October 29, 2015

On Saturday, director Sam Raimi returns to the franchise on which he launched his career with Ash vs. Evil Dead, a Starz TV series that continues the story of the cult classic Evil Dead trilogy. But Raimi is also famous for helming another trio of films: the Spider-Man trilogy, which grossed nearly $2.5 billion before Sony opted to reboot the franchise with Marc Webb's The Amazing Spider-Man, which eventually spawned a sequel. Now, Spider-Man is being rebooted again; the newest iteration of the character will debut in next summer's Captain America: Civil War before going on to star in another solo film of his own.

In a recent interview with The Week, Raimi discussed the character's unusually tumultuous history on the big screen. "I'm not really on top of it," he told me. "I know they made two [Amazing Spider-Man] features, and obviously, I've seen those."

But Raimi also regrets the way his own run with the Spider-Man character ended, and expressed interest in making another Spider-Man someday. "I messed up on the third one," Raimi said. "I think they're so complete now, Marvel. They probably don't need me anymore. But if they needed me? I'd love to. It's great to be wanted." Scott Meslow

11:09 a.m. ET

After waiting five days to even acknowledge his Nobel Prize, Bob Dylan is already over it. The singer appears to have deleted the single sentence on his official website that stated he was a "winner of the Nobel prize in literature," which had marked Dylan's only public acknowledgement of the award since he was announced the winner last Thursday.

The sentence initially appeared in all caps atop a page promoting his new book of lyrics, The Lyrics: 1961-2012. Now, the nod is nowhere to be seen.

No reason was given for the blurb's removal, though perhaps its disappearance isn't so surprising given Dylan's silence on the award so far. Though Dylan performed a concert on the very day he was announced the winner, he didn't say anything about the prize. The Swedish Academy announced Monday it had given up trying to contact Dylan after numerous unsuccessful attempts to confirm his attendance at its banquet honoring the Nobel winners in December.

Dylan is the first songwriter to win the Nobel for literature, "for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition." Becca Stanek

10:48 a.m. ET
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If Hillary Clinton wins the White House, she may not be able to rely on progressives in government to facilitate her transition and agenda. For that, she can thank the content of thousands of emails hacked from campaign chair John Podesta's Gmail account that WikiLeaks continues to publish daily.

The emails see Clinton staff and confidants taking a dismissive posture toward those on their left, Politico reports, calling progressives and their causes "puritanical," "naive," and "dumb." Some progressives were even labeled "freaks" who should "get a life," and Podesta called Sen. Bernie Sanders a "doofus" for wanting stronger environmental regulations than those in the Paris climate change accord.

But worse than the personal insults are the Wall Street speech transcript excerpts the emails also include, which find Clinton assuring her audience she is more center than left. "We were already kind of suspicious of where Hillary's instincts were," Politico quotes an unnamed "influential liberal Democratic operative" as saying, "but now we see that she is who we thought she was. The honeymoon is going to be tight and small and maybe nonexistent" if she is elected.

The Clinton campaign response emphasized their candidate's history of working "with progressive allies to aggressively develop serious and thorough plans to make real change." Throughout her primary campaign, Clinton cast herself as a "progressive who gets things done" in an attempt to mediate between her record and the more left-wing votes she then sought to wrest from Sanders. Bonnie Kristian

10:36 a.m. ET
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Are the creepy clown stories pouring in from across the nation keeping you up at night? Then count yourself among the 42 percent of Americans who report having coulrophobia — that is, a fear of clowns.

Americans are actually more afraid of clowns than even death itself, a Vox/Morning Consult poll revealed Friday. Clowns were also recorded as being more terrifying than climate change, needles, or terrorist attacks. Even ghosts have nothing on clowns, and ghosts can move through walls and can't be killed, so that's saying something.

Clowns have people so unnerved that a whole two-thirds of Americans demand some sort of government response on the issue. Another one-third of Americans said that the FBI should investigate the clown situation.

Let's just go ahead and blame this one on Stephen King. Way to go, Stephen King. Jeva Lange

10:17 a.m. ET

The central Asian nation of Kyrgyzstan approved its current constitution just six years ago, in 2010, and on Wednesday, the Kyrgyz parliament was debating whether to allow a new referendum this year to consider a constitutional amendment. In the process, the representatives asked about the location of the original document, and that's when they found out no one knows where it is.

There are copies, of course, so it's not like the content is unknown, but the original's location is a mystery. Justice Minister Jyldyz Mambetalieva told the parliamentarians she believes the constitution is in the president's office, but the president says it's with the justice minister. "That raises the question: Where is the original?" a representative of the president helpfully summarized.

The practical implications of the missing document may be few, yet for a former Soviet republic that has had three constitutions in the last three decades, the apparent carelessness with which the document was stored is symbolically troubling. Some Kyrgryz have suggested the entire situation may be a ploy to distract the people from dangerous constitutional changes. Bonnie Kristian

10:05 a.m. ET
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Former Fox News commentator Gretchen Carlson became an unexpected champion of women's empowerment after she came forward in July to accuse the network's chairman, Roger Ailes, of sexual harassment.

While Carlson wouldn't go into specifics about her exit from the network or her battle against Ailes, she did answer Time's questions about a similarly prominent and influential man accused of harassing women: Donald Trump. "I am saddened by the prevalence of powerful men disrespecting and objectifying women — and getting away with it for years," she said. "I am particularly distressed when people in the public eye who influence our culture perpetuate sexism."

Carlson received a $20 million settlement from Fox News in September, and today is working to understand "what we need to do to change the system so that women feel safe." And as for Donald Trump? She might have gotten the last laugh there, too:

[Carlson] lives in a stately $5 million house in Greenwich, Connecticut, with two kids, a husband, and an overly friendly nonshedding Lagotto Romagnolo dog who carries a Donald Trump chew toy that says Bite me. (She claims to also own a Hillary Clinton one, but the dog does not favor it.) [Time]

Read more about Carlson's plans for the future (become a professional violinist, perhaps?) at Time. Jeva Lange

9:50 a.m. ET
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Former Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele just can't stomach voting for either major-party presidential candidate. "I was damn near puking during the debates," Steele said Thursday at a dinner in San Francisco in honor of the 40th anniversary of Mother Jones.

Steele, who led the RNC from 2009 to 2011 as the first black GOP chairman, said he won't be casting a ballot for his party's nominee Donald Trump, and he won't vote for Democrat Hillary Clinton either. He cannot support Trump because he has "captured that racist underbelly, that frustration, that angry underbelly of American life and gave voice to that," Steele said. He also argued that Trump only represents about 30 percent of the Republican Party.

Steele is the fifth former RNC chief to refuse to support the GOP nominee. Per Politico's tally, former RNC chiefs Marc Racicot, Mel Martinez, Bill Brock, and Ken Mehlman have all said they will not vote for Trump. Becca Stanek

9:28 a.m. ET

A Kansas House leader seemingly praised the "profound" words of Adolf Hitler in a Facebook post Thursday. "Great quote from Hitler in the video," Speaker Pro Tem Peggy Mast (R) wrote on her Facebook page. "Please listen to it closely. His words are profound! Let's start using discernment."

Mast's post, however, didn't include any video or other media to "listen to," making her seeming praise for the Nazi leader all the more puzzling. House Speaker Ray Merrick's chief of staff, Christie Krieghauser, tried to get some clarification. "Sorry, I'm confused," she wrote on Mast's page. "What video and how is there a great quote from Hitler?"

Mast, who is the third-ranking Republican in the Kansas House, put up another Facebook post an hour later intending to explain herself:

"Her intent was to compare Planned Parenthood, the country's largest reproductive health provider, to the Nazi leader," The Wichita Eagle reported.

Mast also shared an article from a pro-life Christian blog, which referenced anti-abortion activist Gianna Jessen quoting Hitler while testifying about Planned Parenthood before Congress. Jessen, during her testimony, apparently used this Hitler quote to compare Planned Parenthood's services to the Holocaust: "The receptivity of the masses is very limited, their intelligence is small, but their power of forgetting is enormous. In consequence of these facts, all effective propaganda must be limited to a very few points and must harp on these in slogans until the last member of the public understands what you want him to understand by your slogan."

Mast did not respond to The Wichita Eagle's requests for comment. She is not running for re-election. Becca Stanek

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