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Kavanaugh hearing: Anita Hill tells women 'Don't retreat'

As Christine Blasey Ford testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, the woman who alleged sexual misconduct of a Supreme Court nominee 27 years ago watched with interest. Anita Hill, speaking to an audience of women technologists, said she believes that Brett Kavanaugh will be confirmed by the Senate, the Houston Chronicle reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Her message: Don’t retreat.

Hill was at the center of the Clarence Thomas confirmation fight in 1991, claiming she was sexually harassed by the Supreme Court nominee who was confirmed by the Senate. Friday, Hill praised the calm demeanor of Ford, the California professor who accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault when both were teenagers during a 1980s party. Hill also criticized the Senate Judiciary Committee in its efforts to confirm Kavanaugh as a Supreme Court justice, the Houston Chronicle reported.

>> Kavanaugh vote: Trump orders FBI to reopen investigation

“What I saw was them more concerned about their processes and their structure and their schedule than the human element of what was going on and what happened," Hill said.

Hill, now a law professor, had been booked to speak in Houston several months ago, but as it turned out, her speech Friday night came a day after Ford’s dramatic testimony in Washington, KHOU reported.

>> Who is Christine Blasey Ford, Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser? 

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted to advance Kavanaugh's nomination to the Senate but will wait for the conclusion of an FBI investigation before taking a vote. 

"He will be confirmed," Hill said. "It will take the Supreme Court in a very, very conservative direction that will impact the work of diversity inclusion that all of us are doing."

Hill said she was struck by the emotional and angry tone taken by Kavanaugh, in contrast of what she called the “calm” testimony of Ford, KHOU reported.

>> Who is Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court?

Kavanaugh "was able to express a real anger, an aggression, as well as a lot of emotion," Hill said, adding that no woman nominated to the Supreme Court "would ever have the license to express (herself) in that way."

Hill said that even if Kavanaugh was confirmed, women should continue to make their voices heard, the Chronicle reported. 

“I had a choice to make 27 years ago. I wanted to do nothing more than retreat back to my normal life and leave all of that behind and say nasty things about the U.S. Senate,” Hill said. “I did say nasty things about the U.S. Senate, but I did not retreat.”

Hillary Clinton makes surprise cameo on premiere of 'Murphy Brown' reboot

It’s not the original job she wanted, but Hillary Clinton sat down for an interview for a secretarial job in the Thursday’s premiere of CBS’ reboot of “Murphy Brown.”

>> Read more trending news 

The former Democratic presidential candidate showed off her deadpan acting skills as she conversed with Candice Bergen, who plays the title role in “Murphy Brown,” noting that her first name was “spelled with one L.”

“I’m here to interview for the secretarial position,” Clinton says.

As she is interviewed, Clinton’s dialogue references her political career.

“For four years I was a secretary for a very large company,” Clinton tells Brown, who is interviewing for a secretary at her new cable news company.

“And you have the requisite skills, computers, email,” Brown asks.

“Emails,” Clinton says. “I do have some experience with emails.”

Brown wraps up the interview by observing that Clinton seems overqualified, but takes her business card.

Clinton’s email on the card is Hilary@youcouldhavehadme.com.

The original “Murphy Brown” series ran from 1988 to 1998, overlapping the time when Clinton was first lady.

Clinton will make another television appearance on Oct. 7, CNN reported. She will play herself, along with former secretaries of state Madeleine Albright and Colin Powell in the season premiere of “Madam Secretary.”

National sexual assault hotline calls jumped 147% during Christine Blasey Ford's testimony

As Christine Blasey Ford testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, the Rape Abuse and Incest Network (RAINN) said there was an “unprecedented” spike in calls, Time reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Ford testified about her alleged assault by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. RAINN, an anti-sexual violence organization that administers the hotline, tweeted there was an estimated 147 percent jump above normal volume, The Hill reported.

Since Ford went forward with her allegations, there has been a 45.6 percent increase compared to the same time frame in 2017, Time reported.

>> Who is Christine Blasey Ford?

Ford told senators about the alleged assault Thursday, which she said happened while they were both at a high school party during the 1980s. Later in the day, Kavanaugh issued a forceful denial.

When a second accuser, Deborah Ramirez, alleged sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh, RAINN’s hotline saw an increase of 57 percent, compared to an average Friday through Sunday, Time reported.

>> Senate committee to vote on Kavanaugh nomination Friday morning

Kavanaugh has also denied the allegations made by Ramirez and a third woman, Julie Swetnick.

RAINN, which also runs a free, confidential online chat service, said there were “unprecedented” waiting times Thursday, The Hill reported.

WATCH: Disney pass holder hangs Trump re-election banner in Magic Kingdom

Those visiting Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom Park on Sunday might have noticed something unusual hanging in Main Street, U.S.A. – a banner calling for President Donald Trump's re-election in 2020.

>> Watch the news report here

Dion Cini, 49, of New York, said he unfurled the banner and briefly hung it from a balcony overlooking the park's Town Square with the help of a bystander to garner attention for Trump's re-election campaign.

>> On WFTV.com: Disney World changes ticket prices, announces new pricing structure

Cini told WFTV that the stunt cost him his annual pass, which he has had for 24 years, but he said it was well worth the free advertising.

Video showed a park employee approaching Cini.

"Sir, please remove the banner immediately," the worker said.

>> On WFTV.com: Up, up and away: Exclusive look at Walt Disney World's Skyliner

Cini said he took the banner into a restroom, packed it up and changed his hat so no one would recognize him.

He said he has performed similar stunts for the past two years and will continue doing so.

>> Read more trending news 

CNN's Anderson Cooper calls out Donald Trump Jr., debunks hurricane meme

Atlanta-based CNN is often dismissed as "fake news" by President Donald Trump and his supporters.

Seeking to prove their point, some right-wing meme creators found a photo of Anderson Cooper in waist-deep floodwater, claiming he was exaggerating and staging shots during Hurricane Florence. 

>> On WSOCTV.com: Florence's aftermath: The latest updates from the Carolinas

But the photo was from 2008 during Hurricane Ike in Texas, and Cooper was demonstrating the dangers of shifting depths of floodwaters. 

Cooper decided to address the issue in a nine-minute segment on his show Monday in part because the president's son, Donald Trump Jr., used the meme as fodder to malign CNN on Twitter.

While many people on Twitter used the images and tied them to Florence, Trump Jr. merely implied that this was fakery and designed to make his dad “look bad.” 

Cooper took umbrage to that, shading Trump Jr. by showing photos of him being an “outdoorsman” killing exotic wildlife but presuming he wasn’t in North Carolina helping in rescue efforts. 

>> Read more trending news 

Cooper then showed the 10-year-old video of himself in waist-deep water in a flooded area of Bridge City, Texas. He was demonstrating the various depths of water in a very small area. At one point, he even made fun of himself for doing this, but added that he didn’t want to be on the dry part of the road interfering with rescue operations. Cooper said he also wanted to show that water can go deep very quickly even just a few feet off a road, and many people die in hurricanes via drowning.

Cooper noted that his camera crew has to shoot on dry spots to keep the equipment from getting wet. And the tech person in the photo? He died last year, Cooper said. 

Expressions by 'plaid shirt guy' at Trump rally in Montana go viral

The animated expressions of a Montana high school senior during President Donald Trump’s rally Thursday have gone viral and have earned the teen a new nickname on social media: #plaidshirtguy.

>> Read more trending news 

Tyler Linfesty, 17, attends Billings West High School. His eyebrow-raising, puzzled facial expressions during Trump’s rally at Metra Park was immediately picked up by social media, the Billings Gazette reported.

Linfesty and fellow seniors Erik Hovland and Christian Dunlap were seated behind the president’s right shoulder and eventually were asked to vacate their seats by people they believed were Trump campaign staffers, the newspaper reported.

"I didn't really have a plan," Linfesty told the Gazette. "I was just going to clap for things I agreed with and not clap for things I didn't agree with.

Linfesty said he did not think he would become an internet sensation.

“I don’t think any of us had any idea we were going to be that big on TV, because whenever I see a Trump rally, you see Trump, you see hundreds of people behind him — that’s my experience at least," Linfesty said. "In this case, there were like seven people (on screen). I did not know that I was going to be that big.”

Hovland, who was wearing a red “Make America Great Again” hat at the rally, has been dubbed “MAGA hat girl on social media.”

As the speech progressed, reporters noted that Linfesty pinned a rose emblem representing the Democratic Socialists of America to his right breast. 

The trio were escorted from their seats, the Gazette reported.

Linfesty said that as a joke, he gave a copy of “The Communist Manifesto” wrapped in a dust jacket of Trump’s “Art of the Deal” to Secret Service agents and asked to have the president sign it, the newspaper reported.

His request was denied.

"I didn't do it because I'm a communist," Linfesty told the Gazette. "I did it because I thought it was funny as a joke."

“I don’t think we meant to make a joke of the rally or make fun of people there,” Dunlap told the newspaper. “It wasn’t like we were making fun of Trump supporters.”

"They told us while we were sitting there, 'You guys have to keep clapping, you have to smile, you have to look enthusiastic,'" Linfesty said. "I had to be honest in my views."

What does 'lodestar' mean? Term trends amid New York Times op-ed speculation

Say what?

A not-so-commonly used word has taken the internet by storm as sleuths speculate over who may have written an anonymous New York Times op-ed about administration officials' efforts to "resist" President Donald Trump.

>> Jamie Dupree: President Trump defends record, rebukes author of anonymous op-ed

Soon after the bombshell piece authored by a "senior official" was published Wednesday, "lodestar" appeared among Twitter's trending topics and sparked searches on Google and Merriam-Webster's website.

The term appears in a passage of the op-ed that described the late Sen. John McCain:

"We may no longer have Senator McCain," the op-ed reads. "But we will always have his example – a lodestar for restoring honor to public life and our national dialogue. Mr. Trump may fear such honorable men, but we should revere them."

>> PHOTOS: Sen. John McCain lies in state in Arizona Capitol

But what does it mean? According to Merriam-Webster, a lodestar is "a star that leads or guides," such as the North Star, or "one that serves as an inspiration, model or guide." (Ironically, it was the site's "word of the day" on Aug. 28, about a week before the op-ed dropped.)

Twitter users zeroed in on the word, theorizing that Vice President Mike Pence could be the op-ed's author because he has used "lodestar" in several speeches.

>> What is the 25th Amendment and how does it work?

For the record, Pence's office on Thursday denied that he had anything to do with Times piece, saying he and his staff are "above such amateur acts."

>> Read more trending news 

Others pointed out that former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger said "lodestar" while describing McCain at the senator's funeral Saturday, so anyone who attended or watched the service could have latched onto the term.

So will "lodestar" shine any light on who authored the controversial piece? Only time will tell.

Florida GOP candidate DeSantis under fire for 'monkey this up' remark

Hours after Republican U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis cruised to an easy win in the race to become his party's nominee for Florida governor, he found himself facing criticism for one of his remarks.

>> Jamie Dupree: Trump takes aim at Democratic nominee for governor in Florida

DeSantis, who was endorsed by President Donald Trump, will face Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, a progressive Democrat, in the November election. According to CNN, Gillum, who was endorsed by U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., is Florida’s first African-American gubernatorial nominee. 

>> Andrew Gillum makes history in Florida primary upset, will face Ron DeSantis in governor's race

DeSantis spoke about his opponent in a Fox News interview Wednesday.

"He is an articulate spokesman for those far-left views, and he's a charismatic candidate," DeSantis said. "You know, I watched those Democrat debates. None of that was my cup of tea, but, I mean, he performed better than the other people there. So we've got to work hard to make sure that we continue Florida going in a good direction. Let's build off the success that we've had on Gov. [Rick] Scott. The last thing we need to do is to monkey this up by trying to embrace a socialist agenda."

>> See the clip here

Some slammed DeSantis' word choice, saying his "monkey this up" comment had racial undertones.

Gillum accused DeSantis of "taking a page directly from the campaign manual of Donald Trump."

"But I think he's got another thing coming to him if he thinks that in today's day and age ... Florida voters are going to respond to that level of derision and division," Gillum told Fox News. "They're sick of it."

>> Read more trending news 

A spokesman for DeSantis issued a clarification to Fox News on Wednesday afternoon:

"Ron DeSantis was obviously talking about Florida not making the wrong decision to embrace the socialist policies that Andrew Gillum espouses," the statement said. "To characterize it as anything else is absurd."

Read more here.

Andrew Gillum makes history in Florida primary upset, will face Ron DeSantis in governor's race

In a major upset, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum was declared the winner of the Democratic nomination for Florida governor.

>> On WFTV.com: 2018 Florida primary election results

Gillum, who is considered progressive, goes on to face Republican U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, who was endorsed by President Donald Trump, in the November election.

>> On WOKV.com: Race for Florida governor set: DeSantis vs. Gillum

If Gillum wins, he would become the first African-American governor in the state’s history. According to CNN, he is Florida’s first black gubernatorial nominee.

>> Midterm 2018: Here are the Senate races that you should be watching

Political analysts had former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham as the frontrunner over Gillum and a crowded field of Democratic candidates in Tuesday's primary. During the campaign, Gillum spent only $6.5 million, compared with Graham, who spent $16 million, and other candidates Jeff Greene, who spent $38 million, and former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, who spent about $29 million.

During his victory speech Tuesday night, Gillum said he wants to go across the state and help unite people. 

>> Midterm 2018: House races you should be watching

“This is not my moment; this is our moment.” Gillum said.

In the speech, he mentioned possible plans for education, wage increases for workers, environmental protections, expanding Medicaid and criminal justice reform. 

>> Watch the speech here

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who endorsed Gillum during the campaign, released a statement congratulating him on his win.

"No one person can take on the economic and political elites on their own," Sanders tweeted. "Tonight, Floridians joined Andrew in standing up and demanding change in their community. That’s what the political revolution is all about and Andrew Gillum is helping to lead it."

>> See the tweet here

On the other side of the political aisle, DeSantis gave a victory speech Tuesday night thanking Trump for his endorsement and praising federal policy areas.

“We have 4.1 percent GDP growth, we’ve got 20-year low unemployment, we have Gorsuch on the U.S. Supreme Court, and we’re going to add Brett Kavanaugh next," he said. "The Iran deal is dead, our embassy in Israel is now in Jerusalem where it belongs, we have our hostages back from North Korea, our taxes have been cut, and the red tape has been reduced. I’d say that’s pretty good work for a year and a half, so let’s keep it going."

>> Midterm 2018: What should you do if you are denied the right to vote? Here are some tips

DeSantis added that he wants to build on the work done by current Gov. Rick Scott. He said he wants to attract a wider variety of high-paying jobs, keep taxes low and maintain "reasonable" regulations.

>> Read more trending news 

He also spoke about wanting more vocational and technical training in high schools, better water quality, a prohibition on sanctuary cities in Florida and an end to judicial activism.

“I believe there’s no limit to what we can accomplish here, as long as you have the courage to lead," he said. "And I pledge to you, as governor, I will work my butt off to accomplish great things for this state."

>> Watch his speech here

Trump took to Twitter to congratulate DeSantis on his primary win.

>> See the tweet here

Read more here or here.

Meghan McCain pens emotional tribute to late father John McCain

Meghan McCain, daughter of the late Sen. John McCain, posted an emotional tribute to her father Saturday night following his death from brain cancer.

>> John McCain, US Senator, war hero, ‘maverick,’ has died at 81

"I love you forever - my beloved father @SenJohnMcCain," the co-host of "The View" tweeted along with a statement praising the former prisoner of war, longtime senator, political "maverick" and Republican presidential candidate, who died Saturday at age 81 in his Arizona home.

>> See the full post here

>> What is glioblastoma?

"All that I am is thanks to him," she wrote. "Now that he is gone, the task of my lifetime is to live up to his example, his expectations, and his love."

She called her father "a great fire who burned bright."

>> McCain dies on anniversary of friend Ted Kennedy’s death

"We know that his flame lives on, in each of us," she wrote. "The days and years to come will not be the same without my dad – but they will be good days, filled with life and love, because of the example he lived for us."

>> What happens to John McCain's Senate seat?

She ended with words of comfort for those in mourning.

"John McCain, hero of the republic and to his little girl, wakes today to something more glorious than anything on this earth," she wrote. "Today the warrior enters his true and eternal life, greeted by those who have gone before him, rising to meet the Author of All Things: 'The dream is ended: this is the morning.'"

>> Read more trending news 

Read her full statement here:

"My father, United States Senator John Sidney McCain III, departed this life today.

"I was with my father at his end, as he was with me at my beginning. In the thirty-three years we shared together, he raised me, taught me, corrected me, comforted me, encouraged me, and supported me in all things. He loved me, and I loved him. He taught me how to live. His love and his care, ever present, always unfailing, took me from a girl to a woman – and he showed me what it is to be a man.

"All that I am is thanks to him. Now that he is gone, the task of my lifetime is to live up to his example, his expectations, and his love.

"My father's passing comes with sorrow and grief for me, for my mother, for my brothers, and for my sisters. He was a great fire who burned bright, and we lived in his light and warmth for so very long. We know that his flame lives on, in each of us. The days and years to come will not be the same without my dad – but they will be good days, filled with life and love, because of the example he lived for us.

"Your prayers, for his soul and for our family, are sincerely appreciated.

"My father is gone, and I miss him as only an adoring daughter can. But in this loss, and in this sorrow, I take comfort in this: John McCain, hero of the republic and to his little girl, wakes today to something more glorious than anything on this earth. Today the warrior enters his true and eternal life, greeted by those who have gone before him, rising to meet the Author of All Things:

"'The dream is ended: this is the morning.'"

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