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The Associated Press / Democratic presidential candidated Robert Francis "Beto" O'Rourke recently discussed his desire to see everyone be allowed to determine what gender goes on their driver's license.

O'Rourke's gender idea

Former Texas congressman Robert Francis "Beto" O'Rourke - who announced Friday he was ending his Democratic presidential campaign - wants America to go way beyond a woman's right to choose. He's for everyone's right to choose — their gender on their driver's license, that is.

In a recently released campaign ad, evidently targeting transgender voters and folks who want to have a lot of fun with the Department of Motor Vehicles, O'Rourke said, "I think the letter that is on your driver's license should be the letter that you choose. That is yours to determine."

He went on to say the ability for individuals to decide who they are is up to them and that no government, local, state or federal, should stand in the way.

O'Rourke, who has languished around 1% in most polls, also has expressed opinions that certain types of weapons should be confiscated from people who don't give them up, that opioid abusers shouldn't receive any consequences and that churches should lose their tax exempt status if they don't adhere to certain understandings.

 

Sour grapes

An MSNBC host and guests endeavored to make President Donald Trump look bad last week — go figure — with a segment that poked fun at the items that were being sold online in support of his campaign.

But they wound up being forced to conclude that the campaign was wildly successful in its digital strategy and that perhaps their team — Democrats — could learn something.

They berated the T-shirts and fine-point markers that "many call idiotic and embarrassing" and said the items are sold to "people that believe that we are all fake news, who would be happy to take any sort of fake news conspiracy theory and spread it among their friends and family."

But host Stephanie Ruhle noted that the "campaign can use this data and cross reference this with Facebook data, so they can then learn who this hard core base is, but who their friends, family, and community are. This is all important commercial data. Massively valuable, massively expensive and they're getting it for free."

And former Democratic U.S. Rep. Steve Israel added, "Look, it's clear that the Democrats have to get on game in terms of their digital strategy for persuasion, for turn out."

 

Didn't get their wish

Democrats may have been hoping and crossing their fingers that the East Fire would destroy the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, last week, but they didn't get their wish.

Had the flames reached the library, tweeted anti-Reagan author Rick Perlstein, it would have been a "comeuppance to the memory of a man who warded off environmentalism with the daft fallacy" — fallacy? — "that 'the economic prosperity of our people is a fundamental part of our environment'."

Presidential candidate Julian Castro, a bit confused to say the least, blamed the fires on climate change and noted that Republicans hosted a 2016 primary debate at the library in which participants questioned climate change. "Now," he said, "the library is threatened by wildfires."

Meanwhile, leftist author Will Bunch, author of an anti-Reagan book, implied in a tweet that the wildfire threatening the library was a type of karma for the former president removing solar panels from the White House that were put there by his predecessor, Jimmy Carter.

But library officials were the best environmentalists of all, having employed goats in the past to chew up the vegetation surrounding the grounds of the buildings and create a fire break that kept the flames away.

 

A penchant for, um, unauthorized use

Singer Katy Perry was all broke out in her love for 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton during the campaign three years ago, but Perry's unauthorized use of a photographer's image of her in a Hillary Halloween costume that year actually may make her a little broke.

The pop star shared the photo, which also included a friend wearing a Bill Clinton costume, to Instagram with a caption that read "BILL & HILL 4EVA."

However, the image was owned by the photo agency Backgrid, and court documents show the agency is demanding she pay $150,000 for using it.

"Defendants used, and continue to use, the photograph without authorization or permission from Backgrid even after being aware of the infringement," the suit says.

Perry, who appeared with Clinton at a concert at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia just before the election in 2016, is no stranger to legal troubles. Just last week, a federal jury ordered her, her collaborators and her record label to pay rapper Marcus Gray more than $2.78 million because Perry's 2013 song "Dark Horse" copied Gray's 2009 Christian rap song.

The singer's attorney said they will fight the decision. But she didn't say whether she would dole out a pittance for the stolen photo.

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