If you haven't tuned in to the RNC yet, here are 13 reasons why you should.

If you haven't tuned in to the Republican National Convention yet, you’re not alone.

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images.


Maybe you’re a Republican who gnashes their teeth every time Donald Trump opens his mouth. Maybe you’re a Democrat who’s already heard "Jail Shillary Clinton" enough for one decade. Or maybe you’re just a person who gets bored by boring speeches.

And yet, you still want to do your civic duty. You want to be able to participate in the watercooler conversation. Or, perhaps, you’re a nervous internet writer who dabbles in politics and you want to continue to justify your salary to the publication that employs you.

Fear not! Even if the speeches ramble, the music is suspect, and the balloon drop is anticlimactic, there are many ways to make watching the RNC a fun experience for the whole family:

1. Focus on the fun hats.

When you watch a baseball game, you see baseball caps. When you watch a rodeo, you see cowboy hats. When you watch bearded 27-year-old programmers in "Buffy" T-shirts hitting on college students, you see fedoras.

The hats at the RNC are in another league. A noble league ... like The League of Nations.

A league that peaked in 1918.

Cowboy hats?

Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images.

Check.

Coonskin caps?

Photo by Timothy A. Clary/Getty Images.

Check!

Hats directly from the costume chest for the West Oakport Community Players production of "The Music Man"?


Photo by Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images.

Check and mate.

If you’re a fan of delightfully anachronistic haberdashery, the Republican National Convention is the small-screen event of the mid-2010s.

2. Watch campaign operatives desperately try to spin obvious screwups into success stories.

Melania Trump's apparent cribbing of a passage from a 2008 Michelle Obama speech on the first night of the RNC has already sent Trump's surrogates into a flurry of questionably credible but extremely entertaining denials.

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images.

Some simply pretended it didn't happen. Some tried to explain it away as a case of the two women simply having the exact same thoughts on the exact same subject. Others suggested that — hey! — only 7% of the speech was plagiarized, which really isn't that much. (College students on deadline, take note!)

There's no feeling quite so warm and cozy as sitting back on your couch, knowing there's a problem out there in the world ... and it's someone else's job to deal with it.

3. Cheer on the dancing delegates.

2012 convention attendees get their clap on. Photo by Robyn Beck/Getty Images.

The RNC remains America’s #1 source of elderly people who’ve still got it, show it, and want you to know it.

Curious what style of arrhythmic jerking was popular in 1962? Looking forward to seeing some semi-coordinated American flag-ography? Want to watch a county commissioner from Ladysmith, Wisconsin, gingerly hip-bumping the state comptroller of Tennessee?

You only get one chance every four years. Seize it!

4. Gawk at the ridiculously over-the-top entrances.

For Donald Trump, last night's raucous, backlit entrance to "We Are the Champions" was actually pretty restrained.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

It can only get more grandiose from here. Will we see him riding in on a hoverboard? Descending from the ceiling on ropes? Time-jumping in from the future? It's only Tuesday! The possibilities are endless.

5. Feel nostalgic about celebrities you haven’t thought about since you were a kid/before you were born.

Sure, "celebrity" might not the exact right word, but it totally would be if you had a time machine.

Scott Baio (Chachi!) was there Monday night.


Ehhhhhhhhhh. Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images.

So was Antonio Sabato Jr., who totally was in something once.

Oh and hey, remember soap star Kimberlin Brown? No? Well, she’s speaking too.

Like Pogs, jelly shoes, and friendship bracelets, you might not have missed them and you might not have even loved them all that much even at the height of their popularity, but they're back, and sure, why not!

6. Cringe at the massive pandering fails.

In a Monday session with delegates from Pennsylvania, Paul Ryan took a few seconds to wave a Terrible Towel — an emblem of the Pittsburgh Steelers — in the air...

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images.

...which irked some in the city of Cleveland, where the RNC is happening. They were none too pleased to see the Republican leader brandish the banner of their bitter football rival.

In other news, Cleveland and Pittsburgh are apparently different cities. You learn new things when you watch the RNC!

7. Shovel popcorn into your mouth as Trump and his team pick random, hugely entertaining fights with GOP lawmakers.

Fittingly, for a candidate whose highest profile accomplishment is hosting a reality show, Donald Trump is really, really, good at draaaaaaaaaama.

Even before the speeches started, top Trump aide Paul Manafort attacked Ohio Gov. John Kasich — America's Republican uncle — as "petulant" for refusing to attend the convention.

Photo by J.D. Pooley/Getty Images.

"Manafort’s problem, after all those years on the lam with thugs and autocrats, is that he can’t recognize principle and integrity," Kasich strategist John Weaver fired back in an e-mail to The New York Times, calling out Manafort's public relations work for the former president of Ukraine.

Rawr! Go get 'em, boys!

8. Daydream about what LeBron James is doing elsewhere in Cleveland while all this is going on.


Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images.

One of the great things about Cleveland hosting the convention is that, if you’re not feeling the program, you can just close your eyes and imagine what King James is up to just a few blocks away at any given moment. Maybe he's grabbing a beer at the Radisson lobby bar across the street or wandering around the perimeter of Quicken Loans Arena trying to catch a Pikachu!

Train your brain to conjure 'Bron, and you're sure to realize a truth that hardened political insiders have long known: The mental image of LeBron James doing anything beats watching the 19th lieutenant governor shuffle haltingly around the stage to Kid Rock’s "Born Free."

9. Enjoy the spectacle of news organizations testing out new technology with mixed results.

The Washington Post has a robot!


Come for the debut of an amazing, cutting-edge mass communication tool. Stay for the schadenfreude of when it inevitably, hilariously tips slowly forward and plants on its face.

10. Applaud the fact-checkers doing A+ work.

It's pretty hard to wallow in self pity about having to sit through three prime-time hours of the Trump Family Variety Spectacular when the heroes at FactCheck.org are spending their week watching every minute of both conventions evaluating every ridiculously hyperbolic claim made by every marginal elected official on that stage, presumably with their eyelids taped open.


Every single American owes these people a drink. At the very least, we need to all go in for a gift basket.

11. Savor the meme-worthy speech faces.

Like this one:

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images.

11. Revel in the ramshackle production quality.

A delegate stands on stage. The lights are hot. He's got his suit, tie, and firmest scowl on. He's projecting a stern air of authority. He's feeling good.

And then, this happens:


One prop master's catastrophe is one potato-chip-eating, couch-slouching American's perfect television.

12. Rock out to the endless playlist of music you love to hate to love to wonder what even is it?

Between the speeches, the logistical announcements, and the arcane points of order, the playlist on the first day of the 2016 RNC featured a weird collection of B sides — "Limelight" by Rush, The Who's "Eminence Front," "Stay With Me" by Rod Stewart — that undoubtedly delighted your Uncle Craig:

"I have an extra ticket to see Yes with your name on it." Photo via iStock.

But it pretty much left everyone else scratching their heads. And you know what, scratching your head is immensely soothing and gratifying, so thanks, music team!

13. Appreciate that you are watching democracy happen in real time — weirdly — exactly the way it’s supposed to.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

You may not be thrilled about the election. You may think the ads are tacky. You may wish the participants were different (dear God, you may wish the participants were different).

You can hate everything about the American political process and still be grateful this is how our political transitions go down rather than when the guy in charge dies and his 9-year-old son takes over, or when a bunch of tanks plow over the White House while the president is in Bermuda, or when every federal employee is replaced by an alien impostor except for a single, mild-mannered Nebraska congressman who, luckily, is played by Kurt Russell.

New political administrations in America happen after a bunch of nerdy bureaucrats make a bunch of boring speeches about freedom, justice, and patriotism in support of candidates we don’t like very much but who we will dutifully go out and choose between in November.

It’s unglamorous. It’s stressful. It’s frustrating and exhausting. But I’m going to tune in. Because it really is the worst.

Except for all the other options.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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via US Secretary of Defense / Flickr and The Today Show

As the nation braces itself for the verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial, President Biden has embraced the family of George Floyd at what has to be an incredibly stressful time.

Following closing arguments in the Chauvin trial on Monday, Judge Peter Cahill has sent jurors to deliberate. The verdict is expected to come in the next few days.

"He was just calling," George's brother, Philonise Floyd, said about the president. "He knows how it is to lose a family member, and he knows the process of what we're going through. So he was just letting us know that he was praying for us, hoping that everything will come out to be OK."

Biden lost his wife and one-year-old daughter in a tragic car accident in 1972 and his son Beau to cancer in 2015.

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2020 was difficult (to say the least). The year was full of life changes, losses, and lessons as we learned to navigate the "new normal." You may have questions about what the changes and challenges of 2020 mean for your taxes. That's where TurboTax Live comes in, making it easy to connect with real tax experts to help with your taxes – or even do them for you, start to finish.

Not only has TurboTax Live helped millions of people get their taxes done right, but this year they've also celebrated people who uplifted their communities during a difficult time by surprising them with "little lifts" to help out even more.

Here are a few of their stories:


Julz, hairdresser and salon owner

"As a hairdresser and salon owner, 2020 was extremely challenging," says Julz. "Being a hairdresser has historically been a recession-proof industry, but we've never faced global shut down due to health risk, or pandemic, not in my lifetime. And for the first time, hairdressers didn't have job security."

Julz had to shut down her salon and go on unemployment benefits for the first time. She also had to figure out how she was going to support herself, her staff and her business during this difficult time. But many other beauty industry professionals didn't have access to the resources they needed, so Julz decided to help.

"My business partner and I began teaching basic financial literacy to other beauty industry professionals," she says. "Transitioning our business from behind the chair to an online academy was a challenge we tackled head-on so that we could move hairdressers into this new space of education, and create a more accessible curriculum to better serve our industry.

Julz connected with a TurboTax Live expert who helped her understand how unemployment affected her taxes and gave her guidance on filing quarterly estimated taxes for her small business. "I was terrified to sit at a computer and tackle this mess of receipts," Julz says, so "it was great to have some virtual handholding to walk me through each question."

In addition to giving Julz the personalized tax advice she needed, TurboTax Live surprised her with a "little lift" that empowered her to help even more beauty professionals. "When my tax expert Diana surprised me with a little lift, I was moved to tears," says Julz. "With that little lift, I was able to establish a scholarship fund to help get other hairdressers the education they deserve."


Alana, new mom

Alana welcomed her first child in 2020. "I think my biggest challenge was figuring out how to be a mom, with no guidance," she says. "My original plan was to have my mom by my side, teaching me the ropes, but because of COVID, she wasn't able to come out here."

She was also without a job for most of 2020 and struggled to find something new.

So, Alana took it as a sign: she decided to launch her own business so she could support her new baby, and that's exactly what she did. She started a feel-good company that specializes in creating affirmation card decks — and she's currently in the process of starting a second, video-editing business.

TurboTax Live answered Alana's questions about her taxes and gave her some much-needed advice as she prepared to launch her businesses. Thanks to their "little lift," they provided her with a little emotional support too.

"I got my mom a plane ticket to finally [have her] meet [my daughter] for her first birthday," Alana says. "I was also able to get a new computer," which helped her invest in her new business and work on her video editing skills. "It's helped my family and me so much," she says.


Michael, science teacher

When schools shut down across the country last year, Michael had to learn how to adapt to a virtual classroom.

"As a teacher, I had to completely revamp everything," he says, so that he could keep his students engaged while teaching online. "At the beginning, it was a nightmare because I had no idea. I had to go from A-Z within a couple of weeks."

Michael's TurboTax Live expert answered his questions about how working from home affected his taxes and helped him uncover surprising tax deductions. To top it all off, his expert surprised him with brand new science equipment and supplies, which allowed him to create an entire line of classes on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook. "Now I can truly potentially reach millions of children with my lessons," he says. "I would never have taken that leap if not for the little lift from TurboTax Live."



Ricky, motivational youth speaker

As a motivational speaker, Ricky was used to doing his job in person, but, he says, "when COVID-19 hit, it altered my ability to travel and visit schools in person [because] schools moved to fully virtual or hybrid models."

He knew he had to pivot — so he began offering small virtual group workshops for student leadership groups at middle and high schools.

"This allowed me to work with student leaders to plan how they would continue making a positive impact on their school community," he says. He wasn't sure how being remote would affect his taxes, but TurboTax Live Self-Employed gave him the advice and answers that he needed to keep more money in his pocket at tax time — and the little lift he received from them has helped him serve even more students.

"[It] has been a major blessing," he says "There will be multiple schools and student groups from across the country that I can hold leadership workshops with to empower them with the tools to be inspirational leaders in their school, community, and world."

Plus, he says, it was great knowing he had an expert to help him figure out how being remote affected his taxes. "I felt confident and assured in the process of filing my taxes knowing I had an expert working with me, says Ricky. "There were things my expert knew that I would not have considered when filing on my own."

Filing your taxes doesn't have to be intimidating, especially after a year like 2020. TurboTax Live experts can give you the "little lift" you need to get your taxes done. File with the help of an expert or let an expert file for you! Go to TurboTax Live to get started.