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October 10, 2018

"Election 2018 is only 29 days away," Trevor Noah noted on Wednesday's Daily Show, and "one of the more interesting midterm contests is the governors race in Georgia. It's between Stacey Abrams and Brian Kemp," he explained, showing their photos, "and I'm not even going to waste time telling you which party they belong to, because come on." (Abrams is a black woman and Kemp a while male — though, to be fair, white male Democrat Ben McAdams is challenging Rep. Mia Love (R), a black woman, in Utah.) Noah brought out Roy Wood Jr. to offer his analysis of the Georgia race.

"I know many people think of Georgia as a red state, but nowadays it's a lot like old white people's feet: getting weirdly bluer and bluer," Wood said. "And that's mostly because Georgia's population is getting blacker and browner. ... And if those minority voters go her way, Stacey Abrams could become the first black woman elected governor of any state — any state! — which is ridiculous." He ran through Abrams' résumé, which includes a Yale Law degree, leadership of the Georgia legislature, and a series of "sexy-time" romantic suspense novels that Wood suggested could help her with a key demographic.

Standing between Abrams and history is Kemp, the Georgia secretary of state, Wood said, "and even Republicans look at him and go, 'goddamn, that's a Republican!'" He played an ad to prove his point. The race is on a knife's edge, and when Noah asked Wood which way he thinks it will tip, he circled back to his odd fascination with white geriatric feet. Watch below. Peter Weber

1:32a.m.

On the East Coast this weekend, witches will gather to put a hex on Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, while on the West Coast, an exorcist will hold a Mass for him as a way of blocking this "conjuring of evil."

The hexing will take place Saturday at Catland Books in Brooklyn, and while the online invitation states that Kavanaugh will be "the focal point," he is not "the only target, so bring your rage and all of the axes you've got to grind." Kavanaugh has been accused by multiple women of sexual assault, allegations he has denied. Event organizer Dakota Bracciale told Time that the hexing is being held as a way of "raising visibility and letting people know they're not alone with the monsters. Even the witches are coming out of the woodwork to stop this." This isn't the first hexing to take place at Catland, either — over the summer, three events were held to hex President Trump.

Father Gary Thomas, exorcist for the Diocese of San Jose in California, told The National Catholic Register that he is "appalled" and "conjuring up personified evil does not fall under free speech." He will offer Mass for Kavanaugh, who is Catholic, and is urging others to pray and fast. "The decision to do this against a Supreme Court justice is a heinous act and says a lot about the character of these people that should not be underestimated or dismissed," he said. Catherine Garcia

1:27a.m.

Stephen Colbert kicked off Thursday's Late Show with a family-friendly joke about Special Counsel Robert Mueller's reported post-election report on President Trump and Russia, and Sting's tantric ... prowess — followed by a Gen-X-friendly joke about Ferris Bueller's Day Off. "Of course the big story continues to be Donald Trump reacting to the likely murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi with a firm ¯\_(ツ)_/¯," Colbert said. Trump has been exercising "an uncharacteristic amount of caution" in rendering a verdict on what happened to Khashoggi and whether the Saudi government is culpable, but on Thursday, the president "gave his hot take on the journalist's fate": "It certainly looks" like Khasoggi is dead, and "it's very said."

Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo want everyone to cool their heels until the Saudis finish their investigation, "and Saudi Arabia is really making headway with their 'investigation,' because today, one of the 15 alleged Saudi killers died in a car accident in Riyadh," Colbert said. "One down. Right now in Riyadh there are 14 other guys saying, 'It's a nice day, I think I'm gonna walk.''

"Trump's getting some criticism for his bold soft-on-murder stance, but some people still have his back," Colbert said, showing a clip of televangelist Pat Robertson "downplaying Khashoggi's murder and prioritizing the financial benefit of siding with Saudi Arabia," notably when it comes to arms sales. "Thank you, reverend, thank you for capturing the core message of Christianity: How important can one man's death be?" Colbert deadpanned.

He ended with the profanity-filled shouting match outside the Oval Office between "the White House's own Statler and Waldorf," Chief of Staff John Kelly and National Security Adviser John Bolton. (The similarity really is striking.) Colbert counseled a truce: "Fellas, fellas, don't fight, you're both terrible." Watch below. Peter Weber

12:41a.m.

While in Montana on Thursday, President Trump applauded the state's Republican congressman, Greg Gianforte, for assaulting a journalist last year, saying that "any guy that can do a body slam ... he's my guy."

In May 2017, Gianforte was running in a special election for Montana's at-large congressional district, and Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs asked him a question about the Republican health care plan. Gianforte then body-slammed Jacobs, who was treated for an elbow injury. Gianforte pleaded guilty to a charge of assault, and served 40 hours of community service, paid a fine, and had to take anger management classes.

Trump told a rally crowd that Gianforte is "smart," a "great guy," and a "tough cookie." He said when he learned about Gianforte assaulting Jacobs, he thought he would lose the election, "and then I said, 'Wait a minute, I know Montana pretty well, I think it might help him' And it did."

Trump's approval of physical violence against a journalist comes as he's being accused of providing cover for Saudi Arabia in the case of missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Guardian US editor John Mulholland derided Trump's comments, saying, "To celebrate an attack on a journalist who was simply doing his job is an attack on the First Amendment by someone who has taken an oath to defend it." He called on "decent people" to "denounce these comments" and said he hopes "the president will see fit to apologize for them." Catherine Garcia

12:29a.m.

At a rally in Montana on Thursday night, President Trump trotted out a confusing new theory about a group of Honduran migrants trying to head to the U.S., currently stalled in Guatemala: The Democrats sent them. Why would Democrats try to lure some 3,000 Honduran citizens up to the U.S. right before an election that Trump is increasingly trying to make a referendum on illegal immigration? They "figure everybody coming in is going to vote Democrat," Trump said, rallying for the Republican Senate candidate challenging Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.).

Noncitizens can't vote in U.S. elections, of course, but Trump let that slide. "A lot of money's been passing through people to come up and try to get to the border by Election Day because they think that's a negative for us," Trump said. "They wanted that caravan and there are those that say that caravan didn't just happen. It didn't just happen."

The president appears to be referring to a video posted on Twitter first by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) then by Trump of a man passing out what appears to be money to a group of women, the theory — as explained by Newt Gingrich — being that somebody is paying Hondurans to migrate to America for some unexplained reason. Gaetz later explained: "This video was provided to me by a Honduran government official. Thus, I believed it to be from Honduras."

Trump is so concerned about 3,000 Hondurans trying to make their way to the U.S. border that he threatened on Thursday to "call up the U.S. Military and CLOSE OUR SOUTHERN BORDER!" Peter Weber

12:10a.m.

The Boston Red Sox defeated the Houston Astros 4-1 on Thursday, capturing the American League pennant.

They are now heading to the World Series, where they will play the winner of the National League Championship Series — either the Los Angeles Dodgers or the Milwaukee Brewers. Red Sox pitcher David Price had a playoff career-high of nine strikeouts and six shutout innings. The Red Sox were able to eliminate the Astros, last year's World Series champions, in five games. The World Series starts Tuesday. Catherine Garcia

October 18, 2018

Voter suppression is an issue across the United States, but the most egregious example is in Georgia, and Trevor Noah on Thursday's Daily Show made a suggestion that might just turn things around.

The governor's race in the state is extremely close, between Democrat Stacey Abrams and Republican Brian Kemp. Kemp happens to be the secretary of state, overseeing elections and voter registration, and Georgia has a law where voter registrations must match exactly to DMV and Social Security information. If not, the registration is put on hold. "It's funny how this happens with voting, but it never stops the IRS," Noah said. "The IRS is never like, 'Oh we have 'Trevok Noah,' I guess you don't have to pay taxes this year.' No, they'd be like, 'Hey, Trevor Noah, you misspelled your name dumbass, and you owe us $20,000.'"

Georgia's population is approximately 32 percent black, and a list of voter registrations on hold is nearly 70 percent black. "Well, well, well, my old friend racism, I've been expecting you," Noah said. You don't have to say who you're targeting to target someone, he added, "you just have to know which rules are likely to hit them the most." If he wanted to block white people from voting, he said, all he'd have to do is say "no pumpkin spice lattes in the voting booth."

In order to ensure that they can vote, Noah suggests that every black person in the United States register as a Republican. "Just say you're gonna vote red," he said, but do whatever you want once you've got a ballot. "I guarantee you, if the GOP thinks that black people are voting for them, they will make sure that your vote counts. They're going to be waving Trayvons into the voting booth like a third base coach." Watch the video — which uses Kanye West's love of the MAGA hat to prove Noah's point — below. Catherine Garcia

October 18, 2018

The Trump administration tried once again on Thursday to get the Supreme Court to toss a lawsuit on climate change, filed by 21 activists between the ages of 11 and 22.

The plaintiffs allege that federal officials are not doing enough to curb carbon pollution, thus violating their rights to due process under the Constitution. The activists are calling for major reductions in carbon dioxide emissions.

They first filed the lawsuit in 2015 against former President Barack Obama and government agencies, and Obama's administration also tried to get the suit thrown out. In July, the Supreme Court said it was too premature for the Trump administration to attempt to stop the lawsuit, and on Monday, federal Judge Ann Aiken in Eugene, Oregon, ruled that the case can go forward to trial on Oct. 29 unless the Supreme Court or 9th Circuit Court of Appeals intervene. Catherine Garcia

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