America has a real problem with its carceral state. The United States imprisons more people per capita than any other country in the world, even autocracies like China or Iran that routinely imprison people for political dissent and are general considered brutal human rights abusers. We also treat prisoners particularly poorly, with many states using prisoners as slave laborers.
So who is going to take a stand to reform prisons and our broken justice system? Why, Kim Kardashian, of course. Kim is going to the White House to meet with Jared Kushner to discuss prison reform. Because of course she is. Why would Donald Trump’s White House meet with experts when they can talk to a reality TV star who is basically only famous for having a sex tape. I’m surprised she doesn’t have a cabinet position by now.
Don’t take that as a slight on Kardashian, though. Kim has been advocating on behalf of Alice Johnson, a 63-year-old woman serving a sentence of life without the possibility of parole for a non-violent drug offense, which also happens to be a first offense. If that sounds insane to you, it is, and Kim Kardashian using her platform to advocate for this woman is entirely noble and correct.
We also heard this week about Matthew Charles, who was sentenced to 35 years in prison for selling crack, served 21 years, became a law clerk and got an early release only to be told two years later that his release was a mistake and, despite the fact that he committed a minor, non-violent crime and had completely reformed and become an asset to his community, he would have to report back to prison and serve another 14 years.
Vanity Fair explained why the issue of prison reform was so important to Jared Kushner in their report on the meeting.
Prison reform is an issue near and dear to Kushner, whose father, Charles, spent more than a year in a federal prison camp in 2005 and 2006 on charges of tax evasion, illegal campaign contributions, and witness tampering. The experience left an indelible mark on the young Kushner who, for years, carried a wallet his father made for him in prison; when he joined the White House as senior adviser, he vowed to help improve the system that his father had come through.
So while Trump’s Attorney General, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, has been cracking down on low-level drug offenses, Jared Kushner has been worried about the conditions in which white-collar criminals serve. Seems about right. Arrest more poor, mostly non-white people for minor offenses and put rich people who defraud others for millions under house arrest.
Personally, I think Kim might be successful in getting Trump to pardon Johnson. All she really has to do is tell him he’ll get a lot of good press and that President Obama refused to pardon her. Basically the same way Sylvester Stallone convinced him to issue a posthumous pardon to Jack Johnson, the first African-American WBA World Heavyweight Champion, last week. Really all it takes to get Trump to do anything is to tell him Obama didn’t do it.
The post Kim Kardashian Heading to White House to Discuss Policy Because That’s the World We Live in Now appeared first on The Blemish.
Fans all over the world watched Prince Harry and Meghan Markle exchange vows.
But after the Royal Wedding came the Royal Wedding dress debate — with fans wondering who wore it better.
Political hack Katie Hopkins weighed in, saying that it was no contest … because Duchess Kate had, in her opinion, a degree of "class" that Duchess Meghan does not possess.
That's not a suprising comment from Katie, given that MegMar is biracial and Katie seems to spend a great deal of her waking hours focused on an apparent hatred for brown people.
Naturally, Twitter enjoyed ridiculing Katie Hopkins for her comments, and made something of a meme out of pointing out that Katie looks terrible for her age.
Now, there's a big of moral complication any time that you insult someone's appearance.
Ridicule Trump for his appearance instead of his words and deeds, and an innocent Jersey Shore denizen might feel self-conscious for being orange.
But we think that some of these epic burns are worth reading.
And Katie Hopkins, of all people, truly deserves to be roasted. Check out the tweets below and you'll see that for yourself.
1. Katie Hopkins cannot resist stirring the pot
1. Meghan Markle looked gorgeous
2. The tweet replies began …
3. It really WAS a fairytale wedding
4. Here’s one possible explanation
5. She’s compared to Gabrielle Union
Donald Trump gave a speech at the annual NRA convention in Dallas today, and the lengthy address touched on all of the topics you would expect from a Donald Trump speech to a roomful of NRA members:
Guns are great; I'm great; Mueller sucks; everyone wants to take your guns except me; did I mention how great I am?
You get the idea.
But the president also touched on a topic that would've left the room in shocked silence just a few weeks ago.
By now you've no doubt heard about Kanye West's unrepentant love for Trump.
The rapper isn't just a supporter, he's a full-fledged member of the MAGA Mafia, and as a result, folks who would've alerted mall security to his presence a few weeks ago are now ordering 808s and Heartbreak on iTunes.
No doubt lots of folks who fit that profile were in the crowd at today's convention, and they applauded wildly at the mention of Yeezy's name:
"Kanye West must have some power, because you probably saw, I doubled my African-American poll numbers," Trump told the crowd.
"We went from 11 to 22 in one week, thank you, Kanye," the president added.
"When I saw the numbers I said that must be a mistake, how did that happen?"
We know the feeling, Mr. President.
We had a similar reaction on November 9, 2016.
Anyway, we don't know what's funnier - the fact that Trump thinks all black people take their political cues from Kanye West, or the fact that he's surprised Kanye has any power.
The man literally has a song called "Power"!
Familiarize yourself with Yeezus' work before you kiss his ass, Donne!
We know you have issues with consistency, but don't go turning into a bandwagon-jumping poseur at 71.
For the second straight year, Donald Trump did not attend the White House Correspondents Dinner.
But Michelle Wolf sure did.
The comedian has gone viral for her somewhat raunchy, borderline offensive jokes and insults as keynote joke-maker at this annual press and politics event.
She went after Michael Cohen. She attacked Sarah Huckabee Sanders. She held nothing back when it came to Ivanka Trump.
Did Wolf go too far at times? Or did she execute this unique job perfectly?
Relive some of Wolf's most biting quips below and decide for yourself:
1. Who is Michelle Wolf?
2. Her Best Lines?
3. And Also:
4. The Present is Female
5. Double Diss
6. Getting Dirty
Alec Baldwin made his first appearance as Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live way the hell back in October of 2016, and the show's been on hiatus for the past three weeks due to NBC's broadcast of the Winter Olympics.
So why was the president angrily tweeting about Baldwin's impression at 5:42 this morning?
It's a good question with several troubling answers.
The most obvious explanation for why the leader of the free world had a man-baby outburst while gnawing on his Egg McMuffin this morning is the fact that Baldwin had some unkind words for Trump in a recent interview.
"Every time I do it now, it's like agony," Baldwin recently told The Hollywood Reporter when asked about his Trump impression.
“Anybody over this guy,” Baldwin added. “It doesn’t matter. We have to get rid of him.”
Those are exactly the kind of comments that get under Trump's skin, so it's no surprise the president was so upset that even autocorrect couldn't reason with him this morning:
"Alex Baldwin, whose dieing mediocre career was saved by his terrible impersonation of me on SNL, now says playing me was agony," Trump tweeted.
"Alex, it was agony for those who were forced to watch. Bring back Darrell Hammond, funnier and a far greater talent!"
That tweet was only live for about 10 minutes before Trump deleted it and replaced with a version in which Baldwin's name and "dying" were both spelled correctly.
Needless to say, Twitter wasn't so quick to forget the president's spelling boo-boos.
But unhinged Trump tantrums are obviously nothing new.
The weird thing about this one is, the Baldwin interview took place back on Wednesday, and the Donald has been never one to buy into the expression about revenge being a dish best served cold.
(After all, the analogy wouldn't make much sense to someone who only eats food that congeals if it's left to sit for more than a few seconds.)
The best explanation with regard to the timing seems to be that less than thirty minutes before Trump's tweet, Baldwin's interview was mentioned in a segment on Fox News, which is the president's state-run television network of choice when he's lounging around the White House in his bathrobe.
Of course, the real reason that Trump decided to start his morning with an old-fashioned Two Minutes Hate is that he's coming off yet another chaotic week and he'll do just about anything to change the topic of conversation.
It's a typically inept move from an administration that aims for Third Reich, but usually misses the mark and lands more in the Keystone Cops area.
That said, we'll give the Donald credit for one thing - Hammond actually does have the better technical impression, in terms of nailing Trump's "FBI Mafia informant turned used car salesmen" mannerisms.
But wherever you stand on who serves up the best impersonation of our anus-lipped commander-in-chief, there's no denying that Baldwin's response left Trump as roasted as one of those well-done steaks he likes so much:
"Agony though it may be, I’d like to hang in there for the impeachment hearings, the resignation speech, the farewell helicopter ride to Mara-A-Lago," Baldwin tweeted, adding:
"You know. The Good Stuff. That we’ve all been waiting for."
As though that wasn't enough to send DJT into a diaper-filling rage, Baldwin continued:
"Looking forward to the Trump Presidential Library. A putting green. Recipes for chocolate cake. A live Twitter feed for visitors to post on.
"A little black book w the phone numbers of porn stars. You’re in and out in five minutes. Just like..."
Baldwin might want to start using his middle name, a la Lee Harvey Oswald because we're pretty sure that qualifies as an assassination.
There’s a subtle trait about how Donald Trump acts as president that you might not have noticed, but once you do you’ll never be able to stop noticing it. He doesn’t actually know what the fuck he’s doing, so he just does whatever the last person he talked to says. He also believes whatever he’s told by the last person he talks to because he has no foundation of international politics or science. There’s a reason why electing an outsider with no political experience is a bad idea, even if that person is intelligent and charismatic.
So I’m worried when I hear rumors of Oprah running for president, especially when that idea is accompanied by individuals offering to raise billions of dollars for her candidacy. This isn’t hyperbole, this is what Oprah told People in an interview appearing in their latest issue. And you can be damn sure that anyone who spends a billion dollars getting someone elected president is going to expect something in return. I’m not sure I want someone who bring Mehmet Oz on her television show to talk about the healing power of crystals or whatever to have that kind of power and be influenced by whatever billionaire donors she owes her presidency to.
I thought we had put the idea of Oprah running for president to rest. I was sure that sanity had won out, but now Oprah is saying that she would run if God told her to. Frankly, that guy can’t make up his mind, he’s always rooting for both teams in football games and people have fought massive wars where both sides were doing his will.
Amid calls for her to consider a run for the White House — from fans as well as her closest friends — “I went into prayer,” she tells PEOPLE in the magazine’s new cover story. “ ‘God, if you think I’m supposed to run, you gotta tell me, and it has to be so clear that not even I can miss it.’ And I haven’t gotten that.”
I hope she never does. Oprah is good at a lot of things. She’s a genuinely nice person who has done a lot of good in the world. She’s also an excellent television host, but she didn’t always use her platform responsibly. I don’t think, however, that Oprah has a firm grasp of the geopolitical realities of the Middle East, and I don’t think she has good enough judgement to hire people who will handle the things she doesn’t understand properly, and I base that on her making Dr. Oz famous. Oprah will make the same mistakes Trump is making: hiring the wrong people and following whatever advice they give.
Ralph Wiggum. The monorail episode. Steamed Hams.
The Simpsons has given us so much over the course of its multi-decade run that it's not surprising when someone makes an effort to piggyback on the show's unprecedented success.
But it is surprising when someone botches the attempt as badly as Ted Cruz did today.
You might know Cruz from his failed bid for the GOP presidential nomination, or for his intriguing love of incest porn.
Either way, you're probably aware that the Texas senator embodies awkward in a way that few human beings ever have.
So when Zodiac Ted attempted to appeal to the groovy youths with a reference to the hippest 26-year-old animated sitcom on TV, it predictably went about as smoothly as the time Homer ate those Guatemalan Insanity Peppers.
Appearing at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference today, Cruz attempted to explain the current political climate using an awkward analogy involving America's favorite non-Obama family.
"The Democrats are the party of Lisa Simpson and Republicans are happily the party of Homer, Bart, Maggie and Marge," Cruz told the assembled Chads and Ashleys.
Soooo ... Democrats are the nation's conscientious intellectuals and Republicans are its suckling infants?
No matter where you fall on the political spectrum we think you'll agree that Ted's analogy game could use some work.
The weird thing is, this is far from the first time that Cruz has referenced The Simpsons.
He claims to love the show, which makes his simplistic understanding of its characters all the more baffling.
Lisa is an egghead and the rest of the family is made up of red-blooded patriots?!
Take that Tracy Ullman-ass analysis back to 1989, homie.
Not surprisingly, some of the biggest talents behind the show's success took issue with Ted's interpretation of their work.
"Ted Cruz says Maggie Simpson would vote for him," tweeted longtime showrunner Al Jean.
"I think Ted's the one who could use a pacifier in his mouth."
Jean added that Springfield's most famous capitalist might have issued his final "fine mahok":
"The way things are going even Mr. Burns is thinking of becoming a Democrat," he wrote.
And Jean certainly wasn't alone in his criticism of Cruz's comments.
Many pointed out that The Simpsons savagely mocked the idea of a Trump presidency way back in 2000, which seems a fair indication that few of the show's characters would be onboard with the present GOP agenda.
Tens of thousands went full Nelson Muntz on Cruz in the hours after his quote went public, but the most scathing burn may have come from longtime animator Anna Maltese:
"As a Simpsons animator for many years, I can say with 100% certainty that A) Lisa is officially the conscience of the family so...awesome. B) Neither Marge nor Homer are Republicans," Maltese tweeted bluntly.
We're sure this isn't as irritating to Cruz as having to continually deny that his dad killed JFK, but we're guessing he's not feeling particularly cromulent at the moment.
Donald Trump has not had a good week. He hasn't since 2016, honestly, but this week has been particularly bad.
After it came out that Trump called countries with non-white majorities "sh-tholes" and that he thought that diplomats should be given tasks according to their ethnicity, another bombshell dropped.
It is alleged that Trump paid a six-figure settlement to a porn star to buy her silence about a sexual encounter that took place after he married Melania.
On Friday, a damning report by the Wall Street Journal alleges that Donald Trump arranged for porn star Stephanie Clifford, known professionally as Stormy Daniels, to receive $130,000 in hush money.
Oh, just one month before the 2016 election.
The two of them, per the report, had an alleged sexual encounter in 2006.
Clifford was 27 at the time of the consensual encounter at Lake Tahoe.
In case you need a refresher, Trump and Melania married in January of 2006. So this wouldn't have just been a hook-up with an adult film star, but cheating on Melania shortly after they married.
Michael Cohen, who was an attorney for the Trump Organization at the time, is the one who made the alleged arrangements for a payment.
The $130,000 payment was apparently part of a non-disclosure agreement that the adult film star signed.
The White House declined to comment on the alleged six-figure payment, but called the report that Trump had bedded Clifford "old" and "recycled," mentioning that the reports had been "strongly denied" even before the election.
(Which is interesting, because mentioning that something was publicly denied is not the same thing as denying it yourself)
Cohen, the attorney who is said to have set up the payment, said that Trump "once again vehemently denies" the story that he had any sort of sexual relationship with Stormy Daniels.
Interestingly, like the White House, Cohen also declined to comment on the $130,000 payment.
But that's not to say that Cohen didn't have anything to say to the Wall Street Journal:
"This is now the second time that you are raising outlandish allegations against my client."
Is it really outlandish? Even if this isn't true, it doesn't sound outlandish in the slightest.
"You have attempted to perpetuate this false narrative for over a year; a narrative that has been consistently denied by all parties since at least 2011."
He's right about one thing:
Stephanie Clifford has denied it. She's denied the sexual tryst and she's denied the substantial sum of hush money.
Of course, her denial includes the claim that he was a "total gentleman" to her when they met, which just about defies belief.
Clifford does acknowledge that she made some professional appearances for the Trump brand.
For example, she attended the launch of Trump Vodka in 2007, the year after the alleged sexual encounter.
Trump Vodka has, of course, failed like so many of Trump's business ventures. Production of that shut down in 2011.
But Stormy Daniels' enduring links to Trump continue.
We're generally leery of reports, especially when they seem to confirm everything that we suspect about a person we dislike.
But coming from a conservative outlet like the Wall Street Journal, whose sources for this apparently include multiple people in whom Stephanie Clifford confided the story that she publicly denies, it seems to hold water.
Of course, this is Trump. What would be a career-ending scandal for another politician seems to only inspire his most ardent defenders. Spite is making Trump-supporters twist themselves into knots to cover for him.
Maybe, one day, it will all be too much.
These days, Anthony Weiner is serving a prison sentence for sexting a teenage girl at the nadir of what's surely one of the most rapid and infuriating political downfalls in recent memory.
There was a time--not all that long ago--when the former congressman seemed to have it all, including the love of his beautiful and equally successful wife, top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin.
What made Weiner's many disgraces so much more outrageous than most was not only the fact that he targeted a minor, but also that he seemed to receive countless second chances, only to repeatedly betray the trust of his supporters and his impossibly merciful wife.
Eventually, of course, both the public and Abedin could take no more of dishonesty and depravity, and Weiner lost it all.
His political career went up in flames.
He was sentenced to 23 months in prison.
And in what may have been the most painful loss of all, Abedin filed for divorce.
But now it seems that Weiner may once again be on the receiving end of Abedin's compassion.
The New York Post is reporting today that the Weiner and Abedin have officially withdrawn their pending divorce case.
According to the newspaper, Abedin was scheduled to appear in Manhattan Supreme Court this afternoon for a compliance conference.
Instead, her attorney submitted paperwork signed by both her and Weiner, agreeing to remove their case from the courts ... for now.
Lawyers for Abedin says this doesn't mean she's had a change of heart, insisting that she simply needs more time to work out a settlement with Weiner before the case goes before a judge.
“In order to ensure the proceedings have a minimal impact on their child, the parties have decided to attempt to reach a settlement swiftly and privately,” says attorney Charles Miller.
For a professional opinion, the Post consulted with divorce attorney Michael Stutman, who is not involved with the case.
Stutman confirmed that the withdrawal does not necessarily mean that Abedin and Weiner have called off their divorce.
He says that they may have decided to postpone the hearing for tax or other economic reasons, or to allow themselves more time to work out a custody agreement for their 6-year-old son.
Of course, with how much Weiner has gotten away with over the years, we won't be convinced Huma is really leaving him until the papers are signed.
If you’ve followed the career of Ted Cruz, you know that the Texas senator is a hard-line conservative who might also be the Zodiac Killer.
Cruz is nothing if not passionate about his work, but legislating away the right of poor people to exist and sending encoded descriptions of your latest murder to Bay Area media outlets can take a toll on even the most diligent weasel demon.
So it’s not surprising that the Cruz Man decided to unwind with a little bizarrely specific fetish porn last night.
It is surprising, however, that he felt the need to broadcast his preferences on Twitter.
Yes, Ted pulled a Weiner in more ways than one, unintentionally (we hope) sharing a very NSFW video clip with his 3 million followers.
Cruz “liked” the clip late Monday night, and it was gone by Tuesday morning – but not before spending a surprisingly long period of time at the top Senator Cruz’s timeline.
Obviously, it’s possible the clip was shared by a Cruz staff member, but of course we prefer to think that the senator personally enjoyed the two-minute depiction of an incestuous threesome to the point that he simply had to share his rave review with the world.
If you’ve spent any time amongst the droll denizens of Twitter, then you won’t be surprised to learn that the jokes flew fast and furious in the minutes after the world learned more than it ever wanted to know about Ted Cruz’s spank material.
Most of us were at least moderately surprised by the development, but there’s one man who wasn’t the least bit shocked by the news that Texas Teddy enjoys manipulating his pole.
Craig Mazin was Cruz’s roommate at Princeton, and the screenwriter was mining his former bunk buddy’s masturbatory habits for comedic gold long before the rest of us were forced to imagine Ted “handling his delegates.”
“Now imagine Ted Cruz is doing this four feet below you in the bottom bunk bed. Yes, my misery very much appreciates your company,” Mazin tweeted last night.
Having waited for this day for nearly thirty years, Mazin obviously didn’t stop there:
“Sadly, the fact that Ted Cruz jacks off to mediocre porn spam is the most human thing we can say about him. This is actually his high point,” he added.
With no fear of putting too fine a point on it, Mazin continued:
“I never wanted this for any of you. I thought maybe I’d feel better if two or three people knew. Not six billion. That said? I FEEL BETTER.”
Hopefully, someone in Cruz’s office is coating the senator in a healing salve to soothe his savage burns … and hopefully Ted’s not getting off on it.
Now, we live in an age in which the media cycle operates at such a breakneck speed that a man who boasted of grabbing women “by the p-ssy” was elected president just a few weeks after his admission of sexual assault went public.
So in all likelihood, this will all be forgotten by the time Cruz launches his inevitable 2020 presidential campaign.
But don’t worry – Ted will inevitably trip over his own dong many times between now and then.
It’s important to remember that this isn’t the first Ted Cruz sex scandal.
Hell, it’s not even the second Ted Cruz sex scandal.
This is a guy so prone to self-sabotage that he maintained his connection to Josh Duggar after the world learned Duggar had molested four of his sisters.
And don’t get us started on all those grisly murders Cruz committed in San Francisco in the ’70s!
Before the news broke that Steve Bannon was leaving the White House to spend more time with the other three Horsemen, the biggest political news of the day was Tina Fey's Cake Sketch from SNL's Weekend Update.
We'll be honest -- we watched it more than once this morning.
In the video, Tina Fey devours a sheet cake in a frighteningly messy manner while roasting Trump over his horrendous response to the Nazi rally and terrorist attack in Charlottesville that left one dead and dozens more injured over the weekend.
Trump's initial weak response was bad enough, but to double down on saying that maybe some Nazis are decent folks days later was monstrous.
Personally, I responded to that bewildering press conference by walking to get ice cream with my roommate. According to this bit of sketch comedy, Tina Fey had a similar idea -- to cope by devouring an entire cake.
The video has received a mixed reception, however, as some perceived Tina Fey's skit as suggesting that people shouldn't counter-protest when Nazis come to town. Tina does basically say that, but it's part of a skit and some aren't convinced that we're supposed to read that as genuine advice.
Others see the entire skit as a parody of people choosing to be inactive in the face of evil. Satirizing people who just "sit out" of conflicts isn't the same as promoting that way of thinking, right?
Twitter was pretty divided, but here's what people had to say:
1. First, someone who worked with Tina
2. High praise ...
3. More cake talk ...
4. Lady Gaga spoke up
5. Grilled cheese is nice
6. Tina Fey got some criticism, though
John McCain has been diagnosed with brain cancer.
The Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix has confirmed that the 80-year old Republican Senator from Arizona has “a glioblastoma” that was found via testing after he went in for surgery on a blood clot over his eye on July 14.
According to the American Brain Tumor Association, Glioblastoma is an especially aggressive tumor that forms in the tissue of the brain and spinal cord.
The politician - who ran against Barack Obama for President in 2008 - will weigh his future medical options, but a representative says he will likely undergo a combination of radiation and chemotherapy.
A statement from McCain's office just minutes after the diagnosis went public says he is "in good spirits as he continues to recover at home with his family in Arizona."
It reads in full:
Senator McCain appreciates the outpouring of support he has received over the last few days. He is in good spirits as he continues to recover at home with his family in Arizona.
He is grateful to the doctors and staff at Mayo Clinic for their outstanding care, and is confident that any future treatment will be effective.
Further consultations with Senator McCain's Mayo Clinic care team will indicate when he will return to the United States Senate.
The Mayo Clinic, meanwhile, emphasizes that McCain’s “underlying health is excellent” and that “treatment options” are being debated by his medical team.
The blood clot for which McCain was treated last week was over the senator's left eye, not far from the left temple where he was diagnosed with melanoma in 2000.
Prior to this diagnosis, the long-time politician had three other malignant melanomas removed in 1993, 2000 and 2002. None of these melanomas were invasive.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta tells CNN that the average survival rate for malignant glioblastoma tends to be around 14 months with treatment.
"The news of my father's illness has affected every one of us in the McCain Family," Tweeted Meghan McCain on Wednesday night, adding:
"It won't surprise you to learn that in all this, the one of us who is most confident and calm is my father."
You can read the complete, moving statement below:
In 1967, while serving in the United States Navy, McCain was shot down during a Vietnam War mission.
He was held captive by the enemy until 1973, surviving years of torture that left him with many physical ailments for the rest of his life.
He retired from the Navy as a captain in 1981 and moved to Arizona; he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1982 and was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1986.
McCain ran for the Republican nomination in 2000, but lost in a primary to George W. Bush.
Eight years later, he represented the GOP in the general Presidential election, but lost to Obama.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called McCain "a hero to our conference and a hero to our country" upon learning of his cancer diagnosis, adding:
"He has never shied from a fight and I know that he will face this challenge with the same extraordinary courage that has characterized his life. We all look forward to seeing this American hero again soon."
With messages of support pouring in all over social media, Arizona's other senator, Jeff Flake, wrote on Twitter:
"Just spoke to @SenJohnMcCain. Tough diagnosis, but even tougher man."
And this from Democratic senator Brian Schatz: "This is awful news. The country owes a debt of gratitude to this American hero."
We share these sentiments and we send our thoughts to John McCain and his family during this dificult time.
You may have seen her name trending on social media and assumed an unscripted series you'd never heard of had crowned a new champion.
But the fact of the matter is, the story of Reality Winner more closely resembles a narrative you'd find on The Americans than on American Idol, and the jokes about her unique moniker belie the gravity of this young woman's very grim predicament.
Reality Leigh Winner is a 25-year-old Air Force veteran, who's been charged with mailing classified NSA documents to media outlet the Intercept in an effort to reveal the extent of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
Until this week, Winner was an employee of Pluribus International Corp., a private defense and intelligence contractor with top-level government security clearance.
Winner is accused of sending documents to the Intercept that allege Russian government hackers targeted 122 local election officials a few days before last November’s election.
Officials involved in her arrest say that Winner “admitted intentionally identifying and printing the classified intelligence reporting from her office space, retaining it, and mailing it from Augusta, Georgia, to the News Outlet, which she knew was not authorized to receive or possess the documents.”
According to her Instagram page, Ms. Winner spent the past week hiking, preparing vegan meals, and blogging about her CrossFit goals.
Now, she's behind bars, awaiting charges of mishandling classified information.
So how did federal investigators link Winner to the leaked documents so quickly?
According to Vice, the documents published by the Intercept were encoded with metadata - in this case, dots of yellow ink imperceptible to the human eye - that identified them as being printed from Winner's work computer.
Winner's mother Billie Winner-Davis describes her daughter as "passionate" about her beliefs, but not overtly political.
She says she spoke to Reality Sunday night after her arrest, but adds that they did not discuss the details of her case:
"She asked if we could help out with relocating her cat and dog," Winner-Davis said, adding:
"I don't know what they're alleging."
It may be months before Winner's case goes to trial, and as she lacks the advantages that saved previous high-profile whistleblowers, her future looks quite bleak indeed.
Winner was unable to escape to a nation or embassy with a favorable extradition policy like Edward Snowden and Julian Assange, and it's unlikely that she'll find much sympathy at the top levels of government like Chelsea Manning.
In comments to the Guardian, Reality's mother seemed to recognize the severity of her daughter's predicament:
“I think she’s trying to be brave for me,” Winner-Davis said.
“I don’t think she’s seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.”
Warning: There are three people involved in this story, and perpetually-parched celebrity photographer Tyler Shields might be the least obnoxious one.
You may remember Shields from the time when he took lots photos of Lindsay Lohan seductively nibbling her fingers, back when that was a thing some people wanted to see.
Chronicling the life of LiLo never helped Shields develop into a slightly less creepy Terry Richardson like it was supposed to, so these days he's changing strategies.
Interestingly, he remains fixated on Cheeto-colored throwback celebs who wore out their welcomes well over a decade ago.
And now, Shields has figured out a way to squeeze two carrot-hued relics into one desperate publicity stunt.
Yes, if you've spent much time on social media today, then you probably caught wind of the controversy involving Kathy Griffin and a bloody, beheaded Trump dummy.
If you haven't been on Twitter in the past couple hours, we recommend you keep your distance, as the takes are more red hot than Jared Kushner's face when someone uses the phrase "back channel" in his presence.
They're hotter than the incubation room where Steve Bannon stores the leathery eggs of his future progeny.
They might even be hotter than the young, Lahren-esque communications director who will emerge out of nowhere once Kellyanne and Spicy go missing sometime next week.
People are pissed, is what we're saying.
And of course, no one is more pissed than noted famous name-haver and grown up kid from The Omen, Donald Trump, Jr.
"Disgusting but not surprising. This is the left today. They consider this acceptable," an irate DJTJ told the press today.
Griffin is sticking to her guns, claiming that she does not condone violence, and is merely sticking it to the "Mocker-in-Chief" in the crass fashion he seems to prefer.
"There was blood coming out of his eyes, blood coming out of his ... wherever," Griffin said, referencing last year's infamous Trump-Megyn Kelly feud.
Check out some footage from the photo shoot to decide for yourself if Griffin was out of line, or just giving Donnie a taste of his own medicine:
Mexican politician Javier Zapata proved he doesn’t really know what the internet is with a campaign hashtag trying so hard it makes Hillary Clinton‘s campaign look cool and not at all desperate.
Gubernatorial candidate Javier Zapata, whose a part of some side chick party, bought billboards all over the Mexican state of Nayarit proudly displaying giant photos of his mustache and the campaign hashtag “hashtagcampaña” or literally, “#campaignhashtag.”
I personally love it, would vote for him, and would also name my post-noise-ska side project it.
Social media all over Latin America blew up, as apparently, they think he’s just an idiot and not some kind of new school dada social media master.
In response to the mockery, according to The Guardian, Zapata changed his slogan to #PorMisBigotes which means “because of my mustache.”
I live for this.
Well, it's graduation time, which means there's a good chance you'll soon be forced to cut a check to a nephew you haven't seen in three years and/or make an appearance at a booze-free party that's attended mostly by snapchatting teens.
But there are good things about this time of year, too:
Primarily, the fact that you get to see various celebrities do a little cap-and-gown standup routine without actually racking up a lifetime worth of debt yourself.
Today, graduates at Wellesley College got the super-, mega-A-list treatment courtesy of former Secretary of State and noted popular vote winner Hillary Clinton, who gave her third commencement speech at the Massachusetts liberal arts school.
(Her first was as a graduate in 1969.)
Clinton did not announce that she's running for mayor of New York City (looking more and more like a few media outlets got a bad tip on that one), but she did make headlines doing what so many of us have been doing for the past four months:
Taking dead aim at the low-hanging fruit that is the Trump administration.
After reminding those in attendance that they're “graduating at a time when there’s a full-fledged assault on truth and reason” Clinton really went in:
"When people in power invent their own facts and attack those who question them, it can mark the beginning of the end of a free society," she said at one point.
"That is not hyperbole, it is what authoritarian regimes throughout history have done. ... They attempt to control reality."
In case that was too subtle, she also had this to say:
“People [are] denying science, concocting elaborate, hurtful conspiracy theories about child-abuse rings operating out of pizza parlors, drumming up rampant fear about undocumented immigrants, Muslims, minorities, the poor, turning neighbor against neighbor and sowing division at a time when we desperately need unity.
“Some are even denying things we see with our own eyes, like the size of crowds, and then defending themselves by talking about quote-unquote 'alternative facts.'”
Yeah, it was basically the climactic battle rap scene in 8 Mile disguised as a commencement speech.
Watch the whole thing below:
It's a strange time to be an American.
We continue to provide the world with a number of crucial exports, such as Springsteen songs and Seinfeld reruns, but we're in danger of losing our most cherished delusion and being forced to confront the reality that we don't actually hold a position of respect and authority in the global community.
Part of the problem is that we went from a president who hangs with Beyonce and Kendrick Lamar to this guy:
Yes, that's Donald Trump chillin' with the biggest celebrities who will admit to voting for him. (Sorry, Scott Baio.)
The good news is that the phenomenon of aging, Trump-voting rockers in dumb hats seems to be mostly limited to the Detroit area.
The bad news is literally everything else about this photo.
Gaining the approval of celebrities might be the only thing more important to Donald Trump than convincing the world that his penis is actually quite adequate in size, so the fact that the best he can do in terms of famous friends is Kid Rock, Ted Nugent, and Sarah Palin means there's probably a MOAB headed for Hollywood at this very moment.
Fortunately for Donnie, he was able to find playmates who share his obsession with his former rival:
Nugent uploaded the above photos to his Facebook page, along with captions such as this bonafide gem (*kisses finger tips like an Italian chef*):
“So today is the 242nd anniversary of The Shot Heard Round The World is it! Well well well looky looky here boogie chillin’, I got your Shot Heard Round The World right here in big ol greazyass Washington DC where your 1 & only MotorCity Madman WhackMaster StrapAssasin1 dined with President Donald J Trump at the WhiteHouse to Make America Great Again!”
He later added that the group dined on “incredible lobster salad & lampchops! UltraYUM!”
For our readers who aren't fluent in Ted Talk, we think Nugent is trying to say that he got separated from his tour group and ate part of a lamp.
For some reason, he's very excited about the whole thing.
We kid, of course.
Donnie is just enjoying having some friends over to his new place while his wife remains semi-permanently out of town, and we don't blame him.
It gets lonely in the Oval Office.
Steve Bannon never wants to watch old DVDs of The Apprentice, and Jared Kushner always messes up the chorus of "Bawitdaba."
If Melissa McCarthy's Sean Spicer impression taught us anything, it's that Spicy is a joke of a human being.
Generally, jokes aren't frightening or infuriating, but in Spicer's case, the eventual punchline might come in the form of a rant about how bad it is to bully the president, delivered as nuclear fallout from a North Korean missile mutates his tiny mouth into a face anus.
Sean Spicer is bad, is what we're saying.
But is he "use a factually inaccurate to let Hitler off the hook in the midst of a holiday meant to commemorate the Jewish people's long history of persecution" bad?
Before today we wouldn't have thought it was possible, but apparently the answer to that question is a mind-blowing yes.
As you've likely heard, the U.S. fired 59 cruise missiles at a Syrian air base last week in response to reports that Bashar al-Assad had ordered a nerve gas attack against his own people.
Spicer apparently thinks Assad is the first dictator ever to use chemical weapons to commit atrocities against civilians, because he had this to say during his daily press briefing:
“We didn’t use chemical weapons in World War II. You had someone as despicable as Hitler, who didn’t sink to using chemical weapons.”
Not surprisingly, baffled reporters immediately asked for clarification, and Spicer's follow-up only made thing much, much worse:
“[Hitler] was not using the gas on his own people the same way that Assad is doing," Spicer said, adding that the situation in Europe in the the 1930s and '40s was different, because Nazis brought their victims to “Holocaust centers” before brutally murdering them.
He also repeatedly mispronounced Assad's name, but that bit of gross incompetence reeeeeally pales in comparison here.
For obvious reasons, social media has pounced on Spicer's comments, with some calling for his immediate firing:
"[email protected] @realDonaldTrump MUST FIRE SEAN SPICER NOW FOR ENGAGING IN HOLOCAUST DENIAL. OUR STATEMENT BELOW," the Anne Frank Center tweeted moments ago.
Now, as one of the most high-profile representatives of the Trump administration, it might be wise for Spicer to simply step down to save his boss a world of headaches.
But that would be a smart decision - and as we learned again today, Spicy doesn't do smart decisions.
Watch the most jaw-dropping moments of today's briefing in the clip below:
Major political news has taken the nation by storm.
The Republican Party was forced to pull the plug on the American Health Care Act Friday after lacking enough votes to clear the House floor, forcing Paul Ryan and Donald Trump to admit that Obamacare will remain the law of the land.
What? Huh? No.
Well... yes. That happened. But it's not the major political story we're tracking here at The Hollywood Gossip.
In a far more important breaking development, United States Senator Cory Booker has asked comedic actress Mindy Kaling out on a date!
It all started when the New Jersey native playfully chided Kaling’s alter ego - Dr. Mindy Lahiri on Hulu's The Mindy Project - for poking fun at his hometown of Newark on her series.
“I guess anything to get out of Newark, huh?” the character joked in a recent episode about Booker’s attendance at a party.
In response, the outspoken and good-humored politician quoted the scene on Twitter and wrote "Ouch!"
He also linked to a Vogue article that referenced an infusion of new restaurants in the area that offer “a fusion of American comfort food with an Indian twist.”
As you can see below, Booker wasn't too angry over the snub, writing that he still loves Kaling.
Kaling, who portrays an obstetrician on the sitcom and who rose to fame on The Office, took note of Booker's flirtation and responded as follows:
"Senator, if Mindy Lahiri shades it, it means we know it's cool. Thanks for the [love]. It's mutual!"
From there, BOOKER ASKED KALING OUT ON A DATE!
“You are making my day!” gushed the 47-year old single senator, adding:
“Thanks for the clarification. And If the [love] is really mutual… Come have dinner with me in Newark?"
Clearly smitten, Kaling said yes, saying she had to go find the “train schedule" so she could make her way from New York City to New Jersey.
Adding to the incredibleness of this entire exchange, the official Twitter account for the train that takes folks from The Big Apple to its neighboring state (known as the PATH train) proceeded to get involved:
“PATH train is awesome when you are Jersey bound," Booker Tweeted to Kaling. "But you are @Lyft worthy! I will send one to you for the door to door."
There's nothing about this story that isn't completely awesome and amazing.
Tragically, we're left hanging at the moment because Kaling has not responded to Booker's Lyft offer.
But she has to accept, right?
Booker is considered a strong candidate to run for President in 2020.
And with Donald Trump's approval ratings at historically low levels, you would think the Democratic nominee ought to have a real shot at winning the White House in a few years.
This means there's a chance that Mindy Kaling could be First Lady.
A good chance? Probably not.
But there really is a chance.
And that's a lot more than we could have said about the situation just a few hours ago.
Remember when Kellyanne Conway abused her power and position by going on Fox News and telling Americans to buy Ivanka Trump's products?
If your head exploded at the sight of a government official going full-QVC during a policy interview, you have our condolences.
Unfortunately, the rest of us are left to ponder the implications of such an abomination of democracy, and now some modern day John Adamses are taking the matter to court:
Modern Appealing Clothing (okay, so like, John Adams if he worked for that fashion company from Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead) is suing Ivanka over what it calls an "unfair advantage" in the marketplace.
The San Francisco-based retailer says Ivanka's sales have been boosted by 700% due to her father's influence as P--sy-Grabber-in-Chief.
(No word on how the company came by those figures.)
Conway's endorsement came on the heels of Nordstrom's decision to remove Ivanka's clothing line from its stores.
The Trump administration (by which we mean Donald's tweets) has argued that Ivanka's business interests have actually suffered as a result of her father's presidency.
However, MAC and the rest of the world is all like, "Nah, bruh."
While Trump has proven to be an expert at losing money (USFL, we hardly knew ye.), no family has ever been made poorer by the presidency.
Jimmy Carter sold his peanut farm in 1976, but in the decades since, he's become America's favorite kindly grandfather, and ironically, he probably has a place reserved in heaven that's decked out with more gold than Trump Tower.
Okay, almost as much gold.
Trump's getting the best of both worlds, as he's become the most powerful man in the world without making good on his promise to divest from his business interests.
Can you imagine being a foreign leader traveling to D.C. and not staying at the Trump Hotel?
You can just forget about a handshake after pulling that stunt, hombre.
The reality is, we'll probably never know how much the Trump family has enriched itself at the expense of the American people.
If only there were some sort of document that revealed how much individuals and corporations earned in a year, as well as how much they paid in taxes.
Sigh. Maybe someday ...
As you're probably aware, Donald Trump unveiled his 2018 budget proposal this week, and he's pretty much the only one who likes it.
The plan calls for massive cuts to several vital government agencies, in particular those tied to health, human services, and the arts.
Democrats are balking at the tremendous human toll, and key Republicans believe the budget will prove impossible to pass.
Yes, Trump's first federal budget appears to be DOA, but there's still one person who can swoop in and save the day ...
We're talking, of course, about the seldom-seen Melania Trump.
You see, ever since her husband's inauguration back in January, Melania has spent less time in the White House than people taking guided tours.
The Trump administration initially responded to concerns about the cost of round-the-clock Secret Service protection for the Manhattan faction of the Trump clan with vague promises of Melania and son Barron Trump eventually making their way to D.C.
But the consensus among insiders seemed to be that Melania never intended to move into the White House.
(In fairness, she was probably just as shocked as the rest of us when he won the election.)
Now, however, it seems that in a move to appease voters, Donald will make the ultimate sacrifice and live under the same roof as his wife.
According to TMZ, insiders close to the situation say that Melania and her son are "absolutely moving after the school year."
One source claims a school has already been selected for Barron, and White House staff members are readying Melania's living quarters with a fresh coat of paint.
So what does all of this have to do with Trump's budget proposal?
Well nothing, really, but an oft-cited statistic is that the cost of keeping Melania and Barron in Manhattan is greater than the entire annual buget for the National Endowment for the Arts, a program that's marked to be gutted by Trump's budget.
So will the program be saved now that Melania is taking one for the team and pretending to share a bed with Donnie?
Of course not, silly!
That would amount to compromise and we're pretty sure The Art of the Deal could basically be summarized as "compromise is for pussies."
Besides, that money can be easily wasted elsewhere.
Now the whole family can take costly trips to hobnob with pay-for-play oligarchs at Mar-a-Lago!
When elected President, Donald Trump claimed that America would win so often that citizens would grow sick of winning.
To date, however, Trump has lost twice in key court rulings.
On Thursday night, San Francisco’s 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the suspension of the President's travel ban, which prevented people from seven mostly Muslim nations from entering the United States.
The three judges, a mixture of Democrats and Republicans, voted unanimously against the administration.
And, as you'll see below, Hollywood was nearly unanimous in its response to this legal decision...
1. Donald Trump
2. Hillary Clinton
3. Michael Moore
4. Debra Messing
5. Josh Gad
6. Judd Apatow
Donald Trump has made his selection.
In one of the most vital decisions a President can make, the Commander-in-Chief announced on Tuesday night that Neil Gorsuch is his choice to be the next Supreme Court justice.
“The most important thing the President of the United States can make is the appointment of a Supreme Court Justice, I took the task of this nomination very seriously,” Trump said in a nationally televised announced from the White House.
Gorsuch – who received his undergraduate education from Columbia prior to earning his law degree from Harvard and who then went on to receive a doctorate at Oxford University – is a federal appeals court judge in Colorado.
Like late justice Anton Scalia, whose seat Gorsuch will fill if he's confirmed, the nominee is considered to be an originalist when it comes to how he interprets the Constitution.
He also clerked in the past for two Supreme Court justices, Byron White and Anthony Kennedy and served as a clerk on the second most important appeals court in the country, in Washington D.C., for conservative Judge David Sentelle.
“He is the man of our country, a man who our country really needs, to ensure the rule of law and justice, I only hope that Democrats and Republicans can come together, for once, for the good of the country,” Trump concluded of his nominee.
Gorsuch beat our finalists William Pryor and Thomas M. Hardiman for the nomination.
Get to know Neil Gorsuch better below and then VOTE: Is he the right choice?
Donald Trump is officially a terrible person.
Well, we've known he was terrible for a good long while now, but his latest move really just takes the whole terrible cake.
In case you missed it, Trump just signed an executive order that many are referring to the "Muslim Ban." The order prevents anyone from Syria, Libya, Iraq, Sudan, Yemen, and Somalia from entering the country.
Refugees from these countries, people with visas, people with green cards who have families and careers in the U.S.? If they're abroad for any reason, they can't come back.
Also worth noting: though the banning of refugees is temporary, in the future they will be given a "religious test" before entering the country. Christians will receive preference.
Oh, and one more thing: Trump is fine with people from predominantly Muslim countries to which he has business ties.
It's alarming, it's horrifying, and it obviously discriminatory.
See how celebrities are reacting to Trump's order, which is now in effect.
1. Judd Apatow
2. Sophia Bush
3. Michael Moore
4. Jessica Chastain
5. George Takei
6. Andy Richter
Donald Trump's presidency is bad news for so very, very many people.
All the people, basically.
But one group -- one entire gender, actually -- banded together on Saturday, January 21st, in protest.
We're speaking, of course, about the Women's March.
Women came together in Washington D.C., in Los Angeles, in Chicago, and in so many other major cities, and in some not-so-major cities as well.
It was a beautiful sight to see, and so now let's see what the celebrities did to honor the occasion!
1. Katy Perry
2. Scarlett Johansson
3. Melissa Benoist
4. Nick Offerman
5. Helen Mirren
6. Cynthia Nixon
For nearly two months now, President-elect Donald Trump has consistently denied that the Russian government had any involvement in the hacking and release of private emails pertaining to the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign.
A total of 17 intelligence agencies have stated that there is sufficient evidence to conclude that the cyber-attacks originated in Russia and were most likely carried out with the goal of helping Trump win the presidency.
Rather than heed the intelligence community's warnings, Trump has assured his followers that fugitive Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has assured him that the emails stolen from the DNC and Clinton campaign manager John Podesta did not come from Russia.
Today, Trump is finding it more difficult than ever to make the case that he knows more than the CIA, FBI, NSA and Department of Justice combined, thanks to a newly declassified 25-page report that claims Russian President Vladimir Putin personally ordered the cyber-attacks against the US.
The report indicates that the attacks were part of Putin's attempt to improve Trump's chances of getting elected and "undermine the U.S.-led liberal democratic order."
The findings were presented to Trump at a meeting with intelligence officials Friday afternoon.
Following the meeting, Trump dialed back his earlier statements about the leaks in a statement issued to the media.
He no longer claims that the Russia is not responsible for the hacks, but he continues to maintain that the attacks had "absolutely no effect" on the outcome of the election, a
US politicians and foreign leaders alike have been critical of Trump's continued defense of a foreign power that has been openly hostile to the United States, but the former real estate mogul shows no signs of changing course.
"Sr Trump, the intelligence report is devastating. Losing election by more than 3M votes and in addition this.Are you a legitimate president?" former Mexican president Vicente Fox tweeted moments ago, reflecting the sentiments of much of the global community.
Trump has been silent about the findings on his favorite communication platform, Twitter, which has long been his preferred means of addressing his supporters.
Instead of addressing the allegations against Putin, Trump has chosen to once again attack the intelligence community and carry on his bizarre feud with NBC.
"I am asking the chairs of the House and Senate committees to investigate top secret intelligence shared with NBC prior to me seeing it," he tweeted just after this afternoon's meeting.
Earlier today, the president-elect attacked both NBC and Arnold Schwarzenegger, arguing on Twitter that The Celebrity Apprentice had higher ratings when Trump was hosting.
Wishing harm on President-Elect of the United States Donald J. Trump on Twitter is one of the hottest new trends here in 2016-17.
The latest to get in on the inappropriate action?
His favorite old nemesis, Rosie O'Donnell!
Less than a week after Charlie Sheen pleaded with God to kill Trump, O’Donnell threw out a (slightly) less overt request on her account.
“DONALD TRUMP IS MENTALLY UNSTABLE. LESS THAN 3 WEEKS TO STOP HIM AMERICA,” read her tweet that linked to CNN.
No, the cable news network didn't report on people trying to off Trump; CNN's story was about Trump booting a biographer off a golf course.
Why Rosie chose that of all Trump stories, we cannot say, but trying to apply any logic to Rosie O'Donnell is like trying to explain Trump.
In general. These two deserve each other.
Obviously, some vocal members of the 46 percent of America who elected Trump in a self-proclaimed landslide weren't happy about this:
Rosie's call for America to "STOP HIM" can be perceived as a veiled threat, and one that is sadly no shock given the entertainers' history.
They've been at each other’s throats for nearly a decade, back when Trump was hosting The Apprentice and Rosie was ... still Rosie.
Looks like he got the last laugh in this beef.
No explanation was given about the remark, but O'Donnell also tweeted a quote from Maria Robinson in her call to anti-Trump action.
The quasi-ominous quote reads, “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”
For good measure, O’Donnell then retweeted a GIF of Russian President Vladimir Putin pulling on strings to control his “puppet,” Trump.
And, she shared a re-tweeted of Trump depicted as a clown, reading, “You cannot put a crown on a clown & expect him to behave like a king.”
Oooh, burn. Bet that one really stings and makes a difference. Straight out of the uber-successful Hillary Clinton 2016 playbook there.
Trump and O’Donnell’s feud was rekindled in August 2015, when Trump brought her up in vile context during a GOP presidential debate.
Amazingly, it wasn't even close to one of the most absurd things he said or did during the campaign, but at the time, it was rather nuts.
Asked by Fox News’ Megyn Kelly about his alleged history of calling women “fat pigs,” “dogs,” “slobs” and “disgusting animals,” Trump said:
“Only Rosie O’Donnell.”
They remained vocal enemies throughout the 2016 presidential election cycle, and we don't expect anything to change January 20.
Except for a possible visit to Rosie's house by the Secret Service and/or "Second Amendment People" if she keeps up these tweets.
You know how Donnie rolls. While calling for the assassination of politicians is never cool, we know he'll likely respond in kind on Twitter.