Morning Briefing: President Obama, Circa 2009, Gets the Final Word on Kanye West
Let’s bounce around a little this morning, and start with Kanye’s visit to the White House. We didn’t cover it yesterday, and to be honest, there was nothing worth covering. Kanye rambled, Trump nodded, the Internet meme’d, and maybe the only newsworthy thing to come out of it was Kanye’s iPhone password:
lmao Kanye's iPhone password is 000000 pic.twitter.com/mEM5Tjq0po— Del Slappo (@misterjamo) October 11, 2018
I will say Kanye saying that his MAGA hat makes him feel like a man, while Hillary’s “I’m with her,” slogan made him feel emasculated says about all you need to know about their exchange and Kanye’s perspective. I bring it up mostly to post this because I love it:
Barack Obama calls Kanye a jackass 😂😂😂😂😂— Maggie Resists Trump (@Stop_Trump20) October 11, 2018
I love Obama❤️❤️❤️ pic.twitter.com/v19U9443N5
And that’s the final word on Kanye’s visit to the White House. It doesn’t need any more attention than that.
— On to more pressing matters: Out in Georgia, Stacey Abrams — a black woman running a tight race for Governor against the white Secretary of State Brian Kemp — is calling for Kemp’s resignation. Kemp put a hold on 53,000 voter registrations, 70 percent of which were from black residents because they failed to clear the state’s “exact match” standard. What is “exact match” standard. It means that every little thing in that registration must match exactly. For instance, Michael Bloomberg registered as a Democrat earlier this week. In his registration, he left off his middle initial. That would have been enough to boot his registration in Georgia, and in Georgia, that rule disproportionately affects black applicants. In a race as close as this one, 53,000 votes could easily make the difference.
Honestly, I think anyone in charge of the voter rolls should be required to resign their position before running for statewide office. It’s absurd that the same person can be both a candidate and the referee.
— Out here in Maine, a quiet governor’s race made national news today when the NYTimes discovered the Republican candidate Shawn Moody — who seems like a nice enough guy and is basically running on his personal trailer-park-to-millionaire-owner-of-an-auto-body franchise story — settled a sex discrimination lawsuit back in 2006 when he fired a single mother who had just had a baby. He personally visited her home after she gave birth to say to her, “You are no longer going to be able to do the job in Biddeford now that you have” a baby. She was replaced by a man. She sued, and Moody settled the case for $20,000.
I worry that this damn case is going to energize conservative men in rural Maine who think, “How can you have a job and a baby at the same time ¯\_(ツ)_/¯,” but at the same time: Come on! Moody was raised by a single mother who had a lot of problems, and while Moody undoubtedly succeeded through hard work and dedication, he benefited from the help of plenty of others. Given his backstory, firing a single mother is the height of irony and hypocrisy.
— Updating our story on Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi yesterday, the President seemed to express some uncomfortableness with the situation, but also stated that it would not affect the United States’ arms deal with Saudi Arabia, which Trump says is worth $110 billion.
Trump says he's not in favor of stopping arms sales to Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi: "As to whether or not we should stop $110 billion from being spent in this country knowing they have 4 or 5 alternatives … that would not be acceptable to me." (via CNN) pic.twitter.com/9hBmVTWvnO— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) October 11, 2018
Not only is this not OK — a journalist was killed! — but the $110 billion is not even true. Or even close to true! In 2017, Trump sold all of $4 billion in weapons to the Saudis.
In either case, any skepticism that the Trump Administration might have about whether the Saudis were behind Khashoggi’s murder will probably be laid to rest soon, as Turkish officials purportedly have audio and video footage of his murder. And yet …
Treasury Secretary Mnuchin 'planning on going' to Saudi event despite journalist's disappearance https://t.co/HmsQyQ3RPE— CNBC (@CNBC) October 12, 2018
— Finally, this may not be of great interest in the broader political context, but one of the men named in last year’s Shitty Media Men list — which quickly circulated in media circles and led to a number of investigations and several firings — is suing the creator of the list, Moira Donegan, for $1.5 million. U.S. writer and director Stephen Elliott alleges that his career was ruined, his friends and family shunned him, and he contemplated suicide over the allegations on that list. He’s also seeking to identify up to 30 Jane Does who contributed to the list. To win a case of defamation, he will have to prove that the allegations were false.
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