6/23/2022: Sheen Family Values
PLUS: Gas tax deep dive, Ryan Reynolds’ rabid brood, and Brad Pitt’s acting future
Today is Thursday, June 23, 2022.
It is the 174th day of the year.
191 days remain.
#ObiWan was trending ahead of the Disney+ series season finale.
Juul was trending as government regulators look to make the product illegal in the U.S.
Umbrella Academy was trending as the show launched its third season on Netflix.
In an exclusive report, the Wall Street Journal says that the FDA is getting ready to outright ban the sale of Juul e-cigarettes in the United States.
Four years ago, the FDA attacked flavored vapes for getting young people hooked on nicotine, and for the last two years, Juul has been subject to a review by regulators over its appeal to children.
IT GETS STUPIDER: On Tuesday, the White House announced plans to require cigarette manufacturers to reduce the amount of nicotine in its cigarettes.
IN OTHER WORDS: People are going to have to smoke a bunch more to get the same buzz.
WORTH NOTING: Tell me this isn’t a government operation.
WORTH ASKING: Does a kid face more long-term risk from smoking a Juul or taking puberty blockers?
Kraft is changing the name of its popular boxed Macaroni and Cheese dinner – sort of.
After 85 years, they’re formally embracing the shortened nickname, and will officially call it “Kraft Mac & Cheese” moving forward.
The new branding is set to hit store shelves in August.
SPACE RACE 2022: China has plans to bring Martian soil back to Earth before a joint NASA/European Space Agency project to do the same.
The Chinese program would launch its mission in 2028 and return samples by 2031, two years ahead of its Western counterparts’ plan. This mission wouldn’t include a rover on the Red Planet.
MEANWHILE: The NASA/ESA mission would return samples already taken by the Perseverance rover, which has been active there since February 2021.
China’s space program recently returned lunar rock samples in December 2020.
SPEAKING OF SPACE: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn are aligning spectacularly in the nighttime sky for the next week.
Most will be visible with the naked eye, but binoculars or a telescope will help, especially for Mercury, which may be harder to spot due to its proximity to the sun.
The best time to observe the phenomenon is about an hour before dawn for the next week.
The last time this happened was 1864.
A massive, 5.9 magnitude earthquake shook eastern Afghanistan late Tuesday afternoon.
At least 1,000 people are believed dead and 1,500 more injured so far.
Stocks finished mostly flat Wednesday (Dow -47.12 / .15%) (S&P -4.9 / .13%) (Nasdaq -16.22 / .15).
Brent Crude ($104.30) and West Texas Intermediate ($110.4) also tumbled.
The national average price of a gallon of gas also decreased a penny, to $4.95.
Bitcoin dipped under $20,000 again, closing at $19,915.60.
The lyric video for BEYONCE’s new “Break My Soul” track has gone gangbusters online, racking up more than 5 million Youtube views in less than 24 hours.
Wednesday was a truly tragic and bizarre day for the Baltimore Ravens.
Early Wednesday, the team announced that JAYLON FERGUSON has died.
The 26-year-old linebacker for the Ravens passed on Tuesday without explanation or cause identified, though officials do not suspect foul play.
He was 26.
In the afternoon, the team announced the passing of former Nose Tackle and TV commentator TONY SIRAGUSA. He was first drafted by the Colts in 1990, where he played for seven seasons, before joining the Ravens from 1997 - 2001.
No cause of death has been made official, but DailyMail reports he died in his sleep on Monday.
He was 55.
RUPERT MURDOCH and JERRY HALL are getting divorced, according to the New York Times. He’s 91, she’s 65.
The pair wed in March 2016. It was Murdoch’s fourth marriage and Hall’s second. She was previously married to MICK JAGGER, with whom she shares four children, but they annulled the arrangement in 1999.
Reps for the couple have not yet confirmed the split.
JOE EXOTIC is dating again from behind bars.
In 2021, he held an online contest to meet an internet boyfriend, and decided on a guy named Seth. They dated virtually for a while, then grew apart. Then Joe started hooking up with a fellow inmate, JOHN GRAHAM, but that fizzled when Graham was released from the klink.
Now Joe’s back with Seth. TMZ reports they chat through letters and phone calls.
Rapper LIL TJAY is recovering from surgery after getting shot in New Jersey, TMZ reports.
No suspects or motives have yet been identified.
North Dakota Senator KEVIN CRAMER is in the hospital after suffering a “serious” injury to his hand over the weekend while doing yard work.
In a statement, Cramer said he faces an elevated risk of infection and may consider amputation – but fully intends to return to D.C. following the Fourth of July recess.
BILL NYE married fiancee LIZA MUNDY at the Smithsonian some time last month, his reps tell PEOPLE. Mundy is a reporter and author. He’s 66, she’s 61.
On hand to photograph the day was PETE SOUZA, who was the official photographer for former President BARACK OBAMA.
President JOE BIDEN is has called on Congress to suspend the federal gas tax, The Hill reports.
The suspension would amount to an immediate 18-cents-per-gallon savings at the pump.
HERE’S WHY IT’S A BAD IDEA TO DECREASE THE PRICE OF GAS IN THE SHORT TERM: The increase in gas prices in recent months is a result of demand exceeding supply. (Cite whatever reason you want – Biden’s energy policies, pandemic supply chain and labor market hangover, Russia invading Ukraine, or whatever. But the reason prices are up is excess demand).
Any college freshman taking an economics class understands that artificially lowering the price of a good creates a shortage of that good. Arbitrarily suspending the federal gas tax will make more people want to buy gas when there’s already not enough to go around. This move is a ticket to gas lines reminiscent of the 1970s.
ALSO: Biden still blamed energy companies for marking up the cost of oil too high, and called for them to charge a price at a lower profit margin.
WORTH REMEMBERING: In a 2020 presidential debate, Biden outlined his energy policy: “Number one, no more subsidies for fossil fuel industry. No more drilling on federal lands. No more drilling, including offshore. No ability for the oil industry to continue to drill, period, ends, number one.”
WORTH NOTING: A little more than two years ago, companies that didn’t have enough money in the bank went out of business when governments ordered their immediate closures amid the pandemic. It set the precedent that the government can shut down any company at any time on any whim. More than ever, companies must protect profits to hedge against authoritarian government overreach while they remain free to do so – especially when the Commander in Chief promised to run those companies out of business.
BUT WAIT: Biden has said it’s “nonsense” that his administration is holding up oil development programs on federal lands. But just last year, the White House nixed drilling in the Alaskan Arctic Wildlife Refuge.
Former Trump adviser STEPHEN MILLER points out that “ANWR *alone* could produce up to 7 times our imports from Russia.”
MEANWHILE: Fed Chair JEROME POWELL told Congress Wednesday that more interest rate hikes in the future would be “appropriate.”
The Supreme Court will announce opinions today and tomorrow, as the nation awaits a definitive ruling on Dobbs, which will determine the fate of federal abortion law. But that decision could still come out next week, if they wait until the last possible day of their calendar.
Remember ANDREW GILLUM? He lost his bid for Governor of Florida to RON DESANTIS in 2018. In March 2020, he was busted with meth and a male escort in a Miami Beach hotel room.
Now, he’s been indicted on 21 counts in federal court, including conspiracy, wire fraud, and making false statements related to his 2018 campaign and has retained high-powered Democrat attorney MARC ELIAS.
MEANWHILE: A University of New Hampshire poll of likely GOP primary voters in the 2024 presidential election shows that DeSantis is the most popular candidate, at 39%, beating former President DONALD TRUMP, at 37%.
Last October, that same poll had Trump at 43% and DeSantis at 18%.
No winner for Tuesday night’s MegaMillions drawing. Friday’s jackpot is for $312 million, or a $173.6 million payout.
No winner for Monday’s Powerball. Last night’s drawing was for $312 million, or a $175.1 million payout.
BRAD PITT says he’s nearing retirement from acting.
He tells GQ, “I consider myself on my last leg, this last semester or trimester.”
In addition to acting, he’s a fairly prolific producer through Plan B, his production company.
Pitt won his first acting Oscar in 2020 for “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” and took one home as a producer for 2014’s “12 Years a Slave” Best Picture win.
In a SiriusXM interview Wednesday morning, JUSSIE SMOLLETT maintained his innocence despite his conviction for lying about a hate crime.
He said that if he made up the whole thing, “I’d be a piece of [s–].” He said the jury who found him guilty, and the people who believe the jury, all believe that “someone is exactly the opposite of who they claim to be,” as if that’s never happened in showbusiness.
TRAVIS SCOTT has a new whip – a $5.5 MILLION Bugatti Veyron Chiron Super Sport.
Only 30 of the model were made in the first place, which roll off the lot for $3.5 million. But his upgrades drove up the price another $2 million.
WORTH ASKING: How does one add $2 million in upgrades to a car?
MARTIN SHEEN says he regrets changing his name for showbiz.
He tells “Closer Weekly” that all his official documents – passport, driver’s license, birth certificate – still bare the name Ramon Estévez.
“Sometimes you get persuaded when you don't have enough insight or even enough courage to stand up for what you believe in, and you pay for it later,” he said, adding that when he got his start in 1959, there was anti-Hispanic prejudice. His father was an immigrant from Spain.
Son CHARLIE SHEEN also followed suit, but Martin says he’s glad second-banana son EMILIO ESTEVEZ kept the family name.
SPEAKING OF CHARLIE: After some finger-pointing between DENISE RICHARDS and CHARLIE SHEEN over their daughter Sami’s OnlyFans account, it appears they’ve reached a truce.
In a statement, Sheen said, “"Denise has illuminated a variety of salient points, that in my haste, If overlooked and dismissed. Now more than ever, it’s essential that Sami have a united parental front to rely upon, as she embarks on this new adventure. From this moment forward, she’ll have it abundantly."
STEVEN SPIELBERG has opened up about why he didn’t direct the “Jaws” sequel.
He tells “The Express” that the first movie was just too traumatizing. Between a janky animatronic shark, challenges of shooting on the water, and his own initial belief that the shoot would ruin career, he just didn’t want to revisit it.
"I used to come out [onto the water] for a couple of years after I made the movie to get over my PTSD. I would work through my own trauma, because it was traumatic [and] would just sit in that boat alone for hours, just working through,” he said, adding that being on the water alone would make his hands and body shake.
At a panel discussion in Cannes on Tuesday, RYAN REYNOLDS opened up about his parenting style for the three kids he shares with wife BLAKE LIVELY.
“I’m a parent of three girls. They’re wild. I think they have rabies sometimes,” he joked, adding that he learns from mistakes and encourages his girls to do the same.
“Back to the Future” is headed to Broadway.
A stage adaptation will debut some time in 2023. The movie’s official Twitter account teased the project in a 15 second video posted Wednesday.
No details yet on who’s starring or where to see it.
Filming for “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3” is currently underway in Greece.
Director and star of the original NIA VARDALOS announced the development on Instagram.
No plot or cast details about the third installment yet.
A rep for BILL COSBY says that the disgraced comedian took Tuesday’s $500,000 civil judgment for rape in stride. When told he’d “only” owe half a mil to his accuser, Cosby reportedly said, “What? That’s all? Booyah!”
Cosby’s lawyers intend to appeal the verdict, so the payout for his victim will be on hold for a little while, anyway.
WORTH NOTING: Cosby likey paid more in attorneys fees.
HAILEY BIEBER is getting sued over the name of her new skincare line.
She named it “Rhode” after her middle name, but there’s already a clothing company called Rhode NYC, which accused Hailey of ripping off their name and using a logo that’s suspiciously close to their own.
Rhode NYC is asking that she rebrand the skincare line to avoid further confusion.
In April, ED SHEERAN won a years-long legal dispute that alleged he ripped off some lyrics and melody of his hit “Shape of You” from a song called “Oh Why.”
Now, the judge in that case has awarded Sheeran and his co-writers $1.1 million in attorneys fees, too.
WIZ KHALIFA has listed his Encino, California pad for just shy of $4.5 million – a million over what he paid for it three years ago. It’s got six beds and six baths, a home movie theater, pool, and spa.
GRETA GARBO’s old Manhattan pad is on the market for $7.25 million.
Though she died in 1990, the apartment still has many of the furnishings and decorations she selected.
It has three beds and three baths and views over New York’s East River. Since it was last bought in 2017, the kitchen’s been renovated, as well as dining room, some living areas, and the bathrooms. It also got a modern HVAC system.
THE DAILY KARDASHOPUS
In an appearance on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon,” KIM KARDASHIAN said that she has never sat down to watch an episode of “Saturday Night Live,” and had only seen the show once before when she was at a live taping when EDDIE MURPHY hosted.
IT GETS BETTER: She told JIMMY FALLON she didn’t know SNL was how he and WILL FERRELL first rose to fame!
WE’LL NEVER BE ROYALS
Page Six reports that Netflix is hacked off that Some Guy from Santa Barbara and his nag wife didn’t get a photo of their daughter with QUEEN ELIZABETH II.
Self-proclaimed royal expert Angela Levin says a photo of the baby with Her Majesty would’ve been “very valuable.”
Netflix has an overall deal with the PRINCE HARRY and MEGHAN MARKLE’s Archewell productions that includes documentaries, features, and children’s programming, believed to be worth north of $100 million.
So far, nothing from Archewell has gone live on Netflix, which in May scrapped plans to carry Markle’s animated series, “Pearl.” However, there’s hope for “Heart of Invictus,” a documentary series about Harry’s work with the Invictus games.
DAY OF THE YEAR
National Hydration Day
National Pecan Sandies Day
National Pink Day
Un Public Service Day
Let It Go Day
ON THIS DATE
1861 – Congress establishes the Government Printing Office by way of Congressional Joint Resolution 25.
The organization produces many of the government's official journals, including The Congressional Record, the Federal Register, and the U.S. Code.
Since the 1920s, it has also produced American passports.
1868 – Christopher Latham Sholes is granted the first of two patents for the modern typewriter.
He came up with the design while living in Milwaukee, in conjunction with Samuel W. Soule.
Other similar models had previously existed, but Sholes' design was the first marketed.
The Scientific American journal called the first model a "literary piano": it had black and white keys in two rows. There were no 0 or 1 keys, since the letters O and I were feasible substitutes.
In 1878, Sholes would patent the QWERTY keyboard used today -- arranged so that the most-used letters are most-easily typed.
1917 – Boston Red Sox pitcher Ernie Shore throws a perfect game -- almost.
Shore took the mound after one at-bat. He relieved Babe Ruth, who had gotten into an argument with the umpire, punched him, and was ejected.
Shore caught the first base runner stealing. He then retired the next 26 batters.
Though a perfect game for the reliever, the record books record Shore's stunt as a combined no-hitter.
1938 – Congress establishes the Civil Aeronautics Authority to regulate the civilian air travel industry.
It later morphed into the Civil Aeronautics Board, which heavily regulated the airline industry, including routes, fares, and taxes.
The Airline Deregulation Act heavily dismantled the Board, though some would suggest Airline Deregulation did not go far enough: the FAA still heavily impacts the economics of air travel.
1961 – The Antarctic Treaty System goes into effect.
12 countries - including the USA, UK, and USSR - had scientific bases on the continent.
The treaty provides stipulations that no military testing activity is to take place on the continent -- though military personnel and equipment may be used for peaceful purposes.
1972 – Tapes reveal that on this date Richard Nixon and his chief of staff discuss using CIA resources to cover up the Watergate investigation.
The plot would have included the CIA blocking the FBI in the false interest of national security.
The smoking gun tape was the last nail in the coffin for Nixon's impeachment trial.
He would resign three days after the tape's release, on August 8, 1974.
1980 – The “David Letterman Show” debuts on NBC.
It would only air for four months as the edgy comedy did not go over well with morning television viewers.
Two years later, Letterman’s evening show, “Late Night with David Letterman” would hit TV screens.
2003 - Barry Bonds steals second base against the LA Dodgers.
The move made him the first player in MLB history to have 500 career home runs and 500 steals.
2014 –Claude Monet’s “Water Lilies” sells at auction for $54 million.
2020 - America records its 3rd highest daily total of more than 35,000 COVID-19 cases.
Danna Paola - pop singer - 27
Billie Kay - wrestler - 33
Duffy - Welsh singer - 37
Wade Barrett - soccer player - 42
Melissa Rauch - actress, “The Big Bang Theory” - 43
Jason Mraz - pop singer - 45
Selma Blair - actress, “Legally Blonde” & “Cruel intentions” - 50
Zinedine Zidane - soccer player - 50
Francis McDormand - actress “Fargo” - 65
Randy Jackson - TV show host, “American Idol” & “America’s Best Dance Crew” - 66
Clarence Thomas - Supreme Court Justice - 74
Born On This Date
Wilma Rudolph - Olympic runner - 1940 (d. 1994)
Stuart Sutcliffe - original bassist for the Beatles - 1940 (d. 1962)
June Carter Cash - country singer & wife of Johnny - 1929 (d. 2003)
Alan Turing - British mathematician & computer science pioneer - 1912 (d. 1954)