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Steve Bannon Arrested on Border Wall Fundraising Scheme

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Steve Bannon, Donald Trump’s former political adviser, and three other leaders of the“We Build the Wall” online fundraising campaign have been indicted on wire fraud and money laundering charges by federal prosecutors. 

Federal agents and officials from the United States Postal Inspection arrested Bannon while he was on a boat located off the eastern coast of Connecticut.


Bannon is expected to make his initial court appearance in New York later today, according to the US attorney’s office. Bannon’s attorney, Bill Burck, declined to comment on the matter. 

Audrey Strauss, acting Manhattan U.S attorney, issued the following statement: 

“As alleged, the defendants defrauded hundreds of thousands of donors, capitalizing on their interest in funding a border wall to raise millions of dollars, under the false pretense that all of that money would be spent on construction. While repeatedly assuring donors that Brian Kolfage, the founder and public face of We Build the Wall, would not be paid a cent, the defendants secretly schemed to pass hundreds of thousands of dollars to Kolfage, which he used to fund his lavish lifestyle. We thank the USPIS for their partnership in investigating this case, and we remain dedicated to rooting out and prosecuting fraud wherever we find it.” 

According to the charges, Kolfage—one of the crowdfunding organizers, spent more than $350,000 of the donations on personal expenses. These expenses include a luxury SUV, a golf cart, cosmetic surgery, home renovations, jewelry, personal tax payments,  and credit card debt. 

The four individuals being charged—Bannon, Kolfage, Andrew Badolato, and Timothy Shea—are charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, CNN reports

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Politics

Trump Panders to Feminists with Posthumous Pardon of Susan B. Anthony, then Attacks Michelle Obama

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At an event aimed at celebrating the 100th anniversary of women’s voting rights, a pivotal moment in history for gender equality, President Donald Trump pardoned Susan B. Anthony, then attacked one of the most respected women in America, Michelle Obama. 

The attack ensued after the enamored Michelle criticized him in a 19-minute long speech, which was presented at the Democratic National Convention on Monday. 

“He has had more than enough time to prove that he can do the job, but he is clearly in over his head,” Obama said. “He cannot meet this moment. He simply cannot be who we need him to be for us.” She then quoted Trump’s apathetic response when asked about those who died due to complications caused by the novel COVID-19 infection, “It is what it is.” 

Trump retaliated at the event, which housed the suburban housewives he pandered to on Twitter last week—and their husbands. “Well, she’s in over her head,” he said. “And frankly, she should [have] made the speech live, which she didn’t do.” He then took more jabs at her by calling her speech “extremely divisive” before discussing drug pricing. 

Michelle Obama is added to the long list of prominent women that Donald Trump has used his platform to attack.

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Ava DuVernay Defends Kamala Harris; Sparks Backlash

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Ava, girl, what is you on? Our good I’m-not-your-Auntie decided it best to make an Instagram post about the critique surrounding Kamala Harris’ vice-presidential candidacy.

“Oh but, Kamala did this or she didn’t do that. I hear you. I know. And I don’t care.”

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There is no debate anymore. There’s no room for it in my book. We either make this happen. Or literally, more of us perish. People are dying. Someone I love died. This virus is real. If it hasn’t visited your doorstep, it will. Oh but, Kamala did this or she didn’t do that. I hear you. I know. And I don’t care. Because what she DIDN’T DO is abandon citizens in a pandemic, rip babies from their mother’s arms at the border, send federal troops to terrorize protestors, manufacture new ways to suppress Black and Brown votes, actively disrespect Indigenous people and land, traffic in white supremacist rhetoric in an effort to stir racist violence at every turn, attempt to dismantle most American democratic systems of checks and balance, degrade women all day everyday, infect the Supreme Court with another misogynist hack, demolish America’s standing on climate, actively cultivate and further white supremacist structures and systems across all aspects of American daily life. I mean, that’s what she DIDN’T do. So I don’t wanna hear anything bad about her. It doesn’t matter to me. Vote them in and then let’s hold them accountable. Anything other than that is insanity. It’s ego. It’s against our own interests. It’s selfish. It’s disrespectful to our elders. It’s nonsense. It’s talking to hear yourself talk. This is a matter of life or death. We need all our energy focused. This is a fight for more than can be expressed here. There is no debate anymore. Not for me anyway. #voteblue2020

A post shared by Ava DuVernay (@ava) on

Ava, director of the movie 13th seems to be under the impression that we haven’t also lost family members, spouses, friends. She seems to believe that her pain should take precedent. Twitter didn’t like that:

All that can be said that hasn’t been said here is that Ava’s actions should be critiqued just as much as Kamala Harris. Ava, like many of the Black folk in Hollywood is only outraged for the benefit of the cameras, for the prestige she may garner as a result.

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America Reacts to Kamala Harris’ VP Candidacy

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When Kamala Harris was chosen as Biden’s Vice Presidential candidate, there was a muted response overall. There’s no denying, from an objective standpoint, that Kamala was more than equiped to handle the job. She’d do it well. That’s never been the question. Kamala has always been competent and anyone who ever brought that into question was very obviously dealing in White supremacist misogyny. The problem, in fact, is that she has been too competent in some regards.

I’m not going to get into her history too much. Social activists and political pundits have done that enough. Kamala is a middle-aged Black woman who’s lived in California her entire life. She is who she is because of that. I think it would be misogynoir for me to demonize her when I know that I most definitely would have been her if I had been born just a few years sooner. That doesn’t raise her above critique, though. She’s been an active part of the prison industrial complex and is, indeed, a cop. So there’s a lot to unpack. Here’s what Twitter had to say:

So it’s pretty clear that Kamala’s presence requires some nuanced thinking. The world isn’t Black and White in politics. Kamala’s racial and social reality necessitates both a grace we don’t give to Black women and a moral fortitude we might be tempted to let go of for the sake of identity politics and the removal of Trump from office. Speaking of Trump:

We’re a pop culture blog, first and foremost. We aren’t here to tell you how to feel about anything related to politics. However, major elections will directly impact how we deal with pop culture events. The 2016 election opened the flood gates to more conscious consumption. This election should put that consciousness to the test.

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