The Billionaire Who Bought Trump’s Mansion Faces Scrutiny in Monaco

Dmitry Rybolovlev, a Russian mining magnate, is suspected of using perks to curry favor with officials, who arrested a businessman he is feuding with.
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Books of The Times: In ‘Fear,’ Bob Woodward Pulls Back the Curtain on President Trump’s ‘Crazytown’

Woodward’s latest look inside a White House offers details of an administration in chaos.
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Melania Trump’s Parents Become U.S. Citizens as Trump Administration Targets Legal Immigrants  

First Lady Melania Trump‘s parents became naturalized United States citizens on Thursday, PEOPLE confirms.

Viktor and Amalija Knavs, Slovenian immigrants in their 70s, took the citizenship oath at a private ceremony in New York City, the Associated Press reported. The husband and wife — a former car dealer and a former textile factory worker, respectively — had been living in the United States as permanent residents.

The couples’ lawyer, Michael Wildes, did not specify the length of time the Knavses have been living in the United States, according to the AP. Under United States law, permanent residents must be in the country for at least five years in order to apply for citizenship.

Wildes told reporters outside a Manhattan federal building on Thursday that the Knavses’ citizenship process was “no different” from anyone else’s.

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“The dialogue we are having on immigration, this is an example of it going right,” Wildes added.

Wildes confirmed to PEOPLE that the Knavses became citizens on Thursday, but declined any further comment. The first lady’s spokesperson did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

While President Donald Trump‘s parents-in-law were successful in obtaining citizenship, his administration is seeking to make citizenship more difficult to obtain for both undocumented and legal immigrants.

In January, Trump proposed ending most family-based immigration and replacing it with a system prioritizing skilled immigrants. He has also recently said he’s looking to terminate a visa lottery program for people from countries under-represented in the U.S. This plan would limit immigrants like the first lady to sponsoring only spouses and underage children, as opposed to parents and other adult family members.

Throughout his tenure in the White House, Trump has upheld his promise to crack down on immigration. Last month, he released memos that make denying visa applications easier. 

RELATED VIDEO: PEOPLE Writer Natasha Stoynoff Breaks Silence, Accuses Donald Trump of Sexual Attack

The memos “are intended to further restrict and discourage much-needed legal immigration,” Mark Roberts, CEO of TechServe Alliance, told AXIOS. “This abrupt change in policy will have the perverse effect of discouraging businesses from having work performed in the U.S. — a highly undesirable outcome for all workers, businesses and the economy as a whole.”

Trump has not commented on the Knavses’ citizenship.


PEOPLE.com

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Unbuttoned: Melania Trump’s Wardrobe Goes Mute

After the jacket controversy, the first lady dressed for discretion as she accompanied her husband on his European trip.
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Critic’s Notebook: Trump’s Reality TV Supreme Court Rollout, Slick and Substance-Free

President Trump has spent considerable time behaving like a reality-show character, but on Monday night, he stepped into the producer’s role.
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Books of The Times: Sonnets That Reckon With Donald Trump’s America

In “American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin,” Terrance Hayes expresses ambivalence and grief for his country.
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Seth Meyers Has Perfect Line To Confront Donald Trump’s Lies

Call it a memory refresher.
Comedy
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Stephen Colbert’s ‘9 To 5′ Parody Mocks Donald Trump’s ’11 To 2’ Workday

“Just three things to do, then it’s basically a vacation.”
Comedy
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Trevor Noah: Emmanuel Macron Is The Belle To Donald Trump’s Beast

“We all know that Trump is not the sentimental type, but clearly Macron made him feel a way that he’s never, ever felt before: Human.”
Comedy
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Colbert Is Stunned Speechless By Trump’s Terrible ‘Birthday Present’ For Melania

“Late Show” host tells the president what he really should’ve given his wife.
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A Tiny, Mocking Voice Rules Donald Trump’s Mind In ‘Late Night’ Gag

His head is a busier place than some critics think.
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Jim Carrey Skewers Trump’s Bromance With Macron In Clever New Artwork

“Later there would be wedgies and wet willies in the Rose Garden.”
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Jake Tapper Mocks Donald Trump’s Nickname Fail: ‘He’s Lost His Ability’

“I used to think his branding skill was amazing.”
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Stephen Colbert Pokes Holes In Trump’s Abstinence-Only Sex Education Agenda

“How do you spend that much money on not giving away condoms?”
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Some Said They’d Flee Trump’s America. These People Actually Did.

Like modern-day von Trapps, minus the singing, families are climbing mountains and fording streams with nothing but backpacks and a Wi-Fi connection.
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Trevor Noah Says The Scary Truth About Trump’s Rumored Love Child

“The Daily Show” host spoke for many in a funny dig at the president.
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Stephen Colbert Shows How Trump’s Own Words Just Came Back To Bite Him In The Butt

“Late Show” host returns from break with the latest on the FBI raid on Trump attorney Michael Cohen.
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FBI raids offices of Trump’s personal lawyer

The FBI has visited Michael Cohen’s office and taken “communications” amid controversy over payments made to Stormy Daniels.
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What’s Driving Trump’s Attacks on Amazon? It’s Personal

The president’s attacks on the e-commerce company stem from its CEO’s ownership of the Washington Post, which the American leader says writes unfair stories about him, say people close to the White House.
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Seth Meyers Shreds GOP Hypocrisy Over Donald Trump’s Attacks On Amazon

“Their silence is deafening.”
Comedy
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Seth Meyers Brutally Dissects One Of Donald Trump’s Weirdest Speeches Yet

“What are you talking about?”
Comedy
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Nonfiction: In Politics if Not Art, Realism Trumps Magic for Mario Vargas Llosa

The Nobel laureate, and last surviving member of Latin America’s Boom generation, has a feisty new novel and a fiery essay collection.
NYT > Books

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Optimism for Manufacturers Upended With Trump’s Tariff Pledge

President Donald Trump’s pledge to impose steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports dimmed more than a year of growing optimism for many U.S. manufacturers
WSJ.com: US Business

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Remembering Ivanka Trump’s Life Before Things Got Complicated

Jared Kushner, Ivanka TrumpDoes Ivanka Trump ever wake up in the morning and wonder how she got here? Not that she’s not enjoying “here.” But life in Washington, D.C., and the attention paid to her life in D.C.,…

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‘Fire and Fury’ Release Moves Up to Friday as Publisher Rejects Trump’s Cease and Desist

Publisher Henry Holt & Co. said that it was moving forward with the release of “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House” despite demands by President Trump’s personal lawyers to cease plans for publication. “Henry Holt confirms that we received a cease and desist letter from an attorney for President Trump,” Patricia Eisemann, a […]

Variety

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Celebrities Mock Trump’s ‘Person of the Year’ Tweet

Donald Trump’s claim that he took a “pass” on being named TIME magazine’s annual Person of the Year got skewered over the weekend on social media. The President, who was named TIME’s Person of the Year in 2016, said that he was “probably” going to be honored again, but that he needed to agree to […]

Variety

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Jimmy Kimmel Flips Donald Trump’s ‘Fake News’ Tweets To Amusing Effect

“Such honesty!”
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Stephen Colbert Has A Brutal Response To Trump’s Latest Corker Insult

Ouch.
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Stephen Colbert Has A Brutal Response To Trump’s Latest Corker Insult

Ouch.
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‘That Myth Is Dead’: MAD Magazine Questions Trump’s America

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Stephen Colbert ‘Reveals’ Donald Trump’s Other Cringeworthy Pick-Up Lines

“How would you like to add a little marmalade to the mix?”
Comedy
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Mika Brzezinski Says ‘Trump’s Racism Is Costing Lives’ in Puerto Rico as He Responds to Widespread Backlash Over Response

On Saturday, Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski criticized how Donald Trump’s actions were negatively affecting Puerto Rico just as the president went on a tweet storm in response to the backlash he has received for his perceived lackluster response to the crisis there.

“Hard to believe but this could be worse than Charlottesville… Trump’s racism is costing lives. #heisnotfit,” Brzezinski wrote, referencing the white nationalist march in Virginia in August and Trump’s widely criticized response where he failed to initially outright condemn neo-Nazis and white supremacists.

So far Hurricane Maria — which ravaged the island on Sept. 20, leaving the entire island without electricity and destroying many homes — has claimed at least 16 lives in Puerto Rico so far, the Associated Press reports. Experts estimate that without electricity and supplies, that number could increase to thousands.

While Brzezinski didn’t elaborate on her claims about Trump being a “racist,” she is hardly the first person to speak out about his response to the storm. Dozens of officials and celebrities have criticized Trump for seemingly ignoring the crisis after the storm hit and, on Saturday morning, many more chimed in to condemn him after he slammed the mayor of San Juan, Carmen Yulín Cruz, for speaking out against him and begging for more aid.

On Saturday afternoon the president responded to the widespread backlash against his handling of the situation in Puerto Rico — insisting that he had been working with local officials to ensure that they were getting the help they needed.

“Despite the Fake News Media in conjunction with the Dems, an amazing job being done in Puerto Rico. Great people!” he wrote.

Trump also complimented Puerto Rico’s governor Ricardo Rossello, who said that the federal government has been helping the commonwealth with their recovery effort — but that they still needed more aid.

“The Governor of Puerto Rico, Ricardo Rossello, is a great guy and leader who is really working hard. Thank you Ricky!” Trump said.

RELATED VIDEO: Watch: Natasha Stoynoff Breaks Silence, Accuses Donald Trump of Sexual Attack

“Just spoke to Governor Kenneth Mapp of the U.S. virgin Islands who stated that #FEMA and Military are doing a GREAT job! Thank you Governor!” Trump continued.

”To the people of Puerto Rico: Do not believe the #FakeNews! #PRStrong” he continued. “We must all be united in offering assistance to everyone suffering in Puerto Rico and elsewhere in the wake of this terrible disaster.”

Brzezinski, who has publicly clashed with the president in the past — and even becoming the target of some of his meaner tweets — responded to Trump’s defense saying it was “too late” and that “no one” believed him.

“Too late. No one believes you now,” she wrote. “But what else is new? #heisnotfit.”

Hurricane Maria pummeled Puerto Rico on Sept. 20 with ferocious 155-mph winds that ripped trees from the ground, tore roofs from buildings, and caused flooding that made many streets look like raging rivers. The most powerful storm of its kind to hit the island since 1932, it ravaged the island and left millions homeless.

Electricity has been knocked out completely, with residents in need of electricity having to rely on backup generators. Experts estimate it could take half a year to restore power to the 3.5 million people who live there. Cell phone service has also been completely shut down.


PEOPLE.com

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Bill Maher Uses Children’s Book To Explain Donald Trump’s Deal With Democrats

“Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, they’re city mice and that’s who a consummate New Yorker like Donald Trump relates to.”
Comedy
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Stephen Colbert Has A Field Day With Donald Trump’s ‘Nambia’ Screw-Up

“Late Show” host lists some other fake Trump countries.
Comedy
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Jimmy Kimmel Roasts Trump’s Handshake With Melania

“She should have just walked off that stage and kept walking all the way to Slovenia.”
Comedy
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John Oliver Figures Out Trump’s Problem: He’s ‘Out Of His F**king Mind’

The “Last Week Tonight” host tore into the president over his DACA repeal.
Comedy
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Chelsea Handler Exposes The Most Sinister Part Of Trump’s DACA Repeal

Zing.
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Stephen Colbert Discovers Donald Trump’s Secret White House Nickname

The president may have accidentally let it slip out.
Comedy
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Trevor Noah Baffled By Trump’s Claim That He Saw Harvey Devastation ‘Firsthand’

The White House knows how to make Americans feel stupid for “knowing what words mean,” “The Daily Show” host says.
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‘That Myth Is Dead’: MAD Magazine Questions Trump’s America

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The Trumps Bow Out. Will Future Presidents Attend the Kennedy Center Honors?

President Trump’s decision to skip the Kennedy Center’s gala eases the pressures this year — but could make it harder to attract other presidents.
NYT > Arts

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Trevor Noah Notices Something Very Familiar About Donald Trump’s Afghanistan Speech

“As much as Trump wants to act like he’s doing something different…”
Comedy
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Trump’s Business Councils Disband After CEOs Defect

Two of President Donald Trump’s councils of top business leaders are disbanding following Tuesday’s controversial remarks by the president about the weekend’s violence in Charlottesville, Va.
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Two Major Problems With Trump’s Claims About His Charlottesville Winery

Trump claimed his winery is one of the biggest in the United States, but it’s not as “yuge” as he thinks.
Fashion News, Celebrity Style and Fashion Trends – HuffPost Style
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Wal-Mart CEO Criticizes Trump’s Virginia Response; More Executives Quit Council

Two more members of the president’s manufacturing advisory council said they would resign, while the leader of Wal-Mart criticized the president’s initial response to weekend violence but said he would “stay engaged.”
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Billy Crystal Burns Trump Supporter With Trump’s Own Words

What a bigly twist.
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John Oliver Shows All The Ways Trump’s Border Patrol Surge Could Go Wrong

It’s been tried before, and it didn’t work.
Comedy
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Stephen Colbert Has Beef With Lara Trump’s ‘Real News’ Broadcast

“Wait a second.”
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Ice Cube Claps Back At Lara Trump’s ‘Real News’ Facebook Broadcasts

He ain’t riding along with them.
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Stephen Colbert Likens Donald Trump’s Administration To This Classic ’90s Mob Movie

But with several hilarious differences.
Comedy
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Satirist-In-Chief: Anthony Atamanuik Mines Trump’s Darkness For Comedic Gold

His savage executive parody on “The President Show” is as disturbing as it is hilarious.
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James Corden Rips Donald Trump’s Trans Military Ban In The Most Musical Way

🎤 Trump wants to seem like a manly man, overcompensating for his tiny hands 🎤
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Transgender Comedian Patti Harrison Tears Apart Trump’s Ban

Stephen Colbert told Trump to f*ck off, too.

Lifestyle – Esquire

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Michael Moore Is Convinced This 1 Thing Will Lead To Donald Trump’s Downfall

“He can’t take being laughed at.”
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‘Transparent’ Star Judith Light on Trump’s Transgender Military Ban: ‘It’s Just Very Upsetting’

Judith Light has been a vocal advocate for LGBTQ equality since the early 1980s, and she’s currently up for an Emmy for her performance in the breakout Amazon hit “Transparent,” playing the ex-wife of the transgender woman played by Jeffrey Tambor. So when Light made a previously scheduled visit to Variety‘s New York offices on… Read more »

Variety

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Ivanka Trump’s Attempt To Quote Albert Einstein Backfires Spectacularly

Nope. He never said it.
Comedy
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Samantha Bee Dissects Donald Trump’s Voter Fraud Commission

“Guys like this have been playing the long game, methodically chipping away at the Voting Rights Act.”
Comedy
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Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club Requests to Hire 70 Foreign Workers During Administration’s ‘Made in America’ Week

Trump‘s Mar-a-Lago Club has requested approval to hire a total of 70 foreign employees to staff the Palm Beach, Florida, estate starting in October – a move that, coincidentally, comes during the president’s Made In America Week, the Washington Post and Buzzfeed News have reported.

According to three requests posted to the Department of Labor’s Public Job Registry, Mar-A-Lago is seeking to hire 15 housekeepers, 35 waiters and 20 cooks through H-2B visas.

The H-2B visas would allow the foreign workers to staff the for-profit club – which Trump has visited 25 times since beginning his presidency – from this October until May 2018. Trump’s Jupiter, Florida, golf club made a similar request for six cooks.

H-2B visas are specifically for foreign workers that will fill temporary jobs in the U.S. in fields including tourism and construction, among other things, the Post reported. Just earlier this week, the administration said it was expanding the H-2B program to offer an additional 15,000 visas to foreign workers, reported The Hill.

A Department of Labor spokesman told the outlet that Mar-a-Lago and Trump’s Jupiter golf club are required to attempt to fill the positions with American workers first, before they can ask the Department of Homeland Security to issue visas for foreign workers who want the roles.

RELATED VIDEO: Watch: Natasha Stoynoff Breaks Silence, Accuses Donald Trump of Sexual Attack

Coincidentally, the Trump administration has spent most of its Made in America Week highlighting U.S.-made products and companies.

The week – which is the first of several upcoming themed weeks – kicked off on Monday, and has included a roundtable discussion profiling 20 companies that manufacture their products in the U.S.

The White House also hosted a American Product Showcase, which included U.S. companies from all 50 states.


PEOPLE.com

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Stephen Colbert Just Rented Out Trump’s Alleged ‘Pee Pee Tape’ Suite In Moscow

The history “just washes over you.”
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‘SNL’ Writer Replies To Donald Trump’s Tweets As If They Were Personal Texts

And it’s hilarious.
Comedy
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Seth Meyers Mocks ‘Frenetic Toddler’ Donald Trump’s Firetruck Play

“Look how happy he is!”
Comedy
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Andy Serkis Reading Donald Trump’s Tweets As Gollum Is So Precious

You’ll never see the president’s tweets the same way again.
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Trump’s And Macron’s Reactions To Daft Punk Medley Could Not Be More Different

At least one president enjoyed the performance.
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You Can Now Bet On Trump’s Next Controversy

Donald Trump’s presidency has been painfully unpredictable. Presumably he’s got a plan but the world is struggling to keep
Comedy
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Comedian Randy Rainbow Goes Country To Spoof Donald Trump’s Twitter Abuse

“Maybe next time he’ll think before he tweets,” he croons in a rework of a Carrie Underwood song.
Comedy
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The Woman Who Cleaned Trump’s Hollywood Star Inspired A New Meme

Having fun with “Nothing but respect for MY president.”
Comedy
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Mika Brzezinski Reveals True Story Behind President Trump’s ‘Face-Lift’ Tweet: He Begged for the Name of My Doctor

Mika Brzezinski is setting the record straight about President Trump‘s tweet regarding her alleged face-lift — which wasn’t a face-lift at all.

In a candid new interview with Vanity Fair published on Friday, the Morning Joe co-host reveals that she got a procedure to tighten the skin under her neck — and explains why the president knew about it.

Brzezinski says she started laughing when her coworker Willie Geist first showed her Trump’s widely derided tweets, in which he claimed she was “bleeding badly from a face-lift” when she and her fiancé and co-host Joe Scarborough visited the Trumps at Mar-a-Lago around New Year’s Eve.

“I said … ‘S–t. I kind of wanted to keep that to myself,’ ” she said of the procedure.

“I had a turkey neck. My mom told me to get it done,” she explained. “I was FaceTiming all my friends, telling them to get it done, that it wasn’t so bad.”

RELATED VIDEO: Exclusive: Natasha Stoynoff Speaks Out: ‘I Don’t Want Women to Feel Afraid’

Brzezinski said that she told Melania Trump about the procedure when the TV hosts stopped by Mar-a-Lago on New Year’s Eve. But it was the then-president-elect who was impressed.

“The irony of it all is that Donald kept saying, ‘That’s incredible. You can’t even tell. Who did it? Who did it?’ He kept asking for the name of the doctor,” Brzezinski recalls. “He literally asked 10 times. ‘Is he down here? Who is he?’ ”

A White House spokesman declined to comment on the subject.

Trump’s Twitter attack on Brzezinski — in which he also called her “crazy” and “low I.Q.” — isn’t the first one she’s been subjected to. Last summer, Trump tweeted that she was “a neurotic and not very bright mess!”

WATCH THIS: People at the White House: The Final Interview with The Obamas 

Brzezinski and Scarborough told Vanity Fair that they actually mended fences with Trump at the time after his son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, brokered a meeting with the four of them.

She said Trump even apologized for the tweet.

“Jared said we should end the meeting right then and there, because it was one of the only times he had heard him apologize,” Scarborough said.

This time, however, the couple said they are not holding out hope for an apology.


PEOPLE.com

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Seth Meyers Loses It Over Donald Trump’s Disgusting Tweets

“Trump’s Twitter rants have gone “from confusing to ‘mommy, why is the man on the subway yelling so loud and where are his underpants?'”
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‘Many People’ Say Donald Trump’s Style Evolution Is Tremendous

Good people. The smartest people. Believe us.
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Eric Trump’s New Haircut Is a Little Too ‘White Nationalist’ for Comfort

Shades of Richard Spencer.

Style – Esquire

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Eric Trump’s New Haircut Reminds Twitter Of A Certain White Nationalist

“It’s OK to make fun of Nazi haircuts.”
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‘The President Show’ Visits Trump’s Childhood Homes, And Tantrums Ensue

Traditionally, adults accumulate a lifetime of experience, lessons and knowledge to become wiser, more complete human beings. That being said, if Donald Trump is the 71-year-old giant baby president we ended up with, can you imagine what kind of actual baby he was?

Anthony Atamanuik and “The President Show” visit President Trump’s childhood homes to find out.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Comedy – The Huffington Post
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Tim Cook ‘Reveals’ Who Is Really Behind Donald Trump’s Late Night Tweets

Tim Cook used part of his address to graduating students at Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Friday to poke fun at President Donald Trump.

The Apple CEO began by saying he’d never figured out how students at the university in Cambridge pulled off their spectacular course-end pranks ― such as the placing of a propeller atop the campus’ Great Dome.

“Or how you’ve obviously taken over the president’s Twitter account,” Cook added. “I can tell college students are behind it because most of the tweets happen at 3 a.m.”

Cook went on to deliver some serious advice to the class of 2017, and the effect that the online world may have on their lives.

“The internet has enabled so much and empowered so many. But it can also be a place where the basic rules of decency are suspended and pettiness and negativity thrive,” Cook said.

He encouraged students not to let “the noise knock you off course” or to “get caught up on the trivial aspects of life.”

“Don’t listen to the trolls, and for God’s sake don’t become one,” Cook added. “Measure your impact on humanity not in likes, but in the lives you touch. Not in popularity, but in the people you serve.”

Watch Cook’s full speech in the clip below:

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— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Arts – The Huffington Post
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Stephen Colbert Explains Donald Trump’s Most Frustrating Contradiction

Much of America watched former FBI Director James Comey testify in front of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Thursday. Nielsen Media reported around 19.5 million watched on television, but millions more streamed the testimony online since it took place during the typical work day.

President Donald Trump was among those watching ― and he soon publicly addressed the various accusations Comey leveled against him.

“Comey was pretty rough on the president,” Stephen Colbert said “The Late Show” Friday night. “But right after the testimony, Trump sent his longtime personal lawyer and devil who has a thing he wants you to sign, Marc Kasowitz to respond.”

The host played a clip of the lawyer claiming that Comey’s testimony vindicated Trump, because in Kasowitz’s words, the former FBI director confirmed publicly what he had told Trump privately. This referred to Trump’s insistence that Comey had told him that he was not under investigation by the FBI.

As a quick refresher into this confusing mess: It is true that when Trump asked Comey whether he was personally under investigation, he was not. But Trump associates were under investigation and Comey’s testimony on Thursday indicated that Trump may be facing an investigation into whether the president obstructed justice.

This is where Kasowitz began an extremely frustrating contradiction, as Colbert explained.

But even though, everything Comey said proved Trump wasn’t guilty, he was also a liar?
Stephen Colbert

“But even though, everything Comey said proved Trump wasn’t guilty, he was also a liar?” Colbert said.

He then played another part of the Kasowitz clip where the lawyer detailed the various ways Comey had allegedly lied during the testimony. 

This bizarre argument tracked with what the president later tweeted.

During his testimony, Comey also called Trump a liar on multiple occasions.

It’s a classic he said, he said (American politics still being dominated by men, of course).

Now you’ve got to choose whether to believe the “Twin Peaks” character Agent Dale Cooper incarnate in Comey or… well… the apparent “liar in chief.”

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Comedy – The Huffington Post
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Maxine Waters Just Used Comey’s Testimony To Call Out Trump’s Alleged Sexual Assault

Maxine Waters put President Donald Trump on blast on Wednesday afternoon using his favorite communication medium: Twitter.

A few hours earlier, the Senate Intelligence Committee published James Comey’s seven-page prepared testimony, detailing the former FBI director’s interactions with President Trump. (Comey will be testifying in front of the Senate Intelligence community on Thursday.)

In his testimony, Comey wrote that on Feb. 14 he told Attorney General Jeff Sessions that the President had addressed him alone, something that presidents normally do not do. Comey ― who at the time was still the FBI director ― asked Sessions not to allow President Trump to engage in one-on-one conversations with him because it was “inappropriate.” 

Comey wrote (emphasis ours):

I spoke with Attorney General Sessions in person to pass along the President’s concerns about leaks. I took the opportunity to implore the Attorney General to prevent any future direct communication between the President and me. I told the AG that what had just happened ― him being asked to leave while the FBI Director, who reports to the AG, remained behind ― was inappropriate and should never happen. He did not reply. 

Later Wednesday afternoon, Congresswoman Maxine Waters used Comey’s testimony to call President Trump out for his lengthy record of alleged sexual harassment and assault. (Sixteen women have publicly accused the president of sexual assault.) 

“So Comey told Jeff Sessions he didn’t want to be alone with Trump. Women across the country can relate,” she tweeted. 

Only an hour after Waters tweeted the spot-on sentiment, the tweet had received over 5,000 retweets and 12,000 likes. 

All we have to say is: 

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Donakd Trump’s bixarre twewt mocked on Twit

What is Donald Trump trying to say?
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At Least Trump’s Black Music Month Statement Got This Right

President Trump has officially declared June 2017 as African-American Music Appreciation Month.

On Wednesday, Trump continued the annual presidential tradition by issuing this year’s proclamation. In his announcement, President Trump credited the influences of black music pioneers for giving “all Americans” a better understanding of American culture.

“During June, we pay tribute to the contributions African Americans have made and continue to make to American music,” the statement reads. “The indelible legacy of these musicians who have witnessed our Nation’s greatest achievements, as well as its greatest injustices give all Americans a richer, deeper understanding of American culture. Their creativity has shaped every genre of music, including rock and roll, rhythm and blues, jazz, gospel, hip hop, and rap.” 

The month-long observance, honoring the vast musical contributions of black artists, was first declared in 1979 by President Jimmy Carter. In 2000, President Clinton signed the African-American Music Bill, which formally established Black Music Month as a national observance.

In this year’s statement, Trump called out such greats like Chuck Berry, Dizzy Gillespie, and Ella Fitzgerald as black musicians who have exemplified how music can bring people together.

“These musicians also remind us of our humanity and of our power to overcome,” the statement reads. “They expressed the soul of blues, gospel, and rock and roll, which has so often captured the hardships of racism and injustices suffered by African Americans, as well as daily joys and celebrations.”

“Their work highlights the power music has to channel the human experience, and they remain a testament to the resilience of all freedom-loving people,” he continued. “We are grateful for their contribution to the cannon of great American art.”  

Read more of President Trump’s Black Music Month Proclamation in its entirety here.

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Melania Trumps’ Style Secrets, Decoded With 5 Simple Rules

ESC: Melania TrumpFirst lady fashion changes with each administration, but if Melania Trump’s wardrobe is one thing, it’s consistent.
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Melania Trump’s Outfit in Saudi Arabia Sparks Controversy — and Memes

Melania Trump decided to forego wearing a headscarf during a recent visit to Saudi Arabia with President Trump.
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Trump’s Handling Of Intelligence Leads To #BondTrumpBond On Twitter

When you think President Trump, “intelligence” maybe isn’t the first thing to pop into your head ― UNTIL NOW.

The Washington Post reported that during last week’s meeting, President Trump revealed highly classified intelligence to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador.

So, with that, we rolled out #BondTrumpBond for our weekly HuffPost Comedy hashtag game, and the internet was shaken. Not stirred.

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Melania Trump’s Wardobe No Longer Includes Fur

Melania Trump, FurMelania Trump has waved her fur-wearing days goodbye.
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Ivanka Trump’s Brand Was Purposely Mislabeled Under Another Name At Stein Mart

Another day, another questionable development involving Ivanka Trump’s clothing line. Or, in this case, lack thereof. 

Business of Fashion reported Monday that discount retailer Stein Mart has been selling Trump’s merchandise in stores labeled under another designer’s name ― Adrienne Vittadini Studio.

The move undoubtedly raises eyebrows about the motives of G-III, Trump’s licensing company. Brands like Ivanka Trump oftentimes don’t like to be associated with lower-tier retailers like Stein Mart, so both BoF and The Cut questioned whether the move was made to disassociate Trump’s name from the retailer. But Trump’s designs sell at other off-price stores like T.J. Maxx, so that doesn’t totally add up.

Trump’s brand saw an increase in sales in 2016 and a huge spike following the controversial “free commercial” Kellyanne Conway gave the brand on television in February 2017, when she encouraged Americans to buy Ivanka Trump’s brand.

But another theory could be that unlike higher-end stores like Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus, which dropped the brand altogether, the move was a way for Stein Mart to distance itself from the brand without having to actually distance itself from its clothing.

In a statement sent to The Huffington Post, G-III revealed that it worked on its own accord to change the labels ― a move that is weird, but technically legal, and, according to BoF, “commonplace”” for some brands. 

“G-IIII accepts responsibility for resolving this issue, which occurred without the knowledge or consent of the Ivanka Trump organization,” the statement said. “G-III has already begun to take corrective actions, including facilitating the immediate removal of any mistakenly labeled merchandise from its customer. The Ivanka Trump brand continues to grow and remains very strong.”

A request for comment from both Authentic Brands Group (which licenses Adrienne Vittadini) and Stein Mart were not immediately returned. But as Susan Scafidi, professor of fashion law at Fordham Law School and founder of the Fashion Law Institute, pointed out to BoF,  if Adrienne Vittadini was not aware of the label swapping, there could be a bigger issue at hand.

“If the original label is replaced with that of a third party unaware of the substitution, the responsible party would be liable to the third party,” she said. 

It might be time to check the labels on your most recent Stein Mart purchases, people. 

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Style – The Huffington Post
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Trump’s Reversals Reflect Business Influence

President Donald Trump’s reliance on former corporate executives in his White House—and business leaders outside of it—helped shape this week’s reversals on several hard-line positions that defined his campaign, according to officials.
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Ivanka Trump’s Clothing Sales Increased In 2016

Perhaps Ivanka Trump didn’t need that glowing endorsement from Kellyanne Conway to help boost profits.  

Trump’s businesses are mentioned virtually every time she is, and those mentions came fast and furious over the past year she helped her father become president. There were also headlines over boycotts of Trump products, stores that dropped her lines, accusations of copying designs, retweets from the official White House Twitter account and the hypocrisy of importing goods made in China as her father insisted he’d rebuild the country with American labor

It all combined for a hefty increase in sales in 2016. 

G-III Apparel Group, Ltd., which licenses Trump’s clothing collection (her shoe line is licensed through Marc Fisher), reported a “$ 17.9 million increase in net sales of Ivanka Trump licensed products” for the year ending January 31. The company credits the brand with helping bring up its gross profits as a whole, according to a new annual report released April 3.  

There were observed drops in sales over the period ― at Nordstrom, for example ― and while sales of G-III-licensed merchandise continued to increase, they did so at a significantly slower pace. Forbes reported the brand did $ 100 million in revenue with G-III during the 2015 fiscal year, when it saw net sales increase by $ 24.9 million over 2014. 

Trump’s brand declined to comment, and G-III did not return a request for comment by the time of publication. A spokesperson did tell Refinery 29 off-record Monday that “while Ivanka Trump might have been one of its faster growing brands last year, it is not one of the larger brands that the company operates.” The Calvin Klein label, for example, saw twice as much growth for G-III, garnering an increase in sales of $ 43.7 million.

The news adds fuel to the fire engulfing the Trump family’s numerous conflicts of interest. While Trump announced she was stepping down from her company in January and prohibited the brand from using her likeness in March, she still receives financial reports and profits from the company, even after becoming an official White House employee. An ethics expert told The Huffington Post last month that the only way Trump can truly avoid a conflict of interest is to sell the company or decline a job in the White House. 

The only things that seem certain is that Trump’s brand, like her position in the White House, will continue to be a point of contention during her father’s presidency ― and that any publicity really is good publicity.  

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What It’s Like to Be an Englishman In Trump’s New York

British novelist Hari Kunzru moved to America a decade ago and is struggling not to feel like an outsider all over again.

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You Can Now Bet On Trump’s Next Controversy

Donald Trump’s presidency has been painfully unpredictable. Presumably he’s got a plan but the world is struggling to keep up. Just yesterday, Trump launched a direct attack on Syria without notifying Congress. It’s an action that’s left most Americans with many questions about what happens next.

It’s that unpredictability that has come to define President Trump’s White House. The constant attacks on the media, Steve Bannon’s strange inclusion and removal on the national security council, and Jared Kushner’s mysterious role in Trump’s cabinet. The tragedy and comedy seems to be happening concurrently and most of us are left scratching our heads wondering when this will all come to an abrupt end.

Well, if you’re a betting person, Paddy Power feels you. The online gambling site has taken to hedging bets on Trump’s unpredictable presidency. So much so that they’re looking to hire a head of Trump betting. Check it out in the video above.

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Telling Trump’s Story to Children: For Book Publishers, It’s Tricky

Presidential biographies aimed at young readers hit bookshelves every four years. But the latest round has posed a unique set of challenges.
NYT > Books

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Trevor Noah Tackles the Hypocrisy of Trump’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Meanwhile, there’s new sexual allegations bubbling up from Trump’s favorite TV network.

Lifestyle – Esquire

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This Is What Trump’s White House Correspondents Dinner Would Look Like

Donald Trump will be the first president in 36 years to be absent at the White House Correspondents Association dinner ― an annual tradition where media figures, politicians and celebrities schmooze for a night.

And while he and his staff likely turned down their invitations because of the president’s deep hatred for the media and so-called “fake news,” the folks over at “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” have figured out how to get Trump to attend: Invite the Russians.

What would that dinner look like? In Trump’s mind (or “The Late Show’s” version of Trump’s mind), it would probably include a Russian man like “Boris Yacanovich” riffing on journalists.

It would feature jokes like:

A journalist criticized the administration. And he was shot dead in the street. In broad daylight.

And other knee-slappers, including:

Another journalist expressed dissent. And he was dropped out of window. Kaboom.

Fingers crossed that the actual WHCA dinner never ends up looking like this.

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Someone Made Donald Trump’s Speeches Into An Early 2000s Emo Song

Who knew President Trump’s speeches were so similar to the emo songs of the early 2000s? 

Super Deluxe did. And they seem to have gone back in time to find the perfect emo singer to bring the whole thing to life.

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The Only Style Blogger That Likes Trump’s Ties Is His Former Campaign Advisor

Roger Stone: Political Dandy.

Style – Esquire

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PopPolitics: ‘Cries From Syria’ Director Says Trump’s Refugee Ban May Help ISIS Recruitment (Listen)

Evgeny Afineevsky, director of “Cries From Syria,” which debuts Monday night on HBO, suggests that President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban could actually be used as a way for terrorism groups to recruit young refugees seeking shelter and relief from the war-torn region. “Most of the kids that are trying to survive under this mess… Read more »

Variety

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Trump’s Firing of New York U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara Evokes ‘Billions’

Chuck Rhoades wouldn’t go down without a fight, and neither did Preet Bharara, the former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York. The Trump administration’s mass firing of 46 U.S. Attorneys appointed during the Obama years generated a tidal wave of social media commentary on Saturday. Among the most talked-about was the dismissal… Read more »

Variety

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Trump’s Comments About Women Pair Frighteningly Well With Sexist Old Ads

Surprise, surprise: Many of President Donald Trump’s comments about women pair quite well with sexist vintage advertisements. 

A new project by Syrian artist Saint Hoax reimagines some of Trump’s thoughts about women as slogans on old print advertisements. The series, titled “Make America Misogynistic Again,” highlights how easy it would be to confuse the president’s thoughts about women with sexist commentary from more than half a century ago. 

Saint Hoax said he was initially doing research for a different project, when he stumbled upon vintage sexist advertisements and was inspired to create “Make America Misogynistic Again.” 

“I decided to match the visuals with sexist Trump quotes and show them to my friends without actually telling them where I got the quotes from,” he told The Huffington Post. “I told them that these were the actual advertisements that were published in the 1950s and ‘60s and they believed it. When I revealed the truth, they were in complete shock.” 

There should be a stark contrast between sexist ads from 70 ago and our current president’s comments, but there isn’t. Trump’s now-infamous remarks about grabbing women “by the pussy,” and how “you have to treat [women] like shit” pair alarmingly well with ads that depict a husband spanking his wife, or a woman as an actual rug with a man standing on top of her. 

“The way women are represented in the media has shifted drastically since these advertisements were initially published,” Saint Hoax said. “Sadly, Donald Trump is trying to take America back to the ‘Mad Men’ era. I’m hoping that these posters would make people realize that Trump’s ‘locker room talk’ is extremely dangerous.”  

Scroll below to see all of the prints from Saint Hoax’s “Make America Misogynistic Again.” 

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The Colors, Cuts and Cost of a Supermodel Wardrobe in the White House: An Analysis of Melania Trump’s First Lady Style

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What’s Really Going On In These Photos From President Trump’s Address

Just like me in high school, this administration will look back one day and realize that four years has yielded very few presentable or shareable photos.

On Tuesday night, as President Trump made his first address to a joint session of Congress, the cameras were ready once again. These photos are really all you need to know about this night.

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Democratic Women Are Wearing White To Trump’s Congressional Address

In November, scores of women voters went to the polls wearing white, an homage to Hillary Clinton who often wore white while campaigning, most notably when she accepted the Democratic nomination. Though she never addressed it outright, Clinton’s embrace of the white pant suit was widely interpreted as a nod to the suffragist movement.

That tradition will continue on in primetime on Tuesday, as Democratic women in the House have pledged to wear white to President Donald Trump’s first address to Congress.

According to the AP, the heads of the Democratic Women’s Working Group wrote a letter to its members urging them to wear white to the address. The aim is to honor the suffragist movement and to “stand in solidarity with the women of our nation,” the AP reports.

It certainly appears to have traction.

On Tuesday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) posted a picture telling followers to keep an eye out as “#WomenWearWhite” in support of women’s rights.

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) also posted a picture of herself, saying she was wearing “suffragette white” in honor of generations of women who “marched and fought for our sacred rights.”

And then there’s Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), an outspoken critic of President Trump, who has opted for another symbolic move … skipping the address altogether

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Stephen Colbert Happily Takes Trump’s Challenge To ‘Say It To My Face’

President Donald Trump recently expressed frustration about media outlets that quote anonymous sources in negative stories about his job performance. During his Feb. 24 speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference, Trump dared these negative sources — if they’d like to say “Donald Trump is a horrible, horrible human being” — to “say it to my face.”

Well, Stephen Colbert is happy to take on that challenge.

“Sir …” he said after the clip played, to applause from the crowd. “It would be my honor to say it to your face.” He beckoned the camera closer, smashing his face against the glass to make sure his message was crystal clear.

Just before that, Colbert had a very simple, but poignant, line about the president during his opening monologue.

After spending part of this monologue responding to the borderline unbelievable ending to the Oscars on Sunday ― where “La La Land” erroneously won Best Picture until it was announced that “Moonlight” was the true winner ― Colbert transitioned to Trump.

“Speaking of heartbreaking mistakes,” Colbert said, followed by a slight pause. “Donald Trump … “ he continued, to the crowd’s applause.

When the audience finally settled down, Colbert began to talk about Trump’s upcoming address to a joint session of Congress, where the president is expected to present a plan for the nation’s healthcare.

Yet earlier on Monday at the White House, Trump had said the mystifying line “Nobody knew that healthcare could be so complicated.”

After showing the clip of the president’s quote, Colbert followed up his “heartbreaking” comment with a more poignant response to Trump.

“It’s just that you didn’t know,” Colbert said, “That’s like if I performed open-heart surgery tomorrow and said, ‘Wow, nobody said it’d be so wet in here.’”

Heartbreaking for sure.

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Pissed Off About Trump’s Transgender Decision? You’re Not Alone.

But the issue is more complicated than people think.

Lifestyle – Esquire

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A Holocaust Historian Explains Why People Believe Trump’s Lies

Insights about the science—and power—of denial.

Lifestyle – Esquire

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Black lawmakers dismayed by Trump’s invite to black reporter

WASHINGTON (AP) — Members of the Congressional Black Caucus expressed bafflement and dismay Thursday after President Donald Trump asked a black reporter to set up a meeting with them.
Entertainment News Headlines — Yahoo! News

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Fred Armisen And Carrie Brownstein Make A Case For The ‘Portlandia’ Bubble In Trump’s America

In 2011, just midway into President Barack Obama’s first term in office, IFC’s “Portlandia” debuted with an ode to the liberal bubble of Portland, Oregon.

“The dream of the ‘90s is alive in Portland,” sang the show’s stars, Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein, along with other young, flannel-wearing people.

The song celebrated Portland’s insular and nostalgia-prone weirdness. But ever since President Donald Trump’s unexpected election last November, people around the country have been re-examining liberal bubbles and the potential downsides that can come with living in them.

On Thursday night, one of the final episodes of Season 7, the show’s penultimate season, will debut on IFC.  Although Fred and Carrie created this storyline for the episode, entitled “Portland Secedes,” before the election of Trump, it’s hard to separate the episode (or the entire season for that matter) from the pervading existence of Trump’s America.

As such, The Huffington Post spoke to Fred and Carrie about how the rise of Trump affected their writers’ room, how his presidency puts a new viewing lens on “Portlandia,” and whether Americans should keep their cultural bubbles.  

The Q&A below has been edited and condensed for clarity.

How the rise of Trump impacted the writers’ room

The creators have said that for past seasons, Portland residents’ high level of “optimism” led to many sketch ideas. Despite not knowing the results of the election around the time you were developing Season 7, Trump’s rise was already still apparent. Did his campaign alter your approach to the characters?

Fred: Well, I mean, in the writers’ room, it came up a lot. But I think we try to avoid anything that’s too directly topical so that it has some shelf life. I think it has less to do with politics specific to an election as opposed to the politics that are happening in general. Like, whatever the general feeling is that year around that time. Because we don’t have the luxury of having, like, a live show, it’s a little less specific.

 

The value of protecting values

The “Portland Secedes” episode imagines Portland attempting to leave the United States to maintain its unique weirdness. A spoiler that’s necessary for context: They don’t succeed.

In light of the election results, it’s hard to not see the sketch as something of a parody of Trump’s America. Even so, it’s unclear whether the focus is Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan, or whether you are going for a joke similar to a recent “Saturday Night Live” sketch, which imagined putting a dome on Brooklyn to preserve its bubble. Either way, was there actually an attempt at a political lens here?

Carrie: I do think the political climate permeated the writers’ room ― that echo chamber and that sense that things were quite partisan and everyone had kind of sorted themselves into categories ― culturally or by neighborhood or by city. And I think we’ve always been a show that is about one’s relationship to place.

So, it made sense that these characters in our world would be interested in kind of protecting things that they had built and value. I think on the entire political spectrum, everybody feels they’re sort of trying to protect their values. And I guess that’s just what these people are doing in a kind of comical and absurd way. 

The opening scene of “Portland Secedes”

 

The case for keeping bubbles

In a 2015 interview with Good before the rise of Trump, Carrie said, “I think that you do have to create a bubble. And I think that anything that’s really been powerful starts with people ignoring the consensus and just focusing.”

A post-election hypothesis has been that Trump’s win came as a result of liberals living in a bubble that keeps “real America” hidden from them. But is there still any value to living in a bubble?

Fred: Well, as far as value goes, obviously it’s nicer to be in an environment where you feel comfortable. But it’s also clear that it’s probably not the most realistic thing. Also, on the other hand, I don’t know how we can avoid it. I mean, I suppose you can try to educate yourself, but just geographically, I think people are just drawn to a sort of kind of place and it just ends up being that way.

I think it’s unavoidable, but we have been able to sort of curate our surroundings. Even online so that you’re kind of giving yourself a lot of confidence in the way that you are. 

Putting out Season 7 after Trump’s victory

After the election, audiences have put a political lens on work that was created before Trump’s win. Notably, the new A Tribe Called Quest album and “The Young Pope” both have been considered resonant and responsive works to Trump’s America, even though that couldn’t have been their original intent. How does it feel to have such a lens focused on Season 7?

Carrie: Yeah, I think that’s an inevitability. You know there’s almost a level of toxicity that we’re immersed in, and I think people are realizing it was almost a privilege in some ways during the Obama administration to be able to tune out politics every once in awhile. Or to be able to kind of exist in a space that didn’t feel violent or aggressive or confusing. But I think it’s important to remember there’s always been vulnerable and marginalized populations who have felt attacked and disenfranchised under any administration, just based on institutional disparities.

But I do think that it’s just the new lens that we examine all music and television and literature. I think everyone is searching for meaning and explanation and a way of making sense of some of the …. just the confusion. So, you can’t necessarily start out with the intention of making things clear for people. But I think the best kind of ― and most lasting ― artistic statements feel relevant when they’re happening, but also feel relevant in retrospect.

In some ways that’s been our goal always. It’s just that, the fact that people can watch the show now and still feel it was in this world ― not incongruous with this current administration ― is what we always set out to do. To feel part of something and part of something that will last.

 

How the election will continue to affect the show’s characters

Recently, Carrie performed at the Women’s March and told Vanity Fair that she feels there is a “a feeling of collective despair, uncertainty, and anxiety right now.” Even if the show doesn’t take aim at specific political moments, if there is a collective despair, would that inevitably bleed into the characters’ lives for Season 8, the final season?  

Fred: It’s hard to tell, but [I have] a memory of the writers’ room and just feeling like, we had optimism then because we didn’t know what the result of the election was going to be. So there was a lot of discussion [about Trump], but I actually can’t remember what ― now that things are like this ― I can’t remember what the split was in the room.

We came up with the mens’ rights movement sketches as characters, but I still don’t know. I think that just came from a time where we thought maybe men were feeling unrepresented. It was a joke, really, but maybe it was more real than we imagined. 

Carrie: Yeah, it was almost like we were still existing in a bubble of certainty, but at the same time, I think we felt a vulnerability. An encroaching vulnerability upon that certainty. And I remember that there was an anxiety that was creeping in ― realizing that what we assumed was in our future, might actually not happen.

And I think the most telling thing is when we tried to sort of move past the discussion ― which was at the time, the primaries and then the actual general election ― that we couldn’t. That we found, even in the preamble, that there were sort of fault-lines. We had to navigate that and I think we can see that in the writing. That we would land upon that place that felt a little unstable and try to kind of write from that.

I think a lot of our characters this season are sort of exploring change or disinheritance or a sense of, I don’t know, trouble ahead, I guess. 

One of the sketches about men’s rights activists from Season 7

 

Fred and Carrie’s closing thoughts on contextualizing Season 7

Fred: The only thing I can think of is just the role of Portland. Now to me, it just represents a different kind of city. I personally just have this feeling of wanting to embrace it even more because I take it for granted less. That a whole city can have an identity like that. I think I just cherish it a little more now. 

Carrie: I think I feel lucky that we have another season of “Portlandia” because, as much as it feels very necessary to write from a satirical perspective, I also feel the need to be able to see things through a lens of absurdity, because I think so much right now feels so out of whack as to be absurd. Verging on surreal.

And also people need to laugh. People always come back to me from each season and I think I’ve heard more [right now about] this relief at laughing. Just the actual physical, emotional release that comes from laughter. And I think that’s something that we’re really able to do on the show and I feel lucky to be able to do it for another year.

“Portlandia” airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET on IFC. 

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Matt Damon Speaks Out Against Donald Trump’s Proposed Border Wall

Matt Damon, star of the upcoming movie “The Great Wall,” isn’t really “a believer in walls.” Specifically, walls proposed by President Donald Trump

In a new interview with People, Damon spoke out about the president’s plan to erect a wall between the United States and Mexico, as well as Trump’s idea that Mexico will pay for it

“I believe that history belongs to the cooperators,” the actor said, before noting that he doesn’t think “Mexico is going to pay for our infrastructure any more than we’re going to pay for their highways, you know what I mean? That’s just not going to happen. But, that’s where we are and we’ll see how it all plays out.”

Damon continued, “Hopefully the people of Mexico understand that the people of our country, the majority of them, don’t believe that we should be putting any walls up.”

When Trump was campaigning for the presidency, Damon expressed his discontent over the possibility of seeing the former “Apprentice” host in the White House.

“I’m kind of amazed we’ve arrived at this point,” he said during a 2016 interview with ABC News’ “Popcorn with Peter Travers. “I’m concerned.” 

“There’s no way we can let this guy be the [president],” he added. “To let that dude have the nuclear football, are you kidding me? That’s dangerous. He’s impulsive and rash, and doesn’t seem to think deeply about too many things.”

Following Trump’s election, however, Damon, took on a more diplomatic tone. The actor, who has openly admitted he didn’t vote for the Republican candidate, told NBC, “A successful American president is good for all of us and we really have to be rooting for him right now.” 

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12 Methods of Self Care During Trump’s Long Winter

Tested to keep you sane in an insane news cycle.

Lifestyle – Esquire

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84 Lumber CEO Says Controversial Super Bowl Ad Was Not Pro-Immigration – and Trump’s Wall ‘Represents Security’

 

The controversial Super Bowl commercial for 84 Lumber about a migrant family crossing the border into the U.S. was not meant to be “pro-immigration” or a political statement at all, the company’s CEO Maggie Hardy Magerko tells PEOPLE.

Hardy Magerko, who took over ownership of her family’s $ 2.86 billion company in 1992, says she is a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump and believes that a border wall – which featured prominently in the TV spot – “is a need.”

“We need to keep America safe,” the 51-year-old executive tells PEOPLE. “America needs to be safe so you and I can have the liberty to talk… The wall, I think it represents, to me, security. I like security.”

Hardy Magerko says she personally helped develop the commercial and its striking imagery, but her personal beliefs don’t play into the commercial.

“This came from the heart and I didn’t do it for personal gain,” she says. “It’s not about me or my beliefs or the wall, it’s about individuals… treating people with dignity and respect.”

She adds: “My intent was to show, through the mother and daughter, that through struggles we will do anything we possibly can to make a better place for our children. If I thought the wall was negative, I wouldn’t have had the wall.”

“There were many interpretations, but the message is in the eyes of the beholder,” adds Hardy Magerko, who took over Pittsburgh-based 84 Lumber from her father, now 94. “So, depending on what struggles and what you’re going through… it’s all in interpretation.”

The ad, which features imposing shots of a U.S. border wall, is 84 Lumber’s first Super Bowl commercial and was initially rejected by FOX for being “too controversial for TV.”

The 90-second TV spot broadcast on Sunday featured a Hispanic mother and daughter making the treacherous journey north to the U.S. It cut off before the ending and urged viewers to go online to watch the full story.

The online ad, which is over 5 minutes long, ends with the mother and daughter encountering a wall at the U.S. border (something that Trump has repeatedly promised to build) – then finding a door built with lumber from a contractor, which allows them to enter the country.

The tagline, at the end of the full commercial, reads: “The will to succeed is always welcome here.”

It had a polarizing effect on viewers. Some took to social media to congratulate 84 Lumber for the company’s support of human rights and progressive policies, while others saw it as encouraging illegal immigration into the U.S.

“Of course, you get social media backlash,” says Hardy Magerko. “But there was more positive than negative far and away.”

Some social media users even threatened to boycott the company.

And others, were confused (especially when their site crashed after the ad aired).

“At the core, this commercial is about individuals that truly are scared, whatever that might be, whatever their own journey might be,” says Hardy Magerko.

She goes on to say it was not her intent to use the commercial as a platform to make political noise.

Hardy Magerko prefaces her thoughts on the controversial border wall and her commercial, which received a variety of responses both positive and negative, by saying: “I have no right talking about immigration policy, no right, because I don’t know anything about it!”

Hardy Magerko, who says she “unequivocally” voted for President Trump, says that when she found out he was elected, she had “so much hope.”

“I thought ‘Thank God he has the guts to do what needs to be done,’ and that’s to make decisions,” she explains. “We need someone to make decisions and move forward. He will make mistakes as we all are, we are human.

Rob Schapiro, chief creative officer of 84 Lumber’s ad agency Brunner, echoes her reasoning for the creating this type of advertisement.

“The intention is about opportunity,” Schaprio, who filmed the spot in Mexico, tells PEOPLE. “We view it as a patriotic story. If you think of liberty’s torch as a beacon of light from the land of opportunity, that’s how we viewed that light coming through the door. Exactly the same as a beacon of light, we are a company of opportunity and a land of opportunity.

“It’s a very patriotic message. The flag that this young child creates, you see what that means to the mother and daughter. That’s the beacon of light we talk about.”

Hardy Magerko watched the controversial ad play on Super Bowl Sunday with a few close friends in New York, while Schapiro watched from Pittsburgh, where both companies are headquartered. The two had worked closely together since November on casting and filming.

“We wanted to shake things up and I think we did!” says Hardy Magerko, still giddy from the explosive social media response. “During market research, we found that people 40 and younger don’t know about , so I thought ‘Okay… let’s tie in what is going on in the world and, more importantly, with our beliefs and company ideals and .’ ”

She adds, “The message, and what people maybe don’t understand, is that we didn’t mean this with any malice, we didn’t mean this with any sharp tongue or sword. Sincerely. I don’t view the wall as a bad thing. This was a patriotic commercial.”

Instead, Hardy Magerko says the advertisement, at its core, was meant to attract new, young employees for her growing business and to drum up new customers while “stimulating” the housing market.

“I believe in youth and being contemporary,” she explains. “We need to surround ourselves with people who will continue to build America and build 84 Lumber, we’re looking for people that are naïve and willing to sacrifice and get into a company thinking, ‘Wow this is really cool!’

“There are no politics at 84!”

Hardy Magerko isn’t too worried about backlash from the immigration ad (her core customer base is made up of small business owners and contractors), even from those who interpreted it as a stab at Trump.

“I didn’t put much thought into whether we would lose business,” she admits.

“I would hope, being naïve as I am, I would hope they understand I’m not taking a personal stance here. It’s about hope, it’s being patriotic. It’s hope for the future, it’s not knowing but standing together strong for all positives.”


PEOPLE.com

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Angelina Jolie attacks Trump’s US travel ban

Angelina Jolie has criticised the decision to stop refugees entering the US, arguing it will not make the country safer.
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Flying into Trump’s travel ban ‘a nightmare’

Actor Dev Patel has said flying into the US after Donald Trump imposed his travel ban on seven Muslim-majority nations was like “entering into a nightmare”.
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How Trump’s Muslim Ban Is Affecting One Iranian-American Bride

Planning a big, multicultural interfaith wedding is stressful enough for any bride. Last week, Iranian-American bride Nassim Alisobhani received the news that her nuptials will also be complicated by international politics. 

Alisobhani, a 27-year-old Muslim woman from Newport Beach, California, is marrying her fiance, Justin Yanuck on May 20, 2017, during a wedding that aims to bring together their Persian and Jewish heritages. The interfaith couple has encountered a number of stumbling blocks while planning their wedding, but through it all, the one thing Alisobhani was looking forward to the most was having her entire family together in the same room for the first time in decades.

But President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration may prevent that from happening. The order bans citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries, including Iran, for at least 90 days. The particulars of that ban are still being parsed through, as legal challenges to the order emerge around the country.

In addition to temporarily targeting these seven countries, the executive order also asks the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence to review the United States’ visa and admission procedures and to come up with a list of countries who don’t comply with requests for information. Nationals of those countries are at risk of being banned in the future.

When she heard the news, Alisobhani immediately thought of some of her closest family members, who have dual citizenship with Iran. The executive order has left Alisobhani worried that some of her closest family members won’t be there for her big day.

Iranian-Americans are concerned about whether people with Iranian nationality who also hold valid passports from non-restricted countries will be allowed to the enter the United States. The State Department initially stated that people with dual citizenship from one of the seven banned countries would be banned. But the Department of Homeland Security later said that dual nationals with visas and passports from a non-restricted country would be allowed to enter. 

Because of Iran’s policies about nationality, anyone born in Iran, or born to an Iranian father, is considered to be an Iranian national. It’s very difficult to renounce Iranian citizenship. Immigrants who move to other countries often end up getting dual citizenship, which is unrecognized by Iran. 

After the Iranian Revolution in 1979, Alisobhani said her extended family spread out all over Europe. She has family members in France, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Sweden and the U.K.

“We really wanted this to be a celebration, not just a wedding,” Alisobhani told The Huffington Post. “I could care less about the wedding. It’s about having everyone together.”

Shahrzad Rezvani, an immigration attorney and a board member of the Iranian American Bar Association’s Washington D.C. chapter, told The Huffington Post that customs and border protection “appears to be processing people based on how they present themselves at the airport.”

“There are different reports coming in meaning that the policies are not being
implemented consistently,” Rezvani wrote in an email. “The good thing is that the dual citizens should be allowed to board their flights and arrive to the US. Once here, the hope is that they will be admitted with their ‘other’ passport.”

Still, Rezvani said that it’s possible that dual citizens admitted on the non-restricted country’s passport will face scrutiny and be detained at the airport. And after the 90 days of the ban are over, she isn’t sure what’s in store for dual nationals with Iranian heritage, or how the U.S. will handle people whose visas are expired. She’s also concerned about the review of visa admission procedures currently being conducted by the U.S. government. Because of Iran’s tense relations with the United States, she’s worried Iran won’t comply with the U.S.’s requests for information ― meaning Iran could make a forthcoming list of countries whose nationals could be denied entry.

“We sincerely hope the ban will be lifted and the applying and processing of visas will resume ― with an even bigger backlog of course,” she said. “It’s such a sad situation that seems put in place for worse things to happen.”

Trump’s ban is expected to affect the lives of thousands of refugees and immigrants seeking to build a new life in America. While her story is just a small part of that, Alisobhani said she wanted to come forward with her story to showcase the many ways the ban is affecting America’s immigrant communities.

“It just feels like this is a real-life example of the effects of the [ban],” she said. “It’s not something so serious, but it’s something people can relate to and sympathize with.”

For Alisobhani’s family, the ban on immigration feels all too familiar. Her mother’s wedding took place in 1986, when tensions between the United States and Iran were high and movement between the two countries was restricted. Many her mother’s family members were unable to attend the wedding. Coming from a big family of six siblings, the situation left Alisobhani’s mother feeling alone in a new country. 

Knowing that the same thing could happen to her daughter has left the mom “devastated,” Alisobhani said. 

“My parents’ wedding was great, but my mom always spoke of it as a sad moment for her,” Alisobhani said. “I’m not going to be as lonely as her, but it’s still going to be a dark spot.” 

But, Alisobhani said, it’s more than just about her family ― it’s about the Syrian refugees who are being turned away, students whose educations are at risk of being disrupted, and others looking to come to America.

“These are great people who love America,” she said. “It’s just not fair to treat someone like this. “

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Teen Plans To Tell The Immigrant Stories Trump’s Administration Never Would

When Valeria Alvarado learned that President Donald Trump had called for a weekly list of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants, she took action.

The 19-year-old Villanova University student decided to create an organization that would fight Trump’s actions by highlighting positive immigrant stories. Alvarado recently started the Facebook page “We, Too, Are America,” a name she acknowledges has also been used by other pro-immigrant movements on Twitter and to celebrate Black History Month. 

“When I read [Trump’s executive] order, I knew it would unfairly define a community of over 11 million people by the actions of a few,” Alvarado told The Huffington Post on Thursday. “Being close to the community, I decided to do a counter-list where we would publish a weekly list of accomplishments by the undocumented community.”

The positive response she received over the initial idea prompted her to open up the platform to not only include stories about undocumented immigrants but also feature achievements by refugees and the immigrant community as a whole. The student says these groups are also negatively affected by Trump’s recent directives. 

Alvarado is an immigrant herself; she moved from Monterrey, Mexico to the United States at the age 4. The teen is currently spending a semester abroad in Rwanda studying post-genocide restoration.

“I could not believe my eyes when I first read Trump’s plan to publish this list,” Alvardo told Remezcla in a recent interview. “This ‘crime list’ idea is not new. The Nazis used to publish a list of Jewish crimes before the genocide started. The RTML radio in Rwanda used to convince people that Tutsis were to blame for the crimes of the few. I am not trying to homogenize these situations with each other, but it is unbelievable that we are repeating history’s same mistakes.” 

Alvarado, who is a U.S. citizen, recognizes that not all immigrants have the opportunity to become legal. 

“I was lucky enough to become a citizen in 2013,” she told HuffPost. “I use the word ‘luck’ because I believe the citizenship process requires more than just hard work, it requires luck. There are so many in our community still stuck in the process, after years and years of working hard towards becoming a citizen.”

The “We, Too, Are America” Facebook page has accrued more than 1,000 followers in its first six days. Alvarado and her small team plan to publish their first weekly list of immigrant stories on Monday, Feb. 6. 

“We, Too, Are America wants to publish stories from all walks of life and all professions,” she said. “Our goal is not to build the ‘model minority’ image, but instead, counter a false image with a positive and more diverse image of our community.”

The 2016 election was the first time Alvarado had the opportunity to vote for a presidential candidate, a privilege she took seriously. While the outcome was not what she expected, she intends to keep fighting for her ideals. 

“Voting for the first time was a bittersweet moment,” she told HuffPost. “I was happy I was able to go in the voting booth to exercise my rights. I also had to think about the privilege I have as a citizen; our undocumented friends and family did not have an opportunity to vote in an election that would alter their lives. The three million more Americans and I that won the popular vote are disappointed in the outcome, pero como siempre me ha dicho mi papa: ‘es tiempo para ponerte las pilas’ (which translates to, ‘but like my dad always told me: ‘it’s time to get to work’’). A Trump presidency will not bring us down. We will not stand by silently.”

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Tech firms back legal fight against Trump’s travel ban

Amazon, Microsoft and Expedia have backed a legal challenge to President Trump’s travel ban.
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News Or Not: Trump’s Alternative Speech At The Women’s March

In all fairness, Kellyanne Conway has a point when referring to the existence of alternative facts. Indeed, President Trump has been wronged again by the media. For the first time in U.S. history, he delivered not one but two inaugural speeches. His hugely ignored alternative speech was heard at the Women’s March in Seneca Falls, NY on January 21st, 2017. Here is what President Trump said according to some Bulgarian witnesses:

TRUMP: Justice Ginsburg, Justice Kagan, Justice Sotomayor, First Lady Michelle Obama, women of the world, thank you.

January 21st, 2017 will be remembered as the day women became the rulers of this nation.

The forgotten women and children of our country will be forgotten no longer.

Everyone is listening to you now. You came by the tens of millions to become part of a historic movement, the likes of which the world has never seen before.

At the center of this movement is a crucial conviction that a nation exists to serve its citizens, especially the tired, the poor, the hurdled masses, the wretched, the homeless, and the tempest-toss.

Enough of the carnage of my carnal past. Let me help you march towards a fantastic future.

American patriarchy stops right here and stops right now. We will have equal pay for equal work, universal healthcare, and affordable education and childcare.

All isms – sexism, racism, ethnocentrism, anti-Semitism, classism, ageism, and ableism – need to go. Homophobia, Islamophobia and xenophobia will be outlawed. Phobia of mustaches will be the only one approved by the government. Anyone who makes a discriminatory slur or act will be required to watch for a week recordings of city hall meetings.

My best wives are immigrants. So, we will follow two simple rules; women first and hire an immigrant.

Women’s bodies will be no pasarán for politics. As one protester wants, the only time politics enters a woman’s body will be when she has sex with a politician.

The Senate will be renamed Thelma and the Congress Louise.

Senators and congressmen from opposite parties will be required to start work with hugging and have cuddling breaks between sessions.

We will end all wars. U.S. military bases around the world will be turned into children’s playgrounds, dancing training camps and schools for clowns. Generals will become companions to Mickey Mouse in Disneyland. Military personnel will be hired as ice-cream vendors and tour guides of art galleries, public libraries, and concert halls. The Pentagon will be transformed into a 24/7 free spa.

CIA and FBI operatives will be appointed as white truffle and thrift-store treasure hunters.

The only oil we will take from Iraq will be from their olive trees.

The White House will broadcast daily storytelling briefs where I will read bedtime stories to children.

Working people who make less than $ 25,000 a year will be granted a free vacation at any of my hotels around the world.

Posters from the Women’s Marches will be registered with the Department of Treasury and exchanged as currency in our trade with foreign nations.

Thank you.

Mother Earth, Goddesses, Susan B. Anthony, Moms Mabley, Statue of Liberty, and Rosebud bless you, America, and the world. Inshallah! Venceremos!

(APPLAUSE)

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Rihanna ‘Disgusted’ By Donald Trump’s Attempt To Block Muslims From Entering U.S.

Rihanna is the latest star to add her voice to the conversation surrounding Donald Trump’s recent executive order, which temporarily banned all refugees from entering the U.S. and temporarily banned travelers entering the country from seven Muslim-majority nations. 

On Saturday, the pop star tweeted her disgust for the action, which also bars Syrian refugees indefinitely. 

“This is devastating!” she wrote, seemingly referring to the president as “an immoral pig.” 

That same night, a federal judge in Brooklyn, New York, put a temporary halt on parts of Trump’s executive order. Thousands of demonstrators gathered to protest the travel ban at airports across the country.

Aside from Rihanna, plenty of other stars, such as Debra Messing, Michael Moore and Alyssa Milano, expressed their anger and sadness about the executive order on social media. 

John Legend also spoke out about the issue at the Producers Guild Awards on Saturday night. The Grammy winner went off-script while presenting a clip from “La La Land” to deliver a poignant speech about acceptance. 

“Our vision of America is directly antithetical to that of President Trump,” Legend said. “I want to specifically tonight reject his vision and affirm that America has to be better than that.” 

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‘Spinal Tap’ Spoof Of Donald Trump’s ABC Interview Turns It Up To 11

Donald Trump’s first television interview as president has received a glorious “This Is Spinal Tap” makeover.

BuzzFeed editor Jesse McLaren dubbed audio from the 1984 comedy’s iconic “up to 11” scene over Wednesday’s footage of Trump discussing the size of the crowds at his inauguration with ABC News anchor David Muir.

The resulting clip, which McLaren posted to Twitter on Thursday, is hilarious:

McLaren said the inspiration for the parody came from filmmaker BenDavid Grabinski, who posted a joke on the same theme to Twitter.

Watch the clip above, and see the original scene from Rob Reiner’s movie below:

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Celebrities React To Trump’s #MuslimBan With Anger And Calls To Action

Hollywood reacted in horror to the news of President Donald Trump’s executive order blocking all refugees from Syria, as well as barring citizens from seven predominantly Muslim countries for the next 90 days. 

Many celebrities who have been actively challenging Trump’s presidency criticized the refugee ban by sharing personal anecdotes and calls to action on social media. 

Pakistani-born “Silicon Valley” star Kumail Nanjiani, who was accosted by Trump supporters in a Los Angeles bar last year, posted a series of tweets that highlighted the ban’s fundamental flaw and pointed to the damaging effects the policy will have on Muslims in and outside American borders. 

Actress Alyssa Milano shared a photo of herself and her friend Alaa Mohammad Khaled to show solidarity with those harmed by the ban. 

“My best friend, Alaa Mohammad Khaled, is Muslim. His parents were Palestinian refugees. His brother is DJ Khaled. ,” she wrote. 

Comedian Seth Rogen urged his Twitter followers to join him in a protest outside the Federal Immigration Office in Los Angeles on Saturday afternoon.

Director Michael Moore extended a direct apology to “our Muslim neighbors in the world,” reiterating that most Americans didn’t support Trump in the election. 

Check out more responses from celebrities standing in defiance of Trump’s anti-Muslim ban below: 

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Here’s a Look at Every Single One of Donald Trump’s Homes

Not including the White House, of course.

Lifestyle – Esquire

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How carriers will keep D.C. online during Trump’s inauguration

How carriers will keep D.C. online during Trump’s inaugurationWireless providers are working overtime to ensure D.C. stays connected during Trump’s inauguration. The Mall in Washington looked a little Dickensian ahead of Donald Trump’s inauguration ceremony. Instead, wireless carriers facing what could be more than one million attendees for Friday’s festivities — in addition to a large crowd for Saturday’s National Women’s March protest — are deploying outsized equipment to supercharge their networks and ensure everyone stays online throughout the weekend.



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On the Runway: Melania Trump’s ‘America First’ Inaugural Wardrobe

From her powder-blue dress at the swearing-in to her outfits at the balls, the first lady modeled the fashion of politics, and the politics of fashion.
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Trump’s Tie Was Held Together With Tape At The Inauguration

In December, then-president-elect Donald Trump got a lot of flack after a photographer and an unfortunate breeze revealed that he held his tie together with sticky tape.

New photos from Friday’s inauguration reveal that the tape was not a one-time sartorial decision. The billionaire once again opted for holding his tie together with tape as he was sworn in to be president of the United States.

The tape wasn’t the only issue, though. Numerous people pointed out on social media that Trump’s tie was abnormally long.

Stephen Colbert also made fun of Trump’s tie length, saying, “You can use it for all sorts of things, for hiding an erection for instance, which I will not have for four years now.”

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What to Do Instead of Watching Trump’s Inauguration

Ellen Burstyn, Solange Knowles, artists, composers and others offer people who don’t want to think about politics different options for the weekend.
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Toby Keith Won’t Apologize For Performing At Donald Trump’s Inauguration Celebration

Country music star Toby Keith will perform at Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration” concert on Jan. 19 (the eve of Inauguration Day), and he isn’t sorry about it one bit. 

I don’t apologize for performing for our country or military,” Keith said in a statement to Entertainment Weekly, after hearing some criticism for his decision. “I performed at events for previous presidents [George W.] Bush and [Barack] Obama and over 200 shows in Iraq and Afghanistan for the USO.”

Keith will be joined at the celebratory concert by 3 Doors Down, Lee Greenwood, The Piano Guys and the Frontmen of Country, according to an announcement posted on the Presidential Inaugural Committee site.

Broadway star Jennifer Holliday was also slated to perform but backed out. On Saturday, in a letter published by The Wrap, Holliday apologized to the LGBTQ community for agreeing to perform in the first place, calling the initial decision a “lapse of judgement.”

A handful of other celebrities, including Welsh singer Charlotte Church, have also turned down invitations to perform at any of Trump’s inaugural celebrations.

Rebecca Ferguson, Season 7 runner-up of the British “X Factor,” said she would only perform if she could sing the song “Strange Fruit,” which she said “speaks to all the disregarded and down trodden black people in the United States.” 

Meanwhile, “America’s Got Talent” star Jackie Evancho will be performing at the inauguration ceremony on Jan. 20. 

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Giorgio Armani Addresses the Trumps

ARMANI SPEAKS UP: “That’s my job; why shouldn’t I dress a beautiful woman if she asks me to?” In his usual frank manner, Giorgio Armani spoke his mind about the designer topic du jour: Whether to dress Melania Trump. “This goes beyond politics.” As for her husband, the designer said after the Emporio Armani show on Saturday that President-elect Donald Trump has “improved physically, he is slimmer, his tuft of hair is less big and it’s less cob-like. Also the way he addresses things is less over the top, more discreet. It’s difficult to say about the future, but I hope his actions will allow his critics to have cause to see things differently.”
Asked about the performance of his fashion company in 2016, Armani admitted it was “a complicated year,” which closed with revenues down 5 percent on 2015, although profitability was not dented. Armani had revenues of 2.65 billion euros in 2015, or $ 2.94 billion at average exchange. “We have a lot of money in the bank, which is a rare thing,” he said with a smile. The year 2017 will continue to be “tough,” he conceded. “Nobody can really wave the flag of joy. It will take a couple of years. Everything is changing —

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Artist Turns Donald Trump’s Most Controversial Quotes Into Comic Book Covers

An artist is giving President-elect Donald Trump’s most outrageous comments the comic book treatment.

Cartoonist Robert Sikoryak is transforming several of the controversial and offensive statements that Trump made during the presidential election campaign into eye-catching and thought-provoking illustrations.

“The idea occurred to me right before the election,” the New York City-based artist told The Huffington Post on Saturday.  Trump had said so many outrageous things during his campaign that I wanted to catalogue them.”

“It was important to me to only use Trump’s actual quotes, I didn’t want to put any words in his mouth,” he added. “Once Trump became the president-elect, I felt I had to do it.”

Sikoryak’s work has previously appeared on the cover pages of The New Yorker magazine and the Harvard Business Review. He has also transformed Apple’s iTunes terms of service into comic parodies.

For this project, titled “The Unquotable Trump,” he has compiled the images into a mini-comic. He’s also posting them on a dedicated Tumblr page.

“The reaction has been very enthusiastic, much more so than I expected,” Sikoryak told HuffPost. “I needed to get these comics out of my system, so it’s gratifying that other people have been enjoying them.”

Check out more of his Trump-themed comic book covers below and see his other work via his website, Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter accounts.

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With … Peter Thiel: Peter Thiel, Trump’s Tech Pal, Explains Himself

The Silicon Valley billionaire and scourge of Gawker describes his admiration for the president-elect, who told him, “We’re friends for life.”
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UK singers reject ‘tyrant’ Trump’s invitation

Singer Charlotte Church and former X Factor star Rebecca Ferguson have both turned down invitations from Donald Trump to perform at his inauguration.
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‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ ‘Scandal’ And ‘HTGAWM’ Returns Delayed By Trump’s Pre-Inauguration Special

Fans of ABC’s beloved Thursday night lineup will have to wait one more week for the returns of “Grey’s Anatomy” and “How to Get Away with Murder,” and the premiere of “Scandal,” due to a Donald Trump pre-inauguration special. 

Excuse us for one moment … 

ABC has reportedly bumped new episodes of #TGIT in favor of a “20/20” special titled “America’s First Family: The Trumps Go to Washington” on Thursday, Jan. 19 at 10 p.m. Repeats of “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal” and “HTGAWM” will air before the special. The network will then air three brand new episodes the following week on Jan. 26.

“I just think that ABC does its programming,” Shonda Rhimes told TVLine at the Television Critics Association winter press tour on Tuesday about the decision to postpone #TGIT. “I’m not in charge of scheduling. I’m fine with whatever they want to do. It has nothing to do with my job. I stay in my lane.”

“I honestly don’t have anything to do with programming or scheduling, and don’t pay attention to it or spend very much time caring about it,” she added.

Now drink like you’re Olivia Pope and your wine of the month subscription is about to end to make this news go down more easily. 

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Toyota Draws Trump’s Ire for Mexican Plant

Donald Trump in a tweet Thursday criticized Toyota’s plans to build a $ 1 billion plant in Mexico and threatened a tax on imported Corollas.
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The Trumps’ Ongoing ‘Made in the U.S.A.’ Problem

They talk a big game, but it’s a whole different story in practice.

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Artists Really, Really Don’t Want Their Work On Ivanka Trump’s Walls

Shimmying my way into the weekend! #TGIF

A video posted by Ivanka Trump (@ivankatrump) on

Artists are well aware that Ivanka Trump, daughter and sort-of, kind-of future First Lady to the president-elect, is an avid collector of contemporary art. A cursory glance through her Instagram feed shows Ivanka, her kids, and her handbags posing around her upscale home among pieces by blue chip artists including Christopher Wool, Dan Colen, Alex Israel and Alex Da Corte. 

There was a time when Ivanka was just an affluent businesswoman and socialite with decent taste. Now, however, she is poised to play an influential role in the upcoming Trump administration, and artists want nothing to do with her nor her father. The rapid shift has been something of a wake-up call for artists and dealers who have in the past worked with or sold to Ivanka’s family, and now feel complicit in the apparent bigotry and ignorance embodied in Trump’s rhetoric and cabinet picks. 

Bloomberg published a piece yesterday compiling some of the artists who have publicly condemned Ivanka and demanded she remove their work from her property. Philadelphia-based artist Da Corte called her out in an Instagram post reading:

“Dear @Ivankatrump please get my work off of your walls. I am embarrassed to be seen with you.”

Da Corte also participated in a protest last month in front of Manhattan’s Puck Building, owned by Ivanka’s husband’s family. He marched with a crowd of artists including Marilyn Minter, Jonathan Horowitz and Rob Pruitt as part of a campaign called “Dear Ivanka” ― which hopes to address Ivanka directly on behalf of her father’s words, Tweets, appointments, and impending plans.

For some coastal liberals, it feels impossible to ever logically level with Donald Trump himself. Ivanka, however, feels a bit more accessible and thus, potentially, more receptive. 

She frequents the art world, what’s sometimes called ‘the New York liberal bubble,’” curator Alison Gingeras, a leader of the movement, explained to The New Yorker. “So we already know we can speak with her, and we want to appeal to her personal stakes.” 

Thus far, however, Ivanka has not responded to the “Dear Ivanka” protestors, nor to the many fears and anxieties they’ve disclosed. And until she does, the art world must continue to take a stand.

There has long been an economic divide between the people who make art and the people who buy it, but now more than ever artists working to resist the normalization of hate and protect the rights of marginalized communities are realizing the art marketplace is no longer an apolitical business. 

As dealer Bill Powers, who sold Ivanka a Louis Eisner piece in 2013, put it, “I think there are a lot of artists that are uncomfortable now being incorporated, or leveraged, as part of the Ivanka Trump brand.” 

❤️❤️

A photo posted by Ivanka Trump (@ivankatrump) on

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How Trump’s Web of LLCs Obscures His Business Interests

Donald Trump uses a web of privately held LLCs and other entities to house his assets—everything from real estate to a vintage carousel in Manhattan’s Central Park—making it impossible to gauge the full extent of potential conflicts he may face as president.
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Badgley Mischka Might Become Melania Trump’s Go-to Designer as FLOTUS

The Badgley Mischka designers spoke out about their long history with the future First Lady and the Trump family.
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Boeing Becomes Latest Company to Draw Trump’s Ire

President-elect Donald Trump suggested the U.S. government should cancel a planned order with Boeing for a new version of Air Force One, making the aircraft maker the latest company to come under scrutiny by the incoming commander-in-chief.
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Donald Trump’s ‘Presidential Hat’ Is a Design Disaster

Sad!

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Wolf Blitzer Nails Exactly What’s Wrong With Donald Trump’s ‘Hamilton’ Outrage

Wolf Blitzer has perfectly summed up the problem with Donald Trump’s  seemingly selective outrage.

The CNN host noted Wednesday the stark difference between the president-elect’s responses to white nationalists celebrating his win and his comments on vice president-elect Mike Pence getting singled out during a performance of “Hamilton.”

In a  segment on the “The Situation Room,” Blitzer asked guest Sean Spicer, a Republican National Committee spokesman, to explain why Trump wasn’t delivering a specific speech denouncing the white supremacists and Nazi sympathizers who’ve celebrated his win. 

When Spicer said “it seems a bit silly” to continually ask Trump to more formally denounce those supporters, Blitzer pointed out that Trump had no problem going out of his way to criticize the cast of “Hamilton” when one of its members singled Pence out after the last curtain call, prompting boos from the audience. 

“He [condemns white nationalists] in response to questions, you’re right, and he is very tough in the response to questions, but he doesn’t do it necessarily on his own initiative,” Blitzer said.

“For example, you know he hits the news media when he thinks there’s a story that’s unfair, he tweets when he is outraged about something in the media, ‘Hamilton,’ what happened in the Broadway musical, ‘Hamilton,’ but he doesn’t seem to go out of the way to express his outrage over people hailing him with Nazi salutes.

“Why doesn’t he do that more dramatically, if you will, and make it clear that he wants no part of the people?”

Watch the the full, heated segment between Blitzer and Spicer above. 

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In Trump’s America, Comedy Clubs Are Becoming Less And Less Funny

One night last month, improv player Peter Kim took the stage at the legendary Second City theatre in Chicago with the other members of his acclaimed comedy troupe for what was supposed to be just another fun night of laughs. 

It would turn out to be anything but. During the show, the cast, which often involves audience members in their skits, asked a woman in the crowd to name something that annoyed her, “like getting stuck in traffic.”

But the answer that rang loudest didn’t come from the woman. It came from another man in the audience, who was seated next to a Hispanic couple. “Sitting too close to a Mexican!” he shouted, before requesting a high-five from a friend.  

I think that this moment of Donald Trump has resulted in a few people feeling more license to shout out crude remarks and behave crudely.
Second City CEO Andrew Alexander

The incident shook Kim, so much so that he decided he’d had enough. Over the preceding year, hecklers had become an increasing problem for him and his fellow comedians, spewing racist, misogynistic and homophobic language during shows.

In an essay for Vox, Kim recalled “a man dragging his wife out of the theater while yelling ‘fucking liberals can go to hell!’” Another time a man called him a faggot while Kim was exiting the stage. Then there was the incident when an audience member yelled, “Don’t clap for him,” while Kim was dressed in full drag. That doesn’t even include all the times people from the audience heckled him for being Asian.

And so, Kim decided to call it quits. Three other members of the show left around the same time, too. Two members of management also quit, and another member of management took a leave of absence. 

A Second City spokeswoman declined to comment about the departures when reached by The Huffington Post, but Andrew Alexander, the club’s CEO and producer, told Chicagoist that while multiple factors helped explain the departures, antagonistic, conservative-leaning crowds were a large factor. 

“Over the last six months, we’ve seen a much higher level of audience verbal shout-outs; and sometimes those have become racist,” Alexander said. “In 44 years of this work, I’ve never seen anything like it. The audience seems to feel like they have license in very unpleasant ways.”

He added, “I think that this moment of Donald Trump has resulted in a few people feeling more license to shout out crude remarks and behave crudely.”

The situation at Second City may seem extreme, but it appears to be far from unique. Comedy clubs in the lead-up to the election (and now in its wake) have presented a unique breeding ground for conflict. After all, there are very few, if any other, public spheres in modern American life in which conservative Americans pay money to sit in a room as left-leaning comics discuss the state of the world. Add in alcohol, and the possibility for conflict only heightens.

Amy Schumer talks with a Donald Trump supporter

In the last two months, two separate incidents involving prominent liberal comedians and their conservative audiences have made national news. On Oct. 16 in Tampa, Florida, approximately two hundred audience members violently booed and then walked out of an Amy Schumer show after she criticized Trump, asking,  “Do you get worried at all with how impulsive he is, that he gets so fired up from ‘Saturday Night Live’ doing a skit on him?” 

Just under a month later and only days after Trump’s election, Wanda Sykes took the stage at Boston’s TD Garden for a fundraiser on behalf of The Cam Neely Foundation for Cancer Care. But the situation quickly turned ugly once she joked that Trump was not the country’s first “racist, sexist, homophobic president,” leading to unmistakeable and loud boos from the audience. 

“Fuck you, motherfuckers, fuck all of y’all.” “Fuck you, you, you … How can you say he’s not racist? ‘Grab them by the pussy’? How can you say he’s not sexist? You can you say he’s not racist? How can you say he’s not homophobic?” (Sykes later noted in a Facebook post that the audience “cheered and applauded” at the end of her set when Sykes’ wife ran on stage and gave her a kiss.)

Wanda Sykes faces off against an antagonistic crowd in Boston

News of those two incidents has been widely circulated. But they appear to be far from the only examples of comedy clubs becoming increasingly tense in recent months. Former “SNL” star Darrell Hammond told HuffPost that a number of pro-Trump audience members “were just screaming” at a recent show. 

At a post-election show in Corpus Christi, Texas, on Nov. 11, a set by another former “SNL” cast member, Tim Meadows, came to a deflating end after a heckling Trump supporter got into it with a security guard.

The scene at comedy clubs mirrors what has transpired more generally since Trump’s election. Between Nov. 9 and Nov. 18, the Southern Poverty Law Center received word of more than 700 incidents of hateful incidents of harassment. In New York, NYPD commissioner James O’Neill said there has been a 31 percent increase in hate crimes in the city in 2016 compared to this time in 2015. 

It’s definitely an aggressive time to be a comedian.
Comedian Todd Masterson

“Since the election, we’ve seen a big uptick in incidents of vandalism, threats, intimidation spurred by the rhetoric surrounding Mr. Trump’s election,” said Southern Poverty Law Center president Richard Cohen. “The white supremacists out there are celebrating his victory and many are feeling their oats.”

Todd Masterson, a Los Angeles–based comedian, said that while he personally hasn’t witnessed an uptick in heckling Trump supporters since the election, he has noticed a change onstage and behind the bar. “Straight, bro-y dudes,” he said, suddenly feel emboldened to return to political incorrectness. “One guy was like, ‘Oh, I can tell rape jokes again,’” said Masterson. At a comedy night he performs at in Los Angeles, a pro-Trump bartender also told the producers of the show that they “can’t do any anti-Trump material,” he said. 

Added Masterson, “It’s definitely an aggressive time to be a comedian.”

But the aggression isn’t limited solely to Trump supporters, according to Marcella Arguello, a Latina comedian in Los Angeles. “I thought that conservative people would be a problem,” she said. “What I’m getting is very sensitive liberal audiences.”

At a recent show, Arguello said, she was doing a bit about the safety pins that Americans began to wear after the election in solidarity with marginalized peoples. Part of the bit involves imagining her immigrant mother, who is not aware of the fad, being harassed by a man wearing a safety pin at Target. But she wasn’t able to finish her joke before another woman in the crowd who appeared to also be Latina spoke up. 

“She was like, ‘You shouldn’t be letting these people laugh at immigrants not having access to the internet,” Arguello said. “I was like, ‘Are you kidding me right now?’” Arguello, who admitted she doesn’t deal well with hecklers, then jokingly asked if the heckler wanted to fight. 

The anger shows no signs of dying anytime soon. But the show will go on. And so, Peter Kim, the comedian who left Second City last month, told the Chicago Reader this week that he was returning to Second City for a new show based entirely on working with the crowd. 

“I wanted to be in the same place where the same people might come so I could have a chance to talk back and shut down hecklers if they have hate speech,” he said. “I think the key story is that these hateful people were out there anyway. It’s not specific to Second City — clearly, after the election you see them coming out in droves.”

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Trump’s U.S. Manufacturing Promises Are Bullsh*t, and the Sneaker Market Proves It

Higher tariffs won’t bring U.S. manufacturing, but they will raise prices.

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‘Back to the Future’ director: How we predicted Donald Trump’s Presidency

2016-11-22-1479847824-1509476-ROBERTZEMECKISBACKTOFUTUREII.jpg

‘Back to the Future’ has been all the craze for the last 13 months, ever since October 21, 2015. It has come to be known as “Back to the Future Day”, the date referenced in ‘Back to the Future II’, and it showed us which visions of the future made in the 1989 movie actually came true.

Sure, we know ‘Back to the Future’ was pretty spot on about virtual reality, tablets and even the Cubs winning the World Series (even though they were a year late). But perhaps the biggest prediction was Donald Trump’s Presidency as referenced in the film by Biff Tannen becoming the mayor of Hill Valley.

BTTF director Robert Zemeckis explained to me that the Biff Tannen character was based on Donald Trump but that they didn’t have the audacity to think that Biff could run for President.

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Alec Baldwin hits back after Trump’s criticism

Alec Baldwin hit back at Donald Trump in a flurry of Twitter posts after the President-elect said Saturday Night Live’s treatment of him was “biased” and “totally one-sided”.
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CNN Anchor and Kellyanne Conway Spar Over Donald Trump’s ‘SNL,’ ‘Hamilton’ Tweets

Kellyanne Conway, senior adviser to President-elect Donald Trump, made her case against CNN’s Chris Cuomo’s criticism of Trump’s tweets this past weekend that attacked both “Saturday Night Live” and “Hamilton.” After Vice President-elect Mike Pence was booed during his attendance at Friday night’s “Hamilton,” Trump took to Twitter to demand an apology from the cast, claiming the Pence… Read more »

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Melania Trump’s First Meeting with Michelle Obama Could Have Been Worse

Probably could have been better, too.

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Yoko Ono Issues Rather Appropriate Response To Donald Trump’s Win

Yoko Ono issued her official response on Friday to news that Donald J. Trump was elected President of the United States of America.

You can find her official response below. 

Ono also shared this fitting Instagram Friday:

A photo posted by Yoko Ono (@yokoonoofficial) on

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Trump’s Nafta Plan Would Confront Globalized Auto Industry

The tens of thousands of parts that make up a vehicle often come from multiple producers in different countries and travel back and forth across borders several times. President-elect Trump has vowed to renegotiate the 1994 trade pact.
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Leslie Knope Responded to Trump’s Victory with Advice for Young Women

We needed this right now.

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Silicon Valley Braces for Uncertainty After Trump’s Victory

Donald Trump’s election victory is seen as a blow to Silicon Valley, putting the presidency in the hands of a vocal critic of several big technology companies and an advocate of policies executives have said could hurt the industry’s development.
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All the Details on Melania Trump’s $3,990 Election Night Jumpsuit

Melania TrumpWhile her husband was busy making history, Melania Trump was making a statement–a fashion statement.
On Election Day in New York City, the Slovene American future First Lady took the…

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Tom Hanks Mocks Trump’s White House Hopes

The Hollywood actor says the Republican will be president “when spaceships come down filled with dinosaurs in red capes”.
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Friday Talking Points — Trump’s Immigration Roundup

Another week has gone by, and Donald Trump remains the Republican frontrunner in the presidential nomination race. We’ve noticed that all the inside-the-Beltway pundits who so confidently predicted Trump’s imminent and inevitable downfall are now slowly starting to revisit their predictions. This is making them extremely nervous, of course. Some are still finding solace in the “Trump’s going to say something any day now that will sink him like a stone” way of thinking, but their numbers are getting smaller as time goes by and Trump defies political gravity once again.

Last weekend, Trump released his very first policy paper. It was, naturally, on immigration (Trump’s signature issue). Reduced to tweet-length, this policy could be summed up as: “Build a big wall. Repeal birthright citizenship and 14th amendment. Round them all up and send them home.” Of course, it was immediately popular with all of Trump’s supporters.

The rest of the Republican presidential field, once again, was caught scrambling to respond. All of the other Republicans running for the highest office in the land routinely quake in their boots whenever Trump opens his mouth, because nobody’s yet come up with any great ideas as to how to respond. Take Trump on directly? That hasn’t worked out so well for the three notable candidates who have tried it (Rand Paul, Rick Perry, and Lindsey Graham), who are all polling below five percent. Agree with Trump no matter what comes out of his mouth (in the hopes of picking up all his supporters if he stumbles)? That’s working pretty well for Ted Cruz, which is why Scott Walker is now giving it a try. Ignore him completely? That’s what Jeb! Bush would really like to do, but again this hasn’t worked out so well for him (as he watched his own poll numbers sink into single digits).

So far, most of the candidates have at least tentatively supported parts of Trump’s immigration plan. More and more of them are just throwing up their hands and saying “OK, let’s build a giant wall, what the heck.” This week, at least half of the Republican field has expressed support for overturning birthright citizenship, which would require an amendment to the United States Constitution (since it’s expressly part of the Constitution, in the Fourteenth Amendment). This is now the default Republican position, in fact. I guess conservatives only revere certain parts of the Constitution, even though they all carry a copy around with them in their pocket, as a talisman.

Jeb! Bush once again proved he is just as clumsy at being a politician as his brother, in response to Trump. Jeb! was trying to distance himself from Trump’s position on birthright citizenship, but then he royally stepped in it by using the phrase “anchor babies.” When called on the offensiveness of the term, Bush doubled down and tried to defend it, while he tried to channel some sort of weak-tea version of Trump taking on political correctness. “Anchor babies,” Bush said, is a term Democrats use, to beat up on Republicans. He didn’t explain how Democrats can only do so after Republicans use the term, of course. But watching him flounder around answering all the questions must be painful for all those folks who have already tossed over $ 100 million into Bush’s campaign chest. This is really the guy who is going to vanquish Trump? Hey, good luck with that, Establishment Republicans!

Outside the presidential race, the rabid Republicans on the airwaves are pushing the issue even harder than Trump (hard as that is to even imagine). One radio host is essentially calling not just for repealing the Fourteenth Amendment, but also that pesky Thirteenth Amendment as well — you know, the one that outlaws slavery. Seriously. His position is to give all undocumented immigrants a 60-day warning, and then round them up and stick them in concentration camps. They would then “become property of the state,” after which the state would “start to extort or exploit or indenture” their labor. When a caller pointed out that it “sounds an awful lot like slavery,” the host responded: “Well, what’s wrong with slavery?”

Yes, this is the state of the Republican Party today, brought to you by none other than Donald Trump. Mitt Romney winning 27 percent of the Latino vote may turn out to be a high point for the party, which could put the White House out of Republicans’ reach for the foreseeable future, at least until they purge this sort of nativist nonsense from their ranks. Which doesn’t seem likely any time soon, of course. Things are probably going to get a lot worse before they get any better.

In other amusing news from the Republican campaign trail, Bobby Jindal has apparently been reduced to showing Planned Parenthood videos to crowds on his lawn (no, really), and Marco Rubio hit a kid in the face with a football (which was, of course, caught on camera for everyone’s amusement).

We’re going to skip over the Democratic campaign trail news for the moment, because we are going to address it all in the awards sections.

President Obama is spending his summer whipping (and counting) congressional votes for his Iran nuclear deal. When Congress returns from their excessive six-week summer vacation, they’ll be voting whether to disapprove the deal or not. If they put such a disapproval on Obama’s desk, he’ll need to defeat a veto override in at least one house of Congress for the deal to go through. Most Washington wonks think he’ll be able to clear this bar, but there is even one interesting possibility few have yet noticed: Obama may not even have to veto anything, because Republicans may not be able to pass it in the Senate. There are currently 54 Republicans in the Senate, plus two Democrats who have said they’ll vote their disapproval of the deal. But 60 votes will be needed, meaning Republicans still need four more Democrats. As of right now, there are 13 Democratic senators who have not indicated either their support for the deal or their disapproval. If 10 of them ultimately vote to support Obama, then the disapproval bill will die in the Senate, and no veto will even be necessary. It’s a fairly long shot at the moment, but the possibility does exist. As we get closer to the vote, we’ll be paying a lot more attention to the whip counts, pro and con.

And finally, in amusing marijuana news, Novak Djokovic — ranked number one in the world of tennis — had to complain to the umpire in not just one but two recent matches in Montreal. His problem? The clouds of pot smoke drifting over the court. From the story:


“Somebody’s getting high,” he says to a smiling umpire. “No, honestly… The whole stadium smells.”

Djokovic later makes a toking gesture as if he were holding a joint.

Who knew Canadian tennis fans were such stoners? C’mon, guys — bring a brownie to the match instead, eh?

 

Most Impressive Democrat of the Week

We’ve got two Honorable Mention awards to hand out before we get to the main event. Both of these go to Democratic presidential candidates, for different reasons.

First up, we have Martin O’Malley, who deserves credit for his plan to expand Social Security, rather than cut it or raise the retirement age. His plan might be called a timid version of the “scrap the cap” idea, since he would impose Social Security payroll taxes on incomes above $ 250,000 for the first time — which would go a long way towards ending the regressive nature of this tax (which I detailed, with charts, a few years ago). O’Malley is to be applauded for being so specific in his plan, and for beginning to address the problem of the income cap on the payroll tax. However, his plan leaves a “doughnut hole” between roughly $ 120,000 of income and $ 250,000. So someone making $ 10 million a year would pay roughly the same tax rate as a nurse or a firefighter, but someone making $ 250,000 a year would pay less than half that rate. There’s no real mathematical reason for this regressive doughnut hole, but there is a political one — the portion of Americans making between $ 100,000 and $ 250,000 a year is one of the biggest groups who donate money to politicians. That’s really the only reason for leaving such a hole in what by all rights should be — at the very least — a flat tax rate on all income. Still, O’Malley’s plan goes further than other candidates have committed to, so he does deserve some applause.

I wrote about this earlier in the week, but Hillary Clinton deserves at least an Honorable Mention for how she answered the Black Lives Matter protesters (the video of their meeting was publicly released this week). Clinton pretty much agrees with the group in principle and goes out of her way to validate their positions, but she also challenges them to come up with some solid policy proposals that Democratic politicians can get behind. Clinton did an excellent job being both respectful and pragmatic, at least in our opinion.

Which brings us to the winner of the Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week. We’re not entirely sure this is within the boundaries of our own rules (since they don’t exactly claim party membership), but rules are made to be bent at times. But the Black Lives Matter folks have finally come up with a very solid and reasonable policy platform (call it an “agenda” or a “list of demands” or whatever else, if you’d like).

The policy agenda is called Campaign Zero and includes such things as requiring body cameras on all police, better police training, and much stronger community oversight of all police. The list is an excellent one, and the policies should be embraced by all Democratic candidates for president as well as all progressive voters.

The Black Lives Matter movement has been controversial on the campaign trail, notably for disrupting Democratic presidential candidates by taking over speeches. They’ve always had a brilliant tactic, in the world of political theater. After all, they’re protesting police violence against black people, so what are Democrats supposed to do — call in the cops to physically remove Black Lives Matter from their speeches? That would reinforce the point the activists are making, and it would make the candidate look bad. It’s a “Catch-22” sort of tactic, because neither siccing the cops on them nor allowing them to completely hijack a campaign event is a very good outcome.

But what they’ve been missing, even with such a brilliant tactic, is any sort of overall strategy. Sure, you can grab the microphone and address the crowd, but if all you do after being given the microphone is to insult your audience and the candidate, then you’re not going to gain much support. Many people (I am one of them, for the record) have called on Black Lives Matter to come up with an agenda so that their natural allies — Democratic politicians and the Democratic base — can support the movement in a concrete way, instead of just being annoyed by their tactics.

This is precisely the point Hillary Clinton was making in the video, and we are glad to see Black Lives Matter respond in such a constructive and forward-looking fashion. This is part of what killed Occupy Wall Street — not being able to agree on much of any plan for change — and we firmly believe that the Black Lives Movement will find that their movement will in no way be limited by having a clear agenda, but in fact that it will grow as more and more people agree with and openly support the items listed by Campaign Zero.

So, whether they identify as Democrats or not, the leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement who put together Campaign Zero are more than worthy of this week’s Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award.

[Contact the Campaign Zero website to show your support.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat of the Week

Hillary Clinton had a rough week. Perhaps we’re guilty of piling on, but we’re going to add a Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week to her problems.

Much like Donald Trump, the Hillary Clinton email server scandal is not going away any time soon. We’ve still got months of drip, drip, drip, as each new group of emails is released to the media and each development with the server itself plays out. The F.B.I. now has Hillary’s server as well as the backup her lawyer had been holding onto for her. As many have pointed out, “F.B.I. investigation” is not something any political candidate wants to see in the headlines, while running for office.

Clinton, so far, hasn’t done a very good job of addressing the issue, either. She held a very brief presser, got into a spat with a Fox News reporter, tried a silly joke to brush the whole thing off, and then left after about five minutes. The Washington Post has a rundown of five mistakes Clinton made during this appearance, but they missed one big one. You might call it “orange is the new orange.”

Now, we realize (before we even explain that) that politicians shouldn’t really be criticized on how they look in the first place, and in the second place, female politicians especially shouldn’t be subject to snark about what they’re wearing. Hillary Clinton has faced this time and time again. Still, whose idea was it to have Hillary Clinton appear in front of the press to answer questions about an F.B.I. investigation wearing the same shade of orange as prison jumpsuits? That is just breathtaking sartorial stupidity.

Hillary Clinton needs to take a few days off from campaigning. She needs to go on a retreat with her husband, in fact. During this time, Bill should coach Hillary relentlessly on how to successfully brush a political issue aside. There’s a reason why Barack Obama joked at the 2012 Democratic National Convention that he should appoint Bill Clinton “Secretary of Explainin’ Stuff.” He is a master at it, in fact — the best America has seen since Ronald Reagan. And Hillary — obviously — needs a little coaching from Bill on how to handle these things.

Start by laying out your viewpoint of the situation, in as simple terms as you can manage. Explain the motivations of those making claims of scandal. Then end with a rhetorical flourish in an attempt to lay the issue to rest. Hillary tried to do so, with her “wipe it down with a cloth” joke, but it fell awfully flat. She needs a lot of practice with Bill, and her campaign should devote a few days to it. Lock them both in a cabin in the woods, and let Bill school Hillary on how to deal with scandal and crisis. At this point, it couldn’t hurt.

There are many Democrats — even some Bernie Sanders supporters — who feel deep down that Clinton will likely be the Democratic nominee and has a clear path to the White House next year. They just wish she was campaigning for it better, that’s all. Team Clinton has got to learn to shift gears smoother and how to respond quicker. Clinton proved she’s got a long way to go this week, which is why she’s getting the Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week award.

[Hillary Clinton is a private citizen, and we have a longstanding policy of not linking to campaign websites, so you’ll have to search her contact page on your own to let her know what you think, sorry.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 358 (8/21/15)

The talking points this week were influenced, once again, by Donald Trumps magical mystery campaign, which sooner or later we’re just going to stop apologizing for. Hey, he is the Republican frontrunner!

We’ve got a few others mixed in, and two hilarious ones at the end, because we thought everybody could use a laugh after the past week of presidential politics.

 

1
   I support Campaign Zero

This one’s easy, for both Democratic candidates and voters.

“I strongly support the positive and constructive agenda Black Lives Matter has laid out, which they’re calling Campaign Zero. Their list has many excellent policy ideas which should be enacted at both the state and federal level. All police should have body cameras, because seeing is believing when it comes to what actually happens in confrontations. Police should be required to get much better training for conflict resolution, so the most violent response at their disposal isn’t always their first choice. There are many such ideas contained in the Campaign Zero platform, and I call on all Democrats to not only endorse this agenda but also to immediately begin working as hard as possible on enacting these changes across the United States.”

 

2
   Anchor babies!

To her credit, Hillary Clinton led in pushing back against Bush’s slip of the tongue.

“I’m sorry, but Jeb Bush was supposed to be some sort of moderate guy on both immigration and Latino issues. He’s married to a Mexican-American, after all, and speaks fluent Spanish. Previously, he has called for Republicans to avoid being intentionally offensive and to speak of immigrants in non-inflammatory terms. He used to be a voice of reason in a crowd of extremists. I guess now that his poll numbers are sinking like a rock, he’s decided that offending Latinos is the way to go. If Jeb’s not sure whether the term ‘anchor babies’ is offensive or not, I would suggest he ask a few members of his own family what they think about it.”

 

3
   Selective constitutional worship

This, from politicians who swear up and down their fealty to the Constitution?

“In the entire history of the United States, we have only ever amended the Constitution to restrict rights a single time — and Prohibition eventually had to be repealed by another amendment. Now Donald Trump and most of the rest of the Republicans running for president have come out in favor of overturning the Fourteenth Amendment because they don’t like one phrase in it. This amendment was passed because racists were insisting that people born in the United States — ex-slaves — were not citizens and therefore could never vote. Republicans today want to make it impossible for undocumented immigrants ever to be eligible for citizenship for the exact same reason — they never want these people to ever have a vote. And now they’re attacking the Constitution itself to ensure that only those children born on American soil whom they deem acceptable can be citizens. To do so, we’d have to pass only the second amendment to the Constitution to ever deny rights rather than expand them. This is just a bad idea all around.”

 

4
   Round them up? Really?

Pro-big government rears its ugly head in Republicanland, once again.

“So I see that Donald Trump is in favor of the biggest expansion of federal power ever, because his ’round them up and ship them home’ plan to deal with undocumented immigrants would change American society forever. We’d have to create an enormous federal police force who would then go around knocking on every door in American and demand to see ‘your papers, please.’ Those without proof of citizenship would be forcibly rounded up and shipped out. Experts estimate this effort — should any Congress be stupid enough to enact it — would take hundreds of billions of dollars and have to last at least two decades. So Trump is in favor of spending an enormous amount of money to pay for jack-booted federal agents to round everyone up and ship them off, by knocking on every door in the country. Sounds like an explosion of ‘big government’ and creating an enormous federal army to be used for domestic purposes to me. Funny, I always thought Republicans were against those things, on ideological grounds.”

 

5
   Rapists’ baby support

At times, we are accused of creating talking points that are nothing short of hyperbole. Last week, we ran one that might have fit into that category (scroll down to talking point number five). We’re going to repeat this talking point this week, with the addition of Mike Huckabee’s name, since he has now openly admitted exactly the attitude the talking point was referring to.

“An 11-year-old girl just gave birth in Paraguay. She was 10 when she was raped by her stepfather, but the government denied her mother’s request she be allowed an abortion. These are the real-world consequences of the position taken by many Republican presidential candidates, including Mike Huckabee. They want to outlaw abortion even in the case of rape and incest. That leads directly to 11-year-olds having to bear their stepfather’s child after being raped. Mike Huckabee openly admitted that he wants to see that sort of thing here. He actually said: ‘Let nobody be misled, a 10-year-old girl being raped is horrible, but does it solve a problem by taking the life of an innocent child?’ Yes, 11-year-old mothers forced to deal with their rapist’s baby for the rest of their lives is exactly what we can expect if Huckabee ever got his way on outlawing all abortion. No rape victim should ever be forced to bear her rapist’s baby. No 10-year-old should have to carry a baby to term against her will. Yet that is exactly what happens when abortion is outlawed.”

 

6
   Deez Nuts for president!

We normally wrap these up with one amusing final talking point. This week, we’re going to do two instead, just because.

“Have you seen the recent polling? A fake candidate named ‘Deez Nuts’ is polling at a surprisingly high level among voters. For some unfathomable reason a few state-level polls included ‘Deez Nuts’ in a few of the questions they asked poll respondents about, and he’s now getting nine percent in North Carolina, eight percent in Minnesota, and seven percent in Iowa! As the candidate explains: ‘I am a 15-year-old who filled out a form, had the campaign catch on fire, and am now putting up the best third-party numbers since Ross Perot.’ Right now his poll numbers are better than most of the Republican field, in fact. In a year when Donald Trump is the frontrunner, somehow it seems entirely appropriate that ‘Deez Nuts’ should be approaching second place in the race, don’t you think?”

 

7
   Limberbutt McCubbins for president!

And finally, one from the Democratic side.

“Deez Nuts isn’t the only amusing candidate out there. A self-proclaimed ‘Demo-cat’ feline candidate has also thrown his furry hat into the ring. That’s right, Limberbutt McCubbins is running for president, on a platform that includes legalizing both catnip and gay cat marriages. His campaign website and Facebook page boast some catchy campaign slogans, including ‘Meow is the time’ and ‘Together we cat.’ His owner states the main reason Limberbutt entered the race: ‘Me and my friends have begun to realize how easy it is to run for office, and have learned about the way the F.E.C. and campaign finance work. Not that we don’t want anyone to run, but I personally don’t think that if I’m applying to run for the most important position in the U.S.A., that I should be able to do it in 20 minutes. Or less.’ I don’t know about that, but I do know that if it came down to Limberbutt McCubbins in the general election, I’d certainly vote for Limberbutt over a lot of the hairballs running on the other side.”

 

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Donald Trump’s Red Plastic Cups Are Ready For Your Next House Party

For Donald Trump, campaign buttons and yard signage just don’t cut it (though, worry not, he’s monetizing those, too). The 2016 Republican presidential hopeful is getting into crucial housewares, selling “campaign party cups” in his online store. The 16-ounce vessels closely resemble Solo cups, the plastic classics that college kids around the country use for drinking games like beer pong and flip cup. One can’t help but to think a fratty demographic may be the product’s main target.

While any house party host can pick up a 50-pack of Solo cups at Walmart for less than $ 8, a three-pack of Trump’s slogan-stamped cups cost $ 3.  

According to the product page, Trump’s cups are “proudly made in USA,” presumably in line with the candidate’s promise to “make America great again!” 

For supportive sippers who prefer drinking straight from the can, Trump is also selling American-made koozies to keep beverages cool while screaming his name. A 6-pack of these goes for $ 20.

Trump is not the only 2016 hopeful making the most of the Foodie Generation, offering culinary accessories with which supporters can decorate their kitchens or guzzle beer. Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton has “Chillary” koozies available on her campaign site, as well as cookie cutters, pint glasses, coffee mugs and the “Grillary Clinton Spatula.” 

GOP candidate Jeb Bush, too, has turned to the kitchen to earn support. His $ 75 guacamole bowl – er, “Guaca Bowle” — looks like it will last for years to come, no matter who wins this race.

 H/T Vice

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The Real Donald: Excerpts From Trump’s Books On Women, Marriage, Sex And More

Before he jumped into the presidential race and the media frenzy that comes with it, real estate mogul Donald Trump preferred to communicate with the American people via a more intimate medium — the simple written word.

The Huffington Post has reviewed nearly a dozen books by and/or about Trump, including one by John O’Donnell, a former executive in Trump’s business empire, and one by Tim O’Brien, a longtime journalist and former HuffPost editor. Reading through these works, which go back a full 25 years, one gets a better sense of the businessman’s macho persona, his taste for extravagance, his views about women and his rise to the top of the New York City social scene. All quotes are Trump’s words except where noted otherwise.


On marriage

“A good marriage is like negotiating an important deal: You have to consider all the factors, thoughtfully and thoroughly. If you were investing a large part of yourself and your fortune into a venture, believe me, you’d make sure you thought about it for a long time first. That’s how I see marriage. It’s serious, and it’s important. I don’t approach it any more haphazardly than I do a very important deal. In fact, considering the amount of deals I’ve made compared to the number of marriages I’ve had, I’d say I’m quite cautious about marriage. You should be, too.” (Think Like A Billionaire, Donald Trump with Meredith McIver, 2005)

*

“For a man to be successful he needs support at home, just like my father had from my mother, not someone who is always griping and bitching. When a man has to endure a woman who is not supportive and complains constantly about his not being home enough or not being attentive enough, he will not be very successful unless he is unable to cut the cord.” (The Art of the Comeback, Donald Trump with Kate Bohner, 1997)

“If he doesn’t lose the ballbreaker, his career will go nowhere.” (The Art of the Comeback


On prenuptial agreements

“There are basically three types of women and reactions. One is the good woman who very much loves her future husband, solely for himself, but refuses to sign the agreement on principle. I fully understand this, but the man should take a pass anyway and find someone else.” (The Art of the Comeback)

On women

“I was always of the opinion that aggression, sex drive, and everything that goes along with it was on the man’s part of the table, not the woman’s. As I grew older and witnessed life firsthand from a front-row seat at the great clubs, social events, and parties of the world — I have seen just about everything — I began to realize that women are far stronger than men. Their sex drive makes us look like babies. Some women try to portray themselves as being of the weaker sex, but don’t believe it for a minute.” (The Art of the Comeback)

*

“I remember attending a magnificent dinner being given by one of the most admired people in the world. I was seated next to a lady of great social pedigree and wealth. Her husband was sitting on the other side of the table, and we were having a very nice but extremely straight conversation. All of a sudden I felt her hand on my knee, then on my leg. She started petting me in all different ways. I looked at her and asked, ‘Is everything alright?’ I didn’t want to make a scene in a ballroom full of five hundred VIPs. The amazing part about her was who she was — one of the biggest of the big. She then asked me to dance, and I accepted. While we were dancing she became very aggressive, and I said, ‘Look, we have a problem. Your husband is sitting at that table, and so is my wife.’

‘Donald,’ she said, ‘I don’t care. I just don’t care. I have to have you, and I have to have you now.’ I told her that I’d call her, but she had to stop the behavior immediately. She made me promise, and I did. When I called I just called to say hello, and that was the end of that. But the level of aggression was unbelievable.” (The Art of the Comeback)

*

“One woman, who was socially prominent, was getting married, and I had bumped into her on Fifth Avenue while she was exchanging wedding gifts. I had my limousine nearby, and she asked if I could give her a ride back to her apartment on Park Avenue. I said absolutely, not even suspecting that within five seconds after the door closed she would be jumping on top of me wanting to get screwed. I said, ‘You’re getting married next week, and I’m going to your wedding.’

‘I don’t really care,’ she said. ‘ I never liked him that much anyway, and you know that.’ I was really in a quandary, because she is a truly great-looking and sexy woman.” (The Art of the Comeback)

*

“Women have one of the great acts of all time. The smart ones act very feminine and needy, but inside they are real killers. The person who came up with the expression ‘the weaker sex’ was either very naive or had to be kidding. I have seen women manipulate men with just a twitch of their eye — or perhaps another body part.” (The Art of the Comeback)

*

“There’s nothing I love more than women, but they’re really a lot different than portrayed. They are far worse than men, far more aggressive, and boy, can they be smart.” (The Art of the Comeback)

*

“I don’t know why, but I seem to bring out either the best or worst in women.” (The Art of the Comeback)

*

“I love women. They’ve come into my life. They’ve gone out of my life. Even those who have exited somewhat ungracefully still have a place in my heart.” (The Art of the Comeback)

*

“She’s just a woman. She can’t take the business.” (As quoted in Trumped!, John R. O’Donnell with James Rutherford, 1991)

*

“I don’t need this, some woman crying. I need somebody strong in here to take care of this place.” (Trumped!)

*

“She is really something else. God, what a body she has!… She’s a beautiful girl. Just a beautiful girl. Fucking gorgeous. An incredible body, just an incredible body. The girl is so physically fit. Beautiful face. A beautiful, beautiful girl.” (Trumped!)

*

“It’s all about the hunt and once you get it, it loses some of its energy. I think competitive, successful men feel that way about women.” (As quoted in TrumpNation, Timothy L. O’Brien, 2005)

“Sam Jackson should have gotten the Oscar for [‘Pulp Fiction’], not Travolta,” Donald mused. “My favorite part is when Sam has his gun out in the diner and he tells the guy to tell his girlfriend to shut up: ‘Tell that bitch to be cool! Say: “Bitch be cool!”’ I love those lines.” (O’Brien, writing in TrumpNation)

*

“I think that putting a wife to work is a very dangerous thing. There was a great softness to Ivana, and she still has that softness, but during this period of time, she became an executive, not a wife… You know, I don’t want to sound too much like a chauvinist, but when I come home and dinner’s not ready, I’ll go through the roof, okay?” (TrumpNation)

*

“You know, it really doesn’t matter what they write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass.” (TrumpNation)


On beauty pageants

“Nobody cares about the talent. There’s only one talent you care about, and that’s the look talent. You don’t give a shit if a girl can play a violin like the greatest violinist in the world. You want to know what does she look like.” (TrumpNation

On publicity

“Publicity is important because it creates interest in my hotels, residential buildings, and other projects. But sometimes it gets out of hand, and my every move is scrutinized by the press to the point of absurdity… The Trump Organization is in some ways like the Disney Company: Image means a great deal to me. If people don’t associate my name with quality and success, I’ve got serious problems.” (Surviving at the Top, Donald Trump with Charles Leerhsen, 1990)


On his youth

“I was especially carefree. I had a comfortable little studio apartment on Third Avenue in the city, and I maintained a lifestyle that was fairly commonplace then but that now, in an age when people are worried about dying from sex, is hard even to imagine. I didn’t drink or take drugs, as far as stimulants go, I’ve yet to have my first cup of coffee. But I was out four or five nights a week, usually with a different woman each time, and I was enjoying myself immensely.

Wild things happened all the time back then, and nobody thought very much of it. For instance, one day a friend called me at the office and said he needed to set up a date for a certain well-known married woman. This woman was visiting from out of town and was, he said — using a typical swinging-seventies expression — ‘really hot.’

I had a girlfriend at that time, and so did he, but I knew a guy named Ben who was very worldly-wise. Ben, I was sure, could serve as this woman’s escort and be discreet about it… She turned out to be the wife of a man who was then the prime minister of a major country. I’d heard stories about this lady, but I never thought much of them until that night. We met at the house of the friend who’d phoned me. After we’d all chatted for a while in the living room, the four of us who already knew each other drifted out to the kitchen, leaving Ben and Madame X in the living room to get better acquainted. Which they did. In fact, when we drifted back in, about ten minutes later, she and Ben were involved in an incredibly torrid scene on the couch. I remember standing there and thinking to myself, ‘Well, Donald, you’re not in Queens anymore.'” (Surviving at the Top)


On Michael Jackson’s sex life

“Somehow, Michael feels comfortable with me. I asked him how he was doing, and we started talking about his life, including his sex life. I was somewhat surprised when Michael told me he had a new girlfriend. I congratulated him and asked, ‘Who is it?’ He was very shy and looked down into his napkin, then put the napkin over his face and said, ‘Trump, Trump, I don’t want to talk about it, I’m so embarrassed.’ I chided him. ‘Come on, Michael,’ I said, ‘tell me who your new girlfriend is.’ When he finally looked up, he said that it was a girl named Lisa Marie.” (The Art of the Comeback)


On onerous litigation

“Litigation in the United States has gotten totally out of control. It has actually become an accepted business practice for people to use the court’s time, money, and energy in order to effect deals, break up deals, and receive money unjustly. I know people who virtually can’t function without starting a lawsuit, thinking that this will give them the upper hand in even the most simple of negotiations. Politicians ought to be ashamed of themselves for perpetuating this ridiculous situation. Court systems have become backlogged for years with superfluous cases.” (The Art of the Comeback)


On germaphobia

“I happen to be a clean-hands freak. I feel much better after I thoroughly wash my hands, which I do as often as possible. Recent medical reports have come out saying that colds and various other ailments are spread through the act of shaking hands. I have no doubt about this.

Almost nothing bothers me more than sitting down for dinner at a beautiful restaurant and having a man you’ve just seen leaving the men’s room, perhaps not even having washed his hands, spot you and run over to your table with a warm and friendly face, hand outstretched. You have a decision to make. Do you shake this total stranger’s hand, or do you insult him by saying that you would rather not? I have done both, and nothing works. If you shake his hand, you then get up to rewash your hands and inevitably somebody else comes over to you to shake hands. If you don’t shake his hand, he walks away with a long face, totally insulted, and bemoans for the rest of his life how that bastard Donald Trump would not shake his hand.” (The Art of the Comeback)

On his fear of AIDS

“It was painfully obvious how ill at ease he was in public situations. In part, I think it was really beyond his control. He was preoccupied by a fear of communicable disease, especially AIDS. Sometimes he’d joke about it, but he went so far as to warn a high-ranking Trump’s Castle publicist to avoid the Jacuzzi in the luxury health spa there because he considered it a potential breeding ground for the deadly virus.” (O’Donnell, writing in Trumped!)

*

“What went on in Studio 54 will never, ever happen again. First of all, you didn’t have AIDS. You didn’t have the problems you have now. I saw things happening there that to this day I have never seen again. I would watch supermodels getting screwed, well-known supermodels getting screwed on a bench in the middle of the room. There were seven of them and each one was getting screwed by a different guy. This was in the middle of the room. Stuff that couldn’t happen today because of problems of death.” (TrumpNation)


On his “tremendous fear of baldness”

“For Donald, image and reality were always in conflict. The Windsor knot in his tie was always pulled tight to his throat. At the same time, he let his sand-colored hair dip down to his eyes and curl over his ears and collar, and he plastered it on the sides with a greasy gel that he believed fostered hair growth. He had a tremendous fear of baldness. He swept his hair across the front of his head like a man trying to hide a thinning patch. He once observed to Mark that he considered baldness a sign of weakness. He gave a tube of the gel he used to Mark, warning him, ‘The worst thing a man can do is go bald. Never let yourself go bald,’ as if nature could be circumvented through sheer force of will.” (O’Donnell, writing in Trumped!)


On boxer Mike Tyson

“Tyson sat down in Donald’s corner office hundreds of feet above Fifth Avenue and the two men chatted for about fifteen minutes before the boxer got to the point. Donald recalled their conversation in detail.

‘Mr. Trump, could I ask you a question?’ Tyson asked.

‘Whatever you want, Mike,’ Donald responded.

‘Are you fucking my wife?’

‘What?’

‘Are you fucking my wife? Everyone’s telling me that you’re fucking my wife.’

Tyson then pulled out a copy of a Vogue magazine that featured a picture of Ms. [Robin] Givens wearing a Trump Princess hat from Donald’s yacht.

‘Everyone’s telling me that you’re fucking my wife and I think you’re fucking my wife,’ Tyson said.

‘Mike, let me tell you something: I never ever even thought about it. And I heard those rumors and they’re disgusting. In fact, I called you a couple of times to tell you that I heard those rumors and it pisses me off. And I never, ever even thought about it. She’s your wife, she’s with you, she’s loyal to you, and it’s total bullshit.’” (O’Brien, writing in TrumpNation)


On dealing with setbacks

“Finally, the ceiling was installed. One Saturday, Donald went up to have a look, accompanied by Steve, some of our hotel executives and a group of contractors. Donald looked up at the ceiling as if it was the first time he had seen it; then he looked at Steve. ‘What the fuck is this?’ he said. ‘Who said to make this ceiling so low?’

‘You knew about this, Donald,’ Steve replied. ‘We talked about it, if you remember, and the plans –‘

Suddenly Donald leaped up and punched his fist through the tile. Then he turned on Steve in a rage. ‘You cocksucker! Motherfucker! Where the fuck were you? Where was your fucking head?'” (O’Donnell, writing in Trumped!)

*

“’Where’s my wife? Get Ivana down here,’ he said. When she arrived, Donald turned on her fiercely. ‘How could you close one of my tables on the busiest fucking night of the year!’ he shouted. ‘I can’t believe you could be so stupid. Do you know how much money I’m losing here? Stupid! You’re costing me a fortune! This is the stupidest fucking thing I’ve ever seen!’” (O’Donnell, writing in Trumped!)

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Palin’s Shameful Silence on Trump’s Misogyny

Alaska’s quitter governor and the Tea Party’s queen diva Sarah Palin uses her Facebook page to comment on all things political, including touting Donald Trump’s candidacy for the presidency. But when it comes to Trump’s outrageously sexist comments about her former colleague at Fox News, Megyn Kelly, Palin has remained shamefully silent about El Donaldo’s latest round of misogyny.

So much for Mama Grizzly solidarity with conservative women like Kelly, with whom Palin once declared: “We are the women’s movement!”

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When Trump recently assaulted John McCain — who plucked Palin from obscurity in August of 2008 to join him on the Republican ticket — it was an entirely different matter. Palin immediately came to Trump’s defense, calling him a hero and blaming the scuffle on the media. It was an act of betrayal directed at McCain — and yet another instance of her blatant duplicity — that only Palin could pull off.

Trump, of course, has been nothing more than a serial sexist when it comes to his constant attacks on women: He has called women “ugly,” “fat,” “dogs,” “slobs,” “bimbos,” “extremely unattractive,” ad infinitum, all leading up to his allegation this weekend that Kelly was menstruating during the Republican presidential primary debate Thursday tonight.

I guess in Palin World, that all makes you a “hero.” So be it. But as virtually every major player in the current Republican line-up for president has called Trump on his latest remarks, Palin still hasn’t brought herself to take the high road. Just before the Presidential debate last week, Palin gave yet another bizarre interview in which she said that she advised Trump [3:11]:

I’ve already told him. I said: Keep it up! America appreciates that you’re calling it like you see it. He’s telling a lot of truth. And really helping educate and lead the other candidates because they’re going to have to step up their game and quit sounding like politicians.

I wonder what “truth” she thinks he’s now telling?

In addition to being beholden to Trump — he’s the only current candidate, with the possible exception of Ted Cruz, who would ever utter her name publicly — I’ve been told that there’s some inside back-story to Palin’s glaring lack of solidarity with Kelly. According to a source once in Palin’s inner-circle in Southcentral Alaska, Palin was livid at Kelley two years ago when the latter interrupted Palin in an interview in which Palin went into what seemed like a crack-addled rant about Obama and the American economy.

No one holds a grudge like Palin. In June, Palin was overtly critical of Kelly for interviewing Jill Duggar Dillard and Jessa Duggar Seewald on her Fox News program. Two weeks later it was announced that Palin had been dumped from her position at Fox News.

That Palin is an exceedingly dull blade goes without saying, but even she must have noted the timing of Fox’s decision.

Trump just blew some seriously needed oxygen into Palin’s sinking political platform by indicating that Palin would serve in a cabinet-level capacity in his administration–which only someone with Palin’s crazy could view as a possibility — and for a brief moment it appeared that Palin’s stock, depressed as it is, might yet have another bump in it.

Not so. The descending numbers from her political action committee and her utter disappearance from the national Republican debate fully indicate that Palin’s political half-life has long since passed. She’s been reduced to a laugh-line and an afterthought.

As I noted in my critical biography of her, The Lies of Sarah Palin: The Untold Story Behind her Relentless Quest for Power, there is really no low to which Palin will not stoop to advance her own political and monetary interests. Her silence on the Kelly-Trump affair is par for the Palin course. When it comes to political courage and integrity, she has none.

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Award-winning writer and filmmaker Geoffrey Dunn’s best-selling The Lies of Sarah Palin: The Untold Story Behind Her Relentless Quest for Power was published by Macmillan/St. Martin’s in May of 2011.

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EXCLUSIVE Look At Donald Trump’s Military Record In Light Of His Comments On John McCain

Pew pew pew! 

On Saturday, presidential candidate and Mexico’s favorite piñata Donald Trump made some particularly nasty comments about Senator John McCain over his POW experience. Trump said McCain is only a “war hero because he was captured.”

After considerable blowback, Trump remained firm, saying on Sunday that he will not apologize for the comments.

HuffPost has ALL CAPS EXCLUSIVELY ALL CAPS obtained Trump’s own personal military record for comparison:

 

 

Also on HuffPost:

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Panama Also Drops Out Of Donald Trump’s Miss Universe Pageant

PANAMA CITY (AP) — Panama is joining several other Latin American nations in dropping out of the Miss Universe pageant in protest over Donald Trump’s comments about immigrants.

The Miss Panama Organization and the Telemetro television channel say that this year they won’t participate in or broadcast the Miss Universe contest partly owned by Trump.

They say the move is “a message of solidarity” to Mexicans offended by Trump’s recent description of Mexican migrants as rapists and as people who bring drugs and crime to the United States.

Panama hosted the pageant in 1986 and 2003. Contest organizers and broadcasters in Costa Rica and Mexico also have pulled out of the event.

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Why Donald Trump’s Ex-Wife Ivana Trump Prefers Younger Men – Where Are They Now? – OWN

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Donald Trump’s ex-wife Ivana Trump—the woman who famously coined the phrase “Don’t get mad. Get everything!”—is now a grandmother of five. Since divorcing Donald, Ivana has been known to date, and marry, much younger men. Watch as Ivana reveals how these men give her an edge and more energy. Plus, take a peek inside her Manhattan home, and find out where she and Donald stand today.

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