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12/2/2022: Rat Czar
PLUS: Let Them Eat Lobster!; Rolling Stones Coin; and Kanye Has Lost His Mind
Today is Friday, December 2, 2022.
It is the 336th day of the year.
29 days remain.
Kanye and Alex Jones were trending synonymously after a bizarre conversation on Infowars. More in Kardashopus.
#IndianaJones landed in Twitter’s Top 10 Trends Thursday after a new trailer for the film dropped at Brazil Comic Con. The movie hits theaters in June 2023.
Former NFL player Antonio Brown was trending after a warrant for his arrest was issued yesterday. More on the situation in Cellblock.
After doubling down on punishing protestors earlier this week, the Chinese Communist Party has signaled it will ease some pandemic restrictions, Reuters reports.
The official party line of course doesn’t mention the protests as the rationale, but says the varied strains are becoming less infectious and dangerous – a point much of the world accepted two years ago.
Currently, anyone who tests positive and their close contacts are taken away to quarantine camps – still! – but a change would allow them to isolate at home.
Earlier this week, ELON MUSK looked poised to drag Apple into a public war over its fees charged to apps and threats to delete Twitter from its App store.
Now, Musk says he and Apple CEO TIM COOK have smoothed it out. In a tweet, Musk shared a video from Apple’s campus and wrote in part, “we resolved the misunderstanding about Twitter potentially being removed from the App Store. Tim was clear that Apple never considered doing so.”
Bankruptcy filings in the FTX case reveal more details about the mismanagement of corporate funds. In one instance, disgraced crypto zillionaire and Democrat megadonor SAM BANKMAN-FRIED got an unsecured $1 billion loan from the company. Where that went is anyone’s guess – he’s said on a few occasions in recent days that he only has about $100,000 left, and all his assets were reinvested in the company.
WORTH ASKING: How does an unsecured $1 billion loan from the company constitute reinvesting in the company?
One assistant police chief in Beverly Hills took home $716,284 last year, making him the highest-paid municipal employee in all of California.
Marc Coopwood earned a base salary of more than $208,000, and took the rest as a lump-sum payout for unused time off in addition to a whole additional year’s salary and benefits. He accumulated the time off over the span of 22 years at the Sacramento Police Department.
SPEAKING OF CIVIC DUTY: New York City is hiring a Director of Rodent Mitigation.
The officer will be tasked with alleviating the city’s growing rat infestation. That job has a salary range between $70,000 and $120,000 a year.
A group of students, parents, and school staff who survived the Uvalde school shooting earlier this year have filed a $27 billion lawsuit against responding officers and other municipal officials, claiming severe trauma during the long wait for police to stop the gunman.
Ultimately 21 people were killed.
No official comment yet from the named defendants.
BY THE NUMBERS
📈 The Dow lost 194 points (0.56%) to close at 34,395 on Thursday. The S&P lost 3 points (.087%) to close at 4,076 and the Nasdaq added 14 points (0.13%) to close at 11,482.
🛢 West Texas Intermediate ticked up to $81; Brent Crude to $87.
⛽ The national average price of a gallon of gas was $3.47 on Thursday.
₿ Bitcoin had an evening selloff, losing more than $200 and trading under $17,000.
🛩 There were 3,609 flights delayed within, into, or out of the United States on Thursday and 260 such cancellations.
New to Amazon Prime:
Your Christmas or Mine? (Rotten Tomatoes Score: No Score)
New to Disney+:
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules (No Score)
The Territory (Score: 97%)
New to HBO Max:
Hank Zipzer’s Christmas Catastrophe (No Score)
New to Hulu:
Darby and the Dead (No Score)
American Carnage (Score: 58%)
Gone in the Night (Score: 47%)
New to Netflix:
Lady Chatterley’s Lover (Score: 88%)
Scrooge: A Christmas Carol (Score: 50%)
Warriors of Future (No Score)
Actor FRANK VALLELONGA JR has died.
The NYPD told TMZ that his body was found on a street in the Bronx early Monday. A cause of death will be determined after an autopsy is conducted.
A spokesperson for the department said a suspect has been charged with dumping Frank’s body.
He was 60.
BRAD WILLIAM HENKE, who appeared in “Orange Is the New Black,” has died.
The former NFL player-turned-actor passed away in his sleep on Tuesday, according to his family. The cause of death is unknown.
He was 56.
DAVID ROBINSON, who worked alongside Dog the Bounty Hunter, has died.
According to his wife, he passed away after suffering some sort of medical emergency while on a Zoom call Wednesday.
Sources close to the bounty hunter told TMZ that they believe he suffered a stroke or possible heart attack, though an official cause of death has yet to be determined.
He was 50.
President JOE BIDEN ordered that lobster be served for the state dinner featuring French President EMMANUEL MACRON last night.
One of Maine’s representatives – Democrat JARED GOLDEN – takes issue with that. On Twitter, he lambasted the Biden White House for imposing complicated rules that Golden says is “currently regulating [lobstermen] out of business.”
ALSO WORTH NOTING: Amid tight inflation and smaller paychecks, could Biden have picked any dish more tone deaf than lobster for a State Dinner?
Another forthcoming book suggests the 2024 primary contest for the Republican presidential nomination will be a clown car of candidates, just like in 2016. Now it’s Florida Senator MARCO RUBIO with a book due next summer, called “Decades of Decadence.” His last book preceded his presidential candidacy announcement in the summer of 2015.
BUT WAIT: Rubio’s national political apparatus has been pretty quiet since he bowed out of the 2016 contest, and some insiders tell The Hill Rubio isn’t moving full steam ahead, but is putting the pieces in place to announce a run if he sees a golden opportunity.
WORTH NOTING: That lane could be the unlikely scenario that a RON DESANTIS candidacy explodes onto the scene but ultimately fizzles.
WORTH REMEMBERING: Former Wisconsin governor SCOTT WALKER was an early favorite for the Republican nomination in 2016 – until DONALD TRUMP bludgeoned the rest of the field slowly to death… rhetorically, of course.
Remember when former President DONALD TRUMP was accused of using the IRS to target FBI chiefs JAMES COMEY and ANDREW MCCABE with extensive audits while they were investigating him for the Russian collusion hoax?
Trump did no such thing, says the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, whose assessment concludes Comey and McCabe were selected at random though an IRS computer program.
WORTH NOTING: Doesn’t matter. The news cycle that Trump sicced his goons on political enemies ate up multiple news cycles. That it was all a lie won’t make a moment of airtime.
No winner for Tuesday night’s Mega Millions drawing. Tonight’s drawing will be for a $333 million jackpot or a $172.3 million cash payout.
No winner for Wednesday night’s Powerball drawing. Saturday night’s drawing will be for a $81 million jackpot or a $42.1 million cash payout.
BRITTANY ALDEAN, wife of country star JASON ALDEAN, made it known this week where she stands on the drama surrounding Balenciaga.
She shared a photo on Instagram of her hauling out two garbage bags filled with Balenciaga clothing items. She captioned it “It’s trash day @balaenciaga.”
“Good Morning America” made no mention of co-anchors AMY ROBACH and TJ HOLMES’ affair Thursday, one day after the scandal broke.
ROBIN ROBERTS, GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS and WHIT JOHNSON reported the news as usual, discussing the FTX scandal and French President EMMANUEL MACRON’s visit to the White House.
MEANWHILE: Robach’s husband, actor ANDREW SHUE, whom she separated from in August, has erased her from all of his social media accounts. Insiders claim the two will now officially divorce. Holmes, who is also married, split from his wife in August, as well. No word on where their relationship stands now.
NO CRIME: As for the show, network sources say the two “did nothing to warrant punishment” and “neither will suffer any consequences.” The pair were on hand to co-host “GMA3” one day after news of their affair broke.
SIMON COWELL posted and quickly removed a video on Twitter Thursday after trolls came for him over his appearance.
In the clip, the 63-year-old encouraged people to audition for his show “Britain’s Got Talent.”
Those who viewed the video before it was removed couldn’t help but notice Cowell’s shiny face, blindingly white teeth and enhanced features. One user compared him to a “Madame Tussauds waxwork.”
WORTH REMEMBERING: It was just months ago that Cowell declared he was done with Botox.
LINDSAY LOHAN wore a female-version of Santa’s suit in two new holiday ads for Pepsi that dropped yesterday.
The look gave many deja-vu, bringing them back to her performance of “Jingle Bell Rock” in the 2004 flick “Mean Girls.”
The ads play up the current TikTok trend of a “dirty soda,” a combo of milk and soda, which Pepsi is calling “Pilk.”
Britain’s Royal Mint is honoring the ROLLING STONES’ 60th anniversary by putting them on a new collectible coin.
The “Made to Rock” 5 pound coin features a silhouette image of the band performing and the band’s name in the Mint’s 1973 classic font, according to the Associated Press.
Other artists who have been honored with coins include QUEEN, ELTON JOHN, DAVID BOWIE and THE WHO.
JAY-Z is in a legal war with Bacardi as he tries to convince them to buy him out of their equal partnership in the luxury cognac line D’Usse.
Court documents show that Jay was initially wanting to buy them out of the deal last December, offering them $1.5 billion, which the company refused.
He now has asked the court to help mediate the situation.
NEW EDITION is reuniting for a new world tour.
The band from the 80s -- made up of BOBBY BROWN, RALPH TRESVANT, RONNIE DEVOE, MIKE BIVINS, RICKY BELL and JOHNNY GILL -- are slated to begin touring in March 2023.
Exact dates and locations have yet to be revealed.
Former porn star BONNIE ROTTEN, 29, is calling out her husband, TV personality JESSE JAMES, 53, for allegedly cheating on her.
Rotten, who is pregnant with the couple’s child, posted about the situation on her Instagram stories.
In the since deleted post, she also claimed that people tried to warn her about James, adding “I should’ve known better you’re all right.”
James responded on his own Instagram page, writing “Jeeeezzzz my private life suuuure is interesting…Tried and Convicted just like that…No smoking gun, No salacious texts, No other woman coming forward???”
WORTH REMEMBERING: James has a history of cheating. He was unfaithful during his marriage to actress SANDRA BULLOCK.
While promoting “Avatar: The Way of Water,” star of the franchise SAM WORTHINGTON revealed that “Avatar 3” is nearly finished.
Appearing on “The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon” to promote the upcoming sequel, Worthington shared that the third film is “about 80%-90% done.”
He also said that some scenes have already been shot for the fourth installment and a fifth film is “in the works.”
“Avatar 3” is currently slated for release on December 20, 2024, with the fourth film tentatively slated for December 18, 2026
“Avatar: The Way of Water” hits theaters December 16.
Season 3 of “The Mandalorian” will premiere on Disney+ in March 2023.
The series will pick up right where the spinoff series “Book of Boba Fett” concluded.
CHRISTOPHER LLOYD joins the show for the upcoming season.
An arrest warrant was issued Thursday for former NFL player ANTONIO BROWN over accusations that he threw a shoe at his ex-fiance, who is also the mother of his four children.
Several outlets reported throughout the day yesterday that a standoff between officers and Brown was occurring at his Tampa, Florida home. Meanwhile, on Twitter “insiders” claimed that there was no standoff and Brown was not at the home in question.
As of last night, he had still not been taken into custody.
He faces a misdemeanor charge of battery, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
THE DAILY KARDASHOPUS
Kanye West – who now goes by YE – left no doubt about his antisemitism on Thursday, when he said on a podcast he actually sees good things about Hitler and the Nazis did a lot of good things too.
IT GETS WORSE: Ye made the claims while sitting for an interview with ALEX JONES of InfoWars infamy, who had the rare experience of being the stable one in the room.
West wore a black hood that covered his whole face for the duration of the segment – leading some to wonder if the whole appearance was a bizarre parody stunt, but all signs indicate it was actually Ye being an abject racist.
SEE FOR YOURSELF:
MEANWHILE: Alternative social media site Parler said it’s ending its deal to sell to Ye.
KIM KARDASHIAN appears to have made up her mind about where she stands with Balenciaga.
TMZ reports that the reality star recently declined an offer from the fashion house and is ditching outfits she was set to wear to upcoming events.
Insiders told the outlet that Kim made the decision to reject the offer before she released a statement on the issue.
WE’LL NEVER BE ROYALS
Netflix released the first trailer for PRINCE HARRY and MEGHAN MARKLE’s documentary, “Harry & Meghan” on Thursday.
The six-episode docuseries will “shed light on the highs and lows of the couple’s love story,” according to the streamer.
It is set to premiere this month.
PRINCE WILLIAM and KATE MIDDLETON flew commercial to Boston, sitting in the second row of the First Class cabin on a British Airways flight, Boston affiliate WCVB reports.
One passenger said William looked “a lot slimmer” in person.
The US Men’s soccer team will face off against the Netherlands tomorrow in Round 16 of the World Cup.
The US is 1-2-0 and the Netherlands is 2-1-0.
LIST OF THE WEEK
If you’re planning to gift someone a trip for Christmas, here are some places to avoid, according to global security and medical specialists from the risk assessment firm International SOS.
The most “extreme risk” countries for 2023 include:
The United States falls under “low risk,” alongside Canada, China, Australis and most of Europe.
*The index looks at countries’ security levels based on political violence, social unrest, and violent petty crime, per the agency’s site.
DAY OF THE YEAR
Play Basketball Day
National Bartender Day
Faux Fur Day
National Fritters Day
National Mutt Day
ON THIS DATE
1804 – Pope Pius VII declares Napoleon Bonaparte "emperor," and he takes the name Napoleon-the-First. The Pope handed Napoleon his crown, which he put on his own head.
By 1807, Napoleon's territory would reach through Italy and across the Pyrenees. But the power was fleeting. He would ultimately be exiled to the Island of Saint Helena, where he would die in May 1821.
1845 – President Polk addresses Congress, calling for further Westward Expansion in the spirit of the Monroe Doctrine.
James Monroe, who was Polk's predecessor in the White House, argued to remove European influences in the country and surrounding territory. Both presidents were for a strong, aggressive nation responsible for its own future without the help of European superpowers.
Polk's policy agenda included acquiring California and making the southern border of the US the Rio Grande River.
Obviously, both policies were rather successful.
1961 – Fidel Castro publicly explains his support for Marxist-Leninist philosophy.
This came on the heels of his increasingly strained relations with the US, and Castro wanted the world to know just whose side he was on. While some at the time thought the dictator was just stunting so that the Soviets would support him, Castro remained a staunch communist throughout his years of control.
Castro held on to power until 2006, when his younger brother Raul took the reins of Cuba.
1997 – Man-centric chick flick “Good Will Hunting” premieres in Los Angeles.
It was the movie that shot Ben Affleck and Matt Damon to overnight stardom in Hollywood. The pair won Best Screenplay at the Oscars the following year.
Both actors had taken large roles in acting, but were not the household names they are today. Robin Williams won an Oscar for best supporting actor.
2001 – Energy giant Enron files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
The move instigated one of the largest corporate scandals to ever rock the US.
The company got in trouble for its creative -- and illegal -- accounting practices that defrauded shareholders and employees. The company's stock price dropped from $90 a share in mid-2000 to less than a dollar by December 2001.
2020 - The UK becomes the first western country to authorize a COVID-19 vaccine — the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.
The US records its largest daily death toll from COVID-19 at 2,885. Also, for the first time, the number of hospital patients with the virus exceeds 100,000.
Annalise Basso - actress, “Ouija: Origin of Evil” - 24
Mitchel Cave - rock singer, What About Tonight - 26
Kalvin Phillips - soccer player - 27
Charlie Puth - pop singer - 31
Cassie Steele - actress, “Degrassi: The Next Generation” - 33
Alfred Enoch - actor, “How to Get Away with Murder” - 34
Seann Walsh - comedian - 36
Aaron Rodgers - football player - 39
Jana Kramer - country singer - 39
Daniela Ruah - actress, “NCIS: Los Angeles” - 39
Britney Spears - pop singer - 41
Nelly Furtado - pop singer - 44
Joe Lo Truglio - actor, “Superbad” & “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” - 52
Lucy Liu - actress, “Charlie’s Angels” - 54
Born On This Date
Juice WRLD - rapper - 1998 (d. 2019)
Gianni Versace - fashion designer - 1946 (d. 1997)
Hernando Cortes - explorer - 1485 (d. 1547)
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