February 12, 2016

When actor Richard Dreyfuss was spotted attending a Ted Cruz campaign event, the blowback was pretty fierce. People decided that Dreyfuss, "a beloved actor, needed to be kicked out of Hollywood," Megyn Kelly summarized at the beginning of an interview with Dreyfuss and his son Harry on Thursday's Kelly File. Harry Dreyfuss had written an online post slamming his father's online critics, accusing them of "attacking my dad for his curiosity," he explained. Then Kelly turned to the actor himself.

Dreyfuss comes from a long line of socialists, Kelly said. "Were you surprised by the backlash?" No, Dreyfuss said, explaining that his other son, Ben Dreyfuss, an editor at Mother Jones, "always warned me never to read comments on the internet, because they were from people who were dropped on their head." He went to the Cruz event out of curiosity, Dreyfuss said, because he wanted to "hear whether or not there'd be a difference between what I was hearing through the TV camera and live. And what was disappointing was that there was no difference. They sounded equally, kind of, silly."

Kelly said that Dreyfuss sounded like Glenn Beck, because they both love the Constitution. That prompted a civics lesson from Dreyfuss, who runs a nonprofit dedicated to raising civic awareness among school children. "If anyone tells me that America is exceptional, my response is, if you don't defend that statement and prove it, I'll hit you right in the mouth," he said. "Because people don't think that it needs defending, and it does." Watch below. Peter Weber

1:56 p.m. ET

Stonehenge might not be that impressive after all. While moving massive stones 140 miles through the mountains before the advent of heavy construction equipment has long been thought to be a nearly impossible task, a group of archaeologists from University College London has found that the task may only have required a small team of people.

In an experiment to see how the stones might have been moved, archaeologists set a one-ton stone on a sleigh, which was then dragged along tracks. Much to the archaeologists' surprise, a team of just 10 people was able to move the rock. The team managed to pull the rock one foot every five seconds, which, the experiment concludes, would "net a speed of more than one mile per hour." While the rocks from Stonehenge weigh nearly twice as much as the stones used in the experiment, archaeologists surmise that the team could be doubled to 20 people for the same ease of movement, even with the added challenge of the Preseli Mountains' tough terrain.

Archaeologists also point out that the same technique has been used to tackle far more impressive feats. The system was also used to move China's Forbidden City's stones, which weigh 120 tons a piece — more than 60 times that of Stonehenge's stones. Becca Stanek

1:32 p.m. ET
Win McNamee/Getty Images

The Supreme Court has turned down an appeal asserting that the death penalty violates the constitutional ban against cruel and unusual punishments, Reuters reports. Only two of the court's eight justices — liberals Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg — said they would have accepted the case.

The appeal was filed by Lamondre Tucker, who was sentenced to death for the 2008 murder of his 18-year-old girlfriend when she was five months pregnant. Tucker has argued that black males such as himself have an increased likelihood of being given the death penalty due to systemic issues of racism in Louisiana's Caddo Parish.

Tucker "may well have received the death penalty not because of the comparative egregiousness of his crime, but because of an arbitrary feature of his case, namely geography," Breyer wrote. "One could reasonably believe that if Tucker had committed the same crime just across the Red River in, say, Bossier Parish, he would not now be on death row."

However, by declining the appeal, the Supreme Court moves no closer to taking on a case challenging the death penalty directly. Louisiana's Supreme Court ruling from September 2015, which upheld Tucker's conviction and death sentence, will be left in place. Jeva Lange

1:07 p.m. ET

Right-wing extremists attacked a vegan cafe in Tbilisi, Georgia, on Sunday evening — only the attackers' weapons weren't knives or crowbars, but sausages.

"They pulled out some grilled meat, sausages, and fish and started eating them and throwing them at us, and finally they started to smoke," Kiwi Cafe wrote in a statement. "They were just trying to provoke our friends and disrespect us."

According to Radio Free Europe, the incident erupted after the men were told to leave the no smoking area of the cafe during a screening of the animated sitcom Rick And Morty. "Customers said the group of rowdy Georgian men entered the cafe as the screening was under way, wearing sausages around their necks and carrying slabs of meat on skewers," Radio Free Europe reports.

And while "antivegan provocative action" is a somewhat preposterous-sounding accusation, the attack on the counterculture and LGBT-friendly Kiwi Cafe is symbolic of a larger trend of intolerance in Georgia, where neo-Nazis and "fascist ideas" are on the rise.

However, Kiwi Cafe has said they are still "ready to accept all customers regardless of their nationality, race, appearance, age, gender, sexual orientation, or religious views" — just not, perhaps, diet. Jeva Lange

12:29 p.m. ET

Much has been made about Donald Trump's historic refusal to release his tax returns — but apparently the presumptive Republican nominee requires similar IRS documents from charities before he releases donations to them.

Trump's campaign has been criticized for being slow to gift money to veterans groups, to which he had promised $6 million after a fundraiser in January. Trump excused his tardiness by saying his team needed the proper paperwork to be in order before donations could be released. However, by the time he finished naming recipient organizations at his press conference on Tuesday, Trump said his campaign was still waiting to release $10,000 to Project for Patriots because "they have to give us that final document" — an "IRS determination letter."

The irony, apparently, was lost on Trump. Watch below. Jeva Lange

11:49 a.m. ET

Donald Trump took on the press during a news conference on Tuesday, slamming the media for being "dishonest" and made up of "not good people." Trump had appeared in order to account for charitable contributions his campaign said it made toward veteran organizations during an Iowa fundraiser in January, but he repeatedly lashed out at the press in attendance for requiring him to do so.

The press returned fire, with CNN's Jim Acosta accusing Trump of not being able to cope with the scrutiny it takes to run for president.

"I've seen you on TV, you're a real beauty," Trump replied.

Trump later pivoted to calling ABC reporter Tom Llamas, who was in attendance, "a sleazy guy."

"He's a sleaze, in my book." Trump said.

"Is this what it is going to be like covering you, if you are president?" another reporter finally asked.

"Yeah," Trump said. "Yeah, it is." Jeva Lange

11:43 a.m. ET
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Conservative commentator Glenn Beck's radio program won't be airing on SiriusXM this week, the satellite radio company announced Tuesday. Though a lot can be said on the radio, SiriusXM says that it draws the line at what guest Brad Thor said about Donald Trump last week on Beck's program. The fiction writer hypothesized that it might be necessary to break the law to oust Trump from the presidency:

If Congress won't remove him from office, what patriot will step up and do that if, if, he oversteps his mandate as president, his constitutional-granted authority, I should say, as president.

If he oversteps that, how do we get him out of office? And I don't think there is a legal means available. I think it will be a terrible, terrible position the American people will be in to get Trump out of office because you won't be able to do it through Congress. [Thor, via Breitbart News]

A vocal supporter of Ted Cruz's run for the GOP nomination, Beck "did not immediately admonish or distance himself from the comments," Politico reports. SiriusXM says the comments "may be reasonably construed by some to have been advocating harm against an individual currently running for office," which it says it can't "condone."

Beck has yet to comment on the suspension, but he denied last week that anyone on his show threatened the presumptive GOP nominee. "NOBODY stated or implied any harm coming to Trump, that's not something we joke about," he wrote on Facebook.

His usual slots on both the Patriot channel and The Blaze have already been filled with other programming. Becca Stanek

11:12 a.m. ET
Paul J. Richards/Getty Images

The Democratic Party likes to see senators tapped for vice president. In fact, if this year's VP candidate hails from the Senate, Democrats will have chosen senators in 16 out of 17 elections going back to 1948. (The one exception was 1972, when George McGovern named former Ambassador Sargent Shriver to replace his first choice, who was — you guessed it — a senator.)

Republicans have no such affinity for the Senate. Six of their veep picks since 1964 were former members of the House of Representatives, and three were governors (Spiro Agnew twice and Sarah Palin once). The GOP also went with a senator in three elections (Dan Quayle in 1988 and 1992 and Bob Dole in 1976).

This year, with Donald Trump as the presumptive Republican nominee, an unpredictable campaign season combines with an inconsistent Republican record to leave the GOP's veepstakes wide open. Trump's campaign has indicated that its VP list is quite short at this point, and one Trump adviser said it may include women — after previously commenting that selecting anyone other than a white man would be "pandering." Bonnie Kristian

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