The Trump era of hate isn't defined by Trump alone. Meet Roger Stone.

There's a big cost to normalizing hate.

Note: The following piece includes direct quotes from Roger Stone, some of which include bigoted slurs.

The Trump era has brought with it a lot of things we wouldn't usually consider "normal." A reality TV star caught on camera bragging about sexual assault being elected president? Not normal. That same president putting trust in fringe websites while ignoring his own intelligence briefings and labeling mainstream news outlets "fake news"? Also not normal.


But one of the strangest, most subtle bits of abnormality in this new world is the media renaissance of Trump adviser Roger Stone, who you may recognize from his appearances on cable and network news shows.

Stone chats with the media during a December 2016 visit to  Trump Tower. Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images.

For more than 40 years, Stone played a mostly behind-the-scenes role in Republican politics. After Trump's election, that changed.

Also known as "Nixon's man in Washington" (according to Stone's own book), Stone has a long history as a political "dirty trickster" and purveyor of half-baked conspiracy theories on everything from 9/11 to the Kennedy assassination to Obama's birth certificate. He was also a key player in the election of Donald Trump. And, like the president, he prides himself on not being "politically correct."

He has referred to black and Latino journalists as "quota hires," he once ran an anti-Hillary Clinton organization called Citizens United Not Timid (apparently, he really liked the acronym), and this weekend, he went on a sexist Twitter rant, calling a woman identified as Caroline O. a "stupid ignorant ugly bitch."

Those sexist tweets were not an isolated incident.

His behavior was enough to get him banned from some of the cable news networks. He was banned from CNN (after calling CNN commentator Ana Navarro an "Entitled Diva Bitch," "Borderline retarded," and "'dumber than dog shit"), from MSNBC ("because of his now very well-known offensive comments"), and from Fox News (Stone says, "I'm banned at Fox because I kick their ass"). Stone became a star only to see it all fade once his more extreme views became more widely known.

You might think that would be the last we saw of him. You'd be wrong. While Stone hasn’t been back on any of the networks that banned him, he has been getting a lot of attention from mainstream networks like NBC and PBS since the election.

So why — if nothing about his misogyny, racism, and penchant for conspiracy theories has changed — is Roger Stone on our TVs again?

Stone recently appeared on NBC's "Today" show to discuss the effect Russia had on the 2016 campaign. In January, he appeared in the PBS "Frontline" documentary "Divided States of America." In April, Netflix will premiere "Get Me Roger Stone," a documentary about the man himself, at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Despite being shunned by major networks during the election, the very same man who quoted Gore Vidal to the New York Times in 2015 — "Never miss the opportunity to have sex or be on television" — seems to be making good on at least the latter half of that statement.

Stone in 1987 during his time as a political consultant for Campaign Consultants Inc. AP Photo/Tom Reed.

So, what is it? Why is Roger Stone being given a platform on our TVs again? And what does it say about what's "normal" in the Trump-era media landscape that a man who tweeted "DIE BITCH" at former New York Times editor Jill Abramson, who he called a "snot-nosed, arrogant, biased liberal — and all around bitch" because the paper didn't review his 2013 book about President Kennedy's assassination, who called former Rep. Michele Bachmann a "tranny," and who called Al Sharpton a "professional negro" is considered palatable for mainstream audiences?

Roger Stone hasn't changed, but maybe we have.

Stone during The New Yorker Festival 2016's "President Trump: Life as We May Know It" panel. Photo by Anna Webber/Getty Images for The New Yorker.

Stone is the canary in the Trump-era normalization coal mine. He is what happens when the country elects Donald Trump president, and he is evidence of a ripple effect that could continue for generations.

Roger Stone, Milo Yiannopoulos, Alex Jones, and others were once fringe elements within the media. Their ideas — sexist, hateful, and based in paranoia and conspiracy theories — were rejected for those very reasons. When people like them, whose arguments and careers are built upon a lifetime of bad behavior, are given platforms and aren't held responsible for their actions and attitudes, we start to become numb to just how extreme their views are. When we become indifferent to harmful viewpoints and people, we redefine "normal" — and not for the better.

This is not normal.

Hate is not normal. Bigotry, misogyny, racism, and xenophobia are not acceptable "alternative" viewpoints. And people who promote those messages should not become just one more cog in the cable news machine. We cannot let that become our new reality. We're better than that.

So why is Roger Stone on my TV again?

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Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

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The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

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What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

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