Monday’s Morning Email: Political Showdown Looms Over Gorsuch Confirmation

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WHY THE NUCLEAR OPTION IS LOOKING POSSIBLE Republicans need 8 Democrats to vote for President Donald Trump?s Supreme Court pick, Neil Gorsuch, to reach the 60 votes required to confirm him this week without the invocation of the nuclear option. So far they have three. Here?s how every Senate Democrat intends to vote. [HuffPost]

WHITE HOUSE FINISHES NORTH KOREAN RESPONSE OVERVIEWThe completion of the economic and military sanctions list was accelerated for Trump to discuss with China?s President Xi Jinping this week. [Reuters]

?HOW UBER USES PSYCHOLOGICAL TRICKS TO PUSH ITS DRIVERS? BUTTONS? ?Employing hundreds of social scientists and data scientists, Uber has experimented with video game techniques, graphics and noncash rewards of little value that can prod drivers into working longer and harder ? and sometimes at hours and locations that are less lucrative for them.? [NYT]

PHOTOS SHOW THE AFTERMATH OF THE DEVASTATING FLOODS IN COLOMBIA Which killed over 250 people this weekend. [HuffPost]

WHY ALL THESE NATIONAL MONUMENTS WERE LIT BLUE LAST NIGHT Including the White House and Empire State Building. [HuffPost]

?GAY MEN ARE BEING ROUNDED UP AND KILLED IN CHECHNYA? ?A Chechen spokesman denied the report, saying, ?You cannot arrest or repress people who just don?t exist.?? [HuffPost]

WHAT?S BREWING

?I?LL TAKE ANY JOB? Meet the Syrian refugees looking for work in America. [HuffPost]

THE HIGHLIGHT OF THE ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS? When they trolled the Oscars for that best picture flub. Miranda Lambert thanked her fans for sharing in her ?heartbreak? after winning Album and Female Vocalist of The Year. We could not love this Tim McGraw-Faith Hill performance any more. The Backstreet Boys apparently do country now? And here?s a full list of winners. [HuffPost]

THE BEST APRIL FOOL?S JOKES Minus how sad people were that George Takei wasn?t running for Congress. [AdWeek]

LIAM NEESON MAY HAVE JUST FOUND THE MOST LIAM NEESON ROLE As the detective who all American detectives are based on ? Philip Marlowe. [Variety]

UNC AND GONZAGA MAY BE GOING TO THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP FOR MEN?S COLLEGE BASKETBALL But the historic upset of the women?s UConn basketball team by Mississippi State, ending their 111-game winning streak, was one for the record books. It might have been topped by South Carolina beating Mississippi State to take home the school?s first NCAA national title. [HuffPost]

CHANDLER HAS IT COMING Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau challenged Matthew Perry to a rematch of their schoolyard fight, and we?ve got to say our money?s on Trudeau. [HuffPost

BEFORE YOU GO

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eventfully

Can we invest in cars instead of stocks? You can drive a car but you can?t do anything with a stock. Although maintaining a car is going to take a lot more effort and expense than a stock. But most classic cars will give better return than any stock. Every enthusiast has his eyes on the new season of scavenger hunt in Louisville, KY.The scavenger hunt, in Louisville, KY, is the perfect chance to start your hunting “career”But you do need to invest a lot more on a car.

‘Walking Dead’ Actor Daniel Newman Comes Out As LGBT

?Walking Dead? actor Daniel Newman opened up about his sexuality publicly for the first time, coming out as LGBT to fans on his social media platforms. 

The 35-year-old star, who has also appeared in ?The Dark Night Rises? and ?Sex and the City,? first made the announcement on Twitter Thursday evening. 

Though he stopped short of using the words ?gay? or ?bisexual? in reference to himself, Newman elaborated further in an emotional, nearly-seven-minute YouTube video. The star said he felt compelled to come out after volunteering at a shelter for homeless LGBTQ youth in the clip, which can be viewed below. 

?I was helping out and volunteering at some homeless youth shelters, and this girl came up to me. She was like, ?Thank you so much for helping out with [LGBTQ kids], and she said it like she didn?t deserve it,? Newman said. ?She said, ?Because you?re straight.?? When the actor told the girl that he wasn?t, in fact, straight, she informed him that coming out could ?help change our lives.?

That encounter, he said, ?hit me like a gut punch. I realized how important it is, in this day and age, to be visible, have people know who you are.? After noting that he wanted to to steer clear of politics, he added, ?You see at this moment how rights are getting stripped from people so quickly. Who are the easiest people to take rights from? People that are invisible, people that are staying silent.? 

?When you are accomplishing incredible things and you?re hiding who you are, you?re hurting hundreds of millions of people,? he said. ?So, by us staying quiet, we?re partially to blame for kids getting beat up and ridiculed, stereotypes and stigmas. If you don?t like them, you need to be visible, to change them.? He went to offer praise for men who have been labeled ?sissies? for their effeminate behavior, noting, ?They?re the strongest because they didn?t have a choice. Those guys are incredible and so, so amazing.?  

In a Friday interview with People, Newman cited his southern upbringing as the reason why he?d remained silent about his sexuality until this week. ?I didn?t really think about it really as hiding. I never thought of myself as being in a closet or hidden,? he said. ?It just was that I didn?t really feel like talking about my private life.?

Thrilled to see you living authentically, Daniel! 

For the latest in LGBTQ entertainment, check out the Queer Voices newsletter.

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Trump Skips Out On Signing Executive Orders After Reporter’s Question About Flynn

President Donald Trump walked out of the Oval Office on Friday without signing two executive orders he had just touted to the press. The disappearing act occurred as a reporter asked the president about his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn.

In a video of the event by Politico, Trump talked up the orders, both concerning trade policies, which he had complained are culpable in the ?theft of America?s prosperity,? CNN reported. He called foreign nations that abuse the system ?cheaters,? noted USA Today. ?From now on, those who break the rules will face the consequences, and they?ll be very severe consequences.?

He concluded at a lectern in the Oval Office before reporters: ?You?re going to see some very, very strong results very, very quickly.? 

As Trump walked away from the lectern, a reporter called out a question about Flynn, asking the president if a tweet he?d sent earlier in the day was ?trying to tell the Justice Department to grant immunity to Michael Flynn? to testify before congressional committees investigating Russian involvement in the Trump campaign. Trump continued walking ? out the door and didn?t acknowledge the question. 

Flynn has offered to testify about his Russian contacts in hearings before the House and Senate intelligence committees ? but only if he were granted immunity, which hasn?t been granted. Trump tweeted Friday that he ?should? ask for immunity and called the investigation into Russian connections a ?witch hunt.?

Vice President Mike Pence appeared to speak to Trump just before the president ducked out of the room, perhaps trying to persuade him to return to his desk, where the orders remained unsigned. Trump made a gesture to Pence that seemed to indicate he wanted the vice president to bring the documents to him. Pence then returned to the president?s desk to gather up the orders and followed Trump out the door. The president signed the orders out of sight of the media, CNN reported.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Peter Navarro, the director of the White House National Trade Council, had watched as Trump touted the orders.

The first order requires a report by the Commerce Department on the causes of the U.S. trade imbalance within 90 days, focusing on 16 trading partners. The second calls for developing a strategy for customs agents to use current anti-dumping laws to crack down more effectively on foreign manufacturers who flood the market with underpriced products to undermine U.S. companies.

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Here’s An Old Hollywood Movie You Should Watch If You Loved ‘Get Out’

By now, you?re probably aware that Jordan Peele considers his movie ?Get Out? to be a ?social thriller? ? a genre he coined himself. 

The film has been both a box-office and critical success, earning over $150 million in ticket sales and settling at a 99 percent Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes (with only one negative review).

During a long media cycle for the movie, Jordan Peele appeared on numerous podcasts, including ?Fresh Air? and ?Nerdist,? and showed up in print publications, such as GQ and The New York Times. The Huffington Post suggested that ?Get Out? is the type of movie the Oscars should pay attention to, and praised the ending as ?a reason to go to the movies.?

If you?re reading this, you are probably, like us, already craving another great ?social thriller? to watch ASAP. 

Although it may be a while before a new movie comes out, it?s already possible to discover an older film that may be brand new to you. During numerous interviews, Peele referenced ?The Stepford Wives? as a good choice.

But in any case, it was a welcome surprise when streaming movie service Warner Archive reached out about a new curation by old Hollywood podcast host extraordinaire Karina Longworth, the creator of the popular ?You Must Remember This.?

The curated list, which mostly focuses on movies from the mid-1900s, including ?West Point? (1928), ?Bombshell? (1933), ?The Star? (1952) and ?The Prince and the Showgirl? (1957), features a flick that might just interest ?Get Out? fans.

Here?s Longworth talking to the Warner Archive about the 1942 movie ?Cat People.?

I think the most essential film on the list is ?Cat People.? It?s definitely something I would recommend for people who think they don?t like horror movies. It?s a masterclass in filmmaking with budgetary limitations, and its political allegory (critiquing the idea of American security as being synonymous with homogeneity, and the fear of the other) couldn?t be more timely. 

HuffPost sent a few follow-up questions Longworth?s way to get a further explanation of ?Cat People? and its role in culture. Her responses are below.

You said ?Cat People? is the most essential film on this list in your mind, due to its ability to create a successful political allegory on a low budget. Could you talk a bit more in length about the message the movie was trying to present and your understanding of how it was received?

Longworth: There?s a part in the ?YMRT? episode I did on ?Cat People?s? producer Val Lewton, in which Lewton is in a meeting at RKO and an executive says to him, ?Remember, we don?t want any ?messages? in our movies.? Lewton responded, ?Sorry, but my movies do have messages. The message is, death is good.? 

That deliberate antagonism of his bosses aside, all of Lewton?s films intentionally used the horror/thriller genre as an excuse to make movies about social and psychological life in the post-war world. In ?Cat People,? Lewton depicts a cheerful, peace time America that equates a secure society with a homogenous one.

The ?monster? is the foreign other who has infiltrated the American family by marrying a boring American man, and in a foreshadowing of the 1950s? totally mixed-up ideas about women and sex, this exotic creature has to remain chaste in order to keep the monster locked up inside her.

If I had to explain what Lewton meant by the idea that his ?message? is that ?death is good,? I?d point to the fact that the harbinger of death in ?Cat People? is also the film?s most sympathetic character, and is absolutely a victim of social circumstance. ?Cat People? was a massive hit, probably because all of these ideas were subliminal rather than overt. 

Do you see parallels between ?Cat People? and Jordan Peele?s recent stated goal to make social commentary horror (such as ?Get Out?)? Do you think ?Cat People? can be considered a urtext for that genre (if not necessarily for Peele specifically)?

I think the genre of horror (or, supernatural fiction) has been frequently used as a vehicle for social commentary and criticism. I wouldn?t call ?Cat People? the single urtext, because it?s not part of the first or second wave of socially conscious supernatural films.

Certainly it is a classic, but it was actually probably more innovative in its visual style than in its social content. In terms of looking for other foundational films, prior to ?Cat People,? a lot of the monster movies of the 1930s, including ?King Kong? and ?Frankenstein,? and two of my favorites, ?Mad Love? and ?The Walking Dead,? use the stories of monsters, and the idea of a porous line between life and death, to critique society.

If there is one single urtext, maybe it?s Mary Shelley?s ?Frankenstein.? 

Watch the trailer for ?Cat People? below.

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Woody Harrelson Is Not Smoking Weed Anymore

Woody Harrelson has decided to pass on grass.

When asked what misconceptions people have about him, the actor revealed that he hasn?t smoked marijuana in nearly a year.

?I actually stopped smoking pot almost a year ago,? Harrelson told Vulture in an interview published Monday.

That?s not to say that pot isn?t a ?great drug,? he said. ?Even cops say that the side effect is euphoria.?

Harrelson has spent over a decade on the advisory board of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, USA Today noted. It?s just that after ?30 solid years of just partying too fucking hard,? the 55-year-old Harrelson seems ready to take it easy. The married father of three daughters said the drug also prevents him from being ?emotionally available.?

Harrelson noted that he still drinks, but in moderation.

His current project, ?Wilson,? is set for release on Friday.

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patrol

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