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Rapper Kanye West delivered an unfiltered, rambling 10-minute speech in his first Oval Office visit at the White House on Thursday.

The meeting was supposed to center on prison reform. However, West, wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat, touched on several topics, including his bipolar disorder, abolishing the 13th Amendment, the economy, Chicago’s gun violence and jobs. He was seated alongside former NFL star Jim Brown, who had also come to the White House to talk about prison reform.

Here are a few of West’s quotes from his Oval Office meeting:

  • On voting for Trump: “My dad and my mom separated so there was not a lot of male energy in my home and also I’m married to a family where, you know, there’s not a lot of male energy. It’s beautiful though.”
  • On Trump’s support from African-Americans: “Blacks really get caught up in the idea of racism over the idea of industry.”
  • On racism: “Racism can’t control me.”
  • On his mental health: “I wasn’t bipolar, I had sleep deprivation that could cause dementia.”
  • On his speech: “You are tasting a fine wine that has multiple notes to it.”
  • On Trump wanting to implement stop-and-frisk in Chicago: “Well, I feel stop-and-frisk does not help the relationship with people in the city.”
  • On bringing jobs and tax breaks to Chicago: “We’re going to need to get a few breaks to be able to have some places in my hometown of Chicago … where we can create some factories. I think it would be cool for them be Trump factories because he’s a master of industry, he’s a master builder. I think it would be cool to have Yeezy ideation centers.”
  • When asked about Chicago’s gun violence: “The problem is the legal guns. Legal guns is [sic] the problem.”
  • When asked about a possible presidential run: “Let’s stop worrying about the future, all we really have is today.”
  • On Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan: “Another thing is black people have a problem with the word again … because time is a myth.”
  • On being in the Oval Office: “Oh, it is good energy in this.”

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Very early Iowa Democratic primary poll finds Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders leading the field

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By Allan Smith

Former Vice President Joe Biden and independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont led the massive field of 2020 Democratic primary contenders in a very early Iowa poll released this weekend.

A Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom poll, released Saturday, showed Biden garnering 32 percent support from likely Democratic caucusgoers in the first-in-the-nation presidential caucus state, while Sanders picked up support from 19 percent of respondents.

Following Biden and Sanders was Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas, who narrowly lost a Senate bid last month against GOP Sen. Ted Cruz and has since seen his stock rise among Democrats. O’Rourke came in with 11 percent support. No other candidate received more than 10 percent in the Iowa poll. Of the remaining candidates polled, only Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Kamala Harris of California received 5 or more percent support among respondents.

Of note, nearly half of respondents — 49 percent — preferred a “seasoned political hand” when compared to a “newcomer” when asked who they thought would be the right person to defeat President Donald Trump.

The Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom surveyed 455 likely Democratic caucusgoers. The poll, conducted from Dec. 10 through 13, had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.6 percentage points.

Polls at this stage of the presidential cycle should be taken with a grain of salt, it should be noted. At this time in 2014, 14 months out from the Iowa contest, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush led a crowded GOP primary field in a CNN/ORC poll, garnering support from 23 percent of Republican primary voters. In second place was then-New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie with 13 percent of respondents selecting him as their preferred choice.

President Donald Trump was not even included in the survey.



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O’Rourke, other Dems don’t want tent city’s contract renewed

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/ Source: Associated Press

By The Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas — Rep. Beto O’Rourke and four other Democratic members of Congress toured a remote tent city in West Texas on Saturday where they said that 2,700 immigrant teens are being held at a cost of roughly $1 million per day.

The lawmakers urged the nonprofit running the facility not to renew a federal contract that expires Dec. 31, a longshot request that could effectively shutter the camp. It was supposed to be temporary but has instead taken in more children and taken on a permanent feel with soccer fields, a dining facility and tents housing separate sleeping quarters for boys and girls.

U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-El Paso, the 2018 Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in Texas, speaks during a campaign rally, Monday, Nov. 5, 2018, in El Paso, Texas.Eric Gay / AP file

O’Rourke — a Texan who has been mentioned as a potential 2020 presidential candidate after nearly upsetting Republican Sen. Ted Cruz in his deep-red state — was joined by U.S. Sens. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Tina Smith of Minnesota, and California Rep. Judy Chu.

O’Rourke said he and his colleagues weren’t allowed to speak to the children in any meaningful way.

“They kind of nodded their heads, but what are they going to say when everyone around them is watching?” O’Rourke said after touring the facility. “But there was something in the look on their faces that we saw, the way that they weren’t really engaged in the sports that they were playing out on those fields.”

“We need to shut it down,” Chu added. “It is inhumane. It is a child prison. It has no right to exist.”

O’Rourke made no mention about his possible White House aspirations after making his fourth visit to the camp just outside Tornillo. He noted the area was about an hour’s drive from his native El Paso, which borders Mexico at the westernmost tip of Texas.

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Where Americans stand apart (and together) on holiday gifts

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 / Updated 

By Dante Chinni and Sally Bronston

WASHINGTON — It’s the holiday season, the time of year where we put aside our differences and celebrate goodwill toward all. But in 2018 America, politics can find its way into unexpected places — even into the gifts under the tree or the boxes you’re wrapping this weekend.

Data from Simmons Consumer Research shows political partisanship even seeps into what toys and gifts we’ll be exchanging this season. The company asked people what toys they are looking to buy this season and some patterns emerged.

If your child got a toy from a Trump voter, there’s a decent chance it is something from Nerf.

If your child got a toy from a Trump voter, there’s a decent chance it is something from Nerf.

Among Trump voters, 36 percent said they expect to shop for Nerf products in the next six months. That’s eight points higher than Clinton voters, 28 percent said they would be shopping for Nerf with the holidays approaching.

Nerf is a lot more than just spongy footballs and basketballs. There are lots of good, safe, Nerf guns out there. That may be driving the partisan difference here. Trump voters, in general, tend to be more supportive of gun rights.

Looking at a gift from that uncle who is a known independent voter? The Simmons data suggests Hot Wheels may in your future.

Looking at a gift from that uncle who is a known independent voter? The Simmons data suggests Hot Wheels may in your future.

More than four in 10 independents told Simmons they were planning on buying something from the universe of miniature die-cast vehicles. The number among Democrats and Republicans is about 10 points lower.

And even in 2018, Barbie lives on as a holiday purchase among Democrats and Republicans alike.

Even in 2018, Barbie lives on as a holiday purchase among Democrats and Republicans alike.

About a quarter of people who are registered with each party said they would be purchasing the fashion/career doll that has endured for nearly 60 years. No word on whether they purchased her as a beekeeper, an astronaut, or a farmer — a few of Barbie’s many professions.

But beyond those toys, there is one children’s gift everyone seems to agree upon: Legos.

There is one children’s gift everyone seems to agree upon: Legos.

Majorities of men and women, liberals and conservative and, yes, even Clinton and Trump voters said they were planning on buying the building brick toy as the holidays approached.

For the older kids, including those above the age of 18, video games are often the gift of choice and the data suggest a couple of points on them.

First and foremost if you are buying a gift for an adult, video games are more popular among Democrats. They are more likely to say they have played games on a list of popular titles. But leaving that fact aside, there are some partisan breakdowns in the world of screens and controllers.

The most popular games for both Democrats and Republicans are Call of Duty, and Fortnite.

The most popular games for both Democrats and Republicans are “Call of Duty” and “Fortnite.” Further down the list, Democrats favor Super Mario Kart, while Republicans lean towards MLB, the popular baseball game.

And in this time of year that is always special for children, the data from Simmons reveal one final nugget that is bigger than just toys or games; it is about parenting.

Majorities of Republicans and Democrats say they want to provide their children with things they didn’t have as a child.

Majorities of Republicans and Democrats say they want to provide their children with things they didn’t have as a child. And majorities of Republicans and Democrats admit that they often indulge their children with “little extras.” Or, as Simmons Chief Scientist Steve Millman says, “When it comes to spoiling the kids, we’re all just Americans!”

That’s likely one big note of political agreement when getting together with friends and relatives this year during the holidays. And that’s a good thing to have this season because if this week’s news is any indication, discord is likely to reign in next year’s political discussions.

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