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The Daily Beast
Oct 22, 2019

Shaq Defends Free Speech on NBA Opening Night: ‘Daryl Morey Was Right'
TNTDuring TNT's pre-game show on opening night of the NBA season Tuesday, Shaquille O'Neal strongly defended Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey, who caused an international firestorm earlier this month by tweeting a pro-Democracy message about protesters in Hong Kong.

"As American people, we do a lot of business in China," O'Neal said. "And they know and understand our values and we understand their values. And one of our best values in America is free speech. We're allowed to say what we want to say and we're allowed to speak up on injustices, and that's just how it goes."

"Daryl Morey was right," he added, definitively. "Whenever you see something going on wrong anywhere in the world, you should have the right to say that's not right, and that's what he did."

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The Daily Beast
Oct 22, 2019

Trump's Betrayal of the Kurds? U.S. Allies Will Get Over It, and Soon
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/ReutersPresident Donald J. Trump's decision to redeploy U.S. forces from the Syrian-Turkish border, if not to withdraw the majority of U.S. troops from Syria altogether, constitutes a shameful betrayal of America's Kurdish partners in the fight against ISIS and a needlessly self-inflicted wound to U.S. interests. Indeed the images of U.S. withdrawal are feeding ISIS, Iranian and Russian propaganda mills.

But among the disastrous consequences of Trump's decision summoned up by his critics, one seems hyper-inflated: the notion that deserting the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) has so shaken the confidence and trust of Washington's longtime allies and partners that they will now think carefully about relying on the U.S. for their security and cooperating with the Americans.

We don't buy it. Even the victim of America's latest perfidy - Mazloum Kobani, Commander of the SDF - recently expressed the hope (perhaps out of desperation) that the relationship with the U.S. would continue. Indeed, America's relations with its most important Middle Eastern, European, and Asian allies will survive Trump's stab in the back and almost certainly outlast his presidency.

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The Daily Beast
Oct 22, 2019

Donald Trump Mocks Black Americans by Evoking Emmett Till
Jonathan Ernst/ReutersEvery black person, whether they were born in the 1930s like my grandmother, the 1940s like my parents, the 1960s like me, or the 1990s like my eldest niece knows the story of Emmett Till. 

Emmett was 14 years old when he was kidnapped, beaten mercilessly, disfigured, lynched, and drown in the Tallahatchie River river in Mississippi in 1954 when he allegedly "wolf"-whistled at a young white woman, Carolyn Bryant Donham. In 2017, she told a historian that her allegations against Emmett were false. Emmett, who was from Chicago, had been visiting his mother's family in Mississippi that summer when he was dragged out of their home in the night. His body was found near the river bed in Glendora, Mississippi where a make-shift memorial was put up, then defaced, then put up, then defaced, then shot with bullet holes, until this past week, a new bullet-proof steel sign was put in place. 

Lynching is not a word to be used lightly: From 1882-1968, 4,743 lynchings occurred in the U.S., according to the NAACP.  Of those men, women, and children we know of who were hanged, burned alive, shot, drowned, and beaten to death, 3,446 were black. And these are just the ones we know about.

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The Daily Beast
Oct 22, 2019

Feds Charge Trump Donor Imaad Zuberi With Hiding Work as Foreign Agent
via TwitterA Los Angeles financier who donated $900,000 to President Donald Trump's inaugural committee has admitted to falsifying records to hide his work as a foreign agent while he lobbied prominent U.S. government officials, federal prosecutors announced Tuesday.

Shah Zuberi, 49, also known as "Imaad Zuberi," has agreed to plead guilty to three counts in a criminal information for allegedly making almost $1 million in illegal campaign contributions, engaging in various lobbying efforts, and evading taxes, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Central District of California. 

"Mr. Zuberi's multi-faceted scheme allowed him to line his pockets by concealing the fact that he was representing foreign clients, obtaining access for clients by making a long series of illegal contributions, and skimming money paid by his clients," United States Attorney Nick Hanna said in a press release Tuesday announcing the charges. 

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The Daily Beast
Oct 22, 2019

Donald Trump, Louis Vuitton, and the Fashion Scandal That Wasn't
Nicholas Kamm/GettyIf you like your fashion scandals with a side of pyrotechnics—see: Dolce & Gabbana fans setting fire to their designer merchandise, or tweens taking matches to James Charles eye shadow palettes—you will be sorely disappointed by the LVMH non-troversy of last week. 

After LVMH CEO and chairman Bernard Arnault accompanied Donald Trump to a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new Louis Vuitton factory in Johnson County, Texas, there would be no mass burning of logo'd satchels or luggage. Those who do not work in the brand, were the loudest in their disapproval; the actress Debra Messing, a noted nemesis of the president, tweeted against the photo op, as did celebrity stylists Karla Welch, Elizabeth Stewart, Alexandra Mandelkorn, and makeup artist Rachel Goodman. 

Shannon Coulter, founder of the #GrabYourWallet Alliance, which tracks companies profiting from the administration's policies, called for a boycott of LVMH. After The New York Times fashion critic Vanessa Friedman reported on the snafu, a few shoppers replied to her tweet promising to throw their Vuitton wallets away or return their newly-purchased handbags.



The Daily Beast
Oct 22, 2019

Trump Wanted Zelensky to Publicly Announce He Was Investigating Biden
President Trump wanted his Ukrainian counterpart to declare publicly that he was embarking on an investigation into Hunter Biden's work in Ukraine. 

That's according to William Taylor, America's top diplomat to Ukraine, who also told Congress on Tuesday that Ukraine's president agreed to make the announcement on CNN.

Taylor, according to a copy of his opening statement obtained by The Daily Beast, said that Trump told Gordon Sondland, his ambassador to the European Union, that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had to "clear things up and do it in public" as Ukraine waited for the U.S. to release a shipment of military aid.

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The Daily Beast
Oct 22, 2019

Trump Wanted Zelensky to Publicly Say He Was Investigating Biden
President Trump wanted his Ukrainian counterpart to declare publicly that he was embarking on an investigation into Hunter Biden's work in Ukraine. 

That's according to William Taylor, America's top diplomat to Ukraine, who also told Congress on Tuesday that Ukraine's president agreed to make the announcement on CNN.

Taylor, according to a copy of his opening statement obtained by The Daily Beast, said that Trump told Gordon Sondland, his ambassador to the European Union, that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had to "clear things up and do it in public" as Ukraine waited for the U.S. to release a shipment of military aid.

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The Daily Beast
Oct 22, 2019

Boris Loses Control as Parliament Rejects Brexit Exit Plan
REUTERSLONDON—Boris Johnson's "do or die" pledge to take Britain out of the European Union by Oct. 31 was quashed by Parliament on Tuesday night, handing the initiative to the EU to trigger a British election.

Johnson said he would call for a general election if British lawmakers refused to allow him to rush through his deal and the EU proposed a new extension of three months or more. Under a law passed in Westminster last month, Johnson is not allowed to negotiate to shorten whatever extension the EU chooses.

Rather than seek to compromise with opponents who want proper time to scrutinize the Brexit deal, Johnson responded to the 322 to 308 vote defeat on fast-tracking it by halting the passage of his deal altogether while Britain waits to see what extension the EU will grant.

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The Daily Beast
Oct 22, 2019

Royal Family at War: Harry and Meghan Source Claims They Have ‘Single-Handedly Modernized' The Monarchy
Chris Jackson/GettyThe Royal Family is now officially at war with itself, with the rival courts of Princes William and Harry engaged in an ever more vituperative war of words after Sunday night's explosive ITV documentary which aired Harry and Meghan Markle's many grievances with the press and their royal life.

In a fresh salvo fired today, a source described as being "close to" Harry and Meghan suggested to CNN that the newlyweds had "single-handedly modernized" the British royal family, and were not getting appropriate recognition or support, and were surrounded by "inexperienced and fearful" staff.

The comments make sense of the fact that for much of the past year, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have bypassed their own press officers and advisors as they have taken a series of unprecedented decisions and shifted much of their communications to Instagram.

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The Daily Beast
Oct 22, 2019

Mark Halperin Enlists Rob Porter's Ex-Wife for Rehab Interview, Angering His Victims
Disgraced journalist Mark Halperin sat down with a high-profile victim of domestic violence for an uncomfortable interview about his own past misconduct, infuriating many of the women who have accused him of workplace sexual harassment.

On Tuesday, the former NBC News political pundit published to his YouTube page a sitdown interview conducted by Jennie Willoughby, who last year accused her ex-husband Rob Porter, a former Trump White House aide, of domestic abuse.

During their chat, Halperin reiterated his apology to his former colleagues and subordinates who accused him in 2017 of groping and unwanted sexual advances during his tenure at ABC News more than a decade ago. He seemed to acknowledge the odd timing of this latest video, given the recent announcement of his new book, How to Beat Trump, and how it further shocked and dismayed his accusers.

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The Daily Beast
Oct 22, 2019

House Democrats' Campaign Arm Directly Ties its Moderate Members to Impeachment
A new mailer sent by the Democratic Party's House campaign arm directly ties some of the party's most vulnerable members to the impeachment proceedings of Donald Trump, creating the potential for political potholes for those members down the road. 

The mailer, which was obtained by The Daily Beast, pleads with donors to contribute to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to help support so called "Frontliner" members who hail from key swing districts.  

"House Democrats are courageously standing up for our democracy, our national security, and the Constitution by launching an impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump," reads the mailer. "As I write to you, every single member of the leadership and a majority of the House have stepped forward for our nation. The courage of these leaders and of our newly elected Frontliners should be an inspiration to all of us. We cannot let them down." 

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The Daily Beast
Oct 22, 2019

Lindsey Graham Stands Up for Trump: Impeachment Inquiry a ‘Lynching in Every Sense'
Erin Scott/ReutersPresident Donald Trump's shocking comparison of the ongoing impeachment inquiry against him to a "lynching" provoked widespread condemnation from congressional members of both parties on Monday—with the notable exception of Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, who told reporters on Capitol Hill that the investigation into Trump is "a lynching in every sense."

"I think it's pretty well accurate—this is a shame, this is a joke," Graham told a gaggle of reporters on Monday morning. "This is a lynching in every sense. This is un-American. I've never seen a situation in my lifetime as a lawyer where somebody's accused of a major misconduct who cannot confront the accusers, call witnesses on their behalf, and have the discussion in the light of day so the public can judge."

Trump's Monday morning tweet—in which he encouraged Republicans to "remember what they are witnessing here - a lynching"—is the latest escalation in the president's increasingly hyperbolic reactions to the impeachment inquiry, which he has called a "coup," a "scam" and, of course, a "witch hunt."

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The Daily Beast
Oct 22, 2019

Trump Cries About Impeachment ‘Lynching' as His GOP Embraces a Twisted Sense of Victimization
Donald Trump took his embrace of victimhood to a new low Tuesday morning when he equated the House impeachment inquiry with a "lynching" in a desperate plea to his base to defend him by attacking basic standards of decency. 

Comparing his political trials to the horrific history of lynching in our country — with 3,500 African Americans murdered between 1882 and 1965, according to the NAACP — was stunning, but not surprising, coming from our bigoted conspiracist in chief. 

This is the tone that Trump has set for the Republican party. As it happens, his Tweet came the same week that two other elected officials had served helpings of the same rancid red meat that you could market as Trump Steaks: 

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The Daily Beast
Oct 22, 2019

Mark Levin: ‘Hasn't Even Been a Hint of Scandal' in Trump's Presidency
Right-wing talker and Fox News host Mark Levin hilariously claimed this week that President Donald Trump, who is currently embroiled in an impeachment inquiry for allegedly pressuring a foreign leader to dig up dirt on a political rival, hasn't even had a "hint of scandal" during his time in the White House.

During a recent broadcast of his Blaze TV show, Levin—who also hosts a Fox News weekend program—took aim at Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) over the former GOP presidential nominee ramping up his criticism of Trump as the Ukraine scandal has deepened. 

With it recently being revealed that Romney had a clandestine Twitter account used for criticizing Trump's behavior, among other things, Levin took the opportunity to claim that Romney "known nothing about" the personal lives and behavior of former President Barack Obama or ex-Vice President Joe Biden "outside of what we've been told."

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The Daily Beast
Oct 22, 2019

Scouted: These Bluetooth Headphones Work With the Google Assistant and Helped Me Tune Out the Entire World
Big Thief is a band that sounds like all of their amps are plugged into hell: guttural and multi-dimensional, probably overheating and with a touch a menace. I know this because I've been testing out a pair of Bluetooth headphones called the Cleer Flow II that cost $280 and make just about any song come alive, including the ones from the netherworld.

On one particular solo about halfway through, there's a mental breakdown on guitar, a rattling cacophony on the left channel with frantic, anxious drums in the other. I love that you can hear this so clearly, and that's what makes the Flow II set worth considering. There are a few interesting perks too, but if you're like me, you mainly want to know if music (and maybe a movie streaming from your iPad or laptop) will sound pristine.

Passing that test, I also liked how the headphones can connect by Bluetooth. I tested them with a laptop, an iPhone 11 Pro, and an Apple iPad 10.2. To use Google Assistant, I had to start the Assistant app on the iPhone 11 Pro and sync, but then I was able to press one of the side buttons on the left headphone to activate the voice bot. I asked about the weather and not only heard the report but saw a forecast on my phone.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Oct 22, 2019

Newt Gingrich and Whoopi Goldberg Go at It Over Trump's ‘Lynching' Comments
Courtesy the ViewWhoopi Goldberg could barely keep herself from laughing as she introduced Tuesday's guest co-host on The View: Newt Gingrich. 

The former Republican House Speaker, who led the charge against President Bill Clinton's impeachment, was there to promote his new book, the title of which Goldberg couldn't bring herself to say aloud. (She called it "You-Know-Who vs. China: Facing America's Greatest Threat.") 

Goldberg began the conversation with Trump's latest tweet on impeachment. Instead of calling it a "witch hunt," the president is now referring to the official inquiry as a "lynching." As the audience groaned, Goldberg shook her head and said, "It's a word that nobody, you know, wants to hear. This was not a good choice of words for him, do you think?" 

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The Daily Beast
Oct 22, 2019

How a Teen ‘Biohacker' Embedded His College ID in His Hand
Courtesy Of Evan BryerThree weeks ago, robotics-obsessed Evan Bryer stumbled upon the website for the aptly named biohacking company Dangerous Things.

Along with advertisements for bundle deals on microchips, the Seattle-based company's site proclaims: "Human, upgrade thyself."

And so he has.

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The Daily Beast
Oct 22, 2019

Scouted: 6 Top-Rated Yoga Mats on Amazon to Keep You Flowing from a Warrior to a Tree to Everything in Between
Your yoga mat can make or break your practice. It should be thin enough to allow you to connect with the earth beneath you, but thick enough to cushion your body. Likewise, it should be sticky enough to keep you grounded, but smooth enough to allow you to flow flexibly on it. But don't sweat over the mat while you could be sweating in practice—we've rounded up six of the top-rated yoga mats on Amazon to keep your mind at ease.

TOPLUS Classic Pro Yoga Mat, $33: You can't go wrong with TOPLUS's classic pro yoga mat, which features an anti-skid design with a TPE-friendly, non-slip texture. For full coverage and complete cushioning, it's 72 inches long, 26 inches wide, about a quarter of an inch thick, and it weighs in at 2.16 pounds.

BalanceFrom GoYoga Mat, $16: The BalanceForm GoYoga mat delivers comfortable support to your spine, hips, knees, and elbows thanks to high-density, half-inch foam. It's 71 inches long and 24 inches wide, and all of it is coated in a resilient, double-sided non-slip surface to prevent injuries. A yoga mat strap comes included.

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The Daily Beast
Oct 22, 2019

Scouted: The Packing Cubes, Locks, and Other Essentials This World Traveler Can't Live Without
Packing can take ages if you don't know what you're doing. And, even after all your hard work squeezing an unnecessary life's worth of clothes and gear into a getaway bag, there's still the chance that someone will snag it or it'll lose its way en route to baggage claim. But these packing products will make it a whole lot easier and keep your stuff safe while you're on the road. Here are seven packing essentials I can't travel without.

Tile Mate, $25 on Amazon: Tile Mate is a simple Bluetooth tile that hooks onto your luggage and uses a corresponding app to track it in case it gets lost or stolen. The app will show you a map of your luggage's last known location. And it doesn't only track your luggage, but it also looks out for your phone. Press the Tile twice to make your phone ring, even if it's on silent. If you've lost everything, log into the Tile Mate website to use the map or make your phone ring from there. Your Tile Mate comes with replaceable batteries and has been engineered to last a year without any maintenance. If you do need to replace it, you can upgrade at a discount through Tile Mate's replacement program.

Master Lock Bluetooth Padlock, $120 at Home Depot: One of the smartest items you can pack when traveling is your own padlock so you can lock up your luggage in the airport, at a hostel or hotel, in a luggage storage unit, or anywhere else.

The Daily Beast
Oct 22, 2019

The Terror Gap: U.S. Laws Let White Supremacists Operate Like ISIS
Courtesy SITEThe recent arrests of Jarrett William Smith, a former U.S. Army soldier who discussed plans to "bomb a major U.S. news network," and Conor Climo, a Las Vegas man who plotted attacks on a synagogue and LGBT bar, give an inkling of the growing threat posed by far-right terrorists in the United States.

The problem of white supremacist violence is international. From the horrific attack on a mosque in Christ Church, New Zealand, to the assault on a synagogue in the German city of Halle, the movement often follows the same horrific script—live-streaming the carnage, disseminating a manifesto, comments full of tongue-in-cheek internet references—and governments are scrambling to counter this threat. 

But U.S. laws have a special problem, what might be called a "terror gap" between "foreign" and "domestic" terror organizations.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Oct 22, 2019

With Impeachment Looming, Trump Is Threatening to Sue ‘Everybody Who Pisses Him Off'
Photo Illustration by Lyne Lucien/The Daily BeastLast week, as the White House struggled to grapple with an accelerating impeachment probe and a bloodbath in Syria, President Donald Trump's mind drifted to old, familiar territory: threatening frivolous and petty lawsuits.

With crises surrounding him, the president spent days privately grousing to those close to him about undercover video and audio, released by Project Veritas, purportedly showing a vast anti-Trump conspiracy orchestrated by CNN President Jeff Zucker. According to a source with direct knowledge of Trump's grievance, the president repeatedly made clear that he wanted there to be consequences for CNN's alleged malfeasance (though the released videos showed fairly mundane, if not outright boring, editorial meetings) 

And consequences there were—at least in the form of a deeply meaningless letter.

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The Daily Beast
Oct 22, 2019

Iranian Hacking Group Targeted Satellite Industry Nerds
Photo Illustration by The Daily BeastIranian hackers breached computers of the American satellite technology industry with help from a fake website and an unsuspecting college professor. 

Court documents obtained by The Daily Beast show that the FBI believes Iranian hackers going by the nicknames MRSCO and N3O may have been involved in the attempted breaches. The hackers, members of a long-running Iranian hacker collective known as the "Iranian Dark Coders Team," have become known for defacing websites with pro-Iranian and Hezbollah propaganda, hacking gas station pump terminals online, and attacking an Israeli credit card company over the past seven years. 

The Department of Justice declined to comment publicly on the investigation. 

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The Daily Beast
Oct 22, 2019

‘Big Mouth' Creator Nick Kroll: We Get Away With ‘Crazy Shit' Despite ‘Woke Culture'
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Photo by John Lamparsk/GettySubscribe to The Last Laugh on Apple Podcasts

It's Monday morning and Nick Kroll is anxiously scrolling through his phone. When I offer him headphones, he declines, saying, "I hear my voice plenty." 

The 41-year-old comedian's low-level anxiety seems to be in part due to the fact that season three of his beloved animated show Big Mouth has just dropped on Netflix three days earlier and the reactions from fans are starting to flood in. 

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The Daily Beast
Oct 22, 2019

How Hong Kong Protesters Show Which Businesses Are Friend or Foe
Photo Illustration by Kristen Hazzard/The Daily Beast/Photos Getty/ReutersHONG KONG—Yellow shop, blue shop, red shop, black shop?

That isn't the first line in a modern nursery rhyme. Rather, it outlines an act of resistance that the people of Hong Kong participate in every day.

Recognizing that the path to true self-governance is one that will take years, if not longer, Hongkongers are adopting small-scale actions so that the protest movement does not stall. Medical professionals have daily strikes during daylight hours. In the evenings, people meet at certain public squares or in shopping mall atriums so they have a constant, regular presence. At night, some yell out protest slogans through their apartment windows. 

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The Daily Beast
Oct 22, 2019

A Legendary Bartender's Last Drink Before Dying
Courtesy Ed AndersonToby Cecchini, a self-described "senior statesman" of the bar world, has been tending bar for thirty-one years. The Madison, Wisconsin, native was living in Paris but moved to New York to chase after a girlfriend. That didn't work out, but wandering the city streets ended up steering the direction of his career when he walked past the Odeon, the legendary Tribeca bistro whose neon sign illuminated the downtown scene in Lower Manhattan in the 1980s, drawing a cast of boldface regulars. "I had read Bright Lights, Big City when I was Paris," says Cecchini, of Jay McInerney's breakout 1984 debut novel that featured an illustration of the Odeon on the cover, "and was walking around New York kind of destitute when I looked up and there was the neon Odeon sign. I said to myself, Hey, that's the cover of that book. And I literally walked in and was greeted with, ‘Yes, can I help you?' And I said, ‘Yes, I would like a job I think.'" Cecchini's legacy lives on at the Odeon due to creating a certain pink-hued cocktail that became a pop-culture phenomenon. 

Living in Brooklyn, Cecchini was one of the many people to walk past the long-shuttered Long Island Restaurant on the corner of Atlantic and Henry in Cobble Hill and shake his head in disbelief at the potential of the historic space and its art deco bar and glorious but long-dark neon sign. "The story went that three Spanish women owned it and they wouldn't talk to anybody. Every restaurateur in the city was trying to get in there." Cecchini eventually managed to arrange a walk-through of the space with Emma Sullivan, who had run the bar with her husband, Buddy, and her two cousins, Pepita and Maruja. Alperin. The bar seemed frozen in time, as if they had shut down and lo

The Daily Beast
Oct 22, 2019

Mayor Pete's Relationship With Facebook: It's Complicated
Photo Illustration by Sarah Rogers/The Daily Beast/Photos GettyIn the spring of 2004, when Facebook was little more than an online portal for students at Harvard University to stalk their crushes, senior Pete Buttigieg was the website's 287th user.

Fifteen years later, the relationship between the world's most influential corporation and a rising candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination has gotten, in Facebook parlance, complicated.

On Monday, Bloomberg reported that billionaire Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg had passed along the résumés of two individuals seeking positions on Buttigieg's campaign staff. The hires in question, data specialists Eric Mayefsky and Nina Wornhoff, were recommended to campaign manager Mike Schmuhl by Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan. 

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The Daily Beast
Oct 22, 2019

The 2020 Oscars Are Going to Be Batsh*t Insane. Is It Time to Tune Out?
Photo Illustration by Kelly Caminero/The Daily Beast/Photo by Warner Bros.A neoliberal politics will always get caught in the commotion of optics—but ironically, with no vision. We can see a glaring example of this phenomenon in the Oscars, our charming American tradition which this season's movie releases from Joker to Parasite to Judy and more are primed for. In recent years, conservative media outlets like Breitbart, Fox News, and the Washington Times have used the award ceremony as a vessel for both derision and moral outrage: Historically low ratings are apparently due to so-called divisive far-left hosts like, uh, Jimmy Kimmel, rather than the advent of streaming and social media, where the lore of celebrity now lives. And on the other side of those who care deeply about the Oscars are advocates for Marvel, Disney and the like, who decry the Academy's general exclusion of comic book films from major categories. Last year's nomination of Black Panther for Best Picture was an exception. And the upcoming ceremony, in early 2020, may continue to disrupt that narrative. At the moment, the endlessly

The Daily Beast
Oct 22, 2019

The 2020 Oscars Will Be a Politically Divided Sh*tshow
Photo Illustration by Kelly Caminero/The Daily Beast/Photo by Warner Bros.A neoliberal politics will always get caught in the commotion of optics—but ironically, with no vision. We can see a glaring example of this phenomenon in the Oscars, our charming American tradition which this season's movie releases from Joker to Parasite to Judy and more are primed for. In recent years, conservative media outlets like Breitbart, Fox News, and the Washington Times have used the award ceremony as a vessel for both derision and moral outrage: Historically low ratings are apparently due to so-called divisive far-left hosts like, uh, Jimmy Kimmel, rather than the advent of streaming and social media, where the lore of celebrity now lives. And on the other side of those who care deeply about the Oscars are advocates for Marvel, Disney and the like, who decry the Academy's general exclusion of comic book films from major categories. Last year's nomination of Black Panther for Best Picture was an exception. And the upcoming ceremony, in early 2020, may continue to disrupt that narrative. At the moment, the endlessly

The Daily Beast
Oct 22, 2019

The 2020 Oscars Will Be a Politically-Divided Sh*tshow
Photo Illustration by Kelly Caminero/The Daily Beast/Photo by Warner Bros.A neoliberal politics will always get caught in the commotion of optics—but ironically, with no vision. We can see a glaring example of this phenomenon in the Oscars, our charming American tradition which this season's movie releases from Joker to Parasite to Judy and more are primed for. In recent years, conservative media outlets like Breitbart, Fox News, and the Washington Times have used the award ceremony as a vessel for both derision and moral outrage: Historically low ratings are apparently due to so-called divisive far-left hosts like, uh, Jimmy Kimmel, rather than the advent of streaming and social media, where the lore of celebrity now lives. And on the other side of those who care deeply about the Oscars are advocates for Marvel, Disney and the like, who decry the Academy's general exclusion of comic book films from major categories. Last year's nomination of Black Panther for Best Picture was an exception. And the upcoming ceremony, in early 2020, may continue to disrupt that narrative. At the moment, the endlessly

The Daily Beast
Oct 22, 2019

Alex Gibney: How Donald Trump Is Morphing Into Vladimir Putin
Photo Illustration by Sarah Rogers/The Daily Beast/Photos GettyLONDON—One of America's leading documentary-makers set off on a project to examine the extraordinary life of Russian dissident Mikhail Khodorkovsky, and came away with the discomforting realization that President Trump is morphing into Vladimir Putin.

Alex Gibney's Citizen K traces Putin's evolution from political newbie to uncompromising autocrat whose ability to harness the power of TV allowed him to gain total control over a democratic state.

"It's a cautionary tale," Gibney told The Daily Beast. "There's a lot that Putin and Trump share in common."

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The Daily Beast
Oct 22, 2019

Stephen Colbert Mocks Mitt Romney's ‘Embarrassing' Secret Twitter Account
CBSBack in 2012, when he was still playing "Stephen Colbert" on The Colbert Report and Donald Trump was still just a reality-show host, Stephen Colbert spent an inordinate amount of time making fun of Mitt Romney. So it felt like old times Monday night when the Late Show host spent a few minutes mocking the Utah senator's newly-revealed secret Twitter account.

The revelation came from a profile in The Atlantic titled "The Liberation of Mitt Romney," "which I know sounds like a mid-seventies erotic novella," Colbert joked, "but it's actually about Romney's role as a critic of Donald Trump."

Romney wouldn't tell reporter McKay Coppins the name of the account, but did give some hints, like the number of people he follows, including a few late-night comedians. "What's his name, the big redhead from Boston?" Romney said.

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The Daily Beast
Oct 22, 2019

Seth Meyers Blasts Mulvaney and Pompeo's Disastrous Sunday Show Spin
NBCSeth Meyers had a lot of news to catch up on when he returned from vacation on Monday. And much of it had to do with the Trump administration's failed attempts to clean up its multiple calamities on the Sunday shows over the weekend.

The Late Night host began with Trump's "acting" Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, who went on Fox News Sunday to explain why the president announced that he would be holding the G7 conference at his Miami Doral resort in Florida and then reversed his decision after loud protests from both sides of the political aisle.

"He was honestly surprised at the level of pushback," Mulvaney said, adding, "At the end of the day, you know, he still considers himself to be in the hospitality business."

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The Daily Beast
Oct 22, 2019

Seth Meyers Blasts Mulvaney and Pompeo's Disastrous Sunday-Show Spin
NBCSeth Meyers had a lot of news to catch up on when he returned from vacation on Monday. And much of it had to do with the Trump administration's failed attempts to clean up its multiple calamities on the Sunday shows over the weekend.

The Late Night host began with Trump's "acting" Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, who went on Fox News Sunday to explain why the president announced that he would be holding the G7 conference at his Miami Doral resort in Florida and then reversed his decision after loud protests from both sides of the political aisle.

"He was honestly surprised at the level of pushback," Mulvaney said, adding, "At the end of the day, you know, he still considers himself to be in the hospitality business."

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The Daily Beast
Oct 21, 2019

Trump Defends Tulsi Gabbard and Jill Stein Over Hillary's Russian Asset Claim: ‘She's Crazy!'
Fox NewsDuring his Fox News primetime interview with close friend and confidant Sean Hannity on Monday night, President Trump took aim at his 2016 presidential election foe, calling Hillary Clinton "crazy" and "sick" for suggesting Russians were "grooming" Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) for a third-party presidential bid.

Clinton sparked a multi-day controversy last week when she said on a podcast that Gabbard is a "favorite of the Russians" and that former Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein is a "Russian asset," suggesting they could both be involved in helping Russia tilt the election for Trump. Clinton did not offer any proof at the time to back up her claims. 

Gabbard quickly hit back on Twitter, labeling Clinton the "queen of warmongers" while asserting the former secretary of state's attacks were part of a "concerted campaign" to sully Gabbard's reputation.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Oct 21, 2019

Canadian Election Results: Justin Trudeau Projected to Eke Out Second Term Win
Stephane Mahe/ReutersCanadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau—the first-term Liberal Party leader who became an international sensation upon his election before a recent series of political missteps and scandals—is projected to narrowly avoid being knocked out of power.

Polls ahead of the contentious election Monday showed Trudeau's Liberal Party locked in a tight race against Andrew Scheer's Conservative Party, with it being likely that neither side would gain enough momentum to win an outright majority in Parliament. 

Canadians don't choose a leader, but voters in each of the country's 338 federal ridings, or electoral districts, pick candidates to represent them in the House of Commons. If a party secures a majority by winning at least 170 ridings, it can form its own government.

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The Daily Beast
Oct 21, 2019

Atatiana Jefferson Funeral Set for Thursday After Judge Ends Family Dispute
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/HandoutThe inter-family standoff over the funeral for Atatiana Jefferson—a black Texas woman fatally shot inside her own home by a white police officer—came to an end Monday after a judge announced the funeral will take place on Thursday and placed a gag order on members of the family from discussing how the dispute was resolved.

The 28-year-old was killed on Oct. 12 by former Fort Worth Police Officer Aaron Dean, 35, who shot her through a window after failing to announce himself while performing a welfare check at her home.

Her Saturday funeral, which was to feature prominent civil-rights activists at a local megachurch, was cancelled hours before it was set to begin by Dallas County Judge Brenda Hull Thompson amid the family's legal battle over the arrangements.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Oct 21, 2019

Rand Paul: There are GOP Senators More Loyal to Deep State Than Trump
Fox NewsSen. Rand Paul (R-KY) took aim at several unnamed Republican senators on Monday night, telling Fox News' Tucker Carlson that many of his GOP colleagues are more loyal to the so-called "Deep State" than to the president while criticizing Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) for not doing more to investigate Democrats.

Noting at the top of his primetime Fox News broadcast that Graham promised to use his chairmanship of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee to get to the bottom of the Russia investigation, Carlson groused that the South Carolina lawmaker hadn't made any progress exposing the "bureaucratic coup" against President Donald Trump.

"So far, Graham's tenure has been defined by total inaction," Carlson grumbled. "He has subpoenaed neither [former Deputy FBI Director Andrew] McCabe nor [ex-Deputy Attorney General Rod] Rosenstein, nor has he launched an investigation. Now his inaction extends to the Ukraine saga."

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The Daily Beast
Oct 21, 2019

Last U.S. Base in Syria ‘Is Everything Wrong With Trump's War'
Delil Souleiman/GettyIn the southeastern Syrian desert, near the Jordan and Iraq borders, far from the ruins of the Caliphate or the carnage of the Turkish invasion, lies the terminal phase of a U.S. war. 

A dusty garrison outpost called al-Tanf, or sometimes at-Tanf, is now the last redoubt for the American forces in Syria that have occupied it since 2016. It has little to do with the war against the so-called Islamic State, the ostensible purpose of the U.S. in Syria, and far more to do with a confrontation against an entirely different adversary: Iran. 

The Oct. 6 phone call between presidents Donald Trump and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a prelude to the betrayal of the U.S.' Syrian Kurdish partners, prompted a highly confusing U.S. withdrawal from the Syrian northeast, one that's been misunderstood as a full withdrawal from Syria. Instead, according to a knowledgeable U.S. official not cleared to speak with reporters, hundreds of U.S. special operators and general-purpose troops have pulled back to al-Tanf. For however long they remain in Syria - now that the Turks have invaded and the Kurds have turned to the Syrian government and its Russian patrons for protection, the U.S. presence may be untenable—al-Tanf and the 55-kilometer "exclusion zone" surrounding it will be where they operate. 

Read mo

The Daily Beast
Oct 21, 2019

Sean Duffy Spends First Day at CNN Pushing Pro-Trump Conspiracy Theory Debunked by Network
CNNIn less than 24 hours as a CNN paid contributor, former congressman Sean Duffy, the network's newest pro-Trump talking-head, immediately used his new platform to spread a debunked conspiracy theory.

Over the course of the past week, the Republican ex-lawmaker has pushed a conspiracy theory that attempts to at once undermine the overwhelming evidence that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election and that President Trump withheld military aid for Ukraine over partisan considerations. Duffy has said that Trump is legitimate in suggesting that Ukraine was actually behind the 2016 hack of the Democratic National Committee's email server, and that Ukraine-owned company CrowdStrike took those hacked servers to Ukraine. 

The theory, which has been pushed by top White House figures, has been shot down and discredited by numerous national security experts, and has been debunked by the network's own reporters. 

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Daily Beast
Oct 21, 2019

Russia's Troll Farm Is Kind of Sh*tting the Bed on Facebook
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/GettyFacebook on Monday removed nearly 200 newly discovered fake accounts linked separately to Iran and to Russia's Internet Research Agency. The takedowns demonstrate that foreign influence operations are already targeting the 2020 election, but provide evidence that Russia's notorious troll farm is struggling to regain anything close to the influence in held in 2016.

The new wave of takedowns targeted separate networks of deceptive accounts created by Iran and Russia, including dozens of fake Facebook organization pages. In a press call, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said the takedowns show the company has come far since getting caught flat-footed in 2016. "The fact that we've identified them proactively should provide some confidence that our systems here are working," Zuckerberg said.

The Russian accounts were far more focused on U.S. domestic issues, but in terms of sheer numbers and longevity, the Iranian effort outstripped Russia. The Iranian accounts included 21 Instagram accounts and 135 fake Facebook accounts propping up 26 phony organization pages and four Facebook groups. More than 90 of the accounts were primarily focused on U.S. readers, with the others mostly targeting Latin America. The accounts largely pushed links to Iranian propaganda on state-run news outlets, according to Facebook.

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The Daily Beast
Oct 21, 2019

Among Republicans, Trump Fatigue Is Now a Thing
Don't look now, but Trump fatigue might be finally hitting him where it counts: with Republicans.

"I think the dam is getting ready to break, here," former Republican Rep. Charlie Dent said Monday on CNN's New Day. "I don't think this is going to be a simple trickle. When it breaks, it breaks. Because this increasingly erratic behavior by the president is placing these [Republican] members in this completely impossible positions [sic]."

Later in the day, Democratic Senator Michael Bennet echoed the sentiment, telling CNN's Jim Sciutto that his Republican colleagues are "horrified by the president's behavior and they're horrified that he invited Ukraine to interfere with our elections, they're horrified that the White House Chief of Staff admitted it was a quid pro quo. 

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Oct 21, 2019

Trump Fatigue Is Now a Thing Among Republicans
Photo Illustration by Kristen Hazzard/The Daily Beast/Photos GettyDon't look now, but Trump fatigue might be finally hitting him where it counts: with Republicans.

"I think the dam is getting ready to break, here," former Republican Rep. Charlie Dent said Monday on CNN's New Day. "I don't think this is going to be a simple trickle. When it breaks, it breaks. Because this increasingly erratic behavior by the president is placing these [Republican] members in this completely impossible positions [sic]."

Later in the day, Democratic Senator Michael Bennet echoed the sentiment, telling CNN's Jim Sciutto that his Republican colleagues are "horrified by the president's behavior and they're horrified that he invited Ukraine to interfere with our elections, they're horrified that the White House Chief of Staff admitted it was a quid pro quo. 

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Oct 21, 2019

Prince William Is ‘Worried' For ‘Fragile' Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Steve Back/GettyPrince William is said to be "worried" about his brother Prince Harry after the screening of a bombshell documentary last night in which he admitted to a rift between himself and William.

Quoting a "palace source," the BBC added that William was hoping Harry and Meghan "are all right." 

The source added that there are concerns in the palace that the couple are "in a fragile place."

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Oct 21, 2019

Brandi Carlile Is Latest to Drop Out of Fortune's Powerful Women Summit Over Kirstjen Nielsen
Steve Marcus/ReutersAnother high-profile headliner has dropped out of Fortune's Most Powerful Women Summit in protest of Kirstjen Nielsen, the former homeland security secretary who is scheduled to speak at the prestigious event.

Prominent speakers like Hillary Clinton and filmmaker dream hampton have fled the summit's lineup in recent days, citing Nielsen's participation in the Trump administration's zero-tolerance immigration policy that resulted in thousands of children being separated from their parents at the border.

Singer Brandi Carlisle became the latest celebrity to drop out in protest, as pressure mounted on remaining headliners like Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and Anita Hill to take a stand.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Oct 21, 2019

Mulvaney's Ukraine Story Undercut by Trump's Former Diplomat to the Country
Win McNamee/GettyIn his eye-popping press conference last week, White House Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said that the Trump administration withheld military aide from Ukraine in part to secure cooperation with a Justice Department investigation into the origins of Robert Mueller's Russia probe. But a former top U.S. envoy to Ukraine has said the DOJ never actually asked the White House for that help. 

Mulvaney has since tried to walk back his claim, saying the administration only held up military aid to Ukraine because of the country's corruption and because other countries weren't giving more aid as well. But the fact that his initial version of events differed so far from the testimony of another main player in the Ukraine saga highlights the White House's struggle to defend itself.

During his congressional deposition earlier this month, former U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker said that the Trump administration's Department of Justice never officially asked Ukrainian law enforcement for help probing 2016 election interference or the company where Hunter Biden was a board member, according to sources familiar with what Volker said. Trump himself asked Ukraine's president to scrutinize that company, Burisma, according to a memorandum of their conversation. But Volker has said that to his knowledge the Justice Department never officially made its ow

The Daily Beast
Oct 21, 2019

‘The View' Doubles Down on Hillary Clinton's Tulsi Claim: She's a ‘Useful Idiot'
The View's Joy Behar and Sunny Hostin on Monday applauded former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton for seemingly claiming last week that Russians will support a third-party presidential run by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, calling the Hawaii Democrat a "useful idiot" and a "Trojan horse."

During a podcast interview last week, Clinton said Gabbard was a "favorite of the Russians" and was being groomed "to be the third-party candidate," offering no evidence to support her assertion. Gabbard, who is running a long-shot Democratic presidential campaign, quickly fired back, calling Clinton the "queen of warmongers" while claiming the "corporate media and war machine" were trying to destroy her reputation.

Hostin, meanwhile, sided entirely with the former first lady in this growing feud, stating Clinton has been "dead-on about so many things."

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Daily Beast
Oct 21, 2019

Inside Trump's Brewing Turkey Scandal, Starring Rudy Giuliani
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Photos GettyThink President Trump's scandal in Ukraine is bad? Wait until you see what he's been up to in Turkey. Much like Ukraine, Trump's Turkish dealings involve his associates mixing their private business with the affairs of state and allegations that the president sought to meddle in criminal-justice proceedings. So who in Trump's inner circle has been lobbying for Turkey and what has the president done for them?

Welcome to Rabbit Hole.

Time is a flat circle: Way back in 2016, Mike Flynn wasn't yet formally Trump's national security adviser, nor had he been charged for lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian officials. He was, however, just finishing up lobbying for the Turkish government and pressing the U.S. to deport a dissident cleric whom Turkey blamed for a 2016 coup attempt.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Daily Beast
Oct 21, 2019

Scouted: These Best-Selling Sherpa and Shearling Slippers Will Keep You Cozy All Season
Shearling and its synthetic counterpart Sherpa are two fabrics that just scream coziness. They're both used for everything from lining coats to lining slippers. It's the kind of material that you just look at and feel the warmth. We've decided to make sure your feet are as toasty as possible and have rounded up some of the best shearling and sherpa-lined slippers from around the web.

Minnetonka Women's Tempe Slipper, $50 at Minnetonka: Tagged as the "Go-anywhere slippers," this new style for the classic moccasin brand is all about indoor-outdoor usage. The suede mocs are lined with pile and have a pretty hefty sole that can take you from cooking dinner to running out to the store because you forgot something.

UGG Men's Cooke Faux Fur Lined Slipper, $70 at Nordstrom Rack:  We really couldn't have this post without including UGG slippers. These are faux-fur lined slippers that are crafted from wool and made to feel like real shearling. The backs are collapsible so you can wear them as true slippers or loafers, depending on just how lazy you're feeling.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Oct 21, 2019

Scouted: This Algenist Face Mask is Technically Alive and My Skin Is Better For It
If you've been paying attention to the skincare market, you might have noticed that topical pre and probiotics are popping up on shelves with increased frequency. From kombucha-laden toners to whipped creams, there's a decent range to choose from. At first, it may seem like a weird category, eliciting a "do I really need this…?" However, the trend is founded in science and can genuinely positively impact your skin.

Ever intrigued by skincare's latest and greatest, I was eager to try a handful of new products in this category. Many of them were decent, but there's one that made me a true believer in the concept of slathering bacteria on my skin: Algenist's color-changing Alive Prebiotic Balancing Mask.

Before diving into the mask itself, let's discuss what pre and probiotics are and how they can play an integral role in anyone's skincare regimen.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Oct 21, 2019

Why Would Russia, China—and Iran—Plan Joint Naval Exercises?
Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily BeastKARACHI, Pakistan—The waters around the Arabian Peninsula have calmed for the moment, but preparations combat continue, with joint exercises and security conferences showing just how profoundly the region's strategic balances are shifting.

As confidence declines in U.S. President Donald J. Trump's ability to navigate the difficult moral and military choices in the region, new players are entering the picture in and around the Persian Gulf.

An Israeli delegation attended a U.S.-backed maritime security conference that began Sunday in Manama with delegations from Saudi Arabia and Bahrain as a vast international maritime exercise, IMX 19, got under way in the Persian Gulf. Planning involved as many as 22 countries. 

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The Daily Beast
Oct 21, 2019

The Mysterious Origins of Tiki Classic the Scorpion Bowl
Amanda Voisard/The Washington Post via GettyThere are an awful lot of fine, delicious tiki drinks, but there are only a few truly iconic ones; ones that have spread beyond the shadowy, torchlit confines of the tiki bar—the Zombie, the Mai Tai, the Fog Cutter, the Dr. Funk, the Scorpion Bowl, the Jungle Bird and a handful of others. 

Unlike with most classic cocktails, whose origins tend to be at least murky and often completely untraceable, thanks to the research of Jeff "Beachbum" Berry and a few others we generally have a pretty good handle on where the tiki elite came from. 

The Jungle Bird, for instance, stems from the Aviary Bar at the Kuala Lumpur Hilton, sometime between 1972 and 1982. The Zombie and the Mai Tai have both been argued to death, but the consensus is that the former was invented in Hollywood, California, by tiki god Ernest Raymond Beaumont Gantt, alias Don the Beachcomber, while the latter was the creation of Gantt's imitator, competitor and, ultimately, fellow tiki god, Victor "Trader Vic" Bergeron, up the coast in Oakland. 

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Oct 21, 2019

Can Athletes Increase Their Endurance By Training Their Brains?
Roy Scott/GettyFor millennia, athletes have been pushing the bounds of what we think is possible, honing their bodies to become faster and stronger, and to perform for longer periods of time. Historically, endurance was thought of, and measured as, something purely physical—but for the past century, researchers have also sought to understand how an athlete's mental state can play a crucial role in their performance.

The study of the mind-body aspect of endurance started in the late 19th century, when an Italian physiologist named Angelo Mosso conducted his research on muscular fatigue. Mosso was instrumental in figuring out that muscle fatigue was caused by a buildup of "toxic substances" that accumulated in the body after exertion and prevented the muscle from contracting efficiently—a phenomenon we understand today as the lactate threshold. But Mosso, in his seminal work La Fatica (or Fatigue), postulated that muscular fatigue was volitional as well—in other words, influenced by a person's will or mental state.

Mosso revealed in La Fatica that, in his own experience as an alpine climber, his physical performance during a climb decreased after too many hours of intense mental concentration. To test his theory, Mosso performed a fatigue test on two fellow lecturers, noting that after six hours of lectures and oral exams

The Daily Beast
Oct 21, 2019

This Delta Force Hero Gave His Life for the Kurds Trump Has Now Abandoned
Photo Illustration by Sarah Rogers/The Daily Beast/Photos GettyThe citation for the Silver Star awarded posthumously to 39-year-old Master Sgt. Joshua Wheeler of Delta Force begins: "For Gallantry: in action on 22 October 2015 during combat operations against an armed enemy of the United States as a Team Leader for a Joint Task Force in support of Operation INHERENT RESOLVE."

The operation being the U.S. campaign against the terrorist group ISIS. Inherent meaning permanent, part of the essential character. Resolve meaning firm determination. Wheeler demonstrated both in leading a team of U.S. special forces operators who swooped in by helicopter for an early morning raid on an ISIS prison in Northern Iraq. 

"On multiple occasions, Master Sergeant Wheeler fearlessly exposed himself to heavy small arms fire from barricaded enemy positions," the citation continues. "His selfless actions were critical in achieving the initiative during the most dangerous portion of the raid. Master Sergeant Wheeler's actions saved the lives of the partner force."

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Oct 21, 2019

Don't Give Up Yet, Fans of Democratic Also-Rans
Frederic J Brown/Getty"Dean pulls away in Dem race" was the headline after a national poll put the former Vermont governor safely ahead of all challengers just five weeks before Iowans would cast the first votes for the 2004 Democratic presidential primary. Thirteen points back and tied for second and third were U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman and retired General Wesley Clark. And in sixth place, weighing in at a "when is he going to drop out of the race" 4 percent, sat Massachusetts Senator John Kerry—the eventual nominee.

Not only did Kerry vault from sixth to first, but the seventh-place finisher in that December poll, North Carolina Senator John Edwards, would finish second and join Kerry on the ticket.

Most pundits have whittled the 2020 Democratic primary field down to three or four true contenders and a slew of also-rans. Our review of past Democratic presidential primaries tells us there is more to this race than meets the eye, and those who seem to be languishing—like John Kerry in the 2004 race—have a lot more life than they're given credit for.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Oct 21, 2019

The Antics of Wildlife-Loving Influencers Are Putting Human and Animals at Risk
Photo Illustration by Lyne Lucien/The Daily BeastIn a video that recently circulated on Twitter, a doe walks toward the viewer across a grassy lawn. The videographer, a young woman, holds out her hand, gingerly turning it over and offering it to the animal. The deer folds her ears and moves gently forward, appearing to approach out of curiosity. A split second later, the doe suddenly rears up, striking forward with sharp hooves as the woman fumbles the camera, turning to run. 

The lesson, if the internet was at all interested in learning it: In the wild, animals don't act like they do in Disney movies. 

But it's not just Disney movies that give people the wrong ideas about interacting with wildlife. Kelvin Peña, who goes by the handle Brother Nature has achieved a degree of online fame from his viral videos with wild deer. In the videos, he talks to the animals casually, giving them names and offering them carrots and bananas. 

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Oct 21, 2019

Taika Waititi Defends His Feel-Good Nazi Satire ‘Jojo Rabbit': ‘It's Not a History Lesson'
Kimberley French/Twentieth Century FoxTaika Waititi went through a swastika phase as a kid. Not proudly, but with the compulsive fascination of a half-Jewish schoolkid discovering how easily reproduced the world's most potent symbol of hate is. He'd etch them in his notebook—then quickly scribble in extra lines, disguising them as four-paned windows. He'd then get nervous about all the windows on his pages and draw houses, or sometimes skyscrapers, entire cityscapes full of windows. Hitler's mustache became another thing he couldn't get over; it just looked so absurd. It was the first thing about Nazis the future filmmaker learned to laugh at.

Wearing Hitler's mustache himself was less funny. Standing on set three decades later directing his sixth feature in head-to-toe Hitler regalia—occasionally forgetting what he looked like, until the next skeeved-out stare or passing glimpse of himself in a mirror—was actually "super embarrassing," as Waititi remembers it. But it would've embarrassed Hitler, too; this half-Maori Jew's impression of him as the dim-witted product of a 10-year-old's imagination. That's where the fun of Waititi's latest, Jojo Rabbit, starts: in stripping the losers who worshipped Hitler of their grandiosity, and reducing them to slapstick.

"Yes, they were scary and they were very dangerous people. But also, there's this layer to them which was just really pathetic and kind of desperate," Waititi says over a cup of orange juice the morning of

The Daily Beast
Oct 21, 2019

Taiki Waititi Defends His Feel-Good Nazi Satire ‘Jojo Rabbit': ‘It's Not a History Lesson'
Kimberley French/Twentieth Century FoxTaika Waititi went through a swastika phase as a kid. He was less than thrilled with it, but he could not stop drawing them. With the compulsive fascination of a half-Jewish schoolkid discovering how easily reproduced the world's most potent symbol of hate is, he'd etch them in his notebook—then quickly scribble in extra lines, disguising them as four-paned windows. He'd then get nervous about all the windows on his pages and draw houses, or sometimes skyscrapers, entire cityscapes full of windows. Hitler's mustache became another thing he couldn't get over; it just looked so absurd. It was the first thing about Nazis the future filmmaker learned to laugh at.

Wearing Hitler's mustache himself was less funny. Standing on set three decades later directing his sixth feature in head-to-toe Hitler regalia—occasionally forgetting what he looked like, until the next skeeved-out stare or passing glimpse of himself in a mirror—was actually "super embarrassing," as Waititi remembers it. But it would've embarrassed Hitler, too; this half-Maori Jew's impression of him as the dim-witted product of a 10-year-old's imagination. That's where the fun of Waititi's latest, Jojo Rabbit, starts: in stripping the losers who worshipped Hitler of their grandiosity, and reducing them to slapstick.

"Yes, they were scary and they were very dangerous people. But also, there's this layer to them which was just really pathetic and kind of desperate," Wait

The Daily Beast
Oct 21, 2019

Bill Barr's Plan to Rig 2020 for Trump: Frame ‘Deep State' for Russia's 2016 Interference
Kevin Dietsch/Pool via Bloomberg/GettyAs Democrats debate the relative merits of Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden and the field, the weekend brought a sobering reminder that it may not matter who the Democrats nominate. 

The attorney general of the United States, among others, is trying to rig the coming election by making sure that next year's headlines are filled with "revelations"—imagine this—about how what was really corrupt about the last election was the way it was fixed against Donald Trump.

On Saturday morning, NBC News posted new reporting from Ken Delanian that Bill Barr has expanded the Justice Department's review into the origins of the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election. You've surely read something about this. It's the… well, "review" is the best word, or was; more on that in a second… into the Russia angle being conducted by Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Oct 21, 2019

It's Not Just Ronan Farrow: NBC News Killed My Rape-Allegation Story Too
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Photos GettyIn the days leading up to the publication of Catch & Kill, Ronan Farrow's blockbuster account of his dealings with NBC News, I have been struck by the company's insistence that Ronan didn't have the Harvey Weinstein story in the bag. I don't believe a word of what it says because in 2018, the network killed my #MeToo story that was being reported by MSNBC host Joy-Ann Reid. Incredibly, a year after NBC botched Farrow's reporting on Harvey Weinstein, they had the audacity to do it again.

In November 2017, I told Joy about my experience of being raped by Russell Simmons in 1994. I also shared that in 2006, former Extra co-host A.J. Calloway sexually assaulted me in his car and was subsequently arrested for his crime. When Joy and I first spoke, Russell had already been accused of rape by Keri Claussen Khalighi. In fact, she appeared as a guest on the now-defunct NBC show, Megyn Kelly Today. However, I would be the first woman to allege they had been sexually assaulted by Calloway. When NBC chose to squash my story, it not only abdicated its obligation to report news, it provided cover for a man who would later be accused of serial rape and sexual assault when my story was eventually published by The Hollywood Reporter the followi

The Daily Beast
Oct 21, 2019

Scouted: These Noise-Canceling Headphones Will Drown Out Everything You Don't Want to Hear on Your Next Flight
You board your six-hour cross-country flight, or perhaps it's 15 hours across the world. There's an impressive movie selection, and you scored extra leg room. Sweet. The flight seems to be going smoothly until… Babies start crying… Grandpas get grumpy... Flight attendants push duty-free products in your face. And so it begins. Fortunately, you came prepared, and you drown them all out with your impressively noise-canceling headphones. Here are five solid options.

Beats Solo3, $300: Beats Solo3 headphones marry an advanced acoustic platform and noise-canceling technology that, together, deliver fully immersive sound with clarity, breadth, and balance. They'll last you up to 40 hours, so you can survive a whole flight—and they're ergonomically designed to sit snugly on your ears with buffering ear cuffs, so you can survive in comfort.

Bose QuietComfort 35 II, $349: Bose QuietComfort 35 II were strategically engineered to drown out your environmental noises and enhance the sound of your audio. They're even equipped with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa to give you instant access to playlists, podcasts, the news, and more, all hands free. And they're enabled with Bose AR, an inaugural audio augmented reality platform. Listen for up to 20 hours unplugged—that'll cover ev

The Daily Beast
Oct 21, 2019

Alec Baldwin on How Lorne Michaels Convinced Him to Return as SNL's Trump
NBCWith John Oliver taking a one-week sabbatical from Last Week Tonight and Saturday Night Live off as well, Jimmy Fallon took it upon himself to fill the void, airing a special Sunday-night edition of The Tonight Show featuring longtime pal—and frequent SNL host/performer—Alec Baldwin.

Fallon, who's still in ratings-recovery mode following his infamous hair-tousling interview with then-presidential candidate Donald Trump, began—after Baldwin decided to drop trou to show off how much weight he's lost, strangely enough—by asking his guest about portraying the president during the first few episodes SNL's 45th season. Baldwin has confessed in the past that he "hates" playing Trump on the sketch-comedy show and that he'd regularly sit in his dressing room and think, "I hope a meteor hits this building and kills me because I don't want to do this ever again."

Well, SNL honcho Lorne Michaels managed to convince him to don the orange makeup and ridiculous hairpiece again, and here's how.



The Daily Beast
Oct 21, 2019

Alec Baldwin on How Lorne Michaels Convinced Him to Return as Trump on SNL
NBCWith John Oliver taking a one-week sabbatical from Last Week Tonight and Saturday Night Live off as well, Jimmy Fallon took it upon himself to fill the void, airing a special Sunday-night edition of The Tonight Show featuring longtime pal—and frequent SNL host/performer—Alec Baldwin.

Fallon, who's still in ratings-recovery mode following his infamous hair-tousling interview with then-candidate Donald Trump, began—after Baldwin decided to drop trou to show off how much weight he's lost, strangely enough—by asking his guest about portraying President Donald Trump during the first few episodes SNL's 45th season. Previously, Baldwin had confessed he "hates" playing Trump on the sketch-comedy show, and that he'd regularly sit in his dressing room and think, "I hope a meteor hits this building and kills me because I don't want to do this ever again."

Well, SNL honcho Lorne Michaels managed to convince him to don the orange makeup and ridiculous hairpiece again, and here's how.

Rea

The Daily Beast
Oct 20, 2019

‘Watchmen' Is a Spectacular Assault on White Supremacy
Courtesy HBOYou won't see the smiley-faced logo of The Comedian—a savage, cynical, cigar-chomping vigilante from Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' seminal Watchmen—in HBO's new series of the same name. Yet his spirit hovers over the network's superb latest, which views ideas about American nobility, altruism and gallantry—the very qualities that define classical superheroes, and their genre—as a sick joke. Like its illustrious predecessor, still the greatest and most influential comic book of all time, Damon Lindelof's daring follow-up is a story about an alternate U.S.A. with a costumed-avenger past and a divided present, where men and women don masks to conceal their ugly, bigoted, sadistic identities from each other and the world at large—and, also, to hide from themselves, and the fear and rage that consumes them.

Good and bad, cop and crook, innocent and guilty—everyone in Watchmen thinks they're on the side of right no matter their constant wrongness, which repeats itself, over and over, like the ticking hands of a clock. As another rogue do-gooder once famously said, "Good joke. Everybody laugh. Roll on snare drum. Curtains."

That man, Watchmen devotees will know, was Rorschach, the ink blot-faced antihero of Moore and Gibbons' deconstructionist masterwork, whose 1980s crime-fighting was driven by right-wing extremist beliefs about how liberalism was sending the country straight into the sewer.

The Daily Beast
Oct 20, 2019

David Byrne Reveals His Powerful Vision of ‘American Utopia' on Broadway—And Some Talking Heads Classics, Too
Courtesy Matthew MurphyThe gold standard phantom in the room at Broadway's Hudson Theatre, where David Byrne's American Utopia opens tonight (to January 19), is Bruce Springsteen. It was the Boss' show in 2017 that set the high mark for musicians and rock stars coming to Broadway to play more intimate settings than their usual huge concert venues.

On these musicians' side automatically: their fans will buy the tickets. For music stars coming to Broadway, there is their own ready-made audience, and it is a devoted one.

So, then it comes down to effort and ingenuity—hence the Springsteen gold standard. Springsteen did not only sing songs that his fans wanted to hear, he produced a piece of compelling theater. David Byrne achieves the same, though differently. 

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Oct 20, 2019

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Reveal Just How Much They Hate Their Royal Lives
Chris JacksonIt was, according to one journalist who has long reported on the royals, a landmark documentary that would "intensify questions about whether Prince Harry and Meghan Markle can cope with the pressures of life as high-profile members of the Royal Family."

In the extraordinary Harry & Meghan: An African Journey, which screened on British TV on Sunday and is due to air in America on Wednesday, Harry confirmed a rift with his brother, said that the flashes of camera guns caused him to flashback to the worst moments of his mother's life, ruminated on moving to Africa, and said his own mental health had suffered a setback.

In the same program, Meghan revealed that her friends had warned her not to marry her husband, whom she calls "H", because tabloids would destroy her life, fought back tears as she confirmed she was "not doing ok," and said that those who envied her life of wealth and fame had "no idea" and were simply falling into the trap of thinking the "grass is greener."

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Oct 20, 2019

With AOC in His Corner, GOP Takes Fresh Look at Bernie
Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via GettyFor a man obsessed with crowd size, President Trump has been eerily silent about a rally that's the largest yet by a rival running to take him on in the 2020 election.  

On the same day that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) got over 25,000 people to show up in support of his campaign at an event in Queens on Saturday, Trump was preoccupied with two entirely different ex-presidential contenders from 2016 and a current one polling in the low single digits.

"So now Crooked Hillary is at it again! She is calling Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard ‘a Russian favorite,' and Jill Stein ‘a Russian asset.' As you may have heard, I was called a big Russia lover also (actually, I do like Russian people. I like all people!). Hillary's gone Crazy!" the president tweeted. 

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Oct 20, 2019

President Trump Is in the Private Hospitality Business, and Business Is Booming in D.C.
Alex Wroblewski/GettySpoiler alert: President Trump never did build that wall he promised. You know, the one between his administration and his business. 

Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney flat-out said that on Sunday, in his latest shared bit of truth about the president that sounded like an excerpt from an article of impeachment.

Days after Mulvaney's announcement that Trump would host the G7 summit at his Doral resort, Trump took it back in a Saturday night Tweet. Mulvaney told Fox News' Chris Wallace on Sunday that the president "was honestly surprised at the level of pushback. At the end of the day he still considers himself to be in the hospitality business."

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Oct 20, 2019

Scouted: The Best Wool and Cashmere Scarves to Keep You Warm and Toasty
If there's one thing that screams the changing of seasons, it's a scarf. But not just any ol' scarf that is lightweight or fashionable. I'm talking a big honkin' wool scarf, one that makes your hair static-y but keeps you nice and toasty. I have a collection of them and I feel that everyone should have one on hand for days when the wind just wants to rip your face off. Here's a list of some top-selling options from around the web.

Two-Tone Baby Alpaca Scarf, $125 from Cuyana: This two-tone scarf is made from baby alpaca wool and hales from Peru. The ends are finished with tassels to give you that classic scarf feel. It comes in a pink/white colorway or a black/grey colorway, so you can wear this scarf with practically any outfit.

The Cashmere Scarf, $98 at Everlane: This is a luxurious scarf without the luxury price. Made from 100% cashmere, it's a scarf you'll want to wrap yourself in every day. It comes in four different neutral tones: Heather Grey, Navy,

The Daily Beast
Oct 20, 2019

Scouted: 5 Straws You Can Reuse Over and Over Again Without Hurting the Environment
The United States goes through some 500 million plastic straws a day, and that plastic severely impacts the environment, as they make up about 7% of the total plastic waste humans produce. It's no surprise, then, that major rivers all around the world carry some 1.15-2.41 million tons of plastic into our seas each year. But you can make an effort to reverse this harrowing trend by moving toward eco-conscious, reusable straws as alternatives. Here are five environmentally friendly options.

The FinalStraw 2.0, $25 on Amazon: FinalStraw raised $1.8 million on Kickstarter as the world's first collapsible straw. It's made of stainless steel, but it folds up to tuck away into a small keychain case you can put with your house or car keys. It's easy to tote with you, and it's easy to clean with the accompanying brush. Plus, it comes in a fun rainbow color.

LifeStraw, $20 on Amazon: LifeStraw's original, award-winning personal straw was engineered for outdoor sports and emergency survival situations. It's unlike the other straws on this list in that it's not intended for use at a restaurant (though we don't see why you can't use it anywhere); rather it's designed so you can safely drink from rivers during multi-day treks or perhaps from buckets of tap water while traveling in developing areas. It removes bacteria, parasites, and microplastics, preventing the majority of waterborne diseases. And it weighs just two ounces but filters 1,000 gallons of drinking water, which is enough for one adventure afic

The Daily Beast
Oct 20, 2019

Scouted: 5 of the Coziest Compression Socks That'll Look Good and Make Your Feet Feel Good
If you're anything like me, your shoes fit a little snugger after a long-haul flight. In fact, even after a recent short flight, I had to loosen my Birkenstock buckles. That's because my feet tend to swell on airplanes. It happens to the best of us due to inactivity—our blood pools in our legs and feet. And that's why there are socks to save us. Here are five comfy compression socks to sport on your next flight.

VIM & VIGR Montana Plaid: Heathered Grey, $42 on Amazon: Engineered with premium cotton and 200-needle count for flexibility and comfort, VIM & VIGRs Montana Plaid socks deliver modern-firm, medical-grade compression. This means they'll help to energize your legs, reduce swelling, and alleviate achiness and heaviness while you're seated for several hours at a high altitude. They'll also aid in muscle recovery, and the flexible toe pocket and contoured leg and heel make for a more comfortable fit.

Feetures' Graduated-Compression Light Cushion Knee-Highs, $45 at Zappos: Feetures' graduated-compression knee-highs are not only lightly cushioned to keep your feet comfortable, but they're also created to improve your circulation and reduce muscle fatigue. Each foot is anatomically designed to deliver maximum comfort and protection, with patented Sock-Lock technology that offers targeted compression. There's also iWick fibers to keep your feet cool and dry for the duration of your flight.



The Daily Beast
Oct 20, 2019

Mick Mulvaney Melts Down Under Brutal Grilling By Fox's Chris Wallace
Days after his disastrous White House press briefing in which he admitted President Donald Trump was seeking out a quid pro quo with Ukraine before saying never mind, acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney struggled to walk back his comments under the intense and relentless grilling of Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace.

Almost immediately during the Sunday morning broadcast, Wallace pressed Mulvaney on his remarks, asking why he said during the press conference that military aid to Ukraine depended on investigating the actions of Democrats during the 2016 election, prompting Mulvaney to assert that he never actually said that.

"Again, that's not what I said, that's what people said I said," he replied before saying there were "two reasons" why the United States would have held up aid: corruption and whether other European nations were helping with aid.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Oct 20, 2019

Prince Harry's Bombshell: Meghan and I Would Love to Move to Africa
Chris JacksonIf you love The Daily Beast's royal coverage, then we hope you'll enjoy The Royalist, a members-only series for Beast Inside. Become a member to get it in your inbox on Sunday.

Harry: Meghan and I would love to move to Africa

It's an extraordinary morning of royal news in the U.K. today, with a welter of stories emerging from a film about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's African tour due to be screened later today (The Daily Beast will be watching, mouth agape, and bringing you an update on the site at around 5/6pm EST).

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Oct 20, 2019

Inspired by Headlines, Her Poems Are News That Stays News
Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily BeastAlissa Quart's fearless, innovative poems adroitly confront the stuff of contemporary life, from mass shootings to DNA searches to MRIs to abortion clinics to a baby's fever. Some of her poems collected in Thoughts and Prayers, two of which are reprinted below, deploy the actual language of public figures, such as James Comey and, in a poem published here for the first time, the Trump-Ukraine whistleblower.





Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Oct 20, 2019

The Ukraine Whistleblower's Complaint: A Poem
Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily BeastAlissa Quart's fearless, innovative poems adroitly confront the stuff of contemporary life, from mass shootings to DNA searches to MRIs to abortion clinics to a baby's fever. Some of her poems collected in Thoughts and Prayers, two of which are reprinted below, deploy the actual language of public figures, such as James Comey and, in a poem published here for the first time, the Trump-Ukraine whistleblower.





Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Oct 20, 2019

Paul Theroux Wants You to Know That You Don't Know Mexico
Education Images/GettyPaul Theroux visited Mexico seven times over the course of one year while doing research for his new book, On the Plain of Snakes. He drove the entire length of the U.S.-Mexico border and spoke with immigrants fleeing poverty, corruption, and gang violence. He was charmed by dynamic cities like Monterrey and Mexico City. He visited areas populated primarily by indigenous communities and had at least one scary run-in with a corrupt cop. And he got to meet Subcomandante Marcos, spokesperson for the Zapatista Army of National Liberation.

But the event that really stood out for Theroux, and for him seemed to typify his south-of-the-border experience, occurred in San Dionisio Ocotepec, a small town in the state of Oaxaca. It was there that Theroux happened to be invited to a family meal during a period of mourning for an old woman who had just died.

"I was invited to this meal, and I was sitting under a tree with 30 or 40 other people," says Theroux, "and I realized I was in the bosom of a family grieving for their grandmother, and they were very conversational. It was an amazing experience of generosity, hospitality, people confiding in me, and being part of the family. I found Mexicans to be among the most hospitable people I've ever met."

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Oct 20, 2019

Why Sitting Bull Chose This Destination After Whupping Custer (And You Should Too)
Few people know that after Chief Sitting Bull decimated Custer and his troops at the Battle of the Little Bighorn, he headed to Canada in 1877. Pleased with the civil Canadian greeting and abundant bison he settled his Lakota followers in the rolling hills and short-grass prairies of southwest Saskatchewan. The bison were gone after four years—felled by hide hunters and overhunting to make room for European settlers—and U.S. government representatives convinced Chief Sitting Bull to move to a South Dakota reserve.

Not everyone followed Sitting Bull back to the U.S. Descendants of the Lakota can still be found in the area surrounding Canada's Grasslands National Park in Saskatchewan, a historic connection that surprises the hardy 12,000 travelers that visit the remote park each year.

But there is much to be surprised about in one of Canada's newest national parks, created in 1981. I started my explorations with a time-travel-themed hike in the park's east block, one of the best places in the world to see the line of extinction, a geological punctuation mark on the age of dinosaurs.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Oct 20, 2019

OMG, I Want This House: Malibu, CA
TruliaThe Daily Beast presents a look at one of the most insane houses in the world.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Oct 20, 2019

Trump Cheated (Shocker!) on Property Tax; But Will Anyone Go to Jail?
Chip SomodevillaProPublica published a piece Wednesday that put the spotlight once again on some questionable financial practices of the Trump Organization, which showed one set of books to banks (inflating value) and another to New York City tax authorities (deflating value).

Is this just the usual Trump mendacity, or can prosecutors see this as part of a pattern? And if so, could it be prosecuted? Who would be tagged as the defendant(s)? If not, what more is needed to bring the guilty parties to justice?

Before we explore these questions, let's look at the facts. Both versions of them.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Oct 20, 2019

This Podcaster Dug Into the World of Neo-Nazis. Now They've Put a Target on Him.
Nick R. MartinDaniel Harper is the co-host of what might be the most important podcast countering the white nationalist movement today.

It's called I Don't Speak German, and since launching in January it has helped lead people back from the brink of radicalization, drawn plaudits from researchers of violent extremism, and attracted an audience of thousands of regular listeners.

But for Harper, it's also come at a personal cost. He routinely has been harassed online by the very subjects he discusses, and he constantly has to think about the safety of himself and his family.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Oct 20, 2019

‘I'm Not Choking Her!': Andy Kaufman and the Unlikely, Controversial Rise of Intergender Wrestling
Alan Singer/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via GettyIn the canon of big, important American years, 1979 doesn't get as much attention as say, 1776, or 1812, or 1945. But it had some sleeper hits: Sony dropped the Walkman; Voyager 1 found Jupiter's rings; Aaliyah was born—also, comedian Andy Kaufman wore a bathrobe on Saturday Night Live, wrestled Lacoste heiress Mimi Lambert for three straight minutes, pinned her, kicked her, and named himself the Intergender Wrestling Champion of the World.

The performance, which took place 40 years ago today, was not Kaufman's first fight. For months, the "song and dance man" had been performing sets (he called them "concerts") where he would invite women to wrestle. The idea was to channel old carnival wrestlers who toured town-to-town, offering $500 to any man who could pin them. Kaufman, rocking a dentist's physique, couldn't pull that off. Guys would crush him. He challenged girls instead. The comedian had a whole spiel to egg them on: "It takes a certain mental energy to wrestle, a certain strategy," he says in one video at the Comedy Store. "Women, I do not think, possess this. Now, there are times when the woman does have this mental energy, for example in the kitchen, scrubbing the potatoes, washing the carrots, scrubbing the floors, raising the babies..." Usually, the rant then devolved into baby talk or shrieks. 

People didn't love it, but mostly, people didn't know much about it, unless they'd happened into a Kaufman concert. That changed after SNL. The

The Daily Beast
Oct 20, 2019

Scouted: Cook Your Favorite Fall Stews In a Discounted Instant Pot — $80 on Amazon Right Now
By now, you should know that the Instant Pot reigns supreme in the world of easy-to-use kitchen gadgets. This thing does practically everything you need for the perfect meal besides eating it for you. It's a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, sauté, yogurt maker, and warmer. And the family-sized 8Qt version is on sale for $80. 

The Instant Pot DUO80 comes with 14 different one-touch presets to make your cooking even quicker. It's got a soup/broth button, a steam button, a pressure cook button, even a poultry button (no overcooked chicken here!). There's so much you can do with your Instant Pot. I made an Instant Pot French onion soup recipe and it lasted me through the week, taking it for lunch and eating leftovers for dinner. It was delicious and took practically a quarter of the time a traditional French onion soup takes. If you want to cut down on your cooking time without sacrificing on flavor, the Instant Pot is your answer. | Get it on Amazon  

Scouted is internet shopping with a pulse. Follow us on Twitter and sign up for our newsletter for even more recommendations and exclusive content. Curious about a specific product or brand? Let us know! Please note that if you buy something featured in one of our posts, The Daily Beast may collect a share of sales.



The Daily Beast
Oct 20, 2019

Scouted: Does Buffy—the "World's Best Comforter"—Live Up to Its Title?
The Buffy Cloud Comforter—you know, the one that's infiltrated all your social media feeds with ads of people who look like they've never had a poor night's rest—makes a bold claim right on its homepage. It calls itself "the most comfortable comforter on Earth" and, according to others who've splurged on the $120 to $200 product, the title is accurate. Eager to see if this holy grail of comforters lived up to the accolades, I decided to give The Cloud, their signature product, a whirl myself.

My first thought upon unboxing the Buffy Cloud Comforter was that it looked and felt exceptionally luxurious. It is ridiculously soft and fluffy, largely because its shell is constructed from eucalyptus, which is also hypoallergenic, and because it's stuffed with little pockets of "extra-fluffy recycled fill." The recycled fill is actually repurposed BPA-free plastic water bottles.

The comforter does have some heft to it, though it's surprisingly lightweight given its appearance. I like that you can spread it out over your bed as is, though you can always opt to put a duvet over it if you desire. Ultimately, it looks and feels high-quality. If your bed were a key lime pie, Buffy would be the creamy meringue topping.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Oct 20, 2019

Will Republicans' Attacks on Trump Over Syria Embolden Them on Impeachment?
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/GettyDonald Trump's raison d'être has been to repeal and replace Barack Obama's presidency, so why did he choose to replicate what might have been the worst part of his legacy, namely Obama's infamous "red line" debacle in Syria (which signaled weakness and empowered Russia) and his withdrawal from Iraq (which led to the rise of ISIS)?

In case you've forgotten, not long ago, Trump was calling Obama literally the founder of ISIS. The literal part was, of course, absurd. But by failing to leave a residual force behind in Iraq, Obama squandered the hard-fought gains made during the Iraq surge, allowing for the rise of the Islamic State. 

But isn't that exactly what Trump has done in Syria? According to Kurdish forces on the ground, hundreds of ISIS family members and militants have already escaped. 

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Oct 20, 2019

Will the Syria Door Republicans Are Walking Through Embolden Them on Impeachment?
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/GettyDonald Trump's raison d'être has been to repeal and replace Barack Obama's presidency, so why did he choose to replicate what might have been the worst part of his legacy, namely Obama's infamous "red line" debacle in Syria (which signaled weakness and empowered Russia) and his withdrawal from Iraq (which led to the rise of ISIS)?

In case you've forgotten, not long ago, Trump was calling Obama literally the founder of ISIS. The literal part was, of course, absurd. But by failing to leave a residual force behind in Iraq, Obama squandered the hard-fought gains made during the Iraq surge, allowing for the rise of the Islamic State. 

But isn't that exactly what Trump has done in Syria? According to Kurdish forces on the ground, hundreds of ISIS family members and militants have already escaped. 

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Oct 20, 2019

Helen Mirren Exposes the Slut-Shaming of Catherine the Great
Courtesy HBOHelen Mirren can do it all.

Here she is, at the age of 74, playing a woman half her age, in HBO'S Catherine the Great, and she is on fire—a woman seizing absolute power in a nest of male vipers, the Russian court of 1762.

Make no mistake: Nobody could better carry off the audacity of the casting. We're so used to Woody Allen Syndrome—old male actors partnering with far younger women—that it's a revelation to see the roles reversed as Mirren's Catherine works her way through a series of muscular young lovers.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Oct 20, 2019

The Slaughter of the Tech Unicorns
Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily BeastAfter nearly two triumphant decades marked by an unprecedented accumulation of both wealth and power, our tech oligarchy seems to be running out of luck. Newly issued IPOs—Uber, Lyft and Slack—are losing values at breathtaking rates, while others in the on-desk circle, such as the once widely anticipated We, are headed back to the bench.

Silicon Valley's new form of capitalism had seemed to promise insiders enormous gains even as companies lost money. Now the unicorns are crashing on the rocks of reality. "Hot" companies such as Peloton Interactive, Uber and Lyft may have grown enormously but they did so largely on the backs also of enormous losses; enthusiasm for newer IPOs has dimmed as investors discover, once again, that results finally matter more than hype. 

People at venture capital firms, notably Japan's SoftBank, and its $100 billion investment fund, won't be missing meals, but likely won't be adding zeros to their net worth either. Analysts generally see a downturn and some predict another searing crash, with the potential for "

The Daily Beast
Oct 20, 2019

Hardest Part of Dems' Impeachment Bid? ‘Too Many Crimes' to Stay Focused
Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily BeastWith a slew of depositions of key figures in the impeachment inquiry lined up for next week, House Democrats aren't anywhere near done compiling evidence of President Trump's misconduct—and yet in the span of just a few hours this past week they got enough to make staying focused their biggest obstacle.

In a remarkable appearance at the White House briefing room podium on Thursday, acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney admitted that President Trump held up nearly $400 million in security aid to Ukraine as leverage for them to investigate his political rivals—complicating repeated GOP defenses that there was "no quid pro quo" and surprising Democrats who have insisted that the question of quid pro quo is not central to their impeachment of Trump.

Mulvaney also announced that the administration would host the G7 conference of world leaders at Trump's golf club in Florida—a brazen move to promote the president's business interests that flared up simmering sentiment among Democrats that they have not focused enough on how Trump has enriched himself through the presidency, something many of them already view as impeachable conduct.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Oct 19, 2019

Mexico's Murderous Super Cartel CJNG Is Winning the ‘Narco Game of Thrones'
Jeremy KrytVALLECITOS DE ZARAGOZA, Mexico—There is only one hotel still open in this cartel-besieged town and I am the only guest in it.

The former owner of the Sierra Inn here in western Mexico's Guerrero state is a local businessman and political candidate who was run off the road and shot to death by sicarios [hitmen] two years back. He'd envisioned turning Vallecitos into a hot-spot for eco-tourism—the town is nestled in an idyllic, wooded valley in the Sierra Madre del Sur—and at the time he was killed he had several other development projects in the works. Now only this lonely hotel remains.

It's early fall and the rainy season is underway in these mountains. When the storms are too bad to go out I wander the deserted halls, the silent dining room. I look at the empty pool, study paintings of the slain owner's horses on the walls. All kept immaculate by the gerente, the caretaker, and his wife. The gerente went to school with the murdered owner and weeps to talk of him. The wife will not speak to me at all. 

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Oct 19, 2019

Mexico's Murderous Super-Cartel CJNG Is Winning the ‘Narco Game of Thrones'
Jeremy KrytVALLECITOS DE ZARAGOZA, Mexico—There is only one hotel still open in this cartel-besieged town and I am the only guest in it.

The former owner of the Sierra Inn here in western Mexico's Guerrero state is a local businessman and political candidate who was run off the road and shot to death by sicarios [hitmen] two years back. He'd envisioned turning Vallecitos into a hot-spot for eco-tourism—the town is nestled in an idyllic, wooded valley in the Sierra Madre del Sur—and at the time he was killed he had several other development projects in the works. Now only this lonely hotel remains.

It's early fall and the rainy season is underway in these mountains. When the storms are too bad to go out I wander the deserted halls, the silent dining room. I look at the empty pool, study paintings of the slain owner's horses on the walls. All kept immaculate by the gerente, the caretaker, and his wife. The gerente went to school with the murdered owner and weeps to talk of him. The wife will not speak to me at all. 

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Oct 19, 2019

Russian Media Cheers Trump's Moves in Syria: ‘Putin Won the Lottery!'
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/GettyPresident Trump has boasted he's "getting a lot of praise" for his abrupt decision to withdraw U.S. troops out of northern Syria, abandoning the Kurds—America's longstanding allies—to Turkey's incursion. On the home front, the controversial move has been met with criticism on both sides of the political aisle, but the reaction in Moscow was far from mixed. As Trump uncorked chaos in the Middle East, champagne tops were likely popping at the Kremlin.

"Putin won the lottery! Russia's unexpected triumph in the Middle East," raved Mikhail Rostovsky in his article for the Russian newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets. "Those who were convinced of Trump's uselessness for Russia ought to think again...What Washington got out of this strange move is completely unclear. To the contrary, what Moscow gained from this is self-evident...Trump's mistake in Syria is the unexpected ‘lottery win' that further strengthened Moscow's position in the Middle East and undermined America's prestige as a rational political player and a reliable partner."  

Maksim Yusin, the editor of international politics at the leading Russian business daily Kommersant, was amazed by the ongoing stream of inexplicable actions by the American president that benefit the Kremlin. "All of this benefits the Russian Federation," Yusin marveled. "You know, I've been watching Trump's behavior lately and get seditious thoughts: maybe he really is a Russian agent? He is laboring so hard to strengthen the international image of Russia in general—and Putin in particular...In this situation, Americ

The Daily Beast
Oct 19, 2019

Do Germans Know a Hate Crime When They See It?
Jens Schlueter/GettyFRANKFURT—Slowly, many would say too slowly, Germany is waking up to the threat of far right terrorism. How could it not after a gunman attacked a synagogue in the eastern city of Halle on Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar? Unable to enter, he killed a woman on the street and a man in a kebab shop. 

The shooter's "manifesto" was a typical anti-Semitic screed, but his mother's words, in their way, were more chilling. She told the German magazine Der Spiegel that her son "didn't have anything against Jews in that sense. He had something against the people who stand behind financial power."

Unfortunately, such parsing of definitions is not unique to the moms of murderers. Violent hate crimes that stop short of fatalities occur on an almost daily basis in this country, but are rarely reported or prosecuted.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Oct 19, 2019

Scouted: Settle In for the Night and Wrap Yourself In One of These Best-Selling Throw Blankets
At a young age, I was conditioned to always need to be under a blanket. My mom cannot lay and watch TV without one and neither can I. This has translated to owning way too many throw blankets to snuggle under no matter the weather. If there's one home accessory I can't get enough of, it's a throw blanket. It's even a running joke with my boyfriend's family that when they get on their Sunday FaceTime session, I'm going to be under a blanket on the couch. They're right 9 out of 10 times. If you have a throw blanket addiction you want to feed, might we suggest some of these top-rated covers?

Chunky Knit Throw Blanket, $30 at Target: Just one look at this blanket and you can see why it's a best-seller with great reviews. The sweater-knit blanket is hefty but not stuffy. It's made from a lightweight, breathable acrylic so you can wear it all year. 

LOMAO Sherpa Fleece Blanket, $33 on Amazon: Most sherpa blankets are single-color and a bit dull. This patterned one from Amazon not only has a crazy-high 4.9-star rating on over 300 reviews, but it also comes in a handful of bold colors with a starburst pattern that's chic, not boring. It's the grown-up version of a fuzzy blanket.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Oct 19, 2019

Scouted: The Most Durable Hiking Boots To Wear While Summiting Peaks (or Along Your Neighborhood Trails)
Whether you're trekking through the steep, snow-swathed Annapurna circuit in the Nepalese Himalayas, hiking up the volcanic terrain of Tanzania's Mount Kilimanjaro, walking Spain's Camino de Santiago, or going for a casual day hike near your home, you need hiking boots that'll take a beating. That's why we've rounded up six of the best women's hiking boots that will take you to the top.

Danner Arctic 600 Side-Zip, $220 at Backcountry: Danner's Arctic 600 Side-Zip boot is a newer launch for the fall/winter 2019 season that expands on the popular Mountain 600 collection. The style is renowned for good reason. Read: 200G Primaloft® Gold insulation to keep your feet warm, waterproof YKK side zippers and Danner Dry waterproof membranes to keep your feet dry, and ultra-cushy Vibram® SPE midsoles to keep your feet comfortable. The Vibram's Arctic Grip™ and Ice Trek rubber compounds are also pinnacle cold weather technologies specifically built for traction on frozen surfaces.

Keen Terrador Ankle Waterproof Boots, $150 at Keen: Keen believes that being active is a mindset—that a change of seasons only means a change of shoes. And its Terradora Ankle Waterproof boots might be the shoes you need to survive the elements on the trail. A KEEN.DRY breathable membrane, a higher-traction outsole, and a low-density EVA midsole make for a hiking boot that'll carry you to the summ

The Daily Beast
Oct 19, 2019

Boris Johnson Furious as Parliament Refuses to Be Bounced Into Brexit Deal
REUTERSLONDON—Boris Johnson was left raging on Saturday as lawmakers forced the prime minister to seek yet another Brexit delay from the European Union.

The extremely rare parliamentary vote taken on a Saturday did not reject Johnson's compromise deal with the EU outright, it merely demanded more time for the deal to be examined and inserted an additional failsafe to stop Britain from slipping out of the EU without an agreed deal on Halloween.

No. 10 was furious because Johnson has repeatedly promised to leave the EU by October 31, and that will now become more difficult. Brexit campaign insiders lamented the destruction of Johnson's "head of steam," and an end to the momentum created by his unlikely success in securing a deal from Europe.

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The Daily Beast
Oct 19, 2019

Eight Dead, Prisoners Escape in Botched Attempt to Arrest El Chapo's Son
STR/AFP via GettyTwo days after Mexican authorities spectacularly failed to keep Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman's third son in custody, eight people are dead and nearly 50 dangerous prisoners who escaped from prison remain at large.

On Thursday, 35 elite Mexican military troops descended on a home in the the city of Culiacán to carry out a U.S. extradition order on El Chapo's son, Ovidio Guzmán López, who was inside the property with three others. The raid led to a counter-attack by heavily armed men who surrounded the house and troops and, in what appeared to be a carefully orchestrated plan that will surely inspire a new Netflix series, unleashed chaos throughout the city with incredible precision.

The men, presumed to be members of the Sinaloa Cartel that El Chapo once led, worked in tandem, carrying high-caliber weapons. They blocked intersections, closed toll booths and burned cars. At the same time, inmates inside the local prison rioted in what appeared to be a planned attack, taking weapons from guards and breaking free. Of the 56 dangerous prisoners who escaped, 49 remained at large on Saturday morning, according to Sinaloa Public Security Secretary Cristóbal Castañeda.

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The Daily Beast
Oct 19, 2019

Golden-Era Detroit Tower Gets Hotel Makeover
Courtesy Element Detroit at the MetropolitanThe narrative about Detroit, told over and over again through various media, is one of collapse and recovery.

The Element at Metropolitan, a Marriott-owned hotel built into an abandoned historic downtown tower, seems like an unsubtle metaphor for that tale often told. 

Its neo-Gothic namesake, the Metropolitan Building, was built in 1925 and famously housed jewelers and goldsmiths for several decades at the peak of Detroit's mid-century economic boom. But the pie-shaped building, wedged almost directly in the heart of downtown, closed in 1979  and quickly fell into decay under city ownership. The entire building was set for demolition in 2013, but instead, and thankfully, as part of the city's shot at redemption, it became the Element, which opened earlier this year and is our latest selection in our series on exciting new hotels, The New Room with a View.

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The Daily Beast
Oct 19, 2019

Donald Trump Is Perfectly Happy to Let Allah Sort 'Em Out
Delil Douleiman/GettyOn Thursday night at his rally in Texas, Donald Trump finally admitted why he greenlit the Turkish military to cross the border into northern Syria to attack the Kurds: He wanted these two groups of Muslims to slaughter each other. As Trump declared to his adoring fans, without even a hint of humanity about the suffering this would cause to civilians, "Sometimes you have to let them fight like two kids. Then you pull them apart." 

This follows Trump's comments on Wednesday, when he did his best to callously dispel humanitarian concerns many have voiced for the Kurds.  First, Trump dismissively stated that the Kurds were "no angels." He then did his best to dehumanize both sides in the battle, declaring that the Kurds and Turks have been fighting for "hundreds of years," which he explained in essence is just who these people are. I'm not exaggerating, Trump stated that "warring" and killing is "unnatural for us, but its sorta natural for them." 

Many were stunned by Trump's comments, but not me. The why behind Trump's comments is simple. He was simply updating the old concept of "Kill them all, let God sort it out" to "let the Muslims slaughter each other and let Allah sort it out.

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The Daily Beast
Oct 19, 2019

Mexico's Little-Known Attempt to Save Freud From the Nazis
GettyThis piece originally appeared in The MIT Press Reader

In the spring of 1938, the Mexican press reported on the perils faced by Sigmund Freud in post-Anschluss Austria: The Gestapo had raided the offices of the Psychoanalytic Publishing House, searched the apartment at Berggasse 19, and briefly detained his daughter Anna. Freud himself—once reluctant to consider emigration—made up his mind to leave Vienna, but his decision seemed to come too late: obtaining an exit visa had become a nearly impossible ordeal for Austrian Jews. Freud would have been trapped in Vienna had it not been for a group of powerful friends who launched a full-scale diplomatic campaign on his behalf: William Bullitt, the American ambassador to France; Ernest Jones, who lobbied British Members of Parliament; and Princess Marie Bonaparte, who was in direct communication with President Roosevelt himself.

In Mexico, President Lázaro Cárdenas—one of the most popular leaders in twentieth-century history—had turned his country into a haven for persecuted intellectuals: after the fall of the Spanish Republic, he offered political asylum to thousands of refugees, and Mexico received a massive influx of artists, poets, academics, and philosophers who played a crucial role in postwar culture. In a world threatened by the rise of fascism, Cárdenas opened his nation's doors to socialists and fellow travelers of all kinds.

The Daily Beast
Oct 19, 2019

What Lizzie Maguire Should Probably Know About Being 30 Years Old in New York City
This is a preview of our pop culture newsletter The Daily Beast's Obsessed, written by senior entertainment reporter Kevin Fallon. To receive the full newsletter in your inbox each week, sign up for it here.

This week:

It has already been announced that the millennial-cherished Disney Channel series Lizzie Maguire is being rebooted with original star Hilary Duff and is set to air on the streaming service Disney . This week, however, Duff herself gave an interview about what fans, many now grown and in their thirties, can expect from the series, which follows Lizzie as a 30-year-old navigating life in New York City.

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The Daily Beast
Oct 19, 2019

The X-Rated Godfather of Rap Gets His Due
Ethan Miller/GettyEddie Murphy must be nuts. Or brave. Maybe a bit of both? That was my reaction when I heard that in his highly anticipated career reboot, Dolemite Is My Name, Murphy was setting out to make a big-name, big-budget movie about a man who worked in the outer precincts of Hollywood, making raunchy comedy records and no-name, no-budget blaxploitation flicks that had no desire to become mainstream hits and, for that very reason, became revered cult favorites with black audiences.

The man's name was Rudy Ray Moore, and his greatest creation was Dolemite, an acid-tongued, kung fu-kicking ghetto pimp who was a master of toasting, an oral tradition imported from West Africa, verbal sparring contests to tell the tallest tale or land the most devastating insult. And so when Dolemite wants a corrupt cop to get out of his way, he doesn't say, "Please." He says, "Man, step aside and let me pass, fore they have to be pulling these Hush Puppies out yo muthafuckin' ass." (Hush Puppies as certified 1970s pimp footwear!) An enemy isn't merely an enemy to Dolemite, he's a "no-business, born-insecure, rat-soup-eatin' junkyard muthafucka." And to anyone who is doing anything halfway, Dolemite has a standard rebuke: "Put your weight on it!"

As Moore's 1975 debut movie, Dolemite, and his home-made party records and stand-up act were acquiring cult status, he refused to tone down the braggadocio or the raunch in order to win the approval of mainstream—that is, white—audiences. He proudly dubbed himself "the first X-rated comedian." The titles of the routines on his party records lay it all out: "Mr. Big Dick," "Pimpin' Sam," "Back Up and Get This Load," and "Hell of a Blow Job," to name a few. It wasn't only abou

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