American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy has used the past three seasons of his FX drama to explore a modern-day "murder house," a 1960s asylum, and the centuries-long history of a New Orleans witches' coven. What stereotypically creepy setting will American Horror Story explore in season four? The most stereotypical of all: a carnival. On Monday, Ryan Murphy took to Twitter to unveil the official title for the upcoming season:
AMERICAN HORROR STORY SEASON FOUR: pic.twitter.com/6OHYzGjPMd
— Ryan Murphy (@MrRPMurphy) March 24, 2014
We can presume that American Horror Story: Freak Show will position itself in the same grand tradition as Tod Browning's Freaks, Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes, and HBO's Carnivale, which delivered any number of spooky carnival scenes in the two seasons before its cancellation. (Seriously, go watch Carnivale. It's on HBO Go and everything.) Scott Meslow
House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday he is "not ready" to endorse presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump. Ryan, the ranking Republican in government, told CNN's Jake Tapper that there's "some work to be done" before he'd feel comfortable supporting Trump. Back in March, Ryan said he would in fact back Trump if he won the party's nomination. Trump had promised to be a "unifier" for the Republican party, but as Slate's Jamelle Bouie points out, Ryan is the latest of several major party figures who have declined to support him:
Two ex-POTUS' & a former nominee decline to attend convention, House Speaker declines to endorse. Trump will totally unify Republicans!
— Jamelle Bouie (@jbouie) May 5, 2016
Of course, depending on your point of view, it's entirely possible Trump is proving to be quite the effective unifier. After Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz suspended their campaigns following Tuesday's GOP primary in Indiana, Trump is the only candidate left vying for the party's nomination. Kimberly Alters
President Obama has commuted the sentences of 58 federal prisoners, the White House announced Thursday. Eighteen of the 58 were serving life sentences, mostly for nonviolent drug-related charges. The majority of the prisoners are set to be freed on Sept. 2, though some will be released early next year.
The latest round of commutations marks Obama's second batch this year. He cut short the sentences of 61 inmates in March, and with this latest round of commutations brings his total to 306 — more than double the total commutations of the last six presidents combined. Becca Stanek
Things Cinco de Mayo is not:
- Mexican Independence Day
- A beloved Mexican holiday
- An opportunity to tell the world you "love Hispanics!"
Donald Trump might have missed the memo on that last one:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 5, 2016
As if that wasn't cringe-worthy enough, the plot thickens even further:
Just got off phone with Trump Grill, says they don't serve taco bowls. It's not on the menu online.
— andrew kaczynski (@BuzzFeedAndrew) May 5, 2016
A taco salad isn't even a real thing. It's like eating a fortune cookie and saying "I LOVE THE ASIANS"
— ¡Gabe! Ortíz (@TUSK81) May 5, 2016
Never before in the past 10 presidential elections has a candidate even come close to arousing the levels of dislike that both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have evoked in the American people — and especially not this late in the election cycle. Harry Enten at FiveThirtyEight crunched the numbers and found that Clinton's unfavorable rating tops the previous record for Republican and Democratic nominees between 1980 and 2012 by a solid 5 percentage points; Trump, meanwhile, smashes the record with an unfavorable rating that's a whopping 20 points higher than the previous record.
Moreover, there's a big difference between the disdain voters felt for the previously most disliked candidate, 1988 Democratic nominee Michael Dukakis, and what they feel now for Trump and Clinton. Most Americans didn't feel that strongly one way or another about Dukakis, but voters now have very strong feelings about Trump and Clinton; while some people may really love them, more people really don't. Even when Clinton and Trump's "strongly unfavorable" ratings are subtracted from their "strongly favorable" ratings, the results are still well into the negatives.
President Obama landed in Flint, Michigan, on Wednesday for his first visit to the stricken city since its water was contaminated with dangerous levels of lead after the local government changed water sources. In addition to delivering a speech and meeting with city officials and leaders, on Obama's agenda was a meeting with 8-year-old Flint resident Mari Copeny, who had written a letter to the president in March asking to meet with him and his wife during her trip to Washington, D.C to watch Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder's congressional hearings. While Obama did not see Copeny, known as "Little Miss Flint," in Washington, he did meet her Wednesday in Michigan — and it was adorable. Watch below. Kimberly Alters
"When something like this happens, a young girl shouldn't have to go to Washington to be heard. I thought her President should come to Flint to meet with her." —President Obama on 8-year-old Mari Copeny. Mari, AKA "Little Miss Flint", wrote to the President about how she's working to bring attention to the public health crisis in her community, and yesterday she met the President in Michigan.
The last Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, plans to skip his party's national convention in Cleveland this summer and avoid watching the official nomination of Donald Trump, The Washington Post reports. An aide confirmed for the paper on Thursday that "Gov. Romney has no plans to attend."
Romney has spent the past several months firmly situating himself in opposition to Trump, going as far as to rip into him during a formal address in March. In addition, two former Republican presidents, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, both announced Wednesday through their spokesmen that they would not be endorsing a candidate this year. Sen. John McCain, the 2008 Republican nominee, also plans to skip the Cleveland convention.
For his part, Donald Trump doesn't seem too bothered by Romney's likely absence. "I don't care," Trump said. "He can be there if he wants." Jeva Lange
Donald Trump's campaign announced Thursday that Steven Mnuchin, chairman and CEO of private investment firm Dune Capital Management LP, will serve as Trump's national finance chairman for the general election. Instead of self-funding his general election campaign as he did his primary run, Trump, the presumptive GOP nominee, has revealed that he will be creating a "world-class finance organization" to actively raise funds to compete with Hillary Clinton's fundraising powerhouse.