Some things you just have to see to believe. Like, for instance, Flint's lead-contaminated drinking water that's spurred President Obama to declare a state of emergency, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder to mobilize the National Guard, and Congress to schedule a hearing. Take a look. Becca Stanek
— Flint Water Study (@flintwaterstudy) October 16, 2015
Obama OKs FEMA disaster relief for Flint, Michigan, to help deal with lead in its water supply. https://t.co/9q2baT1PFN
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) January 16, 2016
— Flint Water Study (@flintwaterstudy) August 26, 2015
— Michael Mechanic (@MichaelMechanic) January 21, 2016
On Tuesday, Hillary Clinton became the first woman nominated for president by a major American political party — "and I'm being told, yes, the Democrats are still considered a major political party," Stephen Colbert said in his live, post-convention Late Show recap. "They had a rough week." Clinton appeared live via satellite at the convention "by breaking the glass, um, wall?" Colbert said. "Oh, so close to the proper metaphor. Jimmy, let's help her out here, let's break the glass ceiling." And they did. "This means Hillary Clinton could be the first female president, and America will finally catch up with 1960s Sri Lanka," he added.
Colbert finished up his recap with a pep talk for Bernie Sanders supporters, then made fun of macaroni and cheese, chided Howard Dean for not actually screaming, and took a slightly ribald look at "potential first ladies' man" Bill Clinton's big speech in support of his wife.
Sen. Cory Booker, speaking to Colbert live from the convention floor, liked Clinton's speech, and was enthusiastic about breaking a glass ceiling. "I think it's particularly significant, it's a real breakthrough that two men can talk about how significant this is for women right now," Colbert said. "I think we've come a long way." In the video below, you can watch Booker discuss getting booed on Monday night and hear his argument that the Sanders revolution makes the Democrats better. Peter Weber
Some Bernie Sanders supporters put tape over their mouths at the Democratic National Convention, signaling their assertion that their voices weren't heard by the Democratic Party, or that the organizers of the convention were silencing them. Sanders super-fan Sarah Silverman was actually silenced, sort of, when the convention organizers quashed one of her proposed jokes at Monday night's convention, she told The New York Times:
At the very beginning, when Al said, "I'm Al Franken and this past year I've been hashtag-I'm With Her," and I was going to say, "And I'm Sarah Silverman, and this past year I've been with the possibly agnostic Jew." Because you know the Right is going to use these emails to try to separate them. It's what they want so badly. I just felt like, let the comedian defuse it and just address the elephant in the room. But they were like, no. And they are right. They're right. But I get so indignant. At least I'm aware, and awareness brings change so maybe I'll be less obnoxious. [Sarah Silverman, to The New York Times]
Instead of referencing the hacked and leaked Democratic National Committee emails, Silverman said that "this past year, I've been feeling the Bern," adding: "Relax, I put some cream on it." She told The Times on Tuesday that Jane Sanders had personally invited her to speak at the convention, that she had voted for Ralph Nader in 2000 but she'd "be crazy not to" vote for Clinton this year, and that "the fundamentalists of any group, including fans of Bernie or fans of Hillary or fans of anyone, are a bummer." You can read her full interview at The New York Times, and watch her convention speech below. Peter Weber
Donald Trump wants you to know his GOP convention was 'far more interesting,' 'much more beautiful' than Hillary's
Through design or happenstance, Donald Trump was the biggest celebrity at last week's Republican National Convention (sorry, Scott Baio). By the end of Tuesday's Democratic National Convention, Hillary Clinton's party had already showcased prime-time performances by Paul Simon, Alicia Keys, Demi Lovato, Andra Day, and Elizabeth Bank's all-star ad hoc a cappella group, and speeches from Meryl Streep, Lovato, Lena Dunham and America Ferrera, Sarah Silverman, and Debra Messing — not to mention political stars like Bernie Sanders, Al Franken, Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, first lady Michelle Obama, and former president Bill Clinton. Trump was remorsefully unimpressed with the star power:
I hate to say it, but the Republican Convention was far more interesting (with a much more beautiful set) than the Democratic Convention!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 27, 2016
The numbers aren't in yet for Night 2 of the Democratic convention, but Trump may be a little peeved that on Monday, the Democrats pulled in millions of more viewers than tuned in for Night 1 of the Republican National Convention. As for set design, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but you can't say that the Democrats weren't at least inspired by Trump's aesthetic. Peter Weber
Youree Dell Harris, best known for portraying the Jamaican psychic Miss Cleo in late-1990s infomercials, died in Palm Beach, Florida, of cancer. She was 53.
— Variety (@Variety) July 27, 2016
Born in Los Angles, Harris was hired by the Psychic Readers Network in the late 1990s to play Miss Cleo. The infomercials featured her catchphrase "Call me now!" and claimed the readings were free. In fact, the Federal Trade Commission said, the toll-free number clients called was actually a 900 number, and they were charged $4.99 a minute; nearly six million people were charged on average $60 per call. The parent company of the Psychic Readers Network reached a settlement with customers in 2002, and with the Miss Cleo character retired, Harris went on to provide the voice for a character in the video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.
After Harris came out as a lesbian, she became a gay rights activist, and she also appeared in the 2014 documentary Hotline. "She was smart as a whip and very intuitive," Tony Shaff, the film's producer, told USA Today. "There was so much negativity surrounding psychic hotlines that she wanted to tell her personal story." Catherine Garcia
On Tuesday, Democrats made history by officially nominating Hillary Clinton as the first female presidential standard bearer of a major American political party. "A hundred years from now, our grandchildren will look back on this day and say, 'Why weren't you more excited? What's wrong with you people?'" Stephen Colbert said on his post-Democratic convention Late Show. Maybe it's because even after 25 years in the public spotlight, we don't really know Hillary Clinton, he suggested, then took Bill Clinton's comment about Republicans "making a cartoon" of Hillary literally, introducing Cartoon Hillary Clinton.
"Thank you for being here, Secretary Cartoon Clinton, and congratulations on your historic achievement tonight," Colbert said. At least on her first night, Cartoon Clinton was less entertaining than Colbert's Cartoon Donald Trump, and that's really the joke. She dodged questions with platitudes and robotic gestures and jokes, and also played a harmonica version of "Low Rider." When Colbert asked about the Democratic National Committee email hack, Cartoon Clinton assured him, "Stephen, Bernie Sanders is a great friend, and has been for days now." Watch Colbert's much less momentous first for Hillary Clinton below. Peter Weber
In his new Late Night segment, "Hey!" (spoken in a stern dad voice), Seth Meyers admonished members of the Bernie or Bust movement, letting them know that "the house is on fire," and they need to "stop crying because we're not putting it out with your hose."
When he tuned into the Democratic National Convention on Monday night, "there was more white booing than the Casper movie," Meyers said. "I know you're Bernie or Bust, but the results are in. Bust won." It may seem like the right time to throw a tantrum, but with Donald Trump as the Republican nominee, "we're on the cusp of electing a racist demagogue," Meyers said. "That never ends well. I don't know what class you ditched to go to those Bernie rallies, but I have a feeling it was history."
While some Sanders supporters might not be friends with anyone voting for Trump, "the crazy uncle you only see at Thanksgiving" is, Meyers warns, and "it's about to be Thanksgiving all day, every day." Although he did loosen up enough to tell Sanders fans they should "be proud" of what they did to change the Democratic Party, Meyers really, really just wants the Bernie or Bust crowd to simmer down. Watch the video below. Catherine Garcia
Bill Clinton mysteriously glossed over the last years of his presidency during Hillary convention speech
In his long, effusive speech on why Americans should elect Hillary Clinton as America's 45th president, former President Bill Clinton talked a lot about his wife's qualifications and what he has learned from her and about her in their 45 years together. He talked about their courtship, their wedding, Hillary's water breaking at daughter Chelsea's birth, her various jobs on commissions, and her stints as a U.S. senator and secretary of state. He did not mention anything between 1997 and 1999, when Clinton was approached about running for an open Senate seat.
Now, Clinton also skipped the late 1980s, and maybe Hillary was busy adjusting to life as an empty-nester after Chelsea left for college. But the last few years of Bill's presidency were hardly uneventful. Twitter was coy:
Bill Clinton just went from 1997 to 2000. Moving right along...
— Karen Travers (@karentravers) July 27, 2016
"So the '90s, yada yada yada, anyway come the year 2000..."
— James Poniewozik (@poniewozik) July 27, 2016
— Kerry Coil (@bugeaters1995) July 27, 2016
Cable news talking heads were more explicit, and The Atlantic's Ron Fournier forewent the niceties. In an otherwise "uneven but effective" speech, he writes, Bill Clinton "left one big hole in the retelling of his family story: the pain he caused his wife by cheating on her with a White House intern, an affair the became public in a most humiliating way." Yes, oddly, in talking about how wonderful is wife is, Bill Clinton left out Monica Lewinsky. Of course, Twitter is never of one mind on anything, and there was a clear "there's a time and place" sentiment as well.
Talk about his faults instead of her accomplishments and publicly relitigate a private matter 18 years later? Nah https://t.co/oaxhTGAAk4
— Clara Jeffery (@ClaraJeffery) July 27, 2016
@jamisonfoser Nobody said Trump should talk about his infidelity at his convention, right?
— Amy Fried (@ASFried) July 27, 2016
or DONALD TRUMP, who PUBLICLY cheated on first 2 wives and boasted of it to any tabloid that would pick up the phone https://t.co/eSXINqxKh3
— Christopher Orr (@OrrChris) July 27, 2016
It is going to be a long few months until the election. Peter Weber