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From Slate, a pretty cool new feature that we're going to try to keep up with: They've taken the simple idea of Studs Terkel's outstanding oral history book Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do -- " the best book you were assigned in college but didn’t read" -- and turned it into a podcast. It's a series of interviews by David Plotz, asking people what they do at their jobs -- with a bit of a shift in emphasis from Terkel, who wanted to know how people feel about their jobs, to much more detail about how the job gets done.


The inaugural interview is with Stephen Colbert, the actor and writer, talking as himself, out of character, without a word from "Stephen Colbert," the character he plays on The Colbert Report. We've always loved Colbert's interviews on Fresh Air, which are among the few times he steps out of character and talks about that character and about the real guy who plays him; this interview with Plotz, however, is even more focused, a step-by-step look at how Colbert and his staff craft their comedy from day to day. Needless to say, Colbert is of necessity a media junkie, and spends a large chunk of his day following the news, starting with a digest of video clips from his producers and a twice-daily news digest, plus visits to Reddit, Slate, the New York Times, Drudge ("to see what the order of the day is, what the crimes of the day, as described by one of the voices of the right"), FoxNation and Fox News, Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, and of course CNN, "to see what absolute middle-of-the-road, over-the-plate news was three days ago.” He tries to keep up so that when he gets a story pitch, he doesn't have to rely on the writers to know what they're talking about.

There are also some lovely little insights into how Colbert sees his show:

My show, unlike, say, what The Daily Show does, is that my show is a false construction of the news, as opposed to a pure deconstruction of the news. I embody the bullshit, I don't just point it out to you. I don't do it nearly as deeply as they do at The Daily Show, because half of our process has to be constructing it in the other direction.

This is one terrific 38 minutes of a guy who really loves his work, explaining in fascinating detail how he does it, and how he relies on his staff to find guests that will work for the "Colbert" character to interview, and how he navigates through an interview in character, which he especially loves since he gets to play on his past in improv. Perfect listening for your Sunday-evening vegetable chopping.

Studs Terkel would approve, we think.

[Slate via Mediaite / Slate again]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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DHS photo (Every damn ICE pic looks like this)

Donald Trump's immigration goon squads were all set to start mass arrests and deportations of families in multiple cities Sunday, but before the raids started, he tweeted Saturday that he'd decided to delay the operation by two weeks -- to allow Democrats a chance to join Republicans in trashing US asylum law. Trump took a phone call Friday evening from Nancy Pelosi urging him to hold off on the raids, although it's also possible that internal disagreements about the operation at the Department of Homeland Security may have been part of the reason for the delay, too. In the meantime, Trump gets to terrify undocumented families some more and rant about deporting "millions," although the planned operation was actually targeted only at a couple thousand people who have already received deportation orders.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement had been gearing up to start raids in 10 US cities, including Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, and Baltimore, to show how tough America is, and never mind that the sweeps would certainly have led to more family separations, as ICE scooped up at least some undocumented parents of children born in the US. The news also comes while the media is reporting filthy, inhuman conditions at the border camps where newly arrested immigrants, including babies, are being packed in, leading to plenty of awkward questions about why the government suddenly wants to arrest more people in the interior of the country? (Hint: President Eichmann just announced his reelection bid.)

The Great Deporter announced the delay of the operation Saturday by Twitter, as if that were normal, then followed up with more bluster Sunday.

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Kamala Harris was holding it down at the South Carolina Democratic Convention this weekend, and she wasn't just there to kick it at Clyburn's Fish Fry, hang out with Berndog Sanders, and just look extra good. No. She fucking running for President, and she's actually got a chance, unlike the many Mayo Casserole Men who keep jumping into the damn race. Why did they jump in after Kamala and Elizabeth Warren, the only people who are even running, clearly said, "We got it from here, boys"? Not sure, but regardless, it was unnecessary. Doesn't matter anyway because who is gonna remember Dadface McDorksky when Kamala is turning it the fuck out with speeches indicting Trump?

Do you believe in America? Kamala Harris believes in America, and her Saturday speech calls out for justice, and righteousness; where Barack Obama struck hopeful, dulcet, aspirational tones, Harris strikes sharp chords of urgency. To say that she read Trump the riot act would be, and is, an understatement; what she did here raised a crucial reality that some Dems refuse to see. Trump MUST be prosecuted. The Democratic nominee will wear many hats, and one of the most important of those hats is that of a prosecutor. There is a case to be made against Donald J. Trump, hell, there are so many cases, and as far as Harris is concerned, who better to make that case, but a COP? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Kamala Harris at the South Carolina Democratic Convention June, 22 2019 youtu.be

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