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Unilever, Owner of Dove: Exposed

Unilever, Owner of Dove: Exposed


So I have to bring up something that has been bothering me for a long, long time. The story goes like this: One day, I was watching TV when this amazing commercial came on. It was a commercial by D…

Today's Impeach-O-Meter: We Forgot How Much Trump Hates Jeff Sessions Now

Today's Impeach-O-Meter: We Forgot How Much Trump Hates Jeff Sessions Now

by Ben Mathis-Lilley @ The Slatest

The Impeach-O-Meter is a wildly subjective and speculative daily estimate of the likelihood that Donald Trump leaves office before his term ends, whether by being impeached (and convicted) or by resigning under threat of same.

Much speculation about Donald Trump's apparent decision to partner with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer on DACA-related legislation has involved POTUS' beef with Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell. Trump's decisions are driven by impulsive personal animosity, the thinking goes, and buddying up with Pelosi/Schumer is simply the best way to get back at McConnell for failing to pass a health care bill. The New York Times, though, noted Thursday that the DACA decision is also a stick to the eye of hardline anti-immigration attorney general Jeff Sessions, who angered Trump by recusing himself from the Russia investigation and leaving it under the control of deputy AG Rod Rosenstein. Rosenstein then appointed Robert Mueller, whose public prestige and statutory independence from the administration means Trump can't bully him. And that makes Donny real mad! From the Times:

When the phone call ended, Mr. McGahn relayed the news [about Mueller's appointment] to the president and his aides. Almost immediately, Mr. Trump lobbed a volley of insults at Mr. Sessions, telling the attorney general it was his fault they were in the current situation. Mr. Trump told Mr. Sessions that choosing him to be attorney general was one of the worst decisions he had made, called him an “idiot,” and said that he should resign.

As wild as this is, it's probably a wash for now for impeachment purposes. On the one hand it's a reminder that Trump may well commit the supremely stupid and self-incriminating act of firing the attorney general because he won't let the president obstruct justice. On the other, doing the opposite of what Jeff Sessions wants on every issue would mean embracing sensible, popular positions on issues ranging from DREAMers to asset seizure to weed decriminalization. So ... we'll see!

Today’s Impeach-O-Meter: The Russia Investigation Is Back, Baby! Here’s the Latest.

Today’s Impeach-O-Meter: The Russia Investigation Is Back, Baby! Here’s the Latest.

by Ben Mathis-Lilley @ The Slatest

The Impeach-O-Meter is a wildly subjective and speculative daily estimate of the likelihood that Donald Trump leaves office before his term ends, whether by being impeached (and convicted) or by resigning under threat of same.

The Russia investigation! It dropped out of the headlines for a few days there thanks in part to POTUS's sudden friendliness toward Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, but now it's back and better than ever, if by "better" you mean "uncovering yet more evidence that the American election was sabotaged by white-power trolls employed by a hostile foreign intelligence operation." To wit:

1. Facebook has concluded that a 225,000-member anti-immigrant group that attempted to organize anti-Clinton rallies in Texas during the 2016 presidential campaign was "likely operated out of Russia," Business Insider reports. (It's not clear if anyone actually showed up at any of the rallies.) The Daily Beast reported on Monday that a similarly sketchy Russia-connected group targeted an Idaho town where the yogurt company Chobani employs resettled refugees.

2. Relatedly, Bloomberg reports that Mueller's investigation now involves a "red-hot" interest in 2016 social media activity by Russia-linked actors—and in the question of whether any of that activity was coordinated with the Trump campaign. Behold the Red Hot Mueller Peppers!

3. NBC News reports that Michael Flynn Jr., the son of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, is a "subject" of Mueller's probe. Flynn Jr. worked for his father's lobbying firm, the Flynn Intel Group; it's been previously reported that Mueller is looking into whether any of Flynn Sr.'s relationships (financial and otherwise) with figures in Russia and Turkey broke the law. A former federal prosecutor who worked on corruption cases speculates here that investigating Flynn Jr. might be a way to gain leverage and "flip" Flynn Sr.

4. It's been previously reported that Flynn Sr. was involved as a lobbyist in promoting a plan that involved U.S. and Russian companies seeking to build nuclear power plants in the Middle East; the Wall Street Journal now reports that he continued to promote the plan inside the Trump administration after he was named national security adviser. (For what it's worth, the Journal report quotes an anonymous source saying the plan is now "more of an 'American initiative'" rather than a joint initiative.)

Raise the meter for Mother Russia!

Today's Impeach-O-Meter: Paul Manafort Appears to Be in Some Pretty Hot Water

Today's Impeach-O-Meter: Paul Manafort Appears to Be in Some Pretty Hot Water

by Ben Mathis-Lilley @ The Slatest

The Impeach-O-Meter is a wildly subjective and speculative daily estimate of the likelihood that Donald Trump leaves office before his term ends, whether by being impeached (and convicted) or by resigning under threat of same.

Here's what we've learned in the last few hours:

  • Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was subject to a court-approved wiretap as part of a federal investigation which began in 2014 into his work as a political consultant in the Ukraine. While that wiretap was dropped because it was not yielding evidence, Manafort was then wiretapped again last fall "because of intercepted communications between Manafort and suspected Russian operatives, and among the Russians themselves, that reignited [FBI] interest in Manafort." That's according to CNN, which notes that Manafort was known to be in touch with Donald Trump during this second wiretap period despite having stepped down from his campaign by that point. The network also reports that the FBI apparently searched a storage unit belonging to Manafort at some point earlier this year. (It's been previously reported that one of Manafort's residences in Virginia was raided in July.)
  • Robert Mueller's investigators have "told Mr. Manafort they planned to indict him." That's per the New York Times.

Seems like a meter-raising kind of night, eh?



Hindustan Unilever Limited website

Dove grew from a moisturising Beauty Bar into a global brand with a range of products: body washes, hand and body lotions, facial cleansers, deodorants, shampoos, conditioners and hair styling.



Unilever South Africa

Dove provides a refreshingly real alternative for women who recognise that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.

North Korea Fires a Ballistic Missile Over Japan for the Second Time in Three Weeks

North Korea Fires a Ballistic Missile Over Japan for the Second Time in Three Weeks

by Elliot Hannon @ The Slatest

In the latest worrying escalation of tensions over North Korea’s nuclear ambitions, Pyongyang fired a ballistic missile over Japan Friday morning (local time). This is the second instance in just over two weeks where North Korea has fired a missile over Japanese airspace and into the Pacific Ocean. The fact that the missile launches violated Japanese airspace is a new level of provocation and increases the chances of escalation if Pyongyang misfires and hits Japan or the missile itself breaks apart and crashes into Japan. The tests have rattled nerves in Japan and South Korea, who have bulked up their rhetoric in response to Kim Jong-un’s increasing aggression.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson issued a stern statement in response to the launch and put public pressure on China and Russia to do more to rein in North Korea:

United Nations security council resolutions, including the most recent unanimous sanctions resolution, represent the floor, not the ceiling, of the actions we should take. We call on all nations to take new measures against the Kim regime. China supplies North Korea with most of its oil. Russia is the largest employer of North Korean forced labor. China and Russia must indicate their intolerance for these reckless missile launches by taking direct actions of their own.

According to the Guardian, people living on the Japanese island of Hokkaido, which is in the flight path of the missile, received this emergency text message around 7 a.m. Friday morning: "Missile launched. Missile launched. It seems that the missile has been launched from North Korea. Please evacuate to a building with strong structure or go to the basement."

The launch comes days after the United Nations issued more sanctions against North Korea in response to Pyongyang conducting its sixth nuclear test earlier this month.

Victorinox Reinvents Travel With Hardside Case

by Patrick Galizio @ Essential Homme Magazine:

Image: Victorinox. Technologically adept Victorinox brings its razor-sharp design techniques to traveling with the new Lexicon Hardside collection. Created with the same knife’s edge precision known to its multifunctional products, the Swiss brand offers a suitcase complete with more packing space, due to its recessed wheel and handle design, and an ultra-sleek finish. The cherry on... Read more →

The post Victorinox Reinvents Travel With Hardside Case appeared first on Essential Homme Magazine:.

Toys R Us Files for Bankruptcy as Latest Victim of Retail Crisis

Toys R Us Files for Bankruptcy as Latest Victim of Retail Crisis

by Molly Olmstead @ The Slatest

Toys R Us, the national toy chain that has been around since the 1950s, announced Monday night that the company had filed for bankruptcy, just ahead of the holiday shopping season.

In a statement, the company said its roughly 1,600 stores, which include Babies R Us, will remain open. But the move might also make customers and manufacturers less confident, keeping some shoppers away during the holiday season and causing some toy manufacturers to become more cautious with their deliveries.

In the statement, in which it declared “the dawn of a new era at Toys R Us,” the retailer said its stores will function as before, with its customer programs, sales, and promotions running uninterrupted and its stores fully stocked.

The company said it would use the bankruptcy protection to restructure its $5 billion in debt and put into place new long-term strategies to cope with a challenging world for traditional retail models. According to the New York Times, the company had been saddled with a substantial portion of that debt for years, and in 2005, private equity firms and a real estate firm bought it off the public market for $6 billion. It was left with a considerable amount of debt, and the company was staring down a $400 million debt payment next year.

The rise of e-commerce has struck a blow to most retailers, but Toys R Us also has suffered from competition with other big-box retailers such as Walmart and Target, which can drive down the price of toys. Some big lenders have agreed to provide $3 billion in financing to kick-start some of the company’s restructuring. In order to stay afloat, the company will have to convince investors that it knows what it needs to survive the existential threats to traditional retail stores.

According to USA Today, the store has plans to renegotiate its leases for cheaper rent, convert some of its existing properties into side-by-side Toys R Us and Babies R Us brands, and improve its recently launched online store. But bankruptcy will also allow it to shutter some of its less profitable stores. In the meantime, it will also need to smooth over any wrinkles with suppliers who might have become skittish in the wake of the filing.

Other retailers that have filed bankruptcy this year include Gymboree, Payless ShoeSource, and Rue21.

Los Angeles Has Football Fever. Don’t Go to a Game or You Might Catch It!

Los Angeles Has Football Fever. Don’t Go to a Game or You Might Catch It!

by Nick Greene @ The Slatest

Believe it or not, the small Southern California village of Los Angeles boasts not one but two professional football teams. Thanks to its bizarre climate and remote location, few call this burg home, but those who do have one thing in common: They love both their football squads equally.

First, you have the Los Angeles Rams, a team whose roots in town run so deep that some Angelenos know they exist. After a rousing Week 1 victory against the Colts of Indianapolis, Rams fever reached a boiling point at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum this Sunday. They played host to Washington, and the visiting press couldn’t help but gush that “it would be generous to describe the Coliseum as half full.” As any optimist will tell you, half full is the only way to go.

Washingtonians far outnumbered those rooting for the local squad, but that is to be expected considering Los Angeles lacks the sort of robust media outlets that could get word out about the game. The hometown Rams lost 27–20, but the spirit they showed in defeat shan’t be forgotten by their loyal fan.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles’ other favorite sons, the Chargers, played their first home game at the StubHub Center, which has a capacity of 27,000. Reports from their contest against the Miami Dolphins paint a fun and festive scene.

The intimate venue failed to inspire L.A.’s beloved Chargers, alas, as they fell to the Dolphins 19–17.

While Los Angeles may be small, its noble citizens more than make up for that size deficit with their boundless heart and passion. This is why L.A. is building a 70,000-seat, $2.66 billion stadium complex for the Chargers and Rams, scheduled to be completed in time for the 2020 NFL season. It will be the most expensive stadium in the world. What a deal! Reserve your seats now. It promises to be the hottest ticket in town.

Seattle Mayor Announces Resignation Amid Allegations of Sexually Abusing Underage Boys

Seattle Mayor Announces Resignation Amid Allegations of Sexually Abusing Underage Boys

by Elliot Hannon @ The Slatest

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced Tuesday he will resign from office hours after the publication of a Seattle Times report in which Murray’s cousin accused the mayor of underage sexual abuse in the 1970s when he was just 13 years old. This is not the first allegation of sexual abuse leveled at the longtime Seattle politician, who was elected the city’s mayor in 2013; four other men have come forward since April with allegations that they were sexually abused by Murray in the 1980s when they were minors.

“Joseph Dyer, 54, a dialysis technician and Air Force veteran, says he was 13 when Murray forced him into sex for about a year while the two shared a bedroom in Dyer’s mother’s home in the Long Island town of Medford, New York,” according to the Seattle Times. “The molestation stopped, Dyer said, only after a boy in a Catholic group home where Murray worked accused Murray of abuse. According to Dyer, his uncle negotiated to get group-home officials not to pursue charges as long as Murray left. After that, Murray left town, Dyer said, and he never saw or spoke to his cousin again.”

The 62-year-old Murray denied the allegations in a statement, but said that he will leave office effective Wednesday at 5 p.m. “While the allegations against me are not true, it is important that my personal issues do not affect the ability of our City government to conduct the public’s business,” Murray said in a written statement Tuesday. Murray had previously announced in May when the first round of accusations hit, that he will not seek reelection.

Murray, a Democrat, is the city’s first openly gay mayor and was an early and vocal national advocate for the gay community when he served in the state legislature for nearly two decades before running for mayor. As mayor, Murray pushed for gay rights and was a key figure in securing marriage equality in the state. Murray campaigned for governor on the promise to raise the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour.

The City Council president, Bruce Harrell, will take over as mayor; an election to select a new mayor was already scheduled for November.

McCain, Collins, Murkowski: Where the Big Three Stand on Obamacare Repeal

McCain, Collins, Murkowski: Where the Big Three Stand on Obamacare Repeal

by Jim Newell @ The Slatest

Senate Republicans have been stuck on 48 or 49 votes for their last-ditch health care plan, Graham-Cassidy, since late last week. They continue to be stuck on that number Tuesday. We will know when they become unstuck when Senate leaders begin skipping down the halls, giggling like schoolchildren, to set up the vote. They have until next Saturday to get to 50, and then their ability to pass an Obamacare repeal with a simple-majority vote expires.

So far there seems to be one hard “no”: Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who is far more interested in broadcasting his escalating complaints about the bill to as many reporters as possible than he does in seeking some extraction. That means two of the following three holdouts would be necessary, along with all of the other 48 members of the caucus: Maine Sen. Susan Collins, Arizona Sen. John McCain, and Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski. These are the three that tanked the Obamacare repeal process last time, in that dramatic late July vote, but none have come out with a firm position on Graham-Cassidy yet.

Here’s how they explained their thinking Tuesday.

Susan Collins

Collins is viewed as the least likely of the three to support the bill. She’s the most moderate member of the caucus, and she came nowhere close to supporting any of the several repeal bills the Senate considered over the summer. Graham-Cassidy, which would replace the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion and subsidies with block grants allotted to states, also contains the elements of previous health care bills that most alarmed her: permission for states to gut protections for those with pre-existing conditions, per-capita spending caps on traditional Medicaid, and the defunding of Planned Parenthood.

Collins was not prepared to come out as a “no” on Tuesday. But what she’s seen of the bill, she said, “causes me great concern.” Graham-Cassidy has "many of the same flaws of the bill that we rejected previously, and in fact it has some additional flaws,” she told reporters, citing specifically the bill’s treatment of those with pre-existing conditions.

This is not a health care bill that treats Susan Collins’ vote as all that attainable.

John McCain

The pursuit of McCain’s vote is the most slapstick. About one hour after each time McCain makes his criteria known publicly, an effort to meet that criteria suddenly materializes.

On Monday morning, McCain said that the support of his governor, Doug Ducey, was of the utmost importance to him. Shortly thereafter, a tweet appeared on Ducey’s feed offering his support for the bill. It remains unclear what machinations were required to obtain Ducey’s support, since Graham-Cassidy would appear to take money from his state and retains the Medicaid cuts that made Ducey queasy over the summer.

The endorsement, though helpful, wasn’t enough to get McCain to "yes." He insisted, again, that any bill that is to win his support must go through “regular order”: hearings, markups, amendments.

Shortly after McCain said that, both Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson and Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch announced that the committees they chair would hold Graham-Cassidy hearings next week. Johnson’s sudden announcement of a show health care hearing was especially cynical, since he chairs the ... Homeland Security Committee. That one has since been canceled, but Hatch’s Finance Committee hearing is still on for next Monday.

The rushed hearing, which the Democratic ranking member of the committee, Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, has called “an abomination on the history of this storied committee," looked just a bit like a stunt put together to give McCain enough cover to claim the process met his “regular order” test.

But McCain doesn’t seem to be taking that cover.

“Do you think that that’s regular order?” he asked reporters on Tuesday. “I always thought regular order was hearings and debates and amendments, and then to the floor with debates and special amendments. That’s what I thought regular order was.”

Expect, then, leaders to set up some sort of Potemkin process of more stunt hearings, debates, amendments, floor debates, and special amendments to get McCain onboard.

Lisa Murkowski

If Collins and Paul oppose the bill, but McCain supports it, it really all comes down to Murkowski. And her vote hinges on the numbers.

“I’m still looking for the data that walks me through how Alaska actually does,” Murkowski told reporters Tuesday following the Senate Republican caucus lunch. “But I don’t have that right now. So those that have asked, ‘Where are you, where are you?’—it’s not that I’m being evasive, it’s that I’m trying to be diligent.”

She cited Alaska’s governor, Bill Walker, in insisting that additional “flexibility” for states is not nearly enough. “My governor has said ‘I like flexibility, but if I get half as much money, flexibility doesn’t help me,’ ” she said. “So, in fairness to my governor, in fairness to Alaskans, the numbers actually matter.”

Well, Walker himself seems to have looked at some numbers and determined that they are, indeed, bad. Walker, an independent, was part of a bipartisan group of 10 governors Tuesday who issued a letter opposing Graham-Cassidy.

“Our country’s Medicaid program has been in place for over 50 years,” Walker told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. “Any proposal to restructure Medicaid goes far beyond repealing the Affordable Care Act.” He noted that “any proposal to shift federal costs to the states would likely result in drastic cuts to our Medicaid program.”

If Murkowski is following Walker’s lead, the fate of this bill, and the future of the country’s health care systems, may well hang on what offer Republican leaders are willing to make on Alaska’s behalf in the next week.

Unilever founder's descendants sell stock rights

Unilever founder's descendants sell stock rights

The family of William Hesketh Lever in line for £715m after selling historic stock rights to Unilever

Dove Has A Beauty Problem - Ms. Magazine Blog

Dove Has A Beauty Problem - Ms. Magazine Blog

Ms. Magazine Blog

In April, I posted Dove’s Real Beauty campaign video on my Facebook with the caption, “You’re more beautiful than you think.” At first glance, this video seemed comforting, almost therapeutic as an antidote against our airbrushed versions of beauty typified by Hollywood and glossy magazine covers. Instead of telling women to lose weight, apply makeup correctly …

2 Separate National Anthem Singers Take a Knee in Protest During NFL Games After Trump’s Tirade

2 Separate National Anthem Singers Take a Knee in Protest During NFL Games After Trump’s Tirade

by Maria Pasquini @

On Sunday, two national anthem singers — one in Detroit and one in Tennessee — chose to take a knee during their performances.

In Detroit, Rico Lavelle who sang the national anthem before the Detroit Lions and Atlanta Falcons game, ended his performance by taking a knee.

Over in Tennessee, The Voice runner-up Meghan Linsey performed ahead of the Sunday game between the Tennessee Titans and the Seattle Seahawks and also took a knee after finishing the song.

Both the Titans and the Seahawks protested the national anthem and stayed in their locker rooms for the performance.

RELATED VIDEO: Story Behind the Story: PEOPLE Editor Corroborates Natasha Stoynoff’s Allegations Against Donald Trump

The Seahawks released a statement minutes before kickoff about their decision saying, “as a team we have decided we will not participate in the national anthem. We will not stand for the injustice that has plagued people of color in this country.”

“Out of love for our control and in honor of the sacrifices made on our behalf, we unite to opposite those that would deny our most basic freedoms. We remain committed in continuing to work towards equality and justice for all,” added the team.

The Titans also issued a statement saying, “As a team, we wanted to be unified in our actions today. The players jointly decided this was the best course of action. Our commitment to the military and our community is resolute and the absence of our team for the national anthem shouldn’t be misconstrued as unpatriotic.”

In a video posted by the team, the players can be seen walking onto the field with their arms linked together in solidarity.

The Seahawks also shared a photo of their team walking onto the field with linked arms, captioned with the word “unity.”

The NFL is taking a united stand after Donald Trump called for the firing of basketball and football stars like Colin Kaepernick who have chosen to protest the national anthem by taking a knee.

On Sunday, NFL players put on a united front as over 100 players linked arms, knelt, or simply stayed in the locker room during the national anthem during several games.

Why Unilever rejected Kraft's proposal for the second-biggest merger ever

Why Unilever rejected Kraft's proposal for the second-biggest merger ever

The Christian Science Monitor

The packaged-food industry is in a rough spot. A combined Kraft Heinz and Unilever would create a global behemoth.

Inside Unilever's sustainability myth

Inside Unilever's sustainability myth

New Internationalist

Company slogans and mantras claim it is getting closer to pair profit with sustainability, but facts and figures tell a very different story. Investigation by investigative journalism platform Investico.

St. Louis Police Chant “Whose Streets? Our Streets!” as Protests Against Stockley Verdict Continue

St. Louis Police Chant “Whose Streets? Our Streets!” as Protests Against Stockley Verdict Continue

by Osita Nwanevu @ The Slatest

More than 80 people were arrested Sunday night in St. Louis as more protesters took to the streets in the wake of the acquittal of white police officer Jason Stockley, who shot and killed a black driver, Anthony Lamar Smith, in 2011. A peaceful gathering of more than 1,000 protesters outside police headquarters in the afternoon and a later march was followed by another march of about 100 protesters through the streets in the evening. Those demonstrators caused minor property damage and confronted police. From the Associated Press:

Along the way, they knocked over planters, broke windows at a few shops and hotels, and scattered plastic chairs at an outdoor venue. According to police, the demonstrators then sprayed bottles with an unknown substance on officers. One officer suffered a leg injury and was taken to a hospital. His condition wasn’t known. Soon afterward, buses brought in additional officers in riot gear, and police scoured downtown deep into the night, making arrests and seizing at least five weapons, according to [Interim Police Chief] O’Toole.

Multiple witnesses reported that police shouted the now-ubiquitous protest chant “Whose streets? Our streets!” as they made their arrests. At least one Twitter user appeared to capture the chant on video.

The St. Louis police department also took to Twitter to post pictures of property damage, officers being “decontaminated” after having substances thrown on them, and items and weapons confiscated during the night’s protest. Missouri is an open-carry state.

The account did not tweet pictures of Sunday’s earlier protest.

Edie Windsor, Civil Rights Icon and Hero, Has Died

Edie Windsor, Civil Rights Icon and Hero, Has Died

by Dahlia Lithwick @ The Slatest

Edie Windsor, whose name became synonymous with marriage equality after her landmark legal challenge of the Defense of Marriage Act, died Tuesday in Manhattan at the age of 88. Windsor’s 2013 victory at the Supreme Court eventually opened the door to marriage equality nationwide, by serving as a judicial stepping stone to the national constitutional right to marriage equality, which would come two years later.

When Windsor’s partner of more than 40 years, Thea Spyer, died in 2009, Windsor was her only heir (the two had been married in Canada).

The 1996 federal law known as DOMA made Windsor ineligible for the estate tax exemption a spouse would have received. She was thus required to pay $363,053 in taxes to the federal government and $275,528 to New York State on her inheritance. As Windsor would later say, she wouldn’t have owed the government those estate taxes “if I had been married to a man named Theo” rather than a woman named Thea. She decided to file a suit.

Windsor, born to an immigrant Jewish family from Philadelphia in 1929, was an unlikely civil rights icon; glamorous, wealthy and successful. That was part of her allure, both to young people who stopped her on the streets for a hug, and to a Supreme Court that doubtless saw—in Edie Windsor—that love truly means love.

Windsor and her partner, Spyer, kept their relationship secret for years, as Windsor worked as a computer programmer for IBM, and Spyer worked as a psychologist. They were engaged in 1967—pledging with a brooch, as opposed to a ring, and lived as partners until 2007, when Spyer’s illness made a quick marriage in Canada, where it had already been legalized, necessary. Spyer died two years later.

While Windsor’s case struck down the heart of the Defense of Marriage Act, it only protected marriage equality in those states that already allowed it. The 5-4 decision left in place laws in the 37 states that still banned gay marriage and it wasn’t until 2015 that the high court held definitively that same-sex couples in every state had a constitutional right to marry the partner of their choosing. By then Edie Windsor had become a household name, appearing at rallies, marches, and speeches nationwide. When the Court allowed marriage equality in 2015, Windsor was finally able to exhale, knowing that what she had begun in a New York legal street fight was now protected in Mississippi and Alabama. Windsor remarried in 2016. On Tuesday afternoon, Windsor’s wife Judith Kasen-Windsor released the following statement:

I lost my beloved spouse Edie, and the world lost a tiny, but tough as nails fighter for freedom, justice and equality. Edie was the light of my life. She will always be the light for the LGBTQ community who she loved so much and who loved her right back.

Windsor’s lawyer in the Defense of Marriage Act case was Roberta Kaplan, and the two remained close friends and allies in the years since. Kaplan responded to Windsor’s death with the following statement:

Representing Edie Windsor was and will always be the greatest honor of my life. She will go down in the history books as a true American hero. With Edie’s passing, I lost not only a treasured client, but a member of my family. I know that Edie’s memory will always be a blessing to Rachel, myself, and Jacob. I also know that her memory will be a blessing not only to every LGBT person on this planet, but to all who believe in the concept of b’tzelem elohim, or equal dignity for all.”

Dove Vs. Axe: Is Unilever Hypocritical?

Dove Vs. Axe: Is Unilever Hypocritical?


AdWeek reports that advocacy group Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood started a letter-writing campaign to Unilever, blasting the "hypocrisy" in running Dove ad campaigns which promote healthy self-images for women while also funding sexist and degrading Axe body spray ads. Josh Golin, associate director of the CCFC, says, "Dove [is] positioning itself as a brand that cares and is trying to teach girls to resist this messaging. At the same time Unilever, in the form of Axe, is putting out some of the worst messaging there is." Over on AdRants, writer Angela Natividad writes that the seemingly conflicting campaigns just come from brands that know their demographic. She argues,

Apple and the Oak Tree

by Ben Thompson @ Stratechery by Ben Thompson

Apple's business, thanks to Services, is growing ever stronger, even as Apple loses the model — and the product — that made the company what it is today.

The Problem with Dove | THE ILLUSIONISTS

The Problem with Dove | THE ILLUSIONISTS

THE ILLUSIONISTS - a documentary about body image and globalization

The dark side of Dove's Real Beauty Campaign: from its controversial parent company, to the marketing of Dove skin whitening deodorants in India...

Is There Such Thing as a Good Reason for Democrats to Cooperate With Trump?

Is There Such Thing as a Good Reason for Democrats to Cooperate With Trump?

by Ben Mathis-Lilley @ The Slatest

Donald Trump appears to have agreed to work with Democratic congressional leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi to guarantee a path to legal status for DACA recipients in exchange for border-security measures to be named later. Below, Slate's Ben Mathis-Lilley and Osita Nwanevu debate whether the #resistance should see the potential deal as a morally imperative low-cost compromise or as short-sighted, base-deflating appeasement.

Ben Mathis-Lilley: Is this good for the Democrats?

Osita Nwanevu: No. This is a semi-separate question from whether a potential deal is good for Dreamers. The answer to that is putatively yes, but we don't know what kind of potentially draconian measures would be attached to a DACAesque bill to get Republicans to vote for it. We could see something cobbled together that allows Dreamers to stay while doubling down on efforts to round up their families and friends or that further enables the kind of inhumane detentions we've seen at the border. That is presumably the compromise that Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi are moving us toward right now.

But no, it's not good for the party politically.

Mathis-Lilley: Let's agree on how to define "politically"—do you mean it as in, "this doesn't help their chances of gaining seats in 2018 or winning the 2020 presidential election"?

Nwanevu: Both. I don't think it helps them in either case, partially because of the substance of a potential compromise. I think that kind of compromise bill would be unsatisfying to immigration advocates and the base, which is why I don't know that they're going to reach a deal in Congress to begin with. There's actually a substantial amount of support within the GOP and among Trump supporters for allowing DACA recipients to stay. But I doubt they're so enthused by the program that they'd see a deal as a reason to vote for Democrats.

Mathis-Lilley: Interesting. On the merits of the reported agreement, my own reaction was that it would likely end up involving face-saving border security spending—"lasers and drones," as our colleague Jim Newell puts it—but not necessarily an actual enhanced statutory crackdown on undocumented immigrants who are already here. My reasoning is that if Trump is willing to drop his demand for a border wall, which he appears to be doing, he's not going to then turn around and ask for something like increased deportation authority/funding that's even more offensive to progressive priorities. (Or at least that would be more offensive to me personally—not sure whether Pelosi and Schumer would make the same calculation.) If Trump's cult-of-personality apologists on the far right are already lining up to support the "deal" given only the vague promise of increased border security, and all he wants is a legislative "win" and to stick it to Mitch McConnell, why does he need to go any further? Especially when he already has the executive prerogative via the Department of Homeland Security to carry out as many inhumane deportations as he wants.

As for the political side of it, I agree that there's no particular way this helps Democrats proactively gain political capital, as it were. (I'm sorry I just used the words "proactive" and "political capital.") It will probably tick Trump's approval upwards a few points. On the other hand, his approval rating is deeply in the red and Democrats have a nearly 10-point lead in FiveThirtyEight's generic congressional ballot tracker. So maybe they have some political capital to spare at the moment, especially on an issue that could conceivably end up depressing the far right's enthusiasm for Trump.

Nwanevu: I guess substantively I just have a hard time believing that passing a substantially clean DACAesque bill is going to be easier now, under Trump, than it was during the Obama administration. That would be remarkable. It's definitely true that there are Trump boosters at the ready to defend him if the "border security" measures end up being window dressing, but I feel as though a bill Republicans would vote for would need to include some security or other measures the most rabid and reliably voting parts of the base would see as meaningful. Because even though there's theoretically a base of Republican DACA supporters, it won't be a good look for Congressional Republicans if the *one major thing* they manage to pass this year is largely clean immigration bill enthusiastically supported by Nancy Pelosi. There's also the possibility that they pass something clean but Trump feels that he has to compensate by doing something using executive authority, again just to appease the more rabid factions of his base. We don't know. Which is why doing this dance with Trump is so dangerous.

My feeling is that what's going to help the Democrats politically is advancing a broad, forward-looking agenda. Compromising with Trump at best splits the Democratic base, and as far as depressing the far-right goes, I don't know that the past several years of politics show that the deeply nativist far right needs to show up in order for Dems to lose elections.

Their problems are bigger and more pervasive than that.

Mathis-Lilley: "Trump could change his mind at any time and do something extremely harmful" is certainly a compelling argument. I also think we're probably agreed on the need for Democrats to be putting most of their time into putting forth a vision/platform for 2018 and thereafter which is more constructive and developed than tweeting the #resist hashtag. Still, I'd ask you this—if you were in Chuck Schumer's shoes, and somehow also in a room with the 800,000 DACA recipients, and you were presented with the option of guaranteeing their legal status in exchange for funding border pork and standing with Trump at a few photo ops ... would you really be able to say no?

Nwanevu: First of all, I want to say I think that if #theResistance had had real teeth among Democratic members of Congress—as the Tea Party did in 2009 and 2010 with the regular and rabid participation of Republican members of Congress—Trump might have been cowed into not ending DACA in the first place. Or there might have been a credible way to bully him into reversing course now. Because he doesn't want to be seen as cruel in this case.

I'd unquestionably say no to a grinning photo-op. But they really are in a genuinely difficult position here—DACA recipients will face deportation in early March if Congress doesn't act. If a clean deal with border pork really is reached, framing it properly is essential. They absolutely should not come out and say it's a grand bipartisan deal we ought to be proud of. If they act, they will have acted because Trump will have forced their hand. And he forced their hand because he's committed to a racist immigration politics the Republican Party has enabled, and both should be defeated. This is what they should say and they should say it loudly. That's harder to do after working with them to pass a bill, obviously, but they have to make it clear that a deal crafted on the basis of a particular, narrow sympathy for children brought here by no fault of their own and a broader nativism or xenophobia aren't really mutually exclusive.

Watch the Raiders' Stadium Go Nuts for Marshawn Lynch's Sideline Victory Dance

Watch the Raiders' Stadium Go Nuts for Marshawn Lynch's Sideline Victory Dance

by Ben Mathis-Lilley @ The Slatest

Running back Marshawn "Beast Mode" Lynch is one of the NFL's best characters, a bowling ball of adrenaline on the field and a charismatic enigma off it. He's also an Oakland native who came out of retirement this year to play for his hometown team. On Sunday, as the Raiders were well on their way to moving to a 2-0 record with a thunderous, dominating win over the pathetic New York Jets, the stadium's DJ cued up a local jam called "Oakland." As you can see above, it went over very well with both Lynch and the Raiders crowd as a whole.

The Raiders are America's team now. Go Raiders!

Update, 5 p.m.: I forgot to mention that the Raiders are moving to Las Vegas at some point in the next few years because NFL team owners aren't allowed to let their teams play in no-frills, multi-use, public-minded stadiums like the Oakland Coliseum anymore. Good luck getting whatever luxury-box laden upscale mall they'll be calling a "stadium" in Vegas to jump off like that, though.

Merkel Wins in Germany but Anti-Immigrant Far-Right Makes Big Gains

Merkel Wins in Germany but Anti-Immigrant Far-Right Makes Big Gains

by Daniel Politi @ The Slatest

As was widely expected, Angela Merkel was re-elected to a fourth term as German chancellor on Sunday but the country’s election also saw the far-right nationalists make historic gains that likely cost her conservative coalition lots of votes. In what Der Spiegel describes as a “significant shift” for German politics, the anti-immigration, nationalist Alternative for Germany (AfD) surprised political analysts by winning 13.1 percent of the votes, according to the projected results. That means that a far-right party will get into Germany’s parliament for the first time in more than half a century.

If the results pan out they would represent a huge gain for AfD, which was recently polling at a paltry seven percent. Now the xenophobic party could send close to 90 lawmakers to the Bundestag.

Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party bloc was the clear winner with 33.2 percent, almost 10 points less than five years ago and its worst result since 1949. Merkel recognized that the victory was not quite cause for celebration. “Of course, we would have preferred a better result, that is completely clear,” she said. “But we mustn’t forget that we have had an extremely challenging parliamentary term behind us.”  

Merkel’s party was not the only one that suffered. The Social Democrats (SPD) also received its worst result since the 1940s with only 20.8 percent support in what seemed to be a clear repudiation by voters of the two parties that have dominated German politics since World War II. SPD leader Martin Schulz said the results meant the end of the “grand coalition” with Merkel, calling Sunday a “bitter day” for Social Democrats.

Merkel is now likely to try to cobble together a tenuous coalition with the Greens and the pro-business liberal Free Democrats, which also surprised by receiving 10.5 percent of the vote. That party had already been part of Merkel’s coalition until 2013, when it lost all its seats in the last election. That possible three-way alliance has been widely referred to as the “Jamaica” coalition because the colors of the three parties—black, yellow, and green—match the Jamaican flag.

Alexander Gauland, one of the leaders of the AfD, vowed that “we will take our country back” and that the party “will change this country.” Beatrix van Storch, one of the party’s leaders confirmed the AfD planned to hit the ground running to change the conversation. “We'll start debates on migration, we'll start debates on Islam, we'll start debates on ever closer union,” she said.

As supporters of the far-righ party celebrated in their headquarters, protesters gathered outside to express their rejection of the AfD and its ideals. “All Berlin hates the AfD,” yelled the protesters.  

Final results are expected early Monday morning.

Hurricane Maria Causes “Mind-Boggling” Damage to Dominica on Its Path Toward Puerto Rico

Hurricane Maria Causes “Mind-Boggling” Damage to Dominica on Its Path Toward Puerto Rico

by Molly Olmstead @ The Slatest

In the Caribbean, a region still recovering from the effects of Hurricane Irma, island nations are now watching the powerful Category 5 Hurricane Maria as it pushes toward Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Hurricane Maria swept through the Dominica just after 9 p.m. on Monday night, leaving what the prime minister of the island nation called in a Facebook post “widespread devastation.”

The hurricane regained strength and was upgraded to Category 4 after passing through Dominica, according to an 8 a.m. update from the National Hurricane Center. It now has estimated maximum winds of a punishing 160 miles per hour. A hurricane warning remained in effect as of the time of the update for Guadeloupe, St. Kitts, Nevis, and Montserrat, in addition to Dominica, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. and British Virgin Islands.

According to the National Hurricane Center, Maria is churning northwest and is expected to approach the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Tuesday night and Wednesday. “Maria is a potentially catastrophic Category 5 hurricane,” the center said in the update. “Some fluctuations in intensity are likely during the next day or two, but Maria is forecast to remain an extremely dangerous Category 4 or 5 hurricane while it approaches the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.”

In a post around 1 a.m., Roosevelt Skerrit, the prime minister of Dominica, said it was still too early to have a full assessment of the damage done to the island but that “initial reports are of widespread devastation.”

So, far the winds have swept away the roofs of almost every person I have spoken to or otherwise made contact with. The roof to my own official residence was among the first to go and this apparently triggered an avalanche of torn away roofs in the city and the countryside.
I am honestly not preoccupied with physical damage at this time, because it is devastating...indeed, mind boggling. My focus now is in rescuing the trapped and securing medical assistance for the injured.

Earlier in the night, Skerrit posted on Facebook with updates of his experience waiting for the hurricane to pass.

Maria is the strongest storm ever recorded to hit Dominica, and it would be the first storm of its strength to hit Puerto Rico in 85 years. On Monday night, President Trump declared a state of emergency for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to make the territories eligible for federal assistance. According to USA Today, Puerto Rican Gov. Ricardo Rosselló has been working with federal agencies to prepare for the storm, and officials have “promised ‘brigades’ of energy workers to help Puerto Rico reinstate power on the island after Maria.”

Meteorologists are also watching Hurricane Jose, a less powerful storm in the Atlantic to the north. Jose, still a Category 1 hurricane, according to an 8 a.m. update, is expected to stir up “dangerous surf and rip currents” along the eastern coast of the U.S. in the next few days. A tropical storm warning remains in effect for the coast of Rhode Island, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket, and it could cause some flooding—but not hurricane conditions—from Long Island to the coast of Massachusetts. The storm is expected to weaken on Wednesday.

The Latest Reports of Damage in the Parts of Florida Hit Hardest by Irma

The Latest Reports of Damage in the Parts of Florida Hit Hardest by Irma

by Aaron Mak @ The Slatest

As people emerge from their shelters and return to their homes in the wake of Hurricane Irma, we are now getting a better sense for the specific damage that the storm wrought in the U.S. Whereas Harvey’s most severe destruction was concentrated in one contiguous area around Houston, Irma seems to have left pockets of ruin scattered in a totally unpredictable pattern throughout Florida and other southeastern states. The hurricane is predicted to cost around $100 billion in damages. In Florida alone, 12 deaths have been reported so far. Here is a rundown of some of the worst-hit areas.

Florida Keys

FEMA administrator Brock Long told reporters that an estimated 25 percent of homes were demolished and an additional 65 percent were extensively damaged in the Florida Keys. Fires, 130 mph winds, and 15-foot storm surges were the primary culprits. Officials have not been able to reach most of the islands, though, so the full extent of the destruction is not yet clear. At least two people have died, but it is unknown whether the storm was responsible.


Miami was home to two of the three infamous crane collapses in Florida, videos of which were widely shared on social media when Irma made landfall. Although local officials claimed that the cranes were built to withstand winds of up to 145 mph, they were surprisingly felled by the 100 mph winds that battered the city. Five-foot storm surges also sank and beached dozens of boats, and flooded the roads and buildings in some of the city’s most expensive districts like Brickell.

St. Augustine

St. John’s County, incorporating coastal St. Augustine city, was in shambles on Tuesday. Sheriff David Shoar told News4JAX that the county, which saw 80 mph winds, was experiencing the “worst case scenario” and that “No one was spared.” Many roads are still blocked by debris and flooding—stalling emergency vehicles—and homes have collapsed and had their foundations eroded. In the city, docked boats were hurled around. A 36-foot motor yacht sank, and a sailboat crashed into the Santa Maria restaurant. At least one person died from a heart attack.

Marco Island

Marco Island, a 24-square-mile area where Irma made landfall, saw 130 mph winds and four-foot storm surges. In the highly vulnerable community, cell towers toppled over, and at least 15 homes lost their roofs or suffered other serious damage. One of the main priorities now is clearing roads of debris.


Jacksonville had the most severe flood since 1864, as 20-inch rains made the St. Johns River overflow, which rendered the downtown district a swamp. The 5-foot storm surges submerged park monuments, and the roads resembled rivers. Fires and trees falling on homes caused numerous injuries, though no deaths have been reported thus far. The sheriff’s office announced that 356 people had to be rescued from the flooding. The situation in Jacksonville could become even more disastrous, as the water levels are expected to rise and fall in the coming days.


Naples saw 6-foot storm surges and almost 12 inches of rain. Neighborhoods are now under waist-deep water, some of which first responders have not yet reached. Homes collapsed and had their roofs ripped off due to the over 140 mph winds.

Charleston, South Carolina

Although Irma stayed 200 miles away from Charleston, the city still suffered massive tidal surges—the worst since Hurricane Hugo in 1989. The 10-foot tide flooded low-lying neighborhoods, including areas that had trouble recovering after Hurricane Matthew last October, and unmoored local landmarks. Ambulances were unable to operate for a period of time due to 72 mph winds and possible tornados.

How Technology is Changing the World (P&G Edition)

How Technology is Changing the World (P&G Edition)

Stratechery by Ben Thompson

I’ve been surprised at the amount of attention my little corner of Twitter has given to the news P&G, the largest CPG company in the world, is making significant cuts to its brand portfol…

Perplexed Republicans Reduced to Tweeting at Trump for Details About His DACA “Deal” With Democrats

Perplexed Republicans Reduced to Tweeting at Trump for Details About His DACA “Deal” With Democrats

by Ben Mathis-Lilley @ The Slatest

The news out of Washington is that Donald Trump seems to have agreed at least in principle with Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer on creating a legislative path to legal status for DACA recipients. While we're far from having a formal agreement on the matter yet, POTUS is tweeting the outlines of one:

Said border security enhancements would reportedly not include Trump's vaunted border wall; he says nonetheless that he has the support of GOP congressional leaders:

Apparently this is news to said leaders, though:

And who could blame them for being surprised? After all, we're talking about a right-wing president whose campaign was premised on open hostility toward rape-crazed "Mexicans" and other undocumented immigrants—and who promised roughly 1 billion times to build a wall on the Southern border that Mexico would pay for.

Republican Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, whose Judiciary Committee would in theory be responsible for devising Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, legislation, is at the point of trying to gather information via Twitter:

Meanwhile, Fox News' chief Trump apologists at Fox & Friends are lining up behind something that they probably would have called "amnesty for illegals" two weeks ago:

Asked host Steve Doocy: "Has the wall almost become symbolic? I know the president ran on it. It was a mantra. But at the same time, border crossings have gone down dramatically and you were talking about how the wall exists in certain forms and there’s money to go to it, has to come from Congress, but do you think we’re going to get to the point where maybe they won’t build the wall.”

Truly, we live in amazing times.

Update, 11 a.m.: Ah, immigration semantics.

After Two Weeks, Tony Romo Is the World’s Best Football Analyst

After Two Weeks, Tony Romo Is the World’s Best Football Analyst

by Nick Greene @ The Slatest


Being an NFL color analyst is like practicing wildlife dentistry, in that it’s nearly impossible to win over your audience. That’s what makes Tony Romo so impressive. The retired Dallas Cowboys quarterback may have been a divisive character during his playing days, but he is earning nearly universal praise for his broadcasting work.

Much of this praise can be attributed to the fact that Romo is not Phil Simms, the man he replaced in the CBS booth. Providing NFL color commentary is a weird and difficult job, but after nearly two decades honing his craft, Simms had made it weirder and more difficult than it needed to be. He seems like a lovely man, but the Phil Simms experience began to feel like watching football in a hotel bar full of undecided voters.

It’s hard to overstate how sharply Romo’s first two games have contrasted with Simms’ later body of work. Whereas Simms’ trademark move was to totally misread cut-and-dry incidents after multiple slow-motion replays, Romo routinely and accurately calls plays before they happen.

This kind of parlor trick has been getting Romo plenty of attention, but acts of clairvoyance aren’t what make the former Cowboys quarterback a great analyst. Football is insanely complicated. When electromagnetic waves carrying football broadcasts finally reach intelligent life outside our solar system, the aliens will task their greatest minds with decoding the bizarre circus before them, and they will likely fail. Romo, meanwhile, is pretty darn good at explaining this needlessly obtuse game, and you get the sense that he's spent much of his adult life talking about football to folks who weren't terribly well-versed in the minutiae of his day job.

He describes simple things, like the importance of Tom Brady’s flat-footed stance in the pocket, with the same patient eloquence he uses to detail more complicated aspects of the game. During the New England Patriots’ rout of the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, he explained that Patriots coach Bill Belichick uses fullbacks far more than the rest of the league. Rather than leaving it at that, Romo continued to explain the benefits of this practice in connection to the play that had just transpired. (The fullback lined up against a cornerback, which signaled to Brady that the Saints were using a zone defense.)

But as with anything good in this world, don’t be surprised if the rumblings of an online Romo backlash develop into something more. After all, Simms was once a young, retired quarterback who aw-shucks-ed his way into the seat Romo fills today. But at this early date, Romo certainly checks all the boxes you’d want from a color guy. The most important, of course, being that you’re able to listen to him for three hours without hating his guts.

NFL color analysts generally take on one of three affects:

  1. Folksy hayseed who just can’t get enough of this gridiron goodness (see: Collinsworth, Cris).
  2. Sentient training sled who demands you PLAY TO THE WHISTLE (see: Gruden, Jon).
  3. Troy Aikman (see: Aikman, Troy).

Romo doesn’t fall into any of these categories. He’s pleasantly jocular, and he seems genuinely happy to be calling games. That bit is important, because the NFL has been a remarkably joyless enterprise over the past few years. In the Patriots-Saints game, Romo gleefully yelped when Brady threw a touchdown pass from a tough position.

He sounds like a guy who just wants to play again, but we should all hope that doesn't happen. Romo is far more valuable in the booth than he would be on the field, and while the league certainly isn’t spoiled for competent quarterbacks this season, its roster of commentators isn’t deep enough to lose its latest pickup.

Dove, please for the love of God, stop making videos and just make soap

Dove, please for the love of God, stop making videos and just make soap

The Daily Dot

Dove, please for the love of God, stop making videos and just make soap.

COS Expands West Coast Presence

by Patrick Galizio @ Essential Homme Magazine:

Image: COS. COS‘ minimalist tendencies descend upon Downtown Los Angeles through a new brick and mortar store opening within the former Olympic Theatre. The fourth California location and third in the City of Angels itself, the new space inhabits the historic theater with a reverent grace, regenerating the building’s ready-made architecture to honor its place within the... Read more →

The post COS Expands West Coast Presence appeared first on Essential Homme Magazine:.

Sean Spicer Threatens Legal Action Against Reporter for Asking Him Question via Text

Sean Spicer Threatens Legal Action Against Reporter for Asking Him Question via Text

by Ben Mathis-Lilley @ The Slatest

Axios' Mike Allen writes Thursday that Sean Spicer apparently took extensive notes during his time working with Donald Trump both before and after the 2016 election. This is ostensibly of interest because it means Robert Mueller could seek to examine Spicer's notebooks for potential evidence that the Trump campaign/administration colluded with Russia or obstructed justice by firing James Comey. But the big takeaway from Allen's piece is really just that Spicer is a big weirdo:

When we texted Spicer for comment on his note-taking practices, he replied: "Mike, please stop texting/emailing me unsolicited anymore."
When I replied with a "?" (I have known Spicer and his wife for more than a dozen years), he answered: "Not sure what that means. From a legal standpoint I want to be clear: Do not email or text me again. Should you do again I will report to the appropriate authorities."

Spicer further sent Allen an email threatening to "contact the appropriate legal authorities to address your harassment."

This would be pretty mystifying behavior for a professional spokesman to engage in even if Allen were a notoriously confrontational reporter, which he's not; on the contrary, he's actually notorious for being a deferential, even obsequious figure.

Sean Spicer is definitely the kind of guy who has shouted the phrase "you'll be hearing from my attorneys" while being physically removed from Sears after a dispute over the price of a surround-sound speaker system.

London Underground Bombing Injures 22

London Underground Bombing Injures 22

by Osita Nwanevu @ The Slatest

A bomb exploded on a London Underground train on Friday morning, injuring at least 22 people now hospitalized. From the New York Times:

The National Health Service said that 18 people had been taken to hospitals and that another four had gone on their own, including eight at Chelsea and Westminster.
[...]It was the fifth major terrorist attack in Britain this year, following a vehicular and knife attack near Parliament in March, a suicide bombing at a rock concert in Manchester in May, and a van and knife attack around London Bridge and a van attack outside a London mosque, both in June.

Witnesses have described the bomb’s detonation—an incomplete one according to officials—as a sudden conflagration rather than an explosion. One witness told Sky News that it looked like a “large match” had been struck.

Pictures of the device have been shared on social media:

Scotland Yard is still searching for the person responsible. In tweets, President Trump denounced the attack and argued for a strengthened travel ban.

Ted Cruz’s Official Twitter Account Briefly Liked a Porn Tweet

Ted Cruz’s Official Twitter Account Briefly Liked a Porn Tweet

by Molly Olmstead @ The Slatest


Sen. Ted Cruz, a family-values politician, was once involved in a court case involving a state ban of sex toys. Cruz, then Texas’ solicitor general, argued that there is “no substantive due process right to stimulate one’s genitals for non-medical purposes.”

Monday night, Cruz’s official Twitter account liked a tweet featuring a hardcore porn video. The “like” caused the very explicit tweet from the account @SexuallPosts to appear briefly on that portion of Cruz’s profile. Around 9:40 p.m., Twitter users began to comment on the NSFW video, and they were reporting it still on his profile at 10:20 p.m.

Cruz’s senior communications adviser tweeted at 11 p.m. to acknowledge the tweet and say that it had been removed. On Tuesday morning, Cruz had still not publicly explained or acknowledged the tweet. But around 11 a.m. Cruz joked to reporters, "if I had known that this would trend so quickly, perhaps we should have posted something like this back during the Indiana primary" and said, "there are a number of people on the team that have access to the account and it appears that someone inadvertently hit the like button."

Twitter went crazy for it.

Cruz’s outspokenly anti-Cruz college roommate, the screenwriter and director Craig Mazin, clearly has his own ideas of Cruz’s opinions about his stance on stimulating one’s genitals for nonmedical purposes. This is his currently pinned tweet:

And here’s how he reacted to the Monday night Cruz news:

Suffice to say, Twitter thoroughly enjoyed the Cruz episode. But let’s join Cruz’s former roommate in hoping we never have to think about it again.

Update, Sept. 12, 2017: This post has been updated to include Cruz's comments to reporters.

Report: GOP Is Trying to Buy Murkowski’s Obamacare Repeal Vote by Letting Alaska Keep Obamacare

Report: GOP Is Trying to Buy Murkowski’s Obamacare Repeal Vote by Letting Alaska Keep Obamacare

by Jim Newell @ The Slatest

On Tuesday I wrote that the chances for Senate Republicans’ last stab at Obamacare repeal, Graham-Cassdidy, “may well hang on what offer Republican leaders are willing to make on Alaska’s behalf in the next week” in order to secure Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s pivotal vote. A couple of reports Thursday afternoon show us how that offer may be shaping up. To put it as generously as possible, it’s not subtle.

The first report, from Politico, says that Alaska, along with some other large, sparsely populated Western states, would be exempt from the per-capita caps that Graham-Cassidy would place on traditional Medicaid spending through 2026. In other words, Alaska—at least in the near term—would not be subject to the enormous entitlement reform that just about every Republican health care bill this year has tossed in its repeal-and-replace package. A good start. What else you got, Graham and Cassidy?

Independent Journal Review, citing a “Republican Senate aide,” reports what would be the most incredible package of carve-outs known to mankind. It would allow Alaska—and Hawaii, tossed in as a poor effort for political and legal cover—to keep Obamacare in the Obamacare repeal bill. And then some.

In addition to the per-capita cap exemption that Politico reports, a new draft would allow Alaska and Hawaii to “continue to receive Obamacare’s premium tax credits while they are repealed for all other states.” Not only would they get to keep the Obamacare tax credits flowing, but they would also, according to the aide, still be able to receive the block grant money that Graham-Cassidy replaces those subsidies with. The last provision would increase Alaska and Hawaii’s federal Medicaid match rate.

As IJR writes, the changes aren’t final. (Maybe they’ll toss in a gift certificate to the Sizzler for Murkowski, too.) I’ve reached out to the offices of Sens. Murkowski, Graham, and Cassidy for comment on this overflowing chest of legislative treasures, and will update with any new information if they get back.

Few Republican health care reforms are great deals for Alaska. Republican health care reforms slash federal spending on health care, and Alaska's health care costs are extraordinary. The only way to get Murkowski’s vote for the Republican health care reform, then, is to exempt Alaska from the Republican health care reform. This proposal would let Alaska keep its Obamacare money, reap the Graham-Cassidy money on top of that, boost its Medicaid match rate, and not have to abide by the trade-offs of either bill. Nice deal, if you can swing it. Is it possible to expand this language to include all 50 states and the District of Columbia? Might pick up some votes!

By the way, if a deal like this is presented, shouldn’t that prompt Lindsey Graham himself to jump ship from his own proposal? He did say in June that if leaders started “that crap” of straight-up buying votes for their health care bill then “they’re going to lose me.”

Also in June, Murkowski warned that state-specific efforts to “get” her vote for a bad bill wouldn’t work anyway. “Then you have a nationwide system that doesn't work,” she said. “That then comes crashing down and Alaska's not able to kind of keep it together on its own.”

All Johnson & Johnson Brands

All Johnson & Johnson Brands


List of Johnson & Johnson brands, including some of the manufacturer's most highly recognizable products. Johnson & Johnson is a long standing company that makes everything from baby products to personal hygiene products for consumers. From Acuvue contact lenses to Band-Aids, it's ver...

Cornell Frat Shuts Down After Black Student Allegedly Called Racial Slur and Assaulted

Cornell Frat Shuts Down After Black Student Allegedly Called Racial Slur and Assaulted

by Molly Olmstead @ The Slatest

A Cornell University fraternity chapter has been shut down as officials investigate the alleged assault of a black student last Friday.

According to a statement from Cornell, one undergraduate student was arrested after a “verbal exchange between Cornell students including the use of racial slurs led to a physical assault.” The alleged victim told the New York Times that when he arrived home early Friday morning, he encountered the group of students arguing with his housemates. When one of the students called him a racial slur as he tried to get them to leave, “he confronted them, and four or five of them turned on him and started punching him in the face.”

John Greenwood, a 19-year-old student at the school, was charged with assault in the incident. He denied the accusations.

The university's statement did not confirm that the students involved were members of the fraternity, and it told The Times it was trying to determine if some or all of the students were members. The school's student newspaper reported that the fraternity's alumni group had denied Greenwood was a member.

But the alumni board of the fraternity made the decision to permanently shut down the chapter of Psi Upsilon. Since 2016, the fraternity, which had a history of complaints over its members’ behavior, had been under a three-year-long ban from the university, meaning it could not take advantage of university benefits and recruit new members.

The fraternity initially had been suspended in 2016 when its president had been accused of rape. He ultimately pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor sex offense. The fraternity then received its three-year ban when it violated the rules of that suspension by throwing a party.

Earlier this month, a member of a different fraternity at Cornell allegedly chanted “build a wall” near the university’s “Latino Living Center” after Trump ordered the end to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

While the fraternity has been shut down, its property and building are undergoing renovations. According to Cornell, when completed it will be used for student organizations “that are dedicated to promoting a diverse and inclusive student community.”

Vegan Cuts June 2017 Beauty Box Review + Contents

by Aly Laughlin @ Cruelty-Free Kitty

I am excited to share the next installment of the Vegan Cuts Beauty Box with you! As I mentioned in my review of the May Box, The Vegan Cuts Beauty Box is a monthly subscription box filled with 4-7 100% vegan and cruelty-free products. The Beauty Box differs from the Vegan Cuts Makeup Box in […]

The post Vegan Cuts June 2017 Beauty Box Review + Contents appeared first on Cruelty-Free Kitty.

North Korea’s Kim Jong-un Responds to Trump, Calling Him a “Mentally Deranged Dotard”

North Korea’s Kim Jong-un Responds to Trump, Calling Him a “Mentally Deranged Dotard”

by Elliot Hannon @ The Slatest

On Thursday, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un responded to President Trump’s United Nations address in the pair’s escalating nuclear rhetoric, saying in a statement that Trump would “pay dearly” for his speech where the president referred to Kim as “Rocket Man” and threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea. “I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged U.S. dotard with fire,” Kim continued in a statement released by the official Korean Central News Agency.

Whoa, whoa, whoa—let’s pause for a moment before President Trump squeezes a tweet in. First, fair play, that was kind of a sick burn there. Didn't think you had that in you. I was just thinking it was time someone hauled dotard back into the vernacular.

I would feel a bit better about the two nations’ ability to communicate if one of the leaders wasn’t using Google translate to use words the other clearly doesn’t know. Next time, just write that bad boy in Korean. We’ve got folks who can translate it. They’ll send it to the rest of us. The North Koreans, however, traditionally issue these statements in English, which, over the years, the quirky corpus has turned into a genre of the language all its own. (For more about why North Korea’s statements sound as wacky, but strangely familiar as they do, check out Daniel Engber’s Slate explainer here.)

For extra authenticity, the Korean state news agency published the statement along with a photo of Kim Jong-un sitting at a desk holding some papers. Nice touch.

Just sayin'.

The statement—discarding the specter of nuclear war (obvs)—is pretty much nonsensical. Here’s the opening line: “The speech made by the U.S. president in his maiden address on the UN arena in the prevailing serious circumstances, in which the situation on the Korean peninsula has been rendered tense as never before and is inching closer to a touch-and-go state, is arousing worldwide concern.” Who’s a maiden?

There is something strangely poetic about the North Korean English turn of phrase.

Shaping the general idea of what he would say, I expected he would make stereo-typed, prepared remarks a little different from what he used to utter in his office on the spur of the moment as he had to speak on the world's biggest official diplomatic stage.

Go on.

But, far from making remarks of any persuasive power that can be viewed to be helpful to defusing tension, he made unprecedented rude nonsense one has never heard from any of his predecessors.

Yes, yes he did “make unprecedented rude nonsense.” I had not thought to describe it like that before you said it right there.

A frightened dog barks louder.

Than? A normal, chill dog?

I’d like to advise Trump to exercise prudence in selecting words and to be considerate of whom he speaks to when making a speech in front of the world.

Good note.

The mentally deranged behavior of the U.S. president openly expressing on the UN arena the unethical will to “totally destroy” a sovereign state, beyond the boundary of threats of regime change or overturn of social system, makes even those with normal thinking faculty think about discretion and composure.

Hmm … I thought I knew where you were going with this and what you were talking about halfway through.

His remarks remind me of such words as “political layman” and “political heretic” which were in vogue in reference to Trump during his presidential election campaign.

The good old days.

After taking office Trump has rendered the world restless through threats and blackmail against all countries in the world. He is unfit to hold the prerogative of supreme command of a country, and he is surely a rogue and a gangster fond of playing with fire, rather than a politician.

I mean, the syntax is a bit icky, but not too far off base as far as geopolitical analysis goes.

His remarks which described the U.S. option through straightforward expression of his will have convinced me, rather than frightening or stopping me, that the path I chose is correct and that it is the one I have to follow to the last ... Action is the best option in treating the dotard who, hard of hearing, is uttering only what he wants to say.

And the finale:

I am now thinking hard about what response he could have expected when he allowed such eccentric words to trip off his tongue.
Whatever Trump might have expected, he will face results beyond his expectation.
I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged U.S. dotard with fire.

Good imagery. If we weren’t talking about nuclear war this would be “ha ha” funny not “terrifying” funny.

The Worst Ad of the 2018 Elections Is Already Here

The Worst Ad of the 2018 Elections Is Already Here

by Osita Nwanevu @ The Slatest

The contest for Virginia’s 10th District House seat is generally considered one of the 2018 congressional races to watch. Incumbent Republican Congresswoman Barbara Comstock could be vulnerable given Donald Trump’s unpopularity in Northern Virginia, and at least eight Democrats are in the running to replace her.

The primary field lacks both a clear front-runner and any real sign that the broad debates about where the Democratic Party should go on policy have trickled down into this particular race. The Democrats are instead emphasizing minor distinctions. The campaigns of Deep Sran and Kimberly Adams are focused on public education. Alison Kiehl Friedman is touting an endorsement from Gloria Steinem. Dave Hanson and Michael Pomerleano have top-lined Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and impeaching Trump, respectively, in the "issues" sections of their websites. Lindsey Davis Stover wants voters to know she worked in the Obama administration, and Jennifer Wexton is running on her record as a state senator. That leaves Daniel Helmer, who ... just put out this.

Dan Helmer is a husband, a father, and, as conspicuously detailed by his T-shirt, a VETERAN (of the Army, not the Navy as the ad perhaps implies). If you check out the issues page on his slick website, you won’t find much more than the same kind of fridge magnet centrism that characterizes the majority of Democratic candidates—dare to dream of an America with a “smart regulatory environment”—which is the point of the above ad.

I have no idea what the thinking behind this ad was, but I suppose small donors who find it endearingly bad will send some cash Helmer’s way, perhaps turning an unknown into a contender. The ad is memorable, after all. Haunting, really.

Today in Conservative Media: The Failing Emmys Prove America Is Tired of Hollywood’s Politics

Today in Conservative Media: The Failing Emmys Prove America Is Tired of Hollywood’s Politics

by Osita Nwanevu @ The Slatest

A daily roundup of the biggest stories in right-wing media.

Conservatives sounded off about Sunday’s very political and very underwatched Emmy Awards on Sunday night. “After, last year’s award show hosted by Jimmy Kimmel came in with the lowest numbers in the show’s history, early numbers from Nielsen data show that this year’s star-studded event hosted by Stephen Colbert did just as bad, according to a report Monday by Variety,” the Daily Caller’s Katie Jerkovich noted. “Final numbers for Sunday night were later adjusted showing a 2.5 rating for the [18-49] demographic and 11.4 million viewers. In 2015, the Emmys netted a 3.6 million viewers in the same demographic and 11.9 million viewers total for the star-studded show.”

The Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro joined a chorus of other writers in blaming the low ratings on the jokes told at the expense of the Trump administration throughout the night:

Last night’s Emmy Awards crashed and burned in the ratings. And it’s no wonder. Thanks to a combination of Steven Colbert’s “courageous” attacks on President Trump and celebrations of a bunch of shows nobody watches (The Handmaid’s Tale and Big, Little Lies, anyone?), more Americans than ever tuned out. And that follows last year’s debacle, when Jimmy Kimmel’s hosting carried the show to its lowest rating to that point. Hollywood is sliding, and it can’t figure out why.
Politics does have a lot to do with it. That’s because Americans have substituted the culture wars for political dialogue. We no longer care much about policy, apparently — President Trump has spent the last two weeks cutting deals with Democrats, and most Republicans and Democrats don’t seem to be backing off their positions with regard to Trump. Trump may be governing as a centrist Democrat, but Hollywood is still painting him as a pure evil, the future leader of a fascist dystopia; Republicans, meanwhile, continue to paint him as a vigorous, burly warrior on behalf of American values. Rarely has a Republican president made so nice with Democrats; rarely has that same Republican president been treated as Nero by Democratic cultural figures.

National Review’s Kyle Smith agreed. “The co-dependent relationship of celebrities to Trump is like that of two bitter, drunken spouses who hurl abuse at each other before they start making out,” he wrote. “Most Americans, even those who didn’t vote for Trump, are simply getting on with their lives these days, more worried about their car payment or how their kids are faring in school than about Washington politics.”

The Resurgent’s Marc Giller focused on Stephen Colbert’s performance as host, which included multiple barbs at Trump:

He wasn’t there to entertain. Sure, he paid some lip-service to Hollywood’s narcissism and other foilables—but rest assured, everyone knew Colbert was playing to his people. Not the dwindling number of souls who still care about this stuff watching the spectacle from home, but rather his fellow travelers in the auditorium: the self-coronated Tinseltown royalty, whose monolithic politics are exceeded only by their monolithic preening. Colbert worked them all like a Heidi Fleiss call girl working Charlie Sheen, telling them all what they wanted to hear and stroking them in all the right places.

“That Colbert would end up delivering numerous barbs towards President Trump and the GOP throughout the night was a foregone conclusion,” the Federalist’s Brad Slager wrote. “It is rather amazing, though, there could be no material found to skewer Democrats.” A few writers took aim at liberal outrage over a bit featuring former White House press secretary Sean Spicer, who former Obama administration official Ben Rhodes criticized on Twitter for “lying to the American people on behalf of the most powerful person in [the] US.”  The Daily Caller’s Jim Treacher called Rhodes a hypocrite. “The Obama administration lied about the Iran deal, and Ben Rhodes crafted the lie,” he wrote. “And now, that same guy is outraged because Sean Spicer lied about the size of the crowd at Trump’s inauguration, and the Emmys invited him on to joke about it.” Hot Air’s Allahpundit argued that Spicer was one of the more sympathetic figures of the Trump administration. “He never came off as sinister; far more often he was pitiful, which I’m sure is why the gag he was involved in last night referenced the lie about crowd size in his first press briefing after the inauguration,” he wrote. “That was Spicer’s defining moment: It was so obviously untrue, and so obviously done to soothe Trump’s fragile ego, that he seemed pathetic more so than malevolent.”

In other news:

Conservatives delighted in the misfortunes of Rolling Stone in the wake of news that the magazine is up for sale. RedState’s Brandon Morse wrote that the debunked UVA story “A Rape on Campus” marked an important point in the magazine’s decline.

After dragging both the college through the dirt, and endangering the lives of the Phi Kappa Psi members, the story was proven to be completely fabricated. “Jackie” turned out to be a liar with a history of making false claims for attention. The article’s author, Sabrina Erdely, was discovered to have not fact checked Jackie’s claim, and was discovered to have a history of unethical reporting around rape cases. ...
Whoever buys the flaming pile of feces that is the Rolling Stone has a long road ahead of it. Its partisan reporting, and willingness to endanger innocent lives has black marked a once great magazine into paper people wouldn’t line their birdcages with.

“When did Rolling Stone die?” Breitbart’s Daniel Flynn asked. “When it morphed from newsprint to glossy? When it moved from San Francisco to New York? When it attempted to open up a chain of restaurants in imitation of the Hard Rock Café? When it put the stars of something called ‘Gossip Girl’ on its front page both licking a two-scoop, ice-cream cone or made coverboys of the Backstreet Boys with their pants down to their ankles or posing Sarah Michelle Gellar with her legs akimbo on a Cadillac?”

At the Daily Caller, Ian Miles Cheong declared Rolling Stone another casualty of internet-driven changes to journalism. “The almost 50-year-old magazine has been largely supplanted by online media, which it has refused to properly embrace due to the stubbornness of its founder, Jann S. Wenner, and his death grip of outdated publishing models even as print advertising revenues dry up,” he wrote. “As other companies ramp up their media presence online through videos and breaking news, Rolling Stone continues to focus on long-form journalism. Readers don’t head to it for up-to-date stories.”

This Is How You’ll Know When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Are Engaged

This Is How You’ll Know When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Are Engaged

by Diana Pearl @

Ever since Prince Harry whisked Meghan Markle away to Africa for her birthday in August, two questions have been on everyone’s minds: Is he about to propose? Or has he already done so?

Yes, fans are a tiny bit excited about the possibility of Harry slipping a ring on Markle’s finger, but PEOPLE Royals is here to tell you exactly how you’ll find out — if and when it happens.

How will you know? Well, for starters, the palace will make the announcement. No one else. If Harry and Markle are engaged and keeping it under wraps, the only people who will be privy to such information will be their nearest and dearest — people they’d trust not to leak the information.

If you want a more clear idea of how a potential royal engagement announcement will go, take a look back almost seven years ago, when Prince William and the then-Kate Middleton shared their own engagement news on November 16, 2010.

At the time of their engagement, the couple had been together for eight years, during which countless wedding bell rumors and false claims had circulated. But when the news hit, you knew: The palace made an early morning announcement. Social media, even back in 2010, was in a frenzy. (Imagine what it would be like in 2017!)

Soon after the official announcement was made, William and Kate attended a photo call at St. James’s Palace. Then, they did an on-camera interview with Sky News — the first time the public heard Kate speak. In the interview, William said that he popped  the question while the couple was on vacation in Kenya in October — a month prior to the public announcement.

William and Kate had been seen together in public after the engagement — most notably at the wedding of their friends Harry Meade and Rosie Bradford. Kate didn’t, however, wear her new ring to the occasion. Until the palace had given the official word, there were no signs, no hints from the couple that it was time for an engagement.

RELATED VIDEO: Meghan Markle Shares Sweet Kiss With Prince Harry After His Polo Match with Prince William

It was a whirlwind of a day, and all of it was publicly broadcast — and dictated by the palace’s terms. An engagement between Harry and Markle can be expected to follow a similar pattern.

So, how can you be the first to know? Keep your eye on the royal family’s official Twitter feeds, @KensingtonRoyal, @RoyalFamily and @ClarenceHouse, for one. And of course, head to PEOPLE Royals. Though the palace themselves will be the first ones to give the word, we’ll be ready!

Put your celeb and pop culture knowledge to the test and download PEOPLE and Zynga’s Crosswords with Friends!

California Lawmakers Vote to Become “Sanctuary State” as Part of Broad Pushback Against Trump

California Lawmakers Vote to Become “Sanctuary State” as Part of Broad Pushback Against Trump

by Elliot Hannon @ The Slatest

Lawmakers in the state of California passed a “sanctuary state” bill in the early hours of Saturday morning that would offer broad protections to undocumented immigrations in response to the Trump administration’s aggressive deportation policies. Senate Bill 54, officially called the “California Values Act,” limits the information sharing and communication between local officials and federal immigration authorities, as well as prohibits state law enforcement officers from questioning individuals on their immigration status and detaining them for immigration violations. The bill, which faced opposition from Republican sheriffs and the Trump Justice Department, passed by a party line 27-11 vote sending the measure to protect the some 2.3 million undocumented people living in the state to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk.

From the Los Angeles Times:

The legislation by Sen. Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles), the most far-reaching of its kind in the country… But the bill sent to Gov. Jerry Brown drastically scaled back the version first introduced, the result of tough negotiations between Brown and De León in the final weeks of the legislative session… After talks with Brown, amendments to the bill made this week would allow federal immigration authorities to keep working with state corrections officials and to continue entering county jails to question immigrants. The legislation would also permit police and sheriffs to share information and transfer people to immigration authorities if they have been convicted of one or more crimes from a list of 800 outlined in a previous law, the California Trust Act.

“Senate Bill 54 received national attention as the U.S. Department of Justice pledged to slash government grants for law enforcement from any so-called sanctuary cities, which limit the collaboration between local and federal authorities on immigration enforcement,” according to the Times. “At the request of the California Senate, former U.S. Atty. Gen. Eric H Holder Jr. reviewed the bill and said it passed constitutional muster, adding that the states ‘have the power over the health and safety of their residents and allocation of state resources.’”

RedZone is the Cause of and Solution to All of the NFL's Problems

RedZone is the Cause of and Solution to All of the NFL's Problems

by Nick Greene @ The Slatest


The NFL is in the midst of an existential crisis. In the words of Jean-Paul Sartre, “Most of the games suck eggs.”

Take today’s early afternoon lineup. Were you in a part of the country that was lucky enough see the Tennessee Titans ease past the Blake Bortles-led Jacksonville Jaguars? Or were you treated to the gourmet football feast that was the Carolina Panthers’ 9-3 victory over the Buffalo Bills? If so, you are three hours closer to death, and all you have to show for it are memories of Graham Gano kicking field goals.

The NFL’s biggest problem is one of watchability. Sure, we’re only two Sundays into the season and this is by definition a premature judgment, but if you sat through today’s Bears-Buccaneers game then you have surely joined me in jumping to this grave conclusion. Of the eight games that started at 1 p.m. ET, only the Arizona-Indianapolis contest was close. It went to overtime, but this is not a virtue; rather, this extra period acted only to prolong this shameful sin of a game.

At the end of today’s early round of matchups, there had been 24 games played in the NFL this season. By my count, only five of those could be described as competitive, in that the viewer didn’t already know who was going to win heading into the fourth quarter. Of those five, just two were contested by teams that could be described as “decent” (Chiefs vs. Patriots and Chargers vs. Broncos). At the risk of sounding like a laconic buffoon: The games are bad. And you can’t blame this on the sport itself, as college football is, for all its many faults, as entertaining as ever.

Sure, some fans will always take pleasure in watching their favorite teams destroy hapless also-rans (hello, New England; goodbye, New Orleans). There will also always be the masochistic types who insist on sitting through the cleat-end of an hours-long beatdown in their pursuit of some kind of Zen-like awakening. But for everyone else, what the NFL is selling in 2017 just isn’t good enough. If the league wants to maintain its perch as the nation’s most popular sport then it will have to cater to these casual fans. Fortunately, the NFL already thought of a way to do this: RedZone.

NFL RedZone, which the league launched in 2009, is a premium network that provides simulcast coverage each Sunday. RedZone, which switches from stadium to stadium to capture the best action at any given moment, is essentially a collage of the day's most exciting events: football without the filler. While it started as a sort-of gimmick for fantasy football enthusiasts with short attention spans, it has become the only way to watch the league without losing your mind.

League-wide ratings are slipping, but there hasn’t been a general consensus as to why. Some have blamed anthem protests, an assertion that, thanks to a misreading of a widely published poll, became heralded as fact when it was anything but. RedZone has also been singled out for cannibalizing the market for individual games, but the league could never admit this is the case. That's because, in doing so, they'd have to concede that a single NFL game must be packaged with at least seven other NFL games to make it anything close to watchable.

This ties the NFL in a pretzel. The commercial-free RedZone channel may help retain fans, but if it's the only thing propping up a dreadful league, then the fumbles and interceptions are going to come home to roost sooner rather than later. Until then, I'll be consuming my Sunday afternoon football via RedZone and RedZone alone. And on Thursday, Sunday, and Monday nights, I'll endure select NFL broadcasts in a manner no man ever should: one game at a time, with commercials, and lots and lots of field goals.



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30 Makeup Brands That Still Test On Animals In 2017

by Aly Laughlin @ Cruelty-Free Kitty

These popular brands all still test on animals. Some of them are often mistaken for being cruelty-free, but sadly this is not the case. I’ve included a brief description of each company’s policy to explain why they aren’t cruelty-free. For the majority of these cases, the brands are sold in China, where animal testing is […]

The post 30 Makeup Brands That Still Test On Animals In 2017 appeared first on Cruelty-Free Kitty.

Tarte Drench Lip Splash Lipstick Review & Swatches

by Aly Laughlin @ Cruelty-Free Kitty

Lipstick is one of those things I just can’t get enough of, so I was super thrilled to try out the vacation-themed Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Drench Lip Splash Lipsticks in several shades! Keep reading for my thoughts and swatches below. At A Glance Brand: Tarte Animal Testing Policy: Cruelty-Free, PETA-certified Parent Company: Kose […]

The post Tarte Drench Lip Splash Lipstick Review & Swatches appeared first on Cruelty-Free Kitty.

Eight Dead at a Florida Nursing Home That Lost Power After Irma

Eight Dead at a Florida Nursing Home That Lost Power After Irma

by Molly Olmstead @ The Slatest


Hurricane Irma caused less flooding than expected when it passed through Florida this weekend, but its threat to the people in the state has not passed. Eight people have died at a nursing home in Hollywood, Florida, that went without power for days and was evacuated Wednesday morning.

Three patients were found dead at the home, and five others died after arriving at the hospital, according to officials there. About 100 patients were evacuated from the home. Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief attributed the deaths to heat-related causes, stemming from a lack of air conditioning in the home.

The nursing home released a statement later Wednesday morning: “The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills has evacuated this morning due to a prolonged power failure to the transformer which powered the facility’s air conditioning system as a result of the hurricane. Unfortunately, early this morning several patients experienced distress.”* Stat is reporting that the nursing home has a history of safety issues, and specifically with problems with its generator.*

Although exact numbers of Irma-related deaths are not yet available, the Associated Press has reported that, apart from the nursing home deaths, 13 people in Florida have died “in Irma-related circumstances.” The AP also reports that four people in South Carolina and two in Georgia have died.

As David Halstead, the former director of Florida’s Division of Emergency Management, wrote in an editorial on CNN’s website before Irma hit, powerful storms leave danger in their wake. In an analysis of more than 100 deaths in the state from four 2004 storms, he said, he found that less than a quarter of the deaths resulted directly from the storm:

We have heard the stories of survivors who drove through roads in flooded conditions and their vehicles left the roadway with the occupants of the car drowning in deep ditches. Too many people still think their vehicle is capable of traveling across flooded roads.

Then there are those who die from carbon monoxide poisoning because they run generators in enclosed garages or inside their homes. People can die from clearing debris—especially from their roofs—or from electrocution from downed power lines. They can also die from stress.

But the retirement-focused Florida also has its own particular risk factors as, by some metrics, the oldest state, with almost a fifth of its population 65 or older. Not only are these retirees more physically vulnerable and in need of greater care, but they also, as the New York Times notes, lack family resources that can be so helpful in times of emergency.

After Hurricane Andrew in 1992, agencies had to deal with thousands of older people suddenly found without homes. Before Irma, some senior homes talked about their attempts to prepare. But as thousands of people remain in shelters and millions more are without power, the danger of Hurricane Irma, is not over.

Update, Sept. 13, 2017, 12:10 p.m.: This post has been updated to include a statement from the nursing home. It was also updated after the announcement of a sixth death.

Update, Sept. 13, 2017, 1:38 p.m.: This post has been updated to include information about the cause of the deaths and reporting from Stat.

Update, Sept. 13, 2017, 5:12 p.m.: This post has been updated to note the announcement of eight total deaths. 

Marriott Refuses to Cancel Conference Booked by Anti-Muslim Hate Group

Marriott Refuses to Cancel Conference Booked by Anti-Muslim Hate Group

by April Glaser @ The Slatest

One of the largest anti-Muslim grassroots hate groups in the United States, Act for America, is hosting its annual conference on Oct. 2–3 in Arlington, Virginia, at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel. ACTCON2017 strives to be a massive gathering of people from across the country to strategize how to fight the “leftist Islamic coalition,” which is “waging war against the rule of law,” according to the group’s founder, Brigitte Gabriel.

The group Muslim Advocates, a civil rights organization, sent Marriott President and CEO Arne Sorenson, a letter on Sept. 11 urging his company to cancel the hotel’s commitment to host ACTCON2017. As the letter points out, Marriott states on its website that “diversity and inclusion is fundamental to our core values and strategic business goals,” which, one would think, might include not hosting a group that works to advance hate speech and anti-Muslim legislation.

Watch the full ACTCON promotional video:

Act for America said in a statement to Slate that Muslim Advocates are unfairly portraying the group as racist, noting that there will be a Palestinian, a Jewish person, and other underrepresented minorities speaking at the conference.

Act for America was behind the more than 20 anti-Muslim protests, dubbed “March Against Sharia,” held across the country during Ramadan this year, where participants, some of whom were armed, marched down streets and in front of mosques with the aim of opposing Islamic law and the presence of Muslims in the United States. The Facebook pages for March Against Sharia were likewise statured with calls for violence toward, and even murdering, Muslims.

But, as a spokesperson from Marriott confirmed for Slate, the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington will not be canceling its hosting. “We are a hospitality company that provides public accommodations and function space,” said the spokesperson. “Acceptance of business does not indicate support or endorsement of any group or individual.”

Marriott’s decision to host ACTCON is particularly curious given the company’s 2010 decision to cancel its hosting of American Renaissance, a white nationalist conference. Sorenson, the CEO of Marriott, previously noted that President Trump’s travel ban focusing on six Muslim-majority countries was broadly perceived as “a big deal” in the Middle East and that “the symbolism is wrong.”

Marriott recently started a new ad campaign called “Golden Rule,” which appears to promote a theme of treating every person with equality and dignity. One of the advertisements, for example, starts with images of strangers helping each other and the line: “It would be great if human beings were great at being human and if all of mankind were made up of kind women and kind men.”

This decision from Marriott comes after Airbnb decided last month to boot off its platform several white supremacists and neo-Nazis who booked nights at homes in Charlottesville, Virginia, for after-parties following the Unite the Right rally. After Airbnb stopped working with the organizers of the Unite the Right rally, which was largely being organized on the alt-right website the Daily Stormer, other online businesses decided to stop doing business with the the Daily Stormer as well, on account of the rampant hate speech hosted there, which violates many web companies’ terms of service. GoDaddy, Cloudflare, and Google all stopped worked with the Daily Stormer.* Later, numerous other web companies, like Spotify, PayPal, and OkCupid, all made efforts to remove accounts of individuals or groups that forward hate speech, too. These decisions give Marriott plenty of social and political cover if it would decide to stop providing a forum for Act for America. But Marriott isn’t using it.

*Correction, Sept. 21, 2017, at 5:15 p.m.: This article originally misspelled Cloudflare's name.

Republicans Are Seriously Getting Optimistic About Passing Obamacare Repeal Again

Republicans Are Seriously Getting Optimistic About Passing Obamacare Repeal Again

by Jim Newell @ The Slatest

Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy says that Thursday “may have been my best day as a senator.” If you’re not a fan of repealing and replacing Obamacare, then that’s bad news.

Cassidy, a co-author of the GOP’s last-ditch effort to fulfill its health care promise ahead of its Sept. 30 parliamentary deadline, told reporters Friday morning that “we’re probably at 48-49 [votes] and talking to two or three more,” according to the Hill. “I am pretty confident we’ll get there on the Republican side,” he added.

One lesson I’ve learned covering this never-ending repeal-and-replace effort is that Bill Cassidy does not always know as much as he thinks he does. Another is that a whole lot of Republican health care bills can get 48 votes, but none so far has been able to get 50. There are your two caveats. And yet, this sudden push for Graham-Cassidy—something that did not exist within the Senate Republican caucus even a few days ago—appears to be the real thing.

They have two weeks.

Senate leaders, who had been keeping their hands clean of this latest effort, are now all in. (It’s now technically Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson, but we’ll stick with the short version, because give me a break.) Majority Whip John Cornyn is whipping the votes, and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has asked the Congressional Budget Office to quickly produce a score. The Senate GOP’s Thursday lunch was the pep rally the bill needed, the apex of the best day of Cassidy’s senatorial tenure.

Though the votes aren’t there yet, and the Senate would still have to move fast by Senate standards to muscle this through, the renewed energy has caught Democrats’ attention. Staffers tell me they’re now taking the threat seriously.

“It is starting to feel like this has potential to get to the floor again,” one Senate Democratic aide says. “It’s frightening.”

My colleague Jordan Weissmann has written about how the Graham-Cassidy bill is not the moderate compromise its backers make it out to be. The bill would essentially collapse Obamacare’s market subsidies and Medicaid expansion by replacing them with block grants allotted to each state to design their own health systems, with few strings attached. Those grants would be determined by a complex formula that, relative to current law, punishes large blue states or those that expanded Medicaid while rewarding red states that didn’t. Like previous GOP bills, Graham-Cassidy would also set slow-growing per-capita caps on traditional Medicaid, and allow states to waive out of core Obamacare insurance regulations. It would defund Planned Parenthood for one year.

We have a decent sense of which senators Cassidy might not have. Maine Sen. Susan Collins and Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski were the staunchest opponents of each version of repeal and/or replace that came up for a vote in July. They will be difficult to flip. Sen. John McCain, the third no vote on the “skinny repeal” bill that appeared to seal the fate of Obamacare repeal in July, has said that any effort to replace Obamacare must be done through “regular order,” and Graham-Cassidy sure as hell wasn’t. On the other hand, McCain is best friends with South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, a co-author of the bill, so maybe that’s good enough for him. The key obstacle could be Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who told me this week that Graham-Cassidy had “zero” chance of passing the Senate. Paul tweeted Friday morning that he still wouldn’t support it, for strange Rand Paul reasons that don’t make much sense, and Paul has been arguing with Cassidy about it since. If you don’t have Paul, Murkowski, or Collins, and you are in the process of persuading McCain to support his dear friend Graham, then there’s your whip count of 48 or 49.

One piece of good news for Senate Republicans is that they will have until 11:59:59 on Sept. 30 to wrangle the final votes, get a CBO score, and work through other parliamentary concerns, and pass this. Though the Senate will no longer be able to pass repeal-and-replace with a simple, 50-vote majority after that point, the House does not need to meet the same deadline. The House can still pass the Senate bill whenever it chooses after Sept. 30—it just can’t make any changes. If the House did amend the bill and pass it, then it would have to surmount a 60-vote Senate filibuster.

I know you’re sick of this. I’m sick of it. Democrats are sick of it. Republicans are sick of it. But for the next two weeks, we’ve got a live one.



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In a world of hype and stereotypes, Dove empowers women's esteem recognising that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes and it's simply about how you feel.

Prince Harry Hangs Out with Invictus Athletes — and Gives a Service Dog a Head Rub

Prince Harry Hangs Out with Invictus Athletes — and Gives a Service Dog a Head Rub

by Simon Perry @

When Prince Harry went on a behind-the-scenes tour of the athletics stadium at his Paralympic-style Invictus Games, it was more than just the competitors who caught his eye.

“He was mainly talking to Knoxville, my puppy,” says Stefan Leroy, whose service dog received a princely pat on Sunday.

Leroy adds, “He got to play with him for a little bit. He was saying he was a good boy and beautiful looking.”

The 26-year-old former army sergeant — who lost both of his legs in Afghanistan in 2012 —  says Harry, 33, “was encouraging us all.”

For Christy Wise, 30, co-captain of the US Team, it was a chance to exchange some light-hearted banter with the prince as he toured the facility.

“I was carrying my leg and he was ‘Are you carrying you own leg or someone else’s?’ ” she says. “I was like, ‘My own leg this time.’ ”

Wise continues, “He just hangs out with us. He’s all about this. He knows the athletes and is not here to take the picture and leave.”

The serving pilot of Reno, Nevada, severed her right leg when she was hit by a motorboat while paddle-boarding in the sea near Shalimar, Florida, in April 2015. When she took a dive down to swim away from the boat, the propeller cut into her.

She received a bronze medal from Harry following the 100m race. He embraced all the medal-winners in the trackside ceremony.

“I just gave him a hug and tried to keep it short,” Wise adds.

RELATED VIDEO: Prince Harry Kicks Off Invictus Games

In the 200-meter race later, she came in third, after she stumbled when she kicked her ankle with the prosthetic. And then, in a moment that summed up what the Invictus Games are all about, the other racers waited for her and then hugged her at the finish line.

She says, “Sarah Rudder and I train together and are good friends. It’s all about being out here.”

She is looking forward to rowing on Tuesday. “I usually have an disadvantage because I’m an above-the-knee amputee and the other girls are below-the-knee. But in rowing it kind of evens the playing field a little.”

Leroy and Wise are among around 550 competitors from 17 nations taking part in competition until September 30 in Toronto, Canada.

We Asked People Lining Up for Hillary Clinton’s Book One Simple Question: What Happened?

We Asked People Lining Up for Hillary Clinton’s Book One Simple Question: What Happened?

by Rachel Withers @ The Slatest

Opinions on what happened in the 2016 election are like assholes: everybody has one.

Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 presidential election because of Russia but also because sexism; because she didn’t go to Wisconsin but also because of the media; because she wasn’t likeable enough or because she didn’t show her personality enough; because Americans are angry, or gullible, or racist, or simply wanted change; because Comey, because Bernie. Emails, Benghazi, Pizzagate.

Now Hillary Clinton—who might have had a bit more at stake in the election than most—is offering her two cents on why she thinks she lost the biggest race of her life. Though many online pundits wish she could just, like, not, Hillary supporters in New York queued up for blocks Tuesday morning to get their copy of What Happened signed by the author and to hear what she had to say.

I asked those in line for Tuesday’s book signing for What Happened a basic question: “What happened?”

Here’s what they had to say.

Answers have been condensed for length and clarity.

Brian LeBlanc, 24, writer, New York
Voted for Hillary in the primary and the general

A lot of it was the James Comey letter, a lot of it was WikiLeaks, then a lot of it was Bernie Sanders. I think a lot of the people that voted for Bernie Sanders decided to be part of the scorched earth campaign and then they all stayed home on election night. I think people have had 25 years to develop a hatred for Hillary Clinton, whether or not any of it’s founded (most of it’s not). And then a lot of it is, most people can’t get behind a woman. You know frat bros, it’s very hard to see them being like “yeah Hillaryyy!” whereas they’re cheering shirtless for Bernie.

Luis Cabalquinto, 82, freelance writer/poet, New York (originally from the Philippines)
Voted for Hillary in the primary and the general

I think three things. Hillary underestimated the people in the rural areas. Second, the Russian connection. And third, the electoral college. Hillary is actually the president—if this election was held in the Philippines, where I am from, she would be the president.

George Begelman, “I’ll pass on the age,” retired life insurance salesman, New York
Voted for Hillary in the primary and the general

Basically what she said: the email controversy was the thing that really gave her the most difficulty. She could never get past that. I think that was the main reason why she lost.

Elizabeth Tharakan, 32, lawyer, New York
Voted for Hillary in the primary and the general

I think Hillary Clinton tried to make herself approachable to the public but she didn't succeed in making herself open enough, and connecting well with voters. I think Donald Trump was more authentic, and more believable as a character, and people trusted him more. That's a shame. And I like the fact that Hillary Clinton is now making herself vulnerable, and opening herself up the public.

Lisa Halprin, 55, marketing, New York
Voted for Hillary in the primary and the general

This may be controversial but I do think there was a Bernie factor, not so much Bernie, but by some of his followers that just never wanted to get behind Hillary in the end. I think that that did some damage. I also think there were a lot of dirty politics at play particularly from Russia. And I think that Comey’s release of the emails from Anthony Weiner’s computer was really a devastating blow at the end. But at the heart of it, I really do think that there’s a lot of misogyny and bias against women, and women being held to a higher standard in order to have to go above and beyond to prove their capability, which she did, in spades.

Jamie Spencer, “way too old to tell you,” currently unemployed, New York
Voted for Hillary in the primary and the general

Everyone beat up on her. Comey beat up on her. Bernie Sanders beat up on her. Donald Trump, the ultimate toddler and bully, beat up on her…. I think people mistook the presidential election for a popularity contest. Hillary Clinton doesn’t come across very authentically but she was more qualified than anyone else on the ballot, and people thought they were electing someone they liked instead of someone who was going to do a good job, and they were really not thinking with their heads very clearly.

Christine Santisavan, 34, pediatrician, New York
Voted for Hillary in the primary and the general

What happened? Women are not held to a fair standard in politics. It's completely patriarchal, and it’s misogynistic. If she had run a campaign other than what she ran she would have been burned for it absolutely that much more I believe. It was a perfect storm. Fake news pulled out through social media, the Russians, the email investigation, diverging political ideology in our country. I think it all came together.

Elisa Petrini, 50+, writer, New York
Voted for Hillary in the primary and the general

I think it was a perfect storm of things. It was gerrymandering, it was voter suppression, it was demonization by Bernie, it was demonization by Trump, it was Russian interference, it was hacking, it was everything. But I think above all, it was that Hillary has been demonized for 30 years. A lot of it is sexism, a lot of it has been sexism from the beginning. I mean the way she was attacked as Bill's wife, for being the first president in history who had a wife who has an actual job and thought that she was going to make a meaningful contribution. She was attacked for that and told that she should be baking brownies and had to change her hairdo and all that stuff because she thought that she could have a role. I think that people are so ambivalent about the role of women and Hillary will never be forgiven for being female. Alas!

Susan Toomey, 69, retired ballet dancer/teacher, New York
Voted for Hillary in the primary and the general

Russia happened! Russia happened! Yes, Russia happened. He knew [about Russia] at the second debate—when he was practically up her ass walking behind her. (She should have kicked him!) Just as the debate was over, he said something to the effect of he knew he was in. Like I can’t remember his exact words but he knew that he was going to be president. And don't tell me that Donny Baby Junior didn't tell Daddy about his meeting with Russia, at Trump Tower. Don't tell me that Trump didn't know about that. I mean Donny wanted his father to be proud of him, because he's proud of Jared, he wanted him to be proud of him. Give me a break.

Iffat Nur, 19, student, New York
Voted for Hillary in the primary and the general

I do think Bernie Sanders refusing to bow out of the primary after New York was a problem because by staying in the race he kept on implying to his supporters that he still had a chance, and if it didn't change their vote it certainly made them less supportive of Hillary Clinton. He was mathematically eliminated a long time ago but people were still looking to him, and he kept on playing into these conspiracies that were built around his losing, the whole rigging thing, that incident in Nevada where his supporters messed up the rules but he claimed it was actually a rigged primary.... it was stuff like that that depressed the support for Hillary Clinton later on, which turned out to be a huge problem.

Richard Raphael, 63, from Australia
Couldn’t vote

He's a great snake oil salesman, and he's a very good marketer. He's very effective at getting a message across, and I think he used all that charm that he's got—false charm, but charm nonetheless—to appeal to the people that live in fear. The discerning person I can't imagine would vote for Trump... So anyone that's thinking about what's happening would not vote for him. But people who live in fear don't think clearly…

JC di Maria, 16, student, New York
Couldn't vote (but went into the booth with his father)

I know there’s was a lot of different factors but the most prevalent in my opinion was definitely Russian interference. In 2011, then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned Vladimir Putin, and Putin is one of the world’s most famous blacklisters. And when she started running I kind of got the feeling that he wasn’t going to let her get away with it, at least not without a fight, and you know, she still won the popular vote, so, she was a strong enough candidate for that.

Amber, 32, writer, New York
Voted for Bernie in primary then Hillary in the general

I don’t think you could go from a Barack Obama figure, someone who was so amazing in terms of what we've seen before, to go back to someone who's so heavily tied to all those politics that we knew prior. I don’t think you can go back.

If it was her time it would have happened in 2008…. I don't think it’s her fault, it’s just the way that it went down.

A Glorious 145-Ton “Fatberg” Has Been Found Beneath London

A Glorious 145-Ton “Fatberg” Has Been Found Beneath London

by Molly Olmstead @ The Slatest

A nauseating stalactite of sewage has been found beneath the streets of East London.

The “fatberg,” as the water company officials call it, is composed of diapers, wet wipes, fats, and oils that have congealed into a giant, repulsive mass. Officials compared the task of clearing it out of the Victorian-era sewer that it blocked—a campaign that they expect to take three weeks—to breaking up a giant slab of concrete.

The mass is more than 800 feet of cooking fats, sanitary products, diapers, and condoms, weighing in at roughly 145 tons. (That’s roughly the weight of 22 African elephants or 70 cars.) This kind of fatberg forms, according to a statement put out by the water company officials, through the repetition of everyday actions like flushing wipes and sanitary products or pouring fats and oils down the drain.

This isn’t the first fatberg discovered in London. In 2013, a “bus-sized” fatberg was found after some residents found their toilets wouldn’t flush. Two years later, an 11-ton fatberg broke a sewer pipe. The New York Times reported the city spent $4.6 million on the problem in one year.

But it’s not just a London problem. Fatbergs have been reported in cities around the—including the U.S.—in smaller sizes. New York City, according to a city report, spent $18 million fighting five years of grease-related sewage backups, the most common type of blockage.

The company responsible for clearing this London fatberg will have to use eight people, manning high-powered hoses, to break up the mass, according to the statement. They’ll then cart away the pieces in a tank truck.

A’s Catcher Becomes First MLB Player to Kneel During National Anthem

A’s Catcher Becomes First MLB Player to Kneel During National Anthem

by Daniel Politi @ The Slatest

Bruce Maxwell of the Oakland Athletics thrust baseball straight into the controversy surrounding national anthem protests when he became the first major-league player to kneel during the national anthem on Saturday. The 26-year-old rookie catcher, who is from a military family, made it clear that part of the reason why he finally decided to drop to one knee during the national anthem was at least in part to protest comments by President Donald Trump that NFL owners should fire players who did just that.

“My decision had been coming for a long time,” Maxwell said. “The only way we can come together is by informing. ... To single out NFL players for doing this isn’t something we should be doing—I felt it should be a little more broad.” Earlier in the day, Maxwell, who is African American, criticized Trump’s comments in both Twitter and Instagram. “Our president speaks of inequality of man because players are protesting the anthem! Fuck this man!” Maxwell wrote on Instagram. He also retweeted a message that called on all NFL players to kneel for the anthem Sunday.

Maxwell placed his hand on his heart and faced the flag during the anthem and while no one else joined him, Mark Canha, who is white, put his right hand on one of Maxwell’s shoulders. “Every fiber in my being was telling me he needed a brother today,” Canha said. The teammates hugged after the anthem was over and the A’s released a short statement of support. “The Oakland A’s pride ourselves on being inclusive. We respect and support all our players’ constitutional rights and freedom of expression.”

Maxwell didn’t catch his teammates by surprise as he told them all about this decision to kneel before the game. “He was as articulate as I’ve seen him,” manager Bob Melvin said. “This wasn’t an emotional thing just today for him. Something had been leading up to it and he felt today would be the right platform to do it.”

Although the NFL has seen several players join the protest that began in September 2016, when then-49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the anthem, Major League Baseball had been silent. That dynamic is hardly surprising considering the league is majority white and only 7.7 percent of players are African-American. “Professional baseball players are, by and large, a politically conservative group,” writes Jon Tayler in Sports Illustrated. “And perhaps more than any other sport, they are encouraged—or at least cautioned—not to speak their minds about politics and the world beyond the diamond.” The question now is whether others will follow Maxwell's lead.

'You're fat and ordinary': Dove ad reveals what women really think about themselves

'You're fat and ordinary': Dove ad reveals what women really think about themselves

A new advert forces women to confront the negative thoughts they have about their own bodies

Girl Scout Cookie Baking Mixes to Hit Stores Nationwide

Girl Scout Cookie Baking Mixes to Hit Stores Nationwide

by mariayagoda @

Samoas in cupcake form was a thing we never knew we needed, but now it’s the only thing we can think about.

Pillsbury just unveiled Girl Scout Cookie baking mixes, which are available in Thin Mints and Caramel & Coconut – a.k.a. Samoas – flavors. The four new mixes are for baking cupcakes, brownies and blondies — unfortunately, you won’t be able to make actual Girl Scout Cookies, because that would put a lot of 7-year-olds out of business.

RELATED: Leonardo DiCaprio Eating Girl Scout Cookies at the Oscars Is the Internet’s Best New Meme

“Families can try out their favorite cookie flavors in the form of brownies, cupcakes, and blondies, while they wait for the real thing once a year during Girl Scout Cookie season,” said Girl Scouts of the USA chief revenue officer Barry Horowitz in a statement.

GSC loyalists are, to put it mildly, freaking out.

The mixes, now available nationwide, retail for $3.29 each — almost $2 less than what you’d pay for a box of cookies.

WATCH THIS: The Girl Scouts Cookie Oven Will Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth Year Around

RELATED: The Best Girl Scout Cookie Recipes

Easily the best part of all this news is the fact that we will now be able to eat Girl Scout Cookie dough, something we never thought would be possible in our lifetimes!

Also Thin Mint brownie sundaes.

Also Samoas-flavored birthday cake.

Can you tell we’re excited about it?

Dove Company History and Review: Real Beauty, Real Soap!

Dove Company History and Review: Real Beauty, Real Soap!

Maple Holistics

Looking to spread your wings and learn how to fly? Learn from Dove! Check out our Dove Company History and Review feature here at Maple Holistics!

The Inconvenient Truth Behind Dove, The Love-Your-Body Beauty Company

The Inconvenient Truth Behind Dove, The Love-Your-Body Beauty Company


Yesterday, when we presented the new Dove commerical, Onslaught, we neglected to mention a few things. Luckily, blogs Feministing and Feministe reminded us of a few facts! For starters, while Dove can be applauded for examining the damaging effects of the beauty industry, its parent company, Unilever, is a major manufacturer of skin-lightening creams marketed in India. (Because, you know, the lighter your skin, the more beautiful you are.) In addition, Unilever makes Axe body spray, whose sexist and just plain stupid ad campaigns and "humilidating" show don't exactly send the message that the Onslaught spot does. And there's more: Unilever spends $809 million on advertising: it markets Dove, which encourages women to love their bodies, Ben & Jerry's ice cream, in which you can drown your sorrows if you don't love your body, and Slim-Fast, to make your body thin enough to love.

The Uber Dilemma

by Ben Thompson @ Stratechery by Ben Thompson

Benchmark's lawsuit against Uber is extraordinary; that is because Uber, despite everything, remains an extraordinary company. Game theory explains the implications.

Leading Alabama Senate Candidate Refers in Speech to “Reds” (Native Americans) and “Yellows” (Asian People)

Leading Alabama Senate Candidate Refers in Speech to “Reds” (Native Americans) and “Yellows” (Asian People)

by Ben Mathis-Lilley @ The Slatest

In 2003, Alabama judge Roy Moore was removed from office because he insisted on displaying the Ten Commandments in his courtroom. In 2016, he was removed from office again because he refused to enforce the (United States) Supreme Court's ruling on same-sex marriage rights. Now he's running for the Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions—he's probably going to win—and saying stuff like this during campaign events:

We have blacks and whites fighting, reds and yellows fighting, Democrats and Republicans fighting, men and women fighting. What’s going to unite us? What’s going to bring us back together? A president? A Congress? No. It’s going to be God.

Ironically, one way God could improve white Americans' relationships with Native Americans and Americans of Asian ancestry is by coming down hard on people like Roy Moore who still refer to Native Americans and Americans of Asian ancestry by using racial terms that were already considered insulting and antiquated 50 years ago.

Please smite Roy Moore, God! Do it!

Kaepernick’s Mom Has Perfect Comeback for Trump: “Guess That Makes Me a Proud B---h”

Kaepernick’s Mom Has Perfect Comeback for Trump: “Guess That Makes Me a Proud B---h”

by Daniel Politi @ The Slatest

The mother of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was one of the many to take to Twitter to respond to President Trump’s criticism of NFL players who take a knee during the national anthem. “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a (expletive) off the field right now. Out. He’s fired. He’s fired!’” Trump said at a rally in Alabama Friday night.

Although Trump didn’t actually name Kaepernick, it seemed pretty clear who his words were directed at considering he was the one who first gained notoriety last year for protesting the national anthem. And Kaepernick’s mom, Teresa Kaepernick, was quick to respond: “Guess that makes me a proud bitch!”

Kaepernick’s parents had already made it clear they were “proud” of their son “and admire his strength and courage in kneeling for the rights of others.”

Trump’s criticism of the protesting players also faced resistance from the NFL leadership and other football players. "Divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our great game and all of our players, and a failure to understand the overwhelming force for good our clubs and players represent in our communities,” Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. Although the statement was presented as a response to Trump’s comments, Goodell never actually mentioned the president or what he said in his statement.

The union representing NFL players was much more direct in its criticism of the president. “We will never back down,” DeMaurice Smith, the executive director of the NFL Players Association, wrote on Twitter Saturday morning. “We no longer can afford to stick to sports.”

Several NFL players also criticized Trump’s words. “It's really sad man ... our president is a asshole,” wrote Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy.

Eric Ebron, a tight end for the Detroit Lions, wondered: “Does anyone tell trump to stick to politics, like they tell us to stick to sports?”

The linebacker for the Washington NFL team also called on Trump to stay out of football: “Trump stay in ur place... football have nothing to do wit u.”

Minnesota Vikinks running back Bishop Sankey, meanwhile, took the longer view and didn’t even mention football, focusing on how the commander in chief somehow thinks it’s fine to insult fellow citizens. “It's a shame and disgrace when you have the President of the US calling citizens of the country sons of a bitches,” he wrote.

Despite all the criticism, Trump doubled down on Saturday, using Twitter to repeat the same message he had espoused during Friday's campaign rally: "If a player wants the privilege of making millions of dollars in the NFL,or other leagues, he or she should not be allowed to disrespect our Great American Flag (or Country) and should stand for the National Anthem. If not, YOU'RE FIRED. Find something else to do!"

Today in Conservative Media: Have Trump Loyalists Been Duped on DACA?

Today in Conservative Media: Have Trump Loyalists Been Duped on DACA?

by Osita Nwanevu @ The Slatest

A daily roundup of the biggest stories in right-wing media.

Conservatives continued to battle Friday over the implications of a potential DACA deal. On Thursday night, Sean Hannity blamed Republicans in Congress for President Trump’s rapport with Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi.

What you're watching unfold here is the failure that has literally pushed this president into the arms of Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi. ...
Republicans in the House and Senate have zero sense of urgency, no sense of accountability. And even after promising for years and years and years they would deliver for you, the American people, they have not. So, with Republican lawmakers not in his corner, well, the president has few options. He can either wait around for Republicans to get their act together, or he can try to forge ahead on his own, and that means even reaching out to Democrats.

At RedState, Susan Wright mocked Hannity by comparing his defenses of Trump to “battered wife syndrome.” “He’s so deep in denial about the betrayal of Donald Trump, that while others of the loyal MAGA crew are burning their uniform caps in protest, Hannity is making excuses for working with liberal Democrats,” she wrote. “Hannity’s refusal to hold Trump accountable for multiple policy flips shouldn’t be the shock that it is. The election of Trump has been quite illuminating. If nothing else, it has proven just how slight the grip on principle is for those who have become wealthy by selling the idea of themselves as ‘true conservative voices.’ ”

National Review’s Jonah Goldberg assessed the rough spot Hannity and other Trump loyalists now find themselves in:

The majority of immigration hawks ... considered DACA to be the president’s most valuable negotiating chip. He could have gotten funding for the wall—or perhaps E-Verify, or portions of Senator Tom Cotton’s immigration-reform legislation, the RAISE Act—passed in exchange for making DACA permanent. Instead, the author of The Art of the Deal essentially tossed his best chip into the pot as if it were the ante.
This poses a crisis for two different kinds of Trump true believers. The “nationalists” honestly believed he was one of them. Meanwhile, the super-fans honestly believed Trump was the greatest negotiator and strategist the world had ever seen. Both of these notions were delusions. Oh, I’m sure Trump believes much of his America First talk, but that’s talk. What really matters to him is praise. It was only a matter of time before the moth flew to the glow of public opinion.

Breitbart ran a post speculating that a revival of DACA could lead to an influx of 4 million to 6 million immigrants. “According to Princeton University researchers Stacie Carr and Marta Tienda, for every one new Mexican immigrant to the U.S., an additional 6.38 Mexican nationals come to the U.S. through family-chain migration,” Breitbart’s John Binder wrote. “Based on the Princeton research, the 618,342 illegal aliens from Mexico who are covered by DACA would be able to bring upwards of four million additional relatives and family members to the U.S. in the years to come.”

In other news:

At National Review, Andrew McCarthy wrote that the London underground bombing represented a new stage in Islamic terrorism:

We worried that someday it would dawn on these monsters that there is a great deal of low-hanging fruit out there (virtually indefensible targets, like subways and crowded streets) that would be easy to attack, almost no preparation or coordination required. Now, they’re going for the low-hanging fruit.
In terms of what the wonks like to call the “threat mosaic,” we are now in straits more dangerous than ever. We have highly trained, competent jihadists who are capable of pulling off sophisticated strikes that could kill hundreds or thousands at once; and we have motivated would-be jihadists who have been encouraged to do the kind of crude attacks that are within their limited capabilities. The crude attacks, we are learning, are just as effective at stoking an atmosphere of intimidation as long as they happen with some regularity.

At the Daily Wire, Ben Shapiro criticized liberals for attacking Trump’s tweets in the wake of the attack and not London’s mayor. “[W]hat exactly does Khan plan to do about security?” he asked. “What does the British government plan to do, other than mouth idiocies about terrorists ‘dividing our communities’? This is the question that drives people into Trump’s camp. It’s not that Trump has a well-thought-out solution. It’s that he seems unwilling to grant credence to the notion that a stiff upper lip will somehow dissuade terrorists from murdering innocent people.”

Another Strong Earthquake Rattles Mexico as Rescue Efforts Continue

Another Strong Earthquake Rattles Mexico as Rescue Efforts Continue

by Daniel Politi @ The Slatest

A 6.1 magnitude earthquake shook southern Mexico on Saturday morning, spreading fear and panic in the country that is still reeling from two quakes earlier this month. Although no deaths were immediately reported, the latest quake forced rescue workers to stop some of the ongoing searches for survivors of Tuesday’s larger quake. It also caused some already damaged buildings, and even a bridge, to collapse. “Homes that were still standing just fell down,” a witness said. “It’s hard. We are all in the streets.”

The epicenter of Saturday’s relatively shallow quake was in Oaxaca state in a town that is about 275 miles southeast of Mexico City. No new damage was immediately reported in the Mexican capital although there was increased concern about the risk that it could pose to already damaged buildings, leading to the suspension of some rescue operations. That frustrated rescue workers that continued battling the clock to find any possible survivors. “We hear that there are possibly more people alive, but the clock is ticking and they are injured and dehydrated,” said a worker who had been helping to clear rubble. “It’s frustrating not being able to do anything.”

Scientists said the Saturday quake was likely an aftershock of the 8.1-magnitude quake that struck southern Mexico and killed almost 100 people, largely in Oaxaca state, on Sept. 7. “We’re calling it an aftershock of the 8.1,” U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist John Bellini said. “An 8.1 is expected to have several aftershocks in the 6 range. … The 6 is not surprising.”

The death toll from Tuesday’s quake has no increased to at least 305 people, increasing to more than 400 when taking into account those killed by the Sept. 7 earthquake.

The Controversy Behind Conflicting Messages from Axe and Dove

The Controversy Behind Conflicting Messages from Axe and Dove


Unilever has been plagued by controversies from the two brands it owns: Axe and Dove. Both products are hugely in contrast in their advertising campaigns. Of course, Unilever continues to maintain uni

James’ “U Bum” Tweet Is Way More Popular Than Any of the President’s Messages

James’ “U Bum” Tweet Is Way More Popular Than Any of the President’s Messages

by Daniel Politi @ The Slatest

President Trump likes to talk about how popular he is and how much he is liked (plus, did you know he won an election?). So surely the president is none too happy today to realize that LeBron James’ tweet insulting him is way more popular than anything he has ever written. Turns out, the basketball superstar is better at uniting Americans than the commander in chief.

It all started when Trump took to Twitter on Saturday morning to uninvite (although they weren’t actually every formally invited) the Golden State Warriors from visiting the White House to commemorate the championship. Trump specifically mentioned Stephen Curry’s public reluctance to go to the White House: “Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team.Stephen Curry is hesitating,therefore invitation is withdrawn!”

Less than three hours later, LeBron James took to Twitter and hit back, calling Trump “u bum” and adding that “going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!”

As of Sunday afternoon, James’ message had been retweeted more than 620,000 times. That is way more than the basketball star's previously most popular post that got a paltry 111,820 retweets (“I’m not MJ, I’m LJ”).

James didn’t just beat his own record though. His “u bum” tweet is also way more popular than anything Trump has ever written in his favorite social media platform. Trump’s most popular post on Twitter was his all-caps celebration of his election victory: “TODAY WE MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” That Nov. 8, 2017 message got retweeted 335,657 times.

A few hours after his tweet, James, who was a supporter of Hillary Clinton, released a video explaining his position. "I think it's basically at a point where I'm a little frustrated, man, because this guy that we've put in charge has tried to divide us once again" James said via his digital company platform Uninterrupted. "Obviously we all know what happened with Charlottesville and the divide that caused. Now it's hit home more for me because he's now using sports as the platform to try and divide us."

Beauty In Orbit: The New Space-Themed Vegan Cuts Box

by Aly Laughlin @ Cruelty-Free Kitty

I’m here with another installment of the Vegan Cuts Beauty Box, this time with their “Beauty in Orbit” filled with lunar-inspired goodies. The Vegan Cuts Beauty Box is a monthly subscription box filled with 4-7 totally vegan and cruelty-free products. Keep reading for my thoughts on the products included in the July “Beauty in Orbit” […]

The post Beauty In Orbit: The New Space-Themed Vegan Cuts Box appeared first on Cruelty-Free Kitty.

Today’s Impeach-O-Meter: Voters Bump Trump for Repub Dump

Today’s Impeach-O-Meter: Voters Bump Trump for Repub Dump

by Ben Mathis-Lilley @ The Slatest

The Impeach-O-Meter is a wildly subjective and speculative daily estimate of the likelihood that Donald Trump leaves office before his term ends, whether by being impeached (and convicted) or by resigning under threat of same.

Our man's approval rating is soaring! Per FiveThirtyEight's approval poll aggregator, he's almost up to the point of being a regular unpopular president rather than a historically despised one:

Wha' happen? A new NBC/WSJ poll indicates that the public was impressed when Trump rejected the typical Republican approach to budgeting—namely, shutting down the government for no reason while threatening to create an economic catastrophe by defaulting on the national debt—in favor of Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer's plan to not do that:

Not ruining things on purpose is apparently a better political move than praising the patrons of a white-power torch rally as "some very fine people." Who knew?

Rand Paul's Obamacare Repeal Vote Is Crucial, and He's Not Budging

Rand Paul's Obamacare Repeal Vote Is Crucial, and He's Not Budging

by Jim Newell @ The Slatest

Want to listen to this article out loud? Hear it on Slate Voice.

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is just as shocked as you are.

“I had thought that it was completely dead, gone, buried, and there wasn’t going to be any more attempts," the senator told reporters in his office Monday afternoon, referring to Senate Republicans’ efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare. “I’m kind of surprised that this has been resurrected cause I don’t think it’s been fully thought through.”

Paul said that two weeks ago, he would have given the Graham-Cassidy bill a “zero” percent chance of passing the Senate, but now he’s “worried.” He doesn’t even have to go back two weeks. He told me last Tuesday that he gave it a zero percent chance. That seemed like an accurate assessment at the time, before the Republicans' rousing pep rally during last Thursday’s caucus lunch.

But the pep talk has not moved Paul. And from the sound of him Monday afternoon, it won’t. If that holds, it could spell Graham-Cassidy’s end.

Paul describes the bill, which replaces Obamacare's subsidies and Medicaid expansion with block grants to states for their own experimentation, as one that “keeps 90 percent of Obamacare and redistributes the proceeds.” He calls it just a “game of Republicans sticking it to Democrats.”

“It just looks like the Republicans are taking the money from the Democrat states and giving it to the Republican states,” he said Monday. He observed, too, that if Graham-Cassidy were to become law, Democrats could later adjust the formula used to determine block grant amounts to favor blue states. “So we’re going to go through year after year of Republicans fighting Democrats over the formula?”

Paul represents a mostly red state, but a relatively unique one in the health care wars, which could explain his thinking. During Obamacare’s implementation, Kentucky happened to have a term-limited Democratic governor who embraced all that the Affordable Care Act had to offer, and many Kentuckians gained coverage. It’s not just blue states that would lose money under Graham-Cassidy’s block grant formula. Kentucky would, too.

“If you didn’t expand [Medicaid], you get a ton of money,” Paul said about changes that would come under Graham-Cassidy. “Mississippi’s going up 900 percent, North Dakota 600 percent. So there’s a ton of money out there for non-expansion red states.”

Paul is definitely one of the most difficult votes for Repulican leaders to secure here. The other two are Maine Sen. Susan Collins and Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski. One of the three of them will need to support Graham-Cassidy for it to pass. (In addition to the other 49 senators, all of whom can’t be considered sure things just yet.) But Collins and Murkowski have each objected to every single Republican repeal attempt so far, and this approach is arguably worse in both rushed process and policy. That would seem to put the pressure on Paul to get on board from the conservative end of the spectrum.

If so, he's not feeling that yet. “I’ve been a loud advocate for repeal of Obamacare, something that looks like repeal,” he said. “This does not look, smell, or even sound like repeal. This is a keep. This is Obamacare Lite.”

Will the NFL Ever Stand Up to Trump?

Will the NFL Ever Stand Up to Trump?

by Nick Greene @ The Slatest

For a good chunk of his 71-plus years on Earth, Donald Trump desperately wanted to be an NFL owner. In the 1980s, he tried and failed to buy the Baltimore Colts, and this humiliation prompted his dalliance with the USFL. Thanks largely to his leadership, that second-tier league went bankrupt and disbanded in 1986. In 2014, Trump placed a losing bid to purchase the Buffalo Bills. Unable to make his dream of owning an NFL franchise come true, Trump settled for the presidency, a position he’s now using to take potshots at a club that never wanted him as a member.

At an Alabama rally to (kind of) endorse Luther Strange’s Senate campaign, Trump used a literal bully pulpit to demand NFL owners fire players who protest during the national anthem. “Wouldn’t you love,” the president brayed, “to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. He’s fired. He’s fired!’ ”

Like many low-information sports-radio callers before him, Trump naturally transitioned into complaining that the league has gotten too soft.

This was inevitable. Bashing Colin Kaepernick and “disrepectful” NFL players who make “millions of dollars” is a conservative political gambit whose laziness is surpassed only by its effectiveness. The comments Trump made in Alabama are just a continuation of what he said at a March rally in which he bragged that Kaepernick didn’t have a job in the NFL “because [owners] don’t want to get a nasty tweet from Donald Trump.” He got to the White House by stoking a culture war, and, after nine months of failed governance, he has no better alternative than to beat the dead horse he rode in on.

Although he couldn’t become an NFL owner, Trump assumes (probably correctly) that he now has sway over those would-be peers. NFL owners are Trump’s base—the rich men who will eventually benefit from the tax cuts he has long promised. Eight owners donated a combined $7.25 million to help pay for Trump’s inauguration. Trump knows he can push these men around on the issue of anthem protests because they’ve already given him tacit approval to do so. By blackballing Colin Kaepernick, the NFL’s owner class aligned themselves with Trump’s side of this fight long before he stepped on that stage in Alabama.

So far, two organizations have publically rebuked the president for his remarks in Alabama. New York Giants co-owners John Mara and Steve Tisch called his remarks “inappropriate, offensive, and divisive,” and Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross released a statement expressing his disappointment. Until they say otherwise, it can only be assumed that the owners of the league's 30 other teams stand with the man who may one day reduce their marginal tax rates. (Update, Sept. 24, 10:06 a.m.: Detroit Lions owner Martha Firestone Ford and Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank have released statements defending the players, and Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan linked arms with players on the sideline of Sunday’s game in London during the anthem. They may not be the last.)

Trump’s opportunistic comments will spark more protests on Sunday, which was likely his aim all along. Players around the league have been taking to social media to make themselves heard, and the NFL Players Association released a statement arguing that “the balance between the rights of every citizen in our great country gets crossed when someone is told to just ‘shut up and play.’ ” They’re right, of course, and the NFL and its owners could easily fix this problem by responding in a similar manner. But they probably won’t, as history indicates they'll trip over their silk, NFL–logo–patterned Vineyard Vines neckties a hundred times before finally doing the correct thing.

Consider Roger Goodell’s lily-livered response, which neither mentions Trump by name nor brings up any of the specific issues the president brought up during his extended rant about the league.

To call that a word salad would be an insult to leafy greens. This is the language of someone who desperately wants to toe a line he’s clung to for far too long. The league should support its players and not its very worst fan, even if he happens to watch games from the White House.

Former Trump Campaign Chief Reportedly Under Intermittent FBI Surveillance From 2014 Until This Year

Former Trump Campaign Chief Reportedly Under Intermittent FBI Surveillance From 2014 Until This Year

by Elliot Hannon @ The Slatest

There are many potential vulnerabilities in President Trump’s legal defense in the multipronged investigation into his Russian ties—Jared Kushner, Donald Trump Jr., Mike Flynn, Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, advisers Roger Stone and Carter Page, to name a few in Trump’s orbit—but former campaign chief Paul Manafort, so far, appears to be the biggest liability. On top of all we know already about Manafort’s shadowy overseas political consulting operation, CNN reported Monday that Manafort was under FBI surveillance dating back to 2014, well before he joined the Trump campaign. The FBI eavesdropping continued, although apparently not continuously, until earlier this year, after Trump had taken office. Manafort was fired from the campaign months before Election Day, but continued to communicate with Trump into his presidency.

Manafort caught the attention of the FBI, unrelated to Trump, for his work in Ukraine with the party of Kremlin-backed former President Viktor Yanukovych, who came to power in 2010, but was ousted by nationwide demonstrations in 2014. The FBI surveillance was authorized by a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant, a top-secret process that oversees national security cases. For a judge to grant the warrant, the FBI doesn’t need to show evidence of a crime, but it must show that the individual may be working as a foreign agent.

According to CNN, the initial investigation of Manafort fizzled and surveillance was discontinued in 2016. The FBI, however, obtained a new FISA warrant later that year that ran at least into early 2017. "The FBI interest deepened last fall because of intercepted communications between Manafort and suspected Russian operatives, and among the Russians themselves, that reignited their interest in Manafort," CNN reports. "As part of the FISA warrant, CNN has learned that earlier this year, the FBI conducted a search of a storage facility belonging to Manafort. It's not known what they found."

It’s unclear when exactly surveillance of Manafort restarted, but in August, CNN reported that U.S. intelligence intercepted suspected Russian intelligence officers discussing Manafort in the summer of 2016, months before the election. “The suspected operatives relayed what they claimed were conversations with Manafort, encouraging help from the Russians,” CNN reported at the time.

Manafort’s work abroad, particularly in Ukraine, weaved together dodgy political affiliations and murky financial dealings. Manafort’s jazz-like interpretation of American laws, despite the attention of American investigators, may not have been enough to do him in, but then in June 2016 Manafort popped up much closer to home—as the campaign manager of the presumptive Republican nominee for president, Donald Trump. By late August, Manafort was out at Trump headquarters, replaced by Steve Bannon, but Manafort remained a person of interest and when Robert Mueller was designated Special Counsel in June 2017, the former FBI chief picked up the pace and intensity of the probe, particularly of Manafort.

“Dispensing with the plodding pace typical of many white-collar investigations, Mr. Mueller’s team has used what some describe as shock-and-awe tactics to intimidate witnesses and potential targets of the inquiry,” the New York Times reports. “Mr. Mueller has obtained a flurry of subpoenas to compel witnesses to testify before a grand jury, lawyers and witnesses say, sometimes before his prosecutors have taken the customary first step of interviewing them.” In July, federal agents conducted a predawn knockless search of Manafort’s Virginia home, commandeering files that may provide evidence of offshore financial dealings. To obtain the warrant, Mueller would have needed to convince a judge that inside Manafort’s house was evidence of a crime.

Mueller's team hasn't stopped there. From theTimes:

The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, then followed the house search with a warning: His prosecutors told Mr. Manafort they planned to indict him, said two people close to the investigation...
Instead of invitations to the prosecutor’s office, [Manafort and Flynn associates] have been presented with grand jury subpoenas, forcing them to either testify or take the Fifth Amendment and raise suspicions that they had something to hide. At least three witnesses have recently been subpoenaed to testify about Mr. Manafort: Jason Maloni, a spokesman who appeared before the grand jury for more than two hours on Friday, and the heads of two consulting firms — Mercury Public Affairs and the Podesta Group — who worked with Mr. Manafort on behalf of Viktor F. Yanukovych, the pro-Russia former president of Ukraine.
Mr. Mueller’s team also took the unusual step of issuing a subpoena to Melissa Laurenza, a specialist in lobbying law who formerly represented Mr. Manafort, according to people familiar with the subpoena. Conversations between lawyers and their clients are normally considered bound by attorney-client privilege, but there are exceptions when lawyers prepare public documents that are filed on behalf of their client.

Mueller’s tactics and pace appear to be born out of a sense of urgency to make significant progress in the investigation before it can be accused of being a fishing expedition and the general sense of impunity of Trump associates, even those under investigation, that might require tougher treatment to ensure compliance.



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Thomas Rhett Is Excited to Celebrate Christmas with Kids: Last Year ‘Was Literally Me, My Wife and 2 Dogs’

Thomas Rhett Is Excited to Celebrate Christmas with Kids: Last Year ‘Was Literally Me, My Wife and 2 Dogs’

by Mark Gray @

Thomas Rhett has belted out a lot of songs in his career, but his newest single “Life Changes” is probably the most apropos.

On Aug. 12, he and his wife Lauren Akins welcomed daughter Ada James. Just a few months prior, the couple adopted their daughter, Willa Gray, now 22-months-old.

How’s that for life changes?

“Last Christmas it was literally me and my wife and two dogs, and this Christmas is going to be my wife, two dogs and two kids,” he told PEOPLE at the iHeartRadio music festival in Las Vegas on Saturday. “I would say that’s the most massive change on the planet.”

“It’s hard,” he said of juggling new fatherhood (times two!) and touring,”but Lauren has been so amazing.”

In fact, his wife flew to Los Angeles on Friday with the children to surprise him during his show at The Greek, which he says “is not an easy flight with two kids under 2.”

Like we said, life changes.

RELATED VIDEO: Thomas Rhett ‘Taking It One Day at a Time’ When Balancing Work and Family: There’s Never a ‘Perfect Time’ to Have Kids

“I meet people in meet and greet and people will say, ‘I know that that story is your story, but I kind of replace things that happen in my life and sing the chorus and it makes sense for all of us,'” Rhett said. “That’s one the things I thrive on as a songwriter is trying to make it as personal as I can and have it relate to as many people as humanly possible.”

Treasury Secretary Requested Air Force Plane to Travel on Decadent European Honeymoon

Treasury Secretary Requested Air Force Plane to Travel on Decadent European Honeymoon

by Elliot Hannon @ The Slatest

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and his wife, actress Louise Linton, like nice things. The former Goldman Sachs banker, of course, has hundreds of millions of dollars to purchase nice things of his own, but now that he’s in government the real pièce de résistance is the stuff that money can’t buy. Mnuchin and Linton have taken a special liking to America’s taxpayer-funded planes, which has raised questions about whether the couple is overindulging in the American people’s largesse. On Wednesday, ABC News added fuel to that fire reporting that the Treasury Secretary requested the use of an Air Force jet on the couple's European honeymoon this summer.

Mnuchin, 54, married the 36-year-old Linton in June and the pair later honeymooned in Scotland, France, and Italy. “Officials familiar with the matter say the highly unusual ask for a U.S. Air Force jet, which according to an Air Force spokesman could cost roughly $25,000 per hour to operate, was put in writing by the secretary's office but eventually deemed unnecessary after further consideration of by Treasury Department officials,” according to ABC News. While the pricey lift to Europe didn’t end up happening, the request itself was unusual enough to trigger the Treasury Department's Office of Inspector General to launch an inquiry into the circumstances under which Mnuchin might need a Top Gun-style honeymoon.

A Treasury spokesman explained to ABC News that the reasoning behind the request was that Mnuchin, as a member of the National Security Council, needed to maintain secure line of communication with the White House while sipping aperitivos in Italy. “The Secretary is a member of the National Security Council and has responsibility for the Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence," the spokesman said in a statement. "It is imperative that he have access to secure communications, and it is our practice to consider a wide range of options to ensure he has these capabilities during his travel, including the possible use of military aircraft."

I mean, maybe. If we added annexation of Italy and France to the “range of options” then we wouldn’t have this problem. If the Commerce Secretary thinks it's too hot outside, he can’t have the Pentagon nuke the sun. It is, of course, a matter of degree what is appropriate here. How out of the ordinary was Mnuchin’s request? Here’s some context from ABC News:

Aside from the President and Vice President, travel on military aircraft is typically reserved for cabinet members who deal directly with national security, such as the Secretaries of Defense and State. One senior Treasury official who has worked with a number of past secretaries said that military aircraft are only used in "extreme" circumstances, such as if the secretary had to be rushed back to a meeting in Washington, D.C., with the President. Another former senior Treasury official who worked closely with Mnuchin's predecessor, Secretary Jack Lew, said it would have been "exceedingly rare" for Secretary Lew to use military aircraft for official business.

The couple’s case isn’t helped by the fact that Mnuchton doesn’t have a great track record in not using taxpayer-funded planes for what appear to be personal trips. Let’s go back three short weeks ago, to when the pair traveled to Kentucky aboard a military plane for what looked a lot like a “#daytrip” to watch the eclipse from within the path of totality. Mnuchton denies the trip was eclipse-inspired. Linton posted a picture on Instagram of the plane with the caption: “Great #daytrip to #Kentucky!” and added hashtags for the pricey designers she was wearing in the photo “#rolandmouret,” “#hermesscarf,” “#tomford” and “#valentino.”

Fellow Instagram users were not impressed by the display and told the Treasury Secretary’s wife so, to which Linton proceeded to lose her mind, uncorking this response.

One part sticks out given the latest honeymoon allegations: “Aw!!! Did you think this was a personal trip?! Adorable!” Linton wrote. “Do you think the US govt paid for our honeymoon or personal travel?! Lololol.”

That’s a peculiar coincidence.

Senate to Vote on Obamacare Repeal Again Next Week

Senate to Vote on Obamacare Repeal Again Next Week

by Osita Nwanevu @ The Slatest

A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said “it is the Leader’s intention” to have the Senate vote on Graham-Cassidy next week, according to Politico. The bill, crafted by Sens. Bill Cassidy and Lindsey Graham, would replace Obamacare’s subsidies and Medicaid expansion with federal block grants to the states to establish their own health insurance systems.

For the past several days, the GOP vote count had been stuck at 48 or 49, pending a change of heart by Sens. John McCain, Lisa Murkowski, or Susan Collins. It's unclear whether McConnell now has one or more of those votes locked up now.

The Senate Finance Committee will have the only hearing on the bill next week. The Congressional Budget Office is scheduled to release a “preliminary assessment” of the bill early next week without estimates of the bill’s effect on insurance coverage or premiums.

3 global giants drop Malaysian palm oil supplier over deforestation

3 global giants drop Malaysian palm oil supplier over deforestation

The Straits Times

Three of the world's top food and consumer goods companies that make Dove soap, M&M's and Kellogg's Corn Flakes have dropped a leading Malaysian palm oil producer because of deforestation in its plantations in Indonesia.. Read more at



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The Secret Psychology Behind Selling Beauty Products to Men

The Secret Psychology Behind Selling Beauty Products to Men


In 1960, in the aftermath of the first-ever televised presidential debate, Richard Nixon wished he hadn't passed on the concealer, bronzer, and foundation. His opponent, John F. Kennedy, looked...

Governor General of Canada Thinks It Would Be ‘Marvelous’ If Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Got Married

Governor General of Canada Thinks It Would Be ‘Marvelous’ If Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Got Married

by Stephanie Petit @

Add another person to the list of those helping Meghan Markle and Prince Harry someday marry!

David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, told ITV that the romance is strengthening ties between the U.K. and Canada, where the American actress films her show Suits and has adopted as a second home.

“I think it would be quite marvellous and I hope it would be quite marvellous for him and obviously it will help to bring us together,” Johnston said. “But, you know, that reflects so many of the people-to-people ties that are so strong. I think about 20% of our citizens would claim British heritage so those ties are very strong.”

Johnston said that he “didn’t know” that Markle, 36, was sitting near him at the opening ceremonies for the Invictus Games in Toronto.

“ was alone but you say, I gather, there was a young lady in the audience who was watching him with great interest,” he said.

RELATED VIDEO: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s History (So Far)

Markle was all smiles as she cheered on the athletes in the Paralympic-style Invictus Games for wounded service members from around the world. Meanwhile, Harry sat a few rows away next to First Lady Melania Trump whom he met with earlier in the day.

Toronto has become a special place for the couple. Harry made a secret detour from the Caribbean to spend time with Markle in her adopted hometown in December. The royal couple also spent Easter weekend together in Toronto. Harry also called Toronto a “home away from home” when he met with Johnston.

“Despite the distance, the media attention and everything else, there’s a real ease to their relationship,” a source previously told PEOPLE. “It just works. They are deeply happy.”

Facebook Agrees to Turn Over Thousands of Russian-Bought Political Ads During 2016 Election

Facebook Agrees to Turn Over Thousands of Russian-Bought Political Ads During 2016 Election

by Elliot Hannon @ The Slatest

Facebook announced Thursday it will turn over to Congress more than 3,000 political ads that were bought during the 2016 president election and linked to Russian accounts. The move, announced by CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook, comes as evidence continues to grow that Russian-affiliated accounts were able to manipulate the site in a variety of different ways to target American voters. Shady Russian accounts have been known to try to sow division and disorder, but during the election they didn't stop there. A Russian Facebook page called “Being Patriotic,” for example, was able to organize more than a dozen Trump rallies in Florida. Recently, Facebook has shut down hundreds of fake accounts posing as American activists run by a Russian firm linked to the Kremlin. Facebook also admitted it allowed a pro-Kremlin Russian “troll farm” to buy $100,000 worth of ads to target voters during the 2016 election and beyond.

The scope of Russia’s influence on the social media network suddenly appeared to be far more pervasive and Facebook struggled to respond to criticism of its permissiveness and calls for greater transparency. The company balked at handing over too much of its ad data citing concerns for user privacy, but on Thursday changed course offering to turn over the ads to investigators. “The integrity of our elections is fundamental to democracy around the world,” Zuckerberg said. “That's why we've built teams dedicated to working on election integrity and preventing governments from interfering in the elections of other nations... We are looking into foreign actors, including additional Russian groups and other former Soviet states, as well as organizations like the campaigns, to further our understanding of how they used our tools."

Zuckerberg also outlined policy changes to increase security and oversight of political ads, particularly propaganda, and create greater transparency when a political ad shows up in your timeline.  

When someone buys political ads on TV or other media, they're required by law to disclose who paid for them. But you still don't know if you're seeing the same messages as everyone else. So we're going to bring Facebook to an even higher standard of transparency. Not only will you have to disclose which page paid for an ad, but we will also make it so you can visit an advertiser's page and see the ads they're currently running to any audience on Facebook. We will roll this out over the coming months, and we will work with others to create a new standard for transparency in online political ads.

“[W]e are in a new world. It is a new challenge for internet communities to deal with nation states attempting to subvert elections,” Zuckerberg said. “But if that's what we must do, we are committed to rising to the occasion.”

This Judge’s Excuses for Acquitting Jason Stockley of Murder Are Pathetic

This Judge’s Excuses for Acquitting Jason Stockley of Murder Are Pathetic

by Jeremy Stahl @ The Slatest

The acquittal on Friday of former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley of first-degree murder charges in the 2011 shooting death of Anthony Lamar Smith was all too familiar. Like in other cases, the local community took to the streets in mass protests soon after a white officer was found not guilty of murdering a black motorist. And like in other cases, it showed how difficult it is to hold police accountable in shooting deaths of black men, no matter what the evidence.

It was unusual in one big way, though. Because the verdict was decided by a judge after Stockley waived his right to a jury trial, the public got a rare insight into the thinking that goes into letting a cop go free despite stacks of evidence of wrongdoing. In Judge Timothy J. Wilson’s 30-page ruling you can see the mental gymnastics that went into acquitting a man who said to his partner of Smith, “we’re killing this motherfucker, don’t you know,” minutes before killing him.

There are many embarrassing parts of this verdict. Let’s start, though, with the particularly shameful portion that seeks to vindicate Stockley for this audio-recorded statement of apparent premeditation. During his own testimony, Stockley stated that he couldn’t remember making the “we’re killing this motherfucker” remark, but justified it by saying that “during a vehicle pursuit, there are many things that are said.” He added that “it’s hard for me to elaborate even what the context was, because I don’t even know.”

This dissembling answer was apparently enough for the judge to discount this clear statement of intent. Here’s what Wilson wrote:

People say all kinds of things in the heat of the moment or while in stressful situations, and whether Stockley’s statement that “we’re killing this motherfucker,” which can be ambiguous depending on the context, constituted a real threat of action or was a means of releasing tension has to be judged by his subsequent conduct. The court does not believe Stockley’s conduct immediately following the end of the pursuit is consistent with the conduct of a person intentionally killing another person unlawfully.

Stockley’s conduct immediately after making that statement was to instruct his partner to ram Smith’s vehicle, approach Smith's car, and almost immediately fire five shots into Smith’s body, including one that forensic analysts described as a “kill shot” likely fired within six inches of Smith. In his ruling, Wilson characterized this as a long period of time and accepted as fact the defense's argument that all five shots were fired at once (the prosecution argued that a final "kill shot" was fired a bit after the first four):

It was not until fifteen seconds after Stockley arrived at the driver’s side door, that he unholstered his service revolver and fired several shots in succession.

As damning as it was, Stockley’s statement was not the only piece of evidence against him. Prosecutors alleged that he planted a gun that was found in Smith’s car. The evidence for this is that his DNA was found on the gun while Smith’s was not, he can be seen rifling through a bag in his police vehicle after the shooting, and he was seen returning to search Smith’s car before the gun appeared to him. Stockley testified that his partner warned him that Smith—who had twice rammed the police vehicle and clipped Stockley with his car as he fled when the officers first approached him after what they suspected was a drug buy—had a gun. In his ruling, Judge Wilson took this testimony by the defendant as fact:

Stockley had been warned by [his partner Brian] Bianchi that Smith had a gun.

One of Stockley’s fellow officers at the time who arrived on the scene immediately after the shooting, Elijah Simpson, had testified that he didn’t see a gun in the vehicle when he lifted up the airbag and looked in the car. Simpson also testified that it was strange that Stockley was allowed to go back and forth between his own car and the scene of the shooting, and that Stockley was the only officer to remove his gloves during evidence gathering. (This was how Stockley's defense team says the gun was contaminated with his DNA. The prosecution says he removed the gloves on purpose to have that excuse.) This testimony from a fellow officer was not enough for Wilson, because Simpson didn’t directly see Stockley actually physically plant the gun:

There were several officers standing around adjacent to the driver’s side of the Buick and not one of them was called to testify that they saw Stockley plant a gun in the Buick.

Stockley testified that he had actually gone into the bag in his vehicle to get QuikClot wound dressing from the car and administer it to Smith, but decided against it because “it was futile.” Simpson testified that no one attempted to help Smith even though “he appeared alive.”

Wilson brushes all this off by saying that no extra gun can be seen on Stockley’s person in the blurry cellphone camera footage of the incident that was the main relevant video evidence remaining after one of the officers involved turned off the police vehicle’s dashboard camera. From Wilson:

Stockley was not wearing a jacket; if he had such a gun in his possession it would have been visible on the cell phone video. The gun was too large to fit entirely within any of the pockets on the pants he was wearing, there was no bulge in any pocket indicating a gun within the pocket, and the gun would have been visible if it was tucked into his belt.

It’s inconceivable to Wilson that the gun was not visible in the limited available cellphone footage, or hidden elsewhere on Stockley’s person than one of the places he enumerates.

Finally, Wilson says that he cannot think of a motive Stockley might have had to “kill this motherfucker,” even though Smith had just clipped Stockley with his car. (Stockley was carrying a personal AK-47 at the time, a violation of department policies.)

These are not the only examples of Judge Wilson bending over backward to find validation for Stockley’s threatening words and repeated violations of department procedure in this killing of a man who another officer had found appearing to be unarmed. But they are the most egregious.

If there is one new lesson in this whole tragic episode, it’s this little bit of insight into the flawed logic, acceptance of hearsay as fact, and ugly ex post facto justifications that go into exonerating white men in uniform when there’s evidence that they have assassinated black motorists.



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Marijuana brands can trademark almost anything, except marijuana

Marijuana brands can trademark almost anything, except marijuana

The feds won't let companies trademark names of marijuana or products that contain THC, sending cannabis brands and their lawyers on a search for workarounds.

Tom Price Took at Least 24 Private Flights at Taxpayer Expense Since May, Politico Reports

Tom Price Took at Least 24 Private Flights at Taxpayer Expense Since May, Politico Reports

by Osita Nwanevu @ The Slatest

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price has taken taxpayer-funded private jet flights at least 24 times since May, Politico reported on Thursday:

The frequency of the trips underscores how private travel has become the norm — rather than the exception — for the Georgia Republican during his tenure atop the federal health agency, which began in February. The cost of the trips identified by POLITICO exceeds $300,000, according to a review of federal contracts and similar trip itineraries.

Price’s use of private jets represents a sharp departure from his two immediate predecessors, Sylvia Mathews Burwell and Kathleen Sebelius, who flew commercially in the continental United States. HHS officials have said Price uses private jets only when commercial travel is not feasible.

In an article earlier this week on Price’s flights, Politico reported that Price’s claim does not appear to be true: Affordable commercial alternatives were available, for instance, for a round trip to Philadelphia last week, which would have cost $725 at the most. Ultimately the flight cost around $25,000. Politico reported Thursday that alternatives were likely available for many of the other flights Price has taken since May, including a June 6 trip to Nashville, Tennessee. “There are four regular nonstop flights that leave Washington-area airports between 6:59 a.m. and 8:50 a.m. and arrive in Nashville by 9:46 a.m. CT,” Politico’s Rachana Pradhan and Dan Diamond wrote. “Sample round-trip fares for those flights were as low as $202, when booked in advance on Price’s charter, according to HHS’ contract with Classic Air Charter, cost $17,760.”

HHS spokeswoman Charmaine Yoest told Politico that Price’s travel had been affected by the demands of responding to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. “Nonetheless, POLITICO identified at least 17 charter flights that took place before the first storm—Hurricane Harvey—hit in late August, and included flights that did not appear to be for urgent HHS public health priorities,” Pradhan and Diamond write. “For example, Price took a Learjet-60 from San Diego to the Aspen Ideas Festival—a glamorous conference at the Colorado resort town—that arrived at 3:33 p.m. on Saturday afternoon, June 24, nearly 19 hours before his scheduled panel. That flight likely cost more than $7,100, according to one charter jet agency estimate.”

Unilever in talks to buy Jessica Alba's Honest company for $1bn

Unilever in talks to buy Jessica Alba's Honest company for $1bn

the Guardian

Unilever is on an acquisition spree of companies such as Honest, which has a loyal customer base of younger consumers drawn to its ‘natural’ products



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Why It Matters That Mueller Is Reportedly Looking into Trump's Russia Meeting

Why It Matters That Mueller Is Reportedly Looking into Trump's Russia Meeting

by Jeremy Stahl @ The Slatest

The New York Times reported on Wednesday that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation has asked the White House for documents about Trump’s decision to fire former FBI Director James Comey. This includes any documentation of an Oval Office meeting Trump had with the Russians the day after Comey was fired, in which the president reportedly told them “great pressure” on him personally had been “taken off” because of the sacking.

From the Times:

In recent weeks, Mr. Mueller’s office sent a document to the White House that detailed 13 different areas that investigators want more information about. Since then, administration lawyers have been scouring White House emails and asking officials whether they have other documents or notes that may pertain to Mr. Mueller’s requests.
One of the requests is about a meeting Mr. Trump had in May with Russian officials in the Oval Office the day after James B. Comey, the F.B. I. director, was fired. That day, Mr. Trump met with the Russian foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, and the Russian ambassador to the United States at the time, Sergey I. Kislyak, along with other Russian officials. The New York Times reported that in the meeting Mr. Trump had said that firing Mr. Comey relieved “great pressure” on him.

In a lot of ways, this should not be considered unusual. Mueller is just doing what any good investigator would do and tracking down possible leads surrounding his investigation, which is reportedly delving into whether or not Trump intended to obstruct justice with the firing of Comey. “It is entirely unsurprising,” Georgetown Law professor and former federal prosecutor Julie O’Sullivan told me over email. “Any investigator worth his salt would look into this.”

At the same time, the news demonstrates that Mueller considers the obstruction portion of the investigation to be significant and will not just limit his examination of the matter into the respective credibility of Comey and Trump. Comey testified under oath that the president suggested he halt the FBI’s investigation into former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Trump says he’s lying. Mueller is apparently not content to just look at their words alone, but is willing to examine outside evidence that could point to whether or not Trump acted with “corrupt intent” when he fired Comey. This apparently includes the relevance of him possibly telling the foreign power at the center of the scandal that the pressure was off. “It obviously is relevant to his reasons for firing Comey, and thus to the obstruction investigation,” O’Sullivan wrote.

Again, this could be considered significant because it demonstrates that Mueller is not leaving stones unturned. The president’s backers have questioned the scope of the inquiry—with some Republicans in Congress going so far as to call for Mueller to resign. “We’ve […] moved off of the original topic, which was the Russian issue, and now we’re talking about obstruction of justice and we’re just going to keep expanding the scope looking for something,” Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs said in June while calling for Mueller to step down. Newt Gingrich—who led the impeachment of Bill Clinton for, among other charges, obstruction of justice—has argued that “technically, the president of the United States cannot obstruct justice.”

This news is another indication that Mueller thinks that maybe the president can and that as special counsel he will be leading a thorough investigation of that question.

The other reason why the news might matter is that the obstruction portion seems to be coming up relatively early in the inquiry.

“[It was] inevitable that Mueller’s work would include some kind of judgment on that legal question,” Duke University law professor and former Enron prosecutor Samuel W. Buell told me over email. “But this and other developments seem to show him working relatively quickly on several fronts, perhaps with some sense of urgency about timing.”

Health Benefits Of Helichrysum Essential Oil: A Cure For Candida

by Nate M @ Maple Holistics

The strong corticosteroid content of the Helichrysum essential oil makes it highly effective in treating and relieving inflammation in our bodies.

The post Health Benefits Of Helichrysum Essential Oil: A Cure For Candida appeared first on Maple Holistics.

Who’s More Qualified to Give Opinions About Health Care Policy, Jimmy Kimmel or Donald Trump?

Who’s More Qualified to Give Opinions About Health Care Policy, Jimmy Kimmel or Donald Trump?

by Ben Mathis-Lilley @ The Slatest

In a turn of events that began when his child was born with a condition that required open-heart surgery, ABC late-night host Jimmy Kimmel has become the face of public opposition to Affordable Care Act repeal. Kimmel has been specifically critical of the way Republicans have proposed repeal bills that would allow states to waive the ACA's requirement that insurers offer reasonably priced coverage to individuals with pre-existing medical conditions. As he's (correctly) explained, such waivers—like the one in the Graham-Cassidy bill currently looming in the Senate—would likely make it impossible for many families like his whose breadwinners aren't well-compensated celebrities to afford care for their sick kids.

Some on the right have responded by telling Kimmel he should stick to entertainment:

You may have noticed a flaw in this strategy, namely that the nation's most powerful Republican got elected president largely because he starred on a reality show for loud idiots. So: Who is more qualified to discuss public policy, Jimmy Kimmel or president of the United States? Let's break it down.

1. Attitude toward reading complicated material:

Kimmel's detailed Wednesday monologue would indicate that he has done a fair amount of research on the issue of ACA repeal.

Trump famously doesn't like to read briefing papers if they're long and don't involve pictures.

2. Ability to explain health care reform in layman's terms:

Kimmel, again, did this on Wednesday.

Trump has famously never demonstrated, in either public or private, any understanding of how Republican health care plans work.

3. Intellectual pedigree of TV co-stars:

Kimmel worked with a former presidential adviser and Yale Law School graduate on a distinguished high-brow program that involved tests of knowledge in areas such as literature and history.

Trump's Celebrity Apprentice co-stars included Gene Simmons and Jose Canseco.

4. History of being so bad at his ostensible occupation (business, for Trump; being a comedian, for Kimmel) that investors in one of his enterprises insisted shortly before its second bankruptcy filing that he resign from any role in its management:

In 2009, bondholders in Trump's publicly traded Trump Entertainment Resorts organization forced him out of his role running the company shortly before it filed for its second bankruptcy.

This sort of thing has never happened, to my knowledge, to Jimmy Kimmel. His relationships with the other creators of Crank Yankers appear to be solid. The Man Show, its problematic sexual politics aside, never filed for bankruptcy even one time.

My verdict? Neither of these people should probably be president, but especially not Donald Trump.

Jennifer Lopez Announces She’s Donating $1 Million to Aid Hurricane Relief in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean

Jennifer Lopez Announces She’s Donating $1 Million to Aid Hurricane Relief in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean

by Maria Pasquini @

On Sunday, Jennifer Lopez joined New York governor Andrew Cuomo in a press conference announcing she was donating $1 million from the proceeds of her Las Vegas show to aid hurricane relief in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean.

First in Spanish and then in English, Lopez, 48, shared her announcement in a speech that was live-streamed on Twitter.

“Alex Rodriguez and I, who are both New Yorkers, are utilizing all our resources and relationships in entertainment, sports and business to garner support for Puerto Rican and Caribbean relief efforts,” Lopez said.

In addition to her own personal contribution, Lopez announced that the New York Yankees and the MLB “have both committed to join us in giving a significant contribution to this cause.”

RELATED VIDEO: Watch Jennifer Lopez Tear Up Remembering Her Twins Being Born

Lopez shared that together with her ex-husband Marc Anthony, they were working to spearhead “additional relief efforts” to “rush the relief that our brothers and sisters in Mexico, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean desperately need.”

She announced she was also working with Dallas Mavericks owner and Shark Tank star Mark Cuban and Dallas Mavericks Puerto Rican player J.J. Barea to send over two airplanes filled with supplies and generators to San Juan, Puerto Rico — they’re just waiting for air clearance.

“I’ve been so moved by the initial responses,” she continued. “They have been overwhelming, nobody has said no. Anybody we’ve have called is right there asking what they can do. They’re all very eager to help.”

In her speech, Lopez confirmed that she still has not heard from all of her family members in Puerto Rico.

“My cousin and I and our family still haven’t been able to hear from all of our family over there and we are concerned for them and for everybody on the island,” she said, echoing the news she revealed on Thursday.

“The conditions are dire,” the star told PEOPLE. “We need to do as much as we can to help the people of Puerto Rico.”

In the meantime, Lopez is doing everything she can to help raise awareness and money for Puerto Rico in the aftermath of the devastating storm.

“Jen and Alex are making personal phone calls to their celebrity friends and heads of corporations and asking them to donate either funds, planes or money to get supplies to Puerto Rico,” says a source.

Lopez, Rodriguez and Anthony are among other stars with ties to the island making impassioned pleas for donations and aid. Ricky Martin, “Despacito” singer Daddy Yankee and Rosie Perez are also using their star power to help raise awareness and money.

“What’s on my mind is what’s going on in Puerto Rico. The devastation is beyond belief,” J Lo said in an Instagram post backstage from her Las Vegas residency show. “Me and my cousin still haven’t been able to hear from our families over there.

“What’s foremost on my mind and many others is trying to figure out the best way to help,” she added. “Today, Puerto Rico needs our help. I urge you to support and donate to the efforts of the First Lady of Puerto Rico, Beatriz Areizaga. Together we can help rebuild our island, and the Caribbean.”

with reporting by ELIZABETH LEONARD

The Trump Administration’s “Unprecedented” New Attack on Voting Rights

The Trump Administration’s “Unprecedented” New Attack on Voting Rights

by Mark Joseph Stern @ The Slatest

Over the last eight months, the Trump administration has launched an assault on voting rights designed to limit access to the ballot. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ Justice Department has defended voter ID laws and state efforts to purge voters from the rolls, and the president’s voter fraud commission has peddled falsehoods to lay the groundwork for a rollback of voting rights laws. This month, the administration has urged a court to strip voting rights from an entire class of people.

This latest gambit involves the rights of United States citizens who relocate from a state to a U.S. territory. Under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA), states must allow citizens to vote by absentee ballot in federal elections when they relocate anywhere outside the U.S. The law is meant to be global, even cosmic: Citizens retain their right to vote absentee for federal offices if they move to a foreign country, a research station in Antarctica, or the International Space Station. But bizarrely, the statute does not require states to let citizens vote absentee if they move to four U.S. territories: Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, or American Samoa. It does compel states to let citizens vote absentee if they move to a fifth permanently inhabited territory, the Northern Mariana Islands.

In 2015, Illinois residents who relocated to several of these disfavored territories filed a lawsuit challenging this limitation as an equal protection violation. They argued that the UOCAVA arbitrarily limits their right to vote in federal elections. (U.S. territories do not receive full representation in Congress and may not vote for president.) By protecting the absentee voting rights of residents of the Northern Mariana Islands but not those who live in other U.S. territories, the plaintiffs argued, the UOCAVA irrationally discriminates against certain territorial residents in violation of the Fifth Amendment. The only solution is to extend absentee voting rights to residents of every U.S. territory.

The Justice Department began defending the UOCAVA during the Obama administration, and won at the district court level. It’s perfectly acceptable for the DOJ to defend a bad federal law—that’s its job—and the agency maintained its position on appeal under Sessions. But in September, the DOJ unexpectedly took an aggressive new stance. In a letter filed with the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the DOJ argued that, if UOCAVA infringes upon equal protection, the proper remedy is to strip the absentee voting rights of residents of the Northern Mariana Islands, not to extend them to all territorial residents.

This extreme remedy, the Justice Department claimed, would be mandated by the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Sessions v. Morales-Santana. That is absurd. It is true that, in Morales-Santana, the court struck down a statute granting favorable treatment to mothers rather than expanding favorable treatment to fathers. But that is because the unconstitutional provision providing favorable treatment to mothers was an exception to the broader rule. Here, the disfavorable treatment of some territorial residents is the exception to the broader rule of global absentee voting rights. And in such situations, the Morales-Santana court explained, “extension, rather than nullification, is the proper course.”

I asked Neil Weare, president of the We the People Project—which brought this litigation—what he made of the DOJ’s letter. “As far as we can tell,” he told me, “no court has ever taken away voting rights to remedy an equal protection violation. It would be unprecedented.”

The Justice Department’s defense of UOCAVA may have some specious appeal. In effect, the DOJ asserts that the law was designed to preserve Americans’ voting rights when they move out of the country. But since territories like Guam and American Samoa are part of the United States, this argument goes, residents should have to register there instead of voting absentee in their previous states.

That argument cannot withstand scrutiny under Morales-Santana for several reasons. UOCAVA pertains exclusively to federal elections: A citizen living in Puerto Rico—which has no electoral votes and no voting representatives in Congress—has as much federal representation as a citizen living in Portugal unless she can vote by absentee ballot. The law was designed to protect citizens’ right to federal representation when they would otherwise lose it. But that goal is undermined by the statute’s territorial carve-out, which means this carve-out must therefore be seen as an exception to UOCAVA’s general rule. In Morales-Santana, the Supreme Court said disfavorable exceptions can be rectified by extending equal treatment. Here, that would mean allowing all territorial residents to vote absentee, not taking away more citizens’ federal representation.

Weare told me that the NMI government encourages relocated mainlanders to vote absentee. It would be yet another blow to Americans’ voting rights if a court were to deny them the federal representation they currently enjoy. This issue might seem minor—but it demonstrates the Trump administration’s zeal to marshal any arguments it can to disenfranchise Americans. In Sessions’ Justice Department, less voting is always preferable to more. And this small conflict provides a disturbing preview of the much bigger voting rights battles ahead.

Today in Conservative Media: Kimmel vs. Kilmeade

Today in Conservative Media: Kimmel vs. Kilmeade

by Osita Nwanevu @ The Slatest

A daily roundup of the biggest stories in right-wing media.

Conservatives focused their fire on Jimmy Kimmel again on Thursday after his response to criticisms of his commentary on Graham-Cassidy by right-wing voices like Fox’s Brian Kilmeade, who he claimed “kisses my ass like a little boy meeting Batman” when they see each other:

[Kilmeade] follows me on Twitter. He asked me to write a blurb for his book, which I did. He calls my agent, looking for projects. He’s dying to be a member of the Hollywood elite. The only reason he’s not a member of the Hollywood elite is because nobody will hire him to be one.
And, you know, the reason I’m talking about this is because my son had an open-heart surgery and has to have two more, and because of that I learned there are kids with no insurance in the same situation.
I don’t get anything out of this, Brian, you phony little creep. Oh, I’ll pound you when I see you.

RedState’s Brandon Morse compared the reception of Kimmel’s threat to the criticism of the Blaze’s Dana Loesch several months ago after calling for the New York Times to be ‘fisked’ in an NRA ad. “Do you hear the cacophony of outrage over threatened physical violence coming from the same places that attacked Loesch for not threatening anyone?” he asked. “Me either. The rules seem to be that if you lean to the right, and you come on strong, then you’re a violent villain who needs to watch what comes out of your yapper. If you lean left, however, you can say whatever violent thing you want.”

Kilmeade responded to Kimmel on Fox:

Hope your son gets better. I hope your son gets all the care he needs. I’m glad you’re interested. You’re doing a great job bringing he dialogue out. But you should actually do what we’re doing. Talk to the people that wrote it—Senator Graham, Senator Cassidy ... and we’ll see where we go from here.

Hot Air’s Allahpundit faulted Sen. Bill Cassidy for starting Kimmel’s commentary after saying that an Obamacare replacement would have to pass the “Jimmy Kimmel test” and ensure a child with congenital heart disease would be able to recieve all the care they would need in the first year of life:

That was political malpractice on two levels. One: You don’t make any single person the moral arbiter of your legislation, especially a celebrity. Whatever Kimmel’s broader ideological leanings, he was destined to come under heavy pressure from his industry to attack any repeal bill the GOP offered. It was especially stupid of Cassidy to hand that power to a comedian, as the odds of a comic defending Republicans in their effort to undo the biggest part of Obama’s legacy were exactly zero. The whole thing is as ridiculous as if Obama had announced an “Adam Sandler test” for whether the Iran nuclear deal passed muster.
Two: The “Jimmy Kimmel test” is in keeping with Cassidy’s wider view of health-care reform, but that view isn’t shared by many members of his own party.

In other news:

Multiple outlets ran posts on Bush-era figure Valerie Plame Wilson’s tweeting of an anti-Semitic article about neoconservatives called “America’s Jews Are Driving America’s Wars.” “Scratch a leftist and you inevitably find a raving, frothing anti-Semite just waiting to get out,” said the RedState writer known as Streiff. “But it is rare indeed when one of them waves as points to themselves and declares their Jew-hatred. That happened today on Twitter. The protagonist is the former faux deep cover, non-official cover CIA ANALYST (yeah, try to figure out how that worked) Valerie Plame who was ‘outed’ by Colin Powell’s minime Richard Armitage but somehow resulted in Scooter Libby getting a felony conviction.” The Washington Free Beacon highlighted a fundraiser Plame Wilson held for the Clinton campaign, while the Federalist’s Bre Payton noted other times she’d tweeted similar articles by the same author. “In 2015, she shared a link to a post criticizing the role of Jewish people serving in Congress,” Payon wrote. “In 2014, Plame Wilson tweeted a link to an article by the same author entitled: “Why I Dislike Israel.”

Fox News Contributor Sues the Network Claiming She Was Blacklisted After Making Rape Allegation

Fox News Contributor Sues the Network Claiming She Was Blacklisted After Making Rape Allegation

by Elliot Hannon @ The Slatest

Former Fox political commentator Scottie Nell Hughes sued the network Monday alleging that she was raped by Fox Business host Charles Payne and then faced retaliation from the network after reporting the alleged sexual assault. Hughes says Payne raped her in a hotel room in July 2013 after he “pressured” his way into her room. The lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, names Payne, Fox News, and its parent company 21st Century Fox, alleging gender motivated violence, gender discrimination, retaliation, and defamation.

From the New York Times:

According to the suit, Ms. Hughes was “shocked and ashamed” and did not immediately report the episode. She said that over the next two years she was forced to engage in a sexual relationship with Mr. Payne. In exchange, she said, she received career opportunities, including increased appearances on Fox News and Fox Business and the promise that Mr. Payne would help her land a contributor contract, a job that can pay several hundred thousand dollars a year. Ms. Hughes never became a paid contributor at either channel.
Ms. Hughes, a regular guest on Fox News and Fox Business from 2013 through 2016, asserted that after she ended the relationship with Mr. Payne, the network blacklisted her. After she reported her allegations against him, she said, the network leaked a story to the news media about a romantic affair between Ms. Hughes and Mr. Payne…
According to the lawsuit, Ms. Hughes experienced a sudden decline in bookings across cable news networks in early 2017 and was told by a booking agent that Fox had blacklisted her because she “had an affair with someone at Fox.” As a result, Ms. Hughes said, she was taken out of consideration for positions in the Trump administration.

“We will vigorously defend this,” the Fox News said in a statement.

Payne was suspended by the network in July, but returned to work this month.

St. Louis Protesters Surround Mayor’s House, Clash With Police Following White Officer’s Acquittal

St. Louis Protesters Surround Mayor’s House, Clash With Police Following White Officer’s Acquittal

by Elliot Hannon @ The Slatest

Largely peaceful protests Friday afternoon in St. Louis gave way to nighttime clashes between demonstrators and police in response to Friday’s acquittal of a white police officer for shooting and killing a black motorist in 2011. Roughly 1,000 protestors gathered around the house of St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson and broke two windows and threw paint on the house, before police intervened, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Nine officers were hurt and 32 people were arrested during the skirmishes, according to the St. Louis Police Department.

The demonstrations were in response to Friday’s acquittal of former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley, who faced first-degree murder charges for the shooting death of Anthony Lamar Smith in 2011. The failure to convict Stockley sparked outrage because of the mountain of evidence that indicated Stockley manipulated the crime scene after saying explicitly, on tape, “we’re killing this motherfucker, don’t you know,” minutes before approaching Smith’s car and shooting him to death.

“Many of the demonstrators were peaceful," Acting Police Chief Lawrence O'Toole said early Saturday morning. "However, after dark, many agitators began to destroy property and assault police officers." Police used pepper spray on protesters and deployed tear gas to disperse the demonstrations.

Here’s more from the scene from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

After the large group of protesters was able to march unimpeded to [the mayor’s] home, gather on the lawn and knock on the door — a process that took some 30 minutes — the first police finally arrived and began pushing them back, firing canisters of tear gas. Journalists witnessed at least one arrest…
Earlier, police pepper-sprayed demonstrators Friday afternoon as they declared the ongoing protest at Tucker Boulevard and Clark Avenue downtown as "no longer peaceful". By early evening, protesters had dissipated from downtown and were gathering in the Central West End. They filled the streets there as they marched through the neighborhood, their number growing to what appeared to be more than a thousand. At one point, they tried to enter Forest Park but were stopped by police. By nightfall, protesters were marching south on Kingshighway toward Highway 40 (Interstate 64), some chanting: "If you kill our kids, we kill your economy!"
… Later, protesters in the Central West End were pulling down American flags that lined the streets on Euclid, and burned several of them. At least one of the flag burning incidents, on a knoll near the interstate, led to a heated argument between factions of protesters.

Dozens of NFL Players Take a Knee After Trump Criticizes Anthem Protests for Third Day

Dozens of NFL Players Take a Knee After Trump Criticizes Anthem Protests for Third Day

by Daniel Politi @ The Slatest

President Donald Trump seems to be obsessed. The commander in chief woke up Sunday morning with a hankering to fire off a series of tweets once again calling for fans to boycott the NFL “until players stop disrespecting our Flag & Country.” For those keeping count that marked the third day in a row the president criticized players who take a knee during the national anthem to protest police violence. It seemed to be a taunt that will assure any protests that were already planned for today would suddenly become much larger.

The defiance was clear in the first NFL game of the day, where players displayed a strong sense of unity as about two dozen Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars players took a knee and pretty much all the rest linked arms in solidarity. Among those joining the protest in London was Ravens Hall of Famer Ray Lewis, who also took a knee. And it wasn’t just the players who displayed unity. Ravens coach John Harbaugh, Jaguars coach Doug Marrone, and Jaguars owner Shad Khan locked arms with the players during the national anthem.

The players who were kneeling then stood for “God Save the Queen,” Britain’s national anthem, although the players and coaches remained locked arm-in-arm.

On Facebook, the Jaguars published a photo with Khan at the center and a simple message: “Unity.”

The owner of the Ravens, Steve Bisciotti, also expressed support for the protesters through a statement released on Twitter during the first quarter of the game. “We recognize our players’ influence,” he said. “We respect their demonstration and support them 100 percent. All voices need to be heard. That’s democracy in its highest form.”

The support from the owners continues the largely negative reaction to Trump’s initial statement on Friday night during a rally in Alabama. Even some who have supported Trump in the past expressed their opposition to the president, including Patriots CEO and Chairman Robert Kraft, who donated $1 million to Trump’s inauguration. “I am deeply disappointed by the tone of the comments made by the President on Friday,” Kraft said. “I am proud to be associated with so many players who make such tremendous contributions in positively impacting our communities."

Trump’s three-day marathon of NFL criticism began Friday night, when he harshly criticized owners for tolerating players who he said disrespect the United States by failing to stand up for the national anthem. “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he’s fired. He’s fired!’” Trump said.

That statement was met with a chorus of criticism from the sports world but the commander in chief doubled down on Saturday through Twitter: "If a player wants the privilege of making millions of dollars in the NFL,or other leagues, he or she should not be allowed to disrespect our Great American Flag (or Country) and should stand for the National Anthem. If not, YOU'RE FIRED. Find something else to do!" He also directly attacked NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for his (very mild) criticism of Trump earlier in the day. “Roger Goodell of NFL just put out a statement trying to justify the total disrespect certain players show to our country,” Trump wrote. “Tell them to stand!”

Today’s Impeach-O-Meter: I’m Putting Frank the White House Lawn Kid in This Post So You’ll Click on It

Today’s Impeach-O-Meter: I’m Putting Frank the White House Lawn Kid in This Post So You’ll Click on It

by Ben Mathis-Lilley @ The Slatest

The Impeach-O-Meter is a wildly subjective and speculative daily estimate of the likelihood that Donald Trump leaves office before his term ends, whether by being impeached (and convicted) or by resigning under threat of same.

Down here at Slate HQ, we have a service called CrowdTangle, which measures how fast stories from various publications are spreading on Facebook. Today the No. 1 CrowdTangle champ, in both mainstream and conservative publications, is the story of Frank Giaccio, the 11-year-old from Virginia who mowed the Rose Garden lawn. From Fox News:

Trump accepted the Virginia boy’s offer after he wrote to the president saying it would be his "honor to mow the White House lawn." Giaccio, who was 10 when he wrote the letter but has since turned 11, also enclosed a menu of his services, which include weed-whacking.

I don't get it! Why does he want to mow the lawn? Just because he also mows other lawns? Why do you guys care so much about it? Whatever, it's Friday, suckers!

Updates to the List of Cruelty-Free Brands

by Aly Laughlin @ Cruelty-Free Kitty

Hello! Here’s our latest cruelty-free update for the past 2 months. There are a LOT of new brands being added to the list of cruelty-free brands. As always, the brands added to the list claimed that they: Don’t test finished products or ingredients on animals. Don’t have suppliers who test on animals. Don’t allow any […]

The post Updates to the List of Cruelty-Free Brands appeared first on Cruelty-Free Kitty.

Marmite owner: 'No merit' in US takeover

Marmite owner: 'No merit' in US takeover

BBC News

Unilever, which makes Marmite and PG Tips, snubs a £115bn takeover offer from US food giant Kraft.

Tillerson Says U.S. Considering Closing Embassy in Cuba in Response to Sonic Attacks on Diplomats

Tillerson Says U.S. Considering Closing Embassy in Cuba in Response to Sonic Attacks on Diplomats

by Elliot Hannon @ The Slatest

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the U.S. is considering closing its embassy in Havana, Cuba after alleged 2016 sonic attacks caused hearing damage for U.S. diplomats. Tillerson announced the potential reversal to the recent warming of relations between the two longtime foes Sunday on CBS News’ Face the Nation. So far 21 American diplomats have reported related medical problems while stationed in Cuba.

The 2016 incidents reportedly involved sonic weapons stationed outside diplomats’ residences that emitted sound waves outside the range of audible sound for humans, but capable of causing hearing loss and even concussions. “Some of the victims suffered mild traumatic brain injuries, hearing loss and other neurological and physical ailments,” the union representing Foreign Service officers told the Washington Post. The majority of these cases took place last year, but according to the State Department, the attacks are ongoing, with one occurring as recently as August.

The Cuban government has denied responsibility for the attacks and while the U.S. government expelled two Cuban diplomats in response, it has not explicitly blamed the Cuban government. Investigators have suggested the possibility that the attacks have been carried out by a third party, like Russia, unbeknownst to the Cuban government.

“We have it under evaluation,” Tillerson said Sunday in response to five senators suggesting shuttering the embassy. “It’s a very serious issue, with respect to the harm that certain individuals have suffered, and we’ve brought some of those people home. It’s under review.”

Student LGBTQ Leader Wielding Pocketknife Shot and Killed by Police on Georgia Tech Campus

Student LGBTQ Leader Wielding Pocketknife Shot and Killed by Police on Georgia Tech Campus

by Molly Olmstead @ The Slatest

Georgia Bureau of Investigation officials are investigating the fatal shooting of a Georgia Tech student by campus police outside a dorm late Saturday night.

Campus police shot and killed Scout Schultz, a 21-year-old computer engineering student and the president of the campus’ Pride Alliance, an LGBTQ group, after they responded to a 911 call about a person with a knife and a gun, according to reports. Schultz did not have a gun in video of the incident, but police said Schultz had a knife and refused to put it down.

In the video, officers can be heard telling Schultz, who identified as nonbinary and used they/them pronouns, to drop the knife. Instead, Schultz walks slowly toward the officers and can be heard shouting, “shoot me.” More officers tell Schultz to stop, but after Schultz pauses and then takes a few steps toward the officers, one of the officers shoots. Schultz was taken to a hospital in downtown Atlanta, where they died Sunday.

The attorney for Schultz’s family said that the campus police overreacted and asked why the situation couldn’t have been handled by nonlethal measures. A statement on the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s website announced that the agency was investigating the shooting at the request of the campus police department. “Officers provided multiple verbal commands and attempted to speak with Shultz [sic] who was not cooperative and would not comply with the officers’ commands,” the agency said in the statement. “Shultz continued to advance on the officers with the knife.”

WSB-TV reported that the knife looked like a “metal, flip-open multitool knife that would likely include a small blade.”

The attorney for the family told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the student never rushed the officers and that the blade of the knife was not extended. “Why didn’t they use some nonlethal force, like pepper spray or Tasers?” Schultz’s mother said to the newspaper. A Georgia Tech spokesperson told the paper that the campus police do not carry Tasers.

The attorney also said he wanted to know if the officers involved were trained to deal with mentally impaired people. Schultz’s mother told reporters that Schultz had been diagnosed with depression at a young age. She also said her child had attempted suicide two years ago.

The family’s attorney told the newspaper he thought Schultz “was having a mental breakdown and didn’t know what to do.” He said he didn’t believe it was a suicide attempt.

Health Benefits Of Cardamom Essential Oil: Masala And Thai Curry

by Nate M @ Maple Holistics

Cardamom and the derivative known as ‘Green Cardamom’ are still considered to be one of the most expensive spices on the market.

The post Health Benefits Of Cardamom Essential Oil: Masala And Thai Curry appeared first on Maple Holistics.

Jessica Alba’s Honest Company Could Sell for a Billion Dollars Soon

Jessica Alba’s Honest Company Could Sell for a Billion Dollars Soon

The actress and co-founder is reportedly working out a deal with Unilever

Dove's True Colors: beautiful or bad? - AfterEllen

Dove's True Colors: beautiful or bad? - AfterEllen


Here's the thing: I use Dove. I like Dove. I happen to think they make nice soap. And if they also happen to put out some nice television ads, well, all the better. But recently the brand and its Campaign for Real Beauty have come under fire by critics who have cried hypocrisy because Dove is owned by the same company that puts out, among many other things, Axe body spray. On the one hand, positive messages telling young girls about having good body image; on the other, sleazy messages telling young boys about bagging hot chicks. Oh, the conundrum. Dove’s latest ad, called “Onslaught,” is interesting for many reasons. In the clip, an adorable red-haired girl smiles innocently into the camera, only to be bombarded with a montage of images urging her to look “younger, smaller, lighter, firmer, tighter, thinner, softer.”

Pharma Bro Fraudster Martin Shkreli Is Jailed After Soliciting Lock of Hillary Clinton’s Hair

Pharma Bro Fraudster Martin Shkreli Is Jailed After Soliciting Lock of Hillary Clinton’s Hair

by Elliot Hannon @ The Slatest

Pharma bro fraudster Martin Shkreli was jailed Wednesday after a federal judge revoked his $5 million bail in response to a Facebook post where Shkreli solicited a strand of Hillary Clinton’s hair in return for $5,000. Shkreli was convicted in August on three counts of fraud over his running of two hedge funds and a pharmaceutical company and is awaiting sentencing. He faces up to 20 years in prison.

Shkreli issued an apology for the post, which is but the latest instance of erratic behavior by the 34-year-old, who first came into public view in 2015 for gleefully raising the price of an AIDS medication 5,000 percent overnight from $1 to $750. “It never occurred to me that my awkward attempt at humor or satire would cause Mrs. Clinton or the Secret Service any distress,” Shkreli said in a written letter to the judge. “I understand now, that some may have read my comments about Mrs. Clinton as threatening, when that was never my intention when making those comments.”

U.S. District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto, however, wasn’t buying it. “He does not need to apologize to me. He should have apologized to the government, the Secret Service, and Hillary Clinton,” Matsumoto said Wednesday. “This is a solicitation of assault. That is not protected by the First Amendment… There has been a danger presented through this post.”

Shkreli was taken to jail immediately following the hour-long hearing and will likely stay there until his sentencing hearing, which is scheduled for January. Despite his public posture around the bail hearing, if you thought that Shkreli was actually remorseful—about anything—think again. From the Washington Post:

On Facebook, Shkreli has struck a more defiant note. “Lol Hillary Clinton’s presumptive agents are hard at work. It was just a prank, bro! But still, lock HER up. Spend your resources investigating her, not me!!,” he said in a post the same day prosecutors filed their motion to have his bail revoked.

Shkreli’s lawyers argued, unsuccessfully, that the public irritant of a man is not a threat. They did not argue that he is not a bad person. Shkreli’s attorneys even tried to use Donald Trump’s deceitful language and abhorrent conduct on the campaign trail as precedent for why the convicted fraudster was engaging in protected speech. Or more specifically, “constitutionally-protected political hyperbole.”

“During the campaign, Trump used ‘political hyperbole,” Shkreli’s attorneys said, when he said that Clinton, his Democratic opponent, would abolish the Second Amendment if elected… “Indeed, in the current political climate, dissent has unfortunately often taken the form of political satire, hyperbole, parody, or sarcasm,” Shkreli’s attorney, Benjamin Brafman, said in a letter to the court. “While we do not condone Mr. Shkreli’s comments, his constitutionally-protected political hyperbole does not rise to the level of making him a ‘danger to the community’ when he is not and has never been considered to be a danger.”

Shkreli has indicated he will appeal his August conviction.

Trump’s Oracular Sermonizing at the U.N. Is a Real Head Trip

Trump’s Oracular Sermonizing at the U.N. Is a Real Head Trip

by Katy Waldman @ The Slatest

As a speechmaker, President Trump is either in the gutter or the stratosphere. He has one mode for riling his base, a style defined by boorish epithets (“crooked Hillary”), colorful insults (“bad hombres”), petulance (“very, very unfair”), and improvised asides. And he has another mode for the global spotlight—delivering his inauguration address, for instance—when he gropes for florid Romanticism, the kind of rhetoric that roils with souls and carnage and valleys of disrepair.

Trump’s remarks to the General Assembly of the United Nations on Tuesday fell squarely into the second category, which he might call “presidential” and which George W. Bush would probably term “weird shit.” The finale of the 40-minute speech resembled nothing so much as a sermon from 1720s Protestant New England (“North Korea in the Hands of an Angry President”) or a B-movie incantation to raise zombies. “Now,” Trump proclaimed, “we are calling for a great reawakening of nations. For the revival of their spirits, their pride, their people and their patriotism.” After this alliterative jambalaya came an invocation of history-as-onlooker, who “is asking us whether we are up to the task.” “Our answer,” Trump said, “will be a renewal of will, a rediscovery of resolve, and a rebirth of devotion.” (Strong nouns! But why not a “renewal of resolve, a rediscovery of devotion, and a rebirth of will”?) Having gestured mystically toward some heroic yesterday, the president set himself and his audience a modest goal for the future: “We need to defeat the enemies of humanity and unlock the potential of life itself.”

It’s often said that politicians campaign in poetry and govern in prose. Trump campaigned in insult comedy and, at least on the world stage, wants to govern in Wagnerian opera. He intoned that his was “the true vision of the United Nations, the ancient wish of every people, and the deepest yearning that lives inside every sacred soul.” He spoke of “immense promise and great peril.” He warned of “the scourge of our planet,” that “if the righteous many do not confront the wicked few, then evil will triumph.”

Reconciling such lofty rhetoric with the enfant terrible who taunts celebrities on Twitter is a bit of a head trip. Does the guy who retweeted a doctored GIF of himself nailing Hillary Clinton with a golf ball have much insight into the aching contents of every sacred soul? (Or does he simply have a speechwriter, Stephen Miller, who jerks off to Ptolemy’s history of Alexander the Great?) Occasionally on Tuesday, the grubby real-estate developer from Queens peeked through the gauze. Trump used an immature nickname, “Rocket Man,” for North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. He mentioned “loser terrorists.” He whined that Obama’s Iran nuclear agreement was “a one-sided deal where the United States gets nothing in return.”

These moments of candor only made the entire address more bizarre. As mindboggling as it is to hear a modern politician adopt the overheated tones of a Tolkien character on his deathbed, it’s especially mindboggling when that register coexists with reality-TV pettiness. But the truth is that Trump’s rhetorical extremes are opposite sides of the same coin. He likes Miller’s grandiose window dressing because it makes him feel important, just as his bullying makes him feel powerful. Ad hominem attacks are intended to distract listeners from problems he is unqualified to solve; likewise, oracular pronouncements about national destiny obscure those problems outright. When it comes to disguising his inability to do the job, he is happy to either transcend politics-as-usual or tunnel under it.

Trump doesn’t seem to realize how jarring this all is. There is nothing inconsistent, to him, in fulminating on global “decay, domination, and defeat”—or even advocating for “peace for the people of this wonderful Earth”—the day after he used his sacred pulpit to plug Trump World Tower. “Are we still patriots?” he asked on Tuesday morning. Also, would we care to invest in his latest skyscraper?



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Dove is committed to helping women realise their personal potential for beauty by engaging them with products that deliver real care.

There Is No DACA “Deal” Yet

There Is No DACA “Deal” Yet

by Jim Newell @ The Slatest

Everyone take a deep breath. There is no deal—yet. But President Trump’s dinner with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday night did formalize the path through which children of undocumented immigrants brought here at a young age might obtain legal status. What was reached Wednesday night at dinner was an agreement to pursue that path on a bipartisan basis. A “deal” will be reached only when the details are ironed out. Details can be a problem.

In a joint statement after their dinner, Pelosi and Schumer said that “we agreed to enshrine the protections of DACA into law quickly, and to work out a package of border security, excluding the wall, that’s acceptable to both sides.” If there’s news here, it’s that Trump wouldn’t insist on the wall in this particular package. (This does not mean he's given up on it, as his press secretary was quick to note Wednesday night.) There has been a round or two of clarifications from both sides since then, but the original Pelosi and Schumer statement largely holds up: They and the president agreed to pursue this course of action.

This doesn’t put Congress on a path it wasn’t already on. It was immediately apparent on Capitol Hill last week that the way protections for Dreamers could get through Congress was by linking them up with some sort of non-wall border security component. Though people will be making fun of House Speaker Paul Ryan now that Trump has gone over his head again to negotiate directly with “Chuck and Nancy,” this is really the same path Ryan had laid out for protecting Dreamers already. “It’s only reasonable and fitting that we also address … borders that are not sufficiently controlled while we address this very real and very human problem that’s in front of us,” Ryan said last week.

Now congressional leaders just have to take this broad-strokes framework and fill it in with policy details. The big question seems to be an interpretation of what “enshrining DACA protections” means. It would be a bit silly to “legislate DACA,” a term some have been using as shorthand over the last week, since the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, announced by President Obama in 2012, was an administrative workaround of Congress. Rather than codifying an administrative workaround of legislation via legislation, Congress could instead just ... pass straightforward legislation to fix the identified problem.

Is that legislation the DREAM Act? The DREAM Act reaches further than DACA, both in terms of people affected and in what it offers. Though DACA allowed recipients to get work permits on a temporary basis with the ability to renew, the DREAM Act offers a path to citizenship. That’s going to be an issue for congressional Republicans, especially in the House, since a path to citizenship is what Republicans call “amnesty.” If they're going to support that, they will need all the cover Trump can offer them. And Trump, himself, could have second thoughts if the blowback is strong enough.

And what, pray tell, is a non-wall border security package that’s “acceptable to both sides”? Lasers and drones and stuff but ... not too many lasers and drones and stuff? We’ll have to see. It sounds like something that could get bogged down in tedious semantic debates, our national legislature’s specialty.

An agreement on a framework is something. But a “deal” is of a whole other order. We’re not there yet.

Pregnant Kylie Jenner Flashes a Bit of Her Baby Bump and Poses in a Bathrobe with Her Girlfriends

Pregnant Kylie Jenner Flashes a Bit of Her Baby Bump and Poses in a Bathrobe with Her Girlfriends

by Stephanie Petit @

Kylie Jenner is teasing the first signs of a baby bump.

The 20-year-old reality star, who is expecting her first child with beau Travis Scott, shared a glimpse of her stomach in an Instagram photo wishing her BFF Jordyn Woods a happy birthday. In the photo — which was taken on Friday but uploaded on Sunday — Jenner rests her hand on her waist, slightly lifting her baggy black sweatshirt to expose a glimpse of her stomach.

“Yesterday was cute,” Jenner captioned the image with Woods and a giraffe. “Hope you had the happiest of birthdays Jordy. Love you forever ever and beyond..”

The makeup mogul posted another photo with several girlfriends on Sunday, where they’re all posing in white bath robes.

“Mornings,” she simply captioned the mirror selfie with a happy face.

RELATED: Is This When Travis Scott Found Out Kylie Jenner Was Pregnant with His Child?

One day after sources confirmed to PEOPLE that she is pregnant, Jenner headed to Las Vegas to watch him perform at the iHeartRadio Music Festival. The Keeping Up with the Kardashians star, who is expecting a baby girl in February, covered up her bump with an oversized black t-shirt and brown plastic pants.

From a VIP platform, Jenner watched Scott, 25, perform with DJ Khaled, Chance The Rapper, Demi Lovato and French Montana at the T-Mobile Arena.

Scott and Jenner are both exciting about becoming new parents.

“It is an unexpected but completely amazing turn of events that she could not be more excited or thrilled about,” a source previously said.

RELATED: All the Outfits Kylie Jenner Has Worn to Hide Her Pregnancy

“Everyone is overjoyed for her,” the source added. “This is the happiest she’s ever been.”

RELATED VIDEO: Kylie Jenner, 20, Pregnant with First Child with Travis Scott: They’re ‘Really Excited,’ Says Source

Another insider said Scott began telling friends about the pregnancy in July. “He was so excited he couldn’t keep it in,” says the insider. “He’s been so affectionate and protective of Kylie since they found out. He can’t wait to be a dad.”

Jenner has been dating Scott since earlier this year.

Her baby won’t be the only new member joining the famous KarJenner brood: older sister Kim Kardashian West is also expecting via surrogate. Kardashian West shares two other children with husband Kanye WestSaint, who is 21 months old, and daughter North, who turned 4 in June.

Jenner’s also aunt to brother Rob Kardashian‘s daughter Dream, 10 months, and sister Kourtney Kardashian‘s three children: Mason, 7, Penelope, 5, and Reign, 2.

British Authorities Arrest 18-Year-Old Man in Connection With London Subway Bombing

British Authorities Arrest 18-Year-Old Man in Connection With London Subway Bombing

by Elliot Hannon @ The Slatest

British authorities detained an 18-year-old man Saturday morning in what they’re calling a “significant arrest” in connection with Friday’s botched bombing in the London subway that injured dozens of commuters. The man, who has not been identified, was arrested in the port area of the coastal town of Dover some 75 miles southeast of London. Investigators believe the suspect may have been in the port town trying to leave the country on a ferry, the Guardian reports. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack through the group’s Amaq news agency.

“We have made a significant arrest in our investigation this morning,” Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, Senior National Coordinator for Counter Terrorism Policing, said in a statement Saturday. “Although we are pleased with the progress made, this investigation continues and the threat level remains at critical.”

It’s not immediately clear what the man’s connection to the improvised explosive device that partially detonated around 8:20 a.m. Friday morning inside a subway car at Parsons Green station in southwest London. The IED was detonated by a timer, not a mobile phone, which have been used for such attacks in the past. British authorities says 30 people were injured in the partial explosion. Friday’s attack was the fifth terrorist attack in London in less than six months.

Ted Cruz Is Latest GOP Senator to Come Out Against Obamacare Repeal Legislation

Ted Cruz Is Latest GOP Senator to Come Out Against Obamacare Repeal Legislation

by Daniel Politi @ The Slatest

The Republicans are running out of time.  After seven years of promising to repeal Obamacare, it seems the GOP is headed toward failure yet again this week, unless the party leaders can somehow reverse what appears to be a growing opposition to the effort. Sen. Ted Cruz was the latest to signal his opposition to the Graham-Cassidy bill, noting it didn’t do enough to bring down the cost of health care.

“Right now, they don’t have my vote,” Cruz said during a panel discussion in Austin. “And I don’t think they have Mike Lee’s vote, either.” Cruz said that he and fellow senator Lee offered amendments to Graham-Cassidy that would decrease premiums but they weren’t included in the latest draft of the bill. But Cruz wasn’t all negative, saying the measure also has some “very good elements.”

Cruz is hardly alone. Earlier on Sunday, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine made it clear she’s unlikely to support the bill either. She had previously said she was “leaning agains” the legislation but sounded more sure of her decision on Sunday, when she told CNN it was “very difficult for me to envision a scenario where I would end up voting for this bill.” Collins said she wants to see the analysis from the Congressional Budget Office before making a final decision.

With Cruz and Collins that means there are at least five Republicans in the 52-member caucus that said they wouldn’t support the bill or were at least leaning against it. Sen. Lisa Mukowski has yet to give her full support to the bill and Sens. John McCain and Rand Paul have both said they would not back the measure. With the two “no” votes from McCain and Paul, a third would doom the bill since no Democrats are expected to support the measure.

Time is running out for Republicans to get support for the bill as lawmakers only have until Saturday to pass it with a simple majority rather than the usual 60 votes.

Sens. Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy both appeared on ABC’s This Week Sunday to defend their legislation and express optimism that the bill will ultimately be approved. “We're moving forward and we'll see what happens next week. I'm very excited about it. We finally found an alternative to Obamacare that makes sense,” Graham said. “I think we're going to get the votes next week.”

Russian Facebook Account Reportedly Organized Florida Trump Rallies During Election

Russian Facebook Account Reportedly Organized Florida Trump Rallies During Election

by Osita Nwanevu @ The Slatest

Russian Facebook accounts attempted to organize more than a dozen Florida Trump rallies during the election, the Daily Beast reported Wednesday:

The demonstrations—at least one of which was promoted online by local pro-Trump activists—brought dozens of supporters together in real life. They appear to be the first case of Russian provocateurs successfully mobilizing Americans over Facebook in direct support of Donald Trump.
The Aug. 20, 2016, events were collectively called “Florida Goes Trump!” and they were billed as a “patriotic state-wide flash mob,” unfolding simultaneously in 17 different cities and towns in the battleground state. It’s difficult to determine how many of those locations actually witnessed any turnout, in part because Facebook’s recent deletion of hundreds of Russian accounts hid much of the evidence. But videos and photos from two of the locations—Fort Lauderdale and Coral Springs—were reposted to a Facebook page run by the local Trump campaign chair, where they remain to this day.

The Beast reports that the Florida events were put on by a Facebook page called “Being Patriotic,” which had 200,000 followers before being shut down last month, and a Twitter account called @march_for_trump. The “Being Patriotic” Facebook page was shut down at around the same time Facebook revoked multiple accounts being run by the Internet Research Agency, a Russian firm American intelligence agencies have linked to an ally of Vladimir Putin.

The news comes after the revelation two weeks ago that Facebook also facilitated $100,000 in Russian-funded political advertising targeted at U.S. voters in the run-up to the election.

Donald Trump won 49 percent of the vote in Florida, compared with Hillary Clinton’s 47.8 percent.

Dove blasts Trump administration in new ad

Dove blasts Trump administration in new ad

Business Insider

The ad features the hashtag "#AlternateFacts" and claims Dove's new antiperspirant is "a really good listener" and boosts your WiFi signal.



Unilever Australasia

In a world of stereotypes, Dove Skin, Hair and Deodorant products, recognise that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.

Dove’s Real Beauty is bogus

Dove’s Real Beauty is bogus

By now most people have seen the Dove Real Beauty sketches. It is a genius ad campaign that went viral. This week it became the most watched video on YouTube with more than 110 million views. The v…



Unilever UK & Ireland

Making a genuine difference

Unilever employee never missed a day of work in 30 years

Unilever employee never missed a day of work in 30 years

HAMMOND | The Unilever plant in Hammond has had its own Cal Ripken Jr., a reliable workhorse who toughed it out day after day, a guy as sturdy as the

The evolution of Dove

The evolution of Dove


As Dove celebrates its 50th anniversary, strategy examines how the brand has evolved from a bar of soap to a global master brand. Along the way, we look at how messaging to women has also evolved over this pivotal period in women's history

Everyday Staples: 10 Cruelty-Free & Vegan Body Washes You’ll Love

by Aly Laughlin @ Cruelty-Free Kitty

Here are the 10 best cruelty-free and vegan body washes so you can keep animal testing and animal products out of your shower! These are mostly drugstore products (a few options being budget-friendly) with a couple of luxury items, and many of these are made from natural ingredients. 1. Nubian Heritage Abyssinian Oil & Chia […]

The post Everyday Staples: 10 Cruelty-Free & Vegan Body Washes You’ll Love appeared first on Cruelty-Free Kitty.

Alec Baldwin Thinks Making Cheesy Movies Is As Bad As Lying for Trump

Alec Baldwin Thinks Making Cheesy Movies Is As Bad As Lying for Trump

by Molly Olmstead @ The Slatest

Backstage after the Emmys on Sunday night, a reporter asked Alec Baldwin about Sean Spicer’s appearance onstage. In Spicer’s cameo he came out grinning and riding a motorized podium, evoking Melissa McCarthy's impersonation, clearly indicating he was aware of the joke and in on it. As Slate’s Christina Cauterucci wrote, the moment can be grouped together with Trump the candidate hosting Saturday Night Live and Jimmy Fallon mussing Trump’s hair on his show. “Laughing with him only dulls the senses to his deeds.”

Considering Baldwin’s win for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for playing Trump on SNL and his subsequent taunting speech, one might expect the actor to come down similarly hard on Trump’s former press secretary.

His response, however, was a bit less barbed:

The average person is very grateful for him to have a sense of humor and participate. I mean, Spicer obviously was compelled to do certain things that we might not have respected, we might not have admired, we might have been super critical of, in order to do his job. But I’ve done some jobs that are things that you shouldn’t admire or respect me for either. So he and I have that in common I suppose.

To quote Slate’s Sam Adams: “The difference is that when Sean Spicer sells his soul, it weakens the fabric of democracy, and when Alec Baldwin does it, you wind up with The Boss Baby.”

But let’s take a minute to really compare, for the sake of fairness.

In Blind, released in 2017, Baldwin plays a blind novelist who “rediscovers his passion for both life and writing when he embarks on an affair with the neglected wife of an indicted businessman." From “One doesn’t need perfect vision to quickly surmise that this sudsy affair among Manhattan swells is a glorified Hallmark Channel melodrama.”

Also in 2017, Sean Spicer couldn’t stop himself from talking about Hitler. When he explained why Trump ordered missile strikes on Syria, he claimed Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad’s gas attack was unprecedented. “You had someone as despicable as Hitler who didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons,” he said.

Baldwin was so dissatisfied with the only movie he ever directed, the flop Shortcut to Happiness, that he asked the movie be credited to “Harry Kirkpatrick” instead. It was only released six years after being made, and he advised his fans not to see it.

During Spicer’s first White House press briefing, on Day Two of the presidency, he chided reporters and declared that the crowd at Trump’s inauguration was “the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period.”

Baldwin himself called the movie musical Rock of Ages, in which he plays a “shaggy-haired owner of a Whisky a Go Go-type Holywood club” a “complete disaster.” He told Vanity Fair, “A week in, you go, ‘Oh God, what have I done?’ ” Slate writer Dana Stevens had some kinder words for it and wrote that “once you accept the utter and profound inconsequentiality of Rock of Ages, there’s much to enjoy in it.”

Following in Kellyanne Conway’s footsteps, Spicer referenced a nonexistent Islamic terrorist attack in Atlanta to pad statistics to justify Trump’s Muslim ban.

In The Boss Baby, Baldwin voices a baby who’s also a businessman. Sean Spicer toed the party line, even if it meant failing to tell the public the truth.

Upon weighing the evidence, it’s a toss-up.

Today in Conservative Media: Trump Gave His Best Speech Yet at the U.N.

Today in Conservative Media: Trump Gave His Best Speech Yet at the U.N.

by Osita Nwanevu @ The Slatest

A daily roundup of the biggest stories in right-wing media.

Conservatives had mostly praise for President Trump’s speech to the U.N. on Tuesday. One of the more mixed critiques came from National Review’s Rich Lowry, who called the address “Jacksonian”:

In general, Trump defended the American-created and -defended world order, but he did it on his own terms. He emphasized the importance of sovereign nation-states and said we should accept their different cultures and interests. This is fine as far as it goes. In his version of post-war history, however, Trump gives short shrift to how important a vision of liberal democracy was to the United States. And there was a tension between his avowal to accept the ways of other nation-states and his (appropriately) excoriating attacks on the political and economic systems of North Korea, Iran, Syria, and Venezuela. Indeed, George W. Bush could have spoken in exactly the same terms about those rogue regimes, if with more elevated rhetoric.
All things considered and given the alternatives, it was a fine speech. It wasn’t really an “America First” speech — it defended the world order and even had warm words for the Marshall Plan — but in its signature lines about North Korea, it was thematically a very Jacksonian speech. What exactly this means in terms of policy remains to be seen. But everyone is paying attention, if they weren’t before.

The Resurgent’s Erick Erickson called it the best speech of Trump’s presidency thus far. “With President Trump we are not going to get the soaring rhetoric of Barack Obama or the happy smile and sentiment of George W. Bush,” he wrote. “We are not going to get Reagan or Clinton. What we are going to get is a blunt instrument who understands he can occasionally use his bluntness to make real change.”

“Give Trump credit for bringing his authentic self to the United Nations, at the very least,” Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey wrote. “If his supporters worried about the supposed ‘globalists’ on his staff watering down Trump’s approach on foreign policy, the president dispelled all of those worries in his 40-minute address. He made it clear that US policy would take a sharp turn towards self-interest and put nations on notice over trade.”

The American Conservative’s Daniel Larison was critical:

U.S. foreign policy already suffers from far too much self-congratulation and excessive confidence in our own righteousness, so it was alarming to hear Trump speak in such stark, fanatical terms about international affairs. Paired with his confrontational rhetoric directed towards North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, and Syria, Trump’s choice to cast these states as the “wicked few” portends more aggressive and meddlesome policies and gives the leaders of all of these governments reason to assume the worst about our intentions. It was similar to Bush’s foolish “axis of evil” remarks in 2002.

In other news:

Conservatives were aghast at a survey of college students on speech just published by the Brookings Institution. “THE END OF AMERICA: Poll Shows 51% of College Students Say It's Fine to Shout Down ‘Offensive and Harmful’ Speakers” was the headline of a Daily Wire post by Ben Shapiro:

That poll shows that 19 percent of college students agree with the notion that using violence to silence a speaker who says “offensive and hurtful things” is appropriate; that includes 22 percent of Republicans. Furthermore, about four in ten Americans said that the First Amendment should not protect “hate speech” – leaving that term of art utterly undefined – and 51 percent backed the proposition that students should shout down offensive speakers.
This is terrifying. Young Americans clearly don’t understand the meaning or purpose of the First Amendment. They believe that their feelings justify interference with the political expression of others. And that opinion is being coddled by administrators who see fit to “protect” students from so-called “microaggressions” with “trigger warnings.” The safe space mentality utterly perverts American freedom.

Commentary’s Noah Rothman blamed the media and academics for fostering anti-speech attitudes and wrote that the survey furnished evidence that “America is lurching toward a civic crisis.”  “Cosseted, well-compensated soft revolutionaries are busy penning hagiography to thugs who commit acts of terror in the name of ‘anti-fascism,’ ” he wrote. “Respectable left-wing journals like the Nation, Mother Jones, and the New Republic have found themselves in the rank agitation business.”

“If you want to see how these realities are playing out on an actual campus,” Hot Air’s Allahpundit wrote, “go read the new Middlebury interim policies for speakers, which explicitly contemplate canceling events if the threat of violence is so high that the safety of people attending the event can’t be guaranteed. The fact that an American university would need to plan for that contingency in the form of an official policy shows you how bad things have gotten."

Gerard Cosmetics: Animal Testing Policy & Correspondence

by Aly Laughlin @ Cruelty-Free Kitty

Gerard Cosmetics started out as a teeth whitening brand which has now expanded to makeup products built on that same premise including their teeth whitening lip glosses. There is a lot of talk of Gerard Cosmetics being “cruelty-free” on social media, but the official Gerard Cosmetics website does not include an animal testing policy, nor […]

The post Gerard Cosmetics: Animal Testing Policy & Correspondence appeared first on Cruelty-Free Kitty.

Unilever In Talks to Buy Jessica Alba’s Billion-Dollar Diaper Company

Unilever In Talks to Buy Jessica Alba’s Billion-Dollar Diaper Company

The Hive

Selling the Honest Company could make Alba one of the richest women in Silicon Valley.



Unilever Canada

Dove grew from a moisturising Beauty Bar into a global brand with a range of products: body washes, hand and body lotions, facial cleansers, deodorants, shampoos, conditioners and hair styling.

Live Blog: How NFL Players are Protesting Trump Throughout Sunday

Live Blog: How NFL Players are Protesting Trump Throughout Sunday

by Nick Greene @ The Slatest

Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem protests were never explicitly about Donald Trump, but, thanks to the president’s comments at an Alabama rally on Friday night (as well as an ensuing series of tweets), Trump has made sure that he will be the focus of any and all protests this NFL Sunday. “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he’s fired. He’s fired!’” Trump said on Friday.

At the early game played in London between the Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars, dozens of players took a knee and many others linked arms in solidarity. Jacksonville won 44-7, and no one was fired.

We'll be updating this live blog with news of protests around the league as today's games unfold.

Here's What We're Buying from Urban Outfitters' Massive Home Sale

Here's What We're Buying from Urban Outfitters' Massive Home Sale

by Megan Stein @

Have a case of the Tuesdays? Urban Outfitters has the cure.

The clothing store recently expanded its (secretly amazing) “Apartment” section to offer select pieces in stores across the country, and it’s celebrating with a massive sale. Bedding, lighting, furniture and more favorite finds are now discounted up to 40% off, and you’ll want to scoop up what stops you in your decorating tracks ASAP. If the price slash isn’t enough to persuade you, check out these 5 picks that we’re adding to our shopping carts now (in addition to the dreamy Moroccan poufs above):

RELATED: Every Home Product You Need to Show Your Pumpkin Spice Pride

1. Gumball Floor Lamp

Buy it!: $119.00;

2. 16-Piece Marble Glaze Dinnerware Set

Buy it!: $80.00;

3. Assembly Home Crewel Palms Pillow

Buy it!: $44.00;

RELATED: Everything We Know About Chip and Joanna Gaines’ Target Line So Far

4. Nora Saddle Chair

Buy it!: $129.00;

5. Ruffle Comforter

Buy it!: $129.00;

Trump Calls on NFL Owners to Fire Players Who Kneel During Anthem

Trump Calls on NFL Owners to Fire Players Who Kneel During Anthem

by Daniel Politi @ The Slatest

President Donald Trump went to Alabama Friday night to campaign for Sen. Luther Strange, telling supporters he had a better chance of beating the Democratic candidate than his primary opponent, Roy Moore. But the commander in chief found it difficult to stay on message, giving a nearly 90-minute rambling speech in which he all but acknowledged that endorsing Strange may have been a mistake and vowed to campaign for Moore if he won the primary.

In one of his many asides, Trump harshly criticized the NFL and its owners for tolerating players who he said disrespect the United States by failing to stand up for the national anthem. “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he’s fired. He’s fired!’” Trump said. “You know, some owner is gonna do that. He’s gonna say, ‘That guy disrespects our flag, he’s fired.’ And that owner, they don’t know it. They don’t know it. They’re friends of mine, many of them. They don’t know it. They’ll be the most popular person, for a week. They’ll be the most popular person in this country.”

Trump called on supporters to “leave the stadium” to protest against the political statements by players. “I guarantee things will stop.” The president then went on to suggest the NFL was suffering a drop in ratings because it was being way too strict on hard tackles, seemingly criticizing the efforts to prevent injuries. “Because you know today if you hit too hard: Fifteen yards. Throw him out of the game,” Trump said. “That’s what they want to do. They want to hit. It is hurting the game.”

Commenting on the NFL was hardly the only time Trump got off topic at the rally in Huntsville, where many of the attendees openly told reporters they were only there to hear the president and would vote for Moore. The Washington Post summarizes:

He repeatedly cursed, mocked the leader of North Korea, jokingly threatened to fire a Cabinet member who endorsed Moore, called on professional football team owners to fire players who kneel during the national anthem, promised to build a new “see-through wall” on the southern border, called allegations of Russian interference in the election a “hoax,” accused unions of protecting “sadists” who abuse elderly veterans, and repeatedly relived the 2016 election.

Trump also said his supporters should vote for Strange at least in part because if he loses it would be really embarrassing for the president. “If Luther doesn't win, they're not going to say we picked up 25 points in a very short period of time. They're going to say, ‘Donald Trump, the president of the United States, was unable to pull his candidate across the line. It is a terrible, terrible moment for Trump. This is total embarrassment’.” The president also acknowledged that he “might have made a mistake” by endorsing Strange rather than outspoken conservative Moore, who is leading in the polls and has been endorsed by many conservatives, including his former chief adviser Steve Bannon.

Even if Strange loses though, Trump’s supporters shouldn’t worry because he’ll “be here campaigning like hell” for Moore.

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