Third time's the charm?
With the midterm elections almost upon us, the 2016 guessing game is kicking into high gear. And in the latest iteration, The Washington Post reports Sunday that Mitt Romney is quietly emerging as a top GOP campaign surrogate this year and thus raising speculation that he will throw his hat into the ring once more.
Despite Romney's insistence he won't run again, his loaded schedule has his old backers "yearning for him to give it a go and arguing that he would be a stronger candidate than last time."
Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead (R), whom Romney recently endorsed for reelection, said in an interview that Romney remains the GOP's best hope of winning back the White House.
Asked whether he and other Republican officials are coalescing around Romney as a 2016 favorite, Mead said: "There is a movement afoot. . . . I'd tell him, 'Governor Romney, people here in Wyoming and around the country would encourage you to take another look at it.'" [The Washington Post]
The Romney 2016 speculation has percolated since last year, though it's gained momentum of late as other potential GOP candidates fizzled or became embroiled in scandal. A few admittedly early polls have found Romney running competitively in a GOP primary too, further fueling speculation he would be a formidable candidate should he run again. Jon Terbush
You have probably already heard the tale of the very expensive, useless juicer that does nothing that you can't do just as well, or perhaps faster, with your own two hands. "Juicero" quickly became the laughing stock of the whole internet and perhaps deservedly: The device, which went on the market for $699 but has now reduced its price to $399, is a hilarious example of Silicon Valley at its silliest and most absurd.
Despite the flop, Bolt venture capital firm founder Ben Einstein dissembled the Juicero and found that the machine is actually an "incredibly complicated piece of engineering." Here's how, precisely, it went so wrong and got so pricey:
1. The Juicero made things way, way more complicated than they needed to be. The door-locking mechanism, for example, consisted of more than two dozen parts. "Of the hundreds of consumer products I've taken apart over the years, this is easily among the top 5 percent on the complexity scale," Einstein noted.
2. At least Juicero wasn't lying when it said it was good at squeezing. "Juicero's juicer really does appear to be capable of putting out the kind of strong, controlled force the company promised it would use to squeeze the juice out of fruits and vegetables," The Verge writes. But: "On the other hand, Juicero put a ton of money and effort into something that could have been accomplished much cheaper if it had been willing to accept a less precise squeeze — say, something similar to what's accomplished by hand."
3. And about those costs… "Most hardware startups avoid machined parts as much as possible because the cost doesn't decline much as production volumes increase," Einstein wrote. Juicero has eight.
4. That's not to mention the plastics. "This one uses an expensive process called overmolding with a special kind of injection molding press that takes two separate hard plastic parts and molds them together with a softer, rubber-like polymer to make a single 'part.'" One spunky red doodad Einstein displays probably costs between $4 and $6. And that's just for one tiny piece.
Michael Flynn likely broke the law by not disclosing payments from foreign governments, House Oversight Committee chair says
House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) said Tuesday that there is "no evidence" that President Trump's ousted National Security Adviser Michael Flynn "complied with the law" when he worked on behalf of foreign governments and then failed to fully disclose his payments in his security clearance application. Flynn does not appear to have asked permission or informed the U.S. government before accepting payments for his appearances before Russian organizations or his company's lobbying work for a firm linked to the Turkish government, ranking committee member Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) said.
Flynn did not register as a foreign agent until after he was forced to resign from the Trump administration in February. "Personally I see no evidence or no data to support the notion that General Flynn complied with the law," Chaffetz said Tuesday, after the committee met to review its first batch of documents on Flynn. Chaffetz called Flynn's actions "inappropriate" and warned "there are repercussions for the violation of the law."
Watch Chaffetz's announcement below. Becca Stanek
Not good news for Mike Flynn. Jason Chaffetz says he sees “no evidence” that Flynn “complied with the law” for Russia trip or accepting $$$. pic.twitter.com/OgXaMdcCdV
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) April 25, 2017
White House Director of Legislative Affairs Marc Short has refused the House Oversight Committee's request for documents regarding ousted National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. The House committee is investigating whether Flynn, who registered as a foreign agent after he was forced to resign from Trump's administration over his dealings with Russia, fully disclosed his work for foreign governments on his security clearance application.
In a letter, Short said some of the requested documents were in the custody of the Department of Defense, not the White House. In the case of other documents, Short wrote that the White House was "unable to accommodate" the requests. Short's response arrived as the committee convened Tuesday to review its first set of documents on Flynn, provided by the Pentagon.
Previous documents released by the White House at the beginning of April revealed Flynn had not disclosed income he'd received from three Russia-linked firms. Flynn's lobbying company has also been found to have worked for a firm linked to the Turkish government while Flynn was serving as a top adviser to Trump's presidential campaign.
Flynn is one of the major players from the Trump administration being looked at in FBI, House, and Senate investigations into the Trump team's ties to Russia's election meddling. Becca Stanek
A 101-year-old woman won the 100-meter dash in New Zealand's World Masters Games — although admittedly, there was no one else in the 100+ age category competing against her.
Man Kaur, of India, completed the race in one minute and 14 seconds, The New Zealand Herald reports. While elite sprinters can finish the distance in a dozen seconds or less, at least one onlooker couldn't believe her eyes. "It was something special," said Clasina van der Veeken, 85, who won a silver medal in her own age category. "I was very pleased she was so healthy and still can do it."
Kaur began training in track and field with her son at the age of 94, so you will never have an excuse not to get started. "She is very happy being here," her translator told the Herald. "She feels like everybody here is her son."
Watch Kaur cross the finish line — admittedly not very quickly, although it is riveting to watch — below. Jeva Lange
101-year-old Indian woman wins 100 meter dash at World Masters Games in New Zealand as the only competitor in the 100+ age category. pic.twitter.com/P8VYoTW9Bm
— ABC News (@ABC) April 25, 2017
Beyoncé is celebrating Lemonade's one-year anniversary by giving college scholarships to four young women
Beyoncé's visual album Lemonade is the gift that keeps on giving. To celebrate the album's one-year anniversary, the pop icon announced Tuesday that she's founded "Formation Scholars," a program that will award college scholarships to four young women for the 2017-2018 academic year. Beyoncé said the point of the program is to celebrate young women who are "unafraid to think outside the box and are bold, creative, conscious, and confident."
Participating schools are historically black colleges Howard University and Spelman College, as well as Berklee College of Music and Parsons School of Design; one student per college will be chosen to receive Beyoncé's scholarship. Female "incoming, current or graduate students pursuing studies in creative arts, music, literature, or African-American studies" are eligible to apply, per Beyoncé's website. More information about the application process can be found on the schools' websites.
Eligible young ladies, get in formation. Becca Stanek
Sean Hannity claims '100 percent false' allegations against him are proof 'liberal fascism is alive and well'
During his show's opening monologue Monday night, Fox News host Sean Hannity vehemently denied allegations of sexual harassment and blasted the left for pushing such "slander" in an effort to silence "conservative voices." "I can no longer let the left's slander against me slide," Hannity said.
"If there's any person, any group, any organization, any media outlet that slanders, lies about me, besmirches me, my character, I'm going to be calling them out. Because at this point, enough is enough."
Hannity's denouncement followed former Fox News guest Debbie Schlussel's claim in a recent radio interview that Hannity retaliated against her after she declined his invitation to go back to his hotel room by never again inviting her to appear on the network. She has since clarified that she would not characterize Hannity's actions as sexual harassment; she said she simply found Hannity "weird and creepy."
Hannity read aloud the statement he'd provided to LawNewz adamantly denying the claims, which he reiterated were made by an individual who "for over a decade has made the most outrageous, unfair, untrue allegations against me." While he fully intends to fight "every single lie" by "all legal means available," he suggested the recent allegations were about more than just him.
He described it as part of a "coordinated attempt to silence the voice of every outspoken conservative in this country." "Liberal fascism is alive and well in America today," Hannity said, warning that "everyone who has publicly supported President Trump is a target."
Watch Hannity's opening monologue below. Becca Stanek
NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Jr. is retiring from racing at the end of the 2017 season, Hendrick Motorsports reported Tuesday.
Earnhardt, 42, spent 18 seasons behind the wheel, totaling more than 600 races. He has won two Daytona 500 crowns and two championships, and has been voted NASCAR's Most Popular Driver a record 14 consecutive times. Earnhardt's father, Dale Earnhardt Sr., was a NASCAR Hall of Famer who died in 2001 in a collision in the final lap of the Daytona 500.
Earnhardt missed the final 18 races of 2016 due to a concussion. In his eight starts this year, he has one top-10 finish. Earnhardt's final NASCAR Cup Series race will take place on Nov. 19, at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Jeva Lange