Air Force Academy Cancels All Games in Response to Government Shutdown

The Air Force Academy has responded to the federal government shutdown by canceling all of their scheduled sporting events “until further notice.” This includes the men's and women's basketball teams matches against Fresno State today, men's gymnastics, men's ice hockey, rifle, and men's and women's swimming meets.

“Due to the government shutdown, all Air Force Academy home and away intercollegiate athletic events have been cancelled until further notice,” the academy said in a statement via ESPN. “In the event a solution is reached, the Academy will work to reschedule as many missed events as possible.”

On Friday night, U.S. Senators were unable to come to terms on a last ditch deal to fund the federal government prior to their midnight deadline. “This afternoon in my heart, I thought we may have a deal tonight. That was how far we'd come,” Democrat Senate Minority Leader Schumer said shortly after the shutdown officially took effect. “That's how positive our discussion felt. We had a good meeting. But what has transpired since that meeting in the Oval Office is indicative of the entire tumultuous and chaotic process Republicans have engaged in the negotiations thus far.”

“Tonight, they put politics above our national security, military families, vulnerable children, and our country's ability to serve all Americans,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said. “We will not negotiate the status of unlawful immigrants while Democrats hold our lawful citizens hostage over their reckless demands. This is the behavior of obstructionist losers, not legislators. When Democrats start paying our armed forces and first responders we will reopen negotiations on immigration reform. During this politically manufactured Schumer Shutdown, the president and his administration will fight for and protect the American people.”

Navy will continue playing its games as planned on Saturday; Army hasn't responded to the shutdown but the teams are expected to play on. Air Force relies on government spending, while Army and Navy do not.

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Trump Makes Incomprehensible Anti-Abortion Speech in Which He Seems to Call for More Abortions

Today, Donald Trump became the first sitting president to speak at an anti-abortion March for Life rally, and he used the opportunity to call for more abortions. Yes, you read that right: the man hailed as the “most pro-life president in history” doesn’t even know how to talk about the issues and policies he is supposedly against. But what else is new, right?

Speaking at the anti-abortion rally, Trump extolled the virtues of anti-abortion advocates and healthcare professionals for nine minutes. He also ripped on Roe v. Wade, the historic Supreme Court decision that makes abortion a federal right. He also made the peculiar claim that “a number of states… allow a baby to be born from his or her mother’s womb in the ninth month. It is wrong. It has to change.”

Let’s roll back the tape. Trump said that in the United States, a baby is born after spending nine months in his or her mother’s womb. In other words: a pregnancy carried to term until the ninth month results in birth. Yup. Thanks for the insight, Don. Highly appreciated.

What makes a lot less sense is why Trump believes this—a normal pregnancy—is wrong. If he is calling for fewer pregnancies to be carried to term, then he is calling for more abortions. The Daily Beast reports that he was supposed to say “torn,” but he couldn’t even get a simple four-letter word right.

But… not so fast. Even if Trump did mean to say “torn,” his statement would still be confusing. If he meant to decry late-term abortions (abortions that occur after the 20 week standard) then he misspoke. There is no such thing as an abortion at nine months. That is, once again, simply called birth. Still, late-term abortions (after 20 weeks) are extremely rare to begin with—the Guttmacher Institute estimates that about 1 percent of abortion are performed after 21 weeks.

Trump then called late-term abortions painful, which is a claim not backed up by science. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has testified to the House Judiciary Committee that it “knows of no legitimate scientific data or information that supports the statement that a fetus experiences pain at 20 weeks’ gestation.”

In case you were wondering, yes, everyone noticed this latest gaffe, and yes, everyone took to Twitter to try to make even the tiniest bit of sense of it. Spoiler alert: no sense was made, but people did rip the President to shreds.

You can watch Trump's full speech below. 

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LeBron James Calls Out Trump’s Racism During MLK Day Press Conference

LeBron James honored Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy before the Cleveland Cavaliers' match against the Golden State Warriors on MLK Day. He fit in a not-so-subtle dig at Donald Trump, too.

“He had a vision and he took a bullet for all of us. For us to stand here even though we're trying to be divided right now by somebody,” James said during a pre-game press conference. “Today is a great day for people to realize how America was built and how we all have to stand united in order to be one. Especially as Americans because we believe, we all know and we all believe, this is the greatest country in the world.” 

While the basketball star didn't directly mention Trump's name, he makes it very clear who he's referring to. He continued:

“The state of racism will never die, but what we can not do is allow it to conquer us as people. We can't allow it to divide us. The guy in control has given people and racism, and negative racism, an opportunity to be out and outspoken without fear. And that's the fearful thing for us because it's with you, and it's around every day. But he's allowed people to come out and just feel confident about doing negative things. We can't allow that to stop us from continuing to be together and preach the right word of living and loving and laughing and things of that nature. Because would we want to live anywhere else? I don't think so. We love this place.”

This isn't the first time James has called out Trump's racist and oppressive views. Last August, he tweeted Trump “just made [hate] fashionable again” in response to his reactions toward the Charlottesville protests. That was followed by the now-famous “U bum” moment after Trump targeted Steph Curry and revoked his invitation to the White House.

Watch James' reflection on Martin Luther King Jr. as well as his comments on Trump below:

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Black Unemployment Falls to Record Low, Trump Takes Credit

You'll never guess who took credit for the recent news that black unemployment in the U.S. reached its lowest recorded percentage since the statistic was first tracked in 1972. That's right, it was this guy:

As he has done for much of his presidency, Donald Trump wasted no time taking credit for an accomplishment that likely has little to do with him. Much of the United States' present economic growth has been attributed to Barack Obama's policies, not Trump's, and the Washington Post published an extensive piece claiming that job growth under the new president has largely lagged behind Obama's pace in five of the last seven years.

The news is an obvious positive, with the Washington Post noting that in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, black unemployment reached as high as 16.8 percent in 2010. Full data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics can be seen here.

Predictably, the news sparked a ruckus on Twitter between those who refuted the president's statement and those who bizarrely claimed this news proves something about Trump's personal feelings on race.

Trump seemingly has more pressing matters to attend to than taking credit for another accomplishment that likely doesn't belong to him, such as the incendiary new book about his White House, his petty feud with Steven Bannon or, you know, the looming threat of nuclear war with North Korea.

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The Best of Everything in 2017

For a number of reasons, 2017 was a trying year. From a total shift in the White House to the continued national anthem protests to thousands of women speaking out about the sexual misconduct and harassment they've faced for years, we'd totally get if you kept your head under a rock for the year. If you did that, though, you totally missed out on the best movies, songs, TV shows, and memes of the year.

From the rise of Cardi B and HBO's dominance on TV to Jordan Peele's frighteningly accurate social commentary helping make 2017 the biggest year for horror at the box office ever, 2017 featured loads of amazing content, most of which helped us make it through the depressing batch of headlines and breaking news reports. Here's your look at the best of, well, everything from 2017.

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LaVar Ball Keeps Feud Going by Posting GIF of Himself Dunking on Donald Trump

LaVar Ball isn't going to let go of a great marketing opportunity his feud with Donald Trump. On Tuesday, Ball appeared on CNN's New Day where he used Trump's words against him, complaining that he “didn’t get a thank you” from the President of the United States for the three pairs of red, white, and blue Big Baller Brand sneakers he sent to the White House. 

Back in November, Ball was adamant that he would not be saying thank you to Trump, even after he claimed to be the one who spoke to Chinese president Xi Jinping​, and helped bring LaVar's son LiAngelo, as well as former UCLA freshmen Jalen Hill and Cody Riley, back home. “I don't have to go around saying thank you to everybody,” he told Chris Cuomo during their interview last month. 

Earlier today, LaVar added more fuel to the fire by posting a GIF which shows him dunking on Trump. 

When the GIF zooms in on the Twitter app on the phone, you can see a tweet from Ball's account, saying, “Stay in yo lane @realDonaldTrump! The Big Baller will put you on a poster.” It will probably only be a matter of time before Trump responds and gives LaVar exactly what he wants—more free yet valuable publicity. 

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Did Trump Just Admit to Obstruction of Justice?

Donald Trump’s latest tweet has sparked more allegations of obstruction of justice.

On Saturday, POTUS took to the social media platform to defend Gen. Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser who pleaded guilty Friday to lying to the FBI about his contacts with former Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak.

“I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI,” the president tweeted. “He has pled guilty to those lies. It is a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. There was nothing to hide!”

Many politicians and political commentators said they believe this single tweet was an admission to obstruction of justice. You see: Flynn was forced to resign as national security adviser back in February; Trump’s most recent tweet implies he was aware the general had lied to federal authorities in the month prior. So if Trump knew about Flynn’s crime, why would he allegedly ask former FBI director James Comey to drop the investigation of Flynn shortly after he was ousted? During a testimony back in June, Comey told Congress the president asked him to consider “letting Flynn go.”

Trump fired Comey in May.  

As he was departing from the White House on Saturday morning, several reporters asked Trump about his thoughts on Flynn’s recent guilty plea. The president suggested he was not worried, and instead focused on the passing of the GOP tax bill.

“No, I’m not. And what has been shown is no collusion, no collusion,” Trump said. “There’s been absolutely no collusion so we’re very happy, and frankly last night was one of the big nights.”  

 

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Trump’s Release of Classified JFK Documents Means He’s Attended at Least One White House Briefing

When you elect a former reality show host with no previous governing experience to the highest public office in the country, it’s very likely that person will repeatedly misinterpret public policies. So if you woke up Saturday wondering when and how one Donald J. Trump would manage to fail up while tweeting from a golf course, the answer came in the form of a tweet about the 35th President, John F. Kennedy.

“Subject to the receipt of further information, I will be allowing, as President, the long blocked and classified JFK FILES to be opened,” Trump tweeted Saturday morning.

Technically, Trump was correct here, although he won’t need to release the JFK files so much as just not overtly block them from being publicly disclosed—as they would have anyway next Thursday. The JFK Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992—enacted on October 26, 1992—states the following:

“Each assassination record shall be publicly disclosed in full, and available in the Collection no later than the date that is 25 years after the date of the enactment of this Act, unless the President certifies, as required by this Act, that 

(i) continued postponement is made necessary by an identifiable harm to military defense, intelligence operations, law enforcement or conduct of foreign relations; and

(ii) the identifiable harm is of such gravity that it outweighs the public interest in disclosure.”

The 1963 assassination of President Kennedy has remained a source of fascination for history buffs and conspiracy theorists alike for over half a century. Furthermore, most of the CIA and FBI documents about JFK have already been released either in their full form or partially redacted. Essentially, all Trump had to do here was get out of his own way and focus on more pressing matters such as aiding hurricane-battered Puerto Rico or not sub-tweeting an equally moronic dictator with access to nuclear launch codes.

But Trump is going to Trump, so what seems like an inevitable bit of governmental minutiae can still prove entertaining. The Washington Post reports that according to an unnamed National Security Council official, “government agencies were urging the president not to release some of the documents.” If that’s true, then Trump has actually attended at least one White House briefing and doesn’t get all of his updates from Fox News. The same report noted that Trump’s confidant Roger Stone bragged about lobbying the president to release the files during an appearance on Alex Jones’ Infowars.

This would be the time where we collectively hang our head in shame that a sitting president hangs out with white nationalists and has friends who brag about being guests on Infowars.

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