Your Morning Cup of Links

What is American cheese, anyway?

Perfect. It’s just so perfect.

A multi-level marketer who peddles pseudoscience—and whose product is endorsed by America’s leading conspiracy theorist—is scheduled to speak in a primetime slot Wednesday at the Republican National Convention.
Michelle Van Etten was presented by the RNC in a Sunday evening press release as a “small business owner” who “employs over 100,000 people.” That’s roughly 1.5 times the number of employees Apple employs in the United States, making it a highly unlikely claim. For such a supposedly large employer, she has flown under the radar—until the announcement of her speech at the convention, there was no record of her business work in the press.
Van Etten is involved in selling products that claim to improve health and even fight cancer, all based on dubious science. And as you peel the story back, every single layer is fascinating: there’s Alex Jones hysteria, pyramid-scheme-style marketing, and questionable Clemson University research.

Jesus. Fucking. Christ. This man cannot be president.

Donald J. Trump, on the eve of accepting the Republican nomination for president, explicitly raised new questions on Wednesday about his commitment to automatically defending NATO allies if they are attacked, saying he would first look at their contributions to the alliance. Asked about Russia’s threatening activities, which have unnerved the small Baltic States that are among the more recent entrants into NATO, Mr. Trump said that if Russia attacked them, he would decide whether to come to their aid only after reviewing if those nations have “fulfilled their obligations to us.”

Mr. Trump’s statement appeared to be the first time that a major candidate for president had suggested conditioning the United States’ defense of its major allies. It was consistent, however, with his previous threat to withdraw American forces from Europe and Asia if those allies fail to pay more for American protection.

Mr. Trump also said he would not pressure Turkey or other authoritarian allies about conducting purges of their political adversaries or cracking down on civil liberties. The United States, he said, has to “fix our own mess” before trying to alter the behavior of other nations. “I don’t think we have a right to lecture,” Mr. Trump said in a wide-ranging interview in his suite in a downtown hotel here, while keeping an eye on television broadcasts from the Republican National Convention. “Look at what is happening in our country,” he said. “How are we going to lecture when people are shooting policemen in cold blood?”

Mr. Trump had nothing but praise for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the country’s increasingly authoritarian but democratically elected leader. “I give great credit to him for being able to turn that around,” Mr. Trump said of the coup attempt on Friday night. “Some people say that it was staged, you know that,” he said. “I don’t think so.”

Asked if Mr. Erdogan was exploiting the coup attempt to purge his political enemies, Mr. Trump did not call for the Turkish leader to observe the rule of law, or Western standards of justice. “When the world sees how bad the United States is and we start talking about civil liberties, I don’t think we are a very good messenger,” he said.

Every Trumpkin I know would be having a goddamn meltdown if Obama had said that last line. That argument – that America is too immoral to promote human rights – is a carbon copy of Cold War Soviet propaganda, by the way.

The taverns of the American Revolution

“Political liberty under the rule of law is a fragile condition, and it requires us to be better than this.”

Swiss seize Monet, van Gogh works amid US probe of fund 1MDB


Revisiting the Great Hound Match of 1905

“‘Vote Your Conscience’ Was A Rorschach Test, And Donald Trump’s Campaign Failed” Yep. The constant mind-numbing incompetence is just stunning.

It didn’t have to be a complete disaster. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) didn’t say a negative thing about Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in Cleveland on Wednesday night. A savvy, disciplined campaign could have used the three words from Cruz that set off a political firestorm — “vote your conscience” — to the campaign’s advantage.

The only sensible Trump response to “vote your conscience” and “vote for freedom and candidates with principles” was to thank Cruz for the rousing speech and his commitment to conservative principles. Praise him for his defense of freedom, and then turn his call to “vote your conscience” into an endorsement of Trump’s agenda. After all, there’s only one candidate in the race who wants to put America first, there’s only one candidate who wants to keep America safe, there’s only one candidate who has what it takes to Make America Great Again. If you believe in restoring American greatness, then your conscience can only tell you one thing: vote Trump. If you believe in restoring the values that made America the greatest in nation in history, then your conscience can only tell you one thing: vote Trump. If you believe that strong leadership and a commitment to the American people are what’s required to keep this country strong, then your conscience can only tell you one thing: vote Trump.

That’s all Trump’s team had to do. They had hours (an eternity in campaign time), if not days, to prepare for it. They could’ve flooded the zone with surrogates pushing that message. They could’ve worked it into Gingrich’s and Pence’s speeches…The Trump campaign could’ve mitigated the damage. Trump and his campaign staff might’ve even been able to turn the liability Cruz created into a small asset for the campaign. But they didn’t. Instead of biting their tongues, they took the bait. Two billion dollars in free media can buy a major political party’s presidential nomination, but it unfortunately can’t buy a campaign a lick of discipline or common sense.

I can’t even

“I Made a Shipwreck Expert Watch The Little Mermaid And Judge Its Nautical Merits”


“So while this nominating convention is a spectacle with plenty to laugh at, in reality, it is a tragedy. It exposes a systemic failure at every level of our society.”

A Viking ship that set sail for the Great Lakes is getting conquered by U.S. regulations

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Filed under History, Politics, Uncategorized, Unusually Stupid Primates

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