- sneak peek 11:26am ET
- America the Beautiful 10:43am ET
If every day is National No Diet Day in your book, you're in luck: The Center for Science in the Public Interest has just released its annual list of "Xtreme Eating awards" for the most calorie-laden chain restaurant meals.
The "winner" of the unhealthiest meal in America is Red Robin, whose "Monster" double burger, combined with a milkshake and bottomless fries, clocks in at a whopping 3,540 calories.
Some of the other meals that made the list include The Cheesecake Factory's "Bruléed French toast" and a seafood plate from Joe's Crab Shack. Horrifyingly, just one slice of The Cheesecake Factory's Reese's peanut butter chocolate cake cheesecake includes 1,500 calories.
Denny Marie Post, Red Robin's chief marketing officer, told USA Today that the 3,540-calorie meal "combines some of our most indulgent items into one meal," and customers have the option of ordering lighter fare, such as broccoli or turkey burgers.
"I don't think people really know just how bad these meals can be in restaurants," Paige Einstein, a registered dietitian at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, told USA Today.
- healthcare.fail 10:37am ET
The ObamaCare website, HealthCare.gov, had already cost taxpayers some $840 million as of March of this year, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO). Nonetheless, the website is still not complete. The GAO's director of acquisition and sourcing management, William T. Woods, will testify today about the HealthCare.gov cost report to the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Meanwhile, a report from Bloomberg indicates that insurance companies and for-profit hospitals are making more money as a result of ObamaCare requirements, despite predictions that the law would cause their profits to take a hit. "ObamaCare's turned out to be quite good for health-care companies," said Les Funtleyder, a financial advisor. Conservative critics have long argued that one effect of ObamaCare would be to guarantee additional income to the very insurance companies the president has said prioritize greed over people.
- Time to move to Indiana 10:36am ET
Some people have all the luck.
Robert Hamilton won $1 million on a Hoosier Lottery ticket back in April. Last week, he scratched off another $1 million prize. Both of Hamilton's tickets came from Hoosier Lottery's Million Cash Spectacular Scratch-off game, according to the Associated Press. Officials said the odds of winning one of the eight $1 million top prizes were one in 2.1 million.
Hamilton used his first round of winnings to buy a house, pay off some debts, take a vacation with his father, and further invest in his business, which he says he has no plans to give up.
The second $1 million prize? Hamilton said he plans to use it to buy a motorcycle — presumably, a very, very nice motorcycle.
- Hail to the Jeter 10:16am ET
Retiring Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter has already raked in some serious swag as he makes the ballpark rounds during his final season, but the Texas Rangers aggressively upped the gift ante on Wednesday night.
Retired Rangers Michael Young and Ivan Rodriguez presented Jeter with a pair of personalized cowboy boots — nice and all, but then a video of former President George W. Bush played during the pre-game ceremony. When the video finished, the real Bush (who is also a former owner of the Rangers) walked onto the field and offered Jeter a signed photograph of the pair in the Rangers' batting cage.
Jeter and Bush crossed paths a few weeks after the September 11 attacks, when the president threw out a first pitch in Game three of the 2001 World Series. Jeter warned his commander-in-chief, "Don't bounce it. They'll boo you."
Bush reportedly repeated the line back to Jeter on Thursday, which is quite charming. But let's be real: Most memorable from the typical photo ops that follow these presentations is Bush's head-tap of Rodriguez, below. --Sarah Eberspacher
- impeachment push 10:14am ET
In the wake of last night's House vote to sue the President, new data from Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight suggests that Democrats are actually talking about the possibility of impeachment of President Obama more than Republicans. Eleven out of 14 mentions of impeachment on the congressional record this July come from Democratic members of Congress; and the left-leaning MSNBC mentions impeachment five times more often than the more conservative Fox News.
Meanwhile, Democrats have raised more than $2 million via emails talking up the threat of impeachment hearings. Their emails — sent in the names of VP Joe Biden, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, and other high-ranking Democrats — frequently imply that impeachment proceedings could begin at any moment, featuring subject lines like "Impeachment (TODAY)."
Silver notes that in 2006, Republicans similarly tried to rally their base against the possibility of impeachment. At that time, Fox mentioned the topic almost twice as often as MSNBC. For more information on the history of calls for Obama's impeachment, check out this timeline, which tracks the topic's development since 2009.
- KARAOKE! 10:11am ET
While promoting his role in the upcoming film Guardians of the Galaxy, the internet's favorite lovable jock was cajoled by a British radio host into busting out a half-mumbled, register-switching version of Sam Smith's ballad "Stay With Me" on the air. "Have you done karaoke?" the host asks, as Vin Diesel continues to stall before launching into the song. Once Diesel gets into it, however, it seems like he can't stop. Watch the full video, replete with silly banter, below (the actual singing starts around 3:25). --Samantha Rollins
- Really? 9:38am ET
After Russell Brand mocked Sean Hannity's coverage of the Israel-Palestine conflict, claiming that Hannity "sounds like a terrorist," Hannity has fired back.
Brand skewered Hannity in his YouTube show The Trews on Tuesday, Brand said Hannity's show didn't include a real debate about the conflict, because the host's biases were clear. Brand also noted that Hannity looks "a bit like the Ken doll from the Toy Story 3 film." Brand claimed that Hannity is "not interested in truth" and only wants to promote "a particular perspective."
On his Fox News show Wednesday night, Hannity responded to Brand's accusations and called Brand, saying his remarks were "not funny." "I need to educate you, 'cause you're kind of dumb and ignorant," Hannity said to Brand. Hannity claimed that Brand "can't get it through his thick head" what's really happening in Gaza. Check out Hannity's response to Brand in the video below. --Meghan DeMaria
And here's Brand's original video, for reference:
- Late Night Antics 8:22am ET
On Wednesday, TMZ reported that Orlando Bloom attempted to punch Justin Bieber at a restaurant in Ibiza, Spain. The fight was reportedly inspired by a remark Bieber made about model Miranda Kerr, from whom Bloom is currently separated.
Stephen Colbert gleefully seized upon the gossip, reporting that there is yet another international conflict brewing. He was quick to make light of Kerr and Bieber's age difference, saying that in a photo of the pair together, "she was either canoodling with or babysitting him."
Colbert dissects media reports of the incident, which state that Bloom "refused to shake Bieber's hand" before swinging a punch. After being denied the handshake, Bieber reportedly said to Bloom, "She was good." Colbert then made clear that he doesn't "condone this type of violence" — because Bloom's punch allegedly missed Bieber's face. Watch the full Colbert Report clip — which also includes a gratuitous Pope Francis video — below. --Meghan DeMaria
- Israel and Palestine 8:19am ET
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday that Israel would destroy all of the tunnels Hamas militants have used to launch attacks in Israel, "with or without a ceasefire." Israel, which just called up another 16,000 reserves, has dismantled most of the 32 tunnels it has uncovered, and expects to demolish the rest within a few days. Neighboring Arab states, wary of Islamist groups like Hamas, are quietly siding with Israel over the Palestinians. Read more about Israel's neighbors at The New York Times.
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