary Clinton was the most qualified person to ever run for president: “You know, nothing truly prepares you for the demands of the oval office. You can read about it, you can study it, but until you’ve sat at that desk, you don’t know what it’s like to manage a global crisis or send young people to war. But Hillary’s been in the room. She’s been part of those decisions. She knows what’s at stake in the decisions our government makes, what’s at stake for the working family for the senior citizen or the small business owner, for the soldier, for the veteran. And even in the midst of crisis, she listens to people and she keeps her cool and she treats everybody with respect. And no matter how daunting the odds, no matter how much people try to knock her down, she never, ever quits. That is the Hillary I know. That’s the Hillary I’ve come to admire, and that’s why I can say with confidence there has never been a man or a woman, not me, not Bill Clinton, nobody, more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as president of the United States… I hope you don’t mind, Bill, but I was just telling the truth, man.” [Via E! News] Because the Republican National Convention last week was so ceaselessly negative and pessimistic, the Democrats were able to take over the optimism franchise. Obama’s speech last night is being called Reagan-esque, because not only did he name-check Reagan, but he honestly borrowed the shiny-eyed Reagan-esque optimism of American pride. Now, all that being said… I still think Michelle Obama’s speech on Day 1 was probably the best speech of the convention! Take about five paragraphs out of that Obama speech and it could have been a Reagan speech. Trust me. I know. — John Podhoretz (@jpodhoretz) July 28, 2016 Embed from Getty Images Photos courtesy of Getty.

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Melania Trump’s speechwriter falls on her sword for plagiarized RNC speech

Early Tuesday morning, some Trump campaign staffer had a full-fledged meltdown on MSNBC and threw a hissy fit about how Melania Trump’s plagiarized RNC speech was barely a one-day story. Not so much. Like so many scandals these days, the scandal absolutely could have been minimized into a one-day story if someone had simply stepped up in the first hours and said, “You know what, this was a bad move. We apologize, our bad.” It became a week-long story because the Trump campaign and other Republicans (Trump surrogates, mostly) couldn’t get their f—king stories straight. No one could come up with a plausible lie or, failing that, no one could properly sort out the blame for the plagiarism. I hope people are watching, because THIS is how Trump handles a minor crisis. Imagine how he would handle an actual crisis. Anyway, we now know who was responsible for the plagiarized text in Melania’s RNC speech. The first reports came out in the NYT on Wednesday morning, and by Wednesday afternoon, the story was confirmed: THE BALLERINA DID IT. I’m not joking. At first, Melania’s RNC speech was written by two long-time Republican speechwriters, Matthew Scully and John McConnell. It seems that Melania didn’t like the speech they wrote, so she approached one of her husband’s ghostwriters, a former ballerina-turned-ghostwriter named Meredith McIver. McIver largely discarded the first draft and she worked with Melania to make a more tailored speech. McIver came forward with a personal written statement distributed by the Trump campaign: My name is Meredith McIver and I’m an in-house staff writer at the Trump Organization. I am also a longtime friend and admirer of the Trump family. In working with Melania on her recent first lady speech, we discussed many people who inspired her and messages she wanted to share with the American people. A person she has always liked is Michelle Obama. 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.” Yesterday, I offered my resignation to Mr. Trump and the Trump family but they rejected it. Mr. Trump told me that people make innocent mistakes and we learn and grow from these experiences.” I asked to put out the statement because I did not like seeing the way this was distracting from Mr. Trump’s historic campaign for president and Melania’s beautiful message and presentation. I apologize for the confusion and hysteria my mistake has caused. Today, more than ever, I am honored to work for such a great family.” [Via The NYT] Once again, it sort of feels like the campaign is throwing Melania under the bus. The Trump Org. just distributed a statement saying that Melania was the one studying Michelle Obama’s speeches and telling her speechwriter which passages she wanted to copy! I can see how this is an honest mistake between Melania and Meredith, but there’s a larger problem: that no one in Trump’s campaign looked at Melania’s speech before she gave it, and no one thought to double-check it. Disorganized. Chaotic. Shambolic. Unprofessional. These are just some of the words that come to mind when thinking about this Republic National Convention. Photos courtesy of WENN.

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Caitlyn Jenner: The GOP is our best hope at getting a ‘constitutional government’

We have to provide a safe environment for the generations ahead! Huge thank you to @americanunityfund and @m_hoov for inviting me to their #bigtentbrunch at #RNCinCLE. We need to keep having these conversations #trans #lgbt #republican A photo posted by Caitlyn Jenner (@caitlynjenner) on Jul 20, 2016 at 9:30am PDT Caitlyn Jenner attended events adjacent to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this week. She announced that she would be going to Cleveland ahead of time, almost as if she was hoping for a speaking slot at the RNC. Which isn’t going to happen on Mike Pence’s watch, you know. So Caitlyn just had to be RNC-adjacent at an American Unity Fund Q&A session, where she talked about her long-standing love of all things Republican, even though the GOP would much rather refer to her as Bruce and discriminate against every part of her life. Some assorted quotes from Cait’s Q&A session. Coming out as Republican: “It was easy to come out as trans. It was hard to come out as Republican.” She’s a Republican because her dad serves in the military: “And if my dad knew what was going on in this country when he fought so hard, I think he’d be very disappointed. Because of that, I feel like our best hope to get back to a constitutional government… is a Republican Party… I’m not giving up on this country. I’m not giving up on this constitution. I want jobs for everybody.” North Carolina’s bathroom laws: “I haven’t used a men’s room in a year and a half. I follow the rules. I never flush a feminine product down the toilet.” How she came out to her kids: “God said, ‘Let’s give this one the soul of a female and see how he does.’” Changing hearts & minds: “I think the Republican Party needs to understand. They need to know people who are trans.” What she wants to tell Trump: “I would tell Donald that there are people out there that have been marginalized for so many years… It’s about the next generation coming up. We have to provide a safe environment for them.” [From USA Today] I know Caitlyn is a Republican because of the way she talks about why she’s a Republican. It’s the same vague, illogical, superficial, uninformed way that many die-hard Trump voters talk about why they’re voting for Trump. Because “freedom” and “my dad was in the military” and “making America great” and “the Constitution or whatever” and “you know, like, freedom.” In what way was George W. Bush’s administration MORE of a “constitutional government” than Barack Obama’s administration? Do Republicans believe that no active-duty military personnel or veteran has voted Democrat, ever? Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet, Twitter.

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Bastille Day Attack: Truck Crashes Into Crowd in France, 75 Killed

Horrifying news out of France today: At least 75 people were killed late when a man driving a large truck drove into a large crowd in Nice that had gathered to celebrate Bastille Day. According to The Associated Press, via a witness who was on hand for the heinous act, a driver plowed directly into a throng of citizens prior to getting out of the vehicle with a gun, firing away in all directions. The culprit was shot to death, authorities have confirmed.  At least 100 people were injured in the slaughter, the same authorities have also said. “There was carnage on the road,” Wassim Bouhlel, a Nice native, told The Associated Press. “Bodies everywhere.”  Another individual who was present told Fox News that cops did, indeed, shoot and kill the gunman; his name has not yet been released. Various photos, meanwhile, depict police trucks riddled with bullets, a result of a gunfight between the suspect and police. CNN reports that the tractor-trailer drove for two kilometers along the pavement of the Boulevard des Anglais, the main street in Nice, taking out pedestrians along the way. Regional President Christian Estrosi says police discovered firearms, explosives and grenades in the truck after the shooter was taken out. “This is the worst tragedy in the history of Nice with more than 70 victims already reported,” Estrosi Tweeted this evening. Another person on the scene told the Telegraph that the area was “absolute chaos” and that there were cops “flooding the streets, including anti-terrorism officers.” And then there was a local reporter who also spoke to The Telegraph, stating the following: “People ran, there was panic. He drove onto the promenade and plowed into the crowd. There is a huge amount of blood and without doubt a lot of people have been hurt.” Awful, scary, incomprehensible stuff. Bastille Day marks the storming of the Bastille in 1789. It is a bank holiday in France, with restaurants and hotels especially crowded with revelers. Soon after news of the tragedy went public, President Barack Obama issued a statement condemning the attack, saying: “We stand in solidarity and partnership with France, our oldest ally, as they respond to and recover from this attack.” We’ll update this sad story as more news breaks. Our hearts go out to the families and loved ones of the victims.

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“Caitlyn Jenner will attend a LGBT event adjacent to the GOP convention” links

Caitlyn Jenner is going to Republican LGBT event adjacent to the Republican convention in Cleveland this month. [Dlisted] Lin-Manuel Miranda cut his hair after his last Hamilton performance. [Wonderwall] Does Sienna Miller have a new boyfriend, director Bennett Miller? [LaineyGossip] I almost kept HBO to watch The Night Of. Would it have been worth it? [Pajiba] Paris Hilton looks like Donald Trump is her stylist. [Go Fug Yourself] Pres. Obama & Pres. George W. Bush will speak in Dallas. [Jezebel] Did Khloe Kardashian kick Lamar Odom out of his house? [Starcasm] Jessica Biel still has a great booty. [Popoholic] Lisa Vanderpump is getting into the dog rescue business. [Reality Tea] Ghostbusters toys aren’t selling? [The Blemish] The Beckhams celebrated Harper’s fifth birthday. [Buzzfeed]

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Michelle Obama in a $1950 Delpozo dress in Madrid: overpriced, fug or cute?

Since yesterday’s Michelle Obama fashion post was so popular, I thought you guys might enjoy another one. As I said yesterday, MObama arrived in Spain this week with her mom and her two daughters. The ladies were on a tour to support the Let Girls Learn initiative. They got a great reception in Spain, and Spain’s Queen Letizia came out to support Let Girls Learn and the Obamas. After Letizia and Michelle both made speeches, they did a photo-op stroll at Zarzuela Palace, where they were having lunch. It was a nice moment, especially because Letizia is a fashion-plate like Michelle, and because Letizia seems looser and more comfortable around FLOTUS. Letizia often comes across as rather pinched, you know? But she seemed relaxed around Michelle. I imagine most people feel relaxed around Michelle, she just seems like a nice person. Even Queen Elizabeth felt comfortable enough to put her arm around MObama. But we need to talk about the fashion! Because Michelle’s dress is bad. And overpriced. Why can’t I stop comparing Michelle to the Middleton women? Earlier this week, Michelle almost had a Middleton-esque Marilyn Moment coming off the plane. And now Michelle is acting Middleton-esque by spending WAY too much on ugly dresses. Many of you though Pippa Middleton’s little summer dress should have cost $60 instead of $1800. So what do you think about Michelle terrible Delpozo dress, which costs $1950? WAY TOO MUCH. First off, it’s just not a good dress. It makes Michelle look thick-waisted, which she isn’t at all. The empire waist is just awkward, the “wings” at the back are terrible and basically this doesn’t look like it should cost more than $100-150. If that. That being said, Delpozo is a Spanish label, and I’m sure Michelle was just trying to honor her host country. Letizia’s dress was Nina Ricci by the way. It’s a really simple and flattering look, I think. Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet and Pacific Coast News.

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Debra Messing apologizes for gun safety selfie at time of UCLA shooting

Debra Messing is involved with the same charity for gun safety and awareness which Julianne Moore supports: Everytown for Gun Safety. The way Moore has explained it, Everytown has some very practical solutions to control access to guns, namely running background checks and closing the loopholes which exist for gun shows and online sales. Incidentally Obama issued an executive order earlier this year to accomplish this, but without the support of the legislative branch it will be hard to effect change. Hopefully we can see some of these changes under President Clinton. (Yes I’m an optimist on several fronts.) Wednesday there was a tragic shooting at UCLA, which ended up being a murder suicide in which a man from Minnesota murdered his former engineering professor, William S. Klug. The latest in that terrible case is that the shooter also murdered his estranged wife in Minnesota before driving to Los Angeles, where he intended to kill Klug and another professor, who was not harmed. It was yet another senseless shooting which organizations like Everytown hope to prevent. Messing was taking part in a pre-planned awareness day for gun safety, and so instead of putting it off or just tweeting support for the victims at UCLA, she decided to incorporate the shootings into her selfie, and the result was… not good. She posted a photo of herself in a gun control T-shirt and tweeted that she was watching the shooting on TV. (She’s since deleted the tweet but the NY Daily News had it.) Yes that came across as self absorbed. At least she didn’t use a bunch of hashtags though, props for that. Many people started calling her out for it and the good news is that she apologized. Here’s her apology. I would assume that someone else wrote it for her, judging by her tweets. PLEASE READ: pic.twitter.com/LccmvPpOcn — Debra Messing (@DebraMessing) June 1, 2016 If that was the case why didn’t Messing just tweet a simple message that she was saddened by events at UCLA, that she hopes everyone is safe and her thoughts go out to the families and loved ones? Instead she made it about herself and it was tone deaf, but it does make sense in context. Just before posting her full apology, Messing posted a series of tweets explaining herself, stating “The pix was being taken just AS the news broke. I thought the horrendous irony of the timing shown [sic] a brighter light in the crisis and need for all of us to do something together to make the US safer. Sorry if it was misconstrued and caused offense. That’s the last thing I want to do.” As far as celebrity apologies go, her full apology is a decent one. I wish celebrities wouldn’t use the “sorry you misunderstood/sorry you were offended” line. She should have just said “I messed up, this was dumb and I acted in the heat of the moment,” but she explained the circumstances and it wasn’t bad. photos credit: WENN.com