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2/17/2022: As the Tide Turns
Also today: A Hunter Biden grand jury reportedly in the works; Halyna Hutchins' family's lawsuit, and Britney's new puppy
Today is Thursday, February 17, 2022
It is the 48th day of the year.
317 days remain.
Shailene was trending Wednesday as Twitter users reacted to the news that actress Shailene Woodley and QB Aaron Rodgers called it quits. More in Breakups.
#JeenYuhs landed in Twitter’s Top 10 Trends after Netflix dropped act one of the three-part documentary on Kanye West.
Social media users debated the “fizzy and mysteriously powerful properties” of McDonald’s Sprite on Wednesday. Many also commented on how the fast food chain’s Diet Coke tastes better than at other places it is offered.
Another debate was over whether Pixar’s animation and production has improved or worsened over time. The film that sparked the debate is “Turning Red” which is currently available on Disney+.
THE BEGINNING OF THE END: CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said Wednesday the government is considering a change in its official guidance that encourages virtually the entire country to wear masks everywhere.
“We all share the same goal — to get to a point where COVID-19 is no longer disrupting our daily lives, a time when it won’t be a constant crisis — rather something we can prevent, protect against, and treat,” she said.
WORTH ASKING: With cases and hospitalizations across the board plummeting, when will that be? What data will they need to see?
WORTH NOTING: They’ve never established a clear metric for doing this, either. In fact, Anthony Fauci has admitted to intentionally moving the goalposts based on his instincts for what the public could handle.
Pandemic overreaction that caused unnecessary hospital closures are leading to a spike in untreatable breast and colon cancer cases.
In 2019, 63% of breast cancer cases were discovered in Stage One. That decreased to 51% in 2020 and 41% in the first quarter of 2021.
Conversely, in 2019, only 1.9% of breast cancer cases were first discovered at Stage Four. By the start of 2021, that number quadrupled.
A lefty activist hacker got into the backend of GiveSendGo – the online donation platform that stepped up to process contributions for Canadian Truckers after GoFundMe gave them the boot. The hacker then leaked a list of donors and their contributions – what’s known as “doxing” the contributors.
NO ONE IS SAFE: The Washington Post is reportedly contacting many of those donors, asking them to explain why they gave what they did. (Head to The Swamp for lefty Squad-member Ilhan Omar’s shocking reaction to journalists going after donors).
Canada’s five major banks experienced outages and went offline for hours on Wednesday, for reasons still not fully understood.
It happened just a day after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was using special executive powers to freeze funds of protestors without a court order.
One theory is that people started pulling their money for fear of being locked out of their funds.
MEANWHILE: Even the New York Times says Trudeau needs to tone back the aggression. In an editorial, they note, “Allowing nonviolent, even if disruptive, protest is an important tool for maintaining social cohesion in a polarized society.”
MEANWHILE, IN QUEBEC: The Canadian Province of Quebec has announced they’re scrapping their vaccine passport program next month.
MEANWHILE, IN AUSTRIA: Austria is scrapping all restrictions by March 5.
MEANWHILE, IN ICELAND: Iceland has announced all restrictions will be scrapped next week.
MEANWHILE, IN SWITZERLAND: Switzerland will end all vaccine passes and mask mandates today – but will still require them at health facilities and certain public transportation.
Quintez Brown is out of jail, just days after firing shots at a mayoral candidate in Louisville Monday morning. He has been charged with four counts of wanton endangerment and one for attempted murder.
Brown is an active member of Louisville’s Black Lives Matter group and – no kidding – a vocal anti-gun activist. His BLM pals raised $100,000 with the help of Louisville’s Community Bail Fund to pay to get him out.
Texas’ Attorney General has filed a suit against the Biden administration to end federal mask mandates for air travel.
The suit says the mandates were leveled without Congressional authorization and the CDC didn’t follow the law regarding a public comment period – but that failure to comply with the mask mandates can lead to criminal prosecution.
Tickets for a trip on a Virgin Galactic space flight are now on sale to the public – but there is an application process.
Applications to fly are on its website. A flight will cost you $450,000, including a $150,000 deposit if you’re approved. The first flights are slated to blast off before the end of the year.
As mask mandates are being lifted around the country, students are cheering and jumping for joy.
Share in the excitement with this video of an elementary class from Las Vegas being told masks are no longer required.
OLYMPIC MEDAL COUNT
After Day 12 of competitions:
Norway: 13 Gold, 7 Silver, 8 Bronze
Russia: 4 Gold, 8 Silver, 12 Bronze
Germany: 10 Gold, 6 Silver, 4 Bronze
US: 8 Gold, 7 Silver, 4 Bronze
Canada: 3 Gold, 4 Silver, 11 Bronze
FRANK PESCE has died.
The actor, known for his role in “Top Gun,” passed away last weekend of complications from dementia, his girlfriend told Deadline.
He was 75.
A baby boy is on the way for SHARNA BURGESS, 36, and BRIAN AUSTIN GREEN, 48.
Almost two weeks after revealing they are expecting their first child together, the pair announced the baby is a boy.
Green shares three boys with his ex MEGAN FOX.
AARON RODGERS, 38, and SHAILENE WOODLEY, 30, have ended their engagement.
The news follows rumors that the pair split at the end of last year.
Sources told Page Six that Rodgers was getting “cold feet” and was focusing more on his football career than his fiancé.
They were together for about two years.
THE TIDE IS (MAYBE) TURNING: The woman who sued HUNTER BIDEN for a paternity test of their child – (she won, and he is the dad) – was spotted on Tuesday entering a courthouse where a grand jury is underway looking into the troubled First Son.
WORTH NOTING: The Department of Justice has been looking into Hunter Biden’s business dealings for years, though these reports weren’t investigated or published by media outlets until after the election.
WORTH ASKING: What are they looking into? JOE BIDEN as Vice President pressuring the Ukrainian government to fire a prosecutor who was investigating the company where Hunter sat on the board, despite not having any experience in energy policy? Or was it the time Hunter lied on a gun permit application when he denied having substance abuse problems? Or was it the time he was holding “ten for the big guy” – the allegation by Tony Bobulinski just before the election that Hunter was laundering cash from foreign companies and governments for his corrupt father? Or was it the time Hunter left a laptop at a repair shop that contained emails about corrupt business practices? Or was it the time Hunter passed out drunk and high in a hotel room with Russian agents and hookers only to discover his laptop had been stolen? Or is it for the multiple photos and videos of Hunter consuming Class I illegal narcotics that are all over the internet?
Other than that, he’s an upstanding model citizen!
JOE BIDEN IS ON THE CASE! Biden said in a speech he’s working “like the devil” to bring gas prices down.
WORTH NOTING: Since taking office, Biden has introduced penalties and regulations on emissions related to energy production that will cost those companies $1 billion a year and suspended drilling licenses in Alaska and New Mexico. Maybe he’d be better off doing less.
Three Democrat school board members are facing recall over their aggressively left-wing policies during the pandemic – in San Francisco!
Mayor LONDON BREED – who praised the recalls – will appoint replacements until general elections this November.
BY THE WAY: This was the first municipal recall in San Fran since 1983 – when then-Mayor now-Senator DIANNE FEINSTEIN faced a recall effort that ultimately failed.
A poll out from Politico and Morning Consult gives President JOE BIDEN a 39% approval rating. On the flip side, 57% disapprove.
MEANWHILE: 49% say it’s time for mask mandates to go; 43% want to keep them.
An article on the Ottawa Citizen website profiles a woman named Tammy Giuliani who gave $250 to the Trucker Convoy. She’s also the owner of an Ottawa-area bake shop.
The story explains how after donor information was leaked over the weekend, her shop started receiving threats of violence. She then repents to the journalist, explaining that she doesn’t condone “what has transpired over the past couple of weeks” — with slim details over what she was referring to.
BUT WAIT: Rep. ILHAN OMAR — who’s close pals with AOC and a vocal progressive activist — says the piece was all a ruse anyway. “I fail to see why any journalist felt the need to report on a shop owner making such a [sic] insignificant donation rather than to get them harassed. It’s unconscionable and journalists need to do better,” she tweeted late Wednesday night.
She added: “I wish journalists wrote the articles they think they are writing. Sorry to say it, but your stories aren’t always balanced and often have a clear political bias.”
WORTH ASKING: Is this an acknowledgement of the media’s total lockstep with liberal news narratives? Or does she think the media typically slants against her progressive cause?
No winner for Tuesday night’s Mega Millions drawing. Friday night’s drawing will be for a $64 million jackpot or a $42.2 million cash payout.
The 2022 Billboard Music Awards will air Sunday, May 15 live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Hosts and performers will be announced in the coming weeks.
BRITNEY SPEARS revealed she and her fiancé SAM ASGHARI adopted a new puppy while on vacation in Hawaii.
The 40-year-old shared a photo of the adorable pup, an Australian Shepard named Sawyer, on Instagram this week.
As if that wasn’t surprising enough for her followers, Britney’s mom, LYNNE SPEARS (whom she is estranged from) commented on the post, writing “The most beautiful pup ever with blue eyes!!!”
Some fans were quick to condemn and question the comment, while others wrote that they hoped the two are talking again.
Britney did not publicly acknowledge her mom’s comment.
BOB SAGET’s family has been granted a temporary restraining order blocking the release of photos connected to his death.
The order adds to the mystery of how exactly the comedian died.
As previously reported, Saget died from a brain bleed after hitting his head. Authorities believe he hit his head on the wooden bed frame in his hotel room, as he was found lying in bed.
Meanwhile, the medical examiner theorizes it was an “unwitnessed fall backwards.”
Some medical experts are not convinced, however. The Post reports that some experts say the skull fracture Saget suffered is consistent with being hit by a bat, or falling as far as 30 feet.
WORTH ASKING: Is this all some sort of cover up?
Coffee chain Tim Hortons will stay open thanks to JUSTIN BIEBER.
According to multiple sources, JB has partnered with the Canadian coffee chain — which suffered greatly during the pandemic — to create a line of doughnut holes called Timbiebs and Timbits.
Sources told the outlet that Justin was very involved in the process.
President Jose Cil shared his excitement over the collaboration, saying “I’m a Belieber!”
CLIVE DAVIS is planning a star-studded bash for his upcoming 90th birthday.
Details are being kept under wraps, but an insider told Page Six that the celebration will be “magnificent” and “full of surprises.”
He turns 90 on April 4.
“Encanto” is heading back to the theater.
The animated film originally hit theaters on November 24, followed by a debut on Disney+ a month later. Since its premiere, the film has been such a hit that Disney has decided to give it another round on the big screen.
It is unclear when the film will return and if it will only play at select locations.
HALYNA HUTCHINS’ husband, MATTHEW HUTCHINS, is set to give his first interview since her death.
He will sit down with HODA KOTB on the “Today” show for an interview set to air on February 24.
Halyna died at age 42 after actor ALEC BALDWIN accidentally misfired a prop gun on the set of “Rust.”
A fourth installment of “Star Trek” is in the works, according to JJ ABRAMS, who directed the 2009 reboot and the 2013 sequel.
He told PEOPLE magazine that the original cast will likely return for the film, and that production will begin by the end of the year.
Stars CHRIS PINE, ZOE SALADANA, JOHN CHO and ZACHARY QUINTO are all currently in talks for the new flick.
“Teen Mom” stars CHELSEA HOUSKA and COLE DEBOER are set to star in a new HGTV series called “Farmhouse Fabulous” (w/t).
The six-episode limited series is slated to premiere in spring 2013 and will follow the couple — who lives in South Dakota — as they launch a full-time renovation and design business, while parenting their four kids, according to the network.
Houska’s dad, Randy, who was a fan favorite on the MTV show, will also appear in the new series.
Paramount Pictures has announced “Sonic the Hedgehog 3” is in the works.
The news comes before “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” even hits theaters.
Also, Knuckles, the character voiced by IDRIS ELBA, will get his own live-action spin-off series on Paramount Plus.
“Sonic 2” hits theaters on April 4.
JOHN CENA will star in the WB’s “Looney Tunes” animated hybrid pic “Coyote vs. Acme.”
The film follows Wile E. Coyote, who after ACME products fail him one too many times in his pursuit of the Roadrunner, decides to hire a billboard lawyer to sue the corporation, according to Deadline.
Cena will play the former boss of Wile’s lawyer, who now runs ACME.
A two-part documentary about award-winning producer/writer and comedian LARRY DAVID will premiere on HBO on March 1.
The documentary, titled “The Larry David Story,” will also be available on HBO Max.
Actress KERI RUSSELL will star in Netflix’s newest drama series, “The Diplomat.”
The eight-episode series centers on career diplomat Kate Wyler (Russell) who lands a high-profile job in the midst of an international crisis. Not only is she unsuited for the job, it also has significant implications for her marriage and political future, per the official description.
No other casting details were shared.
HBO Max has opted not to renew its animated comedy “The Prince” for a second season.
The move comes as no surprise as many found the satirical series about the Royal Family to be offensive. Especially with how PRINCE WILLIAM and KATE MIDDLETON’s three children were portrayed.
There are no plans for the series to be shopped elsewhere.
PAUL REISER has joined the cast of Hulu’s upcoming comedy series about a reboot of a 1990s sitcom, appropriately named “Reboot.”
Reiser will play Gordon, the creator of the late-90’s sitcom “Step Right Up,” who never understood the obsession with “Seinfeld” and “Frasier.”
THE DAILY KARDASHOPUS
CAITLYN JENNER has launched a team in a single-seater motor racing championship for female drivers.
The former Olympian started the Jenner Racing team in the W series for the 2022 season.
She oversees that day-to-day running of the team, including the driver lineup and landing sponsors, an insider told AP Sports.
The W series opens in May in Miami.
WORTH NOTING: Jenner is no stranger to racing. She made her debut as a professional racer at the 24 Hours of Daytona race in 1980 as a member of Jim Busby’s team. She then went on to compete professionally as a factory driver for Ford Motor Company and Jack Roush, for the next six years — making a total of 57 starts.
PETE DAVIDSON is back on Instagram.
His new profile, featuring the blue check mark so followers know it is authentic, went live Wednesday.
This will be the fourth time he has rejoined the app since ditching social media in 2018.
WORTH NOTING: At the time of reporting Pete was not following anyone — including his girlfriend KIM KARDASHIAN or current nemesis KANYE WEST.
WE’LL NEVER BE ROYALS
The Telegraph reported Wednesday that the amount of the settlement between PRINCE ANDREW and accuser VIRGINIA GIUFFRE is upwards of $16 million.
The sum reportedly includes funds from QUEEN ELIZABETH’s private Duchy Lancaster estate, according to the outlet.
When asked about the settlement, Buckingham Palace refused to discuss Andrew’s legal affairs.
WORTH NOTING: An insider told The Telegraph that despite the lawsuit being settled, Andrew will not be given back his military affiliations and patronages. He will likely retain his title as Duke of York and keep his place in line to the throne.
Now that PRINCE ANDREW’s legal drama has been settled, an investigation in PRINCE CHARLES has begun.
Multiple outlets report that London police have launched an investigation into allegations that a long-time aide of Charles helped secure the prince’s support for a Saudi citizen to receive a knighthood and British citizenship in return for donations of as much as $2 million.
Clarence House issued a statement on the matter saying “there is no evidence to back up the claims.”
The city of Los Angeles celebrated its Super Bowl winning team with a parade on Wednesday.
Thousands of fans lined the one-mine route in Exposition Park to cheer on QB MATTHEW STAFFORD and his L.A. Rams.
The victory is the city’s third professional sports title since 2020, but parades for the previous two winners — the Dodgers and Lakers — were canceled because of the pandemic.
DAY OF THE YEAR
National Random Acts of Kindness Day
National Cabbage Day
ON THIS DATE
1782 – The French and British Navy begin a 14-month war in the Indian Ocean.
The conflict was born from the American Revolution, in which the French very clearly allied themselves with the Americans.
The weeks and weeks of fighting showcased the French Navy, which was able to keep the historically powerful British Navy at bay.
1801 – Thomas Jefferson is elected President.
It marked a transfer of power from John Adams and the Federalists to Jefferson's Democratic-Republicans.
Aaron Burr would be his Vice President; this was at a time when the Vice President was the man with the second-most votes.
Jefferson's victory was credited greatly to Alexander Hamilton, who persuaded his political allies that Jefferson would be closer in line to their politics than Burr.
1915 – A German zeppelin crashes in the North Sea after flying through a torrential snowstorm.
It was returning from a scouting mission off the Norwegian coast for Allied merchant vessels.
11 crew members were rescued by the Danish coast guard. The other four were missing and their bodies never recovered.
1966 – The Beach Boys begin recording "Good Vibrations."
"Begin" is the operative word.
It took six months, four studios, and $50,000 of Brian Wilson's own money to perfect the three-minute-thirty-nine-second hit.
The final, successful cut is pieced together from more than 90 hours of tape.
1972 – Volkswagen produces its 15,007,034th Beetle, making it the best-selling car in history.
The title had been held by the Ford Model T, which was made from 1908 to 1927.
The Beetle was a Nazi invention, when Hitler tried to get simple automobiles in the hands of the masses. It was designed by Ferdinand Porsche, of sportscar fame.
After the war it went into full-scale production in Germany, and later in the Americas.
2011 – The Arab Spring begins in earnest, when reports of uprising and revolt in Libya begin to hit the American airwaves.
The revolt would eventually lead to the overthrow of dictator Moammar Qaddafi, who was later captured and executed.
2013 – Cleanup efforts begin in Russia to fix damage caused by a meteor that exploded over the Ural Mountains.
Most of the damage was contained to Chelyabinsk, where buildings suffered broken windows and required minor repairs from debris impact.
A large hole was found in a frozen-over lake, but no fragments of the meteor were initially recovered.
Eventually small fragments were recovered across the city, and there is now a fairly robust market to buy and sell them.
2020 - Amazon’s Jeff Bezos pledges $10 billion to help fight climate change, which he calls “the biggest threat to our planet.”
He said the funds will go toward the creation of the Bezos Earth Fund.
Cameron Seely - actress, “The Greatest Showman” - 15
Sasha Pieterse - actress,” Pretty Little Liars” - 26
Meaghan Jette Martin - actress, “Camp Rock” - 30
Ed Sheeran - pop singer - 31
Bonnie Wright - actress, “Harry Potter” - 31
Chord Overstreet - actor, “GLEE” - 33
Paris Hilton - reality star - 41
Joseph Gordon-Levitt - actor, “Snowden” & “Inception” - 41
Jason Ritter - actor, “Parenthood” - 42
Billie Joe Armstrong - rock singer, Green Day - 50
Denise Richards - actress, “Wild Things” & “Starship Troopers” - 51
Dominic Purcell - actor, “Prison Break” - 52
Michael Bay - director - 57
Larry the Cable Guy - comedian - 59
Michael Jordan - basketball player - 59
Jim Brown - football player - 86
Born On This Date
Jose Jose - world music singer - 1948 (d. 2019)
Vicente Fernandez - world music singer - 1940 (d. 2021)
Mary Ann Mobley - actress “Diff'rent Strokes” - 1939 (d. 2014)
Thomas J. Watson, Sr. - Chairman and CEO of IBM - 1874 (d. 1956)