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8 Dumbledore Quotes That Can Help You Save For Retirement

Millennial fans who read through all 3,407 pages of the Harry Potter series know that Albus Dumbledore is among the greatest wizards ever. But they don’t, apparently, know how to save for retirement.


According to a Pew Charitable Trust analysis of 2012 Census Bureau data, more than two-thirds of millennials (ages 22 to 34) have failed to open a retirement savings account. If evil forces such as low salaries, high student loans and a lack of access to 401(k) plans are conspiring against your financial future, why not look to Dumbledore for some good advice?


“Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light,” says Dumbledore in “The Prisoner of Azkaban.” As this June marks the 20-year anniversary of the series’ release, what better time to faithfully reference Dumbledore ― in the form of eight of his classic quotes ― and start saving?


#1 “It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be.” Time is the one thing that millennials have on their side that no other working generation has. Life expectancies are only rising, and the impact this has on the exponential growth of your money due to compound interest can be quite magical. For example, if at the age of 22 you put $10,000 in an account earning 8-percent interest and never add to it again, you’ll still have over $1 million by the time you turn 82.


#2: “It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” Even if you don’t have the ability to save high dollar amounts now, you can still chose to save something. Even a “riddikulus” $25 a week earning 8-percent interest will grow to give you $466,998.79 in 45 years’ time.


#3Numbing the pain for a while will make it worse when you finally feel it.” Millennials are facing a nearly pension-less future combined with uncertain government programs and benefits. There’s nothing to gain by putting this off. If your employer offers a matching 401(k) plan, then by all means take advantage of the free money. If you’re self-employed or one of the 35 percent who work for employers not offering 401(k)s, opt for an IRA or a SEP IRA. Yes, they offer the same tax advantages as a 401(k), you can still invest in stocks, and setting them up is simple.


#4 “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Remember why you are saving in the first place. Think about how good it will feel to spend time with your friends or kids or grandkids without rushing off to work. Think about how good it will feel not to be a burden to your family.


#5 “We must all face the choice between what is right and what is easy.” Yes, there will be hard days. You will be tempted to take that extra $25 and give in, go out and throw caution to the wind. Next time you’re faced with that decision, remember what you are choosing and why.


#6 “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that.” On the other hand, don’t make yourself crazy. Figure out how to do both ― save for retirement and live your life.


#7 “Age is foolish and forgetful when it underestimates youth.” As millennials, you have officially become the nation’s largest demographic at 83.1 million, according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau report. The financial industry is desperate to serve you. The data-heavy white paper Millennials + Money generated by Facebook found that even though millennials are underinvested, 86 percent say they value saving. If lack of knowledge is stopping you, ask for help.


#8 “People find it far easier to forgive others for being wrong than being right.” While it might be hard to stomach the advice of all the well-meaning people imploring you to save, saving is still the right thing to do. Whether you get with a good advisor or take a more do-it-yourself approach, what matters is that you do what you can, or as Dumbledore says, “fight and fight again, and keep fighting.”

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jun 6, 23:10
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Trump Administration Hires Official Accused Of Sexually Assaulting Students


By Justin Elliott


A political appointee hired by the Trump administration for a significant State Department role was accused of multiple sexual assaults as a student several years ago at The Citadel military college.


Steven Munoz was hired by the Trump administration as assistant chief of visits, running an office of up to 10 staffers charged with the sensitive work of organizing visits of foreign heads of state to the U.S. That includes arranging meetings with the president.


At The Citadel, five male freshmen alleged that Munoz used his positions as an upperclassman, class president and head of the campus Republican Society to grope them. In one incident, a student reported waking up with Munoz on top of him, kissing him and grabbing his genitals. In another, on a trip to the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C., a student said that Munoz jumped on him in bed and he “felt jerking and bouncing on my back.”


An investigation by The Citadel later found that “certain assaults likely occurred.” A local prosecutor reviewed the case and declined to seek an indictment.


Munoz’s hiring raises questions about the Trump administration’s vetting of political appointees, which has been both slow and spotty, with multiple incidents of staff being fired only weeks into their jobs, including for disloyalty to Trump. The White House didn’t respond to a request for comment.


Munoz, a Miami native, worked as a political consultant in South Carolina after graduating from The Citadel in 2011. He was publicly reported to be under investigation the following year around the time he was working for Rick Santorum’s presidential campaign. Stories from that time, which outline some but not all of the allegations against Munoz, are easy to find via a simple Google search.


Details of the case, drawn from an extensive, previously unreported police case file, also raise questions about The Citadel’s response to the alleged string of assaults, according to experts in campus sexual assault. After one student reported to a school official in 2010 that Munoz had sexually assaulted him, The Citadel didn’t discipline Munoz. Instead, it gave him a warning.


Over the next year and a half, Munoz allegedly assaulted four other students. Those incidents weren’t reported until well after Munoz graduated in 2011.



Munoz referred questions to his lawyer, the prominent Charleston defense attorney Andy Savage, who denied the allegations. “I believe that certain disgruntled cadets made exaggerated claims of wrongdoing concerning Munoz’s participation in boorish behavior that was historically tacitly approved, if not encouraged, by the Institution,” Savage said. 


Upon graduation, The Citadel gave Munoz an award for “leadership, sound character and service to others.” The citation said he could “always be counted upon to help classmates who need assistance and to mentor younger cadets adjusting to life at The Citadel.”


A Citadel spokeswoman, Kim Keelor, said the committee that gave the award would not have known about the 2010 allegation because of privacy law. Keelor said of the case overall: “The college proceeded thoughtfully in addressing the reports in accordance with its policy and related processes, and with great concern for those involved and the protection of their privacy.”


When more students came forward the year after Munoz graduated, The Citadel banned him from campus and referred the case to state police, who did an extensive investigation.


When The Citadel later conducted its investigation, it interviewed complainants and witnesses and concluded in 2014 that assaults occurred “based upon a ‘preponderance of evidence,’” according to a statement from the school to ProPublica.


*****


The Citadel is a storied public college based in Charleston, South Carolina, where students, known as cadets, get military instruction as well as traditional coursework. Many join the armed services after graduation.


Freshman are dubbed “knobs” for their shaved haircuts. They go through what the school refers to as “strict indoctrination.” They are subordinate to upperclassmen. There have been repeated hazing problems for many years, and there was a major scandal involvingsexual abuse at the school’s summer camp in the mid-2000s.


The students who accused Munoz of assaults say that he abused his power as an upperclassman and student leader.


Here is what one Citadel student told police about his encounters with Munoz in 2009 and 2010 during his freshman year:



Munoz coerced threatened and convinced me to allow inappropriate touching, grabbing, and kissing by leading me to believe it was what I needed to do to gain acceptance in the corps of cadets. He threatened to call my upperclassmen who would be upset if I did not comply with him.



The student told police he and Munoz would sometimes return to campus early and stay at the home of a Citadel professor, where “during the night Munoz would enter my room and continue the touching.”


Another student who was a freshman in 2011 traveled with Munoz, then a senior, as part of the Republican Society trip to the annual CPAC event in Washington. The student later said in a statement to police that Munoz had jumped on him two times. In one incident, after the freshman was caught with alcohol, Munoz informed the younger student that he would not be citing him for the violation, then came into the freshman’s hotel room:



I was groggy, [Munoz] jumped on me, I felt jerking and bouncing on my back, I threw my elbow up which threw him off the bed to the floor.



A third student, who met Munoz through the Republican Society, described Munoz setting up a series of meetings with him alone in Munoz’s room to talk about how to get leadership positions in campus organizations.



He instructed me to sit on his bed during these meetings. … After a few meetings he began to rub my leg with his hand. He moved his hand under my shorts and the first time I pushed his hand off my leg he said he was just playing and that he did it with his other knobs so I shouldn’t mind. I had seen this in the past and when I asked my classmates about the interaction, they said when they resisted, he yelled at them for not trusting him and Mr. Munoz made them stay longer in his room.



In another meeting, Munoz “put his other hand down my underwear until I again pushed him away, but he did not stop. He said as a new leader I had to learn to trust other leaders on the team and this was how I should show him I trusted him.” Munoz said “he read the Bible and knew what it said and I should not question his love of God. He continued to rub my leg and rub my private area. … He said this needed to stay between us and dismissed me.”


The first incident reported to the school took place in April 2009. As later recounted by a state police investigator, Munoz, then a sophomore, and a freshman were at an off-campus house watching TV and consensually spooning. The freshman later woke up in the middle of the night, “thinking he was having a wet dream, but it was Munoz on top of him with fully body contact, kissing him with his tongue in his mouth. Munoz had his left hand down [the other student’s] shorts touching his penis.”


The following year, in February 2010, the student reported that incident to a Citadel official, Sexual Assault Response Coordinator Janet Shealy. The reporting student told Shealy he didn’t “want to do anything but informal,” according to her notes.


School officials set up a mediation session in which Munoz and the other student met in a conference room. In that meeting, according to Shealy’s notes, Munoz “said it was consensual and that accuser started it.” The other student left “upset,” saying that Munoz had “lied.”


Shealy and another Citadel official, Col. Christopher “Hawk” Moore, met with Munoz again to tell him there would be no disciplinary action taken. Munoz was warned and told to write a statement about what happened.


Experts on campus sexual assault questioned how The Citadel handled that initial report.


“The school has the responsibility to keep people safe on campus,” said Colby Bruno, an attorney at Victim Rights Law Center. “The school should have investigated this more thoroughly. Instead of investigation they went to this mediation.”


Bruno pointed out that the federal government’s guidance on how schools should respond to sexual assault under federal civil rights law explicitly says that even voluntary mediation is not appropriate in assault cases.


“Sexual assault is about power and control,” Bruno said. “You can’t sit two people down who have an imbalance of control and power to have a balanced mediation.”


Citadel spokeswoman Keelor said in a statement that the school’s policy on mediation differs from the federal guidance “because it was developed under the direction of the Department of Justice and the federal courts during the school’s transition to coeducation” in 1996.


Keelor said after the 2010 assault report “the college conducted an investigation.” She said the school could not give details about any specific case. But she said in a statementthat generally an “informal investigation” would include interviewing both students and providing options for support services. The statement also details how the Citadel requires sexual assault prevention classes for each year of a student’s time at the school.


Shealy, The Citadel’s sexual assault response coordinator, declined to comment.


Bruno said a thorough investigation would include speaking to potential witnesses or people who had seen Munoz or the other student soon after the alleged assault.


When more students came forward in fall 2012 — more than a year after Munoz graduated — The Citadel referred the case to the state police, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division. The school also sent a campus-wide email notifying students of the allegations and banned Munoz, then an alumnus, from campus.


One student said in a statement to campus police that he had come forward so long after what happened because he had heard of other incidents and “I want this school to be safe from sexual predators.”


Over the course of several months, police interviewed the five alleged victims, who said they were willing to press charges. (None of them responded to our requests for comment.) The incidents were classified variously as forcible fondling, sexual battery and simple assault.


In March 2013, the state police referred the case to the office of the Charleston County prosecutor, Solicitor Scarlett Wilson. A week after receiving the nearly 200-page case file, the prosecutor said in a letter to police that her office would not seek indictments against Munoz because “there is no probable cause that he committed a crime prosecutable in General Sessions Court.”


Wilson’s office did not respond to requests for comment.


In 2014, according to The Citadel, Munoz requested that the school review its decision to ban him from campus. That’s when the school conducted its own investigation and found that “certain assaults likely occurred.”


Later that year, the school partially rescinded the no-trespass order, “permitting general access to public facilities and events, but no direct cadet interactions.” Asked why, the school pointed to the prosecutor’s decision not to seek indictments.


Savage, Munoz’s lawyer, said in his statement: “Steven Munoz, a graduate of the Corp with a sterling reputation for honesty, integrity and all Corp values, was used as a whipping boy in an attempt by the institution to change its shameful image shaped by its ignorance of the conduct of Skip ReVille and Michael Arpaio.” ReVilleand Arpaio were at the center of widely covered Citadel sexual assault and child abuse scandals.


At the time two of the allegations against Munoz surfaced in 2012, Savage told The Post and Courier newspaper that the allegations were not only false, but also politically motivated. Savage claimed that an unnamed Citadel employee — who was also the mother of one of the alleged victims — had released information on the allegations because she disliked Munoz’s conservative politics. Savage declined our request to provide details to substantiate his claim.


Savage also criticized the investigation of the case, saying that “several cadets complained that they were being pressured to provide misleading statements.” They were “pressured to report interactions that the cadets considered typical barracks banter as if they felt it was inappropriate,” he said.


When asked for details, Savage provided the name of one student, who Savage said was a witness, not a victim. The student is not cited as a witness in the nearly 200-page police case file, and was not immediately available for comment.


Savage also criticized the school’s investigation, saying he was not given enough time to provide witnesses or statements.


Since Munoz graduated, he has been president of a Charleston-based political consulting firm called American Southern Group, according to his LinkedIn profile. The Trump campaign paid the firm tens of thousands of dollars for “event consulting,” according to disclosure filings.


Munoz was then hired to work on Trump’s inaugural committee.


He joined the State Department on Jan. 25, a spokesperson confirmed. The agency declined to comment further.


During the Obama administration, vetting of potential political appointees like Munoz was extensive. A possible hire would be thoroughly examined by the White House Office of Presidential Personnel before being offered a job. That would include everything from a Google search to running a person’s name through criminal records and news databases.


Any significant negative media reports or criminal accusations would lead a file to be flagged for further scrutiny by White House lawyers, according to a former staffer in the office who vetted Obama appointees. Sexual assault allegations would be a serious flag. In the Obama years, candidates under consideration for jobs were passed over because of, for example, a drunk driving case or for being a registered lobbyist.


President Trump’s personnel office is being run by a former Republican Capitol Hill staffer, Johnny DeStefano. But not much is known about how the office checks the backgrounds of political appointees. The White House didn’t respond to a request for comment about details of its vetting process.



Timeline


April 2009: Alleged assault of Student #1 occurs.


November 2009-May 2010: Alleged assaults of Student #2 occur.


February 2010: Student #1 reports assault to The Citadel.


February-March 2010: School officials meet with Munoz and Student #1 for mediation. Officials warn Munoz but take no disciplinary action.


April 2010: Alleged assault of Student #3 occurs.


February 2011: Alleged assault of Student #4 occurs.


March-April 2011: Alleged assault of Student #5 occurs.


May 2011: Munoz graduates.


September 2012: After receiving more reports of past alleged assaults, The Citadel refers case to state police. The school bans Munoz, now an alumnus, from campus.


March 2013: After an investigation of over five months, state police send case file to the office of the prosecutor, Solicitor Scarlett Wilson.


March 2013: Prosecutor declines to seek indictments.


2014: Munoz requests that school review no trespass order. The Citadel “conducted an investigation, interviewing complainants and witnesses. Based upon a ‘preponderance of evidence,’ it was concluded that certain assaults likely occurred,” according to a spokesperson.


Later in 2014, the no-trespass order was partially rescinded, allowing Munoz to attend public events at the college, but limiting interactions with students.



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may 4, 16:20
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This Is How Much People Hate 'Caillou'


Caillou is a pretty notorious figure in the parenting world. Although many kids love the little bald guy and his eponymous show, he’s often the bane of their parents’ existence. 


From the main character’s whiny voice to the annoying theme song to the seemingly pointless storylines, there are many reasons “Caillou” gets on grownups’ nerves. In fact, it appears the “Caillou” hate has been growing over the years thanks to internet culture.


Here are some of the many ways people have expressed their hatred for Caillou.


These people made Facebook pages dedicated to how much they despise the show and its protagonist. 











This guy made a hilarious video analyzing everything that’s wrong with the show.


“Where is the ground?! Where are the walls?! Who drew this shit?!”





This mom figured out how to block “Caillou” from Netflix.






These moms went on camera to share how much they despise the “bald little asshole” and his incessant whining.


“Where did he come from? And who created him? And do they like him in Canada?”







These people rewrote the show’s theme song to accurately reflect how they feel about it.


“My voice sounds like nails on glass. You wish you could kick my ass.”








These people used the PBS defunding proposal as an opportunity to suggest simply cutting “Caillou” instead.


















This famous TV host used a segment about net neutrality to say “Fuck you!” to Caillou.





This dad compiled 18 reasons why parents can’t stand the show. 


Including the “nightmarish” color scheme, “annoyingly complicated story structure” and everything about Caillou’s face.





This mom came up with 29 reasons.


Reason #2: “Once you hear the super freaking annoying theme song, it will play on a loop in your head for the next four hours and make you want to stab yourself with a fork.”





This teacher may never have children because of the show.






This webcomic artist may never have any more children for the same reason.



This dad wrote a 500-word blog post dedicated to his distaste for the show.


“We follow this pseudo-Charlie-Brown as he whines, kvetches, barks orders at people, hurts himself, throws tantrums, causes trouble and generally shares his self-centered, pathetic, purposeless outlook on life to thousands of kids all over the world.”





This father and daughter duo created a special YouTube storybook to expose the real Caillou ― “a whiny little puke.”





-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

 


apr 3, 23:55
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3 Toxic Mistakes That Can Tear Young Married Couples Apart






Even strong relationships are susceptible to marriage mistakes, particularly if the marriage is relatively new, according to Pastor John Gray of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas. Pastor Gray often counsels couples and newlyweds in matters of marriage, and he says there are three particular marriage mistakes that are toxic enough to tear two people apart.


MISTAKE #1: Holding your spouse hostage to past mistakes.


People make mistakes. When your partner says or does something that offends you, it’s important not to harp on that mistake in the future. Instead, Pastor Gray says, you must give your spouse the opportunity to learn and grow. “That can mess up a young marriage because nobody knows how to do it right at the beginning,” he points out.


MISTAKE #2: Assuming married life won’t be different from dating.


What does a little piece of paper end up changing? A lot, says Pastor John. “When you engage another human being willingly with the opportunity to walk away, which is what dating is, there’s less pressure,” he explains. “When you get married, now you’re saying, ‘I’m building with this person.’ ... There will be tension.”


MISTAKE #3: Telling your business to your parents.


Pastor John calls this one of the biggest mistakes young married couples make. “Lady, if he offends you, don’t tell your mama. Because when he ends up apologizing and getting it right, and you’re healed from it, the mother still remembers it,” Pastor John says. “Keep your business to yourself.”


Pastor John’s new series, “The Book of John Gray,” premieres Saturday, April 15, at 10 p.m. ET, but you can  watch the first episode in full now on WatchOWN.tv.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

 


mar 31, 21:43
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Twitter Loses It Over Report Rex Tillerson Doesn't Allow Eye Contact


A report in the Washington Post about Rex Tillerson caused a flurry of speculation on Twitter that the secretary of state may be a vampire, a basilisk or perhaps even Medusa. 


The Post reported that some career diplomats working under Tillerson “have been instructed not to speak to him directly ― or even make eye contact.” The report also said career State Department workers “swap paranoid stories about Tillerson that often turn out to be untrue,” so the veracity of the forbidden eye contact rule is unclear.


But that little tidbit caused Tillerson’s name to trend on Twitter late Thursday with more than 20,000 tweets weighing in, and many were wondering just what was up with America’s top diplomat.


Here’s a sampling:














































































type=type=RelatedArticlesblockTitle=Related... + articlesList=58d2952ae4b062043ad4aebe,58d26455e4b02d33b7471206,587f823de4b06a0baf6491f6

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mar 31, 10:07
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Riz Ahmed Expertly Nails Why On-Screen Diversity Isn't An 'Optional Extra'

Riz MC just dropped some truth about diversity in British media. 


“Rogue One” actor, Riz Ahmed, spoke to UK Parliament earlier this month on the subject. He explained why it’s not only important to cast more minorities in television roles, but also to represent them beyond two-dimensional tropes. 





In the speech, which was caught on camera, Ahmed explored how a lack of representation can affect a person of color’s self-perception and even push minority youth into extremism. 


“If we fail to represent, we are in danger of losing people to extremism. ... In the mind of the ISIS recruit, he’s the next James Bond, right? Have you seen some of those ISIS propaganda videos—they are cut like action movies,” he said in the speech, which was hosted by Channel4. “Where is the counter narrative? Where are we telling these kids they can be heroes in our stories?”


And the consequences of lacking diversity aren’t limited to losing people to extremism, the actor explained in his speech. He pointed out that minorities want to know that they’re important to society.


Ahmed described how his mother and sister would excitedly shout “Asiaaaan!” when they saw some representation on TV. He said that, especially to people who don’t usually see themselves on screen, the inclusion of those characters with diverse backgrounds sends a message that “they matter.” Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen enough in the industry. 



“People are looking for the message that they belong, that they are part of something, that they are seen and heard and that despite, or perhaps because of, their experience, they are valued."



“People are looking for the message that they belong, that they are part of something, that they are seen and heard and that despite, or perhaps because of, their experience, they are valued,” he said. “They want to feel represented. In that task we have failed.” 


Ahmed, who added that there are economic benefits to a more inclusive industry, also mentioned that the scarcity in representation denies minorities the opportunities to be exposed to the true range of possibilities of who they can be. Our imaginations need to be as expansive and as broad as the minority community actually is, he said. 


Ahmed himself had once thought there wasn’t a place for him as an actor and nor did he feel he’d have a future playing the trope “Cabdriver #2.” It was only with encouragement and luck that he said he persevered and succeeded.  


The “Night Of” star emphasized, however, that his success ― along with that of a few other actors of color ― doesn’t point to proper inroads made in the industry’s diversity. In fact, he said these actors represent “exceptions to the rule,” citing data from Creative Skillset. The research showed that from 2004 to 2012, ethnic minority representation in the UK television industry stayed below 10 percent. Perhaps even more shocking, as Ahmed pointed out, it actually dipped from 2009 to 2012. 


“We need to step up decisively and act,” the actor concluded. “Let’s do what’s right, let’s represent.” 



“There’s this body of research and a term known as ‘symbolic annihilation,’ which is the idea that if you don’t see people like you in the media you consume, you must somehow be unimportant.”



While Ahmed was addressing officials in the UK, his remarks carry some truth when applied to the U.S. film and television industry as well. Hollywood is far from perfect when it comes to diversity. People of color nabbed just over a quarter of all speaking roles in 2015’s top movies. And when it comes to the director’s chair, Asian and Blacks were barely represented in the top movies over the past decade. 


Nicole Martins, an associate professor at Indiana University Media School, previously told the Huffington Post that lack of on-screen representation can influence one’s self-perception. 


“When you don’t see people like yourself, the message is: You’re invisible. The message is: You don’t count. And the message is: ‘There’s something wrong with me.’”


And when members of underrepresented communities are cast as stereotypes, minority viewers of color “may wonder if that is all that is expected of you in society,”  Ana-Christina Ramón, assistant director of the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA, told HuffPost. 


So, as Ahmed wrote in a Facebook post, diversity isn’t “an optional extra. Representation is fundamental to what expect from our culture.”

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

 


mar 11, 02:04
0 0

Friday's Morning Email: GOP Rushing Health Care Reform



TOP STORIES


(And want to get The Morning Email each weekday? Sign up here.)






My wonderful colleagues Jason Linkins and Eliot Nelson will be taking over The Morning Email Monday through Thursday while I’m on vacation. See you all again next Friday!


GOP HEALTH CARE PLAN PUSHED FORWARD Leaders are pushing a rapid turnaround on the GOP health care plan, with House Speaker Paul Ryan saying he wants to wrap up the process before the April recess. Freedom Caucus members dissatisfied with the plan took their complaintsdirectly to President Donald Trump. And Twitter had a field day photoshopping Ryan’s PowerPoint. [HuffPost]


SOUTH KOREAN PRESIDENT FORCED OUT South Korea’s Constitutional Court removed President Park Geun-hye from office, the first time a democratically elected official in South Korea has been forced out after a corruption scandal. [Reuters]


MIKE FLYNN CONCEALED FOREIGN LOBBYING WORK The ousted national security adviser just disclosed to the Department of Justice that he was actively lobbying for Turkey during the Trump campaign. White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Trump was unaware of Flynn’s work for a foreign government when he named him his national security adviser, and Vice President Mike Pence proceeded to praise the president for having forced him to resign. And take a look at what Fox News’ Shep Smith had to say after he went off about the latest revelations. [HuffPost]


INSIDE BERNIE SANDERS’ PLAN TO COURT THE TRUMP VOTER “The Vermont senator says the Democratic Party has shown ‘enormous neglect’ resulting in ‘an ultimate failure.’” [HuffPost]


SUSPECT DETAINED AFTER AXE ATTACK IN DUESSELDORF TRAIN STATION At least five people were injured, one seriously, after a man attacked them with an axe in the German train station. [Reuters]


ETHICS OFFICE: NAH, YOU PROBABLY SHOULD HAVE DISCIPLINED KELLYANNE CONWAY FOR IVANKA TRUMP COMMENTS “In a letter Thursday to President Donald Trump’s deputy counsel, Stefan Passantino, ethics Director Walter Shaub underlined serious concerns about the Trump administration’s ‘extraordinary assertion’ that White House employees like Conway are not subject to ethics regulations.” [HuffPost]


DON’T FORGET YOU’RE GOING TO LOSE AN HOUR OF SLEEP THIS WEEKEND We’re sorry ― you’ll spring cheerfully into spring (and still lose an hour of sleep) Saturday into Sunday. [HuffPost]






WHAT’S BREWING






WE FINALLY HAVE AN INTERVIEW WITH THE OLSON TWINS And there are some gems about cooking dinners for stepchildren. [People]


CONGRATS TO MARK ZUCKERBERG AND PRISCILLA CHAN On their adorable announcement that they’re expecting baby #2. [HuffPost]


SO, A LOT OF PEOPLE WATCHED A BLOCK OF ICE MELT TO LEARN THE ‘GAME OF THRONES’ PREMIERE DATE As in over 2 million people. And we wonder when the decline of civilization began. But the real important news ― “Game of Thrones” returns July 16 ― aka 128 days from now. Not that we’re counting. [HuffPost]


HERE’S WHAT BRIE LARSON HAS TO SAY ABOUT HER REACTION TO CASEY AFFLECK’S WIN It “spoke for itself.” [HuffPost]


J-LO AND A-ROD ARE REPORTEDLY AN ITEM An abbreviated name match made in heaven. [HuffPost]


NOT TO MAKE ANYONE PARANOID But apparently “beauty parlor strokes syndrome” is a thing. And want more bizarre news? Check out our Weird News email. [The Atlantic






BEFORE YOU GO






~ This is highly disturbing: An Australian man posing as Justin Bieber was arrested and charged with over 900 sex crimes.


~ The scale of NFL painkiller abuse is staggering.


~ Justin Trudeau has promised $650 million over three years for global women’s reproductive health services.


~ Congress warns Trump to stop deleting tweets, as it could “pose a violation to the Presidential Records Act.”


~ The Marines’ nude photo scandal reportedly goes much further than a Facebook group.


~ The American Society of Civil Engineers’ grade for U.S. infrastructure would be a report card you’d hide from your parents.


~ Mark Halperin And John Heilemann will continue to mint money by writing a book about the 2016 election (which will of course have an HBO mini-series spinoff).


~ Speaking of 2016, folks are fangirling Hillary Clinton’s haircut.


~ Meghan Markle is speaking out about period stigma and its all-too-real consequences around the world.


~ This cross-country train trip will get you from coast to coast, with all the views in-between, for only $213.


~ A lawyer’s pants caught on fire in an arson trial. We don’t even need to write a joke for that one.


~ Try not to have feelings watching this 5-year-old learn he’ll be therecipient of a heart transplant.


~ Starbucks’ new cups scream spring joy ― and you can doodle on them.





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mar 10, 14:56
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Overly In-Depth Analysis Of 'Game Of Thrones' Season 7 Teaser Might Reveal A Secret


On “Game of Thrones,” the sword Oathkeeper has been there and back a-Gwen.


The sword, which now appears in a new Season 7 teaser, was originally part of Ice, the Valyrian steel greatsword of House Stark. Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance) had the Stark sword melted down and reforged into two different blades. 


He then gave the reforged sword that became Oathkeeper to his son Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), who later gave it to Gwendoline Christie’s character Brienne of Tarth. In Season 6, Brienne tries to give it back to Jaime, as she’s completed her quest to get Sansa (Sophie Turner) to safety, but Jaime doesn’t take it back. Instead, he tells her, “It’s yours. It will always be yours.”


OK. Phew. That’s the sword’s story. Or, it was until the new Season 7 teaser.  






The teaser reveals a glamorous, sexy shot of Oathkeeper’s hilt. But wait, something is amiss. Who’s holding it?


The sword should still be with Brienne ― as we recapped, she’s still its owner ― but the hand holding it appears to be covered in freckles. 


This is a picture of Gwendoline Christie:



And here’s a zoomed-in version of that picture:



Gasp.


That hand in the teaser and Christie’s hand in the photo look hella different.


Does this reveal a dark secret for Season 7? Will someone else get Oathkeeper? Does this mean Brienne’s end is coming? 


The teaser could just be a behind-the-scenes image, but what if it’s not?





Other than unconfirmed leaks, we don’t know a lot about what’s happening in Season 7. Though, there is a theory from A Song of Ice and Fire readers that claims Brienne was secretly killed in George R.R. Martin’s novels by a zombified Catelyn Stark. Perhaps we will see Christie’s character meet her end in Season 7.


But, if the hand isn’t Brienne’s, whose could it be? Here are some suspects:


 


Suspect #1: Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) 



Despite his respect and love for Brienne, could Jaime Lannister have reclaimed Oathkeeper for himself? Did he have her wrapped around his little freckled finger only to betray her?



A day may come when Jaime’s love for Brienne fails, but it is not this day. His hands appear to be clean ... and freckle-less.


 


Suspect #2: Tormund (Kristofer Hivju) 



We know Tormund is into Brienne from all the thirsty as heck looks he gave her in Season 6. Could she have finally let her shield down long enough for Tormund to get close?



Better luck next time, dude.


Unless those freckles are just dirt — which, hey, they could be — it’s probably not Tormund.





Dang, man. Keep your cool.


 


Suspect #3: Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen)



Jorah Mormont is the definition of an oath-breaker. The guy fled from Westeros after illegally selling poachers into slavery, and later was secretly spying on his queen, Daenerys Targaryen.


Those are all bad things.


So far, Jorah’s journey has been bumpier than Dany’s first time flying on Drogon.





Khaleesi banished him, he contracted greyscale while attempting to deliver Tyrion to her, and he was banished again before eventually getting on good terms with the Mother of Dragons. 


Jorah was already denied the sword of House Mormont, Longclaw, which is now in possession of Jon Snow. Somehow, getting the sword Oathkeeper would let Jorah come full circle.


And, most importantly, the guy appears to have freckly hands:



Boom. Caught freckle-handed.


Could the hand from the teaser belong to one of the suspects above? Or did we awkwardly analyze those hands for nothing?


Both are possible. Both make us uncomfortable.


There is some good news for Brienne fans, though. Freckled hands of various crew members of “Game of Thrones” seem to appear in another “In-Production” teaser from the show. 





Plus, another first look shows Lena Headey (Cersei) getting makeup and hair touch-ups behind the scenes.






If the tease with Oathkeeper is only a behind-the-scenes shot, the person holding it may not have an impact on the storyline. It could just be a crew member or stunt coordinator. That’d mean the sword is still safe with Brienne ... for now.


We know from the show that all men must die. Hopefully this teaser doesn’t mean that one of our favorite female characters will die, as well.




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mar 7, 17:35
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How To Love Someone With Opposite Political Views






Just two weeks into Donald Trump’s presidency, news hit of the first divorce triggered by the election results (or at least, the first to go viral). 



In an interview with Reuters, Californian Gayle McCormick, 73, said she and her husband of 22 years decided to split up after he mentioned that he planned to vote for Trump


Though her husband ended up writing in former House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich at the ballot box instead, the damage was already done.



“It really came down to the fact I needed to not be in a position where I had to argue my point of view 24/7,” she said. “I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life doing that.” 


Though an extreme example, the story highlights how hard it is to love and maintain a civil relationship when you’re at odds politically. Like the McCormicks, 30 percent of married households contain a mismatched partisan pair, according to data site FiveThirtyEight


If those couples weren’t getting into arguments before the election, chances are they are now, with each day bringing fresh executive orders, cabinet confirmations and emotionally charged POTUS tweets. It’s all too easy to get upset if your spouse is your political opposite.


How do you avoid the McCormicks’ fate if you have different political views? Below, couples who’ve been in mixed political marriages for years share their advice.


Rule #1: Don’t look at your partner as a surrogate for his or her party’s candidate.


Kerry Maguire, a left-leaning dentist who serves as the director of the children’s outreach program at the Forsyth Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has been married to her husband Thomas Stossel, a right-leaning hematologist and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, for over 20 years.


In that time, she’s tried to not confuse Republican leaders’ views with those of her spouse.


“Tom has nothing in common with Donald Trump except they both belong to the Republican party,” she told The Huffington Post. “Still, I have occasionally ― and unfairly ― dumped my frustrations over Trump in Tom’s lap. Not surprisingly, that can evoke a defensive response in him, which I sometimes interpret as Tom being in agreement with Trump.”


Highly charged events like the Women’s March in January have definitely triggered some emotions in the couple. When arguments get too heated and Maguire is responsible, she takes full ownership for stirring things up. 


“His response to the Women’s March was, ‘Didn’t these people vote?’ And I wanted to tear my hair out and start talking about parallel universes,” she told us. “Then I realized that I was the one who set us up for the fight.” 


Rule #2:  Keep things in perspective. 


Stossell, meanwhile, recognizes that President Trump’s actions offend his wife far more than they offend him. Like any supportive spouse, he takes it in stride and actively listens when his wife is unnerved by the latest executive order or Kellyanne Conway’s most recent claim of “fake news.” 


“Kerry complains about him from time to time and that’s OK with me,” he told HuffPost. “The 20 plus years I’ve been married to her have been the best of my life and there’s no way political disagreements could compromise my affection for her.”


Rule #3: Remind yourself that winning isn’t everything.


They may have appeared in a pre-election video titled “Donald Trump Is Ruining My Marriage,” but New York magazine columnist Mandy Stadtmiller and her Trump-supporting husband, comedian Pat Dixon, are still very much married.


That’s partly because both realized that winning an argument about Trump means very little compared to their growth as a couple. 


“If we disagree on a political issue, America’s future is not going to be determined by who wins a single argument we are having in our tiny Chelsea apartment,” Stadtmillter said. “It might determine our future, though.” 


She added: “Challenge, disagreement and adversity can make a good couple grow stronger, more emphatic and more sensitive if you never lose your respect for each other in the process of spirited debate.”






Rule #4: Don’t bring politics to bed.


Alicia Chandler, a left-leaning attorney who lives in the greater Detroit, Michigan area, has endured four presidential elections with her conservative, Trump-supporting husband. In that time, they’ve learned to avoid placing campaign signs in their yard (”We do not need to let the whole neighborhood in on our dysfunction,” she joked in a blog prior to the 2017 election) and to avoid talking about politics or unsettling world news before bed.


“You have to give each other safe spaces ― and I’m not simply suggesting that term because the mere mention of it infuriates my husband and most other conservatives,” she said.


To protect her marriage, Chandler tries to avoid looking at social media while in bed.


“When I do, I have the bad habit of getting into a heated conversation about whatever the political crisis of the day, which is horrible because my brain has already shut down for the day,” she said. “Basically, I am more likely to lose any argument on an intellectual level and it ends the the day on a negative note.”


Talking about news of the day with your spouse is important, but Chandler stressed the importance of designating times of days where the conversation is politics-free.


Rule #5: Recognize the core beliefs you do share. 


Micah Leydorf is a former congressional staffer and a conservative married to a liberal. When the divide between her and her husband seems great, she reminds herself that they ultimately share a common belief system. 


“We may not agree on many important national policies, but we agree that loving people and loving each other are more important,” she told HuffPost. “We don’t argue when we discuss politics because we are united in our focus on living out our common belief in a loving God. You have to focus more on living out your core beliefs every day instead of just talking about them.” 


Rule #6: Value the experience of listening to the other side. 


In these hyper-partisan days, most of us consume a media diet that feeds into our preconceived beliefs and biases. Being married to your political opposite forces you to consider the other side’s opinions and hear their latest talking points, said Julia Arnold, a Minnesota-based blogger who’s been married to a conservative for nine years. Yes, she said, sometimes that means she’s forced to watch Fox News. 


“The truth is, you may or may not believe that the media is biased, but either way I still find value in spending time with a variety of news outlets,” she said. “The way I see it, it’s helpful, not harmful, to watch and read a variety of media.” 


Arnold added that being being married to your political opposite compels you to look at your beliefs and sometimes, even question them.


“Our relationship has made me more open-minded and less judgmental,” she said. “I hope my husband feels the same way. My marriage has made me look at things through more than one lens and I feel lucky for that opportunity.”


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feb 17, 22:47
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Audi Uses Super Bowl Ad To Tackle The Gender Pay Gap






With its minute of America’s attention during Super Bowl LI on Sunday, German automaker Audi addressed the gender pay gap that continues to plague both the U.S. and so many other countries around the world. 







In the company’s Super Bowl commercial, titled “Daughter,” a young woman participates in a go-kart competition while her father asks how he should go about explaining the fact that women still continue to get paid less than men:



What do I tell my daughter? Do I tell her that her grandpa’s worth more than her grandma? That her dad is worth more than her mom? Do I tell her that despite her education, her drive, her skills, her intelligence, she will automatically be valued as less than every man she ever meets? Or maybe, I’ll be able to tell her something different.



In a press release announcing the ad, Audi said it’s “committed to supporting pay equality, inclusivity, and the growth and development of all employees.”


“The company has publicly pledged to support [the] ongoing commitment to women’s pay equality in the workplace and to foster a work environment that drives equality for all employees,” the release read. 


After the commercial aired, celebrities and advocacy organizations alike celebrated the ad. 






















Some have taken issue with Audi’s message, considering the company has no women on its management board, and only two women on its 14-person U.S. executive team.






Regardless, women in the U.S. continue to earn about 78 cents to a man’s dollar. That’s a fact worth repeating. 

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feb 6, 06:02
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