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Woman says Franken groped, kissed her without consent in 2006

Updated 3:09 PM ET, Thu November 16, 2017

(CNN) – A woman said Thursday that Minnesota Democratic Sen. Al Franken groped her and kissed her without her consent in 2006 while she was on a USO Tour overseas.

Leeann Tweeden is now a morning news anchor on TalkRadio 790 KABC in Los Angeles and posted her story in a lengthy post on the station’s website.
The incidents happened before Franken was elected to the Senate in 2008 and was seated in 2009 following a recount.
 
Tweeden described the harassment as being part of a script for a USO skit where Franken wrote where he’s supposed to kiss her. She writes that Franken repeatedly insisted they rehearse the kissing scene despite her protests. When she relented, Franken, “put his hand on the back of my head, mashed his lips against mine and aggressively stuck his tongue in my mouth.”
“Senator Franken, you wrote the script,” Tweeden wrote. “But there’s nothing funny about sexual assault.”
 
She also included a photo in which Franken appears to grabbing Tweeden’s breast while she’s asleep.
 

 
“I couldn’t believe it. He groped me, without my consent, while I was asleep,” Tweeden writes. “I felt violated all over again. Embarrassed. Belittled. Humiliated.”
 
In a statement to reporters, Franken said he doesn’t remember the forced kissing, but said he shouldn’t have conducted his behavior as he did in the photo.
 
“I certainly don’t remember the rehearsal for the skit in the same way, but I send my sincerest apologies to Leeann,” Franken said. “As to the photo, it was clearly intended to be funny but wasn’t. I shouldn’t have done it.”
 
Franken released a longer statement several hours after his initial one, where he described a lengthier apology and said he “didn’t know what” was in his head when he took the actions in the photo.
 
“The first thing I want to do is apologize: to Leeann, to everyone else who was part of that tour, to everyone who has worked for me, to everyone I represent, and to everyone who counts on me to be an ally and supporter and champion of women. There’s more I want to say, but the first and most important thing—and if it’s the only thing you care to hear, that’s fine — is: I’m sorry,” Franken said in the email statement.
 
He continued, “I respect women. I don’t respect men who don’t. And the fact that my own actions have given people a good reason to doubt that makes me feel ashamed.”
Franken continued to say he didn’t remember the exact actions of the rehearsal skit, but added, “I understand why we need to listen to and believe women’s experiences.”
At a news conference, Tweeden was asked if she accepted Franken’s apology.
 
“There’s no reason why I shouldn’t accept his apology,” she said. “I wasn’t looking for anything.”
 
Tweeden also recounted her 2006 encounter with Franken during the news conference, describing in detail the moment in which Franken kissed her.
She said he stuck his tongue in her mouth “so fast.”
 
“All I could remember is that his lips were really wet and it was slimy. In my mind I called him fish lips the rest of the trip because that’s what it reminded me of,” she said.
Tweeden said she “pushed” Franken off, and that she almost punched him.
 
“I pushed him off with my hands, I just remember I almost punched him … Every time I see him now, my hands clench into fists,” she said.
 
After the incident, which Tweeden said she did not report at the time, she said she made sure she was never alone with Franken again.
 
Asked whether she believes Franken should step down, Tweeden said that “people make mistakes.”
 
“I’m not calling on him to step down,” she said. “That’s not my place.” However, she added that her opinion may change if other women come forward with similar allegations.
The comments about Franken come at a time when Congress is conducting a review of its policy for addressing sexual harassment and how it handles complaints. The House held a hearing on the issue earlier this week, and both chambers have now required mandatory sexual harassment training. The changes to Capitol Hill follow the ground-shaking allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct that have swept industries, organizations and institutions worldwide.
 
Franken acknowledged that cultural change in his revised statement.
 
“Over the last few months, all of us — including and especially men who respect women — have been forced to take a good, hard look at our own actions and think (perhaps, shamefully, for the first time) about how those actions have affected women,” Franken said.
 
Tweeden said she’s coming forward now after hearing testimony from women — including California Democratic Rep. Jackie Speier — who have shared similar stories of men in power who have committed sexual harassment and sexual assault.
 
“I want to have the same effect on them that Congresswoman Jackie Speier had on me,” Tweeden wrote. “I want them, and all the other victims of sexual assault, to be able to speak out immediately, and not keep their stories –and their anger– locked up inside for years, or decades.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, said the issue should be referred to the ethics committee.
“As with all credible allegations of sexual harassment or assault, I believe the Ethics Committee should review the matter. I hope the Democratic Leader will join me on this,” McConnell said in a written statement. “Regardless of party, harassment and assault are completely unacceptable—in the workplace or anywhere else.”
Franken said he would cooperate with the committee’s investigation.
 
The allegations have already been injected into politics, with the National Republican Senatorial Committee tying senators running for re-election to Franken and the National Republican Campaign Committee demanding that Democratic candidates who had received campaign money from Franken to return those donations.
Washington Sen. Patty Murray, the highest ranking woman in the Democratic Senate leadership said Franken’s apology “doesn’t reverse what he’s done or end the matter”.
Murray said, “This is unacceptable behavior and extremely disappointing. I am glad Al came out and apologized, but that doesn’t reverse what he’s done or end the matter. I support an ethics committee investigation into these accusations, and I hope this latest example of the deep problems on this front spurs continued action to address it. “
Franken mentioned Tweeden on the Senate floor in September 2010 and called her a “beautiful woman” during a speech about his past USO tours and the jokes he would tell regarding the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.
 
“And during the show I would, I was kind of co-host with a beautiful woman named Leeann Tweeden, and we’d do comedy routines, we’d introduce music, we’d introduce cheerleaders,” Franken said. “I’d go out and do a monologue, and this is something I would do, I’ve done for a number of years, and I’d go out and I would say, you know, I’ve done now seven USO tours and every year I’m just more and more impressed with the US military, except one thing I do not get, it’s the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy.”
 
This story has been updated and will continue to update with developments

Russia targeted election systems in 21 states, successfully hacking some

 On Friday, the Department of Homeland Security notified nearly half of the U.S. states that their election systems were targeted by Russia-affiliated hackers in an attempt to influence the 2016 election. In most of the states targeted, the hackers were engaged in preliminary activities like scanning. In other states hackers attempted to infiltrate systems and failed, but in a small selection… Read More

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Jimmy Kimmel tears apart his critics on health care bill

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Jimmy Kimmel isn’t taking your shit lying down.

On Tuesday night, Kimmel went to town on the Graham-Cassidy bill — proposed by Republican senators Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy — for failing the “Jimmy Kimmel test.” 

In the monologue, Kimmel said Cassidy “lied right to my face” when he appeared on the show in May, where the senator promised coverage for kids like Kimmel’s son who was born with congenital heart disease.  

In the day after Kimmel’s outburst on the bill, politicians and television personalities lined up to criticise the talk show host. Like Cassidy, who accused Kimmel of not understanding the bill, when talking to CNN‘s Chris Cuomo on Wednesday morning.   Read more…

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Here's how the White House may be keeping Trump off the web

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It’s the digital version of a playpen for an adult who’s incapable of setting his own boundaries.

A new report in The New York Times on Friday talks about President Trump having no access to a normal web browser on his iPhone. It’s a setup designed, according to the report, to limit his exposure to the news media (thus, presumably, avoiding one of his now familiar, venomous, media-hating tweetstorms).  

“[New chief of staff, John F. Kelly] cannot stop Mr. Trump from binge-watching Fox News, which aides describe as the president’s primary source of information gathering,” the Times report states.  Read more…

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In swiftly-deleted posting, GOP links Legend of Zelda to progressive taxation

Sadly, the Republican Party has already deleted its article titled What Do The Legend of Zelda and the American Tax Code Have In Common? and any corresponding twetes. But it lives on at Google Cache, at least for now.

Tragically, having equated the adventures of a mute yet heroic elf with the clawing economic deprivations of progressive taxation, the article barely touches upon why beyond simply noting a few coincidental dates. It’s the very dumbest boilerplate. Sad!

https://twitter.com/Beschizza/status/900516331522535429

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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.”

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Bill Clinton channels Sean Spicer by hiding among the Bushes

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Former President Bill Clinton has officially embraced the dad joke phase of his life.

Clinton attended the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas, Texas, on Thursday to celebrate this year’s graduating class from the Presidential Leadership Scholars program. While there, he took a moment to to hide among the Bushes, like our good friend in the current White House, press secretary Sean Spicer

President Clinton at the George W. Bush Library tonightpic.twitter.com/YcgCBoN3Ys

— Yashar Ali (@yashar) July 14, 2017 Read more…

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America is starting to realize that “liberal/conservative” labels exclude the left

On my first day at Michigan State University in 1992, a fellow student called me a “liberal” and I was shocked: as a Canadian who was often to the left of the social-democratic New Democratic Party, I identified “liberal” with the Liberal Party, a centre-right political party that had once imposed martial law in Canada.
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Debullshitifying the free speech debate about CNN and Trump's alt-right wrestling GIF

In the wake of CNN threatening to out a critic if he does not limit his speech in the future, former federal prosecutor and First Amendment champion Ken White has published an eminently sensible post about the incoherence of the present moment’s views on free speech, and on the way that partisanship causes us to apply a double standard that excuses “our bunch” and damns the “other side.”
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Politician breastfed her baby while speaking in parliament, because work never stops

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Talk about multi-tasking.

Larissa Waters, a Greens party MP in Australia, got plenty of plaudits earlier in the year when she was the first politician to breastfeed in parliament.

Now she’s the first to deliver a speech while breastfeeding, because well, sometimes work can’t stop. Here she is breastfeeding her daughter Alia Joy Waters, while submitting a motion on black lung disease.

How far we’ve come@larissawaters gives a speech while breast feeding! Yes! First woman in Australian parliament to ever do so#auspol pic.twitter.com/bBwshTvEHa

— David Sharaz (@DavidSharaz) June 22, 2017 Read more…

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Lord Buckethead wins 249 votes in UK general election challenge to Prime Minister May

Lord Buckethead, standing against British Prime Minister Theresa May in the country’s Wednesday general election, won a staggering 249 votes. The “intergalactic space lord” who “enjoys planet-conquering” and “dominating inferior species” (and UK TV light entertainment classic Lovejoy) fought for office in the Maidenhead, Kent constituency hitherto and henceforth considered a safe seat for May’s Conservative party.

Though Buckethead did well, May retained her seat by thousands of votes.

The nation as a whole, however, is unexpectedly up for grabs: May, convinced by opinion polls that a snap election would yield a landslide mandate for her Brexit agenda, instead found herself reeling against a resurgent Labour Party, led by the suddenly and unnervingly competent old-timey socialist Jeremy Corbyn. Though her party seems likely to retain the largest vote and perhaps a very slim majority in Parliament, her cred is toast. And Corbyn’s success is energizing the left, and not just in Britain…

The far-right UKIP party seems to be utterly vanquished, too, a sweet outcome for anyone left of Mussolini.

That said, given the assumption Corbyn’s Labour party will hang parliament without quite gathering enough seats to topple the Tories, are you ready for Prime Minister Boris? Just imagine how great he’ll look in photo ops with Trump.

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Centrist Macron thrashes far-right Le Pen in French presidential election

Emmanuel Macron defeated Marine Le Pen by about 66%-34% in France’s presidential election Sunday, with few votes outstanding. Macron, a 39-year-old centrist newcomer, faced a strong challenge from his far-right adversary, but polls never gave her a serious shot at the job. And on the day, the margin was even wider than expected.

Mr Macron will also become the first president from outside the two traditional main parties since the modern republic’s foundation in 1958. …

The Macron team said that the new president had had a “cordial” telephone conversation with Ms Le Pen.

In a speech she thanked the 11 million people who had voted for her. She said the election had shown a division between “patriots and globalists” and called for the emergence of a new political force.

The result came despite an internet-driven effort to torpedo Macron’s campaign with hacks, leaked emails and conspiracy theories—a pattern that stoked fears of a similar outcome to last year’s election in the U.S., where similar circumstances saw millionaire reality TV star Donald Trump prevail over Hillary Clinton.

It is indeed a sad day for American media who hoped the French were as dumb as us.

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India bans one of its oldest symbols of VIP culture

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India has banned its most prominent display of VIP culture — the red beacon light atop cars of ministers, government officials and bureaucrats.

PM Narendra Modi has said, “Every Indian is special. Every Indian is a VIP.” 

The ban, effective from May 1, doesn’t exempt even vehicles of the President, Prime Minister and the Chief Justice of India. 

This ban is historic because the red beacon, introduced by British colonizers in pre-independent India, was seen as a “status symbol” and a show of privilege and power.  Read more…

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We don't need April Fools' Day anymore because we're living a fake news nightmare

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I remember the halcyon days when April Fools’ Day was a bit of harmless fun. We’d read fake stories from the newspaper over our cornflakes and have a good chuckle. Fake news was just something that happened once a year. But, those days are gone

We are now living in the age of fake news; where mistruths are presented as truths, and believed at face value. Fake news is no longer a once-yearly event, it’s a 365-day-a-year news cycle. And, that’s why April Fools’ Day needs to die. 

“April’s Fool Day is a day when you have to constantly engage the critical and sceptical part of the brain so you don’t get duped,” says Claire Wardle, Director of Research and Strategy of First Draft News. “Now that we are increasingly encountering information that has been fabricated, manipulated or is downright misleading, we need to be engaging those same parts of our brains every day and questioning what we’re seeing in our social feeds.” Read more…

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David Beckham managed to piss just about everyone off with his new Facebook post

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Looks like there’s just no winning this time for David Beckham.

The English football star probably lost a bunch of Chinese fans after a post in which he referred to Hong Kong as China.

Beckham posted a video of Hong Kong on Instagram and Facebook, saying he had a “great 48 hours in China” — something netizens quickly picked up on.

It’s a touchy subject for many in Hong Kong, which was handed back to China in 1997 after over a century of British rule. Plenty of Hong Kongers still see the island as largely independent from the mainland. Read more…

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Trump advisor Steve Bannon ordered conservative Republicans to vote for Trumpcare and they just laughed at him

Trumpcare went down in flames yesterday, and the flames smelled faintly of burning Trumphair. But the president’s personal humiliation was shared with adviser Steve Bannon, according to reports, whose behavior around conservative Republicans made a joke of Trump’s ultimatum.

Mike Allen quotes him thus:

“Guys, look. This is not a discussion. This is not a debate. You have no choice but to vote for this bill.”

Bannon’s point was: This is the Republican platform. You’re the conservative wing of the Republican Party. But people in the room were put off by the dictatorial mindset.

One of the members replied: “You know, the last time someone ordered me to something, I was 18 years old. And it was my daddy. And I didn’t listen to him, either.”

Bannon’s already plotting his revenge, reports Asawin Suebsaeng.

The general consensus seems to be that the failure to replace Obamacare is unexpectedly bad for both president and GOP: he’s exposed as a crêpe leopard, and them as a bunch of unprincipled bickering morons with nothing to show for 7 years’ empty ranting about Obamacare.

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Sorry Trump, even Fox News thinks your wiretapping claim is BS

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Not everyone at Donald Trump’s favorite news network is gobbling up his latest piece of red meat.  

Fox News anchor Shep Smith countered Trump once again Friday, this time aiming his measured, declaratory tone at the president’s outlandish claim that his predecessor was wiretapping him.

“Fox News knows of no evidence of any kind that the now president of the United States was surveilled at any time in any way,” anchor Shep Smith said during a Friday broadcast. “Full stop.”

Smith’s “full stop” comment, which was spread widely on social media, comes after analyst Andrew Napolitano claimed on Fox & Friends Tuesday that “three intelligence sources have informed Fox News that President Obama went outside the chain of command” and requested British intelligence officials spy on Trump. Read more…

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The best reactions to that rogue McDonald's Trump tweet

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On Thursday morning, your friendly neighborhood McDonald’s served a hot take on the state of U.S. politics alongside its standard fare of Egg McMuffin sandwiches.

“@realDonaldTrump You are actually a disgusting excuse of a President and we would love to have @BarackObama back, also you have tiny hands,” someone tweeted from one of the fast food giant’s verified accounts. 

The message was deleted a few minutes later, but not before folks could grab screenshots for posterity.

In a tweet posted almost an hour after the incident, McDonald’s simply stated that their account “was compromised,” and that they are investigating the situation. Read more…

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Here's the woman who offered U.S. citizenship to the highest bidder at the Shanghai marriage market

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That’s certainly one way to get noticed.

At the Shanghai marriage market, parents of single folks gather to show off their children’s credentials, in hopes of netting them a spouse.

But over the weekend, a woman, dressed in a wedding gown and holding her American passport, caught the eye of many for the prize she was dangling — U.S. citizenship.

Image: Weibo

Alas, she wasn’t for real.

The woman, has been identified as Erin Peisert, an American performance artist currently based in Shanghai.

In viral photos circulating on Weibo and Instagram, she’s shown holding up a sign saying “USA Citizenship through marriage to the highest bidder,” as she is surrounded by curious onlookers. Read more…

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India hoists its tallest flag at the border but some are highly unimpressed

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Indians have a new selfie spot to show off their national pride. 

The Tricolor was hoisted on the country’s tallest flag post (360 feet) at the Indo-Pak Attari Border on Sunday. And in no time, locals and tourists thronged the venue to witness the sight.

The 120-feet-long and 80-feet-wide flag was unveiled by a member of India’s ruling political party.

India’s tallest (350 feets high) National Flag hosted at the reception Centre of Wagah Border today. Jai Hind 🇮🇳🇮🇳 pic.twitter.com/3NDn5PCwDM

— Kamal Sharma (@kamalsharmabjp) March 5, 2017 Read more…

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Obsessed with the Trump-Russia drama? You're doing it right.

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Maybe your spouse is worried about you. Perhaps it’s your employer. They’ve noticed marked declines in your attention in recent weeks. Just stop refreshing the New York Times and Washington Post, they say. Turn off CNN. Or if you’re into the harder stuff: Stop. Checking. Twitter

Maybe you too have started to wonder whether you’re getting too obsessed with the Trump-Russia storyline right now. The news is coming so thick and fast, it can be hard not to stare slack-jawed at each new development. 

But do you absolutely have to read every new drop of information about Jeff Sessions and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak? Did you really have to watch that whole mad-ass Carter Page interview, instead of just the edited bit, where the Trump associate admitted meeting that same gentleman from Moscow at the GOP convention?  Read more…

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This 'Basket of Deplorables' board game is perfect for Trump haters

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One Bernie Sanders supporter is still feeling the burn and in anticipation for the next presidential election (no, not again!) has created an aptly named political board game, “Basket of Deplorables.”

As you move along the board (aka the “campaign trail”) as either Barack Obama, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sander or Hillary Clinton you hit various bumps and hurdles in your attempt to kick Donald Trump out of the White House. 

You also pick up “deplorables” to put in your basket along the way, as an homage to Clinton’s insult slung at Donald Trump supporters during the campaign. And yes, there are 11 deplorable pieces, including a Steve Bannon. Read more…

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Trump tells America's attorneys general that Jews might be desecrating their own cemeteries to make him look bad

After a wave of anti-semitic attacks swept America, Donald Trump convened a meeting of state Attorneys General, and repeated a conspiracy theory posted hours before to a neo-Nazi website that suggested that Jews had perpetrated the attacks as a false-flag operation to make the Trump administration look bad.
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What the type of steak you eat says about you

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Ask yourself honestly: Can you really love someone who doesn’t cook steak at the same temperature as you?

After The IJR published a bombshell story this weekend alleging that the President Trump had ordered well-done steak again — again! — the hundreds of dorks who actually care about this stuff erupted in outrage on Twitter. 

Traditional liberal outlets condemned the president for degrading the sacred meat, while conservative personalities like Paul Joseph Watson slammed dissenters as “idiot hipsters.” The way you cook your meat, both sides seemingly genuinely argued, has everything to do with the way you see the world. Read more…

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Hmm, maybe this is why Trump doesn't want to attend the White House Correspondents' Dinner

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On Saturday, Donald Trump made history as the first president to bow out of the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

And while this has much to do with Trump’s ever-worsening battle with the press and his constant struggle to book talent, it’s also worth remembering that, to be frank, Trump probably has another reason for ditching:

He usually gets clobbered at these things.

So, in the interest of, uh, elucidation, please enjoy these videos of Trump getting roasted at the 2011 and 2016 White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Better yet, enjoy Trump’s mirthless reactions. They’re uncomfortable to watch, but extremely worth it. Read more…

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Donald Trump makes history, bows out of White House Correspondents dinner

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Amid an ever-escalating war with the media, Donald Trump tweeted Saturday that he wouldn’t attend the White House Correspondents Association’s annual dinner. The dinner is an opportunity for a comedian to roast the press and the president, and for the president to roast everyone else. Trump’s absence would mark the first time in the event’s history a president has refused to attend. 

I will not be attending the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner this year. Please wish everyone well and have a great evening!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 25, 2017

The president offered no explanation for the decision, but it’s not hard to chance a few guesses for his reasoning. Among the possibilities:  Read more…

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Sweden's embassy in the U.S. is looking forward to schooling Trump

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So as President Donald Trump has already figured out, there were a few things that happened in Sweden on Friday. 

There was the car chase of a drunk driver, a major road closure, and a technical problem in the rehearsal of the country’s annual singing competition “Melodifestivalen.” But terror related? Certainly not.

Speaking at a rally in Melbourne, Florida, on Saturday, Trump alluded to a terrorism incident in Sweden as part of his argument for implementing his immigration ban. He ticked off a list of places affected by terrorism, taking aim at Europe’s immigration policies.  Read more…

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1917: A young FDR gets into fighting shape with Woodrow Wilson's cabinet

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Cabinet officials perform exercises led by Walter Camp.

Image: Library of Congress

Walter Camp is known today as the “Father of American Football” for his contributions to the rules of the game, including the development of the line of scrimmage and the system of downs.

He was also an outspoken advocate of exercise and physical fitness

With the entry of the United States into World War I in 1917, Camp was appointed director of the U.S. Navy Training Camps’ Physical Development Program.

Disappointed by the sorry shape of most recruits, Camp devised a simple eight-minute exercise routine he called the “Daily Dozen,” a sequence of calisthenic motions including “hands, grind, crawl, wave, hips, grate, curl, weave, head, grasp, crouch and wing.” Read more…

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Another Trump diss gets some beautiful merch

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The sharp diss Donald Trump lobbed at a BBC editor on Thursday has been immortalized into a t-shirt, because why not, it’s 2017.

“Here’s another beauty” was the sarcastic quip an angry Trump threw at BBC North America Editor Jon Sopel during a press conference. When Sopel tried asking Trump a question about his blocked travel ban, he cut him off and asked what news outlet he was with. And the rest is history. 

Sopel swiftly defended the BBC to no avail: “That’s a good line,” Sopel said, trying to hold back as he defended his organization, saying “Impartial, free and fair.”

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Trump is causing a political app boom, data shows

Capitol Building. Photo courtesy of Flickr/Marìa Helena Carey Anyone surprised by this? The growth of politically-focused mobile apps has been booming since November, with the top five political apps receiving a combined 300,000 downloads across iOS and Android over the past three months, according to new data from App Annie. This list doesn’t include news media applications, but rather those apps aimed helping people find their representatives,… Read More

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Kate McKinnon and Hillary Clinton spotted processing this hellscape together

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Two Hillary Clintons walk into a bar and simultaneously declare, “I’m with her.”

The real Hillary Clinton and Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live‘s resident HRC impersonator, caught up over dinner this week and for the first time, we’re wondering if Amy Poehler ever gets FOMO. 

According to Page Six, the pair laughed as they dined at Orso in Manhattan on Wednesday evening.  One diner put their own spin on the Trump supporter chant and yelled, “lock him up!” 

After dinner, Clinton checked out Glenn Close in Sunset Boulevard and the winner of the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election got a standing ovation from the crowd.  Read more…

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Trump EPA nominee Scott Pruitt ordered to release his fossil fuel emails, as EPA staff revolt

A state judge today ordered the office of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to release thousands of documents, including emails, related to Pruitt’s conversations with energy industry executives. Tomorrow, the United States Senate votes on Pruitt’s nomination to run the Environmental Protection Agency, for the administration of Donald Trump.

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Here's the weirdest, scariest stuff Trump said at today's 'I’m not ranting and raving' meltdown

“Peace through strength,” Donald Trump said to reporters today in a rambling, aggressive, monologue news conference that lasted nearly about an hour and a half. Trump rattled on in circular patterns about plans to “build and rebuild” the “great” military and law enforcement. He dodged questions on Flynn, Obamacare, leaked reports of turmoil within the administration, and expressed outrage at being questioned repeatedly about “this whole Russia scam that you guys are building so that you don’t talk about the real subject which is illegal leaks.”

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Trump aides were in constant contact with top Russian officials during campaign

This is so much bigger than Watergate. America has not seen a political crisis of this magnitude for generations. The other shoe drops on #Flynngate tonight. Trump, Manafort, and Flynn’s activities “raise a red flag.” The U.S. government is in “unbelievable turmoil.” Who is in charge of America?

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Make rules, not love? Pakistan bans Valentine's Day for being un-Islamic

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All is fair in love and war. Or may be not. 

A Pakistan court on Monday banned Valentine’s Day celebrations across the country “with immediate effect,” the Press Trust of India reported.

The order was issued by the Islamabad High Court on hearing a petition submitted by a citizen who claimed that Valentine’s Day was not a part of Muslim tradition and its promotions on mainstream and social media should be banned.

A circular was also doing the rounds on social media. 

Pakistan’s High Court not only bans Valentine’s Day but tells media to not publish anything about itpic.twitter.com/7U5GJLA02E

— Natasha Fatah (@NatashaFatah) February 14, 2017 Read more…

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Katy Perry's 'Chained to the Rhythm' is cotton candy political pop

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“Chained to the Rhythm” is a new kind of Katy Perry song, certainly.

“Are we tone deaf / Keep sweeping it under the mat / Thought we could do better than that / I hope we can,” Perry sings. “So comfortable, we’re living in a bubble, bubble / So comfortable, we cannot see the trouble, trouble.”

Aside from the lyrics, the song’s video even features a very cute hamster, eating tiny versions of people food, because this is still the girl behind “Last Friday Night.”

Today a feminist got her wings. Thank you @gloriasteinem ❤👼🏼

A photo posted by KATY PERRY (@katyperry) on Read more…

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Silicon Valley is struggling to work together against Trump's havoc

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On a daily basis, Stewart Butterfield roasts Donald Trump on Twitter.

The Slack CEO is among the most outspoken leaders in the tech community when it comes to the new president, which made it all the more surprising to see his company missing from the list of 97 tech giants that signed onto an amicus brief opposing the recent Muslim travel ban—arguably the most unified, aggressive action ever taken by the industry on a political issue.

Turns out, Slack wasn’t a holdout. They just got left off an email. 

“Slack heard about this when it appeared in the media and of course we support it,” a Slack spokesperson explained over email Monday morning. “It’s our understanding that a supplemental one is being filed and Slack will be on that list.” Read more…

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Echoing Infowars, Trump lies that 'very dishonest' U.S. press are covering up terror attacks

President Donald Trump went full Alex Jones Infowars conspiracy theory wingnut today, saying the American news media are conspiring to cover up a vast series of Islamic terrorist attacks in which innocent God-fearin’ Americans have been killed.

Statements like this from authoritarian leaders are the sort of thing you hear when a regime is preparing to institute martial law. Perhaps that is where America is now headed. Hope not.

Today’s wackadoodle Trump camp statement was yet another nutty lie, just like Trump’s long-running racist birther campaign against President Barack Obama, whom we miss terribly, please for the love of God make this descent into national insanity stop.

(more…)

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Brutally honest ad for a 2002 Oldsmobile brings the internet infinite joy

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You know it’s a dark day in America when a used car salesman is more capable of telling the truth than the president.

A Facebook ad for a 2002 Oldsmobile went viral this weekend for all the right reasons. Instead of trying to oversell what is undoubtedly a deeply terrible car, the advertiser keeps it honest with folks. This is a predictably awful, cheap car that probably won’t kill you. Yet. 

Twitter user kel121121 shared a screenshot of the ad, which has since been retweeted 72,000 times.

“Don’t bring your ass down here saying it looks different in pics or you didn’t know it had that much rust. I’m telling you now. This bitch rusty,” the ad reads. Read more…

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The White House just brutally burned Australia's Prime Minister

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If Australia thought it mattered to the new U.S. administration, the message is now loud and clear: Nah, not really.

In one week alone, details of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s call with Donald Trump were leaked to the press. He was apparently told by the U.S. president that he “was the worst call by far” on a day that included a chat with Vladimir Putin. Trump’s press secretary called him either “Trumbull” or “Trumble” multiple times. And now, they’ve gotten rid of him altogether.

A call sheet issued Saturday by the Office of the Press Secretary not only declined to mention Turnbull by name, it mistakenly (or purposefully) called him the “President of Australia.” If Turnbull was a “cup half full” kind of guy, he could look on this as a promotion. Read more…

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Exxon's former CEO is now our secretary of state. So, there's that.

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Rex Tillerson, the longtime head of ExxonMobil, won Senate confirmation on Wednesday to be secretary of state. In this new role, Tillerson will be in charge of U.S. international climate negotiations as well as international aid efforts on climate-related disasters. 

Yes, you read that correctly: The former head of one of the largest oil and gas companies in the world will now spearhead America’s approach to mitigating the effects of climate change.

The final Senate vote was 56 to 43 in favor, with three Democrats and one independent joining Republicans in voting for him. No Republicans opposed Tillerson’s nomination.  Read more…

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