Morning Briefing: Beware of Breaking News the Friday Night Before Labor Day

I was in a plane most of yesterday, and now I’m on weird West Coast time, so my brain is behind and also confused, so let’s catch up on politics with a Morning Briefing at midday:

— This morning, Trump is attempting to smear James Comey’s name again, probably because Trump’s lawyers just made their case to Bob Mueller that Trump shouldn’t be charged with obstruction of justice and, in doing so, questioning the reliability of James Comey as a witness. Hence, this tweet:

OK, a couple of things. I’ll let Comey’s friend Benjamin Wittes take care of the first:

And number two: Trump’s «justification» for firing James Comey was that he was too hard on Hillary Clinton. And now he wants to say the «system is rigged» because he thinks Comey was too easy on her? Also, HER EMAILS, FOR FUCK’S SAKE. This man, who completely disregards political norms, ethical boundaries and the Constitution, and who lies on a per-minute basis, wants to discredit a potential witness against him because that witness prepared something in advance?

Get the fuck outta here.

— Meanwhile, speaking of the Russian probe, Bob Mueller is also joining forces with the IRS to go after Trump and his henchman, and guess what the IRS has access to? Trump’s tax returns. Also, the IRS works exclusively on financial crimes like tax evasion and money laundering, so you know something else insidious is cooking.

— We’re getting mixed signals on DACA. Fox News yesterday reported that Trump had plans to end it. Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that no decision has been made. Meanwhile, some moderate Republicans are attempting to pass legislation to prevent it from ending, but while they probably have the votes in the Senate, it’s less likely to pass in the House, where there are more racists populists.

— Heh heh

The Washington Post reported yesterday — citing sources within the White House — that Donald Trump hates the rigid structure that John Kelly has put in place in the White House, that he still sneaks in phone calls to Bannon when Kelly isn’t around, and hates the impression that’s given that he’s being managed like a toddler.

That explains these tweets:

In other words, Donald Trump is thinking about firing John Kelly.

— This is potentially a big deal: NBC News reported yesterday that Paul Manafort made notes on his smart phone from that June 9th meeting last year with Russians that included the words «donations» and «RNC» close to each other. Donations from foreign entities are, of course, illegal. Also, this is important because Don Jr. tried to downplay the meeting by suggesting that Manafort wasn’t paying attention because he was on his phone the entire time. Well, yes: He was making notes, dumbass.

— Finally, it’s Friday before Labor Day, so be prepared for an onslaught of unpleasant breaking news this evening, when folks are paying the least amount of attention. My worry is that Trump will decide to end DACA and/or pardon Julian Assange or something around 9 p.m. tonight.


Teddy Atlas And Stephen A Smith Breaking Down The Fight Turned Into An Argument About Cheeseburgers

All anybody is talking about this morning is obviously how great the fight was last night. It surpassed most people’s expectations when McGregor actually held his own and then it made history when Floyd finally got the TKO getting his record to 50-0.

And as great as that fight was, all I keep watching this morning is this incredible post-fight argument between Teddy Atlas and Stephen A Smith. People talk about the ESPN ship sinking, but I think we just found the recipe (pun intended) to save it. Just put Teddy Atlas and Screamin’ A. on camera together and let them go. It’s pure entertainment. Who knows where the conversation will go.

One minute they’ll be breaking down the biggest fight in history, the next they’re arguing about cheeseburgers.

Let’s also not forget about this drunk guy just wandering on the live set


Sports Gossip, Sexy WAGs, NFL and Hot Cheerleaders: BustedCoverage

6 Fascinating Facts About Hunter McGrady, the Woman Breaking Barriers in the Modeling World

Hunter McGrady is making a splash in the modeling world after being named Sports Illustrated‘s «curviest» model in this year’s swimsuit issue. Not only is that a huge feat in itself, but at just 24 years old, Hunter has signed with Wilhelmina Models and booked campaigns with Lane Bryant, Forever 21, Torrid, and even Melissa McCarthy’s clothing line, Seven7. To top it all off, Hunter is working hard to inspire women to embrace their bodies and love themselves for who they are. «I would love to just continue the message of body positivity and loving yourself and loving your body and knowing that you’re worthy of everything,» she told Teen Vogue in April. «Everything is available to you, and I just want people to hopefully feel confident, feel empowered that they can go out and everything is available to them.» Hunter is certainly one to watch.

  1. She comes from a family of models. Hunter followed in the footsteps of her mother, grandmother, and aunt when she started modeling at 16.
  2. Her dad is an actor. Michael McGrady has appeared in a handful of TV shows, including Ray Donovan, American Crime Story, and Southland.
  3. She dislikes the term «plus-size»: «It’s almost a form of segregation. To me, it’s like why can’t I just be called a model?» she said in a March interview with Hollywood Today Live. «I do exactly what everyone else does and I think that’s something that will happen and I’ll make sure of that.»
  4. She has a heart of gold. Hunter works with a charity called 1 Heart 1 Mission, which supplies orphans in Haiti with food, education, water, and clothes.
  5. She met her boyfriend on Snapchat. «He was on a date with somebody a few months before he even started following on me Snapchat, and she said, ‘You have got to follow this model, Hunter McGrady,'» Hunter explained in a May interview. «So he followed me for a few months. I was in New York last March [2016] and he reached out to me and said, ‘You want to get drinks?’ I was like add me on Facebook. I didn’t know what he looked like and he added me and he was super cute. I was like, ‘Yeah, let’s get drinks.'»
  6. She’s more than just a pretty face. Hunter received a 4.0 grade point average while in school.

POPSUGAR Celebrity

Shonda Rhimes Is Breaking Up With ABC To Go Steady With Netflix


Please pay close attention to how Shonda Rhimes is standing in the above picture. That’s the “A bitch is ‘bout ta get PAID!!!” pose. Because even though she’s the best thing to happen to the ABC station since colorization. Shonda is packing her bags and taking her twisty brand of storytelling over to Netflix.

Variety reports that Shonda has signed a deal with Netflix for her production company Shondaland to produce exclusive content for the streaming service, ending a lucrative fifteen year run with ABC Studios. In a statement released by Ted Sarandos, chief content officer at Netflix:

“Shonda Rhimes is one of the greatest storytellers in the history of television. Her work is gripping, inventive, pulse-pounding, heart-stopping, taboo-breaking television at its best. I’ve gotten the chance to know Shonda and she’s a true Netflixer at heart — she loves TV and films, she cares passionately about her work, and she delivers for her audience. We’re so excited to welcome her to Netflix.”

Shonda’s shows like Scandal and How To Get Away With Murder have been consistent powerhouses for ABC’s Thursday night lineup (better known at TGIT). This deal will surely catapult her brand to the next level since all of the new content will remain exclusive to Netflix. So the burning question here would be how much did Netflix have to twerk to make Shonda stray from her main boo ABC? Unfortunately those details, like Katherine Heigl’s career, have been kept under wraps.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Rhimes was earning an estimated $ 10 million a year under her previous ABC Studios pact. Netflix undoubtedly is paying a premium to Rhimes and in overhead for Shondaland to bring her into the fold under the exclusive deal.

Rhimes’ existing pact with ABC Studios had been set to expire in June 2018. It’s understood that Rhimes let the studio know some time ago that she intended to move on after the deal ended — not to a direct broadcast competitor but to a new chapter of her career. At that point, discussions ensued to allow Rhimes an early exit from the deal.

Shonda’s producing partner Betsy Beers will be coming over to Netflix to assist Shondaland with its new content as well. This deal is pretty major and it comes right after Disney’s decision to cut ties with Netflix by 2019 to start its own streaming service. Netflix currently already streams older seasons of Scandal, HTGAWM and the show that started it all for Shonda, Grey’s Anatomy. Talk about #blackgirlmagic. I ain’t mad at you Shonda, get all the money you can sistah! I can’t wait to see the new contest she comes up with. As a matter of fact, I have the perfect show for you. It’s called Hire Ben. It revolves around a woman named Shonda who hires a man named Ben. Think about it.

Pic: Wenn


BREAKING: That Big Fancy Gala We’re Never Invited To Will Probably Definitely Rip Off ‘The Young Pope’ Next Year

So you know how the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute has a big themed fashion exhibit every year, which they launch with a huge gala organized by the iron fist of Anna Wintour and populated by celebrities and their «interpretations» of said theme? My invite to the Met Ball seems to get lost in the mail every time, which is for the best — I certainly can’t afford the $ 25,000 ticket price. Besides, the red carpet photos are always there the next day to show me what I’ve missed (usually Beyoncé looking stunning and Kim Kardashian looking… present).

Anyway, WWD has multiple sources telling them that the theme for next year’s Costume Institute exhibit, and thus the Met Ball, will involve «fashion and religion.» Which isn’t a new thing, really — high end designers have been ripping ideas from stained glass, friezes, and other iconography for years.

But even if that’s the case, and the world of haute couture has always been littered with fancy frocks and wimples and other things straight out of an abbey, why would this year be the year to come to Jesus (and other saviors)?

I think we all know the reason: Jude. Fucking. Law.


I mean, The Young Pope probably aired too late for it to dominate as this year’s theme, but for next year? That gives them just enough of time to do it justice. Because seriously, the costumes were made for a museum.

From his sun hat:


To his fancy shoes:


He knows how to get gussied up:



But also how to stay super casual in cashmere tracksuits:


He looks great in red:


And in white:


And as you can tell, the man knows how to rock some shades:


After all, the fashion world loves a bad boy:


Basically, Met, we see right through you. But that’s ok. You’re on the right track. Just don’t forget to mail Jude his invite.


BREAKING: Steven Moffat Confirms The Doctor Is An Alien! Also Backlash is FAKE NEWS!

Our own Kristy Puchko got a chance to join Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat and writer Mark Gatiss for a roundtable discussion at San Diego Comic-Con, and — well, head over to CBR to read her full piece, which is chock full of delightfully bombastic Moffat-isms. But in a nutshell, she heard first-hand their thoughts on the supposed «backlash» to Jodie Whittaker’s casting as the new Doctor, as well as their response on Fifth Doctor Peter Davison’s remarks on the matter (which you may remember I dug into yesterday).

Expanding on his claim that Whittaker’s casting got an 80% approval rating on social media, Moffat said, «There were more people talking about the backlash than there were people backlashing.» (And try to imagine Moffat’s natural Scottish accent delivering this next bit, because as Kristy notes, the emphasis is all his) «There’s a few people, but there always are. It’s the comments section for God’s sake! It’s where the lonely go to die. They don’t matter. The approval has been huge

(I may or may not be getting a «It’s where the lonely go to die» tattoo in the near future, FYI)

Their concern isn’t just that the media is drumming up this backlash drama, but that by focusing on a few vocal outliers online it vilifies the whole Doctor Who fandom, who by and large are embracing the casting. And the real story, they believe, is in fact the positivity of the response.

As for Davison, they reject that anything he said was a «slam» against Whittaker in any way. As I noted yesterday, that bit had been blown out of proportion — he does in fact compliment her and says he hopes viewers will watch «with an open mind.» As for the rest of his comments (where he worries about «the loss of a role model for boys»), Moffat defends Davison as a «committed feminist and absolute liberal» who was «making some perfectly sensible points, which you can agree with or disagree with.» That was largely how I read them as well — the key is the idea of the Doctor as an important role model, which he/she absolutely is. But does the gender of the Doctor impact who will be influenced?

As far as Moffat is concerned, gender has never played into the role of the Doctor in the slightest. In fact, he went into this season knowing the next Doctor would be female (though not knowing who would get the job), so he thought about playing up the Doctor’s manly qualities for this last go round… only to hit a road block. «He hasn’t gotten a single manly quality. He’s not remotely masculine in any way whatsoever that I could find. And then it occurred to me that he’s not a man, is he? He’s an alien who has taken the form of a human male. He’s about to take the form of a human female. He herself will probably not notice. It’s not like he/she checks a lot. It’s not like he’s about to get pregnant for God’s sake!»

While we could sit around and quibble about the idea of a Gallifreyan taking on the form of a human male or female (wouldn’t they in fact be taking on the form of a Gallifreyan, who happens to resemble a human male or female?), it’s hard to argue with his logic. I certainly can’t, since it echoes what I said yesterday (wherein I pointed out that the Doctor is a «FUCKING ALIEN,» which I’m pretty sure is how Moffat would have liked to have said it, had he not been doing press interviews for a BBC kids show).

So, in summary: let’s focus on the fact that we’re getting a woman in the TARDIS and that the vast majority of folks are actually supremely chill with the idea, and cut Davison some slack for saying some shit that got taken out of context, because he’s really a pretty swell guy. And also, I totally NAILED IT yesterday. Really, those are the big takeaways. *cue happy dance*


Something New and Incredibly Damning Is Breaking Every Hour About the Don Jr. Meeting

This morning, we learned that Donald Trump Jr. neglected to mention that the meeting he had with a Kremlin-backed Russian attorney was also attended by a former Russian spy. Seems like a big deal, especially after Trump Jr. and his Dad bragged about how «open and transparent» they have been, except for all the undisclosed details.

In the next hour, we learned that there was a SIXTH person. This person was a Russian translator, and what you should be asking yourself right now is, «How did Jared Kushner just completely forget he attended a meeting with a Russian lawyer and a Russian spy that was conducted in Russian?»


In the next hour, we learned who that former Soviet counterintelligence/Russian spy officer is. His name is Rinat Akhmetshin, and you might not be surprised to learn that Akhmetshin has been involved in hacking scandals in the past, like that time he was accused of «hacking into two computer systems and stealing sensitive and confidential materials as part of an alleged black-ops smear campaign against» a Russian mining company.

No big deal. Just a Russian spy with a history of hacking accusations!

What have we learned this hour? Just that Russian adoptions weren’t actually discussed; in fact, according to the Russian spy, Akhmetshin, the Kremlin-backed lawyer actually did offer dirt on Hillary Clinton.

During the meeting, Akhmetshin said Veselnitskaya brought with her a plastic folder with printed-out documents that detailed what she believed was the flow of illicit funds to the Democratic National Committee. Veselnitskaya presented the contents of the documents to the Trump associates and suggested that making the information public could help the Trump campaign, he said.

«This could be a good issue to expose how the DNC is accepting bad money,» Akhmetshin recalled her saying.

Seems like collusion, doesn’t it? But I suspect the Trump campaign will just continue to move the goal post, from «It wasn’t collusion because she didn’t actually have any dirt» to «it wasn’t collusion because we didn’t actually use the dirt,» unless we find out in the next hour that the Trump campaign actually did use this intelligence, in which case the Trump campaign will have to think up a new defense the Republican base will have no problem buying .

I wonder if that «plastic folder» mentioned 33,000 deleted emails?

Source: AP


Cheat Codes Are Breaking All The Rules

The Cali-boys of Cheat Codes include Matt Russell, Kevin Ford and Trevor Dahl. They gained a ton of notoriety with their 2016 hit “Sex” that samples the chorus from “Let’s Talk About Sex” by Salt-N-Pepa but they are much more than your average DJ trio. 

“We go out there and we’re singing, dj-ing, hyping and rapping; probably everything you should be doing it one show. But it works for us,” member Matt Russell says of the trio’s unconventional performances.

Cheat Codes

Based in Los Angeles, Cheat Codes have been making music together since 2014 and most recently released a single “No Promises” featuring pop-sensation Demi Lovato. “We performed with Demi in Sao Paola, Brazil last year. At the time it was the biggest show we ever played,” Russell says. “After the show, the Brazilian fans were quick to hit up our social media and suggest a collaboration.” Fast-forward to 2017 and Cheat Codes spent a few short hours in the studio with the powerhouse that is Lovato to lay down the vocals on “No Promises.” 

“We knew her voice would be so perfect for the song and since our fans suggested the collab, we have to thank them,” Russell adds.

As far as fans are concerned, member Kevin Ford reminisces on one of their greatest shows for both the fan and the trio. “At Hangout Fest in Gulf Shores, the crowd was super hype,” Ford describes. “It started pouring rain as soon as the lyric ‘I just want to dive in the water with you’ in “No Promises” played. It was the most perfect production,” he says.

Cheat Codes

A Cheat Codes performance is famously “lit,” as the guys would say. From jumping to singing, it’s tough to lose track of the importance of performing. “We want to show people that you can do literally anything you want. You can break all the rules and make it up as you go. That’s what we do,” Russell confirms. 

Russell fumbles around trying to find the words to express the quote “You have to fall before you can fly” and eventually puts it all together. “It sounds cliché but it’s true,” he adds. “When you jump off the cliff, you’re falling first before you’re actually flying.”

It surprises me how profound these laid-back California guys can be. They continue to explain how grateful they are to be given any opportunity to perform and show people that you can follow your dreams and succeed. 

They are most definitely following their dreams. With a busy schedule ahead of them, Cheat Codes recently released a single called “Stay With You” featuring up-and-coming artist Cade. Find the trio at Lollapalooza in Illinois and on tour throughout Europe this summer.

The post Cheat Codes Are Breaking All The Rules appeared first on DuJour.


‘You’re Breaking the Senate’: Highlights From the Health Care Talkathon

Mitch McConnell–a small reptilian operating levers within the brain of the reanimated corpse of an Antebellum Kentucky gentleman–poked his head out in the Senate this evening to justify the sinister secret process by which Republicans are drafting a health care bill. Over the course of over a month, he and 12 other…

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