Garrison Keillor: The gentle people shall prevail (Washington Post)
The answer to hurricanes and racism is the same: Kindness.
Allegra Kirkland: Veteran Whose Photo Trump Retweeted Wants No Part In Politics Of NFL Protest (TPM)
"I went over there and I fought for the rights and freedoms of everybody to do whatever they wanted to do in a lawful manner," Jones said. "So if the NFL as a whole wants to protest the flag and protest America, then so be it, that's your right." "Keep it peaceful, keep it respectful and I don't care what you do," he added.
Damian Paletta, Mike DeBonis and Carolyn Y. Johnson: Republicans to unveil broad tax cuts, put off tough decisions (Washington Post)
President Trump and top Republicans will promise a package of far-reaching tax cuts for companies and individuals, people briefed on the planning said, but the GOP leaders will stop short of labeling many of the tax breaks they hope to strip away, putting off controversial decisions that threaten to sink the party's tax effort.
Martin Gayford: How do artists vanish? (Spectator)
Could Damien Hirst, for example, fade into oblivion, like the once ubiquitous Hans Makart?
Michael Tanner: The unrepeated and unrepeatable brilliance of Maria Callas (Spectator)
Her meteoric rise, her fluctuating erotic life, her tragic decline, are all a fascinating distraction from the one thing that matters: her art.
Seann Walsh: Jim Carrey doesn't exist - at least that's what he told me (The Guardian)
The star of Ace Ventura and The Mask is the reason I got into comedy. Meeting him was a dream come true ... until things got existential
Dave Simpson: kd lang and Ben Mink: how we made Constant Craving (The Guardian)
'It was the year I came out as gay. When we went to the Grammys, religious groups were picketing outside.'
Hadley Freeman: Why do models always look so glum? Well, they've got good reason to (The Guardian)
With the exception of some London fashion week shows, models tend to wear a furious death stare. It's hard to blame them - what with the constant criticism and pressure to be thin.
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Michelle in AZ
Speaking of wasted money, WHY does Predator need to fly somewhere to unveil his tax "plan" instead of sitting at his freaking desk and working? WHY must we pay for one "love me" rally (AKA Klan gathering) after another. PUT DOWN THE PHONE and WORK, you jackass!
We are all only temporarily able bodied.
Jeannie the Teed-Off Temp
from Marc Perkel
from that Mad Cat, JD
LOOKING UP THE ELEPHANT'S ASS. PART 1
LOOKING UP THE ELEPHANT'S ASS. PART 2
"… WE CANNOT EAT MONEY."
AFTER 3.95bn YEARS WE GET DONALD TRUMP.
35 YEARS LATER.
WHY ISN'T PUERTO RICO THE 51ST STATE?
THE "SNATCH MAN".
Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music
In The Chaos Household
Hack. Sneeze. Grumble, grumble.
Law Does Not Ban Bias Against
A Trump administration lawyer on Tuesday urged a U.S. appeals court in Manhattan to rule that federal law does not ban discrimination against gay employees.
The U.S. Department of Justice is supporting a New York skydiving company, Altitude Express Inc, in a lawsuit brought by former instructor Donald Zarda, who accused the company of firing him after he told a customer he was gay and she complained. Zarda died in a BASE-jumping accident after filing the lawsuit, and his estate took over the case.
Judges on the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals focused their questions on whether discrimination against gay workers is a form of unlawful sex bias under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. That law bans discrimination based on workers' sex, race, religion and other traits.
Justice Department lawyer Hashim Mooppan told the court that Congress never intended for that law to protect gay workers against bias. And in recent years, he said, lawmakers have repeatedly declined to pass bills that would prohibit employment discrimination against gay workers.
Several 2nd Circuit judges questioned Mooppan about why the Justice Department got involved, and whether it first consulted with the EEOC. Mooppan said it would not be appropriate for him to discuss the department's internal procedures.
Announces New Cast Members
'Saturday Night Live'
"Saturday Night Live" announced its newest cast members on Tuesday, and, well, we won't keep you waiting. They are Chris Redd, Heidi Gardner and Luke Null.
The three additions to the show will replace departees Bobby Moynihan, Vanessa Bayer and Sasheer Zamata. According to Vulture, the rest of the "SNL" crew is returning for Season 43, which premieres on NBC this Saturday. They'll be joined by new writers Sam Jay, Gary Richardson, Erik Marino, Andrew Dismukes, Steven Castillo, Claire Friedman and Nimesh Patel.
You might know Second City alum Chris Redd from the Andy Samberg-led mockumentary "Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping," in which he played Hunter the Hungry, or from his roles in "Wet Hot American Summer: 10 Years Later" and the Judd Apatow-Netflix project, "Love."
Heidi Gardner hails from the Groundlings' Main Company, and recently appeared in and wrote for the animated Crackle series "Supermansion." (Watch out for her in the 2018 film "Life of the Party," starring Melissa McCarthy.)
The new hires were reportedly solidified over Emmys weekend, Deadline reports, when "SNL" earned an impressive nine awards, including a statue for Alec Baldwin's Trump impression.
'Saturday Night Live'
Donald Trump (R-Racist) won only a fraction of the black vote in last year's US presidential election and opinion polls out this week suggest he remains deeply unpopular among African-Americans.
Ninety-four percent of the black voters in a Quinnipiac University poll published Wednesday said they believed Trump is not fit to serve as president.
About the same number -- 95 percent -- said they did not approve of the way he is handling race relations.
And nearly two-thirds of the African-Americans surveyed in another poll -- this one conducted by the PerryUndem research firm -- said they are worried by Trump.
"A divider, responsible for the deepening chasm of racial discord," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University poll of 1,412 voters nationwide.
The tweets may now be gone, but they are certainly not forgotten.
President-for-now Donald Trump (R-Crooked) deleted three embarrassing posts from his Twitter account on Tuesday night after the candidate he backed to claim Alabama's GOP Senate nomination, Sen. Luther Strange, lost to Roy Moore.
ProPublica's Politwoops noted Trump's removal of the tweets, in which he'd claimed that Strange was "shooting up" in the polls since his presidential endorsement.
Tweeters were quick to call Trump out over his culling of the messages from his timeline.
Plays To Thousands Of Empty Seats
Bill O'Reilly's "The Spin Stops Here" tour stopped in Baltimore on Friday, and the former Fox News host played to thousands of empty seats at Royal Farms Arena.
Perhaps the best indication of the size of the crowd in relation to the hall is that 45 minutes before the show an usher came to me and about a dozen other ticket holders who were seated in the cheapest seats in the third level and gave us tickets to move down to level one - much closer to the stage.
Capacity is 10,001 to 15,000, according to "Billboard" and "Venues Today" figures cited on a Royal Farms Arena website.
Tickets were available for a third of their value in resale the past week. One ticket holder from Virginia emailed The Sun saying she bought her tickets in the spring and was "shocked" to find when she tried to sell them two weeks ago that hers were the only ones sold in their section on the second level of the hall.
"We gotta start playing some bigger rooms," comedian Dennis Miller said near the start of his solo portion of the performance.
Fourth Gravitational Wave
A fourth gravitational wave has been detected -- this time with help from Italy-based equipment -- after two black holes collided, sending ripples through the fabric of space and time, researchers said Wednesday.
Gravitational waves were predicted by Albert Einstein a century ago as part of his theory of general relativity, but the first hard evidence of their existence came only in 2015, when two US detectors found the first such signal.
The latest space-time ripples were detected on August 14 at 10:30 GMT when two giant black holes with masses about 31 and 25 times the mass of the Sun merged about 1.8 billion light-years away.
"The newly produced spinning black hole has about 53 times the mass of our Sun," said a statement from the international scientists at Virgo detector, located at the European Gravitational Observatory (EGO) in Cascina, near Pisa, Italy.
"While this new event is of astrophysical relevance, its detection comes with an additional asset: this is the first significant gravitational wave signal recorded by the Virgo detector."
Fourth Gravitational Wave
'Racist Keebler Elf'
Free speech on college campuses is "under attack" as universities transform into shelters "for fragile egos," Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who leads a Justice Department prosecuting a woman for laughing at him during a congressional hearing, said in a Tuesday speech.
"The American university was once the center of academic freedom - a place of robust debate, a forum for the competition of ideas," Sessions told an invite-only audience at Georgetown University's law school. "But it is transforming into an echo chamber of political correctness and homogenous thought, a shelter for fragile egos."
Sessions delivered his speech as the Justice Department prepares to retry a woman who laughed at him during his Senate confirmation hearing in January. The department's continued prosecution of Desiree Fairooz was mentioned in an open letter signed by several members of the Georgetown law school faculty that said Sessions was a poor spokesman for the values of free speech.
Some students and law school faculty members demonstrated against Sessions and Trump administration's policies on Tuesday morning, standing on the steps of the building where the attorney general would speak at an event they weren't allowed to attend.
"Sessions only speaks to echo chambers," one sign said. Other placards included "Freedom of speech is not at your convenience Sessions," "There's not RSVP on the 1st Amendment," and "Fuck Jeff 'Racist Keebler Elf' Sessions."
'Racist Keebler Elf'
What Does Jesus Pack?
Trump Evangelical Adviser
A conservative pastor on President-for-now Donald Trump's (R-Buffoon) informal evangelical advisory council thinks NFL players who kneel during the national anthem to highlight racism should "be thanking God" they haven't been "shot in the head."
Southern Baptist pastor Robert Jeffress, who leads the First Baptist Church in Dallas, made the comments during a "Fox & Friends" segment Monday on Fox News amid debate over the athletes' protests.
"I think what these players are doing is absolutely wrong," Jeffress said. "These players ought to be thanking God that they live in a country where they're not only free to earn millions of dollars every year, but they're also free from the worry of being shot in the head for taking a knee like they would be if they were in North Korea."
Jeffress also minimized the athletes' statement on racism by comparing the "social injustice" of systematic racism to Christian bakers being forced to prepare cakes for same-sex weddings.
"They didn't respond by calling then-President Obama a bum," said Jeffress, who once claimed the country's first black president was "paving the way for the Antichrist."
Trump Evangelical Adviser
Jared Kushner is a woman.
Well, that's true at least according to records from the New York State Board of Elections. As first reported by Wired, Kushner is listed as a female in its records.
Newsweek verified Wired's report through public records.
Jared Kushner is registered to vote in two states -- New York and New Jersey. Nexis
It's not clear if this constitutes a breach of voting laws, but it is quite ironic considering the Trump administration's claims of widespread voter fraud. Moreover, it adds to the already embarrassing fact that Kushner is registered to vote in two states-both New York and New Jersey. (Voter records from New Jersey list Kushner's gender as "unknown.")
Not a Hate Crime
Authorities say her eyes were gouged out and her genitals stabbed, but that the death of transgender teenager whose burned remains were found near the mobile home of one of her alleged killers in rural southern Missouri, her bones discarded in a chicken coop, was not a hate crime.
The remains of Joseph Matthew Steinfeld Jr. - the birth name of the 17-year-old transgender girl who went by the name Ally Lee Steinfeld - were found last week in the town of Cabool.
Twenty-four-year-old Briana Calderas and two 18-year-olds, Andrew Vrba and Isis Schauer, were charged with first-degree murder and other counts. A fourth suspect is charged with abandonment of a corpse and tampering with evidence. All four are jailed without bond.
Steinfeld had been missing for weeks, and initial news reports referred to her as a male, in part because missing-person posters distributed by the family used Steinfeld's birth name, as did police documents.
Authorities aren't saying what led to the killing. But both Sheriff James Sigman and prosecutor Parke Stevens Jr. insist the crime was not motivated by Steinfeld's gender identity.
New York Court Dismisses $250M Case
A Manhattan court dismissed a $250 million civil tax fraud case against Russian-American businessman Felix Sater on Wednesday, Business Insider has learned.
The civil tax-fraud case against Sater, a former associate of President-for-now Donald Trump (R-Corrupt), and the real-estate company he cofounded, Bayrock, was being prosecuted as a qui tam case, which allows a whistleblower to file on the state's behalf, and the attorney general's office can either intervene, or not.
The purported whistleblower in this case was a lawyer named Fred Oberlander, who at one point represented Sater's former business partner Jody Kriss in a money-laundering suit against Bayrock.
The initial lawsuit brought against Sater and Bayrock in 2010 by Bayrock's former finance director Jody Kriss - who had no hand in the qui tam case brought later by Oberlander - alleged that "for most of its existence [Bayrock] was substantially and covertly mob-owned and operated," engaging "in a pattern of continuous, related crimes, including mail, wire, and bank fraud; tax evasion; money laundering; conspiracy; bribery; extortion; and embezzlement."
Bayrock's office was once two floors below Trump's in Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue. A person familiar with the matter, who requested anonymity for fear of retribution by Sater or his associates, told Business Insider previously that Sater and Trump had standing meetings each week.
Approves Palestinian Membership
International police agency Interpol voted Wednesday to include Palestine as a member state, in a new boost to Palestinian efforts for international recognition and influence amid long-stalled negotiations with Israel for full statehood.
The decision drew an angry Israeli reaction and threat of retaliation. It also raised concerns that the Palestinians might use their elevated status to seek the arrests of Israelis, though Palestinian officials said there were no immediate plans to do so.
Interpol announced the inclusion of the "State of Palestine" as well as the Solomon Islands on Twitter and its website Wednesday after a vote by its general assembly in Beijing.
With the new votes, Interpol will have 192 member countries. Interpol didn't immediately announce how many members supported Palestinian membership.
Private Jet Scandal Is Even Worse Than You Think
The controversy surrounding Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price's use of private planes deepened Tuesday after Politico reported new details about his trips, including that his travels involved personal visits.
Those trips included a visit to a Georgia resort, where Price and his wife own property, more than a day ahead of his scheduled appearance at a conference, as well as a trip to Nashville, Tennessee, where he had lunch with his son.
Earlier Politico reports have documented more than two dozen trips taken by Price on charter flights since May, costing taxpayers more than $400,000. On the Nashville trip, for example, Price reportedly took a Learjet despite the availability of commercial flights from D.C., spending more than $17,000 on the round-trip airfare.
Price's office previously defended the use of charter planes as necessary to "[get] outside of D.C., making sure he is connected with the real American people."
Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, who helped usher in the 1960s sexual revolution with his groundbreaking men's magazine and built a business empire around his libertine lifestyle, died on Wednesday at the age of 91, Playboy Enterprises said.
Hefner, once called the "prophet of pop hedonism" by Time magazine, peacefully passed away at his home, Playboy Enterprises said in a statement.
Hefner was sometimes characterized as an oversexed Peter Pan as he kept a harem of young blondes that numbered as many as seven at his legendary Playboy Mansion. This was chronicled in "The Girls Next Door," a TV reality show that aired from 2005 through 2010. He said that thanks to the impotency-fighting drug Viagra he continued exercising his libido into his 80s.
"I'm never going to grow up," Hefner said in a CNN interview when he was 82. "Staying young is what it is all about for me. Holding on to the boy and long ago I decided that age really didn't matter and as long as the ladies ... feel the same way, that's fine with me."