9/14/2022: DOJ Voting Plan Blackout
PLUS: Meg Undercover; Britney “fat shames”; and Kim’s Sex Tape Returns!
Today is Wednesday, September 14, 2022.
It is the 257th day of the year.
108 days remain.
#BestExcusesToComeLateForWork was trending Tuesday. Tweets included, “Traffic,” “Family emergency,” “the cat refused to get off my lap,” “the line at Starbucks was really long” and “In another timeline I was actually early.”
Ken Starr landed in Twitter’s Top 10 Trends after news of his death surfaced. More in Deaths.
#TheBachelorette was trending last night as the Finale Event of the reality dating show aired on ABC.
LONDON BRIDGE IS DOWN
UK Prime Minister LIZ TRUSS and a military honor guard welcomed the Queen’s coffin as it arrived at Royal Air Force base Northolt Tuesday.
Crowds lined the path from the base to Buckingham Palace, where the immediate royal family was on hand to welcome the hearse.
Today, a horse-drawn carriage will take the coffin to lie in state at Westminster Hall ahead of her funeral on Monday.
Twitter shareholders have formally approved ELON MUSK’s buyout bid, which a court will now decide whether or not to enforce after Musk wanted to back out of the deal, citing Twitter’s insufficient data about the number of fake accounts on its platform.
The formal approval sets the buyout at $54.20 per share, well below the $41 per share Twitter gets on the open market.
A recent whistleblower accusation from within Twitter could imperil the deal to Musk’s favor. PEITER ZATKO was let go as Twitter’s head of security in late June, when he received a $7.75 million severance payout.
Terms of Musk’s deal stipulate that no employee receive severance payments inconsistent with the ordinary course of business.
A man in Australia has died in what appears to be the first fatal kangaroo attack in nearly a century.
The kangaroo had been reportedly kept as a pet in a private home. Authorities arrived on the scene but the ornery kangaroo was preventing them from reaching the victim, who had apparently called for help.
The 77-year-old man’s death at the hands of a kangaroo is the first since 1936.
WORTH NOTING: There are more than 40 million kangaroos in Australia.
NASA has pushed the launch date of the first Artemis mission back another 4 days, from September 23 to September 27.
Tests of the fuel system have been extended, in order to stop the same errors from scrapping the launch. On the day, the launch window is only 70 minutes, nearly half of the two-hour time window from earlier this month.
Starbucks has big plans for its expansion into China.
During its biannual investor day, interim CEO HOWARD SCHULTZ said they plan to open 9,000 stores by 2025 – on top of the 5,200 already open -- that’s a pace of one new store every nine hours for the next three years.
BY THE NUMBERS
📈 Stocks had one of their worst days in two years Tuesday. The Dow lost 1,276 points (3.94%) to close at 31,104. The S&P lost 177 points (4.32%) to close at 3,932 and the Nasdaq lost 632 points (5.16%) to close at 11,633.
🛢 West Texas Intermediate was trading at $87.52 Tuesday. Brent Crude settled at $93.17.
⛽ The national average price of a gallon of gas was $3.70 on Tuesday.
₿ Bitcoin lost more than $2000 on Tuesday, trading around $20,200, having lost nearly 10% of its value in a day of trading.
🛩 There were 1,915 flights delayed within, into, or out of the United States on Tuesday, and 155 such cancellations.
Top 5 Fiction & Nonfiction Books Currently on the New York Times Best Sellers List:
“It Ends With Us,” Colleen Hoover
“Verity,” Colleen Hoover
“The Ink Black Heart,” Robert Galbraith (a.k.a. JK ROWLING)
“Where The Crawdads Sing,” Delia Owens
“Carrie Soto Is Back,” Taylor Jenkins Reid
“I’m Glad My Mom Died,” Jennette McCurdy
“The Body Keeps The Score,” Bessel van der Kolk
“Breaking History,” Jared Kushner
“Crying In H Mart,” Michelle Zauner
“Diana, William, and Harry,” James Patterson and Chris Mooney
KEN STARR has died.
The prosecutor, made famous for leading the investigation that led to former President BILL CLINTON’s impeachment, passed away Tuesday at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center in Houston, Texas. According to his family, he died as a result of complications from a recent surgical procedure.
He was 76.
Singer MICHELLE BRANCH and Black Keys drummer PATRICK CARNEY are calling off their divorce…for now.
According to new legal documents, obtained by TMZ, the couple have decided to press pause on their split for at least six months, as they try to work on their marriage.
Branch filed for divorce last month following her arrest for domestic assault, which came after allegations of infidelity on Carney’s part.
Early in his administration, President JOE BIDEN signed an Executive Order to bolster voter registration and turnout, especially in minority communities.
WORTH REMEMBERING: The “Voting Rights Act” that would’ve federalized election procedures failed to materialize in the deeply divided Congress, so President Unity turned to the next best thing.
Now, the Department of Justice has created a strategic plan to implement this executive order, having consulted with left-wing groups like the ACLU and Southern Poverty Law Center.
WORTH ASKING: What’s in the strategic plan?
The DOJ won’t say. In response to freedom of information act requests, the Department of Justice released just a handful of emails that were heavily redacted.
WORTH ASKING: Why?
IN OTHER WORDS: The federal government is going to force people to raise a bunch of questions about election integrity and label anyone who asks those questions as fascist, terrorist, threats to democracy.
Inflation was up 8.3% YEAR OVER YEAR (like we’ve measured inflation since modern economics textbooks were invented) in August.
Even adjusting food and energy prices – which are routinely up in the double-digits — inflation was up 6.3%.
AND YET: President JOE BIDEN publicly celebrated passage of the incorrectly-named Inflation Reduction Act Tuesday with a speech.
In what would be called a “misleading Tweet” if Twitter actually cared about fairness, Biden said, “This month, prices overall were essentially flat, gas prices were down, and wages were up.”
WORTH NOTING: 1) Prices are still up – more so than they were last month. 2) Gas prices are still up more than 50% from when Biden took office. 3) Any wage gains have been drastically offset by inflation.
ALSO WORTH NOTING: Biden said this on the day stocks traded lower than his first day in office.
Can you name all three branches of the US government off the top of your head?
If so, an Annenberg Public Policy Center survey suggests you’re now in the minority of Americans, with 47% of respondents being able to name the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches. Apparently, the pandemic has made everyone a good bit dumber – just last year that number was 56%.
No winner for Monday night’s Powerball drawing. Tonight’s drawing will be for a $206 million jackpot or a $112.4 million cash payout.
LEONARDO DICAPRIO, 47, and model GIGI HADID, 27, are reportedly hanging out and “getting to know each other.”
An insider told Page Six that the two are “not dating,” but have been spending time together.
DiCaprio recently ended his 4-year relationship with model/actress CAMILA MORRONE, 25, while Hadid split from singer ZAYN MALIK, 29, whom she shares daughter Khai with, in October 2020.
WORTH NOTING: Hadid does check all of DiCaprio’s boxes when it comes to finding a significant other -- she is under the age of 30 and a model.
HOWARD STERN thinks America’s obsession with all things royal is ridiculous.
On his show this week, Stern slammed the media’s obsessive coverage of QUEEN ELIZABETH’s death, saying “It’s weird traditions and everything and I’m like, ‘Jesus, enough with the Queen! I mean, it’s America, we don’t have a Queen.’”
He continued his rant, telling co-host ROBIN QUIVERS, that since the Queen’s death news outlets have skipped over things that are actually going on here in the States.
GISELE BUNDCHEN spoke about her husband TOM BRADY’s NFL career and finding a work-life balance in her cover story for Elle magazine.
The model noted that she has told her husband her concerns regarding the “violent sport [...] over and over again” while also adding that she has begged “him to be more present” at home and with their children.
She later gave herself a pat on the back for doing a “good job” raising their three kids -- Benjamin, Vivian and Brady’s 15-year-old son Jack, whom he shares with ex BRIDGET MOYNAHAN -- while he focuses on his football career.
WORTH NOTING: The interview took place before the couple’s “epic fight” following his decision to un-retire.
It looks like the infamous Team CHRISTINA AGUILERA or Team BRITNEY SPEARS debate may make a comeback after the former unfollowed the latter on social media.
On Monday, Brit posted an image with the quote, “I found there was only one way to look thin: hang out with fat people.”
In the caption, she said in part, “I mean if I had Christina Aguilera’s dancers I would have looked extremely small.” She went on to say she had no input about how to live her life, including who was on stage with her, and concluded the post with, “I will be here talking bout things people NEVER talked about” with three eyeroll emojis.
Some critics have accused Spears of fat-shaming in the post. PARIS HILTON also apparently unfollowed Britney on Instagram after the post.
SPEAKING OF BRIT: Her ex-husband -- the one who tried to interrupt her wedding to SAM ASGHARI -- is possibly on the run. TMZ reports that JASON ALEXANDER is wanted by authorities after missing a court date this week. The appearance was for two counts of grand theft and buying/receiving stolen property that he faces.
GLENN CLOSE was forced to pull out of a scheduled appearance at the San Sebastian Film Festival, where she was supposed to serve as jury president, due to a family emergency.
Her rep shared no other details when pressed on the matter by PEOPLE magazine.
The event is set for September 16-24.
Argentinian producer MATIAS MOSTEIRIN will take over as president of the jury in Close’s absence.
WORTH NOTING: The San Sebastian Film Festival is an annual event held in the Spanish city of Donostia-San Sebastian. Founded in 1953, it was originally intended to honor Spanish films only. Films of other languages became eligible for consideration in 1955.
CLOSE CALL: The actress’ role as jury president would be to oversee the international jury as they evaluate films in the Official Selection.
CARDI B stopped by her old school, I.S. 232, in the Bronx on Tuesday morning.
During the unannounced visit, Cardi asked students about their favorite part of school, favorite teachers and gave some sound advice.
She also donated $100,000 to the school, which she wants to go toward after school programs.
BEN AFFLECK’s vows to JENNIFER LOPEZ .
“Clerks” producer KEVIN SMITH noted the length during Tuesday’s episode of “The View,” telling the ladies that, “[Affleck] is his own biggest fan, so he wrote like a 12-page speech.”
As for the rest of the ceremony, Smith called it a “fairy-tale.”
The Backstreet Boys recently appeared in a photo shoot for the Nashville Humane Association (NHA) alongside a litter of pups named after members of the boy band.
AJ MCLEAN, NICK CARTER, HOWIE DOROUGH, BRIAN LITTRELL and KEVIN RICHARDSON each held a dog from the “Backstreet Boys” litter, which NHA described as “adorable 9-10-week-old shepherd mix shelter pups.”
WORTH NOTING: The sixth pup of the litter was named Millenium in honor of the band’s 1999 studio album of the same name.
Following the big Emmy win for Apple TV’s “Ted Lasso” on Monday night, fans are hoping the show is not actually coming to an end with the upcoming third season.
When asked about the show’s future, creator and star JASON SUDEIKIS told reporters “If I knew, I wouldn’t tell you.”
WORTH REMEMBERING: In June, executive producer and co-star BRETT GOLDSTEIN told the Sunday Times that Season 3 is being written as the finale.
WORTH NOTING: Not every good, enjoyable show has to produce seasons until it runs out of ideas.
Monday Night Football stomped the 74th Primetime Emmy Awards in viewership numbers.
While the latter hit an all-time low (5.92 million viewers), more than 19.9 million football fans tuned in to watch RUSSELL WILSON and the Denver Broncos take on his former team, the Seattle Seahawks.
The game is now the fourth most-viewed NFL regular season game on ESPN. The all-time record is currently held by the October 5, 2009 matchup between the Minnesota Vikings and the Green Bay Packers. Over 21.84 million tuned in to watch the Vikings triumph in a 30-23 victory at Lambeau Field.
THE DAILY KARDASHOPUS
The sex tape saga continues.
TMZ obtained emails allegedly sent to KIM KARDASHIAN from Vivid Entertainment head honcho STEVE HIRSCH dated May 1, 2007. The email contains figures from the first month of sales of the now infamous sex tape -- which totaled more than $1.4 million.
This seemingly backs up what RAY J has been saying, that Kim was part of the tape’s release from the get-go. Ray claims that per the deal made with Vivid Entertainment, he and Kim would each get $400,000 plus 12.5% of the profits. Those figures are noted in Hirsch’s email to Kim.
BUT WAIT: Kim filed a lawsuit against Vivid a month before the tape was released. The email was sent just weeks after the suit was dropped. So the figures in the email may be referencing a settlement deal and not a pre-release contract.
WORTH NOTING: Ray says he has “hundreds” of other receipts to back up his claim.
WE’LL NEVER BE ROYALS
Some eagle-eyed critics of MEGHAN MARKLE spotted what they think may have been a secret microphone tucked under her dress while speaking with mourners at Windsor Castle over the weekend.
A photo of Meg posted to Twitter shows the outline of a small square-shaped object sitting on her waist under her dress.
In response to the speculation, an insider told Page Six the report is “baseless,” while another source called the accusation “insane” and “damaging.”
WORTH ASKING: If a recording from anything pertaining to QUEEN ELIZABETH’s death leaks -- especially on Meg’s podcast or some other project -- she would clearly be the first (and only?) suspect.
WORTH ASKING: What would Harry think?
The Dallas Cowboys are the ONLY NFL team who did not score a touchdown in Week 1.
DAY OF THE YEAR
National Eat A Hoagie Day
National Live Creative Day
National Cream Filled Donut Day
ON THIS DATE
1716 – America's first lighthouse starts illuminating the shoreline near Boston Harbor.
It's called simply "Boston Light." Before its construction, the Massachusetts Bay Colony built giant bonfires to help guide ships.
The project cost 2,400 British Pounds. At the time of its lighting, it was one of 70 lighthouses in the world.
1752 – The British Empire nixes the old Julian Calendar and adopts the Gregorian Calendar.
In the 16th century, Pope Gregory XIII tried to get the Catholic world under the Gregorian Calendar, which more accurately kept track of dates in the long-run by adding the leap year every 4 years.
Britain and her subjects were just slow on the uptake.
Though the Julian Calendar was relatively accurate, it was a little more complicated and arbitrary.
1814 – Francis Scott Key finishes a poem called "Defense of Fort McHenry," recalling the siege on the namesake fort the night before the War of 1812. It was published a week later.
In his mind, Key set the tune to John Stafford Smith's song "Anacreon in Heaven."
Today we know it as “The Star-Spangled Banner.” President Woodrow Wilson authorized the song as the National Anthem in 1916.
1848 – American businessman Alexander Stewart opens the first department store.
Housed in an extravagant building named The Marble Palace in New York, the store sold hard-to-find European clothing to women.
Though Stewart is not well-known today, his wealth rivaled that of contemporary gazillionaires like the Astors and Vanderbilts.
Much of his success came from creating and promoting a mail-order business for those who might not be able to shop in-store. He also built his own production mills for fabric, driving down the cost of his products.
1901 – Teddy Roosevelt is sworn in as the 26th President of the United States, hours after William McKinley dies from gunshot wounds received 8 days earlier.
Roosevelt had been informed of McKinley's deteriorating health the day before while on a trek up a mountain in New York. When a telegram reached him, he departed for Buffalo, the nearest major city. When he arrived, U.S. District Judge John Hazel swore him in.
Roosevelt won a landslide re-election in 1904.
1959 – Soviet rocket Luna 2 impacts the Moon. The research ship spent a day conducting tests, like the behavior of gasses in space and whether the Moon had a magnetic field.
After spending 33-and-a-half hours in flight, signals from Luna 2 abruptly stopped transmitting back to Earth, indicating to Soviet scientists that it had crashed. Unlike so many other failed Soviet experiments, this crash was on purpose. It was the first man-made object to touch another body in space.
1986 – Nancy Reagan kicks off the “Just Say No” to drugs campaign.
1994 – 34 days after Major League Baseball players declare a strike, commissioner Bud Selig cancels the rest of the season.
There would be no World Series that year, the first to be canceled since 1904. The strike also ended the Montreal Expos' best season in club history, where they were 1st in the league and 6 games ahead of the Braves. They would never recover, and eventually became the Washington Nationals in 2005.
The 1995 season was reduced to 144 games from 162 on account of the late start in April. The Braves beat the Indians 4 games to 2 to win the World Series.
2001 – A historic National Prayer Service is held at Washington National Cathedral for victims of the September 11 attacks.
A similar service is held in Canada on Parliament Hill, the largest vigil ever held in the nation’s capital.
2018 – Hurricane Florence makes landfall in North Carolina.
The storm hit as a Category 1 and weakened as it slowly moved inland.
It was the first major hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season.
Emma Kenney - actress, “Shameless” & “The Conners” - 23
Deshaun Watson - football player - 27
Jimmy Butler - basketball player - 33
Jesse James - actor, “The Amityville Horror” - 33
Muni Long - pop singer - 34
Ashley Roberts - pop singer - 41
Ron DeSantis - politician - 44
Danielle Peck - country singer - 44
Andrew Lincoln - actor, “The Walking Dead” - 49
Nas - rapper - 49
JT Money - rapper - 50
Kimberly Williams-Paisley - actress, “Father of the Bride” - 51
Jeff Loomis - guitarist, Nevermore - 51 (born in Appleton, Wisconsin)
Sam Neill - actor, “Jurassic Park” & “Dead Calm” - 75
Born On This Date
Amy Winehouse - soul singer - 1983 (d. 2011)
John Gutfreund - investment banker, King of Wall Street - 1929 (d. 2016)
Margaret Sanger - nurse (birth control proponent) & feminist - 1879 (d. 1966)
James Wilson - Founding Father - 1742 (d. 1798)
Thanks for reading Morning Martini! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support our work.