July 20th, 2016

Day Two of the RNC (plus, the continuing furor over Melania’s speech)

I didn’t watch the convention yesterday. Mega-busy—and also there’s a limit to the number of political speeches I can stomach, and that limit has always been set very very low.

But other people did watch, and if you want to read about the speeches I suggest you take a look at this, this, this, and this, as well as this.

Even though I didn’t watch the speeches, having read the commentary I have to say that a convention should be a showcase for a party, but it should also have a trajectory that builds to the best of all: the candidate. It should not cause people to sigh and moan, “Oh, I wish he (or she) was the nominee instead,” nearly every time someone other than the nominee gives a speech. This convention always threatened to present viewers with the latter situation, and that’s the way it seems to be shaping up so far.

As for Melania Trump’s speech—when I glanced at Memeorandum earlier today, it still was the lead story with multiple articles on how awful her plagiarism was. I already have written what I think of the whole ridiculous brouhaha, and in that post one of the many things that I mentioned sometimes happened with actual plagiarism (in connection with academics) is that it is a result of careless error. Today we learn that this was the case with Melania’s speechwriter:

[Meredith] McIver helped Melania Trump write the speech, and said in the statement that she included lines from Michelle Obama’s speech by mistake after Melania Trump read them to her over the phone.

“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,” McIver said in the statement. “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.”

She said that she offered her resignation from the Trump Organization, but that the Trump family rejected it.

“Mr. Trump told me that people make innocent mistakes and that we learn and grow from these experiences,” she said.

Sounds very plausible to me.

The article also mentioned that McIver is a former ballet dancer turned writer. Oh my! I apologize to the world on behalf of all former ballet dancers turned writers. We are indeed a sorry bunch.

Ah, but there’s no way the foaming-at-the-mouth Trump-haters (I can’t stand Trump, but I don’t hate either him or his wife) will let it pass. Not even the fact that the story revealed that Melania admires Michelle Obama was enough. The comments at that article I just linked are now focusing on the fact that Melania said she wrote the speech (actually she said she wrote it “with as little help as possible”), that McIver was really just the fall guy, as well as the fact that the Trump camp initially denied the words had been copied. Of all their sins, that is probably so small as to be non-existent—after all, I would imagine it took even McIver a while to figure out it was copied, since it was inadvertant, so how could they immediately know?

Anyway, I’ve spent way too much time on this topic as it is. But before I leave, I have to add something I had written late last night, when the origins of Melania’s “plagiarism” were still a mystery, and it was thought that perhaps a mole in the Trump speechwriting camp was the culprit. I was going to write that perhaps this mole had “Mrs. Danversed” Melania.

For those of you who don’t get the reference, Mrs. Danvers was a character in Alfred Hitchcock’s film adaptation of the Daphne DuMaurier novel Rebecca. The movie was one of my favorites when I was in my early teens; it used to play all the time on television. The plot features a very rich man (played by Laurence Olivier) who has been widowed. On holiday in Monte Carlo, he falls in love with a very shy and naive young woman (Joan Fontaine) who is working as a companion to a rich and obnoxious American lady. He sweeps her off her feet and then sweeps her away to his huge British estate, where an enormous staff is present to wait on them hand and foot. This makes her very uncomfortable because she feels incredibly awkward in this unaccustomed milieu, and she is especially upset by the constant comparisons with her beautiful, sophisticated, and much-admired deceased predecessor, Rebecca, to whom she feels indescribably inferior.

To make matters worse, Rebecca’s extremely devoted (to say the least) former ladies’ maid Mrs. Danvers (played by Judith Anderson) is ensconced as the head housekeeper who hates the newcomer and resents her very presence. The new lady of the house wants to revive the fancy dress balls that once were the talk of the county, and as the following scene opens she has convinced her husband Max (Olivier, grayed up a bit to look older) to say yes to giving the lavish costume party. That means she has to come up with a costume.

I’ve cued up the scene; it lasts about 8 minutes:

That scene used to fill me with horror when I would watch it as a child: her innocent excitement and joy, followed by the terrible and completely puzzling reaction from her husband, and then the dawning realization of how she was set up. And actress Judith Anderson—well, just perfect.

[ADDENDUM: It strikes me—and not for the first time, either—that Trump, who became very famous on TV for a show that featured him saying “You’re fired!” to someone at the end of every segment, in real life seems less likely to fire people (particularly those who have worked for him a while) than most politicians are, not more. Whether this is a good or a bad thing I’m not sure; depends on the people, I suppose.]

54 Responses to “Day Two of the RNC (plus, the continuing furor over Melania’s speech)”

  1. Cornhead Says:

    Mrs. Trump should have hired neo to write (or edit) that speech.

  2. neo-neocon Says:

    Cornhead:

    Thanks!

    I somehow don’t think I have a gift for speechwriting. For example, I think that Melania’s speech was actually very effective—before the plagiarism accusations, that is. But I don’t think I could ever write that way. It was so full of cliches (I like to think, anyway, that I don’t use platitudes and cliches). Political speeches are a very specialized animal.

  3. CapnRusty Says:

    I think the Democrats and the sycophant press has jumped the shark.

  4. neo-neocon Says:

    CapnRusty:

    Sometimes they overplay their hand. If they keep dissing Melania, the liberal crowd loves it, but other people may become more sympathetic to the Trumps.

    The MSM seems far more interested in Melania’s supposed crime than in Hillary’s lies about Benghazi, for example. I think even some non-Trump supporters can see this and wouldn’t like it.

  5. Big Maq Says:

    Re: Melania’s speech.

    That there comes to light that some of her speech is a direct copy of Michelle Obama’s is not really the problem per se.

    It is a symptom of a wider campaign that is not fully baked.

    It puts the lie to how trump hires only the best and is uniquely able to successfully get things done.

    Something as visible as this will get way more traction than it deserves, but so has most all of trump’s campaign since day one.

  6. expat Says:

    Rebecca was also a favorite film of mine. I also remember as they drove to Mandeley the first time and the hills along the road were filled with blooming rhododendron.

    As to the attack over Melanie’s speech, who cares? It doesn’t compare to Obama’s, Biden’s, or Doris Kearns Goodwin’s, yet no one ever mentions them on MSM.

    I am hoping that other Reps have figured out that Trump has to be challenged and threatened behind closed doors. Maybe then he can be controlled a bit. It will be interesting to see what Cruz says tonight. I hope he says that if congress can work without the constant threat of a veto, they may be able to spend more time working out the best policies rather than arguing over tactics.

  7. Big Maq Says:

    ” in real life (trump) seems less likely to fire people (particularly those who have worked for him a while) than most politicians are, not more” – Neo

    It does seem odd, juxtaposed to his image. Could it be Melania is the loyal one?

    That said, GWB held on to Rumsfeld waaaay too long.

    We’ve seen Obama hang on to HHS Sebelius after a clear failure.

  8. neo-neocon Says:

    Big Maq:

    I don’t think the Trump campaign is fully baked, either. So I agree with that. But I disagree that this is a symptom of it.

    This mistake could happen to anyone. Melania read some quotes over the phone, the writer wrote them down, and later looking at her notes probably thought the words were actually Melania’s.

    Same error, essentially, that Doris Kearns Goodwin, Pulitzer-prizewinning author, made.

  9. Bilwick Says:

    Contrasting styles:

    Trump: You’re fired!

    Hillary: We’re just going to take you for a little ride . . . .

  10. T Says:

    “I think the Democrats and the sycophant press has jumped the shark.” [Capn Rusty @ 3:13]

    It has now come to a head with the Republican convention (and I expect the same from the upcoming Democrat convention). This election cycle has been remarkable because most of the masks have slipped on both the left and the right. The left has been revealed as nothing more than power-hungry, win-at-all-cost socialists/communists with no moral high ground whatsoever. The establishment right has been revealed clearly as Democrat-lite and the far right (the #NeverTrump coalition) have been revealed as an insane lose-at-any cost contingent.

    There are just too many people acting like high-school adolescents; then again, perhaps I’m undervaluing adolescents.

    The revelations have been instructive and important to my own political decisions. I want to say that they also make me sad that our country has come to this, but I suspect that our country was actually always like this, the nature of the species so-to-speak, and that it’s the instantaneous, in-your-face, 24/7 communications cycle that makes it seem worse than it used to be.

  11. Big Maq Says:

    “This mistake could happen to anyone. Melania read some quotes over the phone, the writer wrote them down, and later looking at her notes probably thought the words were actually Melania’s.” – Neo

    Perhaps all true, BUT this is not a one-off gaff in his campaign, and is a particularly visible one.

    The foundation of his image and campaign is that he has the competence that politicians lack, has the organization skills that is lacking in DC, hires only “the best and smartest people”, etc..

    Argue that this singular one is not symptomatic, okay, but it sure tarnishes his brand at a time when his abilities to deliver are being showcased.

  12. Big Maq Says:

    “the far right (the #NeverTrump coalition) “ – T

    Demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding if you really think far right = #NeverTrump.

  13. T Says:

    I guess I must say that I stand corrected. In retrospect I don’t think that there is a more virulent #NeverTrumper that Bill Kristol, and I must admit that I would hardly call him far right.

  14. Eric Says:

    expat:
    “I am hoping that other Reps have figured out that Trump has to be challenged and threatened behind closed doors.”

    The problem with your hope is that Trump, besides his own faculties, is backed by a political-plus social activist movement that’s modeled on (or perhaps is) the Left, while other GOPers vulnerably are not.

    As such, it would be difficult to effectively challenge and/or threaten Trump behind closed doors in the space where that social activist movement is most effective.

    To empower other GOPers versus Trump at minimum requires a sufficiently competitive social activist movement, which of course, is the missing piece that was needed to prevent the Trump phenomenon in the 1st place.

  15. neo-neocon Says:

    Big Maq:

    As I said, I agree.

    But I think this incident has been falsely lumped in with the others. This one could happen to anyone.

    It’s a sort of nit-picky point, but I don’t like to condemn people for things I don’t think are their fault. There’s plenty to condemn in Trump that IS his fault.

  16. blert Says:

    The argument has been pretty well made that Melina Trump was “Rickrolled” for his lyrics were dropped into the speech, as well.

    “However, there is more.

    There is also a passage in Melania Trump’s speech which is a direct quote from a Rick Astley song.

    In other words, Melania Trump’s speech was Rickrolled.

    To those who do not recall the fad from 2008 or so, Rickrolling was providing a link which purported to be something else, but in fact linked to a Rick Astley video, in fact, the very video whose lyrics were included in Melania Trump’s speech. “

    http://chicagoboyz.net/archives/53488.html

    BTW, who can consider a three-word cliché to be plagiarized material ?

    Indeed, the offending blurb is well-nigh a cliché, itself.

    The Rickrolling was over-the-top.

    &&&

    It’s also IMPOSSIBLE to get past the Reaction Speed of the MSM.

    MO’s old speech is out of common memory. Without someone to bird dog the infraction — no-one would even pull it all together.

  17. neo-neocon Says:

    blert:

    Yeah, yeah, I know all about the rickrolled suggestion.

    I don’t buy it, and I’ll tell you why: the rickroll phrase is another cliche. People have cliches in their heads all the time—they don’t necessarily think about them, or even remember their origins, they are just there. And they come out as something they think they’ve invented, even though they’ve heard it before. Melania’s speechwriter had almost undoubtedly heard the phrase but no longer connected it with rickrolling. Her speechwriter is a long-term Trump family stalwart; I don’t think she or anyone else purposely inserted a rickroll as a joke.

    It’s something like the way some songs are copied by songwriters without their realizing it. It actually happens quite a bit.

  18. Big Maq Says:

    “This one could happen to anyone.” – Neo

    You are coming at it from the personal “if I were in their shoes”. As an individual, I see that point, but, perhaps, we have different experiences.

    From the shoes I have filled in my professional life, having been responsible for delivering some rather visible endeavors, in a case like this, given such high visibility and importance, there should have been a few checks it would have gone through.

    If it were merely Melania and the writer on their own bringing this together, then it is an indication of how things are run.

    Also, I’d expect speech writers at that level to have some editorial checklist and tools they run through on material provided to them.

    This is not supposed to be some mom and pop run event, but a professional production. Mistakes do happen, but not ones like that… it is basic blocking and tackling, or should be, given the impact something like this has.

    Now, if it is for a presentation at the local chapter of the American Legion, well anyone of the rest of us can make that mistake.

    Frankly, I’ve read elsewhere that trump’s campaign organization is thin, perhaps out of necessity because of lack of funds, and stuff like this is what we can expect to fall through the cracks.

    Remindful of the DefSec Rumsfeld’s doctrine vs Gen Shinseki’s demand for more boots on the ground in Iraq – going into battle without the resources required.

  19. Yancey Ward Says:

    The Left is clearly overreaching on the speech plagiarism (especially given the history of the sitting President and Vice President), and Trump was very smart and loyal in refusing the resignation of McIver. That some people can’t quite get their heads around this is astounding to me.

  20. neo-neocon Says:

    Big Maq:

    My reasoning goes like this—

    Melania read the Michelle Obama quotes to McIver. McIver wrote them down but (I believe) failed to write down clearly that they were quotes. She changed them and incorporated them into the speech thinking they were things Melania had said.

    Someone checking the speech later could not possibly uncover this, if the provenance of the quotes was gone and no one would have suspected they were quotes. They are hackneyed phrases, not memorable quotes. How could anyone detect that they were from another speech? I’m not aware of any computer program that could run every phrase in a composed new speech up against every phrase in every other political speech that was ever given. If you know of such of such a program, you should send it to the speechwriters, because I’m sure they’d appreciate it.

    I just don’t see how this could have been checked. I think that the left discovered it because someone who had written Michelle’s speech, or is on her staff, or maybe Michelle herself, recognized it. No one else ever would.

  21. Kyndyll G Says:

    Maq, seriously .. I’m not often going to defend Trump, but I think you’re overstating this case. There’s not a magical tool to check every word of every speech against every word of every other speech ever written by anyone. The material in question primarily consists of a couple of phrases that are generic platitudes. It’s not as if she said, “Eight score and seven years ago, we had nothing to fear but fear itself.” There’s no special turn of phrase or unique point of view. It’s turning a small zit into Mount Everest.

    The only reason this became “a thing” is because the far lefty-left set is sitting at the edge of their seats watching this stuff (really, they are .. I see what my friends are saying) looking for things to make fun of. Someone who is a drooling fan of Michelle heard two sentences out of an xx-minute speech that reminded him or her of something Michelle once said that caused tingles, so the “plagiarism” was noticed. There’s probably not one person out of 100 at a Republican convention who would remember word-for-word what a Democrat candidate’s wife said eight years ago. It’s beyond ridiculous.

  22. Oldflyer Says:

    Too bad that this molehill has obscured the mountains that were climbed in other speeches. I guess that is the motivation, though.

    I though Pence delivered a great speech. His measured tone, allied with a bit of self-deprecation, is just the counter balance that the campaign desperately needs. While articulate and thoughtful, he certainly did not come across as bland. Unfortunately, few will hear that speech. I trust that his VP acceptance speech will measure up as well. He will be attacked unmercifully, of course, for his pro-life positions. It can only be helpful for people on the fence to hear him first hand.

    Although I do not care for Christy, I must say that he is a very talented politician and political speaker. His indictment of Hillary was brilliant in scope, and delivered flawlessly. It will be interesting to see how her campaign tries to spin it away. I hope that a large audience viewed it first hand and will not have to rely on pundit analysis.

    Big Maq, you went off topic, so I will take license to respond. Maybe you are unaware that the plan in Iraq was for a thrust from the north by the 4th Armored Div.–one of the most capable in our Army at the time. Access was denied by Obama’s Turkish friends. This not only necessitated that this key force sail all the way around to Kuwait, delaying their entry, but it left Northern Iraq open with the exception of a fairly token parachute thrust by the 173rd Airborne to protect the Kurds. This skewed the whole plan. Given this development it was decided, much as Ike had to do on D Day, that delay would be worse than going with what was available. Still, the invasion was obviously an outstanding success. The lack of a significant force in the North came into play post-invasion. But the biggest error occurred when Colin Powell and Richard Arimtage undermined, and usurped, Rumsfeld’s post-invasion plan. Bush’s biggest mistake was trusting the judgement of Powell and Armitage, setting up the post invasion debacle. But, myths and legends die hard.

  23. Kyndyll G Says:

    Eek. Sorry, Of course I meant “Four score …” and I see that Neo wrote basically the same thing while I was typing that between work emails.

  24. Ymarsakar Says:

    Oldflyer Says:
    July 20th, 2016 at 6:03 pm

    From what I can tell, what Old wrote there is correct.

    I would add that Turkey waited until the last moment, pretending that they would authorize it, so that the military would be derailed. When Turkey rejected it, it was too late to move the unit elsewhere in time.

    Remindful of the DefSec Rumsfeld’s doctrine vs Gen Shinseki’s demand for more boots on the ground in Iraq – going into battle without the resources required.

    Shinigami Shinseki was put in charge of the VA, as a personal favor from Hussein Obola. Shinseki then went on to encourage and engineer the poor healthcare of veterans, including needless fatalities. The primary reason why Shinseki wanted more troops in Iraq, was so that more people would come back maimed, so he could say “I told you so” and get his desk job added on. Rumsfeld, who cared about minimizing US casualties, thought otherwise.

  25. neo-neocon Says:

    Kyndyll G:

    You plagiarized me!!!!! 🙂

  26. Kyndyll G Says:

    Yes, but imitation is the greatest form of flattery.

    Oh wait, that’s plagiarizing too.

  27. Mac Says:

    Literally the only people I know who watched the Republican convention last night are Democrats enjoying the thrill of being disgusted by their opponents. The “plagiarism” debacle was satisfying to them beyond what they had hoped.

    They’re also surprisingly contemptuous of Melania and frequently post (on Facebook), with expressions of disgust, the nearly-nude cheesecake stuff she did at one time. It would be called misogyny and “slut-shaming” if she were a Democrat.

    But we’re all sick not only of the double standard but also of pointing it out, aren’t we? I know I am but I can’t help myself.

  28. blert Says:

    Neo…

    You are certainly right about lyrics and music.

    Even George Harrison came to grief because he’d ‘cloned’ a previous hit into his own hit.

    The plantiff’s attorney had a field day with George, because he was a Beatle.

  29. blert Says:

    As for MO…

    It’s VERY hard to believe that her — now famous — words weren’t already cliched when she uttered them.

    Barry, in particular, is quite the plagiarist — as Patrick could relate.

    The MSM: crickets.

  30. Bill Says:

    I don’t think this is that big of a deal compared to other Trump outrages, but to those who think this isn’t another sign of an amateur, careless campaign: this isn’t 1964 or 1996 or even 2004. There is software that would have found this plagiarism easily and it’s comom practice to check these things.

  31. neo-neocon Says:

    Bill:

    How does that software work? Does it check against every political speech and every book and every article ever written or made?

  32. J.J. Says:

    Only those simple minded Republicans plagiarize.

    OOPS! (H/T Bookworm)
    http://i2.wp.com/www.bookwormroom.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Politicians-plagiarizing.jpg?zoom=5&resize=480%2C480

    How quickly we forget.

  33. Bill Says:

    If the plagiarized speech is on the internet, yes, it’s searchable. Think google. Very attainable technology.

    Even schools use similar software to detect plagiarism in student papers. I took a college course a year or two ago and our papers were run through some search algorithm as part of our grade.

    Think of it this way: how long did it take the interwebs to notice the plagiarism?

    If Bill Clinton did this at the upcoming dem convention the right twittersphere would lose its mind. Let’s be consistent.

    It’s a sign of a poorly run, sloppy and hubristic campaign. Letting Cruz give tonight’s speech was another example.

    He’ll run the executive branch the same way. I vote we not give the sloppy and hubristic amateur his own nuclear arsenal.

  34. Brian Swisher Says:

    Yeah, let’s give one to the sloppy and hubristic professional…

  35. Sharon W Says:

    Bill–No, let’s give it to Hillary instead. With her proven record of wisdom in all things international. Sheesh!

  36. neo-neocon Says:

    Bill:

    A lot of speeches, books, articles, are not online.

    But more than that, my point is that the “plagiarism” was of a few phrases. I just don’t see that you could search for every phrase in an entire speech, and check out each phrase against every other speech (even just limited to online speeches). Perhaps it can be done—computers can do amazing things—but, for example, this description of how such computer programs work indicates to me that it would not have detected the problem here. The phrases were too few compared to the whole, the number of documents needed to be checked too vast, and there were changes (called “rogeting”).

    As for how the opposition detected it, I am assuming that someone remembered the phrases and themes from Michelle’s speech—perhaps Michelle herself or her speechwriter or someone on her staff. I doubt they used a computer program to detect it. If they did, I’d like to hear which one it was and how it worked.

    This article talks about some software that was used to show how similar the speeches were:

    Turnitin spokesman Chris Harrick popped both speeches into his company’s anti-plagiarism algorithm at NBC Bay Area’s request and found that six percent of Trump’s speech to the convention on Monday in Cleveland, matched the first lady’s eight years ago. Trump used 63 words that matched Obama’s, and of those, 23 were “cloned” in the same exact sequence from the 2008 speech, the text analysis company found.

    “I won’t answer what percentage counts as plagiarism or not,” Harrick said, “but our mission is to show that writing with integrity matters.”

    As far as I can see, that was done ex post facto. In other words, it wasn’t checking against every online speech—it was checking the two speeches against each other. There would have been no reason to do that unless you already suspected Melania’s speech was copied from Michelle’s.

  37. Julie near Chicago Says:

    What’s bothersome about this molehill is what somebody mentioned above: It gives people something to gawk at and gabble about, thereby distracting their attention from the bloody-gawd-awfulness so evident in the works and days of Her Lowness, Mrs. Clinton.

  38. blert Says:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3699830/Trump-employee-admits-plagiarized-Michelle-Obama-Melania-s-speech-feels-terrible-chaos-Donald-

    Now the speech writer is stating that Melina directly quoted Michelle to her items that she admired… over the phone.

    Which then she managed to stick right back into Melina’s own speech — instead of making sure to not retread the material so explicitly.

    The Rick roll may have the same provenance.

  39. Bill Says:

    To those employing the “Hillary is worse” defense, Trump is currently signaling Russia that the US under him may not honor out NATO commitments. This is a bigger deal than the plagiarism.

    He’s destabilizing. He’s unqualified. She’s awful too (although I give him the higher chance of causing or inflaming a foreign policy disaster).

    We’re in a bad spot.

  40. OM Says:

    Bill:

    Those are minor, trivial, inconsequential, unproven,……. We “know” that HRC will be worse than DJT could ever be…… So forget your conscience and convince everyone to vote for DJT.

    Write in, third party, it’s your vote not theirs.

  41. Big Maq Says:

    “Even schools use similar software to detect plagiarism in student papers. I took a college course a year or two ago and our papers were run through some search algorithm as part of our grade.” – Eric

    Google this…

    “values that you work hard for what you want in life: that your word is your bond and you do what you say” -Melania

    Then click Search Tools, and limit the date range from Jan 1, 1900 to July 17, 2016 (note: that is “minus”Melania – to exclude references to “Melania”).

    Several references to the 2008 speech.

    Putting that same phrase in the following tool concludes “0% Unique -> Plagiarized”
    http://smallseotools.com/plagiarism-checker/

    There are more sophisticated software available to use than these that can better detect “paraphrased” plagiarism, but Google does a decent job on it’s own, particularly on material originating in the 2000s.

    For about $20 one can buy four FIVERR “gigs” and have each of the English speakers comb through the entire speech for plagiarism via Google and/or some other tool.
    https://www.fiverr.com/

    Took about 15 minutes to do this and write this comment.

  42. OM Says:

    Bill and Big Mac:

    An analysis of how DJT continues to play his supporters, and it’s not about beating HRC. It’s mostly burn down it all down, republicans first, and the RNC is selling the gasoline and put the necklace on their own heads.

    http://www.redstate.com/leon_h_wolf/2016/07/21/ted-cruz-really-proved-last-night/

  43. OM Says:

    Correction:

    put the necklace on their own shoulders.

  44. Big Maq Says:

    ” We “know” that HRC will be worse than DJT could ever be” – OM

    The problem is that djt is so mutable on what he will do that we DON’T “KNOW” if he would be better or worse.

    Frankly, the level of uncertainty itself promises to be just as harmful.

    Add to it any actual follow through on some of his more extreme positions (e.g. major tariffs on China / Mexico to balance trade, drop out of NATO) and he will cause major disruption on a scale that makes the harms hrc might usher in pale in comparison.

    Worse, if all players think he’s bluffing, just to take a “negotiating position”, what happens when they “call” him on it?
    Either way it goes, we might find that Obama’s Syrian “Red Line” will be a minor footnote in history.

    So, yes “Write in, third party, it’s your vote not theirs.”

  45. neo-neocon Says:

    Big Maq:

    But you already knew the plagiarized phrase and searched for it. How could you search with Google for an entire speech?

  46. Big Maq Says:

    @OM

    The emperor, stalwart of principles conservative should have been
    Presides, flagged naked, the phantom victor in Blue vs Green

    http://theresurgent.com/sadness-for-friends-who-cannot-be-sad/

  47. Big Maq Says:

    “But you already knew the plagiarized phrase and searched for it. How could you search with Google for an entire speech?” – Neo

    I would have known, as they were the words Melania would have given me.

    And, if not, sitting right here right now, the FIVERR giggers I would have hired, would have surely found it out, searching sentence by sentence. Presumably there were some resources available to the trump campaign that could do the job (e.g. intern).

  48. Big Maq Says:

    @Neo

    Look, this is not a capital offense, and is getting far more play in the media than it deserves.

    But, can we realistically expect that the bias we see in the MSM ignore this? Especially since trump has rode the free media gravy train of ratings all up through now?

    Can we realistically expect that a campaign for which a major theme is “competence” that this is so easily written off as an “innocent mistake”?

    It might be “minor” under other circumstances, but it has a tip of the iceberg quality that resonates, since it was rather easily preventable.

  49. GRA Says:

    The GOP convention is one of the main trending topics on youtube, showing comedians, leftist youtube pundits, and news pundits, rippin and mocking the Republicans apart (Not So Primetime Party, Maher with Dan Savage & Michael Moore, Jimmy Fallon version of Trump’s opening speech, side-by-side speech comparison of Melanie’s and The First Lady’s speech, TYT fishing for racist Trump supporters &”inside ” the convention, Vox having a ‘How Did We Go From Lincoln to Trump’ video).

  50. Bill Says:

    Neo – to Big Maq’s point, and from what I’ve read, checking for plagiarized phrases is common in the speechwriting community.

    Regarding your question “How could you search with Google for an entire speech?” – I can do more research for you if you’d like, but everything I’ve read is that it’s common to do this (not search google but run the speech through plagiarism detection software), and – to my earlier examples – schools do it all the time on turned in work. I’m in IT and in my experience, technologically, at this point in time it’s trivial to do this.

    Not the end of the world. In the scale of Trump scaries, this rates as a 2. His comments about trade, nato, immigration, etc are 7s, 8s and 9s.

  51. Ymarsakar Says:

    So forget your conscience and convince everyone to vote for DJT.

    The American Republic, as conceived by the Founding Fathers, was a system of lesser evil government designed for a morally righteous people. A civilization that has no individual conscience, no longer deserves to be saved, and probably won’t given your fast trip into hell.

    Voting Democrat is how people got into this situation.

  52. neo-neocon Says:

    Bill:

    In one of my earlier posts I linked to this Wiki article on plariarism-detection programs, which I read. It described in great detail how they work, and from what I read (not that I understood every single word), I think that plagiarism of the type involved in Melania’s speech would not have been detected.

  53. Big Maq Says:

    The tools may be imperfect for all types of plagiarism, but, because of the phrasing similarity, in this case, it is easily found. With nothing more than Google, for very little money/resource, could have been discovered in a manual line by line search.

    The technology exists for a basic level of check and that was all that was needed here.

    There are only so many opportunities where you get layups like this, and trump is missing these natural opportunities to improve his standing – that is the bottom line here.

    More tools:
    http://turnitin.com/
    http://www.ithenticate.com/ – claims 60B web pages, and 105M news pages / mags / books – $100 per file
    http://en.writecheck.com/ – a consumer front end for TurnItIn – only $8 for a check one paper, probably less output than above

  54. Big Maq Says:

    Challenge: What phrases above were lifted from somewhere else on the web?

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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