unread news
unread news (Demo user)
Tulsi Gabbard sues Hillary Clinton for defamation
Democratic presidential hopeful Tulsi Gabbard has filed a defamation suit against Hillary Clinton for calling her a “Russian asset,” according to newly filed court papers. “Tulsi Gabbard is running for President of the United States, a position Clinton has long coveted, but has not been able to attain,” Wednesday’s Manhattan federal lawsuit reads. “In October...
4 m
Teen lucky to be alive after fish jumps in boat, stabs him in neck
They're called needlefish for a reason.
6 m
‘Pettifogging’: Why Chief Justice John Roberts used term during Trump impeachment trial
A little-used word dating back to the late 16th century -- pettifogging -- made a modern-day comeback at the first day of the impeachment trial of President Trump.
8 m
Heath Ledger played more than the Joker. Whatever kind of movie you're into, Ledger has a film for you
In his short life, Heath Ledger lit up the screen in a number of roles -- from a ranch hand grappling with his sexuality to a high school bad boy who falls in love.
Zion Williamson rejoining Pelicans lineup at pivotal time
Zion Williamson opened with a joke — about himself.
Trump says he would 'love' to sit in Senate chamber during impeachment
President Donald Trump told reporters on Wednesday that he would "love" to sit in the Senate chamber while his own impeachment hearing is taking place, adding he would "sit in the front row and stare in their corrupt faces," referring to House and Senate Democrats.
Trump blasts Senate impeachment trial as ‘hoax’ while in Davos
President Trump slammed the impeachment trial in the Senate as a “hoax” and blasted the Democrats prosecuting the House’s case as for trying to divert Americans’ attention away from the great economic accomplishments of his administration. “It’s such a hoax,” Trump said during an impromptu news conference on Wednesday where he attended the annual World...
Trump Doesn't Want John Bolton to Testify in Impeachment Trial Because 'He Knows Some of My Thoughts'
The president also said it would not be good to have someone testify who had left his administration on bad terms.
This Woman’s Romantic Dinner Date Is Precisely What Her Dreams Were Never Made Of
People will do anything for the person who ensnares their heart — even suck up the $3 charge that is double meat on a footlong sub. This enchanted evening at Subway is proof. If anything has ever given you any doubt that a good partner will take you for a night on the town of…
Bernie Sanders Climbs To Top Of Democratic Race For President In New Poll, Joining Joe Biden
This is the first time in CNN's national polling that Biden hasn't held a solo lead.
Twitter’s app update for Android keeps crashing: Why it’s down, how to fix it
A flaw in the update causes it 'to crash immediately once it's opened.'
Cold-stunned iguanas falling from Florida trees
The National Weather Service routinely warns people about falling rain, snow and hail, but temperatures are dropping so low in South Florida the forecasters are warning residents about falling iguanas
Flu vaccine in pill form on horizon
The oral vaccine is still about five years away from market, but could eliminate many children and adults avoid getting their yearly flu shot.
Warren calls on big U.S. banks to disclose preparation for climate risk
U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, a contender for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination, is asking the biggest U.S. banks for details on their assessments of and preparations for risks related to global warming.
Donald Trump: Elon Musk is 'one of our great geniuses,' but 'I was worried about him'
President Donald Trump hailed Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk as "one of our great geniuses" in the pantheon of brilliant inventors a la Thomas Edison.
The U.S.-China tech dispute breeds suspicion in Silicon Valley
The first time 35-year-old Zhang Lelin, a software engineer from China, felt uncomfortable in Silicon Valley was last year when he heard that a "huge team" of FBI agents had raided the home of one of his Chinese neighbors.
Once upon a time, Tarantino slept in his car and DiCaprio was a break dancer
'Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood's' Brad Pitt, Quentin Tarantino and Leonardo DiCaprio compare notes on their own early experiences in Tinseltown.
California needs clean energy after sundown. Geothermal could be the answer
After years of playing third fiddle to solar and wind power, new geothermal plants are finally getting built.
Review: 'Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens' isn't as funny as its namesake
After "Crazy Rich Asians" and "The Farewell," Comedy Central's "Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens" is a comedown for the rising star.
Passing out on a plane is pretty common. What happened with this drunk was not
Passengers pass out on planes for various reasons — dehydration, chief among them — but usually they do so in plain sight. This time, though, the passenger was in the lavatory.
1929 Oscar winner 'Sunrise' scores a new voice. How you can hear the music, live
Married composer Jeff Beal and librettist Joan Beal write new music for the Los Angeles Master Chorale to sing during the silent-film classic.
Kristin Cavallari’s husband, Jay Cutler, wants her to hide the ‘Hills’
Kristin Cavallari stopped by Page Six to play “60 Seconds of Style,” where she revealed the one celebrity style trend that needs to go away in 2020, plus her first big splurge that involved Chanel. When asked what husband Jay Cutler finds her sexiest in, Cavallari told us, “He likes anything short and tight” but...
Nostalgia play: Pricey foldable Motorola Razr goes on presale Jan. 26, at Verizon, Walmart
In its heyday, Motorola's clamshell became a fashionista status symbol. This latest $1499.99 version is a foldable-screen Android handset.
'Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens' Stars on Breaking New Ground for Asian Americans in Hollywood
"When I was growing up, representation was practically non-existent," Awkwafina says.
The Bernie-Biden clash over Social Security, explained
Al Diaz/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images The potential return of the “grand bargain” on budgetary balance. Social Security hasn’t been at the top of the American political agenda for years, but Bernie Sanders is putting it back — to take on Joe Biden. Sanders’s camp heavily previewed the argument that Biden has a worrying track record of pushing for Social Security cuts before the most recent Democratic debate, but then whiffed, leaving Biden largely uncriticized as Sanders instead got pulled into a dispute with Elizabeth Warren. Then, over the weekend,David Sirota, a Sanders adviser known for his attack-dog persona, wrote in a campaign email that “Biden for years has tried to slash Social Security and Medicare — all while Bernie was working to stop those cuts.” He included a ream of supporting links, including one to a video of a 2018 Biden event that Sirota said showed Biden “lauded Paul Ryan for proposing cuts to Social Security and Medicare.” Biden’s campaign pushed back ferociously, accusing Sanders’s allies of circulating a “doctored” video and demanding an apology. Sirota’s characterization ofthat specific video is wrong, though so is the charge that it was “doctored.” And the overall characterization of Biden’s record doesn’t appropriately capture the full context of what was going on. But on the core point, the video misstep has allowed Biden’s camp to try to avoid confronting the facts. For the vast majority of his career, Biden has been a deficithawkwho’s willing to sacrifice Social Security and Medicare benefits for the sake of achieving smaller budget gaps. He’s even bragged about it to establish a rhetorical contrast with Republican fiscal irresponsibility. And unlike some Biden-related controversies,this isn’t ancient history. It’s a position Biden maintained as Barack Obama’s vice president — and that Sanders and Warren fought against. Consequently, behind the fog of fact checks is a real question about electability in a world where even the GOP’s leader has mostly abandoned the idea of scaling back retirement programs. But even more profoundly, the argument reveals a question about governance, one that frames the actual choices available differently than the typical “revolution versus pragmatism” argument that’s dominated the Democratic campaign so far: What kinds of concessions should or would the next president make in order to advance other priorities? The tale of the tape Sirota’s claim that Biden “lauded Paul Ryan” links to a column by the Week’s Ryan Cooper published about a year ago. Cooper was running with an interpretation of a 2018 Biden speech at the Brookings Institution that was first offered by Sirota himself and flagged as misleading by Ben Cohen. The text of what Biden said is a bit ambiguous, and to understand what’s happening, you probably need to watch it on video. But here is a selection of the transcript that puts his remarks in context, with the key line Sirota is quoting in bold: As I say where I come from, get a life. Look what’s happened with the latest tax cut. Once again those at the very top get the biggest breaks and what do we have to show for it? Even our Republican friends are now beginning to admit there’s no evidence these tax cuts are being put to work in the economy. No new growth, just more debt. And that puts middle class programs that they rely on and they’ve worked for at real risk. Paul Ryan was correct when he did the tax code. What’s the first thing he decided we had to go after? Social Security and Medicare. Now, we need to do something about Social Security and Medicare. That’s the only way you can find room to pay for it. Now, I don’t know a whole lot of people in the top one-tenth of 1 percent or the top 1 percent who are relying on Social Security when they retire. I don’t know a lot of them. Maybe you guys do. So we need a pro-growth, progressive tax code that treats workers as job creators, as well, not just investors; that gets rid of unprotective loopholes like stepped-up basis; and it raises enough revenue to make sure that the Social Security and Medicare can stay, it still needs adjustments, but can stay; and pay for the things we all acknowledge will grow the country. If you watch the video, Biden is saying that stuff about Social Security and Medicare in a funny affected voice. It’s supposed to be satirizing Paul Ryan’s view — the view that first you do a regressive tax cut that makes the budget deficit bigger and then later you come around to cut Social Security and Medicare. Biden isn’t calling for Social Security cuts, and he certainly isn’t lauding Ryan. He’s saying that Ryan’s preferred tax policies — policies that Biden opposed — will lead inevitably to cuts in popular retirement programs. This is close to the reverse of the view Sirota attributes to him. Which is odd, because Biden really has advocated cuts to Social Security on various occasions over the years. Joe Biden is a longtime deficit hawk The connective tissue between the times Biden has proposed Social Security cuts and the time Biden criticized Ryan is that for most of his career, Biden has taken the view that a large budget deficit is bad (he signed on to a balanced budget amendment proposal way back in 1995, for example). The core problem with Social Security, to deficit hawks, is that for various reasons, the long-term projected revenue raised by Social Security taxes will not be sufficient to cover the benefits that have been promised over the long term. While Republicans have at times tried to use this imbalance as a pretext to privatize the program, mainstream Democrats have been more likely to see it as a problem that needs to be fixed with a mix of higher taxes and lower spending. For illustrative examples of what that might look like, you can delve into a 2005 blueprint released by Peter Diamond (whom Obama later tried to appoint to a Federal Reserve Board seat) and Peter Orszag (who served as Obama’s Office of Management and Budget director for years) or a 2010 plan that the Obama-aligned Center for American Progress think tank put out. In this vein, the same Sirota email that was misleading about Biden’s 2018 speech accurately flagged a Biden retirement security plan from his 2008 campaign that floated the idea of raising the retirement age. Specifically, asked by Tim Russert during that campaign if he was open to cutting Social Security and Medicare, he said “you’ve got to put all of it on the table.” The larger context here is that when George W. Bush was president, Democrats routinely assailed him for running up a high budget deficit and frequently forecast dire consequences to come if it was not addressed. And one thing you have to understand to make sense of Obama’s first term in office is that mainstream Democrats were completely sincere about this. As Columbia University’s Adam Tooze writes in Crashed, his history of the Great Recession, Obama and his team were already prepared for an economic crisis before it arrived. The problem is they were prepared for “the wrong crisis” — a crisis of confidence in the US dollar and soaring interest rates provoked by Bush’s irresponsible fiscal policy. In his book The Audacity of Hope, Obama writes that “solving America’s problems will be hard. It will require tough choices, and it will require sacrifice. Unless political leaders are open to new ideas and not just new packaging, we won’t change enough hearts and minds to initiate a serious energy policy or tame the deficit.” At another point, he observes that “the problems with the Social Security trust fund are real but manageable. In 1983, when facing a similar problem, Ronald Reagan and House Speaker Tip O’Neill got together and shaped a bipartisan plan that stabilized the system for the next sixty years. There’s no reason we can’t do the same today.” The Reagan-O’Neill plan was a balanced package of tax hikes and benefit cuts, exactly what the Diamond-Orszag plan featured, and what Biden meant when he said “you’ve got to put all of it on the table,” and exactlywhat Obama meant when he said we would need “tough choices” and “sacrifice.” The underlying presumption of this is that the deficit was a major long-term problem, comparable to climate change. And that's a view that persisted into Obama’s administration even though he wound up getting the wrong crisis. The Grand Bargain era By the time Obama took office, it was clear that Democratic Party deficit hawks had been preparing for the wrong crisis. During the financial crisis that precipitated the Great Recession, the value of the dollar went up, not down, and interest rates went down rather than up. And all this happened even though the recession itself automatically pushed the deficit up quite a bit. The administration responded, sensibly, with a stimulus package that made the deficit even larger. But once the stimulus was enacted — and especially after getting beaten badly in the 2010 midterms — the administration pivoted back to the deficit question, even though it had no immediate urgency. This eventually took the form of a search for a “grand bargain” between the administration and House Republicans,one that would pair tax increases with cuts to long-term spending on entitlement programs. Initially the hope was that a grand bargain would be reached as part of a deal to raise the statutory debt ceiling. That failed, and instead the debt ceiling was raised but paired with big automatic short-term cuts to discretionary spending on both military and non-military spending. The idea was that ultimately both Democrats and Republicans would prefer a grand bargain on long-term issues to economically harmful short-term cuts, and so would reach the bargain in order to avert them. That effort failed, too. Last but by no means least was the “fiscal cliff” occurring shortly after Obama won reelection, when the White House tried and failed to get House Republicans to agree to a deal that would raise taxes and cut long-term spending. In all these cases, cuts to Social Security — typically either raising the age at which one could claim full benefits, switching the cost of living adjustments to a less generous measure of inflation, or both — were, broadly speaking, on the table. And in all cases, the Obama administration, Biden included, was very much hoping for a deal. The reason Social Security and Medicare left the Obama years untouched was fundamentally that Republicans didn’t want to make a deal. Rather than raising taxes and cutting entitlements, their idea, outlined in multiple budget documents written by Paul Ryan, was to cut taxes as well as entitlement spending. Meanwhile, a dissident faction of left-wing Democrats, led by Sanders and Warren, said this was a bad idea, that the search for a grand bargain was misguided, and that Social Security should be expanded rather than cut. This group was not influential during the search for a grand bargain — had a deal been reached, it simply would have passed without their votes — but, in part due to Republican intransigence, they wound up winning the argument. Lots of people have changed their position Bernie Sanders has the same position on Social Security in 2020 that he had in 2011 — it should be expanded. Elizabeth Warren, too, is a longtime champion of expanding Social Security, and for the 2020 campaign she outlined a Social Security expansion plan that is even more generous than the one Sanders has embraced. Most other leading figures in American politics, however, have shifted positions — generally to the left of where they were five to 10 years ago. The shifts were, to an extent, gradual. In early 2014, Obama released a budget proposal that, unlike the ones from his previous few years, no longer included the idea of cutting Social Security by switching to the less generous inflation index. Then in June 2016, Obama came out in favor of expanding Social Security benefits. Biden seems to have broadly tracked Obama’s thinking. In his 2018 Brookings speech, he’s not talking about doing a grand bargain; he’s complaining that GOP tax cuts are imperiling Social Security. And in the summer of 2019, he fleshed out his Social Security expansion proposal. Meanwhile, Donald Trump won the 2016 election, but he also ruined the GOP establishment’s plan to cut entitlements without a grand bargain. Trump as a candidate vowed to avoid cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. I was the first & only potential GOP candidate to state there will be no cuts to Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid. Huckabee copied me.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 7, 2015 As president, he has flagrantly violated those promises on Medicaid, backing bills that would have enacted sweeping cuts and doing everything in his power to use executive discretion to toss people off the program. Trump’s budget director and chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, meanwhile, has bragged about talking Trump into supporting cuts to parts of Social Security by convincing him that Social Security Disability Insurance isn’t really Social Security (the name is a hint that it is), and his promise really only covered old-age benefits. But Trump really has avoided cuts in benefits for retirees, which helped give him a moderate image with a critical swath of voters and has changed the basic pattern of American political arguments. One important consequence of this is that Mitch McConnell — who helped kill the grand bargain when Obama and Biden wanted one — now says he wants a bipartisan deal to “adjust those programs” and reduce the deficit. This sets up an important question of what will happen if Trump loses in 2020. Joe Biden wants to get things done If you view the whole history of their respective records in context, the Sanders camp is going too far in trying to pitch Biden as some kind of fanatical Social Security slasher. Biden did for a long time buy into the idea that it was critically important to try to reach a bipartisan deal on deficit reduction, even if such a deal entailed significant cuts to Social Security and Medicare. Sanders and Warren, by contrast, always opposed such dealmaking. At the end of the day, it turned out not to matter, because Republicans weren’t interested. But unlike many of the other domestic issues that candidates have argued about in the 2020 cycle, the gap here has real implications. There are at least some indications that McConnell and other GOP leaders may have changed their minds on a deficit deal. And while nobody running for office is going to discuss in detail the specific outlines of unsavory compromises they might be willing to make with a GOP legislative majority, the candidates’ records indicate that if McConnell were interested in making a deal, Biden would be a lot more willing than Sanders to give up Social Security cuts if he could get something in exchange that he thought was important. Biden has mused sporadically about the possibility of a post-election “epiphany” that would restore bipartisan cooperation to Washington, generally only to be met with derision. But while an epiphany almost certainly isn’t in the cards, it’s not out of the question that post-Trump congressional Republicans would decide that they were too intransigent on the specific grand bargain question and want to make a deal with a Biden administration. A Warren or Sanders administration would almost certainly reject any such overtures, whereas Biden — like Obama before him — might see concessions on Social Security as a potentially viable way of moving the ball forward on other priorities.
'Kingdom Hearts 3 Remind' DLC Release Time: When Can I Download on PS4?
"Kingdom Hearts 3 Remind" is nearly here, and we want you to be able to download it as soon as it comes out. Here are all the pre-release details you need.
BTS 2020 'Map of the Soul Tour' Dates Released: How to Get Tickets
The latest BTS concert tour will include 15 dates in the U.S. and Canada, with tickets available from February 5.
Serbia introduces airport screening for new coronavirus
Serbia will screen passengers arriving at Belgrade's Nikola Tesla airport using a thermal camera and is ready to quarantine anyone suspected of carrying the new coronavirus, health minister Zlatibor Loncar said on Wednesday.
Deported Mexican national could be ‘serial killer’ after 5th body found in Tijuana: police
A Mexican man now accused of killing at least five people – including his own in-law who traveled from California to Tijuana to collect rent from their tenants – may be a serial killer who was luring potential victims in with offers for cars for sale, Mexican authorities said Tuesday.
Life inside ground zero of deadly virus outbreak
The Lunar New Year -- the most important festival in the Chinese calendar -- is just three days away, but in the Chinese city of Wuhan, there are few reasons to celebrate.
Everlane just launched the perfect everyday legging
We reviewed the Everlane Perform Legging, which marks the company's first venture into activewear. The verdict? To put it plainly, these are the perfect everyday leggings.
Monty Python star Terry Jones dies aged 77
Terry Jones, one of the British Monty Python comedy team, has died at the age of 77 after a long battle with dementia, his family said on Wednesday.
Ex-Mississippi State receiver De’Runnya Wilson found dead in apparent homicide
A former standout wide receiver at Mississippi State University was found dead in an Alabama home, police said. De’Runnya Wilson, 25, was found lifeless Tuesday afternoon by a relative at a residence in Birmingham, where investigators were called for a report of a “person down,” police said. “They received information from a relative that the...
Magic Johnson at Stern memorial: I'm going to miss my angel
David Stern was remembered Tuesday as a mentor and a leader, a Little League parent and a loyal friend.
Coronavirus death toll rises to 9 as experts consider declaring a public health emergency
The World Health Organization is considering whether to declare a public health emergency as deadly coronavirus spreads globally.
Fact check: How McConnell's impeachment trial rules differ from those that governed the Clinton trial
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell argued Tuesday that the rules he is proposing for President Donald Trump's Senate impeachment trial "closely" follow past precedent, and invoked the 1999 trial of President Bill Clinton in particular.
‘Transparent’ star Trace Lysette developing a new show
“It’s important for us to be ready to receive stories from trans women … who transitioned in the ’90s," Lysette says.
UK to tackle coronavirus threat with enhanced monitoring at Heathrow
Britain will start enhanced monitoring of all passengers who arrive on direct flights from the Chinese city of Wuhan to tackle the threat of coronavirus.
Biden Urged to '#TellTheTruthJoe' About Past Calls for Social Security Cuts Amid Bernie Sanders Criticism
The hashtag trended on Twitter as Biden and Bernie Sanders continue to clash over the VP's history on cutting benefits.
'The Ranch' Part 8 Release Date, Cast, Trailer, Plot: All You Need to Know About Season 4B of Netflix's Show?
"The Ranch" Part 8 will bring the Netflix show to an end with a final 10 episodes that see the Bennett family face the prospect of having to move out.
State AGs urge Senate to reject impeachment in stinging letter: 'A dangerous historical precedent'
EXCLUSIVE: The attorneys general of 21 states have come forward with a blistering rebuke of the impeachment of President Trump, asserting that it "establishes a dangerous historical precedent."
Apple will reportedly release a much-cheaper iPhone as early as March
The smartphone will look similar to the iPhone 8 which came out in 2017 and had a single camera on the back. It will also include a 4.7-inch screen.
Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani drop 'Nobody But You' music video
It feels like Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani just gave us a glimpse into their home life. "The Voice" coaches and real-life couple have dropped the music video for their duet "Nobody But You."
Greece gets its first female president
High court judge and human rights advocate Katerina Sakellaropoulou has been elected Greece's first female president by parliament on Wednesday.
Tucker Carlson: Even if Trump's Senate impeachment trial ends quickly, Democrats may never stop
Democrats like Maxine Waters have vowed to continue to try to get President Trump out of office, even after impeachment fails.
Impeachment trial of President Trump begins with a warning from Chief Justice Roberts
Impeachment trial rules are established after a marathon session, including a warning from Chief Justice John Roberts to senators on their conduct.
Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale says impeachment "excites" the base
As President Trump faces a historic impeachment trial, his 2020 campaign aimed to capitalize on the moment by emailing supporters about what they call Democrats’ “petty antics.” His campaign manager Brad Parscale joins “CBS This Morning” to talk more about their re-election strategy.
How Germany helped make renewable energy cheap for the rest of the world
Hans-Josef Fell and his solar panels. | Kenny Malone/NPR One man, some very old solar panels, and a law that looks a lot like part of the proposed US Green New Deal helped transform the way Germany gets its power. Hans-Josef Fell describes himself as a “solar freak.” His entire home, in a small town in Northern Bavaria, runs on renewable energy: heating, cooling, and electricity. Fell installed his first solar panels in 1991, and though they cost him about $70,000 in today’s dollars, he considered them to be a worthwhile purchase to help fight climate change. At the time, most Germans either could not afford them or saw them as a losing financial investment. Fell realized he wanted to find a way to change that, so that his fellow countrymen would invest in renewable technology instead of fossil fuels. As a Green party member in Germany’s national parliament, Fell eventually helped create a policy that looks a lot like part of the Green New Deal some Democrats are proposing in the US. His law allowed Germans to sell the renewable energy they create to the grid at a high fixed price — a price that would more than cover the cost of installing a solar panel, or investing in a wind turbine. Germany paid for this through a surcharge on every electricity consumer’s bill. For this episode, The Impactpartnered with NPR’s Planet Money to investigate the consequences of Germany’s green push. In some ways, the law succeeded beyond Fell’s wildest dreams. Demand for renewables grew so much in Germany that other countries, including China, started to mass-produce solar panels and wind turbines, which drove down prices. Now, people all over the world can afford this technology. But the law has also had some unintended consequences. Because of amendments to the law and technological improvements, the surcharge on Germany’s electric bills have skyrocketed. Now, Germany has the highest electric bills in Europe. Electricity has become a burdensome expense for some Germans living on welfare, and the high cost has left a few spending a lot of time in the dark. Further listening and reading: Vox’s David Roberts on how government policy helped make solar technology affordable Roberts on how to solve the “solar duck curve” problem Roberts on California’s residential solar mandate Vox’s Umair Irfan and Tara Golshan on Sen. Bernie Sanders’s Green New Deal Vox’s guide to where all 2020 candidates stand on policy, including climate change issues. Subscribe to The Impact on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app to automatically get new episodes of the latest season each week.