President Trump Will Not Attend the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner
In the latest development with his contentious relationship with the press, President Trump said will not attend this year’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner. The president made the announcement over Twitter on Saturday afternoon.
I will not be attending the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner this year. Please wish everyone well and have a great evening!
Trump, who would firsthand be the subject of ridicule by a comedian selected by the association, decided to avoid the awkward showing on April 29. In 1981, Ronald Reagan was the last person to not attend the dinner, but that was because he was shot in an assassination attempt a month earlier.
Several media organizations, including Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, and Bloomberg, had already announced they would no longer host afterparties. Samantha Bee, of TBS’s Full Frontal, said she would host a Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner event to raise money for the Committee to Protect Journalists.
Trump has never handled roast-style events well. In 2011, Seth Meyers ripped Trump at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner with some scathing jokes, including, “Donald Trump has been saying he will run for president as a Republican, which is surprising since I just assumed he was running as a joke.”
Earlier this year, there were rumors of whether this year’s dinner would even happen. But in February, Jeff Mason, a Reuters reporter and WHCA president, said the dinner was still on, adding, “the WHCA will pursue its core mission of advocating for journalists’ ability to ask questions of government officials, push for transparency, and help Americans hold the powerful to account.”
Members of the Democratic National Committee have selected former Labor Secretary Tom Perez as their new chairman, beating out Representative Keith Ellison for the top position. Democrats, still reeling after the win of President Trump in the last election, are hoping fresh leadership can get the party back on track. In recent years, Democrats have struggled to connect with voters in state and local elections, as Republicans dominate state governments nationwide. A majority of the 447 members of the DNC, who are activists and donors from across the country, thought Perez could bring the necessary change. Ellison, who is the first Muslim elected to Congress, was backed by the progressive wing of the party, including from Senators Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and former DNC Chairman Howard Dean. Perez was a darling of former administration officials, and enjoyed the endorsement of former Vice President Joe Biden. Meeting in Atlanta, the selection required two rounds of voting. Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, who built an outsider campaign, dropped out of consideration before the first round of voting, along with a string of other long-shot candidates. Perez said the Democratic Party is “suffering from a crisis of confidence, a crisis of relevance" after Trump’s win in the 2016 election. In his first act as chairman, Perez made Ellison the deputy chairman of the DNC.
Al-Qaeda-linked insurgents stormed two Syrian security offices in Homs, killing at least 32 people, including the head of the local military intelligence service branch. The Levant Liberation Committee attack in the central city, which has been ravaged by the civil war, also wounded at least 24 others. The twin attacks, each with three suicide bombers, hit heavily fortified buildings. As rescue workers arrived on the scene, other bombs went off at security checkpoints. This comes just one day after a suicide car bombing killed 60 people and wounded 100 in the northern city of al-Bab. The city was recently retaken by Syrian forces after three years of ISIS control.
Despite the easing of taboos and the rise of hookup apps, Americans are in the midst of a sex recession.
These should be boom times for sex.
The share of Americans who say sex between unmarried adults is “not wrong at all” is at an all-time high. New cases of HIV are at an all-time low. Most women can—at last—get birth control for free, and the morning-after pill without a prescription.
If hookups are your thing, Grindr and Tinder offer the prospect of casual sex within the hour. The phrase If something exists, there is porn of it used to be a clever internet meme; now it’s a truism. BDSM plays at the local multiplex—but why bother going? Sex is portrayed, often graphically and sometimes gorgeously, on prime-time cable. Sexting is, statistically speaking, normal.
Each year, local governments spend nearly $100 billion to move headquarters and factories between states. It’s a wasteful exercise that requires a national solution.
The Amazon HQ2 saga had all the hallmarks of the gaudiest reality TV. It was an absurd spectacle, concluding with a plot twist, which revealed a deep and dark truth about the modern world.
Fourteen months ago, Amazon announced a national beauty contest, in which North American cities could apply to win the honor of landing the retailer’s second headquarters. The prize: 50,000 employees and the glory of housing an international tech giant. The cost? Just several billion dollars in tax incentives and a potential face-lift to the host city. Then last week, in a classic late-episode shock, several news outlets reported that Amazon would split its second headquarters between Crystal City, a suburban neighborhood near Washington, D.C., and Long Island City, in Queens, New York.
When I was elected to the House of Representatives two years ago, I found the problems weren’t as bad as I’d expected—they were worse.
If you are among the 11 percent of Americans who believe that everything in Congress is going swimmingly, then save some time and stop reading right now. (But first, please share whatever experimental drugs you are on.) But if you are among the 87 percent of people who are concerned about what is going on in Congress, then I have an important message for you: It’s much worse than you think.
On Tuesday, Congress reconvenes after a month of campaigning. Lame-duck legislation will likely get the most attention, but a more important debate will occur among surviving incumbents and new members in each caucus about how to organize for the next Congress. This debate about rules and process, more than any Russia-related investigation or wall-funding-fueled shutdown, will determine whether Congress can avoid two years of dysfunction or whether it will continue its slide into irrelevance.
It is best not to diagnose the president from afar, which is why the federal government needs a system to evaluate him up close.
President Donald Trump’s decision to brag in a tweet about the size of his “nuclear button” compared with North Korea’s was widely condemned as bellicose and reckless. The comments are also part of a larger pattern of odd and often alarming behavior for a person in the nation’s highest office.
Trump’s grandiosity and impulsivity have made him a constant subject of speculation among those concerned with his mental health. But after more than a year of talking to doctors and researchers about whether and how the cognitive sciences could offer a lens to explain Trump’s behavior, I’ve come to believe there should be a role for professional evaluation beyond speculating from afar.
I’m not alone. Viewers of Trump’s recent speeches have begun noticing minor abnormalities in his movements. In November, he used his free hand to steady a small Fiji bottle as he brought it to his mouth. Onlookers described the movement as “awkward” and made jokes about hand size. Some called out Trump for doing the exact thing he had mocked Senator Marco Rubio for during the presidential primary—conspicuously drinking water during a speech.
Trump’s acting attorney general can’t legally hold the office—and that’s a problem for everyone.
President Donald Trump appointed Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general last week, despite the fact that he cannot legally hold the office. While the president could fix his mistake with any lesser official and in any normal time, the attorney general is no lesser official and this is no normal time. Whitaker takes office during a time of extreme constitutional conflict involving investigations of the president, claims of abuse of law-enforcement and national-security powers, and combat between the executive and legislative branches. In order to prevent a breakdown of federal law enforcement, the White House should hurry to select a permanent attorney general before any more damage is done.
Clothing brands have been smuggling spandex onto the legs of unsuspecting men.
“I definitely didn’t explicitly understand what I was buying,” Austin Ray, a 36-year-old writer in Atlanta, told me. What he was buying were Gap Soft Wear Jeans in Straight Fit with GapFlex, which is a nine-word phrase to describe a two-word trend: stretch jeans. “Apparently I didn’t think too hard about what those words meant,” he said.
My friend David Covucci, a 34-year-old Brooklyn editor, also didn’t understand exactly what he was getting into when he picked a pair of Banana Republic Rapid Movement Denim jeans off a clearance rack, but the pants immediately felt different to him. “I knew something was up, but I didn’t Google until I got home,” he said.
How selling Adobe Lightroom presets took the “influencer” world by storm.
Influencers are people who have established credibility in a specific realm or industry, and who leverage a social-media following to exert influence and, usually, make money. Scroll through many of their Instagram feeds, and you’ll begin to notice something: The photos all look vaguely the same. Maybe every image seems washed in pink, or the blues are all the same, or every image is just the right amount of faded. That’s not an accident, or an example of photographic mastery; it’s a preset.
Presets are custom filters applied using Adobe Lightroom, a photo-editing tool. Influencers run all their photos through a specific preset in order to cultivate a specific aesthetic and make their feed look cohesive. Influencers have relied on Lightroom for years, but it wasn’t until June of this year that Adobe finally introduced the ability to create and share presets entirely on mobile, and a preset boom was born.
The Harry Potter author is pouring a wealth of ideas about her wizarding world into a mold that doesn’t have the space for it.
There came a certain point in George Lucas’s career, as he began writing prequels to his Star Wars films and tinkering with reedited “special editions” of the originals, when he finally lost all grasp on narrative momentum and became a glorified encyclopedia editor. Story took a backseat to explanation, and characters seemed to exist only to be related to future characters in some way. With the release of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, it’s safe to say that the Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling is swerving dangerously close to George Lucas territory.
This is a film that exists primarily to answer questions nobody would have ever thought to ask about a series of books that already told a very complete story. It’s been dressed up as a sequel in the Fantastic Beasts series, starring the squirrelly and introverted Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) and set in the 1920s. But that subtitle, The Crimes of Grindelwald, has all the sizzle of an appendix entry and says everything one might need to know going in. Directed by David Yates, the movie is less a fantasy epic and more a data download, giving out just enough background information to keep fans sated until the next Fantastic Beasts drops in 2020.
The lack of young challengers to Nancy Pelosi as the next House speaker is both a symptom and a cause of her leadership.
One of the great ironies of the 2018 midterm elections is that the Democratic Party’s emergent stars—Representatives Kyrsten Sinema and Beto O’Rourke—likely would have remained nameless had they tabled their Senate bids in favor of another term in the House.
This isn’t only because Senate candidates can attract a brighter spotlight than they would as one of hundreds in the lower chamber. It’s because the House Democratic caucus is increasingly viewed as an unfriendly environment for rising talent. Against a nearly two-decade-old leadership structure and term-limitless committee assignments, more and more members have begun to eye the Senate or state office as the antidote to their long-shot prospects of scaling ranks in the House.
Last night I posted an item about weather conditions this past weekend in Paris, when Donald Trump joined other world leaders there, and on how rain and clouds affected helicopters, including Marine One.
(For the record, like “Air Force One,” “Marine One” isn’t a fixed name for any particular aircraft. Whatever Air Force airplane is carrying a sitting U.S. president is, at that moment, known by the call sign Air Force One. Similarly, whatever Marine Corps helicopter carries a president is Marine One.
(Air Force One famously has had one more takeoff than landing in its history. On his final trip away from Washington in 1974, Richard Nixon departed while still president, in a plane whose call sign on takeoff was Air Force One. He had already signed his resignation papers, which went into effect while he was airborne. At the appointed time, after Gerald Ford was sworn in, the pilot of Air Force One radioed Air Traffic Control and requested that the call sign be changed to SAM 26000 — Special Air Mission — which was its ID for the rest of the flight.)