March 8, 2018

David Chase returns to New Jersey — and his hit show, The Sopranos — with the script for a new prequel movie, The Many Saints of Newark, Deadline reported Thursday. New Line purchased the script, which reportedly features characters from the Emmy-winning series that ran for six seasons on HBO between 1999 and 2007.

The film will take place during the Newark riots of the 1960s. "I couldn't get any more information about the plot," writes Deadline's Mike Fleming Jr., "but the time period indicates there will be room for Tony Soprano's father, Giovanni 'Johnny Boy,' the former captain of the Soprano crew (played in flashbacks by Joseph Siravo), and a younger version of his wife Livia (played indelibly in the show's first season by Nancy Marchand), and Tony's uncle Junior, played by [Dominic] Chianese."

Chase, who is also producing the film, will reportedly be involved in picking the director. Read the full scoop at Deadline here. Jeva Lange

9:30 p.m.

Julián Castro has a simple pledge for closing the gender pay gap.

Castro, who served as Housing and Urban Development Secretary under former President Barack Obama, was asked at Wednesday's Democratic debate how he would address the gender pay gap. He immediately brought up how his single mother raised him and his twin brother, Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas), and then pledged to "pass the Equal Rights Amendment, finally."

The Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution was proposed nearly a century ago. It passed the U.S. Senate in 1972 and has slowly made inroads in state legislatures, but has stalled ever since. Kathryn Krawczyk

9:29 p.m.

It took former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke exactly nine seconds to start speaking in Spanish at the Democratic debate on Wednesday night. After being asked if he would support a marginal tax rate of 70 percent on the highest earners making more than $10 million a year, O'Rourke answered instead: "This economy has got to work for everyone, and right now we know that it isn't, and it's going to take all of us coming together to make sure that it does."

He then switched to speaking Spanish, which bilingual viewers noted was a dodge as the former congressman didn't actually answer the question in either language:

Still, O'Rourke managed to impress some people with his bold decision:

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker — who also speaks Spanish — looked particularly impressed and surprised:

Several of the 2020 Democrats are multilingual. In addition to O'Rourke and Booker, Julián Castro and Pete Buttigieg have also given interviews in full or in part in Spanish, Politico reports. Jeva Lange

9:10 p.m.

So far, it seems, the Democratic primary candidates who are slated to take the debate stage on Thursday in Miami are perfectly content to allow their Wednesday counterparts their moment in the spotlight.

Former Vice President Joe Biden reportedly won't even be in Miami until Thursday, though he has been keeping busy — he's reportedly still in Wilmington cooped up in a hotel for "debate camp." The front-runner, NBC News reports, is in the midst of "marathon" practice sessions and will watch Wednesday's event from Delaware.

Despite the intensity of Biden's preparation, though, he and his team have downplayed Thursday's debate. "It's a little bit of an exaggeration calling it a debate," Biden told reporters earlier this month. "I mean there's not much time."

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is already in Miami, where he's been greeted by some cheering crowds, but he's seemingly keeping his thoughts to himself.

Other notable candidates who have to wait until Thursday, like South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D) and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), are also reportedly in Miami already, but they too have kept a low profile on Wednesday. Tim O'Donnell

9:02 p.m.

2020 Democrats should take these political pros' advice with a grain of salt.

After all, Danny Diaz, Beth Hansen, Jeff Roe, and Terry Sullivan's candidates — Jeb Bush, John Kasich, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), respectively — didn't do so well in the 2016 presidential elections. Still, they met up with Politico to share how Wednesday and Thursday nights' debaters can avoid a similar fate.

To start, Politico asked the former campaigners how they felt when their candidates went into the first 2016 debates. That quickly pivoted into their expectations for the Democratic debates, where Roe of Cruz's campaign said a candidate would "be smart" to "have a moment against [Joe] Biden." "If they want to bring him all the way down, they ought to," Roe continued, saying that wasn't Cruz's strategy in the first debate, and that could be why the senator almost didn't make the second.

When it came to discussing which Democrat would be facing the most pressure in the first debates, the Republican campaigners were generally in agreement. Sullivan, of Rubio's campaign, said it was Pete Buttigieg and Beto O'Rourke because "those two are the most a creation of the media" and "if they can't meet expectations, it's the end of them." Biden, meanwhile, could "crap the bed" and still make future debates, Sullivan continued.

Hansen, who ran Kasich's campaign, suggested Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) would see the most pressure because she's one of the "people who voters don't know a lot about." And Diaz, of Bush's campaign, similarly thinks it's "the people who are worried about making it through the summer and being on the stage in the fall."

Find all the GOP campaign runners' advice at Politico. Kathryn Krawczyk

8:31 p.m.

It is a scorching 86 degrees outside of the Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami, where the first of the Democratic debates is being held on Wednesday night. You can imagine, then, the delight of reporters and debate attendees alike upon discovering a Joe Biden ice cream truck handing out free cones across the street from the main event:

The ice cream truck isn't even technically affiliated with the Biden campaign (Biden isn't in Florida yet; he's slated to appear in Thursday's debate):

Still, it appears there is no surer way to a voter's heart than through a nice cold treat on a hot day. Even Biden's opponents had to agree:

Sweet, sweet "victory," indeed. Jeva Lange

7:58 p.m.

We're still 496 days away from the 2020 presidential election, but the first of one dozen (!!!) Democratic debates begins tonight. That seems like as good a reason as any to reach for a beer (or five).

Life advice candidate Marianne Williamson has another idea, though. In an email blasted out to reporters covering her campaign, Williamson suggested a "healthy alternative" to the tried-and-true debate drinking game, proposing that journalists "do a downward dog" instead of "doing a shot" and "drop into a low plank" when people onstage "shout infrastructure."

Other ideas? "Instead of throwing back a Harvey Wallbanger, just try legs up the wall pose," the email suggests. Or "when they say Medicare For All, you just meditate." Or "every time someone talks about the Green New Deal, strike an eagle pose."

Then "at the end hold hands with everybody that you are watching the debate with, say a quick Namaste, and be happy that you have so many more Democratic debates to look forward to covering," the email cheerfully concludes.

On second thought, pass the Jameson. Jeva Lange

7:36 p.m.

Bank of America is joining a growing corporate backlash against the detention industry.

The second-largest bank in the U.S. will stop issuing loans to companies that run private prisons and detention centers, its Vice Chair Anne Finucane told Bloomberg on Wednesday. The move comes a few months after JPMorgan and Wells Fargo divested from private prisons, and as Wayfair employees stage a walkout to protest the furniture company's work with migrant detention centers.

Bank of America "decided to exit the relationship" with for-profit prisons and detention centers after a review from its environmental, social, and governance committee, Finucane told Bloomberg. That review involved "site visits and consultation with clients, civil rights leaders, criminal justice experts, and academics," as well as "internal Hispanic and black leaders," Bloomberg writes. Finucane then declared there is "need for reforms in the criminal justice system and immigration."

JPMorgan and Wells Fargo made similar decisions in March, though JPMorgan suggested the industry's declining credit made its continued involvement too risky. GEO Group and CoreCivic, the two largest private prison companies in the U.S., saw their shares drop 17 percent last year, and each dropped more than 3 percent again on Wednesday, Bloomberg notes.

Meanwhile, employees at Wayfair are specifically expressing their opposition to migrant detention, with dozens of workers staging a walkout Wednesday that attracted hundreds of supporters. They're asking the company to stop a $200,000 sale of furniture that would be used in migrant detention facilities. Wayfair rejected the employees' demand but offered a $100,000 donation to the Red Cross instead. Kathryn Krawczyk

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