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Seth Meyers slams Trump’s ‘demeaning and sexist’ treatment of female reporters

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Late Night host Seth Meyers has slammed Donald Trump’s treatment of female reporters during Monday’s White House press conference, in which the president defended his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Multiple female reporters tried to ask Trump about FBI’s investigation into accusations of sexual abuse facing Kavanaugh, but as Meyers pointed out in his segment, “A Closer Look,” Trump “shot them down in super demeaning and sexist ways.” 

One of these moments happened when Trump called on ABC News’ Cecilia Vega, saying to her, “I know you’re not thinking, you never do.”

“I mean, how much of a sexist dick can you possibly be?” said Meyers.  Read more…

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Google denies Trump’s claim that it did not promote his State of the Union address

Google is pushing back against a claim by Donald Trump that the search engine stopped promoting State of the Union livestreams on its homepage after his presidency began. Trump’s claim came in the from of a tweeted video, which was still pinned to the top of his profile when this post was published at 9:30 PM PST, Aug. 29, 2018, after Google’s refutation and multiple media reports of its inaccuracy.

Hashtagged #stopthebias, the video appears to show that Google did not display links to livestreams of Trump’s first public speech to a joint session of Congress on February 28, 2017 or his first State of the Union on January 30, 2018, despite promoting Obama’s State of the Union addresses in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

#StopTheBias pic.twitter.com/xqz599iQZw

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 29, 2018

Google, however, says it did indeed highlight Trump’s first State of the Union in 2018, but that it usually does not include links on its homepage to a president’s first public address to Congress, so neither Obama nor Trump’s were featured. In a statement sent to BuzzFeed News, the company said “On January 30, 2018, we highlighted the livestream of President Trump’s State of the Union on the google.com homepage. We have historically not promoted the first address to Congress by a new President, which is technically not a State of the Union address. As a result, we didn’t include a promotion on google.com for this address in either 2009 or 2017.”

Google statement to @JohnPaczkowski on Trump’s tweet pic.twitter.com/1w82mQqApg

— Jon Passantino (@passantino) August 29, 2018

The video shared by Trump does not make a distinction between a president’s first public speech to a joint session of Congress and his first State of the Union address.

A discrepancy in Google’s logo also suggests that at least one of the screenshots, which appear to have been taken from the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, was doctored. A Gizmodo commenter notes that one of the screenshots in the video Trump tweeted, from January 12, 2016, shows a version with the previous Google logo, not the sans-serif version introduced in September 2015, which can be seen in a Wayback Archive’s screen capture from January 10, 2016 and other days from that month when a Google Doodle wasn’t featured.

Capture from the video tweeted from President Trump’s account

One of Wayback Machine’s captures on January 10, 2016

Furthermore, while a link to Trump’s State of the Union does not appear on archived versions of Google’s homepage from January 30, 2018, it does show up on a capture from 1AM on January 31, as Twitter user @WrockBro notes. That may be because the Wayback Machine uses Greenwich Mean Time time stamps.

Not only that, but also this: https://t.co/RfJIKpYGJX

🅱en🛸JPL (@WrockBro) August 30, 2018

The Wayback Machine capture linked by Twitter user @WrockBro

Trump’s tweet is the part of his current onslaught against Google, other tech companies and mainstream media, which he accuses of having a liberal bias and burying news about his administration. It is worth pointing out, however, that Trump’s 2017 first speech to Congress was widely praised as “presidential” by journalists across the political spectrum, even liberal publications. In turn, they were ridiculed by critics for being awed by a president acting presidential.

Michelle Wolf’s White House roast denounced by the people who booked her

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As you’d expect, comedian Michelle Wolf was hired to deliver some provocative jokes at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

Wolf roasted everyone from Trump, to the administration, and the media in her searing address on Saturday night. 

Wolf’s roast was shortly met with criticism, particularly for its jabs at White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ physical appearance, which attracted the ire of pundits who said the comments were too mean.

“Watching a wife and mother be humiliated on national television for her looks is deplorable,” MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski wrote on Twitter.  Read more…

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The makers of the virtual influencer, Lil Miquela, snag real money from Silicon Valley

Brud, the actual company behind one of Instagram’s most popular virtual influencers (it’s a thing), has raised millions of dollars from Silicon Valley investors because this is 2018 and everything is awful.

Last week, the Los Angeles-based startup led by Trevor McFedries, outed itself as the collective consciousness behind the virtual celebrity Lil Miquela and her less well known contemporaries Blawko22 and BermudaisBae in a choreographed melodrama worthy of Los Angeles’ best reality television.

i am deeply invested in the drama surrounding lil miquela and now you all have to be too. sorry!!! https://t.co/ta1T4rDFGz

— maya kosoff (@mekosoff) April 19, 2018

The subject of numerous glowing profiles in online and print fashion and lifestyle magazines (including, most recently, in High Snobiety), Lil Miquela’s stardom (and her fellow avatars) fascinated because the characters’ creators coyly toed the line around “her” self-awareness and their own. In the process, they created a sensation that’s become well-known worldwide.

It’s less well-known that the company is backed by some of the biggest names in venture capital investment — firms like Sequoia Capital. Our sources put the company’s funding somewhere around $6 million in its recent funding round.

There are other notable investors from Silicon Valley and New York rumored to be in the round — like New York’s BoxGroup and the Bay Area’s SV Angel. Sequoia declined to comment for this article and Box Group’s David Tisch did not respond to a request for comment.

All of the virtual drama with Miquela started late last week when news outlets (including TechCrunch) reported that Miquela’s Instagram account (or that of her handlers) was hacked by operators of a social media account belonging to another virtual personality known as “Bermudaisbae” (a more right wing social media persona with fewer followers).

McFedries, brud‘s founder and chief executive, confirmed that the Miquela account had been hacked in a text exchange with me, writing, “some redditor idiots hacked the page we think.”

That was a lie.

The account “hack” was architected by brud as part of an ongoing virtual reality drama playing out on Instagram and other social media platforms between avatars it had developed, all designed to attract media attention, according to people with knowledge of brud and its plans. It worked. 

McFedries has not responded to further requests for comment after confirming that the Miquela account was “good”.

One Los Angeles investor familiar with the company said brud was “using conflict to introduce new characters… same as the Kardashians always have.”

The investor added that two years into the development of the Miquela persona, brud‘s founders knew that the fad could lose some of its luster as the is-she-or-Isn’t-she-real tension dissipates under the weight of continuously thwarted expectations — like a post-modern twist on the will-or-won’t-they dramatic tension defining most sitcoms since Cheers.

“People aren’t going to buy that she’s human so they make it seem as if she’s had an existential crisis and now she is the first in a breed of conscious AR characters that they will build a world around,” this investor wrote. “[Manufacturing] social influence.”

Blawko22 and Lil Miquela imposed over a gas station exterior simulating a pit stop on the road to Coachella

For his part, the 33-yar-old McFedries had been manufacturing social influence in Los Angeles through his talents as a dj, producer and director before entering the startup world.

First under the name of DJ Skeet Skeet and then as DJ Skeeter, and, finally, Yung Skeeter, McFedries has worked or performed with a number of the world’s best selling recording artists including Chris Brown, Ke$ha, and Katy Perry (and — interestingly — more obscure acts like Bonde do Role).  

Working as an an “artist advocate” for Spotify, a DJ for a radio show on iHeartRadio, and as a spokesman for VitaminWater sustained McFedries along with managing the career of BANKS and executive producing her first album and a single on Azealia Banks’ 2014 record “Broke with Expensive Taste” — at least according to a Wikipedia page on Yung Skeeter. 

Around this time McFedries also began investing in companies, according to AngelList.

Roughly two years after the Banks record release, Lil Miquela made her first appearance on Instagram. And the rest is history as written in Internet archives and memes. Ephemeral, but infinite.

The project that brud seems to be pursuing — turning celebrity into a virtual commodity; commenting on the unreality of the “real” entertainment industry by literally creating an unreal celebrity — is fascinating.

There’s certainly a valid criticism to be made about the ways in which celebrity operates, the ways in which our “social” media has corroded society, and the unbridled power of these platforms to transform messengers and their messages into movements.

Perhaps brud wants to make these critiques through its very existence — or at least use its low-brow as high-brow (or is it vice versa?) intellectual appeal as a veneer over the more crass (but potentially honest) mission of selling more shit more effectively through the use of spokespeople whose views only change when their creators want them to (it worked for Hollywood’s star system). That at least gets sponsors and advertisers out of the potentially messy situations that can come from working with spokespeople whose actions can’t be controlled by software — or an ingenious marketing team.

In the High Snobiety profile-as-honors-senior-English-thesis on Lil Miquela published yesterday, the avatar’s own spokesperson was quoted as saying:

“The internet is endlessly powerful, and that power has been wielded in many ways. It feels like we’re not going to put the genie back in the bottle, so we’ve got to learn how to leverage these tools in positive ways. I’ve used my platform to raise real money for important organizations throughout LA and I’ve seen lives changed as a result. I think the only chance we’ve got is to collectively teach our loved ones how to think critically and how to spot misinformation. I know that we can manifest the change we want to see, and the internet can be a part of that.”

It’s a lofty goal backed by a number of inarguably good works. However, lying to reporters may not be the best way to continue trying to achieve it.

Man, Shania Twain regrets saying she would have voted for Trump

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Well, that was fast.

Perennial country star of our hearts, Shania Twain, has backtracked on saying she would’ve voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 U.S. election.

The revelation came from an interview with The Guardian published on Sunday, which focused on the Canadian artist’s musical career and her shattering divorce with her collaborator and husband Robert Lange. 

On Trump, Twain said, “I would have voted for him because, even though he was offensive, he seemed honest.”

“Do you want straight or polite? Not that you shouldn’t be able to have both. If I were voting, I just don’t want bullshit. I would have voted for a feeling that it was transparent. And politics has a reputation of not being that, right?” she added.  Read more…

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Elon Musk just replied to Trump’s SpaceX Falcon Heavy tweet

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President Donald Trump has congratulated Elon Musk’s SpaceX for the successful launch of the Falcon Heavy rocket.

Musk replied, “An exciting future lies ahead.”

Trump tweeted at the SpaceX and Tesla CEO on Tuesday after the launch of the Falcon Heavy (and its payload of a Tesla Roadster) from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. 

It would have been a much more straightforward space-related moment for Trump than the time he looked directly into an eclipse without glasses

Congratulations @ElonMusk and @SpaceX on the successful #FalconHeavy launch. This achievement, along with @NASA’s commercial and international partners, continues to show American ingenuity at its best! pic.twitter.com/eZfLSpyJPK

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 7, 2018 Read more…

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Yes, this is the front page of the Washington Post after Trump’s speech

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Update, Jan. 31, 1:25 a.m. ET: This story has been updated to include the final front page from the Washington Post

During his first State of the Union speech, Donald Trump characterized immigrants as violent gang members, pushed for more nukes, and vilified athletes who protest police brutality. 

But that’s not the story the first edition of the Washington Post told.

Here’s the front page of tomorrow’s Washington Post: pic.twitter.com/5HQmDNoa4r

— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) January 31, 2018

People who saw Trump’s speech were, um, a little confused. Apparently, the fact that Donnie didn’t rip off his shirt and scream “MAGA!” in Nancy Pelosi’s face was very “presidential.”  Read more…

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Trump liked a tweet about his ‘great friend’ being accused of sexual misconduct

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Despite how active President Donald Trump is on Twitter, he rarely smashes that “like” button. But on Friday night, Trump liked” his 25th tweet. 

The tweet concerned Steve Wynn, a billionaire casino mogul and RNC finance chair, over recent sexual assault allegationsAccording to the Wall Street Journal, dozens of people have accused Wynn of sexual misconduct, including pressuring employees to have sex with him. 

By 10:25 p.m. ET on Friday, the like was gone, but the internet doesn’t forget so easily. 

Image: screenshot/twitter

But Wynn isn’t just some guy to Trump, who also owns hotel property in Las Vegas. In 2016, Trump referred to Wynn as a “great friend.” A great friend who also donated $729,217 in entertainment to Trump’s inauguration through Wynn Resorts Ltd. Read more…

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Trump’s racist ‘sh*thole’ comment: Who censored and who didn’t?

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Trump’s racist comment about “shithole” countries shocked with its crudity, leaving the press figuring out how to deal with the word.

The U.S. president used the word to refer to Haiti, El Salvador and other African countries. Trump questioned why its people were were coming to America, and asked lawmakers why the U.S. didn’t accept more people from Norway, a majority Nordic (white) country.

In the original Washington Post report, “shithole” appears in all its unsightliness throughout the article and in its headline.  Read more…

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Pete Souza throws shade at Trump for ‘nuclear button’ tweet

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Pete Souza is back with more Instaburns for Donald Trump, after the latest scary-beyond-all-reason tweet from the president.

The former Chief Official White House Photographer during the Obama Administration, Souza has posted two images on Instagram in response to President Trump’s boast on Twitter that his “nuclear button” was bigger than the one apparently on North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s desk.

North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.” Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2018 Read more…

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Someone made a bad lip reading Trump Christmas song and it’s annoyingly catchy

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Bad lip readings are mostly unrealistic, which makes them a hoot to watch. Their latest video, however, is all about Christmas and the Trump. It doesn’t ask you to stretch your imagination too much, except imaging the president singing with a reasonable pitch. 

The Donald sings and dances his way through a holiday song we didn’t really need in our lives, but it’s here and it’s unfortunately for us all, a little catchy.  Read more…

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Roy Moore lost the election and everyone made the same joke

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Roy Moore is bad at riding horses, and on Tuesday night, he was bad at winning elections. 

Moore lost the Senate race in Alabama to Democrat Doug Jones and a lot of people were happy about it. Moore’s win came as a surprise, as Democrats haven’t fared well in Alabama elections for about a quarter decade.

But back to the horse thing. Here is the Republican candidate — who was endorsed by Donald Trump, even though he’s been accused of sexual misconduct by nine women and said America was last “great” when slavery was legal — trying to play cowboy earlier in the day.  Read more…

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MSNBC trolls Donald Trump with Obama ‘Merry Christmas’ montage

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According to Donald Trump, Donald Trump is solely responsible for coining the term “fake news,” Making America Great Again, and of course, bringing the phrase “Merry Christmas” back into the White House.

On Wednesday, Donny T. delivered a tax reform speech in St. Charles, Missouri, that started and ended with a focus on Christmas. Trump bragged and bragged about how he is the one bringing Christmas back to America, acting as though former presidents straight-up banned the holiday from the calendar or something.

MSNBC decided to investigate his claims, and believe it or not, it turns out Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, did in fact have those two words in his vocabulary. Can you imagine? Read more…

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This pic of the White House decked out for Christmas looks like hell on Earth

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Goodbye, Thanksgiving. Hello, Christmas. 

The official war for Christmas has begun in the Trump White House as the administration unveiled a sneak peek at its decorations for the holiday season. 

We’re living in dark times, folks.

The holidays are upon us!! Right now: flotus is seeing to every last detail here at the @WhiteHouse pic.twitter.com/TglHYDVUx1

— Stephanie Grisham (@StephGrisham45) November 27, 2017

On Sunday, Stephanie Grisham, the White House director of communications for First Lady Melania Trump, tweeted this nightmarish scene from inside the White House, as she was putting finishing touches on the decorations. Bunches of dead trees illuminated only from the bottom cast a horrifying shadow on the hallway’s ceiling, leading to a lonely Christmas tree at the end. Read more…

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Trump’s ‘Time’ tweet got better with every internet spoof

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It’s Thanksgiving week, and you know what that means: Time for Donald Trump’s annual tiff with Time magazine and it’s “Person of the Year” issue. 

Trump won the honor last year, which should have silenced his irritation forthwith. But because he’s Donald Trump, he will not be satisfied unless he is the center of all attention always. 

Time Magazine called to say that I was PROBABLY going to be named “Man (Person) of the Year,” like last year, but I would have to agree to an interview and a major photo shoot. I said probably is no good and took a pass. Thanks anyway!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 24, 2017 Read more…

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Some poor guy had to sit between Trump and South Korea’s president for a ‘casual’ meal

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Oh man, imagine having to be this guy.

On Tuesday, U.S. president Donald Trump stopped by military base Camp Humphreys for lunch, during his official visit to South Korea.

For some reason, they sat one single soldier between Trump and South Korean president, Moon Jae-in. So that guy sat awkwardly while Trump and Moon talked across him.

"Why me?"

“Why me?”

Image: weibo

A video clip of the incident has been picked up on South Korean TV, highlighting the poor guy’s stunned expression as he sat between the two world leaders, apparently too terrified to eat. Read more…

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Why it's so messed up that Trump just used the word “ingrates” in relation to Puerto Rico

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There isn’t a low bar for Donald Trump comments anymore. The bar has been obliterated. Everything he says is terrible, including Sunday morning’s tweet about political “ingrates” in Puerto Rico.

In the wake of Hurricane Maria, San Juan’s mayor, Carmen Yulín Cruz, has been explicit about the horrific conditions of the people in Puerto Rico, and transparent about the lack of support the island has been receiving from Donald Trump. She hasn’t attacked Trump outright, but she’s resorted to outright begging for help.

In response to Cruz, the president has been tweeting—and golfing—amidst one of the most horrendous humanitarian crises of his administration. His latest tweets, on Sunday morning, seemed to imply that Cruz and the people of Puerto Rico aren’t thankful enough for the minimal amount of aid that’s been provided so far. Read more…

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NFL players slam Donald Trump for rant against protests

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Football players are lashing out at Donald Trump after the president went on an extended rant about athlete activism at a rally Friday night.

Trump called on NFL owners to fire players who kneel or otherwise protest during the national anthem and encouraged fans to boycott the league.

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out. He’s fired! He’s fired!” Trump said.

Read the transcript from Trump’s racist rant on Black players in the NFL

It’s WAY worse than I thoughtpic.twitter.com/WbbUEZvVgr

— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) September 23, 2017 Read more…

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Trump's nominee for NASA administrator is really into the moon

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James Bridenstine is ready to take America back to the moon. 

With Donald Trump’s Friday announcement that he intends to nominate the Oklahoma representative as administrator of NASA, Bridenstine is one step closer to his moon dreams.

Rep. Bridenstine is already on the House Science, Space and Technology Committee and has been gunning for the head boss role at NASA. The position has been open since Trump’s inauguration with acting administrator Robert Lightfoot Jr. serving in the role. 

The long wait on a nomination for NASA administrator could end as soon as Tuesdayhttps://t.co/jhnYEA7ccP

— Jeff Foust (@jeff_foust) September 1, 2017 Read more…

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Amazon, Facebook, Google and other tech giants urge Trump to continue DACA program

 America’s tech industry has urged President Donald Trump and other political leaders to continue a program that allows undocumented young immigrants to remain in the country. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is an initiative that was established by former President Obama. Also known as the Dreamers Program, it gives young immigrants the opportunity to stay in the U.S., to… Read More

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Trump says he doesn't 'do Twitter storms' – uh huh, ok, sure

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President Donald Trump, who can both make the world cower in fear and belly laugh in response to his very well-known tweetstorms, wants you to know a very important fact: He doesn’t ‘do Twitter storms.’

“Do you notice when I go on and I’ll put out like a tweet or a couple of tweets, ‘He’s in a Twitter storm again,'” he said at a Phoenix rally Tuesday night. “I don’t do Twitter storms.”

OK, um, but what about the tweetstorm when ex-FBI Director James Comey got fired or the one about his failed Muslim travel ban or that time he tweetstormed the hell out of his Obama wiretapping accusations, oh and don’t forget the tweetstorms about the “illegal leaks,” Democrats, and the “fake media?” Read more…

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Bannon back at Breitbart after Trump White House ouster: 'I've got my hands back on my weapons'

Hold on to your butts, America. Steve Bannon is, as an ally told one reporter, “unchained” after being relieved of his White House duties as Trump’s strategic advisor

In an interview this evening, Bannon tells the Weekly Standard he’s returning to run Breitbart.com, as he was before becoming Trump’s campaign manager exactly one year and one day ago today.

Bannon will become Executive Chairman of the white supremacist “alt-right” publishing firm. “I built a f***ing machine at Breitbart,” Bannon said, “And now I’m about to go back…and we’re about to rev that machine up.”

(more…)

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Tina Fey eats a cake for America on SNL's 'Weekend Update: Summer Edition'

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Tina Fey didn’t like seeing racists march through her college town. 

“It broke my heart to see these evil forces descend upon Charlottesville,” the University of Virginia graduate told Colin Jost on Weekend Update: Summer Edition.

Then she laid into Donald Trump. 

“Donny John comes out and he says that he condemns violence on many sides, on many sides, Colin. I’m feeling sick because, you know, I have seen Raiders of the Lost Ark. I wasn’t confused by it. No, Colin, Nazis are always bad, I don’t care what you say.”

When talking about a planned alt-right rally on Saturday in New York City, she settled on a desert-based method of protesting. Read more…

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Jimmy Fallon fights back tears as he delivers powerful attack on Trump after Charlottesville

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We already knew that Jimmy Fallon doesn’t hold back when it comes to addressing serious, critical issues. 

But this time, in the aftermath of the horrific events of this past weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia, he might have delivered his most powerful, politically charged statement yet. 

“What happened over the weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia, was just disgusting. I was watching the news like everyone else, and you’re seeing Nazi flags and torches and white supremacists, and I was sick to my stomach,” he said, tears welling in his eyes.  Read more…

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U.S. court tosses murder conviction of Blackwater guard Nicholas Slatten in massacre of 14 unarmed Iraqi civilians

A U.S. Federal appeals court today threw out the murder conviction of former Blackwater security guard Nicholas Slatten, who had been sentenced to life in prison for his role in the 2007 massacre of 14 unarmed Iraqi civilians in Baghdad.

Slatten and other former staff of military security contractor Blackwater (renamed Xe Services, now Academi, run by Erik Prince, brother of Trump DOE chief Betsy DeVos) were the focus of a high-profile legal case that has stretched on for a full decade.

Dozens of people from Iraq traveled to the United States for the trial, as we reported ten years ago here on Boing Boing. And the judge who sentenced Slatten to life in prison decided he was a nice guy who deserved a break (from the death penalty).

From Reuters:

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ordered a new trial after tossing out the murder conviction of former security contractor Nicholas Slatten.

The three-judge panel said Slatten should have had a separate trial instead of being tried alongside his former colleagues. At a new trial, Slatten would be able to introduce evidence that one of his co-defendants had fired the first shot.

Separately, the court said Paul Slough, Dustin Heard and Evan Liberty, who were all convicted of manslaughter and other offenses over their respective roles in the incident, should be re-sentenced because their 30-year prison terms were too long. The court also threw out one of Liberty’s convictions for attempted manslaughter.

No word from the Justice Department, or lawyers for the defendants.

The mass killing at a traffic circle in Iraq’s capital city on Sept. 16, 2007 was notable for its sheer brutality, and brought into focus concerns over the growing number of private military contractors working alongside U.S. military forces in Iraq and other mideast war zones.

Erik Prince, the founder and chief of the many-times-renamed firm at the center of this story, is now advising President Donald Trump’s regime on how to further privatize American military operations overseas.

We’ll always have the Seychelles.

In the Reuters photo above from September 20, 2007, one of the people who was wounded the Blackwater shooting attack is helped by his relatives in a hospital in Baghdad, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki at the time said the U.S. embassy should stop using American security firm Blackwater after the deadly shooting, saying he would not allow Iraqis to be killed in “cold blood”.

PHOTO, TOP: Blackwater Worldwide security guard Nick Slatten (C) and attorneys leave the federal courthouse after being arraigned with 4 fellow Blackwater guards on manslaughter charges for killing unarmed civilians in a 2007 shooting in Baghdad, in Washington in this January 6, 2009 file photo. (Reuters)

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Crunch Report | Apple Rolls Out Early Version Of Its Safe Driving Feature

Crunch Report June 22 Today’s Stories  Do Not Disturb While Driving feature rolls out in Apple’s newest iOS 11 beta Sean Parker has left Spotify’s board; Padmasree Warrior, Thomas Staggs join in lead up to IPO Trump might kill next month’s new startup visa before it takes effect Facebook is testing a feature to prevent profile pictures being abused by other users Tantan, China’s… Read More

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Read the Trump team's pathetic anti-Comey talking points

These RNC talking points to Trump allies on Comey’s testimony tomorrow are making the internet rounds. Pretty rich. You can also see these words and phrases start to percolate through statements coming from various members of Team Trump, on social media and in the press. Fired FBI Director James Comey’s testimony before the Senate intelligence panel is expected to start at 10 a.m. ET on Thursday. Hold on to your butts.

(more…)

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Macron rewrites Trump campaign slogan as “Make Our Planet Great Again”

Emmanuel Macron, the President of France, rewrote U.S. President Donald Trump’s ‘MAGA’ campaign slogan today in protest of the administration’s absurd withdrawal from the Paris climate accords. “Make Our Planet Great Again,” says Macron. We’re in alignment with Nicaragua and Syria, says Trump.

(more…)

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A Trump aide perfectly captured the FBI disaster by texting 2 emoji

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It looks like White House was in total chaos following the news that Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey.

How bad was it? Too crazy for words. 

“When asked Tuesday night for an update on the unfolding situation, one top White House aide simply texted a reporter two fireworks emoji,” according to a juicy story from Washington Post. The piece claims the White House was totally unprepared for the fallout and had to scramble to put together a response. 

The president was “irate” as he watched coverage of the firing on TV, the Post reported. Here’s a “West Wing official” on how it went down: Read more…

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Trump 'Crazy': President described by fired FBI director Comey as 'outside realm of normal'

When President Donald Trump accused outgoing President Barack Obama in March of ‘wiretapping’ him, James B. Comey, then the FBI director, was “flabbergasted,” reports the New York Times in a breakdown of Comey’s thuggish dismissal that includes jawdropping detail. The president, Comey told his FBI associates, was “outside the realm of normal,” even “crazy.”

Those are the words he used, reports the Times.

(more…)

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Stephen Colbert has a brilliant explanation of why Donald Trump fired James Comey

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The big news everyone is talking about is Donald Trump firing FBI director James Comey. 

It happened just 10 minutes before Stephen Colbert taped The Late Show, but the late night host had plenty of rounds to fire. 

“That shows no gratitude at all. Did Trump forget about the Hillary emails that Comey talked about?” Colbert said. 

Trump said in a letter that Comey was “not able to effectively lead the Bureau” after the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails, but Colbert thinks he has a more plausible explanation. 

“I think he was fired because Comey couldn’t guess the name Rumpelstiltskin,” he joked. Read more…

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Russian flags rained down in a confetti-style protest during Trump's rally

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Trolling is mostly dumb, but sometimes it’s an art. 

President Donald Trump held a rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday and, as he was speaking, someone tossed a bunch of tiny Russian flags, confetti-style, in front of the cameras streaming his speech to news networks. 

As far as protests go, it certainly earns points for creativity. 

The Trump campaign and administration officials have had a lot of unexplained contact with Russian officials, much of which is currently under investigation. A former campaign manager allegedly laundered money for a Ukrainian political party with ties to the Russian government. The FBI got a surveillance court order in the summer of 2016 to watch a Trump adviser because of an investigation into links between the Kremlin and the current president’s campaign. And if you’re looking for more…oddities…they’re not hard to find. Read more…

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Obama to end silence with first post-presidency speaking appearance in Chicago

Former U.S. President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama have been enjoying an extended post-presidency vacation around the world, but that’s about to end. Barack Obama is slated to break his silence in Chicago on Monday, April 24. If you’re hoping he will rip into Donald Trump, we’ve got sad news for you.

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Alec Baldwin plays both Donald Trump and Bill O'Reilly in searing 'SNL' skit

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Alec Baldwin played two problematic, white American men on this week’s Saturday Night Live. 

He first appeared as President Donald Trump in the show’s cold open and later pulled double duty, playing both Trump and Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly in a scathing sketch addressing the sexual harassment allegations against the O’Reilly Factor host.

Baldwin’s O’Reilly opened the segment by promising to address “the scandal everyone’s been talking about all week.”

“The scandal no one thought I’d have the guts to address head on,” he added, “about the shocking allegations of abuse of power that have been leveled against … the Obama administration.” Read more…

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Tina Fey has a message for all the college-educated white women that voted

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Tina Fey isn’t one to mince words—and she had some very important things to say on Friday night. 

The comedian took part in the American Civil Liberties (ACLU) Facebook Live telethon, fundraising alongside Amy Poehler, Tom Hanks, and more for the organization. During the nearly four-hour-long broadcast, Fey took the opportunity to speak to Donald Trump supporters—and specifically, to the college-educated white women voters among them. 

“A lot of this election was turned by white, college-educated women who now would like to forget about this election and go back to watching HGTV,” the actress said during an interview with Donna Lieberman and Louise Melling of the ACLU.   Read more…

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This resistance group is sending Trump notes on toilet paper

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If Trump toilet paper isn’t enough for you, sending the new president a pertinent message on TP and other bathroom items might do the trick.

A group of activist friends based out of New York City frustrated with the results of November’s election are facilitating a sh*tshow of sorts straight to Donald Trump’s mailbox at the White House.

If you write a message on toilet paper, a pad or a tampon, the group will mail it to D.C. as part of their “Million Mile Message” campaign. For $10, it’s act of resistance that’s a bit different to sending a postcard or letter.  

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Trump, 'Art of the Deal' President, 'grapples with rare bout of self-doubt' as Trumpcare implodes

The chaos surrounding Donald Trump and Paul Ryan’s monster of a health care bill grows: a long-planned vote in Congress was called off today, representing a devastating blow to the narcissist-in-chief’s bravado. Late news on Thursday night, “The President told Steve Bannon and Reince Priebus to go to the capital and tell Ryan to call a vote tomorrow,” reports MSNBC at 11:30pm ET.

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In surprise to no one, anti-Trump billboard with Nazi imagery has some people upset

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There are subtle ways to protest Donald Trump. Then there’s putting up a billboard with mushroom clouds and dollar signs that look like swastikas.

The billboard from artist Karen Fiorito went up in downtown Phoenix on Friday afternoon and (surprise!) some Trump supporters were not too happy about it.  Read more…

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Trump tried to share a proverb for St. Patrick's Day and it didn't go very well

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After an Ireland-centric day including meetings with its Prime Minster Enda Kenny, Donald Trump attempted to bestow some wisdom by sharing his favorite proverb of “many years.” 

Only, as Twitter users quickly pointed out, it wasn’t a proverb. And it wasn’t Irish. 

“As we stand together with our Irish friends, I’m reminded of that proverb—and this is a good one, this is one I like. I’ve heard it for many many years and I love it,” Trump said.

“Always remember to forget the friends that proved untrue but never forget to remember those that have stuck by you,” he said. “A lot of us know that, we know it well,” he added. “It’s a great phrase.” Read more…

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Barbra Streisand doesn't need people, she needs pancakes

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People who need pancakes are not the luckiest people in the world – they’re the most disgusted with the current state of the world. 

Formidable songstress and political activist Barbra Streisand has admitted to letting the current state of political affairs get to her in the most relatable of ways: stress eating. 

Donald Trump is making me gain weight. I start the day with liquids, but after the morning news, I eat pancakes smothered in maple syrup!

— Barbra Streisand (@BarbraStreisand) March 5, 2017

Streisand, who has previously called Trump, “both dangerous and unfit for office,” followed up that initial tweet with another one that reinforces her new breakfast routine. Read more…

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Tech takes a softer initial stance on Trump’s latest executive order

 After several courts shot down his executive order that banned travelers from seven nations from entering the United States, President Trump today made another attempt to implement his proposed Muslim immigration ban. Trump signed a new executive order this morning that reduces the list of affected nations to six — it now excludes Iraq — and provides some clarity about the… Read More

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Trump still refuses to wear his tie correctly and tapes it down instead

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Donald Trump is a man of quick fixes — a big wall to deal with immigration, random rallies to build popularity, or “alternative facts” to blur away undesirable truths.

So it’s no wonder he has quite the fix for keeping his tie in place — clear office tape.

Months ago, Trump was spotted sticking a piece of tape on the back of his tie, and as learned on Monday, he’s still doing it now he’s president.

There it is again, the taped tiepic.twitter.com/n1C9OuHqGt

— Jim Dao (@jimdao) March 6, 2017

For a man weirdly obsessed with appearances, Trump is pretty loose with that tie. It’s a small quirk that actually tells you a lot about the life philosophy of the reality star-businessman who was recently elected president — at least if Twitter jokes have anything to say about it. Read more…

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