Discover more from Morning Martini
11/7/2023: Me Holds Are Burstin’ With Swag! 🪙
PLUS: SBF’s Assistant Dishes; “My Name Is Barbra”; and Wills Does Singapore
Today is Tuesday, November 7, 2023.
It is the 311th day of the year.
54 days remain.
WHAT’S ON TAP
A health warning for chronic weed smokers and a weird labor market shows signs of stabilizing. Details in HIT LIST.
TAYLOR SWIFT has landed another No. 1 and LEONARDO DICAPRIO’s planet-saving ways have landed him in some deep water. More in SHOWBIZ.
DR. PHIL is back and BOY GEORGE heads to Broadway. Details in CASTING CALL.
KYLIE JENNER makes an appearance in the latest “Treehouse of Horror” episode. Find out more in KARDASH.
PRINCE WILLIAM lands in Singapore. More in ROYALS.
SAM BANKMAN-FRIED’s former assistant revealed some insider details to Axios following his conviction last week.
NATALIE TIEN said that during any testimony SBF gave on the stand that he didn’t fidget and stutter through were rehearsed answers. She also shed doubt on the number of times SBF said he didn’t remember answers to very straightforward questions from the prosecution.
Despite losing an estimated half million dollars in FTX’s collapse, Tien says she doesn’t believe SBF ever acted maliciously – but though his intentions were good the fraud eventually grew out of control. [via Axios]
Two studies presented to the American Heart Association this week show that daily marijuana users are 34% more likely to develop heart failure.
The findings affected both recreational and medicinal users and found no difference between smoking and vaping. [via CNN]
After years of struggling to find workers, big companies are now dealing with employees who aren’t quitting, the Wall Street Journal reports.
BUT WAIT: Executives say that turnover rates have stabilized to pre-pandemic levels, suggesting people are ready to put their heads down and get back to work. Still, after years of uncertainty, particularly large organizations aren’t seeing the attrition they had expected in their headcounts.
Nationally, new hires decreased by half between September and October this year.
Last year, staffing company Adecco reported that 61% of Americans intended to stay in their current roles; that number is up to 73% this year. [via WSJ]
The Columbian government has announced it intends to raise a more than 300-year-old shipwreck to retrieve billions of dollars worth of treasure still on board.
The Spanish ship San Jose sunk in 1708 after its gunpowder stash exploded during a fight with the British navy. Only 11 of the 600-odd sailors survived the incident.
Eight years ago, a Columbian-funded exploratory mission found the ship and its cargo in pristine condition at a depth of just over 3,000 feet.
BUT WAIT: An American expedition company, the Spanish government, and a Bolivian indigenous group are all laying claim to the proceeds of the find. The groups are battling out who has rights to the shipwreck proceeds in court as the Colombian government carries on with its retrieval efforts. [via DailyMail]
The group that manages the prestigious Pulitzer Prize award for journalism is expanding eligibility requirements.
Previously, nominees had to have their work published by text-based news outlets, meaning broadcast networks like NBC or NPR couldn’t contend, even though their websites contain multitudes of text articles. The new rules allow for digital news operations that have robust text-based reporting in addition to broadcast platforms able to submit their reporting.
The head honcho for the Pulitzer Prize Board did caution, though, that while video submissions may be part of an entry, the awards are not for broadcast journalism. Typically, a division of the Emmys for news reporting goes to video broadcasters. [via ABC News]
Baseball player DICK DRAGO has died.
He passed away November 2 from complications following surgery. No further details were shared.
Drago pitched in the majors from 1969 to 1981 for the Royals and the Red Sox.
He was 78.
Actor PETER WHITE has died.
He passed away November 1 at his home in Los Angeles of melanoma.
White is best known for his roles on “All My Children” and “The Boys in the Band.”
He was 86.
Actor EVAN ELLINGSON has died.
He passed away Sunday at a sober-living home, according to a statement from his father, Michael, who said that while his son had struggled with drugs in the past, he was doing better as of late. No official cause of death has been shared, however.
Ellingson played CAMERON DIAZ’s son in “My Sister’s Keeper” and had a recurring role in “CSI: Miami.”
He was only 35.
Hollywood stuntman TARAJA RAMSESS has died.
He passed away in a fatal car crash -- alongside three of his children -- in Atlanta on October 31.
Ramsess worked as a stuntman on both “Black Panther” films.
He was only 41.
Former “Bachelor” host CHRIS HARRISON has tied the knot with television producer LAUREN ZIMA.
He’s 52 and she’s 35.
The two said “I do” on October 14 in Napa Valley -- and again on November 4 in Austin, Texas. The first ceremony was intimate with family and close friends, while the second was more of a “blowout bash,” at which several “Bachelor” alums were in attendance.
Harrison was previously married to GWEN HARRISON for 18 years; they share two kids.
BY THE NUMBERS
📈 The DOW was up 34 points (0.1%) to close at 34,095 on Monday. The S&P was up 7 points (0.18%) to close at 4,365 and the NASDAQ was up 40 points (0.3%) to close at 13,518.
🛢 WEST TEXAS INTERMEDIATE closed at $80; BRENT CRUDE at $85.
⛽ The national average price of a GALLON OF GAS was $3.41 on Monday.
₿ BITCOIN was mostly flat on the day, trading just under $35,000.
🛩 There were more than 2,175 FLIGHTS delayed within, into, or out of the United States on Monday and more than 60 such cancellations.
💰Tonight’s MEGA MILLIONS drawing will be for a $196 million jackpot or a $89.1 million cash payout.
TAYLOR SWIFT’s latest re-recording “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” landed the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200 albums chart.
The ranking is her 13th No. 1 on the chart, giving her the most No. 1s of any other female artist. [via Billboard]
PRISCILLA PRESLEY says she never remarried after divorcing ELVIS PRESLEY because she felt that he would not be able to “handle that.”
Even after his death in 1977, Priscilla still chose to remain unmarried because she felt that “no one could ever match [Elvis].”
Priscilla opened up about her decision during a Q&A event at South Point Casino in Las Vegas on Friday -- the same day that the film “Priscilla” hit theaters.
Priscilla previously praised the biopic, saying it was nice for people to see the ups and downs she experienced alongside Elvis during their six year marriage. [via People]
LEONARDO DICAPRIO is being sued by Global Weather Productions LLC over a video he posted on Instagram in 2019.
The company claims that Leo did not have permission to share a video showing damage caused by Hurricane Dorian on his personal page and that his sharing of the footage caused it to lose value.
Global Weather is seeking unspecified damages for the alleged copyright infringement. [via RadarOnline]
In her new memoir, “My Name is Barbra,” singer, actress and director BARBRA STREISAND says she only wanted to write about her 25-year marriage to actor JAMES BROLIN and not her “past loves and regrets,” but her editor had other thoughts.
“I didn’t want to write about any of them. But my editor said, ‘You have to leave some blood on the page!’” so she included stories of her time with several leading men, including DON JOHNSON, RYAN O’NEAL, ANDRE AGASSI and former Canadian Prime Minister PIERRE TRUDEAU.
Elsewhere in her book, which she hopes will help readers finally know her “truth,” she discusses her father’s death and the lack of affection she felt from her mother, as well as the “insult” that started her courtship with Brolin.
“My Name Is Barbra” hits shelves today. [via THR]
New music is on the way from SIR ELTON JOHN.
The 76-year-old and longtime songwriting partner BERNIE TAUPIN, who was recently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, just finished a new album.
The announcement comes just a couple of months after Taupin told People Magazine that the two would “definitely make another record.”
No word on when the new music will drop. [via People]
TONIGHT: A tribute special honoring the late MATTHEW PERRY will air tonight on VH1.
“Matthew Perry: Life and Legacy” will feature archival footage, never-before-seen interviews and anecdotes from those who knew him best. Viewers will also get a glimpse into behind-the-scenes moments from several of Perry’s film and TV projects.
Lastly there will be new interviews from Perry’s co-stars and friends who offer an insight into who he was off camera. [via ET]
JAMES CORDEN is returning to the land of interviewing celebrities with a new SiriusXM series called, “This Life of Mine with James Corden.”
The new weekly show comes six months after Cordon signed off from “The Late Late Show” on CBS.
“This Life of Mine” is scheduled to launch in 2024. [via Variety]
A “Prison Break” revival is in the works at Hulu.
The forthcoming installment is being described as a new chapter set in the “Prison Break” world that will not feature any original characters, including WENTWORTH MILLER’s character Michael Scofield and DOMINIC PURCELL’s Lincoln Burrows.
The original series debuted on FOX in 2005. It ran for four seasons, with a made-for-TV film finale, followed by a limited series. Those are all currently available to watch on Hulu. [via Deadline]
DR. PHIL is returning to TV with his own cable network called “Merit Street Media.”
In addition to the new network, the TV doc is also going to anchor his own nightly show called, “Dr. Phil Primetime.” The show will follow the same format as his longtime daytime talk show, “Dr. Phil,” which wrapped in May after 21 seasons.
“Dr. Phil Primetime” is set to premiere on February 26. [via TMZ]
BOY GEORGE is heading to Broadway.
The CULTURE CLUB singer will play Harold Zidler for a limited engagement in “Moulin Rouge! The Musical” at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre. Zidler is the owner of Moulin Rouge! Nightclub and will serve as emcee in the musical.
Boy George’s last Broadway gig was in “Taboo,” a musical about a London nightclub of the same name from the 1980s. That performance was about 20 years ago. [via Deadline]
THE DAILY KARDASHOPUS
KYLIE JENNER was featured in this year’s “Treehouse of Horror” episode on “The Simpsons.”
This year’s episode sees Bart Simpson being turned into an NFT (Non-Fungible Token) and his mom, Marge Simpson, teaming up with Jenner, ROB GRONKOWSKI and JIMMY FALLON to save him.
Fans may recall that Jenner was one of the first big names to get behind NFTs.
Reactions to Jenner’s appearance were mixed, with viewers sharing their pleasantly surprised reactions on social media, while others were wondering why showrunner MATT SELMAN would cast her.
Here’s the thing though, “The Simpsons” and Jenner’s family show, “The Kardashians,” on Hulu are all part of the Disney family. [via Yahoo Entertainment]
SPEAKING OF THE SIMPSONS: Homer will no longer strangle son Bart because “times have changed.” One of the show’s longest-running gags has officially come to an end even though the TV dad hasn’t actually done so in several years. [via IGN]
WE’LL NEVER BE ROYALS
PRINCE WILLIAM has received an enthusiastic welcome in Singapore ahead of ceremonies to present winners of the Earthshot program that rewards innovators in sustainable technologies.
NOTABLY ABSENT: PRINCESS KATE, who Wills says stayed behind to support their son PRINCE GEORGE before his first major school exams.
WORTH REMEMBERING: William and Kate formally visited Singapore over a decade ago to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of QUEEN ELIZABETH. [via DailyMail]
DAY OF THE YEAR
National Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day
National Hug A Bear Day
ON THIS DATE
1776 - Benjamin Franklin's son-in-law is handed the reins of the Post Office by Congress.
Franklin spent years developing an institutionalized communication system across the American colonies. In 1737 he was named Postmaster General.
He became the postmaster general of all colonies in 1753, before being fired in 1774 after he opened the correspondence of a British Royal governor.
Some of Franklin's innovations included overnight postal routes between New York and Philadelphia and a system of charging based on rate and distance.
Franklin gave up the post when he was assigned an ambassadorship to France.
1874 - A cartoon by Thomas Nast in Harper's Weekly depicts the Republican Party as a giant elephant. It's considered the first use of the image to symbolize the Grand Old Party.
A fox was used to portray the Democratic Party. A different cartoon by Nast in which the Democratic Party was symbolized by a donkey would solidify that image as a representation of the Left.
The red-and-blue map -- red for the GOP, blue for the Democrats -- would be commonly adopted after the 2000 presidential election.
1914 - The first issue of left-leaning The New Republic is published.
The editorial board held strong stances on domestic and foreign government intervention. In 1917, the magazine would encourage America to enter World War I with the Allies.
After the Russian Revolution, TNR was largely supportive of Soviet policies, but moved to the mainstream with the advent of the Cold War.
1944 - Franklin Delano Roosevelt is elected to his fourth term as president.
He beat out Thomas Dewey, who was governor of New York, which was the office FDR held before running for President.
Franklin was a fifth cousin to turn-of-the-century president Teddy Roosevelt.
Three months into his final term, FDR died. After his death, Congress passed term limit legislation, which limited the amount of time a president could spend in office to two terms.
1983 - A bomb detonates inside the US Capitol, near the second floor of the Senate side.
The blast took off the door of Robert Byrd’s office and shattered the glass of the republican cloakroom. Damage estimates neared $250,000. No one was injured, and no structural damage was inflicted.
The alleged perpetrators were members of the Armed Resistance Unit, who were protesting American intervention in Grenada and Lebanon.
Radical leftist Linda Evans was sentenced to 40 years for planning the attack. Bill Clinton would commute her sentence on his last day in office.
2000 - Americans go to the polls in what would become one of the closest elections in history.
George W. Bush eventually beat out Al Gore, though the former Texas governor lost the popular vote.
The victory came after the Supreme Court intervened to end vote recounts in Florida.
2020 - Four days after election day, former Vice President Joe Biden is declared the president.
He defeated incumbent President Donald Trump.
Kamala Harris makes history on this date as the first woman and first woman of color to be elected as VP.
Lorde - pop singer - 27
Algee Smith - actor, “Let It Shine” & “Euphoria” - 29
Ronen Rubinstein - actor, “Orange Is the New Black” & “Dead of Summer” - 30
David de Gea - soccer player - 33
Elsa Hosk - model - 35
Adam DeVine - actor, “Modern Family” & “Pitch Perfect” - 40
Rio Ferdinand - soccer player - 45
Coy Wire - football player & TV show host, CNN Sports - 45
David Guetta - DJ & record producer - 56
Jon Taffer - TV show host, “Bar Rescue” - 69
Joni Mitchell - folk singer - 80
Born On This Date
Billy Graham - religious leader - 1918 (d. 2018)
Marie Curie - physicist - 1867 (d. 1934)
James Cook - explorer - 1728 (d. 1779)