(TMU) – For all those Americans who complained about the fact that we only have two old white men to vote for, it appears that two other unlikely options could maybe be shaping up.
On July 4, U.S. Independence Day, eccentric rapper Kanye West made an unexpected announcement on Twitter that he would be “running for president of the United States.” While the declaration led to a wave of media coverage (and plenty of snarky responses on social media), few took the announcement seriously – although Kanye’s friend, the equally eccentric billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, pledged his “full support.”
We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future. I am running for president of the United States 🇺🇸! #2020VISION
— ye (@kanyewest) July 5, 2020
And now, it appears that some voices in the wacky world of the Twitterverse are seeking to enlist pop star Taylor Swift as a potential competitor against “Ye.”
“How about Taylor Swift as the president and Selena Gomez as vice president? #kanye2020,” one fan wrote on the social media platoorm.
While another added: “If Kanye is running for president can Taylor Swift please also run for president? @taylorswift13 WE NEED YOU RIGHT NOW.”
The idea seems just as much a product of the two mega-stars’ sharply differing politics in the Trump era as it may be a question of their famous personal clashes, as one user highlighted when they commented: “If Kanye gets elected as president, I want Taylor Swift to gate crash his first speech and say something like, ‘Yo Kanye, I’m happy for you, imma let you finish but I think Beyoncé deserves to be president instead.’”
The tweet was a reference to the infamous moment during the 2009 VMAs when Kanye jumped onstage and interrupted Swift’s acceptance speech for “Best Female Video” to announce that “Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time.”
Kanye West’s political evolution has been among the stranger public spectacles in recent years.
The rapper skyrocketed into the public consciousness of many non-rap fans in 2005, when he blasted then-President George W. Bush for his response to Hurricane Katrina, claiming the Republican leader “doesn’t care about Black people.”
Over 12 years and tens of billions of dollars later in April 2018, Kanye himself was being quote-tweeted by no less a figure than President Donald Trump, who himself called African and other nations of the Global South “sh*thole countries,” among other racially insensitive quotables from the current president, who will be contending to retain the presidency in the coming November election.
“We are both dragon energy,” Kanye wrote. “He is my brother. I love everyone. I don’t agree with everything anyone does. That’s what makes us individuals. And we have the right to independent thought.”
You don't have to agree with trump but the mob can't make me not love him. We are both dragon energy. He is my brother. I love everyone. I don't agree with everything anyone does. That's what makes us individuals. And we have the right to independent thought.
— ye (@kanyewest) April 25, 2018
“I don’t agree with everything Trump does,” West said in another tweet. “I don’t agree 100% with anyone but myself.”
A few weeks later, Kanye outraged audiences when he told entertainment tabloid TMZ that slavery was “a choice” made by Black people, who were violently taken from their African motherland and forced to toil under genocidal institutions of chattel slavery and forced labor in the Americas.
However, in May 2018 he told Charlamagne tha God on the radio show “The Breakfast Club” that he could see himself running on a platform that might be “the Trump campaign and maybe the Bernie Sanders principles. That would be my mix.”
Taylor Swift, on the other hand, has made a far different political metamorphosis during the past few years.
In 2016, many among the neo-fascist and white supremacist “alt-Right” subculture sought to depict the blonde-haired, green-eyed white artist as an “Aryan goddess,” effectively spreading the insinuation that the one-time teen idol was herself a covert Nazi.
However, Swift has since made several statements denouncing racism and throwing her support behind Black Lives Matter and the broader movement against systemic racism. In June, she tweeted that “racial injustice has been ingrained deeply into local and state governments, and changes MUST be made there.”
Racial injustice has been ingrained deeply into local and state governments, and changes MUST be made there. In order for policies to change, we need to elect people who will fight against police brutality and racism of any kind. #BlackLivesMatter
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) June 9, 2020
However, it appears that the desires of the “Swifties” – which Taylor Swift herself has not even dignified with a response – may be just as unrealistic as Kanye’s proclaimed political ambitions.
As CNN explained, Kanye hasn’t even registered with the Federal Election Commission, presented a platform for his alleged “campaign,” collected enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot, or even met the deadline to file as an independent candidate in many states.
So it appears that Ye might be simply hogging the limelight for the sake of getting attention and perhaps trolling, and he has no plan yet to retire his red MAGA cap.
If he does one day decide to throw his hat into the political ring, he may face his old unlikely rival Taylor Swift once again.
Arguably stranger things have happened in U.S. politics, after all!
Dolphin Swims Through Louisiana Neighborhood in Aftermath of Hurricane Ida
A Louisiana family was shocked to find a dolphin swimming through their neighborhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.
Amanda Huling and her family were assessing the damage to their neighborhood in Slidell, Louisiana, when they noticed the dolphin swimming through the inundated suburban landscape.
In video shot by Huling, the marine mammal’s dorsal fin can be seen emerging from the water.
“The dolphin was still there as of last night but I am in contact with an organization who is going to be rescuing it within the next few days if it is still there,” Huling told FOX 35.
Ida slammed into the coast of Louisiana this past weekend. The Category 4 hurricane ravaged the power grid of the region, plunging residents of New Orleans and upwards of 1 million homes and businesses in Louisiana and Mississippi into the dark for an indefinite period of time.
Officials have warned that the damage has been so extensive that it could take weeks to repair the power grid, reports Associated Press.
Also in Slidell, a 71-year-old man was attacked by an alligator over the weekend while he was in his flooded shed. The man went missing and is assumed dead, reports WDSU.
Internet users began growing weary last year about the steady stream of stories belonging to a “nature is healing” genre, as people stayed indoors and stories emerged about animals taking back their environs be it in the sea or in our suburbs.
However, these latest events are the surreal realities of a world in which extreme weather events are fast becoming the new normal – disrupting our lives in sometimes predictable, and occasionally shocking and surreal, ways.
Mom in LA Suburbs Fights Off Mountain Lion With Bare Hands, Rescues 5-Year-Old Son
A mother in Southern California is being hailed as a hero after rescuing her five-year-old son from an attacking mountain lion.
The little boy was playing outside his home in Calabasas, a city lying west of Los Angeles in the Santa Monica Mountains, when the large cat pounced on him.
The 65-pound (30 kg) mountain lion dragged the boy about 45 yards across the front lawn before the mother acted fast, running out and striking the creature with her bare hands and forcing it to free her son.
“The true hero of this story is his mom because she absolutely saved her son’s life,” California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Captain Patrick Foy told Associated Press on Saturday.
“She ran out of the house and started punching and striking the mountain lion with her bare hands and got him off her son,” Foy added.
The boy sustained significant injuries to his head, neck and upper torso, but is now in stable condition at a hospital in Los Angeles, according to authorities.
The mountain lion was later located and killed by an officer with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, who found the big cat crouching in the bushes with its “ears back and hissing” at the officer shortly after he arrived at the property.
“Due to its behavior and proximity to the attack, the warden believed it was likely the attacking lion and to protect public safety shot and killed it on sight,” the wildlife department noted in its statement.
The mountain lion attack is the first such attack on a human in Los Angeles County since 1995, according to Fish and Wildlife.
The Santa Monica Mountains is a biodiverse region teeming with wildlife such as large raptors, mountain lions, bears, coyote, deer, lizards, and snakes. However, their numbers have rapidly faded in recent years, causing local wildlife authorities to find new ways to manage the region’s endemic species.
Video Shows Taliban Taking Joyride in Captured US Blackhawk Helicopter
The rapid fall of Kabul to the Taliban has resulted in a number of surreal sights – from footage of the Islamist group’s fighters exercising at a presidential gym to clips of combatants having a great time on bumper cars at the local fun park.
However, a new video of Taliban members seemingly testing their skills in the cockpit of a commandeered UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter shows the chilling extent to which U.S. wares have fallen into the hands of a group it spent trillions of dollars, and exhaustive resources, to stamp out.
In the new video, shared on Twitter, the front-line utility helicopter can be seen taxiing on the ground at Kandahar Airport in southeastern Afghanistan, moving along the tarmac. It is unclear who exactly was sitting in the cockpit, and the Black Hawk cannot be seen taking off or flying.
It is unlikely that the Taliban have any combatants who are sufficiently trained to fly a UH-60 Black Hawk.
The helicopter, which carries a $6 million price tag, is just a small part of the massive haul that fell into the militant group’s hands after the country’s central government seemingly evaporated on Aug. 14 amid the withdrawal of U.S. and coalition troops.
Some 200,000 firearms, 20,000 Humvees and hundreds of aircraft financed by Washington for the now-defunct Afghan Army are believed to be in the possession of the Taliban.
The firearms include M24 sniper rifles, M18 assault weapons, anti-tank missiles, automatic grenade launchers, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars.
Taliban fighters in the elite Badri 313 Brigade have been seen in propaganda images showing off in uniforms and wielding weaponry meant for the special forces units of the Afghan Army.
The U.S. is known to have purchased 42,000 light tactical vehicles, 9,000 medium tactical vehicles and over 22,000 Humvees between 2003 and 2016.
The White House remains unclear on how much weaponry has fallen into Taliban hands, with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan admitting last week that the U.S. lacks a “clear picture of just how much missing $83 billion of military inventory” the group has.