For those short on bedroom space but sufficiently flush with cash, the French company behind BedUp ($3,800 and up) has a novel solution: A bed that lowers to whatever height above the floor you want, then rises to the ceiling during your waking hours. Marrying the bed and the elevator is a genius solution for apartment dwellers, says David Zax in Technology Review, especially those of us "unable to think of Murphy beds as anything other than devices for sight gag."
Stephen Colbert imagines Kim Jong Un's perfect response to Trump's 'Rocket Man' dig, the Mueller probe as Law & Order
President Trump is "on a trip to a very hostile region: New York City," Stephen Colbert said on Tuesday's Late Show. He's in New York for the United Nations General Assembly, and on Tuesday, he gave his first big speech to the U.N. "Of course, the U.N. was founded after World War II in hopes of creating a lasting peace, so naturally the highlight of the president's speech was threatening thermonuclear war," Colbert said. And while threatening to annihilate North Korea, "Trump doubled down on his new nickname for Kim Jong Un," Colbert said, puzzled. "Rocket Man? Mr. President, please don't give our enemies nicknames that make them sound cooler. 'I will destroy Commander Jetpack, and Adm. Ice Cream Sex Machine.'"
Trump also griped that America wasn't getting its money's worth with the U.N., and Colbert agreed. "He's right, we're paying top dollar and we're nowhere near world peace," he said. "I mean, I just saw some guy at the podium say he's going to destroy North Korea."
Kim Jong Un didn't immediately respond to his new nickname and the public threat to wipe him out, but The Late Show imagined him hitting back at Trump with an Elton John parody record that would actually be pretty amusing, if real.
Colbert also caught up on Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election meddling and the Trump campaign. He had a lot of fun with his own nicknames for Trump lawyer Ty Cobb, who blabbed about internal Trump lawyer fighting at a steakhouse, next to a New York Times reporter. Colbert ran down all the news about Paul Manafort, and said that while Mueller's investigation is reportedly moving with unusual speed, "we don't need unusual speed, we need high speed, we need maximum warp ... I'm talking Law & Order speed." And if you're not familiar with the pace of justice on the long-running cop drama, Colbert has you covered. Watch below. Peter Weber
Trevor Noah said that if you're excited about the United Nations General Assembly this week, you either don't live in New York City or you really like delayed-gratification "diplomatic shade"-throwing. But Tuesday's big event, he said on Tuesday's Daily Show, was President Trump's inaugural address to the U.N. body, "and expectations were high." The White House promised a "deeply philosophical" speech, but Trump was just Trump. Noah summed up the "Trump Doctrine": "The only way to grow together is to grow apart — It sounds like Donald Trump is trying to break up with the U.N. without getting into a fight."
Noah did find something to like, however, at least on its face. "From a global perspective, it is refreshing to see an American leader who's not going to dictate to the world," he said. But that's only true for Trump "unless he doesn't like how other countries are run." That list includes Venezuela, Cuba, Iran, Syria, and "ever the showman, he saved the end of the world for last," Noah said, playing Trump's threat to North Korea. "I don't know what's more insane: the fact that Donald Trump just stood in front of the United Nations and threatened to wipe out a country of 25 million people, or the fact that he followed that up with 'Rocket Man,'" a "little catch-phrase joke."
"Honestly, when you watched this address, it felt less like a presidential address to the U.N. and more like an insult comic roasting the world," he said. And with a little music and change of scenery, it almost worked. (The annihilation threat still bombed.)
On Tuesday's Late Night, Seth Meyers was puzzled by Trump's nickname for Kim Jong Un, too, but not because it insults a leader with nukes. "Why are you calling him 'Rocket Man'?" he asked. "That's not a diss, that's a cool nickname. You're making him sound like a character from Top Gun." The graphics are pretty eye-catching. Meyers also discussed the Russia investigation and GOP health-care bill, and you can watch below. Peter Weber
Tuesday's magnitude 7.1 earthquake in Mexico has killed at least 248 people, Mexican civil defense chief Luis Felipe Puente said early Wednesday, including at least 117 people in Mexico City, where the mayor said buildings collapsed in 44 locations. The earthquake's epicenter was about 76 miles southeast of the capital, near Raboso in Puebla state, the U.S. Geological Survey says, and Puente put Puebla's death toll at 43, plus 72 in Morelos state, 12 in the area outside central Mexico City, 3 in Guerrero and 1 in Oaxaca. Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto said at least 22 people, including 20 children, have been found dead in a collapsed school in Mexico City, and 30 children and eight adults are still missing.
Peña Nieto said late Tuesday that rescue efforts are ongoing and the main focus for the government, but that 40 percent of Mexico City and 60 percent of Morelos have no electricity. The 7.1 temblor struck 11 days after a massive magnitude 8.1 quake hit off the coast of Mexico, killing at least 98 people, and exactly 32 years after a terrible earthquake struck Mexico City, killing thousands. You can see footage of some of the damage, swaying buildings, and shattering windows in the CNN report below.
And for an eyewitness account, Richard Justin Permenter spoke with The Associated Press from Puebla on Tuesday. Peter Weber
On Tuesday evening, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, said that he was ending bipartisan negotiations for a bill to stabilize health insurance markets and make a few changes to the Affordable Care Act, because after four hearings and involved negotiations, his group had "not found the necessary consensus among Republicans and Democrats." The unexpected decision appears aimed at shoring up support for the Senate GOP's last-ditch plan to repeal ObamaCare, sponsored by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.), by removing any alternative legislation.
Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the top Democrat on the HELP Committee and Alexander's main negotiating partner, said she is "disappointed that Republican leaders have decided to freeze this bipartisan approach and are trying to jam through a partisan TrumpCare bill," adding that she is still committed to reaching a bipartisan deal. Alexander said that especially since Graham-Cassidy gained steam, appetite within his party for his bill was very low. "I know how to get bipartisan results, but I'm not a magician," he said.
Republicans expect to start voting on Graham-Cassidy next Wednesday, Axios reports, before a Sept. 30 deadline for passing a health-care bill with only 50 votes, with no Democrats. The Congressional Budget Office won't have its analysis on how much the bill would affect coverage or its costs for consumers until October. On Tuesday, a group of 11 governors, including five Republicans and independent Gov. Bill Walker (Alaska), urged the Senate to drop Graham-Cassidy, joining AARP, the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association, and other patient advocacy groups, plus Jimmy Kimmel.
Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) are believed to be opposed to the bill, and Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) are seen as the key votes on the measure — three GOP no votes, and it doesn't pass. Haley Bird at the Independent Journal Review notes:
McCain just told us he wants regular order bipartisan health bill and 10 minutes later Republicans killed the regular order bipartisan bill
— Haley Byrd (@byrdinator) September 19, 2017
Graham-Cassidy would convert ObamaCare's subsidies and Medicaid payments to block grants to states, allowing each state ample leeway to decide coverage rules and patient protections, plus cut Medicaid sharply and change its structure. Graham argues that it's the last barrier to "socialism." Peter Weber
Hillary Clinton was on Stephen Colbert's Late Show on Tuesday, and before the interview ended, he presented her with a gift. Colbert explained that he did a live show on Election Night, and as it became clear that President Trump would win, the audience looked like it was at a funeral. "One of the things I regret least about that night, but I do regret, is that we had a whole packet of unused Clinton victory jokes," he said. There was "a really, really nice video shot by Katy Perry — now that the femitariat was taking over, how men would be regulated to subservient positions," he explained. Colbert didn't tell any of the jokes, but he did show Clinton — and, eventually the audience — a slightly blurred (for the audience) photo of naked men who were ready to come out on Election Night with a message for the nation. You can catch a glimpse of the photo, and Clinton's reaction, below. Peter Weber
— The Late Show (@colbertlateshow) September 20, 2017
Turkey's Erdogan says Trump apologized to him for protesters that Erdogan's guards attacked in Washington
In May, during a visit to Washington, D.C., Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sat in a car and watched as his security detail violently attacked peaceful protesters in a park across the street from the Turkish ambassador's residence. The U.S. indicted 15 members of Erdogan's security detail over the attack, plus four others, and on Monday, President Trump's administration scrapped a $1.2 million arms deal to Erdogan's security forces in retribution. Also Monday, PBS NewsHour's Judy Woodruff sat down with Erdogan, who said he was sorry about the misunderstanding, and so was Trump. The interviewed aired on Tuesday night.
"Actually President Trump called me about a week ago about this issue," Erdogan said. "He said that he was sorry and he told me he was going to follow up on this issue when we come to the United States within the framework of an official visit. The protesters were insulting us, and they were screaming and shouting. The police failed to intervene properly." A White House official told Axios that Erdogan's "comments were not true and the president did not apologize."
— PBS NewsHour (@NewsHour) September 19, 2017
In the rest of the interview, Woodruff and Erdogan discuss NATO, Russia, and the underlying tension between the U.S. and Turkey over Syrian Kurdish forces, which the U.S. considers valuable allies against the Islamic State and Erdogan repeatedly dismisses as "terrorists." You can watch the entire interview here. Peter Weber
Jimmy Kimmel shared a very personal story with viewers earlier this year about how when his son, Billy, was born, doctors discovered he had a condition that required emergency open-heart surgery. Billy is doing great now, but the experience left an emotional Kimmel wondering how in the United States, whether you live or die could hinge on how much money you have.
Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) later appeared on Kimmel's show, and told him he was going to enact the "Jimmy Kimmel Test," meaning families with kids like Billy shouldn't be denied health care and there shouldn't be any limits to how much insurance companies pay. "He got a lot of credit and attention for coming off like a rare, reasonable voice in the Republican Party when it came to health care," Kimmel said on Tuesday night's Jimmy Kimmel Live. But now Cassidy and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) have made up their own health-care bill, which completely fails the Jimmy Kimmel Test — about 30 million people would lose coverage, states would decide if insurance companies can charge people more for pre-existing conditions and if they could enact lifetime caps, and many people would have higher premiums, Kimmel said.
The hypocrisy was not lost on the host (who tweeted before the show a picture showing a very happy Billy helping him write the monologue). He shared clips of Cassidy's publicity tour touting the Jimmy Kimmel Test, and he said he doesn't appreciate the fact that Cassidy "just lied right to my face." Kimmel ordered Cassidy to stop using his name, and to stop by the studio anytime to take the new Jimmy Kimmel Test — "it's called a lie detector test." Watch the video below. Catherine Garcia