“It is Donald Trump’s world, and the rest of the Republican candidates are just living in it,” wrote Molly Ball in her round-up of the first 2016 GOP presidential primary debate. Trump and nine of his rivals for the candidacy discussed immigration, Iran, and the economy, but the self-financed frontrunner stole the show by refusing to pledge his support for the eventual nominee. (Oh, and there was another debate for the seven GOP candidates who weren’t included in the main show.)
Schumer v. Obama: In the biggest blow yet to President Obama’s proposed nuclear deal with Iran, New York Senator Chuck Schumer announced on Thursday he would vote to oppose the accord. Schumer, a high-ranking Democrat, said he feared the deal would not curtail Iran’s atomic program and that the inspections regime was too weak. In response, some Democrats expressed concerns about elevating Schumer to Senate Minority Leader when Harry Reid retires in 2017.
North Korea v. Time: North Korea, whose brutal dictatorship is often overshadowed by its media-friendly eccentricity, announced Friday it would carve out a new time zone and abandon the one set for it during Japanese occupation. “The wicked Japanese imperialists committed such unpardonable crimes as depriving Korea of even its standard time,” proclaimed a state-run news agency. The isolationist country will set its clocks back 30 minutes to create “Pyongyang time” starting on August 15.
James Fallows: “The real-world context for Obama’s certainty on these points is his knowledge that in the rest of the world, this agreement is not controversial at all… There is practically no other big strategic point on which the U.S., Russia, and China all agree—but they held together on this deal.”
Peter Beinart: “Saying that Donald Trump performed poorly in last night’s debate is stating the obvious. By any sane standard he’s been performing poorly since he entered the race. Yet he’s leading in the polls… Still, last night Trump didn’t even do obnoxious well.”
Rose Eveleth: “There are plenty of reasons to celebrate exoskeletons. They allow some people to stand and move about in ways they couldn’t before, and others to regain abilities they’ve lost... But the solution offered by these devices also illuminates a problem they’ve helped to create.”
1. The U.S. unemployment rate is 4.6 percent for white Americans and __________ for black Americans.
Trying to explain to these kids any of the fundamental truths of stand-up—from why it’s not a good idea to hold a comedy show in the cafeteria during lunch hour, to why jokes involving gay people aren’t necessarily homophobic—is a nonstarter, and only serves to antagonize the customers. The logic problem is also responsible for the fact that many of the comics at the convention weren’t very funny, and several of those who were funny didn’t get much work, despite garnering huge laughs and even standing ovations.
… College campuses have never been incubators for great stand-up; during the 1960s and ’70s, schools didn’t dedicate much money to bringing in entertainers, and by the time they did, PC culture had taken off. This culture—its noble aspirations and inevitable end game—was everywhere apparent at the convention. In the lavishly produced, 144-page brochure, I found a densely written block of text that began with a trumpet blast of idealism—“NACA is committed to advancing diversity development and the principles of equal opportunity and affirmative action through its respective programs”—but wound down to a muffled fart of unintended consequences: “There is no intent to support censorship.”