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12/19/2022: Is Elon Moving on From Twitter?
PLUS: More Fed Malfeasance; Another “SNL” Exit; and What a Comeback!
Today is Monday, December 19, 2022.
It is the 353rd day of the year.
12 days remain.
There will be no newsletter next week, Monday, December 26 - Friday, December 30.
Saturday was Wright Brothers Day.
#AvatarTheWayOfTheWater was trending Saturday as Twitter users raved about the movie. Head to Charts to see how it fared at the box office.
#earthquake was trending Saturday after a 4.0 magnitude quake hit El Cerrito, California.
Sunday was Bake Cookies Day.
#WorldCupFinal landed in Twitter’s Top 10 Trends on Sunday as Argentina faced off against France in the championship game. More in Sports.
Twitter users honored the first day of Hanukkah on Sunday with celebratory messages of peace and happiness. The holiday ends on Monday, December 26.
ELON MUSK might be planning to move on from Twitter sooner than later.
Late Sunday, he tweeted a poll, asking, “Should I step down as head of Twitter? I will abide by the results of this poll.”
The poll is scheduled to run until about 5:20 am Central Monday morning.
WORTH NOTING: Even if steps aside from day-to-day operations, he’ll still own the platform.
The poll came after Twitter announced a policy that forbade users from sharing links to other social media sites like Facebook or Mastodon – but notably not Chinese Communist Party-owned TikTok. Musk said about the policy, “Casually sharing occasional links is fine, but no more relentless advertising of competitors for free, which is absurd in the extreme.”
Elon fans and his detractors derided the policy, which Musk seemed to take to heart. Before tweeting the poll, he wrote, “Going forward, there will be a vote for major policy changes. My apologies. Won’t happen again.”
MEANWHILE: Spending time alone with his thoughts in a Bahamas jail has led SAM BANKMAN-FRIED to change his mind about fighting his extradition back to the U.S.
SBF is expected to tell a judge in the Bahamas later today that he will not contest his forced expulsion from the country to New York City to be formally charged.
The inevitable trial is still months, if not years, away.
Remember the enormous volcanic eruption in the Pacific Ocean earlier this year from the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano?
Analysis of the January 15 event shows the eruption sent water particles into space – the first time such an incident has been detected. Such a swift explosion of energy also triggered the largest recorded lightning storm in history – registering more than 400,000 lightning strikes at or around the volcano site the day of the eruption.
In the lobby of the Radisson Blu hotel in Berlin, Germany, stood a 50-foot tall cylindrical aquarium filled with a quarter million gallons of water and more than 1,500 fish – until the whole thing burst open Friday morning.
Two people were injured from the freak accident. No cause has yet been determined.
WORTH NOTING: Before it burst, it was the largest cylindrical aquarium in the world, as certified by Guinness.
Credit rating agency Fitch reports that car repossessions are approaching pre-pandemic levels, and that low-income consumers are already defaulting on auto loans more frequently than in 2019.
Car prices have surged in recent months as manufacturers caught up with supply chain hassles and demand soared as Americans were flush with stimulus cash. In the meantime, the average monthly car payment has increased 26% since 2019 for new vehicles – it’s now $718 a month. To make matters worse, as Americans spent stimulus cash to pay down debt, their credit ratings increased, too, helping them finance vehicles many can no longer afford.
NBC News reports that one in six car buyers are spending more than $1,000 a month to finance their vehicles.
Astronauts aboard the International Space Station spent Sunday investigating the potential cause of a leak from a Russian Soyuz capsule that was first spotted on Wednesday.
The Soyuz MS-22 began leaking coolant last week, suspending a planned spacewalk. The capsule is also supposed to be the ride home for the crew. A test of its thrusters last Friday indicated it’s still operational, but flight managers on the ground are being extra cautious.
Russia’s space agency, Roscosmos, are considering moving up a planned March launch of three replacement crew sooner, allowing those on board to come home.
BY THE NUMBERS
📈 The Dow lost 281 points (0.85%) on Friday to close at 32,920. The S&P lost 43 points (1.11%) to close at 3,852.36. The Nasdaq lost 105 points (0.97%) to close at 10,705.
🛢 West Texas Intermediate closed at $74 on Friday; Brent Crude at $79.
⛽ The national average price of a gallon of gas was $3.14 on Sunday.
₿ After a price crash on Friday, bitcoin spend the weekend under $17,000, trading around $16,800.
🛩 There were 4,445 flights delayed within, into, or out of the United States on Sunday amid winter storms, and 172 such cancellations.
Weekend Box Office
10. Empire of Light: $235k (up from 21)
9. I Heard the Bells: $309k (stayed at 9)
8. Black Adam: $500k (down from 6)
7. The Fabelmans: $750k (stayed at 7)
6. Devotion: $825k (down from 5)
5. The Menu: $1.7 million (down from 4)
4. Strange World: $2.2 million (down from 3)
3. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever: $5.4 million (down from 1)
2. Violent Night: $5.6 million (stayed at 2)
1. Avatar: The Way of Water: $134 million (new)
Songwriter SHIRLEY EIKHARD has died.
She passed away Thursday at Headwaters Health Care center in Ontario from cancer complications, Deadline reported Saturday.
She was 67.
DINO DANELLI, the drummer for The Rascals, has died.
He passed away after a battle with coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure, according to a post from his bandmate. It is unclear exactly when he died.
He was 78.
Savoy Brown frontman KIM SIMMONDS has died.
The blues singer passed away Tuesday after a battle with Stage 4 colon cancer, the band announced on Facebook.
He was 75.
Actress KATIE HOLMES, 43, and musician BOBBY WOOTEN III, 33, have split after eight months of dating.
A source told Us Weekly that the two “simply didn’t work out together for the long run.”
SHARON OSBOURNE, 70, suffered some sort of medical emergency while filming an episode of her son, JACK OSBOURNE’s show, “Night of Terror.”
Jack updated fans on his mom’s condition on Saturday night, posting a message to Instagram that she had been given the “all clear” by her doctors and was back at home resting.
As for what happened, Jack said he was going to let his mom share when she is ready.
WORTH NOTING: A source did tell The Post that it was “non-life threatening.”
Journalist MATT TAIBBI published on Friday emails between the FBI and former Twitter executives showing specific instances where the federal government demanded the platform remove the tweets and delete the accounts of people it said were spreading misinformation about the election.
When it came to obvious jokes about the election – for example, quipping that people who vote for the other party actually vote the day after election day – Twitter permanently suspended the conservative offenders while letting off the liberal ones with a warning.
Taibbi summarizes his reporting: “what most people think of as the ‘deep state’ is really a tangled collaboration of state agencies, private contractors, and (sometimes state-funded) [non-governmental organizations]. The lines become so blurred as to be meaningless.”
WORTH ASKING: Is this a de facto First Amendment violation? Well, Congress certainly never passed a law that tasked federal bureaucracies with policing Americans’ internet speech. But they did allocate funds to these agencies.
EITHER WAY: Government-funded spooks creeping on random internet profiles and asking private companies to shut down things they don’t like doesn’t sound like something that happens in a country that values free speech.
Supreme Court Justice CLARENCE THOMAS was spotted volunteering over the weekend laying wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery.
A few photos of Thomas popped up on social media during the volunteer effort – he wasn’t there for a photo op.
No winner for Friday night’s Mega Millions drawing. Tuesday night’s drawing will be for a $465 million jackpot or a $250.4 million cash payout.
No winner for Saturday night’s Powerball drawing. Tonight’s drawing will be for a $158 million jackpot or a $85 million cash payout.
STEPHEN “tWitch” BOSS left a suicide note at the motel where he killed himself last week. TMZ reports that the DJ wrote about “challenges” he faced in the past, though was not specific on what those were.
Investigators told the outlet that he took an Uber from his home to the motel and switched his phone to airplane mode so no one could contact or track him.
He was found in the bathroom by a motel staffer Tuesday morning.
FINANCIAL RUIN: There is an online rumor that tWitch and his family were in bad shape financially, which many are claiming may be why he took his own life. Sources with direct knowledge said the rumors are not true.
NICK CARTER’s bandmates are standing behind him as he faces allegations of sexual assault.
Fellow Backstreet Boy AJ MCLEAN told TMZ that everyone in the group is “standing strong” with Carter during the legal battle.
As previously reported, Shannon Ruth, who has autism and cerebral palsy, filed a suit last week, claiming Carter sexually assaulted her when she was 17. He says it never happened.
JAMIE SPEARS, is defending his decision to place his daughter, BRITNEY SPEARS, under a conservatorship.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Jamie said that he feels he “saved” his daughter’s life and career before adding that he knows not everyone will agree with him and he loves his daughter “with all [his] heart and soul.”
He also said the conservatorship allowed her to have a relationship with her two sons.
When asked if he thinks the conservatorship lasted too long, he replied, “You can answer that yourself. Just look at how things are now,” seeming to refer to her often bizarre and nude social media posts.
JANE FONDA’s cancer is in remission.
The actress announced online Thursday that she was recently told by her oncologist that after six months of chemo, she is in remission, calling it the “BEST BIRTHDAY PRESENT EVER!!!.”
Fonda revealed in September that she had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma over the summer.
MACHINE GUN KELLY shared a video over the weekend of several leeches sucking on his stomach.
It is unclear why the rapper partakes in such a bizarre practice, but it is clear that it isn’t his first time, as he referred to the bloodsuckers as his “best friends” in the clip.
JENNIFER GARNER is considering a potential career change from acting to something in the political realm.
The Sun reports that the 50-year-old has had political aspirations for years, especially after campaigning to Congress for funding for early-childhood education for underprivileged kids.
Should she decide to run, she already has the backing of several celebrity friends, including director JJ ABRAMS and his wife KATIE MCGRATH.
Before appearing on his Fox Nation interview show, TUCKER CARLSON invited MIKE TYSON to stay at his home.
Reps told Page Six that Tyson initially declined the offer because he didn’t think it proper to smoke marijuana in Carlson’s home, but that appeared to be a non-issue for the conservative talk show host.
“Tucker told him that it’s not his thing personally, but he had no problem with Mike smoking while he was there,” the source said.
MEANWHILE: During his appearance on Tucker’s show, which aired last week, Tyson spoke about opponents he faced in the boxing ring and how he “wanted to kill” them all.
CECILY STRONG is leaving “Saturday Night Live.”
The news was announced ahead of Saturday night’s episode on the show’s official Instagram page.
“Tonight we send off one of the best to ever do it. We’ll miss you, Cecily,” the post read. Fans reacted in the comments, writing how sad they are to see her go.
Strong appeared on the sketch-comedy show for 11 seasons, making her the longest-tenured female cast member in the show’s history. The spot was previously held by KATE MCKINNON.
QUENTIN TARANTINO says he originally wrote a starring role in his film “Inglourious Basterds” for ADAM SANDLER.
During an appearance on BILL MAHER’s “Club Random” podcast Tarantino revealed how Sandler’s role in “Funny People” prevented him from being in “Inglourious Basterds” as Sgt. Donny Donowitz aka “the Bear Jew,” opposite BRAD PITT. (The conflict was the two were filming at the same time.)
The role eventually went to ELI ROTH.
A third installment of “Mamma Mia!” may be in the works.
Director OL PARKER told the Screen Rant that the story was always “intended to be a trilogy” and hinted that a plan is in place for a third film.
2008’s “Mamma Mia!” grossed over $600 million globally while the 2018 sequel “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again!” raked in over $400 million.
THE DAILY KARDASHOPUS
MASON DISICK celebrated his Bar Mitzvah on Saturday.
After turning 13 on December 14, the son of KOURTNEY KARDASHIAN and SCOTT DISICK, is now considered a man…at least in the Jewish community.
Scott and Kourt hosted a party at Offsunset in Los Angeles to celebrate their eldest child. All of the Kardashians were in attendance, minus Kourt’s husband TRAVIS BARKER.
WE’LL NEVER BE ROYALS
The Times reports that in his forthcoming book, “Spare,” PRINCE HARRY reveals that the first time he had sex was with a “beautiful older woman” in the “countryside.”
While he doesn’t name any names or share any other details, rumors are swirling that it was actress ELIZABETH HURLEY.
According to the publication, the idea isn’t totally crazy. Hurley reportedly owned a farmhouse in Gloucestershire, which is between London and Birmingham, from 2002 to 2015. She spoke often of the home in interviews, sharing how fun it was to “bang on a rug by the fireplace.”
Harry would have been 18 in 2002; so there is some overlap there.
But, Hurley addressed the rumors, saying, “Not me. Not guilty. Ha!”
MEGHAN MARKLE and PRINCE HARRY released their 2022 holiday card on Friday.
“Wishing you a joyful holiday season,” the card reads, alongside two photos of the couple.
Noticeably absent are their two kids, ARCHIE, 3, and LILIBET, 1.
WORTH REMEMBERING: Last year the couple used their card to share the first images of their daughter with the public.
The high road has apparently not run out of real estate for KING CHARLES.
Royal insiders told the Daily Mail on Friday that he will “extend an olive branch” to PRINCE HARRY and MEGHAN MARKLE and invite them to his coronation on May 6.
“Harry is his son and His Majesty will always love him,” the insider added.
The Minnesota Vikings earned the biggest comeback in NFL history on Saturday, ultimately beating the Indianapolis Colts 39-36. The Vikings were shut out in the first half and trailed by 33 points. By the end of regulation, they tied up the score, and won with a Field Goal in overtime.
AND THEN: On Sunday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers gave up a 17-0 lead over the Cincinnati Bengals just before halftime, before giving up a field goal.
In the second half, the Bengals scored 17 unanswered points, before ultimately winning, 34-23.
BY THE WAY: As noted by Jim Nantz during the game, TOM BRADY-led teams had been 89-0 when up by 17 points in a game.
HERE’S SOME OTHER BIGGEST SCORE-DEFICIT COMEBACKS BY SPORT:
IN THE MLB: Multiple teams over the years have logged 12-run comebacks.
IN THE NBA: In 1996, the Utah Jazz beat the Denver Nuggets 107-103 despite trailing at one point by 36 points.
IN THE NHL: In 1983, the Buffalo Sabres beat the Boston Sabres 7-6, after trailing 1-6 with 14:03 left in the second period.
IN YACHT RACING: In the 2013 America’s Cup, Oracle Team USA at one point trailed Emirates Team New Zealand, 1 race to 8. Oracle Team USA won its next 8 consecutive races to win.
Superstar LIONEL MESSI and his Argentinian teammates are the 2022 World Cup Champions after beating the defending World Cup Champs France on Sunday.
In penalties, Argentina beat France 4-2 (4-3 in the game overall) to take home the win.
It was Messi’s fifth World Cup and first win. He is also, now, the first player to ever score in every knockout round game in the men’s World Cup.
The last time Argentina won was in 1986.
The next men’s World Cup will take place in 2026, while the women’s World Cup kicks off next July in Australia.
DAY OF THE YEAR
National Hard Candy Day
National Emo Day
National Oatmeal Muffin Day
Look For An Evergreen Day
ON THIS DATE
1776 – Thinker of the American Revolution Thomas Paine publishes "American Crisis."
It was a long-form essay that first appeared in the Pennsylvania Journal.
The writing was meant to encourage General Washington's embattled troops, who had recently suffered significant defeats against the British Army near New York. Paine believed good morale would be essential for an American victory in the revolution.
1917 – The National Hockey League begins play.
Five franchises debut in the first season. Two from Montreal and the others from Quebec, Toronto, and Montreal.
The winners in the first game of play both came from Montreal: the Canadiens and the Wanderers.
1972 – The last men to walk on the moon splash down in the Pacific Ocean.
It ended Apollo 17's 10-day mission.
The end of the mission culminated three years of aggressive exploration of the moon.
Gene Cernan and Harrison H. Schmitt spent 75 hours on the surface of the moon—a record for all the Apollo missions. They collected 243 pounds of rock and soil samples.
It was not the end of Apollo, however. The final mission would be in July 1975, when an Apollo rocket rendezvoused with a Soviet Soyuz 19 spacecraft in orbit around the earth.
1986 – A man who parachuted into Game 6 of the 1986 World Series is sentenced to 100 hours of community service and is slapped with a $500 fine.
Michael Sergio was a lifelong Mets fan, who skydived into Shea Stadium earlier that year carrying a "Let's Go Mets" banner.
Sergio pled guilty to a trespass charge in exchange for prosecutors dropping a reckless endangerment charge.
But it didn't end there: Sergio would not tattle on the pilot who helped him make the drop, and was sentenced to six months in federal jail for contempt.
1998 – The House of Representatives charges sitting President Bill Clinton with lying under oath to a federal grand jury and obstructing justice.
The charges make Clinton the second President to be impeached, after Andrew Johnson.
He was accused of lying about an affair he had with 21-year-old White House intern Monica Lewinsky beginning in 1995.
If you ask Clinton, he "never had sexual relations with that woman."
2005 – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad outlaws all western music played on state-controlled TV and radio.
The likes of Elvis, Ice-T, and Britney Spears were deemed inappropriate for Iranian culture.
It was similar to Ahmadinejad's ban on any advertisements featuring David Beckham in 2003—odd and arbitrary.
Makayla Lysiak - actress, “The Fosters” & “Instant Mom” - 19
Joe Blanco - actor, “Violetta” - 31
Jenelle Evans - reality star, “Teen Mom” - 31
Alexis Sanchez - soccer player - 34
Spoken Reasons - comedian - 34
Marla Sokoloff - actress, “The Practice” & “Fuller House” - 42
Jake Gyllenhaal - actor, “Brokeback Mountain” & “Zodiac” - 42
Alyssa Milano - actress, “Who's the Boss?” & “Charmed” - 50
Rosa Blasi - actress, “General Hospital” & “The Thundermans” - 50
Criss Angel - magician - 55
Jennifer Beals - actress, “Flashdance” & “Full Out” - 59
Born On This Date
Reggie White - football player - 1961 (d. 2004)
Doug Harvey - hockey player - 1924 (d. 1989)
Edwin Stanton - US Secretary of War (Civil War) - 1814 (d. 1869)
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