A Joe Welch moment?; history of “Gold Star” families; GOP convention makes history; buying infamous murder weapons; “ladies & gentlemen, we have rock-n-roll”


So back in the 1940s and early 1950s, the Republicans tolerated Joe McCarthy’s demagoguery until it became clear that he could not be controlled, and especially after army attorney Joseph Welch’s passionate and famous take down of him on live TV with one simple but powerful question. Trump is now behind in the polls again, and if those numbers keep getting worse for him, will historians look back on Khizr Khan’s DNC speech as Trump’s Joe Welch moment? If that turns out to be true, how beautifully karmic will it be that it came at the hands of muslim immigrants?

Because of Khan, we have heard much about “Gold Star” families in the last few days. I think we all know what the phrase means, and where it comes from, but what is the history behind it? Time has a good short piece on it. 

For much of the campaign we speculated as to whether the GOP convention was going to make history by being brokered, or have a riot, or both, or worse. Well it seems it did make history, but for none of those reasons (thank goodness there was no violence). Turns out that it is the first time in history that the Gallup Poll has shown that a convention caused a majority of people to be less likely to vote for a candidate after the convention than they were before. So much for his touting of his huge viewership numbers.

Trump has had a bad few days (but let’s keep in mind how many bad days his poll numbers have recovered from before we get too excited), so it looks like he is already starting to try and explain away an impending loss in November to the system being “rigged.” When I saw this, I immediately thought of Andrew Jackson’s cries of a”corrupt bargain” after his defeat in 1824.  The allegation served to rally his working-class base, created the Democrat party, and swept him into office in 1828 and 1832. (Now that’s a scary thought).

Here’s a weird little essay from The Atlantic, detailing the market for infamous murder weapons. The piece is a macabre tie-in to the anniversary of the infamous University of Texas shooting.

But let me leave you today with something a bit lighter. Today is also the anniversary  (35th!) of the launch of MTV, the channel that in many ways defined the 80s by redefining how musicians got their music noticed. “Ladies and gentlemen, we have rock and roll”:

And of course most of us know exactly which video was the first they showed. Enjoy!

OK, we all knew that one was the first. But which one was the second? Here ya go:


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