Jacob Blake speaks out for first time since police shooting

Jacob Blake has spoken publicly for the first time since a Kenosha, Wisconsin, police officer shot him seven times in the back, saying he's in constant pain from the shooting, which doctors fear will leave him paralyzed from the waist down.

In a video posted Saturday night on Twitter by his family's lawyer, Ben Crump, Blake said from his hospital bed that, “Twenty-four hours, every 24 hours it’s pain, nothing but pain. It hurts to breathe, it hurts to sleep, it hurts to move from side-to-side, it hurts to eat.”

Blake, a 29-year-old father of six, also said he has staples in his back and stomach.

“Your life, and not only just your life, your legs, something you need to move around and forward in life, can be taken from you like this,” Blake said, snapping his fingers.

He added: “Stick together, make some money, make everything easier for our people out there, man, because there’s so much time that’s been wasted.”

Blake, who is Black, was shot in the back by a white police officer on Aug. 23 after walking away from the officer and two others who were trying to arrest him. The officer, Rusten Sheskey, opened fire after Blake opened his own SUV's driver-side door and leaned into the vehicle. The shooting was captured on video and posted online, sparking several nights of protests and unrest in Kenosha, a city of about 100,000 between Milwaukee and Chicago.

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Blake, who had an outstanding arrest warrant when he was shot, pleaded not guilty Friday to charges accusing him of sexually assaulting a woman in May and waived his right to a preliminary hearing. Blake appeared remotely via video conference from his Milwaukee hospital bed, wearing a dress shirt and tie. He spoke only to respond to the judge’s questions.

The state Justice Department has said a knife was recovered from Blake's vehicle, but it has not said whether he was holding it when officers tried to arrest him.

The man who made the widely seen cellphone video of the shooting, 22-year-old Raysean White, said he saw Blake scuffling with three officers and heard them yell, “Drop the knife! Drop the knife!” before gunfire erupted. He said he didn’t see a knife in Blake’s hands.

The Kenosha police union said Blake had the knife and refused orders to drop it. Blake fought with police, including putting one officer in a headlock, the union said. Police twice used a Taser, which did not stop Blake.




Michelle Obama on the challenges she's faced in her marriage to Barack Obama

michelle and barack obama

Michelle and Barack Obama might be most people’s definition of couple goals, but that doesn’t mean the two haven’t faced challenges in their nearly 30 years of marriage. 

The former first lady sat down with late night host and comedian Conan O’Brien to talk about marriage ― and the many phases one marriage can have ― on the latest episode of her exclusive Spotify podcast, released Wednesday. 

“People aren’t perfect. Marriage is hard. It’s a struggle for everyone,” she said, adding that when children enter the picture, it’s even tougher on a relationship at some points.

Young couples go through hard times, and then they “give up,” Michelle Obama said, because “nobody told them that this time is hard.” 

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Michelle Obama added that “these periods can last a long time,” even years, in a relationship. But that’s no reason to throw the towel in. 

“But we don’t talk about that, so young couples, they face these challenges, and they’re ready to give up because they think they’re broken,” she said. 

“I just want to say, look, if that breaks a marriage, then Barack and I have been broken off and on, throughout our marriage, but we have a very strong marriage,” the former first lady added. “And if I had given up on it, if I had walked away from it, in those tough times, then I would’ve missed all the beauty that was there as well.” 

In Michelle’s memoir, “Becoming,” she opens up about going to marriage counseling with Barack after their daughters, Malia and Sasha, were born. 

During an interview with Oprah Winfrey prior to the book’s release, the author said that counseling was a much different experience than she expected it to be.

“It was about me exploring my sense of happiness and my voice ― the notion that you come to a relationship whole and that I couldn’t look to Barack and he couldn’t look to me to be everything,” she said.

“We had to make our everything on our own. What clicked in me was that I need support and I need some from him,” Michelle added. “But I needed to figure out how to build my life in a way that works for me.” 




Trump Reportedly Referred To American War Dead As ‘Losers’ And ‘Suckers’

President Donald Trump

The president allegedly made the comments in France in 2018 while speaking to his staff about U.S. service members who’d died in World War I.

President Donald Trump, who has been criticized in the past for making disparaging remarks about veterans and military families, reportedly referred to American service members who’d died in World War I as “losers” and “suckers” in conversations with his staff.

The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, citing multiple anonymous sources who had firsthand knowledge of the conversations, reported Thursday on the president’s comments.

Associated Press reporter James LaPorta later corroborated Goldberg’s article, saying a senior Defense Department official had confirmed the information.

According to Goldberg, Trump uttered the belittling remarks about the American war dead while in France in 2018.

During that trip, the president nixed a planned visit to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery ― a World War I cemetery in Belleau, France, near the site of the Battle of Belleau Wood. Trump blamed rain for the cancellation at the time.

Goldberg said, however, that Trump had actually “rejected the idea of the visit because he feared his hair would become disheveled in the rain, and because he did not believe it important to honor American war dead.”

Goldberg added:

In a conversation with senior staff members on the morning of the scheduled visit, Trump said, “Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers.” In a separate conversation on the same trip, Trump referred to the more than 1,800 marines who lost their lives at Belleau Wood as “suckers” for getting killed.

Goldberg said later in the article that Trump had also referred separately to John McCain, the late senator and war veteran, as a “fucking loser.”

Trump has previously been criticized for denigrating McCain, who was held for 5½ years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.

“He’s not a war hero,” Trump said in 2015 of McCain. “I like people who weren’t captured.”

White House spokesperson Alyssa Farah told HuffPost that Goldberg’s report was “false.”

“President Trump holds the military in the highest regard. He’s demonstrated his commitment to them at every turn: delivering on his promise to give our troops a much needed pay raise, increasing military spending, signing critical veterans reforms and supporting military spouses,” Farah said.

Trump himself later refuted Goldberg’s report, insisting that he’d never called McCain a “loser” and that he “never called our great fallen soldiers anything other than HEROES.”

HuffPost’s S.V. Dáte reported earlier this week that Trump had refused for two years to go to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to receive the bodies of U.S. soldiers ― despite his insistence that he’s paid his respects to “many, many” U.S. soldiers killed in the line of duty.

A former White House aide told Dáte that Trump had stopped going to the base after Bill Owens, the father of a slain Navy SEAL, refused to shake the president’s hand at a 2017 meeting and lambasted Trump for his incompetence. 

“He refused to go back for two years, he was so rattled,” the aide said of the president.

Trump never served in the military. He received five military deferments, including one for alleged bone spurs in his feet and four for education, during the Vietnam War.


Kanye West Disqualified From Running For President In Virginia

Kanye West

The rapper’s name was removed from the state’s presidential ballots after he failed to meet a minimum requirement for campaign support.

A judge on Thursday ordered rapper Kanye West’s name removed from presidential ballots in Virginia.

West was disqualified because he failed to meet a requirement that 13 people pledge their support for his campaign, Richmond Circuit Court Judge Joi Taylor said.

Taylor ruled that 11 of the 13 “Elector Oaths” the West campaign submitted were invalid, including some that were “obtained by improper, fraudulent and/or misleading means.”

Earlier this week, a law firm with ties to prominent Democrats sued on behalf of two people who said they were tricked into signing such an oath.

An attorney for West did not respond to an email seeking comment.

West announced a presidential bid in July, saying he’s seeking the nation’s highest office on a ticket he calls the “Birthday Party.” His quixotic campaign has led to lawsuits in several states over whether his name should be on ballots.

Democrats claim Republicans are pushing West’s candidacy in swing states to siphon Black votes from Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.




Michael Moore: The U.S. could be facing a ‘tragedy of epic proportions’ in the upcoming election

Michael Moore attends the "Fahrenheit 11/9" premiere during the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival at Ryerson Theatre on September 6, 2018, in Toronto, Canada. (Presley Ann/Getty Images/AFP)

‘You can’t blame this one on the PO or Russia. This is on the candidate & the party. We are risking a tragedy of major proportions.’

That’s filmmaker Michael Moore, sounding the “political fire alarm” on the upcoming election in a Facebook FB, -0.20% post over the weekend.

“Where are the stories about Trump gaining on Biden?” he asked, pointing to a shift in the polls in recent days. “So many Dems are convinced Trump will lose. DANGER! The Biden campaign must commit to changes that will inspire and bring out young people, Black and Latino voters and women.”

He said Trump’s “loyal, hateful, excited” base “can’t wait to vote,” while Biden’s is all about “No Trump!” and not enthusiasm for the candidate. Moore also took the same message to Twitter TWTR, -0.79%, where he was among the top trending topics on Sunday.

Moore, an outspoken supporter of Bernie Sanders, was one of the rare few in the political arena to predict that Trump would beat Hillary Clinton in 2016 due to the fact that the MAGA message was resonating with voters across the middle of the country.

He warned of a repeat.

“Are you ready for a Trump victory? Are you mentally prepared to be outsmarted by Trump again?” he wrote in another post. “Do you find comfort in your certainty that there is no way Trump can win? Are you content with the trust you’ve placed in the DNC to pull this off?”

The president even chimed in on Moore’s take:

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