he's baaaaaack
October 13, 2020

Air Force One will be racking up the miles this week, as President Trump plans on traveling to multiple states for campaign events in an attempt to make up for lost time, several aides told The Washington Post.

In Florida on Monday night, Trump held his first rally since being hospitalized with COVID-19, and aides told the Post he is adamant about traveling to several battleground states this week for campaign events — he will be in Pennsylvania and Iowa, followed by a return trip to Florida. Over the weekend, Trump will likely visit Ohio and Wisconsin, a senior campaign adviser told the Post, and he wants to go to North Carolina soon.

While Trump will likely attend two to three events a day over the next few weeks, in the final days leading into the election, he'll probably be holding as many as six events a day, senior campaign adviser Jason Miller told the Post. "You're going to see President Trump flat-out outworking Joe Biden down the home stretch here, just as he has shown in his previous campaign," Miller said.

The Trump campaign and White House are both downplaying the fact that it might not be the best idea to have a 74-year-old man who was just hospitalized for COVID-19 and received experimental drugs and supplemental oxygen hit the road.

Monica Gandhi, an infectious disease expert at the University of California at San Francisco, told the Post that based on what the public knows about Trump's course of treatment for COVID-19, she would "advise him to rest for about a week more, at least." She said she finds his busy schedule "concerning," adding that coronavirus patients who have had enough symptoms to be hospitalized "definitely report a lot of fatigue, people report still feeling short of breath and having a persistent cough, and there are even longer-term symptoms."

As for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, who has been holding small events with a limited number of attendees, he criticized Trump for appearing at large gatherings amid the pandemic, which has left at least 214,000 Americans dead. "His reckless personal conduct since his diagnosis has been unconscionable," Biden said Monday in Ohio. "The longer Donald Trump is president, the more reckless he seems to get." Catherine Garcia

October 12, 2020

During his first rally since being hospitalized with COVID-19, President Trump declared that he is "immune" to the virus, and feels "so powerful."

On Monday night, Trump spoke to supporters in Sanford, Florida, for about 65 minutes; he typically talks for roughly 90 minutes during rallies. The event was held outside, with people standing shoulder-to-shoulder and most not wearing masks. When he began speaking, Trump's voice was a bit scratchy, The New York Times reports, but he told the crowd he felt "so powerful," adding, "I'll walk in there, I'll kiss everyone in that audience. I'll kiss the guys and the beautiful women. Just give you a big, fat kiss."

Before Trump arrived in Florida, his physician, Dr. Sean Conley, said the president had tested negative for COVID-19 "on consecutive days," without sharing any specific dates. Conley said he used "the Abbott BinaxNOW antigen card," which is a less reliable form of rapid testing. While coronavirus reinfection is rare, the research is ongoing, and The Guardian notes that The Lancet just published a case study about a 25-year-old man from Nevada who has been infected twice this year. Catherine Garcia

June 29, 2018

Former President Barack Obama didn't say President Trump's name when speaking at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in Beverly Hills, California, on Thursday, but he didn't have to, Politico reports. "Fear is powerful," Obama told his audience. "Telling people that somebody's out to get you, or somebody took your job, or somebody has it out for you, or is going to change you, or your community, or your way of life — that's an old story and it has shown itself to be powerful in societies all around the world. It is a deliberate, systematic effort to tap into that part of our brain that carries fear in it."

Obama's words marked his first public comments in months, and he took the opportunity to assure Democrats that "you are right to be concerned." He urged his supporters to vote, or otherwise "this democracy doesn't work."

"Do not wait for the perfect message, don't wait to feel a tingle in your spine because you're expecting politicians to be so inspiring and poetic and moving that somehow, 'Okay, I'll get off my couch after all and go spend the 15-20 minutes it takes for me to vote,'" said Obama. "Because that's part of what happened in the last election. I heard that too much." Read more about what he said at Politico. Jeva Lange

January 8, 2018

The author of a controversial internal memo at Google that argued against efforts to hire more women for engineering and tech jobs without first changing the internal culture of Google to better fit innate biological gender differences is now suing the company for allegedly discriminating against "Caucasian and male employees," BuzzFeed News reports.

James Damore was fired in August over the so-called "Google memo," prompting him to claim afterwards that being conservative at Google is akin to "being gay in the 1950s." Damore and a second Google engineer are now "seeking class action status for conservative Caucasian men," BuzzFeed News writes.

The case is intended to represent employees who have been discriminated against due to their "perceived conservative political views … their male gender … [and] due to their Caucasian race," and slams Google for allegedly terminating employees that "expressed views deviating from the majority view at Google on political subjects raised in the workplace and relevant to Google's employment policies and its business, such as 'diversity' hiring policies, 'bias sensitivity,' or 'social justice,'" TechCrunch reports.

Additionally, Damore claims Google has "illegal hiring quotas to fill its desired percentages of women and favored minority candidates" and that the "presence of Caucasians and males was mocked with 'boos' during company-wide weekly meetings." Read the full lawsuit via TechCrunch here. Jeva Lange

September 27, 2017

The Scaramucci Post has an Instagram, a Twitter account, and T-shirts, and soon it might even have an actual website, former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci confirmed Wednesday. In what is possibly an iPhone video, Scaramucci pitched the concept for his news outlet to his followers as being a rare organization focused on "moderation."

"The Scaramucci Post is going to be about what is right and wrong in society right now as opposed to what is left and right," said Scaramucci, who once illustrated that he is "not Steve Bannon" by describing a particularly lewd anatomical impossibility over the phone to a New Yorker reporter.

Scaramucci added that the outlet will officially launch next week at his New York City restaurant, and that more details about the Post will be coming soon. "The Scaramucci Post is going to be the center lane in a two-lane highway," he promised.

If anyone doubts that a former White House official — however brief his tenure — could take an unbiased, moderate stance on his onetime boss, rest assured that Scaramucci has felt many different ways about Trump over the years. Trump is "a hack politician," Scaramucci told Fox Business Network in 2015. "I'll tell you who he's going to be president of — you can tell Donald I said this — the Queens County bullies association."

Learn more about The Scaramucci Post below. Jeva Lange

September 12, 2017

J.J. Abrams will write and direct Star Wars: Episode IX, the third film in the franchise's new trilogy, StarWars.com announced Tuesday.

Abrams also directed the first film in the trilogy, The Force Awakens, in 2015; the second film, The Last Jedi, is directed by Rian Johnson and will be released later this year.

Abrams replaces director Colin Trevorrow at the helm of the yet-untitled Episode IX after Disney parted with him last week due to a difference in "visions" for the finale. "With The Force Awakens, J.J. delivered everything we could have possibly hoped for, and I am so excited that he is coming back to close out this trilogy,” said Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy in a statement. Jeva Lange

April 21, 2017

Former President Barack Obama is returning from his tropical star-studded vacation to speak with people at the University of Chicago on Monday in what will be his first speech since exiting the White House in January, the Chicago Tribune reports. Obama and the "young leaders" will reportedly "hold a conversation on civic engagement and discuss community organizing," the Tribune writes.

The event, which will draw hundreds, is already sold out, but it will also be televised. While Obama's schedule is not public, he is expected to be in the city for "a couple of days."

"He's really excited to go back to Chicago and have a conversation about community organizing and civic engagement," said Obama's spokesman, Kevin Lewis.

An official announcement read: "This event is part of President Obama's post-presidency goal to encourage and support the next generation of leaders driven by strengthening communities around the country and the world." Jeva Lange

October 26, 2016

Now here is a face we haven't seen on late night television in quite some time — former President George W. Bush. Although Bush, in his Tuesday night "appearance" on @Midnight With Chris Hardwick, happened to look suspiciously similar to Will Ferrell, who impersonated the Texan to hilarious ends throughout the last Republican presidency.

On the show, Bush/Ferrell insisted on saying a few words to defend the family honor after his cousin, Billy Bush, was caught making lewd comments on an Access Hollywood tape with Donald Trump (or, as he is known in the Bush family, "that disgraced pumpkin").

"I just want to say one thing. We Bushes don't act like that, okay," explained "Bush," but what specifically he is talking about you probably won't guess. Watch for the punchline, below. Jeva Lange

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