January 29, 2016

It's a long way to the top if you want to be in politics. Ted Cruz and his wife, Heidi, learned that the hard way: For the first seven years of their marriage, they didn't live together full time so that Cruz could pursue his career in politics, The Washington Post reports.

The couple met in 2000, when they worked three cubicles apart for George W. Bush's campaign; after they got married, Cruz decided to take a job in Austin as Texas' solicitor general, moving 1,500 miles from Heidi, who stayed on at the Treasury Department in Washington. Eventually Heidi moved to Texas, but in order to get a job in banking, she had to live in Houston, not in Austin with Cruz. They would take turns making the three-hour drive to visit one another every weekend, but friends and family saw the move was hard on Heidi, who was without the support system she had in D.C.:

Heidi did not seek professional treatment and was able to function at work, [Heidi's mother Suzanne] Nelson said. But on one particularly worrisome night, while she was in Austin in August 2005, she wandered toward an expressway on-ramp, where she was found by an officer with her "head in her hands" and no car, according to a police account first reported by BuzzFeed. There was no car visible. The officer determined that Heidi was a "danger to herself."

The Cruz campaign did not make Heidi available for an interview, but Heidi told The Post in September that the move to Texas "really was for Ted, and I wasn't comfortable with that." [The Washington Post]

Cruz moved to Houston in 2010, marking the first time in seven years the family was living full time together. When Cruz won a seat in the Senate, however, the long-distance relationship was launched anew. Once, when Cruz came home to Texas after a week in D.C., his older daughter ran to the door and exclaimed, "There's a guest in the house!"

The Cruzes, of course, are now eyeing a new place where they can be together — a nice little house at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Read more in The Washington Post. Jeva Lange

11:39 a.m. ET
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The Bay Area branch of Black Lives Matter (BLM) has decided to withdraw from this weekend's Pride Parade in San Francisco in response to a scaled-up police presence planned for the event following the mass shooting at Orlando's Pulse nightclub, a gay bar.

"The Black Lives Matter network is grateful to the people of San Francisco for choosing us, we choose you too,” said BLM member Malkia Cyril in a statement explaining the group's choice, which was shared by at least two other organizations: the TGI Justice Project, a nonprofit which works with imprisoned, transgender women of color, and the St. James Infirmary, a clinic serving sex workers.

"As queer people of color, we are disproportionately targeted by both vigilante and police violence," Cyril continued. "We know first hand that increasing the police presence at Pride does not increase safety for all people. Militarizing these events increases the potential for harm to our communities and we hope in the future SF Pride will consider community-centered approaches to security at pride events.” Bonnie Kristian

11:22 a.m. ET
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Britain's decision to leave the European Union caused the value of the British pound to plummet and gave Wall Street its worst day in 10 months on Friday.

A massive sell-off caused the S&P 500 to lose all its gains for 2016, making it negative for the year to date, with only high-dividend-paying utilities ending Friday's trading profitably.

Market watchers expect sales to take a while to stabilize, and suggest that this turn of events will confirm the Federal Reserve's decision to hold off on an interest rate hike for the time being. Bonnie Kristian

11:03 a.m. ET
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TV bingers, rejoice: Netflix is rumored to be seriously considered allowing users to download its videos.

"We know from our sources within the industry that Netflix is going to launch this product," says Dan Taitz, COO of video software company Penthera. "My expectation is that by the end of the year Netflix will be launching download-to-go as an option for their customers." His gossip was echoed by Dan Rayburn, an analyst at technology research firm Frost & Sullivan.

Netflix itself declined to comment on the rumors Friday, though in April Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said the online streaming giant would "keep an open mind" about downloads. That's a significantly different message from the comments made by Netflix chief product officer Neil Hunt in September, when he posited that offering consumers additional choices — stream vs. download — can paralyze them into not choosing to watch anything at all. Bonnie Kristian

10:47 a.m. ET

With Brexit accomplished, right-wing parties in a number of other European nations are already pushing for their countries to follow suit. Now, the obvious issue of import is what clever portmanteaus we can use to label new EU exit debates.

My money is on the below set of suggestions from a Ukrainian PR manager named Mikhail Golub. Seriously, maybe #Finish and #Departugal should happen just so those hashtags can become a thing. Bonnie Kristian

10:37 a.m. ET
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Rapper Kanye West debuted a music video for his single, Famous, Friday night to an audience of 8,000 fans in Inglewood, California. The video features 12 celebrities, all fully nude, reclining on a giant bed together.

All 12 are presumed to be waxworks, as none of the celebrities shown have admitted to posing for the video and one — Taylor Swift — has rapidly denied her participation. In addition to Swift, the lifelike figures are of George W. Bush, Donald Trump, Anna Wintour, Chris Brown, Kim Kardashian West, Ray J, Amber Rose, Caitlyn Jenner, Bill Cosby, and Rihanna.

"It’s not in support or anti any of [the people in the video]," West said to Vanity Fair. "It’s a comment on fame." He also claimed that on previewing the video to other celebrities not depicted, "They want to be in the bed."

You can view an image of the wax figures here. NSFW, obviously. Bonnie Kristian

10:22 a.m. ET
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Hawaii became the first state in the nation to automatically place all gun owners in an FBI criminal tracking database, which will enable the federal government to "monitor them for possible wrongdoing anywhere in the country." From now on, if a Hawaiian gun owner is arrested for any reason, their hometown police will be notified and their permission to own a gun reexamined.

"This bill has undergone a rigorous legal review process by our Attorney General’s office," said Hawaii Gov. David Ige, who signed the bill Thursday, "and we have determined that it is our responsibility to approve this measure for the sake of our children and families."

But critics say the new law is an extreme and invasive measure. "Why are law abiding citizens exercising their constitutional right being entered into a criminal database?" asked Hawaiian Quentin Kealoha in a public comment process about the bill. "Would you enter people exercising their right to free speech into a criminal database?" Bonnie Kristian

9:25 a.m. ET
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Inspired by Britain's vote to exit the European Union, parallel campaigns are already underway in other member states, typically led by right-wing, nationalist parties.

Slovakia's People's Party has already launched a petition calling for a referendum vote even as Slovakia prepares to assume the EU's six-month rotating presidency in July. "Citizens of Great Britain have decided to refuse the diktat from Brussels," the party said on its website. "It is high time for Slovakia to leave the sinking European 'Titanic' as well."

Meanwhile, Marine Le Pen of France's National Front Party tweeted her interest in a Frexit, writing, "Victory for Freedom! As I have been asking for years, we must now have the same referendum in France and EU countries." German and Dutch far-right leaders posted tweets to similar effect. Bonnie Kristian

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