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The Daily Beast Latest Articles
The Daily Beast Latest Articles
Kim Kardashian Unveils Usher as 2024 Super Bowl Halftime Act
GettyUsher will headline the 2024 Super Bowl’s halftime Show, sponsor Apple Music announced on Sunday in a clip featuring Kim Kardashian.The NFL confirmed the news in a separate tweet.This is a breaking news story.Read more at The Daily Beast.
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Prince Harry Reportedly Snubs King Charles—but Charles May Offer Him U.K. Home
Piroschka Van De Wouw/ReutersWelcome to this week’s edition of Royalist, The Daily Beast’s newsletter for all things royal and Royal Family. Subscribe here to get it in your inbox every Sunday.Harry must give ‘suitable warning’ for royal accommodationWhere can Prince Harry call home in the U.K.? That is the preoccupation of a weekend of feverish reporting—first, a reported snub by Harry to King Charles over staying at Balmoral; another story has Charles offering Harry a residence for when he stays in the country, while a third claims that Harry will have to give notice when he wants somewhere to stay.Read more at The Daily Beast.
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Not Crazy or a Nazi? Liberal Org Run For Something Wants You for School Board
Photo Illustration by Thomas Levinson/The Daily Beast/GettyListen to this full episode of The New Abnormal on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon and Stitcher.Amanda Litman, the co-founder of Run For Something, announced this week that the group would pump $10 million into local school board races that are being hijacked by the conservative Moms for Liberty group.Litman tells The New Abnormal co-host Danielle Moodie she is determined to see progressive voices on school boards, adding that there is a very short list of qualities that potential candidates need in order to be supported by her organization.Read more at The Daily Beast.
Creating a Utopian City Is Harder Than Tech Billionaires Think
Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/GettyPeter Thiel’s floating city in French Polynesia. Elon Musk’s self-sustaining city on Mars. Bill Gates’ smart city in Arizona. Long before a host of the biggest players in Silicon Valley set their sights on creating a new city in Solano County, California, many billionaires thought they could start their own utopia. But one man, a retired AT&T executive from Georgia, has actually been able to do it—for better or for worse.Oliver Porter, 85, is the architect of Sandy Springs, Georgia, a city of 108,000 people outside Atlanta that set off a wave of similar new towns when it incorporated in 2005. Porter has assisted in creating nearly a dozen new cities in Georgia and several others around the world. The legacy of that movement, which has improved services for some while icing out others, carries important lessons for those attempting to start their own private paradises today.Porter joined the Sandy Springs planning committee in the late 1990s, more than 25 years after residents of the neighborhood started pushing for independence from the government of the surrounding Fulton County. The fight started in 1965, when Atlanta attempted to annex the wealthy, white enclave just outside the city limits and was met with resounding resistance from homeowners—in part for fear that annexation would require racial integration. (Reps for the suburb threatened to “build up a city separate from Atlanta and your Negroes and forbid any Negroes to buy, or own, or live within our limits.”)Read more at The Daily Beast.
Inside Mel Brooks’ Most Iconic Movie Lines
Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/Warner Bros./20th Century Fox/The below is an excerpt from ‘“You Talkin’ to ”: The Definitive Guide to Iconic Movie Quotes’ by Brian Abrams.Though it’s true (it’s twoo! it’s twoo!) that Mel Brooks became comedy royalty after an impeccable run of game-changing hits with Gene Wilder—especially Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein—the Brooklyn-born rascal always took his funny business seriously. He constantly combed the desert for gags, thought up absurd cameos and sidekicks, and never ever accepted notes or direction from suits on the studio lot.Read more at The Daily Beast.
The Raunchy Fantasy Series Taking Over BookTok
Photo Illustration by Thomas Levinson/The Daily Beast/GettyWhat if Cinderella hadn’t come to the ball to marry the prince, but to kill him?That one thought, sparked from listening to the “intense” music in Cinderella, was the catalyst behind Sarah J. Maas’ eight-book fantasy series Throne of Glass. Enter Aelin Galathynius: the most famous assassin in the world, armed with a heart of gold, a wicked sense of humor, and a divine love for live opera (oh, and please don’t touch her expensive lavender-scented soap).“Aelin came into my head—someone who loved dressing up for the ball but also had a very vicious job to do,” Maas told The Daily Beast of her series’ beloved protagonist. “Her character grew and changed from there, but I always wanted her to be a woman who was fascinating and complicated, like all women are.”Read more at The Daily Beast.
Is the Strap-On the Last Taboo of Sex on TV?
Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/GettyFirst there was the finger-banging in the kitchen. Then there was the strap-on.It’s tempting to joke about “where you were” when And Just Like That, the sequel series to Sex and the City, first aired its now-infamous sex scene between Miranda Hobbes (Cynthia Nixon) and Che Diaz (Sara Ramirez)—like it’s a collective trauma we’ve all gone through together. The scene was jarring in many ways, not least of which was that it represented a seemingly out-of-character spontaneity and reckless abandon from sure-headed, emotionally intelligent Miranda, a character fans thought they knew—and thought they knew would never do this.That “this” was getting fingered by Che in her best friend Carrie’s (Sarah Jessica Parker) kitchen, physicalizing an emotional affair she’d been having with the nonbinary comedian while still married to her devoted husband, Steve (David Eigenberg). Worse, Miranda was supposed to be at the apartment to care for Carrie, who was convalescing from a surgery—and ends up peeing herself when she’s too startled by what’s going on in her kitchen to make it to the bathroom.Read more at The Daily Beast.
GOP Extremist Joe Kent Is Back—and Now He Wants to Defund the FBI
Photo Illustration by Thomas Levinson/The Daily Beast/ReutersIn 2022, fringe right-wing congressional candidate Joe Kent had a little trouble convincing the far right that he was the genuine article and not, in fact, a deep-state plant.This go-around, the “America First” conservative appears to be getting ahead of that narrative as he makes another run for Congress. This time, he’s shoring up his radical credentials by calling to gut the FBI.The FBI, Kent suggested in a video last month, is essentially operating “as a secret domestic intelligence agency,” which will “continue to take us down this road towards total authoritarianism.” He has repeatedly called to defund the agency, even as it faces mounting threats from the MAGAsphere, and has pushed the false claim that “deep state” infiltration was to blame for the Jan. 6 attack.Read more at The Daily Beast.
Meryl Streep and Martin Short on ‘Only Murders’ Are One of TV’s Best Couples Ever
Photo Illustration by Thomas Levinson/The Daily Beast/HuluOne of the greatest love stories of our times is currently playing out on TV—and no one seems to be talking about it.It’s the story of two frustrated, aging artists whose talents have never been recognized. Their paths have crossed before, but, like ships (or perhaps more like ferries) in the night, they’ve always just missed each other. And so, they’ve been traipsing around New York City, their matching statement scarves tossed artfully over their shoulders, trying against all hope to make their dreams come true. When they finally meet, it’s like lightning has struck—instantly, they see the artistic potential in each other that no one else could. “Where have you been,” he asks her.I am talking, of course, about the improbable love story of Loretta and Oliver in Only Murders in the Building.Read more at The Daily Beast.
Right-Wing Activist Christopher Rufo Became the One Thing He Claims to Hate
Photo Illustration by Erin O'Flynn/The Daily Beast/Getty ImagesThe late philosopher Herbert Marcuse once wrote that a true democratic marketplace of ideas is impossible in a society with social inequities. His prescription was as simple as it is chilling: We must restrain the liberty of “self-styled conservatives” who create the inequities, even if doing so requires “undemocratic means.”In his new bestselling book, America’s Cultural Revolution: How the Radical Left Conquered Everything, conservative journalist and activist Christopher Rufo accurately observes that critical theorists like Marcuse call for suppressing speech based on “a racial and political calculus.” He correctly concludes this would be “tyranny.”But while Rufo presents himself as a critic of Marcuse and his ilk, he is all too willing to employ critical theory's tyrannical means for his own ends—trading constitutional principles for political expediency.Read more at The Daily Beast.
Ron DeSantis’ Campaign Is Plummeting Because He Won’t Choose a Lane
Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/ReutersHe coulda been somebody. He coulda been a contender.I once had high aspirations for Ron DeSantis. But those of us who were hoping he’d be an instrument to stop Donald Trump from winning a third Republican presidential nomination look to be out of luck, as the promise of DeSantis recedes with the summer of 2023.A recent CNN/University of New Hampshire poll, for example, shows DeSantis plummeting 13 points since their last survey in July, putting him at just 10 percent in the “first in the nation” primary.Read more at The Daily Beast.
Florida Mayor Slams DeSantis as ‘Craven’ Over Vaccine Claims
ReutersIn a letter sent on Friday, Mayor Dan Gelber of Miami Beach laid into presidential hopeful Ron DeSantis, saying the governor’s advice to Florida residents under 65 to avoid the newly available COVID vaccine is “entirely based on the politics of the Republican primary and not on what’s best for [his] Florida constituents.”“I have seen politicians do many things I thought were expedient, political, or simply gutless,” Gelber wrote to DeSantis, “These days, people expect as much. But urging your residents not to avail themselves of the one thing that can protect them from severe illness and death in order to revive your struggling campaign, is all of those things and worse. It is simply craven.”On Sept. 13, DeSantis and Florida’s Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo told Floridians the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Food and Drug Administration were trying to use them “as guinea pigs” to test the new COVID vaccine that “has not been proven to be safe or effective.” Breaking with the advice of the White House and federal agencies, DeSantis advised residents of the state under the age of 65 to avoid getting the new shot.Read more at The Daily Beast.
Clarence Thomas’ Koch Party Is Latest Shocking Ethics Breach
Alex WongJustice Clarence Thomas once championed the Supreme Court line of precedent giving deference to federal agency expertise—the so-called “Chevron deference” doctrine—writing in 2005 that the Federal Telecommunications Commission was “in a far better position to address these questions than we are” in a case involving regulation of broadband internet service given that the “subject matter [that] is technical, complex, and dynamic.”Thomas’ decision in that case—one known as Brand X—was no outlier given that the Chevron case from which the precedent arose has been cited more than 15,000 times since being decided by the high court in 1984. But 15 years later, Thomas announced that his own decision in that case was wrong because it added to the “constitutional deficiencies of Chevron and exacerbates them.” Unusually, Thomas announced his change of heart in a dissent where he advocated that SCOTUS should have accepted a case for the purpose of overruling his own opinion.What changed?Read more at The Daily Beast.
Lawsuit Claims There’s More to ‘Victoria’s Secret Karen’ Story
Brendan McDermid/ReutersThe internet might have labeled Abigail Elphick “Victoria’s Secret Karen” in 2021, but according to a new report from The New York Times, the real story is more complicated than that label might indicate.Two years ago, Ijeoma Ukenta, who is Black, posted a video to her YouTube channel with the title “Karen Goes Crazy Part 1.” At the start of the video, Elphick, who is white, seems to be reaching for Ukenta’s phone as she films. She then sinks to the floor in tears, covering her face and denying Ukenta’s claims that she’d tried to hit her. Passersby in the store remain silent while Elphick begs, “Don’t record my mental breakdown—please, please, please.” The video has netted 2.6 million views on YouTube.Ukenta had been shopping at Victoria’s Secret when Elphick began standing too close, the Times reports; when Ukenta asked Elphick to stand six feet away, she reportedly complained to a cashier, at which point Ukenta began filming. Read more at The Daily Beast.
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What Hollywood Gets Wrong About the Bounty Hunting Business
Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/Everett CollectionFrom a brash Clint Eastwood in the classic spaghetti Western For A Few Dollars More to a conscientious Robert De Niro in Midnight Run, pop culture depicts the bounty hunter as a kickass, gun-toting white man. Sometimes it’s portrayed by former convicts like reality TV’s Dog the Bounty Hunter and Giovanni Ribisi’s con man who invades a family in the bail bond business in the Amazon’s series Sneaky Pete. Nevertheless, it’s usually a white guy. How realistic is this picture? Let’s examine it with the help of a real bounty hunter.First, the job title. While “bounty hunter” is universally understood since the days of the Wild West, professionals dislike it. “We never use the term bounty hunter because it is not the legal name we can use in Ohio,” said Dana Acy, bail bonds agent and owner of an eponymous bail bonds agency in Cleveland.Acy prefers “fugitive recovery agent.” Alternative job titles include bail enforcement agent, fugitive apprehension agent, and bail enforcer, which is also the title of Bob Burton’s seminal book that the U.S. Department of Justice uses as a training manual.Read more at The Daily Beast.
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An Army for Trump Sees 2024 as the ‘Last Chance to Save the Nation’
Anna Moneymaker/GettyIn the ballroom of a Washington, D.C. hotel last Friday night, hundreds of people swayed and raised their hands to catchy contemporary Christian music.There’s nothing that our God can’t doThere’s not a mountain that He can’t move.Read more at The Daily Beast.
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How Microcheating Could Kill Your Relationship
Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/GettyAri Paez, 29, had been dating her boyfriend Jake* (not his real name) for about six months but had increasingly grown suspicious of his interactions with his ex-girlfriend.“I would see her name pop up on his phone quite often,” she says. “At first I was a little sketched out so I snooped on his phone but it all seemed very friendly, the messages weren’t really flirtatious, so I tried to be the cool girl and be like ‘some people are friends with their ex’ it doesn’t mean anything.”But the uneasy feeling in her stomach that something was awry only continued to grow when Jake and his ex would go on trips together.Read more at The Daily Beast.
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‘Morning Show’ Star Nicole Beharie Gave the TV Performance of the Week
Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/Apple+This week:Nicole Beharie Is the Performer of the WeekI wouldn’t call the way The Morning Show tackles anything “nuanced.” The Apple TV+ show tends to rile up its impressive cast—Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Julianna Margulies, Jon Hamm, Greta Lee, Billy Crudup, and Karen Pittman—and has them charge at various ripped-from-headlines issues like a prestige television running of the bulls.Read more at The Daily Beast.
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New Clues Could Solve Case of the Dutch Girl Lost in Africa
Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/Handout/GettyUganda’s Murchison Falls National Park is home to much dangerous wildlife. The rivers teem with crocodiles and tusked hippos. Lions and leopards stalk the night. There are elephants that can crush anything in their path and massive cape buffalos with razor-sharp horns more than three feet across.When 21-year-old Dutch medical student Sophia Koetsier disappeared here under mysterious circumstances in the autumn of 2015, authorities tried to blame it on an animal attack, according to Dutch media reports.Eight years later, however, a potential new lead has surfaced. And the new director of the Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) in Uganda has reopened the investigation into Sophia’s mysterious disappearance. Instead of a croc or a big cat, it now appears that Sophia may have fallen prey to the most dangerous species of all: man.Read more at The Daily Beast.
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How Public Education Nearly Killed Hip Hop in the Cradle
Photo Illustration by Erin O'Flynn/The Daily Beast/Getty ImagesIn the last two months, I’ve read many stories celebrating the 50-year anniversary of Hip Hop. Stories of how teenagers who grew up in New York City harnessed nothing but their talent to create a cultural phenomenon that captivates the globe. Hip Hop’s cultural power is undeniable, but the story people don’t know is that the children who created this global juggernaut attended school in the shadow of the school reform movement that punished them for the very creativity they expressed in Hip Hop.Born in 1979, I am a card-carrying member of the Hip Hop generation. I started school when Hip Hop was making its way into the American mainstream. My big brother, 12 years my senior, introduced me to Hip Hop. Kurtis Blow, Salt-n-Pepa, Kool Moe Dee, and The Fat Boys blasted nonstop from his bedroom. I’d kneel by his door, hoping he would play my favorite songs more than once so I could memorize all the words. Hip Hop was all around me, influencing every part of my life. My clothes, hair, sneakers, walk, talk, and ideas about the world were being shaped by Hip Hop. It was my everything, and each kid that looked like me in my Black neighborhood in upstate New York spoke in the language of Hip Hop. At home, on our block, in our neighborhoods, we were in sync. But when we went to school, the heartbeat of Hip Hop that proudly blasted from every corner of our neighborhoods could not reach our schools or our teachers.We made beats and they told us to stop banging on the lunch tables. We were poets and writers, and they told us to stop rapping. We freed our minds and bodies through innovative movement, and they told us to stop popping and locking. We thought we were representing our pride and beauty through fashion, and they told us to turn our clothes inside out or leave school altogether.Read more at The Daily Beast.
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What I Saw While Working at Ibram Kendi’s Center for Antiracist Research at Boston University
Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/GettyI wasn’t even looking to work at the Center for Antiracist Research. I was a junior faculty member at Boston University with a modest public profile, so didn’t expect an invitation to the party. Dr. Ibram X. Kendi was an academic rockstar, after all.To my surprise, the Center reached out to interview me. When I got the job, I felt like Percy Jackson being summoned to Mount Olympus.Fast forward two years. I had left the Center, like so many others, and was recovering from the experience. Then I got word about the mass layoffs. All the old feelings came flooding back.Read more at The Daily Beast.
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It’s OK to Lie in Comedy—But Not Like Hasan Minhaj Did
Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/Getty/ReutersComedian Sam Jay opens her new HBO stand-up special, Salute Me Or Shoot Me, by admitting not only that she’s wearing Spanx, but because she doesn’t know how to pee in them, she’s standing before the audience now with a wet ass. Whether any of that is true or not is irrelevant, because she literally has made herself the butt of the joke.Hasan Minhaj, on the other hand, found himself clowned upon and debated this past week not because he acknowledged in a New Yorker profile that he had lied in his comedy specials, but because he lied for the wrong reasons.What’s the difference?Read more at The Daily Beast.
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These Startups Want You to Send Them Your Period Blood
Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily BeastThe kit arrives in your mailbox in a cardboard box stamped with a modern, serif-font logo. It’s the kind of sleek, clean design so often associated with direct-to-consumer brands that fill your social media feeds with ads. A hip makeup line could easily be inside, or a set of razors with a cutesy name.Instead, you open the box and find a pair of gloves, a specimen collection jar, and an organic cotton tampon.NextGen Jane, a health tech startup founded in 2014, sends these kits to menstruators who volunteer to participate in one of the company’s clinical studies. Users wear the tampon for a specified amount of time before removing it and depositing it into the collection jar. Once the jar is sealed, a solution in the container activates to keep the sample’s DNA and RNA intact in ambient temperatures for up to two weeks. Users pack the jar in a supplied, self-addressed box, and drop it in the mail to be sent to NextGen Jane’s lab in Oakland, California for analysis.Read more at The Daily Beast.
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Nepo Baby of the Week: Emma Roberts’ Reign of Terror
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Getty/ReutersI wasn’t sure a celebrity could have a worse week than Drew Barrymore did after three separate announcements—two of them, apologies—regarding the now-delayed return of her talk show during the WGA strike. Then walks in our Nepo Baby of The Week, Emma Roberts, who was called out for being transphobic and an overall mean girl by one of her former co-stars this week. This PR catastrophe occurred the same day as the premiere of her latest acting gig, which has also caught heat for strike-related reasons. Can these spoiled, Hollywood-bred girls do anything right?? (The answer is obviously no.)On Wednesday, television mogul Ryan Murphy unleashed his latest cursed project onto the world, American Horror Story: Delicate, in which Roberts plays an actress trying to conceive through IVF. Its arrival, however, has been anything but delicate. That’s not to mention that some of the next-morning reviews were pretty harsh.First, there’s the alleged scabbiness of it all, as Murphy and FX kept the show in production after the Writers Guild of America announced a walkout amid their ongoing fight for better wages and working conditions. (While the scripts that were shooting were apparently already completed, as several WGA members noted, writers are utilized throughout TV shoots, and therefore picketed outside the studio. ) It’s safe to say that no one was really checking for Roberts in this regard, as her billionaire co-star, Kim Kardashian, was catching most of the heat on social media. Yet the former Nickelodeon star managed to find herself in the center of even a more explosive controversy after Pose actress Angelica Ross aired out some of her experiences on Murphy’s sets.Read more at The Daily Beast.
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The Dumbest Details From the Menendez Indictment
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via GettyAfter nearly a year of anticipation, the most shocking thing about the federal indictment of Sen. Robert Menendez that dropped Friday is how clumsy it makes the senator and his co-conspirators look.According to the indictment, the Democrat, his wife, and their alleged accomplices left fingerprints—literal, digital, and figurative—all over the purported plot to take bribes in exchange for local, national, and international favors. So far, Menendez and two of the other defendants have denied wrongdoing.None have yet disputed U.S. Attorney Damian Williams’ evidence. And that evidence, if accurate, would appear to indicate that not only is Menendez a crook, but an incredibly bad one.Read more at The Daily Beast.
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GOP Rep. Heroically Vows to Save Hot Showers—Gov’t Shutdown Be Damned
Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/Getty/ReutersAs he helped propel the government towards a shutdown, far-right Tennessee Rep. Andy Ogles took a moment to announce urgent legislation to counter what he views as a threat to the American way of life.“Biden’s war on everyday appliances is not over,” Ogles tweeted amidst a national crisis on Thursday. “Now, he’s having his bureaucrats come after your water heater.”While responsible members of Congress were worried about the immediate impact a shutdown would have on everything from child care to cancer research, Ogles was concerned about a federal energy conservation measure for new water heaters that would not take effect until five years after final approval.Read more at The Daily Beast.
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American Long-Range Missiles Threaten to Blast Through Putin’s ‘Red Line’
Reuters / U.S. Army The Biden administration is nearing a decision to send long-range munitions to Ukraine known as Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) that could give Ukraine an edge in the fight against Russia’s invasion, according to U.S. officials.President Joe Biden has told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that Washington will be sending a small number of long-range missiles to Ukraine, NBC News reported Friday. Senior national security officials have also been discussing whether to send the ATACMS missiles armed with cluster bomblets instead of a single warhead in recent days, according to The Washington Post.ATACMS, which can fire about 190 miles, could provide Ukraine the firepower it needs to reach important logistics, stockpiles, command and control centers, and other Russian targets far inside Russian territory. Read more at The Daily Beast.
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McCarthy Caps His Nightmare Week With One More Humiliation: Caving to Marjorie Taylor Greene
Kevin Dietsch/Getty ImagesHouse Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) isn’t finished caving to the far-right in his conference, even as they continue to sabotage his attempts at passing party-line spending bills ahead of an imminent government shutdown.The latest instance came on Friday—just eight days out from a shutdown—when McCarthy bowed to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s (R-GA) demand to remove $300 million in aid for Ukraine from a Pentagon spending bill. The bill was voted down by Greene and other hardliners twice this week, despite usually being one of the easiest government funding measures to pass, and one McCarthy hoped would chart a way forward for passing a wider resolution to divert a shutdown. The concession underscored the lengths McCarthy has been forced to go in order to appease hardline conservatives who, because of the razor-thin margins in the House, effectively have a gun to the speaker’s head allowing them to get whatever they want at the expense of effective governing.Read more at The Daily Beast.
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Sharon Osbourne Says She Lost Too Much Weight on Ozempic
REUTERS/Aude GuerrucciLongtime TV host and reality personality Sharon Osbourne is known for being outspoken, but this week, the wife of rock star Ozzy Osbourne peeled back yet another layer of vulnerability on the Piers Morgan show when she revealed a dramatic 30-pound weight loss, which she says is due to taking injections of Ozempic. Many suddenly-skinnier celebrities have aroused suspicion that they’re on the drug, which is intended to be prescribed to diabetics but which has had a huge surge in popularity due to its weight loss capabilities, but Osbourne is one of the few who’s copped to taking it. Other celebrities who’ve spoken out about taking Ozempic include Tracy Morgan and Amy Schumer—along with Chelsea Handler who claimed to have taken it accidentally. Read more at The Daily Beast.
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‘All of Us Strangers’: Andrew Scott Is Devastatingly Good in Fiery, Gay Knockout
Parisa Taghizadeh/Searchlight PicturesWriter-director Andrew Haigh has made a name for himself in the realm of sad, gay cinema. The director’s 2011 breakout hit, Weekend, became a lightning rod for some members of the queer community, with discussion of the film being a go-to icebreaker on first dates—well, at least for me. Weekend, for all of its fans, was a film that never connected with me, no matter how hard I tried. Bringing it up on dates was an effective litmus test for whether or not I might click with someone as a prospective partner. But it speaks to Haigh’s talent as a filmmaker that, although his most beloved feature could never pierce the veil for me, I’ve greatly enjoyed his other work, particularly 2015’s stunning 45 Years.In the case of Haigh’s latest project, the sublimely emotional All of Us Strangers—which screened Thursday at the New York Film Festival—things are very different. Here, Haigh takes the queer experience and makes it universal; the specificity of gay trauma is merely a catalyst for Haigh’s characters to embark on a journey through their best and worst selves. It’s at those extremes that Haigh crafts his most accessible film yet, a tender treatise on the undying power of love and what happens when we ignore its force.All of Us Strangers is loosely based on Taichi Yamada’s 1987 novel Strangers, yet has Haigh’s signature touches all over it. I don’t just mean the hot guys, but I am also directly referring to the hot guys. The film stars Andrew Scott and Paul Mescal as Adam and Harry, two neighbors in a recently completed London high-rise who find themselves repeatedly bumping into one another, if only because there aren’t yet many other tenants to crowd the place. One night, Adam opens his door to find a drunken Harry standing in the hallway, asking if Adam would like to have a drink… or whatever else a drink may lead to. Though intrigued, Adam turns him down in favor of burying himself in his work: a screenplay set in 1987, about his parents who died in a car crash when he was just 12 years old.Read more at The Daily Beast.
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