Hot Air:

Big Day, Big Night

This just in from The Pencil’s intrepid correspondent, Indiana 9th Congressional District delegate to the 2016 Democratic National Convention, Cathi Crabtree:

6:45am. Hit snooze. Can it possibly be time to start Day Three of the Convention already?

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Deep Feelings

Yesterday’s events and the emotions they spawned would have exhausted anybody. CC reported last night:

I met a Texas delegate who shared stories about Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), and the new Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls, and Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-California). The Texas delegate pointed out how Jackson Lee had Hillary’s back throughout the ridiculous Benghazi hearings. She said she had always admired Sheila Jackson Lee but seeing the support she gave the former Secretary of State only increased her admiration and respect.

Women must stick together and we do! I shared information about my “Bitch, please!” T-shirt and she seemed eager to get one for herself.

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The connections here have been phenomenal. Just what I wanted — sharing time and excitement with like-minded individuals.

I was overwhelmed with emotions so many times last night: I was relieved that both Bernie and Hillary supporters respected each other during roll call; I really appreciated Bernie calling for acclamation when Vermont’s turn came up; I was touched by Bernie’s brother’s appearance; I felt joy for finally nominating not just the first woman presidential candidate but one I have respected and admired for years; I was grateful for having the privilege to be a part of history.

And I miss my mom, who died almost exactly a year ago and who loved Hillary.

The celebration was thrilling. The thousands of Democrats in the arena acknowledged the historic nature of the nomination. We felt grateful for what this truly remarkable woman has accomplished in her life. She sees problems, especially social justice issues, and she figures out how to solve them.

I loved hearing the roll call, with each state in the Union highlighting what they’re proud of.

It was a truly amazing day and night. I’m so happy I could be there!

Hot Air: Perception Is Reality

The Bull Pulpit

Politics is such a bizarre game. Our intrepid correspondent Cathi Crabtree’s traveling partner, fellow delegate Martha Hilderbrand, tells us:

Pro Hillary signs that are made to look hand made by supporters are being handed out by the DNC.

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Bernie’s not the only one who bawled tonight in Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center. Our Cathi Crabtree joined in the hankie-fest while Bill Clinton spoke of his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, the Democratic Party’s 2016 nominee for President of the United States. Here’s CC’s report:

“Going to cry!”

Duh, What?

BTW: I caught a glimpse of one of the protesters outside the convention hall carrying a sign that read “A Vote for Hillary Is a Vote for Trump.”

I love Bernie; a lot of his most rabid fans, though, I can do without.

Hillary Supporter

Bernie’s words last night gave me the kind of goosebumps I haven’t felt in years. Indulge me, as I list a few great lines here:

“Not just bombast, not just fearmongering….”

“Hillary Clinton understands….”

“The greed of the drug companies must end.”

“…our diversity is one of our greatest strengths.”

“…the most progressive platform in the history of the Democratic Party.”

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Sanders, Making A Point Last Night

Say what you will about the primaries and the battle between Hillary and Bernie for the soul of the party, the Democrats are awfully goddamned lucky to have both of them in the tent.

Hot Air: The Beat Goes On

Let’s Be Reasonable

Y’know, all this talk comparing D. Trump to A. Hitler is terribly unfair — at least the Führer had enough intelligence to write his own book.

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High Hopes

Kudos to Cory, Michelle, Sens. Warren & Franken. Bernie Sanders comes out in full-throat to support Hillary. All great things. Let’s hope corporate media doesn’t decide to fixate on the booing some tantrum-y Bernie-ites masturbatorially engaged in last night inside and outside the arena.

So far, so good

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Cathi’s CommuniquesScreen Shot 2016-07-26 at 7.09.14 AM

This, at about 11;45 last night, just after Bernie’s thrilling speech.

Atmosphere was not good in the hall tonight.

And then her communications devices ran out of juice. She — as well as her phones, pads, and other connections to the universe — should be recharged this AM. More to come.

Bernie Backer

CC’s traveling pal, Jeanne Smith, OTOH, must have been swooning over Bernie’s oration. Beforehand, though, journalists of many stripes and and nationalities swooned and swarmed her for her views:

Today I was interviewed by a French journalist, a Chinese one, NPR, and some unknown radio station. I was invited to film a Colbert skit tomorrow.

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Media Darling

Conspiracy Theory #googol

Do you buy the story that the Russians hacked the DNC’s computers and intentionally released the emails that humiliated the Party and its outgoing chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz last week?


I don’t.

Hot Air: Lady Of The Press

C-SPAN cameras were scanning the crowd at Philly’s Wells Fargo Center earlier this evening and they lighted on this member of the most-decidely-not-mainstream media, The Pencil’s very own correspondent, Indiana 9th District delegate Cathi Crabtree.

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Man, it’s like Dan Rather on the floor of the International Amphitheater at the ’68 Convention, or Bill Maher and Arianna Huffington at those ’90s conventions. The Pencil, a global communications colossus!

Hot Air: The Convention Begins

From The Pencil’s correspondent, District 9 delegate Cathi Crabtree, at the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia at 5:00pm:

I am so excited to be here! The gavel just started the convention and it is so exciting! Still feeling very honored and privileged to be a delegate for Hillary Rodham Clinton!

Proceedings have started and I’m getting so angry with the radical Berners who are disrupting this historical event.

But I’m proud of the Indiana Bernie delegates for behaving with dignity.

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Hot Air: Day 1

Cathi’s Clown

Hah! Pencillistas, start paying attention! Only one of you has pointed out that my spanking new logo for our coverage of the Democratic National Convention featuring delegate Cathi Crabtree actually has her name misspelled.

Sheesh. Come to think of it, Cathi herself hasn’t even raised cain about it so I assume she missed it, too, unless she’s so self-effacing, modest, and unwilling to confront a wrong that she decided to remain mum about the whole deal. But, um, that wouldn’t be our Cathi, would it?

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Fightin’ Words

So, Cathi and her delegate pals Martha Hilderbrand and Jeanne Smith just spent a couple of days in an SUV and all three will share a single hotel room on the outskirts of Philly through the four days of the Dem gathering. What makes this combo so remarkably successful thus far is the fact that Cathi and Jeanne have yet to strangle each other. See, Cathi’s a rabid Hillary backer and Jeanne…, well, Jeanne goes for Bernie.

Uh oh.

But, as I say, so far Nuh uh. No fighting. No voices raised. No petrified Martha Hilderbrand huddling in a corner of their hot rod speeding through the Allegheny Mountains.

The Dems hope and pray the convention plays out in exactly that serene fashion. We’ll see. Based on my readings of social media and certain Bernie-tilting websites, there still are scads of peeps hoping beyond hope for a Sanders coup. And, weirdly — extremely weirdly — some Bernie-istas are chanting “Lock her up” on the streets of Philly already.

Nice choice, huh? Borrowing the fave screech from last week’s Republican National coronation of D. Trump as Strongman-in-Chief. Go figure.

You Never Liked My Mother!

Hah, again! Some commentator on NPR this AM was talking about Hillary’s major drawback in this historic election: Her un-likability. That’s an inarguable assessment. Me? I’ve said all along that for all the charisma her old man, former Prez Bill Clinton, possesses, she’s the exact opposite.

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This commentator said voters were asked a poll question on the order of If Hillary was a member of your family, which one would she be?

Very few selected her as Mom, Sis, or a favorite aunt. In fact, clear majorities ID’d her as their harsh, unloveable aunt or — shudder — their mother-in-law.

My gal Hill has an image problem, babies.

To The Nines

Dig Cathi Crabtree, all gussied up for those Democratic “hospitality tables” late yesterday afternoon:

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Cathi’s Communiques

Here’s Cathi’s filing, this AM at 7:21 EST:

Monday morning. Ready to get down to the business of the Democratic national convention

In the lobby drinking coffee and waiting for them to open up the room where we will have our daily breakfast meetings. Will get our credentials for the day there, get the schedule of what’s going on, and also there will be a guest speakers. I don’t know who they are yet.

Been looking at the schedule of caucuses. It’s going to be really hard to pick because many of the things I would like to see overlap on the schedule.

Sporting my “bitch,  please” Benghazi hearings tee. I saw Amy Schumer wearing it and had to have one so I ordered it sometime ago.

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Last night, Cathi and Co. attended the big welcoming bash for delegates at the Philadelphia Art Museum. Here’s her missive re: their arrival therein:

OMG! So we just arrived at the museum and it’s amazing! Met group and volunteers outside. They handed out little flags for all of us as we arrived!

There’s a live jazz singer and it’s just phenomenal the music was incredible!

Meanwhile, Jeanne Smith reports that last night Art Museum soiree was an “amazing drunk party with two great bands.”

She acknowledges the two wings of the party (capital P) are more or less circling each other warily. “We are all a little in the dark,” she says. Then she adds, “Lots of people thinking it’s not over.”

Here’s a pic of the three with two other Monroe County delegates, state Dem chair and IU SPEA instructor John Zody and former Indiana House majority leader former Indiana Senate minority leader Vi Simpson.

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(L-R) Zody, Hilderbrand, Smith, Crabtree & Simpson

Cathi, too, gushed over last night’s fete (report filed at 11:52pm):

The museum is actually open so we can see much of the artwork.

I feel so swanky!

There was a superlong line at the bar but a good man pointed us to another bar with no line. It’s not a cash bar — it’s free so watch out!

String trio playing Coldplay!

So many amazing little appetizers incl. cucumbers stuffed with fava bean hummus.

We went outside and there was a DJ so we danced  a lot!!! So fun.

Met delegates from all over, incl. Guam.

Oh by the way having the time of my life!!!

More tomorrow!

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Hot Off The Dance Floor

July 25th Birthdays

Thomas Eakins — A native of Philadelphia, Eakins is viewed as one of the most important visual artists in American history. A realist painter, portraitist, sculptor, photographer, and teacher, he wrote his father while an art student in Paris: “[The female nude] is the most beautiful thing there is in the world except a naked man, but I never yet saw a study of one exhibited.”

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Gavrilo Princip — The man who started World War I?

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Rosalind Franklin — Perhaps science’s most overlooked female. She was instrumental in the discovery of the DNA helix but her two male colleagues, Watson & Crick, weren’t terribly eager to share the credit with her.


Steve Goodman — Songwriter who gave us “City of New Orleans” and this great classic:

Louise Joy Brown — English woman acknowledged as the world’s first test tube baby.


On this date in 1989, Steve Rubell died. He was the co-owner and master of ceremonies of perhaps the apotheosis of the decadent, me-decade 1970s, Studio 54. The nightclub/disco actually occupied the old CBS TV studio on 54th Street in Manhattan. For one New Year’s Eve party there, four tons of glitter were dumped on the dancefloor, leading Rubell’s biz partner, Ian Schrager, to observe it was “like standing on stardust.” And you need never read another word to better understand the ’70s.


(L-R) Andy Warhol, Calvin Klein, Brooke Shields & Rubell At Studio 54

Hot Air: Fresh From Philly

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The Pencil’s Cathi Crabtree, reporting directly from Philadelphia, in whose Brotherly Loving precincts she and her delegate-mates have just arrived, sends along this sked from the state’s Convention delegation:

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I suppose the 5:00pm event is the ritual loosening up of delegates by means of free hors d’oeuvres and booze. Looks like the 7:00pm thing will offer more of the same. Plus, isn’t “hospitality table” code for open bar?

Man, I hope Cathi, Martha & Jeanne packed an ample supply of Tylenol. There promise to be three oversized heads in their shared hotel room early tomorrow morning.

Natch, Cathi’s first act in Philly is to show the town what a Hudsucker Posse hoop wiggler looks like. Here she is, outside her hotel:

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Stick right here, babies, there’s tons more to come as The Pencil covers the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia through the eyes and ears of CC this week.


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