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Chris Christie at the Beach, Trump Playing Tennis

Chris Christie had a state beach all to himself this weekend. The New Jersey state legislature failed to agree on a budget, causing a government shutdown on Friday. But that didn't stop Christie and relatives from going to the beach, which was closed. A photographer from the New Jersey Ledger snapped the pix.

Christie is beyond tone-deaf.

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Ariana Returns to Manchester

Manchester was packed with people for the One Love Manchester concert this afternoon.

Ariana Grande & Friends: One Love Manchester show today is set to feature Justin Bieber, the Black Eyed Peas, Coldplay, Miley Cyrus, Niall Horan, Little Mix, Katy Perry, Take That, Usher, Robbie Williams and Pharrell Williams.

Some screengrabs below: [More...]

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CNN and Others Cancel Kathy Griffin Contracts

CNN, Unicorn Gold bathroom products and Squatty Potty toilet stools have cancelled their contracts with Kathy Griffin over her Trump photo.

Squatty Potty said:

We have acted swiftly and decisively to demonstrate our commitment to a culture of decency, civility, and tolerance."

It was a disgusting photo. I can't even begin to fathom what was going through her head. Ted Nugent's comment doesn't even compare.

The photos are too close to ISIS' horrific beheadings -- how will the families of James Foley and Steven Sotloff feel?

Griffin has issued what appears to be a sincere apology. [More...]

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R.I.P. Gregg Allman

Gregg Allman has died at age 69. I really loved the Allman Brothers' music -- it is an indelible part of the soundtrack of my life in the 70's.

Here's a New York Times article on his career (excellent photos.)

Tied to the Whipping Post at the Fillmore East, 1970

Statesboro Blues live in 1982 and at Farm Aid in 1997.

R.I.P. Gregg Allman. You were truly a legend. Condolences to his wife Shannon and their children, "Michael, Devon, Elijah Blue, Delilah Island Kurtom and Layla Brooklyn Allman."

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Met Gala: Too Bizarre for Words

I have never seen so many ugly, bizarre, poorly fitting fashion designs as those worn at last night's Met Gala. Here is the NY Times slideshow of 84 photos. Even the severe hairstyles and pointy ears were unflattering. I can't even pick out the worst because they are all horrible.

Rhianna looks like she's being swallowed by rose petals . This one made me laugh out loud. Julianne Moore looks like she's wearing confetti. Here's the Wicked Witch of the West feigning boredom. I have no words for this look or whoever is wearing them, they both look terrible.

P. Diddy looks like a Windows screensaver. (I saw that description on Twitter.) Katy Perry played Little Red Riding Hood while this woman played Snow White. [More...]

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Fox Announces O'Reilly Exit

Bill O’Reilly is leaving Fox News.

“After a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the company and Bill O’Reilly have agreed that Bill O’Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel,” 21st Century Fox, Fox News’s parent company, said in a statement.

O’Reilly lost more than 50 advertisers due to the allegations of sexual harassment and reports that some claims were settled with financial payments. O’Reilly denies the sexual assault allegations and his lawyers have said he is the victim of a left-wing smear campaign.

Financially, O'Reilly will probably never have to work again. [More...]

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R.I.P. Chuck Berry

Chuck Berry has died at age 90. What a legend and what an enormous talent. In this video, watch him dance at about 1:17 in.

R.I.P. Chuck Berry

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Letterman Weighs In On Donald Trump

David Letterman weighs in on Donald Trump in a new interview with Vulture Magazine:

Say the head of the family, let’s say his name was Larry Wasserstein. If Larry behaved the way Donald behaves, for even a six-week period, the family would get together and say, “Jesus, somebody better call the doctor.” Then they’d ask him to step down.

But Trump’s the president and he can lie about anything from the time he wakes up to what he has for lunch and he’s still the president. I don’t get that. I’m tired of people being bewildered about everything he says: “I can’t believe he said that.” We gotta stop that and instead figure out ways to protect ourselves from him. We know he’s crazy. We gotta take care of ourselves here now.


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SNL Cold Open: Jeff Sessions as Forrest Gump

This may be the best SNL cold open of the Trump season yet -- Kate McKinnon as Jeff Sessions -Forrest Gump. Mediaite has the video.

"This is my best good friend Kelly Ann, she ain't got no legs....They don't let her talk any more.

On Russia: "My lawyer said, Run Jeff-ey Run. So I ran and ran...."[More...]

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Schwarzenegger Blames Trump for Celebrity Apprentice Sagging Ratings

Arnold Schwarzenegger has had enough. He has told NBC he will not returng for another season of New Celebrity Apprentice, should the network renew the show. Ratings were low, for which he blames Donald Trump:

“With Trump being involved in the show, people have a bad taste and don’t want to participate as a spectator or as a sponsor or in any other way support the show,” Schwarzenegger said in that interview. “It’s a very divisive period now, and I think this show got caught up in all that division.”

He made it clear the show was not to blame:

“Everyone — from the celebrities to the crew to the marketing department — was a straight 10, and I would absolutely work with all of them again on a show that doesn’t have this baggage.”


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The UnSpeech

Update: If, like me, you intentionally skipped Trump's speech, here's a worthwhile recap.

Trump launched his campaign with lies—slandering Mexicans as rapists and criminals—and has continued to lie ever since. The only variation is the degree of cruelty with which he delivers his propaganda.

...Every autocrat flirts with benevolence, promoting themselves as the sole protector against threats, the strongman who remembers “the forgotten people.” Trump is actually worse at this game than most authoritarian leaders due to his erratic temperament, leak-prone staff, and combative relationship with the US press.

...But there is only one winner in an autocratic state: the autocrat and his lackeys. Citizens function as pawns and props, conned into complicity until their regret carries no weight. The US currently has an authoritarian-leaning government but is not yet an authoritarian regime, due in large part to the constant vigilance and pushback of citizens. If you seek to stop the slide into authoritarianism, do not let yourself get played.


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Oscars Time: "This is Not a Joke"

Update: Steve Harvey must be delighted he's not the only one to blow the announcement of a winner at an awards show. Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway just joined the club. They announced the wrong winner for Best Picture. How did it happen? According to a 2016 LA Times interview:

"In an undisclosed location, the partners tabulate votes and stuff two sets of winning envelopes, partly as another security measure and also to aid the show's flow. Stationed with their signature briefcases on opposite sides of the stage, either [PricewaterhouseCoopers partners, Brian] Cullinan or [Martha] Ruiz can dispense envelopes to presenters. At the end of the evening, each accountant will have given out about half of the envelopes.

Another version is here. That would mean the blame would lay with PriceWaterhouse, who dispense the envelopes and bring duplicates on purpose. Here's what I saw, watching it live and re-watching once: [More...]

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Milo Y. Loses Book Deal, Gets Canned from Conservative Conference

I don't know who Milo Y. is, but apparently he is with Breitbart News (which I never read.) Some old video of his that has popped up and is recirculating is apparently bad enough that Simon and Schuster has canceled his book deal and CPAC has canceled his speaking invitation.

What did he do in the video?

[He]criticiz[ed] age-of-consent laws and joking about a teenage sexual encounter he had with a Catholic priest.

I'm not sure why anyone cares about this guy, but apparently those who do think he endorsed ped*philia. He denies it (on his Facebook page which I haven't looked at). The Post repeats his comments:[More...]

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Grammys Tonight with James Corden Hosting

The Grammys' red carpet starts here in 30 minutes. I'm sure it's already streaming online, but as usual, the online websites are so disorganized, cluttered and slow, I'm not bothering. I'll wait to watch the condensed version on live TV.

The Grammy Awards website says there are 59 reasons to watch. I can think of one (besides the musical performances): James Corden is hosting.

Esquire has a new feature profile on James in its March issue, which you can read now here.

This thread is for the Grammys (not an open thread.) [More...]

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Dominican Newspaper Posts Photo of Baldwin as Trump

Too funny. El Nacional, a newspaper in the Dominican Republic carried an article on Donald Trump and Israel. But it mistakenly posted a photo of Alec Baldwin as Trump, next to a correct photo of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The paper has now issued a correction.

So will Trump add the Dominican Republic to his ban? Probably not, since Eric Trump just visited there last week, and may plan to relaunch a long ago stalled business project there called Cap Cana (that ended in lawsuits.)

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