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Saturday, October 26, 2019

Do be Kanye; don't be Brad Pitt

Two stories in People magazine this week illustrated why celebrities should choose wisely when engaging in presidential politics.

The first story was a fluffy piece, "Kim Kardashian and Kanye West's Most Over-the-Top Gifts and Gestures. Money can't buy love – but if you're Kim and Kanye, it can buy plenty of extravagant ways for you to express that love."

Kim turned 39 on Monday. Kanye made a million-dollar donation to four prison reform organizations. Her late father was a criminal defense lawyer and she wants to follow his path. She worked with President Donald John Trump to get clemency for a grandmother serving life over a drug deal. She had served 21 years.

Kim and Kanye lobbied for a bipartisan bill to allow parole for federal inmates.

This week, Kanye said he will move his shoe factories to America. We shall see.

But his gifts to his wife (and mother of their four children) are sweet. For Valentine's Day, he had Kenny G serenade her. It is nice to see people spend the money they earn on one another. I get that it is part of the reality show shtick but they earn their ratings by being interesting.

They are happy people who support our president just as they supported our previous president.
Then there is Brad Pitt. He is not supportive of his president.

He also is in a lot of trouble.

People magazine reported on Thursday, "Brad Pitt will remain a defendant in the lawsuit that claims his charitable foundation Make It Right built inadequate housing for Hurricane Katrina victims.

"The Times-Picayune reports that Civil District Court Judge Rachael Johnson ruled that Pitt would remain a defendant in a September 2018 lawsuit — in which Pitt and his foundation were sued by homeowners who claimed the homes Make It Right built for them were seriously faulty and deteriorating at a rapid pace — in a decision made last week.

"In doing so, Johnson denied Pitt’s November 2018 request to dismiss him from the lawsuit, in which he claimed he had no personal involvement, instead suing the executive architect of the houses, John Williams, on behalf of Make It Right."

This foundation did not build and give the houses away. They sold them. And the work was shoddy.

The story said, "Some of the problems with the homes include mold from trapped water, poor air ventilation, structural problems, electrical problems, plumbing problems and rotten wood, according to the complaint.

"Francis and Decuir allege the foundation was aware of issues with the materials used to build homes by 2013 but “never provided homeowners with notice of these design and material defects” despite the residents paying for mortgages on the homes.

"While members of the foundation promised residents they would provide the engineering reports from inspections, homeowners were allegedly told they needed to sign 'a packet' in order to begin repairs."

I thank Brad Pitt for a weekend dose of Trumpenfreude.

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